September 30, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: Sept. 30, 2013

CHEERS to those who recognize how hard it is for motorists to see pedestrians, cyclists and others alongside the road at dusk and after dark and who make themselves as visible as possible. Among them lately was a person changing a flat tire on Route 3 in the Saranac area, who attached an extremely bright flashing light to the open trunk of the car. It really caught the eye of people approaching by car, and they were able to give him a wide berth. And then there was a cyclist who, while riding along Route 9 near Plattsburgh after dark recently had two very bright flashing red lights on the back of the bike and also wore reflective gear. By contrast, a teen seen cycling on Route 9B in Champlain one recent night was far less visible because he wore dark clothes and had only the usual small red reflector on the bike seat and an orange one on each pedal. They were, eventually, visible to drivers — but far too close to the bike to give enough warning. Darkness falls far earlier now; either don’t walk or bike along the roadside or make yourself as visible as possible. It could save your life. 

JEERS to candidates who aren’t attending meetings of the local municipal bodies they hope to join. We understand that candidates have regular jobs and that campaigning for office requires a great deal of work, usually including door-to-door visits in the district they want to represent. But if you are running for a county, city, town or village office, you need to be familiar with all the issues that body faces. The best way to do that is to attend the meetings and hear first-hand the discussions that are taking place. Informed candidates are as crucial as informed voters, and we see far too few local aspirants for office showing up at meetings. Those who do immediately increase their standing, in our eyes. They are proving they are willing to commit time to increase their knowledge and understanding. They will be able to converse more authoritatively on municipal issues. They will know what ideas have already been discussed, endorsed or discarded — and why. They have an opportunity to meet some of the behind-the-scenes employees who make government run efficiently. The candidates who make an effort even before Election Day are the ones who will make the best government leaders after.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at

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