July 15, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: July 15, 2013


---- — CHEERS to the downtown businesses who made an effort to play up the Mayor’s Cup Festival. That event, held last Thursday through Sunday, and the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration in September are the city’s signature events. If you knew company was coming to your house, you would clean up and make sure you could showcase its assets, right? Same goes for a community that is expecting thousands of visitors. A ride through downtown — the site for most Mayor’s Cup events — on Friday showed that City Public Works crews had done their part for preparation. The grounds were immaculate, War of 1812 banners were waving from the light poles, and streets were blocked off to give pedestrians plenty of room to roam. A smattering of businesses had their windows spruced up with Mayor’s Cup paintings applied by local artists. But far too few businesses seemed to be in the spirit of the weekend, in our opinion. Every single downtown business could have had its window decorated. Imagine how lively and unifying that would have made the festival setting. The businesses could make it a point every year for Mayor’s Cup and Battle of Plattsburgh to hold sidewalk sales. That also sends a message of openness and vitality. And maybe the newly revived Downtown Association could encourage residents of the city who want to hold garage sales to do it on a certain day during Mayor’s Cup or Battle of Plattsburgh. Many area communities have had great success in holding townwide garage sales, with maps of garage-sale sites provided. The city might consider the cost of investing in banners specific to the Mayor’s Cup, as those now waving are more suitable to the Battle of Plattsburgh. The Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club has done an amazing job carrying on the Mayor’s Cup Festival after the city cut its funding. Its members have stepped up to organize the event and line up business sponsors, all of whom also deserve credit for their contributions.

CHEERS for a patriotic gesture by a CVPH Medical Center staff member who was in line recently in the Plattsburgh hospital’s cafeteria and became involved in light conversation with a visitor. The talk got around to the military, and the visitor revealed that he was a World War II veteran, whereupon the staffer swiped his credit card to pay for the visitor’s lunch. No hesitation. Just gratitude for what the man had done for his country more than half a century earlier. We feel the same way about the dwindling number of soldiers, sailors and airmen of WWII. The feeling is akin to how we regard generous people who do nice things in everyday life today — like that staffer. We wish we had his name, but the veteran who shared the story was unable to provide it.

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