April 16, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: April 16, 2012

JEERS to the people responsible for the graffiti that mars several sites in the City of Plattsburgh. Want a good look at how disgusting some "graffiti artists" can be? Check out the underside of the Smith Weed Bridge in downtown Plattsburgh. The graffiti-covered abutments offer quite a welcome sign to visitors passing through on the Amtrak passenger train that rides the tracks there. One of the more printable messages: "Shut the (expletive) up and do drugs!" Is this the way we want our area to be presented to visitors arriving by train? Or anyone else, for that matter? The city does its best to cover up the despicable language left by people who think it is cool to deface public property, but it is a never-ending challenge along the tracks, on the footbridge over the Saranac River, on downtown buildings and at numerous other places. It's likely that at least a good share of the graffiti is applied by young people. And it won't stop until more of them take pride in their community. Report the action to police if you see it happening, or speak up to acquaintances who are about to start spraying paint. It's a different way to approach community service but will have more impact than lectures from the rest of us.

CHEERS to the many unsung heroes of fire and rescue organizations who don't just respond to 911 calls but consider their service an ongoing responsibility, a way of life. At the 8 a.m. Easter Mass at St. Patrick's Church in Rouses Point, for example, at least three trained responders moved quickly into action when an elderly man collapsed in his pew. First, those sitting next to him quietly passed the word of the crisis, then Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department members (and maybe others from nearby fire companies) stepped forward to carry the man out to meet the ambulance. A similar rescue took place at St. Mary's Church in Champlain on Christmas Eve, when a person fell seriously ill in the midst of the service. There, at Mass, were Champlain firefighters and EMTs, who quickly ministered to the man. Some say angels watch over us; in these instances, they took the form of firefighters and emergency medical technicians. It is reassuring to realize that these people are always on standby, ready to give aid when needed.

— 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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