March 19, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: March 19, 2012

CHEERS to Jeff Whalen, commissioner of the Social Services Division at Akwesasne and vice chair of the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. Veterans Affairs Committee, for his attempts to correct an oversight and gain the same level of recognition for an elite group of St. Regis Mohawk veterans for their work as World War II code talkers. They were assigned to the Third Army under Gen. George Patton in the African campaign in the 1940s and relayed coded messages in their native language that couldn't be deciphered by the enemy. They were code talkers. But their contribution has been overshadowed by Navajo code talkers who worked at the same time in Europe and the Pacific. Whalen is verifying the wartime service of the seven men and will work with the U.S. Mint to create specially designed congressional medals to recognize their unique service.

JEERS to the many groups of joggers who run in packs, sometime two or three abreast, on city streets, often compelling motorists to come to a complete stop to allow oncoming traffic to pass without plowing into the runners. Some joggers seem oblivious to the motor-vehicle traffic and the hazardous conditions they may be causing. We applaud the joggers for exercising to keep their hearts and minds healthy. However, we're having a difficult time understanding why they can't run in a single line instead of spreading out over a lane of the road. Motorists oftentimes have their hands full in trying to negotiate traffic, watching for cars to pull out of parking spaces, bicyclists, to name a few obstacles. Inconsiderate joggers just add to the distractions. Runners, be safe and vigilant.

CHEERS to the Friends of the Plattsburgh Public Library for receiving the Community Partnership Award from the Clinton County Health Department for their ongoing promotion of health literacy. The two groups along with the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System and the Plattsburgh Library board have partnered for decades on health-related issues. The Friends purchased 180 age-appropriate books to promote early language and literacy development for the children seen in the Early Intervention and Newborn programs. In the past, the Health Department has provided the libraries with bookmarks and the like promoting good health, which the libraries distribute liberally. Further, local health officials have set up displays in libraries to catch the eyes of children using the facilities. It's a great partnership in which everyone benefits.

— 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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