September 24, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: Sept. 24, 2012

CHEERS to Georgia-Pacific in Plattsburgh for sponsoring attendance by area teachers for week-long training at the Keystone Center in Colorado. The program is designed to help teachers confidently deliver science instruction in the context of current events. This year, GP sent Maureen Gilmore of Saranac Lake Middle School, Colleen Ryan of AuSable Valley Central School, John Oliver of Willsboro Central School and Kathleen Sciole of Stafford Middle School in Plattsburgh an on an all-expense-paid trip to Colorado “to learn, share and experience new approaches and understanding to help them in the classroom,” according to a news release. Keystone says its programs advance science, technology, engineering and math skills and focus on teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking. The local Georgia Pacific plant has been paying for this special training since 2000, helping area teachers bring back inspired new lesson plans. This is wonderful example of business/community cooperation and also of an industry showing it cares about the educational offerings in local schools.

CHEERS to the New York State Department of Transportation , which we recently criticized for what we viewed as a dangerous traffic pattern at a busy Plattsburgh intersection, for making a change that should increase safety there. The intersection we are referring to is the eastern exit from the plaza that houses Price Chopper and Lowe’s. Pedestrians crossing Route 3 from south to north or from north to south (near Dame’s to near Maplefields) have been given the walk sign at the same time the motorists leaving the shopping center are given the go-ahead to turn right. That means that, if drivers weren’t paying close attention, they could head off at the green light and into a pedestrian crossing right in front of them. We saw this as an especially dangerous condition. In fact, we’ve been surprised we haven’t had to report on pedestrians being hit and injured there. Now, the situation has been at least partially rectified. While the green light and the walk sign are still simultaneous, a sign above the intersection close to the traffic light warns drivers that pedestrians may be crossing there and have the right-of-way. (The sign is a combination of words and images; since the words are in English, we hope Canadian visitors understand it.) We understand that the lights may not be staggered because of the need for prompt traffic flow. But putting that sign where all drivers will see it will at least make them aware that their path may not be unimpeded. To our way of thinking, DOT was responsive on this important matter.

— 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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