July 30, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: July 30, 2012


---- — JEERS to the contemptible person who ripped out phone book pages and threw them all over Dennis Avenue in the City of Plattsburgh.

Overnight one day last week, someone pulled one of the new North Country phone books apart, page by page, and scattered the contents up one side of this steep hill in the West End. It was a huge mess on the lawns of homeowners and a church located there and also spilled into the streets. It would be no surprise to anyone to hear that an empty bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade was among the debris. How anyone could have such disregard for their community is hard to fathom. But we extend a big CHEER to Tim Clukey, a resident of that neighborhood, who spotted the mess, returned to his home for a garbage bag and picked up all the pages. He commented that the phone-book distribution method — they were tossed, in plastic bags, onto porches and lawns —probably wasn’t helpful, as it left the tomes as temptations for vandals. We hope whoever is responsible for the mess is caught and made to put in some community service picking up litter. It would be just payback.

CHEERS to Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery for hosting a summer concert series that adds a new attraction to the season while raising money for community projects. The vineyard, located at 9839 Route 9, Chazy, is owned by educators Giles and Mary Fortin, who are creating wines as a side business, some of which have already earned critical acclaim. Anyone who was familiar with the Fortins as teachers would know that they are music lovers with abundant talent, who often incorporated music into their lessons, to the delight of students and parents. They have carried that appreciation for music into their side careers by sponsoring the concert series, now in its third year. They have a stage set up in the yard between their house and the vineyard, and set out folding chairs for the audience. Among the shows already held this summer are: violinist Carl Kokes, with a donation taken help disabled veterans; a Festival of Art, Music and Wine, to benefit the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts; and a three-day engagement of Mainstage Theatre’s “Nunsense,” to go toward the Maureen King Scholarship Fund. Still on the schedule — both starting at 6:30 p.m. — are Broadway Showcase on Aug. 18 and Roxanne in the Vineyard on Aug. 25. Sure, the Fortins sell some wine during these events, but they also raise money for organizations in need. We raise our glass to them for working philanthropy into their business. 

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