August 19, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: Aug. 19, 2013

CHEERS to Plattsburgh resident Tim Ayres for being an inspiration to those with physical disabilities. Ayres, 68, who lost his left leg below the knee because of complications from an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 2006, swam from his lakeside home to Valcour Island a couple weeks ago, about a mile. Even more amazing is that he swims with the strength of his arms alone. He swims the elementary backstroke because, he says, he loses his balance when he attempts to swim any other way. Months of physical therapy and a positive attitude led to his recent accomplishment. Plus there’s the fact he typically swims 16 laps — a half mile — almost daily. It’s from that type of dedication and goal-setting that others with disabilities can learn. We’re proud of him.

JEERS to joggers and bicycling enthusiasts who still ignore the risks of doing their thing at dusk along area roads and highways without reflective outerwear. It’s difficult enough for motorists to see those athletes during the daytime, let alone when the sun is going down, sometimes blinding drivers. There’s been plenty written on the subject of wearing bright, reflective clothing when running and cycling, yet there are a lot of those folks who still chance it. We can’t understand why people still bike and jog wearing dark clothing. They’re an accident waiting to happen.

JEERS to irresponsible dog owners who still allow their pets to relieve themselves on lawns and sidewalks throughout the North Country without picking up after them. Of note is that there are reminders at most recreational parks in the region for people to curb their animals and clean up after them. Readers and P-R staffers often observe that frequently that doesn’t happen. Of special interest are playground areas where children and parents congregate and kids play on the ground. There are few things worse for parents than trying to clean up a toddler at a public park who has rolled in dog poop or urine. Such an incident has a tendency to ruin a play day.

CHEERS to those who do take the time to pick up after their animals and who exercise good judgment and keep the pets away from areas where kids play.

— 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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