February 3, 2014

Cheers and Jeers: Feb. 3, 2014


---- — CHEERS to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for making documents so accessible to the public.

Law requires, of course, that state agencies provide information about certain plans, programs and changes. But DEC always reaches out to ensure that members of the public know the many ways they can access documents.

Take, for example, the upcoming management plan to allow more recreational access on the Kushaqua Tract, about 19,000 acres of land in the towns of Franklin and Brighton. DEC is accepting comments on the draft of that plan until Feb. 21.

Besides sending a lengthy and detailed news release about the plan, DEC listed the ways that individuals can find out more about the proposal for themselves. Check out the list: A public hearing is planned for Feb. 5 at Paul Smith’s College, where DEC staff can answer questions. The entire document is available for review at DEC Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook and at the town offices of Brighton and Franklin. Copies on compact disc can be requested by calling 897-1291, and a limited number of printed copies are available, as well. You can also find the document on DEC’s website.

That admirable effort to provide access to documents is typical of DEC. As journalists who have had to fight governments and schools many times over the years for paperwork, we appreciate a state agency that values public access to information.

People have a right to know about changes that could affect how they work, play and live. That way, they can knowledgeably share their opinions. DEC demonstrates a true commitment to public input by offering so many opportunities for access.

CHEERS to the City of Plattsburgh Public Works Department for taking a little extra trouble during trash pickup on a windy day.

Last Monday, a reader called to say how impressed she was to watch, from a window of her home, workers take the time to retrieve the cover to her recycling container from where it had blown to the middle of her yard and then put it all safely in her garage.

They were doing the same for her neighbors on Sandra Avenue, too, she said.

The wind was really gusty that day, so the Public Works folks likely had a lot of extra work keeping containers and their lids together and making sure they were placed where they wouldn’t blow into the street.

This lady hollered her thanks from her door; many others must have appreciated the effort, too.

If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at