July 16, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: July 16, 2012


---- — JEERS to anyone who’s had a hand in allowing campers to illegally set up their campsites for free overnight stays in the huge parking lot at Consumer Square in Plattsburgh. Where’s the enforcement? Many have witnessed some of these huge recreational vehicles draining their septic tanks into storm drains in the parking lot and even onto the tarmac itself. We even saw one erstwhile camper cooking his breakfast on a grill in the parking lot. What gall! We wonder what goes through these people’s minds. There are many campsites in the area where these folks could rent the space and have accommodations onsite for them to drain their holding tanks. There’s signage that’s ignored, yet no one is willing or able to tell these campers, whose RVs are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to leave. Wonder what would happen if someone decided to pitch a tent in the parking lot, build a campfire and relieve himself or herself in the storm drains? Everyone responsible for this issue is either passing the buck or turning their heads. This isn’t a new issue; it happens every year. It’s time to put an end to the freeloading. Consumer Square officials and law-enforcement authorities need to step up and put an end to this. We’ll be watching.

CHEERS to Gary Sargeant of Plattsburgh who graciously offers his time and beautiful singing voice, we’re told by a reader, to area nursing homes, adult day programs and assisted- living facilities as well as Hospice of the North Country. Gary travels to these facilities with his guitar and heavy equipment and sings, free of charge, several times a month, all year with the sole purpose of bringing joy to others. He asks for nothing in return and derives his own happiness from those he entertains, who are always grateful to see him, who sing along with him and who are uplifted by the wonderful memories his songs evoke. He carefully chooses, and spends time perfecting, songs from his audiences’ generations. He welcomes requests, we’re told, and despite his own health problems, refuses to “retire.” Gary’s commitment to the elderly of this community comes completely from his heart and his compassion for them is unrelenting. What you do is a genuine example of what giving is truly all about. He’s another person who makes living in the North Country such great experience.

JEERS to those responsible for clearing away vegetation at rural intersections. We observed one site — at the intersection of Cumberland Head Road and the Commodore Thomas McDonough Highway coming off the former road and taking a right to Route 9 — where vegetation is so high that a motor vehicle has to pull into the intersection itself in order to look for oncoming traffic, especially when turning right on red. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

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