July 29, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: July 29, 2013


---- — CHEERS to Plattsburgh City Police, and, in particular, Officer Chad Welch, for their awareness of mental-health issues and their compassionate way of dealing with those individuals and their families. A month ago, the Police Department got a call from a couple saying their adult son had serious mental-health issues and they were concerned for his safety. Police responded quickly and listened to their concerns. They watched out for the man’s safety and that of others for several days. The family says Officer Welch went above and beyond the call of duty, meeting with them to give them information on who to call for crisis intervention. While the situation, sadly, ended in arrest, the family is so grateful that local law-enforcement officers are trained in dealing with mental-health cases. All should be, as they can be delicate in nature and require understanding and patience.

CHEERS to the Town of Plattsburgh Recreation Department for another innovative and fun children’s program. The town this summer offered Kids Cook It, a series of lessons for kids ages 9 to 12 in basic food preparation. The kids wash their hands, put on aprons and start learning to cook easy, healthy and nutritious recipes. Among the lessons are the use of different ingredients, setting oven temperatures, using a food processor, proper food storage, learning about the cultures behind the recipes and the use of knives and other kitchen utensils. The kids get to eat the mostly low-fat, low-sodium food they cook up. Cooking is a skill everyone should learn, and childhood is a great time to introduce it — and the importance of healthy eating. Erin Pangborn, the town’s recreation coordinator, oversees the cooking sessions and deserves credit for cooking up ideas that support the department’s goal of offering activities that promote the well-being of the community. She has a degree in nutrition from SUNY Plattsburgh and is obviously putting her knowledge to use for the good of the town.

A few weeks ago, in cheering downtown businesses who did their part to participate in the Mayor’s Cup celebration, we briefly mentioned that the City Public Works crews had the grounds downtown looking spiffy for the event. That apparently left some people thinking that the City of Plattsburgh’s only role in Mayor’s Cup anymore is taking care of the lawns. So we expand our CHEERS to the City of Plattsburgh and the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club for working together every year to co-host this popular event. The city and Sunrise Rotary raise sponsorship money together, which is received by the city chamberlain. Beth Carlin in the Mayor’s Office sends out more 300 letters each year soliciting area businesses for monetary donations. This year, Sunrise Rotary and the city raised more than $40,000 from sponsors. The Mayor’s Office also organizes the landlubber events, rents tents and extra security and operates a VIP tent to thank sponsors. The city budgets $60,000 for all celebrations throughout the year. Its Public Works, Police, Fire and Municipal Lighting departments devote staff time to prepare for the events.