Cheers and Jeers: March 10, 2014 - Press-Republican: Opinion

Cheers and Jeers: March 10, 2014

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Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014 3:25 am

CHEERS to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for her persistent efforts to achieve justice for sex-crime victims in the U.S. military.

The Democrat from Hudson had introduced and has been fighting for a law to take the decision to prosecute military sex crimes out of the hands of commanding officers and give the responsibility to the military’s legal system.

Unfortunately, it failed the Senate by just five votes last Thursday, but the frequent disclosures of abuse and unwarranted dropping of charges demonstrates that it deserves to be law.

Gillibrand is tenacious about this issue, so we know she will keep fighting for a fairer review of potential crimes.

CHEERS to Susan Schrader, director of the Franklin County Senior Volunteer Program, for her work overseeing the Joe-4-Oil program.

The service, created by former Congressman Joseph Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) in conjunction with Citizens Energy and CITGO Petroleum, provides eligible senior citizens and people who have disabilities with 100 gallons of free fuel above and beyond any state and federal heating-assistance benefits that they receive.

Schrader, her staff and other volunteers provided 300 seniors with extra fuel this heating season, saving about $120,000 total if the average price per gallon was $4.

Since she introduced the program in Franklin County around five years ago, about 25,000 gallons of free fuel have been provided to needy households.

The Franklin County Legislature recently gave her a special citation for her work with the program. In reading the resolution, Association of Senior Citizens Board member Terry Trudeau said Schrader received no pay or compensation for her efforts “except to know that many individuals have been kept warm during our long winters or that they were able to purchase food or needed medications they would not have otherwise been able to afford.

“This is much more than a random act of kindness,” he said. “It is a planned act of kindness to many hundreds of local people in need.”

Schrader and the staff members who work for her can feel especially rewarded this winter, where the cold has been a bitter guest in too many households.

CHEERS to municipal publicworks and highway workers who are out filling potholes.

This winter’s harsh weather has popped up a bumper crop of potholes throughout the North Country. You can see them on most every street.

But, we’ve already seen crews out filling them, trying to take some of the bumping and bouncing out of our drives.

They certainly have a challenge ahead this spring to get area roads back in shape. We appreciate their work — and so will our cars and trucks.

— 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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