JEERS to inconsiderate drivers who splash pedestrians with road water.

As the snow melts at this time of year, there’s lots of extra runoff water on the streets. It gathers in dips and potholes, ready to be launched in all directions when a car roars by.

An employee of the Press-Republican recently saw one car drive right through a large puddle on the corner of Elm and Margaret streets in Plattsburgh as, in clear view, a woman and two young children approached the intersection.

There was a giant splash; the woman noticed and pulled back a bit at the last second, which saved them from being fully drenched in dirty water.

Being splashed with water is not a pleasant feeling for anyone. Think about pedestrians who are still bundled up for the cold weather then getting soaked and having to carry on with their commute. All while the driver is nice and dry in the car.

It is common courtesy for drivers to slow down or pull over a bit if they see a large puddle and someone on a sidewalk or nearby. Being soaked in 35-degree weather could ruin somebody’s day — and clothing.

CHEERS to the U.S. Air Force for its persistence in tackling the environmental problems left behind when Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed.

In 1995, the final people and planes stationed at PAFB packed up and left, victim to a Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision that shocked this area.

Locals intent on reuse were given the remaining buildings, land and equipment. Unfortunately, they also might have been stuck with leftover environmental problems that included soil and groundwater polluted by fuel, munitions and fire training.

Nearly 20 years later, most of the environmental messes have been cleaned up, at great expense, with the land having been cleared for sale and development.

But, the Air Force is still involved in restoration operations at selected sites on the former Air Base property.

The Restoration Advisory Board, led by David Farnsworth, meets a couple of times each year to get updates on the status of projects there.

The board’s latest meeting, held last December, lasted two and a half hours and provided detailed updates on every site still being monitored or remediated, including several buildings, the fire training area and portions of the flightline.

Meeting minutes are dutifully reported and mailed to the Press-Republican and other media (although not with particular speed, the latest minutes having just arrived last week).

Now, you might be thinking that the Air Force deserves a big JEER for making the mess in the first place. There’s some validity to that, but at least the environmental problems weren’t left in the hands of locals, which would have been a major financial and logistical drain and a lasting impediment to development.

The work will continue; nine restoration and review activities are planned for 2014. The Air Force will be here until the polluted sites are completely restored — and that could be a long commitment.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at letters@pressrepublican.com.

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