Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 23, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Jeers: A couple of weeks ago, the East Coast and its two feet of snow was a big talker around the country. Many called it “Nemo.” Most of us in Western New York — and folks in Central New York, too — call it “just another winter day.” Really, do we need to name snow storms? The idea of naming tropical storms makes sense because they typically cause a great deal of damage, but snowstorms? So kids miss out on a few days of school and a little power gets knocked out. That’s not enough to require naming these systems. We have The Weather Channel to thank for this loopy concept.

Cheers: Today the Lockport Police Department is hosting form noon to 5 p.m. its first ever gun buyback program. The concept is very simple: bring in a gun, whether it works or not, and receive a gift card, no questions asked. The amount depends on the type of firearm and whether it works or not. Obviously criminals won’t be dropping off their weapons any time soon. However, for those who don’t know how to dispose of an unwanted gun, this is a perfect opportunity. And the program guarantees that it won’t end up in the wrong hands. This program is similar to the highly successful drug take-back initiative. What’s more, no one is being forced to participate.

Jeers: The Lockport School District is looking to rename North Park Junior High School. A committee is being created to determine what it should be called. Yes, several people will meet several times and spend hours discussing the merits of several names. With increasing state demands on test scores and in other areas of instruction, the committees should be saved for more worthwhile ventures.

Cheers: A community garden in the middle of the city? That’s exactly what Imagine Community Gardens Inc., a faith-based organization proposes to do with three undeveloped lots on the 200-block of Washburn Street. What a great idea! Community gardens have grown in popularity in recent years and they’ve done well in impoverished neighborhoods in major U.S. cities such as Detroit. Why not in Lockport, which doesn’t have anywhere near the problems of the Motor City? Understandably, there are a few concerns about vandalism how well such a project would be received here, but we’d like to see the group give it a shot. The zoning and planning boards must approve the project, which also requires permission from the city council. Approval should be expedited.