Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 4, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Cheers: We’re moving closer to seeing the former Mount View Health Facility renovated into a 150-bed assisted living facility. Vacant since the county closed it in 2007 the facility’s sale last year for $550,000 put some much-needed money in to county coffers. More importantly, when it’s renovated and reopened, Mount View will employ 45-60 people and provide a payroll of $2 million. With the town of Lockport’s recent approval of a zoning variance, all that’s really left is final approval from the sate health department, which could happen any day. It can’t come soon enough.

Jeers: To people who use charity as a means to take money from others. Recently there was a person visiting businesses in the Lockport area falsely soliciting donations for United Stockings Sailors Soldiers. The founder of that group, which sends Christmas stockings filled with non-perishable items and various sundries to military personnel, said they are not actively seeking donations at this time. Unfortunately, the Lockport area is not the only one where unscrupulous people take advantage of charitable causes. There have been reports of many charity scams related to the Boston Marathon bombings. One word describes these people: despicable.

Cheers: Lea Sobieraski owes her life to a stranger. The 2010 LHS grad underwent a transplant in March after an aggressive disease destroyed her liver. On April 25 Lea returned to her alma mater to discuss the importance of organ donations. She told the assembled seniors — who were freshmen when Lea was a senior — that there are many like her who are waiting for their own life-saving operations. Some unsettling statistics: Nationwide in 2012 there were 118,000 people on organ transplant lists; 28,000 transplants were performed and nearly 7,000 die annually while waiting for a transplant. We hope that Lea Sobieraski’s story inspires others to sign organ donor cards.

Jeers: Pretend you’re on the clock for work, and you lose your cool and punch someone in the face. After you lose your job, would you expect your now-former employer to hire a lawyer and defend you in a lawsuit? Of course not. However, the New York state Court of Appeals concluded last week that school districts must — repeat, must — defend school employees sued for hitting students even though that behavior violates their employment rules. There is nothing appealing about forcing taxpayers to fund a law-breaking former civil employee. Disrobe these judges.

Cheers: To the organizers of Design Lockport, who recently hosted a workshop event that solicited public input on possible redevelopment efforts downtown. The forum was engaging and attracted some interesting ideas. Whether they see the light of day remains to be seen, but it’s good to see how many intelligent people care about their downtown.