Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 15, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cheers and Jeers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Cheers: The community garden at the corner of Washburn Street and Elmwood Avenue appears to be a hit. Launched in early spring, the garden is being tended to by 25 families, with support from The Chapel at Lockport. It’s already providing lettuce, and also sports other vegetables, herbs and flowers. Organizers hope to plant the seeds of gardening into young minds today from 10 a.m. to noon by hosting a free event for children. We’re rooting for them. They have taken a vacant lot and turned it into something that’s beneficial to the entire neighborhood, and they hope to expand into a second city location next year. Best of luck!

Cheers: Students in Charlie Voorhees’ manufacturing systems class at Newfane High School built 22 bird houses and painted them pink. It’s part of an overall project in which they had to come up with a product, manufacture it and sell/market it. They’ll be sold for $15 each, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society, and they were successful in getting the material donated. These little pink houses could raise more than $300 for a worthy cause and provide lodging for our feathered friends. A win-win from a terrific idea.

Jeers: Two politicians were nearly tripping over themselves this week to announce that they were working to “save” 400 jobs at the Chase call center in Orleans County. Sen. Charles Schumer announced he’s spoken to JP Morgan Chase’s CEO about getting 150 job openings in Chase’s Rochester-area locations filled by the soon-to-be unemployed in Albion. He also is encouraged that Claims Recovery Financial Services in Medina, which plans to add almost 180 to its workforce, will also be able to take in some of the Chase employees. Meanwhile, a press release sent Thursday from Rep. Chris Collins’s office trumpeted “150 Chase Albion jobs to be retained in WNY.” In reality, a Depew company that performs a similar service will hire 150 of the laid-off Albion workers.

The unemployment rate in Orleans county is 9.8 percent. It’s 7.7 percent in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region; 7.2 percent in the Rochester area. Nearly 500 openings at three separate businesses in Western New York could have given hope to someone currently unemployed. Instead they could end up serving as lateral moves for the displaced in Albion. The self-proclaimed “action” by Schumer and Collins will do nothing to move this figure in the right direction. We’re barely treading water.

Cheers: Let’s rename the southern Lake Ontario shore the “Ultimate Fishing Area.” Point Breeze, a tiny hamlet in the Orleans County town of Carlton, captured the World Fishing Network’s 2013 title of Ultimate Fishing Town. This comes on the heels of last year’s win by Olcott Beach, just 25 miles west of Point Breeze. We’re sure the folks in Point Breeze took some pointers from the group that helped Olcott snare its title. Congratulations to both. Maybe we can nominate and push Wilson to victory in 2014.