Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 1, 2012

OUR VIEW: Cheers and jeers

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — CHEERS: A wonderful kickoff to the Christmas season took place downtown last weekend with the annual Christmas on the Canal parade along Main Street. The parade organizers did a wonderful job, and the enthusiasm from participants and spectators alike was obvious. It was a fantastic small-town Christmas atmosphere, the way Christmas should be.

JEERS: A dollar and a dream? Bah! This week we saw just the latest example of what happens when people leave their senses and spend outrageous amounts of money chasing a jackpot where the odds are far greater than a person being struck by lightning. The $550 million-plus Powerball jackpot produced two winners Wednesday night. How do the people who spent $50, $100 — or even more — feel today. These jackpots are designed to produce copious amounts of money, but there are far too many people who don’t have two nickels to rub together spending money that would better serve them if spent on food or other necessities instead of chasing a “dream.”

CHEERS: This is something we couldn’t PASS up. A partnership involving the Lockport City School District and Niagara University is providing extra help for at-risk students at North Park Junior High. Called “Promoting Academic Student Success,” this partnership offers students more learning opportunities while the university’s graduate students are getting hands-on experience in their field serving as tutors. It’s paying off on both sides, with students progressing enough to be moved out of the program and the grad students offering feedback that indicates they’re benefiting as well.

JEERS: Why hasn’t Nancy Smith been reappointed as the Democratic election commissioner? The better question to ask is, why is the GOP majority holding Smith down? The answer is gross politics and grandstanding. Paul Wojtaszek (R-North Tonawanda) has a point with wanting to know why the board’s online vote report system crashed on election night. Still, state law pretty much indicates that county legislators have no authority over who the opposing party names as its commissioner. She’s going to be return to her post, so why hold it up?