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COMMENTARY: Nothing can drown out the good in Glens Falls
COMMENTARY

COMMENTARY: Nothing can drown out the good in Glens Falls

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There are nervous people in Glens Falls.

That is clear from the actions of the Common Council and the emails and text messages sent to City Hall.

Glens Falls has become ground zero for local political activism, ugly rallies and, more recently, concerns it might all turn violent.

Hometown, USA, whose identity has always been tied to friendly front porches, neighborhood schools and a night of hockey, is worried about its reputation.

The concern, while understandable, is temporary at best.

The people who have descended upon Glens Falls have done it for exactly the reason why citizens and business owners have no reason to worry. Glens Falls’ identity is wrapped around the friends and neighbors that make up this community, rather than the chants of any political point of view. This is the center of the regional universe for northern Washington and Saratoga counties and all of Warren.

If you want to make a point and get any attention, you have to do it in Glens Falls.

But going forward, it is the people that walk those downtown streets that make the screamers irrelevant.

If this community wants to make a point, it will continue to walk the downtown streets and fill the arena for hockey games.

This community should not bury its head in the sand or shy away from local restaurants.

Glens Falls has always been about a shared view of community coming together for the greater good.

The management at Glens Falls Hospital’s biggest blunder was not its billing system, but its refusal to put its faith and trust in the community to rally around it. If they had reached out, they would have been embraced. You would think those on the board of governors would have known that.

The examples are many and part of the continuing evolution of this small city.

When it looked like hockey was dead, and the Civic Center was on life support, a group of local businesspeople formed a non-profit organization, took over the building, bought the hockey team and kept the doors open and the hockey tradition alive.

When downtown was desperate for a shot in the arm, a group of local businesspeople decided a theater would build on an already vibrant arts and entertainment scene. They bought the old Woolworth building, renovated it and the result is the Wood Theater, home to a vibrant professional summer theater festival and now a film festival.

Crandall Public Library, funded by three local communities, remains the anchor store of downtown Glens Falls, with regular foot traffic in one of the prettiest city parks in upstate New York.

There is the annual LARAC festival and the upcoming work to revitalize the former Street of Dreams.

All of this drives this community and enhances the quality of life. No group can drown out that message.

I don’t know how many times I have heard from young families that the reason they moved to Glens Falls was those wonderful neighborhood schools where you get to walk your kids to school, greet the crossing guard and know that if there are any problems, there is a neighbor to watch out for the kids.

This is what Glens Falls has always been known for, and that will not change.

If the screamers stay long enough, they will understand that, too, and hopefully, it will rub off on them.

n Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com. His blog “The Front Page” discusses issues about newspapers and journalism. You can also follow him on Twitter at .</&box_em>

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