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Boos and bravos

Boos and bravos

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Governor celebrates our common cause

Bravos to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for sounding a note of unity in a Columbus Day speech that referenced Mother Cabrini, a Catholic nun sent by the pope to New York City at the turn of the century to help Italian immigrants. Cabrini became a part of one of the waves of immigration to the United States that have been the driver of this country’s strength and success. Her work to help immigrants suffering from awful diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis is also a model for the present day. As Cuomo said, “The only way to stop the spread is to form community. To actually care about one another.” All the hassle we’re enduring, all the COVID-prevention steps we are taking, have as much to do with protecting other people — especially those who are most vulnerable — as with protecting ourselves. If you’re not old, if you don’t have serious underlying health conditions, you have less to worry about and, therefore, the steps you take to prevent virus transmission, like wearing a mask and staying a safe distance apart from other people, are done primarily to save other people’s lives. Slow down the spread of the disease and fewer people die, it is that simple. This is a chance for all of us to help save lives without having to run into a burning building. There is a collective heroism in acting together to fight the pandemic, and we all should be able to embrace that.

Stefanik pushes bogus connection

Boos to Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and her campaign workers for trying to push a nonexistent connection between Stefanik’s Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb, and two people who were recently visiting Saranac Lake from Binghamton and reacted with glee when told President Trump and Melania Trump were infected with COVID-19. Kathleen Klein and Stephen Peters had briefly visited the office of Adirondack Voters for Change in Saranac Lake, a group that has endorsed Cobb, but they aren’t members of the group. Another person in Saranac Lake, Phil Newton, who is a member of the group, said, “Couldn’t happen to a nicer person,” when asked by a reporter about Trump’s illness. That is crass and violates public standards of decency in the same way Donald Trump has many times during the past five years. None of this has much of anything to do with Tedra Cobb, but that hasn’t stopped the Stefanik team from demanding she “publicly apologize and condemn this sick vitriol … “ Well, guess what? Cobb did exactly that. “I don’t agree with these comments, and I condemn this type of vitriol,” she said in a prepared statement. Still, the Stefanik campaign is not satisfied, insisting Cobb must disavow the endorsement of Adirondack Voters for Change. That might be fair if Stefanik had disavowed President Trump because of his mockery of a disabled reporter; belittling of parents who lost a son in the Iraq War; denigration of an American war hero, John McCain; xenophobic attacks on a sitting congresswoman, Ilhan Omar; refusal to condemn white supremacists and on and on in a list so long it could dishearten the most proudly patriotic American. Stefanik has no ground from which to cast stones.

Town drops silly sign fight

Bravos to town officials in Queensbury for backing away from a dispute over a pro-Trump sign that included a swear word. The sign might be considered vulgar, but it is not legally obscene, and although we don’t doubt the town could have found a lawyer willing to bill it for pursuing a code violation case against the sign’s owner, that would have been a waste of time and money. Supervisor John Strough didn’t like the sign, which is not the point, and he said, “That is not free speech,” which is incorrect. But Strough and other town leaders did the right thing in taking the high road, avoiding a silly fight when we all have a lot more pressing and important concerns.

Town won't condemn racist display

Boos to the Tupper Lake Town Board for refusing to approve a statement drafted by one of its members that would have opposed “racism, bigotry, xenophobia and any hurtful speech or action” and affirmed “that the public display of Confederate flags and other symbols of racism and hate are not beneficial to the community’s image.” The statement was prompted by one resident’s window display of the Confederate flag along a main road into the town. Statements like this have no legal effect — anyone who wanted to could have still displayed the Confederate flag — but they send a message of public disapproval of hateful displays, on the one hand, and of welcome for human diversity among the town’s residents and its visitors.

Artist creates fun public space 

Bravos to Eric Doerfler, the warlock of Hudson Falls, who pours his time and creativity every year into creating a scary Halloween haunt outside his house at 38 Notre Dame St. This year, bowing to the reality of the actually scary pandemic, Doerfler has adapted his display so those who want to enjoy its chills and thrills can drive past it, if they choose. In previous years, you had to walk through. Halloween is a wonderful opportunity for people to celebrate in a fun way, and it’s a shame that much of that fun will have to be curtailed this year to stay safe and avoid spreading COVID-19. We’re glad Doerfler has found a way to keep the fun going.

 

Local editorials are written by the Post-Star editorial board, which includes Ben Rogers, president and director of local sales and marketing; Brian Corcoran, regional finance director and former publisher; Will Doolittle, projects editor; and Bob Condon, local news editor.

 

 

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