Congress, president have no excuse for shutdowns
Boos to Congress and President Donald Trump for the shutdown at the beginning of the year and the failure both the executive branch and the legislative to come up with ways to avoid this sort of extortionate brinkmanship. Our reporter, Michael Goot, got a taste of the gridlock the shutdown created when, about a week ago, he finally received a reply, six weeks late, to a message he had sent to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office back in January. He didn’t identify himself as a reporter when he sent the message, because he had heard the shutdown had slowed response times from Schumer’s office. We've already booed the senator for slow constituent service, but the larger point is that this is no way to run the country. Numerous legislative solutions exist to avoid shutdowns, and all parties should make passing one of them a top priority.
Just's expansion is good for everyone
Bravos to Just Water for its success. Since beginning operations three and a half years ago, the company has increased its sales to the point it is outgrowing its space in the former St. Alphonsus Church building in Glens Falls and is looking at leasing space in a much bigger building on Dix Avenue, just over the city line in Queensbury. The size of the company’s workforce has not grown much — it still employs about 15 people — but that could change in the bigger space. Despite protests about truck traffic and depletion of the city’s water supply, the company has been a good corporate citizen and has operated without problems. It buys a small percentage of the city’s water reserves for its use, and fresh water is something Glens Falls has in abundance. Although the company may end up selling its Glens Falls base, what benefits the region also benefits the city, and Glens Falls and Queensbury make up what is, in reality, one community.
Gillibrand introduces requirement for clarity
Bravos to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for introducing legislation, called the Clear Act, which would require lobbyists who are paying for political ads or other political activities to make additional publicly available disclosures about those activities. The act is included in the House government reform bill (HR 1) recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to lessen the corrupt influence of money in politics. The Clear Act would require the disclosure of donors who are registered lobbyists in FEC reports and require that those reports be easily accessible to the public online. If there is one solution to clearing up the miasma of corruption now choking national politics, it is increased transparency regarding the sources of political donations.
Outdoor dining is a pleasure in Glens Falls
Bravos to the Glens Falls Planning Board for looking favorably on a plan for two restaurants — Mean Max Brewery on Glen Street and a new establishment, Farmacy Restorbar on Ridge Street — to use the sidewalk and an alleyway for outdoor seating. One of the charming aspects of the increased number of restaurants in downtown Glens Falls has been the movement of diners into public spaces on the sidewalk and in alleys. On warm evenings, the outdoor seating is a pleasure for customers and brings a vibrant sociability to the downtown area, not to mention pleasing aromas.
Foreign students enrich the school experience
Bravos to the Queensbury school district for expanding its number of foreign students through the “Global Scholars” program, which allows the district to host high school students on F1 visas. We are a bit isolated here in northern New York, and our children don’t regularly have the opportunity to interact with their peers from other countries. Traveling and studying abroad offer fantastic opportunities, but are expensive and may not fit students’ busy schedules. By hosting foreign students, the district gives local kids the chance to learn about other cultures without having to travel thousands of miles.
Jail is a good place for drug rehab
Bravos to Warren County officials for offering drug treatment to inmates in the county jail, funded by state grants. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has lacked funds in the past to pay for drug rehab for inmates but recently received a $60,000 grant from the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. Washington and Saratoga counties, which were already offering some drug rehab, will also receive money and will be able to expand their services. Sometimes, how to deal with people convicted of drug crimes has been posed as an either/or proposition: Either send them to jail or to rehab. Combining the approaches makes a lot of sense. Addicts who are locked up are going to be abstaining from drugs for at least the time they’re in jail. Rehabilitation services will give them a better chance of staying drug-free after they get out.