Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to one of the area’s newest Labor Day traditions, the annual Kallie’s Krusade fundraiser to raise money for children and families dealing with serious illness. This year’s event will be held Monday at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, 433 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood. The day will kick off at 10 a.m. with a motorcycle ride around Chautauqua Lake and a stop in Bemus Point, followed by a 5K color run, where participants will get sprayed by different colored powder throughout the course. There will also be a cornhole tournament as well as events for the whole family, including kids games and activities and even a “meet and greet” with princesses and superheroes. DJ Payne and the band “Smokin 45” will be performing, along with a special performance by Relly Rell. More information and registration forms for the motorcycle ride, color run and cornhole tournament can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram as well as on the web at Kudos to all those involved in a wonderful event that keeps the memory of a special little girl alive.

Thumbs down to the latest round of contentious negotiations between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York state. The Seneca Nation has ended payments to the state as part of casino operations that were part of a compact between the nation and the state, arguing the deal with the state has expired. Payments to local communities are to continue until at least 2023. Not only have the two sides not been able to resolve the impasse, they haven’t even been able to get into the negotiating room to begin discussions. Rhetoric between the two was already inflammatory. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would back a new casino in Niagara Falls if payments don’t resume, while a meeting scheduled for mid-August was cancelled amidst revelations a Seneca Gaming authority employee is under investigation for allegedly planting a listening device in an office rented by the state Gaming Commission. No one wants to see this dispute escalate — it’s time for Cuomo and Seneca Nation officials to meet and begin resolving their differences.

Thumbs up to the Ashville Free Library, which recently used money from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Blossom Fund and Fund for the Region to create a comfortable, family friendly, interactive space that encourages learning through play for young children and their caretakers. Of course, the new space is nice, but give credit to the library for making wonderful use of another of its irreplaceable community resources in Peg Hite. The Hite family has long been involved in the Ashville and Panama communities, with one of the most recent the time Mrs. Hite, better known as Mormor, the Swedish word for grandmother, spends leading story hours for pre-schoolers at the library. We’re not sure which the pre-schoolers love more — the new space or stories with Mormor.