Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to Bob Triscari of Jamestown for helping Jacob Myers, 21, of Silver Creek, gain his independence. Triscari, who owns a driving school in Jamestown and was hired through The Resource Center and the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services Vocational Rehabilitation, helped Myers, who has spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair, to earn his driver’s license. “This is probably the greatest day of my life,” said the 21-year-old Irving resident. The day was just as emotional for Triscari. “I saw the tears in his eyes, and that’s what came to mine,” Triscari said when he saw Myers sign for his license. Kudos to Myers for his perserverance and to Triscari for helping open up a new world to a deserving young man.

Thumbs down to the latest roadblock in the powering of the NRG power plant in Dunkirk. First, a lawsuit by another energy company cast a years-long pall over the project. Now, unforeseen costs to reconnect to the grid through the New York Independent System Operator are making NRG officials question the cost-effectiveness of the project. The New York Independent System Operator, NYISO, recently informed Dunkirk that NRG’s cost to re-interconnect the plant to the regional electrical power system could exceed $100 million. In addition, NYISO says the Dunkirk plant wouldn’t be able to deliver energy until as late as 2024 due to required transmission upgrades in Pennsylvania and New York. The NRG repowering is crucial for the financial stability of the city of Dunkirk and Dunkirk City School District. We hope some sort of compromise can be worked out to lessen this unanticipated cost so that the plant can repower and begin selling power as quickly as possible.

Thumbs up to everyone involved in last week’s Bemus Point Central School District Academics Awards Night surprise for Alyssa Seeley daughter of Mike Seeley, a former county Sheriff’s deputy who passed away earlier this year after battling acute myeloid leukemia. Seeley received the Miracle Marcia Rambacher Scholarship, created in memory of Marcia Rambacher, who battled breast cancer for 17 years and later passed away. She was a graduate of Bemus Point and a former faculty member.Kim Rambacher, husband of Marcia for 42 years, presented the award to Allyssa. He explained that the recipient of the award has to showcase strength and compassion. Characteristics he said Allyssa showed throughout the school year by having to endure the loss of her father while keeping up with school work. She was also instrumental in raising money for her father while he was battling leukemia. The award was a surprise, as was the attendance of Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies Chad Bargar, Phillip Lombardo and Josh Schauman who walked their friend’s daughter to the aisle. Julie Verdonik, school principal, and Sashene Bargar, deputy Bargar’s wife and a longtime friend of the Seeley family, worked behind the scenes to help set up the surprise. Bravo.