Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to Brandon Caruso, a Falconer native who now works for the National Comedy Center as its guest experience research developer, for making it easier for at least one patron to laugh. Tom Willard, a Westfield native and current Rochester resident, has attended previous events at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival but struggled to fully enjoy the show. Willard is deaf and found out there were no sign language interpreters the first year he attended the festival. Last year, festival organizers were sure to have signers available, but Willard said it can be difficult to fully enjoy comedy through sign language. Caruso found a way to provide closed captioning services by the Pittsburgh-based company Vitac for performances this year, which allowed people like Willard to be able to read along with the show as it proceeded. Willard was provided with a handheld device that presented what the comedians were saying. Kudos to Caruso for taking a patron’s concerns seriously and doing what was necessary for everyone to be in on the jokes nationally recognized comedians are bringing to Jamestown.

Thumbs up to a shared service that has nothing to do with saving money,but everything to do with keeping children attending Temple Elementary School safer. Steve Penhollow, Falconer Central School superintendent, told The Post-Journal recently that Temple Elementary has a new pick-up and drop-off system to try to ease congestion in the school’s parking lot and make it safer for children to enter and leave school. The best thing is that the system came with advisement from the Frewsburg, Southwestern and Randolph school districts. We’re sure these types of things happen regularly, but the public often doesn’t hear about it. So, kudos to the districts for sharing this type of information.

Thumbs up to Patrick Swanson, county district attorney, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts officials and area school superintendents, particularly Maureen Donahue, Southwestern Central School superintendent, for collaborating to make sure as many teen drivers as possible hear about the dangers of distracted driving. On Sept. 18-19, more than 3,000 area juniors and seniors will hear Jacy Good and Steve Johnson tell their story about the effects of distracted driving. Since Good’s recovery from a 2008 crash caused by a distracted driver that claimed the lives of both her parents and left her partially paralyzed, Good and Johnson have worked to educate the country about the dangers of cell phone use behind the wheel.

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