Thumbs up to Mark Jukes, a licensed herpetologist, for coming to the rescue of an emaciated iguana that took refuge this week in a tree outside our plant on Second Street in Jamestown. He estimates the poor starving creature had been trying to survive on its own for months. Jukes, who dreams of creating an educational herpetarium in Western New York, is nursing it back to health.
Thumbs up as well to our downtown neighbor, professional photographer Jon Elder, for sharing his photos of the rescue.
The Post-Journal newsroom has been host to a variety of memorable creatures over the years - including a monkey on roller skates that nipped an ad salesman - but this was our first iguana.
Thumbs up to the initial success of the farm to school initiative to use locally grown produce in school cafeterias. Several schools focused on a single locally grown product - apples for Pine Valley Central School, grapes for Sherman Central School and salad ingredients for Westfield Academy and Central School. Teachers found ways to incorporate the products into their curriculum as well and to teach the value of eating fresher, locally grown produce instead of processed foods.
Math teachers in Sherman incorporated the farm produce in their classroom with a focus on "grapes of math." Pine Valley increased the students' consumption of apples by focusing on history - Johnny Appleseed, who planted his first apple nursery on the banks of Brokenstraw Creek in Warren County.
We can't mention local produce without giving a thumbs up to the ever optimistic Andy Scalise of Jamestown and his yearly determination to grow a champion giant pumpkin.
The word "grow" does not do justice to the single-minded obsession with which this otherwise sane man coddles, cajoles and through shear stubborn will persuades giant pumpkin seeds to germinate, take root and thrive in his garden. Well, the word "garden" does not do justice, either, to Scalise's growing operation - it is part science lab and part baby nursery.
We wish him luck again this season.