Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York and Senate minority leader, for adding a last-minute attraction to the National Comedy Center. On Monday, Schumer tweeted that he had helped secure a motorcycle ridden by Dan Akroyd from his home in Brooklyn to 30 Rock in New York City while Akroyd was starring on Saturday Night Live. Akroyd’s motorcycle might not be the same as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame having Elvis Presley’s pink Cadillac, but it is an amazing piece of comedy history that should be preserved. The National Comedy Center has done well in having some of comedy’s heaviest hitters lend the center important pieces of comedy history, such as George Carlin’s archives. Now, the center has a political heavyweight pitching in, too.

Thumbs down to a more than $73,000 welfare fraud allegation. Two county residents were charged Monday after they allegedly filed for food stamps, HEAP and Family Assistance benefits they were not entitled to receive. After initially filing for benefits in 2011, they pair received benefits for roughly five years based on information Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies and county Health and Human Services officials believe the pair knew was false. The result is an alleged theft of $73,417.44 in taxpayer-funded benefits. It’s hard to believe it took seven years for the fraud to be discovered, a fact that places renewed emphasis on the need to catch these issues at the beginning of the process rather than the end.

No one wants to be without power on a hot July night. It’s nearly every newspaper employee’s nightmare scenario and certainly no picnic for those with children in stuffy upstairs apartments or elderly parents who live by themselves. Kudos, then, to Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ workers who restored power relatively quickly after an equipment failure at the Carlson Generating Station resulted in a roughly two-hour outage for much of the BPU’s service territory. The fact that such an outage was newsworthy in the first place speaks well of the BPU’s ability to avoid such prolonged problems with its equipment.