Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Frewsburg Soccer Club for bringing new life to the Allen Park Ice Rink, a long-underused community resource, to the Northwest Ice Arena and new executive director Keith Martin and to the city of Jamestown for helping find a way to make the deal happen. The club recently signed lease agreement with city officials to use the facility as an indoor soccer field with the club responsible for necessary work on the building — including options to facilitate lighting and heating upgrades — and paying the utilities. The deal is good for the city and also for the 100 youth who now have an indoor, turf soccer field to play on during the winter. In addition, the group has also worked with JCC soccer to make the facility available to its teams while grabbing the attention of New York state youth soccer officials who are bringing the first indoor youth soccer tournament to the facility the weekend of March 31. Interested teams can register at frewsburgsoccerclub.net.

Thumbs down to the recent increase in methamphetamine and cocaine laced with fentanyl. Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief and public safety director, told members of the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission’s Heatlh Care Action Team, that officers saw the increase most notably in the last couple of weeks in February, including one person who was charged after being found with 18 bags of fentanyl. The concern with fentanyl’s increased presence is the harm to those who touch fentanyl without proper precautions being taken. Its prevalence certainly should be a concern for police officers, EMTs and health care professionals.

Thumbs up to the state Labor Department for rejecting proposed call-in scheduling regulations after receiving negative feedback from businesses across the state. The regulations would have required employers provide “call-in pay” ranging from two to four hours at the minimum wage if an employee were to work and be sent home early; if a shift was scheduled less than 14 days before the start of the shift; if shifts were cancelled less than 72 hours before the start of the shift; if an employee was required to be in contact less than 72 hours before the shift to find out whether to report for that shift; and if an employee was required to be on call. The regulation likely would have been particularly onerous for small businesses that don’t have enough employees to provide the type of scheduling certainty such a regulation would have required and would have trouble paying the additional wages as a result. Kudos to the Labor Department for realizing the best course of action in this case was taking no action at all.