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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to an increase in mental health and addiction treatment in the Chautauqua County Jail last year. Patricia Brinkman, county mental hygiene director, told county legislators recently that jail employees are working to identify individuals to get them entered into addiction service and mental health programs quicker. Officers are being trained to recognize people with addiction services and mental health issues who don’t necessarily belong in prison so they can enter the jail diversion program to get the help they need. Deputies at the jail refer people for the program. One way that is being done is through a questionnaire being given to inmates. She said drug and alcohol counselors are involved in referrals as well. Those efforts are paying off, with 1,568 identified in 2018 compared to 1,213 in 2017. The battle against addiction is fought on many fronts. Kudos to those involved in creating the additional jail programs for filling a gap — the money spent on this program could literally be a life-saver for hundreds of county residents.

Thumbs down to a nuisance for those living in city neighborhoods. Thursday night, residents of Jamestown’s south side were treated to the soothing sounds of a street sweeper slowly making its way up and down their street. We admit this is small potatoes, but it is symptomatic of a bigger issue that we hope city officials will consider. If a private citizen were to be using power tools like a circular saw or a pressure washer at 11 p.m. or later, it’s likely the police would be called and a violation ticket of the city noise ordinance written. If private citizens have to comply with the noise ordinance, why doesn’t the city? And, unlike snow plows, it’s not as if there is a public safety reason for the street sweeper to be out that late at night. When people complain about “the city,” this is the type of thing they’re talking about.

Thumbs up to filling the former Sam’s Club location on Fairmount Avenue. Running, a Marshall, Minnesota-based retailer, will fill the 115,000-square-foot West Ellicott location and bring 70 new jobs to the area. The company is a large general merchandise retailer selling an extensive selection of sporting goods, clothing, pet supplies, tools, farm supplies, footwear, lawn and garden supplies, and outdoor equipment. The privately owned, family run retailer also sells hunting, fishing, and archery equipment and accessories, as well as firearms. Many big buildings sit vacant for years before they find a new life. It’s good to see the processed moved more quickly for the former Sam’s Club.

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