Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to Rebeca Allen, a chemistry teacher at Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School who was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars. Allen was nominated by a student for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the profession. Each year student members of the National Society of High School Scholars are invited to nominate the educator who has made the most significant contribution to their academic career for the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award. Often, we think about the impact a good teacher can have on struggling students. Allen is an example of the effect great teachers can have on our high-achieving students, too.

Thumbs up to state legislation that would effectively ban robocalls in New York state. The measure, which passed a Senate committee Tuesday, would prohibit telemarketers from using automatic dialing technology to contact a New Yorker for commercial purposes if they don’t have the person’s prior consent. Companies that violate the rule could face fines of up to $2,000 per call. Additionally, telephone companies would be required to offer free services to consumers allowing them to prescreen and block robocalls. The bill would allow the state’s attorney general to fine telemarketers who violate the restrictions up to $2,000 per call. Often, such robocalls are actually scams. There ought to be a law against such behavior.

Thumbs up to Mike LaTone of Bemus Point, who will ride 3,700 miles on his motorcycle as part of the 25th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. From Seattle, the riders will tour the longest route in the history of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, covering 3,700 miles on the way to their final destination in Key Largo, Florida, on May 11 — though LaTone is riding from Bemus Point to Seattle before taking part in the charity ride. The ride raises money for Victory Junction, which Petty created to enrich the lives of children who suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses, with funds from the charity ride providing the $2,500 individual fee campers. Contributions from riders and those involved with the Kyle Petty Charity pay all of the campers’ fees. “We went in 2004 and have been there several times,” LaTone said. “It is very rewarding to see what they have done and to be a part of it.” Donations can also be made to the Ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact” program. For more information on the Kyle Petty Charity please visit and or search for ‘kpcharityride’ on Facebook and Twitter.