Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to several Good Samaritans who helped save a woman from a fire at 34 Regent St., Jamestown, recently. Two neighbors saw the fire and ran to the home to alert the building’s occupants of the fire. Carlos Echevarria, another neighbor, was alerted of the fire by his daughter. Echevarria grabbed a ladder from a construction project next door and made his way to the second floor of the burning house to a woman and baby who were trapped. The woman gave Echevarria the baby and then helped the woman climb down the ladder too. As a result of the quick thinking of the neighbors, no one was hurt in the fire. Thanks to Carlos Echevarria, a mother and daughter will have the opportunity for many more days together. That is what a neighborhood is all about.

Thumbs down to a state audit that says food safety inspectors in New York state failed to take action in response to hundreds of serious health violations. The audit by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli analyzed records of more than 400,000 inspections between 2014 and September 2017. Inspectors identified 984 Class I violations, the most serious type, 73 percent of which resulted in no enforcement action. In their response, state health officials agreed to review inspection policies but noted violations are often remedied at the time of the inspection. One of the things the audit mentions is that inspectors should take some kind of action in the most serious types of violations or justify their decision not to take action. DiNapoli is right. There should be a written record of what happens to these violations so that the public can know for certain their food is safe.

Thumbs up to Jamestown High School’s Battle of the Classes. The fundraiser celebrated its 40th year on Wednesday with a raucous evening of events in the McElrath Gymnasium and a check to the Child Advocacy Program. During the 1979-80 school year, Carolyn Whitehead and Eileen Braungard, Jamestown High School teachers and advisers at the time, and student Rebecca Lee conceived the idea. Braungard recently told The Post-Journal that the Battle of the Classes has blossomed into what we hoped it would blossom into.” Thumbs up to another 40 years of the Battle of the Classes.