Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Robert H. Jackson Center for its work to bring Bob Woodward, one of the two famous Washington Post Watergate break-in reporters, to Jamestown in August. Woodward will present, “Have We Forgotten the Lessons of Watergate?” at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11. Event tickets are now on sale at reglenna.com. The Jackson Center has been bringing big names in the legal world to Jamestown ever since former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor appeared in Jamestown for the unveiling of the Robert H. Jackson statue that now resides outside the center. While not a member of the legal world per se, Woodward’s work stands the test of time. Kudos to Jackson Center officials and the city officials involved with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative-related fund that will help pay for the event.

Thumbs down to the state Legislature’s passage of rent control legislation that expands rent control outside the boundaries of New York City. The state Association of Realtors sounded the alarm on rent control minutes after the state Legislature passed its legislation on Thursday. “We are particularly concerned with the geographic expansion of rent regulations as no widespread rental housing crisis currently exists in areas outside of New York City,” the association said. “We believe these new rent regulations will stifle real estate investment and slow the development of further affordable housing across New York state.” According to a recent Buffalo News article, any town, village or city could opt into rent control coverage if it meets certain criteria. Opting in would mean a board is created to create specific amounts by which qualifying apartment buildings could raise rent each year. Extending rent control outside of New York City should have been preceded by local hearings so that people who have never had to deal with rent control could have been educated and had a chance to voice their opinion.

Thumbs up to the start of tasty weekends in downtown Jamestown with the 37th annual Yassou Festival returning to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. both days. The festival brings music and dancing as well as traditional Greek food and pastries, including George’s famous Greek hot dogs, will be served. Admission is $2, with children 12 and under free. While the Greeks take center stage this weekend, area residents, we’re sure, are also looking forward to the Scandinavian and Italian festivals in the coming weeks. Lest we forget, Frewsburg’s annual Gala Days finish today with traditional carnival fare and fun for the whole family. There will be a parade at 5 p.m. today and live music until midnight.

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