Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Bemus Point, Panama and Sherman elementary schools and Fredonia and Southwestern high schools for their status as Recognition Schools by the state Education Department. Recognition Schools are identified as such because they are among the top performing under ESSA for performance, student growth and/or graduation rate; met or exceeded either the school or state measures of interim progress for English language arts and mathematics, rate of Chronic Absenteeism, and College, Career, and Civic Readiness; and met the federally required 95 percent participation rate in the English language arts and mathematics assessments. “Our priority is fostering equity for our children across New York. These schools serve as models of the levels of performance we seek for all schools to be able to achieve in the future,” said Betty A. Rosas, state Board of Regents chancellor.

Thumbs down to the reaction received by state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, as he explained his vote against the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act. Giglio was speaking near the end of a five-hour floor debate on the legislation and passionately invited downstate legislators to visit area farms if they are sold off piece-by-piece as a result increasing costs many farmers predict once the law goes into effect. Boos rained down when Giglio finished speaking. Downstate legislators were obviously going to win the day, but the reaction to Giglio’s reality check was disappointing nonetheless. No one should have expected Giglio to receive thunderous applause as he made his point, but the chorus of boos was similarly unnecessary and serves as a reminder that there are times we truly live in a different world than our compatriots in New York City.

Thumbs up for a chance to get close to World War II history this weekend at the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown. The National Warplane Museum, based in Geneseo, will deploy a World War II-era B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber and BT-13 to the Jamestown airport on Saturday and Sunday for static display, tours and excursion flights. The public is invited to tour the aircraft on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the airport, located at 3163 Airport Dr., Jamestown. Tours of the aircraft are $7 for adults. First responders and veterans are welcome to tour the aircraft for free and family rates are available. For a fee, visitors will also have the opportunity to “take a flight into history” aboard the BT-13 or the B-17 Flying Fortress, the exact aircraft used in filming the movie “Memphis Belle.” For many, grainy black-and-white film footage or history books are all we know about aircraft that were central to the World War II air campaign, so getting to see them up close in our own backyard is quite an opportunity.