Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute as it celebrates its 35th anniversary today. In 1984, a group of friends and colleagues of Roger Tory Peterson, famed artist, naturalist and author, founded RTPI in Jamestown. Roger Tory Peterson was the pre-eminent American naturalist who illustrated and chronicled the natural world to the public in the 20th century. Over a long career that began with nature study in the seventh grade in Jamestown, Peterson observed, recorded and published for lay audiences the beauty and diversity of plants and animals from North America and around the world. Today, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute preserves Peterson’s work while hosting exhibits and presentations that focus on art, education and conservation. Anniversary events take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, with remarks by County Executive George Borrello at 11 a.m.

Thumbs down to New York state for not mandating body cameras for the New York State Police and providing funding for a program. Much smaller police departments throughout the state have been implementing body camera systems over the past several years, but the State Police told the Associated Press that it didn’t have the funds to maintain VHS equipment it used previously and digital cameras it had required “costly maintenance.” That’s hogwash for a state that spends money as freely as New York does on a laundry list of less important items. State legislators should find the money in the budget next year to pay for body camera technology for the New York State Police.

Thumbs up to Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club members who recently helped clean up the buildings and grounds of the Yorker Museum. Rotarians Tracy Bennett, Sue Hammond, John Hamels, Shawn McKane and Mary Swanson assisted with weeding garden beds and also tidying up the six restored buildings depicting Sherman life in the mid-1800s. The Yorker Museum is located on the Village Common at the corner of Park and Church Streets in Sherman with buildings that include the Peter Ripley House (the oldest residence in Sherman), buggy shed, schoolhouse, log dwelling, chapel and general store. Each of the structures has numerous antiques and memorabilia. Chautauqua County has many wonderful museums, but the Yorker Museum, with its layout through several buildings filled with local artifacts, is worth a visit for local history buffs. The Yorker Museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments for tours at other times may be arranged by calling 761-6492, 761-6359, or 761-6659. Also, find the Yorker Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/yorkermuseum.