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Happy Father’s Day and other odds and ends

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Dads, today is a special day set aside for you.

If you are fortunate enough to still have your dad, let him know how loved he is today. Let him lounge in front of the ball game. Mow the lawn for him. Get him a beer. Feed him well. Do something nice for him.

I miss my own father today, but I am lucky to have a father-in-law, Patrick Lyons, who treats me like the daughter he never had.

Don’t take your dad for granted. Someday he will be gone, and you will long for every opportunity you ever missed to let him know how much he meant to you. Make sure you do something special for your dad today.

TULMAR MANUFACTURING WILL STAY

We got terrific news last week that Tulmar Manufacturing, which makes components for the transportation and defense industries, will not only remain in Ogdensburg but will expand to more than double its current workforce of four.

The company had been considering moving to Jefferson County. Rather than sit idle while yet another company left St. Lawrence County, the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority and county Industrial Development Agency were able to work with Tulmar to renegotiate its lease rates for space in OBPA’s Commerce Park. All agreed on a lower rate, and the deal was good enough to keep the company here.

We need more success stories like this. Economic development agencies too often are in a reactive position where they deal with the fallout from a company closing or leaving the area rather than being able to work with a company to keep it operating in the county.

Even for a small manufacturer like Tulmar, the IDA and OBPA recognized that every job counts. I applaud all parties for their successful negotiations and offer best wishes to Tulmar for a bright and long future in Ogdensburg.

BICYCLISTS ABOUND; BE SAFE

Warmer weather is here, so the perennial appearance of children on bicycles has also arrived.

I, like most other motorists, don’t want to run any of them over. Yet some of them make it difficult to adhere to that seemingly simple-sounding wish. The other day I saw a group of three or four kids weaving in and out of traffic, none of them wearing helmets or caring about proper traffic rules. If any of them thought they might be in danger of getting hit by a car, it wasn’t obvious. It’s by far not the first time I’ve seen a similar situation.

I see adults doing the same thing. It’s a miracle that there are not more car-bicyclist accidents than there are.

Bicyclists, I respect your right to operate your mode of transportation. But respect mine, too, please. And respect the fact that my mode of transportation is a 3,000-pound death machine. You need to follow the same rules of the road that I do for your safety and mine. Signal your turns. Keep right. Observe traffic signals and signs. And for the love of Pete, be aware of your surroundings.

Parents, allowing your child to operate a bicycle without a helmet is just plain irresponsible. Don’t let your kid’s brain get scrambled or worse. Make them wear helmets and make sure they know the rules of the road before you let them loose on two wheels.

LEGISLATION NEEDS BIGGER TEETH

Legislation that passed the state Senate last week has the potential to save counties a good chunk of change by forcing the state to send parole violators to prison after 10 business days rather than keeping them in county jails until they can be processed by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The cost of keeping so-called “state-ready” inmates in county jails has been a problem for some time, with some of them held for months before they can be transferred to a state prison.

The state reimburses counties for a portion of the cost, but we are told the reimbursement falls far short of what it actually costs to house an inmate. It’s yet another state-imposed financial burden for counties.

Unfortunately, the state already is required to transfer state-ready inmates to prison within 10 days of county notification, but state officials seldom adhere to that rule. And what’s the incentive to? The state ends up saving money by leaving state-readies in county jails.

If it is to have the desired effect, the final legislation — which awaits passage in the Assembly — should include a provision forcing the state to make counties whole for the cost of housing any state-ready inmate for more than 10 days. That might encourage DOCCS to adhere to its rules.

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