The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

October 8, 2013

In Our Opinion: Cheers

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The Daily Star

---- — To the 10th annual Cauliflower Festival in Margaretville last month.

The annual event celebrates the area’s agricultural past.

For several decades, cauliflower was used to supplement a farmers’ income. The industry ended locally in the 1940s when other areas went into the cauliflower business. But other types of farming remained important to the area. 

No matter the type of farming, the kind of equipment used to aid the farmer was important. The equipment of farming was featured at the festival through a tractor parade featuring antique and modern agricultural examples.

But the event in Village Park was about more than agriculture. There was a definite fair-like atmosphere, with an aerialist, bubble artist and lots of fair food.

We applaud the organizers for celebrating our agricultural history, and keeping it going for 10 years.

 

To designated “texting zones” on highways.

The area is home to two of those zones.  State officials designated the Interstate 88 rest stops in East Worcester and Unadilla and 89 other locations across the state as “texting zones.”

The designations are an effort to remind motorists that it’s unsafe and illegal to use hand-held electronic devices while driving.

Many of the zones are state Thruway rest areas, and officials said nearly 298 signs are being posted along the Thruway and other highways, advising drivers that “it can wait.”

A state law enacted in July increased the number of penalty points motorists get on their license from three to five when they get caught texting. Texting behind the wheel has been linked to numerous traffic fatalities, officials said.

Yes, the zones seem a bit gimmicky, but if they remind one person not to use a cellphone or tablet while driving, potentially saving a life, it is worth it.

 

To a move to create safer waterways in New York.

A law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will require all operators of motorized boats in the state to obtain safety training through an eight-hour safe-boating course. “This legislation will make sure that those who operate any kind of boat have the necessary training and experience, and they are aware of the risks and proper protocol for handling their vessels,” Cuomo said.

The requirement will be put into effect over a period of years, beginning next year with all 18-year-old boaters. Courses are offered by the state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation, U.S. Power Squadrons, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Previous law only required safety certificates for operators of personal watercraft, or for there to be someone on board with a safety certificate. The new law extends the requirement to all motorized water vessels.

If we require training for motorized vehicles on the road, it makes sense to do the same on water.