Think about how you treat others

Several years ago, I was sitting in a park on Manhattan's west side taking a break outside, away from my job inside _ a 26-story windowless building. Several counselors escorted a group of Down syndrome children into the park, bringing to mind a 1968 movie starring a recently deceased actor.

A ball was produced and the children proceeded to mechanically pass it around, until one child upon catching the ball, showing athleticism and coordination I would not have thought him capable of, threw the ball over the fence onto 11th Avenue, sending a miffed counselor out of the park to retrieve it. The ball was returned to play when, yes, once again, it's over the fence. An unhappy counselor returns the ball yelling, No, Eric, don't do that again." Play resumes and yes, guess! A really unhappy counselor is once again sent for the ball.

On his return, all three counselors in unison yell: "No Eric, bad boy Eric, don't do that again." And Eric? Eric is happy, just a hint of a smile on his seemingly carved-in-stone face, holding his hands in front of himself, slowly clapping.

What happened next? I don't know. Following the advice of my fellow employee, Screaming Carl _ don't leave early, they are looking for you, come back late; I was beyond my allotted time.

I left the park both a fan of Eric and with the realization that under Eric's stoic exterior was an imp and a soul, and reminded that we are all God's children and being so are valued, and our value is often measured by how we treat others.

Donald J. Haarmann

East Meredith

Make parking garage better

We live up in Hartwick and go to Oneonta to shop and have lunch. We frequent the restaurants on Main Street and enjoy them very much. Better than the mall! We lived here for years not knowing about the three-story garage behind Main Street because there are not enough signs showing how to get to the garage.

Our suggestion for improving Main Street business would be to have an entrance-only road to the garage. Remove one or two stores, reinforce the floor and have an entrance road from central Main Street to the top floor of the garage.

An alternative would be to put a road entrance to the top floor of the garage where the steps are by the park near the hotel. Then put up a large sign stating "Free Main Street parking."

Since the top floor would fill up quickly, people would park on the second and first floors. That's where the elevator comes in. It has been inoperative for years. Pay students to operate or monitor (TV camera) the elevator during peak shopping times and lock it during off hours.

We believe that access directly from Main Street and an operating elevator would greatly increase the number of people shopping the Main Street area. When the parking garage starts to get filled up, then workers who park there should be parked elsewhere and bused to the Main Street area.

We think that Main Street has great potential, and improved parking will make businesses much more profitable.

Jim and Marie Murray


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