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Monday, April 14, 2008

Cheers and Jeers: April 14, 2008
Cheers and Jeers Wins Hot Dog and Jalapeno Contest and Wings

CHEERS: to Irises owner Carol McLean for the many innovative ideas she has introduced to raise the profile of downtown Plattsburgh. Some restaurant owners think about their operation only, not caring what happens around them as long as they are doing fine. McLean has never been that type of owner. Last year, she introduced a street party to celebrate the anniversary of Irises and also raise funds for the Strand renovation. Other downtown restaurants were invited to set up a table and offer samplings of their cuisine. She recently borrowed an idea she had seen in Philadelphia for a downtown Art Walk, teaming up with another proactive downtown restaurant owner, Chris Dominianni, to plan an event that took walkers from site to site downtown to view local artworks, hear area musicians and check out the restaurants. McLean also helped with the recent In the Bag fundraiser to help Hospice of the North Country's Transitions Program. We think downtown is lucky to have someone so willing to work for the good of all.

We've said it before, and we'll continue to say it until we don't have to:

JEERS: to smokers who use the planet as their personal ashtray. We've jeered motorists who smoke and flick their butts out their windows. We've jeered motorists who dump their ashtrays in parking lots. Today, we'll jeer the smokers who congregate in front of buildings. Thankfully, it's no longer legal to smoke in public buildings, so smokers huddle in front of those buildings, even on property that has been declared smoke-free, and have their puffs, only to flick the spent butts to the ground. If you want a good example of what happens to all those cigarette butts -- they do not disintegrate or degrade into the earth -- take a walk around the grounds at Hawkins Hall, one of the area's most stately and historic buildings, and see the evidence, especially now that the snow is melting back. Buildings on the Plattsburgh State campus are among those in the North Country that have declared their entrances smoke-free, yet students, faculty and staff continue to stand by the doors, smoke their smokes and then chuck the butts before returning to their classrooms and offices. Ashtrays have been removed from the entrances of buildings that are designated smoke free to discourage people from smoking, not to encourage them to snub out the butts on the ground. Even smokers have to admit how gross and unsightly it looks.

CHEERS: to Avellaneda Carlos III, 19, known around the Plattsburgh area for his eating prowess, who just munched his way into $1,000. You might remember Carlos as the young man who won hot-dog and jalapeno eating contests at several Plattsburgh Mayor's Cup Festivals. Well, he's not satiated yet; on April 9, he took part in a Wings over Ithaca, where he wolfed down an amazing 2 pounds, 1 ounce of barbecue wings in three minutes. What's more, toward the end of the contest, the slim Carlos beat his own record by eating another 2 pounds, 6.5 ounces. You can check it out on gotbuzzed.com.

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