Mountains & Valleys

MOUNTAIN – We welcome a recent style change by the Associated Press, recommending against using the phrase “illegal immigrant,” since “illegal” should apply to an action, not a person. That’s correct grammatically, and it’s also correct morally. To define a person as “illegal,” whatever he or she has done, is dehumanizing.

Besides, cases of illegal immigration vary widely, including people who were brought into the country as babies and those who have partial, but not full, documentation.

Calling someone “illegal” also ignores wide variations in people’s immigration status, as well as the double standard that has existed for decades in U.S. immigration policy, with undocumented workers welcomed by employers and, tacitly, by Washington if they could get across the border. Hopefully a just new immigration policy is enacted soon.

Meanwhile, the AP is the nation’s largest journalism agency and sets writing style standards for most U.S. newspapers, so this change is significant.

MOUNTAIN – Speaking of foreign nationals – albeit one who became a U.S. citizen – Saranac Lakers can be proud that Dr. Rene Joyeuse, a Swiss native who lived here for the last 25 years of his life, was interred last week in Arlington National Cemetery, the most hallowed ground for U.S. war veterans. To make it happen required U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, Army Secretary John McHugh and then-CIA director David Petraeus to get involved, since Dr. Joyeuse was not an American when he spied for the U.S. in German-occupied France during World War II. After winning the highest military honors from the U.S. and France, and raising standards in U.S. medicine by developing trauma protocols and a heart valve, Dr. Joyeuse settled in Saranac Lake and lived quietly, with almost no one knowing his remarkable history until it appeared in his obituary. Now that his burial has made national news, he has given Saranac Lake a measure of fame.

VALLEY – The window sign code in Saranac Lake is ridiculous. Two feet by one foot? That outlaws almost every window sign in every storefront in the village; however, almost no one knew about it because it’s never really been upheld – until now.

Saranac Lake’s businesses need to be able to promote themselves, and their window signs aren’t spoiling downtown’s charm. Empty storefronts shout a louder message than signs in healthy businesses.

This should be a lesson to lawmakers on the consequences of bad laws. The village now must correct this and review all its codes, purging any others of this sort.

MOUNTAIN – Kathryn “Kook” McKillip has finally been dismissed as clerk by the Lake Placid village board. Now the board needs to try to get her to pay back the tens of thousands she took from village taxpayers during her dubious time filling treasurer duties. That may not be possible without spending too much on legal fees, but until it happens, it will have to remain on Ms. McKillip’s conscience. We hope she does the right thing.

MOUNTAIN – We were very satisfied with the way Diane Fox, future superintendent of the Saranac Lake Central School District, answered the Enterprise’s questions in an interview published a week ago. She sounds great to us. We hope her concern for the district’s fragile finances carries over into her contract talks.

MOUNTAIN – We’re optimistic about the Night Train 2 bobsled made for the Olympic champion four-man crew piloted by Steve Holcomb. It’s good to see the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, led by NASCAR great Geoff Bodine, working with the U.S. team again.

MOUNTAIN – Floyd Lampart of Lake Clear is now off on his round-the-country bike trip to raise money for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society. We wish him smooth pedaling and suggest you support him by donating to the animal shelter.