CHEERS: To Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, for successfully sponsoring legislation to name the post office after the late Rep. Maurice Hinchey in his home town of Saugerties. Now the bill goes to the Senate. In addition to his name, there should be room on the plaque to note that he was honored for being among the first in Congress to fight for the environment, a cause he championed from the first hearings on the toxic Love Canal waste site to groundbreaking legislation to reduce acid rain to the most recent battle to prevent fracking. If there’s room for a good quote, the plaque makers might consider this from Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, who was among his first staff members in the Assembly: “ … he feared no giants and stood up to every bully, in politics, in business and in all of life.”

CHEERS: To the City of Newburgh for keeping a promise and opening at last a much-anticipated skateboard park in Delano-Hitch Park. It is the first phase of a two-phase project. The overall $600,000 cost for the first phase was covered by $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds and $100,000 Sen. Bill Larkin secured through the state Dormitory Authority. First proposed eight years ago after lobbying by local skateboarders, the park’s construction was derailed by numerous delays as money went to, among other things, urgent requests for more surveillance cameras and better neighborhood lighting in the wake of a fatal shooting.

CHEERS: To the Sullivan County Adult Care Center in Liberty, which not long ago received a four-star rating in a federal review and now has jumped up a star to the top mark possible. It is a dazzling rise for the center which not that long ago was stuck in the three-star category. “I am thrilled and delighted with this rating, which reflects the care and attention given to both long- and short-term users of the Care Center,” Joe Todora, Sullivan County health and family services commissioner, said in a news release. The rating system helps consumers, families and caregivers compare nursing homes. The ranking takes into account factors including staffing levels, reported or observed health-care deficiencies, community discharges, functional improvement, antipsychotic medications and hospital re-admissions.

CHEERS: To SUNY New Paltz for moving ahead with a state-of-the-art solar power project with its own backup battery system and smart meter, a $1.4 million effort. The battery system will store the solar electric power the campus does not use and then pump it out and back into the campus system when needed, an approach that experts say is likely to gain use in the future. What makes the project unique is the smart inverter, or switch, which is part of the system. The inverter controls the flow of electrical power between the solar array, the batteries and the local power utility electric grid, Central Hudson. The new system is expected to generate 217 kilowatts of power, saving the campus about $26,000 a year on its electric bill and produce less pollution.