CHEERS: To Short Line and its three sister Coach USA companies who are trying to make the experience of commuting through the Port Authority Bus Terminal more reliable and understandable. Anybody who uses the bus regularly and especially those who use it only occasionally know that while it is possible to catch the right bus in a timely fashion, there can be anxiety along the way. The companies have hired a new manager, a veteran driver, whose goal is to make the experience smoother. It starts by making the lines more identifiable so that people know where to stand for what bus. And it continues by giving that manager the authority to make sure that a replacement bus will be at the gate should another one be stuck in traffic. Gate assignments will not change, so passengers who already know where they should be standing will have an even better chance of being in the right place at the right time.
CHEERS: To Kittatinny Canoes, which for the 29th straight year enlisted workers and volunteers to clean up the Delaware River. Previous cleanups had succeeded in removing 459 tons of trash from the river, including 9,066 tires. More than 100 people were involved each day this year scouring 70 miles of the river. The founder of the effort, 85-year-old Ruth Jones of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., is still involved in the family business, started by her parents and continued by her son. She likes a trend she has noticed over the years. “Every year, there’s less and less trash. My goal is to restore the river to the way it was when the Indians were on it. They didn’t litter.” Bob LeDuc of Toms River, N.J., who participated in the cleanup every year except the first one, spoke for many when he said that the river is beautiful. “I just want to see it maintained.”
CHEERS: To Brian Kelly, a policeman in the Village of Goshen who was off duty when he saw smoke coming from a car on Route 17 and had no luck convincing the driver to pull over. As both a policeman and a veteran firefighter, he knew what he had to do. He pulled in front of the car, forcing it to stop, and ran back as the smoke started getting thicker. Along with another who pulled over, a retired member of the New York City police, he helped get the elderly driver, who appeared dazed, and an elderly passenger with a cane out of the car and walked them to safety before it finally burst into flames. Kelly said he’s not a hero. “I was just the right person in the right place at the right time who had the ability to help.” Village of Goshen police Chief James Watt spoke for everyone else. “We’re so proud.”
CHEERS: To the small band of Orange County legislators who fought their colleagues and two county administrations to stop the county nursing home from being mismanaged and sold. Valley View had a profit of $3.4 million last year, the third year in a row that it has made money for the county.