GOOD: Kids safely out of cave

You couldn’t have missed the news. It has been the focus of attention around the world since 12 Thai boys and their coach were discovered trapped in a flooded cave.

While circumstances looked grim from the start, many countries including the United States came together to do the impossible.

Talent, technology, organization and sheer determination were the drivers as time and nature pushed rescuers to their limits. But earlier this week, the report came that they all were out.

Celebrations, shouts and tears were abundant around the world, showing those from all nations that we can come together in a crisis to make good things happen.

While the kids and their coach still are recovering from their 18-day ordeal, we all should remember that one rescuer, former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, lost his life during the operation.

The words “mission accomplished” definitely have a bitter-sweet ring in this instance.


GOOD: Faith and history a good pairing

To say that faith has carried this edifice into the 21st century is not a stretch whatsoever.

A parish that offered its first mass in 1819 -- in the Utica Court House -- now is on the verge of celebrating 200 years of history in the iconic downtown building where they have resided since 1869.

And as bicentennial bells prepare to toll, the parish started celebrations early by opening its doors Monday to a public tour in conjunction with the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.

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Aside from the unique architecture and decor, visitors got to see 19th-century artifacts, a century-old organ, historic images and even a tour through the basement grotto.

Historian Kevin Schultz spoke to the crowd about St John’s storied past while pointing out things of note which visitors could further explore. And it wasn’t just about the spiritual elements in the building, he spoke about the history of the city that rose up around the church.

“This is probably one of the most important buildings in Utica,” said Schultz. “This is the fourth-oldest parish in New York State.

“The laborers who built the Erie Canal helped build this church. As the Erie Canal grew, small cities started to flourish,” he added.

While there are no additional tours scheduled at this time. The success of the event certainly deserves the attention of those making plans for the bicentennial.


GOOD: Kids on the run

Boilermaker officials do their best to be inclusive when it comes to the community.

With all the offerings of race weekend, nearly everyone has an opportunity to volunteer, watch or participate in this premier summer event.

But with all the grandiosity of Boilermaker Sunday, one important part of this weekend gets a brief moment in the sun – soon to be overshadowed by the bigger events to follow.

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Simply ask someone at Saturday’s Boilermaker Kids Run what all the fuss is about and their reaction will range from laughter to joy to pride – and that’s just from spectators on the sidelines.

The kids beam with anticipation, the parents beam with pride, and the spectators often get a belly laugh that lasts all afternoon. This family event has everything but a prime position in the Sunday lineup which would give it more prominence.

But aside from more recognition, most would say the Kids Race is fine the way it stands. Children get their own day to shine and parents get to be there to watch or participate. The memories gained will last a lifetime.