The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 17, 2013

Cheers and jeers


Daily Item

---- — Cheers: To Altoona sculptor Chuck LaMark who, unsatisfied with his water-based clay statue of former Monkees frontman Davy Jones, which he unveiled Saturday in Beavertown, will try again with an oil-based clay version to be presented in the borough during 2014; to the 30 competitors who participated in the first Beaver Bed Races as part of the Jones' festival; to Jones' four daughters, who traveled from California and England to attend Saturday's festivities; and to the crowd of 250 that made Saturday one of the more memorable days the tiny borough has experienced.

Jeers: To Selinsgrove Mayor Sean "Two Sides" Christine for looking at his borough's order to tear down a child's tree house and seeing Switzerland. Town zoning laws that govern accessory structures have pitted officialdom against an 11-year-old whose dad wanted to build her a playhouse on a stump that grew in the setback portion of their front yard. When queried for his thoughts, Hizzoner allowed, remarkably, as how he could "see both sides." Well, yea-ah. But every now and then (except in Switzerland) we need to pick one side and work to see it through -- especially if we have campaigned for and been elected to community leadership.

Cheers: To Northumberland County Republican Commissioner Rick Shoch for taking time to research better solutions to Northumberland County's prison crowding problems. Shoch was among a group of local officials touring Union County's new day reporting center, which is designed as a diversion from jail time for qualified inmates. As Northumberland County looks to deal with and possibly replace its troubled and ancient prison, it is good to see an elected county leader scouting for better solutions to increasingly expensive and unsolved problems.

Cheers: To emergency medical technicians and a Mifflinburg Community Pool lifeguard, who Wednesday night saved the life of a 5-year-old boy who was seen floating face-down and motionless. Fortuitously, 10 EMTs were in an adjacent park for the borough's annual safety fair. They resuscitated the boy, who was responsive and talking, and taken to a local hospital. "No one was going to drown with all these EMTs here," said one EMT.

Cheers: To the 1,479 walkers and runners on 136 teams who have participated in eight Valley Relays for Life this spring. The volunteer events raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society. At least one member of each team is expected to walk or run at the relay site for 24 hours -- signifying the 24 hours a day that an afflicted patient lives with cancer. Congratulations to the Valley relays that generated nearly $375,000 to battle the disease in the past two months.