The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 7, 2013

Cheers and jeers

Daily Item

---- — CHEERS: To the Lewisburg Area School District, which recently was named one of the nation's best communities for music education for the third year in a row. The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation selected about 300 school districts out of nearly 2,000 that applied for the designation by filling out a comprehensive survey, said Justin Hill, an instrumental music teacher at Lewisburg Area High School. About 275 students at the high school take part in musical activities, whether band, chorus or theater, he said. The designation shows that Lewisburg remains committed to music education in a time when music and arts programs are on the chopping block elsewhere, Hill said.

CHEERS: To members of the Central Susquehanna Valley law enforcement community, who put their lives on the line even when they are not at work. The slayings in Texas of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife on March 30 raised concerns about the safety of public officials around the nation. "All of us have been threatened at one time or another," Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini acknowledged recently. "There are people out there who hold grudges."

JEERS: To those of us -- and we are many -- who have multiple telephones. In our drive to stay in touch 24/7, we have used up almost all of the available phone numbers in the 570 area code. Now we are faced with 10-digit dialing for 570 numbers and a new area code, 272, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has announced. The change becomes official Oct. 31, but right now, the region is in a "permissive dialing period," about six months of adjustment time for residential and business customers to get into the habit of dialing 570 before making calls. We could, of course, ditch some of our phones and free up some numbers, but we are probably too hung up on convenience for that.

CHEERS: To Bucknell University and local sponsors for bringing Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to Lewisburg to speak about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on Tuesday. Dr. Emanuel is one of the leading medical practitioners shaping the future of health care in the United States. His prediction that the future of U.S. health care will be bumpy until 2020 was hardly reassuring, but community interest in his speech was high. More than 400 residents filled the university's Trout Auditorium. The speech was sponsored by Evangelical Community Hospital, the Family Practice Center and the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Charles P. Fasano.