The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 28, 2013

Today's Rave: Cheers and Jeers

The Daily Item

Cheers: To Valley golfers C.J. Tyler and Raven Fatool, of Shikellamy, Katie Behrent, of Milton, and Austin Renz, of Danville, for their participation in the state’s PIAA Individual Championships at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center near York last week. Fall golfers give ground to gridiron greatness when it comes to scholastic sports, so we are happy to spotlight the achievement of these budding life-long athletes for whom being in a state tournament was a significant achievement. Someday, maybe, marching bands and cheerleaders. Today, good going C.J., Raven, Katie and Austin.

Cheers: To Civil War re-enactors in the Valley, who raised more than $9,000 to replace a deteriorating 133-year-old marble capstone monument at Gettysburg National Military Park. Keith Foote, of Selinsgrove, Scott Debo, of Sunbury, and Dennis Dewalt, of Shamokin, worked three years to raise funds to restore the structure, which was the 10th monument placed on the battlefield in 1880.

Cheers: To all those behind the culminating acts in Union County’s year-ish long Bison-tennial celebration that brought the communities together last week for the dryly humorous and deeply researched great-ish bison debate (bisonists versus anti-bisonists). Co-chairs John Showers and Nada Gray introduced the event with its cast of good sports — Kim and Bill Mattern opposing Kathy Swope and Ron Wenning with Gary Sojka moderating from the disinterested middle. Supported by a cast of 10s and an audience of 100s, managed by the League of Women Voters and preserved for posterity, the third act began. Grab a seat for the finale.

Cheers: To the state Senate for seeking ways to add $150 million a year for programs serving elderly Pennsylvanians — without being entirely cheerful about the means chosen to raise the money. Legislators approved a barroom gambling bill allowing approximately 4,500 bars and taverns to seek licenses to hold pull-tabs, daily drawings and tavern raffles. The state would take 60 percent of the bar owner’s revenue, possibly for good purposes. Pennsylvania’s last substantial expansion of gambling approved by lawmakers was in 2010, when slot-machine casinos were allowed to add table games. The ends are good, but citizens continue to be wary of a state that relies increasingly on “sin taxes” from liquor sales and gambling. How long before prostitution is legalized in the name of education or services for the elderly? Harrisburg, we know what you’re doing.