Cheers: To Danville borough officials who are reconsidering their decision to insist that the Danville Middle School property be zoned as "dry flood-proofing," which would have required that building include special coatings and membranes that would almost double the expected $30 million construction cost. After school officials said the decision would force them to move the building, borough officials had second thoughts and suggested that an improved levee system might do the trick.
Jeers: To the pro-gas drilling industry group, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, for paying for a series of attack billboard advertisements criticizing environmental groups, without initially revealing who was responsible for the effort. The trade group admitted its involvement only after being questioned by the media. It is hardly the sort of transparent approach to public discourse that encourages faith in the industry and the way the state is regulating it.
Cheers: To 2003 Selinsgrove Area High School grad Maddy Hribar who recently completed a 100-mile ultramarathon, the Pine Creek Challenge. Hribar has completed a half-dozen conventional marathons of just over 26 miles, with a best time of 3 hours and 12 minutes in the New York City marathon. She finished the Pine Creek race in 18 hours and 16 minutes. She had expected that her first 100-mile run would take a full 24 hours, but she completed the race almost four hours quicker than she expected. We are a little exhausted just writing about it.
Cheers: To Erman Lepley, 77, who donated blood for the 200th time in August, contributing a total of 25 gallons of his AB blood since the 1950s. The human body only contains 1.25 gallons of blood. Red Cross officials say that each pint of donated blood can save three lives. That means Lepley has been angel to 600 people, roughly the number of people living in Lepley's hometown of Beaver Springs.
Lepley will be among the most faithful donors honored by the American Red Cross in ceremony in Wilkes-Barre next month. Red Cross officials said that only about 37 percent of the people eligible donate blood and less than 10 percent donate annually. Lepley visits blood drives the maximum of six times a year.
Jeers: To the Big Brother health watchdogs who have banned the sale of sodas in sizes larger than 16 ounces. The move is intended to help reduce obesity rates. The Big Gulp ban is well-intentioned but certainly seems like a ridiculous over-reach by government.