Give a laurel to Phyllis Snyder for her continued volunteerism. People who do so much for their community deserve endless praise. Keeping Snyder's award as Montour-DeLong Community Fair's Outstanding Fair Ambassador a surprise probably took quite an effort given the countless hours she was around making sure the fair ran smoothly.

Give a laurel to all the Montour-DeLong Community Fair organizers for setting up another exciting mini-Pennsylvania Farm Show. However, the fair is mini only when compared to the extravaganza in Harrisburg. There were enough competitions, events and entertainment acts at the Montour fair to keep this county humming for more than a week.

Give a laurel to the Danville Fire Department for again successfully carrying out its fire safety camp. Experiences and "wow" moments stick with everyone, particularly with youngsters. Climbing into Life Flight's cockpit, listening to a sheriff deputy's stories and touching the equipment firefighters use to save lives are thrilling experiences for many children. As with the National Nights Out, this camp's association of fun with something more meaningful is a good way to make sure the lessons stick.

Give a lemon to the politicians for letting the Social Security system approach a breaking point. Many experts predicted problems for Social Security disability given the size of the baby boom generation and particularly as the boomers aged. Now there is a report that the disability system is on the verge of failing. Both the disability and retirement systems need to be retooled to fix Social Security. It would have been easier to fix, and easier for Americans to adjust to, if problems were addressed when the economy was not on a stomach-churning roller coaster ride.

Give a laurel to PPL Montour Preserve naturalist Jon Beam, who led young explorers on a journey into the world of ponds. A lot of folks do not realize the tremendous resource Montour County has in the preserve. Programs like the pond program give kids the opportunity to witness wildlife and insects in the wild. Is there any better way to teach ecology?

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