Jeers: To Republican lawmakers, including C. Adam Harris, who introduced legislation that would bar women on welfare from receiving additional benefits if they became pregnant, unless the women claimed they had been raped. The prime author of the legislation, Rep. Linda Swanger, pulled the bill after the media began reporting about it, but she maintained it was well-intentioned. "I don't think a woman should be penalized for getting pregnant," she said. Critics argue that denying benefits to women unless they report a sexual assault would be akin to a penalty. Harris has not explained why he supported the bill.
Cheers: To Thomas Boop, a Sunbury attorney, who has stepped forward to essentially volunteer to help the Northumberland County district attorney's office clear up a $140,000 backlog of funds seized during drug investigations. The money could be put to community use, but first prosecutors must prove that the money was received illegally by convicts. District Attorney Tony Rosini said his office lacks the staff to address the problem. Last week, Boop, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, stepped forward to help alleviate the backlog.
Jeers: To the members of Sunbury City Council who are preparing to offer a legislative remedy to the scourge of useless satellite dishes. Councilman Joe Bartello told his colleagues he would like to propose a law barring nonfunctioning satellite dishes. Council ought to focus on solving real problems, such as finally installing functioning surveillance cameras that have been promised for two years, than imagining problems that will require residents to prove that equipment on their homes is being properly used.
Cheers: To Bob Lynch and the army of volunteers from the Mifflinburg Revitalization and Heritage Association who sprang into action when they learned that a historic church in their borough was up for auction. They acquired the church, eventually won state funding to help preserve it, and succeeded in converting the old Elias Church into the Elias Center for the Performing Arts, which opens next month.
Cheers: For the end of the great peanut butter crisis. Perhaps you missed it.Drought conditions in 2011 drove up the price of peanut butter. Now, farmers say they have harvested two-thirds more peanuts in 2012 than they did in 2011. That means, peanut butter prices ought to begin to relax, which is good news for all those who love Pennsylvania Dutch-style peanut butter frosting on their chocolate cake.