MISS: Church festivals are not usually events where anyone should feel endangered, but it’s an indication of the fraught moment we are enduring that Our Lady of Grace Parish in Scott Township opted to cancel its parish festival this week after receiving a sinister threat. The anonymous message sent to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh stated “Cancel August 14-17 Festival Security Problem is Huge.” Our Lady of Grace is the only parish that was having a festival in that time frame. The parish and its school now stand to lose $50,000 as a result of one crank’s lunatic ramblings. While the caution the parish demonstrated in calling off the festival is understandable, we must now add to our list of worries that routine community events will be scuttled on the whims of malevolent, unhinged individuals.
HIT: With an ever-warming planet and the Trump administration intent on watering down the Endangered Species Act, there hasn’t been a whole lot of good news to report when it comes to the environment over the last couple of weeks. But there is one bright spot here in Pennsylvania. According to The Scranton Times-Tribune, the once-imperiled bald eagle has staged a serious comeback in the commonwealth. As of early this year, there were at least 300 pairs of bald eagles in Pennsylvania, according to the state game commission. That’s a remarkable rebound from the early 1980s, when only three pairs of bald eagles were thought to be present in Pennsylvania. This is the result of a collaboration with a community in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, which captured eaglets and imported them to Pennsylvania. Bald eagles are still threatened by poaching, electrical wires and collisions with cars or other vehicles, but they are in a much better place in the state than they were almost four decades ago.
HIT: The Pony League World Series is always a highlight of the summer in these parts, and the local entry in the series made it especially exciting this year. The Washington County team won its first two games in the series and nearly pulled out a victory in its third game before falling to Bay County, Mich. The local team narrowly lost that game before being eliminated Wednesday by Simi Valley, Calif. It wasn’t the ending the team wanted, but it doesn’t erase the fine performance the group turned in. Congratulations and thanks for representing our area so well.
HIT: You don’t have to look too hard to find a story about bad corporate citizens, so it’s especially refreshing when you find one that acts responsibly and with the public’s interest at the forefront. Such is the case with Columbia Gas and its response to the recent house explosion in North Franklin Township. Columbia almost immediately took responsibility for the mistake that led to the massive blast, and at a meeting with local residents this week said it will be changing the way it handles pressure upgrade work on its system in that area. Yes, Columbia was at fault for the explosion, but it deserves credit for the way it has responded to it.