MISS: The nuts and bolts of it are a bit too complicated to get into here, but the Trump administration is pushing a plan that would cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than 3 million people nationwide. In our area, Fayette County ranks second in the state for people receiving these food stamp benefits, and Greene County ranks fourth. If the idea behind this proposal is to save money, taking food out of the mouths of poor people is a bad way to go about it. Why not reel in some of the tax benefits received by millionaires?
HIT: Sometimes it seems as if we are overrun with “bad news,” so it was nice to read this week about a big group of former Canon-McMillan High School baseball players going to bat for a friend fighting a rare form of cancer. The benefit wiffle ball tournament Sunday at Falconi Field in Canonsburg raised more than $3,000 for 21-year-old Mitch Barton, who is among a number of people in that area fighting against Ewing’s sarcoma. Mitch’s mother, Christine, was very thankful for the gesture. “The support of this community is what keeps us going,” she said.
HIT: Life can be turbulent for children raised in foster care, and it often means that once they are out on their own, they lack the resources or education to attend a college or university. Thankfully, Pennsylvania has just made it easier for them to do so. At the end of June, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill that allows young people who were in foster care at age 16 or older to attend a college or university within the commonwealth tuition-free. They would have to pay for their own room and board and exhaust their financial-aid options before tuition would be waived. Twenty-eight other states have similar programs. Dustin Moore, who has been in foster care for five years, told Allentown’s Morning Call newspaper, “If you’re in foster care, I bet you any amount of money that at one point in your life you were told that you were going to be nothing. You can go to college and prove that person wrong. It opens up a whole new world for us.”
MISS: Water is plentiful, something we can always rely on to be there when we turn on the tap, right? Not in some parts of the world. According to a story that appeared in The New York Times this week, about 25% of the this planet’s residents are living in places of “extremely high water stress,” which means they consume almost all the water they have, with none left for emergencies. If climate change proceeds unimpeded, it will only make matters worse. Even though they are far from us, the taps running dry in Los Angeles, Sydney or Bangalore would have repercussions here and in every corner of the world. It’s all the more reason why action is necessary to stop the worst effects of climate change, and do so without delay.