As the nation gasps from an endless stream of disquieting news about crime, immigration, marriage and quarreling politics ... not to mention horrors in the Mideast ... we recall a letter from Mary Jane Thompson, of Felton.

Mary Jane, a senior citizen remembering more peaceful times, reminds us ...

It was not the senior citizen who took:

The melody out of music.

The pride out of appearance.

The courtesy out of driving.

The romance out of love.

The commitment out of marriage.

The responsibility out of parenthood.

The togetherness out of family.

The learning out of education.

The service out of patriotism.

The Golden Rule from rulers.

The Nativity Scene out of cities.

The civility out of behavior.

The refinement out of language.

The dedication out of employment.

The prudence out of spending.

God out of government and schools.

And we certainly are not the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relations and interaction with others.

Wow! Mary Jane you give us plenty to think about.

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West York advocates have established an independent charity "to enhance and expand enrichment opportunities for all students enrolled in the West York Area School District and to ensure long-range financial flexibility for all schools and grades in the district."


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To date, The Foundation For the West York Area School District has raised $11,000 with a Derby Day event and more than $34,000 through the state tax credit plan in which businesses receive tax credits for supporting special school programs.

Larry Richardson, president of the foundation, explained ...

"In this, our first full year of operation, we have been able to deliver four technologically enhanced classrooms (cost, $11,000 each) to the district in support of our cause.

"In addition, the Foundation has now assimilated the former Dollars for Scholars program into the foundation and recently distributed over $25,000 to deserving West York graduating seniors. We look forward to building our partnerships and impacting our community well into the future."

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St. Mary's is preparing for a visit from Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, recently installed as leader of the 15-county Diocese of Harrisburg. He'll be consecrating the church's new altar at the 5:30 p.m. Mass June 28.

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New Eagle Scouts ...

Luke Miller, Troop 30, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Spring Grove ... son of Brenda Miller. Project: Cleared debris from the horse trail at Codorus State Park.

Matthew Wentz, Troop 205, Grace United Methodist Church, New Freedom ... son of Brian Wentz. Project: Rebuilt a bridge at Rocky Ridge County Park.

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"When thunder roars, go indoors" ... that's the advice from the Area Agency on Aging, explaining ...

"A safe shelter is a building with electricity and/or plumbing, or a metal-topped vehicle with windows closed.

"Picnic shelters, dugouts, small buildings without plumbing or electricity are not safe."

More guidelines ...

•Stay off corded phones. You may use cell or cordless phones.

•Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.

•Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

•Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

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York Rotary wonders why doctors are called practicing physicians? Also, why do they sterilize needles for lethal injections?

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Researchers consistently find that children born out of wedlock face higher risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.

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Do you owe a library fine? You can erase it by donating non-perishable food items during the month of July.

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From Arlington Evangelical Church in Red Lion comes this tip ... to reduce cat hair around the house, gently rub a damp paper towel over your cat. It collects both hair and dirt.

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Fresh blueberries are in abundance again. According to the USDA, blueberries scored highest in tests of antioxidants among 43 fruits, vegetables and commercial juices.

Antioxidants are the chemical compounds that help protect us against the wear and tear of aging, as well as tools in the battle against heart disease and cancer.

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Merges at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.