EDITORIAL: Festival is a healing force for West York

The York Dispatch
Super heroes, witches and ninja turtles show up in Shelly Park in West York for the Hallo-WE Together Fall Festival, Monday, October 31, 2016.  John A. Pavoncello photo
  • Thieves take advantage of unlocked cars, access to keys.
  • A prominent historical marker gets a facelift--donor foots the bill.

Thumbs Up: To the organizers of West York's Hallo-We Together fall festival, which came together in the nick of time.

In the wake of dealing with the borough mayor’s racist Facebook posts, national media attention and finally his resignation, a church that usually organizes the borough’s Halloween celebration backed out amid the controversy.

Carla Christopher, regional coordinator for Put People First, enlisted the help of Megan Feeser, Downtown Inc's marketing coordinator, and Alexandra Dwyer, founder of The Parliament Arts Organization, to organize vendors, volunteers and local business. Many were from outside of the borough.

The Oct. 31 event had a lot going for it.

It featured face-painting stations, martial arts demonstrations, a photo booth, bubbles, police officers, live music and a fire truck that dumped candy from its ladder for the children. It gave a beleaguered community a chance to reunite not only with itself, but with surrounding communities.

West York comes together to heal for Halloween

"When we come together, we are stronger together," newly installed Mayor Shawn Mauck said, pointing to the festival going on around him. "It proves to the rest of the world that this is what we're about."

Thumbs Down: To residents who don’t lock their vehicles and especially to those who leave keys in those vehicles. A rash of burglaries and car thefts have taken place throughout the county recently, creating a headache for law enforcement and a threat to the community.

LOGO police fire

A recent York County District Attorney's Office news release states that of the nearly 300 cars stolen this year in the county, seven contained guns.

"These crimes of opportunity can happen in any community and in any neighborhood. It's a widespread problem that doesn't have geographic boundaries," Northern Regional Police Department  Lt. David Lash said.

Two unlocked autos were stolen from the same block in Dover Township this week within hours of each other. Thefts from other vehicles were reported nearby.

Police: Dover thieves stole cars simply because they could

"Very rarely do we have (locked) vehicles that are actually broken into," Lash said.

"To best protect yourself, make sure your doors are locked and your keys are taken out of your vehicle," he said.

If you don’t, you’re just asking to become a victim.

Thumbs Up: To the anonymous donor who paid to refurbish the First National Thanksgiving commemorative sign that stands outside the York County Administration Center.

Judicial Center Facilities Manager Vada Fink, tightens the last screw on the First National Thanksgiving marker, near 21 E. Market Street Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in York City. An anonymous donor had the York City First National Thanksgiving marker sanded and repainted. Amanda J. Cain photo

The sign, which has been in place since the mid-1970s, highlights some important events in the nation’s history, representing the critical time period of the Revolutionary War, said Dan Roe, vice president of interpretation for the York County History Center.

“I think it’s a really unique story that’s part of York County’s history,” Roe said of the marker.

And, it was showing its age.

“It was pretty rough. It was in pretty bad shape,” Sheaffer Signs owner Leroy Sheaffer said. He was tasked with refurbishing the marker.

York unveils refinished First Thanksgiving sign

The sandblasting and powder-coating took several days. It took him eight hours to hand paint the more than 450 characters on each side.

“(It’s) not the same old thing you do every day,” Sheaffer said.