EDITORIAL: It's the neighborly thing

York Dispatch

Thumbs down: Good neighbors are conscientious of the little things. They keep their grass cut, they don't leave their trash cans at the curb for days, they shovel their sidewalks after it snows — things like that.

Yet some people are neglecting another task that could — literally — turn around and bite them and their neighbors.

"The biggest thing here, unfortunately, is that we haven't gotten everyone to clean up their yards and get rid of that standing water where mosquitoes breed," said Thomas Smith, West Nile virus program administrator for the York County Penn State Cooperative Extension.

That has led to a particularly bad season in York County, which leads the state in the number of mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile.

The virus, which can cause flu-like symptoms such as aches, fever and stomach pain, is transmitted through a cycle: An infected bird is bitten by a mosquito that then goes on to bite people.

Smith said there have been no confirmed human cases of the virus this year, but that is likely to change.

"At this point, with the amount of mosquitoes testing positive that we've detected and the population growing, it's very likely that we will be seeing cases soon," he said.

Thumbs up: It has been 70 years since the end of World War II, fought by what we rightfully refer to as our greatest generation.

The public is invited to honor those veterans — whose ranks grow smaller every year — during a ceremony Friday commemorating V-J Day, when the Japanese officially surrendered and ended the war.

Stop by the Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden in York City at 4 p.m. to pay your respects.

Thumbs up: To Pleasureville United Methodist Church in Springettsbury Township, for organizing a free back-to-school shopping day for parents.

The event, now in its fourth year, will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the church, 2606 North Sherman St., York.

The shopping day will offer a range of necessities, including shoes, bags, backpacks, hats and clothing items in a wide variety of sizes for children and adults. All items are free, and all community members can take as much as they like. A snack bar also will be open with complimentary refreshments for shoppers.