EDITORIAL: Thumbs up for 'exhibition' classes

York Dispatch

Thumbs up: Wouldn't it be great if you could try out a single class before you have to sign up for a whole schedule? Wouldn't it be fun to drop in on a tap class one day and a guitar class the next, without the pressure of practicing before you come back because, hey, maybe you'll come back, maybe you won't.

And wouldn't it be just the best thing ever if you could do that and just pay what you wanted, or even not pay at all?

That's what the Weary Arts Group is offering York right now.

The organization is trying out "exhibition" workshops to test the waters before deciding which classes to offer regularly.

"The main objective is to show all that we have to offer, then tailor-make our classes to what people want," CEO Calvin Weary said.

Check out the schedule at and show up for one of the classes at Marketview Arts Building, 37 W. Philadelphia St. What have you got to lose?

Thumbs up: The York County Department of Veterans Affairs secured $4.7 million in federal and state benefits for our veterans during fiscal year 2014-15, up $100,000 from the previous year.

That includes 851 new claims for benefits, $16,493 for veterans waiting for federal benefits to kick in and funeral benefits for 1,692 families.

The department has gotten about $25.9 million in benefits for York County's 40,000 veterans over the past six years, according to director Phil Palandro.

After everything our veterans have given for our country, and especially in the wake of the problems with health care from the VA, it's good to see that the country is giving something back to them.

"It's the least we can do given the sacrifices and risks they've taken on our behalf," Commissioner Doug Hoke said.

Thumbs up: If you live outside the city, meet income guidelines and need help with repairs for your home, the York County Planning Commission can help.

The commission can give loans up to $25,000 for qualifying homeowners who need help repairing a roof, heating, electrical or plumbing systems or replacing windows, doors and sidewalks.

The loans are interest free and deferred, so the money can be paid back whenever the house is sold, the commission said.

The Home Improvement Program has money sitting in it waiting to work for qualified homeowners.

For more information about HIP and other homeowner programs administered through the York County Planning Commission, visit or call (717) 771-9870.

York City has a separate but similar program for its residents. York City homeowners interested in the Renovate & Repair Loan Program through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency should visit

Thumbs up: If you show the fashions, they will come.

That's the kind of thinking that launched York City Boutique Week, which showcased the latest fashions found in the small shops downtown.

The shops offered trunk shows to display collections from designers, runway shows and even BROtique, which catered to the male fashionistas (fashionistos?) in town.

Shops stayed open late every night last week, culminating in the monthly First Friday events to bring even more crowds to the area.

That's the kind of creative thinking that's rejuvenating downtown York City.