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EDITORIAL: Spirit of YoCo alive

York Dispatch Editorial Board

Thumbs up: To the community leaders recently recognized for their efforts to make York County a better place to live, work and play.

The York County Economic Alliance presented seven Spirit of YoCo Awards, Wednesday, Sept. 26, to seven individuals or organizations — including Mike Jefferson, director of the Crispus Attucks Center for Employment and Training.

"I don’t do community work, or have not gotten involved in this community, to receive honors for it," said Jefferson, who received the Community Service Award. "I got into it for the sheer reward of trying to help the community in which I live, work and play."

The other award winners were:

  • Holly Metzger-Brown, youth fitness director at the York Jewish Community Center, Non-Profit/Government Employee of the Year.
  • Give Local York, Non-Profit Community Impact
  • James Sterner, assistant principal at Susquehannock High School, Education/Workforce Development Advocate of the Year
  • Nadine Hubner, board member at Leadership York, York County History Center, Hopewell Fish and Game Association and Adams Electric Co-Operative, Appointed Official of the Year
  • York City Councilwoman Sandie Walker, Elected Official of the Year
  • Amy Reinert, owner of Express Employment Professionals, Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to all.

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Thumbs up: To organizers of the 69th annual York Halloween Parade for focusing on diversity during this year’s event and for choosing as grand marshal a community activist dedicated to fighting for the rights of local minorities.

Lou Rivera, chairman of the local Latino advocacy nonprofit Latinos Unidos, will do the honors during this year’s parade, the theme of which is "York — A United Community of Many Cultures."

“I am deeply humbled and honored at being selected grand marshal of the 2018 Halloween parade, particularly given its focus on diversity and inclusion,” said Rivera, an activist for both the Latino and LGBTQ community.  

More:Lou Rivera named as grand marshal for York Halloween Parade

“My path was paved by those in the Latino and gay community prior to my husband and I relocating to York in 2015 and by those who served this community, without recognition, much more than I have," he said.

The parade will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. It begins at the York Expo Center at 2 p.m. and will travel east on Market Street from Richland Avenue to Broad Street in downtown York City.

Lantern Fest comes to the York Expo Center May 12.

Thumbs up: To Dover Township officials for looking beyond the beauty of sky lanterns and considering the hazards associated with the glowing, floating orbs.

Based on the recommendation of the township planning commission, the supervisors are mulling an update to the municipality’s fireworks ordinance to ban sky lanterns in its borders.

The lanterns, often made from cardboard and tissue paper, can be fire hazard when they return to earth, can harm livestock and create a mess in the community, opponents argue.

More:Dover Twp considers banning sky lanterns

Township Supervisor Charles Richards noted the sky lanterns released in July at the York Expo Center, saying the fire marshal “was going crazy; they were on the roofs of churches, basically doing fire watches all throughout the city.

“You might as well shoot flaming arrows in the air,” he said. “If you ask me it’s not much different.”

Most neighboring states surrounding Pennsylvania have banned the use of sky lanterns: Delaware; New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Maryland.

Common sense says local communities should consider the same action.