Thumbs up for a cleaner Kiwanis Lake and a state championship team, down for anti-vaxxer

York Dispatch Editorial Board

Thumbs up to Aaron Jacobs and the Rotary Club of York for the work they've done to restore York City's Kiwanis Lake.

The lake, which was created in the 1920s, had deteriorated badly, with plant scum and invasive hydrilla floating on the surface. The water was so murky, you couldn't see 2 inches below the surface. 

“When (Kiwanis) was originally built, it was all farmland,” Jacobs said. “Now it’s shopping malls. It’s Route 30. It’s project development — and all that runoff water channels through here. The problem we’ve had is the amount of sediment, debris and pollution was destroying the lake.”

More:A year of work takes Kiwanis Lake from polluted pond to 'water gem'

Jacobs spearheaded the project, beginning with draining the lake in early 2020 and pulling out the trash, including tires, bikes and traffic cones. Next, the group cleared the pond scum using chemicals, aeration and new fountains that keep the water moving at all times. New technology lets York City officials monitor lake temperature, alkaline levels and water clarity easily and react immediately when a problem arises.

The Rotary Club collected about $175,000 for the project, Jacobs said.

“This is our water gem right here — there’s nothing else like it in York City. If we don’t take care of it, it continues to get worse,” he said.

Spring Grove celebrates a 3-1 win over Hampton during PIAA Class 3-A girls' volleyball championship action at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Thumbs up to the state champion Spring Grove girls' volleyball team.

The Rockets brought home the PIAA Class 5-A title last weekend. It was the first state championship for the program.

“I’m so happy,” senior Nevaeh Wolfe said while standing next to her twin sister, Hailey, who bested Nevaeh with a match-best 25 kills. “I was crying for a solid 10 minutes. It’s sad that it’s our last year, so it’s bittersweet. I started crying and then everyone else did.”

More:Spring Grove brings home girls' volleyball state title to Papertown

A big reason the squad was able to achieve its championship was talent, but confidence, resiliency and the ability to stay even-keeled through the ups and downs of a grueling season won the title.

“We always said that they had plenty of skill,” Rockets coach Liz Zeigler said. “We just had to work on the mindset, and they worked really hard with that mindset all year and I’m just super-proud of how well that’s worked out for them.”

Thumbs down to a WellSpan Health employee who is on leave after bragging about talking a grandparent out of getting a COVID-19 vaccine for a child.

April Flegel was a call center employee whose job was to schedule appointments for WellSpan clients. But when a grandmother called to book a time to bring her grandson in for the shot, Flegel apparently decided she knew better than the grandparent, her employer and the medical establishment.

"I told her morally I couldn't do it," she wrote in a post on an anti-vaccine Facebook page. "I'll lose my job before I schedule a child for that garbage vaccine. Kids is where I draw the line." 

More:WellSpan employee claims to have talked grandparent out of getting child vaccinated

First, it's not a "garbage vaccine." It's a vaccine that scientists have spent years developing that has been honed to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. 

More than 3 billion people around the world are fully vaccinated, including 194 million in the United States. Very few adverse reactions have been reported, with the most common being an allergic reaction seen in two to five people per million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No long-term side effects have been detected.

A Facebook post from a former WellSpan employee who says she talked a grandparent out of letting their grandson receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Second, it's not the job of a call-center employee to decide whether to give medical treatment to anyone. That's up to medical professionals and their patients, or in this case, a parent or guardian of a child.

Children ages 5 and up are now cleared to get the vaccine, both to protect them from COVID-19 and to keep them from spreading the virus in the community. The prospect of a health-care system employee deliberately standing in the way of that is mind boggling for those of us who get our science news from places other than Facebook.