Thumbs up to art and toys, down to ending mask mandates early

York Dispatch Editorial Board

Thumbs up to Brody Werner and his dad, Dustin Werner, for not being afraid to make a mess in pursuit of art.

Last school year, Brody learned about Jackson Pollock's "action painting" techniques during art class at Leib Elementary School in Dover Township.

The thought of creating art by flinging paint at a canvas really struck a chord.

“I asked my dad if we could try out this painting,” Brody, now 8, explained. Dustin Werner agreed to help but warned it would be a pretty long process to make it a reality.

More:Painting like Pollock: A father and son journey

Pollock’s style is marked by splashing and spattering paint on canvas and using various implements for application. It's not something most parents will allow a kid to do in their bedroom.

With the help of Parliament Arts, Resource York and YouTube videos, the Werners gathered artistic and technical advice. Dustin built a 4-by-6-foot canvas. Convenience store chain Sheetz donated a huge stack of beverage cups to use as paint receptacles.

Last weekend, it all came together. Dustin rented space at Freelance York in York Township and set up Brody's work area.

Brody used everything from a paint-soaked rope to his hands to turn that canvas into his own artistic expression.

“Words cannot describe how awesome this is,” Brody said. 

Thumbs down to the West York school board and board member George Margetas for defying a court order keeping Gov. Tom Wolf's mask mandate for schools in place while a lawsuit, which West York is part of, makes its way through the courts.

The timing couldn't be worse for this decision, which Margetas has been pushing for weeks and which was passed by the board Wednesday night.

York County in general is seeing a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases and accompanying hospitalizations and deaths. Schools are no exception, with county schools recording more than 300 cases just this week.

More:West York schools defy Wolf's mandate, make masks optional

We've said it before, and apparently we have to keep saying it, again and again and again: Masks help control the spread of COVID-19, a disease that has killed 1,097 people in York County.

While children thankfully have not born the brunt of the disease so far, they can carry the virus into the community and to their families. With only half of the residents of York County vaccinated, the community needs to use every tool in the box to stop the spread. That includes making sure kids sitting in classrooms every day are wearing masks.

Wolf announced in November that he would return the decision on masks to local school boards by Jan. 17. We are certain that most York County districts will end the mask mandate by then, or earlier if courts allow. There's no reason to jump the gun here.

Thumbs up to the Toys for Tots drive and to Santa D, aka Bobby D of the 96.1 SOX Wake Up Crew.

Bobby D has spent the week living in a tent on the Columbia side of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots.

The annual toy drive has given away 604 million toys to 272 million children since it began in 1947, and the need is great this year.

This is the seventh year that Bobby D has braved the December cold to become Santa D, and the station hopes to collect 9,500 toys during the drive. You can support them by dropping off a donation before 6 p.m. Friday.