MLK Day in York: A time to educate

York Dispatch editorial board

Thumbs up to The Advantage Program for taking the lead on a substantive and educational program to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The “I Have a Dream Conference,” planned for Monday, Jan. 16, will provide six hours of engaging instruction on issues including bullying and navigating social media for children and adults alike.

The Advantage Program has long provided youth mentorship programs for those between the ages of 7 and 17 in York. Program founder and CEO Trayvon Parker said he saw an opportunity for a special MLK event in the city.

Savontae Copeland, on left, with Teyana, in center, and Tanique Parker, on right, from the ADvantage Program in York, handing out pies at the 2022 21 Turkey Salute meal giveaway in York on Nov. 23, 2022.

“Not too many community resources offered anything on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,” Parker told the Dispatch. “We wanted to be able to just provide another opportunity for the city.”

It’s a welcome opportunity, reflecting Dr. King’s admonition that “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always right to do right.”

The “I Have a Dream Conference” is free and will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the YMCA Tech Rev Center, 301 W. Market St. To register, visit

Thumbs down to the barrage of new price hikes hitting Pennsylvanians in the wallet this new year.

The relentless climb of spiking prices is especially noticeable from behind the wheel. For one, tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are going up — for the 15th consecutive year! This year’s 5 percent increase will hit EZ Pass and toll-by-plate drivers alike. And if you’re overdue on paying those tolls, you might want to settle up quickly. Under a new law, motorists who owe more than $250 in turnpike tolls can see their registrations revoked.

The state’s gas tax also edged up on Jan. 1. It now stands at 61 cents a gallon; 78 cents a gallon for diesel. That’s a big reason the average cost-per-gallon statewide this week stood at $3.65; highest in the region and more than 35 cents a gallon above the national average.

MORE:US consumer inflation eased again to 6.5% in December

There’s a potential silver lining on this front: The state’s Senate Transportation Committee voted Monday to rescind the tax. The increase this year is only three cents a gallon (4 cents for diesel) but every little bit helps!

And if all of these price hikes are driving you to drink? More bad news: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is raising the price on thousands of items sold at the state’s “Fine Wine and Good Spirits” stores. A control board spokesperson blamed the 4 percent increase on higher operating costs.

We’ll definitely not drink to that!

Thumbs up to the state Treasury, which is doing its best to send a few bucks in the opposite direction: toward state residents.

The Treasury is looking to return some $4 billion in unclaimed property. Treasury officials estimate one in 10 state residents are eligible to claim property in the form of misdirected or uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, jewelry, military medals, stamps, antiques, savings bonds or other physical items. The average value is around $1,500.

That would go a long way toward cancelling out some of the recent price hikes state residents have been sustaining.

The department has updated its system for searching for unclaimed property and submitting claims. (Officials are also warning residents to disregard emails or texts purported to be from the Treasury; scammers abound.)

To search the files, submit a claim or even view a series of helpful FAQs, visit the Treasury’s unclaimed property website.