Down River – Jan. 7, 2016

Aidan Was a Winner:

We at The Record didn’t know Aidan Fowler and we’re sorry we did not have that experience. Many in the community did and are the better for it.

Aidan is the Woolrich young man who last Sunday lost his battle to cancer at the age of 12. But he proved an inspiration to the community as he fought the good fight, always with a winning smile as he lived his tragically short life to the fullest, the best he could given the unfair plight to which he was subjected.

He had to feel the community love, from the standing ovation he received upon throwing out the first ball at a Little League World Series game in August and especially the pre-Christmas all but spontaneous caroling by friends and neighbors outside the Fowler home. His is an inspirational story which touched many. His Central Mountain Middle School classmates were to pay their respects to him at the school’s auditorium after school on Wednesday. When classes resumed after the holidays this week those same classmates honored his memory by keeping open his cafeteria seat during lunch.

We’ve heard tell that representatives from area Little Leagues (he played in Woolrich) are seeking to nominate Aidan for the next ESPN Sportsman of the Year. It says here such a nomination absolutely has great merit.

Aidan touched many in 12 short years. The community should not forget the courage he brought to the battle; let him continue to be an inspiration to us all.

Onward and Upward: 

It’s being heard that the effort to get regional police protection in the Renovo area is alive. If you’ve been following this, there has been talk of Renovo, South Renovo, Chapman Township and Noyes Township at the very least making a study to see if the concept is practical.

First step is a letter of interest into Harrisburg from prospective municipal participants. So far it is understood a couple municipalities have done that and the other two could very well join the study effort.

Renovo is down to one police officer at last check; the others have none. State police are more often than not a good half away in the southern end of the county. Under any circumstances, given these sometimes perilous times, if I’m living somewhere in the western end of Clinton County, I’m beating on the door of my elected official to at the very least take part in a study to see if regional cooperation could be the answer to providing professional law enforcement.

And now is the time to do the study and at the least make a trial run. Unless you live under a rock in Bitumen, you know that there is a growing likelihood in about a year or so the Renovo area will be the site of considerable activity at the old rail yard acreage on the north side of the borough.

And for a year or two that activity, the construction of an $800 million natural gas to electricity plant, means hundreds and hundreds of “outsiders” will be descending on the western end of the county to bring this much anticipated project to fruition.

We’re not suggesting these construction folks in any way come to town to cause any problems; we are suggesting the population in the western end of the county is going to take a significant jump during that construction period. All the more reason to try and get a regional police force up and running.

Given the activity looming in Renovo in 2017, one police officer to serve the western end of Clinton County just won’t cut it.

Reassuring:

We’re far from a perfect nation and many of us shudder at what we see going on (or not going on) in Washington and Harrisburg. And that Donald Trump candidacy? Don’t ask. But closer to home it’s more reassuring.

The large courtroom of the Clinton County Courthouse was at near capacity last Saturday morning. And council chambers in Lock Haven’s City Hall Monday night saw a large turnout. Friends, neighbors and loved ones were present at the swearing-in at the courthouse and a swearing-in/organizational session at City Hall.

Attendees came to salute our newly elected or re-elected local officials, to wish them well as they undertake the task of running government at the grassroots level. And we all rejoice that government continues to run as well as it does here at home.

Lock Haven Mayor Bill Baney in his first day on the job articulated what local residents see in many of our local elected officials. He said he had no hidden agenda but would vote in the best interests of the city. That’s a pretty basic pledge but that’s what we see from City Hall and the county courthouse over the years. The overwhelming majority of locally elected officials have demonstrated that approach. Municipal officials may disagree as to what they see as in the best interests of their constituents, but virtually all have shown a willingness to compromise their differences or respectfully defer to the wishes of the majority.

And remarkably party political affiliation is a non-factor. There was a boorish effort better than a decade or so ago when the majority of a new board of county commissioners made what turned out to be a failed attempt at tossing out some county employees who happened to be registered with the minority party. But since that time incidents of bush league local politics have been few.

Watching the recent oath ceremony at the county courthouse only reinforces one’s faith in our democratic system, at least here at the local level.