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School’s Out But the Canadian Wildfires Burn On

Happy first day of Summer to everyone! Our cover date this year matches the Summer Solstice, which to me, is a perfect thing. I couldn’t wait for the first day of summer vacation back in my day; it was my favorite day of school. I’m sure the students in the Loyalsock Township School District felt the same way this year, as they were the last to complete their educational duty, and it almost reached the Summer Solstice. There were smiles from ear to ear as I watched the kids running away from Schick Elementary School as fast as they could last week. And the smiles on the teacher’s faces were even bigger. The longer school year was anticipated as the district is in a construction and improvement
phase to its facilities.

With all the kids from Sock finally joining the School’s Out for Summer Celebration, this is a good place for me to remind everybody to keep an eye out for the unexpected. The children have a lot on their minds this time of year and sometimes forget where the sidewalk ends, and the roadways begin. If any type of ball happens to roll out in front of you, anticipate a young person will soon follow.

Whether you’re a child or teacher throwing up that confetti to celebrate the Summer Solstice, here’s a little official data. The exact time for our area is 10:58 a.m. The day length of June 21st makes it the longest sunlit day of the year at 15 hours, 9 minutes, and 6 seconds. The good news is June 22nd is only 10 seconds less. The Summer Solstice marks the point of distance when the sun’s location is the farthest away from our neck of Penns Woods. This allows the most sunlight to reach us, creating the longest daylight season of the year.

This is the opposite of what many think that it marks the closest point of the year to the sun. I know one thing for a fact, I’ll be missing the long days of sunlight in December.

Next up, an update and some thoughts on the Canadian wildfires. There are now 451 wildfires burning, and 220 are classified as out of control. The number of acres burnt is approaching 10 million. Over 600 more American firefighters were reportedly joining the effort to contain the blazes.

Thank God locally, we were blessed with some rain and a changed weather pattern this past week. This alleviated the effects of the wildfires on our area for the time being. It returned the air quality index to almost normal for the time being.

One of my greatest frustrations in watching the Canadian wildfire inferno unfold is the blaming of the problem on Climate Change. The governments of Canada and the United States have been more focused on pushing the climate change agenda than actually coming up with a plan of attack to fight the wildfires and sharing this information with the people of both countries. This continued use of climate change as the card to go to when there is an environmental problem is great for the politicians; it is terrible for the people residing wherever these disasters occur.

My intentions with my comments are not to debate the whole climate change idea; it is to point out the fact that no matter what occurs and causes the problem, you still need to deal with it with actions, not words, in the timeliest manner. The introduction of climate change as the sole proprietor of any disaster creates division. The last thing you need in the world of unsocial media is to divide people when people need help. The focus on those most affected gets lost in a world of opinions.

Do you think anybody being displaced or worse by those wildfires in Canada wanted to debate the origin and cause of the fire as they’re fleeing from their home? They want to get the heck out of there and save themselves.

Certain online and network news stations portray situations of disaster as the time to push the climate change agenda. As the disaster is actually occurring, it is the time to inform those being most affected and warn those that may be affected next. Disasters are not the time to create the division witnessed; they are a time for unity, to help, love, and pray for our fellow man.

After humanity helps to save, comfort, and console the victims, there will be plenty of time to investigate and discuss what factored into the disaster; this may include global warming. This obviously should always be done to help prevent and change whatever factors are in causing the event. It was great to talk to so many of you last week about so many things. The Father’s Day Giveaway is always fun, but I didn’t expect all the comments on Smokey Bear. He is definitely loved locally. Please remember, even though we’ve had some rainfall locally, our area is still about 4” behind.

In closing things out this week, congratulations to Head Coach Tom O’Malley and the South Williamsport Mountaineer Softball nation. The team won its way to the State Final 4. Longtime South Side Coach and Webb Weekly family member Scott Lowery does a great job covering the journey in the pages ahead. His articles combined hit both sides of the emotions experienced by the young ladies.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb