We could not begin a column following the Super Bowl without offering some fruit to that athletic and cultural extravaganza.
A Peach is offered to the Pittsburgh Steelers for their gallant comeback effort. No doubt many homes within the county were filled with excitement while fans shared the emotional roller coaster. Though the final score may not have been to their liking, they can at least take heart in this: Baseball is just around the corner.
The SB XLV is also the forum for our first Pit, and it goes to former Western Pennsylvania resident, Christina Aguilera, who certainly must have overcome a tremendous amount of nerves to attempt to perform the National Anthem prior to the game. The song, however, deserves more reverence that it was given, and her recital of the incorrect lyrics brought a certain amount of angst, though perhaps not as much as Rosanne Barr's dreadful rendition years back.
A Peach to those who work collaboratively on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. These individuals forego the plaudits which might accompany goals achieved on their own in order to cross bureaucratic lines in the name of more effective government. The leftover pit should be reserved for the politicians who continue to burden citizens with an archaic drug policy which serves mainly to increase theft, violence and taxes.
We'll toss a Peach over the snow drifts to those who help keep fire hydrants clear of snow and ice during the winter. The burden on county firefighters, many of them volunteers, can be grueling enough in winter months. Residents who decline to help them may find out too late just how important an accessible hydrant would have been.
A Pit goes to state education officials who want to introduce another round of student testing. Officials have indicated a desire to have Keystone exams eventually replace current tests. In the interim, some students will have to take additional exams, a daunting prospect given the inability of Warren Area High School and Sheffield Area Middle/High School to meet Annual Yearly Progress goals in the most recent results.
A frozen Peach is offered to the 10 participants who held their own Polar Bear Plunge last Saturday. These cold-water enthusiasts (at least they appeared enthusiastic) didn't let the annual event's cancellation during Winterfest get them down. Instead, with a gracious assist from Glade VFD's Switfwater Rescue Team, they made good on their pledge to take a frosty dip and provide the Salvation Army with the $4,000 they raised in doing so.