How was your summer vacation?

I hope you all took advantage of summer and vacations and all the good things that come with the warmer weather. In what seems to be turning into an extremely annoying summer tradition, I spent a portion of my summer in the emergency room, followed by way too much time in doctors’ offices. Fortunately this year’s catastrophe was only a broken wrist, which appears to be well on its way to healing.

It did, however, drastically limit the amount of computer work I could do, as my fingers went numb after a few minutes with the mouse. Our weekly lay-out became a marathon session punctuated with frequent breaks to rest my wrist. As a result, our Web site postings were set aside for a few weeks.

I am now in the process of back-loading a number of the articles that have run in the paper over the last few weeks, because there were some important news stories that everyone should read, especially with this being a local election year.

The first, of course, is the appointment of the newest member of Bellevue Council. Four members of council, led by Tom Fodi, moved up the appointment date to take advantage of council president Lynn Tennant Heffley’s pre-planned vacation. It was a perfectly legal move, and, in the world of politics, some might even call it a smart move to take advantage of a situation that allows you to tilt the deck in your favor rather than take your chances in an open arena. Many citizens and even members of council saw it as a sneaky political move. Bellevue voters will have to decide for themselves this November.

A more positive story about local government came from Kilbuck and Ohio townships, where an exploratory merger committee released the pertinent details to be considered if the two communities are to become one. This is an idea that would have been – and was -- dismissed rather quickly a few years ago primarily because of concerns about Kilbuck’s financial stability and debts. The township supervisors, however, have worked diligently to brighten Kilbuck’s fiscal picture, so that some type of merger or consolidation might work well for the taxpayers of both communities.

And then there was the emotionally-charged story of the Northgate football field lighting danger, which forced the district into choosing to play home games on Saturday afternoons or move the “home field” to North Park to continue enjoying “Friday night lights.”

High school seniors tend to get very sentimental about such things, mostly because they don’t realize that in a few years absolutely none of it will matter.

The interesting part to me was the theory that the Northgate football program would be destroyed if the team was forced to play in daylight this year. I graduated from Western Beaver High School, whose football team played its first few seasons from the home field of our most bitter rival, Midland High School. Then WBHS got its own field adjacent to the high school. That occurred in the early 1970s, and to this day every home game has been played on a Saturday afternoon.

One of the arguments made to the Northgate School Board was that teams that play on Saturdays are teams that lose. While it is undeniable that the dwindling Western Beaver School District has not been able to recreate its past successes in recent years, at one time Western Beaver was a WPIAL football powerhouse. The team boasts THREE WPIAL championship titles since 1976, and competed in three others. We won’t even start counting conference titles. The vast majority of those games were played on Saturday afternoons.

So, even though I now cheer for the local football teams, I feel compelled to defend the honor of my alma mater, and I suggest that unless the Northgate Flames have all become vampires, they would have no problem competing in the light of day.

And that is my summer vacation recap. We can only guess what the fall and winter will bring, so keep an eye on your local newspaper for all the headlines.