A tough summer for area, but some encouraging signs

By almost any measure, it’s been a tough summer for the Greater Williamsport Area.

There’s an acknowledged heroin problem. There’s been a substantial outbreak of violent incidents, including fatal shootings.

And that in addition to the usual uptick in crime problems that occur during these months.

There’s a feeling that good people are losing out to the wrongdoers.

But the best way to fight that is to stand up and not let it happen. And there have been encouraging signs of that lately.

Organizers of the Rise Above Festival held Labor Day weekend in Brandon Park said they want to have a lasting impact that overcomes the poison of stereotypes in favor of a community effort to stop shootings, drug use and racism.

These things don’t just happen, but wanting them to happen and being proactive about it is the first step.

At another recent gathering, the leaders of the Williamsport-Lycoming Crime Commission vowed to fight the heroin and street violence outbreak with a string of classes in October aimed at educating parents so they can stop their children from becoming involved in those evils.

The “Bootcamp of the Mind” follows a script supported by professionals in the juvenile justice system.

A heroin task force has been formed.

Critics will roll their eyes and say these efforts are a waste of time.

But what is the alternative, throwing our hands up in resignation?

We can’t allow the problems of this summer to become a commonplace way of life in many parts of our community. We can’t surrender our neighborhoods.

And we stand behind anyone sincerely trying to fight the good fight in the right way for the betterment of our community.