The Greater Williamsport Area has an acknowledged heroin problem. While that is part of a national scourge, the perception is that the heroin problem in the Williamsport area is worse than most places.
Williamsport also is the sixth best place to live in Pennsylvania, according to CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison and financial education website.
So what is it heroin hotbed or community that is the envy of most?
Well, actually, the city is both.
The heroin problem is real and it needs to be attacked on multiple levels to be defeated. That is going on in the form of a Heroin Task Force that is representative of all corners of the community.
But Williamsport has never stopped being a great place to live and raise a family, for a lot of very important reasons.
The lifestyle here is refreshingly relaxing, the commute to work is 10 to 20 minutes, not one to three hours, the education and health systems are above average by almost any measure, the outdoor life is world-class, and the living accessories arts, music, theater, dining are way above average for a market this size.
Those things have been true for a lot of decades and have become even larger factors in recent years.
The website analyzed the city's crime rate, education, restaurants, commute time and income and found only five places in the state to be better.
It analyzed the violent crime element and found less chance of a person being victimized by violent crime here than almost anywhere in Pennsylvania, with the chances of that happening one in 267.
None of this surprises us.
It's okay to acknowledge a city's problems. We are not for holding anything back in that regard.
But while we are attacking those problems, let's not turn that into an overriding perception of the full picture of the community.
The full canvass of the painting that is Williamsport and its surrounding area is one of healthy vitality. It's nice to see that acknowledged in a scientific calculation that matches the city against the rest of the state.
Be proud of this place where you live.