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Lessons in civics: Back to school

| Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

• Ernest Rosenberger, 10, goes to Ford City Council to alert borough leaders that trash tossed onto a hillside near Boulder Park could injure children playing there.

• Some 65 children spent part of a summer day at the Armstrong County Courthouse, learning about law enforcement from District Attorney Scott Andreassi, about impartial application of the law from District Judge J. Gary DeComo and Common Pleas Judge James Panchik, and about creation of the laws from state Rep. Jeff Pyle and Sen. Don White's Chief of Staff Joe Pittman.

These seemingly innocuous events also are clear indications that we live in a community where children are getting the message that we all have civic duties. We hope such lessons continue for them throughout their lives.

Some adults should revisit the teachings.

Most of us “get involved” only when we have a specific concern — higher taxes, a rundown neighboring property, noise ordinance violations, etc. In Ford City, Councilman Jerry Miklos this week said there should have been more public dialogue on setting a special tax zone for land on which the to-be-closed high school sits or on the issue of leasing the former landfill site for gas well drilling. Public dialogue is wise, but would anyone have come out to talk?

It's easy to lose track of what local leaders are doing, and perhaps some of them would like it that way. But they need direction from their constituents.

This is a municipal election year — and a good time for “wise” adults to speak up.

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