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Summertime blues: A little optimism helps in Armstrong County

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Friday, July 11, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

Summertime, and the livin' isn't easy in the Armstrong County region.

A hard winter and wet spring nearly kept strawberries from showing up in time at the Smicksburg festival held in their honor a bit before the summer solstice. And when some were found in the 11th hour by festival organizers, they didn't come cheap.

Thunderstorms crashed the Waves of Thunder fundraising party in Kittanning in June.

It looks like it will be another year of Allegheny River locks being mostly closed to recreational boaters. The Citizens Bridge is draped in tarps and looks more like an giant sofa in storage than the iconic landmark it is. Downtown streets and sidewalks are in the ugly stage of Kittanning's revitalization project.

These circumstances surely aren't attracting tourists or helping businesses. It's yet to be seen what effect they will have on the many events coming up in and around Riverfront Park this summer.

All we can do is struggle through summer with an eye focused on the future. One day our bridge will look like new. Kittanning's downtown will be spruced up and attractive once again. It also looks like the hard work of the Allegheny River Development Corp. is going to pay off with the reopening of our locks.

This is Armstrong County's future.

One of these mornings — hopefully by next year — we're going to rise up singing.

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