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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LC Comm'r Eckhart: Let the Kids Play

My grandson, who is in third grade, loves basketball. He plays on two different teams and insists on wearing a headband, even though it barely fits his head. As you might imagine, these are typically low-scoring games, but the kids really enjoy an excuse to run around during cold winter months. At the same time, they learn a little sportsmanship. ... I think.

Over the weekend, The Morning Call's Scott Kraus reported a premature, and sad, end to basketball from kindergarten to third grade in Salisbury Township. Parents attending basketball games at Truman Elementary were obviously focused on their kids like laser beams, oblivious to an older crew of kids using open school buildings to place 911 calls and cause other mischief. School officials insisted on paid security, and the Salisbury Youth Association decided to cancel the last two weeks of the season.

Lehigh County Commissioner Glenn Eckhart has offered to foot the bill for security himself, if it is not already too late. It's a gallant gesture from an official I've criticized.

The Morning Call notes, in the very first sentence of its account, that Eckhart is up for reelection this year. That's fair. But it fails to note Eckhart's ties to Salisbury Youth Association. That's unfair. Glenn was Basketball Director between 1990 and 1993 and also spent 13 years there coaching basketball. This is before he ever had his own children or sought elected office. Wouldn't fairness require that these facts be revealed, too?

Glenn's political motive is apparent, but he is obviously also a person who supports youth sports, especially now that his daughter is in the Kindergarten program. He may use campaign funds instead of digging into his own pocket. Some of you may turn your nose up at that. Would your prefer to see campaign funds used for junk mail that no one reads or a community program to benefit children?

Glenn Eckhart did the right thing here, and should be commended.

4 comments:

Glenn said...

Times have changed! Back in the old days I worked with Barry George, when he was at WAEB (now retired community relations officer), DJ'd a many a H.S. dance there. There was only one cop who stood outside and was rarely if ever needed. Great kids, great memories. Unfortunately these kids' memories of youth may not be as positive as mine of Salisbury.

We did 'hops' in Bath, Allentown YMCA, etc. While the venues legally required us to pay off duty cops, we never had found a need for them, other then presence. While these were not sports venues.. sports replaced most school functions [dances] because of problems... now these extracurricular outside sports too seem to be doomed to schools' reluctance to entertain them either. Just look how empty most games are in many schools now.

What's happened? It's a shame really. Times have changed indeed.

Anonymous said...

Eckhart wouldn't need any cameras or metal detectors, just the sight of him in the building would squash the pranksters...literally

Anonymous said...

Bernie, thanks for the additional information on Mr. Eckhart - he deserves our thanks.

The Banker

A.J.C. said...

I played sports when I was younger; there was never anything like this happening.

As far as using campaign funds for the program, I would prefer that, but at the same time I would understand if some people would be a bit angered.