76 Trombones…

Shawn Magrath

• As a former high school band geek, I feel a sense of obligation to take a moment to promote the 64th annual Sherburne Pageant of Bands, which officially got underway with the jazz band competition Thursday evening. The image of a procession leader and lyrics of “76 Trombones” have been looping through my head all day in anticipation of the big parade on Saturday, which will see a total 28 competitors this year (not quite as many than had attended several years ago, but still nothing to sneeze at). Best of luck to all schools involved.

• On a separate but still school-related topic, it seems more and more likely that student loan rates will double beginning July 1. The current proposal, detested by the Obama administration, is that federal student loans that now come with a 3.4 percent interest rate will raise to 6.8 percent just as most college students start submitting financial aid applications for the 2013-2014 school year. While I agree that students who borrow money should pay the interest fee (after all, higher education, like anything else, is an investment), substantially high loan rates will only prove more burdensome college grads who already struggle to pay back student loans (some believe the failure to pay back student loans will even be the cause of the next recession, so I hear).

• News that seven people, including four children, died as the result of a horrific accident in the Town of Truxton was devastating to say the least. Moments like that make me reflect the brevity of life, as it should, and reevaluate where I see myself in ten years. Certainly my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been impacted – friends, family and community, and I only hope that pain for those people will subside with time.