Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers for the Great Falls Balloon Festival, going on right now. For the first time, the balloons soaring above Lewiston-Auburn (if the weather allows) are facing uncertain skies. The festival is experiencing the fiscal pressures the recession is placing on almost everybody.

For the first time, festival-goers will be asked to make a donation. Festival organizers are calling this a last resort. We call it a sign of the times, and urge everyone who enjoys and attends this annual celebration in our cities to give what they can, to sustain our tradition.

The balloon festival is L-A’s signature summer weekend, when perhaps 100,000 or more people will wash across the festival grounds and experience everything our cities have to offer. The festival is the product of hard-working volunteers, our community leaders and dedicated nonprofit groups.

It’s not always harmonious. The discord between the festival board and Lewiston firefighters over boot drives is one example. In perspective, however, this is a small issue — a disagreement over fundraising, and should not have any long-lasting impact on the festival itself.

In fact, the needs of the festival should coalesce all those involved in its production to put aside any differences and work toward the greater good: ensuring this event remains an annual gathering that places Lewiston-Auburn on the map as a prime summertime destination.

• Cheers to Takota Pelletier, her friends, her lemonade stand, and everyone who donated to their heart-wrenching, but loving cause. Pelletier and company were raising money for the funeral of their friend, Taylor McQueeney, who tragically died in a downtown fire earlier this week.

Their selfless spirit and determination are an example to follow. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us that it doesn’t take much to lend a hand when life gives you lemons.

All you need is to make lemonade.

• Cheers to the cities of Auburn and Lewiston for dusting off plans to share software in order to streamline services on both sides of the river. We’re gratified to see this effort still moving forward, despite the well-known difficulties of shared services in the past.

Auburn Mayor John Jenkins said this software initiative is proof the cities can work together. If this software is successfully shared, we’ll agree. And then, we’d pose this question: What’s next? 

• Jeers to Scottish authorities for releasing Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted of the heinous bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Some 270 people on the air and ground were murdered. Releasing Megrahi to his native country, on compassionate grounds because of prostate cancer, is an affront to the families in the United States and Scotland who are still grieving for their loved ones. Megrahi showed no compassion; he deserved none. 

• And finally, cheers to Marshwood Man. The world needs more superheroes, just like him.

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