Many different elements exist in a vibrant community like Tamaqua.

Unfortunately, some of those elements can be undesirable.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, a person or persons traveled through the Schuylkill County town and tossed acid onto 25 parked cars.

The painted finish, plastic lens covers, turn signals, bumpers and even car roofs were damaged to the tune of thousands of dollars, resulting in hardship for owners.

This was not a harmless prank.

One woman already received a quote of $4,000 for repairs. Multiply that by 25 cars and the vandalism spree could cost $100,000 in repairs alone.

That's not taking into account lost time from work and costs for use of a rental while the vehicle is in the shop.

Local folks work hard for their money and few have extra dollars to put toward expenses like this, expenses that shouldn't exist.

On top of that, the miscreants who wreaked havoc on car owners probably don't realize the extent to which they endangered themselves with the senseless act.

What if the acid they sprayed had splashed back into their eyes? Perhaps they never gave it a thought.

As for the rest of us, it's difficult to understand the workings of a mind that would concoct such destructive action.

Fortunately, they're in the minority.

On Saturday, there were plenty of good things going on in and around town in contrast to the vandalism.

There was a downtown sidewalk sale and a volunteer-driven fire company festival, events organized by those who truly represent the spirit of the community.

Similarly, another group of volunteers, Tamaqua Crime Watch, offered a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the bad eggs.

Hopefully, the long arm of the law will grab those responsible. They need to be held accountable.

Yes, there's a misguided element.

Every municipality has its share of undesirables.

They're a reality. Their misdeeds generate headlines disproportionate to the good things going on around us.

Still, a community's spirit is measured by vitality, quality of life, and strength of moral fiber.

Like other area communities, Tamaqua has all of those qualities in abundance - enough to neutralize any acidic bad characters who lurk in darkness.

Vandals are an anomoly. They don't represent Tamaqua, or its heart, or its values.

By DONALD R. SERFASS

dserfass@tnonline.com