HARRISBURG, Pa. - Denny Bonavita of Brookville, whose column appears regularly in The Post-Journal, captured both the first-place and second-place awards for column writing in newspapers below 15,000 circulation, awarded by the Pennsylvania chapter of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association.
Bonavita's first-place entry was a somewhat whimsical "With summers come sammiches" and his second-place winner was "Paterno: What does the scale say?" an attempt to contrast the late Penn State coach's apparent culpability in the sexual abuse scandal that sent former PSU assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to prison with Paterno's decades of hands-on, low-key, effective charitable work, including Paterno's genuinely helpful Special Olympics work that affected one of Bonavita's sons. Bonavita has been a frequent winner of statewide awards for column writing and editorial writing during his 50-year career in newspapers, most of it spent in Pennsylvania. His column has appeared in The Post-Journal for nearly 20 years.
Bonavita stepped down earlier this year as editor and publisher of the Courier-Express/Tri-County Sunday in DuBois and two nearby weekly newspapers, after 23 years there, which was preceded by 21 years at the Times-Observer in Warren, Pa., capped by his service as managing editor. He continues to write his columns on a freelance basis. Bonavita lives near Brookville, Pa., with his wife, two dogs, a half-dozen barn cats, 30 chickens and 500 blueberry bushes. Three of his grown children reside in Warren.