Last updated: February 19. 2013 6:13PM - 302 Views

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AS NATIONAL retailers schedule black Friday sales earlier and earlier in November, threatening to black out a full week and entirely eclipse the Thanksgiving holiday, we're duty-bound to say something. But what words properly capture the sentiment?

Write your thoughts on the matter and mail or email them to us.

While you're at it, here are four more news developments in Northeastern Pennsylvania that beg for commentary but leave us flummoxed as to how to best address them; tell us your take on one or more of these head-scratchers.

The Luzerne County Bureau of Elections needs a new director. Dissatisfied with its first crop of applicants for the post, the elections board solicited a fresh batch, after re-writing the education requirements. Interestingly, the revision allows the bureau's acting director, Marisa Crispell-Barber, to qualify. Hmm.

Adding to this odd scenario, one of the other people vying for the job is the man who lost it months ago, Leonard Piazza, who was terminated in April.

Convicted ex-judge Mark Ciavarella, one of four central figures in Luzerne County's juvenile justice scandal of 2009, wants his conviction on corruption charges overturned or, at least, a new sentencing hearing. His appeal was heard last week by three appellate court judges, including Judge Marjorie O. Rendell.

She is the wife of former Gov. Ed Rendell, onetime recipient of campaign contributions from area businessman Rob Mericle, another of the principal characters caught up in the scandal. Small commonwealth, eh?

As a gesture of goodwill, volunteers this week packed brown paper bags with cranberries, mashed potatoes and all the other ingredients of a Thanksgiving meal, bound for the tables of the area's disadvantaged residents. All well and good. But what are those people eating the other 364 days a year?

One of Pennsylvania's resident rodents, the porcupine, recently became a key component of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre minor league baseball team's new logo. Go figure. Can the prickly fellow be merchandised? Is this pushing the limits of plush toys?

In any case, here's a rare chance to opine on porcupines – something that probably should be attempted only by those people possessing sharp wit.

We hope to hear from you.

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Mailing address: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1

Email: mailbag@timesleader.com

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