It was a pleasure to be able to attend the Christmas Concert of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra last Saturday evening, and it was good to see many children and youths in attendance along with the mostly grey-haired audience.
Not so pleasant was the presence behind me of a young girl who kicked the back of my seat the entire performance.
I can understand an occasional bump from the rear as a child tries to find a more comfortable position, or an audible statement such as, Mommy, is it over yet?But is unconscionable for a parent not to realize that frequent seat-kicking can be very disturbing to another viewer.
Following intermission several candy wrappers crackled over the music, a problem occasionally noticed at earlier concerts even from adult viewers.
But then the remains of a drink containing ice rattled behind me, followed by loud slurping noises. Certainly, snacks and drinks should be consumed during intermission rather than creating a concert disturbance.
Today's children will need to attend concerts to become be tomorrow's concertgoers. However, today's parents need strategies to enforce acceptable behavior which protects the enjoyment of other attendees.
A tax, greater than the paltry Social Security increase this year, will be devastating for seniors in Wilkes-Barre. For most seniors it will be unaffordable because they are on a fixed income. Unfortunately, it appears the politicians cannot negotiate with the unions, or choose not to. A 31 percent increase in taxes is a death sentence for some. All employees know how well they are doing compared to everybody else. I have been on unemployment for a bit over a year now. I would be pleased to switch positions with any of them.
Seniors in Wilkes-Barre will get a 1.7 percent increase next year in Social Security which in some cases will be just enough to handle their Medicare increase and a corresponding increase in their Medicare supplemental. Most will start from way behind for next year before Wilkes-Barre's new demands are met.
Most of us do not believe that the Mayor and the Council really think that a 31% increase in taxes is a good deal for their citizenry. Surely, they know that as the leaders in this community, they can do better for the people who elected them?
City workers are certainly not avaricious. The fact is that they make a heck of a lot more money than most others in the city, especially the retired and the seniors.
Perhaps my thinking is off the mark, but I would bet that if the city, at this one time in its fiscal dilemma were to ask all city workers to take a one year 5 or 10 or 20 percent decrease in salary for the good of Wilkes-Barre, I would bet the kind unions and the kind people in the unions would agree, this one time at least.
I don't think any of the firefighters or police or administrators would ask the city to fire their co-workers rather than all take whatever is needed for the city to balance its books with no lay-offs. Might it be a 5 percent cut or 10percent or 20 percent or whatever if it is needed this year and only this year?
Citizens of Wilkes-Barre, the employers of all the workers, including the Mayor, would all appreciate that the workers gave one for the Gipper. This would be a concession to help their own grandparents, and whoever else is scraping to make ends meet from a fixed income.
These are tough times. Would it not be nice for City workers to do something nice for all people living in Wilkes-Barre? If so, go ahead and be brave enough to tell your own unions what you think. Let's keep Wilkes-Barre affordable for all people living here.
Maybe we should ban ‘assault speech' as well as assault rifles.
The First Amendment was written at a time when the Founding Fathers didn't know about such things as the internet, radio or TV. Now, dangerous words spew at a machine gun pace all over the world.
Better to limit free speech to only the police and military. They are always honest and know what's best for us because the main populace can't be trusted with such freedom. I'm not saying ban speech altogether -- but before you can be allowed to speak, you should have to enroll in a government-approved training program and get a speech license, fingerprinted and registered.
There should be a hefty registration fee to pay for the extra government needed to enforce the speech regulation. Our noble government masters will then protect us from too much bad information. Citizens can be trusted to not utter any non-licensed words.
Members of the ‘Free Speech Culture' who resist will be put in prison for 10 years and fined $10,000.
Since it's good enough for the 2nd Amendment, then it should be good enough for the First Amendment. As a matter of fact, maybe we could apply it to the entire troublesome Bill of Rights.
We have to keep up with the times. Let's be reasonable. We have to protect our children's minds, too.
Recently many of us felt we lost a piece of ourselves when we heard of the passing of Yogi Michael. The great outpouring of love, friendship and support has been a crucial crutch on which our family has been fortunate enough to lean.
No words will ever fill the void left in our hearts by his leaving us so soon, but God has a plan and decided he needed him more. Most of the disbelief was followed by, just saw him.
The stories are endless. Without fail, those who knew Yogi could count on him to be there time and time again. His selfless presence will be sadly missed.
So many of his beloved family and friends have asked what they can do for us during this difficult time. Here are a few suggestions: teach a child to swim or a teenager to drive; call a long lost friend or invite a relative over especially on holidays; go on a family vacation; say a prayer for someone who's sick; support local business or be somebody's Santa; ring the bell for The Salvation Army or drop a donation in the red kettle as you pass; volunteer your time at a youth sporting event or support high school athletics; Go to Jail or walk for a cause; go to church on Sunday, even when you're out of town; or wiggle your ears to make someone's day.
When you do one of these things, think of Yogi. Most importantly smile, laugh, love, enjoy family, think of others before yourself. These tiny acts might just make our world a better place to live. In that way, he will truly live forever.
Thank you for celebrating Yogi's life with us.
On January 22, 2013, it will be 40 years since abortion became legal in America. Just because it is the law of the land, does not make it right. For all babies aborted in the past four decades, let me say eternal memory and blessed repose.
Patricia Y. Pisaneschi Mountain Top Brian Kelly Wilkes-Barre Brian Ferrell Dallas The Michael Family Wilkes-Barre Alex Partika Wilkes-Barre