OUR OPINION Diamonds & Coal

June 9th, 2015 8:11 pm

First Posted: 6/19/2014

Diamonds to Ed Smith. The Wilkes-Barre firefighter spent more than 100 hours renovating a fire-safety house that the department says is crucial to educating children. Fire Chief Jay Delaney says many of the hours Smith poured into the project were spent off-duty. The mobile structure, used since 1997 to teach third-graders about fire safety, features a living room and kitchen.

Coal to the closure of United Rehabilitation Services. After 18 years, URS shut its doors this week, leaving its 250 clients with few alternatives until the state Department of Public Welfare takes some of that workload on come August. URS said it did everything it could to keep the facility open. It didn’t fill three management positions and furloughed 13 staff members. But budget cuts ultimately left the organization with no option but to close.

Diamonds to the hubbub of Hollywood. Parts of Wilkes-Barre were transformed into a movie set this week for the upcoming film “Trust Me.” The film, written and directed by Hazle Township native and current Mountain Top resident Chris Fetchko, will feature scenes taken on West Market Street and South Franklin Street. The film is expected to be completed this year.

Coal to an apparent lack of accountability. On Wednesday, Dallas resident Edward Rome asked the borough council why nobody had gotten back to him regarding a drainage issue he reported one month earlier. Rome said he showed the council photos depicting storm-water runoff coming from High Point Acres into a catch basin that diverts water onto his Overbrook Road property. When cornered, solicitor Jeffrey Malak said borough Manager Tracy Carr asked him to put it at the top of his to-do list. Solid advice; why wasn’t that followed? Residents shouldn’t have to pester their leaders to get answers.

Diamonds to book lovers everywhere. Many flocked since last weekend to the Osterhout Free Library’s annual book sale under the tent on South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre. Even children, many of whom presumably learned to read on their iPads, reveled in the joys of discovering new books to read. The sale wraps up Saturday, with special “bag day” pricing. Everything must go by 2 p.m., according to sale organizers. Proceeds benefit the public library.

Diamonds to Bryn Harvey. The Miss Wilkes-Barre/Scranton winner has dedicated the past four years of her life to staying healthy in light of a breast-cancer scare. Harvey has had six family members affected by cancer, and her life now centers around how exercise and proper eating habits can ward off cancer and lead to a more fulfilling life. Harvey, who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol, is a role model to young people.​