Last updated: February 21. 2014 9:13AM - 1281 Views

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Diamonds to regulators who say they’ll scrutinize a proposed merger between Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Mega-mergers within the health industry are nothing new, but each one offers the potential to degrade patient care. We’re hopeful regulators will do their due diligence to make sure this merger really is in the best interest of local caregivers and their patients.

Coal to potholes. More specifically, coal to not having anyone to blame for the potholes. It’s always fun to point fingers. In a winter that has seen wildly fluctuating temperatures and a higher-than-normal need for salt, navigating the streets of Northeastern Pennsylvania is akin to skiing in a slalom. (Is it too late for drivers here to have a tailgate party to Sochi?)

Diamonds to warmer weather. After what seemed like an endless stream of snowstorms, sleet and slippery roads, the latter part of the week brought with it temperatures that seemed downright tropical. Melting snow is a welcome reprieve from the harsh weather to which we’d become accustomed. While we’re not out of the woods yet, a multi-day thaw was just what we needed.

Coal to those who steal our shoveled-out parking spots. Too often, we’re doing the back-breaking work of shoveling out a spot, only to have another driver use it for his or her own purposes. While we doubt there’s nothing illegal about that, it’s just plain rude. Shoveling out heavy, salt- and ice-packed snow isn’t easy. Have some consideration.

Diamonds to Eric Barron, who was hired as the next president of Penn State University. Barron has his work cut out for him to repair the university system’s damaged reputation. Those who know him praise Barron’s listen-first approach. Barron has vowed to listen to students, professors, alumni, football fans and other stakeholders as he prepares to take over the helm of an institution with nearly 100,000 students at 20 campuses — several of which are in our area.

Coal to drivers who seem flummoxed by turn signals. To those who are unaware, your car has the ability to signal to drivers whether you’re turning left or right, or if you’re changing lanes in either of those directions. That technology is called a “turn signal.” By deploying this technology, you are being a kinder driver. Alerting other drivers to your intentions to turn or change lanes makes our roads safer.

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