Last updated: March 28. 2014 11:43AM - 1397 Views

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Diamonds to an area cleanup effort that’s 23 years overdue. By next month, a Luzerne County site full of old car, truck and tractor tires will no longer be an eyesore. On Wednesday, progress was visible as two excavators sorted through the treads, keeping good ones for recoiling and tossing the bad ones. For those people who live near or drive by the Coxton Yard tire pile in Duryea, this is wonderful — if not long overdue — action. Which brings us to …

Coal to public officials. That it took more than two decades to sort through the regulatory hurdles of cleaning the Coxton Yard tire pile is a travesty. In addition to the black rubber rings being a blot on the landscape, multiple studies confirm there are many health and environmental dangers of stockpiling tires.

Diamonds to several Back Mountain organizations working together to restore a piece of history. One day prior to the scheduled razing next week of the Dallas Township School, the Kunkle Fire Co., Back Mountain Fire & EMS, Lane Crane Service and Dallas Township officials will work to facilitate removal of the building’s 1920s-era cupola. The Dallas School District plans to restore the unit and erect a monument on the district campus as a lasting memorial. Collaborative efforts among these organizations will offer a lasting tribute to the history of a Back Mountain school that served generations and to the last remaining historic building in Dallas Township.

Coal to the person, or people, responsible for an email threat that closed Luzerne County Community College for two days this week. The closure suspended all classes and programs not only at LCCC’s main campus in Nanticoke, but also at off-campus sites including those in Hazleton and downtown Wilkes-Barre. In all, the disruption was felt by about 3,000 students and employees. An evacuation that began around 9:30 a.m. Thursday spawned a traffic jam near the main campus. This email stunt — or cry for help? — needlessly created public safety risks, raised tensions and wasted police resources.

Diamonds to recipients of Best of The Times Leader awards. It’s the first time we’ve doled out readers choice awards to local businesses — our sister papers in Clarks Summit, Pittston and Dallas have — and what a wonderful turnout we had on Tuesday! So many people showed up at the banquet that additional tables had to be added at the last minute. A hearty congratulations to businesses that received much-deserved acknowledgement from our readers for all that they do. And a sincere thanks to so many of our readers who cast their votes.

Coal to the U.S. Senate for playing politics. U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, sponsored a bill that would exempt emergency services volunteers from the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act. Whether you agree with that or not, what the Senate did was typical of the kind of politics we detest: It stripped all language of the original bill and replaced it with a bill that would again extend unemployment. Each bill should’ve received its own vote on its own merits.

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