Saturday, July 26, 2014

Our Opinion: Diamonds & Coal

April 25. 2014 12:52PM
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Diamonds to the Wyoming Area School District. Its high school earned a silver medal on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best High Schools — the only school to do so in Luzerne County. It’s certainly not the first time Wyoming Area made the list. In fact, it rose from 61st place last year to 56th place this year among all Pennsylvania schools. Diamonds, too, to Pittston Area and Wyoming Valley West high schools, which each were awarded bronze medals on that list.

Coal to spring frosts instead of spring thaws. Our endless winter — which we seem to bemoan every week — isn’t giving up without a fight. Frost advisories? Temperatures in the low-30s? What is this, January all over again?

Diamonds to an unfazed employee at Pete’s Place on Blackman Street in Wilkes-Barre. Police say a man wearing pink gloves walked into the pizzeria and handed an employee a note demanding money. The employee crumpled up the note and threw it at the suspect, ordering him to leave the business, which the man did. While we probably shouldn’t encourage people to make light of hold-up attempts, we can’t help but be amused by this employee’s response.

Coal to a week of gut-wrenching reminders. The passing of former state Sen. Raphael J. Musto, coupled with the sentencing of alleged co-conspirator Robert Mericle came within a day of each other. The big headlines are a stark reminder of some of our region’s darkest recent times. Musto was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2010 on charges of accepting at least $35,000 from a construction contractor who developed properties in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

Diamonds to Leadership Wilkes-Barre. One of this year’s projects is something called “Bright Lights, Fit City.” As part of that project, white lights were strung around trees in Public Square. It’s an effort to keep the Square decoratively lit year-round, not just during the holiday season. Thursday marked the official lighting debut.

Coal to construction along state Route 309. Traffic is restricted to one lane in the Mountain Top area, and several intersections are now blocked, while a nearly $7 million rock-remediation project is completed. Already, that’s led to lengthy — albeit unavoidable — lanes. The project was expanded slightly and unexpectedly to include the repaving of more than a mile of the highway. The reason? When PennDOT went to patch the road, it found more potholes than it had expected. Big surprise there.​

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