Diamonds to Mr. Peanut. The downtown Wilkes-Barre staple has made his way to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Original sketches of the character, now housed at the Smithsonian, were a donation by Robert Slade, nephew of Antonio Gentile, Mr. Peanut’s creator. The iconic peanut, with his top hat and monocle, of course went on to become the face of Planters Peanuts.
Coal to kicking the can down the road. The West Side Career and Technology Center’s Joint Operating Committee adopted a budget that relies heavily on an already dwindling reserve fund to gap its budget. Originally, the committee had eyed a budget that would cut art, music, and family and consumer science programs. That’s an awful measure to take, but the center’s finances simply don’t support those programs. Caving to pressure, the committee decided to take $228,500 out of its reserve fund, which will now sit at $230,500. As center President Michael Kreidler says, the center is still in trouble: “This year’s budget could potentially just put off the inevitable, especially with the use of limited reserve funds.”
Diamonds to Marquee Cinemas. The theater tenant of The Mall at Steamtown seems to be doing everything it can to keep a movie presence in downtown Scranton. Marquee even went outside its own business model by considering a new life as an arthouse theater or second-run theater. Ultimately, because the film projectors are incompatible with new digital films, neither would provide a sustainable, long-term solution for the site. A Marquee spokesman said the company was willing to keep the theater open until a new operator took over, should one express an interest in the property, even if it’s a competitor. That’s a classy exit.
Coal to an impossible job market for college graduates. An article in Sunday’s edition of The Times Leader showed that even seasoned professionals with lots of experience struggle to find jobs. College graduates are facing one of the worst job markets in recent history, with our report showing the few positions where jobs are plentiful around here are cashier or retail sales posts. We don’t envy the 2,400 or so students who graduated from colleges in Luzerne County this spring.
Diamonds to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. Its “Get Fresh Market” showcased how fresh, local produce can be a lunchtime draw if more were available. At noontime Wednesday, the market was flooded with employees who perused asparagus, cucumbers, strawberries and peppers grown across the Northeast, including Pennsylvania. The event also featured a demonstration by chef Steven Mercer, who used the ingredients to create a grilled angel food cake.
Coal to those opposed to new emissions standards on energy plants. While President Barack Obama and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are getting backlash from high-profile critics, including Gov. Tom Corbett, Northeastern Pennsylvania has proven that stricter standards are hardly hard to meet. In fact, NEPA is unlikely to be affected at all by the new standards, which seek to reduce carbon emissions to 70 percent of 2005 levels, because our plants already have taken strides in producing energy in a cleaner way.