Diamonds to the reopening of Veterans Memorial Bridge. This week was the first time in nearly three years that all four lanes were open to traffic. The well-traveled bridge connects Pierce Street in Kingston with North Street in Wilkes-Barre. Lane closures had become commonplace since a major construction project kicked off in August 2011. As Pierce Street Deli employee Lisa McGahee told The Times Leader, “We’re so glad the bridge is finally open!”
Coal to smokers who dangle their cigarettes outside their car windows. While we acknowledge your right to slowly poison yourself, we’d prefer not having to smell it. When you leave your lit cigarette dangling out your car window, the odor often wafts into cars behind you. Please show some consideration for other drivers sharing the road.
Diamonds to Unity of NEPA Church. The Wilkes-Barre congregation plans to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania with a mass wedding ceremony next month for gay couples who sign up to participate and who have a valid Pennsylvania marriage license. A renewal of vows also will be held for previously married couples. Called “God = Love,” the event set for Aug. 9 serves to remind participants that the Unity church has long been welcoming of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community, according to organizers. To make a reservation, call 570-824-7722.
Coal to any striking Wilkes-Barre General Hospital nurses who might have snubbed those who worked in their place. While unionized nurses have the right to picket, management has the right to ensure patients get the care they need. If non-union nurses and temporary nurses are the way that happens, so be it. We hope unionized nurses didn’t follow through on labor leaders’ suggestions, as reported in the media, that they give non-union employees the silent treatment.
Diamonds to bald eagles nesting in Pennsylvania. A rarity in the Keystone State not so long ago, the bird symbolizing American strength has made a comeback in this commonwealth and far beyond. From a mere three nesting pairs in northwestern Pennsylvania in the 1980s, the bald eagle has rebounded, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s surveyors. They tallied some 250-plus nests this year, including 60 to 70 in our region. Credit for the eagles’ resurgence goes to reintroduction efforts, spurred by federal intervention, and the elimination of certain pollutants in our water. Now, if we could just figure out what’s going on with those plummeting populations of bats and honeybees.
Coal to Tuesday’s powerful storms. Coming into our area with a trio of severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings and high-wind warnings, the storm certainly packed a punch. Nearly 48 hours later, thousands of Luzerne County residents still were without power.