Our Opinion: These students have voice in presidential politics

October 14th, 2016 6:48 pm

Diamonds to politically conscious young people. Cole McCafferty, 11, who visits this area to see his grandmother in Nanticoke, has taken a liking to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. McCafferty made multiple videos in support of the GOP hopeful, a proponent of “clean coal,” including one in the city near a coal miner statue. Separately, a Dallas High School senior disgusted by Trump’s comments denigrating women has made her feelings widely known. Anna Lehane, 18, dared to stand outside the candidate’s rally this week in Wilkes-Barre Township wearing a T-shirt with the message “Grab my p___, I dare you.” Elle magazine and other outlets have picked up on Lehane’s small, silent but effective protest.

Coal to a reluctant Luzerne County Council majority. Rather than sell the county’s former juvenile detention center to an eager buyer, they let the motion wither at this week’s council meeting. Jim Casey, operator of an addiction-recovery program in Wilkes-Barre, had offered to pay $20,000 for the rundown three-story building. Empty since 2002, the structure better resembles a haunted house than anything on the cover of Homes magazine. It would cost an estimated $400,000 for its demolition and removal. Yet county leaders, who in recent years relinquished ownership of prime parcels near the former Valley Crest Nursing Home and at Moon Lake Park, continue to cling to this albatross.

Diamonds to the volunteer actors, ushers and others who provide the frightening drama each year for Gravestone Manor, a fundraising project that benefits the United Way of Wyoming Valley. Weekend performances will continue at the Plains Township haunted house through Oct. 30. For hours and ticket information, visit gravestonemanor.com. Or call 570-821-6500.

Coal to people who burn fallen leaves. Setting fire to those backyard leaf piles is illegal in many communities. It also contributes to air pollution and potentially can trigger breathing problems. If clearing your yard this weekend, opt for bagging leaves for later removal, composting them or – considered the best option for your lawn’s health – shredding them with the mower and letting them lie.

Diamonds to the positive-thinking Holly Pilcavage. At 26, the Dallas resident already has become a certified life coach and founded an online forum called Project Wednesday, intended as a resource to help people make positive connections. She plans to attend Forbes magazine’s “Under 30 Summit” next week in Boston, billed as “the world’s greatest gathering of young entrepreneurs and game changers.” Who knows; one day she might even get the heady distinction of being included in the magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list. Regardless, let’s hope this employee of Coal Creative, the marketing firm in downtown Wilkes-Barre, continues to shine her light in the Wyoming Valley for a long, long time.

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