Our Opinion: TV station’s Halloween event for special needs children is treat for entire region


Diamonds to WNEP-TV and supporters of its annual “Trail of Treats,” an invitation-only Halloween activity for special needs children and young adults. Nearly 800 costumed participants collected goodies during this week’s indoor, trick-or-treating event at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Township. The ABC affiliate in Moosic holds a similar holiday gathering for residents in the western portions of its coverage area, in Union County. The community-minded project ensures that youths who might have trouble negotiating the sidewalks and steps in their own neighborhoods, or otherwise might be unsafe while making rounds, don’t miss out on the seasonal thrills.

Coal to people who use sports fanaticism as an excuse to destroy property. After Penn State University’s football team upset No. 2 Ohio State last week, certain numbskulls within the Nittany Lions pride decided their victory celebration would involve yanking down State College’s streetlights and stealing traffic signs. Some even set small fires. Illegal. Dangerous. Dumb. This shoddy behavior shouldn’t be accepted as a sports tradition. (That’s a message worth driving home in the cities – Cleveland and Chicago – whose baseball teams are vying for this year’s World Series championship.)

Diamonds to the Millennium Circle’s participants who this week awarded yet another grant – of $22,000 – to an area nonprofit program. Overseen by The Luzerne Foundation, the Millennium Circle Fund allows area residents who make a one-time donation of $2,000 to be involved in the yearly disbursement of financial gifts to help improve the community. (Full disclosure: The Times Leader is among the Millennium Circle’s many business members.) This year’s recipient is the Hope Center of Wyoming Valley, which intends to use the money to supply health-care services to seniors and veterans. More than $300,000 has been granted since 2001.

Coal to area residents who don’t give Halloween revelers a break (or a brake). Motorists should take it slow on the streets during trick-or-treating hours this weekend and on Monday. Likewise, adults can help to keep the holiday fun by ensuring their staged frights and yard displays are age-appropriate. Roaring chainsaw motors and pretend gore? That’s too much for some children.

Diamonds to letter writer Jane Saba, whose submission in Saturday’s print edition picked up on the “Diamonds and Coal” theme. The “coal” she bestowed on a Luzerne County Council majority – regarding its rejection this week of a sales offer for the county’s disused juvenile detention center – spared us the effort. More important, it provided an eloquent and deeply personal argument for why this area needs more drug-treatment facilities for recovering addicts. We hope Saba’s words strike a chord with country residents in general and, in particular, elected officials.