Diamonds to Dallas School District parents for making their own voices heard in the bitter battle for a teachers contract. As teachers picketed nearby in the latest strike, more than 30 parents created their own “picket line” outside the district administration office Friday morning calling for compromise from the school board and the teachers union, so their children could get back into school. The teachers strike may be legal, but it can also be hard to justify the hardships it places on some families. At the very least, the union must avoid the farce last year’s strike devolved into when they stayed on the line beyond the date calculated by the state for the strike to end.
Coal to the Wilkes-Barre Police Department and the ongoing issue of disciplined officers. This is not to lay blame, the anthracite can be given to administration and officers alike, if that is where fault lies. But having a department with six officers disciplined — four in one week — seems like a pretty clear signal something should be done. So far the explanations, from both sides, have been less than satisfactory. Mayor Tony George campaigned on a “law and order” platform, and he needs to either clearly prove this is the consequence of improvements in the department, or act to restore morale and discipline.
Diamonds to King’s College and Wilkes University for each agreeing to contribute $20,000 annually for five years to help fund events on Wilkes-Barre’s underutilized — and lately, inadequately maintained — River Common. The money is contingent on Luzerne County adding $10,000, and County Council shouldn’t hesitate to vote yes at the next meeting Oct. 10. The park was a smart, attractive and expensive effort to reconnect the city with the Susquehanna, and it deserves more attention and more use.
Coal to the sad state of Children and Youth Services programs both in Luzerne County and state wide. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale shined a light on the problems of inadequate training, heavy work loads and high case worker turnover in his State of the Child report and a subsequent visit to Wilkes-Barre. The problems are systemic and reflective of a collective unwillingness as a society to put the money needed into an overtaxed system. Diamonds within this coal to County Manger C. David Pedri for steps he has taken that seem to address the issue locally.
Diamonds to Wyoming Valley West School district for hosting a community opioid awareness event Thursday night at the Middle School in Kingston, and for that matter, diamonds to any effort area school districts make in this regard. The drug scourge is real, and any effort has value. If anything, we should be doing much more, and schools are a smart place to focus awareness and prevention efforts.
Coal to the politicians in Harrisburg who have completed another week without finalizing the state budget. Today marks three full months of this nonsense, embarrassment and costly incompetence. Here’s an idea: DO YOUR JOBS.