Diamonds to Forty Fort and the people behind the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region of the Antique Automobile Club for staging the 57th annual car show. Getting a chance to see the wide range of car designs over the decades can be fun in itself, but it feels more important as we zoom into a probable future of auto-pilot automobiles. History is important, and car history matters in a country where the personal automobile completely reshaped the social landscape by providing mobility in a vast land. Seeing two-seater luxury cars big enough to hid a modern subcompact inside can be impressive. Knowing the old Ford “Tin Lizzies” rewrote the market rule book, and serves as a textbook example of how past can be prologue: Imagine a car built a century ago “disrupting” the market the way the Internet is doing today.
Coal toWilkes-Barre City Department of Public Works for the bizarre mistake that obliterated Sharon Butczynski’s flower garden. It is a positive that DPW immediately acknowledged the mistake of going after the plants and shrubbery in her yard when they were supposed to target a neighboring “nuisance property” owned by Butczynski’s mother, but the goof shows a deeper problem. This time a DPW crew of temporary workers marred a garden that, however much work it may take, can be remade. What happens if police raid the wrong house, or health inspectors go barging through the wrong door? Whatever problem led to the address error, it needs to be fixed, both on this block and citywide.
Diamonds to state Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Tourism office for launching the “Fred Rogers Trail,” Latrobe to Pittsburgh with stops that offer insight of and homage to the inimitable children’s show icon. Sure it’s easy to mock the quaint, if not yet antiquated, approach Rogers took, and yes it’s easy to imagine better ways to spend tax dollars that may have been used on this. But the trained minister brought civility and manners to children’s television with a fundamental belief that, as he said, “one of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self.” And while there are no Wyoming Valley stops on the official itinerary, there is one that could be added informally: Sabatini’s Pizza in Exeter, where one of the pictures on the wall shows Joe Sabatini — son of founder John — tossing pizza dough on the show. It was 1974, and the family had been invited onto the show after Gino Sabatini, then 5, had written a letter to Rogers. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood? Indeed.
Coal to those who keep feeding the drug trade. Four new arrests were made in a drug sweep in Hanover Township, one of endless reminders that our region has a problem. That problem is not exclusively the existence of drug dealers. It is also those who buy, making the dangerous trade profitable. Former first lady Nancy Reagan was understandably ridiculed for her “just say no” anti-drug campaign, but there is an important grain of truth in it. One way to curb this epidemic is for more people to just not start using.
Amanda Hrycyna|For Times Leader