Diamonds to organizers of the annual Out of the Darkness event, and to those who walked the walk this year — particularly walkers who lost a loved one to suicide and thus brought a personal trauma to this public event. Sponsored by the six-county Greater Northeast Chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, this is an emotionally powerful event that brings an often-shunned topic to the forefront. But there is no point in trying to convey the issue when those who experienced it are as eloquent and on spot as Ashley Long, who lost a brother to suicide in 2017. “Last year I was in shock at how many people that actually committed suicide. You just never know what people are going through.” Learn the signs of suicide, and pay attention to those around you.
Coal to those on social media who are making a hero out of fugitive Shawn Christy (finally caught Friday). We saw this with convicted cop killer Eric Frein. People seem to latch onto the myth of a loner outsmarting the long arm of the law, but there was nothing to celebrate than and there is nothing to celebrate now. Both committed crimes during their flights and cost taxpayers serious money for the manhunts. Christy apparently burglarized stole things from people. If you think that is somehow heroic, consider how you would feel if he took your truck or broke into your home.
Diamonds to the Dallas teacher union for (finally) approving a new contract, and to the School Board for scheduling a vote on the contract this Sunday. The deal isn’t done, but it is extraordinarily rare for a proposal to be brought up for a vote by both sides without a high probability it will be accepted. The two sides have been talking for four years in an effort to replace a contract that expired August 2015. It got so bad Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury ordered daily talks, and even that hit a big bump before they both settled in and got the job done. Here’s hoping that, once the details come out, it will be clear that all sides compromised and taxpayers won.
Coal to both sides in what seems like an utterly avoidable dispute regarding parking at the currently-vacant property that once housed the Hotel Sterling. The question is loopy but boils down to this: if the owner of the property wants to use it for parking, there is a fee to be paid to the city. There should be no need for the threatened litigation over this. It is particularly galling when the convoluted history of what surely is a prized piece of real estate is considered. The hotel declined, public entities intervened, millions were spent without clear results, and even when the lot was sold in anticipation of mixed use development, the initial design unleashed well-earned questioning as to how aptly it fit in with the surrounding cityscape. We do not need more drama over this, we need resolution to a problem that has defies solution for far, far too long.
– Times Leader