Diamonds to the United Way of Wyoming Valley for the “make your own sundae” event at Kistler Elementary School. It’s a small thing, giving children a scoop or two of ice cream in a throw-away bowl with a plastic fork and choice of a few toppings, but it can have a lifetime impact. The treats were rewards to students who had read all the recommended books through the summer, and that can prevent the very real “summer slide” in learning too common in youngsters, particularly those from low-income families. The slide, in turn, can set a student back when school resumes, further frustrating them into giving up. If a little ice cream keeps them at their best in school advancing academically, more power to all involved.
Coal to those who break the trust given them to care for our vulnerable elderly residents. The most recent example is Kelly Levandowski, a nurse supervisor at Guardian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center who pleaded guilty this week to involuntary manslaughter. She was charged in the 2013 death of Melvin Johnson, 72, who pulled a tracheostomy tube from her throat and died later that day. There is little doubt that nursing care in such settings can be taxing, physically and emotionally. That’s no excuse for what happened, particularly the revelation that Levandowski asked an aide to falsely file a form saying Johnson had been checked on every 15 minutes.
Diamonds to Wilkes-Barre Connect and the group behind it, The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, for Wednesday’s “spotlight” on women entrepreneurs. There should, of course, be no need to single out a gender in promoting business growth, but the truth is women are still largely shut out of the higher-powered positions. In August, Forbes reported there are only 24 female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. While women have made big strides in the business world, there is still much room for improvement, and events like this can help spur change at the grass roots level.
Coal to those responsible for yet another bizarre development in what has become an ongoing saga of apparent missteps at the Wilkes-Barre Police Department. A new record management system is on hold because of outstanding debt to the existing vendor. City Administrator Ted Wampole placed blame on former chief Marcella Lendacky for withholding the payment, and it was heartening to learn Wampole believes the problem will be resolved amicably, but it never should have happened in the first place.
Diamonds to Chalkfest and the goal of breaking a world record with a 5-mile drawing. Consider this a reminder that, if you’re reading this early enough to get to Wilkes-Barre’s River Common before 4 p.m., you can still add your own creative touches and help in the quest to make this dream come true.
Coal to Wilkes-Barre mayor Tony George for suggesting former Fire Department Chief Jacob Lisman’s opinion on the fire watch debate is invalid simply because Lisman moved out of the city. This is too inane to require any further comment.