Diamonds to Street Art Society murals

Diamonds to the Street Art Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the colorful, at times even compelling, murals popping up on blank walls throughout the region. We may not be entirely convinced it is the best spending of government money — most have been funded with state gambling revenue — but it’s hard to argue with the appeal of the art once the painting is done. Putting top shelf murals on blank walls is a strong deterrent against graffiti, and can substantially increase the eye appeal — and in turn the overall lure — of a neighborhood. Many of these works do just that. “Our vision is to develop a forward-thinking attitude about the power of art, to connect people with their environment and brighten their day,” said Amy Bezek, vice-president of the nonprofits board. Keep up the effort.

Coal to the latest election gaffe in Luzerne County, with the announcement of mail ballot errors impacting 1,557 Wilkes-Barre voters. It’s important to stress this seems to have been a glitch in exporting and uploading data, and the election bureau was quick and efficient in fixing it while being upfront every step of the way. But with one faction of our political system incessantly sewing doubt in the election process, any problem gets blown out of proportion. Coal within this coal to those who may be using this glitch to stoke concerns, rather than pointing to how the system, once again, worked.

Diamonds to all involved in the 2023 Manufacturing Best Practices Summit and Expo, which drew 105 vendors and more than 600 guests to Mohegan Pennsylvania. The nation is experiencing a bit of a manufacturing boom, and events like this can help assure our region is part of it. “We are changing the conversation to highlight that manufacturers are innovative, high-tech and socially responsible firms that offer good-paying, reliable and rewarding employment to more than 45,000 people in Northeastern Pennsylvania and over 580,000 Pennsylvanians statewide,” NEPIRC President/CEO Eric Joseph Esoda said in opening remarks. Here’s wishing them growing success.

Coal to the former police and university campus officer who allegedly brandished a firearm, badge and identification card while looking for his lost dog at an animal refuge Sunday. According to police, the badge was from a local municipal force and the card from a local university security force, but the man was no longer employed by either. None of those actions was right, though raising the specter of a gun over an animal rescue debate is exceptionally egregious. We can’t help but wonder if the ID card and badge should have been confiscated by the respective employers.

Diamonds (and good luck) to Dallas Resident Steve Davidowitz, poised to run his 16th TCS New York City Marathon Nov. 5. It is a substantial personal achievement, but Davidowitz helped turn the event into something much bigger than himself years ago when he suggested Allied Services Field a team. That team has now raised more than $5 million for the local agency. To paraphrase a famous 1994 film, “Run, Steve, Run!”

Coal to the whole West Pittston Halloween Town kerfuffle, which kept feeling as though it could have been avoided with a little more communication. Borough Council raised legitimate concerns about insurance if the street were closed, and the threat of cancellation or curtailment loomed. Kudos to the businessman who reportedly stepped up and offered to fix the concern (diamond within this coal for that). Events like these are what make a community special. It’s good to see that things can be worked out in the end. Here’s hoping that in the future, they’ll be worked out from the start.

— Times Leader

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