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Diamonds to Discoveries Kids’ Fest in Midtown Village

Diamonds to those who made Wilkes-Barre’s third annual Discoveries Kids’ Fest in Midtown Village such a success. Hosted by the Diamond City Partnership, the event included princess visits, face painting, balloon art, music, a city fire truck, swag bags, games, giveaways and more. It’s a smart, well designed draw to the Diamond City downtown that combines fun with education, including various community service groups. Best of all, it’s just a great way to do a little community building.

Coal to PennDOT and/or the vendors and appliers who appear to have botched the “tar and chip” process on State Route 437. It seems pretty clear something was not done correctly in this particular use of the cost-saving method to extend the useful life of a paved road. Tar and chip has always depended heavily on the quality of the stones and the application of the ingredients to make a decent coating. If any aspect is out of kilter, the stone doesn’t settle firmly and starts flying about, including into the vehicles driving over it. Cyclists in particular know how dangerous improper applications can create so much loose material that maintaining control on two slim wheels becomes difficult to impossible. We’re not pooh-poohing the basic process, we’ve seen it applied effectively many times. This just isn’t one of them. A coal within the coal, by the way, to drivers who exceeded the speed limit (many do on that road) and then complained about damage to their cars.

Diamonds to all the students, faculty and staff returning to school in recent and coming days, from pre-K to grad students. We know there may be some stress and adjustments for them, but there’s also always a lot to look forward to, as students coming back at both Fairview Elementary in the Crestwood School District and those moving in at Wilkes an Misericordia Universities said when asked by our reporters. We remain blessed with a rich array of educational opportunities in our region, and the start of fall classes always has the promise of a brighter future for those learning, and for the rest of us.

Coal yet again, to the senseless rush to pick up a gun and start firing before knowing what’s really going on. in the latest incident, police say a woman admitted to State Police responding to a call that she had confronted a man with a gun that was hidden in the front passenger seat of her car, suspecting the man was using drugs in the driveway of a Ross Township home. An 11-year-old boy entered the picture, and the woman fired several shots at the man’s truck, and into the woods as the boy ran inside the house. The man later claimed he and the boy had been out riding dirt bikes and just returned from washing the truck. We appreciate the instinct to protect self and home, but where was the threat so great shots had to be fired with a child around?

Diamonds to the many police officers and road safety advocates who took some time to gather outside State Police Troop P headquarters and remind the public of the need for extra caution and common sense driving over this coming holiday season, and at the start of a new school year. A timely message, and a warning that patrols will be stepped up.

Coal to the drivers who will ignore the warnings and alerts this weekend and still decide they can risk lives — theirs and others — by driving drunk. The number should be zero accidents, injuries and deaths due to alcohol, drugs or distracted driving. It’s an easy goal to meet. But we won’t.

— Times Leader