Diamonds to contest entrants at the Luzerne County Fair. They sweat over salsa recipes, put their souls into needlecraft projects and devote months, years even, to nurturing young rabbits, swine, sheep, horses or goats. Some aim to bake the most delicate angel food cake, others strive to put bulk on a potential champion steer. The five-day fair near Dallas, which concludes Sunday, might entice onlookers like us with carnival rides, decadent foods (note to self: go easy on the cotton candy this time) and concerts. But it’s the talented exhibitors who, for a shot at a blue ribbon and bragging rights, give the fair its true flavor.
Coal to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, he issued a statement indicating three staffers in his office, all of whom allegedly participated in Harrisburg’s “Porngate” email scandal, will not be dismissed or disciplined beyond a requirement to attend sensitivity training. A Philadelphia Daily News editorial rightly pointed out that many of the much-exchanged messages were not merely “racy” but rather included “hard-core obscene images.” Some were racist. Williams’ decision to treat the workers with kid gloves is a smack in the face to state residents, especially women.
Diamonds to organizers of the Nicholson Bridge centennial celebration. This weekend, according to a Times Leader article, residents of the Wyoming County borough of Nicholson are bracing for an influx of up to 20,000 visitors – all to gawk at and appreciate a 100-year-old engineering marvel. The railroad span, completed in 1915, was once considered the largest concrete structure in the world. A project of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, it allowed trains to shoot over the Tunkhannock Creek and surrounding valley via a 2,375-foot-long “bridge,” or viaduct. The Nicholson Heritage Association and the Nicholson Women’s Club teamed for this year’s observance, which has generated pre-event publicity in Harrisburg and elsewhere around the state and is expected to include hot air balloon rides.
Coal to anyone callous to the plight of the area’s Dress for Success program. Its shop, which supplies clothing, accessories and career development advice to disadvantaged women seeking jobs, got swamped this week after a water heater burst in a neighboring part of the Wilkes-Barre building. It’s too soon to replenish inventory. But if you can help by providing a temporary retail space or a moving truck, please do. Phone: 570-270-4949.
Diamonds to area poets whose rhyme and prose, solicited as part of an ongoing “Poetry in Transit” program, was selected tops. Their words will appear over the next year on Luzerne County Transportation Authority buses, allowing patrons to read, pause and ponder before disembarking at stops.