Our Opinion: Kudos to water company crews that ‘dug deep’ during emergency

August 21st, 2015 7:38 pm

Pennsylvania American Water employees work to restore service after Tuesday’s pipe problems at Mercer and Walnut streets in Kingston.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_MainBreak.jpgPennsylvania American Water employees work to restore service after Tuesday’s pipe problems at Mercer and Walnut streets in Kingston.

Diamonds to workers with the Pennsylvania American Water Co. A ruptured pipe in Kingston, and resulting widespread shutdown in water service for residents of certain West Side communities, no doubt swamped the company’s local crews with added responsibilities and pressure. It remains to be seen if the breakdown could have been prevented or the company’s response better handled. Meanwhile, hats off to busy rank-and-file employees, including those who fielded phone calls and, especially, those literally in the trenches who got their feet wet.

Coal to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport’s bi-county board. It approved a nearly $240,000 contract for security services without seeking bids or exercising its ability to negotiate, according to dissenting board member Rick Morelli. The deal approved Thursday ultimately might prove to be a good one. But the airport administration’s process for handling these business matters should be questioned: Are board members given adequate time to review the material? Is every effort made to conserve costs? On the flip side, participants on the board sometimes just need to dig in their heels and tell the administration “not so fast.”

Diamonds to tax-claim operator Northeast Revenue Service Inc. It extended the deadline for Luzerne County residential property owners seeking “hardship” exemptions from a Sept. 24 back-tax auction. Individuals will have until Sept. 1 to submit an application. The program is intended for low-income seniors, ages 65 and older, and for property owners under 65 who have been hit by a financial emergency due to unemployment, serious injury or illness. Applications are available at the tax claim office in the Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes-Barre, and online at www.luzernecountytaxclaim.com. Click on “Luzerne County Severe Hardship Policies & Applications.”

Coal to win-at-all-costs coaches. At this month’s Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon, one team supposedly lost a game on purpose in order to better position itself, based on a mathematical tiebreaker formula, to stay in championship contention. Maybe the formula needs to change. But this rule, which we hope all area high school athletic coaches follow, shouldn’t: Just let the kids play.

Diamonds to people who warmly welcome the area’s new and returning college students. As the start of the fall semester nears, this region’s campuses already are filling with athletes, resident assistants and others. First-year students at Wilkes University and King’s College, both in downtown Wilkes-Barre, will begin to get acclimated next week. Soon after, the full flurry of campus activities will resume. College students bring to the region a much-needed vitality, an economic boost and youthful optimism. We’re always glad to see them.