Diamonds to Dallas resident Demetra Szatkowski. At 23, she’s on a self-imposed humanitarian mission to Greece, where she has been assisting refugees fleeing Syria and other Mideast nations. She expects to return to the United States in mid-December. Her story, as told to the Times Leader, serves to remind that our obligations to one another don’t end at borders. “As a Greek woman said to me the other day after I said I didn’t speak much Greek: ‘It’s OK. Don’t have to speak same language. Speak language of the heart.’”
Coal to drug pusher Desmond Mercer, whose poor life choices have led to his becoming a wart on society. He recently pleaded guilty to participating in a heroin trafficking ring that, until broken up in 2014, distributed the potentially deadly stuff in Luzerne County, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors say Mercer conspired with others in this county, New Jersey and Alabama. Not yet 30, Mercer previously served prison time for peddling. Let’s hope, this time, he is able to drastically change for the better or decides to never come back to this community. Or both.
Diamonds to the trio behind “NEPA Engineered” – an effort to create a searchable database of nearly 2,500 documents once belonging to the locally headquartered Sturdevant and Dilley Engineering Co. Collectively, the drawings reflect the growth of Greater Wilkes-Barre: its government buildings, schools, churches, coal mines and other touchstones of our communities. Give credit to Christian Wielage, William Tenenbaum and Gregory Wolovich Jr., for tackling this ambitious project. After they have photographed and cataloged all the maps, they say, originals will be available for sale through Plains Antiques and Home Furnishings in Plains Township. Online viewers will be able print renderings of, for example, the Hotel Oneonta at Harveys Lake and prominent edifices in Wilkes-Barre, including its courthouse, college buildings and the Westmoreland Club. For a glimpse, visit the project’s website, at www.nepaengineered.com, or go to its Facebook page.
Coal to goofballs who, invariably, emerge during December and steal or damage outdoor Christmas decorations. Why must you spoil others’ celebrations?
Diamonds to supporters of the recently shuttered Camp St. Andrew. En masse, they attended a Sunday Mass in Scranton to urge Bishop Joseph C. Bambera and other local Roman Catholic Church officials to reconsider the decision to cease operating the Tunkhannock-area summer camp. Rather than anger, the ralliers expressed thanks for their youth camping experiences and friendships forged there. The civil tone, echoed on both sides of the issue, offers hope that this camp’s story won’t come to an abrupt end after three-quarters of a century. “The diocese,” Bambera said, “has been and continues to be in discussion with United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania about options for the possible future use of camp facilities.”