Letters To The Editor 5/5/2019
Editor: Apparently, certain people running for Lackawanna County commissioner have difficulty discerning human males and females.
Last time I looked the “glass ceiling” of having a woman in that elected capacity was broken a while back by Republican Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings. Last I saw, she is a woman.
So, you can understand my confusion when others assert the glass ceiling needs to be rebroken.
Or, is it that women of a certain political stripe are the only real glass ceiling breakers? A current television commercial being aired by the Patrick O’Malley/Debi Domenick team for the Democratic nomination for county commissioner employs four women and the message — not an inference, but a solid message — is that Domenick should be the first woman to break that glass.
O’Malley chose Domenick as a running mate after he served with Cummings for four years in a two-party majority. Now, however, he feels the position needs a woman’s touch, coinciding with the wave of women being elected to offices across the country.
So, my question becomes, what does O’Malley call his activity for the past four years? First, he switched party affiliation from Republican to Democrat to be “like a statesman.” Then, he cast off his Democratic running mate during the 2015 campaign, Jerry Notarianni, and cozied up with Republican Cummings once he took office. Yet, now he seeks a woman’s touch?
Politics witnesses strange bedfellows and short memories; local politics will take that premise an order of magnitude further. Domenick should tread lightly. Today’s potential Democratic glass ceiling could render shards that she may walk barefoot upon once she’s cast aside by others, having become a useful tool.
in dysfunctional city
Editor: The Times-Tribune’s exposure of the ongoing problem of tax delinquencies and blight in Scranton focused a spotlight on a catastrophe that is the direct result of dysfunction in our city government.
It is painfully obvious that the problem is systemic and demands leadership to fix it. The leadership I call for must come from the top. While I and many fellow citizens wonder how this has happened, I am not interested in playing the blame game. That gets us nowhere.
Ultimately, it is the mayor who is the administrator of city government and the buck stops with him. I was dismayed to read the mayor’s cautious — dare I say tepid — response to Scranton City Council’s emphatic call for action to address this situation. I fear that the citizens will sink into the glaring gap between the two branches of government and get forgotten once the spotlight moves to another crisis.
There are so many moving parts to this mess that need to be taken apart and reassembled into a cohesive functioning unit. Who is going to take responsibility for this task? While I am loath to add another person to the city payroll do we need a housing czar/coordinator with oversight authority to assess the problem, develop a strategic plan and be accountable for its implementation?
While it is tempting and certainly understandable to say that if the people already in place did their jobs we would not need such measures. This situation is out of control. We can’t rely on the same old, same old. We can’t wait for the next election. We already pay a steep price when taxes and fees aren’t collected, rental properties aren’t registered and blighted properties populate our neighborhoods. It is time for bold moves.
Revive baseball fun
like in Veeck’s day
Editor: If maverick Bill Veeck were alive he would be 105 this baseball season.
Boy, baseball sure could use his reincarnation. He was America’s last true, democratic and average-man owner of a professional sports team. Veeck owned, operated and was caretaker of four Major League Baseball teams in the 20th century. He was more like a steward of a baseball ship full of passion, fun and frolic.
Veeck was described as a showman, nonconformist, eccentric, scholar, maverick, ringleader, renaissance man, carouser, writer, voracious reader, bon vivant, fan and magic trickster. Among his lengthy list of inventions and credits were the famous ivy at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the placement of numbers on players uniforms, the singing of “Take Me Out To the Ball Game,” interactive scoreboards, team mascots and practically every fan promotion that ever was devised or proposed. His infamous 10-cent beer night in Cleveland in 1974 didn’t work out so well, though, when a riot broke out. Umpire Nestor Chylak, of Olyphant, called the game on a forfeit in the ninth inning.
Veeck also was an integration trailblazer and anti-reserve clause advocate:
■ In 1942 he tried to buy the Philadelphia Phillies and planned to fill the roster with players from the Negro League.
■ In 1947 — along with Horace Stoneham of the then-New York Giants — he helped create the spring training Cactus League in Arizona because of racism in Florida.
■ Veeck signed four of baseball’s first 11 black players. He was especially fond of older Negro League veterans such as Luke Easter, Minnie Minosa and Satchel Paige.
Baseball needs someone like “sport shirt” Bill, someone who instilled such passion, love and respect that Orestes “Minnie” Minosa dressed up in his Chicago White Sox uniform as a pallbearer at Veeck’s funeral in 1986. Forget MAGA. We need MBFA — Make Baseball Fun Again.
SOUTH ABINGTON TWP.