Letters To The Editor 8/19/2018

August 19, 2018

Crisis ignored

Editor: This concerns storm damage from recent rains, particularly on the 1700 blocks of Wyoming Avenue and Ryerson Avenue.

As has been reported previously by news outlets, the backyards of homes on Wyoming Avenue are disappearing into the earth because of subsidence from Meadow Brook. Last week was disastrous for these residents. The damage is no longer limited to two properties. Because of the inaction of the current and previous city administrations, several homes flooded, gas lines ruptured and a retaining wall holding up Ryerson Avenue has been compromised.

People may wonder why nothing has been done and the answer is best given by a former city council president: “There is a concern that once Scranton does any repairs to the hole, we put ourselves in jeopardy of becoming responsible for the whole $13 million project.”

So, where does that leave the residents of this part of the Green Ridge section? It leaves a lifetime of work at the curb waiting for a Department of Public Works truck. It leaves a recent widow who cannot use her home as a gathering place after her husband’s viewing and funeral. It leaves residents wondering if there will be a cave-in when a garbage truck backs down their street. Lastly, it leaves us all wondering where Mayor Bill Courtright is.

See, neither he nor any other city official has deemed us important enough to visit. They have ignored a public safety issue. They fail to protect property, but most importantly the situation potentially may threaten the lives of men working on DPW trucks that may collapse Ryerson Avenue, along with the lives of residents who have no other way out of there. Should something happen and it endangers the lives of residents of the 1700 block of Wyoming Avenue, what is the cost of that, Mr. Mayor?




From loss, tribute

Editor: To paraphrase a Mark Twain observation on death: Addiction is your only impartial friend.

It discriminates against no one, hurts and affects everyone personally and impersonally. It is a cruel contagion without favor and without mercy.

Yet sometimes we hollow out the life stories of victims of the addiction scourge. We turn them into a single-sided disposable, bloodless caricatures. The mantras may be the same — nothing but an addict, a victim. We often completely jettison and eviscerate their life stories. Their goals, achievements and unique human qualities often are left unwritten, unsaid and untold.

One such untold story is that of my brother. He would have turned 55 on Aug. 5 if he were alive. He was a father of three children and a highly empathetic, caring human being who selflessly helped many before dying earlier this year. Nothing more needs or has to be said.

On Aug. 12 my family’s home church celebrated the annual feast of St. Rocco in Dunmore’s Bunker Hill section. As a tribute to my brother and all who have lost loved ones I marched in the procession. It was a silent homage and tribute.

These stories need to unfold and be unveiled, felt on a visceral, human and spiritual level, a “life-lived” level.




‘Office’ material

Editor: I think it is high time Mayor Bill Courtright contacts the producers of “The Office” hit TV show and encourages them to revive the program. There is much material for new episodes, including:

■ Janet Evans, a former teacher and city council member, standing on the corner of Linden Street and Jefferson Avenue trying to preserve the old YWCA building from being demolished to prevent the University of Scranton from building a $30 million, state-of-the-art facility for instruction in physical therapy and nursing.

■ The Scranton School District manages to fail every state test, from the elementary level through high school. It runs a $30 million-plus deficit and lays off teachers instead of administrators who helped create the crisis.

■ The school board elects a leader who is a high school dropout. During his tenure, the no-bid bus contract continues. No one seems to remember how the contract came to be in the first place. For extra laughs, add the spending of $600,000 or so for school vehicle maintenance in which no records were kept.

■ Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings adds to the hilarity by expressing fear that bicycle riders will take over Scranton. She makes unbelievable statements about medical marijuana and candy made from hemp derivatives, instead of realizing that such an industry could help create jobs in Scranton and generate millions in economic activity.

If it wasn’t reality, these things really could be funny.



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