The green clenched fist at the center of a white triangle mountain makes it clear that the fight is on. The powerful symbol of “Friends of Lackawanna” says they’ll defend their community and go one more round no matter how long the battle takes or how fierce their opponent.
The power of the people has taken root in anger, responsibility and commitment. The power of the people has come of age in a new generation gathered to lead the old. The power of the people has helped empower their decency and help them take a stand.
Their green clenched fist belongs to us all. Designed by leaders of the non-profit organization (your contributions are legally tax deductible) its members are, indeed, friends of Lackawanna.
The group’s core members are parents and professionals, singles and working class, privileged and not so much so. And we all can be friends together – united in our desire to fight for a sound quality of life we can be proud to leave as our legacy.
That means the days of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill are numbered, that the garbage dump that too often defines Dunmore will go - that, finally capped and quiet, the trash mountain and accumulative toxic juices will go quietly into that good future of promise rather than plague.
Friends of Lackawanna want to be reasonable, and, of course, they are. As a veteran community development agitator I worry that they are sometimes too reasonable but am willing to chalk up their strategy as a difference of opinion in the revolution. Assertive aggression is more my style.
But then, I’m not calling the shots here. We can all learn from each other.
Different action plans might very well help keep the status quo off balance – a normally impenetrable power structure that combines elected political hacks with the seemingly endless supply of corporate cash that always fuels Northeastern Pennsylvania politics – particularly Dunmore and Lackawanna County politicians and their bagmen.
The landfill bosses are not used to being challenged. And the challenge posed by these mostly younger people who are supposed to do as they’re told must drive the bosses and their lackeys wild.
This perceived insult makes the bosses particularly dangerous because ample money and power is at stake. Being pushed into explaining themselves makes them desperate. The bosses are not used to explaining themselves. The bosses tell people what to do. And, like a garbage gull on a cold French fry, the “peasants” are supposed to behave predictably and do as they’re told.
Friends of Lackawanna leaders broke new ground in NEPA power politics when they went to the landfill, met face-to-face with the big bosses and told them that they planned to shut them down, not help them expand and build a mountain of trash higher than the Statue of Liberty.
Such courage is rare in hard coal country.
And, no matter what happens, that victory will fuel future action by future activists and, hopefully, future generations.
In this regard, Friends of Lackawanna have already won.
If for no other reason than to support these good citizens for taking a stand in favor of principle, go to the Department of Environmental Protection public meeting tonight, Feb. 25, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Dunmore High School, 300 West Warren Street, Dunmore.
And, if you can, take a stand yourself. Be free for a change. Freedom makes us stronger. Freedom helps us breathe and think and live and be better friends of Lackawanna and the world.
Listen to WILK 103.1FM, www.wilknewsradio.com each Tuesday at 6:35am and 8:35am for the odd, strange, and bizarre like UFO's and ghosts and cryptids and interdimensional portals and radio sales department meetings and more on Tinfoil Hat Tuesday!
They were planting seedlings. Suddenly they saw something in the sky. At first they thought it was a parachute. Then an elk rose up from the ground and the 'parachute' flew away with it. The rest of the story is at WorldUFOPhotosAndNews.org.
As he left work for President Obama's White House, senior adviser John Podesta said last week that he regrets depriving the American people the truth about UFOs. Read about it at WorldUFOPhotosAndNews.org.
It's stone, four feet across, and weighs 440 pounds. It looks like a classic 'flying saucer' and it was discovered 125 feet underground at a Russian mining operation. What is it? Read about the find at Mirror!
In a voice soft with contrition, Father Leo McKernan confessed.
“Poor judgment on my part,” he said when we spoke on the phone.
Now the good people of the parish of St. Monica in West Wyoming must decide whether to forgive this man known for his rabid anti-abortion views and dedication to what the church calls “pro- life.”
The Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Scranton admitted he was wrong to approve the showing of a 14-minute “movie” to a religious instruction class of 11-year-olds, sixth-grade innocents who will shape the soul of the Church for generations to come.
No one asked the chidren's parents for permission, either.
Although a disclaimer at the beginning of "To Be Born" warned that the movie might not be appropriate for a young audience and sensitive viewers, the woman who taught the “CCD” class allowed her “zeal to overcome her common sense,” the priest said.
Parish parents know her well. Some accuse her of sharing McKernan’s zeal as an enemy of abortion, a Constitutionally-protected right that she and he call murder. One parishioner said he and his wife regularly become uncomfortable during Mass because the priest works his hatred for abortion into his sermons whenever he can.
If, though, the priest and the “teacher” truly respect the sanctity of life, why inflict a gruesome, bloody and violent dramatization of an abortion into the lives of the most vulnerable – the very children they claim they want to save and protect?
One child sat stoically through the film, facing a wall and refusing to look, her mother said when she called WILK to talk with me on the air. A little boy came home and opened up about what he saw, adding that the teacher had also once passed around plastic figures of a fetus in various stages of gestation, his mother said.
Father McKernan said he gave the movie a quick look before signing off on its showing.
Even a quick look drives home the gore of what the movie’s director even admitted was an “exaggerated” portrayal of an overwhelmingly safe medical procedure.
The scene shows what turns out to be a horrific dream sequence of the procedure in living color, with flashing lights, gleaming sharp silver instruments, bloody doctor’s gloves and a grotesque intensity that is unsettling to many adults – even those who oppose abortion.
Some parents worry that their children might have nightmares or even experience diagnosable trauma that could follow them deep into their lives. One mother said she and her husband had to talk with their daughter about issues she was just not prepared to handle.
Father McKernan said he realizes that some of the children subjected to the movie might have been harmed. He “made an honest mistake” and would like to talk with parents.
Some parents, however, said they already spoke with McKernan and that he seemed pleased with the movie and less than impressed with their complaints that if all life is precious, as the church teaches, why their children’s lives were assaulted with an emotional attack that even they would not want to face.
After I called the Diocese of Scranton and left a message, asking Bishop Joseph Bambera to speak with me about the movie and the impact on the lives of the parish children, Diocese Executive Director of Communications Bill Genello responded with a statement more suited to a stockholders' meeting than to a group of loving parents who believe the church abused their children.
“The Diocese respects the concerns of parents regarding a film that was shown to a CCD class at St. Monica Parish. The intention to educate students about the dignity of all human life and the need for us to protect life at all stages is worthy. As efforts are made to accomplish this, the age and maturity level of those who receive the message must be considered. The Diocese has responded to the concerns expressed by parents and the circumstances in this particular case are being addressed. The Diocese will continue to offer educational programs that are appropriate for their intended audiences.”
Get an idea of the vastness of our solar system and what it feels like to travel at the speed of light as you hop a ride on a photon leaving the sun and traveling through our celestial neighborhood in this Alphonse Swinehart animated film, Riding Light.