Last updated: April 22. 2013 9:44PM - 870 Views

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Geisinger offers thanks to all hospital volunteers

At Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and its South Wilkes-Barre campus, we find peace of mind in knowing there are 337 kindhearted volunteers ready and waiting to provide comfort, lend a hand or share a smile with each and every person who walks through our doors.

As we celebrate National Healthcare Volunteer Week, April 21-27, we would like to publicly recognize and thank these extraordinary volunteers who, in the past year, donated more than 35,444 hours of service to our patients and their families.

Volunteers are essential to the delivery of high-quality healthcare, enhancing the patient, family and visitor experience through a shared commitment to helping those in need. You’ll find a volunteer in nearly every hospital department, sharing their talents, sharing their time and perhaps most importantly, sharing their compassion for the people and the communities in which we live.

Please join me in recognizing the volunteers at Geisinger Wyoming Valley and its South Wilkes-Barre campus. They are a vital part of our Geisinger family and we are so very proud of their remarkable efforts.

Barbara Coyle

Volunteer Coordinator

Geisinger Northeast

Credit Sen. Pat Toomey for backing firearms plan

The right to own firearms has been the subject of great debate in recent weeks. As Attorney General, I swore an oath to defend the Constitution. What I did not swear to do, however, was sit silently in my office while classrooms of children are senselessly murdered. I never swore to defend a “right” that permits dangerous criminals or the mentally unstable to obtain a 100-round magazine that can be used to open fire on dozens of innocent moviegoers. The Constitution that I swore to defend is one that protects our families and allows children to feel safe at school, in the movies, and in their neighborhoods.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey must have read and swore the same oath to the same Constitution that I did. He swore an oath to put his constituents’ right to live in safer communities before the rights of partisan politics and well-funded special interest groups. Senator Toomey stood up and proclaimed that 30,000 senseless and unnecessary gun fatalities each year are no longer acceptable. Senator Toomey had the courage to worry more about the lives of the 90 percent of Americans who want to feel safer in their communities than the vocal and unreasonable minority who threaten to block his reelection efforts.

We cannot keep silently mourning the deaths of loved ones taken from us by senseless gun violence. Senator Toomey’s legislation would have helped to ensure that those who should not own a firearm could not get a firearm. We need more leaders like Senator Toomey who worry more about our communities than their political future. This battle is not over and I encourage Senator Toomey to keep fighting. As the great leader Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Kathleen G. Kane

Pennsylvania Attorney General

More trees would make city better place to live

Our Wilkes-Barre city parks need evergreen trees and shade trees.

We need shade trees of the proper species because every living thing needs oxygen and trees are the only thing on earth can make oxygen. Trees also are needed to clean polluted air, provide shade, shelter for birds and other wildlife as well as helping to reduce the demand on our power grids for during a sweltering summer.

Do you know that just one mature shade/street tree can provide life sustaining oxygen for five humans. Planted in the correct place a tree helps to reduce cooling cost, provide nesting for song birds and bees… and as a big plus; create serenity.

A serene street tree lined neighborhood is generally a low crime neighborhood.

Neighborhood shade trees add value to real estate and provide free year round beauty.

Shade trees encourage outdoor activities and provide a cool spot for both humans and animals to escape relentless heat or damaging UV rays from the sun.

Trees in this respect can reduce skin cancer and other immune or damage to one’s vision.

A park that is a deserted shade less location won’t encourage outdoor activities. Is there anything more comforting and humorous than watching children playing and laughing in a shady park or in a shady yard during the Summer months?

Trees can also reduce flooding because they absorb run off water at a tremendous rate. If you have a mushy, empty curb lawn or a mushy spot in your yard plant a tree.

Ask yourself this; Would you like to reside on a shady -- tree lined serene street or on a choking poor air quality -- hot street? Take a look at some sections of Wilkes-Barre city where trees line the streets or in other Wyoming Valley neighborhoods like Forty Fort and Kingston.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers free online information on how to plant the right tree or you can ask a nursery specialist to guide you.

Though Earth Day has passed; Earth Day is everyday. Plan to plant one tree during your lifetime for posterity or in memory of a loved one. The next generation will thank you.

As stewards of our earth; we need to give back to nature, teach our children why it is necessary to plant and care for trees as well as care for all living things. We are not the last generation.

The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers Association would like to donate an evergreen or shade tree this Summer for every park in our city. The taxpayers will accept donations if this project is approved. Call 825.2901 for more information.

Linda Urban

Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers Assn. Board of Directors


Easter Day buffet doesn’t sit well with customers

Just having celebrated Easter, I’m troubled about an incident that my wife and I experienced.

We selected a restaurant offering a buffet for $29.95 per person. It wasn’t great, but we were out for Easter. You can imagine my shock when I received our bill for $80.

I asked a waitress how they can charge $20 for gratuities for a buffet. She brought her supervisor of whom I asked the same thing. She in turn sent a manager in a suit who said the “plus gratuity” was listed in the newspaper ad. I looked in an old paper and it was not listed.

I’m on Social Security and feel I was robbed on a sacred day.

James P. West


Compensate hospitals for the care they provide

I have been a registered nurse for 35 years. For 35 years, I have taken care of the nursing needs of my patients and their families. I have explained to them, in terms they understand, the care ordered by their doctor. I have sat with them, held hands with them and cried with them.

I do not understand how our governor can look away from those most vulnerable — our elderly, our children and the working poor — and not readily grasp the federal funding that has already been set aside to extend health care coverage to 700,000 Pennsylvania residents who are currently not insured or under-insured.

Our hospitals provide care for each person who walks through their doors. They do not ask “do you have insurance or the money to pay for care?” before providing lifesaving care; they provide the needed care.

Our hospitals cannot stay viable if the care they give is uncompensated. If we want to keep our hospitals open providing care andif we don’t want our friends, family and neighbors to die because there is not a hospital providing care near to them, we need to make sure the hospitals are compensated for the care they provide.

I call on Governor Corbett to accept the federal funding to extend health care coverage to our most vulnerable.

Deb Bonn

Nurse Alliance of Pennsylvania, Director

Wilkes Barre

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