I left Wilkes-Barre in the late 1970s, returning three decades later only to find that shy of the slag piles having been converted into semi-vacant strip malls, soaring property taxes and our per-capita crime rate competing with major metropolitan areas, all else had pretty much remained unchanged.
Our roadways are still a cross between a lunar landscape and patchwork quilting. The antiquated incandescent traffic lights operate on a (circa 1940s) timer system guaranteed to hinder any semblance of free-flowing continuity and stifling the lone 3 a.m. motorist at every intersection. It would appear we have more “no turn on red” and stop signs than we do intersections. Government either believes us too stupid to make simplistic decisions or they had a federal “use-it-or-lose-it” subsidy they’ve chosen to flaunt in metal reflective signage as a testament to incompetence rather than paving our roads.
The blight is so rampant the mayor could woo producers of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” into using Wilkes-Barre for shooting on location.
The most befuddling constant in this “city that time forgot” is that of the incessant criticism about the mayor by Wilkes-Barre. Albert Einstein is credited with defining insanity as one doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Since1972, Wilkes-Barre’s residents have inexplicably elected a single-party rule that has led us down the same corrupt, overtaxed, wasteful and crime-infested, dismal paths over and over again.
Understanding that those people who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it, I would hope my fellow residents would put some analytical thought into altering our given course rather than maintaining the status quo, as has been our history. Stay the course and expect the subsequent whining and complaining to remain unaltered as we have none other than ourselves to blame.