Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:58AM - 290 Views

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Remembrance of Pete a good reminder to us all

I deeply appreciate and was equally moved by the wonderful account (published Dec. 25, 2012), by former Times Leader photographer Gregg Ellman and current staff writer Bill O'Boyle.

Wilkes-Barre, and life in general, was much different then. We cannot, and should not, forget that gentle man seated in his humble cart with a sign stating This is my only income, as he earned a living selling pencils in front of the Boston Store, now Boscov's.

Through elementary, high school and beyond, I remember Pete always had a kind word, a thank-you and always insisted that people take a pencil, not just donate.

All of us who grew up in those years tend to forget how much this man endured. This wonderful piece of journalism reminded us of that which Pete truly symbolized: the true example of pure humanity, humility and kindness.

Those who knew Pete had to reflect, remember and possibly shed a tear or two, because those qualities that Pete possessed seem to be of a diminishing scope and scale in society today.

Many years ago your paper published a story about Pete and, to be brief, a well known faith healer was visiting the area and asked to attend a gathering. Pete declined, and to the best of my knowledge, had stated If I attend people will forget about God.

What wisdom from a man who at time was looked down upon but rose above it all.

Yes ... Christmas came and went, but a true human being of compassion, Peter Chaivanik, was with us very briefly, if not rarely, are we blessed with such a presence.

Once again, thank you for the reality check via the memorial of Pete. Thank you to The Times Leader staff and most of all to that precious soul – Pete.

Limit teacher strikes to their summer break

This letter is about teachers going on strike in the middle of the school year.

I don't know how or who writes up their contracts or how it is decided when is the time for teachers to bring issues and complaints up for discussion.

I think contracts should state the time to make changes and unload grievances should take place only during the summer break.

This way, things could hopefully be ironed out before the school year is underway. Students should not be caught in the middle.

Local labor council glad to help the community

Last month the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council was one of several central labor council's across Pennsylvania that participated in the First Pennsylvania Wants to Work Day of Action, community service project.

The project was created by the Pa. AFL-CIO to mobilize union volunteers and the community to help programs and services that are struggling to keep up with the needs of unemployed individuals and families.

Part of the emphasis was also to increase awareness of our elected officials and urge them to provide additional support for these programs and to prioritize job creation and job protection policies.

Members of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council and local labor movement who volunteered for our first Day of action community service project had a chance to see first-hand many faces of the unemployed and less fortunate when participating in two activities selected by our labor council's executive board and community services committee.

While one project involved helping the Commission on Economic in the distribution of Thanksgiving orders, another involved conducting a clothing drive for Dress for Success to provide business attire for unemployed women seeking employment.

To those who donated clothing or volunteered their time I extend a special note of thanks. Also, thanks to United Way of Wyoming Valley's Labor Participation Department in helping to identify some meaningful projects to participate in.

While our involvement provided a good feeling inside by helping others ultimately a better feeling in he future would be to see a substantial decrease in the demand for services by these two important agencies, as well as, other human service agencies that assist our area's unemployed and others experiencing a variety of needs.

Hopefully, at this time next year, through some positive results with new job creation initiatives coupled with other strategies put in place by other concerned and caring segments of community working together, we will see a more vibrant economy, more people working, less demand for social services (yet still adequate government funding in place for those truly in need), resulting in a better quality of life for all of us.

Photo of criminal didn't deserve to be on page 1

AKlthough it was nice to see the article on the front page about the Zalenski murder being aired on TV, the disturbing part was putting Tooley's picture there instead of one of Casey or the Zalenski family.

The scumbag did his rotten deed and was found guilty and put in prison for life and years later now you give him the satisfaction of seeing his picture on the front page of your paper.

I'm sorry but I had to state my displeasure. The pain will never go away and it would have been better to see Casey's picture instead of the lowlife's.

Support local effort to make community better

With all the publicity about the Sandy Hook school massacre, I would hope the people of Wilkes-Barre remember that we have seen children hurt with guns. In response to our local tragedies, a group of people led by Rev. Shawn Walker and Pastor Michael Brewster formed the Building Bridges Initiative to develop a plan to help prevent future violence by working with our youth.

The Downtown Residents Association is sponsoring a free program where the plan developed by this group will be presented and explained. The program – Update on Building Bridges Initiative - will be held Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 from 7- 9 p.m. at Wilkes University Henry Center Ballroom. I would like invite anyone interested to join us at Wilkes University. A community working together can make a difference.

Send us your opinion

Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.

• Email: mailbag@timesleader.com

• Fax: 570-829-5537

• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1

Frank Symbula Drums Angie Mislivets Hanover Township Edward Harry President Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council Donald Saltz Swoyersville Pat Parks DRA Coordinator Wilkes-Barre

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