Northeast Pennsylvania, which includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the Poconos, is a beautiful region full of tree-covered mountains sliced by rivers and creeks. It’s a great area for outdoors enthusiasts looking for a place to hike, bike, ski, or canoe.
But it’s an area that sometimes struggles with keeping these attractions in top condition. Old mine water runs into the rivers. Abandoned buildings sit in ruins hoping to be renovated or removed for a new building.
The region’s environmental legacy just took another hit.
The EPA recently filed suit against the Scranton Sewer Authority. For dumping more than 1 billion gallons of raw sewage into the Lackawanna River last year. The entire city’s infrastructure needs to be improved, and the sewage lines are no different. The authority submitted a plan in 1998 and has not updated the plan (I assume that means they haven’t started either!)
The authority director may claim “substantial progress” in upgrading the sewage system, but we’re at a time when we need more. Nature is one of this region’s strongest assets. The area’s leaders shouldn’t be satisfied with progress, but in preserving its assets (oh, and meeting the law). That’s what makes for a livable community.
Living in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a place with a bar and a church on every corner, it was hard to miss the news today. All the local media outlets – even radio – were on hand to capture the bishops’ retirements. Rumors that the local bishop was leaving town had floated last week, and the local newspaper grabbed the scoop.
The Diocese of Scranton's Mother Church
After covering the press conference, each news outlet produced a similar reaction piece from around the Diocese. (The results were easy to figure out: Catholics who stopped going to church are glad he’s gone; Catholics interviewed on their way into Noon Mass think he did well in a tough job.) Then each newspaper and television station produced a piece highlighting the history of the Diocese of Scranton and its nine bishops. One television station went through the work to put together a piece on the challenges of leading a Diocese with changing demographics. (This is just a sampling of the coverage. You can find all of the articles from each outlet through the initial main news articles.)
I’m always interested in following the news, and I watched and read the coverage Monday evening. The tidbit of resigning because of insomnia at 63 – more than a decade before he’d normally retire – makes for a great twist too. (The auxiliary is retiring at 77.)
I’m sure Sunday will bring more man-on-the-street interviews and look-back pieces. Beyond that, I’m curious to see the additional local coverage. (About 325,000 of the 1 million residents is Catholic. That 30 percent figure is higher than the 22 percent nationwide so this is a big deal here. This is also a community that is big on religion, whichever one you follow.)
There is an additional, well-informed source to follow if you happen to be interested in the process of filling the seat. That blog, in fact, carried three stories as the drama played out to its final press conference on Monday.
Thanks to patwalsh_2000 for the Creative Commons picture via Flickr.
One of my grad school classes this semester is focused on leadership. We’ve talked about the ways that leaders act and communicate, and we’ve covered some of the best-practices to build and demonstrate leadership.
We’re reading and reviewing The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner for the assignment that’s due next week. The book is very outline heavy: It has a five-part framework; each part has two practices; each practice has two focuses. Each practice has three action steps… You get the idea.
I was glancing through some of the underlined and starred passages today while getting ready for the project. One of the highlighted sentences stuck in my head and connected to a running conversation I’ve had with a few people. “If work comes to be seen solely as a source of money and never as a source of fulfillment, organizations will totally ignore other human needs at work….” The authors go on to mention all sorts of needs they see – self-worth, learning, pride, service, etc.
Yikes! I hope nobody derives their self-worth solely from their career. That’s a sign of an unhealthy work-life balance. I spend more time at work than I do on anything else in a week. I hope to always have a job that’s stimulating. I hope I take it upon myself to learn and to volunteer without being told by a boss though. That’s just something you do to excel – just like busting your butt for your employer.