On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

The 2017 District Magistrate race could have been decided May 16, the day before the Mountaintop Eagle’s official publication date of Wednesday May 17, 2017. We put our paper to bed on Monday afternoons, upload it to our printer in Middletown, PA and deliver it to local newsstands Tuesday mornings. Mail subscriptions are taken to the Wilkes Barre post office for Wednesday delivery.

So at this writing we do not know which candidate or candidates came out on top for the open Democratic and Republican nominations. All six candidates were cross-filed on both tickets. One candidate could win the Democratic nod and another the Republican. That would indicate another big race in November.

The nearly 6 months long campaign for some candidates is probably the longest local race I can ever remember. Nominating petitions for local races are traditionally circulated in late February and early March for the May primary, which gives an approximate 2-month campaign season. The candidates for the Mountain Top Magistrate race have been planning and running for a lot longer.

I ended up having three candidates stop at my house this year. The first was Stacey Acri, the second was Ferris Webby or his representative leaving a door tag, and the third was John Augustine last Friday afternoon, who left a personal note with his phone number and a goodie bag of diversified and useful signature items. I called John back Friday evening and he had been at my door in person noting that the beautiful flowers left on the front porch must have been a Mother’s Day gift.

John was right about the flowers from Barry’s Floral. They were sent by my daughter Amy and her husband Chris and our beautiful little granddaughters Clementine and Penny. After a high school friend posted a photo of flowers sent by her children on Facebook I did the same and within 24 hours had dozens of “Likes and Comments”.

Getting back to the Magistrate race, at least four of the candidates spent thousands of dollars on their campaigns according to campaign finance reports and some spent tens of thousands for the job that pays $88,400 per year. Candidates running for county judge or district attorney have been known to spend hundreds of thousands for some races.

The stamina and enthusiasm of the Magistrate candidates is astounding. When the last vote is counted they and us can all breath a sigh of relief. They gave it their all.

“Our Town Mountain Top” The WVIA-44 production of

“Our Town Mountain Top” made its debut last Thursday. Twentythree local contributors told stories about their Mountain Top ties from family items, service club activities, volunteer events and local history. The program’s actual running time is about an hour and is available on DVD. Additional broadcasts may be on the WVIA schedule.

The contributors included Dave Hourigan, Michelle Riley, Tom and Noreen Clark, Fr. Joe Evanko, John and Pat Hoovler, Pete Kohl, Ruth Hughes, Steve McGinnis, Paul Eyreman, Eric Aigeldinger, Bill Aigeldinger, Bob Gonos, Tom Williams, Lois Scott, Bruce Spencer, Justin Kromes, Susanne Modrovsky, Pat Rushton, Kristen Cavenau, Don Herres, and Penny Powley. I may have missed one or two others. All answered the call and the diversity of their contributions made the program very enjoyable. The segments were personal and interesting, and I learned some new things after nearly 40 years living in Mountaintop.

The Mountaintop Eagle and especially our editor Kathy Flower was thanked for getting the project rolling by advertising the planning meetings and giving direction to the producers as they gathered information for the program. We have decades of institutional history with all aspects of Mountaintop as we write it with each new edition.

If you get a chance to see “Our Town Mountain Top” you are sure to enjoy it.

Andy’s Closes Andy’s Gas and Mini Mart in

Dorrance has closed. I visited with Andy a couple of weeks ago, when I got word that a sale of the business was imminent. Andy was unwilling to be interviewed at that time. Andrew Evancho has been working at the service station and later deli and grocery since he was 17 years old, a total of 54 years. He has been the owner of the business since 1986.

I always enjoyed stopping by Andy’s, often when I delivered newsstand copies in the early years of my ownership of the Mountaintop Eagle. Two weeks ago when we reminisced about all the years Andy had been on the job, several customers stopped in to report news of the neighborhood.

Andy’s holds many memories for Dorrance residents.

Plow, Plant and Golf By today May 17 our weather

was predicted to warm up. The cool rainy May so far is hopefully on its way out. It’s time to plow, plant, and golf! That is just what I will be doing this week and on into June. The cool weather has kept the dogwoods, azaleas and early flowering shrubs at their peak colors for weeks. I saw my rhododendron buds ripening with color on Sunday and the hydrangea plants are budding too. The lilacs are on their way out, but there is plenty of color to purchase at our local garden centers. Good luck to all the gardeners in Mountaintop this upcoming summer.