On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

The winter is OVER! We have been there and done that for now. No more snow and nothing accumulating on the ground. We still have flurries and on Sunday nearly two inches of icy snow before the frozen precipitation turned to rain. Power outages were reported in Fairview and other areas in Luzerne County. The weekend of gloomy, relentless rain and snow capped off March. ENOUGH now is all I can say. It is time for Easter Egg Hunts, golf and turning over the garden soil.

That is another unique thing about this never-ending winter. When the frozen soil thawed all the vegetation and whatever else was on top of the ground thawed creating an unusual aroma on the landscape. It was described as a sewage smell, farmer’s field and in general a rotting smell. The earth has been ravaged with 16 weeks of frigid winter. It all started at the beginning of December, four long months ago.

I make compost year round from leaves, grass clippings and kitchen scraps. All of that has been frozen and now the composting has begun again. The current stench will subside and we will be enjoying the new season soon.

I don’t plant before May but I like to get the garden tilled and ready in April. This year may be a challenge.

Route 309 Rock Removal

The Route 309 rock removal project will begin in earnest this month. According to information received at a public meeting last week, the southbound lanes will be repaved and turnouts will be installed along with Jersey barriers to accommodate both south and northbound traffic for the duration of the rock removal project on the northbound lanes. Construction is expected to be ongoing until November.

Police and rescue services will be vigilant in their efforts to slow down traffic to safe speeds and to limit all truck traffic to non-peak times to facilitate safe travel.

I will probably just use I-81 for my northbound trips to Wilkes Barre, the valley and beyond. When I-81 was under construction years ago traffic was re-routed through 309 and that road was packed. Either way we are in for travel delays on our way to having a safer Route 309.

Local Arts

The KISS (Kids Innovating Stage and Sound) theatre has been struggling to find its ground since they were given notice to vacate their space at the Wyoming Valley Mall several weeks ago. KISS managed by Christa Manning has maintained a solid business presence since KISS organized several years ago. The Mountaintop Eagle has enjoyed a relationship with KISS for promotion through advertising and marketing. Their success was intensified by the support they garnered from their customers, whose children participated in KISS.

I have always supported the arts from the Northeastern Philharmonic to the choral and drama productions at Crestwood High School, Bishop Hoban High School and now Holy Redeemer. There is nothing more magical than seeing actors on stage.

The Nuangola Theatre at the Grove has an ambitious spring program. Currently playing is the Wizard of Oz musical through April 13th. Next up is Harvey, a drama from May 2nd -11th. Theatre with local actors is a treasure to be embraced. Hang tight for Fiddler on the Roof, the beloved musical from June 6th -22nd. Broadway in Mountaintop!

March Madness Continues

The March Madness has spilled into the first week of April. I maintained my middle position of the 23 participant family pool with my pick Florida still alive going into the final four. 64 top performing teams came to the party, and now we have Florida vs. Connecticut, while a battle of big men will highlight Wisconsin vs. Kentucky in Arlington, Texas. How could 64 elite teams have played their way into the final four while we were all taking care of business? One more weekend and we will see the end. I had Florida battling Wichita with Wichita the winner. At least Florida is still in the game.

Pink and Blue Tournament Plans are also shaping up for the

Fourth Annual Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club’s Pink & Blue Tournament on June 21. Proceeds will go to Prescription Assistance Fund of Medical Oncology Associates in Kingston, providing financial assistance to patients and families in need.

We need lots of golfers to enjoy the beautiful Blue Ridge Trail Golf Course, an over the top dinner and the best prizes you have ever seen. The core committee put their event on the map two years ago and the Pink and Blue is on its way as the premier cancer awareness regional tournament. Blue Ridge welcomes foursomes of women, men and mixed teams. Cash prizes will be awarded in flights for men, women and mixed teams. The event is on a Saturday this year, which should make it easier for everybody to participate. The Mountaintop Eagle will be promoting the Pink & Blue Golf Tournament from now until June.