Residents Of One Scranton Neighborhood Praise City’s Blight Removals

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin O’Boyle doesn’t own the empty lot alongside his home on Mineral Avenue in Scranton, but he is the one who takes care of it.

“I keep it clean because it’s next to my house,” Mr. O’Boyle said.

Other neighbors do the same thing, as de-facto caretakers of several vacant lots that used to have condemned homes on them in the tiny neighborhood called Sandy Banks encompassing Mineral Avenue and Barrett Court at West Olive Street near the Lackawanna River.

“It’s our neighborhood.  We want to keep it clean,” Mr. O’Boyle said of the community pride there.

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Schuylkill Among Rivers Nominated For State’s 2013 ‘Best’ List

Six rivers have been nominated for Pennsylvania’s 30th annual “River of the Year” award, which the public can vote on through Jan. 18.

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia region’s very own Schuylkill River is among the nominees this year, with the award’s state and non-profit sponsors touting the 128-mile Schuylkill’s resurrection from a “dead river in the mid-1900s” to one that “touches countryside and urban life” alike.

But the votes aren’t flowing as quickly for the Schuylkill in the first week of voting as some of its competitors. The other nominees are: the Juniata River and Swatara Creek in southcentral Pennsylvania; the Kiskiminetas River and Monongahela River in the southwest and Lackawanna River in the northeast.  The contest’s first week of voting, Dec. 18 through Dec. 24, put the Schuylkill in third place with 19 percent.  The Lackawanna has 31 percent and the Monongahela has 22 percent.

“We still have three weeks to go, so we’re hoping for a push,” Schuylkill River Development Corp. President and CEO Joe Syrnick said today.

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