In October of last year, Raphael Musto put together a presentation to show his family his idea to dedicate the park between Napoli’s Pizza and the Pittston Dental Center on Main Street in honor of their grandfather, state Rep. James A. Musto.
Musto, with the help of Congressman Daniel Flood, brought a bill in front of the state house in 1965 to provide additional payments to miners disabled by Silicosis Anthraco-Silicosis Asbestosis — black lung. The bill would go on to pass in Washington, D.C., providing more than 450,000 miners and their families in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky supplemental disability benefits.
The park is being dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2. Speakers will include the Rev. Paul McDonald, of the Oblates of St. Joseph; Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, state Rep. Mike Carroll and Joseph J. Musto, who will be speaking on behalf of the family. Master of ceremonies is D.J. Banana Joe Montione, who is flying in from California to help commemorate this day in the city where he grew up. Downtown Pittston Partnership will livestream the event on its Facebook page.
The event is open to the public as the park is renamed the Honorable James A. Musto Greater Pittston Miner and Garment Worker Memorial Park. The park will include a bronze plaque detailing James A. Musto’s life and another bronze plaque that includes the actual language presented to the House of Representatives when he introduced the bill. There will also be a bust of Musto himself.
Musto was known for helping those who were less fortunate and the family would like to let everyone know about the Patriot Proud Project that they also run in memory of him. The project helps families in the Pittston Area School District who are less fortunate. Dr. John Haas, district principal, and Kevin Booth, superintendent, helped the family create this project. For various holidays, including Valentine’s, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the project gives out $50 to $60 worth of food to at least 50 families in the district. This food is to help prepare the meal for that holiday and lessen the stress of the busy and expensive seasons.
Before COVID, the project would also invite 100 students to a basketball game and provide pizza and a drink for free. They also feature pizza night, where 10 families receive pizzas from Vince’s Pizza. During Christmas, some families also would receive gift certificates to Walmart to help out with holiday shopping.
Raphael wanted to share his thanks to the city and community. “There would be no family without him,” he said about his grandfather. “We are humbled and so appreciative of the city for doing this for him. They’re revitalizing his life.”
Second Friday Art Walk
Pittston City’s Second Friday Art Walk is looking for artists. The first art walk is May 14. To participate, please visit the art walk Facebook page for information.
The art walks begin at 5 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. The next dates are June 11, July 9, Sept. 10 and Oct. 8. The event isn’t held in August due to the Pittston Tomato Festival.
Pittston’s first farmers market will be held Tuesday, July 6. To be a vendor, use the link on the farmers market page or go to downtownpittston.com/farmersmarket.
Youth programming is coming back for in-person sessions in May at the Greater Pittston YMCA. The first program to be featured is the return of gymnastics. Heather and Christina will be returning to work with the kids. Registration is available online and the programs start Monday, May 3, and go throughout the month.
The A-Team has events upcoming in May. There is a rock wall climbing party at Chakstone Rock Gym, Wilkes-Barre, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 15. The event capacity is 30 climbers, parents are welcome to watch. All equipment is included and snacks and drinks are included.
There is also an A-Team event with hiking and archery games at Camp Kresge in White Haven from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 27. The event is open to the first 30 participants and food and drinks are included.
The YMCA’s Camp Kresge announced the Women’s Getaway weekend is scheduled for Oct. 1 to Oct. 3.
Pittston Memorial Library’s bookstore is now open. Hard cover books are $1 and kids’ books are two for $1.
The library is open for in-person browsing from 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Mask, social distancing and occupancy limit requirements are in place. Children under 12 must be with an adult. There will be no public use of computers. Staff will make and send copies/faxes. There will be no public rest rooms or seating available. Library items will be returned in the book return and will be quarantined for seven days. Curbside pickup still can be requested by phone.
Katie Kelly writes about Pittston every week. To list an item, email email@example.com or call 570-821-2002 by 5 p.m. Monday.