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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:03:08 06:55:42

West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee plans meeting The West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22, in the school building at Corpus Christi Parish in West Pittston. All committee members must attend. New members are welcome. As of late Thursday, the meeting was still planned. First row, from left, are Lori DeAngelo, president; Lisa Tunzi, Jeff Franklin and Gina Malsky. Second row: Dan Didgeon, Toni Valenti, Linda Hyzinski, Robert Messina and Terri Zezza. Patrick Messina, Ami Strobel, Charlotte Keeney and Ralph Salerno also are assisting with the festival.

It may seem hard for some to believe because the social distancing and the quarantine that are the by-product of the coronavirus makes the world feel a little bit like it’s an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” but the warmer weather is a lot closer than many of us realize.

Expert gardeners recommend that you begin growing seedlings of your plants in doors eight weeks before the last frost of the season. This came as a surprise to me when I went down into the basement of my house and found my dad already growing his flowers and tomatoes and listening to a mixed tape that was probably made before I was born. He is an avid gardener and the sign that spring is just about to arrive for me is when I see those growing seedlings for the first time.

I saw them!

Although the virus may be here for a while, warmer weather is well on its way. And I for one will welcome it with open arms while also maintaining my six-foot distance.

Here’s what else is happening in your neighborhood:

Corpus Christi news

Effective immediately, and until further notice, Corpus Christi, along with all Catholic churches in the Scranton Diocese, has suspended the celebration of Masses open to the public and all public gatherings. Corpus Christi in West Pittston will remain open daily for individual private prayer until 7 p.m. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time remains in effect.

Scheduled sacramental celebrations such as weddings, baptisms and funerals will be permitted, but attendance will be limited to immediate family members and follow any guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The sacraments of anointing of the sick and reconciliation will be available, when individually requested, in cases of serious need.

In the Diocese of Scranton, it is strongly recommended that all non-essential parish events be temporarily cancelled or postponed. Therefore, the following events in the parish are temporarily postponed or cancelled:

Holy Name breakfast. The event will be rescheduled, but if you would prefer a refund, call the rectory at 570-654-2753.

Twilight Bingo. Everyone who sent in sponsorship payments or purchased tickets are advised the event will be rescheduled. If you prefer a refund, please call the rectory at 570-654-2753

Also cancelled are: Heart Saver Class, religious education classes, Confirmation classes, Soup & Scripture, First Eucharist retreat, Communion to the homebound and soup to the homebound.

Library news

With direction from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, all Luzerne County libraries will be closed through Sunday, March 29. Keep checking back on the West Pittston Library Facebook page for any updates as they become available.

While the NCAA Basketball Tournament has been cancelled, the library’s March Madness Book Battle is still being held. Everyone has a favorite book, but how does it rate up against other favorites? Cast your vote each week on the library’s Facebook page to determine which title moves on to the next round. Stay tuned to find out which book is the ultimate champion!

Upcoming programs include:

National Unicorn Day — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday April 7. Unicorns have been a popular mythical creature since the times of Ancient Greece, when people believed they lived in exotic India. While unicorns were originally considered to be fierce, powerful animals, they are now often seen as a symbol of love, purity, enchantment and magic. Glitter and rainbows abound in this celebration of all things unicorn with fun activities and crafts.

Dangerous and Disgusting — 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. The library is getting rough and tough, dangerous and disgusting with these activities. Get ready to make slime and exploding ninja stars, identify everyday items under a microscope, break world records (or try to), and decipher codes.

While the closure is set to end March 29, this may change. Call before you go.

Cherry Blossom banners

West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee is selling banners as a fundraiser. The cost for the first year is $150 and the renewal fee for the banners is $50. Payments are due by Wednesday, April 1. Send information to be included on the banner and payment to Toni Valenti, 316 Damon St., West Pittston, PA 18643.

Make checks payable to the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival. All proceeds will go to the West Pittston community and the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee.

Honor a veteran

If you or your family would like to purchase a banner for a friend or loved one who is a West Pittston veteran, past or present, you are encouraged to apply on West Pittston Tomorrow’s website,

The banner is made of a heavy duty vinyl and is 30 inches wide by 60 inches tall. The initial cost per banner is $200 and that cost includes the production, installation and removal and storage of the banner. Annual renewal fee will be $25, which will go toward putting up and taking down the banners.

The banners will be put up before Memorial Day and will be taken down in November, to be stored until the next year. To purchase a banner, fill out an application online.

Community garden spaces

Attention gardeners, believe it or not, West Pittston Tomorrow is already accepting applications for its community garden. The West Pittston Community Garden has three plot sizes available, a small 4-by-4-foot plot for $10, a medium 4-by-8-foot plot for $20 and a large 6-by-12-foot plot for $40. To participate, make a check payable to West Pittston Tomorrow and send it to 555 Exeter Ave., West Pittston, PA 18643.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week. To list an item, email or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.