Carbondale celebrates Pioneer Nights

After a break in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carbondale’s celebration of history and community kicked off earlier this week.

Today’s highlights include a performance by Lynnette’s Twirlerettes from 6 to 7 p.m. and the Luongo Brother Band from 7 to 10:30 p.m. A fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Red Dragon Karate will host a demo at 4 p.m. and Riptide will play from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Also Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce, 27 N. Main St., will feature an art gallery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the popular Antiques in the Park event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Memorial Park.

Carbondale Public Library will host a book and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and a scavenger hunt will begin downtown at 11 a.m.

Finally, the Pioneer Night Parade will step off at 6 p.m. Saturday and wind down Route 6, 8th Avenue, Church Street and Main Street.

Forest City chosen for outdoor initiative

Forest City has been chosen by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to be one of the first towns to receive a start up grant to highlight the recreation opportunities of the area.

The committee, made up of the Greater Forest City Business Alliance, has been working since February to gather information into an action plan for revitalization of the downtown Forest City and the surrounding area.

Members of the greater Forest City area community are invited to gather at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Forest City Area Historical Society, 633 Main St., to help shape the future of the Forest City area.

The interactive community gathering will ask the public to help prioritize ideas to form an action plan for revitalization of the greater Forest City area.

For more information, email: or call Juliann at 570-499-4908.

Wright Center creates new post



The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education have appointed Allison LaRussa as director of health humanities.

In this newly introduced position, LaRussa will promote emotional wellness by engaging the organizations’ physician trainees, employees, patients and community members in artistic activities.

For patients and the general public, there will be art therapy initiatives addressing trauma and addiction as well as community art projects to help alleviate social isolation and foster connections. For health professionals, activities also will be designed to support their professional identity development and growth by providing opportunities for shared experiences, awareness, reflection and expression.

“As a valued member of our team, Allison will nurture positivity and resiliency within individuals and at the organizational level, which is particularly relevant as we collectively emerge from the pandemic experience,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education.

A special focus of LaRussa’s work will be The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s resident physicians and fellows. These trainees, like their counterparts in programs across the country, deal with the dual pressures of delivering top-notch care to patients and simultaneously completing rigorous graduate medical education requirements.

“Our art activities at The Wright Center will be designed to decrease a lot of stress and burnout,” said LaRussa. “The projects will allow people to be more mindful, to process more, so that they are better able to handle their work.”

A 2010 Marywood University graduate, LaRussa, 34, has long been active in the region’s arts scene, including First Friday Scranton.

Marywood professor co-authors article



Sunny Sinha, Ph.D., associate professor in Marywood University’s School of Social Work, recently co-authored an article titled, “Community-Based Strategies for Harm Reduction Among Sex Workers in Kolkata, India.”

In the article, Dr. Sinha and her co-author explore research that was conducted with diverse groups of sex workers in India as well as around the globe, which has shown that decriminalizing sex work can promote the health, safety and security of sex workers. Nonetheless, in many countries, including India, legislation criminalizing buying of sex—that is punishing clients of sex workers—have gained momentum with the accompanying rationale of rescuing/saving women trapped in sex work.

These pieces of legislation ignore the reality that sex work is an economically viable vocation for a majority of women, men and transgender people in India—especially when compared to low-paying jobs with long, fixed hours of work. Legislation has also not deterred people from choosing sex work as a livelihood option. In addition, little information is available about the community-based harm reduction responses.

In addition to her role as an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Marywood University, Sinha is also a Fahs-Beck Scholar, a doctoral dissertation grant program that helps support dissertation expenses of students in the U.S. and Canada. She earned her Ph.D. degree in social work form the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her research and scholarship focus on a wide range of global issues, including HIV prevention, trafficking and issues related to gender, race, class and sexuality. She has published mostly on the issues of non-brothel-based female sex workers in Kolkata, India. Sinha is also the recipient of the Michael H. Agar Lively Science Award for 2018.

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