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Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, PA

Broadcast followed by live panel discussion

April 26, 2010

Not Your Parents’ Hometown Anymore

The Sardoni Theater at PBS - affiliate WVIA-TV in Scranton, PA was the scene of a dynamic and productive dialogue about the region’s first suburbs following the broadcast of The New Metropolis: A Crack in the Pavement. Designed to engage local politicians about the region’s problems while exploring the issues, the 90-minute live studio program drew together many of the players needed to craft positive solutions, including the one hundred people in the studio audience and the community members watching from home in twenty counties surrounding Scranton.

Moderated by station CEO Bill Kelly, the panel discussion was peppered with questions from the studio audience, call-ins, and emails. The diverse panel was comprised of leaders from civic, public and business organizations who often have opposing viewpoints about key local issues. The discussion centered around concerns about crumbling infrastructure, business losses, high taxes, and struggling schools. Two important ideas became clear that everyone agreed upon: that policy changes at the state and regional levels are key to revitalizing their region, and that these changes will require active community engagement around the issues.

The program was produced in collaboration with 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania and public television station WVIA.

The panel included:

  • Charles Kasko, homebuilder and vice president of Signature Building Systems in Moosic;
  • Todd Vonderheid, former Luzerne County Commissioner and current President and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry;
  • Denise Prowell, Clarks Summit artist and Scranton-Abingtons Planning Association (SAPA) Coordinator;
  • Ray Angeli, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs and current President of Lackawana College; and
  • Michael Mahon, Superintendent of the Abington Heights School District, and former Superintendent of Wyalusing School District.

Excerpts from Scranton,
Wilkes-Barre, PA

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