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The Oscars will be awarded this weekend. I’ve seen three of the films nominated for best picture — “Little Women,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Irishman,” the movie that has captivated the imagination of the valley. That’s a lot for me, but there was a time when I would have seen every nominee. That was before children and before the fire that destroyed the Wyoming Theater.

There isn’t a person who grew up in Wyoming who doesn’t have fond memories of Saturday matinees, date nights, or the famous Christmas show. During the Depression, my father used to stand in front of the ticket booth and ask strangers for the nickel admission. When I was a kid, it was a quarter. By high school, the cost had increased to 50 cents. My friends and I went every Friday night after my guitar lessons, across the street at Carl’s Music Store. My children never got to see a show there. The theater that opened in 1912 screened its last movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” in 1982, but the last one I saw was “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I was very pregnant with my second child, Michael, and feeling some discomfort in my back, but the fast paced adventure of Indiana Jones swept me away to Mongolia and the Egyptian desert. That’s what movies do, make you shut the real world outside for a bit.

After the fire, going to the movies wasn’t as convenient and, with three kids, the price of the big chain movie houses made television a better option. I spent years watching children’s programs and silly sit coms. There were years when I didn’t see any of the nominees. This Sunday, I’ll be a more informed viewer. If all goes as planned, I’ll have also seen “Jojo Rabbit” and “1917” and I’ll watch the Oscar ceremony with an interest I haven’t felt in years. The love for cinema that was born and nurtured at the Wyoming Theater is still with me.

The other big day coming up is Valentine’s Day. Let me remind you that when you’re making reservations to take your sweetie out to celebrate, we have some of the best restaurants right here in Wyoming, West Wyoming, and Exeter. It’s bad enough that we don’t have a theater, let’s not lose any of those great eating and drinking establishments. We have a place for every taste and budget. From diner to pizza parlor, barbecue to fine dining. Support our local establishments or, one day they will be gone.

Happy Oscar viewing and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

Wyoming Hose Company fund drive

Wyoming Hose Company’s 2020 annual fire department fund drive has begun. Every Wyoming resident has received a 2020 donation request form. Please fill out the form and, along with your donation, return by mail.

This is the time to help the people who help you. Because the volunteers realize that everyone is busy, a reminder will be mailed to those who forget to donate.

Your generous donations help keep our firefighters safe while they protect us and our property. The fundraising committee thanks all who donate.

Wyoming sanitation fees

Wyoming sanitation fees are in face period through May 15, with the price being $250. After that, the late fee is $300. Senior discount is $240.

Vacant properties are not exempt from fees.

No cash payments will be accepted. Check or money order should be made out to Wyoming Borough Sanitation.

Rental property owners, not the tenant, are responsible for the bill.

Wyoming U.M. Church

ham and cabbage dinner

Wyoming United Methodist Church will have a St. Patrick’s Day ham and cabbage dinner from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Takeouts also are available.

Cost for the dinner is $10 for adults and $5 for children age 5 to 10.

Library news

The Saturday Lego Club is starting up again at the Wyoming Free Library. Four dates have been scheduled for February — Saturdays, Feb. 8, 15, 22 and 29. This activity is free and suitable for children of all ages, but registration is required. Call 570-693-1364.

Join librarian John Roberts for Volunteer Meet and Greet Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. People are needed to help with future fundraising activities. Refreshments will be served.

West Wyoming Hose

Company pasta dinner

West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1 will host a ziti dinner at the fire and rescue headquarters, 926 Shoemaker Ave. The dinner will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Takeouts will be available.

West Wyoming trash fee

Bills for trash fees, in place of stickers, have been mailed. All residents of West Wyoming must pay this bill. Cost for trash removal remains the same as last year. Rebate phase has ended, and as of Feb. 1, the fee is $200.

Beginning March 1, the cost will be $300.

You can pay the trash fee by credit card at www.westwyoming.org. Mastercard and Discover will be accepted.

Exeter emergency alerts

Exeter Borough has begun a CodeRED notification system to send alerts and updates to citizens during emergencies.

Registration is required and can be done online at public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF7C830C8725 or on your smartphone text AlertExeterPA to 99411.

Citizens without the internet can call 570-654-3001, ext. 7.

Exeter refuse stickers

Refuse stickers for Exeter Borough are now available. The price remains the same as last year. Senior citizens age 65 and older will pay $110 during the rebate period until Feb. 28. From March 1 to March 31, the price for seniors will be $130. All other residents will pay $150 during the rebate period, ending Feb. 28. From March 1 to March 31, the price will be $180.

It is mandatory to purchase a sticker.

Exeter Borough announced it will have additional refuse payment hours from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays in February in addition to the regular hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2.

Regional ambulance

membership

Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance announced the 2020 membership cards have been mailed to the residents of Exeter Borough. The group thanks everyone who contributed to the 2019 membership drive.

Congratulations also are in order as the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance received the 2019 Pennsylvania Department of Health EMS Agency of the Year Award.

For information about the membership cards or about ambulance service, please call 570-654-1202.

State office hours

State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office, 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open from noon to 2 p.m. the third Friday of the month.

WA Little League formation

The Exeter, Wyoming/West Wyoming and West Pittston Little League teams will be combined this year as the Greater Wyoming Area Little League.

Register your children for baseball and softball at www.wyomingwestwyomingll.com. For information, email GWALittle-league.com.

Kiwanis Club’s news

The Kiwanians are continuing their mission of purchasing vests to keep first responders safe. They recently donated six rifle plated vests and hope to purchase 70 more. The vests will be given to police, fire and EMS units that serve the Wyoming Area School District. Each protective vest costs $300.

To donate or to sponsor a vest, send a check or money order made out to Wyoming Area Kiwanis and mail to 1078 Wyoming Ave., Box 445, Wyoming, PA 18644. For information, call Mike Coolbaugh at 570-237-1080.

Sabatini’s Bottle Shop in Exeter will host the Kiwanis Club in an Invest in a Vest event at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. Cost is $25, which includes pizza and three drinks. There will be a chance to win baskets, gift certificates and a 50/50 raffle. If anyone would like to donate a basket or gift certificate, or to purchase a ticket to the event, email wyomingareakiwanis@gmail.com.

The Kiwanis Club continues its Hometown Heroes Banner Program to honor residents and family members of Wyoming and West Wyoming who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. Banners will be placed on street poles on Shoemaker Avenue, Wyoming Avenue and Eighth Street.

The banners will be displayed from May 2020 to Nov. 11, 2022. Cost is $225, which includes installation and removal. After the two years, the banners will be removed and given to the service person or family member.

To get an application, contact wyomingareakiwanis@gmail.com.

Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To list an item, email barbarabullions@gmail.com or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.