Tobyhanna Army Depot Hosts Army Senior Leader Visit

Tobyhanna Army Depot discussed the needs of the future force during an Army senior leader’s visit.

Matthew Sannito, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-4, visited Tobyhanna on June 25 to witness the organization’s advanced capabilities, world-class facilities, and ongoing modernization efforts, highlighting the depot’s pivotal role providing C5ISR readiness for the joint warfighter. Sannito and the team at the Army G-4 develop, implement, and oversee Army strategy, policy, plans, and programming for logistics and sustainment.

Depot Commander Col. James L. Crocker, Sgt. Maj. Michael S. Riggs, and Chief of Staff Kristyn K. Smith hosted Sannito’s inaugural visit to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s largest regional employer.

After an overview briefing outlining the depot’s mission and business profile, Col. Crocker facilitated a comprehensive tour for Sannito, shining a spotlight on the depot’s modernized facilities and skilled workforce – all poised to meet the needs of the modern warfighter.

“The Tobyhanna Army Depot of 2024 has greatly evolved since our beginnings in 1953. Our workload profile is changing, and we are seeing immense growth in emerging missions like microelectronics, satellite communications, cable fabrication, and radars,” said Col. Crocker. “A proactive modernization strategy set us up for success today, and we will continue building towards tomorrow.”

Tobyhanna’s expansive radar campus was a focal point of the tour, which also revealed plans for a dramatic modernization in the near future. The radar campus expansion project, which will invest upwards of $60 million into depot facilities, will expand radar testing capacity as well as increase capabilities for essential equipment used by warfighters across the Department of Defense (DoD).

As the DoD’s radar center of excellence, the depot supports current DoD radars in sustainment as well as legacy systems for partner nations. Personnel in the depot’s Strategic Initiatives Office also support emerging warfighter requirements prior to and during the transition to sustainment.

The tour highlighted Tobyhanna’s innovative approach to maintenance, including the organization’s radar-centric technology center, which consolidates technological commonalities in a single workspace. Co-locating personnel by technology (instead of individual system) removes functional silos, increases skills of maintenance personnel, and heightens cross-organizational collaboration opportunities.

Challenges faced across the Army enterprise, such as supply chain management and obsolescence were also topics of discussion along the tour route. Sannito had the opportunity to see the depot’s emerging microelectronics capability; a novel facility that creates a sustainment strategy for circuit cards lacking support from the original equipment manufacturer or have long lead times. Vital military assets, such as SINCGARS radios, Harris radios, and the AN/TPQ53 will have heightened readiness – all thanks to Tobyhanna’s future-focused readiness strategy.

“This new capability can reduce the lead time for critical components from years to mere weeks,” Crocker said.

Sannito emphasized the importance of bridging the communication gap between depots and decision makers.

“The value of these visits is to get people into the operations and organizations where they don’t have visibility. People advocating for resources may not have a full operational understanding to effectively articulate needs to decision makers,” said Sannito. “It’s all about readiness at the end of the day,” adding that Tobyhanna plays an important role within the DoD.

“The work you do here at Tobyhanna Army Depot drives down risk and sustains readiness.”

Crocker noted the benefits of engaging with Army officials in his remarks closing out the visit.

“Educating senior Army leaders about the vast capabilities of the depot and the challenges we face will only result in better decision making for the entire organic industrial base.”

Smith agreed.

“Tobyhanna has a dynamic, multifaceted mission, which results in increased readiness for warfighters facing a multi-domain battlefield. The support of leaders across the Army is integral to the success of not only the depot, but the DoD overall. We are thankful for engaged advocates like Mr. Sannito.”

UNC’s Camp Kelly Overnight Camp Registration Still Open

United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) still has available space at our Camp Kelly Traditional Girls Overnight. The camp is in the countryside of Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, just 30 minutes from Scranton. UNC’s Camp Kelly provided a weeklong, authentic, great outdoors version of cabin camping for girls. We created an environment where every girl can learn to feel confident in their abilities and where they are committed to building upon their sense of self with each activity. Our camp is designed to foster confidence, connection, and character in every guest.

It is sometimes the first time many young girls stay overnight away from home, starting a memorable personal growth and unique experience. We encourage them to act like children but empower them to become self-sufficient and independent. We also give them the tools they need to become responsible adults. For many girls, it is not only their first time sleeping away from home but in a cabin near the wilderness or without the amenities they are used to.  They must embrace getting out of their comfort zone.

Campers are invited to register for week 1, July 7 -12, or week 2, July 14-19. The cost is only $405 per camper. If you would like to feature our available space, Kelly Langan, our Director of Children & Teens, is available for interviews and tours of camp. She can be reached at We can also provide interviews with staff and campers.  To view pictures of our camp, visit UNC’s Camp Kelly on Facebook.

Geisinger Discusses Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Geisinger says some sunscreen is always better than none for sun protection, but for certain skin types, one kind may take the prize.
By: Mikael Kevork Horissian, MD, Dermatology, Geisinger

Are you an avid outdoor enthusiast — or someone who spends as little time outside as possible? Either way, and in any season, sunscreen is crucial in protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. It not only guards against painful sunburn, but also reduces the risk of premature aging and skin cancer. 

But not all sunscreens are created equal, and abundant options line store shelves. You’ll see terms like mineral, physical or chemical, but what do they mean?

The main difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens is how they filter the sun’s rays. While they’re both an effective option for sun protection, the choice between mineral and chemical sunscreens typically comes down to your skin type, sensitivity and personal preferences.

What is mineral sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, creates a physical barrier on the skin’s surface to reflect and scatter UV rays. This barrier helps block UV rays from being absorbed into the skin and causing damage.

This type of sunscreen uses natural minerals, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, as its active ingredients. 

What is chemical sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, works by using just that — chemicals — to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Instead of physically blocking UV rays like mineral sunscreen, it works like a sponge, absorbing UV radiation and converting it into non-damaging heat through a chemical reaction to reduce sun damage. Your skin then releases the heat.

Common ingredients found in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, dioxybenzone and homosalate.

Mineral vs. chemical sunscreen: Which is right for you?

Each type of sunscreen has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks.

Chemical sunscreen benefits

People often like chemical sunscreen because of its lightweight, easy-to-apply formula. It blends seamlessly into the skin without leaving any white residue.

Chemical sunscreen drawbacks

However, chemical sunscreen tends to wear off more quickly. That means you have to reapply it more often, especially if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. It can also take up to 30 minutes to be absorbed into the skin to be effective. And if you have sensitive skin, chemical sunscreen could cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

Mineral sunscreen benefits

There’s no waiting period for effectiveness with mineral sunscreen — it protects your skin as soon as you apply it. And it’s generally well-tolerated by all skin types, making it ideal if you have sensitive skin, dry skin or eczema.

Mineral sunscreens are generally preferred by dermatologists because if applied correctly, they literally form a separation between your skin and the sun. With instant protection and a lower likelihood of breaking down in sunlight compared to chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreen is a safe, effective option for sun protection.

Mineral sunscreen drawbacks

A disadvantage of mineral sunscreen: It tends to be thicker, making it harder to apply evenly. And it can leave behind a white, chalky residue on the skin, which may not be appealing particularly if you have a darker skin tone.

Are chemical sunscreens safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not labeled either type of sunscreen as unsafe. However, there is growing concern over common ingredients in chemical sunscreen that are absorbed into the bloodstream and their impact on a person’s health.

A study recently published in JAMA revealed the amount of chemicals absorbed into the bloodstream is significantly above the FDA’s threshold for waiving added safety trials to determine possible toxicity.

This study does not mean that chemical sunscreens are unsafe, but rather more conclusive research is needed to determine if there are any effects on a person’s health. Current medical literature suggests that the known health risks of UV exposure far outweigh the potential risk of chemical absorption from this type of sunscreen.

The bottom line? The effectiveness and safety of any sunscreen depend on several factors.

Look for sunscreen that:

  • Has an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Is water-resistant
  • Is labeled broad spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB rays

If it has all these qualities, it’s proven to effectively protect the skin from sun damage, as long as you apply it generously and reapply it every two hours, or as directed.

More sun safety tips

Sunscreen alone can’t fully protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, especially if you’re outside for long periods of time. Besides generously applying and reapplying sunscreen — whether mineral or chemical — follow these other sun-safe practices for optimal protection:

  • Avoid peak hours in the sun, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50 or higher, as well as sunglasses and a wide-brim hat.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible.

By following sun safety practices and making whatever sunscreen you choose a part of your daily routine, you can enjoy the outdoors all summer long while keeping your skin healthy and well-protected.

For the latest health and wellness tips and advice, visit

UNC’s Pine Brook Free Summer Programming

United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC) Pine Brook Revitalization Neighborhood Revitalization Plan has scheduled free summer programming for the community. The programs include a yoga class, a walking club, and a book club for children.

Start your week aligned with Yoga every Monday during July and August at the Capouse Corner Green Space at 1371 Capouse Street at New York Avenue. The free class for all levels of ability is at 5:30 p.m. The dates are July 8, 15, 22, and 29, and August 5, 12, 19, and 26.

Get your steps with Walking Club every Tuesday during July and August. The free group will meet at John Adams Elementary School at 5:30 pm. Walks will be approximately 30 to 45 minutes at all paces. The dates are July 9, 16, 23, and 30, and August 6, 13, 20, and 27.

Feed your mind at Reading in the Park, a children’s book club, every Wednesday during July and August at 11 am. Children will be provided with a book and snack. The dates are July 10, 17, 24, and 31, and August 7, 14, 21, and 28.

In the event of inclement weather, please check United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA’s Pine Brook Neighborhood Plan page on Facebook for cancellation and rain dates.

UNC’s Pine Brook Neighborhood Community Revitalization Plan is funded by Coterra, FNBC Bank, and Peoples Security Bank through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP). Their annual contribution of $50,000 for six years will help rebuild, restore, and revitalize Pine Brook, a designated Elm Street Community, through the Pennsylvania Keystone Communities program. 

AllOne Foundation & Charities Announces Staff Expansion

AllOne Foundation & Charities is excited to announce a staff expansion to further support innovative programs and projects, broaden philanthropic collaboration, and continue to improve the health and welfare of the people of Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. Jesse J. Ergott will serve as Chief Advancement Officer and Nora Kern as Program Officer.

Jesse J. Ergott, Chief Advancement Officer

Prior to joining AllOne Foundation & Charities, Jesse served as President and CEO at NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. In this role, Jesse oversaw a strategic rebranding from Neighborhood Housing Services of Lackawanna County to NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, expanding the organization’s geographical footprint from one to six counties and its four-member staff to a dedicated team of twenty-one.

During Jesse’s sixteen-year tenure, NeighborWorks led the response to the region’s mortgage foreclosure crisis, launched a volunteer program that provided approximately 90,000 hours in small home repairs and other services to neighbors who needed a helping hand, assisted approximately 1,000 residents with purchasing their first home, and developed an aging in place program that aided hundreds of seniors with home renovations and accessibility improvements. Jesse also operationalized the organization’s community development work, leading to significant investments in blight reduction and neighborhood beautification.

Prior to joining NeighborWorks, Jesse served as Chief Operations Officer for the Lackawanna Heritage Valley State and National Heritage Area. Jesse has served on many local, state, and national boards and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton’s Kania School of Business where he helps lead the University’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program.
In his role as Chief Advancement Officer, Jesse will drive the operational and strategic direction of AllOne Foundation & Charities to advance the mission and vision of the organization.

Nora Kern, Program Officer

Prior to joining AllOne Foundation & Charities, Nora served as Advancement Manager at the Scranton Area Community Foundation where she advanced the message of the Foundation by providing content for all forms of communication. She also contributed to developing the Foundation through grant writing and donor relations.
Nora has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2009, starting as a Development Director at Trehab Community Action Agency in Montrose, Pennsylvania. At Trehab she focused on affordable housing, renewable energy, and emergency food, shelter, and utility programs. She then joined the Admissions and Marketing Department at Kendal, a nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Ithaca, NY where she focused on building relationships.

As Program Officer, Nora will assist with grant management, community events and nonprofit partnerships.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to Partner with the County of Lackawanna Transit System

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are pleased to partner with COLTS, the County of Lackawanna Transit System, to help provide a new option for fans attending games at PNC Field this season. COLTS will now offer service from five locations to PNC Field.

Three trips to and from the following stops will run Tuesday through Saturday, both before and after the game COLTS will run service from the Transit Station, the DeNaples Center at the University of Scranton, Moosic at South Webster, Valley View and Hill Top. Service will leave PNC Field at three different times nightly with return stops at each location.

“COLTS considers transit to be an essential part of our community and its success,” stated Timothy McGrath, Executive Director for the County of Lackawanna Transit System. “Whether you are going to school, healthcare or work, we are here to get you there safely. Our mission is to enhance mobility for all citizens of Lackawanna County by offering affordable, reliable and safe transportation. Everyone should have the opportunity to get to where they need to, and we are honored to expand our service to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Game Day Express should be a home run, and we hope you enjoy the game with COLTS!”

First pitch for games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is at 6:35 P.M. Saturday games begin at 6:05 P.M.

“We are thrilled to partner with COLTS to provide this new transportation option to PNC Field,” said Katie Beekman, the General Manager of the RailRiders. “The ballpark has been a part of the fabric of our community for decades and we are truly excited for the new option to assist all fans wanting to attend games.”

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre begins the second half of the 2024 season this evening at PNC Field. The RailRiders host the Worcester Red Sox starting at 6:35 P.M. tonight. For tickets or upcoming promotional information, visit or call (570) 969-2255.

Geisinger Hosting Monthly PA Health Talks

Geisinger will host PA Health Talk events to discuss movement disorders and treatment from noon to 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Geisinger Medical Center Hospital for Advanced Medicine Community Room.

The informal discussions will be led by David Ferrone, M.D., Geisinger neurosurgeon, who will explain how deep brain stimulation (DBS) can improve life for people with movement disorders.

The sessions will explore:

  • How DBS can treat essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia
  • Which patients qualify for DBS
  • Expected results of DBS therapy

The first dates are:

  • July 9
  • Aug. 13
  • Sept. 10
  • Oct. 8

People of any age can have essential tremor, but it’s most common after age 40. The condition is often hereditary. Men are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease, and diagnoses increase with age.

The talks include a Q&A session. Lunch will be provided. Online registration is available. For more information, call 570-271-7321.

Johnson College to Host Open House

Johnson College will hold an on-campus Open House on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, from 5 to 7 p.m. on its Scranton campus. To register to attend the Open House, visit or contact Johnson College’s Enrollment Department at 570-702-8856 or

The Open House will include discussions about the admissions process, information about financial aid for those who qualify, and student services such as student life, student support, and career services. Plus, same-day acceptance will be available for many programs if students bring their high school or college transcripts. Tours of each technical area will be conducted, and program directors and instructors will be available to review the specifics of their programs.