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Another Compressed Gas Terminal

NG Advantage Compressed Gas has bought about 63 acres in Springville, PA on Phillips Road off Route 29 and took over the compressed fuel station property of Cabot.

This company will have up to 100 or more tractor trailers daily carrying about 20,000 lbs. of compressed gas under high pressure to points unknown on our roads. So far their destination points seem to be New England and New York to supply gas to companies and replace the lack of needed pipelines in our county and New York.

This Company is similar, but larger than XNG Compressed Gas in Forest Lake. All these trucks will probably travel north on Route 29, into Montrose and it's not sure what direction they will turn after the Borough of Montrose.

This amount of traffic of up to 100 or more trucks daily will pound our weakening roads and add more traffic congestion, dust and risk to other drivers on our country roads.

NG Advantage was kicked out of Fenton, NY after being approved by the Planning Board there. When word got out to the townspeople, much upset and protest ensued and the people and local School Board sued the Planning Board, eventually winning and having NG Advantage thrown out of the town. They did not want this amount of possible explosive gas in special containers going through their area and near their schools.

XNG Compressed Gas in Forest Lake has all ready had five or six accidents and roll-overs since they opened in 2017, traveling in PA and New York. Drivers were hurt and trucks were demolished or put out of commission needing repairs or beyond repair. No explosions yet. Lots of traffic in New York is being complained about by local residents along their (over 2 hour) routes from Forest Lake.

We need to be vigilant and keep tabs on these trucks and have local police and state police check their speed and weight. We don't have zoning like in New York and it seems difficult to stop them from operating thus far.

Be on the look out for them with their 53' trucks as they turn onto Route 29, which has had a recent fatal accident on that turn. We need to transition soon to non-fossil fuel energies and not have all this invasion of the Gas Industry and it's pervasive presence throughout our county. They need a lot of space to get their energy and its negative impacts are increasing for our residents.

Sincerely,

Vera Scroggins, Brackney, PA

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He Is Our President

The recent passing of former President George Bush-- he was never referred to with the H.W. during his entire political career-- highlights a lesson in civility for us all. His gracious note to incoming President Clinton, the man who had beaten him, is instructive. In it, he said that "Your success is now our success, and I am rooting hard for you." It calls to mind something I wrote for the pages of this very paper (August 25, 1994). Responding to the climate of partisan hatred created by the Gingrich revolutionaries, I wrote, "Remember, he is our President-- his success is our success. We should support him and wish him well, and be reasonable, responsible, and fair when we must take issue. I haven't seen that happen; on the contrary, I've seen the worst campaign of vilification since Day One. I'm concerned that the popular passion for vilification is making our entire political process unworkable, and is hastening the ruin of our country."

Nobody listened. The immaturity and partisan rancor of the Far Right produced the dysfunctional politics we suffer from today. Rather than root for him and wish him well, they set out to ruin Clinton, launching an Impeachment Crusade in search of an offense long before he'd even met Monica Lewinski. And what a pathetic excuse they settled on. It roiled the country and ruined politics. We've paid a heavy price for it.

A lot of the GOP base from then became Tea Partiers. And they continued their folly by announcing their #1 goal was to make Obama a one-term President, and striving to obstruct everything he did. Hardly "America First" here. And a lot of these same folks wear MAGA hats today. No "kinder and gentler" for them. Politics is now a ruthless, bare-knuckle blood sport that's so petty they even bay for the unwarranted incarceration of vanquished political rivals over trumped-up charges, rather than being adults and just tending to the nation's business.

The passing of George Bush the Elder is the end of an era. He provided a lesson in civility, but again no one will learn from it.

Sincerely,

Stephen Van Eck, Rushville, PA

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Remember, he (Donald Trump) is our President, his (Donald Trump's) success is our success." The Democrats could(?) put on the other shoe.

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Schoolboy Schools SCOTUS

Trump exploded. Another judge plunged in to overrule yet another of the president's executive orders on immigration. The president called the judge who ruled against him an "Obama judge." Then it was Chief Justice John Roberts' turn to explode: "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."

Aah, Justice Roberts, but we do. They fall into two camps: liberals and originalists/constitutionalists. That is why the Democrats fought tooth and nail against Trump's originalists nominees, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.

Liberals and originalists are like cats and dogs: they don't get along. For them, the black flag flies: No quarter given, no quarter asked.

The originalists' position is easy to define: the Constitution does it for us in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. In 164 words the shortest and 10th amendment reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

In even fewer words, the 10th says that the federal government has only those powers expressly granted by the Constitution. Next step, where does the Constitution list those powers? Answer: Article 1, Section 8.

Article 1, Section 8 has 18 clauses. They cover the broad prefectures of national interests. For example: to lay and collect taxes, to coin money, to establish the post office, to declare war, to raise and support armies, and 13 other clauses.

Here's the point of all this: If the areas of jurisdiction are not explicitly spelled out in one of those 18 clauses, the federal government faces a Keep Out sign, and so does the Supreme Court. Extraneous to the 18 limitations the authority rests with the people and their legislators.

One does not have to be a constitutional scholar to understand the written word of the nation's foundational document that any high school student would have, for example, Tom Jones.

Tom is an average high school student, more interested in football and basketball than academic pursuits. Let's give him the problem that Chief Justice Roberts struggled with: Is Obamacare constitutional?

Tom is provided with a complete list of the 18 clauses enumerating the areas of federal responsibilities. Can you find health insurance among the 18, Tom? After a few minutes, it's a nope: it's not there. Then it must be left to the people, not the courts, he says.

Well, Tom, you're just not bright enough. Justice Roberts found health insurance in the very first clause: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes." There it is, Tom, Obamacare plain as day.

If the Supreme Court justices like John Roberts were true to their oath "that I [ _________ ] will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," we would not be facing the close-to-impossible task of unraveling a massive legal twine ball of unconstitutional and constitutional rulings.

Take this example: the Supreme Court is soon to hear arguments over transgenders in the military. We'll consult Tom again. Tom, look over the 18 clauses and find which one is on topic for transgenders. Again, Tom draws a blank. Understandable. It's not there.

So resorting to that rarely called upon resource, common sense, where does the authority for transgenders in the military lie? Is it not reasonable to assume that the military should make decisions on the military? And if that does not satisfy, then another elected official could weigh in on the matter: the President and Commander and Chief of the United States.

Okay. Enough of originalists reading of the Constitution. What about the liberals?

The liberal position is easier to define than the originalists.

To liberals, the Constitution says whatever they want it to mean. Take the Court's 5-4 decision making same-sex marriage a national right. The liberal wing voted yea: Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

Those voting nay: Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and to his credit, John Roberts.

Anthony Scalia scalded the majority judgment as "an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law." Exactly so. Same-sex marriage, together with a basket full of other Supreme Court rulings are outrageously unconstitutional. Unplowed, legal hardscrabble for the new SCOTUS to till.

Sincerely,

Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA

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The "PERFECT" Christmas Tree

(Advice to my daughters... and an "Aha" to my mom)

As I brought out all the Christmas ornaments this year, I realized it was time I started to distribute some of my daughters' Christmas ornaments to each of them. After all, they were both out on their own and starting their own traditions.

Let me see, last year I gave my oldest her "fairy" collection and my younger daughter her "Wizard of Oz" collection that they each got from their grandma. I also gave away an old tree skirt to my younger daughter. This year my older daughter needed a tree stand and some lights, so I gladly gave her mine, since we have transitioned to an artificial tree against my will, due to my allergies. While she visited, she shared some Pinterest photos of a beautiful, Victorian Christmas tree with perfectly matching ornaments and a glorious gold ribbon with perfect white twinkle lights. I thought to myself as she left, maybe I'll try to buy one ornament each year for their individual trees.

I continued to decorate our Christmas tree with the 20-year old, slightly frayed candy cane garland and the little wooden ornaments that I got from a co-worker when I was single. I carefully added the "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments from each of my girls and remembered as though it were yesterday. As I rummaged through the ornaments box, I found a Christmas dove in memory of my dad and hung it carefully toward the top. The handmade wreaths with my daughters' first grade pictures glued in found special places tucked between the branches. They brought to mind such fun memories of how my daughters would decorate the entire bottom of the tree! And the numerous "Barbie" ornaments (each year a different one) from their grandma, which some years overwhelmed the tree, now brought such warm, sentimental memories of how those numerous Barbie ornaments some years were quite helpful in filling in the sparse lower half of some of our fresh cut trees. Of course, that brought to mind happy thoughts of shopping for the "perfect" tree at Shehawkin Tree Farm. When my daughters were very little, my husband pulled them in the sled with our dog under foot, "watering" all the trees along the way. Mr. Leet always laughed and invited us for hot chocolate and homemade cookies that Mrs. Leet (dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus) many times had just brought from the oven. Back to decorating the tree... And then, the Victorian balls I bought one year when I was feeling particularly sophisticated each nestled under the thick branches. I guess, I too had "ideas" at one time. LOL.

I don't always decorate the whole tree at one time. I love to take my time and stand back and admire the tree and look for empty spots to tuck another special ornament. As I stood back and admired my work, I also realized something that I wanted to pass on to my daughters. A "perfect" family Christmas tree is such a mix of memories over time. It's a combination of Barbies and Wizard of Oz, handmade picture wreaths and baby ornaments, Victorian fantasies/phases, and even collected pine combs, but most of all, of LOVE. It's a conglomeration of a little bit of everything over the years that represents a family's love for each other... and all the memories that represent that love.

By the way, I've also learned about the "perfect" Christmas tree from my mom. For years, since my dad passed, my mom always wanted me to come over to decorate her 4-foot high Christmas tree with her. I'll be honest, sometimes I dreaded it. At first, I would set the tree up on the table in the living room, after rearranging her entire living room furniture. After bringing up the numerous boxes of ornaments from the basement, I would hunt through all the boxes for the ornament hooks, each year reminding mom that it would be a good idea to leave the hooks on the ornaments. Every year, it was quite a production to get all of her ornaments on the little tree. But, mom insisted that it wasn't complete until ALL the ornaments were on the tree! Sometimes, it was 4 or 5 hours or more to decorate her little tree. Mom always wanted to explain in full detail where EACH ornament came from and how sentimental it was to her. Now I'll be honest, sometimes it can get laborious! I thought it would NEVER end! And, after it was all done, it certainly looked absolutely gorgeous... a bit crowded, but "PERFECT". Then, my mom always adds, "Just leave the boxes in the living room... I think we're missing a few." All teasing aside, though, for some reason, this year, after decorating my own tree and mentally reminiscing about each ornament and all the happy memories associated with each one of them, I GOT IT!

So, no matter how busy the Christmas season gets this year, I WILL MAKE THE TIME to help my mom decorate her "PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE". Now, may I also add that I'll bring a bottle of wine... a big one!

Sincerely,

Kathy Flor, Starrucca, PA

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