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Issue Home February 11, 2003 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Is It "News"?

Every week I eagerly await the "Transcript." I enjoy all of the letters, news stories, etc. (The ads don’t thrill me very much but I realize they are necessary.) I look forward to the editor’s opinion when published, P. Jay’s column lets me in on the "dirt" in the county, and even the classifieds are somewhat interesting. I also normally enjoy reading Lou’s "News Beat."

However, this week, I was disappointed. I thought that we would be spared locally from the national TV news practice of trying to "make news" rather than "report news." You know, the talking heads. I understand that sometimes opinions need to be expressed, and that is fine. However, opinions should never be expressed as "news." To wit, expressing the personal opinion that President Bush wants war. I don’t believe that anyone can report that as fact. Indeed, the President has expressed his opinion that war may be necessary, but never has he stated that he wants war.

In addition, I don’t believe that it was necessary, in a news column to add to the growing feeling of class warfare between the "haves" and "have-nots."

In summary, let us all insure that we differentiate between "opinions" and "facts," and that if an article is an opinion (such as this letter), it be identified as such in the Transcript.


Harry E. Biesecker

Susquehanna, PA

A Mixed Bag

In the February 05, 2003 issue of the Susquehanna County Transcript one of the council members stated that the Police should be enforcing the ordinance(s) regarding parking on the streets during a snow storm.

The same council member said that people could park in their neighbors driveways or at the borough building; downtown.

I would like to ask this council member, "Would you be willing to let your neighbors park in your driveway?" and "Would you seriously consider parking your vehicle down at the Borough building in order to get it off of the street?"

There are several ordinances such as keeping sidewalks unobstructed, not parking on the sidewalks, the pet ordinance and others that are not being enforced by our mayor and her police department.

So, Mayor Kelly, what is the reason or reasons that the police are not enforcing the ordinances?

Another area of concern, also mentioned in the same issue of the Transcript, is the ordinance to permanently ban parking on West Main Street; from Fourth Avenue to the borough line.

Council discussed this in December of 2000, to which I replied that they were taking the easy way out. I still believe they are.

By banning parking on West Main Street they have adversely affected the value of any and all properties in that area.

Who would want to buy a house without an area to park their car?

Of course, none of the council members live in the area in which they have banned parking. How convenient.

The area can be reworked to accommodate both a safe state roadway and off-street parking. It isn't rocket science, but it would involve a significant amount of time, money and planning.

The citizens of the affected area should challenge the council to do the right thing.

You and the council should solicit the aid of Don Sherwood and other people in political positions for their assistance.

Last but not least, codes.

The Zoning Committee wants to purchase a publication that they deemed would benefit them. They were told that the cost of the publication would come out of the codes budget.

Is the codes budget going to be used for other items deemed necessary?

Of course, when they have a 'money maker' such as the renters’ ordinance, it must be very difficult to resist dipping into the newfound pot of gold.

In reference to the renters’ ordinance, why doesn't the mayor, the council and the code enforcement officer publish, via the Susquehanna County Transcript, all of the criteria being utilized by the code enforcement officer to inspect any and all rental units?

Could it be that the guidelines are fluid? You know, ever-changing?

If that is not the case, then why can't every renter and rental property owner have a copy of the guidelines made available upon request?

Come on mayor, council members and code enforcement officer, try stepping up to the challenge.


Richard A. Fabrizi, Sr.

Susquehanna, PA

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Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. At that time you may request to withhold your name. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both ReaderÔs and Editor's interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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