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Issue Home November 4, 2003 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

An Editorial

Several instances of late prompt me to vent (and, maybe educate). Any regular reader of the County Transcript will have to agree that we publish more than our fair share of free publicity for schools, churches and nonprofit organizations in and around Susquehanna County.

We do this, primarily because we feel it is a big part of our responsibility to keep our readership informed of what these groups and organizations are doing, while helping to promote the missions of those same groups.

What continues to surprise (and confuse) me is what happens when these same groups decide it is time to advertise one or another of their events, or have a need for printed matter to promote their cause. More often than not, they trade (spend their money) with one of the many shoppers that come into our fair county.

Bear in mind, these "shoppers" ignore/refuse all requests for free publicity, accepting only paid advertisements. They (shoppers) have a number of you convinced that mass circulation in an area is the answer to all your needs. If you really think that is the case, go to your local post office any day they (shoppers) are delivered and look in the waste can to see how many are discarded by box holders. You might even want to ask the clerk how many times the waste can was emptied that day.

Common sense might dictate that when you have money to feed the horse, you should consider the one that kept you in the race, instead of the nag in the stall next door.

You would be surprised, I know I am, how many times the nag gets fed in contrast to the bread winner.

Your local, weekly "newspaper" (and I really don’t care which one you call yours) is happy to print your free publicity 51 weeks a year. So, why ignore them on the 52nd, when you have a few pennies to spread around? Why do you travel to nearby counties, or other states for that matter, to get your printing?

I do understand I am getting more callous toward this type of neglect, having spent the past 25 years adhering to the requests of countless entities seeking that proverbial "free" publicity. But, I can’t help but wonder when they’ll (for the most part) wake up? I get a real "hoot" when they ask us to run free publicity to announce their event, ask us to contribute to their cause, then give us a press release thanking everyone under the sun except, you got it, the horse that kept them in the race.

To all those groups who do cast some grain, or a simple thank you our way when appropriate, we thank you for your recognition.

To those who may be second guessing right now, it might be an appropriate time to evaluate the relationship. If you can only remember our names 51 weeks a year, do me a favor and take us out of your rolodex.

We’re All Separate

I'm writing in response to a letter to the Editor in the October 22nd Transcript Editorial titled "Please Do Not Give". The writer indicates the United Way does not support the Boy Scouts, therefore people should not give. Each United Way is operated as a separate organization and while some may not support the Boy Scouts, the United Way of Susquehanna County does. Anyone wanting more information about the United Way of Susquehanna County can call our office directly at (570) 278–3868.


Joseph Burke, President

United Way of Susquehanna County

Changes Happening Fast

Several months ago, the supervisors and council members of six municipalities in the northeast section of our county met to discuss changes that were occurring in the growth of the area. Over the past several years, these changes were happening at an increasingly faster pace and, because of this, they decided to form a partnership to address these issues and plan for the future. As a result, the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership (ESCP), consisting of the following municipalities was formed: Ararat Township, Herrick Township, Thompson Township, Gibson Township, Thompson Borough, Union Dale Borough.

Growth can be a good thing. Everyone wants decent jobs, places to shop and places where their children can play. It is unplanned growth that we wish to avoid at all costs. Unplanned growth brings higher taxes sometimes to the point where the people who were born and raised here are not able to afford to live here. Unplanned growth can impact on the ability of local people to conduct their businesses, e.g.: agriculture, quarrying, logging. It can also impact on the ability to hunt and fish, water quality, traffic, the area’s rural character and the general quality of life.

The purpose of this partnership is simple: to prepare a multi-municipal comprehensive plan for the area encompassed by these municipalities to suit the needs and desires of these six members and their residents. These objectives are: the preservation of the area’s rural environment and lifestyle; the promotion of economic and physical growth which is compatible with, but not burdensome to, the small infrastructures our municipalities represent; the maintenance and promotion of agriculture suitable to our region; the protection of the area’s natural environment; the protection of open space, parks and recreational areas; the documentation and preservation of the historic features associated with the region.

This is why the ESCP was created. The citizens of these townships and boroughs should be able to decide what they want their region to look like in the future. Working together, the citizens of this partnership will control their own future, not be forced to live with the consequences of doing nothing.

The committee members are all volunteer municipal officials, receiving no pay for their efforts. A significant portion of the cost of preparing the plan will be defrayed by applying for and receiving grants from state agencies. Additional information on the progress of the committee will be published as it becomes available. Anyone interested can attend their monthly local municipality meetings for updates.


William Wolfe, PR

The Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership

Whatever It Took

This letter concerns the naming contest for the bridge that spans the Susquehanna River between Hallstead and Great Bend Township. It came to my attention when I was handed a form from one of the local newspapers. While I realize this contest is probably to appease everyone’s opinions, it galls me that it has not been officially considered, despite family attempts to discuss this with one local official and a state department. As far as I am concerned, the bridge is officially named after the Honorable Mayor John F. Fitzgerald I. Mayor Fitzgerald spent twenty years of his physically debilitated life from a heart condition giving everything he had back to his community. He loved this area and its people. He knew most of the people by first name, was willing to give them his time and full attention. If a problem arose, Mayor Fitzgerald readily spent time with the person or organization concerned. Maybe a person or family was having difficulty with a given situation and couldn’t come to an immediate conclusion to their problem. He didn’t just talk to them, he listened to them. If they needed help he was willing to do whatever it took.

Mayor Fitzgerald was instrumental in bringing about the reconditioning of the old bridge. While it took time to get it replaced, he pushed in turn for the construction of the new one. I drove him to all points concerned with the traffic on Rte. 11 and the bridge, taking pictures. The photos spoke for themselves, showing that there were no clear focal areas regarding traffic. He spent his own Social Security disability money to buy the film, to develop it, buy the manila envelopes and postage to send it off the state Department of Transportation.

There is only one other person who has devoted as much time giving back to the local community as Mayor Fitzgerald of Hallstead and that was his uncle, John E. Fitzgerald. I am so proud of Mayor Fitzgerald and his lifetime accomplishments. I feel honored to call him, "Dad".


Kelly Ann Fitzgerald

Hallstead, PA

A Crooked Monopoly

I was assured at the CHOCH (City Hall Of City Halls) meeting on September 16 they were not Stupid enough to sign a Crooked Monopoly contract with Bituminous Inspection, the Scranton mafia. Well, here we are, October 21, and the pretty boys at CHOCH Codes have indeed signed a Crooked Monopoly contract with the Scranton mafia.

The Uniform Corruption Code does not Require Crooked Monopoly contracts, but merely condones Crooked Monopoly contracts. This fact has been widely misunderstood. It is perfectly legal for municipalities to permit inspections to be done by all certified third-party inspectors. The precise words are "one or more". The only thing the 39 municipalities need to do is, nothing. Just accept all certified inspectors. Some will show up when called, and some will spend a month studying the map to figure out where Exchange Street is located, and when they can fit it into their busy schedule.

When you visit a Health Monopoly Organization, you see a different doctor (or nurse) every time. It's the same with big outfits like Bituminous Inspection. A small company can give you personal and immediate service. Big companies like the New York Board of Fire Undertakers usually have one or two guys who know what they're doing and dozens of flunkies. What Susquehanna County will get is the flunkies.

To the best of my knowledge, there may be two certified (not grandfathered) inspectors in Susquehanna County. That would be me, and possibly Anthony Gadola. What you should do is contact the Department of Lunatics and Imbeciles to obtain a list of all certified building inspectors. You have the right under the "Right To Know Law", if you have money to hire a lawyer to remind them.

Bituminous Inspection will probably do an inspection for $900 and pay a kickback of 10%. The Tri-State does not pay kickbacks to city hall. No charge/no kickback. Just a real inspection, not a sticker-licking service.

If the present trend continues in "New" Pennsylvania, there will be Zero certified inspectors in Susquehanna County, because they will move somewhere south or west.


David A. Kerr, Jr.

Friendsville, Pa.

Back to Top

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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