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Letters to the Editor Policy

True Sportsmanship

You wouldn’t expect to learn, from kids, about things that you should be teaching them in the first place. But, I am hoping that some coaches can learn from one of their own All Stars.

My family and I sat through four baseball games at a Windsor, NY baseball tournament recently, hoping that the next game wouldn’t be like the last. We watched as four players from the team were benched three innings per game, while others played six full innings without question. This was something that I have noticed happening, year after year during the regular season. Therefore, when my son was picked for All Stars, I was happy for him but I didn’t want to see him get hurt. I asked his coach if all of the kids would be treated fairly and of course the response was "yes." As you have figured by now, that was not the case. Some parents might agree with one of the coach’s statements, "You want to win don’t you?" Of course, everyone wants their team to win but at what cost to the players? When this takes place, game after game, those that sit feel as if they are not needed and begin to lose all interest in the game. Which is exactly what happened to my son. He slowly lost all interest for the game he used to enjoy, quit the team and has no intention of playing next year. When another concerned parent asked a coach, "Why didn’t you just pick your favorite nine players and be done with it?", he responded by saying, "What if one of them gets hurt?" Maybe I’m missing something, but as I said to their head coach, "They are all All Stars and therefore should have equal time to play." Again, he agreed but gave no explanation for his decisions.

Now that you have some history, I will finally get to the point of this letter. My son was not in the lineup to play his last game of the tournament. We didn’t find out, until the next day about the "true sportsmanship" exemplified by one of the other All Stars. If it had not been for the unselfish act of Randy Stone, my son would not have played at all. Randy offered to sit the bench for the last half of the game, so that my son would be able to play. It’s not too often that you hear of someone giving up this type of opportunity for someone else, knowing that the win would take them into the playoffs. I think this act speaks highly of his parents, and of Randy as a player. I feel that more parents should not only be looking out for their own children’s interests in sports, but also making sure that they teach their children through examples such as this, about being a "true sportsman."

As Randy has shown, it’s not always about winning, but how you play the game. Thank you, very much Randy, for being so considerate and showing true sportsmanship.


Dennis Price

Thompson Borough


Hallowed Ground?

On July 5 my friends and I went to watch the Montrose parade. We meet below the trees at the turn on Church St., the same spot we've been meeting at for over 20 years. This year, however, we were told we could no longer sit there but had to confine ourselves to the bit of bank between the sidewalk and the road. This, it was said, was due to the fact that the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, which now owns the property, had no liability insurance.

I find this explanation ludicrous as they were selling cookies next to the house, forcing people to walk across the full expanse of their "uninsured" lawn in order to make a purchase.

I want to thank the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies for breaking our tradition. Way to fit into the community! I find it odd that they have no problem asking for our tax dollars by applying for grants, but they seem to have a problem with us, as individuals actually setting foot on their hallowed ground. Please forgive us if we choose to not support you in the future.


Donna Doyle

Montrose, PA.


Better Interstate Access Needed

In order for Susquehanna Borough to grow, prosper, and attract new business and industry, improvements and upgrades to highways leading into and out of town need to be made. The town already has adequate railroad facilities. Improving and upgrading Route 171, from Great Bend to Susquehanna, Lanesboro and Damascus would be ideal. By utilizing the old D & H Railroad bed along the East side of the river, from Lanesboro to Damascus or Windsor for improvements would be one way for commercial trucks and other traffic to gain easy access to Rte. 17 – currently being upgraded to I-86 – I-88, going East and West. The Great Bend end already has access to I-81, going North and South.

Also, to relieve congestion and parking problems on upper West Main St. – which the town council is periodically discussing – Front St. could be upgraded and improved as a truck route, coming off the Susquehanna end of the bridge. As far as I know, the above problems didn’t exist until after the new bridge came into being. Then, the big trucks carrying stone – and others – started using West Main St., all day long and into the evening.

Maybe, the county commissioners could discuss these recommendations with state and local officials involved, in order to determine if they are feasible in the near – or distant – future. Although, I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime.


Paschal (Pat) Parrillo

Schenectady, NY


Milk Bonding Laws Greatly Improved

When Governor Edward Rendell signed Act 66 into law on July 4, a sigh of relief was given by many dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. This assures the large majority of Pennsylvania dairy farmers will have adequate financial protection in case their milk handler goes into some form of bankruptcy. The quick passage of the changes in the PA Milk Security Act clearly proves that, when our elected officials work closely together, worthwhile things can be accomplished.

Certainly, Senator Roger Madigan, the author of the senate bill, and Representative Art Hershey, the author of the House bill (both bills were geared towards making favorable changes in the Milk Security Act) deserve a lot of credit for directing the bill through the US Senate and the House of Representatives, and gaining final passage.

Representative Hershey, who serves as chairman of the House AG Committee, proved he was a real statesman when he pulled his bill off the house calendar for a few days. The delay came soon after concerns were raised over an amendment that was attached to the bill by the House AG Committee. Sen. Madigan and Rep. Hershey worked out changes in the amendment, which was amenable to both leaders. Everyone should be thankful for the way the two political leaders addressed the needed changes in the Milk Security Act.

The PA Milk Marketing Board deserves credit for much of the legal changes in the law, and, the PA Milk Dealers Association again proved that milk dealers and dairy farmers can work together.

I was in Lycoming County in early 2004, meeting with some dairy farmers that were still shipping milk to Farmland Dairies. We worked out some improved conditions for these producers to continue to ship milk to Farmland. Following the meeting, a call was placed to Sen. Madigan about introducing a bill to make changes in the PA milk bonding laws. Senator Madigan agreed to meet us in Williamsport, PA. Madigan, his staff member Craig Shuey, dairy farmer Donna Hall and I met and thoroughly discussed changes that were needed in the milk bonding laws. The rest is history.

We arranged a press conference with Sen. Madigan in Bradford County. Present to support the efforts were representatives from the PA Milk Marketing Board, several members of Pro Ag, various news media, several consumers from various Granges, and Larry Breech, president of the PA Farmers Union.

I want to publicly thank Donna Hall, a dairy farmer from Lairdsville, Lycoming County, for her tireless efforts to help obtain a realistic milk bonding law.

Since 1971, thousands of PA diary farmers have been seriously affected by milk handlers that went bankrupt. Despite the efforts of many people to improve the milk bonding laws during the last 30 years, there still remained many dairy farmers with inadequate protection. It appears that Act 66 will correct these inequities. Again, everyone should be thankful to Senator Roger Madigan and Representative Art Hershey for their strong leadership in developing Act 66.

Now, if we can just get our elected officials in Washington to respond to the pricing inequities facing dairy farmers.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA


Free Speech In Peril

The big threat to Free Speech in America is the attitude of right-wingers. The arrogant insistence that only their point of view can be expressed, and any viewpoint that differs from it is un-American, traitorous, treasonous, etc. And they’ll pitch a fit if anyone dares to dissent, and do their level worst to ruin them.

This attitude, quite bluntly, is indistinguishable from Fascism. Here are some particulars:

During the run-up to the Iraq War, there was a lot of angry sentiment that celebrities who spoke out were stupid, were not entitled to their opinion, and should shut up! To recap: some celebrities expressed reservations over whether the war was the right idea, whether the rosy scenario painted by the Administration was realistic, and a suspicion that we were being deceived. In retrospect, these "stupid" celebs were mighty wise, and we should all have pondered these concerns.

Meanwhile, nobody told country music stars who sang about putting a boot up Saddam (in retaliation for 9/11) to shut up, even though their ugly, misinformed jingoistic rants had far less validity.

The Dixie Chicks expressed dismay that George W. was from their home state of Texas, a mild rebuke. The redneck reaction was destruction of their CD’s, death threats, and a ban from many radio stations.

Michael Moore’s documentary was met with a concerted campaign to accuse him of "hating America" (also of being fat), plus an effort to get a theater chain to drop the film before people could see it for themselves. His film is called propaganda by those who have no problem with right-wing propaganda. Like the NRA’s $25 million effort to scare gun owners that Al Gore was going to take away their rifles. (Look for them to roll out the same lie against John Kerry.)

Whoopi Goldberg, well-known as an edgy comedienne, made ribald remarks, and people who were not even there raised such a stink that she lost an endorsement deal. But no one ever lost a job for falsely accusing President Clinton of drug dealing, serial killing, or impregnating a black prostitute.

Linda Ronstadt dedicates a song (as singers do), to Michael Moore. Right-wingers trained to foam at the mouth at the mention of his name cause a near-riot, and she is kicked out of the Aladdin. (Why not them?) She loses her gig. (What were these righteous moralists doing in "Sin City" anyway?)

These are some of the well publicized incidents of retribution for people using their right of free speech. These incidents reflect a climate of opinion that is large, and must not have our passive acquiescence. As long as this attitude – that some people are not entitled to their opinion, and that only one opinion may be expressed – has any influence, to the extent it does, the First Amendment is no better than toilet paper.

What’s next, folks – reeducation camps for liberals? Or, just line ‘em up and shoot ‘em? For sure, liberal opinions are the real problem, not concrete plots by Al Qaeda. Let’s tear ourselves apart, and save them the bother.


Stephen VanEck

Rushville, PA

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