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In The September 29th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Letters to the Editor Policy

The Night of Terror

I just finished reading an article about "The Night of Terror" on November 15, 1917 when a warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket the White House for the right to vote. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and with their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic". They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashing her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. The guards grabbed, beat, choked, slammed the women against walls, pinched and kicked them. For weeks the women's only water came from an open pail and their food, all of which was colorless slop was infested with worms. The story gets worse but the point is it makes me know how good women suffered to give me the right to vote. And how many of our young men have died to keep this precious freedom for all of us? And yet so few of us bother today.

How great an inconvenience is it to take advantage of the right that people all over the world are dying to have? If you are not registered to vote, that also is easy. Just stop by the Susquehanna County Court House in Montrose and register to take part in this precious right of ours. If you are unable to get to the Court House just call them at (570) 278–4600 and ask how you can register by phone. This election is very important. We are choosing the course of our nation for many years. Study the candidates and get yourself registered before October 2 and don't let anything keep you from casting your ballot, whether absentee or in person.


Annette H. Corrigan

Jackson, PA

A Gestapo Mentality

I was not at all surprised to read Mr. Burke's complaints regarding the deplorable, unethical, and questionably legal behavior of "some" Susquehanna Police Borough Personnel. He is right on target as to his assessment that he/his family are not the only citizenry whose harassment and violation of basic civil rights are being perpetuated, condoned, and to an extent encouraged by the town council. Under the guise of promoting "crimestoppers", the taxpaying local citizenry is being harassed and victimized by over zealous "officers."

My family has also been victimized by the tactics being utilized by these individuals. We have had our basic First Amendment Rights blatantly violated on more than one occasion. My home has been entered and searched without my permission. Local police have arrived with sirens flashing to complain about anything from "loud music" in the middle of the day, to my children knocking around a plastic golf ball on my own property. Meanwhile the well-known drug-dealers prosper and are largely left alone, and the police ignore many significant and "real" social ills and legal improprieties.

I would be interested to hear from other residents such as Mr. Burke and myself, who have been and continue to be, subject to this treatment. I am seriously considering a civil action, as I for one, cannot afford to continue to either willingly fill the county coiffeurs with unjustified fines, or pay the legal fees to defend them, along with the significant borough, county, school, and real estate that taxes imposed yearly.

I would be most interested in hearing from others who are being harassed in this way and what course of action they are perusing to rectify the current situation.

For the mayor to suggest that victims of harassment and brutality by the "part-time, questionably qualified police personnel" take their concerns to a police committee meeting is ludicrous. From my perspective, Chief Golka not only condones his subordinates’ actions, he participates in, and encourages their behavior, perpetuating the lack of professionalism, "the Gestapo mentality", the general ignorance of First Amendment Rights of the Populace among his ranks, and their questionably ethical, and many times illegal behavior. (I have personally been involved in and witnessed this in an applicable incident where the charges his subordinate alleged were dismissed. This does not however compensate the victims of police misconduct, as we must incur the costs of legal representation, medical bills incurred by inappropriate physical treatment, and lost time from work defending ourselves.) Attempting to receive justice in this forum would be akin to inviting an atheist to defend Christianity.


Amy D. Plutino

Susquehanna, PA

Doesn’t Pay To Be A Good Guy

In response to a "Facts Not Fiction" letter to the editor, as per Jo-Ellen Greene, in reference to vacating Erk Road.

"Fact"... It is fiction to say closing or vacating a road does not change anything. The road, you say, would just be maintained by the people who live or will live on it. Doesn’t that make it a driveway? Like all our personal driveways? No longer a roadway?

"Fact"... You are incorrect in saying the Falls are in another county and won’t be affected by the closing of this road. The "Bucks Brothers Farm" is located in both Wayne and Susquehanna counties, and a very beautiful part of this farm is what is known to many as "Bucks Falls." This is private property and unless you travel up the road on a tour bus, the falls will not be able to be seen. You could get out of your car and walk, on private land. So, the closing of this road will, for sure have an effect on people going to see the "Bucks Falls."

"Fact"... Many plans and alternatives to crossing the bridge were presented on September 7, at the Thompson Township meeting. Fact is, no person on the board wanted to keep an open mind to any of them. A vote was taken by the Chairman, resulting in 34 for 8 opposed as I recall, to keep the road open and even this didn’t seem to matter. We see (in this area) signs reading, "No winter maintenance," "Travel at your own Risk," "No outlet," etc. Maybe the board could consider this, until the bridge problem is solved.

We, as landowners should have demanded service on this road, long ago and perhaps this problem wouldn’t have come about. But, we didn’t and now we are the ones to suffer. It just doesn’t pay to be the good guy.


Alice H. Gilleran

Thompson Township

When Is Liability Liability?

On September 7, 2004, I attended the Thompson Township meeting and watched as the supervisors voted not to leave TR671 (the Erk Road) open to the public.

Following an open floor discussion and presentation of information concerning TR671, a vote from the taxpayers present was taken. The vote revealed 34 in favor of keeping TR671 open and 8 opposed. Does that mean anything?

A proposal, signed by all landowners adjoining TR671, was presented to the supervisors. This proposal asked that only liquid fuels money, received annually from the state, be used to maintain the road with no additional tax secured from Thompson Township taxpayers. No action was taken on the proposal.

Three landowners on TR671 have given signed waivers to access TR671 through their property to work the road. However, after discussion about liability and risk to township employees entering private property, supervisors did not give any consideration to these waivers for accessing TR671.

Later in the meeting, a motion was passed to purchase material, for maintenance of Thompson Township roads, from a private landowner. Township employees and equipment will have to enter private property for these materials. Why was a waiver to enter one landowner’s property with township employees and equipment accepted, but not that of the others? Should we be concerned about liability? Hmm...


Kirk Rhone

Starrucca, PA

Just Observations

It would be a tribute to fair and balanced opinion if the County Transcript would include in its array of regular staff writers/columnists an author whose viewpoints reflect the ideology of the conservative base, thereby offering an opposing contribution.

I enjoy reading the County Transcript. I believe it is the best paper Susquehanna County has to offer her residents, keeping us informed of current and local issues and events.

Allow me to suggest there is no one better or more qualified to own and run this press than the Ficarro’s. Combining their faithfulness to this charge and their love for the community, we all benefit from their service.

Having given accolade where due, as a reader it troubles me – perhaps a better word would be "aggravates" that the writer of NewsBeat regularly propagates his scathing remarks of President Bush and the choices this administration makes. Parrillo makes no attempt to harness his personal feelings offering the readers simple, straightforward and unbiased news. If it’s "NewsBeat" – give us news beat – if it’s news skewed with seething, liberal anti-Bush sentiment then call it what it is to reflect such. Have it placed on an "opinion" page.

As an occasional contributor to the Letters to the Editor, recently I sent a letter that was printed but was "whitewashed" (deleted) of almost a third of its content. It’s hard to pinpoint what went through my mind at the time I opened the paper, began to read my letter only to find so much of it erased – gone. I was upset, puzzled and perplexed to say the least. Digging deeper I found in fine print the editor’s note that political opinion (endorsement) would not be permitted. OK. But we read political opinion all the time being expressed in letters and it’s not hard to determine what side of the aisle the writer comes from, without a direct endorsement of either candidate being given. I guess however, there comes a point, a level at which the editor must draw the line. His opinion serves as the barometer that determines what the accepted parameters are. However, I then go back to Parrillo’s column(s) and read political opinion dripping of vitriocity.

I noted in Amadio’s column, Along the Way, in the September 8 printing at the very end, he observes a charge that Republican political posters were/are being distributed in the courthouse. I wonder, P. Jay, would that blurb have found its way in your column if they were Democratic political posters? Curious, but I suppose I’ll never know because to respond might expose your political endorsement – not that the readers don’t already have a pretty good idea of who that might be, and that’s OK, I guess.

Please understand, I don’t for a second question the right of Parrillo or Amadio or anyone else to express his or her opinion(s). That is who we are as a nation – free thinkers, in large part thanks to the thousands of men and women who have served and sacrificed their lives fighting for the inalienable right to express our consciences, and who I believe with all my heart and soul are doing so in Iraq today.

Death is not easy to acknowledge and work through (I know, I buried my father this past week). But just as men and women "choose" to join the military to train as warriors whose purpose is to protect and defend, we dress them with weaponry and ammunition and send them off with a charge to physically fight/war against an enemy. Some never come home, having paid the ultimate price.

We are a nation who has become anesthetized to the hundreds of thousands who die on our own soil annually, because of the choices we each make each and every day for reasons much less honorable. Our military fights for the cause of freedoms which come in all colors, shapes and size, some directly, some indirectly affecting us at "home." On our own soil thousands die annually because we choose to drive – despite our training, testing and ever-improving vehicle and highway safety standards, people die – knowing the risks. Thousands die annually because we choose to eat beyond healthy standards. Thousands die annually because we choose to smoke, disregarding the countless warnings of the consequences of doing so. Thousands die annually because we choose to drink excessively and habitually. Thousands die annually because of so, so many and varied reasons involving choice! If a president endorses a need for our nation to come together to diligently yet aggressively drive, eat, smoke, drink or whatever, and some people die as a result of choosing to do so, is that president to be held directly accountable for those lives lost? Or, does the consequence of individual choice, reason, wisdom and diligence to name a few virtues, come into play?

Now that I’ve allowed my pen to ramble and meander through the fields and streams of begrudgement and wonder, perhaps I feel a little better and I hope that what I read in the paper in the future will indeed reflect the editor’s willingness and intent to continue to print with a fair and balance ideology. Nuf said.


Paul Kester

Kingsley, 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 Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

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