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Issue Home December 7, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy


WHEREAS, Kenneth W. Fisher has enriched our lives every day with his generosity, dedication, and service to the community;

WHEREAS, We must not only preserve this remarkable spirit of citizenship exemplified by Kenneth W. Fisher, we must also expand on it. Only by emulation can we begin to become a better person and a community;

WHEREAS, In remembrance of Kenneth W. Fisher, let us salute his devotion, time, and talents to the betterment of our communities and the well-being of our citizens;

THEREFORE, Mayor Nancy Hurley, Mayor Dave Slater, and Mayor Art Towner do proclaim this day, December 10, 2004, as a day of remembrance in recognition of his many years of service as Chief of Police, and President of Council for Susquehanna Borough.

Arthur Towner, Mayor

Oakland Borough

David Slater, Mayor

Lanesboro Borough

Nancy Hurley, Mayor

Susquehanna Borough

Senate Bill 689 “Very Harmful”

Senate Bill 689, as amended, is an aggressive, anti-consumer bill that may leave thousands of Pennsylvanians freezing this winter.

Senate Bill 689, as amended, is a bill that would allow utility companies to:

Shut off services, including heat in the winter, without first getting approval from the Public Utility Commission (PUC).

Charge new customers two month deposits for each utility service provided, even if they have excellent payment histories.

Charge a $40 filing fee to customers that wish to dispute a bill and file a formal appeal.

Hold all adults living in the household liable for any unpaid or late utility bills, even if they are not the account holder.

Call to be connected to your State Senator at: 1-800-515-8134. Tell them that the only thing that should be “shut off” this winter is Senate Bill 689, as amended.


Lou Parrillo

Susquehanna, PA

Why The Cable Increase?

In your report on the Susquehanna Boro Council's November 23rd meeting which appeared in the December 1 issue you note that the Adams Cable fee will increase approximately 50 cents per month. You stated that this was based on a letter from Adams.

Apparently this letter included false information, since my December billing actually included a $2.08 increase. ($1.49 for monthly service fee, $0.50 for expanded basic, $0.03 for Cable tax, and $0.06 for franchise fee.)

For these increases, we now have another channel for football and ESPN Classic (although Adams still has not corrected the TV Guide on Channel 2).

In addition, I have noticed that the quality and variety of programming on the Discovery and Travel channels have continued to degrade. After all, how many "Poker" matches, "Chopper" programs, and other such junk do we need.

If Adams is going to continue to increase our rates, it seems that the viewers ought to have some say in the quality of programming presented.

Since the Boro Council seems to be the franchising authority, they need to review what is being offered and insure that rate increasing and program changes are approved before the changes actually occur.


Harry Biesecker

Susquehanna, PA

To Our Supporters

The Sabers Cross Country Booster Club would like to thank everyone who helped make this a great year for the Sabers Cross Country team. We would like to thank the community for supporting our candle sale, raffle ticket sale, and bake sale; our local businesses for their generous donations; the parents for all of their help in making our fund raisers successful; the runners for all of their hard work; and the coaches who put in so much time and effort to make our teams successful.


Sabers Cross Country Booster Club

The Way It’s Handled

I would like to address some issues that were brought up in a recent letter written to the editor concerning the Susquehanna Competition Squad and the way it’s being handled. The letter started out thanking the Susquehanna Junior Sabers for the football/cheerleading program and allowing their children to participate in it. The Susquehanna Junior Saber program allows children to learn and participate in the sport of peewee football and cheerleading. It is open to boys and girls from the ages of 6 to 14. The organization’s main goal is to implant the ideals of good sportsmanship. The organization is nonprofit; it runs solely on fund-raisers and donations from the community. It takes many people donating their time to keep this organization running, and in these days, time is a commodity most can’t afford to donate. These are the unsung heroes of the program. Without these people, there wouldn’t be an organization for the children. So, yes! Than you Jr. Sabers. You’re doing a fine job and hope you continue for many years.

Now, let me tell you a little about the independent competition group. Like the S.J.S., it is also a nonprofit organization. It was started about four years ago by two coaches and a group of parents. They decided to take a group of cheerleaders to a competition, Reach the Beach, in Ocean City, MD. When the competition squad was first formed it was open to any child that participated in the S.J.S. program. This squad was formed to compete with other national squads, coming from as far away as Georgia. These competitions are taken very seriously by those that attend them. Folks, if you ever have or get the chance to watch a cheerleading competition on ESPN, you will see exactly what this squad has to do, and needs to do in order to place. It costs around $400.00 to $450.00 per child to participate in a competition of this size. This pays for registration fees, insurance, bus, hotel, meals and other expenses.

With the understanding you now have about the two programs, I would like to clear up some of the misinformation that was printed in the  November 24, 2004 letter to the editor, “Are Our Children Good Enough.”

The involvement of the Susquehanna Jr. Sabers with the independent competition squad ends with the supplying of uniforms and the S.J.S. name (used due to it being on the uniform). If the competition squad had to purchase its own uniforms, it would bring up the cost of participation, considerably. The Jr. Sabers have no say in whether the children can or cannot compete in this competition. They only authorize the uniform use. The president and secretary of the S.J.S. program happen to be coaches for the competition squad, but they do not vote on this issue, due to conflict of interest.

There has been a change this year. The three coaches from the independent competition squad decided that tryouts were needed. This decision reflects in no way on the S.J.S. The past year or so it was noticed that some of the children were using the competitions as a mini-vacation from their parents and school. These cheerleaders were not giving their all in learning or performing the routine. Yes, it is all about fun, but if you’re going to raise that kind of money to go, you want to come home with a placing trophy. It takes hard work, dedication, and determination to take first place. There were two tryouts held. The first was for any child (girl or boy) who had participated in the S.J.S. program this year. This was the only way to be fair to the S.J.S. program for their authorization of the uniform use. The second tryout was open for other children in the school district, as well as S.J.S. participants (please note that S.J.S. children had the chance to try out again, if they didn’t make the first tryout; this was not an option afforded to the other children in the school district). The children practiced a 16-count routine, a group cheer, two jumps, cartwheel, split and they had to make up their own cheer that had to be 25 seconds long. These requirements remained the same in both tryouts. The S.J.S. children who did not make the first tryout got to practice the second week if they chose to; some did not feel they needed to and would just come to the tryout. They were told that this was their choice and, they would not be penalized for it. There were six judges for the first tryout, and four judges for the second one. The children were told that the judges could not be the three coaches taking them to competition, if possible. We were hoping to get judges that had experience in cheerleading and were not involved in either the S.J.S. program or the competition program. This did not work out, due to work schedules, etc. Three judges were former varsity cheerleading coaches for Susquehanna Community High School and the other three judges were from the competition squad. The children were informed of this at practice, and this worked out for the better. Some of the younger children tying out felt more comfortable seeing a familiar face at the judges’ table. The second tryout had four judges, two coaches, one former varsity coach and one former varsity cheerleader. For the first tryout you had to score 70% of six judges, and 70% of four judges for the second tryout. Children who tried out had the opportunity to view their own score sheet. This gave any child who did not make the first tryout the chance to see where they scored low, and allowed them to concentrate on those factors that needed improvement for the second tryout.

As for the football player who made the cut, his mother (one of the coaches) did not judge him. Nor did she judge the other two children in his group. She did not participate in judging the second tryouts, either. She did not learn the group cheer or routine until the first night of practice with the children, so her son would not be able to practice it before anyone else.

If anyone feels the need to view his score sheet, he has agreed to open it for public viewing. The two competition squad coaches scored him the lowest. Fancy that! The letter also failed to state that any child that did not make the score was going as an alternate, which by the way included two other football players. Nobody was getting left behind.

It saddens me to even think that the parents(s) who wrote last week’s letter would even consider that the reason that some of their children didn’t make the cut was because they (as parents) had run-ins with people from either the competition squad or the S.J.S. program. The people who are supposedly holding a “sick vendetta” against these children are the same people who stay late with your children after practice and even take them home for you, due to the fact that you’re running late from work, or in some cases forgot to come and pick them up. They pick them up and even bring them to practice, when they don’t have a ride, and purchase fund-raiser items from them even though they have children of their own in the same programs. We forget, so soon!

This is my personal opinion, not anyone’s from either organization. There are children who tried out for this squad, who deep in their hearts didn’t want to. They were doing it because their parents wanted them to. I saw a child choose not to do an extra jump, for the extra one to five points. I saw another who was told that his/her 25-second cheer wasn’t long enough. The judges said to start it again and add another jump to it or a “Go Sabers” to make up the time, otherwise it was a five-point penalty from each judge, and that child chose not to. Honestly, do you think that child really wanted to make the cut? I, myself, say no.

I see it too often. Parents making their children participate in programs or activities that they don’t really enjoy, but do to make their parents happy. As a parent myself, you like to think your child will walk in your footsteps, but sometimes they have other interests. Instead of pushing them to follow your high school memories, let them make their own. Support their interests and stand behind them. Be proud. Maybe they want memories playing soccer instead of football, or maybe the drama club instead of being a cheerleader. Hey, maybe by chance they do want to be just like you! You have to support them, and if they don’t succeed the first time, help them practice. Get them involved in a camp that specializes in the activity and try again. A child can be whatever he or she wants to be. You should reach for the stars, but getting there takes hard work. Should someone be on the Olympic team, just because they have done a sport for several years? I don’t think so!

Everything that I have expressed is based on facts that can be backed up with paperwork, for anyone who is interested.

I sincerely hope, as the S.J.S. secretary/competition coach and yes, the parent of that football player who made the cut, that County Transcript readers now have an understanding of both programs and their goals. They are both good, quality programs and I hope you continue supporting them.


Roxann Lloyd

Thompson, PA

Godspeed In Your Retirement, Lou

As a longtime subscriber to the Susquehanna County Transcript, I’d like to use your “To The Editor” space to publicly thank Mr. Louis Parrillo for his newspaper reporting through the years, and wish him Godspeed in his retirement in the years ahead.

I saw Lou a short time ago at the Post 86 American Legion Veterans Day luncheon. And again, more recent, saw him at a Hallstead, PA function here in town. There was no program to report on. He had received an invitation of appreciation to have dinner with them.

Lou was visible, concerned with reporting on community affairs. Some weeks ago, I attended an “open” public meeting at the Susquehanna Boro Hall. There was Lou Parrillo, notepad and pencil in hand, to take notes, and ask questions, about the proceedings of the meeting. What a gentleman and, topnotch reporting!

Lou’s “NewsBeat” column was favorite reading for many County Transcript readers, locally here in Susquehanna County and out of town subscribers. Whoever one met, and wherever one went, commonly heard was, “Did you read Lou Parrillo’s column last week?” It was like infectious - everyone enjoyed it. Miss the “reporter hat” logo, also.

Mr. Parrillo recently celebrated a milestone birthday, on November 12. I believe a passion for his work, meeting deadlines in the newspaper business through the years, has kept him “young.” Just a year ago, Louie spent months on obtaining the many pages of advertising sales for the Sesquicentennial book publication - and did a superb job.

You have a lot of friends and admirers, Lou Parrillo, who truly appreciate your news reporting over the past many, many years (to way back when you gave rebirth to the Transcript).

So, enjoy your retirement, my friend! I’ve been asked by your many followers to publicly say a great big “THANK YOU.”


Joan M. Hurley

Susquehanna, PA

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Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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