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Issue Home December 28, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Not A Church Function

In response to the letter entitled "Some Say It's Awful", I would like to offer the following; The Senior Citizens Christmas dinner held at the Susquehanna United Methodist Church was not a function of the Church. This function was sponsored by the "Masons", not the Church. It has been an annual event for several years. It has been held at the Methodist Church because of the seating capacity and facilities available.

I would not want to see a misunderstanding such as this affect church/community relations. The United Methodist Church is very grateful for those who attend and support its functions.


Harry Biesecker

Susquehanna, PA

Sisters To Play With

Here’s a Christmas story to smile over. Once upon a time in the far northeastern mountains of PA there lived a couple of little girls. Though they weren’t biologically connected, they were just like any two sisters growing up in a rural setting with pets to raise, groom, care for and play with. One brisk, fall morning noises were heard coming from under the shed and soon it was clear that Sadie had given birth to seven puppies. It wasn’t long before the puppies were out and about, scampering to the sisters for all they were worth to give and receive all the lovin’ their little bodies could handle; that’s what puppy dogs do. Anyway, an ad made its way into the paper and within a very short time all but the only male (of the seven) were off to their new homes.

Sprinter was the newest member of our family and the two sisters were full of glee. Lots of phone calls kept coming, soooo many families in search of a puppy, but everyone was told, “Sorry, they’re all gone.” In the meantime, little Sprinter was doing what all little puppies do, bonding with the hearts of two little sisters. Well, one day a message was received on the phone that went something like this, “Just wondering if you have any puppies left. A family next door to us lost their pet dog in a fire. They are heartbroken and I’d like to surprise them with a puppy.” Well, yours truly almost bleeped the message, just like he had done with all the other calls for a puppy, but Papa decided that he would let the two sisters hear the message for themselves and curiously observe their response. So, when the girls came home from school, they were called into the study to listen to the recording. They both listened closely, neither one saying anything, and when the recording was over, one stood still and the other ran out of the room crying, “No, no, noooo!” The three made their way into the living room and it was Papa’s turn to sit and listen as the girls reasoned with voices brimming with emotion.

Later on that evening each sister came to Papa, individually and with voices laced with emotion and resolve said, “We’ve thought about the family that lost their dog and we’ve decided that we want to give Sprinter to them. It’s Christmas and that’s what Christmas is all about. Giving to others just as God gave us His Son.”

Now, it was Papa’s turn to choke back the tears, but he got up and made his way to the phone. When he had shared the story of Sprinter and the decision by the girls to give up their puppy to this hurting family, there was no mistaking the choking back of tears on the other end of the line; goodness knows, this stuff is contagious. Arrangements were made to take Sprinter to his new home.

But, that’s not the end of the story. The next day, a lady who, a week before, had taken the last puppy home called and wanted to return the little fella because it just “wasn’t working out. Peanut and the kitten weren’t getting along.” Well, Peanut was brought back and another call was made. After sharing the latest news about Peanut, it was plain and simply obvious to everyone that God had provided a substitute, but first He had wanted to see just what the hearts of two little sisters living up in the northeastern mountains of PA were made of.

Peanut has a new family and Sprinter has two little sisters to play with! Oh, yeah, Papa’s bustin’ buttons.

Merry Christmas to all!


Paul Kester

Kingsley, PA

The Dinner Is By Invitation

This is in response to the Letter to the Editor on Tuesday regarding the Senior Citizen Christmas Dinner held on Saturday, December 11. This dinner is put on by the Masons of Canawacta Lodge 360 in Susquehanna. The dinner is by invitation only, for the simple reason that they have to make sure there is enough seating for the senior citizens in attendance. It is the Masons’ fourteenth year of providing this free dinner and gifts to the elderly in Susquehanna and the surrounding communities. They have nothing to do with the United Methodist Church. The church is very gracious in allowing the Masons to utilize their kitchen and basement for this special event. Please make sure your facts are correct before writing something that is not true. The church deserves an apology for the misinformation that was printed. The Methodist Church welcomes everyone and they are a very active group of Christians who help the community in numerous ways.

As for the Masonic organization, they also contribute to this town. They have provided scholarships for graduating seniors every year for the last ten years. They have also donated four defibrillators to the fire department and have done numerous fund-raisers for Little League and Pee Wee Football. The DeMolay group, which is part of the Masons ranging in age from 13 years old to 21 years old, donated the flagpole located at the boro building at a cost of $648.00. The Shriners, who are also part of the Masonic organization, help a number of children with handicaps in our area. These children, once they are accepted into the program, are treated free of charge.

The Masons are “goodwill ambassadors” and a very important asset to this town. As far as a few people in attendance at this dinner, there were 115 people in attendance and a good time was enjoyed by all, thanks to the Methodist Church for the use of their building, the Masonic organization, the ladies of the Eastern Star who are the wives of Master Masons and the many local businesses in the area who donated gifts in order that everyone in attendance received a Christmas gift.


Edward Collins

Worshipful Master

Canawacta Lodge 360

Susquehanna, PA

I’ve Taken Him Up!

The holiday prayer of our District Attorney, Jason J. Legg, in the December 22, 2004 edition of this newspaper carried an expression of gratitude for any additional prayer that anyone felt so moved to contribute. I’ve taken him up on it.

I can ditto D.A. Legg’s wishes of peace, hope, and love to troubled families and I appreciate his wishes that troubled individuals seek assistance but I perceive a deeper problem that may be a contributing factor to some people’s misery.

There’s an old saying that “a fish rots from the head down”, meaning that when the leaders of society go bad, the corruption seeps into all areas of community life – education, the legal system, politics, etc., right on down to family life. While each man and woman is responsible for their own spiritual and material progress in life, when a community has large numbers of ‘statute violators’, it is those in authority, those to whom the vast majority look to for leadership, who need to examine themselves. Laws are supposed to be made for the people, not the other way around. The mandate on those in public office is very simple. Each of them has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution which means they must protect, not just the civil rights, but the inalienable Rights of the people. If they are not mindful of this, it will encourage a general disrespect for the law, for those in authority and have a depressing affect on the morale of the people. The legislators in Harrisburg can pass any kind of gobble-de-gook statute, but if it does not conform to law, it is unconstitutional and should be recognized as such, regardless of whether such statute acts as a ‘fund raiser’ for the county when people transgress it or not.

So, let me add to D.A. Legg’s holiday prayer by offering some hope and intentions from this writer’s perspective:

For a healthy dose of humility in the hearts of our public officials so they will remember that they, too, are servants of the people, just as was the man whose birth we celebrate now;

For those in law enforcement to abide by their oaths of office and have the courage to uphold the supreme law of the land;

For those in positions of power to have the compassion and understanding to protect ALL the Rights of the people;

For overcoming greed when some of our public servants are presented with the opportunity of financial gain by acting against the people they swore to defend;

For the people of Susquehanna County to realize that the powers-that-be draw their power and authority from us. It can be withdrawn if we decide to; and, finally,

For us all, as a people and as individuals, to know that we can effect change if we have the will and determination to.


Claudia Montelione

Harford, Pennsylvania

Excellent Choice

I read where George W. Bush has been selected Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” I believe this to be an excellent choice. Some of Time’s other recipients of this award were Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini.


Bill Marshall

New Milford, PA

Please, Be Responsible

You won’t see me walking my dog around Laurel Lake anymore. He died after being attacked by two of my neighbor’s dogs. I just began our walk when the two dogs appeared before us. I won’t go into the details but you can imagine how helpless I felt when my screams were not heeded as the big dog grabbed him by the throat and the little one kept biting him on his back legs.

Not only did this attack create a financial hardship for us via the unexpected vet bills but now there is a hole in my heart that was once filled by a frisky, lovable dog we nicknamed “the pup.” He was a Jack Russell terrier, full of fun and curiosity. He loved to play and chase a ball. His name was Merv and not only was he loved by me and my husband but our five grandchildren always looked forward to seeing him. When Keegan, our three year old grandson heard of his fate he said, “Not fair, I won’t be able to hug and pet him again.” When visiting my house recently, he said I wish Merv would come back down from heaven so we could see him again. Keegan never did get to say good-bye.

I related the incident to a friend who had a similar thing happen to her. Her three cocker spaniels got attacked by a Doberman Pincher who jumped the fence. He went for the throat of number one, number two lunged at him and knocked him down. He then proceeded to fight number two when number three got on top of him and pinned him to the ground. Thanks to the fuel man who hit the Doberman on the head with a shovel, she was able to save her dogs. But, she ended up with numerous visits to the vet and a huge bill to match.

The Pennsylvania Dog Law states: “All dogs must be under control and may not be allowed to run at large. Dogs are personal property and owners are responsible for damages caused by their dog.” Not all dog owners are irresponsible, some take precautions so their dogs won’t run free. They put up fences, chain them out or keep them inside and walk them on a leash. But you should make sure that your fence will contain your dog and that your chain is securely attached.

My neighbor went away for the weekend and had a friend let his dogs out into their pen. She didn’t know that they would break down the fence. He didn’t know that his dogs would be running around free. He didn’t know that they would viciously attack another dog on a leash and attempt to kill him. What if they attacked an innocent child playing in the yard? Please, be aware of the emotional and financial hardships your dog or dogs may cause by not being under your control and supervision. The Pennsylvania Dog laws were made to protect innocent people and also innocent pets from abuse. You can pick up a copy of the Dog Laws in the Treasurer’s office at the Montrose courthouse where you get your 2005 dog licenses.

We miss our dog, he didn’t deserve to die like he did and we didn’t deserve the hardships we endured. Please, dog owner’s be aware of what kind of damage your dog may inflict on other people and property if not under your control.


Margaret Meckwood

Brackney, PA

Stop Worrying About The Cats

I’d like to make a comment about the letter printed about the restaurant taking care of the cats on their property in Susquehanna.

When someone takes the time and money to take care of wild animals, they’re criticized publicly.

Apparently the writer of this letter has had no real contact with cats. His comments are not accurate.

Cats don’t defecate indiscriminately. They pick one place and go there all the time. They’re very clean animals. If you take a close look, you’d probably see that their coats are clean and the area they live in is clean.

They’re also beneficial in that they help keep the mice and other small rodent population under control, perhaps even in the letter writer’s business and home.

As to his concern about patrons of the letter writer’s business, maybe the impact on his patrons is not as severe as he would put forth to the public. The question I have is, how many of his patrons are truly “put out”? Are they genuinely concerned about the health and environment of these cats and the surrounding area of Susquehanna or perhaps the letter writer and a patron just want to voice unpleasant opinions?

One observation is that there are people out there, like the owner of the restaurant and me as well, who do care about what happens to feral cats. Cats are probably the cleanest and most beneficial animal we have.

We have the public’s blessing to have house cats or business cats, we can ride our horse through town, we can have any kind of exotic pet, we are allowed to have and like our dogs, birds (messy little creatures aren’t they), snakes, ferrets, iguanas, turtles, cows, pigs even pet mice. We can have them for protection, or just plain enjoyment. But as soon as someone dares to admit they like cats, they’re branded. I dare say the public opinion about cats is wrong. Maybe it’s time to leave incorrect opinions in the Dark Ages, where they belong.

I say to the letter writer and patron, stop worrying about the cats. Someone in the neighborhood is doing a good deed. Leave them alone.


Joan Brush

Kingsley, PA

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