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Issue Home August 23, 2005 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

From All Of Us

To Everyone At The Transcript,

Thanks once again, from all of us at the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association, for your wonderful coverage of the Blueberry Festival! The special section looked great, especially with the blue ink--that really set it off and made it beautiful and very eye-catching. Thanks so very much for approaching advertisers on our behalf. Your coverage helps attract folks from all over. We had record-breaking crowds again this year, and a fantastic Festival!

Blueberry Festival proceeds directly support the library in Susquehanna, as well as the libraries in Forest City, Hallstead-Great Bend and Montrose, Books-by-Mail and Books-on-Wheels, and the Historical Society, Museum, and genealogy research center. The Festival is crucial to our operating budget for county services.

We appreciate your community spirit and generosity more than we can say. Once again, thank you very much.


Hilary Caws-Elwitt, Publicity and the 2004 Festival Committee: Mary Jo Bayer, Amy LaRue, Ellen O'Malley, Susan Stone.

She Is An Asset

First, let me say that I claim no knowledge of what occurred at the August 9 Susquehanna Borough Council meeting, and therefore, cannot address anything that transpired. I can, however, speak of my experience with Barbara Whitehead in her job as a reporter.

I had the occasion to attend a meeting of a different borough council at which Mrs. Whitehead was present. Having been on the receiving end of many interviews during my career where I wondered, after reading the finished product, whether the reporter was in the same room, I looked forward to see and read her account of the meeting in the next edition of the County Transcript. I was impressed! Not only did she report the proceedings honestly, but she did so with a diplomacy and courtesy sadly lacking in today’s press. I for one, consider her an asset to the County Transcript and sincerely thank her for her efforts.


Jo-Ellen S. Greene

Thompson, PA

A Happy Ending?

I recently viewed a twenty-second TV clip of wounded Marines embarking from a bus. One had a missing leg, another both hands gone, a third whose face looked like the patchwork on a soccer ball, barely recognizable as human. I wondered how many more sustained such injuries and even worse disfigurements, if that can be imagined.

Multiply these few Americans by several thousand, and then multiply this figure by a factor of ten or twenty war-maimed Iraqis, and one has a picture of what war is really like; not just flag-draped coffins, honor guards, twenty-one gun salutes, posthumously awarded medals – but a vast army of living human wreckage.

When I was a boy westerns were popular. In these Hollywood shoot-'em-ups there was never any blood, if someone died – always the bad guy – it was immediate, without pain and hardly a hint of discomfort. And if one of the shooters was wounded it was "only a shoulder wound," as if the shoulder were a negligible part of the body capable of absorbing any injury, requiring only the minor first aid of an arm sling. And healing bore mute testimony of heroism.

Today TV plays the part of the wild West horse operas, although reality is thrown a few crumbs; arm slings are shown alongside of canes and crutches, and rarely even a wheelchair can be seen, but, by design, it is a far cry from the reality of young men who were blown apart by explosives, ripped to pieces by red-hot spinning shrapnel, whose handsome features are now a grotesque mask that can never be removed, men with most of their skin burned away, or spinal cord injuries that leave them buried alive in their own unresponsive bodies.

Modern war, as portrayed in the media, is only a hi-tech version of my boyhood westerns. It is meant to entertain, to thrill the mind with space-age gadgetry, to give one a sense of righteousness while fighting the forces of evil by proxy. But reality and its fictionalized version are as far apart as the crack of a six-shooter and the roar of an exploding 5,000-pound, laser-guided bunker buster.

Over the years not too much has changed. Video has replaced celluloid, but otherwise the fighting is pretty much the same: bad guys get killed and sometimes good guys get shot in the shoulder. But, come to think about it, there is one other change: the westerns always had a happy ending.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Some good news?

This week at the Harford Fair, the Freemasons from our area will be offering a free service to all parents. This is the CHIP (child identification) program. Along with fingerprint and video records, parents will receive a DNA kit, which they will keep of their child. Again, this service is free.

At the recent commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Loomis explained that due in great part to public pressure, C & D Waterproofing has agreed to correct all of the unsatisfactory work to the monument. I would like to thank all who wrote and supported this effort. The commissioners also have received a letter with the names of three volunteer veterans, Messieurs Paul Dunn, Robert Tiffany and Frank Kwader representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Marine Corps League respectively, for appointment to the Restoration Committee. These veterans are of fine character and dedication and I feel certain that they will ensure the work is satisfactorily completed. I sincerely hope the commissioners will unanimously appoint them at the next meeting.

Finally, I would like to thank P. J. Amadio for again reminding everyone about the absenteeism of the County Commissioners. His article echoes Mr. David L. Walters statement of just the week before, “The day of the Commissioner’s meeting has been written in stone for quite some time. Furthermore, I feel the Commissioner’s primary duty is to the residents of the county.” When I brought up the facts leading to the present trend in the July 20th Transcript, Mr. John P. Hoffman accused me of telling half-truths. Which half wasn’t true?

Through no action of their own however, the commissioners did manage to receive a windfall of $90,000.00. Add to that the loss of grants through inaction and stubbornness, it would appear that instead of a change of government in the last election we got little or no government. There was a small ray of hope however, and I would like to give kudos to Maryann Warren for voting with Commissioner Loomis on the Salt Springs grant and bucking Commissioner Kelly’s opposition. Perhaps that is why Commissioner Kelly was on “vacation” last meeting, to avoid the supposed humiliation of an imminent public defeat at the hands of her former friend and ally. I only hope Sheriff Benedict continues to attend the commissioner meetings. It looks like a peace officer in attendance may become a prerequisite.


Fred B. Baker, II

Meshoppen, 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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