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Issue Home September 6, 2005 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

What’s The Big Secret?

For as many years as anyone can remember, meeting notices and other legals for Susquehanna Borough have always been published in the Susquehanna Transcript. Any resident who was interested in finding out about special meetings, etc., knew where to look to find a particular notice.

As of recently, however, those notices are being sent to another publication. Sources tell me that it is at the direction of the mayor, and that the council president approved it; I’m told it was done in May, shortly after the resignation of president Ron Whitehead. Did other members of council know and also approve? I do know that no action was taken at a regular, public meeting to change the designation of public notices.

Just for the record, I would like to state that the remuneration the County Transcript would have received for publication of those notices is negligible; it is not for that reason that I am questioning this decision. But, I would like to speculate on why the change was made.

If notices are not published where the public would expect to find them, there is very little chance of “the public” in general attending a special meeting. And, if the County Transcript is not aware of those meetings, there won’t be any coverage by the County Transcript. If the County Transcript is at least notified of special meetings, a decision could be made on whether or not coverage would be provided; on at least two recent occasions, special meetings were held and the County Transcript was not notified. I would also have to wonder if the change was made to prevent certain individuals from attending these special meetings.

Council held their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 23, which was past the deadline time for a notice to be submitted to another publication (which it was), regarding a special meeting to be held on August 25 to discuss police department business. No mention was made of this meeting on August 23. Sources also tell me that, as of August 23, at least two council members were unaware that a meeting had been scheduled for the following Thursday.

While council is following the letter of the law as far as publishing these notices, one can’t help but wonder why they would choose to allow an action that would limit the number of people who might see them, limit the press coverage of those meetings, and to conduct the whole change in such a secretive way.

That leaves the question, “what is the big secret?” And, ultimately, just who is this benefiting?


Barbara Whitehead

Susquehanna, PA

The Forgotten Man

Simon Bernosky founded his unprecedented high school basketball dynasty two years after I graduated from Montrose High School. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to experience his complete coaching dominance as a player. However, I was lucky enough to witness over a decade of some of the best high school coaching in this area’s history. Time-consuming research of statistical data at the Scranton Library, collaboration with Simon’s former player Jay Reimel, and personal recollection demonstrate the clear superiority of this man’s coaching legacy. After reviewing the facts that follow, the objective reader will realize that a miscarriage of justice occurred through the exclusion of Mr. Bernosky from the recent Scranton Times All-Time Top 25 Coaches list. In fact, the following accomplishments prove that he should have been included in the top five! The Scranton Times owes the Bernosky family, teammates, fans, and the good people of Montrose an apology for this injustice, as well as the publication of my inquiry into the career of the great Simon Bernosky.

“Spectacular and convincing” famed Scranton Tribune columnist Chic Feldman wrote, in March 1965 in regards to a Montrose Meteor victory over Mansfield. Bernosky’s club was heading for its third state title appearance, defeating Mercer High School in the 1964 state championship game and losing a close one to a Dick Allen- (future Phillies slugger) led Wampum club in 1959. This (1964) championship Bernosky team contributed to 88 straight league wins and 55 straight overall wins without a loss. The 1964 Meteor glory was accompanied despite the loss of stellar inside players Rich Hilton and Stu Douglas. Steve Peters, one of the best guards in Northeastern Pennsylvania history, was also lost to 1964 graduation. It appeared as if the flame of Meteor dominance might simmer.

Sy Bernosky’s unmatched coaching excellence was apparent, early in the 1965 season. Utilizing his classic balanced-scoring philosophy, (scoring over 100 points 11 times and over 110 points six times during these two years without the three-point line) Bernosky was able to quickly rebuild his club and lead the Meteors to a repeat state title appearance in 1965. His grip on Susquehanna County basketball ended after commanding his Meteors to their fourth consecutive eastern final in 1967 (five total), when he left Montrose.

In fourteen years at Montrose, Bernosky’s various teams won 12 of 14 Class B district titles and appeared in 4 state championships. His undeniable prowess produced 342 wins, with only 43 losses.

Success was not only achieved in rural Montrose for Simon Bernosky. He began his coaching career at his high school alma mater in Hughestown in 1949. Simon won the Class C district championship there. After leaving Montrose, he led Wyoming Area to victory in the 1972 Class A district championship. The versatility of this legend is apparent through titles in all three classes (A, B, and C).

The above research clearly demonstrates how this incredible coach deserved inclusion into the Scranton Times Top 25 Coaches list. Chic Feldman’s “spectacular and convincing” applied specifically to the Meteors of 1965, and describes precisely an inquiry into the career of the great Simon Bernosky.


Clarence “Junie” Evans

Factoryville, PA

We Need Your Help!

A recruitment drive for the Great Bend-Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance, Inc. is currently underway, along with an EMT class starting September 19, at the Blue Ridge High School. Classes will be held Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with the occasional Saturday. This class will conclude the middle of December.

Over 45 packets containing information abut the EMT class and an application for membership with the Great Bend-Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance have been distributed throughout the communities. You may pick up a packet at the following locations: Peoples National Bank, Rob’s Market, Reddon’s Drug Store, Pump ‘n’ Pantry, Great Bend Post Office, Tedeschi’s Restaurant and BiLo Market, or call (570) 879–2026.

There has been a great deal of interest in the class, but only three real firm submitted applications and two registrations for the EMT class have been submitted. Those interested in the class need to get their applications and registration forms submitted, so we know how many books need to be purchased. Pre-registration is needed by September 14.

We will do whatever it takes to help each individual with the initial cost of the class; all they have to do is ask. With membership to run on our ambulance we will pay for the books, which is over $110.00 per person. If the individual completes the class we reimburse the registration fee of $70.00. Call us, we will help you – don’t let anything hold you back if you want to take the EMT class!

We need your help!


Anthony J. Conarton, President

Facts To Chew On

Remember the ad that asked “do you know where your children are?” Well, here’s another question for you: Do you know where your food really comes from, and what it actually contains?

Ok, the easy answer is “from the grocery store.” But that’s actually too easy. Where was it grown, how was it grown, how did it get there, and how good is it are the real questions you should be asking!

It seems like the average consumer is interested in only two things: “how cheap is it?” And “how fast can I get it?” We as consumers need to seriously rethink this philosophy if we are to survive, as the price we are paying for these two “conveniences” is actually costing us much more in terms of health, community sustenance, and fossil fuel dependence.

Here are a few disturbing facts to chew on:

The average commercial farm begins the growing process by drenching their fields with herbicides to kill the weeds. Then they plant. During the growing process, they drench the plants with more chemicals (petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides this time) to insure a large and profitable yield. (ummm, sounds yummy so far, doesn’t it?!!)

Many vegetables and fruits are picked way before they are ripe, to allow for the 1,500 mile or more journey to the massive food distribution centers, where they must sit for more days before being re-distributed to the semi-local supermarkets. So basically, by the time you get them, they are already a few weeks old.

There is no such thing as commercially “vine-ripened” tomatoes. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to grow your own, you’ll notice that a group of tomatoes never ripens at the same time! So how do they accomplish this? Easy. The tomatoes are picked green, boxed and loaded into tractor trailers, which are then sealed. They are then gassed to force them red. If you doubt this, ask any truck driver; they have the massive headache caused by the escaping gas after the doors are opened to prove it.

Animals raised in massive commercial environments are subjected to filthy, confining, inhumane treatment, all for the sake of a cheap buck. They are given massive amounts of antibiotics to keep down the spread of disease. They are fed color-enhancing byproducts to make the meat, eggs, etc. look appetizing. If you saw the real product without this treatment, you would think it was disgusting.

The results of many studies are now available which state that the nutrient content of the fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products in our super-convenient grocery stores are next to nothing! They may look good, but you might as well eat a piece of paper for all the nutritional benefit you’re getting! Basically, if appearance is the only concern, I guess we’re ok.

Pretty depressing, isn’t it? Actually, it’s a result of our own making; we’ve allowed the marketing geniuses to con us into believing bigger is better, packaging is the product, we need access to every fruit, veggie, meat or fish all year long, no matter the quality, and the cheaper the better. We’ve become a nation of “penny-wise, pound foolish” consumers.

So how do we take back control over our diet, environment, community, and pocketbook, all in one sweep? Easy. Two words.

Buy local.

I’ll say it again. Buy Local. (And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean at your “local” grocery store, unless they carry locally-grown products!)

No matter your location, you are surrounded by folks who grow, raise, and sell wonderfully healthy meats, veggies, herbs, fruits, dairy products, eggs, honey, and more! They do this with a heartfelt commitment to producing a healthy product in a healthy, humane environment. The nutritional value of these products far outshines anything you could find in a grocery store. Chances are the growers practice “sustainable agriculture”, which just means that they look to find the most natural way to work with the land and the various creatures on it (including the bugs, yuck!) to increase the health of the soil, plants and animals. Think of it this way: what goes into the soil, goes into you.

Can they beat the prices at the grocery stores? No. And you shouldn’t expect them to try.

Local growers take all the risks, perform all the labor (and if you think there’s very little labor, try working a day at any farm or market garden; you’ll wish the health club gave you that good of a workout!), harvest or process the product, package it, load and transport it, and oftentimes spend all day at the market selling it, too. If after all this, you still think their prices are “high”, you’re just plain cheap. Remember, you get what you pay for.

A final benefit is to the community in which you live. By supporting a local grower, you’re supporting your neighbor, and in turn, your community. He/she has the same interest in seeing your town do well as you do. Keep the dollars local, and you are the one that benefits!

Also, don’t forget to ask your favorite restaurant if they use local products; you’ll know they’re the freshest, best quality food you can get!

See you at the market!


Sue Abbott

New Milford, PA

Checkmate, Mr. President

By this time the only persons who haven't heard about Cindy Sheehan are extraterrestrials. Mrs. Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, has developed into a lightning rod for anti-war activists, and recently anti-anti war activists as well. Paradoxically, the gathering, which has been dubbed Camp Casey, is now more widely known than President Bush's adjoining ranch in Crawford.

Camp Casey has, over the weeks developed from a minor irritant to the president to a thorn in his side. Mrs. Sheehan is unrelenting in her insistence to meet with President Bush. The president for his part is equally adamant – and, privately his aides say, profanely so – in his refusal to meet with the Gold Star mother a second time. But whether by staunch conviction or willful stubbornness, his refusal seems to be counterproductive, as the crowds of anti- and pro-war demonstrators grow daily.

Indeed, Camp Casey seems to have developed its own heartbeat. Mrs. Sheehan was absent for a week tending to her sick mother. Yet, according to one newspaper report, the crowds continued to increase even without her presence. Mrs. Sheehan’s apotheosis of her son may have outgrown her, having now an independent life of its own.

Should, then, the president grant Mrs. Sheehan an audience? That, too, appears to be a no-win alternative. Such a parley could easily be interpreted as weakness. And if the president did agree to talk with her, would it make any difference in Mrs. Sheehan's attitude or merely publicize her cause? And would he, then, be expected to individualy console all the other 1,877 mothers who have also lost a son or a daughter in Iraq?

Then how 'bout just ignoring her? The president has tried that and it proved to be impossible. He has since addressed her publicly and by name. So what's a president to do?

There's a lesson in all this and it's not about the war; it's about one lone woman standing up to the commander in chief of the most powerful military force on Earth. It says as much about our country as it does about one determined mother. If anyone has ever thought, "I can't make a difference," then read a newspaper, leaf through a magazine, turn on the radio, or watch TV and take a good, long look at one solitary woman – Mrs. Cindy Sheeham – who has checkmated the President of the United States.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA


Thank You! Thank You ! Habitat For Humanity of Susquehanna County, PA, Inc. thanks the churches who helped us by holding Doo-Wop Diner fundraisers. Doo-Wop Diners were held in Montrose as a joint endeavor by the United Methodist Church, St Paul's Episcopal Church and Holy Name of Mary Church. At Elk Lake School by Springville United Methodist Church and the Dimock Community Church. And last but not least by the United Methodist and Grace Lutheran Churches of Hop Bottom.

From all reports they enjoyed themselves and had fun. These fundraisers are essential to our very existence.


George L. Hill, Jr.

Vice President &

Publicity Chairperson

Habitat For Humanity

Of Susquehanna County

Are The Veterans Being Shut Out?

At the latest commissioners’ meeting, I fully expected to hear the “three on high” appoint the three veteran representatives from the American Legion, VFW and the Marine Corps League to the Restoration Committee. That was not to be. Although they agreed that these were excellent choices, they referred them to the remaining members of the Restoration Committee for their input. For those who don’t know the history of the Restoration Committee, some facts need the light of day. Commissioners Gary Marcho and Lee Smith appointed Ellen O’Malley, Betty Smith, Elizabeth Janoski (resigned), George Starzec (resigned), Ron Albert (deceased) and Lee Smith before the end of their term in office. According to all the information I have received, Lee Smith does not consider himself a member, as he has not been reappointed by the present commissioners and has not been contacted since leaving the commissioner’s office two years ago. That leaves two members, one of whom has reportedly voiced the opinion, “The veterans have no right getting involved.”

Ellen O’Malley emailed Jeff Loomis with reservations as to the veterans chosen. Commissioner Loomis emailed me stating, “She posed a number of questions which I hope you can answer to the satisfaction of the remaining members of Monument Committee & my fellow commissioners.” The following is a portion of my reply, “Most importantly the shoddy workmanship by C & D has the county veterans extremely distrustful of a satisfactory completion. Their primary concern will be to ensure that C & D Waterproofing does indeed meet their responsibility. These are dedicated active veterans who will not be bullied into accepting substandard work or unacceptable delays. There is no written assurance from C & D that they intend to correct the work on the cannons or monument base. Three stone tablets have been removed, however there are six remaining that do not meet the Scope of Work.” I further stated, “I served on committees with each of these veterans and trust their dedication. They each represent a separate veteran organization, but are active in many. I would not have submitted these names without a firm confidence in their abilities. This monument project has the various veteran organizations’ attention… I believe the present members of the Restoration Committee are unqualified to understand the monumental insult and lack of respect felt by veterans by the near desecration of a monument to our hallowed dead. This is a perspective that should have been taken into account from the beginning.”

Commissioner Loomis contacted me September 1st and asked me to speak to Ms. O’Malley personally, as “She is quite upset over your emails you have been forwarding to her.” It is my opinion that I answered the questions posed. I am tired of jumping through hoops. I sat in the Commissioner's meeting and heard praises for the three well qualified veterans I submitted, at the request of a commissioner; only to have this backpedaling by everyone involved. Quite frankly, it is time to defecate or get off the John. If the wisdom of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Marine Corps League was not good enough in choosing these veterans originally, and my personal assurances are not good enough now, then it is my opinion that Ms. O’Malley does not want the veteran expertise no matter what I can say. The commissioners are going to have to stand up on their own hind legs and make a decision. They either appoint the veterans to the committee or not. As for Ms. O’Malley, I copied her my reply to the commissioners as a courtesy. Prior to that the only communication between us was a letter from her telling me not to contact Betty Smith at the Historical Society.


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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