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Look For Our Up Coming CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Featured In The Dec. 21th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Anonymous Letter Policy

An anonymous letter, by its very nature signifies that the writer has something to hide. The policy of almost every newspaper in the United States on anonymous letters, even if they have any truth to them but are not signed is to relegate them to the trashcan! The Transcript, however, seems to work in the trash. This brings up an interesting point. By giving the anonymous letter writers a public forum to spew their invective, the editor and editorial staff becomes a named co-conspirator of said letter writer! The particular letter in question has no basis in fact and I would like to think you, as a newspaper do not condone it but just made an honest mistake.

That being said, I invite Mr. Ficarro to step out of the shadows and rise from the gutter where all of the poisoned pen, anonymous letter writers reside and rejoin the human race. It’s a good place to live.
Your esteemed editorial staff may or may not consider this letter fit to print in your illustrious paper, but that’s ok. I just wanted you to know that someone in New Milford Borough is watching you.


Joe Taylor

Mayor, New Milford Borough

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: WOW! Shadows, gutters, poison pens and inhumane? All over a critique from one of your town’s own residents who feared possible (?) repercussion. I wonder how you might have responded to “your neighbor” had I talked him/her into signing the letter? Sorry, Joe, your letter only justifies why I (occasionally) allow a reader to be an anonymous contributor.

Our Sincere Thanks

We would like to thank all those who helped with the recent benefit for Jake Carpenter.
Special thanks to all those on the committee, whose time and efforts made it possible.
Additional thanks to those individuals who volunteered their time during the benefit.

Thanks to American Legion Post 86, of Susquehanna, for the donation of the Memorial Hall for the benefit and all the local businesses for their generous donations of food, beverages and gift certificates.

And finally, thanks to all of you who attended the benefit, for your show of support and words of encouragement during this difficult time.


Jeorganne and Scott Darling

Brendan and Jacob Carpenter

The Bullet That Keeps On Killing

It's peculiar stuff, uranium. Hold it in your hand and it feels like an invisible force is pushing it down. A five-gallon bucket filled with this metal would weigh 760 pounds. Its extraordinary density – 1.7 times that of lead – is what makes it a tank buster without equal and, as we shall see later, an environmental catastrophe also without equal.

A 120 mm shell with a warhead of uranium fired from a tank can impact its target at more than 1,000 miles/hour. This gives the high-density uranium projectile the momentum of a pile driver. It easily punches through 6-8 inches of armor like so much plywood. The targeted tank's interior is sprayed with white-hot steel and superheated vaporized uranium. Secondary explosions of fuel and ordinance reduce the armored vehicle to twisted shards of steel in seconds. The tank is not destroyed. It is obliterated.

The type of uranium used in munitions is called depleted uranium (DU). It is a waste product of the nuclear fuel and weapons' industry. Currently there is more than 500,000 tons of DU in nuclear waste storage. So it has the double advantage of being both cheap and effective. But the "D" in DU is misleading. It is not depleted. It is a low-level radioactive element. And therein lies the problem.

Because of its unmatched ability to penetrate armor, DU is the metal of choice for antitank missiles in A-10 Warthogs, Apache helicopters and tanks. In Gulf War I, 650,000 pounds were used, and in GW II an additional 200,000 pounds was expended. According to Prof. Katsuma Yagasaki this is the radiological equivalent of 250,000 Nagasaki bombs polluting the Iraqi landscape.

As soon as DU leaves a gun barrel it self-ignites, burning at a temperature of more than 2,000 degrees F. It leaves in its wake a contrail of vaporized radioactive uranium. On contact with the target as much as 70% of the remaining bullet is also vaporized. These particles are powder fine, easily wind-borne. In Iraq, where desert sandstorms are common, this dust can be spread over large areas, contaminating many square miles.

Microscopic aerosols of DU are unavoidably ingested with food and water, inhaled while breathing and are taken up by plants and work their way up the food chain. When DU enters a body it can be expelled through the urine if it is soluble. But if it is insoluble, it is incorporated into somatic tissue. Here it presents a double health threat.

DU is chemically poisonous in the same way as is mercury or lead. These elements can play havoc with the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, and can lead to permanent impairment or death. Additionally, it is radiologically toxic, shooting out subatomic particles that damage nearby cells. This has been clinically proven to be a cause of various types of cancers and congenital malformations as well as a host of nondescript illnesses.

Dr. John Gofman, professor emeritus of Medical Physics at UC Berkeley, is a recognized authority on radiation. He worked with Dr. Oppenheimer on the development of the atomic bomb. He stated: ". . . . there cannot be a safe dose of radiation. There is no safe threshold [of radiation]."

This seems to be borne out by Dr. Newark Ail at Baghdad University. Dr. Ail noted that there has been a twenty-fold increase in birth defects from 1989 to 2003. He went on to say that this is matched by a corresponding increase in the incidence of childhood cancers.

As many as one in four of the 700,000 U.S. soldiers who served in the Gulf complain of symptoms collectively known as Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). These ailments include chronic fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, cognitive problems, respiratory and heart irregularities and persistent diarrhea to name a few.

The exact cause of GWS has not been pinned down. It could be induced by the pesticide-containing flea collars worn by soldiers, side effects of the anti-nerve gas pills, the multitude of prophylactic medical injections, exposure to battlefield contaminants, or DU.

If DU is part of the problem, it can be with us – our troops and the Iraqis – for quite some time. All radioactive elements have a half-life, i.e., the amount of time it takes for one-half of the radioactivity to dissipate. Some have a half-life of seconds, others days. DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

The questions before us are these: Have we created a Frankenstein monster, an engine of destruction that can neither be controlled nor contained, a beast whose lethal powers are not diminished by age, a chimera that can kill with the power of the sun, or insidiously, slowly and silently? And will not, in time, this ageless beast in one of its guises be turned with equal vengeance on us, its creators, as we have unleashed it on others?


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Our Profound Gratitude

This holiday season, the Susquehanna County Chapter American Red Cross extends our profound gratitude to the residents of Susquehanna County. Because of your generosity, our Red Cross Chapter has been able to give critical support to those affected by the recent hurricanes, while still providing help and hope to your neighbors in need here in Susquehanna County.

As Chairperson of your local Red Cross, I’m very grateful to be associated with an organization that makes a difference in our community, every day. The residents of Susquehanna County who support the Red Cross through volunteer time, blood, money or other donations share in the special kinship of neighbors helping neighbors, whether they are around the block or across the globe. It is only through your incredible generosity of spirit that our local Red Cross stands ready, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Hurricanes are just part of the story. Our Chapter is made up of friends and neighbors, responding to community disasters including house and apartment fires, teaching first aid and CPR classes, collecting lifesaving blood or helping members of the military stay connected. The Susquehanna County Chapter Red Cross also helps reconnect families separated by crisis and conflict around the world.

We are able to offer many of these services free of charge – but only thanks to the generous support of people like you. While hurricanes capture the headlines, it is more important than ever before to support the Susquehanna County Chapter Red Cross, so that no one in our community must ever face a disaster alone. If you need our help or would like to be a helper, call Becky or Tami at 278–1427.


Peter R. Butler, Chairman

Susquehanna County Chapter Red Cross

New Project Needs Support

Your local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is embarking on a new and exciting project in Susquehanna. We are building, from the ground up, a new home for a handicapped child, Billy and his Grandmother, Doreen. This home will be custom made to meet this child’s needs for the rest of his life.

For the first two weeks of December, Habitat for Humanity will have collection cans at various locations in Hallstead, Susquehanna and Thompson. Some of these businesses will have available, for $1.00, paper houses, which will be hung up that you can sign with your name.

We all know that there are many situations in the world crying out for our attention and we all give where we can. We are asking that we as a community do whatever we can to help make a difference for this family and each other by leaving a donation.

If individuals or businesses would like to help out either in a volunteer or a monetary way, please contact Habitat for Humanity of Susquehanna County, Box 231, Montrose, PA 18801.

We would like to thank all the individuals and businesses that are contributing in whatever way you can! Blessed Holiday Season.


Ryan Lee

Habitat Volunteer

Other Reasons

It appears to me, judging from the insulting, condescending tone of Ms. Karmazin’s letter (11/16/05) there just may be other reasons for people’s attitude toward her than just her license places.


David Hall,

Susquehanna, PA

Make Sure It’s Wanted

As the holidays approach many people will consider purchasing a puppy as a gift. Boston Allied Rescue Connection (BARC) advises people to make sure a puppy, or any animal, is a wanted and an appropriate gift. It is a lifetime commitment and not to be taken lightly.

If you decide to purchase a puppy, select a reputable breeder. Ask to see the parents, if possible, and all veterinary records pertaining to both the puppy and its parents. The breeder should be willing to produce the AKC Litter Registration papers also. The premises should be visually checked for cleanliness and the condition of the facility in general. Also, check with your local veterinarians to see if any problems have been reported to them regarding any breeders you may be considering purchasing a puppy from. You may also contact any dog rescue organization. They will be able to give you whatever information is available to them. It is not advisable to purchase any dog or cat from a pet store. Our local Humane Society has many adoptable pets and should be given a thought as a fine alternative and please consider an adult animal. They seem to know when someone has given them a second chance.

To all of the wonderful people that have given forever homes whether it be through a breed rescue or Humane Society to our homeless fur babies and purr babies, all of us in Rescue pray that you are blessed with a lifetime of love and laughter and peace in the knowledge that you have saved a life.


Rose Marie Whalen

NE PA BARC Representative

Montrose, PA

A Pleasant Surprise

As I was driving from Susquehanna to Hallstead this past Wednesday, I was pleasantly surprised to see a fence being built in front of the latest county eyesore on Route 171. The so-called “Auto Clinic,” which as anyone can see is a junk yard (after all, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck), has been degrading the area much too long. When I returned home and read the latest copy of the “Transcript,” I found out that Great Bend Township had finally taken steps to contain this eyesore. For that action, I commend the Township Supervisors. Too bad it has taken so long. (Oakland Township Supervisors take notice, a fence around the other junk yard on Rt. 171 would be appreciated.)

All of this brings to mind another problem with business being conducted on residential property. Is the property being taxed as a residence or a business? Hopefully, the assessor has done his job and properly identified this property as a business. I am sure that there are many other examples throughout the county of improperly classified property. Perhaps if an attempt was made to rectify this situation, residential property taxes could be reduced, or at least not increased.


Harry Biesecker

Susquehanna, 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.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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