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Don't Forget Dad On

June 18th

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Fighting For Life

There are a few types of people working hard to cover up the truth on Taylor Hill (Lanesboro) washouts and flooding, all to protect B & S Quarries. There are those who may have sold their dignity, for money or materialistic items out to B & S. The bright side, you actually gained something. There are those who may have sold themselves out for promises. Remember, you have received nothing but words. Are words a fair payment for your integrity? There are those who may have sold out for a wish of future gain. Do not count on it. Worst of all, the people who gave all of their inner goodness for no reason at all. I hope many people will pray for you, as you need it.

The most contacted people and a quote from them:

Lanesboro officials: “You are on your own.” Told to one person only. Definition of quote (discrimination).

Rails to Trails: Lynn Conrad – “We gave verbal permission to B & S to change the trails.”

B & S owner Tim Smith: “Aw, why don’t you people just cry on my shoulder?”

Co-owner Tom B.: “You don’t know who you are dealing with.”

DEP’s Mike O’Donnell: False, misleading and incomplete reports, topped off with one lie after another.

DEP’s John Meehan: “DEP approval is required for Rails to Trails to have work done.” When asked if approval had been obtained, “No.”

State Rep. Sandra Major, upon reading reports, looking at photographs, and seeing for herself, “I will talk with B & S, view the operations and get back with you. Tim Smith is a friend of mine.” Upon many more calls, a reply was finally given. B & S said that “they are not responsible.” Sandra ended all contact at this time.

Congressman Don Sherwood’s office: “John or Jack will be in contact with you, and will visit your home.” None of this has happened, just more lies. Many other people and offices have been contacted, too many to write about.

Upon closing your eyes for sleep tonight, pick the category you belong in. Good luck and sleep well, as the victims cannot.

Please keep in mind this affects the lives of working men and women, seniors and disabled people and their families, homes gone or damaged, personal items now garbage, drinking water from wells undrinkable and without home heat since 2004, except December 23, 2004 to January, 2005.


Dennis Martel

Lanesboro, PA

We Will Miss Her

On Monday, May 22, 2006, about 7 p.m., our dog, Precious Butts was shot in Oakland, PA. After hours of trying to find a vet that would take payments and see her, we arrived in Avoca, PA. We had to put her to sleep at 1:00 a.m.

Precious suffered severe trauma, and lost lots of blood. Not only did the dog suffer, but so did my family. The look on the kids’ faces, watching their best friend suffer the way she did, and saying goodbye. It was traumatic to all of us.

We had to say goodbye and watch part of our family suffer and cry. She was just like one of our kids, our kids’ best friend.

I hope whoever did this realizes the trauma they put our dog, Precious and our family through.

We’ll miss you, Precious. We love you.


Colleen Donahue and Family

Oakland, PA

A Fence Post And A Wrecking Ball

The administration's foreign policy has a two-pronged strategy for resolving conflicts. The first is the Trappist monk approach. President Bush, taking a cue from that order of ascetics dedicated to silence, will not engage in diplomatic talks with North Korea, Syria, or the Palestinian Authority. (The latter has a duly elected, democratic government, but lacks the imprimatur of the United States.)

The latest group to get the cold shoulder are the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. After two months of negotiations, the administration has canceled all high-level talks.

Most perplexing is the government's refusal to have discussions with Iran (another unapproved democracy). Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad, the president of that nation, recently sent President Bush a conciliatory letter proposing "new solutions" to their differences.

The White House's response was no response: "This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort," huffed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Secretary's reply was given even before she had read the official translation. In effect, the eighteen-page missive has been stamped, Return To Sender.

The silent approach may have had its roots in 2003 when the administration was planning a fresh round of bombing in Iraq. President Bush was trying to persuade the Europeans to join us in making Iraq a free-fire zone. Wisely, they demurred. Peeved, the President called them the "old men of Europe." To their credit the "old men" have yet to say, I told you so. For his part, the President is now content to let the Europeans do the negotiating for us. This is either because he wants to mend fences, or he believes that since the "old men" got it right the first time, they might be better able to handle the situation this time.

At first glance the silent treatment seems thoughtless (that's the kindest word), but not to the White House. According to the administration, the rationale behind no-diplomacy diplomacy is that dialogue would only raise expectations that concessions will be made. (And here I thought that's what diplomacy is all about.) This way, they explain, avoiding false hopes are certain. But arriving at a consensus seems less certain.

"You don't want to do the expedient thing. You want to do the right thing, the thing that's effective," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. Ergo, the effectiveness of doing nothing. (You may want to try this with your wife or boss.)

Silent though he may be, President Bush stresses diplomacy over carpet bombing: "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table." Unraveling that, I suppose he means that "all options" include the "ridiculous."

The Gulf States are understandably perturbed about nukes going off in their backyard. Even using conventional weapons on Iranian nuclear facilities could unleash radioactive contamination that would take years to clean up – roughly four-and-a-half billion years.

"We hope this crisis will be brought to an end through peaceful dialogue," said Abdul-Rahman al-Attiya, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperative Council. Apparently Mr. al-Attiya is not yet aware that we don't do dialogue.

Excluding the two eastern wars, the Mexican invasion, a hemorrhage of three manufacturing jobs to the chicoms, and a federal deficit fueled on Viagra, Iran is the administration's main problem. Russia is key to preventing Iran from conquering the world; she is supplying Iran with nuclear fuel. Hence talks – yes, we're talking with Russia – are scheduled in two months.

Enter the veep.

Vice President Dick Cheney was dispatched to prepare the way for a meeting between Presidents Bush and Vladimir Putin. The veep shuns the silent treatment, preferring instead the pit bull approach. In a recent speech in Lithuania, Mr. Cheney accused President Putin of backsliding on religious and political rights. He continued with the delicacy of a pick ax chastising him for using "tools of intimidation or blackmail" in its energy policy with former Soviet states.

President Putin, who doesn't understand the Vice President's diplomacy, found his remarks insulting and inflammatory. (Not a good idea to try this tactic with your wife or boss. Best to leave this to the professionals who understand such things.) The Russian press, miffed, warned of a second Cold War – they didn't understand, either.

Continuing his speech, the veep announced that in a few years one and three million barrels of oil a day be piped from Kazakhstan through Afghanistan. Afghanistan. Remember? That's where we went to fight terrorism. As luck would have it, we now have permanent military bases and 17,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan to safeguard the pipeline construction.

Between the President's non-communicative fence-post quietude and Mr. Cheney's swinging wrecking-ball belligerence we can only hope for the best. But that can be challenging. The President: "Our enemies never stop trying to come up with new ways to harm our people, and neither do we."


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

It’s Worth Seeing

I read letters weekly “To the Editor” in the County Transcript. The letters are usually complaints about someone, something, or someplace. I decided to write you about something “good” in our area that a lot of your readers are unaware of or have forgotten about. With the cost of gas skyrocketing, going on a family vacation this summer is going to be very difficult for many. Why not visit one of our local attractions, “Old Mill Village Museum,” on Rte. 848 in New Milford?

The village is open every Sunday and on some weekends, Saturday and Sunday, from 12-5. The museum opened for its 2006 program of events on Sunday, May 28, with Wool, Textile and Scottish Heritage Day. On June 4, the village will feature “The World of Nature: In Susquehanna County.” Many demonstrators will be on hand to show tie flying, blacksmithing, candle making, wool spinning, trapping, wood carving, water ecology, plant identification and much more. Jim Kessler will lead a nature walk at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be the Mary Adams Memorial Frog Jumping Contest. Bring your prize-winning frog and register before 1 p.m. at the village dress shop. There will be music, food, and don’t forget to visit the “Village Mercantile.”

The museum is open right through October 21, ending with two wonderful weekends of “Historic Ghost Walks of Pennsylvania.” If you’ve never been to this, don’t miss it. A program of events can be picked up at the Old Mill Village main gate or at various locations in the area. For those of you who have said, “I’ve lived here many years, but I’ve never been there,” well, this is the year to come visit and have a great time with your family and friends.

Other weekends of interest: June 11 – Folk Festival; July 22 – World War II Living History; July 29-30, Underground Railroad and Black History; August 12-13, 18th Century Living History; August 27, Ben Stone Memorial Country Music Contest; September 9-10, Civil War Living History; September 24, Antique Tractors and Agriculture in Susquehanna County; September 30 – October 1, Pumpkin Town; October 13-14 and 20-21, Ghost Walks


Dixie Russell

Member, Board of Directors

Old Mill Village Museum

Say It Ain’t So

The Railroad Authority has so far signed a $2.5 million grant with approximately another $1.5 million due later relating to that grant. There is also talk of another $8 million waiting in the wings. This is certainly a very laudable accomplishment and a well-needed infusion of funds into our area. At the commissioner’s meeting this week, I called for an affirmation of support from that governing body for the Railroad Authority and received a deafening silence in return. At first glance this may seem strange until a few interesting developments are brought to the fore.

Recently, I was informed that one of the commissioners had attempted to have the Rail Authority monies funneled through the Commissioners’ office. This would give the impression that the commissioners were somehow responsible for the grant. Having failed in that area and unable to remove the chairman, State Senator Madigan’s office was contacted claiming the Authority was a loose organization unable to come to agreement on any issue. Having attended the most recent Authority meeting and noting the professional manner exhibited by all in attendance, I mentioned the allegation I had received. I was told that the only dissenting voice in the meetings was usually that of a member not present and a good friend of the commissioner mentioned in the allegation. I attempted to contact Senator Madigan’s office. Later, his office contacted me and, though certain information could not be relayed, an inference of validity to the allegation was clear. Actions of this nature, if true, are in direct opposition to the benefit and welfare of this county’s citizens.

Obviously, I can’t come out and accuse any single commissioner of such underhanded tactics toward a politically diverse and beneficial organization as the Railroad Authority. Perhaps the present dismal record of our commissioners relating to lost grant opportunities and the upcoming election may be causing a scramble to look better in the coming months leading to election. I will note that when I asked for the affirmation of support in the commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Kelly shot an immediate glance to the very same member of the Rail Authority who was not present at the last meeting.


Fred Baker

Meshoppen, PA

Where Are The Police?

Where do you find a policeman in this town (Susquehanna)?

On May 11, there was a banner for a benefit put up in front of the Post Office. Officer Record took it down that night. I tried to contact the policeman on three occasions, and received no return call. A few other people on the benefit committee went looking for this officer. I went to the boro office and asked if the banner was there. It wasn’t. I left a message there and asked that Officer Record call me. No phone call when he came on duty.

The following Tuesday, May 16, I left a message on the borough police answering machine again. No reply. No sight of a policeman in town. Once again, I called on Saturday, May 20, and left a message. No return phone call. Bottom line, I wanted the banner back, and to discuss why our benefit banner was taken down when there, in front of the Post Office, were more signs later. I also wanted to discuss with Officer Record a situation involving one of the guys on the benefit committee in a local hair salon. He threatened to charge the people who put up the sign $20.00 an hour to take the remaining signs down, if they weren’t taken down. I was under the assumption that he was a public servant and was paid for his job already by the town.

It is quite amazing to me that with all the things that are happening in this town, like the crack and heroin problem, speeding, etc., that this policeman was so obsessed with taking down the banners and signs. I realize that they should have gotten permission to put the banner up, but they were so intent on getting this benefit together that they probably didn’t realize that they had to.

I wouldn’t think that it would be a big conflict for a benefit to be advertised. It was for a young cancer victim, who thanks to the love and support of his good friends, his final expenses were met and a donation to be sent to the Children’s Tumor Network to help other kids.

There was also a sign for another benefit for another cancer victim up in front of the Post Office on Saturday, May 20. There should have been no problem since it was definitely for a good cause.

Driving through town on Saturday morning, I noticed the benefit banner being taken down and being replaced with a car show banner. My question is, why can certain signs be put up, and not others? If banners are taken down in a timely manner, especially when it is for a good cause, what is the problem?

This morning, May 25, driving through town, I noticed another car show banner on the fence by Drinker Creek Park. How did Officer Record miss this banner?

This may sound like a trivial situation, but it is not. If there was an emergency, how would you find a policeman? Being a public servant, and a “professional” he should have at least returned a phone call.

Makes me glad that I live where I do, and not in the Borough of Susquehanna.


Jeorganne Darling

Oakland Township


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