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Issue Home July 26, 2006 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

A Different Set Of Rules?

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Some people suggest we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people that today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households, and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved goodbye to their birthplace to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these first generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans, fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.

They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages was looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represents one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents, who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about.

I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900’s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations, to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.


Alan Aronowitz

New Milford, PA

To Blue Ridge Taxpayers

The Blue Ridge School District Board of Education has as one of its highest priorities that of supporting the residents of the District in every way possible. Beginning with the evening of June 27, 2006 the residents of the District have experienced a flood of still unknown proportions. There has been astronomical loss of businesses, homes, personal property, and local infrastructure forcing many district residents to be displaced. On Tuesday July 4, the area of the Blue Ridge School District as well as all of Susquehanna County was designated a Federal Disaster Area.

The Board of Education of the Blue Ridge School District wishes to provide temporary relief to the taxpayers regarding payment of school taxes. On Monday July 17, the Board passed a resolution to aid the residents in reestablishing some sense of normalcy to their lifestyles, directing the tax collector(s) of the Blue Ridge School District to begin distribution of District tax notices for the 2006 tax year on September 1, 2006. This would delay the District tax notices by two months, with tax payment receipts in September and October at discount, receipts in November and December at face, receipts in January and February 2007 at penalty, and taxes becoming delinquent on March 1 of 2007.

Please consult with your tax professional as to the impact of choosing to pay your taxes in 2007.

The Board of Education of the Blue Ridge School District hopes that this action helps, and we wish all residents the very best in these difficult days.


Blue Ridge School District

Board of Education

In Response

I am writing in response to Mr. Fabrizi’s letter in the July 19 issue of the County Transcript.

First, I would like to ask Mr. Fabrizi to define “asinine.” What this council is trying to do is to get the most for your (tax) dollar without raising taxes, and get what everyone wants; if you have a plan, we would gladly listen. It is our responsibility to explore all options; that does not necessarily mean that we will act on every idea that we discuss.

As far as the boro having three vehicles, the Jeep is a backup, especially for winter because it is a four-wheel drive; it is not used much but when needed, it is there. As for the mayor and council members being seen driving around in the Jeep, that is true. If you recall, we were recently in a state of emergency, and the Jeep was used (by all of us) to deliver water to people who needed it. If using a boro vehicle to help boro residents in an emergency situation is an “asinine antic,” I’d like you to explain why.

Was it “asinine antics” when Mayor Reddon, Tom Kelly, Mike Matis, Roy Williams and myself all donated countless hours, lost work time, used up our vacation time, and spent our own money, and tried to do everything we could not only to help our residents, but some from Oakland, Lanesboro and Oakland Township as well (some of them came to us for help)? Funny, we didn’t see you out there helping.

As for your comment, “Perhaps in the interest of saving money, council members as well as the mayor should each volunteer a different day each week and work right along with Steve Glover.” Guess what, some council members did, as well as the mayor.

The money that was approved for paving at the park was allocated in the budget for the park, from proceeds of the sale of park property. You used to be on council, surely you remember what the words “budget” and “allocation” mean? The paving is to address a safety issue and will help with handicap accessibility.

The dictionary defines “rumor” as (1) an unverified or unfounded report, story, etc., circulating from person to person or (2) common gossip; hearsay (Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary). A proposal was written up by a councilman. It was not discussed at secret meetings, there were, in fact, no secret meetings. If you recall, we were in a state of emergency and the meeting where it would have been brought to the table for discussion had to be canceled. Again, we are trying to find ways to get the most for your (tax) dollar without raising taxes. Councils do have the right to draw up proposals and to discuss them, to explore possibilities, both pro and con. Just about everyone who has ever served on a council has made a proposal; I’ve done it, and so did you when you served. Not every proposal brought up for discussion is followed through on, many are rejected for one reason or another. The proposal was to be discussed that evening and could not be. Some council members were not there to get it, and others never got a chance to read it due to the emergency. Word about it was leaked out before it could be discussed, and people started to react to rumors, unverified or unfounded reports. Council did not have the chance to discuss any part of the proposal.

You say our purpose is “to serve the best interest of ALL of the people in Susquehanna Depot Borough.” You should know you can’t please all the people all the time. I (and other council members) still get complaints about the streets department. Did those people hear the rumor, too? If they had, do you think they might have shown up at the meeting? And, would they have supported the proposal, or opposed it?

It is so easy to be an armchair quarterback. It is so easy to write a letter rather than getting involved. We do the best we can. If anyone wants to step forward and take our jobs, there is an election coming up, run for council!

You might want to consider firing your “informant” and maybe come to the meetings yourself and get the real facts.

Oh, and by the way, none of us on council are on “assistance,” we all work for a living.


Ron Whitehead, Councilman

Susquehanna, PA

A Job Well Done

On behalf of the entire Post 357, American Legion family, located in Hallstead, PA, I would personally like to thank the Great Bend Fire Department.

On July 3 I asked if they would go out of their own fire district and hose down the parking lot of the American Legion. Due to the flooding, there was mud and debris everywhere. I was told that on July 4, even though it was a holiday, the lot would be done. At 8:30 a.m. on July 4, as promised, fire trucks from Great Bend, Forest Lake, Harford, Kirkwood and New Milford arrived. By 11:30 a.m., the job was completed as promised.

Again, thank you so much from the entire American Legion, Post 357 family for the job well done.


Dale Jesse

Hallstead, PA

With Deep Regret

Due to the extensive damage to our building caused by the flood of 2006, our scholarship for this year must be canceled.

It is with deep regret that we must withdraw the scholarship; however, it cannot feasibly be done this year. We will reevaluate the funds for future years’ scholarships.


Rick Rood


American Legion Post 357

Senators Intercede

For many years, the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro Ag), National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), and some others have been asking for various federal agencies to examine the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) regarding the reliability of the CME to play a major role in the price discovery for milk prices paid to dairy farmers.

On July 13, six US Senators submitted a letter to David Walker, Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), urging the agency to study the entire mechanism of the CME to determine if the exchange was a reputable source to determine dairy farmers’ milk prices.

The six Senators are Senators Russell Feingold and Herb Kohl from Wisconsin, Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania, Senator Jim Jeffords from Vermont, and Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer from New York. The Senators raise several questions about the CME. All of their questions basically center around the CME methods of operation.

Approximately ten years ago, the Green Bay Cheese Exchange, in Wisconsin, closed under pressure from dairy farmers and some of the same six Senators including Senator Arlen Specter. The above mentioned people strongly criticized the methods being used by the Green Bay Cheese Exchange in determining the value of wholesale cheese. Each month, an agency of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) surveys approximately 110 cheese and butter wholesale markets to determine the value of wholesale cheese and butter. (These markets are all west of the Mississippi River.) The wholesale value of cheese is used to determine milk prices paid to dairy farmers.

California has become the largest milk producing state in the United States. However, California does not come under the jurisdiction of the federal milk marketing orders. The California dairy farmers are regulated under state orders within California. Several years ago, the California legislature passed laws that mandated California dairy farmers pay for the majority cost of converting raw milk into manufactured dairy products (these costs are called “make allowance”).

The philosophy of dairy farmers’ paying the “make allowance” has now infiltrated into the federal milk marketing orders.

Pro Ag helped to defeat an attempt to increase the “make allowance” charged to dairy farmers at a hearing this past January in Alexandria, Virginia. The proposal would have decreased milk prices paid to area dairy farmers by approximately $0.45 per hundredweight (cwt).

All farmers should appreciate the efforts of the six Senators as they attempt to do something about the low milk prices paid to area dairy farmers. These prices have now plummeted to the 1980 level.

Pro Ag can be reached at (570) 833–5776.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA

Postpone The Election

America needs oil to make gasoline. Also, America needs to be self sufficient and not be dictated to by the world market price of a barrel of oil.

The least little thing triggers the price of a barrel of crude, so what! Let the rest of the world fight over it!

America can make enough ethanol from renewable energy every day to completely eliminate the need for "us" to be held hostage by the world price of crude oil.

It's my opinion that for this fall’s election the politicians should cancel it! Yep! Take all the money they would waste on the so-called campaign to get themselves elected, to supposedly represent the real needs of America, and build ethanol plants and biodiesel plants all across our nation. It would be the patriotic thing to do! Then they would accomplish something good for the country. Hold off the election until all the plants are up and running! Top priority!

Only if we had enough plants ready today "we," the citizens of this great country could be unshaken by the war in the Middle East. I wonder what OPEC would do if they lost control of "US, the citizens of America.” We, as Americans, need to demand that ethanol and biodiesel plants be built immediately! Use tax dollars from "Us the citizens." I am quite sure it would be better spent on" Us,” here in our country for the good of “we, the people" of our country. The beer industries in the world are allowed to make beer; ethanol is beer until it is distilled, so there is no worry of polluting the world. It’s like having your beer and driving too, all tanked up!

Lets holler today for our independence from imported oil, maybe "we" will be able to have a Boston oil party tomorrow! Put" our" money to use now, today for the salvation of "America"!

It's the small words that mean so much. Lets make a difference "us ,we, ours, America"!


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

The Price Of Tomatoes

Many folks I talk to, at the farmers’ market or at the stand, or just in passing, tend to be puzzled as to why "home grown" (as opposed to industrial) produce is "more" expensive than grocery store items. Unfortunately, we as Americans are trained from birth to find the cheapest, "best" deal in town for everything, scanning sale papers, comparison shopping, or going from store to store to save a dollar. But we need to stop for a minute and ask ourselves why the sticker price is so almighty important when we aren't considering the costs behind it? Folks here in town will spend two hours and a tank of gas to bypass the local hardware store because the widget they need is $2 cheaper at the Wal-Mart or Home Depot in Binghamton or Scranton. Call me loopy, but that doesn't make sense. Not only are they hurting the local economy, their neighbor, they're putting money into the hands of a faceless corporation who could care less about them or their town. Not to mention wasting the fuel to get there (that's a whole other topic).

Likewise with food. A local farmer could sell lettuce for $3 a bag. You can get it at the supermarket for $2 or less (on sale). But you need to consider the hidden costs associated with that "deal." First, it was trucked over 1,000 miles to get here. It was stored in a distribution warehouse first, then shipped again to the store. It was grown in soil that reeks of petrochemicals, sprayed with poison, and in the case of some other items (meat, tomatoes, or strawberries for example), was either irradiated, gassed, or sprayed to "preserve" it before you, the consumer even set eyes on it. So you're getting a lot "more" for your money than you bargained for to begin with. But why is it so cheap? Because the government subsidizes industrial farms with your tax dollars. They are paid a premium to either not grow something, or to grow it all out of proportion to the supply, manipulating the price for the benefit of stock market speculators. They are given tax credits for fuel, petrochemical use, farm labor, etc. ad naseum. Even though you aren't paying for it at the checkout, you're paying way more than necessary come April 15. The trick is, you don't see it, so it isn't there. And that's just for the product. What is the cost to you in the form of health issues?

Our food supply is in critical danger. It's that simple. The industrial experiment conducted post World War II is a massive failure in terms of pollution, ecological damage, health problems, global warming, chemical and genetic hazards, and economic failures. And in the meantime, the legislators and politicians who have created this mess turn a blind eye to their handiwork in favor of debating flag burning. Pretty depressing, isn't it?

Actually, there is a bright side. (You gotta be kidding, right?) No, I'm not. The upside to this debacle is the waking up of the population to the food sources right in their own backyard. Humanely raised livestock, organically and sustainably grown crops, and concerned and caring growers who don't mind putting a little sweat behind their convictions, but rightfully expect a fair compensation for their products and labor. They aren't looking to get rich; just make a living, doing what they do best with as little government interference as possible. These are the folks who will save this country, if enough consumers stop asking "how much" and start asking "how". Period.

What can you do? Educate your friends and neighbors. Read (not just mainstream news, but the smaller, more accurate publications and websites). Ask questions. Especially of your government representatives (and I use that term loosely). What are they doing to correct the damage and get back on track as far as feeding this nation? You, as a citizen, hold more power than any other entity on earth. For our sakes and the sake of your children, use it, and use it wisely.


Sue Abbott

New Milford, PA


I cannot believe District Magistrate Janicelli. I hope he never gets elected again. Because of judges like him we will always have losers and lowlifes that abuse animals. Maybe he should be disbarred and get a judge with a heart that realizes that animals suffer and feel pain just like we do. I am so outraged, as I’m sure a lot of people are.


Debra Carroll

New Milford, PA

An Apology Is Due

Once again P. Jay Amadio has decided to attack my credibility and question my motives. And, once again, he has decided to use the forum of his column as a reporter to execute a character assassination with half-truths and a complete disregard for any semblance of fact. I long for the days of long ago when reporters would investigate a story, learn the dynamics of both sides and report the same. P. Jay takes yellow journalism to a whole new level and speculates upon scenarios, without any basis in fact, to conclude whatever fantasy comes to his uninformed mind. To him, finding the facts is an alien concept.

The Ayers-Stone post of the VFW has for some time been trying to get the flag at the veteran’s memorial lit, in accordance with U. S. Code, and an electrical system hookup installed so that a noisy generator would not have to be used at each function. According to several members, there was a collection of public funds as well as a donation made by the VFW. These funds were supposedly collected during a prior administration. At the May 17, 2006 meeting of the VFW, I was asked to investigate the lighting and electrical hookup funding and try to facilitate installation of the same through the commissioners. I spoke on several occasions with Commissioners Warren and Loomis, as they were both in favor of a proper system being installed. After searching the records of seven years’ minutes of the commissioners’ meetings, I could find no mention of a donation or public funds received. I informed the commissioners and the VFW of my findings. On June 20, 2006, Commissioner Loomis sent a letter to the several VFW and American Legion posts of the county stating, “The former set of commissioners agreed to do this when the Montrose VFW post donated money for that purpose many years ago.” Also, that Eric Lewis quoted a price of $1,274.00 to install a pole with halogen spotlight, day/night sensor and outside electrical outlets for hooking up the sound and speaker systems for services. His letter stated further that there was $3,100.00 of untapped money in the Grounds and Services budget available to fund the service. His letter finished with a plea to contact the other commissioners, as they would not sign on to the purchase order. Mr. Loomis responded to my query of Commissioner Warren’s change of heart with, “She does not want to spend more than $600.00.” On July 3, 2006, as Vice Commander of Gardner-Warner American Legion, I sent each of the three commissioners a letter, which stated in full, “There has been a great deal of discussion between the various veteran organizations and the need to adequately light the flag at the war monument near the courthouse. It is very obvious that the present lighting is woefully inadequate. I am enclosing a copy of the United States Code. If the commissioners cannot agree upon lighting the flag properly, I respectfully request that it be taken down each night and raised daily in accordance with the U. S. Code.”

As the Vice Commander of the American Legion and because I had not received a response to my letter from any one of the three commissioners, I went to the July 12 commissioners’ meeting. My purpose was to ask why I had not received a response and what actions were being taken. P. Jay should know that the commissioners use just about any excuse to behave like spoiled brats in their meetings and this subject was just the catalyst this time. Yet it is his contention that I am acting as Commissioner Loomis’ shill to foment a confrontation between the commissioners so they can behave badly. He may greet their actions with sadistic glee, but I would remind him, at a prior meeting, I castigated them for the same abhorrent behavior. He should also know that a household 150-watt flood lamp mounted on the roof of a building across the street and approximately ninety feet from the flag is inadequate lighting, but I doubt that he has even looked. As he is an American Legion member, I am surprised at his cavalier attitude relating to proper respect toward the flag of our country and the inability for veterans to hold respectful services. It is not a simple issue of an inadequate light bulb.

Finally, P. Jay states that I attempted to gloss the whole matter over by “praising the three commissioners for their guidance and work during the recent flood.” He didn’t mention that my comments were made well after the tirade and during the public discussion of the flood damage. If he had checked with the commissioners, he would have found that I had expressed the same praise privately a couple days prior to the meeting and had informed two of the commissioners that I would do so again publicly at the next meeting. P. Jay would assign me an ulterior motive; I did it because it was deserved. I find it very distressing that anyone attempting to affect positive change can be so maligned by one who should be reporting facts and truth rather than assigning a blatantly false premise. Shame on you, P. Jay Amadio!


Fred Baker

Meshoppen, PA

Ask Herman

There is a well-known quote by Herman Goering which he made at the Nuremberg trails for Nazi war criminals. It bears reading. It is as prescient today as it was when the Reichsmarschall uttered it in his defense sixty-one years ago:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

In rapid succession there have been three "tell-them-they-are-being-attacked" threats.

The first is from that worn-out, toothless tiger, now caged, Saddam Hussein. After the eight-year war with Iran, the Bush I invasion, followed by twelve years of sanctions, the Iraqi army that opposed the Bush II invasion was barely a fourth-rate military power.

Yet Hussein was portrayed as a Hitler wannabe who was a danger to the United States. What nonsense!

The "elite" Republican Guard had no modern weapons only old AK47s. Its armada of 2,200 tanks was largely inoperative, many were cannibalized for spare parts. The M1 Abrams battle tank was equipped with night vision capability and a 120 mm cannon that outdistanced its Iraqi counterpart, the T-72 – a thirty-year-old relic, by more than one-half mile. The score: 5,466 to 2.

What about the Iraqi Air Force? There wasn't any. After the 1991 invasion only a handful of its 1,000 war planes were left. The few that survived subsequent ground attacks flew to Iran or were buried in the sand by Hussein. Further, the U.S. had complete satellite surveillance, and the latest in weapon wizardry; it was a no-contest contest.

The victory, if one could call such a lopsided, three-week conflict a victory, was made out to be a triumph. The commanding general, Tommy Franks, was hailed as "the greatest American military leader since Douglas MacArthur." The stigma of Vietnam had been erased. It was "Mission Accomplished." The final score: 40,000 Iraqi soldiers plus 160,000 civilians to 147 U.S. fatalities. We celebrated.

Hussein was followed by another "Hitler" who by this time had become a popular role model. He was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, the next threat to the United States.

Iran, like Iraq, cannot compete militarily with the U.S., but it is more than able to do so strategically. The Persian Gulf is the jugular vein of the West. Through it passes 40 percent of the world's petroleum. Iran borders the entire eastern bank of this waterway including the vulnerable narrows, the Strait of Hormuz. If Iran is attacked, that's where she will retaliate.

Iran has planted scores of bottom-tethered mines said to be able to sink an aircraft carrier. Along the Gulf's East bank are artillery emplacements and Chinese made anti-shipping missiles. Hidden along the littoral are one thousand speedboats packed with explosives, some carrying sea-skimming cruise missiles, against which there is no effective defense.

The United States has come to a late realization that Iran is not Iraq. This country has a scimitar poised over the Persian Gulf. In effect, President Ahmadinejad has the U.S. over a barrel, a barrel of oil. Cowboy politics have given way to caution, if not civility.

The latest threat to the United States is President Kim Jong Il, the "glorious leader" of the starving and impoverished nation of North Korea. President Jong Il has just put on what amounts to a gaudy NFL half-time show. His jumped-up version of the liquid fueled, German V-2 rocket provided quite a spectacle to those with spy satellite seats. The extravaganza was a bit lengthy; it took days to prepare and fuel up this 60's anachronism. It was as stealthy as a sunrise and as provocative.

So why all the fuss with a rocket with an accuracy measured in miles, not yards, and which managed to stay afloat for only forty seconds? True, the "glorious leader" has between four and thirteen A-bombs, but they have never been field tested and no one knows if they will work. Moreover, he does not have the means to deliver them – anywhere. Even if he did, it would be an iffy chance that the rocket would explode on the pad or the A-bomb would detonate on site.

But if Kim Jong Il is crazy, he's crazy like a fox. He knows that previous blustering have yielded great international press, which he parleyed to domestic propagandistic grist. (The U.S. – nay the world – cowers before "the most beloved leader" and so forth.) Internationally, past bravadoes have yielded billions in wons and dollars, food, and nuclear technology from South Korea and the U.S.

There is no doubt that the North Korean regime is a monstrous and oppressive government. So why doesn't President Bush invade and democratize? Two reasons. First, our military is past being overextended. Second, the all-volunteer Army has become the employer of last resort; the quality of recruits is not what it was. For reasons of both availability and quality, the armed services simply aren't up to it. And good thing, too.

If sufficiently provoked, this mouse can roar. North Korea could bombard its southern neighbor with five million artillery shells per hour. Sure, we could nuke the North into the Stone Age, but not before they would devastate South Korea. Tempting to some though it may be, democracy isn't worth trashing the peninsula.

So why, then, is the United States conjuring up bogeymen? Distractions from domestic problems? A scheme to increase the authority of the administration? Bravado to bolster sagging poll numbers? Or perhaps it is just plain mule-headed ineptitude? To date it remains a mystery. Who knows? Perhaps the Reichsmarschall. Ask Herman.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Bring A Friend

We are asking for assistance from the people of Susquehanna County. We are Volunteers at the Susquehanna Co. Chapter of the American Red Cross and would like your help. Starting the first of July we launched a new campaign to help get more people involved in giving blood. The campaign is called Bring-A-Friend.

The idea is that our present donors will bring a friend with them to give blood. Also, if you have never given blood, it is a great opportunity to break the ice by bringing someone with you to donate. It means giving about an hour of your time. For the people that you help, your donation can mean a lifetime! As long as there are hospitals with patients, there will be a need for blood. Only volunteer donors, like you, can meet that need.

If you have a question whether you can give because of medications, health problems, etc, you can call 1-800-292-6525. You can call us at the Montrose Office (278-1427) to schedule an appointment. We are having the Mega Blood Drive Tuesday, August 1, and Wednesday, August 2 at the VFW in Montrose. We would love to see lots of new faces along with our regulars.


The Blood Services Committee

Susquehanna Co. American Red Cross


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