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April 4th

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Step Up To The Plate

I am writing concerning the article of March 7 in the County Transcript, claiming to be submitted by “The Board of Trustees of Barnes-Kasson Hospital.” I want to respond and be an advocate for those supervisors, department heads, managers, nurses, aides and volunteer workers whose trustworthy loyalism was challenged.

I have a complete list of 15 members of the Board of Directors and know at least 11 of them as educated and/or professional individuals. I cannot conceive that these people, being judicially responsible for the harmonious and successful welfare and integrity of this county hospital, would sanction this article to be published without editing, especially where nepotism was trying to be explained while abasing the employees – department heads, etc. – as well as insulting the intelligence of the general public.

Concerning nepotism, some of the past employees’ services were terminated or if not, were abased to the point where they left voluntarily thus making openings for Mrs. Iveson to bring in her family members as “good employees who are loyal to the hospital for the long term”! Are you, the Board of Trustees, consulted on these actions or are meetings ever held to consider such actions and salaries for such positions?

Are board meetings held?

As a governing board, I believe you are negligent if not actively involved in such matters!

Knowing that this Barnes-Kasson County Hospital and general health facility could be “the pearl” of Susquehanna County – a beautiful work of architecture with all types of care and rehabilitation – it bothers me that this board does not take better control of the situations to which we, the county taxpayers, indirectly contribute tax monies.

My husband is a patient in SNF for the past five months and I am with him every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. My vocation is in the medical arena, graduating from Syracuse University, and I am cognizant of much!

The administrators of a “business” should be aware of and checking departments with at least a walk-through to keep familiarized with workings at least once a month. In five months, Mrs. Iveson quickly visited twice in the two weeks since her article was printed.

I witness caring individuals, nurses, aides, volunteers, department heads who expressed disdain and sorrow from her description of her employees.

I would like to see the list of supervisor positions and placements of her family members and salary of same so to compare to the dedicated supervisors, nurses and aides on SNF and second floor that are much overworked and very underpaid but still trustworthy, loyal, compassionate and doing jobs that only special people can do and will do!

Using the “Public Right to Know,” I challenge this Board of Trustees of Barnes-Kasson County Hospital to “step up to the plate” and do what a board is required to do and as judicially responsible individuals make this a respectable “business” to care for the poor and infirm and rein in the administrator.


Audrey Kerr

New Milford, PA

Illegal Immigration

I want to know why my congressman and senator won’t answer my letters. I have written each of them two letters, and called their offices two times, still they won’t reply.

Our government says they are trying to stop illegal immigration, they say they are going to build a wall on the border and hire many more border guards, but they haven’t done either.

It seems to me our government is encouraging illegal aliens by giving them government benefits, such as drivers licenses, health care, education, Social Security and worst of all, jobs, and many other benefits. Why wouldn’t they come (here).

Know they say there will be no amnesty for illegals, but they say they will give them a path to becoming legal citizens. Do you think this is not amnesty? The only thing this will do is to encourage another 12 to 20 million to come.

They talk about the illegals’ rights; if they are illegals, where did these rights come from, and what about your rights? Have you heard anyone talking about them?

The only man I have seen with the courage to stand up and try to protect his people and city is Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton. Know the government is trying to make him out to be the villain, for doing the job the government is supposed to do, but won’t. If our government was serious about stopping illegal immigration, they would stop all the benefits and not allow companies to hire them. This would cause them to deport themselves and when others heard of this, there would be no reason for them to come.

When they let legals in to do the so-called work Americans won’t do, when their time is up they should go home. But I don’t think any of this will happen, because people who hire them are getting rich and the rest of us pay for it. Our government can hear the rich better than the rest of us.

I just received a letter from my congressman, Chris Carney, and he says we are a nation of immigrants and immigrants built this nation. But, he didn’t say if they were legal or illegal, and he didn’t answer my questions.

If you would like an example of how our government is protecting us and our country, go on your computer to grassfire.org.

Why won’t any of the politicians running for president talk about illegal immigration, and about what they would do about it if elected? Because they know most Americans wouldn’t vote for them.

And, finally, are you being represented in the congress and the senate? Want to find out, write your congressman and senator.


George Hettiger

Montrose, PA

Leave It To The Courts

I read with disdain judge Jason Legg’s disquisition on the constitutional rights of potheads. Potheads may not have the right to smoke pot on public sidewalks, but I have some iota of hope that the United States Supreme Court will find that potheads do have the right to hold up banners that say “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” on public sidewalks.

With many years of experience, I believe that beer is safer than hard liquor, and both are safer than marijuana. What really disturbs me is the idea that the school force Gestapo can rip your right of free speech out of your hands, in total violation of what that troublesome fellow William Penn called the fundamental laws. William Penn did not plead his right of free speech under the first amendment because it came along 120 years after his kangaroo court trial in 1670.

Judge Legg should recuse himself from further discussion of the first amendment and leave it to brighter people in the federal courts.


David A. Kerr, Jr.

Friendsville, PA

Farmers Must Make Calls

Dairy farmers’ cost of production continues to soar! The cost of fuel oil is still climbing, and grain prices are escalating very aggressively. Most grain prices have risen between 20-30% since last Fall. A dairy farmer called me and said their dry cow ration just went up another 18% in less than three weeks. Certainly no animal growers begrudge their fellow grain farmers receiving higher prices. However, these accelerated prices are wreaking havoc, especially with our dairy farmers. Do we need a two-tier pricing system for grain, with one price for the traditional uses for grain, like livestock feeding, and a higher price for grain used to produce ethanol? This is certainly something to think about.

In the meantime, the exploding production costs on our dairy farms are practically “eating up” the modest increases in  milk prices paid to area dairy farmers. One thing is for sure, dairy farmers need a  new pricing formula that will give the dairymen a chance to cover their cost of production.

I’m sorry, but “safety nets” are not the answer. There must be a new formula that not only raises the price paid to dairy farmers, but also stabilizes the prices for the benefit of dairy farmers, milk processors, and consumers.

Dairy farmers and others must make calls! Almost everyone is clamoring about the dairy farmers’ plight! Well, then, let’s do something!

The “Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2007” is the proposal that has been drafted by the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC). The proposal is starting to be circulated around the country.

However, we need sponsors on the bill. I believe two of the leading sponsors must be Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Bob Casey from PA. Dairy farmers, agri-businesses, and consumers are being asked to call both Senator Specter and Senator Casey and urge them to sponsor the coalition’s bill.

Senator Specter has always supported the philosophy of a cost of production formula for dairy farmers, and, during his successful campaign last year, Senator Casey pursued the idea of a cost of production formula for dairy farmers.

Please make your calls today, your calls can make the difference. Senator Specter’s phone no., (202) 224–4254. Senator Casey’s phone no., (202) 224–6324.

Again, some of the  highlights of the dairy proposal are as follows.

1. All milk produced in the United States will be priced on the national average cost of producing milk.

2. All milk used for manufacturing purposes will be classified as Class II milk.

3. The value of Class I milk will be the same across the United States.

4. The Class II price will be the Basic Formula Price for all markets in the United States.

5. Dairy farmers’ prices will be adjusted four times a year.

6. All federal and state orders will determine the amount of adjustments for pricing butterfat, etc.

7. The proposal allows USDA to implement a supply management program. This can be implemented only when the value of exported dairy products equals the value of imported dairy products.

8. This proposal does not allow any hauling costs to be charged to dairy farmers.

9. This proposal does not allow any “make allowance” to be charged to dairy farmers.

10. The proposal, if in place today, would provide a Blend Price of $18.61 in Federal Order 1.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA

Bush Rescues Ahmadinejah

Iran floats on the second largest petroleum reserve on earth. So why does a nation atop an ocean of oil claim to be in need of nuclear power? Is it just a ploy to develop atomic weapons, or does she really need an alternative energy source? Surprisingly, it is the latter. Iran does indeed need atomic power and she needs it in a hurry.

The paradox is best understood using a historical parallel: Tsarist Russia. The Romanov dynasty was universally hated. The peasants, half of whom were serfs, survived under grueling poverty and merciless political suppression. But in 1917 there was a glimmer of hope. The Bolshevik revolution offered promises of reform and a better life under communism. After all, what could be worse than life under the Tsar? They were about to find out.

Fast forward to Iran in 1979. It was the Shah who was their Tsar. The Iranians were relatively well off, yet brutally oppressed by the Shah and his sadistic secret police. In the place of Vladimir Lenin we have the Ayatollah Khomeini who offered promises of reform and a better life under an Islamic republic. After all, what could be worse than life under the Shah? They are now finding out.

Iran's economy is crumbling under Soviet-style controls and welfare state giveaways. Rather than invest in oil infrastructure and drilling new wells, the money has been siphoned off for mullah encouraged social programs.

Living standards are 25% lower than they were under the Shah. Double-digit unemployment, gasoline rationing (starting March), a precipitous decline in oil revenue due to its inability to meet OPEC quotas, and cash outlays to import about one-third of the nation's refined petroleum requirements have created widespread dissatisfaction.

Iran's petroleum infrastructure is dilapidated, 6% is wasted in seepage alone. The nation is in desperate straits: its wells waning and petroleum exports shrinking by a yearly 12%. At this rate it is estimated that in eight years Iran will not have any oil available for export. Since 70% of government revenue comes from oil, Iran is on a run-away train to a quasi-Soviet collapse.

President Ahmadinajah, the mullahs, and even the Islamic republic are in trouble.

The answer to all these predicaments is simple; abandon the failed state-socialism system for free enterprise. That is as likely to happen there as it is to occur here in our own nation. The other answer is nuclear power. Generating electricity with nuclear reactors saves oil for export and adds to government revenue. But this is years away and Iran can't wait that long.

But there is hope for propping up of the Islamic republic. President Bush, egged on by Israeli paranoia, offers it in two ways. First, economic sanctions. International trade restrictions are ineffective. However, it will effect a shift in blame for economic shortcoming from policy to politics. President Ahmadinajah can use sanctions as a scapegoat for his failures.

The other aid given by our President comes in the form of intimidation and hostility. Iranians will rally 'round their flag against a perceived threat from a foreign government – a government that Russian President Putin described as "trigger happy."

Maybe we would all be better off if President Bush weren't quite so helpful.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, 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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