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Issue Home June 6, 2007 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

E.L. Calendar Protested

At the April school board meeting, the Elk Lake School Board voted in a very different calendar for the next school year.

Last year, out of 41 weeks of school, our children had scheduled 21 full (five-day) weeks, and 20 partial weeks (partials due to holidays, teacher work days and in-services, or conference days). Next year, there are only 15 full, five-day weeks, and 26 partial weeks. There will be three late-start days (10 a.m. start-time) and three early dismissal days for the children (dismiss at 11 a.m.). These partial days happen on Wednesday, in the middle of the school week, and are in addition to four “teachers’ days” that we usually see in a school year. This leaves our students only 36.5% of their school year unbroken and whole.

The administration has presented these partial days as necessary for teachers to coordinate their programs, communicate with each other, and “immediately” (on Thursday) implement any changes to their program. The board members, at the May meeting, voiced few concerns about how this will affect the students’ routines, or how families will provide childcare as they attempt to keep their work schedules stable and their kids supervised. They imply that interrupting the school week for “immediate implementation” of possible “changes” to unknown “programs” (that are crucial to the overall quality of education) is more important than maintaining routines and presenting a serious learning discipline for our students.

This calendar, while widely unseen by most Elk Lake families, has not been well received by those parents seeing it. There was no change to calendar at the May school board meeting, partly because there have been few complaints from district residents; however, the calendar has only been seen by those few attending the recent board meetings. Parents must make their voices heard! If you feel that your kids need uninterrupted school routines, if you are concerned about how your work schedule will be affected, or if you are concerned your regular bus driver will need to get a substitute driver for the partial days, call your school board representative and insist on a more reasonable calendar for next year! The next school board meeting is June 12 in the high school library at 7 p.m., and is open to the public. Please join us as we make our needs known to the school bard representatives who are supposed to represent us!

Your school board representatives are: Meshoppen, Arden Tewksbury; Auburn, Chuck Place; Meshoppen Boro, Harold Bender; Rush, Alice Carr; Middletown, Ann Copeland; Springville, Eric Emmerich; Rush, Kevin Pierson; Auburn, Jack Sible; Dimock, Jean Swire.


Kathy Prusack

Dimock Township

Ensure Their Future

We often hear about “No Child Left Behind” and test scores that leave school districts scrambling to make sure their students are proficient in math and reading.  The way to ensure a bright future for Pennsylvania is to make sure no child starts behind.

I am writing to encourage everyone support programs that provide learning opportunities for young children, including Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, the governor's proposal in the 2007/08 budget for pre-kindergarten. Pre-K Counts will enable 11,000 3-and 4-year olds across Pennsylvania to attend high-quality pre-kindergarten in the 2007-2008 school year. 

In Susquehanna County, Pre-K Counts funding could support early learning programs at Blue Ridge School District, Forest City School District, Treasure House Child Development Center in Montrose, and Tiny Treasures in Forest City.

Studies show that children who attend high-quality pre-K enter school more prepared and achieve greater success. This means fewer grade retentions, less remediation and higher standardized test scores. Furthermore, kids who attend pre-K are more likely to grow up and graduate from high school, earn higher wages and contribute as active members of their communities. Giving children the opportunity to develop socially, behaviorally and cognitively before they start kindergarten just makes sense. Pre-K helps foster a lifelong love of learning and who could argue with that?

I urge readers to support pre-K investments in the state budget that will positively impact students, schools, and communities in our area and the Commonwealth as a whole.


Stephnie Thornton

Program Manager

Susquehanna County CARES

Where Was The Pledge?

On this Memorial Day, having just returned from another Little League game, we once again came home disturbed by the lack of any kind of patriotism prior to the start of games.

Where has this gone astray? Why not the pledge to the flag, or playing our National Anthem? And, where did the Little League pledge get lost in the system? Have you ever seen a Major League game start without our National Anthem?

Managers, coaches, umpires – we applaud your dedication in teaching and working with our youth. Children thrive on discipline. Give them the instruction needed for good conduct, starting with the youngest teams. Make them sit in the dugout and watch the game, not run in and out and about, not allow eating while the game is in progress, etc.

Those of you in leadership positions: please take time before next season to establish rules – for all teams. Your time and effort is an investment in the futures of our youth. Take it seriously!


Eleanor and Bruce Meyer

Kingsley, PA.

We Have The Means

Everyone needs to write to Congress and ask them why we aren’t doing something for real to get off oil. If the European Union can move to hydrogen power in their autos, so can the rest of the world. EU has a project called CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) using hydrogen fuel. Hydro of Norway is leading the industry. Hydro has all-in-one systems which include hydrogen generation, power utility systems, gas purification, gas compression, hydrogen storage systems, fuel gas dispenser systems and control systems. Hydro offers fueling stations based on site hydrogen production from electrolyzers. These are complete solutions, which cover everything from the initial hydrogen production through to the vehicle dispensing units. Guess what the electricity to do this comes from? Solar Voltaic panels.

Hydrogen is not as dangerous as gasoline either; remember it is the lightest gas on earth. If a tank ruptures or leaks, it dissipates up and away from a car quickly. Hydrogen fueling is being integrated into commercial gasoline stations, as in Messedamm, Berlin. This hydrogen concept is being done in Germany, Norway, and even Iceland.

Furthermore, the vehicles provided to use this fuel are being made by BMW, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, GM (Opel) and BVG. Remember, when hydrogen is being made it comes from water and when burned produces energy with water as waste. Absolutely no pollution is being produced. So where is the United States in all this? Still using oil! I might also add that engineers claim that almost all gasoline engines could use hydrogen fuel when equipped with hydrogen storage. It seems we have the means of getting off this oil glut we’re on. But oil barons, which includes this president and most of his administration, are only paying lip service to the idea of using alternative fuels rather than oil.


Jay Harter

Susquehanna, PA

Deconstructing America

They came from across the sea. Settlers from six different nations, each with their own language, attire, customs. But they were wise enough to know that diversity breeds division and division creates strife. Their purpose, then, was to form a union, a oneness. Their motto, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One – would form the foundation for the greatest nation in history.

Immigrants came in waves to this new land. In the late 1800's and 1900's they arrived in their thousands, then in their millions. They landed with little more than a suitcase and a dream. They wanted to work and to become Americans. They did both. E Pluribus Unum.

But time is not kind to people or nations, each goes through 3 phases: a period of vibrant growth, a pinnacle of power, and the inevitable decline. The 3 stages retrace America's immigration policies.

Phase I. In 1954, President Eisenhower authorized, without congressional approval, what he called "Operation Wetback." In 2 years, 1.3 million Mexicans were rounded up and deported. Problem solved. That was America in its heyday – dynamic, decisive.

Phase II. In 1965, Senator Ted Kennedy headed the Senate Committee on Immigration (more of him in a moment). This bill "will not flood our cities with millions of immigrants," said the senator. He could not have been more mistaken. The floodgates were flung open. The trickle of illegals became a stream.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 attempted to staunch the flow. Kennedy again: "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1 million. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this." Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

The 1 million turned into 2.7 million. Border security exists in name only. And the "never again" bill only paved the way for the next round of legalization.

Society began to fragment. America was no longer made of whole cloth, but a sewn-together patchwork of minorities, each vying for economic advantage. If one is one-fourth Asian-Indian, or Asian-Pacific, or African-American, or Hispanic, or Native American, then you qualify for preferential governmental treatment. (The government wisely exempted woman from the one-fourth rule.) Waiting in line to join the down-trodden are massive enclaves of illegals demanding their "rights."

Phase III. Kennedy, supported by our own Arlen Specter, goes for the hat trick. Senate Bill 1348 would legalize 20 to 30 million illegal aliens. The stream has become a torrent. "This bill would allow an estimated 103 million people in the United States in 20 years," said Robert Rector, speaking for the Heritage Foundation. The cost of this latest amnesty? An estimated $3 trillion.

The final stage. Illegal immigrates have become a powerful social, economic, and political force. They are backed by the Republicans who want cheap labor for big business and by the Democrats who expect them to swell the ranks of their party.

Arnold Toynbee: "An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide." The methods vary. Ours is immigration. E Unum Pluribus.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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