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Issue Home June 27, 2007 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Are They Aware?

An incident occurred on May 26 at Barnes-Kasson Hospital parking lot involving the mayor, Denise Reddon, that the Susquehanna citizens and the Susquehanna Borough Council should know about. Father Simon of Saint John’s Church called David Scales, Sr. via telephone because he had heard about a peculiar man that had driven onto a couple of grave markers in the cemetery, and he was unsure whether or not to call 9-1-1. Dave offered to go to the cemetery to check out the situation due to the proximity of the cemetery to his house, and he offered to contact 9-1-1 if necessary.

Dave arrived at the cemetery to find a car parked on two of the grave makers in the center lane. While talking to the person, Susquehanna Ambulance, of which Dave is the Ambulance Captain, was dispatched for a medical emergency. He advised Susquehanna County Emergency Operations Center (9-1-1) that he would be responding to the station via radio. Also, he advised the county that there was a strange person parked on two grave markers in the cemetery, and he asked that the Susquehanna Police Department respond to the cemetery.

While responding to the medical emergency, Dave proceeded to contact the patrolman on duty, on the Susquehanna County Police frequency that the borough police use for their communications, to advise of further details. The Susquehanna Ambulance crew and the Barnes-Kasson paramedics proceeded to evaluate, treat, and transport their patient to Barnes-Kasson Hospital Emergency Room. After transfer of patient care to the ER staff, Dave went outside and sat on the bench outside of the ER doors. As the Barnes-Kasson paramedic and the Susquehanna Ambulance EMT exited the hospital, Mayor Reddon drove in, in front of the ambulance and hollered from her vehicle for Dave to approach her vehicle because she needed to talk to him.

From the beginning of the conversation, the mayor had a raised voice and was repeatedly using expletives. As a brief synopsis of the conversation, she stated the Susquehanna police were unnecessarily called. Also, she proceeded to state repeatedly, “I (expletive deleted) order you to never call the police.”

My questions are, why does the mayor think she has the authority to direct orders to borough citizens? Why does the Susquehanna council allow her to have so much authority and power? When and where did she earn her police certification, that qualifies her to make decisions about a complaint being necessary? Shouldn’t that decision be left to the patrolman on duty? After all, it is what police are getting paid to do, investigate civilian complaints, along with other duties.

There are numerous incidents similar to this one that are occurring all too frequently; in fact, it lead to a meeting to discuss the other incidents (such as ordering the Oakland and Lanesboro Police Departments to stay out of the borough) that have occurred in the past between the District Attorney Jason Legg, the mayor, and a select few of the council members. Unfortunately, half of the council members were advised of the wrong scheduled time for the meeting.

When is the council going to stand up to the mayor and say, “Enough is enough”?


Shasta Treadway

Susquehanna, PA

An Amazing Experience

I nailed it! I raised over $2,600 for the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society. To all of you from the Susquehanna area who donated, thanks so much for your support. As a group here in San Diego we, Team In Training (TNT) raised a whopping $888,389 but nationally, get this, over $12.5 million dollars, just for this Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon season. Is that wild or what? I'm definitely going to continue with this group, not only because of what they do and what they stand for, but they're an awesome bunch of folks, and I'm not even going to mention the fact that I'm probably in better shape than I've been in years. Everybody's a winner! You were a big part in my fundraising efforts, and I thank you for that.

As for my personal results in the race, I finished number 3,717 out of 21,400 entrants, with a time of 4:10 (not too bad for an old fart). You can go to the website at www.rnrmarathon.com and punch in my bib number, 16085 for more information if you'd like.

This was an absolutely amazing experience, from the training and fundraising, to the victory parties and friendships. I would recommend this or any event like it with the TNT group to anyone.

Thanks again for your support.


Dick Znamirowski

San Diego, CA

These Are The Facts

Two petitions were presented at the last meeting of the Lanesboro Council, complete with signatures, in opposition to the building of a new municipal building and funding through increased sewer and garbage taxes. Also presented was a proposal to renovate the historical firemen’s hall by a certified contractor for the sum of $54,000.

A person who was present at the last meeting and signed the petition asked to have their name removed as they did not understand what it was all about. So, to anyone else and especially members of the council who do not understand, here are the facts.

The first petition states, in effect that the project is not needed and the taxpayers cannot afford this project along with its mortgage that will eventually lead to increased taxes for all. The council unilaterally authorized architectural drawings for a new boro building unaware of the cost of design.

The first pages of the plans outline the rationale for the new building, and the last pages presented several designs with estimates that ranged from $300,000 to $500,000. No options for renovation of the present structure were included in the study or design. People who questioned how wise it is to do this project were assured the entire cost would not exceed $325,000, which has now been revised down to $250,000. When questioned at the last boro meeting, the council was not aware of the fact they already spent $41,000 on the plans.

They have not even acquired the property, which is estimated at $30,000, not including demolition at another estimated $15,000+ for the existing building and the historic firemen’s hall. Yet, they have put it out to bid and are even planning room colors, furniture, etc. Before a brick is laid, they will spend close to $100,000 of which $41,000 cannot be recovered. The prospect of funding it by selling the sewer is without foundation.

The second petition was against the raising of sewage and garbage fees to select residents to fund the building. The council budgeted $26,000 extra for this year, which they did by raising the sewer and garbage rates and added it to a budget surplus left over from last year.

The bottom of the budget brags that all this was done without an increase in taxes! Yet, the sewer and garbage are self-sufficient and always have been. Money raised from sewage fees should almost certainly be used only for expenses of that account, so this action is probably illegal and certainly unfair.

Of the 90 paying units, 22 belong to the high school, which will now help fund the building. 52 units that encompass Germantown Road, Depot St., Rte. 171, etc., are given a free ride. In summary, only about 50% of the units that have sewage needs are expected to pay for this. So the practice of stealing from the sewage account as done in the past continues. The present debts on the garbage truck, snow plow, tractor, etc. remain, the surplus, leftover money squandered.

Does anyone still not understand?


Timothy Tompkins

Paul Corse

Roland Salamon

Lanesboro, PA

The Lincoln Legacy

Abraham Lincoln. Enshrined in a Washington temple, deified by Carl Sandburg, mythologized by the Republican Party, his presidency written as Scripture by the North, makes criticizing Lincoln seem sacrilegious. But stripped of these trappings, he was little more than a shrewd and calculating politician.

To begin, the Civil War was not a civil war. The South had no ambitions of a political coup, nor was it in rebellion against the federal government. "All we ask is to be left alone," said Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. The right of secession was written in the constitutions of many states as a last-ditch defense against tyranny. It was not a Mafioso organization where defection meant war.

Yet, all failed. In the end it came down to a contest that pitted those who favored a strong central government against those who held for states' rights. If the issue were decided by the Supreme Court, the decision would have favored the 11 seceding states. But Lincoln's aim above all else, even the Constitution, was to preserve the union. "My paramount object in this struggle," wrote Lincoln, "is to save the Union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. "

In his inaugural address, Lincoln stated that "No State... can lawfully get out of the Union... [without] being insurrectionary or revolutionary..." To the South, this was a declaration of war.

A chess match ensued to see who could make the other fire the first shot. The South blundered when it shelled Fort Sumter.

The War Between the States exacted a fearsome price. War fatalities were 620,000, a number greater than the combined causalities of all the wars since then. It took the South 100 years to recover from the devastation. Yes, it freed the slaves, but under the worst conditions imaginable. And it inflamed racial hatred, the embers of which burn to this day.

It was an unnecessary war. There were dozens of nations during the late 18th and 19th centuries that abolished slavery peacefully. The conflict had more to do with tariffs than with slavery. The Confederacy would surely have opened tariff-free ports, eliminating a crucial source of income for the North. The South would no longer be forced to buy expensive northern products. And debts owed to the North could be nullified. Peace might prove to be too expensive.

It was an illegal war. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson described the colonies as "free and independent states." The Revolutionary War was America's first war of secession. Independence Day could rightly be called Secession Day. When the South declared independence, it merely trod the same path as the founding fathers.

James Madison, principal author of the Constitution, also recognized the danger of centralized authority. It was for this reason that the Constitution divided the federal government into three branches, each serving to check the powers of the other two.

There was one more consequence of Lincoln's war: the death of the Constitutional Republic and the birth of a nascent, all-powerful central government. That which Jefferson and Madison most feared – the loss of state sovereignty to the federal government – Lincoln made a reality.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford PA

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