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Issue Home August 11, 2007 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Good, Positive Communication

Another school year is rapidly approaching, and as the school year starts, parents and students will have questions and concerns. We recommend that parents as well as their students should communicate with the appropriate individuals at the school to help resolve their concerns and answer their questions. But who do you contact?

You need to start with the individual directly related to the issue. For example: if it is a scheduling problem, contact the guidance counselor. If it is a classroom issue, then contact the teacher. If you feel your concern or question needs to go to a higher level, contact the school principal. After you have contacted the school principal, the next step is to contact the superintendent. The last step is to contact your local School Board member.

All members of the school community are looking forward to hearing from the students and their parents. With good positive communication, we can insure that everyone is well informed and we can avoid misunderstandings. We hope that everyone has a great year.


Blue Ridge Board of Education

Some Clarifications

This letter is intended to clarify the facts of those infamous “Committee Appointments” as recently reported in the newspapers. I apparently didn’t know how important it was for the public to know the “whole story” until I attended a meeting recently and was encouraged to write this letter.

Commissioner Kelly presented those appointment sheets to Commissioner Loomis and I with the appointments already filled in and her signature. I then made the comment that we may have recommendations and she replied to do whatever we felt we needed to do. Later Commissioner Loomis and I looked over the appointments and each made a change. This was done by whiting out the name previously there, writing our selection and initialing and dating our changes, as not to be secretive with our additions. Since the beginning of this administration, it was agreed upon that the signatures of at least two Commissioners were needed on any documents leaving the Courthouse, as not to cause unwarranted controversy. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have started with a clean document and entered our selections, but obviously that was not the case. But then again, three Commissioners should have had equal input of appointments on the original document right from the beginning.

Although it had never been previously done in this administration, Commissioner Loomis and I recommended that these appointments go through a Commissioners’ meeting, as not to be accused of once again violating the “Sunshine Law.” What seemed to be the correct direction of going about the issue, soon turned a County Commissioners’ meeting, a meeting intended to conduct county business, into a firestorm with the facts being clouded by political statements.

After lengthy discussion, Commissioner Loomis then made a motion to continue those committee appointments as they were and to reinstate for public harmony all people on the committees until December 31, 2007. The motion passed unanimously.

Speaking of motions, at this time, I would also like to shed some light on how I vote on issues. That’s it; I vote on issues. Given the facts I have at the time, I vote on the issue. For anyone to assume I vote with another Commissioner is exactly that, an assumption. Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback, but you have to live it to truly know, and believe me, I certainly did not know until I got here. Again, hindsight being 20/20, perhaps a lot of things would be different.

As your public servant, I welcome residents to stop by the Courthouse or my outreach hours in New Milford and Forest City to share your ideas and visions for Susquehanna County or to offer your suggestions for better government relations in the County.


MaryAnn Warren

Susquehanna County Commissioner

Draw A Line In The Sand

Maybe I forgot the meaning of the word "war.”

I just looked it up again.

Wars are fought between countries. Are we at war with Iraq? Should we be? Why are wars started? What are terrorists? Are terrorists countries? I thought terrorists were the bad guys who start illegal activities and terror, or put people under terror to intimidate?

Terrorists are nothing more than criminals; we in America have police to control criminals. Why should we, as Americans go into other countries to hunt down terrorists or criminals? Maybe to get a jump on them so they don't terrorize us here in America?

Who leads a terrorist group, and how would you define a terrorist leader?

Maybe we, as a country should answer these questions. Maybe we should re-think: what country invaded us on 9-11? Was it a country?

It almost seems to me our country is acting like the police of the world and our leaders seem to allow us to be terrorized. If anyone says, “Bring the troops home,” you’re no good; talk about "we the people" and we're no good. Sounds to me they want us to just be afraid like they are. Who should we fear? Why should we fear? My opinion is that the richest of the rich have something to fear, and not so much us peons. Draw a line in the sand, have them put a uniform on (so we know who wants to fight), and let’s fight. Play "Red Rover": Red Rover, I dare you to come over!


Peter A. Seman

Thompson PA

The Fluoride War

It started as a skirmish between the U.S. Army and a small band of farmers – insurgents if you will. The farmers filed a lawsuit claiming that airborne pollutants from a chemical factory upwind from them was poisoning their crops and crippling their animals. The factory was manufacturing fluoride, vital to the production of atomic bombs. WW II had ended and the Cold War was just heating up. The Army viewed the lawsuit as a threat to national security. Legal action, which might curtail the production of A-bombs had to be stopped. The Fluorite War had begun.

The University of Rochester was commissioned by the Army in 1945 to find and evaluate the beneficial effects of fluoride by injecting it into the water supply of Grand Rapids, Michigan. After 10 years, the results were evaluated. Tooth decay had decreased. But the unfluoridated control city of Muskegon, Michigan, which had an equal drop in dental decay, went purposefully unreported.

Another study was also undertaken in 1945. Two cities in New York, Newburgh (fluoridated) and Kingston (unfluoridated) were to be periodically compared. After 55 years, there was no evidence to show that fluoridation reduced tooth decay.

The National Institute of Dental Research conducted the largest survey of dental caries ever undertaken. It examined 39,000 children in 84 cities. Some of these cities had fluoridated water, some had partially fluoridated water, and others were not fluoridated. In 1990 Dr. Yiamouyiaannis obtained the raw data through the Freedom of Information Act. He found no significant difference among the three categories of cities. His analysis was published in the "Journal of Dental Research."

Fluoride has the insidious property of being bioaccumulative; it can be ingested but not excreted. Over time, it builds up in teeth and bones. Fluoride overload causes a condition called fluorosis, indicated by whitish flecks on the teeth. In advanced cases of fluorosis, the teeth chip and crack easily. Teeth are windows to the skeleton. Bones, like teeth, also become brittle and subject to fracture. Fluorosis hints at more troubling health problems.

As early as 1975, the chief chemist of the National Cancer Institute, Dean Burk, declared that fluoride in water "causes more human cancer... than any other chemical." Incredibly, it was not until 1985 that safety tests were performed. Laboratory rats were given fluoridated water to drink. The result? They developed bone and liver cancer.

Other ailments linked to fluoridated water are damage to the kidneys, liver, brain, a weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer-like symptoms, thyroid abnormalities, arthritis, Down's syndrome, and chromosomal damage. The journal "Fluoride" documented an inverse relationship between fluoridation and I.Q. in children; as fluoridation increased, I.Q. decreased. Research done in China found similar results.

Fluoridation may even cause cavities. The California Department of Health Services, the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, and the University of Arizona found a direct relationship between fluoridation and tooth decay; as fluoridation increased, tooth decay increased.

In Europe, the World Health Organization reported a decline in dental decay equal to and sometimes better than those in the U.S., yet Europe is 98 percent unfluoridated. Add to western Europe, Scandinavia, Finland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Russia, and Japan where fluoridation has been banned.

Will water fluoridation ever be outlawed in the U.S.? Dr. Arvid Carlson, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine is optimistic: "I am quite convinced that water fluoridation... will [eventually] be consigned to medical history." Let us hope so, but until that time the Fluoride War will continue.


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. 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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