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Issue Home January 16, 2008 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Updated Technology?

In 2006 I lost my only granddaughter in Susquehanna County, to just another drunk driver; I am still fighting to get laws changed.

But this letter is of a different matter, in which this system almost failed one of my grandsons; his name is Zackery Thomas. Questions – I have many. I have e-mailed our leaders for these answers; I have had no response, and it has been over a week now. Below is a letter I wrote to Mr. Yoniski; he is a field representative from Senator Baker's office. A similar letter was written – but a much stronger one – to Mr. Donato, the coordinator of the county’s 911 communications center. Below is my letter about our 911. One question that I ask, how would they handle a big emergency?

Mr. Yoniski:

It is of the utmost importance that you read this letter that I 'am writing you today.

My only daughter and son-in-law, with my only grandsons were up to visit over the Christmas holidays. They are the ones that lost their only daughter in Susquehanna County by a drunk driver on March 16, 2006, my only grand-daughter. They were planning on leaving, to go back to their house on Thursday, December 27. Early that morning, things changed. My youngest grandson was sleeping with his mother and father because he’d had to get up and go to the bathroom during the night. He went into their room and slept with them. Early in the morning he sat up in bed, shaking uncontrollably. My daughter thought he had to go to the bathroom again and took him there. He was standing by the toilet and went limp; my daughter caught him before he hit the floor. She checked him, he was not breathing and no pulse could be found. Of course, she screamed and came to our bedroom and woke my wife and I, stating Zachery, who is only four years old, was not breathing. We hurried to the bathroom, and my wife turned on the hot water to the tub to get moist, warm air flowing in the bathroom, to make it easier for him to breathe. My wife gave him two puffs of breath after prying his mouth open, which was set. He started to come to, and then quickly went back into unconsciousness. As they all were screaming, trying to get him to come to, my daughter tried calling 911 but was too upset and could not get the phone to ring. I took the phone from her and called. The man that answered wanted to know the phone number I was calling from, which I thought was a little strange. He wanted to know where we lived; I clearly told him on Old Stone House Road, that the road leads to Rock Mountain Bible Camp, and my next door neighbors are Stanley and Barb Vernovage. He then asked what the problem was and I told him, over my son-in-law’s screaming, to get here in a hurry. I handed the phone over to my wife, who was in the crowded bathroom working on my grandson – his lips were turning blue again. About 10 to 15 minutes later, a pick-up truck arrived with flashing lights on; I directed him into our driveway, he was the first to arrive. His name is Dan Fredrici, and he went inside the house. He told me to stay outside to direct the ambulance in, which I did; it was about 10 minutes later that I heard the siren on Rte. 92. The ambulance drove on by the spot where they were to turn onto our road. I went back in and told Dan this; he contacted them on his walkie talkie and gave them directions again. Again, they could not find the road. I went down with my truck to the end of our road to direct them. It was another 10 to 15 minutes before they found our road. As they picked up my grandson and my daughter to take them to the hospital, they stated that they were given instructions that we lived on Old School House Road? I do not know where this road is, or even if it exists in Gibson Township. Of course, this made me mad and upset to think anyone that is supposed to be a professional would get instructions mixed up. Another ambulance must have heard on their scanner that Harford Ambulance was having a hard time finding our road, I think it was Thompson who arrived, when they met Harford’s ambulance backing down our hill. I'm not sure of this because Pastor Thomas was trying to come up the hill when he met the two ambulances.

We all left for Mercy Hospital, where they took our grandson and daughter. Now given all these facts, since our 911 comm. center was down for a little while to update the system, I would think that once that phone call was made, they would know exactly right where and what ambulance to send to the scene. I know Scranton had updated their system, when a call came in it showed up on a map of the exact location. I really do think that over 30 minutes to get here is excessive and unprofessional with the technology we have today.

Oh, I’m sure that they can come up with a lot of excuses, just like a drunk driver, but the plain truth is also supposed to be recorded on that phone call that I made that morning to 911. There is no excuse for incompetence when a life is at stake, when seconds are vital for that person to live or die. I did write to the coordinator of the 911 comm. center and did not receive a reply back from him yet.

There are a lot of other things I could say about a hospital releasing my grandson and telling Sam and Marcy, my daughter, that it was just an ear infection; they took a cat scan and released him. We went to McDonald's because he was hungry and were on our way home again when Zachery went back into another seizure. Pastor Thomas took Zachery back to Mercy Hospital. This time he went through all the blood work and everything, and then Mercy shipped him to Geisinger in Danville where Sam and Marcy and Zachery stayed overnight, waiting for more tests.

Questions on funding come to mind of an outdated, antiquated 911 comm. center, or are they only serving the Montrose area?


Edwin I. Lindsey, Jr.

Susquehanna, PA

End This Holocaust

January 22, 2008 marks the 35th anniversary of the Roe/Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortion on demand the law of the land. Many women will be celebrating this day of "freedom from back alley abortions." What they do not tell you, is that more women die of botched "legal" abortions yearly than back alley ones ever saw. To tell you the problems with legalized abortion would discourage you, and to discourage you would cost Planned Parenthood and many doctors millions of dollars. So what they did was wrap this "right" in the flag of freedom, and convinced millions of women that difficult pregnancies were a problem of the past.

So many have asked me why I am so "fanatical." Why I would quit a popular newspaper column simply because the then-editor would not print my opinion of abortion, or even a column advising people that before they insisted on a freedom they should know what that "freedom" gave them the right to do, or what it might cost them in eternity. I do have a reason.

In late November of 1972 I found I was pregnant with my fourth child. For two months things went normally, but into my third month problems began to develop. The doctors decided that this was a tubular pregnancy and that if it continued I would die. They weren't sure – but after all – abortion was now legal, so why take a chance? Since my second pregnancy, which resulted in a perfectly healthy boy, had also been diagnosed as a tubular pregnancy I simply could not accept their absoluteness. The final line of this story is that I gave birth to a most beautiful, perfectly normal, red-headed baby girl. Through her life it would almost seem God was trying to thank me for my perseverance, for she was not only spectacularly beautiful but was also gentle, sweet and giving. Each time I look at my beautiful daughter, and actually at the wonderful red-headed son God gave to us in 1976, whom they also thought would cause my death, I am once again convinced that the abortion "right" manufactured in America was for the profit of Planned Parenthood and doctors who do not see these most vulnerable members of America's society as unique, individual creations by a loving God – but simply as a means to make millions of dollars. Over forty-five million innocent creations of God have been lost through this savage attack on mankind in America alone.

Thankfully, Rachel's Vineyard ministers to the millions of women who woke up one day to realize they had not solved their problem – they had killed their babies. Until the 30s, all Christians held abortion to be the murder of the innocent. Help us minister to those who have accepted society's quick fix to a difficult problem and then wake up to realize the truth. But please, pray for an end to this holocaust of our innocents – pray America wakes up – not only for the babies who now and in the future live in eternity, whose talents America will never know, but even more so for the women who suffer from post-abortion syndrome. Our country is certainly wealthy enough to find a better solution to problem pregnancies than killing the baby. I spend each January thanking God for the grace to bring these wonderful gifts to life, and asking for grace for all women who find themselves in "problem pregnancies."


Annette Corrigan

Jackson, PA

The American Way

“ .... Among human beings jealousy ranks distinctly as a weakness; a trademark of small minds; a property of small minds; yet a property which even the smallest is ashamed of; and when accused of its possession will lying deny and resent the accusation as an insult." Mark Twain.

I just love Mark Twain! He wrote those words before being bore away with Haley's comet in 1910. I love the timeless and still relevant expression of the human condition. You wonder, where am I going with this? Well, I was minding my own business, anyway pretending to, when a conversation started around me, in which the parties agreed, it must be jealousy. Now being the scalawag that I am, I eavesdropped.

It would seem that the success of one company would generate such fear and envy that another group would covet that so much, that if one couldn't legally steal from the company, then the good group would get payment with other more insidious legal methods, or by hook and crook, whatever is faster. Other companies thought, " Well, that is business." What other companies should have done was to look beyond the tree to see the forest. Other companies should've thought, "Geez, with all this commotion and government entities, how will it affect my bottom line?" There were companies who thought, "I'm to old for this, leave it for the new companies." Now that is the natural order of progression, the old gives way for the new, and as they say, every generation blames the one before.

Usually I'm more tolerant and realize its all in your prospective. People do what they know, and when you know better, you do better, or at least get some commonsense idea of what should be, and/or be resourceful with what you have.

My concern for the new companies to come, is that through the apathy of the old companies, or as the parties agreed to the jealousy of, new ones will not want to offer employment on a prosperous scale, as they will be marched into the same quicksand as some of the older ones. That is not hard to understand. The cost of business overhead, the tax structure, out-of-control insurance premiums, and hugely crippling and insidious regulations and jealousy do not allow anyone without guts and nerves of rock to want to provide a livelihood for others and expose themselves to the hostile climate for success in this area.

Now, at first I was scandalized by this train of thought, and wondered if I shouldn't protest to these parties and remind them that it is the American dream and way to want to live long and prosper on your own terms. However, a small voice of conscience told me to play devil’s advocate and inquire, why would anyone be jealous of the company and the work performed there? Why should one company's problem be a problem for other companies who are living the dream?

Of course, that sentiment stuck in my throat when I knew that in this moment in time, just like in the time of Mark Twain's observation, jealousy is alive and well, and just as ugly and destructive. I still have faith that there is a new company that will display the nerves of rock, and not let the small minds deter them. It’s the American way.


Cynthia Allen

Summerville, PA

Many Thanks

I want to thank everyone who helped with the Good Samaritan Christmas meal. It was a great success. May the Lord bless you and your families in this new year in Jesus’ name.


Kevin Setzer

Good Samaritans

Thanks Again, DEP

Following is a press release from DEP Headquarters which I'm sure will be of interest to many readers. This release appears on their website at http://www.ahs.dep.state.pa.us/newsreleases/default.asp?ID=4899

“DEP Halts Susquehanna County Quarrying Operation; Land Reclamation, New Permit Needed

“B.S. Quarries Facility Operated Outside Permitted Area at Lanesboro Site

“Harrisburg – The Department of Environmental Protection has ordered B.S. Quarries Inc. to halt quarrying operations at its Lanesboro Quarry until required land reclamation is complete and a new permit application is approved that addresses previous site violations.

“According to the order, the site in Lanesboro Borough and Harmony Township is to remain idle until a new, large industrial mineral permit is issued that replaces five smaller permits DEP had previously approved. If the company does not pursue the large industrial mineral permit in a timely manner, the Lanesboro operation must be reclaimed completely.

“’B.S. Quarries conducted mining activities on nine acres beyond the area they were permitted to mine and it repeatedly failed to bring its operation into compliance with state regulations for industrial mineral mining on this larger site,’ said DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty. ‘However, as soon as the company provides us with evidence it can conduct quarrying in an environmentally responsible manner, B.S. Quarries has an opportunity to resume its operations at this site, and we remain prepared to work with the company to make this happen.’

“B.S. Quarries’ five small industrial mineral permits covered 25 acres, yet the company conducted mining activities on 34 acres. The company mined bluestone at the Lanesboro quarry, which is used for patios, counter tops, walls and other construction purposes.

“In areas outside of the 25 acres, the company was found to have cast large volumes of overburden material, like waste rock and soil, down slope and outside of the permitted area. Regulations require this material to be stored within the permitted mining area until it is used to reclaim the site.

“The department also cited numerous deficiencies at the Lanesboro site, which must be addressed in a new permit application before any work can resume. These operational shortcomings, most of which were first noted in early 2006, include a failure to provide engineering calculations for erosion and sedimentation controls and the lack of a comprehensive reclamation plan.

“An application for the single, larger permit must be submitted to DEP within 90 days, and B.S. Quarries must also post adequate reclamation bond before resuming quarrying.”

Some of key words and phrases which should be considered and reiterated found within the text are:

(1) "site violations" - these operators were working outside of, and in violation of the rules and regulations of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, which rules have been formulated to protect the environment given to each and everyone of us by God.

(2) "land reclamation" - cleanup, to the maximum extent possible, the lands – outside of the permit areas – which have been desecrated.

(3) "repeatedly failed to bring its operation into compliance" – into compliance with what? With the rules and regulations of the agency which has been given the responsibility by our state legislature to protect, for the benefit of each of us, the waters, soils and air of the Commonwealth.

(4) "overburden material" – the large , unsightly materials which were pushed "down slope and outside of the permitted area," which, if not fully reclaimed per DEP instructions, the citizens of Lanesboro will get to look at, and show to future generations of children as well as to any outside visitors coming into this once lovely, pristine community.

(5)"deficiencies" – shortcomings - things not in line with DEP rules and regulations.

Why is that we so often read of very highly profitable industries going astray – either violating local, state or federal regulations, or all three, in their quest either to dominate an industry, or to increase the bottom line on their profit/loss sheets? Why is it that we so often hear and read of owners who are willing to jeopardize the health, welfare, standard of living and property values, not only of citizens who are unfortunate enough to live in proximity to their operations, but in many cases of the very workers in their employ? We can come up with a multitude of explanations, I'm sure, to explain such anti-societal behaviors, but I think that St. Paul in his first letter written to young Timothy really gives the best explanation of all: "...people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil."

For the benefit of all and any such entrepreneurs, who have, perhaps, failed to share the concerns of their fellow citizens in their quest for wealth, I share the following story: Upon hearing of the death of John Rockefeller, a large contingent of reporters gathered around his press secretary, and one reporter in particular continued to press him for the answer to the question which everyone wanted to know: "How much did he leave behind?" After a few moments of quiet reflection the press secretary responded with these simple, yet most profound of words: "He left it all behind, sir. He left it all behind!"

Officials at DEP headquarters, please continue to protect our natural resources, and thereby the welfare of the peoples of our beautiful county. This is your primary responsibility to us, not the continued, all-too-often unsuccessful "rehabilitation" of those who are flagrant, repeat violators of the regulations.

Members and supporters of New Milford Rescue, and of other yet-to-be-formed Rescue groups throughout the county – continue the good work, because it is your work which has brought the previously hidden violations to the attention of officials at DEP.

Citizens of the county – please don't hesitate to express your concerns to DEP as well as to your local and state representatives, and support them – particularly DEP – in their ongoing efforts to get a handle on these burgeoning operations.


John Drann

New Milford Twp.

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.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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