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Many Events Planned
Spring is here and the Susquehanna Community Development Association (SCDA) is developing their calendar of events. We want you to be aware, so you can mark you social calendar, and not miss out on our upcoming opportunities: Spring Fling Casino Night, May 3 at the Starrucca House; Hometown Days, July 17 – 19, featuring a carnival, parade and fireworks; Susquehanna County’s “Harvest of the Arts,” September 20 & 21. Holiday Events include the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 5, and Breakfast with Santa on December 6.
The SCDA is a non-profit, volunteer-based community action organization founded in 2001, and is structured to assist in the renewal of our business district and neighborhoods, while improving the quality of life for families in our community.
For more information contact (570) 853-5016.
You Opened Your Hearts
I just wanted to thank all of the wonderful people who offered help to the family of Brianna Doucette. The benefit funds at Penn Star Bank and Peoples National Bank and donor jars had enough contributions to pay for the dear girl’s funeral expenses. The prayers and outpouring from our communities is a testament to good in this world.
May blessings flow to all.
Stand For Something
I went to the township meeting on Wednesday, saw all our rescuers were out in force. The meeting ran the gauntlet from the sunshine laws to a pressing legal question of whether outhouses are legal in PA. Then the subject of road conditions came up. My, my. This has to be my favorite. The woman on Sutton Road has decided that she will be the judge and jury in deciding what is acceptable on a gravel road. The tattling will come to the supervisors, who will then be in the position to decide if the road is up to her standards. That set me to thinking. Who does she think she is? Is she really capable of ascertaining the road, the materials, the drainage, the weather conditions and a host of variables? Is there an engineering degree there? What if someone disagrees with her? What if someone who understands frost drives accordingly, and doesn't have the problems driving that she does? Does that opinion count? My, my.
I ask because I was told, by a member, very loudly, "Shut up! You have no right to speak at these meetings, you are a quarry person." Imagine that. My, my. I can assure you folks, these people are all about “me,” and they make no bones about it.
Well, I won't pretend that I don't encourage debauchery, I do. I also feel that in a public meeting, I have every right to an opinion. And I voice it. I also understand something about the constitution, which I think is something that escapes the esteemed group. It is their rights, period. I was also misinformed by a member, who said that the secretary wanted me to leave. Upon investigation, it turns out she had no idea of what I was talking about. That seems the way with them. They ask questions, answers are given, if it is not the correct answer to them, they rephrase the question belligerently, vocally, and with the air of someone who is bored with dealing with the poor dumb ones, as they are the only ones who understand what the question is being asked. My, my. Back in the day, when I received answers that I would like to be different, I put my big girl panties on and dealt with it. Maybe that attitude would be beneficial to those to put on the big girl, or boy panties and deal. I also have a issue with the zoning lady, gee, isn't the firm you work for already an unnecessary layer of local politics? You charge fees for everything, in addition to the fees the county charges. People walk into my office to tell me off about your per-foot charges. I tell them, it’s to pay for the new building. It is my fervent hope that the township will not join that firm. The politics over there are the stuff of confusion.
I was also accused of slander. Verb: malicious, false, and injurious statement spoken about a person. I asked for him to tell everyone what I said, so I could be clear about it. No reply. That is a hugely subjective area. And yes sir, I do have counsel. I accept the fact that I am a highly developed personality and on occasion, sarcastic. I expect to be treated with respect and dignity, which I extend to others. In coming to these meetings, and listening to the rhetoric of this group, I wonder if the quarry people might not have a class action against those who do mean to do them harm, by way of harassment, interference of their livelihood, calls of eminent danger, and emotional pain and suffering. My, my.
The plain truth is, this group does not act reasonably. The intention is to severely curtail mining, and land use.
I do have a real problem with that. I understand that in this life, land is your liberty. Last I checked, that is a constitutional right guaranteed by the signers of the declaration. Thomas Jefferson also mentions that land should not be taken by any group or persons, because they want it. Man works, saves, and protects his land, and can sell it, work it, or pass it on.
I wonder what would be the opinion of the group, if their rights were violated. My, my.
I want you quarry folks to come to the meetings. I am not making any of this stuff up. Why, in the minutes in February the group is proposing ordinances and plans to discourage undesirable activities. What? Of course, the supervisors are being run ragged by the taxpayer regarding the closed landfill (old claim to rescue fame – they live a long time on that one achievement) campgrounds, and outhouses and trucks. I fully expect my elected officials to also represent me, and everyone else. I do not think it is reasonable, or fair to have a small group of self-serving individuals dominate the officials’ time, because the answers are not what they want. I ask those who cannot attend meetings to write to the editor. If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.
The Actions Of One
Up until now I have been able to ignore the printed comments of C. Allen. However, her latest ramblings are so misleading a response is required to set the record straight (re: March 12, 2008). I will begin by suggesting that C. Allen include herself as one who, to use her own words, “misinforms” the public and makes “outrageous allegations.” For those interested in the facts, please read on. The current New Milford R.E.S.C.U.E. chapter was formed September, 2007 in response to one miner’s attempt to open a 400-acre non-coal mining operation amidst residents who value their quality of life, property values and the environment. To label in general all R.E.S.C.U.E. members as “environmentalists” is too altruistic a description. To be sure, the environment is of concern, but it does not top the list of reasons why this chapter was formed. The “ambition” of most of the New Milford R.E.S.C.U.E. members is to preserve the community in which they live from this oneoperator that repeatedly disregards the rules of the mining profession. These violations are a matter of public record; anyone interested in knowing more should contact DEP at (570) 621-3118 and ask for Colleen Stutzman.
I like the idea of a parade to honor an industry that has existed in this county for generations and contributes to a national market. I’ll be there to support all those conscientious quarriers that abide by the rules and engage in good mining and operating practices. They do exist and are considered to be in the majority. R.E.S.C.U.E. has no dispute with these quarries as is so publicly and wrongly suggested by C. Allen. In fact, it is the poor reputations of the few quarriers that do not follow the regulations that hurt the rest of the bluestone industry in Susquehanna County. It is “misinformation” for anyoneto suggest that all quarries are the target of R.E.S.C.U.E. As most citizens would be, R.E.S.C.U.E. is concerned about onequarry operator that does not comply with the DEP mining handbook, and has become a disturbance to their community, as is the case with this onequarrier who is currently in the process of reclaiming at least two different sites due to non-compliance issues (again, contact DEP for verification).
I should have responded sooner to the writings of C. Allen, since ignoring her comments did nothing to stop them or make them correct, but I have been too busy defending my quality of life and property from one experienced operator that should have known better. Ultimately, let the record of this one operator speak for itself. If there were not any legitimate cause for concern, R.E.S.C.U.E. would not have had the impact that it has had on the operations of this one quarrier. C. Allen is right on one account: “there is a lot of misinformed and uninformed people.” In my opinion, she should follow her own advice and not be one of those people, and should herself stop contributing to the misinformation. I would further suggest that her time would be better spent researching her facts about R.E.S.C.U.E. and the very ordinary citizens that have come together to fight against one quarrier that continues to operate at the expense of this community.
What a different situation we would be in if this one mining operation had been the good neighbor I was told they wanted to be and had conducted business on terms that did not degrade the community. Being a good neighbor consists of doing what is right, communicating, taking into account the hazards and health issues that affect everyone, and promoting good will. R.E.S.C.U.E. was formed out of self-preservation because this one operator ignored us, the concerns we brought to their attention, and DEP mining regulations.
Yes, there is a valuable resource behind my home, and I believe that the quarry operators in Susquehanna County should have their opportunity for a piece of the bluestone pie. But we need to be asking ourselves, “At whose expense?” I also believe it is possible for a peaceable co-existence between the residents and the quarries of Susquehanna County, but it will require communication, compromise and compliance; qualities that have been conspicuously absent from this one quarrier.
Forgive the redundancy, but I want it to be clear that it was the actions of one mining operator that was the catalyst in forming R.E.S.C.U.E., and I hope that I have alleviated any concerns that have been needlessly caused by people intent upon distorting the facts.
New Milford, PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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