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Issue Home May 28, 2008 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Fallen Soldier Memorial Ride

I am organizing a motorcycle ride called "Fallen Soldier Memorial Ride" on June 7 to honor the six soldiers from the New Milford Armory, Co. B 1-109 Inf. who were killed in Iraq in 2005. This ride will also raise funds to build a memorial for them at the Armory.

Sign-up is at 12 noon, and we will start the ride at 1 p.m., from the Armory on 492, New Milford, and ending at the American Legion Post 357 in Hallstead. We will be going through New York State, so helmets will be required. This has been in planning for almost a year . I rode in one last summer for another benefit and got the idea from that.

A good time, and fun, too. Cost is $20 to drive and $10 to ride, with a meal to follow. This ride has special meaning to me too, as I am the father of one of the soldiers killed. We will be traveling through New Milford, Hallstead, Great Bend and Montrose if we have good weather, about a 50-mile ride is planned. Join us on the streets as we pass through towns and cheer us on! I would also like to thank all who helped with this.

For donations or info, contact Bill Evans at (607) 759-6398. Checks must be made out to FRG Memorial Fund.

Thank you, Bill Evans, proud father of SPC. William L. Evans, KIA September 19, 2005. The ride will also honor SSG. Dan Arnold, SSG Geo. Pugliese, Spc. Lee Wiegand, Spc. Oliver Brown and Sgt. Eric Slebodnic, KIA September 28, 2005. These are true heroes and we will always honor them.


Bill Evans

Hallstead PA

Readdressing Signs Available

To residents of the Susquehanna Fire Department protection district (Susquehanna Boro, Oakland Boro, Lanesboro Boro, Harmony Twp. and Oakland Twp.) and the Thompson Fire Department protection district: (Thompson Boro, Thompson Twp. and Ararat Twp). As you all know by now, the Susquehanna Fire Department’s coverage area has been re-addressed, with the Thompson Fire protection district soon to follow. A letter sent to you explained why the re-addressing was necessary.

There is, however, a secondary problem with the re-addressing, and that is a uniformity of identification of your home. The re-addressing to make sure we can find you in an emergency; this also includes law enforcement agencies. It will be much easier if you use a uniform designed sign. The Susquehanna County Fire Chiefs Association, the 911 Center and your local Fire Department have a sign that will accomplish this need.

We encourage all residents, especially the RD residents to add this sign to their home (visible from the middle of the road) or to your RD box post. The Susquehanna Fire Department and the Thompson Fire Department are selling these signs now. Other Fire Departments will be selling them in the near future. An order from is elsewhere in this newspaper. Please fill it out and send to the appropriate address. If you have any questions, call the number listed on the order form for your respective Fire Department. There will be a sample of the sign on display at Schneider's Market in the Shops Plaza in Susquehanna. We can also arrange to have name signs made for private roads.


Susquehanna Fire Department

Thompson Fire Department

Zoning – A Major Change

The Northern Tier Coalition (NTC) proposes a Zoning Ordinance for its townships. I have attended two hearings, spoken, and submitted written comments based on reading the 176-page proposed ordinance. I do not claim to understand all that I've read; this is a very complex document based on non-obvious definitions that control interpretation of the zoning regulations. I believe the extensive verbiage and complexity is a severe problem, making it very hard for residents and officials to fully comprehend and interpret.

For example, do you have a house, barn or other structure within 50 feet of the road right-of-way (67 feet from the middle of a dirt road)? If so, those structures will become "Non-Conforming" and there will be several extra legal steps to go through to change their use, repair or reconstruct them, or, possibly, to transfer them to an heir or other owner. There are "Grandfather" clauses for existing uses and structures, but also written loopholes, making their protection weak.

Want a horse on a farm or home with large acreage? If so, you must be in the "Rural Agriculture" zoning district (no horses in other districts); then you must apply to a Zoning Officer for permission and your horse's stable must satisfy setback rules, including that 50-foot rule. By the way, the definition of "stable" includes any "use of land" as well as "building." So, that cow pasture with a fence near the road may not be allowed for your horse. Does this really contribute to our rural lifestyle?

I cite these points not to fault the many township officials that have worked to make this proposal, but to make clear both the impact and complexity of the ordinance. They have worked to provide us with protection from others, but that protection comes at a price in terms of our freedom to use our land. The key issue is, have we got the right balance of protection and freedom?

From the hearings, I am convinced that far too few people came and many did not appreciate the impact of zoning or the import of the formal hearings to passage of the ordinance. For example, on April 30, the formal hearing began at 7 p.m. and concluded at 7:04 p.m. with no comments or questions. Arriving too late to speak formally, I was able to speak "off the record" to the audience of over a dozen residents, and the informal meeting lasted for over another hour. I feel that many who attended wanted to hear about the ordinance first and were not prepared to begin by commenting.

The community needs much more positive outreach to understand this Proposal, and more opportunities and meetings to influence it before decisions are made. There are options for protection. Zoning will have a dramatic effect on every resident of the NTC towns and can as easily destroy the relaxed rural character of our community as it can protect us. We need to strike the right balance.


Gene Famolari

Jessup Township, PA

Something Needs To Be Done

I have before me an item, a newspaper clipping dated November 21, 2004.

A $338 billion spending bill passed through Congress. House approved 344 to 51. Senate passage was 65 to 30. Part of the bill was for one million dollars for renovations to the Drinker Creek bridge on State Route 171 in Susquehanna County (only one million out of 338 billion?).

What happened? That was almost four years ago. Was that one million dollars all spent on orange barrels and concrete barriers, or on feasibility studies? They do cost a lot of money, when anyone with eyes and common sense can reach the same conclusion.

How much longer do we, the citizens of the area, have to put up with this condition on the Main Street of this thriving little community of Susquehanna, PA?


Clyde Boughton


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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