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Issue Home June 4, 2008 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

To The “Nice” People

When I was growing up, my father, John Thompson, bought a farm in Thompson, PA. I remember coming up here to Susquehanna a few times a year, both in the winter and summer months. What I remembered most about this quiet little town was how “nice” the people were. Everyone seemed to know everybody, and even if they didn’t, they still waved at you passing by or said “hello” passing you on the street.

Now, years later, I am all grown up with children of my own, and was looking to finally buy a home of our own. I have lived in Florida for the past 17 years or so, but I remembered about this town and started looking for a home here. I thought it would be a nice place to raise my family. We found one in Susquehanna, and when we purchased our home in 2006, my children and I were so excited to be moving to a new place. We were not able to move until August of 2007, but we finally made it. Little did I know that when we moved here, tragedy would strike my family. Our 12-year-old daughter, Brianna, drowned in Drinker Creek on February 18, 2008. This was heartbreaking to my family. Children are not supposed to die. Mothers are not supposed to have to make funeral arrangements for their children. Unfortunately, that is exactly what my family had to do. Somehow, someway, we had to get through this, and we did so with the help from the “nice” people of Susquehanna and surrounding communities that I remembered from my childhood.

It has been a very hard few months since the death of our daughter, but we wanted to thank all of the people who came by our home with casseroles, cards, hugs and prayers. We wanted to thank all of you who attended Brianna’s service and for the wonderful things that were said about her. Apparently, Brianna knew many people here, and as we found out, many people knew her. The one thing that everyone keeps saying is that no matter what, Brianna always had a smile on her face, and that she did. She was very happy here. She loved our home, she loved her school and friends, and she loved her church. She even loved the snow.

My family truly feels like we are really home, thanks to all of the support and kind words and deeds that we have received in the time of our greatest sorrow. Thank you to all of my neighbors, friends, and family for being there when we needed you most, and most of all, thank you to all of the “nice” people of Susquehanna. May God bless you and the ones you love.


The family of

Brianna Leigh Doucette

We Should Conserve

I wonder now, if North America is going to find a reason to invade South America? Oil, off the coast of South America! I wonder.

I am not sure why we were lied to about Iraq, and why the price of a barrel of crude is over $133. Maybe we are being punished, and our leader is allowing our economy to falter? Maybe to cover his mistakes? Maybe we deserve $4 gas and $5 diesel!

The American dream will become a nightmare this winter. The banks, the utilities, the local oil delivery guys will be hurting so badly, and the credit card people will be going nuts trying to collect their money.

Why? Since our leaders have not told us to conserve nationally, maybe we should take it upon ourselves to do it. How about not buying any oil or gasoline for a week? Not go to work? Not even go out of our houses. Maybe then we can flush whoever is plugging the pipeline out of the woodpile. Find out the truth! Maybe bin Laden is in Iraq, but my opinion is he is in North America. Let’s hope no one spots him in South America! Say, around Saul Paulo.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

Honoring Our Soldiers

My faith in people has been restored. Unlike Don Quixote, I found out that you can fight windmills and win. Even though veterans’ groups and the local military company would not respond to my request for a wreath to be placed at the Welcome Center's Veterans Memorial, Commissioner MaryAnn Warren took heed of my plight when she attended the memorial service held in New Milford on Memorial Day. She told me there would be a wreath placed at the memorial, today. She took it upon herself to have her family go to Binghamton to purchase one. Being a holiday and being so late in the day, there were none to be had, so they got the fixings to make one. It looked as good, if not better than any store-bought wreath. Commissioner Warren and I placed the wreath at the Memorial without fanfare. It is nice that some people care, without expecting anything in return. Commissioner Warren really is a patriot, honoring the men who lost their lives in Iraq.

Please, go up to the PA Welcome Center and check out this beautiful, simple memorial to the 109th Infantry Division and the eight local soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq.


Alan Aronowitz

New Milford, PA

Warfare Rhetoric

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As we celebrate Memorial Day, we honor the sacrifices of those brave Americans from the Revolutionary War to the present who have given the last full measure to sustain and advance these principles of democracy, equality, and justice contained in our Declaration of Independence.

The notion that these rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable presupposes that all Americans, regardless of race, creed, national origin, ethnicity or economic class are equal before the law and have equal rights to attain these blessings of liberty and freedom.

When the perception and reality become that the opportunities to pursue and attain these equal rights (the American Dream) vary based upon factors such as economic class or race, people begin to lose faith and look for explanations of this predicament. Historically, demagogues and some politicians have sought to exploit the discontents created by these perceived and real inequalities of opportunity. This occurred in the post Reconstruction Jim Crow South when politicians encouraged and exploited racial animus to maintain the political and economic status quo. This divide-and-conquer strategy restricted the pursuit of equal opportunities for both poor blacks and poor whites. We hear echoes of this today when demagogues, politicians, and pundits seek to exploit the perceptions that policies such as affirmative action which seek to ameliorate race-based denial of equal opportunities in some way constitute reverse discrimination or confer unfair preferences. Both legal and illegal immigrants are tarred with the same brush of unfairly taking our jobs and accessing social welfare programs to our disadvantage.

Over the course of the last 30 years, the American middle class has been squeezed with the average inflation-adjusted income remaining flat or declining, limited or no access to affordable health care or higher education, necessary building blocks to achieve equality of opportunity. The middle class has seen its share of income and assets shrink dramatically while the overwhelming share of assets and income has become concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority. These are verifiable economic statistics, not class warfare rhetoric. Equal opportunity does not require equal distribution of income and assets. Americans expect only a level playing field and fair chance at achieving the American Dream.

In the midst of this economic uncertainty and turmoil, we are approaching Presidential and Congressional elections. In order to cast an informed and responsible ballot, we need to objectively and accurately discern the candidates’ positions and policies affecting our equal opportunities to pursue the American Dream. In making our choices we should not allow our judgment to be impaired by politicians’ emotional pandering to the baser angles of our nature by seeking to exploit racial, religious, ethnic or class prejudices.

Regrettably, we have read reports in our national media (the Washington Post, nationally syndicated columnist, Maureen Dowd) of these hopefully isolated attempts to gain political advantage by pandering to religious or racial prejudices and stereotypes. Sadly, these reports indicated that our beloved Susquehanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania were the source of racial epithets and scurrilous, unsubstantiated internet rumors that Senator Obama is a secret radical Muslim and impugning his patriotism.

I call upon all responsible informed citizens, members and leaders of religious faiths, races, ethnic groups and economic classes to reject and eschew these attempts to polarize and pander to the electorate based upon these racial and religious stereotypes. Character is destiny. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we need to judge our potential leaders by the “content of their character, not the color of their skin.”


Myron B. DeWitt

Susquehanna, PA

ATVs Are Not Allowed

The Rail-Trail Council of NE PA would like to remind trail users that the D&H and O&W Rail-Trails are closed to ATV and dirt bike use. The trail is signed, indicating that no ATVs are allowed. The council has a security firm which patrols on a regular basis. Last year, over 20 criminal trespass violations were issued and upheld in district court. These violations will cost at least $150, and can now include costs associated with trail surface damage. The council has decided that ATV patrols will increase over the next few weeks.

Please keep off the trails with any motorized vehicles.


Lynn M. Conrad

Rail–Trail Council of NEPA

God Save America

This election year we must stand united and assert our God given rights; life, liberty, etc., as granted by our founding fathers. We must demand that all laws safeguarding us against indecency be upheld, and stop the spread of immorality and radical atheism that destroys families and promotes communism.

Remember, the plan of communism is world domination. But they must first remove God from the hearts and minds of men publicly, so as to abandon their responsibility, to obey His word and His church.


John Mann

Brandt, PA

The Games Begin

I've been following the zoning and land use arguments since the first signs of “no gravel pit” first bloomed. I now see you can drive around with a bumper sticker proclaiming no gravel. Fortunately, we are noted for bluestone, which is why it is so amusing to me.

What is not amusing, is when you can be having lunch, and other visitors ask about them. These nice folks from Ohio frowned and mentioned that out in Ohio, environmentalists protest " no farms." He just shook his head, and I just stared at him incredulously. He said that in some cases, these misguided souls get what they want, and then cry "no fair" at the unintended consequences. That set me to thinking.

I have been at the mercy of environmental laws run amuck. Even the people that enforce these customs, can't believe it when it is pointed out to them, how asinine these are. They point to the chapter and verse, and actually read aloud this mishmash.

But, being on government payrolls, they must interpret these section parts according to them. I then realized that maybe, it is that very thing that would allow "no farm" protests.

In 1976, an American delegation, namely Secy. of Housing, Carla Hills, and soon to be EPA chief, William Reilly, signed the document at the UN, titled,  “Report of Habitat 1 : United Nations Conference on Human Settlements.” This document has 65 ways, or is it recommendations, on how government can get absolute control, and stop the pesky private land use.

And so the games begin. Behold the:

- Clean water act. Be mindful of mud puddles.

- Endangered Species act. This says it will protect them from us. As a consequence of economic growth and development, and the untended care and concern. Just recently, the Maguire Daisy from Utah was taken off the list. Seems seeds formed, and they grew.

- Historic Preservation. Watch out for any signs of Indians near a river.

- Comprehensive Planning. This one is really catching on, that is why the government can prevent you from using your own land. It starts at the local level. Maybe we are governed by what we deserve.

- Army Corps of Engineers. Stay far away from them. They have in Senate, a bill that will change the wording "Navigable Waters" to "All Waters." Hope you don't have a pond.

These are just at a quick thought. I hope you enjoy doing your research before voting on any zoning regulations. In the end, we shall all be enslaved.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA


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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