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Letters to the Editor Policy

With Honor And Respect

On August 9, 1944 a B-24J Liberator was on a training mission from Pueblo Air Base in Colorado when an oil leak on the number 4 engine caused a fire to break out in the right wing and caused the failure of the wing. The crew was unable to use their parachutes because of the rapid descent. All ten crew members perished in the crash. Two of these men were local Triple Cities servicemen, with one being born in Susquehanna, PA. Last year, Chuck Marvel wanted to find the crash site where Harold Humphrey died 63 years earlier, because Harold introduced Chuck to his wife on D-Day in 1944. The US Army Air Forces recovered the remains of the crew and returned them to their home towns with full military honors, and the remains of the plane were removed, which left the crash site undocumented as to exact location; it became a driving interest for Chuck’s son, Bill Marvel to help his dad in his desire to thank the man that introduced him to his wife of 60-plus years. While at the same timeframe, within a week of each other, I was trying to answer a question for my wife as to what happened to her uncle, Martin “Freddy” Affeldt on that day in 1944. The obit we found answered some questions, but left others. After locating the crash site and scheduling a memorial service for the crew of that B-24J, it brings everything to a close, and the crew is paid the honor and respect they deserve.

Because these two men died on the same plane and were brought home together on the same train, we felt that it is only fitting that the other family members be aware of the memorial. I have tried to locate Humphrey’s family through local phone numbers, to no avail at this time.

The crew of USAAF B-24J – 42-78535 on August 9, 1944: 2nd Lt. Charles W. Swallow, Pilot – Beverly Hills, CA; 2nd Lt. Vincent J. Mannix, Co-Pilot – Elmhurst, NY; 2nd Lt. Martin F. Affeldt, Bombardier – Susquehanna, PA; Cpl. Bill Fowler, Engineer – Greenville, MS; Cpl. George A. Ritzel, Radio Operator – Evansville, IN; Tech. Sgt. Harold E. Humphrey, Radio Instructor – Johnson City, NY; Cpl. Elmer M. Mihalik, Armorer-Gunner – Aliquippa, PA; PFC James V. Lenavitt, Nose Gunner – Kittanning, PA; PFC John A. Hoffman, Tail Gunner – Bernalillo, NM; Cpl. Edward S. Meszaros, Ball Turret Gunner – Cleveland, OH.

A memorial dedication for the crew of the B-24J Liberator will be held at the crash site on Maul Road in Kiowa, Colorado on Saturday, August 9, at 11:00 a.m.

More information may be found at a website we have put together, http://home.earthlink.net/~olds2/.


Tom and Carol (Affeldt) Gazda

Brackney, PA

Too Much Regulation

It almost seems like I can't go anywhere that the subject of zoning doesn't come up. I listen and read about how some folks think that the reason that zoning is a scary deal is because of a fear of change. Those folks are not talking to the same folks I do. Change is something that is one of life's constants. Most folks do not want the zoning due to the fact it is not specific to Susquehanna County.

There is a case where one elected official was elected because of chickens in a boro. A write-in vote because the neighbors, although maybe not fans of free-range chicks, recognized the right to an agricultural county, and the commonsense to realize that chicks are part of agriculture. I applauded that decision.

The comment I hear the most is, there is too much government regulation as it is. No one seems impressed with the way government is becoming more and more intrusive.

Why, even the ones who would vote in the zoning, do not act like they have any real confidence in those regulations themselves. Too confusing. Too many contradictions. Too costly to the citizens, and too costly to enforce. The officials are voting in the regulations, because they don't want the hassle of telling the citizens, you have to pay, and pay dearly, for any and all improvements to your property, or to tell them, your day-care business is considered an undesirable business under these new regulations.

Another thought to those who think zoning is the way to go, it’s not change that scares your constituents, its the fact that you are not in touch with those you serve. If indeed you are, then you will not be downloading regulations from other populous areas, and will go out into each town and boro and see how the folks you serve really live. There is a lot of commonsense that the folks out here have. You then might be able to come up with a zoning proposal that is workable for all the folks, and not just the few.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Zoning Observations

Silver Lake Township held a special zoning meeting Monday evening, July 7, to hear public comment regarding the proposed zoning ordinance. As part of the Northern Tier Coalition (NTC), Silver Lake Township is part of a twelve-member, multi-municipal zoning effort being pushed by our municipal officials as well other entities.

The township announced the meeting by including a write up in the Ladies Club newsletter called the Township Grapevine and posted it on the township website. Additionally, a private citizen in the township wrote his own letter of notification (with some revealing facts and opinions included) and mailed it throughout the township. Numerous persons cited his letter as the reason for their attendance.

I estimate we had over 250 personsattending, occupying over two truck bays, spilling out of the opened garage doors. The atmosphere was definitely charged. A show of hands from Silver Lake Township residents indicated they comprised about 90% of the crowd. At two different occasions, individuals asked for a show of hands of those opposed to this new zoning ordinance and there was an overwhelming majority, perhaps 90% or more with hands raised. One audience member tallied up the sentiments of the persons making public comment and came up with one in favor of zoning, two appearing neutral and 34 negative.

The most reoccurring comment was, “I live here for a reason” and we don’t want or need zoning. One gentleman objected to the overbearing tone and self-stated purpose of the ordinance being the “permitting, prohibiting, regulating, restricting and determining the use of land.” Another objection was that zoning would hand local control over to COG, a non-elected and unaccountable body. It was also noted that zoning can’t stop things like adult bookstores, it just designates a place for them, one being High School Rd. in Bridgewater Twp.

I don't know where the Silver Lake supervisors or the rest of the Northern Tier Coalition (NTC) will try to take this proposed zoning ordinance from here, but there is no doubt they now know the sentiment of the public, at least in Silver Lake Township. I think we need to keep abreast of the situation, attend our municipal and Northern Tier Coalition meetings and hearings, and make our opinions known.

You can review the proposed zoning ordinance (6-25-08 draft) at www.ntc-susq.org(go to zoning) or consult your municipality.


Francis Fruehan

Brackney, PA

Honoring Fallen Heroes

I am a representative of the American Legion Riders of Post 86, Susquehanna.

It is that time of year again. We are preparing for our third annual “Fallen Heroes Run,” which is scheduled for August 9, and once again we need your help. We have a lot to accomplish in the next few weeks.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, last year we raised over $3,000 to help local veterans and we hope to double that figure this year. This money went to help recovering veterans with comfort items while hospitalized, to provide local veterans with home heating fuel over the harsh winter, and to help with countless other needs of those who have given so much in service to our country. We understand that times are difficult right now, but keep in mind that means it is all the more difficult for veterans returning from war with injuries and medical needs and few resources to help them.

If you are able to help us in any possible way, we greatly appreciate your assistance.


Jon D. Carpenter, President

American Legion Riders

Post 86

Susquehanna, PA

It Is Ironic

I recently wrote a letter expressing outrage that the Mountain View Board of Education relieved Patti Walker of her coaching duties. This outrage centered around impeccable credentials, an outstanding season and the less than professional manner in which the replacement was handled.

The plot thickens – Patti Walker has been named “The Scranton Times-Tribune Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year”. How embarrassing it must be to receive such an honor and need to turn around and tell them that you have been let go from the position and don’t know why? In reading the article, it is readily apparent that Mrs. Walker handled the situation with great grace and poise.

It is ironic that in the same edition of the newspaper, the “Grading of our Schools” report was also discussed. Please take the time to review the 6/29/08 edition of the Scranton Times-Tribune and you will realize just how students of the Mountain View School District performed.

There is a lot of criticism about these tests and how they are supported, administered and scored but the bottom line is that all children take the same tests that are scored in the same exact manner, so apples are indeed compared to apples, and Mountain View student scores are shown to be lacking when compared to most other local districts.

Please take the time and go to a school board meeting and ask why they are replacing award winning coaches, and request to see specific and measurable Board objectives set to improve student performance.


Maria Gulbin-Suhadolnik

Lenox Township

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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