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Issue Home July 1, 2009 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Health Care Vs. Reform

“o brah’d’ah,” I thought to myself, “another family on the way to bankruptcy.” Waiting for the waitress to come collect for my Monday special breakfast, I whiled away a little time, reading some text. A make-shift canister had caught my eye. Once a month, so it seems, there’s a new appeal for donations to help with the medical expenses of one more unfortunate.

As for providing more details, I have zilch interest. I’m loathe to court any accusation of trading on an innocent’s misfortune. I am a little angry with myself for neglecting to drop a little change in that canister. Maybe that’s my motivation for this reader’s letter.

Not too long ago, some news reader on some cable news channel provided some statistics, ferreted out by a recent survey. Here’s the question, as best I can recall. “When it comes to health care reform, which (?) would you rather have in charge: (a) the government or (b) the insurance companies!”

It comes with little surprise. The responding public chose, overwhelming, the government. For my part, I mused a little about the good people, who had conducted the survey. More specifically, I wondered about how deeply had they actually gauged public sentiment. Had they then followed up with another question for those choosing government. Here’s a rather interesting, I think, follow-up question.

“As government goes about health care reform, which (?) would you rather have in charge … !” I leave it to the reader to supply the (a) and the (b). Thanks to recent experience, I’m circumspect about political implications.

Rather recently, the congressional representative for Pennsylvania’s Tenth District sent me and several thousand other dear friends a flyer. I’m sure he remembers ever so fondly my presenting him with that “pennsyltucky” tee shirt. Manifestly, according to the flyer, Congressman Chris Carney would appreciate hearing from me and those several thousand other dear friends.

In which case, I’m taking him at his word. The man maintains an internet website: www.carney.house.gov. And he has, get this, four phone numbers: Washington (DC) (202)225-3731, Clarks Summit (570)585-9988, Williamsport (570)327-1902, and Shamokin (570)644-1682.


A. Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

No Alternative

The media is in a purple-veined dither. North Korea is about to nuke Hawaii. Alternately, it's Oregon, California, or more expansively, the entire east coast. But look at a map. Where else is NK going to overfly its missiles? To the West over China; what about the East or North over Russia; how about the South over Australia? No, NK to going to vector its rockets away from land over the Pacific just as we avoid land by using the Atlantic Ocean. Unavoidably, that puts us in the cross hairs.

But why does that "rogue" nation want atomic weapons? To attack America? The leader of that communist nation, Chairman Kim Jong-IL, just might be crazy, or just acting that way, or simply painted to be nuts. But the Deal Leader is not stupid. A preemptive nuclear attack on any nation would mean the annihilation of himself and his regime.

However, very probably the Dear Leader is paranoiac. So what's the best way to handle a dictator who thinks the world is out to destroy him?

The worst way to is try to frustrate the only means he believes he has to defend himself - an atomic bomb. Let Jong-IL have his bomb, really, there's no way to prevent it. Then enter in to negotiations giving him assurances that we, the United States, have no aggressive designs on him, his government, or his nation.

What is being done is the opposite. We are perusing a hopeless endeavor to prevent him from acquiring nuclear weapons. This will only strengthen his resolve to "protect" himself. You see Jong-IL wants the bomb, not for aggressive means. He wants it for the same reason we and the 8 members of the atomic club want it - for a deterrent.

It's called MAD, mutually assured destruction, an apt acronym. But it's worked for the past 65 years. Will it continue to work? Let's hope so. There is no alternative.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Do You Know Where Your Local Gas Wells Are?

Would you be interested in knowing where gas wells are planned or in production? How about the location of access roads or pipelines? Do you think it would be useful if citizens and local governments could see and share this and other information on an immediately available up-to-date map?

Personally, I'd like to know about local well activity. I also think it would help us all to understand and prepare for the resumption of intense gas exploration activity.

At the last county gas task force meeting, I suggested that the county provide this basic gas activity on an accurate map at no cost to users and at no cost or low cost to the county. Yes, really. Here's how.

No cost is simple. Use what already exists and is available on the Internet. Low Cost means augmenting an existing capability with more data. Both capability levels are based on using a Google Map Application with all the free built-in features of Google Maps, including tutorials on how to add features to one's own map application.

A basic Google Map capability is at Susquehanna County - Gas Exploration Maps website, where you can see production and permitted well location. You can manipulate the map for different features, like zooming in for a close view or a satellite view, or get driving directions to a well from your location. The maps cover Susquehanna and adjacent counties in PA and NY and are updated about monthly. Another site provides subscribers a table of current well permit data and plots wells on a county map without the Google features.

Simply using this Google Map application is the No Cost option. The county should publicize it on a county website so people would know where to find it.

For the low cost option, the county could collaborate to add information to the map or to get a separate version to update and extend. An obvious extension would be to add small well gathering pipelines and well access roads based on data from the gas companies. Data taken by GPS should be easy to include in a Google Map application.

There you have it - a basic Gas Data Map capability at no to low Cost with easy Internet access. For more information on this proposal and for internet links to existing maps, visit http://JessupJottings.blogspot.com.


Gene Famolari

Montrose, 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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