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Christmas Special December 23rd

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Issue Home November 11, 2009 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

I have Some Concerns

Each day when we pass the water filling station on Old Route 11, I see tankers filling. I have some concerns:

1. The parking area in front of the water tanks has no stone or paving and is a mud hole. This area should either be stoned or paved to eliminate the mud being carried onto the road surface. The muddy road is a safety concern when the road is wet. When the road is dry, dust covers any car using the road.

2. It took many years for the Township Supervisors to fulfill their obligation to the public and provide a smooth, safe road on Old Route 11. We fear that when winter and spring arrive the water tankers will again cause the road to deteriorate to the condition which took so long to correct. What plan do the Supervisors have to maintain a good Old Route 11?

3. The railroad bridge just south of the water filling station is about 100 years old. We believe the constant water tanker traffic may cause the bridge to become unusable. We have asked in the past what the weight limit on that bridge is. We never received a response from the Supervisors. What is the weight limit on that bridge?

4. We have followed tankers. The posted speed limit is 40 MPH. The tankers travel between 45 and 60 MPH. The tankers are heavy and won’t stop quickly - this is a safety concern. Why don’t the Supervisors control the speed the tankers travel?

We believe the gas drilling companies want to be good neighbors and that it is the Supervisors responsibility to tell them what is expected of them.


Kirk S. Hinkley, Jr.

Hallstead, PA

The Pandemics Of Propaganda

By this time, you know the drill. It's 1976, after one soldier died of the flu and 13 became ill, experts feared another 1918 epidemic that killed 50 million. President Ford initiated a $137 million program to inoculate the entire nation against what came to be know as the swine flu (SF). But only 30 died, not from the SF but from the vaccine that was supposed to protect them.

President George Bush reworded the tale in 2005. Two million could die from the bird flu, he warned. The president unveiled a $7 billion program to fight the feathered menace. But it was another phantom plague; there were no fatalities in the United States.

Fast forward four years and it's the same scary story. Once again, we're warned, it is the ghost of plagues past come back to haunt us. President Obama declared a national emergency. Headlines trumpeted, “Swine Flu Kills 1000.” One thousand! Really? Let's take a closer look at that statistic and see exactly how dangerous the SF really is - or isn't.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and a three-month investigation by CBS News, 80 percent of patients diagnosed with the flu did not actually have it. What they did have was one of some 200 different respiratory infections with symptoms similar to the flu. Subtracting 80 percent of flu-like illnesses from 1000 leaves only 200 cases of genuine flu deaths.

Now let's zero in on those 200 flu deaths.

The 200 fatalities include both the seasonal flu and the SF. CBS's investigative report found that serological testing identified only 10 percent of flu cases as SF, the other 90 percent had different types of seasonal flues. That shaves the 200 down to 20 cases of SF confirmed not by symptoms but by blood tests.

We see that the 1000 SF deaths are in reality just 20. Now let's examine those 20.

The first confirmed SF death occurred April 30. From that date to October 31 is 185 days. During this period there were 20 laboratory confirmed SF deaths. Let's compare those 20 deaths with other causes of death that occurred during this same time frame.

In the time it took the SF death toll to reach 20, there were 1.2 million deaths in the U.S. These deaths include 320,000 who died from heart attacks, 284,000 from cancer, 37,000 from diabetes; and there were 9,700 murders. Do the math; your chances of being murdered are 485 times greater than dying from the SF.

Putting a finer edge on it, during this 185-day span, 46 people were killed by lightning. The odds that you will be killed by lightning are twice that of succumbing from the SF.

According to the CDC, SF infections have peaked; the “pandemic” is subsiding. But suppose you still want to get the shot. All right, let's do a risk-benefit analysis.

All vaccinations have associated risks. Common side effects are mild and “apparently” transitory. Uncommon side effects are severe. The 1976 SF vaccine caused 500 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This disease may cause temporary or permanent paralysis, or death. The vaccine was withdrawn after only ten weeks.

On the other hand, the benefit of a SF vaccination is an article of faith. During the years when the vaccine did not match the SF virus, there were no corresponding increases in illnesses. Further, there has never been a double-blind study to test the efficacy of the SF vaccine. No one can say with scientific certainty that it works.

But if you still want the shot, you will probably pay twice. Once as your share of the $7 billion given by the government to the vaccine consortium and again when you pay $25 to $35 for the vaccine that health care professionals were given without charge.

Lastly, if you do become that rare individual with a verified case of the SF, you need not be overly concerned. Compared to other flues, it is mild and brief. Some become infected and recover without ever being aware that they had it. The only side effect will be a self-made “vaccine” that will provide some immunity for next year's flu season.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Our Sincere Thanks

The Montrose Area Kiwanis was pleased to host their annual Halloween parade on Saturday, October 31. Ghosts, princesses, lambs, and trains were among the participants of the parade. The Elk Lake Band lead the group to the fire hall for refreshments and costume judging.

The club would like to thank the Montrose Fire Company members, the Montrose Borough Police and the Montrose Ambulance Service for their assistance during the parade to assure the safety of the children, the Key Club members for their help with the refreshments and all the area business who helped in any way. A big thanks goes to all who attended to make this event a fun time for all.


Sue Heed

Montrose Area Kiwanis

Two Personae In Barack

I admit it. Mr. Roger Ailes got me believing that Reverend Jeremiah Wright was the principal, if not the sole, spiritual mentor of then presidential nominee Senator Barack Hussein Obama. That was false. Nowadays, it's only all too obvious. In as much as Barack the man takes his sweet time in arriving at major decisions, it’s a lead pipe cinch. He sought guidance from many Christian sources. Nobody should be surprised, if the man knows who Dietrich Bahnhoffer was.

I'm willing to allow the possibility that ordinary citizen Obama began his journey into faith, when he began contemplating a career in politics. The result being, the man contains within himself two distinct and occasionally conflicting personae. There is Barack the politician. There is Barack the Christian.

The cynics among us, most likely, harbor doubts about how authentic our current President is as a Christian. There's none with regard to his authenticity as a politician.

The city of Chicago contains a kaleidoscope of black churches. He had his pick. In his choice of what church to attend, which was critical, both personae were in harmony.

And the one he picked had Oprah Winfrey as a congregant. Gotta' admit. That's one way to make her acquaintance, and subsequently present his case for support. Nobody doubts his skill as a presenter. No doubt about it, her early endorsement helped enormously.

In an earlier letter, I prognosticated he would have a fun time getting Israelis and Palestinians to agree to live together within a reasonable facsimile of peace. After giving the matter some more thought, I now believe that would be a fool's errand. Whatever else President Barack Hussein Obama may be, fool he ain't. With the vociferous exception of Rush, even his severest critics concur with that assessment.

As Barack the politician and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he'll play a little lip service to the notion of peace in the Middle East.

Truth be told, I would love it, if John Harwood would ask the man with the two personae the following question: “Do you believe, Mr. President, there is a spiritual bond between the Jewish people and the United States of American.

I surmise that, right now, some American Zionist Christians harbor the following notion. Specifically, the spiritual bond between Arab and Jew is abolished, rendered null and void. Before too long, the braver adherents of that doctrine shall be, at the very least, hinting.

What a juicy question for our Nobel Peace Prize President that circumstance would prompt Mr. Harwood to pose.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

In Response To Misinformation

This letter is in response to an article on the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership (ESCP) zoning effort and the subsequent withdrawal of Gibson Township from this group.

The ESCP was never set up as a “zoning coalition.” It was established six years ago to examine and discuss the changes that were occurring in the area. Over the previous years, these changes were happening at an increasingly faster pace and, because of this, we decided to form a partnership to address these issues and plan for the future. The objectives, as stated in a press release to local papers six years ago, were as follows: the preservation of the area’s rural environment and lifestyle; the promotion of economic and physical growth which is compatible with, but not burdensome to, the small infrastructures our municipalities represent; the maintenance and promotion of agriculture suitable to our region; the protection of the area’s natural environment; the protection of open space, parks and recreational areas and the documentation and preservation of the history associated with the region.

Realizing that there was strength in numbers, committees were set up to work on the above issues and a history of the six municipalities was compiled for the County’s upcoming bicentennial. Future committees are going to work on sharing services, not to take away control but to try to reduce the financial burden to an individual township/borough.

As you can see, land use planning was only one part of our mission. But we all agreed that, even though rampant, unplanned development had not yet become a problem in our area, we felt it wise to get something in place to be prepared for the future when it arrived. What was even more important was the fact that the State would provide grant money to multi-municipal efforts to complete the land use plans; something that none of us had the funds to do now on our own nor would they be available in the future and certainly not for single municipalities. We did not want to be in the same situation as Pike and Monroe Counties that had to desperately play catch up and not very successfully. Because they had little to nothing in place in the way of zoning, huge increases in fire, police and maintenance forces and the need for more and more schools resulted in a massive increase in taxes and created chaos.

After all was said and done, we felt that we had produced a document that was a basic, bare bones zoning ordinance that would require no increase in taxes (the zoning officer would be paid by the fees generated) and that would serve the needs of all our communities.

Now, I would like to address the withdrawal of Gibson Township for the ESCP. I am all for democracy in action but I also believe in a fair playing field. When residents are told that there will be a charge to cut down a tree or put up a mailbox, and that taxes will increase if this ordinance is enacted, it calls the validity of some of these signatures into question since none of the above is true. If a group wishes to use misinformation to advance their own cause, that is certainly their right but I have a hard time calling that democracy.

In conclusion, we of the ESCP have spent the past six years working on two documents that we are proud of. It was our intention to put together something that would prepare us for what the future will eventually bring at the least cost to all. Even if Gibson Township cannot bring itself to join in this zoning ordinance, we still encourage them to be part of ESCP to work on other issues that might be of benefit to all.


Jo-Ellen Greene

Vice-Chairman, ESCP

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Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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