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Letters to the Editor Policy


This letter is in response to a certain man that we must listen to every week babble on and on about the government and such. Fine, but get your facts straight. The H1N1 vaccine is free to the public. Anyone wishing to receive it may at no charge. As for the 1976 vaccine - no one ever died from it. And only 300 people got Guillain-Barre Syndrome from it, out of 300,000,000 that received it. I received the 1976 vaccine and I am fine. It did save many lives. As for the H1N1, my two sons and I all tested positive for the flu. As far as no symptoms, we all have a fever, chest congestion and could not breathe. As a matter of fact my five year old had to be rushed to the hospital because he couldn’t breath with a fever of 104.9º. And all this because it doesn’t exist! You tell all the families with dead children that tested positive it doesn’t exist! Propaganda? I think that Mr. Scroggins should be injected with the H1N1 and he can see for himself if he has any symptoms.


Nicole Bernosky

Gibson, PA

Give Thanks

This Thanksgiving Day, as we gather with family and friends to count our blessings, let's give thanks for the bounty we enjoy not just on this holiday but every day. The safe, plentiful food that is available to us and the products used to produce the clothing, housing, medicines, fuel and other products we use on a daily basis, didn't just appear in a store. They got there, thanks to a tremendous partnership of farmers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, advertisers, wholesalers and retailers. In appreciation of this farm-city partnership, the President of the United States annually proclaims the week leading up to and including Thanksgiving Day as National Farm-City Week.

We would like to use this special week to thank the hard working farmers of animal agriculture and dispel the many myths of this industry segment. These farmers have unique occupations by raising and caring for the livestock that are used to supply the meat, milk and eggs that we all enjoy and they provide excellent nutrition. Raising livestock is a challenging life that takes great care and expertise. Our local livestock and dairy producers care for their animals and raise them humanely based on scientific facts. Raising livestock can be a rewarding experience for youth, as well. We would encourage you to visit with your local farmer to learn more about what they do and thank them for their tireless work in providing safe, affordable food.

This week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, let's remember the vital farm-city partnerships that have done so much to improve the quality of our lives. Rural and urban communities working together have made the most of our rich agricultural resources, and have made significant contributions to our health and well-being and to the strength of our nation's economy. For this, we can give thanks.


Donna Williams

Susquehanna County Farm Bureau

Leasing Your Rights Away?

There probably is no one in Northeastern Pennsylvania unaware of the land leasing frenzy in search of the Marcellus Shale which has taken place over that last three, plus, years. There are companies leasing which have drilled or are permitted to drill, companies leasing and sitting on the land, companies leasing with the intent of “flipping the paper;” all of them interested in making money, just as property owners who have signed those leases hope to.

But there is another segment of this industry which has surfaced that is of grave concern.

Letters have been mailed to property owners from Refuge Oil and Gas, LLC, Midland, Texas, stating the company “is currently acquiring non-producing and producing oil and gas mineral interests in several counties in Pennsylvania...” and “is interested in purchasing all or a portion of your oil and gas mineral interests...” Upon questioning a representative of Refuge, I was told it did not matter if my property were leased or not. And the “oil and gas interests” are, in fact, your mineral rights, consequently, your royalties. Apparently there is no contract with this company, simply a conveyance which is then recorded in the court house.

Refuge Oil and Gas is not the only company soliciting. There apparently are at least two others: McCosar Minerals, Oklahoma City, OK and Fossil Royalties, Sugarland, TX.

NARO (National Association of Royalty Owners), Oklahoma and Appalachia contacts, informed me this is not an illegal business. There are reputable companies, offering fair prices. There are also unscrupulous predators, engaging in capitalism at its best - or is it, at its worst?

What is of concern, at least in the case of Refuge, is that there is no contract, there are no terms, there is no reference to “royalty,” there is nothing - except your signature on a conveyance in exchange for a check within 60 days and the strong probability that unsuspecting property owners will have been duped into surrendering their mineral rights.

In today’s economic climate, offers of $500 to $1500 per acre (at least as of this writing) might appear attractive if one is not familiar with the latest offers exceeding $5500 per acre to lease the land, not to buy the rights. I was asked to “name a figure.” And when I suggested Refuge was taking advantage of people who most needed the money, the representative, without hesitation, said, “I agree.”

With that in mind, if anyone receives a letter from any of these companies, or any other similar solicitation, and is considering the offer, please, know what it is your are selling, sign nothing without a contract, and don’t sign a contract without talking to an attorney. Protect what is yours, because you would be selling your oil and gas mineral rights, in total, forever. The rights could never be reclaimed. Inform anyone who is willing to listen.


Linda Parlanti

Clifford, PA

Stand Guard America, Stand Firm!

This President Obama is just such a miserable wretch who, in his arrogance and company of his cowardly health czars, is again poised to enslave us with unrestricted abortions.

Incredibly, despite the moral majorities’ continued defeats of all the presidents’ abortion health care proposals by all the pro-life constituents across America, he is hell bent to push it down our throats and make our children and grand children pay. God knows I can’t, I’m too broke to get sick.

We must take full action now. Our constitutional rights can not wait until the next election. We must get in touch with our congressmen and tell them not to accept any legislation that does not contain the Stupak/Pitts Amendment to prohibit abortion funding. Chris Carney has been ignoring this issue. As a catholic he has an obligation before God to defend life. He needs our encouragement and to know our resolve. Call now - 570-585-9988. All our congressmen need to hear from us now! And God save us and our families from this desolating sacrilege. Abortion is the great destroyer of all peace. Let’s stop tolerating this grave evil.


John Mann

Susquehanna, PA

To All School Employees

As President of The Susquehanna Chapter of PASR (Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees), I wish to thank all of the current school employees for their dedication, time, and concern given to further the education of your students. As American Education Week, November 15-21, is celebrated, our members wish to extend thanks and appreciation to all of our local school employees for their commitment to education.

Not only during this week should you be thanked, but throughout the entire school year. May you find fulfillment and reward in each day that you spend in educating your students.


Gary Parker

Montrose, PA

The Graveyard Of The World

Voting for Obama was buying into the promise of a president who would be more reasonable than his pugnacious predecessor. Alas, we bought a pig-in-a-poke. The war and occupation of Iraq is proving to be a bear trap. Its steel jaws clamped into our legs anchoring us where we would be not. The cost: 4,356 dead, ten times that many wounded, and $9 billion a month.

And the pledged draw-down of troops? It's changed to a stepped-up number of troops.

Now Afghanistan beckons our presence. But why was it necessary to invade and occupy an entire nation seven thousand miles away that never did or could harm us? It is a question never asked. The question that is asked is this: How many more troops will be needed? Another bear trap? The cost: 905 dead, 10,000 injured, and $3.6 billion a month.

Here, too, hoped for staged withdrawals have morphed into progressive escalations.

But as terrible as all this is, it pales besides what our meddling could produce in Iran. If Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, then Iran could be the graveyard of the world.

America has been at war with Iran for more than 50 years. Not a war of bombs and bullets, but of intrigue and subversion. The velvet war began in 1953 - well before Iran's nuclear ambitions - when the CIA fomented a successful coup against its democratically elected prime minister.

His replacement was the West-friendly Shah of Iran. But the Shah's increasingly oppressive regime sparked a popular rebellion in 1976 and ushered in a non-West-friendly Islamic Republic. The CIA countered its backfired plot with economic sanctions intended to overthrow the Islamic government. The sanctions, which continue to this day, have also failed.

When, in 1980, Saddam Hussein picked a fight with Iran, the CIA saw a way to recoup lost ground. The U.S. backed Iraq to the hilt with money, spy satellite intelligence, and arms that included poison gas. Iran was the de facto winner. But the eight-year war and one million dead (100,000 from gas) left Iran with unkindly feeling toward the U.S.

President George Bush ratcheted up the silent war in 2008 by authorizing a CIA program with a $400 million budget to destabilize the Iranian republic and create dissension between its two Muslim sects.

The current tiff between Washington and Tehran has to do with Iran's right to enrich uranium for its nuclear reactor. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to enrich uranium. But the U.S. and Israel, citing three United Nations' sanctions, predictably, do not agree.

Yet, Israel, armed with 200 atomic bombs of her own manufacture, is not a signatory of the NPT and is charged by the United Nations with 68 violations of international law.

Recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the fray. With the diplomatic finesse of a NFL linebacker, she threatened “harsh sanctions” if Iran does not comply with the U.N. diktats. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu upped the anti to “crippling sanctions.” Here the secretary and the prime minister cut their mooring lines to reality.

The reality is that our blundering has pushed, nay, shoved Iran into alliances with Russia and China. The three have official diplomatic relations, extensive trade, and are united by common interests.

Oil hungry China has made multi-billion investments in developing Iran's oilfields. She will move swiftly to fill any trade vacuum created by the U.S. And Russia, which has a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's nuclear facilities, together with China, will readily supply Iran with cutting-edge weaponry.

Risky business, this. What happens if Iran refuses to kowtow to U.S. and Israeli demands? Might the crazies in Israel together with their mentally unstable counterparts in the U.S. trigger a war? How would Russia and China react? Does this set the stage for a proxy war with Russia and China supporting Iran as a pawn against the West? And could this spawn the unthinkable war?

All these questions hang on one fundamental query? Will we learn anything at all from our 56-year history of misguided Mideast policy?

“What experience and history teach is this, that people and governments have never learned anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it,” Georg Hegel, 19th century German philosopher.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Payment For A Purple Heart

In the Susquehanna Depot post office, the lights were out and nobody was behind the counter. It was Wednesday last and between normal work hours. And I had to wonder why. On the way back home, I came across a Veterans Day commemoration at the Memorial Board. Yes, I felt a little sheepish.

The people in attendance numbered between one and two dozen. Nowadays, it may well be a little better than expected. I can remember, when far more people would attend a commemoration in town. As I'm writing this, it's happened.

My memory’s been jogged about other occasions that are compatible with Veterans Day. I remember one Memorial Day, when my sister and I attended a mass in Saint John’s cemetery. At the grave of my parents, I can remember tightening the World War I medallion onto its stem.

Likely enough, there will be another such mass in that cemetery, and well attended. Parishioners do read their church bulletin.

The ceremony I came across on that Wednesday last went off pretty well. Rather smartly I thought, Mr. Robert MacNamara, who had spent years in the post office behind the counter, delivered a short speech. People in attendance expressed some welcome for the amenable weather. A Mr. Bob Sokol had on display a jeep such as those that appear in “Band of Brothers.”

An authentic Garand rifle caught my eye. And I did feel the urge to know its heft. However, I refrained from asking its owner for permission. Its stock was so well polished I felt loathe to smudge it with finger prints.

I’m impelled to report hearing a sour note, which has left me with an after taste. A riff of partisan politics blared up in one of those speeches. During a time of two unnecessary wars, I suppose, that’s only to be expected.

Truth be told, I now appreciate that after taste. It reminds me that good citizenship requires more than lawful compliance. Rather abashed, I must admit to lifting one little finger as a patriot.

Sometime before that Wednesday last, I had submitted to another regional periodical a reader’s letter about plastic bandages. On those bandages, there was imprinted a Purple Heart graphic. Supposedly, the intent was to question the integrity of a presidential candidate.

Years after their appearance at that politically partisan jamboree, the memory still rankles me. Oh, I agree I paid very little by way of time at my computer. Compared against what others paid and will pay for their Purple Heart, my payment, my little bit of freedom, is miniscule.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

Please Keep It Clear

Don’t let the “bad weather blues” immobilize you this winter - at least not in areas where your postal letter carrier delivers your mail. Keeping your mailbox and walkways clear of snow and ice so that your letter carrier or other delivery person can safely approach your mailbox or door ensures that you receive the best service in the worst weather.

The Postal Service, which delivers to over 125 million addresses six days a week, has its hands full when winter storms hit. The challenge to provide uninterrupted delivery regardless of the conditions can be accomplished with a little help from our customers.

Here’s what you can do to help:

If you receive delivery of mail to a rural mailbox, you can keep the approach and exit from that box clear of snow. Specifically, clear around the box to allow your carrier to drive up to the box, deposit mail and drive away. The Postal Service realizes this is no small task, but it is very important to ensure safe and timely delivery for everyone on the route.

If your mail is delivered at your residence, the same holds true. Keep the path to your mailbox or slot clear. Delivery personnel, meter readers, friends and family all will benefit from a safe and convenient path to your door.

Safety is a high concern with the Postal Service. Employees are not required to put themselves or their equipment at risk unnecessarily. When walkways or mailbox approaches are not cleared and appear unsafe, delivery can be suspended until the situation is corrected.

Providing a safe access to your mailbox helps letter carriers deliver your mail safely and without interruption.

The men and women of the Susquehanna Post Office want to deliver your mail on time daily. With a little help from the people they serve, this can happen even in the worst of every winter. Thank you for your help in clearing the way.


Jessica Gabriel, OIC

Susquehanna Post Office

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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