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Issue Home November 25, 2009 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Gas Drilling & The Down-Side

I live near Dimock, in Brooklyn, and have been giving tours of the gas sites and homes whose water wells have been negatively affected to media and groups that are interested in seeing first-hand what gas drilling is doing to our environment.

Water wells are being vented for gases and tanks are hooked up to the water wells to provide water for bathing and cooking and bottled water is being delivered weekly to homes by Cabot Gas Co.

I am part of a Citizens Watch Group called Citizens of Clean Water and watching the gas sites and filming and calling the DEP for possible violations and the media to let them know how our environment and land and water is being polluted.

If you are interested in joining us and want a tour of Dimock and the sites to see first-hand the noise, light, air, water, land pollution, call me at 570-289-4845.

See if you really want this type of industry on our land and in our environment challenging our health and welfare.


Vera Scroggins

Citizens for Clean Water

Heavy Transportation Impact

As stated in the November 13, "New Discussions At Rail Authority" story: Natural gas requires large numbers of vehicles, huge amounts of water and numerous other large equipment and materials which could easily be transported by rail rather than causing an enormous amount of damage to county roads. The large increase of heavy traffic also adds concerns of safety while driving within the county.

County roads are already being brutalized by the trucks, heavy instruments and drilling rigs currently on hand, as can be seen if you pay attention to the pavement breaking away in areas where rigs and trucks are in constant and/or frequent use.

According to several municipality officials, there are concerns that the use of this heavy equipment hauled across the roads will not only result in roadways needing repair, but that these repairs may result in the form of increased taxes for local taxpayers, thus opening another can of worms for already burdened homeowners.

Officials stated that county/state roads in this area are not built to stand up under the constant weight and pressure caused by the natural gas equipment.

It is also being discussed and investigated that these natural gas materials may be freighted by rail, thus reducing the amount of county/municipal roads being ruined by too heavy, too many vehicles on the roadways.

Although that is only one aspect of the discussions currently being investigated by the Rail Authority, it is believed that a positive economic impact for the county could be a possibility by utilizing the on growing rail transportation and shipping/hauling methods.

Not one to give up easily on a positive outlook for economic growth in Susquehanna County, The Rail Authority hopes that the discussions could be an answer to not only helping with natural gas hauling and transportation, and bringing economic growth to the area, but believes that by bringing the rail into Susquehanna county it could be one of the main connections on the “growing” Hoboken, NJ through Scranton line which will travel to Binghamton, NY, and locations further north.

One thing is certain; The Susquehanna County Rail Authority isn’t giving up hope for bringing rail transportation and economic growth for our Susquehanna County taxpayers.

Information on OnTrackPennsylvania’s 8-point track includes: (1) Make freight transportation a cause the entire state can get behind. (2) Reconnect shippers, planners, and policymakers to the value of rail transpiration. (3) Alter or reverse the marketplace forces that are damaging transportation efficiency. (4) Measure and compare the total costs and impacts of each transport mode, and of the entire system, as a whole. (5) Establish a set of land use codes specifically for commercial development and freight transportation. (6) Stimulate the rail, trucking and waterway industries to establish a comprehensive, coordinated, business plan for growth. (7) Employ new and innovative methods of applying public and private sector funding for transportation system improvements. And (8) Institute a new permanent stakeholder think-tank to ensure ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors in the implementation of this business plan. *More information on OnTrackPennsylvania, may be found at: http://www.ontrackamerica.org/document/introduction.

The Susquehanna County Rail Authority has also expressed concern and development of these same ideals throughout its existence.


Carole M. Canfield

Montrose, PA

The Portentous Death Of Norma Levitt

Norma Levitt was one of some 8,000 patients in 1989 who entered a hospital for hip replacement. During this routine surgery, Norma required a transfusion. Anticipating this need, Norma had previously donated a unit of blood. Minutes after a transfusion of her own blood, Norma Levitt died on the operating table.

Deaths from this procedure are rare. Something went terribly wrong. An investigation revealed that the OR nurse had heated the blood to be transfused in a microwave (MW) oven rather than in a warming cabinet. The family of Norma Levitt sued for wrongful death alleging that the MW heated blood had caused her death.

After years of litigation, the case was settled in favor of the plaintiffs. But how could MW heating so drastically alter the nature of blood? Isn't heating by conventional means and MWs the same?

MW heating is as different from conventional heating as a stroll in a park is from a cat-assisted jet takeoff from a carrier.

Water molecules are magnets; they have a north pole and a south pole. MW radiation causes the water molecules in food to reverse polarity at a mind boggling 2.5 billion times a second. The extreme violence of this agitation creates friction and that generates heat. The ferocity of motion is such that it rips apart some compounds, deforms others, creates biologically foreign substances, and degrades the quality of food.

There is evidence that the convenience of MW prepared food comes at a price and that price is the nutritional quality of food.

Experiments performed at the Institute of Radio Technology in the Soviet Union showed decreases in the nutritional quality of all the foods tested, some as much as 90 percent. Based on these findings, the Soviet Union outlawed MW ovens in 1976. But when the Berlin wall came down so did the law banning MW ovens. Consumer demand trumped science.

Dr. Hans Hertel and Dr. Bernard Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology performed similar experiments with food in 1989 and obtained similar results. Microwaving food degraded its nutritional quality. More disturbing, deleterious changes in the blood of those who participated in the experiment were also observed and measured.

The University of Minnesota published this in 1989: “Heating the [baby] bottle in a microwave can cause slight changes in the milk. In infant formulas, there may be a loss of some vitamins. In expressed breast milk, some protective properties may be destroyed.”

Three years later, the “Journal of Pediatrics” reported that human breast milk that was MW just enough to warm it destroyed as much as 98 percent of some compounds which inhibit bacterial infection.

Lita Lee, a PhD in chemistry, wrote the seminal book, “Health Effects of Microwave Radiation.” In it she documented a positive relationship between certain types of cancers in consumers of MW food. In a separate but related issue, she also noted that harmful radiation is emitted from every MW oven.

However, the MW industry argues that food heated in a MW oven is not denatured anymore than conventionally cooked foods. But this conclusion is colored with self-interest.

The worldwide sale of MW ovens is about 50 million a year. Given the average price of $150 per MW oven, this is an industry that grosses an annual $7.5 billion. They have the economic resources to fund research and publicize results favorable to their industry.

On the other hand, there are no economic incentives and scant resources to finance impartial and in-depth research on the effects of MW on food and on the long-term health consequences of those who consume it.

Granted, having a MW oven won't kill you unless, perchance, one is dropped from a ten-story building on your head. However, it is a reasonable assumption that MW food can affect one's health in varied and subtle ways.

Some may wonder, is it better to err on the side of safety and not use MV ovens at all or, perhaps, just occasionally? The answer depends upon the degree you value convenience over health.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

New “Guide Lines?”

Are you aware that the government’s H.H.S. Preventative Services’ Task Force panel has proposed new guidelines on breast cancer screenings? The guidelines show they are against annual screenings for women 40-49 and advise women 50-74 to have a mammogram every other year, plus they are discouraging breast self-examination and declare it harmful due to the anxiety it produces.

This is unacceptable! Every 68 seconds, a woman dies from breast cancer. Doesn’t that statistic reinforce the importance of early detection? Ask the woman who breathed a sigh of relief when her lump was found to be benign, or the individual going through rigorous treatment for a discovered mass.

Supposedly, the guidelines could be used to “cut costs” if government-run health insurance becomes law, which will be another example of no regard for the patient. The panel’s guidelines are in direct opposition to the recommendations of the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Is any amount that could be saved worth a person’s life?

We are your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, etc. Do not dismiss us! Listen to us! Breast cancer screenings are not only reserved for females as male breast cancer is on the rise. If a man discovers a lump, are they going to be denied a screening? No one relishes going for a mammogram, but we realize how life-saving a procedure it is and the importance of being pro-active where our health is concerned, not only for ourselves, but also to our family and generations to come.

These purposed guidelines are ridiculous! It is time our voices are heard! Please email, write or call your representatives. Let them know our opinions count. These guidelines seem to be an orchestrated effort to demean and degrade the best health care system in the world. Don’t let this happen! What's next? Pap smears are unnecessary also?


Nancy Narma

Susquehanna, PA

GMVC Is Gratefull

On September 22 a group of residents from the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton journeyed north through the falling leaves of autumn to American Legion Post 86 in Susquehanna. Those who had made the trip before knew exactly what to expect, a day of good food and fun. Post members greeted the residents as they arrived and immediately made them feel right at home with a mug of coffee, a crisp soda or even a cold beer. Gracious host, Trustee Tom Hurley, made the rounds, introducing himself and chatting. Post Commander Peter Janicelli welcomed all with a handshake and a smile.

Residents gathered in small groups and talked, passing the few minutes before lunch. Some traded tales of their experiences in the Merchant Marines, while another reminisced about her days as an Army nurse. One of the GMVC residents recounted the Battle of Iwo Jimo, in which he fought as a brave young Marine. Several of the visitors even had surprising ties to the area: one had worked as a home health aide in Susquehanna, and another had served as the local Air Force recruiter.

Lunch came in the form of roast pork, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, halupkies, buttered corn and rolls. A slice of chocolate cream or lemon meringue pie concluded the fantastic meal. With loosened belts and grinning faces the residents spent the rest of the afternoon playing games of chance and visiting. By the time the GMVC vans once again pointed south, new friends had been made, delicious food had been enjoyed, and memories of a pleasant fall afternoon had been formed.

Staff and residents of the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center extend thanks to the kind members of American Legion Post 86 for another wonderful outing. The visit to Susquehanna is always among the most awaited days on the schedule, and well worth the long ride.


Michael Rapp

Admissions & Marketing Coordinator, GMVC

The President Agrees With Me

Somebody had to reprimand me. In my “Purple Heart” reader’s letter, I neglected to mention the presence of American Legion members at the Veterans Day commemoration. And so, with this letter, I hope to make up for that negligence. According to historians, who concern themselves with social developments, the nation owes the American Legion a great deal.

The American Legion pushed hard to get the G.I. Bill of 1944 onto the books. In fact, that enabled my brother Lou and my brother Ang to attend college. With regard to “social engineering,” which is both monumental and beneficial, those same historians rank it pretty high up there. When I was in college, a mathematics professor told me it ranked with women’s suffrage and President Johnson’s civil rights legislation.

I guess this is as good a place as any for me to pass a little judgment on President Barack Hussain Obama. Truth be told, I am heartened by his taking his sweet time with regard to sending more troops into that Afghan meat grinder. President Obama agrees with me that, as an option, accepting defeat in that rock pile is non-existent. And why so comes primarily in the difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Like Vegas, what happened in Vietnam stayed in Vietnam. Afghanistan is a totally different situation. Just as the President agrees with me that victory is the only option, he also agrees with me on another point. Victory will require two avenues of attack: one through military strength and the other through psychological sagacity.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

I Bow, Humbly

I just read where a Bradford County man wants us to fly the American flag at half mast, while our men and women are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. This struck a chord with me. You see, we now have a man as president who told us that he was against mandatory health insurance and now he wants to fine me, put me in jail, and I guess shoot me to get me there if I don't submit and become his slave by buying insurance or paying a fine! So as Congressman Carney and Sen. Casey are openly trying to make me a slave we are asking our brave men and women to die in foreign lands to make them free!

I say fly all flags at half mast until Congress and President Obama honor their pledge to the US Constitution and stop trying to make health insurance mandatory. It is unconstitutional. Never in the history of the United States have our laws demanded that you buy a product.

It has to be a very sad period in the lives of those who have seen battle in our defense. I bow, humbly to every one of them.


Joseph DuPont

Towanda PA

Freedom - Save Whatever Is Left

By the time you read this, you will pretty much know whether the government is going to take over 16% of our economy, adding to what they have already gobbled up. I mean that the Senate will have voted to move Obamacare to the floor for debate, or it has not. In the event that it has, irrespective of the denials to the contrary, there will be a positive vote for this power grab at the end of the day. If enough senators are not ready to sign on to this monumental power grab, the vote will be defeated, attributable by no little means to the anger pouring out from the people and the politician’s fear of losing their next election. Fortunately, enough time has passed and enough talk has taken place that a majority of the citizens of our country have expressed their opposition to the bill. Even if it were the best, fairest and most affordable health care bill ever passed, we are not by any means in the financial condition to take on this enormous entitlement program. Our economy is in the crapper and there are few signs of improvement anywhere but in government hiring and spending. If Congress passes this bill, you will know without a scintilla of doubt that the goals of the Progressive movement trump the needs and wishes of the electorate. The people be damned and the hardship and misery which will follow are matters of little concern (brought on by the inevitable devaluation of our dollar).

On another subject, did you happen to pick up a copy of Newsweek with Sarah Palin on the cover? Newsweek admitted to poaching the picture from Runners World, June 2009. Now why would they do that? To me the answer is obvious. They, and all of the Liberal Progressives in the elite media are scared to death of her and are going to do their damnest to portray her in any manner which they believe will make her less attractive as a presidential candidate. I have news for them - take a look at this woman - she has five kids and she is hot and smart. She is loved in her home state, but we should ignore that because they, the Alaskans, must be a bunch of hicks. Ok, so in her first appearance on the national scene she came out less than the most skilled in dealing with the national media. They hated her from the get-go because she stood for all those things which they despised, like sanctity of life, fiscal responsibility, anti-cronyism and devotion to family, God and country. Go beyond the cover to the articles written about her in that magazine. The charges are ludicrous and should be properly attributed to the Obama administration and the party in power. I would have laughed if it were not so serious. For the media to still be after her at this late date proves to me that they are terrified.


Joe McCann,

Elk Lake, 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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