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Issue Home July 7, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Help Us Celebrate

I’m a long time citizen of Great Bend, PA. Some very good people are trying to organize a celebration for the town.

Great Bend Borough is 150 years, this 2010. The celebration is scheduled for July 16 and 17.

My concern is we need information from the citizens to continue with plans.

Any citizens who have any pictures, clippings, antiques, books, anything from the centennial or older, we invite them to display for all to see.

We are looking for any females 16 to 19, residing in Great Bend, to apply for the Great Bend Queen 2010.

Also looking for the oldest and youngest citizen residing in Great Bend.

Anyone with information about the above can contact Cindy VanGorden at 570-879-5041, or Ruth Loucks at 570-879-2192, by July 12.

We hope our meet and greet night will be a great way for the residents of Great Bend to see old neighbors and meet new friends.

Most of the organizations and businesses are working hard to have a fun day on Saturday, July 17; we are still looking for participants for the parade. You can also call Cindy or Ruth for more information.


Ruth Loucks

Great Bend, PA

Who Knows?

Back in the day, I was responsible for a small fleet of trucks. In this day, I only concern myself with just a couple, which seems to be more hassle than warranted. I watch as a whole compliment of uniforms, and some not so uniformed, convened on a local state site and started pulling in trucks and trailers. I honestly thought it was a big drug bust, or murder. The Hazmat boys were there too. That is when I realized that the elected officials are now out to destroy another industry in the name of health and safety.

Hogwash. I know some of those boys that drive trucks and they are no more, or less, outlaws than the car driving populace. If anything the price of losing your livelihood, the CDL license, makes them more alert. The complaint is that trucks are somehow able to "get away" with not being in compliance. Are you kidding me?! There is so much governmental regulation in the trucking industry, a small operator struggles to pay for all the license, permits, stickers, insurance, tires, fuel, and breakdown parts, and then has to ride a 1% profit to deliver to the consumer the product. All the while the customer argues your price seems high for a load of stone.

Anyone who would dispute these facts, is not involved in the industry, and believes all the media slant regarding the ignorance they spew out about trucks. True, there are accidents with trucks; usually the accident is caused by inexperienced drivers, and the mistaken belief that all those tires must stop quicker.

The data reported regarding all the violations that trucks have is true. The officers know there is no such thing as perfection, and if you want to keep the tithing down, you let them find something, then you aren't losing time/money while they search. It was common for me to pay "overload" tithing once a month on a truck. It was such a racket, at one time the officers would pull over a driver, remember that they pulled him over last month, and would get word out whose turn it was. I would then plead guilty, and tithe.

I guess my beef with these practices is the level of harassment that often accompanies such ways. There is a fine line between enforcement and profiling.

I know that economic stimulus money is being spent to create a society of government workers, and not so much for the labor class, yet I would be mindful that in the long run, the very trucks you come to depend on, will not have access to you, due to bridge weights and impounds of trucks and the drivers, excessive tithing. These things also drive prices up, and quality down. If we get what we want, no trucks on the roads, will we have access to rail? Or isn't that something to consider, the mistaken belief that these good laws would really make trucks obsolete in some areas of the country, and hardship in another area. Just a thought. We as citizens already know the politicians are sketchy, who knows what wording is in these new laws, and how will they hurt you?


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Busted Gut

During the last days of disco music and dancing and recreational inhalant, young people gyrated and swayed to the tune of self-control. Our British cousins are reputed to possess that character trait in spades. In the face of adversity, they keep a “stiff upper lip.”

Just so happens, that’s only half of the story. It took Texas Representative Joe Barton’s apology to the then CEO of British Petroleum (BP) to bring that other half to light. It must have taken all the put-upon Tony Hayward could do to keep from laughing

In every crowd, there are nay-sayers. And so, I urge them to review the tape segment, during which Hayward is listening to Barton’s apology. Had I been in Hayward’s shoes, I would’ve fallen off the chair with a gut-wrenching guffaw.

Truth be told, I actually agreed at the time with Representative Barton that BP had been subjected to a “Chicago-style shakedown.” As a result, allegedly, British Petroleum put into escrow some twenty billion (with a “B”) dollars ($20,000,000,000). Thanks to that shamelessly avowed liberal Keith Olberman. I for one now know better. There was no need to strong-arm BP, so Mr. Olberman reported.

All on their own, the good people at BP brought the proposal of so much money to the table. Quite candidly, I’m reminded of the time I ran over somebody’s cat. To assuage the owner, I offered the princely sum of two dollars and thirty-nine cents as recompense. $2.39 was all the cash I had on me at the time.

For Hayward, maybe, it was a good thing that Representative Barton failed to follow through to the logical conclusion of his apology. I can speculate that failure spared Hayward a trip to the Intensive Care Unit with a busted gut. Barton could’ve called upon President Barack Hussain Obama Junior to return the money to BP.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

It's Raining Oil

Just as the running-wild gusher is poisoning the Gulf's ocean of water and all the denizens of that world, evidence is fast accumulating that it is also poisoning the ocean of air and all the inhabitants of that world - including us.

Crude oil is a witch's brew of 200 highly toxic chemicals. A number of these toxins are extremely volatile; it is these that are the harmful components of raw oil. Floating on the surface of warm Gulf waters and exposed to the sun's heat, volatile compounds change rapidly from a liquid to a gas. Some of these vapors rise into the clouds, others are carried along by the wind close to ground level.

During the summer, the primary wind pattern is a sea breeze. It blows off the Gulf's water to the shore. To people near the shore, the scent is not one of seawater and fresh air but the nauseating odors of gasoline and kerosene. They are not only ruinous to a pleasant day at the beach but are in concentrations that are hazardous to health.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detected volatile components of crude over the Gulf states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Expressed as a ratio of one part per billion, they far exceed safety standards: hydrogen sulphide, 240 times; benzene, 750 times; methane chloride, 56 times. The list could continue with dangerous levels of other poisonous gases: pentane, propane, ethane, butane, and many more. (Methane is nontoxic.)

And BP is once again managing to make the situation worse.

The dispersant that BP is spraying on and under the Gulf is 60 percent 2-Butoxyethanol, a volatile carcinogen. It is readily absorbed by the skin and lungs.

The warning label on the oil dispersant that BP is using reads as follows: “Keep container tightly closed. Avoid breathing vapor. Use adequate ventilation. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of soap and water. Wear suitable protective clothing.”

Exposure to petroleum's vapors, some of which are odorless, can exact a physical toll. The EPA warns coastal residents to “stay indoors if you smell oily odors and avoid physical activities that put extra demands on your lungs. If you experience severe incidents of nausea, shortness of breath call your poison center.”

Respiratory problems and flu-like symptoms were common among cleanup workers in the 1989 Prudhoe Bay oil spill. It was called “the Valdez Crud.” Coastal residents are complaining of similar maladies and problems with memory and concentration, upset stomach, and heightened sensitivity to petroleum-based products. These symptoms have become so common that they, too, have earned a name, TILT, or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance.

“The effects [of petroleum's volatile components] can be immediate, short-term effects to possible long-term effects, including neurological ailments and cancers, [that] can take weeks to years to appear,” according to Scott Barnhart, a professor of occupational health at the University of Washington.

But what about those fumes that are lofted into the clouds? It appears that they later descend with rain?

Residents of several coastal states report mysterious crop damage. Tiny white dots covering the leaves in a rain-spatter pattern of all types of plants: crops, flowers, trees, even weeds. They burn through the leaves and damage the plant. One farmer fears the loss of hundreds of acres of corn.

Corexit, BP's highly toxic oil dispersant, is suspected to be the causative agent. A reasonable assumption since this volatile chemical is sprayed by plane over large areas of the Gulf sea. Particles could be wafted inland by a sea breeze or blown up into clouds.

Though the nonvolatile parts of petroleum do not evaporate, choppy waters can aerosolize them. Wind could then carry the micro-droplets up into the clouds.

Coastal residents report driving through gray rain. Windshield wipers only smeared the rainwater. Drivers said the water had the odor and feel of oil. (see youtube.com/it's raining oil)

Meteorologists predict almost a score of tropical storms including three hurricanes. What exactly will happen when the wind drives the oily water and gases inland or hurricanes suck up millions of tons of Gulf water to deposit it inland as rain? No one knows. It's never happened before.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, 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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