Editorials / Opinions

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American Justice Works

In the last few weeks, we have seen the American justice system work. A young, white man arrested for political and racial reasons was cleared of all immoral, diabolical accusations. Three white men who ran down a black jogger, were sentenced to prison for their crime.

"Racist" is the favorite accusation of the left when things don't go their way. Anti-Semitism hangs around the neck of the Democrats. That is racism against the Jewish nation, who they openly hate. Speaking of racism, Islam: The Quran itself preaches violence against people who don't believe in Mohammed, you convert to Islam, or they kill you. They promote terrorism.

A Muslim, Rashida Talib, has an obscene, offensive mouth for a lady, to say nothing about a member of Congress. Ilhan Omar, another Muslim married her brother, according to the FBI, so he could obtain a green card. If she did, it is a felony with a prison sentence. Her personal life has been under scrutiny since she was sent to Congress in 2018. FBI records indicate she lived with both men at the same time. There are two more Muslims serving in the house. Why? When terrorism is part of their basic beliefs? Ayanna Pressley is ultra-radical in her views of the function of government. Add Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a waitress and bartender is her training to serve in the House of Representatives. Bernie Sanders, another democratic socialist, known for his opposition to economic inequality and neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is for eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets and lowering trade barriers. Their ideology is influenced by the World Bank, World trade Organization and other agencies of the United Nations. Does America want the United Nations dictating our policies?

The Democrats want to give the illegals pouring in over the border the right to vote. Now is the time to demand voter ID!

America has an election coming up in less than a year. Be part of a grassroots, conservative movement of freedom loving American citizens, to put down this Marxist movement. Investigate the candidate you vote for, call and write and let them know what you want. Remember, you will live under the decisions they make.

Be alert to a smooth tongue and do your part to make America first again in the world. It is time to stand up for American principles.

Sincerely,

Betty Hendsbee, Sebring, FL 33870

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Celebrate Clara Barton's Birthday

"You must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it."

These words from American Red Cross founder Clara Barton – who would have turned 200 in December — continue to serve as a guiding light for today's Red Cross volunteers, donors and partners, who exemplify her compassion and devotion to helping others.

This generous spirit is needed now more than ever. COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on our most vulnerable neighbors, and they're in dire straits when another crisis strikes.

That's where our Red Cross community – of people like you – steps in to provide help and hope. This year, Red Cross volunteers mobilized across the region to support families in the wake of devastating floods caused by Hurricanes Henri and Ida, responded to 936 local disasters – primarily home fires – and provided immediate emergency assistance to 1,600 families during life's emergencies. In turn, many of those same volunteers dedicated their time to response efforts in the south and supported blood collection efforts at a time when the need for this lifesaving resource has never been greater.

This continues to be a time to take care of each other, and what better time to honor Clara's lifesaving legacy than when we celebrate her 200th birthday this holiday season. Join us by making a financial donation, an appointment to give blood or platelets, or becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit redcross.org to learn more about how you can make a difference for those in need.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Bond, Regional Chief Executive, American Red Cross of Western New York

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Decision Undercuts Senior Support

Pennsylvania has a long history of providing a high level of services and supports to its older residents, through administrations and legislative leadership of both political parties. I worked in the Aging Network in Pennsylvania from 1973 until 2002, including having the honor of serving as Secretary of Aging under Governor Tom Ridge and Deputy Secretary of Aging under Governor Bob Casey. I have remained interested in the evolution of the Aging Network in Pennsylvania and enjoy periodic discussions with friends and colleagues as well as others who have served as Secretary since 2002. I have been asked to share my concerns regarding a pending action by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding one of the most important pieces in how older people and persons with disabilities access critical services in Pennsylvania.

A few years ago, the Commonwealth decided to completely change how long-term services and supports will be administered, relying on multiple commercial managed care companies to organize provider networks and control delivery of services. The merits of that decision, while debatable, are not the reason for this letter. Rather, I am writing regarding another decision. This year, Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services decided to stop supporting Area Agencies on Aging as the local access point to services, including performing individual assessments of need, and give the money to Maximus US Services, Inc., a for-profit international company.

Long-Term Services and Supports, what used to be called Long Term Care, is complicated. The need for care is often accompanied by a crisis as the person in need and the family and friends struggle to come to grips with uncertainty, the fear of an inability to have needs met, and bewilderment about who pays for what. Assessment of need is the most crucial element in the whole process of assuring that access to service starts with a clear understanding of what a person needs and how those needs can be met in the community where that persons wants to live. Assuring that the information about the needs of consumers is gathered carefully, objectively, and with an awareness of local circumstances is needed to assure that services are truly responsive to consumers and their families. Most important of all, that information needs to come from a trusted and knowledgeable resource.

In recognition of that need, the Commonwealth has been growing and improving that trusted local resource, Area Agencies on Aging, since the early 80's. Through all of the changes in national and state policy relating to older people and the services being made available, including responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the Area Agencies on Aging have been on the ground in Pennsylvania cities, towns and in between to assure that the needs of older people in all parts of the Commonwealth are identified and responded to. And, like all forms of public service, that network of agencies requires support.

There is a lot of information that argues that Maximus is not a good choice. I will leave that for DHS to investigate. My contention is that this decision is a bad idea in the first place. Pennsylvania's Area Agencies on Aging have built a strong foundation of expertise and a track record that shows it. This decision does two bad things. It cuts resources that help local agencies do all of the things that need to be done, and it risks doing these critical assessments badly by undercutting the expertise that has been built and performing most of these assessments remotely.

This decision should be reversed.

Sincerely,

Richard Browdie, Alexandria, VA

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