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Mailbag: Letters from readers


February 27. 2013 8:22PM
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Writer takes umbrage with Boy Scout cartoon

This column is a response to the Citizens Voice editorial cartoon of Feb. 11, 2013 which ridiculed a first-rate and much needed organization: the Boy Scouts of America.

The push to force the BSA to include openly gay members and leaders is a ruse, for gay scouts have always served. They were “in the closet” which is where everybody’s sexuality should be. It’s nobody’s business. And don’t compare this to our military. We’re talking minors here. The Scouts have a problem with the term “open.” Does “open” include troubled boys who decide to wear make-up or scoutmasters who are transgendered? These scenarios aren’t farfetched. If the Boy Scouts cave to these demands, they’re finished. Make no mistake about it, the envelope will be pushed. The BSA will be tested to see if they’ve evolved enough to satisfy the radical gay-rights crowd. Parents will object, lawsuits will follow, parents will pull their sons, bye-bye Boy Scouts, and dare I say it? I prefer normal men in leadership positions, not “men” who have doubts whether they’re really men at all. To the cartoonist who mocked the Eagle Scout Badge, do you really believe the character of men such as astronaut and Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong has gone the way of the dodo? Dear God, for our countries sake, I pray you are wrong..

Fran McMullen

Wilkes-Barre

Time to take a serious look at fracking

The DEP emissions report summarized in the article of 2/22 says more about what DEP and the EPA allow than what they forbid. A glance at the results shows that both government bodies permit multi-billion dollar gas corporations to spew hundreds of thousands ppm of disease-causing, environment-destroying chemicals into our air and our water. Laws that authorize the contamination of air and water directly contravene the rights articulated in our state constitution: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.”

We call upon our officials, elected and appointed, to protect our rights as per their oath of office. It’s time we took a serious look at the long term effects of hydraulic fracturing and condemn it for the unethical practice it is. Pillaging our waterways of millions of gallons of water a day and releasing radioactive chemicals from shale is just the beginning of the infrastructure of destruction. Every step of the gas processing industry releases toxic substances into our environment. The long-term implications are ominous to say the least. The DEP’s efforts to trumpet these alarmingly modest declines simply serve to dish up the truth. We are being contaminated with the blessing of agencies meant to protect us.

Who reaps the profits? Gas companies whose best profit accrues from freezing this gas and transporting it overseas. Certain politicians whose campaign coffers are fattened by the gas corporations’ contributions. In the meantime, our gas bills have not decreased nor are we willing to sacrifice our health and welfare to save a few nickels on the dollar. The DEP’s characterization of the gas industry’s impact as “light” is collusion, not protection.

Frances O’ Shea

Robert Kovitch

West Wyoming

Hey Washington, try listening to our advice

Our government elects can not get it together on where, when or how to save money. Well I think as Americans we should help them with ideas. We can make suggestions like why not carry out death sentences?. Boy would that be a big savings on the American people. What happend to speedy trials. We have been supporting Hugo Selinski for 10 years. What a waste of tax payers money. We can stop sending arms over to countries that turn around and use them on our soldiers and there fellow citizens. We can cut out one or two of the Presidents vacations. After all if he is really concerned with saving the tax payers dollar he should not mind. Maybe we can cut a meal out a day in the prisons. Cut out some time off for congress until we reach a budget. Why are we wasting our money on border guards that are not allowed to do there job now. Since we have an open door policy and you get everything for free if you come here. Why not have a regulation for dead beat moms and dads or a new welfare policy. If you can not support the children you have you should not have any more for someone else to pay for . Disaster Victims can not get help from our government without red tape , Yet If there is a disaster overseas we are the first to send money we do not have over there. How many countries come to the aid of the United States in a Disaster? Any of the countries you have sent planes or guns to? There is a lot of people who have made suggestions , but is Washington listening?

Maure Devers

Dorrance Township

Data doesn’t back up idea of arming teachers

The commentary by Robert Griffin, psychologist published in the Times Leader February 24th was excellent. The first paragraph statistics relaying that there has been no violence or shootings in Wyoming Valley Schools in over 200 years and that 55 million children go to school safely without incident every day questions the rationale of placing armed teachers or officers in our schools. As a Ph.D. holder I have been schooled in decision-making based on valid data, the statistics do not justify the need to place weapons in schools. If ever there was an over reaction to an event(s) this may be the one theoretical solution that may in fact cause more problems than it prevents.

Currently retired, I have held teaching and administrative positions in four states at the secondary and university levels. Along with state of the art curriculum and quality facilities, as stated by Dr. Griffin an atmosphere free of suspicion and distrust state the need for healthy school environments such as a positive staff, and adequate counseling personnel. Having spent five years with the PA Department of Corrections as a Director of Education I support Dr. Griffin’s conclusion that the schools are closely resembling the prisons with their cameras, metal detectors and even personal searches. The commentary points out: “In overreacting to dramatic rare events many schools are using more and more tactics and procedures borrowed from the prison systems, creating toxic environments socially and psychologically.”

My favorite commentary Griffin statement: “The presence of police in schools distorts the proper relationship between students and teachers, and ultimately undermines teachers’ power and authority. Teachers need to demonstrate that they are in charge of the school environment and that it is a safe place where positive socialization, school spirit, and nurturing occur.” All to often administration and the superintendent assume that teacher’s know and understand this role; many do not, good subject for in-service.

In a prior letter to the editor I suggested that if a district is hell bent on an armed officer, the officer should be in street clothes and be a resource officer offering classroom instruction. Consideration should be given to retired law enforcement officers. Under no circumstances should teachers be “trained” to carry weapons. If over reaction is in order let it be for students not meeting academic standards, absenteeism, and dropout rates. The data shows that in 200 years school shootings have not occurred in Wyoming Valley; statistics show that in 200 years student achievement, student attendance student retention has steadily declined. Dr. Griffin states, “Indeed, research shows that the most reliable predictor of violence in schools is the level of respect shown between students, and between students and teachers.” The same may be true of student achievement. Great piece Robert E. Griffin, psychologist.

Richard A. Holodick

Wilkes Barre




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