Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:49PM - 245 Views

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Mundy's decisive victory came from solid record

I see that some area pundits are quick to attribute state Rep. Phyllis Mundy's decisive win to good fortune and coattails (2 wins have a moral, Nov. 8). One consultant's comment that she should be concerned that a guy with as little as he had came so close as he did is particularly uninformed. An examination of Aaron Kaufer's expense reports shows a great deal of family resources invested in trying to get him his first job – along with vast sums of Republican PAC money from Harrisburg.

You do not send out that much mail and buy TV and radio time with what was called little money.

As to coattails, a quick analysis of the precinct results shows that Phyllis outperformed the top of her ticket while her opponent under-performed his. Whose coattails carried whom? I took a day or two to go over the results in the 120th District. By the way, I used the information garnered from the courthouse. I wonder where the pundits got theirs.

I do agree with one point made in this article: Her (Phyllis Mundy's) solid record and performance as a legislator proved to be more helpful than the (opponent's) attacks were hurtful.

Congratulations, Phyllis Mundy, on a decisive 56 percent win that most folks would consider a landslide, all things considered.

Dan Skok

West Wyoming

Writer calls for support in pancreatic cancer fight

Over the past 30 years there has been a revolution in science and medicine, resulting in increased survival rates for many diseases but, unfortunately, pancreatic cancer has not benefited from these advances.

Historically there are not enough people who know about it. As a result, pancreatic cancer is the only one of the top cancer killers with a five-year survival rate in the single digits, at only 6 percent. Even more alarming is that the disease is anticipated to move from the fourth- to the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020, and possibly as early as 2015.

We must change this. We can.

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. My husband, former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors, and I have pledged to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's Vision of Progress to double the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020.

Now is the time to be a hero in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Please visit www.pancanvision.org to learn more.

Together we can make a difference.

Susan Blum Connors

Media representative

Northeastern PA Affiliate

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network


‘Joker poker' crackdown cripples small businesses

On Oct. 5, Pennsylvanians were subject to a trifecta of government abuse. Federal and state officials seemingly got together and asked themselves this: How can we waste millions of taxpayer dollars, hurt small business and disenfranchise consumers? Got it! Let's take down every mom-and-pop establishment with a ‘joker poker machine.' 

For the past two years they have diverted our limited law enforcement resources away from fighting gang activity, the rampant drug trade and strong-arm robberies to focus on an activity in which there are no victims.

If there were a stupid meter, you could not find one big enough to measure the magnitude of this event. These actions, which are guaranteed to dampen economic prospects throughout the region, were undertaken during the biggest business slowdown since the Great Depression.

Not only is the joker poker trade a victimless crime, it creates sales, income, payroll and property tax revenue streams. One proprietor recently did $3,400 in facility upgrades using money partially funded by joker poker revenue to purchase products locally and have them installed by area tradesman.

One reason proffered for this inane crackdown was this: Casinos were concerned about loss of revenue. Fools! This is an entirely different market that serves the convenience, socialization and entertainment needs of the customer. The patron who spends 20 minutes on a joker poker machine while kibitzing with his friends at his favorite hangout isn't going to rush to the casino where his same dollar amount will last two minutes in the company of strangers.

Keep in mind, small-business owners' illegal proceeds go right back into the local community, purchasing goods and services.

Let's keep it simple: By reducing the economic viability of thousands of Pennsylvanians, there is less disposable income to be spent at casinos and less tax proceeds for the state.

There is a final humiliating slight for our small business owners. Somewhere in the media today will be a state or federal official explaining that the reason sovereign laws aren't enforced against undocumented workers is that they play a vital role in the economy and are just trying to earn a living – a status our Pennsylvania leaders feel the taxpaying, job-creating, mom-and-pop business owners aren't worthy of in their own country.

Kirk Matoushek


Improving baseball skills a year-round endeavor

The baseball season is not over when the World Series ends, it is only the beginning of a new season. This is the time when all baseball players should concentrate on ways to improve their game, including hitting, pitching and fielding. And here are a few tips on how to accomplish this.

Back in the 1930s and '40s, when I was young, all of the hardball players would spend a lot of their summertime playing both hardball and softball. At that time it was easier to get a team together to play softball because all you needed was a softball and bat. Very few kids had a baseball glove. You can learn a lot about playing hardball when you play softball.

In order to get more movement on your fastball (2-seam and 4-seam) you would put all the pressure on your middle finger and very little pressure on your index finger.

Bats made from soft wood (maple) have more give to them when the ball strikes these bats, therefore you reduce the velocity and the distance the ball will travel. But you will have more bat speed.

Many of the hitting coaches teach players how to hit the way they hit. But like most things in life we all have our own way of doing things. And what works for you might not work for me. But there are some fundamental principles that all coaches teach and it is up to each player to fine-tune these principles to fit their own needs.

I have heard a lot of parents say that their son or daughter is not athletically inclined. Nothing could be farther from the truth. All kids are awkward when they first try to do something different. Everything takes time. Sports will improve their minds.

Jacob Corney


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