Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:18AM - 317 Views

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‘Gentleman' Jim recalled as good city councilman

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Jim McCarthy. His progressive ideas and resolutions were often scoffed at by his fellow city council members during his term of service in Wilkes-Barre.

Many of those same ideas would later evolve into popular acceptance while giving no credit to Jim's efforts. He was a valued friend and my staunch ally in fighting for more stringent child protection regulations in the region despite constant resistance from the Mayor and council.

I will keep Gentlemen Jim in my heart and remember him fondly as a man who always took the high road and always did the good work.

Consider all the risks of artificial sweeteners

Many weight-conscious residents will try to cut back on calories by using artificial sugars and sweeteners. Sounds like the perfect plan right? In reality, those artificially flavored packets are filled with poison.

Aspartame is in common comfort foods that we all enjoy including cereal, frozen desserts, coffee beverages, soft drinks, yogurt, and even breath mints. It's been studied that aspartame causes birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, emotional disorders, seizures and even death. It also could trigger migraine headaches, dizziness, cramping, and stomach pain.

The FDA does everything in its power to cover up the negative, harmful effects this sweetener produces. Aspartame was tested on lab rats, and it was found to cause the rodents dangerous side effects, yet they did not take these findings into account when approving it for us, the human population.

It's my responsibility to warn all of you about the toxin you're putting in your bodies.

I personally experienced the negative effects of this secret killer. Without realizing the risks, I was religiously using up to eight packets of Splenda a day, not counting the sugar-free gum and yogurt I was also consuming. Usually a happy healthy girl, my life was turned upside down after having a seizure that no doctor could explain. A very talented and intelligent chiropractor soon showed me the research done on aspartame.

The sick truth is that the U.S. Congress is doing absolutely nothing to protect all of us from the dangers of this chemical that's sold in every single grocery store.

Please take time to reevaluate what's going into your body.

Puzzled by TL change, surprised by resolution

My husband and I have been subscribers to The Times Leader for very many years. I looked forward to the WonderWord puzzle in each Sunday edition; however, I was not finding it in the paper for the past three weeks and thought it had been discontinued.

When I called to share my dismay, editor Joe Butkiewicz told me that the puzzles had been moved to the Comics section -- a section that doesn't interest me. Not only did Joe offer to provide the three weeks of puzzles that I missed, he personally delivered them to my doorstep the very next day.

Thanks, Joe, for the great service and for supporting my addiction.

Worker still waiting for trickle down to pay off

I found out something today about redistribution of income. I found out that Republicans have been right all along.

Redistribution of wealth is taking place. It has been for quite a long time. But it's going in the opposite direction of what they claim. It seems that the percentage of income from wages and salaries to GDP is the lowest since World War II.

It also seems that the percentage of income from after tax corporate profits to GDP is the highest since World War II. Do you suppose there's any correlation here?

So investment profits are growing, but working for a living is shrinking in profits. In other words you may be working harder, but you ain't making more.

Surprised? It's the same old story, the rich get richer, the rest of pay for it. So if we keep giving more tax breaks to the rich and don't tax money made offshore, the more we pay and the more they keep. Hey, a GE investor gets to keep more of his profits than a GE worker gets to keep of his paycheck. Ronald Reagan promised 30 years ago, that some of that would start to trickle down. I'm still waiting.

Now, I realize things take time, but I'm beginning to think that a lottery ticket has a better chance of helping me than a rich man's trickle down does.

Newtown tragedy should prompt lawmaker action

In the wake of almost every tragedy in the United States we seem to take certain steps out of the gate, but soon our concerns fade away. Our lives are busy, and families are having difficult enough times just making ends meet. A few weeks after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., I realized that this tragedy was different for me. It is not going away.

Last Friday, I circulated a bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives calling on colleagues to help secure funding for resource officers in our elementary schools.

As a parent, as well as a state official, I have listened to testimony ranging from parent groups and teachers, to law enforcement and school district administration. The overwhelming concern is concentrated within securing our schools and protecting our children.

Over the course of this past week I have been inspired by my colleagues from Pennsylvania. In conversations and meetings concerning school security, I have forgotten what political party I am speaking with. Instead, I have shared and listened to stories about our children, our experiences as parents and the importance of having safe communities and schools.

I believe we are living through that certain moment in time when lawmakers either pay heed to the concerns of our families, or they turn their backs for good.

If you share our concerns, please sign the petition to fund school resource officers in our elementary schools at www.pahouse.com/Haggerty.

Send us your opinion

Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.

• Email: mailbag@timesleader.com

• Fax: 570-829-5537

• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1

Sue Skrypek Dallas Michelle Lehman Slocum Township Rev. Ann Marie Acacio Swoyersville Ed Cole Clarks Summit State Rep. Kevin Haggerty D-Lackawanna

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