Last updated: March 16. 2013 8:19PM - 1135 Views

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Bad regional attitude spoils shale potential

Some years ago I attended a meeting at Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus to learn about natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania in the area called Marcellus Shale that runs through our Northern Tier counties, including Luzerne County.

I came out of that lecture and question sessions with the excitement of a kid with a new toy. I have gone to six other meetings but depression has set in. I have signed a lease in the meantime and spent over four hours at two different times in the office of a company called XTD, based in Fort Worth, Texas, to learn first-hand about the operation of the actual drilling and fracking of the shale to obtain gas.

After reading the articles, letters to the editor, talk show callers, and a TV show on station WVIA, I cannot believe the critics, pessimists, the downers, not one caller or letter writer was in support of gas drilling in this state. Here is a chance to bring some real worth to this state, which as you know, along with Luzerne County, is in desperate financial need. What a spirit-killing area!

Had Tom Edison, Henry Ford, and the Wright brothers done their work in Pennsylvania, with the attitude here we would be riding in horse-drawn wagons, reading by candle light or whale oil and the only things flying would be the pigeons in Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square. The middle ages are alive and well in Pennsylvania.

Fred Murray Shavertown

This time, ‘dire’ cuts didn’t hurt that much

President Obama vehemently told us the sequester cuts, which he devised in 2011, would cause flight delays, worker furloughs, laid off teachers, empty firehouses, tainted meat, and unsecured borders when they went into effect on March 1. However, as of March 7 (the date I’m writing this) nothing has happened other than the Dept. of Homeland Security releasing 2,000 inmates citing the sequester, the White House closing its doors to visitors and the Transportation Security Administration spending $50 million on new uniforms. So by starting his scare tactics so early and so comically, Obama looks like the Keynesian who cried “Wolf!”.

But don’t be fooled. The game is still on. A recent U.S. Dept. of Agriculture internal email from Eastern Regional Director Charles S. Brown to his subordinates contains this statement regarding the sequester cuts, “So, it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” This clearly denotes the USDA is being told to make sure maximum pain is inflicted as promised by Obama. And that Obama’s overall message to his cohorts regarding the sequester cuts is “The Worse, The Better”.

Obama’s obvious reason for doing this is because he wants to make the Republicans the villains in the sequestration, which will hopefully enable his party to regain the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2014 mid-term elections. That would give his party majority control of the three federal branches of our government, which would grant Obama his much sought after freedom to “spread the wealth” during his last 2 years in office, and ultimately would put our great country on the path to becoming another Greece. Just another blatant example of Obama putting politics ahead of solving our country’s problems.

Unfortunately for Obama, he has underestimated our intelligence level, common sense, and awareness. It turns out the sequester cuts he designed to be so horrific are actually pretty popular. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a 2-1 support for the spending reductions.

Bill Ostrowski Exeter

Time to recognize colorectal cancer

Are you age 50 or older? Are you under age 50 and have a personal or family history of colon cancer/polyps? Are you having symptoms, such as unexplained abdominal pain or bleeding?

Colon cancer is preventable and treatable if diagnosed in its early stages. It affects both men and women equally.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should not put off scheduling a colonoscopy. Age is the single largest risk factor for colon cancer, so even if you lead a healthy lifestyle you can develop polyps and cancer.

Colonoscopy is a safe, effective and generally well tolerated examination that can save your life.

You can find more information on the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy’s website at www.screen4coloncancer.org, or you can join their Facebook page, “Peter and Polly Polyp.”

Remember, colon cancer is preventable and treatable, so don’t put off scheduling your colonoscopy any longer. Our physicians and staff will work together to answer your questions and get you scheduled for your colonoscopy.

Thomas J. Castellano, M.D.

Martin B. Fried, M.D.

Suresh Khandekar, M.D.

Gastroenterology Consultants


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