I believe many of us take our medical facilities for granted. We have Geisinger and Geisinger South, the VA, the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and many nursing homes in our area.
The caretakers who work at these facilities are superb. They work long hours, sometimes for little pay, take courses to keep up with medical technology advances and give more than 100 percent to patients and residents.
Recently, I was at General Hospital for two long stays and two short stays.
I'd like to thank everyone, from admissions, to testing, the ER staff (especially Jim Martin) and everyone on the eighth floor (Jess, Jessica, Julie, Erin and anyone I missed.) Thank you to the General Hospital; its employees truly saved my life.
Nurse Jill especially stands out. She is caring, honest, considerate and an angel of a nurse. Vice President of Patient Services Bob Hoffman even checked on me. Both the General and Geisinger are great assets to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
I was transferred to Manor Care in Kingston. This was my fifth visit. What a great facility. A special thanks to nurses Bonnie and Laura, Melissa, Crystal, Paul and therapists Pete and Kelly. Joy and my roommate Bob kept me in high spirits.
Another great institution is John Heinz. Thanks to John and Holly; they are great therapists.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank all the doctors and surgeons, especially Dr. Biscotti, my family doctor, Scott Prince and his staff; Kelly, Kim and Barb.
Joy from Wilkes-Barre took care of my cat and was always there for me as well as my wife Nancy Ellen.
Micah 6:8 says God only asks three small things. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. All these people follow this message. God bless you all!
Of all the falsehoods told about President Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending. So begins the Wall Street Journal article that proved that President Obama has the lowest level of spending since Eisenhower, at 1.4 percent. That compares with President Reagan's two terms at 8.7 / 4.9 and George W. Bush at 7.3 / 8.1. The WSJ figures were confirmed by PolitiFact on May 22.
The latest study showing that between 80-90 percent of increased debt is the responsibility of Republican policy is in line with all the rest. Bush's policies didn't go away when he did. We still have the major causes of debt: the fallout from the 2008 crash, the Bush tax cuts, two wars, a gigantic disparity in wealth, the debt bomb put in Medicare during the Bush years.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation are charged with forecasting and tracking the cost of all legislation. The CBO/JCT debt dollar figures since Obama took office are Bush legislation $5.1 trillion, Obama $983 billion .
The GOP claims taxes are too high. Federal income taxes are lower now than they were at any time under George Bush. Federal corporate income tax rates hit a 40-year low in 2011, about 12 percent. A corporation that has paid no federal income taxes for four years testified before Congress that corporate tax rates are too high.
Now we are faced with the fraudulent fiscal cliff with claims that the debt has something to do with the safety net. The GOP offers crackpot solutions to the imaginary causes of problems, problems sometimes real, but often also imaginary. Austerity in Europe pushed the world's economy back on its heels. Austerity here will knock it flat on its back. Facts matter.
As the 2012 Penn State football season ended with no bowl game, I realized that I and millions of other fans are being punished by the NCAA for crimes we had nothing to do with.
Making matters worse is the fact that the people who should be fighting for us are strangely mute. U.S. congressmen, senators, the governor, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Alumni Association and the media now represent the saying When good wo(men) fail to act, evil will flourish. Evil is flourishing.
Among the many problems the Marcellus Shale industry has failed to solve is the frack wastewater problem.
The industry says that 100 percent of the waste liquid can be recycled. But this simply means that 100 percent of the flowback can be reused at least once, if the drilling company wishes to make the additional necessary investment.
Eventually, all the brine that flows back up while a frack job is executed must be disposed of. Releasing the stuff into Pennsylvania waterways — a solution attempted in western Pennsylvania -- is unacceptable. Existing sewage treatment plants are completely unequipped to deal with this stuff, and people living near these facilities are not receptive to the parade of trucks toting the untreated liquid down their streets.
Use of injection wells has been associated with multiple earthquakes — up to 15 in one day in Arkansas — and although these quakes tend to register fairly low on the Richter scale, they occur near areas where multiple toxic-stuffed injection wells will eventually be capped. So states such as Arkansas and West Virginia have halted the use of injection wells.
But Pennsylvania has an answer for this problem. It just will allow municipalities to send their trucks out to spread the stuff on the roads, to melt ice in winter and to hold down dust in the summer. Up until recently, Pa. General Permit WMGR064 had been issued by the state DEP to allow for the use of brine from conventional natural gas wells.
Although one need wonder about the wisdom of allowing any industrial residue to be spread around willy-nilly, the use of Marcellus Shale brine for this purpose is an outrage.
Of course, the state will proclaim that all such liquids will be treated and monitored to assure safe levels of toxins. But who will perform this task? What substances will be monitored? Some of the toxins used for fracking jobs are not made public.
DEP is already shorthanded and unable to adequately address the challenges put forth by the drilling industry. So it appears that the industry will be charged to police itself.
Do you feel safe now?
It is recommended that residents of Pennsylvania contact their local municipal works departments and inquire about the potential use of Marcellus brine on their roads this winter. If the answer is yes, then perhaps there should also be an answer to the question, who will be working the Geiger counter?
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Jim Gaughan Wilkes-Barre Wayne Warner Clarks Green Mike Langan University of Scranton graduate Stroud Township Carol Culver Harveys Lake