Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:20AM - 250 Views

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City councilman offers continued accessibility

I would like to say that it has been an honor representing the citizens of Wilkes-Barre as your District A Wilkes-Barre City Councilman.

Over the past year, I have sat through several council meetings listening to critics' claims that the members of council are paid basically for sitting through four meetings a month and that our efforts are only focused on attending these meetings. I would like to respond to these critics by saying this is not a true statement. I have met with residents during the evening hours and on weekends in an effort to understand and address their concerns. On several occasions, I have met residents in their homes to gain a better understanding of their issues. I have given numerous hours of my time in community service on weekends. I have also attended numerous Crime Watch and Building Bridges meetings and I have made every attempt to respond to every phone call or email I have received.

As a member of your Wilkes-Barre City Council, I will continue to be available to help resolve the issues of our residents.

In an effort to continue my ongoing accessibility to our residents, I would like to publicize that I can be reached at the following phone numbers and email addresses:

Wilkes-Barre City Clerk Office - 208-4117

Personal cellphone: 991-1156

Email: gbrown@wilkes-barre.pa.us


Columbine Dad's words should be heard by all

On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo., was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee.

What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist and every so-called expert.

The following is a portion of the transcript: Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other 11 children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder, I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies. Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right. I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone. My daughter's death will not be in vain. The young people of this country will not allow that to happen.

A few percent forward, alas, a little step back

Received my cost of living increase for the coming year. Wow! Thank you, President Obama for the 1 percent increase. And I thank Medicare for the $5 increase added to last year's increase.

I also thank my healthcare for the $9.13 increase on my monthly bill. The $14 (1 percent) income left me with a $.13 decrease.

Reader grateful for right to read many opinions

Mr. Gladish, in your comment on Friday, Jan. 4 you state that some opinions don't deserve broad forum; that made me sick.

Did you forget about the First Amendment or is that only reserved for people who share your views. If you feel that way, then let me be the first to offer you a one- way ticket to North Korea.

I am tired of people like you who only care about what you want. There are many people whose opinions I do not agree with but, thank god, we live in America where everyone has the right to voice them.

Save children from threat of guns and abortion

With the tragic events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School a renewed discussion has started around gun control. This is discussion well worth having.

The problem I am having with many of those on the left is their assertion that weapons need to be banned to save the innocent children. Many of these same liberals support unfettered abortion rights, which annually results in the termination of many hundreds of human lives. Who is more innocent than an unborn child?

I know one argument we will hear is that a fetus is not a human, to which I would respond a fetus is a human who has not yet been born. Is not a fetus one of the earliest stages of human development? If not aborted, that nonhuman grows into, hopefully a happy healthy baby.

Another argument we will hear is that abortion is a constitutional right. So is the right to bear arms. The Supreme Court has allowed for limitations of that right. I agree with that and would say that if it is appropriate to place limitations on the right to bear arms, then similar limitations can and should be placed on abortion. For instance, abortion should only be allowed to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. The position of many on the left is that they want to completely take away all guns. If that is your true position, then please, just say so, don't cloak it in the save the children rhetoric while supporting abortion.

To do so is truly hypocritical. Let's have an open and honest discussion.

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

George Brown Wilkes-Barre City Councilman Harry Haas Sr. Dallas C.J. Monteforte Exeter Craig Budde Hazleton Neal Kosak Harveys Lake

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