AP NEWS

Letters To The Editor 3/3/2019

March 3, 2019

Patience taxed

Editor: I needed to pay my property taxes.

I left two messages with the Scranton Single Tax Office looking for information on parking at the new Lackawanna County Government Center at the Globe and never received a reply. I called the Scranton mayor’s office and people there were gracious enough to forward me to the Lackawanna County commissioners office. A man there told me “There is parking out front.” I found six spots, two for the sheriff’s staff, one for veterans affairs and three for the public.

I received a second call from the man who said, “You can drive to the second floor of the garage, security is available and there is access to the building.” I drove to the garage and found the second floor is blocked off and drove to the third floor, which was under construction. There was no access.

I left the parking garage and was informed that my six minutes inside would cost me $3.50. I asked the parking employee to be patient as I needed to call the police to report a “highway robbery.” After an intense discussion, the employee voided my ticket.

I called the commissioners office again to inform the man that the information he gave me was incorrect. He asked, “Did you pay your taxes?”

The following day, my daughter was gracious enough to take an hour off from work and drive me over to the government center where I waited 10 minutes for the elevator. There was only one elevator in service. I finally paid my taxes.

They did not put enough thought into this building. However, I have put enough thought into where my vote will go.

ANN ROBINSON

SCRANTON

 

Value of skepticism

Editor: The unfortunate situation actor Jussie Smollett foisted on so many individuals, groups and movements should give everyone pause.

Do not waste this teachable moment. Once this false story initially broke, many celebrities and politicians seized it and ran their own narratives to further their own points of view and assertions. Yet, even after the truth of the alleged crime became known, some of these same folks were slow — if even willing — to walk back their rhetoric and pomposity. Some hastened to remain vocal to their causes even as they morphed into some whimsical shadow of the real issues — false statements and outright lies.

The teachable moment is simply to not accept everything at face value. So much damage has been done to the folks directly impacted by Smollett’s fabrication that the next time someone cries “Wolf in MAGA hats,” those cries run the risk of going unheeded. Indeed, some reporters who championed Smollett’s lie were quietly rotated out of circulation, only to return in a few weeks with their reputations intact. Just look at the Covington Catholic School student’s story. Who polices the media?  Why, the media, of course.

Why are people so taken in by the contrived, the spurious, the outright falsehood? Is there no room for a healthy dose of skepticism or critical thought? Far too many are far too plugged in to the 24-hour news cycle to have any reason to doubt it or are simply too lazy to do a scant modicum of research. The term “woke” is used to describe social — particularly racial — injustices. Perhaps this should be altered to “woke without blinders.” Herein lies the teachable moment.

FRANCIS X. KRANICK JR.

DUNMORE

 

Green deal appeal

Editor: I’m baffled by the hostile reaction by some people to the proposed Green New Deal.

Are there parts of it that need more work or thought? Certainly, like any new idea there are aspects that need refining. But the broad goal of lessening the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and making us free of the control of a few big energy corporations is an excellent one. That it would help mitigate climate change is a fringe benefit.

A little heads-up to those who scoff at other means of energy production: China has invested heavily in the design and construction of solar panels. China now is the top producer and exporter of that technology and is at the forefront of research and development in that field.

Sadly, there was a time not long ago when the United States was the global leader in cutting-edge technology, which paved the way for incredible new products that had a massive impact on our lives. Exciting breakthroughs seemed to come every year. Currently, climate deniers and the anti-science crowd hold sway, especially in our federal government. Day by day, we gradually become a little less great as a result.

While China continues to innovate we allow ourselves to be distracted by talk about border walls, kneeling athletes and gender discussions. Parts of the Green New Deal should be seen as a wake-up call, a chance for American ingenuity once again to shine.

TOM MIELCZAREK

MADISONVILLE