Letters To The Editor 12/7/2018
Editor: When I learned that a developer interested in the former Scranton State School for the Deaf did not have any research or studies regarding the housing and employment needs in our area, I looked into it.
The 2017 Indicators Report of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties published by the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development , a local research organization, was very revealing. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs have higher regional wages by $20,000 to $30,000 a year. However, that’s where the good news seems to stop for Lackawanna County.
Luzerne County has nearly 2,000 more jobs in these fields, according to the report. Additionally, it indicates that Luzerne County has received annual grants from the National Science Foundation since 2013 averaging about $170,000 per year to promote scientific progress and innovation necessary to facilitate the creation of such jobs.
Lackawanna County, on the other, hand has received no grants from the foundation.
In many instances these jobs require or offer the flexibility to work from home. In Lackawanna County, however, the internet connection is too slow. The report states that 49.5 percent of the population in Pennsylvania had access in 2013 to fiber optic broadband internet, which provides the fastest capacity and fastest data transfer speeds. In Luzerne County 16.9 percent of the population had such access. I was shocked when I discovered that in Lackawanna County, only 0.9 percent of the population had the access.
Our region could benefit from these higher-paying jobs, but we need to promote scientific progress and innovation. The Lackawanna County commissioners have balanced the budget, but what have they done to promote science, technology, engineering and math jobs and access to fiber optic broadband in our area? Why haven’t we received grants from the National Science Foundation to promote these jobs?
Editor: The Green Party of Lackawanna County strongly supports the North Pocono School District’s recent call to prohibit the use of methyl bromide at an industrial operation in Covington Twp.
Methyl bromide is extremely toxic. It depletes the planet’s ozone. It is banned or in the process of being banned in 160 countries, per the Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer. Methyl bromide should be removed from any operations in Covington Twp. and globally, as the North Pocono School District reportedly stated in a recent letter to the Covington Twp. board of supervisors.
The Lackawanna County Green Party agrees. Our climate is an urgent issue that cannot be passed on to the next generation. We must ensure that our communities, at the local level, are safe from such environmental nightmares as methyl bromide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe methyl bromide poisoning can result in seizures, coma and death.
In solidarity with the students, faculty, staff and parents of the North Pocono School District, we appeal to the Covington Twp. supervisors to heed the call of their community and act quickly to prevent the use of this toxic substance. We urge concerned residents of Lackawanna County to add their voices in opposition to this potential use.
Bias in reverse
Editor: We’ve seen this con played before.
Remember when former FBI Director James Comey revealed an ongoing investigation of Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 election? He violated agency policy because he feared the FBI would be considered biased if it didn’t make a revelation before Clinton’s anticipated victory. Turns out, the investigation found nothing illegal and it was dropped, but the revelation helped twist the election toward the man who now occupies the Oval Office.
For months before the vote, Donald Trump had complained that the election was rigged and the FBI was biased, which helped prompt Comey to bend over backwards to prove it wasn’t. He bent over, way too far.
Now, President Trump complains that federal judges who decided cases or issued rulings against his administration are biased. John Roberts, chief justice of the Supreme Court, recently came to the defense of judges, explaining that judges are objective, irrespective of the president who appointed them.
Is Roberts now being conned to bend over and overreact to prove no bias in anticipation of a Trump case coming before the Supreme Court?
Unjustified time off
Editor: I am as grateful and appreciative of President George H.W. Bush’s service to this nation as anyone and certainly think he deserves to be honored for it.
I think, however, giving basically a day off with pay to the more than 2 million civilian federal employees and nearly 700,000 postal employees is absurd and a waste of taxpayer money. Further, state government in Pennsylvania gave many the day off or they worked a half-day.
Just on the federal level the cost has to be in the range of a half-billion dollars cost at minimum. How many of these workers spent the day in reflection thinking of the life of Bush? It’s a hugely misguided spending of taxpayer dollars.