Letters To The Editor 12/27/2018
Hurdles to progress
Editor: The 2019 budget for the city of Scranton has been voted on by Scranton City Council and has no tax increase for next year.
That is good news for Scranton taxpayers who pay a lot in taxes and a lot of them are on fixed incomes. But taxpayers and voters need to know that two city councilmen voted against a budget that has no tax hike. This vote was against the taxpayers’ best interest.
The members who voted against it were Bill Gaughan and Kyle Donahue.
These two councilmen, who both have made public statements against President Trump, do not suffer from Trump derangement syndrome.
They suffer from Mayor Bill Courtright derangement syndrome.
They have been against just about everything the city administration has tried to do. The city is in the best shape it has been in years. Scranton has been distressed since 1992 and hopefully, in a very short time, we will be out of that terrible status.
Under this mayor we have accomplished so much, which is different than under the last mayor, Chris Doherty. He took just about everything the unions did that he didn’t agree with to court and the city lost just about all of them, which means the taxpayers lost.
So, city residents should remember when they vote for city council members in the next election which councilmen voted for a budget with no tax hike and which ones voted against a budget without a tax hike.
It is clear they have a different agenda than taxpayers’ best interest.
CHARLIE NEWCOMB SR.
Hunting debate dead
Editor: I address the Dec. 16 Sunday Times outdoors column by Dave Lewoncyzk, “Sunday hunting debate rages.”
The debate is not raging, if it ever did. The issue is virtually dead. Granted, some die-hards, mostly NRA members and hunting industry hacks, try to keep the debate going but with little success. Polls show at least half of hunters oppose the idea. Attempts to pass bills in the state Legislature often die in committee. There has been little recent activity on the topic.
Posting private land “no Sunday hunting” signs would be a joke. Trespassing hunters became such an issue the Legislature had to make it enforceable by game officers. I testified, years ago, in Harrisburg on the issue. Despite the land being posted we still deal with violators six days a week. We don’t need to expand opportunities for our rights to be violated by those exercising a privilege. Having the land posted is mainly for use in the prosecution of violators.
Even when hunters stay on unposted neighboring lands the animals they wound often cross property lines, which means owners of posted land become involved. Bullets and arrows shot at game unsuccessfully do not stop at property lines regardless, which is why safety zones are often violated.
There are reasons why the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, not “anti-hunters,” lead opposition to expanded Sunday hunting. The bureau, which represents suburban and rural landowners, knows the issue well.
Finally, there is the no-time-to-hunt argument. Really, how did our ancestors who worked on farms, in factories, mines and other industries that required six-day work weeks, manage to go afield to hunt? There was no call for open hunting on Sunday by them, so why now? No, the debate is not raging, though its proponents continue to fume at their inability to win.
Editor: I was greatly disappointed when I saw a headline, “Mattis quits in split with Trump.” I was taught that Marines do not quit.
Certainly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former Marine Corps general, knew full well that President Donald Trump was an egocentric, hard-headed, spoiled brat, millionaire and New York City real estate developer. However, Mattis accepted the challenge in order to serve his country in doing what he does best.
Mattis abandoned the president and has willfully diminished whatever credibility the office of the president had remaining. Mattis should have “stayed his post” and guarded his president when the going got tough. Instead, he violated one of the mainstay general orders of the Marine Corps.
In combat, even the lowly private first class Marine is constantly ordered to do things that are against his better judgment, like running into a mortar barrage in Vietnam to link up with fellow Marines and nearly getting killed in doing so. On that day, for me, quitting was not an option.
Now, unfortunately, I will always associate the name Mattis with quitter. That’s not a nice thing to say about a former Marine general.
EUGENE M. OGOZALEK
Wall makes sense
Editor: We all should be concerned about building the wall between Mexico and the United States.
The cost would be nothing compared to what the expense would be if we have open borders. Democrats want no part of a wall, they want open borders. Can you imagine what the cost would be to support the immigrants if allowed into this country?
We would need to furnish them with education, food, health care, shelter and other things, which the Democrats support. Also, consider an increase in crime and much lower wages, compared to our current wages.
It’s about time the Democrats lost the freewheeling ideas and start working on our real problems. No one seems to care about Social Security and Medicare. Without those programs,we would become immigrants ourselves.
It’s about time we should start getting involved and consider a Congress of the people. The current one isn’t helping the country. Use voting machines not only to vote for politicians but to vote on issues such as the wall. It’s wake-up time for the real population.