Letters To The Editor 8/1/2018

August 1, 2018

Try help instead

Editor: Anyone reading only the beginning of the July 25 Times-Tribune article about the bogus petition circulating about Griffin Pond Animal Shelter would think it was valid.

The newspaper buried the story’s lead. It mentioned that the originator used a fake name, a number of signatures seem to be fake and that some of the information was false as well. Why not start with that?

Griffin Pond has been going through major growing pains, with the ouster of the executive director, the humane officer and the entire board last year, while the facility undergoes major building renovations. The recent distemper outbreak didn’t help but was handled appropriately.

All the raging and protesting by a few people serves only to hurt the animals at the shelter. Maybe these people who are so busy causing trouble and making up names for a petition should try to help out. It’s difficult right now and there are kinks to be worked out, but the overall direction is positive.




Challenges stance

Editor: The July 25 editorial “Law promotes gun violence” referred to a shooting in Florida and stand-your-ground laws.

I question the statement; “But beginning about a decade ago, a wave of states, including Pennsylvania, vastly altered those laws to protect overtly offensive rather than purely defensive behavior.” I don’t understand the argument here. What overtly offensive actions have been added to the self-defense laws?

My understanding of stand-your-ground is that it’s a purely defensive act in the face of an aggressor. There are certain conditions where it is legitimately used. It is not a shoot-first-and-claim-defense afterward situation. The shooter must be in a dire situation to take legitimate lethal action.

As for the case in Florida, I have watched the video several times. The shooter was not in a dire situation and hence it does not appear to be a legitimate stand-your-ground situation. Yes, the shooter was knocked to the ground — despite being the aggressor to that point — but the man who did so was not continuing his action. In fact, he was stepping back when he was shot. At the absolute worst the shooter need only to draw, but not actually shoot, and even then drawing the weapon is questionable.

Why the officials in Florida question whether a legitimate shooting occurred is not clear, but the shooter, in my opinion, should be charged.

Contrary to the statements made in the editorial, stand-your-ground is supposed to be the last option. This case has garnered national attention, and rightfully so, but with the wrong intentions it needs to be used as an example of what not to do.




Consider bypass

Editor: In response to Robert Keating’s column (“Planned beltway project off mark,” July 24), I wholeheartedly agree that the new interchange in South Abington Twp. for a proposed Scranton Beltway Project is a waste of money.

Something that is deperately needed, however, is a usable road that trucks traveling to the major plants north of Clarks Summit can get to easily from Interstate 81. Clarks Summit has been in dire need of a bypass for many years but there isn’t a viable solution. If the trucks could exit from I-81 north of Clarks Summit and travel to Procter & Gamble and the Taylor meatpacking plant without going through the town by using a decent, easy road, I’m sure they would much prefer it.

We residents of the area would benefit greatly from decreased heavy truck traffic. I hope PennDOT considers this option.




Hot car measure

Editor: “CBS This Morning” recently featured a segment on children being trapped in hot cars. The report mentioned the statistics and how 27 kids have died trapped in hot cars this year.

According to KidsandCars.com, the deaths this year are on course with the yearly national average of 37. These statistics are devastating. They are not numbers. We must remember these are defenseless babies and children. We need a proactive approach to this problem and to enact legislation that better protects our children from the dangers of being trapped inside a hot car.

I have introduced House Bill 1152, which would provide civil immunity for any damage that may be done to a vehicle when forceful entry is necessary to rescue a child.

In some instances, parents and/or caregivers claimed to have unknowingly left a sleeping baby or toddler in a car. My bill would encourage passers-by to take a second look, contact law enforcement and step in to help when every second counts.

The Centers for Disease Control says the temperature inside a parked car can rise by 20 degrees after 10 minutes in the sun, even with a cracked window.

The immunity in my bill would only apply when the person acts reasonably under the circumstances. Good Samaritans must have a good-faith belief that the child is in imminent danger; they must have determined the vehicle is locked and there is no reasonable method for the child to be removed prior to forcibly entering the vehicle; and the person must have attempted to contact law enforcement.

The bill passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee last July. I encourage leaders in the General Assembly to consider moving this bill quickly and ensure that this bill, which has the potential to save lives, sees a vote soon.




Trump Democrat

Editor: I have been a registered Democrat for 50 years and the Russians did not make me vote for President Trump. Hillary Clinton did.



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