Letters To The Editor 8/20/2018

August 20, 2018

Rename Timlin House

Editor: Like many others I was appalled when I read details of clergy sex abuse in the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report.

As a 2005 graduate of the University of Scranton I was particularly disgusted to read about Bishop James Timlin’s reckless disregard for sex abuse victims and how, after repeated warnings, he kept their abusers in positions of trust within the Scranton Diocese and failed to notify legal authorities of possible crimes.

It is inappropriate that Timlin House, a townhouse complex at the university’s Mulberry Plaza, continues to bear the bishop’s name and provide him with a public honor, given his well-documented and significant moral failures as a minister and citizen. It’s important that the school remove references to Timlin because his shortcomings facilitated the abuse of a University of Scranton student.

One of Timlin’s failings involved one of my theology professors, the Rev. Albert Liberatore. Timlin received many warnings about Liberatore and sexual misconduct starting in 1996.

Timlin’s response? According to the grand jury report: nothing. “Confidential — no action taken,” Timlin wrote in a memo about Liberatore, who was arrested in May 2004 and charged with a series of sex crimes. At the time Liberatore’s victim was a University of Scranton student, but according to the grand jury report and criminal and civil cases, his predatory behavior began years earlier when the victim was just 14. Liberatore eventually pleaded guilty to some of the charges and the diocese settled a lawsuit for $3 million.

It’s unacceptable that the university continues to honor Timlin and it’s time that the bishop’s name be taken off any school buildings. Doing so would not only remove from a place of public esteem references to a man whose moral failures hurt children but also send a message that the school supports victims of sexual abuse.




Patients forsaken

Editor: A letter regarding the five urologists who have signed on with Geisinger Health System (“Departure upsetting,” Aug. 15) caught our attention.

We, too, are shocked by this decision. However, do these urologists leaving Delta Medix have their patients’ best interests at heart, along with their community, their Delta Medix colleagues, nurses and support staff? We are highly suspect.

In September 2015, we opened our private struggle with bladder cancer to Times-Tribune staff writer Jon O’Connell at the behest of these same physicians who, at the time, desperately sought to obtain a new contract with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The doctors vowed to fight for the right for continuation of care for 13,000 patients they served in this community and because three Geisinger urologists contacted at the time refused to treat these Delta Medix patients.

It was about a fair and equitable contract for them and we agreed. We created a Facebook page at our expense that still operates due to the thousands of people who joined the fight with us. We obtained assistance from city, state and federal lawmakers to urge the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to intervene.

Now, these same urologists have turned their backs on those who once fought for them, right after Delta relocated to a beautiful state-of-the-art facility in the Marketplace at Steamtown. Look no further than the Aug. 12 Sunday Times article relative to additional costs billed to patients by Geisinger. Would you have the ability to drop everything while fighting illness to make multiple calls to Geisinger billing and your own health insurance carrier? Can you travel 50 or 100 miles when in need of care?

We stand with Delta Medix and head urologist Dr. Donald Preate. He has and will be there for us. His humility is pure and we have witnessed it firsthand at Delta Medix.



City sidewalk sale

Editor: The fiasco over the deteriorating sidewalks at police headquarters in Scranton is just the latest example of the failure of the kick-the-can-down-the-road syndrome.

To have the city administration admit that a job that would have cost about $78,000 just five years ago has now drawn a low — and only — bid of $196,459 shows how shortsighted a formerly great city has become.

Remember, winning bids on such work are almost always the lowest bid.

Perhaps the city can actually sell the sidewalks — after selling mostly everything else of value — and the new owner could pay for the repairs.

Then the new owner can place advertising on the sidewalks and maybe offset the expense.




Trump’s deals elusive

Editor: President Trump likes to pretend he is the ultimate deal-maker, even though he had a string of bankruptcies and litigation during his business career.

“That’s what I do, is deals,” he recently said. While campaigning, he promised “beautiful” deals that no other president could make. It’s difficult to recall a president selling himself on the promise of his negotiating ability. He often brags that his deals will be “easy” and “quick” and of course, the best ever. The facts contradict his rhetoric.

There is no deal on immigration. Kids have been held in cages and separated from their immigrant parents while the world watches. Mexico will never pay for a wall. There’s no deal on health care. He promised better, cheaper, more accessible care for everyone.

How about gun control? There’s no deal there, just lots of gun violence.

There’s no deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement after months of negotiations.

There’s no trade deal with China, just an escalating trade war. How about steel and aluminum imports? No deal there, just national security issues with our allies resulting in retaliatory tariffs.

Trump promised “the ultimate deal,” peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We haven’t even seen a plan. Remember Syria? He gave up on Syria after bombing a runway, which was back in use within 24 hours.

Trump got Congress to pass a tax-cut package for the wealthy, but handing out tax cuts without paying for them is not difficult for politicians.

He exited the Paris climate accord, with the United States the only major country to do so.

He broke the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade and tried to break the Iran nuclear deal after American and Israeli intelligence services repeatedly confirmed that Iran was in compliance.

Actually, the evidence shows Trump is not a dealmaker but a deal breaker.




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