To The Daily Sun,
Responding to Dale Channing Eddy's elaboration on my earlier letter regarding a reason for unreasonable rise in college tuition ... after I wrote my letter I came across this number in my Progressive Populist of that week: "... numbers of university administrators have grown by 369 percent since 1976."
The blossoming of opportunities offered by PSU, since I first worked at PSC in 1971, is an incredible blossoming. I don't deny that. But President Harold Hyde ran a tight ship in his era, with no extras, and the administration fit into Ellen Reed House, which now houses offices for members of the English Department members. That "... 369 percent since 1976" really must raise some eyebrows, or maybe ghosts!
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:40
To The Daily Sun,
The Belmont Revitalization Committee and the Charles Kilborn American Legion Post in Belmont want to publicly express their appreciation for the work accomplished by volunteers from the Belmont High School Senior Class and some juniors as well on Monday, 9 June. This wasn't something they had to do. Rather, they freely volunteered to help out and worked hard on a hot, muggy and buggy afternoon.
The Revitalization Committee is proceeding with the construction of a pavilion next to the Belmont Mill. The long-term objective is to develop a public facility for recreation and town events. This entails the pavilion, a trail and bridge across the Tioga and a recreational trail along the old railroad bed all the way out to South Road. As a key part of this project, the entire slope along the river bank needs to be brushed out and cleaned up to open the view to the Tioga River.
This year, Belmont's American Legion Post and the Belmont High School volunteers offered to clean up a large section of the slope along the river bank, continuing the work done by BHS Senior Class Community Service Days in past years. This was a concept initiated by then-Vice Principal Dan Clary and continued now that he is principal, giving BHS students a sense of ownership in their community and helping to develop their understanding of the responsibilities — and rewards — of citizenship.
We join town officials in expressing our appreciation for Dan's initiative and the hard work of his student volunteers and of several members of the high school staff who joined us later in the afternoon. Dan was right out there working with his chainsaw, leading by example, and the students followed his lead. It was a real pleasure for us "old guys" and my wife to work with them all.
We are extremely pleased with what Dan and his crew got done and how good it looks. The area is clean, with a couple of green shrubs and some pines strategically remaining, and no slash or trash left. We can now see the Tioga River from the top of the bank and the old stone tailrace is visible for its entire length. This fits right in with the historical theme we want to present and the river view is actually quite scenic.
Several of the students said they wanted to give something back to their community — and they certainly did. This reflects the effectiveness of the program at Belmont High and the citizenship instilled in its graduates. Bottom line, Dan, you and your students have done our town a distinct service and have aided the Belmont revitalization program in reaching its goals. We thank you all very much.
Woodbury P. Fogg, Adjutant,
American Legion Post 58, and
Revitalization Committee member
Christine Fogg, Committee member
Ken Knowlton, Committee member
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:36
To The Daily Sun,
OMG, Bernadette Loesche is back again and once again tells Russ Wiles to research his subjects.
For her information, Mr. Wiles is a respected professional with a degree who does and has researched everything he writes, unlike Mrs. Loesche, who states her unresearched opinions as though they were facts. Time and time again her ludicrous assertions have been exploded by me and many others. Where she gets her ideas and opinions is anyone's guess but she really needs to get some other source.
In this most recent submission to this paper she uses as her source, a brief casual conversation with a cashier who had to (heavens to Betsy) work on a sunny day. From this she extrapolates that McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, et. al. are just rolling in money and the poor workers are working slave-like for below subsistence wages (my description).
Now let me just guess that she did not talk to a manager, let alone the owner or financial officer of any of these establishments to learn what there profit margins are. Now I could be wrong, but from everything I've ever read, heard or been told these businesses operate on low profit margins and depend on volume sales to exist. They employ, often part-time people at entry-level wages to staff these businesses because, let's face it, it does not take a rocket scientist to flip burgers or fry donuts. If these workers expect to get $20, $30, $50 an hour they should have a marketable skill or profession.
Most of these folks are kids still in school, just out of school, or seniors looking to supplement their Social Security. McDonald's is not a career position, it is a first step for unskilled workers. Therefore and in that context Russ Wiles letter is a reasoned, rational projection of the most likely consequence of raising the minimum wage while the economy is depressed, sluggish and has the lowest worker participation rate since 1978.
Now just why should we leave Obama out of this as Bernadette commands. It was he who promised to fix all these things back six years ago and has not. In fact he has made things worse from my perspective. Everything he has touched has failed to live up to his promises, has hurt the poor and working families. The middle class is shrinking, struggling and bound to continue to do so under this administrations failed agendas. Unemployment among the young is around 16 percent in black and minority communities higher, and 50,000 illegal young aliens have flooded across the Texas boarder with Mexico with the promise of stealing what few available entry-level jobs our own poor citizens compete for now — all with Obama's and the left's blessing. So, thank you very much, but I will not leave Obama out of it.
Bernadette's sole excuse for these failures is to blame Republicans all the while Obama is skirting the laws and Constitution with his executive orders while golfing and keeping company with millionaires, billionaires, and trillionaires. Man of the people? No way.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 11:12
To The Daily Sun,
President Obama gets the blame for the failures and deaths at the VA because President Obama is the head of the Executive Branch of our federal government. (Bush got the blame before, Obama gets it now.) The Executive Branch is the only branch with the constitutional authority to execute our laws, i.e., to manage our government. President Obama's blame is increased because he complained about the VA when he ran for office and promised to fix it. And, the widespread use of unofficial waiting lists so that employees could claim undeserved bonuses for responsiveness seems, but may not be, new with President Obama.
But no one should be surprised by President Obama's failure to fix the VA. He has demonstrated no management skills. In fact he doesn't appear to be managing anything except fund-raising. He rarely meets with his cabinet, he only met a few times with Secretary Sebelius, who was in charge of his most important program, Obamacare. He often skips his presidential daily briefings and he seems to only know what happens in his own administration when he reads about it in the newspapers.
Nevertheless, as Bruce Van Derven of Bristol points out in his June 7 letter, Congress certainly failed its responsibility to see that the programs it creates and funds are run appropriately. Of course, our senators and congressmen are very busy renaming post offices, investigating drug use in professional sports, worrying about the names of sport teams, dispensing favors to buy campaign, fund-raising, and trying to protect incumbent office holders from criticism or challengers by restricting people's speech and assembly rights.
One would have thought that our senators and congressmen would hear about VA problems at town hall or other constituent meetings. Oh, that's right, our senators and congressmen mostly skip those pesky events. Apparently, they don't care what most Americans want anyway. For example, they forced Obamacare on us against the clearly expressed wishes of a vast majority of the American people, they refuse to defund and repeal it despite their promises, its harm to people, and its continued unpopularity. They still force ethanol on us, raising prices for no purpose other than to pay off supporters. And, Congress seems determined to pass a fraudulently described and disastrous immigration reform bill despite the clear opposition of the American people to the amnesty that this bill gives to illegal aliens.
There are two lessons that the American people should learn from the VA problems. First, the VA is the "single payer medical care" that progressives, like President Obama, want for every American. Once Obamacare completely fails, they will say the free market (which Obamacare isn't) failed and try to replace it with a VA-like, single-payer medical care system. Then the rest of can enjoy waiting a year and a half for a physical, like Bruce Van Derven, and/or go on secret waiting lists so employees can claim bonuses for responsiveness.
Second, the VA problems are not unique, big government doesn't work. What government department or agency actually works? The Department of Justice illegally runs guns to drug gangs in Mexico, selectively enforces laws based on race, and in a time of so much claimed concern about guns, prosecution of Federal gun crimes are way down. The IRS targets people for their political beliefs, even demanding to know what people read and the prayers they make. The EPA makes arbitrary decisions that really hurt people, e.g., the order to remove fill from depressions that create puddles during rain storms or be fined $75,000 per day. The administration refuses to protect our borders allowing, more accurately enticing, millions of illegal aliens to flood our country taking jobs, lowering wages, increasing welfare costs, and harming our citizens by criminal and accidental actions.
As if we are idiots, government limits almost every choice we make. It controls our toilets, light bulbs, cars, travel, energy, food, etc. Obamacare is a debacle that hurts more people than it helps. Government-run schools repeatedly fail and aren't fixed. Welfare and job training programs don't get people off welfare. Government departments are obstacles to job creation and impose unnecessarily costly regulations that increase our living costs. Government admits to losing over 5 percent of our spending of people's tax dollars to waste and fraud and no one in Washington cares.
Congress won't balance the budget in good times or bad. They spend the money of future generations to buy votes today. Even programs that many people like, e.g., Social Security, are badly managed. They are running out of money and face big cuts in benefits to citizens. Congress expects to be exempted from the laws they make. Courts make decisions based on politics rather than the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution which is the agreement with the people about the constraints on government.
The biggest divide in Washington is not over which party will provide more freedom and prosperity for the American people, it is whether Democrats or Republicans will control our excessively large, corrupt, and oppressive government and be able to direct big governments' favors (money, favorable legislation, power, prestige, etc.) to the special interest groups that keep it in power. Not only doesn't big government work, it is a threat to our liberties and prosperity.
This growth of government, its widespread corruption and restrictions on our liberties and opportunities, has accelerated in the last 50 years. If we want future generations to have any chance for freedom and prosperity, then we must cut the size, power, and spending authority of our federal government way back to its constitutional limits.
The biggest political gap is between those in Washington and the rest of us, no matter what political party we support. They want their power, riches and glory and they get it by taking away our freedoms, prosperity, and opportunities. It is time to fire our senator and representatives and replace them with true representatives of the people.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 10:55
To The Daily Sun,
Welcome all transplanted West Virginian's! Come to a celebration of West Virginia's 151st anniversary of when we seceded from Virginia (yes, we really did) and declared ourselves a state. No matter how long you've been gone from the hills and hollows there are some things that draw you back.
So, if you can relate to the following you may be from West Virginia...
— you'd give someone the shirt off your back
— you can pronounce Kanawha and Monongalia and Appalachian
— in elementary you had to learn all 55 countries and their county seats
— you know real barbecue isn't cooked using charcoal or propane
— your grandmother cooked green beans with salt pork in a pressure cooker until they melted in your mouth
— you can sing at least the first verse of "Oh Those West Virginia Hills"
— if you have a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number
— you measure distance in hours
— you know if another Hillbilly (or, being more politically correct, another Appalachian American) is from southern, central, or northern WV as soon as they open their mouth
— your parents have threatened to send you to Pruntytown
— it drives you crazy when people think you're from Virginia
— when you fry bologna, you know where to cut the edges
— when asked where you are from, you name your county
— you wave to 99 percent of the cars you pass on the road
— you are sure that America is a gift from God and this is Almost Heaven
P.S. - We are grateful of our adopted State of New Hampshire and relish in the beauty and her people. Thank you for opening your arms to us.
Catherine M. Tokarz
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 10:46