Last updated: February 19. 2013 9:19PM - 152 Views

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Storm response reveals decline

Can anyone explain to me why the once most powerful and richest country in the world refuses to take care of its own?

Two weeks after the storm we still have 70,000 New Yorkers with out power. If this had happened to any foreign country, even if they hate us, we would be sending, not only billions, which we do anyway, but military tankers, generators, troops, etc. to kiss their rear ends.

As the guy wrote the other day, I am also curious as to how much aid we received from all of our so-called allies (that's a joke).

Thanks for nothing to all you voters who refuse to face the obvious, we are in big trouble!! Nothing left for me to do but sit back and watch the demise of our once proud, powerful, and free country.

Hugo trial delay is justice denied

When does it end? How long do the public defenders get and how much of the taxpayers money can they spend, to try to get Hugo Selenski off? This is not even about the fact that he is accused of murder any more, but is now more about the gaming of the justice system. How many appeals can there be? How many little nuances in the law can be used as delaying tactics? How much wasted time has there been for incredibly busy judges? As long as the public defenders have access to unlimited taxpayers dollars (which must often be matched at least in part by the DA's office -$200,000 last time costs were reported), what stops this merry-go-round? Should we spend another five years and $200,000 to ensure Selenski gets a fair trial? Why do we not spend vast sums on every public defendant? Do these two specific public defenders like seeing their name in the paper knowing this is a high profile case?

Does there seem to be a balance of what we are getting for out tax dollars? There is an old axiom, Justice delayed is justice denied. I am all for fairness but at some point there also has to be fairness to the taxpayers and the plaintiff(s).

They should get this trial underway, or let Hugo escape again. It seems likely he will find whatever justice he truly deserves outside of our inept judicial system.

Sales lessons not lost on 1 percent

During my years of working I met a great many manufacturer's reps and salesman. They all worked on a commission bases for their compensation. They received a specific amount for the product they sold.

Most also had a quota they had to meet. If they didn't meet it, they might just lose their job. If they met it, they were fine, if they exceeded it, they got a bonus. But no matter what, the quota went up for next year. The quota, not what they got paid. Pay remained the same.

It's a tactic that industry and business leaders know works. If their taxes are higher, they would have to work harder to make the same. All 1 percent job creators know this. They just didn't want you to know it. It's a system that works.

Don't let the rich fool you. If their taxes go up, they will just have to work harder to make up for the loss.

Can we survive Obama's best?

President Obama said in his election night victory speech the best is yet to come.

Since our beloved re-elected president spoke those words we've had the David Petraeus scandal, more details about the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack, news about Iran firing on an unmanned drone that was flying over international waters, news of several companies laying off people that was deliberately withheld from the American people the election, and of course the news of the looming fiscal cliff that means increased taxes for the majority of American people.

If these things are examples of the best is yet to come under President Obama and his unethical administration, then God help the USA and the American people who voted these people back in power for four more years.

It's truly amazing how many scandals the Obama administration are getting away with and not being prosecuted for. Nothing is done to prosecute them and hold them accountable for their actions. It's a great country we live in isn't it?

West Pittston needs levees

I would like to address the alarmists comparing the future of a West Pittston levee to the recent demise of the Bloomsburg levee. These defeatists claim it will never happen.

Listed below are some of the reasons why justice demands that it should and ultimately will be a part of the existing Wyoming Valley levee system.

1. Tropical Storm Lee affected only approximately, 10 percent of the homes in Bloomsburg, whereas a much greater amount, 33 percent of the homes in West Pittston were flooded.

2. Bloomsburg's levee was projected to be approximately 17,000 linear ft., (much of it protecting the fairgrounds), and cost $70M, conversely, West Pittston's levee a much smaller 6,800 linear ft. (protecting all homes and some businesses) at a cost roughly $25-$30M.

3. As of June 30, 2012 the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) alone paid out an average of $33k per household in loss claims in Bloomsburg, in contrast, they paid an average of $59.5K per household in claims for West Pittston, a remarkable and dubious distinction of being No. 1 in the state for losses.

4. All of the Army Corps' analysis and millions spent in Bloomsburg occurred prior to Lee , to proceed (according to the Army Corps), a restudy would be necessary.......whereas, a free (first $100K) West Pittston section 205 feasibility study is there for the taking.

5. Finally, while some may argue that our friends in Bloomsburg have suffered as much or more as West Pittston as a result of the building of the Wyoming Valley Levee, the fact remains that they are 50 miles downstream and obviously were never a part of the original Wyoming Valley levee system. West Pittston from the beginning an integral part and connected to the system, was simply abandoned. With a predicted consequence of 3 to 4 feet of additional induced flooding by the Army Corp 1981 Phase General Design Memorandum. Which, of course, is exactly what happened. the fact remains that a 1.3 mile gap was left unfinished in a 15 mile levee system and West Pittston unjustly continues to suffer to this day. How ironic that $23M gaps were recently cut into the same WV levee system in Wilkes-Barre to allow purely recreational access to the river. Should not this money have been spent more wisely and fairly in West Pittston?

Blame Obama: If the name fits

I never saw a candidate whose campaign ads called his opponent such things as a felon, tax cheat who uses class warfare and doesn't like Big Bird and who never ran on a platform except blame Bush but still won an election.

Obama spent 6 trillion dollars in less than four years and our economy isn't that great. I'm sure it will get worse for the private sector and we will again hear blame Bush.

Oh, if Obama's wife gets pregnant, will he blame Bush?

State finances need pension fix

I read Dan Meuser's remarks on the dismal state of the Commonwealth's finances this morning, but I did not see a plan to resolve the issues.

The State can surely start with pensions. Most private corporations froze defined benefit pension plans years ago because of the high costs and inability to control the employer's contribution. Yet, the governor and our elected officials have done nothing to stop this bleeding . Corporations froze the plans and initiated defined contribution plans to provide pension benefits. The State could do that now or impose the change with all new electees or hires as of a specific date.

I can't see why this has not been addressed. If left to go on as it now functions (or dysfunctions), it will have to be put on the backs of the taxpayers.

This also applies to any other public entity such as cities and counties.

Leave mark with Christmans Seals

With Thanksgiving over and Black Friday behind us, it's time to look into the tradition of the holiday season. With that comes the annual American Lung Association Christmas Seals Campaign; a holiday tradition that has been around for more than 100 years.

One small stamp can leave the imprint of a lifetime. The stamps are the epitome of the holidays. Decorate all of your gifts and cards with a stamp that has meaning and hope behind it. By purchasing the American Lung Association Christmas seals you are joining the fight against lung cancer, COPD, asthma and all lung disease.

For more information on Christmas Seals or to purchase please visit www.christmasseals.org.

Send us your opinion

Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.

• E-mail: mailbag@timesleader.com

• Fax: 570-829-5537

• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1

Bob Gust Nanticoke Garfield Jones Shavertown Ed Cole Clarks Summit John Hollenback Greenfield Township Bob Russin West Pittston Tomorrow, Chairman, Levee Committee Theresa Morris Dallas Tom Pugh Hunlock Creek Deb Brown President and CEO American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic

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