December 15, 2012

Director sings praises of CAN DO holiday event

The Hazleton CAN DO Community Christmas event was a huge success!

Once again, we were reminded of the abundance of musical talent that is a part of the students within our area schools. Once again, we celebrated the arts as more than 200 students sang and played the songs of the holiday season at the CAN DO Community Christmas.

Thank you to the CAN DO student action committee and co-chairs Jason Spevak and Suzanne Reigle, committee members Bradley Marco Zanette, Danny Synoski, Nicole Barber, Shannon Sarosky, Kayla Karchner, Hayle Shearer and Sarah Bellinghausen. The entertainment was fabulous.

Thank you Hazleton Area High Chamber Singers and Kim Sharonoff, Hazleton Area High Jazz Ensemble and Neil Forte, RAIL – Jason Spevak, Michael Mischissin Nick Valentine & Nick Mischissin, Heights Terrace 3rd Grade Chorus and Rachel Brimmer and Jennifer Gerhard.

Thanks to WYLN, Barry Jais and the rest of the staff. Thanks to PTPA/JJ Ferrara Center for hosting our event and our sponsors Keystone Job Corps Culinary Arts Students, Tootsie Roll Industries, Intrepid Detective Agency and our T-shirt sponsors Gottstein Corp. and Humboldt Industrial Supply.

Thanks to student adviser Charlie Burkhardt, Community relations committee chair Gary Danish and board member Carla Thaller, chairman of the board Lew Dryfoos, Chamber chair Liz Maguschak, as well as the entire CAN DO board and staff for their assistance.

We look forward to reliving the experience as the show is broadcast on WYLN throughout the holiday season. The young people who performed were so talented. Please make every attempt to watch the CAN DO Community Christmas.

Once again, thank you to everyone for you support and participation. Happy Holidays!

Stop the shell game that parades as legislation

I feel so much better today now that I read your Dec. 6 article featuring a smiling Sen. Bob Casey who just introduced his Middle Class & Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012.

It was such a success last time resulting in our local unemployment dropping to a mere 9.1 percent. I have a few questions, however, that someone might help me understand. I am more than a little worried about the solvency of Social Security and the benefits it promises to pay us and someday our children, especially since Mr. Casey is now extending his 2 percent payroll tax cut for all of 2013. The senator says, not to worry, since his plan protects Social Security by transferring funds from the General Fund to the Social Security Trust Fund to ensure it is unaffected by this temporary tax relief.

Just what is the Social Security Trust Fund? Is it stock in American companies or assets of some other nature? No, it is in fact, just IOU's from this same General Fund; that is, the same General Fund that is running deficits of more than three billion dollars per day or in excess of a trillion dollars per year!

How does transferring money from what is fast becoming a bankrupt General Fund to a mythical Social Security Trust Fund justify his legislation? Does this sound like another Washington shell game to you? Isn't it time politicians such as Mr. Casey and his kind take the courageous actions to deal with the real problems this country faces? We need structural changes in tax policy and most of all reduction in government spending, not gimmicks such as taking borrowed money out of one pocket and putting it in another.

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Nancy Stasko Director of Administration, CAN DO Inc. John Dougherty Fairview Township