Last updated: December 03. 2013 11:16PM - 1403 Views

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care should

be improved

As a local physician and a member of the Luzerne County and Pennsylvania medical societies, I am concerned about the shortage of psychiatric beds available in hospitals nationwide — only about 17 per 100,000 people.

Because of this, people in need of mental health services often have nowhere to go. Their only option is their local hospital emergency department where, unfortunately, it might take hours or days for evaluations because of the lack of beds.

However, if we listen to the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, there may be a partial solution. As they proposed through the Pennsylvania Medical Society, a tracking system that indicates the availability of psychiatric beds might help our emergency medicine physicians get mental health patients more timely care.

I’m happy to see physicians across the state raising this issue in an attempt to solve a public health problem. This is something that Harrisburg should work on immediately through the Department of Health for the better health of our communities.

Dr. Haragopal S. Penugonda


Luzerne County Medical Society


Forty Fort


says thanks

I express my appreciation to all the residents of Forty Fort, my family, my friends, and all who helped and contributed to make my very special day possible. I never would have imagined having a park named after me, and it truly is an honor.

What a great surprise to pull up and see all the people standing in the bitter cold in my honor; I still can’t believe it. I extend a special thanks to: Joe Chacke, Boyd Hoats, Chris Eroclani, his mother and father, Ellen and Ray Ercolani, and all of the Eagle Scouts, the fire and police personnel. Without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible.

I can never thank you all enough for all that you’ve done to make Nov. 24 an extra special day that I will never forget.

Thank you.

Betty Mascelli

Forty Fort


the mentors

who matter

I never had an “official” mentor, someone who pulled me aside to officially guide me through some of life’s most challenging decisions. My father, whose name I hold, was my first and most influential. Two other people also were mentors to me, even though they might not have realized it at the time. Together, they each played an important role in my development as a human being, an educator, and as a professional.

Each made a tremendous impact on the course of my professional and personal life through counseling, teaching, and, most importantly, by being role models of high quality.

I first met Robert S. Capin when he was my accounting teacher at then Wilkes College. He placed me in my first accounting job and later in life I worked for him as an administrator and faculty member when he was the academic dean and president of Wilkes. I team-taught accounting courses with him. Professor Capin taught me in class and, through his actions, taught me how an ethical, honorable, reasonable, respectful and supportive person can succeed and help everyone he touches to grow and prosper.

Sister Mary Glennon was the academic dean and vice president of then College Misericordia during my first 12 years at the institution. It is difficult to describe all that I learned from Dr. Glennon. Most importantly, though, she taught me the worth of values, especially the ones that guide Misericordia and the Religious Sisters of Mercy – mercy, service, justice and hospitality. She could never know the impact she has had on me. Much of what is good about me today as an educator can be traced to Sister Mary. I cannot thank these three individuals enough for their careful and thoughtful guidance.

The point here is that President Capin and Sister Mary did not know they were mentoring me. Every one of us should always strive to be the best example we can be because we may never know if we are serving as a role model for someone else. In a Philadelphia publication a few years ago, I came across a former student of mine. William Brassington, a very successful entrepreneur, had listed me as his mentor. I never knew he looked at me that way. It is likely that each of us, no matter who we are or what we do, is a mentor to one or more people – whether we know it or not.

As Albert Schweitzer said: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Fred Croop


Poor funding

put Care Act

in a pinch

This letter is for the uninformed out there regarding all the distortions about the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” Here is what I believe to be the truth as to what went wrong, and there are facts to prove it.

The commission to finance the start up of the ACA was made up of Democrats and Republicans. The request was made by the Democrats for $4 billion to get the program set up for the Internet, but the Republicans cut it to $1 billion and that was the start of all the trouble. Then, trying to keep on schedule, they scraped together what they could with what they had.

The head of the committee is where my information came from. Also, the Republican-led states that did not accept the money to open the exchanges to get health care coverage left their people to go to the government website, which was not set up for that kind of overload.

This is a law of the land, and if the Republicans are patriotic like they claim to be, they will do like the Democrats did when former President Bush put the drug bill through and work together to make it better.

By the way, I didn’t hear any of these so-called patriots say anything when the program was 50 days up and still not running. All they did was get on TV and say they were sorry. That doesn’t seem to be enough for the Republicans. They cause problems and then run around hollering the sky is falling.

Why do you think the Republicans are against education? I’ll let you figure that one out; and if you can’t, you are part of the problem we have today in this wonderful country. Look who is bankrolling the tea party and the Republicans. The oil boys, Koch brothers and a couple billionaires.

Why do you think after all the years of Republican control we have an all-time low medium income average of $27,500 for the working people and the rich are over 200 percent in income growth in the same period? Then they want more from the poor.

We need people in politics who care for the people. It used to be that way and we all had a good life. The rich were even happy, until a couple got greedy.

Dale Eastman


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