Last updated: March 15. 2014 5:46PM - 719 Views

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Honor guard



I recently attended a funeral service at SS. Peter and Paul in Plains Township. The service included a military tribute.

Plains American Legion Post 558 Honor Guard held its service at the church. The only way I can describe its military ritual is professional, dignified and touching.

Thanks to the post honor guard’s members for their time, service and dedication.

Bill Hodakowski




by bad bill

I am writing to alert readers about some pending legislation that could have dire consequences for Pennsylvania’s natural heritage.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1576 would jeopardize the survival of state endangered and threatened species by requiring that a plant or animal be federally listed as threatened or endangered before it could be considered for similar listing by the state. HB 1576 also would require that the state reveal the exact locations of listed species, thereby making them vulnerable to harassment and poaching or other illegal killing.

In addition, HB 1576 would:

1) jeopardize critical federal funding for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission while weakening protection for high-quality streams.

2) relieve well-funded private industries, such as the natural gas industry, that can easily afford to pay for necessary environmental impact studies from having to ensure that steps are taken to protect listed species before approval can be granted for activities that could negatively impact those species.

3) add an unnecessary level of bureaucracy (the Independent Regulatory Review Commission) to the listing process.

4) take the listing process away from those who have the necessary scientific expertise to evaluate the status of potentially imperiled species and give that authority to those who have absolutely no scientific expertise.

According to Audubon Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale Coalition of gas drillers is a leading proponent of HB 1576 and is strong-arming legislators to vote for the bill.

We in Northeastern Pennsylvania are somewhat uniquely qualified to judge the likely impacts of an extractive industry on our natural landscape because reminders of coal mining’s impacts exist to this day. We must, therefore, demand that the natural gas industry behave like the good neighbor it claims to be while we work to prevent it and similar industries from buying legislators’ votes and from dictating how our commonwealth’s natural beauty is treated and protected.

We already have witnessed how the industry has unduly influenced the governor. We must not allow it to similarly influence our representatives and senators.

Pennsylvania’s threatened and endangered species listing process has worked quite adequately for decades. There can be no legitimate justification for tinkering with a process that has helped species such as the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon to rebound as they have.

Moreover, protecting rare or uncommon plants and animals benefits other species as well. Therefore, anyone who hunts or fishes, or who enjoys hiking in, or photographing, Pennsylvania’s natural beauty should be concerned about HB 1576. HB 1576 would simply give industries a free pass to ride roughshod over the commonwealth’s uncommon natural heritage.

Our state representatives should do what is right and what is best for Pennsylvania’s threatened and endangered species by rejecting this terrible legislation. Readers should urge their state representatives to vote “no” on HB 1576.

Robert Wasilewski


Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society

Hunlock Creek



to gather

During this time of Lent we need to pray more and turn from our evil ways if we expect God to hear our plea, forgive our sin and heal our land. The need for repentance has not been greater since the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

The number-one cause of death in America is the needless sacrifice of our children at the altar of convenience called abortion. Conservative estimates put the number of deaths at nearly 55 million.

And lest we think this is an issue outside the church walls, 43 percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27 percent identify themselves as Catholic. One in four women has at least one abortion by the age of 45 — both non-Christian and Christian alike. Where was the voice of truth — the church?

Mary Comm, of In Our Midst Ministries Inc., sums up the issue best as she writes, “We (the church) have been an unintentional accomplice to the millions of lives lost and to the multiplied millions of lives devastated by abortion. We didn’t want them to abort. We didn’t mean for them to abort. But, because of our lack of knowledge, because of our fear, we have continued to stand by and do nothing.”

Please consider joining us in praying five decades of the rosary for an end to abortion on the sidewalk of Planned Parenthood – the largest provider of abortions in the country. “40 Days for Life” will be held at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday until April 11 at 63 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre. Come to witness on behalf of the pre-born who do not have a voice.

Ada Magni

West Wyoming




We express our sincere thanks and deepest gratitude for the outpouring of prayers, support and most generous donations for our beloved Kathleen’s recent fundraiser.

We ask for your continued prayers as she perseveres in her battle with pancreatic cancer.

God bless all of you!

Shirley McDonnell

On behalf of

the McDonnell family

West Pittston

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