Last updated: November 03. 2013 11:06PM - 1322 Views

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Salvation Army

sets holiday goal

This holiday season, The Salvation Army in Wilkes-Barre will bring hope to hundreds of area families who desperately need a helping hand.

The Salvation Army will provide food, clothing and toys to many people in real need in our community at Christmastime, as we’ve done for well over 125 years in the Wyoming Valley. We need to raise about $150,000 to accomplish this.

Traditionally, the Army’s bell ringers in Wilkes-Barre help generate significant support at their red kettles. However, with Thanksgiving coming a week closer to Christmas than normal this year, there is less time to raise the desperately needed funds. Local donations are down due to the economy. Home foreclosures are unprecedented, unemployment is still a major problem and prices for essentials are rising.

All this contributes to an increase in families seeking help from the Army during the Christmas season — and an increase in the cost of providing help. I’m confident our faithful friends and those new supporters who see the need will share generously and won’t let our less fortunate neighbors down.

To donate to The Salvation Army, please call 570-824-8741, mail your gift to 17 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, or make a donation online at

Lt. Ted Tressler

Corps commanding officer

The Salvation Army


Hey, texter: You

almost killed me

On Oct. 30 at 5:19 p.m., I came within one or two seconds of having to decide to severely injure or kill myself or someone else standing on the front lawn of their house because an idiot driver was too busy looking down at her cellphone — texting instead of driving the car.

This happened on Rockledge Drive in Mountain Top as I was driving home from work. The car coming at me had just rounded the curve and was heading toward Route 309. The car kept coming over to my right and in an instant I realized I would either have to deny my family of their father and husband or deny another family of their family member all because this driver presumably needed to let someone know she is on her way from, or going to, the mall, or the cute boy in school smiled at her.

I had another incident several months ago on the interstate in which the driver in front of me was drifting left and right. Since I was on my motorcycle, I zipped around her to get away from this erratic driving. As I passed her I saw her hands feverishly working the keys on the cellphone. I tooted the horn while I wagged my index finger at her, only to have her flip me her middle finger and swerve over as if she planned to hit me.

Drivers: Your main responsibility is the safe operation of the motor vehicle and not the operation of your cellphone. And if someone calls you out on that, your reaction should be one of shame and not blame.

And to be fair here, I have seen many male drivers texting — and even some police officers who supposedly should know better but apparently do not. Sadly, we as a society can pass all the laws we want against texting and driving but the genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to stuff it back in.

This behavior is now ingrained and the only way to stop it is starting with the individual person who decides texting and driving is not appropriate; not because it is against the law but because the dangers that exist are too great for anyone to bear the consequences.

If you are a passenger and the driver is texting, forcibly tell the driver to stop, or take the phone from his or her hand and toss it into the back seat. Parents can do their part by checking the texting log against when their child is driving.

I doubt the driver in question will read this because this letter is not being texted, posted or tweeted. But perhaps her friends, family, peers, co-workers will, and maybe there is hope if they decide to take a stance against this dangerous practice.

My family expects me home from work in one piece, as I am sure your family does for you. Do us all a favor and put down the dang phone.

David Pekala

Rice Township

Writer skeptical

of nuke plant

I have been reading articles about the gas pipeline venting gas once in a while in Dallas. I would like to inform the people of Dallas not to worry too much about the smell of natural gas additives. What they really should worry about is the nuclear plant in Berwick.

The writing is on the wall. This plant could have a problem and everyone within 100 miles will have to run and never return to the contaminated Dallas area again.

This plant is the worst nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. It reportedly had five high-level and 175 low-level safety violations between 2000 and 2012. PPL Susquehanna spokesman Joe Scopelliti says the plant is trending toward fewer violations per year, but he doesn’t have the exact number. Are you kidding me?

I wonder if he realizes that he is talking about an ancient nuclear power plant. There is something fishy about all those violations that do not do any harm. There were two unplanned shutdowns in 2012 on Unit 2.

I think it is past time that these reactors be shut down. Let New Jersey build its own reactors in New Jersey. That is who is getting the electricity. Why should we have a reactor in our area when it does not benefit us in any way?

Charles F. Hoyt


Dems could have

avoided shutdown

I am writing to dispute recent characterizations of what just transpired in Washington.

House Republicans passed four bipartisan bills to fully fund our government. One of them had an additional string attached to it, that the medical device tax be repealed. The medical device tax is one of the many new taxes created under “Obamacare.” It is a tax on medical equipment used to heal the sick, including everything from pacemakers and MRIs to bedpans and stints. Have things gotten so bad that we need to tax life-saving devices?

Congressmen Lou Barletta and Tom Marino were right to seek repeal of this tax, and it demonstrates the willingness of Democrats such as Rep. Matt Cartwright to tax anything that moves, even if it’s lying in a hospital bed.

Because Senate Democrats and President Obama couldn’t bring themselves to repeal this tax on the sick and dying, the only substantial addition to a bill that otherwise fully funded the government (House roll call vote 497), our government was shut down.

Characterizations to the contrary are simply untrue.

Charlie Spano


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