Pope Benedict XVI has decreed Oct. 12, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013 as The Year of Faith. The Pope has called it, a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world.
I see this as a call to all lapsed Catholics to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with Him through his church and sacraments. It is time to stop blaming Christ and his church for the sins of its members.
One of the gifts of the Year of Faith is a papal plenary indulgence for a pilgrimage to a papal basilica. St. Ann's Shrine in Scranton is such a basilica.
There are many opportunities for private confessions almost daily. If you sincerely want to return to Christ and His Church – go to the Shrine, make a good confession, worthily receive Communion and pray for the Holy Father.
This can return your soul to the state it was at your baptism. I guarantee you the best Easter you have ever celebrated.
The letter Consider all the risks of artificial sweeteners is a typical rant of the nutrition quacks and vitamin pill pushers whose sleazy infomercials dominate AM radio on weekend mornings.
First, the author should keep her sweeteners straight. Most of her rant is about aspertame, sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal, but she mentions that she used to use eight packets of Splenda daily. Splenda is sucralose, a totally different compound that is chemically unrelated to aspartame.
Aspartame contains phenylalanine, an amino acid that is a building block of certain proteins. Phenylalanine occurs naturally in many foods and is harmless to most people. Those with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare metabolic disorder, cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine. Aspartame is harmful to them, as their systems produce toxic substances whenever it, or any food containing phenylalanine, is consumed. The rest of us metabolize aspartame normally, without any ill effects.
Sucralose, sold under the brand name Splenda, is derived from sucrose (common table sugar) by substituting three chlorine atoms for three of the hydroxyl groups on the sugar molecule. Because of this substitution, the body cannot metabolize sucralose and it is excreted unchanged. Unlike the fat-soluble chlorocarbons, which include such notorious insecticides as DDT and chlordane, sucralose is water-soluble and nontoxic.
Since sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sugar, a Splenda packet contains an infinitesimal amount of sucralose. The rest is maltodextrin, an inert filler. An amount of pure sucralose the size of an aspirin tablet equals a pound and a half of sugar in sweetening power.
Perhaps the author should ask her talented and intelligent chiropractor about the relation between consuming excess sugar and diabetes, obesity and the complications arising from them.
I respectfully take issue with Kevin Blaum's disparaging application of the general perception or idea of Barney Fife in offering his commentary in criticizing Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith.
With that in mind, I am certain my comments to follow on the use of the concept or idea of Barney Fife to insult Walter Griffith will be widely understood and supported throughout our area.
I would first ask of those familiar with the characteristics of the character of Mr. Fife -- do you find him simple, or innocent?
I firmly believe the character played by actor Don Knotts played an adult citizen of his community who had a firm set of personal convictions as to what was right and what was not.
The character of Barney Fife lived his life, dealt with others and performed his job with nothing less than the highest standards of integrity, honesty, respect of others, love of neighbor and country and personal responsibility to which, I hope, we all aspire.
Mr. Griffith could do a lot worse than be compared to Barney Fife.
So why did Mr. Blaum's column rankle me? Its because his use of the image of Barney Fife was intended to paint Griffith as simple, incompetent and ridiculous. That inference to what Barney Fife represents is sadly typical of the opinion held by much of the politically or economically powerful to any person such as the character Barney Fife-people like mostly all of the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Stay as you are, and keep doing what you do, Barney -- and Walter.
There has been a reduction in funding for school bands, including marching band, jazz band, and concert band. I'm worried about losing the music program at Crestwood. I'm not only worried that I will lose an incredible experience, but the younger kids at Crestwood will miss the opportunity to experience what I have already accomplished.
Marching band is an extraordinary way to meet friends and promote confidence in students. When they take the field to perform a show before the game or at halftime, they feel like it's their field.
The Crestwood marching band does not go to away games because the school does not provide transportation. We may need only one or two busses. The football team alone needs at least two. Crestwood has already cut the music theory class in which I was interested in taking that as an elective.
I hope Crestwood sees the benefits in school band. If they decide it's best to cut it, then I wish the best to the Crestwood football team, for it will not have a band to play for it anymore.
I spend time at Moon Lake biking in the summer and snow-shoeing during the winter. I notice how many stone walls there are throughout the park. Knowing how farmers are now selling off stone walls in their fields, I got to thinking , why can't the county do the same with their stone walls?
I imagine we are talking about thousands of dollars worth of stone that could be easily removed.
In an economy where every dollar counts it might be a way to help with the costs to keep the park open.
Annette Corrigan Jackson Township Philip E. Galasso Shickshinny Jim Ferry Hazleton Andrew Gamble Mountain Top Ken Turley Lake Silkworth