Mailbag: Letters From Readers

June 25th, 2015 6:13 am

First Posted: 5/9/2013

High praise for surgeon who saved a special life

Recently we lost one of the most outstanding surgeons from our area, Dr. Emil P. Howanitz. More than 50 years ago he saved our baby daughter’s life at the Nesbitt Hospital in Kingston.

He was a gentle and kind man and we will always remember what he did for our daughter, who is now a strong lady thanks to him.

Sam and Sandy Liguori

Forty Fort

Congressman Barletta needs to get in real game

Congressman Lou Barletta in a baseball uniform warming up.

I’d suggest this “one-trick pony immigration guy” warm up with some jobs for his district, Pennsylvania and the country instead of only working about 80/90 days a year and playing baseball.

A member of Congress = worthless; an actual working-and-getting-things-done member of Congress = priceless. See any around lately?

William Eydler


Church thanks volunteers for setting, cleaning up

St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish of Swoyersville recently held its annual spring rummage sale, April 8-13.

We would especially like to thank the men of the parish, Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society, Boy Scouts who pitched in Holy Saturday afternoon to set up the church hall for the sale merchandise coming in Easter Monday morning. They then came back Saturday, April 13 to pack up the leftovers and clean up the hall to perfection. We salute you and thank all of you for a job well done.

Mary Zukosky Publicity chairman

The Confraternity of Christian Women

St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish

Writer says recidivism part of a program system

Hundreds of thousands of prisoners are released on parole or on probation every year, but the majority of them will return to incarceration in fewer than three years. This will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to keep the prisoners fed, clothed and healthy in expensive secure prisons. Why does this happen?

When they are released, they are not eligible for cash assistance, food stamps, health care or public housing and because many of them have felony convictions, they can’t vote and are ineligible to apply for government jobs and are rejected for good jobs by many private employers.

As a result, they return to crime. Beginning in January, released inmates will be come eligible for Medicaid, thanks to Obamacare. However, this still doesn’t solve their problems in finding employment that pays a livable wage to support themselves and their families or in getting on the path to becoming good citizens.

In spite of what some believe, the drug war that was started in the 1980s has been quite successful in achieving its purpose for two reasons. First, those who planned it invested heavily in building private prisons that are now returning record profits for them. Second, the majority of the record number of prisoners are minorities who can no longer vote.

Until the rules for citizenship rights and employment opportunities are changed, taxpayers can expect to support these former inmates who will be returning to prison.

David L. Faust


A few more thoughts on God, kings and men

In response to Mike Mozeleski’s response to my letter: I agree, President Obama and all other leaders are ordained by God. But they are still human and they do not always do what is “true holy and good” as suggested.

David (2 Samuel: 11) was chosen by God, not people, to be king, yet did many things that displeased God. And consider Solomon (1 Kings: 11) another King chosen by God. The things he did against the law were horrendous. Don’t try to tell me a man “chosen” by other humans would be any better. No man is capable of the attributes that you feel President Obama exudes. I repeat my first pleas: Pray for the president and the United States.

M.L. Nichols

Harveys Lake

Children/Youth workers are doing a great job

Many of the greatest achievements in life occur not in front of crowds, but in the quiet silence of day-to-day dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence. In March, 2013, the professional team of the Luzerne County Children and Youth (CYS) was recognized for such achievement in the annual survey and evaluation conducted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is the second year the agency has received an outstanding review.

So, why is this achievement so important to the residents of Luzerne County? Well, it sends a message to all county residents that there is a committed, dedicated, group of case workers and support staff working to protect the most vulnerable members of our community: our children. It also tells us that behind the headlines and because of the pro-active work of many, the CYS staff has done an outstanding job protecting the children in our community.

The survey sampled 79 different types of cases, or about 27 percent of all CYS cases. Specific recognition was given to success with the Family Reunification Program, monthly Critical Case Reviews, roundtable meetings with judges and the active adolescent unit to address the needs of the youth aging out of the program. Two areas of correction were identified; ensuring that all records have proper Childline clearances (three records) and that all staff members have a minimum of 20 years of training per year. The final report showed the agency is doing an outstanding job meeting its mission of caring for and protecting children in our community.

The report went on to say that this outstanding work is being done with 29 case worker vacancies; 19 of which were lost because of budget issues. Clearly, we all agree with the need to do more with less during these difficult economic times. Yet, it is important to find the right balance in staffing so as not to jeopardize the safety and well being of children in our community.

Caseworkers are the first line of protection for the children. Each of us can only imagine what these professionals see and hear each day and what kind of decisions that must be made to ensure the safety and well-being of children. The CYS leadership team has the difficult responsibility of ensuring that there is an adequate number of trained professional staff to meet the needs of children in our community.

The mission of the CYS is three-fold: ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children in our community. Simply put, the mission is to ensure that children in our community live free from abuse and neglect and are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

As voluntary members of the Luzerne County Children and Youth Services Advisory Board, we felt that it was important to recognize this quiet achievement of a dedicated group[ of professionals. We realize that this is only a snap shot. However, as fellow citizens, we wanted you to know what his been accomplished and of the dedication, hard work and professionalism of a wonderful group of people. As advisory board members, we salute the entire CYS team for a job well done!

Edward Blazejewski

Chairman, advisory board

Luzerne County Children and Youth Services