June 26th, 2015 2:13 am

First Posted: 1/10/2013

Scientific studies require transparency, credibility

Although I was pleased to read about the study recently initiated by the biology department at Misericordia University that focuses on the relationship of Marcellus Shale development to forest fragmentation and its subsequent effect upon surrounding wildlife, this does bring a few questions to mind. Why haven't we seen similar studies on the effects of drilling on people, animals and plants living near well pads?

According to what I have read, professors and students will focus on an area affected by the installation of a pipeline. But in Pennsylvania, there are families living a few hundred feet from well pads and dairy cattle grazing in fields that are a stone's throw from frack-waste ponds. Why haven't teams of researchers descended upon the drilling sites to gather information?

Recently, State University of New York at Buffalo disbanded a research group that had been funded by the energy industry because it was determined that the project was nothing more than a university-approved rubber stamp for points of view favorable to the Marcellus industries. A similar situation has also come to light at Penn State University, regarding the projected economic impact related to development of the Marcellus and funded by energy companies. The Misericordia research is partially funded by drilling companies Williams and Chesapeake.

As government money for academic research dries up, and universities increasingly look to industry for funding, corporate dollars will be used to control the messages that come out of our research institutions. If there is a perception that some aspect of drilling, processing or transporting the gas is associated with serious unmanageable problems, then you can bet your bottom dollar the industry will invest money to direct attention away from these types of problems.

The Misericordia initiative seeks to address an important environmental consideration. Hopefully, it will result in recommendations to remediate environmental problems associated with installing pipelines. Meanwhile, the most unsavory aspects of the Marcellus industries are intentionally hidden from the public.

When money from the fossil fuels industries is used to establish a research project or to fund a political campaign it is not because of a commitment to truth or democracy. It is because the board of directors of the company has determined sufficient potential for the investment to pay a dividend for stockholders.

Healthy eating tips from an area restaurateur

As people re-commit to healthful living at this time of year, the Brown Barn Café in Shavertown wants to offer a few tips on eating lighter at your favorite area restaurants.

Enjoy a glass of refreshing water with your meal. Stay away from calorie-laden sodas and heavy alcoholic drinks. Choose salads. You can make a delicious meal of a big salad by adding some grilled chicken or fish.

Ask your server how the meal is prepared. Your chef should be able to substitute something steamed for an item cooked in butter.

The magic words are on the side. Dressings and sauces can be served on the side; that way you can still enjoy their flavor, but in smaller, less caloric amounts.

Opt for vegetarian meals. Often vegetarian meals contain less fat than meats.

Even though we know it's really difficult, skip dessert and sip a glass of herbal tea, instead.

If you've resolved to eat healthier this year, you can still enjoy eating at the many delicious restaurants in our region.

Where did money go in Wilkes-Barre Township?

This is in response to residents satisfied with the recent tax hike.

This is not the case with many other residents. They do not show up to raise their concerns or complaints because when they do they are belittled, berated and ridiculed and made uncomfortable to the point where they will not return under the current administration. Our elected officials, along with some of their cronies, can be very unprofessional at times such as these.

We warned you about rising property taxes. Now it has happened. But, beware, this may be only the tip of the iceberg. We now hear they need for millions of dollars to repair the sewers. Nineteen dollars per household will not be enough to cover these repairs even with the help of businesses.

You will see your sewer fees go up and probably start paying for garbage pick up.

Did you notice your sewer maintenance fee bill? The current charge is for the end of the fourth quarter which is December and should be paid in January. It is now due middle of December. You will also receive another bill in January that will be due in February. The problem is you are paying in February what should be due in April after the first quarter. Grab your wallets, it is coming, and soon. The pattern is forming.

It is very easy to govern with a drawer full of money. Now that it's gone, let's see how they lead and manage and what they have to offer.

We see so many towns less fortunate than ours, but holding the line on taxes and making hard decisions on their budgets. It is time our council takes a good hard look at this budget and cut waste.

Marxist tilt of far left eroding families, values

Another mass killing and the left blames the Second Amendment and the law abiding citizens. They take no blame for this even though their policies produce this evil -- violent movies, TV shows and video porn.

There is constant pressure on families in which both parents have to work to survive and have less quality time for child-rearing. The powers that be, with their relentless attack on good, produce evil for the love of money and are deliberately destroying the family.

They don't believe anything is evil unless it's a Republican or a tea party member. They hate Christians, but love Islam. They tried to destroy Christmas and Jesus, but failed. They won't quit until they ram Marxism down our throats and eliminate religion (Christians).

The country is divided and they love it. Join us and believe in our policies or nothing.

They attack the Bible even though reading it will produce better humans and lead them in the correct path. The Ten Commandments can't be displayed because it reminds them how evil they are.

Marx never worked; his family survived by friends and government help. This is where we are today and the producers are tired and worn out and worried about their futures because of less hope and more burdens.

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David Wasilewski Hunlock Creek John Costello Chef/owner, Brown Barn Café Shavertown Joe Naperkowski Wilkes-Barre Township Joe L. Souder Berwick