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Letters To The Editor 5/8/2019

May 8, 2019 GMT

Treatment center

squabble unjustified

Editor: There’s an important Scranton Zoning Hearing Board hearing tonight at City Hall on the proposed Lakeside Treatment Center near Lake Scranton.

The project is, unfortunately, a victim of not-in-my-backyard syndrome. Before the objectors’ histrionics take center stage, here’s a dispassionate overview. Lakeside is a nonhospital, drug-free treatment facility created for those who already have completed a 28-day drug or alcohol detox program, but who need more counseling before re-entering society.

Lakeside is a “step-down” program of 30, 60 or 90 days’ duration. There are no drugs administered or allowed on the premises. In the midst of our national opioid epidemic, there is a crying need for this kind of facility in Scranton and the objectors admit as much. They just don’t want it anywhere near them, even though it isn’t close.


The facility sits below grade, has a private entry and exit, and will be situated behind a privacy fence and tall, dense shrubbery. Homeowners in the general vicinity won’t even see the facility. There are no traffic impacts, either. Maximum occupancy is 30 clients and 11 staff members. The parking lot holds 132 spaces but clients aren’t permitted cars on the premises.

We self-purchase and transport all food and provisions in our van. When clients need to get to work or an appointment, we drive them. Clients are allowed on the grounds only under staff supervision until the nightly indoor curfew of 8 p.m. Lights out is at 10 p.m. The only visitation day is Sunday. There are no negative impacts on the handful of nearby homeowners. In times of crisis, the greater good, the greater need should prevail. This is such a time.





Beware West Siders

in local poliltics

Editor: An editorial in The Times-Tribune on April 3 (“City provides no incentive to pay fee”) griped about Kenneth Norton being selected for the Scranton School Board although he owed more than $27,000 in property tax and garbage fees.

Some people called for him to resign. I worked at PPL with him until I retired. I knew him to honest, but maybe a little laid back about things that were not important to him.

The Times-Tribune said the school board should have investigated him better. Now, that’s an interesting subject because the Lackawanna County commissioners appointed Fran Pantuso as chief of staff in early March, at a salary of $70,000. She and her brother owe more than $60,000 in delinquent taxes and trash fees. I didn’t hear anyone or read anything in The Times-Tribune calling for her to resign.


Maybe the chairman of the commissioners, whom I am sure wanted her for that job, should have investigated her better. Maybe the voters should be more aware that when anything goes wrong, the chairman of the commissioners does not seem to be available for comment.

Your qualifications to be an elected official in this town or county is to be a Democrat from West Side, one of the good old boys. Maybe the voters should think twice about voting for the good old boys from West Side.




Stalemate continues

Editor: Syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman’s recent column on Israel and the Palestinians continues to advocate a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict in that region.

That idea was implemented in 1948 and utterly failed. As soon as Palestine was partitioned, the Jews declared their state and the Arabs refused to establish their own state.

On May 14, 1948 there were no Arab refugees in Gaza or other Arab countries. Nor were there Israeli settlements in the now-Israeli controlled territories and East Jerusalem had not been annexed.

The Arabs declared war to try to drive out the Jews from the sliver of land granted to them by United Nations. They are still pursuing that goal 70 years later.

Hamas in Gaza is clear about plans to rid all land west of the Jordan River of Israelis. In the last war they shot more than 4,000 rockets at apartments buildings on the Israeli coast attempting to kill as many Israelis as possible. The Palestinian Authority is more subtle in its goal to drive out the Israelis.

So as long as Palestinians insist that there will not be Jews living west of the Jordan River, they will never be willing to establish a state nor will there be peace.




Whiner in chief

Editor: Is it just me, or are other people tired of the president’s whining about refugees on our southern border?

Whatever happened to those words of hope on the Statute of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”?




Biden good for city

Editor: With Joe Biden in the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, it can only be a win for the Scranton area because he always talks about his Scranton roots in the national press.

I think Biden would bring some stability back to the White House. Maybe if he becomes president he can team up with Bernie Sanders and Bob Casey to get some large government contracts or a few manufacturing plants for the Scranton area. It would be nice to get one of those car manufacturing plants.




Busy restroom

Editor: There are more people in the bathroom at a President Trump  rally than there were at Joe Biden’s announcement that he was running for president.