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Letters to the editor

November 30, 2003

All are under the same law


To the editor:

Marriage between two people who love each other is a laudable and quite traditional notion, so why do some people hate and fear the idea of same-sex marriage?

In most cases, it's a simple misunderstanding. Many people think of marriage as a religious institution, but marriage is a legal government contract. No couple can get married without a government-issued marriage license first. A marriage license gives married couples immediate access to hundreds of legal rights and benefits.

A civil contract should be open to couples whether they are of the same or opposite sex, and it cannot be subject to religious restrictions. Religious institutions will remain free to decide whether or not they will perform any particular marriage ceremony. But any same-sex couple must be free to say "I do" in city hall.

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Others' objections are more stubborn. They oppose - on religious grounds - even civil marriages for gay couples. The irony is that these people have their religious freedom because they have been given protection - by the Constitution - from someone else's religion being forced upon them. They ought to return the favor.

It may come as a revelation to them that American law and the Ten Commandments are two different things. We call ourselves a free society partly because we permit all sorts of things that supposedly go against Holy Scriptures - blasphemy, fornication, making graven images, coveting your neighbor's maidservant and more. Marriage in a secular office by a justice of the peace is irrelevant to their concerns.

The single most important principle in our country is that all of us are equal under the law.

Alan L. Light
Iowa City, Iowa




Unions can help


To the editor:

Once again Corporate America gets the gold mine and the working men and women get the shaft. I'm speaking of course about Allegheny Energy. You know the "Sure Thing in a Changing World."

Allegheny finally filed their 10k with the SEC and boy was it filled with some interesting information. Specifically page 422 titled "Agreements in Respect of Named Officers Retirements." Let's start at the top.

Alan Noia past CEO, chairman, president, etc., will get a pension of $65,683 per month. The board of directors saw fit to give an extra $4 million, or $133,333 a month for 30 months as a severance package.

And $72,422 from a deferred compensation plan. An office for three years at Allegheny's expense, and finally Allegheny will maintain the state-of-the art security system at the Noia home for three years. How's that?

Mike Morell, ex-vice president, was awarded 11 years of service added to his six actual years of employment and he gets $13,454 a month. I personally don't know if he will be able to survive.

Bruce Walenczyk, ex-senior vice president and CFO, left with only $3,000 per month and he was only here for 1 1/2 years. If I retire at 65, I will have 44 years of service with Allegheny and I won't even get to sniff three grand per month. And of course there were other perks such as enhanced life insurance, stock options, etc.

Realistically I guess that's pretty fair considering these executives forced people into retirement, ruined our 401k's, and crumbled a financially sound company. The thing that really blows my mind is that they seem to have no remorse.

When is enough, enough? We've been in need of linemen and meter readers for years and we're told there's no money. Well it's no wonders we're broke, and this only three of the ex-executives.

Will corporate excess ever stop? If enough of us get sick and tired of the way big businesses are run and we join together, then maybe we'll have a chance.

Is having a union the answer? Absolutely, because with a union you have a voice. It's not the corporation against one person. It's people fighting for what's fair, and yet fighting to make the company they work for a better place.

All over the United States executives are getting these packages while the working people have to pick up the pieces of their lives. People with more than 25 years with a company and are forced to find other jobs because the company they helped build went under due to bad management.

People now have to work two or even three jobs to make up for what they lost, and some never get the chance to retire at the golden time of their lives because of Corporate America.

Now is the time, people. Join a union and be active. Let's tell Corporate America we're tired of getting stepped on, we have a voice, and we want our piece of the pie. It's time to take the fight to them.

Lance R. Nigh
Greencastle, Pa.




Still for Dane


To the editor:

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