Letters to the Editor

May 18, 2009

Specter sells out

To the editor:

I noted with great disappointment that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania decided to change party affiliations.

I had always considered Specter to be an intellectually honest and relatively sincere public servant. I had viewed Spector as a principled elected representative of the people. I was wrong.

Specter has decided that it is far more important for him to remain in the United Stated Senate than for him to continue to represent and be a part of the party that put him there.

If Specter has issues with the current direction of the party that he has so long been a part of, then he has a duty to work within that party for reform. I did not hear any complaints from him when he benefited from associations with the likes of Ronald Reagan and the once popular Bush family.


However, now that the winds of political fortune have temporarily changed and he is fearful of losing the Republican primary, he is unwilling to stand by his party.

In my mind, this case dramatically proves my point about career politicians. No one ever wants to leave Washington once they become members of Congress, and because no one ever leaves, nothing ever changes. Once again I am forced to make the observation that our leaders believe in and are driven by personal ambition and personal power; they are clearly not interested in representing the people who put them in office.

Rod Pearson Sr.

Your only answer is tea?

To the editor:

With the United States and world economy facing one of the most perilous situations in modem times, one would think that all of us - regardless of our political persuasion - would pull together to do everything in our power to support the current government in its attempt to correct the missteps of past administrations and to forge a brighter future for our nation and for each of us. Only a huge, concerted, and long-term effort can correct our ailing economy, repair America's image in the world and restore our nation to its rightful position of respect and leadership.

Our president, in response to the mandate of responsibilities thrust upon him, will require unity, bipartisanship, commitment of time, energy, patience and money, as well as respect and support for those we have placed in authority.

The vision of this administration is sweeping; it will bring changes to our financial system, to existing new and needed programs, strengthening our schools, infrastructure and leading the fight against global warming. Of course this agenda will be expensive; of course it will take time; of course there will not be total agreement on its implementation. (For example, some who loudly decry the stimulus packages are only too willing to accept quietly whatever share comes their way!) Can we in good conscience criticize those whose ideas have yet to be tested? Let those who do criticize come up with a better plan! Let them try too fill the shoes of a president who, under unprecedented pressure at home and abroad, has accomplished more in his first weeks in office than many managed to achieve in months or even years.

This is a time that calls for greatness. It is a time for serious planning, a time for working together. Above all, it is a time for setting aside all pettiness. And speaking of pettiness, it seems that the only plan some members of our beloved nation can offer is a series of tea parties.

Can we not expect better from those who belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln?

Mary Ann Payne
Fayetteville, Pa.

Save the shooting range

To the editor:

I am writing this letter with a deep sadness as well as to stand up and be heard.

Recently I met my best friend at the Sleepy Creek (W.Va.) public shooting range, along with my 9-year-old daughter, to spend some daddy and daughter time, as well as pass the shooting tradition along to her that my dad passed on to me at that same range some 20 years ago.

Upon my arrival, my friend greeted me with the words, "Dude, they're shutting it down." I was like, "What do you mean?"

The resident manager, whom I just missed, was there and informed them that in two weeks the range would be closed due to vandalism. My first thought, with a lump in my throat, was, no way! Vandalism? Other than some bullet holes in the roof and the wooden structure itself, there is no vandalism.

What there is, is neglect on the part of whoever's job it is to empty the trash bin that is always overflowing, or clean up the thousands of spent rounds that litter the ground that are a byproduct of the shooting sports - which, I might point out, you are not expected to clean up when you are done.

After placing some calls, I learned that the district biologist made the decision to close the range due to a "design flaw." Apparently bullets are leaving the downrange area and traveling through miles of trees and up over the ridge, which is easily seen on Google Earth, and hitting a summer cabin.

I am told the DNR will have to submit the estimated cost to reposition or relocate the range in the 2010 budget. We all know that the proposal will more than likely cost millions, and for that reason be denied - as to which, I might point out the DNR raised the cost of hunting license and doubled the price of bonus stamps only two years ago.

My point is, if there is a "design flaw," why has it taken 25-plus years to surface? Why has this been kept quiet and why with the ungodly amounts of money we the people pay to the DNR can't this be corrected without an indefinite range closure?

And one more thing I might add, if the government can operate an outdoor gun range within the Summit Point raceway safely, why can't the DNR operate one on more than 23,000 acres of forest?

Matt Keplinger
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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