Letters to the Editor - Sept. 22

September 22, 2012

Obama has ignored fundamental problems

To the editor:

I am appalled after watching the Democratic National Convention. President Obama ignored fundamental problems: 1) Wall Street and top banks dominating politics; 2) the economy; 3) $16 trillion national debt that keeps rising; 4) America’s credit rating dropped; 5) jobs and home foreclosures; 6) security leaks.

Instead, Obama takes facts out of context and throws up smoke screens — gay rights, Social Security, Medicare, Romney raising taxes on the middle class. Romney would not eliminate Social Security or medicare benefits for those over 65 already on those programs. Both parities need to end Wall Street dominance.

President Obama promises energy independence. Instead, he sells our gas to Europe and coal to China. He glutted Clinton’s Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Obama offers no plausible plan to control national debt, which will overwhelm us.

Grant Olson
Waynesboro, Pa.

Prison program is innovative and life-saving

To the editor:

Steve Vogel’s Sept. 11 report in a national publication, “U.S. starts campaign to prevent suicides,” provided information on what steps the U.S. military is taking to help save the lives of service personnel from the rise in suicides. This is a most-needed program in any large organization and community.

In Maryland prisons, Secretary Gary Maynard in 2007 implemented a suicide prevention program for incarcerated citizens. The Inmate Observation Aide (IOA) program is innovative and life-saving. The prisoners who are selected and trained as IOAs are taught the five danger signs to recognize possible suicidal individuals. We use the acronym FATAL.

F — Final preparations: Individual gives belongings away.

A — Attempt: 80 percent of people who’ve tried suicide once will try again.

T — Threat: Two types of threat; Direct — person tells you exactly his intentions; Indirect — warnings like, “I have no future;” “my family would be better off without me;” etc.

A — Attitude: Severe behavior, mood swings, depression, crying, etc.

L — Loss: Deals with family loss, feeling abandoned, loss of time, etc.

People in prison often suffer PTSD similar to military personnel. Thankfully, Secretary Maynard saw a need and acted. Hopefully, our military will be just as successful in its suicide prevention program.

Larry Bratt, No. 168687
Jessup Correctional Institution

Chickens should be the least of our worries

To the editor:

The poor residents of Middletown and Boonsboro ...

In response to the article about the one chicken in town, all you have to worry about at the moment is one chicken. Maybe you need to call in the state’s attorney.

I live in Sharpsburg, in Washington County, zoned agriculture farmland and was fined $100 for having three peacocks loose, but when I was attacked by a raccoon in broad daylight and had to fight it off, Washington County was not concerned. They just told me to call DNR. I paid the fine only because the next time it would be $500.

I have lived in Washington County for 45 years and had peacocks for 40 of them. I had 25 signatures from neighbors who had no objections to the peacocks. I hope the chicken gets to attend the special meeting, but if he is sentenced to death, send him to me. You can ship him via USPS (they take poultry up to 25 lbs.).

People are dying in wars to fight for America’s freedom, and you are worried about a chicken.

T. Hopkinson Sr.

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