A modest education proposal, drug take-back boxes and more

Letters to the editor April 27 to May 3

Posted 4/25/23

Health comes preventively or reactively

I am tired of helicopters roaring over my head at night, ferrying gunshot victims from Wayne Memorial Hospital to a level 1 trauma center down in the Lehigh …

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A modest education proposal, drug take-back boxes and more

Letters to the editor April 27 to May 3


Health comes preventively or reactively

I am tired of helicopters roaring over my head at night, ferrying gunshot victims from Wayne Memorial Hospital to a level 1 trauma center down in the Lehigh Valley. (But indeed they DO have a bigger blood supply on hand there.)

And I’m losing sleep thinking about the proper book movement to monitor children to read safely without dirtying their minds.

Here are some proactive solutions to both problems, but they will take time. (I put forth this idea because it can also be a way to fill the vacuum in school curricula at Wayne Highlands. As learning to read becomes an optional or forbidden school activity, something has to be done to fill the school hours with meaningful training, if not education. Certainly working parents can’t have kids leave school earlier and come home to cause trouble.)

I propose that a tourniquet course of curriculum fills the empty time when reading is no longer taught. Of course, maybe kindergarten children should only be taught to apply Band-Aids. But by middle school, I bet kids could advance to direct pressure application to stop bleeding (think of Hans Brinker), and by high school, they could graduate to learning proper effective tourniquet use. Graduates could get their own tourniquets as a token of appreciation of their mastery.

But this curriculum is probably too radical an idea for the school board to accept.

As an alternative, a reactive health approach could be taken: kids could go with their parents to Rep. Fritz’s course on concealed gun carry—and it’s free!

Yes, we probably should make such education voluntary and not mandated by the government. Certainly, someone at his lecture could take time to teach the kids how to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds that aren’t instantly fatal. And maybe, as a spin-off, even stop a few suicides/homicides from being successful!

Actually, this is probably the better educational/training alternative—voluntary/parental-sanctioned courses—not government-mandated teaching curricula.

But this will take time.

Meanwhile, I guess I will continue to lose sleep.

William F. Davis M.D.

Honesdale, PA

The country must not default on the debt

I continue to be concerned that our country may default on our debt. Raising the Treasury debt limit allows the United States to finance existing obligations. If the debt limit is not raised or suspended, the U.S. will eventually default on its bills and that would trigger an economic meltdown. 

Congress typically votes to raise the debt limit. This was done more than a dozen times in the last 25 years, including three times during the Trump administration; however, now some House Representatives are linking the current debt limit to future spending cuts. 

They are playing a scary game because the stakes are very high. Defaulting on the debt limit will bring recession, loss of jobs, increased interest rates and chaos in global markets. Their demands for future cuts may include Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid—cuts that are very unpopular and would devastate the financial security of millions of Americans. 

Look at it this way: you borrow money to buy a car and you sign a contract. When the car payment is due, do you pay the bill because that’s what you promised to do? Or do you refuse to pay and give a speech about how debt is bad, and how you must cut your spending? The car loan is an existing obligation, a contractual debt, and it is your responsibility to pay. Defaulting on the car loan will ruin your credit rating and could cause you to lose the car.

House Representatives should not use the debt limit to negotiate spending cuts. These are two very separate issues. 

Martha Scoppa

Liberty, NY

Osterberg’s drug take-back boxes saved lives

I’m writing to express my deep appreciation for the cutting-edge work Pike County Commissioner Matt Osterberg has done in saving lives from the deadly opioid epidemic. 

Due to his leadership, Pike County became the first county in the entire nation to have a retail pharmacy set up a drug take-back box for public use. This leadership not only saved many lives of Pike County citizens; it saved countless lives across America by setting an example that thousands of other counties around the nation could follow. Matt demonstrated that, despite popular belief at the time, this major achievement (drop-boxes in pharmacies) actually could be accomplished. The nation owes Matt Osterberg, and (due to his powerful leadership) Pike County, a huge debt of gratitude.

As Pennsylvania’s first Secretary of the Department of Drug & Alcohol Department (2012-2017), I learned that our ultimate success in reducing drug and alcohol addiction and the suffering it causes depends on strong leadership at the county level. There is no stronger leader in fighting this epidemic than Matt Osterberg.

I remain grateful to Matt, for his courageous and visionary leadership. I’m thrilled that he is running again for re-election. 

I have no doubt that Team Osterberg and Schmalzle will continue to carry the torch and lead Pike County in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Matt and Ron truly care about Pike County, and I am absolutely sure their vast experience, many accomplishments and significant contributions to Pike County will be supported on May 16. I encourage the voters in Pike County to keep Matt Osterberg and his running mate, Ron Schmalzle as Pike County Commissioners. They have my whole-hearted support.

Gary Tennis

Harrisburg, PA

Protect New York’s highway workers all year long

With National Work Zone Awareness Week [April 17-21] recently past, the New York State Laborers Union, on behalf of its hardworking members located on highway jobsites throughout New York, commends New York State and New York State agency efforts to draw attention to the importance of staying alert while driving through work zones, and always obeying the set speed limit. 

Specifically, the union is pleased to see its long-fought and hard-won automated work zone speed monitoring legislation officially implemented to help curb speeding in work zones, and is thankful for the agencies, organizations and elected leaders who supported it and assisted with making it an actuality.

Highway work zones are inherently dangerous places to work, and our members perform those jobs daily so we can easily navigate our communities. 

We all owe it to the men and women of the Laborers to drive safely and attentively through their work zones and to do everything within our capability to ensure their safety. Every single person on those jobsites is important to someone. Do your part to make sure they return home to their families.

It is an unarguable fact that because the men and women of the New York State Laborers show up every day to build and maintain our highways and other infrastructure, New Yorkers are able to commute to work and then return home safely. Holding drivers accountable demonstrates to our members that their hard work is acknowledged, and their safety is prioritized.

We cannot forget that the Laborers’ Union members risked their lives to build these same structures for the utilization and enjoyment of people throughout our state. As such, it is imperative that New Yorkers employ work zone awareness and safety tactics year-round—and not simply for one commemorative week out of the year.

Frank Marchese, Jr., executive director, New York State Laborers’ Health and Safety Trust Fund; Vincent Albanese, executive director, New York State Laborers’ PAC; Patrick Purcell, Jr., executive director, New York State Laborers’ LECET

Albany, NY

letters to the editor


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