Smith should be shown respect

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In the Dec. 10 story, “Robinson board postpones Range decisions again,” Matt Pitzarella, Range Resources’ director of corporate communications, made comments about township solicitor John Smith that were inaccurate as well as irresponsible.


Gas drilling is a very exciting endeavor as a solution for fuel demands and job creation for our great nation. The prospect of being independent from foreign oil and using a �cleaner-burning and lower-cost fuel is very enticing. There are also significant profits that corporations and landowners can make.


However, along with these large profits, there will be corruption, greed and environmental concerns that will ultimately affect each of us.


Should we not approach this process with caution and guidelines that will balance drilling and the health and well-being of our citizens? One merely needs to look back at history to understand the need for responsible drilling. Agent Orange, cigarettes and asbestos are just a few examples of products that have caused immense harmful effects. There are known hazardous chemicals used in the drilling process, which can leach into the ground and pollute the air we breathe.


But there are also ways to extract natural gas that are responsible and caring. For instance, most drill sites are located on hilltops. This means the frack ponds are also on high ground, and if a spill occurs, hazardous chemicals can leach into the ground and pollute the air. A solution is to replace liner systems with closed loop systems. Did you know Texas and North Dakota have outlawed the use of liners in their states and only use close looped systems?�


We can learn much from those who have already lived through this process. People like Smith have taken the time to learn about these concerns, and we feel he has done much to safeguard our environment and protect our health. Much of this work has been done at his own cost and time. We feel he should be given the respectful consideration and, in turn, we should take the time to listen to what he has to say. We are thankful he is putting in the time and effort to be informed on these issues and is watching our back. After all, if even one of our citizens is harmed from this process, it will have been one citizen too many.



Rebecca Trigger


Jefferson


Focus on politics later

The aftermath of the Connecticut shootings will prove to be what?


Will we see more gun control? Will the Second Amendment be put to the test? Will we see increased security at all schools? What about mental health treatment? Will we see increased services for children?


These are the questions that are being debated. But what about the kids? As the conversation proceeds on the national landscape, I ask what it is the average person can derive from this tragedy? Is it political action? Is it social activism? Both are worthwhile undertakings.


No, the first point of significance is the value of human life. I encourage you to value those people who are sometimes taken for granted. There is so much in this world that we are only able to barely touch in the brief time we are alive. But human relationships are not one of those things. The way we spend our time and attention makes a big difference in the lives of those around us.


So in the face of tragedy, let’s look at how we can all become better husbands, wives, grandparents, siblings, fathers and mothers, and then focus on the politics.



Jonathan Johnson


Waynesburg


Video games, movies change us

On Thursday, I read David Germain’s critique of the movie “Django Unchained” for no reason other than curiosity. His first sentence got my attention. He said that the movie was Quentin Tarantino’s replaying of “… his other blood fests.” As I read on, he alluded to “gunfights carried on to grotesque excess.” “Bodies bursting blood like exploding water balloons. Perversely fun the first five or six times, pretty dreary the 20th or 30th.”


Fun?


Then I thought how significant it was in relation to recent headlines.


I remember when someone said Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons were too violent for children. I remember when they said commercials couldn’t show anyone drinking alcohol because it would encourage drinking. Tobacco ads were pulled from television and print media. We were protecting children, but what about what goes on between the commercials? What is wrong with us?


Learn from history. Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party convinced a nation of 69 million people, through film, newspapers and radio speeches that eradication of Jews and other groups would benefit their dream of a perfect society. Starting in 1933, between 12 million and 20 million people were put to death because most Germans bought into the propaganda.


Ultra-violent video games and movies have been around for years. Since that garbage is still disseminated, it will change us all. Sadly, I think it already has.



Bill Bryker


Washington


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