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Letters: Reschedule, and restore meaning to, Presidents Day; County tax no picnic for small hotels

Why we celebrate Presidents’ Day

Presidents' Day? George Washington's birthday? Whatever you decide to call it, the third Monday of February is meant to celebrate past and present presidents.
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Presidents' Day? George Washington's birthday? Whatever you decide to call it, the third Monday of February is meant to celebrate past and present presidents.

Restore meaning to Presidents Day

I have a proposal to honor our great leaders, Presidents Washington and Lincoln, that returns the meaning to Presidents Day. Currently we have a national holiday that is celebrated with huge sales at stores; additionally, it is used as a three-day weekend to allow for traveling (read: spend money). Schools are closed; banks and post offices, too. Quite a lasting reminder/legacy of two of our great presidents ... NOT.

I would like to see Presidents Day relocated to the first Tuesday in November, Election Day. Our democracy works best when the electorate engages, best represented by going to the polls on Election Day. Certainly people need to be motivated internally to vote, and sadly many are not. Still, our government could ease the burden for some by making Election Day a national holiday. Rename it Presidents Day. I most sincerely don’t want to create yet another paid holiday!

What a great message this would send to our youngsters about the incredible importance and responsibility to participate in our democracy. Our worldly reputation would be boosted a bit and perhaps it could be a suggestion to other nations.

Let’s show ourselves and the world that we see participation in our democracy as more valuable than the revenue generated by Presidents Day sales. What a fitting way to honor Washington and Lincoln.

Roy Sletson State College

For small hotels, county’s tax hurts

While I am in no way surprised at an elected official’s ignorance rearing its ugly head, Steve Dershem’s comments about the hotel tax show just how out of touch he is with the most local of politics. As the owner/operator of a small hotel for the last 10 years, smack in the middle of Aaronsburg, I can tell you from experience that the hotel tax hurts small hotels. I would also like to point out that the Dutch Fall Festival, while perhaps seeing monies from the new tax, has virtually no effect on the county hotel occupancy rates. Oh, and by the way, Steve, we’re not even the only hotel in Aaronsburg.

Jack Van Heyst, Aaronsburg

Friedenberg both a doer and a dreamer

I support Marc Friedenberg in the May 21 special election for 12th District U.S. representative. With Marc, what you see is what you get. He’s honest, sincere and dedicated. Marc has exceptional technical and social skills, but I’m writing because Marc also has a vision of how to create better opportunities for our children.

There’s increasing disparity between rich and poor, rural and urban, young and old. We need better transportation and communication. We need good jobs. We need to deal with climate change before it’s too late. And we have to be honest, not bombastic, in dealing with these problems.

Marc supports many of the goals in the well-publicized Green New Deal. The Green New Deal isn’t legislation -- it’s a game plan for dealing with our challenges. Specifically, Marc supports improved rural broadband, improved infrastructure and clean energy, improved health care, support for our farming community and jobs that will motivate and sustain our children.

In our finest moments, the United States has dreamt about a better future and then made that dream happen. Reagan called us the “shining city on a hill”; Kennedy challenged us to build a better future; H.W. Bush called for a “thousand points of light”; FDR’s New Deal provided a will and a way to move forward from the Great Depression.

Marc is both doer and dreamer. I think that he’s the right person for the job. I hope that you’ll investigate Marc’s position on these issues and then vote for him.

Brian Dempsey, State College
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