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Why turf fields with lights matter, solar power, and more: Letters to the editor

‘Allocate funding for turf fields with lights’

The Centre Region needs the sport fields planned in Whitehall Regional Park. As the President of Centre Soccer Association (CSA), I have witnessed the growth in soccer in the region, and how our infrastructure has not kept up.

A 501c3 in operation since 1985, CSA offers soccer programs for all abilities and ages, with more than 1,000 players from ages 4 to 64. Unfortunately, this spring, 30% of our season was canceled because of poor field conditions.

Those 1,000 players step onto a field a whopping 26,000 times per year playing in one of our programs. And we are only 1 of 23 groups looking for field space this fall! Just to meet current demand, the Centre Region probably needs a dozen new fields. Or we could build facilities with artificial turf and lights.

One single lighted turf field will absorb the demand of up to three unlighted grass fields, and be usable immediately after it rains, in cold weather, and into the early evening. These amenities are not a luxury, but a necessity and we must allocate funding for turf fields with lights.

Demand is exceeding supply for rectangular fields, and the plan for sport fields in Whitehall Regional Park must go forward. The COG has unanimously supported this location for fields several times. Those prior votes represented a wise investment in the future of our region. Whitehall Regional Park should proceed expeditiously and the already-approved fields must be prioritized and funded. - Matt Vidic, State College, PA

‘Solar is the future’

Solar is now. Solar is the future. The tide has turned and we need leaders who get it. Vote for Ezra Nanes for State Senate and Erin McCracken for State Representative in November.

In the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of joining local and state leaders to unveil two solar facilities in Pennsylvania. Elizabethtown College and the University Area Joint Authority both brought solar farms online that will supply significant amounts of energy for them. They are in the 20 largest solar facilities in Pennsylvania today. But they are about to be dwarfed by facilities 5, 10, or 20 times their size.

Solar is among the fastest growing job sectors in the country and it’s about to burst in Pennsylvania. New solar farms will provide clean, renewable, zero-carbon energy that will support construction, maintenance, and design jobs across the Commonwealth. These jobs cover the spectrum from GED to Ph.D, provide income to farmers and other landowners without the tricks of the fracking industry, and can fallow land to save it for future farming: a triple win.

Today’s legislature buried its head in the sand, tried to kill solar jobs, and avoided their responsibility to deal with climate change. Meanwhile, they’ve played fast and loose with big polluters and taken dirty money wherever and whenever it’s convenient. It’s time for us to embrace leadership for the future. Erin McCracken and Ezra Nanes are ahead of the curve. They will ensure good jobs, healthy communities, and a stable environment. Peter Buckland, State College, PA, Chair of the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors; Disclaimer: I speak for myself, not the board.

‘Job well done!’

They did it again! Two years ago, the Penns Valley marching band were in the Grange Fair parade in full uniforms! This year, they di dthe same thing and they really looked sharp.

The people in Penns Valley can really feel proud of them. Thanks again for a job well done! - Teurezine Bressler, Aaronsburg, PA