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Gerrymandering worries, high-rise blame, and more: letters to the editor

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Penn State football coach James Franklin greet each other as their teams warm up for the game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Penn State football coach James Franklin greet each other as their teams warm up for the game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

‘What gerrymandering does for us’

Half Moon Township has only 2,792 residents, yet it is split among THREE congressional districts. Ferguson Township is also divided into three districts, but these are three PA legislative districts. Such divisions mean that those municipalities do not have a representative who sees his/her responsibility to represent that municipality. That is what gerrymandering does for us.

Gerrymandering is the intentional manipulation of voting districts for political advantage. So, why are we so concerned about this?

If we don’t agree with our elected politicians we have almost no chance of voting them out of office. Also, the people in office have no incentive to listen to all their constituents and compromise. The lack of compromise has resulted in gridlock in our Pennsylvania legislature. - Susan Johnston, State College, PA

‘No politician worthy of your vote’

Not long ago I had the privilege of serving the public as an aide to former congressman Chris Carney. One trait I admired about Carney was his courage to hold a town hall meeting every year in the counties he represented. Not so for our current congressman, Tom Marino.

For the past eight years the only place you could find Marino has been at rallies cheering a man who hides his tax returns, orders innocent children ripped from their mother’s arms, kisses up to despots, thumbs his nose at our allies, interferes with law enforcement agencies, undermines the First Amendment, hurts farmers with counterproductive tariffs, and pays off porn stars. That’s Tom Marino.

During his first term Marino was fortunate enough to receive the best of care when he was afflicted with a life-threatening illness. Since then he has voted over 60 times to take away affordable health care from thousands of his own constituents, including me. The only health care Marino offers us commoners in return is best summed up in three words: DON’T GET SICK.

As CBS’ 60 Minutes so vividly exposed, Marino shamefully sponsored legislation permitting pharmaceutical companies to flood the streets with the deadly opiate drugs that have destroyed so many lives in our region. With huge campaign donations from these same companies, Marino can now afford to boast about what a great guy he is. After eight years of this sad story, it should be clear Tom Marino is no politician worthy of your vote. - Ed Zygmunt, Laceyville, PA

‘Too busy to debate?”

Where’s Tom Marino? In a recent press release, Marc Friedenberg, Congressional candidate for PA 12 District, said, “With the November 6th election just around the corner … my opponent seems to be in hiding and has refused multiple debate invitations.”

According to his staff, Tom Marino has been too ”busy” to debate his opponents in his bid for re-election to Congress. But, Congressman Tom Marino (R) of the PA 12th District, has finally “surfaced.” He found time to be at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Convention Center for a Republican campaign rally with Lt. Col. Oliver North as his special guest.

Marino stated, “I am very proud to rally in support of my colleague and dear friend Lou Barletta (running against Bob Casey) because I know he will be an excellent U.S. senator who will fight to drain the swamp, build the wall and will support President Trump.”

Marino and Barletta have been given the nicknames Thunder and Lightning for their support of President Donald Trump during campaign rallies across the Commonwealth. Tom Marino is, apparently, still too busy to debate his challenger, Marc Friedenberg, who has made himself available to the League of Women Voters invitation for a debate with Marino. As voters, we need this debate. - Carl Evensen, State College, PA

Urban development

Today I walked by a student apartment with the following sign: “Urban Meyer is to blame for all the high rise construction in State College.” Thank goodness I now know who is responsible for the destruction of our bucolic town. I’m happy it’s not our community officials to blame. Shame on you, Urban Meyer! - Amy Allison, Lemont, PA