Letters to the Editor

Letters: Common sense needed for PIAA playoff system changes; Veterans should be honored on monument

State Rep. Scott Conklin discusses PIAA playoff legislation

Conklin introduced legislation that would separate playoffs for public and private schools in Pennsylvania.
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Conklin introduced legislation that would separate playoffs for public and private schools in Pennsylvania.

Veterans should be honored on monument

Why were the stars removed from the Miles Township veterans monument? A few years ago Miles Township took over responsibility for the care and upkeep of the privately sponsored Veterans Monument in Rebersburg. They decided to replace one of the stone pillars and make some needed corrections. The original group that made the monument put a etched star beside the name of those that were Vietnam veterans. This was done to correct the fact that they were initially forgotten and listed as Vietnam Era Veterans. At least the star honored their time in Vietnam. When the new pillar was erected, the people in charge took it upon themselves to remove the stars from the Vietnam veterans’ names. Why it was done was never explained? The township supervisors and the people now responsible for the monument care more about protecting the person responsible for the initial decision to remove the stars than correcting the monument and making it 100 percent historically accurate. People served both active and inactive duty. They should be honored for their own deeds and not take credit for something they never did. They should be listed correctly for their actual service as noted on their discharge paperwork or awards that prove their service. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jim Hironimus, White Hall, Md.

Common sense needed for PIAA playoff system changes

State Representative Scott Conklin’s legislation would separate playoffs for public and private schools. While this would erase a perceived inequality in Pennsylvania high school sports, I believe the proposed legislation would be unconstitutional based on ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka) which was 1954 Supreme Court decision involving segregation. Segregation, yes, the legislation would great separate but supposedly equal competition.

The problem lies not in 66 counties of Pennsylvania, but one — Philadelphia. Private schools can accept students from anywhere. In Philadelphia an athlete from northern area can attend a school in the southern area. Why not create a good well thought out transfer rule to prohibit transfers for athletic reasons?

Legislation could double, at very least, the costs of championship tournaments. In football, there will be 12 games — 6 public and 6 private. Who will pay for the additional cost? I did not read that that Commonwealth will pick up the tab for these additional championships. There will also be additional cost for District competition as well.

In basketball, there will be 24 games — 12 for boys and 12 for girls. I do not know all of the sports (and number of classifications) for which the PIAA holds championships but a few others are baseball, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, wrestling and soccer, etc.

We must stop knee-jerk reactions to our perceived problems and start using common sense. For some, (as an example, legislators) they should try it. They may like it.

Thomas M. Kupchinsky, State College

Changes to prison mail system were needed

On behalf of over 12,000 Pennsylvania state corrections officers, the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) supports the commonwealth’s efforts against legal challenges to its mail policy that was developed after a rash of K2, a synthetic canaboid, was being smuggled through the mail in prisons throughout the system.

Simply put, our officers were becoming seriously sick from a substance that could not be detected. Once the department took unprecedented steps, working with the PSCOA, to protect the safety of everyone, I can report that illnesses from our officers are down considerably. That’s what Pennsylvania’s policy is all about: safety.

And inmates still receive their mail. Perhaps other states should look to Pennsylvania as a model for how it handles its mail.

Jason Bloom, Harrisburg. The author is the president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association.
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