Letters to the Editor

Letters: Standing up for our ‘sacred’ land; Thinking before speaking and tweeting

Standing up for our ‘sacred’ land

This past weekend we came home from a vacation trip to the island of Maui.

There were two items of interest that were observed that are close to our hearts here in Happy Valley.

Firstly, anything purchased there, whether from a grocery store or from a small souvenir shop, was placed in a paper bag.

No plastic shopping bags were seen — at least our 50th state has its act together.

Secondly, every day their morning paper featured front page coverage of a heated debate about the building of a large telescope on one of their mountains.

The native population is so upset over the encroachment of their “sacred” land that they have set up a camp in order to deter construction.

Locally we may witness another large development, 150 acres worth, to be built on the west end of State College in Ferguson Township. That includes the deforestation of 65 acres known as Pine Hall forest. The loss of those large mature trees would be a giant step backward for environmental reasons.

We must get smarter about preserving what has been here long before ourselves — our “sacred” land that includes its water and trees.

Please attend the Ferguson Township Meeting Monday, Aug. 5th at 7 p.m. and voice your opinion.

Stan and Darlene Smith, College Township

Thinking before speaking and tweeting

After seeing and listening to Trump’s tweeting rants this past week or so, it brought to mind the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.” A picture of the scarecrow with Trump’s face and the words “if I only had a brain” materialized in my head. Perhaps that phrase should be subliminally played throughout the White House. He might catch on, but then again he might not. It is quite evident that he does not think before he speaks or tweets. An example is when he stated he did not like French wine, even though he doesn’t drink wine, he prefers American wine (now wait for it) ... because it looks better. And this, my fellow citizens, is who is running the country. Scary, isn’t it!

Donna Hockenberry, Bellefonte

‘Tree-honoring township’ should preserve forest

In the nearly 40 years I have lived in Ferguson Township, I witnessed the trees and farmland surrounding Ferguson’s border with the State College Borough become subdivisions and business areas all the way to Blue Course Drive and beyond. As Roger Dietz said in his recent letter about Patton Township, development planning honors sprawl over trees.

One large forest remains in Ferguson inside the growth boundary, a 65-acre 120-year-old forest on the edge of Blue Course. With supervisor approval it will become history. Eighty-five percent of this forest is approved for logging by the Ferguson Planning Commission to accommodate a 145-acre “traditional town development.” Only unconnected slivers of the original forest will remain. Mature trees will be replaced by 2-inch diameter street trees.

One mature tree is priceless; how much more this 120-year-old forest — an ecosystem sheltering diverse species of insects, birds and animals and nurturing even more trees to sprout and reach maturity? Why doesn’t Ferguson use all the tools in its toolbox to save this forest? Why not at least 40% or even 30%, numbers in line with a pertinent existing ordinance? After all, we have a Community Bill of Rights that actually guarantees “rights of nature.” We are a tree-honoring township!

For more details, please read Randy Hudson’s Sunday op-ed piece, available at http://nittanyvalley-eco.org/. Please come to the Public Hearing Monday, Aug. 5, 7p.m., at the Ferguson Township Municipal Building to express your opinion about this important subject or provide moral support.

Pam Steckler, Ferguson Township
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