Supervisors should visit, save forest
During the Aug. 5 Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors meeting, a member of the community asked if any of the supervisors had walked into or through the Pine Hall forest. None of the supervisors responded. I was astounded and dismayed that the people in charge of making choices about land use had not spent time in the space that they are about to dramatically change. How better to learn about and experience the space than to spend time in it? A gentleman at the meeting explained to me that when he served on the College Township Planning Commission, he would make it a point to go to the site of a newly submitted development plan to observe what was there. He gave the examples of finding a historic tree that was saved from being leveled for a hotel parking lot and discovering a sinkhole could have been a construction site problem but instead remained as part of the Centre Region’s water recharge site. Even though the land is privately owned, there can be stipulations placed on keeping the land and what is on it naturally sound. What we know now about the value of forests is vastly different than what folks understood the last time that this property was logged. Please, supervisors, use that knowledge, as well as what you discover during your personal explorations in the forest, to inform your decisions.
Be sure to attend Monday night’s meeting at the Ferguson Township Municipal Building and make your voice heard about saving as much as we can of the Pine Hall forest.
Impact of guns can’t be ignored
I was wondering how long it would take for this bit of bumper sticker sophistry from our game show host-in-chief to trickle down. Well, there it is, in the CDT letters to the editor for Thursday, Aug. 8th, from a writer in our Centre County neighborhood. “These weapons do not pull the trigger themselves! The person holding the weapon must pull the trigger ...” So, it’s not the gun. It must be something else, right? We need to address mental illness and the video games that inspire violence, something has to be done about hate on the internet, social media needs to be regulated, and racism and white supremacy needs to be called out by the president and his rhetoric needs to change — all worthy considerations, no doubt. However, whatever it is that motivates a mass shooter, it is always combined with a gun. We need to stop swallowing slogans from the gun lobby and politicians that gloss over the impact of guns on the welfare of our communities, and deflect us from any consideration of sensible gun laws. It’s shameful that the Second Amendment, a constitutional right intended to protect the people, is being co-opted to protect guns, and their manufacturers and dealers instead. I waited to submit this letter as a reminder while all the political chatter of the last couple of weeks is distracting us. Let’s not forget this time about exactly what happened in one weekend in El Paso and Dayton.