Pipe and Higgins showed commitment to CCMPO
In 2006, I was appointed by Patton Township to the Coordinating Committee of the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization, which allocates transportation funding for the county. After a few years, I served as vice-chair of the committee, and then served as chair from 2013 through 2017 (with Mike Pipe agreeing to serve as vice-chair).
The CCMPO has a funding formula that uses hard metrics (road mileage, population, etc.) to determine budget responsibility. Much of my time as a vice-chair and chair was spent negotiating whether the funding partners, including the county, would meet their funding obligations. When Mark Higgins began his term in 2016, the county finally made a commitment to provide stable funding per the CCMPO’s funding formula. This commitment allowed to CCMPO to focus on other initiatives, including securing funding for the I-80/99 high-speed interchange.
There were many people and groups at the local, state and federal level, both in the public and private sector, that deserve credit for securing the funding for the I-80/99 interchange. For its part, however, the county Board of Commissioners deserves credit for eliminating the uncertainty, starting in 2016, that then allowed the CCMPO and its staff to focus on its primary mission and to use its resources more efficiently and effectively.
I’m supporting Mike Pipe and Mark Higgins for re-election because they enabled the CCMPO to stop arguing over thousands of dollars in order to focus on bringing tens of millions of project dollars into Centre County.
Trump’s disastrous Syria policy
The Trump-Syria policy is a disaster.
Trump has betrayed the Kurds, our closest allies in the fight against ISIS and pulled American forces from Northern Syria declaring “ISIS is defeated.” Even Lindsey Graham, the president’s staunch supporter, called this a “lie” and the decision “a disaster in the making.” A day later, facing near universal criticism, Trump tweeted that he would “destroy” the Turkish economy if it does anything, that he, in his “great and unmatched wisdom” doesn’t like. What does that even mean?
By abandoning the Kurds, Trump devalued the sacrifice of the 11,000-plus fighters who died. He gave Turkey permission to invade Syria, an act that will cause countless more deaths, release thousands of ISIS fighters, and create a new humanitarian crisis. And, it strengthens Russia, Iran and Assad.
Trump ignores defense and intelligence briefings, doesn’t listen to advisors and relies on his “gut” to make decisions. He bases decisions on the last conversation he had, often with a foreign leader. Bypassing the departments of State and Defense he announces his decisions by tweet leaving our country lurching from policy to policy.
The real world means collaborating with allies and treating them with respect. It means honoring our commitments and being a partner others can trust. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote “nations with allies thrive, and nations without allies wither.” Under Trump, our status as a trusted partner has slipped away. It will take years regain — if it can be done at all.
Ferguson Township will benefit from Mitra on board
During our four decades of stay in State College, we have been very fortunate to meet many highly accomplished people. About 16 years ago, we met Dr. Prasenjit Mitra, a resident of Ferguson Township, when he moved to State College. We have known him closely since then. He is now a candidate for supervisor in Ward 2 of Ferguson Township. We are writing to enthusiastically support Dr. Mitra’s candidacy for this position because we are convinced that he would be an outstanding supervisor.
While living in Ferguson Township for the last 16 years, he has made many friends and is aware of the major issues facing the township. We know first-hand that he cares deeply about the sustainable development of the township, preservation of the environment and social justice for all residents. He has served in many leadership positions with a major employer in State College and has always gone an extra mile to help us and countless other people. He is thoughtful, energetic, smart and honest. He makes decisions based on facts and he works hard to implement evidence-based solutions. He also interacts well with people of diverse backgrounds. For these reasons we think that he will be an outstanding township supervisor in Ward 2 of Ferguson Township.
We wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy. The township will be fortunate to have a person of Dr. Mitra’s intellect and ability on the board of supervisors.
Team that’s ‘fighting the good fight’
On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, we urge Centre County voters to re-elect two individuals who have fought tirelessly for working families. Commissioners Mike Pipe and Mark Higgins have earned the trust and support of the unions of our labor council and we strongly encourage friends of labor to vote for Mike and Mark. They have supported vital services for early childhood development programs, invested in senior centers across the county, hired additional staff for the county veterans office, and became the first county in central Pennsylvania to approve paid parental leave. They’ve accomplished all this and more without raising county property taxes. Further, they’ve done this through teamwork. The investments they’ve made into our downtown businesses are helping grow and strengthen our communities. We look forward to working with them on issues of worker safety and how to continue to create family-sustaining jobs in Centre County.
Vote for the team that’s fighting the good fight: Pipe and Higgins.
Penn State should do more to prevent fake ticket sales
For the first time in my life I was one of the hundreds victimized by criminals selling fake tickets to the Penn State-Michigan game. I know there were that many because I stood in line with them at the ticket resolution booth at Beaver Stadium until we realized nothing was going to come from waiting. What troubles me most is the laissez-faire attitude of Penn State officials. They are great at issuing a warning that of course very few fans will ever see, but not so effective at providing any sort of attempt to stop this from happening. I’m not faulting them for off-campus purchases but most of these criminals set up their enterprises right on the avenues on campus leading to the stadium. In fact as we were conversing with one of these folks, a policeman asked us to move our car forward. What would it take for campus security to approach these criminals with a ticket scanner in hand to ascertain whether tickets they were selling were valid and making arrests? I would estimate there were over $10,000 worth of thefts in the ticket resolution line at Beaver Stadium. This wasn’t a small scale operation. So I’m left with how do I replace my $110 that I lost. Based on Penn State’s lack of effort to control this on their own campus I guess my annual $100 donation to my alma mater will take the hit. Oh well ...