Poll: what about essential workers?


The recent revelation that the Allegheny County executive’s inner circle was handing itself big pay raises is disturbing to say the least (“big raises for Allegheny County’s top workers raise questions of timing”) . Currently, 80% of all county workers, represented by AFSCME Local 2622, earn less than the county median wage. This is unacceptable.

Allegheny County workers come to work every day because they are dedicated and loyal public servants who are committed to keeping our most vulnerable neighbors safe. During the pandemic, the work to keep children, youth and families safe could not stop — this vital and essential work had to continue. The workers represented by Local 2622 went to work every day. When restaurants reopened, our members were there to inspect them to ensure the safety of residents. When our communities needed public health services, our members were there. Allegheny County workers are deeply committed to providing vital and essential services.

We negotiated in good faith with the county. Yet the county continued to argue that there were no additional funds for wage increases for these essential workers. When county leaders want to find funds for selfish purposes, they can find it.

The county executive must honor these professional workers with professional compensation.

John D. Galuska, Greentree

The author is Director of District Council 84 of the AFSCME.


Vote Democrat if you care about freedom

Calling all Republican, Libertarian, and Independent moderate women: Vote Democrat this fall if you value your freedoms, if you value political moderation. Our only choice, even if you have always voted majority Republican (like I have for 35 years), to purge the party of extremist candidates, literally bordering on fascism, is to vote for moderate Democrats.

The annulment of Roe v. Wade, essentially forcing minority religious beliefs (the devil with Thomas Jefferson’s separation of church and state, right?) on women without thinking about their bodies, minds, their Lives, is more than reprehensible. The rapist who got you pregnant may have more rights than you. Judge Clarence Thomas is now questioning the right to contraceptives. Scary.

For all the so-called “pro-lifers” – there are over 420,000 children languishing in foster care who would love to be adopted. Many poor, single women forced into childbirth will need a lot of financial assistance and education so that we can lift this child out of the cycle of illiterate poverty – who is stepping up to provide this support? Many of these children are hungry; how to feed everyone? If the mother dies during childbirth, which hands have blood on them? Gun violence is rampant in our schools and neighborhoods; how to stop the death of innocent young people?

The reality is that these so-called conservatives (who once believed in individual freedoms) really don’t care once the child is born. Please vote to correct this imbalance!

Karla Thomas, Hempfield


How about some “Thou shalt not kill” signs?

Media reports of mass shootings always generate a liberal knee-jerk reaction to mindlessly ban guns, but hypocritical politicians never include their own bodyguards in gun bans. Wouldn’t it be much more rational to ask that more law-abiding citizens be trained in carrying firearms for self-protection?

Why the rise of gun violence in our society now after always having had the right to bear arms? What social change has occurred that could be attributed to soaring murder rates?

In January 1970, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to ban the Ten Commandments being posted in all public schools and government buildings. According to FBI statistics, the murder rate in the United States rose from 5.1/100,000 in 1965 to 10.2/100,000 in 1980. Perhaps the doubling of the murder rate since the prohibition of Ten Commandments is just a statistical coincidence. However, what do we have to lose by at least displaying “Thou shalt not kill” signs next to the “no weapons” or “no smoking” signs that currently occupy the walls of our schools and government buildings. ?

If “no smoking” signs are meant to inspire people to abstain from smoking, perhaps “Thou shalt not kill” signs can also inspire people not to kill.

Dr. Joel I. Last, Greensburg


We need relief from soaring fuel prices

Pennsylvania rarely ranks in the top 10 states for most positive things. Where Pennsylvania ranks higher than most states is our second highest gas tax in the nation (just after California), a dubious distinction.

In 2021, Pennsylvania received nearly $30 million in covid money from the Fed. Most recently, Pennsylvania received $13.2 billion from the infrastructure bill. Our governor is currently begging lawmakers to spend, spend, spend! As inflation driven by high fuel costs crushes Pennsylvanians who can least afford it.

Why haven’t we heard from lawmakers about lowering the gas tax? Gasoline tax exemption? Anything? Why don’t the media (television or written press) highlight this deafening silence? Do your job, journalists!

Paul Vescio, butler


The Supreme Court is consistent

In the fourth paragraph of the editorial “Does the Supreme Court Believe in States’ Rights or Doesn’t?” », you state that « The decisions practically contradict each other… ». In the next paragraph you go on to point out that “guns are specifically set out in the Bill of Rights”. You also point out that abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, as well as your sarcastic comment that women are also not mentioned in the Constitution.

Contrary to your conclusion, I find the court’s decisions to be consistent. Both decisions are based on a literal interpretation of the document. To me, if you want women to have a constitutional right to abortion, then initiate and pass an amendment to the Constitution that does (just like the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote). It is a specious argument to suggest that what was written in 1787 is wrong because it does not mention women.

Our Constitution was a giant step forward because it had an impact on the world. When they were written, the company’s global standards were considerably less inclusive than they are today. We remain the freest and most inclusive country on the planet.

John Irvin, Lower Burrell


Does Giant Eagle, Dick think babies are worthless?

I find it appalling that Giant Eagle and Dick’s Sporting Goods are proud to pay a woman’s transportation costs to go somewhere to kill her baby. It’s amazing that these two companies, among so many others, seem to think that babies are worthless.

Larry Kuszaj, Penn Township, Westmoreland County


We need a Marshall Plan for our planet

Since the 1970s, Big Oil has known about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. Like the tobacco industry before them, they lied to the American public. The oil companies, along with the Cato Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Koch family, have spent money and influence to convince Congress and the public that man-made climate change is a hoax. For decades they have halted progress in converting to green energy just so they can keep making money, disregarding the danger to our health and that of the planet.

Unfortunately, rather than listen to the scientists who sounded the alarm on climate change, too many of us choose to listen to the propaganda of the big oil companies. Precious decades have been lost. Now we are in the midst of record droughts, floods, mudslides, rising oceans, water shortages, Arctic warming, soil erosion, farmers unable to grow their crops and extreme weather conditions all around. And Big Oil is always lying to us.

A better choice is available. We can choose to listen to science and believe our own eyes. We can choose to mobilize to ensure a livable planet for our children. Ask our federal and state government to move aggressively toward green energy. Let’s discuss how we are changing our culture: how and where we live, travel, buy or eat to develop and promote a sustainable and livable planet. Let us ask Washington for a Marshall Plan for our planet.

Patricia Oliver, North Huntingdon

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