Articles

4/23/10

Editor:

There are two very popular programs on television: “Survivor” and “The Biggest Loser.” I watch The Biggest Loser because I sincerely root for all the people working 100 percent harder than I ever could to become healthier, look better and live longer. That they may gain quite a bit of money in the doing is of no concern to me. “Survivor,” on the other hand, is all about putting everyone else out of commission. Ironically, I think the titles of these two programs should be reversed.

3/19/10

Editor:

I was happy, and at the same time got a reminder laugh, to read the statement of Northgate School Board’s Shirl Reinhart that a college visitation program costing “...a couple thousand dollars each year” faces possible elimination. (The Citizen, March 12).

Don’t like the word “possible.” I would strongly urge the continuing of good financial responsibility and scrap the “...or reduction of the trip...” consideration.

3/12/10

Editor:

What an amazing evening it was on Friday, March 5, at the annual Arts Odyssey! An evening of music, performance and appreciation of all things art (including culinary arts!), an often overlooked and undervalued element of children's education. I want to applaud the work of Shirley Reinhart, Arts Odyssey Committee chair and Northgate Board member, along with the entire Northgate school faculty, staff and administrators who each year embark on celebrating the joys of the arts and for nurturing the arts within the hearts and imaginations of our school children and community members.

3/12/10

Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to commend a variety of individuals who assisted me during the recent emergency snow storm. This storm virtually could have stopped the borough services, but several people were instrumental in coordinating efforts so that our borough of Bellevue proved to be a success story in the face of severe adverse conditions.

Mike Bookser (Bellevue) and Fred Fisher (Avalon) for coordinating the emergency operation plan that I enacted in order for services to be rendered properly.

3/5/10

Editor:

2/26/10

Editor:

Is the school tax increase justified?

What I would like to know as a taxpayer is, did the school boards of Avonworth and Northgate look at all options before taking the easy way out and try to raise taxes?

What happens later this year when the gaming revenue gets handed out? They are not going to lower taxes.

So I guess before we just raise taxes the school boards should look at all options and make sure not to gouge the taxpayers. Between sewer rate increases, higher school taxes, and new county assessments, when will the taxpayers catch a break?

Kevin Yurkovich

2/26/10

Editor:

All too often we take the time to register a complaint, but unfortunately never take the time to register gratitude for a job well done.

Bellevue public works supervisor Mr. Tony Barbarino and his entire crew are to be commended. These guys were out day and night working with skill and organization. Roads were made passable, including secondary roads and alleys, within a remarkable amount of time.

As a longtime resident of Bellevue I now have a greater appreciation for what these guys must endure. Joyce M. Donovan Bellevue

1/8/10

Editor:

When people live long enough in a small community, it breeds the good old boy familiarity that is fine when it’s neighbors helping neighbors. But when it comes to politics, that familiarity becomes misplaced trust at best, unchallenged corruption at worst.

I worked 30 years in political offices. In one of them, a girl who was arguing for her candidate said to me, and I quote, “Well, at least he’s my crook.” Of course, that mind set is scarier than...the hot place.

12/24/09

Do you believe in angels?

I do, because I've had the honor of meeting a rare few in my life. They took the form of regular people, with human weaknesses and frailties. Some people could never see beyond their human characteristics to witness the endless capacity for love, the courage, the conviction, the passion.

Rosemary Heflin was one of those angels. Today she has gone back to the heavens. We have lost an angel here on earth, but perhaps gained a guardian for all eternity.

12/24/09

Who were the people who stood out in the news of 2009?

For the first time, we need to recognize entire groups of people rather than individuals, and all of them are voters -- or not.

The voters of Ben Avon deserve some recognition for staging an election coup of remarkable proportions. We aren’t sure what message they were trying to send to their government, but the lesson they delivered was that no official should ever take for granted his seat in government.

12/18/09

Editor:

No matter what she does it seems like Jane Braunlich can't win in Bellevue this year. Today I write in response to Virginia Miranda's letter printed on Dec. 11.

Miranda wrote, "I've always been a rule obeyer, which has definitely annoyed more people than I can count." Hmmmm. I'd say Jane Braunlich is a kindred spirit. People who attended Bellevue Council meetings in the past year where Dave Gillingham and friends would roll their eyes and fume as Jane Braunlich pointed out that our law, Bellevue's home rule charter, was being ignored, will realize that.

12/18/09

Editor:

It's hard to believe we are at the end of another year. And what a year it has been! The economy is the worst it has been in decades and unemployment is still at a staggering high. Still, the New Year always rejuvenates the soul as we look forward to a better year.

Personally, I enjoyed meeting hundreds of Bellevue residents this year. I enjoyed the discussions about Bellevue's past, present and future. I am honored to be chosen as a member of council and I am excited about the upcoming year.

12/11/09

Most societies -- like most religions -- find that things work a whole lot better when they have rules. Given the boundless creativity of human beings, it's just a whole lot easier when people are told very clearly what they can and cannot do.

There are some, of course, who will argue that it is possible to create a utopian society in which boundaries are determined by the individual. That's why there are a bunch of 40-year-olds walking around with names like Moonbeam and Lettuce. Hippie communes died out real fast once those kids hit junior high.

12/11/09

Editor:

One of the worst problems unearthed in the Braunlich-Piet vote is the finding of an undelivered absentee ballot in the trunk of a car. This occurrence unnerved me second only to the thought of finding a body in the trunk of a car.

11/13/09

Editor:

I have asked this question in the past, but again, I feel the need to address this, to not only our schools, but also to every member of this community.

Our veterans have given their lives for our freedom and safety. These brave men and women are, right now, far from home and in harm’s way, but only 20 or so members of the community can give 20 minutes of their time to attend a service at Bayne Park in honor of the veterans.

7/31/09

Editor:

Northgate had a fine tradition of letting their alumni return in the summer and use their facilities to train for their particular collegiate sport. It was an unsupervised honor system that worked well. I know this personally from having coached at Northgate for 10 years. But this tradition was brought to an end by a rookie janitor. Let me explain:

7/3/09

Independence is something that has always been treasured in American society. Our dedication to the concept of independence started with the entire nation’s battle for freedom from a monarchy that sought to control everything from our religious beliefs to the expenditure of tax dollars. We formed a country based on individual rights. But more than that, we revere the image of the rugged individualist, courageously standing alone against the powers that be.

And that is where our desire for independence ends, with the “powers that be.” We have never wanted our governments to be independent from the will of the people. For more than 200 years we have adopted laws at every level of government to ensure that those paid with our tax dollars conduct business in the open, where we are able to observe and comment on -- not to mention influence -- the decisions made.

It is a distinction that Bellevue officials would do well to recognize.

I

6/19/09

TAX AND SPEND

Editor:

Wonder how many of the Avonworth School Board members who voted for the recent tax increase for the school district complained this week when the Governor raised the state income tax? I am sure there were a few.

Between the governor and school board, they have now wiped out any savings from the funds received from the casinos across the state for property owners.

6/12/09

Editor: The June 5th article “Concession Stand Up for Grabs” was very misleading. Avonworth School Board President David Oberdick indicated that the Avonworth Football Boosters were giving up the concession stand due to “lack of volunteers.” This is not the case. The decision to eliminate the concession stand as a fund-raising endeavor was not taken lightly and the pros and cons of operating the stand were considered for several months. The school district, in fact, started this whole process when they tried to take the stand from the football boosters this past season. The events and facts that led up to this decision are as follows:

5/22/09

Editor:

5/15/09

Editor:

I live in Avalon. I go to Avalon Elementary School. Our playground is in bad condition.

We have some equipment, but there is graffiti on it. Other equipment is broken and falling apart. We don’t have any swings. We haven’t had any for a long time.

It makes me feel sad that our park is in such bad shape. I wish other people would take care of the park and respect it! What can I do to make a difference in our community? I s there an “Extreme Makeover Playground Edition?” If so, sign us up!!

Isabella Patterson Avalon

5/8/09

Editor:

My family and I are fairly new to the Bellevue neighborhood, having moved here about 18 months ago. In this time, we have met many wonderful, friendly and kind people. Unfortunately, I am not writing about them in this letter. Rather, I am writing about someone we have not met, at least not formally. This letter is about...the person that decided to walk onto my porch and help themselves to something that was not theirs, and in the process turned my 5-year-old daughter’s day upside down and left her hurt and crying.