Letters: School climate; Paterno statue must be part of Legacy Plaza

·5 min read

School climate

We recently learned that the Kutztown School District canned a middle school reading project because the book chosen was based on stories of how teenagers are reacting to the reality of climate change.

One school board member even asked if the school would promote “the other side of the climate story.”

While there is only one side to climate facts, there is another side to Kutztown pulling a climate-related book from kids’ hands. Connecticut and New Jersey now require climate change instruction in their schools, with Oregon, California, and New York considering similar proposals.

Different states and different school districts will come up with different ways of incorporating fact-based climate instruction into the curriculum. But ignoring and avoiding discussion of what the impacts of climate change will be on current students is a dishonest way to educate our children.

Today’s students need to learn about climate change early on so they can address the failures of our current leaders — and for their own survival.

Connie Schulz, State College

Paterno statue must be part of Legacy Plaza

If plans for the Football Legacy Plaza do not include plans for the exhumation of the Joe Paterno statue and its prominent display there, it will be a travesty.

Merlin Ritz, State College

Fentanyl crisis must be addressed

Tons of manufactured fentanyl is coming from China to Mexico sold to the Mexican cartel and flowing across our borders to the U.S. The number one cause of death in the U.S. of adults ages 18 through 45 is fentanyl. It’s 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. They are dying because they don’t even know what it is! Coming in knock-off pills like Xanax and other drugs. These young people are actually being poisoned by drug dealers. If a jumbo jet crashed every day I’d guarantee you on the third day they would shut down all the airlines to see what the problem was. Almost everyone knows of some young person who died of fentanyl. I had two nephews die from this drug. It’s a gut-wrenching loss for the family. I will be contacting lawmakers in Congress on the state and federal level to enact laws for capital punishment for drug dealers that are convicted of selling fentanyl. Anyone selling this drug for any length of time will result in someone’s death. They know what they’re selling.

Ed Emel, Bellefonte

Myers, Kassab have experience State College needs

The upcoming primary election is an opportunity for State College voters to support two outstanding candidates for Borough Council. I am referring to Evan Myers and Kevin Kassab. Council will be losing years of experience with the departure of Peter Marshall, Janet Engeman and Jesse Barlow. Given financial and other pressures, hard choices will have to be made to maintain the excellent public services and quality of life Borough residents enjoy. It is in the interest of all citizens to have experienced, committed representatives making those choices.

Myers and Kassab bring complementary qualifications. Myers has voluntarily served two terms on council and on the Borough Planning Committee. As chairman of the COG financial committee, he rendered outstanding service to the region. He is committed to a financially stable, inclusive and safe State College. He brings experience as senior vice president at ACCU Weather.

Kassab also has impressive credentials. He has recently retired from a long career as a valuable member of the Borough staff. His work involved outreach to neighborhood associations, nonprofit agencies, student organizations, community groups, and small businesses. Kevin is widely known for his many contributions to the quality of life in State College. It is rare to have a candidate with his depth of on-the-ground knowledge of the Borough.

As a past mayor and council member, I urge you to help State College move forward by voting for Myers and Kassab in the Democratic primary.

Ronald Filippelli, State College

Museum needs more support

A particular childhood hobby of mine was playing with and later strictly collecting 1960s and 1970s England’s Lesney Matchbox diecast products.

Lesney’s 1/64 scale vehicles were beautiful, authentically detailed gems that were clearly the best toy cars in quantity then available.

By 1981 I knew that this was a future lifetime hobby for me. Now, after decades, my diecast collection has grown to astronomical levels and dollar value.

In 2013 I transferred my collection to a free museum open to public viewing at 142 W. Bishop St. in Bellefonte. I currently estimate the total number of vehicles at 100,000 plus another 250 undisplayed.

I’ve made attempts to reach out to the Bellefonte borough asking for assistance getting my museum mentioned in various guides, maps and directories. Flyers and business cards were distributed to Bellefonte train station Commerce office, plaza shops and a bank, plus anticipated future distribution in Bellefonte Cruise gift bags.

But despite my best efforts, I fail to generate much public turnout. I have to depend on my sidewalk open signs and flag, and it’s a costly winter operation.

Such guides as the Business & Industry of Centre County, Bellefonte Visitor Information Guide and maps are just some sources of exposure, visibility and potential foot traffic. If only local tourism guides could promote my diecast and Historical Railroad Museum, it would benefit everybody.

More support for my museum would be a win-win for the town by increasing tourist visits and foot traffic for the whole community.

Bruce C. Bechdel, Bellefonte