Voting on Veterans Day would emphasize honor
I respectfully disagree with an Aug. 12 letter in which the writer objects to combining Election Day into Veterans Day.
I believe that holding elections on Veterans Day would be an excellent way of reminding us that we have the right to vote today chiefly because of the sacrifices of our veterans. Further, former Presidents Carter and Ford are veterans themselves and probably have this in mind.
To address the writer's concerns, veterans' parades and other activities could be held near the polls.
BRENDAN B. PATMAN
Animal cruelty the worst of crimes against cattle
As I read the article in The Vindicator's Aug. 8 edition about the three young people from Canfield who attacked cows on June 30, I was not only saddened but outraged. The article states how three youth were charged with criminal trespassing and felony vandalism, which involves destruction of property used in a business. It also mentions the monetary value of the cattle, and that stress from the attack has had a negative effect on milk production. The article almost makes you think they attacked a machine.
Nowhere in the article does it mention that charges were filed for the worst crime of all -- that these young people intentionally hurt innocent, living, breathing creatures for absolutely no reason other than to have a good laugh.
I can't imagine the pain these animals endured, as they were beaten with a baseball bat and fluorescent light bulbs, with three cows suffering broken ribs. I certainly hope that the judge took into consideration not only the monetary loss, but also the needless suffering that these young people caused. I shudder to think of how these animals felt on the night of June 30.
Pennsylvania welfare department updates rules
On March 7, I traveled to New Castle to hold a press conference with District Attorney Matthew Mangino on the need for new state rules to improve the safety of young children in care outside the home. Our concern was that some child abusers and violent felons were being paid by the government to provide child care to young children. For years, I have led the effort to convince the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to require criminal record and child abuse background checks on all child care provides who receive public funds and to deny these funds to child abusers and convicted violent felons.
As "common sense" as this proposal sounds, the department had been resisting requiring these checks since I first introduced legislation to require DPW to do this in September 1997.
I am happy to report to your readers that because of pressure exerted by leaders like District Attorney Mangino and news coverage of papers like The Vindicator, DPW reversed its position earlier this month and pledged to begin requiring child care providers to undergo criminal record and child abuse background checks. These checks will then be used to forbid violent felons and child abusers from receiving public funds to care for children. Parents deserve this level of reassurance about the safety of their children when they leave them in care to go to work.
It will be important to monitor DPW's actions to make sure that the department meets its commitment in a timely manner, but let's be clear -- these new rules are good news for Pennsylvania families.
ALLYSON Y. SCHWARTZ
X The writer, a Pennsylvania state senator, represents the 4th District.
Left-turn arrow needed
We have a problem of backed-up traffic at the intersection of Midlothian and Southern Boulevard when the light is green and people are trying to turn. You can't get around because you have traffic coming in the lane you're trying to get into. The results are cars' turning on red. There needs to be a green arrow there before someone is killed or hurt badly. This is just a matter of common sense.