Submitted by Readers
Regarding John Skubak’s letter of April 30, “A change of heart on background checks,” about Second Amendment rights: I want to go beyond that scope.
Owning a gun is a right, not a privilege. I am a former convict and cannot own one, but do I not have the right to protect myself and my family?
The problem with society is we never let former inmates forget that they are “ex-cons.” I was in trouble 10 years ago and have since turned my life around. But I still can’t get a break.
I applied for work at a local cable company and was told that I was qualified, that all that was needed was a background check.
Needless to say, I never heard from them again. Even though they still “rob” me every month, I forgive them.
And that is what we need to do: Give second chances. It is the reason why criminals go back to being criminals. They try it the right way, but just can’t get a break.
Business owners who interview someone, see that he or she has made mistakes, and automatically disqualify them are part of the problem. Give people a second chance – they have done their time and supposedly paid their debt to society.
The biggest crooks are running our country, but Americans give them second chances.
Not all criminals want to do the right things, but they are not the ones sitting across the desk looking for a break.
Donald Titus Jr.
Shopping locally not always best choice
We all hear people say, “Shop locally. Don’t support chain stores.” And I always agreed, until recently.
I frequently shopped at an area fruit market. Sure the prices were a bit higher, but it is locally owned, so I spent the extra money.
I recently took my 3-year-old with me and, as you can imagine, he is a curious child. He handled a tomato while I was checking out and a worker at the market proceeded to grab the tomato and scold him.
I asked the worker to refrain from speaking to my child in such a manner. He responded by telling me that if I didn’t like it to shop at Walmart.
Now I do shop where I save money and time, and my children are treated with respect.
So much for keeping it local.
Commissioners’ article raises questions
As an employee of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, I feel compelled to express my concerns regarding information that was shared in the Commissioners Corner article published in The Tribune-Democrat on May 15.
In this article, the commissioners discuss the bonus received by college President Walter Asonevich. This information was not discussed openly at any board meeting held in the past three years, as I have attended all of them. That leads me to believe that the information was discussed in an executive session of the board, as are all employee issues. Executive session discussions are to remain confidential; at least they are on all of the boards on which I serve.
While this information is in fact public knowledge, I am unaware of anyone making a request through the college’s Right to Know process to obtain such information. I know this for a fact, as I am the college’s Right to Know officer and did not receive or process any such requests.
I can only conclude that Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder, who appointed himself a member of the board of trustees, obtained this information during an executive session of the board and felt free to share that information with the public.
One additional point of clarification: All employees received a bonus at the same time as did Asonevich. These were given to make up for a wage freeze that impacted all employees. The trustees had full knowledge of this, including Lengenfelder.
Trish A. Corle
Is Cambria board exceeding authority?
As the accreditation liaison officer for Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, I would like to offer clarification on points made in the May 15 Commissioners Corner article.
First, it is stated twice that the college “is at risk of folding” and “at risk of closing.” While the commissioners believe they have that power as the local sponsor, that authority lies with the state Board of Education and the secretary of education.
Likewise, Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder’s recent actions toward the college are clear violations of the ethics of a governing board member as outlined in the Middle States Association’s “Characteristics of Excellence,” which state that trustees of institutions should “not manage, micro-manage, or interfere with the day-to-day operations of the institution. Always, the advocate, and when necessary, the defender of the institution, the governing body is responsible for the institution’s integrity and quality.”
Furthermore, “governing body members, regardless of how appointed, have primary responsibility to the accredited institution and should not allow political or other influences to interfere with governing body duties.”
Apparently, Mr. Lengenfelder has confused his position as a commissioner with his ethical responsibilities as that of a college trustee. Since he is clearly not advocating for or defending the college, he should resign his position on the board of trustees since his actions are in violation of our accrediting standards and represent a conflict of interest.
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