Empower Erie News & Updates

Community college could help make Erie great again: Letters to the editor

Posted on February 10th, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Community college could help make Erie great again: Letters to the editor

This article was originally published on GoErie.com.

Recently I read that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to cover tuition costs at state colleges for hundreds of thousands of middle- and low-income New Yorkers.

The governor is proposing to cover tuition costs for students already accepted at New York state colleges and universities — including two-year community colleges — whose families earn $125,000 or less a year.

Then I read a letter to the editor in the Erie Times-News opposing the creation of a community college. I'm mystified by this juxtaposition of progress and provincialism. It has always seemed odd to me, given the diverse demographics of this town, that Erie does not have a community college.

After high school, I attended College of Dupage, a community college in the Glenn Ellyn neighborhood of Chicago, and to this day I believe it was the best and most fulfilling postsecondary education option for me. I was searching for direction and knew I needed to go to college to be employable and ultimately succeed. I'm so thankful that I had a community college to help me decide "what I wanted to be when I grew up."

I moved to Erie three years ago now and still can't figure out how good ideas seem to meet with such resistance. Not to be cute, but I think that the community college could help make Erie great again. I hope that provincialism will not win the day on this one. Erie residents deserve the opportunity to access a community college and all it brings to a region.

— Megan Mastro, Erie

Constituent frustrated by

efforts to reach Toomey

I have been attempting to contact my U.S. senators in order to give them my opinions regarding confirmation votes for the new Cabinet. Because these votes are currently in process, it is of great importance to be able to contact our senators in a timely manner. The most convenient and effective way is to call. When calling Sen. Bob Casey, I have always been able to leave a message or speak directly to someone on his staff.

However, when I call Sen. Pat Toomey's offices, no one answers, and it is impossible to leave a message. I have been attempting to get through to Toomey for three days now. The phone at the Washington, D.C., office (202-224-4254) informs me that, day or night, someone is on the line and the mailbox ix full. When I call Toomey's Erie office (814-453-3010), I get a busy signal, day or night.

While I'm sure that the volume of calls is larger than usual at this time, I don't believe that Toomey's volume is any larger than Casey's, and I can contact Casey without a problem. It appears that Toomey does not want to hear the opinions of his constituents, be they for good or ill. How can he represent us honestly if he will not hear our experiences and opinions? Toomey's lack of accessibility is extremely frustrating, and I expect far better from my elected representatives.

— Gerald Hoffman, Washington Township

It's up to progressives

to resist President Trump

It 's been a couple of weeks since Donald Trump, the thin-skinned man-child, raised his hand to take the oath of office for the most powerful post in the world. He's been busy having his white nationalist sidekick, Stephen Bannon, writing all of those executive orders. Think about it, a man who was not even elected to office is writing actions that are changing Americans' and immigrants' lives. It's exhausting and terrifying. How are we going to resist?

The Women's March was awesome. I couldn't make the trip to Washington, D.C., but I was at the rally here in Erie. Originally we had hoped for 150 to 200 people, but we were heartened to see thousands of people - women, men and even small children - coming from all sides. It was so amazing and uplifting to be among so many like-minded people. They all wanted the same thing, to resist, to fight this administration. Yes, he won the Electoral College, but no mandate. A man who lost the popular vote by 3 million people is now destroying our country.

So what do we do? Join a progressive group, such as Keystone Progress. Stop watching Fox (fake) News and start going online to progressive websites that are calling out all of the things that these extremists are doing. I go to Daily Kos and Ring of Fire every day to see what's been happening. I don't trust the big networks anymore because I feel they are a big reason why we're in the dilemma we're in now. They allowed Trump to have way more airtime than any of the other candidates and routinely spouted lies about Hillary Clinton. This is what took the Democrats down, all the lies that went unanswered.

And so now we have a president who speaks more lies than truths and gets away with it because he calls them "alternative facts." No, they are not "alternative facts," they are all lies and he needs to be called out on them every time he or one of his surrogates spouts a lie. Call them all out and don't stop. Don't give up! We need to resist this and protest and march, and if you can't march then call your senators and congressmen every day and demand that they fight for your rights. Don't let up, register to vote, just do it! Fight for our country.

— Mary Wier, Harborcreek

Behrend students lauded

for helping out motorist

I would like to express a special thanks to Penn State Behrend students Corey Lenhardt and Gabriel Despres.

As we all know, driving around Erie in the winter can sometimes be a real adventure, and I found myself off the road and buried in a snowbank on my way to school at Behrend.

Corey and Gabriel appeared and helped pull my car out. They also would not accept my offer to pay them for their assistance.

Thanks again to Corey and Gabriel for their help.

— Alex Lyon, Fairview

Trump's abortion stance

is political calculation

Apparently suffering the vapors over the participants' conduct at the recent Women's March, Ted Meehan of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Coalition chided them (Jan. 31) with sarcasm while neglecting to think they might have taken their cue from the hyperbolic and offensive President Donald Trump.

Meehan sees Trump as pro-life's true champion even though the man has reversed polarity on the issue several times and has only arrived at his current position, actually all of his positions, for the sake of political expediency. His campaign brings to mind H.L. Mencken: "If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."

— Jerome Swabb, Erie

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