Thank you, Thomas Murt
Thank you to Rep. Thomas Murt for his powerful testimony to the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Murt laid out a cogent case about how important it is to fund programs and services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Murt also reminded the committee about how vital the annual state appropriation to the Tourette Syndrome Alliance is to their mission of supporting children who have Tourette Syndrome. In his testimony, Murt reminded committee members that to be effective, early intervention is the key to help children with disabilities reach their highest potential.
Thank you to Rep. Murt for his ongoing and passionate support of Pennsylvanians who have disabilities. We are lucky to have you representing us in Harrisburg.
Russians should speak English
In response to Mark Tretter’s letter to the editor, “Speak English in the USA,” published in last week’s Northeast Times:
First, Mr. Tretter, don’t assume that I am an immigrant because of my name. I’m an American citizen just as, I guess, you are.
Second, I agree with you that the language is English. The point you miss is that, if you are white, like the white Russian immigrants from all over the Northeast, you can speak your language and no one complains, but any other person from other countries who are not white get the looks and sometimes comments like, “This is America. Speak English.”
Be fair with everyone, that is my point.
Being white does not give you more rights.
Please tell the white Russian immigrants to speak English in the USA.
Lawmakers dropped the ball
The marijuana grower that plans to locate in Parkwood is forbidden by state law from operating a dispensary at the same site. An existing grower seeking to open a dispensary on that site would have to get that provision of state law changed first, and also get a zoning variance. But marijuana lobbyists got the existing law enacted. Why couldn’t they get state lawmakers to create an exception?
And that is a special situation, anyway. In most cases, state and city legislation has been drawn to favor deep-pocketed marijuana industry investors. Their lobbying bought them the right to bypass zoning processes that would give local residents’ voices the chance to be heard.
Existing law will allow marijuana businesses to locate on many sites in our neighborhoods without community input. That is of particular concern in the case of dispensaries, where marijuana will be sold. Without meaningful evidence about the impact that these businesses will have on our neighborhoods, the state and the city gave them the go-ahead. Zoning changes proposed in the draft district plans for the Far Northeast are likely to open even more sites to dispensaries.
Unfortunately, our elected officials dropped the ball. They chose to leave Northeast residents, in many cases, with no say as to where marijuana growers and dealers can open for business.