Keeping Polk Center open is important for many reasons

Karl E. Sparn Jr.

Slippery Rock


I have been in both personal and official contact with elected officials and close friends regarding the Polk State Center issue. Please be advised that every effort and all resources need to be applied to keep this and other state centers open to the public.

I have been in public education for 50-plus years, and the greatest insult and failure to our national educational system was former President Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education in 1978.

Mainstreaming and subjecting individuals with serious and substantial disabilities to regular programs and facilities is a very abusive and damaging process. Everyone being treated the same might look and sound equal, and appear honest, but the results are less than rewarding.

Halfway houses, outpatient clinics and neighborhood housing facilities only subject the very delicate members of our society – and the most in need – to the brutality of mankind.

Polk and White Haven state centers can be strengthened and better used by bringing in a larger patient base and using the many current programs – and those yet to be established and/or retired back into the facilities curriculum.

Polk is a treasured landmark, one that has served Pennsylvania with great pride and humility. The loss of a facility with such a beautiful campus and environs would be, and will be, irreplaceable.

We need it; we have it; we desire it; we need to cherish it – and keep it! Everyone, please engage your efforts to help rescue this historic establishment.


Some officials set bad examples for cat overpopulation

Debbie Shaulis

Pet Solutions



Our government officials are fostering callousness toward cats. We domesticated cats. They are no longer wild animals who can take care of themselves. It is our responsibility to care for them. Our government officials should be the leaders in setting an example of good conduct. But some are advocating bad conduct, conduct that is inhumane and shows no empathy for living creatures.

One township official tells his citizens to shoot the cats by saying, “My uncle shoots the cats.” Another township official told a citizen who called about stray cats that were dumped on her property to “take them and dump them in the woods.” Other officials do nothing when they hear that one or more of their citizens are poisoning cats.

People who commit these acts lose their empathy for living creatures and are likely to commit such acts again in the future. What are they teaching their children? What kind of people are their children going to grow up to be?

We have government officials who do not spay or neuter their cats, contributing to the cat overpopulation. Our government officials do not want to deal with the cat overpopulation. By not doing anything, they are subjecting the cats to bad deaths – poisoning, shooting, being run over on purpose, beatings, and disease. I have seen or heard of all of these. Humane euthanasia is a better ending to their lives.

We need to elect better leaders, people who will set a good example for our citizens and who are willing to solve the problems affecting our communities. Plus, we need all cat owners to spay and neuter their pets.

I am tired of this problem, and it needs to be exposed. Such irresponsibility needs to stop. We need a legitimate solution to the cat overpopulation problem now.


Community outdoes itself after theft at GC Food Pantry

Traci Gerard

Executive Director

Grove City Community Food Pantry

The Grove City Community Food Pantry and Thrifty Threads recently suffered the misfortune of a theft. Someone gained entry into out thrift store and broke into the cash register. All of the money was taken, but in addition, the perpetrator discovered the pantry’s turkey fund and stole it.

The robbery took place just before Thanksgiving, and the stolen funds, which were all donations, were meant to supply turkeys to the pantry’s clients.

By now, everyone has heard about this incident, but what followed this event may not be known. Within hours, the community responded with overwhelming compassion and generosity. Not only were all of the stolen funds replaced tenfold, but people throughout the area filled our freezers with turkeys, hams, and pies.

It goes without saying that we were shocked when we discovered the theft. It felt like a very personal blow. However, that blow soon turned into a blessing as organizations, businesses, and community members everywhere came to our door with aid and support.

The food pantry’s mission is to feed the hungry, and with 550 families currently on our register, people often ask us how we are able to fulfill that mission week after week. This response to our unfortunate experience is the answer to that question.

Community support has always kept our doors open, but this last Thanksgiving it also put dinners on our clients’ tables.

It is now our turn to give thanks to be living in such a loving, gracious, and generous community.

Food pantry thriving thanks to help from community 

Sandra Probst

Director, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Mercer


Many people struggle with difficult circumstances in their lives that bring them to a food pantry. Some of the reasons I have witnessed for finding themselves needing help are from a loss of a job, Divorce from a spouse, injuries from an accident, medical illness, destructive life decisions or even a lower fixed income. Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry has provided food for 115 families with 250 people in these families since July 1 of 2019.

Your donations of food and money helped our non-profit organization to meet the necessary food shortage for them. We are thanking all of you starting with individuals, participants in our local schools, churches, organizations and businesses. The pantry is thriving because of your support. We would not exist but for your help.

The pantry volunteers including myself are proud to be a part of a community that cares about the strife that can affect any of us at any given time. We warmly say “thank you” for your support in 2019.

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