McKeever was landmark for generations

Lisa Boeving-Learned

Jackson Center

It’s official: after months of uncertainty, the McKeever Environmental Learning Center in Lake Township has closed. All bookings have been canceled, and the 200-acre facility will be sold to the highest bidder, without any public hearing or input.

McKeever was a landmark for generations of students, teachers, and families in Western Pennsylvania.

It offered environmental programs, camps, day trips and business retreats. Local residents recount rich experiences and happy memories of time spent there. It’s a huge blow to the region.

Our elected officials are strangely silent.

Their silence shouldn’t come as a surprise. Time and again, these officials have failed to marshal the resources or attract the kind of investment that would truly make our region shine.

Instead, they have allowed our local assets to fall into decline. McKeever’s state-wide reputation for environmental education might have been leveraged to find new partners, reconfigured as a greater center for arts, environmental, or STEM programming, or simply maintained as a lush space for school, camp, and business retreats.

This did not happen. By demonstrating a remarkable lack of initiative and a complete failure of imagination, our officials have let one of our crown jewels slip away. McKeever’s closure is a loss for students and families and a symptom of a disturbing trend. Our state representatives refuse to invest in our quality of life. And because local communities can’t afford the price tag on the fence, our environmental treasure is the price of this squandered opportunity.

Mike Kelly doesn’t care about uninsured Americans

Rick Elia

New Castle 

Question: What do you call someone who acts like he doesn’t care if you live or die?

Answer: U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly.


Kelly voted for the American Health Care Act which, if it had passed the Senate, would have caused 23 million more people to be without insurance by 2026, cut Medicaid spending by about $800 billion during that period and provided tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefitted the highest-income Americans.

Kelly voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that’s heavily skewed to favor corporations and the rich, will add an estimated $1.5 trillion to our deficit and eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office projects will lead to 13 million more uninsured people and will increase premiums by 10 percent in most years over the next decade.

Kelly has given fanatical, full-throated endorsement to President Donald Trump, who has waged a campaign to sabotage the ACA through various actions.

When people lose health care, they suffer and some die. It’s doubtful that a rich man like Kelly, his circle of friends and family, and his party’s key donors will ever have to worry about not having insurance, and he obviously isn’t worried about any of us not having it.

In the richest nation in the world, no one should suffer, die or go bankrupt because they can’t afford health care.

If you believe that, then you can’t vote for Kelly in November.

For some, it’s going to be a matter of life and death.