Letters: Fix the Fundamentals, Penn State; Unhappy with Centre County Representatives – Statecollege.com


Photo by Mikey DeAngelis | Onward State
Fix the Fundamentals, Penn State
Dear Penn State Trustees,
Considering proposals at this year’s first Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 17-18 to raise room and board? Don’t. Please do NOT raise room and board (or tuition, later this year) under any proposals by Penn State University administration.
Both in-state an out-of-state parents are not happy about persistently rising costs and we are watching what you do, how you lead, and how you solve problems without placing them on the backs of working class families with your added costs. We are now watching your board’s governance and decision making.
Families, parent-investors and prospects have taken notice to the following:
Penn State’s Big Ten Value ranking is at rock bottom of the pack.
Penn State’s tuition is among the highest in the Big 10.
Penn Staters graduate with some of the highest debt loads.
On-campus life fundamentals such as UHS healthcare and ABS (Commons) foodservice access, quality and service is eroding.
Many dorm buildings are still old, sick, pest-ridden and unhealthy.
Personal safety and security from sexual violence on campus property is suffering.
Hate (under the guise of free speech) is now taking root in your buildings and on your property.
Your athletics facility and compensation largesse and spending is gobsmacking.
Highly-compensated individual raises in these difficult working-class times… are you kidding me?
Operationally fix and improve what you have, which is good. It needs to be great for the high prices paid. And get us back to the top of the Big Ten in Value rankings. Please focus on rehabbing the fundamentals and stop the largesse and excess elsewhere. Do not raise costs to students and families. Pandemic or no pandemic, families and parent-investors are watching. Thank you kindly in advance for your consideration of these important cost and service matters.
Alan L. “Luigi” Fiermonte,
Penn State parent
Plymouth Meeting

What’s Missing from Rep. Thompson’s Year-End Report
On his website Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson provides us with his 2021 Year-End Report to “provide a snapshot of the work he focused on in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC during the year.”
In his report, we learn that our congressman was busy with meetings, helping constituents, sending correspondence, sitting on committees, and casting votes. He is obviously a busy, busy guy.
But somehow, on his website, he doesn’t bother to mention the most significant vote he cast during 2021. Certainly, the most significant, most historic vote he’ll ever make in Congress. To vote to overthrow the U.S. Government and destroy our democracy is no small matter, especially for a boy from Howard, but Congressman GT somehow failed to mention this among his 2021 accomplishments.
Maybe he just forgot about what happened, or maybe he didn’t really know what he was voting on that day, or maybe he actually enjoyed seeing first-hand the murder-minded Trump-crazed mob attacking the U.S. Capitol last January 6. All of these are possible.
But more likely he doesn’t mention his role in encouraging the insurrection on his website because he wants us to forget how easily he was tooled (duped? fooled? used?) by our lying former president and now doesn’t have the courage to own up to it. Perhaps he’s finally realized that, when it mattered most, he lost his spine.
The least he should do in his 2021 recap is tell us why he was Trump’s willing lapdog.
Speak, GT. Speak!
Zach Kelly,
Longtime Centre County Reps Put Party over Country
It’s sad what’s become of the three elected representatives most closely identified with Centre County: Glenn Thompson, Jake Corman and Kerry Benninghoff.
Each has succumbed to the perks of his office and has put vicious and dishonest party politics ahead of state and country. If you want to know what’s wrong with American politics today, you need look no further.
Thompson, in Congress since 2002, voted for Trump’s tax cuts for the 1%, but prides himself in how many times he voted against the Affordable Care Act, which would provide health coverage to millions of Americans, including many in his rural district. He’s proud of how many Eagle Scout badges he’s handed out, but violated his oath of office by voting against certifying the electoral votes, and thereby voted for the insurrection.
Corman, state senator since 1998, has killed every attempt at openness and disclosure of lobbyist payments to legislators. Despite zero evidence of fraud, he continues his sham audit of the last election, while teeing up to steal the next one.
Kerry Benninghoff, state representative since 1997, joined Corman in meddling with the election results. Now he’s claiming the redistricting committee he served on is unfair and wants a Pennsylvania Constitutional amendment so that future redistricting will be done only by the Pennsylvania Legislature, the most partisan body possible. He’s the poster child for gerrymandering.
Collectively they have been in office for 70 years. Collectively they are doing their best to destroy American democracy.
Bob Potter,
Impeachment Is a Serious Matter, Not a Tool for Political Revenge
I am amazed at how many right-wing politicians and voters completely misunderstand, and how casually they bring up, the somber issue of presidential impeachment.
The United States impeaches our presidents for committing crimes. There is no other reason that justifies impeachment.
We can vote a president out in national elections for policies with which we disagree or failures for which we blame the president, or for any reason we may have.  But impeachment is only used when our president has engaged in criminal activity.
Nixon would have been impeached for obstruction of justice had he not resigned first. Clinton was impeached for perjury. Trump was impeached (twice) for illegal election interference.
We don’t impeach a president merely because he is of the other party, or because we are sore losers about the election outcome, or because we disagree with his policies.
Sadly, many elected representatives seem to have lost their perspective on this grave matter. A lunatic fringe Republican representative actually attempted to file Articles of Impeachment against President Biden on January 21, 2021, even though Biden had not had a chance to commit an impeachable offense.
Has impeachment simply become a tool of political revenge?  
Impeachment is too serious an issue to be treated in such a cavalier and capricious manner. The constitution protects our democracy from the ignorant and irrational behavior of politicians and citizens who would advocate impeachment for less than criminal behavior.
Mary Bruce Serene,
State College
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