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READER VIEW: Don’t judge all PSU students by the actions of a few

I was pleased to read the positive picture Susannah Gal portrayed of Middletown’s metamorphosis into a college town in her column on the Viewpoints page Jan. 11.

Though one Sound Off comment chooses to highlight an egregious crime by two students, and another blames students in general for speeding through town and creating disturbances, we should not fall into the trap of judging all students by the actions of a few. 

Indeed, throughout Pennsylvania, college towns, such as Lewisburg, are among the most charming in America. College towns have largely avoided the economic depression of other towns. Parents come to visit and need places to eat and lodge. Students utilize the post office, restaurants and stores. Overseas families note the presence of Harrisburg International Airport and plans for a new train station, plus proximity to the capital, not to mention major world class hubs: Washington, D.C, Philadelphia and New York City. Families then also find out that the cost of living is half of that of most major cities! 

The students I see riding bikes and walking past my house all appear studious and focused on getting their degrees. 

I was also happy to read Larry Smith’s letter in which he praises the entrepreneurial spirit of  Mr. Howard Dong, who has bought the old Schmuller House. Here I would add a note of caution that I hope Mr. Dong proceeds with great care and respect of this prime historic building and garden. 

One of the former residents, Mr. Vreeland, was also a professional landscaper. His hand is evident in the maintenance of the garden and home, as is that of Bonnie Bosley, the most recent owner. It was delightful to have the home on several Middletown Christmas tours. I remember when couples dressed for proms would seek permission to be photographed by the pergola. My in-laws, Ralph and Emma Clouser, were married in the living room when the house was occupied by the Rev. and Mrs. Robert Marsden, minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church at the time.

While I am writing about our great town, I would like to add my voice of concern to those citizens impacted by the plans of Mr. Travis Finkenbinder. In speaking to other funeral directors in the area, I have found a consensus that it would be better for Mr. Finkenbinder’s business if he responded to local criticism of a crematory right in the historic district. Surely, Mr. Finkenbinder, who has establishments in Palmyra and Elizabethtown (and perhaps more places) has the resources to move the crematory part of his business outside of the Middletown residential area.  


Hermine Clouser


Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 13:58

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Potential sushi restaurant owner should be lauded: Reader View

HowardDongHoward Dong (right) presents his plan for an Asian restaurant in the Smuller House Bed & Breakfast to the audience attending a Dec. 21 meeting of the Middletown Historical Restoration Commission. At left is borough codes and zoning officer Robert Moyer.

In response to the recent article about the potential new Asian restaurant at North Union and High streets, and with particular regard to Ms. Lori Shafaye’s comment in it to the effect that our local university students don’t give a rodent’s behind about the citizens of Middletown: Let’s take care not to paint all of the student body with the same broad brush.

There are several fraternities, sororities and other service organizations on campus who have gone out of their way in the recent past to provide unsolicited, beneficial service to borough residents in a variety of ways. These recent efforts have received favorable coverage in the pages of the Press And Journal, which I hope will continue.  

That said, I am very much in sympathy with Ms. Shafaye’s frustration over student noise, parking issues and rampant disregard for speed limits and stop signs, but we need to be asking for more enforcement diligence in these matters from our local police force in order to resolve them.

With respect to comments about a “need” to keep Mr. Howard Dong from carrying out his plans for a restaurant at the location chosen, I question that necessity. Mr. Dong has said that he wants to preserve the historical integrity of the property, even to the length of preserving the yard and the gazebo as they are to the extent that parking issues can be resolved. 

There are many historic buildings all over Pennsylvania (several in our borough) and in other than downtown areas that have been preserved — not in spite of, but rather as a result of having been turned into restaurants. The fact that this proposal is for a restaurant serving Asian cuisine should not make this situation appreciably different from those other establishments. 

While we all might prefer a location downtown to the one chosen, the fact remains that the property had been for sale for some time with no takers. Better that it should be in the hands of someone willing to maintain it and with a cash flow to support that maintenance than some other situation. 

Mr. Dong should be commended, both for his entrepreneurial spirit and his desire to improve the experience of international students following in his path; there’s something undeniably admirable about his wanting to “do well by doing good.”

Finally, like it or not, Middletown is becoming a “college town,” for better or worse. That presents all sorts of challenges, but also opportunities to revitalize our town in new and different ways. Let’s embrace the change for the opportunities it brings us and work together to promote “better” instead of “worse.”


Larry Smith


Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:36

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Blue Raiders football was a season to remember

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I want to take this time and thank the Middletown football team on a great season.

What you have accomplished will never be forgotten in our community ... what you showed on the field every Friday night and Saturdays.

You showed the hard work, dedication, discipline, sportsmanship, teamwork that make a great team. 

The way you represented “the town” made us proud. 

As we move into the winter sports, I got the pleasure of meeting some of the young men with the help of my daughter.

I was able to match the faces with the numbers on the jersey and see them without the helmet.

Not only were they great on the field to watch — it was a pleasure meeting these young men and having a conversation. What a great group. 

Thank you, coach Brett Myers and his staff, for building a great foundation and bringing Middletown football back!

I would also like to thank the Blue Wave Marching Band, cheerleaders, boosters, the parents and families of all these students and the community for backing and supporting these young men.

What a ride it was.

A season to remember!

Jake Burger


Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:48

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Whatever it takes: Thanks to you from Blue Raiders football coach


Whatever it takes.

This statement became the overall slogan for the 2016 Blue Raiders Football Team: “Whatever it takes!” 

Thirty-five years ago, I remember running down the alley behind the visitors’ side of the stadium to get into the gate. I dreamed of becoming a Blue Raider one day and playing in the stadium. That dream came true. 

Then I dreamed about coming back home and coaching for the Blue Raiders. That dream came true. I never dreamed of what we as a whole have accomplished with the 2016 Blue Raiders football team.

As far back as I can remember the slogan “Whatever it takes!” has been a battle cry of this community. You came to every game and supported us. You cheered for us in the heat, rain, and cold. You made your presence known to opposing teams and to our team on and off the field. 

For those of you who do not already know I would like to share the individual goals that each member of the Blue Raiders football team sets for themselves. As our community, you have helped our team to achieve some of these goals. 

• Morals and values.

• Academics, post-secondary, career.

• Personal family.

• Football family.

• Physical conditioning.

• Caring and giving back to community.

 Because of your continued support, you have assisted in developing this team into the young men they desire to be. This community is helping to build strong men.

We often say the following to our players, “Let your action speak so clearly they can’t hear your words.”

On Dec.10, this community’s action backed up its words by creating the largest crowd this team has ever experienced and the largest crowd of championship weekend. 

The 2016 Blue Raiders football team and coaching staff would like to thank you for your support. Words cannot express how thankful we are as a team for your support and commitment this year. This past season will be a year to remember! With loyal fans like you, our team and community can accomplish anything! We would not have gotten as far as we did without the diehard fans keeping us going. Your dedication to this team is overwhelming and sincerely appreciated.


Brett Myers

Blue Raiders head coach

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 10:48

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Donald Trump as president? The very thought is terrifying

I am writing in reference to Diana McGlone’s Sept. 21 column, “Here are the reasons I’m voting Donald Trump for president.”

She is quoted as saying, “Donald J. Trump is an example of the American dream and success story. He exemplifies that if one works hard and remains persistent, they too can be successful.” She truly believes that he will bring back jobs and improve our economy, make our borders safe by building a wall and all his other absurd, egotistical promises.

I’m not sure if Ms. McGlone is aware that he inherited his “American dream” from his father. For a man who wants to bring back jobs and “make America great again,” why does he have at least six different companies in other countries? 

He is paying minuscule wages and receiving large profits, at the American worker’s expense. He considers this “The Art of the Deal” and “being smart.” 

Mr. Trump claimed bankruptcy six times. By not keeping his financial word, he forced many small companies to go out of business (not because he couldn’t afford to pay, but because he has high-powered attorneys that know all the loopholes so he can legally avoid paying his fair share). He considers this “The Art of the Deal” and “being smart” as well.  This is also why he refuses to release his tax returns. 

His attitude and disrespect for women is deplorable. He is obsessed with thin, beautiful women, and is quick to point out other people’s indiscretions and offenses. However, what makes Mr. Trump the moral compass? 

Mr. Trump has blatantly insulted many races and nationalities. He was quoted as saying his No. 1 source for foreign policy advice was himself, because “I have a very good brain, and I’ve said a lot of things.”

He claimed to know “more about ISIS than the generals do.” And, if elected president, he will fire all the generals and hire his own people. He has tried to minimize the many sacrifices of our military, in particular Sen. John McCain and those who have lost loved ones, to his perceived sacrifices.

The thoughts of this narcissist being our country’s leader terrifies me for not only America’s future, but for the entire world.

Paula L. Kinney


formerly of Lower Swatara Township

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 15:10

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