For the 12th time this year, a loaded handgun was confiscated by TSA at Pittsburgh International Airport from a passenger’s carry-on bag (“Man faces charges after being stopped for gun at Pittsburgh International Airport,” June 7, TribLIVE). He used the same excuse as the others: “I forgot it was there.”
I have been a hunter and gun owner for more than 45 years. To claim to have forgotten where you left a loaded gun of any kind is so irresponsible as to be almost criminal. In my opinion, people who claim to have forgotten where they left a loaded gun should have it confiscated. They should also have to surrender their other firearms and be banned from owning guns forever.
Sorry, that is not responsible gun ownership.
Tim Babyak, Perryopolis
‘Real dairy’ important for health
As an expert in food, diet, nutrition and health issues, I’m compelled to respond to the letter “Plant-based dairy a viable option” (June 13, TribLIVE). Dairy foods are safe, natural, available, accessible and affordable. The 2020-25 U.S Dietary Guidelines for Americans point to “real dairy” as an important component of our overall diets.
When making a choice, consider these three points:
1. Real milk has no added sugar like many milk alternatives.
2. Real milk’s ingredient list is short — simply milk, along with vitamins D and A.
3. Real milk is a nutrient powerhouse with 13 essential macro- and micronutrients and eight times more protein than some of the plant-based beverages.
Three servings of dairy a day can also support heart health and is linked to a reduced risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in adults. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt as a part of a heart-healthy diet.
When it comes to making informed choices about nutrition, I ask that you start with the label — it can reveal some surprising information to help you choose the beverage that is best for you.
Leslie Bonci, Point Breeze
The writer is owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie Bonci.
Time for Pa. to raise minimum wage
Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget contains a golden nugget: a raise in the minimum wage. This would improve the lives of 1.6 million Pennsylvania workers. It would be a shot in the arm for 27.5% of our workforce. With our ridiculous wage inequality, this increase is essential for the well-being of our workers. Improving the salaries of our lowest paid workers does not hurt, but helps, the economy.
Americans for Prosperity and the Chamber of Congress have opposed increasing wages for years and still promote their outdated checklist (“Giant Eagle worker supports state push to raise minimum wage to $12 an hour,” June 3, TribLIVE). They have a hidden agenda; they are on the side of big business.
Surrounding states have already raised their minimum wage. It is time for our state to do so. Call your state lawmakers. Urge them to listen to the will of their constituents. It is vital for our workers.
Patricia Oliver, North Huntingdon
Turnpike tolls are a bargain
Columnist Paul Kengor takes an odd turn down the road of turnpike bashing; Did he type “Easy Street” into a GPS for his editorial destination (“Highway robbery on the Pa. Turnpike,” June 10, TribLIVE)? He criticizes costly tolls, and boasts stubborn refusal to use E-ZPass like a child demanding ice cream while refusing to eat broccoli.
He asserts “E-ZPass rates aren’t much better,” acknowledging they’re half the non-E-ZPass rate. They “ought to be much lower” he said, failing to mention that the Budget Direct study named it “most expensive” in the world partly because of its 360-mile length. It’s his way or the highway.
My way is the highway. I’ve driven the turnpike most of my life and was an early adopter of E-ZPass. Rates have increased over the years, and E-ZPass is cheapest. I’ve also enjoyed quickly traversing countless “un-manned” toll booths, now ubiquitous throughout the country. The convenience and efficiency is incalculable, and I can’t say there’s a better bargain.
The turnpike is far safer today because of enormous efforts and great expense. Reengineering and lane widening have been ongoing for years. Large corridors have 50% more roadway. Six lanes instead of four helps drivers experience far less stress, saving more lives. That’s a remarkable achievement.
Many government operations are stuck in tailspins of fiscal waste and institutional incompetence. It’s easy to criticize taxes and spending, but the “outrageous” turnpike tolls — subsidized by many non-Pennsylvanians — are something he shouldn’t have been spinning his wheels on.
Joe Schmidt, Lower Burrell
No politics in sports
Who would ever have thought they would see the day the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL would move from being politically neutral to the progressive left? They must now bear the descriptive title of “professional sports and social justice organizations.”
We are not privy to the reasoning behind Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All Star Game from Georgia to Colorado, but it was obviously political. The Georgia voting reform bill, upon which the MLB based its objection and decision to move the game, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor. The Legislature and governor were elected by Georgia voters, and the MLB had no business whatsoever to interfere in that democratic process.
The fans that support pro sports are not Democrats or Republicans when supporting their teams. There is no politics in their support. Hopefully, the entities that were financially damaged by the MLB’s decision will have grounds to recover their losses through the justice system.
All is not lost. There’s still the PGA.
Ken Mowl, Derry
Politicizing the Eucharist
How dare the bishops politicize the Eucharist (“U.S. Catholic bishops OK steps toward possible rebuke of Biden,” June 18, TribLIVE). Their proposed “teaching document” is aimed directly at Joe Biden.
What about politicians who support the death penalty? What about divorced Catholic politicians, such as twice-divorced Newt Gingrich? What about those, politicians or not, who practice birth control? This is acting in direct defiance of church doctrine, not just advocacy. What about bishops who knowingly transferred child- molesting priests from parish to parish to avoid “scandal”?
The Vatican has appealed to them not to go down this path. And it will not even be binding to all bishops, as the bishop of Washington, D.C., has said that he will not deny anyone Communion.
Why bring up such divisiveness unless they thought it would cripple the Democrat in the White House?
If you think the pews are empty now, wait until this arrogant, partisan issue comes to a head.
Mary Beth Walling, North Huntingdon
Biden must put America first
Dear Mr. President,
There are several concerning issues right now. On your first day of office you canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. Recently you approved of the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2, and this month you suspended the oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Gas prices are over $3 per gallon and climbing. What did you think would happen?
Then there’s the dumpster fire you created on the border. You ended President Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy. Now there seems to be absolutely nothing stopping illegal immigrants and coyotes dropping children off in the middle of nowhere along our border.
For God’s sake Mr. President, do your job and put America first!
Sean Peters, Greensburg