Full support

EDITOR: In this paper on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, there was a Letter to the Editor concerning the "Hometown Heroes" program currently underway in Canton. The writer refers to someone trying to "put a stop" to the Hometown Heroes program.

That prompts this response:

We do not know of anyone who opposes this program, or who has done anything to hamper it in any way.

Canton Borough Council gave it enthusiastic support at a public meeting.

The Canton Area Chamber of Commerce also gave it support at its November meeting. The chamber was in favor of this program several years ago as well, and heard a presentation from the group that placed the Hometown Heroes banners in Towanda. The chamber declined to provide financial support to that effort, not out of opposition to it, but because we preferred the program be in Canton as well. The chamber in no way spoke against the Hometown Heroes program.

The only issue that exists is that the Canton Chamber of Commerce already has banners on some utility poles on Main, Troy and Sullivan streets; and poles on those streets also are used for the Community Christmas decorations. 2014 is the 150th anniversary of Canton Borough and banners are planned to commemorate that event as well.

There is no reason that the community can't accommodate both the Hometown Hero banners and the chamber banners and community decorations.

The chamber did suggest that because there are so many "Hometown Heroes" it would be appropriate to make use of poles not only in Canton Borough but in other parts of the school district as well. This was not an effort to shunt the Hometown Hero banners away from the main streets, but was a suggestion to honor as many of the heroes as possible and cover as much of the territory as possible.

It is striking and inspiring to see the Tioga County banners all the way from Mansfield to Blossburg, and we have no doubt that banners would be well-received in all the communities in this school district.

We hope that this explanation resolves any uncertainty and removes any doubt that the Chamber of Commerce fully supports the Hometown Heroes program.

John Shaffer, Secretary

Canton Area Chamber of Commerce

Dispelling the rumor

EDITOR: On Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, published in this paper was a Letter to the Editor concerning the "Hometown Heroes" program currently underway in Canton. The writer refers to someone trying to "put a stop" to the Hometown Heroes program. The following is a response to that letter:

While traveling throughout the Northern Tier it always warms one's heart to see the Hometown Heroes banners displayed along the main thoroughfares. Towanda, Mansfield and Blossburg have been in the forefront of this noteworthy project, and now Troy and Canton will soon be honoring their heroic veterans in a like manner. No one could be more pleased with this endeavor than we members of the Canton Borough Council. While we have no authority to grant a go-ahead, as the utility poles to be used are not borough property, we stand behind the project 100 percent and will offer our cooperation wherever possible. That is why it is so disheartening to hear, or read in the paper, that we, the council, as well as borough employees, are opposed to the project. The often-repeated accusations are usually prefaced with, "I heard," or, "Someone told me." People should not listen to hearsay, but rather approach a council member or employee of the borough and ask for themselves and then make an informed decision, especially when they intend to publish their opinions in the paper or on social media. At the October 14, 2013 council meeting, representatives of the project explained their intentions, all of which were embraced by council. The group was advised to contact the Chamber of Commerce, as they potentially may be sharing the same poles used by the chamber's banners. Council thanked those in attendance and commended the group for its initiative. However, prior to the October meeting a council member was approached by a veteran who had heard that the council was opposed to the project and wanted to know why. (At least he had the good sense to ask, rather than believe rumors.) At that point in time, Council had not been presented with information regarding the project and therefore would not have had any reason to object. The point is that some person or persons with an axe to grind are attempting to plant the seeds of discord between Council members and their constituents. The fact that they are using such a noble project as the Hometown Heroes makes their actions all the more deplorable. Such behavior denigrates the memoirs of those who fought to defeat the "big lie" tactics of the Axis seven decades ago. Let's knock it off, shall we?

Kenneth H. Robertson, President

Canton Borough Council