This editorial appeared in today's edition of the Standard Speaker in Hazleton. It is pretty much self-eplanatory. Ed Pane has the highest regard of the community.
I have always refrained from commenting on political matters. However, the recent Paul Kanjorski commercial in which he has attempted to cast Lou Barletta as a friend of drug dealers is so inaccurate that I must respond. This letter is written with the authorization of the Serento Gardens Board of Directors.
At the outset, let me say that I like Paul Kanjorski and consider him a friend. He spoke at our Agency’s 30th anniversary dinner. He has been to my home. Paul has supported Serento Gardens and all drug education and treatment initiatives whenever I’ve called on him. I like and respect the man.
But this isn’t about Paul, the man. This is about an ad he should have never “approved.” There is not a word of truth in the message, that Lou Barletta, and Paul and Neil DeAngelo are bad men, dangerous men; drug dealing men who should never be trusted. They are fine men and deserve everyone’s respect.
I am the president and CEO of Hazleton Area’s largest substance abuse treatment and education center. Each year we touch tens of thousands of lives. A lot of our work would not be possible without the aid of Lou Barletta, and Paul and Neil DeAngelo, the targets of this ad. Beyond my upset at the ad’s inaccuracy is my hurt for three people who are among the strongest advocates for substance abuse prevention, education and treatment I know. Even more than that, the injury inflicted on their families, especially their children was nothing short of cruel and is utterly inexcusable.Imagine being one of their children and hearing that about your father who you know is a good person. Imagine being one of those children, going to school and hearing your friends. An apology is in order.
This is politics at its absolute worst and its ugliest. The ad is unconscionable.
Lou Barletta helped start the Hazleton Area Drug Free Task Force while still a councilman, 10 years ago. He championed a municipal ordinance that forced every store selling drug paraphernalia to get the items off their shelves or face a fine. He helped the Task Force take that resolution to every municipality in the Hazleton Area and with his encouragement all passed it.Today there isn’t an item associated with the use of illegal drugs on any store shelf in the Hazleton area. If I have a substance abuse related concern, I have but to pick up the phone and Lou is there with the full support of his administration.
Neil and Paul DeAngelo? Let me tell you something about both. Both made a mistake many years ago and both paid for it. No problem leaves a person where it finds him, either he is better or worse because of it. Both became better men and are examples of the good that becomes possible when people turn their lives around.
Today, DeAngelo Brothers Inc. is the presenting sponsor of the Hazleton Area’s largest drug free event, “Seasons Change.” They opened their hearts, their entire company and wallets to an event dedicated to drug prevention so no child ever walks down the road they did so many years ago. hey are community heroes, and business leaders providing employment and support for other local businesses. They started a Fortune 500 company.
I said at the outset, I know and like Paul Kanjorski. However, I am angry and disappointed with what his he has done and the inaccurate picture he’s attempted to paint of three fine individuals.
Edward A. Pane, MBA, President and CEO,
Serento Gardens, Hazleton