This is an editorial in the public interest...

June 13, 2011

It was 8 months ago today we wrote our first editorial.  It was concerning the topic of children committing suicide.  On one level, it hit home with us.  Childhood suicide is not something that should be a light topic of discussion.  The same goes for this writing.

In the news as we type this editorial is the matter of a child losing his life…a local child from Eldred.  Some may consider 18 to be an adult.  In some respect it is.  To a mother, a father…18 is still a child.  Someone is now grieving the lost of their child to the hands of a suspected 25 year old, a 19 year old and a 15 year old.  What brought this on?  Why did a 25, an 18 and a 15 year old feel the need to end this young man’s life?  As concerned as we are with the fact that a local lost their life for unknown reasons to the hands of 3 individuals…we are as concerned that apparently the 15 year old was sent to a juvenile facility, awaiting further court action.  If you’re old enough to hunt, and involved in such a crime as this, we as Americans can only hope the court does the right thing.  If you’re old enough and sane enough, you should be sent to jail.  Not a juvenile facility, but the big house to serve among others of your caliber.  If you are dumb and numb enough to get involved in such a heinous incident, you do not deserve to receive a hand slapping and sent off to a children’s detention facility.  Chances are this 15 year old will go to a children’s detention facility, have their hands slapped for doing wrong and let out in a short amount of time.  It bothers us that a kid could do wrong and will likely be treated as if they soaped someone’s windows for Halloween.

While Port Allegany Online does not personally know those involved or the victim, we ask that those that do have details pertaining to the death of 18 year old Samuel Miller of Eldred contact Coudersport-based PA State Police or Potter County DA Andy Watson.  The State Police phone number is (814) 274-8690.  Investigating trooper is James Yoder.  District Attorney Andy Watson's phone number is (814) 274-9450; e-mail him at

What are your thoughts on this?  Comments welcomed @


This is an editorial in the public interest...

June 8, 2011

The following is a guest editorial from Adam Johnson State Farm Agent, Emporium:

It may not surprise you to learn the most likely cause of death in today’s world for someone between the ages of 13 and 19 is a motor vehicle crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Although teenagers are physically healthier than their older counterparts and are less likely to die from disease, good physical health is usually worthless in fighting the injuries sustained from serious traffic crashes. While teens drive fewer miles than other drivers, they’re involved in more crashes than any other age group.

Why? Immaturity and a lack of driving experience are considered the main reasons. Compared with older drivers, teenagers as a group are more willing to take risks and less likely to use safety belts. They are also more likely than older drivers to underestimate the dangers associated with hazardous situations and less able to cope with such dangers.

What can be done? Formal evaluations of U.S. high school driver education programs indicate they have little or no effect in reducing crashes. Also, offering driver education in schools has the unintended effect of encouraging early licensure among 16- and 17-year-olds.

State laws that limit teenagers’ driving exposure are considered by many to be most effective – for example, nighttime curfews for beginning drivers and higher age requirements for initial licensing. In 24 U.S. states, graduated licensing systems are in place to provide beginning drivers with an opportunity to drive under conditions that minimize risk. They are also in force in New Zealand, where it’s been shown teen crashes have been reduced as a result.

The excitement of teenage years is enhanced by the freedom that accompanies a driver’s license. But with that freedom comes increased risk. It’s become obvious that trading a little bit of that freedom for a significant reduction of that risk is one of the best deals we can make.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

May 19, 2011

The following is a guest editorial from Adam Johnson State Farm Agent, Emporium:  Shopping for auto insurance...

Whether you’re a first time buyer of auto insurance or already have it but are looking for a better deal, you should be asking several questions.

First, is the person from whom you’re buying (your agent) a visible, established member of your community someone you know and trust?

Second, is the company from whom you’re buying well known? What is its reputation? What about price? Because there are hundreds of companies competing for your business, prices vary – sometimes a lot. It may pay you to shop. Be sure the premiums you’re quoted are for equal amounts of coverage.

How about service? Price is important but saving money won’t mean much unless you get the service you need - when you need it. If possible, ask other clients of your prospective agent how they’ve been treated, especially when they’ve had a claim. Find out how the company handles claims. Is the method convenient for you, no matter where you have an accident?

How about solvency? Is the company you’re considering still going to be in business when you file your claim? Your state department of insurance has financial rating information on all of the companies that do business in its state.

Once you’ve decided on a company and an agent, there are more questions to ask. How much coverage do you need? The required minimum amounts of liability coverage may not be enough for you.

Consider your needs in light of your assets and income. How much can you afford to pay if there’s a big judgment against you because of an accident? What about deductibles? Deductibles lower your premiums - most commonly for collision and comprehensive coverages - but increase the amount of loss that comes out of your pocket. How much additional risk are you willing to take in order to save?

Should you carry collision and comprehensive coverage? As your car’s value decreases, you might consider dropping these coverages and pocketing the savings on premiums. But consider if the savings are enough to offset the risk of footing the entire cost of repairing or replacing your car.

Auto insurance is not a generic commodity. It is a product that should be tailored to each individual. Your agent can help you answer these questions and help you tailor your auto insurance to your specific and unique needs.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

April 30, 2011

The following is a guest editorial from Adam Johnson State Farm Agent, Emporium:  Lightning brightens the sky and provides a spectacular display of Mother Nature’s power. This awesome phenomenon also causes more deaths and property destruction in a typical year than floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of lightning
The threat of lightning danger can occur anytime, but the most likely time for damaging thunderstorms is June through August. The early spring is also a vulnerable period. Scientifically speaking, lightning is the visible discharge of electrical energy. It is often accompanied by thunder, which is a sonic boom created by the same electrical discharge. This electrical energy seeks a path to ground and that path can be your home, a tree in your yard, or even you! The key to your protection is diverting that discharge to a grounding path away from people and property. A lightning protection system has two objectives: Provide a direct path for the lightning to follow to the ground and prevent destruction, damage, injury or death as it travels that path.

Many of you are likely aware of lightning rods. Contrary to typical references to these devices, lightning rods do not attract lightning. They also cannot prevent lightning from striking your home. What they are designed to do is provide that safe path to the ground for the electrical current. Rods are just one part of an effective lightning protection system. If you’re serious about lightning protection, State Farm recommends you have a qualified contractor evaluate your home, explain the many parts of a total system and perform the installation.

While lightning’s first target may be your house, there’s also a need to protect the property inside your home from the electrical surges that accompany a lightning strike. Surge protection devices installed at the main electrical panel or meter and at outlets serving electronics can often prevent these sudden spikes in electrical current from damaging TVs, VCRs, computers and other expensive electronic devices.
Personal safety first.

Most importantly, protect yourself. If lightning is present, seek shelter inside an enclosed building or vehicle, stay away from electrical appliances and avoid using the telephone. If you cannot find shelter, stay close to the ground in a low-lying area, avoiding isolated trees, high ground, bodies of water or large open areas. If someone is injured, administer first aid if you are qualified to do so and call for emergency help. You cannot be “shocked” by someone who has been hit by lighting.

For more information on this and other safety issues related to your home and family, please contact an insurance agent or visit


This is an editorial in the public interest...

March 3, 2011

The following is a guest editorial from Adam Johnson State Farm Agent, Emporium:  Don’t invite burglars in... Imagine coming home to find that someone has broken into your home and stolen valuable items and ransacked your personal possessions. The feeling of devastation can be overwhelming for victims of burglary. It’s a crime we are all vulnerable to, whether we live in a city or rural area, have a high or low income, live in a house or in an apartment or condominium.

According to the FBI, a burglary happens every 15 seconds in the United States. It’s a serious crime. The problem is many of us, through our own carelessness, make it easier for burglars to carry out their work. A few simple steps can make your home a harder target for burglars:

* Lock all outside doors before you leave or go to bed.
Lock all windows.
Leave a few lights on when you are not home.
Keep all garage doors closed and locked.
Don’t allow daily deliveries, like newspapers and mail, to pile up when you’re out of town. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick them up for you or arrange to have deliveries stopped until you return.
When you’re on vacation, arrange to have someone take care of your yard.

Other things to consider...
Contact a locksmith for advice on pick-resistant locks for your doors, sliding glass doors and windows.
Don’t leave keys under flower pots, doormats or other “secret” hiding places - burglars know them all.
Keep a detailed inventory of all your personal possessions. Include a description of the item, date of purchase, original value and any serial numbers. Creating a video can be helpful.
Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, contact the police immediately.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

February 14, 2011

The following is a guest editorial from Adam Johnson State Farm Agent, Emporium:  April 15 has long been considered a date to avoid. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do something to lower your federal income tax burden instead of mailing a big check on April 15? With a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you may be able to do just that.

A contribution of the 2010 maximum of $5,000 by April 18, 2011 could reduce your taxable income, making your federal tax burden less for the year. If you were 50 or older by the end of 2010, you can add a $1,000 catch-up contribution to potentially reduce the tax burden even more. If you already have a traditional IRA, plan to make a contribution by the April 15 deadline. If not, talk to a financial professional as soon as possible to start one.

There are restrictions governing who may deduct contributions to a traditional IRA. If you don’t qualify for a traditional IRA deduction, consider a Roth IRA. You won’t get the federal tax deduction now, but qualified withdrawals can be made free of federal income tax during your retirement years.

Either way, having a plan for retirement is important. You owe it to yourself to make the best plan as soon as possible.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

January 14, 2011

Recently in the news there was a story on an 8-year-old boy who was at a shooting range with his father.  First off, 8 years old and doing WHAT?  The report went on to state that Christopher Bizilj was handling a machine gun.  Ok, reality check people!  We don’t approve of certain people possessing guns without a background check.  Why is an 8 year old touching, let alone using, one??

Where has our society gone wrong….terribly wrong??  Classes are given by certain groups to youngsters who want to hunt when they are of age…older than 8 years of age!  We ask the question, what was this father thinking?  Why in the world would you teach your 8-year-old how to use a machine gun…of any size?  We don’t feel that allowing someone of that age to touch one, let alone fire one, is a good judgment call.

Articles circulating around the world wide web also state a 53-year-old former police chief assisted with organizing the event where this CHILD was firing the micro Uzi.  Again, another thing wrong with this picture…a police chief??  There are reasons rules are in place for the purchase of said weapons.

Apparently the event where Christopher died was meant to educate those in attendance of the proper use of guns.  The proper use of a gun…..first on that list should be to not allow a CHILD to touch or fire said weapon.  Your thoughts??

The organizer of the event, Former Pelham, MA, Police Chief Edward Fleury, was found not guilty of the charges of involuntary manslaughter and furnishing a machine gun to a minor.  The sentence carried in excess of 20 years for all counts.

Our concern isn’t with the guilt or innocence of the organizer of the event, but that of the father of Christopher.  It seems that to allow a child of that age to handle and use a gun of this caliber takes something less than common sense on the parent's part.

Your thoughts on this matter?  E-mail us.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

December 15, 2010

Too often things go unsaid.  People feel unwanted or under-appreciated.  Port Allegany Online wants to take this time to thank each and everyone of you, our loyal viewers, for the time you take each day or week to check out what we have posted.  We've done our best to post news, links and other items we feel you would find useful or entertaining.  Anyone who would like to see more added, please feel free to contact us by e-mail and let us know what you'd like to see each week.  Please keep in mind our primary interest is news about Port Allegany.  However, we have recently added national news and news of interest to Pennsylvanians as a whole.

We also would like to thank each and every one who looked us up on Facebook.  We weren't sure it was worth the fuss...we weren't sure what we would post either.  Over 600 people have added us to date.  Far from the couple hundred we thought would find it advantageous to have a Facebook page and a website.  For those wondering...why bother with Facebook?  It's simple.  This gives us the easiest, quickest way to keep many viewers up-to-date on fast-changing items such as the weather.  Face it, by the time I'm done writing this, we could have a foot of snow, resulting in a weather announcement being posted in seconds and noticed by hundreds at one time.

It's time again to check for the latest weather announcements, so I'll end this here.  Again, I want to thank you for your loyal viewership since taking over PAO.


Brandon Abbott

PAO Webmeister




This is an editorial in the public interest...

November 18, 2010

It's that time again.  It arrives every year at this time.  Time to be thankful for what we have, and think about Christmas shopping.  It shouldn't become a once-a-year thing.  We should be thankful 365 days a year.  ...thankful for friends, family, employment, living in a free country.

What are you thankful for?  How will you spend your holidays?  Time to step it up and help with charitable causes, get ready for a trip to a relative's home for Thanksgiving or plan everything needed to pull off a fun and memorable Christmas.

Some times we wake up, go about our day and forget the simplest of that's always been there for us over the years, friends that were there through years of school only to lose touch after graduation or through other reasons.

There are many charitable organizations throughout the United States, the world and our own state of Pennsylvania.  The smallest acts of kindness are greatly appreciated by these organizations.

Take time and a bit of cash, or your talents, to help any of the following this time of year...

Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Port Allegany Community Services, American Red Cross, McKean County SPCA...just a small list of the many organizations you can help throughout the year.


This is an editorial in the public interest...

October 13, 2010

In recent months it has become apparent to us that our society is becoming numb to the fact more and more young people are committing suicide.  Why?  Stress at school?  Problems at home?  Being harassed by peers?  There are many possibilities.  NONE of these are good reasons for a young person (or anyone for that matter) to think there is only one way out of their problem.  There are counselors that specialize in this topic.  There are also hotlines you can call.  Taking the easy way out is never the answer.

All too often young people take the wrong path and end things before they began...or attempted before family and friends had an idea there was a problem in the first place.  Speak up and talk to people...a friend, family member, co-worker, someone from church.  Too often the trigger is pulled, the pills are downed...and no one has an idea there was a problem.  Speaking up is not a sign of being weak.  People have problems, jobs are lost, marriages end...  Just because "John" or "Jill" have it all doesn't mean you're worthless.  You may not know their story.  Inheritance gives some people what they have, while others have to work 40 hour jobs, etc to have the bare minimum.  This does not mean that you are worthless or lower on the totem pole than someone else.

Speak up, ask for help. or

Response invited - e-mail

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