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Article published March 9, 2013
Jim HarffButler Township
My sympathy goes out to the family of Mark Bishop for their loss due to an auto accident Feb. 18 in Connoquenessing Township. Could the accident have been avoided? Yes. First, however, let me make a point. In 1969, I lived in Newburgh, N.Y. Newburgh was famous for three things: It was the model city of the United States, it had the widest main street in the country, and people had to go to the police station to pick up their welfare check. You guessed it. If you had booze on your breath or had any doings with the police, no matter how small, or didn’t have proper identification, no check. My point is, people are getting methadone at clinics and driving away. They are there because they have had a drug problem in the past, and are not pillars of society to boot. Yet we, the taxpayers, pay for this plus, in many cases, mileage allowance, bus fare, or even cab fare for some people to get to and from the methadone clinics. I did not cause their drug addiction; I shouldn’t have to pay for it. These people should be checked and made to produce a valid driver’s license and current insurance card before they get anything and leave the clinic. I don’t think that is too much to ask. Justin Enslen, the driver of the vehicle that crossed into oncoming traffic, killing Bishop, was driving with a suspended driver’s license. These people who are going to methadone clinics dug the hole, so let them dig their way out — but on our conditions. If that had been done, for the Bishop family there might have been a different outcome.