Monday, January 05, 2009

Healing in Hazleton?

Forum Wednesday will examine diversity issues in Hazleton

In the last two years, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and city council backed a law that would have penalized landlords who rented to illegal immigrants and businesses that hired workers with unlawful immigration status. A federal judge struck down the law, although an appeals court is still weighing its provisions.

Meanwhile, Barletta, Sosa and other panelists will talk about what’s next for the city at the forum, sponsored by the Standard-Speaker, to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 115 of the Graham Building at Penn State Hazleton.


femaile said...

what's next?
cross burnings?
white sheets?
the horrific racism displayed by these "leaders" will scar our region considerably more than the strip mines from the days of yore

Anonymous said...

Well said. Barletta, that person from Pittston, those in Shendedoah have all made northeast PA redneck central.

McGruff said...


Obviously you are not an employer. Otherwise you would know that the provisions of the Hazleton's business ordinance were already federal law. All Hazleton was requiring is that you follow federal law. Is the law racist?

Your inflammatory remarks about people you don't even know only serve to cause exactly what you despise. There hasn't been one incidence of what you posted.

On the contrary there was no ordinance of its type in Wilkes Barre yet what type of graffiti was sprayed over what building, a synagogue no less.

In Hazleton we had graffiti sprayed on wall by gangs including Crips, Bloods, MS-13, East Side, the Latin Kings and Trinitarios, which seems to be absorbing members from Dominicans Don’t Play.

You talk about racism. The Dominicans hate the Haitians. And that has nothing to do with Lou Barletta. Yet they brought that hatred here with them.

The Much Maligned Anonymous Poster said...

Throughout United States history waves of immigration, both legal and illegal, have brought about a certain amount of problems (i.e. organized crime, street gangs, overcrowding, tenements, etc...) AND prejudices (locally the Irish didn't like the Italians, the Italians didn't like the Polish, the Catholics didn't like the Protestants, on and on.

Unfortunately in the city of Hazelton we now have government sanctioned hatred.

Lou Barletta actively solicited Latino populations to relocate from New York. Housing was made extremely affordable and advertisements were placed in Spanish language publications. It was done to try and revitalize a near dead town. And here is the kicker, it was working. Many new, small businesses were not only setting up shop, they were thriving. Deserted streets bustled with activity and the tax base was increasing. Unfortunately post ordinance many of those new businesses have shuttered their doors and those that employed and were employed have left. So far reaching was the effect that the largest tomato farm on the east coast went out of business. Why? Legal migrant farmers refused to enter northeast PA.

There is no doubt because Hazelton was growing the city experienced some growing pains. Growing pains that anyone in government should have foreseen. But as we learned in the county commissioners office, ex-jocks do not make the best government officials.

The supposed increase in crime, and I say supposed because when asked under oath, in court, to produce proof of claimed increase in crime, the Chief of Police was unable, can occur with a new population base. What no one in Hazelton ever talks about is the cuts in the police force by Lou Barletta. His good friend Ruddy Guliani in NYC was very aware that if you increase police presence crime goes down. If you ever visited NYC under Koch and Dinkins and then under Ruddy and now Bloomburg you know the difference is dramatic. It had nothing to do with certain races or certain populations, it had to do with police presence, a cop on every corner. Instead of using "collars" (arrests) as a way of tracking effectiveness, a decrease in police calls became the standard. It was all about police presence. So it makes sense that the inverse is also true. Take police off the street, especially when you are experiencing a growth in population, and crime will itself increase.

What is so tragic about Barletta is how he turned on those he, with open arms, encouraged to enter his city. When it became politically expedient to vilify Latinos as a group, he did so without hesitation. Barletta's initial draft of the illegal immigration ordinance called for, among other blatantly racist if not draconian or even fascists measures, denying goods and services., (i.e. medical care or even groceries) based on immigration status. It isn't the denying of services that is racist, draconian or fascist, it is how one would have to deny such services; basically if someone spoke with an accent they were to be asked to present their papers. Sounds like something out of a cold war era depiction of the former Soviet Union. I wonder how Lou's immigrant grandparents would have like being asked to produce their papers to purchase an orange.

I would not say that Barletta is racist. He is far worse, he is a hypocrite.

He has no concern for you or me or the immigrants in our town, he only cares about his political career and future; which makes him just like the majority of his political ilk.

Chris said...

What an amazing comment. Kudos.

McGruff said...

"Lou Barletta actively solicited Latino populations to relocate from New York. Housing was made extremely affordable and advertisements were placed in Spanish language publications."

You are very eloquent in your post. Too bad it is filled with unfactual information. The statement above was said about Mayor Quigley in 1988 and Mayor Marsicano as late as 1998. If you lived in Hazleton you would know that. Show me one sign listed by any one of those Mayors. It was rumor that was told long enough that turned into "truth." It wasn't true but people like you believe it.

[What no one in Hazelton ever talks about is the cuts in the police force by Lou Barletta.] Another unfactual post. Mayor Marsicano used federal dollars to hire police. Those dollars had a finite life to them. When the dollars dried up so did the ability for the city to pay for them hence the layoff. Since then the police force through other funding has been increased<---not decreased-- to 40 at the present time.

Your statement about increasing police decreases crime obviously comes from a limited education. Crime prevention strategy decreases crime, not the volume of police on the street. You could have a corrupt police force commiting crime so your statement lacks merit. Gainful employment opportunties decrease crime, not the volume of police on the streets. Public confidence is directly proportional to how the public views the Police Force treats its own internal disciplinary matters. The lack of confidence results in underreporting of crimes at a time where there might be high crime. It is not sheer volume. There are many factors to consider. Visible police presence can be accomplished without increasing the force through better management strategies, repositioning and a strategic review. The time spent to investigate a crime will take up the manhours developed in such a plan and hurt the overall response and the communities perception of such a response.

Initial drafts of laws occur on a daily basis in this country. As a bill makes its way through Congress it gets amended and reworded. There are three readings of an ordinance in Hazleton. In many cases amendments are made to those ordinances. It suits your political agenda to hold onto the first draft not the final draft.

While we know about the Japanese concentration camps during WWII how many of you are aware that the same thing happened to Italians at the same time, and sometimes sharing the same facility with the Japanese? The point is the path to citizenship has not always been a positive one. Yet as you highlight in your post about Lou's grandparents you believe it to be so.

Quit painting this issue with a broad brush. Immigrants are very welcome in Hazleton. Lou Barletta has married about 300 Latino couples to date. If they viewed him as a group as an unwanted why is this occurring? If the first act you commit in coming to this country is illegal what makes me believe that other illegal acts won't happen while the person is here?

Crips, Bloods, MS13s, that is what is here. They are selling to children. How can you people hate pedophiles but support drug dealers? And no...not all drug dealers are here illegally. And no...not all drug dealers are illegal hispanics...But what is true is that any illegal criminal alien(eastern Eurpoean, asian,hispanic, latino, muslim, etc.) who is here, if deported, would not have had the opportunity to commit crimes against us. Usually these criminals have been arrested more than once and continue to try to enter illegally.

What amazes me is that these people left countries because of oppression but want to suppress us from preventing their crimes by hiding behind the moms and dads here with their children in the name of a plight those descent people experience in their country.

9/11 was caused by illegal aliens who hated us and their counterparts continue to hate us. Support illegal migration and you support the spread of terroism. Support legal immigration and those seeking it and you help those who are on the path to their dreams.

WE aren't the only ones trying to deal with illegal migration. Google the problems in Europe.

And you do know the difference between illegal migration and legal immigration?

On your comment about the tomato farm again you are not factual. Keith Eckel decided to quit tomato farming in favor of farming corn. He didn't go out of business.

When Lou's grandparents came to this country there was no Medicaid(1964) or Social Security(1935). You either had to make it or you didn't. Today there are entitlement programs that make this wave of immigration totally different than any in the past. The taxpayers are funding those entitlements, not the governments they ran away from due to oppression.

They are earning money here and sending it back to their countries as remittances. It is not being spent in our economy. How can we ask for a stimulus package but watch as the dollars are leaving the country and the economy? In Hazleton they are getting deliveries for their grocery stores from purveyors from New York. Are those tax dollars coming to Hazleton or Pennsylvania for that matter?

Do your homework next time. Your statements are not factual, only amusing to those who know better. Do you even know what the word "hatred" means? You state the Chief had no statistics. Show me your statistics that justify that statement about hatred. Show me what the people of Hazleton are doing that are acts of hatred?

Did you know that when two hispanic children died in a fire in Hazleton the Hazleton Fire Deparment went to the wake, wnet to the home of the fanily, attended the funeral, and even gave one of the children honorary Membership in the volunteer fire department section because his dream when he grew up was to be a fireman? Is that your act of hatred?

Babs said...

Hey McGruff what about the 2 plus million your man Louie is gonna put the city in the whole for, or do you have some way to spin that one. The hatred in Hazelton towards Latino's is palpable, much coming from people like you. You try to wrap it up in the legal/illegal debate, but the truth is that if folks are a tad darker in skin tone or speak w/an accent you, Barletta and the rest want them frisked first and asked questions later. Maybe maligned got a couple of things wrong, but to say that more police is a bad idea is just stupid, much like those in your neck of the woods. The Eckel farm switching to corn was done because he couldn't get legal migrant workers to come up this way, he was on Steve Corbett's show for over thirty minutes talking about it. He directly attributed it to Barletta.
If you think interment of those not charged, not guilty and robbed of due process is a good thing there is no talking to you. I think it was Ben Franklin who stated those willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither.
The 9/11 attackers, only 5 of the 19 had violated immigration laws, that leaves 14 in this country legally. If you think you can stop those willing to kill themselves by passing laws you are off your rocker. As far as the ordinance, I was under the impression there were almost a dozen reworkings. The fact that the initial draft was so as maligned put it "draconian" is an abomination and speaks to the hatred towards those that our different that is so prevelent coming from you and yours.
We won't decide it here because you folks believe in stripping rights of folks to protect yourself. Personally I would rather die in a terrorist attacks than give up my freedoms, but that is just me.
I am just thankful that Lou's political future has been derailed and once he loses the appeals it will be the nail in the coffin and he can go back into private life and leave those of us who love freedom, who embrace the history that made our country great free to live life to the fullest.
Keep on hatin'

McGruff said...


What the hell do you know about me? I work with the Latino community in Hazleton. I serve the Latino community in Hazleton. I have personal friends in the Latino community. I have donated to the Latino community.

Your analysis is so off base you are one who promotes division.

The City is not on the hook for $2 million. Most of those legal fees will be struck down should the City lose. It has over $400,000 in its defense fund to pay towards those fees should they happen. However you are dead sure they will lose. Who pays if they win?

When Eckel met Barletta he found out that the current immigration laws are what hurt him. As the law is now he must agree to hire immigrants for 3 months in order to use them on his farm. He only needs them for 6 weeks out of the 12. That means he has to agree to pay them for 6 weeks where he has no work for them. I will not speak more for Mr. Eckel. Go ask him yourself.

I can't comprehend how you feel immigration should be lawless. The illegal migrant steps ahead of the legal immigrant and those seeking legal status, takes their jobs, works for less, and doesn't pay taxes. They send the money home and when they are done they leave America.

You are witnessing it right now where they are returning to their countries in this economic downturn. Did They came here to use America or help America?

And I didn't say more police is a bad idea. My presentation was that more police isn't a straight line equation to deterring crime. If you use strategic management to reposition and deploy your assets all of that gets blown out of the water when illegals take up the manhours to investigate their crimes. Every business has a finite set of manhours it can afford. The City is no different. I did state the the force is back up to forty so I must believe in part of the more police theory. Did you intentionally omit that in your presentation?

The police from Marsicano's era were like the subprime mortgage market. The City couldn't afford them at the time so the federal government told them they would fund a program for a temporary time to give the City help. But the City knew all along that the end of the federal dollars was the end of affording those police. Essentially they got a loan they couldn't afford.

There were immigration laws from the day this country was born. Here is a list

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”- Don't confuse the meaning of that quote or misquote. From the Constitution

Preamble - We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I, Section 8 - The Congress shall have power to ... declare war
Article II - The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States,
Second Amendment - A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

I see "security" mentioned several times.

Your essential liberies of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, freedom of the press, etc.(Bill of Rights) for which our forefathers stated cannot be linked with "freedom" to move into this country. You are entitled to freedoms for which the country was empowered to defend(duh security).

For example Outlawing guns will only give you some temporary safety as long it takes for the criminals to get guns illegally.

Another good example of this is massive citizen surveilance. It'll give you a little temporary safety for as long as it takes the criminals to notice the surveilance cams. Shortly thereafter, criminals simply find ways around the surveilance cameras, and now criminals are still criminals, but honest citizens no longer have any privacy.

How can you make and argument about more police but in the same breath throw security to the wind? Inconsitent thoughts.

Why were there so many immigration laws from 1780 on if it is a bad thing to regulation migration into this country?

What freedoms do you give up preventing terroists from entering this country?? You can still fly, take a train, even board a ship. The inconveniences you are suffering are because terroists entered the country. But those measures have not affected your freedom.

If you are so inclined to die for your freedom why don't you join our military and help them defend our freedoms? Aren't they supplying security day in and dayout to this country? Are you giving up your essential liberties for their human sacrifice? My father is buried in Ft. Indiantown Gap cemetary, a veteran of WWII. I spoke at many programs honoring veterans. So be careful in your response.

You called me alot of things including a hater. But you don't even know me. I don't hate you but I despise your characterizations.

McGruff said...

For example Outlawing guns will only give you some temporary safety as long it takes for the criminals to get guns illegally.

Another good example of this is massive citizen surveilance. It'll give you a little temporary safety for as long as it takes the criminals to notice the surveilance cams. Shortly thereafter, criminals simply find ways around the surveilance cameras, and now criminals are still criminals, but honest citizens no longer have any privacy.

These two examples were presented to show what was really meant by temporary security as opposed to security to defend our nation.

Anonymous said...

i want some of mcgruffs kool-aide.

Anonymous said...

only nixon could go to china

Anonymous said...

yeah but at least nixon had an intellect....