Saturday, June 30, 2007
Tax relief or Corporate Welfare?
Pa. House OKs slots funds for new arena
The state House voted 121-77 today in favor of a new slots-funded economic development program that will supply $8 million a year that's needed to build a new hockey arena in Pittsburgh.
Slots revenue eyed for projects
Supporters of a proposed cargo airport in the Hazleton area are eyeing slots revenues to help pay for the $500 million project. State Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Butler Township, inserted a $16.5 million authorization for the cargo airport in a new House bill listing projects under the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund.
It doesn't surprise me that this new big pot of gold is just too tempting for our tribunes of the people to resist. Rapid Edward sold this idea to us saying that revenue from the slots parlors would be used to reduced property taxes. I haven't seen my property taxes reduced and the Governor now wants to raise the sales tax with a promise to reduce property taxes that would create yet another pot of money that can be raided. How many more taxes will be proposed with the promise of reducing school taxes only to be diverted to another purpose?
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Mitt Romney abused the family dog
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Meyers High School is sinking
WILKES-BARRE – Plans to renovate Meyers High School should be scrapped, an architect told the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board Monday, throwing a likely knockout blow at efforts to preserve the venerable building...the building foundation has settled in spots up to four times more than expected, creating situations where the floors can drop by up to six inches from one side to the other.
The original plan to renovate the three city highs schools will have to be revamped. The fact that the school is not worth saving is going to upset a lot of people, including my Mom, who went there.
The idea of the neighborhood school died a long time ago and this is just another one that will go by the wayside. The recent Catholic school closings follow a long list of elementary/high schools closings. My academic career started at Courtright Ave grade school and when that building fell apart I went to the brand new Dan Flood Elementary School that opened in 1969. It was built on the Coughlin HS baseball field next to the Guthrie school football field which had been previously closed. We got a new new grade school but lost the baseball field where I learned to play the game. A bad trade in my opinion. In 1972 the state mandated a consolidation of school districts that got the number down to just 503. I don't know how many there were before that. I remember that the whole west side had to attend the Wyoming Valley West HS instead of schools in Luzerne, Kingston and other towns. Not counting how many grade schools were closed. So going off to 7th grade at the Plains Junior High School I had to take a bus for the first time in my life. Before that I always walked to school. Plains Jr. HS is now a IMU facility and most grade schools of my youth are closed. Enough reminiscing.
We are told that the best way to teach our kids is in small classes but the trend of the last few years has been to build mega-schools. Spending $35 million to renovate a high school that may drown doesn't make much sense and we will see what other problems the architects will find with GAR and Coughlin. Coughlin HS on N Washington St was designated a KOZ zone a few years ago so you know that they will find some fatal flaw in that campus and GAR is just in a bad place.
I think every candidate in the last School Board election ran on a promise to keep all 3 city high schools open. Frank Pizzella may restore some order to this group or he might just have everybodys legs broken.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
YouTube posting portends vicious commissioners race
A buddy of Republican county Commissioners Robert C. Cordaro and A.J. Munchak showed up at the fundraiser for Democratic Lackawanna County commissioner candidates Mike Washo and Corey O’Brien that was attended by Gov. Ed Rendell. His mission was to spot Republicans that were attending the event and when he was spotted he let out a a highly offensive, racially charged statement in reference to the fundraiser attendees. Charles Costanzo's firm processes county worker compensation claims, and he and Mr. Cordaro are good friends. The workers’ comp contract is a matter of public record. Both said they are longtime friends.
When Costanzo spots the video camera he flips them the finger and says "go suck a big black cock." Costanzo says he 's not a racist. “I’m not a racist by any means,” he said. “I totally regret what I said, but I didn’t think I was going to play to the world.”
All this is bad enough but the clip is set to Godfather theme and some of my Italian friends are up in arms. Constanzo is threatening to sue whoever posted the video for making him out to be a “gangster.”
This might be the biggest intertubes dustup since Bernie Kieklak said some stupid things at Lehigh Valley Ramblings .
The Big Ten network vs. Comcast
Big Ten network to carry PSU
I don't know who to mad at in this one. Since Comcast took over from Adelphia they have cut 2 stations from my basic cable. The WE network is no big loss but the elimination of UPN-57 means I don't get the Phillies games on the weekend. I'm listening to it on the radio right now.
But until Comcast comes to an agreement with the Big Ten 3 Penn State football games may be out of reach. Unless you want to pay extra for them.
The burgeoning Big Ten Network, which is slated to launch nationally in August, announced Tuesday it will broadcast the Nittany Lions’ season-opening game against Florida International on Sept. 1, as well as the third game of the campaign, Sept. 15 against Buffalo. Both are scheduled for noon kickoffs at Beaver Stadium.
And a confrence game is also slated for this new channel.
Just after Comcast took over from Adelphia I had 3 cable/ISP outages within 2 weeks. Coincidence? I'm not sure. The NY Times has a rundown.
Comcast is not the only company I don't like. Any monopoly sucks. My battles with the Pennsylvania Water Company are wearing me out. But I will continue.
Eventually the Super Bowl is going to be on pay-tv with commercials.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
YCOP targets Eachus
A statewide radio ad campaign by a conservative group is advocating no new taxes and targets six state representatives including Democrat Todd Eachus of Butler Township.
The campaign launched by the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania takes aim at Gov. Rendell’s proposed $27.3 billion budget.
You can listen to the ad here.
Eachus hits back asking “What are they hiding behind? I want to know where the money is coming from.” The Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania is categorized as a 501C4 social welfare/civic youth organization and does not have to disclose a list of donors. Blog buddy Chris Lilik of GrassrootsPA fame is the President of YCOP and says Eachus is blowing hot air. Lilik believes people have the right to free association and shouldn’t worry that when they support a cause that donation will be made public. “We have almost 1,000 donors,” Lilik said. “People have donated five or 10 dollars to our organization so (Eachus’) claim is just preposterous.”
In the speculation department I got this in the email:
I've been hearing a lot of anti Eachus spots on the radio, similar to the Anti Carney ads. Is there anyone in that district on the R side considered viable? Is it possible this is what Barletta may be going after??? As say a stepping stone to the Gov race in 2010???? Just curious, I haven't heard of a R out there and the attack ads on Eachus resemble the Carney stuff...
I'm sure Barletta has his sights set on something higher up than state rep but you never know. But it's an interesting question. Why go after Eachus? Please tell us Chris.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Corporate welfare at work
According to the Pocono Record:
Plastics manufacturer Iridium Industries has benefited from more than $9 million in taxpayer dollars through government economic development programs.
There's enough in this story to piss off just about everybody.
I'm outraged by all the tax giveaways to every company that promises a few jobs and the state and local governments being in the finance business and they don't even hire American citizens. What are the capitol markets for? If you want to start or expand a business most companies have to go to the bank, issue stock or float a bond.
The Lou Barletta crowd will object to tax dollars going to a company that hires illegal immigrants but will rejoice that they will be kicked out of the country.
Steve Corbett points out that it will cost a lot of money to deport these people when before they were paying taxes and some of them will come back anyway.
The temp agency dodge is called out on The Pennsylvania Progressive.
Some people feel safer.
So in the end the owners of the company or the temp agency that has not been identified will not face any sort of penalty. So after the dust clears they will go back to their same business practices because they can.
Please have your IDs ready
Somehow I doubt if anyone under 17 has any interest in political blogs. Well maybe there might be a few kids out there that are as goofy as I was when I worked in my first political campaign at the tender age of 15.
h/t to Carl
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The White House Cafe
CV: Five shootings in 27 months, two dead, eight wounded, one stabbed. This is not acceptable in any city,” said Abbott Street resident Mike Martin. “This presents an obvious clear and present danger to people who live in the neighborhood.”A man died and two other people were wounded after a fight outside the city tavern on Sunday. The bar is a nuisance and neighbors don’t want to live in constant fear anymore, Martin said.
I can't say that I blame them. If this was going on in my street I would want the place padlocked. It may happen this time.
But there is a political component to the situation. Luzerne County Judge Chester Muroski's family has owned the bar for decades. Muroski’s daughter and son-in-law now own the place but they live in Philadelphia. And the perception is the place has gotten a pass because of his involvement and local law enforcement and politician's don't want to cross him.
There are many other bars in the area that get more visits from the police but it's usually just beer muscles and our local constables can usually calm down the situation. The Woodlands has had many incidents over the last few years that involved shootings and stabbings but nobody is demanding that they be shut down. The fact that many political fundraisers are held there probably has nothing to do with it.
There are many accusations that the bar is a haven for drug dealers that are unproven. Why many of the patrons carry guns can be explained that they are American citizens just exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. If more people carried guns we would all be safer, don'cha tink?
I can't argue with Mark who says we should teach our children well.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
All in the Kanjo family
He sure does. Jane pointed this story out last night and it showed up in the CV this morning via The Politico. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington published a comprehensive list Monday of the leading 337 members of the House who have employed their relatives in some capacity or whose family members have become registered lobbyists.
Our own Paul Kanjorski gets a mention as does 2 other PA Congressmen John Murtha and Bill Shuster. This practice doesn't bother me as much as the earmarks for Cornerstone Technologies that directed taxpayer money to a company that was run by the same nephews that he put on his campaign payroll. No laws were apparently broken in the Cornerstone fiasco but it sure doesn't pass the smell test.
Hiring your relatives to work on your campaign comes across as unseemly but not illegal. After all his last few reelection efforts consisted of writing checks to Ed Mitchell. I'd like to get a job like that. Paying yourself rent from campaign contributions for office space gives the appearance of another conflict but again is technically legal. Kanjorski claims he loses money on the arrangement and gave a lame excuse that he fears important mail from the Federal Election Commission might get lost if he moved. Why do I have more faith in the post office to forward mail than he does?
Monday, June 18, 2007
It's Rose Tucker
Former commissioner Rose Tucker was named to the post Monday. Tucker, a Democrat from Nanticoke, takes over for Todd Vonderheid who resigned to take a job with the chamber of commerce.
It's no surprise that Skrep got his pick and Rose has always been a team player. Many people were pulling for former state rep Tom Tigue and the other candidates never had a chance. And speaking of not team players Steve Urban and Bill Jones are running against each other instead of the Democrats.
Luzerne County Republican Chairwoman Lynette Villano tries to put a good face on it in a CV story. She points out that the Republicans hold 2 of the row offices and expect to retain them. But they couldn't even find candidates to run for judge, district attorney or coroner. Red O'Brien will give Mary Dysleski a run for the money with 2 long time employees confessing to pocketing large sums of money from The Recorder of Deeds office. But I think Barry Stankus should be reelected as sheriff over Michael Savokinas especially if sore loser George "Nipper" Nowakowski mounts the write-in effort that he is threatening to do.
Bill Jones says the county GOP “is in total disarray.” Hard to dispute that. Most people I talk to blame Lynette for the state of the local Republican Party. That's probably unfair as this bunch has been dysfunctiona lfor a long time. And Urban is floating a conspiracy theory that the Dems are backing Jones to get rid of him calling Jones a RINO.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Another edition of Queer eye for the blog guy
Saturday, June 16, 2007
We miss Dr. Rick
A man walks into a bar and orders a 12-year-old scotch. The bartender, believing that the customer will not be able to tell the difference, pours him a shot of the cheap 3-year-old house scotch that has been poured into an empty bottle of the good stuff.
The man takes a sip and spits the scotch out on the bar and reams the bartender. "This is the cheapest 3-year-old scotch you can buy. I'm not paying for it. Now, give me a good 12-year-old scotch."
The bartender, now feeling a bit of a challenge, pours him a scotch of much better quality, 6-year-old scotch. The man takes a sip and spits it out on the bar. "This is only 6-year-old scotch. I won't pay for this, and I insist on, a good, 12-year-old scotch."
The bartender finally relents and serves the man his best quality, 12-year-old scotch.
An old drunk from the end of the bar, who has witnessed the entire episode, walks down to the finicky scotch drinker and sets a glass down in front of him and asks, "What do you think of this?"
The scotch expert takes a sip, and in disgust, violently spits out the liquid yelling "Why, this tastes like piss,"
The old drunk replies, "That's right, now tell me how old I am."
Make a deal with God
Friday, June 15, 2007
Luzerne County Commissioner
The eight are:
- Charles V. Hatchko, a retired corrections officer from Jenkins Township
- Tom Tigue, a former state legislator from Hughestown
- Rose Tucker, a former county commissioner from Exeter
- Antonio Rodriguez, retired teacher from Hazleton
- Thomas Dombroski, a consulting firm president from Kingston Township
- Beth Ann Wenner, an educator from Freeland
- Thomas P. Cooney, a Jenkins Township resident and the development director of the A+E Group Inc.
- Bob Kadluboski, a towing contractor from Wilkes-Barre
It's either going to be Skrep's Favorite Rose Tucker or everybody else's choice Tom Tigue. Our county fathers in the form of 9 Judges will make the decision Monday. Should be an interesting meeting since some of our jurists don't have a high regard for each other and they all seem to have problems with Ann Lokuta.
My pick would be Wilkes-Barre's favorite tower Bob Kadluboski just for the entertainment value.
Bob brings a lot to the table. He has rammed his tow truck into suspected criminals and apprehended a fleeing felon at gunpoint showing his commitment to fighting crime. When his dogs escaped from his compound and mauled someone he defended them proving he is an animal rights advocate. When you have to deal with him after he towed your car a you get a lesson in customer service. He placed an ad before the last election without disclosing who paid for it, and the paper that published it let him do it, affirming his commitment the first amendment. He wears great sunglasses and listed getting Commissioner Greg Skrepenak to lose weight as one of his top goals on the vacancy application paperwork
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
WWE explodes in Wilkes-Barre Twp
Photo from Sport911.com
h/t to PSoTD
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Apologizing for unleashing hate
We at Voice of the People have nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with any hate, white power, nationalist, or Aryan group. It has been brought to our attention that some of these groups have been copying and pasting text from this web site and posting it on their web site! We have absolutely nothing to do with that. It is not what we are about and we do not endorse any stealing of our text and writings for any of these groups use or self gain. This has nothing to do with race this is simply standing up for the laws of our U.S. citizens. This is legality vs illegality.
Voice of the People
The return of the Vodka swilling welfare Queen
State Rep. Steven W. Cappelli, R-Williamsport, has sponsored legislation requiring anyone receiving cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to be tested for drug use.
I can't even begin to say why this a stupid idea. It's my opinion that so called war on drugs of the last 40 years has caused more harm than good. Two million people every year are locked up over drug charges and drugs are as available as ever. The tough nut to crack is to convince people not to take the poison in the first place. Our present District Attorney and soon to be Judge campaigned on a promise to lock up all the drug dealers 8 years ago and that's been a roaring success. But fear of the druggies always makes a good campaign issue. I don't know if legalizing everything is a good idea but another approach is warranted. Some of the reaction to this proposal over at GrassrootsPA is down right scary. Some of my small government and individual liberty Republican friends want to put welfare recipients into camps and test state legislators. The drug testing industry is big business, they lobby and make political contributions although I couldn't find anything in Capelli's reports that suggested he has taken any money from them.
Ghosts don't like to move
Friday, June 08, 2007
Turning the Cornerstone
“It was just like the Three Stooges meet anthracite,” said Penn State fuel sciences professor Harold Schobert
A story in the Sunday Citizens Voice rehashed the whole Cornerstone Technologies controversy of U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski earmarking $11 million in federal funds to support a company that was run by by his nephews and daughter that is now bankrupt. I covered it before the the last election but it didn't seem to matter to the voters. He was reelected with 72% of the vote. But it won't go away.
I got a press advisory tonight from a group called The Public Accountability Project, an affiliate of The Peace & Prosperity Project (lots of projects) saying they are having a:
Press conference on June 8th,2007 at 10:30am at 350 Second Street, Plains, PA 18705 (the former site of Cornerstone Technologies LLC), to call for a Congressional investigation into Congressman Paul Kanjorski's "shady dealings with Cornerstone Technologies LLC."
Who is this group?
From their website: The Peace and Prosperity Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit nationwide organization that works with think tanks, grassroots organizations and issue advocacy groups across America. While President Reagan's principles: Peace through strength and Prosperity through free market economics live on today, many of the policy decisions and communication strategies that create this environment do not.
I guess Saint Ronny doesn't like Kanjo according to them. I wonder what Nancy thinks of groups like this throwing his name around. With my schedule I can't make the event but we'll see if the local papers cover it.
Update: This group consists of 7 outraged Republicans led by Old Forge School Board president Frank Scavo according to the CV. Scavo was also one of the speakers at the immigration rally in Hazleton and is planning another June 15 in Scranton that the Klan is planning to attend. Maybe Frank is planning to take on Kanjorski if Saint Lou gives it a pass.
Lupas drops the ball again
TL: 17 drug charges dropped
And this guy is going to be a Judge. Who's he going to blame this time.
Great night of Baseball
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Chase them all out
Amilcar Arroyo, an immigrant from Peru and United States citizen
Xenophobe-A-Palooza (try saying it) was underway in Hazleton when a when a when a guy with brown skin and a camera was heckled by the crowd and had to removed by the police in the interest of his own safety.
Several in the crowd began yelling at Arroyo after a rumor circulated he was one of the people suing the city for its illegal immigration ordinance, said Pamela Hauptmann, of Bethlehem, who was one of the people who confronted Arroyo.
They told him to“get out of the country” as others called him a “traitor.” Hauptmann, where I have heard that name before? Mayor Lou Barletta said he missed the commotion and said only some feelings were hurt. This time Lou , but the anger you are helping to unleash could get ugly.
How do you kick 12 million people out of the country? I got some helpful advice in the email:
If we expel all the Mexicans it might have a positive economic impact. You would have to have a means of doing it. You can’t truck or bus 12 million people out of the country so the best way to do it would be by train. Not using cattle cars but nice passenger trains with individual seats and bathrooms. This may be a way to rebuild our rail network Before we kick them out they should be screened at collection points so the construction industry (manned mainly by Mexicans) can be kept employed building the new camps. Maybe we could employ out of work teachers to help them fill out the forms that will be required and medical doctors should examine them at the gates of the camps. Just to make sure one of them with TB doesn’t fly around the world.
Photo by Monica Cabrera/The Morning Call
A scam aimed at the families of deployed military personnel has targeted at least one local family, and the American Red Cross is warning potential victims to be cautious when giving out personal information...one example of the scam involved a woman who called a military spouse claiming to be a representative from the American Red Cross. The caller said that the spouse on duty had been injured in Iraq and could not be treated medically until the proper paperwork had been completed...The caller then asked for the spouse to verify the soldier’s Social Security number and birth date. In this situation, the spouse caught on and refused to give out the information.
Calling the wife of a guy in Iraq and telling her that her husband has been injured knowing that after getting such shocking news she might let her guard might be down is a classic example of social engineering. Fortunately she knew that the Red Cross doesn't contact the family when someone has been injured, that's the job of the services. Identity theft is probably the least reported on crime in the US and it affects so many people.
Right on time I just got a phishing email.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Separated at birth
Saturday, June 02, 2007
One pitch too late
John Sterling just said that Lowel was a hero to Boston for knocking Mientkiewicz in the head. What a stupid thing to say.
Curt is one of my favorite pitchers and even has a blog: 38 Pitches. I don't care about his politics.
The Red Sox win! The Sox outhit the Yanks tonight.
Gort sighting in LA
It seems he is entombed in a environmentally controlled chamber constructed to keep him in a suspended state of animation or he's in a store front in Los Angeles. He was spotted by Bob Patterson who blogs at The Smirking Chimp. His latest post covers everything from a battle between midget KISS tribute bands to a magazine devoted to vintage farm tractors with a few jabs at conservative bloggers. Definitely a fun read.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Who wants a new Luzerne County prison?
Maybe it's time to look at other ways to deal with some of our "criminals" as the stories about the Drug Court in both papers illustrated today.
Drug Treatment Court graduates’ big day comes
First drug court graduation held
Congratulations to Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak for his leadership on this issue.
The Citizens Voice has a new website
The new and improved CV site is harder to navigate and the search feature doesn't work. That's progress. The TL "upgraded"their website a few months ago with a similar result. After playing around with both of them I could eventually find the stories that were in the print editions today but it was some work. The thing I want the most is to able to look at the local news archives over the last few days as I usually read something that I file in the back of my head to think about and do some research before I post about it. It has become more difficult. What's a Blogger to do? Not much.