Friday, July 27, 2007

Bush's Penny-wise, Pound-foolish Presidency Impacts Lehigh Valley

On Wednesday, I told you the prez has threatened to veto Charlie Dent's public safety initiatives in the Lehigh Valley. Thanks to Bill Cahir, I've learned Bush also intends to nix some other improvements Dent is hoping to deliver to Allentown and Bethlehem. These include the following:

$500,000 to Bethlehem for the construction of a garage and bus terminal along East Third Street in South Side Bethlehem

$250,000 for the SteelStax Performing Arts Center.

$500,000 for the upgrade of Allentown traffic signals.

$250,000 for the expansion of the Allentown Art Museum.

According to Cahir, Bush is trying to "reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility." He might have thought a little more about that before he invaded Iraq.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

To put your comments in some perspective...

Depending on who you look at the war cost the US Taxpayers 177 million to 195 million per day. This breaks down to between $122,820 per minute to $135,417 per minute. So using the low end costs if we stopped the war for a bit less than 13 minutes these programs could be paid for with money to spare.

Not to mention since the war stared the residents of Northampton County and Lehigh County have paid 886 Million of their tax dollars toward it. That number is increasing as we speak (Numbers from the National Priorities Project).

What is more horrible is Bush is trying to be a fiscal conservative by cutting this money for projects that will create jobs, build infrastructue, and make the valley a great place.

Bush is a fiscal conservative like Clinton was a fine upstanding family man...

A.J. Cordi said...

"So using the low end costs if we stopped the war for a bit less than 13 minutes these programs could be paid for with money to spare."

To bad it will never happen that way... it's a nice though, though.

Bernie, I linked to this from my blog.

Anonymous said...

I know a.j. The 195 million per day comes from TedKennedy.com and in the interest of not being biased I used the numbers most favorable to the president and even that made things seem bad.

BethlehemDem said...

It is too bad that we do not have a real candidate running in the 15th who could call Dent out over this and his support of Bush and the war.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, this funding was proposed by Dent. It made it through the House, but not with a veto proof majority.

I'm getting the distinct impression that Bush doiesn't give a shit about the LV, especially Allentown and bethlehem.

On the bright side, we could be New Orleans.

A.J. Cordi said...

His wife likes Easton though; that's gotta count for something.

Well, maybe not...

Tom Foolery said...

The man is a walking *******nightmare. We will never recover from the damage the man has done, ever.. With the exception of the second coming or first, if you're Jewish..My guess is that Cheyney is the Antichrist and the apocalypse is happening now..Cause it sure as hell can't get much worse..

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Foolery!

Cheney scares me more than any of them. I just went duck hunting with him and I can't sit down.

Billy Givens said...

I'm generally no fan of President-Select George W. Bush, but I hope he vetoes Charlie Demt's pork-barrel spending bill for a parking garage and bus station for Bethlehem's South Side neighborhood (shades of Easton's Riverwalk, which just today made The Morning Call in an article by reporter Tracy Jordan; the Federal Transportation has ordered a full environmental study of Riverwalk).

Ditto Jeff Parks's Steel StaxStax and Dent's shopping list of security initiatives selected from the Department of Homeland Security and its secretary Michael Chertoff's smorgasbord of goodies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Billy!

Good to hear from you, you ornery old bastard!

michael molovinsky said...

i know nothing of the projects in bethlehem, but let me address some recent projects in allentown. the new lanta terminal-parking garage is useless, they have this electronic billboard announcing the open spaces, it usually says 25 filled, 475 available. last time we got a grant for traffic lights we put them at 8th and liberty,13th and 14th and chew, places where only are they not necessary, they impede the flow of traffic. the art museum officials are totally out of touch with reality, we tore down a needed county parking deck for a park which will be seldom used. meanwhile, despite press conferences with our elected officials, the city and county let weeds and bushes grow out of the roadbed of the 8th and tilghman st. bridges, both irreplaceable icons of the lehigh valley. i'm not defending bush and the war, but criticizing the local misuse of funds and grants.

A.J. Cordi said...

Speaking of misuse of funds...

I wonder how much that digital sign cost on RT 22 before the RT 33 ramps going east.

The only thing I ever read on that sign is "Buckle up, it's the law, drive safe." That's not counting the many times I've seen "testing" on it, too.

There might also be a similar sign on RT 33, but I can't remember.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

Let's make a might big assumption and concede you are correct that some Allentown grants were misapplied in the past. That does not logically support the conclusion that no grants can ever work.

Your argument - some grants are bad; therefore, all grants are bad. That's a nonsequitor.

You make this obviously fallacious argument to do precisely what you say you aren't doing - defending Bush.

If you think the grants proposed by Dent are bad, say so. At least that's honest. But don't throw out red herrings and then use them as a basis for condemning totally different projects. That's sophism.

A.J. Cordi said...

Bernie,

I think the point MM is trying to make is that since so much money has been wasted in the recent past, it doesn't seem as though the Valley has proven itself to be worthy of such amounts of money yet. Though I agree AND disagree with that, I don't see that as a suitable reason to not supply the needed funds, especially considering these grants would be going towards some good use.

I don't think he was trying to make the point that "all grants are bad."

However, what Dent is proposing now I would be in support of and I am rather angry that the White House considers the Valley unimportant in these matters. And for Bush to deny Dent, a kiss-ass, these grants is a slap in the face. Though, I'm sure Dent won't see it that way...

Bernie O'Hare said...

His argument, quite simply, is a nonsequitor.

Anonymous said...

Is it accurate to say that Dent proposed this funding? Isn't any representative willing to vote for an appropriation bill able to get some funding for pet projects for the home district? And since this is a Democratic bill Bush will not be thinking about Dent's feeling when he vetoes it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is entirely accurate to say Dent proposed this funding. Nancy Pelosi didn't propose $1.75 million in public safety inititives for the LV. That came from Dent, who was able somehow to persuade Dems to include these earmarks in a Democratic spending bill. Unlike many earmarks, these are well-considered projects that inure mostly to our public safety but also provide a boost to the arts. I've listened to Jeff Parks make a presentation concerning the new performing arts center in Bethlehem, and it's a teriffic idea that will be used by all the local schools once it's in operation.

A.J. Cordi said...

I would love for Bethlehem to have a new performing arts center. I hope it becomes a reality one day...

michael molovinsky said...

in my opinion recent state grants have been misused by the traffic department for unnecessary traffic lights and by the museum for a less than needed art park, therefore, i have little faith in putting more gifts in their stockings. although i'm not familiar with bethlehem, the lanta terminal and garage in allentown was also overbuilt and its need is questionable. it seems mr. dent is responding again to the same squeaky wheels in allentown, not to the biggest needs. ironically, here in allentown, we have iconic structures,such as the 8th st. bridge, which are deteriorating; although the subject of press conferences and news-clips, they do not receive even basic maintenance, such as weed removal. i doubt if mr. dent drives around looking for the best use of federal grant dollars, rather he responses to those with the most influence.

Pamela Varkony said...

Bernie,

I'd like to point out that a very important part of the Steel Stax project is the relocation of the Lehigh Valley's PBS station, WLVT-39, to the site. Although some public funding will go into that move, WLVT is launching a capitol camapaign to raise much of the money on their own.

This new, state-of-the-art facility will be used to provide increased educational programming as well as multiple digital access channels that will be available to the community.

The denial of Charlie's funding request therefore has deeper implications than is obvious on the surface.

alexis de tocqueville said...

Charlie Dent rips Bush and the war prosecution, then expects help filling his pre-re-election goody bag? Charlie likely knows better and is trying to save face while attempting to explain his empty goody bag.

We can disagree about the war that both parties debated and voted to fund. We can disagree about spending taxpayer dollars to prop up private enterprise with the intention of spurring economic development. But can't we agree that in the world of Santa Claus political campaigns, those naughty among us are often left with political coal?

Hey, it could be worse for Charlie if Sam Bennett wasn't so busy running her campaign into the ground.

Anonymous said...

Molivinsky, like most people of his ilk, is ill informed and perhaps even ineducable. The 8th and Tilghman Street Bridges are state owned. There isn't anything the City can do for maintenance on those structures. All the other bridges that are in disrepair are in the State program for re-construction.

Get the fax not the faux, Mike.

michael molovinsky said...

allentown and/or lehigh county would do well if they killed the weeds and growth on the bridge roadbeds, the roots and porous surface compromise the integrity of the bridges. only through the kindness of strangers, stranded motorists on rt.78 didn't die this past winter, i remember when there was a toll booth on the 8th st. bridge, and one bureaucracy didn't ignore problems as they passed by, today dead animals lay on cedar crest blvd. till the cars disintegrate them. i believe the 15th st. bridge is city owned, regardless, the city should paint the railings before they rust away.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:47,

I really appreciate your contribution. You knowledge of Allentown vastly exceeds mine. I've noticed Molovinsky plays fast and loose with the facts, but lacked your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Molovinsky - nice attempt at deflection. What the hell do motorists in a snow storm have to do with your original assertion? As to dead animals on Cedar Crest - sorry, but that's South Whitehall. Just like any municipality, it doesn't pay to piss in your neighbor's mess kit. If you do, they'll just come piss in yours. And the 15th Street Bridge - actually, that's lead paint and it can't be removed except as part of a larger program. Why? Because it's just upstream of the water intake. Or would you rather they contaminated the water supply? Here's what you should do Mike - instead of listening to that windbag Romanchek, you should talk to the engineers at the City who can give you the FACTS. You all want to slam the guy at Public Works but from what I hear he's got a pretty good handle on the business. You and your friends like Joe "I'm not a smart guy and I don't play a good one on TV either" can take potshots at whoever you want but it's all just verbal effluent coming from you.


C'mon man - just the facts.

michael molovinsky said...

on 12;45. i'm not trying to slam anybody at public works. i called there three years ago and they told me the bridge would be painted the next year. there's hardly any paint left of rails, lead or not. they could put a tarp under it, wire bush it and then paint. you anon's have an excuse for every place, its state, its lead, but meanwhile its our infrastructure decaying for lack of alittle elbow grease. i'm not associated with anybody else, not romanchek, not "joe", i'm not against any city employee, i just don't want to see all these bridges ended up condemned because of neglect.

michael molovinsky said...

mr. anonymous of facts, those 15th bridge rails virtually have no paint left on them to endanger the creek, and does your lead excuse mean those rails have not been painted since the middle 70's when lead was discontinued? why was the bridge scheduled to be painted two years ago? why would our public works count on the state to perform long overdue SIMPLE maintenance, such as weeding and rail painting, when they(state) appear to be such non-performers? i'm not familiar with romancheks position on the bridge or joes(which joe?), but if these functions such as weeding and painting were previously done by the state, they are obviously not doing them anymore and the city should assert themselves beyond press conferences and excuses posted by anonymous workers.

Anonymous said...

Yo Mo!

I guess I really aggravated you with that last post. You can't stand it can you? Just the facts and you fly off the handle.

I'll leave it this way - you got your facts wrong. YI calle dyou on it. ou've responded with a weak defense that is really just verbally throwing it on the wall to see what sticks. For me to further respond to the rest of your base and baseless opinions (and where would I start since there's so much to address) is pointless. Unless, of course, I check in later and discover that Bernie has asked me too. In the meantime, I need to go to work and do something constructive.

'Bye now.

michael molovinsky said...

the facts are the bridges are being compromised by bushes growing into the concrete and the rails rusting away. i advocate an ounce of low cost prevention for the sake of our icons, regardless of jurisdiction, bureaucratic excuses or debate terms; but lets end this discussion, you win, I and people who care about our infrastructure lose.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, The subject of this post is how "Bush's Penny-wise, Pound-foolish Presidency Impacts Lehigh Valley." In the future, stay on topic. This venue does not exist for your sophism. Also, stop polluting this blog by misleading readers, as you nearly did w/ me. You have a propensity to misstate facts, have done it on your own blog, and now are doing it here.