Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nothampton County's Forgotten Veterans

Armed Forces Park, Hanover Township
I realize nobody much cares about the 18,000 disadvantaged people who use Northampton County's human services. Most are broken people from broken homes. They don't vote. Most of them are a little more concerned about paying their rent and putting food on the table.

The County calls them "consumers," but they're people. One of them lives next door to me. A little slow, he's unable to drive. But he walks the 6 miles to and from his job at Burger King nearly every day at this time of year, and at all hours, along Route 248. That's the very busy, and pedestrian-unfriendly, Nazareth-Easton highway.

He's the product of a broken family and has been in and out of the system his entire life.

For him, a luxury is a bicycle. Sharon and Ron Angle, who do not know this guy at all, gave me a bike to give to him last year. When the weather is nice, I can see him tooling along 248, with a big smile on his face.

He and his wife, who is also a little slow and unemployed, go to church twice every week. They pay their rent on time.

This fellow and many like him have no one to speak for them at County Council meetings, when the idea of a centralized human services building is being discussed. So it's easy to bash the very idea of caring for our fellow man, as Council member Lamont McClure and Controller Steve Barron have in effect done. mcClure saw Gracedale as a "moral obligation," but is not all that enthusastic bout poor seniors who are trying to service without going into a nursing home.

It's one thing to bash those with no voice. But they are also bashing 24,000 Northampton County veterans.

Between 25-35 veterans visit the Veterans Administration weekly at the Governor Wold Building. That's between 1,300 and 1,820 per year. According to Executive John Stoffa, "Unfortunately, many of them have to chug up that hill to get into the building. With the security, we lock the back, there's no parking in front, and they're all ages. Some come in in wheelchairs, some in oxygen."

For people who put their lives on the line for us, this is a lousy way to say thank you.

Now I realize that one member of Council would like to keep things in Easton because that's his district. Another member of Council would like it in Nazareth because that's where she gets her votes. And McClure and Barron just want to stick it to Stoffa. Unlike Stoffa, they never spent a day in the military.

If we can't do the right thing for those who have no voice, can't we at least take care of our veterans?  They took care of us.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stop playing the bullshit harp O'Hare. If John Stoffa gave a crap, he would have been putting money into Human Srevies for the past seven years instead of cutting staff and programs. You rely on the ignorance of the current county council to sell this tripe. Stoffa wants a building, preferably with his name on it.

Rather than put money into an overprioced and unneeded building, why not put it into actual servcies. Not during his watch.

You are truly the wickedleading the blind.

People saw how much yo uand Stoffa cared about those without a voice when he, you and Angle tried to dump Gracedale. Out of sight out of mind, right.

So while you and the Press have fooled most, you have not fooled everyone. Those in the know, know this is all bullshit and you are just supplying the propaganda. Just like you did during the Gracedale scandal.

Still, using those in need as your shied to help your buddey is low. Pathetic!

Paulie

Compassionate Fiscal Conservative said...

Attack of the Gracedale Goon:Part Deux

Anonymous said...

It is truly sad that our Country treats its veterans the way they do. I served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the start of the Vietnam War. I am 70 years of age, have a fair pension with Social Security, and at the present time good health. A friend of mine told me he was getting his prescriptions from the Veterans Assoc. so I went to bangor and applied. They told me I made too much money although I only made one thousand five hundred dollars a month but my wife had income. My friend lied about his income and I wouldn't do that. You really have to be on the balls of your ass before you get anything from the Veterans Administration. It was only recently that we got any respect as Veterans. Viet Nam wasn't a popular War and I used to hide the fact that I was a Veteran. I am proud to have served my Country and really glad things turned around as to the respect Veterans receive. Still, if people who never worked a day in their life can receive all kinds of help from the government don't you think a small prescription plan isn't asking too much?

Anonymous said...

Whats a matter? Can't handle the truth Mr. anonymous? I thought you guys only posted on the county's dime when you report to the executive offcies in the morning. Personal day tomorrow?

Paulie

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:55, I agree competely. Let me ask you, what would you rather feel is the right thing to do. Improve county servcies to veterans with more funds for those servcies or build a new building. You can go there and they will be able to tell you we can't help you because we spent the county money on the big new buildings lease. This is the nonsense they are trying to sell you. I thank you for your servcie and won't insult you by pretending that a political building will help you one bit.

Paulie

Anonymous said...

Good one Bernie. You must think we're idiots. Stoffa doesn't need a new building. Instead of a new building give something to the Veterans. No bullshit now. Tell the truth. other than flags and markers for their graves, what does the County fund for Veterans? give the money to the druggies, give the money to the wacko's, give the money for new buildings, but not one cent for Veterans benefits. You pay the salary of the staff and make a good show by having a secretary and a department head there but nothing "ZIPPO" goes for helping a Vet with prescriptions or anything else. The County should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great comments. Except for the Stoffa goon at 12:51. Really great comments.

Anonymous said...

The reason the County doesn't have a good record with Veterans is because none of the candidates for Executive or Council ever served in the Military and I am fairly certain that none of them have in the past either. Get a candidate to back Veteran Benefits and I guarantee you he will win. You will have every VFW and American Legion in the County supporting him or her. Do your homework Bernie. Who are the announced candidates that served in the military? Past and Present included.

Anonymous said...

I hear you 2:39. The problem is the county executive pushing the building over needed servcis is a veteran. So it isn't always that cut and dried.

I trhink we have to go on candidates records, not their words.

Anonymous said...

According to the veterans in my family, they had no luck filing for benefits until they worked with the administrator in the county. The system is broken at the federal level; claims coming without a county administrator's approval are still being filed away & left untouched or disapproved because some box went unchecked. I've only heard praises for the one or two people they have at the county. The disgrace is the huge federal bureaucracy that makes the system so unmanageable that vets need to have a county signature to get the benefits they have earned.

Anonymous said...

12:55, I agree with you! A small prescription plan would go a long way in helping veterans through everyday life!

Anonymous said...

"According to Executive John Stoffa, "Unfortunately, many of them have to chug up that hill to get into the building. With the security, we lock the back, there's no parking in front, and they're all ages. Some come in in wheelchairs, some in oxygen.""

So, the real cause of the problem for the vets is Stoffa. He could easily unlock the back door, turn on the elevator, and permit these wheel chair bound veterans to enter the building without having to "chug" up the hill. Last I knew Stoffa had the power to direct security to the building. And, if the security is costly, what is to guarantee that it is going to be in a new facility. I would think that he would prioritize the expenditure for vets. The inconvenience for veterans has nothing to do with the building. It has much to do with the guy running the county.

By the way since you are most concerned with the vets, why don't you write our Senators and ask them to close and relocate the outpatient facility to the center of the county from its Bangor location that does not have bus service. I never recalled reading anything in this column about how inconvenient that center was for most county vets. We will have to thank our elected US reps for that fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Kraft was in the Marines,
Parsons was in the Marines and
Dietrich was in the Navy.

Get a clue before you post 2:39 or just get a life and stop being so damn negative all the time.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and at least 2 of the 3 support the new DHS building. Your point?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is certain that Kraft and Dietrich, both of them vets, support a centralized human services building that will help veterans, among others, in need. It is likely that Parsons, a Marine, supports this. The idea was proposed by Stoffa, a veteran. They understand what it is like to serve and understand that older veterans should have a little more respect.

It is Stoffa who pointed out that these veterans on wheelchairs have to chug up a hill.

Lamont McClure (never served a day) said nothing. He was more concerned about that $700 he wants Stoffa to pay. He is not interested in government, but wants a three ring circus led by demagogues like the Fake Rev.

Werner (never served a day) said nothing. He is more concerned about Easton votes.

Ferraro (never served a day) said nothing. She wants Nazareth votes.

Several years ago, McClure was big on a meaningless and illegal tax cut that might have affected 10-20 vets He did all the grandstanding he could. But he is silent on a program that helps 23,000 of them.

This post should be sent to every American Legion and VFW post in the county so they can come and not ask, but demand, Council to do something about veterans on wheelchairs being forced to chug up a hill to go thru another obstacle course once they get inside the building. They already had basic training.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think of the exponentially growing numbers of able-bodied who are on the dole and feel quite entitled to be. There are souls who truly need help. And we waste money on everything from government built bus station schemes and hockey rinks for already rich guys.

Anonymous said...

"Still, if people who never worked a day in their life can receive all kinds of help from the government don't you think a small prescription plan isn't asking too much?

12:55 AM "

We can't help those who deserve it because, in addition to carrying "people who never worked a day in their life", we've got to "invest" our money in things like Solyndra, Wall St. and GM bailouts, Dent's and Stoffa's multiple pensions and benefits, sick day payouts for public school and government personnel, prevailing wage public building boongoggles, donut-eater overtime, hall walkers in every public enterprise, and on and on and on.

Too many fat pigs at the trough, the truly weak and hungry have no chance.

You can thank a pol or public employee. They've line jumped you, sir.

They're more important than you, or your silly service to the nation. Just ask them.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

In the Slate belt we take care of our veterans. Mayor Cappozollo statred the SBVA Slate Belt Veterans Association in 2003. He then got the clinic opened up at slate belt nursing center in Roseto. we use this weekly and so do 1000s of other vets. he's the only politician who ever cared about vets. He should run for county

Anonymous said...

Boongoggles? Meh...

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Most of the problems for veterans lie at the federal level..The county will never be able to make up the shortfall of federal help by adding county dollars to the mix. The building has nothing to do with veteran's services..To tie the two is silly..Bring veteran's services to Bechtel . The building is more accessable. Or have the caseworkers go to them if need be..Shouldnt be a problem..To say we need a new building because we should serve Veterans better is ridiculous..Just makes no sense.

c said...

Anon 12:55am, thank you for your service. I have tremendous amount of respect for Vietnam vets.

Anonymous said...

8:00 AM agree completely. If you want to do something for vets improve the service sites throughout the county. This idea of a centralized service center does not improve anything for the vets. And, if you keep the doors locked because of lack of security, you'll be causing wheel chair bound vets to be "chugging" all over the place. What a weak argument to justify a building? What is even a greater disgrace is using someone's honorable military service to justify an unwanted political end. Consider your father's service and would he want you to use it in this fashion.

Anonymous said...

As a vet who thinks the va health system is top notch believes part of the problem lies in the fact that many believe benefits are for those who simply served.We all had the opportunity to reup,some chose not too.Their choice. 20 year vets get health care for life. Winds up the same old hustle that ya gotta lie to receive government bennys.Same thing with SSDI

Anonymous said...

I guess that a majority of the veterans in the County living close to the site that they want to build it is bad.

I guess everything is BAD when it comes to you people

Run for office and do something about it then

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So, the real cause of the problem for the vets is Stoffa. He could easily unlock the back door, turn on the elevator, and permit these wheel chair bound veterans to enter the building without having to "chug" up the hill"

And you would be the first person screaming for his head when a caseworker gets assaulted. In view of all the violence that has been happening in and around government centers, I am astonished that your hatred for Stoffa would make you post sokmmething so stupid.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I have tremendous amount of respect for Vietnam vets."

ditto. Anyone who has put himself in harm's way deserves our respect and we should honor those people, not treat them like garbage.

Anonymous said...

No good deed goes unpunished.

Anonymous said...

I said that Stoffa has the power to direct security to the building. Such a small cost for the benefit of our vets. Instead you propose millions with no guarantee that the back door will be unlocked. Let's deal with the real problem for our vets instead of putting up such a poor argument for constructing a major boondoggle. If you believe that our vets should not be treated like garbage, call Stoffa, tell him to dispatch security and open the back door.

Anonymous said...

@ "Anonymoussaid...
The reason the County doesn't have a good record with Veterans is because none of the candidates for Executive or Council ever served in the Military
Anonymous said...
I hear you 2:39. The problem is the county executive pushing the building over needed servcis is a veteran. So it isn't always that cut and dried."

Theorm: Perhaps the Executive understands PTSD Post-Traumatic-Stress-SYNDROME. Think Trish Mezzacappa turned loose on L.A.N.T.A. The Leigh-High and Northampton Transportation Admin. Union doesn't authorize Hazzard-Pay by Contract-of-Business Agent.
Executive Order is legal....right?

Anonymous said...

Why in hell did IDIOT STOFFA shut down the elevator and how does using the elevator prevent someone from getting assaulted? No security anywhere stops someone from getting assaulted inside the building. A uniformed officer brings a presence of law enforcement but if someone has it in their terible heart to assault someone, chances are they will be assaulted. That law enforcement officer can't be everywhere. Last time I was at the Wolfe building they didn't have a screening system like the courthouse when you enter the building. Has that changed? There is no law that says we must have security in these buildings (with the Courts being the exception).I remember the publicity of the "GOLDEN ELEVATOR" at the Wolfe building. That elevator cost more than one million dollars to construct. Now Stoffa has it sitting idle. Admit it Bernie, Stoffa is nothing but a wingnut. Only a wingnut would not use a perfectly usable elevator at that facility.

Anonymous said...

Not to change subject's but I will vote for Kathleen Kane for any position ever after her lottery position against Corbett. I will never vote for Corbett again and I am a Republican. Go Kane!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow Bernie. Over the years folks have become familiar with your diehard propaganda for all things Stoffa but this is truly disgusting. You have now used babbies, staff, the mentally ill and veterans as reasons for a Stoffa building plan that will not enhance their servcies one bit. If anyhting it will drain precious resources.

As to teh Wolf building, there is parking in the front for the handicapped, there could be more. SEcurity should always be there and Veterans affairs can be readily available right inside the door. Stoffa would rathe rtell his goofy stories than tell the truth. Were has Stoffa been on this for the past seven years? For the past seven years he has let asbestos, mold and falling ceilings threaten all those groups. But he cares!

If you and he really, really care about the veterans, why make them wait over a year for our promised salvation? Seven years ago or next week, John stoffa could move Veteran Affairs to the Becthel Building, that has ample parking, disabled access all on one level. Since Stoffa sold off the Developmentally Disabled program there is more than enough room on the first floor for Vetrans Affairs.

No chugging up hills, no waiting over a year for a "new building", everythig that could have been done years ago, could now be done within a month.

That is if this were really about caring. It is not. Just as with Gracedale this is aobur John Stoffa shoving his ideas down the throats of people regardless of who is held hotage and how much they must suffer for his plans and legacy.

He, and you once again carrying his water, are being really disgusting once agian. First our sick seniors and now babies and veterans. All pawns in the politics of Execuitve power. I would ask of you guys had any shame but we all know the answer to that.

Servcie is not his building, service is something you provide regardless of your plan.
You continue to ignore reality and all the resons why this is utter nonsense. There was a time you were the only game in town, now there are other ways to get information. Your propaganda machine isn't what it once was. This is all a sad sham. The county executive that has cut the most from Human Servies has been John Stoffa but pleae build him a building. That is why he could do nothing for all these folks for the past seven years.

Your BS is really aging poorly.

Anonymous said...

The topic is veterans. They don't get enough discussion and some idiot wants to change the topic. Get lost.

Anonymous said...

Huh?

Anonymous said...

3:12 PM,

Have better manners you idiot. And happy Veteran's Day.

Anonymous said...

@ "Anonymous said... The topic is veterans. They don't get enough discussion and some idiot wants to change the topic. Get lost. 3:12 PM"....If you would haved parsed 3:11's opinion correctly, rather than freighening him with re-actionary vitrol....you would have real-ized that he was a VETERAN!
Contempt & Disdain 4 vet's in NORCO is proven. John Stoffa should pass a law.....

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:47, Based on what you're saying, there should be no security at courthouses, airports, etc. Like I said, if something happened you'd be the first one screaming for Stoffa's head. That s bc this is not about what is right, it's your hatred of the Exec. People are beginning to see you for the phonies you are, from the Fake Rev to Barron to McClure. And cowards, afraid to take responsibility for their screeds.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:11 the spelling bee champ is back.

Anonymous said...

The Stoffa haters crawl out from under their rocks every time Bernie tries to compliment him on a good idea. The consolidation of human services has been on his agenda since his first day in office. It is the right thing to do, and is LONG overdue. And this is the right plan to finally get it done. Despite the crackpot obstructionists with no viable solutions of their own other than to try to clean up that mausoleum, the Wolf building.

Anonymous said...

@ "Anon. 6:17 other than to try to clean up that mausoleum, the Wolf building." Patience begets Victory. Stoffa knows where the body's @

Anonymous said...

Gulf War vets and other military personnel seeking ways to avoid mandatory vaccines in the armed services because they were damaged by the anthrax vaccine or by a combination/cocktail of forced military immunizations. These vaccine-damaged vets need remedies for their health ailments and support from people who understand their plight. We recommend contacting the American Gulf War Veteran's Association or the National Gulf War Resource Center or the Military Vaccine Resource Directory or the Military Biodefense and Vaccine Project.

Money TRUMPS Sanity. Sad

Anonymous said...

I SEE jim Gregory took his break writing on the blog. At least he still has a job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Oh no. Jim Gregory never writes on this blog. That's what he claims. And he wouldn't lie, would he??

Anonymous said...

agreed with 12:47 am,,Stoffa wants his name on the building before he hangs up his suites from the 70s..GET GOING!! out with the old, in with the new

Bernie O'Hare said...

You think that bc that is what you would want. Stoffa wants to do the right thing. He couldn't care less what it is named.

Anonymous said...

ehhh.... I dont think he does, just sayin

Bernie O'Hare said...

"just sayin"

If you didn't mean what you said or if there was no import to it, don't say it.

Anonymous said...

Rantic-blather imports deception mostly. Thank You.