Tuesday, December 10, 2013

U Mt Bethel Tired of Angle's Shit

Ron Angle is back in full form
All they needed was a rope. Nearly 300 people braved the icy roads to invade the Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Company on Monday night, with one and only one thing on their minds - Ron Angle. They're tired of his shit. Mad enough to sue. They browbeat  Upper Mount Bethel Township Supervisors into voting unanimously to seek a restraining order against Angle's plan to spread sludge on some of his farmlands. Their Solicitor and one Supervisor argued it was a waste of taxpayer money, especially since they've already lost a case in the state Supreme Court on this very issue. But the crowd was having none of that. "Show some balls!" shouted someone in the audience.

Though state law allows Angle to spread shit on his farmlands, it's not playing well with people living nearby. They probably know what shit is like. They worry about the biohazards. Sue DeGenero, who organized most of the opposition, said that shit smells really bad. In fact, she went on a shit smelling field trip to Lower Mount Bethel Township, and it took two days to get the shit smell out of her car. Either that, or it was that burrito she had for lunch earlier in the week. DeGenero also told Supervisors that shit will reduce the value of their homes. She complained that her Township is "being turned into a hazardous waste dump site."

DeGenero then called on some dude who works for the John Hanger for Governor campaign. When she asked for Hanger, she probably thought some guy would come with a hood to help lynch Angle. Instead, it was a politico who got up and basically said nothing.

They strung him up.

This is one helluva' turnout
After this came Shawna Flyte, who actually has already taken her six children and moved out of the Township to Bangor. She previously told Channel 69 that her "mama bear claws" were out, and said shit is really dangerous and she's learned that by researching the matter on the Internet until 3 and 4 am. "One person should not have this much power over everybody," she insisted. "I don't care who you are or how much money you have because I love Mount Bethel."

Tony Scott proposed a solution. He suggested that, instead of using the Township open space money to buy swamp land, they should use it to buy fertilizer for farmers who promise to stay away from shit. "Instead of preserving water and soil for the salamander, preserve water and soil for the people," he argued.

Chairman Judy Henckel told Scott that is impossible.

Supervisors listen to complaints about sludge
All of this talking about shit got me going, and I decided to use the facilities. Unfortunately, though, the toilet was clogged up with human waste. I could swear I heard it talking, and left.

Then I got really scared because Don Miles was next. He's with the Sierra Club, and warned everyone about the dangers of shit. In fact, we should probably stop wiping our asses or we'll all die.

Miles mentioned that, though the EPA and DEP does check shit for some toxins, it does not test for others. It could even be radioactive, for all he knows.

He must have seen some of my work.

But you will be pleased to know there's no shit in Heinz ketchup. Miles reported they won't buy from farms that use shit. They only use the finest quality illegal alien to make their ketchup, a special breed that does not even shit.

Then Angle himself, the Evil One, got up to speak. "Hysteria's a wonderful thing," he started, but the catcalls and shouts were too much. He put on the cowboy hat that Abe Atiyeh gave him and left.

Don Miles warns about radioactive shit
At this point, Rick Fisher addressed the audience, telling them that Synagro shit spreaders do follow state regulations, and their biosolids are tested. He explained it's a matter of risk management. Human sewage dumped into the sea or burned creates health concerns. Concentrating it into a landfill causes problems, too. He said that, as a matter of risk management, a farmer's field "is the best place to put it that has the least impact on people."

Then Fisher was lynched.

While they were stringing him up, I went to the bathroom again, and the plugged up shit was all gone. Angle apparently took it and was spreading it on one of his fields.

When I got back to the meeting, Supervisor Jerry Geake was having a Dutch uncle talk with the mob.

"I sat on this board when we took this case to the Supreme Court and lost. We lost every inch of the way. You want me to just spend your money?"

"We're worth it," was the mob's answer.

Solicitor Ron Karasek agreed with Geake, noting he heard no legal basis for a temporary restraining order.

Rick Fisher gives unbiased view before being lynched
"You gotta' buck the system," shouted the mob, before also asking Supervisors to free Barabbas.

So Supervisors bent to the will of the mob and voted unanimously to seek a Temporary Restraining Order against Angle, knowing they have no basis.

Pleased with themselves, the crowd started leaving. But after they filed out, Angle returned.

"You were ruled by a hysterical crowd, not by good judgment and a learned solicitor," he told them.

"We're all gonna' die and our hair will fall out and our toenails will curl up," Angle scoffed of the complaints concerning biosolids. He told Supervisor he really has no opinion on the topic, and was there to discuss options until the crowd became insulting.

"He demanded to know the grounds for the TRO. "What are you injuncting me from?" he asked.

"I have no idea," answered Geake.

"I'm not here to screw up the land," Angle observed. "I've got a lot of money tied up in it." He added he makes no money from the biosolids, and just gives his tenant farmers the option of using sludge if that is their choice.

He said Supervisors need to do something to help the farmers. He noted the township used to be full of dairy farms, and now it is down to about two of them. He added that corn prices dropped in half in just one year.

"We're screwing the farmers." he added.

He said the Township should consider using some of the money it collects to buy swamp land to help the farmers. Instead, "you're spending the taxpayers' money to appease a hysterical crowd on law that's clear.

Solicitor Ron Karasek agreed that he would not file an action for injunctive relief until January 15, and during that time, Angle agreed he would spread no sludge.

Blogger's Note: I am teasing this crowd, but want to compliment them for showing an interest. You won't see a crowd like that anywhere but in Upper Mount Bethel. They have no TV reception.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

I deleted an off topic and anonymous shot at Stoffa. I'd allow it if it was at least funny. But haters have a shitty sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

You are a funny man O`Hare.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like all of the residents missed the important issue with using biosolids. The issue is not spreading the biosolids, but how soon after it is spread will it be incorporated into the soil. This is all covered in the Nutrient Management Act, but why let facts ruin some good hysteria?

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Angle on all his points. Local yokals feeding into the hysteria of a mob, spending tax dollars for a stupid injunction to prevent farmers from doing what farmers do, and thinking that the land owner will intentionally ruin his land? Anyway, if the mob wants to be effective... the attention should be focused on Harrisburg and all the State Representatives and Senators that sit home in their comfy homes. They are the ones that make the rules, perhaps they should be accountable? Part of me does feel sorry that the Supervisors have a somewhat less than real role in this.

Anonymous said...

It's always fun to read about torch and pitchfork meetings. Nice work, Bernie. Although I'll bet this post practically wrote itself.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem Twp has it's field of dreams currently being developed and the northern folk have their field of shit.

Lighthouse said...

I remember when residents in our community--who like the Rockwellian quantness of a neighboring farm, but not the realities of it--complained about chicken manure being used. The solicitor and governing body had to take the unpopular step of explaining that PA law, A.C.R.E., protects working farms.

Besides their own case, in which they pointed out to the crowd was lost, there was a recent case specific to a twp in Carbon County trying to ban the use of bio-solids. That Twp also lost in Commonwealth Court. Commonwealth v Packer Township.

I would be a little concerned, if I were an elected UMBT Supervisor, as you describe going against the advise of a solicitor and case law, of no longer having municipal protection and exposing themselves to potential personal liability. Sometimes, elected officials cannot be a "delegate" of the people, but must be a "trustee" of good government.

Lighthouse said...

"Besides their own case,..." above was referencing UMBT

Anonymous said...

Governing at times becomes a popularity contest and that's not proper or truly ethical. Going against advise of your own atty. is dicey at best. UMBT is not your normal political situation though. As much as I dislike Ron..he's got the law on his side and his wallet is bigger than anybody else in the township. That board is truly conflicted at this point and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. A mess..

Anonymous said...

For unfettered analysis:

www.ratemypoo.com

You expel. They decide.

Anonymous said...

Appeasement is just the worst and it usually is just a bandaid that falls off eventually. It solves nothing. UMBT doesn't have a legal leg to stand on yet they will spend precious tax payer money on an already lost legal cause. It accomplishes nothing. Regime change needed as these people have no clue about governance.

Whethervain said...

I love it when elements of your Catholic upbringing show up in your writings; that comment containing reference to Barabbas was hilarious !

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Although I'll bet this post practically wrote itself."

It did. I love when it works out that way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" would be a little concerned, if I were an elected UMBT Supervisor, as you describe going against the advise of a solicitor and case law, of no longer having municipal protection and exposing themselves to potential personal liability. "

Ron did point that out to them last night. He added he would be represented by the AG, who would be defending a state law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" his wallet is bigger than anybody else in the township."

This has nothing to do with wallet size, but state law. Don Miles points out that the state only tests for a few substances. Why not pressure the state to tighten up on that? It is a state problem.

I will say this. Ron is one of the few people I know who is willing to take on a room full of people who are ready to string him up. When I got there, the PSP had just left. They were worried that someone might get too rowdy, but everyone was fine.

c said...

Why not craft an ordinance that controls those things that the state does not? It has been done successfully ;-).

Anonymous said...

Yet he ran from Ton Severson like a scalded cat!

Bernie O'Hare said...

C, I am unaware of any local regulation of sludge farming that has withstood judicial scrutiny. Am I wrong? If not, then the remedy lies with the state.

c said...

You can't regulate sludge farming per se, you can however regulate certain components of sludge farming when it is not done safely, properly and well. You can regulate those things that the state does not. You are right, the problem does lie with the state. I went to Harrisburg to speak with the AG's office about it back in the day....

Bernie O'Hare said...

As I said, I am unaware of any decision that has actually upheld a challenged community bill of rights. But I did some cursory research in response to your comment. In July, the Commonwealth Court invalidated a community bill of rights almost identical to the draft floating around in Upper Mount Bethel. In fact, it was the AG who sued Packer Township.

c said...

Our ordinance in Lehigh Township has never been challenged. Our solicitor did however give us the green light. I'm not so certain that the community rights bill is the right way to go. The idealist in me loved it though.

Bernie O'Hare said...

C, Your solicitor is a good one, and I don't think he would let you vote on something that would be doomed in court. A community bill of rights has a nice defiant ring to it,but it seems to be used to actually impair individual rights in most instances.

c said...

It didn't infringe so much on individual rights, but as it stands it is unconstitutional. It takes on the whole "corporate personhood" aspect of the constitution, as ammended in the 1870's to support the railroads. I liked the fact that it is geared towards allowing a community to govern itself, but there are some things in the ordinance that I just don't think America will ever be ready for....such ascribing rights to an ecosystem. I read the ordinance until I was blue in the face, but in the end I just didn't think it was right for our community. It may serve well as a short term stop gap measure, but I'm not certain that a solicitor would give it the thumbs up....leaving the UMBT Board in the same position of personal exposure.

Anonymous said...

Ron Angle has always been a shitty guy. This confirms it.

Anonymous said...

Boh 1126. What State law? Beneficial reuse?

Christies dredge material from NJ is dumped here in the LV.....Palmerston and Whitehall to name a few. In some cases, it as manifested as contaminated sand. If it were going to a landfill in NJ, a municipal tipping fee would apply. However, not here in Pa. Why?

The dredging is ultimately paid for by FEMA. Lehigh County was not good enough for FEMA aid after Sandy, however, we are good enough for NJ dredge waste.

Never mind global warming and rising oceans. FEMA and NJDEP isbbringnthe beach to the LV.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The state law is ACRE.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/pa-commonwealth-court/1606017.html

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of Rick Fisher before they strung him up in the parking lot. Poor guy..he was only telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

Ron seems to bring the best out of an angry crowd and this was no exception. Pure vitriol..

AMOrlando said...

Bernie:

I believe that you and others are mis-interpreting the result in the Packer Township case. Essentially, the only actual decided law in that case was that a municipality has no authority to restrict the right of the AG to sue them under ACRE. All summary motions were eventually dismissed. The Township then repealed it's ordinance and the case was dismissed under the ripeness doctrine. Therefore, nothing was actually decided by that action. Even the AG herself noted that, of the 5 (now 6) cases involving her challenge to a local ordinance under ACRE, NONE have ever gone to a conclusion on the key issue of whether or not the dumping of sludge is a "normal agricultural activity". That is not to say I believe the law and regulations favor a local ordinance in UMBT, but an argument that this issue has been fully vetted in the courts is not entirely accurate. Stay tuned, this one will probably be interesting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was fully vetted in court. In fact, it was fully vetted in a case in which Upper Mount Bethel was a party, and attempted to do things far less intrusive than proposed here. Moreover, there is an entire line of cases that prevent townships from interfering with agriculture. Pennsylvania takes that very seriously. Talk to Ron Karasek. He'll tell you he has a loser.

Were you there?

It was wild.

Anonymous said...

Environmental law is there to regulate environmentalists.

This sludge stinks! It's evil stuff. If you like it, spray yourself with it and keep it the heck away from us.

Bernie, you piece was funny, except for the remark about illegals. That was offensive and you should know.

You're a better man than that, even if you are a bottom-feeding blogger.

Anonymous said...

So here at UMBT we went from BS to just str8 Sh-t......when will the sh_t hit the fan,.....

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:37, actually, it's true. Heinz does have a rep for hiring illegals.

As for shit, it certainly does stink.