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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Opinions Online, September 12, 2015

Blogger's Note: Opinions Online is a regular Saturday feature. If you'd like to express your opinion on any topic, click on the Opinions Online button on my left sidebar. You can also call 385-325-2564. In addition to these submissions, I am taking some comments from throughout the week and re-publishing them here.

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Way to go Temple!

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I'd like to see a discussion on the reasons for almost zero participation in local township and borough government by anyone under 40. Do they have no interest or time? Feel they are unelectable/unappointable? Not accepted by the old guard.

Other than Ryan Conrad from Lower Mac (who is moving), and maybe Ron Beitler (I'm guessing he's in his late 30s), I can't think of any township or borough supervisors, commissioners, planning board members, or zoning board members from the under-40 set.

Leave Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton cities out of this discussion, as we know Bethlehem has had many young holders of these positions.

Sure, younger folks may not have the experience of the typical 60 year old white guys holding these positions, but they bring a different perspective and in many cases are more in touch with the street-level issues in my opinion.

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What is it with these Republicans who recently won election running for higher office. Hayden "tax and spend" Phillips is once who says one thing when he campaigns and does another. Then there is Glenn Geissinger wanting to run for Congress. He is going to face a primary then have to run in a district that he can't win. All while explaining why he has supported a County Executive who is clearly the most unpolular in the 30 + year history of the Home Rule Government in Northampton County. These guys are crazy.

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With all this week's criticism of the Kentucky clerk (a registered Democrat earning $80K in a county of just 32,000), there should be equal discussion about Democrat government officials in NY and CA who refuse to issue concealed carry weapons permits, despite their legality. The law is the law - even when conjured by judges. When will Democrats learn this?

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Why is the 911 center mapping system not working? Isn't that a lawsuit just waiting to cause the tax payers more money?

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According to LV Live, tonight the ASD board is set to vote on a decade-long exclusive beverage contract with Coca-Cola that includes payments and donations to the district. The deal would make Coke the sole provider of any beverages sold or distributed by the district.

In exchange, Coke has agreed to donate a 48" by 340" LED illuminated sign that will read Andre Reed Field, according to board documents. It will be hung in the northeast corner of the stadium near the old scoreboard.

In addition to the sign, Coke will pay the district $400 per year to buy sporting equipment, plus another $1500 annually.

Soft drinks and sugary juices are a key contributor to the epidemic of youth obesity. Will student access to these drinks increase as a result of the proposed deal? Will unhealthy habits be formed at young ages? Is ASD harming student health in exchange for a stadium sign and $1900 per year? I hope the school board will carefully examine these questions and nix the deal if it involves any hint of increased access to unhealthy beverages for ASD students.

More info here: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2015/09/post_98.html#incart_2box_lvl-homepage-featured

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With the focus on Trump already, so many people are losing sight of the election that is 54 days away. Those with the authority to tax your home, business property, salary as well as maintain every bridge you cross and many of the streets, parks and schools you use and enjoy. Research and choose carefully.

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Having just read about the mayor asking ASD for crossing guard money, maybe there is another solution. One of my peeves about Allentown is the total disregard for the crosswalk signs. It is a STATE LAW that a driver must yeild to a pedestrian at a marked Crosswalk. Try telling that to the poor souls who try to cross anywhere on Hanover Ave or by the Parkete's dance school. When I stop, I either hear the screech of someone's tires behind me from breaking quickly, or more likely (as on Hanover) they will fly around me in the other lane. I've seen cars fly by on many occasions, one ofthe most disturbing incidents was when I stopped for a blind man with an attendant as cars quickly swerved around me in the other lane. If the APD is not going to enforce the crosswalk laws, they should eliminate the signs before someone is foolish enough to believe Allentown drivers will obey the law and become seriously injured or killed. The solution would be a strict enforcement (as Bethlehem did for a time) which would undoubtedly bring in a huge amount of ticket money and also make our school crossings safer.

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Free Greggy!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its horrifying to sit at home and listen to dispatchers tell emergency responders there map isn't working. I have heard this on my scanner for over two weeks now at least. Maybe someone with more authority than the County should step in and take over. Bernie, do you have any suggestions on what federal agency I should contact.

Anonymous said...

Soda sign. Shouldn't ASD be more concerned with children's teeth than soda contracts? How many Coke products are organic?

Anonymous said...

Talk about speeding traffic. Allentown's Mack Boulevard is Indy-South. We desperately need a strong constant police presence on this 4 lane anything goes road.

Anonymous said...

Soda/Cafeteria Nannies -

Believe it or not, you can't really force people to eat or drink what you might think is best for them. Witness Michelle Obama's (who elected her to anything?) school lunch program. It's resulted in more wasted food, increased food budgets (so the kids can throw it away), and the loss of cafeteria jobs (so schools can afford the food that the kids throw away).

This is still America, where at one time we were all able to make our own choices (even our kids, and) even if they're not the best choices and have negative consequences. Instead of trying to control what the kids eat/drink, let them learn to make their own choices.

That's what school is about, isn't it? Preparing them for life. Maybe they learn a little self-control somewhere along the way as well. That wouldn't be a bad thing.

I find it ironic that many of the same people who have no problem with school children making the choice to use contraceptives or have an abortion (both without parental consent), would be horrified at the thought of letting that same teenager drink a soda.

So let's stop whining about soda and obesity. Since the implication is that the district is getting a paltry return on the deal, have one of your healthy, organic companies beat their offer to the school district. Until then, kick back and enjoy a beverage OF YOUR CHOICE.

Anonymous said...

The main reasons there is no local government participation by those under 40 is that a good number of them are working long hours to finance living beyond their means. Another reason is that they are too absorbed with themselves to worry about making a difference in their communities, since there is nothing directly in it for them. They will whine about how things don't go their way, but are not willing to step up and help things change. "That's someone else's job...What do I pay taxes for"

Anonymous said...

@10:35AM

I agree that choices should be offered. Choices that are all reasonably healthy. Sodas don't meet that standard. There are plenty of other drink options. "Big deal - motivated kids will just get the unhealthy soda somewhere else." Surely some will. But by making it just a little harder to make bad choices, fewer will make those bad choices, and fewer will form bad habits.

By your logic, the ASD should accept money to advertise unhealthy choices to young people, while at the same time telling those same young people not to choose them. What other unhealthy choices do you think the district should try and make a few bucks off of? Cigarettes? Drugs? Guns? Gosh maybe we could get that revenue stream up to $5,000 per year.

Adults have always made a wide variety of decisions regarding what will and won't be available to children, for good reason. Nothing new here.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason that those under 40 don't participate in local government is that they work full time and have young families -- massive time commitments that don't leave room for much of anything else.

Anonymous said...

@12:19,
There is no law that requires a communication center to have electronic maps on hand. Most fire & EMS services have GPS units in their vehicles. Yes, it's easier to have the comm center give you directions, but there are other means to get that information.

Anonymous said...

Food Nanny @ 11:23 -

Thank you for proving my point.

The "choice" you desire to offer is actually not a choice at all - it's a predetermined outcome based on what you believe. Then (of course) you cite cigarettes, drugs and guns in a feeble attempt to "prove" your point. I'll point out the obvious and note that all three are already restricted, particularly in the case of minors.

I'll remind you that soda is a perfectly legal product that anyone can buy off the shelf at a grocery store if they choose to do so (as it should be).

I don't need you, your "village", the First Lady, or especially my school district telling my kids what they can or cannot have. I'll handle that as a parent.

Anonymous said...

test

Anonymous said...

Namecaller @ 1:38 -

We do not maintain supermarkets in schools and school stadiums. We offer a sensible range of choices based on the best available science regarding a healthy diet for young people.

Your rights as a parent are fully intact because your kids are free to have soda if you want them to. If you think it's important that your kids drink soda in school, you can simply buy it at a supermarket for them and pack it in their lunch. Your kids are lucky to have a parent who is an active and nurturing presence and probably will teach them to make healthy choices. Many kids in ASD aren't as fortunate. We don't have the resources to teach them all as well as you can teach your own kids, but at a minimum we can and should avoid promoting some seriously unhealthy options.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:38, Why is everything a political statement with you people. Good God, if you are over 21 and want to die from diabetes knock yourself out. Why must I as a taxpayer pay for your obese diabetic kids. Your crazy tea party lifestyle is just insane. Kids are not adults and since most are overweight and unhealthy, why not try and help them with a better life outcome than their zealot parents.

Anonymous said...

@11:19
We are involved and educate ourselves on the issues but don't go to council/board meetings because we don't want to hear you grumpy old pricks whine about being on a fixed income! You collect a pension, social security, and live in a $300,000 house that you purchased for $25,000 back in the late 1960's or 70's. Life in general and the younger generation in particular aren't as bad as the "fixed incomers" love to project.

Anonymous said...

@4:02,
I am not a "fixed incomer" as you so name call. But, your comment shows how those under 40 think that the world revolves around them; and as long as they get theirs, the hell with everyone else.

Ron Beitler said...

I'm 36.

Anon 11:26 - I think that's a fair assessment. FT jobs and young families are a barrier to more young people serving.

Personally, I am lucky. I own my business and have 2 understanding business partners who are sympathetic to me devoting time to service.

Our business is also concentrated on the weekends. We do consults, sales and marketing during the week but around client meetings it's largely my own schedule. So lots of flexibility during the week.

Does a position in muni gov't impact my job? Short answer is probably it does. In that I could more aggressively expand more if I had more time. I put conservatively 15 hours a week into township and township related matters.

While I certainly pull my weight within the business structure fact is time I spend elsewhere takes away from my business. So yes, I leave a lot on the table. But I think serving is an important thing to do, a huge responsibility and I like doing it.

Also I am married but I don't have kids yet. . . That's a big deal also at this point. Will be much tougher when kids come into the picture.

All that being said I give lots of credit to Ryan Conrad. His job is extremely demanding with lots of travel AND he has young children in the mix. He and I didn't agree on some big items over the years but I can say for 6 years I served on and watched the LMT board he was always prepared for meetings. During the time he served as President he ran a very good business meeting.

Rep's Ryan Mackenzie and Justin Simmons are also young..but State Reps as we know in PA are full time jobs. We can argue over what the proper compensation is but I do think it would be impossible to do that job without the compensation. Schlossberg is relatively young also I think.

Ron Beitler said...

Understanding wife is also HUGE. I'm very lucky in that regard also...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just deleted an anonymous insult directed at a pol. Though I am fairly lenient with those, and don't have much regard for the insultee, it is still just an expression of hate by a coward. Anonymity does not exist for you to get your jollies by slurring someone with no accountability. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

2:25 -

Thank you for showing exactly how we get programs and "choices" that nobody wants, and suffer the consequences for it.

The programs are always for the straw-man/woman that somehow can't make that choice for their child without the government telling them what to do. But instead of targeting the few that supposedly are the problem, we all get the same, wonderful, one-size-fits-all treatment of a government program.

If you want to know why some might not be able to make such simple choices as an adult, it's probably because we didn't trust them enough to make simple decisions (like buying a soda) as a child.

BTW, I would remind you that we really didn't have as big of a problem with childhood obesity until the government got more involved in subsidizing school lunches, breakfasts, and sometimes dinner. But we don't keep score on the actual results of government programs, since we all know that a well-intentioned government program could NEVER have a bad result.

Anonymous said...

The Saucon Valley area has a number of people under 30 involved in local politics including State Representative Justin Simmoms and Hellertown Borough Council member Herb Payung.

Anonymous said...

Messrs Beitler, Simmons and Payung: Thank you for your devotion to your respective communities. You are certainly the exception to the rule for your age groups. I wish you all continued success.

Celtic Warrior said...

I'm working on a go fund me page to finance Jim Gregory's reintegration into society, the manslab will need a new wardrobe among other things upon release. Bernie I know your usually broke but if you want to help lending Jim the bicycle you no longer use would be a great start, the slab loves to cycle in the sun.

Anonymous said...

" I would remind you that we really didn't have as big of a problem with childhood obesity until the government got more involved in subsidizing school lunches, breakfasts, and sometimes dinner."

Are you insane or just so far down the Fox rabbit hole you are no onge rin touch with reality??

Reality Now

Anonymous said...

Poor lifestyle decisions made early in life create hazardous lifestyles and health issues that we the people pay for later. Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and many others take root in early years. Poor nutrition has a direct connection to low income levels. So you don't care for Michelle Obama, big deal. I put up with "just say no" Nancy Reagan.....that worked out soooo well. Then again there was the Bush family circus with underage drinking w the Katzenjammer twins, fueled by alcoholism by their goofy father. Remember the intervention at Kennebunkport led by Bikly Graham? So you are parent of the year? Congrats, some other parents aren't as together and could use some guidance besides marketing campaigns. My daughters drink only water and milk but aren't perfect. Get over yourself

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Messrs Beitler, Simmons and Payung: Thank you for your devotion to your respective communities. You are certainly the exception to the rule for your age groups. I wish you all continued success.

12:03 AM

Actually Simmons was only 24 when he first took office. Folks say he has done an excellent job at representing his district. He never took the per diem which equals more than $30K annually and doesn't even require receipts to be reimbursed. Imagine a business operating like that!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Talk about speeding traffic. Allentown's Mack Boulevard is Indy-South. We desperately need a strong constant police presence on this 4 lane anything goes road.

5:51 AM


Actually, because Mack Blvd. is four lanes it encourages speeding. There have been tragedies and many serious injuries to drivers and passengers because there is little speed enforcement along this stretch. Many municipalities use
unoccupied parked police cars as a deterrent. It's an inexpensive way
to at least help slow down traffic.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Simmons keeps his term limit pledge. He's still raising money for re-election. Why?

Anonymous said...

9:58

You and I probably voted for a lot of the same Republicans in past elections. Yet somehow we've gone far afield from the original question that the School Board must decide here, which has nothing to do with Michelle Obama's lunch guidelines, subsidized lunches, parental rights, or abortion. The question is whether the ASD should accept money to advertise unhealthy choices to young people. Common sense tells me the ASD shouldn't.

If I understand correctly, you believe our young people should be offered unhealthy choices on a regular basis, in hopes that they will learn to avoid them. Today's youth are offered plenty of unhealthy lifestyle choices other than soda, so in the absence of soda advertising, they'll still have the chance to avoid other bad choices. With respect to "choices that nobody wants" are you sure you're still talking about beverages? Is it your position that a thirsty person will dehydrate rather than drink a beverage that isn't soda?

As for "suffering the consequences" - really? You're suffering if your kids don't have soda promoted to them in schools and stadiums? It's a hardship for you to buy soda at the supermarket and pack it in your child's lunch?

Anonymous said...

Simmons also doesn't take the public pension.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
9:58

You and I probably voted for a lot of the same Republicans in past elections. Yet somehow we've gone far afield from the original question that the School Board must decide here, which has nothing to do with Michelle Obama's lunch guidelines, subsidized lunches, parental rights, or abortion. The question is whether the ASD should accept money to advertise unhealthy choices to young people. Common sense tells me the ASD shouldn't.

Good Point:
Let's get back to ASD and outside funding. ASD receives more than $200 Million Dollars from State and Federal governments and it still needs to accept a soda
contract? For decades schools forbid soda to even be served; now we're discussing which soda company's products to offer? Maybe this particular question is up to ASD parents. What do they say?

Anonymous said...

The Nannies are out in numbers today!

(freaking out, as usual)

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Anonymous said...

The 3 "S's" need to go away: Schlossberg - Schweyer - Simmons. They are who Trump spoke of last week, stupid people!