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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Opinions Online, 11/21/15

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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I just want to put in a statement of support and thanks for Bethlehem's police and fire departments. With all the political problems this city is exhibiting, and with all the bad news stories about excessive police force from around the country -- many of which deserve attention -- I just want to say that every single contact I have ever had with Bethlehem city police has been good. The officers are prompt when called, they are professional, they are appropriate, they are helpful when they can be. I think with Thanksgiving coming, we should give thanks for a fine police department in the City of Bethlehem.

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Sir, pray tell how is it possible to be accepted into a first time offender program for a third DUI.
Might this sort of behavior present a risk of injury, or worse
to the good citizens of the region?

Blogger's Reply: If the third DUI is more than ten years old, it is considered a fist offense.

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I thought Republicans were against higher taxes? In South Whitehall a entire Board of Commissioners made up entirely of Republicans is raising taxes again for the second straight year! I guess RINOs rule in SWT

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This has nothing to do with LV Ramblings., but I've read your blog for years and know of your connection to Kurt V. so I thought this would be of interest:

FX Developing Kurt Vonnegut Project
Nov 18, 2015 • Post A Comment
FX is developing a series based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that the channel has “Cat’s Cradle” in the pipeline as a limited series.

The project comes from IM Global and FX Productions, and will be written and executive produced by Noah Hawley of “Fargo.”

Published in 1963, the popular Vonnegut book “takes a satirical view of war, religion and scientific advances,” Andreeva notes, adding: “It was among the projects on the maiden development slate of IM Global Television, the TV arm of feature-film financing, production and sales company IM Global — a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA — which was unveiled in April.”

cat's cradle-kurt vonnegut-book cover.

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As I have watched the Brown Administration over the almost past two years , I am struck with how many changes he attempts with little or no thought to the ramifications. Is this a reflection of his past as a consultant? After all if no change is made how good was the consultant ? Has anyone ever seen his resume ?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

God Bless John Brown.

Anonymous said...

The "White Tiger" will be free soon, first stop Sunny 1100 WGPA to schedule the revamped show which is sure to supplant BGW as the Valleys favorite commute radio listen.

Anonymous said...

The last two Democrat county execs were Stoffa and Reibman. That's what creates the atmosphere in which a John Brown gets easily elected.

Maggie Mae Mason said...

Bethlehem's fine police and fire departments are the direct result of the outstanding leadership of both commissioners. Donchez made excellent choices there, although he stumbled on the fire commissioner at first. Unfortunately his choices for other department heads has led to less than mediocre results. Once again nothing of any real substance happened in Bethlehem this week. Making the Smith administration look good.

Anonymous said...

Easton High School doesn't want to be embarrassed by playing to Notre Dame of Greenpond and losing. A.C.C. lost last night to a Colonial League team. Last week Becahi lost to a Colonial League team. Easton punked out.

Anonymous said...

Easton is a 4A school. So let me know when ND gets that big. There is no benefit for Easton to play ND. They just need to get a new coach with some fresh new plays to compete against the Parklands.

Anonymous said...

So why does Easton play Phillipsburg? There is no benefit in it, state ranks don't consider them. And P'burg is no where close to a 4A school. Horseshit. Easton is scared. Can't talk out of both sides of your mouth. Coaches don't lose games. ND was 0-10 last year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

ND Fan, as good as you suggestion dounds, THIS YEAR, these are not sandlot teams. Scheduling a game is not something either team can do at the drop of a hat.

Anonymous said...

Brown did not run against Reibman or Stoffa. He ran against pretty boy Callahan, product of the Democrat establishment. Next election Brown will be running against his own pathetic record as CE.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie about last week the morning call ran a story about Northampton county republican records did you happen to see it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not.

Anonymous said...

Looks Intresting hope you don't mind a link but here

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-norco-gop-raid-investigation-1111-20151111-story.html

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes. I am familiar with the raid. There is a lot of infighting in local GOP, some of which I've chronicled here. It is a microcosm of what is going on nationally.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned the R's in South Whitehall. What about the R's in Lower Macungie? They just voted to go forward with a budget that has a 50% increase in the property tax rate. WTF.

Anonymous said...

Bernie was probably asked not to write about the Republican money scandal. he does as he's told.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've written more extensively about the infighting in the local parties than anyone. Whether it has been NorCo or Lehigh, Democrat or GOP, I can say I've covered it in far greater detail than any other source. I have not covered the raid on GOP HQs bc I have nothing to add to Tom Shortell's story. He alludes to a complaint made by a GOP attorney. I suspect that would be Tom Carroll, who is something of a traitor who has been pretty much out to burn his party after losing a judge race. But i don't know that and thought that the actual election coverage mattered a bit more than wasting my time on what seems like bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Easton has been playing Pburg for over 100 years! Look up and read the history. It also does not count on their records for the year but has everything to do with pride! Even if they were to play in any year it would really not be fair as Easton has so much more talent. Maybe you can play Marian Catholic on Thanksgiving and start a new rivalry between two quality Catholic schools.

Anonymous said...

Coaches don't lose games? Lol. Did you watch last year's Super Bowl? Ask a Seahawks fan.

Anonymous said...

Then why does Easton play teams like Nazareth? Almost lost that one too.

Anonymous said...

Don't like R's in South Whitehall or Lower Macungie. No problem. Vote the straight Democrat Party ticket because Democrats are historically famous for lowering taxes and operating a government within the boundaries of a sensible budget.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
The last comment on this weeks opinions has the comparison right¿!($ A carnival always try's to paint there same old snake oil sale tactiks a different colur with a different twist¿!($ Upon there arrival most know this ripoff yet are drawn to the festivities like zobies?!($
redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

A couple of things

1) Easton plays Nazareth because both are in the LVIAC South

2) Nazareth didn't almost beat easton. The blue eagles couldn't stopnanybody. Nazareth has defeated Easton about 3 times in the past 25 years.

3) NDGP fans please shut up. You had your first winning season since Dan Tavani graduated and were helped immensely by the influx of Pius kids.

Anonymous said...

10:19 PM didn't the Pius students have a choice as to which school they wanted to attend? Yes they did !
My guess is that most, chose the football power house, known as NDGP, to avoid having anything to do with the Easton school district and their piss poor education system.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let it go.

Ron Beitler said...

The 50% increase in Lower Mac... First, the mill increase is .33 to .50. That's POINT 33 to POINT 50.

Second, the increase is paired with an increase to the full maximum allowed homestead exemption. Lower Macungie has a homestead ordinance. Homestead and the millage go hand in hand. It's insincere to talk about one without the other.

Homestead means every qualifying township resident (primary residence owner occupied) can knock 50% of the median household value off their county assessment before calculating the local property tax bill.

This means many township residents will see a reduction in tax bill for the second year in a row. Still others will see a total elimination of the bill.

We are considering raising the millage so the township can collect more revenue from logistics warehouses and large shopping centers. With these land uses comes new long term public liabilities. Right now our warehouse areas are costing us. Yes, within a flawed school funding system they are winners for the school district. But not at all for the local muni. We have to maintain roads, new signals, new stormwater systems and increased services that could include a local, regional or contracted police services.

Without somehow collecting more value from these buildings that sell nothing, create nothing and employ very few (relative to land lost) the default we have right now is everyone else indirectly subsidizes them.

Anonymous said...

You proved my point. Easton plays smaller schools like Nazareth that they can beat, for no good reason. Why Becahi was killing everybody, which was a smaller school, Easton removed itself from the league and formed a new one. Recruiting you say? Yeah, no one ever gravitates to Easton ... imagine that. Maybe it is because of the coaching? Just ask the wrestling program at Easton how that works? By the way, don't they have the same coach that has been there longing than Shiffert? Still talking out of both sides of the mouth, are ya?

Anonymous said...

9:59 you are not very well informed. Easton did not learn the charge to create the new league and shut out Beca. It has been well documented which ADs were at the forefront of the iniative.

I just find it humorous when a program that had its first winning season wants to call out the second most winning program in the state.

Please.

Anonymous said...

By the way, which coach is the most winning coach in its history? And don't kid yourself, the Easton AD was the main reason for the break-up. But you keep telling yourself whatever it is that will get you to rest easy at night. How many of those wins were against teams that were smaller than Easton? How old was Pete Americus when he played? Want to talk history? How many of those schools on the top ten list are still operating? Please ... what a joke the program has become.

Anonymous said...

Ron:

I call BS. You may be registered as a Republican now but you remain a Democrat at heart. All you know is tax and spend. And you are being insincere when you say some homeowners will see their tax bill go down without mentioning that a fair number of them will see their bill go up! Why don't you cut spending instead of raising taxes on any business or home owners? Instead of spending money on your feel good projects like open space why don't you focus on the township's real responsibilities?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I read Ron Beitler and he is definitely a Republican. Your problem with him is that he is a thinking Republican who recognizes that if you want services, you have to pay for them. I would fault him for not insisting on a police department, but I would love to see someone like him in my community bc he is transparent and accountable. Small tax increases are much better than depleting a reserve and then imposing a much larger tax hike.

Ron Beitler said...

ANONYMOUS POSTER 12:38

- significant spending cuts were made over the last 2 years. Including shelving an ill-advised 3.3M discretionary spend on an artificial turf field which Commissioner Brown and I fought from day 1.

Yes, some will see bill go up this year. But overall the last two years combined only the highest assessments in the township will see an overall small (compared to other townships) increase. Most everyone will have seen a net decrease since the property tax was reinstated. (that includes the 19 dollar reduction last year that 100% of residents got) We also avoided a staff recommended sewer rate increase this year. Also realize the millage/homestead maneuver is not resulting in a large increase in revenue. It's about shuffling the burden to our large commercial and industrial base. It's not a revenue grab. It's a re-allocation.

All in all. I think we are doing a good job.

And Bernie is correct. This is about keeping the tax rate sustainably low over the next 20 years. That is my goal. Not pandering for political gain in the short term. I own this. It was my proposal. And it's the right thing to do.

Our township still in part lives off the growth. Rec fees, real estate transfers, one time traffic impact fees etc. Problem is we are approaching buildout. When revenue streams associated with growth stabilize I want to be positioned to avoid the lump sum tax increases other communities have faced.

Everything we do is about the long play. Long term resiliency. A long term sustainably low tax rate. An art lost in today's hyper partisan world. We have the lowest millage rate of all comparable large suburban townships. I plan on keeping it that way.

And yes, Bernie. I have been adverse to a local PD. But, I acknowledge the data point where it's no longer a choice is rapidly approaching. That is part of the reason for the large unencumbered reserve. Everyone knows it. Warehouses and the need to regulate freight traffic will be the driver. Upper Macungie could not function today without it's PD. That's the path we are on.

Lastly, I unabashedly do support farmland preservation and land acquisition as a part of a larger (adopted) smart growth strategy. And I defend spending money on preservation today if it means avoiding long term liabilities of more development tomorrow. Again. It's the long game.



Anonymous said...

AND the same people that did Mayor Panto's 'HOUSE OF TRANSPARENCY' was indeed a campaign manager and is connected to Easton Area School District's 15 million dollar renovation. The issue is that if POLITICS change and they sent Mexican's back -wee don't need this school building any more . This is a waist of money to do anything to this old high school now;