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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Opinions Online, 1/16/15

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 like reading Ron Beitler's blog and think he is very smart and an asset to Lower Macungie. I have 2 thoughts on him serving with his father on the LMT Board. The 1st is that I wonder how many people voted for the father thinking that they were voting for the son? The 2nd is as much as I like Ron, I don't think it is good local government when 2 close family members serve on the same board. A husband and wife, brothers, or father and son should never serve on the same board. On the LMT Board they would only need 1 other member to vote with them and they would get their way.

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When will the dark wall of secrecy concerning the cop who injured 2 civilians be lifted? Yet another example of the dishonesty and lack of transparency of the current rabble running Bethlehem into the ground.

Blogger's Note: This comment was posted three times by the same person on different dates. Once is enough.

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The FBI has expanded its probe of Hillary Clinton to include “public corruption” involving the Clinton Foundation is a massive step forward in the investigation of possible corruption involving the Clintons.

It’s no longer about emails. It’s about money and possible payoffs during her tenure as Secretary of State.

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I'm conflicted regarding the case recently heard by the Supreme Court, which looks likely to overturn the 1977 decision in Abood vs. Detroit Board of Ed and rule that forcing public-sector workers to contribute fair share dues to unions is unconstitutional. Politically, I'm very liberal and pro-union. However as a current fair share contributor to my local, I'm struggling to see the value in becoming a full dues-paying member. My local fails to keep me apprised of what is going on with contract negotiations (which is the express purpose of them collecting my 1%) and getting questions answered is like pulling teeth. So if Abood is overturned and they no longer get to steal 1% of non-members' earnings, the union will have to demonstrate it's value to entice workers to join and it will be forced into becoming a better, stronger advocate for workers. Perhaps there will even be union meetings where employees will get their questions answered!

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Once again the $104,000 Bedlum IT employee needs help with his web site. IT finally got the 2016 budget on line but the 2015 version remains on the Business Administrator's (BA) site. One would hope that the BA was working off the proper game plan.Very shabby work from IT and even worse supervision from the BA.

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On the bedlum website the council members info has not been updated. Nor has the annual president of council report been updated since 2013. This tells me that willie and the boys and girls apparently did nothing in 2014/2015 worth reporting. Why doesn't that surprise me?Willie if you can't get this done how do you expect to be able to lead the city as mayor? You really need to have a chat with IT and the city clerk. booby d is giving you every reason to defeat him but you can't even clean up your own backyard. Perhaps you are too busy counting your contributions from developers.

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Kudos to Mayor Panto and the City of Easton for their innovative 20 year plan.

Bethlehem used to be the rose of the valley but no more.They mostly have unhappy citizens and businesses, but no real plan. (They do have great campaign finances and well working cell phones.)

Allentown has crime, empty apartments and businesses and the most bobble heads and indictments.
Keep up the good work Sal.

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It seems as though they're waiting for someone to get killed at the intersection of Friedenstal, 191 & Schoeneck in Nazareth. What would it take to put up 2 more stop signs? Really, why is doing something so simple such a big deal?

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In this day and age of everything instant, it seems to me there is no reason why political contributions should not be reported to a public web site within 24 hours of their receipt? Make that a requirement, and require all non-individual contributions be identified by the head of the entity and/or officers/treasurer. Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure!

Getting a report months later, after an election, simply doesn't permit a "willing to be informed voter" of the connections and make informed decisions.

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There is a disturbing new element coming out of the Morning Call.

It a;pears that with a change of editors, a new policy has been implemented with regards to the comments on articles published. This is both with "news" articles, as well as opinion pieces.

What is happening is that instead of just screening the comments for profanity and racist words, they are also screening the articles for the content.

If the content is not in line with the beliefs of the Morning Call, the comment is censored and does not appear. That way, there is unanimity of opinion, with no dissenting viewpoints.

After all, we all agree with everything the paper publishes, especially in its opinion and letters to the editor pages.

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Next week Lower Macungie Township will consider rezoning the Village of East Texas. I urge everyone interested to read the proposed ordinance closely. The former Daytimer parking lot will be open for housing types not allowed currently. Multiple uses will be allowed in buildings. The property's owner was on the committee which prepared the ordinance. That committee's meetings were not advertised and public input was minimal.

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What a circus act West Easton must have been. I am enjoying watching their meetings on Matt Dees' blog. Things are going in a much more positive direction now that Ms. Gross has exited, but it is a shame that she was allowed to run with the scorched earth policy in her last days. That is why in private industry someone who is capable of doing what she did is instantly locked out of their computer and are immediately escorted out of the building once there is any hint that they are leaving.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy ole boy, someone has the biggest hard-on for Bethlehem on this blog and needs professional mental health care.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agreed.

Anonymous said...

"If the content is not in line with the beliefs of the Morning Call, the comment is censored and does not appear. That way, there is unanimity of opinion, with no dissenting viewpoints."

Sounds like Bernie's fact based blog.

Ron Beitler said...

East Texas -
I agree. Residents should come to the public meetings if they haven't already. (many did)

This process began about a year ago at planning and zoning meetings. These are on the township website well in advance and advertised in the papers as all our committee mtg's are. More so, I personally knocked on I'm guessing about 80% of households in East Texas and personally invited residents to attend the task force meetings. I also knocked on doors in parts of Lamplighter Village. I put flyers up at the The Willows and the post office.

A lot of people did attend the meetings. At least at the beginning. But unfortunately, it did tail off after awhile. Anyone who was willing to give me their email I sent subsequent reminders and updates to.

Once working group was formed it was:
The consultant, LMT planner, Ray Leibensperger (business owner), the owner of the spa on ETR, a planning commissioner, (though at least 4 in total attended at least 1 meeting) myself, Jim Lanscek (2 commissioners), 2 additional residents, Percy Dougherty (although he couldn't attend most meetings since they fell on county mtg nights, he is a resident of Shepherd Hills and we thought valuable since he's also on the LVPC) and yes the owner of smooth-on. The owner of smooth-on was obvious to include on the committee since he's the biggest property owner impacted.

There were public meetings over a 6 month period. They took place normally at 5pm. We did this specifically to make sure they weren't during the business day. At least one was later at night. Still, there were a few residents who couldn't make the meetings who were interested. I offered to meet individually.

As for smooth-on the exact words the owner used were "I don't need to develop the parking lot". "I'm not a developer, if I do this I want it to be township serving" "I want to know what the township thinks makes sense". That feedback was given to him over the course of 6 months.

The formal input given from the township was basically the concepts outlined in the townships Smart Growth Plan. Another very public document drafted over the course of a year as part of a public process that came out of advertised meetings. The newspaper had numerous articles about both the SG plan and ET. The plan lives today publicly on the township website. http://www.lowermac.com/departments/planning

East Texas and the smart growth plan were also discussed at length during the formal business meetings. These meetings are recorded and posted online within 24 hours. We also post agendas and comprehensive minutes.

I would put our level of transparency over the last 2 years up against any municipality in the Valley. If there are things we aren't doing that we should be please let me know.

As I posted last 'opinions online' I'd be happy to meet anyone at the township building and review the ordinance, the smart growth plan, or the sketch we've seen for the parking lot. Email me at ronbeitler@gmail.com. You can also call the township building and they will give you my phone number.

I live directly across the street from Daytimers. This is my neighborhood where I grew up (by the Willows). I'm personally vested in this.



Anonymous said...

"Once again the $104,000 Bedlum It guy" The city could have hired two Bethlehem based college graduates at part time entry level jobs with no benefits but a fantastic opportunity to broaden their corporate experiences. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

"Getting a report months later, after an election, simply doesn't permit a "willing to be informed voter" of the connections and make informed decisions."
Actually that may be exactly what Allentown's mayor did.

Anonymous said...

Your confused about fair share and u think the union is useless then I think you should welcome with open arms your status of an "at will employee" and all the wonderful protection you get with that. Look it up then comment.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Has a hard-on for bedlum but this mental health shit is just that shit¿!($ Hence: boil=allentown, cyst= bedlum and zit=easton, hence triboro has become the anal canal and spinkter is the people propogating to be public officials all working together for private intrest¿!($ In doing so this grant grab get to give back is stealing from the childrens children and trusts and things that are untouchable for anything else yet depleted¿!)$
redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Nice job by Allentown Council asking Mayor to resign, after several of them (Julio/Connell) rubber stamped everything the mayor sent them - the contracts, the Atiyeh land deal - who calls for their resignation or RECALL?

Most of us call that CYA

Anonymous said...

7:25 is confused and severely lacking in communication skills...much like my union. Local 1040 sucks.

Anonymous said...

So if Abood is overturned and they no longer get to steal 1% of non-members' earnings, the union will have to demonstrate it's value to entice workers to join and it will be forced into becoming a better, stronger advocate for workers. Perhaps there will even be union meetings where employees will get their questions answered!

Exactly. The union leadership is the worst. If they actually had to serve their membership (versus serving themselves) and compete for membership then you would have better results and representation. There are some excellent, skilled, and professional behaving workers who are organized. Then there are the low hanging fruit folks whose only chance at collecting a check are union membership. They contribute nothing and take everything. Get rid of these people and respect for unions will return. Harbor these people and respect will continue to wane. A top to bottom flushing of the toilet will help here. Of course when you start dumping the members who are do-nothings then you lose income into the union and the self-serving leadership has a problem.

Ben Hedrick said...

Regarding the question of disclosure of financial contributions, all the requirements are too extensive to go into here but basically: all donations by individuals and non-individuals are required to be disclosed in the seven (five for local candidates) required reports. Anything over $50 by name and address and those over $250 by name, address, employer, job, and employer address. These reports are available for review at the local election office.

I suggest a visit to the Department of State web site to review all of the required disclosures and then a trip to the Election Office to see what is really available. Annual reports are due by the end of the month.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ben, I believe a major overhaul is needed, but to be effective, it must come from the state. You talk about online reports but in many instances, they are not available until months AFTER the election. There are no real penalties for the numerous infractions I see. And I hate when candidates write checks to themselves for "expenses," with no itemization. That's improper, but common. All candidates for all offices should be required to e-file their reports, and there should be a statewide system under which all reports can be accessed immediately. The current state system is outrageously inefficient and slow.

Bernie O'Hare said...

""If the content is not in line with the beliefs of the Morning Call, the comment is censored and does not appear. That way, there is unanimity of opinion, with no dissenting viewpoints."

Sounds like Bernie's fact based blog."


I will stand by my moderation. We all see the hate I am forced to delete. Always anonymous. Always personal. Often lies.

Anonymous said...

Peter Principal in action: Republicans announce support of Brown for Auditor General:
http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-republicans-john-brown-20160116-story.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry - I meant "Peter Principle"

Dave said...

I can't help but notice those same Allentown Democrats on City Council now being so high and mighty to demand Pawlowski's resignation are those same Allentown Democrats that rubber-stamped every one of Pawlowski's initiatives.

This is the same as the pot calling the kettle black

The level of hypocrisy in Allentown's municipal government is so high you need wings to keep above it all.

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr O'Hare:

Anyone that runs a public bulletin board that doesn't moderate it is being irresponsible. After all, I'm sure you'd moderate me if I started to post photos of Mrs Clinton wearing bikinis.

Anonymous said...

"When will the dark wall of secrecy concerning the cop who injured 2 civilians be lifted? Yet another example of the dishonesty and lack of transparency of the current rabble running Bethlehem into the ground".

Go figure. Why is the lack of transparency a shock. this is how corrupt govts operate. when the country was sold a crock of shit by obama in 2008 in regards to being the most transparent govt ever, the robots/idiots bought it , hook , line and sinker. "yeah Obama will be different. LOL -Now how is that hope and change in regards to transparency working out?

Our freedom of press rankings is now around 49th in the world.
The United States has dropped 29 spots in the annual Reporters Without Borders press freedom ranking since 2009, when President Barack Obama took office.

The U.S. ranked 49th this year out of 180 countries included in the organization's World Press Freedom Index, joining the ranks of countries like Niger, Malta and Romania. Now tell us how great the claims of the obama/democrat transparency is these day. We are watching the govt take away rights/freedoms and liberties each and every day. They take baby steps.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/13/politics/u-s-press-freedom-ranking-obama-administration-leaks/index.html


Any politician who comes from the Chicago political machine will never be transparent..it is not in their DNA. These are the same type of politicians who love the dumb , uninformed voters who could care less about tax hikes bc they pay little no property tax as it is. But this same voter will be out in full force, with the unions who will organize them, if some politician requests a cut in entitlement programs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamie, please delete any photos of Teddy Cruz wearing a speedo.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows the disbarred attorney Bernie O'Hare deletes that which does not fit his agenda.

Rich Fegley said...

I'm glad to see people calling Allentown City Council out on their too-little-too-late call for Pawlowski's resignation.

The 2015 City Council members (minus Eichenwald) rubber-stamped everything that Mayor Pawlowski gave them. They remained silent when questioned about their decision to vote YES on everything.

The rubber-stampers claimed that the elected officials knew better than the citizens and they felt they should not be questioned by the public in a public forum.

They became useless.

They allowed Pawlowski's corruption for years now. CORRUPTION. They all looked the other way. No one wanted to admit that Allentown City Hall was completely corrupted.

Am I wrong?

Once this FBI case becomes a RICO case, I'm pretty sure everyone who "worked" with the Mayor will go down with the Mayor. Do they understand RICO and why RICO was created? The FBI is beginning to define the "racketeering enterprise" with these first indictments.

RICO's broadest and most-used section prohibits conducting the affairs of any "enterprise" (defined broadly to include just about any form of human endeavor) through a "pattern of racketeering activity" (defined as two or more criminal acts from an extremely broad list, that are related to each other, that do or threaten to persist over a period of time).

The FBI is looking back to 2005. What they have charged so far is just from 2014 and 2015. This is just this tip of the iceberg.

Allentown City Council is too late. They failed to act in 2015. Citizens should know that they failed in 2015. Please help spread the word.

Anonymous said...

@4:18PM Please take your nonsense elsewhere. Bernie is very permissive and leaves a lot of crap here (like your comment, for example) that others would delete. If you compare to, for example, LVL, they delete numerous comments each day. Bernie may delete one or two. You're probably the person whose mindless drivel is deleted. If you don't know why your posts are deleted, you should.

Anonymous said...

Jamie can post a picture of herself in a bikini anytime she wishes to do so.

Anonymous said...

It all boils down to "I'm a woman, I'm Bills Wife, and I'm entitled to be President".

Anonymous said...

Teddy Cruz can also post a picture of himself in a speedo anytime. As a loyal teagbagger, I would love it!

Anonymous said...

Are there not the kind of real men like Fegley and Beitler in Bethlehem?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous Dave said...
I can't help but notice those same Allentown Democrats on City Council now being so high and mighty to demand Pawlowski's resignation are those same Allentown Democrats that rubber-stamped every one of Pawlowski's initiatives.

Annonymous Dave
It's worse than you think. These are the same good people that approved an enormous payment to Abe for Lehigh River swamp land as a trail extension.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Everybody knows the disbarred attorney Bernie O'Hare deletes that which does not fit his agenda.

4:18 PM


Go Away!

Anonymous said...

9:06 AM,

Everybody still knows the disbarred attorney Bernie O'Hare deletes that which does not fit his agenda despite your feeble attempts to intimidate.

So, deal with it.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Vote for Hillary and be happy, "anonymous cowards"!

Anonymous said...

The Morning Call has prohibited comments on their headline feature, "Refugees get warm welcome and donations from Allentown Syrian group"

Why ?

Anonymous said...

B.O.: "Ben, I believe a major overhaul is needed, but to be effective, it must come from the state. You talk about online reports but in many instances, they are not available until months AFTER the election. There are no real penalties for the numerous infractions I see."

The very point of my original post.

It wouldn't be a bad idea for such "near-INSTANT" reporting reforms on the Federal level too!

I simply don't know that you can SUCCESSFULLY keep money out, limit it, or afford or even create a system of "fairness" with "public finance" etc.

What I DO know is that PROMPT disclosure/reporting would at least afford an opportunity for the electorate to be truly informed about influence.

Brain-storming out of the box--perhaps the penalty for late reporting with the most punch could be the loss of a certain number of votes, or the loss of election or loss of office if found out after inauguration?

LOL--I can already hear the cries for mercy if a zero-tolerance policy were enforced, and the winner were caught with s "simple error"! LOL

You just can't legislate morality.



Bernie O'Hare said...

Probably bc of the xenophobia and racism. If they are unable to moderate the hate, the only responsible thing to do is deny comments.

Anonymous said...

Anyone watching the Angie Tribecca marathon on TBS? Hilarious! Kind of a knockoff of Police Squad but lots of laughs. Your kind of humor BO.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie - The opinions online link in your sidebar looks like it went missing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will check when I get home.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I just checked my template and i must have accidentally deleted it. This explains why i received no comments last week.