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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Who Is Amazing Grace?

I'll tell you on Wednesday.

Professional Photographer Claims Copyright Infringement By Morning Call

Theo Anderson is a highly regarded professional photographer. He has the rare gift of being able to capture more than a physical image. Of Allentown origin, he is perhaps best known around here for his photo history of the construction of the PPL Arena. The Butz family (photography lovers, especially son Lee) gave him extraordinary access to the construction site. According to an Anderson Facebook post, The Morning Call recently used some of his work without permission. Here's what he says, minus the picture:

The Morning Call has used a photograph of mine without my permission in the current edition of The Morning Call and online.

The Morning Call and the writers Jon Harris and Nicole Radzievich are responsible for this ethical travesty. The photo appears on page 6 of an article about transforming #2 machine shop into a water park. I would not have permitted this use.

Mr. Harris,

I was quite surprised when my iconic photograph #2 machine shop was used in the Sunday edition of the Morning Call, January 20, 2019. After investigation I also found that it was used online in a gallery under the Lehigh Valley Business Cycle article, “Sand’s Bethlehem casino buyer pitches $190 million investment, second hotel on Steel Land.”

You and the The Morning Call have debased my work and reputation. This photograph is paramount to my career. Prints are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Art Houston, The Allentown Art Museum, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Lehigh University, Michigan State University and numerous private collections. It is deemed by many significant curators to be the important modern photograph taken at that site.

I gave no permission for the use. The copyright is registered in my name. I have no idea the source of the photograph but you certainly had a moral obligation to contact me regarding it’s [sic] use.

Please note I could not find Ms. Radzievich’s as the email the link directed me to you. I have included editorial staff in this email.

You and the paper have turned perhaps the most iconic and collected work of my career into rubbish. You did this with clear disregard of copyright.

You should be ashamed of yourself. This has damaged my reputation and the value of my work.

The record needs to be set straight and I need to be compensated for this illegal act on your part and the part of The Morning Call.


Theo Anderson

Steve Samuelson Assaulted at MLK Breakfast

I'm no morning person and neither is my car. We both groaned as we bounced along icy roads early yesterday morning for something of a Bethlehem tradition. Approximately 130 people braved the icy cold weather for the annual Martin Luther King breakfast at the stately Cathedral Church of the Nativity. Civil rights leader Esther Lee usually leads these things, but she was actually in the kitchen, cooking up free breakfasts. Cordelia Miller, Bethlehem NAACP VP, introduced guests that included United States Senator Pat Toomey. It was a very nice event until poor Steve Samuelson got assaulted. I'll be writing a separate story for The Bethlehem Press that omits these significant details, but thought I should clue you in on what really happened.

Five speakers were featured. That's pretty many, especially considering that there was also a panel discussion after breakfast. In addition, there were several songs. So Cordelia Miller asked speakers to keep it brief. Two minutes tops.

Nobody listened except for DA John Morganelli. He wasn't there at all. He was laid up at home, in bed with a cold. When Cordelia announced John's absence, the room burst into applause.

Not quite sure how John should take that.

Anyway, one of the first names Cordelia called was State Representative Steve Samuelson. He was missing, too.

But after two or three speakers, he showed up and marched up to deliver a keynote address. He actually had a book with him and read passages from it. He certainly was knowledgeable. Passionate, too.

Then he made his mistake. When he was done, he plopped down right next to NorCo Council person Tara Zrinski.

Steve, you may recall, recently hand-delivered a shitload of diapers to the Salvation Army. They were bought with other people's money. He issued not one, not two, but three news releases concerning this important event. He had a staffer photograph him as he carried the poopie pants in to this worthy charity. He also had video taken and had that posted on a state website.

But these diapers are single-use plastic. They're worse than plastic straws.

Zrinski throttled poor Steve as he sat down.

"You bastard!" she shouted. "Don't you know that disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose in a landfill? Did you even think about the greenhouse gases that come from baby shit?" she exclaimed as she wrested him to the ground.

"Down with the patriarchy!" Zrinski shouted as police hauled her away. "Get your hands off me, you old white men."

Samuelson was released from the hospital late last night.

High-End Gas Station Pitched at Former Leiser's Rental Tract

Jack Muschlitz (L) and Arif Fazil (R)
Two new "sketch plans" were considered by Bethlehem Tp Commissioners at their Jan 21 meeting - a high-end gas station on Nazareth Pike and a senior living facility along Freemansburg Avenue. These are basically informal presentations in which developers can determine whether to move ahead or go back to the drawing board. No action is taken.

High End Gas Station - WaWa, Sheetz or Top Star?

Arif Fazil, President of D'Huy Engineering and a respected professional engineer, has decades of experience representing developers before local government boards. This time, he represented himself. He and Jack Muschlitz, VP of Muschlitz Excavating, are pitching a project of their own. They want to convert the old Leiser Rental business, located at 3608 Nazareth Pike, into a high-end gas station.

This is a 3.8 acre tract located along the northeast corner of Oakland Road and Nazareth Pike. It is next to commercial properties like Dunkin' Donuts and Josh Early Candies. It is also close to residential neighborhoods. The property has been vacant since Leiser's Rental moved two miles south to 3464 Linden Street.

A sketch plan proposes a 7,600 sq ft convenience store, gasoline pump bay with canopy, parking for 97 vehicles and a stormwater management basin that will filter water across the street and into Monocacy Creek.

Both Nazareth Pike and Oakland Road are state highways, so highway occupancy permits will be needed from PennDOT for access. In addition, the state Department of Environmental Protection will have to issue what are called NPDES permits for the stormwater discharge.

Fazil, who lives nearby, pointed out that the combo gas station and convenience store is more than a permitted use. "There's definitely a need for a gas station in this area," he argued. "The site was really made for this use."

"I agree it's needed," responded President Mike Hudak, who suggested that Fasil's real problems will be with PennDOT and the discharge of stormwater into a high-quality trout stream Resident Tom Keifer was a bit more blunt. "You're going to pollute the hell out of the Monocacy," he charged.

Fazil disputed this after his presentation. "We're going to have less impervious coverage than is there now," he noted. He added that the water will be filtered before it ever hits a stream, and believes he can get the permits. 

The engineer-turned developer himself acknowledges that residential neighborhoods are close, and is proposing a buffer to protect neighbors. He was unable to say for sure whether the facility will be open for 24 hours because an end user is yet to be determined.

Commissioner John Gallagher warned that people going from Oakland Road to Nazareth Pike will use the gas station as a shortcut to avoid waiting at the light.

Fazil and Muschlitz were unable to say when this project would start or the end cost, noting that would depend on the plan review as well as the ultimate end user.

Solebury Senior Living

Prominent local Attorney Joe Bubba pitched Solebury Senior Living, a 7.8 acre parcel located along the south side of Freemansburg Avenue, between Wagner Drive and Farmersville Road. Heritage Senior Living is proposing a 70,000 sq ft facility with 120-beds. There will be parking for 65 passenger vehicles, stormwater management areas and walking paths It has been called both a nursing home and life care center, both of which are permitted as "special exceptions" under the Township's zoning laws. Township Engineer Brian Dillman is recommending that access from Freemansburg Avenue be limited to emergency vehicles.

Township Vehicle Policy

Based on multiple complaints from resident Barry Roth, Commissioners adopted a motor vehicle use policy for township-owned vehicles. Under this new policy, only three employees will be able to take township vehicles home. They are the Chief of Police, Fire Marshal and K-9 officer.

Roth agreed about the K-9 officer, noting that a dog might "lose the scent" if police wait too long to unleash the hounds on a runaway suspect. But he said there was no justification for allowing the police chief or fire marshal to drive township vehicles home.

Commissioner Jack Gallagher was the sole vote against the policy. He wanted these employees to fill out mileage logs, but Commissioner Malissa Davis countered that would be insulting to two police officers.

It was a lengthy and substantive meeting, and I will have a second story for you tomorrow about (1) plans to refinance Township debt and save some money; and (2) critical township road projects being pitched for major federal funding.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Are Pa Schools Testing Lead in Drinking Water?

Last year, a group of concerned and angry parents crowded into Northampton County Council to demand that elections in Bushkill Tp be moved from an elementary school to a nearby volunteer fire company. They were unmoved by an elections law that requires voting to take place in a public facility if possible. They were concerned about the safety of their children, who might be exposed to child molesters, mass murderers or even worse, Democrats. The popular thing would have been to just move the polling place, but the County refused during a crazy session in which the Elections Commission Chair actually cursed at these parents, many of whom had brought their children for a lesson in government.

They got one.

Conducting an election at a school while class is in session is a traffic hazard. Super voters are mostly old farts like me. We are bad drivers, as evidenced by a fatality in Forks Tp. last election cycle. The other concerns are remote.

Though unpopular, county officials are right to say No. The elections code requires that voting take place in a public facility if at all possible, and specifically mentions schools. The right thing to do is close schools on election day. Moving one polling place away from a school might open the flood gates and embolden parents everywhere else to demand the same, which would make elections more expensive and more unsafe for voters.

This refusal has already prompted one of these Bushkill Tp residents - Korry Franke - to declare his candidacy, as a Republican, for County Council.

It is perfectly understandable that parents would worry about their children. While raising dangers that are practically nonexistent, these parents should be concerned about what their children are drinking. Pennsylvania has no real protections in place to test the water school children drink for lead.

A law just enacted last year requires schools to test for lead in the drinking water or discuss the issue in a public meeting once a year. Schools with unsafe lead levels must be listed on the Department of Education webpage.  I see no schools listed.

Friday, January 18, 2019

My Weight Loss Goal

A friend - yes I do have friends - is a fitness fanatic. Like me, he's a former Chippendale. He has been encouraging me for years to make more healthy choices.

I have always found it relatively easy to lose weight, once I get started. I have never been successful in keeping it off. My weight just goes up and down like a yo yo, which is more unhealthy than just being fat.

Anyway, he texted me most recently to ask, in cell phone language, "what's ur goal?"

I plan to become invisible.

Two things persuaded me to start again. First, fellow fat man Frank Pintabone challenged me. Second, and the big reason, is Suki.

Suki is a girl but she's not human. She's my grandson's dog, although she thinks she's human.

I watched her for a few days over the summer. When I have her, she knows she is going to go for lots of walks. But this past summer, I could only go about ten minutes before having to sit down. At one point, she turned and looked at me with utter disgust.

"How could you let yourself go, you fat fuck?" she said to me in dog language.

She refused to eat anything I got her, in protest over my inability to keep up with her.

"I bet you feel a lot better!" is what people say to me now.

I do when I'm done exercising for the day.

I am still unable to walk or run as I used to do all the time. I am fine for a few weeks, and then sciatica grounds me. But the arc trainer at the gym is great. Aside from having a sore ass, I am doing alright. But I miss being outside. Whether it's hot or cold, I love being outdoors. In the gym, you have to contend with people who insist in slamming weights so everyone knows how strong they are, as well as some people who are really loud.

The other day, some woman was literally shouting and yelling the entire time I spent exercising. All five minutes. It was so annoying that, when I was done, I decided to track her down and let her know that all I want from her is silence, and damn little of that.

I found her pretty easily, as you might imagine, and then realized she is mentally challenged.

I'm an asshole.

So as I said, my goal is to disappear.

Mayor O'Connell to Deliver "State of the City" Today!

Late yesterday, I received notice that Allentown Mayor Ray O'Connell will be delivering a "State of the City" Address today at noon at The Palace Center, 623 Hanover Avenue. This is being hosted by the Greater LV Chamber of Commerce. It's sold out too. It costs $39 for members and $69 for non-members.

Given a 27% tax hike, the state of the city should be pretty clear. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Online Petition To Save Allentown State Hospital.

An online petition opposing the demolition of Allentown State Hospital has garnered 3,100 signatures thus far. When the state decided to close the hospital, it was insane. Now it is going to spend $15 million to demolish the buildings so it can sell the property to a tax cheat for $2.57 million. It has brushed aside the biggest and most "serious" developer in Allentown, next to JB Reilly. 

By the by, I'll have more about Jenn Mann soon.   

Alberta Scarfaro Announces MDJ Candidacy in Whitehall

(Blogger's Note: I had hoped to attend Alberta's announcement, but gave an excuse she would understand. My grandson had a basketball game last night.  I know she is a great Whitehall fan and have seen her at plenty of games over the years. In addition to being a great mother who overcame many obstacles, she has a great quality - common sense.  Below is her announcement:)    

WHITEHALL, PA: To a full house at Maza Middle Eastern Cuisine in Whitehall, Alberta Scarfaro announced her candidacy for Magisterial District Judge in Whitehall’s District 31-1-07.

Scarfaro discussed her family’s history in the Lehigh Valley and emphasized the role that the Whitehall community has played in her life and in the life of her family.

“This campaign isn’t about winning an election; it is about serving a community, our community.  I look forward to earning your support, not to win an office, but to serve our community.  I look forward to serve as judge, not to advance my own career, but to provide justice and compassion in service to our community.”

Scarfaro didn’t shy away from her personal story, including the passing of her husband nearly fifteen years ago and the challenges of raising two children as a single mom.  She beamed when she discussed her children’s accomplishments, both graduates of Whitehall High School.

Scarfaro also hinted at what kind of judge she would be:
“I know both the just and compassionate side of the law and I am ready to work hard and to dedicate my time to delivering that justice and compassion.”

She added, “I understand the needs of our community and I recognize the utmost importance of everyone’s right to equal and just due process.  I will protect our citizens by serving in this office with integrity and as a fair and impartial judge.

Pointing to her education—Scarfaro holds a Master of Public Administration, in addition to degrees in paralegal studies and political science—and her life experiences, Scarfaro emphasized her desire to serve the Whitehall-Coplay community.

“I say all this today to punctuate one point that I hope you’re remember: This is about community. Our Community. The community that helped me raise my kids. And the community to which I want to give back.”

About Alberta Scarfaro
Alberta Scarfaro is a resident of Whitehall Township, where she has raised her two beautiful children.  Raised in the Lehigh Valley herself, Scarfaro is an active figure in the community, serving on the Whitehall Zoning Board, including two terms as Chairwoman, and as a member of the local Rotary.  She previously served as President of Football Booster Club for the Whitehall High School football team.

Scarfaro is a graduate of Kutztown University, where she studied political science and also holds a Master of Public Administration.  She is certified by the Minor Judiciary Education Board of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Allentown State Hospital Tract Being Sold to Tax Cheat

Let's say that you wanted to buy property from someone. You're willing to pay $2.57 million. Let's say the Seller is amenable but tells you it must first spend $15 million to knock down all the buildings located there. What's more, the Seller is going to give you three years to get a few investors to join you. During that time, it is spending $2.2 million a year to maintain the buildings it wants to knock down. You'd say that Seller is nuts and belongs in a state hospital. That Seller, unfortunately, is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The property in question is the Allentown State Hospital, which is where our glorious legislators belong. Without question, its deal to sell the 200-acre campus for $2.2 million to a private party is fiscally irresponsible. It's actually borderline lunacy until you learn who's involved.  Then it really begins to smell.

In their infinite wisdom, state officials decided some years ago to close down the state hospitals. The argument was that residents there would do better in community mental health programs. But that's bullshit. Funding for community mental health has been cut. The result is that some severely mentally ill people are on the streets. They have been flooding our jails, too. In Northampton County, 72% of the jail population is mentally ill. Twenty-three percent suffer from serious mental illness, with acute symptoms.

After this monumental error, state officials had to decide what to do with what had become a ghost town. Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski wanted it, and told state officials that he would seek requests for proposals from developers, entrepreneurs and nonprofits. You know, the same people that lined his campaign coffers. Fortunately, at that time, it was known that he was under federal investigation  for political corruption.

So the state began negotiations for a direct conveyance. No requests for proposals. No advertising the property. Nope, someone from Doylestown mysteriously appeared and is negotiating to buy the property. A direct conveyance to an outfit called TCA Properties was unanimously approved in the land of midnight payraises in 2017. There's a three-year period until the sale actually occurs.

Like fish, any deal that lasts that long begins to stink.

How did the state line up TCA Properties, who State Representative Mike Schlossberg referred to as a "serious developer." What makes him a "serious developer" is the fact that he is represented by former State Rep. Jennifer Mann, now a lobbyist and a wheeler-dealer with a real estate license.

Though Mann is a registered lobbyist, she has failed to list her work on behalf of TCA. How did TCA get lined up with the state?  Mann is currently lobbying to get a special tax break for TCA from the county, Allentown and the school board. State law fails to compel lobbyists to register for dealings with local government.

We all know how that worked out for Mike Fleck.

Mann is not doing this for Allentown. She is doing it for herself and a very nice commission (as a realtor) on the sale.

Now let's take a closer look at this "serious developer," shall we? The principal of TCA Properties is David Ali, who operates both TCA Properties and another one-man outfit called Impala Builders. He runs both businesses out of his house in Doylestown.

Bucks County records show the following liens against this "serious developer":
2018-73860. Pa Dept of Revenue v. David J Ali and Maria L, filed 8/8/18 for $10,107.77
2011-74202. Pa Dept of Revenue v. David J Ali and Maria L, filed 11/30/11, for $5,710.83
2008-72320. Pa Dept of Revenue v. David Ali, filed 7/29/08, for $6,721.37
2007-70914. Pa Dept of Revenue v. David J Ali and Maria L, filed 4/9/07, for $$6,049.49
2010-21825. IRS v. David J Ali & Maria L, filed 10/4/10, for $4,789.88
2004-04444. EARTHSTAR BANK v. David J Ali & Maria L, foreclosure complaint filed 7/8/2004. Terminated 10/12/06.
2005-20094. IRS v. David J Ali, filed 2/8/05 for $ $87,270.01.
2011-07439. AMERICAN FAST FREIGHT INC v. IMPALA BUILDERS LLC, filed 8/18/11, for $8820.14.

This is a "serious developer"?

State Senator Pat Browne campaigned against opponent Mark Pinsley, listing nonexistent liens. These liens are very real. No government, state or local, should do business with someone who collects tax liens like candy.

In case you're wondering whether anyone aside from me has noticed that TCA is far from the "serious developer" that State Rep. Mike Schlossberg pretends it is, let's look at what The Morning Call itself said about TCA and David Ali back in 2017:
Ali’s companies, TCA and Impala, also are named in a March 10, 2015, report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. The report raises questions about how Ali’s companies handled the purchase and sale of property in Fayetteville, N.C.. The property was owned by the family of a Veterans Affairs employee, leading to the finding that she had “an appearance of conflict of interest” by participating in the evaluation and sale of land used as a VA health care facility, according to the report.
This is a "serious developer"?

Sign me up. I can make deals from my estate atop the Nazareth Army Navy store, sitting in my underwear.

Over the weekend, Nat Hyman contacted the very state legislators who want to sell this property to a tax deadbeat. His interest was reported in a Morning Call story that originally was very positive. Then reporter Emily Opilo got State Rep. Mike Schlossberg to trash Hyman, which seems to be a hobby for local Allentown officials. His remarks were so vitriolic that the newspaper decided to tone it down and remove some of them.

I guess it can only handle one libel suit at a time.

Why are Schlossberg and even Browne so willing to trash Hyman? Simple. Jenn Mann represents TCA, not Hyman.

Just a few days ago, Schlossberg sent a missive to The Parkland Press, saying "In a perfect world, the Allentown State Hospital buildings would be preserved and re-purposed to create jobs and grow our economy, but we have to face the facts."

Now he has a "responsible developer" who wants to preserve the buildings and create jobs. He is seeking no TIF. But he lacks a connection to Jenn Mann.

Nat Hyman is no Ghandi. He's in this to make money. I do not mean to suggest that he should get the sweetheart deal intended for the tax cheat from Doylestown. It is clear that TCA lacks the resources to do the demolition. Instead of wasting more money, the state should seek proposals from interested developers and do what is right for the Lehigh Valley.

Not Jenn Mann or her minions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

DiLuzio Announces DA Candidacy

Last night, before a throng of about 120 supporters at the Blue Grillhouse in Bethlehem Township, Nuria DiLuzio announced her candidacy for District Attorney in Northampton County. DiLuzio is a graduate of Temple Law School, which she attended at night in her desire to become a lawyer. Daughter of an Albanian immigrant who fled Communist tyranny, DiLuzio said she would "enforce the law fairly and completely,with regard to the rights of all involved."

She has spent most of her two-decade career as a defense lawyer, and is Northampton County's first female Chief Public Defender. Though she has no prosecutorial experience, she pointed out that neither did John Morganelli when he took office a quarter century ago, and he leaves behind a legacy of which all can be proud.

She said the office of District Attorney "is not about power, but service." She pledged to lead an "exceptional" team of prosecutors and law enforcement to protect and serve us all. She also promised "new and creative ways" to deal with crime. "I will work with county government and all concerned citizens to protect our most vulnerable, like our children and seniors. I am prepared to do the hard work as your next DA."

Based on those attending DiLuzio's announcement, she already appears to be the person to beat.

NorCo and LeCo Sheriffs Rich Johnston and Joe Hanna
She was introduced by Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. He both endorsed her and read a letter of support from State Senator Lisa Boscola.

The biggest plug came from Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio. He referred to Nuria, not just as his wife, but as "the woman I love."

Both Northampton County Sheriff Rich Johnston and Lehigh County Sheriff Joe Hanna, who is running for re-election, were there. So were a rather large number of law enforcement people. The bastards were having my car towed while I snapped pictures.

Northampton County Council members Ron Heckman, Kevin Lott and Bill McGee were there. Former NorCo Council President Ken Kraft timed the speeches to make sure no one went over five minutes. I also saw Bethlehem City Council member Bryan Callahan and several Bethlehem cabinet officials.

There were also several trades union reps on hand.

Several prominent attorneys also came, including NorCo Solicitor Missy Rudas, Palmer Solicitor Chuck Bruno and Dwight Danser.

Civil Rights leader Esther Lee was also on hand.

Where was John Morganelli? As an announced candidate for judge, he has to be Switzerland when it comes to politics.

Monday, January 14, 2019

McClure Concerned About Federal Shutdown

Northampton County Exec Lamont McClure is growing uneasy about the potential long-term effects of the federal government shutdown. “With tax bills scheduled to go out later in January, there is no anticipated problem with cash flow,” he said. But he cautions that "several federal grants have been delayed and this may affect services to County residents.”

Money from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon be affected, he claims. HUD funds subsidize housing for low-income residents. Northampton County’s Housing Authority has obligated funding through next month. Payments to landlords can be made in January and February, but not be beyond that.

The County expects to receive vouchers for lead paint from residential housing next week. Lead poisoning is a serious issue for children and can cause problems with brain development. Plans to remove the paint are currently on hold.

Federal offices in Washington and Philadelphia are closed. This means no help will be available if problems arise with particular County programs. Some litigation in federal courts has been postponed.

The Department of Corrections is waiting for funds from a State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) to help house undocumented immigrants.

“People are hungry for competent, transparent and civil government,” says Lamont McClure. “That’s what we deliver here in Northampton County, and that’s what has to happen on the national level—now.”

Nuria DiLuzio to Run For NorCo DA

Bethlehem Attorney Nuria DiLuzio will announce her candidacy for Northampton County District Attorney tonight, 5:30 PM, at the Blue Grillhouse in Bethlehem Tp. She has served as both a full-time and part-time public defender, and is currently Chief Public Defender. She has also maintained a private practice since 2001, focusing on criminal defense and family law. She is married to Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio. She is a Democrat.

The only other candidate to announce so far is Republican Tom Carroll, who announced his candidacy in Lehigh County.

Why is DiLuzio running? She'll explain tonight.

Lisa Pawlowski For Mayor?

Is Lisa Pawlowski, wife of the imprisoned former Mayor, running for the job herself. That's the political gossip coming my way from a Democratic party activist who shall remain anonymous. According to this source, Phoebe Harris and Jessica Ortiz working for her. The strategy is to cobble a plurality in a multi-horse field. This is precisely the same strategy her husband used. According to my source, Lady Lisa has been visible at different community events.

Lisa would attract her husband's hard core supporters, and as a woman, would benefit from a surge in sometimes irrational support for people whose only distinguishing characteristic is that they have no penis.

According to her LinkedIn page, Pawlowski is a "group facilitator" with the Center for Humanistic Change. The focus of that nonprofit is drug and alcohol abuse prevention through the development of life skills. It is aimed primarily at schools.

I have not reached out to Ms. Pawlowski. She and I are on pretty bad terms. She has publicly told people that I am paid on the basis of the number of people reading this blog. She has urged a boycott. The truth is that I am paid nothing.

Incumbent Mayor Ray O'Connell has already announced he's running. Businessman Nat Hyman might run, too.

Updated 9 am: I just received a call from Phoebe Harris, who denies she is working for Pawlowski. She asked me how many sources I had before I went ahead with this. Just one. This story is not double-sourced. It is not real journalism. It is just political gossip. Naturally, if I were disclosing something sinister about these people, I'd be more careful. The rumor is probably untrue, but it's fun to speculate on the "what if."