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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, December 01, 2006

Northampton County Blocks Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Was it Something I Said?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSince starting this blog, I've written 114 posts mentioning Northampton County. Sure, I'll write about Nazareth (35 posts) or Upper Macungie (8 posts) or even Iraq (31 posts), but Northampton County is usually on my front burner. This week alone, I wrote that no Northampton County judge deserves retention, and actually criticized judicial plans for a veterans' memorial outside our very own Taj Mahal. Well, the Empire has struck back! I learned Thursday that someone somewhere has decided to impose a block on county employees seeking access to my blog on county-owned computers.

County employees seeking access to my blog get this rather scary message:

403 FORBIDDEN - Access to this website has been blocked due to organizational policies. * * * ALL ATTEMPTS ARE BEING LOGGED

The message goes on to explain that "X-rated sites are often blocked." Some employees tell me that if they try to get access three times, sirens go off and they're jolted by a nonlethal blast of electricity.

O.K. I made that part up.

Holy cannoli! I'm X-rated, bippy, and the county is censoring me! I asked someone to type in LVDem's url, and that bastard's blog popped right up

Who could have wanted to shut me up? Actually, that list is pretty frickin' long. I did confront court administrator Onembo, but he had no idea what I was talking about.

I decided to check this out, called information services, and was told they are in the process of blocking non-work related sites, although I still don't know who made this decision. Eventually, no blog will be accessible from a county computer. Newspapers are exempt for now, even though they're not work-related. But it's only a matter of time for them, too.

Did information services decide on its own to regulate content like this? I honestly don't think so. I don't believe it is within their province to decide what employees may or may not see. This is a command decision.

Concerns about Internet gambling or pornography might justify some regulation, but the county is actually censoring ideas, treating them as though they are something filthy.

By making it hard to get on this or any other blog, the county has just guaranteed that those who really want to do so will spend far more time gaining access. And in a county workforce that already has terrible morale, you sure don't improve things by treating employees like little kids.

Why not just make clear to employees that web-traffic is being monitored? Why not explain that anyone who spends too much time on non-work related web-sites risks disciplinary action?

I believe the real reason for restricting access has nothing to do with improving employee productivity and everything to do with censoring the free flow of ideas. If this is the county's goal, it will fail.

Attempts to suppress speech always do.

And so the battle rages.
Update:Enclosed is the text of an email I sent to the county executive and information services today:
Yesterday, I became aware of a block that was placed on my blog by information services. County employees who want to take a look get the following message: "403 FORBIDDEN - Access to this website has been blocked due to organizational policies. * * * ALL ATTEMPTS ARE BEING LOGGED" In a telephone call with a very nice lady in Information Services, I was told this block was imposed because my site is not "work-related." But many other local blogs and other news and/or opinion sources have not been blocked.

The purpose of this email is to request that access be restored at your earliest possible convenience. I make this request for the following reasons:

1) You are a public, and not private, employer. I have a first amendment right to petition my government for the redress of grievances. But increasingly, NC is making it difficult for citizens to exercise that right. There's only one way in, and you might die of old age before you get there. Email addresses are rarely published. And now, sites like mine, that deal directly with NC and may even be work-related in some instances, are being blocked. After my second post about the Liberty Bell, I got a call from a then county official who was looking at the blog. Like the ostrich, the county is burying its head in the sand and will miss future opportunities to address matters of public concern by blocking this blog.

2) Some private employers do impose restrictions, but that's counterproductive. You don't make employees better by treating them like little kids. You cause resentful behavior, especially when they've had no raises for nearly 4 years. In the end, they actually become less productive.

3) I've just been lumped in with X-rated sites. Someone, somewhere within the county, whether it is in administration or information services, has decided to defame my blog by implication. They tell employees that 403 sites like mine are "often" X-rated. They are acting in a defamatory manner and are undermining my credibility, whether intentional or not.

4) You are discriminating. Why are some blogs up while others are not? Why are other news sources, like the mainstream publications, still up? Of course, those sources have more credibility, but isn't that a decision a reader can make for himself? How long will it be before someone somewhere in the county decides that The Express Times or Morning Call is no longer work-related? That decision will surely follow some critical article.

5) I could understand a block directed at X-rated sites or online gambling. If that is your goal, then whatever tool you are using is far to extreme.

I repeat my request that this block be removed immediately. I'd also like to know whether my blog was specifically targeted, and the reason for that.
Update #2: I didn't expect to receive a reply from the County Executive today. He's a busy beaver. But late this afternoon, Stoffa was kind enough to drop me a line to say he's looking into my complaint. He assures me no block was specifically targeted at my blog, and thinks we can work things out. I appreciate his very prompt response and willingness to look into this situation. It really sets him apart.

35 comments:

Greendogdem said...

No I think it's because of the excessive hits employees were doing because of the Northampton board of election issue.

bgivens said...

Bernie,

Bingo! Northampton County is run by its Court of Common Pleas through its judges and executed by their enforcer Court Administrator Jim Onembo.

Confirmation of this official abuse of power and gross violation of the county's Home Rule Charter and state Constitution comes this morning in the expose reported by The Express-Times reporter Sarah Cassi:

"Jim Onembo, director of court administration, said county judges discussed doing something with the unnamed plaza amd decoded they wanted a simple memorial to area veterans"

These traitors to our Home Rule Charter. state Constitution, democratic government, and common decency are not going to do anything as a "memorial" to this 73-year-old combat veteran of the Korean War.

He's going to give hatchet man Onembo and his robed masters a memorial of his own, the same as former Easton federal District Judge Franklin VAnAntwerpen gave Michael Solomon, County Executive Glenn Reibman's Director of Planning and Development, political guru, mastermind of the county's General Purpose Authority, and author of the GPA's fraudulent 2001 $111 bond - $22.5 million (more than that now with cost overruns)of which amount went for construction of their new Taj Mahal courhouse, the memorial to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Paranoia runs deep!
Big Brother Jim is watching!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't able to get out into the O'Haresphere from my home pc for a while late yesterday, either...got some sort of message about the server being temporarily down or unable to be located or something.

Anonymous said...

This is very common in the private sector. I cannot get on espn.com, cbssportsline, stc. at work, an dmany other sites, including my personal email.

Seriously, as a taxpayer would you rather have people reading your blog on County time or actually doing the work they are paid to do?

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Just in case Onembo and his judges censor your blog, I have made a copy of my comment of today (Comment #2) including greendogdem's Comment #1.

You and I both know from Jeff Britland and Ms. Brandau that the county is capable of playing fun and games with its computers:

It fired Jeff and Ms. Brandau (her Christian name I don't recall, nor can I refer to, since for their protection I had obliterated all references to their identity from my own files - a precaution I continued until their identity became public knowledge in connection with the settlement the county was forced to make in the lawsuit Britland brought against it.

Mr. Britland and Ms. Brandau's sin?:
They reported to county officials the hacking of the county's computer system, a federal offense, which officials of the county and its computer services provider Affiliated Computer Services of Houston, Texas, proceeded to cover up.

For another example of the county's judicial misconduct, Google Edward "Bernie S" Cummings, himself an alleged computer hacker, and his prosecution (and persecution)by the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas in a show-trial presided over by Judge Jack Panella and by The Express-Times.

Anonymous said...

Or take another example: your own "Our Common Bond" Webpage, fore-runner to your "Lehigh Valley Ramblings" Blog, in which you exposed that Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Paula A. Roscioli, then County District Attorney John M. Morganelli's First Assistant Prosecutor, in her 2004 campaign for judge, accepted $11,000 in campaign contributions from Allentown-Whitehall Township real estate speculator Abraham Atiyeh, to whom the county, along with its seat the City of Easton and the Easton Area School District, have been magnanimous: It (they) gave Atiyeh Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) property-tax exemptions on his Cinema Paradiso and Social Security Administration buildings on Easton's S. 3rd and 4th streets. resspectively.

Anonymous said...

Example #3:

Northampton County Court of Common Pleas Judges Edward Smith, William Moran, and James Hogan committed Plainfied Township octogenarian Anna Mae kessler to an assisted-living home - not one of Atiyeh's but the Williams Manor facility located at 164 Baron Road, Bushkill Township, where she essentially is being held under house arrest.

I am now seeing evidence that her home at 574 Bangor Road, which the county took from her and aucioned off, is now being used by the county as an assisted-living facility of its own.

This would make sense since the county has allowed Gracedale to deteriorate, as well as its staff through the attrition of layoffs, that the county desperately needs housing for its seniors.

What's more, the Gracedale staff is county employees and mostly union members, whereas the staff at places like Williams Manor have no collective-bargaining rights.

Bernie O'Hare said...

GreenDog & Billy, I don't really have any evidence that this is a retaliatory measure. I believe iunstead that it is one of those mindless bureaucratic decisions that cuts far too dip. They want to improve employe productiveity, but peopple can still googfle, use other blogs, read the papers?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:39, I know this happens in the private sector, too. I understand and appreciate your points. Let me counter.

1) This is a public, and not private, employer. I have a first amendment right to petition my government for the redress of grievances. But increasingly, NC is making it difficult for citizens to exercise that right. There's only one way in, and you might die of old age before you get there. Email addresses are rarely published. Ands now, sites like mine, that deal directly with NC and may even be work-related in some instances, are being blocked. After my second post about the Liberty Bell, I got a call from a then county official who was looking at the blog.


2) Some private employers do impose restrictions, but that's counterproductive. You don't make employees better by treating them like little kids. You cause resentful behavior, especially when they've had no raises for nearly 4 years. In the end, they actually become less productive.

3) I've just been lumped in with X-rated sites. Someone, somewhere within that county body, whether it is in administration or information services, has decided to defame my blog by implication. They tell employees that 403 sites like mine are "often" X-rated. They are acting in a defamatory manner and are undermining my credibility, whether it is intentional or not.

4) They are discriminating. Why are some blogs up while others are not? Why are other news sources, like the mainstream publications, still up? Of course, those sources have more credibility, but isn't that a decision that a reader can make for himself? How long will it be before someone somewhere in the county decides that The Express Times or Morning Call is no longer work-related? That decision will surely follow some critical article.

Vanessa Williams said...

My best guess: 1) Someone at NC felt threatened by your blog and decided to block it thinking no one would notice. or 2) They are in the process of blocking all blogs to increase productivity. Either way, clearly no one thought the consequences of this action through. They should not be exclusionary, they should block all blogs or allow all blogs regardless of their content (unless, of course, it is X-rated). Hope you get a decent explanation and resolution to this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Vanessa. I honestly don't think this is intentional, although it certainly is suspicious. And the timing is odd. If it is aimed at increasing worker productivity, they can do that by paying them a little more. County employees should not be forced to seek home meating assistance. More about that later.

Anonymous said...

AND THE PLOT THICKENS.....

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I understand your points and agree that a pay increase would be helpful for productivity. I also agree that they should NOT single your blog specifically, but a ban should be either all or none (or the one's they know about). Example: eliminate all of blogspot.com blogs.

I have seen examples where specific sites were shut down because one or more employees were spending way too much time on a specific site. The example I am thinking of is a former coleague of mine spent an unusual amount of time on a corvette website (2-3 hrs/day). Eventually that site was blocked. In that instance it appears reasonable to me to block a specific site. Conspiracy theory aside, could that be what has happened in NC Gov? Maybe, but you are probably right that the content is the issue, not the time spent looking at the content.

I do, however, think that you are confusing open government and having the ability to contact/email my government and get a timely response, and their right to regulate worker productivity. Even though it is the public sector, we should expect OUR employees to be productive.

Personally, I should be able to contact, and get a response from any government official via email, I should be able to get any public information off of government websites, and I should be able to make right-to-know requests via email from any government body. I also believe that all public meetings should be live-streamed via the internet. My schedule doesn't allow me to get to Easton for County Council meetings, but I could catch a live broadcast or an archived webcast on my own personal schedule. Isn't that what open government is all about?

Anon 8:39

SPIKE_ROGAN said...

Kim Jong Ill, Castro, Saddam, China, and Hitler would be proud!!!!

NEVER PERMIT YOU CRITICS TO BE HEARD!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:39,

I agree with much of what you say. Let me tell you what I've learned thus far. The blog is blocked in some area but not others. It appears that blogs that were available yesterday are now blocked. Ebay, ESPN and all the other play sites are still wide open. The block has had absolutely no impact on readership.

Since I now have just as many readers as I would have had if there was no block, I can only conclude that not many county employees visit the blog. And those that do apparently do not abuse the privilege.

Even a universal block against all blogs disturbs me when you are talking about a public body. It has the effect, if not the intent, of shielding employees and the officials they serve from public views.

And when mainstream media sites are maintained while blogs are blocked, that is a public determination by someone that blogs lack credibility. And eventually, there will be another determination that this paper or that lacks credibility, too. It's a slippery slope.

The best way to improve employee productivity is by paying them a living wage, something that is not occurring now.

Incidentally, I agree w/ many of your suggestions. They were made by Russ Shade, a forward thinking candidate for state rep. Someone needs to look into that.

But this is an open government issues. By blocing access, employees and officials are hiding from ideas. And command decisions like these should not be made behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

My wife Kathy and I are now experiencing a different kind of computer problem - not censorship but spamming from on-line day traders hawking their Michael Milkin and Ivan Boesky junk-grade securities Over the Counter (OTC).

These snake-oil peddlers are foisting off on umsuspecting vendors who also happen to be unaware that they may be felons trading om stolen merchandise: $67 million (much more with the cost overruns from a cost-plus, rather than fixed-fee contract, awarded noncompetively to a heavy "project manager", and political campaign contributor, Alvin H. Butz Inc.

Strapped for cash in order to balance the budget without a property-tax increase, and to get the naive open-space advocates like Karen Dolan and Helene Whittaker off their tails, county official turned desperately to snake-oil purveyors
Blank, Rome, Comisky, and McCauley from PA Gov. Ed "Fast Eddie's hometown of Brotherly love, Michael Setley of Concord Financial Services of Reading, former Lehigh County Commissioner Jeff Skinner of Structured Finance of Allentown, Hsrrisburg lobbyist Elmer Hainel, and Maurice "Mossie" Murphy, a securities salesmam for Raymond James of Florida, underwriter of Northampton County's 2001 $111 million bond.

Murphy left the employment of Raymond James to work for Merrill Lynch before the one-year SEC-imposed waiting period for securites dealers switching securities-related jobs had expired.

Unfortunately, however, most OTC trading is not SEC regulated. amd Murphy's job, together with other securities dealers, was to sell the county on refunding $67 million of the $111 million bond in an interest-rate swaption that gave the county $1.7 million that together with massive employee layoffs helped the county balance its 2005-2006 budget

Merrill Lynch underwrote the swaption, and Northampton County put up the collateral - $67 million of the $111 million bond.

In the year 2012, Merrill Lynch can call the bond and become owner of both the courthouse and the prison - unless the county raises property taxes hihger than the county judges' penthouse dining room atop the courthous rotunda.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:16, I'm curious...in what way were "naive open space advocates" Dolan & Whittaker on the tails of NC officials in the first place & how or why are they naive?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:33,

The "anonymous" fellow who posted at 6:16 is none other than Billy Givens. I give away his anonymity only because I'm sure he had no intention of posting anonymously. He mentioned his wife by name and his writing style is unmistakable and should never be taken literally.

Neither Karen Dolan nor Helene Whittaker were involved in the passage of the county's $111 million megabond. They had nothing to do with that. Sorry, Billy.

Their involvement came later, when county officials promoted a referendum that authorizes the county to borrow up to $37 over the next 10 yrs for open space projects.

These projects were only vaguely described. A $37 million bond was ridiculous to a county that could simply adopt a "pay as you go" program. And the bond was being promoted by developers, who were looking to buy up properties around open space projects. Thus, even I believed it would be naive to support this referendum, although I would not call Karen D or Helene W naive.

The referendum passed overwhelmingly. The voters did not listen to people like Billy or me. And we were the ones who were naive to think people would reject an open spavce referendum, no matter how sound our reasoning.

But then a strange thing happened. County council did arrive at several clearly defined projects. And John Stoffa, one of the chief proponents of the original $37 bond, has as actually proposed a "pay as you go" plan that will enable the county to spend $80 million on open space projects in the long term.

So I believe we all have ended up winners on that page in our county's recent history. We all want open space. We have clearly defined projects. And the county pays for them as they are determined and when funds are available.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Like you said, "We all want open space." So I'm surprised you & Billy would have been naive enough to think voters would have rejected NC's open space referendum.

I'd argue with you on how "clearly defined" any of county council's open space projects are. Besides...municipalities should be just as involved with these projects as council is...especially if the special interest developers are in bed with NC on the bond, i.e., building adjacent to county-owned green spaces ("cha-frickin-ching!").

I hope we are all winners, as you said...& at the local level, too. I don't wanna see the county being the lone "determiner" for which projects get done.

The municipalities are the governments through which the county should be paying for open space projets...municipalities are the one's who can leverage the county money for state funds every year to match county dollars & get projects started & natural lands preserved.

Let's get going already! Its been how many years now since the open space referendum was approved? Meanwhile the frickin' bulldozers are goin' fullsteam ahead!

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Many are the county council meetings that you, Ken Nagey of Forks Township, and Frank Ferraino and John Todaro of Palmer Township that the only way to save open space was through zoning ordinances adopted at the local municipal level.

A current case in point is the so-called 90/10 zoning proposal now before the Lower Bethel Township council, which continues to stall bringing a discussion and vote to the table while consulting with lawyers and politicians for ways either to stall the issue indefinately or, preferably, defeat it.

The proposed 90/10 amendment has the overwhelming support of the township's residents. Opposition comes only from a few large farmers who want to sell their fields to developers to be carved up into 1/4- to 1/3-acre lots on which to build spec houses that virtually sit atop each other.

Yet 90/10's proponents have demonstrated that the farmers would profit more with the amendment than by selling off - and selling out - to the insatiably greedy real estate developer/speculators.

I did not mean to single out Helene Whittaker and Karen Dolan, both of whom attended the same council meetings as you, Ken, Frank, John, and I.

I could - and should - have also included the head of the county's Sierra Club chapter, whose name I don't recall.

Without the support of the Northwest New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, the former Blairstown and New York, Susquehanna, and Western railroads, spanning all of Warren and a portion of Sussex counties, might never have become the Paulinskill Valley Trail - named for one of New Jersey's "little rivers," the Paulinskill (the other two being the Muscanetcong and the Pequest).

At one council meeting I debated that the gentleman representing the Sierra Club's Northampton chapter that in my opinion too much attention was being focused on preserving farmland and not enough on other ecologically sensitive environs like steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains.

For example, the City of Easton, the county's seat, has no steep slope or driveway ordinances at all, though these are the source of much of the storm-water runoff that contributes to the city's calamitous flooding.

And though Easton does have a floodplain ordinance, the city's administration, council, and Easton Zoning Hearing Board routinely ignore it - just as Easton also routinely ignores the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the county's Comprehensive Plan, and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission statutes and regulations governing development in the floodplains.

Another objection to the $37 million open-space bond is that it came hard on the heels of the county's 1998 $30 million bond for the Juvenile Correction Center construction and the 2001 $111 million mortgage (at $222 million counting principal, interest, and administrative cost) and that a $37 million bond for open space would turn the county's already overburdened taxpayers into little more than indentured servants sold into a bondage of debt from which they, their children, and their children's children, would never free themselves.

Northampton County is broke and its seat Easton is a financially distressed city, like Scranton.

Of the so-called Lehigh Valley's three third-class cities - Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Bethlehem is the least in need of a slot machine gambling casino and whatever revenue it might bring (the estimates are exaggerated).

As for the other two, Allentown and Easton, it is a toss-up as to which if financially worse off.

And not one of the three could survive without the flood of funds log-rolled up from Washington, D.C., through Harrisburg, and then down the Lehigh River, laden with barrels of pork.

The officials of Northampton County and the mayors of its three third-class cities have champaign tastes and beer pocketbooks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:30,

You're right. The only effective way to save open space is thru meaningful land use regulation. But in past 6 yrs, we've had very little of that. Even legislation that imposed modest impact fees on developers, proposed by Grucela, has met a lot of resistance.

For that reason, I don't oppose open space purchases of environmentally sensitive land or farmland preservation for clearly defined projects. But it is extremely important to keep an eye on those projects to ensure that it's not just some developer's scam.

I'd rather have zoning law changes, but that won't happen anytime soon.

I don't care about muiniciapl contributions unless the open space is park land. I don't believe the county should get involved in that. Every penny should go to environmentslly sensitive land or farmland. Nazareth, for example, thinks it is getting $150k in open space money so it can fix its pool. I will fight that if and when it is formally planned especially since nonresidents pay more than residents to use that pool. But recreation money for a walking path through south side Bethlehem might be a good idea. It depends on the plan.

And yes, I was naive to think I could get people to vote that down. It's not the first time I've been on the losing side. It won't be the last.

Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

all i can say is, it's about time someone censored you bernie. hell, i was working on using bond money, laundered through off budget transactions, to fund research to create a crtical frequency, to be broadcast throughout the courthouse, that cancelled out your voice. unfortunately, the best we could do was make you sound like bette midler. although i toyed with authorizing that, even i have some moral limits.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Et tu, Anonie?

LVDem said...

Bernie's content is now in line with porn in the eyes of NC. Is that an insult to porn or to Bernie? Any takers.

Seriously, Bernie's accounts of county council meetings are better than some main stream accounts. The county workers are adults. They can make up their own minds.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, Thanks, I think.

I don't believe my accounts of council meetings are "better" than mainstream accounts. They do complement them, and add a lot of opinions. I wouldn't call it reporting. I would call it blogging.

And I am very grateful that both local papers thought this bock was newsworthy and reported it in Saturday's editions. More about that later.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Mr. Stoffa will always say what you want to hear, but he never follows through. It's just words. aka a liar! He is personable, kind, soft spoken,comes off as the grandfather image that attracts people of all ages, BUT when push comes to shove, he sits back and never ever does what he promises. I can go one step further, even when he makes a promise or shakes on a promise, he still finds a way to reverse what he said to you and he is never heard from again. This also makes him a liar.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Employees have not had raises since 2003 as you know. Then we have had to endure finding a parking spot so that we can get into work and serve the public, which we do quite well. As if that isn't enough, recently they took the cafeteria away from us and we have been given a catering service to replace it. Prices, for the most part, are not condusive to my pay check, I don't know about anyone else. Now, when we eat at our desk at lunchtime because not all of us have a lunch area,carrying our little lunch bags, the county has now stopped us from looking at the internet on our time! Take, take, take, but no consideration is given to the employees for our down time and relaxation. I could go on and on but why bother. My complaints have fallen into deaf ears as usual.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:21, Liar is a strong word. He has always been a man of honor with me. But I know one group of county employes that feels betrayed, and I will be writing about that next week.

I will say this. The block may not have ben directed at me specifically. But when I read the Morning Call's account of the reason, it's much worse. I've been lumped in with, among other things, hate groups.

I've asked for a statement making clear that is not so. I hope I get a response.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:30, Rest assured that the failure to give county employes a raise for nearly four years will be addressed next week. It's very disturbing to me that county officials seem more interested in buildings than they are in the people who work in them.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You need to bone up on PA's "open space" funding machine...the Department of Conservation & Natural Recources' Community Conservation Partnership's Program. Under this program, the same dollars that protect environmentally sensitive areas & build walking paths are also there for municipalities to build &/or rehab swimming pools, playgrounds & even skateparks.

So if Nazareth gets funds from this program for its swimming pool & it get's your panties in a bunch, your beef's with Harrisburg...not the borough!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:59, No I am talking about the county. Under the county's openm space program approved by voters, 1/3 of the money would get to municipal park projects. Althoiugh there were no details in the bond proposal, a Naz officials siad there was an "implied promise," whatever that is, to use county open space money to fix Nazareth's leaking pool. And I do think that is wrong. It is NOT what we think of when we think of open space. And Nazareth charges nonresidents higher proces than residents. I don't think I would have problems w/ recreational paths in an urban area because that is open to one and all.

Anonymous said...

I see. But what is the definition of open space? Its a sticky wicket, this whole open space preservation thang. Everybody has a different take on what the definition of "open space" or "environmentally sensitive areas" or "parkland" is. One person sees preserved forestland with minimal access development, another sees ballfields & bleachers.

Then there's DCNR's Lehigh Valley Greenways Initiative, which is supposed to be (at least in part) a funding mechanism for preserving open space in the valley. But I don't see much coming out of that program, either. Ooy vay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, I don't think most people envision swimming pool repairs when they think of open space, but you're absolutely right that we all have differing views about just what "open space" may mean. I appreciate your insight.

Deb said...

Bernie, it's possible that it's just an innocent mistake. Blocking software goes kerfluey sometimes. It may be a a novice sys admin tweaking the settings and getting unexpected results. The question is how soon your site will be restored. If they don't unblock it, then I'll be mad.