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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Original Northampton County Bulldog - Jim Hemstreet

"He was always someone who stood up for what he believed. He always called it the way he saw it, despite what other people around were saying or thinking or doing. He was a good example for a lot of people to follow."

"He was a champion of Northampton County. I'm just saddened to hear of his death. It's a loss to a lot of people. It's a loss to Northampton County."

Northampton County Executive John Stoffa

"He was just an independent thinker and got people frustrated sometimes. He was a smart man who thought for himself."

Council member Peg Ferraro

"Jim always liked to discuss the public's business in public."

Council Clerk Frank Flisser

"Northampton County has lost a legend in its politics."

Former County Executive Glenn Reibman.

The Express Times and Morning Call both have touching accounts of the original who passed away on Sunday at age 86.


Sanctifying Grace said...

That was a great article by the Express Times. I didn't realize that was a true account of the details regarding a closed door meeting. I always thought that was history that became embelished with exageration. That takes a person of very strong moral fiber to do something like that.

I would love to see something like that in today's time.

Peace, ~~Alex

Anonymous said...

Please do not compare Mr. Hemstreet to Ronald Lee Angle. Mr. Hemstreet was never arrested for shoplifting, nor was he ever arrested for fleeing and eluding the police.

Joe Long Dem, of course... said...

A sad day for Northampton county.
Another reason to mourn. Now if only Bernie would hurry up and drop dead, so we could throw a parade and celebrate!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hemstreet & Angle both stand for open government. Hemstreet & Angl;e never mince words. Hemstreet & Angle both earned the emnity of party insiders.

You, on the other hand, can't even sign your name to a commment.

Anonymous said...

I had read the coverage in both local rags and find it pitifull.
Jim Hemstreet was an Iconic political figure and the best they could do was interview people who knew him. Maybe with a little research into their own archives they could have written a proper story of a man who served his community for 36 years.

No wonder newspapers are folding, they are no longer doing their job.

Anonymous said...


Agree completely.

Also, I like Angle, but he's not even close to the same league. Hemstreet was a local version of a true statesman. A towering figure, indeed. Both papers were weak.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"the best they could do was interview people who knew him."

Would you prefer they interview people who did not know him??

I see your point, but I thought both accounts were touching. I knew him very well, and he was a real class act. Frank Flisser could wrire a book about the early days.

What I remember is when Brackbill decided he was too much a thorn in his side and Stem was recruited to take Hemstreet out. I think he had to run a writre in campaign as a D and got on the ballot. I went over to offer him money, and all he would accept from anyone was $35.

I admired him very much. He, Jerry Seyfreid, Rich Grucela, Ron Heckman and even Glenn Reibman ran a much different council than the circus being run by McHale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I like Angle, but he's not even close to the same league."

Ron would probably agree w/ you. He lacks Jim's formal training. I would say that Ron is the closest thing council has to Hemstreet.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding. Jim Hemstreet was a smart, tough and really caring man. Angle is a self promoting, egocentric ass who is only interested in stirring the soup and being the head clown in whatever circus he happens to be in.

O'Hare please donot dimminsh Mr. Hemstreet by mentioning that assclown Angle as being similar. They might as well have been from different planets. The only reason Angle pushed for the painting of Jim Hemstreet was to get another article about himself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The reason Angle pushed for that painting was because he thought Hemstreet was the best. Like Hemstreet, Angle is tough, smart and caring. You may not like it, but they are similar in many respects.

Anonymous said...

geez you can differ on opionions but please don't wish anyone would die. bernie just writes what he no reason to wish him dead. go in peace.

Carol said...

I, too, had the privilege of serving with Jim Hemstreet, he was a scholar and a gentleman, with no need of theatrics to promote his ideas or concepts. Jim Hemstreet could and would disagree, but with respect and decency. He and Wayne were always nattily attired, again, this representing their personalities

Larry Kisslinger said...

Jim Hemstreet and the late Ellsworth Mutchler were my biggest supporters when I served as NorCo R Chairman '86-'88. I am so proud to have known and worked with them to be of service to others. Jim was a "real" and fantastic public servant. As we say "they don't make 'em like that anymore."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Folks, the "Carol" who posted here is none other than former Council member Carol Cuomo, who served Northampton County with distinction herself. Carol and I had different views concerning the bond, but was always courteous and respectful to opposing points of view. Your presence is sorely missed. Yours was the last great Council.