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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

McHale and the Middle East Menace

Last week, Norco Council Prez Ron Angle invited Continuum Care Holdings, which manages the former Dauphin County nursing home, to make a presentation to the Finance Committee. "We exceeded the expectations of the Commissioners," stated CEO Chas Blalack. Wages went up between 4 and 7%. Benefits packages were "right-sized." $1.7 million was spent in capital improvements. Employees participate in a quarterly performance incentive. The home went from 60% to nearly 100% occupancy.

They made changes to make the facility profitable, including a "vent" unit for people suffering from respiratory problems.

Most important of all, Continuum execs made clear that no indigents would be thrown into the streets or denied admission. It's an "unfounded fear," says Blalack, who told Council that most residents (7/8) are Medicaid, i.e. indigent.

Dauphin's one difference from a traditional nursing home is their emphasis on rehabilitation. "We do not really want to warehouse people, but rehabilitate and let them go back to their lives,", said Blalock. That may or may not work at Gracedale.

In what turned out to be a three-hour meeting, Council members had lots of questions. Ann McHale, when it was her turn, told them she's sure there's problems, and then left.

She's a bitter beerface. She's had a tough time coming to grips with the beating John Stoffa gave her in the Exec race last year, where she even lost in Bethlehem. She's angry about being deposed as Council President in favor of Ron Angle. She's fighting a losing battle over looming changes at Gracedale.

But none of this is an excuse to play on an anti-Middle East sentiment already so prevalent in this country. A Kuwaiti real estate investment firm helped finance Continuum Care's purchase of Dauphin County's nursing home, and McHale snarked about it to Morning Call reporter Jenna Portnoy.

"For a foreign country having holdings, especially with what's going on with Afghanistan and Iraq … , I don't think a governmental entity should be involved in something like this."

Why would McHale oppose direct foreign investment in a U.S. Company? According to Pennsylvania's DCED, "Pennsylvania is the ideal choice for international businesses looking to establish a presence in the United States." Some of the Lehigh Valley's top employers, like B. Braun (German) and Essroc (Italian) are foreign.

I suspect McHale is lobbing every grenade at her disposal in an effort to prevent fellow Council members from learning what exactly has happened in other counties that sold their nursing homes. I've never heard her grumble about Braun, Essroc or other foreign investors.

But this one is from the Middle East. In fact, it's from Kuwait. We fought a war so that country could remain independent, but is its business to be discouraged from investing here? Must we refuse to listen to a presentation by an American company that accepted some dirty Arab money? What the hell does Afghanistan have to do with Kuwait?

What McHale is really doing is playing on the latent and not-so-latent prejudice by many Americans against the Middle East. It's OK to be anti-Semitic so long as the Semite is an Arab.


Anonymous said...

No one! I repeat no one, should take advice from a guy named "Chas". Does he sell "personal insurance" in New Jersey on the side. If you know what I mean.

Good Grief.

Anonymous said...

Just curious as to who was at the meeting to speak for the employees of that foreign company? I mean it would seem to be fair to have a representative from each side there to speak, or did Ron not care about that opinion?

Anonymous said...

The meeting did not have the Gracedale issue on the agenda so no one came from there to monitor. Ron Angle did bring up that he did a survey of 89,000,000 (million)Nothhampton County residents and 65% said they are in favor of selling the place. He was called out on his survey and couldn't or would'nt produce any evidence of such a survey. Northampton will sell Gracedale and Ron Angle will lose his next election. We will no longer have to bear the embaressment of him representing us.
A little history lesson
tyranical leaders from the USA in the early 1900's annexed Kuwait from Iraq and awarded it to the current governmemt of which practice the most extreme form of Islam where as women are mistreated and cannot attend school. Saddam Hussein was merely trying to recapture land that was Iraqs in the first Gulf war. He had been awarded the key to the city in Ohio in the late 80's and we the USA provided the chemical weapons to him to use on the Kurds. This all under the Great Ronald Reagans watch. It is fitting that Angle will attempt to reward barbarianism.

Anonymous said...

I re-read my post and think I might have been vague
The type of Islam that spoke of is
WAHHABI Islam Ideology
Please look this up and see if you think we should welcome these types with open arms. And Essroc I am pretty sure is French although I might be wrong I'll ask as I know some people who work there. BTW the Italians or French didn't fly airplanes into our buildings.

Anonymous said...

I erred ESSROC is Italian
There is or was another in the area that was French.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The meeting did not have the Gracedale issue on the agenda so no one came from there to monitor."

There were about five Gracedale advocates at that meeting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"BTW the Italians or French didn't fly airplanes into our buildings"

Neither did the Kuwaitis. But one of the hijackers was Lebanese. Should the County fire Court Administrator James Onembo. He's Lebanese. How about Judge Koury? He's Lebanese, too.

Of course, that's nonsense, just as wht you are saying is nonsense and just as what McHale said was designed to inflame anti-Arab sentiment.


Bernie O'Hare said...

"Ron Angle did bring up that he did a survey of 89,000,000 (million)Nothhampton County residents and 65% said they are in favor of selling the place. He was called out on his survey and couldn't or would'nt produce any evidence of such a survey."

Angle conducts surveys on issues that matter to him all the time. He sends postcards and letters to constituents in his district or calls them up. That's his form of survey. It's not scientific. It maters only to him, but he does do it all the time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I erred ESSROC is Italian"

That's what I said, and I had a link to establish it. ESSROC was a French company and was bought out.

Anonymous said...

This entire issue stinks more than a five week old fish in Angles truck or O'Hare on a good day, take your pick.

The guy wants to sell Gracedale. A consulting company is brought in and privately tells the County don't sell Gracedale, they are instructed to only focus on sale or lease. Angle fields calls from prospective buyers. Angle invites a "select" company to tell all the wonders of private ownership. Angle makes it clear that does not invalidate this company from bidding on buying Gracedale.

Is Stoffa still alive or do they just bring a cardboard cut-out to meetings. Stoffa might as well stay home, everyone knows Angle is running Northampton County.

By the way, ask "Chas", under oath, if they will NEVER turn down a medicaid only applicant. You do realize that private nursing homes get to pick and chose which indigent MA elderly they accept. That is a FACT.

This is a travesty of representative government being rammed down people's throats by Angle and his handpicked puppets.

One of the saddest episodes in the history of Northampton County. Half truths and outright corrupt deception.

The six million has been found. The notion of six million a year for ten years has been debunked but the dye is cast and money talks while truth walks.

That is the Angle way in Northampton County

Carol said...

Bernie, who received these postcards,letters or calls re: selling Gracedale in the Slate Belt, I haven't found anyone who did, I am definitely against selling Gracedale, but in all fairness would like to know the recipients of the survey.

Anonymous said...

Ann McHale has been nasty and vindictive for many years. Your
comments are nothing new. But more importantly, what happened at other nursing homes this company purchased? Isn't that detail of importance before deciding any future dealings with this proposal? How are those residents treated once this corporation acquired control?
We've seen several personal care facilities dramatically change and not for the better once new management came in including one Allentown facility that boarded up the main gathering area office windows so residents in the winter are required to walk out into the front vestibule to even speak with staff. That's sure one way to cut down on staff distractions.

Anonymous said...

Some advice for your campaign Ohare
1 Half the idiot brigade in the valley gets their news from FOX OPINION
2 Hannity and Grinrich have demonized Islam relentlessly as well as Obama
3 These two accuse Obama (with great success) of being an undocumented Kenyan Muslim and of late a Kenyan Anti Colonist
4. Most people continue to think that Iraq had something to do with 9/11
5 Most people cannot find these Middle Eastern countries on maps of the world
6 Most people would tend to believe the Kuwaities are associated with radical Islam just because they are from that portion of the world
7 The GOP needs these idiots to get elected by fear mongering
8 Angle through his "unscientific" survey that only you know of flipped the numbers I would venture to say 65% would be in favor of keeping Gracedale
9 That aside you have now invited the misinformed by your very own party to question why you would sell to these "crazy terrorists"

Anonymous said...

Bernie Gracedale was not on the agenda the "5" advocates are the same "5" who attend every meeting. You know the ones who also go to Tic Toc afterwards.
I know this is a sretch but Angle should try to be honest and put it on the agenda and see how many show up.
I also heard him say something to the effect of
"well here we are talking about Gracedale where are all the employees that are so concerned about their jobs?"
Like the other poster said this stinks bad.
I do have a question Angle wants this finished by March 31st
When is the primary next year early April
Ain't that convenient
no referendum

Anonymous said...

Word is Angle and Stoffa have agreed to wrap up the sell vote before the end of the year.

Angle wants it before the budget is approved and Stoffa is on board although he is willing to let the vote come after the budget.

All in all this vote has been in the bag all year. Sad to think this new group of council members will be tainted by the corruption of this vote for decades to come.

Do any of them wonder why Angle is held in such low esteem. It is just because of bullshit like this.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The members of council won't be "tainted". The ones that vote to sell will be tossed at the next election. As for the person running against Angle I can imagine the political ads. Angle with a turbin sitting in a cave with OSBL. You know the ones that they release every so often. Only this will be linking ol' Nappy to terrorism. LOL

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm sure you;ll do just as well as when you were pushing Ann McHale.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Angle EVERYTIME he has been on the ballot. My wife ALWAYS took me to task for doing it. I tried to rationalize with her about my decission to no avail. I should have paid closer attention to womens intuition. However his plan to sell Gracedale and (only his plan to sell Gracedale) has made me rethink my vote. Lately though the TIF thing is making me leary. Plus his run ins with the law are not helping. He has underestimated the NORCO voters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's what democracy is for. If yu read what he wrote or talked to him and could keep an open mind, you'd see that it is the BEST possible thing that could happen for Gracedale and its residents. Angle would rather do the right thing than win an election.

Anonymous said...

"If yu read what he wrote or talked to him and could keep an open mind, you'd see that it is the BEST possible thing that could happen for Gracedale and its residents."

Not to mention the best thing that could happen to Angle and his pocket book. I am sure HIS cell phone is burning up with buyers!! Is that a county paid phone he uses?

Anonymous said...

I think it will be the best thing for the employees. Not so much at all for the residents. And not good for NORCO overall. Sorry, I don't agree with you on this one. The place is a gold mine waiting to be harvested. You know you have to spend money to make money. There is going to be an enormous need for this type of facility in the next few years. Kick out the management and get some real people in those positions. Relating to your posting of the take over in the other county. The employees are getting 4-6% pay increases? I thought they were overpaid union thug/scum? And now they are worth 4-6% more? And unrelated, I don't know why all this controversy over treatment centers and other county operations. WE THE PEOPLE own all that land. Anything and everything should be built there. Berks County has most of its' facilities in 1 location. So overall I think the wrong people are making the decissions and in this democracy they will be replaced.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's just more vicious and ANONYMOUS bullshit from a coward afraid to sign his name. If Angle benefits in any way from this personally, he will go to jail. He has no personal interst in ths matter, and you are an anonymous coward who spreads lies. If you think there is criminal activity, report him. But remember, it's a crime to make false reports.