Friday, November 26, 2010

Gracedale: No New Petitions Filed, But Fake Rev's Wife is the Notary

So how is that Gracedale drive going?

Let me give you some background information. Northampton County's Home Rule Charter, in an effort to bring government closer to the people, establishes a procedure for initiative and referendum. It's no easy task. Ten per cent of the County's registered voters must ask for an exercise in direct democracy, and they only have 90 days to do it.

For those who want to keep the County shackled to Gracedale, the magic number is 19,630. And the clock is ticking. They only have until January 17, 2011.

At the last election, volunteers hit the polls, seeking and getting signatures.

According to what Easton resident and tea party member Ronnie DelBacco told Northampton County Council last week, there was some improper conduct, at least at his poll. She was inside the polling center, not staying ten feet away from the door. She misrepresented the petition as an effort to "save Gracedale." He indicated it was almost impossible to get past her without signing the petition. In fairness, I visited about twelve different polling locations on election day. I saw Gracedale volunteers at seven of them, but witnessed no improper behavior.

Improper or not, a lot of signatures were gathered on election day, and my own review of the signatures reveals that's when most were obtained.

Soon after election day, the phony preacher - he claims Buddy Christ is on his side - marched into the Voter Registration with 10,774 signatures, according to my count. Based on my own cursory review, I'd say that ten per cent will be rejected for some blatant errors. In one case, the circulator did not sign. Many are notarized by the fake Rev's wife, Kathy Martinez, who obviously is no impartial witness.

Since that time, no additional petition have been filed. Nada. Zippo. And as the weather gets colder and the nights grow longer, it appears increasingly unlikely that the fake Rev will meet his goal.

This might explain why he keeps clamoring for Council to put the issue on the ballot themselves.

Not gonna' happen.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

There will be no presentation of petitions until necessary. At that time all will be filed. You as an agent of Mr. Angle only wish to discredit the movement to save Gracedale.

We are well aware that Angle and Stoffa will attempt to discredit our work but the petitions will stand and the question will appear on the ballot.

The effort to save out County's seniors proceeds, despite all your efforts to undermine it. We will continue to work to get the truth out to the people.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anonymously, of course.

Cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

When you have no case, you abuse your opponent.What a way to live and advance your cause!

Anonymous said...

The best way to "save our seniors," a few who live at Gracedale, and over 99% of whom reside elsewhere in the county is to get out from under this outrageously expensive union jobs program that sacrifices patient care and security for the betterment of the SEIU.

Voters elected a majority on county council in order that they do exactly as they are doing on behalf of the majority of seniors and all voters in Northampton County.

Barack Obama lectured us that elections have consequences. Look it up. The system works. Most of us want Gracedale sold.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the key words that are thrown out by the people dependent on government welfare. Like the rest of us are too stupid to read between the lines.

"save Gracedale" -- Are they tearing it down? Will the North Koreans shell the whole thing to dust?

"discredit a movement" -- A movement? You mean like the true movement called the Tea Party that is against keeping Gracedale in government hands?

"Save our county's seniors" -- Would a private owner send them all to the gas chamber? Can they only survive if a union member cares for them?

"get the truth out" -- Just because you keep squawking away your false talking points doesn't make any of it real.

In the end all these people have is the use of propaganda and false information. They can sugar coat their intent as much as they want with positive words, but in the end it's nothing less than a last ditch attempt to mooch from the government.

The truth is that there are terrific private and religion based facilities such as Holy Family Manor. I've recently walked through that place (I was getting a tour of Bernie's next digs) and the volunteers as well as the residents all seemed very happy. None of them were pinning for government take over or union caregivers.

Dave said...

ET poll showed over 90% of responders want Gracedale retained/funded by the county. I'm not making that number up so where do you get this majority/ WE want it sold stuff. You may want it sold but you may be in the minority on that statement. As to the election results..there was NO MANDATE to sell this facility/privatize it. It was not an issue during the elections of these council persons hence the referendum/petition drive. Are they within their rights to sell? Yes they are but is this why they were elected..this issue? I think not and it may be political suicide they are embarking on here. Can you say one term and done? I stood at the polls for ten hours recently to get signatures for the petition and ninety percent of the older voters were outraged about the pending sale and want it stopped. They are the voter base..not the younger generation. Wrong issue..wrong time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

Well said..While true the twenty thousand signature threshold might not be met, it is also true that most residents support Gracedale..It'sad that Council just doesn't frame the question on the ballot as, "Would you be willing to raise taxes X amount to avoid gracedale's sale..That way they could avoid responsibility for a tax hike and if it is passed, funding Gracedale would no longer be an issue..Very simple..It would also prove once and for all that residents do not support selling Gracedale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave,

If online polls had ANY validity at all, Ron Paul would be president today. All they really mean is that some collection of goofs is willing to spend lots of time creating false identities or doing whatever needs to be done to affect results. I've stopped doing polls here bc they are too easily manipulated.

What the ET poll means is that some collection of nuts stuffed the Internet ballot box.

As far as Council members go, they owe the voters their best judgment. It is not their job to stick their finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" it is also true that most residents support Gracedale.."

So do most Council members and it is their best judgment that the best way to help Gracedale be Gracedale is to get it out of County hands.

Wayne said...

Anonymous said...
"Save our county's seniors" -- Would a private owner send them all to the gas chamber? Can they only survive if a union member cares for them?
-----------------------------------
Yeah, that's one that caught my eye too!

I could think of better reasons to keep Gracedale in county hands than this group has given us. But they continue to fall back on distortions and half-truths to advance their cause. And that only discredits them more to anyone who will bother to look into the matter.

___________________________________
___________________________________

Anonymous said...
..It'sad that Council just doesn't frame the question on the ballot as, "Would you be willing to raise taxes X amount to avoid gracedale's sale..
----------------------------------
Wait a minute, why would Council be responsible for how the question is framed? It has to be on the ballot just as it's found on the petition, doesn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong.

_________________________________
_________________________________

Bernie, although I appreciate your coverage in this matter I wouldn't underestimate their resolve in their petition gathering. They have no reason to turn them in until the end. You have probably just spurred them on with your comments and helped by pointing out their flaws.

Kinda reminds me of a blogger who reacted similarly to the Tea Party when he first came upon it...

Dave said...

If as Mr. Dietrich stated recently that the County is basically inept when it comes to running Gracedale..is that a good enough reason to dump it? All that tells me is the people who were put in charge after Mr. Russell retired BLEW IT! Who put them in charge? I would guess our Executive did..no? Poor choices by the hiring boss should be addressed not the sale of the facility to compensate for those poor decisions.

Dave said...

I agree that polls are not factual but neither is a poster saying he represents the majority opinion on this matter and has more than 150K county residents in his corner. I gave as an example a sample of real upper aged voters who are the ones who actually go to the polls religiously. I respect the voters because they care enough to exercise their hard earned rights.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne,

I'm not interested in defeating them, but am interested in describing what they are doing and not doing. If pointing out their flaws helps them, good for them. But not everyone is that open-minded.

Dave said...

Political conundrum number one..What is the proper duty of an elected offical on any issue if it is clearly apparent that he/she is in opposition to the majority of the people who elected them? Do they vote their conscience or do they cede to the majority wishes of their constituents? No easy answer. Choosing one's battles is crucial if you want to continue to be an agent of positive change in your community.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave,

I know you attended the meeting in Bangor. I know you heard the presentation. Even with new and efficient management, Gracedale will continue to lose money in County hands. You know it is at a competitive disadvantage. First, it's reimbursement rate is lower than a private owner. This year, that meant $4.6 MM. In addition, benefits equal nearly 70% of the salary, whereas it is only 38% in the private sector.

Government does not exist to be a business or to compete against privately owned facilities. It is unwieldy and inefficient and is meant to be that way, but as a government. It cannot and should not get involved in marketing and all the other crap necessary to keep Gracedale afloat. That's why Dietrich correctly called it when he said that te best thing Gracedale could do would be to get rid of the County.

Dave said...

His statement seems more like a surrender than a plan of action. It's easy to cut and run. This seems too much like an easy way out and what will be the next easy way out? Sell the parks? When does it end? I must admit that I have a rooting interest so I can't claim an unbiased stance here. The TRUTH is out there somewhere..if only we could trap it and examine it closely.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The truth was right is front of you in Bangor, but you just didn't want to see it. The truth has been told over and over. But for some people, passions and emotions are getting in the way.

Dave said...

Sometimes facts and opinions get intertwined and it gets pretty messy trying to figure out which is which. Is that Yoko in the picture?

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
But not everyone is that open-minded.
---------------------------------

Yeah, it's funny... if I want to read the Saving Gracedale blog I come here and follow the link that you have in your side bar. Hope they appreciate that!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

Bernie isn't paying attention to the residents of the county when he says it's best to sell Gracedale..Either is the Council..In fact they'll find out in 2013 when they have to run for reelection. That aside, it looks like this council is intent on selling it. Let the chips fall where they may..The Reverand guy is supposedly "a kook" and the other supporters are just union thugs according to bernie..I guess he feels the 10,000 plus people who signed the petitions are just misinformed..Again, whatever..You are right Dave and he is wrong. It's that simple.

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
Government does not exist to be a business or to compete against privately owned facilities.
-------------------------------

Dave,

Bernie has hit on the biggest point right there. "Too Big to Fail" was one of the things that energized so many of us. Like Gracedale, any business that can look to the government to make up for it's losses doesn't have the proper incentive to be efficient.

Sure we can vote out the clowns that mismanaged the place... but promise me that we won't ever elect another set! Don't the workers & residents endure more upsetting change dealing with changing politicians and policies while in gov't hands?

Dave said...

How would the Moravians that donated the farm and land and buildings feel about this? Is Gracedales mission obsolete? Has it outlived it's intended purpose? Is it a mere relic of county history? I'm not sure those early settlers are not turning over in their graves over what is about to happen to their gift to the poor. What a crummy job of stewardship by our so called leaders. I know..nothing lasts forever. Sorry but this is just plain wrong from where I sit.

Anonymous said...

How short are your memories???? Was it ok to bail out the banks and the auto industry? Are they not Private corporations?
Have any of you ever been a patient or had a family member in a for profit facility. I am not speaking of family run or church run facilities.
I challenge you to campare the care they get at manor care or praxis with the care residents get at Gracedale. Review the medicare and state inspection results. Look at and compare the results...you may learn something.
I was taught to choose my battles wisely .When a woman who claimed to be a tea party member and a nurse--someone who is SUPPOSED to be dedicated to giving care to the sick and dying , said she cares more about the money than about the quality of care. That statement confirmed for me that I have chosen my battle wiseley.
I hope the group gets all the signatures they need. It should be up to the voters to decide.

Anonymous said...

The Moravians knew it was immoral to spend more than one's resources. They would be horrified that the Steve Barron families of the world, who could certainly care for their elderly family members, but instead, make this a taxpayer responsibility in order to protect their resources. Moravians would also have been appalled at propping up a union at the expense of the care and security of old folks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Review the medicare and state inspection results. Look at and compare the results...you may learn something."

I have, and I have learned something. What I've learned is that nearly all the highly rated facilities are privately owned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

First of all, Dave, the land was sold by the Moravians, and for a very goos price. They did not give it away. Second, it was not sold to be used as a nursing home. It was sold to be used as a poor house. Now just in case your history is weak, let me clue you in. People who lived there were required to work. If they refused, they were shut away in a cell with nothing but bread and water. The warden was allowed to use to strike the residents. It was considered good practice to let the children go as indentured servants for someone else. That's what the Moravians sold, so let's cut the crap.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Is that Yoko in the picture?"

Yep, God told her to sign the petition last week.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"f I want to read the Saving Gracedale blog I come here and follow the link that you have in your side bar. Hope they appreciate that!"

Doubtful. According to that blog, I depend on Angle for my booze money and am scum, etc. Actually, Stoffa gives me the booze money and Angle gives me gas.

c said...

I don't know all of the facts involved with this issue. I only have my own reference frame to go on. My great grandfather and best childhood friend served On the USS North Carolina in Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. He helped to raise the USS Maine and then raised a family. He worked hard and paid his taxes. He spent many of his final years living in his own excrement in a private facility that kept him alive and threw him out into the street when his finances were drained. It was not until he was moved to Warren Haven, a county owned facility, that he got the care that he deserved, the care that we as a society owed him. At the time I was 10, so I couldn't take him in...now I would. I could never support the sale of Gracedale until I saw iron clad evidence that the horrible things that I saw in 2 separate private homes would never happen to anyone else's family member. Maybe I represent the minority, but please sell me on the idea that care will remain the same. Right now I just can't possibly see how a private facility, whose bottom line must come first, will offer the same quality of care that Gracedale currently does. Time will tell.

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
Angle gives me gas.
-----------------------------
Try "Beano"

Wayne said...

c said...
At the time I was 10,...
---------------------------------

I don't know how long ago that was but surely there has been a change in regulations and expectations since then?

If I judged Gracedale by the conversations I heard 36 years ago by school friends who worked there in the summer... I'd never set foot in there.

Perceptions are funny. My wife's parents were against sending Grammy to Gracedale years ago --- actually had her in the two homes that were disparaged in the earlier comments. Go figure...

I will admit I know nothing about which home is better than another except for what I hear from other people. And that varies from person to person. As for my personal experiences... my grandmother & father died at home while being taken care of by relation.

I have yet to hear anyone explain how the level of compassion will decrease after a sale. Same people will be there, still working for a paycheck - whether it's from the county or private. And running more efficiently doesn't mean ignoring the patients.

Wayne said...

Bernie,

What happened to the post from M. Liddey? Rather frustrating responding to posts that have disappeared...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne, I will delete anonymous personal attacks at my discretion. There is one fellow who always gives himself goofy names and then thinks he can smear people.

Anonymous said...

Fact is simple.....privatize means bottom line figure is the most important. Sure the staff MIGHT stay the same, however there will definitely be less of them to increase profits for a private company. Less staff......worse care!!! Take a look at the former Dauphin County nursing home Spring Creek, 3 years later it is rated a 1 star and violations on iqnursinghomes.com discloses INCREASING violations over the past 3 years. They have more than DOUBLE the violations that Gracedale has and it is a facility that has about 1/2 the number of residents. If ratings were any lower when it was county owned, the place would not have been in operation! BLACK & WHITE...look it up for yourself!

Anonymous said...

Gracedale = Expensive Union Jobs Program

Anonymous said...

Let me tell yoy from personal experience what happens when a facility goes private. The first thing is the new owner cuts staff to bare minimum whithout reducing workload. In fact the workload actually increases. The resident get sicker and develop wounds. The residents that are bed-ridden are not turned as often as they should be so they experience skin breakdown and bedsores. They also are not changed as often so they lay in urine and feces. Urinary infections increase. Weight loss is common for the residents because there is not enough time and staff to feed the residents who cannot feed themselves. This is not the fault of staff. It is impossible to do the same amount of work for real people with less staff. Remember you are not dealing with inanimate objecrts. Often the staff goes without breaks or lunches because it would take away form resident care. Forget the the little extras the residents used to enjoy like showing the staff recent pictures of their family or spending 10 minutes holing the hand of a tearful patient. The cards and letters that the staff used to read for the patients go unread on their nightstand. It was so hard not to be able to stay with a person who was dying and had no family nearby. I could go on forever. I won't even go into the breaches of regulations that occured. BUT the company had funds to purchase expensive drapes and furniture to give the appearance of a quality facility. That was just an illusion. They were so bad that several RN's decided that by being unable to provide proper care they were putting their licenses in jeopardy and left the facility. The company was thrilled! They could then hire less experienced Nurses who were not savy to state and federal regulations and were able to pay them less money. The company only was interested in providing minimum care for minumum cost. Who suffered for their greed--the residents.

Wayne said...

I think a post that didn't have Angle, Stoffa, O'Hare or other bashing would be just fine and wouldn't get deleted. Anyway, if your argument can't get past that point, it is not much of an argument.

Here is what I wrote in response before the post was taken down. I thought the one non-attack point you made was not convincing since I heard it first from the presenter from Dauphin county.
___________________________________
M. Liddey said...
Another fact is this nonsense about the privates making more money. They can make more money if they do more things, not because they are private. There is a distinction.
----------------------------------

This was brought out during the presentation, by the people explaining the sale. Anyway, if elected officials would do the "more things" what says they would do them any better than how they have currently run things.

We can talk past each other like this all year and get nowhere.

Here, let's assume I agree with all your points -- Stoffa/Angle suck, Bernie's their toady, Tea Party Neanderthals are neanderthats, etc, etc, etc...

You still have these unanswered questions:

1) If the current administration approved contracts that put Gracedale in the red do the unions agree with that assessment?

2) Everything has run fine for the past 50 years... but during this time other industries have either gone out of business or changed. Most of the thriving survivors have converted from pensions to 401k's, have employees contribute to their medical and have reigned in other costs. Was it possible to do that here?

3) Other nursing homes, senior homes, hospitals, both public and private have been sold. Companies sell and merge all the time. It may not be pleasant to face the uncertainty of change if you're a worker or resident but change is inevitable in every other facet of work and life. Why is this one place sacrosanct?

4) This is not like privatizing the courts, police, or the army. Private nursing homes are not anomalies. Is there is a reason that it is absolutely necessary to maintain a county run home?

5) Why have other counties privatized? Did they have rising out of control expenses and did Angle/Stoffa cause them?

6) What other costs have gone up and how could the administration have kept them down? Are there not costs, or reduction in revenue streams, that are totally out of their hands?

7) If there was a conspiracy to run Gracedale into the red so as to sell it for Angle's and Stoffa's benefit --- can we not get Morgenelli's office to do something about it?

8) If this can all be attributed to gross mismanagement, conspiratorial or plain incompetence, what is to prevent future administrations from repeating the same?

Dave said...

Thanks for the Moravian history up date concerning the farm/land. I was not aware of some of those historical insights. No wonder it was called the poor house up until the 60's and later and had a stigma attached to ending up there among the older county residents. Successorship clause for the non RN workers would be a good place to start with engaging the union in a positive manner. If the RN's can have that clause..why not the other workers? Not a good selling point for the county? Lowers the sale price? Just some thoughts..

Anonymous said...

Voters understand the duties of county council as outlined in the HRC. Voters understand whom they elected and why. Voters elected the current majority to do a number of things, including getting out of the nursing home business. Council is doing the will of the county's majority, including a majority of seniors.

Wayne said...

In response to nursing home ratings...

Make sure you look up Gracedale's rating also.

http://www.carepathways.com
Out of the 17 homes listed in Northampton County there is only one at 1 star. Gracedale is 2 stars. That's out of a possible 5.

http://www.iqnursinghomes.com
Compare Gracedale with Spring Creek.

Frankly, without knowing the details of each violation there is not much to go on. But, if you click in the date column you do get some more detail. Nothing exceeds "Minimal harm or potential for actual harm". This was actually brought out in the presentation given by the county -- when you hear that there is a violation it is often of a very minimal nature.

Anonymous said...

look up the most current ratings. Spring creek is still at 1 star and Gracedale is at 3 and 4 stars. look again!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Thanks for the Moravian history up date concerning the farm/land"

You're welcome. I acutally spent a day in the Marx room at the Easton Library and wrote a post about it.

http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2010/08/evolution-of-gracedale-aka-valley-of.html

Wayne said...

Anonymous said...
look up the most current ratings.
-------------------------

Yeah, right here:

http://www.carepathways.com/nhg-3-sample.cfm?State=Pennsylvania&County=Northampton&Sort=NameA&start=1

That was the "overall" ratings, the ones I was speaking about. Maybe you're picking through the other categories. I went with "overall" because it's... overall.

Anonymous said...

November 29th 2010
The TV left on all night
The Movie Channel is showing
Sleepless in the Slate Belt
Butterflies in the stomach
Tagamet, Tums, Tequilla
To no avail
Restlessness, insomnia, whats that a new tic has developed in the corner of a once twinkling eye
wait, what was that?
is that the garbageman coming?
already?
oh no the sky is beginning to turn a deep magenta
dawn breaking please another day, hour just a few more minutes
what was that saying
"red skys at night, sailors delight
red skys in the morning, sailors take warning"
hogwash!!!
the only thing I have to fear
is fear itself
okay I'm scared, worried, frightened, my stomach is making unusual sounds, prehaps a bit of undigested potato?
these are the chains I forged in life, please don't shackle me, please...I do believe in spooks
I do