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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Opinions Online, 10/22/16

Blogger's Note: Opinions Online is a regular Saturday feature. If you'd like to express your opinion on any topic (excepting the Presidential election), click on the Opinions Online button on my left sidebar. I prefer local topics, especially concerning topics I miss, as opposed to talking points. You can also call 385-325-2564. In addition to these submissions, I sometimes highlight comments from throughout the week and re-publish them here. Please keep your comments brief, if possible. Anonymous personal attacks will be deleted, especially when aimed at other readers. I refuse to publish anything I consider possibly defamatory.

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The best way to get reassessment done is to have a judge order it. Otherwise , it never gets done. Though it is proffered that 50% of assessments stay the same, 25 % go up and 25% go down in a reassessment nobody believes that. It is political suicide for anyone in office to recommend it. John Stoffa

Blogger's Note: After stepping down as NorCo Exec, John Stoffa has followed his lifelong dream and is currently a male model.

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Bernie,
Just who and what official capacity were actor no1 and no2 that too have not been named, or is there no such a part in the writ?

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Blogger's Reply: Are you referring to the FBI investigation in Allentown and Reading. Public Official No.1 is former Reading Mayor Vaughan Spencer. Public Official No.2 has never been identified, but is most likely former Reading City Council President Francisco Acosta.

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You were asking for some local news and discussions.

Major League Baseball currently contracts with Majestic in Palmer County for its game uniforms, as well as uniforms sold as licensed products to the public. The Uniforms are made here as well.

Now, MLB has switched it's contract to Under Armour, meaning our area will lose another manufacturing plant. Under Armour manufactures in Asia, Central and South America and Mexico.

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Why does The city of Allentown and the school district own so much vacant surplus land? They cry poverty but could reap a small fortune by selling it off for development. I'm not talking parkland, I mean vacant acreage and lots that aren't used by the public. Bethlehem and the BASD don't seem to have these large vacant land holdings.

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Bernie there are whispers going around that Fed Ed's golden boy, Michael Walker did not leave Community Service for Children as he claims. I think there may be some truth here because why would someone "resign" from a position without having another one. Something for you to dig into, which you are very good at.

Blogger's Reply: We now know these are more than whispers.

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It is good to see you are back covering our backs in local political venues. G. John Bryant, Jr.

Blogger's Reply: Thanks, John.

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Would you recommend any opinions, yours or others, articles or possible implications etc on the following state (1) or local (2, 3) issues?

1) Constitutional Amendment 1 to set 75 as the Mandatory Judicial Retirement Age (PA)

2) Home Rule Charter Amendment for Advertising and Distribution of Public Documents and Meetings (Northampton Co.)

3) Home Rule Charter Amendment for Advertising Vacant County Positions (Northampton Co.)

Voting from Dublin... Ireland.

Blogger's Reply: Hope you are having a blast and tell us about it. I'm thinking of visiting. I published my absentee ballot earlier this week. I voted to extend the mandatory retirement age, but I do like Hayden Phillips' argument that there should be more turnover. The other two questions relax the Charter requirement that meetings and vacancies be advertised in the newspaper. A lot of the advertising is governed by state statute, and state law will be followed. But newspaper ads cost a lot of money,and the county wants to substitute the Internet for newspapers when it can do so without breaking state law. I voted Yes to Question No. 2 but completely missed No. 3 because I am an idiot. Enclosed are links to stories on the mandatory retirement age and advertising in the dailies. It particularly irks me that, in addition to paying for advertising that is not needed,we subsidize both daily papers by providing them with free office space. That needs to end, especially since The Express Times can't be bothered to cover Northampton County government.

Those are my views, so you now know the wrong way to vote.

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As one who spent over a year at Gracedale recovering from a horrendous accident, I am sure that I can vouch as to the top notch care and attention delivered , from the housekeeping staff to the head of the facility. This place is the Crown Jewel of Northampton County...

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Thank you as I do not understand what I read and write mostly, but I do try my best! I was thinking they would be above local city levels to county level and than to state level because of documentations presented to local facts and the names on that paperwork? I am trying very very hard to print legibly and to make sense and not go around the bush with statements that will be made from now on!
mighty early release of opinions hope being with tad and watching his games gives you and him the grandfather and grandson experiance that has and continues to mold his bright future1
REpublican redd no party affilliation or will be traveling nor joining the circus or carnival

Anonymous said...

1> Why didn't John Stoffa propose reassessment? I guess he was a politician like all the rest.

2>Judges should have to retire like they do now. If they are allowed to serve longer then we need names on a ballot and not just a yes or no vote, that is bullshit!

Thank You!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I realize you are just looking for an excuse to slam Stoffa. He wanted to reassess, but could never get five votes.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

I am not going to allow you to continue posting anonymous personal attacks aimed at someone who no longer holds public office. Get some help for your hate. You are a sick person.

Anonymous said...

Hayden Phillips and Matt Beenhole want the reassessment. And keep calling for it. John Brown is getting a plan together. They are all up for re-election next year. Do your job Northampton County Voters, but it's an off year election so I doubt anybody will be voting

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Allentown during the 1960s and early 1970s. Basically, Hamilton street, at least on the north side, has largely been destroyed physically from the Old Lehigh County Court House at 5th Street all the way to the PP&L Building at 9th Street. Although a few buildings remain, such as Zollingers, the Farr and Haas Buildings at 8th, everything else is gone.

The south side still has many of the same buildings, with the exception of the 800 block, where Butz is now king.

Time passes, but much is lost and what is there now is not going to attract people back to Hamilton Street, sorry.

Jamie Kelton said...
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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jamie Kelton said...

Yesterday, I believe, you were lamenting about a lack of GOP poll-watchers. That despite Trump's statement that we need to be vigilant against any sort of cheating on election day, there was no overwhelming number of people applying to be poll watchers on election day.

I read in the Morning Call today that the PA GOP has filed suit to allow out-of-county poll watchers. That's likely because in most parts of the Commonwealth, the likelihood of massive vote fraud on election day isn't in most areas other than the Democratic machine areas such as Philadelphia. This is where the GOP wants to put poll watchers, especially into those areas that seem to always vote 100% or close to it Democratic. I don't know much about Pittsburgh, but it always seems that both Philadelphia and Allegheney Counties are the areas of our Commonwealth that decide which candidate gets our electoral votes.

If you want to insure the election is fair, then let's make sure to watch where it may not be; not where there aren't any real problems such as Northampton

Anonymous said...

"Jamie,"
"massive" voter fraud? Sane people aren't drinking the Trump Kool-Aid.

Jamie Kelton said...

Another subject you were writing about this week was Gerrymandering, lamenting how it is a form of corrupting our elections because the party in power draws the district lines.

There really is a simple solution to this Mr O'Hare, which is just as unlikely to be adopted as any other remedy. When we have reapportionment due to changes in our population, right now the party that controls the Pennsylvania House of Representatives re-draws the lines. You can suggest a dozen complex ways to try and get the "politics" out of reapportionment, but it won't happen in any of them, as it's too powerful a political tool.

Instead of trying to re-manipulate the process which isn't going to take the politics out of it anyway, let's just let the minority party do the reapportionment? We're going to have oddly-shaped districts no matter who draws the lines, but this way there will be more of a balance of political power between the parties.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jamie, I deleted your first comment bc it is a Clinton v. Trump comment. I don't know how much more clear I can be. I allowed your second comment concerning voter fraud bc that does not tie directly into the race.

Jamie Kelton said...

I believed that the topic I was writing about was about how to improve Allentown by increasing the capability of LCCC and to help our city grow by bettering the quality of our workforce. However it's you're blog

Anonymous said...

12;41 am
The reason i did not propose reassessment was i knew we didn't have 5 votes to get it approved by Council. Why in the world would i suggest something that would be defeated? By the way did you come before Council as a private citizen to propose reassessment? John Stoffa

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jamie, Yes, but you strayed. Sorry. The mere mention of either name brings out the worst in everyone.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Get some help for your unhealthy hatred.

Anonymous said...

Wow O'Hare, you boys should just get a room!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Get some help.

Anonymous said...

It is finny that a Republican is for busing in poll workers from other area's. They are the ones that have always complained about Democrats doing that. When the shoe is on the other foot it seems to fit a lot better.lol.

Anonymous said...

It's not the Democratic poll watchers the GOP is upset about; it's the possible fraudulent Democratic votes that is upsetting. This way everything is on the up and up. Can never have too many eyes in places like North Philadelphia

Anonymous said...

The Cubs just won the National League Pennant

All is right now in the world

Peter J.Cochran said...

Poll Watch is a mondainly long affair. You have to know the rules and be prepared for voter flirup . Take college students for example, they are here from Connecticut,New Jersey and New York and register 2,000 students at a campus and no reasonable way to check registration in the county they are from . They should have to apply where there are from for absentee ballots only, like military personnel. Drivers Licenses are not proof of citizenship. I'll say no more.

Anonymous said...

The whole Under Armour deal isn't completely official. There are no details other than from leaked sources. What we don't know is if Under Armour will reach out to VF and ask to make those famous uniforms they have been. The deal isn't even set to begin for 3 more years, nobody can predict what is in store this early.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that MLB continues to require that their uniforms be manufactured in the U.S. Under Armor could acquire Majestic from VF and continue to make the uniforms there. It makes the most sense.

Anonymous said...

Under Armour is not interested in acquiring Majestic or promising to change its business practices to accommodate Major League Baseball. It's in the business to make money by providing sports uniforms and other dry goods to the sports marketplace.

It's in the profit-making business, and unless there are any laws that prevent it manufacturing its products at the lowest-possible cost to maximize its profit, expect to see Iron Pigs and Phillies uniforms be made overseas by sweatshop workers being paid slave labor rates.

Anonymous said...

If I sound pissed off about the Under Armour deal, yes it is personal, but not at UA, but at the large corporate culture in general. Last Monday after 19 years of service to a large high-technical company, I learned my job is being moved to India, and my last day is October 28th.

Especially for the last 7-8 years or so, more and more of my colleagues here in the United states have been put in the same position I have been put in, having their jobs eliminated here to be replaced by workers in India, Costa Rica, The Philippines and in Argentina for a fraction of the wage and benefits paid here.

During our staff meetings with management, the constant statements by management have been that we need to be "more competitive". Well that means that labor costs here in the Unites States are cutting too much into their $10 BILLION DOLLAR a year PROFIT and having the work done in India saves them my wage and benefits so some Indian working in the shithole called Bangalore can be paid next to nothing for the same job for the same company.

What also happens is that the customers that I used to provide service to will now have to get their support from Bangalore, rather from here in the United States. Now they will have to put up with the fact that India is 9 1/2 hours time difference than here, and if they need someone in the middle of the day, they'll be talking to some shift worker that may or may not be understandable in English on a telephone line to the other side of the planet. Also Indians have a different work ethic than we do in the United States. Customer service is not their forte. So I suspect that the company I am being relieved from will suffer due to poor performance on their contract and it will not be renewed because they've pissed off the customer too many times.

But then, I suppose, that's why they keep hiring sales people becaus instead of keeping satisfied customers, they'll have to keep beating the bushes trying to win new contacts in competition with other large high-tech firms.

Good luck you pricks. Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

If you're an out-of-state college student, you're not really a resident of the local area. You go to school here. If you get in-state tution, then yes you should be allowed to register to vote because you're a Pennsylvania resident. If you have to pay out-of-state tuition, then go vote wherever your from using an absentee ballot.

This signing up of college student en-masse is rife with fraud. How do we know that they haven't already registered where they're from. Drivers licenses are not proof that you're a citizen either. That's what a United States Passport or Birth Certificate is for, as Bernie discovered and shared his experience obtaining one. Pennsylvania allows non-resident aliens to obtain driver licenses, unlike other states that actually comply with the REAL-ID law that Congress passed. .

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is just a bullshit argument to deny the vote to young people, most likely bc they are more liberal than you. a college student may vote where he is attending college or may vote at his home. He can only vote at one of these places. I have scoured the Internet and find that, whenever this has been asserted, there has been no evidence to substantiate it. It is irresponsible to make wild claims that threaten a fundamental right without hard evidence. And you have no evidence.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/21/politics/secretary-of-state-finds-no-student-voter-fraud-but-maintains-system-is-vulnerable/

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/trumps-bogus-voter-fraud-claims/

To obtain a driver's license in Pa, you need a passport or a birth certificate. In seven cases, a PennDot official did not check, and anon-citizen driver later got a voter registration card. When DOS became aware of this, it made changes to prevent it from happening again. This is not voter fraud,but human error. Read the testimony about this, which was unfortunately slanted by some publications with an agenda.

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/trumps-bogus-voter-fraud-claims/

Anonymous said...

Voting fraud exists. If it weren't in the DNC playbook there wouldn't be any opposition to reform.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Making a wild accusation and repeating it over and over is a way to influence a poll among Republicans, but doesn't make an allegation true. The fact is that there is no evidence of widespread or systematic voter fraud. I have spent some time researching this matter and believe a story will publish on it soon. Though there are a few anecdotal incidents, there simply is no concerted effort to steal an election. But there is evidence of repeated attempts to suppress the vote or intimidate voters. There is evidence of rigging elections via the gerrymander.

Anonymous said...

Who fact-checks the fact checkers ?

Anonymous said...

The corruption that exists in our election process is astounding. The most obvious thing about it is that it is entirely one sided. This deep rooted corruption is the face of the Democrat Party.

Talk about the Russian Mafia, they have nothing on the Democrats and their fraudulent take over of American elections. This fraud is fed electronic voting machines and ghosts from the grave voting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

We are all fact-checkers. If someone makes a claim, it is a relatively simple process to find out whether it is true. The claims of voter fraud are spurious. There are occasional instances, but nothing that demonstrates a systematic effort to cheat in an election. You repeat wild claims without bothering to check, mostly bc you want to suppress the vote.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Bernie O'Hare said...

I am not going to allow you tou se voter fraud to back end into a discussion of the presidential campaign or your hatred of Democrats.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Dear Bernie, about accusations - say may name is Peter J. Cochran and I was smart enough to get into college at Yale -but I'm not- and show up at the county voter office and then subsequently vote. How could anybody check ME unless THAT VOTER can be tracked as a voter from out of state. I say there is no resection by computer to send a flag of that vote.The absents of evidence does not mean the evidence is absent.

Anonymous said...

If you're not eligible for in-state tuition, you're not a state resident.

Vote where you're a resident.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Lest, we forget-anybody that want to change The Constitution be careful - The 2nd Amendment is in place to protect citizens if the politicians disregard the others. Take this to the bank.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 6;15 If your criteria is true we need to get it inforced asap.

Anonymous said...

8:45, MLB will make the rules, not Under Armour. Not if they want the contract. If MLB requires their uniforms to be manufactured in the U.S., they will be. MLB is loaded with money. Look at the salaries they players rake in. Unlike the typical consumer, who will gladly purchase foreign goods to save a few bucks, the MLB can pay premium prices for its gear. And having the uniforms made in the U.S. guarantees instant responsiveness to the dozens of roster changes you find in baseball, unlike any other professional sport. If MLB decides to "farm out" uniforms to foreign manufacturers to save a few bucks they should be a major boycott by its fans. Especially since they have the resources to buy American and still make big profits.

Anonymous said...

MLB is as interested in saving a buck like everyone else is. If they weren't looking for a cheaper supplier, they wouldn't be putting the contract out for bid. They're not really concerned about a boycott because the uniform is made in Bangladesh either. Sports boycotts generally are a joke anyway.

Anonymous said...

Under the current MLB/VF contract, the language states the uniforms must me made in America. To make the deal sweeter, the MLBPA want the uniforms made in a union shop. That on it's own hinders many corporations from obtaining this honor. Fanatics, who generously decided to choose under armour in this bid, operates the MLB.com site, so Majestic ships to fanatics. In the end, Majestic's reign could be over as UA and Fanatics have distribution centers spread out across the United states, eliminating the need to keep the jobs here in Easton, PA.

Maybe after the World Series, we will have more insight into what the deal is made of. Until then, we sit and wait and worry that if Hillary is elected, our job we do here, will be done in Taiwan, Bangledesh, Turkey, Mexico or where ever.

Anonymous said...

What is with this voter intimidation agi8snt college students? Nothing but a blatant intent to keep them from voting. Do you expect them to truck back to their parents home in another state in the middle of a semester? For God's sake the hate and militancy of the extreme right is getting out of hand.

Trump is going to lose on election day due to himself and no one else. How will these people handle it? they are already acting like lunatics with their conspiracy theories and other nonsense.

You all need to see real suffering and learn how spoiled you all are.

Anonymous said...

If FREE PARKING is not offered to LCCC students in Allentown, LCCC should find another location, even if it is outside the city. The last thing a public institilution needs to do is milk cash poor student to fund an organization like the Parking Authority or Developers who are financed from the PA taxpayer.