Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Wanna' Ride From Cementon to Jim Thorpe?

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email telling me my Cannondale Trail 5 had finally arrived. I dropped everything to pick it up. The bike was located at an REI in Princeton, so it must be quite intelligent. It's also a best. I took it on its inaugural ride last night, and it's even better than the one stolen from me. But the bike is only part of the story. What;s really great about cycling are all the great trails in this area. So I want to invite you to join me on a ride from the Cementon Trail Head to Jim Thorpe and back. 

I've already made arrangements to do this with another cyclist on September 12. We will be leaving the Cementon Trailhead of the D&L on September 12 at 9 am. From there we will ride past Slatingtopn, Weissport and into Jim Thorpe. We'll stop for lunch and then make our way back.

You are welcome to join us for all or part of the ride. Trump lovers. Trump haters. QAnon wing nuts. Antifa. I would request that you bring a tube in the event of a flat and wear a helmet. 

Lynch Backtracks, Claims He Did Not Mean What He Actually Said

Pfffft! Do you hear it? Like the air leaving the tire of one of my bicycles, so it seems that Steve Lynch's campaign for Northampton County Exec is running on flat tires and more than a few broken spokes. On Sunday, he was threatening to bring 20 strong men and forcibly remove Northampton Area School Directors unless they reverse themselves on what appears to be a temporary mask mandate. By Monday, he transformed himself from an armor-wearing jack-booted thug to Mahatma Gandhi. Now he's all about peace and love and even posted the video you see above to "clarify" his Sunday sermon. I think we all know what's happening hear. He went too far, knows he went too far, got caught going too far and now is trying to blame the "left" for his own remarks.

In his Sunday video, which you can see for yourself, this is what he said: ""Forget going onto these school boards with freakin' data. You go into these school boards to remove them. I'm going in with 20 strong men and I'm gonna; give them an option - they can leave or they can be removed." It's abundantly clear he was calling for coercion. Why else would he need 20 strong men to accompany him?

This blog reported on his incitement to overthrow a legitimately elected school board, as it has been reporting on Lynch since January. But now, all the other news sources decided that it should report that a candidate for the county's highest office advocates the overthrow of the people's representatives on a school board. The story, which first appeared here, also appeared on conservative and liberal sites.  

There was also considerable backlash on Lynch's Facebook page from people he has yet to block. He's been called an "[a]ngry coward", "violent wingnut" etc. 

Lynch first complains he's been taken out of context. That is nonsense. He said what he said. Then he denies having threatened school board members with physical violence. This is also nonsense. He said what he said. His third objection is that people have added words to what he said. This blog added nothing. I checked the video and quoted him accurately. He tries to diminish his appeal for 20 strong men, but that's sheer horseshit. He said this as well. "Men, where are you? Men, wake up! Smell the coffee! Let's go! Make men great again, right? Make men men again, let's go!" It's abundantly clear that he wanted to use men as thugs to intimidate elected officials. 

The man who wears flak jackets goes on to portray himself as a man of peace. His own words say differently. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Updated: Lynch Goes to War Against Northampton School District Over Mask Mandate


Steve Lynch, the standard bearer for the GOP in Northampton County, has been busy the past few weeks demonstrating against health care providers who insist their staff wear masks. Now he's taking his jihad to the Northampton Area School District, too. The school board voted 8-0 (with one vacant seat) last week to make masks mandatory for students, staff and visitors  It made this decision in response to high case numbers in the school district and county, as well as advice from medical experts like the American Academy of Pediatrics. It will review its policy on October 1. 

"Northampton School board I'm coming for you and so are many other parents," announced Lynch from his Facebook pedestal. "You are going to be removed and I'm not going to stop fighting until you're removed," he declared to the "wannabe tyrants." 

At least one of the GOP County Council candidates - Kristin Lorah Soldridge - is with him on this issue. 

9:36 AM UPDATE: LYNCH THREATENS VIOLENCE AGAINST SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS: 

"Forget going onto these school boards with freakin' data. You go into these school boards to remove them. I'm going in with 20 strong men and I'm gonna; give them an aoption - they can leacve or they can be removed."

Lynch is inciting a mob to overthrow its elected government. Sound familiar?

John Brown to Replace Hough in NorCo Council Race

I've previously told you that Scott Hough, the leading vote-getter in the GOP primary for Northampton County Council, has pulled out of the race. We now know who is replacing him. Amazingly, it's former Exec John Brown, whose re-election bid went down inflame four years ago. 

Under Brown, a one-mill tax hike was imposed by his then Republican-led County Council. He alienated the workforce when he drastically reduced medical benefits. Without bothering to consult the courts, he planned to move the county jail to the Gracedale campus. He met secretly with Upper Nazareth supervisors, but denied it when he was confronted. He created a ridiculous bridge building scheme under which he funneled nearly $1 million to a lawyer involved in what turned out to be a nightmare. He never sought County Council approval for this waste of county money.He hired a Human Resources Director who sent her staff to Las Vegas and blew $800 on, of all things, a popcorn machine. His Administrator had no experience in county government but did have several tax liens. 

I hope Lamont McClure sends county Republicans a Thank You card.  

Friday, August 27, 2021

Isn't Gov't Ban on Employer-Mandated Vaccines Dreaded Regulation?

Republicans have historically opposed government regulation. As President, Donald Trump did have some success in rolling back protections designed to keep you safe. Thanks to him, manufacturers can spew more phosphoric acid. And who needs those pesky auto emissions standards?  And while we're at it, let's use radioactive gypsum waste for road construction. Hey, they might even reduce the need for streetlights. The attitude here is that government should refrain from interfering with business, even if it's killing us. But the very same Republicans who condemn this interference with business are perfectly willing to step in and prevent local businesses from imposing mask or vaccine mandates. They will roll back standards designed to keep business from killing us while simultaneously preventing businesses from policies designed to keep us alive. This is sheer hypocrisy. 

If you subscribe to the laissez-faire philosophy embraced by conservatives, then you'd keep your hands off any business decision by an employer in the private sector to require masks or vaccines. You see, if you believe in freedom, that should include the freedom of local businesses to adopt policies designed to keep us alive, even if you feel they are ineffective. 

NorCo's GOP Exec candidate, Steve Lynch, was at two rallies this week protesting a hospital that is requiring staff yo get vaccines. Before he got sent to Facebook jail, he railed at them and even told employees that they should sacrifice themselves and get fired. 

He's all about freedom. Unless someone has a different view. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Beware the High Cube Warehouse Invasion

From LVPC webpage

Northampton County Exec Lamont McClure likes to warn everyone about "warehouse proliferation" eating up our green space while simultaneously increasing truck traffic and adding to our pollution. As bad as that sounds, there's something even worse. It's high cube warehouses, which Council member Ron Heckman refers to as "industrial highrises." Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Exec Director Becky Bradley described the problem last week at County Council's Energy Committee.

High cube warehouses can be differentiated from traditional warehouses because of their height, which have been proposed as high as 180.' 

Bradley indicated that last year, she saw three separate proposals - two in Lehigh and two in Northampton - for high cube warehouses. As a result, her office has issued guidance to local municipalities on what they need to request to avoid getting sued into being forced to accept these structures

The first high cube warehouse proposal was in Upper Macungie, where a refrigeration company was granted zoning approval to replace its existing cold-storage facility with a 14-story monstrosity in the middle of a suburban community. A Lehigh County judge sustained the Township's objections.       

In Northampton County, Geotis was granted approval for a 40-50' high automated warehouse in Allen Tp. It's in construction, and Bradley indicated she is "very concerned" that current trip studies fail to capture the actual amount of traffic these facilities will generate.

At the northern tip of the county, Upper Mount Bethel supervisors have granted a "sweeping set or regulations" to accommodate 10-story high cube warehouses at an industrial site near Portland. Bradley said that as many as a half dozen of these super warehouses could fit on that tract. "It is a very, very, very concerning situation," she remarked.

It's safe to conclude that Becky is very concerned. She indicated industrial developers who are "in it for the money" will pressure local government to let them have their way. 

It's not all bad. According to the LVPC, high cube warehouses could use less land than a regular warehouse and use less energy. But they also employ fewer people, increase freight traffic with associated pollution and road damage and create challenges for first responders in the event of an emergency. 

The LVPC's municipal considerations are contained here. The best defense is a multi-municipal comprehensive plan.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

NorCo GOP Exec Candidate Steve Lynch in Facebook Jail?

Though Northampton County GOP Exec candidate Steve Lynch has banned me from his Facebook page, I get regular reports on his zany rants from several others. He posts more frequently than I fart. That's quite a bit, although the smell is similar. But he's been strangely silent the past two days. What is causing this constipation? 

According to one of his myrmidons,  a person named Sarai Wingnut Walnut, he's in Facebook jail. There could be many reasons. It could be something as simple as sending too many friend requests at once or he could have posted inappropriate content or may have even been caught using fake accounts. It is usually temporary. 

Lynch was in the middle of encouraging health workers at places like LVHN to refuse a vaccine mandate, even if it results in termination. 

He is quite courageous with the livelihoods of other people. He did offer them this: "I hope we sue them into oblivion." 

I see.

Lynch is apparently not just a medical expert, but a law maven as well. 

Two Bethlehem Restaurants Had to Close Last Week Because of Covid

 As we all know, Bethlehem insisted on going ahead with Musikfest despite the highly contagious Delta variant. What followed was a surge of Covid cases in the Lehigh Valley. Moreover, two Bethlehem restaurants had to close temporarily last week because some staff members contracted Covid. It's impossible for me to say whether this is a result of Musikfest, but it sure seems odd. If we actually had real contact tracing, something Governor Tom Wolf promised well over a year ago, we'd know. 

Blogger's Note: I decline to name these restaurants because they've suffered enough. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Oliver Border House Management Declines Council Invite, But Provides Written Response

Oliver Border House, located in Nazareth, is a four-story, 75 1-BR apartment building that offers housing for seniors (aged 62 or older) and the disabled. At one time, it was managed by Northampton County Housing Authority (NCHA), but financial pressures forced NCHA to enter into an agreement with Lehigh County Housing Authority, ceding management to Lehigh. 

In mid-July, a group of Oliver Border House residents appeared before Northampton County Council with complaints about the condition of the home. Aside from appointing members of the NCHA, County Council has no control over this independent authority. But Council vowed to invite Oliver Border House management to respond to tenant concerns at a meeting of the Human Services Committee that took place on August 19. Administrators declined the invitation. But Executive Director Christina Feiertag did provide a written response, which Council member Ron Heckman read into the record. 

Feiertag reminded everyone that NCHA was under severe financial pressure and had solicited proposals from other housing authorities. Lehigh was selected and resolved NCHA'a fiscal woes. She stated Lehigh is "passionate about its mission and is proud of what it has accomplished."

Tenants threatened with eviction. - This only occurs when there are "serious lease violations."

Office door and window closed. - The office is closed as a result of Covid restrictions. 

A particular tenant has been targeted. - Management has attempted to resolve issues with a tenant but is unable to discuss specific tenants.

Too many men and mentally ill allowed. - Lehigh follows HUD waiting lists. It is a mixed population based on guidelines established by HUD. 

Main front walkway cracked. - An architect retained by Lehigh has determined there is a significant drainage issue, which will require extensive work along the Center Street entrance.

Hallway air conditioning not working. - This system will be reviewed to make sure it works as well as possible. 

Apartment air conditioning. - This is the responsibility of individual tenants.

Retaining wall. - This was damaged by a tenant and has been repaired.

Cracked elevator button. - On order. 

Stained ceiling tiles. - They are replaced as needed.

Black on outside of building. - Outside contractor will clean.

Laundry room floor. - Vacuumed and cleaned on regular basis

Heckman's assessment is that there was a drive at one time for bi-county ventures, but in this case, things fell a little flat. There was never a vote from County Council but there was an agreement in April 2014, but no one can find it. "A lot of paperwork went away," he said. He likened authorities to "doomsday weapons. Once you create them, you can never turn them off." He vowed to continue working on the matter.

Council member Tara Zrinski, who personally appeared at Oliver Border House twice, said she was disappointed that no one from Lehigh came. Several staffers at Oliver Border House have left, according to resident Kathy Riffert. She'd like to see how finances are administered. 

Under the agreement that no one seems able to find, none months notice must be provided to end the current arrangement between Lehigh and NCHA. 

There will be a special metting of NCHA on August 26. 

LC Exec to Release Proposed Budget on Thursday

Lehigh County is always among the first, if not the first, Lehigh Valley municipality to release its spending plan for the upcoming year. If there's a tax hike in the financial forecast, voters should know it before casting their ballots.  

Executive Phillips Armstrong will release his proposed budget for next year on Thursday at 10 AM. 

Northampton County's proposed budget for 2022 will be released in early October. 

Budgeting is a tricky business for county government. About 2/3 of the revenue received comes from the state and federal governments. Their fiscal years begin in July and September.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccines Will Soon Be Mandatory at Gracedale

First came the carrot. Now it's the stick. Gracedale staffers are being offered a cash incentive to get the Covid-19 vaccine. But if they continue to refuse, they will soon be ex-Gracedale staffers. This is because the Biden administration is implementing new regulations that will require staff at nursing homes across the country to be inoculated. Nursing homes that refuse will be denied funding under Medicare and Medicaid. Most of Gracedale's funding comes from those two sources. 

Executive Lamont McClure told Northampton County Council last night that there have been no Covid deaths at Gracedale since April 30.  He indicated that 93% af the residents and 55% of the staff have been vaccinated. 

Once the vaccine becomes mandatory, the cash incentive will end. 

Gracedale Explains How It Recruits New Staff

Gracedale staff explained at Northampton County Council's August 19 Human Services meeting what efforts are made to hire new staff.

These include a temporary CNA program, a tuition assistance program, college outreach, high school career fairs, use of CareerLink, community outreach, attendance at job fairs and advertising at multiple outlets. The number of new hires made are as follows: 2019 - 161; 2020 - 199; and 2020 (Jan thru Jun) - 59.  They are explained in detail in the power point below. 

What staffers failed to state, and what Council failed to ask, is how many employees left during this time period. So it's unclear whether there is a net gain or net loss of employees. 

Gracedale Recruitment Prese... by BernieOHare

NorCo Council Awards Another $624,000 to 48 Small Businesses

Approximately $624,000 in grants to small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic were awarded unanimously by Northampton County Council at their meeting last night. Most of 48 small businesses in question will receive $15,000. This was the fourth and final round of grants for first-time applicants.

Executive Lamont McClure announced that there is "enough firepower" in federal funds to start a second round of $15,000 grants, starting September 1. Priority will be given to businesses who missed out on the first round of grants.

When all is said and done, Northampton County will have provided $25 million in grants to small business. 

Small businesses must have a business located within the county with fewer than 100 employees. 

NorCo Small Business Grants by BernieOHare


 $24,000 in grANTS

9/1 GRANTS TO UPEN UP AGAIN


Thursday, August 19, 2021

NorCo Candidate Withdrawals and Vacancies

In Northampton County, there have been several withdrawals, one death and a few vacancies in office that will require an election. 

Here are the candidates who've timely withdrawn:

NorCo Council - Scott Hough

SV School Board  - Sandra A Miller

Lower Saucon Top Council - Maurice P Kasmiroski

Bethlehem School Board - Carolyn Harper

In addition to these withdrawals, Magisterial District Judge Pat Broscius has passed away while seeking re-election.

Finally, there are vacancies in two-year seats created by the resignations of Thomas Gehringer in Northampton and Philip Weber in Hellertown. 

In all these cases, party bosses will have an opportunity to provide new candidates.

Although there are time limits in the Elections Code, the courts consider them precatory, not mandatory. So long as there is no election interference, the courts have historically allowed substitution candidates. 

Election Registrar Amy Cozze will meet with the county's elections Solicitor, Richard  Santee, to ensure the correct procedure is followed.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Updated: Magisterial District Judge Pat Broscius Has Passed Away

After a lengthy illness, Magisterial District Judge Pat Broscius has passed away. Her district included Bethlehem Township, and she was seeking re-election to the seat she first won in 2015. Prior to that, she was a highly regarded Assistant DA in Northampton County. 

She also knows what it is like to be a woman in what was once a man's world. She is the first woman ever hired as a full-time prosecutor in Northampton County, as hard as that may be to believe. She dedicated her career as a prosecutor to protecting children, bringing sexually violent predators to justice and selflessly serving the citizens of Northampton County. 

Over the years, you may have seen Pat after work, running in one of the parks, often accompanied by her children. I used to bump into her on occasion, back in my running days. 

Broscius is a lifelong resident of Northampton County. She grew up in Palmer Township, and attended St. Jane's, Notre Dame Green Pond, Northampton Community College and DeSales University. She was awarded her law degree from the Widener University School of Law in 1990, and went right to work. 

She was married to Attorney John Rybak, who unfortunately passed away before his time about six years ago.  She is the mother of thee great children - Daniel, Claire and Joseph.

I often saw her in the DA's office, where she always maintained an aura  of calm, no matter what was swirling around her. She spoke with a soft voice but had the deepest personal integrity.

She was the epitome of class and I will miss her very much. But she's with John now. 

DA Terry Houck's Statement: The District Attorney’s Office is saddened to learn of the passing of Magisterial District Judge Patricia C. Broscius. For the past six years, Judge Broscius honorably served the people of Bethlehem Township, treating everyone who came before her fairly and compassionately.

Prior to serving as a judge, Pat spent 25 years serving the County of Northampton as an assistant district attorney. As the first female attorney in the office, Pat paved the way for those who came after her and acted as a mentor to countless attorneys. During her tenure, she worked tirelessly to advocate for survivors of child abuse and sexual assault. She was a voice for the voiceless. As a woman of faith, Pat believed helping these victims was her calling, and she passionately pursued justice each day. Pat’s unwavering dedication made Northampton County a safer community. 

 Pat’s passing is a profound loss for her family, her colleagues, and her community. She will be greatly missed

(Originally published 11:59 am)

Covid Surging in LV ... Again

In early June, I was able to report a sharp decline in new Covid cases in both Lehigh and Northampton County. They were down to single digits. I was waiting to be able to tell you we were at zero and for several days. Then came the Delta variant, reputed to be four times as infectious as chicken pox. Rates began to climb back up. Then came Musikfest. Although this is celebrated outdoors, few people were following mask or social distancing guidance. 

Yesterday, the number of new Covid cases in Northampton County was 94. In Lehigh, it was 90. I am sure that most of this is attributable to Delta, now the prominent variant herein the Lehigh Valley. I am also sure that Musikfest played a role in this community spread. 

NorCo Controller Anticipates County Debt to Drop $12 Million This Year

According to NorCo Controller Tony Bassil and his Lead Auditor, Paul Albert, Northampton County's overall debt should drop by $12 million this year. 

In 2020, the County owed $116 million on various bonds issued by the county for capital improvements. But this year, that indebtedness is expected to be just $104 million. 

The County is paying about $13.3 million this year in debt service   If the County can refrain from borrowing, it will be completely debt-free in 10 years. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

I Am a Hindu Priest

Bill Malkames is among a handful of elite land use attorneys in the Lehigh Valley.  I saw him enter the courthouse today. Both of his sons are excellent lawyers in their own right, but like my father, he'll never retire. He'll die with his boots on. 

"Hi  Bill! How are you?" 

For some reason, he pretended he did not know me, and ran into an elevator the moment he saw me. But I'm persistent and soon discovered he was at the courthouse to seek a religious exemption for a property recently acquired by the Hindu Religious Society on Airport Road. He had a hearing before the assessment board, and I decided to crash it.

Malkames had all the necessary paperwork and wanted to present evidence that the property would be used solely for religious purposes. He wanted to call the Hindu priest as a witness. But when he turned to call the priest, the person sitting in the cleric's chair was none other than yours truly. 

"Well, Bernie O'Hare is no Hindu priest," he remarked, and the Board quickly took judicial notice that I'm an imposter. That's too bad because I was ready to testify, not about the religious exemption, but about Malkames' lack of skill as a Hearts player. 

He's barely competent. 

Fortunately for everyone, the priest arrived and the exemption was granted by unanimous vote.

So yes, Malkames is a great lawyer. He is also an avid basketball fan and full of stories from his days growing up in Hazleton as well as his years of triathlon competitions. His wife is a master chef. But Bill's a lousy card player. He tries. He reads Hearts books (yes, there are books on how to play Hearts) and practices online. He even once traveled to Las Vegas for a tournament, where he promptly lost. Seriously, who flies to Las Vegas for a Hearts Tournament?  That;s as idiotic as a 330-mile bike ride. 

The elite Hearts players of the Lehigh Valley are Budisho Musashi, the Holy Fool, Wunder Man and the Blogger. 

Gerlach Preliminary Hearing Reset For September 21

Allentown City Council member and farmer Mayoral candidate Cecelia "Ce-Ce" Gerlach has had her preliminary hearing postponed until September 21, 2 pm. At that time, Magisterial District Judge Karen C. Devine will determine whether sufficient evidence exists to send her to county court to answer charges of endangering children and failure to report suspected abuse. 

At the time of the offense, Gerlach was a caseworker at Valley Youth House. As originally reported by James Whitney at this blog, Gerlach met with a 16 yo runaway who needed a place to stay. Rather than take him to any of a number of shelters, including one operated by her own employer, she dumped him off at a tent city. There he was subjected to two nights of sexual abuse, thanks to Gerlach, 

Whitney contacted Gerlach, who admitted to him that she did drop this teen off at a tent city. She denied she knew he was underage, "so if people want to beat me up for that, they can."

The charges were filed by Lehigh County Detective Gregg M Dietz. Gerlach's claim she was unaware of the boy's age is belied by her own paperwork. 

Gerlach, through an attorney, has denied any wrongdoing. She has instead claimed her prosecution is politically motivated. She established a GoFundMe page seeking $100,000 for her criminal defense.  Thus far, she has raised $1,880 from 24 donors. 

She is represented by Joyce Ullman, an attorney from Philadelphia who has been practicing law since 1959. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Where Are the Mennonites When You Need Them?

Harpers Ferry Train Station
My 335-mile bike hike from Pittsburgh to D.C. is now over. It took me five days. I'm often called a sore ass, and now it's literally true.  Yes, I did suffer the indignity of having my bike stolen from me less than an hour after I finished, but the trip was still well worth it. No one can steal my memories. I only wish it had been a bit longer. I thought I'd take this opportunity to make a few observations and answer some questions I've received from friends. 

Why go during a heat wave? - I'd agree that 330-miles on a road in blazing heat would be tough for anyone, but most of these two trails (Great Allegheny Passage and C&O towpath) are shaded and near rivers. This helps you stay cool. I would drink at least 20 or more ounces of water an hour. Moreover, I ride, run and walk better in the heat. At my age, I am looser in the heat and cramp up less than in colder temperature so long as I remain hydrated. Moreover, there's more daylight this time of year. For slow riders like myself, who average about 12 mph at best, this gives me more time in the saddle. So long as you acclimate yourself to longer rides in the heat and hydrate, this is definitely doable. 

Union Station
Aren't you too old? - I notice my age every time I ride with my grandson. He routinely clobbers me on the Ironton Trail. Though strength and speed have diminished, endurance has not. I ran into several people, including two 75 year old ladies, who rode longer daily distances than me along this trip. And on the train ride home, I met several younger guys who called it quits after about three days, although I believe their beer stops probably held them back a bit. So there's no such thing as being too old. Even if unable to pedal, e-bikes are an option and there are numerous shops willing to rent them.

If you are worried about doing 330 miles, you could ride just part of the trip. Many people do the 150 mile Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland over several days and then shuttle or take a train back. 

Where did I stay?  -  Purists would bikepack. I had no such intention. I did enough camping in the Army. Moreover, the insects are bloodthirsty this time of year. I was lucky enough to find a hotel every night. There is a great trip planner identifying numerous hotels, B&Bs and even hostels along both trails. I'd stop sometime in the afternoon and make a call, although cell service can be spotty. Some places are smack dab along the trail. Others are about a mile or more away. Those are almost always uphill, which I hated at the end of a long ride. The best place, ironically, was a hostel in D.C. You can get a private room for about $80, which is a good deal in the nation's capitol. The people staying there were super friendly. 

Hostel private room
What did I pack? - I traveled light. I brought bike tools and tube, one change of clothing and was able to fit everything in a bag behind my seat or a web belt I wore. I'd wash what I wore every day. Unless you are camping, this is all you really need. Most cyclists brought way too much stuff and loaded themselves down.

Can you do this solo? - I did. I saw numerous cyclists doing exactly what I did. This includes a woman who bikepacked solo from Pittsburgh to DC, and then turned around and rode back to Pittsburgh. Most of the cyclists are couples or small groups. 

How are the people in the towns? - From Connellsville to Ohiopyle to Hancock to Harpers Ferry to D.C., and at all points along both trails, people were very gracious. Yes, my bike was stolen in D.C., but there were also people who left bottles of water by the trail, along with fruit and veggies. (I learned that cherry tomatoes pack as much power as an orange or a banana). Let's face it. If you are on a bicycle, you are vulnerable. People know this, and tend to have compassion for us. I have heard stories of people who actually took cyclists into their homes. There are lots of good people out there.  I met one lady near Oldtown who tried to convert me. Even here in the Lehigh Valley, where people tend to be rather stand offish, they are always kind to me if I am on a bike. 

water pump along C&O
How about the other cyclists? - Nearly every person I passed or who passed me along the way chatted for awhile. We'd offer each other encouragement and tell each other what we knew about the trail ahead. 

The most interesting of these cyclists were the Mennonites. I learned that this is a vacation heaven for many of them. The men ride ahead and the women follow several hundred yards behind with ebikes. On the hottest days of the year, the men were wearing long trousers while the ladies sported dresses and headcovers. I saw the women at my first hotel stop in Connellsville. I actually thought they were nuns. It was not until the second night that I learned they were Mennonites. 

On my second day, I had ridden 90 miles, and the hotel I was staying at was supposed to be very close to the trail. It was actually two miles away, all uphill. When I checked in, I was pissed about the long ride up a hill and let the clerk know. This obviously was not her fault. I was tired and venting, and eventually apologized. She then showed me a room where I could store my bike. I noticed there were about four or five others there. I asked her whether those cyclists had complained.

Train stopped at Cumberland
"No," she replied. "They're Mennonites." 

Those Mennonites actually saved my ass in the last day of my ride. Several trees had fallen down on the path during a storm the previous evening, and the Mennonites cleared them away. They had saws.    

Were there bathrooms? - Both trails are loaded with port-a-potties. Since I carbo-loaded way too much the day before I started, I stopped at nearly every one of them on the first day of my ride. As the trip progressed, I found I really only needed to make one stop a day. The only weird bathroom was on the Amtrak ride back home. When I flushed the toilet, it nearly sucked me down along with my rather substantial deposit. 

How about water? - There's no need to spend money on water. The GAP has water fountains at every trailhead. The C&O has pumps with iodine-treated well water. 

Any flat tires or other bike malfunctions? - I had all the tools I needed to fix something, although I myself am an idiot and would have a great deal of trouble fixing a flat or even the most minor problem. Fortunately, I had no need to use them. I find that when I bring tools and tubes and keep my tires inflated, I have no problem. If I did, my hope is that some kind soul would stop and help me. I am pretty much clueless when it comes to even the most basic mechanics. 

Connellsville welcome arch
The GAP is maintained and marked better than the C&O. - Trail maintenance along the GAP is simply outstanding. Although it's a little confusing around McKeesport, the rest of the trail is very clearly marked so you know what's ahead. There are numerous visitor centers and I'm sure that the cyclists really help the economy of these small towns. The C&O, a product of the National Park Service, is much worse. This federal agency fails to grasp the importance of helping out local economies with good signage or visitor center. It also does a terrible job of maintaining the trail. The stretch between Cumberland and Hancock is strewn with roots, rocks and potholes. You have to keep alert at all times, and even then, you're going to hit a lot of bumps. Fortunately, you can cross over to the Western Maryland  Rail Trail about 10 miles north of Hancock. This paved surface runs parallel to the C&O for 20 miles. Once you return to the C&O, about 10 miles south of Hancock, the trail is actually better than the GAP. It is fine cinder, much like the surface of the trail used to be at one time along Sand Island. You can ride faster on that surface than on macadam. About 23 miles north of D.C, the trail becomes bad again. It is strewn with rocks, sand and lots of potholes.

Finis
How about the Amtrak ride back?
- I loved everything about the Amtrak ride, even though we arrived in Pittsburgh about three hours behind schedule. Union Station, incidentally, is a beautiful building. I was able to catch glimpses of the trail until it got dark and loved going to the dining car. Get this. Just before arriving in Cumberland, the train was confronted by a tree that had fallen across the track. 

Where were the Mennonites when we needed them? 

The engineer had no saw. He decided to ram it, and the tree was easily brushed away. But so were the headlights on the locomotive. The locomotive at the rear of the train had to be unhooked and then brought in front of the lead engine. This delayed things, but was fun to watch. 

Would I do this again? - I'm already making plans. 

What's Your Take on This Year's Musikfest?

I neither drink nor enjoy live music, but have never had an issue with Bethlehem's annual Musikfest. To each his own. I do think however, that it was a mistake to conduct huge outdoor gatherings at a time when the pandemic is surging in the host county. I doubt many wore masks or social distanced, and am sure many of the people who visited are unvaccinated. Perhaps I'm wrong. If you attended this year's annual festival, feel free to let us know what you think.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Surveillance Footage IDs Bike Thief

As you know, some bastard stole my Cannondale Trail 5 Super Bike less than an hour after completion of my 335-mile trek from Pittsburgh to DC. As I celebrated at an over-rated and overpriced restaurant in the nation's capitol, the perp was able to steal my locked bike by simply removing the handlebars and slipping the lock off.

What this prick did not know is that there is surveillance footage. If you see the obvious criminal below, have no fear. He's not particularly dangerous unless he's sailing. He is armed, but only with Black's Law Dictionary.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Update:: I Have Good News and I Have Bad News

The good news is that I completed the 335-mile trek from Pittsburgh to DC. The bad news is that my bike was stolen in broad daylight despite being locked. I had it hooked up to a stand but apparently failed to set the lock properly. The thief stole my bike, tools and clothing but left my lock. This basically ruined my trip.

As I reflect on things, I did what I set out to do. Nobody can steal that from me. Though I confess I really loved that Cannondale Trail 5, and had it set just the way I wanted, it is only a thing. Things do not last. Memories do.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Washington Couple Leads Me To Brunswick - 53 Miles Left

I am writing this from the Presidential Suite at the Travelodge in Brunswick. I rode 70 miles from Hancock to Brunswick today. I was getting a little tired when I ran into Becky and Ian. They had just finished a dip in the Potomac. They were riding from Pittsburgh to D.C., too. But they were doing it in three days, which means 110 miles per day. They were kind enough to escort me into Brunswick and give me some tips on what to expect tomorrow.

Everyone is so nice! These people obviously don't know me.

Lynch Threatens Local Businesses Over Masks and Vaccines

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Two Thirds of Bike Trip Complete

I am now about two-thirds of the way done in my bike trip along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O towpath. I only put in 60 miles on Tuesday, far less than the 90 logged on Monday. Was it the heat? No, I actually like riding in hot weather. Was I too beat up from the previous rides? No, I've been preparing for this was some time. So what was it?

The C&O trail is a nightmare. It is loaded with roots, jagged rocks, potholes, mud and an occasional snake slithering by. It was next to impossible to move fast because I really needed to watch the ever-changing terrain.

Fortunately, the Western Maryland Rail Trail is a paved and level trail that runs parallel to the C&O for about 20 miles. I took that into Hancock.

I'm told the C&O is much nicer from Shepherdstown to DC. I'm about 50 miles from there at the moment.

The picture below is the mouth of the Nearly mile long PAW PAW tunnel. There are detour signs all over and it is supposed to be closed. But I was able to walk my bike through it.

I've completed the GAP, C&O Next

The 330-mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to D.C. consists of two trails - the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and C&O Canal Trail. I started from Pittsburgh on Sunday. I rode about 60 on Sunday. I could have gone more but did not sleep at all on Saturday night, instead driving thru the night to Pittsburgh. After a good night's sleep in Connellsville, I rode 90 today and completed the GAP portion of this ride. 

Most of the today's ride, except for the last 20 miles was uphill. Then I trudged off to a hotel that is on top of a hill. 


This is the hotel I stayed at in Connellsville. The elves were very good to me. 


This is from a railroad bridge near Ohioplye. 


This is the Mason Dixon line setting the boundary between Pa and Md. I am on the Pa side. At this point, I was finally riding downhill. 


This is the Savage Tunnel, quite long and wonderfully cool. My lights are shitty, so I waited for a crew to go in ahead of me and avoided them as they fell. 

Have not quite decided how long I'll ride today or where I'll be staying. 



Monday, August 09, 2021

Scott Hough Pulls Out of NorCo Council Race

Scott Hough led Republicans in May's primary for Northampton County Council. Despite his success at the ballot box, he has confirmed that he is pulling the plug on his candidacy. He explains his decision as follows:

In July of 2021, a professional opportunity outside of the Lehigh Valley was offered to me by a major worldwide entertainment company. Having already been the Director of Security and Event Services for both the SteelStacks Entertainment Complex and the premier entertainment venue of the Lehigh Valley, PPL Center; it was a great honor to be offered such an opportunity in a major entertainment market. Early last week, I signed an agreement to accept that opportunity. This decision will require me to begin working in the western United States at the end of August and to eventually relocate my family. Although I will be remaining a resident of Pennsylvania, here often and maintaining my home in Bethlehem for the time being, it would not be fair to the constituents of Northampton County, if elected, that would only participate some of the time, likely via Zoom calls and likely having to leave office before the term ends. Sometimes major opportunities come at inopportune times, this was one of those situations but was an opportunity that I could just not pass on.

I would like to thank my Republican running mates Kristin Lorah-Soldridge, John Goffredo, Annamarie Robertone and Nicole Romanishan for their support in my decision. They have my full support in the upcoming election and will make fantastic members of the County Council if elected. I’d also like to personally thank Lee Snover and the Northampton County Republican Committee for their support throughout the campaign. And finally, I’d like to thank my wife and family and the volunteers and donors who supported me and gave of themselves to move my campaign forward and to share my message both for State Representative in 2020 and County Council in 2021.

 In closing, I have been campaigning to work for the people of Pennsylvania and Northampton County since the summer of 2019. Being a political outsider, it did not come without challenges. That said, I would not change the experience or the relationships gained as a result of my efforts. To the Democrats that wouldn’t talk to me because I was a Republican, I’m sorry we didn’t have an opportunity to talk. And to the Republicans that wouldn’t support me because I was too moderate, I’m disappointed we couldn’t share ideas. To the news media that wouldn't cover my events or releases because I wasn’t taken seriously, I’m sorry information wasn’t shared with the public. I now know why good people, who really care, don’t run for public office. However, to the thousands of people that I did meet, I’m glad we shared time and in cases where we didn’t agree, I was glad that more times than not, we found some common ground.  

Finally, as my last statement as a “politician”. I am a Covid-19 survivor who was hospitalized and still has long term issues being treated by medical professionals over seventeen months later.  Covid-19 is real. I would not wish it on anyone. Yes, we all have our own personal choice to wear a face covering or to get vaccinated. Yes, both are not 100% protection, but they can help. Yes, the government should not be telling us what to do or shutting down businesses. We do however have an obligation to care for others. I chose to get vaccinated and I wear a mask in some settings not only to hopefully continue to protect myself but to protect others. In a world where the average person does much worse things to their bodies than taking a vaccination which is reviewed and studied by medical professionals or wearing a face mask, I would encourage you to seriously consider protecting yourself, your families and your fellow human beings. If we as Americans could stop politicizing everything, I believe we would find that we are a lot more alike than the extreme factions on both sides of the political spectrum and the news media project us to be. Please support small businesses, protect life, enjoy the safe ownership and use of firearms, encourage hard work and not government dependence and remember we don’t all have to agree, but we can still respect each other. Thank you and may God bless us all.

Under Pennsylvania law, the county party can name a candidate to replace Hough.  

Friday, August 06, 2021

Lynch Slams McClure Over Reinstatement of Mask Mandate

Steve Lynch is the anti-mask and anti-vax GOP candidate for Northampton County Executive. He has slammed incumbent Exec Lamont McClure for following CDC guidance and reinstating a mask mandate at county-owned facilities. This action was also taken by the courts. Here's what Lynch says, right before asking fdor donations:

The non-science nonsense is resuming in Northampton County and our poor excuse for an executive will not be standing for actual science. He just likes Fraudci junk science and propaganda. Masks are useless and are causing more harm than good on many fronts. If you want real leadership and your rights to be protected there is only one choice for County Executive this November. That choice is Steve Lynch for County Executive. Our current executive also had the audacity to flat out lie on his robocalls telling people he kept the county open during the "pandemic". McClure, go tell that lie to the small business owners who will never be opening their businesses again! You did nothing of the sort and I'm sure you will fall in line with the lock downs coming up in the Fall because you are nothing but a follower and will tow the line as you did during this last year of misery that was brought to us by our government, not a virus! You are the problem! My position was simple: On day 15 of the "14 days to flatten the curve" lie if I were your Executive last year, this County would have been open under my leadership and no one would have lost their business! You would have been able to work your job or build your business. You would have been living your life with no government breathing down your neck. You would have been exposed to the truth of what was going on last year like being told that our dictator governor and his minion Levine were mass murderers using our nursing homes to drive up the death count to perpetuate fear. For the record, I have been stating this since last year and we all now know this is ­čĺ» fact now! Vote for strength and leadership on November 2nd. We can't have this assault on our rights any longer and must vote out every inept and feckless leader like the one we currently have to deal with. Get to the polls in massive numbers on November 2nd, 2021! This must end and We the People have the power to do it!

One business owner, founder of Monocacy Coffee Company, disagreed with Lynch.

"All I can say is, I'm a small business owner, and NorCo lended a crucial helping hand during the pandemic. Same goes for the State. If our county executive would have led by your example, we would have ended up like Lebanon County and had left crucial funding on the table, just to prove the insane point that COVID is somehow less of a threat than it truly is. 30% of all Americans know someone who have died from the disease. That's far more than the flu, it's nearly as high as cancer. As we sink deeper into another wave of this pandemic, one which is by-in-large only hospitalizing and killing the folks who've fallen into the nutjob anti-vax rhetoric, the backbone of your entire platform is crumbling."

Lynch responded to this business owner with an insult. "[E]njoy your slumber."

Surge in Covid Cases Prompts NorCo to Mandate Masks at All County Facilities

Both County Executive Lamont McClure and Acting President Judge Craig A Dally have reinstated a face mask mandate in Northampton County. This applies at all county facilities, including Magisterial District Courts. In addition, all persons entering a county facility must submit to a temperature check at the door. It goes into effect today. 

Northampton County Prison (NCP) and Gracedale Nursing Home have maintained facemask policies since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. NCP continues to be closed to volunteers and visitors. Gracedale Nursing Home allows for visits from family members and compassionate visits if they are scheduled in advance. All volunteers are required to be vaccinated.

The reason for this mandate is explained by Judge Dally in his Administrative Order. He is following recent CDC guidance and is acting to provide for the "safety of court personnel, court users and the public."

CDC guidance as of July 27 provides as follows: "To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission." Judge Dally notes that, as of August 5, "the level of community transmission in Northampton County is 'high.'"

In addition to the mask mandatye, Judge Dally's Order bans entry at court-related facilities by persons who (1) are supposed to be in quarantine or self-isolation; (2) are diagnosed with Covid-19; (3) are experiencing flu-like symptoms; or (4) refuse to wear a mask.

The mask must cover both mouth and nose, and must be worn regardless of physical distance from others.

People who afre unable to wear a mask for medical reasons and children under age two are exempt.

“It is unfortunate that the County must re-impose its facemask policy but, with the number of cases rising and the increase in hospitalizations, it is necessary to protect public health,” said McClure. “I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. The sooner we reach herd immunity, the sooner we can break the back of this pandemic.”

This mask mandate begins and ends at county-owned facilities. Neither the Executive nor the courts have the power to impose a county-wide mask mandate.

Statewide, the Pa. Department of Health lifted its universal mask mandate on June 28. That was prior to the Delta variant surge. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that, unless 90% of the population is vaccinated, there is "ample" chance for a new, and even deadlier, variant."


Thursday, August 05, 2021

Express Vote XL Survives Penetration Testing by Tech Students

Northampton County uses the ExpressVote XL as its voting system at the polls. It combines the convenience of a touch screen with a voter-verifiable paper trail. Despite a rather inauspicious beginning, it has worked well in two subsequent elections. 

Paper ballot purists have insisted the voting system is vulnerable to hacking. So a group of students at Rochester Institute of Technology were given the opportunity to penetrate the machine. After weeks of trying, the cyber squad failed

An Anti-Vaxer's Questions

Until about a year ago, comments on this blog were unmoderated. That changed when one reader, unhappy with what I was writing, took it upon himself to hijack the comment thread with repetitive comments. He'd also leave huge spaces at the end of his comments, making it more or less impossible for anything else to be read. Having made the decision to moderate, I now refuse to host Q-Anon comments, false claims of election fraud and misinformation concerning Covid or the vaccine. 

Yesterday, I received a comment from an anti-vaxer ostensibly thanking me, but then going on to make arguments minimizing Covid-19. Let me address his questions, one by one. 

"President Biden has said that if you are vaccinated that you will not get COVID - is this a true statement or not?"

No. Biden did make this statement at a CNN town hall, but it was an obvious exaggeration or a poor choice of words. No vaccine is 100% effective. People who have received the vaccine can still get sick and die. This minimizer, unless he's a moron, knows this.

"If it is then those are vaccinated should have no concern about coming into contact with someone who has not been vaccinated - is this a true statement or not?"

Untrue because those who are vaccinated can still be infected.

"You wrote that 52.6% of the [Pa.]  population is vaccinated. And according to the link you provided (thanks)that means over 6.7 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated. The 52.6% is calculated based on the total population for PA and thus includes school aged kids. According to a July 8th article in The Wall Street Journal, 99.995% of the 469,982 children in England who were infected during the year examined by researchers survived. Since the 47.4% of Pennsylvanians who have not been vaccinated includes school aged kids (who have not been approved for the vaccine and are way less impacted by COVID) shouldn't we account for that when assessing the actual vaccinate rate? Adjusting for the number of students listed by the PA Dept. of Education a more realistic number for those that are fully vaccinated is 61%."

The data speaks for itself. You are making several assumptions. First, the study obviously fails to include data from the delta variant. Second, the CDC refuses to use survival rates because so much is still unknown about Covid. For example, many who are infected exhibit  one or more symptom for months. We have known since the onset of the pandemic that younger people, children in particular, tend to be asymptomatic.  But this by means is an indication that there's no need to take precautions. 

"In other words, one could say that the vaccination rate among those that are at risk is actually higher than 52.6%? Is that a true statement or not?

No. The data speaks for itself and you are twisting it to support your opinion.

"The Delta variant is more contagious but it is not more virulent (i.e. deadly) - is this a true statement or not?"

No. It is known that Delta is as contagious as chicken pox and can be spread by people who've been vaccinated. That means more people will get sick and some of them will die. Therefore, it is necessarily more deadly. Anecdotally, children in India have been dying after being infected by the Delta variant.

"If this is true then that should be a reason for those who are elderly or at risk to get vaccinated but not necessarily a rational [sic] for making sure a 20 year old gets vaccinated."

No. The Delta variant, because it is more contagious, is necessarily more deadly.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Covidfest Coming Friday

At the end of the week, Bethlehem will be invaded by a horde of maskless, unvaccinated people from numerous state. They'll be here to celebrate Musikfest, get drunk, eat unhealthy food, punch police horses and piss on lawns. Some of you love it. I have no opinion. As a nondrinker who detests large crowds and has little desire to listen to live music, I stopped going many years ago.  This year, I think it's a very bad idea. 

Covid infections are beginning to skyrocket again here in the Lehigh Valley. Yesterday, there were 73 new cases in Northampton and another 50 in Lehigh County. There were two deaths in Lehigh. 

Before the Delta variant reared its ugly head,we nearly had it beat, but a third wave is clearly coming. 

Inviting everyone to a superspreader seems like the dumbest thing local government could do. We all know many people who refuse to wear masks or get vaccines. I see no reason why they suddenly will become courteous. They have a constitutional right to get drunk and puke and piss while spreading the virus. We should all know by now what's going to happen. Social distancing will be a joke. If patrons were masks,they will be nothing more than chin diapers. Bethlehem, the Christmas City, is going to be a petri dish of Covid virus. 

People are going to get sick. 

Some will die. 

So far as I know, no local leader has dared say a word against this. The same people who supported a business lockdown are unwilling to stop the foo-foos from pretending to enjoy themselves.   

Updated 8:30 am: Right now, nonprofits areapplying for grants for money lost as a result of the pandemic. Artsquest should receive no reward for irresponsibly convening a superspreader in the midst if what appears to be a new surge of the opandemic in this area.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

NorCo COs Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy

Northampton County corrections officers really excelled during the worst days of the pandemic. It was a time when inmates were feeling despondent. The guards, who sometimes experience the worst kind of abuse, saved a number of lives during that time. I was very moved to hear of their "mercy," which is enshrined in the county seal. 

Despite my high opinion, I was unwilling to agree with their demand for hazard pay at a time when there are zero cases at the jail. I was appalled to learn that only 23% of all COs had agreed to the vaccine, notwithstanding a $1,000 cash incentive. 

I have since learned this $1,000 cash incentive is actually $500, sweetened with another $500 if they get the jab.  It's unclear to me why all corrections officers have been given $500, but I agree completely because of the way they handled themselves while Covid was raging.  

The number of vaccine-hesitant COs appears to be dropping. Right now, 60 of approximately 195 COs have received the vaccine. That's about 31%. 

This hesitancy might be diminishing because the Delta variant of Covid is as contagious as chickenpox,  according to CDC. What's worse, CDC has learned that fully vaccinated people can carry the contagion. 

Nearly all of Gracedale's residents (93%) have been vaccinated. I will try to learn by Wednesday how many of the nursing home staff have been inoculated. 

Monday, August 02, 2021

Virtual Appalachian Trail Conquered, 330-Mile Bike Trip Next

This is my last monthly progress report on my virtual Appalachian Trail challenge. I finished it on Saturday. My monthly reports have kept me honest and have helped me get ready for the real thing. - a 330-mile bike trip between Pittsburgh and D.C., starting August 8. 

Here's how the virtual Appalachian Trail challenge works. Any distance based exercise counts along this 2,200-mile journey. This includes walking, running, cycling, canoeing, elliptical or arc trainer, rowing, etc. Two friends are also doing this. One started before me, and the other started after I already had a month or so done. It would be incredibly unfair of me to claim I "beat" them. So I will. After all, I am a blogger. That's the way I roll. 

By keeping track of my mileage, I learned some things about myself. I do very well in the warmer weather.  Conversely, cold weather (anything below 50 degrees) kills me, no matter how I dress. I've always been able to walk or run outdoors in cold weather, but I tend to be stiffer and my body refuses to warm up. 

Almost all of my exercise is solo. I've run with others in previous years at times, but even I dislike being seen with me. I really do like the solitude. The one exception is my grandson. He likes the 13-mile Ironton Trail, and has joined me on several rides. We always end up racing, and he clobbers me every time. Here's my data, starting January 17.

January - 132.72 miles

February - 220.45 miles

March - 247.03 miles

April - 304.64 miles. 

May - 271.63 miles

June - 429.76 miles 

July - 602.43 miles

I have logged 1606.23 2208.66 miles, which means I've completed the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, at least virtually.  My July average was 19.4 miles per day. Only about 30% comes from walking or running. Most mileage has been on a bike.  

The 330-mile trip between Pittsburgh and DC starts on the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland Md,. From there I hop on the C&O trail from Cumberland to DC. There's an online trip  planner listing distances, elevations, towns, hotels, campsites and most importantly for me, rest rooms. I need to know where they are. If you ever wipe your ass with stinging nettle, as I once did, you'll understand. 

I'd like to complete the trip in five days. If it rains, it will take longer. I heard of one fellow who did it in 24 hours. He rode in the dark. I think that's pretty much impossible for mere mortals like myself, unless I wipe my ass with stinging nettle. . 

I have two hybrids outfitted with racks. One of them has fenders (great in the rain) and kevlar tires. But I'll be riding a Cannondale Trail 5 with 29" wheels. I might add mud guards, but fully intend to travel light. I will wear a ruck sack with some clothing and an emergency tent and pancho. I will also don a web belt with water bottles, bug spray and first aid stuff. A tube and tools and third water bottle are attached to the bike. I am making no reservations anywhere, except for the return train. I will ride until tired and find a place to stay. If that was good enough for Joseph and Mary, it's good enough for me. 

I will update daily on my progress. If you do not hear from me, they finally got me. 

Why Was Zanelli Fired in NorCo?

Amy Zanelli, currently a Lehigh County Commissioner, is the Democratic nominee for Magisterial District Judge in West Bethlehem and Fountain Hill. I'm a Democrat myself, and she is the odds on favorite in a heavily Democratic district. But her opponent, Van Scott, is also a Democrat. I have warned you about her because she is dishonest, has a very inflated opinion of herself and attrempts to interject herself in matters that really are none of her business. This story is about her termination as a CYF (children, youth and families) caseworker in Northampton County. 

Before I get into her termination in Northampton County, here are links to nine stories about her, going all the way back to 2015. 

Finnigan Henpecked Over Hanover Fowl Ban

Why You Need to Vote For Dennis Pearson For LC Comm'r

LC Comm'r Race: Candidate Chicken Lady Cries Fowl

Judicial Candidate Amy Zanelli Supports Looting, Lies About Being Fired

Zanelli Embellished Her Social Work in Jersey

Amy Zanelli's Nonjudicial Behavior in Custody Trial

>MDJ Candidate Amy Zanelli Kicked Out of Fountain Hill Pool

Zanelli Neglected Children in Jersey, But Wants to Be a Judge

Amy "Karen" Zanelli Detests Three-on-Three Hoops

Zanelli was a probationary CYF caseworker in Northampton County, but was terminated October 19, 2015.  She has said this was a matter of mutual agreement because CYF wanted her to work more hours than she was willing to give. That explanation makes no sense. If she was unwilling to work full-time, she could simply have resigned. I think the answer to why she was fired is in the transcript of her custody trial. In that matter, she admitted to looking at a privileged file at CYF.  People who are discovered doing that sort iof thing get fired.  

Amy Zanelli Termination by BernieOHare on Scribd