7-12-2005 Pesky things: Facts, Pit Bulls and Negative Nincompoops

May stipenders and pensioners never sit in an American senate.--For those of you in the Heights, such words were ominous warnings that showed the Whig fear of unrestrained government growth. "Stipenders" and "pensioners" were 18th century terms for bureaucrats, parasites, lobbyists, and anyone else who bilked goodies from the public coffers.

This should open the eyes of the Heights folks talking all sorts of city policy without having a clue as to what they’re rambling on and on about. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon, but facts are pesky little things that seem to keep getting in their way.

The following excerpt is from a Citizen’s Voice story dated July 11, 2005:

Financial problems crop up in Wyoming   

By Heidi E. Ruckno, Staff Writer

Wyoming Borough has approximately 20 percent of its annual budget remaining for the final five months of 2005.

Unless they want to operate in the red, Wyoming officials will have to make do with the $190,297 they have left from its $857,000 general operating budget. Advertisement &PAG&BRD&LOCALPCT&AREA&VERT&NAREA&barnd

With almost half the year to go, the borough has already spent $666,703.

Wyoming Mayor Michael Podwika blames the rising cost on municipal services, specifically police protection. The department, which costs $367,000 to operate on an annual basis, consists of four full-time officers and at least four part-time officers, Podwika said.

The Wyoming Borough Council will meet tonight at 7:30 at the Wyoming Hose Co. on Third Street.

The borough's small size precludes it from getting large amounts of grant money. Ironically, grant money could be the reason the borough finds itself on shaky financial ground.

Five years ago, three police officers were hired through a federal COPS grant, which paid a sizable portion of their salaries for three years. That grant has since expired, Podwika said, leaving the borough to shoulder the department's entire operating cost.

Now the borough must cut costs to stay within its means. Layoffs are a possibility, Podwika said, as are tax increases.

"Wyoming borough has not raised taxes in years. They're trying to hold the line," he said.

The borough has been holding steady at the maximum millage rate, so it would have to go to the courts to ask for an increase. Podwika said that couldn't happen until next year.


Five years ago, three police officers were hired through a federal COPS grant, which paid a sizable portion of their salaries for three years. That grant has since expired, Podwika said, leaving the borough to shoulder the department's entire operating cost.

And how might this news trinket relate to Wilkes-Barre's present, and possibly future condition? Let's retrace our steps, shall we?

So we found that there was a SAFER grant. Um, from the federal government that, um, he was encouraged strongly to apply for, and he (Mayor Leighton) said, Nah, I'm not going to. We have enough firemen.--Denise Carey

No matter what, in a city that still qualifies for Act 47 status, any prudent mayor would keep one eye focused at all times on that once forgotten bottom line of ours. The reality of the situation is, COPS grants and SAFER grants will eventually result in increased labor costs, or layoffs. So what's the point?

What we have here is a sterling example of a vocal activist not having one iota of a clue as to what they're pontificating about. Got any more pure genious we should know about?

By all means, go on talk radio again and tell us all about it.

I snagged the following blurb from the WBRE web site.

Wilkes-Barre Pit Bull Crackdown? 07/12

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton says he doesn’t want to ban the breed…just license owners and hold them responsible for their dogs.

He told WBRE News, “Every drug house we go into, every suspected drug hour that we have, there seems to be a pit bull. They’re not being used as pets; they’re being used as weapons, dangerous weapons.”

Wilkes-Barre City Council will consider the proposal at Thursday’s meeting.

I saw the video on WBRE, which included some Pit Bull fan telling all of us dummies that we ought not blame the dogs for their frequently violent tendencies. Rather, we should blame the owners.

What kind of dog sh*t is that? What difference does it make after a cop is injured by a pit bull, or some toddler gets their throat ripped all to hell? If one of those dog ugly bulls grabs a hold of any of my grandkids, the fu>king owner of that hideous freak of a dog had better hope the cops arrive on scene lickety-split.

I had a run-in with one of those dogs while walking my dog through the Nord End. My dog is old, he barks a lot, but he's never done anything even remotely dangerous to man or beast alike. That is, until a pit bull shot out of the darkness and tried to latch onto his neck. I was stunned by how completely ape-shit my dog went. And the pit bull was going off even worse. I tried to yank my old pup back, but his leash went, "Pop!" The two of them were tearing into each other and I felt powerless to stop them. The first thing that came to me was to start kicking that ugly fu>ker's eye socket in. And kick I did. Talk about stunned! That mutt just about whobbled sideways when I grabbed Bandit by the collar and dragged him away at a pretty mean clip. After a few trendy agricultural amusement aids, I calmed down and we took stock of what remained of Bandit's coat and such.

Now, should I really give a flying fu>k about who's at blame here? The dog? Or the owner? As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't protest at all if city council passed an ordinance proclaiming that all of the pit bulls in this city report for assignment to a cat food factory of council's choosing. And while we're at it, why not include this nation's leading toddler killers--the ticking-time-bomb Rotweillers? At the very least, those two down the street are gonna get themselves killed if they keep making a bee-line for the assorted grandkids that play on this smallish street.

If the cops are somehow justified in shooting a turtle, I don't wanna hear anything from anyone after two unleashed, unfenced Rotweillers are found with their decomposing tongues stuck up their owner's asses.

And since this came up, just so we all understand what can happen, we already have a Wilkes-Barre cop who was put out of action by canines, although, the breed in question escapes me right now. If memory serves me correctly, this particular cop spent Christmas Day 2001 in surgery. This cop is a gung-ho cop and for all of the right reasons. Unfortunately, this cop is still struggling to find his way back to active duty status. His eventual fate as a police officer lies in the hands of the medical specialists at this point, but he was sent their way by loose, vicious dogs while responding to a domestic violence call without back-up. Remember, our former mayor mistakenly thought that four dozen cops was enough to effectively police this city seven days a week. Back-up, schmack-up!

Don't blame the dogs?

Go blank yourself!

I'd love to hear Uncle Paul Kanjo react to this one. Ah, no. My dam is good. All of the other dams may be bad, but my dam is good.

The Associated Press

July 10, 2005

Old, dangerous dams being removed across Pennsylvania

For years, dams seemed to be popping up all across Pennsylvania to generate power or create reservoirs. But now the state is taking more and more of them down because they have become hazards and created impediments for migratory fish.

Along with private groups, the state has been removing dams to restore stream flows, improve conditions for prized sport fish and eliminate potential hazards.

Last month alone, five dams across the state were removed by contractors. The state Fish and Boat Commission also has about 60 dam-removal projects in progress, and thousands of other candidates.

The removal of dams has become a priority for many conservationists across the country. Federal courts ordered an operating hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River removed in 1999 to restore salmon runs, and other dams are coming down or being decommissioned.

In the West, some people are campaigning to remove substantial dams on the Snake River in Idaho, and others are pushing to undam the Hetch Hetchy valley in the Sierras, which was flooded a century ago to provide water for San Francisco.

"Pennsylvania is leading the nation in the effort to remove dams," said Eric Eckl, spokesman for American Rivers, a private Washington-based nonprofit that partners with the Fish and Boat Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection. In the Keystone State, a typical dam is small and its purpose is long forgotten. Those pushing for the removals are often the dam owners.

"The agencies are getting inundated with requests" by landowners seeking help, said Sara Nicholas, associate director of the dam program for American Rivers, which helps find grants to fund removals.

The estimated number of dams in the state varies, with Nicholas saying there are about 5,000 and the Fish and Boat Commission putting the number at about 7,000.

Many are no longer serving a purpose, although they can be dangerous. Small dams with water flowing over the tops can be difficult for boaters to spot and present serious hazards. Dams can also present dangers to swimmers and have contributed to drownings, Nicholas said.

The dams also cut off routes for migratory fish. Even stocked fish, such as trout, avoid stagnant pools behind the dams where water temperatures are higher.

Coming to a valley near you: Lake Poo-Poo.


You know I only post e-mails from the folks I generally know and respect, but I had to make an exception in this case.

From the e-mail inbox Dear Mark,

People can be so negative. And it's like it's catching. They moan and groan and the negativity escalates. And as I laid in bed the other night it made me so sad...

But yet the mayor's slogan, "We Believe" shoots through it all like a spark of light in the darkness, and I thought, "I do believe... I really do."

So - what can I do? One small person against a seemingly overwhelming sea of darkness and negativity? This sea is what makes us all feel so small and impotent... and so helpless.

I am a thinker. I think a lot, about how things work and evolve. How a fire can emerge from a spark. How thoughts, ideas, and even imagination are the basic fuel-stuffs that bring about realities. And I had one silly idea. Very silly. Extremely silly. Uncontestably, maximally, indubitably silly. But I acted on it. I made just one little silly spark which I want to share.

I am sending this anonymously, because it is so silly. So stupid, so unrealistic, that the naysayers will have an absolute field day with it. But I got up in the morning, and I sent an email to Donald Trump, and asked for his help to save our city.

I told him how pretty our city is, nestled in the valley with trees and nature. I told him how centrally located Wilkes Barre is, to NYC and to Phillie. And about the colleges and great hospitals here. I told him how so many of the people here do have hearts of gold. And I told him how sad it is to see our beautiful little city deteriorating due to lack of funds, resources, and especially spirit, attracting the vermin and parasites that are inevitably drawn to rot to finish their job of ultimate destruction.

I fantasized about Donald Trump actually taking on this project. Hell - he has the resources to buy half the city, and I think he likes a challenge. He could even make a show about it. "Donald Trump saves a City" Can he do it?" Wilkes Barre could be publicized. We could be in the news and on the networks. Maybe even prime time. Wow - the ultimate reality show makeover... Before and After of a whole city! (It was a FUN fantasy!)

But I am just one small little person in the sea of humanity. He probably trashed my email in his spam catcher. Maybe somebody else could email Trump, or his network, or the news, or write a letter to him too, or even just forward this letter and my spark won't die...

You think?

The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
phone 212-832-2000
fax 212-935-0141
email - brokerage@trumporg.com

You think? Me? Nah, I think you had better rush back down to the AIDS clinic and beg the doc to increase the dosage of that chemical cocktail they've been pumping into your veins.

Pollyanna? Not on your protestor buddy's life. With years upon years of business acumen tucked under my Braves cap...I find it very easy to spot a capable leader awash in a sea of activist pretenders. So, put that in your imported bong and smoke it, okay?

This is rich. Wanna send a letter to the editor of the local newspaper and sound smart? (?) Wanna hate Bush for all to see, but can't spell a lick? If so, why bother plagurizing when you can use the MoveOn.org letter to the editor generator?

Go Greens!!!

Letter to the Editor: It's Time to Come Home From Iraq

Have the recent terrorists attacks in London got you on edge? Or are you unconcerned about what some step-son of a cave-dwelling, grub-swilling neanderthal can bring to bare? Take a look. This international site is wayyyyyyyy cool.

We're not afraid

Afraid? Me?

This just in from the Block Party Politboro:

It's gonna be $12 bucks a head for adults this year. Costs are up, man. What the heck, if you think long and hard enough, I'm sure you can blame that on Dubya, too.