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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Las Vegas Blog Bets NorCo Will Stay Away This Year

New to Las Vegas is having some fun with NorCo Controller Steve Barron's recommendation that County Council impose tighter controls on outside travel after his discovery that Human Resources Director Amy Trapp sent staffers last year on trips to New Orleans and Vegas. "I guess when you live in hardscrabble northeastern Pennsylvania–especially the area around Easton–any trip to Las Vegas by government workers on the public dime can look suspect," writes blogger William Barrett. "I’m nominating Trapp for my new list, It Didn’t Stay Here. The list–a play on that great Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority marketing slogan, “What Happens Here, Stays Here“–consists of folks having problems somewhere else for things that happened in Vegas."

Noting that there's an election in November, Barrett is betting there will be no trip to Vegas this year.

Bath Takes Its Case to Colonial Regional Oversight Board

Members of Bath's police advisory board
address CRPD Comm'n 
In the wake of Saturday's Town Hall in Bath, a large crowd was expected at the monthly meeting of the Colonial Regional Police Department (CRPD) last night. To be sure there would be enough room, the venue was transferred from CRPD HQs to the popular Hanover Tp Community Center, a YMCA on steroids where even my grandson trains. Some people were lifting or doing cardio. Young ladies joked in the lobby as they prepared for volleyball practice. Bouncing basketballs provided the percussion. When about ten police officers entered the building, nobody batted an eye. Some of the kids even said Hi to these cops, who have apparently taken the time to develop good relations. But how are these same officers viewed by the Bath community? About 35 people were at last night's meeting, but only a few of them were residents who were neither part of the police advisory commission or borough Council.

Borough officials continue to insist that no decision has been made. But Borough Manager Brad Flynn's Budget Message from October makes clear that a mere five percent increase was so devastating that there would be discussions about the Bath's continued participation in CRPD.

Martin Boucher, a soft-spoken Lower Nazareth Tp Supervisor, chairs the CRPD Commission, which provides civilian oversight over this regional force. John Diacogiannis, from Hanover Tp, and Fiorella Mirabito, from Bath, are the other voting members. After getting the police business out of the way, Boucher opened up the floor to public comment.

CRPD Commission Absence at Town Hall. - It appears that members of the police advisory commission, along with Mayor Fiorella Mirabito, were bothered that the CRPD was absent from Saturday's Town Hall. Diacogiannis explained that he thought the Town Hall was for residents of Bath to register their concerns. That's certainly how it was presented on Bath's Facebook page. It was billed as a meeting for residents and business owners about the future of police service in Bath, hosted by the Bath Borough administration. In fact there was an attempt to prevent CRPD officers from speaking for that very reason. Boucher explained he was working on Saturday.

There's another reason why Commission members would be wise to stay away. Had they gone to that meeting and participated in discussions concerning Bath's future with CRPD, they would be deliberating about matters on which they will be taking official action. They would be conducting a public meeting without advertising and without anyone to take minutes for them. It would be a clear violation of the Sunshine Act.

Can This be Worked Out? - Diacogiannis explained that the Commission is there for each respective municipality, and that it is up to each participant.  But speaking for himself, he said, "You got a problem. Police are only one component of it."  He noted complaints that 23% of Bath's budget goes for police protection, but noted that 29% of Hanover's budget pays for police. "We view police as a public safety issue. It's our responsibility as a government to provide for that."

Is Lower Nazareth going to bolt, too? -  Eric Nagle has been singing that tune for several years in Lower Nazareth, and has used the situation in Bath to rekindle the issue there. But Boucher put out that fire. "A majority of our board doesn't feel that way," he said. "We're very pleased with Colonial Regional."

Is CRPD Willing to Provide Contracted Services? - This question came both from a police advisory commission member and from Mayor Fiorella Mirabito, who tried to insist again that no decision has been made until I turned on my tape recorder.  It's pretty clear that Bath wants CRPB, like Moore Tp, to provide a proposal for contracted services even though no guidance about what is sought has been provided. Basically, Bath wants CRPD to compete against itself, and Chief Roy Seiple said he's prepare a proposal if he was given some guidance.

Some Police Advisory Comm's members support CRPD - Tara Berger, a registered nurse at St.Luke's, and spelled her name out for me. She said she jumped at the opportunity to be part of the advisory commission. "Initially, I thought, why fix the roads?" she asked. "Because who's going to want to drive into a town that's not protected by you guys?" She added that "any rumors, any blogs or articles, it's so sad for me to think that we are questioning what they do for us." She expressed concern about an "ever-growing transient element."  She also said that she represents a large part of her neighborhood "because I knocked on doors and I talked to them, and they don't want to leave you."

Tara might wish to tell those neighbors that CRPD officers were prevented from responding to what was essentially a hit job in the "informational packet" prepared by Borough Manager Bradford Flynn, which is full of inaccuracies. As one of them told her last night, "I felt we were personally disrespected." Officers intend to set the record straight at the next Borough Council meeting on June 5.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meanwhile ... in the People's Republic of Allentown

From Local 302: Ladder Truck #1 out of service out of the city for repairs. Ladder Truck #2 Out of Service broke down on a call. Engine 11 a 75' quint acting as the Aerial truck. The City is growing and reliable fire trucks are a must. This again highlights the absolute necessity for a Replacement Plan and a new Fleet Services Contact. Call the Mayor and let him know this is unacceptable.
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Bath's Spending Problem Has Nothing To Do With Police Protection

About 70 attend a Bath Town Hall over regional police
Over the weekend, there actually was a town hall without a Congressman. Close to 70 Bath residents braved a rainy Saturday morning to meet at Social Hall, guzzling coffee and munching Dunkin' Donuts. They were there to discuss Bath's continued participation in Colonial Regional Police Department (CRPD). "This place should be packed," complained State Representative Marica Hahn. But to draw 70 people for a weekend meeting about government in a tiny borough of just 2,700 people, is pretty remarkable. At the front of the room was a 15-person police advisory commission, who have been studying CRPD's future in Bath for several months. At the rear were several police officers, along with Chief Roy Seiple, who will be directly impacted by that decision. It's a question of money. It's also a question of public safety.

CPRD, first formed in 1995, is a regional police department that covers Hanover and Lower Nazareth Tp, along with Bath. In 2001, it became the first regional police department in the state to become accredited. It includes 24 police officers. Civilian oversight is provided by a six-person commission, with two members from each of the member municipalities.

Bath has been around a bit longer than CPRD. Settled in 1728, it's a borough consisting of 0.9 square miles and a $1.8 million budget. According to the state Department of Community and Economic Development, it is at least $1 million in debt, with much of that money ($380,000) having been borrowed in just the last year. Its 2017 budget includes nearly $128,000 in debt service. It is nearing its debt limit. Some of the reasons can be gleaned from Borough Manager Bradford Flynn's 2017 Budget Message:
  1. Last year, the Borough decided to purchase the "Thirst Quenchers" building to serve as a new municipal center. That alone will cost $425,000, to say nothing of at least $250,000 in renovations that will follow. 
  2. Legal fees in a borough that serves just 2,700 people have doubled. Forty-one thousand dollars have been budgeted for this year. With a straight face, Borough Manager Brad Flynn justifies this so that the borough can catch up on its codifications. 
  3. In the course of one year, Bath's three-person public works department resigned, and now borough officials are dealing for the first time with a union.
It's a borough with both a spending and a morale problem. Flynn's solution is to dump the one thing the borough appears to be doing well, i.e. protecting the public. He wants to eliminate the CRPD. A manager who thought nothing of borrowing near the limit and who didn't blink an eye when legal fees doubled, was very incensed that the cost of police coverage went up five percent, from $398,000.00 in 2016 to $416,000.00 in 2017. "This increase in cost will prompt upcoming discussions with the Colonial Regional Police Commission about the Borough’s seat at the table and to what future extent," he huffed, in his October 2016 budget message.

Repeated assurances were made on Saturday that "Nothing has been decided." That's window dressing. Flynn's October 2016 Budget Message tells a much different story. It is he, a person who wants to rid the borough of its police protection, who then prepared the "informational" packet that even criticizes CRPD for its "Shop with Cops" program.

Mayor Fiorella Mirabito called CRPD "top notch" and appears to be one person who wants them to stay. But she has no say in this matter, unless there's a tie.

Borough officials claim they've made no decision, either, and then refused to allow Chief Seiple and other CRPD officers to refute the findings in Flynn's so-called "informational" packet. Seiple and others complained that opinions were mislabeled as facts, and facts were misrepresented. As things would get heated, one or another member of the panel would stand up and repeatedly state how much they want to hear from the public.

The longest speeches in a meeting that was ostensibly set up to hear from the public, of course, came from members of the advisory commission. Attorney Beth Beers went on at length. "If we truly believe that we need to go to a different service because we can afford that, it's because we believe we will have the correct and appropriate police service for the Borough of Bath."

Beers insisted that they were not looking for a bargain, though the "informational" packet makes clear that is precisely what they are doing.Moore Tp can provide police protection at a cheaper price with a department that has less manpower and is not accredited. The state police will do it for nothing, if you don't mind waiting an hour for them to respond to a complaint about someone looking in your window.

Most of these harangues would follow a statement by a Bath resident expressing concern about public safety. At least half of those at this meeting appeared to support CRPD.

After Flynn suggested that Bath has no drug problem, a woman named Helen said that "where I live, drugs are a problem. We've had drug busts right across the street from us."

"Do you know how many meth labs were busted on Old Forge over the last two years?"asked one gentleman.

Another asked borough officials whether they have considered allowing themselves to be swallowed up by a government that can provide public safety. A borough that claims to be on the brink of financial disaster and wants to shed its police department has not even considered that possibility.

Chief Seiple noted that Bath pays about 12% of the CRPD budget and gets about 15% of the services. Though borough officials attempted to shut him down, he was plainly irritated at how "Shop with Cops" was misrepresented by Flynn.

"'Shop with Cops' is a program where we solicit donations for underprivileged children within our three jurisdictions to provide them with a Christmas. We give them each $500 and pick them up and go out to Wal Mart. That's a heckuva' program. Eighty per cent, if you want a number, of the kids we pick up for this program are from the Borough of Bath."

As Bath officials should know, truck traffic in the Lehigh Valley and Bath is expected to double over the next ten years. Like it or not, and it's mostly not, the big boxes cometh. Under these conditions, it would be sheer lunacy for the borough to rid itself of a police department that actually is certified to do truck safety inspections

In January, a bank robber in downtown Bath was apprehended by CRPD within a mile of his crime. How long would it take state police to respond? Or Moore Tp?

Instead of shedding CRPD, Borough Council might want to consider eliminating what appears to be its real problem, a spend-happy borough manager who hopes to solve this problem by eliminating CRPD and replacing it with ... whatever. He could them participate himself in "Shop with Cops," but does not live in Bath.

This discussion will continue this evening when the Colonial Regional Police Commission meets at 7 pm.

Friday, May 19, 2017

NorCo Council Approves $6 MM Food Service Contract at Jail

Corrections Director Dan Keen
In a unanimous vote during their May 18 meeting, Northampton County Council approved a new, $6 million food service contract at the jail with GD Correctional Services. The contract is for a period of three years, with two one-year extensions. GD, the food service at nine other penal institutions, was selected as the low bidder among four firms submitting proposals.

Though $6 million is a lot of money, Corrections Director Dan Keen told Council that it comes down to $1.30 per meal per inmate. That's less money than the $1.42 per meal currently being paid and is less than the $1.40 proposed by the next highest proposal. It's also a 2,900-calorie diet, an increase over the current 2,500.

Keen said GD has a "good meal selection," and added it is "very important to have a good meal for the inmates."  He told me after the meeting that nutritionists will prepare diets for people like me, who have food allergies.

"How are the deserts?" wondered Fiscal Affairs Director Jim Hunter. Keen offered to take both of us on a tour, but I turned him down,knowing it was just a trick to get me down there so they could throw me in the hole and force feed me food loaf.

Keen admitted that there is food loaf, but it is only given to inmates who are disciplinary problems.

In other business, Council unanimously approved seven open space grants for projects at municipal parks Matt Dietz and his open space committee reviewed each request and recommended approval.      

Bushkill Tp - $45,256 for a stone trail around a fishing pond at Heintzelman Park, located along West Beil Avenue and High Street. The grant also includes a parking facility, landscaping, signage and other park amenities.

Roseto - $14,435.89 for the rehabilitation of Roseto Park. This includes the relacement of park benches and a concrete walkway.

Tatamy - $20,202.53 for the construction and extension of Tatamy Trail, including a pavilion,picnic tables, benches and landscaping.

Bangor - $21,884.54 for the opening of a road access to Market Street from Eisenhart Blvd at Memorial Park.

Washington Tp - $58,221.09 for improvements at Washington Tp Recreation Complex that include a dog park and a disc golf course.

Bethlehem Tp - $86,779.50 to replace the playground at Comer Park, including safety surfacing around the playground.

Palmer Tp.- $347,473.42 for natural sod athletic field at the Chrin Community Center, together with parking sidewalks and a new western entrance.

Ken Kraft's Good Side

Ken Kraft is a member of NorCo County Council. I criticize him all the time on this blog, but that's nothing compared to what I say to him in person.  I think this would be perfect for his next election.

Hanover Tp To Celebrate Armed Forces Day This Saturday

Hanover Township, Northampton County is hosting their Armed Forces Day event on Saturday, May 20 at 10 AM at Armed Services Park (Hanoverville Road and Route 512). LTC Timothy A. Brooks of the PA National Guard will provide remarks for the occasion. I encourage all to attend and join in honoring those who have served and continue to serve our great nation.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

NorCo HR Director Had No License at Time of her Accident

NorCo Human Resources Director Amy Trapp has come under fire recently for excessive spending on things like gift cards for her pets, an $800 popcorn machine, trips by her staff to Las Vegas and New Orleans and using the county credit card, called a P-card, to buy lunches for her staffers taxpayer expense, even though they are eating at the courthouse and meals are only authorized when an employee is 50 miles away from the courthouse. Controller Steve Barron prepared a detailed memo outlining his concerns and suggesting that perhaps Council should approve all overnight travel when it is 100 or more miles away. Several Council members seemed to appreciate Barron's report, but Benol wants our Controller strung by his thumbs from the courthouse cupola, then drawn and quartered.

Two weeks ago, Trapp attempted to justify her spending at a Council meeting, with the complete support of Executive John Brown. Her husband, who looks like a reject from Duck Dynasty, accompanied her. I thought he was there for moral support but now think he was actually her driver. Wearing a band aid across her nose, she prefaced her remarks with the following: "I had an unfortunate run-in with someone who, not only ran into, but drove away from my car. The good news is that I get a new car, and I'm OK." Everyone felt sorry for her and wished her the best. Even I felt bad for her.

But I have since learned that Trapp only told part of the story. She has actually been charged as a result of that accident, both with changing lanes unsafely and driving without a valid license.

Maybe that's why she was trying out a hoverboard.

Though the citations issued to her explain her options quite clearly, she nevertheless felt she had to contact the court administrator's office to discuss those options. Though that office assured me it felt no pressure in any way from you, I believe it certainly looks as though she was fishing around for a favor.

This isn't Allentown, Amy.

I sought Trapp's side of the story, both by email and telephone call. Late this afternoon, she sat 10' from me at a meeting. She offered no explanation.

Bushkill Cop Charged With Covering Up Wife's Affair With a Minor

Keith Transue, who identifies himself on his Facebook page as a school resource and police officer with Bushkill Township, has been charged with witness intimidation, failing to report child abuse and obstruction of justice in Monroe County. Unsecured bail in the amount of $25,000 has been set by Magisterial District Judge Phillip Riley. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 8.

In addition to being a Bushkill Township police officer, Transue also serves on the Mount Pocono Borough Council.

It's a strange case. According to PaHomePage, Transue's wife Robin is alleged to have had sex with a 14 year-old boy six years ago. Instead of reporting it, he covered it up. He took the boy's cell phone, which contained incriminating information, then convinced the boy's parents not to go to the police.

Things got even more bizarre when Robin allegedly hired a hitman to kill her husband. She is supposed to have wanted him eliminated because he threatened to expose her.  

She's been charged, too, both with sexual assault and soliciting murder.

Keith Transue has been placed on administrative leave from his job at Bushkill Township.

Cartwright Secures Grant for Palmer Tp Firefighters

Last week, US Congressman was able to secure a grant for Lower Mount Bethel's Sandt's Eddy Fire Co. This week, he's snagged another one for the Palmer Tp Municipal Fire Station. It's $57,444 for $57,444 Operations and Safety grant. The funds will allow the fire company to purchase supply and attack hoses, including 192 couplings and related equipment. These purchases will improve fire operations and fire safety and will enable them to better serve their community.

“Our nation’s firefighters are called upon day after day to protect American citizens,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “As these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way, we must ensure they are equipped with the best tools possible to do their jobs well, and today’s grants will help meet that goal.”

Someone ought to give Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski this message.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fed Ed Gets Dem Nod With Four Percent

When my father was defeated in his bid for re-election as NorCo DA, radio stations  were still providing independent news coverage. So it was a radio reporter who stuck a microphone in my Dad's face to ask for his reaction. "The people have spoken," said my slightly inebriated father. "Fuck 'em."

It would be hard to blame Ray O'Connell or any of he other disappointed Mayoral candidates from feeling that way. But we live in a nation in which a scant plurality, as opposed to a real majority, can decide who leads them. So despite a federal investigation into Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski for political corruption, Democrats have chosen him as the party's nominee for a fourth term as Mayor.

Fed Ed cited his victory as proof that no dark cloud hangs over Allentown. But the reality is that he was chosen by just 1,734 of approximately 42,000 registered Democrats. Four percent of the City's Democrats decided for the other 96%.

Some blame the crowded field of seven candidates as making Fed Ed's nomination inevitable. But it's really a flaw in our winner-take-all system, which fails to provide for Instant-runoff voting (IRV). That's a voting method used in single-seat elections when there are more than two candidates. If voters ranked candidates in order of preference. Though this method is used in several counties and even in our Oscar selections, Maine is the sole state to provides for instant run-offs.

A more simple solution would be a second round of voting, limited to the top two candidates.

The Republican Mayoral primary was much more of a mandate for Nat Hyman. He garnered 1,422 voter to Luiz Garcia's 667.

So unless he's dragged out of office, kicking and screaming, Fed Ed will face Hyman in November. It is the worst possible result

Other disasters. Amy Zanelli, aka the Chicken Lady, cruised to victory in the Lehigh County Commissioner's race for We these constant attacks tiresome andcounterproductiveandwill be ignoring him from this point. st Bathlehem and Allentown's East Side over Dennis Pearson and Basilio Bonilla. Far few voters know her history. She will face Bob Smith, a man who suffered nearly fatal injuries when he broke the fallofa troubled teen who tried to commit suicide and hurled herself off a roof.

Easton voters went with incumbents Sandra Vulcano and Jim Edinger over Taiba Sultana and Terrence Miller

Silver linings. Alicia Zito and Vivian Zumas, both of whom captured the nomination of both parties for Magisterial District Judge slots in the slate belt and  east Bethlehem.

Tracy Magnotta,who won in the Saucon Valley School Board race.

Bob Cartwright, who fought off an attempt to remove him from the Bangor School Board, has survived on the Republican ballot.

Matt Dees survived an ugly attempt by Tricia Mezzacappa to knock him off the Democratic ballot in West Easton. She will be on the Republican ballot, but only captured 24 votes, about half as many as four years ago.

I'll have more to say tomorrow. I spent a long day yesterday as an election judge and need a little time to recharge my batteries.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Allentown Firefighters Using Pick-Up Truck Again

From Local 302 Allentown International Association of Firefighters: "This is a glaring indictment of Mayor Ed Pawlowski and his cronies' mismanagement of the City of Allentown.

"We have come full circle. Just 3 short weeks ago Rescue Engine 9 had to run out of a pickup truck do to the lack of a fleet replacement plan. Rescue Engine 9 is out of service again as well as the reserve Engine they changed in to. Once again our center city Rescue Engine is running out of a pickup.

"Mayor Ed Pawlowski said it was a Political Stunt and "Nonsense", he even found it humorous. He has proven he cannot handle the Public Safety Crisis Allentown is in. The citizens and Firefighters are fed up with the Mayor not taking our safety seriously.

"Once again call the Mayor's office and tell him enough is enough!"

My previous stories:

4/14: Fed Ed Has Allentown Firefighters Use Pick-Up as Engine Truck.

4/19: Allentown Ladder Truck Breaks Down Battling Blaze

4/20: O'Connell: Faulty Fire Trucks An Embarrassment to City

4/28: Another Allentown Fire Engine Breaks Down

5/4: Updated: Allentown Fire Dep't Still Running on Fumes

A Message From Allentown's Former DCED Director

Betsy Morris Levin: "Please if you are an Allentown registered voter do not vote for mayor Ed Pawlowski [today]. All politicians are not corrupt. But he is. I have experienced it firsthand. I am voting for Ray O'Connell. He is a tough and smart public servant. I think that he is the candidate with the ability and experience to hit the ground running."

Blue Lives Matter

Actually, all lives matter. This is National Police Week, a tradition started by President John F Kennedy. While most events will take place at the nation's capital, I'm sure our local officers will appreciate a simple thank you.

So that's what I did today. I pulled right alongside Nazareth Police Officer Stephen Schleig, who has been decorated several times and even delivered a baby, and thanked him for what he does.

"You're not writing another blog, are you?"

Last night, I also had an opportunity to thank another police officer. I left a Bethlehem Township Commissioners' meeting early and wanted to get home, put on my election judge nightgown and go to bed early for what will be a very long day today. He pulled me over because I was unfortunately driving too fast.

Whem he asked me where I had been, I told him I had just escaped from a township meeting .

"Oh, are you a Commissioner?"

"Worse, I'm a blogger."

"Step out of the car!"

I should be back in about six months.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Allentown's Election Is About Integrity, Not Politics

In the dawn of this nation's history, when British regulars and Hessian mercenaries had George Washington on his heels, Zions's Church in Northamptontown became the hiding place of the Liberty Bell, one of our most important symbols. Residents in that small community could be trusted. They were patriots who would resist tyranny and had already driven William Allen's loyalist family out of town. These true freedom fighters were the original inhabitants of what eventually became known as Allentown. They took a stand. Will that continue on Tuesday?

Will the voters speak out against the tyranny of a vindictive Mayor who has embroiled the entire city in a cauldron of political corruption? Will the voters finally say No to a false prophet who beats his chest about kindness while bullying truly Godly men like Eugene McDuffie, to say nothing of others? Will the dark clouds that have resulted in seven guilty pleas finally be lifted, or will Allentown continue with a paranoid man who sweeps his office for electronic bugs and uses burner phones? Will Allentown finally install someone who cares about public safety or a man who laughs at a fire department whose operating budget he has slashed by 65% since 2008?

We'll know Tuesday night.

A cornucopia of mayoral candidates, both Democrat and Republican, are in this race. I prefer Ray O'Connell, a man who understands the symbiotic relationship between the struggling city and its distressed school district. But there's much positive to be said for most of the candidates running. Thiel has business acumen. Garcia and Jones offer real ethnic diversity. Bennett has connections to small businesses and nonprofits, and knows people  in Harrisburg and Washington. Siegel brings intelligence and youthful exuberance.

They have their differences, but all but Nat Hyman and Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski have something in common. They bring integrity. As the sign outside Rick Orloski's office says, Vote Integrity. It is time for the citizens of Allentown to rise up again and say No to tyranny and political corruption.

Hyman's False Advertising

Hyman lacks the integrity needed to be a decent Mayor. Former Department of Community and Economic Development Director Betsy Morris Levin, on her Facebook page, states he was operating a building with multiple people living and working inside, but Fed Ed gave him a pass and protected him back in 2007.

What Levin has to say is troubling, but I'd want to hear from him before condemning him. But now there is additional evidence of his dishonesty, coming directly from Hyman himself.  

It's an ad with a pic of Hyman talking to firefighters, apparently directing their efforts in battling some blaze. Wherever that is, it isn't in Allentown. .

Local 302 Allentown International Association of Firefighters has made no endorsement in the Mayoral race. Imagine their surprise when they saw this Hyman ad of him talking to Cetronia Volunteer Fire Company firefighters, who apparently have no problem jeopardizing their nonprofit status in South Whitehall Township by allowing themselves to be used for partisan political purposes

Brilliant, guys!

So far as I know,and I spoke to several Allentown firefighters, Hyman has never reached out to or discussed any issues with them. He is just using their public safety crisis to propel himself into the Republican candidate's spot on May 16th.

This is dishonest behavior, and should disqualify Hyman from serious consideration by anyone interested in integrity in government.

The real Fed Ed

The other candidate who lacks integrity is Public Official No.3, incumbent Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski. The real Fed Ed is far removed from the amiable if long-winded man delivering those lengthy power points. He is in fact malicious and vindictive, as those who know him can attest. Ask Candida Affa, a person who refuses to be intimidated by anyone, why she no longer supports Fed Ed. Ask Cynthia Mota whether he went after her one evening after she refused to vote the way he wanted. Ask the small businesses he shut down on pretexts. Ask the elderly lady who wanted to have a yard sale now and then for pin money. Ask Jeremy Warmkessel, a decorated firefighter who Fed Ed attempted to silence with bully tactics in a recent exchange.

This is all Fed Ed.

None of this has anything to do with Miked Fleck, the supposed mastermind of political corruption in Allentown, or any of the six others who have pleaded guilty to offenses that include bribery and bid-rigging.

I was particularly stuck and saddened at how Fed Ed bullied Eugene McDuffie earlier this month, as I told you on Friday. McDuffie is a saintly and gentle man, a person who I think has been touched by the hand of God. Jews and Muslims would call him righteous. Buddhists would say he's achieved enlightenment. We Catholics would say it's the Holy Spirit. He has spent his adult life caring for troubled teens and the homeless. Eugene is an announced City Council candidate, but only to bring attention to his bigger mission. He has spent no money. He has no money to spend. He has no intention of winning any political race. But he's been making the rounds in his one and only suit, wearing only the one pair of red shoes he can afford. He has continued his push to help troubled teens and the homeless.

Sir Sly would say,

"It feels good to be running from the Devil,
Another breath and I'm up another level.
It feels good to be up above the clouds.
It feels good for the first time in a long time, now."

Fed Ed bashed Eugene for doing God's work. I told you Eugene's story because it shows Fed Ed without his make up. He's a bully with no integrity. Amazingly, while under investigation for political corruption, he also used his city offices to play politics, which is a theft of public services. This is the height of arrogance. His mean streak has been corroborated by so many others that I would be writing until Tuesday if I listed every incident over the past 12 years.

Eugene McDuffie Story Criticism

Allentown blogger Michael Molovinsky, whose blog is called Molovinsky on Allentown, spent the crucial week before that City's most important election in its history, talking abut anything but Allentown. He disparaged some poor fellow who was turned away from a tea party event featuring Pam Geller. He complained about being called dour and the lack of media coverage given to him when he ran for Mayor in 2005. He complained about comedians who dare to criticize Donald Trump. He condemned the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans  

It's his blog and he can write what he wants. But he has no right to dictate my topics. He has taken me to task for telling Eugene McDuffie's story. He notes that newspapers wrote no story, which implies that there is no story to write. Based on that logic, he should probably stop writing. I base my publishing decisions on what I think readers ought to know. They ought to know that Fed Ed continues to be a bully.

Molovinsky implied that McDuffie engaged in a political stunt and outright accuses me of playing politics, along with several candidates who commented on my blog or appeared at McDuffie's news conference.

As I explained, this is about integrity, not politics Eugene McDuffie, who was scarred by abusive parents and spent years on the streets of New York City, felt bound to speak out. So did I.

Do Miller and Sultana Have a Prayer in Easton?

Miller in Saturday's rain. 
Terrence Miller and Taiba Sultana are two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Easton City Council in Tuesday's primary. They've battled nomination challenges from their opponents, Jim Edinger and Sandra Vulcano. They've endured candidates' nights in which Easton's Dem machine has given them less than 24 hours notice  They endured a NAACP candidates' night that received no publicity, in which Sandra Vulcano tried to talk the entire night and Ken Jones, who is not running this year, got into a shouting match with Miller.

Over the weekend, some Democrats received a letter from Mayor Sal Panto endorsing his rubber stamp, Jim Edinger.  Panto is the person who was posting on Lehigh Valley Live under two different sock puppets, but was so stupid about it he began posting comments under those names as the Mayor. Having the endorsement of a dishonest man is no reason for cheer.

But this is Easton

Expect the same ol' same ol'.  

NAACP to Meet Several Area School Superintendents Today

Lance Wheeler, President of Easton's NAACP, is meeting today with several school superintendents concerning the racism that unfortunately still exists at our area schools. He is hopeful that an area diversity committee can open closed eyes. As for me, I'm quite happy at the prom pictures from area high schools over the last two weeks.They include numerous interracial couples  I have more confidence in our younger generation than with people my age.