Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The massive NAU "conspiracy" like 9/11 has been hidden by the mass media - where whistleblowers have been banned since Erin Brockovich won an Oscar. If we don't want the evil corporate elite to set up their "New World Order" - and even Lou Dobbs showed the 1991 Bush Sr. quote on CNN - then we'll do what works and spread the worrrd...
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Posted by Coal Region Voice at 10:48 AM
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
OpenCongress.org is an brand new open-source website that aggregates data, news, and blog posts about everything in Congress. See what's really happening and who funds their campaign. It's an *amazing* tool for political bloggers.
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Posted by Coal Region Voice at 6:54 AM
Sen. Barack Obama now trails Sen. Hillary Clinton by eight percentage points, while former NY Mayor Guiliani leads Sen. McCain by nine.Most surprising finding: apparently, 97% of Americans know enough about Hillary Clinton to have a strong opinion on her. How surprising!
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Posted by Coal Region Voice at 6:43 AM
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 9:21 PM
Friday, February 23, 2007
Last week, Pennsylvania experienced it's first and only snowfall of the season in Eastern PA. For those who forget to look out their window, snow does occur anywhere from October to May with some instances being earlier or later. Why did Pennsylvania do such a poor job managing the snowstorm? As a result motorist were stranded and I's 78, 80 and 81 were closed until Saturday afternoon, almost four days after the first flake.
Pennsylvania's Legislature is trotting out hearings. Senate was held yesterday, while the House will be hearing testimony from today. This is basically the government telling Pennsylvania citizens we are slapping our managers. The governor has appointed James Lee Witt and Associates to conduct an independent investigation. Witt served as the head of FEMA in the Clinton Administration and did an admirable job. The agency has since lost all credibility being incorporated under DHS by President Bush. See Michael Brown and Katrina.
A basic science lesson
When it is 15 degrees outside and raining you have a problem. My father worked nearly 30 years for a local municipality. I could almost forecast the weather by sight and feel in PA. One thing is for sure, conditions improve or deteriorate rapidly.
I don't know doesn't cut it anymore
Like Katrina, several people from the governor down claim ignorance. In this day and age of Blackberries, funded by the taxpayer, use it. Look out the window. Turn on the TV set. This is best of all go to the local station's website.
Follow the money
The money trail will lead you to the answers. It is pretty easy if you have the resources. Check past PennDOT budgets versus the current budget and employees. The next thing to do is to check federal subsidies and see if they can only be used for certain programs. This will confirm or deny if the governor moved PennDOT money to other programs facing the chopping block. It the last 6 years, PA employees for the most part have gone without a wage increase while everything else has risen. How taxed is the National Guard by Iraq that there deployment was questioned? No matter how you spell it, OT (overtime) or TO are dirty words in the state of PA. The word on the street is that PennDOT has cut it's contract workforce. Easy enough to find.
Like it or not for the legislature or the managers, but the union will give a truthful answers to what went wrong. Like or not the citizens or customers need to know. Remember the testimony by the unions in regard to escapes at Western Pen a few years ago?
There is a lot of blame to go around here, the least should be pointed at the rank and file drivers. They like my father prepare for these event like an athlete preparing for the Super Bowl or the World Series. They take it personally when accidents especially fatalities happen on their routes.
The golden rule is if you don't have to travel don't. Stay off the road!!!!!!!!!
Those phones and signs to tune into the AM stations. Throw them away. The FCC make you turn down the AM signal at night. Either get low power FM or have the FCC change the law. The former is probably the easier. You can stand next to one of those "Tune into ....AM" for the latest and not hear it at night.
Invest and develop a plan to move traffic off the interstates quickly. This will be viable in not only snow emergencies but other emergencies that can occur in the future. These hearings will be totally useless if our elected grandstand for two day's and just say, "Bad manager, bad boy"!!!!!!!
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 8:23 AM
I found this online today and posted inlight of last weeks storms. Please rank file workers, you are the best. The mess happened because of the Bureaucracy and not the workers.
A little dated since it was written in 1999. But applicable.
A -- Asphalt. A mix of tar, sand and gravel used to build roads. It ruts, cracks and turns into potholes after a couple of winters.
B -- Bureaucrats. PennDOT people who wear suits, shuffle papers, make big bucks and make excuses.
C -- Customers. That's what PennDOT calls us, at least in public. We're supposed to be treated like people who pay the bills, not morons.
D -- Detours. Ways to inconvenience and confuse motorists. When too much road work takes place in the same area at the same time, we have detours of detours.
E -- Engineers. Professional civil servants at PennDOT and the Port Authority. Their most notorious work includes Pittsburgh's "Bridge to Nowhere," the world's shortest interstate highway (I-579 below the Civic Arena) and the South Hills light-snail transit system, the slowest in North America.
F -- FIX-ROAD. A toll-free, 800 number you can call to report ruts, cracks and potholes in your road. Then call again next week. And again.
G -- Garbage. Causes many of our roadsides to look like dumps. People throw things out of vehicle windows, and materials sift and fall from trucks. Should PennDOT hire Molly Maids?
H -- High occupancy vehicles: buses, car pools and van pools. PennDOT builds HOV lanes for them, as on Interstate 279, to make the people stuck in rush-hour traffic jealous.
I -- Interstates. These limited-access highways represent our nation's best. Remember that the next time you're in traffic on the Parkway East and Parkway West.
J -- Joe. As in Joe Grata. If you want to keep your job at PennDOT, the Port Authority or Pennsylvania Turnpike, don't tell him nothin'.
K -- Kilometer, a measurement used by most of the world. After spending millions of dollars to convert to the metric system, PennDOT is spending millions of dollars changing back to inches, feet and miles.
L -- License plates. Numbers and letters that identify your vehicle. Pennsylvania has stealth plates. That is, the paint has disappeared, leaving bare sheets of aluminum that cops can't easily decipher.
M -- Mallory. That's Bradley L. Mallory. As Pennsylvania transportation secretary, he's boss at PennDOT and a member of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
N -- Novachip. A thin, special asphalt mix designed to seal highways against water penetration and extend pavement life. That's PennDOT parlance. We call this an "election special."
O -- Orange. The official state color, used in combination with white. Featured on barrels around highway work zones.
P -- Potholes. A Western Pennsylvania phenomenon, showing up in all shapes, sizes and depths. During winter, they often reappear overnight. Potholes make us the butt of jokes, but they're good for business: front-end alignments, hub cap outlets, muffler shops and asphalt suppliers.
Q -- Questions. PennDOT's policy on questions: Don't ask. Don't tell.
R -- Rest areas. Never stop if you're alone. Don't walk into the woods. If you do, don't ask. Don't tell.
S -- Shovels. Convenient devices to lean on.
T -- Taxes. Forty-four cents a gallon. They provide our smooth, free-flowing road system, high-tech traffic signals and modern, well-maintained bridges.
U -- Unicycles.
V -- Hold your first and second fingers up to flash this universal peace sign. Use only your middle finger, and you get the hand signal most often used in Pittsburgh traffic.
W -- Web site. The state has begun issuing new license plates carrying the state's Web address,www.state.pa.us. We're advertising high-tech hopes to a world that drives our low-tech roads.
X -- Code name for one of the secret ingredients in Pennsylvania asphalt mixes.
Y -- The other secret ingredient. (The secret formula: X + Y = Inferior Pavement.)
Z -- Z-z-z-z-z. The sound of PennDOT employees on the job.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 8:16 AM
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Shamokin boys and girls hoops squads open up District IV play on Thursday night. While the Lady Indians will be favored in their match up with Jersey Shore, the boys have a rematch of a December game with Shikellamy. The Braves won that contest at the buzzer. Since that time, Shamokin put on the afterburners and made a run at the Schuylkill League, beating champion Blue Mountain late in the season. Shikellamy on the other hand, has been about a .500 team. If the Indians get by the Braves, Shamokin will get tested with two athletic teams of Mifflinburg and Milton if the Black Panthers make it throught their bracket. This could be the best first round matchup any class or gender.
The Bucknell men have a tough road game at Lehigh tonight. Look for the game to set the tone for the Bison throughout their Patriot League tournament run which starts on February 28th.
Carm Defrancesco has been rumored for several head coaching vacancies. Williamsport and Milton have opening and are close to home. However, did Upper Dauphin enter the picture? It may be a good fit. Carm has a great track building programs at Cardinal Brennan, Danville, and Shamokin Area.
Finally, where have you gone Lourdes Regional??? Both boys and girls teams did not qualify for the post season. Both teams have won PIAA titles in the 90's, but usually one makes the post season. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. The boys were seconds away from qualifying and they return all five starters who were on the court for the final tip off. The ladies have some talent working their way through the ranks.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 8:37 AM
Sunday, February 18, 2007
As for Death, I had come face to face with that old ogre and noticed he
was mostly a sham. I'd enjoy the truce he granted me, but would live
with the feeling that when he renewed his fight in earnest, I'd be able to
make my surrender without begging for terms."
For Richard Wheeler, it is 60 years and counting since that fateful day on a tiny island half a world away.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 9:39 AM
John Griffin had a fine all around game for Bucknell with 15 point and no turnovers on offense. For the Bison, senior day represented a little of the changing of the guard with Josh Linthicum and Patrick Behan and stepping it up for Masterpolo and McNaughton. Abe Badmus, another senior, tied a season best with seven assists.
The defense also had a great performance shutting down the Tiger offense limiting the visitors to 40 percent from the field. Gary Neal who has scored over 2000 points and was averaging over 25 per game was held to one point in the first half and scored 12 points in the last four minutes of the game and finished with 21.
There were some concerns for the Bison coming in against an athletic team like Towson stepping outside the Patriot League. John Griffin summed it best in a post-game interview saying, "Towson was athletic, but we have gotten more athletic since I came here."
NOTES: Badmus and Donald Brown were also honored on senior day along with McNaughton. John Clark, whose career ended with a foot injury, graduated a semester early but was on hand. The weather which was some of the worse the seen in central Pennsylvania in recent years did have somewhat of an effect on the day. Donald Brown's family was unable to make it to Lewisburg and was escorted by the Thomas Family. The game listed as a sellout had many empty seats for a Saturday afternoon contest. This senior class set the record for most wins in fours years winning number 83 Saturday. The Bison finish out their Patriot League schedule with games a Lehigh on Wednesday and Army on Saturday. Bucknell is at home through the Patriot League semifinals.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 8:37 AM
Monday, February 12, 2007
Pennsylvania Law currently does not have any mandate with insurance companies on colon cancer screening doing business in the Commonwealth. In the last two year session of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 635 expired. Senator Robert Tomlinson reintroduced the bill as Senate Bill 146 as of yet the web site has not caught up to view. This blogger obtained a copy of the new bill. It is the exact same as SB635 with the exception of sponsors. In the last session the bill had 30 sponsors. The number of sponsors is between 25 and 30 due to changing committees and possible conflicts. The Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer task force was OK with this.
On January 31st, 2007 the Legislative and Finance Committee, a joint committee of the PA General Assembly, held a hearing on the study that was commissioned by the assembly. You could read all 58 pages here. The next step is to move this bill out of committee and into debate on the Senate floor. The Senate currently has Senate Bill 246, Clean Air Act, moved to the second reading. With governor having an ambitious insurance agenda in the second term and the general assembly willing to listen, this bill has a lot support. In the study, it was noted that Pennsylvania has one of the highest incidences of colorectal cancer in the country with almost half of the cases proving fatal. You can also look at the statistics on the PA Department of Health website, here. What the study does prove is 90% of the cases fall in the proposed law's screening guidelines for screening and PA has the capacity to handle additional screening. The numbers that the Senate Committee on banking and insurance should be concerned about is early screening equals 100 percent cure.
With the American Cancer society's Daffodil Days coming in March. Efforts should be made to lobby Senator Don White who has assumed the banking and insurance chair from Senator Gibson Armstrong who now heads up the appropriation committee. Armstrong's office did a good job stonewalling movement on this bill while he was chairman. One of the excuses given to the Central Susquehanna Coalition was that the law would affect insurance surpluses. Senator White is on record of sponsoring Senate Bill 635 in the last session. Hopefully, he hasn't changed his mind. Here is Rep. Phyllis Mundy's op-ed here questioning what Northeastern Blue Cross was going to do with 175 million dollars. This only one of a few Blue Cross providers in the Commonwealth. Does this help provide more coverage?
With the country's sixth most populous state, PA does not have any colorectal screening law. Even Arkansas, has screening and here is the story behind the law.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 8:47 AM
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Ron Miller '93 is a native of Marion Heights, Pa. and a graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School. He was a first-team All-MAC selection on the offensive line as both a junior and senior as the Crusaders led the conference in both total offense and rushing offense both years, and was an honorable mention All-American as a senior. Following graduation, he served as Susquehanna's offensive coordinator for eight seasons and as head men's lacrosse coach for four seasons. He earned a master's degree in education from Bucknell and is head football coach at West York High School. Miller resides in Selinsgrove with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Aspen (3).
Miller, who grew up less than an hour from campus, was a little disappointed with local medial coverage when speaking to this blogger. Miller hopes to one day bring his team north and knock out a AAA team from the Coal Region out of the PIAA playoffs. For Miller, that may be only the Crimson Tide of Pottville who for the most part are the only Coal Region team left in AAA. Most of the teams are now relegated to A and AA.
Senior day for the mens and womens basketball teams was also held with local product Jen Clark of Southern Columbia, Sara Jane Kalejta of Lourdes Region and Chad Lauer of Southern Columbia all took part in the ceremonies. For Lauer, it was a great day. The senior did not see any action this season due to be operated on for a brain tumor, but the main thing is that things look to be going well from the surgery. It would have been nice to see Lauer out there helping his teammates claw for a playoff spot in the MAC. Lauer was a member of the Crusaders two seasons ago that went winless in the MAC. Lauer did all he could as a sophomore and at that time was one the leader in tenure on the team as a sophomore.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 7:48 PM
Friday, February 9, 2007
- Can Dave Zielinskie return the Indians to the type of team they were in the early 1990's?
Shamokin Area last walked off the field as a champion in the last game of the season in 1975 when they defeated Dunmore at Kemp Memorial Stadium for the Eastern Conference Class A championship. While the Indians in the meantime put out some outstanding teams over the last 31 seasons, their neighboring districts have more PIAA hardware. How much of the program is broken? What can be done to improve or fix them?
On the surface some things are very easy. They are actually obvious. When Zielinskie inherited the program from Jack Murdock in the mid-80's, the program was at rock bottom including an 1-10 campaign in 1982 under Bob Chesney and 0-11 campaign in 1983 under the first season of Murdock. Zielinskie brings instant credibility to the program. Current players will here stories of hard-hitting defenses and teams that went toe-to-toe with the best in PA.
Here are some positives to point out:
- The program isn't as down as it was in the mid-80's.
- The Indians return plenty of starters and there are some players in the wings.
- Shamokin now competes in "AA" compared to "AAA".
With Coach Zielinskie:
- A little older and wiser
- Can navigate well through the mine fields of being head coach
- Present employment gives him a better understanding of his kids
- This helps identify discipline problems early
- Easily can identify the positive leader on the team and build the rest.
There are also some negatives that are obvious. Early season schedule with Southern Area, Montoursville, and Mount Carmel in the first four weeks and team speed could be a problem.
Here are some others:
- New offense....doubtful Shamokin will run the West Virginia spread. However, all is not lost. Shamokin didn't have the speed back to run the spread. Forbes could be utilized in a better fashion to make up the lack of a running game.
- Schedule - see above
- Assistants, who will they be?
- Red Zone offense - Shamokin moved the ball well between the 20's. Had many problems scoring as evident in coming out of timeouts and players unsure of assignments.
- Dysfunctional feeder system - SUBJECT TO FUTURE POST.
Zielinskie has returned with the enthusiasm they he came with in the 80's. He still can motivate an average player to attain higher. It will be interesting to see how the team adjust to the new slate of coaches. Marc Persing and Jordan Haddock are proven leaders to build a team around especially when it comes to work ethic. Once again, Zielinskie should have the benefit of any doubt due to past performance. Parents, fans and the media will have patience.
SMOKE UNDER THE TEE-PEE!!!!!
It has been learned earlier this evening that the new assistant coaches have been hired. Several sources have confirmed that three of the four new coaches will include Dave Kopitsky Jr., Todd Nye and Mike Gurski. Offers will be tendered in the near future. This group of coaches could change if offers by the district to them are rejected or anything that could arise between now and summer drills. They round out the staff with Zielinskie and Ed Zack. A fourth will be hired, but there were mixed reports if he would be posted with the freshman or varsity. Two coaches remain to be hired to round out the staff from top to bottom. (A future post will profile the assistants.)
On personnel issues, Robert Cowder was appointed varsity cross country coach, and head football coach David Zielinskie and his coaching staff and their salaries were approved. Zielinskie will make $5,800, while his staff will be paid as follows: Assistant varsity coaches Edward Zack, $3,542; David Kopitsky Jr, $2,352; Michael Gurski, $2,904; Anthony Carnuccio, $1,800; eighth-grade head coach Edward Taylor, $1,776; assistant Todd Nye, $1,200; ninth-grade head coach James Lichty, $2,942, and assistant Gerald Bogetti, $1,638.The vote was approved by a 5-0 vote, with Mark Anonia and Tracey Witmer abstaining.
Robert Getchey asked that there be more volunteers for additional adult supervision for the younger squads.
FROM THE HARDWOOD
Shamokin defeated Pottsville on a 3-point bank by Mark Persing in OT at the buzzer. In the game Frank Marcinek went over the 1000-point mark. The Indians were eliminated from the Schuylkill League playoffs with Blue Mountain's victory over Jim Thorpe.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 10:24 AM