Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Primary Day, ID-Up

If you are voting today, unlike Northumberland County Commissioner Steve Bridy who is a registered independent, please bring valid photo ID. 

This little ditty was in the Daily-Item Letters to the Editor:

No one who has followed Gov. Tom Corbett's decisions regarding public education funding would be surprised that he would ignore the civil protest at Indian Hills Golf Course on Friday, April 20, two days before Earth Day. He has continued on his path to lift up fracking and deter education, and what better place to do it than a few miles north of Shamokin?

If the governor had left the rolling countryside of Paxinos for a short ride along Route 61, he would have passed the massive slag heaps and culm banks left by the coal barons of yesteryear. He would have witnessed the empty factories, the condemned homes, and the chemically endangered Shamokin Creek. People may be easier to ignore.

The governor believes there will be enough jobs driving trucks to compensate for potential environmental damage. Presumably truck drivers don't need to be educated in the arts or foreign languages or whatever else the schools have to cut to make their budgets work. But those of us who grew up and were schooled in Shamokin look at the burgeoning fracking industry through eyes educated by our own experience and remain doubtful.

Many of us had a mixed connection to our surroundings. We understood our anthracite heritage, celebrated by parades and fireworks. Without mining, there would not have been an opera house, beautiful churches, and mills of all sorts to keep people employed. There would not have a been a rich cultural mix of social clubs with ethnic foods and festivities.

There also would not have been black lung, mine cave-ins, underground fires, dangerous child labor, and the resulting economic depression of a large demographic when the mines closed down. Due to competitors' outsourcing, long before outsourcing was a word, the successful factories like the ones my family owned and operated were unable to stay afloat. Those of us who took our education to other locales did so with the sad realization that it would be harder to advance in the town we called home. Others brought their professional skills, including teaching, back home to help succeeding generations.

I wish Gov. Corbett had been invited to dinner in Shamokin. It may have been less expensive than $1,000 a plate, but more valuable. Maybe.

Kay Hooper, Selinsgrove

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tom Corporate Coming to Indian Hills on Friday

PA Governor Tom Corbett will be coming to Indian Hills Golf and Tennis Club as part of $1000/couple plate fundraiser to benefit the reelection campaign of Kurt Massser (R-107th) of Elysburg.  Just last Thursday, Shamokin Area School District furloughed 22 staff in response to the governor's budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

While school districts are the big losers in Corbett's budget. Act 22 cuts a proposed 2 million to the elderly, handicapped, and children of Northumberland County.  Northumberland County Commissioner Steve Bridy is on the record for calling state legislator "cowardly."

“As a collective, they’re cowardly,” said Bridy, chastising the state Legislature, particularly state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, and Sen. John Gordner, R-27 of Berwick, for delegating the proposed cuts to the secretary of the state Department of Public Welfare. “They’re the second highest paid (state lawmakers) in the nation, and it’s just wrong to push blame on someone else. It’s just asinine and hypocritical to cut services to the elderly and needy children.”
Schlegel-Culver and Gordner basically say we didn't know this would happen????

Act 22 was intended to give Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander temporary authority to cut fraud and wasteful spending and “in no way did we think it was going to come to this. These are unintended consequences,” Schlegel Culver said of the statewide budget cuts. “I know (Bridy’s) frustrated. Everybody’s concerned about it.”

Gordner said there was no way to foresee cuts would be made in to the department of aging, but hopes the funding will be restored if state revenue rebounds for a second month in a row in April.
The big lie the GOP and Corbett tell and repeat often enough is that PA's school funding crisis has been caused by federal stimulus funds drying up and local school boards.  He blamed local school boards as recently as last week. 

So if you look at the funding crisis from the Heartland Conference point of view, the problems faced the past two years at Shikellamy, Selinsgrove, Midd-West, Lewisburg, Mifflinburg, Warrior Run, Mount Carmel and Shamokin are all the result of inept school boards, business managers, and superintendents??? That if very hard to believe governor.

If you can't read between the lines the governor is attempting to privatize public schools through charter schools and vouchers.  As collateral damage, the public school teacher's union will be crushed.  One of Corbett's top contributor's is man named, Vahan GureghianRead about him and the Chester-Upland SD here.  For profit companies making big $$$ off your childrens' education.

In case Mr. Corbett forgot about the goal of public education, here is very well written letter published in the April 17th edition of the Daily-Item.

Masser touts his credentials in the April 17th issue of the News-Item saying he votes what is best for the 107th.

The most frequent criticism made by potential Democratic opponents and other political critics against state Rep. Kurt Masser is that the first-term legislator can be expected to follow the "party line" by voting for whatever Gov. Tom Corbett and the House Republican leadership want.

Masser said such assertions couldn't be further from the truth. Although he makes no apology for being philosophically in tune with and supportive of much of the Republican agenda, Masser said he carefully considers how every bill would impact his constituents.

"With every vote I cast, I do my best to represent the (107th House) district," Masser remarked. "That is my job. It is not my job to please the leadership by going along with whatever they want."

The most recent example of Masser's independence, he said, was his vote against the voter ID law. Masser agreed with the "heart of the bill," he said, but strongly believed its implementation should have been delayed until 2013.
Voter fraud was so rampant around the state, Act 13 was passed with the fury of a flash flood.  Make sure to disenfranchise the electorate.  I agree with Mr. Masser it needed to wait until after 2013.  Again, Corbett needs to do all he can to stop President Obama.

The Daily-Item had some disagreement with Mr. Masser with HB 153.

Over the last 50 votes, the four representatives serving the Central Susquehanna Valley voted identically 47 times. Keller went his own way three times. On one of those occasions, Culver agreed with Keller.

Ninety-four percent of the time we could easily save $240,000 in salary by eliminating three of those legislators and never know the difference. Keller seems to be the legislator most inclined to think for himself. Why not pick him?
Who will be at the Indian Hills on Friday for dinner?  Not that the fare is bad as I myself am a member, but my guess is Senator Gordner, Rep. Culver, Rep Keller, some heavy hitters from the gas industry and Moran Industries.

As a side note, if you want to see what is happening to the Susquehanna River and water under the governor's watch, check out the Susquehanna River Sentinel

When election day comes up in November, ask yourself the following question, "Do you want to be able to buy dinner for your family or do you want the scraps off the $1000 plate????"

To borrow a line from the governor himself, "remember the children."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

22 Jobs Could Be Lost at Shamokin Area Schools

Shamokin Area faces the loss of 22 teaching positions at tonight meeting of the board. The meeting has been moved from the regular meeting room to the cafeteria and from the cafe to the gymnasium to handle what is expected to be a big turnout of the public.

Programs in play are the elementary music, gym, and art program.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lynda Gag (a) Culver

I guess I wasn't the only one a little skeptical when I read Rep. Lynda Culver (R-108) said this,

“the patient can know, the doctor can know, but other than that they cannot disclose to anyone else.”
Read the rest by the reader here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What the Frack, Gag Order on Doctors Written Into Law

Recently passed Act 13 hydraulic fracturing law bans doctors from sharing information with patients in the name of corporate trade secrets.

Read the article from the the Daily-Item here.

According to Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108) - Paraphrasing a quote taken from the Daily-Item above, Schlegel-Culver indicated that doctors could share information about chemical contamination with a patient, but it stays right there and the patient cannot share information with their spouse.  Are you kidding me? Not being able to share a medical condition with your spouse.

In honor of Good Friday, was the 30 pieces of silver worth it?

Note:  Most of the print edition of the above article is missing from the online version above.