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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

scary stuff … militarized police

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions on June 26, 2014 at 5:43 am

In newspapers around this country today, the Jim Hightower column is one more harbinger of where this country is heading. His column, Police or combat soldiers, is vexing and perplexing … and downright scary.

This creeping (and creepy) paranoia makes us wonder what’s next? And why? Are we just trying to find uses for the military trappings to keep the manufacturers of war material in business so they can funnel more money to politicians to keep voting to enhance the war-making capacity of this country?

scary stuffPHOTO SOURCE: The New Yorker

Want to read more?

“Swat Team Nation”The New Yorker magazine

“US police departments are increasingly militarized, finds report”infowars.com

“War comes home: The excessive militarization of American Policing” – ACLU

In case you’re not not in tune with one conspiracy theory about ultimate control of the population you’re pledged to “protect and serve,” you may want to know a little bit about “Operation Garden Plot” from globalsecurity.org, too.

Maybe this country ought to seek out the wacko’s in government and curb their idiocy.

and so it begins …

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, History and Heritage, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, Treasures on June 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

the series

click on the above graphic to read the LancasterOnLine special report on Columbia.

One commenter says: “This is fantastic high-quality journalism!”

Indeed, it is! … and some are recanting earlier suspicions.

Questions about things

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, People on June 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Following Monday’s “council of the whole” meeting, several questions emerged. We’d like to share them.

  • Who is trashing the town and the River Park? The councillors debated the infusion of trash that’s been overflowing the municipality’s trash receptacles – at the River Park and along the streets in town. Someone suggested the trash containers could be emptied every day. Someone suggested that the “island people” in the Susquehanna River were the trash dumping culprits. Someone else said that it’s the boaters. More than one person actually suggested that the borough remove all trash cans. What then? Invite people to just throw litter, including hundreds or thousands of cigarette butts, where? Here’s a picture taken a few hours ago today, Tuesday.


  • Why do people who profess to love the River love to trash it? Yesterday afternoon, we watched a young man fishing from one of the floating docks; he nonchalantly flicked his cigarette butt into the River. A few steps away, two young men were dropping their boat into the River from the launch ramp. One of them flicked his cigarette butt into the River too. That’s some tough love, killing the fish and the River that provides so much recreation for so many. Surely there’s no sewage going into the River?
  • Do the spy cameras work? The mayor told everyone about the damaged chain link fence that protects River Park visitors from the railroad tracks. He said the damaged fence was not the result of vandalism. Instead, he said, during the morning on Monday, a boater was attempting to launch his and had an apparent heart attack. Consequently, the victim’s vehicle lurched forward and knocked into one of the light poles, bending it and breaking the glass atop the pole and the vehicle continued up the grade into the chain link fence. According to the mayor, the police arrived on the scene within 15 minutes and the “gentleman” driving the vehicle was deemed to have had a heart attack. Surely the spy cameras in the River Park and around town digitally captures “trash-tossing” terrorists and the tragic accident. Don’t they?


crash too

bent pole


  • Who will be invited to the big “to do?” Did you get your invitation to come to the Route 441 Relocation Project Ground Breaking Ceremony slated for July 11, 2014 at 9:00 am at a “to-be-determined” place?

441 bypass

  • Ever heard the phrase “300 years of tradition unimpeded by progress?”

“As Ellsberg says on the billboard, a whistleblower ‘might save a war’s worth of lives.’”

In Government, Opinions, Opportunities on June 22, 2014 at 5:58 am



Area activist summarizes June 17 anti-fracking event

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, People on June 22, 2014 at 4:45 am

by Richard Burrill

Friday, June 20, 2014 – Did you know there was an event at the Pennsylvania State House in Harrisburg this past Tuesday concerning something that could have major implications on your life? This rally, sponsored by Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, the Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN) and several other groups and individuals, took place on June 17 at 1 p.m. and lasted about an hour in the Capitol Rotunda.

The purpose of the rally was to call for limiting hydro-fracking throughout Pennsylvania and for a moratorium on drilling of natural gas, a.k.a. methane, in our state forests and parks.

In addition to the four of us who drove up in the 91 degree heat from York, there were several hundred people in attendance, many of whom were carrying signs in support of our forests. Numerous journalists, photographers, television camera crews and reporters covered the event.

Over a dozen speakers made the case for protecting Pennsylvania’s environment from Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to lease our state forest and parks to Marcellus shale drillers. One of the speakers, PA State Representative Greg Vitali, of Delaware County, said that we need a severance tax on these gas companies. (Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state without a severance tax.) Others spoke passionately against the governor’s plan and for preserving the beautiful Penns Woods. Many urged us to develop natural fuels, instead of fossil fuels.

A January 2014 Franklin & Marshall College poll found that nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose additional gas development in state forests and parks.

PA Governor Tom Corbett has said the leasing could generate $70 million to help close the budget gap. Well, governor, let’s take a look at some facts about our state forests. They are:

  •  Recreational and ecologic gems – what I call “Paradise.”
  •  Drivers of our tourism economy
  •  Home to a variety of animals, including black bear, wild turkeys, native brook trout and rare birds.
  •  Opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping
  •  In addition, our state parks alone host 38 million visitors each year and contribute $1.2 billion per year to the economy of the state, providing more than 13,000 quality jobs.

Governor Corbett’s plan threatens all of the above.

  • He recently issued an executive order lifting the previous moratorium and reopened our state forests to leasing for natural gas drillers to fill a one-time budget gap.
  • He believes his proposal will not result in any additional disturbances.

It should concern every citizen of this Commonwealth that nearly half of the 1.5 million acres of state-owned forests that overlay the Marcellus shale is already leased to gas companies. Also, a 2010 PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources(DCNR) study found all of the unleased land is in ecologically sensitive areas. If you go online, you may read a more extensive 2014 DCNR monitoring report that might give you more concern.

I urge all of you to study the issues and teach others. Remember, you don’t know what you have, until it’s gone, and if our forests are gone, will we be far behind? Think on it.

Municipal Authority votes in favor of sale to LASA

In Government, Opinions on June 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm

It was a 4-1 vote, but a few hours ago the Municipal Authority voted to sell the sewer system to the Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA).

The vote, no doubt, generated cloistered conversations among a couple of councillors who will now come up with a new plot to “thwart the sale.”

… in other news:

Police are asking for the public’s help to find a man they say burglarized three businesses in Columbia.” – MyColumbiaNews

and a Gallup Politics article that says “Americans’ confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low.hat the public has a ‘new low.’”

Now who didn’t already know that?




“Retired Pa. health staffers say department muzzled them on fracking”

In Everyday Living, Government on June 19, 2014 at 7:55 am

When people put crap into the water supply, nothing good can come out of it.

“Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

“One veteran employee says she was instructed not to return phone calls from residents who expressed health concerns about natural gas development.

“‘We were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,’ said Tammi Stuck, who worked as a community health nurse in Fayette County for nearly 36 years.

“Another retired employee, Marshall P. Deasy III, confirmed that.

“Deasy, a former program specialist with the Bureau of Epidemiology, said the department also began requiring field staff to get permission to attend any meetings outside the department. This happened, he said, after an agency consultant made comments about drilling at a community meeting.”

Continue reading this newsworks.org article.

Columbia’s swimming pool is closed?

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opportunities, Uncategorized on June 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

Yesterday, a reader sent an email asking about the status of the Locust Heights Swimming Pool.

We wanted to ask questions to find out more, but yesterday was a busy “out-of-town” day.

Another person told us the property at 1200 Locust Street has a pool wall structural problem and that the owners would not open the pool.

Cole Umber’s got this picture at his Website.

locust Heights

Local developer, Cimarron Properties, has the “for lease” sign on the property!

The pool’s facebook page has a bunch of comments including many who “knew” the pool would not be opening this year.


Earlier this year at a borough council meeting, the above item was on the agenda. What happens to the above AED?

Really? Faster Internet service on the moon?

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on June 2, 2014 at 5:01 am

A couple of interesting articles caught our attention. 

fly me to the moon

1. Internet speed is faster on the moon than it is is Columbia. Kinda’ sad, huh? This paragraph from a article is revealing:

“As Bloomberg View has outlined, Congress could help by launching national fiber-optic campaign to compete with the cable industry and provide higher speeds. Many tech companies, including those part of the Internet.org partnership, have also made expanding global Internet connectivity a key goal and are taking steps to improve it. Google’s Project Loon launches Wi-Fi balloons, and the company recently acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread connectivity with drones. Facebook is pursuing a similar strategy with Ascenta.” – Bloomberg View

Comcast ought not be the only game in town. But, wait: “The total of contributions to candidates from Comcast Corp PACs is 2 times larger than contributions from individuals.” Oh so that’s the reason. – OpenSecrets.org

2.The best one-liners in sitcom history.ComplexPopCulture

3. And NSA was able to find only one of Snowden’s emails? Yeah, um-hm, right! “N.S.A. collecting millions of faces from Web Images.” – The New York Times

“Time for a second Constitutional Convention?” – NewsLanc

In Government, Opinions, Opportunities on May 29, 2014 at 5:12 am

We found this an intriguing column.

By Robert Field | NewsLanc.com

“In order to save our republic from slipping away, the need has arisen to bring about controls on how elections are funded and to alter the structure of our federal government.

“Given their experiences and struggles with England, our founding fathers understandably had distaste for the parliamentary form of the British government, with its powerful monarchy and the House of Lords that shared power with the House of Parliament. They focused on checks and balances against future abuse of power.

“But both the English and American governments have evolved over almost two and a half centuries, the former for the good. We should take another look.

“Perhaps it takes oldsters to believe in reform. They have lived long enough to have witness much change taking place. Those who are observant of such matter understand that bringing about change requires much work, devotion, perseverance, and time… more often than not, a lot of time.”

Click here to read the column at NewsLanc.com in its entirety.


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