Monday, November 28, 2005

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Here's to two crazy days of shopping!

I love it when the economic engine of the US economy gets a kick in the pants. The news so far is that retail sales are up over last year, so that is always good news.

Unfortunately, there's a Republican in the White House, so the Old Media still finds the need to dig and dig until they find something dire. So, today, you'll see headlines like "brisk holiday sales, but not good enough."

Glad to hear corporate monsters and little businesses alike are doing well.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and yours have a terrific turkey day!

Lots of things for which to be thankful...
- God has blessed me with a super family
- God has blessed this mighty nation
- There are thousands of men and women willing to fight for my family and this nation

...and the list can go on and on.

Take the time to list some reasons why you are thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fun Friday Punditry

Many pundits have held up Condi Rice as a great candidate for President in the 2008 election. Ms. Rice is definitely qualified for the job and may, perhaps, be the most brilliant person to ever hold the office. Interestingly, Ms. Rice is single.

Imagine this scenario: To find a veep, she scours the country for a suitable candidate. She finds a solid conservative governor or senator for the ticket. By odd chance, he happens to be single, as well.

During the many long days, they grow fond of each other. They begin to date. Eventually, he pops the question and Condi accepts.

Can you imagine a situation where a sitting President marries a sitting Vice President? Obviously, that has never happened, but does it seem so far fetched? What would it be like? Talk about a marriage under a microscope!

Enjoy the thought.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mercer County, PA Still Counting...

Counting write-in votes continues at the Mercer County courthouse. The off-year general election was November 8, 2005.

Election chief Dr. Tom Rookey noted that there are lots of write-in votes to count and that they are "trying for (the) end of the week." That projection places the posting of results as November 18. The results can be viewed here.

Mercer County, Like Greene and Beaver Counties, had to scrap the UniLect Patriot electronic voting machines after they were decertified by the state. The Patriot machines had an unusually high amount of errors. Mercer County has resorted to using optical-scan ballots. The ballots are read by machine, but the write-ins must be counted manually.

There were 22,116 ballots cast in Mercer County--a disappointing 28.84% of registered voters.

When asked if his office will list all of the write-in votes, Rookey replied, "We will post winners. We will not post numbers that do not effect races." Fans of the civic duty will not get to indulge in reading the clever votes cast for such ballot stalwarts as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Spongebob Squarepants.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Young Politicos

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a story about Chris Portman, former teenage mayor of Mercer, PA. He surprised the nation by gaining office at a young age, but shortly thereafter, he ditched the job out of frustration. He lacked the fortitude to stay the course.

Another election has come and gone, and now we have two more young mayors...some of the youngest ever elected.

The citizens of Linesville, PA have elected Chistopher R. Seeley. Hillsdale, MI residents elected Michael Sessions. Both mayors-elect are 18...barely.

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld: "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

In a time where most youth only care about the latest Play Station or Xbox release, these young pols are stepping up to affect change. They care about their communities and they want to make a difference.

Behold the sweeping changes in PA, spearheaded by the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania. When the state legislature gave itself a massive pay raise, the citizens were angry. But YCOP stepped up, raised money, and bought radio ads and billboards to shame the politicians into repealing the raise. Other groups and citizens joined in and the repeal is now underway.

Young people have passion. When properly harnessed, it can be a great tool for helping a community, a county, a state. The biggest hurdles are discipline and experience. Colleges are overrun with passionate people who have no frame of reference for their passions. They lack discipline and tact and trample on others to push an agenda. They are the stereotypical know-it-alls that give youth a bad name.

Best wishes to the new mayors and other young politicos around this great country. Have courage. Have fortitude. Take your time and deliberate issues. Seek guidance. Learn as much as you can. And never let some "old whippersnapper" tell you that you are too young to make a difference!

Happy Veterans Day!

Today is the day when we salute all of our veterans. When you are out and about, be sure to thank any vet you meet. Be sure to say a prayer for our fighting men and women currently deployed around the globe.

Also, make sure you take time to remember those who have fallen in service to this great country. Freedom is definitely not free. Thanks, veterans!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Grove City General Election 2005



Hurry up and wait...
Voting went very well! Many thanks to those who came out and voted for me. The rain stayed away for most of the day and nearly 300 residents of Ward 5 came out to fill in the ovals.

Unfortunately, the results won't be available for up to a week. The Elections Office has to sort through the 22,000+ ballots by hand to manually count the write-in votes throughout the county. I'm sure it isn't a fun job, but I am thankful for their efforts!

Congratulations to the Republican winners in Grove City!
- Jeff Black won his first general election and will retain his Ward 5 seat on council.
- Council President George Pokrant won re-election in Ward 1.
- Andrea Folkertsma won a seat on the council, representing Ward 2.
- Randy Riddle won election to remain mayor.
- In the only true race in the borough, Matt Fischer easily won the job of tax collector.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

2005 General Election on Tuesday!

There are two major items of interest for Grove City residents on this year's ballot. One has statewide ramifications and the second has local ramifications.

First - the school board vacancies. There are four open seats and there are four people on the ballot. All four are incumbents. All four have voted for bloated budgets and have raised your taxes...multiple times. They have spent large quantities of money giving raises to administration after declaring the money is for the students. They have held illegal meetings and have broken procedural policy well over 70 times in this year alone. They will be re-elected.

So, why is this important? Because it is time to send them a message. Just because their names are on the ballot, it doesn't mean you have to vote for them. Leave it blank. Write in a candidate. Make a choice and take a stand. Let them konw that the majority of residents decided they aren't the ones to do the job.

Second - the retention of state judges. There has never been a time in state history when judges have not been retained. This time must be different. Judges Newman and Nigro have been complicit in the whole pay-jacking fiasco. They have made the "unvouchered expenses" provision possible. Yes, the lawmakers are in the process of repealing the pay raise, but the judges still want theirs.

Whether they deserve it or not has become irrelevant. They have conspired with the lawmakers and the governor to fleece the Pennsylvania citizens in the middle of the night without public debate. They need to be sent a message that we will not accept an immoral pay grab. Enough is enough.

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Go vote. Every vote does count. Every vote is important. And every non-vote is important, as well. The GC School Board and the State Supreme Court have had their time in the limelight. They have been fleecing us 'til we're black and blue. Time to repay them with a black eye.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bomb Threats Plague Grove City High School

For the fifth time (maybe sixth or seventh when you read this) in a month, Grove City, PA has had the high school evacuated because of bomb threats. Officials are scratching their heads over a solution to the problem.

Initially, students would leave the notes in the bathrooms. Some school board members and citizens recommended putting cameras in the bathrooms, but that was dismissed by the school solicitor as illegal. Besides, who would you entrust to watch your child go to the bathroom?

The administration closed most bathrooms and posted monitors at the open ones. Students would have to sign in and out, then the monitors would check to see if any notes were left.

As predicted, the students adapted and left notes in the hallway.

Officials need to get tough with the student body. They should have manditory Saturday classes - even if the threat halts classes for a hour. Cancel extracurricular activities. Someone who has done one (or all) of these threats has bragged to another student about it. Soon the students would turn on each other.

Once the police get their hands on a student, make an example of him or her. Nail the perp to the wall with a felony conviction. Try the student as an adult. Put someone in jail.

In our day and age, we can't go soft with a "it was just a joke - no one got hurt" excuse. The past dozen years are littered with small schools that have been terrorized. We can't let someone get away with crying "wolf."