Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'd like to offer a hearty Merry Christmas to all That's Rich readers!

It's a wonderous time of year when we all gather together and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

If you just can't help yourself and you want some political fun, check out my Christmas 2005 entry...

Marry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mercer County, PA Write-Ins are Online!

This is always one of the most fun times of the year...

The Mercer County Elections Office has released the always-entertaining list of write-ins from the past election.

Mickey Mouse was written in for Clerk of Courts!

Mickey Mouse also captured votes for the Grove City school board - obviously a vast improvement over the current group.

Snoopy for coroner? I don't think so...think of the nightmares that would cause!

Promising to use The Force while in office, Luke Skywalker captured a vote for assessor.

And just when you thought you could talk your way out of a ticket, someone thought it was time to bring God on board as sheriff. Talk about justice! When the Almighty asks, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" you better be truthful...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deer Season in PA is Here!


Well, it has been here for archers.

For those who use rifles, it's time to blow up Bambi! Anyone who has nailed a deer with their car or has had vegetation destroyed by deer knows that there are way too many of them roaming around. Of course, with anti-hunting measures being passed in areas around cities, deer are flourishing to the point of being pests.

As city-dwelling do-gooders move into the "country" to get away from city life, they are seemingly too willing to drag the city life (and laws) to the country with them. They don't realize that man was created to hunt and that animals were made to feed man. After all, where do you think Applebees gets its meat?

Animal rights wacko: "How could you kill a poor, defenseless animal?"
Hunter: "Because they taste soooooo good! By the way...nice leather coat."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A History on Thanksgiving by Rush Limbaugh

On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible, and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.

But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.

When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments.

Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were collectivists! Now, Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh?

What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently.

What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson, every kid gets. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future. Here's what he wrote: 'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'

That was thought injustice. Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s?

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.

The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.' Now, have you heard this before? Is this being taught to children -- and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?

What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year's election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn't work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power.

So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that's Thanksgiving. And read George Washington's first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he's thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks. You deserve it. Do what you can to be happy, and especially do what you can to be thankful, because in this country you have more reasons than you've ever stopped to consider.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tax-Hiking Jane Rath Resigns From School Board

Christmas might be coming early for Grove City area residents. School board president Jane Rath is leaving the tax-hungry body on December 1. She is accompanying her husband, who is relocating to South Carolina for employment reasons.

The board unanimously installed Bob Montgomery as the interim president.

Rath leaves a legacy of running a school board that has raised taxes every year of her presidency. Her policies have financially crippled many residents of the town. Of course, it’s all okay since the tax-dollar theft was “for the children.”

Her legacy also includes handing out lavish raises for administrators; firing a well-loved, respected, and successful teacher; gutting the middle school curriculum; advancing expensive and unnecessary building projects; numerous Sunshine Law violations; and a reputation for being incredibly hostile to citizens that dared speak at board meetings.

Her replacement is no better, as he has served as vice president and voted in lock step with Rath. He has also been outwardly hostile to citizens at board meetings. He once publicly shouted a question at board watchdog, Jason Reeher, asking “What would you do (about the tax-hiking budget)? Would you cut programs?” Montgomery voted to raise taxes instead, and then later voted to cut the curriculum. So much for the taxpayers – and the children.

One down, eight to go.

Mercer County Elections Director Jeff Greenburg just told me the following concerning her replacement:
“The person would be appointed in this case to serve the remainder of the term. That seat will be on the ballot in 2009.”
Of course, it would be incredibly interesting if Reeher would get on the board – even though we all know that the board would never, ever appoint him to fill Rath’s seat. But it would be interesting.

Keep in mind that Reeher nearly ousted Rath during the 2005 election and that no extra candidates ran for school board during the 2007 election. Fun, fun, fun.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Grove Ciy Borough Votes to Advertise Balanced Budget

No surprise here...

Grove City Borough Manager Vance Oakes submitted yet another balanced budget, as prepared by Oakes and the finance committee. This budget marks 26 years of budgets without tax increases!

The budget holds the line on spending, holds taxation at the current 4-mil level, and avoids dipping into the reserves. The motion to advertise the balanced budget passed unanimously.

If no changes are made, the budget will be adopted at the December 17 meeting.

The budget is open for public review and comment. Perhaps members of the Grove City school board and administration can stop by and take a look. They haven’t passed a balanced budget in years. They just love their tax hikes!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Veterans Recognized at SSG Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge Ceremony

This morning, we dedicated the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge. The rain held off and well over 300 came to honor Shawn and other Grove City service members who died while serving.

Many, many, many thanks to those who helped make the dedication a very special moment for Grove City!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2007 Election Round-Up

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):

- Voter turnout lower than expected

-
Kochems will be new DA

-
Beader, Lechner, Ammann win seats

-
McClelland wins by slim margin


In the only Grove City race, Patrick Chapman defeated Jason Reeher. Joe Pisano, Jeff Hodge, and Michael Coulter were unopposed and will join Council in January. Jeff Black was unopposed in his re-election to Council.

Congratulations to all of the winners across the county! Remember: you serve the people, so do your best to follow the Constitution and don't be afraid to make tough decisions - even if they are unpopular.

Welcome (or welcome back) to public service!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

2007 Election Results for Mercer County, PA

The polls close at 8:00pm. Once they tally the votes, they are posted online.

You can find the results from any race within the county here: 2007 Mercer County Election Results

The Pennsylvania results can be found here: 2007 Pennsylvania Election Results

I hope you voted!

Election Day 2007!


Time to get out of bed and go vote! It only takes a few minutes out of your oh-so-important life.

If you aren't sure about the issues, take a quick look down the page for my roundup of election articles and press releases.

By the way...vote "no" on retaining judges. Don't forget about the illegal pay raise! The judges enabled it to happen - then they took the money! **Judge Joan Orie Melvin fought to return the pay raise from the beginning. Her integrity shows that she deserves retention.

Remember: if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Best wishes and happy voting!

Monday, November 05, 2007

George Pokrant's Non-Secret Secret

Does Borough Council President George Pokrant Have Too Much Power? Some have made that assertion. I’ve heard claims from the Tin Foil Hat Society that Pokrant has forced policy down Council’s throat. I’ve also seen Pokrant referred to as a dictator.

The truth be told, Pokrant is the president of Council. It’s his job to shape policy. And Council apparently totally approves. In January of last year, Pokrant was voted unanimously to retain the title of president. Either all of Council swoons at the mention of his name, they are terrified of him, or they approve of his work.

First choice – I doubt it. Pokrant is a nice guy, but Clark Gable he isn’t.
Second choice – I doubt it. This isn’t Jersey. Grove City isn’t known for its coercion tactics or contract hits.
Third choice – We might be on to something. There is no doubt that at least two folks on Council aren’t members of the Friends of George Club, but they still voted for him. So, either they still approve of his work or they are cowards for not voting for their principles.

And let’s be honest. Things run so smoothly here (thanks, Borough Manager Vance Oakes!) that the common choices before Council come down to deciding parade routes and whether or not to allow a festival in Memorial Park. Sometimes we even approve the lowest bid on a project or approve a new construction tap-in for our sewer system. Tough stuff.

Sure, there are some tough decisions, but those have full council support. Infrastructure repair? Unanimous. Passing budgets? Unanimous.

There are ten adults on Council. All of them are capable of reason and thought. All of them are fully able to talk to their constituents. All of them are invited to every Council regular meeting, committee meeting, work session, and executive session. It’s up to them – as adults – to show up and represent their constituents.

Anyone who has sat in a work session or committee meeting knows that Pokrant typically talks little, focusing on keeping the discussion on track. He waits until all members have been able to share their views before he weighs in. Hardly a case of someone dictating policy.

Either we all approve of Pokrant’s work, or we are all fools.

Of course, I’ve already discussed the ridiculous notion of Pokrant and solicitor Tim Bonner having secret meetings. Here’s the truth – if Pokrant needs to talk to Bonner about an issue, he runs it by Council first. Oh, the secrecy!

Let’s also discuss the alleged virtual meetings that happen over e-mail. Here’s the context: Pokrant e-mail: “Should we have a meeting about subject X?”
Council reply: “Yes.”

Of course, in 2007, are we are supposed to make phone calls to determine if we should meet? Wouldn’t that be a type of virtual meeting? Maybe we should just have mandatory nightly public meetings to determine if we need to have a meeting…. Of course, don’t forget the cost of constant meetings – we have to light and heat that borough building! E-mail is simply a quick and easy way to determine how to meet.

But what about secretly discussing policy? So, if two Council members discuss an issue, then that’s a public meeting? What about when a citizen talks to a Council member or two? Should that be advertised as a public meeting, too? Where are the minutes from all of those meetings? If I go to a car show and bump into the Mayor and another Council member, is that a quorum?

Confused yet? You should be. I’ll put it clearly. There are no policies being determined via e-mail. If there needs to be a decision about something, it is brought before a quorum of Council, in public, at the borough building.

Finally, let’s examine the thought of Pokrant hand-picking candidates. Again, this is another laughable accusation. Every election, people with political minds (politician or not) wonder who will fill a vacant seat. Sometimes, no one does. How does that serve the public? Most often, politicos know of someone who may be interested and they ask.

I’ve done it. I helped my brother-in-law run for school board in 2005. I asked around when there wasn’t a candidate running in Ward 4 during the primary. Besides, how many people would ask someone that they totally disagreed with to join their political office? “Hey, you and I don’t agree on a single thing…why don’t you run for Council?”

Mercer County Voting Guide Roundup

The Herald (Sharon, PA) has several news stories/press releases about the upcoming races. If you’re a political junkie – or simply a concerned citizen – read on!

Longer ballot, bigger issues

County commissioner candidates weigh in on Woodland Place, jail

McEwen says his experience unmatched

Ammann is back, wants to call shots

Hard choices aren't new for Lechner

Beader sets sights on another term

Goodwin, Kochems face off for district attorney office

Hofius challenges McClelland in recorder race

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As always, I'll post up the results as soon as I can get my hands on them. Be sure to visit often throughout the evening and Wednesday morning as results are reported.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grove City Council Meets over Taxes, Energy Costs

Grove City Borough Council met on Monday night to discuss two hot subjects: taxation and rising energy costs.

Council member Beth Cooney was absent. Primary winners Michael Coulter and Patrick Chapman were in attendance.

On energy costs, borough manager Vance Oakes informed the Council that current PA regulations are putting the brakes on Grove City's investment into a couple new energy facilities in Ohio. These plants would allow Grove City to receive energy at considerably lower costs for the next several decades.

Apparently, the state doesn't think that a borough can't be an investor in these projects. We need to be an owner. Let me check my wallet for the $2 billion needed to build a coal-fired electrical plant....

Luckily, we are exploring other options. Earlier this year, Council signed a five-year energy deal with current provider AMP-Ohio in an effort to keep rates stable. Without the investments though, we will have to buy energy on the open market, which means sharp increases. Thanks for the bureaucracy, Pennsylvania!


------------------

On the matter of taxation, the Council determined to look into raising the Emergency Municiple Services Tax (formally the Occuational Privilege Tax...ahhh, socialism). On the surface, the reaction to such a change is to shout "No tax hikes!"

And I agree. Which is why I voted against looking into the tax.

Let's hold our horses for one minute, though. What if that tax were raised to the full $52 per year for those who work inside our borough? And what if property taxes were raised a corresponding amount? Intrigued?

Grove City borough was totally in the black for 2007, with no deficit spending (taking money from reserves). We're trying to do that again for 2008.

Personally, I hate the EMS tax, especially since I remember its roots as the OP tax. I remember my first job - as a produce worker at BiLo - and feeling furious about paying for the privilege to work and pay bills. Socialism is alive and well, Der Kommissar!

That said, I hate property taxes even more. Our nation is based upon freedoms - and one freedom is the right of property ownership. However, if you don't send the greedy bureaucrats in Harrisburg your property taxes, you will lose your land. Who really owns it?

Add in the disasterous tax hikes from Bob Post, Jane Rath, and the rest of the Grove City School Board, and you have citizens literally losing their property from being over taxed. The School Board doesn't care - they pass big hikes every year and fully expect you have plenty of money to pay for it. If people lose their land, well, that's just part of the process.

This is a topic that weighs heavily on the Borough Council. We see an opportunity to drastically cut the property taxes under our watch (our current rate is 4.5 mils...the School Board's rate is up to 50-something at this point). If the School Board is going to continue to punish you, maybe we can help a little.

This is just in the exploratory phase. No action is being taken. We're just discussing the pros and cons. And it's all open to the public, as it always has been. You are always welcome to any regular meeting or committee meeting or worksession. We'd love your input!

Mercer County Commissioner Debate Wrap-up

The Herald (Sharon, PA) has a wrap-up of last night's debate.

According to the article, there weren't any bombshells dropped. The only interesting part is that the democratic candidates (Brian Beader and Kenneth Ammann) seem to differ on issues, such as taxation and the recent bank building purchase made by the county.

Oddly, Ammann said he didn't have enough info to make a decision about the purchase. Ummm...you are running for commissioner - and this issue has been in the news a good bit lately. The election is not far away. You might want to consider learning about current topics in the next week!

Sadly, the article had a very small section on taxation. It would have been nice to read about what they thought about our current situation - especially the economic plundering done by former commissioners a handful of years ago. The way the article is written, it sounds like Ammann wants to cut taxes and no one else does. Huh? A little in-depth reporting would have solved that confusion.

Transcripts, anyone?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mercer County Commissioner Candidates Debate Tonight

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Forum of the Shenango Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Republicans Lewis McEwen and John Lechner and Democrats Kenneth Ammann and Brian Beader, the only incumbent in the race, will field questions from a panel and the audience.

The debate will be broadcast on WPIC 790 AM.


It sounds like a rip-roaring good time...and I'll be there! Well, not really. I'll be at PSU Shenango teaching young skulls full of mush while the debate rages on...

PSU Shenango is also hosting a comedian at the same time.

Given the choice of a political debate or a comedian, which do you think students will go to see? And students wonder why I laugh when they say they want to be treated like adults...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Courageous Jordan Jack Passes Away

Jordan Thomas Jack, 4, passed away, succombing to an extremely rare genetic disorder, Griscelli syndrome. Only 60 cases have ever been reported worldwide. Jordan had been fighting the disease for a couple years.

Here is an article that gives some background into Jordan's story.

Jordan is survived by his parents, Jason and Monica Jack, and his sister Madalynn, all of Grove City.

Godspeed, Jordan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hillary's Empty Resume

There has been a hanging political curveball out there for a very long time and Rudy Giuliani finally stepped up and hit a home run.

Why does anyone think Hillary Clinton should be president? What does she even know about the job, other than riding the coattails of her husband? Granted, we know that she's very capable of abusing the government (FBI files, anyone?). But think about her resume...it is empty.

Anyway, Rudy was on Hannity and Colmes last night and swung the bat:
"...honestly and most respectfully, I don't know Hillary's experience. She's never run a city; she's never run a state; she's never run a business; she's never met a payroll; she's never been responsible for the safety and security of millions of people, much less even hundreds of people. So I'm trying to figure out where the experience is here.

It would seem to me that, in a time of difficult problems and war, we don't want on-the-job training, you know, for an executive. The reality is that these areas in which — maybe there are some areas in which she has experience, but the areas of having the responsibility of the safety and security of millions of people on your shoulders is not something Hillary has ever had any experience with."

There you have it. No experience. No wonder she wants Bush to yank the troops before the next president takes office - she's totally unprepared to handle problems that face the world. Heck - she can't even handle her own household.

And she wants to be the one to develop a national healthcare plan?

And she wants to be the one to determine how much profits a business should earn?

If she's the winner, we're screwed. And you thought Jimmy Carter was bad...

Mercer County DA Candidates Square Off

The League of Women Voters of Mercer County, WPIC-AM, and The Herald sponsored a District Attorney debate last night between Republican James Goodwin and Democrat Robert Kochems.

The debate showed the clear differences between the two men: one favors plea agreements and rehabilitation, and the other favors strict prosecution and harsh penalties.

Want to guess which favors what?

It's no surprise why Goodwin chose to go after Kochems on the percieved soft-on-crime status of the DA's office. Retiring DA James Epstein has had Mercer County residents scratching their heads over ludicrous plea bargains offered to criminals - violent criminals at that.

In Grove City, Epstein was quick to pull the death penalty off the table for Scott Dunn, who savagely murdered his wife Brandi. By the time the trial was set to start, Dunn and Epstein came up with an excedingly generous deal that could see Dunn walk in 26 years. And this could be reduced by 13 more years pending a sentencing appeal.

Goodwin was also quick to point out the squandering of tax dollars by the DA's office, noting that they need to do more with less. Goodwin noted the lack of efficiency and case backlog that currently hampers prosecutions and paves the way for plea bargains.

Kochems denied that a backlog exists and was quick to defend the actions of Epstein, which isn't a surprise - Epstein has endorsed Kochems.

Have you been outraged over the plea bargains given to violent predators in Mercer County? Your choice is clear in November.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Grove City Borough Council Meeting Tonight

It's the third Monday of the month, so it's time for another meeting.

7:00 at the borough building...come and see your elected officials in action. All open, no secrets.

Get to know the issues. Feel free to ask questions.

See you there!

New Blog for the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge

There is now a blog for the Graham Veterans Bridge where people can find out the most recent information about construction, the Memorial Walk, and the upcoming dedication ceremony.

Address: http://grahambridge.blogspot.com

It's a non-political site, geared toward information collection and disemination.

I'll continue to keep up with the looney Tin Foil Hat Society and their hypocrisy on this blog.

Friday, October 05, 2007

VA Butler Healthcare Hosting "Welcome Home" Celebration for War on Terror Vets

Definitely a good story here, folks...

According to InsideButlerCounty.com the VA will be hosting this event on Saturday, October 20. A wide variety of services will be available, as well as music, giveaways, food, and kids' activities for veterans' families.

Make an opening in your schedule to stop by and say "thanks" to our heroes!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Phil English: Bush Should Tell the Terrorists Our Plans

Congressman Phil English (PA-3), known for incorrectly reading the tea leaves, has jumped on the "I'm against the war, too...please don't vote me out of office" bandwagon.

English has always been a RINO, but in this instance, he's fully jumped into liberal territory. He has introduced House Resolution 3087, which "requires the Administration to report to Congress within 60 days on the status of its planning for redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, and then update Congress every 90 days." (Hat tip to InsideButlerCounty.com.)

Thankfully, the President has the authority (granted by the Constitution and approved by this Congress) to wage war. He doesn't need to tell Congress his blueprint for removing troops.

If Bush laid out a timeline, given their unquenchable desire for fame, Congressmen and women would then run to the nearest reporter and detail everything. Oops...now the terrorists have our plans and our troops and allies are in danger.

That's brilliant...

Hypocracy alert: The next time you hear a liberal demanding withdrawal from Iraq, ask when we're going to leave the Balkans. In an election year promise, Clinton said all of the troops would be home by Christmas 1996. He won re-election and our troops are still there...policing a real civil war, not a media-fabricated one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Liberals: Hate Bush or Love Iran?

It's bad enough that liberals have fallen in love with Iran and its terrorist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but how deep does their love run?

While speaking at Columbia University (the same school that bars the ROTC program), Ahmadinejad did his best "Democrat Party impersonation," repeating the same lines spouted by Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Barak Hussein Obama, et. al. - garnering lavish praise from the "enlightened" teenagers in the audience.

Then he dropped a bomb on the leftist croud: he claimed "we don't have homosexuals, like in your country.... We do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who has told you that we have...."

Want to guess why there aren't any gays in Iran?



These two were teenagers. Just like the clowns at Columbia who were giving thunderous applause to the terrorist president of Iran. No doubt, some members of that audience were gay...yet they cheered.

This is how badly (and blindly) they hate Bush. Torturing and killing teenagers is okay. Threatening to eliminate Israel is okay. Supplying weapons and fighters to kill our troops in Iraq is okay. Because Bush is more dangerous.

Really?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mercer County Commissioner Debate at Grove City College

The candidates for Mercer County Commissioner debated last night over who best deserves the job. All three seats are open, so county policy dictates that a maximum of two candidates from each party can run. This eliminates the chance for one party to have complete power of the position.

The top three vote-getters win the seats.

The candidates are:
- Kenneth Ammann, Democrat
- Brian Beader, Democrat (incumbent)
- John Lechner, Republican
- Lew McEwen, Republican

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Scott Dunn Appeals Arson Sentence

Dunn, who killed his wife, Brandi Montgomery, is seeking to reduce his prison time by up to 13 years.

From The Herald (Sharon, PA):
After the sentencing, Misko filed a motion asking Dobson to reconsider the sentence of 10 to 20 years on one count of arson. The charge is for endangering firefighters and Misko said the judge went outside the standard range for sentencing.

Dobson denied the motion, so Misko has appealed to the higher court. Misko said the guidelines call for a minimum sentence of 6 to 7 years on the charge.

While it takes a lot of chutzpa to seek the reduction after he pleaded guilty, Dunn and his attorney, Stephen Misko, are using his plea as the reason for the reduction. Prepare to be outraged:
At the sentencing, Dobson mentioned that because of the fire, Mrs. Dunn’s family could not see her body at the funeral and that all their memorabilia were destroyed.

Misko said he didn’t think the judge took into consideration that by pleading guilty, Dunn saved the family from going through a trial and that he expressed remorse.

What?? In other words, hey - he said he was sorry, so don't give him strict punishment! Besides, he saved them from going through a trial!

Hey, bonehead - they wouldn't have to go through a trial if you didn't kill their daughter! They'd still be able to see her every day and enjoy each birthday, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Instead, the Montgomery family got a closed casket. Dunn got to avoid the death penalty AND life in prison. Now he's trying to make it a much shorter stay.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Grove City Memorial Park Hoops Renamed

The basketball court in Grove City Memorial Park will be sporting a new name: The Thomas W. McKnight, Jr. Basketball Courts.

The request was made to Borough Council by McKnight's children. Council unanimously approved the name change at the September meeting.

McKnight was a former councilman (1966-69) who was instrumental in creating the courts.

No objections from Council or from citizens were offered.

Yet another case of the Tin Foil Hat Society being MIA when a GC landmark is named after a single individual.... The hypocrisy meter is pegged.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering the Terror Attacks on 9/11/01

They haven't forgotten. Have you?

Another year has passed. It's hard to believe that it was so long ago, but humans (especially Americans) have short memories. Four planes: two at the World Trade Center, one at the Pentagon, and one in a Pennsylvania field, aimed for Washington DC.

Have you forgotten?

This attack was the first major campaign of the War on Terror to hit our shores. Unfortunately, it was the loss of over 3000 lives that got our attention. The terrorists of Islam have been at war with us for decades. They attacked commercial flights, they bombed military barracks, they bombed embassies. They bombed the USS Cole.

Have you forgotten?

They haven't gone away. But this time, we are fighting them on their own turf - on our terms. We brought the fight to them, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Foreign fighters are flooding into those countries to take on the US military, instead of flooding into our country.

They still want to kill us - simply for not being Islamic. They don't care if you are a Christian, a Jew, an agnostic, or an athiest. They don't care which political party you follow. They simply want you dead.

Don't forget. Support the mission. Support the troops. Period.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Russian Mayor Alexander Kuzmin Sends Whiners Packin'

File this one under "Feel-Good Stories"....

Kuzmin, the mayor of Megion, Russia has found a great way to increase productivity and make a positive, proactive workforce: fire whiny bureaucrats!

The mayor made a list of forbidden phrases that kill morale and productivity, and hung the list outside his office door. The phrases include:

"I can't"
"I don't know"
"What can we do?"
"It's not my job"
"It's impossible"
"I'm having lunch"
"There is no money"
"I was away/sick/on vacation"


Courtesy of the AP:
"Town authorities are there to make town residents' life comfortable and prosperous," Kuzmin, a trained oil engineer who studied business administration in Canada, said in a statement posted on the town Web site. "Town officials must work out mechanisms to solve and remove problems, not to avoid them."

Officials who disobey the ban while in the mayor's office "will near the moment of their departure," the statement said.

Providing the mayor with wrong or incomplete information, or being late in reporting important information will be considered an attempt to undermine his work, it said.

Anna Borovikova, the mayor's chief of staff, said the novel approach has improved discipline.

"Before, it was so easy to say `I don't know.' Now before reporting to the mayor we prepare several proposals on how one or another problem can be solved," Borovikova said.


Go figure! Maybe we could have Kuzmin tour the country talking to our bureaucrats...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Liberals: "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq?

I've noticed an interesting turn of events. Liberals, known for their ability to forget (or ignore) what they say one day - then say something totally opposite the next day, have a new tactic.

Here's the comment from a leftist troll on GrassrootsPA:
Five years ago the United States invaded the country. With in nine months the US won the war because our military men and women did an amazing job. You would think a commander in chief would be intelligent enough to know when he won. Well, that was not the case. The US did not pull back, secure the borders of Iraq and let the people sort out their government.

Well, four years later, there has been a constant fight between factions with in the Iraq civilation. The US has 170,000 troops in Iraq when the military action was completed over four years ago. So you ask, who are the US fighting, well they are fighting these two factions who are trying to kill each other while our military is stuck in the middle.

You'll note the obligatory "we love the military, too" comments that libs always tend to say. Of course, if their actions showed otherwise, they wouldn't have to say it every time they spoke!

The important line is the one I put in bold. It now seems like they are shifting to calling the war in Iraq "won." Of course, everything afterwards is Bush's fault, but that isn't new.

You'll recall how much the libs wet the bed over Bush's speech on the carrier with the "Mission Accomplished" banner. They were ruthless in their attacks, saying how the war wasn't over, how it was failing, etc. Now they are claiming it's won and over with back in 2003?

Liberals...consistently inconsistent since, well...ever.



Pssst...we're still in the Balkans. And Korea. And Germany.

Grove City High School Football Season is Here...at a Price



It's getting closer to fall. School is about to start. At that means high school football is upon us. Sports fans rejoice!

Sadly, heritage and fiscal responsibility have taken a seat at the back of the bus. The Grove City Eagles will be playing on plastic. No grass. No mud. Blasphemy! The team went to states a few years ago playing on a natural surface, so this year they should rule the world!

And it comes at a steep cost: nearly $2 million. Ouch! But don't question the school board. After all:
- It's for the children. (At this point, board president Jane Rath wipes away a tear.)
- Everyone else has a fancy field...why can't we, darn it!?! (At this point, superintendent Robert Post stomps his feet and holds his breath.)

Novel ideas for $2 million dollars:
- Return it to the taxpayers that have been raped for years by the school board. (Yeah, like that will happen.)
- Buy 4000 computers.
- Hire 25 teachers.
- Build more classrooms.
- Buy 800,000 gallons of diesel for the school buses.
- Buy 25,000 scientific calculators

Get the point how much money this is? And this is only part of the wasteful spending that goes on at the school board.

But it's for football. And the children.

Friday, August 24, 2007

More "Secret" Meetings...TFHS Takes a Pass

In the last week or so, Grove City Borough officials have had more of the so-called "secret" meetings.

- August 14, 6:00pm: Worksession at the borough building
- August 16, 6:00pm: Police/Fire Committee at the borough building
- August 20, 7:00pm: Monthly Council meeting at the borough building

No one from the public showed up, save a reporter from the Allied.

Of course, he knew about the meetings because they were advertised in the Allied! So much for "secret" meetings.

The Tin Foil Hat Society insists that these private meetings take place, but for some reason, no one knows anything about them...except for the TFHS members. Somehow they know about these meetings that ellude the rest of the town!

Psssst...in case you were wondering, the next scheduled meeting is September 17 at 7:00pm at the borough building. Come and see your government in action. All open, no secrets.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Scott Dunn Gets 24 to 52 Years For Voluntary Manslaughter of Brandi Montgomery Dunn

Dunn was before Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson today for sentencing for the brutal murder of his wife, Brandi Montgomery Dunn. The slaying took place in January 2006 in Montgomery's parent's Grove City home.

Earlier, Dunn had confessed as part of a plea bargain that the family accepted to ensure Dunn would definitely serve time.

According to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Under Pennsylvania law, Dunn must serve the minimum sentence but with district attorney and family opposition to parole, he likely will serve the maximum.


From an additional Herald story:
Dobson sentenced Dunn to 10 to 20 years for voluntary manslaughter, 10 to 20 years for one count of arson, 40 months to 10 years for a second count of arson and 1 to 2 years for abuse of a corpse.

All sentences are to be served consecutively. Dunn was given credit for 487 days already served.

Court Montgomery said he and his wife agreed to the deal in part because they didn’t think they could handle going through a trial. Montgomery, 70, has cancer and Mrs. Montgomery needs an organ transplant, he said.

The judge went outside the standard sentencing range for the arson charge for putting rescue workers at risk. Dobson noted that telling the 911 operator someone was trapped guaranteed an aggressive response.

**********

Misko said Dunn also received four times the amount of punishment because of his prior criminal record. On a drug binge in 1999, Dunn was involved in several burglaries, Misko said.

Dunn was also ordered to pay court costs, $11,200 restitution to Montgomery for Mrs. Dunn’s funeral and gravestone and $290,000 restitution to the Montgomery’s insurance company for the home destroyed by fire.

In exchange for Dunn’s plea, charges of first- and third-degree murder, criminal homicide and one count of arson in the case were dropped. Manslaughter means the killing wasn’t premeditated, but that Dunn meant to hurt his wife.

Epstein has said that prosecutors made the plea deal to ensure Dunn paid the price for killing Mrs. Dunn and to make sure there was no way he could possibly walk out of court a free man.


Background story about Brandi, Montgomery family from The Herald, Sharon, PA.

News story from WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh.

News story and video from WYTV-TV, Youngstown.

News story from WKBN-TV/WYFX-TV, Youngstown.

WFMJ-TV, Youngstown has a video report on its homepage.

News story from The Vindicator, Youngstown.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Grove City Names Two Landmarks

Two spots in Grove City just got a little more personal.

First, as a Boy Scout Eagle project by Thomas Nelson, a flagpole and seating area was erected at the Hunter Farm soccer complex. The work was done as a memorial to the late Dr. Ken Dunkle, who supported youth soccer in Grove City.

Secondly, the downtown park between Sun Gin's Chinese restaurant and Ward's antique store was renamed The Joe Monteleone Youth Festival Park. Mr. Monteleone generously gave $75,000 to the creation of the park, which will feature a gazebo and several sitting areas under shade trees. The park will be a focal point for downtown gatherings, such as concerts and the farmer's market.

*************

Thankfully, the Tin Foil Hat Society didn't try to interfere with naming these landmarks after people. As you may recall, they unsuccessfully tried to block the naming of the Chestnut Street Bridge after SSG Shawn A. Graham, who was killed in behind-the scenes combat in Baghdad, Iraq. They argued that a landmark shouldn't be named after one person and that Graham didn't deserve the honor (they publicly stated that they didn't believe Graham was killed in combat). The bridge was eventually named after Graham and other veterans who died in combat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grove City Revitalization Gets a Little Brighter

In case you haven't noticed, the new lights are being installed downtown. The east side lights are installed and functional and the west side lights are installed in the first block.

Check them out sometime! They sure look a lot better than the old lights.

Also, the lack of overhead lines and the new sidewalks are much better looking. You can really appreciate the beauty of the buildings downtown. Merchants are stepping up and remodelling their storefronts.

Let's face it: the lights were old units, the sidewalks were cracked and broken, and the overhead lines were terribly inefficient. Without your help, we would have replaced things with the same, ugly materials. On top of that, the street has seen much better days and was slated for repaving by PennDOT, anyway.

Thanks to those who contributed money to the revitalization project! The private money is what allowed us to beautify the downtown district.

Pssst...it's never too late to donate!

That's Rich Blog Update

Friends-

I've made some changes to the way reader comments are posted on this blog. Comments are always welcome, but now must first be approved by yours truly before they appear online.

An "anonymous" poster (spineless coward to the rest of us) from Grove City's Tin Foil Hat Society made a vulgar comment disparaging the deaths of two local military men who had passed away.

I don't care if people attack me. Frankly, I think it's funny that people are that lonely, bored, unemployed, unelectable, etc. that they make feeble attempts to slander a person, but then have such awesome cowardice they won't even sign their names.

I won't stand for people demeaning our troops, our veterans, and especially those who have passed away.

So, if you want to comment, go right ahead.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Grove City Native (and friend) Brad Tidd Dies from Injuries from Motorcycle Accident

UPDATE: Brad's family is planning a memorial service in Grove City on August 19th at 2:00pm at North Liberty Presbyterian Church.

****

Brad Tidd, 34, of Parker, CO (southeast of Denver), was in a motorcycle accident on Monday. Although his initial injuries were not life threatening, a blod clot formed, leading to a stroke. Brad was on life support until Wednesday, when it was removed.

It is my understanding that the accident was not his fault.

Brad leaves behind a wife and three young children. Prayer for his family would be greatly appreciated.

I'll post more news as I'm able to find it. If you have any info or thoughts you wish to share, please leave a comment or e-mail me.

Brad and I graduated together. Since our last names were alphabetically close, we sat near each other throughout school. We spent a lot of time trying to get each other in trouble!

One time, in Joe Kilbert's junior high social studies class, we nearly succeeded. Kilbert wasn't in that day, so Brad and I switched seats and assumed each other's identities. It was fun - until Brad showed he was willing to go a lot farther than me when trying to get in trouble! Good times...

Brad was one of the few people I know who could screw around and still do well in school. If memory serves me correctly, Brad aced the SAT. Brad was also an active Boy Scout - again, if I recall, he reached Eagle rank.

--------------

More information from Brad's brother Jeremy:

As some of you may or may not know my older brother, Bradley D. Tidd, was in a motorycycle accident on Monday, July 16. He was life-flighted from the scene via Flight for Life and flown to Colorado Springs, CO. We received the call midday Monday - the one no one ever wants to get - and the plans began for us to travel to Colorado.

At that time on Monday he was awake and alert knowing everything that was going on. He had severe injuries to his neck, back, legs, and many other bones and ligaments in his body. Then later Monday night we received another disturbing call; he had had a stroke and the doctors were concerned about paralysis to the left side of his body. My mom, dad, sister, fiancee, niece, and myself got the first flight we could from Pittsburgh to Denver.

Upon arriving at the hospital midday Tuesday, we found him on full-blown life support. At this time we know he knew we were there and we spoke to him as much as we could, telling him everyone there loved him and was there by his side. By that afternoon the blood flow to his brain had been almost completely blocked and his brain was swelling.

During the night the family was again called to the hospital because his vitals were not looking the way they should. At about 12:15 p.m. that day, while we were speaking with the organ donor foundation about Brads decision to help someone else - even after he was gone, the nurses felt Brad had left us. The machines were at this point doing everything for him and we made the decision to begin the tests to see if there was any brain function left. After several tests had been conducted, we all knew Brad was in Heaven with his brother, grandfather, and grandmother.

Brad made the decision a long time ago to be an organ donor, and while I am sending this email, that process is occurring. If any of you knew Brad, you know and understand he would want this - to continue helping even if his organs were no longer in his body. We know Brad will live on - Brad will continue to help others and Brad will live on in our hearts.

I would like to thank all of you who were praying and thinking about us over the past few days. The prayers need to continue for his wife Catherine, his 3 children(Haley-5, Michael-3 and Sarah-1), his in-laws, and us. This is an awful time for all of us and we thank you again for doing what you can for us.

For anyone that is interested in showing their thoughts in any special way there is going to be a service in Colorado this Saturday, July 21. There will also be a service at home in Pennsylvania for which the details have not been set.

Parker United Methodist Church
11805 S. Pine Dr.
Parker, CO 80134


--------------

Obit info from the Denver Post (includes a guest book):

Brad Tidd, 34, of Parker passed away unexpectedly July 18, 2007. Brad received his Masters Degree from University of Denver 2003, was an avid Steeler fan and 4-wheeler enthusiast. Beloved husband of Catherine Mouton Tidd, proud father of Haley, Michael and Sarah, loving son of James and Bonnie Tidd, brother of Brenda (Mark, Jr) Petroff and Jeremy Tidd, grandson of Willard Phipps and Freda Tidd; uncle of Amanda Petroff, Brian and John Sullivan. Funeral Services Saturday, 10:30am, Parker United Methodist Church, 11805 Pine Drive in Parker. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Tidd Family Fund c/o 1st Bank, 10961 S. Parker Road, Parker, CO 80134.

--------------

Some bio information, with help from the University of Denver:

Brad was working as a Proposal Analyst for Integrated Systems and Solutions, a “business area” within Lockheed Martin Corporation. He managed the systematic development of proposals in pursuit of new business opportunities.

Brad was a 1991 graduate of Grove City Area High School. He received his BS in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy in 1995. He graduated from the MSM program at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver in 2003.

Prior to attending DU, Brad was stationed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and later at Buckley Air Force Base. His job brought him into contact with corporations such as Lockheed martin Astronautics, TRW, Raytheon, Harris Corporation, Brown and Root, Johnson Controls, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and NASA. Brad previously worked for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company from 2000-2002 on the Atlas V program.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Secret Meeting of Grove City Elites

For two years, I’ve heard about the secret meetings - the meetings where two or so people secretly run our fair town. I have been told that Solicitor Tim Bonner and Council President George Pokrant decide the fate of all of Grove City in some secret room somewhere. Occasionally, Pokrant’s minions are allowed to attend.

I finally received the invite.

To my surprise, the meeting wasn’t in some secret bunker. The rumors made it sound like they rented space from Dick Cheney. The meeting was at the borough building – in the council chambers of all places! I suppose this fits under the old saying of “hiding in plain sight.”

Bonner, dressed like the Emperor from Star Wars, called the meeting to order by making those in attendance bow down to a golden idol of Pokrant in the shape of a gopher.

The Elites began to decide the fate of the town. It was clearly not a collaboration - Pokrant told everyone what to think. Anyone who asked a question was quickly shouted down by Bonner. In public he is normally soft spoken, but in this meeting he roared.

Mayor Randy Riddle tried to assert himself a few times, but he was reduced to the role of a puppet. He spent most of the meeting hiding under his desk.

It was a heckuva meeting, to be sure. They came up with all kinds of crazy ideas. Pokrant’s task appeared to be taking those ideas and ramming them down council’s throat. He was told by Bonner to not allow any discussion and secure votes as soon as possible. The minions heartily agreed.

At the end, all in attendance were required to pledge an oath to the Elites and not reveal anything discussed. I just felt that this was too important to keep silent. Now you have been told.






P.S. – Yes, I’m kidding. But there are a handful in town who believe this is how things go down. Really. And they all know better, but hate Pokrant and Bonner so much that they’ve basically formed the Grove City version of the Tin Foil Hat Society. Really.

What happens at council meetings? We vote on big issues - like allowing the Key Club to hold a 5K race in the park; like allowing the Strawberry Days Committee to hang a banner across a street. Once a year, we vote on a balanced budget (no tax hikes in 25 years!). The meetings are open to the public - every third Monday at 7:00. We even take questions from citizens and the media!

What happens at committee meetings? They are also open to the public. We discuss issues in greater detail.

Get involved in your borough and come to the meetings. Even if you just want to listen. Feel free to ask questions or make comments. Come see for yourself. Don't believe everything you read in the papers. Don't fall for rumors and assumptions. Come see for yourself - there is no secret society running the town.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grove City Little League Hero Vic Hughes Passes Away

If you've ever played Little League baseball in Grove City, you have one man to thank: Vic Hughes.

Sadly, Mr. Hughes passed away at the age of 86.

Mr. Hughes was a great community member, giving young boys and girls the opportunity to play organized ball - and stay out of trouble. My brothers and I played some ball and I'm still very active in the Grove City Area Church Softball League - all thanks to Mr. Hughes.

On top of that, look at all of the great ball players that have played over the past several years, from T-ball to high school. What a great tribute to a great man.

God speed, Vic.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a safe, entertaining, and most importantly - a patriotic Independence Day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Grove City School Board Hikes Taxes Yet Again

Anyone surprised?

The Robert Post-Jane Rath duo has stuck it to the taxpayers again. Egads. This was expected news, as they manage to run the district into the red every year.

Read more from The Herald (Sharon, PA).

More on this later...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thanks, That's Rich Readers!

The results are in...

You have set new records in the month of May. The records broken were:

- Unique daily visits
- Unique weekly visits
- Unique monthly visits

You also helped boost daily, weekly, and monthly averages.

Granted, the primary election helped boost site visit totals, but you still came. I guess that means I'm doing something right - or that you have really bad luck with Yahoo and Google!

Click on, friends...click on.

Thanks again,
Rich

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Scott Dunn Pleads Guilty!

Dunn has pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of his wife, Brandi Montgomery Dunn.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Scott A. Dunn admitted Wednesday to beating his wife Brandon “Brandi” C. Dunn to death with a hammer and setting fire to his in-law’s Grove City home to cover up the crime.

Dunn, 28, of 469 Branchton Road, Slippery Rock, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, two counts of arson and abuse of a corpse five days before jury selection was set to begin for his trial.

Charges of first- and third-degree murder, criminal homicide and one count of arson in the case were dropped. Manslaughter means the killing wasn’t premeditated, but that Dunn meant to hurt his wife.

Dunn killed his wife in a rage, Mercer County District Attorney James P. Epstein said.

Sadly, Dunn will only be sentenced for a short period of time - 26 to 52 years is the maximum range. Even worse, the judge could opt to sentence Dunn for even less.

When the DA took the death penalty off the table, it was a clear sign that there was not going to be a high price for the crime. With the death penalty, the defendant can plead to a lesser term: life in prison. When the death penalty is taken away, the next step down is a plea for 25 years...which is what happened.

Through his attorney (Stephen Misko), Dunn gave this account of the crime:
The newlyweds argued early Jan. 14, 2006, over their respective vices — cocaine for him, alcohol for her — when Mrs. Dunn, after a night of partying, returned to her parents house at 109 E. Washington Blvd., where the couple was house-sitting.

The fight, which began in the family room and spilled into the foyer where Mrs. Dunn’s body was found, got physical when Mrs. Dunn hit her husband in the mid-section with an empty beer bottle, after which he punched her in the face, Misko said. She pushed and hit Dunn, who picked up a hammer and hit her multiple times in the head.

When Dunn saw blood coming from his wife’s head, he panicked, Misko said.

Dunn went to the shed behind the house to hide the murder weapon, which state police never found, and saw a 5-gallon gas can, Misko said. Dunn poured the gasoline at several spots in the house, including on Mrs. Dunn’s body, and lit them on fire.

Misko said Dunn had enough time before he called 911 to figure out what he was going to say. He told police he came upon a male intruder who was beating his wife and chased the intruder out of the house before returning to find it in flames.

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson will hand down Dunn's sentence on Aug. 9.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Act One Tax Grab Goes Down in Flames

All across Mercer County, voters told Governor Rendell and greedy school boards to "shove it."

Every school district defeated Act One, the proposal to shift some of the school tax burden from property taxes to income taxes. The state government called this "tax relief," but the voters recognized it as pure bunk.

The draconian part of the proposal was that schools would be able to go after your property taxes AND your income taxes. Egads. Given the propensity of the Grove City school board to raise taxes every time someone sneezes, imagine how devastating this would be to the residents!

Voters did the right thing by shooting down this latest tax-grabbing attempt.

More news: The Herald (Sharon, PA)

Breaking Down the Alcohol Vote

Yes, it passed.

It's indeed a shameful stain on the values-based traditions of Grove City. We spend thousands of dollars and man hours telling kids to say "no" to drugs and alcohol, but when it comes time to act, we tell them that alcohol is the solution to problems. Some claimed that alcohol was the only way for downtown Grove City to survive - ironically, the 300-foot rule will keep alcohol from downtown.

Shame on us.

The truth of the matter is that the vote only passed by the margin of 802 to 727 (52.45% to 47.55%). Seventy-five votes. Sadly, only 1529 residents made the effort to vote on the issue.

This may be a win, but it is hardly a mandate.

More numbers...

Ward One
- 22.10% turnout
- Alcohol passed 147 to 142 (one person didn't vote)

Ward Two
- 35.17% turnout
- Alcohol rejected 132 to 171 (four people didn't vote)

Ward Three
- 29.78% turnout
- Alcohol passed 111 to 93 (all voted)

Ward Four
- 47.93% turnout
- Alcohol passed 249 to 142 (two people didn't vote)

Ward Five
- 32.45% turnout
- Alcohol rejected 163 to 179 (two people didn't vote)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

2007 PA Primary Election Results are in

EDIT: Looking for November 2007 Election Results? Click here!




Grove City results are in!

Council Ward One: Michael Coulter defeated Beth Cooney.

Council Ward Four will have someone on the ballot. A write-in candidate received 44 votes.

The Act 1 "We Want ALL of Your Money" school tax grab was defeated, 1840 to 909.

The "Tell a Big Enough Lie Long Enough" Alcohol Referendum passed, 802 to 727. Clearly a win, but a meager win at that. Definitely small enough to be challenged in the future. Only 1529 residents voted, and it passed by 75 votes. Clearly not a proud moment for Grove City.


2007 PA Primary Election Results can be found here.

Coulter Wins!

2007 Primary Update: Michael Coulter defeated Beth Cooney for Ward One in Grove City.

Election results coming shortly...

Primary Election 2007

Today is Pennsylvania's primary election day.

Here are the basics with a That's Rich prospective:

- Vote "no" on the alcohol referendum. We simply don't need it and the pro-alcohol folks prove it - they have yet to prove my op-ed wrong and they continue to spread the myths. Particularly the downtown anchor restaurant myth.

- Vote against any tax changes with the school district. They are going to raise taxes every year, anyway. And if you think it's bad now, wait until those thieves get their hands on property AND income taxes!

- Don't vote for a single school board member. They are going to win since there are no opposing candidates, but don't give them the satisfaction of high vote counts. Remember - these are the folks who take more of your money each year without remorse.

- Ward One voters...vote for Michael Coulter for borough council. It's time to bring integrity to that seat. He has a boatload of education and experience - and he's a good, honest family man.

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As always, I'll post the results and links to Mercer County election results as soon as they are available.

Now, go vote - it's your duty as an American!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Steve Steigerwald and Jack Cline: Good Cop, Bad Cop?

The Allied News ran a double feature Allied Forum in the Saturday paper. One by Steigerwald and one by Cline. Both were pushing the pro-alcohol position.

Steigerwald offered his view of a grand vision - a flourishing Grove City, vibrant with alcohol flowing from anchor restaurants. Business booming, people having a great time - hooray, hooray.

Cline's piece was aimed at my Allied Forum piece. Well, actually, it was aimed at me. The DUI defense attorney basically called me a liar then went off tangent talking about anti-alcohol Christians being the same as Bin Laden. Really.

The interesting part of both pieces - coupled with the ad that Steigerwald took out - is that they both continue to push the myth: an alcohol-serving anchor restaurant in downtown Grove City.

With the 300-foot barrier from churches, where will this place go? Tower Church, Grace United Methodist Church, and Church at the Crossroads dominate the entire first block. Solid Rock Assembly of God is right in the middle of the second block. Ooops.

Steigerwald insists that there is room...at his building. And he's interesting in selling his building. Well now...guess what everyone in town is discussing? People are buzzing that Steigerwald is only pushing the alcohol to sell his building. I don't know if that's true, but it's the talk of the town.

Once again, Grove City will not have control of the licenses. The power rests totally with the Liquor Control Board. Cline claims that we can sue if we don't like who gets the license. That isn't control! That's reaction.

Alcohol is not progress. Please vote "no" on the alcohol referendum. Don't let anyone force their values on Grove City's grand traditions.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Debunking the Alcohol Myths

On Tuesday, May 15, PA will hold its primary elections.

Grove City residents will decide whether or not they want to turn the borough into a wet town, allowing the sale of alcohol on a drink-by-drink basis.

We already know about the dangers of alcohol to your physical, emotional and spiritual self. In the past several weeks, there have been some myths and falsehoods spread about concerning the alcohol referendum itself. Here are some of the myths.

“Alcohol equals progress” myth: Words mean things. That is why the pro-alcohol folks have latched onto the word progress. Who would vote against progress? Facts do get in the way, though.

The April 2007 issue of the non-partisan Pennsylvania Borough News (PBN) magazine noted that wet and dry boroughs are statistically the same. They wrote “per capita income and housing values were nearly identical as were poverty rates, immigration rates, and taxes. In addition, dry boroughs had higher rates of home ownership.” Where’s the progress?

“If you serve it, they will come” myth: Some argue that more young people will move to the area if there are more trendy alcohol establishments. PBN magazine found that “dry boroughs had a higher percentage of youth and a lower percentage of senior citizens…and higher percentages of households with children.” In other words, if you want a youthful borough with a strong family base, keep the borough dry.

“Wettest dry town” myth: People drink in their own homes and vets drink at their private clubs, but Grove City is not alone. There are a whopping 690 dry municipalities across the commonwealth. Of those, there are 210 dry boroughs that still allow alcohol sales within the town limits. All boroughs allow vets’ clubs to serve alcohol. No one is trying to keep alcohol from homes, but Grove City residents have traditionally voted to keep it from spilling into the streets.

“GC Council can control who gets the license” myth: The council has absolutely no control over who gets the two automatic licenses. The first two that get past the Liquor Control Board get the license. We can only beg and hope that the LCB allows two upscale restaurants. They might grant two stripper bars instead. Either way, the borough has no control – we give up our sovereignty to determine what happens within our city. Do you want the LCB to determine who sets up shop in Grove City, or do you want residents to make those choices?

“GC Council can control where the licenses are granted” myth
: The council has no authority to make a special alcohol zone. We can only put them in residential, commercial or industrial zones – and the borough has lots of housing in each zone. Would you want a bar next to your house? I can’t imagine anyone would like the noise until 2:00 am. Would you want your Grove City neighbor to suffer thorough that?

“No one would open a dive bar in Grove City” myth: Perhaps we wouldn’t see a stripper bar or dive bar open right away, but what about in five, ten or fifteen years? I can’t imagine any town became wet just to become a dumping ground for dive bars, but they happen. There are scores of towns all over western PA that were once beautiful, but over time, for whatever reasons, became dumpy. Alcohol sales are a great catalyst for such a change.

“Downtown anchor restaurant” myth
: Alcohol establishments have a 300-foot barrier to keep them away from churches, schools, playgrounds and charitable organizations. There are three (with a possible fourth) churches downtown. Where would this anchor restaurant go? They need a large footprint for serving space and parking. Those trendy spots (Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, etc) also require a ton of traffic. That is why you see them near large urban centers and not in small towns. A wet license won’t bring one here, period. You’ll notice how they aren’t even setting up shop at the outlet mall. There isn’t enough traffic there, either. They can’t even get a Bob Evans.

“Restricting free enterprise” myth: The Libertarian part of me doesn’t think we should limit the chances for businesses to grow. The Conservative part of me sees where an alcohol establishment can quickly challenge public safety. If someone gets a drink at a mythical anchor restaurant, they have to go home eventually. They’ll be getting into their cars right when the alcohol is entering their bloodstream. Then they’ll be driving through your neighborhood where your kids are playing. Clearly, this isn’t healthy for the safety of the town.

Pro-alcohol folks want you to think of alcohol as progress. Economically, it does virtually nothing. It is nothing more than a hindrance. Facts show that it damages and drives out families, which in turn slowly kills the town. Families come here because of the quality of life in our town, and once the town turns wet, it will be exceedingly hard to become dry again.

Grove City is not a dying town. We have over 200 years of tradition based upon a strong set of moral values. We are a charming, religious, and safe small town. We didn’t need to be a wet town for the first two centuries and we don’t need it to be a strong Grove City in the future.

Monday, April 30, 2007

May Primary in Grove City - Alcohol Referendum and Ward One Race

We're entering the first silly season of politics for 2007.

I'll be writing about the alcohol referendum and the race in Ward One shortly.

I have to finish up the silly season of finals at Thiel College first....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dunn to be Tried in Mercer County

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson ruled that Scott Dunn will face trial in Mercer County. Dunn had sought a change of venue citing the high amount of media coverage over the murder of Brandi Montgomery Dunn.

Dunn is accused of beating Brandi to death inside her parents' Grove City home, then setting the home on fire to conceal the crime.

The murder was the first in Grove City since the 1960s and brought media attention from national networks, such as FOX News.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA).

Monday, April 16, 2007

What Happened to Global Warming Hysteria?

Want to hear a good joke? Global warming!

Have you noticed how the hype about global warming has totally dropped off the media's radar? And it isn't because there is much more pressing news out there. And it isn't an accident that they have dropped the coverage.

The US is getting hit with a good dose of winter weather - and has been for over a month. It's April 16 and snowing in Western Pennsylvania. Easter Sunday was colder than Christmas.

Of course, the global warming nuts want to have it both ways. They'll claim that we've screwed up things so badly that poor, ol' Mother Nature can't get her smeg together.

Perhaps that is why I've seen that boneheaded film The Day After Tomorrow on cable all weekend.

Aren't you glad that "top" scientists have determined by "consensus" that manmade global warming is real?

I'll take common sense and wait for facts, not consensus, thank you.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's Official: Chestnut Street Bridge Remamed after Graham

This morning the Mercer County Board of Commissioners voted to change the name of the Chestnut Street Bridge in Grove City to the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The name was recommended by Grove City Borough Council, however it reqired county approval, as they are the owners of the bridge.

The vote was as follows:
- Brian Beader: Yes
- Ken Seamans: Yes
- Olivia Lazor: Abstain

The abstention by Lazor was an odd moment, as she gave no explanation for her vote, and no one asked why she voted that way. Abstentions are generally reserved for conflicts of interest. Lazor had previously indicated that she was against the name change.

The new bridge will feature a memorial walkway honoring veterans from Grove City who died during combat operations. Plaques will list the names of those who served.

The bridge is scheduled for completion in October of this year.

Media representatives from WKBN-TV (Youngstown, OH), The Allied News (Grove City), and the Slippery Rock/Grove City Eagle were on hand. Television coverage will be shown tonight at 6:00 and possibly at 11:00.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dunn Statements Allowed at Trial

Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Dobson ruled that Scott Dunn's statements to police can be used at his trial in the beating death of Brandi Montgomery Dunn. Dunn is also accused of setting fire to the home with Brandi inside.

Next week, Dobson will decide whether or not there should be a change of venue as requested by Dunn's lawyer, Stephen Misko. The defense contends that intense media coverage has skewed the case against Dunn.

Complete coverage of the trial can be found at The Herald (Sharon, PA).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mercer County Commissioners Commit to Graham Bridge

The commissioners met today to discuss the agenda for their regular meeting on the 12th. Attending the meeting were Col. Gary Solander (Veteran Affairs), Tom and Kathy Graham (Shawn's parents), Sheila Berry (Shawn's sister), George Pokrant (GC Borough Council President), and myself.

The bridge resolution was the first thing discussed. Ken Seamans and Brian Beader both voiced their support; Olivia Lazor was opposed on the basis that she doesn't want to single out one person and that current county policy dictates that they don't name bridges. In her opposition, she was very respectful and dignified.

Gary spoke from the veterans' point of view and voiced total support. He mentioned that the County Veterans' Council was unanimous in their support.

Tom spoke very emotionally and forcefully, voicing displeasure about the way Shawn has been portrayed by some. He intended to set the record straight about Shawn's valor. He mentioned a few points that were previously unknown to the public:
- Shawn received special training for infiltration; he was selected for his marksmanship and tactical skills
- Shawn was part of an elite group that grew full beards and wore Iraqi civilian clothing
- Shawn worked with counter-intelligence
- Shawn was in an Iraqi vehicle when he was killed

These points show the ignorance of those who worked very hard to deny Shawn's this honor. All they had to do was talk to the Graham family - instead they chose to degrade Shawn's valor in the public realm.

The commissioners will be approving the resolution at their meeting.

As a side note, reporters from The Vidicator and WFMJ-21 (both Youngstown, OH) were there. There will be TV coverage at 6:00 tonight.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Grove City Council Recommends Chestnut Street Bridge Name Change

Grove City Borough Council voted tonight to recommend to Mercer County Commissioners that the Chestnut Street Bridge be renamed to memorialize a local casualty from the Iraq War. The proposed name is the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge.

SSG Graham was killed in action on September 25, 2005 in Balad, Iraq. He was a 1989 Grove City high School graduate.

The council voted 7-2 in favor of the name change. Beth Cooney and Rick Slagle were the dissenting members. Before the vote, Graham's sister, Sheila Berry spoke to council about her family's feelings about Shawn and the honor of naming the bridge after him.

The next step is for the borough to forward the recommendation to the Mercer County Commissioners for action.

EXTRA: Watch the implosion of the Chestnut Street Bridge! (Hat tip to Moonlight Photo Services!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chestnut Street Bridge Imploded

The Chestnut Street bridge in Grove City, built in 1930, was brought down this morning. The bridge was in complete disrepair and was shut down to all traffic in 2004. Mercer County will be building a new bridge with an estimated completion date of October 12, 2007.

Grove City Borough Council is lobbying Mercer County (the "owner" of the bridge) to name the bridge the Staff Sergeant Shawn A. Graham Veterans Memorial Bridge. More info can be found here...

Moonlight Photo Services captured some great video of the implosion! Click to watch...




Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Primary 2008 Candidates Announced

In case you were wondering...

Mercer County has posted the list of the 2008 primary candidates. There are a few races of interest.

All three Mercer County Commissioner seats are available this year, but surprisingly only 10 candidates are going for the seats.

Democratic
- Kenneth R. Ammann
- Brian Beader (I)
- Jim Kaibas
- Dave Ryan
- Timothy P. Templeton

Republican
- Mary A. Buckwalter
- Michael M. Cooney (withdrawn 3/20)
- John N. Lechner
- Lewis P. McEwen
- Phillip P. Steele

Another interesting race is the Ward One Borough Council race in Grove City. Incumbent Beth Cooney is facing opposition from GCC professor Dr. Michael Coulter.

Here are the other ward races, which have candidates with no opposition (all are Republican):

Ward Two
- Patrick J. Chapman

Ward Three
- Joseph M Pisano

Ward Five
- Jeffrey P. Black


There are no candidates for Ward Four.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no real change in the Grove City School Board:

Democratic/Socialist/Communist/Liberal
- William G. Berger
- James L. Crow
- Barbara Hedegore
- Susan Herman
- David L. Rothman


Five seats are open, so that means one of the prolific tax hikers isn't running for re-election, but the other four are. I don't know who William Berger is - but I hope he isn't hand picked by the board. Ugh. Get ready for more tax hikes!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dunn Hearing Postponed

Scott Dunn's hearing to suppress his statements to police has been delayed because of scheduling conflicts.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):

...the hearing — at which the judge will also consider a request for a venue change — will be at 1:30 p.m. April 4 before Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Are You Ready for Primary '08?

The primary is around the corner and the time to pick up your petition is now!

It's a simple process - go to the county courthouse, stop at the election office, and tell them what position you want. They will hand you a petition. Take it home and have people in your district sign it (they must be of the same political party).

If you run for school board, you will want to cross-file. This simply means to register as both a Republican and a Democrat to obtain maximum votes.

And let's be honest - there is a real need for school board candidates in Grove City. The current crop has raised taxes each year for multiple years. This year, five of the nine seats are up for re-election. It's a perfect opportunity to see real change - positive change in the district.

You are needed!
- The taxpayers need you, for they have been fleeced for too long
- The teachers need you, for they have been harassed by the administration for too long
- The students need you, for their programs have been mismanaged and cut for too long

Get on board! If you need help, e-mail me - I'll gladly help!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Porter becomes Pennsylvania's Al Gore Jr.

File this story under "Waaaaaah! I refuse to admit that I lost!"

Dr. Steven Porter, the two-time loser against US Representative Phil English has decided to sue English for misrepresenting what Porter wrote in his own book.

Come again?

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA).

It seems that the English campaign took quotes from "The Ethics of a Democracy" and used them against Porter. Porter claims the words don't represent what he thinks.

This isn't the first tantrum for Porter, either. After his most recent defeat, he went on a tirade against his own party for not supporting him.

Clearly, this guy is off his rocker. He was stomped twice - by margins of 20% and 10%, respectively. Also, his book title indicates that he thinks we live in a democracy, when it is clearly a republic. But when do facts stop liberals?

Although I am no Phil English fan - the guy will sell out conservative economic policy at the drop of a hat to please his union supporters - Steven Porter is very much a dangerous man. He has some viewpoints that make Hillary look like Reagan. Yeah, he's that far left.

Northwest PA has sent him packing twice. It's too bad he doesn't get it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dunn Trial Pushed Back Over Venue, Statements to Police

The murder trial of Scott Dunn has been delayed for another month as the defense has requested a change of venue and that Dunn's statements to police be stricken from evidence.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Originally set for Wednesday when Dunn’s attorney filed the motions last month, the pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 7 before Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

Mercer County District Attorney James P. Epstein said scheduling problems are one reason for the delay.

Epstein said the prosecution also needs time to collect more information on Dunn’s request to move the trial. Epstein has said that though there have been requests, none have been granted in the past 30 years in the county.

Misko asks the court to suppress statements Dunn made to Grove City and state police because he requested an attorney prior to, during and after making them.

The murder of Brandi Montgomery Dunn was well over a year ago. It would be nice to see this trial underway in the very near future. Thankfully, Scott Dunn isn't allowed (by PA law) to be out on bail.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Liberals and Their Blame-America-First Attitude

CBS Evening News is starting a new feel-good news segment. Katie Couric is the one on the commercial that received a lot of airtime during the Super Bowl. In case anyone at CBS is wondering why their news programs are the worst rated in the industry, take note of how The Perky One starts the ad.
We hear a lot about what's wrong with America....
Considering how much CBS anchors do their best to blame and slander America each chance they get, no one should be surprised by Katie's statement. There is no doubt that there are bad Americans (criminals, anti-capitalist activists, troop bashers), but Katie mentions what is wrong with America....

Aparently the greatest, freest, strongest, richest, most compassionate country in the history of the planet isn't up to Katie's standards. To liberals, America is the most polluting, corrupting, overpowering, imperialist nation in the history of the planet. They won't be happy until our great country is as good as Cuba.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hillary Lays Out Socialist Dream for American Companies


In a recent speech, Hillary Clinton showed her socialist stripes by declaring:
The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives and technologies....
That's right. She wants to take the money from a legitimate private business and give it to the government.

As if the government can even compete with the private sector when it comes to research and development...

As if the government has any rights to somone else's profits! The oil companies, like any other company, is in business to make money. They take those "record" profits (record by dollar amount, not counting inflation) and do a multitude of things with it. Most of it goes back into the company for R&D. A lot of it goes to shareholders (that would be you and your 401k). And the remaining goes to employees.

Shrillary acts as if one or two guys are walking off with billions of dollars. She discounts the tens of thousands of people who work for those companies (and the families they support).

Oddly, we never hear about Democrats whining and complaining when their Hollywood buddies make record profits for movies and acting contracts....