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Sound Off 04/27/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted. 

• “I was sorry to hear about the recent passing of Ray Reider. He was a 1949 graduate of Middletown High where he excelled in baseball, basketball and was a two-year All League All-Star selection in football. He was arguably the finest lineman to play for the Blue Raiders. Ray coached for a few years at Middletown after graduating from Gettysburg College, where he was a standout in football and baseball. He returned to coach and teach at Gettysburg College. RIP ‘HEAVY.’ ”

• “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, ya heard that commissioners. You have a successful fully functional PD; it is imperative that you maintain that. That article the Press And Journal wrote was completely factual and that’s why you fear it so much. Honestly, they went easy on ya, too!”

• “Doubling the minimum wages is just another underhanded way to increase taxes. The more you make, the more you pay. And the pols will use that extra money to fund their favorite adventures, like their pensions, or the teachers’ union pension. C’mon, people, how dumb are we? Who do you think is going to pay that extra $7 an hour? That’s right, the consumer, you and me and the people that think they are getting a $7 raise.”

• “Whose bright idea was it to spend all that money on the square of Middletown? This is not New York City. Do you really think that is going to bring more business or customers downtown? What a joke. I have never seen such poor decisions and a waste of money as this little town. Why don’t you ask Hummelstown or E-town for help? Look at their businesses and roads, puts this place to shame. So glad I don’t live in this poorly run town!”

• “There is something just a little off here. I was looking at the cremation service that was going on since I heard so much about it. What stuck out a bit funny to me was, all the things they are saying about atmosphere and so on, that much is very old info, I am finding. So I see there is going to be a hearing in front of the zoning board, because it was approved too fast? If it passes requirements, it does not matter how long it took. If DEP approves it, how can we legally call for a hearing on this? There should be signs asking the zoning committee why – and why is everyone not questioning them for using our tax dollars for this? And when these young owners turn around and start suing over all this, who is going to pay for that? I don’t think this business is being quiet to hide anything. They are letting this group dig their own grave. Zoning, you are making a big mistake and we, Middletown, are going to have to pay for your mistakes.”

• “This is what politicians should write on their campaign ads: ‘My name is (insert) and I am running for (insert obligatory power hungry position) and I support whatever current cause will get me the most votes, America!’ At least it would be honest. Everyone always says they are going to stop tax increases but they always go up. All liars, or suck at their job? Either way we are screwed, I guess.”

• “So Middletown toddlers and the proposed crematory don’t mix. Well, this is to you hypocrites with the signs in your yard – do the toddlers and all the second-hand cigarette smoke in your homes mix? Yes, I am talking to you there on Emaus and Water streets – I am sure you know who you are.”

• “Middletown, you folks are amazingly entertaining. I guess Sound Off wasn’t enough, now you have these signs. If it weren’t the whole town, I would feel like the rest of us are on ‘Candid Camera.’ ”

• “I hope Bernie and Donald win the nominations. Those two guys won’t ‘owe’ labor unions or big business so just maybe we’ll have a president that is ‘actually’ for the middle class. $100,000 dollars for a dinner plate? Yeah, Mrs. Clinton, you understand us.”

• “I really hope somebody requests to see the numerous letters the police sent the commissioners asking to meet for negotiations. They said in the paper the police refused to meet to negotiate and that is completely opposite of what really happened. See, community this is the kind of people you are dealing with.”

• “I have yet to grasp why the addition of a crematory to our community has resulted in my normally reasonable neighbors running around screaming, ‘The sky is falling.’ I spent most of my childhood around a crematory and never experienced any issues and that was long before our current state of government regulation.”

• “It won’t be long before the quality police officers at Lower Swatara Twp. seek employment elsewhere.”

• “Unionize! Never before was it more called for.”

• “So the board of commissioners in Lower Swatara recently reduced their employees’ bereavement leave from five days to three days. Think about that: If, God forbid, a family member or worse – an employee’s child – died, they now get only three days not five to mourn their loss. Think about how mean-hearted that is.”

• “I’m sick of hearing about the crematorium. There’s always going to be people that don’t like anything. I just have three words to say about the crematorium, and here’s to all the people against it. BURN, BABY, BURN.”

• “To the lady that put the Finkenbinder sign up and said it is illegal to remove it, remember that when I put a ‘BURN, BABY, BURN’ sign beside it.”

• “So whatever happened to that vault door that went ‘missing’ from Middletown?”

• “I think the biggest thing the township manager missed in her letter to the public was that the reason crime is down is because of the level of officers we had and you can’t go by car to residents. When now there is a third officer down, there will be overworked officers out there making split-second decisions, and did she mention how much money we’d save by replacing our officers versus paying our current officers a ton of overtime and having tired, overworked police officers?”

• “I read the letter submitted by township manager Anne Shambaugh. It was well-written, however it seemed a bit cold when considering police work and the human dynamics of law enforcement and the community. It appears she put some effort into her breakdown and showed us numbers to convince us that it is OK to not replace our police and let the department dwindle. Numbers are just numbers and crime fluctuates from year to year. The biggest failure in her letter is the same failure in the commissioners’ reasons for not replacing police. It is the failure to see how all their reasons make no sense because if it was the truth, how can they explain the number of highway workers hired over the past few years? There have been at least four reasons offered now as to why police aren’t being replaced. What you are telling all of us is that based on ‘car to resident’ ratios you’ve decided we can let our police department grow smaller. Did you include in your stats that there were two murders in Lower Swatara over the past three years? I bet we also did better in the ‘murdered people’ category than the departments around us, too. That is unheard of in Lower Swatara, both nonetheless a sign of the times and all the more reason at the very least we need to maintain our current amount of officers. What happens when officers get hurt or are out on medical leave, how do you cover the 24/7 shifts that need filled to ensure public safety? You touted about all the overtime money the officers can get, but that isn’t free, that means they have to work 16 hours in a row for several days to get that overtime. This results in tired officers who we rely on to save and protect our lives. There just isn’t any logic in any of what you say to us. The chief of police recently gave you back $100,000 from his police budget that he did not spend, but you couldn’t even give him $48,000 to replace ‘one’ of the officers? Why? You could have replaced both officers with the money he gave back to you. I wonder how many members of our community know that fact? You spoke of how you can have your detectives fill patrol shifts as needed – do you even have a clue as to what your detectives do every day? Do you care to know or will the truth help them? They are constantly investigating crime full time, the most serious of crimes that happen to good people and children. Do you think it is OK or fair to take them away from what they are doing to have them cover patrol shifts because you won’t replace police the same way highway employees are immediately replaced and hired? Here is an idea maybe you can explain to the parent of a child that has been sexually assaulted: that your detective won’t be working their case today because he has to cover a patrol shift. Sound fair? The detectives in Lower Swatara aren’t sitting around waiting for something to do; they are busy every hour of every shift they work for you. You commented about the amount of cars the police have – did you include the mileage of those vehicles used to protect your community? Did you know that many times numerous cars at once are in for repairs? There is never the option to not have police cars available to our police. Did you say that to set up that you may get rid of some of their police vehicles because they got a new one – is it always one step forward, two steps back in dealing with the police? Does somebody feel the need to show the police they are in control of them? The detectives drive hand-me-down cars and they usually find themselves in some of the most dangerous parts of Harrisburg city and in and out of Dauphin County on cases they are working (places I would guess you have never been and only seen in movies), but, hey, if they break down let’s just hope it’s not in a bad area – especially with all the attacks on police this year throughout the country. The police are the most visible part of any township or borough – you all should really take a lot more pride in that. Also police do not increase our taxes significantly in any way – the school district is the biggest source of tax increases in Lower Swatara Twp. Stop trying to put that on the police. The current amount of vehicles our police have is adequate at best. Why didn’t your letter discuss how you are able to replace, add and hire other township employees at will, but not our police officers? Why? I am so happy that our community is becoming more and more involved with this issue and I hope they continue to demand answers. This is proof of the relationship our community has with our police officers. If you gave me the choice of a burglar being arrested or the park being mowed I will pick the burglar capture every time. The people of this community are not stupid, so when you try to explain or justify this again, really give it some thought first. Think of all angles where your story or explanation might fall short and maybe it won’t. The crazy part of all of this mess is that had you just replaced officers as they left none of this would have ever occurred – have you figured it out yet?”

• “I am not sure why Mr. Fager cares so much about us (Middletown) and it seems to be unwavering. After all that is being posted in people’s yards, he still smiles and says ‘Don’t worry about that, everything will be OK.’ Everyone knows Mr. Fager prints shirts, signs, banners, flyers and just about anything else we could mention, but he has done nothing. He even went as far to say they have a right to not agree with what we are doing. Even as stones are hitting him, he steps forward. I believe the reason his name did not show up on the new sign is because most of Middletown who know this young man would start speaking up. I ask something of our town: Let’s encourage our neighbors and friends to remove the hateful signs and replace it with a more respectful replacement. Either way, people will see you’re not in favor, but let’s at least show respect to a young man that shows us respect.”

• “I see they’re going to put a woman on the $20 bill. While they’re at it, why don’t they bring the $2 bill back and put a gay person on it?”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 16:43

Hits: 456

Sound Off 4/20/2016

  Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted. 

• “In front of the Turkey Hill in Highspire are three trash cans. Also on the side parking area is a pile of cigarette butts someone dumped out of their car’s ashtray. What kind of primeval pond scum can’t walk 30 feet to dump their trash in a proper can?”

• “It used to be a standing joke by men as to ‘how much time our wives and daughters spent on the telephone.’ Now because of cell phones, men are just as guilty. The cell phone has turned our men into ‘girly boys.’ ”

• “So Lower Swatara’s attorney at the last meeting discussed basically why they don’t need to replace police. Maybe it was indirect but that’s what he was saying. He commended the Lower Swatara police for suppressing crime, which is exactly what they do best. So if the township attorney reports that the Lower Swatara police have been successful at suppressing crime in our area, shouldn’t the next words out of his mouth be, ‘That’s why we are replacing the officers we lost to allow them to continue to suppress crime?’ It just seems like the commissioners and their lawyers never think out in advance what they say. It’s almost an insult to the community’s intelligence that they think we can’t see through or beyond what they are saying. I mean if the police are successful, why would we not keep their manpower where it is? All the highway workers they hired instead is ridiculous because – let me tell you something, and no offense to our highway workers, but they work Monday through Friday, eight hours a day unless it snows. The police, on the other hand, work every minute of every day all year long – literally they are always working 24/7. But this board hired several highway employees who work five days a week, eight hours a day. Help me out here because this isn’t rocket science. Isn’t it obvious that we need to have a full compliment of police officers to cover every minute of every single day and night much sooner than we need highway workers? They are saying we have a great police department, so let’s take it apart. Pure genius, I tell you! Let’s continue to make cutting grass a priority over protecting life and liberty!”

• “The person who is worried about tailgaters and being hit head-on: You sound like a Nervous Nelly. You’re probably one of those drivers who can barely do the speed limit and yet still can’t negotiate curves in the road. Please do the rest of us a favor and take the bus, or stay home.”

• “Thank you, Eric Wise, for getting the story out there on how poorly the Lower Swatara Two. Police Department is paid. The commissioners have been not replacing officers that have retired or fled, not replacing necessary equipment to respond to emergencies. Quality replacements will be difficult to find and even harder to keep.”

• “I am just wondering why York Haven and the islanders can’t come up with an agreement that states their right to lease the property but they are there ‘at their own risk’ in case of any flooding. It would be the property owner’s responsibility to fix up or replace any damaged site and then FEMA would not have to be involved. Actually this is the way it should be if ANYONE built in a designated floodplain. Why should the rest of us pay extra taxes for them to rebuild if they knowingly build where there is a potential flooding issue? These folks are in the middle of a river, so flooding is bound to happen sometime or other, and the site leases should reflect that there would be no compensation for any loss or damages. As far as the on-site sewage regulations, I think the islanders definitely need to comply with that. Sewage getting into the river is detrimental to fish, people and the health of the waterway. I have no idea how that would be accomplished but I’m sure someone could come up with a solution to that predicament.”

• “There was a neutral police study done by experts in 2001 or around then that said Lower Swatara should have approximately 25 police officers to adequately protect the township. We are now down to 14. Think how much the township has grown since 2001.”

• “I have nothing against the cremation process. I have a problem with the location of the proposed crematorium. Get it? Location, location, location.”

• “If you can’t understand why the people who have cabins on the river would ask for donations to fight to keep their cabins, you should probably move out of Middletown. I’d stay away from other river towns, too. You apparently don’t even know the term ‘river rat,’ or that it’s an honor to be one.”

• “Stay uninvolved and see what becomes of the public safety in Lower Swatara Twp. At least more people carry guns today – you may have to be your own police officer soon enough.”

• “You know, they make all these laws about recycling, what if you don’t have a truck or a way to get your things to the recycle center? Then I guess you just let them pile up in your yard.”

• “Granted that cremation is a commonly accepted process, it is not without objectionable by-products. Put aside the known toxins, lead and mercury, spewed into the air – what about the probable putrid fumes being dumped upon the residents of central Middletown? We certainly don’t relish the thought of spending the good weather and fresh air sitting on our porches and patios only to breathe in the foul smell of burning human remains. Not to mention the projected 35 percent drop in property values due to this industry planted right in the middle of this close-in residential neighborhood. As to the duration of operation, it is most likely that bodies will be processed for at least Finkenbinder’s five funeral homes, if not for others from who knows where. Supposedly the people of Middletown are concerned about air quality. Well, think about this.”

• “Wonder how much money the township spent to have an attorney tell the public why we don’t need anymore police officers? Crime stats are down. Seems like a great idea to cut the department back to minimum manpower. So the police department only responds to crimes and not alarms, animal complaints, accidents, incidents that do not result in arrest, etc. One could wonder if these stats were taken into consideration? So instead of allowing our police to be ‘proactive’ and keep levels at what they need to be, we will bet that crime stats and call volume will be low for an indefinite amount of time and refuse to hire or replace officers. Why don’t do you tell the public about the hundreds of thousands of dollars ‘extra’ left over in the budget that you have, and if you’re not going to spend it on actual needs then start giving that ‘extra’ money back to the tax-paying citizens who rightfully deserve that back.”

• “I had two signs put in the corner of my yard that I removed. I got home from work yesterday and there were two more. How is this allowed? I am all for Melvin doing what he is doing for us all. I know he stays quiet, but I am thinking it is time maybe we start to let this group know how the majority feels. I for one am tired of seeing stones being thrown at a guy that gives so much.”

• “People, you better wise up – one thing I learned about watching the presidential election this year is that your votes don’t count, it’s all about the delegates. They can have a contested convention at the end and someone who hasn’t gotten one vote from the people can be the presidential nominee, if the delegates vote for him. So what’s that say about our fair election process? Your votes mean nothing in the end. Look at poor Bernie – he can win the rest of the states and in the end the super delegates will do him in. Super delegates buy the election and in the end they can go against the people and pick whom they want. Same with the Republicans, the establishment doesn’t want Trump or Cruz to win. Don’t be surprise if an outsider comes in and steals it. But in the end I feel the people that are done wrong will not vote for anyone.”

• “Mr. Finkenbinder must be doing something right if Cremation Society of Pennsylvania is so worried that they are sending a special mail card to help stop them. Why help us, your center can’t be much different.”

• “I support the Highspire fire department 100 percent. If someone does not agree with something then they need to go to the fire department and put a application in so you can say the issues you see. Thanks. – Highspire citizen.”

• “If our zoning committee ends up getting sued, who pays that bill? Borough or members for their wrong actions?”

• “Now the Lower Swatara police, already two officers down, have lost another officer for an extended period of time due to medical reasons, so the money that will be paid out in overtime now will be ridiculous. Fiscal responsibility requires some ability to look ahead, you know. Imagine if another officer goes down, what on earth will you do then to protect your community and constituents?”

• “I want to give a thanks to Lieutenant 55 of Highspire. Sultzaberger, he did an excellent job, him and his wife seen me fall on the sidewalk and I’m 63 years old. Thank you very much, I support you 100 percent. God bless you.”

• “I have a question about these signs. A lady came to the door offering me a sign to stop Finkendbinder toxins. I kindly said, ‘No thank you’ and she ended up rambling and getting very upset. I explained that I am to be cremated and I like knowing I will be taken care of by them and not given to someone else. She turned and walked away. I looked out the front window and she was putting one out between the sidewalk and the road. I went out and told her I said I do not want one. She said that is fine, but this is borough property and that she can put it there and to remove it would be illegal. Is this true?”

• “Great article, Press And Journal, about the failure to replace police in Lower Swatara Twp. You proved that the Lower Swatara police are the lowest paid in the area. You also showed what the attorney said about crime statistics dropping and that is a direct result of the great police department we have. The ultimate goal of any police department is crime prevention and the board’s attorney stated the police are doing just that in Lower Swatara. It’s working, so leave it alone and maintain it for Pete’s sake! Also it’s not just about money when deciding to replace police – it’s about public safety. The communities surrounding Lower Swatara and l seem to be on the same page, but not Lower Swatara?”

• “You can be against the crematory. Think before you act. Everyone is talking about the kids reading the signs and explaining that to them. I do agree that is horrible. The one thing that gets to me is that bullying in our schools is an issue and we all should agree that we lead by example. This funeral home has done nothing wrong. These signs are trying to bully this funeral home into not doing their business. When my fifth-grader asked if the sign at the house next to ours is a type of bullying, I had to answer, ‘Yes,’ and now I am getting pretty angry at our new council for allowing this and backing it. My understanding is no laws have been broken, rules had been followed but yet you encouraged all this because you at a meeting did not have what it takes to stand up to these people. You encouraged this mess, now fix it! I encourage everyone to get on council to stop the injustice that is happening and for allowing this type of behavior.”

• “A coroner can call an overdose whatever he likes. It doesn’t change the law. I’m all for locking up drug dealers but drug users are not victims. They choose to do the drugs. I understand it is a ‘sickness’ but if you play with fire you get burned. Maybe the families should get their kids help before it comes to an overdose. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. To me this is just another cop-out. Stop buying drugs and put them out of business!’’

• “There is no hearsay or misinformation in what the Press And Journal has reported. That’s the beauty of the media – they hold those in power accountable. The commissioners offer different explanations that just don’t make sense or add up. Lower Swatarians, you are dealing with some scary people here.”

• “Regarding smoking, grills, weed eaters, etc. I actually only use one of those items, a car – and I use it sparingly. If I were using those things I certainly would not use them 24\7 as the Finkenbinder permit to the DEP is requesting because I would expect my neighbors to find that excessive. Additionally, I now know more about this issue then I ever wanted to know and all of the research causes me concern. I choose to err on the side of caution because preventing the crematory is easier then removal after it exists. As to being foolish about the GoFundMe page and the signs, I was taught in civics class that in a democracy people are free to have differences of opinion. It needn’t be personal or hurtful. I appreciate your feedback and respect your right to express it, but I respectfully disagree.”

• “Seeing how corrupt local government is makes one fearful of the level of corruption at the state and federal government.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 16:49

Hits: 646

Sound Off 4/13/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “The same high school teachers like to fail a lot of kids. My guess is they like having other schools with higher honor roll students than us. The administration should be concerned with this pattern but for years now they keep looking the other way. Look at the history: It’s always certain teachers each year. These kids have A’s/B’s in everything else but not with these same teachers.”

• “I think it’s time to unionize!”

• “With everything I’ve read the last few months about Lower Swatara Twp., good luck hiring more cops even if the powers that be OK it! Why in the world would they want to work there? No, thank you.”

• “Let’s see if the commissioners, now that they bought the new police car, try to take away other police vehicles. I’ve never seen a board of commissioners that tries to disable their police department like this one. I mean, dear Lord, what did they do to you to create such resentment?

• “I am not opposed to cremation, I am opposed to building a crematory right in the middle of a family neighborhood. Can’t believe they can’t find another garage anywhere away from homes to run the operation. Just don’t think it’s appropriate for our community. Ask yourself: If you are buying a house of identical features and value, and one was next to the crematory and the other was not, which would you choose?”

• “Hey, Press And Journal, how come stories about Lower Swatara that are based on hearsay and misinformation make the front page, but when the commissioners fully explain what’s really going on at township meetings, nothing’s written in the paper about it? How about telling the other side of the story?”
(Editor’s note: A story about the debate over police staffing in Lower Swatara Twp. appears in this edition. We stand by our previous stories on public discussion about police staffing that occurred at township meetings and on recent personnel changes in township government.)

• “Bring back Scott Sites. He is a true leader!”

• “The crematorium in Middletown: Let me preface this by saying I do not live in Middletown, but have worked here for the last 10 years and I have been following the debate about the addition of a crematorium to the (already established) funeral home in Middletown. Firstly, this facility will have to meet strict DEP and EPA guidelines regarding their operations and potential emissions into the air. Quite frankly, and no disrespect intended, you will get more smoke and smell from the Brownstone than from the crematorium. Secondly, as for the comment about the crematorium effecting property values – do you all need to be reminded that you live in the shadow of the ONLY nuclear accident in the U.S.? Your property values have long since been determined. And lastly, it’s called ‘cremation,’ did any of your relatives asked to be ‘human incinerated?’ Do your homework before making up your mind.”

• “Hey, Finkenbinder has a crematory in Elizabethtown at 130 N. Market St. It used to be Miller/Sekely but I guess Finkenbinder has it now. It’s called Miller Finkenbinder Funeral Home/Crematory. So why do we really need one in Middletown when he can take them to Elizabethtown? Check it out. Right before the square going towards E-town.”

• “Listen, if the National Flood Insurance is going to be denied to the township because of those campers on the islands, then I’m sorry, but you’re only there in the summer and on weekends. ‘Cabins’ must go. My home is a year-round dwelling for me and my family, and I need the security of flood insurance.”

• “Why have a problem with a crematory when we don’t blink an eye to a sausage shop nearby burning pigs? Move on to better things.”

• “To the people who are fighting the crematory, I ask you the following: How many of you smoke cigarettes? How many of you smoke marijuana? How many of you use a gas grill or coal briskets? How many of you have a fire pit? Think about the emissions coming from your car or lawnmower or gas Weedeater. Stop and think about all of the things that emit gases into the air. You are all part of a bigger problem. The legal guidelines that Mr. Fager will have to follow make the crematory a lot safer than the things you already use on a regular basis. SMH! Do your research before you start putting signs up and start a GoFundMe page. You only look like fools.”

• “I’d like to know how much of our money was spent on the Lower Swatara attorney to do a crime study? You have and pay a chief of police to do that for you!”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 09:44

Hits: 659

SOUND OFF: 4/6/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “I read something the other day about a coroner in Pennsylvania is going to start calling overdose deaths “homicides’’ and the drug dealer will be charged with murder. That’s really great news. And there are other coroners going to do the same thing. That’s it, no more free rides for these drug dealers. Why didn’t they think of this year’s ago?

• “Everyone with a Middletown in-town address should receive at least a $2,000 check so they can have their car suspension repaired and/or their back and neck. Foreign cities after World War II were rebuilt by us faster than the work that has been going on now in this town for three years. I think I will park my car for a while and take the train, probably a smoother ride. Can anyone direct me to the new train station?”

• “To the 95 percent of drivers who speed and tailgate I must ask, why? If I am on a two-lane road and, God forbid, somebody crosses the line and hits me head-on any chance I might have in surviving is gone with a selfish idiot tailgating me. So to all of you that this applies to, slow down and back off!’’

• “With past coverage of the crematory issues being fairly thorough, I’m very interested in knowing why the P&J didn’t print anything on the meeting last week about the proposed crematory opening in downtown Middletown. Fox 43, Channel 8 and Channel 27 were all there and did TV coverage. Where was our local paper? The crematory issue is an important local topic, affecting many Middletown people directly! It affects the buying and selling of houses in the downtown locale, as well as the environmental issues affecting the health of our families. I can’t help but wonder why the P&J missed the boat!”
  (Editor’s note: We attended the meeting to see if anything new was discussed. The points raised have been made by opponents in our extensive coverage of the issue, so we did not write a separate story about the meeting. Reporter Dan Miller wrote in-depth about the issue in our Jan. 27 edition (“Ashes to ashes: Neighbors protest proposed crematory at funeral home’’), including studies on property values and air quality, neighbors’ concerns and restrictions on crematories approved by other municipalities across Pennsylvania and outside the state. We’ve also attempted to get a response from the owners of the Middletown funeral home where the proposed crematory would be built. We don’t believe we’ve missed the boat on reporting the issue.)

• “People, the biggest farce out there is that Trump can’t beat Clinton. The people saying that are the same ones that said he would not be where he is now. These are the same people that don’t want Trump to be the Republican nomination. And all the minorities voting for Clinton, how stupid can you be, she is buying your votes, saying what you want to here. If you’re no better off the last seven years you won’t be any better off with her.”

• “My son preformed at the school board meeting Monday. The mayor was there, Mr. Kapenstein and the Press And Journal. Sitting right up front I saw a member of the board with a nameplate that had the last name Fager. I asked the gentleman beside me if this is the crematory guy. He said it was. My understanding from reports was this man is hard to find for comment. I asked the very kind gentleman if I should tell them, he laughed and said they know how to contact him, they don’t want to. So someone please tell me why a small group of people can give this man such a hard time if everyone knows he is doing a good thing and followed everything he had to by law and rules?”

• “Thank you for the update on Main Street paving. Any word on Ann Street paving? I dare say it is even worse than Main Street and is another major route for traffic.”

• “Goat Horns go to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission for not stocking the Middletown Reservoir on Mentor Day. That was just pathetic! A lot of kids there. I understand the rules changed this year, as far as limit and adults not keeping fish, rules change all the time in this poorly run circus. Fish have been put in the Resi every Mentor Day in the past but not this year. We’re part of the 18 southeastern regional counties, why no fish this year? It must be political games inside the commission.”

• “I am more offended by the signs that this no-crematory group is putting up. I am left with the impression that you know that most of us that have looked into this and have not taken your side because there really is no reason to be upset, other than the fact of what is taking place to do a cremation. Now you are just trying to use ugly words to make it sound honorable. You people are really making us look really dumb to others. Your petition and your GoFundMe should be sending you a message loud and clear. Why don’t you listen and stop making us look like a town of idiots? Look at the money you are costing us by taking up so much of the council’s time, and them getting legal people involved. You will be the same people yelling when taxes go up to pay for all this. I know some of you burn pellet stoves, coal and so on, compare that to their emissions. Do the work you should have done and stop pulling information from the ‘80s. You are not the majority and this is obvious.”

• “I do not want to come across as disrespectful, but I was wondering. All the bad things people are saying about Mr. Fager’s cremation funeral home. Does anyone know if he is still going to give T-shirts away and all that stuff at games? Girl in school said her family wants to stop his funeral home. They must have no idea what all he does for so many. Over many years he has given us many things. If you do or if you don’t, I want to be the first in my senior year to say thank you because I know not many do.”

• “People can, of course, give their money to whomever they like. But with all the people and organizations that need help, why would you choose to donate to cover legal fees for people to keep their vacations homes? I have a camper; several years ago I got a letter saying the campground would be sold. I looked around and came up with an alternative. I didn’t ask people for money to fight it. If it was a family’s primary home, I could understand.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2016 15:24

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Sound Off 3/2/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

“They have to charge for parking at the new train station. Otherwise, everyone taking a flight out of HIA would park there for free and take the shuttle bus to the airport. If that happened, there would be no parking for actual commuters.”

“This is being written to anyone who rents property or who owns rental properties in the Borough of Middletown. On February 16, a public meeting was held regarding new residential rental unit regulations. Under the proposed regulations, property owners will have to pay a license fee for each separate rental unit that they own in the borough. These new fees will be passed on to the tenants in the form of a rent increase. The purpose for these new regulations, according to the borough council, is to require property owners to repair deteriorated, unsafe and unsanitary properties within the borough. That's fine, but these problems are already covered under existing laws and codes. Why enact another government program with all its mandated fees and extra paperwork to cover what is already covered under existing codes? I can tell you why. MONEY! These fees are expected to raise tens of thousands of dollars per year. All that money will be coming out of the tenant's pockets. Middletown has more "renter occupied" units than "owner occupied" units. So let's tax each one. Easy money, right? Tell that to a tenant that already has trouble making ends meet. Another requirement will be "tenant registration." Owners will have to submit tenants' names, addresses, telephone numbers or other contact information to the codes office. So much for your privacy. You're not entitled to that if you rent an apartme nt in the borough. None of this is required, of course, if you live in your own house. Sure, you can look it up at the courthouse, but to me, it's the idea of it. The contract you enter into with your landlord has nothing to do with the borough. Your apartment must also be available for inspection by the Code Enforcement Office. What about your personal privacy? If you have a problem that your landlord won't take care of, you have a right to report this to the codes office. But to subject ever single apartment to it under the guise of "safety" is ridiculous. How many additional employees are going to be needed to sort through this mountain of extra paperwork and do all these inspections? I think the problem properties should be dealt with on an individual basis. Please don't penalize tenants with extra cost for the sake of a few slum lords that certainly could be dealt with under existing codes. Please contact your borough council and let your feelings be known about how this law will effect you.”

“Wow, the Middletown police force must be doing a great job with crime here in town, I haven't seen the Middletown Borough Police News or any court news from the desk of David Judy entered into The Press And Journal for the last 6 weeks or so. I see Lower Swatara entries almost every week, but I don't live in Lower Swatara. Sure would be nice to know what's been going on here in town. While I'm at it, who in the world designed, then approved the paint line scheme for parking in front of the M-town Post Office? Ridiculous!”

“To the odd women that asked to post a no crematory sign at my place. I have not paid much attention to this topic and thank you for stopping. Now I understand. I think you have lived by Three Mile Island a little to long. I in no way want your sign at my place. I also think for you to stand there and tell people that this establishment and DEP does not understand what they are doing. That is ridicules! You said Middletown's new council members agree with you? I find it hard to think that they agree with you over factual studies. Lastly for you to get an attitude with me because I will not allow you to have a sign at my establishment and telling me how you can post outside without my permission? I think you are crossing a fine line.”

“To the person who seems to spend their entire day inundating the Sound Off column with comments about the Lower Swatara Police Department, your time would be better served trying to find actual solutions to the problem instead of annoying everyone else with your repetitive comments.”

“The reason there is no White History Month like there is a Black History month is the same reason they don't have non-handicapped parking signs.”

“Commissioners, have you given any thought to what will happen if God forbid one of our police officers would get injured or be off for an extended period of time? The current amount of officer’s means the shifts will not be able to be filled properly, OT will go through the roof and it's going to be a mess. Had you hired like you should have this problem wouldn't exist.”

“I'm voting for TRUMP and I don't care about his tax returns. The people against TRUMP just don't get it. It's a movement we want our country back from the lobbyist, the super pacts. And I want someone who is not political correct. Let's make our country great again. Everything that is done today is political motivated. That's why our country is messed up. TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP ,”

“I think next week a timeline will be sounded off about what the Lst commissioners have said in the paper and to their community and what they have actually done, to include dates and times and everything else, that should paint a nice clear picture to your constituents and voting public, and trust me there are things that have not even been brought up yet. You can't out finance everybody and duck the truth forever.”

“Working at Middletown Home and a Middletown resident, I like to keep business as local as I can. I also do not like when a business has a monopoly, lives outside Middletown and charges outrageous prices to families who are in town for the day to take care of things for a loved one. There is a choice now as someone said, but every time I tell someone, no one is there. Does anyone know when Fager Funeral Home is set to open? I was told right now until they officially open, you have to call ahead and most times that is not an option for the families. Any information would be helpful; I just do not want to get caught up in the crematory arguments.”

“I don't know if it's true but I heard that the Middletown police are hiring four police officers and several Lower Swatara Officers are looking to go there to work. Think about that and no disrespect to the Middletown PD but the Lower Swatara commissioners have made it so bad that the Middletown Police Dept. is a better place to work today, kudos to Middletown though for waking up. This will leave the Lower Swatara police unable to function properly and it will because of failure to replace and hire police officers and treating current officers so badly they choose to leave. Wonder how that will work out for and how that will be covered by media? No more Sound Offs a well researched letter to the editor and media outlets needs to be done exposing this play by play.”

“Just want to say thanks and God Bless the wonderful lady and Twp. resident who I heard took time from her day to attend the recent Twp. meeting to express her concerns about what is happening to the Lower Swatara police, you are very appreciated! Others will follow your lead!”

“When you do people and public servants dirty and unfairly you should've been smart enough to hide your bread crumbs because they are all over the place especially, now that we are looking for them.”

“PRESS AND JOURNAL PLEASE INVESTIGATE: Rumor has it that the township has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment like mowers and trucks. With all the Sound Offs about police vehicles in poor shape, needing towed, and not being properly replaced even when budgeted for why would the public works be receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment when the police department appears in desperate need of new vehicles that are an absolute must?”

“How many new employees has the township hired outside of the police department within the past three years? Wonder how they can afford to hire them when they can't afford to hire desperately needed police officers that are already budgeted for.”

“I have never been more excited for Election Day before...can't wait to see some move on!”


“Politics is dirty business. It's not for the thin skinned that can take any criticism, let alone for the thin skinned that wish to move on to higher offices.”

“Nice article Press And Journal and now have an idea of why Lanman left Middletown, possibly because he knew he might be fired. And now he works for Lower Swatara, go figure.”

“As a U.S. citizen I’m used to nasty political rhetoric, but I don’t like it. I also dislike how some are using the Sound Off as a weapon. I have lived in Lower Swatara Township since 1980. Over 30+ years there are times when I have agreed with our Commissioners, times when I did not, and times when I thought they were too slow to act. However, they are our elected officials and deserve our respect not our ridicule. I ‘roll my eyes’ at those that use emotions to inflame tempers and don’t take time to dig out the facts. Regarding our police officers, my first question is, ‘do we need another police office or more?’ More is not necessarily better especially when our Township has other competing needs such as sewer, water, maintenance, parks, and all the other services that it provides. What benefit will an additional police officer bring? What service will be sacrificed to pay for each additional police officer? Over the last five years, is there an increasing upward crime rate? Will an additional officer solve an increasing crime rate or is there another issue that’s causing the increase? Questions like these need to be asked to make an informed decision. That’s part of discussing the issues. Lower Swatara Township does not unlimited funds…we have to live within a budget. I would not support any additional police unless the facts show it’s a necessity. Even if it is necessary, we’re probably looking at increased taxes or sacrificing another service such as clean roads following a major snowstorm. It took a friend of mine in a different Township until Sunday afternoon following our last Friday-Saturday storm to see a snowplow in his development. What if it’s you having a heart attack and an ambulance can’t get through to your house? What if we end up with toxic water like Flint? It’s hard to make choices, especially unpopular ones, but slinging mud at the Commissioners won’t do anything except create a lot of hard feelings. All of us in Lower Swatara, including our elected officials, should be able to ask the question, ‘do we need another police officer’ without being scorned as if we don’t appreciate our police force and don’t respect public service. Last, what type of person ridicules someone for the vehicles they own? My answer: a bully.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2016 15:22

Hits: 812