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Sound Off 9/21/16

“I read the article about code enforcement in Middletown and totally agree we need more code officers. But can totally understand why they are hard to find. If people would just take pride in their homes and their town, it wouldn’t be such a thankless job. You have these lazy jerks that let their lawns go for weeks at a time and have weeds sprouting up everywhere and when they get told about it they whine and complain they are being picked on. They do as little as possible to comply with the letter, and then just let it go again! It seems like there are no real consequences. The rest of us who do care, have to live with their squalor and the bugs and critters it attracts! Come on people, it’s your home, your town, have some pride. Middletown, start enforcing the codes and fining the lazy slobs! How about everyone start mowing weekly, weed and weed the sidewalk too and stop using junk and upholstered furniture as yard and porch decor!”

“Been a resident of Middletown for 20 years and it is not easy to say but it is a ‘strange town.’ The community seems locked in a paradigm that has expired long ago. Sure, a consultant was paid lots of money and you followed the advice of the consultant but ‘brick and mortar’ economies are a thing of the past. And does anyone really believe that because we placed some pavers at the intersection of Union and Emaus streets or that we put up new street lights downtown that businesses will now flock to Middletown? Really? I am not opposed to spending money on infrastructure but can anyone really justify the money spent to date? Particularly considering what that spending wrought? Perhaps rather than the physical infrastructure it might be well to consider the spiritual infrastructure of the community where much can be achieved with little or no money spent. When does the community (and the school district) relish in the contributions and success stories of its citizens? Does the community (and the school district) even know of its past? Allow me two examples. It is September 11, 2016, and America is remembering 9-11-2001, 15 years ago. Most communities search for a link to that day. Middletown has one that to my perception has been totally ignored. Joseph Santoro, a lifelong resident, citizen, and taxpayer of Middletown, a graduate of MASD, married to a MASD teacher, and a member of Pennsylvania Task Force One was called to duty early that day, spent several weeks ‘at’ ground zero in the search and recovery efforts in the noble response to that dastardly attack. Has Middletown ever acknowledged, let alone recognized his participation and contributions? America talks about the firefighters and police officers of 9-11 as ‘heroes.’ Middletown had a ‘hero’ in its own midst and barely noted his presence. Still, September 11, 2016, looking at Penn-Live and I noted a high school football story about Middletown whereby the writer mentioned Middletown’s ‘storied’ past. What? Yes, like Joe Santoro, Middletown had its athletic heroes and success stories as well. Names like Cliff Brown, Tony Colston, and Dave Twardzik come to mind. Who you ask? Cliff Brown, first starting black quarterback in the history of Notre Dame football. Tony Colston, Pennsylvania state record for most points scored in a football season. Dave Twardzik, NBA champion. Is any of this celebrated by the community or God forbid the school district? The body can achieve only what the mind can conceive. Consider informing and inspiring, especially our young people, and it may well be the greatest investment you ever make and one that will come with the fewest dollars spent.

“Those are the largest speeds bumps I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, Middletown School District. I understand the need for school safety, but that is ridiculous and completely outrageous. Don’t smirk and say you’re slowing people down. You’re just jacking up everyone’s car!”

“Our tax dollars to plug his political race, did he really just do that for all to see??”

“You do not have the right to stick your dog crap in my trashcan. First of all, that was the recycling can. Secondly, even if it had been the right trashcan, the trash was already picked up. My trash is bagged, so they don’t empty the can, they grab the bag. That means your dog crap would have been at the bottom of my trash can forever, forcing me to have to deal with your dog’s do-do. You were nice enough to put it in your own bag. It was a little white bag with a cellophane window, and it kind of reminded me of an airsick bag. If you can’t handle the responsibility of walking your dog, then please surrender it immediately to a no-kill rescue.”

“There is Corby Beverage, Main St., Middletown for beer and soda, Grove Motors, Genes Automotive, Elwood’s all on Main St. for automotive needs, Hop Yard, Brownstone and the Brewery for a sit down meal, maybe you just like to drive.”

“Guido McNeil’s has no parking and nobody wants to go to a smoking bar!”

“We need to go Union! For the rest of us, it’s our only hope.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 16:08

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Sound Off 9/14/16

“Glad to see there are others out there in support of commercial development on North Union Street. The few that keep harassing us neighbors with their letters and phone calls don’t speak for the majority. Some residents are concerned with being taxed out of the township; these types of improvements can keep the township affordable. It’s common sense.”

“Under federal law, it is illegal to intentionally stop a letter from being delivered to its intended recipient, and that may include not informing the U.S. Postal Service that you have another person’s mail.”

“I think it would be very beneficial for the taxpayers and Board of Commissioners to have an intense audit done on Lower Swatara Township. I mean everything. The board should welcome it if everything is A-OK and be good for our community and maybe it would clear the air. I’ve read far too much to not be a little concerned about my hard earned tax dollars. Too much he said she said, lets get to the bottom of it.”

“Who designed the new speed bumps by the elementary and middle schools? Did they really have to be that large? What a waste of money and gradual destruction of everyone’s car! Overkill!”

“It seems like in the eyes of this board everybody is wrong but them, even the State Auditor of PA according to them? Also I don’t recall ever seeing a board vote unanimously on so many things. If money was under reported, why? There is power and respect in owning your mistakes I believe.”

“Still no cops hired and where is that police car? Actions speak louder than words, but this is a broken record. Amazing how quickly other Lower Swatara employees get hired and vehicles get purchased. What’s going on dear Board?”

“Whoever drives that bright orange mustang way too fast on Spring Garden Drive, SLOW DOWN, there are kids out here hot shot! Next time I’m getting your plate number.”

“Today I went to Middletown to buy groceries, Swatara Township to buy soda and beer, Lower Paxton Township to eat at a nice ‘sit down’ restaurant and Harrisburg to have some automotive repair work done. GEE. ISN’T IT NICE TO DRIVE AND DRIVE AND DRIVE TO GET SERVICES BECAUSE WE HAVE NONE AND DON’T WANT COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN LOWER SWATARA TOWNSHIP?”

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 16:04

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Sound Off 9/7/2016

“My glasses are crooked on me also, turns out my one ear is lower than the other one.”

“The downtown Middletown project has brought with it the possibility of some great businessess setting up here. I was thankful to see the hookah lounge move on last winter. Now in that very same building is a vape shop. I think some folks are missing out on the big picture.”

“To all you democrats who are going to vote for crooked Hillary, what has the democratic party done for you these last 7½ years? You want a real change for the better vote Trump. What’s wrong with law and order? Trump can bring jobs back, Hillary can’t, she is a follower and Trump is a leader. I feel sorry for the blacks and minorities because Clinton is using you all, what have you got to lose on voting for Trump?”

“You hear about shootings all the time and mostly they’re drug related, I say let them kill each other I feel no loss for them everybody has a choice.”

“I love this time of year in Middletown. My family and I have been fishing for Wrinkle Neck Trout in the Susquehanna in Middletown for years. They aren’t as big as some places up north, but they sure are tasty.”

“This is a request in memory of a 5-year-old girl who died from a heart virus. Please send pink, purple, and white balloons into the air September 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. This is being done all over our country at the parent’s request. This little girl lived in Oklahoma and was my great-niece. I want to see balloons all over the Middletown sky on that evening. Thank you so much.”

“Where are the sound offs? Press And Journal, you’ve been the only voice of good honest people, don’t stop now!!”

“Is the new Editor worried about printing stories that may shake things up a bit?”

“Only in America do the poor and elderly go without their medicine because of the cost, but a junkie can get free drugs to keep them alive if they overdose. The junkies are only going to do it again anyway. Save the money. They have it backwards.”

“Wonder how long it will be until this new ‘public safety director’ sees the colors of the commissioners? He definitely has his work cut out for him. Let’s hope he’ll at least look out for his men and treat the officers well.”

“Maybe those players were waiting for a ride home between their two a day practices. Or not, who knows. Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

“In response to the audit at Lower Swatara: High turnover of staff results in mistakes under the best of circumstances. Hire a qualified person and then keep them long term. How long does it take to learn that lesson?”

“That state auditor report about Lower Swatara Township has me a little concerned as a taxpayer. Maybe all the Sound Off’s we’ve been reading have some merit. It would behoove the state auditors office to dig a little deeper considering what was reported. It seems like every time this board of commissioners is called out about something they claim they were ‘misquoted’ or the other party was wrong, your all human too, try owning up once in a while. Was the tax collector actually voted in or was she just selected after the other tax collector ‘left?’ Does the current tax collector get a salary and what does she actually do? I don’t think it’s wise to pick a fight with the state auditor, but I guess when you have a attorney paid by the residents why not. I think it’s time to clean house Lower Swatara.”

“So where is the missing or unreported money? Definitely a question for the next meeting! Residents, think about the amount you pay in taxes and start asking questions, demand an answer don’t accept a ‘thank you’ from the board after you speak, tell them you’d like an answer.”

“Isn’t it funny how every person, group, and now state agency who has questioned this current board is always wrong in the eyes of the board, I guess the whole world is out to get you right?”

“I am not saying this is true, but I believe the Lower Swatara Police and other Lower Swatara agencies are being oppressed. Only an investigation could confirm or deny this, but who does that?”

“Boo Hoo, Vapers have to pay more in taxes. What a shame. Us non-smokers have to put up with second hand smoke and now second hand vape. You people stink! Enjoy the taxes!”

“The audit results on Lower Swatara only adds additional support for Ron Paul to join the Board. Do the right thing here.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 14:51

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Sound Off 8/24/16

“If you can afford to have a trailer, camper or boat you can afford to park them some- where other then on the street. Why should I look out my window and all I see is your things parked out there that you might move once a year?”

“Every year I get new glasses and every year they’re crooked on me. I adjust and adjust and I go back and they adjust and adjust and to no avail they are always crooked. And I now finally found out what the problem is, my head is crooked.

“I live in the borough. I DO NOT want a merged police department. We need officers who are dedicated to our town, not patrolling other coverage areas. It’s bad enough that we never see police on our streets. I’m so fed up, I’m about to rent my house to a bunch of college students and move out of the area all together. This town has so much potential, but once again we have ‘leaders’ who want to shove their agenda down our throats. They should be taking care of the things that matter to us, like getting Ann St. paved and our streets swept.”

“Comment from the 8/10 Sound Off: The streets of Middletown are coming around and things are getting straightened out for the betterment of the community on a hole. I laughed so hard! I thought we were trying to better the whole community, not the hole community!”

“In the past two Sound Off’s, there has been a request for Long John Silvers, KFC and Dunkin Donuts. Are you kidding me? Yuck! We need restaurants with QUALITY food, not frozen crap that’s mass produced and shipped here on a truck. Try the new Hop Yard. I was extremely impressed with their food - and the prices are very reasonable.”

I’d respond to the Hillary basher, but Dumpster supporters are too closed-minded and caught up in their own hate and anger, so no point wasting my typing fingers.”

“Hey, have you heard? Red lights and stops signs don’t mean anything anymore. It only counts if there’s a cop around, and we all know there are no cops anywhere, anymore.”

“Sorry potheads, I’m against making it legal. I know for a fact that pot smoking cost Bethlehem Steel hundreds of thousands of dollars in busted up equipment, lost time and material. And I know for a fact that some of those names on the wall in D.C. are there because of some pothead not doing his duty in Nam.”

“Narrowing streets makes no sense at all. And wait till the snowplows start tearing up those stupid bricks. Why do you think we got away from brick and cobblestone streets?”

“I bet it’s good to be the Township attorney, this board keeps him busy! I’d like to see a comparison of Township attorney use from before and after this board, I mean since we the residents are paying him.”

 “Seems to me that “Black Lives ‘only’ Matter” when there is a white cop involved.”

“I am proud to be from Kazakhstan. We are the greatest nation on earth and the number one producer of Potassium.”

“I can’t wait until Election Day! We can start to make some much-needed changes from D.C. on down to our local level. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!”

“Thanks for the Middletown Honor Roll. I was looking for the Lower Dauphin Honor Roll.”

“No way they don’t select Ron Paul to be the next commissioner. There is nobody more qualified, experienced and intelligent to become a commissioner. He would make the others jobs a lot easier. But let’s see what happens.”

 “Maybe you should contact the home offices of Long John Silver and KFC. Just may get you a franchise and a whole new career.”

 “Every month it seems druggies of town are dying off to the Drug that wins, Heroin. Where’s the families at to get them help. If they keep dying off in our town the streets just might be safer.”

“I’ll tell you how to end those riots, Shoot ‘em! Plug five or six of them and I’ll bet the rest go home. You have a right to protest, and peacefully assemble. No one has a right to riot and loot. They aren’t even protesting any more they are Shopping.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 16:34

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Sound Off 8/17/16

“Thank you to all involved that helped put National Night Out together, it was a great night.”

“As I read the paper and watch the news there certainly are some crimes and tragic things happening in Lower Swatara, so I wonder has what the board of commissioners done to manpower with the Lower Swatara Police bit them in the butt yet? I wonder if the police and detectives are struggling to handle these horrible crimes and tragedies. Maybe most of us don’t feel it but the victims and families do and that can be any of us any day. This is no time in this country to be improperly maintaining your police force. Wake up and smell the coffee Lower Swatara board even if you don’t like the police we all need them. It doesn’t seem there is any sense of urgency by this board to protect us and help their police do they’re important jobs.

“Where is the code enforcement officer in Middletown? As I walk around town I see weeds growing on peoples sidewalks and in the street on East Water St. On West Water St. there is a home that has trash piled up so high that the smell is horrendous and the bushes in front of the house make it difficult to walk by. There are other places as well. Years ago I got a notice to get the weeds off my sidewalk or face a fine and mine were only little things! Maybe there are elderly people who need help in taking care of these things, but the code officer is never in his office and doesn’t return phone calls!”

 “Lower Swatara Police: Please know that regardless of the support or lack there of from your commissioners, that your residents truly appreciate what you do for our community. The past couple of weeks have been trying times for the law enforcement community. There is a lack of respect, understanding, and appreciation for the job you guys do. You go to work each day protecting our community and making it a better place, maybe if we don’t see all the good you do. You may not go home to your family for ‘just doing your job,’ which is a sacrifice that most don’t have to make. It’s a shame that your commissioners, your leaders have failed you and have failed to treat you better. Remember, board members are elected positions and are not guaranteed. Please look to the future. One day this current board will no longer be there and they will have to look within and answer to someone greater than themselves. I truly feel sorry that even in today’s climate, with cops being ambushed, shot, and murdered for simply putting on a badge and trying to make the community a little safer, that you are still treated the way that you are. Hang in their guys.”

 “How do the people on Water Street put up with the smell of all that trash on their street? Why aren’t the people who own that house made to clean up that garbage and fix the bushes in the front of their house? No wonder so many houses are for sale in this town.” 

“Kudos to Officer Bennett for handling a traffic situation outstanding and not holding up the whole street. Very professional even when a passerby was yelling obscenities about police in general. #Team Bennett.”

“One hundred forty-five thousand dollars in fines from trucks, let’s do the math. Lower Swatara officers start at $48,000. Lower Swatara has lost three officers in the past year and the commissioners have failed to hire anybody new. Forty-eight thousand dollars x 3 new officers equals $144,000. Even save $1,000. I wonder what new excuse the commissioners will use to NOT HIRE any new officers? Doesn’t seem to be a monetary issue to me. Wasn’t there a vote to hire in May? Yet here we are, three months later and still no new Police Officers. The township has a major heroin problem (overdose deaths, DUI’s, and so forth), a toddler that drowned and is under investigation, fraud, thefts, assaults, and so on. One detective to handle all of this while the school resource officer and another detective are pulled from their assignments to cover the loss of street officers. You can’t make this up. AMAZING.”

 “The person who stated that the Black Horse Grille is just so so seemed to have been comparing it to the Tattered Flag. No comparison, they are two different venues. We have been to the Black Horse several times and found it to be a very good nice clean atmosphere, nice bar and dining areas, good service, good food and a varied menu with bar food and great dinners. Also have been to the Tattered Flag and also found it to be very good, nice bar and some table seating, good atmosphere but it is a bar/brewer setting and a bar menu. So as I said no comparison and let’s not throw stones at either one. Enjoy new places in our town and old places like JDs Junction, etc.”

“Is there going to be a School Resource Officer in the schools this year? That officer is on the street right now and with manpower at an all time low, my question is for the safety of the children. If he has to stay on the street to cover shifts, who will be in the schools?”

 “So if I am a resident of Lower Swatara and I become the victim of a minor or non-violent crime, let’s say fraud or vandalism, who will be investigating my case and how long will it take to complete that? I’ve been reading in the paper for so long now that the department has pulled another detective from his duties to cover shifts as well as pulling the officer out of school to do the same. If it’s that low in manpower, why don’t they hire more officers? All this talk means nothing. Action speaks louder than words.”

“Very conspicuously, Lower Swatara did not have a National Night Out,’ Commissioner Todd Truntz said during the board’s Aug. 3 meeting. He advocated the township start planning to hold its own National Night Out for the first time in August 2017. Here is the problem: there are not enough officers to participate in this great event for the community. The department is well below manpower minimums as it stands already. There aren’t enough guys to work the street and do this as well. Hopefully this is the answer to your questions Mr. Truntz. Pretty plain and simple.”

 “Seven weeks, still no new Lower Swatara Officers hired. Think I will post the week count every week until it happens. Glad my tax money bought a new truck with leather seats for the sewer department though. I’m sure those will come in handy.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:58

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