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SOUND OFF: 2/3/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “How is the water in Middletown, is it safe to use and drink?”

• “Thank goodness one commissioner (Springer) finally stiffened up his spine and stood up to the two dictators (Wilt and Mehaffie) and asked about when they are going to hire one new (already budgeted) police officer to replace the two that have left. Maybe the other two will follow suit. With that said, the reaction of the dictators (blank stares and silence) goes to show you their true colors. Mr. Truntz and Mr. Davies, you should follow suit before these two drag your name down with them.”

• “A big thank you to the road crew at Londonderry Twp. for all their hard work during the snowstorm. Those of us in Red Hill realize we’re at the bottom of the list to get plowed out, but we appreciate all your hard work. Thanks.”

• “ ‘No one wants to sit on their porch and look at a smoke stack’ ” – says the community living in the shadow of TMI.”

• “What’s wrong with the crematorium? You don’t complain about a neighbor barbecuing, so what if they’re barbecuing the neighbor?”
• “Everyone should read the playbook the Londonderry Twp. plow crews are using. They have the best road conditions in Dauphin County after this blizzard. Great job, guys!”

• “Wish it would snow more. Main Street is smoother with it!”

• “Thanks to the borough employee removing snow from North Union Street on Wednesday and the dump truck drivers taking it away. Great job!”

• “Middletown Borough, plow much? Your streets are an embarrassment at best. Even snow emergency routes are down to one lane or less. It’s Thursday, you’ve had plenty of time to at least get your major streets passable. No wonder the Town and Gown relationship is so strained, you have an entire campus of students willing to dump money into your economy but you can’t even meet the basic need of clear roads. Do it right or don’t bother.”

• “A police officer’s job is to “serve and protect” and that exactly what every officer in the Lower Swatara police department does every day! To criticize the officer for saving the life of that family is ludicrous! What was the officer suppose to do? Stand there at the car and watch it burn with the people still inside till the firefighters got there? You have to be kidding me! Police officers are first responders, that title has a lot of different job descriptions to it. They save lives everyday! The Lower Swatara Police Department is one of the best around! It would be a tragedy for Lower Swatara if the Board of Commissioners disband the department! So because the Board of Commissioners won’t say it, I will: Thank you to each and every Lower Swatara police officer, you are appreciated!”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 15:34

Hits: 277

Sound Off 1/27/2016


Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted. 


• “ ‘Bring back Frank Lynn’ – are you nuts?”

• “You know what’s sad about stupid people? They don’t know they’re stupid.”

• “I was asked to sign a petition by a family member of a funeral home. I gave it some thought, did a little homework. I suggest everyone else do the same. Facts are this is not as big a deal as everyone is making it. You are worried about air? You live in a steel town that has an airport with jets flying overhead 24/7 and Three Mile Island – and I am to sign a petition for this to be stopped when from what I see it is heavily regulated, inspected regularly by the state with unannounced inspections? Do your homework, people. From what I gathered from others, this business was brought to town to give to Middletown, not to destroy it.”

“Everyone’s bashing the man putting in a crematory. I invite others to join me at council and any place else to start backing this young man who does whatever he can for our town. All people are hearing is the negative and there are those of us that know the good this brings and is not near as harmful as all are saying.”

“Ben Kapenstein is a nice guy and all but he isn’t a leader. As a matter of fact, Christopher McNamara was a better leader, he was just a terrible communicator and he couldn’t execute on deals.”

• “Why do they keep referring to Hillary Clinton as ‘Madam Secretary?’ Does John Kerry not hold that position now? Tell your friends in the medium to stop dressing that woman up. She would be the worst thing to happen to America since Jimmy Carter.”

• “If you’re not pro-police that’s your prerogative, but don’t act or tell people you are, because it’s obvious you are not. Actions speak louder than words, Politics 101.”

• “You know I am so sick of hearing about the officer from Lower Swatara Police Department how he saved the family from a burning car. To me he is not a firefighter or an EMT at all. I can tell you this: I hope they do get rid of Lower Swatara police and bring in another police department. Because these ones do not do their job right, all they do is try to do other people’s jobs so they can be brag about. He is lucky he did not get hurt. I an tired of hearing about him.’’

• “I wonder if the Lower Swatara commissioners will hire a police officer they budgeted for now. I mean they hired a new employee at public works with a $50,000 salary out of the blue, but still no new officer that is in the budget? I was at the meeting and Commissioner Springer brought it up but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. At least Mr. Springer has a good head on his shoulders.”

• “It would appear Commissioner Springer and hopefully some others are supportive of the Lower Swatara police and appreciate their value. It also may appear that 3 are fed up with the 2 and that is appropriate. Thank you, gentlemen, for realizing what is important to our community. This will not go unnoticed.”

• “There must be something in those ‘Holy Books’ that makes people think they should kill other people. Maybe it’s time for Islam to rethink its writings, or rewrite its thinking.”



Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 12:40

Hits: 346

SOUND OFF: 1/20/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.


• “Thank you, Officer Yoder of Middletown Police Department, for saving the family from a burning vehicle. You’re a hero, too.”

• “Officer Scott Yoder of Middleown Police Department deserves a heroism award, too, for saving the family from a burning car. Let’s see that he’s also honored as well as Officer Ribec of Lower Swatara Police Department.”

• “One should certainly appreciate and express their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech. Nobody has the right to dictate who you speak to or associate yourself with. A gag order, which by law can only be placed upon people by a judge, not by someone like...let’s say, a commissioner. If you are a true leader, one does not worry about what others may say behind their back because true leaders make sound decisions that are for the better of all regardless of what others think. If you have nothing to hide or to fear then there would be no legitimate reason to place such an order to employees. This appears to almost be a violation of civil rights and freedom of speech. Being a leader does not mean being a dictator. Being a leader takes knowledge, courage, integrity and character along with an open mind and a willingness to change and communicate. Obviously those who try to dictate and micromanage have something to fear, a reason to worry and an insecurity within themselves.”

• “I will sell my soul to the devil before I ever vote for Hillary Clinton.”

• “I am so sick of people being politically correct. People have their own beliefs and you should always stand by them no matter what. That’s what made someone like Trump run for president, and all the people who are going to vote for him. Congress made us people because they’re not doing what’s right for the country. I predict Trump by a landslide. Let’s make this country great again.’’

• “ ‘I did not know that side street beside Hardee’s was a two-way street now. It says one way only but you should see all the cars that go the wrong way on it. And that’s everyday. Police, you want to make money for Middletown? Start writing tickets, it has gotten out of hand now.’ The side street beside Hardee’s IS a two-way street and has been for at least a year now. They removed the ‘one way only’ signs, removed parking on the side closest to Hardee’s, and it’s a two-way street. There are no one way signs anymore. It has been a one way street for months.’’

• ‘All we ever hear about in Middletown is the streetscape work being worked on but nobody is telling us what is happening in the empty building on the east side of South Union Street between that smoke store and the Press And Journal building. It is an ugly storefront area and I think that it may be condemned. I am not sure. All I know is it is an eyesore to downtown and nobody from the bureau is talking about it. What’s going on? The new council should do something!”

• “Those who see evil and do nothing are none the better than the ones who perpetrate it.”

• “When you look across the country, when any town, city, township, borough grows or expands the police departments grow with them because it’s necessary and logical. Since this current Board of Commissioners has been here our police department has shrunk with no explanation. Farming out police services will not benefit Lower Swatara. Though most good people may have never needed the police department, they benefit us daily without us ever realizing it. Statistics show all of us will need the police at some point in your life. When that time comes, you want your competent police to be there for you quickly and know that you as a Lower Swatara resident are their priority and top concern. Don’t let the smoke screen of how much the township will save blind you because when that trickles down to the individual resident it’s not much at all and having the police department you do now is worth much, much more.”

• “Yeah, you guys are being really honest about keeping the fate of the police department known to the public and seeking input for them. ‘As of Dec. 16’ there was nothing discussed – funny how it was long before that that the commissioners were talking to Swatara. Funny how Swatara was mentioned as a professional police department, but there was a lack to mention about how professional their own is as well. Both departments are accredited and their policies mirror each other. Funny how employees are told to ‘disassociate’ and given direction not to talk to the police officers they work with. How is the township supposed to work for the greater good of the people in the township when they are given direction not to work together or speak with each other? Amazing what kind of leaders there are.”

• “Employees should work together to strive for a common goal – what would make someone fear what is being said so much that you tell employees not to talk to each other? They work together for a reason and creating a divide only affects the wrong people in the end.”

• “I thought the Blue & Gold Club was a nonprofit raising money to help the school district? Why is there another new foundation being considered?”

• “Press and Journal, please investigate. Apparently public works employees cannot associate or speak with the police. A Right to Know request may clear this up for the concerned public.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 16:03

Hits: 527

SOUND OFF: 1/13/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.


• “Middletown Borough is suing the wrong law firm! They should have gone after the law firm that convinced them to end the 1-cent kilowatt agreement. That firm represented Middletown, but was in bed with the enemy! That’s who they should’ve gone after!”

• “Congratulations, Officer Ribec, for a heroic act and bravery. You are the epitome of what a police officer stands for and what the line of work is all about. You should feel very proud that you saved not only the life of a helpless infant child, but also that of a criminal who placed himself and others in a senseless act of danger. I think that people need to realize the dangers and acts of bravery that our officers face every day. We may not always hear about the good they do but 99.9 percent are hard-working and committed to the protection of others. The media only gets ratings off of the 0.1 percent of bad things that happen and will play that out for their own benefit. This is a story that needs to be promoted in the newscasts to show the true side of law enforcement.”

• “I guess the Lower Swatara Twp. commissioners (goon squad) truly can put a price on the life of another. They have cut and bled the police department dry. Nearly $110K in budget cuts in 2016. Refusing to hire much-needed officers for the street, down two and still not hiring the one that was budgeted. Refusing to purchase vehicles that are in desperate need of repair and replacement. Treating the officers as enemies because of their “cost” rather than allies that protect and keep their voters/residents safe. I wonder if the life of the little girl that was saved by their officer was worth those cuts? Wait, it isn’t...they’re planning on disbanding the police department anyway to “cut costs.” So if there are no police available, I wonder how long it would take Swatara or State Police to get there. Lower Swatara Twp. did it in less than 4 minute – you think they could beat that? My guess would be NO. It goes to show you how precious seconds are in times of emergencies and the fact that the commissioners just don’t get it. You can’t keep cutting when there’s nothing more to cut. Your budget clearly indicates that there is an excess of money coming into the township. Why not stop worrying about how to keep bleeding a rock dry and bring life to the township? Make it a desirable place to come and live, work and play.”

• “Mean people suck.”

• “Have you heard the expression that actions speak louder than words? That seems to be very much the case with the current board of commissioners in Lower Swatara. One only has to see the recent activities and actions of the board to see how destructive they have become to the township. Prior to the current board (pre-Mehaffie), you had heads of all departments ride out a full career until retirement. This includes managers, police chiefs and public works directors. Many other employees worked until retirement. Now there have been 4 managers, there have been 2 police chiefs and 3 public works directors. Sometimes employees don’t work out, I get that, but maybe if 9 people can’t seem to make it work, maybe it’s not the people but the board of commissioners themselves. Seems like they micro-manage a lot and interfere with the day-to-day duties of the staff they have. Here is a free tip to Mehaffie and the crew: Let the people you hire do the jobs they were hired to do. There is a reason there are ‘heads’ to departments.”

• “Excellent work from the new Middletown Borough Council replacing non-residents on the economic development authority. Only one more left to replace. About time the residents and taxpayers control the spending.”

• “Dear Press And Journal: Why do I have to pay a ‘subscription’ fee to see the article about what the Lower Swatara Board of Commissoners plans on doing with the police department? Don’t you think that is very important information that all the residents should know? The board hasn’t given a comment about that anywhere else and I think it’s important to know. Then I go to ‘subscribe’ and I try and retry over and over again and get an ERROR code! So I call in to your office about it and the office people were very rude! So frustrated!”

• “A family that smokes and drinks together lays in the graveyard early together.”

• “Hey, other guys, take some action. Don’t let your captain sink your ship with you on board, be a hero and save us and yourselves from what you know you’re seeing.”

• “I’m still waiting for those five new parking spots where Klahr’s Jewelry Store use to be. Can we tear down the old Bunky Burger while we’re at it?”

• “When a biased coach makes a blatant, bad decision that everyone knows is wrong, it only reflects what kind of person they are. Their church cannot save them no matter how often they ask for forgiveness. Wrong is wrong when the karma bus comes to town.”

• “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions.”

• “We need to take care of this planet; we have nowhere else to go.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 15:48

Hits: 577

Sound Off 1/6/2016

• “I'd just like to commend Danny Wagner, who is head of the Lower Swatara public works department. One of the nicest, most decent and hard-working guys you'll ever meet and a great family man. He works all day at the township, then farms his land into the night hours. The township is lucky to have him!”

• “It is time to bring back Frank Linn and Bill Leonard.”

• “Now that most of Middletown Borough staff have resigned, how long until Mehaffie hires them in Lower Swatara Twp.? We never had negative press in the township before this crew of wannabe Middletown councilmen assumed control. Fellow residents, I advise you to pay attention to what they're doing to your township. Let them know you disapprove before it’s too late.”

• “Lower Swatara Township residents: Heed the dire warning. As a former lifelong resident of Middletown Borough, I watched a great little town destroyed by politicians. Now Lower Swatara's politicians are doing the same thing. Remember that just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics doesn't take an interest in you. Take an interest before it’s too late to repair their damage.”

• “Good story. So there it is, residents of Lower Swatara – they are trying to get rid of our police department and contract outside services. There is no reason to get rid of our police department, who have one of the best reputations in the county and are right outside your homes when you need them. If you think you'll get the same friendly and neighborly service from an overworked outside agency, think again, many calls may never even be responded to. Don't let them fool you with the financial savings, either, because it's a gamble – and if it is only a few thousand more a year I'd rather have my local police right here when I need them. This would have never gone public if there weren't loose lips out there. I'm very thankful the Press And Journal got this out there, and the commissioners may be surprised to see how many residents come to the rescue of their officers. Our boys in blue need us to back them up now. They've done a lot for us and truly care about us, now let's get in their corner before the commissioners completely disintegrate Lower Swatara as a whole! Watch out for that catchall political buzz phrase, ‘We are moving in a new direction’ – that is a catchall phrase to hide their dirty work.”

• “So basically the commissioners' secret plan to farm out police services is to get exactly what we already have, professional officers with a great reputation. Check. We currently have that. To have two officers on duty around the clock? Check. We already have that, too. Let's discuss what we in Lower Swatara would lose – our friendly neighborhood officers who are completely loyal to us and Lower Swatara, a home based police department right here in our township, fast response times when we need them, the convenience of a department nearby you can go to when you need them. Our police department in Lower Swatara is an accredited agency in Pennsylvania, which says volumes about the kind of department we have. The commissioners have yet to give one reason why it makes sense to do this and the ones they tried to sell us are in complete contradiction to their actions, which some people would refer to simply as lies. They aren't doing any of this because they have the community's best interest in mind and that is quite obvious.

• “Hey, what happened to the Lower Swatara Police Facebook page? It was great, all kinds of good info on there and allowed for the police and community to communicate, but somebody shut it down suddenly.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 15:36

Hits: 679