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SOUND OFF: 5/20/2015

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “Looks like our clock has gone the way of the downtown trees – never to be seen again.” • “Just because current borough government has no social skills does not mean they aren’t effective. When have you last seen so many positive changes in this town? At this point, Middletown may just have a chance to come back from the dead! I don’t care if the elected officials are unable to speak like gentlemen – as long as they can resurrect our town they are doing what they are elected to do.” • “Ah yes, graduation: Nature’s way of saying, ‘The party’s over.’ ” • “Well, I see there is a black four-door jeep sitting in one of the empty lots at Harborton Place. It’s not inspected or registered. Thought management might want to know.” • “I’d like to reply to the vile comment about Islam and Muslims from May 13. I welcome you and any other member of any religion to Middletown. People such as myself will not allow a culture of intimidation for anyone. Please don’t think that the bigot’s comments are representative of this town. They aren’t. They’re only representative of the emotional and mental issues of the commenter.”

• “I cannot believe the way people drive through town. My daughter recently got her permit to drive and of course I am teaching her to go the speed limit. You would not imagine how many people have flew past her, beeped their horns at her, illegally passed her and rode her butt. We really do need more police presence in Middletown to get this under control. People, if you see a younger person driving and they have their hands on 10 and 2 and they are going the speed limit, they are probably a permit driver and you should give them room, not be an idiot and cause them to tense up.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 16:33

Hits: 208

Sound OFF: 5/13/2015


Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “I read the last press and journal about taking the lower swatara police department down to one officer per shift. To the commissioner who feels that this is a budgetary solution, you are ridiculous. I for one don't like to pay higher taxes like anyone else but I do want the comfort and satisfaction of knowing that if and when I need the police, I will have them and in a timely manner. Why in a time of ever increasing crime and violence would you cut back the manpower. If you want it to be one officer on at a time now, I can assume that you may have only 2 or 3 out at a time as it is now. These guys have a tough job already and the climate of today's society doesn't make it any easier. They really only have themselves to look out for each other and you're going to take that extra pair of eyes away. My family deserves to be secure in our home and taking that officer off the street is not the right answer.”

• “Middletown is on the move. Moving right into the ground. Thanks Chris.”

•“So, strip club money is going to be used to buy the Elks Movie Theatre? Is anyone aware of this?”

•“How in this day and age can you not contact someone by email. try and email a borough councilperson and see the message you get back. if they can respond to your email with an email that says their email is not set up they can surely set up there account to accept your email. What is the "communications director" doing to earn his salary.”

• “The construction on Main Street was poorly planned and poorly implemented. The detours and road closures seem to change on a daily basis, and sometimes twice a day. Not to mention, the roads that the detours are on have potholes and other issues that don't make them a good alternate route. It is the most craziest road construction project I've ever encountered. Maybe if we had a director of communications who actually communicated with the residents, we wouldn't have this problem. I can't wait until that man is in the unemployment line. Tick-tock, Chris (both of you).”

• “Why don’t you take a field trip to Russia and tell the gay people how they’re supposed to like it?” • “We would be better off if Jonathan Christ still owned the Elks.”

• “Before you cast your vote for your borough council candidates on May 19, take a drive through Front Street in Steelton. They did a $300,000 streets cape project in 2012. They made most of the sidewalks look like brick and put in some quaint-looking streetlights. When it was first done, it looked very nice. Now it looks like it needs hosed off and scrubbed down. This was supposed to attract businesses and revitalize the downtown. Sound familiar? As you drive down the street, notice what you see and what you don’t see. What you won’t see is anything different than before they spent $300,000, except for the aforementioned sidewalks and streetlights. The buildings still look dirty and run-down and nothing has been revitalized. ‘Build it and they will come’ didn’t work in Steelton and it isn’t working in Middletown.” • “As a Lower Swatara Twp. resident, I am puzzled by how the people of Middletown are so upset with their borough. I enjoy going into the borough frequently with my children to Hoffer Park, Kuppy’s Diner and the Elks Theatre. It is a beautiful town that the community should be proud of.” • “Very troubled to see the number of burkas and other head garb on Muslim females as more move into this area. Islam, you are not welcome here: That is, neither your oppression, your ideals nor your slavery are wanted. And for you naive leftists who keep blabbing tolerance while ISIS quietly moves into your neighborhoods, and flippantly equate jihad with religion in general, let me relay what a friend of mine who escaped from Tehran once said: ‘The only safe Muslim is a backslider – that is, one who isn’t following the tenants of Islam.’ ”

• “I have been out of Middletown/Lower Swatara Twp. now for 3.5 years and sold the old Bradley house back in 2011. I clicked on Zillow tonight and the house value has dropped nearly 60 percent of the value it sold for in merely three years. If this is what student housing does for a community I will forever avoid living around a college. This does not equate to an increase in property values that was vocalized by the builders of these student housing blights.”

• “My wife and I brought my parents and my grandparents for dinner at the Brownstone Cafe today. We are all from Lititz and looked forward to something new. The cafe was busy so we had to wait outside until our table was ready. This is where our outing became unpleasant. The amount of vehicles driving past or stopped at the intersection blaring loud music was horrible. Worse yet, we were bombarded with lyrics containing vulgarities and curse words. It was humiliating to stand there while my wife, parents and grandparents had to experience that. Unfortunately, we won’t be back to Middletown any time soon.”

• “To the men and women of the Lower Swatara Twp. police force: Thank you for your service. I had the pleasure of interacting with two officers and found the experience to not only be professional but also very fortunate as well. The media depicts police all over the country as bloodthirsty, ruthless killers. You never hear of the good that police do all over the country each and every day. The two officers were highly respectful during our interaction and I believe represent the epitome of what a police officer should be. Thumbs up on a job well done. Please know that the majority of your community supports you.”

• “Dear Middletown Police Department: I don’t drink but I do smoke cigarettes. When I go to Puff ‘n Snuff for my cigarettes, I’ve recently noticed there are people from the liquor store who are illegally parked in the handicapped space. The first time, it was a person under the age of 25 in a dark blue Civic. The next time, it was a senior citizen in an Impala. Are you allowed to patrol this area, or do I have to make a phone call? I did call about the guy in the Civic. He had already pulled out, but I gave the dispatcher his license plate number and a description of the car. I explained to the dispatcher that I realized you couldn’t do anything, since he was already gone, but I asked if you could at least talk to the person and let them know that they were reported, and should not park there. Instead, I received a phone call hours later from an officer who spoke fast and mumbled, ‘This is the Middletown Police Department, if you still need us, call us back at 558-6900.’ Click. In order to understand what he said, I had to listen to the voice mail three times. Of course, I didn’t call back. Things like this didn’t happen when we had our own dispatch center. So many times I see things and don’t bother to call. The few times I have called, it hasn’t been pleasant.”

• “I am very concerned about the rate of speed that many drivers are driving in Middletown. I specifically witness high rates of speed on North Union Street and South Union Street. Is it possible for the police to patrol some of our main routes and ticket accordingly to perhaps send a message? I am concerned for the safety of my fellow residents as well as those visiting Middletown. Thank you.”

• “When I read the April 29th edition of Sound Off, I had to laugh. Three comments in a row had to have come from McNamara, or more likely, one if his minions. The first one was in response to a comment that was made in the ‘4/15/15’ edition of Sound Off. In the original comment, a negative comparison was made between Lower Swatara Township president and council President Chris McNamara, and how the LSTWSP president was going to ‘put them in the hole,’ just like McNamara did. This weeks rebuttal was the same incessant story about how we're debt free, he (McNamara) didn't create the mess (even though he's been on council for many years) ‘Stonehill did’ (how many years has your scapegoat Mr. Stonehill been gone, anyway? You're *still* bringing him up all these years later? Wasn't Mac on council when Stonehill was there?) The next two comments were slamming our mayor. They said he called someone a name or badmouthed someone. Knowing how he usually conducts himself with such respect, I would find it very hard to believe he would call someone a bad name. As for badmouthing, I believe you're referring to his difference of opinion and statement of facts. You call it badmouthing, I call it truth. You say he is not a role model for our youth. I disagree. I would take great pride to call James Curry my son, or to have him be a role model for my sons. You say his posts are childish and unprofessional. Oh my, where to start with that one. I have never seen anyone as childish and unprofessional as Chris McNamara. I would give examples, but it seems redundant to state that which is common knowledge. I will say this, does a recommendation letter from Representative John Payne and his blatant lies implying pay-to-play ring any bells for you? How unprofessional is it to misspell Middletown on the cards you are handing out to residents to tell them why they should vote for you? A person who can't spell the name of the town he wants elected in doesn't deserve to be elected. I know where those cards probably were not printed, and that is the Press And Journal. Had they been printed there, Middletown would not have been misspelled. In the third post, the mayor is getting slammed again for questioning the cost to ‘repair’ a clock that doesn't need to be repaired. That is what a *good* public servant does! He questions if the best decisions are being made with the taxpayers money, especially in a town that is supposedly in such dire straits that we can't have our streets plowed, or our parks and ball fields upgraded. Where are the trees that were going to be planted downtown to replace the ones that had to be cut down in such a hurry that a woman had to be arrested over the cutting down of said trees? Why do we have money to repair something that isn't broken, when there are so many things that are broken and need repaired? Most curbs have not been painted in many, many years. Even the streets that are not under construction are a mess. The parks are a mess, and the ball fields are a mess, The borough can't afford to have the grass cut or the snow cleared on borough owned properties that they bought out after the flood, and most likely never got reimbursed for, but they have money to fix a clock that isn't broken, money to buy downtown business and more money to tear them down, and lets not forget the cost of the unnecessary and unneeded trellis. Also in the third comment was this little dandy of a line ‘If it's not his idea or he's not getting the recognition, he fights it.’ It makes me think that comment came from Mr. McNamara himself. It's a well-known fact that the way you view and see others is a reflection of yourself. Residents were begging council to fix Hoffer Park, and particularly kids castle. I believe Mr. Kapenstein tried to organize something, but the borough didn't have any funds. Well, they didn't have any funds until right before election time came around. Not only did the money suddenly appear, but also an entire event (with corporate participation, no less) was seemingly organized overnight, at least that is how it seemed, since no one knew anything about clean-up day, until 36-48 hours beforehand. They organized this so that they would get all of the credit, by keeping it a big secret until two days before the event. Clean Up Day could have been so much more, had the residents and all council members (eg, those council members outside of the tyrannical group) been included in advanced planning. They couldn't even do Clean UP Day right. The closed the park for an extended period of time, with no advanced notification (save for the above-mentioned 36-48 hours), no time frame for completion, and no signs posted. Let me be more clear, no signs were posted until someone (guessing Courogen is the main person who monitors the page) saw all of the comments and confusion on the Middletown Residents page a few days after the Earth Day event, and then they took action to put up signs, but still no time-frame. As for saying the mayor starts drama on Facebook, no, that would be your candidate, Ms. Ward. You know, your cheerleader, your mouthpiece, your puppet, and your propaganda spreader. She makes posts and then will not respond whatsoever. I have seen Mayor Curry respond to those who have views that don't agree with his, and he does it in a respectful manner. He doesn't ignore them or hide. I, for one, do not want yet another council member who completely ignores the residents. We are not invisible. We are not stupid. You cannot fool us. We will #takebackmiddletown.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 16:10

Hits: 408

Sound Off: 5/6/2015


Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “What is wrong with these older kids today? They think they can walk all over the elderly people and think they can get away with it – to where they just walk into their grandparents’ house and take things and do not bring it back. If we did that when we were their age we got in trouble for it. That’s right – they take after their parents, who show no respect for anyone, so they think they could do it. Like they say, ‘Loose lips sink ships.’ You own kids will do the same to you.”

• “If you have to sneak to do it, lie to cover it up or delete it to avoid it being seen, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” 

• “Congratulations to Mr. Fager. What a good man.”

• “Since the borough is moving the town clock, why not place it across the street to enhance the gazebo? It would then be more visible sitting on that open space.” 

• “I don’t understand why police stand around and watch people looting and burning stores down. The looters are all thugs and should be shot.” 

“It is very disappointing that the Press And Journal is filtering Sound Off comments. I have submitted items three times during the past five weeks that are important to our community and one of four have been printed.”

• “Hey, Middletown Borough, I want to thank you for cutting out the Woody Waste service and not telling us. I’m especially impressed with the great lengths you go through to make it impossible for residents to contact you. Dead phone numbers, ignoring phone calls and e-mails, deleting your Web page. Well I’m happy to say that the brush you refused to pick up is now in a place where you’ll have to pick it up. Can’t wait till fall to see what happens with all the leaves. Once again thank you so much, for you are a real class act!” 

• "`Lower Swatara Political Action Committee' as you described it, no just Concerned Citizens is accurate and for good reason. Funny these things never really appeared in Sound Off before a certain commissioner began his term, that alone is very telling. Also that post sounds like a local politician scared of what they are hearing, because why would you be bothered by citizens speaking out, and label them with a name, unless you in fact are a commissioner or one of the many buddies. When you hold any political office at any level you should learn what constitutes intimidation by a person in office.”


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:50

Hits: 392

Sound Off - 04/29/15


Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “Forgive the person(s) and their actions – never give in to hate, let it go, set it free and Karma will take care of what is meant to be.”

• “I recently realized that the school bus is dropping off the middle school students first, then the high school students. Doesn’t the high school start first? If it’s because of the new school construction, then maybe that should have been put in the budget for two buses so some kids aren’t rushing in the morning.”

• “Why isn’t there a boys’ volleyball team for Middletown?”

• “We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us. Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.”

• “Why don’t the gay people take a field trip to Russia and tell me how they liked it?”

• “If you want change, do not vote for Chris McNamara.”

• “Harborton Place is starting to turn into a race track with people always getting on the gas. They won’t be happy ‘til they hit someone or a child.”

• “When you micro-manage employees, it’ll begin to take a toll on morale and productivity. When you butt into affairs that truly do not concern you, or there is a staff on hand that is paid to deal with certain situations, then you should know that you need to let that person do their job and not overstep your boundaries. There are a lot of good employees that go above and beyond what they are required to do – however, if actions like this keep up, eventually it will cease.”

• “I fully support the female candidate for township commissioner. Hopefully she can be a breath of fresh air on the board.”

• “Save our town! Let’s vote new faces into office on May 19.”

• “It looks like the political action committee Concerned Citizens of Lower Swatara Twp. is starting to use the Sound-Off column as a communications forum.”

• “If you have to sneak to do it, lie to cover it up or delete it to avoid it being seen, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.”

• “Coaches, watch hazing. Just because of talent or team status doesn’t mean they are allowed. If they are belittling and not supporting or encouraging their teammates, kick them off, or you will be.”

• “When is the borough going to stop neglecting what it already has? Why does the borough not care about MABA? They used to help for years and now they receive no help at all. One would think the borough would have some pride in the baseball fields for when visitors come they won’t think the rest of Middletown is as run-down. Also, the borough for the second year in a row has let the football club have their carnival during baseball season. That takes up two baseball fields that numerous teams play on and now have to move games all over. Why are coaches and volunteers putting their money and time into borough property?”

• “I'd like to comment on a post submitted for Sound Off on 4/15/15: ‘Beware citizens of Lower Swatara, I hear that President Mehaffie is friends with Middletown Borough President McNamara. It is just a matter of time before he has us in the hole like the borough! I am sure in no time he will be talking about disbanding the Police Department, and higher taxes and sewer rates!’ The borough is debt free! Mr. McNamara didn't create the financial problems within the borough. You have the former borough manager Stonehill and his gang to thank for that. You should stop complaining and start getting involved! Where do you think the money should come from if you don't want to pay higher property taxes? The salaries, retirement funds and medical benefits are out of control within the police departments across the state. Mr. Mehaffie has done well to maintain a business and he'll do well serving Lower Swatara.”

• “So disappointed with our mayor. Not sure why he can't get along with the people on council. To call any resident or council member a name or to badmouth a resident or council member is unacceptable. He should be a role model for our youth. His posts on Facebook are childish and unprofessional.”

• “The mayor questions how much the clock renovations will cost the taxpayers. He likes to create conflict with those who are trying to improve our borough. If it's not his idea or he's not getting the recognition, he fights it. Please, Mr. Mayor, stop creating drama. The ICDA as part of the streetscape project is paying for the $75,000 renovations for the clock. You knew this! You just like to start drama on Facebook. You should be a more positive representative of the borough.”

• “A certain commissioner would like to take the police department down to the minimum manpower to save money – one police officer on at a time. Let your voice be heard and support your police department, Lower Swatara Twp. Your officers work truly hard and are dedicated to the township. Help them, and help them continue to provide the best and professional services you deserve and expect.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 16:25

Hits: 476

Sound Off - 04/22/15

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted. 

• “To the person that posted, “These gay people make me sick”: You might want to stay in your home and never leave it, because gay people are all over this world– in your grocery store checking you out, in your hair salons, in “your” church. Everywhere you go you will encounter gay people. What makes me sick is closed-minded people that hide behind the Bible and say God hates gays. It’s funny that we all were created in God’s image. Read your Bible – you just broke at least two of the Ten Commandments.”

• “To the individual who wrote about the tax revenue benefit of having six huge warehouses in Lower Swatara Twp.: Let me assure you that the only tax revenue benefit you will see is that the school board will spend more. Your taxes will never go down, and they will probably continue to increase, even though the ‘academic scorecard’ used by the state shows the Middletown Area School District’s ranking in academics to be getting worse with every passing year. Without fiscally responsible people on the school board who are not being spoon-fed by the administration, your hard-earned tax money will continue to get spent without much regard and actual transparency. And is progress really worth 500 additional acres of agricultural land being destroyed and over 1,400 more tractor-trailer trucks traveling our local roads daily? Maybe Big Business should look into utilizing the hundreds of available vacant warehouses all around us. And in the future, the six warehouses you want to see built could be sitting vacant. Personally, I’d like to see future generations have the opportunity to know what farmland looks like.”

• “To the person defending the proposed truck terminals: Although there are indeed historical graveyards in jeopardy, their preservation is not the focus of the ‘No Truck Terminal’ sign posters. Primarily, the Concerned Citizens do not want an increase in truck traffic or a reduction in the value of their residential properties. There are already plenty of properly zoned areas and lots of warehouses sitting empty, so let’s use those spaces and leave the farmland alone so the local farmers can continue their livelihood. If you think that the proposed increase in trucks will not impact the entire township and neighboring townships, then you are loony. Go to one of the meetings and get informed instead of blindly listening to the Hillwood propaganda like a mindless sheep.”

• “It used to be a standing joke among ‘men’ as to how much time our wives and teenaged daughters spent on the phone. Now everywhere you look, [ahem!] men are talking on their cell phones. The cell phone has turned our male population into ‘girly boys.’ ”

• “Hillary Clinton: Why doesn’t this woman just go away? She’s so darned crooked that if she would die they’d have to screw her into the ground.”

• “When are all the snobs worried about noise pollution going to realize the warehouses on North Union Street and Longview are a good idea and will bring in $4 million a year for our schools? I’m sorry, but your little group isn’t thinking about the rest of this community as a whole. Get your heads out of the clouds and quit trying to save an empty field and instead put some effort into securing this money for our school district and children.’’

• “These people who are intolerant of gays make me sick. All they do is whine. There’s more to life than being against gays. I wish all the anti-gay people would take a field trip to Russia.”

• “Whoever put the story in about ‘Benny Kapp’: I trust Mr. Kapenstein way more than I trust McNamara, Konek, Courogen, Louer, Brubaker, Malone, Bowman or Sullivan.”

• “You cannot charge for a table at National Night Out.”

• “Thank goodness I left that church, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but to put on your Facebook ‘one man and one woman,’ you’re not the preacher for me. I would never send my child to an intolerant ‘place of worship.’ God Bless!”


• “Why does this Mayor want to waste thousands of dollars on fireworks just for 20 minutes of sky explosions? I can see them in Harrisburg or Hershey, or on YOUTUBE. Surely, we can use thousands of dollars on community projects that will have years of benefits instead of a 20-minute blast!”



Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 17:16

Hits: 561