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Friday, October 5, 2007

Select a Candidate 2008

"The Boss" passed this quiz on to me:

Select a Candidate 2008

All you do is answer 11 questions to find out which candidates are most aligned with your views and opinions. After you take the quiz, feel free to post your results -- and your thoughts on your results -- right here. I won't tell you (yet) with whom I'm most aligned, but I will tell you I had never even considered voting for that person.

Friday Afternoon News

One good thing about not having this blog on the same server as our main Web site is that when WESB.com is down, we can still post here. So bookmark this site! Here's the news:

Former Student Arrested at Bradford High

A former Bradford Area High School student has been arrested following a fight with a student this morning at the school.

Jammie Timblin is accused of trespassing in the school and arguing with the 17-year-old student about a girl.

The 17-year-old injured Timblin during the fight. Assistant Principal Dave Ray broke up the fight and took Timblin to his office, where the school nurse treated him for his injuries.

Bradford City Police Officer Dave Feely, who is the school resource officer, found that Timblin had a pocketknife.

Timblin is charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and possession of a weapon on school property.

Anti-Assessment Group Files Lawsuit

A group who says Portville's 2007 property assessment was wrong and unfair has filed a lawsuit to have the assessment overturned.

Citizens for Fair Taxes filed the suit in Cattaraugus County Court. It includes the names of 135 property owners who oppose the assessment, which was certified in July.

The group hopes to force the town to discard the assessment and have a new one done.

Salamanca Police Dog Missing

The search is on for a missing police dog in Salamanca.

Pixie, a black lab, has been missing since Tuesday. Her owners say that when they left for the Buffalo Airport that day, they think she scaled a six-foot fence to chase after them.

Kit and Amy Bromley believe Pixie was doing was she trained to do – track scents – and she was trying to track them.

They believe she could be anywhere between Salamanca and Buffalo.

Anyone who spots Pixie, or has any information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the local police department or SPCA.

Open Records Law

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) was interviewed recently by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association (PNA) about Senate Bill 1, his legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania's Open Records Law.

Sen. Pileggi has said that SB 1 is his top legislative priority this fall, calling a stronger Open Records Law "the cornerstone of reform." Since introducing the bill, he has announced his support for changing the presumption in the current law so that all government records are presumed to be open unless they fall under a specific exception established in law.

The PNA interview with Sen. Pileggi covers a variety of topics, including why Open Records is a priority, whether there is enough momentum to get a bill signed into law, how exceptions will be determined, and many more. In total, the interview runs about 22 minutes long.

More information about Senate Bill 1 and other state issues is available at Senator Pileggi's web site.








Letter to the Editor

State Children's Health Insurance Program

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to your coverage of the President's veto of
important children's health legislation. It is unacceptable that 9 million
children in our country do not have health coverage. Covering kids is a
smart investment - it saves money and helps kids do better in school. I
applaud Congress for their vote last week to cover 3.8 million uninsured
children, however I am extremely disappointed in the president's decision
to veto the bill. This bill would enable millions of American children who
would otherwise be uninsured to get the coverage they need for a healthy
start in life. The State Children's Health Insurance Program is a
bipartisan plan to renew and strengthen children's health coverage, and I
am discouraged that the president is not making the health of our nation's
children a principal concern.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program has been a real bipartisan
success story-- it has helped cut the number of uninsured children by 1/3
over the past 10 years. Our members of Congress will have another chance to vote on the needs of our kids in a veto-override vote set to take place he week of October 16. I hope they will make the well-being of children their top priority, and improve children's health by supporting this historic bipartisan agreement. Families here locally are watching these actions in Washington, and we should remember which politicians stood with our children to move forward with health coverage.

Sincerely,
Richard O. Stevenson
Hinsdale, NY

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Operation Legion

This message is from Dawn McGriff, whose son is a soldier serving in Afghanistan:

"My one wish for this Holiday season is to see that every soldier in the Legion Troop receives an air mattress and pillow in time for Christmas. With your help and support, we can make this wish come true. "

To see how to help Dawn, and Operation Legion, visit their web site.



The living quarters of the 1st Battalion (Airborne) 503rd Infantry



This is how they get water



Operation Legion

What's Wrong with DEP?

Since Monday, I've been trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to write about the Department of Environmental Protection. For people who don't know, they're holding up at least two major projects here in McKean County. The two that got me thinking even more about this on Monday are the Foster Township sewer line extension and the Lafferty Hollow Industrial Park.

During Monday's Foster Township Supervisors meeting, the board said different branches of the DEP are at odds with each other. For instance, once branch says the township must extend the sewer lines. Another branch won't give them approval on where to put the lines.

I'm not surprised that a government agency is being that ridiculous, but before I wrote anything, I wanted to find out if other municipalities in the state are having similar problems.

I got my answer while talking to Joe Scarnati Wednesday night. He said, "One thing about DEP is that they're equally abusive everywhere around the state."

He also told me DEP is the number one issue people want to talk about when he travels throughout his district. And remember, folks, that's one big district.

Now let's move on to Wednesday. The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing concerning the governor's energy plan. Marty Causer asked DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty for her support in allowing oil and gas drilling on state-owned lands.

He told me today that she wouldn't give him a definitive answer on that, but he'll keep pushing her. As Marty said, you can't just look at biofuels and other types of alternative energy. You have to consider other untapped resources – like those sitting under state-owned land.

Joe Scarnati will be on the LiveLine later this month. Usually I don't tell him what we're going to talk about, but I gave him a heads-up this time. My first question will be "What the heck is wrong with DEP?" He says he's looking forward to answering that question – and he's also looking forward to introducing his legislation that will "take on" DEP.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Press Release:

Peterson: No Senate Recess Without Passing Veterans Funding Bill

Today, Congressman John E. Peterson, R-Pleasantville, issued the following statement after signing a letter to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, urging him to make a veterans funding bill a top priority so Congress can send the President a bill before October 12, 2007.
“The Democrats’ string of broken promises to the American people, and our veterans, continues. There’s a time for politics and there’s a time for accomplishing the people’s work. But when it comes to funding our veterans, politics must be checked at the door. Unfortunately, Washington Democrats, led by Harry Reid, are trying to ‘leverage’ this critical veterans funding bill against the President for political gain. They have even called Republican efforts to pass the bill ‘cute diversions.’ No obligation, as a Congress, should be second to funding our veterans.
“Every American can be proud of the sacrifices our service members have made on behalf of each and every one of us while defending our precious gift of liberty. Across the world, as young and developing democracies mature, we can all be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy at home. Our American heroes of last generation are now joined by heroes from a new generation, who answered our nation’s call in Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. We owe them the funding that they’ve rightfully earned.
“Washington Democrats may have outdone themselves this time, reducing our brave and honorable veterans to political bargaining chips. Congress must act to uphold the promises that we’ve made to our servicemen and women. For that, I urge Senator Reid to move forward in the appropriations process and bring the veterans funding bill to a conference committee and not to recess the Senate before this is accomplished.”
The House version passed 409-2 in mid-June. The Senate passed their version 92-1 in early September.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Get That Man a Dictionary

No new taxes. What is about that phrase that Governor Ed Rendell doesn't understand?

He wants to impose a "modest charge" on electric bills to start an Energy Independence Fund – an $850 million pot of money that would be used as incentives for businesses and consumers to use alternative energy sources.

First, what's the difference between a "tax" and a "charge?" No difference. And with rate caps coming off in a couple of years, do we really need another tax – Sorry – "charge" – added to our electric bills? I know that when the caps came off in the Pittsburgh area and in Maryland the result wasn't nearly as catastrophic as people had predicted, but are we willing to take that chance again?

Second, I'm all for alternative energy but let's be realistic here.

How many people in the northern part of the state are going to be able to benefit from solar energy? I'm sure Mike Cejka would tell you we have many more cloudy days than sunny days in this part of the state.

Maybe someone should remind the governor that Pennsylvania is one of the most coal-rich states in the country. Perhaps, given that fact, we should be investing in clean-coal technology before spending millions of dollars on developing new sources of energy.

And what's one of Pennsylvania's most abundant natural resources? Wood. Why not further invest in developing energy from wood chips and other "waste" products from the timber and farming industries?

The governor is also talking about rebates for people who buy new, energy-efficient appliances. Go spend $3,000 on a new refrigerator, washing machine, dryer and air conditioner and you'll get $300 back from the state. Gee thanks, Ed.

I have to agree with Senator Mary Jo White of Venango County who said she's all for alternative and renewable energy sources – and for Pennsylvania trying to be energy independent – but not at the expense of the already overtaxed residents of the Commonwealth.