Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Letter to NuPo: Notes from Meeting about W-B City Parking Authority

This is a letter by Mark Robbins concerning the latest boondoggle by Wilkes-Barre City government.

1) Leighton met privately with some parking authority members prior to the meeting. When the issue of the Sunshine laws came up, Atty Murray Ufberg (Rosen Jenkins and Greenwald) provided a legal answer as to why it wasn't a violation.

2) Alan Wolstetter (Fox and Rothschild) showed up. Nobody knew if he was going to show or not. (J.J. Murphy's relative, Patrick Murphy, is an attorney at Fox and Rothschild.

3) Desman (Parking consultant firm) is supposed to give a valuation figure tomorrow (Wednesday). We will see if it is $20,000,000. My concern is consultants will often, in response for payment, tell you what you want to hear.

4) Wolstetter is still under the $10k cap imposed from the last meeting.

5) I questioned why, in the face of the report Josh Moyer wrote, they were still interested. I told them that once a deal was signed, the relationships between businesses and city parking will be altered forever. A private firm will not care to work with businesses. We are selling our city.

6) I asked to see the financials in regards to the $ 20,000,000 number. Apparently it was pulled out of a hat.

7) If there are no buyers, the city will have wasted $150,000 - $200,000 in money. That's a lot of money for a "no" answer.

8) Remember... 40 % of the fee ($8,000,000) will not go to revenue producing assets. It will go to retire debt. That is a brutal up front cost.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Luzerne County Libraries Reject Ron Paul DVD

A graduate from King's College reports that most libraries refused to put a DVD documentary about Ron Paul's first presidential campaign called For Liberty into their collections.

Accepted For Liberty
Wilkes University
Osterhout Free Library
Scranton Abington Memorial Library

Rejected For Liberty
King's College
University of Scranton
Hoyt Library
Back Mountain Library
Hazleton Public Library
Kirby Library (Mountain Top)
Abington Community Library (Clarks Summit)
Mahanoy City Public Library
Shenandoah Public Library
Lancaster Public Library (Duke St. location)

Below are his words:
I gave a copy to public libraries in Hazleton, the Back Mountain, Mountain Top (Kirby), and Kingston (Hoyt). The only public library in Luzerne County to accept the DVD and put it into their collection was the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre.

I spoke with a librarian there who said that since I had donated to the other libraries so long ago (August 2011 or seven months ago) and since those libraries still hadn't put it out, they must have rejected it. When I called each of them up in December 2011 and asked why they hadn't displayed "For Liberty", they all said that the DVDs simply had not been processed yet. None of them would admit that the DVD I gave them was refused, which must have been the case.

It is a sad state of affairs that people in charge at the Hoyt, Hazleton Public, Back Mountain, and Kirby libraries are so anti-democracy that they refuse to accept DVDs that feature a political candidate they presumably don't like. Other libraries to reject it were King's College, Mahanoy City Public, University of Scranton, the Abington Community Library in Clarks Summit, the Lancaster Public Library on Duke St, and the Shenandoah Public Library.

In addition to the Osterhout, libraries to accept the Ron Paul DVD into their collections were Wilkes University and the Scranton Abington Memorial Library, and Wilkes even sent me a kind letter of thanks.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tim Mullen: Ron Paul offers remedy for steep prices at pump

Below is a letter to the editor by Tim Mullen that was published in the Times Leader on March 27, 2012.

Ron Paul offers remedy for steep prices at pump

Mitt Romney is the latest candidate to join a long line of contenders to promise $2-per-gallon gas to the American electorate. Working in the candidates’ favor is the fact that the average American constituent is too unsophisticated to realize that the president has only slightly more control over gasoline prices than he does the weather. The American public is clueless as to how gunboat diplomacy and money printing have much more to contribute to fuel prices than the president’s wishful decrees. Neither our current president nor any Republican candidate other than Ron Paul has any will or desire to keep a lid on these two major contributors of inflated fuel prices

These candidates know that hell will freeze over before the soccer moms will give up their Escalades, Cherokees and Hummers and cram poor little Johnny and Suzie into the back seat of a Ford Focus to head off to practice.

What would many of our own local folks in Monroe County do with all the extra time if they couldn’t commute two hours one way into the city five days a week? Is it any wonder why most of the world views us as the most arrogant, wasteful and obese society on Earth. Factor in our gunboat diplomacy and SWAT tactics used in our quest to police the world and ourselves in search of terrorists under every rock, and around every corner, and we are also the most reviled nation in a good part of the world.

As a believer in the Libertarian philosophy, I am against excessive taxation. I do, however believe in user taxes such as the gasoline tax as long as the money is spent on transportation infrastructure. The individual can control some of the cost of this tax by his or her choice of vehicle. One needs to look no farther than Europe to see that its tax on gasoline has prevented urban sprawl. European cities are safe to live in and vibrant economically. Populations are kept concentrated, so mass transit thrives and is reliable. Efficient traffic circles are used instead of wasteful and dangerous traffic lights/intersections.

As our economy circles the bowl and awaits the final flush, many people have asked me if there is any hope this election cycle to turn the ship around.

Slim to none is my answer. Ron Paul -- the only candidate who believes in the Constitution, has any clue about the gravity of the economic situation, and knows that we can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman -- has been written off as a kook or ignored by the mainstream media.

Some of you may call me a cynic, others may call me an America hater. My record proves that I am neither. I tell it like it is. I am guilty of knowing a little too much about the world and how and why this country was founded. I don’t like what I see.

Tim Mullen

Kingston Twp.