pawatercooler.com

Philly Still Content To Chase Away Jobs

Really now.

A City Council committee on Tuesday will hear debate on proposed legislation that would require Philadelphia employers to grant paid sick leave.

Under the legislation, sponsored by Councilmen Darrell Clarke and Bill Greenlee, employees at businesses with 11 or more workers could earn up to nine paid sick days a year that they could use for themselves or to care for family. Workers at businesses with 10 or fewer workers can earn up to five days.

Advocates say the bill would help provide a safety net for an estimated 210,000 Philadelphia workers who don’t have paid sick days.

But some businesses have raised concerns and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill, saying it could hurt job creation in a tough economic time.

“The city of Philadelphia is already recognized as a high-cost location for doing business,” said Chamber President Rob Wonderling. “We believe that the bill is well-intentioned and has merit from a policy perspective, but it’s a matter of public policy that’s best left to the nongovernmental sector to sort out.”

Mayor Nutter on Monday avoided taking a position on the issue, but the administration is reportedly concerned about how the bill would affect job growth.

Why wouldn’t you take those days, sick or not? If you don’t use it, you’d lose it.

Congratulations, your labor expenses have gone up 4%… and productivity drops how many percent?

February 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm Comments (0)

A Case of Gas

The New York Times put out another hit piece on Marcellus Shale drilling. No, I will not link to it. GrassrootsPA has it if you really need your daily dose of left-wing enviro-pr0n. There is also a response by former DEP secretary and Marcellus-hater John Hanger in which he simultaneously calls out the NYT for shoddy reporting, half-truths, and sensationalism while adeptly covering his ass. Again: no link, GrassrootsPA, pr0n. You get my drift.

So we have plenty of innuendo regarding drilling in the Marcellus Shale, but where are the facts? Is there any significant danger to human health or the environment posed by drilling? Is shale gas as plentiful as is reported? Will it really bring jobs and economic growth to PA and for how long? Those are all good questions which deserve factual answers, not the politically motivated schlock offered up by the Times.

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Government is a fairly new grassroots organization headed up by Greg Wrightstone. Greg is the Director of Geology for a Pittsburgh-based natural gas drilling firm and is a petroleum geologist by trade. He knows what he’s talking about, and his view is that the anti-Marcellus crowd (he calls them “zealots” which is kinder than I would be) has it wrong.

He’s put out the first of several white papers giving the facts on the Marcellus shale. Here’s an excerpt:

Estimates for the recoverable reserves from the Marcellus Shale are that it will produce ~489 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF). Recent corporate press releases reported extraordinary per well recoveries in southwest PA and northern WV and may suggest that these previous estimates are likely conservative. To put the size of the resource in perspective, some facts are presented:

1. The United States consumes some 22 TCF per year – the Marcellus may provide more than 20 years of consumption for the entire country
2. The largest conventional natural gas field in North America is the Hugoton Field of Kansas with “only” 81 TCF, about 1/6 the size of the Marcellus
3. More than 450,000 wells have been drilled in the Appalachian Basin over the last 150 years and they have produced “only” 47 TCF, less than 10% of the projected production from the Marcellus

[...]

Approximately 75% of the projected fairway of Marcellus production is located in Pennsylvania, meaning that a possible 13.5 million acres of the Commonwealth are located in the highly productive “core area”. Using moderate assumptions of reserve size and $5.00/MCF, the full development of the Marcellus may yield more than $600 billion in direct royalty payments to the parties that own the oil and gas rights including citizens, communities and the Commonwealth. An additional $54 billion in lease signing bonuses are likely to be seen in addition to the royalties paid.

For the individual landowner, it is projected that a typical Marcellus well will yield royalties in excess of $4 million per well drilled, or approximately $45,000 per acre.

$45,000 per acre. 75% of it is under Pennsylvania. $600 billion-with-a-“b” to citizens and the states. Even if they’re projections are high by a factor of two, it’s still breathtaking. It truly is the biggest thing to hit Pennsylvania since steel.

Read the whole thing. It’s pretty detailed, but facts are like that. More to follow.

February 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm Comments (0)

Susie, meet Godwin

Susie Madrak, aka Suburban Guerrilla, seems to think the comparison of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Adolph Hitler is fine.  After all, Hitler abolished trade unions in 1933.

Madrak re: today’s Meet The Press:

Also, David “Fluffy” Gregory got hisself worked up into a snit and asked Trumka if he would disavow the protesters who compared Scott Walker TO HITLER!!! (hyperventilate, clutch pearls, hyperventilate..)

Even though, uh, Hitler banned the unions. See a connection there, Fluffer?

Though I am ever-so amused by the attack on David Gregory as some sort of righty apologist, I can only shake my head in astonishment that people are actually defending the reductio ad Hitlerum.

Hitler was also a vegetarian, evangelist of the benefits of eating whole grains, and a teetotaler. I guess I should do a goosestep and Nazi salute every time I pass a health food store.

Oh, and there was also that small matter of killing six million Jews.  Maybe that’s what has people bothered.

February 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm Comments (0)

Conduct Unbecoming

Typically local Planning Commission (PC) meetings are usually only slightly more exciting than watching paint dry, but they serve a necessary function in that the board members review land development plans submitted to the Township for approval, and make recommendations about them to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for action. The PC doesn’t have any binding authority but is merely an advisory board.

 Their normal reorganization meeting having been cancelled due to snow last month, one of the items on the PC agenda February 23 was to appoint a new chair and vice chair for 2011. Longtime chairman (18 years) Warren Schlack had not sought reappointment.

 Nominations were put on the floor to appoint Mike Comroe or Jill Zimmerman (a local attorney and candidate for supervisor this year) as the new chair. Before a vote could be taken, PC member Bill Brooke asked for the floor. He informed the other PC members that Mr. Comroe had called him back on January 24,  stated that the supervisors wanted him to be named chair, that they expected him to ‘clean house’, and threatened that if Mr. Brooke wanted to be reappointed in two years, he’d better support him for chairman, but that Mr. Comroe further indicated he ‘didn’t really need his [Brooke’s] vote anyway’, begging the question as to why Comroe even bothered if this was the case.

Mike Comroe

 Both supervisor liaisons to the PC, Colleen Eckman and Chris DiPaolo, were present, and Mr. Brooke took the opportunity to ask them point-blank if what Mr. Comroe had said were true, since he’d claimed to be speaking for them. While Mr. DiPaolo had nothing to say (or if he did, it could not be heard by the audience) Ms. Eckman went on at length, stating that she didn’t feel it was the supervisor’s place to tell a board or commission who their chairs should be. Neither supervisor directly denied Mr. Comroe’s assertion, however, nor did they indicate that they felt Mr. Comroe was out of line in speaking on their behalf.

 Mr. Brooke said he was outraged and offended at Comroe’s attempted ‘muscling’ of him, and noted for the record that Mr. Comroe, an Army veteran, has a criminal record and has admitted guilt in at least two incidents involving the Township in the recent past.

 One incident was theft/destruction of a campaign sign belonging to a 2009 candidate for supervisor – which he committed in front of an off-duty state trooper – and another was more serious, involving hacking into the Township’s email accounts and impersonating the township manager (the police reports are on file with the Township). In light of this, Mr. Brooke called on Mr. Comroe to resign; Comroe declined. When asked to respond to Mr. Brooke’s statements, Mr. Comroe only said that on the advice of his attorney (hopefully not the supervisors’ solicitor), he could not comment, and did not deny Mr. Brooke’s accusations.

 When the vote was taken, Mr. Comroe was appointed chair by a vote of 5-4. PC members Satterwhite, LaPenta, Baird, Supplee and Comroe voted in support of Comroe; members Kuberski, Endlich, Brooke and Zimmerman supported Zimmerman (4 of the 5 who supported Comroe were appointed since 2010 by the current BOS). Upon the conclusion of the vote, PC member Tom Endlich, who has served approximately 15 years on the PC, got up and left the dias, stating ‘that’s it…I resign…I’m done…this is ridiculous’.

 The PC then moved through the rest of their short agenda. Before the meeting concluded, former chair Schlack asked to speak. Among his comments, he said “this board has become political, loaded with political appointments” and is in his opinion “unable to do its job”…that it’s ‘sad and absolutely pathetic’.

 New appointee Harold (Ted) Baird responded, stating that ‘there are no political appointments here’. Personally, I find that laughable – Mr. Baird, a retired plumber, is arguably the poster child for political appointments in Lower Providence. This is the same Mr. Baird who has gotten the Township to fight his zoning appeal against the DeLuca property on Pawlings Road (which you can read  more about herehere, and here ) for him, at taxpayer expense and who was instrumental in getting out the vote in Audubon for candidates Eckman and Thomas in 2009.

 Mr. Baird opined that ‘it doesn’t matter who is the chairman’, and, if all members are equal,  I have to agree.  If it doesn’t matter, why then did Mr. Comroe feel the need to strong-arm a board member? (it was unclear whether Comroe had tried to reach, or did reach, any of the other three who supported Zimmerman and made similar threats). It’s customary if you want to be chair to call around to members and ask for their support. It’s certainly not customary to bully or threaten them for it. I do think, however, it does matter who’s chair, in that it doesn’t send a great message to the community to have an apparently ego-driven bully with the lack of character Mr.Comroe evidently has on a board or commission at all, let alone in a position of leadership.  

It should be obvious that anyone who has demonstrated that they do not have the best interests of all the Township’s residents at heart over their own vested interests does not belong on a commission making recommendations about anything to the governing body, nor does someone with a criminal record of offenses against the community he’s supposedly serving, but lately it seems that these may be prerequisites for consideration. Regrettably, Mr. Baird is hardly the only recent board or commission appointment that’s political in nature; there are others. Several recent appointees in LP are or were involved in litigation against the township – a blatant conflict of interest if ever there was one.  Indeed, Mr. Comroe was reappointed to the PC last year by the current board in a 4-1 vote (from the minutes  of that meeting; Ms.Altieri voted against); presumably Ms. Altieri was not the only supervisor aware of Mr. Comroe’s history.

 For a BOS who supposedly wanted to do away with alleged ‘cronyism’ in the past, it seems rather hypocritical. It would appear that people who have been politically useful, regardless of qualifications, integrity or conflict of interest, are fit to do the business of the township and represent its interests.  And that is the face that the majority of our township’s leaders want to put forward to its residents, businesses, and community neighbors.

(http://lowerprovidenceoutloud.blogspot.com/2011/02/conduct-unbecoming.html)



February 27, 2011 at 1:22 am Comment (1)

Unions Rally In Hbg

TimesHerald/AP

Hundreds of people rallied in Pennsylvania’s state capital on Saturday to support union members in Wisconsin, where Republicans are seeking to reduce the collective bargaining rights of government workers.

Participants, who included auto workers, teachers, electricians, postal workers and railroad workers, chanted and carried signs while the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” played over a loudspeaker.

Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress, an advocacy group that organized the rally, which was part of a nationwide effort, said those taking part wanted to “stand in solidarity with Wisconsin workers and American families everywhere.”

“Right now the American dream is slipping away for millions of us, and we’re here today to say enough is enough,” Morrill said. “It’s time for our government to work for us, and not just corporations and millionaires.”

I guess the last two years of the government working for us just wasn’t enough.

One woman carried a “Wisconsylvania” sign, and others chanted, “We are Wisconsin,” a play on the football rally cry “We are Penn State.”

For an ideology populated by the artistic crowd, they sure do have shitty unoriginal chants.

Eileen Connelly, who chairs Keystone Progress, told the opponents that some basic things now relied upon by every worker, such as weekends and paid holidays, were the produce of union organizing.

Yes, great, that was 70 years ago.

What have you done for America lately?

If you’re going back to the FDR administration for “benefits” I have to say that your recent accomplishments may not be too much to brag about.

February 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm Comments (0)

Senator Casey: Do What Palin Suggests

Governor Palin, hockey mom yesterday…

…Gaddafi is a brutal killer and Libya – not to mention the world – would be better off if he were out of power. Now is the time to speak out. Speak out for the long-suffering Libyan people. Speak out for the victims of Gaddafi’s terror. NATO and our allies should look at establishing a no-fly zone so Libyan air forces cannot continue slaughtering the Libyan people. We should not be afraid of freedom, especially when it comes to people suffering under a brutal enemy of America.

Senator Casey, his father’s son, today

“Along with the international community, the United States should impose tough sanctions on Libya now and show Qaddafi that his barbaric actions violate the most basic norms of how a government should treat its citizens.

“In addition, the United Nations Security Council should examine the entire array of options available to it, potentially including a no-fly zone over Libya. The killing of innocent demonstrators must stop now.”

There’s a difference…. NATO instead of the UNSC.

Which is more realistic? The same UN that grants Libya a place on Human Rights Commission?

Right.

February 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm Comments (0)

Fighting for Whoopie

SaveourWhoopieForm
Do your part Pennsylvania….

As you may know, the state of Maine is attempting to claim the whoopie pie as its official treat. Like you, we here in Lancaster County are shocked – shocked, I tell you – at this act of confectionary larceny, and we need your help.

Whoopie pies are a long-standing part of our Amish and Pennsylvania German culture, with origins that go far beyond any written records. Help us preserve a delicious Lancaster County culinary tradition and Save Our Whoopie by digitally signing the petition below objecting to any other state, county, or town claiming the Whoopie Pie as its own.

February 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm Comments (0)

Another Dem Questioning Patriotism

Always complaining that the right is questioning patriotism of the left, here’s another example of the Democrats doing it.

Not Thursday. Down in Washington, with other leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Nutter called the House Republicans’ proposed $61 billion in federal spending cuts “literally un-American.” The cuts were contained in a resolution, which passed the House last week, to continue funding for the government in the current fiscal year.

“It attacks senior citizens; it attacks children; it attacks working people; it stops jobs and economic development in cities all across the United States of America,” Nutter said, according to 2chambers, the Washington Post’s blog on Congress.

“I have no idea what is going on in the minds of some who have now gotten elected on rhetoric and are trying to govern with that same rhetoric. You cannot run a country while attacking its own people,” Nutter said.

To pick a totally unrelated quote at random.

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of, ‘we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’ — if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder,” Obama had said.

and another…

“After [Republicans] drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can’t drive! We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch! We just got the car out! We just got the car out!”

And this…

With the unrest in the Middle East as his springboard, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell lashed out at the Obama administration’s stance on domestic oil production, saying it was having a tangible effect on the country’s foreign policy.

In a speech at the National Press Club, the Republican governor called the federal government “openly hostile” for red tape in oil-producing states, including the delays in allowing Shell to drill exploratory wells on leases the company purchased in the Arctic in 2008.

Republicans and oil producing states are obviously not “it’s own people.”

February 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm Comments (0)

Bissinger: Execute Gosnell

This is the kind of first-class righteous indignation we need more of in our country.

I believe that Gosnell deserves to be executed right now.

There is no need for months of delay. Nor is there any more need for why-did-this-happen stories. The culprits are always the same and always will be – state incompetence, local incompetence, the abortion politics of Harrisburg, regulations that are written up only to convince the public that the bureaucracy is actually doing something besides sending threatening letters that your tax payment is off by a dollar. It has happened before. It will happen again. Pure evil always overcomes its obstacles anyway.

I am against the death penalty. I think it is barbaric, an American stain. But I would pay to watch. In the absence of that, I would pay to have his trial begin next month, not next year. I know that won’t happen because the system of justice is a system of delay. Justice is no longer justice.

Gosnell, charged with the murder of one woman during a botched abortion and the murders of seven babies, deserves his day in court.

He is very lucky. He is represented by perhaps the best defense attorney in the city, Jack McMahon. I have known Jack for 30 years. I told him I thought Gosnell should be executed. I wondered why he would touch a case like this. He quickly e-mailed me back.

“What your [sic] missing is something we have in America called the presumption of innocence,” he wrote. “Thank god our justice system in America is not as naive and simplistic as you appear to be.”

On the basis of his grammar alone, Jack is not convincing me. I still believe his client should be executed.

There is a problem with executions in Pennsylvania: No one is ever executed. So it is my hope that when Gosnell comes to trial, and if he is found guilty, he be sentenced to life and placed in the general prison population. I hope inmates enter Gosnell’s cell one night. I hope they replicate as best they can the conditions of the hellhouse Gosnell operated as described in the grand-jury report.

I hope they hold him down on a bloody blanket and stuff his mouth with a cloth soaked with cat piss. I hope they ask him if he wants painkillers, and when he pleads that he does but has no money, they say he is out of luck because he has to pay for them. I hope they produce a weapon honed into a makeshift pair of scissors. I hope they plunge it into his neck and sever his spinal cord.

Then at least there will be some semblance of justice.

Read it all.

February 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm Comments (2)

Amish Snow Rescue

Anyone ever seen an Amish buggy pull a tractor trailer out of the snow?

Now you have.

February 25, 2011 at 1:20 am Comments (0)

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