Back to Rants&Raves 2019

RANTS  &  RAVES   May - June, 2019
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Can Fay house Kez in a cheap storage locker?
RANTS to the Fay courts for allowing a former funeral director to squeak out of prison last year on reduced bond for
supposed health reasons, shortly after being charged with stealing about $500,000 from customers, in a glorified
press conference with the state attorney general and county district attorney.

RANTS, because it was hard enough for some who were snookered of their cash, seeing the disgraced man out
there mowing lawns last summer and this summer, and seeing him obviously in much better physical condition than
he was at arrest.  Rants&Raves got no answer when we caught up with Stephen Kezmarsky late last summer to ask
if he paid any restitution yet to any victims.



RAVES of hope that this time around -- after today's horrifying news that hidden funeral home business documents
and unmarked cremated remains of 14 persons, and marked remains of some other former customers were found in
a storage locker recently -- that the former funeral director stays in jail. We can bet those 14 who previously pre-paid
their final resting did not opt to sit unidentified in a Tupperwear container in a storage locker through this June of
2019.

RANTS to the county courts and officials who allowed the former funeral home director to see the great outdoors
these last 18 months.

It's not as though the man were jailed in a turtle suit in the basement of the county prison for the last 18 months and
couldn't get a message out that about 20 people he stole from deserved respectful final resting places. (27 JUN 19)   


    Monday’s tax sale: $231,609.68 added to sales fund
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that $231,609.68 was taken in at a county property tax sale held
    three days ago.

    RANTS because, somehow, some of Fay's too easily impressed, naive and easily manipulated population
    will come to wrongly attribute this deposit from this week's sale -- i.e., "new" money -- into the county's tax
    sale office account as a sure sign of officials leading Fay forward.

    RANTS that some of the easily duped will announce the "new" money going to the tax claim office this
    week is a sure sign of a direct miracle, that Fay's pricey $1 million dollar, contracted fiscal gurus and the
    county commission majority, incapacitated at the wheel of county business, with not a clue and only the
    duo's three personal bankruptcies sitting up in front seat between them, somehow, brilliantly found this
    "new" money in with the old pile of $5 million, of which only $2.5 million was actually in the bank.

    Wrong, it's "new" money that should go into the tax claim fund and be distributed, minus needed expense
    deductions, to the entities who have been first in the nine-year-deep waiting line. Commissioners are
    allowing distribution, instead, to more monies owed from the last few years.

    To keep up with the ridiculous tax claim situation, please click here to read Commissioner Angela
    Zimmerlink's latest blog, "Monday’s tax sale $231,609.68 added to sales fund."



    The kind of "Quote Of The Day" that makes us wonder how some specific public figures
    might have reacted to hearing about this proposed legislation to change how state gaming money is
    awarded and distributed within counties and casino hosting municipalities

    "Without establishing this type of reform, major concerns will remain regarding conflicts of interest, special
    interest earmarking of funds or insider deliberation of projects in advance of the grant presentations...
    "We owe it to the taxpayers we represent to ensure that LSA (Local Share Account) funding is allocated
    with integrity, transparency, and above all, that projects are funded based upon their value to our
    communities and the opportunities to improve the quality of life for all.”

    Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette), as quoted in "Cook LSA Reform Legislation Seeks to Deliver More Property
    Tax Relief for Washington County Homeowners," in his quest to reform how LSA gaming money municipal proceeds
    is awarded and distributed in his home county, still most likely causing lower level politicians -- i.e., county
    commissioners, row officers, township candidates, who eagerly accept donations from executives and PACs of
    private companies and see to it that LSA money is sent back that company's way -- to panic at the thought of, perhaps,
    losing those campaign donation dollars and corporate votes

    Fay County Prison lock down lifted
    Editor's Note: Rants&Raves has received word that the lock down that started over fighting early yesterday
    afternoon at the Fay County Prison has ended.

    Sources inside the prison said that inmates stuffing toilets caused sewage to back up and spill into
    occupied cells.

    It is unknown how many inmates or staff may have been injured. Fighting was said to have broken out in
    three different instances.

    Injured was inmate Kelly French, held since charged five months ago with severely beating and holding a
    man hostage for a few days in her Masontown home. She is the county's star witness in the 2017 homicide
    case of Chris Shellhammer. The extent of her injuries is unknown. (23 Jun 19)

    On a serious note...
    RAVES of hope that all reading can, at least momentarily, park their political views, their political favorites,
    scattered, differing opinions and, if applicable, any overall indifference or negativity, at the door and please
    simply listen up with your hearts.

    RANTS of the kind that bring some of us to cry or pray for other folks' grown kids, hurting so badly addicted
    to drugs. RANTS when it's days, weeks since hearing unfortunate news that still gnaws away at times.

    RAVES of hope that a young downtown professional -- who Rants&Raves and, apparently, a good many
    others, including some who probably never, never agree on anything else -- knows that he has the respect
    and support of a lot of people he has helped or touched, impressively, in some way by his strengths and
    accomplishments.

    RAVES of hope that he feels the prayers and respect coming his way from a bunch of people, some who
    never, never agree on anything else, who want him well and would do anything they could do to help him.
    (22 Jun 19)

    Day 2: county prison lock down
    RANTS that the entire Fayette County Prison had to be put on lock down yesterday afternoon, due to three
    separate fights that broke out inside among inmates and detainees.

    As per prison sources, surveillance video of the fights is being reviewed by Uniontown city police for
    possible filing of new charges against those responsible.

    The chaos, the warden said to county officials, is attributed to a "high turnaround" of new inmates perhaps
    unaware there's a different warden in charge now who mandates consequences for fighting. The current
    warden, meanwhile, has been in his position for nearly 17 months.

    RAVES of hope that the situation calms and the lock down ends. (22 Jun 19)  


    About the tax sale proceeds
    Is Zimmerlink right?
    RANTS that it seems -- at least to the thinking public -- that two county commissioners are hoping that the
    public is actually stupid enough to believe Fay's general fund, right now at this moment, has an extra $1.5-
    1.7 million it doesn't need -- or even just has that much cash on hand, to transfer from the general budget
    fund to the county tax claim office, to distribute to school districts, municipalities and creditors, some owed
    up to nine years. Read More.


    "Quote Of The Day" on a $1.7 million county
    ddddddddeficit?
    "Two commissioners do not want to replace these funds because doing so would mean allocating  the
    estimated $1.7 million. which means raise taxes or reduce overall costs. It is a debt of the General Fund
    and if the year end audit always performed by Zelenkofske Axelrod fails to give the Finding they are not
    doing their job."

    Organ donors always needed
    RAVES of hope that the very brave and heartwrenching act of a devastated mother to donate her child's
    organs this week, to save another child's life, will motivate more to become designated organ donors.

    If a mom, whose precious four-year-old was killed in the gruesome wreck on Route 21, could decide to
    donate his organs, so can the rest of us.
    Please click here and become an organ donor.

    Now, D&A's letter to ed opposing New Seasons
    methadone contract
    RAVES of hope that after commissioners, the behavioral health director and now the drug and alcohol clinic
    director, say Fay does not need a third methadone clinic, that they don't all end up talking out of the other
    sides of their mouths after the general election, by announcing an overwhelming new need for a new third
    clinic.

    More specifically, RAVES of hope that none of the mouthpieces don't later in the fall grant a second county
    Medicaid billing provider number to the company which owns and operates a Perryopolis Methadone clinic,
    unless the group of county officials can first do a much better job explaining its collective opposition to
    New Season.

    Consumers of those services deserve the truth and to be able to compare facility inspection reports and
    any outcomes based data available on the programs and providers. Those are the types of documents
    which the officials denying county Medicaid dollars to New Season should be well familiar with and have
    readily available for open discussion.

    Instead, they each take turns repeating the same incomplete stand and opposing legislation to reduce the
    transportation time to methadone clinics from one hour to a 30-minute maximum standard. RANTS that the
    officials foolishly skirt the real issue here. (18 Jun 19)

    "Quote Of The Day" on PR spin to make commissioners appear more
    financially savvy than they are
    "I listened to Vicites on the radio yesterday. I listened to Zimmerlink last week. Lohr stopped the
    distributions because he said figures were wrong. They paid the firm a lot to audit 2017. The firm last week
    said their audit of 2017 will be completed in July... but Vicites said the tax sales for 2017 and 2018 are
    squared away. Who are they kidding? They might have enough money to pay everything off only because
    the county's solution is to deduct an extra 5 percent for county expenses. That's five percent less that
    creditors and school districts get. Why? To make the commissioners appear more financially savvy than
    they are and get them out of a tax increase jam. "
    Dave, rambling this morning at the diner


    Dippy eggs, bacon up
    RAVES to having no distractions, no phones ringing off the hook this morning, to thoroughly enjoy today's
    breakfast of twice annually allowed dippy eggs and bacon. So what if it were still the same whole grain
    toast that usually tastes like cardboard!

    It was still the long-anticipated, twice annually observed Dippy Eggs and Bacon Day here, before
    tomorrow's return of the cup of veggies in an egg white or Egg Beaters fat-free cheese omelet.

    RAVES to sometimes savoring the grease... every drop of it. (15 Jun 19)

    DoubleV: tax sale tab might be "far less" than $1.7
    million
    Fayette Commissioner Vince Vicites told am talk radio today that the county's property tax sale account
    may actually be owed "far less" than the previously mentioned $1.7 million dollars from the county's
    general fund. That's good news.

    But, RANTS, because we still did not get assurance that 100% of the money for all the years that needs to
    be distributed to creditors, school districts and municipalities sits in county accounts ready to be
    transferred to tax claims for the distribution. (14 Jun 19)


    Proposed legislation ticks Fay administrators off
    RAVES to Senator Pat Stefano for pushing again to humanize people, by reintroducing legislation to
    decrease travel time standard from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, for out-patient methadone treatment for both
    urban and rural areas. Read More.

    "Quote Of The Day" on an alleged political rival from a different race
    "Commissioner Vicities' personal hatred of me for refusing to 'help him out' regarding his wife's prior court
    ordered costs and fines, which I have no authority to do, spilled out in "payback" as lies regarding my work
    ethic..."
    Janice Snyder, Fayette County Clerk of Courts, ranting on social media today, about Vicites and the fact that the
    daughter of Tim Dye, the democratic candidate for clerk of courts, is "recommended for a top non-union, higher
    salaried position," as Budget and Purchasing Manager;
    Snyder, pointing out that, "coincidentally" the position was vacated over six weeks ago, but no interviews or
    recommendations were made until after the primary election;
    Snyder, not commenting why she hasn't commented sooner about her claim that Vicites asked for inappropriate
    manipulation of his wife's court ordered costs or fines, as we assume this might have happened long ago... but,
    nonetheless, we still believe Snyder


    Growing stink in the air?
    Hot Topic: Fay 's Property Tax Sale revenue
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of serious caution that there seems to be a growing stink in the air
    in Fay that a quick breeze from the north might not clear out any time soon. Read More.


    Fay's babies 3xs more likely born addicted
    RANTS, that what started out as good news, too quickly turned heartbreakingly sad for Fayette County.

    In "Report: Fewer opioid babies," in today's Tribune Review, we learned that, state-wide, fewer babies are
    being born addicted to drugs (14.4 per 1,000 births).


    However, a few paragraphs into the story, RANTS for the crushing news that Fayette County alone has as
    many babies born addicted to drugs (49.7 per 1,000 births) requiring ongoing hospitalization as the three
    nearby counties of Allegheny (16 per 1,000), Westmoreland (17.3 per 1,000) and Washington (16.1 per 1,000)
    combined.

    RANTS that babies born to Fay parents are nearly three times more likely born addicted to drugs than
    babies born to parents from anywhere else in the state. How pathetically tragic and sad is that
    consequence of, or direct result of, political corruption? (4 Jun 19)


    Posse needs another week to find $3 million?
    DoubleV, Lohr delay county meeting one week
    RANTS that the county agenda meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, will be delayed for one
    week and held on June 18, at the commissioners tiny meeting room in the courthouse.

    RAVES of hope that in the meantime, the well-paid county contracted fiscal gurus can figure out what's
    really up with county finances, and if it's time to bite the bullet and announce tax increases.

    We can dream, no? (4 Jun 19)  


    "Quote Of The Day" on Zimmerlink's letter to the editor
    "Their claims of fiscal responsibility, efficiency, running county government like a business are just words.
    Taking vendor campaign contributions and getting re-elected are their concerns."
    Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, on social media introducing her published letter to the editor,
    addressing fellow Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr, still not telling us more about the "outside assistance"
    that she in a two-week old statement said she sought, to help her get the $5 million from county property tax sales all
    into the right account, ready for distribution to school districts and municipalities;

    Zimmerlink, introducing her letter to the editor, who said that "an internal audit done by the Controllers Office reported
    that the $3 million dollar balance was used for General Fund tax sale purposes," but still not telling us more about what
    those pricey expenses were;

    Zimmerlink, possibly, keeping those details close because she must, or perhaps because she does not know specifics
    about expenses and only that $3 million hasn't been deposited into its special account by law... but, in the meantime,
    not putting minds to rest, since:

    the controller said in April there was $1,620,873.93 in the county general fund, down from $7,719,785.37 in
    January of this year, compared to $1,402,680.50 in March, and $3,020,875.30, in February


    Inmate tablets passed out at county jail
    RAVES that some of the tablets at the county jail have been passed out to inmates and detainees this past
    week. While none can access local newspapers or local media, they can call their families and see
    everyone in the room for 15 minutes, at a cost of about $3.50.

    RANTS that after one day, music was limited to listening with ear phones, so sharing music with others
    who cannot afford the cost came to a stop. (1 Jun 19)


    "Quotes Of The Day" as DoubleV's on long holiday
    "So has that Million Dollar Accountant come across the $3 million dollars not deposited into the county tax
    sale account for the $5 million in payments long overdue to school districts and municipalities?"
    The gist of the emails in this blog's mailbag since Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink started
    blogging about her efforts over a few years to get the county-issued checks mailed out, from proceeds of
    property tax sales tax sales mailed;
    the gist of recent emails in R&R mailbag, referring, of course, to the  nearly $1 million paid by Fayette County
    commissioners to the fiscal gurus at Susquehanna Accountants since 2016  

    "They're good accountants but they're not magicians who can pull $3 million dollars from thin air and
    magically appear."
                        More of the mailbag gist

    "DoubleV should ask each of those 7,556 who voted for him to donate $397.03 to the county's property tax
    sale fund to make up for the $3 million he and his second vote probably misspent because of their poor
    budgeting and leadership skills."
                        The mailbag gist of possibly the only viable solution, since the psychic says the $3 million is gone



    How much will Fay's bill be?
    Bucks County hit to pay $68M jail court verdict
    RAVES of sincere hope that the high courts this week were on crack or something, when Bucks County got
    slapped in damages with a $68 Million dollar verdict over allowing public access to online inmate
    information.

    In a class action suit over Bucks' online prison inmate locater service, allowing public access to browse
    mug shots, names, dates of birth, charges, incarceration dates, etc., the high court ruled that the county
    violated privacy of 67,000 charged and housed at the county jail from 1938 to 2013.  


    While we break out in happy dance to learn that one particular man, whose 1998 charges later were
    withdrawn and expunged, received justice this week because he, a few years after his incarceration,  was
    informed that his mug shot and information about the criminal charges were never removed from the
    county jail's online inmate locater tool when his case was expunged.

    We, too, would break out in happy dance, also, for the possible few more, who later found themselves in
    that man's shoes, outed when applying for jobs or credit.


    But how can we not think that the higher court is on crack when it ordered $1,000 to be paid to each of the
    67,000 persons incarcerated in Bucks County from 1938 to 2013?


    Sure, we in Fay, on the other hand, can sit a bit prettier if slapped with such a class action suit, only
    because there's no way county staff here ever worked quickly enough to duplicate prison records online
    back to a way back year of 1938, as Bucks' efficients did.



    And, we in Fay, can also breathe a little easier that our online county prison inmate locater tool often did
    not work. The county could easily track public comments on social media of how often people complained
    that they could not access the inmate locater tool.

    The county, additionally, could have some documentation to fair better than Bucks did in a verdict against
    it, since even places such as Rants&Raves, at one time, had a reader contest to guess how many days or
    months it would take for Fay to correct mug shots to match the right inmate locater file.


    Fay's inmate locater tool often did not work. That's the good news.  (29 May 19)

    References:
    http://www.chrialitigation.com/
    https://www.philly.com/news/bucks-county-violated-criminal-records-information-act-federal-jury-class-action-lawsuit-taha-20190529.
    html
    https://www.phillyvoice.com/bucks-county-inmates-jail-violating-criminal-records-act/




    "Quote Of The Day"
    "So without getting the ability to bill county Medicaid, this newer clinic would have to have a rush of
    upwardly bound, professionals or high earning laborers, who can afford to pay cash for their therapy
    sessions and Methadone or Suboxone treatment medication review appointments and want to work toward
    being completely drug free without relapse?"
    Dave's mom, asking at the diner and then gasping when she watched the video linked below

    "Yes, Rants&Raves asked Vicites on May 19 to provide the documentation he has that (Stephen) Shaner no
    longer owns and/or no longer is affiliated with Polaris Renewal. He's a Perryopolis clinic owner under
    federal indictment and arrest for business out of county... And, no, Vicites has not provided that
    documentation."
    Moi, replying to Dave's mom's next question
     


    Or delay to try even harder to influence an election?
    HSBS 13-day delay in this digital age
    RANTS that heraldstandard.com just today published 13-day-old quotes and story about New Season*, a
    Uniontown methadone clinic that Fayette County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr block from
    obtaining a county behavioral health Medicaid provider number necessary to provide therapy and
    medications to treat opioid addiction.

    These digital days, there's no good reason to delay publication of such a key issue. RANTS most of all,
    however, that even 13 days delayed, the story offers no documentation which county officials claim
    justifies blocking New Season, in an issue which may have swayed votes if published even, say, six days
    ago. Read More.



    Posse search for missing $3 million tax sale money?
    DoubleV, Lohr et al cancel prison board meeting
    RANTS that two county commissioners, ignoring last week's flack about $3 million not deposited into the
    county property tax sale account, are part of the vast majority of county prison board members unavailable
    to meet Wednesday.

    Neither County Commissioners Vince Vicites nor Dave Lohr, and neither the county sheriff nor the district
    attorney, are available for the monthly prison board meeting. As a result, the monthly prison board meeting
    is cancelled.

    RAVES of hope that the four gentlemen seeking re-election and cancelling the prison board meeting, use
    the time to retrieve roadside political signs or locate a good psychic to help Vicites and Lohr figure out
    what happened to the $3 million not deposited into the county property tax sale account.

    Over $5 million taken in during property sales was to be dispersed to school districts and municipalities,
    from 2010 through 2017. Only $2.5 million of it is accounted for in a property tax claim department account.
    Speaking of which...

    Zimmerlink adds more on the MIA $3 million
    RANTS that two years have passed since Vicites and Lohr stopped the dispersal of funds collected during
    property tax sales, after the first audit indicated correct amounts were to be dispersed to school districts
    and municipalities.

    "It was then in Nov 2017 that commissioners Vicites and Lohr pulled the distribution, saying they believed
    there were miscalculations done by the county solicitor and tax claim office," said Commissioner Angela
    Zimmerlink this week.

    "An internal audit for years 2010-2011 was requested and completed (in) June of  2018," she said, adding
    for clarification that "a prior audit was done for years 2006-2009 in March of 2011. "

    Again, then, in June of 2018, Zimmerlink said she " broached the subject for distributions of 2011-2017."




    "In Sept of 2018,  the other  2 commissioners voted to have  Zelenkofse & Axelrod do an audit for year
    2017," although Zimmerlink added that the duo's agreement "is actually dated Aug 24, 2018."

    The cost for the Zelenkofske Axelrod audit for one year, as per the agreement, was $13,000-$17,000, she
    said. Although nine months have passed, and the bill, undoubtedly, was presented long ago, the audit has
    still not been provided -- at least, not to Zimmerlink.



    RAVES of hope that Vicites and Lohr soon come clean to the public about why the $3 million was not
    deposited into a special account for dispersal to school districts and municipalities, and why none of the $5
    million total collected was ever dispersed. Turn-around time usually is about 18 months from the time of a
    property tax sale until dispersal.

    Given that the county still must purchase pricey voting machines soon, that the jail project cries waiting,
    that newly named chiefs of staff need needless jobs created under their titles... and that the $5 million in
    property tax sale money is certainly nothing new to them, Lohr and Vicites need to explain to citizens how
    they plan on juggling it all.

     
    RAVES of hope that  the public turns up to ask about the $5 million or calls the commissioners unwilling to
    talk about it. God knows that, to date, the media certainly hasn't formed a rush line to inquire about this
    matter. (26 May 19)




    Early Election morning "Quotes Of The Day"
    "In some uncontested races where I don't respect the name on the ballot, I will write in names to amuse
    myself and those at the election bureau who tabulate votes."
    Pete's grandmother, possibly the oldest voting Fay resident around, naming her picks

    "Jake Ely for county commissioner. He seems capable of doing the job and unlikely to tolerate
    shenanigans like this (expletives galore) $3 million dollars in payments the county held onto and absorbed
    into its general fund instead of paying schools and small, struggling boroughs their share of the $5 million
    total they're long overdue."
    Grandma, on a roll, stopping to ask whether anything panned out on the claim late last week that someone on today's
    ballot for a county office was pulled over for DUI and quietly let go... not believing it appears to be a vicious rumor,
    incidentally... then returning to her election picks

    "Jake doesn't seem that he would tolerate a female commissioner being excluded from a county
    agreement like the one that Vicites and Lohr drew up last week for the loan for Mt. Macrina. Out of all of
    them, Jake and Ms. Glad seem that they could work well together to make Fayette an honest and better
    county. I hope neither of them gets corrupt if they win."
    Grandma, returning to her election picks, but refusing to discuss those comical names she'll write in in uncontested
    races where she wishes she had a choice...  confirming, when asked, that she is not Jake or Elise Glad's grandma, and
    turning her attention to a Dave Lohr supporter to ask if he realizes how funny it is that Lohr's dream for Fay relies so
    much on expansion of the local airport

    School districts, municipalities left waiting
    Commish: Fay keeps property sale funds, misuses $3
    Million of it
    RANTS, as a county commissioner states that the county misspent $3 Million dollars, targeted from the sale
    of property at tax claim sales to be distributed to school districts and municipalities, instead, by funnelling
    the money into the county's general fund.

    "A county should not sell properties and retain the proceeds from the sales," Fayette County
    Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink said on her blog, "$5 million tax sale fund needs distributed but
    where’s $3 million of it?"

    She said that an internal audit done by the Controllers Office reported that the $3 million dollar balance
    was used for General Fund tax sale purposes.


    "It was not supposed to be used in that manner.  Why was it used in that manner?  The county offices
    followed the procedure outlined by the paid financial consultant who has been the paid financial consultant
    for years," Zimmerlink said.

    Despite repeated meetings and emails, distributions of the property sale funds are not timely made.

    "I have the documentation. I have also sought outside assistance to help me," she said of the stalled
    dispersal of funds that she wants dispersed.  

    "No wonder the two commissioners (Vince) Vicites and (Dave) Lohr report to the voters, the taxpayers, that
    they have 'balanced the budget' and work 'diligently daily on the budget' and 'review line item by line
    item'... They use and still use monies from the sales fund for other sales fund expenses which is not
    permitted, as per the commissioner.

    Zimmerlink was asked for more details, including any documentation that she said she has asking for the
    property tax sale funds to be dispersed to the school districts. More to come. (20 May 19)  

    DA political sign on the bypass?
    RAVES that all other candidates with signs did not join Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower in
    parking one next to his in the grass  along the four-lane Rt. 119 bypass, right behind PennDOT, on public
    owned property.

    RAVES that only he and another incumbent, with signs in the middle of highway divider islands, fail to
    understand the basic rules. (21 May 19)


    While mountain EMS station closed
    Pennies short: $1 M county tax dollars paid to financial
    consultant
    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS!

    Since the voting public was well aware that two county commissioners filed bankruptcies one or more
    times in their personal businesses or personal lives, it was a given that the financially challenged duo
    should trust finance planning and budgeting to more fiscally sound minds.  

    However, given that the bankrupt commissioners have in a little over three years -- i.e., the duo of
    Commissioner Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr, through March of 2019 -- paid their consultant nearly $1 million
    dollars for budget preparation, as per Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink in her blog piece, "Nearly $1
    million of county tax dollars paid to the financial consultant," the public now realizes the duo's need
    for help was sadly underestimated.


    RANTS that so much county money is wasted when Fay cannot provide a mountain based emergency
    medical service station, requiring mountain residents, mountain tourism businesses and tourists to have
    delays in receiving ambulances and emergency medical help in a crisis.

    We knew Vicites and Lohr needed close financial guidance, but the outrageous tab paid to the financial
    guru is unreal and, unfortunately, probably nowhere near the max it will grow to, through the end of 2019.
    (19 May 19)


    "Quote Of The Day"from a former Catholic school student who doesn't
    want the nuns one day to be taken to the cleaners by possible county development
    "I hope the Sisters have a good planner working for their best interests. I understand this loan they want
    with tax exemption is to refinance their nursing home mortgage, possibly save a good bit on monthly
    payments, possibly use some for upgrades, etc...but I wonder if they in the future would be wiser to lease
    part of their land instead of sell a section. I would hate to see the nuns get snookered."
    Pete, earlier at the diner, reacting to the request from the Mt. Macrina nuns to seek a $10 million dollar refinance loan,
    using financing lingo such as "balloon" to explain that all large mortgages like that require refinancing every couple
    years;
    Pete, long story short, hoping that the Sisters get their refinance and later realize they are sitting pretty, essentially in
    control of controlling a landlock, if and when they ever decide to sell or lease any part of their highly desired land for
    possible industrial park expansions


    Or just doing her job?
    Zimmerlink acting more like a candidate?
    RAVES to Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink for acting more like a candidate herself
    fighting corruption than an official in office her last year not seeking re-election.

    Please check out "Pay to Play – campaign contributions,"  and "How Vicites & Lohr spend your tax
    $$$," informing us that a fellow commish bills Fay for postage for his Christmas holiday cards and wanted
    reimbursed for the cost of candy he tossed to kids from parade cars. No kidding!


    RAVES to Zimmerlink for not spending her last year in office missing in action, as an entitled period of
    personal time off, as did others before her who did not seek re-election or lost re-election and mysteriously
    disappeared from the daily workforce downtown.  

    RANTS that candidates trying to oust the incumbents, on the other hand, so far seem too content with
    status quo or just too timid to confront it. (15 May 19)   


    As New Season controversy continues
    DoubleV&Lohr campaigns get boost from Greene methadone
    clinic chiefs
    RANTS that incumbent Fayette County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr, in just the last
    election campaign expense and donation reporting period, raked in some $5,000 in campaign contributions
    from businessmen operating a Greene County methadone clinic with a county business contract.

    These campaign donations include those from its medical director, who previously faced disciplinary
    action in four states.

    RANTS, that it's even worse that the duo seems to be wasting at least $50-75,000 needlessly transporting
    some county residents for their daily methadone. It is unknown whether citizens utilizing FACT bus
    transportation to the Greene County clinic are concerned about the added time spent riding out of county.
    With an extended major highway expansion project being planned for Route 21, however, it's time to
    realize residents eventually will start to be impacted more and frustrated.

    Either way, RANTS that persons with addictions going to Greene County now for treatment have no choice.

    They say in this video that their behavioral health staff and county insurance piece, Value Behavioral
    Health, do not wish to provide a new Uniontown clinic, New Season, a county Medicaid billing provider
    number to become eligible to receive payment when treating Fay residents with Medicaid for addiction
    services.


    Campaign Donations should be returned
    Whether New Season really is as bad a place as Vicites and Lohr say it is or not, their political campaign
    donations should be returned to the Highmark PAC and to the Greene County contracted Methadone
    business owner and employees.   

    Same with the donations from their contracted county business guru, Sam Lynch, paid some $112,000 in
    the first three months of 2019 for guru budget planning services that they say that they, nor county fiscal
    staff, are skilled enough to prepare.   

    Please see the announcement on the right for a forum about New Season to be
    held today. Please click to review the Greene County clinic's last inspection report. (15
    May 19)


    Todays agenda: hold hearing, consider $10M tax-free
    Mount Macrina note
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that the county will hold a hearing in 48 hours to hear public input on
    a proposed $10 million dollar, tax-free loan to Mount Saint Macrina, to pay off a current mortgage on its
    nursing home.

    RANTS that the matter to date has not been known publicly.

    Please click on the above blue link to read the legal notice that just didn't originate from thin air for
    Thursday's hearing and the county commissioners meeting agenda for today's monthly planning meeting.

    RANTS that Fay is even more so secretly involved in back door meetings with this current board of
    commissioners in 2019 than it was in the horrible past, when two commissioners accused one another of
    bid rigging in a failed prison construction deal.  (14 May 19)


    "Quote Of The Day" on DoubleV&Dave's dark transparency
    "I finally got to watch video from that candidate forum at Penn State from last month. I got a kick out of
    (Commissioner Vince) Vicites and (Commissioner Dave) Lohr so proud that they brought supposed order
    and professionalism to county meetings and business... Nah, they got darn lucky that Mrs. Mazza's health
    failed and that other watch dogs stopped going to the meetings out of disgust for their sexist male leaders."
    Pete's wife, yesterday evening at the diner, reading up on the proposed hearing in 48 hours to discuss issuing a
    $10 million dollar tax-exempt loan to Mt. Macrina, adding that she'll be back later to gripe about the criminal
    background of a methadone clinic doctor currently serving Fay residents in Greene since the county refuses to
    allow a new Fay provider to have Fay insurance Medicaid billing provider status



    Lohr replacement sign even closer to traffic
    RANTS that a replacement political sign for an incumbent county commissioner is even closer to traffic, at
    the busy intersection of Routes 119 and 982, in Bullskin Township, than was the politician's earlier placed
    sign, taken away by wind. Read More.

    Will CRA take back phantom restaurant land?
    RANTS that a restaurant that was supposed to be built and operating in the next few months in
    Connellsville has not been built and that the proposed owners, instead, chose to open a restaurant soon in
    Morgantown.

    The riverfront property sold, from the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, for $15K in 2017,  without a
    bidding process, for a fraction of its supposed value of $200K or more.

    At the time, the CRA claimed it struck up a deal with Marilyn Cellurale to buy the land and build a restaurant
    because she wanted to create jobs and business here in Connellsville.

    Nonetheless, with the clock ticking and the land untouched with no construction, it's time that the CRA
    officially reclaims ownership of the land and puts it out there for others for possible development. The CRA
    should also hold on to the $15K purchase funds, in forfeit, as allowed in the signed land agreement.  

    RANTS that the area's just too much a financial risk for even local natives to invest in these days. A
    restaurant next door might have helped boost business at the bankrupt hotel next door.

    RANTS that the area might not be able to support a hotel without tourism, but, surely, Connellsville and Fay
    locals could support another restaurant rather nicely, year-round. God knows we could have used all those
    promised jobs. (11 May 19)

    GOP Challenger: not running with Lohr
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of a chuckle over reading that a candidate in the upcoming primary
    election took out an ad to say he is NOT running for election with an incumbent commissioner as his
    running mate.

    On his social media page, a challenger, after receiving the endorsement of one of local GOP sub-groups
    which put out a flyer with the bios and photos of its endorsed two men, wasted no time distancing himself
    from the incumbent Dave Lohr in his own ad declaring he has no running mate.  


    DA wasted three years, county funds, court's time, our
    patience
    RANTS that the county district attorney foolishly wasted three years and court costs, including services of
    a death penalty mitigation specialist, hell-bent on his focus to seek the death penalty against Uniontown
    parents, in the 2016 death of their daughter, when there was no legal basis to have sought the death
    penalty.

    Why was the death penalty pursuit suddenly dropped last month without explanation? We here at
    Rants&Raves clearly still doubt that the poor lost child weighed only 10 pounds when she died. Clearly, the
    district attorney was right to pursue the death penalty if the child had been starved down, intentionally,
    from normal weight range down to 10 pounds.

    A photo of a 22-month-old child weighing 10 pounds, brought to the hospital wearing a size 5 diaper for
    cruising toddlers, would have guaranteed a death penalty verdict in a New York minute in Fay. Some on
    the jury, as well as some of the rest of us, might have even volunteered to administer lethal injections to
    anyone who intentionally withheld food and starved a child to death.



    RANTS that after all of the drama, a third-degree homicide verdict was returned, after the judge instructed
    the jury that the third-degree homicide conviction is justified when there's extreme indifference to the
    value of human life, without an intent to kill.

    Too bad the district attorney wasted three years fixated on seeking the death penalty. Something
    happened here, readers, that the death penalty was dropped last month, quietly, without comment, and that
    the county prosecutors at trial not once mentioned malice and criminal intent to the jury.

    As was the case with another homicide in a filthy, dirty home that was dropped, the county prosecutors got
    a third-degree murder conviction in a case that probably will come back under appeal. At best, prosecutors
    after four years presented enough to have received a justified involuntary homicide conviction.

    RANTS that it may take higher courts to clean up the mess. (10 May 19)


    Editor's Note: The reporter from the Herald Standard responded to Rants&Raves' question, that she read in an
    autopsy report the weight at the time of the child's death to be 10 pounds. She stands behind her news report.
    Advocates for Michael Wright, meanwhile, state that the child weighed 10 kilograms, or about 22 pounds, and
    wore a size 5 baby diaper. They claim that the word 'pounds' was wrongly inserted, instead of 'kilograms,' in what
    advocates say was a known clerical error, into the child's autopsy or formal forensic file.    


    Herald Standard's way wrong?
    RANTS that a reporter continues to write incorrect statements as fact in print media accounts in the current
    homicide trial of Michael Wright.

    RANTS that the weight of Lydia Wright, the 22-month-old who died weighing 10 Kilograms or 22 pounds, is
    published wrongly in the media as 10 pounds, or about half the normal body weight.

    Until last month, Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower intended to seek the death penalty in the
    case. He in early March also banned relatives who were not testifying from attending a pre-trial status
    conference.

    No reason was given for the sudden decision last month not to seek the death penalty.

    Email was sent to the Herald Standard reporter, who a few years ago became the first news site to state the
    incorrect body weight, asking if she actually saw the death certificate and noted the weight was listed in
    kilograms, not pounds or ounces. The news report also said the child died from starvation.

    During an interim period when another reporter from that paper covered Wright's case, cause of death was
    malnutrition and dehydration and no weight was given.  Those are the correct diagnoses on the child's
    autopsy report.


    RANTS that television media picks up local stories, and, in turn, continues to spread the incorrect facts.
    Nobody here advocates for the criminal case to be dismissed against Wright or Andrea Dusha, but just for
    his case to be presented factually in reporting. (7 May 19)


    DoubleV subject of mud slinging robocalls?
    RANTS that someone, supposedly, paid for robocalls to be made to spread "lies" about Fayette County
    Commissioner Vince Vicites.

    "In this mean-spirited negative campaign technique, the person called is “pushed” to adapting a negative
    attitude by telling lies about me. They tend to be short and disguise themselves as legitimate polling. It’s a
    shame how low people will go to smear an opponent to try to win an election," Vicites commented on his
    social media page.

    RANTS, if Vicites is truthful about the robocalls, that lies may have been told to try to smear his character.

    Why someone would need to invent lies in DoubleV's case is beyond us here.

    There are, after all, so many truthful, bonafide facts on record that someone could have taken issue with, to
    show his truthful incompetence. To name a few, there are the non-budgeted raises given, his ignorance of
    $150M of federal revitalization funds sitting, his taste for private meetings and sexism that kept the
    meetings secret from a female commissioner elected just like him by the people. (8 May 19)

    Jones: Law Day reflection on free speech, protest of
    Fay DA
    RAVES to Fay resident Kathryn Jones for celebrating Law Day in peaceful protest of the county district
    attorney outside the Fayette County Courthouse today.. Read More.