RANTS  &  RAVES  2018


    RIP: Florence "Shutsy" Reynolds

    RAVES to the amazing life of Florence "Shutsy" Reynolds, a charter member of the World War II Women's Air Force Service Pilots, who passed
    away three days ago, at the age of 95.  

    That Reynolds and approximately 1,074 other young women of their day wanting to become military pilots paid for their own flight training,
    transportation to the Texas training base, and later, their own ticket home from Europe, is a simply incredible piece of history to recognize in itself.

    These young civilian women, who stepped up when the military experienced a shortage of male pilots at the start of the second World War, flew
    more than 60 million miles during the war.

    In some cases, they risked their lives to test fly repaired planes before male military pilots were allowed to fly them again, only to be denied their
    military veteran's status until 1977 by the Pentagon. Congress awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010 at a ceremony that Reynolds
    and 171 other surviving female pilots attended.  

    RAVES that this first female to fly in and out of the airport in Connellsville was honored during her lifetime with a new airport hanger named after
    her. RAVES that determined, young women such as Reynolds, born in 1923, pursued their dreams in spite of the sexist hurdles that the military
    and world in general created to stifle those dreams.  

    May real heroes such as Reynolds encourage not only today's young girls, but all with overwhelming obstacles, to still pursue their dreams. (18
    Mar 18)

    "Quote Of The Day" or hints that a new jail is coming

    "I'm primarily on the prison board as a... um... primarily, because I'm hoping to get a new prison built..."
    Judge  Steve P. Leskinen, at Friday's special prison board meeting, as heard here at this link at 0:35, discussing the need for the county to
    build a new jail to house mentally ill inmates in a humane way

    "New digs isn't the answer; a new building won't resolve the current problem or get you better staff unless you train them properly and reprimand
    them effectively."
    All of us, thinking to ourselves, when we cringed hearing the judge speak

    To watch the video of the entire special Prison Board Meeting from 16 Mar 18, please click on the links below.

    Part 1: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1622ea4824f1f253?projector=1   
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZctG-XXIiiw                
    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dEqnAasYjU             
    Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-fL9E3_uJ4     
    Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcvVetWGCeQ         
    Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPniuj3GGG0   


    Inmate rants about county jail's mental health treatment, torture

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a highly serious note that written word is received here from an inmate at the Fayette County Prison, expressing
    concern about the jail in general, but specifically focusing on the tragic situation of a fellow inmate well-known for decades to the community
    behavioral health system.

    "I'm sure that my time in this hell pales in comparison to that of my neighbor," wrote inmate Chris S., about Bobby A., someone so mentally
    unstable he plays in and eats his own feces.

    Chris feels Bobby was placed in the Special Management Unit (SMU) or suicide unit at the jail "so he could be ignored."

    Saying that "no employee at this prison is prepared or trained to deal with such a case," Chris said of Bobby, who he describes as violent and

    "But it's not intentional. Bobby is incapable of comprehending what is going on," Chris explained. He should know. They spent about two weeks
    together, in the basement seclusion unit, in the extreme winter cold with windows open, lying on metal cots, naked, wet, living in feces and urine
    with lights broken in the basement of the county prison.   

    "Bed mats provided to him always end up torn open, covered in waste and stuffed into his non functioning sink and toilet," Chris said of Bobby.

    "From there, these items get tossed around the range," Chris said, adding that Bobby's tossed soiled mats landed and stayed for 10 hours into
    Chris' area before the mess was cleaned. With no mat, Bobby, a very large man, with sores over his body and very swollen legs, sleeps on a
    metal cot or small bench.

    "(Bobby) can't walk without doubling over in pain and getting threatened with petter spray for doing so. On top of all this, he is verbally abused by
    inmates and guards alike. Antagonizing him to his breaking point until he is screaming obscenities, banging around his cells, and eventually in
    tears talking to himself," Chris said.

    Chris, who denies suicidal ideation, said he himself was placed in the basement isolation unit because the jail staff thought he was suicidal.

    "The SMU has been over-utilized by prison staff for the smallest infraction," Chris said of the basement horror unit. To put suicidal or handicapped
    individuals in this unit is irresponsible and dangerous. Torture is not an inaccurate description of life down there." he said. (14 Mar 18)

    17-minute student walk-out teaches more than yesterday's history class

    RAVES to the school districts nationwide to allow its secondary school students to chose whether to take part in a 17-minute walk-out or protest of
    school violence, in memory of 17 lives lost in Florida one month ago. The walk out is also to demand stricter gun laws and school security.

    Besides the intended purpose of what is supposed to be a 10 AM movement across the country of students, RAVES that the 17 minutes of
    supervised movement, from school to outdoors, of what likely will be most students, teaches them how to protest an issue peacefully.

    RAVES to the younger generation who still want to go to school in spite of the school shootings and threats of violence. Hopefully, these types of
    activities help students cope a bit better with school violence reality. (14 Mar 18)


    Fay County jail door kept ajar?

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a mind boggling note with a photo of a Fayette County Prison door kept ajar yesterday that deserves to be

    As per the photographer, the door -- believed to be a staff entrance -- was kept ajar at least for several hours yesterday late afternoon and
    evening, when outdoor temperatures were in the lower 30s. The photo shows what appears to be a small piece of beam or chunk of something
    propping open an interior door.

    Email was sent to prison board members to confirm this is a staff entrance and to inquire why this security risk is allowed -- even if, say for
    instance, the jail furnace malfunctioned and it was overly hot inside.

    While the source did not attempt to touch, open or pass through either door pictured and did not get overly close to the entrance, the source notes
    that the door looked like this and was open at various times checked from approximately 5:30 PM through 9 PM yesterday.

    Surely, there had to be an armed guard stationed right inside the entrance in the event someone not allowed might attempt to enter or leave
    contraband? Right?

    Given the recent complaints that suicidal inmates are kept in a very cold basement and lie wet on cold, metal cots, the jail administration seriously
    does not need any additional controversy, such as a door kept ajar to let freezing cold air from outside into the structure. (11 Mar 18)


    2nd inmate: cruel and unusual punishment?

    RANTS because a second case of cruel and unusual punishment seems to go hand-in-hand with a second case of inmate isolation at the Fayette
    County Prison. This inmate is someone very well-known to the community mental health system for at least 20-30 years, and has been inpatient at
    state hospital psychiatric units.

    RANTS because even the worst of bullies don't deserve to be heckled by all around him, when he's in isolation for psychiatric restraint. Email was
    sent to the county prison board members asking when he will transfer to the state psychiatric hospital. (8 Mar 18)  


    Former public works director
    Sansone missed the boat on this lawsuit

    RANTS that the lawyer who has handled a few civil lawsuits for county workers finally has a case he should win based on political vendetta, but
    files, instead,  a suit for unlawful termination based on age discrimination.

    Back on August 16, 2017, this column asked if the sudden canning of the former director of county public works would become the county's next
    lawsuit. We thought it might be. Or should be.

    To be honest, we kind of hoped he would not just go away quietly. He earned the respect of this column by always knowing specific work details
    and having informative updates of his department's projects, without having to look at notes to guide him.

    As previously quoted here, his hiring in 2013 was one of the very few good things a former commissioner did in four years in office.  We meant
    that sincerely.     

    RANTS that his lawyer missed the boat and should have filed the suit that the man's termination was for political affiliation. From the public's point
    of view, the former director of public works seemed to be good staff who did the best he could under the circumstances. (6 Mar 18)


    Jailhouse critic: in isolation with no pencil  

    RANTS because mental health treatment hit a whole new, embarrassing low in Fayette County, as demonstrated in the case of an inmate at the
    county jail. He wrote something perceived by jail administrators to be suicidal ideation expression and was placed in isolation, into a Turtle Suit,
    with a one on one guard. His ability to make phone calls or write letter ended 10 days ago, as well.

    Since that time, he was seen on two subsequent Saturdays by family members. Last weekend, his father said the young man reeked of feces and
    was filthy, was kept in a room reeking of smeared feces and pepper spray.

    A few days after the young man wrote what others perceived as suicidal ideation, he met with an attorney who was very positive about his criminal
    case. The young man was not suicidal. His suicidal watch should have been lifted.

    Still, the attorney to date has filed no motions to judges to intervene in this man's isolation matter or criminal case. Meanwhile, he still has not
    phoned home yet in 10 days. His parents maintained this week that he must still be in suicidal prevention isolation or must still be denied phone
    privileges. His sons' mother, who visited him yesterday, confirmed he is still in isolation, in a Turtle suit and unable to write or phone home.

    Prior to writing what jail administrators perceived to be suicidal ideation, the inmate also wrote complaints about prison handbook violations
    published in social media and identified a prison guard, who, in the inmate's words, taunted another inmate wanting toilet paper that he could wipe
    with his discharge or release papers.

    His mail, reportedly, was tampered with against prison policy. Mail to him about his 4-year-old son's physical therapies was returned to sender,
    with the writing of the letters, "WTF" written on the opened and re-sealed envelope.  

    While the jail administration certainly had a responsibility to assess the young man for any suicidal ideation they thought he might have, they seem
    to have gone beyond reason with an undeserving stay of 10 days in isolation in a Turtle suit. That's hardly a positive psychiatric treatment -- i.e., if
    they're really trying to pass this whole 10 days of isolation as a necessary treatment course.

    Shame on Fayette County, if this is treatment. Prisoners of war know they were made to sit in and smell feces as part of the enemy's plan to
    brainwash them and break them. This isn't wartime in the 1930s and 1950s.

    If this is example of the best psychiatric care that inmates can have at the Fayette County Prison in 2018, then please close the place down today.
    Quickly, before they start using leaches.  (4 Mar 18)


    Westmoreland, Fayette sheriffs in court

    RANTS, as today is not a good day for area sheriffs. First, Westmoreland's is charged with having county workers politic for him on paid work
    time. He denies the charges based on claims by his three high-ranking deputies, however, saying the charges are nothing but a political vendetta
    against him by his political enemies.

    Just one question. Who would would ask his political enemies on the county's payroll to pick up and transport political campaign contributions?

    While the Westmoreland sheriff's troubles don't seem to be going away anytime soon, Fayette County Sheriff James Custer this week  -- as per
    heraldstandard.com's "Judge to rule in 1995 homicide" -- spent time in court trying to stop an appeal from a man convicted of murder during the
    sheriff's investigation, then years ago, as a state polic trooper from the Uniontown barracks. That investigation had Custer piecing together the
    details of the murder of a confidential drug informant.

    Hopefully, the Fay sheriff is out of this hot seat soon. RANTS that so many long-time cases have clogged recent courts only because
    prosecutorial misconduct in the same case or other cases involving the same county investigators turned judges seems to be the only needed
    thing in common to get an appeal for a new trial or convert death sentences into life in prison stays. (27 Feb 18)   

    Concerning inmate complaint of isolation for retaliation  
    Fay Co Prison Board email: 5 of 7 undeliverable

    RANTS that a brief email sent to 5 of 7 county prison board members bounced back this morning as being undeliverable because of full
    mailboxes. Given that this type of notice is sometimes attributed to glitches and not true full mailboxes, isn't it time the county fixed the problem?

    Electronic mail to 2 county commissioners, the district attorney, county controller and sheriff was undeliverable, while the same email to the court
    administrator for a judge and Commissioner Dave Lohr, so far, has not bounced back.

    In 2015, former lame duck commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky entered into a five-year contract with Ford Business Machine to
    manage the county's computer system for $170,000 per year. Prior to that, the county employed its own staff in-house to manage its own system.

    RANTS if Fay's officials continue to have glitches or other issues with their email accounts for another two years. (25 Feb 18)


    Conn school assembly: Not the usual fluff and circumstance

    RAVES that school district and county law officials so quickly pulled together assemblies for middle and senior high school students in
    Connellsville, in follow up to recent threats of school violence there and in Uniontown and, of course, last week's tragic mass killing of 17 in a
    Florida and this week's suicide in Ohio by a 7th grader who entered school, went immediately to the boy's restroom and shot himself.

    This action today -- to reach out to students to impress upon them that there are people who genuinely care, want to listen and help if they're
    being bullied or want to bully others -- went over well in opinion some of those teens expressed here this evening.  

    "We have metal detectors at school. I feel pretty safe there," one shared, but added that someone, reportedly, also today smuggled in alcohol.  
    Another worried, since an armed Florida school deputy officer failed for four minutes to enter the building to pursue that student shooter, if that
    kind of thing could happen here as well, if an active shooter were inside. Yet another added, in sad commentary of the times, that she now asks in
    daily prayers to keep her school a safe zone.  

    RAVES that the assemblies today reminded students that there are live, real people to reach out to for help, as an alternative to taking their
    frustrations unchecked to social media.

    Those teens polled here seem to think that their time spent in assembly was a good thing and feel comfortable participating in the "lock down"
    drills to follow. Most importantly, they also expressed agreement that they would "make sure" someone in authority did listen and act accordingly, if
    they saw posted threats or heard another student make threats to harm themselves or others.

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAVES for that! (22 Feb 18)  

    And do they care?
    Are Fay Co Prison Board members aware of judge's 2-month-old order?  

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of appreciation once again to the Post-Gazette for enlightening so many unaware citizens that the ACLU
    appears to be taking on Fayette County Debtors' Prison and that a Fayette County judge agreed to additional training of magistrates and ordered
    the release of all indigent inmates incarcerated for having unpaid fines and court costs not serving mandatory sentences.

    Since the publication 24 hours ago of the below piece, "Fayette magistrates sent back to class," this column's mailbag filled with inquiries as to
    whether the order to release some inmates has actually begun. Inquiring minds want to know how many or few this order may impact. Can we see
    a show of hands that no prison board members or just a select few are aware of the judge's order?

    Email was sent to prison board members for an update.  More to follow.  (22 Feb 18)


    "Quote Of The Day" from inside Fay Co Prison

    "In this overcrowded prison, there aren't enough cells for everyone. In turn, not enough toilet facilities for everyone. Usually one cell stays open to
    accommodate people on (unreadable) and those without functioning toilets. For some reason, CO DANNY CAMPBELL has all cells closed,
    denying restroom use to several inmates, myself included. Even going as far as to tell one inmate needing toilet paper that he'll get his release
    papers for him to wipe with. Along with the denial of restroom use is the denial of showers. The shower cell has been locked all evening. When
    the range is open during the day, people in cells have an open shower. In the evenings, people on cots have to shower. So this evening, it seems
    I will not be able to shower. I'll climb my stinky self into my cot tonight, lay down on a mat about as thick as the envelope this came in, CO
    "GUNNY", having taken the plastic off my mat, stripping over half the padding from the inside. So here I am...... Stuck indefinitely, no bathroom, no
    shower, might as well be sleeping on the floor. I'm not as mentally strong as I used to be. Love made me weak and vulnerable. I'm scared for the
    future. I just wanted to get home to my kids and now everything seems pointless. I should have just given up."
    Chris Shellhammer, AKA Chuck U Farley, in an unedited letter sent today, describing the scene from the inside at Fayette County Prison as
    he awaits another rescheduled preliminary hearing for shooting a man in self defense last month

    "So why the hell is he still in jail? Why the hell was court continued again?"
    Dave, yesterday at the diner, asking why Shellhammer isn't released when there's no evidence of murder, only evidence of a justified

    "There's no death certificate yet, is what I was told."
    Moi, in response, as mouths dropped in disbelief


    The Avenue: Tornado Alley

    RAVES that only one or two minor injuries resulted from the wide-spread tornado property damage that seemed to blow apart much of
    Uniontown's Gallatin Avenue section of town last night.

    RAVES that only a few minor injuries resulted when the wicked EF1 level tornado touched down, making it the first February tornado since 1950 in
    our south-western corner of the state. Photos of the destruction have seemed to make it to international news wires and news outlets just as soon
    as the sun started to rise this morning.

    RANTS, however, that now many roofs and buildings are destroyed and that more damage may result on the heels of what some tomorrow predict
    will bring torrential rain, ice and snow.

    Please say a prayer for those affected, as some interviewed on television news seem to be clearing, salvaging and staying put in what no longer
    can be considered safe structures. (16 Feb 18)   

    To learn the meaning of indigent
    Fayette's magistrates sent back to class

    RAVES to the Post-Gazette for informing Fay readers in its story, "Modern-day debtors’ prisons? The system that sends Pennsylvanians to jail
    over unpaid court costs and fines," that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last October intervened on behalf of an indigent Fay woman
    jailed for unpaid school truancy fines.

    As a result, Fayette County President Judge John Wagner released the woman from jail and agreed to allow the civil liberties group to train Fay's
    district magistrate judges not to send indigents to jail for missed court payments.

    Even more interesting is the story's statement that Wagner "also ordered people to be released from jail if they weren't there for a mandatory

    Whether or not that group release happened is another story, however. Email is sent to the county jail to see if the order was followed and to learn
    how many additional indigent Fay inmates were released for bench warrant arrests for overdue fines... that is, if the order actually was enforced.
    (16 Feb 18)


    Lohr, Vicites fail to practice what they preach

    RANTS to irony and hypocrisy anyway, but double RANTS when it all comes disguised, under the pretense of religion, in today's "Fayette Faith
    Initiative focuses on social conditions and role of the Church," piece on heraldstandard.com.

    While it seems first off as a noble effort for Fayette County Commissioners Dave Lohr and Vince Vicites to gather 60 or so of the county's religious
    leaders to put their hands on Lohr to pray together for the county, the almost comic hypocrisy takes center stage with Lohr's urging the religious
    leaders to "take a step forward and reach out’’ to help Fay "be a leader for revival across the world" with Vicites watching from the second row

    RANTS, however, that the photo op opportunity meeting ends up leaving too many readers with a bad taste in their mouths that morning coffee
    cannot wash away. RANTS that some will do just about anything to get votes these days. Organizing such a movement to urge pastors to visit
    county jail inmates and help parishioners fund adoptions and foster care most certainly is not a bad thing.  

    It only comes off as textbook hypocrisy once readers realize that the two grown men don't practice what they preach when they fail to inform and
    invite their third commissioner to the event. How smug can they be to preach unity and think that they can tackle all of Fay's problems without
    additional prayers from her and her supporters? (1 Feb 18)

    DA agrees to bond reduction
    80 new complaints against former funeral director

    RANTS there now are more concerning reports that authorities received an additional 80 complaints against a former local mortician since the big
    ta-du joint press conference 9 days ago, by the state attorney general and county district attorney, announcing the man's arrest for swindling 51
    elderly people of $300,000.

    Equally amazing, in today's news report of the man's criminal arraignment, WMBS stated that the county district attorney agreed to allow the
    reduction in the bond of the jailed former mortician, from $500,000 cash to $150,000, if he surrenders his mortician licenses, passes weekly drug
    tests and has no contact with those swindled.

    No criminal plea was entered at today's arraignment, as per the station's news report. Unsaid is that the case seems to be taking on the scent of
    an upcoming plea agreement to avoid the courts.

    The former mortician, at least for the time being, remains incarcerated in the county jail. He is expected to be released from the county jail soon.
    (31 Jan 18)

    oh, and while we're on the subject...

    WMBS exclusives!

    RAVES to WMBS radio news for providing what at times is the only media coverage of an newsworthy issue, arrest, situation, request for a
    reduction in bond, etc.

    Fay SAT score rankings

    RANTS that SAT scores overall in Fayette County aren't nearly as hot as they could be. Connellsville in 402nd place, was Fay's first school
    district to appear on the list, almost half-way down it. Its SAT average score is said to be 1044.

    In comparison, Brownsville came in lowest in Fay, at 566th place among the 705 school districts, with an SAT average score of 953.

    SAT averages in Frazier (1041 SAT, 409 place in 705), were a little better than Uniontown's SAT average of 1027, at 448th place in the standing
    of PA's 705 districts.

    Laurel Highlands student SAT average of 1035, meanwhile, came in at 429th place.  (31 Jan 18)

    Thanks, God!
    Not from Fay County

    RANTS that the disgusting mess ever happened... yet RAVES of relief and appreciation that this mess was not made in Fay.

    RANTS that an Allegheny County orphans court worker is facing felony witness intimidation charges, receiving stolen property, stalking and
    conspiracy, for plotting with her jailed boyfriend awaiting trial for rape, child rape and aggravated assault, to help scare silent his trial witness wife.

    This type of stomach-turning news from WTAE's website could have been worse, only if it happened here instead of there. (29 Jan 18)

    Former county prison developer, planner proven wrong again

    RAVES, once again such grateful RAVES, that Fay dodged the big bullet when it ran away from plans to build an industrial-size county prison
    and rehabilitation center on pyrite in Dunbar Township a few years ago.

    This particular new RAVE follows the state news release in the Post Gazette that state prison population numbers decreased again in 2017. The
    PG story at that link had the Wolf administration saying that the 2017 drop represents the fourth straight year that the total inmate population has
    gone down. In fact, administration officials call last year’s decrease the "largest on record."

    RAVES that former county prison designer and prison consultant Tom Crabtree has been proven wrong for the fourth consecutive year since he
    said, confidentaly in 2013, that county and state prison populations would rise, in spite of the implementation of specialized courts to divert
    incarcerations for those with mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues or veterans status.

    As readers here recall all too well, Crabtree urged county leaders to proceed with the huge, industrial size prison he designed, because prison
    populations, in Crabtree's opinion, soon would swell more to demand incarceration space and rehabilitation space for almost 500 inmates on any
    given day.

    Since ground hasn't been broken yet on a county jail, it's safe to assume that the county really could not and still cannot afford the financial
    burden of the huge, all-new jail that Crabtree pitched, as one of a few options to the county, in his firms' pricey needs assessment report on Fay's
    current and future prison needs.

    RAVES of hope that any future jail planners never take anything but Crabtree's pretty drawings seriously again, since state data proved him wrong
    now, 4 years in a row, since the words first came from his mouth. (22 Jan 18)


    "Quote Of The Day"

    "I have not directed the county solicitor nor the county zoning office to cite him. This will be aggressively defended as I am not going to continue
    to be a scapegoat in lawsuits..."

    Angela Zimmerlink, Fayette County Commissioner, as said, or reported as having said to the Herald Standard, which sought reaction to the
    commissioner, the county and a Lemont Furnace couple being sued by an area man, over zoning issues in which the commissioner has no

    * from Jan. 22, 2018, Heraldstandard.com, "Lemont Furnace business owner files lawsuit against county and neighbors"


    Fay, sadly, all over state-wide poverty list

    RANTS that so much of beautiful Fayette County landed up on a sad list that PennLive compiled of the top 35 communities with the most poverty.

    Towns or areas named have 30 percent or more of their populations living in poverty, or on less than $25,000 a year incomes, including families of

    Masontown in the 33rd position, Uniontown at 28th place, Bownsville at 26th and German Towmship (McClellandtown, Edenborn, Leckrone,
    Ronco, Footedale, Adah, Palmer, Hibbs, and Lambert) at 21st place, all made PennLive's sad poverty list.

    RANTS because we just know it, that more of Fay towns, boroughs or cities would be named if PennLive's list went to, say 100 or more. (18 Jan


    Ironic "Quote Of The Day" from the employer of the food service vendor caught smuggling in toxic drugs thought to
    have sickened a dozen Allegheny County Jail officers during searches for contraband

    "Our efficient programs, procedures and protocols allow us to provide menus that positively impact inmate behavior, which allows your staff to
    remain focused on managing facility security."
    Summit Food Services, from its website page titled "Food That Drives Positive Behavior," boasting that the company "has the experience
    and resources to provide high quality and value-driven food service programs to meet the daily demands within correctional facilities"


    This 66-degree gift of a day

    RAVES for this glorious, sunny 66-degree gift of a day in between the last and next round of ice, snow, frigid temperatures and frozen pipes.

    Savour the day and any more that we're fortunate enough to get before the winter gear gets pulled back on and Spring really does arrive two
    months down the road. (11 Jan 18)  

    Audacious Al: still embarrassing Fay
    Some Connellsville hotel investors suing fellow investors

    RAVES with applause to the Daily Courier, for digging up an authentic, real news story, on some investors in Connellsville's Cobblestone Hotel
    accusing fellow investors of breach of contract, embezzlement and fraud, in a mouth-dropping, 17-count civil action suit.

    As per the Courier's "Cobblestone embroiled in controversy: F.C. judge orders principals to report hotel finances to limited partners," some hotel
    investors are at legal odds with another handful of other investors, including former county commissioner Al Ambrosini and his former campaign
    staff/courthouse assistant/former Connellsville Redevelopment Authority member Geno Gallo.

    The duo first was sued in Allegheny County courts three months ago, by the same fellow investors, in an action that was later dropped. The
    matter now, however, is in Fayette County courts. The investors suing fellow investors Ambrosini, Gallo and others seek $35,000 for most of the
    17 different counts, as per the Courier.    

    As per online information about the $5 million hotel, funding for its construction came from private sources and a significant amount of public funds
    as well.

    That said, RANTS that anyone would dare to disregard his or her signed group agreement to include each investor in key business decisions  --
    you know, such as borrowing $200,000, reportedly, to meet basic hotel operational costs.

    This time, after all, it wasn't Zimmerlink kept out of the loop in the next office who didn't get the papers. It was a handful of serious investors who
    deserve to have their investments returned -- i.e., if there was or still is a profit to be returned.  


    RANTS, at a time when Connellsville desperately needs all the jobs it can possibly get, that these ridiculous shenanigans are real but such surreal
    news. Again, we stress appreciation to The Courier for the story. That's not the problem. It should be in the news.

    It's just that the court's time should not have to be wasted insisting that Ambrosini's handful group of principal investors update limited investment
    partners with a monthly fiscal report. This really is ridiculous.

    Any Fay judge who hasn't had time yet in almost one year to hear the county's motions to overturn two of Rants&Raves' Office of Open Records
    appeal wins should be much, much too busy to waste time providing basic 101 business tutorials to Ambrosini and the other defendants. A judge
    should have to order that written advance consent be obtained for future loans or major expenses not previously agreed upon by the rest of the
    investors? Really?

    Does a quacking duck really not echo? (5 Jan 18)

    "Quotes Of The Day"

    "I don't feel sorry for those investors. They should have known not to go into business with someone who lied in a recorded public meeting that he
    created over 120 jobs with the power company on Route 201 paying $60,000-$120,000 salaries. I spent an hour driving 201 looking for the place."
    Pete, to all of us, this morning at the diner, as he read The Daily Courier's story referenced above, referencing past dialogue at a county commissioner
    meeting when citizens questioned the validity of the impressive but proven to be untrue whopper

    "I don't believe you! You're making this up!"
    Moi, violating the Think Tank's cardinal rule not to grab away a paper or read over someone's shoulder, needing to get a look at actual print, because Pete
    can jag anyone around convincingly for a while, before he starts to smile and give himself away;
    Moi, shaking my head in disbelief of what was in print before us

    "No (expletive) way!"
    Pete's wife, coming in for a closer read, too, since she, too, thought Pete was joshing

    Meanwhile, 15 minutes later...

    "Look, the paper sold out. Think the people at the paper realize that copies sell off the stands when there's real news on the front page?"
    Pete's observant grandson in his second year of college commenting on the empty newspaper shelf


    RAVES for a beautiful white Christmas after all.  (25 Dec 17)
    436 days... since
    Rants&Raves requested A
    Right To Know to obtain
    records of county
    contracting rates and the
    spending of public funds
    346 days... with no court date set yet, since the County filed in Court of
    Common Pleas to set aside this column's last 2 of 3 successful state Office of Open
    Records appeals to obtain information that the County denied under the Right To
    Know Law.

    Could it be that no county judge wants to set aside a state OOR decision? Could it be
    no judge wants to have to ask why the County gave sworn affidavits to the OOR that
    the information didn't exist, although previously obtained RTK answers proved that
    the County did have the information? Could it be no judge wants to open that can of
    Perjury Worms?

    Could it be that the County parked the matter in "legal" limbo by filing to set aside
    the OOR rulings until this column likewise files to dismiss the County's cowardly
    filed petition?  

    Could it be all of the above? jt