RANTS & RAVES April - May, 2015
If not, why not?
Was it bid rigging going on?
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but some ongoing thoughts behind a commissioner's shameful allegation against
another commissioner that both area newspapers just as shamefully have consciously chosen to ignore. Please
click here to read more of "Did Zapotosky derail jail project over bid rigging?" (31 May 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"Why can't Fayette government do a better job planning budgets ahead of time, with salary raises in mind, instead of
granting unplanned individual raises during the fiscal year? These guys just cannot stick to a budget if their lives depended
Dave, this morning at the diner, reading the papers about a few pay raises granted yesterday by the county salary board,
referring to a few raises given to specific staff, including a $3,000 raise for a newly hired assistant on the job for a few
"Here's what bothers me. A female got a raise yesterday only because a man was hired in a duplicate position and given a
$3,000 raise after accepting a job last month at the lower salary. Did this happen when two other women previously were
hired and served in his new position? Would these 2 raises have been considered yesterday if a woman had got the new job
last month instead of a man? I doubt it!"
Pete's wife, chiming in on what she views as sexist mentality in full bloom at the courthouse
and online voting and opening up primaries to Independent voters. Some people tell me they don't vote to avoid serving on
jury duty. Lets start packing juries with non-voters first before we start expanding government more with costly panels."
Pete, adding his two cents on low state-wide and county voter turnout
Will record-low 3 cage rentals improve Al's fuzzy math skills?
RAVES that out of county jail cell rentals have been light this month and to date in 2015 on the county coffers, reportedly, now
with just 3 inmates housed outside Fayette in May.
RAVES that this new low number of 3 is helped along by the implementation of various treatment and specialized (mental
health, drug and alcohol, veterans) courts and the day reporting center, to divert incarcerations. A random sampling of various
past data from county prison board meeting minutes showed 68 inmates housed elsewhere in April of 2013, 50 inmates
housed out of county in June of 2014, and 64 housed elsewhere in October of 2012.
RAVES to having a mere 3 now!
With the low May number of out of county reportedly being just 3, the lowest in years, may we see a show of hands of ANYone
out there who believes that out of county rentals always cost $200,000 per month, as Commissioner Al Ambrosini has stated
publicly and in paid ads many times? RAVES to a few area junior high and high school students who excel at math and have
offered their services to tutor the commissioner in math. (27 May 15)
Lightning bugs in the field: summer is here!
RAVES, not just for a wonderful Memorial Day, but for the other unofficial start of summer coinciding today as well.
RAVES for the slightly earlier than usual, welcomed return of the field of lightning bugs out back, to add to the beauty of our
evening and night sky, taking it all in from the patio. (25 May 15)
"Quote Of The Day" from the edge
"I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to assure my re-election in the Primary! I am honored to serve
everyone one in Fayette County."
Al Ambrosini, on his election web page, written exactly as it appears above, on May 22, thanking voters, apparently,
unaware that he could not lose in the Democrat primary because nobody else was on the ballot; Ambrosini, misinforming
us again, by claiming to "serve everyone" in the county; Ambrosini, maybe trying to smooth over facts, such as, that he
wanted to allow 30-45 minutes for an entire meeting and give a large crowd of citizens 5-10 minutes total to speak... so
that he could roll right over them, to vote publicly to buy a pyrite wasteland jail land, for $1.25 million dollars, in a
controversial no-bid land purchase
And when does the bogus LLC laundering round up start?
So who wrote that anonymous warning of the big raid?
RANTS because after a few weeks, we still do not know whether someone made an impressively detailed psychic
prediction which came to pass, or whether an anonymous post on an online community communication board was
a no-no message leaked about an FBI-led investigation and big raid in a few days that would bring down well-
known people around town.
Oh, then there's that other possibility.
"Hey, Nancy Drew, don't you think that somebody picked up and released before the raid put that message on that
website to caution contacts to lay low?" someone asked.
Asking was a county man, with no known outstanding warrants, no known criminal arrest or incarceration records,
and no known ties to any of the local businessmen, officials/former officials or residents rounded up in Fayette two
weeks ago in a heroin money laundering ring, and no known ties to ones that the feds, reportedly, are still
searching for since the raid or in witness protection.
These days, though, it's probably safer to insert the word "known" a few times in the previous sentence.
No Drewing around that way is needed, because so many heard the names, which private clubs some left from in
handcuffs, which of Uniontown's successful businessmen/former officials/officials had oodles of empty area-made
candy boxes, which of the group supposedly had heroin, who had millions of dirty cash on hand, which former
official with current ties to county authorities is still on the run hiding or in witness protection, and how local
authorities were as surprised that the raid was coming as were those who were nabbed.
The big mystery here is the identity of someone, who, days beforehand, wrote that amazing, dead-on premonition,
or declaration of a pending, big raid of some of Fayette's known business men/officials/former officials, on the
anonymous public message board?
Until we know the answer to that question, the reasons why not one bit of information has been formally released
about those charged in what's described as a mega-million dollar heroin money laundering machine seems just as
fishy. (23 May 15)
O'Keefe's awkward, extended silence: no, really, nobody died
When the primary race for county commissioner first came down to what seemed to be an eternity, for 7
remaining voting precincts to report tallies, and it appeared the minority commissioner incumbent was comfortably
in the lead, those watching an election night web cast from a local newspaper editor, Mark O'Keefe of the Herald
Standard, saw his awkward moments of silence and shock.
"Silence is golden," he finally said, following an extended period of awkward silence on his part. The silent gap in
audio was unusually long enough to send some watching his newspaper's election result web cast over to adjust
speakers, thought possibly to be not working.
Why the editor grew shocked and silent demonstrates a sad commentary on the political climate here. Anyone
watching his post election web cast couldn't help but notice his personal upset.
"He read results and I thought he would move right along on to other races, without insults, when near final results
showed (Commissioner Angela) Zimmerlink with a comfortable Republican primary lead. O'Keefe couldn't do that,
That reader here was correct. The editor childishly insulted Zimmerlink's lead, which, in his opinion, should have
exceeded her 29% of the vote with 3 opponents. RAVES to the interrupting second on camera webcast panelist,
for pointing out that Commissioner Al Ambrosini came in way behind his Democrat opponent, with a far larger gap
between him and his Democrat challenger.
On incumbent Ambrosini's showing, coming in with 6,747 votes compared to his opponent's 9,988 total, the
newspaper editor seemed not to want to address it or throw a similar dig of insult Ambrosini's way -- i.e., for
example, for not even having close to the same amount of votes as his only Democrat primary challenger got.
That 3,241 Democrat voters either left one vote blank or wrote in another name not to vote for Ambrosini was
significant enough a result to draw an editorial comment or gasp.
Instead, however, there was that awkward, extended moment or ten of silence, as though someone had died.
Well, nobody died.
Voters made choices that the editor of the local paper seemed to disbelieve, during his long, extended period of
awkward silence and shock. In spite of all of his long-time Zimmerlink bashing, O'Keefe having black and white
proof that voters ignored many of the paper's political candidate endorsements and news stories and editorials
bashing her with incorrect information that the paper never thought ethically needed corrected.
Silence is golden sometimes. In this instance, the local editor's extended, awkward, unusually long period of
silence, while the web cast was aired was insulting to Zimmerlink, the editor's election night web cast viewers and
even some of his own embarrassed staff.
The extended, awkward, unusually period of silence spoke volumes about the inherent bias of his that the
hometown editor allows to affect his work and negatively influence some of the more easily duped minds in the
RAVES that the thinking public saw right through it. (22 May 15)
Underdog gets top GOP vote!
As per late night Fayette County Election Bureau stats, Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink received the most votes
from her fellow Republicans.
For the office of county commissioner, the following vote tally numbers are as follows:
2,902 Zimmerlink 9,988 Vicites
2,703 Lohr -6,747 Ambrosini
1,873 Hovanec 3,241 left 1 choice blank or wrote in alternate to Ambrosini
such respectable RAVES, to Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink and Dr. Evelyn Hovanec, for both running such respectable,
insightful, honest, down to earth, voter friendly campaigns ever.
RAVES to Dr. Hovanec for motivating lots of us to pay more attention to our government and to make it better.
Zimmerlink, in all she does daily in the best interests of the public, as well as everything and everyone represented by
Hovanec's efforts with the Referendum Group, are to be commended and sincerely thanked for having much to do with voters
sending some incumbents a strong message, across the board this primary election.
Both ladies should feel very proud tonight, even though it appears that only one will make it to the general election ballot in
November. These really are the types of people who make this county a better place. (20 May 15)
"The Quotes Of The Night" on the tallying of the votes
"She seems to have pulled it off! She spent what? Something like $1.98 on a campaign? She got little press
when others were always getting press. She had all the untrue, negative ads aimed at her. She had biased
editorials written against her and biased writers spinning the truth to make her look bad. She finished first. This
primary election results may mean that the intelligence of the county just got a boost."
Pete, late night, as votes came in from the last few precincts and incumbent Angela Zimmerlink appears to have
received the top number of Republican votes and comically left some biased editors speechless over at the live
"That was good. Can you play it again?"
Dave, watching the local paper's live vote tally broadcast, asking for a replay of the video of the stunned editor's
reaction to the vote tally of Republicans heading onto the November ballot
Zimmerlink - Hovanec
On this Election Eve, as the fiasco of last week's misplaced 2011 MOA labor union document (for the sole
purpose of construction of a prison) magically resurfaced to be quickly revised to include all construction over
$500,000, embarrassingly makes it onto the Trib newsboy's editorial page for some additional 200,000 people to
read about... and as a commissioner's pal discussed below in purple resurfaces to request that additional
information be shared with readers, it's just about time to call it a night.
The election tomorrow should be about much more than a jail. If 3 people want to approve a jail, it's a few hours of
paperwork time, with all the planning done to date. Then what do they do with the rest of a 4-year term?
Three of the county commissioner candidates have little of merit to offer, except their repetitive promises to
bankrupt the county with a new jail when there are more cost effective plans underway downtown that are as good
as any other can be.
Three of the candidates are on record of lying.
A fourth, well, there's no consideration since he engaged in sexist behavior at public meetings in past years in
public service, never apologized for it, and shirked his responsibility by leaving the others the mess of planning a
budget, the single-most important job that commissioners of any county have.
intelligent, down to earth, honest candidates, who clearly have the best heads on their shoulders to be running the
county. These ladies could be a powerhouse force together, moving this county along as no other combination of
any of those candidates could possibly do.
It's a crucial time for Fayette. The corruption, the kickbacks, the negatives really are killing Fayette as we know it.
Contrary to some whose toes she has stepped on, Angela Zimmerlink is not the force killing this county. She
clearly could be governor one day, if she wanted to run the state. She's that good at her job.
In an ideal world, Zimmerlink's next term will be shared downtown with Dr. Evelyn Hovanec, on the next board of
county commissioners. They could earn Fayette spots on big city editorial pages for positive reasons and kick
serious ass for this county.
Nobody, nobody, nobody and nobody else running can come close. (18 May 15)
Will info be released after Election Day? Are bogus LLC raids next?
What about the big heroin money laundering raid?
RANTS that nothing "official" is announced yet, following the big FBI-led raid earlier this month, during which an
Allegheny County detective passed away from cardiac problems while serving Fayette search and arrest warrants
at private clubs and car dealerships.
While nothing "official'' has been announced, RANTS that so much information seems to have been leaked anyway.
Confirmations were made from relatives and friends of some detainees and some involved with the raid. RANTS
that so many millions of heroin laundering dollars seem to have been at home in Fayette for some time. Stories of
found empty local chocolate boxes and some drugs found are either the honest to goodness truth or pure fiction.
At this point in time, though nothing "official" is announced -- no names, no info -- word seems to indicate that the
sting brought in several well known residents, professionals and individuals with strong family ties to county
RAVES, in the meantime, however, that some bogus Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and other questionable
phantom county businesses run by notable people, seem to be getting a closer investigative look, as per one
source. (18 May 15)
Pal asks for proof that Audacious Al is lying
RAVES that Commissioner Al Ambrosini just really may have a true friend who cares whether the man is really
delusional or lying.
In follow up to that individual's sincere request to see proof that Ambrosini has a goofy fixation with quoting the
exaggerated $200,000 per month out of county cage rentals cost, some previously obtained Right To Know
information was shared.
"Do you think it would have an impact if we put the actual costs on that tall, electronic billboard on Crawford and
Rt. 201? He probably could see it from his house. Think that would help him get it straight?" I asked.
The ink on a new Right To Know request today was not dry yet, when word came that the actual costs for most of
2014 have been published online. No where on the list of expenses are 6 digits, let alone $200,000, shown.
Monthly costs today are about $23,000.
Ambrosini's pal gulped. He gulped and sort of looked away. A definite lump in his throat stalled him from
completing his sentence. He asked to receive this link to the webpages from Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink that
he was just shown.
"Are you sure she won't know if I read her website?" he asked and stopped asking me to stop calling his pal
His pal, Audacious Al Ambrosini, may be the only one of us who does not believe his jail warden's recent statement
-- that costs for out of county cage rentals for the first 3 months of 2015 were around $70,000 total -- but at least
someone who genuinely seems to care about the commissioner's twisted logic now knows the facts and isn't
comfortable with what he learned.
The same information is available through the controller's office as well. (18 May 15)
"Quotes Of The Day" among good Christians
"Vote for ____ for county commissioner. He's married to _____. He's such a good Christian!"
Woman outside the mall, to a man she recognized walking across the parking lot
"How can a good Christian lie in his paid ads as he did?"
Different woman getting back into her jeep, butting in, overhearing the woman campaigning for ______ solely because
he's a Christian married to her former classmate decades ago
"What's your (expletive) problem?"
Woman campaigning for the Good Christian, to the one in the jeep
"Voting for someone just because he's any certain religion is worse actually than refusing to vote for someone solely
because you don't like his religion."
Woman leaving in the jeep
Al's mentoring them, maybe?
Why are Lion and Lohr so uninformed and lying?
RANTS that some people running for political office don't know their ass from a hole in the ground in some cases before
opening their mouths to the press.
Bigger RANTS, though, when the press plays -- or is -- stupid and asks no feedback questions to misinformation and lies.
RANTS that there is such a gross neglect of the media to report on public officials lying in public meetings, being called on it
and totally ignored.
But, for the moment, back to the political candidates who know not their asses from holes in the ground.
To be out shopping and be approached by unwelcomed political stalkers, promoting his or her candidate for office is usually
something I enjoy. Today was different. I had just read the paper and read that Dave Lohr and Pat Lion, seeking the
Republican nomination, dared be running and so ignorant of the events of county business and past business transactions.
How can Lohr think it's right to try to create a false sense of urgency among voters to say that the county needs to move
quickly to get a good credit interest rate for a new jail?
What a disservice Lohr and Lion are doing to Fayette residents and the Republicans by parroting anything negative and the
same lying or untrue things, misinformation and putridly untrue statements, presented shamefully as fact by Democrat Al
People who follow county government rather closely recall the commissioners approving a $10 million line of credit 7 months
ago. Interest rates at that time were applied at money the county borrowed in 2014 at 2.6 percent and 3 percent in 2015. In
2016, the rate increases to 3.4 percent.
On several occasions -- again, to those paying attention -- county commissioners have openly stated that the current in place,
authorized, approved, progressing downtown jail addition and expansion will be done in phases.
They seem to have all bases covered that way. They had paid attention to the former controller and then the Susquehanna
group and got that prison project funding line of credit in place. Why doesn't Lohr and Lion know this? Especially given their
professions, one would think they really should have known when prices were being gathered last fall that the commissioners
were aiming to borrow big money or establish lines of credit in the tens of millions of dollars.
It would appear to anyone in the thinking public, who recalled funding for what is needed is already in place, and has been for
the last 7 months, that Lohr and Lion know too little about what has transpired in public meetings about the jail. Their parrot
echo of Ambrosini's incorrect ramblings is inexcusable. Records of county business are documented and easily found in
county commission meeting minutes and video.
As this editor said to Lion's political enthusiast today, Lion has no idea how to run a county and he too often says nothing but
negatives, misinformation or lies about others who may be his co-commissioners one day. As hysterical candidates screaming
the sky is falling, Lohr and Lion both should have already known about the open line of credit for jail construction expenses
that the county inked 7 months ago and appreciate the fact that overcrowding and recidivism are being addressed already.
With Ambrosini having been caught many times in lies and quotes of misinformation, Lohr and Lion should be smart enough to
know not to repeat anything the commissioner says.
Apparently, they are not. (17 May 15)
RANTS that we haven't heard from Neuman in quite some time. So much has happened. It would be interesting to read
Neuman's take on the last few political seasons, especially since plans in place downtown for additions/expansions/revamping
old at the current location are underway, funding intact.
While the Real Obstructionists ignore all that progress and whine that Fayette must have an all-new jail outside of downtown,
some of the original Obstructionists raise even more recent valid points, still ask for the truth from elected officials, sometimes
still exposing the truth that the official has lied, still plead for honesty and accuracy from elected officials when giving
comments to the press and still plead, till they're blue or red in the face, for no bias from the media when reporting the news.
For goodness sake, audiologists are writing in to ask if we're sure the former county commission chair might not have a
hearing problem -- i.e., if he continues to answer $200,000 per month when asked how much out of county jail rentals cost,
when he heard the warden previously state that $70,000 was spent from January through March.
When you see it play out live in front of you like a bad movie, nah, misguided hearing impaired advocates, one knows that the
smirking former commission chairman hears just fine. (17 May 15)
Downtown jail plans moving along
RAVES that the downtown jail addition/renovation plans are progressing smoothly, as per county commissioners today.
As per Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, one survey is completed and the geotechnical survey is three-quarters done.
Since bore testing at the downtown jail property behind the courthouse was previously done by another architectural and
engineering firm, those older tests will be incorporated into the current geotechnical land survey. Commissioner Vince
Zapotosky informed the public that more jail cells have been added to the original plan.
RANTS that the reports weren't completed last month as the original timeline was given, but RAVES that things are finally
starting to materialize downtown. A conceptual drawing should be available soon. (14 May 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"So the emails that Zapotosky said in the paper (Herald Standard) yesterday that "were going back and forth" to county
staff about the vanished Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) between the county and Pittsburgh building trades
companies really were not sent?"
Dave, asking questions tonight
"Nope. No emails were sent at all. That was misinformation given to the media. His assistant and Zimmerlink said so at
today's meeting. The 2011 MOA, that some had trouble locating, was written specifically for construction of a correctional
facility, but not general construction."
"So the zoning staff quoted in today's paper (Trib) saying the airport hazard overlay was never developed or adopted by the
county is wrong?"
Dave, asking again for clarification of the 2006 zoning that defines allowances for development 20,000 feet in distance
from the airport
"Yep, it was adopted by unanimous commissioner approval and the BOA uses it as a state model for other counties."
Moi, adding that Commissioner Ambrosini, who previously told papers and groups gathered that the overlay piece did not
exist at all, today said the BOA uses only the overlay as a reference for airport runways
Former assistant working at airport
Dem commish hires Republican assistant
Commissioner Al Ambrosini hired a new assistant, effective tomorrow, to replace his second assistant who quit two months
Ambrosini friend and Connellsville Planning Commission's Geno Gallo was hired to fill the vacant position at a salary of about
$25,000. When confirming that he actually interviewed others, Ambrosini said he interviewed persons with masters degrees
interviewing for an administrative assistant position. Gallo's credentials were not discussed at the meeting.
RAVES of hope at this busy time downtown that this new assistant will work with all commissioners and staff and carry his
weight with office work. Amen.
As for Ambrosini's second former assistant, she is helping out at the airport these days, after the manager's 4th bookkeeper
left a goodbye note and quit. (14 May 15)
Early boot Springsteen tunes warm a 30-degree May day
RAVES of sincere thanks and appreciation to old college friends, who also suffer from The Music Sickness and enjoy dropping
by to read here, for stuffing the mailbox, over the miles, with classic bootleg copies of early Springsteen and the E Street Band
performances, to replace precious copies lost over the years. The timing was perfect! (13 May 15)
"Quotes Of The Day" on this 6th day before Election Day
"I can understand why Al distorts reality and lies in his political ads against Zimmerlink. He's (expletive) touched, for
goodness sake! I don't understand why Lion and Lohr repeat the same crap he says without fact checking. Don't they
realize how (expletive) stupid it makes them look to the thinking public? I expected better from them."
Pete, this evening, reacting to ads targeting Zimmerlink with misinformation galore
"I'm an elected official, not a politician."
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, on AM talk radio today, discussing her list of accomplishments in 12 years in office,
the current political ad smear campaigns against her by 1 Democrat and 2 Republican opponents, encouraging people to
read her website, call her at home to discuss issues or ask how to access documentation as proof that the 3 men lied or
pathetically distorted reality in paid advertisements
But why would we know when nobody told us?
Who knew about the former controller's discrimination suit?
So much was made of Commissioner Al Ambrosini hiring his political campaign contributor and Tim Mahoney's lawyer, Ken
Berkley of Westmoreland County, for $4,000 per month, to save Fayette from financially crippling lawsuits.
During all that time, with Berkley working as interim county solicitor to straighten out what Ambrosini over-exaggerated and
claimed to be a staggering, out of control situation, we heard about several suits and thought we knew about them all.
Why weren't we told that the former county controller filed a civil suit against the county for discrimination? We learned about
the gentleman's slip and fall injury suit, but why haven't we been told that there was a discrimination case filed against the
county by a high-ranking elected official?
Had this discrimination suit been filed against the minority commissioner alone, no doubt, we all would have read and heard all
about it many, many times. A discrimination suit against the minority commissioner alone would have been featured in both
local papers, editorialized about downtown and used as political mud and muck for other office seekers to throw between now
That said, the minority commissioner this evening said that to her knowledge "at this time all Sean Lally cases are active." (12
Editor's Note: Right To Know requests are sent to learn:
These RTK requests follow previous attempts to ask commissioners about a possible discrimination lawsuit
settlement and the sheriff about the evidence weapons, as to whether the gun removed was just one sad, isolated
case of one and no more than one missing gun. (10 May 15)
Happy Mother's Day!
On da big drug bust
Was Al talking out of his wazoo again?
mysterious FBI-led drug sting. Ambrosini seemed pretty confident when he said so.
To the general public, which knows basically very little other than 11 locations drew the FBI-led investigation and agents, we
know only what the papers have told us. In follow up to Ambrosini's comments on the AM radio talk show, the other two
commissioners were asked whether they were privy to information which Ambrosini seemed to know.
One who was reached, Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, said no.
In regard to the big, mysterious FBI-led sting and descent upon Fayette to present search warrants and conduct arrests, the
general public knows little still about it. We know only what little the papers printed. And now, as Ambrosini told radioland
listeners, we learn that those rounded up were taken right off to federal jails.
No names of those arrested or lists of types of collected evidence have been published in the papers. Not that we have those
Allegheny agents weigh in
While a now-retired federal investigator would not discuss why he was consulted in the Fayette matter, he admitted that he
was consulted informally along the way. He said he was asked a few questions about his experiences working into Fayette
and was asked nothing case specific about the 11 spots hit in the sting.
The longer he talked, however, the more he did end up saying. It appears that it may take a while until all in the Pittsburgh
area stop resenting Fayette County's incompetent, corrupt system. An agent from Allegheny County passed away while
working that day here. It seems understandable why some feel that the lost agent might be here still, if Fayette's system could
have been fully trusted to pull off the sting professionally and by the book and the lost agent hadn't had to go to Fayette that
With those relatively few words around the subject, the source said a real mouthful. It was one thing to hear similar whispers
locally, but another entirely to hear someone from another county talk so poorly of Fayette's credibility and scoff at Fayette for
needing grand juries to point prosecutors in the right direction.
such a large troupe arrest at so many sites? Once. Someone very high profile and politically connected.
An hour later, he sent a follow up message that he recalled a second instance -- when someone entered a witness protection
Prior to his retirement, he said he worked a few times out of Fayette. He said one common opinion was formed long ago about
a distinct difference in Fayette than he observed in other adjoining counties. Here, he said, a few noted families in power ran,
owned buildings, owned liquor licences and/or directly ran a few of the most notorious Fayette crack bars for years.
"Only when the joint got raided, it was an addict without two nickels to rub together, who, as the bar operator, did time in a
federal pen," he said.
"Fayette's unique to other areas because some of your top citizens there created more addicts with their crack and drug bars
than you might have had there without their crack bars," he added.
"Fayette's drug problem started to spiral with those couple bars and clubs those few same families owned or ran. They made
the problem much worse," the source concluded.
While that source had no case specific information about Fayette's recent FBI-led sting to offer, that source, true to his word,
did get another source to talk without being asked any questions. In his experience, information isn't always released when
charges are still incomplete, and when large sums of money are removed with search warrants. He declined comment on
whether a county commissioner might or should know, in this specific case, that more arrests will follow.
He declined comment, too, as to whether anonymous writings, warning that a big bust of well known people was coming,
posted online to a community discussion website prior to the FBI-led sting, are being investigated. Was it all just nonsense or
coincidence, or did someone blogging intend to obstruct justice and leak information for valuable heads up notice for some to
move contraband and others to stay away from one another for a while?
If there's a blank list of contraband confiscated released for public knowledge one day in this case, the answer to those last 2
questions asked above very well could be no and yes. (9 May 15)
"Quotes Of The Day" that nobody challenges when you pay for
radio spots & time so that nobody will challenge you...
"I'm into this process."
Commissioner Al Ambrosini, today's AM talk radio show, going on about all his hard work and efforts to bring high
paying, family sustainable jobs to the county, not giving concrete or even vague examples of what he defines as work or
names of businesses
"The county spent about $65,000-$70,000 for out of county jail rentals for the first quarter of 2015. Is he on crack?"
Pete, today at the diner, listening to Ambrosini again promote fairy tale as fact on the radio, stating for the 9,000th time
incorrectly that it costs each month $200,000 for housing and transportation for prisoners incarcerated in other counties;
Pete, asking again for this editor to send a Right To Know request, to learn if other county wardens are taking our inmates
out for daily charter bus tours up to the Canadian Dairy Queen and blowing $550,000 that way
Was Fay DA even privy prior to FBI-led raid?
Why no further comments on the big raid?
RANTS that no additional details have become available formally to the public about a raid of FBI, state and county
officials this week. No follow up stories have been published in the paper, listing the 11 locations of the raid route
or any other specifics... or even a quick story to let citizens know that the papers tried to ask but got no comment.
follow? Or charges to be ignored?
RANTS because for every official saying details have to remain confidential, there are one or twelve people from
the community, all referencing the same drug dealers' name.
Could this be about a gent, very well known in the inner circles of some public officials? Some elected ones
proudly have gone to court as character witnesses or wrote letters of praise for him for easier sentencing or
preferential treatment from the courts in sentencing on weapons and drug charges lodged against him by the FBI,
the Internal Revenue Service, the Caribbean Gang Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
If it is all about this one special friend, is this case related to a mail contractor driver being indicted by a federal
grand jury yesterday for swiping $20 cash from a letter he transported?
Where, oh where, are the reporters? (7 May 15)
Any candidates not superstitious enough to stay away?
Hot political candidate forum planned for Thursday
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of another opportunity for voters to gather for a public political candidate forum on
Thursday, May 7th, at 6 PM.
The Fayette Patriots will be hosting an open public forum for voters to submit questions to all the candidates from both parties.
Any candidate running for office in May is invited to attend. The forum will be held at the Patriot Headquarters, at 72 E. Fayette
Not only can voters ask the hard questions of the candidate, a free diner is provided, starting at 6:00.
The event will start with a forum for county commissioner candidates. Each Candidate will be give 2 minutes for an
introduction, followed by random questions that have been submitted. For more information please message or call 724-438-
Since the Patriots have hosted these pre-election events, only 3 invited candidates did not attend. As per Patriot information,
all 3 who did not attend and participate lost their bids for office. (4 May 15)
DA hogs credit on tv for township cop's work
RAVES and a happy dance because more than 100 bricks of heroin won't be available for purchase in Fayette County,
following a bust earlier this month. Nothing -- not one single written word -- to follow here takes away from the stupendously
wonderful fact that there will be $51,000 less heroin available to go around for local addicts.
That said, RANTS to the local DA for seeming to forget that a Redstone cop noticed an expired auto registration tag and found
8 of those 100 bricks in a purse, when the cop called for a tow truck and an auto inventory and summoned a canine officer and
county drug task force to the scene earlier this month.
When the television news cameras at WTAE rolled 25 days later yesterday, the DA, disappointingly, overlooked the township
cop's significant role. The television news report said that the DA "credited the detectives and K-9 unit with this drug bust
saying, 'This is a long continuing fight. One stop does not make for the end of drug trafficking in Fayette County but it is a
show that we're out there. We're out there every day."
RANTS that the pre-election gala presentation on television yesterday left television news viewers with the impression that the
DA and his drug task force made it all happen with secret detective work and surveillance.
In short, one township cop, who could have been wasted by heroin dealers along side the road, while bravely waiting for
everyone else to arrive, certainly deserved mention on television news.
RANTS of disappointment that the DA seemed to hog the undeserved full glory with limited information he made available
yesterday on a 25-day-old arrest. (30 Apr 15)
"Quotes Of The Day" on the airport stretch
"I wish the airport boomed. I want the airport to boom. But if the airport's current and past financial picture is as rosy as
painted at today's airport zoning hearing (for a variance to build new hangers) and they're raking in all that dough and
profiting as they claimed at today's hearing that they are, why in the world does the county give the airport authority tens
of thousands of annual dollars (about $70,000) to operate?"
Pete, tonight at the diner
"Can't someone be charged for giving false testimony at one of those things?"
Poli-sci major sitting next to Pete, in response
"Call the DA and ask. Fayette's rules are different than everywhere else."
Pete, adding that the county should not give the airport money, but should set specific purposes in writing on a county gift
if one is given in 2015; Pete, feeling that way since the $1 million dollar gift, being used to match a $1 million grant, has
conditions on its spending and provides reimbursement, as airport construction projects move along and the authority
spends money from a bank loan
Why the first report that no courthouse gun was missing?
Could more county evidence guns be missing, too?
RAVES that from now on there will be increased internal courthouse security measures that forbid virtually anyone with a
county employee ID to be allowed anytime access to the criminal court confiscated weapon stockpile.
In follow up to the earlier referenced suicide of a county worker, said to have shot himself 12 days ago with a county weapon
he took from the courthouse from work, the county will restrict access to offices with weapons storage areas to maintenance
Even more difficult to swallow than is the fact that custodians ever were allowed around-the-clock access to courthouse
confiscated weapon storage areas and inner government offices in the first place is the fact that separate, off the record
comments from county officials nearly 2 days after the death were that no weapon was missing from the courthouse.
owned weapons were all accounted for and nobody considered a 357 handgun was taken from a confiscated evidence court
weapons storage area.
Maybe then they were unaware that his note was a facebook photo of the taken gun and his keychain that was posted then
and, you know, never dreamed county staff could or would have taken something from evidence. RANTS that 12 days later, a
full inventory of the confiscated court evidence gun storage area is incomplete. Will we need a Grand Jury to learn whether
other weapons are also missing?
or is just stupid. (28 Apr 15)
Was unattended county-owned gun removed from courthouse?
was removed from the courthouse 10 or more days ago, by someone not employed with clearances to carry or transport a
work-issued hand gun.
Neither source, however, would confirm that a county-owned weapon definitely was removed from the courthouse and used in
a shooting that resulted in a fatality.
RANTS because it seems that so many in and out of the building on a daily basis seem to be aware of a few investigations
going on around them. Some were personally affected and saddened by the death, whether or not a county-owned weapon
was left unlocked, accessible and the one used.
Ten days into the investigations, we would hope that someone could assure us that no county-owned weapon was left
unattended, taken and used later in a fatal shooting, believed to have been a suicide. Is this a case where someone might still
be alive if a gun had been properly secured?
Email was sent to county officials late last week, asking for comment, but only on the investigation of the weapon. (26 Apr 15)
"Quote Of The Day"
"Without question, I am never coming back to Fayette County. I would never put another business in Fayette County, if it
was the last place on earth.”
Steve Laskey, Mt. Braddock industrial park business owner, very familiar to readers here since his appearance nearly 15
months ago, as shown in this video recording at a special meeting of the Fayette County Commissioners, where he asked
for flooding help at his industrial park business; Laskey, as quoted in today's Trib story, "Houston pipeline firm sues North
Union Township over road work," sadly, the very first time either of the two local papers printed a single word about
Laskey since the day after his plea to county officials to help on 2/26/14; Laskey, as quoted in today's paper, reacting to
news that a pipeline company a few years ago gave the township $50,000 of the estimated $180,000 needed to fix Laskey's
flooding problems and filed a civil suit against the township for not improving Laskey's flooding that increased once the
piping company moved into the industrial park, where stream flows were changed twice without DEP permit and an
abandoned coal mine is assumed to be acting as a sump
"And these so called county and other area elected officials wonder why some small business owners can't afford to anchor
in Fayette. Nobody buying into an industrial park should have to experience anything like Steve Laskey has. The
corruption involved behind the scenes of this drama, with missing or never obtained DEP permits to change streams, an
issued but not acted upon different DEP permit, possibly unaccounted for grant funds... and now this civil suit from the
pipeline company against the township, for not using $50,000 the company gave to the township to alleviate Laskey's
flooding problem... I'm about ready to become one of those indifferent, apathetic citizens who don't vote in case you're
looking for non voters for interview in the future!"
Pete, this morning at the diner, reading about Laskey in today's paper and simply blowing a gasket that the county
redevelopment authority, the township, the county commissioners and media failed Laskey and will eventually fail
Laskey's neighbor at the industrial park in time as well
"The logic is pure goofy that nobody can help him because he threatened to and then filed suit against the county and
township. His newer neighbor is a few feet from him. It's not just Laskey affected because someone mysteriously cut off
the overflow runoff water's path to Gist Run and diverted it into an abandoned mine. That's why I might become one of
those indifferent, apathetic people who don't vote as well."
Me, back at Pete, also feeling Laskey's pain and frustration
Paid professionals target minors for sex: a bigger threat to kids
than random street perverts or a weird uncle?
RANTS of the sick, twisted kind -- with so many teachers featured on daily tv news for having sexual contact with underage
kids -- that a fellow, adult teacher is now charged with witness intimidation of a minor named as a victim in an earlier case
against his friend.
If that's not all sickening enough for one day, RANTS that a local cop, who was terminated in 2013 from the county drug task
force for having sex with an adult drug informant, was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old, in exchange for leniency in
drug offense cases. Although this is still America and those charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of
law, it's another big headache for the courts now to sift through pending cases to determine how this person's sexual habits
will impact the county courts. Given that the charged former cop admitted in Grand Jury testimony last year to having sex with
the minor, it's a matter of time until some jail house convictions start their appeal process.
In the meantime, RANTS that it took so long, from that time of testimony until now, for the arrest to happen. RANTS that there
was a need at all in Fayette to convene a Grand Jury in this case. It should not have had to get to that point.
Why did it? (23 Apr 15)
ISO 5 or more regular readers who do not vote
Five or more unregistered voters residing in Fayette County, or unregistered voters, who lived in Fay for more than 10 years
and moved away in 2013-2014, are being asked to participate in a helpful, short, anonymous survey.
Participants will not be asked to register to vote, will not be asked about the jail and will not be solicited by any political
campaigns, as a result of answering a few questions here. Interested persons are asked send email by May 1 to
email@example.com to participate.
Editor's Note: The legal public notice ad was published with an incorrect date or the correct date but confusingly placed
elsewhere in the lengthy notice for the below referenced zoning hearing board matter.
It is unclear whether the county or the paper erred. A hearing is said to be scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, at 2 PM.
Or are we all just paranoid?
Will ZHB be asked to approve 2006 airport overlay
zoning ordinance changes?
RANTS that the mere thought of today's scheduled zoning hearing, pertaining to the airport hanger expansion project, brought
out the skepticism in an amazing number of people who initiated contact to share those concerns.
As per the published legal public notice, today's scheduled hearing is to be held for the sole purpose of presenting the airport
hanger expansion project.
Some skeptics in the field point out that the airport authority did not have to appear before the zoning hearing board just to
replace, upgrade or add hangers. Those folks believe that the zoning hearing today is really just a formal means for the
authority to try to change the 2006 airport zoning overlay ordinance.
Those same skeptics also note that the Bureau of Aviation needs to approve any overlay changes prior to the local
government changing or approving changes in it.
The 2006 Airport Overlay Zoning Ordinance put specific restrictions on development of land 20,000 feet from the airport. The
ordinance, that does not allow for a prison within that overlay space, became a topic of heated discussions at airport and
county meetings, as Commissioner Al Ambrosini misinformed the public and a gathered airport authority board by saying that
there was no such thing as a 2006 airport overlay ordinance. (22 Apr 15)
$13 million verdict sends message to all area companies
RAVES that a federal court awarded a Fayette woman $13 million for sexual discrimination and harassment, against a
Smithfield company that fired her from her management position of 6 years. RAVES, though nobody here knows the woman
personally, she may just have taken Fayette women in general more than a few steps ahead, along the road of progress, right
with her, with this case.
These newer companies, such as the one where she worked, are hailed as the new wave work force providers in this county.
We're going out of our way to welcome these companies, provide employer tax breaks, develop work industrial parks for their
work sites and better transportation routes around them to make their companies more viable ones in the competitive market.
RAVES that a jury spelled out discrimination and harassment based on sexual gender so clearly with this case.
Lets hope that this verdict sent chills down a few spineless backs of some spineless corporations and even public-funded
entities this morning. Our public officials, who entice these corporations here, must also absorb some of the blame here.
Perhaps companies such as this one would not discriminate by gender if their top administrators saw by example that there is
zero tolerance in Fayette for this kind of crap.
How would they know, though, when most county leaders and most elected state officials promote the same 'good ole boys
club' mentality to kick the woman down and pay her considerably less, just as the Smithfield company did? (21 Apr 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"I usually don't ask you guys to pray for someone, but a Connellsville man desperately needs our prayers to see the light!
He wrote a letter to the editor* today and said that (Commissioner Al) Ambrosini is 'well known as an individual who
conducts extensive research on an issue before proposing a resolution.'
Dave, this morning at the diner, as shrill gasps of disbelief and horror were heard and one woman made the sign of the cross
Front-page story misquotes deserve prompt, front-page corrections
RANTS because even though we're all human and naturally make mistakes, there's a point where one has to shake her or his
head and really wonder why there are so many mistakes.
Take, for instance, yesterday's hard copy newspaper* story about Commissioner Al Ambrosini's vacant assistant position not
being approved for hire at the county agenda meeting 6 days ago. There was a misquote from Commissioner Angela
Zimmerlink in yesterday's front-page, hard copy version.
While it's wonderful that the mistake was corrected in the online story yesterday, the front-page headline story yesterday with
the misquote should have been corrected today. The pdf online version of the paper today contains no such correction.
While what was or what was not really said doesn't greatly affect most of us on a day to day basis, imagine you're one of the
job applicants, the county's former HR director, or Ambrosini and that you read the misquote, thought Zimmerlink said
something completely opposite of what she actually said.
It's a real wonder there was not sky writing going on overhead here yesterday: "Zimmerlink lies to the press!"
To read more, please go to Zimmerlink's site for the April 19th message.
And for those keeping track... Ambrosini did not lie. Zimmerlink did not lie. The paper misquoted. (20 Apr 15)
*from the Herald Standard
"Quotes Of The Week"
"In truth, the commissioner has earned all of the criticism he has received. The gentleman’s problem began when he
confused his election with his coronation and immediately decreed that we must build a new prison."
John Cofchin, today, referring to Commissioner Al Ambrosini, in his letter to the editor at heraldstandard.com
"I have this question to ask of all the readers of this letter – who will blame me for the anger I felt that caused my loud,
though non-threatening comments during that non-meeting? Who will blame any citizen of this county for their frustration
and subsequent anger at a process whereby the above mentioned lies, deceit, and the propagation of such, have become the
Joe Shiffbauer, yesterday, commenting on decorum at county meetings, particularly a meeting 3 months ago, in his letter
to the editor at heraldstandard.com
"I see Gold Digger got her out of court settlement. It's a sad day when a county throws one of its own under the bus who
did nothing wrong. What are the chances of Gold Digger -- who did an interview with full name in the paper once --
overcoming her emotional upset to come out again, say, with an election letter to the editor describing the shame and
trauma she endured? I can see it already!"
Pete, today, at the diner
"It’s high time the 5th Presentment was unsealed, and it’s high time the citizens of this county received answers to some
very serious questions about how District Attorney Jack R. Heneks Jr., directed this grand jury."
Not Enough Said, yesterday, in regard to the unsealed, 5th remaining Grand Jury presentment, in "Fayette County
Investigating Grand Jury 5th Presentment Remains Sealed"
Didn't Al say that he wanted to help people?
Still no AA meetings scheduled at the county jail?
RANTS that we're still hearing that AA meetings are not being scheduled at the county jail. Twenty-one months ago -- when
jail administration whined that staff meetings and other causes were of higher priority and the one area of the jail, a chapel,
was needed for those other purposes -- one commissioner suggested that the commissioners courthouse meeting room in the
courthouse, a rarely used room, be used for jail staff meetings instead to make the chapel available for AA meetings.
Today, however, it's apparent that that change never happened. These days, the warden, through the chaplain, denies
entrance because AA members coming into the jail to conduct the meetings require background checks. Did anyone ever
previously inform AA leaders of that conditional piece?
Next question is, what will the next excuse be, if AA leaders agree to background checks and still are denied access?
Given that many AA members hold career and employment positions that require criminal clearances and background checks,
getting someone from that organization to conduct AA meetings at the jail should not be a problem.
This type of situation is exactly why we scoffed and winced from disbelief, when the former chairman of the commission board
put on his puppy eyes and pledged what seemed to be insincere support because he claimed that he wanted to help people.
Help them already by giving them their AA meetings. (15 Apr 15)
"Quote Of The Day" on bias
"After most of the candidates for commissioner say citizens and elected officials should not debate at public
meetings and, basically, that nobody show emotion at a "business" meeting, it's pretty funny reading this
editorial today supporting the exploration of Timmy's school district consolidations of administrative jobs and
functions. Not the idea itself is what's funny. This is.
"The paper says we should "step up and demand" that its discussion be put on school board meeting agendas if
boards do not initiate support for it. We should step up and demand of school districts, but it was not OK to step
up and question Ambrosini's little thought out jail plan and all its mega holes... and it wasn't OK if two citizens
in so many words said the same thing at a county meeting. It's OK to be an activist to push for Timmy's school
plan, but wasn't OK to want a say in the jail.
"That shows such bias, now doesn't it!"
Dave, this late afternoon in email, following an awesome Pirate home opener, this beautiful 80-degree day
At tomorrow's agenda meeting
County set to use same geotechnical engineer for downtown jail site work
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note to include tomorrow's meeting agenda for the monthly county agenda meeting.
Commissioners are set to vote to include on next week's business meeting these and other items:
report for the former prison architect and engineer, Crabtree-Sleighter, for the now shelved Fay Justice and Rehabilitation
Center in Dunbar Township. (13 Apr 15)
Paper deletes commish's online comment to letter to the ed
RANTS that the local heraldstandard.com editorial page editor rejected and deleted an online comment tagged by
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink to her published letter to the editor.
After the paper was published, Zimmerlink wrote the following online reader comment message, which appeared for several
hours after a editorial notation indicated the comment was to be deleted:
should know before forming an opinion and before writing the "Too Secret" Editorial."
Naturally, no reason was given for the rejection of the above comment to her published letter to the editor, but, meanwhile --
and though she didn't ask -- the paper's editorial page editor wrote to Zimmerlink today that the copy editors and paginators
write the titles to letters to the editor and that it has to be that way. She talked apples; he talked oranges.
For the record, Zimmerlink's letter to the editor contained no title because titles were previously changed that she wrote in
For the record, too, a quick check of online editorial comments and letters to the editor at other papers show thousands and
thousands of undeleted online comments critical of what those papers published on the editorial pages.
Imagine that! (12 Apr 15)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"No secrets. No one kept out of the loop. You just have to read your mail, show up for work and do your job."
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, today's heraldstandard.com, concluding her letter to the editor, critical of last week's
editorial, "Too secret," critical of her for keeping another commissioner out of the loop with the hiring of a human
"I have a hard time hiding my contempt for all things Fayette. I am from (another region), which is the polar
opposite of Fayette. I just shake my head because this place (Fayette) could be great and instead it has been
turned into a third world country by intent."
Former business manager of a Fayette-based operation, as stated in recent discussion here, in a "Will Fayette get what
it needs in the next election?" commentary exert; the former business manager, expressing amazement and
frustration experienced in that position, defining the meaning of the word "intent" as being the long arm reach of political
and community corruption on the front burner, with the swelling buddy hiring system and self interests of some key
decision makers taking selfish priority over the good of the region
Editor missed, ignored the whole point?
RANTS that the editor seemed to miss too much of the point -- that is, at least judging from another seemingly spun headline.
RANTS because it appears to these eyes that the headline on the letter to the editor on heraldstandard.com from
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink today should have read, "Zimmerlink criticizes editor, Ambrosini" for things said in last week's
editorial, "Too secret." (12 Apr 15)
While the above first "Quote of the Day" is taken from the last few sentences of Zimmerlink's letter to the editor published
today, the situation is reminiscent of a former editor, once upon a long ago time, who drank his lunch most work days and
returned to compose headlines to our daily stories, without fully reading the lead paragraphs or really much of our stories.
Even drunk most of the time after lunch, that former editor of mine, somehow, still got our headlines right most of the time. He
got his own headlines for his own editorials correct in all but 1 case, and later admitted that 1 snafu resulted because he was
unfairly biased against one municipal official when he wrote that 1 incorrect, unfair, biased headline. He made such an
admission on one of his few sober afternoons work days. Then he took a short walk down a short street to apologize in person
before he sat down to repeat it in writing.
Not that anyone here is implying in any way, shape or form that any editor of any paper today is writing headlines while drunk.
The bias nowadays, however, is overwhelming and serves no purpose but to vent personal bias and, perhaps unknowingly, to
run a smoke screen for corruption. (12 Apr 15)
"Vince Vicites said in the paper the other day that he -- and I quote him -- "stayed dignified and didn't do anything
that would embarrass Fayette County." Apparently, Mr. Vicites forgets that he once engaged in one of the worst sexist
attacks I've ever seen from professionals, when he and another commissioner laughed childishly and commented that
they didn't inform a female commissioner of a special, last minute meeting or matter because they met to discuss
sports. Vicites wasn't behaving in a dignified way. His public display that day was offensive to all women, not just the
one being laughed at at the commissioners' table at a public meeting."
Dave's wife, last evening, replying to a nearby Vicites supporter who asked why she and Dave do not respect Vicites
ESPN sends kuddos to local writer
RAVES to someone in sports over at heraldstandard.com for breaking the Troy Polamalu retirement story. RAVES that
ESPN network and some Pittsburgh tv news generously credited the story back to the local paper, while one or two
burgh tv markets credited the scoop to Steel City News.
While some in larger market sports media, off the record, smugly rolled their eyes over the run ons and writing skills not
quite as polished as theirs, the Polamalu retirement story -- and how it came to be -- is a most enjoyable read. (9 Apr 15)
Gunning for votes?
CYS outreach worker Al reports for duty
RANTS that a county commissioner is so out of touch with the people he serves. RANTS that Commissioner Al Ambrosini
needed to tag along on child protective custody runs with CYS "to see what conditions some of them are living in." *
Only in this election campaign season would such drama unfold. (9 Apr 15)
* from "Democrats believe county departments need improvement," heraldstandard.com
"I tried to provide as much leniency as I could, but if it got out of control and I tried to reel it back in, the other
two commissioners would let them talk...Professional commissioners are needed.”
Commissioner Al Ambrosini, as quoted in "Democrats: public decorum necessary at commission meetings," from
heraldstandard.com, stating that it was difficult to impose the (county meeting behavior) rules when his fellow
commissioners allowed the banter (from/among citizens in attendance) to continue; Ambrosini, of course, not mentioning
-- and conveniently not being asked about his -- infamous situations when he did not strike his gavel:
Ambrosini, rewriting the Sunshine Act, from heraldstandard.com's "Democratic commission candidates agree: Prison
issue needs resolution," giving his worn out, old, sorry excuse why he chose to continue to refuse to advertise meetings
about the jail, pointing to lengthy and sometimes controversial commission meetings, explaining or trying to explain that
he wanted to avoid the "same unproductive critical discourse. ..“We needed to solve this complex problem... What we
didn’t need to do is turn it into a circus." This is Ambrosini's explanation as to why he disregarded the Sunshine Act for his
Ambrosini, readers here recall, voted to advertise for land for a jail, 1 week later gave 24-hour notice of a special public
meeting to buy premium-priced pyrite wetlands for an industrial jail complex, attempted after a few minutes to halt public
comment from the large crowd gathered that day and wrap it all up in one 45-minute meeting and deal. There had been
no advertisement for bids to purchase land for the jail. There was no performed pre-construction land survey for such a
large industrial jail. There was no public mention for another few months that Ambrosini intended to expand county
government to start another whole county department, with the creation of a juvenile detention jail.
Vicites draws first RANTS of the season
RANTS to political candidate Vince Vicites for being opinionated and critical as can be on the current downtown county
jail plan, as though it does not exist, while holding out to read the jail feasibility studies only if he's elected.
In the meantime, he recommends "vast outreach" so people can "understand all the intricacies as they should, we can get
this behind us." WTH is he talking about?
RANTS that it does not appear that the former commish seeking to serve again was paying much attention to the jail
situation since 2012. RANTS that the commish candidate Vicites, speaking to the media about the jail, clearly has not a
clue, when he describes out of county cage rentals as "escalating." The number of out of county inmates drastically
decreased earlier this year, the last time the county divulged that information. That kind of exaggeration, meanwhile, is
too Ambrosini-like to stomach.
Vicites really should know better. The thinking public does. (6 Apr 15)
Do papers generate more lies than anonymous blogs?
Mixed review of paper ranting anonymous rumormongering
RAVES to the local paper for taking a swipe today at anonymous rumormongering targeted at political candidates by
some on community discussion boards and other internet sites.
It is natural, of course, to empathize with a former candidate, if his young, deceased child, indeed, had been mentioned
unkindly anywhere by someone without conscience.
It is another thing entirely for the paper to expect most thinking people to empathize much with a different former
candidate, however. Agreement, meanwhile, is shared here that it was wrong, if the man's criminal record had been
exaggerated in anonymous blogs to be worse than it was. That's certainly despicable.
But it is laughable to suggest that anonymous exaggerations of his criminal record on a blog with limited readership cost
someone an election.
For instance, he got less votes because of other reasons. We all knew that he -- a former elected county official/current
county appointed board/authority member -- was escorted around by another county board member to obtain candidate
nominating petition signatures from some non-registered citizens, clearly not on voter registration lists since they do not
If that weren't reason enough, then there's the infamously unforgivable 2012 censuring of his fellow housing authority
board member and hateful allegations against that fellow board member and a county commissioner for unfounded,
stupid reasons. Mysteries being what they are in Fayette County politics and boards, combined with media that doesn't
ask many questions, we'll never know exactly why and where that censuring just as mysteriously -- poof! -- went away
and was never mentioned again.
Nonetheless, again, RAVES, though that the paper broached the subject of untrue anonymous publications from those
without conscience. More respect would have been earned, had the paper dared to slap itself for its own role in providing
the biggest audience for the very worst, or one of the worst political slammings in the county's history.
Yes, anonymous blogs with limited readership (that often deletes horrible posts immediately, too, we add) should be
accountable for conspiracy for slander and libel, but contribute little, in comparison to newspapers in the long run, for
unfounded statements from a 2011 public meeting, when a woman, without proof, repeated an anonymously online
blogged, untrue message about a county commissioner, just a few days before election.
How fair really is it for a paper to criticize anonymous, even cruel blogs, though, when the paper feels no responsibility to
confirm whether a source is telling the truth or not? More recently, one editor went on record as saying they're not paid
well enough to fact check.
How fair is it, too, for papers not to review reader added comments online to stories, when some quoted or written about
in the story see errors and offer clarifications or helpful information withheld from publication? (5 Apr 15)
The jail, school administration consolidation?
Is it all really about a food service purchase contract?
RANTS, it seems, once again that an elected official planned big plans without much public input and without talking with
those whose jobs would be impacted, perhaps fully eliminated, by his introduced legislation.
Reading today's paper, it's quite apparent here that school district superintendents disbelieve the legislator's projected
savings to the 8 school districts serving county children by consolidating administrative jobs. They seem not to accept the
legislator's proposed state-wide consolidation plan as being much of a win-win idea.
One school administrator, who spoke only on the condition of offering input here anonymously, expressed surprise that
legislation was introduced state-wide, since a past attempt to put the question to Fayette voters on a ballot referendum
question was thwarted by the people who write the Not Enough Said blog.
When he thought of it a bit more, however, the administrator said it seemed to make more sense that the legislator, State
Rep Tim Mahoney of the 51st District, introduced the legislation state-wide, rather than try a second time to get his ballot
referendum question posed in Fayette. The once-proposed referendum question that Mahoney wanted to pitch asked if
Fayette school district administrator jobs should be consolidated from 8 down to 1.
"When he failed with the past ballot referendum, Mahoney said the move (to consolidate administrative roles of all county
schools) would save a great deal of money by consolidating 8 school food service purchase programs into 1.
"Another district school official commented to me in 2013 that he was going to leave Fayette because he figured the 1 key
job in this consolidation plan was already hand-picked," he said.
After a couple contacts and feeling a bit more comfortable that his identity would remain confidential, the administrator
said something significant.
he said, quickly explaining what the once proposed industrial jail complex had to do with his opinion on the school
"I like Mahoney. I wish he would hand over the $5,000 voucher (to NES writers), admit he lied, if that's the case, to us
(about having anything to do with ballot challenges of past challengers) and tell us more about his interest in the food
service purchase power of 1 administrative county-wide school district.
"The public might seem more receptive to listening to his idea if he provided the voucher to those people and talked more
about why a food purchase service contract is so important," the school official said.
"Put it this way. I might trust (Mahoney) more if he addressed these issues. I'm not saying he is hiding something. Does
he have a vested interest in a food service purchase contract? We don't know. I would hope not, but he should know that,
in Fayette, people are going to ask that question, even if the legislation passes.
"When I have spoken with a few politically connected people, I was left with the strong impression that the jail and the
school administration consolidation and school food purchase program consolidation were thought up -- at least in part --
to benefit certain food service businesses.
"It's up to you bloggers or the newspapers to ask about that," he said of scuttlebutt that has plagued the county for a few
For clarification, he added that those questions eventually will be posed, if and when the legislator speaks with the school
administrators, about the proposed legislation. (1 Apr 15)
Why the county jail
must stay downtown:
historical status. The building cannot be
torn down until a big chunk of it starts
to fall down on its own.
and inflated with costs of a new parking
garage that the county does not need.
the jail building. Without upgrades, the
jail building cannot be used for storage
or any other purposes except a jail,
without upgrades... And, once again, it
cannot be torn down until a significant
chunk of it falls down.