RANTS  &  RAVES








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    County's next civil suit?
    Vicites, Lohr can county director of public works

    In a surprise move, Fayette County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr terminated Bob Carson from his position as the county's director of public
    works on July 28, 2017. No reason for the termination was given publicly. At yesterday's county agenda planning meeting, the subject of ratifying the
    approval of Carson's termination and replacement hiring was forwarded to the agenda for tomorrow's regular monthly meeting.

    Carson's hiring in May of 2012, as readers here can easily recall, was then viewed by critics of former commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky as
    nothing more than Ambrosini's hiring of a political campaign supporter and friend. Carson was and still is a full-time, elected Connellsville Township
    supervisor.

    He, however, seemed to serve the county well, appearing to know what he was doing, with no doe eyes in the headlights look when asked for clarification or
    updates on different issues at public meetings.  His sudden termination is surprising, to say the least.

    Commissioners have been asked for comment.  (16 Aug 17)

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    Coming soon: the Duck Whisper's defense

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a reminder that some of us acquire our passion from an underlying drive, say, for instance, from The Music Sickness, or an
    obsession with sports, the arts, the love of and for our families and friends... and some of us grow up to serve our country in the military, get honorably
    discharged, and become senior, disabled veterans ridiculed sometimes for demanding basic, common sense things such transparency in government and
    that defenseless animals not to be mistreated, maimed or killed for kicks.


    Of those in that last mentioned group, maybe a few, or less, or maybe just one becomes known as The Duck Whisper -- and gets charged for raising her
    voice while protecting the flock or just one specific animal, say, for instance, that others have physically attacked, killed or maimed... all the while being
    followed home by a health care professional carrying a scary exotic animal and, reportedly, calling the veteran a nut.  

    Rants that this is not satire, but what regional tv news likely will jaunt to Fayette County to cover soon.  (16 Aug 17)
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    Fay Penn owes delinquent property taxes?

    RANTS that Fayette County's "premier economic development organization" seems to be delinquent some $3,868.44 in property taxes on two land parcels
    scheduled for public sale next month.

    As per the delinquent property tax list prepared recently by the Fayette County Tax Claim Bureau, the county's economical development guru, Fay Penn
    Economical Development Council, is in arrears for not paying county property tax on two parcels of land in Georges Township.

    While the group's website hails Fay Penn as "the pre-eminent 'first stop shop' economic development organization in Fayette County by providing
    comprehensive, second-to-none business development services through our staff or partners to make our clients more competitive in a global
    marketplace," we have to wonder what type of an example the organization sets by potential new businesses wanting to move here, by making the property
    tax sale list.   

    "We will provide unparalleled client service and satisfaction, using whatever knowledge, skills, and abilities are available, whether they be within or
    external to the Fay-Penn organization," the organization says and adds that its "ultimate objective is to sustain a supportive environment for business start-
    up, expansion, and attraction."

    RANTS that the giant organization, which is said to have handled $25 million in development dollars and low interest business loans, owes county coffers a
    little under four grand.  Seriously, could someone over there please cut a check and pay poor Fayette County coffers the sum? (14 Aug 17)


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    Charlottesville

    RANTS of the most horrid kind that Charlottsville, Virginia loses its wholesome image as the next big city to Walton's Mountain, to today become the surreal
    scene of murder, terrorism and racial unrest.

    RANTS that a blogger calling for a white supremacist rally there could have organized such a rally of pure hatred in present-day America.

    RANTS that history taught some absolutely nothing in regard to racism that should have been put to rest in the 60s. One is dead in Charlottesville and five
    critically injured, after an Ohio white supremacist terrorist drove a vehicle into a crowd to score points for his side that seems to want to take their country
    back to the days of slavery.

    RANTS because it's hard to imagine that even John Boy Walton, never at a loss for words, would be able to make sense of the madness in his back yard
    and explain it to little Elizabeth today, without her coming back each time asking, no, but why? (12 Aug 17)  

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    "Radio Camelot" loses Mad Dog

    Editor's Note: Sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Doug "Mad Dog" Malone, who helped write burgh Album Oriented Rock (AOR) history
    as part of "Radio Camelot" days, at the old WYDD studio. Malone worked at WYDD the 1970s and returned briefly in the 80s.

    Thanks to the Post-Gazette writer for getting in touch to help track down other former WYDD powerhouse voices, who, collectively, since those early days
    of free-form AOR radio, went on to be instantly recognized voices behind syndicated rock and music programming, electronic game voices and
    commercials -- and in Malone's case, also critically acclaimed music performance, jazz recording and production work.

    Malone died at 61 from complications of amyloidosis and spent his final days at a friend's quiet Scottdale farm.

    Can we see a show of hands of those recalling the guitar of Norman Nardini playing in the old WYDD promo ad while reading this, as condolences are
    sent to Malone's family and friends? (13 Aug 17)
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    Why not Fairchance?
    South Park, burgh police have zero tolerance for animal abuse

    RAVES to Pittsburgh Police for beefing up patrols of South Park to catch heartless idiots hurling large rocks at goats clearing park brush and the donkey
    protecting the goats from other wild animals. Who would have thought that the donkey would have needed human protection from teen park vandals?


    Meanwhile, RANTS that animal abuse seems to run rampant and goes unchecked at a Fayette County park in Fairchance, where several infrared cameras,
    surely by now, should have captured images of one or two kids or adults hurling rocks at park ducks or kicking them over the years. A quick internet search
    confirms that some citizens have been complaining for a few decades about the allowed animal abuse there.

    RANTS that the Fay park and town police, instead, chose to file charges against a private citizen, who's an honorably discharged, disabled military veteran,
    who attempted to stop the Fairchance animal abuse with verbal requests to stop. Lets hope that the charges are quickly withdrawn. Nobody should be
    charged for telling the bad seeds of Fairchance or adults to stop hurting defenseless park animals. More on this later. (12 Aug 17)     

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    Could, should Fay copy the move?
    640,000 NYC warrants for unpaid summonses tossed in 1 day

    Neither a RANT nor a full-fledged RAVE, but a wonder what if a knock-off reaction to this NYC gutsy move played out here in Fay. Officials in NYC opted to
    reduce court costs and lighten an already overworked court system in a big way, creatively under the guise of promoting a more fair and workable approach
    to low-level offenses, by throwing out 640,000 warrants written over a decade ago, for minor offenses such as walking an unleashed dog, jay walking and
    being in a city park after hours.

    Before anyone blows a gasket -- especially among those a few years ago who played the trump card rounding up decade-old Fay warrants to build a false
    need to build a massive industrial county prison -- lets be clear that NYC officials selected 640,000 warrants for minor, non-violent offenses for persons who
    were never in any trouble since. It seems that a pattern in recent years there became established that so many on the NYC warrant list of old, minor offenses
    were unaware there were warrants out until they were stopped for traffic violations or reported a crime.

    So 640,000 warrants there disappeared today in a New York minute.



    RAVES, though, to NYC officials for knowing their stats. Here in Fay, of course, we after years of jail planning still know so embarrassingly little about our
    county's jail population, let alone persons sitting here with outstanding warrants. Does Fay have enough of wanted individuals on minor offenses, who have
    not been in trouble since, to consider making a similar move here?

    Perhaps after someone actually gets around to compile a list of currently incarcerated inmates who qualify for Fay's under-utilized specialized courts and
    Day Reporting Center funded to divert incarcerations, Fay can start pulling decades-old warrants as NYC did today -- that is, if Fay really isn't still reserving
    the almighty warrants lists as another trump card in cue yet to play, to try to pack the county lock up and declare the sky is falling again. (9 Aug 17)   

     
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    "Quotes Of The Day"

    "Don't you think you were a bit harsh with your adieu to Marko?"
    Dave, today at the diner, referring to the "Quote Of The Day" piece one week ago

    "No."
    Moi, shaking my head and reaching over to feel Dave's forehead for fever
    Dave

    "Yes, but he also knew for 9 days before he published it that it was propaganda, still published it anyway out of bias towards the two slandered, took 16
    long, lazy days to address the lie in his publication, in an editorial comment, in one brief sentence, only because the bashed and lied about ones forced his
    hand to do so."
    Moi, explaining why the last "QOTD" was really more of a good riddance feeling than an adieu, before asking Dave's wife in a whisper if he might have
    bumped his head recently
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    Former Trib staff still out there

    RAVES, sweet RAVES, that the powerful political cartoons by Randy Bish will return "occasionally" to the Trib's current-day dismal and boring editorial page,
    after the paper's massive lay off nearly one year ago of its full-time staff. In the meantime, his toons can be purchased or viewed at no charge on his
    facebook page.

    RAVES, too, that former Trib state political investigative journalist Brad Bumsted, who launched his own weekly news outlet, The Caucus, earlier this year, is
    still out there digging into the public's right to know about back door government deals and shenanigans. His is an independent news source well worth
    subscribing to and supporting.  

    RAVES that these talented people -- including their former Trib writer Salena Zito, who's everywhere  from CNN, The NY Post and DC Examiner -- survived
    and did not disappear, as did their former Pittsburgh Trib paper, no longer published.  (4 Aug 17)

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    Quote Of The Day" from the former local editorial page editor, terminated after 36 years

    "What will they cover or more importantly what will they not cover. In the end, this is a serious blow to our democracy..."
    that it's always genuinely sad when some really good people anywhere suddenly are furloughed -- and especially sad to those of us who
    grew up reading papers or worked at papers or grew to miss favorite writers, photographers and cartoonists, when papers stop being papers,
    were downsized or sold... to say nothing of hating that too many good journalists and paper people are freelancing themselves ragged most
    days as independents

    Nobody here, though, is ready to include O'Keefe in that respected group of writers, editors and paper people we'll ever sorely miss. He wrote with bias
    and omitted known facts that changed a story too often to excuse the spin to pure, unintended error or even sheer stupidity. We know better. That he
    took to burgh social media today to express his sentiments speaks embarrassing volumes. (31 Jul 17)



    It's bad enough that the county was robbed paying for pricey interior design plans for a women's jail annex there.  It was a huge blessing, however, that
    Zimmerlink and Zapotosky stopped Ambrosini's plan to spin a flood zone and open a women's jail annex at 32 Iowa. (30 Jul 17)

    * "Heavy rains cause some major flooding in areas"


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    "Quotes Of The Day" on the Methadone Clinic mystery

    "Well, I see the former Queen of the closed methadone clinic is sentenced to one year in jail for distributing pain pills and other drugs that weren’t for a
    legitimate medical purpose."

    "Did they ever learn what happened to those 8,000 missing dosages that were unaccounted for?"
    Dave, asking about the drugs that the Feds said were not on site nor documented as being dispensed at the time of the raid, as heads around him
    shook no.

    "What about that mysterious Larry Greene, who supposedly was a patient without a chart, who the doctor wrote scripts for? Was he the one who tipped the
    Grand Jury to indict the clinic's staff? Was he a real person?"
    Pete's wife, asking about a mysterious person mentioned in the indictments that came down the pike before the clinic was shuttered; Pete's wife,
    continuing to comment, after a deep sigh, that it seems to her that this mysterious patient or staff deserves a medal for bringing down the clinic's
    operation


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    Fay Prison Board missed the boat, stranding some inmates

    RANTS of the most surreal kind, that  years into planning county jail problem resolution, that county officials still have no idea how many inmates sitting
    behind county lock up bars qualify for specialized courts designed to reduce jail population and provide specialized supports to reduce recidivism.

    While a Right To Know request from this column in past years to learn those details came back with a surprising "we don't know" reply and an invitation from
    a jail administrator to review court records and do the counting for the county, this column had hoped someone actually did the counting and referring for the
    county by now.

    RANTS, reading on heraldstandard.com*, that the county prison board still has no clue how many inmates today qualify for those specialized veteran, mental
    health, and drug and alcohol courts for non-violent offenders.

    Apparently, that all-important task was once temporarily dumped on a probation officer, who was not Superman, but still expected to do his regular full-time
    job as well as monitor and refer those cases off for specialized courts.

    Just how stupid can the county be to have negligently forgotten about this important matter, only until jail population increased and out of county jail rentals
    climbed?



    RANTS that non-budgeted jobs and promotions have been whipped up without second thought, and that county money flew right out the door with
    retroactive pay raises back to most of a previous year, while nobody bothered to care to re-assign those key duties of monitoring new inmates for possible
    target to the specialized courts and nobody bothered to yip about it until population rose.
     
    Now if that isn't Plain Stupid, what in the world is? (27 Jul 17)

    * "Prison Population and community service discussed at Fayette prison board"

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    Southern jail offering early release for sterilization

    RANTS that the drug problem is so terrifyingly horrible these days that the White County Prison in Tennessee is offering inmates an early release if they
    volunteer not to reproduce and have children. Surely, we do not jest.

    The Tennessee Department of Health is to perform vasectomies on 38 male volunteers and provide Nexplanon, a three-year birth control implant into the
    arms of 32 volunteer female inmates, in exchange for a one-month early release from jail. While the district attorney and ACLU oppose the program, the
    program is underway, supposedly, to help inmates get back on their feet without being overwhelmed by children. Surely, we do not jest about this, either.

    Critics call the month-early release program unconstitutional. The jail administrators and county judge, however, say it's a move in the right direction to help
    addicts overcome addiction and become responsible for their actions and themselves.

    From this vantage point, some 600 miles north, is the feeling that addicts most hell-bent on using when they get out of jail probably had their arms raised first
    to volunteer. (21 Jul 17)


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    Airport Authority gets Alfred a bronze memorial marker

    RAVES that one of the new county airport hangers will be named after Alfred Ambrosini, former one-term county commissioner, for all his due diligence and
    hard work getting Daddy Warbucks to donate one million dollars towards new airport hanger construction there.

    While Ambrosini, basically, did absolutely nothing positive for the County of Fayette during his four-year drain on the county payroll and left the county in
    such pitiful financial dire straits, it seems his efforts to get indoor plumbing and new digs at the airport hangers paid off in the long run.

    RAVES that Ambrosini's Sunshine Law gaffes and back room efforts to get his name on a bronze plaque across the street from the airport miserably failed, at
    his once proposed 480-bed industrial jail -- or the Alfred&Vincent Memorial Shire and Rehabilitation Center, as we called it here.

    We're tickled pink, though, that finally, finally, the man, who so genuinely seemed to need it, will be memorialized somehow. (20 Jul 17)
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    VA director tells social media
    Vicites, Lohr misinform media, public

    RAVES to Fayette County's Veteran Affairs Director, Madonna Nicklow, for taking to social media today to contradict statements about the collapsed county
    employee parking lot that Fayette County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr made to Pittsburgh television, local print media and the local AM
    station.

    While Vicites told the local paper that the lot, partially built of concrete suspended over Redstone Creek, was closed for one year and Lohr said to television
    and radio audiences that the parking lot was closed for two years, Nicklow told the local AM radio station's online readers that the lot was, in fact, never
    closed.

    "The parking lot WAS NOT closed. Fortunately, I don't park there, but most employees do. Thank God no one was hurt," she wrote.

    In a subsequent post, the county's VA director said that a "very small area" in the back of the parking lot was closed prior to today's collapse in the wee
    hours, but that "ninety percent" of the parking lot was always open.

    RANTS, embarrassing RANTS, that the two commissioners were unaware that the lot was not closed prior to today's collapse.




    The parking lot area was scheduled for improvements in recent months, however, as Pittsburgh media today rolls its eyes and says, "the county knew for
    years but did nothing" about the deteriorating lot because the county couldn't afford the repair financially.   

    RANTS that the county was pictured so horribly broke on television news today, when earlier this year Vicites and Lohr voted graciously to give non-
    budgeted pay raises to non-union county workers retroactively back to March of 2016, provided 2017 non-budgeted job re-classifications and sweet pay
    raises to a select few, contracted non-budgeted fiscal monitoring services with Susquehanna at $235 per hour with paid expenses when locals could have
    been contracted for about $15,000, and hired a non-budgeted administrative assistant for Lohr.

    RANTS that Fay dodged a bullet today over a stalled $18,000 repair only because the large cracked sections of concrete and steel beams collapsed into the
    creek hours before the work day began. (19 Jul 17)   
      
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    More local print media jobs gone?

    RANTS -- honest to goodness, in spite of what is written 15 days ago below -- if rumor mill today is accurate and another local newspaper laid off many of its
    writers. It's never a good day when news rooms shrink from just barely skeletal to almost non-existent size.

    In spite of the fact that this column has served up RANTS to the paper for cranking out often biased, one-sided political nonsense stories by not writing full
    stories, RAVES of hope that today's hot gossip is just gossip. That way, there's always at least a small morsel of hope that the lunatics running the asylum
    might realize they might sell more papers, more subscriptions, more ads and more photo orders if they sold unbiased, honest copy called news, rather than
    PR fluff unworthy to be called journalism.

    RANTS -- you know, if it's true -- because it's always a sad day when writers in groups lose their jobs. Even bloggers, who 12 years ago swore off writing for
    another publisher, editor or commercial publisher of daily news, are hoping the usually reliable sources are wrong this time. (17 Jul 17)
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    Geeeeez! Local editor spanks elderly citizens again!

    RANTS to the local editor at heraldstandard.com for trying to re-write history while editorializing in "Deja vu?" and causing some of us to choke over
    breakfast. Certainly, it's deja vu, that this misrepresentation of facts is on the stands.

    It's OK to disagree, but so unprofessional to try to mislead the public.

    RANTS that memory recall is so poor there to recall the full story of why an industrial prison built on pyrite did not get built. RANTS that the editor cowardly
    blamed rude citizens for stopping the project with unkind comments at public meetings, and for failing once again to mention to his readers that one county
    commissioner a few years ago accused another of bid rigging and that second one turned around and, likewise, accused the first of the very same crime as
    well.

    To date, the proposed land for that shelved prison project goes unsold. On the market, also, are all adjoining lots in the still empty industrial park built a few
    years ago. Why is that?


    RAVES, one last time, to the citizens who spoke out against the proposed 2013 industrial prison, to the thousands, who signed a petition to allow voters to
    decide whether a new industrial prison on pyrite costing $40-60 million should be built, and to the handful of private citizens who spent tens of thousands of
    legal fees to successfully stop zoning approval of the proposed industrial prison.

    RANTS to the local editor, who bitch-slapped all those thousands of people this morning in a cheap editorial which reeks of bias and hate.

    How would the County of Fayette have started paying for that industrial prison had it been built? Given the financial disaster for a budget that the current
    county commissioners inherited in 2016, where would the county be today, financially, with payments that would have now been due, had that industrial
    prison been built a few years ago? Why aren't papers interested in making those kinds of serious inquiries?   (2 Jul 17)
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    Fed court slams Fay pillars of courthouse community


    RANTS that the financially strapped County of Fayette has dolled out a little under $400,000 to date and likely will spend tens of millions more for legal
    representation and legal costs over two aging pillars of the local courthouse community. The duo, once upon a time, are said to have destroyed key
    evidence and coached a witness to lie, in a sensational murder and sodomy case that sent the wrong man to prison for 27 years.

    Yeah, so much for being pillars, we know.


    RANTS because some $400,000 or so later, a civil court judge in the former inmate's civil suit against the county concluded that the two former prosecutors
    intentionally withheld potentially exculpatory evidence in the case. It's one thing when we say it here, or when a brave editor editorializes on Fay's
    prosecutorial misconduct, or when the think tank at the diner thinks or says it.

    It's another thing, though, entirely, and extremely embarrassing to hear an outsider, such as this outsider Federal judge, speak of men who investigated and
    prosecuted crimes for decades in various capacities, including one who's still actively employed in his mid-70s as a senior judge at the courthouse.


    How will the county coffers be affected if the former inmate gets one or two million dollars per each of those 27 years he was incarcerated?

    Given that the county was not covered by liability insurance when the evil genius duo supposedly needed to win a case so badly that they rigged the courts,
    county coffers may not ever recover from the hit of a sizeable settlement or civil case award.

    Then, add to the astronomical sum that the former inmate may receive the amount of court costs to pay legal fees of his long-time lawyer.



    In the real world, the rest of us, no doubt, would have long ago been exiled up the river, at the very least, for obstruction of justice, if we did what this latest
    federal judge and other courts before his has said the two Fayette pillars did. We'll be angry and embarrassed for some time longer about this case. (29 Jun
    17)

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    "Quote Of The Day"



    "The courts have ruled both ways on OOR decisions; I've seen them upheld and overturned."
    Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania News Paper Association, commenting to Rants&Raves this week on the frequency of state
    Right To Know appeal decisions from the OOR being upheld versus overturned


    "Casey Mullooly, UMWA District 2 representative, said the study reiterated what the Crabtree study outlined and the view of the UMWA and the county
    prison corrections officers."
    Heraldstandard.com, "Fayette County Prison assessment study results revealed by agency," detailing some of the presentation meeting of the prison
    study to members of the county's Criminal Justice Advisory Board and UMWA members;

    Mullooly seemingly mistaken here, as the former county prison architect Crabtree promoted a new industrial county prison the size of Texas with so few
    staff (pssssst, means less union membership dues, less UMWA cash flow, Casey), to house what Crabtree wrongly insisted would be a constantly
    growing number of inmates, in spite of county specialized courts and a Day Reporting Center;

    Mullooly, seeming not to understand that the former architect/jail developer can draw pretty prisons, but otherwise got everything else miserably wrong
    about Fay's particular prison needs and missed the boat entirely with what has come to be grossly incorrect predictions in general of prison population
    trends nation-wide   


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    County jail repairs: a bit of Fay really moving forward

    RAVES in an almost warm, fuzzy way reading on heraldstandard.com that the Swiss cheese roof atop the county jail finally, finally no longer leaks rain and
    muck into the interior of the jail. We have grown old waiting for this simple miracle.  

    RAVES, too, that the same online story revealed that a jail basement door, that a jail administrator stated was jammed lock shut for years by the weight or
    movement from a supposedly caving foundation wall, was pried open with the strength of one ordinary man in county maintenance. RAVES that the door and
    wall will finally be replaced with a new concrete wall.  (15 Jun 17)

    * "Commissioners approve contract for repair work at county lock up"


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    1980 Menallen murder case, allegations of misconduct come back around

    RANTS that the allegation of prosecutorial misconduct raised its ugly head again in Fayette County, as the Daily Courier* reports today that all county
    judges recused themselves from hearing arguments from the SCI inmate serving time for a 1980 murder of a Menallen Township man. The 74-year-old
    serving time for that murder contends that former county prosecutors withheld evidence from the jury. He wants a new trial.

    The county judges, as per the article, recused themselves because of their relationship with the two former prosecutors, including one who still sits on the
    bench in county court.

    While the man's case was previously dismissed by higher courts and may not result in another trial or a conviction being overturned, RANTS that past
    prosecutorial misconduct by Fay prosecutors came up again in topic in the news and ultimately could influence a new court's ruling in this case.

    RANTS, too, that this case, like the infamous Munchinski case, occurred before the county was covered with liability insurance.  (14 Jun 17)

    * "F.C. judges refuse to hear 1980 murder case"
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    Penguins on parade

    RAVES that some 650,000 or so people in the city of Pittsburgh today were able to flock to the Point to safely gather and celebrate Sunday's stunning
    Stanley Cup victory. RANTS that the key word in that last sentence has to be 'safely,' given the tumultuous and unsafe times for crowds to gather without a
    massacre unfolding.

    RAVES that no harm came to those in attendance today, a day that started with the political shootings in Virginia and progressed into a West Coast
    workplace shooting, all in the news.

    RAVES that Penguin fans got to take a healthy breather from all the horrible news in the real world and party the morning away, in grand parade style,
    without a hitch. (14 Jun 17)
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    Fireworks season is on!

    RAVES to the start of another fireworks season, with a splendid patio comfort view of the light show in the sky coming from the close of the Fun Festival atop
    Crawford hill tonight. RAVES that nobody in these parts buys into that practice of celebrating only once per year on the 4th.

    RAVES that surprise firework displays such as tonight's always seem to happen here in the country when patio lounging is on the agenda. Nothing,
    absolutely nothing, on tv can compare --  unless, of course, it's a U2 or E Street Band show set to fireworks! (10 Jun 17)
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    Penguins Rock!

    RAVES and Yippie to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the NHL Conference Finals against Ottawa Senators and heading into the race for another
    Stanley Cup.

    Centerman Sidney Crosby provided the set up for that amazing winning goal in double overtime and left the exhausted, die hard Penguins hockey fan
    upstairs in bed with an incredible smile on his face that he will always remember having on the eve before his last day of high school. (25 May 17)

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    Vicites' angst over a rainy day   

    RAVES and a chuckle that Fayette County Commission Chairman Vince Vicites exercised caution in not wanting to approve a contribution to the long-
    neglected county pension fund out of concern that the money might be needed for other things that come up in 2017.

    Funny, that thought or possibility did not seem to cross his mind four months ago when he:
  • graciously in 2017 gave non-budgeted pay raises to non-union county workers retroactively back to March of 2016,
  • provided 2017 non-budgeted job re-classifications and sweet pay raises to a select few,
  • contracted non-budgeted fiscal monitoring services with Susquehanna at $235 per hour with paid expenses when locals could have been contracted for
    about $15,000, and
  • hired an additional non-budgeted administrative assistant for his right hand second vote.


    While the current board of commissioners approved and made a contribution in 2016 to the pension fund, past administrations did not contribute to it.
    Readers here easily recall that in 2015, Alfred of Alfred&Vincent fame blamed the previous Vicites-Zapotosky-Zimmerlink board and pension board for not
    feeding the pension fund, while Alfred's own public promise to contribute didn't ever materialize to being an actual deposit during his one term in office.

    Yes, readers here also know way too well that $500,000 in 2015 earmarked for the pension fund never was transferred to the retirement fund.


    RAVES that there should be a pension fund contribution in 2017 -- you know, that is, if someone this time actually remembers to transfer the promised
    allocation to the pension fund. (24 May 17)   
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    Pray for the Manchester massacred, traumatized survivors

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but another chilling mass slaying of innocents at the evil hands of heartless, sociopathic lunatics who truly deserve to painfully
    burn and rot in Hell for all eternity. Amen. (22 May 17)
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    Please, no more donations!

    RAVES to the kindness and generosity of readers with awesomely good intentions here who took it upon themselves to send checks, money orders and
    cash cards for Commonwealth Court legal expenses in light of the County's double filings to set aside this column's last two state Office Of Open Records
    Right to Know appeal wins. Seriously, readers, your kindness and generosity is amazing!

    However, we must ask readers to please stop sending donations, as this column cannot accept the well intended generosity and has returned those
    envelopes to the senders. All anonymous senders are asked to contact us at webmaster@julietoye.com to provide instructions on how to retrieve those
    envelopes. Any unclaimed will be donated to charity.

    Thank you all so much, though, for wanting to help right the County's cowardly wrong. From the bottoms of our hearts, your thoughtfulness means the world!
    (11 May 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    "Quote Of The Day" confirming that we're losing the war on opioids

    “Gray Death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis.”
    Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, speaking of the discovery of "Gray Death," a newer and
    even more lethal mix of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and a synthetic called U-47700, which brought fatalities galore in Georgia and now known to be on
    the streets of Ohio and PA

    "Meanwhile, we're losing the (expletive) war on opioids here, with the (expletive) Fed's blessing!"
    Pete, this morning at the diner, reading up on "Gray Death," still fuming that the big FBI heroin and money laundering bust two years and five days ago
    resulted in no charges being filed to date yet against one local businessman taken into custody, who has since filed to retrieve his $900K seized in the
    bust  

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    BHA group home man beat with a broom, staff jailed

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a whole lot of rage reading heraldstandard.com's online article*, about a Uniontown man with mental retardation being beat
    on his head with a broom by a paid caregiver in his public-funded group home agency monitored by the Fayette County Behavioral Health Administration
    Office.

    RAVES that the staff who bent a broom beating Billy's head is in jail for the attack. WAAAAAAAAAAAVES of shame, however, that the woman was permitted
    to continue working with Billy for a few weeks after staff heard her say she hates Billy.  Why wasn't she fired weeks ago?

    RANTS that the group home agency really could have and should have terminated the jailed staff last month when she verbalized having hateful thoughts
    about him. Billy would have been spared this tragic physical and emotional beating that resulted in his getting seven staple stitches to close a cut on his
    head that measured one to two inches long.  

    RAVES of hope that the beating does not cause any long-term emotional upsets for Billy T. (5 May 17)


    * "Caregiver charged with beating mentally disabled man with broom in North Union"
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    County takes another Rants&Raves OOR state RTK appeal win to court

    RANTS that the County of Fayette on April 26 filed a petition to the Court of Common Pleas, to reverse a second of two state appeals won in March by
    Rants&Raves to obtain denied county fiscal and operational information involving the spending of public funds.

    Much of today's 18-page snail-mail BS bundle is identical to the 18-page petition filed in a different appeal on April 11. Noted, however, is that today's bundle
    of court filings and docs also was sent to the PA Office of Open Records, while the petition filed on April 11, for whatever reason, was not issued to the state
    office. The state OOR intervenes to examine and determine outcomes of appeals that media, private citizens, companies, public entities and other sources
    file with the state OOR after access to public records is denied.
      



    RANTS that nowhere, in what now amounts to be 38 pages of paper issued to Rants&Raves by a county solicitor, does the solicitor attempt to clarify why
    the county said in legal affidavits it had no records that the county actually issued previously.

    Nor does the solicitor in any of the now 38 pages sent here even attempt to explain why the county would have divulged and blabbed one provider's
    "proprietary" expenses and stats last year, but got on its close-lipped high horse about sharing the same "proprietary" information about other favored
    providers in these RTK appeals that this column filed with the state OOR and rightfully won.   

    Again, RAVES of hope that the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County decides it has no right to overturn the state OOR appeal wins. (4 May 17)





    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    County takes Rants&Raves OOR state RTK appeal wins to court


    RANTS that the County of Fayette defies a state Office of Open Records appeal to release county behavioral health Medicaid information to Rants&Raves
    and opts to ask the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County to reverse the state's Right To Know appeal decision.

    Readers here know that initially the information was denied for being "proprietary" and private. Then the County said no such information was kept in County
    records, as the Right To Know appeal went on like a bad toothache for months.



    Only the County did, indeed, have the information. Not only did the County have the information, it said it didn't have the information that it previously had
    released. How did the County "forget" that it previously had and released the information?   

    As per the County's petition to the courts 14 days ago, honoring the state OOR's RTK appeal decision in Rants&Raves' favor would cause overwhelming
    problems, not just here, mind you. This, particularly, is where the County's court action to stop the release of information gets to be a real hoot.  



    The County's ambitious solicitors contend that "the OOR's incorrect ruling will result in adverse consequences that will extend beyond the Program in
    Fayette County, as it will negatively impact the Program in all of the other counties in Pennsylvania..."   

    That notion can't be anything but a hoot.

    The County also reaches and brings a chuckle to hear it's contention to the Court that "the OOR erred in failing to consider or apply the Federal Antitrust
    Laws."  



    If the County's opposition to honor a state OOR appeal really is all that, and if the County still contends in the filing with the Court that it does not even have
    such records, then how can the County with a straight face even begin to explain to a Court how it was able to release the same non-existent but private
    information a few months earlier?



    Public funds alone pay the bills Rants&Raves requested. Fayette should not be allowed to selectively discriminate which or whose operating cost
    information to release and whose duplicate operating cost information to hide. That was the reason for this column's two Right To Know appeals filed earlier
    in the year and won with the state's Office of Open Records last month.



    RAVES of hope that the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County honors the state OOR appeal decisions. RAVES of hope that the Court might see that
    RTK questions started going unanswered after those monitoring behavioral health Medicaid inpatient care costs answered that they had no clue if any or
    how many behavioral health patients on behavioral health medications in behavioral health hospitals get discharged to outpatient behavioral health
    professionals and also might be involved in opioid medication treatment.  More to come. (25 Apr 17)  

      


    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Library bathroom heroin overdose

    RANTS that someone was quietly overdosing and unconscious already in the restroom, a few feet from the kids' section at the local library this hectic but
    carefree day before Easter.

    RAVES, though, to observant library staff for noticing that a male had been in the restroom for what seemed to be an excessively long period of time. After
    checking on the man's welfare, library staff contacted emergency medical services who revived the man.




    That all said, restrooms in the historic Connellsville Carnegie Library will be kept locked and a fund raiser is underway to supplement grants to purchase a
    surveillance recording system. Not that any of these measures will guarantee nobody again will use the historic bathroom to shoot heroin some future
    Saturday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

    Passing by cameras of grounds and doorways and having to ask for a bathroom key likely would not matter to someone, who, so likely, would still buy heroin
    even if bags came stamped to be Carfentanil. RANTS if overdosing by the kids' section in the library isn't enough to get someone to enter a treatment
    program. That scenario would have been the proverbial "rock bottom" at one time that might have motivated addicts of another era to seek help. (16 Apr 17)

     

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Perjury?

    RANTS that in January the County of Fayette freely released information in a Right To Know answer to Rants&Raves, and the next month, under several
    sworn affidavits from two county administrators in appeals in two different RTK cases to the state Office of Open Records, twice denied ever having that
    exact same information in house that it released in that January RTK answer.

    With everyone county by March seemingly to be in unbelievably bold denial of existence of information freely added to that earlier January RTK answer,
    another RTK was made to clarify who indeed actually wrote addendum notes on that earlier RTK seeking what amounted to be operating costs. Was it
    someone who kept poor records who since resigned? Someone from another agency or department? Some contracted entity, perhaps? Someone with poor
    memory recall or a poor record keeper? You know, a real burn out or a former temp with an ax to grind?




    A RTK answer, however, confirmed the notes originated or were composed in house at the county, by a top administrator. The insightful but unrequested
    notes in question added to a RTK answer in early January were written by a county department director, as per the county RTK officer/chief county clerk.  

    That director, meanwhile, weeks later, and another official, twice since mid-March, provided affidavits to the state OOR in the related two state appeals that
    the stat-type information added in addendum note form to the early January RTK answer was never in their possession.



    RANTS because this seems to be no mere mistake, no excusable error along the sweet lines that we're all human and make mistakes in what we do or what
    we can or fail to recall doing or saying previously.

    The added notes, sadly, seemed to reek of shocking unprofessionalism, of someone's uncontrolled need to gossip or inability to control a personal bias or
    dislike for one specific provider targeted in the early January notes.




    As stated in both state RTK appeals that this column has won since mid-March, the writer of those notes should not have been allowed to selectively
    discriminate and release stats on one provider and deny release of the same information about other providers under a RTK "proprietary" exclusion rule.

    We're so pleased that the state OOR agreed, but have to wonder if all this denial of something we know, as proven in the January 5 RTK answer, actually
    does exist amounts to perjury on the parts of county administrators.

    More specifically, we're wondering how all the denial cannot be perjury.  (2 April 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Rants&Raves wins third state OOR appeal over denied county information

    RAVES that the state Office of Open Records yesterday approved this column's state appeal of the county's denial to release information requested nearly
    three months ago under Right To Know.

    Yesterday's long-drawn-out announcement came from Appeals Officer Magdalene C. Zeppos, and becomes the third state appeal win for denied county
    records. A different RTK state appeal for similar records was also won on March 13.

    More on this later. At present, we're still too embarrassed for the county to get into the hurdles posed to get a small pieces of information from one foolishly
    stubborn public entity, when every other single public-funded entity out there contacted on the subject has been so graciously pleasant about providing
    information, usually even without a need for a Right To Know, to try to help document facts to present here.  (1 Apr 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Uniontown business covered in newsmag geared to rich

    RAVES that an international news service carried a recent piece about a Uniontown jeweler who immigrated here from Jordan to work at an upscale jewelry
    store. RAVES to former Trib writer Salena Zito, currently writing for the Washington Examiner and a few other news outlets these days, for the local mention
    in "What is the matter with small town America?"

    While the above mentioned piece is more fluff, in contrast to the typical in depth signature Zito we've read from her road trips and writings across the political
    and socio-economic lines with presidential candidates, legislators, movers and shakers and regular Joes at the corner lunch counter, RAVES that the article
    contains this following quote from the Uniontown businessman who invested in his high-end jewelry store in one of the poorest counties in the state:

    "Being in a small town is never a geographic burden for us. If you do superb work and you treat people well, folks will travel great distances for your
    services."



    In a week when all we heard is Fayette's future is dependent upon expansion of a toll road a few counties away, Brandan Katzeff's quote was genuinely
    refreshing to hear. (30 Mar 17))


    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Rants&Raves wins second state OOR appeal for denied records

    RAVES that today's mail brought happy, sheer delight, with word that a fairly significant Right To Know appeal to the state was approved or granted our way,
    to obtain previously denied county records.

    This particular Right To Know request, the original denial of records issued from the county, and the subsequent appeal to the state Office Of Open Records
    to force the county to release the requested records, grants R&R significant needed bits of information for a year-long tally of how much the opioid crisis
    costs us.

    We trust that information should be on its way here shortly.  (13 Mar 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Meanwhile, at a far less stressful forum

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, actually more of a chuckle.

    While the county's politicos and officials gathered for a walk through of the new methadone clinic mentioned below and tried to act interested, two county
    commissioners opted instead to meet with news agency reps in Connellsville. Today's Courier shows the two men sitting down at a less stressful event,
    while two female news agency reps stand before them in jeans. The photograph seemed too eerily reminiscent of boys meeting girls at the mall to take the
    message seriously.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Why???
    Cash only methadone clinic opens

    RANTS that a "cash only" new methadone clinic in Uniontown ever got zoning approval in Fayette County in the first place.  Surely, they jest? No.

    As per a spokesperson for the new clinic who answered the phone of the number on the company's website for the Uniontown site, patients are charged
    anywhere from $16-25 dollars daily for their drug, depending on which of the three commonly prescribed chemicals are thought to be needed. A couple
    dozen persons are said to be already receiving treatment there since it opened two months ago.

    Insurance provider participation, she said, is hoped to be in place by the end of the year. Lets hope not.


    This new clinic, of course, replaces in the same site another substance abuse clinic run by a different company that drew criminal indictments against
    operators and medical staff for thousands of undocumented dosage exchanges and other illegal activities. The former clinic received a county Behavioral
    Health Medicaid contract and, obviously, was not monitored closely enough by the many hands that fed it funding.  


    RANTS that a year-long effort here in 2016 to gather Right To Know information on the overall costs of the opioid crisis showed that one hand clearly does
    not know what the other is doing. A RTK answer was received from the county behavioral health director that she had no idea how much money was spent
    on psych hospitalizations for persons who receive both psychiatric and chemical addictions therapies.

    Shouldn't the hands that write those checks be aware?



    Given that the clinics keep popping up with county officials and leaders having slim to nil real insight into the populations they serve and the operations of
    the operators of these "recovery" clinics, should the clinics be allowed to increase in number? We think not.

    Given that no criminal charges were ever filed against one of the top names in a 2015 FBI raid of heroin and cocaine business in Fayette that was splashed
    all over network television news, and given that the former lead U.S. Attorney said it was cheaper to educate the masses on the dangers of opioid addictions
    than prosecute the top name, we have to ask when the solution is coming?

    When, really? (10 Mar 17)



    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    "Quote Of The Day"

    "I just came to work every day and did the best I could."
    Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, the father of organ transplantation, who revolutionized medicine with the first successful liver transplant and set the standard for
    the life-saving surgery, who died yesterday at the age of 90, as quoted above from a 2008 interview with the Trib.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Commish's photo op with a racist

    RANTS that Fayette County Commission Chairman Vince Vicites took such delight in being photographed in D.C. with a former television star who lost his
    network show contract for using the N word to describe his daughter-in-law of mixed race.

    Starstruck Vicites, reportedly, posted the photograph sent here on his social media -- perhaps unaware or perhaps not -- of the history of the racist bounty
    hunter who was once incarcerated for a murder that happened during a botched drug deal in Texas. As a result, the premise of the reality show was that the
    bounty hunter always captured the felons on the run without a gun, as he was not permitted to possess one.



    For the time being, we'll give the Fay Chair the benefit of the doubt and assume he was unaware why the network axed the show and more interested in the
    former television personality's support last month in federal court for reduced bond requirements for indigent inmates charged with minor, non-violent crimes.

    RAVES, that way, if the Dog can help drastically reduce the population at the Fay lock up to single digits overnight. (4 Mar 17)  

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Bullet-proof panels placed at courthouse, public safety building

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but an admission of confusion reading today's Courier piece, "Bullet-proof shield installed at Fayette County Courthouse," that
    detailed the county's gain of three bullet-proof shields of glass for $10,000, through a grant to protect courthouse guards at the entrance.

    Two of the 800-pound mobile panels, however, were shown in a picture behind the two guards scanning articles at the courthouse entrance. While it seems
    the panels could be effective to shield guards in the event a shooter is approaching them from behind -- i.e., if a weapon already inside the courthouse is
    used to shoot at them -- the panels don't seem to have much other value if a shooter comes through the front door with a weapon drawn. Readers can only
    hope that at least one panel protects the guards from the front.

    May we never have to know for certain if the bullet proof panels protect the guards there or at the public safety building, where a fourth panel was also
    placed. Lets hope that the state coughs up some more dough for the counties more affordably to buy more panels to form into a bullet-proof enclosure if it
    views unprotected government building entrances as a danger.

    Unfortunately, the sad fact remains that nobody has ever taken out a shooter in a public place before the first shot was heard. (2 Mar 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Commissioners take a D.C. lobby trip

    RAVES to waking up to the refreshingly pleasant surprise news of the trio of county commissioners lobbying as a team unit in D.C. for Fayette County
    improvement funding.

    As per today's heraldstandard.com*, commissioners bent the ears of regional senators in the hopes of gaining support to acquire ownership of the Army
    Reserve building on Rt. 21 and obtain federal funds for the Sheepskin Trail completion and airport expansion.

    In a 2013 Right To Know request, this column received copy of a letter from a former county controller to military brass,  asking to help the county receive
    "soul source bidding" on the vacant Army Reserve building, saying that Uniontown Hospital at that time also reportedly wanted to buy the building for its own
    use.

    "The biggest hurdle will be to get a sole source consideration, this defined is that our needs are superlative to any other organization," wrote former
    controller Sean Lally in 2013.

    Lally then stated in the 2013 RTK answer that ownership of the building could leave the military only on an "in kind" type of deal with the Department of
    Defense. A traditional type of property sale or transfer was not feasible, Lally said then. Apparently, four years later, the issue of sole source bidding to
    obtain ownership of the vacant military building for county jail purposes continues to be a hurdle for county officials to overcome.




    Whether the commissioners' road trip to D.C. this week ultimately pays off and funds roll in for the projects they want, is unknown. It was, however, again, a
    most pleasant surprise to see the trio working together for the best interests of the county.

    Seriously, lets hope that egos allow that to become a desperately needed norm and be more than just an illusion.  (2 Mar 17)

    *"Fayette County commissioners go to D.C"
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    As those in Hell are said to want ice water
    Former trusted cop wants latest rape charges dropped

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but an admission of being uncomfortably surprised that a former head of the county drug task force/policeman/detective wants
    his rape charges dropped because too much time has passed since the alleged rapes and his arrest.

    Is he kidding?

    Is he kidding, we ask? He and his lawyer maintain that police intentionally delayed filing charges to dim memories of witnesses and to lessen chances that
    cell phone records would be available.

    He must be kidding. After all, his arrests on multiple charges with multiple victims resulted only from 2015 indictments from a statewide Grand Jury convened
    one year earlier. His preliminary hearing was almost one year ago. He started the first of his trials two months ago after motions filed delayed trial and was
    convicted in the first of the cases involving a teen informant last month.  



    Why aren't the wheels of justice spinning quickly enough for him? Is he, in essence, whining because the former county district attorney terminated him from
    the county drug task force four years ago for having sex with a different informant, didn't dig deeper, didn't arrest him and let it go till it snowballed into a
    Grand Jury investigation that now requires state attorney prosecution?

    Would the defendant out on bail really be happier if the former county district attorney had investigated and prosecuted him before losing re-election in 2015?
    Probably not, but so many other of us might be. (27 Feb 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Prosecutorial misconduct keeps biting Fay in the behind

    RANTS that such a self-admitted vicious, merciless killer, as the one recently found guilty again on re-trial, dares to try God's patience by asking for a third
    trial. To think that if it were not for prosecutorial misconduct in his original trial decades ago, the self-admitted killer who received the death penalty might
    have already been sentenced to death.

    Recently, courts opted to let the man live in prison for the rest of his life because he claimed he was drunk at closing time in a bar when he stabbed a young
    woman so many times it was one of the most brutal stabbings some investigators recall.  RANTS that the courts too kind, sweet reprieve to live the rest of
    his natural life in prison was not good enough. No. He wants a third trial. This would not be happening if, yes, it weren't for prosecutorial misconduct of a
    former district attorney, who's now still presiding over county courts and trials today.

    RANTS to any court who grants the self-admitted vicious, merciless killer his wish and third trial.  His victim's family should not have to endure the pain a
    third time around. No self-respecting, decent lawyer would take the new case voluntarily. The killer played his trump card of prosecutorial misconduct long
    enough.

    Now, may we move on to sentence the judge?  (27 Feb 17)


    Related reading:
    Throw the book at the judge

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Government staff jailed for playing on work time

    RAVES -- and a hearty chuckle imagining if it happened here -- for the jailing of government funded staff who ditch work to play in Rome, Italy.

    As per the AP wire, 45 employees at a Naples public hospital, including doctors and nurses, were taken into custody, now under house arrest, for allegedly
    clocking in, then disappearing from their posts, including one physician spotted hopping a cab to play tennis.

    Also rounded up was someone working as a hotel chef while technically on duty at the hospital, and others who slipped off on paid work time to go shopping.
    Sound familiar?

    Would we not actually hear the walls and floors of the Fayette County Prison crumbling from all the added weight if those round ups happened here? (27
    Feb 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Happy Big, Big Birthday #3 to Mason... the little dynamo kid with Barthe Syndrome who keeps defying odds. The rare genetic
    disorder decreases the production of cardiolipins essential to the energy metabolism process, leading to heart damage, reduced muscle tone,
    underdeveloped skeletal muscles, delayed growth, and physical disabilities.

    RAVES to Mason, who suffered a horrible stroke a few months before his second birthday, for being such a trooper, as he and his family celebrate his third
    and very special birthday. Barth Syndrome is said to become kinder to children who reach the age of three, when Barth becomes less of a mortal threat than
    it is to infants and younger toddlers.  

    Please click on the blue link above to read more about Mason's progress. Mason, of course, is the son of Fayette County political and musical entertainment
    videographer and producer Chuck U. Farley. Happy Birthday, Mason! (26 Feb 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hotel creates 12 jobs

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a mention of confusion reading today's "Connellsville welcomes Cobblestone Hotel to town" in the Courier. Although talk
    long linked a Connellsville former county employee/political publicist and former county commissioner as investors in the hotel, today's piece is the first
    known public disclosure of that fact.

    While the former one-term pyrite prison promoting county commissioner likely had no moral or legal requirement to have disclosed publicly while in office that
    he was or had invested in the new 55-room hotel -- that is, if the investing happened before losing re-election --  his pal, on the other hand, possibly should
    have, but failed to -- i.e., at least by what we read then in the paper -- disclose the investment while he sat on the board of the Connellsville Redevelopment
    Authority.




    Was the former Redevelopment Authority member already on board, in active investment planning in the fall of 2015, when heraldstandard.com's
    "Connellsville Redevelopment Authority pays bills for proposed hotel project," said the Authority was administering a $100,000 grant from a private Pittsburgh
    foundation for hotel pre-development costs? Given hotel sewage and parking plans were approved in 2014 in a public city council meeting, it's a question
    worth asking.

    Five months earlier, in April of 2015, the same paper notes that Authority members voted unanimously to "become a limited partner" in the hotel by investing
    the $100,000 grant in the hotel.


    Meanwhile, in August of 2015, the investor abstained without stating a reason and other Authority members and, seemingly also citizens and the press,
    failed to ask why. As per the Trib's "Purchase paves the way for razing of Connellsville building,"  (adjacent to the hotel) the Authority:

    "...approved a motion to rework an agreement with Trailside Lodge LLP, the group hoping to build a hotel on Connellsville's West Side. Trailside has
    a promissory note with the authority for $50,000, and payments on the note were due to start in 2015.

    “We will redo the note with Trailside and with the Mc-Kenna Group,” said Michael Edwards, executive director of the authority. Authority member
    Robert Flockvich made the motion to rework the agreements. It was seconded by Mancuso. Gallo abstained."





    Rants&Raves so wishes the hotel much, much success, in spite of the former commissioner's involvement. This column will never rebound completely or
    likely ever believe in any politician again enough to endorse another, for that immensely disappointing performance over four years and status as the worst
    commissioner in county history.

    His side-kick pal, whose company name was linked to nasty political graphics in the last mud-slinging election, certainly didn't score any points here, either,
    by announcing now that he really is an investor, as sources a few years ago reported he was. Controversy only lessens the integrity of any public funded
    entity, even when private grant money is involved.




    Nobody wants to hold any of that against the success of the hotel, however. The city needs a hotel. The city needs jobs and more than just the 12 hotel
    workers working now.

    What the area does not need is another nuisance bar and investors not profiting enough to contemplate a return to public service.  May it never, never come
    to that.  (24 Feb 17)
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Paper error? Or did we all miss something?

    RANTS that  today's above mentioned Courier piece seems to contain incorrect information on one point. The article referenced hotel investor Geno Gallo
    as the county airport's director.

    A quick check with an airport authority member and county official, meanwhile, showed neither was aware of such title, appointment, hiring or airport re-
    organization. (24 Feb 17)
     

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    RTK appeals increase across the state

    RAVES for the significant number of private citizens who filed Right To Know appeals with the state's Office of Open Records after being denied information
    by local government entities on goods and services funded with public money.

    As per the Bucks County Courier Times' piece, "More people fighting to access public records in Pennsylvania,"  the number of RTK appeals has more than
    doubled since the law was enacted in 2009.  Private citizens filed about one-third, or 1,144 RTK appeals, while the other 2,926 appeals filed in 2015
    included only 134 requests from media and 224 appeal requests from private companies. The state does not have statistics for 2016 available yet.

    Inmates incarcerated across the commonwealth in 2015 filed 1,414 appeals, largely for court records and ridiculous information such as a pop star's high
    school records, future prison menus, etc. The bulk of inmate appeals were denied, including more than 500 from one inmate. Government officials submitted
    less than one percent of appeals.

    The OOR tracks only appeals, not the original RTK requests that are filed around the state.



    As per the investigative piece from Bucks County Courier Times, the OOR granted, at least partially, about 30 percent of those appeals. About 22 percent
    were dismissed. Another eight percent are appeals that were pending, consolidated with other requests or transferred to another agency that had jurisdiction.

    Nearly 40 percent of appeals were dismissed because of procedural errors -- the requester filed too early, too late or didn't fill out the correct form.
    Nonetheless, RAVES to all of those who ask for information under RTK and file appeals when denied information.


    Perhaps one day, those in charge of spending public money may actually "get it"  -- i.e., that the public has a right to know how its tax dollars are spent  --
    and one day may just cheerfully provide the information or answers without nailing the door shut and being forced by law to release it. (17 Feb 17)


    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    WTAE TV spanks Fay CYS

    RANTS that an investigative news feature of children dying after abuse or neglect was reported brought Fayette County Children and Youth Services to the
    spotlight on WTAE TV, in "Investigation finds child welfare system errors in child abuse deaths."

    As per the television report, relatives of a child who died after being punched in the stomach advocated for her welfare weeks before her death, as they did
    also for her sibling six months earlier.

    However, CYS, as per a state Human Services official, failed to even call back the relative to inquire of the whereabouts of the children and their parents.
    The family was said to be openly staying nearby in a parked car.



    RANTS that with more staff added a few years ago, another child still died in Fayette after reports of abuse were made to the local child protective service
    agency. There is no excuse for such negligence. None whatsoever. After all, these were not anonymous callers reporting nonsense.



    While the turnover was high for lower level caseworkers and some were new staff at the time of the child's death, management has pretty much stayed the
    same there. RANTS that management didn't keep up with assigning cases and getting their own behinds or those of new staff out the frigging door to look
    for kids in trouble.

    RANTS, too, that with two county commissioners already seeming to be running for re-election in 3 years and afraid of being sued by staff, we all know that
    half-assed business as usual at the county child protective services will, yes, be allowed to continue as usual.

    In other words, helpless kids in Fay are going to keep on being murdered or killed AFTER reports of abuse are made to the county department. (16 Feb 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Before hell freezes over?
    Will Vicites apologize to Zimmerlink?

    RANTS that Commissioner Vince Vicites, his assistant, or Vicites on behalf of the assistant, owes but probably won't ever provide Commissioner Angela
    Zimmerlink with a public apology over her not being invited earlier this month to the round table discussion on opioid abuse, coordinated by the governor's
    office.

    Possible RANTS, too, to Commissioner Dave Lohr and his assistant, if either or both were aware prior to the event that everyone but Zimmerlink was notified
    to attend the governor's meeting and if they then chose not to tell her, either.



    While on the subject, one-half of a RAVE for the heraldstandard.com ed opin piece, "Good visit," which talked about the governor's meeting and took issue
    and laid blame on Vicites for not informing Zimmerlink of the event. One half a RAVE as opposed to a whole one, however, it shall be since the paper's
    sentiment is "we're certain there was no ill intention on the part of Vicites" for the invitation mix up.

    Why is the paper so certain?

    Apparently, nobody at the paper read or believed the warden's filed county harassment complaint against Vicites, in which the warden claimed Vicites
    referred to Zimmerlink in angry expletives as an "f'ing b." Apparently, also, is the fact that nobody in ed opin attends meetings or watches their own meeting
    videos or maybe watches, but don't care to care when Zimmerlink states publicly that not all paperwork is shared with her.

    Paperwork, invitations... it's all the same and all so wrong. (26 Jan 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Tale of same RTK sent to state, county

    RANTS that the same Right To Know request -- to obtain copies of invitations sent to all three county commissioners to meet with the governor for a county-
    wide opioid and heroin epidemic discussion -- drew such different responses.

    As per Fayette County's RTK answer, a search of documents was conducted and no explanation is given as to why or how the snafu happened. "As a result,
    the records you requested do not exist in Fayette County’s possession."

    In sharp contrast, the professionally prepared Right To Know answer from the state, also received yesterday, at least attempts to try to locate an answer the
    RTK.  (25 Jan 17)   

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Second Worst Job Around: County Human Resource Rep

    RAVES that so many of the rest of us have jobs we love and that we never, never have to drag our behinds to the courthouse to work as human resource
    directors.

    RANTS of genuine sadness that the county human resource reps have what must be the very worst or second worst job in the county. Our hearts truly go
    out to them.

    RANTS that the interim human resource reps, attorneys from a law office, have to get bogged down by handling and investigating what too often end up
    being unfounded complaints of harassment or other offensive nature within the county employment system. RANTS that those human resource reps must
    deal with frequent drama kings and queens overreacting and grandstanding with largely empty, bogus workplace complaints. Seriously, that job has to be
    emotionally and physically draining.

    Of course, there is only one other for whom we feel sorrier for than the county HR rep...



    Worst Job Around: Commissioner Zimmerlink's

    RANTS that a county commissioner has to go off in public in 2017 as Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink did, towards the end of the last county
    commissioner's meeting, during public comment before adjournment. RAVES to her, however, for informing the public of the new wave of employee
    grievances against her and that all correspondences are not being shared with her.

    Whether it's an undelivered invitation to an important meeting with the governor or whether it's letters from citizens wanting to serve on county boards or
    authorities that she says she did not receive, there's possibly that underhanded, inner office mail problem that did not go away with the shenanigans of the
    last administration.       

    RAVES of hope that the other two commissioners wise up quickly and start sharing all information with the third and insist that their staff do so in their
    absences. The easiest way either can win re-election is to work cooperatively with Zimmerlink now. (25 Jan 17)

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Airport has $13K in the bank!

    RAVES of happiness and joy reading the piece on today's heraldstandard.com, "Fayette County airport operating with a budget surplus," which states that
    the small municipal airport ended last year with about $13,000 in the bank.

    As per the story, the airport anticipates increased revenue after the new corporate hangers are constructed and leased. RAVES of hope that the place
    actually does become financially self-sustaining, as one authority member is quoted in the paper as saying it already is. How much, for instance, would be
    left of $13K in the bank if the airport authority had to make payments on the $140,000 for a large door funded through county gaming funds? Currently, few
    flights take off, land or buy fuel at the local airport.



    As per 2015 newspaper articles about the proposed costs of the replacement airport hanger door, the airport authority was to put up and match the county's
    kind gift of $120,000 in county gaming money with a $20,000 payment from airport authority funds expected, to pay for the $140,000 door.

    The previous year, in November of 2014, the airport manager wrote to the county commissioners asking that an unused 2010 gift from the county of $50,000
    be used for airport to pay off a few past due fuel invoices.

    RAVES of hope that the airport leases all the new hangers and sells a lot of fuel so that it really does become self-sustaining in the true sense. (19 Jan 17)  


    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    FOX rejects 84's Superbowl tv ad

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a noted moment or three of embarrassment viewing KDKA television news earlier this evening with tourists, as the story
    aired that FOX Television rejected 84 Lumber's proposed 90-second spot during the Superbowl for being politically offensive. The network airing the
    Superbowl agreed to air only a revised or edited commercial from 84 Lumber, said to cost $10 million.

    Apparently, a scene with a wall filmed in Mexico and California with the ad text talking about 84's desire to job search by spreading a wider net to those who
    are outside the box.

    FOX, reportedly, took offense to the unstated but implied notion that the ad was geared to appeal to applicants of questionable citizenship or forms of
    identifications. What appeared to be a large group of online teens in restaurant-like booths were shown busy at work recreating the commercial changes.
    We'll leave it at that.  (18 Jan 17)     
     

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    V. Vicites voted to hire investigator to investigate V. Vicites???

    As per a Right To Know answer received, the investigation that resulted from the county jail warden's filing of a Harassment Complaint against
    Commissioner Vince Vicites was handled by Investigations by King LLC,  to the tune of  a $1,011.42 fee.

    Because the warden's complaint mentioned alleged negative comments from the commissioner about female attorneys named as interim county human
    resource directors, an outside investigative entity was contracted to avoid a conflict of interest.

    However, as per county commission online meeting minutes, all three commissioners voted unanimously to contract with Investigations by King, LLC on
    October 20, 2016, for an unspecified human resource matter. In other words, readers, RANTS that Vicites did not show good sense to abstain or recuse
    himself from voting to hire someone to investigate an employee's claim of harassment against him. If he claims ignorance, then even bigger RANTS are sent
    his way,  if he were to claim he didn't realize what the matter for vote before him was about and he cast a vote on any matter anyway.


    RANTS that the commissioner, accused in the employee complaint of wanting to hire someone outside the regular hiring process, seemed to want to keep
    quiet from the public the nature of the investigation in the motion last October at the time he voted to hire the investigator.

    RANTS, because logic that flawed might have kept the warden's complaint against him under raps for a little longer, but eventually only creates controversy
    and mistrust with the public and provides the warden's lawyer with ammo for civil cases against the county or appeals thereof. (18 Jan 17)


    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Who investigated warden's complaints about Vicites?

    In follow up to the below piece from 12Jan17, "Warden accuses commish of trying to bypass hiring process for jail hire," RANTS that these types of
    complaints cost the county in other ways, too.

    For instance, since lawyers who are working as interim human resource reps were named in the complaint, an outside investigator seems likely to have been
    contracted to interview Vicites and the warden.



    There is no reason to doubt courthouse and jailhouse sources who say that the warden's complaint pretty much sat for a few months before any real action
    to investigate his complaints were made.

    Miller contended in his late June Harassment Complaint against Vicites that the commissioner wanted someone hired at the jail who hadn't properly gone
    through a hiring process and that Vicites reportedly vowed to have fired the female lawyers working as the county's interim human resource piece for
    somehow having a hand in that with the warden.

    In response to Miller's complaint against him, Vicites is said to have denied cussing Miller out on the phone, denied hanging up on him and reportedly
    claimed Miller's complaint of him was politically motivated.





    To help support his claim that the warden's complaint against him was politically motivated, Vicites, as per snickering courthouse and jailhouse sources,
    reportedly provided to the investigator a group photograph taken in a happy social setting of the warden, a former commissioner and spouse, two of that
    former official's political hires, and a campaign contributor of that former commissioner who was suddenly given a big five-year county contract the last days
    his friend was in office.

    Meanwhile, the photo, just possibly, could have also been a same photo that the warden could have presented in his different case against the county for
    picking on him for his political pals.




    That all said, a Right To Know is sent to learn the name of the investigator contracted to investigate Miller's allegations against Commissioner Vince Vicites,
    the cost of this investigation, and a copy of the report, if available yet. (16 Jan 17)



    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Airport former employee won $20K unfair labor civil suit

    As per a Right To Know answer from the Connellsville Hardy Airport Authority, a former airport lineman who sued the airport last year after his termination for
    unfair labor practices, was awarded a $20,000 settlement in 2016.

    The Right To Know answer also notes that there were no other out of court or court ordered settlements made with former airport employees during the
    years of 2010 through the original Right To Know request five months ago.

    Readers here recall that the airport authority deferred making an immediate decision and opted to take another 30 days to reply to the Right To Know
    request -- i.e., to learn the total dollar amount of any and all settlements paid to former airport employees, over formal grievances, or complaints of hostile
    work environment or unfair labor practices.

    "This inquiry can include any and settlements made out of court to stop a lawsuit from proceeding or any settlements made as a result of EEOC actions," the
    Right To Know begged to know.   

    The Right To Know inquiry filed last August named two specific former airport employees, but also wanted to "address any complaints filed against current or
    former management, not limited to" just those two named, from 2010 through August of 2016.

    RAVES to the airport folks for doing the right thing and releasing the information. (16 Jan 17)


    Thanks to nice people at Subaru for making sure that a large envelope of unopened mail made its way back here. Left by mistake in a car at trade-in on an
    exciting new car purchase day, the manila envelope was packed that morning with unopened mail at the post office before sliding under the seat and
    forgotten, when personal contents were transferred from one vehicle to the next.  

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Governor, Vince&Dave forget, intentionally forget that Fay has 3 commissioners?

    RANTS to this commonwealth's governor for the noticeable absence of all three Fayette County commissioners at yesterday's sit down forum of area leaders
    meeting with him at Highlands Hospital to talk about the opioid drug war going on around us.

    As per a hospital source, the governor's office coordinated the sending of invitations for the event to area political and media members. Presumably, all three
    county leaders were thought to be attending.

    Given that the forum also focused on a possible opioid treatment plan for the county jail, RANTS that the top Republican vote getter in the last election was
    not invited to participate.

    Even bigger RANTS, however, are in order for Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr for failing to make sure all of Fayette voters were represented at
    that meeting. Do these guys have the words "Lame Duck" written on their foreheads, or what? The governor's office has been asked for comment.

    A Right To Know is sent to the state capital office to obtain the invitation list or to see if an invitation had been sent. RANTS galore if one were sent, but
    possibly got intercepted and intentionally kept from the third commissioner.  (14 Jan 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Warden accuses commish of trying to bypass hiring process for jail hire

    RANTS that it appears that much of our current board of county commissioners could not have been paying close attention to the antics and wrongdoings of
    the prior administration to have learned from past mistakes. A real pity, indeed, for Fayette County.

    For instance, readers here are too familiar with public discontent over past officials returning favors with political hires who did not apply or interview formally
    with the county.

    Readers are too sickeningly familiar, too, with officials who would and do stab one another in the back instead of focus on working together productively for
    Fayette residents. RANTS because it still appears to be going on in this changed and current board of commissioners as well.

    In a copy of a Harassment Complaint that he filed seven months ago, Fayette County Warden Brian Miller and the target of Miller's complaint, Commission
    Chairman Vince Vicites, seemingly both needed their mouths washed out with soap -- that is, if Miller's account of the heated exchange between him and
    Vicites is accurate. The document was mailed here, supposedly, from jail staff, and is authenticated by two sources.

    Due to the sexist and profane wording of the complaint, readers are cautioned, before clicking on the link above, that the alleged exchange between the two
    professionals in Miller's account is plum nasty. Both Vicites and Miller have been asked for comment. (12 Jan 17)
       
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Warbucks b slaps Fay, Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally

    RANTS that Daddy Warbucks up the mountain packed quite the mighty bitch slap wallop to all area 20-something men, by plopping down about $10 Million
    for a hiring plea to air as a Superbowl television commercial. The commercial is said to announce the possibly senile lumber company owner's job search to
    locate 20-something men seeking a career, as opposed to those, for instance, seeking but a mere job.

    RANTS, also, that Warbucks' slap in the face to area young men gave him the other free hand to deliver an equally powerful slap to area women. Media
    stories about the Superbowl television commercial specifically are quoted as saying the locally bought ad clearly wants to appeal to 20-something men,
    apparently in all areas of the world that view the Superbowl.

    When Warbucks' hands were left stinging from slapping the local 20-somethings, RANTS that he then, naturally, reduced himself to another low, kicking
    locals, 30 or older, in search of better employment, in the gut.

    RAVES if the $10 million wager on Superbowl airtime works and his lumber company and resort become profitable enough that he won't ask for any
    additional public or working tax payer funded tax breaks to keep his businesses financially operational. Warbucks or his companies have received tens and
    tens of millions of dollars of low interest loans in bankroll, by borrowing into public funds from Fayette County, Washington County, state and federal fund
    programs.

    For instance, in 2011, his lumber company received $20 Million in Federal loans to pay off the remains of a crushing $195 million, 18-percent interest loan.
    The following year, in 2012, Fayette County sponsored the same lumber company a $15 million loan request. Fayette's generosity to the lumber company
    came at a time when monthly sales at Warbuck's lumber company decreased from $5 billion to about $1 billion. Those two huge low interest loans followed
    an earlier $5 million low-interest loan from Washington County, as part of a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program aimed at maintaining and
    creating jobs.

    Meanwhile, today's local paper* online states that other smaller tax gifts were bestowed upon Warbucks' other business, a hotel, with three LERTA breaks
    on new construction.

    RANTS because after all that borrowing from public funds largely generated by working class people of all ages in this part of the state, Warbucks gambles
    $10 million to attract 20-something males from all over the world. He seems to have drawn the same dismal conclusion as the late state representative who
    declared at his last candidate's debate that we've lost this entire generation to heroin locally.



    RANTS that Warbucks seemed to have had more of a grip on reality when he funded breast enlargements for pretty young area flat women and paid
    $80,000 for Jimmy Page's handwritten "Stairway To Heaven" lyrics for one of the recipients of those said enlargements. (10 Jan 17)   

    *heraldstandard.com, "Uniontown Area grants tax exception"  

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Warden sued again, over case already heard by Grand Jury


    RANTS that the county jail warden is getting sued again and it seems so unlikely that this particular case, already heard much in part before a Grand Jury,
    will just go away through motions court.

    RANTS since large court settlements usually go hand in hand with disgusting cases of jail staff-to-inmate abuse such as this. Readers here know that this
    case resulted from the beating and stomping of a shackled inmate by one county jail guard while two other guards held the inmate, back in March of 2015. It
    wasn't bad enough he beat the man silly, the county paid staff also pushed the inmate down a flight of jail stairs when the beating ended.

    As previously stated here in "Well run county jails don't draw a Grand Jury, do they?"  and in newspapers, the vicious physical assault was video-recorded.

    Although the county warden certainly wasn't one of the men on video who beat or held the inmate that day, the warden is sued because he is said to have
    known about the violent nature of the guard who beat and stomped the inmate but, reportedly, did not discipline the guard.

    In fact, the guard kept working but later was fired. He was not charged until after other guards testified about the attack before the Grand Jury that followed.



    While the others were not criminally charged along with the fired guard, they are also named in this new civil suit against the warden and the fired guard.

    RANTS to think that a such a violent goon squad was obviously protected from immediate termination or charges until after a Grand Jury had to hear the
    matter. That someone so once protected, by the way, now serves time on burglary charges in Greene County. (10 Jan 17)

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    A White Orthodox Christmas: a safer bet than rain on Rain Day

    RAVES this very snowy overnight, leading into the first hours of Orthodox Christmas Eve, that some will get their white Christmas.

    Locals who follow the Julian calendar, more often than not, get their wish for a snowy white Christmas to celebrate their religious holiday.   

    This time around, the snow started right on cue. (6 Jan 17)   


    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Today's fix for The Great Music Sickness

    RAVES to the Trib for bringing back music writer Rege Behe for occasional features, and to Behe for interviewing this column's favorite Pittsburgh song
    writer, Norman Nardini, in today's piece, "Rocker Nardini better than ever after 50 years."

    RAVES that those of us afflicted with The Music Sickness finally found something of quality in the papers to read and smile about today. Nary a week
    passes here when someone is in touch to ask about Nardini and pass along one of his or her favorite Norm stories.

    RAVES, especially, that when asked who among all musicians, past or present, whom he would like to have played with, he lists a few big time writers and
    performers, but also is quick to state with pride that he got to play with former Diamond Reo mates Frank Czuri and the late Warren King, as well as the late
    Glenn Pavone.

    RAVES to Double N for still wanting to rock us in the few venues still left for live bands to perform and for all his efforts to entertain nursing home dementia
    patients with Sinatra classics on piano. (4 Jan 17)    
      
    http://triblive.com/aande/music/11702169-74/music-uncrowned-king
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    In regard to Bullskin auto thieves
    Westmoreland County Prison gets a reprieve; Fay not so lucky

    RANTS that Fayette County's jail population overnight grew by one, a Westmoreland heroin using car thief, packing a loaded stolen gun and leading more
    state troopers than anyone here in Bullskin ever recalls seeing gathered, for a most difficult man hunt, in the rainy fog.

    RAVES to the police for nabbing at least half of the toxic duo, who crashed one stolen truck into a home and caught on fire, crashed a stolen van through a
    garage door and into a ditch and tried to steal a third vehicle owned by someone with a gun who shot at the suspect.

    RAVES to the observant convenience store clerks for stalling the soaking wet man hours later with his fast food order to keep him inside until police returned
    to take him into custody. RANTS, yes, that one is still on the run and that the Westmoreland junkie in custody in Fayette might not ever give up the identity of
    his partner in crime. RANTS that entry doors and windows in these parts are still locked and double checked... and in many cases, guns or rifles remain
    propped if needed.

    RAVES, nonetheless, that the scary drama that played out here in Bullskin yesterday into the wee hours seems to have almost ended today. Almost. (4 Jan
    17)



    Copyright Protected

2016 R&R
HOMEPAGE
    127 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
    222 days... since
    Rants&Raves requested A
    Right To Know to obtain
    records of county contracting
    rates and the spending of public
    funds