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Friday, May 2, 2014

Road Apples, #149

Parents Gone Bad...The Scranton Times reported yesterday and today that the Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Bambera, placed a local Catholic elementary school's basketball program on probation over poor behavior during a hotel stay as basketball playoffs were occuring.  Apparently there were multiple complaints of children running while in hallways as adults get tanked at a bar (and other such stuff).  I think the Bishop is spot on in this case; playing basketball (or any sport) is privileged, not a right, and it is secondary to both the purpose of education and the reputation of the institution supporting the school.

Speaking of Bishop Bambera...I have to say I am very, very impressed with his actions.  Not that he needs my approval, by the way.  Whether it is his handling of feral basketball boosters, a tough statement on the allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the former rector of St Peter's Cathedral or his writing to the Vatican to try and stop an accused child molester from gaining more authority in a South American diocese, he seems to be trying to do right.  No doubt some will fault his actions, regardless of what he does, but it seems to me that there is a clear pattern of behavior on his part that sets a high standard of conduct, as opposed to a "holier than thou" attitude of a certain prior bishop.  Refreshing stuff.

Frank Bonacci Murder Case...I get it, a young man was killed.  Sadly though, young men are killed all the time, even in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  What I don't get though is why this case has gotten so much attention from The Scranton Times and others in the media.  I am sure his family has suffered through his loss, but from what you read, the entire community of Dunmore has suffered as well.  It's almost surreal.  Anyway, there's more to this story than what's being told I suspect.  Well I will confess to actually know a little more about this story, nothing shocking mind you, but enough to know that all is not as it appears.  Regardless, here's to a swift trial and justice being served, however that may end up being manifest.

Tom Corbett...Is already launching attack commercials on television against one of his potential Democratic challengers in the Fall.  Pretty pathetic stuff actually, implying that Tom Wolf, as Tax Collector in Pennsylvania, had something to do with tax and employment rates.  When last I checked, it's the legislature and the governor that set tax rates; the collector, well, simply collects the taxes.  If Tom Corbett is this desperate now, how is he going to sound in October?  By the way, I'm still waiting for that major oil/gas company to relocate its corporate headquarters to Pennsylvania.

Have A Few Million Laying Around...and feel like buying a shopping mall?  Well the Steamtown Mall will be sold via Sheriff's Sale next month.  Another sad bit of economic news for an area that has more than its share of sad economic news.  I actually think the Steamtown Mall has a lot going for it, none the least of which is plenty of covered parking.  What it doesn't have going for it, from a merchant's perspective, is the fact that it resides in a very business-unfriendly city, as manifest by the business abuse known as the "gross receipts tax".  Remember, this is a tax a business pays even if it fails to make any profit.  This is one of several reasons why NEPA lacks a thriving, job-producing private sector.

The Supreme Court Recently Ruled That...states upwind don't have a right to dump their air pollution downwind onto other states.  Seems like common sense to me, yet queue all the rhetoric about "War on Coal", "Job Killing Regulations" and "Out of Control EPA".  Note:  one of the things I want the government to do...and I am NOT a big government protect me from you.  This was a good decision on the part of the court and I hope the EPA will hold polluting states feet to the fire in terms of stopping the spewing of filth into the air that we all breathe.

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