Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wilkes-Barre Wall

My first stop this morning was in the Parsons section of the city. And there did come that point, judging by the chorus of wailing sirens, that the entirety of the WBPD was trying to get back on the lead lap. And according to the Times Leader, three nice fellows from NYC are in custody after an early morning shooting up Parsons way. No, I did not hear any gunshots.

Near about two hours later on WILK came "Linda from Parsons" live on my digital pocket radio blaming the current administration of this city for the shooting, crime in general, societal decay and "the outsider scum" who may or may not have committed the shooting.

Outsiders? Scums? Much more often than not, that's not-so-cryptic code for inner city blacks.

In case you didn't know, "Linda from Parsons" ran against the current mayor during the last election dust up, and she is married to a sitting county commissioner. And after her rambling tirade, I thought to myself, she's running for mayor again, which is neither here nor there.

Honestly, I fail to understand how our administration or any other administration for that matter can deny access to the outsider drug-dealing hordes while there is a thriving demand for illicit drugs in this area. As I have been known to say, where there's demand, there's supply. And until the demand wanes to a great, great degree, we should expect the occasional mass arrests, the steady occurrences of overdoses and the subsequent shooting events.

And to blame the mayor for this (the mayor that bolstered the ranks of the police by 21 officers...almost one and half platoons) because--allegedly--the building codes are not being enforced, well, that's insufferably imbecilic poppycock.

As much as I can't believe I could ever be persuaded to think as much, it might be time to legalize drugs. Let the users kill themselves if need be. Allow the state to tax and regulate the flow. And take the gun-toting marauders out of the equation entirely.

Or, you could adopt the moronic belief that City Hall should keep those, ahem, non-whites out of here, that City Hall should built the 9th wonder of the world...The Wilkes-Barre Wall.

This one has me concerned...

The link: Leighton, firefighters clash over staffing levels

The excerpt: WIILKES-BARRE - Tensions between the city and its firefighters left the negotiating room at Thursday's City Council meeting as each side continued an ongoing debate over reducing minimum on-duty staffing as part of the city's effort to rein in escalating overtime costs.

Over four days, firefighters have protested and passed out fliers bemoaning the city's decision a week ago to trim minimum staffing to 12 firefighters from 14 to keep the department from exhausting its overtime budget by May. As part of the reduction, the engine based at South Station goes out of service when minimum staffing is in effect.

City officials have remained silent on their position as they engage in negotiations with the firefighters' union, International Fire Fighters Association Local 104, to end the impasse. Last night, Mayor Tom Leighton outlined the city's position as one spurred by an effort to pare down overtime costs that city no longer afford.

Ever since the fire fighter's union endorsed then-candidate Tom Leighton, and then agreed to concessions with his newly seated administration, it's been a grudge match almost ever since. The mayor will not deficit-spend, and the firefighters say they need additional manpower. Personally, I'm tired of it.

During the Leighton years, we've reduced from 5 fire halls to 3, and from 4 fire engines to 3. As of today, we have 3 engines, Ladder 1 and Rescue 7 in service 24/7. The only reason I agreed with the decision to downsize to from 5 to 3 fire halls and to 3 engines was because they would be strategically placed...north, central city and south. But now, with the possibility that only two engines could be in service at selected times, I think that's putting public safety in doubt.

I did not bother to try to touch base with either the mayor or the union honcho, because, as the newspaper put it, there are ongoing negotiations afoot. So, I doubt anyone would be very candid or frank with me.

And I was once told by that union honcho that the decision to man each engine with three men rather than the customary two that was the 'norm less than 5 years ago was not the straw that broke the camel's back. But ever since that became a requirement, there has been this constant cost/benefit tug of war going on between the firefighters and the administration.

But now, now I'm wondering if that should remain in place. If the administration goes through with the force reduction, we'll have 3 men on 2 engines at any given time. But if we went back to 2 men on each engine, we could put the 3rd engine back into service 24/7 with the same amount of men on duty.

Now, the firefighters will tell you that having 3 men to an engine enhances their personal safety while dealing with a structure fire. And indeed it does. The question is, can we afford to staff 3 engines at that level 24/7?

Still though, I ask you, what's better from a self-centered public safety perspective? 6 men on 2 engines? Or 6 men on 3 engines?

This just in...breaking news...

The Citizens' Voice has undeniably linked Gort to...

No, that's not it. Try this one from the email inbox:

Hello All,

The next blogger meetup will be Friday March 26th at Rooney's Irish Pub 67 S. Main St. Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 5PM.

I scouted out the place today and it's perfect for us. There is big bar area with tables off to the side and plenty of free parking across the street where the Tomato Festival is held. It's easy to find just drive north on River Street from W-B and it's on the left. Mapquest it. The DJ doesn't start until 8:30PM so we won't be blasted out. The menu looks good with everything from sit down dinners to bar food and munchies. For those who want to light up a smoking station is right outside the front door.

Please let me know if you can make it. I need your help to invite various candidates for the upcoming primary election plus our readers, commenter's and lurker's. I'll get Elizabeth to put it in the Citizen Voice Political Notes next Monday.


Yeah, but will they allow the use of throwing stars on their dartboard?

Y'ger needs, er, Y'ger wants to know.



Gort said...

I didn't see a dartboard in the place.

Get Mayor Tom to show up and I will work on Yuddy.

D.B. Echo said...

I'm not sure, but I doubt they'll allow anyone to throw darts or throwing stars at those two.