According to a forthcoming report from WNEP, nationwide, all state legislator’s per diems are exempted from taxation as per a bill passed in Congress way back in 1980.
I caught most of this segment on Sue Henry’s WILK show today (most… because I was up to my eyebrows in termites), and according to the guest (who’s name I missed) from WNEP, nobody knows who was behind the original bill. And he surmised that it was quietly bundled with another piece of legislation.
Free cars. Free houses. Free Interns (take that any way you want). Free from taxation.
Yep, those legislators are fighting for you.
I’ll call him a kid because, compared to me, he looks like a kid. Then again, compared to me, damn near everybody looks like kid.
Anywho, today’s version of the Times Leader has this story about how this kid from Wilkes-Barre is petitioning The City of Wilkes-Barre to install bicycle lanes throughout the downtown.
The link: Cyclist starts drive for city bike lanes
The excerpt: WILKES-BARRE – Bikers want a safe path through the downtown.
Albert Martino has started a petition campaign to get bike lanes in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Albert Martino, a 25-year-old city resident, rides his bike daily to and from work and he is circulating petitions to have bike/pedestrian lanes throughout the downtown.
“Motorists are extremely impatient with bikers,” Martino said. “They honk their horns and that could create a dangerous situation.”
Martino said establishing bike lanes would be “proactive” and would prevent incidents.
“It’s time to give everyone their space,” Martino said. “I hope people embrace this idea by signing the petitions.”
Martino has posted the petition on his website – bikewb.org – and people can go there and sign.
The petition states: “In addition to curbing environmental pollution and traffic congestion, the implementation of bicycle/pedestrian lanes throughout downtown Wilkes-Barre would help ensure the safety of both motorists and pedestrians alike. Increased foot traffic would help deter crime on city streets, and most importantly, help local businesses generate revenue. We believe this is truly the next step in establishing Wilkes-Barre as a cutting edge city to both live and work. The purpose of this petition is to allow your voice to be heard. Now’s your chance to be counted, and most importantly, help make a difference in our city.”
I went to his site and signed the petition at near about 6 a.m. this morning and I was the 32nd signer. And by 3:30 p.m., the count was up to 83.
The point being, there are more avid cyclists, or more people interested in commuting by bicycle than our elected leaders might want to believe.
Trust me, I’ve had conversations with numerous members of the current administration about adding bicycling amenities over the years. And to this date, all that was added was the bike racks positioned on, or very near Public Square.
I’ve made the pitch about the bike lanes, as well as traffic signals that can control the bicycle traffic as well as the vehicular traffic simultaneously.
I pointed out that both federal and state grant monies were available to add such amenities.
I stressed that more progressive cities not only have such things, they have bicycling coordinators who promote bicycling as a way of reducing pollution as well as congestion.
I pushed the physical fitness angle.
And I also pushed for a bicycle lane to be added to Wilkes-Barre Boulevard’s western edge, a bike lane that would just about run the entire north-south length of the city. Why not? The grant monies are available. And to this date, so is the narrow stretch of land needed for such a project.
With the mention of this idea, I was told by a city official, “Priorities, Mark. Priorities."
Back during the 80s, I had a letter to the editor published by which I extolled the many benefits of bicycling, and I also urged the-then administration of the city to promote bicycling at every available opportunity.
And after reading the published letter, one of my newer coworkers of the mildly obese variety asked, "Bicycles? What, are you gay?"
Uh, yeah. I guess you got me. Broccoli pizza. No red meat. No pork. No fowl. No seafood. And bicycling? Obviously, I'm light in the pedal-mounted cleats.
Still, you can count on my full support whereas this petition is concerned.
Every freaking day I read about and hear about how the government at every level is working to fight obesity, childhood and otherwise. And the simple, yet inexpensive solution to obesity is sitting just down the road a ways at the local bike shop.
Get your ass pedaling on a very consistent basis, and your ass will be smaller than you would have ever believed it could be.
And of our elected leaders I would ask, can't we do something progressive-minded just this once?
BikeWB.org: For a cleaner, healthier city.
Besides, with Obama in charge, it might not be very long before the bicycle is the chief mode of transportation in Amerika.
See you on the mean streets, kiddies.