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How Is This Possible?
At the January 3 Starrucca Borough Council meeting, the public was asked to go outside so the council could have an executive meeting concerning a personnel issue.
They kept us outside for one hour; as you know, it was very cold that night. I assume they were talking about Tony Palonis, who has missed so many meetings. By the way, he wasn’t there for this meeting, even though they changed the monthly meetings from Monday to Wednesday to accommodate him. When we were allowed back in, Kirk Rhone said he would talk to Tony.
At this meeting, I asked who the auditors were. They said Darl Haynes, Paul D’Agati and George DeBalko. I then asked how Darl Haynes, who is the FEMA agent, could be an auditor. I question this because Darl Haynes is present for all the closed-door executive meetings, as well as all discussions of the spending of this council.
At this meeting, Paul Everett questioned a check that was from April, that had not been processed. Eight months to get it straightened out? How is that possible in this day and age?
Darl Haynes, as auditor and FEMA agent, asked Paul Everett how he knew about this check. Darl Haynes’ question should have been, “How could this happen?” Or did he already know?
I was a Starrucca Borough auditor for many years and was never involved with the spending of borough funds. How is this allowed now?
What Wasn’t Said
In the Wednesday, January 17 Susquehanna County Transcript, Kirk Rhone, the Starrucca Borough President, submitted the minutes from the December, 2006 meeting.
Under correspondence, the secretary reported that a letter from “concerned citizens” was read and a copy was presented to the board.
What she didn’t write in the minutes was that the petition contained the signatures of 70 taxpayers in Starrucca Borough that are opposed to the council borrowing $70,000 for the bridge that crosses the creek on the Buck/Rhone land that stops at the old railroad. Thompson has closed that portion of the road that is in Susquehanna County.
Mr. Lehutsky, the 2005 solicitor, stated this bridge is a county bridge but when asked about it, Kirk Rhone said, “Prove it.” It seems to us that it is the obligation of council to prove it is a borough bridge before they take on debt to fix it. This council has already forced the borough to pay $16,500 for the engineering for said bridge. Thousands for Solicitor Bugaj, and now $2,900 for the survey of the roads to cover the new entrance they have installed, plus other roads that border their lands or their family’s lands. They have not said one word about how much this is going to raise taxes in the borough.
The school taxes went from 8 mils to 13 mils. We don’t need an increase in our taxes or the bill that will come monthly to pay off this $70,000 loan they want.
The land they want to develop is in Susquehanna County, so Thompson and Susquehanna County will get tax money and Starrucca taxpaying citizens will get the debt.
14 Concerned Citizens
The Surge Deception
What's the real reason for the surge, a.k.a., the escalation in Iraq? Does anyone seriously believe that an increase of 15% will have a decisive impact, except, of course, in the lives of those 20,000 additional troops? Iraq is only the cover story. Turn the page and you will find the real reason: Iran.
Recently, the President deployed another carrier battle group into the Middle East. This makes a total of three strike fleets totaling thirty to forty ships. Couple that with this fact: the commander of the armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, General Abizaid, disagreed with the President's surge strategy. Joining him in dissent was the second in command, General Casey. Both were sacked.
The new supreme commander in the Middle East is Admiral William Fallon. The appointment of an admiral to oversee two ground wars – Iraq and Afghanistan – is not only unusual, it is unique. So why an admiral? Could the three carrier groups, supported by submarines and missile-launching vessels, be a new tactic against roadside bombs in Iraq? Or could their location in the Persian Gulf, which borders 1200 miles of Iran's northwest coast, and the Arabia Sea be positioned for future military action against Iran?
The U.S. and Israel have been spoiling for a fight with Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979. As a senior Bush official said in May, 2003, "Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran." Well, we've been to Baghdad.
Tehran is next. All that's needed is a causa belli, a reason, an excuse to bomb sites suspected of harboring illegal uranium enrichment. The key word here is "suspected." Iran is under the constant inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They found no evidence of Iran attempting to enrich uranium beyond the allowable 3% to 4% needed for its nuclear reactor. Weapons-grade uranium requires a purity of 85% to 90%. But, then, there is that nagging suspicion, no evidence, just a suspicion. But is suspicion sufficient cause for military action? It was in Iraq. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Nevertheless, in all probability there will be a showdown with Iran. If my count is current, that adds up to three wars, not counting our occasional bombing forays into Somalia. But Iran is not Iraq. President Bush could be tweaking the nose of a tiger. If Iran retaliates by blocking the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world's petroleum passes, look for gas to hit $10 at the pump and that's not even the beginning of a bad day.
The world's 1.8 billion Muslims will look upon the U.S. and Israel as enemies of Islam. The 20,000 surge force will be needed to quell a higher level of violence against the U.S. troops in Iraq. Saudi Arabia, even now staving off radicals, could fall. Worse yet, Pakistan's government, also tittering on the edge of an Islamic revolt, could topple, and Pakistan has the bomb – 52 of them.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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