Someone Else’s Fish
Election Concerns Again Expressed In Delco Pa — Election concerns were again expressed In Delaware County, Pa. and County Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther again, last night, Feb. 7, angrily dismissed them.
Joy Schwartz of Drexel Hill said it is impossible for ballots to be certified at the central counting center at the Wharf in a trustworthy way. The counting center is where the mail-in ballots are processed.
Mrs. Schwartz implored these ballots be returned to precincts where the counting can be observed by poll watchers and the election workers are familiar with residents.
It is not widely known but poll watchers do not have the same rights and powers at counting centers as they do at precincts.
Mrs. noted that our security for our elections have been practically outsourced to the corporations that make voting machines and writer their softeare.
She demanded that the counting center be closed and the counting of mail in ballots be returned to precinct
Also expressing concerns about our elections was Barb Lewis of Radner specifically regarding the SURE system which is how Pennsylvania tracks registered voters.
Ms. Reuther said it was unfortunate that people still spread doubts about elections in Delaware County.
We say look in the mirror. We say it is pretty weird to fight open record requests regarding business correspondence especially when the state arbiters rule against you.
Also Carris Kocher of Concord pointed out that oaths of office are required by law at the prothonotary office. She said she looked for those of several Delaware County officials but was unable to find them.
Laws being ignored about small things is a sign that laws are being ignored about big ones.
Election Concerns Again Expressed In Delco Pa
Could MLK’s Upland Dorm Room Become Public Place? — Delaware County (Pa) Council, yesterday, Feb. 7 approved a $10,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant to study turning the Old Main building on the Crozer Chester Medical Center campus in Upland into the MLK Center for Peace and Justice.
The Old Main was part of the Crozer Theological Seminary where Martin Luther King Jr. studied. His dorm room was in the Old Main.
Janet Lloyd Murphy of Middletown, whose idea the center is, gave a short presentation about the seminary before the vote.
Mrs. Murphy said the facility began as a teachers college but became a hospital during the Civil War. Union and Confederate soldiers were treated there and a Confederate soldier was actually housed in the room Rev. King would come to use.
Many of those treated had fought at Gettysburg.
Rev. King’s room is now apparently as storage space.
Mrs. Murphy has an excellent idea.
The building and surroundings are now owned by Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. which desperately wants to get rid of them.
In other business, Council passed resolutions amending and restating the establishment of the Delaware County Heritage Commission. Council members described this as a routine bookkeeping matter.
Council also recognized February as Black History Month and American Heart Month.
Could MLK’s Upland Dorm Room Become Public Place
Locks Don’t Work At Delco Prison And Inmates Are Making Shivs — Delaware County Council, last night, Feb. 7, faced a contingent of correction officers from George Hill Prison who told them the locks on the cell doors don’t work and the prisoners are tasked with fixing them.
Which they don’t seem to be doing albeit they are making shivs from the materials they are given as per Officer Al Johnson of Morton.
Johnson, a 14-year veteran, said he has never seen it this bad. He blistered Councilman Kevin M. Madden who is on the county’s prison oversight board and has made comments to the media that conditions there were peachy.
He said suicides have increased as have assaults on staff and other prisoners
He said sexual abuse is heaped on the staff by the prisoners and the complaints are ignored by Warden Laura Williams.
Frank Kwaning, president of the Delaware County (Pa) Prison Employees Independent Union, reinforced Johnson. He also said Madden’s claims that everything was fine were false.
He said the facility is not safe for officers. When the staff makes complaints the warden retaliates against them.
He said he wants council to visit the prison and meet with staff without administrators present
Harriet Burgess of Drexel Hill said she was one of the victims of retaliation.
She had been a sergeant at the prison and was fired because she wouldn’t falsify documents, she said.
Ms. Burgess blasted Madden saying he was unfit to serve on either the oversight board or council. She also Warden Williams was not fit to serve, and that officers fear entering the cell blocks because the doors are not fixed.
She said there are thousands of OSHA violations at the prison.
When it came time for council comments, Elaine Paul Schaefer blithely thanked the correction officers for coming in but said they were wrong about conditions at the facility.
She said she knew because she used “data points”.
She then talked about the county trail system and how wonderful it was.
Madden, who was attending virtually, attempted to defend himself.
He accused Kwaning of making the claims as a union bargaining ploy. He said the prison wouldn’t let him tour without senior staff present.
One of the speakers claimed that Delco hired Warden Williams despite her being fired from Allegheny County Prison.
Madden defended her saying she had not been fired.
Whether she was fired or not it’s safe to say Allegheny County was not sorry to see her go.
Madden said the prison is much improved since the county took over from GEO Group on April 6, 2022 in response to some of the speakers pointedly saying otherwise.
The only councilmember that seemed to give a fig was Vice Chairman Richard R. Womack.
Womack said he was not going to take the correction officers at their word but that he will investigate. He said it was inexcusable for someone to be fired in retaliation for making a complaint. He said would visit the prison.
While he did not expect to be able to tour it without administration present, he would request that a union member accompany him, and that he would speak to the officers outside of the hearing of senior staff.
The officers in attendance gave him loud applause.
The growing crisis regarding the prison have been reported for more than year. The incompetence and indifference that led to the agonizing death of paraplegic inmate Mustafa Jackson did not get near the publicity it deserved.
Speakers say they expect a guard will eventually be killed.
For a story on the single moms and other parents who, last night, described abuse committed by the county’s Children and Youth Services visit here.
Locks Don’t Work At Delco Prison And Inmates Are Making Shivs
CYS Horrors Revealed To Delco Council — Correctional officers appeared en masse, last night, Feb. 7 to berate Delaware County (Pa) Council, about conditions at George W. Hill Prison
And numerous parents — including several single moms — gave them horror stories about the county’s Children and Youth Services (CYS)
If the CYS stories are even half true, council should resign en masse.
Actually, the same holds true for the prison. See other story.
Regarding CYS, Rael LaPenta of Upper Chichester described the nightmare she was put through when her ex-husband sicced the agency on her.
She had custody of the children but says her ex cooked up a complaint and the county people took her son from her ignoring established protocols.
Ms LaPenta fought and was able to get him back but the removals happened twice again. Again, she fought and regained custody but the legal battles continued. She began reaching out to public officials for help including Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther. After months of trying, she finally met with her in December. Ms. LaPenta said she has since ignored her.
She asked council to intervene as they had direct oversight of the agency.
Ms. LaPenta had more to say but speakers are allowed just three minutes.
Ashley Green of Ridley Park followed her. Ms. Green is a teacher. She said she lost nine months of her child’s life along with her teaching certificate because CYS accepted allegations of abuse from the child’s father.
They placed the child in the custody of someone who was the father’s choice before she managed to get him back after nine months.
She said she had an active protection of abuse order against the father when the agency took her child.
Sharon Poole of Glenn Mills cried whe she told her story. Ms. Poole is a registered nurse. She said CYS took her son after accepting unfounded allegations from the father. While in the father’s custody they made the boy wear a dress and the father’s girlfriend abused him including penetrating his anus with her finger, Ms. Poole said.
Ms. Poole also asked the county to impose direct oversight and create a clear policy as to when children may be removed. The policy should provide detailed formal explanations to parents as to why it is happening, and what their recourses are.
“How many kids not safe in this country?” she said. “When will this change?”
Bill Ruane of Springfield said that while living Westbrook Park in Clifton Heights he called CYS when he saw a child lying on a bare bed frame amidst vomit.
He said he was told an investigator would not be able to appear for several days despite the apparent danger to the child. Apparently CYS did contact the family but nothing was done.
Anyway he and his wife had a child just before a recent Christmas and they received a surprise visit from CYS agents. They explained that they were following an anonymous report that the couple was using meth and heroin.
The Ruanes let the agents tour and consented to a swab of their mouths to test for drug residue.
They hadn’t heard back for a period and that after New Year’s the checked back and were told that the wife had tested positive for meth.
It was a false positive but obviously the claim by a government agency is terrifying.
In the Ruanes’ case, they never lost custody.
Anthony Mix (sp) of Chester told council the CYS was wrongfully taking kids
The only council member to show any sincere concern was Vice Chairman Richard R. Womack.
For more on the meeting see other stories.
Nana’s Attic Has Moved To Drexel Hill; Will Be Renamed — Delaware County Council, yesterday, Feb. 7, hear an update regarding the Domestic Abuse Project from its executive director, Michelle Brown.
Ms. Brown noted that the Project’s thrift shop Nana’s Attic has moved from Lawrence Park in Marple to Drexel Hill where it will be called Thrift and Thrive.
Council approved a $25,000 grant for the Project.
Council unanimously approved 20 consent items. These included:
- Buying 300 gross 12-by-16-inch American flags for Memorial Day for $35,856
- Amending an agreement with Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson for construction inspection services for County Bridge #7 on New Road in Aston. The value of the contract will increase from $393,243.47 to $602,150.56.
- Advertising a request for proposal for a temporary emergency shelter
- A contract with Eastern Highway Specialist Inc. for rehabilitation of County Bridge 72 on Maple Avenue over Darby Creek connecting Clifton Heights and Upper Darby
- A Memorandum of Understanding with Villanova University to submit their Covid-19 for housing for Covid-19 affected students to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement.
Nicholas Penza of Aston during public comments question the agenda items regarding Villanova the Aston bridge and the emergency shelter.
He was told the university needed a government agency to make the request by federal law and the county obliged. Regarding the others, he was told the county couldn’t do a question and answer at the meeting but members could be contacted afterwards via email or by phone.
He, along with a woman who also had questions, were told the could also watch yesterday’s work session on video where the items were discussed in detail.
Dangerously structured dams William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-8-24
Ltpiwtg xh vdds dc Stgxqphdkhzpnp
Hjetg htrgti Gjhhxpc ephhldgs
Answer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
Martin Luther King, Jr.