Pennsylvania 5G Law Passes With Little Fanfare

Pennsylvania 5G Law Passes With Little Fanfare

By Bob Small

HB 162 was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature, and signed into law as Act 50 on June 30 by the Gov. Tom Wolf. The Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act was passed with only three dissenting votes and little notice. The idea is to accelerate 5G infrastructure in Pennsylvania

We all, of course, want the modern world of 5G and any route to this sounds like it must be harmless. Well, yes and no. First, we learned of this item at the July Swarthmore Borough Council Meeting. We learned that the mini-towers required for 5G could be planted on the grass strips that many of us have between sidewalk and street.

This is property we had thought was owned by the homeowners and, we assumed, was part of what we pay taxes for We assumed we had control of what goes on on these strips. Guess not.

Now, according to State Senator Tim Kearney (D-26 and a former fine Mayor of Swarthmore) there are but sevem exceptions whereas a municipality can “refuse the installation of small cells.” None of these 7 exemptions apply to these street strips already having a planting of any kind of tree, neither fruit trees or saplings, or… These would probably have to go, though that’s a small price for progress, one supposes.

The apple harvest we had this year may be our last.

There’s an exception for Historical Markers, but this would not necessarily apply to, say, Swarthmore’s Historically Black Neighborhood. Each case like this might have to be brought up individually. How this might effect Swarthmore College is still unclear.

We have also been told that all these initial requests will be coming to your town by the end of the†month.

According to Legiscan.com, the only three nays, in the State House, were Democrat Kevin J. Boyle, and Republicans Carl Walker Metzgar, and Brett R. Miller, none of whom mentioned it on their websites.
Boyle, who participated in some forums I organized, did not respond as to his reasons to vote against this bill. No one in the Pennsylvania Senate opposed it.

Bob Small is a resident of Swarthmore.

Pennsylvania 5G Law Passes With Little Fanfare
HB 162 was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature, and signed into law as Act 50 o

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain — This gentle warning has been passed to us that you are about to be again robbed by the Rose Tree Media School District.

Pennsylvanians would save a lot, and we mean a lot, more money if education funding followed students and not systems. If we learned anything from the pandemic it’s that Pennsylvania schools are way fat.

More importantly, though, education would be greatly enhanced and parents would be greatly empowered.

Your little boy is being taught he should be a little girl? Fire the fools and find a new school.

If vouchers are too radical for you, rescinding the prevailing wage law would save 20 percent of the cost of this looming boondoggle. Just sayin.

Anyway here is how the heist is starting:

I want to provide you with an update on the progress towards our new elementary school. We understand how critical selecting the location for our new elementary school is — a decision we do not take lightly. Over the last several months, our Project Oversight Committee (POC) and Core Design Group (CDG) for the new elementary school has been working extremely hard to reach this point. We are very excited and proud to announce the location of our new elementary school in Edgmont Township! 

Prior to this decision, the POC and District administration completed several decision worksheets, narratives, and a full site comparison analysis including anticipated costs, facilitation sessions, and several conversations with the School Board and local city and municipal regulatory agencies. Understanding the locations of new developments and our existing students within each elementary’s school’s boundaries, the team sought to minimize impact and costs when selecting the new site. In addition, key priority drivers for this decision included: 

  • Location, size, and cost of the property 
  • Site attributes including accessibility, entry points, utilities, drainage, soils, environmental integration, etc. 
  • Transportation impacts: time spent on the bus for students, the number of buses needed, staff impacts, etc. 
  • Timeline to develop property
  • Other unique attributes such as a redistricting plan, community goals, housing developments, and logical locations

Over 23 sites were vetted as potential options during the last two years. Sites in Middletown Township and Edgmont Township were shortlisted, but ultimately the property in Edgmont Township was selected and the sale finalized for the new facility. Local, community schools have been a keystone of our District for many years, and the selection of the current site reflects our ongoing commitment for neighborhood schools.

Currently, we are working on finishing the Schematic Design Phase of the project. We invite you to join us next Tuesday, June 29 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for a Public Presentation that will outline the work and progress completed so far. This will include a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute Q&A section. You can attend either in-person at the Penncrest High School Auditorium or virtually via Microsoft Teams. The link to join the meeting virtually will be posted at 6:00 p.m., 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, on our Room to Learn Room to Grow website, our District’s website, and social media. 

I encourage you to visit RoomtoLearnRoomtoGrow.org/pre-design-phase for ongoing updates to our progress. We’re very excited to provide our students with room to learn and room to grow!

Regards, 

Dr. Eleanor DiMarino-Linnen

RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain
RTM Plans New School, Residents Should Plan For New Pain

Jenn O’Mara Birthday Greeting

Jenn O’Mara Birthday Greeting –– A few days ago was my birthday, and in the evening I got a call from my state rep Jenn O’Mara wishing me a happy one. At first I thought it was a robo but as the conversation continued I realized it was live.

Jenn O'Mara Birthday Greeting
Thank you, Jenn O’Mara

I was impressed. Granted, if my birthday was in June and this was an off-year election perhaps I wouldn’t have been so honored but I was still impressed.

So thank you Jenn, you made my night. I will be voting straight R, Nov. 3, which means for Bob Smythe in Pennsylvania’s 165th House District but what you did was very nice and you seem like a nice person.

If you want to get my vote push for ending prevailing wage. It would have made the cost of Springfield’s new white elephant high school about 20 percent less. Single parents, newlyweds with diabetic kids and the elderly are paying for it you know, and the extra money doesn’t help the trades unless you happen to be the one running the union.

Don’t sweat it though. I doubt Smythe will try to end it either.

Jenn O’Mara Birthday Greeting

Bill Would Allow Reopening Some Pa Businesses With Conditions

Bill Would Allow Reopening Some Pa Businesses With Conditions

By Sen. Doug Mastriano

I introduced legislation this week to get Pennsylvania working again.  Calling it “Pennsylvania Healthy Citizens and Healthy Businesses back to work initiative,” it applies strict health and safety measures on businesses to allow them to resume operations.  The governor should not have the sole and arbitrary power to judge which businesses should survive.  His only answer to this was creating a star-chamber like secret waiver process, which at last count has 25,000 requests pouring in.  The entire process is a well-guarded secret with zero accountability or transparency.  We have no idea if those approved/disapproved are getting political payback, or how decisions are being made.  Is it constitutional that he is wielding so much power, unprecedented in Pennsylvania’s history?  It is not up to Governor Wolf to pick winners and losers and he is indeed doing that.  This was made evident in a recent expose by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which discovered the Wolf Family legacy company to remains open, despite his order to the contrary.

Pennsylvania is indeed confronted by a contagious virus, which has necessitated certain emergency measures to curtail its spread.  This encompasses distancing, sanitary health practices, health conscience behavior, a sanitary workplace, among many other considerations as listed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  These are designed to ameliorate the spread of COVID-19.  Chief among the considerations is the need to avoid the spike in infected people that sadly occurred in other nations, such as in Italy.  This spike overwhelmed their health care facilities and left scores not receiving the help that they required.

The key concern of Governor Tom Wolf in this environment was to reduce the spread of the virus across the state by severely restricting/limiting what he called “non-essential” and later,  “non-life-supporting” business activity.  His order to avoid a spike in cases was triggered by the governor’s 19 March order that initially called for the closure of all businesses across the state deemed non-essential that evening.  Wolf’s unilateral closure order impacted tens of thousands of businesses; millions of jobs and put at stake the very lives and economic well being of our citizens.  His draconian order took no account of CDC or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines on allowing low contagion risk jobs to remain operational, but at the stroke of a pen, unilaterally issued a proclamation that will be calamitous for our state.  Hardest hit among these are; single-parent families, young couples, the independently employed (who still are not eligible for unemployment, despite my engagement with the governor to reverse his position on this), non-profits and small businesses.  There is a real and present danger that Wolf’s cure may be worse than the virus.

And then there is Wolf’s much-vaunted waiver office.  The governor’s waiver process lacks accountability, has no oversight and grants him unilateral power of who can and cannot be open for business.  This is too much power in the hands of one man and as we saw with the Philadelphia Inquirer exposé, it is already being used for political payoff.

My “Pennsylvania Healthy Citizens and Healthy Businesses back to work” legislation will allow businesses to reopen if they agree to abide by CDC mitigation measures to contain the spread of the virus. We need a safe, fair and balanced approach to reopening businesses.  Not the secret and random Wolf waiver process, but rather an approach that takes the incompetence and corruption of Harrisburg bureaucrats out of it.  A process that uses the expert advice of CDC and OSHA to provide direction on how certain businesses can reopen, which will at the same time, protect the health and welfare of our people and our state.

The preponderance of the “non-life sustaining businesses” closed by Governor Wolf are categorized by the Federal Government as low to medium risk at spreading the diseases and that’s without them already implementing the CDC’s health conscience best practices.  Imagine how safe they will be with the implementation of CDC’s guidance.  The way ahead for Pennsylvania is to offer businesses deemed by Gov Wolf as “non-life supporting” to resume operations but under certain conditions.   To reopen, mangers, owners, and staff agree to comply with CDC and OSHA COVID-19 mitigation measures until the state of emergency has ended.  These businesses do not require a waiver, but agree to enforce CDC and OSHA policies during the COVID-19 health crisis and will be responsible for meeting these standards if inspected by the PA Department of Health or local law enforcement.  Timely and full compliance is required to continue operating the business during the crisis.  An appeals process will be established at the Department of Labor to handle any concerns of disagreement with an inspector’s findings and monthly reports will be filed with the relevant committees in the House and Senate (Health, Labor, etc) to provide oversight and transparency.  The House and Senate Labor Committees will adjudicate any appeals or complaints that are challenged by the businesses in disagreement with a Department of Labor’s decisions.

Businesses that resume operations during this health crisis agree to abide by the following healthy practices delineated by both the CDC and OSHA:

Businesses that resume operations during this health crisis agree to abide by the following healthy practices delineated by both the CDC and OSHA:

  • Implement a generous sick leave policy, without retribution, for anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath)
  • Employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) will immediately be sent home and not return until cleared by a healthcare professional
  • Sick employees must remain at home until their symptoms have passed and/or they receive a clean bill of health from their healthcare provider or state/local health officials
  • Employees with sick family members, or family members at higher risk (elderly, those with a weakened immune system, heart conditions, respiratory disease, chronic medical condition, diabetes, etc), should not work in a public area and all efforts should be made for them to work from home
  • Employers allow as many employees as possible to work from home (telework)
  • Employers must ensure that there is a minimum of six feet between workers, as well as six feet maintained between the employee and the public.
  • Employees at higher risk of suffering severe consequences or death by COVID-19 (elderly, weakened immune system, heart conditions, respiratory disease, chronic medical condition, diabetes, etc), will not be permitted to work in a non-life supporting business until the crisis has passed.
  • Employees with a sick family member will not return to work until that family member is cleared by a professional healthcare worker.

Additionally, the business will agree to:

  • Implement sanitary policies and a regular cleaning schedule to reduce exposure to COVID-19
  • To disinfect workspaces and areas with access to the public in addition to the workspaces and especially the restrooms.
  • Have adequate cleaning supplies available, as well as disposable paper towels, etc. The business will also ensure that tissues, hand sanitizers, gloves, medical masks, and other necessary sanitary products are available on site should an employee need them.
  • Online meetings will be encouraged rather than in-person
  • Employees will not share tools, equipment, phones, desks, computers or electronics.
  • Employers will agree to allow employees to remain home to care for sick relatives if necessary
  • Employers will develop flexible emergency leave policies during this health crisis and have non-punitive measures in place for those that need time off due to health concerns
  • Employers will not require their employees to have a COVID-19 positive test result to take sick leave
  • Employers will suspend non-essential operations and go to “minimal manning” to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19
  • Employers Adopt “flexible worksites” that allows telework, etc. to reduce the likelihood of exposure
  • Break rooms and cafeterias should be closed
  • Postpone all non-essential meetings.
  • Limit public interaction and use curbside pickup, and online meetings.
  • Seek ways to increase building/office ventilation and circulation,

In closing, I’m reminded of a local florist that is operated by a husband and wife.  They can do all transactions online and deliver the arrangements to the customer.  They will not exchange money, see or meet any people and are at zero risk of spreading the virus.  There is another local business in my area that is operated by a husband, wife and their daughter.  Again, the transactions can be done online and the goods can be left out for pick up or delivery.  They will have no interaction with the public and are at zero risk of spreading the virus.  Having such low-risk businesses shut down at the whim of the governor lacks reason or justification.  He’s doing nothing to limit the health crisis while causing unnecessary pain to the community.   What’s the point of shutting down any activity that has zero to little risk of spreading the virus?  This is simply an example of the heavy hand of big government, needlessly crushing hard-working families and small business owners.

By implementing the above best practices, the spread of the virus will be contained/migrated, while at the same time allowing Pennsylvania to reopen for business.   Many of the businesses shut down by the governor’s unilateral order are considered by CDC and OSHA criteria as low risk of spreading the virus.  Mandating the implementation of these commonsense and life-saving measures, as described by CDC and OSHA, will ensure the safety of our citizens and the survival of our businesses.  Without compromising the health and welfare of our people, this balanced/commonsense approach is in the best interest of Pennsylvania.  Governor Wolf, it’s time to think about the people of Pennsylvania and get “safe businesses” back to work.

Doug Mastriano represents Pennsylvania Senate District 33

Bill Would Allow Reopening Some Pa Businesses With Conditions
Bill Would Allow Reopening Some Pa Businesses With Conditions

Murt Quits Ammo Tax Bill

Murt Quits Ammo Tax Bill — The neo-feudalists who want to be our kings and queens are using the pandemic to try to sneak in a new law to make it harder for sane, law-abiding adults to defend themselves.

Murt Quits Ammo Tax Bill
Note that the prime sponsor withdrew his name.

The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee received, March 10, House Bill 2344 which would require a  “permit to purchase” for ammunition, and tax all ammo purchases. 

The prime sponsor was Thomas Murt, a Republican who represents the 152 District, which consist of parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.

Murt has withdrawn his name from the bill. That’s a good thing but the bill remains with 10 other solons backing it.

This bill is counter-productive to the problem it presumes to solve namely mass shootings and random acts of violence. What must be recognized and what its supporters deny is that it is good for sane, law abiding adults to have guns and ammunition, while it is bad for the insane and criminal to do so.

The bill is aimed solely at the sane and law-abiding. Hey sponsors, if you need a clue as to how to solve the problem consider that the United States had 450,000 more mental hospital beds in the 1950s that it does today with about half of the population.

If you want another clue, consider that mass school shootings in the United States didn’t start happening until those who rule us declared the start of life to be just a matter of opinion.

If you still need a clue, consider that murders in Philadelphia plummeted when the state overruled the city to give the residents the right to carry.

The bill is not likely to go anywhere.

“This unconstitutional legislation is an affront to every law-abiding gun owner in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-89) said. “HB 2344 goes on the list of anti-Second Amendment legislation that will never see the light of day as long as I’m Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in Pennsylvania.”

Murt Quits Ammo Tax Bill

Gift Ban Introduced In Pa House

Gift Ban Introduced In Pa House

By Leo Knepper

In late 2014 and early 2015, five current and former members of the General Assembly were charged with bribery and other charges related to their acceptance of cash “gifts” from a lobbyist. The House and Senate changed their chambers’ rules to prohibit the acceptance of cash gifts from lobbyists, but the law hasn’t changed. One of the reasons the law wasn’t changed was because banning only cash gifts could raise questions for lawmakers about the kinds of gifts they can still accept.

What kinds of gifts can they accept? Virtually anything as long as they follow the disclosure rules. Lawmakers are required to disclose gifts of more than $250 per year from any source and transportation, lodging, and hospitality worth more than $650. Over the years, those gifts have included everything from Super Bowl tickets to Turkish rugs. As long as they follow the rules, pretty much anything is fair game.

That might finally be changing. On Nov. 18, the House State Government Committee advanced House Bill 1945. Per the co-sponsorship memo:

“The legislation will prohibit public officers, public employees and candidates for public office from accepting a gift of cash in any amount. The same individuals will be prohibited from accepting any gift that has either a fair market value or an aggregate actual cost of more than $50 from any one person in a calendar year. In addition, public officers, public employees and candidates for public office will be prohibited from accepting hospitality, transportation or lodging that has either a fair market value of an aggregate actual cost of more than $500 from any one person in a calendar year…Gifts and hospitality, transportation and lodging received that attain these thresholds will be reported on the individuals’ Statement of Financial Interests along with the circumstances surrounding the receipt of the same.”

At CAP, we generally aren’t a fan of banning things or unnecessary regulations. However, given the sheer number of public officials from Pennsylvania who end up in prison, we think that enacting these changes makes a lot of sense. There is room for improvement in HB 1945, but it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. 

We will be keeping our eye on the legislation and will keep you informed about its progress.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Gift Ban Introduced In Pa House
Gift Ban Introduced In Pa House

Reject Marcy’s Law Amendment

Reject Marcy’s Law Amendment — Marcy’s Law, a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, is on the ballot Nov. 5.

The amendment claims to give crime victims “rights” and is being supported by actor Kelsey Grammer and various politicians.

It’s wording is:

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to grant certain rights to crime victims, including to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity; considering their safety in bail proceedings; timely notice and opportunity to take part in public proceedings; reasonable protection from the accused; right to refuse discovery requests made by the accused; restitution and return of property; proceedings free from delay; and to be informed of these rights, so they can enforce them?

Sounds nice. Vote against it.

The respected PrinceLaw.com has an excellent explanation as to why.

The most obvious reason is the question as to why we need a difficult-to-change constitutional amendment when the issue could be addressed with far more flexibility via a statute.

The most significant reason is that the proposed amendment puts the accused in the category of criminal and cements the accuser as the victim. Not all accused are guilty. Not all accusers tell the truth. That’s why we have trials.

The most subtle reason is ballot questions are limited to 73 words but the actual amendment is 500 words and creates 15 new “rights”.

Buying something unseen is always unwise.

The clincher is the amendment is being backed by Bloomberg money. Is this going to be a gun grab?

Say no to Marcy’s Law.

Reject Marcy’s Law Amendment
Reject Marcy's Law Amendment

Gun Rights Mean Civil Rights; Call to Action

Gun Rights Mean Civil Rights; Call to Action — Defenders of the Second Amendment and self defense rights are being urged to attend hearings in Harrisburg, Sept. 24-25. Being considered are “red flag” laws which will allow gun confiscation without due process; “universal background checks” which is de facto universal gun registration; and bans for AR-15s which has become the best-selling rifle in America.

It is noted that paid corporate shills wearing red shirts will be in attendance.

The hearings will be 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 24 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 25 before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee in Capitol’s North Office Building, Hearing Room 1.

Frederick Douglass pointedly noted that a man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.

There are some who shouldn’t have access to guns, but they shouldn’t have the right to vote either. Ponder that “social justice” phonies.

This gun control push is not about making things safer — which all sane, law-abiding people desire — but about taking rights from sane, law-abiding people which will do anything but make things safer.

Gun Rights Mean Civil Rights; Call to Action -- Defenders of the Second Amendment and self defense rights are being urged to attend hearings in Harrisburg, Sept. 24-25. Being considered are "red flag" laws which will
Gun Rights Mean Civil Rights; Call to Action

HB 1410 Weakens Budget Oversight

HB 1410 Weakens Budget Oversight

By Leo Knepper

Please, take a moment to contact your Representative and Senator. Ask them to oppose HB 1410.

Pennsylvania’s annual budget process is ripe with problems. Members of the General Assembly are typically given a day to review hundreds of pages of proposed spending, and accounting gimmicks hide the size of spending increases. One of the tricks used to disguise spending is the use of “special funds.” Special Funds frequently become part of the shadow budget with minimal accountability over the spending. One bill gaining traction is the House would add to the problem. HB1410 purports to address a vacated military base that has polluted the water system for the surrounding area.

HB 1410 establishes a Keystone Opportunity Zone around the “qualified former Military Installation.” It allows the municipality to establish a “qualified authority” to fund military installation remediation. The legislation provides a formula to collect a percentage of taxes (CNI, Sales & Use, Personal Income Tax, Realty Transfer Tax, & Local Taxes,) to fund the authority.

HB 1410 directs the State Treasurer to create a new Special Fund known as the Military Installation Remediation Fund to collect monies. Note that the Commonwealth has 36 environment-related special funds. Specifically, Pennsylvania has a safe drinking water special fund, an industrial sites cleanup fund, and a hazardous sites cleanup fund. Any or all of those funds could be utilized for a remediation project such as this if authorizing legislation was passed to allow qualified former military installation projects to be eligible for the monies in these various special funds.

Finally, HB 1410 directing the State Treasurer to establish restricted accounts within the special fund for each qualified former military installation. The funding can be used for funding transportation infrastructure, economic development costs, payment of debt service for construction, infrastructure, site preparation, etc. In other words, it can become a slush fund for pet projects. Raising additional concerns is the provision that allows the State Representative and Senator in that municipality, or an adjacent one, to serve as a board member of the established authority.  The Representative who introduced the legislation, Todd Stephens, just so happens to meet the qualifications to sit on the board.

HB 1410 addresses a problem with questionable methods, and grants the board, and potentially select members of the General Assembly, overly broad discretion in what projects to fund. It runs the risk of becoming one more shadow budget item.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

HB 1410 Weakens Budget Oversight Please, take action on HB 1410.

HB 1410 Weakens Budget Oversight

Pennsylvania Presidential Popular Vote Bill Pushed By Extremist Dems

Pennsylvania Presidential Popular Vote Bill Pushed By Extremist Dems— SB 270 was introduced, yesterday, July 9, to give Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to the popular vote winner for President

The bill compels Pennsylvania to join The Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote plan being pushed by wannabe dictators.

The sponsors are extremist Democrats Daylin Leach (17), Steven Santarsiero (10), Wayne Fontana (42), Judith Schwank (11), Vincent Hughes (7) and Andrew Dinniman (19).

The Electoral College was largely devised by liberty-loving Founding Father Alexander Hamilton who considered it a bulwark against  “cabal, intrigue, and corruption.”

He was absolutely right. How many Americans are convinced in their hearts that massive vote fraud occurs in Democrat controlled big cities and college campuses? Probably about half. Think about it. Really, why the objection to a citizenship question on the census? Why the fight to keep illegals from being deported?

A close popular vote would never be accepted by the losing side.

Only fools or despots want to get rid of the Electoral College.

By the way, Hillary Clinton did not win the majority of the popular vote in 2016. Only a true fool can think 48.2 percent is a majority. Since 1992, only George W. Bush in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, got more than 50 percent of the vote. Only Obama in 2008 got more than 52 percent.

Hat tip Bobby Lawrence

Pennsylvania Presidential Popular Vote Bill Pushed By Extremist Dems
Pennsylvania Presidential Popular Vote Bill Pushed By Extremist Dems