Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time to express gratitude for what we have and to spend time with the ones we love. But for many years, Thanksgiving has meant the start of a very stressful holiday season of buying stuff, instead of doing stuff with our friends and family. We've starting to put presents before presence.
  1. Participate in Buy Nothing Day on November 24. Take the pledge to avoid crowded malls on the busiest shopping day of the year, and invite your friends to do the same!
  2. Start a conversation about Stuff. Talk with your friends and family about where our Stuff comes from and where it goes – and the impacts on people and the planet along the way. Sharing The Story of Stuff movie on social media is a great icebreaker!
  3. Give a non-material gift like event tickets or membership to a local museum.
  4. Gift something home-made or second-hand like baked goods, upcycled art, or quality used items.
  5. Volunteer with a local charity or community organization – and bring your friends along, too.
  6. Make a plan to relax. Holiday obligations and activities can leave us with little time to truly recharge. Set aside some time to get out into nature or to simply curl up with a good book.
https://catalogchoice.org/

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Execute the execution

Our brilliant commissioners are still under Tony DeNicola's spell. The commissioners will be voting on November 27, 2017
Consideration of a contract for a white-tailed deer management utilizing sharpshooting. The Municipality desires to follow the controlled hunt archery program currently occurring with a sharpshooting program under a PA Game Commission political subdivision permit. This activity would occur from February 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018. 
The Municipality received a proposal from White Buffalo, Inc., to provide deer management sharpshooting services. Under the contract up to 100 deer could be removed at a cost of $77,110. 
Recommended Action: Move to authorize the execution of this agreement with White Buffalo, Inc., for the removal of up to 100 deer at a cost not to exceed $77,110, subject to the approval of the manager and the solicitor.
Do we even have 100 deer? As in the past, we have no idea how many were killed by the archers, during Archery Season. Last year, the taxpayers paid Tony $9,000 to have "volunteers" kill 36 deer.

According to my blog posting from November 23, 2016  Tony, please return the commissioners' brains


Recommended Action: Move to authorize the execution of this agreement with White Buffalo, Inc., for the removal of up to 100 deer at a cost not to exceed $83, 477, subject to the approval of the Manager and the Solicitor.

55 deer were killed last year by "sharpshooting," at a cost of $815.78 per deer.


Year
Deer Removed
Cost of Removal
2007
79
$19,900  (USDA)
2008
146
$50,837 (USDA)
2015
6
$3,000  (Wildlife Specialists)
2016
101
$15,460 (White Buffalo -Archery)
2016
114
$74,375 (White Buffalo –Sharpshooting)
2017
36
$9,000 (White Buffalo- Archery)
2017
55
$44,868 (White Buffalo -Sharpshooting)
Total
537
$217,440

Here is the breakdown by year:

2007 $288.41 per deer
2008 $348.20 per deer
2015 $500 per deer
2016 (archery) $147.24 per deer
2016 ("sharpshooting") $652.41 per deer
2017 (archery) $250 per deer
2017 ("sharpshooting") $815.78 per deer

Brumfield's legacy will be to approve another year of killing deer with high powered rifles in undisclosed areas of Mt. Lebanon. He once said that he will only vote for shooting deer when the deer carry rifles, to even the score. I wrote that
Both Steve Silverman and Craig Grella want to continue doing business with that scoundrel, and will vote along with John Bendel and Steve McLean to keep Tony DeNicola. Killing deer causes collisions to increase, but they will continue to bring in lethal weapons because deer are scary.
Craig Grella didn't have to vote this year. Brumfield will get it passed. Parents, expect another CYA letter in January from Super Timmy and Keith McGill like this one sent last year. Bullets never cross sidewalks We'll hear how there hasn't been an accident. Will they only stop when there is? 

To Hell with those with PTSD.

Thanks for doing your homework, MLRC

From Facebook:

Third from the left, Mt. Lebanon's newly elected commissioner, Craig Grella, is pictured at the opening session of the Local Government Academy's course for newly elected officials. This course is a great way for officials to review the basics of local government, ask questions, meet some of their peers and be ready to hit the ground running when they are sworn in in January. Thanks for doing your homework, Mr. Grella!
But we still don't know about Mr. Grella's arrest, do we? And what about that conflict of interest? From March 29, 2017 Is this odd or what? UPDATED 2X We can thank the MLRC for that one. They would rather photograph an excellent candidate in front of a fire engine, than inform the public about these irregularities. Just keep blaming the Democrats, MLRC. What a crew!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Password required? UPDATED

I have been trying to log in to the MTLSD website and also access the meeting videos. Any ideas on how to log in, now that a user name and password are required for authentication? I have emailed the school board directors, but you know how that goes.

Any news on last night's meeting?

Update 7:22 AM

Dear Ms. Gillen.
We’ll have Mr. Stengel take a look.
Thank you for letting us know.
For the Board,
Mary D. Birks

Update 8:12 AM That was quick! It has been corrected. Still showing Timmy's 2016-2017 Goals with his 2017-2018 Goals Missing in Action. (Saved in Google Docs) I guess the 2017 board leadership forgot about that.

Update 9:48 PM Fixed!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Democratic Caucus results in

Conor Lamb won. He beat Mike Crossey, Pam Iovino, Gina Cerilli, and Bob Solomon. I wasn't aware that there were others running too. A gardener from Mt. Lebanon and a professor from Cecil also ran. 

Conor Lamb get Dem nod for 18th Congressional seat election

I hate this time of year.

3Ws is playing Christmas music 24 hours a day. I changed the station, only to hear an interview from Travis whats-his-face from the PA Game Commission to talk about killing deer. And then I get this anonymous comment:
Watched the discussion session on turfing the Rock Pile. Just curious why Penn State - that they rely on for so much info - hguses natural grass on its football, soccer and lacrosse fields if artificial turf is so superior. They also use natural grass on many heavily used fields for practice, clinics and summer tournaments available to outside organizations. http://www.visitpennstate.org/meeting-sports-planners/sports-planners/field-hockey-lacrosse-soccer/ It’s obvious the board is dead set on artificial turf and being that anonymous info/comments aren’t welcome here, this will be my last.
On November 29, 2017, I will begin my eighth year of this blog. I have published 44,543 comments to my 2,407 posts. I can't even guess how many of those 44,543 comments were anonymous. I have approved countless comments from Giffen Good, Dick Saunders, and more. I have posted lyrics to songs, lame quotes, links to outdated articles, and comments that are off topic. The anonymous comment above was submitted under "What is Variatiability?" after I wrote:

4:53 PM, while I truly appreciate all the studies you share here on Lebo Citizens, it is really a waste of time. We have three attorneys lobbying for artificial turf - Dave Franklin, Bill Moorhead, and Larry Lebowitz. We are also hearing from directors and parents. Paula asked for the vote to be tabled until the December reorganization meeting. I don't know what the board is afraid of. The board has committed to a full size regulation field. Actually, Mary Birks will not be able to vote on the artificial turf because it would be a conflict of interest with her husband/older gentleman who refs on those fields. The PA Ethics Commission is aware.

So thanks for all the studies and links, 4:53 PM, but no thanks. It didn't work with the municipality. It is not going to work with the school district. The board needs to hear from real people at the microphone. Not stuff posted here. They claim that they don't read the blog, but we all know they read every word. I don't need the speech about anonymity. Speaking at next week's meeting is the only thing that will be effective.
So 4:53 PM, you might want to take a look at tomorrow's agenda. You are the only person I know who has to announce your "last comment." I started this blog this time of year, many years ago, to try to bring transparency to Mt. Lebanon and do something constructive during the holidays. I ran "Dress 4 Work" every November for six years. I don't need you to tell me that anonymous info/comments aren't welcome here.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

End of an era

Monday, November 20, 2017 will be Mary Birks' final school board meeting. It is also Bill Moorhead's and Dan Remely's last meeting. Traditionally, Mary takes a swipe in her Board President's Report. She has gone after resident after resident in her reports. Will she go out in a blaze of glory or will she go out with dignity? We will soon find out.

 I wish them well.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Still nothing

https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJReport.ashx?docketNumber=MJ-05217-NT-0000326-2017

Ward 4, way to go! The lack of transparency has already begun with your new commissioner.

Throwback Thursday 2017

Looking for some gift ideas for teachers, groomers, hair stylists, etc.? I have over 500 different kinds, so I am not limited to these colors or tags. Prices range from $5 for small key fobs to $10 for the large bag tags. Email me at EGillen476@aol.com if you are interested. Looking for something in particular? I probably have it. Just ask.

You've seen these:







 I just made these and have soooo many other new ones available.





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Work in Progress

For the second time in a month, the Century of Excellence Presentation was promised, but was removed from the November 13, 2017 agenda. It appears that we have entered a new Quiet Phase.

On October 16, 2017, Nick Meduho had asked about the Jo Posti reset presentation. His questions were not answered, so Nick had fifteen open Right To Knows with the School District when he passed away. I had to refile them in my name, as I had explained in an earlier post. The RTKs, all related to the Century of Excellence Capital Campaign or the Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education (MLFE) are starting to come in.

I'm not sure how to go about this, so these will be in no particular order. I will continue to update with RTKs as I receive them.
  1. MLFE 990's 2013-2015
  2. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: the most recent detailed statement by the Mt. Lebanon school board directors of any/all devises, bequests, grants, endowments, gifts, and donations, held and possessed by such school district (Mt. Lebanon), the proceeds thereof, the investments which have been made therewith, the income arising there from, the expenses of administration, and the purposes to which the income arising there from have been applied., Such statement shall be audited as hereinafter provided for the auditing of school finances." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait.
  3. A comprehensive financial report for the Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2017.
  4. Copies of all invoices pertaining to the purchase of stadium blankets which are being sold to benefit the MLFE.
  5. Payroll records for Sloane Astorino from when she began employment in 2015 to present.
  6. An absolute complete/comprehensive and accurate income/expense report for the Century of Excellence Capital Campaign for dates January 1, 2012 thru October 15, 2017 which will include all the following; #1 All revenues itemized including but not limited to dates, amount and source of each transaction being as specific as possible, I understand that specific donor names must be redacted. #2 All expenditures itemized including but not limited to date, amount, payee and category of each transaction being as specific as possible. #3 All balance of money whether they be in a bank account, the Pittsburgh Foundation, etc. as of September 15, 2017. #4 All itemized transfers of money with specific dates and amounts transferred back to and from the school district general account for the capital campaign account.                    The District has located, with respect to the Capital Campaign Fund, documents setting forth “Revenue Accounts” and “Expenditure Accounts” for the 2012-2013 school year, the 2013-2014 school year, the 2014-2015 school year, the 2015-2016 school year, the 2016-2017 school year and the 2017-2018 school year as of November 3, 2017. In addition, the District had located a document entitled “Mt. Lebanon School District Fund 27 Capital Campaign.” These documents provide you with your requested information
  7. The agreement between the Capital Campaign and the Pittsburgh Foundation that was approved on November 17, 2014.
  8. "Any/all documents in the form of contracts, agreements, disclosure forms, terms, etc. that each donor was either made aware of, agreed to and/or signed either when they donated any money to the Century of Excellence Campaign or have pledged." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  9. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: The detailed statement for fiscal year 2012 by the Mt. Lebanon school board directors of any/all devises, bequests, grants, endowments, gifts, and donations, held and possessed by such school district (Mt. Lebanon), the proceeds thereof, the investments which have been made therewith, the income arising there from, the expenses of administration, and the purposes to which the income arising there from have been applied., Such statement shall be audited as hereinafter provided for the auditing of school finances." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  10. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: The detailed statement for fiscal year 2013 by the Mt. Lebanon school board directors of any/all devises, bequests, grants, endowments, gifts, and donations, held and possessed by such school district (Mt. Lebanon), the proceeds thereof, the investments which have been made therewith, the income arising there from, the expenses of administration, and the purposes to which the income arising there from have been applied., Such statement shall be audited as hereinafter provided for the auditing of school finances." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  11. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: The detailed statement for fiscal year 2014 by the Mt. Lebanon school board directors of any/all devises, bequests, grants, endowments, gifts, and donations, held and possessed by such school district (Mt. Lebanon), the proceeds thereof, the investments which have been made therewith, the income arising there from, the expenses of administration, and the purposes to which the income arising there from have been applied., Such statement shall be audited as hereinafter provided for the auditing of school finances." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  12. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: The detailed statement for fiscal year 2015 by the Mt. Lebanon school board directors of any/all devises, bequests, grants, endowments, gifts, and donations, held and possessed by such school district (Mt. Lebanon), the proceeds thereof, the investments which have been made therewith, the income arising there from, the expenses of administration, and the purposes to which the income arising there from have been applied., Such statement shall be audited as hereinafter provided for the auditing of school finances." Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  13. "On November 8, 2017, the Mt. Lebanon School District (the “District") received your Public Records Request (“Request”), made pursuant to the Right to Know Law ("RTKL"), seeking: An absolute complete/comprehensive and accurate income/expense report for the MLFE for dates January 1, 2014 thru October 15, 2017 which will include all the following: 1) All revenues itemized including but not limited to dates, amount and source of each transaction being as specific as possible. Donor names to be omitted. 2) All expenditures itemized including but not limited to date, amount, payee and category of each transaction being as specific as possible. 3) All balance of money as of October 15, 2017."  Another thirty days, on top of what Nick had to wait. 
  14. District treasurer's reports from June 2013-December 2013
  15. District treasurer's reports June 2013
    District treasurer's reports July 2013
    District treasurer's reports August 2013
    District treasurer's reports September 2013
    District treasurer's reports October 2013
    District treasurer's reports November 2013
    District treasurer's reports December 2013
  16. The last RTK was combined with Number 13.

Holiday Parking Update


  • No Enforcement -> Thanksgiving Day, Friday, November 24th (Black Friday) and Saturday, November 25th (Small Business Saturday). This applies to on-street meter parking and all parking lots (i.e. Academy Lot, Alfred Lot, etc.). The garages in the Uptown District will charge regular rates for Friday, November 24th and $1 between 6am + 6pm on Saturday, the 25th;
  • Holiday Courtesy Ticket Program -> Parking Enforcement Officers will issue 'Courtesy Tickets' to drivers whose meter ran out of time. These Courtesy Tickets offer an additional hour to the driver. Dates for this program will run Monday, December 12th through Tuesday, January 2nd. 
  • Monday, November 13, 2017

    What is Variatiability? Updated 11/15/17

    Whatever it is, Dr. Davis is talking about it at the school board meeting tonight.



    This just blew me away. Compare Mellon Middle School with Jefferson Middle School.


    Jefferson Middle School 94.4
    Mellon Middle School 72.9

    Look at the range of scores within the elementary schools. Lincoln (where parents were asking for more teachers) scored 81.6, while Markham scored 99.3.

    All this whileTimmy keeps tweeting about theater productions and sporting events, and the board wants to spend millions on turf, instead of text books and technology.

    Update 11/14/17 5:34 PM Comparisons of the elementary schools' academic performance are below. In order to get reports for all the schools, a comparison was made to Howe.
    Foster, Hoover, Markham, and Howe and Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, and Howe

    Mellon Middle School Academic Performance

    The link to the November 13, 2017 School Board meeting is http://multimedia.mtlsd.org/Play.asp?12065119097741230!5

    Update November 15, 2017 5:47 PM You wouldn't know that there are big problems at Mellon when the district posts news such as Outcomes Report Show Gains in Student Achievement  (saved in Google Docs)

    School Board is pulling a whopper!

    On tonight's agenda are the following discussions:
    Acceptance of 2017 Single Audit Report – The annual audit of the District’s finances has been completed by Maher Duessel CPAs and the results of the audit will be reported by Amy Lewis, CPA at the meeting. There are no findings or issues to report. The Superintendent recommends acceptance of the audit report.
    Jo Posti is making her reset presentation tonight for the Century of Excellence Million Dollar Heist. This is what the late Nick Meduho had asked about at the last meeting, when Mary Birks said, "Nope." It is after the election and before the new board takes over.

    Athletic Field Discussion - we already know that Bill Moorhead, Dan Remely, and the soccer ref's wife, Mary Birks will be going off the board and they are in favor of turfing everything in sight.

    And then there is the Teachers Contract.
    Letter of Engagement for Chief Negotiator – The Board is asked to consider the appointment Ira Weiss, Esq. as special counsel for teacher contract negotiations at a cost of $125 per hour plus training services of $1,500. The Superintendent recommends this appointment.
    If these items are up for discussion, the board will be voting next week. It will be Birks, Remely, and Moorhead's last meeting. Ever. All of these items should be tabled for the new board! It looks like Mary is not going out quietly.

    Landlords out in force tomorrow night

    There will be another public hearing for amending the Solid Waste Ordinance. From the November 14, 2017 commission agenda:

    The proposed ordinance would amend Chapter XIV of the Mt. Lebanon Code, entitled “Solid Waste,” to clarify certain provisions regarding residential and commercial uses. This ordinance was introduced September 25, 2017. A public hearing was held October 23, 2017, and a second public hearing will be held tonight.
    Also, there will be a public hearing on the 2018 Manager’s Recommended Budget and the proposed tax rate for the year 2018.

    Sunday, November 12, 2017

    GOP picks Saccone

    The party members chose Saccone over state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler of Jefferson Hills and state Sen. Kim Ward of Hempfield.

    GOP picks Elizabeth Twp. Rep. Rick Saccone to fill disgraced ex-congressman Murphy's seat