Thursday, December 31, 2015

Castorgate

From: Nita M. Fandray
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 2:23 PM
To: 'commission@mtlebanon.org' <commission@mtlebanon.org>; 'kmcgill@mtlebanon.org' <kmcgill@mtlebanon.org>; 'Weis, Philip' <philip.weis@bipc.com>; 'alauth@mtlebanon.org' <alauth@mtlebanon.org>
Subject: Castorgate

Ladies, Gentlemen and Chief Lauth:

I understand that deer killing via bows and arrows is up and running again in Mt. Lebanon. Yesterday, I drove to the end of Thornwood Drive to make certain that appropriate cautionary signage about bow hunting is in place at that entrance to the municipal golf course property. (According to the Mt. Lebanon web site maps, that area is clearly part of the golf course.) I found no signage.

At Amy Castor’s hearing (and I use that word “hearing” loosely) before the minor judiciary in Mt. Lebanon on December 3, 2015, I showed the Court copies of the relevant maps from the municipal web site. I also gave copies to Officer Culp and the court reporter. Nobody on the courtroom disputed that the area was owned by the municipality and is part of the golf course. After the hearing that Chief Lauth attended, he told me that he would alert Public Works to the absence of bow hunting signage at the end of Thornwood. If, indeed, the Chief spoke with Public Works, and I have no reason to doubt his word, something was lost in the translation.

Ms. Castor testified that no cautionary signage was in place on October 5, 2015, the day that the MLPD issued her a citation for defiant trespassing. I visited the site that evening and saw no signs. Others did as well. At the hearing, the Commonwealth did nothing to contradict Ms. Castor’s testimony about the lack of signage at the site.

As you know, Amy Castor has filed an appeal with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. I am confident that my friend and fellow civil libertarian, Jon Pushinsky, now representing Ms. Castor, will handily persuade the Court that that all charges against Ms. Castor be dismissed.

In order to avoid another MLPD snafu and yet one more public relations disaster, I suggest that you immediately (today) place the appropriate bow-hunting cautionary signage at the end of Thornwood and at any other locations requiring that signage but have also been overlooked by the municipality.

Thank you and Happy New Year.

Nita Fandray


Photo by ETG.
Update January 5, 2016 8:52 PM Here is a photo of the new sign that went up yesterday or today. Keep in mind that the archery program ends on Friday, January 22, 2016 (seventeen days from today) on public properties such as the golf course. 


17 comments:

Lena Horne said...

Thanks, Elaine, for taking the photo and adding it on your blog. What an incompetent group of so-called leaders.

Lena Horne said...

BTW, Jon Pushinsky is a rock star.

Lena Horne said...

Those of you who are home tonight, don't forget to watch the movie, "Love, Actually." You won't regret it. We are about ready to start.

Anonymous said...

Holiday decor but no cautionary hunting signs? Oh so Lebo...

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand the property lines esp when abutting public property when there are no signs or fences.. when my kids were youngers,, we would walk from Washington Road to the swimming pool along the backyards of Parkridge Rd.. since there were no fences or signs,, we never knew where the private property ended and Lebo Park Property started....
I also visited the Thorwood area last winter when the "pens" were up and noticed there also were NO signs of ownership of the open space..so how did Amy know where the Perri property actually started?
best of luck to Amy... I personally witnessed her hearing with Blaise and after hearing the verbal beating both Amy and her attorney received.. I was mentally drained the rest of the day... you would of thought she was running a drug ring with the abuse she received from our District Magistrate who is not a Attorney though he asked Nina what law school she attended.... thumbs down to that creep..

Anonymous said...

Corruption is the name of the game. NO ETHICS and no transparency. Too many lies, bullying and whatnot. All smokes and mirrors.

Lena Horne said...

That would be Villanova University School of Law, 1985.

Anonymous said...

Mt Lebanon has, in the past, pretended not to know its own boundaries. Without the boundary marked of one particular parklet, for example, they pretended they didn't know who owned the land in order to bully a resident into taking ownership of it. It's ironic that they are now saying the residents should know these types of boundaries even when they walk their dogs. Eventually, with the parklet bullying, they conceded but only after residents produced significant evidence in the form of deeds, etc. They have practiced all of this BS for a long time. They are just messing with people. It seems that is 80% of what they do.

Lena Horne said...

80% ??? Isn't that a bit low?

Jason Margolis said...

This, along with Elaine's, is another case they will lose. Entitlement does not entitle you to continuously violate the constitution.

E. T. Gillen said...

Scott Twp. is pretty pissed at us too.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Lena @8:12 pm. My favorite movie quote from a New Year's Eve movie that reminds me of Lebo is this one from Ghostbusters II:

Ray: You know, I just can't believe things have gotten so bad in this city that there's no way back. I mean, sure, it's messy, it's crowded, it's polluted, and there are people who would just as soon step on your face as look at you. But come on! There's gotta be a few sparks of sweet humanity left in this burned-out berg. We just gotta find a way to mobilize it!




Anonymous said...

I encountered a neighbor today,, and she snuggly asked me "where all the deer?" She also said the sharpshooting must of taken care of the problem.. I told her that the sharpshooting hasn't been approved yet and she then brought up the Amy Castor incident.. She felt she had to know about the deer cull and was just there to cause trouble with the Perri's and the Game Warden..
I went on to tell the neighbor on how she was treated by Blaise and she replied she was breaking the law so she deserved her penalty... I wonder if Amy was a Lebo resident would Blaise had been so so tough on her...as an trained ex policeofficer from Lebo,, you would of thought,, he would been a little more caring to a person who was deeply concerned about the killing of innocent animals..vs slum lords or drug dealers...

Anonymous said...

This is Nita. First, the Game Commission was not at the Gregg Perri/MLPD scene. The forest ranger cited Amy BY MAIL a week after the incident, based on information he received from the MLPD. Second, Amy knew Greg Perri, had no history of animosity toward him, and a couple months prior, she had dropped off hams to him at his house after hearing of the death in his family. Amy did not know that a hunt was in progress and there was no appropriate signage at the entrance of the trail warning her of such. The Commonwealth clearly failed to prove each charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence was insufficient.
Finally, Blaise Larotonda knows me. He ran for office on the Democratic ticket and therefore knows that both my husband (who was in the courtroom) and I live in Mt. Lebanon and are members of the Democratic committee here. While I did not want or expect special treatment, I did not foresee that Blaise, with whom I have no negative history, would abuse me or my client. In fact, just prior to the start of the hearing, when Amy and I were walking into Blaise's courtroom together, Blaise gave me at once a surprised and disgusted look when he realized that I was Amy's legal counsel. I have been a lawyer for 30 years. Lawyers AND judges are governed by a written Code of Civility. I had never, until Amy's hearing, been subjected to an out-of-control judge, completely oblivious to the law. I have many years of experience practicing in both state and federal courts.
2:49--thanks for sticking up for Amy and the civil administration of justice.

Lena Horne said...

11:34---your words could not be more appropriate. Let me know if you figure out a way to mobilize those few sparks of sweet humanity left in this burned-out berg.

Anonymous said...

Nita.. you are so welcome.. during the courtroom proceedings, I sat with my hands firmly on the chair and my mouth open .. Blaise reminded me of the wicked elementary school teachers I had in the 60's who delighted in tormenting everyone... I can never look at him the same again...I actually think our Chief of Police would of been more respectful to you and Amy...
I think most of Mt Lebanon was or is under that understanding that Amy knew of the hunt and she was there just to stir up trouble...I told my neighbor from what i heard in the court room the hunter said he had no issue with Amy when she initially confronted him.. and that i believed she went back to get her camera so she could document what had happened..and have a few words with the Perris.. I know Amy's cousin who grew up on Shady Lane and he always said it was one of the most congenial streets in all of Lebo...

Anonymous said...

Congenial no more. Shameless Lane is full of wackos. The municipality has essentially admitted that Amy knew nothing about the hunt. And, she didn't. How could she? She lives in Massachusetts and was only in town for three days in October. There was no appropriate signage at that entrance to the golf course--- the same entrance to the trail that Amy wished to walk with her dog. As of yesterday, the municipality finally placed the cautionary signage about the archery hunt at that entrance. Maybe they put it there because they want people to be warned about archery activities? Unfortunately, Amy was not afforded that warning. Was she supposed to guess what was going on? That's what she was trying to find out. Blaise needs to step down from that bench. He has no business being there.