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Sound Off 2/10/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

“A police officers job is to ‘service and protect’ and that is exactly what every officer in the Lower Swatara Police Department does every day! To criticize the officer for saving the life of that family is ludicrous! What was the officer supposed to do? Stand there at the car and watch it burn with the people still inside till the fire fighters got there? You have to be kidding me! Police officers are first responders, that title has a lot of different job descriptions to it. They save lives everyday! The Lower Swatara Police Department is one of the best around! It would be a tragedy for Lower Swatara if the board of commissioners disbands the department! So, because the board of commissioners won't say it I will. Thank you to each and every Lower Swatara Police Officer, you are appreciated!”

“Middletown employees need training in snow removal, specifically doing the job right the first time rather than drawing the ire of residents on a daily basis.”

“I'm glad most of the people in town have good neighbors who helped them clear their snow. I must have the most ignorant neighbors in this town. Two men who have snow blowers took care of themselves, but couldn't be bothered to help the widows that live across the street and beside them, or anyone else in the neighborhood, for that matter. I hope they know that when they die no one is going to help their widows either. One of them is stuck up and never speaks to anyone anyway, so good luck to her. I hope you're leaving her a lot of money so she can hire someone to come and take care of it.”

“Relative to the crematory at Fager-Finkenbinder Funeral Home. I don’t know what the problem is with the residents. The crematory they are talking about will be in an approved structure, a garage. This garage will look like every other garage on the street but will probably look better and will be better maintained. This is all in your minds. There will be no horror, no evil smelling smoke and pollution or any health or welfare issues. If fact various cultures for thousands of years have cremated their friends and family members on wooden funeral pyres. I would worry more about the deplorable conditions of the Union Street shopping and business area that is between Emaus and Mill streets then I would be about a modern crematory. This would be regulated by state and federal codes. Since the Borough approved it, why not just let this subject go.”

“This time of year, with all the cars the same color as the streets, why wouldn't you drive with your head lights on?”

“Those cowboys out there in Oregon must be nuts. To think they can take on the Federal Government because they have a couple of AR-15's. Ask an Iraq vet what a M-1 A1 Abrams can do to a hideout. Besides being that dumb should this qualify them from owning a gun?”

“I know Middletown, and especially the Middletown Area School District, is a community with deep pockets. A prosperous, if not wealthy community, wherein any need or any want regardless of how frivolous can be readily funded by just another tax increase. And the citizens of the town, and particularly the school district, greet each tax increase and each expenditure with indifference because again Middletown and the Middletown School District is as affluent a community as one can find. And all this explains why the current high school gymnasium, which is only 50 years old yet whose infrastructure and court remain a viable and usable playing surface will be torn down when the new high school is completed. As we all know there is no paucity of gym space and gym time in Middletown. There are no competing needs between girls and boys sports, between basketball, volleyball, wrestling, et al, to say nothing of youth or adult recreational needs within the community. Yes, tear down that gym. No need for an auxiliary gym. After all the current high school gym is already built and already paid for so why consider for a moment retaining such an asset for overflow needs now or sometime in the future. Yes, it would stick out there all by itself. Aesthetics alone demand its demolition. And forget its usefulness. Yes, great idea. Destroy it. Besides if sometime in the future the school board wants an auxiliary gym, well heck the taxpayers will gladly fork out more tax dollars to build such a facility, as we are about to destroy. And for those that will suggest that the Main Street Gym will suffice as the high school's auxiliary gym space consider for a moment the distance and travel difficulties (and expense) and this ignores completely that the Main Street Gym is used more by people and organizations outside of Middletown than from Middletown. Spend any weekend at the Main Street Gym and you will find people from Camp Hill, Lower Paxton Township, Hershey, and on and on. But again these three communities that do not enjoy the financial wherewithal of Middletown and it is only just and right that a community so blessed financially supports those like Hershey who are not. Yes, great thinking, tear down the current high school gym and continue letting just about anyone but Middletown residents use the Main Street Gym.”

“This past Friday our new dog was hit by a car in town and sadly she didn't make it. However, MANY people stopped to help calm her, tried to save her and help us. Additionally, the Middletown Police also responded efficiently and compassionately and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone, your kindness made a horrible tragedy easier to bear. Sincerely, Angie.”

“To the very scary person who sounded off angrily because a police officer saved a family from a burning car and stole your chance to be a hero. I'm going to guess the following is true; you have a blue light on your personal vehicle (maybe even a magnetic one), you've seen the movie Backdraft at least 10 times and own it, you have fantasized a lot about being a hero and real Firemen can't stand you; oh and I'm not even going to speculate at your IQ. Whatever you do please don't create your own moment to be a hero. The End.”


“John Payne will be missed, a great man and a great leader. Anytime a police officer, fireman or other public servant did something good or got injured on the job he always sent a letter of appreciation directly to the public servant thanking them. That is a personal touch with class and a man who understood the value of public service. Enjoy yourself John and thanks!”

“I worry about a man running for office whose comment was how excited he is about his campaign team and winning and not about looking forward to the good he could do serving others.”

“#Save Bennett, Bring him back to the Force!”


“Who's the Sound Off writer who said, ‘No one wants to sit on their porch and look at a smoke stack’ – says the community living in the shadow of TMI??’ If you could read above a 5th grade level, you would have noted that quote in Dan Miller's article was said by Kathleen Ryan, the Executive Director of the PA Funeral Directors Association. See, even she doesn't want to sit on her back porch and look at one of her colleagues burning bodies. It is very enlightening that the crematory supporters and Middletown bashers seem to write statements that are neither pertinent, substantive, nor true and can't even attribute their quotes correctly.”


“I was stopped by a Lower Swatara officer the other day while walking my dog. At first I thought I was in trouble but then the officer asked if my dog was allowed to have a treat. He got a big bin of treats out, gave one to my dog, and we had a nice conversation. It's these small acts of community service and kindness that makes Lower Swatara a great police department. It would be an embarrassment for the commissioners to disband these guys that do such a great job for our community. It was only a small gesture but a great way to work with the public and gives a feeling that police do a lot more than just what you see on the TV.”


“The Communications Director job was the biggest waste of money in the borough the past several years. Hire back two people for real jobs in the borough!”


“I just would like to comment that I am not in favor of a crematoria being two blocks away and in no way want this project to happen. I am very thankful that we have a coy ol that is listening and feel they will get this stopped before it is to late. Having said that, I am somewhat disappointed in how they conducted themselves in handling the situation. I only say this because if there is ever a topic that I am on the other side of the fence, that it be handled with more professionalism and not with such a quick reaction in favor of those speaking with out some working being done. I am really glad this project is going to be stopped. I just left wondering what homework they have done or is it all what we said at their meeting? That is a little worrisome to me.”


“Who really needs 3 Toyota Sequoia's and 2 F- Series Pickups.... Glad to see someone contributing to Global Warming.”


“Please, Please, People with dogs- get yourself some bags and clean up after your pet. Down in the area of Susquehanna Street and South Union Street there are piles and piles everywhere. I can't believe how irresponsible some pet owners can be- it's awful! I think the police should warn people once and then start handing out fines.”


“Doesn't the Borough Council see Facebook? (I know they do) they should realize before they spend our tax payers money to fight a crematory going in, that the people that have liking their posts has very small numbers. I feel they are listening to a very small part of the population. I for one will be using their services if this goes through for the fact I will know I am not being passed around. The folks that are not for something are always the ones that sqeek the loudest. This project has a lot to offer to us in my opinion.”


“Bullies try to silence everybody and have everybody go along to get along.”


“The biggest problem between any 2 groups of people is lack of respect for what the other does and has done, sneakiness, selfishness and letting personal agendas interfere with what is really important, oh and complete lack of communication. When you are set on one course and one course only it shows.”


“So I hear that our new council is going to try and stop the crematory Fager wants to put in. It is a little disappointing that our council is taking a major action with out any research and listening to less than 1% of the community. Just look at the online petition they have. Needed to get 1000 signatures, and last I looked they just broke 60 signatures and many are from out of town. If you are going to fight this fight for the few, at least do it acting as professional elected officials and deal with facts and no emotions of people in your midst. Mr. Fager, good luck to you and your efforts for the better of our community.”


“Stop the crematoria! They will be burning all kinds of things that will end up in our yards and gardens. We will be breathing that air. Crematories are not put near places people frequent. So why in Middletown?”



Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 14:54

Hits: 253

SOUND OFF: 2/3/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.

• “How is the water in Middletown, is it safe to use and drink?”

• “Thank goodness one commissioner (Springer) finally stiffened up his spine and stood up to the two dictators (Wilt and Mehaffie) and asked about when they are going to hire one new (already budgeted) police officer to replace the two that have left. Maybe the other two will follow suit. With that said, the reaction of the dictators (blank stares and silence) goes to show you their true colors. Mr. Truntz and Mr. Davies, you should follow suit before these two drag your name down with them.”

• “A big thank you to the road crew at Londonderry Twp. for all their hard work during the snowstorm. Those of us in Red Hill realize we’re at the bottom of the list to get plowed out, but we appreciate all your hard work. Thanks.”

• “ ‘No one wants to sit on their porch and look at a smoke stack’ ” – says the community living in the shadow of TMI.”

• “What’s wrong with the crematorium? You don’t complain about a neighbor barbecuing, so what if they’re barbecuing the neighbor?”
• “Everyone should read the playbook the Londonderry Twp. plow crews are using. They have the best road conditions in Dauphin County after this blizzard. Great job, guys!”

• “Wish it would snow more. Main Street is smoother with it!”

• “Thanks to the borough employee removing snow from North Union Street on Wednesday and the dump truck drivers taking it away. Great job!”

• “Middletown Borough, plow much? Your streets are an embarrassment at best. Even snow emergency routes are down to one lane or less. It’s Thursday, you’ve had plenty of time to at least get your major streets passable. No wonder the Town and Gown relationship is so strained, you have an entire campus of students willing to dump money into your economy but you can’t even meet the basic need of clear roads. Do it right or don’t bother.”

• “A police officer’s job is to “serve and protect” and that exactly what every officer in the Lower Swatara police department does every day! To criticize the officer for saving the life of that family is ludicrous! What was the officer suppose to do? Stand there at the car and watch it burn with the people still inside till the firefighters got there? You have to be kidding me! Police officers are first responders, that title has a lot of different job descriptions to it. They save lives everyday! The Lower Swatara Police Department is one of the best around! It would be a tragedy for Lower Swatara if the Board of Commissioners disband the department! So because the Board of Commissioners won’t say it, I will: Thank you to each and every Lower Swatara police officer, you are appreciated!”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 15:34

Hits: 365

Sound Off 1/27/2016


Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted. 


• “ ‘Bring back Frank Lynn’ – are you nuts?”

• “You know what’s sad about stupid people? They don’t know they’re stupid.”

• “I was asked to sign a petition by a family member of a funeral home. I gave it some thought, did a little homework. I suggest everyone else do the same. Facts are this is not as big a deal as everyone is making it. You are worried about air? You live in a steel town that has an airport with jets flying overhead 24/7 and Three Mile Island – and I am to sign a petition for this to be stopped when from what I see it is heavily regulated, inspected regularly by the state with unannounced inspections? Do your homework, people. From what I gathered from others, this business was brought to town to give to Middletown, not to destroy it.”

“Everyone’s bashing the man putting in a crematory. I invite others to join me at council and any place else to start backing this young man who does whatever he can for our town. All people are hearing is the negative and there are those of us that know the good this brings and is not near as harmful as all are saying.”

“Ben Kapenstein is a nice guy and all but he isn’t a leader. As a matter of fact, Christopher McNamara was a better leader, he was just a terrible communicator and he couldn’t execute on deals.”

• “Why do they keep referring to Hillary Clinton as ‘Madam Secretary?’ Does John Kerry not hold that position now? Tell your friends in the medium to stop dressing that woman up. She would be the worst thing to happen to America since Jimmy Carter.”

• “If you’re not pro-police that’s your prerogative, but don’t act or tell people you are, because it’s obvious you are not. Actions speak louder than words, Politics 101.”

• “You know I am so sick of hearing about the officer from Lower Swatara Police Department how he saved the family from a burning car. To me he is not a firefighter or an EMT at all. I can tell you this: I hope they do get rid of Lower Swatara police and bring in another police department. Because these ones do not do their job right, all they do is try to do other people’s jobs so they can be brag about. He is lucky he did not get hurt. I an tired of hearing about him.’’

• “I wonder if the Lower Swatara commissioners will hire a police officer they budgeted for now. I mean they hired a new employee at public works with a $50,000 salary out of the blue, but still no new officer that is in the budget? I was at the meeting and Commissioner Springer brought it up but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. At least Mr. Springer has a good head on his shoulders.”

• “It would appear Commissioner Springer and hopefully some others are supportive of the Lower Swatara police and appreciate their value. It also may appear that 3 are fed up with the 2 and that is appropriate. Thank you, gentlemen, for realizing what is important to our community. This will not go unnoticed.”

• “There must be something in those ‘Holy Books’ that makes people think they should kill other people. Maybe it’s time for Islam to rethink its writings, or rewrite its thinking.”



Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 12:40

Hits: 415

SOUND OFF: 1/20/2016

Submissions to Sound Off appear as submitted.


• “Thank you, Officer Yoder of Middletown Police Department, for saving the family from a burning vehicle. You’re a hero, too.”

• “Officer Scott Yoder of Middleown Police Department deserves a heroism award, too, for saving the family from a burning car. Let’s see that he’s also honored as well as Officer Ribec of Lower Swatara Police Department.”

• “One should certainly appreciate and express their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech. Nobody has the right to dictate who you speak to or associate yourself with. A gag order, which by law can only be placed upon people by a judge, not by someone like...let’s say, a commissioner. If you are a true leader, one does not worry about what others may say behind their back because true leaders make sound decisions that are for the better of all regardless of what others think. If you have nothing to hide or to fear then there would be no legitimate reason to place such an order to employees. This appears to almost be a violation of civil rights and freedom of speech. Being a leader does not mean being a dictator. Being a leader takes knowledge, courage, integrity and character along with an open mind and a willingness to change and communicate. Obviously those who try to dictate and micromanage have something to fear, a reason to worry and an insecurity within themselves.”

• “I will sell my soul to the devil before I ever vote for Hillary Clinton.”

• “I am so sick of people being politically correct. People have their own beliefs and you should always stand by them no matter what. That’s what made someone like Trump run for president, and all the people who are going to vote for him. Congress made us people because they’re not doing what’s right for the country. I predict Trump by a landslide. Let’s make this country great again.’’

• “ ‘I did not know that side street beside Hardee’s was a two-way street now. It says one way only but you should see all the cars that go the wrong way on it. And that’s everyday. Police, you want to make money for Middletown? Start writing tickets, it has gotten out of hand now.’ The side street beside Hardee’s IS a two-way street and has been for at least a year now. They removed the ‘one way only’ signs, removed parking on the side closest to Hardee’s, and it’s a two-way street. There are no one way signs anymore. It has been a one way street for months.’’

• ‘All we ever hear about in Middletown is the streetscape work being worked on but nobody is telling us what is happening in the empty building on the east side of South Union Street between that smoke store and the Press And Journal building. It is an ugly storefront area and I think that it may be condemned. I am not sure. All I know is it is an eyesore to downtown and nobody from the bureau is talking about it. What’s going on? The new council should do something!”

• “Those who see evil and do nothing are none the better than the ones who perpetrate it.”

• “When you look across the country, when any town, city, township, borough grows or expands the police departments grow with them because it’s necessary and logical. Since this current Board of Commissioners has been here our police department has shrunk with no explanation. Farming out police services will not benefit Lower Swatara. Though most good people may have never needed the police department, they benefit us daily without us ever realizing it. Statistics show all of us will need the police at some point in your life. When that time comes, you want your competent police to be there for you quickly and know that you as a Lower Swatara resident are their priority and top concern. Don’t let the smoke screen of how much the township will save blind you because when that trickles down to the individual resident it’s not much at all and having the police department you do now is worth much, much more.”

• “Yeah, you guys are being really honest about keeping the fate of the police department known to the public and seeking input for them. ‘As of Dec. 16’ there was nothing discussed – funny how it was long before that that the commissioners were talking to Swatara. Funny how Swatara was mentioned as a professional police department, but there was a lack to mention about how professional their own is as well. Both departments are accredited and their policies mirror each other. Funny how employees are told to ‘disassociate’ and given direction not to talk to the police officers they work with. How is the township supposed to work for the greater good of the people in the township when they are given direction not to work together or speak with each other? Amazing what kind of leaders there are.”

• “Employees should work together to strive for a common goal – what would make someone fear what is being said so much that you tell employees not to talk to each other? They work together for a reason and creating a divide only affects the wrong people in the end.”

• “I thought the Blue & Gold Club was a nonprofit raising money to help the school district? Why is there another new foundation being considered?”

• “Press and Journal, please investigate. Apparently public works employees cannot associate or speak with the police. A Right to Know request may clear this up for the concerned public.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 16:03

Hits: 591