FCC Indecency Policy Overturned

A panel of three judges on the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned the FCC’s indecency policy calling it “unconstitutionally vague” and stating the policy has “chilled protected speech.”  Alrighty then.

So now if Joan Rivers, Bono, Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin, Colin Farrell, Paris Hilton, the kids from South Park or any other foul-mouthed celebutard drop the F-bomb or their pants on live television that’s just honkey dorey.  It appears this would cover “wardrobe malfunctions” ala the infamous Janet Jackson nip-slip as well.

Pandora’s Box is now open!  God help us!

Harrisburg City Controller Reveals Incinerator Debt Recovery Plan

Harrisburg Controller, Dan Miller revealed his plan this morning (as promised) for Harrisburg to avoid bankruptcy from the incinerator debacle.

The major points are:

  1. Turn over control of the incinerator to Dauphin County thereby giving Dauphin County the $5.5 million dollars needed to apply toward the incinerator debt from the operating profits.
  2. The City of Harrisburg would apply its annual profits from city parking garages and surface lots, approximately $4.5 million dollars, to the incinerator debt.
  3. Negotiate lower interest rates from bond holders with the promise that the principal will be paid.
  4. Dauphin County Commissioners would raise the tipping fees for non-city residents who pay LESS than city residents (what’s wrong with this picture?).
  5. Future revenue could also be gained from increased incinerator use and higher parking rates.
  6. The painful part will be the city would have to make up the $4.5 million dollars they are no longer getting from the parking authority (can anyone say spending cuts?).

Sounds like this plan has a chance of working and if it can avoid Harrisburg’s bankruptcy, I say full speed ahead.  Hopefully all interested parties will do what is right and put politics aside at this time!

New Blight Legislation In Pennsylvania! A Tool For Communities Like Pottstown

This news is too awesome for words.  If you read my blog, you know that blight is something I post about along with brownfield reclamation.  These issues are pivotal to places like Pottstown and their redevelopment.  We need to attract middle class taxpaying homeowners and business/industry to reestablish the tax base.  Getting rid of run-down properties is certainly one way to do that!  Nobody wants to live in or locate a business in a blighted neighborhood.

The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, Senate Bill 900, unanimously passed in the PA Senate and is under review by the House Urban Affairs Committee.

This bill is aimed at slumlords and their neglected properties.  If passed, the bill gives municipalities the ability to place liens against the property owners TOTAL ASSETS, not just the property in question.  It also gives municipalities the power of extradition against out-of-state slumlords to face charges here in PA!  Property owners can be denied permit applications if they are behind on taxes, municipal charges (i.e. sewer/water) or have code violations.  County Commissioners would be given the power to establish a “housing court” that would only deal with housing related offenses!

WOW!

Of course, there are those opposed because of the total asset seizure provision.  IMHO good landlords do not have anything to worry about.  They take care of their properties, pay their bills and are an asset to the community.  For those who do not play by the rules it is about time there are some real consequences!

If you feel passionate about this bill becoming law, contact your Pennsylvania State Representative and urge him or her to vote yes on this important bill when it comes before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Darwin Award Winner

Ganga smoking granny Kathleen Urda of Susquehanna, Pa. got herself in a bit of a sticky wicket Sunday morning.  Kathleen locked her keys in her car at a gas station and called the police for help. 

When the police arrived, Kathleen was indeed locked out of her vehicle.  As it would happen, a tow truck operator also came along and was able to open the car door.  Normally this would be the end of the story with a happy ending,  Sunshine and puppies all around yada, yada, yada.

However, somebody (we won’t mention any names) had a senior moment and left a joint on the center console in plain view of the nice police officer.  In the words of Steve Erkel “Did I do that?”

Kathleen made a valiant attempt to hide the joint with her hand (how clever) but the astute officer had already seen it.  BUSTED!  Kathleen fessed up, turned over more marijuana, rolling papers and a pipe.  Her statement was (gotta love this one) she doesn’t do it very often…..ummmm you have rolling paper and a pipe…nice try!  Sounds like granny is taking cues from her grandkids.

Granny got a good talking to, was cited with disorderly conduct and released.  Of course, her stash was confiscated.

Maybe you should try some Ginkgo biloba instead of reefer…sounds like your memory needs some help!

York County Home Sales Increase First Half Of 2010 While Median Sale Price Drops

A bright spot in the Pennsylvania housing market is York County.  During the fist six months of 2010, York County home sales increased a whopping 18% while the median sale price decreased $8,900 dollars.

All but two York County school districts saw increases in home sales.  The largest increase was 63% in the Dover SD of York County.  Central York had a 35% increase, Hanover Public increased 25% while York City, South Western and Red Lion had 23% increases in home sales.

The federal tax credits for new home buyers has certainly helped sales and attributed to the decrease in the median sale price because of the number of first time buyers who typically purchase homes in a lower price range. 

The tax credit program ended in June and according to the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties most buyers have already settled even though the deadline for settlement was extended to September.  Time will tell if this trend can be sustained without the tax incentive.