Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

We Love Sexual Harassment

We're on a roll.

A Connellsville man/McDonald's manager exposed himself to female employees.

He's also touched them inappropriately. The women said it was "common practice."

This has been going on for six months. It took six months for someone to call police on this creep. The worst part is the women complained to other managers and were told to kick him in the balls--which I do recommend--or that they had sympathy.

First of all, shame on the other managers for allowing it to continue. Higher-ups should've been notified at the very least. Cops should've been called sooner. Sexual harassment is never, ever okay, and if you're reporting it to managers who aren't doing anything you need to call the police yourself. Women shouldn't fear for their safety while at work, especially at a place like McDonald's.

The dude said he didn't mean for the women to see his privates. Yeah, okay. He was just exposing them to the wall, then, I guess. If anyone ever does this to me, I'm going to laugh in his face then turn into a megabitch and call the cops and make him rue the day he crossed me.

Ladies, we don't need to put up with things like this and we absolutely shouldn't. Men should not get away with this.

Bottom line: this is never okay. Men of the Nam, you need to stop thinking you're entitled to women just by virtue of their gender. Women of the Nam, we need to show these men who's the boss. Hint: it ain't Tony Danza.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ice Cream Truck Turf War

Well, at least it's not gang violence.

Police had to get involved in a "turf war" between two rival ice cream trucks in Uniontown (article worth the read for the numerous ice cream puns alone). One of the drivers tried to run the other off the road. Figures that not even our ice cream men can be peaceful, normal, sane people. When the driver was questioned, he said it was the other way around and that it wasn't the first time they've had trouble.
Their identities weren't revealed since no charges were filed, but unless there's a third ice cream truck around, you know your friendly neighborhood ice cream man is involved.

If they don't settle down, their permits may be revoked.

On behalf of the children of the Nam, and myself even though I never manage to catch the truck that comes up here, give peace a chance. We need our ice cream. The one in my neighborhood even gives the dogs treats.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ohiopyle Kittens

More animals were found at Ohiopyle. This time, two little kittens barely old enough to eat solid food.
So if you want one or two new kittens, call the park office at 724-329-8591. Otherwise, they'll be sent to a shelter on Friday, and there are no guarantees it'll be a no-kill shelter.

On that note, Fayettenamese, quit leaving unwanted animals in parks and things. There are shelters for them, and if the shelters are full they do what they can for the animals anyway. The best bet is Fayette Friends of Animals, the only no-kill shelter in the county. They take good care of them there, and make sure they get good, caring homes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Missing Kayaker

Fayettenam, one of our own is missing.

The missing man is a 31-year-old from Acme.

He went kayaking on the Yough on Sunday near Ohiopyle, where the water is higher and rougher. Not the tranquil little float people, myself included, are used to in Connellsville (or Dawson or Layton) that can be done with rafts or kiddie pools (yes, that has been done).

They found his kayak about four miles from where he and a friend launched with his life jacket, their driver's licenses, and keys inside near Camp Carmel in Dunbar.

So, if anyone's seen him or knows anything, I'm sure there are people who would greatly appreciate the tip.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Even More from Twitter!

Any rational human being should be confused and maybe a little sad right now.

I've been to plenty of weddings in this county. I've even been in a few. You may be shocked to learn that no armed guards were present -- not even at a Halloween one where some (but not nearly enough. Losers.) put on costumes after dinner.

So whoever said this either wanted to be on the radio -- and at the rate the Nam is going these days this is highly likely because the shenanigans just WILL NOT STOP -- or seriously believes this. Also highly likely.

There is one other possibility: The caller may have confused "armed guard" for "crazy relative with a shotgun." Not that I've seen that either, but it's bound to happen.

Now, how about a blast from the past?

Remember that creeper who called 911 and sexually harassed the female dispatchers? He made the Morning Freak Show.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Tweets from the Nam

Unfortunately, she wasn't able to get a picture. Also, I probably shouldn't ask my cousins to take pictures while driving.

More importantly, though, is the fact that this is unsurprising--it's pretty much socially acceptable. It is also acceptable to drive ATVs, even though that's ended in death, and farm equipment. Unless you're driving said farm equipment in front of me and I can't pass you and I'm on my way to Bud Murphy's for the best pizza in the county (obviously, this is a scientifically proven fact).

Also acceptable: putting random stuff on your porch.

No room inside? No problem! That's why the Fayettenam gods gave us porches.

The best part is these tweets are from the same day and were posted within like an hour of each other.

Twitter was created for this county.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering Why We Move Away...

Fayette County Children and Youth Services has an increase in caseloads. Awesome.

"From July 2009 through June 2010, the agency investigated 811 general neglect cases, 445 of other abuse-type cases and fielded about 900 calls from people who want information, or who are reporting suspected child-welfare issues."

The worst part is that you don't need to go far to see any of this in action. I have heard many, many parents say to their kids, "I'm going to beat your ass," or "I'm going to beat the shit out of you" loud and in public. Plenty of shady things have been witnessed in this county, and sometimes it goes way too far: "A Point Marion couple was charged with homicide in the Jan. 5 death of their 15-month-old daughter, Madison Violet Dodson...When the baby died, police alleged her mother was smoking crack with another man and her father left her sleeping on the living room floor amongst animal feces and garbage. An autopsy revealed the baby died of dehydration and malnutrition."

And we're supposed to be proud of our home and want to stay here, happily ever after? Do the politicians questioning why so many "young people" move away not read the newspapers?

If you see something going down, Fayettenamese, call the 24-hour CYS hotline at 724-430-1287.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sometimes, We Clearly Want Publicity

First of all, if you're on Twitter and want to stay up on Fayette County crime pretty much as it happens, follow Herald-Standard crime reporter Josh Krysak. He posts it and does all the work. I just retweet it. Even when it's silly and won't even make the paper. Like last night.

The newsroom got a call from a guy who really wanted to get in the paper, apparently. That mission failed, but he did make it on this blog!

Mr. Krysak very kindly told me what happened. It goes like this: This dude bought wings, and they were burnt. He was mad, as anyone would be, and went to complain. They refused to give him a refund, so in true Fayette County fashion, he overreacted and smeared the wings all over the restaurant's windows, which got him arrested and he ended up paying $900 in fines.

This reminds me of the infamous hot dog incident. Because sometimes, complaining just isn't enough.

I'm officially convinced that when people make bad decisions in this county, they want attention for it. And they get it, and everyone makes fun of the county, and then people complain that we're just a laughingstock, and then someone does something ridiculous and the cycle repeats itself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Great Nam Has Spoken!

Election results are in!

The two Republican commissioner winners were Zimmerlink and Lohr. With all the drama surrounding Zimmerlink I'm not surprised, but then again Cellurale isn't much better. We'll see what happens in November.

As for the Democrats, the winners were Ambrosini and Zapotosky. Meaning only one of the Two Vinces won, even though they campaigned together. Good job, guys. Fun fact: Ambrosini had the most votes.

Heneks won the DA race.

What does this mean for the blog? More ridiculous stories. I know that's what you're all really here for.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tweets from the Nam

Try living here for 21 years. The only difference is after that long you're not scared at all but the people who hear your ridiculous stories probably are.

Know Your Primary Candidate: Dave Lohr

I compulsively Google everything. My compulsive Googling on Dave Lohr took a little more time, but mainly that's because he seems to be kind of quiet, isn't suing anyone, and doesn't have huge signs up all over the county. Just little ones.

This is his fourth time running, though.

He wants to create jobs and wants to unify the commissioners' office, which is a good thing considering all the drama and lawsuits surrounding Vicites, Zapotosky, Zimmerlink, and Cellurale. Four candidates suing each other is a bit ridiculous and, once again, is a great reason why I think we should get someone new in office. Meaning in the race for commissioner, Musings from Fayettenam endorses anyone but Vicites, Zapotosky, Zimmerlink, and Cellurale. Because so many people totally listen to and care about my opinion.

He also wants to change property taxes to flat sales taxes.

And that's about it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Know Your Primary Candidate: District Attorneys

While the commissioner race is full of drama and lawsuits, the District Attorney race is pretty quiet and tame.

First, we have Jack R. Heneks, who has a Facebook page.

John Cupp doesn't, but he has done lots of stuff.

Both are Democrats. No Republicans filed.

Most other candidates in other races have no opposition.

Election day is tomorrow. I'll be blogging about YouTube or something crazy, taking a break from politics until winners are announced. Happy voting!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Uniontown Ninja Strikes Again

Or does he?

After a man dressed as a ninja ran around Uniontown causing all kinds of shenanigans, a video hit YouTube poking fun at the incident. This ninja asked police to back off from the investigation and demanded a case of Milwaukee's Best beer. I'm sure some can be purchased at Uniontown Beer.

The creator of the video is actually a state police corporal working on the case who doesn't see anything wrong with it...or at least he didn't when asked. Because now when you try to watch the video as it's embedded on news station's websites, you get a fun message that says, "This video is private."


Boo! Hiss! This is the most crushing disappointment I've felt in a long while. If you're going to create YouTube shenanigans, commit to them. Don't post them, get tons of publicity, then back out. Especially if you're "just making fun of a stupid criminal" like the rest of us, even though doing so when you're a cop is probably questionable and definitely unprofessional. It's a bit too late to back out, though. I once heard it said that what you say on the internet echoes in eternity...or on Pittsburgh news stations, where Fayette County has to be a laughingstock. I'd pay big money to hear what those reporters say when someone gives them a new Fayette County story.

Plenty of Fayette County nonsense has hit YouTube in the past and stayed there, but I'll get to that later. The greatest Fayette County YouTube ever created needs its own post, because I need to discuss it in unnecessary detail, if only for my own entertainment.

Meanwhile, the ninja is still on the prowl, which may have something to do with why I had a dream about a Uniontown (but technically Lemont Furnace) sniper last night.

Constant vigilance, Fayettenam.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fayette County Represents at Harrisburg Rally for the Troops

Fayette County was represented Saturday in what has become an annual rally for the troops at the state Capitol sponsored by conservative radio station WHP. Specifically, my dad was invited to speak.
I didn't tag along for various reasons, but I did edit his speech. Heavily. I'm told by my uncle and grandfather that accompanied him that it went over well and he got much applause, and that he was brought back up later by other speakers. For those of us at home, this meant dealing with the ego boost when he came home Sunday.
Everyone's best friend, Corbett, also spoke, and my dad said he's a really nice guy. My dad also told him he's okay with the budget because he has no other choice. Sure he doesn't. There are absolutely no alternatives to cutting education. I'm sure the state has no wasteful spending.

Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't go...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Those Pesky Budget Cuts: Welfare

I know. "Wait a second," you may be saying. "Isn't welfare getting an increase?"

Yes. Yes it is. And that's fine. But there are a few implications as well as reactions that need addressed.

First, this means that either more people need the assistance or ones already using it need more money. Which also means we could use some more jobs.

The problem with an increase in welfare funding is some people have a problem with an increase in welfare funding.

Welfare abuse does happen. Such abuse is bound to. Numbers are hard to come by (especially accurate ones), but it looks like only less than 2% of people on welfare commit fraud. It is possible that the number for Fayette County is higher and some people were recently charged with welfare fraud, but I haven't found any statistics and making assumptions isn't fair. Besides, the poverty rate is still high (remember: as of 1009, 16.5% at poverty level, 18% below, 7.7% with income below 50% of the poverty level).

That said, I had someone on Facebook (the classiest and most mature of political debate platforms) call me a liar when I mentioned how low the welfare fraud numbers really were, because he knows someone who gets $1000 a month and obviously that one person is representative of all welfare recipients in the country. And on that note, if you do know of someone committing welfare fraud, you're asked to report it. Just make sure that you're actually reporting fraud and you're not just cranky.

Far too many people--especially around here--operate under the assumption that all welfare recipients are either abusing the system or are lazy. That mindset is ridiculous, unfair, and has to stop. Being judgmental isn't going to get your tax money back or get people off of welfare. I hear people make these assumptions, and they just make themselves sound pretentious and then I do things like blog about them. Which generally isn't good, because my happy posts are seriously lacking.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

911 Fail...Again

Someone needs to teach the people of the Nam what constitutes a legitimate emergency. Or how to use 911 in general.

This time, a man pranked 911 almost 500 times.

It gets better. He asked the female dispatchers--the only dispatchers he would talk to--about their underwear.
He was charged with six offenses related to stalking, harassment, obstruction of the administration of law and disorderly conduct multiple times, making the total count of charges he faces 2,670.

Stay classy, Fayettenam.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Know Your Primary Candidate: Marilyn Cellurale

Commissioner candidate #5 and I don't care anymore.

If Cellurale sounds familiar, it should. She owns the Cellurale Garden Center in Dunbar by Pechins and the beloved Laurel Mall Flea Market That Pretends to Be a Mall. Side note: What's with an article on a business that's been around for years that contributes no new information?

Cellurale was a lifelong Democrat but jumped that boat and became an Independent and ran for office in 2007. Then she jumped that boat and became Republican, because she "became disillusioned with the overspending and the big government handouts." Hey, remember that time Bush was using the bailout technique? No? Neither do Republicans who hate government handouts.

Two party changes, each around an election? Hmm.

She thinks government should be run as a business and wants to focus on they children (they are our future, after all).

"We must see that our local career technical centers and community colleges offer our children an education in the jobs Fayette County has to offer," she said. "Our population is shrinking and we must find ways to prevent our children from moving away."

That's awesome, but we'll see what happens with those pesky budget cuts first. As for the Nam's shrinking population...I'll tell you how to prevent us from leaving. Make the county stop sucking. But I have a whole post planned on that since politicians don't seem to get why we're leaving the county. I think this entire blog makes that abundantly clear, but I will lay it all out.

Anyway, Cellurale is a fan of Marcellus Shale as long as its safe, which I have to agree with. However...

"Cellurale said she knows about growing plants, and not bookkeeping, so she has a bookkeeper handle that aspect of her business."

Wait, what?

I know county commissioner and bookkeeping aren't the same thing, but the implication is her expertise is in botany and not finances. We can't pay for the necessities of life with trees (or cookies). That makes me feel awesome about her as a candidate, but what do I know? I'm a liberal Independent.

Also awesome is yet another lawsuit that makes this entire race for commissioner look like a total shit storm: Cellurale and others in her family/business/family business sued the county and Angela Zimmerlink, current commissioner seeking re-election, specifically "claiming that Zimmerlink used her position to target them for alleged zoning violations." She's got "citizen" all wound up: according to him/her, the Cellurales actually have a shooting range in the flight path of the Connellsville Airport. Yeah, we have an airport.

Cellurale's also been showing up at commissioner meetings every month and has accused Zimmerlink of "meddling in code enforcement issues." And now who's she running against? Yeah. So combine this with Zimmerlink's suit against the Two Vinces and this election totally doesn't look like it's all about the candidates seeking vengeance on each other. Out with the old and in with the new, I say. Let these four all duke it out away from politics.

Honestly, Cellurale seems really shady and extremely motivated by self-interest. A commissioner is giving her a hard time about zoning issues so she runs for commissioner? Yeah, okay. I don't trust.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tiny Bank Robberies

I promise I'll get to nonsense like the guy who called 911 445 times and pretty much sexually harassed the female dispatchers, but first, I'd like to briefly talk about the New Salem Bank Robbery. Mainly, who robs a bank in New Salem?

If you're not from the Nam, or maybe if you are but you've lived in Connellsville or something your entire life, you have no idea where New Salem is and this post means nothing to you, but that's exactly my point. Why, when deciding to rob a bank, does one think, "Oh, I know. I'll hit New Salem. They've got to be rolling in cash." The only advantage to New Salem is it's so small that maybe you'd be more likely to get away with a robbery, but still. Then you just kind of look like a jerk--more than you already did for robbing a bank to begin with--for disrupting tiny, peaceful New Salem. Nothing happens in New Salem. Seriously. My grandparents lived in New Salem, and the most eventful things I ever remember were the fire whistle blowing because it was really loud and Pap Pap buying me ice cream when the truck came down their street in the summer.

Poor New Salem.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Those Pesky Budget Cuts: Environmental Protection Funding

Yeah, I know. Not everyone cares about the environment. My dad's one of those people, saying things like, "I don't give a damn about the trees" or "I don't care about those damn tree-huggers." I disagree and think the environment is something worth worrying about and protecting (oh, I'm sorry, is my liberalism showing?) but beyond that, there's a lot more to the issue than "saving the trees."

Corbett wants to decrease environmental protection funding from $147 million to $140 million, despite the growth of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania and the chemicals used in the drilling process. That growth includes an increase of drilling in Fayette County. To add to that, he doesn't want to tax drilling, "saying the state should try to make itself the center of the drilling boom for Marcellus and the underlying Utica Shale." But at what potential cost?

On a personal level, driving down New Salem Road and seeing huge wells breaking up the pretty landscape is sad (oh, I'm sorry, is my inner hippie showing?).

That's attractive.

I'll admit that the creation of jobs is awesome, especially in industry. But again, at what potential cost? And I don't mean a less attractive landscape or sentimentality.

Drilling companies use a process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking puts a lot of toxic chemicals in the ground, which have contaminated ground and drinking water. The waste water that is full of chemicals from fracking fluid isn't always properly disposed of, either, and is often dumped into fields and streams.

How is this legal, you ask? Well, companies are exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Because of the chemicals and gas in the water, people are able to set their tap water on fire. In some cases, people have been able to set streams on fire.

This isn't counting the pollution being pumped into the air, or the explosions that have happened.

Because of all this, animals are dying. In minor cases, they only get sick or mysteriously lose all their fur.

If you're like my dad and don't care about animals, maybe you'll care about people.

Some have gotten really, really sick. As in irreversible brain damage and loss of the sense of taste and smell.

The companies claim the suddenly contaminated drinking water isn't related to the drilling. That makes a lot of sense. Hmm, this water was awesome before they drilled! Crisp, fresh, and lacking bubbles and a weird film! Now a drilling company is in town and my water's yellow, I can light it on fire, and I can't taste anymore. What a wacky coincidence!

If you're like my dad, you agree with Corbett and other politicians. You think that "the industry will police itself." Obviously, that isn't working, and human life can't be disregarded in favor of money and jobs. Something needs done before Fayette County has bad drinking water, dead animals, and sick residents. This is probably the fourth or fifth time I've looked at an issue and said, "This could make our problems worse."

I highly recommend the documentary Gasland--created by a guy who was offered a lot of money to allow drilling on his property and declined--which is where the clips I've included came from. I especially recommend it if you've been offered money by a drilling company, drilling is going on near you, you're a fan of nature, or just don't want to lose your senses because your water starts sucking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Attention All Dog Lovers

Usually when I get an email from one of my parents, it's either my mom forwarding me a story about a violent crime intended for me to help protect myself that isn't true or it's my dad forwarding me an angry political email that isn't true. This time, though, Mom sent something useful. Dad hasn't and probably never will.

These two dogs were found at Ohiopyle on April 30 along the river.

Yesterday, the Fayette County SPCA picked them up so if they're yours, know who they belong to, or just want them, get in touch with the SPCA via email or phone at 724-438-3121.

I'm told the SPCA is a kill shelter. I can't confirm this 100%, but I'm fairly certain it's true given past experiences with Fayette Friends of Animals, which claims to be the county's only no-kill shelter. Now, some people will tell you not to get an animal from a kill shelter because the adoption fees will help keep the shelter operational and technically pay for more animals to be killed, but you're also saving a life if you adopt.

And on that note, don't go to pet stores or breeders--adopt. Shelters are crowded and animals are taken there for tons of different reasons, and they all need good homes. Shelter dogs are said to be more affectionate because they know they were given a second chance. My beagle was adopted from Fayette Friends of Animals and he's very sweet when he's not doing things like choosing to ignore you or growling when you disturb his sleep. When we got him, my mom said no dogs on the furniture. He's asleep on the couch right now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Know Your Primary Candidate: Zimmerlink (Or, Damn There Are a Lot of People Running for Commissioner)

So we have the Democrat candidates out of the way and I'm already tired of this series. I blame the drama involved. Who knew that there was so much going on with the county commissioners?

Republican Angela Zimmerlink, for example. She's suing the other two commissioners, the Two Vinces. She's saying they've prevented her from speaking freely in retaliation for her consistent criticism of them. To be fair, I was once at one of their meetings because my dad was being honored, or something (I didn't pay much attention), and she did talk a lot. She was very feisty, and not in the fun way. I was put off. And I don't doubt that she's been critical of them all, but I do doubt that a lawsuit is necessary.

The Vinces called the lawsuit "frivolous."

Basically, it sounds to me like she's cranky. But you can read whatever she has to say - which, like I said, is a lot - on her blog. So there are other Fayette County blogs. They're just not talking about that ninja.

You can also print and distribute these little ads if you like her. Or these if you want a picture.

At this point in the elections, I say screw all three of 'em and get someone new in there. Ambrosini's ads are pretty.

Just sayin'.

Remember, I can't vote because I'm an Independent. That fact comes in handy when my Republican relatives try to insult me by trash-talking Democrats.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Dead

I wish I could report on crazy Fayette County happenings in response to Osama's death, but since I was in Pittsburgh I have no idea what those happenings may have been. If I had to guess, I'd say alcohol, fireworks, and guns, probably all at once. I expected to come home to a pile of ash, beer, and an American flag raised high. In the next few days, I'll be looking for the man that walks 119 waving a flag, radical opinion pieces in the Herald-Standard, and a nice sign from the very angry conservative church near my house.

But I can report on Fayette County happenings on September 11. I was 12 and in Conn-Area Catholic school. Mrs. Bell's class, either science or religion. They were pretty much the same and involved lots of coloring and movies. Leah tells me it was religion because one of our classmates slept in class, but if he slept in religion he probably slept in science so I'm not sure how Leah remembers that. Anyway, our principal announced it at some point during the morning, but we weren't told that the towers were actually completely gone, that the Pentagon had been attacked, or that a plane crashed in Shanksville. So we went about our day. But by lunch, parents were picking kids up, we were getting scared, and Mrs. Mascia told us not to worry because Conn-Area is, after all, a fall-out shelter. By early afternoon my dad picked me up, mainly because he was in the military and thought the unit might be activated. Even though he'd slept through the attacks. He also slept through the announcement and speech last night.

My dad did go overseas, first to Italy. I have no idea why and I don't know what they did other than go to Christmas Eve mass at the Vatican and use time off to visit Ireland and check out Oktoberfest in Germany. We have two little shelves dedicated to beer steins.

His second deployment wasn't supposed to happen. The National Guard is supposed to have two years between deployments. They kind of forgot about that until partway through training, and he was given the option to come home in the midst of lots of talk about securing oil for the "free world." At first he decided to stay, then realized going into battle with commanders who conveniently forgot he wasn't supposed to be there probably wasn't a good idea.

Deployment #3 was to Iraq, where he worked in and drove tanks and did things like knock over walls and power lines. He was wounded when a grenade was thrown into his tank, which he threw back out. It exploded just above him, sending shrapnel into his head and hand. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star from the military, plus a Medal of Valor from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, where he worked at the time. And he has his own page on the National Guard website. Actually, he's apparently everywhere: He was inducted into Pittsburgh's Soldiers and Sailors Museum's Hall of Valor a few years ago (another Fayette County resident was recently inducted) and is on Military Times, the Library of Congress, and now this blog (obviously better than all of that nonsense, right?). But he doesn't need to know. It'll boost his ego and he'll start saying things like, "When are you going to blog about me again?"

Other members of his unit have been injured, some much worse. For example, Timothy Boots had part of his leg amputated after being pulled out of a burning Humvee by Scot Sage. The article tells the story better than I ever could. If it doesn't at least make you want to cry, you have no soul.

So what's the Connellsville armory doing today? Probably celebrating and saying lots of very foul things.