Former Ump Now Calls Plays In Justice Court
BUSHKILL — No other county District Justice (DJ) in the area followed the path to office taken by DJ Paul Menditto.
Menditto said that he knows of no other DJ who served as township supervisor and certified umpire [for youth and adult softball and baseball leagues] and referee [for youth soccer] leagues.
Menditto credits those pursuits as a training ground for the demanding role of making decisions in the courtroom that affects the lives of those who come to court.
Menditto since January has been presiding in Pike County District Court as DJ serving Delaware, Lehman, and Porter Townships.
Previously, Menditto was Lehman Township supervisor for 11 years. Since the 1990s, he also worked as a certified Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) referee and umpire.
According to Menditto, voting on major issues as a supervisor, having to make split-second decisions that affect the outcome of youth and adult athletic games, and a DJ ruling all rely on common sense, good judgment, and understanding the ground rules.
Supervisor boards are the place where the buck stops under Pennsylvania Commonwealth government structure, which defers a wider range of issues at the most local level.
Before voting, a supervisor must frequently call on township codes, community-development by-laws; state health, safety, and welfare standards; emergency-response and disaster management, and other factors that would affect the day-to-day lives of residents, property owners, and others.
An umpire and referee must study the rulebooks and understand how to apply the rules to making a call on an athletic field that might affect the outcome of a game or season for kids, coaches, and parents.
A DJ must discern the truth based on case law and other applicable laws and base a ruling on laws. In grey areas, a DJ must interpret the law to come up with the fairest decision, he noted.
According to Menditto, the decision-making dynamic in all three arenas is all about making the fair and right decision at crunch time.
A DJ might recess a court session to refer case law, fact-find, or do other research to get to the truth. A supervisor might table a decision to fact-find, do research, or find an expert who can shed light on an issue. .. for complete story get this week's issue.
Delaware Township Opposes Penn DOT Pyrite Waste
DINGMANS FERRY — More than 70 people attended the Delaware Township meeting last Wednesday, July 9, many in response to a call to action by the online Facebook community “Pike County Alert System” regarding Penn DOT’s planned iron pyrite disposal in Delaware and Lehman Townships.
According to Supervisor Chairman Tom Ryan, approximately two months ago, Penn DOT discovered pyrite in boreholes at one of their work sites in Lehman Township. They contacted state Rep. Rosemary Brown’s and state Sen. Lisa Baker’s offices regarding their desire to dump iron pyrite (aka fool’s gold) at their site in Delaware Township. At the June 25 workshop, the Board of Supervisors stated that they were against such dumping and would oppose the activity.
During the Public Comment period of the regular meeting, Supervisor Ryan gave an update on the situation. The Township Supervisors met with Penn DOT and were presented with their plan which included clear cutting their lot and building three “mountains” of material, reaching 65, 55, and 45 feet high, with another dump site on the Lehman Township line and a third in at another Penn DOT site in Lehman Township.
The material would come from reconstruction of parts of Route 2001 in Delaware and Lehman Townships.
Pyrite is considered a hazardous material for disposal due to the formation of sulfuric acid when exposed to water, requiring capsulation and neutralization. Supervisor Ryan stated that at that meeting with Penn DOT, they took the position of being opposed to such a disposal site.
The acid also destabilizes road materials, leading to breakup of the surface.
He continued on with the update, informing the public that the township solicitor, Thomas Farley, along with township engineers and Baker and Brown are all working on the situation to oppose the pyrite disposal in Delaware Township.
In 2003, road construction on Skytop Mountain exposed pyrite near State College, PA. There, road construction continued with the pyritic sandstone as a road base and filler until metal-laden runoff was found only months later, halting construction and prompting remediation. Inclusions of cadmium sulfide and nickel-cobalt-arsenic minerals in pyrite were the source of the metals released by the acid-rock drainage (USGS, Open-File Report 2005-1148).
According to the Penn State website, “Subsequent efforts to contain the damage have so far cost more than $79 million (as of 2008).” However, according to Ryan, the State College site is “at 90” whereas the Lehman site is “at 5” in terms of pyrite, and aluminum and manganese are the more likely leachates from acid-rock drainage in this area according to the DEP... for complete story get this week's issue.