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Issue 38 — Thursday, April 23, 2015
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Sheriff Bueki Endorses Tonkin For DA

MILFORD — Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki has endorsed District Attorney Ray Tonkin for re-election. Bueki, who is in his fourth term serving as Pike County’s Sheriff, cited the relationship the two men have had in working to battle drug crime in the county, among other factors in his decision.

“During the past several years, the Sheriff’s Office has joined up with the Pike County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, and has been very involved in many drug raids and drug arrests. We have also joined together in bringing a permanent drug drop box program to Pike County to give people a safe place to dispose of harmful drugs before they fall into the wrong hands. This is all due to the support of District Attorney Ray Tonkin and his staff,” Bueki said.

“As Sheriff, I have known our District Attorney to be a man of honesty and integrity. He is also tough on crime and is an excellent prosecutor. Ray supports ALL law enforcement by assisting us with building a case for presentation in court. His successful prosecution record is impressive,” Bueki commented.

“Sheriff Bueki is well known among law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, since he has served as the Sheriff’s Association President and as a statewide D.A.R.E. mentor, and I am grateful for his support,” Tonkin stated. “We have worked together to address drug crime in Pike County, and have had excellent results. I look forward to working with him in the future to do even more."

Original Arts Center Plan Touted Again
By Ken Baumel

BUSHKILL — John Klemeyer, who once served as lawyer and artistic consultant for the now defunct Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts, briefed Lehman supervisors on the original center’s business plan. Klemeyer spoke at the regular township meeting held at the township building last week.

Supervisor Rob Rohner said that at a previous regular board meeting, Lehman Solicitor Bob Bernathy, Klemeyer’s law partner, heard the presentation by Pike County Economic Development Agency (EDA) Executive Director Mike Sullivan about a Pike County economic development proposal that could bring businesses to town.

Bernathy then suggested to supervisors that Klemeyer share his experience with the center’s original business plan developed by Artistic Director/Consultant Elliott Rosoff of Shohola Township. Although the center’s board later dropped Rosoff’s plan, that plan might still be viable as an economic and cultural development plan.
Rosoff said last week in an interview that his plan included bringing to the center the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the American Ballet Company, all world-class performing arts organizations. All three organizations agreed to perform at the center.

As part of the preliminary research, prior to applying for state grants to float the center, Rosoff contracted with two major national accounting firms to review his plan. The two firms termed his plan financially viable. The board used the financial evaluations as part of the grant application. The board then received $17.5 million in Pennsylvania grants for the center.

Rosoff meanwhile also got commitments from bus touring companies to bring people from New York City, Long Island, upstate New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia to attend performances. Rosoff’s plan included participation commitment from New York University to send their top performing arts student to intern at the center.

Even though the center was built using the $17.5 million and more than $23 million in private financing, along the way, according to Rosoff, a majority of board members decided to release Rosoff and replaced his plan with another one. That new plan scaled back Rosoff’s high-end performing arts plan with one that included mostly soft rock, pop music, country, and aging, but well-known rock-and-roll icons.

For several seasons, the board experimented with this formula, but the formula never took off. The center never recouped its losses and closed. Rosoff meanwhile said that after he was released, he sued the board for breach of contract and by 2007 had won the suit.

Supervisors Sivick, Dick Vollmer, and Rohner agreed to study the plan if they are given a copy. Sivick said that the township was not in the loop of center planning, though on a few occasions, the board reached out to the township after Rosoff was no longer in the picture... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Changes To Setbacks Under Consideration

LORDS VALLEY — The Blooming Grove Township Supervisors are considering a change to Zoning Ordinance 701, specifically the required setbacks for commercial properties.

At their meeting Monday night, Chairman Nicholas Mazza said they would keep the 50-foot requirement for commercial in case of development adjacent to residential property. However, they want to be able to allow 20-foot setbacks where commercial developments are adjacent to one another.

Mazza explained that currently, the ordinance allows them to reduce the required setback to 30 feet and anything less than that requires variances. Variances have to show hardship though, and Mazza said hardship would be difficult to prove if the total lot size were large. The proposed changes would require rewrites and a public hearing, so would not take effect for one to two months, at least.

Mazza said that having the option to reduce the setback to 20 feet in certain circumstances would be “keeping (the) same protections” but also “gives us a little more flexibility.”

Mazza swore in Karen Capparelli to the Fire Police. Fire Police are volunteers who support police and firefighting efforts with activities such as traffic and crowd control... for complete story get this week' s issue.

Gaughan Draws Crowd At Recent Meet And Greet

HAWLEY — After reaching full capacity of 300 people at her announcement in January, Pike County District Attorney candidate Kelly Gaughan, continues to draw in voters with the support of law enforcement and her colleagues as seen at a Meet and Greet, hosted by Tom and Kathy Farley and Bob and Nadine Bernathy at Gresham’s Chop House April 15.

Community members in attendance at the event included Commissioner Rich Caridi; Craig A. Lowe, Warden Pike County Correctional Facility; Robert E. McLaughlin, Assistant Warden Pike County Correctional Facility; and Jonathan J. Romance, Assistant Warden Pike County Correctional Facility.

Milford Attorney Kelly Gaughan, Pike County District Attorney candidate said “I appreciate the support of law enforcement, my colleagues and members of the community. Together we can make the changes needed to keep our communities safe.

“I am committed to protecting the community by working with the court to create a Veteran’s Court and a Drug Court to rehabilitate those individuals. Those efforts will reduce crime and taxes by eliminating recidivism.”

Various members of law enforcement attended the event in support of Kelly Gaughan including John Clader, Retired Blooming Grove Station Commander, Pennsylvania State Police, Retired Blooming Grove Station Commander, Lt. Jamie Schultz, Pennsylvania State Police, and Retired Pennsylvania State Police Sgt Tom Scales.

Gaughan recently received both, the endorsement from the Local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 46 along with the separate endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association representing the 8000 Pennsylvania troopers statewide.

Retired Blooming Grove Station Commander John Clader, Pennsylvania State Police, stated “Kelly Gaughan is law enforcement’s choice to keep Pike County’s streets safe and community protected... for complete story get this week' s issue.

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