The whole concept of 'chained CPI indexing' assumes that by reducing Social Security payments seniors will buy alternative cheaper items and still be able to afford basic needs. However seniors' needs are different then most other age groups. The chart below represents a comparison over the last 30 years between two methods of calculating the effects of 'Chained CPI indexing. The one doesn't factor in seniors requiring different expense then the rest of the younger population. The other does. About 30% of those over 62 years of age rely on Social Security for 90% of their income while presently 13% of us as a nation are 65 years or older. So this is a big deal.
Everyone should readily see that those relying on Social Security for most of their income will not be able to find cheaper alternatives for their current healthcare coverage . Compounding this problem for them are the increasing monthly costs for Medicare and the supplemental plans coupled with ever decreasing Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities as well as for medications.
Below is a chart for all 3 CPI methods of calculating future Social Security payments courtesy of The AARP
The GREEN is what Obama & Congress have in mind
The BLUE is the CPI adjusted specifically for seniors The CBO report mentions (The latter being something I haven't heard either one of them discuss)
Here's Another Thought. Most seniors spend every dime of their retirement income which puts it right back into the economy. It isn't like they are taking their Social Security check and investing it for sometime in the future. So giving them a couple of bucks more to live on isn't as though the money won't be spent to help keep the economy growing. On the other hand if you take out $339.8 billion in total from changes in the program over the next 10 years, that's $339,800,000,000 less seniors have to pump back into the economy.
A Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman were drinking one night and started bragging about their homeland bars.
"As good as this bar is," said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow , there's a wee place called McTavish's. The landlord goes out of his way for the locals. When you buy four drinks, he'll buy the fifth drink."
"Well, Angus," said the Englishman, "At my local in London , the Red Lion, the barman will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two."
"Ahhh, dat's nothin'," said Paddy Sheehan, the Irishman. "Back home in me favorite pub, the moment you set foot in the place, they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like, actually. Then, when you've had enough drinks, they'll take you upstairs and see dat you gets laid, all on the house!"
The Englishman and Scotsman were suspicious of the claims. "Did this actually happen to you, Paddy ?"
"Not me meself, personally, no," he admitted, "but it did happen to me sister quite a few times."
First off the price for the 2,000 foot long span comes in at about $5,000 dollars a linear foot ($285 a Square Foot). Which seems kind of high to me considering the supporting structure is already here.
That aside what tweaks me is once again taxpayers will HAVE TO pony up for this through 'Tax Increment Financing'. For those unfamiliar with "TIF" I will describe it as briefly as possible. The state issues bonds (advances the money). The bonds are repaid back to the state by ever increasing future property taxes for decades. Keep in mind in-between then and now other tax revenues have to replace the difference between tax increases that state would have received otherwise over the next 20 years or so. All of this is based on the assumption that the property values actually will go up as a result of the trestle. So slice and dice this all you want, the fact is in the end it is the taxpayers who will pay for this.
Don't get me wrong, I think a pretty walkway is a great idea. What I have a problem with is who is paying for it and who benefits from it. In this case apparently it won't be the property owners in the surrounding area. The only way is if the project produces the iffy results they predict and owners of property cash out.
But what about homeowners who have no desire to sell? Assigning an ever increasing property value is totally meaningless to those who are retired or others who intended on staying put. These presumed ever increasing property values, along with their accompanying tax increases mainly serve two purposes. To benefit investors and/or gentrify an area. So I suppose it depends whether your a winner or a loser on how you feel about this.
Why does there even have to be winners and losers?
Why not instead solicit voluntary contributions from private and corporate sponsors for this project?
Why should the taxpaying public be forced to foot the bill for a few of the well connected ?
SPIN THIS ANYWAY YOU LIKE, BUT...
Whether one labels these a "'TIF', 'NIZ', 'KOZ' or any other name, it's still requires a tax increase to fill in the lost government revenues in the interim . Since the use of public tax money doesn't materialize out of thin air there can be no other way to pay for them other then by increased taxation both now and later.
Yeah I'd like a new deck too, but if I already have too many expenses/debts and a decreasing income it seems kind of foolish to take on yet another expense just to gussy the place up. Yeah I may or may not get that investment back in 20 years, but how am I to afford my living expenses until then? Then again I can't force my employer (by law) to give me more money like the government(s) can. And that's why I oppose the funding for this project.
The dual engines pull about 20 freight cars and around 40 passenger cars. I'm not sure whether this was the 'Blue' or 'Red' Tour. I'm also not sure where it was headed. I do know it wasn't the 'Gold' tour because that one uses trucks only.
As I watched The Video I thought will I ever see the end!
Imagine how much it cost to keep just this one tour on the road
The Lehigh County Authority says, "In effort to share as much information as possible with the public, current customers and Allentown city residents, Lehigh County Authority has launched a new dedicated website:
"This website has been developed by Lehigh County Authority (LCA) to provide accurate and timely information to the public about our project to lease the City of Allentown’s water and sewer systems for the next 50 years
The Sunday April 14th 2013 edition of The Daily Mail's "Event Magazine" came out today in England. In it they managed to score an exclusive interview with Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. who just turned 15 on April 3rd (2013).
A few of the highlights are that she would like to restore the 'Neverland Estate' her father once owned for sick children to visit. Two years ago she made a visit and was heartbroken to see how decayed it has become.
She spoke lovingly of her father Michael. You can read more about the article through the link above.
Growing Up Inside The Michael Jackson Home
What I'd like to focus on is how well she has turned out. Paris is a typical 15 year old despite the spotlight always being on her...
TMZ Posted This On March 7th, 2013
What I didn't know was that...
Paris Sang At Her Father's Funeral She sounded a whole lot like her father at her age!
Here's a short piece about her June 2012 interview with Oprah
Sometimes the world can be a very ugly place. Many in the trash talking gossip mongering media business earn a ton of money by doing just that. I suppose we'll never truly know what went on in Michael's private life (as if he ever had one). Only time will tell as each of his offspring grow older and what they may one day say about growing up inside the eccentric world of the Jackson family.
So despite all the crap we've heard about Michael, little to nothing was said regarding his good deeds. With his passing at 50 so too were much of the good works that he would have continued to finance and publicize. Instead the focus was on exploiting him by cashing in on his unusual looks, personality and lifestyle.
This whole Jackson thing is quite heartrending for all those he could have helped if he had not died nearly 4 years ago on June 25th, 2009. Was Michael as evil as the tabloids would have us believe?
Or was he trying to make up for what he never had? Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions.
For God alone reads our hearts
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~
Too Much Information!
This was back in the early 70's. It was when almost anyone who wanted to be a DJ could get a job on a local radio station. It was when privately owned and operated stations employed dozens and dozens of people in the Lehigh Valley. Not like now where only a few hours in the morning are broadcast LIVE locally. Then down linked to nationally syndicated satellite programming till once again the next morning.
Every town had a different format and personality. Some of the biggest names were; Barney Pip out of WCFL Chicago. Joey Reynolds at WKBW Buffalo NY. Cousin Brucie on WABC. Joe Niagara at WIBG Philly. etc. etc. I listened and tried learning from these radio broadcast pioneers.
I was weaned on radio...
At about 10 years old I sat every Saturday morning aside of Dopey Duncan. Even acquiring some air-time, cueing up the big ET's (no 'Gates' cart machines in those days) and even running board a couple minutes out of the hour when Dopey had to take a dump or something :) This was at WKAP owned by the Rahall Brothers out of Florida.
My time finally came at 19 years old. I started (and ended) at WHOL (500 watt daytime only) after it came out of bankruptcy. Prior to bankruptcy it was a top 40 rock station. After the new owners bought it WHOL was changed to a country format except for Jolly Joe Timmer's polkas in the afternoon. We cornered the country market. Well of course we did since we were the only ones playing it. However being the only game in town didn't mean I wasn't proudly at the bottom of the ratings :-) My program usually came in around the same low ratings as The Bethlehem Globe's (a former newspaper owned radio station ) WGPA. I worked at WHOL for a little over 2 years.
I also did a short stint a top 20 station in Washington NJ at the same time I worked at WHOL. Even though I only did 3 hours on a Saturday I found myself working nearly 65+ hours between the two. Needless to say the wife wasn't happy with that, especially after my son was born. After just 3 short weekends I quit that gig! This was the beginning of the end of radio for me. I saw locals guys so desperate they'd endure almost anything to hang on. Slowly the noose for local DJ's was tightening. Times were changing and the role of DJ's was fading.
After having every title, none of the money and working 60+ hours a week with a son on the way, I went out for lunch and never looked back. The station manager was starting to get (I'll put it nicely) really aggressive. A co-owner stopped by my apartment after I walked out to express his empathy on how I was treated. He told me he too felt trapped, but couldn't leave because his money was tied up in a partnership with several others. At any rate it took 2 full timers and 1 part timer to replace me. He went on further to tell me that the extra hires were driving their budget back into the red which was not the case with my lone single salary when I was there. He stated he had no idea how much I was giving on a fixed salary. During the second year I was there was the only time the station turned a few bucks. Shortly thereafter WHOL was sold to today's present owners.
From there I helped maintain/manage 300+ apartments, then moved on to manufacturing for 33 years. The kind of jobs that actually pay the bills. Too bad, since I longed to be a DJ from the time I was 10 years old. But I don't regret the choice I made because...
Lo these years later DJ's can no longer run a free format of their choosing like I did. I knew a few that jelled with the public and ran the ratings through the roof. Soon corporations bought up the local stations and told them exactly what to do and say or get out. A few, like myself did. Others did not and became trapped in the biz until the new corporate owners tossed them aside and syndicated the broadcast day via satellite. Mostly the way radio broadcasting is today.
I don't envy the few remaining in the biz. It's more like an honorarium then a job in my eyes. Something like, how much are you willing to put up with to be on the radio?
Once at WAEB Jeff Frank spilled his soda into the old tube main control room board. POP! POP! POP! The sounds of vacuum tubes popping just before the board sizzled and fried.
Larry Brooke pressed his bare buttocks to the newsroom booth window while Super Lou was attempting to read the news. Super broke up and went to commercial skipping the remaining 3 minutes of the newscast.
Ernie Stiegler doing one of his many sports broadcast used an old clock radio to make sure he was on-the-air. He accidentally had the wrong station on. Thinking he was not patched in to the studio he went on a cursing tirade LIVE on air!
This happened when WAEB was located at 7th & Hamilton Streets. Gene Kaye received a speeding ticket while coming back from one of his many trips to Philadelphia. He walked into a supposedly off-the-air news/production studio. As it turned out a key was thrown the wrong way and his tirate went out LIVE over-the-air... OOPS!
One of our own at WHOL hosted a program of religious music on Saturdays. He was on a hot 2nd mic unbeknownst to him as he told tales laced with colorful language. The next day an on-the-air light was installed!
Then there was Joe Vargo who just loved to give Dopey Duncan some very severe wedges while he was speaking on air.
Jay Sands (the morning man) was extremely ticked one early morning because some ass left a chair in the middle of the record room as he came through in the dark. He nearly tripped over it and stubbed his toe. He kicked the hell out of the chair into a dark corner where Super Lou was sleeping on the floor from the night before. Lou kept quiet as a mouse despite his pain and Jay never knew about it.
Speaking of Jay... there was animosity between him and Gene Kaye. One time Gene Kaye worked frustratingly hard on recording an advertisement onto a tape cartridge. Doesn't Jay record over it with a plug for his morning show. Gene never saw it coming till he hit the play button on the old 'Gates' cartridge machine. Gene retaliated by pushing a thumbtack through a local semi-hit record that Jay's daughter had made. Then posted it on the control room bulletin board :-)
Bud Musselman owned WSAN and every year would crawl perilously to the top of his broadcast towers and string Christmas lights. Towers are fabricated in sections and there was poor electrical connection between two of them causing Bud to get severely zapped. He fell at least 20 feet coming to rest at the feet of Dick Ziegenfuss (one of his broadcast engineers). Highly determined Bud uttered a few profound words and crawled right back up on the tower and proceeded to finish stringing his lights!
WAEB-FM came about through the license purchase from Bud over at WSAN who saw no future in FM at the time. In WAEB-FM's infancy it consisted of automated 8 giant reel to reels. Each had a category. Male/slow, male/up tempo, instrumental, and so on. The equipment was quite used prior in one of the other Rust stations (Bill Rust owned WAEB). Advertisements were run from a 'Gates' cassette player tower consisting of about 25 vertical trays. The player head would advance itself upward by 2 screw drives drawing in the carts and sliding them back into the trays. Then proceed up to the next one. Well not always. On more then one occasion it would only slide the cassettes partially back onto it's tray. Then would wind back down the rack catching each cassette smashing each one to pieces on it's way back down to the bottom. DEAD AIR! Eventually they put a silence sensor which would just skip any piece of equipment that did not come online within 30 secs and advance to the next one.
Ok what about my dirt?
The most enjoyable live remote broadcasts were that of Jolly Joe picnics at Bushkill Park. I would stay in the remote unit to run board while Joe's band performed. His fans would just love to bring food and liquor to me in the remote. Being young and stupid I consumed the lot of it. End of broadcast. Time to back the remote unit out of pavilion.. yeah well.. right into a wall. DING! I prayed the boss never saw the dent.
Similarly on one of the Kempton fair broadcasts I was bringing the remote back when I stopped at the top of a steep hill for a stop sign. When I pulled out CRASH! Every record, record player, board.. EVERYTHING fell to the floor. I couldn't hide that one. OOPSY! Tone arms were bent. Record needles mangled. Quite a mess.
We had a big country show at the Allentown Fair grounds. Below the stage was an ice filled tub with every assortment of alcohol known to man. Fortunately I got my Jeanie C. Riley interview and all the air personality plugs from Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Dollar, Nat Stucky, Cal Smith & Geo. Morgan.
Did a remote at Cedar Crest Shopping Plaza. I never followed the rule of thumb... interview oldsters not teens. I walked up with mic in hand and attempted an interview with a teen who shouted into the mic, "WHOL sucks!" Yep straight out on the air. I pretended he never said that. I went onward with a great big , "well great to see you" and slinked back to the remote unit jabbering away like it never happened and spinning another record.
Ever sit behind a metal microphone under 75' towers when lightening strikes? DON'T!
Well that ought to be enough to get me in trouble! If any of you guys still around want me to pull your story down, let me know. No harm intended.
WHOL- 2 years
3 hours spinning records daily
10- 5 minute news segments
4- weekly 15 minute public service programs
Radio in it's heyday...
..employed dozens of people. Where there are less then a handful locally today. You could always make a few extra bucks by DJing the pools, schools' ice cream festivals etc.
Some of the DJ's had exclusive gigs like: The Hub (YMCA). Notre Dame Bandstand. Castle Rock (Dorney Park).
Later teen night clubs were born and mostly replaced the record hops- Bill Daniels. The Mod Mill, The Mad Hatter, The Zoo, Saylor's Lake Pavilion, etc.
Nationally 50,000 Watt clear channel super stations like WKBW in Buffalo who had Joey Reynolds. WBZ-Boston. WCFL in Chicago who had Barney Pip DJing. WIBG in Phila. whose DJ's included Joe Niagra, Hy Lit. Then there was WFIL in Philadelphia with the likes of Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien. WABC in New York City- Cousin Brucie (Morrow). They all could all be heard in this area with a good radio.
Speaking of stories (names protected). Who will ever forget when one Philly station ran a contest with a prize amounting to $1,000's. In a matter of poor judgement one of the DJs at another competing radio station called a listener and awarded the other stations money! Yeah the DJ got fired!
* WAEB-790- Rust Broadcasting. Bill Rust went on to accumulate 14 radio stations after graduating from Lehigh University. Bill Rust earned his fortune by designing broadcast equipment. His designs were the ones most broadcasters used at the time. Bill retired in 1986. Passed away in 1991 at 77
* WSAN-1470- Ruel 'Bud' Musselman & his sister. Bud passed away at 78 years of age.
* WKAP-1320- Rahall Brothers.
* WHOL- Carl Stuart, Jim Herbert & silent partners. When WHOL went into bankruptcy prior to these owners Max Hess (Hess Brothers) once considered buying it but backed out. WHOL used to be 24 hr. 1,000 watts 1230. But WEEX, when WHOL went dark, applied and obtained their license, frequency and power thus limiting WHOL to 500 watts daytime.
* WGPA- Bethlehem "Globe Times"
* WYNS- Harriet Phillips (Lehighton)
What Happened to these DJs?
Good question. One got drafted and when he came back became a cop. Another bought a night club and produced rock concerts. A number of them went into advertising sales. Another formed a rock band. Still others are in the business in some form or another today here and elsewhere.
Dopey Duncan (Luther Gehringer)
Birth: Jul. 30, 1920
Death: May 12, 1990
(69 years of age)
Dopey Duncan at his testimonial/roast
Days Inn, South Whitehall
Sunday, June 28th 1987
This further reminded me of other fond memories of my youngest days which led them back to those of Luther Gehringer (aka Dopey Duncan).
Nearly every Saturday morning when I was about 8 or 10 years old I used to sit alongside Paul Galgon & Dopey during their "Two On The Sunnyside" morning program on WKAP. It was because of Dopey that I pursued radio broadcasting as one of my first jobs.
Dopey was not just some guy who left me run the board, spin the EP's with ads on them or talk on the mic at WKAP. He also introduced me to fishing at Lake Wallenpaupack. Let me drive one of the 1/4 midget racers. Left me pump the player piano he had in his body shop out in Minesite, Pa.
The late mother-in-law used to live above Dopey when he was just a teenager. She remembered her mother going downstairs late a night where Dopey would be singing and playing his guitar to yell at him to shut up and go to bed. :-)
From what I gather it is possible, with the right software, to identify a individual customer from the moment they pull into the lot. From that point on they could evaluate what kind of car they drive and it's value. How long they were in the store and through the use of the RFID tags on merchandise track where they went in the store. It's also possible to track eye movements to see what merchandise someone(s) are looking at. Then upon checking out, through the use of anything other then cash, further identify that person by name and address.
Upon repeated visits a retailer could develop a profile of the dollar value, how much and what kind of merchandise that individual takes home. It could also reveal whether someone goes shopping as an individual, with their mate or with whatever number of kids. It could also reveal whether kids influence the purchases they make via kids pestering their parent(s). Yes even one's gender and racial makeup.
With the proper software these systems can also detect any suspicious behavior which can trigger automatically an alarm on the system's security equipment. Who knows it may be even possible to detect your medical condition if the store has a pharmacy in it.
Which brings me back to my repetitive pleas for consumers to support small local business owners. If people are truly concerned about privacy .... VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET.