The LuLac Edition #640, Nov. 15th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: STATE REPRESENTATIVE PHYLLIS MUNDY AND THE "K" CAR.
I'm really getting somewhat tired about private industry asking for a cash bailout from the government. I mean where are we getting this money from? Are we just printing it? Will some foreign country call in our loans one of these days and we'll have nothing to pay it back? The auto industry execs are saying that America needs the Big Three to survive economically. They want oney from the government but have been reluctant to say how they are going to use the money. No prototypes for energy efficient vehicles and no plan. They complain that union wages and benefits make up for a major cost of a car and that's why they can't be competitive. Couldn't they use that same union labor to make different types of cars? Blaming high labor costs is the oldest business trick in the book. Give the union boys a job and they'll do it. Bt for heaven's sake, be creative. When Lee Iaccoca got his government bailout for Chyrsler in the eighties, he had a plan. Make "K" cars and mini vans. It was an alternative to what everyone else was doing. He got his money because he had a blueprint and was committed to selling that to the American consumer. Until the overpaid and under thinking auto executives come up with something the same, we should say no to an auto bailout.
State Representaive Phyllis Mundy sent this along regarding auto efficiency and state government. I'm writing to inform you that if you purchased within the past six months or plan to purchase a fuel-efficient electric hybrid vehicle, you could be eligible for a $500 rebate through the state's Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program. One by one, the consumers who buy hybrid vehicles help to reduce pollution and limit our dependence on foreign oil. I believe this effort deserves to be rewarded. To find out what vehicles are eligible for a rebate under the program, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Hybrid Vehicle Rebates. Rebate forms, guidance and instructions are also available by calling (866) 294-3854 or (717) 214-3492.
A state audit gave more bad news to Luzerne County taxpayers this week. It appears Luzerne County will have to pay more than $313,738, likely hundreds of thousands of dollars more, concerning psychological evaluations performed by a judge’s brother-in-law. The audit, performed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, says $836,636 in state funding paid for the evaluations is in jeopardy because the county probation department’s one-page purchase of service agreement with Frank Vita was not approved by county commissioners as required by state regulations.“The purchase-of-service agreements were not competitively procured and were awarded to the brother-in-law of the president judge. At a minimum, this presents the appearance of a conflict of interest,” the audit says. Vita is the brother-in-law of county Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Mike Conahan, who was formerly president judge. The audit also says because the county “inappropriately” sought reimbursement for 80 percent of its cost, rather than the state’s allowable 50 percent. And according to a report in the Times Leader, Vita also copied and pasted several of the reports which called into question the validity of the examinations and compromised at least 40% of them.