Monday, October 31, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1816, October 31st, 2011

Red Light Cameras coming to a city near you?


A few weeks ago, we here at LuLac took a poll on a few races in the 2011 Election. We’ll release the poll results tomorrow. Today I am going to go over the methodology of the poll. I’m doing that today because tomorrow the only thing people will read are the results. A few words about the poll:
1. It is not scientific. In order to do that, you have to have 400 respondents. We had 172. But I believe with that number it is a representation of public opinion.
2. Only one vote can be recorded on a computer. The only exception is that if you open up two separate browsers and find LuLac on say, FireFox and Internet Explorer, you can vote twice. But there can’t be multiple voting for one candidate. That promotes, at least to me, a fair representation.
3. The votes are unanimous like the posts. So LuLac has no interaction personally like a phone poll would have.
4. Since LuLac covers both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, people not necessarily in the voting district can vote. Like someone in Archbald can make an opinion on the Wilkes Barre Area School Board race as well as someone from Ashley opining on who would win the Lackawanna County Commissioners race. Also if someone is reading this in Hong Kong, they can voice an opinion and mess with us, but I’m betting those occurrences are few and far between.
5. LuLac readers might have an interest in one segment of the election than the others. In the spring poll, Charlotte raup supporters gave her a big majority in the poll. That proved that Raup had more LuLac readers than Leighton did. So you have that going on too.
So there are the nuances of the poll. I wanted to make it clear that the data is raw. That said, I think because of the way the mechanism is set up, no one candidate can stack the vote. Is it accurate? In the primary Charlotte Raup was beating Tom Leighton 2 to 1. The primary results told a different story. But looking at the results so far, I can honestly say that the data this fall will be interesting to compare on Election Day. Look for it tomorrow.


The Times Leader endorsed the following candidates for Luzerne County Council. They are:
James Bobeck, Elaine Maddon Curry, Harry Haas, Gene Kelleher, Mike Lacey, Tim McGinley, Rick Morelli, Jeremy Packard, Steve A. Urban, Rick Williams and Jane Walsh Waitkus.
Some are no brainers, others I’m trying to wrap my mind around. 5 Democrats, 3 Republicans and three Independents. Okay then.


The Committee to Elect Lesa Gelb Judge will host a rally with the candidate on Saturday, November 5th from 2-4 PM at The American Legion in Kingston. The Legion is located at 386 Wyoming Ave.
Volunteer materials will be distributed to all poll workers. The event is free and open to the public, and food and refreshments will be provided. Anyone wishing to volunteer in the final days of the campaign is encouraged to attend.
Anyone with questions regarding the event can call 570-288-7022 or e-mail for more information.
Where: American Legion, Black Diamond Post 395
386 Wyoming Ave
Kingston, PA 18704
When: 2-4 PM
Saturday, November 5th
Lesa Gelb is a candidate for the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. She has been a practicing attorney in Luzerne County for twenty-five years and has served on and led the boards of numerous civic and non-profit groups. In an attempt to rekindle the electorate’s faith in their judges, she is not accepting contributions from attorneys. More information about Lesa’s candidacy can be found at


Many motorists in the state are asking that the bill authorizing red-light cameras(SB595) be pulled, or at least not advanced to a floor vote. This passed the Senate and got referred to House Transportation. This bill will inflict serious harm upon the residents of the state, despite claims to the contrary. The bill, which was supported by Senators Yudichak and Blake is going to go to the House, unless you speak up. Here are a list of reasons why this thing is a bad idea:
1.Most tickets are for a non-complete stop while turning right on red(legal to turn.) This is NOT a safety issue at all.
2.Why not extend yellow duration on current lights? This is shown to reduce almost all “runnings”, as they are unintentional? People do not blow through lights on purpose, the yellow is too short.
3.Why not synchronize lights so you do not get a red on every block AND all yellows are of the same duration on a road?
4.Sensors can tell if a car is in an intersection, so won't change until clears.
5.Can use all-red interval, to clear cars from intersection.
6.Countdown timers can be used to tell time from yellow to red.
7.Cars get stuck in intersections taking left or right turns, plus they have to slow down significantly and cover more distance than going straight through.
8.Many tickets are for just barely going through, not 5 seconds after the red.
9.Can have view blocked by a large truck.
10.This will cause much unneeded stress, which is bad for safety.
11.There is an incentive to do this for revenue purposes. Why no community service or charitable contribution for a fine?
12.There is an incentive to make “short yellows”, or specifically shorten one yellow on a street where a camera is located.
13.Rules of evidence do not apply at the first appeal, which is REALLY abridging a driver's rights. The state is really looking to get sued here.
14.The bill defines what is discoverable later in court and also what is “right-to-know.” Also a good lawsuit here. You cannot even defend yourself!
15.You get a ticket weeks or months later for out-of-state people, so how is this legal? You cannot remember it or realistically fight it. If from outside the area, you are home and cannot look at the scene. Due process?
16.Owner cited, not driver.
17.With rental cars or business cars, you will just be billed and cannot appeal.
18.PARALLEL ticketing, in that a cop ticket has different penalties than a camera. YOU CANNOT HAVE DIFFERENT PENALTIES FOR THE SAME VIOLATION, based upon enforcement method.
19.Even if you claim this is for safety, if a person gets a ticket 1-3 months after an incident, won't they drive recklessly until then? A cop can issue a ticket on the spot to change behavior NOW.
20.There have been widely reported cases of incorrect tickets being issued.
Rear-end collisions go up with cameras, as people slam the brakes or floor it. Many people will do crazy stuff, such as refuse to take a right on a red, stop if a truck is in front of them, refuse to take a turn if they could get stuck in an intersection, etc., for fear of tickets. This will cause more crashes, road rage, and traffic backups. Unconstitutional, as not accused by person and cannot confront in court. Incorrect tickets issued. Heavy lobbying from camera makers. As you see here, much of this is questionable regarding legality.
THE COMMONWEALTH RUNS THE RISK OF GETTING SUED HERE, due to knowingly doing something which will likely cause crashes. Also, if a person's rights are not respected, the state will get sued. Not just state court, but federal too. In federal civil rights cases, the guilty party must also pay legal expenses when they lose, I think. If the state must pay for multiple defenses for various parties in various courts, and there are compensatory damages, punitive damages, and possibly ticket refunds, voided contracts, etc., this could go into the millions. The state should prioritize here and look for job growth, such as a law to ban employers who refuse to hire unemployed people, especially if out of work for awhile.
This proposed law seems to be a sham, which will likely cause crashes, cost the state a FORTUNE when they are sued, and seems to be exclusively for revenue. PLEASE DO NOT MOVE THIS FORWARD AND SCRAP THE CAMERAS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. Ban future camera usage.
Other areas are REMOVING cameras, why would we put them in? Well, we here in LuLac land do everything ass backwards so I'm not surprised by this. Contact your local State Representatives and get this thing cancelled. Pennsylvania moves at a glacial pace for any type of change, why rush this through? MONEY. I'm sure the good Senators got campaign funds from the companies owning the camera systems. `


From Newswatch 16, three Bloomsburg University students were arrested and charged with beating a former team mate and student. It happened during Home Coming weekend and if you think they were three out of control burly football players with testosterone overflowing, you’re wrong. They were 3 women athletes. I’d use the term student athletes but that would be an exaggeration. Thugs don’t come equipped with a only an X chromosome these days, the Y's are catching up.


At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

newspapers should stick to reporting the news, not tell people who to vote for.

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red light cameras are a great idea -- and they work! Remember: RED means stop! Yes you can turn right on red, AFTER stopping.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Telling people who to vote for and endorsing a candidate are two different things! We all know the Scranton Times will endorse Democrats and so it goes... I wouldnt listen to the Times, Times Leader or Steve Corbett, but they have the right to ENDORSE. Fools like Rush Limbo tell you who to vote for and if you are stupid enough to pay attention, you are a fool as well!


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