On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

It’s that time again in Mountaintop. The annual Relay for Life cancer awareness and fundraising event is this weekend at Crestwood High School. The 2014 Relay is Number 12 for the energetic Mountaintop cause. Most of the participating teams work year round holding fundraisers. Craft sales, flea markets, golf tournaments—there is a lot of variety in the Relay for Life activities. Leadership positions for the event are handed over year to year to new participants and the enthusiasm stays strong.

The entire Relay event and entertainment schedule is in this week’s edition. It will begin at 10:00 a. m. on Saturday May 18 and run around the clock for 24 hours until Sunday morning May 19. The Relay slogan “Cancer Never Sleeps, Nor will We for 24 hours” says it all. Nonstop entertainment and events are noted throughout the day. Be sure to stop by and say hello to your neighbors and friends. The yearly goal is $100,000 for the Relay.

Primary Election

This week’s edition is the last one before the May 20 Primary Election. The Republican incumbents for Governor, Tom Corbett, and State Senator, Lisa Baker, do not have competition. On the Democratic side though there are lots of candidates for governor. Tony Bonomo is challenging state Representative Jerry Mullery for the Democratic nomination for the 119th district. Redistricting has shifted some incumbents to represent new municipalities for 2014. Representative Karen Boback will no longer represent Dorrance and part of Wright Township in 2015. Representative Eddie Day Pashinski’s 121st District will pick up Fairview Township in 2015. Redistricting information is available online, but getting to it requires patience. Look at the ballot and you will know who has petitioned for a seat in your district.

I would say that this mid-term year for electing governors, congressmen and state representatives and senators has the fewest candidates on the ballot in years. That’s not to mean that your vote isn’t important if the incumbents are running without opposition in the primary. It’s not over until November.

Rice Fixing Roads

Rice Township got right to work fixing their roads after the winter thaw. Roadmaster Mark Taney and Chairman Marcia Thomas spearheaded a 2014 Rice Township Roadway Rehabilitation Project at their public meeting Tuesday May 6, awarding the bid. The township engineer inspected roads in Rice and made recommendations to start repairs. The first project will address base repairs to Fairwood and Aleksander boulevards, which intersect with Nuangola Road. The worst sections will be dug up and 3/12 to 4 inches of base and another 1.5 inches of top paving will be applied. Apparently the standards for the roads acceptance when they were built years ago did not address that standard.

Rice’s new Roadmaster works in the road construction and maintenance industry. While all townships hire engineers to oversee their road maintenance needs, Taney’s professional experience is an added benefit in Rice.

Taney and Miller Stella voted to pay Rosenn Jenkins and Greenwald a total of $5,964.84 last week making the Wilkes Barre lawfirms’ remuneration from Rice $30,682.06 since they were hired 14 months ago to assist with the township’s defense against Marcia Thomas’ defamation and whistleblower lawsuit. Taney was in favor conditionally as long as Rice does not receive any more bills from Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald. “The war is over,” said Taney.

I tried to get copies of the Rosenn Jenkins Greenwald invoices to see what dates they were filed and for what purpose. The supervisors who hired them, Miller Stella and George Venesky, who is no longer in office, are out of power at the board table too. They should have taken care of outstanding obligations of their watch.

I do feel that Taney’s exclamation that “The war is over” is dramatic. That extra $5,964,84 paid to the attorneys this month; actually the entire $30,682.06 would have paid for a pile of road repairs and hot patch. Thomas’ lawsuit has been settled and the board is genuinely interested in moving forward with the things that are a benefit to the majority of township residents— road repair and maintenance, enhancement of recreational facilities including parks and ponds, and police protection. The last thing the Rice taxpayers need is for more money to go out the door for attorney fees.

Spring has Arrived Spring is finally arriving this

week. The tightest buds on the trees are starting to plump and some are even sprouting leaves. We are easily a whole month behind in 2014. Some yards have spectacular displays of colorful tulips. Driving through the neighborhoods this week is as beautiful as admiring the Christmas lights. The local greenhouses are open, but be careful about planting annuals just yet. We had a frost last week and this year the chances for a late frost are bigger than ever. So in addition to the flowers, watch out for tomatoes, peppers, and squash. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts are safe.

Mother’s Day was a glorious spring day and people were out and about on the highways and byways. I don’t think I have seen so much traffic this year. Charlie and I played golf. It is our Mother’s Day tradition. It wasn’t my best round but I didn’t loose any balls and that’s always a plus. The Blue Ridge Ladies Tuesday night league finally had a decent day to tee off. We had been rained out three weeks in a row

Mountaintop’s closest courses are Blue Ridge Trail, Sand Springs and Edgewood in the Pines. All three are featured in our weekly editions.