I was in the Pittston Walmart at 7 AM. In front me-- a gentleman in a dark suit, tall, salt and pepper hair, very distinguished-- and with one of those cords that go up the back, plugged into an earpiece. The guy had "security" written all over him, and he appeared to come from "Secret Service" central casting.
It could be he was State Police or private security, but my gut feeling is clearly "federal."
We haven't had any big name political visits in a while. President Obama shouldn't take Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for granted. Yes, the valleys are heavily Democratic, but unemployment is high. You can't turn on the news without seeing some company is cutting its work force. Polls show the race tightening, and Mitt Romney has some new momentum following last week's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.
The Secret Service routinely has teams hop scotching the country in advance of Obama, Biden, Romney and Ryan-- checking out potential rally sites, hotels, etc. They also meet with local law enforcement to learn what unfriendlys might be in town.
I get the feeling we're due for a high level visit. You read it here first.
By the way, the "agent" I encountered in Walmart bought two of those little bottles of a 5 Hour Energy type product. It's the Secret Service's busy season.
The borough of Troy in Bradford County recently had a special council meeting to deal with some police department issues. There was a discrepancy over the exact meeting time. I needed an answer at 3:00 AM. Yes, there are people to call, but I'm a considerate individual, so I consulted the internet.
It's 2012, almost 2013. If Troy has a web page, I couldn't find it. Not on Google, not on Bing, not on Yahoo! There's no excuse for any municipality NOT to have a web page. Your citizens deserve the information in a timely manner, and it has to be easy to find.
Domain names are cheap. Finding a host is neither difficult, nor expensive. Construction can be tricky. High schools and colleges are filled with students who would help for free.
A blog is free and accessible to everyone. FaceBook is a poor substitute because about half the population, including yours truly, hasn't signed up. There are few things more frustrating than trying to research a restaurant or business, and being pointed to a FaceBook site.
I should note that once the meeting was over, a single phone call was all that was needed to get the necessary information.
And, that brings us to the borough of Dunmore in Lackawanna County. I recently had a personal matter that needed attention. Dunmore has a web site, but other than the web master, there are no e-mail addresses for individuals and departments. Are you kidding me? How can you design a web site without e-mail addresses?
I called to discuss the issue that took me to the web site in the first place, and encountered unprecedented rudeness. With the horrendous people skills of some borough employees, it would be a good idea to get those e-mail addresses on the web site as soon as possible.