PA Transportation Sec. Leslie Richards tramples my rights & those of my 88 low-income disabled & elderly neighbors to pray
Richards is a liberal Democrat appointed by Governor Tom Wolf. for whom my friend Bonnie supported when she ran for office in Montgomery County, Never again.
Form releasing me from jail on my own recognizance
The route to synagogue before Sec. Richards destroyed it
How Sec. Richards prevented me from attending synagogue
From a regional office in Clearfield, a rural former coal mining town an hour and fifteen minute drive away from State College, Penn Dot administers the street on which I live ( and noteworthy its sidewalks). I filmed this video the week during I was arrested.
How my fellow Jews pray in the only synagogue I tried to pray open that August Sabbath
Class B villain: State College Police Chief John Gardner
Chronology of my attempt to get arrested, my final success in getting arrested, my time in jail, my time at Mt. Nittany Medical Center while still under arrest, my appearance in Commonwealth Court, and my next appearance in Court for jury selection
I. Request to be arrested at 7 PM at the Monday August 8, 2018 Regular meeting of the Borough of State College. [ Footnote 1.]
Agenda V called for public comment for which I was given four minutes. In advance, I had passed out hard copy to all Borough Council members, staff, and understandably small audience. of this blog post:
FOR LOW-INCOME DISABLED AND ELDERLY RESIDENTS IN THE BOROUGH OF STATE COLLEGE, A STATE OF EMERGENCY EXISTS
In advance, I had arranged to show the Borough Council the 3 minute plus video above filmed earlier that Monday showing that construction made it impossible given the traffic and absence of sidewalks (under repair) to synagogue on Saturday. I noted, reading this press release:
To: Mayor Donald Hahn, Borough Manager Tom Fontaine, Solicitor Terry Williams, Esq. and the unfit members of the State College Borough Council
From: Joel Solkoff, [email protected]
7 PM: Four minute praise of Mayor Hahn, Borough Manager Tom Fontaine, and denunciation of all members of the State College Borough Council (all of whom, sadly, are Democrats).
7:30: My arrest on Beaver Avenue between Allen and Pugh
At 7:05, I scooted to the desk where Police Chief Gardner was sitting and politely asked him to arrest me.
Chief Gardner was less than polite telling me we could talk about it later and “work something out.” I insisted that I wanted to be arrested immediately. He said he was busy paying attention to the meeting. He may have been paying attention but he was certainly not usefully employed given that the next item (which was a waste of a police chief’s time) was: Petition to Vacate a portion of E Alley between Hill Alley and Prospect Avenue.
Clothed in politeness, I did not tell him what I thought. Instead, I said, “Don’t worry, I can find another police officer to arrest me.”
From the elevator, I scooted to the police office on the first floor of the Borough Hall to left of the Allen Street entrance where the expensive and unnecessary automatic doors for the mobility disabled are frequently broken.
The office for the police was closed. I drove my scooter two blocks away to Beaver Avenue–two blocks away–positioning myself slighty to the right of the Allen Street light and parked my scooter [sadly not an Amigo Mobility brand] on the middle of the street.
There where several hours of daylight left. Cars, trucks, buses and vans honked and several angry motorists hurled curse words at me. I saw a police officer to the right a quarter block away speaking loudly asking him to arrest me before I made even more of a disturbance.
I was born in New York City in 1947. From 1965 to 1969, I attended Columbia College at 116th Street and Broadway. Not once did I or any of my classmates ever check to see whether the traffic light was red or green when we crossed broadway to drink beer at the West End Bar and Restaurant. Instead, if the traffic on Broadway was moving slowly we automatically stepped in front of slow moving cars which a sixth sense told us would stop if we stepped in front. In short, my world view was and ontinues to be distinctly different from Centre Country. Routinely, I take my motorized wheel chair across Beaver Avenue when it is safe enough often causing locals to freak out and yell when I cross safely but idiosyncratically.
By comparison, the vast majjority of my 89 neighbors at Addison Court–an eight story “independent living center”– have never been to New York City. My friends and neighbors often find themselves horrified to be living in Downtown State College. Downtown being the operative word.
About 20 of my neighbors never leave their beds let alone their apartments. They are cared for by an assortment of health care workers who receive minimum wage–most of whom do not have health insurance. Most of these health care workers live outside the small confines of the Borough of State College which has a population of 45,000. The Borough is politically dominated by Democrats who regard themselves as liberals. The Mayor has no political power. The power in the Borough resides in the hands of seven members of the Council whose incompetence is noteworthy. Ever the optimist, I assume that the Manhattanization of Downtown is a consequence of their laziness as surrounding the glorified low-income nursing home where I live is being taken over by the forces of Mammon.
Last year, a multi-storied Hyatt opened for business. On the Thursday before the blue and white football game, the Hyatt charged $450 for one night for a room. The attitude of the Borough mothers and fathers is that Addison Court is an inconvenience. When Beaver Avenue is not clogged with traffic especially during the evening rush hour, private cars rush by at speeds of 55 miles an hour despite the 25 mile an hour speed limit and which is not enforced and despite the presence of elderly and disabled pedestrians trying to cross. Afraid, my fellow residents– whose locomotion is dependent upon walkers, canes, and manual wheel chairs–all too often limit their outdoor excursions to sitting in the parking lot watching traffic.
I have begun an oral history project. Here is my friend and neighbor Scott Carter.
- Meeting Agenda
State College Borough Council
Monday, August 6, 2018
7:00 p.m. http://www.statecollegepa.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08062018-1420?html=true