50 Years of the Centralia Mine Fire

It seems hard to believe for those of us who grew up under the media coverage of the 1980s, but the Centralia mine fire has been burning for a half century as of this Sunday.

What started as a long sequence of unfortunate circumstances resulted in significant disruption for residents of the borough.  On May 27 1962, local firefighters set Centralia’s dump on fire in order to “clean things up a bit” for the Memorial Day festivities, as they had done so many times before.  But this year, things were a little different. The dump had been moved to a plot of land directly north of the Odd Fellows cemetery.  And although required by state law, the borough of Centralia failed to ensure that a clay barrier was properly installed between the dump and the nearby mine shafts. Continue reading 50 Years of the Centralia Mine Fire

Tom Corbett for Governor?

Generally speaking, I don’t do politics on this site.  If it’s politics you want, you can Google the name of your favorite candidate or party and find approximately eleventy trillion other sites on which to get your fix.  But earlier this month, our Attorney General did something that can only generously be described as “questionable”:

He subpoenaed Twitter and Google to reveal the identity of some people who have been critical of his campaign for governor.

Continue reading Tom Corbett for Governor?

Abandoned Turnpike 2009

This past weekend I grabbed some friends and ventured west to re-visit the abandoned turnpike.  As you may recall from my previous posts, the abandoned turnpike is hands-down my favorite nugget of bizarre Pennsylvania history.  And ever since I learned that scenes for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road had been filmed along the abandoned ‘pike, I’ve yearned to go back.  But, work being what it is, I haven’t had enough free time to return.  So with the decent weather about to run out, I cleared my calendar and trekked up this past Saturday.

Continue reading Abandoned Turnpike 2009

Payday is Not The End

As you’ve probably already heard by now, those of us on the 8/7 pay cycle received our full pay (along with back pay) this past Friday.  With a few exceptions, everybody on the alternate cycle will be paid this coming Friday.  This is a bittersweet victory for us state employees who were asking for nothing more than our paycheck.  While most of us have been released from being pawns to our governor’s and legislature’s political games, the budget has still not been passed.

And there’s still the issue of inappropriate behavior by our elected officials — both Republican and Democratic.

Continue reading Payday is Not The End