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Mayor gets earful

Immediate action, force against force promised

July 25, 2013

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana met an agitated crowd fearful of drug-related crimes, shootings, violence and rapid decay of buildings on Scott Street and surrounding neighborhoods Wednesday afternoon....

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Jul-25-13 6:16 AM

'Campana, however, was unable to say, whether hiring more police can be done without raising taxes. "I can't say for sure," Campana said prior to the conference.' Of course he couldn't say, that's just the politicians way of saying YES, taxes will increase. He couldn't state that, that would show courage to face the facts rather than worrying about his coming re-election campaign. Mayor quit worrying about the gravy train and say and do what's right. Your actions and inaction's not only affect Williamsport proper they affect all the surrounding areas.

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Jul-25-13 6:21 AM

The most key thing for me about this article is how it describes his intent prior to his being elected, to get rid of the crime. Since he has been the Mayor crime has gotten MUCH worse than it ever has been and Jesse Bloom got the train rolling.

Tonight I'm meeting with the Mayor about a community 'project' I have in mind, but I do know what one, it is supposed to involve youth, with the city in its current state, what responsible parent would let their kid be involved in anything that puts them out in the open.

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Jul-25-13 6:21 AM

This is coming from a security guard that wishes his company supplied him with a weapon while on duty.

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Jul-25-13 6:37 AM

wwhickok...please get it right...your ignorance about "who" brought the druggies to Williamsport is amazing [well, maybe not]...It was the BIG BOYS who owned the rental properties that PROFITED from having all their new tenants fresh from White Deer....check it out for yourself.

This drug[******]problem will never end until the residents of these neighborhoods DECIDE they've had enough and TAKE the streets wonder these dealers feel so free when residents cower behind their doors and windows!

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Jul-25-13 6:59 AM

Might want to get YOUR facts straight. Jesse Bloom is the individual who opened the doors to Philadelphians to come up here and rehab from their drug addictions. Guess what, it didn't work and they stayed here.

Yes, some property owners didn't help the situation. The problem within each community is that there are some people who are part of the problem, both because they're dealing and some because they know or are related to people who are and refuse to turn them in.

These people who are protecting dealers and users and criminals in general also need to be dealt with.

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Jul-25-13 7:09 AM

"This drug[******]problem will never end until the residents of these neighborhoods DECIDE they've had enough and TAKE the streets wonder these dealers feel so free when residents cower behind their doors and windows!"

I have to agree Andy and I've been pushing that fact for quite some time. I think the mayor and the police chief need to also vocalize that point and develop a committee that works with the community to train and educate citizens and assist them in setting up neighborhood watch groups. When implemented, they have proven to reduce crimes and they provide extra eyes and ears for the police department. They also make people feel safer. But the mayor and olive chief need to work with it's citizens and help them take back their neighborhoods.

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Jul-25-13 7:09 AM

"I believe we are at a critical time in the city's history, if we don't move forward, we may lose the battle, and believe me as I'm standing right here it's not going to happen as long as I'm your Mayor" -Mayor Campana at yesterday's news conference.

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Jul-25-13 7:10 AM

That should be police chief.. I hate auto correct!

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Jul-25-13 7:18 AM

Carl and Andy, I agree. The bottom line is that crime goes where it is tolerated and uses fear to stay there. I would be for building more jails, but making them stark and barren places where prisoners work hard labor for 12 hours a day with no TV, internet, library or any luxury other than three subsistent meals a day. As for special diets for this reason or that, if it isn't medical, you eat what we taxpayers are willing to provide. Make prison a place you don't want to be, a place of hard work and sweat. Make the parents of law breaking children legally and financially responsible for their kids. Offer help for those willing to come out and give info to catch and convict criminals. What we are doing now doesn't work. We need to get tougher and help those who help us convict.

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Jul-25-13 7:19 AM

Carl -In fairness, he is in his second term, there is no re-election campaign.It will cost money if more police are hired. Andy - what big landlords? I'm really curious. I believe a lot of property owners (those with less than 20 units, remembering 20 units can be as little as 5 properties)and converted properties. Two units (a double house)became 4 units. wwhickok - glad you are able to get involved. congrats. You do have one wrong fact. very few people who came in the late '80's through early '90's stayed. Those who did made this their home, worked and are an unnoticed part of Williamsport's population. The new group has little to do with the first group. you will learn this quickly once you get involved and start meeting people stayed. Second, it will be key to not alienate those who came here and did well. They are as angry as everyone else.

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Jul-25-13 7:37 AM

I know a lot of people are blaming Bloom for the current drug problem in the city, but I have to disagree. That happened decades ago and I really don't think it has anything to do with the current situation. It boils down to supply and demand and this area is ripe with users. And dealers from Philly can get twice as much money for their drugs in this area than they can get in Philly. It doesn't take much for word to get out about the lucrative business here locally. And it's not just Williamsport that these big city dealers are concentrating on. It has become an epidemic in city's and towns like Williamsport across the state and nation.

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Jul-25-13 7:47 AM

Lookie hear. Just get SHS to juke the city and residents into tearing down another 139 houses. No houses, no crime.

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Jul-25-13 7:55 AM

Sorry wwhickok..."Might want to get YOUR facts straight. Jesse Bloom is the individual who opened the doors to Philadelphians to come up here and rehab from their drug addictions. Guess what, it didn't work and they stayed here."

I KNOW the facts....the COURTS sent these people White Deer...the only connections were those in the legal system {this is where you have it totally wrong] and it wasn't her...the legal system...those that owned lots of rentals...I was here when it all happened...where were diapers!!!

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Jul-25-13 7:57 AM

Drugs crimes stem from the demand.

Put up 10,000 cameras, organize 1,000 community watch group and the dealers will still be here, selling drugs and fighting over market share.

Serious drug users need to be removed from our community as well.

That is not easy.

But as long as they remain, dealers will take the risk of coming here to fulfill the demand.

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Jul-25-13 7:58 AM

Andy- let us not forget, Rose Campana was a landlord back then.

Spike- there are no term limits for mayor in Williamsport.

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Jul-25-13 8:02 AM

Wow. Men that don't want to be daddy's, you might be on to something. Mayor Campana, you might want to have your police chief to take a look in the mirror. All I can say is take a look at the leadership of the city, like they shouldn't be pointing fingers, shame on you.

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Jul-25-13 8:02 AM

Andy, you and I will just have to agree to disagree but I'm not saying you're wrong about the White Deer situation either, I probably am too young to remember that part of it. However, I'm not too young to know about how drug problems work and how quickly they can spread. I can proudly say I've never touched a single drug in my life, that doesn't mean it hasn't personally impacted my life because it has, very much so.

Gys, I do agree with what you said even if I do think Bloom had a hand in it. I do think that what is going on right now, is at least somewhat separate from Bloom's mistakes.

The other thing I want to say is, while yes he is a politician, I think this city's residents need to remember one thing very important. Mayor Campana IS one of us. On top of that he lives near one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

For arguements sake though Andy, back to what we were discussing I'll go do some more research. Again I'm not trying to say you're wrong, however I'm

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Jul-25-13 8:05 AM


simply sharing my opinion on it. I think too many people give Jesse Bloom a free pass.

And as just mentioned, Rose Campana was a landlord back during that if we're seriously blaming landlords...

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Jul-25-13 8:09 AM

Anyone remember my "too many excuses" LTE not long ago? This is what I'm talking about. It requires more community involvement and while the "daddy" comment might be a bit harsh from Campana it's not entirely inaccurate. However, I think it's very 'bland', MEN aren't the only individuals who need to get off their backside and get jobs, there's women that fit that category too. Women that use drugs, that deal, that don't act like responsible parents. My intent isn't to turn the statement back on women, it's to illustrate this is a 'global' problem within the city, not a one gender, one race, one stereotype problem. This is a problem that is flooding our streets.

Individuals within communities also MUST stop protecting those who they know are criminals simply because they are friends or relatives. I can't provide the proof that this occurs, it's pure speculation but logical and very reasonable speculation in my opinion.

It is going to require communities t

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Jul-25-13 8:13 AM


to step up and do something instead of just showing up to meetings and complaining about what they want done. There's always an excuse of why surveillance invades privacy or this does that, etc. But what about the POSITIVES of things such as camera's. Installing Camera's on your properties facing outwards to monitor who is coming in and who is going out is a mult-faceted advantage to a landlord. It protects your property and it allows you to assist the city in crime stopping. Should that be your job? Perhaps not. Should it be your financial responsibility? Perhaps not. But think about this, what are they going to do when it comes to putting in more cameras? They're going to raise taxes. Then guess what? It BECOMES your financial responsibilty and more than likely at a much higher cost.

The entire community has to help and it's not just about surveillance cameras. I honestly can't say I've ever noticed any neighborhood watch groups out and about. Supposedly

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Jul-25-13 8:17 AM


they exist and if you go on the police department website there is a section for it with a printable document, however, I haven't actually taken notice to Watch Groups out. If I haven't taken notice, chance is, many others haven't either which is to question their effectiveness.

Part of it and I do this too so I'm just as guilty in this, is that we need to stop focusing on how the problem got here in the past and start focusing on how we get rid of it.

You're right erik demand is a huge part of the problem. We have to eliminate the serious drug users from our communities.

This is going to be a full-effort issue. It is going to require the effort of each and every citizen in this city to eliminate the problem. It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be quick. But until we start working together crime elimination is going to be near impossible.

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Jul-25-13 8:30 AM

"Carl -In fairness, he is in his second term, there is no re-election campaign." Sorry Slick but there are no term-limits for Mayor of Williamsport that I am aware of.

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Jul-25-13 8:36 AM

Say there wasn't a White Deer Rehab Center, do you really think Wmspt. would be a pristine and drug free city?

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Jul-25-13 8:48 AM

Johnny that is a fair question and I think there's logical reason to believe we would still be experiencing the same harship we are now.

So, if your point was to suggest what Bloom did or did not do, what the legal system did or did not do 20 years ago is irrelevant, your arguement with that question in mind, does hold some water.

But that's not without admitting that the existance of Rehab Centers has most definitely had a strong impact.

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Jul-25-13 9:02 AM

Campana is done Jan 1. of 2015. campaigns start next year. The term limit is determined by city classification. radioactive -you are frankly full of crap. You would be shocked at the positions of people who came years ago. The old disability status had a 3 yr. max.. The old system had a 1 year Public Assistance option.neither exist today. If you feel someone is getting SSD who does not have a disability, contact the hotline or local office. They actually do investigate fraud. Andy - i was here too. You are also wrong. The rehabs in Philly sent folks to Williamsport. We were placing many of our locals in Eagleville. The rehabs were packed and the philosophy of "people,places, things was taken to mean relocation as part of recovery. Momrrmr: actually, you have a personal agenda don't you? I've read your comments over the last year and you seem fixated. How clean is your backyard or basement?

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