A rainstorm pushed through the city yesterday which had some high winds for about 10 minutes. I stepped outside to enjoy the scene when I heard a cracking noise. Looking down the street towards the noise I watched as a large tree limb fell into the street. My first instinct was to call the city police. The number I had in my phone for Harrisburg City Police was 717-255-3131. I called that number and heard a message that the mailbox was full. A few minutes later I called back and after several phone menus was prompted to type in the name of the officer I was trying to reach. This didn’t help as I was simply trying to reach ANYONE.
Taking a look at the Harrisburg City website you’ll notice first that the URL goes to http://pl1462.pairlitesite.com/, not http://www.harrisburgpa.gov as it once did. But that is the least of our worries. We’re looking for a phone number for the police department. If you have an annoying popup that asks you to come enjoy Kapona festival, just close it.
There is a link to the right of the site for the City of Harrisburg Police Bureau. I would expect to at least find a phone number there so that I can call the police to let them know a tree is down blocking a street. But no, there is no phone number listed.
Being the geek I am, I resort to Twitter and ask the Harrisburg Twitterati for help. The response was to call 911. Seems odd to me as this was not an emergency. But I resorted to dialing 911 and explained that this was not an emergency and that I was simply trying to reach the Harrisburg Police Department. The person on the other line told me to dial 717-558-6900 which is the Dauphin County Dispatch phone number. Sure enough that did the trick and a few minutes later a police officer arrived on the scene.
That’s not to say the police officer did anything while he was there. He sat there for a few minutes, then drove away. The neighbors cleaned most of the tree limbs off the street themselves.
All I ask is that the city of Harrisburg make their website more accessible and list phone numbers for ALL public departments. You’re leaving the citizens in the dark here!
On Wednesday, August 11th, Eric Papenfuse held an open forum at the Midtown Scholar book store in midtown Harrisburg. The panel for the forum consisted of Bill Cluck (attorney), Neil Grover (attorney), Heather Long (Patriot-News deputy opinions editor), Juliet Moringiello (Widener School of Law), and Jay Wenger (Susquehanna Group representing Dauphin County).
Bill Cluck lead the discussions.
Juliet Moringiello offered advice and answers on the law as far as a municipality declaring chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Heather Long discussing things that were uncovered by the Patriot News. There didn’t seem to be anyone else from the Patriot-News at the event to take note and report on the evening.
Eric Papenfuse opening up the discussions from the public that was in attendance.
Nevin Mindlin who ran against Linda Thompson for mayor of Harrisburg had written an entire speech which seemed to lay the smack down on the current administration of the city of Harrisburg and the current mayor, Linda Thompson.
The one thing that really stood out for me was the fact that the city of Harrisburg, the Harrisburg Authority, and Dauphin County have been suing each other for power of everything. And every time this happens, we the tax payers of Harrisburg and Dauphin county are paying the bill. Each time a financial advisor is brought in to put blame on another entity, we the tax payer are paying the bill. And still, not one person is being proactive, standing on their own feet and making an attempt to solve the financial crisis that the capital of Pennsylvania is in.
I received this letter in the mail today from my auto insurance company which is Erie Insurance.
“Section 1714 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law regarding ineligible claimants reads as follows:
An owner of a currently registered motor vehicle who does not have financial responsibility or an operator or occupant of a recreational vehicle not intended for highway use, motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized pedalcycle or like type vehicle required to be registered under this Title cannot recover First Party Benefits.
Based on the above mention state law, Erie Insurance is unable to extend coverage for any medical bills and/or income loss arising from this accident under the First Party Benefits portion of this policy.”
Well that sucks! I really need to think about moving out of this state.