Soon To Be Closed Parishes Announce Merger

The Catholic Diocese of Erie is responding to the announcement that three of Erie’s oldest  churches will soon be closing their doors for good. Father Peter Clunibus, an assistant to Bishop Lawrence Persico, spoke exclusively to Gooferie on this matter.

“Regrettably it is true.” said Father Clunibus. “Sacred Heart, St. Andrews and St. Paul’s will cease to operate as separate churches.” Clunibus told us that the decision was made after determining that poor mass attendance was leading to decreasing revenue.

“It’s mostly just old ladies at mass now.” he said, shaking his head. “Nothing against them, but their fixed income doesn’t translate to large amounts of collection dough.”

But the news is not all bad. “There are some exciting changes because of this,” said Clunibus.  “On behalf of the Erie Catholic Diocese I am happy to announce that these three churches are going to merge into one glorious establishment. The Sacred Heart of Saint Paulandrew’s House of Worship and Pancakes!”

The new church/restaurant will be housed in one of the three parishes. “It’s a way for us to keep the congregations together and bring in more profit.” said Clunibus. “We are certainly going to take advantage of the free old lady labor. These gals will do anything for Holy Mother Church. They will make great cooks and servers.”

Father Clunibus acknowledged that not everyone will be happy with this new venture. “Yeah, some of these parishes have a long history with very loyal families.” He said the Diocese is sympathetic but emotions can’t be placed above profit.

EDDC Announces Low Income Downtown Housing

In light of recent complaints that the Erie Downtown Development Corporation’s new apartments are too expensive, CEO John Persinger has announced lower priced options. “The high end apartments on 4th and State are certainly beautiful but don’t let it be said that we here at the EDDC ignore low income individuals who also want to enjoy living in beautiful downtown Erie.” With that being said, Persinger revealed the EDDC’s Downtown Alleyway Living Community. 

“It’s the ultimate in year-round outdoor living.” he told us. “We went around and bought up every downtown empty lot and alley and will be renting them at very affordable prices.” Persinger went on to say that none of the properties will be needing renovation, “They’re perfect as-is.

We asked about amenities. “So many!” he told us excitedly. “The cardboard box structures are corrugated. Much better than your average box. The dumpsters are emptied at least twice a month. And we guarantee a very low rat population.”

Persinger also told us that additional amenities are available to Alleyway residents. “They’ll have to pay extra.” he said. “But it’s completely worth the price for what we provide. If these renters want more luxuries we have many. For a small to large fee we can offer them a blanket and a Dollar General shopping cart. It’s downtown living at its second best!”

According to the EDDC there is no waiting for these living areas. They are move -in ready. The lease does require that alleyway residents remain out of the view of the 429 State apartment dwellers.

Local Fireworks Store Owner Gets Good Night’s Sleep

“Big” Al Boomer, owner of L’il Willie’s Fireworks in Erie, reported he slept very well last night despite hundreds of reports of illegal fireworks activity in the City of Erie. “Fortunately for me, my profits from the illegal use of fireworks that I sell have furnished me with a house outside the city, where I can sleep in peace, away from the near war zone that envelops Erie every year at this time,” said Boomer, as he lit a fine Cuban cigar with a $100 bill. “I even strategically market to those areas of Erie that City Council ignores; the lower west side and the entire east side.”

When asked if his customers should be using the fireworks legally and with consideration of others, Boomer said that would ruin his business. “Law-abiding, considerate people are the worst customers. If everyone followed the fireworks laws, I would go broke. My boat is already two years old. If I told people they could only buy fireworks if they use them legally, there’d be no way I could buy a new boat next year.”

As far as veterans being traumatized, Boomer remarked, “those brave men and women fought for my right to make a highly marked up profit selling goods that have no legal use in the City of Erie. In fact, I think I’m helping the police in getting them some overtime over the holiday weekend.”

When asked about his plans for next July Fourth, Boomer stated, “I plan on going to Harrisburg and lobbying to get ‘The House Rattler,’ legalized.

Local Law Enforcement Addresses Port-A-Potty Shortage

Horace Manewer, an agent with the Erie office of the FBI, has told us here at Gooferie that there is more to the reported portable toilet shortage that has been initially revealed. “We’re not sure what’s happening here.” said Manewer. “Right now we have nothing to go on.”

He went on to say that Erieites are not aware of the seriousness of the shortage. “Everyone  just poo- poos it.” He told us. “But truthfully the whole thing really stinks.” 

Manewer said that local law enforcement is not just sitting on this problem. “It’s both number one and number two on our priority list.”

Because of the gravity of this issue, law enforcement is asking for the public’s help. “If you can offer us a clue, no matter how hard it is, we need you to just squeeze it out.” Manewer said that citizens can call in and leave tips anonymously. “Because nobody wants to be a stool pigeon.”

Manewer did acknowledge that part of the problem may lie with the local employee shortage. “The portable toilet companies are telling us that nobody seems to want to clean up human waste for minimum wage anymore.”

“In any case” Manewer continued, “ We really just want to put this all behind us and wipe it away. It’s not what law enforcement DOESN”T do about it. It’s all about what we DO DO.”

City Announces Sidewalk Sofa Beautification Program

The City of Erie is currently experiencing a plethora of abandoned couches littering the curbs. To mitigate this Erie Code Enforcement has announced a sofa beautification contest. “Remember those fish? And the frogs?” asked Code Enforcement spokesman Andy Zimmerman. “It’s kind of like that.” Zimmerman said that local artists are being asked to “…drive around. Pick a couch that’s laying outside, believe me there’s tons of ‘em, and pretty it up.”

Since the City is unable to actually move the sofas, it is believed that adding an artistic touch will improve the neighborhoods’ appearance. “It’s tourist season.”said Zimmerman. “Erie has to look good.”

Zimmerman added that artists should design their sofas before the official contest closing time. When asked for a specific date Zimmerman answered. “Well, before the City gets around to actually picking them up, so basically we have quite a while before entries are closed.”

Local artists are encouraged to participate and photos may be submitted directly to Gooferie. Once all photos are submitted, judging will begin. No prizes will be offered as the City of Erie believes that actually rewarding artists for their time, effort and creativity would set a dangerous precedent.

Presque Isle Breaks Away, Becomes Island

Aerial Photo Courtesy of DCNR

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced that Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA has broken away from the mainland and become an island. The break occurred earlier today at the entrance to the park, which is now under several feet of water.

Dr. Rose Kortz a geologist from Penn State Behrend, was called to the scene this morning and confirmed the report. “Of course this was always going to happen.” she told us. “It was inevitable. What we didn’t expect at all was the fact that it seems to be rapidly floating away from the city of Erie.” She added, “We presumed that the park would remain stationary. Unfortunately that is not the case. It’s baffling. It seems to be heading toward Canada.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already addressed this in his regular morning press conference. “We are aware of the approaching former peninsula.” he stated. “We are monitoring the situation closely and have already determined that if it reaches Canadian waters, it’s ours!”

Locally the reaction has been one of shock, disbelief, and panic. We spoke to Tom Ahto, shift manager of Sara’s, a longtime park eatery. “We’re almost completely submerged,” he told us. “Luckily we were able to get the Smith’s hot dogs to higher ground. They’re safe for now.” Choking back tears he added “But the fryer….it’s gone!” At last report, employees were filling sand bags with Greek sauce to try and keep the approaching water at bay.

DCNR officials, the Coast Guard and park rangers are on the scene. More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

Local Businessman Decries Erie’s “Laziness”

Richard Dille (pictured) is chairman of “Profitable Erie Entrepreneurs” (P.E.E.), a local business ownership organization. He is speaking out against what he believes to be “the rampant laziness within the Erie community.”

“It’s sad.” Said Dille. “Erie used to be a solid working class city. Then this pandemic came along.” It’s Dille’s opinion that the spread of Covid has “shown us Erie business owners just how unwilling to work our citizens are.”

Dille said that he speaks for many local business owners. “We’re all frustrated and we don’t understand why people just don’t want to work anymore.”

When asked why he believes this, Mr. Dille stated “Well, the big reason is unemployment. These people are sitting at home raking in tons of dough!” He added, personally my own business pays a very competitive salary – $7.35 an hour. That’s above minimum wage! We also offer two 5 minute breaks per 10 hour workday. That’s more than fair.”

When questioned about benefits, Dille answered “Certainly we offer benefits! The benefits of a good day’s work! That in itself should be a reason for gratitude. But no. You think my workers are grateful to me? They’re not!”

He continued on to say “These people should be happy just to have a job. My grandfather didn’t pass this business down to me so that I should do all this work myself.”

To address the problem Mr. Dille said that P.E.E will be applying for non-profit status. “That way we’ll be able to accept donations to help us entrepreneurs through these difficult times. Right now it’s looking like our organization might have to cancel one of our annual golf outings. If things get any rougher we might also have to cancel our summer regatta at the Yacht Club. We hope it doesn’t come down to that.”

FBI Agents Who Raided Hertel & Brown Were Treated Like Family

Following a raid on the offices of H & B Physical Therapy, FBI agents report that the company’s slogan of “Treating Everybody Like Family” rang true as they went about collecting evidence on alleged wrongdoing at the business. “I’ve never been on a friendlier raid than this one,” stated Special Agent Steve Lau. “The employees made us tea, and asked about our families as we were wheeling out file cabinets of evidence.” Agent David Schelzel also reported he was treated like family as he was gathering file folders of insurance claims. “They had me sit in the best chair and offered me cookies. Usually on raids, we’re treated like acquaintances at best, so this was a real pleasure. I wish my cousins would treat me this way when I visit.” Agent Schelzel said he would definitely recommend Hertel and Brown to his fellow law enforcement offices if they are looking for a business to raid.

Merry Maids to Clean up Site of Erie Coke

After initial estimates came in at $7 million dollars, EPA officials have announced the cleanup of the Erie Coke site will now be done by Merry Maids, a national cleaning chain, for only $84.42.

“After we got the original estimate for the cleanup, we had to re-think how we want to do this” said EPA official David Schelzel. “We sent it out for bidding and Merry Maids can do it for us at a savings of $6,999,915.58.”

Jennifer Pierce, a spokesperson for Merry Maids, stated “All we need is our best maid and a Swiffer. I figure we have it all cleaned up in less than an hour. I mean how bad can it be? So someone spilled a Coke. Big deal. I’ll make sure they bring along some Wet Ones.”

 When requesting clarification that Merry Maids understood the extent of the cleanup, Pierce stated, “I didn’t really read the EPA bid proposal over very well, so I’m not sure if it was regular Coke or diet Coke, but either way, we’ll mop it up.”

PREP-villa Merger Will Reluctantly Acknowledge Some Villa History

The merger of Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria high schools remains on schedule, but some Villa parents are upset that Villa students are getting the short end of the scepter as more Cathedral Prep traditions will be preserved than Villa traditions.

Even though Villa Maria high school has a much longer tradition than Cathedral Prep, the combined school will feature Prep’s orange and black colors and the Prep mascot. “We here at PREP-villa think it’s important for children to understand at a young age that boys are just more important than girls, as a matter of our collective Catholic faith,” said PREP-villa spokesman Edward Mann. “I mean, girls can never become priests, and they certainly can’t play football. Young women of the Catholic faith need to realize their proper place in the Church, and by emphasizing the Cathedral Prep traditions over the Villa traditions, it prepares them for a life of not being regarded on the same level as men, as the Church has taught for centuries.”

“We had 33 people on the task force and some of them were women,” said PREP-villa task force member Dr. Thomas Higgenbotham IV, Cathedral Prep Class of ’91. “When they were allowed to speak, they had some ideas, I guess. I wasn’t really listening; I was waiting for the next man to talk.” To assuage the defendants of the Villa Maria tradition, there will be a shrine to Villa at the merged school. “We’ve already made space in a janitor’s closet and plan to put some Villa memorabilia on the shelf behind the vacuum cleaner, right next to the Vo-Ban,” said Higgenbotham.

Some parents of girls are actually happy. “I was disheartened when I had a daughter because I knew she wouldn’t be able to attend my alma mater,” said Rich Bigmunni, Cathedral Prep Class on ’86, “But now she can, so that takes away some of the disappointment.”

The Diocese is also planning on saving money on custodial services, as they plan on having the former Villa girls do all the cleaning.

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