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.

Lard Emporium to Open In Erie Promising Extended Hours, Waistlines

Millcreek Mall management has announced the grand opening of a new store just in time for holiday shopping. Lard Emporium has opened in the space that housed the former Sears, which closed last year.

Gooferie spoke to Murray Benklinsky, CEO of Lard Emporium, Inc. “We did our market research, and it shows that Erie, Pennsylvania is definitely a lard eating town!”

As to what sort of items will be sold at the new shop, Benklinsky was effusive in describing the products that will be available. “You want lard? We got lard!” he told us. “The entire store is filled to the brim with lard! We got top shelf imported lard, the kind you used to have to drive to Buffalo to get.  We also got budget lard by the bucketful! Not to mention candied lard for the kiddos, which would make a great stocking stuffer. Deep fried lard, flavored lard, frozen lard, kosher lard, grass-fed lard, free range lard. You name it, we got it!”

Benklinsky went on to say that the grand opening will feature events such as a lard eating contest, a display of lard sculptures and a raffle for a chance at winning a 25 gallon bucket of organic lard. “We’re encouraging everyone to show local this season, and not buy their lard at one of those big box lard stores,” added Benklinsky. For the holiday season, Lard Emporium will be open for extended hours of Mondays through Saturdays from 11:00am until 8:00pm, and Sundays from 10:00am until 10:15am.

 

Editor’s note: Lard Emporium should not be confused with the newly opened House of Tallow in the Summit Plaza. They are two different establishments.

 

Local Environmentalists Concerned About Amount Of Paper In Slomski Laughlin Mailings

With only weeks left to go before the election, local environmentalists have raised the alarm about the amount of deforestation caused by the plethora of flyers from state senate candidates Julie Slomski and Dan Laughlin. “We’re very concerned.” said Dr. Eric D. Haffabee, Dean of Environmental Studies at Penn State Behrend. He added, “My graduate students have been out collecting the postcards and our preliminary findings are rather disturbing. We can’t even begin to estimate the trees that have died for these mailings.” 

Gooferie reached out to both candidates. A spokeswoman for the Slomski campaign said the flyers were sourced from a local paper company. “Directly from Hammermill.” When reminded that Hammermill Paper Company is no longer operational the spokeswoman said “Oh, well at least they’re not trees from Presque Isle!” 

A spokesman for the Laughlin campaign said he was unaware of any environmental impact from the mailers. “Danny doesn’t really concern himself with all that save the trees stuff.” said the spokesman. “In any case he plans on doing great stuff with our leftover flyers. We have enough to build a small homeless shelter.”

In a related story, a spokesman at the post office on East 38th Street indicated that the candidates’ mailers have made up 42% of all local mail since September.

City To Address Increase In Lawn Mattresses

Concerned residents Erie’s lower west side are expressing frustration at the growing number of discarded mattresses outside of neighborhood homes. “It’s disgusting.” said local resident Richard Colburn. “Some houses have up to 4 or 5 mattresses stacked up like thick, fetid pancakes on their front lawns. I also blame those Schultz guys with their constant mattress sales.”  Colburn went on to say that Code Enforcement has not responded to his numerous complaints. Gooferie contacted Andy Zimmerman, head of Erie Code Enforcement to see what he had to say about the matter

“Yeah, the mattresses.” Zimmerman said. “Always the mattresses. Quite frankly we’re tired of hearing about them. ” When asked how the city planned to deal with the numerous abandoned mattresses, Zimmerman told us that he had a plan in place. 

“We have a plan that is going to save the city a lot of work and money.” he stated. “We are enacting a new ordinance. In order to make these areas more appealing we are going to require that every resident of the lower west side have at least one old mattress placed in front of their home.

Zimmerman said that requiring every residence to put out a mattress will result in a “more uniform appearance which will make the street more pleasant and aesthetically pleasing.” Compliance with this new law must be in place by October 1st, 2020. Otherwise Zimmerman said “We will be forced to, I don’t know, maybe do something, I guess? Like issue a citation or whatever it is we do. Whatever it takes to finally put this issue to bed.”

When asked if there is any flexibility for homeowners Zimmerman responded “Oh certainly. We don’t want to spring this mattress ordinance on anyone. We’re  more than willing to work with citizens. If they cannot find a mattress we will also be accepting old sofas or recliners.”

Local Erie Mom Speaks Out Against Governor Wolf’s Mask Mandate

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