1155 Red Fox Road | East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
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December 2020 eNewsletter



Transitioning to the 21st Century Amid COVID-19

By Jacob Pride, Smithfield Supervisor

One of the beliefs I campaigned for in my election for Supervisor was increasing transparency. No one could have ever imagined that COVID-19 would be our impetus to start streaming meetings. Beginning in March, Smithfield Township began experimenting with live streaming. Initially, we streamed via Facebook. We received hundreds of views – which for local government is a wild success.

Within a month, we realized we needed to find a more accessible platform, which led us to Zoom. In order to stream, we deployed a number of personal devices and a hefty set of wires throughout the meeting room. We had a successful operation, but not necessarily a stable one. Anyone who attended any meeting in-person at the Municipal Center could attest to the stack of binders, laptops, iPads, iPhones, and more. As the pandemic continued, the federal and state response began to accelerate. Thanks to the CARES Act, Monroe County was able to open a grant program for municipalities, businesses, and non-profits.

Smithfield Township secured nearly $24,000 in funding for COVID-related expenses. Part of that grant was spent on necessary technological upgrades for our meeting room. The upgrades and capital purchases included a MacBook Pro with accessories to run broadcasts and allow constituents to make in-house presentations available on Zoom, two 4K wide-angle webcams to display the meeting room, a new Bluetooth microphone/speaker for meetings, Zoom costs for the remainder of the year, and a lectern to house the broadcast equipment.

The new system stabilizes and expands the township’s ability to broadcast to constituents. To see the new system in action, please consider joining one of our meetings via Zoom or YouTube.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel Smithfield Township for notifications and updates. You will find archives of streamed meetings there.

29th Annual
Holiday Tree Lighting 

Virtual LIVE YouTube event. Thursday, December 3rd at 4:30pm.
Lehigh Valley Hospital, Poconos, Dale & Frances Hughes Cancer Center. Donations will benefit children of Monroe County! 

Food Drive

Today through this Sunday, December 6th, Shawnee Playhouse will have barrels on their front porch for food donations! Any unopened, unexpired, nonperishable canned food or dried packaged food would be greatly appreciated.
All donations will be brought to the Shawnee Presbyterian Church food pantry. Thank you! 

The Smithfield Runner
by Robert Lovenheim

Anyone who drove the bypass of route 209 during last summer’s afternoons probably noticed a solitary man in shorts and white earphones jogging along the shoulder. “Who is he and where does he go?” occurred to me many times but I was always in a hurry and never stopped.  Last week I saw him again. Now he was wearing winter sweats, a knit hat, and a skier’s facemask. I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer so I made a U turn and pulled up in front of him.

He is Warren Depuy, long-time runner and songster who you might remember if you frequented any of the local clubs over the years and wondered who that amazing lead singer was with a voice like John Denver.

Warren now lives in Middle Smithfield, after growing up across the river in the Blairstown area. His daily run takes him across the 209 bypass, down to Buttermilk Road and back, so I think he qualifies as a Smithfield runner. Sometimes he stops at the Jay Park post office to get his mail, People recognized him at the post office all summer, commenting that he was losing so much weight.

Last spring, Warren weighed 70 pounds more than he does now. Running 2.5 miles every day is a sure way to slim down.  He’s 68 and his doctor calls his general health and weight loss “stellar.”  But running is not the only way Warren has become a star. For many years he was a regular performer: singing with bands and playing anywhere from Fernwood to the Big A to Swiftwater to the place that is now Kay’s Tavern. When fans saw him step on stage they would yell, “John Denver is in the house.”

How did he cross over from Blairstown to our side of the river? He knew the territory from all the weekend gigs he played (during the week he was chief custodian at North Warren High School for 35 years), and “the rents are so much cheaper over here.”

Running roads in the winter is riskier than running in the summer. Plows often narrow the shoulder to nothing, and cars splash slush in your face. But a lot of people also beep or wave when they drive past. That’s always encouraging when you keep pushing yourself towards the next landmark.

In the summer he enjoys watching nature along the route, often taking off his headphones to listen to the rushing water of Marshalls Creek. With headphones on, he admits his taste in music is eclectic. His selection varies from Elton John to Paul Revere and the Raiders to Herman’s Hermits to The Beach Boys to Metallica to The Dave Clark Five to the Rolling Stones.

He’s less enthusiastic about contemporary hip hop. “When you run, you’ve got to have a rhythm that is right for you.” Syncopation in modern beats may not be the best for a running step.

The best of running, as any runner can tell you, is the feeling of calm and rightness of the world when you finish. The rush of endorphins can’t be duplicated. How to sum up Warren’s outlook on life?  He’s a pretty happy guy. When you see him, beep your horn, but watch out for the slush.

WHITE LINE FEVER – What happened to our line painting?
by Robert Lovenheim

“White Line Fever” is actually the name of an old trucker movie, but it’s also appropriate for our road striping experience this fall, and why some of our roads cry out for a new paint job. Every year the townships in Monroe County get together and receive bids for line painting. This year, the company that won did such a disappointing job that they were fired halfway through.

Those who suffered most were drivers that followed too close to the paint truck and found paint splattered on their vehicles. The paint/glass formula used by the painting companies doesn’t come off easily. Power washing wet paint will remove most of it. Applying WD-40 for an hour to soften it and then re-washing the car will help, and using petroleum jelly overnight for heavy accumulations or for paint that has dried for several days should rid most (if not all) of the paint from the vehicle’s finish.

Highway paint is made from thermoplastic resin mixed with titanium-dioxide pigment and tiny, reflective glass beads — that’s why it shines at night. It only takes 30-90 seconds to dry, so the normal routine is for a “drying truck” to follow at a distance behind the painting truck to make sure cars don’t drive on the wet paint. This crew did not have a drying truck following them. Verdict: “You’re fired.”

Unfortunately, it is now too cold to hire another contractor to finish the job. Our Roadmaster estimates that about 80% of our roads are okay until spring when we can resume painting, but it’s not the best situation. The paint, especially on road edges, sometimes is the only safety factor drivers have to steer through turns on dark nights—especially when someone forgets to dim their high beams.

Another problem with the glass beads is they get scraped off by plows, and that combined with optics makes it almost impossible to see the lines on dark rainy nights. There is a product that supposedly is better, 3M microcrystalline ceramic beads. This is one of several more expensive and experimental  approaches to solving the night vision problem, but none are in general use among line striping companies (when your bid is based on lowest price, why use more expensive products?). New developments in Lidar-based steering systems (like radar) will probably automate driving and be able to “feel” the sides of the road or lane edges long before highway striping catches up. Remember, as you get older, the receptors in your eyes that control night vision continually lose sensitivity. Remember to drive carefully and defensively!


The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive species native to Asia that was first discovered in southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014. It has since spread to Monroe County and become a threat to fruit trees, hardwoods, grapes, and other crops important to our area.
Everyone must work together to slow the spread of this invasive pest. During this time of year, it is important to watch out for adult SLFs and egg masses. Adult SLF are most discernable by their spotted and bright red wings. The bug does not bite or sting, so make sure to squish it immediately. Egg masses are found on any flat surface like tree bark, cement blocks, rocks, and metal. They can hold 30-50 eggs, vary in color from gray to light tan, and look like dried mud. These egg masses should be destroyed.
If you aren’t familiar with what a Spotted Lanternfly looks like in all of its life stages, check out this brief video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uin0GECoi4A
Interested in learning more? Check out the PennState Extension’s page on the spotted lanternfly: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly





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