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Merchant Marine president addresses flagpole concerns at council meeting

| Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 2:31 a.m.

Elizabeth borough officials welcomed the president of the local American Merchant Marine Veterans chapter to Tuesday's council meeting.

“We hold you and your organization in very high regard,” council president Monica Glowinski told Gerald Driscoll, president of the Merchant Marine Veterans' Mon Valley chapter.

“We had a long and beneficial relationship with Elizabeth borough,” Driscoll, of Forward Township, told council. “Our members are proud to march in the Veterans Day parade in Elizabeth.”

Driscoll came to smooth over differences prompted by a former member of that chapter, without ever mentioning Mike Kemple's name.

“He had nothing to do with us,” Driscoll said. “(He) has not been (a member) for some time.”

Kemple, an Elizabeth Township resident, led efforts to get a Merchant Marine flagpole erected at the borough's honor roll, but antagonized residents and officials in the process.

Driscoll was following up on last month's appearance by Wendy Buza, whose fundraising efforts led to the honor roll near the Elizabeth Bridge.

She took aim at Kemple's activity and urged borough officials to have future dealings about the Merchant Marine flagpole with Driscoll.

Kemple could not be reached for comment at presstime.

In other borough matters, Councilman Larry Duvall reported that $4,000 has been donated so far for the summer concert series on Plum Street.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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