Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
The LuLac Political Letter was also named Best Political Blog of the Year for 2014 by NEPA BLOGCON.
Saturday, July 04, 2015
The LuLac Edition #2981, July 4th, 2015
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY
This was the Main Building on the campus of Notre Dame decorated for the 4th as well as a visit from the Governor of Michigan. Or according to the Notre Dame website, it might have been from the visit of former President Taft in 1914 for Decoration Day. Either way, 100 years later, freedom and the flag endure.
(Above) The Fourth 100 years ago. (Photo: notredamearchives.)
(Above) The Fourth of July today. (Photo: Fox8news.com)
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that only one member of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration on July 4th. It was Thomas Jefferson. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that not many people know the Declaration was signed on August 9th. The New York State Legislature had not yet given permission to their delegation, others were coming in from the other colonies after the majority votes were taken to sign. Plus the Declaration needed to be embossed. That all took time. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that after the document was approved, a committee of five was appointed to oversee the copying. This was the same committee who drafted the document. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston were charged with the task of dotting the “I’s” and crossing the proverbial “t's”. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that a majority of the delegates were native born. But eight were from Great Britain and Scotland. As examples, Button Gwinnett was from England and Pennsylvanian James Wilson was from Scotland. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that after Adams and his committee approved the printing, less than fifty documents were sent out to the colonies. The printer was John Dunlop and these reproductions were known as Dunlop broadsides. These predate the day in August when the others signed the document and are worth millions. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that well into the 20th century one was still around. A Philadelphia Investment banker was at a flea market and found a frame that he liked. Hated the photo though. When he went to rid himself of the painting he found an original Dunlop behind the frame and it was worth at least a million. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in Georgia you can shoot fireworks on the Fourth of July from 10AM in the morning to 2AM in the morning. Presumably there is an 8 hour time period to reload or to read the instructions in their entirety. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that in the United States more than 160 million hot dogs will be consumed by Americans. The world hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut will do his part to put a dent into that number as well as Luzerne County Arena Board member Alex Milanes. No word on how many Alex will down but Jimmy O’Meara and I, in a bi partisan effort will help him out any day at Abe’s on South Main to bolster the July numbers. Here’s Alex (below) with the Champ, Joey Chestnut.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the movie “1776” just keeps getting more poignant every year for me. Here’s a clip.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that even years after its publication, the most definitive book on the life of Thomas Jefferson is from Jon Meacham. The title is “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power>” By today’s standards it is a tome but to me it was one of the best political books I ever read. MAYBE I’M AMAZED.........that Derek Jeter’s girlfriend Hannah Davis is back in the news. Davis was on the cover of The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This Fourth of July she wishes America Happy Birthday. Since we are partially a pop culture blog, we feel it is our duty and responsibility to show this to the LuLac audience.
Donald Trump must be delusional. Did he really think no one would take offense to his incredible remark when he announced his run for President? Trump is playing on a huge stage. A stage that he cannot control. He can’t get one of his minions to fix this. I predict Trump will bow out soon. He’s losing too much money. But his behavior gives an insight into the type of thoughts he has regarding some of the American people. For once Donald was told, “You’re fired!” More than once!!!
ON THE OTHER HAND
Trump is amazing in an interview. Maybe in another life he was a debate coach because he can turn an interviewer’s question and for the moment turn the question back on the media person. His performance last night on CNN with Don Lemon was remarkable in the sense that he was like a steamroller defending his show, his business relationship with Macy’s and everything else. It was wildly entertaining. At the time it was a scream and great theatre. It reminded me of the time, as a kid when I’d eat those fluffernutter sandwiches. Marsh mellow goo and peanut butter. At the time, it was delicious and satisfying. But an hour later I wondered why I did it. Same thing with The Donald’s interviews. Great going down but left wondering just exactly what the hell you had.
WOLF WILL VETO BUT…..
Your blog editor with then candidate Tom Wolf at an event hosted by Bill and Paula Vinsko. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Governor Tom Wolf has vetoed the fiscal spending plan for Pennsylvania. The whole thing. That is unprecedented in state history. But Wolf, a reasonable man will begin talks again on Monday with both the House and the Senate Republicans. This budget was passed strictly on party lines. As a candidate he spoke of his ability to negotiate and compromise. Let’s hope it works. Wolf believes he has the solutions, the GOP thinks they do. There has to be a meeting of the minds somewhere.
PBPC COMMENDS GOV. WOLF ON VETO OF REPUBLICAN BUDGET AND TELL US WHY WOLF WAS RIGHT IN VETO
Our friends at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center sent us an e mail regarding the veto. They commend the Governor for his bold action. Here’s what they had to report: Dr. Mark Price, an economist and interim research director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Wolf's veto of the Republican 2015-16 budget last night: "The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center commends Gov. Wolf for swiftly vetoing last night what amounts to his predecessor’s fifth budget. Gov. Wolf had no choice. This budget, hastily thrown together at the last minute by Republican legislative leaders and rammed through the General Assembly, was bad for Pennsylvania. This budget contributed a pittance toward restoring the $1 billion in funding cut from education over the last four years. Pennsylvania’s school children would have paid the price by having to continue to learn in more crowded classrooms in schools with fewer staff and programs. This budget’s anemic investment in higher education would have resulted in higher tuition at our state-funded schools. Pennsylvania’s young adults and their parents would have paid the price by having to incur more debt to pay that tuition. This budget denied hard-pressed Pennsylvania seniors and families property tax relief. Pennsylvania’s homeowners would have paid the price as their local property taxes rose in response to the state’s continuing inadequate share of public education funding (Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom five of states on this measure). This budget didn’t invest in training and job creation. Pennsylvania’s workers would have paid the price as their skills became less competitive, and the state became a less attractive place for employers to locate. Yet this austerity budget found money to fully restore the legislature’s line item and increase funds for the Commonwealth Financing Authority – a grant program over which legislators have a veto. In sum, this was a budget that benefitted the legislative leaders who drafted it and gas drillers, who were again spared a severance tax, at the expense of the average Pennsylvanian. Gov. Wolf did the right thing in vetoing it. We call on legislators to return to Harrisburg after the holiday weekend and negotiate in earnest with the Governor on a budget plan that will be a better deal for all Pennsylvanians
ATTENTION SAME SEX COUPLES
During the 2012 election I worked with a few people who were interested in the issue of gay marriage. They were also ardent supporters of President Obama. On Election Day I asked if they had voted yet. They told me they’d go after work and asked where to go. I got suspicious and asked if they were registered. When a blank look came on their faces, I broke the news to them that they had to register. Now this situation is atypical but a cautionary tale. The right to wed was won by a relentless campaign to increase awareness over a half century. A Supreme Court upheld the right to marry. But to those who think the victory is over, it is not. When you do vote, remember the party that produces a Ted Cruz from Texas who vows to repeal this decision. He can’t or won’t but watch the rhetoric and where it is coming from. This is the national party that worked to deny this right and calls Ted Cruz a member. Remember who got you this victory. It was not the national GOP.
BARLETTA STATEMENT ON NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS WITH CUBA
In a press e mail, Congressman Lou Barletta, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement that Cuba and the United States will open embassies in each other’s countries and reestablish diplomatic relations: “There is little doubt that most people would like the United States and Cuba to have normal diplomatic relations, especially considering our proximity to each other. In my view, the only way that should ever occur would be for Cuba’s dictatorial class to make dramatic changes in their policies toward their own people, and allow them the freedoms we too often take for granted in this country. That has not happened, yet the president has moved to normalize relations anyway. “Until the Cuban regime stops the terrorization, suppression, and political incarceration of its own people, we should not be rewarding them with full diplomatic relations. The lesson we are teaching to the entire world is that if an oppressive regime wishes to change American policies, it only needs to wait us out and we will eventually lose our will.”
LULAC ON PA. LIVE ON THE THIRD
ABOUT THE FOURTH!!!!
We’ll be on Pa. Live this Friday, the day before the Fourth of July. We’ll be speaking with Jasmine Brooks on the importance of Pennsylvania in the Declaration of Independence.
Jasmine will be moving to the mornings but replacing her will be Valerie Tysanner. Jasmine is a consummate professional and a natural in front of the camera. I'm afraid Wilkes Barre will not have her that long because of skill set and incredible personality. Valerie came to Eyewitness News from WVTT, an independent television station in Western New York. While there, she spent much of her time covering Pennsylvania's northern tier. Before moving to the Empire State, she worked at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. While at NBC4, Valerie worked as an editorial assistant. She also field produced for NBC's coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, and Conrad Murray trial.
Prior to working at KNBC, Valerie reported for Santa Barbara City-TV, and KCSB radio. She also interned for Dateline NBC and the FOX affiliate in L.A. in her career that brought her to WBRE TV. (Pa. Homepage, LuLac). So it was a pleasure appearing with Jasmine and I'm sure providence willing the same will hold true for Ms. Tysanner. Like Dean Martin sang, “How lucky can one guy be!”
KAUFER ON TARONE NEXT WEEK
State Representative Aaron Kaufer. (Photo: LuLac archives).
State Representative Aaron Kaufer appears next Wednesday on The L.A. Tarone Show on WILK. July 8th, 8pm. I'm sure the Freshman representative and Tarone will have a lot to talk about.
BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM
Mike Conroy discusses the Fresh Air Fund. Tune in Sunday morning July 5 at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Game Sports Radio 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River
James May of Penndot will join David DeCosmo and co-host Rusty Fender on ECTV Live during the week of July 6th.
He'll discuss ongoing area highway projects and some special summer programs to be operated by the Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania State Police. ECTV Live can be seen three times daily throughout the week on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is a Public Affairs Program of Electric City Television
This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Jodi Okum, founder of College Aid Advisors, who discusses the findings of a recent survey on how parents feel about financially aiding their children's college education. An encore of Brian's interview with Gayle Voytush Klink about her film project on the life of Schuylkill County native Donna Garze, who became one of the top female amputee golfers in the U.S. And an encore of Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning's interview with Peterlyn West, area coordinator of Cultural Home Stay International, about how area families can host foreign exchange students. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM 93-7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM, and 6:25am on Magic 93.
SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION
Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.
Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”
KAREL ON THE STREET
Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.
CORBETT’S SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME
Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “Somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.
Our 1965 logo.
79th Wimbledon Mens Tennis: Roy Emerson beats Fred Stolle (62 64 64)…72nd Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Margaret Smith beats M Fraiser (64 75)….. Phillies Dick Allen & Frank Thomas get into a fight during practice….USSR & Persia sign dam building & economic aid pact…. Harold Strachan, member of the Communist Party of South Africa and Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, is served with a restriction order in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act….20th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Carol Mann…..Rock group "Jefferson Airplane" forms......Otis Redding records "Respect"…………………in Pennsylvania the Phillies Dick Allen & Frank Thomas get into a fight during practice…
…in Wilkes Barre the 4th of July is noted by fireworks displays across the Valley and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land was "A Walk In The Black Forest" by Horst Jankowski.
Fifty years ago tomorrow my mom's oldest sibling Andrew Pribula passed away. His death was a seminal event in my life. I just knew my uncle from a distance. I'd remember him sitting on the back porch with his wife Stella and watching the Yankees on TV. Even though "A Radio Story" was and is fiction, there were some events of my life that came into the book. The summer of 1965 was very quiet for 11 year old Jake Yanick until the phone rang on that hot July day. Jake's mother put the phone down and began to cry. Her oldest brother Drew had died. Jake was informed that he had to attend the wake and funeral. It would be three days out of his summer schedule of ball playing, bike riding, baseball card collecting and acquiring girlie magazines. Other than the assassination of President John Kennedy, this was the young boy's first encounter with death. Entering the funeral home, Jake followed his parents paying respect to his uncle. His mother's side of the family spanned nearly half the century with Uncle Drew being born in 1900 and Uncle Larry arriving in 1932. There were 14 brothers and sisters. Family gatherings were like block parties. Unlike the joyful Christmas season, gatherings with food and football, this was a more subdued occasion. Working class aunts and uncles he was accustomed to seeing in worn work clothes now wore their Sunday best. The women in simple black mourning dresses and the men in starched white shirts received the legion of friends to say goodbye. As was the custom, the wake went on for three days. Jake positioned himself on one of the couches by the door. He missed his Toni who was away at school.Jake gazed at the body and the immediate family. Two sons survived Uncle Drew. One named Bobby looked just like the dad man. The other was familiar to Jake only from the 11 by 14 black and white glossy that sat on his aunt's TV set in the family homestead. The photo came to life in the person of Ed Prince. Leaving home at the age of 18, cousin Ed was a big time radio announcer in Cleveland. Jake wondered what that was like, to be noticed, sought after and admired. As he sat, his Uncle Jim joined him. After a quick pat on the boy's buzzed head, the man said, "You know who's in that box don't you? That's my brother in tat box. He's no moving. Wednesday they are going to put him a hole and then that's it. This is life, this i death. This is serious stuff." intoned his uncle. Jake was momentarily stunned. Looking at his uncle, he said, "What should I do? Should I pray" His uncle answered him, "Yeah if you want, but more importantly, live every day like it's the day before you wind up in one of those boxes." No on had ever spoken to Jake like that in his young life. Jake pondered its meaning until e was interrupted by another Uncle. Andy Zack had married into the family. He was congenial man with a booming voice who had an animated way of expressing his numerous opinions. Since he was on of Jake's favorite relatives, the young boy decided to get Uncle Andy's explanation of what Uncle Jim just told him. When Jake asked the question, Andy roared back in laughter and said, "It means, kid, hit the ground running. There's not much time period. Play hard and work hard. But when you work, find something you want to do, like me and your dad there breaking our backs on the railroad. Find a job where you bones won't ache, where you won't work in he cold or the heat.Be lie Bobby an Eddie-work inside. And when you get married, marry a girl who has two things, common sense an money. Your chances of landing a job you like are way better than landing that combo!". His uncle, getting louder with each pronouncement was hushed by his wife Sue. Jake and his uncle quietly resumed speaking but this time about the sorry stat of their team the Philadelphia Phillies. After the funeral Jake met briefly with Eddie who gave him the inside dope on what radio broadcasting was all about. His tales of the industry only heightened the young boy's interest. When Ed began to tell Jake of the sports and movie celebrities he met, Jake could not contain his glee. Ed recounted the time he appeared on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour and how he introduced dancer Gen Kelly at a live show. After that, Jake was hooked. http://www.amazon.com/RADIO-STORY-Wish-Future-Endeavors-ebook/dp/B005LQ9H5C
I know the state has decided to put a moratorium on the death penalty. I know that we are told that criminals need to be rehabilitated. But some people are so evil that there is no redemption. Case in point were the two murderers who worked their way out of prison with tools. When someone puts more than twenty bullets in a police officer, they don’t go into the honors program! Sorry. The good news on is dead, the other was taken alive. The good news is that these "brain trusts" had a yutz who might have been willing to have sex with them but lost her nerve when she needed to be there for them! I guess that's where the love went wrong! The bad news is this could have been avoided if they were executed in the first place. And yes this comes from a Liberal Democrat. (Photo: Face book).
THE PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH ACCESS NETWORK RECEIVES $300,000 ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION GRANT TO BEGIN CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS AMONG PA’S MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
Our good friend Antoinette Kraus send some information via e mail this week. She shares great news about a grant designed to help reduce healh care costs in the state. Here’s the good news: The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) has been awarded a Value Advocacy Project grant of $300,000 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to improve the health care system for people in Pennsylvania. The grant will support an eighteen month project that will work to reduce health care costs and improve health outcomes for a subset of the Medicaid population with high costs, poor health outcomes and high health needs. In collaboration with the Pennsylvania Law Project and Project HOME, PHAN will advocate for a statewide approach to patient centered medical homes for Medicaid beneficiaries with chronic conditions; and urge the state to use Medicaid dollars to establish permanent supportive housing services for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations. “As more and more individuals access health care through the Affordable Care Act and Pennsylvania’s newly expanded Medicaid program, it is imperative that we focus on how to reduce costs and improve health outcomes for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations. We are excited to be provided this opportunity by the RWJF to engage consumers and advocacy groups in a much-needed dialogue around health systems transformation,” said Antoinette Kraus, Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. With the expansion of Medicaid eligibility on January 1, 2015, many more Pennsylvanians who have experienced chronic homelessness and who live with chronic health conditions have been able to enroll in Medicaid. Pennsylvania’s health plans and providers have an important opportunity to learn about this population’s needs and improve the quality of care and health outcomes. Many new Medicaid beneficiaries in this population have health needs complicated by substance use disorders and challenges related to mental health, trauma and other issues. This project will bring together health law, housing and mental health experts and leverage consumer involvement to urge state policymakers to develop and implement new approaches to health care for vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries, including requesting federal approval for waivers. Strategies include engaging the existing consumer advocacy community, raising public awareness, educating policymakers and state Medicaid official about the need for health systems transformation, and working with housing advocates to lift up the benefits to vulnerable Pennsylvanians of supportive housing services. The Pennsylvania Health Access Network and other grantees in the Value Advocacy Project will pursue state and local health system changes that increase the value of health care by improving health outcomes and lowering costs, especially for populations that have disproportionately poor health outcomes. The grants will be managed by Community Catalyst in collaboration with the RWJF and are part of a broader effort to spur health system transformation to improve health care quality and make care delivery more affordable, transparent and supportive to consumers.
D & W welcoming one of thousands of interesting visitors to their daily broadcasts through the years. (Photo: Times Tribune)
If you were alive in the 80s, 90s and into the new century, the radio duo of Daniels and Webster was a major part of your life. Jay Daniels and John Webster were on WEZX FM, 107.9 during the rise of the FM frequency here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Their show, a mix of local satire, rock and roll music as well as ironic commentary was a departure from the happy chatter radio listeners here in NEPA were used to. In many ways Rock 107 and the team of Daniels and Webster broke a few molds. The team did it without being dirty. But there were many local politicos who were not immune from their sarcasm. Even the Scranton police Department took some shots. Daniels and Webster also stood the test of the unpredictability of radio as a career. The brass at Shamrock Communications, mainly Bill Lynett stood by the two as they maintained a core audience that was the cornerstone of the 107 Classic Rock station. There were many stations that tried to imitate and copy their successful nuances but they failed while D&W just rolled on like old man river. I first met Jay Daniels on my second interview at Rock 107 for a sales position. He was friendly and wished me well. But I got the impression that it was quite perfunctory on his part because he had seen many sales people come and go (although at that time the 107 staff was pretty stable with a lot of experienced veterans) as well as changes in General Managers. Working with clients I had the opportunity to do some remotes with Daniels and Webster. Jay played the straight man to Webster but the two played well off of each other. He was a consummate professional and could get very testy if the copy was not correct and if the client was not happy. One time 107 landed a national pasta account and Daniels followed the sales rep (not me thank God) around the building until he could get the correct pronunciation of some item related to the copy. At 107 on the fifth floor of the Times building there used to be a bench that was up against the wall in the bowels of the building. To the right or if you were sitting on the bench, to the left, there was the doorway to the roof where the Times tower stood. Daniels would sometimes take a break and just sit there with a cold drink. I don’t remember if he was a smoker or not. As I would head down the hall to the Sales office, there would be a booming voice saying, “There’s Dave Yonki!” It was like an introduction in his best radio voice. Talk about a morale booster. Jay also introduced me to The Liederkranz a Scranton hideaway on Lackawanna Avenue. After every St. Patrick’s Day parade Jay either hosted or held court at the bar and you could not leave unless you had a bite of ham and cabbage. Beer was readily available but if you were a non drinker like me, hey there were no judgments. Jay also was one of the first voices on WKRZ AM 1340 which was the old WBRE AM frequency sold to the first group that owned KRZ. Through the years Jay was the voice of Fox 56 TV doing voice over works as well as doing many projects for his dear friend Susan Kolesar from The Artemis Media Group. At a staff party he was fun but not over the top. Plus he was the type of person who readily welcomed non broadcast people in his presence. At one Christmas event, my wife asked where the stage names Jeff and John came from Jay explained that it was a derivation of Daniel Webster. He must have been asked that question a million times but told it again as if it was the very first time. Jay Daniels passed away Sunday at the age of 62 succumbing to cancer. Newswatch 16 opened up its story on his passing by saying it was a sad day for the radio community in our area. That was an understatement. He will be missed but fondly remembered.
If you are on Face book you’ll see many people changing their profile photo to reflect a rainbow. Governor Tom Wolf did it yesterday.
On Friday night the White House also was bathed in the rainbow colors. A few people on Face book commented that it was an “In your face” taunt from The White House.
I’m not sure I would go that far but I can understand how some people might think that. While I have always been a supporter of gay marriage, primarily for the protection of the financial rights of a deceased partner, I have to say I’m not comfortable with using The White House as a prop. It has always been deemed the people’s house and there are some Americans who need to evolve on this issue. Lighting up the White House is not the right way to sway people who still need time to be supportive and get on board with you. Comments made to me have indicated that there are many religious people who feel this action was an exclusion of their Christian values. Again, I don't agree with that but I understand their point. It should be enough for The President that the law was upheld by the Supreme Court. Again, I am for this monumental change but I think better judgment should have prevailed in this case. It looked nice but it is something I personally would not have done. Perhaps the President was overcompensating for his coming late to this party. Let’s not forget it wasn’t until Vice President Joe Biden went on national TV and supported this thing that the President changed his stance. His administration should give the same chance to those not as enthusiastic as he.
RESOLUTION TO PROTECT OPERATIONS OF 55TH BRIGADE IN SCRANTON PASSES SENATE
Senator John Blake. (Photo: John Blake newsletter).
This past week there was concern that the 66th Armored Brigade Combat Team out of Scranton would be in financial peril and/or transfer of its operations. State Senator John Blake gave information on a resolution in the State Senate to protect the 55th. Here is a statement from Blake’s on line newsletter. A concurrent state Senate Resolution urging the United States Army to reverse its decision to deactivate the 55th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) in Scranton unanimously passed the state Senate on June 22. Senate Resolution 149 also urges the United States Congress to take all necessary action to prohibit any force structure changes; to prohibit any transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard to active duty; and to maintain the PA Army National Guard at 350,200 soldiers until the National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA) has reported its findings to the U.S. Army. The continued operation of the 55th Armored Brigade is critically important not only to our state and national security, but to the economic strength of Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania. There are more than 3,500 Pennsylvanians who capably and selflessly serve our country as members of the 55th Brigade. These fine men and women deserve unwavering support and we cannot stand by while the Army moves to deactivate this proud and decorated unit. The geographic presence of the 55th ABCT is important not only in response to the Army’s requests for mobilization, but it is absolutely vital in order to remain agile in response to state and federal emergencies in PA and in our surrounding states. Further, the National Guard is a tremendous economic value to the Army. A drilling Guardsman or Woman costs approximately 15% of the cost of Active Duty Soldiers and – even when mobilized by the Army under Title 10 terms and conditions – the National Guard imposes costs at 80 to 95 percent of the cost of Active Duty Soldiers with no loss in quality, reliability or capability. Several Regiments within the 55th ABCT trace their origin to the Revolutionary War and are among the oldest in Pennsylvania. These Regiments, including the 109th Infantry, the 109th Field Artillery; the 103rd Armored; and the 104th Cavalry have been decorated for meritorious service in every theater of engagement since, including for recent service in Iraq and Afghanistan. I commend the efforts of U.S. Senator Bob Casey as well as Congressman Matt Cartwright on this matter and thank all of my colleagues in the Pennsylvania state Senate, particularly, Senator Lisa Baker, Senator John Wozniak, and Senator John Yudichak, for their support of this resolution and the 55th ABCT. Here’s the ink to Senator Blake’s site. http://www.senatorblake.com/enews/2015_6_24_55th_Brigade.htm
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Political analyst for WBRE TV's Pa. Live program and post election commentator for WBRE TV's Eyewitness News Daybreak show. Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Yonki was a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appeared on the Hazleton, PA. station on Election Night doing coverage and did special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".