Thursday, July 30, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3004, July 30th, 2015

HILLARY IN SCRANTON
Hillary Clinton in Scranton yesterday as she addresses her donors. (Photo: Cassandra Coleman Corcoran Face book page)
Hillary Clinton stopped off in Scranton yesterday for a big money fundraiser. The event was held at a private home in the Green Ridge section of the city. Clinton drew criticism from her most die-hard supporters for not having a separate event for those who could not afford the thousand dollar entry fee.
Here’s my take. She needs the money now. She needs to solidify her base of support. She needs commitments now. The meet and greets for the average Joes and Janes will come. And they’ll love her. Book on that.
During the very first Presidential campaign I volunteered for, Humphrey in 1968, it was a big deal when Humphrey met the 1 million dollar mark in money raised. That happened in late October. The campaign and financial world of Presidential politics is a different animal now. It would be nice to have Mrs. Clinton stop and chat but this is a careful campaign. True believers will understand that aspect and not take offense.
Plus we as Democrats have to accept that there is a class system. It exists in America. Those who could afford to go…went. The political class went. It would be like missing your kid’s Holy Communion. The regular Democrats, the $25.00 buck a head guys and gals will get their turn.
But not now.

EVIE SAYS NOPE
Evie Refalko McNulty. (Photo: Times Tribue ).
Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds Evie McNulty did not attend the event on Wednesday saying that even though Clinton has support here, there should have been an opportunity to have people with less means see her. I can understand that sentiment. But logistics in a campaign are sometimes difficult to reconcile. Have great respect for Refalko McNulty who is one of the most reliable and least rewarded Democrats in the state. Mrs. Clinton will meet the masses..but this time it was all about the dough.


MEDICARE @ FIFTY
President Johnson signed the bill into law at a special ceremony in Independence, Missouri on July 30, 1965 with former President Harry Truman. Front row, LBJ and President Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, Second row, Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and former First Lady Bess Truman. (Photo: LBJ Library).

Medicare turns 50 today. As a youngster in the hot summer of ’65, I remember watching TV in the afternoon as President Johnson signed the act into law with former President Harry Truman. Both Mr. Truman and his wife Bess got the first two Medicare cards. For 50 years, it has been a reliable guarantor of the health and welfare of older and disabled Americans by paying their medical bills, ensuring their access to needed health care services. Plus it has protected them from potentially crushing health expenses. Medicare is popular now but Congress created the program only after a long and deeply ideological struggle that still reverberates today.
There were cries of socialism, big brother and every thing else the fear mongers of the day threw at the law. Just like The Affordable Care Act critics, Medicare opposition was loud and unreasonable.
The House took up consideration of the bill on April 7th, and passed the bill the next day by a vote of 313-115 (with 5 not voting). In July the Senate passed it 68-21 (with 11 not voting). Lyndon Johnson knew that he needed to pass the bill when he had a majority in both houses. He knew that there might be compromise but no concession to a party that lost an election. There might have been noises about disruptions from the GOP but Johnson made sure they were squashed like bugs.
On the 50th anniversary of a landmark achievement for America, we can only wish that the current President wielded a tad more power when he might have passed a Public Option. BTW, no one tried to repeal Medicare. They’d never dare.



REP. CARTWRIGHT INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ELIMINATE COAL ROYALTY LOOPHOLE; INVEST FUNDS IN APPALACHIAN COAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced the Coal Royalty Fairness and Communities Investment Act of 2015, a bill that would provide $100 million to struggling coal communities to help build economic resilience, diversify industries, and promote new job creation opportunities; ensure fair returns on publicly owned coal; and improve the transparency of the federal coal program.
“Significant decreases in demand for coal power generation have negatively impacted workers and communities that have relied on the coal industry for decades,” Rep. Cartwright said, member of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. “This legislation will assist struggling coal communities throughout the Appalachian Region overcome the challenges associated with changing natural resources markets”
In addition, $5 million dollars will be allocated towards funding the design, construction, and operation of large-scale projects to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources.
The focus of the legislation is to assist struggling coal communities diversify their economies, increase human capital development, and stimulate economic growth.
To fund these investments, the legislation will close coal royalty loopholes in the federal coal royalty payment system, loopholes that coal companies have exploited for decades to avoid paying royalties on federal coal.
Recent reports and investigations from the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior have revealed that the government is not collecting full royalty payments from private mining companies extracting coal from public lands. Some coal mining companies are selling coal to subsidiaries at artificially low prices to decrease royalty payments. A recent Headwaters Economics report found that coal sales to subsidiaries and other non-competitive activities cost the federal government as much as $139 million in royalty payments every year. As a result, the bill would be deficit positive and provide additional funding to States that produce coal on federal land while improving transparency in the coal market.


BARLETTA NAMED “HERO OF MAIN STREET” FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
- NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION TOUTS RECORD HELPING EMPLOYERS & EMPLOYEES

Rep. Barletta visits with Holly Tritt in her family’s silk screening and embroidery business, Pondview, in Newville during one of his Main Street Tours of the 11th Congressional District. (Photo: Barletta news release)
Congressman Lou Barletta has been recognized as a “Hero of Main Street” by the National Retail Federation (NRF) for his support of the American retail industry, which is the largest employer in the private sector. Award eligibility was based on key votes, bill sponsorship, and advocacy on a wide array of retail priorities. Barletta was also named a recipient in 2013 and 2014.
“NRF’s Heroes of Main Street have shown through their voting records that they care about retailers, big and small, and value the role these businesses play in communities across the country,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “By backing our policy priorities, they show their commitment to a prosperous Main Street and to the long-term growth of retail – our nation’s largest private sector employer.”
Barletta, who frequently conducts “Main Street Tours” in localities across the 11th district, has been talking to business owners and consumers to hear their concerns and suggestions. He cites his conversations with merchants and citizens as good sources for ideas. The NRF highlighted key votes on policies on health care, tax reform, and workforce policies that work for employers and employees alike. Barletta is also a strong supporter of the Remote Transaction Parity Act, formerly known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, which levels the playing field among brick-and-mortar retailers and Internet sellers with regard to the collection of sales tax.
“As a former mayor, I have seen first-hand how much our cities and towns depend on our local merchants to keep our economy moving and create good jobs for our citizens,” Rep. Barletta said. “Local retailers make up the backbone of our economy, and they cannot be left behind.”
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. businesses that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans.
-

MEDIA MATTERS

'BLISS' BOOK SIGNING THIS WEEKEND AT MONSTER MANIA IN CHERRY HILL, NJ

Wilkes-Barre author Brandon Halsey will be signing copies of his new horror novel Bliss at this weekend's Monster Mania horror convention in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Taking place from July 31st - August 2nd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Monster Mania promises to be the biggest horror convention on the East Coast.
Featured guest include such icons as Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) Neve Campbell (Scream) Brad Dourif (Child's Play) Danielle Harris (Halloween) and many, many more.
The convention will also host film screenings, exclusive cast reunions, and the opportunity to meet numerous horror and pop culture superstars.
“The signing at last spring's Monster Mania was my best showing yet and I'm very excited to be back,” Halsey said. “The promoters behind Monster Mania have a stellar reputation and even non-horror fans would be impressed by the large attendance and sheer size of the show.”
Bliss is also available for purchase on all major online merchants, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the author's own website.
Brandon Halsey will be signing books at Monster Mania during the following times:
Friday: 4PM - 10PM
Saturday: 10AM - 7PM
Sunday: 10AM - 5PM


ECTV

ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome Bob Shlesinger to the program during the week of August 3rd to talk about plans for this year's Scranton Jazz Festival.

ECTV Live can be see on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired three times each day during the week.

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Becca Darling about the 3rd Walk for Debbie's Darlings, coming up next Saturday at the Dallas High School track to benefit needy kids going back to school.
An encore of Brian Hughes' interview with bankruptcy attorney Chuck Tatlebaum, who discusses the future of shopping malls, and has some advice for the new owner of the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton.
Frankie speaks with Mike Zimmerman and Meghan Kennedy about the 7th Annual Paulie Friedman 5K Walk/Run coming up next Sunday as Misericordia University in Dallas.
And Brian speaks with chef Ingrid Hoffman from the Food Network about healthy Summer grilling.



BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM


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.



BUDDY RUMCHEK

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.


1965

Our 1965 logo

President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000, and to more than double the number of men drafted per month - from 17,000 to 35,000…..The Beatles second movie Help! premieres..

President Lyndon B. Johnson B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid…………………Cigarette advertising is banned on British television….Pennsylvania Senator Joe Clark calls the Medicare legislation one of the most significant legislative acts of the 20th century since FDR began Security Security…in LuLac land, Washington finds that both Pennsylvania representatives, Dan Flood and Joe McDade support the Medicare Bill..and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a combination of doo wop, soul and pop, “I'm a Happy Man” by The Jive Five


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3003, July 29th, 2015


WRITE ON WEDNESDAY
 
Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.

KATIE'S TIME

Last week Governor Tom Wolf’s Chief of Staff Katy McGinty decided to resign. The reason was  to listen to the call of major Democrats in the state and challenge former Congressman Joe Sestak for the Democratic nod for the Senate seat in 2016. Pat Toomey,  the incumbent GOP Senator seems to be getting a free ride in the primary. McGinty has name recognition from a previous run. So too does Sestak. Both in my estimation will have to beat Pennsylvania's  penchant for having Senators from the Republican party. There have been three Democratic Senators in the last 55 plus years, Joe Clark, Harris Woford and Arlen Specter. The only time there were two Democratic Senators in the last 60 years was when Arlen Specter changed his registration to the Democratic Party to join Robert Casey Junior from Scranton.
In today’s “Write On Wednesday” G. Terry Madonna and Michael young write about Katy McGinty’s moves and whether this is indeed her time.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
The jury is still out on that old chestnut and may continue to be out indefinitely.
But here’s an easier one: What if the Pennsylvania Democratic Party holds a U. S. Senate primary and (almost) no candidates show up? What happens then?
That one is easier both because it might happen and also because the answer is not an epistemological puzzle. The answer is this: national Democrats as well as state Democrats lose big.
They lose because the still embryonic 2016 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race remains one of the ten top national races that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Democrats need the Pennsylvania seat to win back the Senate as well as at least four other seats.
Losing Pennsylvania almost certainly means failure to gain control of the Senate. Even if Democrats win the presidency in 2016 it will seem a hollow win if Congress stays in GOP control.
The stakes could not be higher.
Democrats, however, are not without hope; they believe their one million plus registration edge will help defeat the Republican incumbent Pat Toomey, especially because more of their voters will turnout and because of the decline of ticket splitting given the increased polarization of the electorate.
But 15 months from Election Day, those still hopeful Democrats don’t yet have a candidate they think can win.
The candidate they do have-Joe Sestak-is a former Congressman, Navy officer, and 2010 nominee who narrowly lost to Toomey. A substantial number of Democratic Party officials don’t think he can raise enough money to win in 2016, don’t think he can run a successful campaign, don’t think he is a good fit for the party and don’t like him very much-in many cases, don’t like him at all. His iconoclastic style has left him estranged from many.
Consequently, Democrats have been scrambling to find someone to challenge Sestak, win the party nomination and defeat Toomey in the fall election. A bevy of prominent Democrats were once mentioned, including former Congresswomen Allison Schwartz, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. None of them worked out.
Ultimately, national Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Chuck Schumer tried to recruit Josh Shapiro, a talented Montgomery County Commissioner to take on Sestak. He also declined.
For some time it looked like Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski would provide a primary opponent, but he suddenly suspended his campaign earlier this month amid an FBI investigation into Allentown’s contracting practices.
Are state Democrats out of luck and out of time?
They certainly are almost out of time. Modern campaigns require money, a work force, and the time to create an organization. The clock is ticking louder and louder.
But Democrats may not yet be out of luck. Sitting in the wings may be one of the most formidable candidates they could run against Toomey. And she hasn’t said no!
One Kathleen McGinty – “Katie” to most - has been hiding in plain sight while Democrats fumbled around looking for a candidate. While holding down a day job as chief-of-staff to Governor Tom Wolf, she brings an impressive resume and long list of accomplishments to the table. A former advisor to President Clinton, she also served as the Chairwoman of the Council of Environmental Advisors, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and a candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Numerous press reports are confirming that Democratic leaders have now approached her about running - perhaps getting into the race by late summer .
How realistic is a late McGinty candidacy? Some Democrats reluctantly believe Sestak has the primary wrapped up by now, while others doubt a challenger will still appear.
Doom and gloom pervade Democratic circles about this race.
It shouldn’t.
If McGinty does run, she will be formidable, the beneficiary of political forces emerging over the past quarter century, dating back to Lynn Yeakel’s 1992 narrow senate loss to Arlen Specter in “the year of the woman.” A palpable hunger exists for women candidates for major office in Pennsylvania. Then, too, it is likely Hillary Clinton will head the Democratic ticket in 2016, auguring auspiciously both for high Democratic turnout and for an electorate favoring women candidates.
Moreover, if McGinty runs she will have Wolf’s support, which will mean significant financial assistance as well as the support of the Wolf organization. More help will come from national Democrats while several state party leaders including the powerful Congressman Bob Brady have already offered support. Against Sestak she may have a clear path to victory running with the enthusiastic support of the party against a self-styled maverick with little party support.
Finally, McGinty is a smart, talented and savvy politician who knows her way around both Washington and Harrisburg and will bring energy to a campaign sorely lacking it so far.
GOP incumbent Pat Toomey, despite his conservative leanings and the registration edge against him, will be very hard to beat in 2016. Katie McGinty might do it – and at this point , she could be the only one who can.
This column can be found at http://politics.fandm.edu 
and was printed via public domain with permission of Dr. Madonna.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3002, July 27th, 2015

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that as we head into August there might be a glimmer of hope for the state budget. Unlike days past, at least members of the GOP and the Governor’s team are taking a look at the budget line by line at what they could live with and what they can’t.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in 1895 24 rabbits were released in Australia. Within 6 years the population grew to 2 million.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….but not really that Dotty Martin has been named the new Managing Editor of The Times Leader. Dotty has been a mainstay in the newspaper business for a very long time. I knew her back when during her Sunday Dispatch years. I was proud to work with her and wish her the best in her new position. She deserves it and you’ll see a pop in the Leader.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Poison Ivy and poison oak are not oak. They are part of the cashew family. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that on L.A. Tarone’s program tonight a caller corrected him on the Malaysian flight saying a Russian rocket shot it down and told Tarone to do his research. Said caller also was speaking of a country foreign to me, kept calling America Amurika.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…at 5 feet the whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Donald Trump just keeps on coming on. The guy is no dummy and seems to delight at having others unravel. The test of Trump‘s staying power is what type of organization he can put on the ground in the early nerd states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that potatoes have more chromosomes than humans.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Tony George seems to have some pretty hefty anonymous enemies. George’s advisers needed to handle the money, not him. He should have come out sooner but it has to burn you when a “leaker” who cowers in the safety of anonymity lights the fuse and walks away.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….an alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.
 St. Anne, mother of Mary. (Photo:  communityofhopeinc.org)
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the beautiful traditional observance of St. Anne’s Novena in Scranton keeps its traditions. As a young boy I remember my aunts doing that walk into Scranton for the final feast day. Glad to see it is still going strong among the faithful.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….on the subject of 3,000, thanks to all who posted on our 3,000 editions. Also, on 3,000, how about A-Rod??? I know Yankee lovers are now rooting for the guy. Let’s hope he’s doing it clean now.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3001, July 26th, 2015

AT LEAST HE’S A LITERATE DRUNK

This past week it was revealed that Wilkes Barre Area School Board member and former Educator Ned Evans was arrested for driving under the influence out in Dallas. Evans was out after 2AM and apparently the pensioned school teacher forgot the old axiom that nothing good ever happens after 2am. I’m not going to pile on here but I do want to make a couple of points. But before I do I’d like to make a plea to Mr. Evans.
If this incident was beyond the pale of your daily life, then think about this. Get help. During the 80s by unwise choices, I was around more alcoholics than I needed to be. It is a disease and you can stop if you want to. It won’t be easy but it can be done. The first way to help yourself will be to maybe stay home. The next step is to admit you have a problem. If you have any doubts about your behavior, read the newspaper accounts and what you Mr. Evans said to the police.
“You know I pay all your salaries,” he told officers. He later told one officer that he was “one of those mean cops you read about on Facebook.” (Citizen’s Voice). Every time a police officer has to put up with the antics of someone who is confrontational and clearly “caught”, that time is being taken away from a possibly more serious law being broken in the community they serve.
But the comment about paying the salaries of Police, well that’s rich coming from a guy whose salary I PAID when he was in the coaches club at the Wilkes Barre Area School District. He should be the last guy to tell the police that he pays their salaries. The Voice story also reported that he was babbling and could not find his Driver’s License when they stopped him. When he was running against the best Wilkes Barre Area School Board member never elected, Kathy Grinaway, Evans raised questions by his rambling on Sue Henry’s program during the campaign. But he was elected anyway.
Evans apologized to everyone in the newspaper. That’s a good thing.
In the article by Bill Whelock, Evans also said something interesting about his role on the School Board. He says he will serve out his term. Hell why wouldn’t he? The Wilkes Barre Area School Board had Frankie Pizzella as their President when the feds were looking at him. So Evans will remain as a member of the board. Yippee!
Finally though, Evans brought something new to a DUI. He at least classed his arrest up a bit. I spoke to a State Trooper, a retired Military Police officer and a current Police Sergeant about their experience with DUI arrests. My question was that in their combined service of more than 81 years, did any one being detained called them a ruffian and a bully in the same sentence? All three said yes at some point there were called a bully but for Christ sake never, ever a ruffian.
Evans, in his apology said that in the instance of his arrest he wasn’t a role model to the students of the district. Well partly. The use of the word ruffian was quite historic in the annals of local police. But it was so very sad and pathetic too.

WHY PEOPLE HATE UNIONS

I belong to a party that supports unions. My father and other family members benefited from being in a union. I have no grudge against unions. But sometimes they get it so wrong. And sometimes their members force them to do things that are just bad PR.
This week an employee of the Plains Department of Public Works was reinstated in his job. He was convicted of bilking a 97 year old woman out of more than $100,000 of her savings while she was recovering from a fall. Shamelessly, he fought back for his job and got it back because there was no specific policy for a non job related crime. Predictably the Plains Township supervisors were not happy. If I were a resident of Plains, I’d be unhappy too. Unions are there to protect employees from unfair labor practices (as if when you are a government employee!!!) and to give workers a fair wage. Here because of the lethargic and impotent Chamber of Commerce wages are way better in government than in businesses. But unions do not exist to protect slime balls who steal from the elderly.
In some quarters, not all, you’ll hear, “But hey, he’s in “da union” so he’s a brother! “We gots to support him”. Yeah, he’ll buy a round at Dominick’s with the money he took from the old lady and for some that will make it all right.

ROCK HUDSON @ 30
Rock Hudson thirty years ago yesterday at a news conference with Doris Day. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Thirty years ago this week, Rock Hudson died of AIDS. He was the first Hollywood star to die of the disease. He had been diagnosed a year before but kept it a secret. In early July he stood before news reporters with his friend Doris Day at his side promoting her new cable show. His gaunt appearance became the lead and speculation was rampant about his health. On July 25, 1985, Hudson's publicist, who was denying all along he had AIDS confirmed that Hudson did in fact have AIDS and had been diagnosed over a year earlier. He passed away on October of that year.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3000, July 25th, 2015

LULAC @ 3000
Today LuLac reaches its 3,000th edition. For the last nine years and change we have been on line consistently chronicling the politics of Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties as well as events on a State, National and sometimes International basis. (Our only extended time off has been when there has been a health issue. But even with that, I think we might have missed under a month on two different occasions in nearly a decade). We have also delved into history, pop culture and occasional silliness.
LuLac has not had regular posts but rather editions where we strove to present a structured snapshot of what is current and what we think about that particular subject. We have also invited guest posts as well as publishing over 17, 552 comments from readers. That number might have been higher but we choose to edit some of them or not publish a few at all.
Our thanks go out to our readers, our posters as well as the good work done by local news sources that sometimes feed the fire. But our main thanks has to go out to the citizens who populate the political world. Their very existence assures that there will always be something to report on. Our greatest asset are the human beings who populate the worlds of leadership. Now more than ever politics has morphed into celebrity. When John F. Kennedy Junior started “George” Magazine (and we are not comparing LuLac to “George” so the haters out there can relax) in the 90s, he wanted to bring the world of politics to the forefront of pop culture. If only he were alive to see the circus today. 
There are some readers who have complained that this is not the same LuLac that hey remember.  We are told we are not as even handed as before and then we are also told that we tend to bend over backwards in being too fair. Plus there are others who tell us we are too liberal, others say that we are reactionary on social issues and a few who still play the baby killer card. The biggest complaint is that no reader can ever fully predict the path Lulac will take on any given day. The latter is our greatest compliment and tells me we are on the right track. 
So at 3,000 and nearly a million page views (those are real numbers folks, not astronomical fantasies made up by some sites) we will continue to report and opine on the passing parade of politics and pop culture. Years ago the late Bill Luksic Senior had a column in The Sunday Independent. I had encountered him a few times working for candidates and when I was involved in the media. He once told me, “Politicians will never get tired of people writing about them, even good or bad….but I might get tired of writing about them”. 
So far that day has not come for us.
On to 3001.
(3,000  logo, kbimages).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2999, July 23rd, 2015

WHY WALKER AND KASICH REALLY MATTER

WALKER
Governor Scott Walker. (Photo: The Federalist)
Right now there is a great deal of coverage for Donald Trump in the GOP sweepstakes for the 2016 nomination. As a matter of fact Trump seems to be taking the air out of the entire process. But as Trump races to get saturated news coverage like the proverbial hare scurrying to get ahead of the pack, two Midwest Governors might be the ones who will get to the finish line intact tortoise wise.
Scott Walker officially announced his candidacy a few weeks ago and it is notable that he was the very first one to denounce Trump after his remarks regarding Senator John McCain. Walker is the type of Republican a GOP party could have nominated ten to fifteen years ago.
Walker was born in Colorado, and was raised in Iowa and Wisconsin. From the time he was a young man, he was involved in GOP politics in Wisconsin. Even though Wisconsin has been a blue state, it has had a string of Republican governors. Walker came to the office after serving as Milwaukee County Executive.
A good friend of mine who also was my boss described Walker as a person who could very well be a contender in a crowded race. Walker has a remarkable record of winning three elections in four years. My old boss said that the recall election gave Wisconsin voters the opportunity to make a change. They didn’t because many felt Walker was just sticking by his actions. If Walker can translate those actions, it will resonate with the county. A Walker candidacy can also penetrate the Electoral College map that the Democrats have held in 2008 and 2012. Walker can conceivably take Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin in a General. It is still early but that fact cannot have been lost on GOP gurus now plotting a national race.


 KASICH

Ohio Governor John Kasich (Photo: Dayton Daily News)
This poor guy announced on the day Donald Trump was releasing John McCain’s friend Lindsay Graham’s phone number to the public. But Kasich bears watching too.
A two term Governor of Ohio, Kasich has brought good economic numbers to the Buckeye State as well as a personality that to me is the most authentic and sane in the GOP field. He is not afraid to disagree with a position but can be a gentleman about it. He also can slowly stick a dagger in rhetorically when the need arises. But Kasich brings Legislative experience (he served in the House for 18 years) and was responsible for Budget legislation. During that time, Bill Clinton got himself a budget surplus and Kasich was a part of that. In 2010 he defeated a Democratic incumbent for Governor and won in a landslide in ’14. 
Kasich brings a sense of reasonable debate to the race and also a centrist position on a number of issues. With people like Ted Cruz and Trump setting their hair on fire over immigration, Kasich’s experience as well as temperament might serve him well. Plus having been born and raised in Pennsylvania and then matriculated to Ohio State is a plus. Kasich can make electoral inroads into the two big political hotbeds and industrial states that have been known as swing states. The more Kasich speaks, the more voters are likely to accept him as a viable candidate. But they need to listen and he needs to tell his story.
Bottom line here is that Walker and Kasich as potential nominees can do four things:
1. Break into electoral vote areas by virtue of being both a native and a leader in those places.
2. Provide a fresh face to a Hillary Clinton contest. Even though Kasich has served in that time period, he is not a Bush. To most people he will seem new.
3. With the proper backing and money, both can be seen as the anti Obama, anti Democratic agenda candidate without sounding unreasonable and scaring away centrists.
4. Right now they are laying in the weeds, not making mistakes and not joining the fray of the silly season that always precedes a national campaign.That's a smart move.
These two candidates may prove that the race might belong to a tortoise heading steady toward a goal while others are scattering bombs in their wake. Bob and weave, weave and bob and the next thing you know, there might be a finish line.


MARY ISENHOUR WOLF’S PICK
New Wolf Chief of Staff, Mary Isenmhour. (Photo: PennLive)
With Katie McGinty poised to make a run for the United States Senate, Governor Tom Wolf named Mary Isenhour to be his new Chief of Staff. Isenhour was a key aid to Governor Wolf in his bid for Governor. Prior to that she was a Partner with Isenhour Rooney Strategies, LLC, a Strategic Partner in Mack Sumner and was the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Pennsylvania State Director of the Hillary Clinton for President effort.
I had the opportunity to meet her on the Wolf campaign trail with Cassandra Coleman and can only say this. She is a solid pick to lead the Executive team in Harrisburg.
Next week, we’ll look at McGinty’s run.


WALMART HOURS IN WILKES BARRE

Once more Wilkes Barre has done it again. In a few days the Wilkes Barre Wal-Mart will close at midnight and reopen at 6:00 am I'm not a Wal-Mart shopper but think a 24 hour store is a good thing for an area the size of Wilkes Barre. But once more the scumbags and the slobs ruin it for all. My sources inside the store tell me that there was a lot of theft going on and the company decided to shut it down instead of putting up with people stealing items, college students racing handicapped shopping carts and marital disputes happening in the
cereal aisle between midnight and 6am.

AM I BEING TOO HARD YOU SAY?

Nope just look at this photo. It is a street that was closed by the City of Wilkes Barre. It was an access road that connected North Washington to North Main Street under the Cross Valley. The City closed it because people were using it as their personal toilet. You’d see couches, commodes, all kind of crap. Mrs. LuLac says that she believes it was landlords who were dumping their garbage on the road and she couldn’t possibly think area residents would do such a thing. I don’t. I think the garbage was dumped by lazy slobs who won’t do the right thing. Mrs. Lulac was always a better person than I though.


BARLETTA BACKS COAL ASH LEGISLATION, PROTECTS ENVIRONMENT & JOBS
Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Congressman Lou Barletta supported the passage of legislation which ensures that coal ash is disposed of and recycled in a way that preserves the environment and protects jobs as a result. Barletta cosponsored and voted for H.R. 1734, the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, which clarifies uncertainties in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and makes certain that coal ash can be continued to be used in products like concrete and drywall. Coal ash is a byproduct of coal combustion and has consistently been classified by the EPA as non-hazardous material.
“Our region of Pennsylvania was built on the coal industry, and the resulting coal ash has always presented an environmental challenge and an opportunity for job creation,” Barletta said. “By providing certainty in the regulation of coal ash, we are being both stewards of the environment and protectors of economic development. Pennsylvanians have been dealing with this issue for decades, and we know better how to manage it than federal government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”


REPS. CARTWRIGHT AND LANCE INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO ENHANCE GOVERNMENT PREPAREDNESS FOR EXTREME WEATHER INCIDENTS
Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives).
With flood concerns every time it rains a lot in LuLac land and the memories of the devastation from the Jersey weather events of 2012, our local Congressman Matt Cartwright joined forces with a fellow Representative.
U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17) and Leonard Lance (NJ-7) introduced the bipartisan Preparedness and Risk management for Extreme weather Patterns Assuring Resilience and Effectiveness (PREPARE) Act, a commonsense bill that will enhance the federal government’s ability to plan and prepare for the risks associated with extreme weather incidents. The legislation was first introduced during the 113th Congress.
“Major flooding is a very real concern in my district, as multiple waterways - including the Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Schuylkill Rivers - threaten cities like Scranton and Wilkes-Barre,” Rep. Cartwright said. “However, severe weather is not limited to my region. To confront this issue nationwide, my zero-cost bill requires the federal government to better coordinate their efforts and form comprehensive plans to address the threat posed by extreme weather events.”
“Coordination and preparedness are critical in a natural disaster to protect life and property. This legislation will ensure government agencies are sharing information properly and outlining best practices so lessons learned responding to a disaster in one part of the country can be put to use responding to others across the Nation. I thank Congressman Cartwright for leading on this issue that is very important for our Nation and especially our neighboring states,” added Rep. Lance.
There have been 42 extreme weather events in the last four years that have each inflicted at least $1 billion in damage, totaling $227 billion in economic losses across 44 states, and have taken a total of 1,286 lives. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), recognized these risks, and added severe weather threats to its 2013 and 2015 High Risk Lists, which outline the most pressing fiscal exposures faced by the federal government. While federal coordination efforts have been improving over the past two years since the PREPARE Act was first introduced, we still have a long way to go to adequately prepare for the threats posed by extreme weather events.
The PREPARE Act authorizes an interagency council whose purpose is to provide recommendations on the best means of planning and preparing for extreme weather incidents. The bill also strengthens each individual agency’s resiliency efforts. Finally, the bill would provide state and local stakeholders with the best information available and best practices to help them formulate emergency preparation plans tailored to their local needs.
A broad group of business and environmental organizations have endorsed the legislation including: R Street, American Sustainable Business Council, Niskanen Center, Coalition to Reduce Spending, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Reinsurance Association of America, National Wildlife Federation, CERES, National Housing Conference, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, Evangelical Environmental Network, League of Conservation Voters, American Meteorological Society, Sierra Club, PennFuture, Defenders of Wildlife, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Green Building Council, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, American Rivers, Environmental Defense Fund, Small Business Majority, Marstel-Day, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, Alaska Wilderness League, International Code Council, American Bird Conservancy, National Farmers Union, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Leased Housing Association, UPS, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, Friends Committee on National Legislation, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, The Weather Coalition, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Lehigh Valley Chapter, American Camp Association, American Geophysical Union, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Nestle Waters North America, The American Institute of Architects, CH2M Hill, Unilever
The legislation is co-sponsored by the following Representatives: Blumenauer, Capuano, Connolly, Farenthold, Fitzpatrick, Garamendi, Hastings, Honda, Huffman, Kind, Lance, Lowenthal, Norton, Peters, Pingree, Polis, Quigley, Van Hollen



MEDIA MATTERS


CHRISTMAS IN JULY ON WALN TV SUNDAY NIGHT
It's WALN's Christmas in July on Sunday Night Alive with Happy Jack and Party Channel Santa Girl Layla, this Sunday at 9 PM and brought to you by Bryan Baumgartner of Baumgartner Evergreen Tree Farm! You can tune in on Channel 137 on Service Electric HD TV.

ECTV

ECTV Live host David DeCosmo and his co-host Rusty Fender will welcome Donna Grey from the Lackawanna Penn State Extension Service to the program during the week of July 27th. Donna will discuss 4H programs in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. ECTV Live can be seen on Channel 19 (61 in some areas) and airs three times daily throughout the week.


SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Peter Sidari, who discusses the Dr. Jenn Hope Memorial Ride, coming up on August 9th in Pittston.
Brian speaks with Laure Stacik about how certain paper products can impact persons with Celiac Disease.
And Brian speaks with independent Presidential candidate Scott Smith about his revolutionary idea to replace the current federal income tax system with financial settlement taxes.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and Sports Radio 590, WARM, and 6:25am on Magic 93.

BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM

The upcoming Scranton Jazz Festival will be featured Sunday morning. Bob Schlesinger talks with Jim Riley at 6 am on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Game Sports Radio Network 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River



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.



BUDDY RUMCHEK

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.

1965

Our 1965 logo.

The Washington Senators Frank Howard ties record with 7 strikeouts in DH…….The Beatles' "VI" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 6 weeks….36th All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 6-5 at Metropolitan Stadium.

  The  All star MVP was Juan Marichal  of the SF Giants..................


….. Shooting begins on Star Trek 2nd pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before".....NY Yankee pitcher Mel Stottlemyre hits an inside-the-park grand slam…Edward Heath succeeds Alec Douglas-Hume as leader of Brit Cons party……Beatles "Help" is released in UK…..

In Pennsylvania sports, the Phillies Dick Stuart homers in a major league record 23rd different ballpark......




in Pennsylvania politics State Representative Martin Mullen pushed very hard for state aid to parochial schools. A staunch Roman Catholic Mullen makes this his signature issue during the 1965 budget hearings…in local school district candidates are preparing for the very last school board election before the state mandated jointures and fifty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “What's New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2998, July 22nd, 2015

THE “JUDGE’S” JUDGE PASSES AWAY 
 The late Peter Paul Olszewski Senior. (Photo: Citizen's Voice) 
 Olszewski during the 1967 campaign. (LuLac archives via The Osterhout Free Library). 
Peter Paul Olszewski Senior, one of the most respected legal names in Luzerne County and the state passed away on Saturday. He was 90.
I first met Judge Olszewski during the tumultuous 1967 campaign for Luzerne County Judge. During the primary Mr. Olszewski had tough competition against Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery for one of the Democratic nominations. Plus in the General Election, this was going to be the very first time that Judges could run on both tickets. 
My uncle Timmy Pribula let me tag along at events and after meeting the candidate in the spring, I encountered him in the fall as he battled in a four way contest with fellow Democrat Ralph Johnston, then District Attorney Tom Mack and Attorney Robert Hourigan. At that time the Democratic party was slowly rising in the County and Olszewski made the obligatory rounds of every little town event throughout the area. On Election Day Olszewski was the top vote getter for Judge with Hourigan finishing second, Johnston third and Mack fourth. The voters of Luzerne County picked a Democrat and a Republican.
When Olszewski was sworn in that January he hit the ground running serving as one of the most productive Judge’s in the County. At each event with my uncle he called me the Youngster Democrat. Many who met him, even before he had piled up those incredible credentials and honors referred to him as The “Judge’s Judge”. That titled spoke volumes in terms of his appearance, integrity and demeanor.
He will long be remembered as what was always right and just on the Judicial benches he served.
Here’s a link to Judge Olszewski’s obituary. 
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/citizensvoice/obituary.aspx?n=peter-paul-olszewski&pid=175324778

KEVIN HAGGERTY MOVES ON
Former State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives).

Kevin Haggerty who has been involved in Lackawanna County politics for the last half dozen years has announced he is laving the political arena behind. Haggerty, a former State Representative as well as a candidate for the Office Of Judicial Records this spring has entered into anther phase o his career.
Haggery brought a spark of enthusiasm and sometimes reckless passion to his political career. He made it interesting, never backed down from a controversy and made people stop and take notice.
If anything, Kevin Haggerty leaves a legacy of straight talk that others might do well to emulate. He's says he's done with politics but I'm hoping he rejoins the fray one day. Here's his announcement from Face book
As I leave the political arena I decided to not look back and do what I love. I have opened my service learning consulting business which I did for more than five years. During this tenure I also taught college and directed higher education service learning programs with more than a dozen universities and high schools. I have given seminars, lectures and created work shops to teach both students and administration the important steps of separating oneself during the college admission process. I am excited to begin these programs locally and to create strong long lasting relationships between our student population and the greater Northeast , PA workforce. I will only do a maximum of two workshops per academic year.
Contact: Kevin.Haggerty@Villanova.edu

The LuLac Edition #2997, July 22nd, 2015

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY
Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.


(Photo: LuLac archives, Garden 253 N. Main).

THE HISTORY OF THE TOMATO FESTIVAL

Our friend Wil Toole sent me an e mail this week telling me he has been asked many times to write a piece on the history of the Pittston Tomato Festival because as time goes on, the true history and purpose gets lost to those who prepare current articles which will be destined to tell our history.
Toole brings up a good point because the news media is now populated by people who weren’t there to see an event born. Now I give all due respect to the news reporters of today but Toole brings some interesting insights into the history. We’re sharing that this week on “Write On Wednesday”.
Dear Editor,
As one of the few remaining original organizers of the Pittston Tomato Festival and Farmer's Market, I have often been asked how the whole thing actually began and where the idea came from. I tried to recall the events as best I could and put the details from the very beginning right up to present day. I hope that you will publish this history in its entirety to preserve what has become an important that has survived over 30 years. I'm not sure if this would be a letter to the editor or a news article.
How the Pittston Tomato Festival Started
Tuesday night at the Gramercy Restaurant in Pittston was what we called Bowling Night. I won't go into who the "bowlers" were but most were well known Pittston Area guys. Conversation was always lively and the image of Pittston was often the topic.
Having lived in South Pittston all my life, I had many Italian Americans as friends and there was not a bad guy among them. We didn't understand nationalities and it never mattered to us where our families migrated from. The character of the person is the only thing that mattered.
I've been asked how the idea of a Tomato Festival originated so I will tell the story of how and why the Festival began. During those days, Pittston was known as the Voter Fraud Capital of the World, it was also known as the birthplace of the Mafia in America. That was my childhood background and the reputation of Pittston at that time and that was the basis of the Tomato Festival, to change the image of our city.
After much discussion of our city's image, I thought it was time for a real change and so I, along with the late Paul McGarry, P.J. Melvin, Ken Scaz and Anne Bradbury began to meet. Our thought was to create an event to facilitate the needed change. At first, it was our thought to renew the former Miss Wyoming Valley pageant which was a stepping stone to Miss PA and eventually Miss America. The logical person to go to for advice on that was the late Joe Ristagno of the famous Ristagno's Bakery. Joe was always very involved in the Arts and in particular, the Wyoming Valley Beauty Pageant. We invited Joe to a meeting and explained our goal and the first thing he said was the pageant is a one day affair and we needed a weekend event. We talked about various events around the country including a Garlic Festival and even a Cow Chip Festival. We needed a "thing" that would be catchy and never used before. Ken Scaz mentioned that his neighbor Val Delia was a tomato enthusiast, thus the Pittston Tomato Festival.
At first, the name sounded ridiculous and impossible to make into a big event, especially one that would last a weekend. But that's what we settled on and we invited Val Delia to meet with us and to say he was thrilled would be a gross understatement, he loved the idea. It was agreed that he and Ken Scaz would go to Mayor Tom Walsh to seek the city's blessings and Tom being his usual self said he never stood in the way of a party. He allowed Paul McGarry, then City Administrator and me (I was the Mayor's deputy) to spend a few working hours devoted to organizing the soon to be great and long lasting Pittston Tomato Festival.
Val Delia explained the 1920's term "Pittston Tomato" as the term the NY and NJ wholesalers used to describe the tomatoes grown in this area simply because they were shipped out of Pittston, the term "Pittston Tomato" was born. Make no mistake, these dealers wanted the Pittston Tomato as it was known for its taste. Val explained that the name referred to all tomatoes grown between Tunkhannock and Berwick and it got its' great taste from the acidity in our soil due to the presence of coal.
We promoted the Pittston Tomato as the greatest tasting tomato in the world and Pittston as the Tomato Capital of the world. I recall an incident when an out of town newspaper reporter called city hall and spoke with Paul McGarry and asked him how he knew that the Pittston Tomato had the greatest tomato taste in the world and Paul with is quick wit said simply he knew it because Mayor Walsh said it and everyone knows Mayor Walsh would never lie. So there it was, proof positive that the Pittston Tomato was the greatest tomato in the world and Pittston City was the world's tomato capital.
The success of the Tomato Festival was due to hard working and dedicated citizens and the cooperation of the late Pidge Watson and the Sunday Dispatch along with the other Wyoming Valley media. We even had help with the production of free TV commercials and almost constant media coverage during the festival. The small group quickly grew with dedicated members such as Emil and Honey Posluszny, Jimmy and Judy Deice, Stanley, Judy and daughter Angel Strelish, Sam Micelli, Bill Hopple. Bob Conway, Jay Goham, Gary Bradbury, Sam Valenti. the Farugia brothers, Sal and Steve and so many others contributed. I apologize if I’ve forgotten someone. The generosity of Atty. Michael Cefalo, the Insalaco brothers, Walter Kuharchik Electric who all donated to the purchase of the band shell and the late George Menn of Pittston Electric who believed in our effort and gave us all of the electrical equipment on credit, the Pittston Tomato Festival was off and running.
The spin off benefit of the event which became a driving point for us was the opportunity for small non-profit and volunteer organizations to have the entire functioning facility available to them for the cost of only $150.00. We provided a space 10 feet wide by 20 feet deep, lighting, electricity, tent coverage, entertainment, rest room facilities, security and garbage removal. Space was given on a first come basis with non-profit and volunteer groups getting preference, followed by local individuals working as a neighborhood group and finally professional vendors. During the management of the original festival organizers, non-profit and volunteer groups made up over 65% of the stands with the remaining being filled with neighborhood friends and professional vendors. The Finance Committee determined each year what the minimum amount of "rent" was needed to cover the expenses of the festival. It was never the goal for the festival to make money, just to cover expenses.
At the same time the first Festival was being planned, Ken Scaz and I drove to every farmer's market we could find in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties begging farmers to come to the newly formed Pittston Farmer's Market. As the chairman of the farmer's market, I was about to pull the plug on the idea because farmers said they just didn't have time for another market, they needed time to work the fields. With just days to go before the planned opening date, Plains farmer Harold Golomb and a few others decided to give it a try and the farmer's market was a huge success (Golomb Farms continue to this day to sell produce in Pittston). Every Tuesday we had fresh locally grown produce, entertainment, great news coverage and the cooperation of the late great Manny Gorden and help from the state's Dept. of Agriculture. The parking lot on Kennedy Blvd., now the home of the Burger King, became a very busy spot on Tuesdays and was the original location of the Pittston Tomato Festival.
Now, 32 years later, the Pittston Tomato Festival and the Pittston Farmer's Market survive and flourish and with the new addition of the Pittston City St Patrick's Parade, Pittston will soon become known as the Citizen Volunteer Capital of the World.
Wil Toole
Original Organizer and Former General Chairman
EDITOR’S NOTE: Toole tells me the article also appeared recently in The Sunday Dispatch this past week. Here’s the Dispatch link:  http://pittstonprogress.com/news/how-the-farmers-market-and-tomato-festival-took-root-1.1910152