Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2783, November 25th, 2014


Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.

MAYBE I'M AMAZED...about all this talk about the Youth vote. It should come as no surprise that the young people who voted for Mr. Obama the times he ran did not follow through during the off year elections. Unfortunately the follow through in local and off year elections is more or less an aberration than the norm. Most Americans seem to feel that if you vote in a Presidential election, you've done your due diligence as a voter. The difference between the Dems and the GOP is that Republicans get stoked for the mid terms. Not many Democrats do.
Pennsylvania proved to be the exception this year though because of the fervent support for Tom Wolf.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED..that the Republican majority wants to still repeal Obama care.With ACA enrollments up, premiums down, you have to wonder what the reaction will be if the thing does get overturned. This GOP already has the reputation of screwing over the middle class. Can you imagine if they pull the rug out from under newly insured people? It will bring back Herbert Hoover, the Depression era President as a more viable alternative.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED..that the candidates seem to be lining up for the office of Wilkes Barre Mayor. This might be the most crowded field since 1975 when among others Walter Lisman, Anthony Mussari and Councilman Joe Williams ran.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED...that Walmart is actually having a holiday food drive for their employees who are in need. Really? How about paying them more! I think anyone who shops in Walmart should have their heads examined.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED...at how the President boxed in the GOP with the immigration issue. Not many Republicans want to lose a huge voting group that is very particular in its support. I'm sure it is duly noted that this voting bloc stayed at home during this year's election cycle. If the President had done this earlier, (let's face it, he was going to lose in those red states anyway despite how much drama was ginned up by the cable talking heads) he might have saved a
few Dems elsewhere. The Hispanic voting group, especially the younger demographic is mobile in its commitment. They proved it this time by sitting on their hands because they believed the President delayed his promise.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED...that after the Astronauts born in the 30s leave this earth, there will be no one alive anymore who walked on the moon. The only living Astronaut from the Mercury program is John Glenn.

MAYBE I'M AMAZED..that people are complaining about the recent drug sting in Wilkes Barre/Hanover Township last week. Look, a criminal is not going to go a "meet" in an isolated location. The police did what they had to do. Quit whining and let the police put the scumbags off the street. At least that's what I pay my taxes for.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that innocent business owners had their very livelihoods destroyed after the Grand Jury pronouncement in Ferguson yesterday. What did the car dealer who had a row of cars do to deserve that? What did a business in the town including that Cigar Shop, already victimized do to deserve that? On the other side of the coin, I fully understand the rage and concerns of blacks who feel they are being profiled. Bottom line is Michael Brown was committing crimes BUT maybe there is a better way to slow down an unarmed person instead of deadly force. (But then again how do you really know if one is unarmed or not?) To eliminate confusion, the police should have cameras and then the truth should will out. But the after violence of people in Ferguson did nothing to ease any tensions regarding race in this country. By the way Ferguson is a town of only 21,000 people with shrinking tax base. And high taxes. Sound familiar?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that a full moon is actually nine times brighter than a half moon.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2782, November 24th, 2014


The late Vince Kabacinski. (Photo: Citizen’s Voice)
Vince Kabacinski, who operated VISION rotating homeless shelter for men in Luzerne County for three decades, died Sunday at around 5:30PM . He was 65 and according to his friend local broadcaster Rob Neyhard, he had just retired one month age.
Kabacinski was one of those local people who were legendary in their commitment to their job. As a matter of fact t was a vocation. Vince would always be interviewed on the coldest night of every winter trying to round up homeless people so they did not die.
I met Vince when I was a staff member of The United Way and he always made the case for his agency not in financial terms but in terms f humanity. He used local media in getting his message across and getting things done. Kabacinski was a modest man and appeared in the media when it was necessary. He died way too young. Unlike others in the Human Service Community, there are no buildings or awards named after him. And I’m sure that was okay with Vince. The true reward of his life was the number of faceless people (who no one bothered with and passed on by)  who benefited from his compassion and humanity. There is a hole in the heart of Wyoming Valley.


A campaign card from then candidate Muzyka. (LuLac archives)
Richard Muzyka was a political fireball in the 1970s. He ran a few times against political legend Dan. Flood. A Hazleton native, he moved to New Jersey where he passed away at the age of 67.
Muzyka was very active in the 1976 Ford/Dole effort and represented himself and his party well;.


Former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry. (Photo: Fox News)
That punk who killed one State Trooper and attacked another in September was no survivalist. Now Marion Berry, that was a political survivalist!
Barry was first elected mayor in 1978 after building a political career as an official of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and a local activist in Washington. Re-elected in 1982 and 1986, he was dubbed "Mayor For Life
But then he was caught smoking crack with “a friend” and spent 6 months in jail. In 1992, he made it back to city government, winning a council seat representing the poorest of the city's eight wards. That victory helped propel him to a fourth, and final, term as mayor in 1994.
"Marion Barry changed America with his unmitigated gall to stand up in the ashes of where he had fallen and come back to win," poet Maya Angelou said in 1999.
Indeed. Quite a survivor.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2781, November 22nd, 2014

Attorney Joseph V. Kasper. (Photo: The Times Leader).

Attorney Joseph V. Kasper died the other day. He had a very prestigious legal career and from all reports was a friend of Wilkes Barre City all of his life.
Kasper was involved in politics in the 1960s and 70s and was involved in one of the closest primary fight in Luzerne County political history. In 1967 Kasper won the Republican endorsement to succeed Thomas Mack as District Attorney. Mack set his sights on one of the two Judgeships that opened up back then. Kasper and Attorney Blythe Evans from Plymouth were involved in an intra party fight that lasted well past the primary election. On Election night there were less than 40 votes separating the two men. When it was all said and done and the absentees were counted, Kasper lost to Evans by 22 votes! Evans went on to beat Stephen Teller in the DA’s race of 1967 despite an almost virtual sweep by the Democratic party under the leadership of the late Doctor John Dorris.
Kasper was involved in President Nixon’s re-election campaign and was Wilkes Barre City Chairman under the Council form of Government when North End Funeral Director John Morris took the reigns as Wilkes Barre Mayor. That is the last time a Republican even came near the Mayor’s office. Kasper’s wake was held at the Morris Funeral Home this past week. There aren’t many old timers left from that great city wide political battle. I remember it as a youth reading accounts of the vote counting in the old Sunday Independent. But Attorney Kasper’s passing reminds us that politics can sometimes boil down to a handful of votes.
When I moved to the Northend our next store neighbor was Attorney Kasper’s brother Carl. Two doors down from me was former city councilman Joe Williams. One day I asked Mr. Williams about his run for Mayor in 1975 and he replied, “After that, I just continued to look ahead, not back”. I’m sure if I asked Attorney Kasper about his 22 vote difference, his reply would be the same. 
One of the most important components for me in writing LuLac is to always try to give a little background on the people who served in party politics in the past. Our condolences to Attorney Kasper’s friends and family.

Today is the 51st anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. This past week the talk shows across America and Canada were alive with all kinds of crazy stuff about that day. It ranged from an old girlfriend of Lee Harvey Oswald who claimed the two were going to get married after “this thing” was all over to the fact that someone dug through Oswald;s grave from the bottom up, removed his head and replaced it with another.
In the meantime the Eternal Flame still lights the grave of the late President. And the beat goes on.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2780, November 20th, 2014

New Luzerne County President Judge Dick Hughes. (Photo: Times Leader).
Richard Hughes has been elected President Judge of the Luzerne County Court En Banc. Hughes was elected in 2011 and is a good consensus choice. He’s fair, personable and succeeds Thomas Burke who navigated the Luzerne County Judiciary through stormy seas after the Ciavella/Conahan debacle.

President Obama is taking Executive Action tonight on The Immigration situation in the United States. A bill was crafted in the Senate, a bi partisan bill by the way that was scuttled by the House. Here’s what the action would do:
FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action
The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules. Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.
These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
These are common sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.
Three critical elements of the President’s executive actions are:
• Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border: The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be caught and sent back. Continuing the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer, the President’s actions will also centralize border security command-and-control to continue to crack down on illegal immigration.
• Deporting Felons, Not Families: The President’s actions focus on the deportation of people who threaten national security and public safety. He has directed immigration enforcement to place anyone suspected of terrorism, violent criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers at the top of the deportation priority list.
• Accountability – Criminal Background Checks and Taxes: The President is also acting to hold accountable those undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than five years and are parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. By registering and passing criminal and national security background checks, millions of undocumented immigrants will start paying their fair share of taxes and temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation for three years at a time.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and will promote naturalization for those who qualify.
For more than a half century, every president—Democratic or Republican—has used his legal authority to act on immigration. President Obama is now taking another commonsense step. As the Administration implements these executive actions, Congress should finish the job by passing a bill like the bipartisan Senate bill that: continues to strengthen border security by adding 20,000 more Border Patrol agents; cracks down on companies who hire undocumented workers; creates an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay a fine and taxes, pass a background check, learn English and go to the back of the line; and boosts our economy and keeps families together by cutting red tape to simplify our legal immigration process.
Under the Obama Administration, the resources that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dedicates to security at the Southwest border are at an all-time high. Today, there are 3,000 additional Border Patrol agents along the Southwest Border and our border fencing, unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, and ground surveillance systems have more than doubled since 2008. Taken as a whole, the additional boots on the ground, technology, and resources provided in the last six years represent the most serious and sustained effort to secure our border in our Nation’s history, cutting illegal border crossings by more than half.
And this effort is producing results. From 1990 to 2007, the population of undocumented individuals in the United States grew from 3.5 million to 11 million people. Since then, the size of the undocumented population has stopped growing for the first time in decades. Border apprehensions—a key indicator of border security— are at their lowest level since the 1970s. This past summer, the President and the entire Administration responded to the influx of unaccompanied children with an aggressive, coordinated Federal response focused on heightened deterrence, enhanced enforcement, stronger foreign cooperation, and greater capacity for Federal agencies to ensure that our border remains secure. As a result, the number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the Southwest border has declined precipitously, and the Administration continues to focus its resources to prevent a similar situation from developing in the future.
To build on these efforts and to ensure that our limited enforcement resources are used effectively, the President has announced the following actions:
• Shifting resources to the border and recent border crossers. Over the summer, DHS sent hundreds of Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel to the Southwest border, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reordered dockets in immigration courts to prioritize removal cases of recent border crossers. This continued focus will help keep our borders safe and secure. In addition, Secretary Johnson is announcing a new Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan which will strengthen the efforts of the agencies who work to keep our border secure. And by establishing clearer priorities for interior enforcement, DHS is increasing the likelihood that people attempting to cross the border illegally will be apprehended and sent back.
• Streamlining the immigration court process. DOJ
• Protecting victims of crime and human trafficking as well as workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) is expanding and strengthening immigration options for victims of crimes (U visas) and trafficking (T visas) who cooperate in government investigations. An interagency working group will also explore ways to ensure that workers can avail themselves of their labor and employment rights without fear of retaliation.
By setting priorities and focusing its enforcement resources, the Obama Administration has already increased the removal of criminals by more than 80%. These actions build on that strong record by:
• Focusing on the removal of national security, border security, and public safety threats. To better focus on the priorities that matter, Secretary Johnson is issuing a new DHS-wide memorandum that makes clear that the government’s enforcement activity should be focused on national security threats, serious criminals, and recent border crossers. DHS will direct all of its enforcement resources at pursuing these highest priorities for removal.
• Implementing a new Priority Enforcement Program. Effectively identifying and removing criminals in state and local jails is a critical goal but it must be done in a way that sustains the community’s trust. To address concerns from Governors, Mayors, law enforcement and community leaders which have undermined cooperation with DHS, Secretary Johnson is replacing the existing Secure Communities program with a new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) to remove those convicted of criminal offenses. DHS will continue to rely on biometric data to verify individuals who are enforcement priorities, and they will also work with DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons to identify and remove federal criminals serving time as soon as possible.
Every Democratic and Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration. Consistent with this long history, DHS will expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include more immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DHS will also create a new deferred action program for people who are parents of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and have lived in the United States for five years or longer if they register, pass a background check and pay taxes.
The President is taking the following actions to hold accountable certain undocumented immigrants:
• Creating a mechanism that requires certain undocumented immigrants to pass a background check to make sure that they start paying their fair share in taxes. In order to promote public safety, DHS is establishing a new deferred action program for parents of U.S. Citizens or LPRs who are not enforcement priorities and have been in the country for more than 5 years. Individuals will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement. By providing individuals with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and work legally, we will also help crack down on companies who hired undocumented workers, which undermines the wages of all workers, and ensure that individuals are playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes.
• Expanding DACA to cover additional DREAMers. Under the initial DACA program, young people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, came as children, and met specific education and public safety criteria were eligible for temporary relief from deportation so long as they were born after 1981 and entered the country before June 15, 2007. DHS is expanding DACA so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today. Going forward, DACA relief will also be granted for three years.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization by:
• Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting LPR status and their spouses. Under the current system, employees with approved LPR applications often wait many years for their visa to become available. DHS will make regulatory changes to allow these workers to move or change jobs more easily. DHS is finalizing new rules to give certain H-1B spouses employment authorization as long as the H-1B spouse has an approved LPR application.
• Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. DHS will expand immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the U.S., to ensure that our system encourages them to grow our economy. The criteria will include income thresholds so that these individuals are not eligible for certain public benefits like welfare or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
• Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S universities. In order to strengthen educational experiences of foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities, DHS will propose changes to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation.
• Streamlining the process for foreign workers and their employers, while protecting American workers. DHS will clarify its guidance on temporary L-1 visas for foreign workers who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its U.S. office. DOL will take regulatory action to modernize the labor market test that is required of employers that sponsor foreign workers for immigrant visas while ensuring that American workers are protected.
• Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. Due to barriers in our system, U.S. citizens and LPRs are often separated for years from their immediate relatives, while they wait to obtain their LPR status. To reduce the time these individuals are separated, DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.
• Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).
• Issuing a Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization. There are many ways in which our legal immigration system can be modernized to reduce government costs, eliminate redundant systems, reduce burdens on employers and families, and eliminate fraud. The President is issuing a Memorandum directing an interagency group to recommend areas for improvement.
• Creating a White House Task Force on New Americans. The President is creating a White House Task Force on New Americans to create a federal strategy on immigrant integration.
• Promoting Citizenship Public Awareness: DHS will launch a comprehensive citizenship awareness media campaign in the 10 states that are home to 75 percent of the overall LPR population. USCIS will also expand options for paying naturalization fees and explore additional measures to expand accessibility, including studying potential partial fee waiver for qualified individuals.
• Ensuring U.S. Citizens Can Serve: To further our military’s needs and support recruitment efforts, DHS will expand an existing policy to provide relief to spouses and children of U.S. citizens seeking to enlist in the military, consistent with a request made by the Department of Defense. (Source: The White House).
President Obama is not the first Chief Executive to take Executive Action on Immigration. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush took action to remedy flaws in the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. You’ll be hearing the big cry of foul by the GOP but the fact is if they fight this in an unreasonable and ignorant manner, they will look like thugs. This is a good thing for the country. It will keep families together, improve productivity and make this country stronger. Those who fear it are wrong.
The Immigration scare is all about skin color. Plain and simple. The GOP controlled House is set up by districts that are primarily white. There will be push back and debate.
This action is years too late. GOP leaders are crowing that this could have been done when the President had both houses. Very true. But better late than never.
One more prediction: Tonight the President will announce a number of about 4 million people regarding this action. By the time Limbaugh hits the airwaves on Monday, that number will be 60 million complete with right wing caterwauling.
Some say this President is acting outside of the Legislative body. About time. This President has bowed and scraped to accommodate the GOP House. He kissed John Boehner's ass numerous times only to have Boehner break his word. This Executive Action puts the bullies and the party of no firmly in their place.


Let’s hope the GOP Legislature in Harrisburg stays put and doesn’t do anything anything to thwart the new administration of Tom Wolf. The rumors are, and let’s hope they are just that,  is that the present outgoing State Legislature will go into special session before Wolf takes office and pass Governor Corbett’s agenda. This is crazed because why would they do this now when their leader is on the way out?? If they really believed in this, why didn’t they do it before the election?

Governor Elect Tom Wolf. (Photo: Tom Wolf campaign)
Governor-elect Tom Wolf named the Steering Committee for his transition team. The steering committee will work with already named leadership on efforts to review state agencies, commissions, departments, and functions.
"As we begin to understand the complexity of the fiscal crisis my administration will face, it is important that my Transition Team move forward," said Governor-elect Tom Wolf. "Today's announcement, which rounds out my steering committee, continues that momentum, and I look forward to working with these individuals to address the steep fiscal and economic challenges ahead."
Neal Bisno
Neal Bisno is President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers. He has helped thousands of healthcare workers improve their lives and has been a strong advocate for access to quality, affordable care for all Pennsylvanians. Neal is an International Vice President of SEIU and a Vice President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. He is a Trustee of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania’s Training and Education and Health and Welfare Funds and of the Pennsylvania Employee Benefits Trust Fund; a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council; co-chaired the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers; and served on Governor Rendell’s 2010 Healthcare Reform Implementation Advisory Commission. Neal lives in Pittsburgh with his partner Lisa Frank and their son, Sam.
David Barasch
David Barasch has over 30 years of public service experience, including time as U.S. Attorney in Harrisburg. Barasch was Pennsylvania's Consumer Advocate in the 1980s and was also the lead counsel in cases involving the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. From 1990 to 1993, Barasch served as Special Assistant to Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. Following his time with Governor Casey, Barasch served as U.S. Attorney until 2001, where he led federal prosecutions and multimillion dollar settlements. Barasch also served as Executive Deputy Secretary under then-Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf. In addition, Barasch has spent time practicing law in the private sector.
Aradhna Oliphant
Aradhna Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Prior to joining Leadership Pittsburgh in December 2004, Aradhna served as the Program Officer of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation. Aradhna was the Executive Director of The Children’s Festival Chorus (CFC) of Pittsburgh from 2000-2003. Before moving to Pittsburgh in 1999, Aradhna led an arts organization in Princeton, New Jersey, and taught as an adjunct professor of management and psychology at both Rider University and the College of New Jersey.
Mark Nordenberg
Mark Nordenberg joined the faculty of the University Pittsburgh’s School of Law in 1977, eventually serving as Dean and Interim Provost of the university. In 1995, he was elected Interim Chancellor by the university's board of trustees, and in 1996, he was elected Chancellor. Nordenberg served as Chancellor for 19 years. During his tenure, the university experienced tremendous growth with both annual applications and overall enrollments increased.
Phyllis Mundy
Phyllis Mundy is currently serving her 12th term as state Representative for the 120th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Mundy serves as Democratic Chair of the House Finance Committee and co-chairs the House and Senate Early Childhood Education Caucus. She has been honored with numerous awards for her achievements, including the 2014 VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award and the 2013 Children's Champion Award from the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. Mundy is a graduate of Kingston High School and Bloomsburg State College.
Robert Brooks
Since 2010, Robert Brooks has served as the Mayor of Murrysville in Westmoreland County, and he currently holds a position on the Board of Trustees at Franklin & Marshall College. Brooks also sits on the NASDAQ Nominating Committee and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Planning Commission. From 1999 to 2004, Brooks was the Executive Vice President of Wabtec, where he had an extensive career. Brooks has thorough knowledge of the rail and financial industries.
Dr. Julie E. Wollman
Dr. Julie E. Wollman became the 17th President of Edinboro University in June 2012, and has an extensive background in teaching, research, and administration. Wollman was the first woman to be named President of Edinboro University. She came to Edinboro from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to that position, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University and Dean of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College. Wollman is also active in her community, where she serves on the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Board of Directors, the Hamot Health Foundation Board of Corporators, the United Way Erie Board of Directors, as well as chairs the United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Cabinet.
Shanin Specter
Shanin Specter is a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Kline and Specter, P.C. Specter received a B.A. with honors in Political Science from Haverford College in 1980, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and an LL.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University in 1984. Mr. Specter has been named one of the nation’s best lawyers in addition to being ranked among the Top 10 lawyers in Pennsylvania by various independent attorney rating services. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, described by The Washington Post as “a select group of 100 of the nation’s most celebrated trial lawyers."
Carl G. Cooper
Carl G. Cooper is widely recognized as one of the nation’s first management-level Chief Diversity Officers at a major law firm from his time at K&L Gates law firm. After leaving K&L Gates, Cooper launched a Pittsburgh-based diversity consulting firm in 2007. As a diversity consultant, Cooper works with law firms to design and implement an agenda that promotes, achieves, and maintains a diverse workplace. Cooper received his B.S. degree with a major in Business Administration from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and completed his law degree at the Howard University School of Law.
Nilda Iris Ruiz
Nilda Iris Ruiz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM). From October 1999 to March 2005, Ms. Ruiz was the Senior Community Development Director for the East Coast at National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national constituency-based Hispanic organization. Ruiz also has been honored with a number of distinguished awards, including the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2009 Women of Distinction Award; Girls Inc. 2008 Strong, Smart and Bold Award; El Sol Latino Newspaper’s 2008 Crystal Award; and the 2008 Hispanic Choice Award for Favorite Community Advocate. Ruiz has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a Masters in Business Administration from Eastern College.
Joseph Meade
Joseph Meade is the Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Prior to his current role, Meade served as the museum’s Director of Government Relations. Before joining the museum, Meade served as the Director of Government and Public Relations for the School District of Philadelphia; worked for two years as legislative director for the Honorable Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondel Reynolds Brown; and served as Chairman of The Five Guys Political Action Committee. Meade is a graduate of La Salle College High School, West Chester University, and received his Master of Public Policy and Administration from Widener University.


17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent letters to Randy Huffman, the Cabinet Secretary for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, andCraig Butler, the Director of Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency. The letters are a significant step in a comprehensive investigation Cartwright is leading in his role as Ranking Member of the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The letters requests information about the respective state’s regulatory process for monitoring the handling and disposal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) waste.
Cartwright writes, “As you know, fracking wastes are categorized as "special wastes" and are exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As a result, fracking wastes are regulated as non-hazardous wastes by state governments under the less stringent RCRA Subtitle D solid waste regulations. I am writing to inquire about your state’s reporting requirements for fracking operators, fracking waste transporters and disposal site operators.”
The letters go on to ask several detailed questions about the waste disposal practices and oversight capabilities in both Ohio and West Virginia. Just last month Cartwright sent a similar letter to Pennsylvania’s acting Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) Secretary Dana Aunkst.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s oversight of the process has come under scrutiny after the release of PA Auditor General Eugene Depasquale’s audit of the PA-DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from fracking.
The audit concluded that Pennsylvania’s current system for oversight of fracking waste “is not an effective monitoring tool” and “it is not proactive in discouraging improper, even illegal, disposal of waste.” Source: Congressman Cartwright's office).



ECTV Live host David DeCosmo welcomes Rusty Fender back to the Co-host seat during the week of November 24th as they discuss plans for an exciting Concert to benefit the Toys For Tots campaign. Steven Perillo, President of Making a Difference Ministries is the guest for the week's programs which air daily on Comcast Channel 19 (and 61 in some areas).


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Sharon Roginski from the Lackawanna County Office of Children & Youth Services about the agency's "Adopt An Angel" program.
Brian speaks with home improvement expert Danny Lipford about how to prepare your home for the coming winter storms.
Brian interviews food expert Maureen Petrosky on how to make quick and healthy meals as the holiday season approaches.
And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Mary Dundon about Flu Season.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:25am on Magic 93.


Sunday morning November 23rd on Community Forum Mike Remish welcomes Maureen McGuigan and Fran Pantuso from the Lackawanna County Department of Arts and Culture. You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 am on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 am on The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 am on 105 The River


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!”   


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.


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 1974 logo.


UN General Assembly recognizes Palestine right to sovereignty…… 60 Ethiopia government officials executed……..2 truck hijackers freed (3/3/1974)…….62nd CFL Grey Cup: Montreal Alouettes defeats Edmonton Eskimos, 20-7….38th US President Gerald Ford & Leonid Brezhnev signs SALT-2-treaty...Jane Blalock wins LPGA Lady Errol Golf Classic- Irish Republican Army is outlawed in Britain following deaths of 21- Rangers' Mike Hargrove wins AL Rookie of Year….Approximately 140 die when suspension bridge collapses (Nepal)……Catfish Hunter & Charlie Finley meet in arbitration……..Senator Hugh Scott says that the signing of SALT 2 Treaty reinforces the fact that U.S. Foreign policy is still intact even after the tumultuous year of 1974…..and in Luzerne County County Controller Steve Yanoshak says he will run for County Commissioner on the GOP side. Already there is speculation that a rival GOP team consisting of Hazleton’s Bob Warren and Labor Leader Bob Leonardi will compete with him…and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Bobby Vinton’s “My Melody of Love”.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2779, November 19th, 2014


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo

 Former Pittston Area head football coach Bob Barbieri. (Photo: Citizen's Voice).
I though this would be a great submission as we approach thanksgiving. the highlight of my youth was the Pittston area/Wyoming area Thanksgiving day game.Pittston Area just gave Coach Barbieri a well-deserved and long overdue honor.
Dr. Joe Leonardi wrote this from what I think is a different perspective, not as a star players, but as someone who actually never really played very much, but even sill, Coach Barbieri had a lasting influence on his life.

Bob Barbieri --- Much More Than A Coach

by Joe Leonardi

I wasn't an athletic youth, but I always participated in sports related activities. As kids we didn't have video games, Facebook, computers or five hundred cable channels of nothing to occupy our time, so, we played outside; in the parks, in the streets or in vacant, or not so vacant, lots --- anywhere we could find a spot, we played sports. Football, baseball and basketball where the big three. But we also made up games that involved physical activity, we even had our own neighborhood Olympic Games. Being overweight, I wasn't the best, and I was often picked last, but still --- I participated.
Over the summer, between eighth and ninth grade, I decided I was going to go out for football. No matter how ridiculous it sounds in retrospect, I was going to play for the Pittston Area Patriots, Penn State Nittany Lions and finally, I would play in the National Football League.
Summer program was the first step along my path. My mom dropped me off at the front entrance to the high school and instead of turning right and going into the gym, I walked straight. Beyond a second set of glass doors my gaze was fixated on the trophy case. Little statuettes of championship seasons stared back at me, but it was the center item that had my full attention --- the number 44 jersey worn by Jimmy Cefalo.
I daydreamed about playing on the gridiron wearing the Pittston Area red, white and blue. I was lost in my imagination, completely oblivious to anything, or anyone. Suddenly, my day slumber was broken by a large hand that had fallen over my shoulder, it was that of legendary head football coach Bob Barbieri. A booming voice stated, "You are going to be part of this son."
I just nodded my head. It was as if the hand of God himself had touched me. He continued, "Cefalo was the best, a natural talent, but do you know what made him great?"
I couldn't speak. I simply stared at the jersey and then the coach. "In his time here he set track as well as football records, but no matter what he did, he didn't rely solely on his natural abilities." He paused for a moment and continued, "He worked and practiced harder than anyone else." Still awestruck I said nothing --- how could I? What do you say when a living legend is talking to you, and only you. So, I simply allowed Coach Barbieri to lead me down to the gym.
Even in my first year, Coach Barbieri pushed me as hard as he pushed anyone, I still remember as a sophomore, when I made a good tackle, he said to me, “Leonardi, now you’re impressing me.” I only was on the team for two seasons and I wasn’t very good. I never started, heck I barely played, but spurred on by Coach Barbieri, I worked hard, and enjoyed the game.
Most importantly, I took from those two years valuable lessons about hard work, maximizing potential, that winners are more than born and that even the best still had to practice.
If you live, or lived, in Northeast Pennsylvania, and are around my age, then you are acquainted with the names Jimmy Cefalo and Bob Barbieri. I never knew Jimmy Cefalo beyond a handful of meetings, but in addition to being Coach, Bob Barbieri was one of my high school teachers. His lessons extended far beyond the football field and beyond the classroom --- they extended well into life. They are lessons I used getting through boot camp, college, business and in my continued battle with obesity. In every journey I take, and when overcoming every obstacle that presents itself, the words of Coach Barbieri continue to echo within my head.
Author, Chiropractor, & Physical Culturist
Doc Joe Leonardi

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2778, November 18th, 2014


The late John Wansacz (Photo Times Tribune).
Former State Representative John Wansacz died Sunday. The elder Wansacz, the father of current Lackawanna County Commissioner Jim Wansacz served for 12 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Wansacz a self made businessman won in the 1964 landslide election in Lackawanna County where only Joe McDade eked out a win. He served in that capacity until 1972 when Republican Jon Vipond succeeded him ..............but only briefly. Wansacz claimed that seat back forty years ago in the 1974 General Election and served two more terms until being succeeded by Republican Frank Serafini. Wansacz was an avid proponent of getting out the vote and also was a 50 year veteran of voting in elections. 
As a State Representative Wansacz was known for his constituent service and encouraging younger people to enter politics. He also was one of the supporters of the Shapp administrations plan for start a State Lottery and have the proceeds go to Senior Citizen programs. Wansacz just turned 78 in October.

So a few Palestinians killed five people today in an attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Five people died, four of them were rabbis. The attack came during morning prayers in the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof and was carried out by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun. Blood-smeared prayer books and shawls were left on the floor of the synagogue as proof of the violence.
The World Post Reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, But he also called for an end to Israeli "provocations" surrounding Jerusalem's shrines that are sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
Yeah those praying rabbis were certainly provoking people this morning weren’t they? Israel said it would retaliate. Let’s hope it is ten fold. It’s the only thing that gets through to the other side.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2777, November 17th, 2014


So for the past 12 months we’ve been hearing from the Republicans, local, state and national about how Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act was going to have businesses dropping workers from their plans and how workers will have to pay gigantic premiums. Oh my God the sky is falling. The GOP, one of them newly elected State Senator Mario Scavelo from the 40th Senatorial District even claimed in a TV ad that 2 million jobs were already lost by Obama care. Really? Then why has there been job growth over the last five years?
Thursday afternoon the company I work for sent out an e mail regarding our health care benefits. When I asked our CEO in June what our plan was going to be in 2015 she told me that they were still crunching the numbers. Here’s how those numbers shook out:
1. We have a passive enrollment this year. What that means is this: if you like your health care from last year YOU CAN KEEP IT!!! Do nothing. I remember Don Pachnce beating me up on WLTV TV 35’s 2013 Election Night coverage over that one. Hey Don, I like it, I’m keeping it.
2. The cost is the same. The same money comes out my check for my Medical, and for Dental and Vision for me and Mrs. LuLac. SO THE PRICE DID NOT GO UP!!! It’s…..wait for it…..THE SAME.
3. The deductibles are…….here it comes……THE SAME!!!!!!
Enrollment is up, there are very few website glitches and people re happy with it.
I watched something on Meet The Press on Sunday. A gentleman who was unemployed and went without it because it was $1700.00 a month for he and wife said that if the Congress wants to repeal The Affordable Care Act, let them go without THEIR health care and see what it’s like.
Good idea. But they won’t. Bullies, especially redundant one trick ponies rarely have any real smarts or guts.
The lies will continue..but that’s all they are. Lies.

17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)
Last week U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), and Alcee Hastings (FL-20) introduced the bipartisan Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2014. The legislation would direct theDepartment of Veterans Affairs (VA) to work with other federal agencies and states to address a myriad of scams that target low-income, older veterans. U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Marco Rubio (FL) first introduced the legislation in the Senate.
“I believe that we owe a great debt to those brave men and women who served our country through military service,”said Cartwright. “I am proud to work with Congressmen Farenthold and Hastings, and Senators Rubio and Warren to address any form of fraud targeted towards our nation’s older veterans and their hard-earned benefits. These scams are completely unacceptable and appalling. Our legislation would require greater protections for our nation’s heroes.”
“It is unfortunate that there are people who want to take advantage of those who have fought for our freedom,” said Farenthold. “That’s why I am proud to introduce, along with Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Alcee Hastings, legislation to help prevent scam artists from targeting and taking advantage of our veterans, especially those older and low-income veterans. I remain committed to helping our veterans receive the benefits and care they’ve earned.”
“I find it abhorrent that we even need to consider this legislation. The idea that there are people in this country who seek to defraud those who have sacrificed so much is sickening,”said Hastings. “Along with Congressmen Cartwright and Farenthold, I am dedicated to protecting veterans and their families from these scams and ensuring they receive all the benefits and care that they have earned.”
The VA offers Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits to veterans who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person to complete basic daily activities. Scam artists have exploited the A&A program by charging veterans for obtaining the benefit even though the application process is free. Additionally, these predators often take control of the veteran's assets and move them into an irrevocable trust or an annuity, creating significant financial strain for the veteran. This movement of assets may also disqualify the veteran from other assistance, like Medicaid.
The bill would require the VA to work with other federal agencies and state experts to develop and implement standards that protect veterans from predatory practices. Furthermore, the bill would require a study on the implemented standards to determine whether the standards have effectively addressed the scams.

Click above to enlarge.
The Diamond City Figure Skating Club of Wilkes-Barre would like to invite you to cover a private dress rehearsal for their upcoming production "Disney Through The Years" .
When: Wednesday November 26th 2014
Where: The Toyota Sports Plex, Coal Street Wilkes-Barre, PA
Time: 3:30 to 5:00 pm.
The club has been skating feverishly to bring this "one of a kind" venue to our area featuring local skaters that will be held SATURDAY NOVEMBER 29th, 2014 at the Toyota Sports Plex, 38 Coal Street, Wilkes-Barre at 3 pm.
For more information contact our friend Karel Zubris, Diamond City PR Chair 470-406-0378

Today Governor Elect Tom Wolf celebrates his 66th birthday!