Sunday, December 21, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2797, December 21st, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo


From left to right, (below) Christmas at the Yonki homestead on Cliff Street in Pittston. From left, your blog editor wearing a tie waiting for the Baby Jesus, Debbie Yonki Guanari, Paula Yonki Rostock and in front of her, Robert “Bob” Yonki. The doll was Debbie big gift that year. (Photo: LuLac archives).
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that church leaders in the 4th century wanted a day to commemorate Christ’s birth. The Bible doesn’t specify the date he was born, so Pope Julius I proclaimed it would be celebrated on December 25. Because celebrating Christ’s birth isn’t mentioned in the Bible and because December 25 coincided with pagan winter solstice festivals, some Christians disavowed the holiday. As a matter of fact, the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate the big day, and Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday in the U.S. until 1870. So in reality in the U.S. Christmas is not even 150 years old officially.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED …..that even before Christmas was established, the evergreen was symbolic for people in the winter. During the 16th century, German Christians began putting trees in their homes. Legend has it that Martin Luther was the first to decorate the tree with candles. Here’s a big star for the Commonwealth too because it was German immigrants in Pennsylvania that brought the tradition to the U.S.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that St. Nicholas was said to have inherited a fortune that he gave away to the poor and sick. His legend and popularity spread through Europe with feasts commemorating him held on the anniversary of his death. That day was December 6th. His was particularly popular in Holland where he was known as “Sinter Klaas.” Children of Holland were said to put their shoes out on December 6th to get a present or a little toy or good from St. Nick. As a youngster we put our shoes out on December 6th as a precursor to Christmas and usually received a small gift. This was not uniform though for our class at St. John the Baptist, some people did this, others did not. My friends Drew and Bob Wasko and I have had many conversations about the Holiday concert we gave at The Baptist. After performing, we'd get a gift from Santa. Santa was usually played by Bill Wagner or Paul Suscan, our bus drivers. One of the most remarkable gifts we got was a Quick Draw McGraw hat that also doubled as a squirt gun. Drew to this day maintains that it was Father Super, not the PTA that chose and bought the gifts. 
An illustration of our 1962 gift. (Drawing:
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not at all that Santa’s modern look and demeanor came more from a popular group of writers who drew inspiration from an Episcopalian saint. The Knickerbockers of New York wanted to reintroduce Saint Nicholas to society to provide a "cultural counterweight for the commercial bustle and democratic misrule of early nineteenth century New York." Contributors to the Saint Nicholas project included 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' author Washington Irving, who wrote a Christmas story about giving and generosity for his fictional 'Bracebridge Hall' series in which he described Santa as a large man in a red suit smoking his favorite pipe. Clement Clarke Moore, a contemporary of Irving's, was inspired by this depiction of Santa for his 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' poem, in which he also described the traditional Santa we know today.
Known primarily as 'A Visit From St. Nicholas,' the famous Christmas poem that practically invented the modern concept of Santa almost stayed in the drawer. Moore, a 19th century author and classics professor, wrote the poem for his family to celebrate Christmas in 1822, allegedly drawing inspiration for Santa from a pudgy Dutch driver who took his family on a sleigh ride. But Moore never intended for it to be made public. In fact, a close friend of Moore's actually sent the poem to the Sentinel newspaper, where it was published anonymously. The writer felt the poem was beneath his talents, and when it was published and became a huge hit, he denied authoring it for nearly 15 years. (It was eventually included in an anthology of Moore's work thanks to the urging of his kids.)
Bell Telephone used to broadcast a Christmas special every Holiday Season. Now remember this was the time when there were only three TV stations. The broadcast of this show was as important as a visit to a department Store for a chat with Santa and going to church on Christmas Day. In the broadcast, an actor plying Clement Moore is seen laboring over the poem.
The second part of the broadcast featured The Nativity. Mabel and Les Beaton, through their company, Stringtime Productions, produced this film. Featured were marionettes.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that a government worker, Sir Henry Cole,and John Horsley, an artist, created the first Christmas card depicting people helping the poor and enjoying Christmas dinner with their family. Early Christmas cards usually had the Nativity, snow scenes or robins on them. Now Christmas card have everything under the sun on them. As a youngster we sold Christmas cards in our Catholic school to support The Pagan Babies.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED ...........that it has been a little less than a century that the U.S. Postal Service was authorized to respond to children’s letters to Santa. The Postmaster General was Frank Hitchcock and the year was 1912. By the 1940s, charitable organizations, companies and other community groups were invited to help respond the growing number of letters. According to the U.S. Postal Service, children often address their letters to “Santa Claus, North Pole, Alaska,” and many wish Santa a happy birthday.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that it was First Lady Lou Henry Hoover who is is credited with beginning the unbroken tradition of the official White House Christmas tree in 1929. In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the tradition of selecting a theme for the Christmas tree. A tradition that has continued to this day. ”
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not that another Christmas icon, Rudolph was actually inspired by a department store. The Montgomery Ward department store purchased and gave away Christmas coloring books to shoppers every year. In 1939, they decided to make their own and commissioned Robert May, a copyright, to develop a story for the coloring book. He created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 2.4 million coloring books were distributed the first year. Ten years after Rudolph was created, Gene Autry recorded the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which was written by May’s brother-in-law.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….at how many people don’t realize that when you put up a sign saying  Merry Xmas you are not taking Christ out of Christmas. Actually, the “X” comes from the Greek translation of Christ, Χριστός, and “X” has historically been used by artists and writers to symbolize Christ. Still, some have seen the use of Xmas as disrespectful. The 1948 Vogue’s Book of Etiquette stated “‘Xmas’ should never be used” in greeting cards. Its use is discouraged by the AP Stylebook which I’m not sure many people pay much attention to anymore.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that one of the most popular sweets, the candy cane was created in Germany in the 19th century when a choirmaster wanted to create something the children could enjoy during church service. He created an all-white candy in the shape of a shepherd's crook as a reminder of the shepherds who visited Christ. The red stripe wasn’t added until later. Today, Bobs Candies (no apostrophe) is the largest manufacture of candy canes, and they also created the largest candy cane ever, an eight-foot-long striped cane that weighed more than 100 pounds.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED……..that the song “Winter Wonderland” seems to get more play every year. But not may realize the song was written by a Honesdale native Dick Smith. Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale's Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis, better known then as consumption. The West Mountain Sanitarium is located off N. Sekol Ave. in Scranton, Pennsylvania. North Sekol Road is where the original WWDL Studios were). In November 2007, ASCAP, a performance rights organization in the United States, listed "Winter Wonderland" as the most-played ASCAP-member-written holiday song from 2002 to 2007.

Sources: (,, Wikipedia, LuLac archives).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2796, December 18th, 2014

   (Photo: The Citizen's Voice).
The Luzerne County Council is hellbent on just giving Moon Lake Park away. The park for years has been a mainstay of recreation in the County. For years campers and individuals have used it for its location, convenience and great natural surroundings. Only one vote needs to be changed and I can recount many of the reasons here for you. Instead let me release for you e mails from Wil Toole who has given the Council members his own proposal (written previously here) for the revitalization of the park. Some council members responded, others did not. Here’s a few missives as to why we should not give away this resource:
To: Morelli: There is no reason that this property should be given away at this time. Lackawanna received 1.8 million and the fact that there is limited funding in the state under Corbett does not mean it will remain so. There is no way you can say the sate can do a better job when if fact they have made it clear that they have no money to invest in the property. They can't even commit to a boat launch for five years. There is no reason to make this commitment right now and as an elected official, giving away a county asset is just plain wrong. You don't have to do it and you don't have to stand on your decision to sell it just because you said you would. You can most certainly change your mind and allow the property to remain a county asset. Why are you forced to give it away now?
To Williams: The proposal I sent to each of you as well as Lawton and the local newspapers addressed the ability to create a well managed facility. the state has no money to do what is needed and considering that Lackawanna county was paid 1.8 million why should we give it away like it is something dirty we need to rid ourselves of? What is the difference if we maintain ownership and perhaps sell it to the state later or give it away now and still nothing will be done? You made a decision to give the land away but that decision is not written in stone. I just don't see how any elected official can make a decision to give away a county asset. It is simply wrong and I ask that you change your position and allow the property to remain in our hands till a better situation comes along.
To McGinley: Once the properties are given away, they are gone. Considering Lackawanna county "sold" their property to the state there is no reason on God's earth we should give ours away. Even if my ideas were not implemented the property should be held till the state can pay for it. We have a new governor with a totally different view of how things should be done.
To Sorokas: (on naming rights): The only thing I can say is that it is amazing that the collective wisdom of all concerned is that "no one" would pay to put there name on the park yet "no one" with authority has asked! The Arena has a name on it and there were several who wanted the opportunity and it went to the high bidder. (Sorokas replied she wanted to keep the park and the Tubs).
To Haas: Mr Brominski brought my Moon Lake proposal up and again not one member of council or the county manager would take the time to even acknowledge my efforts or show any interest. In the mean time, the only idea being considered by council is to give the park away. Haas replied writing:
I have not personally seen any deeds associated with the Moon Lake lands.
What I do know is that some parcels were deeded over to the county from private citizens; others were purchased via Project 70; some further came out of theta land.
Further, the land was used as collateral by the commissioners for a bond issue.
And concern over the fracking of state lands and what that could potentially mean for Moon Lake has come up in conversation.
That being said, my concern is that we know the park's full and accurate history in order to lay out the options. Ideally, I would like to keep the park in county hands and search for private streams of revenue to fund it, but unfortunately past decisions might have handicapped what we can do.
These are just a few of the exchanges with Council members. A few thoughts here.
First off slowly but surely I believe Luzerne Coiunty will grow out of this hole. But you don’t get there by giving something away.
Second: Tom Wolf is going to have a financial mess on his plate. The state does not have the traditional funding now to take this over. As Mr. Toole stated, give this “unconventional “ Governor the time to figure this out with the County Council.
Third: Toole and the late Cliff Madrack were city and borough administrators. Mr. Madrack ran the park. I truly feel it might be a great idea to at least heed the words of Mr. Toole and the late Mr. Madrack.


Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman. (Photo: Oprah Magazine).
Governor-elect Tom Wolf announced Governor Ed Rendell as Honorary Chair of his Inaugural Committee and Mary Isenhour and Reid Walsh as Co-Chairs.
"Today, I am proud to announce Governor Ed Rendell as Honorary Chair and Mary Isenhour and Reid Walsh as Co-Chairs of my Inaugural Committee," said Wolf.
Locally Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman and Wolf campaign Deputy Director was named as the only local to the Inaugural Transition Committee.


The more than fifty year ban on relations with the little island 90 miles away from us has been lifted. President Obama opened up diplomatic relations with the six decade protagonist of American Foreign policy.
We almost blew up the world over Cuba in 1962, there is proof we tried to kill the Dictator Fidel Castro a few times but instead wound up with our President dead. The men in power who fretted over Fidel Castro have long died but Fidel still is rocking on. We’ve treated other nations who have done worse to us better so I think it’s about time. A few weeks back I bought a sport coat that I had my eye on for a while. I looked at where it was made and it said, “Product of Vietnam”. I cringed remembering how that country and its war nearly tore this country apart at the seams. So I understand how some people who lived through the Cold War and Cuba's part in it feel. But this decision on Cuba brings us into this century.
One of LuLac’s Congressman Lou Barletta says this is not a good idea.
“I join all Americans in celebrating the release of Alan Gross after years of unjust imprisonment. It is in keeping with our tradition of leaving no one behind.
That said, the negotiated release should have come about without normalizing relations with the same nation which has oppressed its own people for decades. These are enormous concessions extended to a country that does not allow its citizens simple, basic freedoms that we, as Americans, too often take for granted. Instead, I fear this will only embolden the dictatorship, and teach others the lesson that all oppressive regimes need do is wait until the United States tires of standing firm for freedom. Further, I am concerned that the Obama Administration will use this move as the pretext for closing our facility at Guantanamo Bay, which would cause either the release of known terrorists, or the housing of them within our own borders.”
Well Congressman, I get what you’re saying but we’ve been in bed with countries for years that have oppressed its people. Maybe this will bring an end to the grip the Castro family had on this little island nation.



This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Colin Riccobon from the American Red Cross about the need for blood donations during the holiday season.
An encore of Brian's interview with David Adler from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who discusses open enrollment to sign up for health insurance in Pennsylvania.
An encore of Brian's interview with home improvement expert Danny Lipford on keeping your home safe before, during & after a winter storm.
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 Sports Radio 590, WARM, and 6:30am on Magic 93.


Host David DeCosmo (left with Joanne Arduino, Director of the Dance Studio at the Ballet Theatre of Scranton. (Photo: ECTV LIve).
ECTV Live goes on location during the week of December 22nd as host David DeCosmo visits with Joanne Arduino, Director of the Dance Studio at the Ballet Theatre of Scranton, on stage at the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Preforming Arts at Marywood University. For the 39th consecutive year the Ballet Theater will present a series of free public performances of The Nutcracker! DeCosmo and
Ms. Arduino chat on stage as performers and stage hands prepare for a Dress rehearsal. ECTV Live can be seen several times each day on Comcast Ch 19 (61 in some areas) The Nutcracker Ballet will be presented at Marywood on December 26th., 27th., and 28th with two performances each day. Although
free, tickets are issued for each performance. They may be secured at the box office an hour and a half before each performance. The Ballet will be presented at 2pm and 7:30pm on the 26th., 27th., and 28th.



SSG (Retired) Erik Olson (right) ) and SGM (Retired) Mark Baylis (left) (Photo: WYLN)
Episode 6 of Warrior Summit Outdoors hosted by three tour Iraq/Afghanistan combat veteran SSG Erik Olson, Retired is set to premiere this week on WYLNTV35. In this episode, SSG Olson takes 23 wounded warriors on the buck hunt of a lifetime, an exclusive invitation-only veteran hunt held on the grounds of the State Correctional Institute (SCI) Dallas—the first time the grounds have been permitted to hunt in 15 years, this is followed by discussions about homeless veterans in our region.
Among the veterans on the hunt, SGM (Retired) Mark Baylis, a Special Forces Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran and co-founder of Valor Clinic Foundation. Valor Clinic Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit organization committed to improving access to veteran benefits, PTSD support and food, clothing, shelter to homeless veterans as they work towards the transition to civilian life.
In November, Valor Clinic Foundation fed and clothed over 120 homeless veterans. They host events frequently, providing necessities to hundreds of homeless veterans each year across northeastern PA. Two months ago, they took their mission further: they opened the Major Paul Syverson Veteran Sanctuary in Jonas, PA. The sanctuary has 13 rooms to house veterans for 90-120 days at a time to get them on their feet and transitioned back into civilian life. Many of the homeless veterans it serves are found by SGM Mark Baylis himself as he treks through woods and scours under bridges across NEPA for our nation’s forgotten heroes. The veteran sanctuary is named after a soldier who served with SGM Baylis and was killed in action.
Following the deer hunt to open this episode, SSG Olson and SGM Baylis cook up a venison meal in SSG Olson’s home and enjoy the holiday meal along with a combat veteran Valor Clinic recently accepted as a resident in their veteran sanctuary.
SSG Erik Olson and his wife, Tiffany Cloud Olson, co-executive producer of Warrior Summit Outdoors, are big supporters of Valor Clinic Foundations work and run a PSA about their organization in every episode of Warrior Summit Outdoors in order to raise local awareness about veteran homelessness. To learn more about the work of the non-profit Valor Clinic Foundation and what you can do to help our nation’s forgotten, homeless heroes this holiday season, go to
You can see Warrior Summit Outdoors on WYLNTV35 all month these days/times: Wednesday 9PM, Thursday 6:30PM, Sat 1:30PM, Sunday NOON and 10PM, Monday 6:30PM and the show can also be watched on Lehigh Valley Cable and Communications covering the Allentown marketplace and you can live stream the show during these regular viewing times on To learn more about the show go to: and check out their Facebook page:


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


Nelson A Rockefeller sworn-in as 41st VP…………

Ethiopia becomes socialist one-party state.. George Harrison releases his "Dark Horse" album in UK..."The Godfather Part II", starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, is released……It is ironic that forty years later Cuba and the U.S. are coming to terms for an understanding in its complicated relationship. Cuba was a focal part of GF II..........

Raiders RB Clarence Davis somehow catches the game-winning touchdown pass among "the sea of hands" of three Dolphins defenders with 24 seconds left in the game, eliminating Miami from the playoffs after they had made it to the Super Bowl in each of the last 3 seasons……in Pennsylvania Governor Shapp says that his second term inauguration will highlight the strengths of Pennsylvania business…and in Luzerne County party Chair Robert Loftus says that he believes the team of Crossin and Wideman will once more be running as a team in the '75  County elections despite various disagreements in their second term together and 40 years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Get Dancin”, a wild and raucous song by none other than Disco-Tex & his Sex-O-Lettes.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2795, December 15th, 2014

Governor Elect Tom Wolf. (Photo: Pa. Politics).
9 area residents have been named to the Tom Wolf Transition Team. Wolf made the announcement today. The transition review teams will work with the outgoing administration to better understand the issues and challenges that face the executive branch. The involvement of these nine individuals means that Northeastern Pennsylvania will have a say in how the new Wolf government is put in place as well as having a direct line to the other members of the team.
Murray Ufberg Partner, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald LLP
Jarrett Ferentino Partner, Pugliese, Finnegan, Shaffer, & Ferentino LLC
Ed Staback Former State Legislator
Ray Hassey President, Opportunity Foundation; Managing Partner, First Eleven Management, LLC; President, HD Sign Solutions; President, Central Development Group, LLC; Owner, Hassey Legal Services, PC
Pat Brier Attorney, Myers Brier & Kelly
Patrick Casey Attorney, Elliot Greenleaf
Chris Carney Former Congressman
Bill Vinsko Managing Principal & Founder, Vinsko & Associates, PC
Rick Vilello Mayor, City of Lock Haven

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Photo:
Pa. Politics reported over the weekend that State Attorney General Kathleen Kane most likely will be running for re-election. Kane became the first Democrat and first woman to become Attorney General. There was talk that she would run in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Pat Toomey but that has been put to rest.
Kane has had a turbulent time but comes into the race with name recognition as well as an ability to raise money. The concern for Kane is if she faces a challenge in the primary. If that happens, it  will definitely drain resources as well as give any Republican opponent a leg up.
Kane recently realigned her office adding a Chief of Staff. That person,  Blake Rutherford comes from the world of Bill Clinton. Rutherford worked for McLarty Companies as Executive Vice President. The firm is headed up by former White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty.
You can be sure if Kane goes all in, so will former President Bill Clinton who campaigned tirelessly fot Kane in 2012.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2794, December 14th, 2014

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza will open its doors for public ice skating on Wednesday December 17th in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
Anyone bringing an unwrapped toy or making a $5.00 contribution to Toys for Tots is permitted to skate.
Public Relation coordinator Karel Zubris is scheduled to talk on L.A.TARONE’s show this MONDAY Night at 8 pm to discuss the campaign, and promote the TOTS for TOTS open skate at the Mohegan Sun Arena on WED night from 6 - 9. Skaters from the Diamond City Figure Skating Club will be performing a holiday program along with some local celebrities hitting the ice as well for this cause. You will also see Karel take to the ice.
Mohegan Sun Arena will not have skates on site for rent and all guests that will be going on to the ice will need to be wearing skates.
Skate rentals are available at the Toyota SportsPlex (Community Ice Rink) at Coal St. in Wilkes-Barre for $3 per pair starting at 4PM on Monday, December 8th. There are a limited number of skate rentals available. Proper photo ID and a credit card must be presented to rent skates. All skates must be returned to the Toyota SportsPlex at Coal St. within 24 hours of the Open Skate. For more information on the Toyota SportsPlex, please visit their website at

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2793, December 13th, 2014


Our “13 Questions” logo.

1. There is a lot of news popping up about race in this country. Living in “The Valley” what was your first experience with a person of color?

Had I grown up in “The Big City” (Wilkes Barre or Scranton) I might have come across a person of color. But being from Pittston I did not have a relationship with a person of color until I moved to Washington, D.C. to go to Career Academy. When I was a younger I went to Atlantic City but most of the people I saw were service workers.
My friend Ollie was a Vietnam War Veteran and knew Washington, D.C. like the back of his hand. We met in broadcast class and lived in the same building. We lived on a floor with a communal dormitory bathroom and we stood guard for each other when we, well had to go. Ollie said he had enough of that stuff in the Army. He was from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, loved baseball, never talked about ‘Nam as he called it and took me to places in D.C. that I’m sure would have given my parents instant heart attacks. In retrospect, I felt at the start he’d test me to see if I was a limousine liberal. I’m mean really, white kid from Pennsylvania with Humphrey and McGovern bumper stickers on his trunk, what was he going to think? He’d do stuff like pick up my tooth brush and ask me where I got it. When we’d have a group in the room, he’d seize the most comfortable chair and see how the other guys reacted. Part of the sleazy places we went to was I’m sure a ruse to see how we’d react but I was having way too much fun to notice. We’d talk about Civil Rights and if he was thinking he was going to trip me up, he was wrong. Ollie was sure one of Martin Luther King’s children would be President but I told him that the children who are in the shadow of great men usually have a tough climb. On baseball he could tell you the pitch that was coming while at the same time giving you direction to a young woman in a halter top one section away without missing a beat.
The defining moment for us came one night when a bunch of us were speaking of our ethnic origin. Slovak guy from NEPA, Italian from Dayton, a Dutch fellow from York and a guy from Virginia who I’m sure meant well. After we went through our League of Nations routine, the guy from Virginia asked Ollie where his people came from? We were all incredulous. Ollie answered, “We didn’t really come…………..we were kind of invited”.
Afterwards walking back to our complex he said, “Did you believe that shit?” I replied, “Indeed I did.
We walked on and all of a sudden he stopped and said, “Before ‘Nam I would have clocked him good. But after what went on there, this is chickenshit”. We walked in silence until I asked when he thought things would get better. He shrugged and said, “I don’t know, maybe 90, 95…………”
Ollie was right about a lot of things but unfortunately he is still off the mark on that prediction.

Me and Ollie in the fall of '72

2. Impressed with your boy Wolf so for?

Yes. Love the fact that he is going to hire his own security and can do so. Also think the donation of money to a food banks instead of having a ritzy Pa. Society fundraiser is the kind of guy he really is.

3.When do you start planning for your year end editions of LuLac?

I generally start after the November elections. The two biggest challenges are the “Moving On” segment and the “Women We Love” compilations.

4. Do you have any knowledge that any of the local sportscasters had any work done on themselves?

I do not. Having worked at Blue Cross I know all about Privacy considerations.

5. Do you think Hillary Clinton will have a challenger in the primaries and will it be Elizabeth Warren?

Yes and no. I think Bernie Sanders will be her liberal conscience but I hope that Warren’s people are smart enough to keep her out of it.

6. I see you are reactivated on Twitter. How come?

People kept asking me if I was on Twitter. So I just reactivated it. I’m on Face book on a regular basis, I think LinkedIn is pretty useless. Every time I try to post something it kicks me off. But I try to do stuff on there. But they are in need of an upgrade.

7. There was a woman who died this week named Joan Yonki Baiera. Was she any relation?

Not to my knowledge but I wish she was after getting inundated with e mails and Face book messages. I understand she was very well liked and respected. I had never met her or to be honest even was aware of her before I heard about her death. That said, my condolences to her family and obviously devoted friends.

8. At a Blog fest I heard you say that you stopped going Halloweening after the third grade. When did you stop believing in Santa?

Still do. What the hell is the matter with you?

9. What are your thoughts on the 28 year old woman who shot up in McDonald’s bathroom with her kids in tow?

Drugs are a plaque. Always have been. I have always believed in treatment but I’ve also believed that there has to be a cut off. When one is addicted they have to hit bottom and then work their way up. I always said that if I had a child and the Supreme being said “I’ll give the child an addiction problem or cancer”, I’d go with the cancer because it can be cured in some cases. I wish her well.....and her children better.

10. Are you excited about the Penn State Pinstripe Bowl?

To a point. But if I catch a quarter I’ll be lucky.

11. Candy cane or candy kisses?

C’mon. Kisses.

12.What will be the most interesting race in the 2015 elections?

County Council in Luzerne County and the Commissioners race in Lackawanna. DA's race in Luzerne too.

13. Did you have a Christmas stocking as a kid and what did Santa put in it?

Always a book. A pen. A candy cane which usually was the last thing to go (like the first Sunday in Lent) and pop corn balls and baseball cards. Socks too.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2792, December 12th, 2014

FRANK @ 99


Frank Sinatra would have turned 99 today. The next 365 days will be a countdown to The Chairman of the Board's 100th birthday. More than any singer Sinatra has been identified as the popular music interpreter of 20th century music, except of course for that dreadful rendition of Mrs. Robinson.
Ring a ding, ding, let the swinging begin!


The late Jack Wallace. (Photo: Pittston Dispatch).
One of the premier newspaper reporters of the Wilkes Barre Area Jack Wallace died the other day at the age of 83. Wallace and his shock of white hair was a constant at the Luzerne County Courthouse. In college when I was on an internship with King's College, I had the opportunity to see him sit at the press table for few trials in Luzerne County. To me when I worked in broadcasting and public relations he was always warm and gracious. On Face book there were warm memories and funny stories of the people he came in contact with in his career. Here's his obituary:
WILKES-BARRE — John "Jack" Wallace, 83, of South Wilkes-Barre, and formerly of the East End section of Wilkes-Barre, passed away Thursday morning, Dec. 11, 2014, at Erwin Hospice, St. Luke's Villa, Wilkes-Barre.
Born in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 12, 1931, he was a son of the late James A. and Helen (Joyce) Wallace.
Jack attended Holy Saviour Elementary school and graduated from St. Mary's High School, class of 1949.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. Following his discharge from the Army, he attended nine years of night school at King's College and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in economics in 1963.
Jack was employed for 28 years by the Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company and 19 years with the Citizens' Voice. He served 30 years as a news reporter at the Luzerne County Court House. This period included many major court cases.
He was associated with the Wachovia Arena, currently the Mohegan Sun Arena, for five years, and voluntarily worked at the Farmers Market on Public Square.
Jack served numerous years as a lector, usher and acolyte at St. Therese Roman Catholic Church in South Wilkes-Barre. He was also active in many parish projects and activities. He served 28 years as President and seven years as Vice-President of the Wilkes-Barre Local 120, The Newspaper Guild, and 11 years as Treasurer of the Middle Atlantic District Council. He attended 25 international conventions of The Newspaper Guild.
He was an avid sports fan and played in various sports as a young man. He was a die hard Notre Dame and Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Jack served 16 years as an umpire in St. Therese Little League, now known as, the South Wilkes-Barre Little League.
He was a member of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Greater Wilkes-Barre, The Donegal Society and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. One of his greatest loves was traveling, including 38 trips to Ireland, eight to England, Scotland and Wales, nine to Hawaii, three to Canada, two to Puerto Rico, and once each to France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Mexico.
Jack was married to the love of his life in 1957, the former Margaret Kroll, who passed away in 1969.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2791, December 11th, 2014


The decision to release an intelligence report on any role the American government might have had in torture of enemy combatants was wrong headed, against our national interests and counterproductive. Why a Democratic controlled Senate would allow this to be made public in this time of war is mystifying to me. The report details the messy business of spying, getting our enemies to spill the beans and some really bad things inflicted on other human beings.
The report is released in what some people think is the comfortable rear view mirror of 911. In this Instagram Society, we think that September 11th snapshot was just the one big thing that ever was planned against us. I can’t help but think other attacks have been prevented because of some of the measures taken.
Plus I don’t get this mantra that we are supposed to be better than our enemies in terms of rules of engagement.
The fact of the matter is in matters of war, we are better than our enemies and friends. We have gone to war (save for the American Revolution and The Civil War) when we have been attacked and provoked. There have been bad excursions like Korea and Vietnam but they were precipitated by the Cold War. Our mistake has been to try and inflict our philosophy on countries and civilizations that will never get our ideal.
Anyway that this country can get information that will prevent an attack, frustrate our enemies and pull them off course, I’m 100% for. The American people have been anesthetized by American Idol and Sports. Only 2% of our nation has been engaged on the war against terror. Life blissfully goes on while plots abound against our way of life and our people.
Were we at our best when we tortured enemy combatants? No. Is there ugly stuff in there that makes us question what and who we are? Certainly.
Some may use John McCain’s experience as a POW as their barometer for what is right. And I completely understand that. But this report released by a Senate committee gains us nothing in terms of our Foreign policy and any future endeavors we might engage in to combat terror.
Were we evil? Yes. But we were evil to our enemies who are still trying to kill us. I think it is laughable for us to get on our high horses and beat our breasts about the horrible things we did when;
1. We slaughtered native Americans and pushed them westward after we took their land.
2. We confined Japanese American citizens in labor camps during WWII because they were a “threat”.
3. We lynched people of color in the Deep South and denied them basic human rights.
4. We still shoot unarmed black men at an alarming rate.
So let’s not get too excited about crushing some nuts to keep us safe.
I’ve always respected and liked Dianne Feinstein but if I ever met her I’d ask the same question Jay Leno asked Hugh Grant when he was caught with a crack whore in the early 90s. “What were you thinking?”

Congressman Matt Cartwright and his wife Marion had the opportunity to visit the White House for the Annual Congressional Christmas party. A few photos were taken, the top photo shows the Cartwrights in front of the Christmas tree that came from Lehighton, Pennsylvania. 
 The second shows Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright with the scrappy kid from Scranton, the best Vice President ever, Mr. Joe Biden.


U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced theEarly Warning Reporting System Improvement Act of 2014. U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
The legislation would requireautomobile and equipment manufacturers to automatically submit the accident report or other documents that first alerted them to a fatality involving their vehicle or equipment to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Early Warning Reporting database.
“While the NHTSA is responsible for overseeing the safety of our roadways, they do not always have the information they need to protect the public, and have at times failed to actively investigate car defects,” said Rep. Cartwright. “The recent GM Cobalt and Saturn Ion recalls related to an ignition switch defect the company knew about for at least ten years highlights the need for companies to provide more information about accidents involving fatalities to the NHTSA.”
The issue hits home for northeastern Pennsylvania; in January 2010, Kelly Ruddy of Scranton was only 21 years old when she lost her life in a deadly crash on Interstate 81. Kelly was driving north near the Bear Creek exit when she lost control of her 2005 Chevy Cobalt.
Ruddy’s parents, fought the vehicle manufacturer, General Motors, for four years and finally GM settled with them for their daughter`s death. General Motors is now admitting that a faulty ignition switch is responsible for numerous crashes and deaths across the nation, and the company recalled 2.6 million vehicles, including 2005 Cobalts, earlier this year.
The CDC estimates that in 2011, more than 2.6 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms as a result of being injured in motor vehicle crashed. In 2010, motor vehicle related injuries cost the states and our nation an estimated $99 billion in lifetime medical care and lost productivity. Tragically, close to 34,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic incidents in 2012.
To address this critical issue, the Early Warning Reporting System Improvement Act of 2014 would:
•Require automobile and equipment manufacturers to automatically submit the accident report or other documents that first alerted them to a fatality involving their vehicle or equipment to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting database. NHTSA is then required to automatically make those documents public unless they are exempted from public disclosure under FOIA.
•Require NHTSA to consider Early Warning Reporting information when it is investigating potential safety defects and when it is evaluating citizen petitions for automobile safety standards or enforcement actions.
•Require NHTSA to upgrade its online database to improve searchability, integrate its different databases so they can all be searched at once, and ensure that all documents obtained or created by NHTSA related to a safety incident are both made publicly available and keyword searchable in its databases.
•Require NHTSA to provide public, searchable notices of all inspection and investigation activities it undertakes.


To donate:
Donations may be dropped off at any Citizens Bank branch or mailed to :
Valley Santa Inc.
P.O. Box 5276
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18710
To donate using PayPal:
To volunteer:
Help Line is coordinating volunteers, who are needed to shop for gifts on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays beginning at 7 a.m. at Boscov’s, to wrap gifts Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Boscov’s and to read letters from families in need Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the Greenhouse in Wilkes-Barre. For information about volunteering, call Help Line at 829-1341.
Valley Santa is sponsored by The Citizens’ Voice, the City of Wilkes-Barre, Boscov’s and Citizens Bank.



Former State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives).

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with David Adler from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about all you need to know about Pennsylvania's health insurance open enrollment currently underway.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Sheri & Michael from the Scranton Cultural Center about the "Happy Elf" concert coming to the Cultural Center next weekend.
And Brian speaks with former State Representative Kevin Haggerty about his campaign for Lackawanna County Commissioner, and his response to his critics about his past military service.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and 6:25 on Magic 93.


Holiday photos of Newfoundland. (Photo: Joe Spenelli).
During the Holiday Season, ECTV Live will alternate two special shows that will alternate with each other. . Programs will feature Joe Spenelli of Newfoundland who has turned an old department store Christms lighting collection into an area attraction right in his own backyard! Also, host David DeCosmo welcomes Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright and city Recreation Specialist Tom Lynch to talk about the holiday display set up in Nay Aug Park. A new show, which begins running the week of the 15th, will feature a representative from the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Drug and Alcohol Agency who will be talking about the agency's Holiday Safety Campaign. ECTV Live can be seen several times daily on Comcast Ch19 (61 in some areas).


Our guest on Community Forum will be Lou Jasikoff, publisher of the Independent Gazette and host of Sanity Check. Mike Remish talks with Lou Sunday at 6 am on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA's Sports Radio-The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


Event: The Irregulars Think Tank Breakfast
Presenter: Wyoming County Chief Detective David Ide*
Topic: Controlled Substance and Weapons Investigations In NEPA
Date: Saturday, December 13
Time: 9:00 A.M. (Doors open at 8:30)
Place: The Metro at Twin Stacks Center - Hwy 415 – Dallas
Cost: $12.00 per person / Pay At The Door


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


Soyuz 16 returns to Earth….Helios 1 launched by US, Germany; later makes closest flyby of Sun.....Space probe Helios 1 launched..
 Jim "Catfish" Hunter wins free agent claim against A's owner Finley......Malta becomes a republic… Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott is mum on whether he will serve another term in the Senate. His seat is up in 1976. Scott reviewed the tumultuous year of Watergate in various visits throughout the holiday season to state functions including the Pa. Society Dinner in New York… Wilkes Barre City Frank Trinisewski advises he will run for Wilkes Barre City Council in 1975 under the new form of government and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas.