Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
The LuLac Political Letter was also named Best Political Blog of the Year for 2014 by NEPA BLOGCON.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
The LuLac Edition #2886, April 26th, 2015
KEVIN HAGGERTY ANSWERS CRITICS ON YOU TUBE
Lackawanna County Clerk of Judicial Records candidate Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives).
During last year’s contentious election in the race for the 112th Legislative District seat between Kevin Haggerty and Frank Farina, there were questions about Haggerty’s military discharge. Haggerty thought about running for County Commissioner but instead decoded to run for Clerk of Judicial Records. This week a video went up regarding the answer some people seem to be wanting, was what was the nature of the discharge? Haggerty answers those critics in this video.
WYLN TV 35 DEBATE WEEK
Tune in this Monday at 7pm to see incumbent Hazleton Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi defend his record against Republican challenger Jeff Cusat. The debate starts at 7pm moderated by Tiffany Cloud and can be seen on Service Electric Channel 7 in the Wilkes Barre year. Post debate analysis follows at 8pm with Cloud, WYLN’s Gary Perna and Tiffany Cloud. Wednesday night, April 29th tune in as the Democrats Grace Cuozzo and Jack Mundie face off. Same drill. Debate starts at 7 with Tiffany Cloud moderating. Post debate analysis starts at 8pm. The broadcast is on WYLN TV 35 in Hazleton, Service Electric Channel 7 in Wilkes Barre.
Wilkes Barre City Council’s Thursday night meeting was a real humdinger and Bob Kadluboski had nothing to do with it. Past and present candidates sparred, there was cheers and jeers, a debate about sign stealing between candidates Tony George and Darlene Duggins Magdalinski and GOP candidate Frank Sorick asking for a motion for Mayor Tom Leighton to pay back $30,000 in unaccounted for funds.George proposed, no one secomnded. What, he was waiting for George Brown for a second? Let’s take them one by one. There was life at a public meeting in LuLac land. People attended. That’s a good thing. Sign stealing has become more common in politics than in baseball. I went through 5 Tom Wolf signs last year myself. George’s line that he found some of his signs in the river told me that even with some very good support in sections of the city, the former Police Chief has some dedicated opponents. But it was nice theatre. As far as Mayor Leighton paying back the money, here are my questions. How and why? That gas fueled public vehicles like fire trucks and police cars. Since there was no way to track it, how does he do that? As to the why, how do you pay back something you can’t itemize? What, does Leighton look like a bank? The people who are demanding Leighton pay for this had their chance in 2011 when their party and a Third party candidate couldn’t even muster 50% of the vote against him. That was the time to make him pay if that’s what they wanted, but now asking for money from him is pretty ridiculous. But as Kadluboski will tell you, nothing ridiculous ever goes on at Wilkes Barre City Council meetings.
NEW STUDY FINDS RAISING MINIMUM WAGE TO $10.10/HOUR
WILL BENEFIT 1.2 MILLION WORKERS AND CREATE 6,000 JOBS STATEWIDE
RAISE IN WAGES WILL INCREASE CONSUMER SPENDING
Increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would give 1.2 million Pennsylvanians a raise, boost spending in the commonwealth by $1.8 billion, and create 6,000 jobs, a new study by the Keystone Research Center found. Giving the Local Economy a Boost: The Local Impacts of Raising the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage to $10.10 Per Hour includes fact sheets and detailed tables for all 67 of the state’s counties -- as well as its metropolitan, rural and urban areas -- showing the number and demographics of the workers who would be affected. The study demonstrates that the majority of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase are adults working full-time and earning a substantial share of their family’s income. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage has not been raised since 2007. Today, a Pennsylvanian working full-time earning the minimum wage has an annual income of only $15,080, which is below the poverty line for a family of two. Compared to other states, minimum wage workers in the commonwealth are falling behind. Already 29 states have increased their minimum wage above the federal government wage floor of $7.25, including all of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states. “Inflation has grown faster than the purchasing power of the minimum wage. As the wage floor has fallen like quicksand, it has pulled down the wages of the lowest earning-fifth of Pennsylvania workers. This has left many working families without enough income to afford the basics and deprived our local economies of the spending they need to thrive,” Mark Price, labor economist at the Keystone Research Center and author of the report, said. “A minimum wage increase to $10.10 is broadly popular with Pennsylvania voters, would boost the economy, benefit the state’s rural communities and, frankly, is long overdue.” The report is being released today in conjunction with a statewide day of action organized by a diverse coalition of faith, labor and community groups that is urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour. Ten events are being held around Pennsylvania, including a press conference in the state capitol in Harrisburg. See www.raisethewagepa.org for more information. “By passing legislation to raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour, not only will over one million working families get a much needed raise in their wages, it will help boost the local economies of communities across Pennsylvania,” Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, said. “Raising the minimum wage will not only fight poverty, it will help increase profits for local businesses because every dollar goes right back into the local economy.” In Dauphin County, 30,766 workers, or about 25 percent of the county’s workforce, would get a raise if the minimum wage is increased to $10.10 an hour. Eighty-nine percent of these workers are adults, and 58 percent of them work full-time. "Keystone Research Center did a great job in explaining the impact of a minimum wage increase for workers. An increase to $10.10 would add $43.3 million to wages in Dauphin County, money that would most likely go right back to our local economy,” said state Rep. Patty Kim, who represents the 103rd District in the county. Wages would increase, in total, in Philadelphia by $202 million, in Allegheny County by $176 million, and in rural Pennsylvania counties by $588 million. "The Keystone Research Center's work on minimum wage has proved to be an important voice in our efforts to win $10.10 an hour for workers across Pennsylvania," state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, who represents the 2nd Senatorial District in Philadelphia, said. "Like a century of history tells us, KRC's efforts underline the fact that increasing the minimum wage is an overwhelmingly positive policy decision." Keystone Research Center. In Luzerne County there are 34,100 workers who would benefit by that wage increase. The figure for Lackawanna County is 24,356. This is a proposed wage, I don't see that getting to ten bucks an hour in this state given the GOP controlled legislature but you might see it go to the upper 8 dollar an hour range.
WARDLE VIDEO UP
District Judge candidate in the 11-034-08 district Tom Wardle. (Photo: Wardle Facebook).
Magisterial Judge candidate Sergeant Tom Wardle has videos up and running on You Tube. His message seems to be cutting through the two warring factions in that district between Frankie Pizzella and Spagnolo Senior as the old guard members gear up like old prize fighters hoping for one more KO as they try to advance their candidates cause. There are Wardle supporters who hope that Plains Laflin voters listen more to the words one is saying than their signs and billboards. To be sure Wardle has signs but he’s doing more than that. Besides if there are trouble with signs in Plains/Laflin’s 11-03-08, Darlene Duggins Magalenski and Tony George will take a trip up to that area and give them what for.
By the way Wardle will have a Meet and Greet Monday April 27th from 6 to 9pm at Dominick's in Plains.
WYLN TV 35 TO AIR ONE HOUR SPECIAL HONORING VIETNAM VETERANS
Lt COL Robert Yale, Vietnam Veteran (one of the area veterans featured in the special)and SSG Olson (host of the special). (Photo: WYLN TV 35).
April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. On this date, and several dates to follow, WYLN35 based in Hazleton will honor our Vietnam Veterans by presenting a one hour commercial-free special, “Vietnam: Remembrance and Healing.” The special will be hosted by SSG Erik Olson, Retired, a three-tour Iraq/Afghanistan combat veteran and wounded warrior. It is co-executive produced by him and his wife, Tiffany Cloud Olson, both area veteran advocates. SSG Olson will take the audience through a history of the war; notable battles; the unique dynamics on the home front during the war; and the geopolitical effects of it to this day. The special will also address what the community can do to better acknowledge the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans and continue to help them heal the invisible wounds of war. Aspects of the war and its after-effects will also be shared by several area combat veterans who fought in Vietnam, including: Robert Yale, a retired Lieutenant Colonel US Army; Robert Steltz, US Army; and Ronald Montz, US Marines, who fought in the Tet Offensive. “Vietnam Veterans hold a special place in my heart. In so many cases, they did not receive the welcome home they deserved. Because of them, veterans such as myself from more recent conflicts got properly welcomed home. I think it’s important we remember their sacrifices; educate the community about this war, one which is often misunderstood; and that we publicly say the words these veterans all deserve to hear: ‘Thank you. Welcome Home.’”-SSG Erik Olson Residents of Greater Hazleton, The DeAngelo Family and The Kress Family, as well as the area business Harry’s You Pull-It, provided the funding to present this special to our community on WYLN35. WYLN35 is a station owned/operated by Pat Gans and her husband, Joe Gans, a Vietnam Veteran fighter pilot. Air times for the special "Vietnam: Remembrance & Healing" hosted by SSG Erik Olson (Retired) are: Thurs April 30th 8-9PM Friday May 1st 8-9PM Sunday May 3rd 9-10PM Tuesday May 5th 8-9PM The special can also be live streamed these times WYLNTV.com for those outside the WYLN35 viewing area. WYLN35 Broadcast Coverage includes: Service Electric Cablevision Hazleton Ch 7 and Wilkes-Barre Service Electric Ch 7.
Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. (Photo: Florida Politics.)
Right now there are a lot of people in the GOP saying that when all the dust dies down, their party will choose a person that will have a middle of the road belief system (as near as this current GOP can get) and pick either Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. It is possible but there might be one big detour. The Republican party has a huge Evangelical base. That base will split among religious right candidates like Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rick Santorum (if he gets in) and others aligned with that segment of the party. But if one candidate can persuade that group to vote as a block, there is a possibility that the party can get a candidate with a substantial delegate count by a sweep. Some are calling it the Religious Right Super primaries. If one candidate or even two win the Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama primaries they will be a force to be reckoned with. A smart strategy would be for an Evangelical to take Iowa, ignore New Hampshire and do a full assault on these early states. That will leave moderates like Walker and Bush in the dust. In Presidential politics that’s trouble.
THE TRAIN STATION IN WILKES BARRE
(Photo: Warren Ruda)
My dad was on the railroad. My uncles and grandfathers worked there too. My late uncle Andrew Dziak sat atop the watch house from 11 to 7am five days a week on Market Street in Wilkes Barre and regaled us with stories about what was happening in Wilkes Barre after dark in the 1960s from his perch. Mrs. LuLac and I had dinner at the rebuilt station when Marvin Roth rebuilt it. I enjoyed night time meals at The Palooka Diner when the Kornfelds ran it. I have nothing but respect for the railroad as well as that historic building. Like many things in Wilkes Barre and this area it fell into disrepair. When it fell apart, a slick operator conned County Commissioners into giving him 5 million for it. County Manager Bob Lawton said it wouldn’t create jobs and the County needed to get out of debt. He stopped seed funding for the redevelopment of it. The other day County Council members toured it and found homeless people living there , even crapping there. County officials say they’d like to see what can be done and that it would be a shame to get rid of a building that was more than 140 years old and a historical landmark. I agree it would be a shame. But there is nothing worth there salvaging. We got rid of the Sterling and the Old Fell House. There are railroad buffs who might find this intriguing but with Steamtown to our north once more we are saturating a market. We attracted visitors to the Train station worked for a while once. Then we let it go to pot. Like we do with most everything. Tear it down, tell the homeless to pack their bags and get a job, and put it up for sale with a private developer. Let them invest their money to make it go. Not one more cent should be used on this building with county or state money. If we can sell it, let’s put up a huge plaque. But let us not go down memory lane and try to save this again so some shyster can recoup the taxpayer money after it gets screwed up again.
CHIMPS AS HUMANS
I was very amused to hear the big debate about how an animal rights activist was trying to get a court decision to make chimps categorized as humans. I’m all for the fair treatment of animals. But c’mon. More people were making more of a fuss over this than the plight of refugees who may come over from Syria. Rule of thumb here, let’s take care of PEOPLE first. Sunday Facebook was filled with hate over the U.S. accepting refugees from Syria. But oh those chimps, let’s welcome them with open arms..until they rip your face off!
CARTWRIGHT HOSTING MAYORS’ CONFERENCE
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright is hosting a Mayors’ Conference for mayors and municipal leaders from across northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for mayors and municipal leaders to come together and discuss important issues and economic development. Rep. Cartwright is committed to increasing municipal leaders’ awareness of funding opportunities for economic development and providing opportunities to learn more about best practices from their peers.
The event is Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at King’s College, King’s on the Square, 20 Public Square in Wilkes Barre.
U.S. REP. CARTWRIGHT, SENATORS DURBIN AND MURPHY INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO MEET DEMAND FOR HIGH-QUALITY PROSTHETIC CARE FOR VETERANS
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright will join U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) to introduce two bills to improve orthotics and prosthetics care for the nation’s service members and veterans. The legislation would enhance research in best practices and support colleges and universities seeking to establish degree programs to train specialists. “Our nation’s brave warfighters have served and continue to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq with honor and distinction. Unfortunately, over 1,700 of these brave individuals have undergone amputations as a result of combat-related injuries over the past decade due to these wars,” said Cartwright. “The impending end to these conflicts simply indicates the start of a grueling recovery for far too many veterans, and we have a moral obligation to provide our heroes with the best health care available. The two bills I’ve introduced today will enhance orthotic and prosthetic research and expand training opportunities to ensure our amputee warfighters retain access to the appropriate clinicians provide more resources.” Today’s legislative package is divided into two bills. The first, the Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act of 2015, authorizes a competitive grant program to help colleges and universities develop master’s degree programs focusing on orthotics and prosthetics. Each institution receiving one of these grants will require students to rotate through facilities run by the Departments of Veterans Affairs or Defense, or that hold VA contracts. The bill also requires the VA to establish a Center of Excellence in Prosthetic and Orthotic Education to provide evidence-based research on the knowledge, skills and training clinical professionals need to care for veterans. The second bill, the Wounded Warrior Research Enhancement Act of 2015, establishes the first centralized collection of outcomes-based research on orthotics and prosthetics. Currently many practitioners rely on personal experience and trial-and-error methods, rather than empirical data, to determine which prosthetic device will work best for a given patient. This can result in a patient being fitted for several different devices before the ideal fit is found, a lengthy and potentially costly process. The research collection established by the bill will give caregivers the knowledge they need to better match prosthetic and orthotic devices with individual patients, saving time and money by improving the likelihood that a veteran’s first prosthetic will also be the best. In addition, the research collection will provide information on advanced materials, technologies and devices. “Illinois is in the lead when it comes to prosthetic and orthotic training and research,” Durbin said. “The two bills we are introducing today will strengthen our nation’s scientific workforce, and also allow Illinois hospitals and universities an opportunity to compete for federal support to solidify their standing as a leader in this field. The men and women who suffer serious injuries in the line of duty have already sacrificed enough. They should expect nothing less than the highest standard of care throughout their lives.” “In the last fifteen years, Congress has been too eager to go to war and too reticent to do what’s required for those who go fight those wars,” said Murphy. “The brave men and women who put their lives on the line for this country deserve the best care available when they get home. I’m proud to cosponsor these two bills because cutting-edge care starts with outfitting the VA with an expert workforce that’s equipped with all available data resources and research.” In the past decade, the skill set to provide this state-of-the-art care has become increasingly complex. Unfortunately, there are only around 7,100 prosthetists and orthotists nationwide, with one in five either past retirement already or eligible to retire in the next five years. Current degree programs are not widespread enough to meet this demand for new practitioners and should these degree-granting programs continue at their current rate, they will only be able to replace around two-thirds of the clinicians who retire in the next 20 years. The Department of Veterans Affairs serves approximately 40,000 individuals with limb loss each year. Advances in medical technology have greatly increased the survival rate for even the most grievously wounded service members, but many of those survivors still lose limbs due to their injuries. That increased survival rate, coupled with the greater use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, have led to an amputation rate double that of previous conflicts. Though requiring lifelong care, those medical advances also mean amputations do not preclude a long and healthy life: U.S. News and World Report reported in 2013 that there are at least 167 soldiers who have had a complete loss of an arm, leg, hand or foot who have remained on active duty.
KANE ON THE JOB
State Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Photo: Pa. Independent.com).
Despite the hue and cry that State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is not doing her job, there has been every day movement on work being done in the AG’s office. Just yesterday Kane alerted Commonwealth residents of a reoccurring telephone scam in which consumers have been told there is a "freeze" or "hold" on their credit cards. The Office of Attorney Generals' Bureau of Consumer Protection has recently received reports from consumers indicating an uptick in these scam calls. "You should never give out personal or financial information over the phone," Kane said. "It is imperative that consumers protect this information to avoid being victimized." The scam starts with a call from someone claiming they are with your credit card company. The caller says a temporary hold or freeze has been placed on your account and you must call them back at the phone number they provide in order to reactivate your credit card. This call is usually in the form of a robocall. In another similar scam, callers claim to be affiliated with software or technology companies and state the consumer's computer has been compromised. The caller attempts to remotely gain access to the consumer's computer to install spyware, which allows the caller to acquire control of the computer. Once that occurs, the consumer's computer is held hostage until a fee is paid to the caller. Attorney General Kane offered the following tips to help prevent consumers from becoming victims of these scams: • Never give out personal information over the telephone. • Never give out billing information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger. • Never wire money or purchase green dot-type prepaid cash cards in response to a telephone appeal, whether it is from a stranger or someone who claims to know you. • Never let emotion or fear overcome your common sense. If you get a call for money from a friend or relative, slow down and verify everything. Don't let anyone rush you. • Never give out sensitive information to anyone on the phone unless you initiated the call to a company you are certain is legitimate. • Never forget that you are in control. You can always hang up, find a company's number and call it directly. • Remember this rule of thumb: never give out sensitive information to anyone on the phone unless you initiated the call to a company you are certain is legitimate. Consumers can file a complaint regarding these or other scams by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection's toll-free helpline number at 1-800-441-2555 or online at www.attorneygeneral.gov. Kane also named former Ed Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo as her new press secretary.
HAZLETON MAYOR DEBATES
This coming week WYLN TV 35 will present two debates concerning the Mayor’s race in that city. The first face off is on Monday night April 27th starting at 7pm with Mayor Joe Yannuzzi and his opponent Jeff Cusat. Then on Wednesday night the Democrats square off, Grace Cuozzo and Jack Mundie debate the issues. Panelists will be WYLN TV’s Gary Perna, Tiffany Cloud and yours truly with post debate analysis after the debate at 8pm.
This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with chiropractor and former congressional candidate Joe Leonardi about Hillary Clinton's White House prospects in 2016. An encore of Brian's interview with Peg Ruddy from the Victims Resource Center about their Great Chefs 25 Fundraiser on May 5. And Brian speaks with Monica Thomas about a fundraiser to help a Plymouth family who lost their home to a fire, and about her anti-bullying campaign. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93-7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM & 6:25am on Magic 93.
ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome a representative on Scranton's Junior League to the program during the week of April 27th. The League is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year and you'll hear all about the history of the women's organization as well as plans for this year. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast Ch 19 (61 in some areas) three times each day throughout the week.
BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM
SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION
Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.
Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”
KAREL ON THE STREET
Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.
CORBETT’S SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME
Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.
Our 1965 logo.
New York World's Fair reopens for 2nd & final season…Launch of 1st Soviet communications satellite..........A Military coup is undertaken by Donald Reid Cabral in Dominican Republic……NY Met Casey Stengel wins his 3,000 game as manager……19th NBA Championship: Boston Celtics beat LA Lakers, 4 games to 1…………Charles Ives' 4th Symphony premieres…………
in Pennsylvania Mayor Joseph Barr says that Forbes Field may someday be replaced but the time is not yet feasible from a fiscal standpoint…..in Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery says that the city can apply for Community Grants from Harrisburg but needs the cooperation of the City Council in submitting a plan and 50 years ago this week the number one song in Lulac land and America was the very first hit record by the Moody Blues called “Go Now”.
WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BACK DOWN FROM INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
Your blog editor, Representative Lou Barletta and L.A. Tarone on WYLN TV 35's Topic A. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Representative Lou Barletta wrote some commentary on the infrastructure problem in the United States and our state. Here's what he wrote in Roll Call. In Pennsylvania, we have some of the most run-down roads and bridges in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 22 percent of our state’s roads have unacceptable pavement quality and 43 percent of our bridges are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. Earlier this month, I visited the Greenfield Bridge, where another bridge had to be built underneath to protect drivers from debris falling from Greenfield’s crumbling infrastructure. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that at the federal level, we have a constitutional responsibility to maintain our national transportation infrastructure system and find a sustainable way to pay for it. The Highway Trust Fund is estimated to go bankrupt this summer, unless Congress acts now. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this fund has almost run dry. Since 2008, we have made six transfers — in total more than $60 billion — to the Highway Trust Fund from the General Fund, which is paid for by tax dollars and borrowing money from foreign countries such as China. This is not sustainable or fiscally responsible. We need a better, more affordable solution. I have been working on leveraging private sector savings on major infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships. My colleagues in the House and Senate are starting to talk about ideas to shore up the Highway Trust Fund by repatriating funds from overseas, increasing tolls on our highways, increasing taxes on heavy-duty commercial vehicles, applying the gas tax to alternative fuels, and raising revenue from oil and gas royalties on federal lands. My constituents sent me to Congress to implement real solutions, not to just talk about ideas. Therefore, I am proud to support Ohio Republican Rep. James B. Renacci’s Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act. This commonsense legislation would create a bipartisan, bicameral committee to force Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund and provide 10 years of investment in our roads and bridges. All options are on the table. If, and only if, Congress fails to develop a solution, the bill requires modifications to the gas and diesel taxes to make up for the shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund. The gas and diesel taxes are the sole funding source for the Highway Trust Fund, but they haven’t been adjusted for more than 20 years and are not indexed for inflation. The costs of building and maintaining our roads and bridges have soared, but the funding source for these projects has stayed the same. Since 1993, the number of cars and trucks on our roads has increased and, at the same time, their fuel efficiency improved — meaning more wear and tear, but less money to repair. Clearly, times have changed. With that being said, I have very real concerns that simply increasing the gas tax would be like betting on a dying horse.
Rep. Lou Barletta is a Republican from Pennsylvania representing the 11th Congressional district.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. (Photo: Times Leader).
The furor over gas gate came to an end this afternoon with no criminal charges filed. Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said in a statement that a multi-agency investigation into fuel use by Wilkes-Barre city officials was over and no criminal offenses could be proven. Right from the get go this was going to be a tough case to prove. If someone is entitled to something, is it theft? And if there was a precedent that was set by other administrations how does one make a criminal charge? Plus there was the full weight of multi investigative bodies weighing in on this and found that no charges can be filed. Already the DA is taking heat because she can’t prosecute the case. Steve Corbett said on the radio as his show closed today that this might be problematic for her re-election chances. Maybe. But you can’t prosecute without proof. A guy named Jim Garrison in New Orleans tried that and was foiled. You need proof! I can guarantee you that in her 200 plus victory in 2011, Salavantis did not win Wilkes Barre City. And this decision which was not in her hands will certainly get the natives in the Diamond City restless come election time. She may get a few grateful staunch Democratic votes. But there are other issues bigger than this. Was there a lack of accountability? Sure. But the voters had elections to fix that. They didn’t. So now there’s no charges. Blame whoever you want but not the DA who called the feds in for help and couldn't prosecute this without any evidence.
WARDLE SENDS HIS MESSAGE
Candidate Tom Wardle. (Photo: Wardle Facebook page).
Using Facebook Magisterial candidate in District 11-03-08 Tom Wardle has introduced some videos making the case as to why he is running for the job in the Plains and Laflin area. This message sure beats yard signs even though he has them. Check out Wardle’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/tom.wardle.944
Hillary Clinton is running for President. If you listen to the national media they are agonizing over every little move or non move she is making. Here’s what I’m hoping the former Senator will do. 1. Ignore the media. Tom Wolf proved you don’t have to answer every question all the time. If you have a message, you will win. 2. Hillary Clinton has to mold her message into three or four things. She has to take a page out of Ronald Regan’s 1980 playbook and write down on three or four index cards what she wants to do to lead this country. 3. If she does that, she will win the nomination and election. Her opposition will be her best friend. 4. Lose that van. Get yourself a monster SUV and act like a front runner instead of a soccer mom! I don’t need to have a cup of coffee with Hillary or have her ask about my family to get her vote. All I want her to do is give the middle class the break it so sorely needs.
KASICH ALMOST HAD US
Ohio Governor John Kasich. (Photo: The Guardian).
So Mrs LuLac was on the computer playing whatever the heck she plays, (all I know there were big colored circles she was moving around) and I was on the couch watching Meet The Press. Current Governor of Ohio John Kasich was being really reasonable. He mentioned that while economic growth was important, we shouldn’t leave the working poor behind. He has been the only GOP candidate to utter that phrase, “working poor”. He spoke of his experience in foreign policy as well as balancing a budget. We both agreed he was sounding pretty good. Reasonable like the GOP party we knew when we were kids growing up. Then he dropped the bomb. When questioned by Chuck Todd about his decision to run Kasich said this, I'm trying to figure out what the Lord wants me to do with my life. He has a purpose for everyone in this room. I want to fulfill my purpose. Life is short. In the next world I'll be accountable for what I did here.” I respect his answer and his beliefs. I really do. I actually envy them. But The Lord is not weighing in on our political process just like he didn’t weigh in on the Super Bowl or the last game of the World Imagine if John Kennedy had said that. There is a separation of church and state. I think this was a very candid answer but one that was the wrong one for someone seeking to lead a diverse nation.
SPRING 2014 BLOGFEST IS FRIDAY, MAY
NEPA Blogfest 2014 Spring Edition
Date: Friday, May 1, 2014
Venue: The Red Mill
340 South Main Street
Pittston, PA 18640
Northeastern Pennsylvania Bloggers will be hosting the semi-annual Blogfest on May 1 at The Red Mill, 340 S. Main St., Pittston, PA 18640 starting at 6PM. This is an informal gathering of bloggers, candidates for office, elected officials and anyone interested in politics or blogging. There is no charge for admission. Since its inception, Blogfest has been described as the best political event of the season. No speeches are allowed and the rule is agree to disagree but don't be disagreeable. Many local and statewide candidates will be attending. For additional information visit these websites: http://nepablogs.org/ http://www.pittstonpolitics.com/ http://lulacpoliticaletter.blogspot.com/
HAZLETON DEBATES NEXT WEEK
WYLN35 has taken the lead in securing the first scheduled LIVE Hazleton Mayoral Debates, with the Republican candidates debating 7-8PM Monday April 27th and the Democrats debating 7-8PM Wednesday April 29th. Both debates will be followed by a LIVE post-debate analysis/commentary show featuring debate moderator Tiffany Cloud from WYLN35’s “The Storm,” and debate media panelists, WYLN35’s Lead Reporter Gary Perna and editor of the LuLac Political Letter, David Yonki. In 2015, WYLN35 is once again committed to being your stop for the best, most comprehensive local political coverage this election season. For more information on additional political programming, check out our website WYLNTV.com or follow us on Facebook.
1964 THE TRIBUTE BAND
“1964 The Tribute” takes their audiences on a musical journey to an era in rock history that will live in all of our hearts forever. They are hailed by critics and fans alike as the most authentic and endearing Beatles tribute in the world. Choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era, “1964” astonishingly recreates an early 60’s live Beatles concert, with period instruments, clothing, even Beatle boots, hairstyles, and onstage banter. Come see why “1964 The Tribute” are masters of their craft and the definitive Beatles show. 1964 has been hailed as, “Best Beatles Tribute on Earth" by Rolling Stone Magazine. They have performed all across the globe, including at Carnegie Hall in New York City 12 times to sellout audiences. “1964 The Tribute” is being presented by EDD RAINERI, host of “The Beatledd Fab Four Hour” radio show on WRKC-FM. http://www.kirbycenter.org/events/7yy/1964_the_tribute/
ATTORNEY JOSEPH SAPORITO JR. SWORN IN AS FEDERAL DISTRICT MAGISTRATE
(Photos: Lauren Taylor, Facebook).
This week was a big one for Pittston Attorney and native Joseph Saporito. Saporito was sworn in as a Federal District Magistrate. The term is for eight years and Saporito brings years of legal experience in both the civil and criminal field. Just so you know, a FDM handles pretrial items concerning civil and criminal matters. Saporito will do this on behalf of the District Judges. Also if is he involved in a case and both parties want to reach an agreement, they may consent for a Magistrate like Saporito to decide the matter in Civil cases. The affable and very competent Pittston attorney was chosen in November by a panel of Federal District Judges and reportedly bested four other candidates. He will primarily work out of the Rosenn Court house in Wilkes Barre. We were invited to the big event but work prohibited our attendance. But I understand it was a grand event. Saporito might have become a Luzern County Judge if there was a semblance of a Republican party in the County. The new FDM is a graduate of the Scranton Preparatory School, Villanova University and the Dickinson School of Law and has been practicing law since 1985. We wish him the very best in this exciting new chapter in his legal career.
WOYCHIK IN FOR DISTRICT MAGISTRATE 11-1-02
Justin Woychik, candidate for District Justice. (Photo: Woychik campaign).
The race to succeed District Magistrate Martin Kane is heating up. Kane’s son Jared has thrown his hat in the ring as well as Tom Malloy. Both have had a lot of signage in the district. Justin Woychik of Wilkes Barre is also making a run. Like Tom Wardle in the 11-03-08 District, Woychik is really focusing in on his experience as a member of a local police department. Woychik brings practical experience as a Pennsylvania State Constable and EMT . He is a former Police Officer with Wilkes-Barre Township, a Lifelong resident of Wilkes-Barre And • Graduate: Bishop Hoban High School , King’s College ~ B.S. Computers and Information Systems and is currently working on his M.S. (In Process) Health Care Administration. For more information go to his website at www.woychikforjudge.com
PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPERS ASSOCIATION ENDORSES TODD EAGEN
Thursday the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (PSTA) endorsed Scranton attorney Todd Eagen for the state's Commonwealth Court. In giving their endorsement, PSTA President Joseph Kovel said, "Representing more than 8,000 active and retired State Troopers, the PSTA seeks to endorse candidates who have the best interest of Pennsylvania and its law enforcement community at heart. Clearly, Todd's extensive experience representing members of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association along with other labor organizations in various areas of litigation, including the courts, is cause for our endorsement." In receiving the endorsement, Mr. Eagen, a Democrat from Lackawanna County said, "I am honored to have the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association. They put their lives on the line every day for the people of Pennsylvania. As their commitment to our Commonwealth has been longstanding and unmovable, I am especially proud to have their approval and assistance.” Todd Eagen has already been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Keystone Progress PAC, the Bucks, Chester, Lackawanna and Luzerne County Democratic committees. He is expecting even more prominent endorsements as the campaign progresses.
THOMAS LUKASEWICZ MAKING TRACKS IN COMMISSIONER’S RACE
Tom Lukasewicz, another Democratic candidate for Commissioner in the Lac. (Photo: Tom Lukasewicz for Commissioner Facebook page).
This week incumbents Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Pat “The Statesman” O’Malley have statred running TV ads touting their candidacy. One of their opponents is doing a of grass roots campaigning utilizing the hot issues of both the Keystone Landfill and the gas powered plant in Jessup. That candidate is Tom Lukasewicz. He is really hammering the current Commissioners for refusing to address both those issues. If you saw the ad, the Commissioners are taking credit for saving baseball in the Lac as well as a plethora of other issues. But nary a word about the big hot issues regarding Keystone and Jessup. Here’s why this is important. In any race for Commissioner, especially a Democratic primary, the Mid Valley has always played a major role. To ignore a candidate like Lukasewicz and his issues would be foolhardy. Lukasewicz has been serving for 22 years on Throop Borough Council with 16 years as the Borough President. Sources tell me he’ll be up on TV soon.
CORBETT AND TARONE
Starting Monday WILK’s schedule will change slightly. Steve Corbett still starts at 3pm but will end his program at 6. L.A. Tarone who was doing a 7 to 9 block now starts an hour earlier. WILK is one of the very few if not the only talk radio station in the country with four local talk shows. The time periods add a symmetry to the lineup of three hour blocks from 6am to midnight. Now if they can get rid of that guy Clyde and “Ground Zero” things would be damn near perfect.
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Political analyst for WBRE TV's Pa. Live program and post election commentator for WBRE TV's Eyewitness News Daybreak show. Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Yonki was a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appeared on the Hazleton, PA. station on Election Night doing coverage and did special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".