The LuLac Edition #2568, December 8th, 2013
Three news stories this week really highlighted just how bad this area really is to people who live around here and others who view us from the outside. One is a story about crime, the other about politics and the other about why we continue to be an economic development black hole.
SHERMAN HILLS CHARGES
So a gun goes off in Sherman Hills and the bullet goes through the floor narrowly missing a sleeping 5 year old. Terrence Jones was charged with reckless endangerment after allegedly doing this at 3:15AM. Sleep walking?
The bigger story reported by the Citizen Voice’s James Halprin is that on the same day police conducted a consent search at 328 Parkview Circle apartment 614. Police found a 9mm bullet and drug packaging materials, as well as two packages of marijuana that were in a child's bedroom hidden under some clothes.
Drug charges are pending against the resident, Diana Page. Remember Diana Page? She’s the mom who had Flea coming in the back door, Bug coming out the back and God knows who hanging out and duking it out with guns while her 2 and 5 year old little girls were shot. No charges have been filed in that shooting back in the summer and Page has not been charged with anything yet in this new development.
But you have to wonder why drugs were found in her house along with bullets especially after what happened in August. It is time to do something drastic with Sherman Hills. My friend Rob Nyehard said on WILK that maybe we should just blow it up and start over. At first I disagreed with him because I thought that might be too harsh but this has got to stop. How about eviction notices and a bus ticket to somewhere else for the parents who possess drug paraphernalia? I hear Winnipeg is beautiful this time of the year. And take those kids away from people who have not seemed to learn anything from a harrowing experience. I’m at the point where we evict everyone, put drug free, crime free people in other housing, ship the criminals out of town, put tracking chips in them so you’ll know when they get back in town and sell the building to Rob Mericle to develop it into something of value. Because obviously some residents of the Hills don’t value anything, even children’s lives. That’s just morally wrong and bankrupt.
CORBETT KISSES BUTT
First off, let me begin with offering my congratulations to 88 year old political powerhouse Pat Solano for getting an environmental education center named after him. It’s a fair bet that at the age of 88 Solano will do nothing to get his name taken off the building. Solano served as deputy secretary for Parks and Forests with the former Department of Environmental Resources and as the acting secretary when the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources was first created in 1995. He did good work but let’s not forget these were political appointments for Solano. He was always “the Man” to see when GOP office holders were running for the big jobs but Solano always made sure he got a piece of the action with a state job.
Unlike many state lackeys who frittered away their hours doing nothing constructive Solano did make a difference. But again, it is not a surprising that when a GOP Governor struggling in the polls (with his own party no less!) needed to bestow an award and make a pilgrimage for a blessing in a tough re-election year, Solano’s name would be on the top of the list. While people should congratulate Mr. Solano on his award, you can be sure if his name was Ned Zdleski who worked for the state for 30 years in a lower level job, Governor Corbett would not be around bestowing kisses and fist bumps.
Republican politicians always needed to kiss the ring of guys like Solano and the late Senator T. Newell Wood which might be one of the reasons why the GOP is pretty much a party of the few (but the taken care of) in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. That’s depressing.
THE CHAMBER GETS AN INTERIM HEAD
Okay, if you are the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce and your new guy William Moore books out after less than 14 months, you have to think maybe we should be going in a new direction. The guy who gets the job in a nationwide search sees this damaged organization and takes a powder. So who does the Chamber pick to be the Interim Head?
Gerry O’Donnell who used to be the President and CEO of Motor World. (They can sell you a grand car seat for $2200.00 by the way!) Anyway, after leaving MotorWorld in 2012 O’Donnell started a consulting business. What CEO starts a “consulting business” after all those years of running the show? Do we think Dr. Glen Steele head of Geisinger will be setting up his own consulting business and stop being CEO? Zuckerberg from Facebook? Well to each his own, I’m sure O’Donnell’s consulting business was wildly successful.
But read this statement O’Donnell made to the newspapers, "The organization made some great strides in the last couple years and we want to continue going forward and not backward”.
My question is what has this Chamber done in the last decade to get any meaningful economic development? Most people are hard pressed to name anything.
This Chamber has been an economic joke for the last twenty years. Its heads have been rewarded with huge salaries but have kept wages for normal folks depressed. But former Chamber heads always come up smelling like roses so I guess, given that past history, O’Donnell is a pretty happy guy these days.
The Wilkes Bare Chamber like the Scranton Chamber rejected someone with a new set of eyes and maybe some innovative thinking. Instead they chose a good old boy who I’m sure will show them a thing or two with his consulting experience. Chamber of Commerce organizations used to have the reputation of hiring the smartest guy in the room. The Wilkes Barre Chamber did. His name was Bill Moore. He was smart enough to get out.
And now let’s start this music.