Thursday, April 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2637, April 17th, 2014


Developer Rob Mericle. (Photo: Citizen’s Voice).

So everyone is buzzing about whether business developer Rob Mericle is going to get jail time for his role in the Ciavarella/Conahan Corruption trial. The Times Leader had snippets of some letters written to Judge Edwin Kosik from local people who think Mericle should get a break. All wax poetic about his abilities and kindness. And all of it is true. I worked in a Mericle Building in the 90s when a man who worked in another office died all too young and suddenly. Mericle was there for the business and the family. The stories of his largess and kindness are legendary. At the Ciavarella trial where the former Judge was convicted of one count of racketeering, four counts of mail fraud, three counts of conspiracy and four counts of filing false tax returns Mericle testified that the Judge was a friend and mentor to him when he went to the Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes Barre as a boy. Mericle has plead guilty to not reporting a felony.
Mericle admits guilt. So, what should his punishment be? Would it do this community any good for him to serve jail time? Was Mericle gaining financially from the doings of these two Judges? If anything Mericle was guilty of trying to help a former coach and mentor keep up with the lavish lifestyle of Mr. Conahan.
There are those who will say that Mericle’s money was the root of the evil that became the tragedy in Luzerne County. Crazy stuff. If there was no Rob Mericle to fund the enterprise, you can bet Bob Powell and Conahan would have found another funding source to dangle in front of Mark Ciavarella.
Here’s what Mericle’s sentence should be. He should be ordered to serve for a dollar a day as the Head of the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce. Currently the Chamber is doing a nationwide search for a person who is going to be charged to stimulate our woeful economy. An economy and business culture that hasn’t been revived in fifty years despite high price mouthpieces and big shots who have done nothing but depress wages of working people and enrich themselves.
Mericle has proven he could develop businesses. He has proven he can build and understand the infrastructure of our area. If Mericle didn’t exist, the Chamber would not have anything to beat their chest about. I say sentence him to work as CEO of the Chamber, pay him a dollar a day and everybody wins. During the Depression and the war, Franklin Roosevelt got wealthy business people, trust fund babies and men of means with education, experience and talent and got a bargain in the process. We should do the same, convicted felon or not.
The Wilkes Barre Chamber has been a joke for many years, almost as funny as those goofy Cabbage Patch kids from the 80s. If Mericle started his successful business empire selling ugly dolls, imagine what he can do with an ugly and inert business climate engendered by the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce? I think I’ll send this idea to Judge Kosik.


Pashinski And Flynn Endorse Wolf In His Bid For Governor

Candidate for Governor Tom Wolf. (Photo: LuLac archives).
NEPA Leaders Stand Behind Wolf
Tom Wolf this week received the backing of State Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski and Marty Flynn in his bid for governor. The Northeast Pennsylvania leaders came together to support Wolf citing his plan to invest in education, his call to make gas companies pay their fair share, and his support for cities like Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.
Representative Eddie Day Pashinsk who is serving his fourth term in the 121st District said: “Tom Wolf has a commonsense plan to restore much needed resources to our education system and make gas companies pay their fair share. Cities like Wilkes-Barre have suffered economically while gas companies have been let off the hook. I know Tom Wolf will stand with Pennsylvania families and that’s why I am standing with him.”
Representative Marty Flynn who is a Freshman Representative from the 113th allowed: “Tom Wolf has made education his number one priority, and my priority is to help him get elected. Scranton public schools are in disrepair, and the state is holding money that we desperately need to repair our schools’infrastructure. Northeast Pennsylvania cannot afford more funding cuts and broken promises – Tom Wolf will give our region the fresh start it needs to grow.”
“I am humbled to earn the support of Representatives Pashinski and Flynn,” said Tom Wolf. “Each of these leaders cares deeply about their community and understands that if Pennsylvania is to grow and thrive, we must invest in our future by focusing on education and standing up for middle-class families. I look forward to working with Eddie and Marty to help Northeast Pennsylvania grow.”


U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).
The Sherman Hills Task Force, led by U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright, met with John Van Metre, Director of Property Management at The Aspen Companies, a related company of Treetop Development that handles affordable housing complexes.
Aspen Companies has been successful in turning around troubled properties around the country, mainly in Chicago and Atlanta, and currently manages 15 affordable housing complexes.
“Speaking for myself and the entire Task Force, we were pleased to make the acquaintance of John Van Metre and encouraged by his willingness to sit down with us informally to share his plans. We were also heartened by his desire that the Task Force continue in existence in order to partner with the new enterprise,” said Cartwright. “I think it’s a new beginning, and there is every reason for optimism at this point.”
Van Metre noted his company’s commitment and previous success with community engagement and is determined to do the same at Sherman Hills. Specifically, Van Metre referenced working closely with the Task Force to develop programs such as after school activities, creating an active and engaged tenants association, and building a strong relationship with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.
“Cooperation and communication often leads to positive results– and our continued positive dialogue with Treetop Development, HUD and local law enforcement will help us better serve and protect all NEPA families from crime and violence,” State Sen. John Yudichak said.
Aspen Companies will continue work to strengthen the complex’s security and is moving forward to obtain the necessary permits to do so. Additionally, the management company is preparing to make immediate cosmetic improvements to demonstrate their commitment to changing the atmosphere.
“We welcome John Van Metre to northeastern Pennsylvania and the city of Wilkes-Barre, and we offer our complete cooperation and commitment to making sure that Sherman Hills is a property that is safe for not only its residents, but the people of Wilkes-Barre,” said State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski. “I am encouraged by Van Metre’s positive approach and the fact that he has successfully managed properties of similar status. The Task Force emphasized that all representatives of the federal, state, county and city are united as one body in ensuring that we achieve the goal of providing a safe property that we can all be proud of.”
Referencing yesterday’s surprise inspection of Sherman Hills by the Office of the Inspector General, Van Metre seemed dismayed, but noted that the ongoing investigation concerns the prior owner’s financial practices.
In early February and again in March, Cartwright met with HUD Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Jane Vincent, to receive an update on the progress of Sherman Hills. At these meetings, Cartwright, on behalf of the Task Force, insisted in the event of a possible sale that any new owner must make the repairs that have already been promised.
The Task Force was formed in response to a late 2013 report by HUD, which paid Sherman Hills $1.7 million in 2013 to provide low-income housing at the 344-unit complex, about deficiencies and safety problems at the property.
Members of the Task Force are Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17); Tom Leighton, Mayor, Wilkes-Barre; John Yudichak, State Senator (PA-14); Eddie Pashinski, State Representative (PA-121); Bill Barrett, Chairperson, Wilkes-Barre City Council; Maureen Lavelle, Councilwoman, Wilkes-Barre City Council; George Brown, Councilman, Wilkes-Barre City Council; Tim McGinley, Chair, Luzerne County Council; Harry Haas, Councilman, Luzerne County Council; Edd Brominski, Councilman, Luzerne County Council; Eileen Sorokas, Councilwoman-Elect, Luzerne County; Ron Felton, President, Wilkes-Barre NAACP; Rev. Shawn Walker, Pastor, First Baptist Church; Angel Jirau, Executive Director, Spanish American Leaders Serving All.



For over 200 weeks ECTV Live has been bringing viewers information on events, services and entertainment. ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will be looking for you input after their series of programs during the week of April 21st! Keith Williams from the Center for Independent Living will be their guest. He'll outline plans to improve voting polling places for people with disabilities after voters in this May's Primary election provide some feedback on the situation at their individual polling place! ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19throughout the week. The initial telecast is presented Live on Monday's a Noon. The program is also recorded and played numerous time throughout the week.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Bridget Kane from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership about their Bike & River Fest in South Williamsport on Saturday May 10th.
Brian speaks with Alyssa Maria from Home Instead senior Care and Audrey Milford from Wilkes Barre, who was named as the 2014 Outstanding Senior Volunteer in Pennsylvania.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Nicole Ash about Autism Awareness Month observed during the month of April.
And Brian speaks with travel guru Chris McGuiness about the best travel deals for the Spring & Summer months.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


This Sunday on Community Forum, Mike Remish discusses Earth Day with Barbara Giovagnioli from the Lackawanna County Office on Environmental Sustainability. The show airs at 6 am on 94.3 fm The Talker, 6:30 on The Game Sports Radio Network 1340/1400 am and 106.7 fm, and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.

Our 1974 logo.


Forty years ago today NBC Newsman and Today Show Host Frank McGee died of bone cancer at the age of 52. 
The Today Show team of Joe Garagiola, Frank Blair (who made a stop at WEJL Radio in Scranton), Barbara Walters and Frank McGee. (Photo: TV Guide).
McGee was host of The Today Show from 1971 to 1974 a short tenure but in that time McGee made it into a serious news show. McGee was a floor correspondent for the national conventions of both political parties in 1960, 1964, and 1968, one member of the so-called "Four Horsemen" that included NBC newsmen John Chancellor, Edwin Newman, and Sander Vanocur McGee also served as a radio reporter for the old NBC News Monitor series. He also reported on the Space Missions of the 1960s, had a very provocative interview with Martin Luther King Junior in which King said he thought often about the possibility of assassination. McGee was on the air nonstop for John Kennedy’s assassination coverage and ironically was on the air the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.
McGee (left) with Bill Ryan (right) on the set the night of November 22nd, 1963 when JFK was killed. (Photo: NBC News).
McGee always had firm command of the show making sure he opened and ended the show as well as any important interview much to the consternation of Barbra Walters. McGee was one of the very best reporters and had a vivid way of describing an event. If you were growing up in the 60s and watched NBC Frank McGee was a constant in your life. He died very young and there was so much potential ahead for him. When Mrs. LuLac and I were planning a date for our wedding, we first decided on the 17th but moved it back as to not conflict with the anniversary of Mr. McGee’s death. Here is video of Frank McGee at the launch of Apollo 11……

In Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker said on his radio program that the foreign policy of America was not at risk during the Watergate controversy. The first term Senator running for re-election opined that the world was safe with Vice President Ford and Henry Kissinger on the Nixon team. Schweiker was critical though of President Nixon’s reluctance to come clean over Watergate……on the West Side State Representative Frank O’Connell campaigning in Kingston without primary opposition advises that he will run hard for reelection in the Fall despite a huge GOP advantage in his District…….and forty years ago this week in America and LuLac land the number one song in America and LuLac land was TSOP, The Sound of Philadelphia by MFBS one of many instrumental hits of 1974.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2636, April 16th, 2014

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.



Former aide to Congressman Chris Carney Ed Zygmunt. (Photo: LuLac archives).
This month marked a major milestone in the Affordable Care Act. But even with 7.5 million Americans enrolled, the Republican party of no is still screaming “what if” and “hey but…’ Can you imagine if that same party had said to Lincoln, “Free the slaves but….” Or to John Kennedy, “The moon…what if green marshmallow men eat us alive as soon as we enter orbit?”
This week for “Write On Wednesday” we have Ed Zygmunt who was here as an aide with that courageous Congressman from our area Chris Carney. Carney sacrificed a lot to get the bill through. His replacement has voted numerous times to kill it. Yep, we get the representation we deserve. Now if Uncle Louie gave Mr. Marino a call……anyway I digress.This opinion piece was in Sunday's Times Tribune but Mr. Zygmunt kindly allowed us to use it here. Here are his thoughts as this new success firmly establishes that this Act is here to stay:
April 1st, 2014 will forever be a bright spot in American history, as President Obama announced from the White House Rose Garden that more than seven million Americans secured health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. For these deserving Americans, having quality, affordable health insurance was no April fools joke. It was a dream that finally came true.
As the President reminded us, this great achievement didn’t happen without a struggle. I know exactly what he meant. Chris Carney was in his second term in Congress when the Affordable Care Act became the center of the nation’s attention. As his field representative here in the sprawling 10th congressional district, I was Carney’s eyes and ears back home while he dutifully served his constituents in the nation’s Capital. Believe me, I heard and saw it all.
I remember well those crazy days when the political spinmeisters convinced so many Americans that Obamacare death panels were going to kill grandma. My fellow staffers and I still share our tales about the contentious town hall meetings Rep. Carney so bravely held in all fourteen counties of his district. And I certainly will never forget the day the Pike County Sheriff had to rescue me from a rowdy crowd of Obamacare opponents. It was not a pretty sight.
But those stories meant little compared to the personal tragedies that Rep. Carney and I heard everywhere we traveled in the 10th district. Families losing their homes because they couldn’t afford the huge medical bills from a life-threatening illness. Women dropped by their insurance company soon after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Distraught parents desperate to secure insurance coverage for their child with a pre-existing medical condition. I could go on and on…
So when the time finally arrived for Rep. Carney to cast his crucial vote, there was never any doubt he would place the well-being of his constituents above all else, knowing full well it could mean the end of his political career. And ultimately it did, for a little while anyway.
Now, five years after its passage, President Obama proudly declared the Affordable Care Act is working for the majority of Americans. “Armageddon has not arrived”, said the President with a smile.
Along with the seven million Americans who signed up through the federal exchange, millions more acquired insurance through the fourteen state-run exchanges. Three million young adults are now covered under their parents’ healthcare plan. And an additional three million low-income citizens are insured through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, except in our state because Gov. Corbett refused it.
Untold numbers with pre-existing medical conditions are finally receiving the care they so desperately needed, many for the first time in their lives. Senior citizens are realizing lower prescription drug costs. Women can receive free preventive care. Insurers must use at least 80 percent of premiums on medical costs or give you a rebate. And every insured American no longer lives in fear of bankruptcy because of the annual medical expense caps mandated by Obamacare.
Sadly, since the President’s historic announcement, House Republicans cast their 55th vote to take away every one of these life-saving benefits, including our current representative from the 10th district. This has to be the cruelest April fool’s joke of all time.
When it counted most, Chris Carney answered the cry for help from his constituents. We will all enjoy healthier lives because of the courage shown by one BIG man from the small town of Dimock.
And in case you’re wondering if Obamacare is here to stay. Well, to borrow a line from that famous Alaskan inventor of those imaginary death panels – YOU BETCHA!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2635, April 15th, 2014

Our “In Focus” logo.


This past week we’ve been out and about attending some events that are part of the local landscape. I attended the Tom Wolf event last Thursday as reported in LuLac Edition # 2633.


Friday night I was proud to accompany Mrs. LuLac to the Red Carpet Premiere of a documentary on the Osterhout Library. This year the Free Library is celebrating its 125th birthday. Here are a few photos:
Here’s a crowd shot of the people at the event at the Osterhout.
Longtime area volunteer and businessman Clayton Karembellas and I renewed old memories.
Luzerne County Council member Rick William was in attendance. Williams is a new board member of the Library.
Mayor Tom Leighton spoke at the event and gave a very nice speech on what the library meant to his family. The Mayor provided the key to the city to the Library on its anniversary.
Had a very unique conversation with Doctor Mark Stine from Wilkes College. Dr. Stine has trained many students in the fine art of broadcasting and we were going through the number of Wilkes graduates who participated in the Wilkes Community News program on Service Electric Channel 97.
Carl Brigido and I worked together in the mid 70s at WVIA TV and FM. Carl was an engineer at the TV outlet before moving on to a long career at Wilkes College. Carl also did some voice overs for some of my radio shows through the years.
Wyoming’s Bill Frew and I tried to avoid politics that night. We are polar opposites on issues but seem to laugh a lot when we are left to our own devices.


On that great sunny 70 degree day I met some very nice folks who came to buy my three books, “A Radio Story”, “26 Rules of Life” and “Weather Or Knot”. Thanks to the fine folks at B&N for keeping me alert with Iced Tea and Godivas. Met very interesting fellow writers as well as some people who are fans of my blog as well as my TV appearances on Pa. Live on WBRE TV. Special shout outs to Bob Shortz and Deanna Farrell who bought multiple copies of my books, my Facebook friends and to my paisanos(is it possible for a Slovak guy to have Paisanos?) from the Mid Valley who did a multiple order of “A Radio Story” prior to the event. Here’s two photos from the event, from left are two follow authors Bryan Kollar and on the right Sharon Saracino.
The other photo is my supervisor who made the trek up with her lovely Sister. Here I am with Heather Allen assuring her “A Radio Story” was purely fiction. 

Thanks to all that attended and those who ordered as a result of the event.


Years ago, even before LuLac I posted on a Radio Info message board. One of the on line friends I acquired was Gene Werley who worked at T102 for 15 years. Gene and I kept in touch through the years and has aided me in securing some great music downloads. Monday afternoon I got a surprise phone call from Gene who was at Mohegan Sun on business. We had dinner and literally closed the Lone Star on Monday night. Topics of conversation were Radio, our current careers, baseball, Jamaica and family.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2634, April 13th, 2014

Our “13 Questions” logo.


1. There was big news about the misery index here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Are you miserable?

Not really. With my past health issues I really have no right to be. I get annoyed but I’m not miserable. I hate winter but live my life in segments. I just want to get through 4 hour increments and if all goes well I’m content. I think the big part of misery around here is low wages but the other side of that is there are many negative people that no matter what you do, it isn’t good enough. But no, I’m good and not miserable. If you want misery, get cauterized in a hospital.

2. Governor’s race, who will win on the Democratic side?

Wolf. Lt. Governor is up for grabs.

3. Are you a slave to your cell phone?

I try not to be “that guy”. I panic when I can’t locate it but that’s because of habit I guess. I’m amazed at how rude people are with them though. I was in the UPS Store in Edwardsville (love Gabe and those guys) mailing some book orders and a lady comes strutting in with a package, phone right to her ear talking about a work related item. She barely acknowledged the 6 foot 4 clerk and just kept talking while he waited on her and then left still yammering away. Totally rude, demeaning, disrespectful and ignorant to the person behind the counter. There’s a special place in hell for creeps like her. And the hysterical thing is that long after she loses that job no one will remember her name and that so very important phone conversation. Except her family. Maybe. So no, I try not to be a slave to the old device.

4. Saw you at the book signing yesterday at Barnes and Noble. Nice crowd. What is the biggest thrill you get as an author?

Well after getting the thing in print, the best part is when people are reading the book and I run into them. I love it when they say, “I’m at the part where…..”, or “I can’t believe this character did…….” Or the best is “That ending, I didn’t see that coming”, or “I hated that ending, what were you thinking?” Nothing better than getting running commentary and paragraphs thrown back at you by people reading your stuff! Check out a future edition for some photos of that event.

5. I read your wonderful tribute to the late Jim Ward but I am mystified by the fact that there were no comments. Why is that?

Comments happen when people get passionate about something. After eight years I have no idea what will trip people’s switches. Like I’ll throw something real dumb up and all hell will break loose. I’ll work on something for a week and nothing. The Ward anniversary is remembered by a few people of my generation. But I feel it is important to document through this site people in media, politics and pop culture locally who made a difference. People may not comment but I know they read it and that’s enough when it comes to subjects like these.

6. What are your thoughts on former President George W. Bush’s painting?

First off I’m art challenged. Can’t draw to save my life. I’m no great judge of art talent. But I have to tell you that in my humble opinion he’s pretty good. You have to have a lot of patience and dexterity to do that. Really respect it.
After the seventh grade I was pretty much exempted from art. Around Easter 1967 we were given an art assignment for Easter. Kids were drawing angels and heavenly clouds, my friend Dave Dellarte drew this magnificent depiction of the Way of the Cross. I could only draw straight lines and using a cup, a half circle. My greatest triumph came when I discovered I could tilt the straight lines. I was a champ at arrows.
The late Soviet Cosmonaut Komarov, the subject of my seventh grade art project. (Photo: Time).
That spring a Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov plummeted to earth when the landing device failed. In the wake of the three astronauts America had lost in January of 1967, Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, it was big news. So deciding to marry the topical with the religious I did a drawing of Calvary with the three crosses, on a half circle with a space capsule crashing into the side of the hill. The nun took the project, scowled and said nothing. That night the Principle called my parents from the school wondering if they might be interested in sending me to a Counselor. A meeting ensued, I was given basic art exams that proved my deficiencies and in eighth grade I just went to the library and looked at art books. So yes I do indeed have respect for anyone who can draw more than a half circle and straight lines.

7. Were you a Mickey Rooney fan?

You bet. Loved him in all the Andy Hardy movies which WVIA TV showed when I worked there. I think he was wildly entertaining and underrated.

8. Looks like Ray Musto is going to beat our Hugo Selenski for staying out of court, henya?

Yeah but what a way to win.

9. Madmen coming back on the air tonight. Any predictions for an ending and are there any redeeming qualities of Don Draper?
Madmen characters Roger Sterling and Don Draper. (Photo: AMC).
No predictions for an ending. I hope they don’t write it this way, he finally gets his act together and then gets hit by a bus. I read in New York Magazine that Don Draper’s life expectancy would have had him dying at the age of 59 in 1985 if he were a real person given his life style. The character is a womanizing shit and having been one I understand the complexities of his infidelity. That said, the one redeeming thing I see is that given his upbringing, he seems to not punish his kids brutally when they do something wrong. I’d like to think that aspect will play a role in the final season.

10. Heard you on L.A. Tarone’s radio program last month on a Friday. Will that be a regular thing?

Yes. I think we’re looking at the last Friday of every month if management and his listeners are okay with us screaming at each other.

11. Is it true that Dwight Eisenhower played golf on the day you were born?

Ike the duffer. (Photo: Eisenhower Library).
Yes. With Ben Hogan. The funny thing is that we heard on George Noory overnight on WILK from one of the conspiracy crazies that the golf game was a cover story because Eisenhower was at an Air Force Base meeting outer space aliens on the 20th of February. (I was born on the 19th). The AP reported that night that Ike had died of a heart attack but later retracted it when they found out he actually went to the dentist to have a crown repaired.

12. Favorite Easter food?

My sister makes a cheese passed down from generations in our family. It’s called cirak but my mother called it cydik and is a real treat. You make it with a dozen eggs, 4 cups of milk, cheese cloth and basic ingredients like salt and pepper to taste. A little bit of that with horse radish and it is a little piece of heaven. Here’s the recipe:
1. Measure milk into a bowl, and set over a saucepan filled half way with simmering water. Heat until warm to the touch, then gradually start cracking eggs into the milk while stirring almost constantly. This will scorch very easily. Continue to stir slowly once all of the eggs are in, until the mixture resembles scrambled eggs.
2. Pour into a cheesecloth bag and tie tightly. Hang from the sink faucet or over a bowl and allow to drain for 1 to 2 hours. Place on a cooling rack set over a pan or bowl and set a heavy object on top to press out the liquid. A cool cast iron skillet weighted with heavy cans works well. Press for about 2 hours.
3. Carefully remove the weights and cheesecloth bag from the cheese. Refrigerate the cheese for several hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

13. Saw you at the Tom Wolf for Governor event and you were looking fabulous. Glad to see you out and about. When are we going to hear about your illness from last year (if you care to share) and where the hell did you get that suit? My wife was guessing it was a cotton blend. When you do your local debates you give a Fashion Report so give.

You got a twofer here on the big 13. I’m struggling with outing myself on the neurological condition because not many people understand it. But it will come when I figure out a way to simply it. The suit is actually a sharkskin light from Tommy Hilfiger. It is so comfortable I want to sleep in it. Your wife has a good eye because it was a blend. And tell her thanks for navigating me toward hose meatballs. The Vinsko’s really know how to throw a party!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2633, April 10th, 2014


Tom Wolf, Democratic candidate for Governor stopped by the FM Kirby Center Thursday night. His high energy campaign landed squarely in the downtown with a crowd of over 150 supporters who paid fifty bucks a head to meet Mr. Wolf. The turnout was a nod to his TV message and personality. The gathering was also a testament to the political juice of Atty. Bill Vinsko who spearheaded the turnout. Vinsko pointed out that the event was a volunteer effort. All of the food was donated along with the other accoutrements that make up an event like this.
Attorney Jack Eagen noted that Luzerne County is a pivotal area for success of any candidate running for Governor.
After Vinsko introduced the candidate, Wolf went through his background and talked about his volunteer involvement as a student and later as a business leader.

In an easy going presentation, Wolf connected with the crowd as he discussed major issues like Jobs, Manufacturing, The Economics of the Commonwealth, Social Services and Health Care.
I had an interesting conversation with a woman who was a lifelong Republican and was at the event. She confided that she wanted to meet Wolf because she was very disappointed in Tom Corbett. When I asked why she said that she was appalled at how Corbett turned down the Medicaid money from the Federal government and wanted to have his own private insurance for disadvantaged people. She wondered how Corbett could give gas drillers a break but turn his back on unemployed, uninsured Pennsylvanians who could actually qualify for Medicaid expansion. Other Democrats I spoke to said that Wolf connects with people and advised he’d trounce the very wooden Corbett in a debate.
The event was a huge success and Wolf got a very long ovation after asking for the help and support of the assembled crowd.
FACES IN THE PLACE: County Controller Michelle Bednar was making the rounds. Bednar told me she was going to take a tour of the 911 facility to see how it operates. She is of course winning rave reviews in her first few months in office…State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski made his greetings known as did Luzerne County Attorneys Mark Bufalino and Dave Pedri……Ransom Young who ran a very good campaign for State Representative in the 116th said he was enjoying life and spoiling the grandchildren…The omnipresent Bob Caruso was observing as only he could…..The West Side was represented very well by Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman and Wyoming chief Bob Boyer.....two late arrivals were important ones nonetheless. Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom Leighton stopped by followed shortly by former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty……When this event was being put together Attorney Vinsko and I agreed that even though Wolf is a good candidate and has a huge presence because of his TV budget he needs boots on the ground on Election Day. A table was set up as well as two organizers asking for volunteers. That’s a good sign because the Wolf campaign needs to translate his strengths into votes. From the looks of it tonight, many key Democratic leaders are willing to help with that job.

Your blog editor with candidate Tom Wolf. (Photo: Wolf staff).

Lyndon B. Johnson signing the bill five decades ago. (LBJ Library).

LBJ’s daughter Linda Johnson Robb. (Photo: PBS Newshour).
When I was a senior in high school, our 33rd President Harry Truman was very ill. He would die later that year,  1972 on the day after Christmas. Truman was being remembered as a man of principle and a person who stood by his beliefs. My father told me that when he left office he was pretty much reviled as a failure and that his enemies lampooned his name saying “To err is Truman”. A year after his death Watergate happened and with that scandal came a rebirth of Truman’s honesty and straight talk.
I see a pattern developing here with Lyndon Johnson our 36th President. Forty one years after his death, LBJ is being recognized as a consequential President. Growing up he was the President I remembered more clearly than John Kennedy. By that time I was a budding newshound and followed him with interest. If Johnson had only been remembered for the smooth transition after the death of John Kennedy that would have been enough.
But he used the power of the Presidency to pass three major Civil Rights Bills that changed America. This June it will be fifty years since Johnson formed a coalition with moderate Republicans, angered his own party of Southern Democrats who were his mentors and earned the trust of Civic black leaders by getting that legislation passed. He did it in an Election year telling people “What’s the use of the Presidency if you can’t use its power?” Indeed.
After 5 decades Johnson has enjoyed a resurgence as a President that got something done. Like Truman whose legacy benefited from the sins of Watergate, Johnson is looking very good in comparison to a gridlocked Congress. His memory benefits from a President that has great ideas but lacks the stomach to muscle them into reality. Johnson knew he had only two years to get his agenda accomplished. He took full advantage of his power.
Today four Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama traveled to the LBJ Library to celebrate his remarkable legislative accomplishments. Even though Johnson will always be remembered for the failed execution of the Vietnam War, the rest of his impressive legacy should never be defined by Vietnam.
Johnson’s reputation is being restored by the passage of fifty years, the prospect that many young people of color take for granted what was sacrificed years ago and the fact that in Washington people on both side of the political aisle have no idea how to use power for good. Under LBJ, there would be Immigration Reform by now and Health Care would not be a half measure. Like the landmark legislation he got passed, Lyndon’s Johnson’s time as a President of consequence has come.

Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Representative Matt Cartwright commended Senate bipartisan action on legislation to extend unemployment insurance for nearly 3 million Americans, and called on the House to follow suit. The Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act by a vote of 59 to 38, which retroactively extends emergency unemployment insurance through the end of May.
“Bipartisan action in the Senate on unemployment insurance is a crucial step for economic security for 158,400 Pennsylvanians, and now is the time for long overdue action in the House. The economic crisis suffered from the cut off of unemployment compensation has continued for 3 months, spread to more than 2 million Americans and cost our state’s economy $317,877,824,” said Cartwright. “It is time for Speaker Boehner and House leadership to listen to the American people and restore this vital economic lifeline that helps people support their families and pay their bills while they look for a new job. To force action, I have joined with 192 of my Democratic colleagues in signing a petition to hold a vote on extending unemployment insurance.”
The bipartisan Senate agreement would:
Retroactively restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months;
Exclude millionaires from receiving emergency unemployment insurance;
Strengthen efforts to help get job seekers back into the workforce;
Be fully paid for with pension smoothing and extending fees on U.S. customs users through 2024.
Despite the growing struggles for these families, House leadership has blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend unemployment insurance on the House floor for more than three months. To overcome this opposition, 193 House Democrats have signed a discharge petition to force action on this widely supported legislation. The discharge petition will require the House to consider the unemployment insurance extension legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed the petition.
“Action to create jobs and build an economy that works for everyone must start with restoring unemployment insurance for hardworking Americans who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own,” noted Cartwright.



Had the opportunity to be on WBRE TV's Pa. Live last week to talk about my book signing as well as writing. Here's the interview with Jasmine Brooks.


Karel Zubris. (LuLac archives.)
WILK News radio has won a Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Outstanding Radio Feature Series for its “Karel on the Street” segment. Karel Zubris talks with local people about issues and stories in the news, Nancy Kman produces the weekly series. Every Wednesday, Karel on the Street airs during The Morning News with Webster and Nancy on WILK. The PAB Award is considered one of the most competitive in the state, as stations are not divided by market size. We go head to head with stations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as well as medium and smaller markets. Congratulations Karel for taking the ‘man (and woman) on the street’ stories to an award winning level.


When ECTV Live presents it's 209th program during the week of April 14th it will air without one of it's founding anchors. Judge Tom Munley, who has hosted the Public Affairs program since its debut has turned the Main Anchor chair over to co-host and Producer David DeCosmo. For the time being veteran radio personality Rusty Fender will take over the co-host seat.
The week's program will feature Mark Murphey from the University of Scranton who will outline plans for Earth Day Activities at the University.
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 daily during the Noon hour and again at Midnight.


This Week on Sunay Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Peg Ruddy from thE Women's resource Center about their "Food Truck Frenzy" fundraiser, coming up on May 1st.
Brian Hughes speaks with Melissa Sullivan from Mayflower about a new trend of families relocating for Mom's career.
And an encore of Brian's interview with area high school football great Charlie Wysocki, who discusses his career, and his lifelong battle with mental illness, and the song he inspired "Saddle Up Charlie".
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


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.

Our 1974 logo


The Kiryat Shmona massacre takes place in Israel……..As "Tania", Patty Hearst is photographed wielding an M1 carbine while robbing the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco……former Shapp administration Insurance Commissioner Herbert Denenberg steps up his campaign for the U.S. Senate against Pittsburgh Mayor Peter Flaherty in an attempt to get the nomination on the Democratic side. Denenberg was fired by Governor Shapp when the Insurance industry put pressure on the Governor. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the firing as The Greatest Political Backstabbing Since Caesar"………in Luzerne County incumbent State Representatives Bernard O’Brien and Fred Shupnik accompany Lt. Governor Ernest Kline on various political visits through the County…….and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Jet by Paul McCartney & Wings.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2632, April 8th, 2014



6:30 to 8:30PM.



Come and meet the Democratic candidate who has taken Pennsylvania politics by storm.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2631, April 6th, 2014

Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds Evie Refalko McNulty and candidate for Governor Tom Wolf.  (Photo: LuLac archives).
Evie Rafalko McNulty, Lackawanna County’s Recorder of Deeds, backed Tom Wolf for governor today. McNulty pointed to Wolf’s ‘salt of the earth’ personality and said that she believes Wolf can restore the public’s trust in Harrisburg.
“Tom Wolf is not running for governor just to climb a ladder, he is running to lift people up from the bottom rungs – his concerns are my concerns,” said McNulty.“I have had a chance to get to know Tom over the last several months and he truly has a salt of the earth personality that endears him to the people in Northeast Pennsylvania and I believe all Pennsylvanians. Tom is genuine and sincere, and his campaign has helped restore my faith in what our state government can do – he cares about people like me and my family.”
“Local leaders like Evie are the people who hold the fabric of our communities together,” Wolf said. “Evie is a great leader and I look forward to working with people like her to give Pennsylvania a fresh start and to start rebuilding our middle class and creating a modern economy in the northeastern part of the state and the entire Commonwealth.”
Evie Rafalko McNulty is the County Recorder of Deeds of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, which comprises the City of Scranton. She has been re-elected to office for 5 consecutive terms. McNulty is the former President and current Secretary to the Pennsylvania Recorder of Deeds of Association. McNulty is also a founding member of Society of Irish Women, among many other community boards and committees, and she is an elected member of the Democratic National Committee. McNulty currently resides in Scranton with her husband former Scranton Mayor James Barrett McNulty.


County Council member Edd Brominski. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Last week we had a little fun with the notion of a Luzerne County Bank but there is precedent for it. Many local communities are going that route to finance their governmental projects. Vermont has been trying to get a measure passed to have local banks set up. In a report on NPR’s KZYX, Senate Bill 204 was discussed. It would grant the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) a banking license and would further direct 10 percent of the Treasurer’s bank deposits to VEDA for investment in Vermont.. Earlier this month, AP reported in "Over a Dozen Towns Support Public Bank Idea" that "The majority of communities asked to support the creation of a public bank in Vermont have approved the measure at town meetings.
"Supporters argue that instead of keeping its money in large global banking institutions, the state could save money, create jobs and eventually generate revenue by creating a state bank.
"The proposal would turn the Vermont Economic Development Authority, a nonprofit agency that makes loans, into a bank. A bill pending in the Legislature would put 10 percent of the state's funds into it."
John Nichols in The Nation reports in "Vermont Votes for Public Banking" that "the votes were overwhelming. Vermont is not the only state where public banking proposals are in play. But the town meeting endorsements are likely to provide a boost for a legislative proposal to provide the VEDA with the powers of a bank."
Robb Mandelbaum, in the New York Times writes that "public banking advocates point most hopefully to efforts in Vermont" to emulate the model of the Bank of North Dakota, which "funnel[s] deposits from state agencies back into the state’s economy through a variety of loan and other development programs."
A couple of things here. Vermont is more liberal and proactive than Pennsylvania. Have an idea you want to die? Send it to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. But there is talk about this because of lack of trust in global banking centers that have supplanted the Franklin First Federals and Susquehanna Savings and Loan Associations. County Council member Edd Brominski is not just pulling this out of his hat. That’s why I referenced these media outlets. Right now the Luzerne County financial house needs to be put in order…but somewhere down the line, there should be a discussion.
Sources: Mike Krauss Director, the Public Banking InstituteChair, the Pennsylvania Project,
KZYX FM, New York Times.



On Wednesday, April 9 beginning at 7:00 p.m., PCN will air LIVE coverage of a Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate from the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law.
PCN is partnering with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association (PLCA) and the Widener University School of Law, Law and Government Institute for the debate. Democratic gubernatorial candidates Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz and Tom Wolf will take questions from a panel of PLCA representatives. PCN President/CEO, Brian Lockman, will moderate the event.
The debate is open to the public. It will take place in room A180 of the Law School Administration Building on Widener University’s Harrisburg campus. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. The Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law is located at 3737 Vartan Way in Harrisburg.
Viewers will get a chance to share their thoughts or ask questions following the conclusion of the event by dialing toll-free 1-877-PA6-5001 during a special LIVE PCN Call-In program at 8:30 p.m. Mark Singel of The Winter Group and Robert Jubelirer of Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel LLP, will be the featured guests.
PCN reports that Rob McCord will not attend because of a scheduling conflict. That may change and we’ll keep you posted.


Long time radio newsman Budd Brown is set to retire from his current position at WILK this month. Brown has been a broadcast veteran and to a certain extent pioneer. In the mid 70s, WBRE decided to hop aboard the NBC Radio Network’s endeavor to have a 24 hour news channel. The Baltimore family at that time owned the 1340AM frequency as well as the 98.5FM spot on the dial. It was pretty revolutionary because the only all news stations were in New York and Philadelphia at the time. Brown co-anchored the Morning program with Patty Delano and then went out and did news stories in the field returning to anchor the noon newscasts. The late Guy Randall was the afternoon anchor.The late Bill Graham (who Sam Donaldson said looked like the TV character Ted Baxter) also did the Morning and Afternoon News duties too).
Brown later transitioned over to  WKRZ when Sinclair Broadcasting bought WBRE FM and AM. Later WILK was added to the mix when it was acquired by the ‘KRZ group.
Brown was professional, ethical and not devoid of humor as witnessed by his catchy phrases and sometimes all to often fiction meets real news puns in the 12 O’Clock Newscast. I’m sure the station will be doing some sort of tribute this week. Tune in, it will be entertaining. We wish Budd a healthy and long lived retirement.

We'll be part of a book signing event this Saturday April 12th @ 2Pm at Barnes and Noble at the Arena Hub Plaza. All three of my books will be available and I'll be signing at 2PM.