Friday, January 20, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3410, January 20th, 2017



Friday, January 20
Church Service
Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church
When: 8:30 a.m.
Details: Trump and Pence, along with their families, Cabinet designees and friends, will attend the service on H Street.
White House Tea
Where: White House
When: 9:30 a.m.
Details: The Trump and Pence families will gather on the South Portico of the White House.
Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony
Where: West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building
When: Ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m.; opening remarks at 11:30 a.m.; swearing in at noon by the Supreme Court chief justice, John Roberts Jr.
Details: The Trump and Pence families will join them, as will members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the diplomatic corps and other invited guests. A ticket is not required for general admission.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and America’s Got Talent alumna Jackie Evancho have accepted invitations to perform at Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.
Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee Luncheon
Where: U.S. Capitol
When: 1 p.m.
Details: Trump, Pence and their wives will attend the luncheon.
Military Review
Where: East Front of the U.S. Capitol
When: 2:30 p.m.
Details: The couples will gather on the East Front of the building.
Inaugural Parade
Where: Starts at the steps of the Capitol Building and proceeds along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
When: 3 p.m.
Details: Trump, Pence and their families will be escorted down Pennsylvania Avenue, followed by parade participants. A ticket is required for special viewing areas.
Thirty-four local and six national groups will participate, according to Roll Call. Despite protests by some alumni, Talladega College is sending its marching band for the parade. (The historically black school is located in Alabama.) The New York-based Rockettes also are slated to perform.
Many streets will be closed along the parade route and around the National Mall. D.C. officials have created a website and Twitter account to help residents prepare for the event. Social media users can ask questions with the hashtag #Inaug2017.
Inaugural Balls
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center and National Building Museum
When: 7—11 p.m.
Details: At least three official inaugural balls are planned, and they will feature dancing, entertainment and appearances by Trump and his wife, Melania. The two main balls will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball will be at the National Building Museum. At 7 p.m., Trump, Pence and their wives will attend the Liberty and Freedom Ball at the convention center. Later, they will attend the military ball.
There also will be several unofficial balls on this night. Landmarks and themes from New York, Trump’s hometown, will dominate the “Big Apple Ball,” the New York Daily News says. A ticket is required.
Saturday, January 21
National Prayer Service
Where: Washington National Cathedral
When: 10 a.m.
Details: This will be an interfaith prayer service for Trump, Pence and their families.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3409, January 19th, 2017

President Obama then

President Obama now.

Today is essentially the last day of the Barack Obama Presidency. The Obama record and legacy will be debated intensely in this partisan atmosphere. But I believe in the long run of history Obama will be known as a consequential President who overcame a great deal from a recalcitrant Congress.
On the plus side, The President passed Health Care Reform which is still being debated. His dare that he would support anything better has the possibility to flummox the GOP. 
His stimulus program is pretty much forgotten but it spured economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing,  Then there was Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession.
He created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.
Ended the War in Iraq: and began Draw down of War in Afghanistan: Eliminated Osama bin laden. 
Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry,
Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time. Improved America’s Image Abroad: With new policies, diplomacy, and rhetoric, reversed a sharp decline in world opinion toward the U.S. (and the corresponding loss of “soft power”) during the Bush years. From 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, with an average increase of 26 percent.
This administration kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, and expanded Pell Grant Spending. 
There were new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.
Increased Support for Veterans: With so many soldiers coming home from Iraq and Iran with serious physical and mental health problems, yet facing long waits for services, increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans.
Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants: New EPA restrictions on mercury and toxic pollution, issued in December 2011, likely to lead to the closing of between sixty-eight and 231 of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Estimated cost to utilities: at least $11 billion by 2016. Estimated health benefits: $59 billion to $140 billion.
Passed Credit Card Reforms: Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009), which prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, mandates a grace period on interest rate increases, and strictly limits overdraft and other fees.
Improved Food Safety System: In 2011, signed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which boosts the Food and Drug Administration’s budget by $1.4 billion and expands its regulatory responsibilities to include increasing number of food inspections, issuing direct food recalls, and reviewing the current food safety practices of countries importing products into America.
Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection: Signed Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (2009), which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails, and protected more than 1,000 miles of rivers.
Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges: In effort to fight predatory practices of some for-profit colleges, Department of Education issued “gainful employment” regulations in 2011 cutting off commercially focused schools from federal student aid funding if more than 35 percent of former students aren’t paying off their loans and/or if the average former student spends more than 12 percent of his or her total earnings servicing student loans.
Improved School Nutrition: In coordination with Michelle Obama, signed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 mandating $4.5 billion spending boost and higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. New rules based on the law, released in January, double the amount of fruits and vegetables and require only whole grains in food served to students.
Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which expands existing hate crime protections to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.
(Wall Street Journal, Politico, Time, LuLac archives) 
That’s a lot. But the three big issues, guns, immigration and the economy were the ones that resonated with people in this country. If you look at the Obama checklist, on the surface it made sense and in the long run helped all Americans.
But 2016 was a year in which the three biggest issues he could not get accomplished were ones that were beaten into the ground by a frustrated, uninformed, and fearful America.
Guns, despite what the GOP attack machine told you never were never threatened under this President.
Immigration which in the past was championed by Ronald Reagan was sold as fear by both the perverted and child killing GOP Congress.
The economy which was saved by this President was successful despite the whining of people who felt left behind in this administration. Not to sound like a Republican, you’re behind, step it up and get ahead.
Or break even but for Christ sake shut up about poor you!
The score card on Obama for me is a B. It would been an A but in the first two years of his administration he decided to play patty cakes with the national GOP who was out to screw him from the beginning.
His failure is he should have squashed them like a bug when he had the chance in his first two years in office. 


So the new President Elect told a British newspaper that he is going to get to work on making America great again. But not on January 21st but on January 23rd. That’s a Monday and Trump needs the weekend.
Monday, Monday.


So now the Trump apologists are calling the polls saying that 44% of the American polled approve of Trump are FAKE polls. The big baby Huey said so himself. And his gullible followers are in lock step calling talk shows and saying the same thing.
You know what?
I think those polls are fake too.
Judging by most people I speak to, it’s way lower than 44%.


Karel Zubris (Photo: LinkedIn)
Our friend Karel Zubris is going to be at the Inauguration. Karel who was convinced that Hillary Clinton would win the office got her tickets through some connections. She has forged bi partisan relationships with politicos and media people and is staying with friends outside of DC.
We look forward to her reports on her travels.


We'll be on Pa Live Friday afternoon with Dave Kuharchik and Brittany Sweeney talking about the big Inauguration Day.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Brian Fanelli from the advocacy group Action Together NEPA,
about their opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Cordi Brown from the Blue Chip Farms Animal
Refuge about their "Adopt A Kennel" fundraiser.
Frankie speaks with Rosie and Rudi from Rev Theatre about their children's production of
"Macbeth", coming to United Neighborhood Centers.
And an encore of Brian's December interview with Dr. Joshua Newman, who discusses
wearable medical devices.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and Sports Radio 590, WARM & 6:25am on Magic 93.


ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender and David DeCosmo and Director Mark Migilore welcome Erica Rogler from the Wyoming County Cultural Center to the program during the week of January 23rd to talk about upcoming events for area residents. 

ECTV Live is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast during the Noon, 6pm, and Midnight hours throughout the week.


This week's guests are Angel and Eric Kropiewicki from the ARKcares Foundation.
Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA Sports Radio-The Game 1400/1440 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. The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on WILK, and on KRZ, Froggy and Max 102 early Sunday morning.


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 he
heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Bobby's show returns live this Sunday @6PM on The River.


Our 1977 logo

Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires' disease…..U.S. President Gerald Ford, on his final full day in office, pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino (aka "Tokyo Rose")..........Snow falls in Miami (despite its ordinarily tropical climate) for the only time in its history. Snowfall has occurred farther south in the United States only on the high mountains of the state of Hawaii.............Jimmy Carter is sworn in as President of the United States.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders….in Pennsylvania the news about the Vietnam War pardons is met with mixed emotions by peace activists and veterans….in Wilkes Barre more work continues on the redevelopment of Public Square and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Car Wash” - Rose Royce from the movie of the same name.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3408, January 18th, 2017


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.


During the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, many people in our area were tiring of the attention that both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden received for their roots in this region. Granted there was coverage. But nothing like the probe of Luzerne County voters who by their majority pretty much made it possible for Donald Trump to carry Pennsylvania in 2016. The national media has swarmed on this area doing probes as to why this county, the Lu and the Lac to a lesser extent voted the way we did.
It has been a treat to see this coverage for my media friends and Republican winners. But the Times Leader might have had it right on Tuesday when the paper said, "Whoa". Here's their editorial and the link to it.

Our Opinion: Big media overdoes it in Luzerne County

Oh, big media, you flatter us so. We appreciate all the attention since the November election, all the celebs, all the national TV exposure. You are simply too, too generous with your time.
But please, stop!
Seriously, stop. Or at least, if you are going to keep swooping in, give Luzerne County a cut of the action, a royalty of some sort from the money your programs or publications make. One of you could open up a little studio here and employ a few locals.
Or maybe we could figure out how to pull a “New Jersey.” You know, let you enter Luzerne County for free, but charge a hefty toll to leave.
The latest case: ABC’s 20/20 aired a segment Friday that included Wilkes-Barre firefighter Chris Smith’s struggle to make ends meet.
Make no mistake, the central point — that too many Americans are having a hard time financially — is real, particularly in an age when so much of the nation’s wealth is going to a small a slice of its population.
But frankly, a city firefighter’s salary is almost always above the county’s average household income of $45,897, and well above the per capita income of $25,224. Smith also has health insurance coverage through work (which he contributes to), has received regular contractual raises, and gets a pension upon retirement.
One wonders how representative Smith’s situation really is.
A few days earlier, ran a report on Luzerne County’s drug problem, a piece given a healthy dose of coal in this space Saturday. As noted in that editorial, NBC decided to measure Luzerne County’s overdose death rate against New York City’s rate, clearly a comparison chosen with emotional impact in mind, not logic.
A comparison with similar-sized counties that share similar demographics would have been dull, if potentially more informative. The NBC piece also flitted between talking about the county, about Wilkes-Barre proper, and about the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
And it referred to “a brand new Chick-fil-A, which is located on the first floor of a dorm that King’s College built right on the square …” King’s built nothing. They renovated a former hotel, and it is home to the school’s health sciences program, as well as student housing.
Since the county turned red in helping Donald Trump win the presidency, we’ve also had visits by Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, LeMonde and Reuters.
Even if it’s true that any publicity is good publicity (it’s not), and even if our county really has become a quintessential microcosm of America writ large (unlikely), so much attention in so short a time starts to feel like heard journalism, as in “I heard Luzerne County is perfect for the kind of story we’re looking to do.”
By all means, come on in, sit a spell, really get to know us and our area. We love the company.
But if you keep dropping in because we’ve become a convenient place to flesh out your pre-conceived notions of life in the “rust belt,” well, consider broadening your horizons.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3407, January 17th, 2017


The Wilkes Barre Area School Board has spent 2 million dollars on trying to build a high school. The Times Leader reported that The Wilkes-Barre Area School Board has approved payment of more than $2.15 million to its “design team” since May 2014, nearly all of it directly or indirectly related to the planned consolidated high school, according to district records.
Critics of the plan regularly inquire at board meetings how much the team of four local firms — A&E Group, Borton Lawson, WKL Architecture and Leonard Engineering — has received, citing the lack of visible results.
You have to see this article from Mark Guydish regarding the spending.
By the way, all this money and NO SCHOOL.
Good job guys.
When half of the Wilkes Bare Home Owners wind up in public housing, we’ll send you thank you notes!

Property Tax Reform in Pennsylvania is extremely important. HB 76 and SB 76, The Property Tax Independence Act is a solution that makes sense for Pennsylvania. Here’s that link:

Monday, January 16, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3406, January 16th, 2017


Eugene Cernan. (Photo: NASA)
US astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon, died Monday at age 82, NASA and his family announced. Cernan was the spacecraft commander of Apollo 17 -- his third space flight and the last scheduled US manned mission to the moon -- in December 1972.
"We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon," the US space agency said on Twitter. According to a family statement released by NASA, Cernan, a retired naval officer, died following ongoing health issues.
He traveled into space three times: as Pilot of Gemini 9A in June 1966, as Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 10 in May 1969, and as Commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972, the final Apollo lunar landing. On Apollo 17, Cernan became the eleventh person to walk on the Moon and the most recent man to walk on the Moon, since he was the last to re-enter the Lunar Module Challenger after the mission's third and final extravehicular activity (EVA). Cernan was also a backup crew member for the Gemini 12, Apollo 7 and Apollo 14 space missions. (NASA, Yahoo, wikipedia)


Going through the entire imbroglio over the Donald Trump/John Lewis Twitter reactions I have come with up with a conclusion. Trump maybe didn’t realize who John Lewis was in a historical context.
Again, the man has no foundational knowledge of American history. 

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright announced his subcommittee assignments for the House Committee on Appropriations. Cartwright will serve on the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee and the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee.
Rep. Cartwright said, “I intend to use my voice and vote on the Appropriations Committee to protect the health and retirement security of my constituents and to help spur economic growth in the 17th congressional district.”
The agencies the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee provides funding for include the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, NASA, National Science Foundation, Office of Science and Technology Policy, International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) within the Department of Commerce provides public works grants for redevelopment projects and regional economic planning, and works directly with local and regional officials and business owners to address the economic needs of communities. The EDA also includes programs to encourage U.S. firms to relocate manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
“The EDA is unique in that it is focused solely on private sector job creation and economic growth in distressed areas,” said Rep. Cartwright. “The EDA has a record of growing high-quality jobs in areas such as advanced manufacturing and technology, and it can provide grants to older-economy cities and towns when they press forward with new development ideas.”
Also within the Department of Commerce, the Subcommittee will oversee and fund agencies and programs like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its role to keep businesses competitive. The independent National Science Foundation is responsible for increasing the number of students who complete education degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and developing innovation in manufacturing.
Veterans’ Treatment Courts, which are hybrid Drug and Mental Health Courts that use the Drug Court model to serve veterans struggling with addiction, serious mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders, are also under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee.
“The CJS Subcommittee will provide me with the opportunity to support and strengthen Veterans’ treatment courts, which promote sobriety, recovery, and stability” said Rep. Cartwright.
Other key Department of Justice programs include the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which provides grants to police departments for additional officers. The COPS Hiring program has placed over 115,000 officers in communities across the U.S. to advance community policing and anti-crime programs.
“The COPS Office and its programs keep our communities safe by providing invaluable law enforcement resources to state and local law enforcement agencies,” said Rep. Cartwright.
The Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of the Treasury, the Judiciary and federal courts system, Executive Office of President, the District of Columbia, Securities and Exchange Commission, Small Business Administration (SBA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Office of Personnel Management and federal employee pension systems, among other agencies.
Within the Treasury Department, the Subcommittee will oversee and fund agencies and programs like the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which helps banks, credit unions, and venture capital funds finance affordable housing construction and small business expansion by both grants and administration of the New Markets Tax Credit. The Subcommittee also oversees the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Loans Program.
“My role on the Financial Services Subcommittee will be to require that Wall Street helps Main Street, and not the other way around,” Rep. Cartwright said.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3405, January 15th, 2017

KING @ 88
Today would have been the 88th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. King was the non violent leader of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. One has to wonder what he'd make of the great divisions we have in this country today.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3404, January 14th, 2017

Wilkes Barre City Council voted 4 to 0 the other night to authorize city officials to pursue a $1 million gaming grant to facilitate the possible expansion of Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance to the city-owned Hotel Sterling property according to the Citizen’s Voice.
The Mayor said that The Guard needs to expand and he’d like to keep those jobs in the city. There are reports that The Guard was approached by other town to move.
A few things.
Gaming money was supposed to give property tax breaks to home owners.
It was not intended to prop up, embellish or give money to already thriving companies who stamp their feet and hold city leaders hostage.
This move, even though it was an application is indicative of employers in this region. Oh they’ll be the sainted job creators but NOT WITH THEIR OWN money.
Yet when they do get government, tax supported funds, where does it go?
Into their profits.
Yeah let’s salute The Guard!
By the way, The Guard is affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway owned by billionaire Warren Buffet.
Hmm, maybe Buffett just sells his name to franchisees like the guy he criticized in the Presidential campaign.
Bad move that holds the city of Wilkes Barr hostage and screws taxpayers.


Congressman John Lewis called President Elect Trump the other day an illegitimate President. He cited the interference of Russia in the election and Trump’s tacit support of Republican efforts to divide the country. Lewis will not attend the Inauguration.
Trump in kind responded on Twitter telling Lewis to take care of his own district. Wow! This President can yell insults at others but say one word and he gets his back up.
Here’s my take on Lewis’ comments and illegitimacy. For the GOP to get insulted about that word is laughable when it was Trump who brought up President Obama’s organ of birth.
It was also the GOP House and Senate that never passed any bill from The White House, even stuff they agreed with .
So if they get their little feelings hurt by John Lewis, after what they did for 8 years, they are indeed petty fools.