Friday, November 21, 2008

The LuLac Edition #646, Nov. 21st, 2008



When Al Boscov opened his store here in Wilkes Barre in the early 80s, the advertising slogan was "DID YOU BOSCOV TODAY?" Well, thanks to Governor Ed Rendell's leadership, the cooperation of Mayors Leighton and Doherty and the federal government, Boscov's is back in business. The deal came about when loans would be financed through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that allows governments to guarantee money for economic development with federal Community Development Block Grants. John Blake, former head of the Northeast Regional Office of the Governor and acting secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said Boscov approached the department about a month ago requesting support for the bid and together they worked out the plan. Blake said Pennsylvania has never taken full advantage of the federal program. Later today, a Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Boscov's to two former executives. Boscov is former chairman of the company. Judge Kevin Gross said Friday he will approve a sale order allowing the Reading, Pa.-based company to be bought by the families of Albert Boscov and Edwin Lakin, the son and Lakin, former president and co-owner. The deal is valued at between $275 million and $300 million. Plus, Mary Anne Petrilla, Chair of the County Commissioners said commissioners plan to vote on a $3 million loan to Boscov’s Inc. at their meeting on Wednesday. Petrilla said Friday she will support a 120-day loan "to help Al Boscov keep open his department stores" in Wilkes-Barre and Hazle Township.The loan would come from federal community development funds provided by the federal government. Petrilla noted that the money would not come out of the general fund or contribute to the county's debt problems. So, Boscov's has been bailed out. Any difference between this allocation and the money being asked for by big business? A huge one. Boscov is using his own money or his own lines of credit to get the stores back in action. At the age of 79, he doesn't have to do this. His employees are making liveable but not big wages. The stores are the anchors for the downtowns of both Wilkes Barre and Scranton and in Hazleton is the anchor for a successful mall. Furthermore, Al Boscov has given back to the community in terms of funding for projects that have stood the test of time. Major example: The FM Kirby Center. This bailout of state and federal funds is a lifeline to the Boscov's brand. But the true success of this story is the local consumer support of the Boscov's stores. Let's not let government and Al do it all, let's go out there and support those stores, even it means driving out of the way or taking those few extra steps. Governor Rendell has shown extraordinary leadership in this effort. Let's not let that redeveloplment money rest on a doorstep. Let's make Boscov's a true success again. We'll get it back ten fold.


The state Court of Judicial Discipline on Thursday dismissed objections filed by Luzerne County Judge Ann Lokuta and will proceed with a hearing to determine penalties against the jurist. Last month the Court of Judicial Discipline concluded that Lokuta, failed to perform her duties, terrorized courthouse workers and sent employees on her personal errands. In objections filed on Monday, Lokuta claimed the Court of Judicial Discipline that presided over her misconduct trial prevented her from calling witnesses who supported her while allowing prosecutors to call witnesses who made unsubstantiated allegations against her. If you're going to call witnesses for one side, you call them for the other. That's the meaning of a fair trial and hearing. Maybe someone needs to tell the Judicial Review Board about that.


This week, The White Album is released by The Beatles. From YOU TUBE, one of their most popular.

The Cincinnati Bengals American football team is founded.............. Mattel's Hot Wheels brand is introduced, with 16 cars being made.....Statewide Governor Shafer ends all speculation that there is a place for him in the Nixon Cabinet.....Hazleton Street workers accept a new contract with the city....The GOP gains control of Duryea City Wilkes Barre a 550 car Park and Lock Garage construction gets underway with the awarding of a contract to Raymond Hedden Construction out of Nanticoke and the number 1 song this week in LuLac land and America was Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now".


At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Boscov bailout is an entirely different kettle of fish. As you said, Al Boscov did important things for both Scranton and W.B.
Without him there wouldnt be a downtown mall in Scranton. He also has always offered a good product at a fair price. I've Boscoved before and I will Boscov again. This one is a positive effort to save a worthwhile business and a piece of the communities involved.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always shop Boscov's. I think they offer a great value. On everything? No, but if you do your homework you come out ahead at Boscov's. I get most of my footware there, and I take size 13. Rarely am I disapointed. I may buy an outdoor grill next- Their price & brand is much better than Home Depot or Lowe's.

Pittston BigBob


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