Friday, May 30, 2008

The LuLac Edition #487, May 30th, 2008






PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1968 LOGO AND COMMISSIONER PETRILLA.

PETRILLA DOES IT!

Once more much praise has to go to County Commissioner Maryann Petrilla. Petrilla today called for an investigation into the relationship with County Judges, the Juvenile Detention Center and the Powell Law Firm. Saying the investigation was too big for the county government to handle, Petrilla along with an overjoyed Steve Urban made the announcement today. Folks this is huge. Petrilla is letting the investigation into the Judges into another realm all together. It is akin to a government official on the federal level calling for a Special Prosecutor. Today I ran into a liberal, left leaning friend, a Green party activist who disdains everything establishment. We begin to talk about the county continuing mess and out of the blue he says, “With it all, the one good thing is that Petrilla is the real deal”. Indeed!

FLORIGAN

On Saturday, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet in our nation's capital to resolve the dispute over Florida and Michigan, the two states stripped of their delegates for defying the party and holding primaries before Feb. 5.
Why the uncertainty? Well, the Rules and Bylaws Committee must weigh at least three competing agendas from three conflicting corners when it meets this weekend at Washington's Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. First up is Hillary Clinton, who, according to aides, wants two things: a) full delegations seated from each state and b) the delegates apportioned according to the precise popular vote--meaning that Clinton would get 73 delegates from Michigan and Obama, whose name wasn't on the ballot, would get (drumroll, please) zero. Outside, she'll have Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Corrine Brown leading the chorus of "count every vote"--except, of course, Obama's.
Understandably, the Obama camp isn't biting. Their stance? Let's meet halfway: punish these scofflaw states (somehow) for breaking the rules, give Clinton whatever she wants in Florida and split Michigan 50-50. "We don't think it's fair to seat them fully because we both lived by these rules and pledged to abide by them," campaign manager David Plouffe has said. "We're willing to give some delegates here, which I don't think should be sneezed at."
The final player: the Rules Committee itself--which, in the end, is the only player that matters. Charged with maintaining law and order, the RBC is unlikely to let Florida and Michigan off the hook--a decision that would set a bad precedent for other states hoping to leapfrog ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire on the primary calendar. Accordingly, RBC members "have expressed little interest in the option of seating all the delegates" and instead seem inclined to follow the advice of lawyers who say that the appropriate legal resolution--"as far as it legally can go"--would be either a) to allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention, or b) to let the full delegations attend with half a vote each. And they're definitely going to give Obama a few delegates from the Great Lakes State. However, do not be surprised if this goes to the Credentials Committee at the Convention in Denver.

1968


Nigerian forces capture Port Harcourt and form a ring around Biafrans. This contributes to a humanitarian disaster as the surrounded population was already suffering with hunger and starvation................... Radical feminist Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol as he enters his studio, wounding him.......On the last weekend before June, Senators Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy square off on a debate televised nationally on ABC TV days before the fateful California primary. McCarthy turns in a lackluster, relaxed performance while Kennedy is passionate and hot in his discussion of the issues. Experts rate the debate a “draw” with no clear winner because of the extremes in both men’s style.....Statewide, Governor Shafer approved a flushing program for Spring Street in Wilkes Barre....in Luzerne County, a ribbon cutting ceremony is conducted after an access road was built for the new Owens-Illinois plant in Pittston Twp.......in Pittston at St. John the Baptist Grade School 8th grade graduates were told what was already rumored. There would be no class trip to Washington D.C. but instead graduates would be honored at a dinner at a time to be announced at Fox Hill Country Club and forty years ago this week, the number one song in LuLac land and America was “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris. Here’s the link from You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_rikpLY-7Q&feature=related.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The LuLac Edition #486, May 29th, 2008






PHOTO INDEX: WYOU TV'S ERIC SCHEINER AND JOHN F. KENNEDY.


TALKING THE TALK

Reassessment was on the airwaves last night and WYOU TV did a great job in breaking down the way tax payers will be dealing with this issue. On the 5 and 6 interactive newscasts, host Eric Scheiner had on the main guy from the assessment agency. Then at 11, he hosted the head of the assessor's office, Tony Alu and get this, the PR guy from the County Jason Jarecki. In the past, many courthouse employees avoided the TV studio like the plague but apprently someone gave the word to get those folks on TV to speak to this issue which will be ongoing in the months to come. Scheiner, as always did a great job in getting to the meat of the matter. On the radio, Tony Alu was on Corbett.

ON THE JUDGES

Today the Citizen's Voice ran a story on the financial dealings of two local Judges and their wives with Robert Powell's development enterprises. Also included in the article was County official Jill Moran. Read the article for yourself to see if you think anything was funny but here's my initial take on this. Were these high finance deals discussed and realized when county work was supposed to be going on? Just a question. More power to anyone who wants to get ahead with a sideline, my heavens that's the American way. But if that's not the case, I wonder how much lawyering was going on under the dome was getting done when these deals started to come into the planning stages?

CHUCKIE, CHUCKIE

On our last edition, a poster referred to former Lackawanna County official Chuckie Costanzo in trouble for threathening a witness on Sunday morning. If you read the account in the Times, it reads like something out of "The Sopranos".

JFK AT 91

John Kennedy would have been 91 years old today. The Kennedy family chooses to celebrate this day instead of his death in Nov. 1963.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The LuLac Edition #485, May 27th, 2008












PHOTO INDEX: MISS PUERTO RICO, INGRID MARIE RIVERIA, AND THE LATEST REPEAT VISITOR TO THE ELECTRIC CITY.

PUERTO RICO

The last primary on the calendar is the sunny island of Puerto Rico. Imagine being named coordinator of either the Clinton or Obama campaign on that island! As a US territory, Puerto Rico has a murky, much-disputed status, being more than a colony and less than a fully fledged state. Sunday's primary is regarded by many as an oddity, even an inconvenience, because the 2.3 million registered voters, whose language, culture and economy more closely resemble Latin America than any part of the mainland US, are not allowed to participate in presidential or congressional elections. The Democratic party, doing its best to be inclusive, allowed Puerto Rico to elect 55 delegates for the nominating convention but has never really considered the prospect of the primary counting for much. And with Obama closing in on the nomination, perhaps it won’t. But imagine if it came down to what many refer to as the 51rst state. Senator Clinton is working hard there, having danced her way throughout the island over the Memorial Day weekend. Senator Obama made one stop, some say a token before resuming his efforts in the states. The results will be tallied on Sunday and if the final tally doesn’t count for much, at least it will be interesting to see how the citizens regard the two
main Dems.

LUZERNE REASSESSMENT

Some people got their reassessments in the mail for the County taxes over the weekend. Many are reported to be unhappy with the increase but you had to know it was coming. Some had their homes reassessed upwards of $3,000. Scuttlebutt says those people in the cities will do better than the citizens living on the acres with the hoi paloi in places like the Back Mountain or Mountaintop. The trouble with places like that are you can be living on eighth street or in Nuangola on the way to wide open paradise and get caught up with a hefty rate just by being in the neighborhood. It will be interesting to see the political fallout, if any this will engender. I mean this has been coming for a while and thanks to the cancellation of it by Commissioners Skrepenak and Vonderheid last term, people may be a tad more prepared than the last time reassessment came down the pike, which was 1964. By the way, the architect of that deal, County Commissioner Jim Post lost big in his re-election bid in 1967.

BIG ED FOR SENATOR?

Rumors are floating, as they always do when a politico gets ill, that Governor Ed Rendell may be looking into running for the U.S. Senate. One of my favorite Senators Arlen Specter has taken ill again with a recurring bout of cancer. It is hoped he will return to form but now there is rampant speculation that the Governor may be looking at the Senate seat to stay on the national scene. Personally I don’t think Rendell will do anything in terms of action because of his regard and respect for Specter. Arlen gave Ed his first job in politics. But if Specter steps aside, the strongest candidate might very well be Rendell. Pennsylvania Governors though have a pretty poor track record of going to the Senate, in 1958 after his term ended as Governor, young George Leader, a Democrat ran for the U.S. Senate and was defeated by GOPer Hugh Scott who went on to serve until 1976. And in the nineties, Governor Dick Thornburgh, then U.S. Attorney General under the first Bush administration tried to advance in a special election for the seat of the late John Heinz. He was defeated by Harris Wolford. Still, if anyone can beat back political conventional wisdom, it is Ed Rendell who became the first Philadelphia Mayor since 1914 to be elected Governor. Twice!

THE TOURIST

The city of Scranton has been visited by members of the Bear family frequently. So much so police have had to sedate the burly ones who have been hanging out In the downtown. Our frequent poster, reader and booster Pete Cassidy wondered why and our crack LuLac staff set to work and came up with the top 10 reasons why the Bear is visiting the Electric City so much:
10. He got the wrong date for “The Office” convention.
9. He wasn’t crazy about the “I Believe” slogan in Wilkes Barre, likes Scranton’s “Got Honey??” better.
8. He saw Janet Evans on public access TV and decided to make his move.
7. Heard about the Shimkus-Murphy election and wanted to fill in his damn oval. It was his intent to vote for Shimkus.
6. Heard they needed volunteers to clean up the Washburn Street cemetery and as a Hillary supporter he wanted to help.
5. Three words: Pizza By Pappas.
4. One of the original members of the Ken McDowell search party, he never got the message when the errant Controller showed up for work.
3. Applied for an overnight shift at Rock 107 and got sidetracked because he auditioned on “Beer Thursday”.
2. Wanted to become precinct captain for Mayor Chris Doherty’s re-election bid so hizzoner could lock up the bruin vote.
1.University of Scranton co-eds attending summer school!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

The LuLac Edition #484, May 24th, 2008












PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE SENATOR ROBERT KENNEDY AND SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON.

WHAT NEXT???

I’ve been trying to process this latest Hillary Clinton statement since I heard about it Friday night. I had a busy night Friday working on some camera shots for another You Tube project, stopping by to see Mom at Heniz and buying gas for the ragtop in anticipation of the Memorial Day weekend. I’ve refrained from commenting until I thought it out and I’m not sure I’ve even done that precisely but here are my reactions.
1. Senator Clinton’s language on Friday is being attacked as insensitive because she used the Kennedy assassination as a reference point when responding to why she should stay in the race against Senator Obama. She has used the analogy of her husband locking up the nomination after the California primary as well as referencing what happened to Senator Kennedy. After playing her remarks over and over again, I saw someone talking about the month of June in historical perspective. That’s it, I saw no ulterior motive or a parallel between the death of Senator Kennedy and the threats against Senator Obama.
2. She looked tired, wan and maybe didn’t use the best words but I don’t think she meant to convey that she was hanging around “just in case” someone took a shot at Mr. Obama. Her choice of words were poor but what I saw was a stream of consciousness that was meant to convey a historical point, not a death wish for anyone. Senator Obama to his credit has said that all candidates get “careless” in their remarks, showing once again a great deal of class.
3. People of her generation (which I include myself in) know the date June 5th, 1968 just as my parent’s generation know the date of April 12th, 1945 when Franklin Roosevelt died or Nov. 22nd when John Kennedy was killed. At my grade school reunion last Sunday, one of the first things that came up was Bobby Kennedy’s death. It is something that we remember every year. Clinton even admitted that the Kennedys were on her mind. Bringing up Bobby Kennedy’s death was not wishing ill on Mr. Obama, it was just bringing up what happened in June, when the California primary usually decided things. The California primary brought Kennedy victory in 1968, Goldwater a win in 1964, McGovern a decisive win in 1972 and Reagan a big win in 1980 that all but decided those races. In addition to her husband’s win in 1992, you can see how decisive the California primary has always been. When Kennedy died, it took two months for another candidate to coalesce around the peace movement. Eugene McCarthy at that point was clearly not up to it and it wasn’t until George McGovern took the banner days before the convention that someone stood in Kennedy’s place. To me, there was a lot unsaid in her comments, I feel there might have been too many memories bouncing around in that boomer’s political head. Maybe if she had brought up those instances I have mentioned, she might not have been criticized so roundly.
4. The criticism. Senator Clinton responded to a question about some of the unfair treatment she has received in the media, some telling her she should leave the race even after Iowa. With the firestorm that greeted these comments, especially on MSNBC, it appears the media proved her point. Commentator after commentator grimly appeared on the network treating this story as if she spewed a bunch of venom and hate. Keith Obermann’s comments were particularly hysterical and made me wonder if he had a mix of vodka and dexatrim before taking to the air. It was a gaffe, a mistake and a poor choice of words. Unfortunately, it will put the final nail in her campaign coffin and most likely cost her the Vice Presidency. But in a way, it vindicates everything she has been saying about the boys in the media, especially the male broadcasters on MSNBC who were trying to show us who’s capacity for histrionics was bigger than the others.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The LuLac Edition #483, May 23rd, 2008











PHOTO INDEX: A SYMBOL OF HEALTH CARE, THE NURSE AND OUR 1968 LOGO.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNES

In a sharp u turn, drug and medical device companies are giving more money to Democrats than Republicans this election season, one more sign of the campaign difficulties the GOP could face this November. Over the past six elections, such businesses typically spent twice asmuch on GOP candidates; in 2002, the ratio got as high as 3-to-1. Democrats now are holding the edge with $7.4 million in campaign contributions compared with $7 million for GOP candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending.
The difference is more pronounced in the presidential race. Drug and device makers have contributed $639,124 to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., $574,828 to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and $168,300 to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The center calculated the totals based on data released Feb. 28 by the Federal Election Commission.
All three candidates have taken positions that rankle the drug industry. They include:
Giving the Health and Human Services Department authority to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare drug plans.
Allowing American-made drugs to be brought back into the U.S. from other countries, particularly Canada. Drugs sold abroad typically cost less because of government price controls. The idea behind this effort is to give U.S. consumers access to those lower-priced medicines.

BACK IN THE SADDLE


County Controller Ken McDowell returned to work Wednesday after being absent for an unspecified “significant medical condition” since April.Adding to the mystery, he did not address the specific cause of his absence but he did deny allegations that when he was tax collector he gave tax breaks to politically connected people in Scranton. A list supposedly contains the names of people Mr. McDowell allowed to pay taxes late or not at all. Those charges were raised recently by senior tax office employees. There were charged with passing confidential records from the office .McDowel ttok office as Controller this year after defeating John Mellow in the Democratic primary last year. l When McDowell came back, Commissioner Corey O’Brien was effusive in his praise and concern for the errant Controller, Commissioner Mike Washo, not so much.

PETRILLA’S BROOM

Give her credit, County Commission Chairperson Maryanne Petrilla is doing her version of Sinatra’s “My Way”. At the prison, Luzerne County Purchasing Director Greg Hunsinger will receive a 10-percent pay cut and a one-week suspension without pay in connection with prison piecemealing, commissioners decided Wednesday. Petrilla and Urban voted yes while Greg Skrepenak abstained. And down Nanticoke way, commissioners appointed five new board members.
The new trustee members are: J. Toure McCluskey, Lynn Marie Distasio, John Kashatus, Agapito Lopez and Elaine Cook.
They replace Charles Adonizio, Paula DeJoseph, Robert Panowicz, Judith Ellis and Ross Scarantino.
Trustees Joseph Lombardo and Mahmoud Fahmy were reappointed. Petrilla said people have been asking for more diversity on the board. Put politely, many have advocated for some qualified educators instead of the same old political hacks that serve down there. Lopez is a leader in the Hazleton area Latino community, and McCluskey is African-American Harvard graduate. It is clear that Petrilla continues to put her stamp on the County in terms of appointments that seem non political. But in a strange sort of way, they will be seen in hindsight as very smart politics because of the innovations they promise. Petrilla’s broom is sweeping clean but also shining the joint up a bit.

THE 113TH

Kevin Murphy is the Democratic nominee, Frank Shimkus, the current Representative is the GOP standard bearer. Murphy went to court to try and stop those ovals on the absentee ballots from being counted but was shot down. It didn’t change the ultimate result, Murphy still won by 80 some votes. Murphy contended that intentions aren’t enough, voters should know what they’re doing, Shimkus’ Attorney called Murphy a “sore winner”. And this race is on!

ARCHIE SILENCED?

Arch from Archbald might have to put a time limit on his presentation to Council if the current government leaders have their way. Archbald Council restricted their meeting times. The rules are meant to bring some order to a process for meetings that lately have stretched more than three hours. Some of the rules merely put in writing what has always been in operation. At least two members of council disagree with the measure, saying the rules are restrictive.The new rules and bylaws would limit public comment to five minutes with discretion given to the council president to extend it. Council members will also be limited to commenting on a subject twice during one meeting and would not be allowed to present motions or resolutions unless discussed during a previous work session or meeting of council. Council has always allowed people to comment on an issue for up to five minutes Councilwoman Shirley Barrett said if someone had a legitimate complaintthat took longer than five minutes, they weren't going to be cut off. I can see both sides here, the Council people want to have efficient government meetings that will maximize time. But restricting speech by elected public officials is a slippery slope. It appears the Archbald Council has struck an even balance here but the in the wrong hands, this might not be such a good situation.

1968

The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores………In Oregon, Senator Eugene McCarthy hands the Kennedy dynasty its first election loss ever when he defeats Senator Robert Kennedy in that state’s Presidential primary. McCarthy’s victory invigorates his slumping campaign, forces Kennedy to agree to a debate before the California primary and pours needed dollars into the McCarthy machine. Kennedy concedes graciously. McCarthy responds, “If he thinks he can beat me with a dog and an astronaut, he’s dead wrong”. Kennedy campaigned with former Astronaut John Glenn and his dog……..Statewide, Governor Shafer signed a 4.5 million dollar non public school bill……..State Senator Martin Murray is named Chairman of the Luzerne County Democratic party…..in Plains, a new St. Joseph’s church in Hudson is planned at a cost of $300,000….Fine Arts Fiesta officials decide to hold the 1969 event on Public Square…..at St. John the Baptist School, final preparations are made for the annual class trip. Rocky Glenn was nixed, instead Angela Park was picked for the school event. Boys are instructed they could wear jeans the girls could wear coulottes which was a kind of skirt/short outfit….and the number one song in America and LuLac land was Simon And Garfunkl’s “Mrs. Robinson” from the movie “The Graduate”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnW59E-zyZY.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The LuLac Edition #482, May 21st, 2008






PHOTO INDEX: SENATOR TED KENNEDY IN WILKES BARRE DURING THE 1980 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, AN AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO OF KENNEDY AND "JOHN JOHN'S" KENNEDY FOR PRESIDENT BANNER COURTESY OF LAHR'S PRINTERY.

WINDING DOWN

Last night’s primary results in Kentucky and Oregon were again indicative of this year’s Presidential campaign. Strengths and weaknesses is the mantra much like the one in the movie “Something About Mary”. “Franks and Beans”, “Strengths and Weaknesses”. The same phrase over and over. Senator Clinton smashes Obama in Kentucky by an impressive 40 points. She is strong in those working class states. Obama’s weakness among white voters is exposed in this route with speculation that the Clinton voters will go elsewhere come November or stay home. After a short lived victory speech, the results come in from Oregon. Obama blasts Clinton out of the water with those new age voters who live up to the ultra liberal legacy of this state. (Oregon it should be noted even thought the late Bobby Kennedy was too conservative in 1968 and gave Eugene McCarthy a resounding victory). Even though Obama is close to the nomination and it is mathematically impossible for Clinton to win, the drum keeps beating for the former First Lady.
As Obama has built a daunting lead among convention delegates, his own supporters in Kentucky and Oregon were nearly unanimous in thinking he will secure the Democratic nomination. Many Clinton voters maintained hope for their candidate, but substantial numbers acknowledged Obama as the likely nominee - half of Clinton voters in Oregon and a third in Kentucky said Obama will win the nomination.
All balloting was by mail in Oregon's primary, and the phone poll asked when people voted or planned to. The survey found Clinton ran stronger among those who voted earlier, while Obama ran better among those who mailed or delivered their ballots closer to Election Day. In Kentucky, 3 in 4 voters said they made up their minds more than a month ago. As usual for this Democratic primary season, Clinton tended to run better in both states among older voters, those with lower incomes and less education, and those in rural areas, while Obama's strengths included the young, urban, wealthier and better-educated voters.
All that said, here are a few scenarios running through my mind:
The Vice Presidency: While there may not be a brokered convention for the Presidency, what is an ardent Clinton supporter nominates her from the convention floor? Could there be an old fashioned stampede that might force Obama to take Clinton on the ticket? And if Obama has already picked someone other than Clinton, would this be a repudiation of his own choice by his party?
The Supreme Court: Putting Senator Clinton on the Supreme Court doesn’t make much sense to me. She is more politician than jurist and is all about “firsts”. There have been two women already on the Court.
A Senate Leadership Role: Might appeal to Senator Clinton, especially now since the U.S. Senate is now aging. Consider this: The constitutional framers set the minimum age requirement for the Senate at 30 and for the House at 25. In the late 18th century, that was late middle age. The average life expectancy even a century later was around 40 years. Back then, second-term senators were considered veterans and Senate membership was known to completely turn over every 12 years.
Since the first session of Congress, in 1789, the average age of members of the Senate has risen from 47 to an all-time high today of 61.8, according to Senate records. With Senator Byrd at 90, and both Kennedy and Specter ailing, a leadership role for the Senator might be an attractive fit.
What will be interesting in the weeks to come will be seeing why Senator Clinton (which is her right) is staying so long at the party. As far as I’m concerned, let her take it to Denver. Finding out there is just as good a place as any.

TEDDY!

With the news this week that Senator Edward Kennedy is suffering from a malignant brain tumor, memories of his career came flooding back. Kennedy was thrust into a role he did not expect 40 years ago when his brother Robert was assassinated in California shortly after winning the California primary. Kennedy became the father figure to his children, Ethel and Robert’s as well as JFK’s offspring. He also was courted that fateful summer of ’68 to be Hubert Humphrey’s running mate. A few days before the convention open in Chicago, former Ohio Governor Mike LaSalle wanted to put his name in nomination for the Presidency. He was all of 36.
In 1969, the Senate Democratic Leadership made him Majority Whip, a highly coveted post that he quickly kicked away due to lack of attention to detail and a focus on other things. Also in the summer of ’69 was the Mary Jo Kopechne incident that still haunts him to this day. Some of the internet posts, in reaction to his illness are pretty nasty.
Kennedy stayed out of the ’72 and ’76 races for the top job but challenged President Carter in 1980. Carter made the statement that “he’d kick Teddy’s ass”. He did. It seemed like Kennedy had no rationale for running for President except that he was a Kennedy and this was what he was supposed to do. There was a telling interview on CBS with Roger Mudd where Kennedy literally stumbled over the simple question, “Why do you want to be President?” For years the Kennedy clan irrationally shut out Mudd, a family friend for daring to ask the question. He and Carter ran close and Kennedy even defeated Carter by a close margin in the 1980 Pennsylvania primary. On a cold spring day in that year, he gave an address to thousands on Public Square. His voice was loud, exuberant and played to the crowd that remembered his brother on the same Square twenty years earlier.
At the convention he fought to the second to the last day and withdrew with his “dream did not die” speech. He later went through another wild womanizing streak in the 80s until settling down with his second wife Victoria. In 1994, Kennedy almost was beaten for his Senate seat by an upstart named Mitt Romney. He survived and has been unbeatable ever since. As patriarch of the family, he also presided over typical Kennedy triumphs and tragedies. When he was felled by a seizure last weekend, it was telling how quickly his family rallied around him. The prognosis is not good some say but you can be sure he will given every opportunity to get the best care as well as the best wishes of some segments of the America he has served.

JOHN JOHN’S SIGN

When Kennedy’s campaign came to Wilkes Barre in 1980, the advance staff needed a huge banner to place on the bandshell on the Square. For years, the United Way always had a huge banner placed strategically in the center of the big shell. The Kennedy camp wanted no less for their rally. Local printer Chick Lahr was dispatched to do the banner. The late Lahr was a man generous with his time as a volunteer for his church as well as a big booster of Walt Disney World. But he was a hardcore businessman who knew the value of a buck. When the banner was finished, the Kennedy staffers stopped by and picked it up. They asked Chick to bill them. Violating all political principles where you get your money up front from politicos, Chick let them have the banner. The banner stayed up but then the Kennedy people told Chick they weren’t going to pay him since it started to show the ravages of weather. No less a Kennedy than John F. Kennedy Junior, “John John” himself came to complain. Chick asked for his money, “John John” refused. Chick threatened a collection agency call. “John John” says to Chick, “Don’t you know who I am?” Chick reportedly said, “Yes, but apparently you have no idea who I am!”. The bill was paid, “John John” hit the Hazle Street pavement and judging from the photo in the index, the thing looked okay to me and was worth the money.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The LuLac Edition #481, May 20th, 2008




PHOTO INDEX: INTERNET TROUBLE LOGO.

OUR APOLOGIES

We've been having some internet issues the last few days. Although we can publish, it seems our internet is not accessible to us and some posters. What is happening is that the access is being denied and delayed. The crack LuLac I.T. team is working to resolve these problems soon. Sorry for the inconvenience. Now for some politics.

HOW IT HAPPENED

As we wind down in this Democratic Presidential race, we still see both Senators Clinton and Obama neck and neck. This thing has been noting but a blur of Hillary being up one week, Obama being down the next, and then just the opposite happening. It is instructive to see how this delegate seesaw battle started. Quite simply, Obama has led in pledged delegates since he won the first caucuses in Iowa on Jan. 3. The two candidates stayed close through Super Tuesday, when Democrats voted in 22 states and American Samoa. Obama won 13 more delegates than Clinton that day — out of nearly 1,700 at stake.
Obama built an imposing lead the following two weeks, winning 11 straight contests in states such as Louisiana, Maryland, Washington and Virginia. He led by 161 pledged delegates on Feb. 19, after victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii. The lead has been relatively unchanged ever since as the candidates spent the past three months trading victories.
Obama goes into Tuesday's contests with 1,610 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. He needs 17 more to reach a majority of the 3,253 pledged delegates available. Clinton has 1,443 pledged delegates, according to the latest tally by The Associated Press.
NBC News reports that their national delegate count currently stands at 1444 for Clinton and 1602 for Obama. NBC’s estimated superdelegate count stands at 280 for Clinton and 299 for Obama. Right now, more people are jumping on the Obama bandwagon, the endorsement of Robert Byrd of West Virginia was huge in my eyes. You will now start to see a winding down of the Clinton campaign, despite Steve Corbett's innovative "Operation Turndown" and perhaps a shadow campaign to get Senator Clinton on the ticket as Vice President. Tonight, the Kentucky and Oregon primaries take center stage.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The LuLac Edition #480, May 17th, 2008


















PHOTO INDEX: WILK'S STEVE CORBETT, DR. JOSEPH LEONARDI, THE PLAYWRIGHT OF "LUCKY FOR YOU', PAUL KOMENSKY CIRCA 1968 WITH HIS LATE MOTHER HELEN CLAIRE TO THE RIGHT, A REPRISE OF "LUCKY FOR YOU" DONE IN JUNE AT THE ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST GRADE SCHOOL GRADUATION CEREMONIES, PICTURED ARE JOSEPH WHITE, DAVID YONKI, THE LATE PATRICIA BOBBOUINE, JANET POLANSKY, (NOW DR. JANET) SUSAN HARMONOUS AND ROSEMARY OCHREITER, AND THE ORIGINAL CAST PRODUCTION OF "LUCKY FOR YOU" PRESENTED ON MAY 19th 1968, PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT ARE JOSEPH WHITE, STAGE MANAGER ROBERT HIZNY, DAVID YONKI, JANET POLANSKY, THE LATE PATRICIA BOBBOUINE AND ROSEMARY OCHREITER.

AND THEY’RE OFF!

Just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby it appears the Presidential candidates, including President Bush are off to the races using Foreign policy as a linchpin. Only Hillary Clinton seems to be sticking to domestic issues. Let’s start with Senator McCain.
While speaking to the National Rifle Association in Louisville, McCain responded to Obama’s remarks earlier today.
“I welcome a debate about protecting America,” McCain said. “No issue is more important. Sen. Obama claimed all I had to offer was the ‘naive and irresponsible belief’ that tough talk would cause Iran to give up its nuclear program. He should know better.
“I have some news for Sen. Obama: Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ and arms terrorist who kill Americans will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our interests.
“It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. But that is not the world we live in, and until Sen. Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep us safe.”
McCain’s remarks come on the heels of President Bush telling the Israeli Parliament that you just can’t talk to terrorists. Meanwhile Obama rebuked Republican rival
McCain and President Bush for "dishonest, divisive" attacks in hinting that the Democratic presidential candidate would appease terrorists, staunchly defending his national security credentials for the general election campaign.
Obama responded Friday to Bush's speech Thursday to the Israeli Knesset. The president referred to the leader of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally, and then said some seem to believe that we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals — comments Obama and Democrats said were directed at them. McCain subsequently said Obama must explain why he wants to talk with rogue leaders.
Senator Clinton continued focusing her campaign on domestic issues sprinkling in a little foreign policy talk at a jab at President Bush and the Republicans. Clinton ratcheted up her criticism of President Bush today, mocking him for simply “begging” Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies rather than having a real plan to deal with the energy crisis.
“I don’t think it is a good energy policy to depend upon the kindness of the Saudis … while businesses and individuals are trying to figure out how they’re going to afford nearly $4 a gallon gas and nearly $5 a gallon diesel,” she said. “The impact is really beginning to ripple dramatically through the economy.” Clinton’s comments came during a roundtable discussion with local residents about a host of problems facing the country today, primarily economic ones.

OPERATION TURNDOWN

WILK talk show host Steve Corbett is going wild and it appears no one is going to stop him. Corbett, in a parody of Rush’s Limbaugh’s operation to have GOP voters choose Hillary has now started his own “Operation Turndown”. But it isn’t a parody or a joke. Corbett is garnering national attention, getting callers from across the country who are tuning in to the WILK website (c’mon you sales guys, start selling more ads on that site!) and getting people of all stripes to voice their displeasure with the Democratic party. Corbett as well as others contend that Senator Clinton has gotten a bad shake from the party leadership and that she has been treated shabbily. But the only thing wrong with that logic is that Obama was the “outsider” and Clinton was “the insider”. That said, it doesn’t seem to matter to Corbett and his people who are telling him that they will do the following:
1. Write in Senator Clinton’s name in the general election.
2. Vote for John McCain.
3. Not vote at all.
Usually a talk show topic lasts a day or so, Corbett has been beating this drum at full thump and indications are he’s getting some national attention. The reaction to “Operation Turndown” points to a few flaws in the Obama campaign, while he has a great deal of supporters, heck, almost half of the voters in the party, Senator Clinton has the other half. They are getting angry, resentful and loud. The Democratic party is going to have to deal with Senator Clinton and her vocal supporters. With the fact that the Senator will not stop running, a rumbling that the GOP has something big on Obama that they will unleash in the fall campaign and this intense loyalty to her campaign, it is more evident that ever that the Clinton forces must be dealt with either before or during the Denver convention. “Operation Turndown” has all the potential to morph into “Operation Turn Off”.

JOE, SAY IT AIN’T SO

One of the best political and practical minds in the area as well as a very principled candidate for public office is going to take a hiatus from opinionating. Dr. Joseph Leonardi, who much to the dismay of many was never given substantial funding to run against Paul Kanjorski in 2006. When Leonardi tried to share his considerable political knowledge with the local media on a part time basis, they chose to take chances on people less informed, less talented and certainly more annoying. Their loss. Anyway, a lot of people think I’m in the tank for Joe, the fact is when he first heard of me, he wanted to sue me. And our ideas are diverse but we agree on the right to each other’s beliefs and opinions. Our disagreements actually brought us together as friends. I looked at us as two old polliticos arguing to the death, then going for a couple of blasts after we both got it out of our systems. All that said, here’s the last edition Dr. Leonardi's blog, here's the link: http://www.joeleonardi.wordpress.com/ .

1968


This week in May - "May of ‘68" is a symbol of the resistance of that generation. Agitations and strikes in Paris lead many youth to believe that a revolution is starting. Student and worker strikes, sometimes referred to as the French May, nearly bring down the French government......The Israel Broadcasting Authority commences television broadcasts.............The Beatles annnounce the creation of Apple Records in a New York press conference…..in Harrisburg, Governor Shafrer announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission approved $300,000 for the three million dollar Hazleton Vo-Tech School…..in Wilkes Barre City Manager Fredrick Wegner begins his first round of debates about the future of the city with Council….in Scranton Mayor James Walsh finalizes plans for the renovation of the pool at Nay Aug Park….at St. John the Baptist School, an original play, “Lucky For You” written by class vice president Paul Komensky debuts. The cast includes Class President David Yonki who has a solo with the old Depression era tune, “Hallelujah I’m A Bum” . Komensky got this song from the Alan Lomax collection. Lomax received a government grant to catalogue American songs written by the likes of Woody Guthrie. Cast member Janet Polansky and Rosemary Ochreiter sang “Dear Companions”, a take off of the “Bosom Buddies” from “Mame”, Komensky felt that the word “bosom” would be censored by the school administration. There was a nun in the cast played by the late Patricia Bobbouine but for the life of us we can’t remember why the role was there. From “Mame” David Yonki and the cast sang “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” and Komensky put in his original composition “Life Is But A Dream”. The play was put on because the school and cafeteria were recently remodeled with the piano even being given a new coat of paint. Tragedy almost struck when playwright Komensky’s fingers got stuck in his father’s grocery truck's sliding door shattering a few bones and tendons in his piano playing fingers. Hs mother, Helen Claire Komensky played the piano while her son directed. The culmination of the play came when cast member Joseph White informs the main character that he’s part of a family and all is well. After the show, Father Super entertained the crowd of parents and children with his rendition of “The Swiss Miss Song,” here is a snippet of the lyrics, “I miss the bliss my Swiss Miss gave to me….”
Wardrobe came from our grandparents leftover clothes although I see from the pictures I was wearing a yellow Batman shirt. To this day, forty years after the play, Paul nor I have any idea how he talked me into doing something like this but I can’t help but think it had something to do with my seventh grade girl friend. Anyway, after my theatrical debut and finale, I went home, changed, rode my bike to a hotdog stand in the Junction and ordered myself a hoagie and then called my seventh grade girlfriend from a pay phone with the change…..and forty years ago this week, the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “A Beautiful Morning” by the Rascals. From You Tube, here’s the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgF2K-FXDyg&feature=related


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The LuLac Edition #479, May 14th, 2008









PHOTO INDEX: FORMER CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT KEVIN MURPHY, CURRENT STATE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK ANDREWS SHIMKUS AND FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOHN EDWARDS.

REMATCH

It doesn't have the panache of a Balboa-Creed rematch but today Kevin Murphy won his race against incumbent State Rep Frank Andrews Shimkus in the 113th District. Murphy won by 532 votes and is the Democratic nominee. Shimkus, who gained the nod on the GOP side came close to upsetting Murphy in the primary. At issue were about 400 or so write in votes that weren't properly filled out. Shimkus said they should have been counted because there was an intent to vote for him. True enough but voters, especially those filling out write ins or absentee ballots have the responsibility to know what they're doing. Intent is wonderful but if you can't follow the rules, like blackening the oval, you're too stupid to vote. Sorry, that's a bit harsh but when you vote, it's not like playing darts at a bar in Dickson, it is a responsibility to know what you're doing.
All that said, Murphy who won the primary has to start looking over his shoulder because Shimkus has the support of the State House cadre that protects their own. Murphy's best bet is to run an outsider campaign. Shimkus' should play on his incumbency and not even mention party. This fall race will smack of thousands of yard signs, tens of thousands of dollars and so much media time it'll make the voters heads spin, kind of like ovals. By the time this is over between these two, people will be clamoring to bring back Fred Bellardi. That however would be impossible because he's making more than he did as a state rep. Both Murphy and Shimkus have giant supporters but have their share of detractors too. The candidate who gets a good message out first, defining himself positively and his foe negatively will win this one by at least a thousand votes. It'll be interesting to see who gets out of the gate first.

EDWARDS FOR OBAMA

Coming as no great surprise, former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards endorsed Senator Obama this evening. The endorsement came a day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in the West Virginia primary. The loss highlighted Obama's challenge in winning over the "Hillary Democrats" — white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in significant numbers before he exited the race in late January. Edwards praised Senator Clinton calling her a woman of steel but said the party must become united to defeat John McCain. One by one, Dems of stature are endorsing Obama but Clinton keeps on winning and saying she will fight to the end. A very strange race if you ask me. I asked a local politico when Hillary will stop campaigning, "At the Inauguration! Take your pick, Obama or McCain's!"

LOCAL PRIDE!

Here in Northeastern Pennsylvania we have always been our own worst enemies. Known forever as an old coaltown, this area finally has dug itself out of that public perception. But just when we take a few steps forward, some local puts us back 10 paces. The latest is from Tunkhannock Mayor Norm Ball, presumeably an educated man who wrote this
in a letter to the editor published in a local paper. He explained his support of Hillary Clinton this way: "Barack Hussein Obama and all of his talk will do nothing for our country. There is so much that people don't know about his upbringing in the Muslim world. His stepfather was a radical Muslim and the ranting of his minister against the white America, you can't convince me that some of that didn't rub off on him.
"No, I want a president that will salute our flag, and put their hand on the Bible when they take the oath of office."
Obama's campaign workers have grown wearily accustomed to the lies about the candidate's supposed radical Muslim ties and lack of patriotism. But they are sometimes astonished when public officials such as Ball or others representing the campaign of their opponent traffic in these falsehoods. Not to be shocked at all Obama-ites, this is still Northeast Pennsylvania where we don't try to educate ignorant people culturally, we elect them to positions of responsibility!

The LuLac Edition #478, May 14th, 2008












PHOTO INDEX: THE SINATRA STAMP AND A PHOTO OF FRANK IN HIS PRIME.

WITHOUT A SONG

Frank Sinatra died 10 years ago today. The news came during the last episode of Seinfeld effectively overshadowing that great sitcom's swan song. Sinatra was of my parent’s generation and my first awareness of him came during the ABC TV program “The Hollywood Palace”. I began to see a few movies and entertainment specials and was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the Beatles, the Four Seasons and my top 40. But Sinatra was something else. Sinatra was at a different level for me. When my friends said he was “old hat”, I countered that if George Gilbert could play his songs on WARM, that was good enough for me. Imagine listening to “Love Me Do” and “The Summer Wind” on an old 45 record player. My parents feared I was turning schizophrenic. Not to worry, it was just great music.
My Sinatra connection never ended. He was always there on a magazine cover, in the movies (when I first started dating Mrs. LuLac we saw a Sinatra movie called “Seven Deadly Sins”) on the tape deck and even years later when I worked in radio. When I started working at Rock 107 in sales, I secretly hoped they’d let me sell the American Popular Standards Station. After a few months, they did. If you’ve never been in the Times Building radio studios, it is a grand old radio setting. The WEJL studios were pretty much automated, only Program Director Michael Neff had an air shift in the morning. But at night, I’d go into the studio and write my orders in the soft light while the pop classics played on. And when Sinatra came on, I just sat and drank it in. It has been said that some people have even slow danced to Sinatra in that studio with the flashing multi colored automated lights and the sweet sounds of his voice.
When Sinatra had a birthday, I convinced the Promotions Manager of the Wyoming Valley Mall to do a Sinatra birthday party on Dec. 12th. It turned out he had been ill and we turned that into a "sign a get well card" for Frank promotion. (Every year, Michael Neff played wall to wall Sinatra on his, Frank’s, not Mike’s birthday, December 12th). As the remote took place, hundreds of fans and music lovers came to sign the get well card to Frank. Dressed in tuxes, Michael Neff and I met and greeted those fans. An elderly woman who was a bit of a bother kept on bugging Michael Neff asking “just who the heck he was?” Michael, a patient man finally said in exasperation, “I’m Frank’s friend Jilly and that's my bodyguard over there!” pointing a menacing finger at me. She smiled crazily and left the scene. (Editor’s note: Ermenigildo Rizzo (May 6, 1917 – May 6, 1992), nicknamed Jilly, was a restaurateur and entertainer. A long time friend of Frank Sinatra, Rizzo made cameo appearances in several of his films. He was also a frequent guest on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, where he would recite one liners in his New York accent.)
After that 1997 remote, Sinatra lived only a few months. He died on Thursday night, May 14th while most of the entertainment world were watching the less than spectacular Seinfeld finale. (Although I must say that the finale has grown on me over the years, I understand now what they were trying to accomplish artistically). On the weekend Sinatra died, WEJL/WBAX, like most stations of that format across America played nothing but Sinatra. Unable to sleep that Friday night, I left my home, popped the top on my car and drove through Wilkes Barre/Scranton with the radio on full blast. As I drove down the Scranton Expressway, I caught sight of the WEJL tower with its flashing light. I looked up and the night was possessed by a perfect starlit sky. As I looked at the God like inspired heavens, the man made tower with its wires of communication that made Sinatra the star he was, my thoughts turned to the role entertainment played in our lives. I thought about the role Sinatra held for me, as well as the World War II generation and for people just becoming familiar with his legend. I thought how fortunate I was to catch a large segment of his career and wondered if in a few years after his death the legend would sustain itself. After all, I reasoned, some would be hard pressed to tell you when Sammy Davis, Junior or Peter Lawford died. Then one of Sinatra’s biggest songs came on the radio. Hearing it, I knew that Sinatra left us perhaps his greatest legacy. We, his fans and followers would never be “Without A Song.” I turned back toward my home and drove down 81 with a smile on my face and a song, his song, on my lips and in my heart.
From You Tube: "Without A Song:"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The LuLac Edition #477, May 13th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: SEATRAIN 13 QUESTIONS.

13 QUESTIONS

1. NOW THAT THE PRIMARY SEASON IS WINDING DOWN, THOUGHTS ON RUNNING MATES?

I’M STILL STICKING WITH MY ORIGINAL PICKS, IF NOT OBAMA-CLINTON, CLINTON-OBAMA, I THINK AN OBAMA-BLOOMBERG TICKET FOR THE DEMS AND A McCAIN-BARBOUR TICKET WILL BE THE FINAL TEAMS FACING EACH OTHER.

2. DAVE, YOUR FAVORITE POLITICAL PARTY, THE GREENS HAVE OPENED UP CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS ON SOUTH MAIN STREET, ACROSS FROM THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

I SAW THEIR BUILDING AND LIKE THOSE RAN PAUL SIGNS, MY REACTIONS ARE, “WHAT’S THE POINT?”, “WHO CARES” AND “SO WHAT!”

3. FAVORITE TABLOID NEW YORK NEWSPAPER, THE DAILY NEWS OR THE POST?

I GREW UP WITH THE DAILY NEWS. THE POST IS EVEN TOO LOW LEVEL FOR MY DOG. HAD A DALLIANCE WITH NEW YORK NEWSDAY IN THE NINETIES BUT THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE DAILY NEWS.

4.IS HOME RULE STILL GOING TO BE AN OPTION IN LUZERNE COUNTY POLITICS?

COMMISSIONER PETRILLA HAS PERSUASIVELY TALKED THE PROPONENTS OF HOME RULE INTO A WAIT AND SEE BUT ANY MORE REVELATIONS WILL BE A MOTIVATING FACTOR TO CHANGE.

5. DID YOU HAVE ANY POLITICAL HEROES IN THE PITTSTON AREA GROWING UP?

NOT REALLY. THEY JUST WERE PART OF THE WOODWORK ALTHOUGH OUR NEIGHBOR AL KRIDLO WAS A LONG TIME COUNCILMAN. HE TOOK PRIDE IN MAKING SURE HIS WARD WAS TAKEN CARE OF BUT OTHER THAN HIM, NONE REALLY STOOD OUT. THIS WAS THE TIME WHEN MAYOR BOB LOFTUS, TREASURER SADIE COSGROVE AND CHIEF CLERK TONY FERARRO RAN THINGS VERY TIGHTLY. MY UNCLE TIMMY PRIBULA WAS A GOOD GUY TO LEARN FROM AND HE WAS A LONG TIME WYOMING AREA SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER.

6. HEY, WHO’S GOING TO BE THE NEW LUZERNE COUNTY CONTROLLER?

DON’T KNOW, GOVERNOR ED HAS AN APPOINTMENT IN PLACE BUT THE GUY’S NAME IS ON ABOUT 300 OTHER OFFICES STATEWIDE. WE’LL KNOW WHEN WE KNOW.

7. ANY REACTION TO THE CASEY FOR VEEP STORIES?

NO. IT’S A POLITICAL WAY OF SAYING THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT. THEN THE AFOREMENTIONED POSSIBLE CANDIDATE GETS A NEWS BOOST, PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSED AND THEN OB LA DI, OB LA DAH, LIFE GOES ON. I REMEMBER THE 1968 NIXON CAMPAIGN, EVERYTIME HE GOT AN ENDORSEMENT, OR NEEDED ONE, THEY’D FLOAT A NAME OUT THERE AS A POSSIBLE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. BY THE TIME HE GOT TO THE CONVENTION IN MIAMI, HALF THE PARTY SEEMED TO BE PROMISED THE JOB. IRONICALLY HE WOUND UP PICKING A GUY, SPIRO AGNEW WHO WAS A BIG ROCKEFELLER SUPPORTER.

8.DAVE, THE GLIDER DINER, WHY IS IT AN INSTITUTION?

MAINLY BECAUSE AS A FAMILY BUSINESS IT HAS SURVIVED THE RAVAGES OF TIME AND CHAIN RESTAURAUNTS. PLACES LIKE CHICK’S DINER, VICTORY PIG PIZZA, ABE’S, CONEY ISLAND ALL ARE LANDMARKS AND ARE TREATED AS SUCH BY THE LOCALS. FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM, THEY’RE CALLED “JOINTS”. SOME OF MY BEST MEMORIES OF THE GLIDER ARE FROM MY DAYS AT ROCK 107 WHERE THE SALES REPS WOULD GATHER TO TALK ABOUT THEIR DAY OR LACK THEREOF.

9. I UNDERSTAND YOU’RE NOT A BIG DRINKER BUT HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BEER DRINKING SONG IN YOUR PAST?

YEAH, WHEN I WORKED AT THE CALL CENTER ON SOUTH MAIN STREET, ONCE IN A WHILE WE’D GO FOR A POP AND WIND UP SINGING THE JOE DOWELL HIT FROM 1961 “WOODEN HEART”. ONE TIME, WHEN WE WERE IN SALISBURY, MARYLAND (THE CALL CENTER AT THE START HAD AN OFFICE THERE TOO) WE SANG THAT SONG IN A BAR DRINKING CORONAS AND SOME GERMAN TOURISTS VISITING OCEAN CITY (THE TOWN NEXT DOOR TO SALISBURY) STARTED DOING THE GERMAN CHORUS. THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE SONG IS THAT ELVIS WAS SET TO RECORD IT AFTER GETTING BACK FROM GERMANY BUT DOWELL’S PEOPLE HAD A FACTORY PRINT THOUSANDS OF THEM AND HIS SONG HIT FIRST, RELEGATING ELVIS AND COLONEL PARKER TO SECOND PLACE. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SING ALONG, HERE IT IS FROM YOU TUBE: http://youtube.com/watch?v=dsOTzv3nl18.

10.BEST SUNDAY NEWS SHOW?

I TAPE AND WATCH ALL OF THEM. MY FAVORITE THOUGH HAS TO BE ESPN’S “THE SPORTS REPORTERS” DURING THE WORLD SERIES AND THE NFL SEASON.

11. THE SCRANTON MAYORAL RACE NEXT YEAR, DOHERTY AGAIN?

MAYBE. ONLY TWO SCRANTON MAYORS HAVE WON THIRD TERMS, ONE OF THEM RECENTLY BEING JIMMY CONNORS. DOHERTY HAS A BASE BUT IF GARY DEBILIO TRIES AGAIN, WHO KNOWS. SCRANTON HAS A REPUTATION FOR NOT KEEPING MAYORS THAT LONG. 1961-1965, WILLIAM SCHMIDT, R, ONE TERM, 1965-1969, JAMES WALSH, D, ONE TERM, 1969-1977, EUGENE PETERS, R, TWO TERMS, 1977-1981, EUGENE HICKEY, D, ONE TERM, 1981-1985, JIM McNULTY, D, ONE TERM, AND 1985-1989, DAVID WENTZEL, R, ONE TERM. A LOT OF TURNOVER IF YOU ASK ME.

12.ANY FEELINGS ABOUT THE GAS PRICES?

WE ARE GETTING SCREWED, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. THE ONLY CONSOLATION I HAVE IS THAT PEOPLE DRIVING THOSE SUV’S AND TUV’S ARE PAYING WAY MORE THAN MY SEABRING RAGTOP TAKES. AND YOU GOTTA LOVE THOSE MORONS IN THOSE HUGE PICK UP TRUCKS PAYING A FRANKLIN FOR A FILL UP. YEAH, WE KNOW YOU’RE A MAN, DON’T NEED TO SEE YOUR TRUCK.

13. WHAT’S A TUV?

TOTALLY UNNECESSARY VEHICLE. A HUMMER IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA OR A 90 POUND WOMAN DRIVING A 10 SEATER ESCALADE. NOT NECESSARY.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The LuLac Edition #476, May 9th, 2008









PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1968 LOGO, LUZERNE COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS JAMES "RED" OBRIEN AND CONGRESSMAN FROM THE 10TH DISTRICT CHRIS CARNEY.


CARNEY’S CALL

I’m not sure how I feel about Chris Carney, Congressman from the 10th district and his recent endorsement of Senator Clinton. Mixed emotions I guess. First, as a Hillary voter, I’m glad he did it. Most agree though it should have been sooner. My political paranoia says, “did Polosi put him up to this?” Then I think maybe he wants to get out from under a situation that could be dangerous. His district went over 70% for Hillary and his endorsement is reflective of the will of the people, right? But yet a true profile in political courage might be Senator Bob Casey’s open embracement of Senator Obama against many factors, especially in his hometown. Like it or not, Casey stuck his neck out. He might gain in the end if Obama becomes President but that was not a done deal when he made his decision. Then I thought that Carney is just indicative of what a Congressman is today, a follower, not a leader. See, I grew up with guys like Dan Flood who opposed the Panama Canal as a foreign policy issue, a stand that most likely got him indicted. Or Senator Joe Clark who was anti gun and anti war and paid for it by a defeat in the Senate. Or Albert Gore Senior who lost a re-election bid for the same reason. Governor Raymond Shafer who endorsed Nelson Rockefeller for President even if it meant no consideration for a Cabinet post. See, the politicians, members of Congress I grew up with made stands, got out in front, took chances. Today, all tread lightly making no waves. Chris Carney did what was expected of him, he acted like a 21rst century politician. No more, no less.

AFTER TUESDAY

Word is after the West Virginia primary Senator Clinton is going to have a meeting with top aides and fundraisers. There it is said an exit strategy will be developed with a concentration on getting the Vice Presidency. That would be a smart move by the Dems.

SEEING RED

Once more citizens of Luzerne County got another slap in the face from an elected official. Word came out from the Times Leader that County Recorder of Deeds James “Red” O'Brien owes back taxes on his bar on Main Street in Avoca. There are reports that the bar was kept off the tax rolls for the past few years so the property would not go to sheriff’s sale. O'Brien has been a Pittston Area School Board member and ran an unsuccessful race for State Representative in 2006 in the primary. Current State Rep Mike Carroll beat him that year. In 2007, O'Brien ran for Recorder of Deeds outlasting incumbent Mary Dysleski by a few votes. O'Brien ran a campaign blaming Dysleski for money taken from the Deeds office by two long time employees who predated her election in 1999. Ironically, the voters turned out Dyselski who discovered and reported the financial irregularities which led to arrests and convictions of the two employees. Now O'Brien has to defend the fact that he got special consideration from the political powers that be. Four points here:
1. Again it points out the pathetic state of the Republican party. You mean to tell me they couldn’t do a little opposition research on this guy? The vote he won by was so razor thin, this revelation might have put him behind that bar instead of under the dome.
2. Questions have to asked about who ignored O'Brien’s back taxes issue since 2003 enabling him to run the establishment while owing taxes. If that were the average home owner, if that were me or Gort, or Wilkes Barre On Line, we’d be looking for a new house. But we’re not Red O'Brien, are we?
3. O'Brien ran his campaign as a successful businessman who knew how to handle management problems. How good of a businessman was he to fall so far behind in taxes? I understand the bar business is a tough one, I have empathy for those who kill themselves 12 hours a day. But does this tax issue inspire confidence in the way the Deeds office is now being run? I think not.
4. Again, this is one more chink in the County system of government. While Maryann Petrilla has received a waiting period until citizens start up the government charter talk again, things like this remind tax payers that even with newly elected row officers, “the more things change, the more they stay the same!”

BIG JOBS, BIG DOUGH

3,042. That's how many state employees earn more than $100,000 a year.
Combined, they earn a total of $368 million. You pay the salaries. You may be surprised at some of them. It's up to you to decide if they're worth it. Gov. Ed Rendell earns $164,396. Catherine Baker Knoll earns $138,091 as lieutenant governor. Judy Hample, chancellor of the State System of Higher Education, is paid $327,718 to oversee the 109,000-student university system. In comparison, Graham Spanier receives a base salary of $545,016 to run the nearly 84,000-student Penn State University. Richard E. Willey earns a base salary of $289,118 as president and CEO at PHEAA. Five PHEAA executive make the top 10 list, earning acombined $1.14 million. They're also eligible for bonuses as high as 60 percent of their base salary. James J. Rudisill, the head swimming coach at West Chester University, earns $182,446. His swimming programs generated $621,605 in revenue for the university. Ralph Cappy, chief justice of the state Supreme Court, earns $180,336. That makes him the state's highest-paid elected official. Judges were allowed to keep the controversial 2005 pay raise. Joseph Brimmeier, chief executive officer for the Turnpike Commission earns $178,427 to oversee one state highway. PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler is 788th on the list, earning $131,517 to oversee the rest. The two newest high ranking state positions each pay $150,006.That's for Tad Decker, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, and Joe Conti, chief executive of the Liquor Control Board.
See our 1968 feature to get an idea what a State Senator made forty years ago.

WE BELIEVE

Tuesday afternoon Monkee Davey Jones visited downtown Wilkes Barre to tell us “he believes” The event was put on by “Leadership Wilkes Barre” after many months of painstaking planning. Jones later met people at the Ramada. He sang “I’m A Believer”, the Monkees biggest hit, penned by Neil Diamond on the Square. Mayor Tom Leighton was in the crowd and adding to the bi partisan atmosphere was former GOP Council candidate and activist Peter Gagliardi. Here’s a link to the Monkees greatest hit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfuBREMXxts&feature=related.

1968

This week, the Alabama Governor Lurleen Wallace, 41, died after a battle with cancer. Mrs. Wallace was the only female Governor of Alabama succeeding her husband in 1966 after he could not run for a second term. George Wallace, running as a Third Party candidate suspended his campaign for a suitable period of mourning……in 1968 State Senators made $7400.00 a year $4800 in expense money….Nick Perugino of Kingston was awarded the contract to operate a restaurant and lounge at the Wilkes Barre/Scranton airport….at St. John the Baptist grade school, rehearsals still continued for the spring concert/play written by class vice President Paul Komensky and in LuLac land and America, the number one song this week was “The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde” by George Fame. Here’s the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubOI9yY55JU.



Thursday, May 08, 2008

The LuLac Edition #475, May 8th, 2008




PHOTO INDEX: THE NUMBER 2 AND ROCK 107’S JOHN WEBSTER WHO WAS OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY PHOTO CELEB. WE FIGURE WHY BREAK A TRADITION. JOHN IS THE ONE WHO WALKED ME THROUGH PUTTING PHOTOS ON THE BLOG.

2 YEARS ON

Today The LuLac Political Letter celebrates its second anniversary. In the last 24 months we have covered major elections in Luzerne and Lackawanna County, statewide races as well as this year’s exciting Presidential race. We have hosted one candidate forum in Wilkes Barre city, participated and covered some in a few instances and have tried our best to present this blog/site as a fair, fun, informative and historical stopping off point for political junkies. We’ve written 475 editions which have evolved through the months to serve our readers. While The LuLac Political Letter has been political in nature, we’ve also commented on some pop culture issues. Our strength is the readers and posters who make us want to get up every morning and keep doing this. God willing, we will continue to cover the fine art of politics and pop culture in a fair, semi objective and entertaining way. We’ll still hate credit card companies, high gas prices, incompetent governmental leadership as well as injustice in the form of cronyism, poverty and war. You’ll still read me pine over Geena Davis (Webster has said he’s gonna hook me up with her but I’m still waiting) about the good old days of 1968, refer to my family, Mrs. LuLac and my seventh grade Slovak girlfriend more times than you want. But you are welcome to comment as many of you do. I moderate my comments because I don’t want to use this forum as a way for someone to attack someone else personally. I will print everything I receive but reserve the right to edit it. When we get praise, we accept it, when we are wrong, we correct it. In 2007-2008 we were regarded as one of the top twenty blogs/sites in the state of Pennsylvania. That is very much appreciated. The blog has given us the opportunity to forge new media relationships with the good people at WYOU TV, WBRE TV and WLYN TV. Plus, we have continued older relationships with the folks at WILK AM & FM, WARM AM 590, and KRZ FM. The four major newspapers, The Times Leader, Citizen’s Voice, Scranton Times and Hazleton Standard Speaker have helped us promote our events. We appreciate that help. The local library system, especially The Osterhout Free Library, The Scranton Public Library and the Hazleton Library have been information clearinghouses for us when we wanted to fine tune our historical facts. My thanks go out to fellow local bloggers Gort 42, Wilkes Barre OnLine, Things At Kings and Another Monkey. All those mentioned are wildly diverse in their style, personality and presentations. But the technical support, encouragement and information sharing among these four gentlemen has been a thing of beauty to me. WILK’s news bloggers have also contributed greatly to the public discourse. When I started this effort in 2006, there was a plethora of blogs. To be frank the sheer volume was intimidating. But one by one, they went away because of lack of interest or commitment. Now there are only about 5 or 6 left. I’m proud to say The LuLac Political Letter is still standing. As we begin year number three, we hope to stay consistent, try to publish as much as we can in a qualitative way, be fair but opinionated but above all, try to be entertaining and interesting. Politics, local, statewide or national is a wonderful spectator sport. I’m glad I have a ringside seat to give you my views, accept your thoughts but most importantly embrace the notions of free speech and democracy. All that said, on to year 3.

LULUC YOU TUBE VIDEO

We get requests for it all the time, what better way to showcase our YOU TUBE video then on our second anniversary.
Click here for LuLac YOU TUBE video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6lEXSEQnDk.

THE FIRST FOOTSTEP

Here’s what we said on this date, two years ago.

May 8th, 2006


WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Lu-Lac Political Report is a comprehensive Beneficial Load Of Government and political information. (BLOG). The reason why I am starting it is because I truly believe there is a lack of great political reporting in the Wilkes Barre/Scranton news market these days. The newspaper and broadcast field seems populated by individuals who stop short of explaining the whole story, whether it be the final conclusion or background information required of such a subject as politics. It could be budget, inexperience, laziness or just a lower standard. But the political reporting of Bill Griffiths, Carl Romanelli Sr., John “Pidge” Watson, Bill Luksic and Joseph Flannery is nowhere evident in our discourse today. I would like to try and fill that large void left by these journalists. This report will strive to provide political news to interested parties, (ie political junkies) commentary on those doings as well as an opportunity to analyze the who what, why, where and when of politics.Our intent is to provide readers with thoughtful views, provoke discussions on the political process, as well as educate the participants on some politicos who came before making all of what we are observing today possible. (We can debate on whether we can thank them or not!) We will also work in tandem with the current contemporaries available that opine and observe the political scene like the WILK Talk Radio network, local columnists, TV reporters and political consultants and activists. If there is a philosophical disagreement with any of these entities, we will not insult, intimidate or belittle them as other sites have done. There will absolutely be no personal attacks of any kind against how people look or comport themselves. There will be some commentary from the Blog Editor and Publisher but it will be listed as that, commentary. Opinions and varied points of view as they used to say on the TV editorials (whatever happened to them???) will be welcome.As we grow, we will add more interesting features that hopefully will entertain, enlighten and inform. As a political junkie, the past will be celebrated, the present will be reviewed and analyzed and the future will be considered. The site will be updated frequently with the goal to have something new posted once a day by 6PM. Let us begin on this new and exciting intellectual adventure!!!!
Sincerely,
The Editor In Chief

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The LuLac Edition #474, May 7th, 2008




PHOTO INDEX: SENATOR CLINTON, DAUGHTER CHELSEA AND FORMER PRESIDEENT BILL CLINTON AT LAST NIGHT'S SPEECH IN INDIANA.


END GAME?


Barack Obama resoundingly won in the North Carolina primary Tuesday night and declared he was closing in on the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton eked out a win in Indiana as she struggled to halt her rival's march into history, NBC News projected.
"Tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States," Obama told a raucous rally in Raleigh, N.C. -- and left no doubt he intended to claim the prize. Clinton stepped before her own supporters not long afterward in Indianapolis. "Thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House," she said, signaling her determination to fight on in a campaign already waged across more than 16 months and nearly all 50 states. Two different takes from the two candidates. Obama seemed to regain his voice and confidence after a few weeks of uncertainty over the Rev. Wright issue and Clinton seemed to be a lot less combative and contemplative in her remarks.
Indiana was a must-win state for Clinton, who was hoping to counter Obama's delegate advantage with a strong run through the late primaries. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the former first lady led 51 percent to 49 percent.
Results had been slow in coming from populous Lake County, a heavily black area in the northwestern part of Indiana near Obama's home city of Chicago. The county is home to the city of Gary, and the senator won overwhelming support there.
Extra ballot counters were brought in because of an unusually large number of absentee ballots, the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune reported on its Web site.
So now there will be speculation about an end game for the Clinton campaign. The issues are:
1. Money: will there be enough cash for her to continue the campaign or will the money people of the Democratic party say, the taps turned off?
2. Legacy: By fighting to the end, will the former first lady damage the entire Clinton plolitical legacy damaging Obama for the fall campaign?
3. Vice President: History. If you can't be the first woman President, then why not the first female Veep?
4. Staying Alive: How to keep the campaign afloat all the way to Denver by accentuating the positive but still touting her electability in the big electoral college states.
5. Exit: If she does consider getting out, how, when and to be totally crass in political terms, what will be in it for her and her vast array of supporters?
Right now, the Clinton strategy seems to be to go on to West Virginia. People say this is her kind of state but that was said about Indiana too. In 1960, Hubert Humphrey went into West Virginia with a big lead only to be overcome by an upstart candidate who connected with the voters promising a new frontier. Most West Virginia voters were poor and ineducated back then. This candidate was rich and Harvard bred and born. John Kennedy pulled a huge upset there and went on to the nomination. Right now West Virginia looks good for Senator Clinton but if Senator Obama works the JFK magic of 1960 next week and pulls an upset, all bets will be off the table as to how long this valient Clinton campaign goes on.


STATE OF THE WORLD


I regret having missed Mario Forucci's State of the World event on Sunday May 4th. That might sound surprising given my lack of affinity for third party candidates but I think it's a worthy event. With my mom hospitalized, my mother in law in not so great ambulatory shape, Mrs. LuLac coming back from a business trip Saturday night from the midwest and my in laws traveling to Florida Sunday morning to attend the graduation of my nephew Todd at Emery Riddle in Daytona, making the event was impossible. However, my friend Gort wrote a great summary of the event, here's his link, http://gort42.blogspot.com/, scroll down to the date May 4th, Sunday and you'll get a recap.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The LuLac Edition #473, May 5th, 2008









PHOTO INDEX: STATE SENATOR RAY MUSTO (CIRCA 1971) AND A DISTRESSED DISNEY RODENT.


D DAY, AGAIN!!!


On the eve of primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Democratic rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama agree on one thing: Tomorrow's results won't settle anything. The two say they expect the fight over the Democratic nomination to extend into June, regardless of the outcome in Tuesday's contests.

OBAMA TAKES GUAM

The last time people were interested in the primary results for either major party from Guam was, uh never. Senator Obama beat Senator Clinton by a mere 7 caucus votes but the big new is they split the delegates. A little history about Guam: Guam , officially the Territory of Guam, is an island in the Western Pacific and is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. It is one of five U.S. territories with established civilian government.The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agana). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.
The Chamorros, Guam's indigenous inhabitants, first populated the island approximately 6,000 years ago. The island has a long history of European colonialism beginning in 1668 with the arrival of Spanish settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Spanish missionary. The island was captured from Spain by the United States during the Spanish American War in 1898. As the largest island in Micronesia and the only American-held island in the region before World War II. Guam was occupied by the Japanese between December 1941 and July 1944. Today, Guam's economy is mainly supported by tourism (primarily from Japan) and U.S. military bases.
I would have enjoyed being the coordinator for either candidate. You can’t beat the islands no matter how long it takes you to get there.

NO WAY GAY!!!!

The Pennsylvania Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The Appropriations Committee voted 18-8 today to move the bill to the Senate for a vote. The bill seeks to add to the state Constitution these words: "No union other than a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage or the functional equivalent of marriage by the commonwealth."
Pennsylvania already has a law barring gay marriage, but some lawmakers say it needs to be strengthened with a constitutional amendment.
Senator Ray Musto voted with the majority, yes and Senator Mellow as an ex officio member voted no. I thought the Appropriates Committee focused in on high paying jobs to distressed areas like ours instead of adding a Constitutional amendment to what is already a law on the books.

ZIPPIDEE DO DUD!


So you say we’re not a distressed economic area? The LuLac Political letter has learned The Disney Stores located in both Scranton and Wilkes Barre plan to close their doors. The reason: the economic indicators of the corporation say WB/Scranton is distressed economically and they aren’t getting enough profit. A store will remain in robust Allentown. Been to the store a few times and found it packed. But the merchandise was marketed for young children and families which is all well and good. But with a population that is one of the oldest in America, you’d think they might have tweaked the marketing a tad. What the heck, come and see our potholes. Now that's something thriving here.