Sunday, November 30, 2008

The LuLac Edition #655, Nov. 30th, 2008






PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE COUNTY COMMISSIONER FRANK CROSSIN SENIOR, NFL STANDOUT LOU MICHAELS AND WILK TALK SHOW HOST ROB NYEHARD.

This weekend I was, as always listening to the WILK Sports/Talk show on Saturday morning. Rob Nyehard, a long time friend and former co-worker of mine at various radio entities in this market brought up a very interesting point about the Luzerne County Hall of Fame. It is located in a furniture store on Mundy Street, Mundy Street, that’s Mundy Street, yes Mundy Street! (Sorry I just was channeling the late Tommy Van Scoy from the 70s and 80s). Anyway, this establishment is/was located in the Country Junction Furniture Store that had a fire this week. Nyehard recounted how he accompanied his wife shopping one day and came upon The Hall by sheer accident. He spoke of yellowed newspapers and how he had to bend over to read some of the plaques of the enshrined. Nyehard then asked the question how did the Hall get in a furniture store and why wasn’t there any other sports facilities stepping up to the plate on this issue?
For years my broadcast cronies and I have been discussing a regional Broadcast Hall of Fame. But the discussions ended when none of us could come up with a suitable place. I mean if you are going to do something, do it right. Now I don’t fault the people running the local sports Hall of Fame. They are volunteers with limited resources. The intentions they had were golden to recognize men and women of this county who excelled in athletics and brought pride to this area long before the Penguins and the Barons ever were thought of. But this organization needs help to really find a suitable place for the enshrinement of our local sports heroes. I mean what if that fire at Country Junction was worse than it was? How can this memorabilia be recovered? Think about that.
My meager suggestions would be these:
1. Find a place that can be open on a daily basis. The Arena, the new Ice Rink on Coal Street, even the new visitor’s center proposed at the old Marvin Roth building, The Station. Have the hall in a place of business where there are regular hours. If there is space and funding, utilize one of the local libraries. A library would be a perfect showcase for The Hall and any interested fan would be steps away from books, computer programs or internet access on related sports figures or eras.
2. Charge a small fee so that the money can be plowed back into the Hall.
3. Get a God damn grant. It doesn’t have to be big but just enough to make the shrine a uniform entity. It’s not as if the State Reps can’t get anything out of the sports loving Guv.
This might not be a big thing to people in this Valley who are struggling with money but this is long overdue. The committee who thought up, implemented the Hall did their best as they knew it. And many thanks to them for making the effort. But now they need a little bit of help. The fire this week demonstrated that. I hope Nyehard’s suggestion as well as this Edition of LuLac provokes some thought…..and action before the guys who formed this wonderful Hall of Fame tribute all die off and it becomes nothing more than a distant memory.
Here are two members of the Luzerne County Hall of Fame and their statistics.
Frank Crossin: Luzerne High School. Averaged 24 points per game in high school basketball. University of Pennsylvania-set five scoring records. All-Ivy League in 1942-1944 and 1947 Associated Press All-American. Number one draft choice of Philadelphia Warriors (1947-1951). Played with Wilkes-Barre Barons. Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
Lou Michaels: Swoyersville High School-football (All State) and baseball. Stauton Military Academy, Virginia, and Kentucky University First team All-American junior and senior years 1958. First round pick of Los Angles Rams, spent 1961 with Pittsburgh Steelers, 1964 with Baltimore Colts. Helped Colts to several championships through 1969. On 1969 Super Bowl team which lost to N.Y. Jets. 1970-1971 with Green Bay Packers. Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Given their credentials, don’t these two and all the others in that Furniture Store on Mundy Street deserve better?

BLACK FRIDAY

I’ve been pretty quick to attack the greed of the corporate CEOs for taking advantage of their position to get more, more, more. But the actions of the American people, yes even some of our locals on Black Friday cries out for a reexamination of our values. It is not a wonder to me why Middle Eastern countries want to blow our sometimes obnoxious asses off the map. At Target in Wilkes Barre, one woman was shoved into a wall. In California, two guys shot each other and at a New York City Wal Mart, a part time worker was trampled to death by a mob entering the store like a pack of wild animals. And for what? Bragging rights to a claim that you saved $150.00 on an X Box? Only in America can store workers and shoppers fear for their lives when consumer hungry ignorant and blatantly lawless folk are on the hunt for their share of the goodies. They say in New York City they are looking at a store camera to finger the people who trampled the Wal Mart employee. I hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law and choke on their gadget that will be long forgotten by next Christmas. And maybe next year, some of those fellow employees should show up at the store and have a brief Memorial Service for their fallen employee. Maybe some of the shoppers would want to participate in the service? A beautiful at dawn candle light service that would highlight the life of the part time employee who………………………………NAW, the chemo drug is kicking in on me. It’ll never happen, the idiots would storm the place the same way they did this year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The LuLac Ediition #654, Nov. 28th, 2008

PHOTO INDEX: WILKES BARRE FIRE CHIEF FRANCIS ECKER SHOWING OFF THE NEW CALL BOXES INSTALLED IN THE CITY BY BELL TELEPHONE IN 1968, OUR 1968 LOGO AND IN DESCENDING ORDER MAYOR LOU BARLETTA OF HAZLETON, TOM LEIGHTON OF WILKES BARRE AND CHRIS DOHERTY OF SCRANTON.




















HAPPY CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!

Any elected official, especially en executive like a Governor or Mayor will tell you their favoritie time of year has to be the holidays. Politics is put to the backburner for a short time and the elected officer gets to be the holiday ambassador to the city. In Hazleton this year Santa comes to the downtown on Dec. 6th and there is a more somber holiday event attended by many Hazleton residents. The Luzerne County of The NE PA Chapter 93 Bereaved Parents of the USA will hold a candle lighting ceremony at Faith United Church of Christ located at 21 Faith Drive, Hazleton (behind Independence Toyota.) The event will be held on Sunday December 14th at 7pm as part of World Wide Candle Lighting Day. A candle can be purchased as a memorial in memory of a child (any age) who has passed away. The candles will be lighted as part of a display in the church. The second Sunday in December each year is World Wide Candle Lighting day. Starting in New Zealand, families and friends light candles at 7 p.m., local time, for one hour to honor and remember the children who have died of any cause and at any age.
In Wilkes Barre City, Santa has already arrived but the Square is decorated with its signature lights and huge Christmas tree in the middle of the city. And Mayor Leighton has announced that there will be free meter parking in the downtown until after Christmas so holiday shoppers can go downtown. In Scranton, Chris Doherty was already on the tube touting the beautiful Nay Aug Park holiday lights display. Mrs. LuLac and I went last year courtesy of a few dear friends living in the Abingtons and even though we picked a rainy night, it was spectacular. I hope you take advantage of the holiday shopping and events in the big three cities in Lulac land this Christmas. It'll put a smile on your face and even take the minds of the Mayors off annoying things like trying to balance a budgt or staving off advocates or worse yet political foes gunning for their jobs.

1968

President Elect Richard Nixon goes on prime time national TV to introduce his Cabinet. Some of the players are John Mitchell, Attorney General, William Rogers, Secretary of State, David Kennedy at Treasury, Congressman Melvin Laird as Defense Secretary, Alaska Governor Walter Hickel, Interior, George Romney Secretary Housing and Urban Development, John Volpe Transportation, Robert finch, Health, Education and Welfare, George Shultz Labor and Maurice Stans, Commerce. The Cabinet included some old Eisenhower hands like Rogers and confidants like Robert Finch. Nixon even chose rivals for the top job like George Romney and one time Vice Presidential contender John Volpe. The Cabinet was hailed as a consensus building group but alas, that would not last very long. Nixon shunned the group and surrounded himself with advisers like Haldeman and Erlichman who kept the Cabinet at bay during Nixon’s first term……………..Elvis Presley goes on NBC TV on Dec. 3rd and does a comeback special that regenerates his career. The King was back with a vengeance….Here he is singing "Lawdy, Lawdy Miss Clawdy",

The Pennsylvania State Mines Department obtains land for pumps to be installed over South Wilkes Barre mine works……Grace Sloan prepares to take office as Pennsylvania State Treasurer…..in the Wilkes Barre area the Marco Polo Room on Northampton Street is destroyed by fire.......Pictured in our photo index Wilkes Barre Fire Chief Francis Ecker demonstrates a new Telephone Emergency Reporting System developed by Bell Telephone..... and the Wilkes Barre Housing Authority finds a site in the East End for a housing project for the elderly. And the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life". From YOU TUBE:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The LuLac Edition #653, Nov. 27th, 2008

PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE HARVEY MILK AND GEORGE MASCONE, KILLED THIRTY YEARS AGO TODAY.











3 DECADES AGO

Thirty years ago today the Mayor of San Francisco George Mascone was assassinated along with the first gay elected official Harvey Milk at City Hall. That autumn was a terrible time in San Francisco, the worst of times. Even the 49ers football team was headed to a 2-14 season under new coach Bill Walsh. The years when people wore flowers in their hair and dancing in the streets were long gone.
There were serial slayings -- a killer named Zodiac who taunted the police, another named Zebra who shot down people on the street. Ten days before Moscone and Milk were killed, a mad San Francisco preacher named Jim Jones and 914 of his followers perished in a South American jungle. The city was rocked to its roots. "What a bizarre period,'' Feinstein said.
And then, out of the blue on a beautiful Monday morning, the mayor of San Francisco was killed in his own office, and the killer then walked through the classic City Hall and shot down the most important gay political figure in the country. The killer was not a stranger, either. He was San Francisco born and bred, a former cop, former fireman, former member of the Board of Supervisors. And that wasn't all. White was tried a few months later and in May was found guilty, not of murder but only of voluntary manslaughter. A peaceful march to protest the verdict turned into a riot, and the mob attacked City Hall. "The hatred in the city was just enormous," Feinstein said. "It was a terrible, terrible time.''
Even that wasn't all. White served time in prison, got out, couldn't face life and in October 1985 killed himself. He left a wife and two children.
30 years ago, George Moscone, mayor of the city, former majority leader in the state Senate, was clearly the better known of the two men. Milk was the first up-front gay elected official, but he was only one of 11 supervisors. He had been in office less than a year, and the supervisors had passed only two of his ordinances. One was on gay rights. The other required dog owners to clean up after their pets.
Milk had been elected to the board in the fall of 1977, when San Francisco switched from citywide elections for supervisors to district elections. Milk represented the Castro and nearby neighborhoods, and his election drew a lot of attention.
But in another district -- the old-line working-class Excelsior, well south of Market -- another newcomer was elected. He was Dan White, a fireman,
who opposed all the changes in the city. Once elected, White proved to be not much of a politician. He didn't understand the give-and-take of City Hall politics. "He was one of the least likely people to have been elected a supervisor,'' Feinstein recalled.
White also was shocked to discover that once he took his seat as a supervisor, he had to give up his job as a firefighter. And he also found he couldn't support a family on a supervisor's salary, then $9,600 year.
On Nov. 10, he resigned from the board. But then, as Feinstein remembers, "The pressures from the police union and the firefighters union to get his job back were terrible.'' The mayor had the power to name a supervisor to replace White, and White asked to be reappointed.
Apparently, he got the impression that Moscone would give him the job back. And he also thought that Milk would back his reappointment. He was mistaken; Moscone had decided not to put White back on the job.
On Friday, White went into a rage.
By Monday, unknown to White, Moscone had made his final decision. He was going to name businessman Don Horanzy to replace White. White went to City Hall for a showdown. He had bitterness in his heart, and he carried a .38- caliber handgun.
Back then, everyone who entered City Hall passed through a metal detector at the main entrance. But supervisors and some others often used a side entrance on McAllister Street. They had private keys to open the door. White persuaded guards to let him in the window. He headed for Moscone's office. The rest is history: White shot Moscone four times; he then reloaded his pistol and, minutes later, shot Milk five times.
30 years later, Milk's name is the one more remembered, at least among the generation that was alive in 1978. He is the subject of books, a film, even an opera. An elementary school in San Francisco and a high school in New York are named for him.
It is ironic that thirty years later, Milk is the more recognized figure. But that is even changing. There are young gay people in San Francisco who are hard pressed to tell us who Milk was. A large part of it is the younger generation’s thinking that “history began on the day they were born”. But a new movie about Harvey Milk is set to be released and Moscone’s name is joined at the hip with the city he grew up in and loved, San Francisco. From YOU TUBE, NBC News on that fateful Monday in November.


Also from YOU TUBE, Eric Burdon and an ode to San Francisco.

The LuLac Edition #652, Nov. 27th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: A REPRESENTATION OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING WHERE THINGS WERE A LTTLE MORE UNCOMPLICATED.


THANKSGIVING 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to all of the readers and participants of this site. I have appreciated your insight, goodwill, criticism and thoughts. By your involvement, you make this project of mine better every day.
I am most thankful on a personal basis to my family, my co-workers, my medical professionals (without them this might have been one of those blogs that was shut down) as well as all of those interesting politicos that make blogging so much fun.
I give thanks to the fact that I live in a country that allows free speech. I give thanks to a governmental system, though flawed is still, after 220 plus years, a work in progress. I am most thankful for my fellow citizens who wake up every day and do the right thing in the face of tremendous odds from greedy big business, stumbling government and self serving institutions that have lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve. We need to work on giving the people who do the right thing a break. Plus there is a need to go after those who take advantage of our resources through greed, justification of their dubious methods and lack of concern for the many. Americans nationally and here at home have to speak up and fight for their survival by keeping an eye on those who champion the few at the expense of the many. I am thankful and confident that the abuses of the past will be addressed by next Thanksgiving. Then we can truly be thankful for our progress.
Sit down, enjoy your meal of choice today whether it be turkey, rigatoni (my Italian friends say it’s not just Thanksgiving without it!) and the vegetarians with their scallops and lobster. Watch some football, take a walk, talk to an older relative about their early life, grab a nap and dream about tall red haired actresses or actors, and then end it all with a drink at the end of the day. Then after the weekend of thanks is over, let’s get to work keeping an eye on those who have screwed us and vow to never let it happen again. If we see results, then we will be more thankful in 2009 than we are today.
Happy Thanksgiving! And stay alert.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The LuLac Edition #651, Nov. 26th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: THE LUZERNE COUNTY COURTHOUSE.


COUNTY TO CUT


Luzerne County commissioners approved a new budget today which includes spending cuts of approximately $16 million. The new budget also calls for over 100 job cuts. Department heads and row officers will be working on the specifics and determining exactly how many employees will need be eliminated in order to comply with the new spending reduction. The job cuts will be determined by the row officers as well as the other county officials. The assumption is that commissioners will cut spending across the board, row offices and court branches included, and leave it up to each department head and row officer to sort out what purchases or staff must be eliminated. Taxpayers should not expect specifics about staff reductions to be managers and row officers would need time to iron out details in each office. There are some county officials who have made noises about lawsuits but Commissioners Petrilla and Urban told the press they can't worry about those threats when they are trying to put the county back on a firm financial footing. Budget hearings have been conducted over the last few weeks and the Commissioners along with Budget Director Tom Pribula have given the row officers and department heads every opportunity and time to study their bottom lines and make logical if not intelligent cuts.


CITY HALL FIREWORKS


Last night city taxpayer advocates made their presence known and in return the City Council and the Mayor gaveled them but not their concerns away. Bob Kadluboski, the owner of City-Wide Towing, had an exchange with Leighton and Chairwoman Kathy Kane, criticizing the city for counting council members’ years as full-time employment when calculating pension benefits.
The Bobster said that private business would not tolerate such a sweet pension deal and just as things were getting interesting with the Mayor, Council Chair Kathy Kane threw down the gavel. Sam Troy made a comment about how the Council could sleep at night and was shushed to a lul but he did manage to make the comment that the local colleges should participate more in city funding. Leighton said the local schools are already good partners and neighbors. Walter Griffith, a former candidate for Council city and district wide said the city should work to reduce its debt in the face of the country's financial crisis, and the city’s own budgetary issues. Mayor Leighton’s $40.85 million budget proposal is about $2.54 million, or 6.6 percent, greater than this year’s $38.31 million spending plan. The Mayor has blamed the increase on ballooning health care costs and a $1 million contract settlement with the firefighters union. In terms of health care costs, do part time Council members get health care, a health care buyout and do city workers families get free health care? If they do, that could be a place to cut and save.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The LuLac Edition #650, Nov. 25th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: CATHERINE BAKER KNOLL.


KNOLL SERVICES TODAY

Final services will be held today for Catherine Baker Knoll, Pennsylvania's first female Ltn. Governor. Here is a quote from Knoll on her life: “The leaves of my life keep falling one at a time. When you rake them into a pile of memories a couple of lessons become evident. One is that if we get wrapped up in ourself, we’ll become a very small package. The other is that making a living involves what we GET – building a life involves what we GIVE. Now more than ever we should recognize that life is precious – that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and it is your job and mine to encourage all of our citizens not to undervalue what they are.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

The LuLac Edition #649, Nov. 24th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: STATE CAPITOL IN HARRISBURG.


RAISES? OUR FAULT


If you are complaining about the fact that the State Legislators once again raised their pay, I have new for you. It's our fault. We put these people in year after year. Even after we have people stepping down, we send the new ones back WITHOUT primary opponents and worswe yet, WITHOUT general election opposition. So before you get all hot and bothered, remember it is we the voters who return the Princes and Princesses of government back to Harrisburg with nary a bad word said. Now I'll give you the fact that the Legislators are sneaky and snakey to the core, waiting until AFTER the election to grab the money. But we let them. Over and over again.
Anyway, here's the rundown of how the new payraises shake out.
House and Senate members will receive a 2.8 percent raise, setting lawmakers' pay at $78,315.00. The 30 legislative leaders will receive a tad more. Their pay will range from $89,300 for caucus administrators, secretaries and policy-committee chairmen, to $122,254 for the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tempore. The legislative raises will kick in Dec. 1. They will be based on the annual change in the federal Consumer Price Index for the Mid-Atlantic region for the 12-month period ending in October. The same 2.8 percent increase is due judges statewide, though their raises won't take effect until Jan. 1. The judiciary's pay will run from $191,876 for Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille to $161,850 for county judges and $80,927 for local magisterial district justices. The cost-of-living adjustment also applies to Gov. Ed Rendell and his Cabinet secretaries. That goes into effect on January 1. Their new salaries were not available but based on 2008 pay levels, the governor's salary would jump to $174,956. Rendell said he might consider suspending the executive-branch raises in keeping with his budget cutting plan. The plan was brought on by slumping state revenues that might finish the current fiscal year between $1 billion and $2 billion below projections. Rendell did forego his automatic pay raise in 2004, shortly after he negotiated a pay freeze for all state workers under his jurisdiction. At that time, he also "recommended" that his Cabinet secretaries and senior staff members pass on their raises, and they did. See, the difference between Ed Rendell and the State Legislators is that the Governor is more in touch with the needs of the average Pennsylvania family than the under performing and overpaid hacks we regularly send to Harrisburg. Now in our local area we have some quality people. It is for this reason that I hope they not take the raise or give it to some charity in their district. For a body of government that was badly bruised image wise after the 2005 payraise, that might be something to consider. But if they don't, maybe someone, somewhere should start lining up candidates for 2010 to oppose them. You might not beat them but at least you'll have them work for their money they get and get and get and get....................... Oh and how about Bob Mellow, he says that Legislators have obligations just like everybody else. And the raise was the right thing to do. Let's get the collection plates out for the Senator from beautiful downtown Peckville!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The LuLac Edition #648, Nov. 23rd, 2008







PHOTO INDEX: CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI.

KANJORSKI GOES NATIONAL

Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, played a key role during two crucial House Financial Services Committee hearings this week. Chairman Kanjorski was consistently featured in the national print and broadcast media coverage of these hearings which highlighted his role.
Washington Post – November 19
Lawmakers are none too pleased with the way Paulson and his colleagues so far are handling the powers they were granted under the rescue plan. "There's a lack of confidence, it seems to me, both in this body [House Financial Service Committee] and in the general population," said Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.). "Do we have a plan? Where are we going?"
CNN Money - November 18
Many lawmakers expressed frustration that this part of the bill, which has become known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, appears to have been abandoned.
"We're trying to figure out -- those of us that extended ourselves on the vote for the bail-out -- the 180-degree change that you made in policy," said Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa. asked Paulson. "Do we have a plan? Where are we going?"
MSNBC – November 18
Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) urged the secretary [Paulson] to be more "forthcoming," and to avoid more "180-degree turnarounds."
NPR: Day to Day with Madeleine Brand – November 18
BRAND: And speaking of changing strategy, a lot of people want some of that money to be used for the auto industry. And what did Paulson say to that?
BRADY: Well, Congressman Paul Kanjorski, he's a Democrat from Pennsylvania, brought the issue up. And he expressed the concerns that we've all heard about by now, you know, the lost jobs, the effects on the larger economy, but Paulson said the same thing he's been saying in recent days. Of course, it would be a horrible thing if the carmakers failed, but bailing out the auto industry, he said, doesn't fit in with the original purpose of the bailout legislation. Paulson said that it was aimed at protecting the financial system and getting banks to resume lending.
New York Times – November 19
The other major point on which Mr. Paulson clashed with the lawmakers was the rescue of the car companies.
Representative Paul E. Kanjorski, Democrat of Pennsylvania, expressed bewilderment that Mr. Paulson would bail out banks but not carmakers.
''Do you consider the loss of an automobile company a systemic risk, or don't you?'' Mr. Kanjorski said.
''I think it would be something to be avoided,'' Mr. Paulson responded.
CNN Money – November 19
But Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., said he wasn't sure it was proper to be bailing out the automakers and he didn't like the demand that action be taken in this lame duck session of Congress.
"I am not yet convinced that we must act so rashly," he said. "The American public demands that we get this right."
Kanjorski asked GM CEO Rick Wagoner for the minimum amount of money necessary to keep GM afloat through March 30 in order to give Congress more time to work on a bailout package. "When will you run out of money?" he asked.
CNN: CNN Newsroom – November 19
Lawmakers from Michigan are all for a Big Three bailout. They say letting them die on the vine could damage the entire economy. But others aren't so keen to throw Detroit a life preserver
REP. PAUL KANJORSKI (D), PENNSYLVANIA: How many money do you need survive, General Motors, from today until March 30?
RICHARD WAGONER, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: Congressman, it's going to depend on what happens with suppliers and marketers.
KANJORSKI: I understand that. Give me your worst-case scenario.
WAGONER: Worst-case scenario, the amount of money would be significant. I mean, we have -- we have supplier...
KANJORSKI: What is significant?
WAGONER: Five billion dollars every month.
KANJORSKI: So -- so what you're telling us, that since you anticipate borrowing $15 billion to $18 billion under this authorization, if the market doesn't turn around, and the economy doesn't recover by that time, and I think you have to be a wishful thinker to think it will, by March 30, you're out of money? Is that correct?
WAGONER: The analysis that we've done is based on an assumption that the U.S. market continues at about the current rate, which is a weak level. We don't assume a lot of recovery. We hope it won't get worse.
Business Week – November 19
Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) said he would consider voting for some provisional funds to the industry. But he wants to take up to three months, into the next Congress, to debate a more detailed bill that would emphasize accountability, oversight, and conditions. "The American people expect and deserve careful deliberation from this body, rather than a blessing of last-minute expedient deals," said Kanjorski.
CNN: Lou Dobbs Tonight – November 19
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Auto executives came back to Capitol Hill to make their case one more time for a $25 billion rescue. And lawmakers' steep skepticism gave way to sparring.
REP. PAUL KANJORSKI (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Can just tell me in absolute terms how much money do you need to survive, General Motors, from today until March 30th?
RICHARD WAGONER, GENERAL MOTORS CEO: Congressman, it's going to depend on what happens with suppliers and markets.
KANJORSKI: I understand that. Give me your worst-case scenario?
WAGONER: The worst-case scenario, the amount of money would be significant? I mean we have supplier...
KANJORSKI: What is significant?
WAGONER: (INAUDIBLE) billion dollars every month.
BASH: GM's CEO could not fully answer that question, but he insisted 25 billion will keep them afloat.

NEW CHARGES

This week the Scranton Times reported that a former Lackawanna County official will have new charges filed against him. The former county workers compensation fund administrator already charged with money laundering, conspiracy and related charges has been slammed with 12 more federal charges after an expanded investigation that relied at least partially on information provided by a co-defendant. The new charges against Charles Costanzo, 47, of Dunmore, were filed in federal court in Scranton and have put on hold his trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 1. Prosecutors declined to comment on the indictment filed late Wednesday. Among the charges Mr. Costanzo is now facing are two counts each of money laundering and tax evasion and one count each of wire fraud, insurance fraud, health care fraud.In January, Mr. Costanzo was accused of stealing more than $400,000 in Lackawanna County funds. Now, investigators believe he actually stole almost $650,000 during his tenure as the president and owner of Executive Claims Administration, a company created to oversee the county's workers' compensation fund. Executive Claims entered into two contracts with the county. In the first, which took effect in March 2004, Mr. Costanzo was paid $85,000 to oversee the fund. A second contract took effect in July 2006, and allowed for Mr. Costanzo to be paid $120,000 in 2006 and $132,000 in 2007. That contract also allowed Mr. Costanzo and Executive Claims to be paid 50 percent of the total recovery from excess insurance coverage, which is a policy that pays workers' compensation claims beyond a certain monetary amount. Investigators found that, from May 2004 to August 2007, Lackawanna County wired a total of $3.89 million into an Old Forge Bank account held jointly with Executive Claims. Some of that money was used legitimately. In the original indictment, Mr. Costanzo was accused of moving more than $300,000 in county funds into his personal account at Old Forge Bank,using it to pay personal expenses and to purchase a 2005 Cadillac Escalade for more than $50,000 and to give his mother more than $28,000 over a two-year period. It's nice to get a new car and help your mom but not at taxpayer's expense.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The LuLac Edition #647, Nov. 22nd, 2008








PHOTO INDEX: JFK PRAYER CARDS HANDED OUT IN CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN NOVEMBER 1963 AND A WIDELY CIRCULATED PHOTO FROM THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.

45 YEARS TODAY

It was 45 years ago today that President John Kennedy was killed in Dallas. It was a beautiful fall Friday. We all were living for the weekend. What turned out to be a relaxing couple of days before Thanksgiving turned into a 4 day TV melodrama that will be forever burned in the minds of people born in the early to mid 1950s.
Kennedy was the first President elected in the 20th century that was actually born in that time frame. The source of pride my parents felt, that entire generation’s realization that he was “one of their own” only magnified the anguish and sorrow of his death. Conspiracy theories aside, the death of JFK became a milestone as well as a burden that entire families, Democrat and Republican would carry through the years. Each year the day is commemorated silently. Long gone are the days when you could share with people where you were when it happened. Now, there are people born years after this fateful day that see JFK as a far away icon.
45 years ago today the country changed as we knew it. A $12.95 rifle in the hands of a disgruntled, insane 26 year old took away an innocence we had, a belief we possessed in our country. Time has moved on. Today we have a new generation of Americans that put its faith in a young, charismatic leader. We, of the Kennedy generation hope and prayer Barack Obama gets to fulfill his promise.
What is left of John Kennedy as a President is a mixed legacy. However, there are still touching moments of that by gone era. The photo you see in today’s index was one printed by the Philadelphia Inquirer the weekend of JFK’s death. By Thanksgiving, that photo was in nearly 90% of the homes and businesses in the town I grew up in. The prayer card was handed out in Catholic churches the next weekend. Pictures fade and pieces of memorabilia get lost. But lasting memories come from the heart. One weekend in the early 70s, I accompanied my uncle Timmy Pribula to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Pittston. (The Knights changed their chapter name to honor JFK, the women’s auxiliary even called themselves the Jacquelines.) As we were leaving, I saw my uncle put his hand on the portrait of John Kennedy and say softly, “Goodnight Jack” and left the building. “Goodnight Jack” indeed. Memories die hard when it comes to this day and the man who died on it.
FROM YOU TUBE, NBC'S COVERAGE:



Check out the 590 FOREVER BLOG for anniversary coverage and thoughts. Here's the link: http://david-yonki.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 21, 2008

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




PHOTO INDEX: BOSCOV'S AND OUR 1968 LOGO.

WILL YOU BOSCOV??

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.

LOKUTA ON THE ROPES

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.

1968

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 Council....in 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".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The LuLac Edition #645, Nov. 20th, 2008













PHOTO INDEX: ROBERT F. KENNEDY BRIDGE DEDICATION CEREMONIES, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT AND THE LATE SENATOR ROBERT KENNEDY.

A BRIDGE FOR BOBBY

Bobby Kennedy would have turned have turned 83 today had he not been shot in 1968 and presuming he would have lived a normal life. Yesterday, three generations of Kennedys joined former President Bill Clinton and New York's powerbrokers to mark the renaming of the Triborough Bridge as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Speaking in Astoria Park, the bridge at his back, Clinton said Kennedy "moved a generation" of Americans by reminding them "that together we can cross any divide and overcome any adversity, as long as we do it together." Kennedy ran an ill fated race for President in 1968. Shortly before his death, on Memorial Day weekend, Kennedy said in a TV interview that he could foresee a black man being President in a few decades. He was right, as he was about many issues.

A DOLLAR A DAY

During the Great Depression and during WWII, Franklin Roosevelt tabbed the best and brightest in business and academics by luring them to Washington to participate in his great experiment in government. Known as the "dollar a year men", these wealthy, well off young men gave of their time and talent to get us out of the depression and win a war on two fronts. I thought about them yesterday as the corporate execs from GM and other auto CEO's testified before Congress begging for a bailout. They were asking for money to fix things they screwed up. Much to the chagrin of our Congressman Paul Kanjorski, these men offered no plan, no solution, no justification for the money they were asking for. How ironic that car guys couldn't sell the Congress on the idea of a bailout. These guys couldn't close the sale. If there is a bailout, Congress should demand the corporate execs relinqush all pay and become "dollar a year men". Even adjusting for inflation and cost of living, I'd be okay with giving them "a dollar a day", that's $365.00 a year until they got their houses in order and could justify their salaries. In my employment travels, I have met the CEOs of two major companies I worked for. They blew in from out of town and visited the facilities I was working at. The management was all a twitter because they graced us with their presence. I found that they were no worse or better than managers of hardware stores I used to call on when I was in broadcast sales. My point here is that CEOs are not gods. And surely the ones operating or those running into the ground American business are not. Like their workers, they should be paid on performance. And judging from that, my pay scale and FDR's is more than generous. Instead of marching before Congress and saying "show us the money", we as Americans should respond to those fatcat, overfed and under performing CEOs, "show us your ability".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The LuLac Edition #644, Nov. 19th, 2008




PHOTO INDEX: "THE SHOW ME" STATE, MISSOURI AND JOHN McCAIN AT THE 2008 GOP CONVENTION.

BETTER LATE THAN.....

It took more than two weeks, but finally there is a winner in Missouri. Fifteen days after Election Day, Republican Sen. John McCain has narrowly edged out President-elect Barack Obama in the state, according to CNN's review of the latest unofficial vote totals from the Missouri Secretary of State. This resolves the final outstanding contest of the 2008 presidential race. According to the unofficial results, McCain won the state by 3,632 votes . The unofficial count shows McCain with 1,445,812 votes, or 49.4 percent, and Obama with 1,442,180 votes, or 49.3 percent. With Missouri's 11 electoral votes in Senator McCain's column, the final count is 365 for Obama and 173 for McCain. "The Show Me" state broke its streak of picking the right ticket for President. I feel for them since I've only voted for 2 winning Presidents in 36 years. So now the count is over and the results are semi official until the Electoral College.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The LuLac Edition #643, Nov. 18th, 2008





PHOTO INDEX: NEW DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SPEAKER KEITH McCALL, FLOOR LEADER TODD EACHUS, PLUS MAYOR TOM LEIGHTON.

NEW DEMS

There will be new leadership in the State House of Repreentatives this coming session and it will have a decidedly local flavor. Rep. Keith McCall, D-Carbon, was unopposed for speaker. Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne, won election as floor leader, taking over from Rep. Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, his party's floor leader or speaker since 1990. DeWeese won a four-way race to be elected whip, the No. 3 position. Both McCall and Eachus have adjoining districts. On the GOP side, Rep. Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, defeated Rep. John Perzel, R-Philadelphia, to retain the floor leadership job he has held since Perzel gave it up to become speaker in 2003. Perzel reluctantly gave up the speakership two years ago, after Democrats reclaimed the majority by a single seat. He has held the caucus-granted title of "speaker emeritus" since then.

FREE SPEECH WINS

Freedom of speech and dissent won a major victory today. Remember when Mayor Tom Leighton and the city administration tried to put a gag on all dissent in the city of Wilkes Barre by slapping activist Denise Carey with an $11,000 plus court fee? Well today a federal jury had its head on straight and awarded Carey $67,000 in damages. Damages at the hands of the Mayor and the City. A panel of four men and four women deliberated for about 4 hours and 15 minutes before issuing its decision that Mayor Tom Leighton had retaliated against Carey for speaking out against the 2004 closure of a fire station in the Heights section of the city. According to news reports, the jurors awarded Carey $15,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress, $2,000 for economic loss and $50,000 in punitive damages against Leighton. The verdict followed five days of testimony before a U.S. District Judge. Carey said it wasn't about the money but about her right to state an opinion and try to reverse a decision made by City Hall. The Council and Leighton thwarted Carey's efforts to try and get the FireHouse closing on the ballot. The action against Carey basically said to city residents, you dare to criticize or God forbid organize in oppostion to the City administration policies, and we, the rich, wealthy and powerful will squash you like a bug. Maybe put you in debt, maybe take your home and livelihood away. The city most likely will appeal the ruling because they could never admit they'd be wrong on something. Fees of course will be paid by the same taxpayers they tried to muzzle with this action, which by the way was unheard in the entire northeast section of the U.S.

The LuLac Edition #642, Nov. 18th, 2008





PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE CONGRESSMAN LEO RYAN AND THE INFAMOUS VAT OF KOOL-AID AT JONESTOWN FLANKED WITH DEAD BODIES.


30 YEARS AGO TODAY


Three decades ago an unusual series of events led to the deaths of more than 900 people in the middle of a South American jungle. Though dubbed a "massacre," what transpired at Jonestown on November 18, 1978, was to some extent done willingly, making the mass suicide all the more disturbing.
The Jonestown cult (otherwise known as the "People's Temple") was founded in the mid 60s by Indianapolis preacher James Warren Jones. Jones, who had no formal theological training, based his liberal ministry on a combination of religious and socialist philosophies.
After relocating to California in 1965, the church continued to grow in membership and began advocating their left-wing political ideals more actively. With an I.R.S. investigation and a great deal of negative press mounting against the radical church, Jones urged his congregation to join him in a new, isolated community where they could escape American capitalism—and criticism—and practice a more communal way of life.
In 1977, Jones and many of his followers relocated to Jonestown, located on a tract of land the People's Temple had purchased and begun to develop in Guyana three years earlier.
Relatives of cult members soon grew concerned and requested that the U.S. government rescue what they believed to be brainwashed victims living in concentration camp-like conditions under Jones's power.
In November 1978, California Congressman Leo Ryan arrived in Guyana to survey Jonestown and interview its inhabitants. After reportedly having his life threatened by a Temple member during the first day of his visit, Ryan decided to cut his trip short and return to the U.S. with some Jonestown residents who wished to leave. As they boarded their plane, a group of Jones's guards opened fire on them, killing Ryan and four others.
Some members of Ryan's party escaped, however. Upon learning this, Jones told his followers that Ryan's murder would make it impossible for their commune to continue functioning. Rather than return to the United States, the People's Temple would preserve their church by making the ultimate sacrifice: their own lives. Jones's 912 followers were given a deadly concoction of a purple drink mixed with cyanide, sedatives, and tranquilizers. Jones apparently shot himself in the head. U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan arrived in Jonestown on November 17 without an invitation. Jim Jones had stalled the California politician's delegation for days in Guyana's capital, Georgetown, and for another several hours at Port Kaituma. Yielding to pressure from his attorneys and some in the Temple leadership -- who argued that they had nothing to hide -- Jones eventually allowed Ryan, several relatives of Peoples Temple members, and the news media covering the story into the community. American authorities had visited Jonestown before, but always announced days in advance. According to survivors, official visits were days when they were given half a day off work and meat to eat, and were authentically happy. For Ryan's visit, the camp rock band, the Jonestown Express, played for a joyful crowd. In a private meeting after the festivities, Jones complained to Ryan and the journalists about American government interference in his church.
"Help Us Get Out" The next morning, Ryan invited anyone who wanted to leave to join him on his return trip to the United States. Publicly, none of the residents had asked to leave, but a reporter showed Jones a note he was given: "Help us get out of Jonestown." Jones's temper flared. Ryan and his aide, Jackie Speier, canvassed the crowd. Edith Parks, an elderly woman, stepped forward, and then the rest of her family asked to go home as well. "My most vivid memory -- it's one that haunts me still -- is of a couple pulling on the arms of their child, who was 3 or 4," Speier recalls. "One parent wanted to leave; the other wanted to stay, and the child was caught between." Sixteen people asked to leave, and Ryan volunteered to stay behind as the truck made its first run to the airstrip. Then came the shouts. Congressman Ryan staggered forward, his shirt covered in blood. He had been attacked by a man with a knife, but other Peoples Temple members had pulled his assailant from him; the blood belonged to the attacker who had cut his own hand in the melee. Unhurt, Ryan hurried to join the truck.
The size of the group at the airstrip had swelled with the number of defectors, and a second plane had to be chartered from Georgetown, delaying their departure. As the group waited, a vehicle drove out of the jungle. Peoples Temple members rode up and fired at the group around the airplanes. NBC cameraman Bob Brown, correspondent Don Harris, San Francisco Chronicle photographer Greg Robinson, defector Patricia Parks and Congressman Leo Ryan were all killed. Eleven others were shot. They survived by pretending to be dead until the killers drove off.
The people outside the planes weren't the only victims. Larry Layton, who had pretended to defect but instead pulled out a gun when the firing began outside, wounded two before he was overpowered and disarmed. Layton would be the only person arrested for murder.
The political implications of the Jonestown incident were huge. First off because Jones moved the cult from California, it solidified the notion that the west coast was a haven for the radical left. Ryan's involvement was historical because his death marked the only time a member of Congress was assassinated. Even though the residents partipated willingly in the suicide pact, the shock of seeing the mass bodies on TV as well as the brain washing effect gave Americans pause in the end stages of the 70s. Were the 70s with this type of violent, radical action a by product of the 60s? The answer in the last three decades was thankfully no. But Jonestown remains a cautionary tale for religious leaders entrusted with too much power over their flocks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The LuLac Edition #641, Nov. 17th, 2008

PHOTO INDEX: SENATORS McCAIN AND OBAMA AT THE DEBATES, THEY MET TODAY.

OBAMA MEETS McCAIN


Once campaign foes, President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain met to talk about how they can collaborate on issues facing the United States. "We're going to have a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country," Obama commented to the press at the beginning of his meeting with the Arizona senator. The president-elect went on to thank his former opponent for his "outstanding service." The private meeting at Obama's transition office in Chicago was the first since Obama beat McCain, the Republican candidate, in the Nov. 4 election. Obama, has been interviewing some of his one-time political opponents to help him run the country, but advisers to the former candidate have said they don't expect Obama to consider McCain for an administration job when the new president takes office on Jan. 20. In a way, that's a real shame because McCain can contribute a lot to any administration and really has no place to go within the GOP. Hey, take both Lieberman and McCain and put them somewhere. That would show bipartisanship. The two were joined by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a McCain confidant, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat Obama has chosen as his White House chief of staff.
Emanuel and Graham have worked together before on issues in Congress, and Graham jumped to Emanuel's defense when Republicans criticized his appointment as Obama's chief of staff.


MORE JOBS GO


Citigroup Inc. getting rid of 53,000 more employees in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt. The New York-based bank, which has already reduced its assets by about 20 percent since the first quarter of the year, also plans to trim expenses by 19 percent in 2009 from third-quarter levels, to $50 billion. The plans, posted on the company’s Web site, were discussed by the CEO at the company’s town hall meeting in New York Monday with employees. The Citi sizedown is just another sympton of how bad this economy is. Still, administration and economic officials refuse to use the word "recession'. And just to show you how "out of whack" and how "concerned" big business pigs like CitiCorp are today, the company still plans to contribute 120 million dollars in naming rights for the Mets new ballpark in 2009, the old Shea Stadium. Yeah, bail them out while they screw employees out of jobs but still keep the old corporate banner hanging high. Can anyone say Enron?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The LuLac Edition #640, Nov. 15th, 2008




PHOTO INDEX: STATE REPRESENTATIVE PHYLLIS MUNDY AND THE "K" CAR.


AUTO BAILOUT?


I'm really getting somewhat tired about private industry asking for a cash bailout from the government. I mean where are we getting this money from? Are we just printing it? Will some foreign country call in our loans one of these days and we'll have nothing to pay it back? The auto industry execs are saying that America needs the Big Three to survive economically. They want oney from the government but have been reluctant to say how they are going to use the money. No prototypes for energy efficient vehicles and no plan. They complain that union wages and benefits make up for a major cost of a car and that's why they can't be competitive. Couldn't they use that same union labor to make different types of cars? Blaming high labor costs is the oldest business trick in the book. Give the union boys a job and they'll do it. Bt for heaven's sake, be creative. When Lee Iaccoca got his government bailout for Chyrsler in the eighties, he had a plan. Make "K" cars and mini vans. It was an alternative to what everyone else was doing. He got his money because he had a blueprint and was committed to selling that to the American consumer. Until the overpaid and under thinking auto executives come up with something the same, we should say no to an auto bailout.

MUNDY HELPS

State Representaive Phyllis Mundy sent this along regarding auto efficiency and state government. I'm writing to inform you that if you purchased within the past six months or plan to purchase a fuel-efficient electric hybrid vehicle, you could be eligible for a $500 rebate through the state's Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program. One by one, the consumers who buy hybrid vehicles help to reduce pollution and limit our dependence on foreign oil. I believe this effort deserves to be rewarded. To find out what vehicles are eligible for a rebate under the program, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Hybrid Vehicle Rebates. Rebate forms, guidance and instructions are also available by calling (866) 294-3854 or (717) 214-3492.

AUDIT SAYS.....

A state audit gave more bad news to Luzerne County taxpayers this week. It appears Luzerne County will have to pay more than $313,738, likely hundreds of thousands of dollars more, concerning psychological evaluations performed by a judge’s brother-in-law. The audit, performed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, says $836,636 in state funding paid for the evaluations is in jeopardy because the county probation department’s one-page purchase of service agreement with Frank Vita was not approved by county commissioners as required by state regulations.“The purchase-of-service agreements were not competitively procured and were awarded to the brother-in-law of the president judge. At a minimum, this presents the appearance of a conflict of interest,” the audit says. Vita is the brother-in-law of county Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Mike Conahan, who was formerly president judge. The audit also says because the county “inappropriately” sought reimbursement for 80 percent of its cost, rather than the state’s allowable 50 percent. And according to a report in the Times Leader, Vita also copied and pasted several of the reports which called into question the validity of the examinations and compromised at least 40% of them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The LuLac Edition # 639, Nov. 14th, 2008





PHOTO INDEX: STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODD EACHUS, OUR 1968 LOGO AND THIS BLOG EDITOR WITH CLEVELAND INDIANS GREAT HERB SCORE, CIRCA 1984.


HERB SCORE

Indulge me here today. One of my Cleveland Indians favorite players died the other day. Herb Score had his best years when I was an infant. He got hurt in 1957 when a line drive by Yankee Gil McDougal hit him in the eye. By the time I became a Tribe fan (around 1963) the Herb Score accident was legend. What struck me about him was how he recovered and never looked back. He became a broadcaster for the Indians and had a great career as the sometimes comical but always sincere proponent of Indians baseball. In 1969 I contracted a disease called uveitis and wound up in Wills Eye hospital in Philadelphia. I sat there pumped up on steroids waiting for the swelling in the eyes to go down. After 32 days, my sight came back but I was blind in my right eye. The doctors were concerned thinking I’d be bitter and crazed as only a 15 year old teenager in those days could be. But I thought of Herb Score, the guy who was destined to be the next great left hander in baseball, the guy who had more strikeouts than innings in his first two seasons, the guy who had his eyelid cut by a screaming liner that ended his career. And I thought, if Herb Score could get by, so could I. In 1984 I met Herb Score at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland and I was all set to tell him how he inspired me. But I didn’t. We talked about the Indians that year, we talked about Reggie Jackson’s performance the night before and the sparse crowds even though it was Fireworks Weekend. In short, we talked about the “now” of life, not the past. I thought about that on the night the Florida Marlins broke the Indians hearts in 1997. I thought about that when I heard Herb Score died this week. He was a guy who led his life in the present and never looked back. Herb Score was teaching people all about baseball and life long after he left the mound. I was glad to know of him and glad to talk baseball with him. We talked all about baseball, not shattered eyeballs. And that is how I will always remember Herb Score, a timeless Indian legend.



EACHUS A GO

State Rep. Todd Eachus announced his intention to run for House majority leader – the top position in the Democratic Caucus. Eachus, a Butler Township Democrat, won his seventh term last week. He said becoming majority leader would give him the ability to advance key issues to help working families according to a report in the Times Leader. The leadership elections will be held Tuesday. State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, has also announced his intention to run for the post to replace House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Waynesburg, who has led House Democrats for the last 12 years.
Recently, DeWeese has been accused by a former aide of knowing about illegal payments of taxpayers’ funds as bonuses to House political operatives in 2006. DeWeese who won re-election in a tough fight has been urged not to run by statewide newspapers as well as members of the Democratic caucus who are tired of his drama tactics on and off the House floor. Eachus might have a better than even chance given his success in recruiting new candidates to run for the House and the gains made in this election. Eachus headed the House campaign committee. Eachus was elected in 1996 beating Tom Stish, a former Democrat who switched to the GOP.

CHURCH VS. STATE

How 'bout this! A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic
evil." The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said parishioners in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote. Doing penance for their vote? What happened to the concept of seperation of church and state? And Obama or voting for Obama does not advocate baby killing or tearing the little tykes from the womb in a bloody mess! Obama advocates choice. That's it. Maybe the IRS should take a big long look into the Catholic Church's tax exempt status if they want to get involved in nullifying someone's vote in an election.

MIKE AT THE MIC


Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate did several fill-ins for ABC's Paul Harvey earlier this year, and now ABC Radio Networks president Jim Robinson gives Huckabee his own forum. The only description of them so far is that they'll be "short-form news features" broadcast "weekday mornings and afternoons." No details on the feed times or program length. But ABC says Huckabee will "provide listeners with the top news stories of the day while also drawing on his experiences" as a governor and candidate for the White House. The Huckabee Report launches on Monday, January 5, 2009. And let's not forget that when Ronald Reagan lost his second run for the Presidency in 1976, he went on the radio as a commentator and reached more people with his own unique brand of conservatism. I'm not saying history will repeat itself with Huckabee, I'm just saying, that's all.



KNOLL NEWS


Funeral arrangements for the late Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll havebeen finalized, and they include a final, somber stop at the center ofthe state government she so enjoyed being part of for most of the last 20 years.Knoll's body will lie in repose in the state Capitol Rotunda from noon Nov. 21 to 2 p.m. Nov. 22, before returning to Pittsburgh, where she will also lie in repose at St. Paul's Cathedral,from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 23. A public funeral mass will be held at noon Nov. 25, also at St. Paul's, followed by a private burial. Continuing the tributes to the former lieutenant governor, Gov. Ed Rendell's office has placed a memorial book in the Rotunda with an invitation to any Pennsylvanian who wishes to pay personal tribute to Knoll to sign. Congressman Kanjorski added his sentiments to the Knoll passing, “As we mourn the loss of Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, I pass along my thoughts and prayers to her family and friends. She honorably served Pennsylvania throughout her life, as a wife, mother, teacher, and as a dedicated public servant, including as the Commonwealth’s first female Lieutenant Governor. Her devotion to Pennsylvania and to its constituents was ever present in her work and she will be greatly missed.” By the way, the state Rotunda is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

1968

Operation commando hunt is initiated to intercept men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos into SouthVietnam. By the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs are dropped on Laos, slowing but not seriously disrupting trail operations……..Yale University announces it is going co-educational.... NBC cuts off the final 1:05 of an Oakland Raiders-New York Jets football game to broadcast the pre-scheduled Heidi. Fans are unable to see Oakland (which had been trailing 32-29) score two late touchdowns to win 43-32; as aresult, thousands of outraged football fans flood the NBC switchboards to protest……………….

Statewide, Congressman Richard Schweiker readies himself to succeed Senator Joe Clark who he beat in the general election……in Luzerne County, Commissioner Ed Wideman announced that he favored an across the board raise for all county employees and in 1968 forty years ago, the number one song was Cream’s “White Room”, an insight into the shape of things to come in popular music.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The LuLac Edition #638, Nov. 13th, 2008

PHOTO INDEX: 13 QUESTIONS LOGO.

13 QUESTIONS

1. NOW THAT THIS ELECTION IS OVER, DO YOU FIND THIS THE MOST EXCITING FOR YOU?

WELL, IT’S BEEN A CRAZY YEAR FOR ME PERSONALLY. BUT I HAVE TO SAY COVERING THIS ELECTION AS A BLOGGER GAVE IT A NEW DIMENSION FOR ME. THIS YEAR WAS BOTH PREDICTABLE AND UNPREDICTABLE. THANK HEAVENS THERE WAS NO VIOLENCE LIKE 1968. WHILE THIS WAS A CLOSE SECOND, MY HEART STILL BELONGS TO 1968 AS THE MOST INTERESTING ELECTION OF MY LIFE.

2. ANY THOUGHTS ON A BI PARTISAN CABINET?


IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. SHOWS THAT A LEADER IS INCLUSIVE. I HOPE OBAMA CAN FIND SOME GOPers OR EVEN A WAYWARD DEM LIKE JOE LIEBERMAN WHO CAN ADD DEPTH TO HIS TEAM. KEEPING GATES AT DEFENSE MIGHT BE A GOOD START IF HE CAN COME TO TERMS WITH HIM ON IRAQ.

3. SEEDED RYE OR NOT?

SEEDED.

4. BEST NETWORK COVERAGE ON ELECTION NIGHT?

NBC AND CBS. ON THE CABLE, I THOUGHT CNN DID A GREAT JOB AS WELL AS FOX. AND PCN DID A NICE JOB TOO COVERING STATEWIDE RACES.

5. CAN SARAH PALIN MAKE A COMEBACK IN 2012?

SURE. I DON’T THINK SHE EVER WENT ANYWHERE BUT SHE CAN REBUILD SOME OF THE CHINKS IN HER IMAGE. REMEMBER, NIXON CAME BACK FROM 1960 SO ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. AMERICA IS THE LAND OF SECOND CHANCES UNLESS YOU’RE O.J.

6. ANY THOUGHTS ON CONGRESSMAN KANJORSKI’S WIN?

HE CERTAINLY HAD A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HELPING HIM. LACKAWANNA COUNTY REALLY CAME THROUGH FOR HIM AND I REALLY THINK WHEN HIS SEAT WAS RE-DISTRICTED, ONE WOULD THINK THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE. THE GUY CAMPAIGNED HARD AND DESERVES TO WORK WITH THE NEW DEM MAJORITY AND PRESIDENT. I STILL THINK HE SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE DEBATES BECAUSE THE MAN HAS AN EXCELLENT COMMAND OF HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS AND OPERATES. HE DOESN’T APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT GOVERNMENT CAN PROVIDE TO ITS CITIZENS IF IT’S RUN CORRECTLY.

7. YOUR SERIES ON 1968 IS GREAT. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SONG FROM THAT YEAR?

THERE ARE TOO MANY THAT I LIKE FROM THAT YEAR BUT I REALLY AM PARTIAL TO “MaCARTHUR PARK” AND “THIS GUY’S IN LOVE”. AND THEN THERE’S “HEY JUDE”. SEE WHAT I MEAN, TOO MANY TO PICK.

8. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR NEWS NOW THAT ELECTION 2008 HAS COME AND GONE?

YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS AFTER ALL LUZERNE AND LACKAWANNA COUNTIES!

9. WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT ONE OF YOUR GIRLS LORI SAUNDERS CAME OUT FOR OBAMA?

VERY MUCH SO. I ALWAYS PEGGED HER FOR AN UNCLE JOE/SAM DRUCKER FISCAL CONSERVATIVE.

10. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT NEPA BEING THE EPICENTER OF NATIONAL PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS?


WE WERE IN THE WILDERNESS FOR SO LONG THAT IT’S KIND OF NICE. IT ACTUALLY STARTED IN 2000 THEN BUILT IN 2004. GROWING UP, I REMEMBER THIS AREA SOMETIMES HAD TO BEG TO GET PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO VISIT MORE THAN ONCE.

11. THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS HAD SOME ARTICLES ON THIS WEEK COMPARING THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN TO BOBBY KENNEDY’S. IS THAT A TRUE REPRESENTATION?

I READ THE ARTICLES AND THERE ARE VALID COMPARISONS. BUT THE BIG DIFFERENCE IS THAT RFK’S CAMPAIGN WAS UNORGANIZED AND THROWN TOGETHER ON THE FLY. THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN WAS ORGANIZED AT EVERY TURN. KENNEDY HIMSELF WAS NOT VERY WELL SCRIPTED ON THE STUMP AND HE CERTAINLY WAS MORE PASSIONATE THAN OBAMA ON THE ISSUES HE CARED ABOUT. KENNEDY AT TIMES WENT OFF THE RESERVATION HAVING HIS AIDES SCRAMBLING TO PICK UP THE PIECES. BUT HE DIDN’T CARE, HE JUST SPOKE HIS MIND. OBAMA DID THE SAME THING BUT WAS MORE CAREFUL WITH HIS WORDS AND PRONOUNCEMENTS.

12. HOW COME WYOU TV DIDN’T ASK YOU TO BE ON THEIR ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE?


ELECTION NIGHT IS TRADITIONALLY THE BUSIEST TIME IN A NEWSROOM. I’VE BEEN THERE. WYOU HAD A STABLE OF EXPERTS TO HANDLE THE CHORES OF COMMENTING ON THE ELECTION PLUS THEIR EXCELLENT TEAM OF REPORTERS. IF YOU SAW THE COVERAGE, YOU’D SEE THERE ISN’T A GREAT DEAL OF TIME FOR LOCAL INSERTS FROM THE NETWORK. TIME IS SHORT DURING THIS SPECIAL BROADCAST AND THE BIG STORY WAS THE PRESIDENCY. WYOU TV HAD ENOUGH EXPERTS ON TO CARRY THE MESSAGE THAT NIGHT. THAT ALL SAID, IT WAS GREAT BEING ON DURING THE ELECTION CYCLE, ESPECIALLY AFTER THE DEBATES. THE STAFF THERE IS GREAT AND IT WAS AN HONOR TO BE ON THEIR INTERACTIVE SHOW DURING THE PRIMARIES AND THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE GENERAL. AND NOT TO SOUND BIASED HERE, BUT I RATHER ENJOYED SITTING IN MY LIVING ROOM IN MY SWEATS WATCHING WYOU AND WBRE TV DO THE BEST LOCAL COVERAGE OF THIS ELECTION. BY FAR, BOTH STATIONS EXCELLED WITH THE LATEST AND MOST RELEVANT COVERAGE.

13. HOW CAN PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA BEST USE HIS VICE PRESIDENT IN THE COMING ADMINISTRATION?

LET HIM HANDLE THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA IN BOTH HOUSES. HAVE HIM BE ALMOST LIKE THE PRESIDENT’S ENFORCER AND LOBBYIST AT THE SAME TIME. MAKE SURE FIEFDOMS ARE KEPT TO A MINIMUM AND THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS WILL BE THE SUCCESS OF WHAT THIS PRESIDENT PROPOSES.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The LuLac Edition #637, Nov. 12th, 2008


PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE CATHERINE BAKER KNOLL.


CATHERINE BAKER KNOLL

The state of Pennsyvania's first female Ltn. Governor passed away tonight from cancer. Catherine Baker Knoll was 78 and serving in her second term under the Rendell administration. I first heard about Knoll's battle with cancer from former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty in the summer who called to check on my progress with this challenging disease. Knoll was hospitalized since August and fought a valiant battle. Knoll died about 6 p.m. at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, where she was recovering from treatment for neuroendocrine cancer. She was surrounded by her family, according to the Governor's Office. Knoll announced she was suffering from the disease, which affects cells that work to keep many of the body's hormonal and digestive functions in check. She returned to work for a day, presiding over the Senate at the start of its fall session, but she looked drawn and tired. Tonight, Governor Rendell who inherited her as a running mate in 2002 said, "Today we mourn the passing of one of the strongest, most dedicated public servants in Pennsylvania's history. Our thoughts and prayers are with Catherine's family. She will be deeply missed." Baker ran a spirited campaign for Ltn. Governor in 2002 beating all of her male rivals including now Senator Bob Casey's running mate (current Auditor General) Jack Wagner. Knoll will be replaced as lieutenant governor by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson). In his role, Scarnati will retain the role as president pro tempore as his predecessor Robert Jubelirer did in 2001 when Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker became governor when Gov. Tom Ridge left to become Homeland Security director. One of nine children, Knoll was born in McKees Rocks, a working-class community outside Pittsburgh. Her father served as Mayor of that town. Knoll's life was punctuated by public service. She was a schoolteacher and a businesswoman, and she served eight years as state treasurer (being the high vote getter in her re-election bid for Treasurer) before running for the number 2 post in 2002. Knoll's career had some bumps, she had her moments under the Rendell years once introducing the Guv as "Edward G. Robinson". She attended a military funeral and passed out business cards but even her defenders said that was an honest misconception because she handed those cards out as a gesture of help for the families attending the service. At the 2007 inaugural event, she brought up on stage a rambling Mickey Rooney who gave a speech that seemed to go on forever. But Knoll overcame these criticisms by constantly working the rooms, keeping in touch with party leaders and attending to vital part of the Rendell/Knoll base, senior citizens. Her death virtually insures Rendell will stay where he's at in Harrisburg and not take a job with the Obama administration. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. One thing is for sure though, Knoll made her mark in Pennsylvania political history. She will be missed.
From YOU TUBE: During the Presidential campaign, Knoll a big supporter of Senator Clinton was snubbed at a rally introducing former President Bill Clinton. She made her feelings known and got the grudging respect of Mr. Clinton.