The LuLac Edition #741, Feb. 26th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: SCRANTON COUNCILWOMAN SHERRY NEALON FANUCCI AND BISHOP JOSEPH MARTINO.
COUNCIL RACE SET
Scranton City Council candidates seem set for the 2009 race in the city. The three female council candidates have thrown their respective bonnets into the ring. It all became crystal clear when Councilwoman Sherry Nealon Fanucci confirmed she will seek re-election. Fanucci’s addition to the Democratic ballot, which already includes Councilwomen Janet Evans and Judy Gatelli, means all three incumbents will fight to retain their seats in the May primary. Together, the three women formed the city’s first female majority in 2006. Since then, Evans has often been at odds with Gatelli and Fanucci, arguing over the policies of Mayor Chris Doherty. Evans also took a run at State Representative in 2006 when she ran for the seat vacated by Gaynor Cawley that was ultimately won by Frank Andrews Shimkus. Fanucci said she chose to run again within the past few days, with the encouragement of her 12-year-old daughter. Kid power baby, it does it everytime. "Let's do it for the kids!" Meanwhile Councilwoman Evans is set to campaign against the Doherty advocates saying that council should not rubber stamp everything the Mayor does. Hey, why not, Council members in Wilkes Barre do it on a regular basis. Evans is forming a ticket with past council advocate Pat Rogan and newcomer Frank Joyce. The other female council member is Judy Gatelli. There is no word yet if Fanucci and Gatelli will get a third candidate to run on their team. You can bet that the two will have access to the Doherty machine in Scranton in their run. Whether Evans can mount a successful ticket that stays unified will be worth watching.
NUTS OR AMBITIOUS?
That's the question political and pop clture watchers are asking about Bishop Martino these days. Is he nuts or ambitious? The Bishop lately has been making public pronouncements that have put some members of the Catholic community off base. First he criticized pro life Senator Bob Casey for voting for a bill that encouraged birth control in overpopulated foreign countries. Then the Bishop took offense to a pro choice speaker hosted by College Misrecordia at its Diversity Institute. After that event, the Bishop strongly recommended that The Diversity Institute shut its doors and disband. He asked that he get assurances that Miscrecordia teachers do not encourage doctrines in opposition to church opinions concerning birth control and homosexuality. After all of that, the Diocese under the direction of the Bishop shut down Sacred Heart Church in Wilkes Barre. A church group formed a committee to save the church with its own funding. Mass was held on Sunday with more than 400 people attending. On Wednesday, the church was closed due to structural problems. Yellow police tape surrounded the building. Church members are asking why it was safe for a crowd attending Mass Sunday but dangerous three days later. The parish community recited the Rosary on the sidewalk in the front of the church Wednesday evening.
STIMULUS COBRA AID
Unemployed? Worried about continued health insurance? Here is the breakdown of how the Obama stimulus package can help those on unemployment through COBRA.
2. To be eligible annual income cannot exceed $125,000 for a single person and $250,000 for a couples.
3. 65% of existing COBRA premiums will be subsidized by the U.S. Treasury Department.
4. Subsidies will be available for up to 9 months.
5. If you declined COBRA coverage after September 1, 2008 you will have the option to re-enroll into COBRA with the above subsidies.
6. Notices of the COBRA subsidies and re-enrollment information will be sent from the COBRA administrator (usually your previous employer)
7. Subsidies will be paid, via a refundable tax credit, directly to the COBRA administrators.
8. Subsidies will terminate if the enrollee acquires a new health insurance plan through another employer or is eligible for Medicare.
9. Subsidies will only apply to COBRA premiums paid after the effective date of February 17, 2009 and there will be no refund of premiums prior to this date.