Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The LuLac Edition #752, Mar. 10th, 2009



Looks like the great venture into ECTV in Scranton has come to a screeching halt. Electric City Television was evicted from its Scranton studio as a panel of judges repealed the zoning variance that allowed it to operate in the basement of a former church. It was not immediately clear how the decision might affect Scranton’s public-access broadcasts, which have become known for their coverage of city council. Getting booted from its home is the latest setback for ECTV, which had been given public money to outfit the church basement, though the studio was incomplete and most of the funds spent on equipment. When ECTV took over Channels 61 and 62 in July, it thought it would immediately have $90,000 in startup cash and live broadcasts. But the money was late in coming and the new set up was not what planners hoped it would be. As a matter of fact there are many residents of Scranton who are longing for the good old days when the TV channel was associated with the Scranton Public Library.


The severity of the economic crisis in Pennsylvania has prompted Governor Ed Rendell to provide emergency economic relief to thousands of Pennsylvanians through executive orders. Mr. Rendell announced steps Monday to extend state-subsidized health care coverage to 16,000 jobless adults on a waiting list, expand state-run home mortgage and heating assistance programs, add hours at state job-counseling centers and create a Web site to help individuals find lower prescription drug prices in their communities. According to reporter R. B. Swift, the governor decided to act on his own in the face of what he called sobering reports of high unemployment rates in the 67 counties. The unemployment rate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton metropolitan area jumped to 8 percent in January. “It (the economy) is absolutely brutal,” said Mr. Rendell at a Capitol press conference. “I don’t believe it is likely to change in the next several months.” The expanded relief will be funded by either redirecting money or capitalizing on program cost-savings, the governor said.The waiting list for the Adultbasic health care program has climbed to more than 200,000 adults, with 25,000 added during the past month alone. Mr. Rendell said there’s enough money in reserve because of cost savings in other areas to enroll 16,000 people on the waiting list.


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