The LuLac Edition #779, Apr. 10th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER COREY O'BRIEN, SCRANTON MAYOR CHRIS DOHERTY, COMMISSIONER MIKE WASHO AND OUR 1964 LOGO.
I was thinking about the ongoing corruption probe going on in Luzerne County. A whole lot of energy has been circulated this week on the buying and selling of teacher’s jobs. I commend Steve Corbett for his advocacy on this. Sue Henry’s passion and eloquence on the subject has also been inspiring. The print reporters of both newspapers have been doing wonderful work in following the story. The FBI has even called on the teachers to come forward and present themselves as crime victims if they paid for a position. This to me is dubious because it has been my experience that if any group could close ranks better than teachers, they have not been discovered yet. (Frankly the only people who might come forward are those retirees that pretty much have nothing to lose. But in terms of getting teachers employed right now at a sweet salary in this economy to come forward and bare their souls, well it just won’t happen). Along with the teacher’s investigation and the Judiciary probe, I am fearful that we as a community are expending energy that in the short term bear fruit, but in the long term might be just a waste of time. We have had FBI investigations here in the past. In the 70s after the Agnes Flood, there were investigations into irregularities with contractors. During the 80s there was a voting fraud investigation that sent a few school directors to jail. There was a full blown investigation into the Human Services industry in the 80s. A Judge in late 1989 was convicted and went to jail. And after all of that, the corruption came back bigger and better than ever. We have a dedicated press here that has worked very hard to uncover the truth. But how many people are getting the message? To quote Bob Dole in the 1996 Presidential campaign, “where is the outrage?” Granted there are people who are passionate when they call talk radio but what about their friends and neighbors? Since starting this writing project, I have found a startling lack of interest in citizenship. Sure there are stalwarts but the people who need to get mad, just don’t seem to care. In my estimation, these are people in their 30s who are raising families and working. In this area, with these wages, that is a formidable task. But there doesn’t seem to be any ownership of the problem by them. It’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” over the local news. It’s “Dancing With the Stars” over “20/20”. People will tell you they are outraged but that emotion has yet to be proven. In the 2008 election, many citizens were angry and made that known with their votes. Will the same follow through in 2009? I just don’t know. Watch what happens on election night, if the same school board members win, if there is no intraparty competition in the Judicial races and if the turnout is below average for a primary, this investigation will run its course. After a few people have been carted off to jail, a few wrists slapped, life will return to normal right here in LuLac land. And the fault won’t be that of the local media, the FBI, the Home Rule Charter people or the citizen activists, it’ll be the thousands of residents who exist here that would rather see Frank Barone say “holy crap” for the 500th time then get off their asses and get involved.
A BIG WIN
Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty got some good news this week in his re-election quest. County Commissioners Mike Washo and Corey O’Brien endorsed the Mayor for a third term. The duo said,
“We wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse Mayor Chris Doherty for re-election. We plan on working hard, knocking on doors, and doing everything we can so that this city can continue to move forward. Chris Doherty shares our ideals. He worked side by side with us on our own campaign, and we are all committed to making Scranton a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” The endorsement has to help Doherty in the city where he faces a challenge from former Councilman Gary DiBilleo.
IBM announces the System 360.....Four of 5 railroad operating unions strike against the Illinois Central Railroad without warning, bringing to a head a 5-year dispute over railroad work rules........ Gemini 1 is launched on the first unmanned test of the 2-man spacecraft. From Russia With Love is shown in U.S. theaters……………….Statewide Supreme Court Justice Michael Musmanno made a speech in which he attacked U.S. Senator William Fulbright for the Arkansas Democrat’s claim that Communist menace to the free world was a myth. The speech was given in Summit Hill Pa and many in the audience were mystified that the U.S. Senate candidate veered away from state issues in his race against Internal Affairs Secretary Blatt…………in Philadelphia, an attorney for Russell Bufalino charged the government was monitoring the dress expediter’s mail and phone calls. Russell Bufalino was appealing a 1958 deportation order………….The Philadelphia Phillies wind down their exhibition season in Clearwater, Florida in anticipation of the April 14th home opener against the New York Mets……in Plymouth, teachers refuse an offer from the school board for a $100.00 per year salary increase. Jerry Dwyer chairman of the Salary Committee said the Plymouth teachers want the same amount of money as the Wilkes Barre educators who received $200.00 per year….and the number 1 song in America and LuLac land this week was a tune by the Beatles. Again. This time, “Do You Want To Know A Secret?” From YOU TUBE: