The LuLac Edition #991, Oct. 30th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1964 LOGO, LULAC CONTROLLER'S DEBATE PHOTO FEATURING BOB MORGAN, WALTER GRIFFITH AND WIL TOOLE MENTIONED IN THIS EDITION, IAN EDWARDS OF WILKES BARRE AND THE NEW CURRENCY IN LUZERNE COUNTY.
TOOLE ON TARGET
The Times Leader today talked about the rental fees magistrates were paying with of course tax dollars. This was first brought to my attention in May by Wil Toole, then mulling over a run for Controller. Toole as you know by now is the Independent candidate for Luzerne County Controller. Toole commented on the story saying, “I'm happy to see the county is finally looking at the high cost of office space rental. I personally pointed out the cost of the magistrate rentals back in May at The LuLac Controller's forum at LCCC. I also brought it to the Commissioner's attention at their monthly meetings and it is one of the written suggestions I placed on my web site, www.BestControllerCandidate.com. It was my contention that with the high cost of office rental, in some cases the county might want to consider purchasing rather than renting which would save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
PANCAKES WITH FRANK
Sunday morning there will be an organizational meeting for the candidacy of Frank Castellano for Lackawanna County Judge. Stop up Nov. 1- 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Pre-Election Day Breakfast, Fiorelli’s, Main Street, Peckville ($20 per person)Poll workers can pickup their packets at the breakfast. This is a combination funder and poll meeting to get the vote out.
The clock is ticking this weekend for the big Judicial races in both counties. In Luzerne Richard Hughes had a very successful polka party Thursday night at Genetti’s. Tina Gartley barnstormed the county the entire week and is set to have a big rally on Sunday in Plains. Bill Amesbury has had huge turnouts in Nanticoke, Pittston, and Swoyersville to rev up his troops for Election Day. It was the successful Amesbury ground game that got him the dual nominations in the primaries and he has been relentless in his campaigning in the general. When all is said and done because this is now a 3 person race the successful candidates will be the ones who have the consistent and productive ground games. In Lackawanna County, Frank Castellano is running very hard to overcome the Democratic registration edge while Margie Moyle has been outspoken in the ads Castellano is running. It would seem that Moyle has the edge in the heavily Democratic county as well as her gender going for her but Lackawanna County has a strong history of ticket splitting and is not shy about electing GOP candidates to the Court of Common Pleas.
THE ADA BATTLE
The Lackawanna County Judicial race is shaping up as the battle of the ADA’s. (Assistant District Attorneys).
At the last judicial forum in LuLac land, Margaret Moyle charged Frank Castellano with being a novice without the necessary jury trial experience. The newly created judgeship, will handle criminal and civil cases, but the initial assignment outlined by President judge Chester Harhut will be Family Court. Castellano said his opponent is belittling his work in the juvenile division and claimed he was a better choice for a Family Court position. Asked about a judicial philosophy Castellano talked about the need for "restorative justice" that not just punishes but solves community problems. Moyle expressed frustration with a high rate of recidivism for criminals specialty sex offenders. She said she would like to see more programs and partnerships to handle those crimes. After Tuesday, someone in this race is going to the Court with a black robe. The other will return to the DA’s office in the same capacity. At one time or the other, the loser will appear before the winner in court. Can anyone say the word “awkward”?
KANJO AND THE PLASTIC
At the very time when many Americans are relying on their credit cards to make ends meet, credit card companies have been hiking interest rates and drastically increasing minimum monthly payments, even for consumers who faithfully pay their bills on time. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill I cosponsored to combat these practices. We gave the credit card companies until early next year to change their deceptive practices. Instead of adapting to these reasonable new rules as quickly as possible, many irresponsible credit card companies chose to squeeze every last possible dollar out of consumers before the new rules take effect.
We are not going to let them get away with it. Last Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill to put the new rules into effect as of December 1, 2009. I expect this legislation will quickly be approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by the President by December 1.
The Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act would simply move up the implementation date of the legislation passed earlier this year so that most of its provisions become effective on December 1, 2009. The Credit CARD Act will:
Protect cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases;
Prevent cardholders who pay on time from being unfairly penalized;
Shield cardholders from misleading terms;
Empower cardholders to set limits on their credit;
Require card issuers to fairly credit and allocate payments;
Prohibit card issuers from imposing excessive fees on cardholders;
Prevent card issuers from giving credit cards to people who cannot afford them; and Require Congress to provide better oversight of the credit card industry.
My personal way of dealing with the credit card companies is this:
1.If you can, pay them off but put an extra fifty bucks in your payment so that they owe you. Cancel the cards though before you pay them off. Let the money sit there until they issue you a refund.
2. When you get a credit card offer, don’t throw it away. Take the forms and tear them up in little pieces and mail them back in the prepaid envelope.
3. Try to pay everything by cash or check.
4. When they send you those offers shred them and send them back.
5. If you do send a full payment in, beware some companies will send you back a courtesy check that looks like a refund in the same amount of the final payment. This is a promotional check that will give you cash but once you cash it, it’ll reactivate your account all over again.
6. If you get credit card solicitation by phone put your name on the do not call list. If that fails and you still get solicitation calls, in a deep leering voice ask the caller what color of underwear they are wearing. Guarantee they won’t call again.
MAKING IT EASY?
This election Mrs. LuLac and I did our due diligence in getting absentee ballots out to her 92 year old mother whom I am fairly confident will outlive us. Her mom fills out the ballot but we don’t mail it because it said to drop it over the office at Penn Place. Mrs. LuLac dutifully takes it over to the election office and is asked “is it your ballot?” Because she was not 92, disabled, bedridden or ill Ms. LuLac replied in the negative. The election clerk said, “Well then I can’t take it, I can only take it if it’s your ballot. You have to take it to the post office”. Now the point of an absentee ballot is to help the 92 year old, the disabled, the bedridden or ill cast their vote. They can’t show up at the office and need to rely on others to take it there. This was just another added step in the cumbersome electoral process. So Mrs. LuLac hauled her collective bad self over to the Post Office, explained her situation and the Post Office said, “Yeah we have a lot of pissed off people today”. See Mrs. LuLac and I are election geeks. When we honeymooned in Jamaica we followed the election results for Prime Minister like hawks. The natives thought we were nuts but Michael Manley was going for another term and he was facing off against……….see what I mean? My point is this, any other person would toss the ballot and not take that extra step. I wonder how many votes were lost today all in the name of legalities that turn less hardier souls off to the election process.
I pretty much hate Halloween. My dear mom made me wear a Captain Kangaroo blue satin costume for three years running. Finally after the third grade I asked, “Can I stop this nonsense? I don’t need candy that badly”. She said yes. When I worked at the Call Center on South Main I wore a tux and a sign around my neck that said “Sorry” (I went as a formal apology”.) But my nephew Ian is a Halloween fanatic. One year he went as Joe Snedecker, one time a pirate of the Carribean and still another time as WNEP's Don Jacobs. This year he thought up a great one, he’s going as a Luzerne County gangster judge complete with funny money to hand it. Good thing the guys that got pinched aren’t operating that detention center because he’d be headed out of town.
A collection of irreplaceable gemstones, including the 565 carats (113 g) Star of India, is stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City…….Campaigning at Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledges the creation of the Great Society……President Johnson signs legislation expanding Food Stamps to needy families…. Mortar fire from North Vietnamese forces rains on the USAF base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, killing 4 U.S. servicemen, wounding 72, and destroying 5 B-57 jet bombers and other planes...In Pennsylvania the contentious U.S. Senate race comes down the wire. Democrat Genevieve Blatt charges first term Senator Hugh Scott with being an ineffective leader and one lawmakers who has been in Congress too long. Scott blasts back saying Blatt is “impugning his character and is not being very pleasant in her conduct on the campaign trail”. Scott and his backed worry about the impending Johnson landslide coming Pennsylvania’s way on election day…..locally…..a final report is made from The Teenagers March for St. Jude in LuLac land which netted over $1200 for the charity…….as Election Day nears, both counties ready for the big day with both Democratic and Republican organizations getting their workers prepared to hit the streets when the polls open and 45 years ago today the number 1 song in America and LuLacland was “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. Years later Pearl Jam did another version. Here are both: