The LuLac Edition #1021, Nov. 27th, 2009
Gov. Ed Rendell signed a law introduced by Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski that allows law enforcement to better track the illegal trade in scrap metal, and reduce scrap-metal theft in Pennsylvania. Under the law scrap processors and recycling facilities must maintain records on all transactions of more than $100 and keep those records for two years. The records must include a photocopy of the seller’s driver’s license, the license plate number of the seller’s vehicle, a description of the material purchased, including weight, and amount paid. Rep. Pashinski said scrap metal dealers that violate the law can be fined $2,500.
IF TIMMY WERE WITH THEM...
When I was growing up, my uncle Timmy Pribula took me places that I never even dared dream of. He was on the Wyoming Area School Board in the 60s initially and I was really starting to get a love for the give and take of the political battle. My uncle had no fear when it came to approaching people. A salesman in the 50s and early 60sa, the guy had a way of ingratiating himself among the powerful luminaries of the time. That picture you see of me with Hubert Humphrey was taken by my uncle at the Mayfair supper club when he made his way through the crowd like a Penn State half back dragging me with him. In his company I met Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Edmund Muskie, Pennsylvania Senator Joseph Clark, and Governors Shapp, Leader and Shafer. He was fearless and intrepid. Once on a whim he drove to Atlantic City in 1964 with no credentials whatsoever and somehow wound up a few feet away from Lyndon Johnson the night he gave his acceptance speech. Another time he made his way to Deer Lake the camp of heavyweight champ Mohammad Ali. Arriving at Deer Lake, my uncle found Ali’s cabin unoccupied and decided to sit in the living area waiting to see the fighter. When a stunned Ali and his entourage walked in clearly wondering who this interloper was, my uncle simply said, “Hi Champ how are you today?” Ali replied that he was just fine and had a long chat with my uncle. I thought of my uncle Timmy this week when security was breached at a White House State Dinner. Apparently when Tareq and Michaele Salahi waltzed past the White House cameras Tuesday night they looked for all the world like they belonged there, except for one tiny detail. They did not. This is being regarded as a serious branch of security and is causing some embarrassment and concern. I wondered if my uncle had lived in the security conscious world we live in today if he could have used his guile and smart talking patter to get past the gate keepers. After a brief moment I thought yeah my uncle could most likely get his way into some events and maybe get a photo with one or two of them. But I’d bet everything I own he wouldn’t be dumb enough to post his triumph on Facebook. I think my uncle really thought the politicos and superstars were just as lucky to meet him, Timmy, rather than the other way around. That’s called confidence. And cool.
First off I think newspapers in this area do a pretty job covering politics. The work on the Judicial scandal is exemplary but sometimes the coverage of government meetings is lacking. When a citizen picks up the paper, it’s like the article barely resembles what went on at the meeting. There are many citizens that speak at these meetings and unfortunately they are not heard. This past Wednesday former Controller candidate Wil Toole made a few statements that seemed pretty newsworthy to me but nothing was in the newspapers on it. I understand there are space limitations and time constraints but sometimes there are good ideas floated by the public. Anyway, here’s a few points Toole brought up at the Commissioner’s meeting:
1. Toole reminded the Board that last month he asked them to have their attorney look into recapturing the 2 million dollars we gave to the Philly law firm when they liquidated the Pension Boards investment in the Wells Fund. They paid the 2 mil. as a commission to the law firm for their effort in the recapture of the funds ......... Quoting Toole here, “That was a real bad move by Flood and Urban and it should not have been paid. ....... They did not recapture funds, they cashed an asset".
2. Toole talked about the aggressive pursuit of the sale of the Valley Crest property using in house departments such as Community Development or Redevelopment to avoid large commission fees. He also mentioned the Hazleton Property and the sale of the forty fort airport (not the rec. complex).
3. Since the county renegotiated the detention center lease, they should renegotiate the two city magistrate leases and the Hazleton magistrate lease. According to my sources, the weekend before the campaign Toole ran into Magistrate Marty Kane who was not happy with Toole’s meddling into this issue.
4. Prison Reform. Toole addressed Warden Piazza's plan for a day reporting center .... briefly, Toole pointed out that he agreed with Jessie Jackson's old saying, Jail or Yale but that dealt with kids, not convicted criminals. Toole said the county doesn’t have the luxury or resources to begin programs but should first straighten out the fiscal mess. Briefly, Piazza's program based on 150 inmates would save the county approx $2.5 million per year. Toole said his suggested program using the same 150 inmates would save over $5.5 million per year. If they used his total program, it would involve all non violent (not drug related) offenders which could be more than double that with a savings well in excess of $12 million dollars per year.
5. With the current $466 million debt, consider the possibility of attacking a portion of the debt to be paid off in short term with a balloon note for the balance due at the end of the term. When that bite of the debt is paid off and the balloon is due, renegotiate the same deal taking another bite of the debt and so on and so forth. The necessary requirement would be that there would be NO additional borrowing
6. Finally, Toole mentioned that the county management team is down one manager and since they are working on contracts, Toole told them he has the expertise to fill in and that he hand delivered a letter to the Commish's offices on Thursday but have not been given any indication that the letter was even received. Toole told them that he remains available to donate his time if they wish to avail themselves of it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If there are any people addressing a governmental body and would like to tell me about, in either Luzerne and Lackawanna County, shoot me an e mail and we’ll work on getting your ideas out further than in earshot of the Commissioner’s Meeting Room.
NASA launches the Mariner 4 space probe from Cape Kennedy toward Mars to take television pictures of that planet in July 1965.....The United States National Security Council members, including Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, and Maxwell Taylor, agree to recommend a plan for a 2-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam, to President Lyndon B. Johnson………..on the state level Governor Scranton decided against a hunting ban. The dry woods in November was a consideratiuon but afgter meetings with his Forestry Secretary Maurice Goddard the Governor decided to have a ban on open fires and smoking in the woods. There were more than 251 fires in five days during the month of November……in Wilkes Barre more than 4,000 young people crowded into the Kibngston Armory to hear and see singing star Bobby Rydell. Rydell was brought in by Thomas C. Thomas who was in charge of the St. Jude’s campaign. Rydell sang about 6 songs and played the drums. Rydell was national Chairman of Teeners for St. Jude’s…here’s one of his appearances.
And 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land and the nation was “Little Children” by Billy Jo Royal. Correction: Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.