Saturday, February 28, 2009

The LuLac Edition #743, Feb. 28th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: "THE CLARKSTER" MAKING A STATEMENT ON THE JUDICIAL SCANDAL IN LUZERNE COUNTY.


YONKSTUR MET CLARKSTER


So I’m driving down River Road yesterday morning after picking up some dry cleaning at Valet Cleaners. And I see this guy with a sign waving a blow up doll with stripes on it. I go home and drop the stuff off, get my digital camera and return to the scene. It’s there that I meet a man identifying himself as Clarkster from Dupont. Seems like this gentleman is taking to the streets. When I asked him if this was a protest, he said that it was more of a statement. See Clarkster is outraged about the Judicial scandal. He’s mad as hell about kids being jailed and detained without legal representation. Clarkster likens Judge Mark Ciavarella to “Little Caesar”, using the Courthouse as his personal coliseum and throwing innocent kids to the lions. With the threat of rain coming, I asked Clarkster how long he intended to carry this statement out. As for Friday, he told me he might be changing locations. But in the long run, he’s going to be making a statement every day until “The Judges are cuffed and sent to jail”. When I asked him if he feared for his safety, he replied, “People have said they’ll come after me for what I’m doing, but what they don’t know is I’ll be looking for them”. As we spoke and he posed for a few photos, almost every horn passing us by honked in support of his actions. Clarktster’s solitary note of discord seems to be blossoming into an entire symphony of disgruntled taxpayers and citizens. That truly is a statement worth noting.

SECOND THOUGHTS


In LuLac Edition #742, I took Citizen’s Voice columnist Paul Golias to task about the Crime Watch groups. He said that more people should be involved with Crime Watch. I took it to mean that he was saying the Crime Watch committee needs to do more. I think he was saying that more “regular, average Joe” citizens should be coming out to Crime Watch meetings.When I replayed the tape, he had talked about the low attendance at these meetings and it was clearly his meaning that Crime Watch units needed help from their neighbors. Golias was one of the founding fathers of The Citizen’s Voice newspaper and literally risked his life to keep that newspaper going. When I was in Public Relations he was always ready, willing and able to lend a hand to me and everyone else in the community. So upon further reflection on his remarks (thank the Lord for the rewind button on VCR’s,) (yep, I still use one) I just wanted to clarify and in effect apologize for my hastiness in a rush to judgment on what I thought he said.
Turning to the same edition, I also took State Representative Dan Frankel to task for saying the $13,000 spent on ceremonial bibles for the State Legislature was pocket change compared to the state spending of more than 28 million dollars. My statement still stands that every little bit helps. I did call Representative Frankel a moron, I was wrong there, upon further reflection I just think he’s an idiot.

FACE BOOK


I got myself onto this Face Book thing. Posted some photos on it, still trying to learn how to use it. We’ll keep you posted. I’m at David Yonki/Face Book, and just try to find me in the search engine. One of the coolest things I thought about was a photo I posted there of my grandmother holding me as an infant. She was mezmerized by the big black and white TV set in her living room, looking at it as a modern miracle. Now, 51 years after her death, she's on the world wide web. That would both please and freak out Grandma Pribula all at the same time!


Friday, February 27, 2009

The LuLac Edition #742, Feb. 27th, 2009







PHOTO INDEX: JOHN CORDORA, CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF KINGSTON, THE BIBLE, OUR 1964 LOGO AND WVIA TV/FM PRESIDENT AND CEO BILL KELLY.




WVIA TV’S EFFORT

WVIA TV aired “The State of Pennsylvania” on Thursday night and I have to tell you it was a heart wrenching hour. Host Bill Kelly interviewed parents of some of the affected children who were victims of the Luzerne County Judicial scandal. One woman held up a photo of her son who had committed suicide. Most disturbing was the fact that some well meaning parents took their child to a Judge to “put the fear of God” in them or mentor them. The problem was they picked the wrong judge! Their children were led away in cuffs. Most of the guests were informative and coherent in their responses. But Citizen’s Voice retiree and columnist Paul Golias was way off base when he said more people should be involved in Crime Watch. The Wilkes Barre Crime Watch has been active in every neighborhood. To say that not many people show up is not the fault of the organizers but the lack of cooperation by city authorities. People are involved in crime watch. The program was well done and proved to be an indictment on the whole Criminal Justice system in this County. Let’s evacuate everyone, blow it to bits and start all over again.

SANTORUM WEIGHS IN

Former Senator Rick Santorum weighed in on Bishop Martino’s comments in an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Santorum defended the prelate saying, Martino is just doing his job. "Many of his brother bishops will look at Martino as they do at other uncompromising defenders of the faith, worrying about the world's reaction. As a Philly guy, though, his excellency knows something about being booed. He also knows his job and calling: to be the good shepherd who faithfully leads and protects his flock from those who would lead them astray, " noted the ex Senator. Santorum also appeared on the Sue Henry show Thursday.

THE WORST EVER

How does that sound when referring to the place you live? A lawsuit filed by The Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia has joined a growing number of legal firms in filing a class action lawsuit against parties involved in the Luzerne County juvenile court scandal. The lawsuit would be a a major nightmare for the local Chamber of Commerce if it did any work. The suits say the judges and other defendants conspired to perpetrate "what ranks as one of the largest and most serious violations of children's rights in the history of the American legal system. The stories of the individual children and their parents who appeared before Judge Ciavarella are haunting, depicting an imperious judge who was operating completely outside the bounds of law, exhibiting only a callous disregard for the children who appeared before him," Marsha Levick, chief legal counsel for the Law Center said in a prepared statement.

THE GOOD BOOK

Crap! I knew I should never have ventured into Broadcast Sales in the 90s. I could’ve been a Bible Salesman and my biggest customer would be the Pennsylvania State Legislature.
Despite financial woes, the General Assembly bought 220 Bibles and other holy books including Torahs and Qurans for legislators taking the oath of office last month. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that taxpayers footed the bill, about $13,700.
The state House chief clerk and Senate secretary say a tradition of giving incoming legislators a personalized holy book dates back for decades. State Rep. Dan Frankel says he has received six copies of the Torah since first being elected in 1998. The Pittsburgh Democrat points out that the cost is trivial compared with state spending of more than $28 billion. But Frankel says when everybody is trying to conserve, perhaps lawmakers should be asked to bring their own scripture. Good for you Dan! There is a budget shortfall and a moron like you should realize that every little bit helps.


CORDORA IN

John C. Cordora, 55, has announced his candidacy for Mayor of Kingston. He will run in the May 19th Spring Primary election. The candidate states he has been involved as a community activist since 1979 and considers himself a Reagan-Conservative. The candidate said the centerpiece of his campaign will be the lack of crime prevention in Kingston by the Haggerty administration over the last 12 years. Cordora said, “I have a common sense aggressive plan to reduce crime in Kingston and I only want one term to prove it”. Cordora was a former member of the Republican State Committee from 1988 to 1990. He plans a fundraiser on March 19th, at the American Legion Post 395 from 7pm to 10pm. Cost is $20.00 a person. The candidate is not accepting any corporate checks or donations above $250.00.

1964

Former President Dwight David Eisenhower finally ends his lobbying campaign among the GOP leadership to secure the nomination for President for his brother Milton. Party leaders conclude that the pick would smack of nepotism……Meanwhile in New Hampshire, Henry Cabot Lodge’s write in campaign is being regarded as a joke with front runners Barry Goldwater on the right and Nelson Rockefeller on the left battling it out…..Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith campaigns as an under dog as the first female Legislator running for the top job…..in Pennsylvania Senator Joseph Clark calls for U.S. Senatorial Michael Musmanno to leave the State Supreme Court or withdraw from the Senate race. Clark says the jurist is violating basic tenets of judicial rules by campaigning for another office. Clark also endorsed the Jurist’s primary opponent, State Secretary of Internal Affairs Genevieve Blatt saying she would have a much better chance of besting GOP Senator Hugh Scott in the fall campaign……………in Luzerne County, a hearing on the deportation of Russell Bufalino of Kingston was recessed until March 23rd. Bufalino, a Pittston drapery manufacturer was ordered deported in 1958. The reason was he concealed his Italian birth in connection with two trips to the Bahamas and Cuba. Bufalino was instructed to bring all financial records with him to the March 23rd hearing………….and 45 years ago this week, the number 1 song in LuLacland and America was once more a Beatles song called “P.S. I Love You”.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

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.
Now for the first few years the Bishop was here, there was hardly a peep out of the man. Recently he has made these controversial pronouncements. Some say the Bishop is angling for a bigger post in a larger city where he might make the rank of Cardinal or is trying to get the attention of the Vatican for a position there. That's being kind. Others I've talked to say "The Bishop has gone 'round the bend and is just plain nuts". Either way, his actions are dividing an alreadty faltering church system in LuLac land.

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.
1. Valid for people who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009
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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #740, Feb. 25th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: PRESIDENT OBAMA.


THE WAY IT IS

The Presidential address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday night was the first one I had actually watched since 911. It was interesting once more to have a beverage in hand, my dog on the oppposite sofa and to hear what the leader of our country had to say. To quote that Saturday Night Live comic, with President Bush 43, when it came to watching him talk about anything, it was "couldn't watch", "couldn't do it". For the first time in years we had a President who told it like it is. He was honest and forthcoming in his remarks, told us things would be hard for a little while but reaffirmed what we all knew, "This was America, we were Americans and things would get better". America can come back but those who will bring it back are those who have been the most abused the last eight years: the Middle class. A lot of things are ours to blame. Buying stuff we didn't really need, trying to keep up with the neighbors and rejecting two good men of superior intelligence, Al Gore and John Kerry just because we thought George Bush was a better guy to have a beer with. However, after bad choices come redemption. That said, President Obama recognizes that the Middle Class needs help. And needs it fast to undo the drunken spending spree we were on the last few years. Look at the program he set forth:
1. Obama says Americans who have lost their jobs will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage.
2. The president says his administration's housing rescue plan "will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages." He says the plan won't help speculators "or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford." The average family who re-finances today can save nearly $2,000.
3. Obama says he wants to restore confidence in the nation's hard-hit financial instutions and get them lending again. He announced the creation of a new lending fund to help provide auto, college and small-business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs. He says banks that accept government bailout money will be held "fully accountable" for how they use it. He must keep an eye on the thieves of Wall Street.
4. Obama says the skyrocketing cost of health care is causing "a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds" and by the end of the year could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. He says his economic recovery plan will invest in electronic health records, launch a new effort to conquer cancer, and concentrate heavily on preventive care.
5. On the economy the president says the "day of reckoning has arrived" for Americans after an era of extravagant buying, gutted regulations and little or no long-term financial planning.
He offered a sober assessment of the last decade or so and says the time to take charge of the future is now. "Though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."
6. Obama has vowed to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. He says his administration has started to go line-by-line through current expenditures and identified $2 trillion in costs that can be cut over the next decade. Among them: cutting direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them; eliminating no-bid contracts in Iraq; rooting our fraud in Medicare; and ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
7. Obama says he will eliminate no-bid contracts that "have wasted billions" in Iraq. He is expected to lay out details this week of his plans to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by August 2010, 19 months after he took office.
8. The president promised to forge a new and comprehensive strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat extremists. He did not mention Hillary Clinton's name in any discussion of foreign policy.
Look at the eight points listed here, none of them are for rich, overfed, overpaid special interests groups that got obscenely rich under the Bush administration. The President called out everyone in a paradoxical indictment of everybody, he said, "Too many everyday Americans bought homes they could not afford and did not think about their next mortgage payments. Too many banks handed out loans to people who could not pay. Politicians allowed the surplus to disappear with tax cuts for the rich. Regulations were gutted to help companies make a quick profit." What we got from this President was a dose of reality and some straight talk sans the Express. Obama laid out the facts and his plan. While the Bush administration made the poor, the immigrants and the middle class the bad guys for not being able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps,(and how the hell do you do that when you are constantly overtaxed and underpaid?) maybe the Obama regime can not put up whipping boys to hide whatever shortcomings that may happen along the way. (There has been a shift in blame anyway, ask anyone on the street what they think of rich people and I'm sure you'll get a colorful answer.) The change Obama talked about in the campaign has come to fruition. Not everyone is going to like it, (especially the rich bastards who have been using and abusing the Middle class and the poor in this country) but the time has come and like it or not, we are in for a change that will rock this country's world. How do I know that? Because after 8 years of lying and incompentence, I had a President who told me so. Told me like it is. Refreshing and so very American.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The LuLac Edition #739, Feb. 24th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: EVIE REFALKO McNULTY
AND THE LUZERNE COUNTY COURTHOUSE.




EVIE BACK IN

Evie Refalko McNulty is announcing for another term as Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds. She will have a party on April 3rd, Frriday night from 7PM to 9PM. It will be held at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station in the Ballroom. The tickets are $40.00 per person which includes beverages, munchies, and EJ the DJ. Evie says, "It’s almost hard to believe that another four years have passed. We’ve made tremendous advances in the office by digitizing all of our recordsand now offering those records free on the web to the public. You know that saying “I have miles to go before I sleep”, well that’s how I feel about the work and projects I have planned for the future of the office. With your support and friendship and of course your vote I hope to make it another four years in this year’s election".

SHARKEY FIRED

William, Sharkey was relieveed of his duties officially today. Sharkey was suspended without pay after charges were filed against him on Feb. 3. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to stealing $70,000 in illegal gambling proceeds that were supposed to be turned over to the county treasurer.

NOT OUT OF WOODS

Jill Moran, who resigned as Prothonotary is by no means out of the legal crossfire woods. Moran could potentially face criminal charges if she violates an agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating corruption in the county courthouse. according an agreement she and her attorney signed. The pact required Moran to resign as prothonotary and to provide complete and full cooperation in the investigation into the alleged fraud. According to a civil complaint Moran voluntarily informed prosecutors that persons known to her attempted, without her full knowledge to use her to facilitate frauds that deprived residents of Luzerne County to their right to honest services by those persons named and other individuals.

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Former Luzerne County Prothonotary Carolee Medico Olenginski has announced she intends to run for the seat being vacated by current Prothonotary Jill Moran. Medico Olenginski, a Republican, confirmed her interest in the seat on Monday, the same day it was revealed that Moran had submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Ed Rendell. She said Moran’s resignation, which is effective March 13, played no role in her decision to run. According to the Times Leader, she began considering running after learning that judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella – who shared a financial interest with Moran in a real estate development firm -- had pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks. “I knew Conahan had actively campaigned against me. He was a hard person to go up against because he had a lot of people beholden to him. When I found out he was out of the picture, I began contemplating running,” she said. Medico Olenginski served as prothonotary from 1998 to 2002 before losing the seat to Moran. She said that experience will prove invaluable in helping to restore public confidence, which has been shaken amid the ongoing probe into corruption within the judiciary. Medico's political career was launched when she became a cause célèbre on the Ted Williams radio program broadcast over WILK Radio in the 90s. During her tenure she did battle with Courthouse insiders and administrators about how she ran her office.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The LuLac Edition #738, Feb. 23rd, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: PROTHONOTARY JILL MORAN.


MORAN EXITS


Prothonotary Jill Moran has informed the Governor's office that she will resign her office. Effective date is March 13th. Chuck Ardo, Governor Rendell's Press Secretary says she is resigning because "the circumstances in the Luzerne County Courthouse are making my presence in the office a distraction". Moran was elected Prothonotary in 2001 taking over for GOP official Carolee Medico. Medico snatched the office out of Democratic control from 16 year veteran Eugene Duffy. Prior to Duffy's reign, Bernard Podcasy, Senior held the job. Moran has been under fire since 2007 when it was revealed the Prothonotary’s Office filed a John Doe name for an IRS tax lien from Attorney Robert Powell. Since then, Moran's name has been linked to Powell who in turn has been linked to outsted Judges Ciaverella and Conahan. This of course opens the field on both sides of the political spectrum for this office. Speculation has been that former Judge Ann Lokuta might throw her hat into the ring for the post. Gerald Mullery has already announced his candidacy.

The LuLac Edition #737, Feb. 23rd, 2009






PHOTO INDEX: BLOG EDITOR WITH JIM BUNNING, (CIRCA 1982) AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.

JIM, JIM, JIM!!!!!

Jim Bunning was one of my favorite ballplayers. As a Detroit Tiger he pitched a no hitter in the American League and then on Father's Day, 1964, he pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets. I loved him as a ballplayer but am rather dubious of him as a United States Senator. Bunning's latest blunt statement centers around Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The old Phillie righthander said his support for conservative judges may come into play shortly because one of the Supreme Court's liberal members, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could die in less than a year from pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg has "bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from," the two-term Kentucky Republican said during a 30-minute Lincoln Day dinner speech Saturday in Elizabethtown, according to the Courier-Journal of Louisville. Doctors diagnosed the 75-year-old justice and removed a small tumor this month. They said the cancer was caught early, when it is most curable "Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live" with pancreatic cancer, Bunning said. Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard did not have an immediate comment Monday about the speech. Ginsburg was in court Monday, 18 days after undergoing surgery. The American Cancer Society estimates that 20 percent to 24 percent of patients whose pancreatic cancer is caught early survive five years. Bunning has had lackluster fundraising so far, but has said he intends to seek re-election in 2010. Bunning, 77, has had testy exchanges lately with Mitch McConnell, his fellow Kentuckian and the Senate Republican leader and is expected to face a tough re-election challenge. Jeez, when I was in the hospital, I asked my friends to not come and see me just because I would be no use to them in terms of conversation and friendship. God, if Bunning came to visit............................I'd be dead and buried before I even got off the operating room table!

HISTORY ON HOLD

The bleak economy is affecting Pennsylvania state historical sites. Barbara Franco, the commission's executive direct went before the House Appropriations Committee to talk about the impact of Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed 20 percent cut in the commission's funding. Legislators serving on the committee generally supported a less dire cut in order to preserve the state's historical assets.

I'LL TAKE IT!!!

Mr. President: You know that stimulus money the southern Governors are turning down? I'll take it. I can use my degree in Government to work with worthy state agencies and non profits to make certain that money is spent in the right place with concrete results. E mail me here at LuLac!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The LuLac Edition #736, Feb. 22nd, 2009









PHOTO INDEX: CLIFF ROBERTSON AND HENRY FONDA IN A MOMENT OF CONFLICT IN THE 1964 MOVIE "THE BEST MAN", FONDA IN THE TUB WITH JOHN HENRY FAULK TRYING TO WRANGLE THE VEEP NOMINATION AND LEE TRACY ON HIS DEATHBED IN GORE VIDAL'S CLASSIC FILM.

POLITICAL MOVIES

Since this is Oscar night, we'll give you a taste of some Presidential movies. My favorite Political movie of all time is "The Best Man". Here's the plot:
William Russell (Henry Fonda) and Joe Cantwell (Cliff Robertson) are the two leading candidates for the presidential nomination of an unspecified political party. Both have potentially fatal vulnerabilities. Russell is a principled intellectual (believed by many critics and fans to be based on Adlai Stevenson). A sexual indiscretion has alienated his wife Alice (Margaret Leighton). In addition, he has a past nervous breakdown to live down. Cantwell (believed to be based partly upon Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy) portrays himself as a populist "man of the people", but is a ruthless opportunist, willing to go to any lengths to get the nomination. Neither man can stand the other; neither believes his rival qualified to be President.
They clash at the nominating convention and lobby for the crucial support of dying former President Art Hockstader (Lee Tracy). The pragmatic Hockstader (a character clearly based on Harry Truman, particularly his comments on "striking a blow for liberty" whenever he drinks a bourbon) prefers Russell, but worries about his indecisiveness and overdedication to principle; he despises Cantwell, but appreciates his toughness and willingness to do what it takes. In fact, Hockstader had intended to publicly support Cantwell, but the candidate blunders badly. When the two speak privately, Cantwell attacks Russell with illegally-obtained psychological reports, mistakenly assuming that Hockstader was for the more liberal man. The former president tells Cantwell that he doesn't mind a "bastard", but objects to a stupid one, and switches to Russell. However, in his opening-night speech, he endorses neither.
One of Russell's aides digs up Sheldon Bascomb (Shelley Berman). He served in the military with Cantwell, and is willing to link him to homosexual activity while stationed in Alaska during World War II. Hockstader and Russell's closest advisors press Russell to grab the opportunity, but he resists. As the first round of voting begins, he arranges to meet Cantwell privately, to let his rival know what he can do. However, Cantwell confronts Bascomb and refutes his slander. Russell threatens to use the allegation anyway, but though Cantwell does not understand what makes his opponent tick, he knows this much - Russell does not have the stomach for tactics that dirty. In the end, Russell shocks him by throwing his support behind a third, relatively unknown candidate, ending both their chances.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Manchiurian Candidate.
Dr. Strangelove.
Seven Days In May.
Failsafe.
The American President.
Dave.
All The President's Men.
Frost-Nixon.
All the King's Men.
Primary Colors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The LuLac Edition #735, Feb. 21st, 2009














PHOTO INDEX: DISTRICT JUSTICE WILLIAM AMESBURY, DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLER ASPIRANT BOB MORGAN NOW AND BOB MORGAN THEN. (AMESBURY PHOTO FROM TIMES LEADER, BOB MORGAN NOW FROM CITIZEN'S VOICE, BOB MORGAN THEN FROM LULAC ARCHIVES.)

SEEKING CONTROL

The race for Luzerne County Controller is heating up. On the Democratic side, the presumptive candidates are Anthony Rostock, Russ Bigus, former GOP candidate for State Senator in the 20th District and Bob Morgan, a financial consultant with PNC Investments in Wilkes-Barre. Morgan has been active in Democratic politics since he was a teenager, heading up the Luzerne County Young Democrats and was active in the 1980 Kennedy for President effort.
On the GOP side, former Democratic Commissioner Edd Brominski has announced for the seat as a member of the GOP. Whether the Brominski name still carries weight among a new generation of voters remains to be seen. Also on the GOP side, Wilkes Barre taxpayer advocate Walter Griffith wants to run for this seat despite being wooed by the party to run for Prothonotary. Attorney Nanda Palissery is also considering running for controller on the Republican ticket.
The GOP seems to be doing what it does best, make a primary race interesting. Whether that will help in the general election is another matter.

AMESBURY IN

Before a crowd of 500 that even surprised him, District Justice William Amesbury has entered the race for Judge of the Common Pleas Court. He becomes the 12th candidate to enter the race. Amesbury's crowd speaks volumes about his regard and popularity. Amesbury became District Justice in 2001 by defeating a member of the politically powerful O'Donnell clan. He did it by highlighting his activity in youth sports in South Wilkes Barre. Garnering the GOP nomination in the primary, Amesbury ran away with the general election. This candidate is not one to be unestimated.
*Disclaimer: Amesbury was a client of mine in the 2001 race when I was a sales rep for Cable Rep Advertising.

HALEY'S AN IDIOT

I usually don't call politicians and Chief Executives of states idiots but Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi deserves this one. At the National Governor's Conference, Barbour said he would refuse federal stimulus money for unemployment compensation because he feared the wrong people would use it. Huh? Does this moron actually think people in his state want to lose their job on purpose? He has a responsiblity to take care of his residents, some unemployed. I don't know anyone who becomes unemployed by choice! But hey, this is Mississippi where the average intelligence rate is slightly above a chimp. If the dumbest drunk in Nanticoke moved to Barbour's state, he'd be king! And these people were still making threats to lynch people in the 60s, so I guess I was hoping for a bit much.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #734, Feb. 20th, 2009

















PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1964 LOGO, PROBATION SERVICES DIRECTOR SANDRA BRULO, (TIMES LEADER PHOTO) FORMER WILKES BARRE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES AND PROSPECTIVE GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMISSION HOPEFULS PETE GAGLIARDI AND WALTER GRIFFITH.

AND THE BEAT GOES ON

Another wing tip dropped in the Luzerne County Corruption case this afternoon. Luzerne County President Judge Chester Muroski issued an order suspending Sandra Brulo without pay following the filing of a federal charge against her. Brulo was employed as Probation Services Director. In the recent layoffs of court olfficials, Brulo was not one of them. Before joining the Probation Department, Brulo worked at the Children’s Service Center of Wyoming Valley and built a stellar reputation as the agency’s main advocate for funding as well as providing a public relations presence for the organization. She was arraigned today on a charge of tampering a court record. According to the Times Leader, U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson said Brulo altered a juvenile court file with the intent to impair the file's integrity for use in federal proceedings. Brulo was released on her own recognizance following a brief hearing. Keep in mind this was only one count and one has to pose the question why it was this one particular file. More details will be forthcoming in her proceedings.

THE SHARK’S BIG RIDE

There’s much speculation as to how Court Administrator William Sharkey got away with using a county vehicle after he took sick leave in August. On the day after the FBI raided his office, Sharkey became ill (who wouldn't after a visit from the G Men!) and drove home with a sleek black county Chevrolet Impalla. He never returned it until President Judge Chester Muroski (a very busy fellow these days) directed someone to get the car. Now I don’t blame Sharkey here because after all, he was used to the perks and entitlement. I mean old habits die hard. And if Sharkey dealt with the incompetence in the Courthouse on a daily basis, I’m figuring he was instituting his own, “they didn’t ask…….so I won’t tell” policy. No, my questions are for the person in charge of the county fleet. Did you notice the car was missing? Was Sharkey’s power so intimidating that you were afraid to ask him for the car? Was there a beware of dog sign in his front window? Did you mix up the car with someone else’s? Did you think the county was auctioning it off as a fundraiser somewhere? Years ago I had dealings with a former Luzerne County Clerk. Back then, the vehicles of choice were Crown Vics. This guy knew where every car went, who had them, doled them out in lieu of raises to certain department heads who needed them, and kept all the keys locked away in a place where only he and his secretary knew where they were. Something happened along the way in county government to make the use of cars as important as dispensing candy bars. This never happened in the old days and again my question is two fold: who held the keys to the cars and why haven’t they been fired yet?

MEET AND GREET

People interested in serving on the Home Rule Commission met yesterday in Wilkes Barre to talk about their ideas and aspirations. The Home Rule Committee declined to endorse candidates. They did video tape individuals for use on their web site. Interested parties were; James T. Gaughan, mayor of Courtdale, Meghan Godwin who teaches critical thinking and ethics at local colleges; Walter Griffith, a business owner for 20 years and former Wilkes Barre Council candidate, Peter Gagliardi, two time Wilkes Barre City Council candidate and part of the teams that won the Cold War and the Gulf War, Ray Gustave, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, C.J. Kersey a political science major at Dickinson College and now a teacher of advanced placement government at Wyoming Seminary, Paul Krombel, an electrician who owns his own business, Rick Morelli of Sugarloaf Township, a business owner in Hazleton, who served for four years on the Hazleton Area School Board, Frank Sindaco, coordinator of the NEPA Organizing Center, Phil Struzzeri who said he’s not sure whether he’s in favor of home rule, but if ever there was a time to examine it, it’s now, and Edward Transue, a Back Mountain resident, with degrees in psychology and history and owned his own business before turning to teaching.

YORK PEPPERMINT PATTIES

York Peppermint Patties will no longer be made in Pennsylvania but in Mexico. Today was the last day of production. From YOU TUBE:




KEATING’S NEW GIG

State Sen. Raphael Musto created a new job called Municipal Liaison as Chairman of the Local Government Committee. Musto hired Pittston Mayor Joe Keating. Musto sought him out, offered it to him and the Mayor accepted. The job was not advertised but went through that undercurrent of political pipelines that only a few privileged know about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met Joe Keating, like him and think he’ll do a good job. But Musto’s action in this smacks of the old adage, “money goes to money” or in this case “power goes to power”. Next time you create a position Senator, advertise the damn thing, if only to make it look good.

1964

Cassius Clay beats
Sonny Liston in Miami Beach and is crowned the heavyweight champion of the world……U.S. politician John Glenn slips on a bathroom rug in his Columbus, Ohio apartment and hits his head on the bathtub, injuring his left inner ear, and prompting him (later that week) to withdraw from the race for the Democratic Party Senate nomination….The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over…….Pennsylvania incumbent Senator Hugh Scott clears out all primary opposition in anticipation of his fall re-election. Scott refuses to endorse any of the early entrants in the GOP 1964 Presidential race…………..in Wilkes Barre, a hot item is the Trexler Brothers Allied Van Lines calendar. The business was located on Horton Street in Wilkes Barre and forty five years ago this week, the Beatles dominated the charts again in America and LuLac land with this number 1 song "Please Please Me".



Thursday, February 19, 2009

The LuLac Edition #733, Feb. 19th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: WILKES BARRE MAYOR TOM LEIGHTON AND PA. AUDITOR GENERAL JACK WAGNER.











ST. PATRICK'S DAY NEWS

The Wilkes Barre branch of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick will honor Mayor Tom Leighton as "Man of the Year" at their annual dinner on March 17th at The Ramada in Wilkes Barre. Meanwhile, in Pittston, the Friendly Sons will have Auditor General Jack Wagner as their main speaker. This year’s banquet will be at the Gus Gennetti Best Western Hotel in Wilkes-Barre. Apparently, there's no banquet halls in the Pittston Area these days. The event gets underway at 6 p.m. Wagner is making the rounds statewide in anticipation for a run at either U.S. Senator or Governor.

THE BISHOP SPEAKS!

In a communication to the heads of three local Irish-American organizations, the Diocese of Scranton has threatened to close St. Peter’s Cathedral during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations if the groups feature elected officials who support abortion rights at their annual events. Wow! This Bishop is so misdirected in his efforts that he will not be happy until he has every Catholic converted over to another religion. First off, there is a separation of church and state. Officials are elected by all of the people, not just Catholics. Second, no public official is for abortion. I think you'd be hard pressed to find one that says, "Pregnant? Let's tear that bad boy out of the birth canal right now!" Some officials and Holy Confessional Batman, even some Catholics are Pro Choice. Pro Choice doesn't mean you are pro abortion. If he is wondering why his Annual Appeal has gone down, part of it is the economy, and part of it is his dictatorial manner in which he seems to manage his flock. Threatening to close St. Peter's on St. Patrick's Day is not giving people of his faith an opportunity to reflect on their faith. He is closing the doors because people don't see things his way. Fair enough. You're the boss, that's your right. But don't try and justify your church closings because you're wondering why Catholics aren't coming to church anymore. Locking the doors is not going to send a good signal. Ronald Reagan cited as a reason for leaving the Democratic party as this, "I didn't
leave the Democratic party, it left me". Many Catholics this year are saying, "We're not leaving the church, it has left us".

REMATCH

Former City official Gary DiBileo is running again for Scranton mayor, setting up a rematch of the bitter 2005 primary won by Mayor Doherty. DiBileo officially announced a second mayoral bid today, criticizing Doherty's financial and public safety policies. Doherty, who narrowly beat Mr. DiBileo for the 2005 Democratic nomination, is seeking a third term. Mr. DiBileo was soundly defeated in the fall election, where he had won the Republican nomination through write-in votes. DiBileo has a good base of support in the Democratic party and can pose a serious threat to Doherty. The incumbent Mayor has a warchest of nearly $50,000 plus on hand for starters and has many national markers to pull in for the effort.

JUDGES IN THE LAC

Unlike Luzerne County where 11 Judges are running for 3 seats, in Lackawanna County only a handful have announced. They are Assistant District Attorney Margaret Bisignani Moyle, attorney James Tierney and Magisterial District Judge John Pesota, (who succeeded John Pieski in that seat) all Democrats, and Assistant District Attorney Frank Castellano, the lone Republican in the race. Castellano held a kick off which featured former Congressional candidate Lou Barletta.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The LuLac Edition #732, Feb. 18th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: COMMISSIONER STEVE URBAN AND THE ROBES OF A JUDGE.











ONLY 2 SEATS UP


The Governor's office announced that Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella’s seat will not be on the ballot in this year’s election because he had not resigned from office prior to the required deadline to place the seat up for election. What this means is that Rendell will appoint a person to serve in Ciavarella’s position on an interim basis once Ciavarella quits. That person has to be confirmed by the Senate and will serve until the full, 10-year seat comes up for election. Judicial seats are open in odd-numbered election years, which means Ciavarella’s full term won’t be placed on the ballot until 2011.

AN $800,000 MISTAKE

Remember Judge Conahan's brother in law Frank Vita? He was the
psychologist who got $800,000 in contracts from the County to evaluate people in the court system. (Now to me, and this is a personal opinion, I think most psychologists are full of crap and have no idea what they are doing. To me, they are a pompous lot who couldn't get a real job in the private sector if their life depended on it. But I digress). Anyway, it turns out that Paul McGarry, a high-ranking court official who used to run the Luzerne County probation department, put at risk more than $800,000 in state reimbursements by signing invalid contracts with the good doctor. A state department of Welfare Audit alleges that McGarry ignored protocol by entering into one-page agreements with the psychologist. The rub here is that there was no approval of the county commissioners. It seems to me McGarry is caught in a crossfire, if he didn't have to do it before because the Courthouse, prior to Petrilla taking over was run like an amateur hour, then he should bear no responsibility. But if he did it out of expendiency, then Steve Urban's contention that there should be reimbursement to the county holds water. But let us not forget that this was part of the culture of the Judiciary at the time and it's tough to say no to a brother-in law of a Judge. Doesn't excuse it, just might explain it.

IMPEACH MORAN

Steve Corbett's newest crusade on WILK is to start a movement to impeach Jill Moran as Prothonotary. Tune in 3pm to 7pm to hear his latest take on the County Corruption cases.

HOME RULE

Want to be a candidate for the Home Rule Commission? There's a meeting Thursdsy night at 7PM at the The Organizing Center, 198 South Main Street, Wilkes Barre, Pa. Here's the perfect candidate according to the committee, the person needs to be:
Open minded.
Willing to make the significant time commitments to the campaign for the GSC and the GSC itself.
Willing to host an information session to inform the public about Home Rule and the GSC.
Not currently on the county payroll.
Not on record making negative statements about current county officials or tendering an opinion about the ideal form of government for Luzerne County. Does that rule out bloggers?
Not interested in running for county office beyond the GSC.
GSC stands for Government Study Commission.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The LuLac Edition #731, Feb. 17th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: THE LUZERNE COUNTY COURTHOUSE.


NOW THERE'S 11


They have to be going for the record from the early 1990s when 14 attorneys ran for the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. It's enough to fill a football team if they played both ways. Anyone for defense? We just might hit 22! The players, or starting candidates are so far, Thomas O’Connor, Eugene Sperazza, Joseph Musto, Jennifer Rogers, Tina Polachek Gartley, Thomas Marsilio, C.J. Bufalino, Richard Hughes, Joe Terrana, Joseph Sklarosky Jr., Daniel Zola and William Amesbury.


SHARKEY PLEADS


William Sharkey, Luzerne County Court Administrator has entered a guilty plea to charges he stole more than $70,000 in illegal gambling proceeds. Authorities say that for a decade, Sharkey failed to turn over money seized in illegal gambling raids that was turned over to him by the State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. The Hazleton resident entered the plea at a hearing before Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik in the federal court in Scranton. Sharkey will be sentenced at a later date.

The LuLac Edition #730, Feb. 17th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: ATTORNEY JOSEPH TERRANA NEWLY ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE FOR JUDGE.


TERRANA MAKES HIS MOVE


Citing his experience as a public servant and years of dedicated service to his clients and community, today, Attorney Joe Terrana announced his candidacy for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County.
“Since graduating from law school, my career decisions reflect an unwavering commitment to our community and an abiding faith in the potential of Luzerne County,” Terrana explained. “As a lawyer, local Congressional aide, housing and community developer and volunteer public authority member, I know our community extremely well -- and I have demonstrated that my highest priority is helping our region.”
“At this critical moment, what our residents need and deserve – now more than ever – is a Judicial Branch they can count on for fairness, justice, and compassion. I know I can help restore the integrity of our Judicial Branch because these have been the very guideposts of my two decades of public service. And they will be the pillars of my service as Judge.”
Attorney Joe Terrana practices law in Kingston with Terrana Law, P.C., handling a variety of issues including real estate transactions, business start-up, commercial and personal injury litigation, and estates. He previously practiced in the litigation department of Hourigan, Kluger, Spohrer & Quinn, P.C., and with Joel A. DeBoe & Associates, of Arlington, Virginia. He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is also an associate member of the Virginia State Bar.
Attorney Terrana also currently serves as Counselor to Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11). In this position he assists constituents with a wide variety of federal issues, works with community leaders on projects to improve the quality of life of their residents and assesses the local impact of federal legislation and regulations. From 1992 to 2001, he served as District Director for the Congressman, and during law school he worked on Capitol Hill.
His varied career includes six years as Director of the Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania Community Business Center of Fannie Mae, where he spearheaded efforts to prevent predatory lending practices and foreclosures in the Poconos, helped business in communities like Wilkes-Barre and Scranton assist their employees in buying homes and helped re-build neighborhoods with organizations like CityVest in Wilkes-Barre and the Pine Street Neighborhood in Hazleton.
Attorney Terrana is the co-founder and President of the Luzerne County Housing Partnership, a non-profit corporation that provides education resources to local families, communities, elected officials and housing industry professionals on homeownership and neighborhood rebuilding. He is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority and the Luzerne County Rail Corporation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels, and member of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association. He serves as a Parish Facilitator for Called to Holiness and Mission: Pastoral Planning in the Diocese of Scranton. He is a member of the St. John the Evangelist Core Committee, Chairman of the St. John the Evangelist Marketing of Buildings Committee, Instructor for the St. John the Evangelist's Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.
Attorney Terrana attended elementary and middle school in the Pittston Area School District and is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Villanova University and his Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia, where he was a member of the Law Review and President of Phi Delta Phi Honor Fraternity.
More than 250 attended the event at the Kirby along with Congressman Kanjorski, Chamber head and former County Commissioner Todd Vonderheid and Mayor Tom Leighton. Terrana’s turnout was quite impressive and bodes well for his candidacy. He brings on the campaign trail an engaging personality as well as a sense of humor that not more than a few residents have dubbed Linconesque. Terrana will also do well in his home turf of Pittston better known as the old third district.


STIMULUS AND HEALTH

As a cushion against a possible failed campaign promise on health care, President Obama included some health related items in the recently passed stimulus package. The administration is using the economic stimulus package to show it has made serious progress on the president’s health agenda, perhaps softening the blow if Congress fails to comprehensively address the issue this year. In the legislation passed late Friday, Congress approved spending about $19 billion over the coming years on electronic health records and an additional $1.1 billion on research comparing which treatments work best for a particular disease.
Also, the bill sets aside about $1 billion for a “prevention and wellness fund.” About $300 million of that money would provide additional immunizations. Most of the rest of that money will go to state and communities to help them tackle smoking, obesity and various preventable health problems.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #729 Feb. 16th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: THE WORST RANKED PRESIDENT, JAMES BUCANAN, (OUR 15TH) AND THE TOP RATED PRESIDENT, (OUR 16TH) ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



PRESIDENT'S DAY

Every President's Day, historians rank the top Presidents in terms of effectiveness and historical impact. This year Lincoln was ranked first followed by Washington, FDR, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt rounding out the top 5. Dwight Eisenhower was ranked 6th, followed by Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, James K. Polk (one of my favorites) and Woodrow Wilson. The Eisenhower ranking is a bit surprising because for years Ike was regarded as a caretaker President who appeared detached from his administration. Ike was ranked in the low 20s just a few years ago. John Kennedy dropped from the top 10 landing at number 11. More shocking was the number 12 pick, Lyndon Johnson who in the rear view mirror of history is being judged in a kinder fashion for his role in the passage of Civil Rights legislation. Recent Presidents did not fare too well with George Herbert Walker Bush charting at number 20, Bill Clinton at number 23, Gerald Ford at number 25 and George W. Bush at number 37.
The dubious distinction of worst President goes to Pennsylvanian James Buchanan who was dissed because of his failure to prevent a Civil War. In the top 10 for the worst Chief Executives, Richard Nixon ranked fifth while George W. Bush came in at number 6 ahead of Herbert Hoover and Warren Harding. Presidential rankings change over the years but the top 5 are usually a constant with a few variations. Here are 2 campaign songs of men who reached the top job.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The LuLac Edition #728, Feb. 15th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: ATTORNEY C.J. BUFALINO AND FORMER REPORTER AND COLUMNIST RENITA FENNICK.



BUFALINO A GO

Attorney C.J. Bufalino made an announcement the other day for a seat on the Luzerne County Common Pleas Court. You might recall that in Edition #720 of LuLac, we speculated that Mark Bufalino, Democratic Party Chair might also make a run. Two brothers runing for the same seat? Not likely especially with Mark Bufalino's responsibilities as Chairman of a party under siege with the recent Judicial troubles. But Getting back to C.J., he gave a very thoughtful announcement the other day that will resonate with voters when he is on the campaign trail. Bufalino said principles are one’s most important possession. “Not our cars, not our houses, not our toys or looks and not our jobs,” he said. “In this election, more than ever, the citizens of Luzerne County must insist on candidates who are qualified and who have the strength of character.” Bufalino all but said, "Hey, I don't ride on yachts!" Bufalino said he will campaign “door to door and hand to hand” to deliver his message. “Our destiny as a county depends on the choices we are about to make in this election,” he said. His door to door strategy as well as that message delivered will be a welcome sight to weary voters in Luzerne County.

HUGHES ON YOU TUBE

Another Judicial candidate Richard Hughes is making a splash on YOU TUBE. In a video produced by local talent Scott Cannon, Hughes outlined his candidacy and his thoughts on what it means to him to be a Judge. I don't want to over work the guy, but Mr. Cannon has offered LuLac some solid advice on some of our projects. He can be reached at Scott Cannon, Video Innovations
(570)719-9986
Here's Attorney Hughes' video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HughesforJudge2009.

PRAYERS FOR US

A cousin of mine told me that when she went to Mass yesterday in the Abingtons, the congregation prayed for the people of Luzerne County in their time of governmental crisis. Nice thought and action but Lincoln once said, "What is to be will be, and no prayers of ours can reverse the decree".

FENNICK'S NEW JOB

Renita Fennick has a new job. For more than 30 years she has been covering the scene in Luzerne County as a reporter, editor and columnist. Now she wears a new hat being named the Executive Director of the Luzerne County Republican Party. Chairman Terry Casey made the announcement the other day. Fennick accepted on Feb. 12th. YIKES!!!! Can this mean that for the first time in 50 years the Luzerne County Republican party is doing something serious about winning elections? Does this mean that the party will stand on its own and forgo alliances with the Dems that date back to the days of T. Newell Wood and Martin Murray? Murray would say, "I got the cake, the whole cake" and Wood would say, "How 'bout a slice?" and that's all he ever got. It's about time this county had a two party system. You can go into all the character flaws you want about the two departed Judges and the institutionalized corruption in the county but these things happened because there was no loyal opposition. For the most part, since the 80s I have been voting straight Republican in hopes that there would be a two party structure. Fennick and Casey have a great opportunity to make the political discourse in this County better. And when the discussion gets better, the government gets better too. We wish them both luck in this endeavor.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The LuLac Edition #727, Feb. 14th, 2008



PHOTO INDEX: ROSES FOR VALENTINE'S DAY.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

To all those lovers, friends, wives, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends, same sex couples, stalkers and anyone who celebrates this day, especially those strange political bedfellows: HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY. From You Tube: a Valentine's Day conversation of great import and a little fun.

The LuLac Edition #726, Feb. 14th, 2009











PHOTO INDEX: WBRE TV'S ANDY MEHALSHICK, MAIN PLAINTIFFS IN CIVIL ACTION AGAINST JUDGES FLORENCE AND BERNADINE WALLACE (PHOTOS FROM MARK MORAN CITIZEN'S VOICE) ATTORNEY JOSEPH TERRANA, WARM'S BRIAN HUGHES AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

ATTY. TERRANA SET TO RUN

Atty. Joe Terrana, an admitted reader of this blog/site (hope that doesn’t hurt him!) will announce his candidacy on Monday for Judge of the Common Pleas Court, President’s Day at the FM Kirby Center for the Performing arts. Here are the details: DATE: Monday, February 16, 2009. TIME: 1:30 p.m. Doors open 2:00 p.m. Announcement. WHERE: F.M. Kirby Center , 71 Public Square Wilkes-Barre.

REPORTER ON WARM

WBRE TV I TEAM Reporter Andy Mehalshick who has been on the scent of the Judicial Scandal story at the Courthouse since it first reared its head will return to his old stomping grounds this Sunday. Mehalshick who started out as a radio reporter will be Brian Hughes' guest on WARM’s Sunday Magazine. Mehalshick will talk about the story from its inception to its current status. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93 and 9:30am on WARM 590.

A CLASS ACTION


Attorneys Michael J. Cefalo, of West Pittston, William Caroselli, of Pittsburgh, and David S. Senoff, of Philadelphia, filed a class action lawsuit against Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan and others allegedly involved in a scheme to collect millions of dollars to facilitate the development of a pair of juvenile detention centers.The lawsuit alleges that Conahan and Ciavarella, "acting under the cloak of the court," willfully and knowingly engaged in racketeering activity and deprived young defendants who appeared in Luzerne County juvenile court of their civil rights according to published reports.
Check out the list of defendants:
Attorney Robert J. Powell, a former co-owner of the juvenile facilities- Powell Law Group, P.C., Powell's Drums-based law firm- Pa. Child Care LLC and Western Pa. Child Care LLC, the companies that own the facilities- Mid-Atantic Youth Services Corp., the company that operates the facilities- Robert K. Mericle and Mericle Construction Inc., the developers of the centers- Gregory Zappala, the other co-owner of the juvenile centers- Pinnacle Group of Jupiter LLC, a firm operated by Ciavarella and Conahan- Beverage Marketing of Pa. Inc., a firm operated by Conahan- Vision Holdings LLC, a firm operated by Powell- Barbara Conahan and Cindy Ciavarella, the judges' wives- An attorney listed as "Joe Doe".
In the meantime while the two former Judges are pondering what life will be like for them in the future, we spotted another former Judge today. Anne Lokuta was rolling a cart of items out of Sam’s Club Friday afternoon around 5:15PM looking for all the world like a vindicated human being with not a care in the world. How the tables have turned.

ARLEN IN THE SOUP


Arlen Specter is in political hot water with own party because of the $789 billion economic stimulus package he helped broker. Specter spoke to unhappy members of the Pennsylvania State Republican Committee in a conference call. The call was initiated by Specter. Dubbed a "conversation" to explain his thinking for backing the spending plan that Democrats hope will deliver jobs for the tanking U.S. economy, the call did not go over well. A
growing number of Pennsylvania state Republican officials say their faith in Specter is broken beyond repair. Some are vowing to defeat Specter in the Republican primary in 2010. The old GOP adage that it is better to have Specter in the Senate than a Democrat apparently no longer holds true. Some Pennsylvania Republican officials are trying to field an opponent to run against Specter. Names mentioned are former U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey who ran against Specter in '04 and U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach. Both have expressed more interest in running for Governor most liikely thinking of the 8 year cycle party change.
Another name mentioned is Pro Life candidate Peg Luksic who made respectable runs for Governor in 1990, 1994 and 1998. We shall see if the statewide GOP wishes to shoot itself in the foot as well as residents of the Commonwealth by trying to turn out a 30 year Senatorial vet who has served this state well.

1964

Greeks & Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.............. The Republic of China (Taiwan) drops diplomatic relations with France because of French recognition of the People's Republic of China.....Wesberry v. Sanders goes before The Supreme Court and the Supremes rule that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population....................New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller arrives in New Hampshire to open his campaign against Conservative Senator Barry Goldwater. New Hampshire voters are looking for an alternative to Goldwater because news reports say the Arizona Senator is scaring them with his comments on Social Security.....in Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton sends a record budget busting budget to his Legislature citing improvements to roads, infrastructure and the need for a more hands on House and Senate. Thus far the Legislature is part time....in Lackawanna County, Commissioners Mellody and Zipay continue Democratic rul.e at the County level and work well with Scranton GOP Mayor Bill Schmidt......and in LuLac land, the Beatles remain on the top of the charts, this time with “I Want To Hold Your Hand” re-emerging as the top song in the country.



Friday, February 13, 2009

The LuLac Edition #725, Feb. 13th, 2009


TECHNICAL UPDATE:


SOME OF OUR BLOGGER FRIENDS, AS WELL AS WE HERE AT LULAC ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH YOU TUBE VIDEO POSTINGS. WE ARE CURRENTLY EFFORTING TO GET THIS FIXED.

The LuLac Edition #724, Feb. 13th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: 13 QUESTIONS LOGO.

13 QUESTIONS


1. WILL THERE BE MUCH MORE FALLOUT FROM THE COURTHOUSE SCANDAL?


YES, PEOPLE TELL ME WE’RE LOOKING AT A HIGH OF 20 AND A LOW OF 10 MORE PEOPLE BEING CHARGED. THESE MIGHT NOT BE ELECTED OFFICIALS BUT STAFFERS AND ATTORNEYS WHO MIGHT HAVE PLAYED GAMES DURING CIVIL TRIALS.

2. YOU ARE AN EXTENDED PART OF THE NEW MEDIA. DO YOU AND YOUR ILK GET A THRILL OUT OF THE SCANDALS?


NOT AT ALL. I’M SPEAKING FOR MYSELF AND NOT ANY OTHER BLOGGER OR MEDIA PERSON. THIS SCANDAL WILL TAKE THE COUNTY A VERY LONG TIME TO RECOVER. FUTURE GENERATIONS MIGHT BE PAYING OFF THE DEBT FROM THE CIVIL SUITS AND EVERYTHING ELSE. DON’T FORGET, MOST OF THE REPORTERS WHO USED SHOE LEATHER TO TRACK THIS STORY DOWN LIVE IN THE LU AND THE LAC. I’M SURE THEY TAKE NO GREAT PLEASURE IN HAVING TO PROCLAIM THAT THEIR HOMETOWN COUNTY IS A HOTBED OF CORRUPTION. BUT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL MEDIA TO INFORM AND EDUCATE, NO MATTER HOW UGLY THE DETAILS GET.


3. OKAY YONK, CANDACE KELLY OR LYNDALL STOUT?

CAN’T, WON’T TAKE SIDES. BOTH ARE TRUE PROFESSIONALS THAT I RESPECT AND LIKE.

4. DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE A KNEE JERK REACTION TO VOTE NO TO EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY THIS ELECTION AND WILL THAT AFFECT THE JUDGES RUNNING FOR RETENTION?

WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE ANSWER IS YES. PEOPLE ARE VERY ANGRY AND WANT TO PUNISH EVERYONE. THE VERY FACT THAT CONAHAN AND CIAVARELLA WALKED OUT OF COURT TODAY HAS PEOPLE STEAMED. VOTERS IN LUZERNE COUNTY ARE SO BEATEN DOWN AND CYNICAL, ANTICIPATING THE WORST AND EXPECTING TO HAVE THE HIGHER UPS GET A BREAK, THAT I’M AFRAID THEY WILL NOT ONLY THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER BUT DESTROY THE TUB AS WELL.

5. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE A ROD REVELATION?

DISAPPOINTED BUT IT ONLY REINFORCES MY FEELING THAT THE SINGLE SEASON HOME RUN RECORD BELONGS TO ROGER MARIS AND THE CAREER HOME RUN RECORD BELONGS TO HANK AARON.

6. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MOTHER WITH THE 8 KIDS (OCTUPLETS) AND THE SIX AT HOME?

WHAT WORDS COME TO MIND, LET’S SEE; SELFISH, SCAM ARTIST, SKANK, WELFARE SLOB, USER, ATTENTION SEEKER, NO SIGNIFICANT PARTNER IN HER LIFE, YEAH, THOSE KIDS HAVE A REAL CHANCE!

7. HOW DOES THIS JUDICIAL SCANDAL DIFFER FROM THE ONE WITH ARTHUR DALESSANDRO IN THE LATE 80s?

ARTHUR DALESSANDRO WAS ARRESTED FOR TAX EVASION BECAUSE OF HIS ASSOCIATION WITH AN AUTO DEALERSHIP OWNED BY RELATIVES. HIS CRIMES WERE NOTHING COMPARED TO CONAHAN AND CIAVERELLA WHO SOLD JUSTICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ON A REGULAR BASIS. THE ONLY ONE DALESSANDRO HURT WAS HIMSELF, AND HIS CAREER. THE CAR DEALERSHIP WENT ON FLOURISHING AND HE NEVER DELIVERED ANY MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE LIKE THESE GUYS.

8. WHERE DO YOU GET THE HISTORICAL FEATURES YOU RUN?

I SAVED A LOT OF STUFF SINCE I WAS A KID. THE ITEMS I DON’T HAVE I GET FROM THE LIBRARY.

9. YOU’VE BEEN TOUGH ON THE NATIONAL GOP FOR FIGHTING OBAMA. I FIND THAT STRANGE FOR A HILLARY SUPPORTER. WHY?

HERE’S THE THING. UNLIKE RUSH LIMBAUGH, I WANT THIS COUNTRY AS WELL AS PRESIDENT OBAMA TO SUCCEED. THE GOP IS TRYING TO GAIN BACK SOME SORT OF ARGUMENT FOR ITS EXCISTENCE AND THEY ARE DOING IT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLANS. EVEN ARLEN SPECTER SAID HIS FELLOW SENATORS ARE CONCERNED MORE ABOUT RE-ELECTION THAN THE FATE OF THE COUNTRY.

10. YOUR RECENT COMMENTARIES SEEM TO HAVE A HARDER EDGE. WHY IS THAT?

I’M TIRED OF SEEING PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THE RIGHT THING ALL THEIR LIVES GET SCREWED BY EVERY FORM OF GOVERNMENT. PLUS IT DOESN’T HELP TO LOSE YOUR MOTHER, GET CANCER AND GET LAID OFF IN A 9 MONTH PERIOD OF TIME. READERSHIP IS UP THOUGH.

11. YOU’RE ON A DESSERT ISLAND AND YOU HAVE THE CHOICE OF CANDY BARS. HERSHEY OR PETER PAUL MOUNDS. WHICH ONE?

HERSHEY BAR.

12. YOUR BOY BRETT FARVE FINALLY RETIRED. ANY THOUGHTS?

DON’T COUNT ON THAT UNTIL IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS. I'M USED TO FARVE CRYING WOLF. GLAD I TALKED MYSELF OUT OF BUYING THAT JETS JERSEY LAST FALL.

13. SILLIEST SONG YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD?


“A LITTLE BIRD” BY EVELYN KNIGHT. HERE’S THE LINK FROM YOU TUBE. I HAVE TO WARN YOU, THE VIDEO MIGHT GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES.