The LuLac Edition #893, July 31st, 2009
HOMETOWN BOY GIVES BACK
Last night the Pittston Memorial Library got a gift of a lifetime. Actually it was a person’s life’s work, part of his livelihood (he donated a cool $50,000) and his legacy. John P. Cosgrove who left Pittston in the 1930s for fame and fortune in Washington, D.C. returned to Pittston like a Santa in summer toting 1,000 books, artifacts and historic photographs that chronicled his life in the nation’s capitol. The amazing thing about his contribution is that the gifts and mementoes span most of the 20th century of the United States. Cosgrove, 90 served as the first person with a media background to be President of the National Press Club. He also helped establish funding and organizing of the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. Cosgrove was honored by the Pittston Memorial Library Board of Directors in a ceremony. Pittston Mayor Elect Jason Klush was also in attendance. Mr. Cosgrove’s gift confirms the old saying that, “You can take the boy out of Pittston, but you can never take Pittston out of the boy”.
THE DISGRACE CONTINUES
You ever wonder why revolutions start with people coming after the “anointed” with pitchforks aimed at the heart? One must ask how things get to a certain point. All you had to do on Wednesday was tune in PCN to see the House and Senate State Conference Committee on the Pennsylvania budget meet. This was supposed to be a meeting to clarify things, to come to an agreement. Instead, the principles starting with State Representative Dwight Evans and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi spent the first 35 minutes figuring out rules of engagement and procedure. Or for the uninformed, “how they were going to talk about the budget”. After a few minutes they called the lawyers in and that made things even more complicated. So in effect, they had to have a meeting to figure out how they were going to have their meeting. I’m not making this stuff up. In politics sometimes you are defined more by who your enemy is rather than your friends. Governor Ed has taken some big hits on his performance regarding this year’s budget. And rightly so. But the Guv has taken responsibility by saying he should have prodded these Legislators earlier. But you know, the more the Legislative leaders behave like this, posturing and preening like prima donnas, Rendell’s bump in popularity will be a momentary setback. Ed Rendell should have a statue to these lamebrains on his mantle at home.
CASEY AND THE GUARD
The U.S. Senate has adopted an amendment by Senator Bob Casey to improve mental health programs for the National Guard and Reserves. The amendment, which passed the Senate last night as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, provides a first step to giving Guard and Reserve troops returning from deployments the same access to screenings at their home station for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other health problems related to their service as active duty troops.
For some service members, the battle does not end at the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan. Stories of service members in Pennsylvania and throughout the country suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, and other mental health problems have become all too commonplace.
In January, Senator Casey introduced the FORCE Act, a bill that supports National Guard and Reserve members and their families by making programs and services more effective and accessible. A key component of this legislation is improving access to quality mental healthcare resources.
Currently, all service members are provided an initial Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) at their demobilization site. For Guard and Reserve members, these assessments are often several states away from home, but crucial to ensuring that physical or mental problems are diagnosed and treated.
Senator Casey’s amendment requires the Department of Defense to take the first step – conducting a feasibility study – towards implementing health assessments at a Guard or Reserve member’s home station. Post-Deployment Health Assessment Report provisions:
No later than March 1, 2010, the Secretary of Defense must submit a report to Congress on the feasibility of providing Post-Deployment Health Assessments at a National Guard or Reserve member’s home station; and
KANJORSKI AND CREDIT UNIONS
Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, introduced H.R. 3380, the Promoting Lending to America’s Small Businesses Act. The bipartisan legislation would enable credit unions to make more small business loans and create jobs at a time when the country needs a financial boost. As the current financial crisis has dragged on, commercial banks and other entities have unfortunately pulled back their lending activities. America’s credit unions could help fill this void in small business lending, but statutory limitations have so far forced many of them to sit on the sidelines.
“During this time of economic uncertainty, many businesses, especially small businesses, are facing extreme difficulties accessing credit in order to create and maintain jobs,” said Chairman Kanjorski. “H.R. 3380 aims to fix this problem by using credit unions as a resource to boost lending to small businesses. By permitting credit unions to expand their lending to small businesses, we can work to turn around our difficult financial situation at no cost to taxpayer. In contrast to most other participants in the financial marketplace, credit unions have provided an important beacon of light and stability during the last year. They now have the opportunity to help support many more small businesses, including those in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
Credit unions have already provided loans to small businesses, but H.R. 3380 would enable them to further expand their business lending. In Moosic, Pennsylvania, Ron Ertley of Ertley Dealership unsuccessfully tried to get a bank loan to expand his auto dealership’s floor plan. However, Congressman Kanjorski helped put Mr. Ertley in touch with a local credit union to help finance his small business expansion.
“We are in difficult times, and while I may have been able to get a loan much more easily from a bank a few years ago, many of them have basically closed their doors to small businesses,” said Mr. Ertley. “But, a local credit union here in Northeastern Pennsylvania is willing to provide this loan so that I can expand my auto dealership and further develop my business. Congressman Kanjorski’s legislation would help encourage and enable more credit unions to expand and increase their lending to local small businesses which would provide valuable resources to many small businesses just like mine.”
H.R. 3380 generally aims to unleash billions of dollars in small business lending to help improve the country’s financial state. Specifically, the legislation would raise a statutory cap that has limited credit union member business lending. This change would more than double the amount that credit unions can lend to small businesses.
THE BEER SUMMIT
Someone asked me if I were taking sides in the Beer Summit debate at the White House. As a former Vice Presidential candidate would exclaim, “you betcha!” Here’s my vote:
The Final Looney Tune, "Señorella and the Glass Huarache", is released before the Warner Bros. Cartoon Division is shut down by Jack Warner……….
Emancipation Declaration in the Island of Jamaica. Freedom from slavery in the Island that was colonized by the British. Hooray freedom, hooray beer..The bodies of murdered civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found.
United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy are attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga sinks 1 gunboat, while the other 2 leave the battle....…In Pennsylvania, a bitter feud between two state officials threatens action on the enforcement of a strip mining action. Mining Secretary H. Beecher Charmbury stays neutral in the controversy between James Blackburn and James Cunningham. Blackburn represents the soft coal industry while Blackburn serves as under secretary of mines…….The '64 Phils take two out of three against the defending World Champs, the Dodgers. Chris Short and rookie Rick Wise win the first two games with John Boozer losing the third to Larry Miller.........In Wilkes Barre, Treasurer Walter Lisman says nearly 1,000 people owe the city over $45,000 in per capita taxes for 1963. Lisman proposes to City Council that an outside agency be hired to collect the taxes…..in Kingston Mayor Bert Husband calls on parents to take disciplinary action against their children who are stopped by the police department. The Mayor complains that teenage drivers are going over the 35 mph speed limit and causing a hazard…….and 45 years ago this week in LuLac land and America the number 1 song was Dusty Springfield’s “Wishin’ And Hopin’".