Monday, August 31, 2009

The LuLac Edition #926, Aug. 31st, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: CAPITOL DOME.

CIRCUS ON TV

The clowns that masquerade as State Legislators will be on TV Tuesday. As part of PCN’s extensive coverage of the state budget process, the network will air a LIVE budget conference committee hearing beginning tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. This legislative conference committee will consist of Sen. Jake Corman, Sen. Jay Costa, Rep. Todd Eachus, Rep. Dwight Evans, Sen. Dominic Pileggi, and Rep. Sam Smith. Visit the daily schedule at pcntv.com throughout the week for more information about upcoming budget coverage.

JOE GOES

Saying that he was under a great amount of stress that was affecting his health, Bishop Martino revealed today that he submitted his resignation as Bishop in June and it was accepted in July. His resignation brings to an end a controversial and sometimes acrimoniuos reign as head prelate of the Scranton Diocese. Cardinal Justin Rigali was appointed Apostolic Administrator, but noted he must still run the Philadelphia Archdiocese, so he appointed Monsignor Joseph Bambera as his official delegate in Scranton, giving him the title of "vicar general." Bambera is pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas in Archbald.

TRIPLE DIP

Another Luzerne County Courthouse employee has come under scrutiny for having a few jobs. State auditors advised officials last week to review a court employee’s work hours because he’s also paid by another county office for a different job. The Judiciary responded Friday by removing Attorney Michael Shucosky from the second job. Before the $73,645 position was created, Shucosky essentially got paid for three jobs. In addition to hearing officer, he was a $22,828-a-year orphan’s court custody master and was paid additional money for another master position According to the audit, the county paid Shucosky $481,745 from 2004 through 2008 for the three jobs. See the good barrister is only doing what millions of Americans are forced to do in this tough economy, work 3 jobs. However, his jobs aren't $9.00 an hour jobs that everyone else has and needs.

REMEMBER MY NAME!

That's what the Chairman of the Lackawanna County Democratic party told police last week after he was stopped by Scranton Police. 9-1-09 Corrected version: "after allegedly intervening in a police investigation of an assault at the Parker House bar on "hump day" better known as Wednesday. Art Moran, asked Patrolman Robert Hegedus, who reported smelling alcohol on Mr. Moran's breath, why the officer didn't recognize him. "Remember my name," Mr. Moran replied, the officer reported. Mr. Moran, 47, a former Scranton school director, denied in an interview with the Times Friday he tried to intimidate the officer, claimed he reacted out of fear related to his political rivalry with Mayor Chris Doherty, and said he plans to challenge the citation. Yeah "Party Artie", the Mayor sits up late and night just trying to figure out how to make your life miserable. Looks like you have handled that quite well by yourself.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The LuLac Edition #925, Aug. 30th, 2009





REUNITED: NOW AND FOREVER

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The LuLac Edition #924, Aug. 29th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

THE BISHOP BOWS OUT

The recent news that Bishop Martino is stepping aside and our own report a few weeks back that the higher ups in Rome were not happy with the way the Diocese has been run prompted us to chat with a Catholic on the fate of the Church in LuLac land.
Q: Do you still go to church?
A: Yes, the church is Jesus, God, the other stuff are just trappings. The Roman converts had Mass said in their basements, in caves.
Q: How did you view Bishop Martino’s leadership?
A: I have to tell you in stages. The first stage was to give him a chance. Then when he started to close down churches, I felt he could have had more empathy. When I saw him on TV, the man made sense. And I think if he had gone out in person and said the same things, people would’ve respected him more. The final stage was I just didn’t care what happened to him.
Q: What do you think of the latest development?
A: It’s serious. I mean they are making a clean sweep, finally accepting Bishop Dougherty’s request for retirement. Having a Cardinal from Philadelphia come in and oversee this. I mean this is not a second in command, this is the big guy.
Q: What about the rumor that Martino will end up as the spokesperson for the Catholic Pro Life movement in D.C.?
A: (Snorts), He and Casey can have lunch. Maybe he can apologize to Bobby for running his reputation through the mud.
Q: Are your fellow church members still Catholics?
A: Barely.
Q: How many do you think are using this rough ride with Martino as just an excuse to bug out of their Catholic responsibilities?
A: That’s very judgmental like. Not very Christian.
Q: I’m a Catholic, not a Christian.
A: Huh?
Q: Never mind, just answer the question.
A: Yeah I think a few might be using it as an out. We are more secular today anyway.
Q: Do you think after the shake up and reorganization they’ll pick someone more to your liking?
A: I hope. Not for me to say. I used to like Bishop DiLorenzo but he is in Hawaii and I can’t see him coming back.
NOTE: Francis Xavier DiLorenzo was named auxiliary Bishop of Scranton in January of 1988.

Q: He was in Hawaii. He was named Bishop of Richmond, Virginia in 2004. That’s closer than the South Pacific.
A: Hmmmmmmm.




Friday, August 28, 2009

The LuLac Edition #923, Aug. 28th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #691, the archer fish can spit water up to seven feet to shoot down bugs from overhanging trees.






PHOTO INDEX: THE WILKES BARRE POLICE DEPARTMENT, FRANK THOMAS, CIRCA 1982 AT A SHEA STADIUM OLD TIMER'S GAME IN A PHOTO TAKEN BY THIS EDITOR, MY SIGNED PHOTO FROM SENATOR TED KENNEDY AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

WILKES BARRE POLICE

Just a few thoughts on the Wilkes Barre Police Department and the current controversy. As a resident of this city since 1982 I have had occasion to deal with the police a few times regarding complaints in my neighborhood. Every single interaction I had with the police was positive and professional. Of course I wasn’t hopped up on drugs, belligerent or had “a little bit” of mental health difficulties. There seems to be a rush to judgement in this case against the poiice. True there were 6 of them and only one, the suspect. True he did receive a beat down. But the suspect resisted arrest, ran away from the police, made threats, previously assaulted an officer in Edwardsville and was acting in a confrontational manner. The police had information the suspect had a gun. See, guns kill people. A few of my friends said that maybe the police should learn how to use handcuffs. They do but when someone is resisting, it’s hard to get cuffs on a suspect. The police were called, they responded to a disturbance. They had seen this guy a few times before. There was a history. The State Police will investigate but my bet is that they’ll find the police acted within bounds. The City of Wilkes Barre has changed in many ways the last two decades. We have become more diverse. And that’s a good thing. But when one diverse citizen threatens another, you act, not react. I find it interesting that the family and friends who “witnessed” the assault when they were just hanging out at 10am tried to tell the police how to do their job. I find it even more interesting that not 24 hours passed before an attorney was called. I wonder if those who care for the suspect were that fast to call a drug counselor or social services that quick. People are moving out of the city left and right because of this violent behavior of citizens who seem to have no visible means of contributing to the city they live in through taxes or community spirit. This is a pretty tolerant area. People tend to mind their own business. But even that can be dangerous. Can anyone say Henry Stubbs? City residents need to know they will be safe and the police will not be second guessed. No one has said it so I will. We won’t be happy until one of our local police officers is killed in one of these incidents. Then we’ll talk about what a wonderful guy the policeman was and after we bury him there will be walks, dances and hoagie sales to support his family. Everyone will go….except the dozen or so people hanging out in another neighborhood on another lazy day at 10AM doing whatever it is they do.

STIMULUS ENVY

So I’m listening to Sue Henry’s show Thursday and I hear a JIL call. A Jil is a jealous, ignorant loudmouth. This guy starts complaining about the extra $25.00 in stimulus money people who are on unemployment are getting. He said that unemployment benefits were extended too long and said that people getting the extra $25.00 were using it for stuff like crack cocaine and other wasteful nefarious things. In some cases, that extra $25.00 could make the difference in paying a bill on time or not. Does this JIL think that when you get unemployment your bills stop? Does he think your health insurance is paid for by the tooth fairy? It’s loudmouths like this guy that made me wish I got the hell out of this town 30 years ago. I've never seen so many people so ignorant and proud out it all at the same time. It's comical. My father used to say that people in this area would rather see a hearse in your driveway rather than a Cadillac. This chump is so petty that he’d be jealous if someone had a Yugo in their driveway. Hey big mouth, your life must really suck if you think people on unemployment compensation have it easy.

PROGRAM NOTE

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine; Brian Hughes interviews WBRE I Team investigative reporter Andy Mehalchick about the latest developments in the ongoing Luzerne County Courthouse scandal, and what could happen next. Highlights from Congressman Chris Carney’s town hall meeting on health care reform held earlier this week in Dickson City, with viewpoints for and against the efforts to reform Americas health care system.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 6:30am on Magic 93
Also, Sunday at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT 7am 97.9X and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.

DO IT FOR TED

Since the right wing has said liberals are going to rally the memory of Senator for true health care reform and seemed surprised at that tactic, I figured I wouldn't disappoint them. At the 2008 Democratic Convention, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Sen. Ted Kennedy said: "This is the cause of my life - new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American - north, south, east, west, young, old - will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege."
Kennedy chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). On July 15, Kennedy's committee passed the Affordable Health Choices Act, which "will reduce health costs, protect individuals' choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans."
It also includes a "strong public option that responds to the wishes of the American people to have a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies." Tell your Representatives to honor Sen. Kennedy by passing real health reform: http://www.democrats.com/honor-ted-kennedy. Senator Kennedy was too ill to vote for this bill, but he praised its passage.

A FRIEND’S TRIBUTE

Sen. Orrin Hatch posted on his YOU TUBE page a song he co-wrote as a tribute to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Hatch, a Republican from Utah, worked closely with his liberal colleague from Massachusetts on a number of pieces of legislation. He notes on his YouTube page that the song is called "Headed Home" and that he wrote it with songwriter Phil Springer.


WE LOVE OUR EATS!!

I'm quoting my dad a lot in this edition. He used to say "You only fight over two things, money and maybe once in a great while a woman". Only in LuLac land would a baseball fan go berserk and smash to smithereens a Championship trophy of the team he was rooting for. Mad over an umpire's call, angry because someone took your seat? Nope, he had a problem with the food concessions at PNC Field. WBRE reported he spent the night in jail where the food was presumabely better.

1964

Robert Kennedy resigns his position as Attorney General in the Johnson administration and files papers in New York State to run for the United States Denate. He will face GOP incumbent Kenneth Keating.....
Walt Disney'sMary Poppins has its world premiere in Los Angeles. It will go on to become Disney's biggest moneymaker, and winner of 5 Academy Awards, including a Best Actress award for Julie Andrews, who accepted the part after she was passed over by Jack L. Warner for the leading role of Eliza Dolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady. Mary Poppins is the first Disney film to be nominated for Best Picture.......Bob Dylan turns The Beatles on to cannabis for the first time..... Statewide in Philadelphia as the summer of 1964 came to a close, there was a race riot. Tensions between African American residents and police lead to 341 injuries and 774 arrests........The 1964 Phillies ride out the summer on the coattails of Frank Thomas brought in to play first base on August 15th. Thomas was on a tear hitting .294 hitting 7 home runs and driving in 26 runs in only 39 games...In Luzerne County, President Judge Alfred “Fred” Valentine passes away. He was in his 70s..... And the number 1 song in America and in LuLac land was Stan Getz & João Gilberto. Music video is from the 1964 film "Get Yourself a College Girl".



Thursday, August 27, 2009

The LuLac Edition #922, Aug. 27th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #674, the oldest living animal was a 405 year old clam named Ming by researchers.


PHOTO INDEX: TEDDY KENNEDY'S WIVES, VICTORIA AND JOAN, NUMBERS 2 and 1 RESPECTIVELY.

BEHIND EVERY MAN

Much has been made about the 1964 Plane Crash that Ted Kennedy nearly died in. Accounts of it have flooded the airwaves since his death. But almost no attention has been given to the fact that Kennedy's 28 year old wife at the time became his surrogate campaigner in that '64 Senate Race. And in 1994 Kennedy's political fortunes were aided by the acumen of his new wife. During two key elections in his political career, Sen. Edward Kennedy turned to his wife at the time for help. In two cases 30 years apart, his first wife and then his second wife — opposites in personality and strengths — both rallied to his cause. As stated earlier, in 1964, when Kennedy spent months in the hospital recovering from a broken back, it was his first wife, Joan, then 28, who hit the campaign trail to push his re-election to the Senate. Kennedy had won the Massachusetts seat, once held by his older brother John, two years before in a special election. Three decades later in 1994, when Ted Kennedy's political career had crested short of the White House and his reputation was tarnished by years of hard living, another woman stood by him. Vicki Kennedy campaigned for the senator in a tough re-election fight against businessman Mitt Romney, in a strong anti-incumbent year. To Vicki, politics has come so naturally that she has been spoken of as a possible successor to her husband. To Joan, political life came less easily — and at great personal cost.
Ted Kennedy met Joan Bennett in 1957. She was a student of piano, a part-time model, and a college friend of his sister Jean. John Kennedy called her "the dish." Blond and stylish, she joined Ethel and Jackie as Kennedy wives: fashionable, attractive, pitching in on the Kennedy political agenda and publicly ignoring rumors of frequent infidelity on the part of their husbands.
The course of Joan and Ted Kennedy's 24-year marriage included the assassinations of his brothers John and Robert; the bone cancer of their son Edward Jr., then 12 years old; multiple miscarriages; rumors of Ted's philandering; and Joan's battle with alcoholism.
Throughout, Joan was open about her own demons: trying to fit in with the Kennedy clan, fearing for her husband's safety. She went to a psychiatrist when it was taboo in Washington, and admitted it. When she joined Alcoholics Anonymous, she revealed that, too.
In July 1969, on the way home from a party, the senator's car went off a bridge at Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard, drowning Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who worked on his brother Robert's presidential campaign. Ted Kennedy, who did not contact the police until more than nine hours afterward, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. It was an incident that irreparably damaged Kennedy's reputation, but in the manner of some political wives, Joan Kennedy stood by him and traveled with her husband to our area for Kopechne's funeral. A month later, she suffered her third miscarriage. When Kennedy ran for president in 1980, he had been separated from Joan for two years. She lived in her own apartment in Boston's Back Bay and studied for a master's degree in education. Nonetheless, she again campaigned for him, though it required answering questions about her alcoholism. She said that if he were elected, she would live with him in the White House. The couple's divorce in 1982 was at Joan's request. Trained as a classical pianist, Joan Kennedy has written a book about music appreciation, performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and promoted music education for children. Her battle with alcoholism has included at least four arrests for drunken driving and time in rehab. In 2005, when she was 68, her three children went to court to become her legal guardians. Judge Robert Terry ruled that she "was incapable of taking care of herself because of mental illness." Though she married Ted Kennedy long after the Camelot days, Vicki Reggie appeared made to order for the clan. She comes from a political family in Louisiana with power — her father, Edmund, ran campaigns statewide for all three Kennedy brothers — and a hint of scandal. Edmund Reggie, a judge and a banker, was convicted in 1992 of defrauding a failed savings and loan. Ted Kennedy and his second wife first met — just for a photo op — when she was an intern in his Senate office. Because of their families' friendship, their paths would cross frequently. The senator had known Edmund Reggie since 1956, when the judge helped swing the Louisiana delegation at the Democratic National Convention to support John Kennedy for vice president over
Estes Kefauver. As a delegate to the 1980 Democratic convention, Vicki's mother, Doris, cast the only vote for Ted Kennedy in his failed bid to oust President Carter. In 1991, then a single mother of two young children, Vicki Reggie was working in Washington as a lawyer specializing in banks and bankruptcy. She invited the senator to a 40th anniversary party for her parents. Shortly after, they began dating, and he proposed at a performance of La Boheme. Reggie and Kennedy were married in 1992, not long after he had been embroiled in another seriously damaging scandal: the Palm Beach rape trial of his nephew William Kennedy Smith. The senator, who had been with his son, Patrick, and his nephew at the bar where Smith met the alleged victim, was in the house at the time of the alleged rape. The second marriage began a turnaround for the senator. Vicki Kennedy came from a political family herself, people who have met her think she's been a very constructive force in his life. Kennedy insiders credit Vicki Kennedy with a key strategic move during the senator's tough Senate race against Romney in 1994. It was Vicki who with her legal background realized that the Republican's business ties could be used against him. The Kennedy campaign produced an ad featuring laid-off workers in Indiana blaming Romney, then head of Bain Capital, a private equity firm that owned their employer. What was once a tight race became a comfortable win for Kennedy, who was re-elected with 58% of the vote. 22 years his junior, Vicki was politically astute, ambitious and ready to do whatever it took to advance Ted's career. At the funeral of Rose Kennedy, who died in 1995 at age 104, her youngest child received Communion, an indication he was in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church, which frowns on divorce. After Kennedy's marriage to Vicki, the senator sought an annulment of his first marriage with the consent of Joan. Though Ted credited Vicki with saving his life, the couple always characterized their relationship as simply a love match. Many think she's been a very positive force in his life. As far a political wife goes or for that matter, any wife, as men, we'd all be in some gutter without one keeping an eye on us. Ted Kennedy was lucky enough to have 2 that watched his back and saved his ass.
Sources: USA Today, NY Daily News, LuLac archives.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The LuLac Edition #921, Aug. 26th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #821, it takes an interaction of 72 muscles to produce human speech.


PHOTO INDEX: SENATOR TEDDY KENNEDY AT FENWAY PARK.


TED BY THE NUMBERS

YEARS IN SENATE 47.
VOTES IN SENATE 15,236.
ELECTIONS WON 9.

KANJORSKI ISSUES STATEMENT

Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) provided the below statement on the passing away of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).
“Today marks the passing of a great legislator and an American patriot. Senator Kennedy has been a beacon in the halls of Congress through his dedication to the American people, his sincere patriotism, and his determined efforts in the Senate. “I feel particularly fortunate to have served in the Congress for half of Senator Kennedy’s distinguished career. During that time, I had the opportunity to interact with him on many occasions. In one instance during the Clinton Administration, I joined him at the White House with then Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and President Clinton to discuss developing technologies and a new future for America. While technology was the topic of the day, Senator Kennedy took me aside to get my thoughts on a trade bill he had recently introduced in the Senate. The consummate public servant, Senator Kennedy was always focused on many issues and capable of multitasking. His passions extended way beyond just one or two issues, but instead, he took up the cause for so many while managing to stay determined and dedicated to each and every one. It is for this reason that his imprint is on so many pieces of important legislation that passed during his time in the Senate. “While he left too soon, Senator Kennedy’s extraordinary legacy will surely live on. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.”

The LuLac Edition #920, Aug. 26th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #701, it takes more water to fill a bathrub than it takes to enjoy an average length shower.




PHOTO INDEX: SENATOR TED KENNEDY IN 1980 ON WILKES BARRE PUBLIC SQUARE DURING HIS ILL FATED PRESIDENTIAL BID. THE KENNEDY BANNER PRODUCED BY THE LATE CHICKIE LAHR FROM LAHR'S PRINTERY ON HAZLE STREET.

TEDDY KENNEDY

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77. In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more. “This was a guy who put people before money” noted talk show host Kevin Lynn.
For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a steadfast champion of the working class and the poor, a powerful voice on health care, civil rights, and war and peace. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, the eulogist of a clan shattered again and again by tragedy. His family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday. "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."
Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962, when his brother John was president, and served longer than all but two senators in history. President Barack Obama called him “The greatest Senator of our time. "For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts," said the President.
Exactly one year before his death, Kennedy gave a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where Obama accepted the presidential nomination
Kennedy ran for President in 1980. The photos you see were taken on Public Square by this writer. The sun has finally set on the Kennedy dynasty but the legacy and hopefully the dream will live on. From the 1980 convention:


The LuLac Edition #919, Aug. 26th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #719, a strawberry is not an actual berry but a banana is.


PHOTO INDEX: IDA MAY FULLER, THE FIRST RECIPIENT OF A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK IN AMERICA.

NO NO NO

The Republican party has always had a history of saying NO to change and progress in this country. The GOP has used big government and loss of control as a crutch whenever they campaigned against social change. A party, just like the proverbial leopard never changes its spots. The GOP's irrational fight against health care reform is just another one in a long line of fear tactics and lies. Here's what this party voted against in our history.
SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF 1935 372-58.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 290-130.
VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 333-85.
MEDICARE 307-116.
CLEAN WATER ACT 305-115.
In each instance, the House of Representatives under control by the Democratic party enacted legislation that made the lives of Americans better. The Republicans voted against women, (up until the SS Act was passed, women were not allowed to collect a pension), people of color, old people's medical needs and the right of every American to have good clean water. It is no wonder that health care is on their hit list. The party of NO is not for America.

RESTON, VIRGINIA

Last night there was a health care town meeting in Reston, Virginia and I'm giving you the link from FOX News. Take a look at how the crowd reacted to former Governor Howard Dean. Yeah, these are intelligent Americans wanting a debate. This was an ignorant mob. And the funny thing is, they were quite proud of themselves.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #918, Aug. 25th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #725, only female mosquitoes bite.








PHOTO INDEX: CANDIDATES FOR LUZERNE COUNTY CONTROLLER WALTER GRIFFITH JUNIOR (REPUBLICAN) AND WIL TOOLE (INDEPENDENT).

HEATING UP

The race for Luzerne County Controller is starting to simmer. Walter Griffith made the rounds in Wilkes Barre, Plains and Pittston Friday night. Griffith also announced that he is holding a campaign meet and greet Sept 18th at 6 PM at the Ramada Hotel on Public Square. Cost is just 25.00 per person. RSVP at the Luzerne County GOP headquarters by phone 2084671 or Email:
luzernecountygop@gmail.com. Meanwhile Independent candidate Wil Toole has communicated some of his views on an issue regarding the way the County payroll is staggered. Toole says this can be a practical way to save money. Here's his letter:
I previously have tried to sound an alarm to Luzerne County taxpayers that the county commissioners are determined to make a very costly mistake in December. Simply put, the county pays employees every two weeks, which is 26 pays per year. When you use this method, every seven years the calendar forces an extra pay, so there are 27 pays – and not the 26 for which the budget is prepared. This 27th pay is scheduled for next year, but because the first pay of the year falls on Friday, Jan. 1, 2010, the commissioners have moved that first pay of 2010 forward to Dec. 31, 2009. This might not sound like a problem, but consider that an employee earning a yearly salary of $26,000 is paid $1,000 every two weeks. Moving the extra pay into this calendar year will raise each employee an extra two week’s pay not in the budget. The employee shown in the example will end the year with a salary of $27,000. The total additional cost of this blunder is in excess of $2 million. This can be avoided. All the commissioners have to do is to revert to two pays per month (on the 1st and 15th days), and the annual salary would be divided equally by 24 pays and it will never exceed the budgeted salary. The pays for 2009 should not be changed. The commissioners have the remainder of this year to change the salary structure. They then restructure all salaries to be paid in 24 equal payments and the problem will be resolved forever. The first pay of 2010 will be issued payable on the first of the month and the employees can cash their checks on Saturday or Monday, or they can utilize the county’s direct deposit system. This is not rocket science; it is common-sense management. Call the county commissioners (825-1500) and tell them to do the right thing and avoid this needless expense.
Wil Toole
Independent candidate for Controller

YEAH PAUL!!


Congressman Kanjorski told it like it is today on WILK Radio when he told the radio hosts that he thought President Obama compromised too much on health care reform. He's right and I'm glad someone had the stones to say it. The GOP will never concede that health care reform needs a true overhaul because it is not in their basic nature. Here's a recap from the WILK website:
11th District Congressman Paul Kanjorski talked with WILK's Nancy Kman and Sue Henry Tuesday morning about healthcare reform. He also took email questions from listeners on the issue. Kanjorski says it's 'the burden of the President to sell, provide the information, the analysis and facts to the Congress of the United States and the American people" on healthcare reform." Kanjorski also says "I think the President may have compromised too much on this bill, in making deals with the drug companies, with the medical profession, with the hospital profession, with the insurance carriers, that he's taken all of the areas out of consideration that are necessary to get cost containment." Hear the entire program by accessing the WILK website.
http://www.wilknetwork.com/.



Monday, August 24, 2009

The LuLac Edition #917, Aug. 24th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #776, ferret comes from the Latin word for little thief.

PHOTO INDEX: COUNTING EVERY COIN AND MAKING EVERY CENT COUNT.

SENIORS SACKED

Millions of older people face smaller Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise. The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won't be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn't happened since automatic increases were adopted back in 1975. By mandate, Social Security benefits cannot go down. But monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to increase. "I will promise you, they count on that COLA," said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who now heads the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. "To some people, it might not be a big deal. But to seniors, especially with their health care costs, it is a big deal." Cost of living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year, largely because energy prices are below 2008 levels. Advocates say older people still face higher prices because they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care, where costs rise faster than inflation. Many also have suffered from declining home values and shrinking stock portfolios just as they are relying on those assets for income.
This situation comes at a very bad time for the Obama administration. With the GOP’s claims that Medicare will suffer under the new Health Care Reform as well uncertainty among Seniors on the economy, this can only add confusion and more fear to the debate. Plus locally, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania has asked for an increase in its non group Medicare Supplemental plans. If they get the increase, seniors will actually be losing money and economic ground by paying that higher premium.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

The LuLac Edition #916, Aug. 23rd, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #890, the niumber "1" or the word "one" appears on the dollar bill 16 times.













PHOTO INDEX: STATE REPRESENTATIVES KEVIN MURPHY AND EDDIE DAY PASHINSKI.

COMING FORWARD

This past weekend at least two representatives in the LuLac delegation to the State Legislature came out to meet the public and address the budget impasse. Kevin Murphy held a gathering outside his district office in Scranton yesterday again reiterating his pledge not to take his paycheck until the budget process is completed. Murphy represents the 113th district and serves on the Aging & Older Adult Services, Children & Youth, Game & Fisheries and Labor Relations commitees. Eddie Day Pashinski spoke to a group at the Courthouse on Friday and said the State Legislators should all be sequestered until a budget is passed. Pashinski represents the 121rst District and serves on the Aging & Older Adult Services, Gaming Oversight, Health & Human Services Subcommittee on Drugs and Alcohol as its Chairman and the Insurance panels. To my knowledge, these are the only two representatives in our area that have ventured out in public at an organized meeting to talk about the budget crisis which is now approaching its 55th day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The LuLac Edition #915, Aug. 22nd, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #850, Hawaii is further south than Florida.

PHOTO INDEX: INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

In my travels I had the opportunity to meet many a promotional person. One of the current genre of that type is the Coors Lite Girl. I ran into one such representative at Dan’s Keystone Grille in Hudson at the blogger town meeting organized by Mr. Gort. The duties of a Coors Lite girl are looking good, promoting the brand and talking to curious old geezers like me.
Q: How long have you been a Coors Lite girl?
A: A year and a half.
Q: How’d you get the job?
A: I applied to the beer distributorship. They liked me and hired me.
Q: Any special qualifications for the job?
A: You have to talk to people, be personable, give out prizes. Promote the beer. Plus be 21.
Q: How’s the pay?
A: Good. And the job is easy. You just talk to people and promote Coors.
Q: What beer do you drink?
A: I drink Coors.
Q: I bet you say that to all the boys.
A: No, no really, I do, the taste is very good and it goes down easy. I mean you have two lagers and boom, you’re gone. Out of it. I can drink Coors sensibly all night and not have it affect me.
Q: You have a boyfriend?
A: Yeah.
Q: How does he feel about you being a Coors Lite girl?
A: (Shrugs) I don’t know, he doesn’t care one way or another.
Q: I mean isn’t he proud that you’re hot enough to do this?
A: I guess.
Q: How long have you been going out?
A: 3 months.
Q: Your parents, what do they think of the job?
A: They’re okay with it.
Q: Do they drink Coors?
A: My mom does.
Q: Okay, you’re out with the boyfriend. You have a Coors because that’s what you drink. What’s the best food to have with a Coors Lite? Wings?
A: Uh, everything. It goes with everything you’d want to eat.
Q: Even red beets?
A: (Hesitant) I guess.
Q: I’m playing with you there, you know that right?
A: Yeah, I figured that.
Q: Thanks for answering my questions.
A: Thanks for asking them.


Friday, August 21, 2009

The LuLac Edition #914, Aug. 21st, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #880, a Venus flytrap can eat a whole cheeseburger.







PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1964 LOGO, THE PODIUM AT THE 1964 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION IN ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY AND GOVERNOR ED RENDELL WITH BILL COSBY.

WORDS OF WISDOM?

There was a health care protest in front of Senator Specter and Congressman Kanjorski’s office Thursday. Naturally the protestors confused protesting health care administration by private entities with the role of government. One of them was quoted in the paper as saying, "There’s nothing that the government has ever touched that doesn’t get more expensive and produce worse service. Look at anything. It gets more expensive and the quality goes down the tubes." Let’s take the guy’s advice and look at “anything”.
1. Clean water.
2. Clean air.
3. The U.S. Highway system.
4. The interstate commerce commission.
5. Student loans.
6. Student scholarships.
7. The seat belt laws.
8. Non smoking campaigns.
9. Medicare.
10. Social Security.
11. Civil rights.
12. Unemployment compensation.
13. COBRA. Extension of health care benefits.
14. Head Start programs for small children.
15. Aviation safety.
Just a few things government is involved in that you most likely take for granted every day there "hands off my health care!"

W.I.F.M.

What’s In It For Me? Practically, how Health Care Reform effect Pennsylvania? A new report shows how Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit Pennsylvania. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released How Health Insurance Reform Will Benefit Pennsylvania, a new report outlining how health insurance reform will improve health care for all in Pennsylvania. Sebelius announced the availability of the new report as part of a webcast – “Health Insurance Reform: What’s in it For You” – where Sebelius and top HHS officials took questions from the American people and discussed the importance of health insurance reform. The new report is available at
www.HealthReform.gov. “The report shows how health insurance reform will help all in Pennsylvania save money, get better care, strengthen their insurance if they already have it, and afford insurance if they don’t,” said Sebelius. “Every American will benefit when we pass health insurance reform.” Increase health care choices by protecting what works and fixing what’s broken Assure quality, affordable care for all Americans The reports released are the second in a series of state-by-state reports on health care across the country. Earlier this summer, Sebelius released The Health Care Status Quo in Your State, a series of state by state reports on the current state of health care in Pennsylvania. The report is available at http://www.healthreform.gov/healthcarestatus.html.

HAWKEYES FIGHT FAT

The Hanover Area School District received a $5,000 grant from the State Education Department to fight Childhood Obesity. In addition the school district got $10,000 in money from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the program. An incentive program run by Blue Cross for its employees was a very good thing I had experienced with that company. In a 7 step incentive program, employees were paid for taking steps to be responsible for their own wellness. This paid dividends in weight loss, diabetes prevention and other prevention related illnesses. Today President Obama talked about healh care with WILK Radio host Michael Smerconish and talked about a nationwide health preventative incentive program. If something like this can work in school districts or in private business, it can work nation wide. We pay hard cold cash for clunkers but yet don’t offer a carrot and stick approach to wellness and fitness. Back in the time of JFK, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness didn’t need an incentive to work. But this component can work in a proposed Health Care Reform package.

ROMO ON ROPES

It appears Carl Romanelli got hosed again by the Courts. From the Times Leader:
In a two-sentence order issued Monday, the state Supreme Court affirmed Commonwealth Court’s decision that directed Romanelli and his attorney, Lawrence M. Otter, of Doylestown, to pay $80,407.56 to the petition challengers. The order also denied Romanelli’s motion for oral argument in the case. “Not only did (the state Supreme Court) uphold a lower court ruling that in my opinion was not intent on looking at the facts, they failed to issue a written opinion. … If it’s OK to have a conspiracy by the state against a citizen, fine. But say it,” Romanelli said. State Attorney General Tom Corbett’s presentation on Bonusgate describes how 12 people involved in the state House Democratic Caucus were charged with illegally giving state-funded bonuses to state employees for performing partisan political work, such as campaigning and challenging nomination petitions. Corbett specifically drew attention to Romanelli’s case, which he called one of “two outstanding examples of misappropriation of taxpayers’ resources.” The day Romanelli filed his nominating petitions, which included 94,544 signatures – well over the 67,070 required – a caucus employee obtained copies of the petitions from the Department of State, and an army of caucus staffers went to work trying to find signatures to challenge, according to Corbett’s presentation. The goal was to enhance the election chances of the Democratic nominee,
Robert Casey, by removing from the ballot a challenger whose vote tally would likely come at the expense of the Democratic candidate. The effort resulted in a challenge of at least 69,000 signatures and successfully knocked Romanelli off the ballot. “If they allow this to become settled law, it will allow a precedent to be set,” Romanelli said of the state Supreme Court’s decision. “The next time a third-party candidate’s nomination petition is challenged, they can look at this case and say, ‘We know crimes were committed against the candidate, but that didn’t stop Democrats from collecting court costs in the Romanelli case.’ ”
This action against the Green candidate is awful. And it is indicative of how powerful the courts are when they wish to squash someone like a bug from a political standpoint. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Romanelli’s right as an American, his very civil liberties are being violated here. This is a shame and tells you that politics, even under the robes of high court justices in this state smell and stink like a rotten egg.

ED AND BILL

Ed Rendell rolled out a big name to make his case for his proposed public school funding increases at the Capitol and on CNN’s Larry King Live. Famed comic and Philadelphian Bill Cosby endorsed the governor's spending plan. The Harrisburg event, including dozens of educators and students, allowed Rendell to tout a report from the Washington D.C.-based center for Education Policy noting significant gains in student achievement in Pennsylvania through the past six years. Rendell said those results make clear the steady ramp-up in public education subsidies he wants to continue this year -- the governor has proposed an increase of $300 million -- should be maintained despite flagging state revenues.
Senate Republicans, in contrast, have proposed keeping level the funding for basic education subsidies to schools. They argue districts will receive healthy overall increases in funding anyway because of appropriations from the federal stimulus package for targeted programs. Cosby, wearing a T-shirt and cap touting Philadelphia's Central High School, spoke for Rendell's plan. Cosby said schools are required to do more than ever before, and they need the resources to accomplish those tasks. "What did these people ever do to you that you want to cut (education spending)?" Cosby asked at one point, gesturing to the students behind him. "These are our children, and we need no more cuts."

MELLOW ON PCN

Senator Bob Mellow was on PCN yesterday and made some very good points on the budget. In reference to the state budget impasse and the attempt by GOP Senators to override the veto, the Senator called for the end to “divisive” politics. While Mellow said he had nothing but the greatest respect for Senator Dominic Pileggi, he did say that he thought the Majority Leader was having a tough time trying to control his new Senators. Mellow pointed out that these new GOP members were never through the process and felt they were too bullish and uncompromising in this effort. Mellow described Harrisburg budget politics as peaks and valleys and said the state is certainly in a valley right now. The Senate Minority leader also observed that this impasse is more about the 2010 General election than anything going on this year. Mellow criticized the Senate GOP’s drama tactics picking out items like a Rape Crisis Center to play with as a purely inflammatory tactic.

THE ONES TO BLAME

Worried about day care for your kids? How about Kinder care for your little one? Did you hear about those foster kids in Scranton that have to be returned to their original homes because there’s no more funding to keep them in alternative family care? Were you a state employee that’s trying to catch up with your bills because your salary was frozen? How about if you are affiliated with young and old caregivers, human service agencies, the homeless, people who care for foster children as well as people with intellectual disabilities, mental health challenges and physical problems? Wonder why the state funding is not available? Let’s quit dancing around the issue and put the blame on someone that deserves it. If you need someone to blame, and you should because if you fell down on your job, someone would call you out by now. The Pennsylvania Senate GOP is playing games with your tax money and ultimately your life. It isn’t the Governor nor is it the House and Senate Democrats. It is the State GOP Senators. Just in case you’d like to contact them, I’ve provided the names, addresses and contact information. I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you.

Joseph B. Scarnati III (R)
ADDRESS:
Senate Box 203025 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3025
ROOM:
292 Capitol Building
TELEPHONE:
(717) 787-7084
D.O. ADDRESS:
315 Second Avenue Suite 203 Warren, PA 16365 (814) 726-7201
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
jscarnati@pasen.gov
Dominic Pileggi (R)
ADDRESS:
Senate Box 203009 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3009
ROOM:
350 Capitol Building
TELEPHONE:
(717) 787-4712
D.O. ADDRESS:
100 Evergreen Drive Suite 113 Glen Mills, PA 19342 (610) 358-5183
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
dpileggi@pasen.gov
http://www.senatorpileggi.com
Jane Clare Orie (R)
ADDRESS:
Senate Box 203040 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
ROOM:
362 Main Capitol
TELEPHONE:
(717) 787-6538
D.O. ADDRESS:
9400 McKnight Road LaCasa Blanca Building, Suite 105 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 630-9466
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
jorie@pasen.gov
Those are the Pennsylvania State Senators that are leading the Pa. Senate Republicans in this confrontation with the Democrats and the Governor. I’m listing Senator Lisa Baker’s contact information too. I would urge any resident impacted by this budget impasse to inquire whether she will support these leaders again in the next Legislative leadership caucus. It’s all well and good to say you know your constituents are suffering but I’d ask if she was going to endorse these people again next session. They aren’t helping us here in NEPA, as a matter of fact, they are causing real pain and playing with our lives for political purposes.
Lisa Baker (R)
ADDRESS:
Senate Box 203020 Harrisburg, PA 17120-3020
ROOM:
172 Main Capitol
TELEPHONE:
(717) 787-7428 FAX: (717) 787-9242
D.O. ADDRESS:
22 Dallas Shopping Center Dallas, PA 18612 (570) 675-3931
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
lbaker@pasen.gov

ROBERTO AT 75

The late Roberto Clemente, the Hall of Famer Pittsburgh Pirate would have turned 75 this past week. Clemente was a man of great pride, determination and charity. Here's a little bit on his life and legacy:


1964

The Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City nominates incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson for a full term, and U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota as his running mate. At the convention, Robert Kennedy gets a huge ovation of more than twenty minutes for his brother Jack. Former Scranton Mayor James McNulty was a young page at that convention and remembered the RFK speech vividly. “I was standing near the stage and before he took the podium, he was very emotional. He was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for the late President and I think, now this is only my opinion here, but I think when he saw that display for his brother, he made the decision to continue the political legacy of the Kennedys"....... Statewide, the Democratic party comes roaring out of Harrisburg hoping to defeat incumbent Senator Hugh Scott. Scott is opposed by Secretary of Internal Affairs Genevieve Blatt.............. Numerous political dignitaries from the state make the short hop to Atlantic City to see the festivities including former Governors Leader and Lawrence as well as Philadelphia Mayor James Tate and Pittsburgh’s Joseph Barr…..The ’64 Phillies take 2 out of 3 from the Pirates but in the game the Phils lost, Dennis Bennett struggles and lasts only 2 innings. His record dips to 9-10 and his manager’s confidence in him is shaken. His days as a starter will be numbered…..locally Blue Cross raises its rates on three non group benefit plans. New monthly rates for the semi private individual plan will be $4.95 a month, and $9.75 for family. The 30 day co-op plan increases to $4.95 individual and $11.45 family. The new rates for the 120 day all service co-op were raised to $6.35 for individual and $13.95 family. Blue Cross noted that during the 12 month period the year before, members used $4, 946,760 dollars worth of health care for the non group plans and took in just $4,677,146….and 45 years ago this week in LuLac land and America the number 1 song was The Animals' “The House of the Rising Sun”. This song was debuted in the film "El Rey En Londres"



Thursday, August 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #913, Aug. 20th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #114, the oldest known animal was a tortosise which lived to be 152 years old.

PHOTO INDEX: OUR HEALTH CARE REFORM LOGO.

THE LULAC CHALLENGE

I am really getting sick and tired of the misinformation being bandied about by the opponents of Health Care Reform. The other day I actually heard someone on the radio say that there were people out there who were abusing the health care system for their own amusement. Yes, he said amusement. He said that people make up symptoms and go to the doctor and emergency room just because they take great delight in ripping off the medical system. He cited senior citizens who have no social life and go from doctor to doctor because they are lonely. He then talked about mothers who brought their kids into the emergency room for any little reason. He talked about patients who went from care giver to care giver because they loved the attention taking medical tests gave them. What an idiot!
Let’s talk common sense here. You are a senior citizen. You have medical care in case something goes wrong. With all of the social options open to seniors today, you think they want to make a sport of going to the doctors?
You are a young mother. It’s a beautiful sunny day and your child is playing in the yard, park or at a beach. The child cuts him or herself on something and the bleeding is pretty bad. Yeah, you woke up that morning and decided, “How am I going to screw over the American health care system today?”
Last week I went for a Catscan. It was ordered by my doctor to make sure the cancer I was diagnosed with last summer is at bay. The night before and the morning of I needed to drink a “contrast” drink for the test. It tasted like burnt chalk. I began my day at 9AM going to the Oncology Center to have them access my port. (I have horrible veins). I then went to the Saxton Pavilion and had two people put me in a machine, injecting three types of dye in me that flushed my face. They contorted my body and told me to hold my breath. After the test, I had to go back to the Oncology Center and have the port de-accessed. When I was through it was 12:30PM. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be alive, thankful for the wonderful people who administered the test and glad that things seemed pretty good. (I wish the $225.00 co-pay, I’ll have 4 of them this year at that rate were tax deductible but you can’t have everything). But does this radio host actually think I had fun? Does he think that maybe I might have had something better to do with my time? Believe me, I can do a lot in three hours. And after I was finished, I didn’t have the desire to do it again until I have to. Trivializing people and marginalizing them in this health care debate is really stupid and is going to backfire. These conservative right wingers who “have theirs” have no sense of decency and conscience. And the sad part is that they are looked up to by not very smart citizens who parrot their views as their own. And unfortunately, this area is the worst when it comes to the term “my un”. Ever hear someone use that colloquialism in place of the word “mine”? “Don’t you touch that fence, it's “my un”. That parking space is “my un”. “I got “my un”, now you get yours!” Hey, Valley with a Heart, why not worry about your neighbor once in a while!
Anyway, here’s the LuLac Health Care Challenge. Bring to me a person who actually loves going to the doctor or hospital for sport, who gets off wasting the time of health care professionals, who will give up a beautiful summer day outside to sit in a waiting room somewhere for care! I have yet in my 5 decades of life met anyone like that. Bring one to me and I’ll give them a reward right here on the spot. Prove to me that they exist. They don’t. Like so many lies and distortions in this health care debate, this is still another in a long line of lies and untruths being told.

GUNS AND RALLIES

I’m also sick and tired of hearing how the left protested the Iraq War with people like Cindy Sheehan. When people protested against the Iraq War, they were put in protest zones and areas blocks away from the President. (Maybe they felt the protesters would impede Mr. Bush’s search for Weapons of Mass Destruction!) Another big difference is that anti war protestors never carried side arms or fire arms strapped to their thighs. Health care protestors did exactly that. Maybe their health plan didn’t give them enough Viagra!

$PENDING, $PENDING

I am sick and tired of hearing how much money the health care reform will cost. It’ll bankrupt our future. NEWSFLASH: We have been bankrupted and the pigs on Wall Street did that already. And speaking of spending, where were you when the previous administration was spending 30 billion a month on a war that essentially was assassinating our troops with road side bombs? Good enough to go into debt for that but not enough to provide health care?

THE LAST RESORT

The last resort of a coward with little or no information is to refer to someone as a Nazi or invoke the name Hitler. Both are highly charged words that bring up connotations of fear and loathing. At a town hall meeting, take a look at what this piece of human trash masquerading as an American said to the Congressman Barney Frank; and check out how he responded.


SCREW THE BLUE DOGS

Who won the last election exactly? I understand it was the Democratic Party. Who controls the House and Senate? Uh, the Democrats. It is time for the White House to go it alone on health care. No more bi partisanship, no more kissing the asses of the Republicans. No matter what you do in this health care debate, the Republican Party will run against you. That’s what they do. Your Blue Dogs are nothing but a bunch of people interested in straddling the middle. They’ll tell you they want to study the issue, to take more time and get it right. You are the party of Franklin Roosevelt (Social Security), Hubert Humphrey (Civil Rights) John Kennedy (The Space Program) Lyndon Johnson (Equal Housing Act of 1965) and Harry Truman (Integration of the Military). All these men were engineers of social change. This is your chance to stand with those men whose actions have become indispensable to our every day life. Or will you be the legislators of non consequence preserving the mediocrity and anonymity you so richly deserve? By my calculations the Health Care Legislation can pass in the House. There are currently 256 members of the Democratic party. There are 178 Republican members. They tell me there are 50 blue dog House Members. But let’s say there are 25 more in this pathetic little organization of cowards. The Legislation can pass 181-178. In the Senate, they can get 55 votes, maybe less. My question is this: what are we waiting for? The New England Patriots won three Super Bowls. In each game they won it by just 3 points. No one remembers the margin of victory, but what they do remember is that they had enough on those three days to win. When that unemployed worker is getting affordable health care, when that poor child is getting early care, when premiums become competitive, no one is going to give a shit if the legislation was enacted on a bi partisan basis. No one will ask because no one will care. Just pass it. 57% of people want a government option, I don't think they care how you get there, they just want you to do what you promised. Losing the Blue Dogs might mean that maybe your party is finally standing for something.

ONE TERM AND DONE

I was a Hillary Clinton supporter. My friend Gort and other bloggers said this guy (Obama) was different. A former state Democratic committee person and political wise man Bob Caruso told me Obama would be the epitome of change. I was won over when Obama said he was willing to be a one term President if he enacted fundamental change. Let’s see it happen. Let's see him take a risk.

GO BIGOR GO HOME

Thomas Jefferson said, “One man with courage is a majority.” Mr. Obama, you have more than one person in the Congress on your side, GO BIG OR GO BACK TO ILLINOIS.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The LuLac Edition #912, Aug. 19th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #867, Franklin Roosevelt was related to 5 U.S. Presidents by blood and 6 by marriage.











PHOTO INDEX: P.J. BEST AND TERRY BEST.

P.J. STEPS ASIDE

Reports out of Pittston tell us that P.J. Best withdrew his candidacy for nomination for the November ballot for Pittston City Council seat last night. The deed was done at the Luzerne County Democratic executive committee meeting. P.J. and his family have been under fire when he was nominated by his dad Terry to take his place on Council when the elder Best decided to remain on the School Board. The announcement created a political firestorm in Pittston evoking cries of nepotism. Also, with the current scandals scrutinizing virtually every politician, the arrogant jokers who call themselves row officers at the courthouse as well as the inaction and inability of the State Legislature to pass a budget, this action created a huge backlash. I am in the minority here but I truly believe that Terry Best and his son P.J. had the best interests of the people of Pittston at heart. But it was the wrong time for something like this. Joe Chernouskas, a Council candidate in the primary in Pittston, garnered the nomination overwhelmingly.

NO BAIL?

A woman on my street was accused by police on Tuesday on charges she manufactured checks using a personal computer. She was charged with four counts each of theft and unlawful use of a computer, and two counts of forgery. She was arraigned by District Judge Martin R. Kane in Wilkes-Barre and released without bail. If she was clever enough to manufacture checks, can’t she do something similar with travel documents and be long gone?
Another woman was charged by Plymouth police on Monday with threatening a neighbor who allegedly witnessed an assault in June. Police accused the woman of forcing her way into a residence and threatening an eyewitness with a chain wrapped in a sock on June 12. The woman was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, intimidation of witness or victim and retaliation against witness or victim. She was released without bail. Someone intimidates a witness, threatens retaliation against said witness and victim and gets no bail? What motive does a citizen have to come forward and help the police if they are going to be intimidated by someone and then that someone doesn’t even get bail? Maybe Magistrates should have some primary opposition to put a scare into them politically. These two incidents are just plain wrong.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The LuLac Edition #911, Aug. 18th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #908, in Athens, Greece, a driver's license can be taken away by law if the driver is deemed "unbathed" or "poorly dressed".

PHOTO INDEX: GOP REGISTER OF WILLS CANDIDATE GINA NEVENGLOSKY.

GOTTA EAT!!!!!

Michael Buffer of the Citizen’s Voice reported Monday that a few county row offices were going to be closed for lunch due to staff cuts. The offices are Bob Reilly’s Clerk of Courts office and Dottie Stankovic’s Register of Wills office. According to Buffer’s article, Reilly and Stankovic blame the Commissioners Office for the staff reductions that cut their funding in January. WHAT BABIES! WHAT A BUNCH OF CHILDISH POLITICAL BOTTOM FEEDERS!!!!! The funding in their offices were cut so they cut hours. And the hours they cut just happened to coincide with the hours that taxpayers who pay their salaries happen to be free to get service. One of them said that there were no complaints. Well, when you tell people via a hand written sign and not a mention on the county web site, you’re not going to get a complaint until someone needs the service. And to be honest, Luzerne County taxpayers are so used to being mistreated by their political office holders, they become like abused children or wives, they begin to think they deserve the treatment because they know no other way. When Libraries had cuts a few years ago, they cut hours but not smack dab in the middle of the business day. When Home Health was cut in the 80s during a similar staff reduction, they didn’t stop going to people’s homes in the middle of the day because that’s when the treatments were scheduled. Furthermore, even with the staff reductions, their offices employ more than 5 people each. Reilly says his people are attending court proceedings. All day Bob???
My Insurance Agent has a staff of two. They are open all day.
My Doctor employs 3 office staff members. They are open all day.
The water company I buy spring water from has one person manning the office. They are open all day.
My dry cleaner has a staff of two. They are open all day.
My dentist has a staff of three. They are open all day.
My chiropractor has a staff of three. They are open all day.
See, the difference between those people I just mentioned and the County Row officers is they work in the real world and the county employees work in “la la” land. The Post Office pulled this stuff a few years ago with me….guest what? I deal with the UPS Store. This move by these row officers is an insult to the hard working taxpayers who have to handle things sometimes on a lunch hour….or take a day off from work. I also feel that the line workers in these row offices who are hard working deserve a lunch break. But surely a little creativity from their managers and maybe a little bit of team work on the part of the employees could make this work. This action seems to indicate that the words Customer Service do not exist in the vocabulary of anyone managing the row offices.
The recent stops and starts of the Home Rule Commission and the Terry Best/P.J. Best incident in Pittston has a few frequent e mailers to LuLac saying maybe Home Rule might not be much better. And sometimes I waver and think maybe they’re right, why not keep things the way they are. But just when I begin to think this, some row officer pulls this crap. Did they volunteer to work weekends to fill in the gap? Oh come now. Reilly is not up for re-election until 2011. But Stankovic is running this year. She has an opponent, Gina Nevenglosky. Her picture is in the Photo Index directly under the Snapple ad. She has said she will not cut hours during lunch time. That’s good enough for me. Someone, somewhere has to send a message to the row officers that enough is enough.
Note: In my home office I have an autographed picture of the late Ed Kuniak, myself and John Stanky. To my knowledge, Stanky never stopped the music for lunch during a concert.

WHAT IF?????

This lunch time thing got me thinking how history might have changed if Luzerne County row officers were in charge of events.
A few examples:
If Luzerne County Row officers were in charge of the moon landing, Neil Armstrong might have landed in August of 1969 instead of July. Space lunch.
There would be a “Good Saturday” instead of a “Good Friday” because they’d have to interrupt the crucifixion for lunch.
Columbus’ voyage would result in The United Area of Jamaica because lunch would’ve delayed their trek to the big land.
Julius Caesar might have survived because Brutus might’ve been on a rigatoni run.
The death of President Kennedy would not have been broadcast to the world if Walter Cronkite had the row office work mentality. He’d be at lunch.
Paul Revere might have said, “The British were here? I missed it. I was at lunch."

Monday, August 17, 2009

The LuLac Edition #910, Aug. 17th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #856, the world's largest silver nugget (1840 lbs) was found in 1894 near Aspen, Colorado.


PHOTO INDEX: SENATOR ROBERT MELLOW AT MEDICAL COLLEGE OPENING.

DOCTOR ROBERT

State Senator Robert J. Mellow received the Commonwealth Medical College’s school’s first honorary degree. The school’s dean Robert D’Alessandri cited Mellow’s “steadfast support, his belief and his passion” for the school. Mellow, in the forefront of seed money for the medical school got a standing ovation from the more than 600 in attendance. Mellow has been a State Senator since 1971.

A FRIENDLIER VENUE

Having his head handed to him numerous times at town hall meetings, Senator Arlen Specter is assured of at least one friendly venue next month. President Obama will attend a fundraiser for the Republican-turned-Democrat next month.The Philadelphia Daily News and Pa2010.com reports that Comcast executive and Democratic heavyweight David Cohen is helping organizing the Sept. 15 fundraiser at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter are also expected to attend, and guests at a big-money dinner will get their picture taken with Specter and the president.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #909, Aug. 16th, 2009

SNAPPLE "REAL FACT" #777, cats have two sets of vocal chords: one for purring and one for meowing.
















PHOTO INDEX: THE SCALES OF JUSTICE, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM CORBETT AND SARAH FLANNERY.

JUDICIAL DEBATE

It still might be the good old summertime but the folks at WVIA TV are working fast and furious to pull together a debate/forum/show of the three candidates running for Common Pleas Judge in Luzerne County. All three, Bill Amesbury, Tina Gartley and Richard Hughes have agreed to appear. The event will be one week before the election. Since everything in the county and all efforts political are scrutinized, WVIA has taken great pains to make this the most objective presentation possible. They will partner with NEPACU, the Northeast Pennsylvania Association of College and University Presidents. Moderator of the program will be Dr. Robert Dillman, co-chair of NEPACU and a member of the WVIA Board of Trustees. A source close to WVIA TV told LuLac, "Cleansing this undertaking of perceived conflict has been an adventure. Given the aroma rising from Luzerne County, and the stakes for all concerned, it was critical that all participants have no "skin in the game," so after several hits-and-misses in planning we realized the college president moderator had to be OUT of the county. Further, the station has established a confidential relationship with an out-of-region Judge to advise us on process." More on this event as the preparations unfold. We'll give you the time, date, broadcast and rebroadcast times.

SUPPER FOR SARAH

You know this week’s weather promises to be hot and humid. Instead of cooking in the kitchen or slaving over a hot grill, why not take in an event at the River Street Jazz Club. On Wednesday Aug. 19th the friends of Sarah Flannery will be holding a fundraiser. No, Sarah’s not a candidate but is in a tough situation. Sarah Flannery, a 2009 graduate of Dallas Senior High School, was recently diagnosed with Thymoma, a rare cancerous tumor that has partially surrounded her heart. Sarah is the daughter of Jim and Liz Flannery, Shavertown. Sarah's surgery is scheduled for later this month at the Indianapolis University Cancer Center. A group of Moms and friends of Moms are volunteering to coordinate this event, which will help offset the substantial expenses related to Sarah's surgery and recovery. All proceeds will go directly to Sarah's cause. $20.00 Includes Dinner, Soft Drinks & Entertainment; Cash Bar Available and of course air conditioning. The event starts at 6PM. Here's Sarah's web site:
http://standbysarah.com

NO DOUBT NOW


Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has been dancing around whether or not he’s going to be a candidate for Governor on the GOP side in 2010. But with Pat Meehan stepping aside to run for Congress, it appears the field is being cleared. And Corbett has issued a plea for volunteers for his appearance in a Labor Day Parade in Pittsburgh. Here’s the missive:
Please join Attorney General Tom Corbett on Monday, September 7, 2009 at the Labor Day Parade in Pittsburgh. Tom will be walking in the parade to honor laborers and their families and would like you to join him. Tom and his staff are in need of volunteers to help hand out balloons to children, families and friends along the parade route.