Monday, November 30, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1024, Nov. 30th, 2009

WOULD YOU LEAVE THIS WOMAN AT 2:25AM????


PHOTO INDEX: MRS. TIGER WOODS AND LABOR AND INDUSTRY LOGO.

TIGER BY THE TAIL

Okay, when I heard the Tiger Woods story the first thing I thought of was the old saying “that nothing good happens after 2AM”. The fact that Woods left his house at 2:25AM prompted a few theories from my mind. Here they are:
THE GIRLFRIEND CALLED: When one is stepping out on the wife, in order for the step action to work an understanding must be established with the girlfriend. She either gets the holiday with you or she doesn’t. No middle ground, no dual visits, no bi polar family sharing responsibilities. Get the agreement up front with the girl friend for no drama or get the excuse you’re going to use with the wife outlined and then stick to it. I’m thinking the girlfriend called in the middle of the night singing the blues about being alone on the holiday and Tiger stepped out for a quart of milk. But as Kevin Lynn said on the radio today, “people like Tiger pay people to do that for him”. So I’m thinking he was distracted then wrecked the car navigating said car, street and phone.
THE WIFE FOUND OUT: Tiger and his wife (a saucy blonde) might have had a drag down fight most likely precipitated by statements made by him like, “It’s me, not you”, “I’m tired of my life”, “I fell out of love with you”, or “She completes me”. I’m thinking that if he was stupid enough to say this she took after him with a golf club chasing him out the house. Bum knee or not, Tiger made it to the car and the wife took out the back window. Terrified he crashed himself into the woods. (No pun intended).
THE WIFE GREETED HIM: Tiger might have spent part of Turkey day with the honey. The wife might have been waiting up for him and beat the crap out of him with said putter or 9 iron. Tiger then was planted (where’s Marc Furman when you need him?) in the vehicle and Mrs. Woods expressed disbelief at his sad state.
Those are my theories. Bottom line is this: holidays are a dangerous time for a wife and girlfriend. One must be adept if they are to survive the combined minefield of love, lust and dual relationship maintenance.

CONTACT THE GUV


For those of you trying to access your unemployment benefits, there has been a 48 meltdown of the systems used by the Department of Labor and Industry. The computer system has not worked since the Thanksgiving holiday and the toll free number used (The PAT system number 1 888 255-4728 is constantly busy or when you do reach the automated system, immediately dumps your call or disconnects you. When I spoke to a representative in the Department of Labor Industry press office yesterday, I asked them about back up systems in the Aspect phone lines and/or the computer access system. They thanked me for my input but never answered the question. Anyway, here’s the message you get on the website:
We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later or call Pennsylvania Teleclaims--PAT at 1-888-255-4728 to file your claim.
And of course that number doesn’t work. And there is no way to access your claim since there are no employment offices that do that anymore. My suggestion if you have a complaint is to tell the Governor and see if this might change. In no way should this reflect on the people working in the call centers because the tools they use to do their jobs are not working. Ask the Governor what can be done to prevent this 48 hour outage again.

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

CHARLIE WEISS


Not a big Notre Dame fan but you have to feel for the Irish and the big guy Charlie Weiss. Weiss was supposed to be an offensive genius but the defense this year let him down. Let’s hope he reemerges somewhere else with more success and Notre Dame returns to its former glory.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1023, Nov. 29th, 2009
















PHOTO INDEX: THE STOOGES IN TUXES, THIS BLOG EDITOR IN HIS FORMAL WEAR/RESTROOM ATTENDANT UNIFORM, LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER A.J. MUNCHAK, AKA "COMMISSIONER HOLY ****" AND COMMISSIONER MIKE WASHO.

PARTY ON

In my life, both private and corporate I’ve been to many parties. They’ve ranged from the sumptuous (when I belonged to this wine tasting club in the 80s) to the elegant (when United Way volunteer Presidents hosted gatherings at their homes) to the very cheap (when I worked for the pagan online travel company that hosted employee Christmas parties where you had to take a blue ticket for a piece of chicken, a red ticket for a potato and a green ticket for a veggie). Some of the very best parties I attended were things for non profits. The Scranton Public Library’s “Books and Bubbly” was one of my favorite events. And I even had a hand in coordinating parties when I worked at WVIA TV and FM and the United Way. But none of the aforementioned parties ever cost $176,00. Think about this, the local United Ways raise about 3 million dollars for their agencies in one campaign. $176,000 can fund three agencies comfortably. is about a third of that revenue. Times Shamrock is reporting in their newspapers today: "Last week, airport Director Barry Centini said federal investigators also asked for records concerning the party celebrating the completion of the Joseph M. McDade Terminal Building, a $41.5 million steel, stone and glass structure that replaced the airport's 47-year-old terminal.Centini has said about 900 people attended the party at the terminal". As always with the reporting by the Voice and Times there were some gems. Allow me to give you a few highlights and comment on them:
Besides the free drinks and food, which ranged from mussels ala Centini to lobster au gratin, the crowd was entertained by three bands, a string quartet and a harpist, all framed by more than $16,000 worth of backdrops, signs, lamp posts and flowers. Mussels ala Centini? Does the airport director have a sideline we don’t know about? Did he oversee the cooking of said shellfish and did he do it on bi county time? Centini said he did not have any information on who the contractors were who paid for the party. Okay, you run the airport, that’s your job. You have access to all of the files, correct? How would you give a financial report to your board if you didn’t know who paid for the party? Plus wouldn’t you make it your business to find out who the big guns are just in case you needed them for something else? Plus the innate curiosity would kill me. Wouldn’t you want to know who the donors were or maybe you think good things like this just fall into your lap llike your $90,000 a year salary?
Catherine Shafer, the president of CDS, which lists offices at 1221 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort, said in a brief interview last week that "somebody requested the documents." Asked who wanted the records, she said, "I don't know if I can (say)."
"All of the payments from the contractors were paid to us," she said. "We ran the party. We paid the vendors."
Okay, a few questions for CDS. Why can’t she say who asked for the documents? Was she sworn to secrecy? Did somebody threaten her family? Centini admits who asked for his files. Why can’t Shafer say anything? After all, the party her agency ran was paid for with funded money run through a government agency supported by tax dollars. Also did CDS Creative bid for the work for the party and were other advertising agencies and/or catering/party planners given the opportunity to bid?
And how ‘bout that job as Rest Room Attendant? $15 bucks an hour to hand out towels and other necessary items. I’d do it, how come nobody called me? I look decent in a tux and sure as hell didn't get an invite!
My favorite has to be the reaction of Minority, then Majority Commissioner A.J. Munchak who just gave himself a new nickname. Commissioner “Holy ****”! Munchak said the party was “fantastic” but stunned by the cost. Munchak said that the airport had a marketing budget but when the cost was higher than said budget, contractors made up the difference. This is the thing that sent me over the edge, Munchak said he did not know the names of the contractors that paid. Asked if he could track down their names, he said, "No, I'm not going to find out." This guy is a watchdog commissioner, right? Does he not owe it to the taxpayers, himself, his party, his own intellectual curiosity to find out? What the hell is that all about??? Commissioner “Holy ****” better understand that when he is asked a question of interest concerning a party that is under scrutiny by the FBI, maybe he should try, as a matter of decency and public service to lend a hand.
The only person who actually made any sense in this story was Commissioner Mike Washo. Lackawanna County Commissioner Mike Washo said he was unaware how much the party cost. When he was told the amount, he said, "I think that's an extraordinary amount of money to spend on the opening of a public building, no matter what the source of the funds may have been." He said the airport should have served hot dogs and hamburgers and invited the public to attend. Poor Mike, see all he seems to understand is that this was funding for a public building that only a fraction of the populace was invited to attend. Washo even had the temerity to suggest that hot dog and hamburgers should have been served. Mike, Mike, no wonder you’re a Democrat! A fiscal budget cutter. No room for you in a black tie event, you might be caught in the corner with a bag of sliders!! Tutt tutt!!!
For all we know, this party may not have any legal ramifications. Everything might be on the up and up. But the facts are the FBI is investigating and no one involved with the event is saying anything to the press. I’d be thrilled if just someone said, “Look, the vendors who built this place wanted to have a party for themselves. We didn’ t want the hoi polloi there, we just wanted an elite event. They kicked in for it and we had a great time and did not give a second thought to the poor bastards who use the airport to take their dreadful children to Disney once every three years or the poor working stiff who has to fly to the Midwest every week to keep his or her job. We wanted “our own kind there” and not Uncle Willie and Aunt Millie in their polyester breathing on our tuxes and designer wear evening gowns”. I’d be good with that if someone just said that, admitted that. But all we get is the airport director’s best imitation of Sergeant Shultz, and an elected official's canonization of feces as a response. The party was swell, and the FBI will determine whether there was impropriety. The naming of the airport of Congressman McDade is okay by me because of his distinguished service to the 10th district and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania. And the airport is beautiful and the hub of what we jokingly refer to as our industrial employment base here. I just wished that in my youth I used it a little bit more….to get the hell out of this area and come back to visit occasionally.

HOI POLLOI INDEED!!!




Saturday, November 28, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1022, Nov. 28th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

With Black Friday over, I had the opportunity to talk to a sales associate that worked the day.
Q: Are you tired?

A: Not body wise but mentally yes. A lot of pressure because people want their bargains. They take it personally if they don’t get them.
Q: Is this a good job for you?
A: Not at this time of the year. People are rude and demanding but it’s part f the territory.
Q: What are your future plans for a career?
A: Definitely not retail.
Q: What do you see more of, big attitudes or small acts of kindness?
A: Attitude. Especially on Black Friday.
Q: Are people inherently greedy?
A: I don’t see it as greed, I see it as they don’t want anyone else having a leg up on them socially or from an economic status.
Q: When do you shop?
A: I generally have that wrapped up by the second or third week of December. I use my employee discount but I order online a lot.
Q: So is Christmas a good time for you?
A: Nah but I need the money for school. I like the actual holiday where you get to spend it with your family. But even that’s not a sure thing now because all people want to do is shop. Like I left a family reunion to go to sleep to get into work by 3AM. I had no choice but some people think a $200 laptop trumps time with the family.
Q: Think you might try to get a different job next Christmas?
A: Maybe. I can cook so maybe I can get a gig at Denny’s.
Q: Did you know at the Waffle House people can see you cooking their stuff?
A: Cool. How can I get there?
Q: I know the guy who owns them.
A: Can you hook me up? Like by next weekend?
Q: I’ll try.
A: Please do.


Friday, November 27, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1021, Nov. 27th, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: GOVERNOR ED RENDELL AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE EDDIE DAY PASHINSKI, THE GUY IN THE TRENCH COAT WITH THE CAMEL IN THE CENTER OF THE PICTURE IS MY LATE UNCLE TIMMY PRIBULA AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

PASHINSKI PASSES BILL

Gov. Ed Rendell signed a law introduced by Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski that allows law enforcement to better track the illegal trade in scrap metal, and reduce scrap-metal theft in Pennsylvania. Under the law scrap processors and recycling facilities must maintain records on all transactions of more than $100 and keep those records for two years. The records must include a photocopy of the seller’s driver’s license, the license plate number of the seller’s vehicle, a description of the material purchased, including weight, and amount paid. Rep. Pashinski said scrap metal dealers that violate the law can be fined $2,500.

IF TIMMY WERE WITH THEM...

When I was growing up, my uncle Timmy Pribula took me places that I never even dared dream of. He was on the Wyoming Area School Board in the 60s initially and I was really starting to get a love for the give and take of the political battle. My uncle had no fear when it came to approaching people. A salesman in the 50s and early 60sa, the guy had a way of ingratiating himself among the powerful luminaries of the time. That picture you see of me with Hubert Humphrey was taken by my uncle at the Mayfair supper club when he made his way through the crowd like a Penn State half back dragging me with him. In his company I met Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Edmund Muskie, Pennsylvania Senator Joseph Clark, and Governors Shapp, Leader and Shafer. He was fearless and intrepid. Once on a whim he drove to Atlantic City in 1964 with no credentials whatsoever and somehow wound up a few feet away from Lyndon Johnson the night he gave his acceptance speech. Another time he made his way to Deer Lake the camp of heavyweight champ Mohammad Ali. Arriving at Deer Lake, my uncle found Ali’s cabin unoccupied and decided to sit in the living area waiting to see the fighter. When a stunned Ali and his entourage walked in clearly wondering who this interloper was, my uncle simply said, “Hi Champ how are you today?” Ali replied that he was just fine and had a long chat with my uncle. I thought of my uncle Timmy this week when security was breached at a White House State Dinner. Apparently when Tareq and Michaele Salahi waltzed past the White House cameras Tuesday night they looked for all the world like they belonged there, except for one tiny detail. They did not. This is being regarded as a serious branch of security and is causing some embarrassment and concern. I wondered if my uncle had lived in the security conscious world we live in today if he could have used his guile and smart talking patter to get past the gate keepers. After a brief moment I thought yeah my uncle could most likely get his way into some events and maybe get a photo with one or two of them. But I’d bet everything I own he wouldn’t be dumb enough to post his triumph on Facebook. I think my uncle really thought the politicos and superstars were just as lucky to meet him, Timmy, rather than the other way around. That’s called confidence. And cool.

COMMISSIONER’S MEETING

First off I think newspapers in this area do a pretty job covering politics. The work on the Judicial scandal is exemplary but sometimes the coverage of government meetings is lacking. When a citizen picks up the paper, it’s like the article barely resembles what went on at the meeting. There are many citizens that speak at these meetings and unfortunately they are not heard. This past Wednesday former Controller candidate Wil Toole made a few statements that seemed pretty newsworthy to me but nothing was in the newspapers on it. I understand there are space limitations and time constraints but sometimes there are good ideas floated by the public. Anyway, here’s a few points Toole brought up at the Commissioner’s meeting:
1. Toole reminded the Board that last month he asked them to have their attorney look into recapturing the 2 million dollars we gave to the Philly law firm when they liquidated the Pension Boards investment in the Wells Fund. They paid the 2 mil. as a commission to the law firm for their effort in the recapture of the funds ......... Quoting Toole here, “That was a real bad move by Flood and Urban and it should not have been paid. ....... They did not recapture funds, they cashed an asset".
2. Toole talked about the aggressive pursuit of the sale of the Valley Crest property using in house departments such as Community Development or Redevelopment to avoid large commission fees. He also mentioned the Hazleton Property and the sale of the forty fort airport (not the rec. complex).
3. Since the county renegotiated the detention center lease, they should renegotiate the two city magistrate leases and the Hazleton magistrate lease. According to my sources, the weekend before the campaign Toole ran into Magistrate Marty Kane who was not happy with Toole’s meddling into this issue.
4. Prison Reform. Toole addressed Warden Piazza's plan for a day reporting center .... briefly, Toole pointed out that he agreed with Jessie Jackson's old saying, Jail or Yale but that dealt with kids, not convicted criminals. Toole said the county doesn’t have the luxury or resources to begin programs but should first straighten out the fiscal mess. Briefly, Piazza's program based on 150 inmates would save the county approx $2.5 million per year. Toole said his suggested program using the same 150 inmates would save over $5.5 million per year. If they used his total program, it would involve all non violent (not drug related) offenders which could be more than double that with a savings well in excess of $12 million dollars per year.
5. With the current $466 million debt, consider the possibility of attacking a portion of the debt to be paid off in short term with a balloon note for the balance due at the end of the term. When that bite of the debt is paid off and the balloon is due, renegotiate the same deal taking another bite of the debt and so on and so forth. The necessary requirement would be that there would be NO additional borrowing
6. Finally, Toole mentioned that the county management team is down one manager and since they are working on contracts, Toole told them he has the expertise to fill in and that he hand delivered a letter to the Commish's offices on Thursday but have not been given any indication that the letter was even received. Toole told them that he remains available to donate his time if they wish to avail themselves of it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If there are any people addressing a governmental body and would like to tell me about, in either Luzerne and Lackawanna County, shoot me an e mail and we’ll work on getting your ideas out further than in earshot of the Commissioner’s Meeting Room.

1964

NASA launches the Mariner 4 space probe from Cape Kennedy toward Mars to take television pictures of that planet in July 1965.....The United States National Security Council members, including Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, and Maxwell Taylor, agree to recommend a plan for a 2-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam, to President Lyndon B. Johnson………..on the state level Governor Scranton decided against a hunting ban. The dry woods in November was a consideratiuon but afgter meetings with his Forestry Secretary Maurice Goddard the Governor decided to have a ban on open fires and smoking in the woods. There were more than 251 fires in five days during the month of November……in Wilkes Barre more than 4,000 young people crowded into the Kibngston Armory to hear and see singing star Bobby Rydell. Rydell was brought in by Thomas C. Thomas who was in charge of the St. Jude’s campaign. Rydell sang about 6 songs and played the drums. Rydell was national Chairman of Teeners for St. Jude’s…here’s one of his appearances.

And 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land and the nation was “Little Children” by Billy Jo Royal. Correction: Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.






Thursday, November 26, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1020, Nov. 26th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

To all of my readers, I hope you have the joy of family, feast and fun on this truly American holiday. And if you are going to cook your turkey, do it in an oven. Or go out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1019, Nov. 25th, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: 1969 LOGO AND AIRLINE.

THANKSGIVING TRAVEL

So most Americans will travel today by car than by airplane. Why?
1. There are less flights available.
2. The airlines have nickeled and dimed travelers to death with charges on baggage, drinks and peanuts.
3. Rates have been raised consistently without regard to the economy.
4. Service has not improved with increased rates.
So people have stopped traveling by air. Remember that old saying, “Pigs eat, hogs get slaughtered.”

1969

Even though our review year is 1964, since 1969 was such a momentous year, we’ve decided before we end 2009 to recap some of the significant events of ’69. In previous editions we looked at the Lunar landing and Woodstock. My year was pretty momentous when I wound up in Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for 42 days with a condition called uveitis. Lost my right eye but enjoyed the time spent in the city. Anyway, here are some events of 1969:
A free concert organized by the Rolling Stones is held at Altamont Speedway in Livermore, Calif with problems caused by the use of Hells Angels as Bouncers resulting in a number of deaths
The Groundbreaking TV programme Monty Python's Flying Circus is shown for the first time and the catch phrase "And now for something completely different," becomes their trade mark.

Sesame Street known for its Muppet characters, makes it's debut on PBS.

Bell Bottom Jeans and tie-dye shirts become part of the teenage fashion scene.
The John Lennon Album "Two Virgins" featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the nude are confiscated at Newark Airport
The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records.
The Manson murders take place.

The Beatles release their album Abbey Road.

Golda Meir of Milwaukee, USA, becomes Prime Minister of Israel.

First Concorde test flight is conducted In France.
First transplant of human eye. (not mine!)
Seiko sells the first Quartz Watch.
The Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO ) is founded.
The first automatic teller machine ATM or Cash Machine is installed in the United States.
Creation of ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet.
The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut. It carried 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle to New York City.
UNIX is developed by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs.
The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am the epitome of the American muscle car is introduced.
The Microprocessor ( a miniature set of integrated circuits ) is invented opening the way for the computer revolution that followed. Wendy's opens. Here's the best Wendy's ad ever. The product line though, bombed.

A few great tunes of 1969:








Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1018, Nov. 24th 2009

PHOTO INDEX: WISCONSIN CONGRESSMAN DAVID OBEY.

THE EDWIN STARR TAX

Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat and the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is the latest lawmaker to call for a new tax aimed at the rich to pay for a troop increase in Afghanistan. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag has suggested it could cost the government $40 billion per year to send the 40,000 new troops sought by top U.S. commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal. (The Pentagon puts that figure somewhat lower.) Obey tells CBSNews.com the cost of the war could "destroy the other things we are trying to do in our economy." In interviews with CBS News and ABC News, the Wisconsin lawmaker said that he favors a "war surtax" in which high-earners pay five percent of their incomes and lower-earners pay a smaller percentage, down to one percent. Makes sense to me. For years the GOP Congress poured money into a hole in the war in Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction. If the whiners are so concerned about the war, let them put the same litmus test on it that they are trying to do with health care. If they are so worried about the deficit, let them put their money where their collectives mouths are.


DENIED!!!!!!

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the request of former Luzerne County Judge Ann Lokuta to reinstate her pay and benefits.
According to a late edition of the Times Leader the high court also refused her request for extraordinary relief to review her removal from the bench in December 2008 by the state Court of Judicial Discipline. The high court said the Court of Judicial Discipline is still considering her claims based on evidence arising out of the recent revelations of corruption in Luzerne County.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1017, Nov. 23rd, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVES SECRETARY AND CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI.

KANJO GETS RUSHED

WILK
has a Rush Limbaugh feature on every morning at 7:25AM. Usually the little snippet borders on the ephemeral. The fact is it is usually as interesting as elevator music to me but this morning Rush was screaming about our own 11th District Congressman Paul Kanjorski. That got my attention. Limbaugh’s ire was directed at Kanjorski’s efforts to rein in the banking and wall street industry. Rush was saying that Kanjorski was trying to destroy the public sector and then went into a rant on how the only thing the Congressman and the Democrats appreciate is big government, blah, blah blah, the usual “Rush” stuff. They say you can tell a lot about who your enemy is. For Rush to get annoyed with our hometown boy is really pretty interesting. You have to really hand it to the Congressman. He has hit the big time when his work and actions get under the skin of Comrade Rush. Keep appearing on CNBC Congressman, have Rush bust some more blood vessels.

PA. AND HEALTH CARE

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the release of a new report highlighting the benefits of health insurance reform for Pennsylvania. Health Insurance Reform and Pennsylvania: The Case for Change is available now at
www.HealthReform.gov. “Families, seniors and businesses are all suffering under the health care status quo,” said Sebelius. “Our new reports demonstrate how health insurance reform will improve health care for all Americans.”
The report provides specific details on the benefits of reform for Pennsylvania. Under health insurance reform in Pennsylvania:
1.3 million residents who do not currently have insurance and 683,000 residents who have non group insurance could get affordable coverage through the health insurance exchange.
904,000 residents could qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage. 2.2 million seniors would receive free preventive services. 393,000 seniors would have their brand-name drug costs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” halved.
151,000 small businesses could be helped by a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable. The report also notes that if we do nothing, by 2019 the number of uninsured people will grow by more than 30 percent in 29 states and by at least 10 percent in every state. Without reform, the amount of uncompensated care provided will more than double in 45 states. Additionally, businesses in 27 states will see their premiums more than double and fewer people will have coverage through an employer if the status quo continues. To read the complete report and learn more about health insurance reform visit
www.HealthReform.gov.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1016, Nov. 22nd, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: OUR HEALTH CARE REFORM LOGO, LUZERNE COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

"I’D FAINT DEAD AWAY"

A classmate of mine at LCCC and I were talking about the recent doings at the Courthouse. Everyday she is in stunned wonderment about who will be the latest person to fall. If you did a drinking game of speculation about this, well you’d never be sober. The latest tale of woe involves the Human Resources Chief who refused to answer questions from his boss Mary Anne Petrilla. The questions I assume involve a Long Island Security firm. I’m sure there will be others wanting to ask those questions from a certain federal agency. What struck my classmate more than anything was this passage from the Citizen’s Voice: Doug Richards, who was fired Wednesday from his job as Luzerne County's Human Resources Director, said in bankruptcy court documents he earned a monthly income of $6,232. Sandra Richards, a human resources administrator at Luzerne County Community College, earned an average of $3,846 per month, according to the court documents. Folks if you add that up the grand total of that is $10,078 a month, $2,519.50 a week, $503.90 a day, or $62.98 an hour. I asked my friend what she and her husband would do if they made that kind of money. Her response: “I’d faint dead away”. I have said and still believe with all of my heart that the taxes we pay are the dues we pay for being members of society. But when the people we put in charge put guys like Doug Richards in charge, then something needs to be done. Since I have started this political letter I have met many powerful and wealthy people. But I have met many more who are not in that economic strata. They are people in this community that make $500.00 a week, not $500.00 a day. And folks these jobs in Human Resources aren’t that hard. If anyone is interested in applying for Mr. Richards position, send a resume to:
The Luzerne County Courthouse
200 North River Street
Wilkes Barre, Pa. 18711
At the top of the resume be sure to put: “I’ll do this for half of the salary”. The disheartening thing about this situation at the Courthouse is that there seems to be no end in sight. When I was on WYOU TV I suggested a way to clean up Luzerne County. When I mentioned it, people thought it was a little too extreme. Now not so much. Here’s an oldie but a goodie folks:



NOW WE DEBATE

After hours of floor speeches in a rare weekend session, the Senate Democrats, with all 60 voting yes, moved forward the
health care reform bill. In a procedural motion of cloture, House Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid’s (D- NV) health reform bill will now move to the floor for the debate and amendment process.
There was little suspense, as a voice vote was taken on the Senate floor shortly before 8:00 PM this evening. The last Democratic holdouts, Senators Ben Nelson, Mary Landreu
and Blanche Lincoln, announced earlier that they would vote yes to allow the health care bill to proceed to debate. This is a major step in the process and moves the prospect of affordable and quality health care for all Americans that much closer.
The final voting tally was 60-39, with all Republican Senators voting no. The GOP voted to not talk about the issue. They voted to not talk about your neighbor’s cancer, your niece’s pre-existing condition, your elderly parents prescription drug plan, your wife’s mammogram or your child’s neonatal care. This great body of Senators that sent 4,000 troops to Iraq to be assassinated by road side bombs chose not to talk about the health care needs of the survivors of those killed in action. They chose not to talk about the future health care of those wounded and maimed in Iraq. Support the troops my ass. As Archie Bunker used to say, they chose to “dummy up”. Remember folks, they said “no” to even discuss this issue. The debate process is scheduled to start when Senate lawmakers return from their Thanksgiving recess. And the debate on the public option will begin anew. The centrist Democratic Senator will be the most sought after and powerful people in the country. Look for our own Bob Casey to play a major role. Meanwhile our other Senator, Arlen Specter issued this statement on the health care debate. It would be my hope that my colleagues would not draw lines in the sand or stay in inflexible positions. We need to move ahead, and doing nothing is not an option. The problems of so many millions of Americans uninsured and the problems of the rising healthcare costs makes it imperative that action be taken.I think that the bill which has been proposed is a very, very good start. It is obviously subject to amendments and some modification. But the total cost has come in at about $850 billion over 10 years and is projected to save about $130 billion to reduce the deficit. In the second decade it is projected to save even more, up to as much as $650 billion. President Obama has committed not to sign a healthcare bill which adds to the deficit, and I’m committed not to vote for a healthcare bill that adds to the deficit. It is my hope that the bill will emerge with very strong provisions on preventative care. That includes annual examinations without additional costs and encouraging people to have the annual exams to catch many problems at their early stages, like heart disease or ailments, before they develop into debilitating and expensive chronic diseases. I disagree with the recent recommendations to cut back on mammogram screenings or pap smears. I think that early detection is vital and well worth the cost. I can tell you from my personal experience: an MRI detected a brain tumor the size of a golf ball between my skull and my brain back in 1993. It could have been a very, very serious matter had that early detection not occurred.Healthcare reform is vital and we’re determined to get a good bill.

FREE MARKET BULLCRAP

Don’t you love how the GOP and the vested interests of health care talk about the freedom of the free market? Letting the free markets set the product, pricing and competition. During the Bus administration the government let the free market decide just how fast broadband internet service would grow. The free market took its time in getting to the realization that this is what the American people wanted. The result of that policy is this: other countries across the globe have beeter and faster internet service because their governments took a hand in formulating a policy. Coupling with the private market, governments set expectations. The U.S., once the leader in technology let the free market handle it. As a result we are behind in this area. During the health care debate, you’ll hear people say “let the free market decide”. Sometimes that’s not good when the companies are only interested in profits and not people.



The LuLac Edition #1015, Nov. 22nd, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: JFK IN DALLAS MOMENTS BEFORE HIS DEATH.

46 YEARS AGO TODAY...........


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1014, Nov. 21st, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

With Thanksgiving coming up we had a chance to sit down with a person who volunteers to serve turkey dinner to the elderly and poor people in Lackawanna County.
Q: How did you get started doing this?
A: I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer in 2005.
Q: Ouch!
A: Tell me about it, he suffered greatly and I was really, really mad. So on the holidays I made sure my family knew I was occupied, my grown kids included and feasted by myself.
Q: On what?
A: Booze. I drank myself into oblivion starting Wednesday night at 9PM and didn’t stop until Saturday night.
Q: What was your booze of choice?
A: Oh I went first class. Bottles of chardonnay, Robert Modavi and then to really knock myself out a couple of Tylenol PM. By Saturday night I was so sick I couldn’t, wanted to die myself.
Q: Did you eat anything at all?
A: Yeah ironically turkey. I bought one of those big ass subs at Wegmans. Then for dessert I had a tub of ice cream. That was my Thanksgiving dinner.
Q: When did you stop doing this and why and how?
A: I started to feel really guilty because I was being selfish. My kids thought I was dead once when I couldn’t answer the door so I stopped uh, excuse the pun, cold turkey.
Q: Ever think about drug and alcohol agencies? AA?
A: Naw, I think they do more hard for people than good.
Q: When did you start to volunteer and how did that come about?
A: I was walking home one night and I saw this mom and two kids. They were pretty disheveled and the kids were screaming because they could smell the pizza and wanted some.
Q: Whose pizza?
A: Pappas.
Q: Oh man great stuff.
A: Yeah I know. Anyway the mother was saying we just need to get in there and get warm, use the bathrooms and then move on.
Q: What did you do?
A: I stopped, opened my purse and dropped a ten on the ground. I was so scared to death that it would blow away. Last November was nothing like the mild weather we are having this month.
Q: I know, I was getting chemo last year and the cold was terrible.
A: I then started to walk away and began to really, really cry, and it was all guilt.
Q: Then what?
A: I called one of the United Way agencies and they directed me to a center where I could help on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Q: You’re a hero then, right? I think you are.
A: No, not at all. I’m coping but in a good way. I have dinner with the kids at a restaurant after my shift and it’s all good now.
Q: So no more drinking on Thanksgiving Day anymore?
A: Not alcohol. I drink a lot of water. That kitchen gets hot with all those steaming potatoes and gravy.
Q: No more Wegmans subs and ice cream?
A: Nope, back to the traditional stuff. But I wait until the people I volunteer for eat their food. It’s only right.
Q: No sneaking any little bitsy samples?
A: Maybe a spoonful, that’s it.
Q: Happy Thanksgiving, you’re back!
A: Yeah I’m glad.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1013, Nov. 20th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: SATURDAY EVENING POST COVER OF BOBBY KENNEDY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

BOBBY AT 84

If Bobby Kennedy had lived he would've been celebrating his 84th birthday today. As time goes on, at least for my generation, the wound has yet to heal from his tragic death. But the memory of his championship for the rights of all Americans to live a quality life remains and I dare say inspires. Here's a clip from the last campaign:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1012, Nov. 19th, 2009




PHOTO INDEX: TAXMAN LOGO, 11TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE COREY O'BRIEN AND FAMILY, FORMER ELECTED PRESIDENT AL GORE AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

UNDER THE DOME

Things are really heating up under the dome at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Now there is word that the debit card scandal will be revisited by the feds in their ongoing investigation. The ramifications of that are huge. You have those players who used debit cards and paid the money back. Can it be argued that the use of cards was theft of services? Plus you have two current commissioners who ran as a team in 2007 under scrutiny. Greg Skrepenak for the use of his card and Mary Anne Petrilla for her role as County Controller when those cards were used. Then you have the contract awarded to a Long Island firm providing background checks for prospective employees, That contract was not bid out. Just when you think things are calming down, another flap rears its head. The beat as they say goes on.

TOOLE TIME OUT

In the meantime Judge Michael Toole has told the Court that he is taking the rest of November off. The timing of this is pretty rough given the huge backlog of cases before the Common Pleas Court. There are some who tell me Toole may not return but those telling me that can’t confirm exactly why.

COREY DOOR TO DOOR

11th Congressional district candidate Corey O’Brien is going door to door in an effort to introduce himself to voters. Here’s a message he sent along to his growing base of supporters
As I continue to knock on doors throughout PA's 11th Congressional District, the message is clear. We need change, and we need it now.We need to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington, so that we don't bury our children under a pile of debt. That's why I supported the 2010 Lackawanna County budget, which passed unanimously yesterday. For the third straight year, my fellow commissioners and I were able to balance the budget without raising taxes. Balancing a budget in this economic climate is never easy, but I believe that we must ensure that our government does not spend above its means.If you would like to help us bring the change we need to PA-11 and restore fiscal discipline in Washington, please sign up to
volunteer through our website at obrien2010.com.Thank you for your support!
Despite a great deal of criticism by party regulars, O’Brien is impressing many people in his door to door efforts.

A TAXING SITUATION

I never had the guts or the stamina to be a small business owner, let alone run a restaurant. I respect those people who take the plunge and try to earn a living that way. That’s why I have mixed emotions about the Ken Smith tax situation in Lackawanna County. Smith is a State Representative who won election over long time incumbent Fred Belardi when it became evident that Belardi was more a man of Harrisburg than he was of his Scranton District. Ken Smith a popular restaurant owner took him on and won. But as Belardi’s problems ended, Smith’s began. According to the Scranton Times, As of March 2008, Mr. Smith owed $27,274 in penalties, interest and fees for county and Scranton School District taxes from 2005 to 2007. At the time, he said he could not explain how the taxes piled up, because his "wife takes care of that." Again that was pretty tough to buy. When you are so involved in a family business, unless you are trying to sabotage it or the marriage you’re in, you’d communicate about a bill that big. In our arrangement, Mrs. LuLac and I take care of separate entities and there is not a month that goes by that we do not check each other’s work. Back to Mr. Smith, he still owes $9,495.30 in taxes and penalties on the unpaid 2008 taxes. That according to Ron Koldjeski, director of the county Tax Claim Bureau. Mr. Smith said he hopes to pay all the taxes soon and blamed the restaurant's troubles on a decline in customers caused by the economic downturn. I wonder how many business owners having troubles ignored their taxes for so long? I had been in Smith’s Restaurant many times during the day and it never seemed to be hurting for customers. Given the mismanagement of a simple thing like paying your taxes, maybe it wasn’t the economic problem going on but perhaps the way the business was run. Smith told the Times, "If you're a big business such as General Motors, you get bailed out, but how about a family business, 75 years in business?" Mr. Smith said. I can agree with Smith’s sentiment about government bailouts for GM but last I heard they paid their corporate taxes like good citizens. Plus if Mr. Smith is so concerned about family businesses, is there any legislation proposed by him in Harrisburg to help out those concerns he referenced? By the way, Smith earns more than $70,000 a year as a State Representative. He gets pretty good health care too. He owes about $9500 in back taxes. Some of his constituents have to pay about $500 a month for Health Care. If Mr. Smith sets aside $500.00 a month for less than two years, he can have that bill paid off. Unfortunately for him, the 2010 election looms. But with these problems existing in 2008 he won re-election anyway. In the meantime, Lackawanna County residents who make less than $70,000 pay their taxes, economic downturn or not.


WARMONGERS DEFICIT HAWKS

The Republican Senate which laid down like eager hookers for the Bush administration’s Iraq War policies all of a sudden are worried about the big deficits. The Senate GOP reacted today by assailing the Democrats' newly minted health care legislation. They called it a collection of tax increases, Medicare cuts and heavy new burdens for deficit-ridden states. Despite the criticism, there were growing indications Democrats would prevail on an initial Senate showdown set for Saturday night, and Majority Leader Harry Reid crisply rebutted the Republican charges. The legislation is designed to answer President Barack Obama's call to expand coverage, end industry practices such as denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions, and restrain the growth of health care spending. In the meantime the men who gave us the Iraq War now begrudge health care for the very least of us.

MY MAN AL

Al Gore, the elected President of the 2000 election and former Vice President did a guest stint on 30 Rock. Here’s a brief clip:


1964

Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks becomes the first NBA player to score 20,000 points....The Second Vatican Council known as the third period of the Catholic Church's ecumenical council closes... The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens to traffic (the world's longest suspension bridge at this time)……….in Pennsylvania Governor Scranton begins to plan a strategy to work with a Democratic controlled House of Representatives set to take office in 1965……A survey by the Post Office estimated that 50,438 homes and 5,010 businesses were within the area of the Wilkes Barre post office…..Ethel Price returned to work on Wilkes Barre City Council after an operation….and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “She’s Not There” by the Zombies.







Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1011, Nov. 18th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: HEALTH REFORM LOGO.

MONEY, WAR AND HEALTH

I think it is hysterical how the Senate GOP members, sensible men like Lamar Alexander question the need for Health Care Reform by saying that it will cost too much money and that the deficit will never go away. Take a look at this link: http://costofwar.com/.
4,000 people died in Iraq. We invested over 700 billion dollars and 4,000 soldiers. Where is the return on our investment?
With a national health care plan, we invest in our citizen's future. The dirty little secret here is that government will not administer health care. It might mandate it but the plan itself will be administered by third party fiscal intermediaries. Existing insurance companies will administer it. And they will be watched to make sure rates are fair, costs are contained and Americans will be healthier than ever.
The opponents are screaming about the cost: look at the link again:
http://costofwar.com/
You tell me what makes more sense, trying to fight a war looking for phantom weapons of mass destruction or providing a health care system that is fair to all Americans.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1010, Nov. 17th, 2009


PHOTO INDEX: GOVERNOR ED RENDELL IN SCRANTON (PHOTO FROM SCRANTON TIMES) AND PATIENT GETTING MAMMOGRAM.

THE “ED” TOUR

Governor Ed Rendell blew through Northeastern Pennsylvania on Tuesday and as usual he made some news. The Governor went from Scranton to Hazleton and made known his disdain for the way government is conducted in the state. He also went on record saying that judges should be selected my merit. Rendell told WNEP TV that many attorneys talk to him about wanting to run for Judge but don’t because of the rigorous efforts to mount a fundraising campaign. Rendell also took on the lobbyists' saying to gauge the influence they have all you need do is look at the campaign contributions to legislators. With that clout,changes in tax laws are almost impossible. The Governor repeated his mantra heard often during the budget battle that 10 companies in the state including Wal-Mart and QVC, have $1 billion or more in sales in Pennsylvania, but still benefit from a 1 percent discount established in the 1920s for early submission of sales tax payments. Rendell ran through a laundry list of products and services exempted from any taxation, including candy and gum, bottled water, helicopters, gold bullion, legal fees, out-of-state sales of horses and trout (but not salmon). Those exemptions cost the state $4.3 billion in taxes.

WTF!!!!

That new breast cancer study that recommends mammograms for women over 50 and not before is pretty stupid if you ask me. I have known many women under 50 that benefited from early intervention. To me it’s almost as if we are being set up for some type of medical plan that might not insure any women’s mammography. A
controversial new breast cancer study recommends women wait an additional 10 years and get routine mammograms at age 50 instead of 40. The study also recommends subsequent testing every two years instead of every year. But breast cancer patients who are in their 40s said without that mammogram, they wouldn't have known they had the disease. And you really can’t blame them. What do you say to the millions of volunteers for the Susan Komen Foundation who have been busting their asses for years to make this a serious issue? What do you say to those people saved by early intervention? If anything makes the case for an individual to take care of their own health care needs this misguided testimony/recommendation is it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1009, Nov. 16th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: CITY WIDE TOW OPERATOR BOB KADLUBOSKI.

BATMAN AND ME


I first met Bob Kadluboski in the mid 90s when he was towing my car out of the Times Leader parking lot. I was there for a job interview and as I exited the building he was just about ready to chain my back bumper to his tow truck. I explained my situation and he said, “You’re not hooked yet, you’re timing was good this time”. I thanked him and never parked near that lot again. Kadluboski has been the town version of “Batman” showing up when errant drivers and criminals alluded police. He has been a good Samaritan helping drivers in need and has not been shy about taking government officials to task. On Election night as I was getting ready to go up to Hazleton and appear on WYLN TV, my sister in law calls and tells me Kadluboski was running a write in effort for Jury Commissioner. To her surprise I mentioned that more than a few people were writing my name in for that very office. (I had mentioned it weeks earlier but past experience has shown that while people in my family listen to me, they never hear what I’m saying). My reaction was “good for him”. I had wanted to run a campaign as a write in for the office when Jerry Bonner was charged with a crime. But circumstances prevented me from mounting any type of effort. And in a way that might have been a good thing since Kadluboski made the point with Sue Henry that his was a stealth candidacy. His concern, very valid was that the Democratic machine (such as it is) would find a candidate to control the position. Both Kadluboski and I agree that the office is an anachronism and should be abolished. In the vote total, Kadluboski got 73 votes, I got 31. He is challenging the Election Bureau to certify the election results in case Mr. Bonner does not have a positive outcome. If Bonner does not prevail in court, Kadluboski as the next highest vote getter should get the position. That would not only be proper but it would hasten the decline of a useless position that has outlived its usefulness. “Batman” will be relentless in his decimation of that office. To all my 31 voters I say thank you for your support. To the ones who voted for Kadluboski, I say “you guys rock”.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1008, Nov. 15th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: SARAH PALIN NEWSWEEK COVER.

FACING THE MUSIC

If you were in a time warp, you would think that John Perzel was attending a high power meeting at the State Capitol as he has done hundreds of times. Not so on Friday the 13th when those charged with big time crimes took the trek to Capitol city to meet the magistrates. But there was one distinct style difference. Arriving at District Judge William Wenner’s office with state agents, former House Speaker John Perzel wore a pair of handcuffs with his dark suit. Perzel, his longtime chief of staff Brian Preski, former state Rep. Brett Feese, and seven other defendants in the latest state Capitol corruption case formally answered to the district judge Friday morning on a barrage of theft, conspiracy and other charges. Most defiantly declared their innocence, and some let their anger show at what they perceived as a carefully planned media show for Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is running for governor. Perzel, who still holds a seat in the state House, was the only defendant to speak to reporters. “This [investigation] has been going on for quite some time,” said Perzel, R-Philadelphia. “There’s hundreds of allegations that have been made, and I’m looking for an opportunity to prove my innocence in court.” Then, as he often does at the Capitol, he plowed through a phalanx of reporters, ignoring questions. Corbett has accused Perzel and the others of leading a seven-year conspiracy to use more than $10 million in taxpayer money to buy computer technologies to help the House Republican caucus retain and possibly expand its slender majority. Several in the group are also accused of taking steps to block the investigation. The charges are the second stage in a multi year investigation into legislative operations. Last year, Corbett’s office filed charges against former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon and 11 others affiliated with the House Democrats. Corbett's campaign cannot be hurt by this especially since he went after members of his own party. Perzel's problems actually predate Corbett's ambitions because even his fellow GOPers in the House were afraid of him.

SARAH SMILES

Sargant Shriver, Edmund Muskie, William Miller. All 4 were former Vice President candidates who were men of stature and standing in American politics. But I venture to guess that not many people remember them, their names or their careers. Shriver was the first head of the Peace Corps, Muskie was a Senator and then Secretary of State, and William Miller served multiple terms in Congress. Then there’s a one term Governor from Alaska that did not finish her tenure. She didn’t get along with her Presidential nominee’s staff nor his family. Instead of being banished by her party, she is celebrated. She is Sarah Palin and as reported here in July she is going to make a run for the White House in 2012. Sarah Palin did not believe her 2008 interview with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric would be a defining moment in the presidential election, she tells Oprah Winfrey in an upcoming interview -- but she knew it was bad. The McCain campaign, however, thought the interview went well, Palin tells Winfrey in an interview that will broadcast Monday. "The campaign said, right on. Good. You're showing your independence," Palin said, according to an excerpt from the interview. "And of course I'm thinking, if you thought that was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview is because I knew it was a bad interview." Palin was lampooned by Saturday Night Live for the interview, which some called a "turning point" in the campaign. Palin’s book has already sold a gazillion copies and the way she handles the publicity, the notoriety and the press, adverse and positive from, this launch, will determine whether she is a serious candidate. However, in my opinion the cover though on Newsweek this week doesn’t help that cause.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1007, Nov. 14th, 2009

PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.

INTERVIEW

The recent hearings on PCN TV, the newspaper coverage of the Judicial scandal and the charges against a former county official prompted this discussion with an out of town transplant. This time I answered the questions.
Q: Do you know when these indictments are going to stop?

A: I don’t know. This thing is so pervasive it is going to last a while.
Q: How did these people get an office that their father had? I mean that’s like a bloodline in England, it’s like a kid, a dumb kid, an undeserving kid getting a oh I can’t think of the term but it, it……
A: Legacy, I think the word you’re looking for is legacy.
Q: Yeah, yeah, do people just accept that certain families control everything?
A: In a way but let’s not forget that there are sons of former politicians who have done good jobs. ]
Q: I’ll buy that but it just seems like there’s more of it here. These Judges, Ciavarella and Conahan, when they were young, did they get in trouble? Were they bad kids?
A: No, they were exemplary students, hard workers, came from good families.
Q: What happened?
A: Power happened. The way things played out, I think the corruption was so accepted, even at the lower levels that it became a way of life. And then when the individuals got caught, they were stunned. And apologized.
Q: Do you think they apologized for doing bad stuff or getting caught?
A: I’d like to think it was because they realized it was bad but I’m sure it’s because they got caught.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The LuLac Edition #1006, Nov. 13th, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: CHILDREN'S HEALTH PHOTO, LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSION LOGO (COURTESY OF PITTSTON POLITICS.COM) AND OUR 1964 LOGO.

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE

Amid a tough economy, and with more people losing medical benefits, another health insurance option is now available for children, and it is free for those who qualify. Geisinger Health Plan has begun offering health insurance through the federally funded and state-funded Children's Health Insurance Program in 40 counties in Pennsylvania. Children who do not have health insurance through other avenues are eligible for CHIP.
In one month, nearly 400 children have enrolled in Geisinger Health Plan, the newest of 10 health care plans across the state that cover children enrolled in CHIP, said Kristen Wolf, outreach and marketing division chief for CHIP and AdultBasic, at a press conference Thursday at Little People Day Care Center in Kingston. Other insurance companies which offer coverage for children enrolled in CHIP include Aetna, AmeriChoice, Capital Blue Cross, Health Partners, Highmark, Independence Blue Cross, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Unison and UPMC Health Plan.
According to the state Insurance Department, 196,112 children were enrolled in CHIP statewide as of October, including 4,214 in Luzerne County, 2,809 in Lackawanna County and 395 in Wyoming County. CHIP covers children up to age 19. A family of four who makes less than $50,000 a year can qualify for CHIP. CHIP covers doctor visits, immunizations, routine checkups, emergency and hospital care, prescriptions, dental, eye care and hearing services. "All are very important services that need to be made available to ensure that children of this state are healthy," said Jean Haynes, president and chief executive officer of Geisinger Health Plan. About 60 percent of CHIP is funded through federal dollars and 40 percent by a tax on cigarettes in the state. There is no waiting list for CHIP. For more information about applying for CHIP, visit www.chipcover spakids.com or www.chip.thehealth plan.com or call 866-621-5235.

PRO CHOICE LOBBIES

After the passage of the House Bill last week which included the Stupak amendment, the Pro Choice forces of the Democratic party got into action. The Pro Choice lobby is one of the most powerful of the Democratic party. To give you an indication of that just remember this: the last openly Pro Life candidate on a national Democratic ticket was 37 years ago in 1972 when Sargent Shriver ran as Vice President. The House of Representatives passed health-reform legislation that included an anti-choice amendment that will seriously jeopardize women's access to abortion – making it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new health system to offer abortion coverage to women. This would have the effect of denying women the right to use their own personal, private funds to purchase an insurance plan with abortion coverage in the new health system. We must stop health-care reform from being enacted with this ban!
Sign our petition calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand firm against a ban on abortion coverage for women in the new health system.

QUESTIONS ON HOME RULE

Luzerne County Republican activist Kathy Dobash has some questions and concerns for the Home Rule Charter Study Commission. Dobash has been religious in attending the meetings and has some concerns which I will list in an e mail sent to LuLac last week: At the recent public meeting held in Hazleton, PA last week on Wednesday November 5, 2009 Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission read a statement to the Luzerne County Citizens who attended the meeting. I saw, heard and felt that the citizens were instructed on how to phrase their inquiry. So instead of the presentation of a question I was forced to make only a comment. Now I will fire away many questions here in my blog and forward it to all the local media. This also revolves around the recent controversy about one member of the Commission who has been elected to the Luzerne County Controller. Apparently he is under pressure by the chairman and his followers to resign immediately. This is truly a political tactic by the chairman of the Commission: Jim Haggerty. He is also the Mayor of Kingston, PA.Here are the members of the Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission:Jim HaggertyWalter Griffith Jr., John Adonizio, Veronica Ciaruffoli, Frank E. P. Conyngham, Jack Schumacher, Rick Morelli, Richard “Kick” Heffron, Robert “WhammerWanyo, Christopher “C. J.” Kersey, Charmaine Maynard. That night I only had one issue. The members are creating duties, salaries, and positions to run the county. I believe it is a conflict of interest to form those positions and then later run as candidates for the very same positions they have created.If I was allowed to ask a question I would have simply asked:Are any members of the Luzerne County Home Rule Study Commission planning on running for office for the very same positions they have created?I now have more questions because I believe the Chairman is using his position to move forward with an agenda that the public might not appreciate.Here are more questions: Is this an open and honest Commission? Is this a Commission of 10 individuals listening to the directives of the Chairman?Will this be the forum for every public hearing? Is this statement read by Chairman Jim Haggerty meant to discourage the voters? I understand that questions and answers will extend your meetings. I know everyone wants to leave in a timely manner. Perhaps your dual role as Mayor of Kingston and Chairman of this Commission is more than you can handle. People do have questions. How can anyone recommend your ideas to pass a new charter for Luzerne County when you discourage and control the public's thirst for transparency?

KANJORSKI WRITES

No, the Congressman is not sending us a letter this time. Instead he is on the national stage once again on the Huffington Post about the “Kanjorski amendment. That piece of legislation will be released by the Congressman. It would give the government the authority to break up large financial corporations. With this amendment, American taxpayers would no longer be on the hook for bailouts, as companies would not be able to become “too big to fail. It’s a good article, here’s the link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-paul-kanjorski/the-end-of-too-big-to-fai_b_357386.html

1964

Mariner 3, a U.S. space probe intended for Mars, is launched from Cape Kennedy but fails......The British House of Commons votes to abolish the death penalty for murder in Britain.....President Johnson readies himself for a term in how right after his huge landslide victory and the Republican party begins to do a great deal of soul searching regarding its future direction…….in Pennsylvania Sceretary of Internal Affairs Genevieve Blatt finally concedes paving the way for a second term for incumbent Hugh Scott. Scott not pleased referred to the campaign “as an unpleasant affair”. I had hoped my opponent would have conducted herself like a lady and would have not used so many vicious attacks but that was not to be”…..locally Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania conducted their Fall Advisory Council meeting at the Hotel Sterling. Roy E. Morgan told a gathering of 100 that “Blue Cross members get more benefits for their membership dollars from Blue Cross than anywhere else”. F.W. (Frank) Remington, Enrollment Director said, Blue Cross has made many changes through the years. If we expect to be here for another 26 years we must continue to make changes. Payment of hospital bills has become a complex business with many of our members being hospitalized for combined care, room and nursing at as high as $45.00 a day”………and 45 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “Baby Love” by the Supremes.