The LuLac Edition #1206, June 11th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1966 LOGO, STRIP MINING IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CIRCA 1960s, CONGRESSMAN JOE SESTAK, CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI AND MAYOR OF HAZLETON LOU BARLETTA.
Since my auto accident in 1999, I have had to work in a few jobs that I could not foresee. A few of them promised big things when they moved into the area but the payscale never got past $9.00 an hour and there was an incremental attack on the basic items one expected in a job. One place I worked with had no vacation or Sick Time. You had “paid leave”. One Human Resource flunky used to tell us “that we would be wise to manage our sick time”. Yeah, I’ll have that heart attack on the weekend when its convenient for the company. I saw a clear correlation of the way we worked at the start of the 21st century to the way people worked in the early 1900s. Oh the conditions were better but you still were at the will of the company. They could do to you anything they wanted. Like ship your work to India or Canada, change your salary at will, anything. There are very few companies here that pay a living wage. So in effect we haven’t progressed economically since 1900 if you factor in the cost of living. For those of us who have good paying jobs, we are truly thankful. But you wonder why this area of Northeastern Pennsylvania is constantly catching up. Maybe it’s because we are constantly being conned. That brings me to the latest thing happening here, the big debate about drlling. Big oil companies have come into the area and want to get their hands on Marcellius Shale. In typical Pennsylvania fashion, there are no regulations to make certain that this is going to be safe. A few people have gotten money for their land and got checks of various sizes. Why a State Government system couldn’t be set up for equal pricing and distribution is beyond me. People got their money but are getting brown water. Oil companies have provided water buffaloes for people to use. A local utility company was shocked to learn that there was drilling not more than an eighth of a mile near their water table. When a major company is not made aware of stuff like this you know something is very, very wrong. A few points:
1. The drilling should stop now in Pennsylvania until there is a regulatory body that can oversee what these out of towners are doing.
2. A Moratorium on all work should begin.
3. A negotiating body should be set up to see that the state gets its fair share of money.
4. Fines should be levied for all companies destroying water tables.
5. Assets of the companies need to be seized (ie equipment) of any drilling violators.
I’ve not come to this conclusion lightly. The precious commodity has been in the ground for centuries, waiting another year or two to do it right is not going to make the mineral any more valuable. This area has been used and abused by coal barons who used to throw bodies of dead miners on their front porches after they died in the caves. We’ve had governments and local business leaders who have consistently underpaid and undervalued the workforce for generations. We’ve allowed ourselves to be trampled on. In our feature 1966 I tell you about the clean up that was instituted by the Scranton administration of land fills and strip mines. Strip mines were those things coal companies used to create when they needed an easy buck. Take a bite out of the side of a mountain or pile culm on a big bank and let it sit there for all to admire. There is a reason why we are still known as a dusty coal town and most of that has to do with strip mining. It is time to stop being used. It is time to stop being played a fool. It is time to stop being chumps. When I got my driver’s license my father used to prevail on me to take him for a ride out to Falls. There was a huge spring that had the freshest water in the world. He’d fill up plastic jugs and drink his stash, savoring the crisp clean water. He told me that he was going to enjoy this little pleasure for as long as he could because by the time I was an adult people would have to buy their water in bottles. (I think of that every time I pop open an Aquafina). He also told me that if we weren’t careful we’d have brown water to contend with. He was right. And if we don’t get a hold of this drilling issue, we may not have any water at all. Big business under the guise of giving us a better life has undervalued and underpaid Northeastern Pennsylvania. They took away competitive wages, ruined our mountainsides and now are after our water. For greed. With no thought for the future. It’s time to quit being everybody else’s doormat.
SESTAK IN TOWN
U.S. Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak will be in town on Saturday, June 12, 2010.
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Kingston Twp Municipal Building
Street: 180 E Center St
City/Town: Kingston, PA
MEET JAMES IN PLAINS!
James O'Meara will be at the Naked Grape campaigning for State Representative in the 121st District. The Grape is located at 15 North River Street (in the Weis Plaza) Plains, PA Tuesday, June 15: 6PM - 8PM. Pizza and Soda Served.
For more info, contact GOP HQ at 570-208-4671 or call Jim at 570-417-9518.
KANJORSKI ON THE GO
Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, was named as a negotiator for the House-Senate conference committee on H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The conference committee -- with just 16 core House conferees and 12 Senate conferees -- will work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of Wall Street reform bills and reach a final agreement on the historic legislation. “I am honored to be appointed to negotiate a final agreement to reform Wall Street,” said Chairman Kanjorski. “This legislation will require the most sweeping changes of the financial services sector since the Great Depression, and it will affect how bankers, stock brokers, insurance agents, financial advisers, and others do their jobs for decades to come. I am confident that we can work together quickly to reach an agreement for the American people on a bill that will reform how Wall Street operates. I am especially committed to working with my Senate colleagues to convince them to agree to keep my amendment to prevent financial firms from becoming ‘too big to fail’ and prevent future bailouts, which was included in the House-passed version of the bill. Now is the time for action, and I have faith that the Congress can rise to the challenge to pass a strong bill that will better protect Americans living and working on Main Street from the excesses engineered by the financial titans of Wall Street, and I am hopeful that we can enact this legislation in a bipartisan way.”
Chairman Kanjorski won appointment to the conference committee because of his past leadership in reforming Wall Street business practices, including drafting about half of the bills folded into the House-passed package and sponsoring the “too big to fail” amendment to empower federal regulators to rein in and dismantle financial firms that are so large, inter-connected, or risky that their collapse would put at risk the entire American economic system. The Kanjorski amendment builds on the legislation’s other reforms aimed at preventing future bailouts of the financial sector.
GOP HEAVY IN DEEP
According to the Times Leader, A federal magistrate arraigned Elizabeth Sichler on charges she allegedly kept payments that were supposed to go to the sellers of property while she was affiliated with Priority Seach Inc., a defunct Kingston title search company. U.S. Magistrate Malachy Mannion released Sichler of Harveys Lake on her own recognizance and ordered her not to discuss the case with anyone, including family members who might be victims. A hearing is set for July 6. Sichler has been associated with many political campaigns involving the local GOP. It is said that she has been one of the unseen powers behind the throne.
LOU WITH YOU
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta will have a campaign event coming up. It is a BBQ with Lou!
Start Time: Tuesday, June 22 at 6:00pm
End Time: Tuesday, June 22 at 8:00pm
Where: Damon's Grill (tent parking lot)
RENDELL ON PCN
Governor Ed Rendell will take viewers’ calls on the PCN Call-In Program set to air LIVE on Monday, June 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The hour-long program will give viewers an opportunity to talk directly to the Governor by dialing toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001. Governor Rendell has been a frequent visitor to PCN throughout his terms in office
TOO GOOD LOOKING
This week we came across a video sent from our friend Dr. Joe Leonardi about a woman fired because of her good looks. Take a gander at this story:
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
On space mission Gemini 9: Gene Cernan completes the second U.S. spacewalk (2 hours, 7 minutes)............Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while trying to march across Mississippi.......The State Mines Department sets up three area of Luzerne County for clean up and restoration of strip mines in Hazelron, Jeddo Borough and plains,. Governor Scranton directs the department to begin work by late 1967 after land studies are done to restore the land to its former environs. The Scranton administration will continue its plan to rid State counties of the ravages of strip mining…..in Wilkes Barre Unemployment hovers around 8 percent……and 44 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac Land was a song written by Paul Simon, “Red Rubber Ball” by the Cyrkle.