Thursday, December 16, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1406, Dec. 16th, 2010



I had this story last Saturday and I held it. Oh well, it was brewing anyway. Steve Urban Luzerne County Commissioner switched parties. Here are the implications of his mood:
1. Urban has been successful in winning three terms as County Commissioner under the GOP banner but essentially has done it on his own. He has not run with many of the GOP candidates in the Commissioner’s race.
2. But Urban has been criticized for being a lone cowboy. Many believe that a change in party affiliation will bolster that image as being an independent minded conservative devoid of party.
3. Steve Urban owes the GOP nothing. In his statewide race for State Senate he didn’t get any major help from the state party against John Yudichak. Why should he stick around when he gets no respect.
4. Urban has been a political survivor. With the new change in County government, you can bet Urban wants a seat at that County Council table. In a race with 11 seats open, and where name recognition is key, a switch to the Dems who are still the majority party will help. There are plenty of conservative Democrats who agree with Urban on many issues.
5. Other County Commissioners have switched party affiliation successfully. Long time Democrat Ed Wideman was a Republican before changing over to the Dems, both A.J. Munchak and Bob Cordaro were Democrats before joining the GOP in 2003 and Frank Trinicewski’s party switch in 1988 didn’t hurt his reelection bid as County Commissioner. There will be some GOPers angry but they were going to be mad at him anyway.


With the clock ticking toward tax hikes for all Pennsylvania residents and a loss of benefits for people out of work for an extended period of time, the President is repeating his call for the House of Representatives to act quickly on a bipartisan package of tax cuts and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.
“This tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help to grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector. It will help to lift up middle class families, who will no longer need to worry about a New Year’s Day tax hike. It will offer emergency relief to help tide folks over until they find another job. And it includes tax cuts to make college more affordable; help parents to provide for their children; and help businesses, large and small, to expand and hire,” President Obama said today. “We worked hard to negotiate an agreement that’s a win for middle-class families, and a win for our economy, and we can’t afford to let it fall victim to delay and defeat. So, I urge Members of Congress to pass these tax cuts as swiftly as possible.”
The stakes are significant for Pennsylvania. If approved, 6.7 million Pennsylvania residents will receive more money in their paychecks as a result of the payroll tax cut – something nearly every mainstream economist agrees is one of the most powerful things that can be done to boost economic growth. Pennsylvania residents also would benefit from the continued American Opportunity Tax Credit that helped 335,000 families across the state last year. Additional tax cuts in the legislation also geared at middle-class families include the Earned Income Tax Credit, that helps families to climb out of poverty, and the Child Tax Credit extension, that will make sure families don’t see their taxes jump by up to $1,000 for every child.
Additionally, this bipartisan legislation would strengthen the safety net for 353,989 residents who are at risk of having their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits evaporate without Congressional action. Across the country, this month alone, 2 million Americans will lose their UI coverage if Congress fails to act. With Senate approval, this afternoon the measure moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.


First Night is a community celebration of the New Year through the arts. It is an alcohol-free, public celebration that marks the passage from the old year to the new with art, ritual and festivity. The logo for 2011 was designed by Paul Venit.
First Night revives the ancient traditions of marking the passage of time in a present day context. It was invented by a group of civic-minded artists in Boston as a meaningful alternative to traditional New Years Eve revelry. Offered to the city as a finale to its Bicentennial events in 1976, it was also the beginning of a new tradition that brought the neighboring communities together through a joint celebration. The objective of First Night is to recapture the symbolic significance of the passage from the old year to the new; to unite the community through a shared cultural celebration; and to deepen and broaden the public appreciation of the visual and performing arts.


Ray Musto always was a political survivor. Now he’s trying to survive to stay out of jail. What better Attorney to pick than the man who counselled former
Congressman Joe McDade when the feds were after him. When he appears before a federal magistrate for arraignment on bribery and other charges today, former state Sen. Raphael J. Musto will be represented by an attorney who won an acquittal for Congressman Joseph McDade on similar charges in 1996. John E. "Jack" Riley of the Philadelphia law firm of Vaira and Riley convinced a federal court jury to acquit McDade of accepting bribes from military contractors and lobbyists following an eight-week trial. Riley has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, chief prosecutor with the International Nazi War Crimes Investigation Project and chief of the President's Drug Task Force during the Reagan Administration. Many of Musto’s fans and supporters are hoping Musto can go the distance one more time and clear himself of these charges.


Hazleton City Council voted Wednesday to appoint one of its own, Joseph Yannuzzi, as mayor to replace Lou Barletta. Yannuzzi, a Republican and council president, will serve until January 2012, when Barletta’s term expires. Barletta, also a Republican, beat U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke. Council appointed Christopher Puza to replace Yannuzzi. Yannuzzi stood beside Barletta during the Mayor’s Immigration fight.


The longest living Hall of Famer Bob Feller died Wednesday night. I had the opportunity to meet Feller in May of 1984 when Rapid Robert came to the Clarion in Scranton. He was there to sign autographs for my friend Mickman’s card show. I spent a few hours with Feller and he was very down to earth and a wealth of baseball knowledge. He had no use for pampered modern players and was the first to tell you that he would have won more than 266 games if he wasn’t in the Army. Feller traveled the country with his wife going to various shows. He unabashedly said he was cashing in on his fame. When Bob Feller retired the Major League minimum for a rookie was around $6800.00. When he died they were getting $414, 000. Who knows maybe hearing that figure killed him. Feller joined the Cleveland Indians without having played in the minors. He spent his entire career of 18 years with the Indians, being one of "The Big Four" Indians pitching rotation in the 1950s, along with Bob Lemon, Early Wynn and Mike Garcia. He ended his career with 266 victories and 2,581 strikeouts and led the American League in strikeouts seven times and bases on balls four[9] times. His fastball was nicknamed "the Van Meter Heater." He pitched three no-hit games and shares the major league record with 12 one-hitters. Feller was the first pitcher to win 20 or more games before the age of 21. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility. When he was 17 years of age, he struck out 17 batters. Feller was signed by a scout for $1 and an autographed baseball. He was 92.




Brian Hughes interviews 2 nurses from Mercy Hospital in Scranton about their concern over the possible sale of the hospital to a for profit company, and what that may mean regarding the future health care at Mercy, and maintaining Mercy mission in the community. Brian speaks with Shannon Ludwig form the Red Cross about the big regional blood drive in Scranton, Wilkes Barre and Hazleton. Frankie in the Morning speaks with the maker of the 2011 picture calendar, with proceeds benefiting pediatric care at John Heinz & Allied. And Brian speaks with a diamond expert on picking out the right diamond for Christma time. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97.1 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM AM 590.


Shadoe Steele has another go at it this week on WILK AM and FM. This week you'll hear him spin the hits. Peter Tork of the Monkees will also be Shadoe's guest. Here's one of those hits you'll hear Saturdday Night:


How the Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff, is shown for the first time on CBS, becoming an annual Christmas tradition...Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to the Rhodesian government, and announces that he will agree to independence only after the founding of a Black majority government....In the state of Pennsylvania, Governor Scranton and his wife Mary host a holiday gathering for veterans of the Scranton administration. The crowd is peppered with the old Scranton hands as well as the members of the incoming Shafer administration….Hazleton businessman Vic Diehm who ran unsuccessfully for the 14th Senatorial District seat swears off the political bug saying he was returning to run his radio stations WAZL and WVCD FM. ….and the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was another monster hit by the Monkees. This time the Monkees hit # 1 with A Neil Diamond penned song. "I'm A Believer".


At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Phillies have got the best rotation since the ’54 INDIANS!
Rest in Peace Rapid Robert Feller,
you remain the Greatest Indian Player, Sir. and a Patriot second to none.


At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urban may be detouring into a run for County Council or Mayor of WB, but make no mistake that his ultimate goal is to run against Barletta in 2012. He's wanted to be a Congressman since 1996 and this is his best chance given the current political climate.

The GOP'ers who are "mad" at him are really happy he's gone. Steve's never been a team player and has always been out for whatever helps himself politically. Whoever said "Good Riddance" in the paper really espoused the party's feelings. His party label doesn't matter. He has always been, and always will be, working with one interest in mind....HIMSELF.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Your Friend and Political Sparring Partner said...

A 2nd Barletta term will have to do more with re-districting than any other factor.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me set the table about the Mercy-CHS purchase talks- It's already been rumored that WBGH non-union personnel have been capped to two weeks vacation, no matter how many years employed, and also have severely degraded health insurance, besides many additional work rules being enforced. Union benefits have also been reduced in the bargaining talks, as well as other "work rules" being put in place now that really comprimise the health care being provided. RN's are considered as janitors are, being required to do cleaning as well as providing the required care and paperwork to support it. CHS is doing away with housekeeping per se, and having RN's perform it. CHS have sided with doctors/surgeons, since their time is so "valueable", and hospital services provided to them "free" since they are providing "Clients", to push the nursing services into exhasting roles where the customer may not be receiving basic, if not best care. The latest talks in Scranton have CHS buying Moses (OB), and Mercy(Heart & Ortho). In that senarino, CMC gets bought by Geisinger, who at least treats their employees FAIRLY....

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember your great column for the Sunday Dispatch. Good articles, especially all the stuff you did on the Feller visit. Multi talented you are.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so if Urban is such a loner, out only for himself, why in the world would the demos want anything to do with him? There are already plenty of that type in the party.


Post a Comment

<< Home