Friday, December 31, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1421, Dec. 31st, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: MY DOG McKINLEY'S REACTION TO 1966, THE YEAR OF THE BIG YAWN ACCORDING TO LULAC READERS AND FOR THE VERY LAST TIME, OUR 1966 LOGO.

NEW YEAR!!!!

No, not 2011, our poll results from a few weeks ago where we asked voters to pick a year. Since 1966 was such a dismal year (at least to our readers and my dog) we decided to open it up to a conclave. The results:
1972 54%
1967 20%
1980 20%
1976 6%.
My preference would have been ’76, my friend and loyal reader Drew Wasko’s was ’67 but the peple have spoken and 1972 it is!!!

TOOLE’S VIEW

Wil Toole from Dupont has weighed in on some of the Luzerne County Home Rule Transition plans. Here’s his latest thoughts which he shared on Steve Corbett’s program and with some local newspapers:
Dear Editor,
The Luzerne County Transition Committee has approved a budget in excess of $89,000 and from the looks of the line items, we the taxpayers are in for one heck of a ride.
Let's just look at their budget.
They only budgeted the monthly retainer fee of their solicitor and nothing for his hourly rate. Good planning folks! They also budgeted additional money for attorney fees in connection with hiring staff. For what? They have an attorney on the payroll.
They are going to pay up to $10,000 travel expense for candidates looking for a job in Luzerne County government and an additional $4,500 for lodging of these job candidates. Here is a question for the public, "Were you ever paid expenses to apply for a job?"
They turned down free clerical help by using current county staff and budgeted $4,800 for clerical help.
They budgeted $6,500 for a professional consultant on county codes when a simple letter of inquiry to existing Home Rule counties would have given them all the information they need and only for the cost of a stamp. Insult to injury, they plan to spend $7,500 on expenses to recruit the consultant plus $3,000 for additional recruiting expenses.
So let's get this straight, they have already hired an attorney at a $500 monthly retainer plus $125 hour (not budgeted) for actual work. They have also set aside money for additional legal help and none of these attorney's are qualified to offer advise on the legality of county codes, we need to hire a consultant at a cost of $17,000?
The county purchases office supplies via public bids but this gang of 11 budgeted $3,100 for clerical supplies. Apparently the existing county supplies already in stock and paid for are not good enough!
$2,000 miscellaneous for insurance/bond, again who on the Transition Team is going to be bonded and why can't the county's existing general insurance cover the group?
This is just the beginning and when they said that the $89,000 was only the minimum, they sure as heck weren't kidding. They can easily spend $89,000 legal "research" costs.
Let's not kid ourselves, this is not a real budget, it is a makeshift thrown together plan to satisfy the County's requirement for a budget. If this is their idea of a "good" budget, we are in deep trouble.
This cure will be worse than the disease and we the taxpayers are in for the ride of our lives. People better start going to these meetings or we are going to pay more than we could ever imagine. This Transition Committee is absolutely out of control and they act like they have a mandate from the voters to do as they please. The media needs to assign some serious watchdog reporting to this group. Wil Toole-Dupont

ANNOUNCEMENT

“Maybe I’m Amazed” and our “Interview” segment will return next week.

DICK CLARK

Since Dick Clark has had his stroke, there’s a lot of debate as to whether he should be on the “Rocking The New Year’s Eve” program which he conceived. A lot of people are uncomfortable at his presence and his speech. Look, the guy owns the program, he is a fighter and deserves the right to speak. However haltingly. Better than hiding in a cave ashamed of a disability that he didn’t ask for.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT


MEDIA MATTERS

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes recaps the top local stories of 2010, from the mid term results,to the ongoing federal corruption probe, to natural gas extraction, and a whole lot more. And an encore of Brian's interview with the Ramsey family, who talk about how blood donations saved their child's life just after his birth, and why you should donate blood "For Pete's Sake", and Shannon Ludwig from the Red Cross previews the upcoming regional blood drives in Scranton, Wilkes Barre &pm Hazleton on Jan 5th. Sunday Magazine. Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

This week Shadoe Steele interviews C.W. McCall who had one of the biggest hits of 1976. C.W. McCall (real name Bill Fries) of 1976's "Convoy" fame, who was former Mayor of Ouray Colorado and who loaned $1000.00 to Chip Davis, a fledgling musician from Omaha Nebraska to start a new record label called "American Gramophone Records", which became one of the largest independent labels in the world, and whose projects include "Manheim Steamroller" and the "Fresh Aire" series! Saturday Night Live at the Oldies starts at 7PM on WILK.



1966


East German Premier Walter Ulbricht discusses negotiations about German reunification.......Thieves steal millions' worth of paintings from the Dulwich Art Gallery in London................in Philadelphia the Mayor’s race on the Democratic side is shaping up as a real donnybrook. Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo has indicated he will run against incumbent James Tate for the nomination.......in Lackawanna County, incumbent Democratic Commissioners Patrick Mellody and Edward Zipay tell WDAU TV’s Tom Powell that they will indeed run for another term.........and 44 years ago this week, the number 1 song in LuLac Land and America was “Words of Love” by the Mama’s and Papa’s.

1966 saw the end of the Gary Lewis and the Playboy era. Here was one of his first hits of the year 1966 and the last hit that he charted in the top 30. A top 5 hit, “She’s Just My Style” and a Top 30 hit, “You Don’t Have To Paint Me A Picture”.



Thursday, December 30, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1420, Dec. 30th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: THE TOP TEN LOGO.


NOT A PERFECT ’10

This year, 2010 was anything but perfect. No Bo Derrick running on this beach especially down in the bayou. Locally things were uneven but not catastrophic. Here’s a rundown:

10a. Scranton city budget: The city of Scranton gets a budget this time from the City Council. Led by Council Chair Janet Evans the legislative body cuts taxes, keeps public service jobs and lays off administrative staff. Mayor Chris Doherty calls the budget veto proof and grudgingly supports it. But that’s not before the Mayor vetoes it and says it is underfunded.
10. Monsignor Joseph Bambera becomes installed as the tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. Bambera, a hometown boy from the MidValley is expected to heal the wounds from the tumultuous reign of Bishop “Hey you can’t do that or I’ll refuse you Communion” Martino.
9. Conahan and Ciavarella, two oldies but goodies return as Conahan says he’ll cop a plea and testify against his old Judge mate. Ciavarella on the other hand asks for a change of venue and requests to be including on the interviewing of jurors. And the beat goes on….
8. Senators Robert Mellow and Ray Musto say they won’t run for another term. In the 22nd, a donnybrook ensues when Representative Jim Wansacz, former County Commissioner Joe Corcoran, Mayor Chris Doherty, Scranton School Director Chris Phillips and John Blake run for the seat. Blake comes out of nowhere and wins in a 5 man race. On the GOP side Frank Scavo faces off against Blake in November and loses. In the 14th, Musto’s seat John Yudichak squares off against Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom Leighton and wins big. He staves off then GOP Commissioner Steve Urban and Libertarian Betsy Summers in the fall.
7. Much drama ensues regarding the Lackawanna County Stadium. The Yankees threatened to move if they don’t get a Stadium renovation plan, Luzerne County plans to sue for their stake in the team, Northeast baseball’s John McGee’s says he’ll sue to keep the team and as the summer dragged on you thought the only guys getting rich here would be lawyers. By the fall the Yanks decided to stay, Ed Rendell pumped in 20 million and baseball will stay here in NEPA but not without the political machinations that make us famous. The Yanks who are worth about a few billion bucks refuse to kick in any money for the stadium work. And the beat goes on…..
6. In Luzerne County voters go to the polls and say yes to Home Rule. After two previous attempts, the voters said no to more of the same politics. The powers that be, meaning the people in office now gnashed their teeth and held their breath but the Home Rule Charter passed and by this time next year a new government will be in place in scandal ridden Luzerne County.
5. The continuing debate on Marcellus Shale, gas drilling and just who will get rich over this will spill into 2011. Complicating all of this is Governor Elect Tom Corbett’s pledge not to raise any taxes while simultaneously accepting nearly a million bucks from the drilling industry.
4. At the start of this decade, Greg Skrepenak was a rich, ex pro football star with a bright political future ahead of him. By the end of this year he was well into serving a 26 month jail term for accepting bribes. The former County Commissioner asked for leniency. He did not get it.
3. In Lackawanna County former Commissioner Bob Cordaro and current official A.J. Munchak are indicted on multiple counts of corruption and racketeering. The investigation into corruption headed north in 2010 with this stunning development.
2. The biggest, shocking political story of the year has to be the indictment of Senator Ray Musto. Musto has been a near god in these circles for years. A guy who made sacrifices in his youth to let younger siblings go to school and who ran the family business wile his father worked in Harrisburg as a Legislator. Musto has been the pinnacle of integrity for years. The charges against him prove that when the feds want you, they are going to get you. After a long and distinguished career, Musto toward the end was charged with taking a kickback on a deal involving his hometown. Musto has indicated he will fight the charges. That aspect of the number 1 story in local politics this year will sure to be one of the top ten news events of ’11.
1. We can’t ignore the sea change in the two adjoining Congressional districts. Incumbent Democrats Chris Carney and Paul Kanjorski are unseated by Tom Marino and Lou Barletta. Like the Musto story, the ramifications of this dual news event will go into 2011 and beyond.
And as we enter 2011, the beat, as they say will go on.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1419, Dec. 29th, 2010










PHOTO INDEX: TOP 5 LOGO, ONE GUY GOING ANOTHER COMING, BOB CORDARO AND JOHN WEBSTER, AND SCENES FROM THE BLOGGER EVENTS HELD THIS YEAR.

TOP 5 MEDIA STORIES

5. In an effort spearheaded by Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics. Com and Gort 42, bloggers have two huge meet ups in the spring and fall where hundreds of readers, politicos and operatives attended.
4. WNEP TV anchors Scott Shaffer and Julie Sidoni appear on national TV. The dynamic broadcast duo go on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and raise thousands of dollars for a local charity.
3. Former WILK Talk Show host and sports broadcaster Kevin Lynn is let go by WILK Radio in the wee morning hours. Kevin Lynn, Congressional Communications Spokesperson is let go shortly after the election from Congressman Kanjorski’s office. Lynn was one of the last to be hired by the multi term Congressman.
2. The 25 year Morning Team of Daniels and Webster is torn asunder when a Shamrock Communications GM refuses to renew John Webster’s contract. A new morning team comes on board, Jay Daniels is moved to midday and D.C. Day is let go.
1. John Webster replaces Kevin Lynn as part of the Morning News team on WILK Radio joining Nancy Kman in his new role.

COMING AND GOING

2010 saw big changes for 2 old radio guys. Former County Commissioner Robert Cordaro is indicted on corruption charges in March. Cordaro owned various radio properties in his career. Meanwhile John Webster moves from Rock 107 to a seemingly bright future at WILK as part of the morning team. Somehow this Beatles song seems appropriate for these developments.

The LuLac Edition #1418, Dec. 29th, 2010


WOMEN




WE



LOVE




2010




EDITION












































































PHOTO INDEX: WOMEN WE LOVE IN 2010, SONIA SHEPHARD, SUSAN WALDMAN, KIM ZBORAY, REAGAN MEDGIE, SHIRLEY SHERROD, LISA MARKOWSKI, MARY ANNE PETRILLA, JILL KONOPKA, KAT PRICKETT, CHELSEA HANDLER, THE COED FROM EDUCATION CONNECTION, AND JENNIFER ROGERS.

WOMEN WE LOVE 2010

Sonia Shephard: The New Jersey native was a print reporter who decided to make the transition into TV. Shephard worked for a time on the 10PM WYLN TV 35 newscast, “Late Edition” but really made her mark in reporting on various stories in the Hazleton Area.

Susan Waldman: The Yankee booth broadcaster is still going strong with her sidekick John Sterling. Her interviews are to the point and even if a bit biased she is knowledgeable and entertaining. She makes Yankee Radio games a pleasure to listen to, even if you’re not a Yankee fan.

Kim Zboray: The former WYLN TV 35 anchor manned Election Night coverage feeding us the results fast and furiously. Her smooth transitions as well as her wealth of information made Election Night move along in a flash.

Reagan Medgie: This WNEP TV reporter has national anchor written all over her. Her concise reporting and on air presence gives WNEP TV a more sophisticated look. Now I’m no Paul Steuber but if I were I’d put her on a few more substantial stories.

Shirley Sherrod: Her boss Tom Vilsack heard a trumped up, edited audio portion of one of her speeches which was broadcast on FOX news and he fired her. Didn’t even ask to get her side of the story. When the White House got to the bottom of it, Vilsack said he’d hire the woman back. Shirley Sherrod did her best Johnny Paycheck imitation and told the President and the Agriculture Secretary to “Take This Job and Shove It”. Gotta love a gal like that!

Lisa Markowski: When she was defeated in the Alaska Senate primary by a near neanderthal, Lisa Markowski did something unusual for an Alaska female Republican: SHE DIDN’T QUIT!!! Unlike former Governor Sarah “I.Q.” I QUIT Palin, Markowski dug in and fought for her principles and her job as a U.S. Senator. She achieved an almost impossible goal which was winning her election as a ”Write In” candidate. And she proved that tough iron jawed Republican Alaskan woman can not only compete and outshine a silly momma grizzly that can’t keep her smart ass quitter mouth shut.

Mary Anne Petrilla: a repeat nominee. The County Commissioner has navigated the murky waters of the Federal Corruption probe, helped with the Home Rule Transition Committee which is eliminating her job and has stood fast in terms of making decisions she says will reflect the County was headed in the right direction before Home Rule. In any other County she would be the front runner to be the County Executive.

Jill Konopka: Another repeat nominee, Jill is enjoying very good visibility and popularity at WFSB in Hartford. Jill is not only a great news person but is grabbing life by the proverbial horns. From “Dancing With the Local Stars” to doing volunteer work in Haiti in the aftermath of the Earthquake, she is energetic and dedicated. And she’s having fun while doing these noble deeds.

Kat Prickett: She is one of the ubiquitous of most of the PCN Anchors. Kat started out as a Producer (uh just like some lady named Walters in the mid 60s) and has been a smash in front of the camera. As my friend L.A. Tarone says, when she covers a story people notice. A great addition to the statewide broadcast scene.

Chelsea Handler: My new favorite late night talk show host. Kind of trashy, kind of naughty and rarely nice. The type of woman you could bring home to mom and the type that would kick your behind but you really wouldn’t care.

The Education Connection Student: She’s touting on line education but if we had study buddies like this at King’s in the 70s, (the wardrobe of choice then for the ladies was painter pants and pheasant blouses) well life would have been a hell of a lot more interesting. Not to mention Greek Mythology and American Lit.

Jennifer Rogers: Her last run for Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge was respectable. She has name recognition and has a charismatic personality. Plus in the last race she articulated her case. With a little more money and organization she just might become Judge in 2011 if she chooses to make the race.


"WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" will return next week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1417, Dec. 28th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: OUR "MOVING ON" LOGO.

MOVING ON: 2010

As we end the year, it is time to remember those who passed on and made an impact in our lives. These are people that moved us in politics, sports and pop culture. May they live on in our individual and collective memories.
Aaron Ruben, 95, American television producer (Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Sanford and Son), pneumonia.
Tom Brookshier, 78, American football player (Philadelphia Eagles), coach and sportscaster (CBS Sports, WCAU), cancer.

J. D. Salinger, 91, author (The Catcher in the Rye), natural causes.
Pernell Roberts, 81, American actor (Bonanza; Trapper John, M.D.), pancreatic cancer.
Bobby Bragan, 92, American baseball player and manager, heart attack.
Erich Segal, 72, American professor, author (Love Story), and screenwriter (Yellow Submarine), heart attack.
Glen Bell, 86, American entrepreneur, founder of Taco Bell.
George Jellinek, 90, American radio personality (WQXR).
Teddy Pendergrass, 59, American soul singer, complications from colorectal cancer.
Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, 58, American bass guitarist (Hall & Oates), heart attack.
Jamie Gillis, 66, American pornographic film actor, melanoma.
John Murtha, 77, American politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania (1974–2010), complications of gallbladder surgery.
Chet Simmons, 81, American sports broadcasting executive, first president of ESPN, Commissioner (USFL), natural causes.
Robert Culp, 79, American actor (I Spy, The Greatest American Hero, Everybody Loves Raymond), heart attack.
Johnny Maestro, 70, American singer (The Crests, The Brooklyn Bridge), cancer.
Vivian Blake, 53, Jamaican drug lord, heart attack.
Liz Carpenter, 89, American feminist author, press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson (1963–1969), pneumonia.
Jerry Adler, 91, American harmonicist, prostate cancer.
Ron Banks, 58, American singer (The Dramatics), heart attack.
W. Willard Wirtz, 98, American politician, Secretary of Labor (1962–1969), last surviving member of the Kennedy Cabinet.
Jim Pagliaroni, 72, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics), cancer.
Mike Cuellar, 72, Cuban Major League Baseball player, stomach cancer.

John Forsythe, 92, American actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty), complications from pneumonia.

Buddy Gorman, 88, American actor (Bowery Boys, Dead End Kids), natural causes.
Chris Haney, 59, Canadian co-inventor of Trivial Pursuit, after long illness.
Gary Coleman, 42, American actor (Diff'rent Strokes), intracranial hemorrhage.
Art Linkletter, 97, Canadian-born American radio and television personality (House Party, People are Funny), natural causes.
Dorothy Kamenshek, 84, American baseball player (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League1943–1952).
Wally Hickel, 90, American politician, Secretary of the Interior (1969–1970), Governor of Alaska (1966–1969, 1990–1994), natural causes.

Lena Horne, 92, American singer and actress (Stormy Weather, The Wiz).
Robin Roberts, 83, American baseball pitcher (Philadelphia Phillies), Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, natural causes.
Ernie Harwell, 92, American baseball sportscaster (Detroit Tigers), cholangiocarcinoma.
Lynn Redgrave, 67, English actress (Georgy Girl, Gods and Monsters), breast cancer.
Helen Wagner, 91, American actress (As the World Turns).
Robert Byrd, 92, American politician, U.S. Representative (1953–1959), Senator from West Virginia (1959–2010).
Dolph Briscoe, 87, American politician, Governor of Texas (1973–1979), kidney failure and pneumonia.
Jimmy Dean, 81, American country music singer (Big Bad John), actor and businessman (Jimmy Dean Foods), natural causes.
Felix Maldonada , 72, American baseball player and scout (Boston Red Sox), cancer.
Crispian St. Peters, 71, British pop singer ("The Pied Piper", "You Were on My Mind"), after long illness.
Marvin Isley, 56, American bassist (The Isley Brothers, Isley-Jasper-Isley), complications of diabetes.
John Wooden, 99, American basketball player (Purdue, Indianapolis Kautskys) and coach (UCLA, 1948–1975).
Rue McClanahan, 76, American actress (The Golden Girls, Maude), stroke.
Mitch Miller, 99, American music executive and television host (Sing Along with Mitch), after short illness.
Jack Tatum, 61, American football player (Oakland Raiders), heart attack.
Elinor Z. Taylor, 89, American politician, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1977–2006).
Daniel Schorr, 93, American journalist (CBS News, National Public Radio).
Vic Ziegel, 72, American sports writer (Daily News), lung cancer.

Ralph Houk, 90, American baseball player (New York Yankees) and manager (New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox), natural causes.
George Steinbrenner, 80, American baseball team owner (New York Yankees), heart attack.
Bob Sheppard, 99, American public address announcer (New York Yankees, New York Giants).
Robert Spillane, 45, American actor (EZ Streets) and playwright, son of gangster Mickey Spillane, fall.
Harvey Fuqua, 80, American rhythm and blues singer (The Moonglows), and record producer (Marvin Gaye), heart attack.
Don Coryell, 85, American football coach (San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Cardinals).

Ilene Woods, 81, American singer and actress (Cinderella), complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Cal McLish, 84, American baseball player.
William B. Saxbe, 94, American politician, Senator from Ohio (1969–1974) and Attorney General (1974–1975), pancreatic cancer.
George David Weiss, 89, American composer ("What a Wonderful World", "Can't Help Falling in Love", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), natural causes.
Joe L. Brown, 91, American baseball executive (Pittsburgh Pirates), after long illness.
James J. Kilpatrick, 89, American columnist and grammarian.
Gloria Winters, 78, American actress (The Life of Riley, Sky King), complications from pneumonia.
Nellie King, 82, American baseball player and public address announcer (Pittsburgh Pirates).
Dan Rostenkowski, 82, American politician, Representative from Illinois (1959–1995), lung cancer.
David L. Wolper, 82, American film and television producer (North and South, Roots, The Thorn Birds), heart failure and Parkinson's disease.
Ted Stevens, 86, American politician, Senator from Alaska (1968–2009), plane crash.
Patricia Neal, 84, American actress, 1964 Academy Award winner (Hud), lung cancer.
Stephen J. Cannell, 69, American TV producer and writer (The A-Team, The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street).
Bobby Hebb: American singer-songwriter ("Sunny"), lung cancer.

George Blanda, 83, American Hall of Fame football player (Chicago Bears, Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders).
Eddie Fisher, 82, American singer and entertainer, complications from hip surgery.
Leonard Skinner, 77, American school teacher, namesake of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alzheimer's disease.
Kevin McCarthy, 96, American actor (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), The Best Man natural causes.
Ted Sorensen, 82, American lawyer, White House counsel (1961–1964), stroke. [
Alex Anderson, 90, American cartoonist, created characters for The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and Crusader Rabbit.

Bob Guccione, 79, American publisher, founder of Penthouse, lung cancer.

Joe Lis, 64, American baseball player, prostate cancer.
Barbara Billingsley, 94, American actress (Leave It to Beaver).
Solomom Burke, 70, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"), natural causes.

Dame Joan Sutherland, 83, Australian dramatic coloratura soprano.
Frank Bourgholtzer, 90, American television reporter, first full-time NBC News White House correspondent.
Maury Allen, 78, American sportswriter (The New York Post), lymphoma.
Gil McDougald, 82, American baseball player (New York Yankees), prostate cancer.
Leslie Nielsen, 84, Canadian-born American actor (Airplane!, The Naked Gun), pneumonia.

Molly Luft, 66, German prostitute, who billed herself as the fattest hooker in Germany died of cancer.
Tom Underwood, 56, American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Oakland A's), pancreatic cancer.
David Nolan, 66, American political activist, Libertarian Party founder, stroke.
Robert Donatucci, 58, American politician, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (since 1980), sleep apnea.
Jill Clayburgh, 66, American actress (An Unmarried Woman, Ally McBeal, Dirty Sexy Money), chronic leukemia.
Sparky Anderson, 76, American baseball player and manager (Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers), member of Baseball Hall of Fame, complications from dementia.
Juan de Jesús Madrid Deras, 35, Honduran politician, shot.
Ron Santo, 70, American baseball player and broadcaster (Chicago Cubs), complications from diabetes and bladder cancer.

Don Meredith, 72, American football player (Dallas Cowboys) and commentator (Mondaay Night Football), brain hemorrhage.
John Leslie, 65, American pornographic film actor, heart attack.
Alan Armer, 88, American Emmy Award-winning television producer (The Fugitive), colon cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards, 61, American author, lawyer and political activist, breast cancer.
Richard Holbrooke, 69, American diplomat, Ambassador to Germany (1993–1994) and United Nations (1999–2001), complications from aortic dissection.
Blake Edwards, 88, American film director, producer and screenwriter (The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's), pneumonia.
Bob Feller, 92, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians), member of Baseball Hall of Fame, leukemia.
Walt Dropo, 87, American baseball player (Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox).
Glen Adams, 65, Jamaican musician.
Captain Beefheart, 69, American musician and artist, complications from multiple sclerosis.
Phil Cavarretta, 94, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox), complications from a stroke.

Steve Landesberg, 74, American actor (Barney Miller, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), colorectal cancer.
Bernard Wilson, 64, American singer (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes).
Teena Marie, 54, American singer and composer.
Michael O’Pake (See Edition # 1416 and Kenneth Lee (See Edition # 1415).
Stewart Udall, an elder in a famed political family who led the Interior Department as it promoted an expansion of public lands and helped win passage of major environmental laws, has died at the age of 90. During his 1961-1968 tenure as interior secretary, Udall sowed the seeds of the modern environmental movement. He later became a crusader for victims of radiation exposure from the government's Cold War nuclear programs. Udall, brother of the late 15-term congressman Morris Udall, served six years in Congress as a Democrat from Arizona, and then headed the Interior Department from 1961 through 1968 under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. His son Tom and nephew Mark also became congressmen, then both were elected to the Senate in 2008.
Tom Bosley, the guy who played Richie Cunningham’s dad on “Happy Days”. Mr. “C” as he was called by the Fonz escaped being a buffoon dad. He was in his 80s.
Herbert Dennenberg: To his enemies, he was known as Horrible Herb. To his fans, Herb Denenberg was the little guy, the consumers' pit bull, Philadelphia's Ralph Nader. For decades, Denenberg - hell-raising consumer-affairs reporter, former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, newspaper columnist, author and lawyer - took on makers of products that he deemed flawed, deceptive, overpriced or dangerous. No one was untouchable. Business giants and the government were on his firing line. Consumerism ran in his veins. Denenberg won 40 Emmys for his media work and who was a columnist for the Daily News from 1979 until 1981, died at the age of 80. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1974 but lost in the Democratic primary to Pete Flaherty who then lost in the general to incumbent Dick Schweiker.




Monday, December 27, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1416, Dec. 27th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: 10 TERM STATE SENATOR MICHAEL O'PAKE.

SENATE LEADER DIES

An area Democratic party favorite, State Senator Michael O’Pake died today. He was 70. O’Pake was a frequent visitor to annual dinners of the Luzerne County Democratic party in the 70s and 80s. He ran for State Attorney General in 1980 and made the rounds during that campaign year. When I was working for a social service agency in the early 80s that focused in on youth job training, O’Pake graciously hosted a meeting in his office in Reading to see if he could supplement our funds with state money. O’Pake was a charmer on the campaign trail and at one point could have made a move for higher office. But he was content to stay in the Senate.
O'Pake, was the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, died Monday. He was 70.
O'Pake died of complications from heart-bypass surgery at Reading Hospital and Medical Center, where he had remained since the Nov. 22 operation, according to longtime aide Jim Hertzler.
A Democrat from Berks County, O'Pake was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1968, and to the state Senate four years later. He died midway through his 10th consecutive Senate term.
As the first chairman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, O'Pake helped write the child protective services law that helps child abuse victims and was a leading advocate of the state's pioneering Children's Health Insurance Program, which provide health insurance to uninsured children and teens who do not qualify for Medicaid. He also fought for legislation that created the state Department of Aging and separate offices of aging in every county.
Last month, fellow Senate Democrats re-elected O'Pake as minority whip, the No. 2 caucus leadership position.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1415, Dec. 26th, 2010







PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE TWO TIME PENNSYLVANIA SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, KEN LEE (CIRCA 1974) A BOX OF CANDY THAT SOME PEOPLE GET AS CHRISTMAS BONUSES (FOR WHICH I AM THANKFUL) AND STRIKING NURSES AT THURSDAY'S LABOR RALLY AT WILKES BARRE GENERAL HOSPITAL.

NURSES STRIKE

Wilkes Barre General Hospital Nurses had a one day strike on Dec. 23rd to call attention to what is going on at the facility. When Community Health Systems of Tennessee bought the place last year they promised to continue General’s long tradition of putting patients before profits. Kind of like my dad’s theory about anyone telling you how much they love God, those are the people that will screw you over in a New York minute without even blinking. CHS is now (surprise, surprise) refusing to negotiate a contract with Registered Nurses which would provide competitive salaries and safe staffing levels. The company made 249 million dollars in profits last year. 240 million. Not gross, not net but profit. Community Health came into this area and like so many out of town vultures broke their promises. I’ve known some very good health care professionals who have left General not over money but because of the mandatory long hours and the fact that they were being overworked. Nurses have to be sharp because people’s lives depend on that factor. The strike hopefully was a wake up call to everyone in this area concerned about their health care. And on an unrelated matter, when Community health came in last year and bought General, which at that time was a non profit, who the hell got the proceeds of the sale? Were there any members of the non profit board that got something maybe? I never knew where the money for that sale went.

BONUS BEDFELLOWS

I’ve worked in enough places to witness a virtual Peyton Place atmosphere among employees. Couples kept coming and going with their various dramas that sometimes it was hard to keep track. But the only reward they got was maybe getting a life long relationship. But if you work at the Luzerne County Courthouse, marriage definitely pays.
The other day the Times Leader reported that:
If two Luzerne County employees are married and receiving county-funded health insurance, one of them is eligible for an annual $1,500 bonus. The bonus was originally set up to reward workers who save the county money by obtaining their health insurance elsewhere, but married employees were also lumped in. The county’s newly revised personnel policy eliminates the bonus for non-union employee spouses hired after Jan. 1, but keeps the benefit intact for those who have already been receiving it. County Controller Walter Griffith questions why commissioners didn’t eliminate the perk altogether for married non-union employees.
Our man Walter is on the case. This is another example of stuff that has gone under the radar. This is an example of how “those in the know” will always find out about the angle why us poor taxpayers get hosed. Now I don’t mind paying taxes. As I said here a few hundred times, I think it is downright patriotic. I don’t mind paying taxes for the military or public safety, I don’t mind paying taxes for education, libraries, social service intervention programs and infrastructure improvement. I do mind paying taxes for Courthouse employees to get a bonus just because Uncle Billy the ward leader in Courtdale managed to get not only his nephew under the dome but his wife. That is just plain wrong. Health Care (having worked at the County’s Health Insurer I know the rates) is too damn expensive to be giving some employee's spouse a “bonus” just because they happen to work in the same place. You know what my bonus was this year where I work? A box of caramels! This is just another reason why this County needs an attitude adjustment. Hopefully Home Rule will provide that real soon. In the meantime if Walter Griffith never existed, then would we have ever found out about this “bonus?”

KEN LEE

Former Speaker of the House Ken Lee died this past week at the age of 88. Lee was from the Williamsport Area and served twice as Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House. Lee ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor in 1974 with Drew Lewis, a future Reagan Transportation Secretary. Lee was an affable but no nonsense guy who stayed active in party politics long after leaving the House. Lee Represented the 111th District and was a former Sullivan County District Attorney. When Lee was running for the second spot in the state in '74, former Governor Bill Scranton said, "Ken Lee never waivers in his loyalty and he is one of the most direct, straight forward and honest man that I know". Lee was known as a class act and is now remembered as part of a dying breed among certain Republicans, he could be reasonable.

NANCY KEMP


Nancy Kemp, a Luzerne County Taxpayer Advocate I sometimes agreed with also died this past week. Kemp was largely responsible for putting Home Rule on the ballot the last time around and was a vociferous spokesperson for accountability in government. She was 74.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1414, Dec. 24th, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: BLOG EDITOR AND THE BIG GUY.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

To all of our readers and supporters, we say thanks for reading. Hopefully we’ll be here in 2011 bringing you news and commentary on the political scene. Thanks to all who disagreed, commented and joined us in our TV and radio appearances this year. To those loyal supporters who bought my newest book, “Weather Or Knot” and still purchase copies of my two other previous works, “A Radio Story” and “Legis Vitae”, I say once more, thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT

With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day falling on Friday and Saturday, our “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Interview” feature will not appear this week.

NATIVITY ON FACEBOOK

What if FaceBook existed when the Baby Jesus came to town?


CHRISTMAS EVE RECIPE

Mrs. LuLac and I were doing some last minute shopping in Sam’s Club Thursday morning. Picked up some water, batteries as well as some lobster for our Christmas Eve supper. The lobster is part of the story. As we were wondering what big tail to buy, I ran into one of my favorite radio clients from way back, Tom Robinson. Tom was in Development at Penn State Wilkes Barre on the Dallas campus and we spent many a moon going over advertising schedules for the University when I worked at Rock 107 and then later at WARM. Tom in his joking manner inquired as to the size of the lobster tails we were buying. I mentioned to him that this was part of our Christmas Eve ritual and that I required only a bit of lobster. I told him my simple recipe and he had this look in his eyes. Then I got the same look and thanked Tom for inspiring me to share the recipe in this Christmas 2010 Edition of LuLac.
Tom didn’t want any credit but hey, when credit is due, credit is due.
Since childhood our Christmas Eve suppers have been spectacular. Truth be told, I enjoyed them more than our Christmas Day meals. The Christmas Eve supper was always meatless and included perogies, cabbage pie better known “pagach”, sauerkraut, fish, dried peas as well as other meatless delights. As an adult, my Christmas Eve traditions continued when I met the future Mrs. LuLac. Somewhere in the mid 90s I decided to contribute a dish to the Christmas Eve meal effort contributing a dish to ease the work of my sister in law Alexis Edwards. It was a dish I borrowed from my mother in law. Easy to make, elegant in its simplicity, the dish was a winner. It fit right in between the seafood bisque, the perogies, the cabbage and bean dishes as well as the fish. Here is the dish:
LOBSTER IN BUTTER SAUCE
INGREDIENTS
1 pound of butter. (4 sticks)
1 ½ pounds of lobster. (Tail or packaged lobster meat preferred. Don’t try this with fake fish meat).
1 ½ pounds of Barilla (or whatever you choose but I’m a brand name type of guy)
A pinch of sea salt.
THE RECIPE
Boil water.
Put in pasta and boil till al dente.
Saute butter in large sauce pan.
Add lobster pieces. Cook until they are warm but do not over cook.
Empty pasta into strainer.
Add pasta to the mixture of melted butter and lobster.
Mix well so that the butter and lobster permeate the pasta.
Add a pinch of sea salt.
Pack in container and take to your Christmas Eve destination.
Reheat, serve and get ready for the compliments.
Cost: Under $25.00.
Feeds: 6 to 8 people.

CHRISTMAS TUNES






SEE YOU BACK ON THE 26TH.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1413, Dec. 23rd, 2010



PHOTO INDEX: KWANZA STARTED IN OUR FEATURE YEAR 1966, THE U.S. CAPITOL AND OUR 1966 LOGO.

LUZERNE COUNTY BUDGET

No tax increases for 2011, 4 million dollars on hand and a budget voted on time. The Luzerne County Commissioners seem to be operating on all cylinders to get this budget done. County Chair Mary Anne Petrilla was pleased with the outcome. And the county, are you ready for this is going to institute a time clock system to keep track of those county employees and their hours. Just like a real business. Good job guys!

DOHERTY VETOS

Mayor Chris Doherty will veto the budget put together by Scranton City Council. He says there is a 3 million dollar shortfall. The Council meanwhile says they will override the veto. Doherty says he will stand by Council‘s actions and try to administer the budget to the best of his ability.

CHRISTMAS PARTY

Think you’re done with Christmas parties after Saturday? Not so fast, the Luzerne Colunty GOP will hold their annual get together on Thursday night, Dec. 30th at 6pm.
Thursday, Dec. 30, 6 p.m.
Sixth District Christmas Party
Casual Dress
GOP Headquarters
41 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre
$10 donation
The price is right and these Luzerne County GOP people are a fun bunch of people even when I’m getting Facebook group invitations to sites like, “Gag Nancy Pelosi”, “Harry Reid was born on Mars” and “Obama is a mechanical wind up Robot. (Okay I might buy that one!) Anyway, stop on by and leave your Steve Urban masks at home. You’ll have a good time.

HOME RULE NEWS

Last week, as usual I was spouting off in the “Maybe I’m Amazed” feature. That prompted a response from Attorney Jim Bobeck who gave me the inside scoop on what the race for Home Rule Chair is all about. I’m sharing that with you today.
Because I enjoy your blog, I feel the need to respond to a comment within your "Maybe I'm amazed" column that Jim Haggerty is being challenged for the Chair position, and since I'm the one challenging him, I thought I would drop you a line on this one. First, Jim Haggerty did an excellent job as Chairman of the Home Rule Study Commission, and the results speak for themselves......Home Rule passed. He personally scarified much of his own time and resources for the Charter, and his deeds cannot be overstated. It is not lost on me that my current position would not even exist without the study commission's work and Home Rule's passage, for which I am very grateful.
Now, regarding the "challenging" of the Chair position on the Transition Team, I first must note that "challenge" is not exactly the right word here. I like Jim, professionally and personally, We are both Kingston residents, and he does a great job as my Mayor In fact, we had no idea whether either of us would even be nominated for this position until the nominations were made at the December 8, 2010 meeting. We belong to different political parties, but that doesn't have any bearing on this.
I did not nominate myself, and in fact, i nominated Jim Haggerty for the position, if you look at the public record. However, while Jim did a great job with the Study Commission, our new government was not set up to give positions of power to persons in return for gratitude for past work. In fact, the critics of the old form of government and Charter proponents often leveled that very same charge against the county commissioner system. Therefore, I think Jim Haggerty would agree that his role on the study commission should not entitle him to certain positions because that's the exact thing he fought to eliminate with the Charter's passage
Furthermore, one may ask why I have not resigned or withdrawn my nomination. However, if one thinks about this a bit, my withdrawal would trigger a series of public comments and criticisms at the transition team, in which people would suggest that a "back door deal" was reached, or that the transition members made secret deals to give him the Chair spot and get me out of the way. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and I will not provide any fodder for such Machiavellian thoughts by simply withdrawing.
In closing, it's a fundamental tenet that people should always have a choice, no matter the race or circumstances. i respect this greatly, and as you can see from the transition positions, there are two contestants for each spot from Chair to Vice-Chair to Secretary to Treasurer. People should, as a right, have a choice, the ability to choose. And even if someone loses in a landslide, at least a choice was presented to voters. In an open, political society, that's as good as it gets sometimes. So, in that sentiment, our committee will have a choice.
There are no backdoor deals, no political favors in return for gratitude for past performances, and everyone has a choice. A good start for our new government, I think.
And If Mr. Haggerty wins, I'll be the first to shake his hand, and I think he'll do a very good job.

BARLETTA’S NEW CHIEF

U.S. Rep.-Elect Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, announced that Patrick Rothwell will be his chief of staff.
Rothwell, who was born in Harrisburg and grew up in Massachusetts, has a tremendous amount of congressional experience. Most recently, he was chief of staff for the U.S. House Republican Policy Committee, where he was responsible for daily operations of the Republican leadership office.
Rothwell has worked in various capacities for other members of the U.S. House and Senate, including Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter, R-Mich., for whom he was legislative director; former Rep. Charles W. Norwood, R-Ga.; and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“Patrick has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Washington, so he will be a great chief of staff,” Congressman-Elect Barletta said. “Patrick’s considerable talents will definitely help the people of the 11th District.”

MARINO’S MOVES

U.S. Rep.-Elect Tom Marino has announced the appointment of the four individuals who will fill his top congressional staff positions.
The appointments are effective Jan. 3 and will ensure the freshman congressman “hits the ground running” when the 112th Congress is sworn into office on Jan. 5, Marino said.
Lackawanna County natives Bill Tighe and David Weber will head Marino’s Washington and district operations, respectively. Tighe, formerly of Newton Township, was named chief of staff while Weber, who had served as Marino’s campaign manager, was appointed district director.
Drew Kent of Arlington, Va., was tabbed as legislative director, and Renita Fennick, Wilkes-Barre Township, will serve as Marino’s communications director.
“This is a solid team with a lot of energy and a good synergy,” Marino said. “I have the utmost confidence in each one of them and also am certain they have the skills and mindset to work together as a team.
“Most importantly, each of them knows that our mission is to serve the constituents of the 10th District,” Marino said. “The four of them share my sentiment -- and that is, that we must never forget who we are and why the good people of Pennsylvania sent us to Washington in the first place. We will work together with our varied backgrounds and experiences to make sure the voices of the people in the 10th District are heard in D.C.”
As chief of staff, Tighe, of Burke, Va., will oversee Marino’s Washington, D.C., and 10th District operations and personnel. Tighe is currently serving as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, a Republican from Pennsylvania’s 6th District, and also worked for former Congressman George W. Gekas. Tighe will focus on leadership and overall management responsibilities including policy analysis, strategic planning, budgeting and development of communications and outreach strategies.
Kent, 30, of Arlington, Va., earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Boston College and a juris doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University. He previously served as legislative director for J.C. White Consulting, Washington, D.C., and worked on the staff of U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. He and his wife Laura have an infant daughter.
As legislative director, Kent will manage the congressman’s legislative priorities and staff, advise him on all legislative issues, House floor procedures and will implement the legislative goals of Marino on both the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. Marino learned last week that he was assigned to the two key committees.
Fennick, 50, is the current executive director of the Luzerne County Republican Party and will leave that position on Dec. 31. A longtime journalist, she is a graduate of King’s College with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications. She has two children, Ken, 25, and Chrissy, 22. She will work out of the district and will coordinate the communications outreach to the constituents and the media.
Both Freshman Congressmen are peppering their staff with both D.C. insiders and locals who can jell into hopefully a good cohesive team for their respective first year in office.

MEDIA MATTERS

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

Brian Hughes interviews Laura Ford from our sister station in Dallas Texas about the Ray of Hope Foundation, and how you can help children living in poverty in Uganda.
Brian speaks with Kate Paine from the Pa Wine & Spirits Shoppes with tips on
throwing the ideal holiday party.
An encore interviews with Shannon Ludwig from the Red Cross, who discusses the first regional blood drive of 2011 on Jan 5th in Scranton, Wilkes Barre &
Hazleton, and with Kevin Davis of Today’s Options PPO with tips on selecting the best deal as the Medicare election period ends on Dec 31st.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.

SAT. NIGHT LIVE AT OLDIES

This week a very special Saturday Night Live at the Oldies with Shadoe Steele on WILK. You’ll hear a special program featuring Mannheim Steamroller.



CHRISTMAS HAMS

Nearly 21 billion pounds of pork were processed from about 105 million hogs last year. . A total of 1,305,622 metric tons of pork valued at more than $3.1 billion was exported. Christmas ham sales throughout the nation make up 41% of the Pork Market.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT



THIRSTY?



1966

The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, founder of Organization US (a black nationalist group) and later chair of Black Studies, at California State University, Long Beach from 1989 to 2002…….in Harrisburg rumors begin to start about the future political ambition of Robert P. Casey a retiring State Senator who ran for Governor against Milton Shapp and lost in the primary. Casey was being touted as a possible opponent against incumbent Joe Clark who’s whose stance on the Vietnam War has angered centrist Democrats/. Meanwhile Congressman Richard Schweiker who stayed ourt of the GOP Governor’s race was being advertised as a possible opponent to Clark on the GOP side. Casey later won statewide for Auditor General in 1968 and Schweiker beat Joe Clark in the fall election of ’68……in Luzerne County the local GOP is in a quandary. Te Chair of the Commissioners Jim Post proposed reassessment and there is talk there might be a primary challenge to him in the ’67 primary. The County GOP preempted that plan by floating the story that Wilkes Barre Councilwoman Ethel Price would run with post with Shickshinny Commissioner Bill Goss running for another row office….and in the last week of 1966, the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1412, Dec. 22nd, 2010

PHOTO INDEX: "WRITE ON WEDNESDAY" LOGO.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

BLAUM ON OBAMA

Times Leader columnist Kevin Blaum wrote an article recently about President Obama's deal with the GOP on tax cuts. Blaum makes the point that the President went back on his principles. Don Quixote principles are heroic when you don't have the votes, they are down right stupid when you do have the votes and choose to capitulate to a GOP that was intent on wrecking your Presidency anyway. The President is going on vacation pointing to a whole laundry list of legislative achievement. And they are historic but they could have been accomplished sooner if the Professor had a little more gumption early on. Here's Blaum's fine article from the Times Leader. The only thing Mr. Blaum didn't put in there was how the rich who had the tax cuts extended should send The Professor a thank you note for caving in. And the Professor should kiss Senator Harry Reid's ass every chance he gets because with the skills of the Majority Leader, nothing, and I mean nothing would have passed. Unlike the tax cut bill, Reid made sure the Professor didn't get rolled in a dark alley.
Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans probably will get a new lease on life come January when President Obama completes his pirouette for Senate Republicans and affixes his signature to a tax cut extension he vehemently opposed, before he supported it.
After three years of telling America he couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t – Obama did. Performing his flip for Speaker-elect John Boehner, R-Ohio, the president buckled.
On Tuesday Obama announced he will sign legislation that makes the Bush tax cuts he once derided, “the Obama Tax Cuts.” In so doing, he provides another windfall to our most successful citizens, who do not need it, to the great detriment of our nation that cannot afford it.
Fronically, the Obama Tax Cuts for the wealthy are written to expire on New Year’s Eve 2012, after the presidential election. It implies Obama, who had neither the know-how nor the inner fortitude to end the Bush tax cuts for millionaires in 2010, will somehow muster the courage to terminate the Obama Tax Cuts for millionaires in 2012.
Inexplicably the president balked at going over the head of Congress, directly to the American people, and pressing this important long-term issue for his country. Instead he opted for political expediency and two more years of campaign whistle stops telling us all how he intends to “roll back the Obama Tax Cuts for the wealthy.”
Is he so arrogant to think anyone will believe him? Is he unmindful that his words, toe shoes and presidential signature will betray him?
On Tuesday Obama also told us he “was not able to budge the GOP.” Those are not the words of a commander in chief, and they are certainly not the words of a president who, as in this case, held the winning hand.
More than 60 percent of Americans supported his previous position. The opposition in Congress stands in the way presupposing the president lacks the nerve to veto legislation, address the nation and enlist the American people to move votes in the House and Senate. Imagine what Presidents Reagan and Clinton would do under similar circumstances.
“Go ahead. Make my day.”
President Obama should have opposed the legislation containing Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent and explained the reasons why in a national prime-time television address. Americans might have rallied to his side and been willing to sacrifice to get it done. But he didn’t even ask.
Instead, Obama folds so often that Congressman Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., last week lamented that too often the president “wants to punt on third down.”
Votes are not “un-budge-able.” If they were, Sen. Obama would never have won Iowa in 2008. Nor could he have prevailed in Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and North Carolina.
Since Obama’s flop early last week the attention of a nation has increased significantly on the issue of tax cuts for millionaires. In light of Republican intransigence, if the Bush tax cuts expired on Dec. 31 and taxes increased on all Americans Jan. 1, the focus of a nation would be irrevocably locked on the high-end tax cuts, an extension of jobless benefits and the congressional obstacles scurrying to beat the heat and “get out of the kitchen.”
Leadership does not cave at such critical moments. It seizes such opportunities to show the way, to rally a nation, renew tax cuts for 99 percent of Americans retroactive to the first of the year and extend unemployment benefits for our countrymen in need.
Sadly, Obama missed it – again.
Kevin Blaum represented the 121st Legislative District for over 25 years, is employed by Wyoming Seminary and writes a weekly column, "In the Arena" for the Times Leader.





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1411, Dec. 21st, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: OUR SURVEY LOGO.

POLL QUESTION

PICK A YEAR

In our weekly feature year, we focused in on 1968, 1964 and 1966. By and large many people thought 1966 was a real downer of a year. Many of my readers called it "uninteresting" and uninspiring". Okay then. I did 1966 because it was the maiden voyage of Robert Casey Senior in Statewide politics. Home Rule was on the ballots in Wilkes Barre (it won) and Hazleton (it lost). What did I know? But you have to admit the music was pretty good.
Anyway, as we go into another year, I'll let the LuLac readers pick the year. Vote early and often. Just make sure you close out after you hit DONE.

Click here to take survey

Monday, December 20, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1410, Dec. 20th, 2010


PHOTO INDEX: U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

TAKING THEIR SEATS

Our two new GOP representatives to Congress have received their committee assignments. Last week news came that both Lou Barletta and Tom Marino would be named to key committees. Both seem to be very good fits for the men and their resumes. Whether it will help the district short or long term is anyone’s guess.

BARLETTA

Barletta received assignments to two House committees that he requested based on his experience in the areas they cover. Barletta will sit on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and Labor Committee. The Times Leader reports that both had been sought after, said Shawn Kelly, spokesman for Lou Barletta for Congress 2010. The incoming congressman “went to college to become a teacher. His wife is a teacher, and two of his four daughters are teachers,” said Kelly on Sunday of Barletta’s education background. He added that Barletta and his wife had owned a construction company before he became mayor, and his father founded a road construction company. “It seems like a logical fit” for him to sit on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Kelly.

MARINO

Marino, landed positions on two key congressional committees. He will join the U.S. House Homeland Security and Judiciary committees when the 112th Congress convenes next month. U.S. Rep. Pete King of New York will chair the Committee on Homeland Security which oversees the Department of Homeland Security operations. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee is Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
Marino said he is pleased and honored to be selected to two committees that are close to his heart and mirror his experience. The newly elected congressman from the 10th District believes his legal background, including his prosecutorial work, makes him an ideal match for the Judiciary Committee. Marino is one of 10 members of the Judiciary Committee and one of two former U.S. Attorneys assigned to the panel that will focus on strengthening national security, protecting intellectual property, and preventing frivolous lawsuits, according to Chairman-Elect Smith. Other members of the Judiciary Committee include Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana, who is considered as a possible presidential contender, and Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas, who a freshman who served as U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Arkansas. Marino, 58, served as a U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.