Thursday, March 31, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1528, March 31st, 2011



Got word yesterday from Bruce Simpson candidate for Luzerne County Council that he is not running with Casey Evans. Both men are formidable candidates. They did do a dual fundraiser though the other day. But so far there are no “teams” or slates. Thanks to Mr. Simpson for the heads up.


Don’t forget the annual blogfest is going to take place on Friday April 29th from 6 to 8PM at Rooney’s Irish Pub in Pittston. All candidates and their supporters are welcome. This is a perfect opportunity for Judicial candidates as well as the County Council candidate to come out and meet and greet supporters as well as sizing up your opposition. Buy your own drinks, don’t make any boring speeches and wear clothes. It’s a minimalist event.


John Wozniak from the Johnstown Area has proposed a bill that will make drug testing mandatory for people on public assistance. A big discussion ensued on talk radio yesterday and I thought I’d weigh in on this. This type of story always leads to anecdotal comments. “I saw this person taking hundreds of dollars off their access card”, “I saw this person buying lobster and wine at Wegmans with an Access Card”, etc, etc. It is a passionate issue because tax payer money is involved. Here’s the thing, government is tasked to take care of people who need a leg up. If an access card is going to help, then make sure the people in need get it. But with a helping hand comes responsibility. Here’s my take on the Wozniak bill and public assistance in general:
1. I agree 100% that mandatory drug testing should be enforced if people have an Access Card. Access money is for lack of a better term, a salary. And when you go for a job these days, you are drug tested to get that job. And sometimes there are mandatory drug tests for you to keep that employment. So I would think this would be a good idea as a deterrent to drug taking as well as sending a message that an Access Card is only a helping hand, not a way of life.
2. In terms of welfare housing in the state, I think there should be a Housing Inspection Census. Managers of section 8 housing or projects should be required to take a census of the population. This will enable them to screen for “visitors” who flop down here from out of town. Noltice that a lot of the out of town crime comes from those “visitors” staying in public housing. Granted, people have relatives that come and go all the time. You don’t want to penalize them. So you provide them with a visitor’s pass or bracelet as well as an expectation of stay and departure.
3. People on public assistance if able bodied should be required to get up three times a week and report to a community center. Whether it be a municipal building or a town hall. They should get job assignments that they must perform. It could be assisting DPW or clerical workers. This would decrease the workload and increase the productivity in small towns who had to slash workforces because of government cutbacks. Many of you have characterized me as a liberal bleeding heart. To a certain extent I am but I’m also no fool either. In my earlier adult years I knew three women on welfare. All of them had kids. They got food stamps. All wound up on welfare and public housing because of bad divorces. Each one of them were humiliated to be in that situation. But they worked with their caseworkers. All of them went to school…for free. Two of them got their Masters Degrees, the other one got a Certification in the Construction Trades. All three escaped welfare. They had the imitative to get off of it. Some people need a push. Wozniak’s bill is a step in the right direction. Liberals have always been accused of loving big government. Of letting poor people take the easy way out. Of wanting to be the big bad governmental parent. I think the parenting should be extended. That’s why I’m proposing what I am proposing today. When we were all young and living at home, everyone of us wanted to do something to extend our boundaries. It could have been staying out all night or having a girlfriend sleep over. And we’d hear from our parents, “not under my roof”. People who are getting a helping hand should realize it is not permanent. Like parents who gave us a helping hand, there had to be restrictions, rules and limits. Drug testing is a step in the right direction. Public assistance is a “loan”, “an investment” in the prospects of those people who haven’t had a break. It should come with expectations and responsibilities. And if need be, they should be enforced by the people handing it out. With strings attached.


A U.S. Grand Jury has returned a 41 county superseding indictment charging Robert Cordaro and Anthony Munchak with racketeering and related charges. The original indictment was issued March 16, 2010. Today's fling is actually a "second superseding indictment. A prior superseding indictment was issued in October, 2010 as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declare part of the law used in the original charges unconstitutional. In effect, this is technical and doesn’t reduce any of the previous charges. Cordaro and Munchak are going to be in for the legal fight of their lives. All this amounted to was legless housekeeping to make sure the government case was airtight.


Former Judge Patrick Toole’s public saga continues. Last Friday there was a hearing asking for leniency. There was a great deal of embarrassing testimony coming out relating to Toole’s battle with alcoholism and gambling. If Attorney Frank Nocito thought he was doing his client a favor by bringing up his recovery, I have to say it fell on deaf ears as far as the prosecution was concerned. Plus Toole’s behavior such as allegedly stalking Attorney Henry Cordoni is not going to get him the lighter sentence he apparently wants. The government and the defense then entered into a ridiculous argument about how many times Toole used Cordoni’s beach house. Whether it was a week or a day, in for a penny, in for a pound. Toole gave a favorable outcome to one of Attorney Cordoni’s clients to stay at that beach house. Even if he was there a minute and left, the deal was done. Nocito argued that Toole deserves leniency because he has undergone "extraordinary rehabilitation" from alcohol and gambling addictions since his conviction. The government called Toole's recovery "laudable," but "not extraordinary." Toole's recovery and determination in landing a low-level job after leaving the bench so he could support his family "is what is expected of an adult responsible for a household," Consiglio added. There are a lot of people in Lulac land with drinking problems. Some have picked up the shattered pieces of their lives. There’s no cheering section for them. I hope Toole keeps up his recovery. We wish him well in that strenuous effort. As far as being a pariah in the community, that’s a sad fact of life in this area. When you’re doing well, people envy you. When you fall from grace, they are only too willing to stomp on your face. Again, my advice to former Judge Toole is remember years from now when this is all over, who stood by you despite this foul up. Most likely the circle will be very small. But true.


We always hear about how government should never get involved in private business. The demagoges that killed the public option in health gave the impression that government screws everything up that it touches. But the State Store system in Pennsylvania is a good example of what happens when government does get involved. Pennsylvania's state-owned liquor and wine stores do a better job of collecting taxes, enforcing the drinking age, and offering a broad selection of products at competitive prices than private operators would. Plus state stores turn over 100 percent of the liquor and sales tax revenue they collect, while states that have privatized often must take legal action to recover taxes collected by companies that went out of business or tried to cheat. The GOP wants to sell off the State Stores for a one time revenue bump but to me they are eliminating a long term cash cow that is already in place and making money for the tax base. Estimates that a 2 billion dollar windfall is in the offing for the Commonwealth is a dream at best. Business people and corporations are going to get the best deal possible, the state budget and quality of life in Pennsylvania be damned. In terms of private owners, this is who you are going to get, multi billion dollar corporations that will only care about one thing, a multiple return on their investment and low to mid level criminals who will use their “liquor stores” as a headquarters for crime. If you want that, be my guest. But State Store privatization will only decrease the quality of life here in a state that is already hallway to hell in a hand basket.


Republicans on Capitol Hill have called for sharp cuts in spending to reduce the deficit, including legislation to eliminate all federal funding for public radio and public television. The Senate is controlled by Democrats who are protective of public broadcasting, but public radio and public television officials are taking nothing for granted. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is set to get $430 million this year and a bit more next year. But Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), author of the bill that would eliminate funding starting in fiscal year 2013, says public broadcasters should not receive any more money. (The Corporation for Public Broadcasting typically receives funding in two-year commitments.) When asked why public broadcasting drew his attention, Lamborn said he wasn't sure. Typical Republican answer. Throw the baby out with the bathwater, shoot first them aim later. This is the typical national GOP representative that has no clue about what is important in society. But I’ll bet if the House Leadership came up to him with a multi billion dollar scheme to have big business pay no taxes or a billion dollars a day to have our troops assassinated in a war with dubious intention, this little guy would be right on it. Anyway, if you are interested in keeping funding for Public TV and Radio, here’s what you can do. Call your US Senators now or use the 170MILLIONAMERICANS.ORG website. Pennsylvania Senators Senator Bob Casey Phone: (202) 224-6324 Senator Patrick Toomey Phone: (202) 224-4254


Iowa voters are known to be the most conservative in the nation. The question in the 2012 Presidential election will be whether they will accept the thrice married candidates Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich. Only time will tell.




This week on Shadoe Steele’s Live At the Oldies, Sheila Ferguson, lead singer (and actress for the past 30-years in London) of The Three Degrees. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies airs Saturday on WILK AM and FM from 7PM to Midnight with ABC News at the top of the hour. On Sunday nights, check out Shadoe Steele live at the Woodlands for "40 Something”.


David DeCosmo and Judge Tom Munley report their guest for the week of April 4th will be Chester Kulesa of the Anthracite Heritage Museum of Scranton. April 7th will mark the 100th anniversary of the Pancoast mine disaster in the community of Throop. Kulesa will recall the fire which claimed the lives of 72 mine workers as well as a would be rescuer and its impact on the commnity and the industry. The program airs live at Noon Monday on Comcast Ch 19 and is rebroadcast each day at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.


Brian Hughes hosts Sunday Magazine. This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Brian Hughes speaks with Jason Wenrich and 2 students from the Music Department at Mahanoy Area High School about the impact of Governor Corbett’s budget cuts on music and sports programs at the school Brian speaks with Kellie and Amy about the “Kellie’s Kause” fundraiser on April 10th at the West Wyoming Fire Department Social Hall, to benefit Kellie’s battle with breast cancer. This Week in Harrisburg examines Senator John Yudichak’s proposed gas extraction tax, also the move to privatize state liquor stores, a rally by college students in Harrisburg protesting Gov. Corbett’s budget cuts. Senator John Blake of Lackawanna County addressed the students, Blake also weighs in on cost cutting efforts for state agencies, and a proposal by House Republicans to press for tort reform legislation. And Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Rich and Amanda about the Glen Summit Spring Water Harvey’s Lake Run coming up on April 16th. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air programs concerning federal health care as well as Marcellus Shale. The two topics will air statewide on the public affairs network this Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. On Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m., PCN will air the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee hearing from March 23 concerning federal health care. Immediately following this airing will be the recent federal health care event hosted by the PA Health Access Network. PCN will examine healthcare and the state budget during two upcoming LIVE Call-In programs. Viewers can participate in the healthcare discussion during the hour-long programs on Thursday, March 31 and Thursday, April 7 beginning at 7:00 p.m. by dialing toll-free at 1- 877-PA6-5001. Then on Saturday, April 2, PCN devotes the afternoon to another much-discussed topic – that of Marcellus Shale. Starting at 2:00 p.m., a legal symposium hosted at Clarion University called, “Marcellus Shale: Boom or Bust” will air statewide. The program examines the regulatory, environmental and legal issues surrounding the development of natural gas from the Marcellus shale. This special program will be followed at 4:00 p.m. with taped coverage of the community action forum on Marcellus Shale that took place recently in Lancaster. Later in the month, PCN will give viewers the chance to comment on the topic of Marcellus Shale. On Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m., the LIVE PCN Call-In program will feature guests discussing Marcellus Shale and the environment. Lou D’Amico, executive director of the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association and Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of PennFuture will take viewers’ calls on the topic. By dialing toll-free at 1- 877-PA6-5001, viewers will be able to share their comments and questions directly with these scheduled featured guests during the April 19 program.


The 92nd U.S. Congress votes to send the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification........The Godfather is released in cinemas in the United States..... In Presidential politics, George McGovern wins the Wisconsin primary. Once standing at 3% in the polls the McGovern win catapults the South Dakota anti war candidate into the front row of the race for the Democratic nomination……in Pennsylvania first year Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo clashes with Governor Milton Shapp on the State Chief Executive's opinion on the death penalty....and in Luzerne County with the next big Presidential primary state being Pennsylvania, Luzerne County Party power broker Senator Martin L. Murray puts the word out that Edmund Muskie is the horse the Dems will back in the April 27th primary and thirty nine years ago the number 1 song in Lulac land and America was “Mother and Child Reunion” by Paul Simon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1527, March 30th, 2011



It is thirty years today that an attempt was made on the life of President Ronald Reagan. Barely in office for a few weeks, the shooting was the culmination in a stalking spree begun by John Hinkley, a disturbed young man with mental issues. The day was filled with incredible moments that showed news as it was happening. On display was the full force of the American Experience, warts and all. After nearly dying, Reagan was rescued by cool decision making on the part of the Secret Service and outstanding medical care. Here are a few moments of that day:

The LuLac Edition #1526, March 30th, 2011




I came across this through the e mail machine. This is a modern day fable. Says a lot about workplace ethics, of which there are none these days.

The Test

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO.. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO." One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil -He so wanted the seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him! When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the new CEO?" the others said. Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1525, March 29th, 2011




Mix and mingle with Attorney Rogers to find out how we can cook up some positive change in the county. King’s Pizza, 49 South Mountain Boulevard Mountain Top, PA 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.


Richard Hughes is also holding a campaign event tomorrow night. Here’s his info: Candidate Cocktail Party Tomorrow, March 30 at 6:30pm Location: Ramada Inn - Wilkes-Barre,Pa

The LuLac Edition #1524, March 29th, 2011



With so many candidates running for Luzerne County Council, it was inevitable that some candidates might team up. Both Bruce Simpson and Casey Evans are having a joint fundraiser in April. Campaign fundraiser for Bruce J. Simpson and Casey Evans who are both running for Luzerne County Council. Hope to see you all there for a night of fun! Donation: $5.00.


Democrat Tim McGinley, 64, of Kingston, has announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council. McGinley received a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University, a master’s degree from the University of Scranton and has completed continuing graduate studies in chemistry and educational leadership at both of those universities in addition to Lehigh University, Penn State University and Temple University. If elected, McGinley said he will bring more than 40 years experience as an educator, administrator and community leader to the council post. McGinley was employed for more than 30 years in the public school system as a high school chemistry teacher, athletic director, wrestling coach and school administrator. Currently, he works as director of administration for the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) in Wilkes-Barre. In his position at CEO, McGinley works with local, county, state and federal government representatives and is involved in grant writing, budget preparation and analysis and supervision of personnel, facilities and programs.


U.S. Representative Lou Barletta announced that he will not support any more short-term continuing resolutions for Fiscal Year 2011. He will only support a plan that calls for responsible federal spending through the end of the fiscal year in September. “The people of Northeastern Pennsylvania sent me to Washington to stop the out-of-control government spending and rein in the growth of the federal government, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I voted to cut $10 billion over five weeks. While that’s a great first step, my constituents demand and deserve a financially responsible long-term resolution that takes us through the end of the fiscal year,” Rep. Barletta said. “Stringing together short-term continuing resolutions only extends the uncertainty among local and national job creators, and that will slow our economic recovery at home.” To date, Lou voted in favor of two short-term continuing resolutions that cut $2 billion in federal spending a week – a total of $10 billion over the five weeks the two resolutions have been in place – giving the U.S. Senate more than a month to reach an agreement over long-term budget cuts. He also voted to cut government spending by $100 billion in this fiscal year – but that bill, too, stalled in the Senate. “Two- and three-week continuing resolutions are handcuffing business owners and job creators, who remain uncertain about the future of spending,” Rep. Barletta said. “Every day, the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania try to do more with less in their family budgets, but some in Washington want to continue to spend like there’s no tomorrow. It’s time for that attitude to change. “That’s why I will not support any more short-term continuing resolutions. I will only support a financially responsible plan that takes us through the end of the fiscal year. My patience has run out – and so has the patience of the people at home.”


Barletta also offered the following comments about President Obama’s remarks about the situation in Libya: “After hearing President Obama tonight, I have the same questions I had this afternoon. The president didn’t answer my questions at all. On Sunday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that our military action against Libya ‘was not a vital national interest to the United States.’ President Obama said Monday night that he took action in Libya for humanitarian reasons. That’s all well and good, but before he risked shedding any American blood, the president should have come before Congress and explained what we were doing because there was no immediate threat against the United States of America. “The president had an obligation to come before Congress and tell us what he was going to do. Instead, President Obama committed us to military action without clearly defining our role, and he didn’t explain that role Monday night. “Like most Americans – and like many members of Congress – I still have many, many questions. Who are these rebels? When are we getting out of Libya? What is our role going to be? How do we mark the end of American involvement in Libya? And how do we measure success? “Frankly, the president’s explanation Monday night left a lot to be desired. “Right now, our men and women are in harm’s way, and we need to support them. Our military has my full support as they engage in this action, and I pray for the safety of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1523, March 28th, 2011



Apparently there is a poll circulating among Wilkes Barre Democrats by a company out of Florida. The poll quizzes are residents on the type of job incumbent Mayor Tom Leighton is doing in Wilkes Barre. Then questions are posed about the Mayor’s two Democratic challengers, Charlotte Raup and Nick Punko. There was one question regarding Raup’s work on city crime watch. The way that it was worded has Raup’s dander up. From her Facebook page: Charlotte Raup The “Leighton camp” must be running scared. They have some crazy phone survey going around asking people who they would vote for … me, Nick or Leighton. In it, they imply that I have interfered in police work! This is slander. They have no basis to say this. PLEASE, if you get the call listen to the questions and get a call back number. I do not intend to play dirty but it looks like he is already! I think if they get the call, just confound the pollsters and say that if Raup did indeed interfere with police work (which I’m sure she did not) just say it will not effect your vote. At any rate, the Mayor’s race in Wilkes Barre, well friends, it’s on.


Scranton Times Reporter David Singleton reports in today’s Times about overtime at the Lackawanna County prison. Here’s in part what he wrote: The Lackawanna County Prison paid more than $5.7 million in overtime to employees over the past five years, a runaway expense that exceeded what the jail budgeted by $2.3 million and one that prison administrators and county officials concede is out of control. Nine corrections officers pulled down at least $100,000 in overtime pay during the five-year period, according to an analysis by The Sunday Times. They included one female officer who earned almost $247,000 by working extra hours, pushing her gross salary over five years to more than $498,000. Interim Warden Vincent Mooney, a veteran state Department of Corrections administrator who has overseen the prison on a temporary basis since former Warden Janine Donate's resignation in November, is attempting to curtail the expense but said the nature of the jail's operation makes some overtime unavoidable. "It's a constant battle, and you have to stay vigilant on it daily. You can't lapse," said Mr. Mooney, who is on loan from the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, where he is deputy superintendent. Majority county Commissioner Corey O'Brien, current chairman of the seven-member prison board, said getting a handle on overtime will be one of the top priorities for the new permanent warden the board expects to hire in the coming weeks or months. "We think it's outrageous that overtime is as high as it is," Mr. O'Brien said. "We harp on it and harp on it, but clearly it has not been managed well by the prison staff in the past. ... The new warden is going to have a significant task to figure out a way to address the issue once and for all, and they need to get it done." Excessive overtime is not a new issue at the North Washington Avenue jail. From 1998 to 2005, an eight-year period that spanned four different prison administrations, overtime at the prison cost taxpayers more than $7 million. While Overtime is certainly a concern, you need people to watch the prisoners. And if someone volunteers for it, is competent and makes sure there are no more women dropping babies in prison cells, then it is just the cost of doing business. The only thing I would like to see is the O.T. evened out over more employees but you don’t want to force anyone in to taking it because then they won’t be performing at 100%. I can’t see this becoming a campaign issue like previous ones involving the Lackawanna County Prison.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1522, March 28th, 2011



I had forgotten all about the 100th anniversary of the big fire at the Triangle Waist factory until I started reading Ron Reagan’s book, “My Father at 100”. In the book the younger Reagan outlines events in the year his father was born. The big story 100 years ago last week (1911) involved one of the biggest fire disasters in the nation's history. About 150 young women died in or near the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City when the fire broke out. Most were trapped because employers had locked the doors to prevent workers from leaving early. The disaster led to the establishment of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and to legislation mandating improved safety standards. The Triangle Waist Company factory was located on floors 7-9 of what was known as the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street in New York City. (The building is now the Brown Building of Science, part of NYU.) Immigrant women, most only 16-23 years of age, worked six days a week making shirtwaists, a type of blouse that was popular in that day. Workers' pay was based on a per piece basis, so they worked quickly and with concentration, scraps of fabric mounting up under the machines as no one could afford to take the time to clean up. It was almost 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, when the fire broke out, probably from a carelessly tossed cigarette. Notification of the fire primarily came to the workers via smell or flame. A bookkeeper on the eighth floor phoned management on the tenth floor to warn them to evacuate, but the floor workers had no such warning. Exits from the work floors were limited. There were two sets of stairs, a fire escape (that did not go all the way to the ground) and two freight elevators. The women ran first to the stairways and discovered one already was engulfed in flames; the door to the other staircase was locked. (Factory workers were often locked in during work hours to keep them on the job and to prevent pilfering.) The freight elevator operators attempted to make several runs up and down to rescue the women, but after a couple of runs, the women were so desperate they pried open the floor gates to the elevator and jumped into the shaft, hoping to ride on the top of the elevator to safety. The elevators could not bear the extra weight and could no longer go up for other victims. The fire escape may have already been in poor repair, but even if it had been sound, it soon twisted under the heat of the fire. That left the windows. Women crowded at the windows, first for air, and then hoping that they could be rescued. Fire engines, some of them horse-drawn, were powering to the area around the building, but as they raised the ladders, everyone in the building and on the street saw the problem: The ladders could extend only as high as the sixth floor. The hoses shot water at the fire, but the streams could barely reach the seventh floor. In a scene of desperation that would be replicated at the World Trade Center 90 years later, the victims felt they had no other option -- they held hands and jumped. The firemen's nets proved inadequate to catch the jumpers, and most fell through to the sidewalk, dying quickly of their injuries. Voices Ignored Garment factory workers in New York City had struck only two years before (1909) for better working conditions and better pay. They made some inroads at the smaller shops but a big factory like the Triangle Company could afford to hold out longer than the workers. As a result, the workers' concerns were never addressed until the fire. Out of the ashes came modernization of the state's labor laws, better oversight of workplaces by the fire department, and a stronger and more unified International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The American Society of Safety Engineers also was founded the following October. And what happened to the factory owners? Because they had been notified of the fire, they went from their tenth floor offices to the roof and escaped to another building where they were able to descend to the street. Later, they were acquitted in the criminal trial against them because prosecutors were unable to prove beyond a doubt that they knew the exit doors were locked; they lost a subsequent civil suit and had to pay about $75 per deceased victim. The fire and the reaction to the deaths by the owners spawned the labor unions of the early part of the 20th century. Sad to say that in 100 years, workers are still treated unfairly. Companies will put themselves up to code and safety regulations but only because they have to. The attempt by the Republican party to have unions give back things won through the years tell us that the almighty dollar preempts the worker. And the beat goes on.


The 6th District Republicans had a successful Spring Fling in Wilkes Barre though the temperature barely hit 40. The GOP had a nice crowd on hand Sunday afternoon.

The LuLac Edition #1521, March 27th, 2011



Geraldine Ferraro, the first major female vice presidential candidate, passed away on Saturday. Ferraro died of complications from blood cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ferraro was the first woman and first Italian-American to run on a major party national ticket. According to a statement released by her family, she died surrounded by her loved ones after battling multiple myeloma for twelve years. After first being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, she went on to serve New York's ninth congressional district for three terms. Ferraro ran as Walter Mondale's running mate in the 1984 presidential election. Delegates in San Francisco erupted in cheers at the first line of her speech accepting the vice-presidential nomination. Attorney Mike Cefalo was delegate at that convention and at the time told the press that the Ferraro speech brought all delegations to their feet: "My name is Geraldine Ferraro," she declared. "I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us." Her acceptance speech launched eight minutes of cheers, foot-stamping and tears.
When Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro, he shook up the Presidential race of 1984 briefly. But in picking Ferraro he helped set a precedent where there was no turning back. Since Ferraro’s selection, there have been three female Secretaries of State, three more female Supreme Court Justices and another woman who ran on a national party ticket. Her legacy is that growth of women in national positions of responsibility. Ferraro didn’t help much in the Reagan landslide of ’84 but like most pioneers she laid the foundation for the good of what was to come in terms of gender politics. Plus she didn’t take any guff from then Vice President George Bush in this debate in the fall of ’84.


Booty’s Campaign Fundraiser -
WHEN: April 4, 2011 6-8pm
WHERE: Booty’s (Church Hill Mall and Hazle Township)
DONATIONS: $25/person
Includes buffet dinner
If you’ve never been to Booty’s, you have to go. The place and the food are incredible. And I’m sure the good Attorney will keep the speeches brief.


GOP candidate Jim McMonagle is setting up his run for Judge in Luzerne County. Here’s news on a meet and greet:
Meet Jim McMonagle Judicial Candidate for Luzerne County
Friday, April 1 at 6:00pm
Location: Lake Side Skillet, Harveys Lake.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1520, March 26th, 2011



A rally in support of the Hotel Sterling was held yesterday. I had the opportunity to talk to a former class mate of mine from King’s who had her wedding at The Sterling.
Q: Your wedding was the first one that I ever got drunk at!
A: Do tell. I remember you did wear a lime green leisure suit.

Q: It was powder blue.
A: Sorry.
Q: I was 19 and I looked 35 and I drank by color. I was sick as a dog the next morning. But your wedding, why the Sterling?
A: Because it was where my parents got married, it was where I had all my seminal moments as a youngster. Because even though it was the early 70s, the Sterling still had that panache.
Q: I remember the ballroom, were you happy with the wedding as far as the Sterling accommodations went?
A: You bet. The staff was right on target in making sure the event was perfect. And you know there was always a bit of a bidding war between Genetti’s and the Sterling help. At least that’s what I was told.
Q: I heard that the staffs, I’m talking the people that made it a profession alternated between the two places.
A: Oh I’m sure of that.
Q: You are living out of the area, ever tour the facility before it went to pot?
A: I visited a few of my dad’s friends at the Citizen’s Voice. That was back in the mid 80s I think.
Q: What do the kids think of it when you visit?
A: They can’t understand how such a beautiful building went downhill. Now granted we live in Virginia where historic preservation is a virtual way of life but it saddens them to see the condition of it. It’s almost like there is a big hole in part of the visual of my life that they can’t see.
Q: A lot of people feel that way. That’s why there are protests hoping to save it.
A: Let’s hope they do. Somehow.
Q: From your lips to God’s ears.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1519, March 25th, 2011



Maybe I’m Amazed…….that we seem to have no discernible plan for Libya except to bomb it. I mean this guy (the Professor In Chief) won the Nobel Peace Prize right, not the “Bombs Away LeMay” award.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that in this age of contraceptions, legalized abortion and birth control advertisements in all media, women in tentative relationships choose to bring another person into the battle. An innocent one at that.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that the on line pagan travel company is running and paying boatloads of money for an annoying commercial. It’s the one with the guy who has a ton of sun block smothered all over his face with the dippy wife. I’d explain it further but that’s when I turn it off.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that Commissioner A.J. Munchak wants his corruption trial moved to Scranton because it would be more convenient for him. I totally get that. I’d like WYLN TV to move to the old Jehovah’s Witness building on North Street (oops, King’s took that!) so it would be more convenient. I’d like Price Chopper to move to Madison Street so I wouldn’t have to drive so far. This is a trial. This ain’t Burger King A.J. You can’t have it your way. Not to defend him but imagine Mark Ciavarella complaining about his federal trial being in Scranton! Jeez Louise.
Maybe I’m Amazed…….that finally the baseball season is just a few weeks away. And then comes summer.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that the AP awarded WILK Radio an award for the Friday Beer Buzz. To me it says more about the AP than WILK. Congrats though guys. CORRECTION: it was the PAB (Pennsylvania association of Broadcasters), and not the AP.
Maybe I’m Amazed…….that Rock 107 is still hosting their big birthday bash. Like clockwork on Holy Thursday, 107 hosts thousands of its hard core fans that make the station a legend around these parts. If you haven’t gone in your lifetime, go at least once.
Maybe I’m Amazed……that Michele Bachman that Congresswomen from Minnesota is thinking about running for President. With all due respect, can Steve Urban be next?
Maybe I’m Amazed….that Donald Trump has become a “birther”. Saw a clip of him on the Hen House, er “The View” the other day and his insight that no one ever heard of Obama as a kid is ludicrous. He was born in Hawaii which in 1962 was a state for 3 years.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that a government entity in Luzerne County said “no” to the Joyce Insurance Company. The Hazleton Area School Board was all set to vote on a multi million dollar insurance contract on Thursday night and Joyce had it in the bag. However, after a request from a representative from Dreyfoss insurance the board took a recess, reconsidered and awarded the contract to Dreyfoss. According to the Hazleton Standard Speaker, The Joyce agency's proposal came in at a lower price, but Lew Dryfoos III of the Dryfoos Group said there were steps taken by the district after the proposals were submitted that gave an unfair advantage to the Joyce agency. Several board members agreed with Dryfoos. According to board discussions, the district sought $10 million in umbrella coverage, but the proposal submitted by the Joyce group gave a price quote for $1 million, not $10 million. The district also sought a $1,000 deductible on the policy. The Joyce quote provided for a $2,500 deductible.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that after the fact, the Diocese of Scranton has finally come up with a new Department of Property and Risk Management, which will “assist parishes and other diocesan institutions with the many issues involved in managing and securing property and facilities. ” This idea will help the churches transition into an area of closing, selling, renovation, maintenance, extinction, assassination, you know the typical ethnic cleansing that major institutions do when they want to destroy heritage and history and save some money. Here's the story of a church that never stood a chance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1518, March 24th, 2011



Democrat Jim Bobeck, 31, Kingston, has officially announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council.
A magna cum laude graduate of Villanova University and Boston College Law School, Bobeck is an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Public Welfare and also an attorney for Saunders & Rooney, P.C. in Plymouth. He has worked as a pro bono attorney providing legal representation for indigent clients in Luzerne County and has previously worked in the legal department of the financial and media company Bloomberg, LP in Princeton, New Jersey.
Bobeck currently serves as the Chairman of the Luzerne County Home Rule Transition Committee, which is charged with the drafting of the new administrative, ethics, and personnel codes for the new Home Rule Government, as well as initiating the recruitment process for the new County Manager. Bobeck said, “As a member of the transition committee along with ten other individuals, we have made the choice to volunteer an exorbitant amount our time to ensure the prosperity and readiness of the new government”.
“As the current Chair and member of the Home Rule Transition Committee, I’ll have an excellent grasp of the in-depth issues facing the new County Council as well as the need for cooperation among council members. If elected, Bobeck will concentrate his efforts on 1) the short-term goals facing the new Council such as selection of the County Manager and implementing the new county codes that will provide the structure for the new government, and 2) focusing on long-term goals beneficial to county such as aggressive debt reduction and creating an effective and efficient work environment.
“After living out of the area for several years, my family and I moved back to Luzerne County because we wanted to get involved in shaping the county’s future. However, acting as the county’s ‘eyes and ears’ to thwart corruption is not enough, but only a prerequisite for any public official. I’ll strive to represent the county’s sensibilities and best decision-making abilities.”
Bobeck and his wife, Megan, have two children: three year old Natalie Rose and 2 month old James Joseph. He urges voters to visit his website at or at
Though Bobeck is number 31 in the ballot pecking order, he is urging people to “Get Things Done with Ballot #31: Vote Jim Bobeck!"


Democrat Eileen Sorokas, of Wilkes-Barre, has announced her candidacy for Luzerne County Council. Sorokas graduated from St. Joseph’s Parochial School, the Wilkes-Barre Township High School and Luzerne County Community College. She also completed the United Way Union Counseling Program and attended night classes at King’s College.
She was employed by Pittston Fashions and the Lord & Taylor Distribution Center. She is also a retiree of UNITE, formerly the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU).
Sorokas has been involved in governmental functions on the local, state and federal levels, serving on the Democratic State Committee from 1982 to 1994. She has also volunteered to work in various charitable organizations.
Sorokas and her husband are rebuilding a farm in Hunlock Township, where they raise poultry and plant seasonal crops.
“Having a home in Wilkes-Barre and a farm in Hunlock Township, Eileen knows and understands the problems in cities and rural areas,” the release said.
She said she will push for an “honest, responsive and dependable” county government that serves the public’s needs, including holding the line on taxes.
“To sum it up, we should serve the needy, not the greedy,” Sorokas said. That is a great thought and an even better campaign slogan. Could you imagine if we had a fraction of the money on a federal level that was given to big corporations and wealthy people who got tax breaks? Could you imagine if we had a fraction of the money that was used in dunderhead projects in this area the last 15 years? Could you imagine if we had a fraction of the money that was used for corruption purposes in this county in the last 10 years?



Kudos to Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith for calling out CityVest and demanding an audit on the Hotel Sterling fiasco. The developer of no resort spent millions of dollars on this project and we need to know where it went, who got it, how were they connected to the members of CityVest and how or if these things were bid out. When an architect like Carl Handman has questions, so do I. (Mr. Handman and I worked on a renovation project in the 80s and he is one of the best professionals in the state). Commissioner Mary Anne Petrilla said in a TV interview that the audit was a good thing but that she didn’t think there would be anything bad uncovered. We’ll see.


Robert J. Samuelson. Remember this creep’s name. Samuelson wrote in Newsweek not once but twice that he considered Social Security Middle Class welfare. How do you get welfare in any way shape or form out of a program that you payed into by working? If there is to be shared sacrifice for all Americans, why not let those who benefited from the Bush tax cuts and virtually paid nothing to sacrifice? How about the oil companies the government subsidizes? Where is their sacrifice? To call Social Security a middle class welfare entitlement is insulting to all working Americans who have supported the rich and those on welfare alike. See, no matter what, it is those in the middle that always get screwed. The rich will always find conniving ways to not pay their fair share and the poor will always be poor (with those exceptions that clawed their way to the middle class. They should have stayed where they were, on the dole because to faux intellectuals like Samuelson, they still are on welfare even though they paid into the fund. Welcome to the middle class my friends, you’re still on welfare as far as this idiot is concerned.


Lackawanna County judges threw out an attempt to get a candidate for magisterial district judge removed from the ballot.
Robert Timlin, may remain on the Republican ballot in the hotly contested race in district 45-1-06, which covers the Green Ridge section, part of North Scranton and Dunmore. Timlin's Republican nominating papers were challenged last week by Attorney Paul J. Ware, another candidate for the seat. Ware said the petitions lacked the mandatory 100 valid voter signatures. Ware said Timlin's 119 signatures included about 30 invalid ones. The Judges ruled in favor of Timlin because they said Ware, a registered Democrat could not challenge GOP petitions.


Thomas Sharkey, a Magistrate is the Hazleton Area for over 15 years has decided not to run. Sharkey made the announcement the other day. It was widely expected that Sharkey would have no problems winning re-election even though a few other potential candidates jumped into the race. The seat in District Court 11-3-04. Remaining candidates are former West Hazleton Mayor Mark Rockovich, West Hazleton; former Freeland police officer David P. Bogansky, Hazle Township; Hazleton police detective James Dixon, Hazle Township, and attorney Frank J. Skokoski, West Hazleton. This decree earlier in the week opens up this race big time.


I should have known this but do you realize that Wilkes Barre/Scranton is ranked number two in a survey of the smokiest cities in the country? According to Newsweek, WB/Scranton and most likely Hazelton ranked right up there in the number of people who want to light up. Tulsa is number 1. I never smoked. Too much work involved as well as the expense of it. But the majority of women I’ve dated, the vast majority of people I’ve worked with through the years and the number of perfect strangers I have encountered in this area living here light up. Too bad we couldn’t get a tobacco company to relocate here but that would mean the local Chambers in Wilkes Barre and Scranton would have to get off their asses and work. Or worse yet….think.


Ferlin Husky, a pioneering country music entertainer in the 1950s and early '60s known for hits like "Wings of a Dove" and "Gone," died last week. He was 85.
The 2010 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee died at his home. He was one of the first country musicians to bring the genre to television and helped spread its popularity in booming post-World War II California, an important step in country's quest for a national audience.
He said in a 2010 interview with The Associated Press that he was buoyed by his Hall of Fame induction because he worried he'd been forgotten as his health failed over the years. In 1957, he had a No. 1 hit on the country chart with "Gone," a re-recording of a song he had done several years earlier. It also broke the top five on the pop charts. "Wings of a Dove," a gospel song, became another No. 1 country hit in 1960 and was one of his signature songs.


It is difficult to keep track of the late Elizabeth Taylor's marriages. But for a short time she was married to a United States Senator. When Elizabeth Taylor married Senator John Warner, she brought some Hollywood glamour and attention to Washington. That was 1976, the same year she divorced Richard Burton for the second time.
Warner says he and she began courting at a Bicentennial dinner at the British Embassy. He says he mentioned his 2,400 acre farm in Loudoun County and Taylor asked for a visit.He says they fell in love, and she fell in love with Virginia and his Atoka Farm. Senator Warner says the farm reminded Taylor of her British heritage. They married six months later at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Middleburg, Virginia on December 4, 1976. The couple also had a home on S Street in Georgetown. Senator Warner says Taylor helped him get elected to the senate seat that he would keep for 30 years until he retired. Senator Warner says Taylor was his partner and life-long friend and will always be grateful to her. "I will remember her as a woman whose heart and soul were as beautiful as her classic face and her majestic eyes," said Warner.



This week Craig Fuller founding member of "Pure Prairie League." Is Shadoe Steelle’s guest on “Saturday Night Live At the Oldies”. Pure Prairie League was one of those groups in the mid 70s that made the successful bridge from folk/country to pop. Pure Prairie League segment starts at 8PM, the show airs on WILK AM and FM from 7PM to midnight with ABC News at the top of the hour.


This Week on Sunday Magazine: Brian Hughes interviews Allan Glass from Pa Paper and Supply Company about his experiences in Japan during the recent earthquake and tsunami, plus how you can help out in the relief efforts.
And Brian speaks with his Scranton Central High School classmate, actress Melanie Smith, about her roles on "As The World Turns" and "Seinfeld", and what she is doing today. Sunday Magazine. Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


TV This coming week's guest on ECTV Live. host, Judge Tom Munley, will welcome Mike Hanley of United Neighborhood Centers to the program which runs each day at Noon and Midnight.While co-host David DeCosmo is on vacation Judge Munley will be joined by former WYOU anchor and News Director Frank Andrews!


Rock 107's 31st Birthday Bash
Thursday, April 21 at 7:00pm
Location: Woodlands Grand Ballroom.


The Presidential campaign continues to heat up as the Democrats descend on Wisconsin. Hubert Humphrey is favored in the state because of the close proximity to Minnesota. HHH has been known for years as the state’s third Senator. But the McGovern for President effort is yielding big results with thousands of young people volunteering and papering the state with literature. Decision day is April third……Statewide, Governor Milton Shapp continues to push for the Edmund Muskie for President effort. Shapp encourages all statewide Democrats to fall into line for the Maine Senator…in Plains Township, two men Raymond Slabinski and William Spring announce they are co chairs of the third party movement. The name of the group will be called the Independent Voters League of Luzerne County. A mass meeting is set to be held at the Plains Polish American Veteran’s Association. Slabinski said thousands of indignant taxpayers are calling for a third party alternative while Spring said, “No longer can the Democratic party lay claim to the title “The Friend of the working man” as they continue to soak the taxpayers at every turn. Both men served on the Plains Party Democratic committee and 39 years ago this week in America and Lulac land the number 1 song in America was “A Horse With No Name” by America.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1517, March 23rd, 2011




Plymouth activist and Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition member Scott Cannon is trying to have the Hanover Area School Board recognize the importance of the situation near the River regarding the transferring of water for gas drilling. Here is a copy of his missive, the second one mind you, to the school authorities.

Dear Hanover Area Board Members,
I sent you an email a month ago regarding the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority's proposal to build a gas drilling frack water treatment facility and their grounds by the Susquehanna River.
I attended the WVSA board meeting on March 15th and found out new information that should be important to the safety of the children in your school district. The WVSA attorney/consultant John Minora told me that the proposed facility would accept 10-12 large tanker trucks an hour for 24 hours a day. The trucks would come down from the northern counties through Route 29 in Plymouth Township, over the Cross Valley, onto the San Souci, and they would buy the car wash property in Buttonwood and build a connection road there to Breaker Road. If you do the math, that is 576 large 8,000 gallon tanker trucks back and forth a day, carrying toxic waste.
As you know, the Dallas School Board is fighting along with residents to keep a compressor station and now metering stations from being built 1,300 feet from their schools. They realize that putting a toxic industrial facility by a school is wrong. I am not sure that you are aware of the magnitude of this situation. Once this facility is built, it opens the door to expansion, and as you know, it is in a residential neighborhood and a school zone. I ask that you look into this matter, as it will be affecting your town for the next 30 years according to the drilling industries estimates on gas production in Pennsylvania.
The WVSA is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine whether or not to build this facility. Now would be a good time to speak up. There are 115 days left in the study.
My group, the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, sponsored a presentation by Dr. Conrad Volz, a scientist and public health expert to talk about gas drilling and this particular proposed treatment facility. Here is the link to the section where he talks about whets in the chemicals and why putting such a facility in the WVSA is a bad idea.

The following letter is from Tunkhannock resident George Turner, P. G., a geologist and water treatment expert.
Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA) plan to allow the building of a frackwater treatment plant along the Susquehanna River must be stopped
It’s absurd for the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA) board members to even consider, let alone pick, someone to design, build and operate a natural gas wastewater treatment facility along the Susquehanna River, as was voted upon at Tuesday’s meeting.
Even though they say they aren't making a commitment, until they do more homework, it sure sounds like they already made up their minds.
The company chosen by the board says that water dumped into the Susquehanna will be treated to drinking water standards. While it is quite possible that frackwater can be turned into drinking water, the costs would be prohibitive.
Furthermore, if the water is treated to drinking water standards, then why does it need to be dumped into the Susquehanna at all.
It appears to me that what they want to do is to dilute their contaminated water with the treated sewage until it just barely meets the requirements of an NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit, and then dump it into the Susquehanna River.
This is just one more attempt to discharge contaminated water into the streams and rivers in our area. It was tried in Wyoming County at Lemon Twp. and Eaton Twp. Both were refused by DEP.
Isn’t it interesting that the WVSA already has a sewage treatment plant and NPDES permit already in place?
What these people want is access to the Susquehanna River, so they can dump contaminated water into it. All the rest is all smoke and mirrors.
When I was a boy growing up in Harding, I spent my summers in, and on, the river. At that time there were no environmental laws, and everyone who lived along the Susquehanna threw their garbage over the river bank. Susquehanna River
The river was one long dump used for the disposal of anything that was unwanted, from daily household garbage to old boats, furniture, and sometimes even whole cars. The bottoms of my feet are covered with scars from stepping on cans and broken bottles.
During the late 1950's and early 1960's the cleanup of the area began. The undaunting effort to remove the junk that was tossed into the river paid off.
In 2009, I took my Scuba gear and drifted down the river for approximately a mile, and I found only two pieces of construction debris that looked like aluminum siding. I found NO cans, NO bottles, and NO garbage of any kind.
To avoid the mistakes of the past, we need to be very vocal and very active in protecting not only our precious water resources, but our environment as well.
I don’t want to see us moving backward!
George E. Turner, P.G.
If you would like more information or would like us to schedule an information presentation, we gladly will. Please give me a call.
Scott Cannon
Video Innovations

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1516, March 22nd, 2011



The Health Care bill the Republican Congress is trying to repeal and have continually tried to vilify is now one year old. And while I personally feel it didn’t go far enough, there are some good positive things it is already yielding for the state. The White House issued a report highlighting the benefits of health reform for Pennsylvania residents. Signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act has given Pennsylvania residents more freedom and control over their health care choices.
The Affordable Care Act is:
Reducing costs for seniors and strengthening Medicare.
More than 247,438 Pennsylvania residents who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will receive a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole this year. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole completely. And nearly all 44 million beneficiaries who have Medicare, including 2.1 million in Pennsylvania, can now receive free preventive services – like mammograms and colonoscopies – as well as a free annual wellness visit from their doctor
Offering new coverage options.
Insurance companies are now required to allow parents to keep their children up to age 26 without job-based coverage on their insurance plans. An estimated 32,100 young adults in Pennsylvania could gain insurance coverage as a result of the law. Additionally, most insurance companies are now banned from denying coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition. An estimated 657,000 kids with a pre-existing condition in Pennsylvania will be protected because of this provision.
Lowering costs for small businesses.
The law provides $40 billion of tax credits to up to 4 million small businesses, including up to 178,505 in Pennsylvania to help offset the costs of purchasing coverage for their employees and make premiums more affordable.
Improving the quality of coverage.
All Americans with insurance are now free from worrying about losing their insurance due to a mistake on an application, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick. The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014. This will protect 7.7 million million Pennsylvania residents with private insurance coverage from these limits.
Providing flexibility and resources to States.
The Affordable Care Act also gives States the flexibility and resources they need to implement the law in the way that works for them. Under the law, States have received millions of dollars in Federal support for their work to hold down insurance premiums, build competitive insurance marketplaces, provide insurance to early retirees, and strengthen their public health and prevention efforts. So far, Pennsylvania has received $80.8 million from the Affordable Care Act. Grants to Pennsylvania include:
$1.1 million to support a consumer assistance program
$1 million to plan for a Health Insurance Exchange
$1 million to crack down on unreasonable insurance premium increases
$22.5 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund
$48.1 million in Therapeutic Discovery Project Program Tax Credits and Grants
$1 million for Medicare improvements for patients and providers
$3.4 million for demonstration projects to address health professions workforce needs
$436,542 for Nursing and Home Health Aides Training Programs
$2.2 million for Maternal, Infant and Childhood Home Visiting


Luzerne County Council candidate Wil Toole is letting the rubber hit the road in his effort to be elected on the Luzerne County Council as a Democrat. Besides attending county meetings and offering ideas and opinions, Toole is using a lot of shoe leather to get his name and message out to the public. Toole is the only candidate to seek this county office who has the Professional Municipal Manager credentials recognized by the International City/County Manager’s Association (ICMA).


County Council candidate Bruce Simpson has weighed in on the gas drilling issue and what that means to the county. Simpson says, it is well known that the Luzerne County area needs jobs and the taxes that flow from them. Many businesses and individuals have argued for allowing gas exploration companies to come into Luzerne County and to search for natural gas for these exact reasons. In fact, the Governor has made the industry tax free on production which is strange and questionable in itself in light of the Commonwealths budget shortfall which has led the Governor to cut education funding for our schools.
The real question is whether or not the risks of the "fracking" process are worth the potential benefit. After much consideration and consultations with advisers, Simpson has now taken the position that "fracking" should be prohibited throughout Luzerne County.
The gas industry refuses to identify the chemicals used in the fracking process and sufficient evidence indicates that these chemicals are making their way into the drinking water supply along with gas itself as witnessed by people being able to light their tap water on fire. If these chemicals weren't deadly, the industry would not hesitate to identify which chemicals are being injected into our shale and water tables.
Now a new danger has surfaced. In the state of Arkansas since the advent of fracking in that state six months ago, over 1000 earthquakes have occurred with at least one registering almost a 5 on the Richter scale which was the largest to hit the state in 35 years. As a result, the state of Arkansas has ordered a halt to all fracking anywhere in Arkansas. In the seven days prior to the cessation of fracking, there were 100 minor earthquakes. In the seven days since the halt, earthquakes have dropped to 50 and continue to decline in number with the severity dropping as well with the quakes registering between 1.2 and 2.8.
All of the side effects of fracking indicate that this is a dangerous process that places both the environment and lives at risk. Fracking should be banned until proper advancements are made to limit the negative consequences to the environment and eliminate the dangers to people's lives. For once, health and safety must come first over corporate profits.
For more information on Bruce J. Simpson please visit his website at

Monday, March 21, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1515, March 21st, 2011



Yes folks we are going to keep on doing this until we get it right. BlogFest 2011 is going to be happening on Friday April 29th at Rooney’s Pub in downtown Pittston. The event starts at 6PM. This is an opportunity for our readers, posters, friends, enemies, colleagues, detractors, groupies and pals to come out and talk pop culture, politics or whatever trips your trigger. Candidates running for the various and sundry offices in LuLac land (Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties) and beyond are welcome. We have 16 Judicial candidates running, 49 Luzerne County Council candidates going for it as well as various city municipalities and school boards. I have the pleasure of co hosting it with Pittston Joe Valenti this year. So mark it on the calendar and drop on buy. Here’s Valenti’s story that tells you the history and ground rules of the event.
Blogfest set for April 29
By: Joe Valenti
Mark your calenders.
Area bloggers will be holding another blog fest Friday, April 29, 2010. This will be your chance to meet the face behind the keyboard. It will held again be at Rooney’s Irish Pub on Main Street in Pittston starting at 6:00PM. Stay as long as you’d like. Last time around Gort helped organize the shindig. Gort, however, has experienced a long case of writer’s block and hung up his keyboard.
Dave Yonki, of the LuLac Political Newsletter has offered to step up to the plate and lend a helping hand. Our past two events were well attended. Last spring we had probably over 150 come through the door and that was an off year election. This year we expect an even larger turnout considering the excitement with this year’s primary.
Gort always laid down the ground rules:
Admission is free, no speeches, you must buy your own drinks and you must wear clothes.


Charlotte Raup had quite an event Sunday afternoon. The Wilkes Barre Crime Watch Coordinator had an afternoon event on the steps of Wilkes Barre City Hall. She hopes to climb those and break the Mayoral glass ceiling in the city of Wilkes Barre. From the looks of the event, she had a nice turnout. What caught my attention was her pledge to cut her own salary by 20% if elected. I’m telling you that is going to resonate with voters. Conceding that Mayor Leighton rebuilt the downtown, she said it took too long and cost city residents too much money. She indicated city residents are more concerned about the basics like fire and police protection and great involvement in the city neighborhoods.


The Wilkes Barre 6th District GOP is having their Spring Fling next Sunday down at headquarters at 41 South Main street in Wilkes Barre. The event costs ten bucks and these guys (yes Republicans) know how to have a good time. 4 to 6PM Next Sunday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1514, March 20th, 2011



The order has been determined for the Luzerne County ballot positions for Judge. As you can see the big winners appear to be Kingston Mayor Jim Haggerty and Attorney Lesa Gelb. But ballot positions sometimes are only as good as how a campaign is run. Take a look at what I wrote in 2009 in LuLac Edition # 762, March 22nd, 2009.
"In the meantime, regarding election logistics, C.J. Bufalino nabbed the top spot on the Republican side while Judge Joseph Musto got the top position on the Democratic side. Ballot position is never regarded as very important except when you have a multitude of candidates running, like say 17!!!! Amesbury fared well too except that he was on the bottom of the ballot. It's easy to say to a voter, 762, especially ones not politically vested or savvy, "look at the top or the bottom of the ballot". Once you have to explain that a candidate's name is somewhere in the middle, there's a chance of losing them."
The ballot position didn’t give us Judge Charles Buffalino III or another few years on the bench for Joseph Musto.
William Amesbury who got the last slot on the ballot for the Democrats literally had a step by step TV ad and mailer which led voters to him. (Attention Jennifer Rogers campaign: note that Amesbury model!) So while the top of the ballot is better than being mired in the middle it doesn’t guarantee a an automatic win. Here's the rundown and ranking:


Jim Haggerty, Kingston;
Dick Hughes, Fairview Township;
Joe Sklarosky, Jr., Fairview Township;
Mark Bufalino, Kingston Township;
Vito DeLuca, Franklin Township;
Michael Blazick, Fairview Township;
Paula Radick, Hazle Township;
John Aciukewicz, Kingston Township;
James L. McMonagle, Jackson Township;
Michael T. Vough, West Pittston;
Molly Hanlon Mirabito, Forty Fort;
Tony Ross, Fairview Township;
Joseph F. Saporito Jr., Jenkins Township;
Lisa Gelb, of Laflin;
Fred A. Pierantoni, of Dupont;
Jennifer Rogers, of Harveys Lake.


Lisa Gelb, of Laflin;
Mark Bufalino, Kingston Township;
Fred A. Pierantoni, of Dupont;
James L. McMonagle, Jackson Township;
Michael T. Vough, West Pittston;
Joseph F. Saporito Jr., Jenkins Township;
Jennifer Rogers, of Harveys Lake;
Michael Blazick, Fairview Township;
John Aciukewicz, Kingston Township;
Paula Radick, Hazle Township;
Dick Hughes, Fairview Township;
Molly Hanlon Mirabito, Forty Fort;
Jim Haggerty, Kingston;
Joe Sklarosky, Jr., Fairview Township;
Tony Ross, Fairview Township;
Vito DeLuca, Franklin Township.


South Wilkes Barre political activist Rick Gazinski has always been a major voice in expressing his concern for the business district of South Wilkes Barre. With Councilman from District A Rick Cronauer, Gazenski helped form the “District A Fund” Business and Community Alliance. But Saturday night at the F.M. Kirby, Gazenski joined the Temptations in a solo rendition of one of their hits from the 60s, the follow up to “My Girl”, “The Girl’s All Right with Me”. The last time the Temps were in town which was 1987, all of the original members of the group were on a reunited tour as chronicled in the made for TV movie “The Temptations”. This time around the Temptations had only one original living member, the group’s founder, Otis Williams.
When the Temptations were at the Kirby in 1988 they invited a few people on stage to sing “My Girl”. This time around, they asked for two male volunteers and Gazenski was up like he was shot out of a cannon. He crooned, he had all the right moves and he had damn near perfect pitch. Plus Mr. Gazenski got a big hand from the more than 1500 at the Kirby. Now if Gazenski could get his friends the Temps back for a fundraiser with him being the 6th Temptation, his community activities would be flush. Gazenski is involved in the following: Past President Of The Rotary Club of South Wilkes Barre, Past President Of The Northeast Erie Agents Group, Member of the Redistricting Commission of The City of Wilkes Barre, Instructor for Wise Education (Continuing Education) Insurance Courses, Past Member of The CYC Board, and Past Chairperson of The CYC Annual Fund Campaign, Co Founder and Vice Pres. of The South Wilkes Barre Business Alliance. Here’s that Temptations song Rick wowed the crowd with.