The LuLac Edition #1642, June 16th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: FORMER HAZLETON MAYOR MICHAEL MARSICANO, 22nd DISTRICT SENATOR JOHN BLAKE, WYLN TV 35 TOPIC A LOGO AND OUR 1972 LOGO.
Riverfest happens this weekend. Come on down to the River Common for some wonderful events. Both L.A. Tarone and I will be hosting Topic A from the main stage area. Come on down and ask us some questions if you like. Topic A airs Monday through Friday at 5:30PM on WYLN TV 35.
Pennsylvania's system for redrawing the boundaries of its congressional districts is being criticized as a bad idea.
At a hearing before a House-Senate panel in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Pennsylvania Common Cause director Barry Kauffman said the realignment of congressional redistricts should be turned over to an independent body, not left up to the Legislature and governor to decide.
Kauffman says the current system exposes state legislators to pressure from federal politicians and creates potential conflicts for lawmakers by requiring them to vote on the makeup of districts in which they may one day run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The redrawing of congressional districts is done every 10 years to reflect population shifts. Pennsylvania will lose one of its 19 House seats beginning in the 2012 election.If a district is going to be Gerry mandered and the Dems and Republicans play fair, look for John Murtha’s district to be eliminated. If partisan politics prevail, all bets are off.
Governor Corbett is still set on taking your health care money and giving it to businesses. What's particularly shocking is the type of program he wants to establish. The 'Liberty Loan' fund would give businesses cash so they don't have to borrow from the banks, like you or I would. Six other lending programs like it already exist. You know what doesn't exist? Six other options for people who lost their adultBasic health coverage.
This ridiculous proposal would take $220 million from the Tobacco Settlement Fund (TSF) - a fund that through an act of the legislature (Act 77 of 2011) was established to go towards programs like the former adultBasic.
Contact your state legislators today. Tell them you're against taking helath care money and giving it to businesses.
TSF money traditionally and appropriately goes to adult health, uncompensated care for hospitals, cancer research, home and community-based care for Seniors. It was never meant to go to businesses.
The Pennsylvania House already passed their budget and, unfortunately, theirs took the TSF money away from health care. Call your State Rep and tell their office you're disappointed in the House budget for not protecting the TSF. Tell your State Senator to protect the TSF in their budget and say No to "Liberty" Loans.
These calls are making a difference! We're hearing from State Reps and Senators on both sides of the isle that they've been paying attention to constituent concerns around the TSF.
At its forty-first annual Awards Dinner at the Capital Hilton last night,the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) will honor distinguished lifetime service to consumers. THE HONORABLE PAUL E. KANJORSKI, PHILIP HART PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Congressman Paul Kanjorski, representing Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional District, ably advanced the consumer and public interest as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1984 until early this year. As a leader in the House Financial Services Committee, he made exceptional contributions to financial services reforms. In the late 1990s, the Congressman spearheaded successful efforts to pass legislation ensuring greater consumer access to credit unions. Following Enron and Worldcom scandals, he led House investor protection efforts that culminated in passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and, since then, fought to preserve these reforms. In 2003, he helped persuade Congress to expand fair credit reporting protections for consumers. Before and during the recent financial crisis, he advocated predatory lending reforms that were incorporated in the Dodd-Frank Act. And during the same period, he advanced proposals to reform credit rating agencies and strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission that were also included in this legislation. Throughout his congressional service, Congressman Kanjorski thoughtfully approached complex issues and sought practical reforms that enjoyed bipartisan support. It is especially appropriate that he receives an award named for Senator Hart.
MESSAGE FROM JOHN BLAKE
22nd District Senator John Blake recently had a series of legislative breakfasts with local officials. Blake who was elected to the Mellow seat made contact with members in his district to discuss issues important to them. Here’s what his message was;
In what was the first of many legislative breakfasts, I had the pleasure to host local government officials from every municipality in the 22nd Senatorial District at Fiorelli’s in Peckville to discuss state issues and the prospective local impacts of state budget proposals.
The dialogue with the municipal officials provided me with perspective from many different regions of my Senate district and it expanded on the concerns that are paramount to these officials as we move into the last few weeks of budget negotiations in Harrisburg.
The local officials in attendance understand the effects of the recent recession and know the challenges of balancing budgets under these circumstances. They expect a state budget compromise that reflects true shared sacrifice from all sectors of our economy and a final spending plan that protects our seniors and persons with disabilities while investing properly in education, health care and economic development.
The website ThinkProgressGreen recently slammed Congressman Lou Barletta on his reaction to the Butler Mine Tunnel and Funding for the EPA. Take a look at this.
Three months after voting to eliminate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) now says he’s outraged that the EPA isn’t doing more to protect the health of residents in his district. Barletta is insisting that the agency pay special attention to an area in Pittson, PA, after one resident alleged that a tunnel near a Superfund site gave him cancer. The EPA held an open house and information session to address the concerns of residents in the area, but said it did not plan to conduct further testing. This outraged Barletta, who called their decision “unacceptable”:
On Wednesday, Barletta sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson asking the agency to perform additional testing in the Carroll/Mill Street neighborhood.[...]“Frankly, this is unacceptable. The EPA’s own Web site indicates that one of the agency’s primary reasons for existence is to ensure that ‘all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.’”[...]
“I was surprised to hear an EPA official basically tell the residents of the Carroll/Mill neighborhood that they would not conduct soil and water testing to find answers. It is absolutely the EPA’s job, and I’m going to make sure that job is done. The residents are scared, and they deserve answers and peace of mind.”
That’s an ironic position for Barletta, considering how often he’s tried to prevent the EPA from doing its job. In February, Barletta voted with the rest of the Republican-controlled House for an amendment that slashed funding for the EPA. Republicans were retaliating against the agency for its efforts to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), one of the authors of the amendment, said, “The era of EPA overstepping its authority by imposing over-burdensome and unnecessary regulations at the expense of American businesses is over.”
Barletta’s vote to gut funding for the EPA flew in the face of popular opinion in his own district. A survey by Public Policy Polling found that 70 percent of voters in Barletta’s 11th Congressional District opposed Barletta’s vote to block the EPA from setting limits for carbon dioxide pollution. Those opposed included 58 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans. Voters also opposed Barletta’s votes to “prevent the EPA from reducing arsenic, mercury and other toxic pollution from cement kilns, or from collecting any data about carbon and other pollutants.”
It’s pretty audacious to attack an agency for not doing enough mere months after attacking them for doing too much. Barletta should hope his constituents have short memories and forget his attempts to stop the EPA from upholding health standards that Republicans insisted were a “burden” to business.
This week on Storm Politics, a no-holds-barred interview with Former Hazleton Mayor Mike Marsicano--get ready for a REAL storm. Thurs 9:30PM, Sat 5PM, Sun 11AM, Mon 9PM, Tues 4:30PM. Storm Politics is on WYLN TV 35 on Channel 7 in Wilkes Barre.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Shadoe Steele’s guest this week on “Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is Scotty Crane, the son of Hogan’s Hero star Bob Crane. The show can be heard 7pm to midnight with ABC News on top of the hour on WILK AM & FM.
This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: June 19th Brian Hughes speaks with Mike Prusinski from Life Lock about internet safety and the rising number of computer hacking incidents, and how you can prevent hackers from stealing your identity. June is National Internet Safety Month. And Brian speaks with Pedro Gonzales, the Executive Director of the Latin Cultural Diversity Center about upcoming events in the Latino community this summer, as well as the concerns of the Hispanic community in Northeastern Pa. 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 city of Scranton is scheduling three days of public events to mark
the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. You can learn all about them on ECTV Live the week of June 20th when John Hart joins host Judge Tom Munley and co-host David DeCosmo. Hart serves as Captain of the Delaney-Delacy Guard, a uniformed component of the Sons Of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The program runs on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.
This is a story that I thought was a crock. The family of the baby machine Jennifer Barise who has 5 kids under the age of 9 are having a Candlelight Vigil for the baby that was killed by a cinder block to the head by her father. The man charged was 20 year old Christopher Fitzpatrick. You're kidding me, right? Where the hell was this grieving family when this baby was in danger? They can light all the damn candles they want, it isn't going to bring that baby back or make up for the behavior of the scum bag parents.
BUSINESSMEN AND ETHICS
I was struck this week by the testimony of the various business men in the Cordaro Munchak trial. If power corrupts, then money certainly does too. The fact that the business guys said they needed to offer kickbacks to save the jobs of their employees so they could sustain their families was laughable. Yeah like Kalina was worried about the workers when he was tagging two secretaries twice in his business life. I’m the last guy to be moralistic about this but keep it out of the workplace. While the prosecution’s motive was to show how bad Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak were for allegedly accepting the bribes, they did ethical business people no favors by parading this line up of jesters and clowns that are oh so respectable. They say it is easy to do the right thing when someone is watching, it’s easy to testify too when your ass is saved and immunity is granted. Bob and A.J. aren’t saints but these guys are no heroes.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
A few days of rain causes the Susquehanna River to rise in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Hurricane Agnes virtually destroys the surrounding area of Luzerne County skills 117 on the U.S. East Coast....
The first U.S. Libertarian Party National Convention is held in Denver, Colorado. Five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee....In Harrisburg, flooding along the Susquehanna occurs and Governor Shapp declares the a state of emergency calling out the national guard……in Wilkes Barre volunteers try to hold back the river with tons of sandbags. There efforts fail and the flood waters cascade into the Wyoming Valley and thirty nine years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was ironically enough “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” by the Fifth Dimension.