The LuLac Edition #1686, July 21st, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: THE COVER OF JACK SMILES' NEW BOOK ON HALL OF FAMER BUCK HARRIS, WILKES BARRE ATTORNEY BILL VINSKO AND OUR 1972 LOGO.
We don't have a formal announcement yet as to the intentions of Wilkes Barre attorney Bill Vinsko as to his interest in running for the Democratic nomination for Congress next year. But people are talking. As a matter of fact my cohort in Pittston Joe Valenti gave him a shout out last week on Pittston Politics.com. Valenti talked about Vinsko's greater Pittston/West Side roots. Anytime Valenti does that you know at least he is taking the proposed candidacy seriously. Vinsko, if he does decide to do this needs to be a Democratic candidate of the Democratic party. With all of the talk about putting Medicare and Social Security on the table for discussion by cuts by a Democratic President, you can bet Vinsko will score points by just being an old time middle of the road conservative Democrat. There are way too many Democrats flirting with the principles of the national GOP. And that's bad for what is left of the middle class.
BILL VINSKO TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARDS CONGRESSIONAL RUN
Vinsko, Lifelong Resident of the 11th Congressional District,
Vows a Common-Sense Campaign in 2012
Wilkes-Barre, PA- July 21- Bill Vinsko has taken the first step necessary to be the Democratic nominee for the United States Congress by forwarding the required paperwork to the Federal Election Commission. Vinsko would face Republican Congressman Lou Barletta in the 11th Congressional District.
“People in our communities have told me that common sense and practical values of Northeast Pennsylvania are absent in Washington” said Vinsko. “I remember fighting hard as a student at King’s College for what is now the Arena at Casey Plaza. The entire community worked hard to voice their opinions, make sure they were heard and found a way to get it done. We can do that again, and I am ready and committed to lead the fight against the right-wing extremists we currently have in Congress, who are supporting radical cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Education. It is time to renew our passion and band together to create jobs for our future, to give paychecks to our people, and preserve our word to our seniors and veterans by keeping Medicare and Social Security strong.”
Bill has a history of helping create jobs in Northeast Pennsylvania. As an attorney, Bill and his brother, Brian, formed Vinsko and Associates, a full-service law firm handling real estate, estate planning, business and municipal law. Additionally, Bill is the President and Chairman of the Board of VPharm, Inc., a local pharmacy serving nursing homes and assisted living facilities, designed to help fill the needs of local senior citizens, who are able to obtain prescription drug medication a reasonable costs, without foregoing good service. During a down economy, Bill and his family have managed to expand their businesses to now employ over 30 local residents.
Vinsko has hired nationally prominent political strategists Snyder Pickerill Media Group as media consultant and The Strategy Group as campaign advisors. Snyder Pickerill has worked on competitive campaigns throughout the country from State House and State Senate races through contests for the U.S. House and Senate. The Strategy Group has advised multiple Presidential Candidates, as well as various other high profile campaigns across the country. Kyle Donahue has been named campaign manager.
Vinsko intends to formally announce his campaign in the next few weeks. Please join Bill and help achieve these goals for Northeast Pennsylvania. Visit the campaign website at www.billvinsko.com to join the cause.
Bill Vinsko was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre PA. He worked during his years at Bishop Hoban High School as a janitor and concessions clerk at the FM Kirby Center. Also at that time, Bill met his future wife, Paula VanFossen, as the two worked together as on-air personalities for Froggy 101 - a local radio station, under the names "I.B. Green" and "Cricket" respectively. Bill continued working full time while attending Kings College, Wilkes-Barre. Their children Mercedes, Will, and Margaret Marie are the fourth generation of Vinskos to be raised in Northeast Pennsylvania. His parents, Bill and Joan, currently live in Wilkes-Barre.
Bill Vinsko became one of the first students at Penn State University history to earn a Masters Degree in Public Administration and his Law Degree from and Dickinson School of Law at the same time. Upon returning to Wilkes-Barre he became the youngest person to ever serve as Assistant City Attorney for his hometown. Several years later he founded Vinsko and Associates to represent area residents in their real estate transactions, estate planning other legal needs. His wife, Paula, has been the business manager of the firm since its inception.
Vinsko is deeply active in his community, having volunteered for the local United Way, the Luzerne County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program, and St. Nicholas Church Parish Council. He has won local leadership awards and recognition for his volunteer work on behalf of his community from the Rotary Club International and the Volunteer Action Center of the Wyoming Valley. Law and Politics Magazine has named Vinsko a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” every year since 2005, including this year, 2011.
DATA CENTER CUTS
As part of the President’s Campaign to Cut Waste, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is announcing that, it will shut down a total of 373 data centers by the end of 2012, including 178 in 2012 alone. See map and data. Today’s announcement puts the Administration ahead of schedule in meeting the President's goal of shutting down 800 data centers by 2015, a move that is expected to save taxpayers more than $3 billion.
“Duplication, waste, and inefficiency are never acceptable, but it is especially intolerable in these challenging budgetary times,” said Jeffrey Zients, Federal Chief Performance Officer and OMB’s Deputy Director for Management. “As part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, President Obama has directed his Administration to aggressively root out misspent tax dollars in agencies across the government to ensure we are spending tax dollars wisely.”
A data center is a facility for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information, housing computer systems and associated components and generally includes backup power supplies, environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.) and special security devices. Data centers can be as a big as a building or as small as a closet, located in leased, owned, collocated, or stand-alone facilities.
Since 1998, the number of Federal data centers rose from 432 to more than 2,000 – a proliferation of infrastructure that has created unnecessary and redundant systems and applications – while the private sector has been shrinking its data-center footprint. Moreover, those facilities have been using only 27 percent of their computer power on average even though taxpayers are footing the bill for the entire infrastructure, real estate and energy costs. Data centers can consume 200 times the electricity as standard office spaces.
To date, agencies have closed 81 data centers and will close 114 more during this calendar year for a total of 195 in 2011.This represents an increase in both planned and actual closures from the data released in April 2011. As agencies have continued to update their data center inventories, they have increased their planned closures, demonstrating the seriousness in which they are attacking waste.
“With data centers that run as large as three and a half football fields, shutting down excess datacenters will save taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting costs for infrastructure, real estate and energy. At the same time, it will improve the security of government data and allow us to focus on leveraging technology to make government services work better for the American people,” said U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.
The data centers being added to the shut down list today range from a 195,000 square foot Department of Homeland Security facility in Alabama that is roughly the size of three-and- a-half football fields to four Department of Agriculture data centers in the same zip code, each of which is less than 1,000 square feet. In another instance, the Department of the Treasury is closing a nearly 13,000 square foot facility in Lanham, Maryland. This facility has 75 racks, hosts 250 servers, and costs taxpayers more than $400,000 a year for leasing and electricity alone.
The Campaign to Cut Waste is an effort to hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government. The Campaign builds on the Administration’s ongoing effort to make government more efficient, effective and accountable to the American people.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
I got this from my good friend Mark’s blog “Circumlocution for Dummies”. Here’s what he wrote about an exchange between Lisa Cope and Steve Corbett. Cope mentioned that Charlotte Raup was going to help her in the Republican's bid to unseat Tom Leighton in the fall.
Corbett: “Would you appoint Charlotte Raup as police chief?”
Cope: “I’d have to consider it.”
Man, this is going to be a race and a half. ”
Friends and supporters of late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo have been gathering over the weekend to remember him on the 20th anniversary of his death. At Rizzo’s downtown statue on Saturday — the only statue of a former Philadelphia mayor — the Quaker city String Band played as dignitaries arrived, some following a motorcade down Broad Street. Rizzo died of a heart attack in 1991 while campaigning for a third term as mayor, a job he held from 1972 to 1980. Rizzo rose from police officer to commissioner to mayor of the City of Brotherly Love, where his tough law-and-order stance won both strong admirers and fierce critics. Rizzo’s brother, Joe, a former fire commissioner, says Rizzo “roared like a lion, but he had a heart like a soft marshmallow.” Among those who addressed the crowd were former Police Commissioner Joseph O'Neill, former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, and Rizzo's brother, Joe, and son, Frank Jr. Rizzo's son and brother placed a wreath at the steps of the Rizzo statue, whose hand forever waves at City Hall's passersby. His wife, Carmella, 94, did not attend.
When I was a kid growing up, my dad would tell me stories about seeing Hall of Famer Bucky Harris when the world famous ballplayer would return to the Greater Pittston area. While I remember the stories, it takes Dispatch Editor Jack Smiles to truly paint a picture of Harris. Smiles didn’t set out to write a trilogy of breaker boy-to-Baseball Hall of Fame books, but with the release of his biography of Hughestown’s Bucky Harris , he has accomplished just that.
The book chronicles Bucky’s transformation from an obscure breaker boy with dirt under his nails to the toast of our nation’s capital where the president of the United States was a guest at his wedding and includes his stint as a professional basketball player, his early days as a baseball player, his 1947 world championship as manager of the Yankees, and his role in the racial integration of both the Senators and the Boston Red Sox.
The book “Bucky Harris, a Biography of Baseball’s Boy Wonder” is published by McFarland & Company. Smiles took more than two years writing and researching the book.
On Wednesday, July 27, beginning at 6:30 p.m. the Hughestown Hose Company and Smiles are hosting a book release party, discussion and signing in the Hose Company banquet room.
The Hose Company agreed to host the event as Bucky was a member and played for the company’s basketball team. The book contains a photo of Bucky with the 1910 Hose Company basketball team.
While Harris is not technically a local native he was born in Port Jervis, New Jersey, in 1896 – his father moved the family here when Bucky was three and Bucky’s early life was all about the Center Street-Rock Street area of Hughestown. He grew up on Rock Street. Smiles recently appeared on WILK’s Saturday Morning Sports Show with Rob Nyehard and Joe Thomas.
A Democrat-leaning advocacy group launched in New Jersey on Monday, saying it would "fight back" for the interests of state residents and blaming Republican Governor Chris Christie for drastic budget cuts, high unemployment and tax breaks for the wealthy. One New Jersey's website features articles on such topics as restoring state aid to cities, criticism of Christie's use of the line-item veto power and a defense of Planned Parenthood family planning clinics.
"Someone has to fight back. That's why One New Jersey was formed," One New Jersey said in a statement announcing its launch. It said it registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)4 advocacy group, a tax-exempt designation allowed to raise donations and engage in lobbying and a limited degree of political campaign activity. Republicans in New Jersey have used similarly designated advocacy groups in support of Christie, notably Reform Jersey Now and Center for a Better New Jersey.
A section of One New Jersey called "Christie By The Numbers" ticks off such items as the amount of state aid cut to schools and the amount of aid cut to nursing homes, countered with the amount of state tax breaks for companies involved in casino construction in Atlantic City.
HOME RULE IN PITTSTON?
If this area hasn’t had enough of Home Rule, Pittston City is now getting into the act. Pittston city officials say talk about moving toward establishing a home-rule charter has been predominantly positive.
The council met Wednesday night and will gave a final vote on whether to allow voters to approve creating a government study commission and pen a home-rule charter.
The ordinance, initially read July 7 in front of a handful of people, has garnered support, Councilman Mike Lombardo said. "There was a church picnic and a couple people were coming and asking some questions," Lombardo said. "It's bringing (Pittston) into the 21st century. City Administrator Joseph Moskovitz said he had heard second-hand that much of the discussion was positive but some did express concerns. "I find the concerns are predominantly of things people are unfamiliar with," Moskovitz said. Moskovitz and Lombardo said proponents of a home-rule charter will have to do a lot of work to educate people on what exactly a home-rule charter will allow the city to do. The primary benefits of a home-rule charter, Moskovitz said, is that it allows the city to "customize" its government. Under the current third-class city code, Pittston is forced to rely primarily on property tax revenue. The charter would allow the city to levy a higher income tax and relieve the tax burden on property owners with fixed incomes, Councilman Danny Argo said. The Council approved the measure and Home Rule will be on the ballot for the fall.
Combined sources: Times Leader/Citizen's Voice.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
This week’s guest on Shadoe Steele’s Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is Eric Bazilian from the Hooters. Saturday Night Live is heard every Saturday night on WILK FM and AM from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour.
This week on WYLN TV 35’s Storm Politics, Tiffany Cloud discusses health care. Her guest is Dr. Frank Polidora, Airtimes are: Thurs 9:30pm, Sat 5pm, Sun 11am, Mon 9pm, Tues 4:30pm, only on WYLN TV.
Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be switching situations when this week's ECTV Live airs on Comcast Ch19. David has been on vacation for the past two weeks, Judge Munley will head out for his vacation as next week's program is broadcast. David, who has been producing the upcoming program via Intenet from New Jersey, tells us the guest will be a surprise, ECTV Live airs at Noon Monday. It's also recorded and rebroadcast at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.
This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Brian Hughes speaks with Walter Brasch, the author of the novel Before The First Snow, a work of journalistic fiction about the counterculture movement from the 1960s thru the 1990s set in Boston, California, and Northeast Pa. And an encore of Brian's interview with Charlie Hulsizer, the organizer of the 3rd annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion, coming up Saturday Aug 6th in bear Creek. 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.
Anwar Sadat expels 20,000 Soviet advisers from Egypt....Bloody Friday: 22 bombs planted by the Provisional IRA explode in Belfast, Northern Ireland; nine people are killed and 130 seriously injured...Comedian George Carlin is arrested by Milwaukee police for public obscenity, for reciting his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" at Summerfest…….In Pennsylvania the two baseball teams, the Pirates and Phillies draw very well as they both settle into new multi purpose stadiums………during a tour of flood ravaged Wyoming Valley, former union leader Min Matheson has a confrontation with Housing and Urban Development Secretary George Romney about the lack of action on the part of that department. The exchange is seen on national TV and reported on the front pages of newspapers all around the country……….and thirty nine years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” by Wayne Newton. It marked the first time since the mid 60s that Newton topped the charts.