Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1737, August 31st, 2011




During the entire summer, we have been hearing constantly about Judge Mark Ciavarella’s role in the Judicial scandal. Surely there were some kids that too much of a punishment but there were other, out of control kids that pretty much got a pass after all the former Judge’s cases were tossed. This letter to the Times Leader makes the point that a Juvenile Court Judge or a police officer should not be left to parent a child. But unfortunately this has been the trend. There are more than a few parents living in this area who are plain lazy and irresponsible when it comes to parenting. My sister was a first grade teacher for over thirty years. She had a good reputation as a tough but kind task master who wanted to make sure these tykes were prepared for the rest of their educational career. Toward her middle years at the District, parents of incoming children would say, “Thank God my child has you for first grade because we can’t do anything with them”. Her response was always, “You’re the parent, you had them for 5 years, what am I going to do with them if there isn’t at least a foundation for learning?” Most times all the parents heard was the word “learning” and told her that was her job, not theirs. The Judicial scandal brought up the problems in the county system and hopefully they’ll be fixed. But none of that won’t solve the problem of parental incompetence. Here’s that letter:
Parenting should rest in hands of actual parents
Most of us probably think the “kids for cash” judge, Mark Ciavarella, is just a terrible person. I can think of a few parents who cried with him and their child in his chambers. The parents were practically begging him to do something because their child was going down the wrong road and they didn’t know what to do. The judge made a decision to handle the discipline, like many of our police officers do, and he gets 28 years in jail.
A parent calls 911 when Johnny won’t go to school, or when Susie comes home smelling of booze and pot. Congratulations! The parents have introduced their troublesome child to law enforcement. If arrested, the child now has a record. Great job!
As I was growing up in the ’70s, a Children and Youth agency was only an idea. When I got out of line, let’s just say dad didn’t put me in a time-out chair or make me stand in the corner to get his point across. I’m sure many men and women reading this can relate. Discipline wasn’t handled by the police, judges or a government-created agency. Discipline was handled by the “man of the house.”
Thanks to government, we have the “pansy of the house,” and the children dictate what the parents do on a daily basis.
Government has made it a crime for a parent to discipline a child. If a parent disciplines with a smack on the butt in the grocery store, some knucklehead with a cell phone is dialing 911 to report a child abuse case. An embarrassing visit from Children and Youth follows.
Want to cut something from the budget? Leave parenting up to the parents and allow the government to care for foster children who might not have someone to care for them, as it was intended. Or doesn’t this qualify as a kids-for-cash scheme? Because as I see it, the whole system is “kids for cash.”
Ask yourself this: Who pays the fine, lodging and probation fee of the child?
The parent who refuses to discipline a child, because the law prohibits it.
Chuck Watkins, Sugar Notch

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1736, August 30th, 2011



In order to survive you must fight. And sometimes you need help in a fight. If you don’t get any help in a fight, the last thing you want is someone who will hinder your battle. I’d like you to meet Cindy someone fighting for her life every day. Her fight got more complicated, not because she ignored her doctors or didn’t take her medicine And she didn’t stop taking care of herself either. But her health insurance which was Adultbasic went south. Here’s how that impacted her very fight for survival:
I fight daily to be thankful for life. But now, I feel so defeated. I need your help.
My name is Cindy and I'm a 55 year old breast cancer survivor. I was one of the 42,000 people kicked off adultBasic. With this economy, I have to work three jobs to get by, but none of them offer health insurance.
Now I'm left with Special Care - a crappy plan that only gives me 4 doctors visits a year and cost 300-400% more than adultBasic. I need to see my oncologist at least twice a year; that leaves me with only two other visits for the entire year. Special Care was, unfortunately, the only plan I could get after my adultBasic ended.
Now, Highmark wants to raise rates on Special Care 9.9%. I wrote a letter to our Insurance Commissioner, Michael Consedine, explaining that we deserve a public hearing on these rate hikes. Insurance companies have no idea what their greed is doing to the lives of working people. Commissioner Consedine should investigate this. You can support me by signing this petition calling for a public hearing.
Highmark's surplus went up by 10% last year (none of my paychecks did..). They pay tens of millions of dollars a year on bonuses, fancy trips, advertising and lobbying. Why do they need more money from me to meet health care costs for a plan that covers almost nothing?
I'm a fighter, but I'm exhausted. I'm tired of being squeezed by all sides. I have to have coverage, but I don't know how to keep up with all the costs.
I believe a real, public hearing will show the truth. But there isn't much time. PHAN is going to help me by delivering my letter and these signatures to the Insurance Commissioner next week! Check out the PHAN website to see if Cindy gets help.
PHAN website:


Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.
"As an American it just bothers me that with all of our know-how, all of our wealth, that we are not assuring that people who need healthcare can get it," Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Previous reports by the nonprofit fund, which conducts research into healthcare performance and promotes changes in the U.S. system, have been heavily used by policymakers and politicians pressing for healthcare reform.
Davis said she hoped health reform legislation passed in March would lead to improvements.
The current report uses data from nationally representative patient and physician surveys in seven countries in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It is available here
In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.
Australians spent $3,357, Canadians $3,895, Germans $3,588, the Netherlands $3,837 and Britons spent $2,992 per capita on health in 2007. New Zealand spent the least at $2,454.
This is a big rise from the Fund's last similar survey, in 2007, which found Americans spent $6,697 per capita on healthcare in 2005, or 16 percent of gross domestic product.
"We rank last on safety and do poorly on several dimensions of quality," Schoen told reporters. "We do particularly poorly on going without care because of cost. And we also do surprisingly poorly on access to primary care and after-hours care."
The report looks at five measures of healthcare -- quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives.
Britain, whose nationalized healthcare system was widely derided by opponents of U.S. healthcare reform, ranks first in quality while the Netherlands ranked first overall on all scores, the Commonwealth team found.
U.S. patients with chronic conditions were the most likely to say they gotten the wrong drug or had to wait to learn of abnormal test results.
"The findings demonstrate the need to quickly implement provisions in the new health reform law," the report reads.
Critics of reports that show Europeans or Australians are healthier than Americans point to the U.S. lifestyle as a bigger factor than healthcare. Americans have higher rates of obesity than other developed countries, for instance.
"On the other hand, the other countries have higher rates of smoking," Davis countered. And Germany, for instance, has a much older population more prone to chronic disease.
Every other system covers all its citizens, the report noted and said the U.S. system, which leaves 46 million Americans or 15 percent of the population without health insurance, is the most unfair.
"The lower the performance score for equity, the lower the performance on other measures. This suggests that, when a country fails to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, it also fails to meet the needs of the average citizen," the report reads.
Rueters News Service

Monday, August 29, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1735, August 29th, 2011



Congressman Lou Barletta recently had an op ed piece on his web site regarding Medicare. Here’s what he had to say on this subject:
Op-Ed: Medicare reform will not reduce benefits for those 55 years old and up
Over the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about how Congress is going to reform Medicare.
Frankly, there’s been a lot of misinformation, too.
Let me clear things up right now:
If you’re 55 years of age or older, you can stop worrying. You can hang up on the scary phone calls.
If you’re 55 years of age or older, your Medicare benefits are not going to be touched.
You’ve earned those benefits, and I will keep fighting in Washington to make sure you continue to receive them. Some of my colleagues in Washington proposed a plan that would have cut Medicare benefits for near-retirees – and I voted against that measure, and it was defeated.
Other colleagues proposed a plan that would have prevented any type of Medicare reform, and I voted against that, too.
What I did and do support is Medicare reform that guarantees benefits for those 55 years old and up, and provides a new benefit structure for those under 55.
Political opponents have already gone back to the same old tactics – they’re scaring our senior citizens by lying to them. They call them up and tell them that they will lose their Medicare. They send them mail pieces to make them worry that they will not receive health care coverage.
Those are reprehensible lies.
Folks on the other side of this reform argument have said that the plan passed by Congress last week will “end Medicare as we know it.”
What they don’t tell you is that Medicare will end as we know it anyway – because the program will be broke within about a decade. Those under 55 will never receive Medicare benefits unless we initiate serious and substantial reforms.
That’s why we have to fix Medicare for younger Americans.
The plan I voted for on Friday, April 15, does not take one dime away from current Medicare recipients or those 55 and older.
That’s the simple truth about the Medicare reform proposal.
So if you’re 55 and up, you can stop reading right now. This Medicare reform plan doesn’t apply to you. Your benefits are safe.
If you’re under 55, beginning in 2022, you will have access to the same health insurance plan as members of Congress. Wealthier beneficiaries will receive a lower subsidy, the sick will receive a higher payment if their condition worsens, and lower-income seniors will receive additional assistance to cover their out-of-pocket costs.
These simple but necessary changes protect the benefits of today’s seniors and near-retirees, and they reform the Medicare program before it goes broke. Medicare reform also ensures that the program exists for future generations.
When Medicare was created in the 1960s, men lived to be about 66, women lived to be about 72, healthcare costs were half of what they are today, and Baby Boomers were just that – Baby Boomers.
Today, men and women are living an average of a decade longer, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, and Baby Boomers are retiring and taking their well-earned benefits.
The Medicare program is based on an outdated model, and unless it is reformed, it will go broke by 2022.
We must adapt Medicare to the 21st Century in a way that protects benefits today’s senior citizens and near-retirees while preserving a level of benefits for future generations.
The Medicare reform plan I support does just that.
Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.


Congressman Tom Marino will be hosted a few "open houses" to meet with voters. Here is a listing of where and when from his website: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 3-5 p.m., 1020 Commerce Park Drive Suite 1A, Williamsport. Marino’s office is hosting a senior fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Triton Hose Co., West Tioga Street, Tunkhannock. Anyone interested in sponsoring a table at the event may call 570-836-8020.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1734, August 28th, 2011



Late Wednesday the Libertarian Party submitted election paperwork naming Mike Lacey as the Party’s replacement for Betsy Summers as one of its candidates for Luzerne County Council. Lacey, a local businessman Republican and co-founder of the NEPA Tea Party, is throwing his hat into the ring as a Libertarian in an unprecedented move according to Lou Jasikoff, Chair for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. The opening came about as Ms. Summers recently qualified to run for both Luzerne County Council and Mayor of Wilkes-Barre. Ms. Summers is running to become the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre which left an opening on the Libertarian ticket for Luzerne County Council.
“Having served on the 2001 home rule study commission, and currently serving on the transition sub-committee for ethics, I looked for a replacement candidate that I could trust to serve the citizens of Luzerne County as I would. Mike Lacey is exactly the kind of individual needed to help make the new Home Rule Charter work. I am secure in the knowledge he will be a watchdog for the community and am honored to have such a principled individual as my replacement. Mike Lacey has my full endorsement,” said Betsy Summers.
“This race is not about party, it is a race about principle. I intend to be a true voice for the people, not the establishment. The time has come for all of us to put party politics aside and do what is best for our communities and country. I want to thank the Libertarian Party for this opportunity to help bring an end to the “good old boy” network that has become so pervasive in our local political system. It is imperative that we stop the corruption, nepotism and cronyism,” added Lacey.
Jasikoff added, “Libertarians have been running as Republicans and Democrats throughout the country for years. This might be the first time in history that a Republican is running as a Libertarian and times are truly changing. I am reminded of a Mark Twain quote, “In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.”


Sid Michaels Kavulich Summer Outing will take place on Thursday, September 1 at 5:00pm. Location: Montale Country Club. Will Sid's old boss Wancacz show?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1733, August 27th, 2011



On this last Saturday of the month, we look at the actual date, August 27th to see who died, who was born and generally what was shaking in the world.
410 – The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ends after three days.
1776 – The Battle of Long Island: in what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.
1810 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeats the British Royal Navy, preventing them from taking the harbour of Grand Port on Île de France.
1861 – Union forces attack Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
1962 – The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA.
1990 – Stevie Ray Vaughan dies in a helicopter crash.

On this day 1865 – Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (d. 1951). Dawes wrote this song that became a hit in the 1950s by Tommy Edwards.

In 1908 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States (d. 1973)
“Peanuts” Lowery an old time coach for the Philadelphia Phillies was born on this day in 1917.
Also born on this day was Daryl Dragon, keyboardist (Captain & Tennille)

And of course on this date the Three Stooges performed one f their most talked about skits. You know it, you love it........Niagara Falls.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1732, August 26th, 2011



MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that officials from the Department of Transportation are actually thinking of taking a 4 lane roadway on River Street and turning it into a 2 lane roadway. This is totally ridiculous. I mean this is like setting Wilkes Barre city back over 50 years. The logic (?) is that it will give residents easier access for the Riverfront project. You can do that when there are special events, it’s done at RiverFest every year. What slayed me though was WBRE’s report last night where they interviewed the President of Wilkes College Tim Gilmour. This guy said that the city should worry about the safety of the students and that’s why the project should be adopted. Sure, screw the tax paying residents of the city (and they are dwindling every single day) to protect the transient students who are only here for a short time for their education and drunken partying (you select the order). Let the seniors die while trying to get an ambulance through to the General but let’s kiss the ass of the colleges that contribute less than the average tax paying city resident. I know it might be very difficult for the college students of today to cross the street on their own but guys give it a try. Third graders have been doing it for years! Well I guess King’s college got their courtyard so Wilkes wants to narrow the road. And fifty years from now, if this is enacted, someone will be saying, “What fool wanted this?”
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the Lou Barletta/WILK difference over what constitutes constituent service is now in its third day. Give him credit, the Congressman called and confronted the Morning Show hosts. He did make his points and they rebutted them. This was freedom of speech and talk radio at its best.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the dictator in Libya had a stalking photo album of none other than former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. First it was Bin Laden’s boys with his porn and now we are treated to Mohammar’s secret crush.
NAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there are still people who think Mark Ciavarella has money hidden somewhere. I’ll be shocked if he does. And as far as tax dollars going to pay for his lawyer’s appeal, I have no trouble with that. We do it all the time. You see some guy kill some innocent person in a neighborhood minding their own business and he gets a public defender. That’s tax payer money too.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that President Obama’s summer reading list did not include some sort of “everyman” sports book. I mean the list that was released screamed “elitist”. Obama purchased Daniel Woodrell's The Bayou Trilogy, Ward Just's Rodin's Debutante, novels by David Grossman and Abraham Verghese, and Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns. Obama is not readiing he's been reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, he bought that for one of his daughters. We all read that thing in high school. So if there are conspiracy theorists out there thinking it’s his…relax. I just got finished reading the Sandy Koufax biography by Jane Leavy and now I’m reading Dr. Joe Leonardi’s book “Once I Was”. Check him out on Amazon Kindle.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Tuesday’s “Earthquake” was such a big story around here. Okay, I get that we normally don’t get anything like this but the people the news stations found were downright hysterical both literally and figuratively. In my trips to California I have been in a few aftershocks, they happen and then you move on. This thing was wall to wall coverage. Warranted when the story first breaks yes, but then when there are no lives lost…..move on.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that the NFL is back even stronger than ever. Guys who never used to watch Pre Season football are now sitting down for these games and watching them from start to finish.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that after so many years away, the food at Betelli’s Villa is just as remarkable as it was years ago. Thanks to my good Midwestern buddy for that unnecessary but great gift certificate that got us back into the place.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that former Oriole pitcher Mike Flannagan was said to have committed suicide. That makes two this summer with former Yankee hurler Hidecki Irabu suffering the same fate.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that there are people who were on Adultbasic suffering because it was cut off earlier this year. Early next week we will give you a personal story of a cancer battler whose fight just became that much harder because of the elimination of that program.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that it is two years to the day yesterday that Ted Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer. His wisdom and impact have been sorely missed.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the human brain operates on roughly the same amount of power as a ten watt bulb.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1731, August 25th, 2011



So Doctor Steven Vale and a group of people want to offer 15 million dollars to buy the local Yankee franchise? This news was released yesterday after a meeting was held to discuss this bid. Earlier in the day the Lackawanna County Commissioners hired an architect to do the proposed Stadium renovation work. Where this will go only heavens knows but if you're the Yankees of New York, you have to be asking when is a done deal a done deal.


The 8th Annual Kielbasa Festival sponsored by Plymouth Alive will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 and 27 along Main Street in Plymouth. Entertainment will be provided daily and admission is free. This is one of the best events of this dwindling summer. Mrs. LuLac and I went out to dinner last night and no word of lie, we heard two tables talking about this upcoming event.


Judge Edwin Kosik declared former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. a legal pauper, allowing him to go ahead with an appeal of his corruption conviction without having to pay filing fees and other court costs.
The ruling, came a day after Ciavarella filed a handwritten financial disclosure form listing his last day of employment as Aug. 8 - and his estimated income as $2,500 per month. According to a Citizen’s Voice story Ciavarella owns no stocks, bonds or real estate and his automobile is "virtually valueless on the market," according to the documents and Ciavarella's handwritten disclosure form. To me this opens the door for Ciavarella’s attorneys to get paid to work on his appeals.


A Breakfast Fundraiser for State Representative Phyllis Mundy will be held on September 24, from 9am-11am at Genetti's Conference Center. This year's event will feature as guest speaker, former DEP Secretary John Hanger. The cost of the event is $20. For tickets email or call 570-407-0173. Mundy has been in office for over 2 decades and has a legion of supporters and friends. This September breakfast will become as popular as the annual September get togethers the former 14th District State Senator Ray Musto used to hold


BBQ in the Park- Committee To Elect Jennifer Rogers Judge Friday, August 26 at 5:30pm
Location: Plains Pavilion, Clark Lane, Plains. Rogers is kicking off her fall schedule of events that proved successful in the primary for her.


The Hexagon Project will celebrate its fifth year with their opening on First Friday, Sept 2, 2011 at ArtsWorks Art Gallery 503 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton starting at 6 PM.
Opening Night Program, Friday, September 2, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
• Hexagon –making hands-on: Express yourself and have global Impact!
• Installation: Outstanding Community Partnership Blue Ridge Middle School’s Hexagon Houses and Community Fundraising
• PowerPoint Projection: Keystone College Art Education, Howard Gardner Students and Haiti: How hexagons make the connections
• Refreshments and Live Music
Special Student Recognition Event: Sunday, September 11, 2:00 – 4:00PM
• Introductions and The Declaration of Interdependence
• Recognition Awards to Junior and Senior High School Students
For Outstanding Creative Expression of Interdependence Themes
• Community Partnership Award Presentation
• All exhibiting students, families are welcome
• Refreshments
This year the Hexagon Opening will have a new location according to Beth Burkhauser, co-chairman. She also made note that there will be a special student showing on Sunday, September 11, 2011.
The Interdependence Day Hexagon Project showcases hexagons created by junior high and high school students both regional and worldwide, for its celebration in September.
Students are asked to address issues of social justice, human rights, civil society, democracy, freedom of speech and religious worship, women’s children’s rights and the environment through research, dialog and the arts process in any medium.
The goal of the project is to communicate a unifying theme about Interdependence through the production of art that reflects skill in various media, processes and techniques and exhibit these works in a public forum. To demonstrate interdependence by working collaboratively through art-making and theater activities, during a public exhibition opening in order to concretize the spirit of interdependence for attendees. To demonstrate, in an international forum, that young people are aware of and can respond to the issues and concepts surrounding interdependence through artistic expression by the creation of virtual gallery and blogspot on the Interdependence Day Website.
Beth Burkhauser has sent 45 amazing hexagon images to the Interdependence Monument’s Visual Art Exhibit in NYC. This is part of the Ben Barber's Interdependence Day in NYC this year. For more information on the Interdependence Day in NYC you can log onto the website


Luzerne County officials along with the obvious blessing of Sheriff John Gilligan has dismissed deputy sheriff Jeniffer Roberts. Roberts, 33, was recently charged by Wilkes-Barre police with harassment, simple assault and burglary stemming from a July 22 incident in which police said she harassed and assaulted the girlfriend of her former partner. A few comments here, first off inter office romances usually turn out pretty bad. From what I have seen in the places I’ve worked at, little good comes of them. If not for the constitutionality of it and the lack of jobs in this area, I’d ban them like smoking in the workplace. (And yes I did have one of those relationships in the late 70s and yes it ended up in one big mess). But with this situation, you have two people who were hired to uphold the law, set an example as public employees and had access to guns. Plus there is the authority factor thrown in there too. The Commissioners made the right decision. As for Roberts, in years to come she will look back on this time in her life as “lost years” and “wasted energy” that she wishes she could get back. The affairs of the heart can be cruel……and dangerous as a bad storm. But like that storm, eventually it (the bad feeling) passes.



Plymouth resident Blythe Evans is making the rounds this summer in his quest to win a seat on the Luzerne County Council. Here’s some information I received via the e mail machine:
My name is Blythe Evans and I am running for Luzerne County Council. I would like to introduce myself and explain why I am running for a position on the new Luzerne County Council. I grew up in Plymouth where I still live today. My father was an attorney and my mother was a Sunday school teacher. I received an Associates Degree from Valley Forge Military College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Moravian College and a third degree in Legal Studies from Harrisburg Area Community College. I own and operate a rental business and a recording/mastering studio based in Plymouth. My grandparents, the Reverend Harold F. Mante and Bettie Mante ministered at the Forty Fort Presbyterian Church from 1953 to 1979. They, along with my parents, raised me in the traditions of faith and family values helping me to spiritually grow in the Christian walk. I intend to carry these values forward during my campaign for County Council and if elected, will continue in my fight to put citizens first. I believe that we will need fresh ideas to move forward and I hope to bring those new ideas to the platform of the County Council. Some of those ideas include changes in our tax code, protecting our natural resources from special interests and most importantly, a sobering examination of the way money is being spent in the county. We have seen what self-serving behavior and corruption has done for Luzerne County and this must end. I am not a career politician. I have not
accepted endorsements from any political groups and I have never taken money from organizations looking to finance my run for County Council. I am simply a private citizen looking to put taxpayers first. Because we have always come second. And we deserve better.


Tim Mullen is running as a Libertarian candidate for County Council. Here’s his take on the race and the issues:
On the national level the dysfunctional two party system has chosen the path of least resistance avoiding a default in a lose/lose compromise that history tells us will lead us on toward a hyperinflationary depression.
I have never felt better in my life about having left the Republicans and Democrats many years ago.
Back on the home front the debt situation in Luzerne County is in no better shape, in fact, worse due to the lack of a printing press to inflate away our debt and postpone the inevitable.
When in a hole, to get out, one must first stop digging.
As your council member, I will never approve of any further borrowing.
I am a taxpayer advocate. I will never approve of any tax increase or new fees to bring in more revenue during my term. In future writings I will be outlining ways to save money to avoid tax hikes and begin to pay down debt. Attrition will be the preferred means of reducing overstaffing. Some layoffs may be necessary. I have zero tolerance for nepotism and cronyism.
I advocate a nationwide search for the most qualified candidate for manager with a proven track record of leadership, management, finance and accounting skills.
There is almost no way I would approve of local talent for this job due to the likelihood of political ties to the courthouse.
I am fully aware of the potential drawbacks regarding releasing names of candidates for manager to the public. Transparency trumps the draw down to the pool of candidates. Like a spouse that has been abused, the citizens of this county are damaged goods and it may take a long time, if ever, to regain their trust in county government. I will stand by my word.
If the same old voters vote for the same old parties, we can expect some of the same old results, regardless of the form of government we have. I implore every eligible citizen of Luzerne County to vote this Nov. 8.
Tim Mullen
Kingston Township
Candidate for Luzerne County Council



Rusty Fender was the guest co-host for ECTV Live this week while Judge Tom Munley took some vacation time. Judge Munley will rejoin David DeCosmo for the week of August 29th as ECTV Live welcomes Chris DiMattio to discuss plans for this year's La Festa Italiano in Scranton. The programs runs each day at Noon and Midnight on Comcast Ch19.


Shadoe Steele’s guest this week on WILK’s Saturday Night Live at the Oldies will be Donnie Iris of The Jaggerz. That group had a big hit in the spring of 1970 with “The Rapper”. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies can be heard every Saturday night from 7pm to midnight with ABC News at the top of the hour.


This week WYLN’s Tiffany Cloud has an encore performance of former Mayor Michael Marsicano. The former Mayor has some pretty interesting things to say about the state of the city and the region. Atorm Politics can be seen THURS @ 9:30 PM , SAT @ 5 PM, SUN @ 11 AM, MON @ 9:00 PM, TUES @ 4:30 PM.


This Week on Sunday Magazine, Brian Hughes interviews Chef Michelle Dudash about getting the kids ready to go back to school by packing healthier lunches Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Ann Marie McCauley from St Vincent DePaul Kitchen in Wilkes Barre about increasing demand for the kitchen's services, and how you can help through their Sponsor for a Day program And Brian speaks with Deb Pace from EarthSpring Foods about how to battle hormonal imbalance.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, and 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


The Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida renominates U.S. President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew for a second term...John Wojtowicz, 27, and Sal Naturile, 18, hold several Chase Manhattan Bank employees hostage for 17 hours in Gravesend, Brooklyn, N.Y, an event later dramatized in the film Dog Day Afternoon……….In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor Shapp says that contractors taking advantage of flood victims will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law…… Wilkes Barre Mayor Con Salwoski oversees the continued clean up of City Hall and 39 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1730, August 24th, 2011




This week's "Write On Wednesday" features an article by ABC News Music critic Nina Terrero. Terrero writes of the passing of the late Jerry Leiber (he of Leiber and Stroller) and Nick Ashford. Here's her article.
The Day The Music Died: The Top 7 Songs We Loved
Legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford died Monday, but they leave behind a huge legacy of rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues classics, not to mention countless numbers of devoted fans.
Nick Ashford, half of the prolific Motown husband and wife duo Ashford and Simpson who composed unforgettable hit classics for such artists as Diana Ross, Chaka Khan and Marvin Gaye, died of throat cancer in New York City. He was 70 years old.
He'd been undergoing treatment for the cancer, his former publicist Liz Rosenberg said. Ashford first met his wife of 38 years, Valerie Simpson, in New York City, where they began their prolific collaboration by writing hits for the legendary record label Motown Records. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Jerry Leiber, the lyricist in the prolific songwriting duo of Leiber and Stroller, died of cardiopulmonary failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, at the age of 68.
With partner Mike Stoller, whom Leiber met as a teenager, Leiber wrote many of the iconic rock 'n' roll hits of the 1950s and '60s for such mega artists as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino and Aretha Franklin. The pair was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
In a tribute to the day the music died, here are the top 7 hits written by celebrated songwriters Nick Sanford and Jerry Leiber:
1. 'Hound Dog'
This hit, recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956, was Leiber and Stroller's first No. 1 hit, and cemented their place in rock 'n' roll history, according to Leiber was surprised that the tune, as sung by "some white guy" (Elvis Presley), about a woman who kicked out her good-for-nothing man, had made the airwaves so quickly, according to the Los Angeles Times. The duo would go on to write many more hits for Presley, including "Love Me," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Fools Fall in Love."
2. 'Love Potion No. 9'
This song, originally recorded by the doo-wop group the Clovers, was released in 1959. According to, the tune climbed steadily up R&B charts and was considered one of the group's greatest hits (the Clovers broke up in 1961). The song was also included in the iconic coming of age movie "American Graffiti."
The Top 7 Ashford and Leiber Songs the World Loved
3. 'Yakety Yak'
Yakety Yak was a smash hit attributed to Leiber's lively banter with Stroller. The Los Angeles Times recounted the story of Stroller, who had been fooling around on the piano when Leiber shouted out at him to "Take out the papers and ... the trash!" What ensued was a smash hit about a youth who resented parental authority. The lyrics describe a handful of chores and the consequences of not doing them ("Take out the papers and the trash, Or you don't get no spending cash") with the mischievous refrain "Yakety yak, don't talk back." According to, the classic tune topped Billboard charts in June 1958.
4. 'This Magic Moment'
The Drifters -- one of America's most beloved doo-wop groups -- crooned this tune to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, as chronicled on A tune that ended the night for hundreds of proms that year, this hit goes down in history as one of Ashford and Simpson's greatest melodies.
5. 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'
"Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough" -- this eternal hit, first sung in 1966 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrelll, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It became a hit again when Diana Ross put her own soulful spin on it in 1970, and has since been regarded as one of Motown's greatest classics of all time.
6. 'Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
A single released in 1968 by R &B duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, it is perhaps one of Ashford's most popular songs and launched Gaye's reputation as one of rhythm and blues' sexiest crooners.
7.' I'm Every Woman'
Chaka Khan made her mark on music history with this funky 1978 anthem. The hit, later covered by Whitney Houston, made it a chart-climber in the 1980s. It eventually reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, according to With its soulful lyrics "I'm every woman, it's all in me, anything you want done, baby, I'll do it naturally," Ashford wrote a lasting classic that earned thousands of fans all over the world.
This song is one of the most memorable Leiber & Stroller songs. It was also one of the first by the Drifters. It revolutionzed soul music at the time because the arrangements included strings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1729, August 23rd, 2011



After 8 months in the job Lou Barletta says he likes the job and has a lot of work to do. Barletta was interviewed by WYLN TV 35 Monday and said his district as well as he personally was being targeted by Move Barletta complained that he was being questioned by targeted individuals who presumably are out to make him look bad. Barletta said he will not hold town meetings but rather round table sessions on issues such as health care. It is almost a given in the local media that Barletta will have no opposition in his Republican primary. But don’t forget, these are the local Republicans who have people fighting each other in primary races all the time. The word I got is that there are some Republicans who feel Lou is not conservative enough!There have been visits and approaches made. Whether it will materialize into something concrete is not yet evident. Stay tuned on this one.


His presumed opponent Bill Vinsko came out with a statement Monday in reaction to Barletta’s announcement. “Northeast Pennsylvanians are very concerned about jobs, the economy, Social Security and Medicare. We cannot blame America’s problems only on what the ‘public doesn’t know,’ since what the public does know is that the extremist wing of the Republican Party played games with our credit rating, intentionally voted on legislation that had no chance of passing, voted against Medicare, and insisted upon voting along party lines, without regard for their home district. Our Congressman has consistently voted with them. My first priority is and always will be what is good for the people of the
11th Congressional District. I believe that once you take the oath of Congressional office, it means you represent and have to listen to everyone, regardless of the format. I will be there to listen to the people.”


The County Council race just keeps on getting crowded and crowded. Another Independent has made an announcement that he will run in the fall. So we’ll have 11 Dems, 11 Republicans and at last count 3 independents. Here’s what the Times Leader reported:
As an architect, Rick Williams is used to getting involved in projects at the ground floor. Independent Rick Williams announces his candidacy for Luzerne County Council Friday night at Rodano’s in Wilkes-Barre.
He’d like to put that experience to use as a member of the Luzerne County Council and announced his candidacy Friday as an Independent for one of the 11 seats on the panel that will govern under the new Home Rule Charter in January.
The 63-year-old Kingston man and native of the Midwest decided to get involved after others chose not to run.
He told a group of more than 50 supporters at Rodano’s on Public Square that he asked former state Rep. Kevin Blaum twice about entering the council race. But Blaum declined and taught him a lesson about public service, telling Williams, “If you aren’t going to do it yourself, you shouldn’t be asking people.”
Williams, who is part of Williams Kinsman Lewis Architecture on South Main Street, asked himself what he had to offer and realized he had plenty as a professional, a businessman, husband, father who is active in the community. He moved to the Wyoming Valley in 1977 and worked with architect Peter Bohlin before starting his own firm in the 1980s. He and his wife Linda have two children, Lily and Oliver. He has served on the boards of a number of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Luzerne County Historical Society, the Wyoming Valley Montessori School.
“The reason I’m doing this is because I believe we can change the way we govern ourselves,” said the first-time candidate.
The charter, adopted by voters in November 2010, replaces the three commissioner form of government with an elected council and appointed county manager. Williams is among the 28 council candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election.
“Having one party in power and one party not in power is not a foundation for cooperation,” said Williams.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1728, August 22nd, 2011


The LuLac Edition #1727, August 22nd, 2011



The Pennsylvania Health Access Network is calling for a state wide health care marketplace that would make consumer health care easier and less costly to obtain.
Pennsylvania should establish a competitive health insurance marketplace that gives consumers more control, quality choices and better protections when buying health coverage, according to the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN).
PHAN representatives and allies have been weighing in at Pennsylvania Insurance Department hearings on the creation of an insurance marketplace in Pennsylvania.
“A strong health insurance marketplace will open the door to high-quality, affordable health coverage for more than 1 million uninsured Pennsylvanians,” said Antoinette Kraus, PHAN’s project director. “It will allow individuals and small businesses to leverage their collective buying power and drive down costs.
“A competitive, transparent marketplace is good for consumers, good for businesses and good for Pennsylvania,” she added.
Pennsylvania is one of many states considering the creation of an insurance marketplace. States must establish insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act or allow the federal government to create one for them.
The marketplace will feature an easy-to-use web site allowing people to compare health insurance plans to find one that meets their needs and budgets. It will also connect consumers with federal assistance to purchase coverage.
The marketplace is purely voluntary for people who lack insurance, have lost their coverage or are unhappy with the policy they have. Those who are satisfied with their insurance can keep it. Small businesses can use the marketplace to purchase affordable health coverage for their employees.
Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner hosted a hearing today in King of Prussia —the second of three hearings across the state to gather community input on creating an insurance marketplace. A hearing was held earlier this week in Western Pennsylvania.
Two of PHAN’s partners offered testimony at today’s hearing. Kristen Dama, a Staff Attorney with Community Legal Services, urged the state to move forward with a Pennsylvania insurance marketplace.
"We are very happy that Pennsylvania is taking these important first steps to implement the Affordable Care Act, and we hope that it will ensure that the interests of both public and private health insurance consumers are protected as it moves forward," Dama testified.
Last year, nearly half of working age women in this country skipped needed health care because they could not afford it, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. This means that 45 million women could not afford to fill their prescriptions, get recommended medical tests or go to the doctor when they had a medical problem, said Rebecca Foley, Director of Public Policy for Women’s Way and a member of the PHAN Policy Committee.
“A Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace will result in tremendous gains for women at the same time providing Pennsylvania families, small businesses and individuals with more control, better choices and greater protections," Foley said.
1. The marketplace should be competitive and consumer-driven.
The marketplace should have a governing board that includes patient voices, small businesses and insurance experts who don’t work for the industry to ensure that it makes smart decisions to improve quality and efficiency. The board should have the authority to negotiate with insurance companies to secure the best prices for consumers and to protect consumers against insurer abuses, like denial of care or unjustified rate hikes.
2. The marketplace should be accountable, transparent and easy to use.
The marketplace should use clear, jargon-free language to describe insurance plans and provide well-trained “navigators” who can help individuals and families decide which coverage option is best for them. To protect against conflicts of interest, the governing board should exclude any insurance industry representatives and brokers that stand to profit from enrollment in the marketplace.
3. The marketplace should provide high-quality affordable health care options.
The marketplace should adhere to strict quality standards and prevent insurers from raising premiums unreasonably. The marketplace will also be tasked with providing income-based tax credits to working and middle-class families. As such, it should ensure that all eligible individuals and families are protected financially by limiting co-payments, deductibles and other cost-sharing based on a family’s income.
The Insurance Department will hold its third and final insurance marketplace hearing on August 23 in Harrisburg. PHAN is encouraging consumers to attend that meeting, if possible, to make their voices heard.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is a coalition of 50 groups from across the Commonwealth working to improve access to quality health care through the expansion of health insurance coverage. To learn more, go to
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a link to PHAN's phone meetings. Check this out if you have questions about health care in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1726, August 21st, 2011



At the meeting The Luzerne County Young Democrats will be electing officers, endorsing the Democratic slate of candidates, and launching the new Luzerne County Young Democrats website. Also at the meeting the Young Democrats will discuss the November General Election and future events. All Young Democrats (ages 18-35) are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting but anyone can attend.
Candidates are also encouraged to attend. If you would like more information, please call Thomas Shubilla at 570-239-3432 or email Thomas at
Meeting is set for September 1st at Rodano’s. It starts at 7pm.


Charlie Hatchko an Independent candidate Luzerne County has been making the rounds this summer at various events in Luzerne County. The other day the Jenkins Township resident wrote a pretty compelling letter to the newspapers. Take a look:
Justice is the key to life and good government.
The people and voters of Luzerne County have been subjected to the most horrific and abominable actions in the state and country. There is no morally licit way to change corruption without change of some people attitudes whose ethical standards believe nepotism, political favoritism and cronyism are OK. A political diagnosis and screening is an absolute necessity with a $466 million debt.
Let me also emphasise there are some good hard working people in Luzerne County government.
Hearing testimony in over 24 home rule meetings of the overall duties of department heads and their respective offices is the evidence of my allegation.
Condemnation without investigation and restoration is absolutely wrong.
Looking at the anatomy of county human services funding and the framework of county human services streams - such as federal and state funding - it is my estimation and opinion that department head Joseph DeVizia and his staff are doing a magnificent job.
Community development and collective bargaining agreements must be scrutinized. Management right clauses in collective bargaining agreements must be looked at carefully to prevent wasteful spending. Being involved with Teamster bargaining with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company warehousemen back approximately late 1960s and early 1970s, believe me nobody will pull the wool over my eyes. Working in Luzerne County corrections over 16 years and knowing this operation very well this gives me a bigger advantage than any person running for Luzerne County Council. Remember most of the time practicality overshadows education. I will guarantee Luzerne County voters that I will bring forth honesty and integrity to Luzerne County government.
Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko
Jenkins Township
Candidate for Luzerne County Council


The Judicial microscope has been on the Luzerne County Judges. But this week the Scranton Times unearthed an incident involving Lackawanna County Common Pleas Judge Terrence Nealon. On the surface, it doesn’t appear career threatening but with renewed standards and scrutiny, you never know. I’m told the incident was enough to have Nealon withdraw his name from consideration for a Federal Judgeship. Anyway, here’s the report from the Times:
A state panel that investigates judicial misconduct has been notified of the "lapse in ethical judgment" that Lackawanna County Judge Terrence R. Nealon admitted to earlier this week in a 2004 voting-district consolidation case.
County President Judge Thomas J. Munley said Friday he "followed the proper procedure" when asked if he had asked the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania to investigate his colleague's behavior. The judge repeatedly declined to comment on what he meant by that or to elaborate further, but the state Code of Judicial Conduct requires "judges should take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against a judge or lawyer for unprofessional conduct" when they become aware of it.
However, a confidential source familiar with the steps Judge Munley took, confirmed that the Judicial Conduct Board was notified of Judge Nealon's behavior.
Efforts to reach Judge Nealon and Joseph A. Massa Jr., chief counsel for the Judicial Conduct Board, were unsuccessful. Mr. Massa previously said the board does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations unless it actually files misconduct charges against a judge.
Judge Munley said previously that he believed Judge Nealon's behavior was "a momentary ethical lapse," he planned no disciplinary action and was unconcerned about the judge's ability to remain fair and impartial.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1725, August 20th, 2011



This week Alex Rodriquez came up to PNC Field to play in two rehab games. Naturally there were people who wanted his autograph. I spoke with a local guy who has been an autograph collector for a long while. Here’s our talk.
Q: So you’re a collector, going to see A Rod and snag an autograph?
A: I’m going to see him but the autographs are for the kids.
Q: But kids are pretty slick, they can sell it on Ebay.
A: Sure but there’s a little part of me who still thinks there's a bit of a fan in all of us.
Q: You have an extensive collection.
A: Yes I do. I started collecting right after high school which was 1968. I’d be standing by the Yankee and Phillie parking lot watching them get out of their cars and trying to share a moment.
Q: So since you’ve been doing this a long time, what changes have you seen other than the players making more money in the way they respond to autographs?
A: They are more cynical today. I’d get stuff signed in the 70s and 80s at the park and at card shows. The old major leaguers needed card shows to supplement their income, not the new guys.
Q: Did the cynicism become widespread even with the older players?
A: Oh yes. If you met them outside of a card show, some would ask you point blank, are ya gonna sell this? And I’d always ask them to put a mark on it like my name, a number, that type of thing.
Q: You see these things on sale from autograph houses, how can you be sure of its authenticity?
A: Unless you are standing there in front of the guy seeing him sign it, you can’t.
Q: How about if you want to sell it?
A: Okay, unless you are standing there in front of the guy seeing him sign it and have your picture taken while the guy is actually doing it!
Q: A lot of forgeries?
A: Yes. I’d say 75% of what is out there, now this is my opinion only is a forgery. It started with the clubhouse boys signing balls for the stars and then when greedy show operators started to duplicate signings with fakes, yes.
Q: Tell me about the Barry Halper situation.
A: Barry Halper was a tycoon with Marcal Paper Products in New York. He was a minority owner of the Yankees. He had this huge collection. Shoeless Joe Jackson’s uniform, a lock of Babe Ruth’s hair. A lot of stuff. The collection was so big the Hall of Fame had items in their wing. After he died Southebey's’ had an auction and his family got millions. Now the Hall has given his items back, and there is an investigation starting because it has been determined that a lot of stuff was fake. This was a big blow because this guy was the gold standard. His stuff was in the Hall. They made DVDs of his collection where he sat with the stars of baseball, Mantle, Martin and a few others and essentially bamboozled them. He liked about where he got them and he made people lie (old ball players) to back up his story. This was huge.
Q: So what’s your advice to people who want an item?
A: Meet the guy. Don’t go through another “friend”.
Q: What do you collect now?
A: Just the new Yankees and Phillies at the minor league level. I buy myself a poster with the new Iron Pigs and Yankees on it and go to the Welcome Home dinner or the park and get them to sign.
Q: Best guy you ever met?
A: Mays.
Q: Worst guy you ever met?
A: Mays. You had to catch him on a day when he liked people.
Q: And you could see him signing your item, right?
A: You got that right pal.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is a link to the person referenced in this interview regarding fake baseball memories.