The LuLac Edition #1493, Feb. 28th, 2011
CALLING DR. SEUSS
Did a report today on WYLN TV 35 for the Adult Basic Insurance program that is ending tonight at midnight. While on the road I encountered a few local officials who were at the Height Murray School reading Dr. Seuss to the kids. Mayor Tom Leighton of Wilkes Barre bounded out of the building looking ready to run a marathon. The Mayor is recovering nicely from an Achilles heel injury. Also there was State Representative Eddie Day Pashinki and local Magistrate Martin Kane. Tina Polachek Gartley, Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge also was in the school. Even though it has become a ritual for schools to celebrate the good doctor’s birthday and the focus is on “The Cat in the Hat”, it is important that young people see public officials in their midst. I remember as a student in Grade School having visits from then DA Tom Mack as well as a few Mayors in the Pittston Area. It does make an impression.
Okay, this is the pop culture part of this edition. Duke Snider died the other day at age 84. Like the passing of relatives, the death of a baseball icon just gives you an insight into how fleeting time and fame are. Duke Snider was big when I was an infant. By the time his baseball career was winding down, I was just getting into the game. At the age of 8 I remember WNEP TV running Mets games late on Friday night from the West Coast. (Never got the full story as to why they only ran those west coast games). But my dad let me stay up and there I saw “The Duke” in his role as the veteran journeyman with the “Amazin’s”. What I knew of his excellence I knew through the foggy memories of my dad and uncles, reading about him as well videos of the time. I had the opportunity to meet Snider in 1980 right after he was elected and then inducted to the baseball hall. 1980 was the year that you could go to Shea Stadium on a Sunday, see a double header (back to back games) for only $12.00. Really! Through the good graces of the PR guy that is still with the Mets, (Jay Horowitz) I interviewed the Duke. He was soft spoken and gentle and at least to me very modest. One reporter asked him if he any bitterness because he was kept out of the Hall of Fame so long after his retirement. There was only the slightest hint of annoyance directed toward the press corps sitting with him. But his answer was simple, “No one will remember or care in a few years how long it took you guys (and he was pointing at me, I wanted to say, “Yo Duke, I’m from a little paper in Pittston, I don’t have a Hall of Fame ballot!!) to vote me in, all they’ll know is that I got there. And if a man isn’t satisfied with that legacy, the fact that forever he’ll be in Cooperstown, then there’s no pleasing that man." To the Duke, thanks for pleasing our dads, uncles and a little later on, the kids like me who came to know and admire you as the career wound down. From the golden age of television, highlighting the golden age of baseball.
ANOTHER JUDGE ENTRY
Private practice attorney and former Luzerne County assistant district attorney John Aciukewicz will run for Luzerne County judge in the 2011 election. Aciukewicz said he prosecuted between 30 to 35 jury trials as an assistant district attorney and argued five complete civil trials as a sole practitioner. He also has extensive family law experience. Aciukewicz said that as a Luzerne County judge, he might be assigned by the president judge to hear cases in any of those three areas, and he “would be confident and comfortable in any of those courtrooms. He of course plans to cross file on both the Democratic and Republican tickets.
Republican Edward L. Warkevicz, 63, of Lehman Township, has announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council. A Plymouth High School graduate, Warkevicz attended Nevada Southern College and Plattsburg State College. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he has worked in the financial insurance industry for more than 39 years. Warkevicz said citizens receiving Social Security benefits have not had a cost-of-living increase since 2009, but county property taxes have increased 15 percent since then.
Republican Gina Nevenglosky, 51, of Dorrance Township, has announced her candidacy for Luzerne County Council. Nevenglosy gave current Register of Wills Dottie Stancovic a run for her money in the 2009 election. She came within 1,000 votes or so of an upset. A graduate of Panther Valley High School, Nevenglosky attended college. She is employed by a New Jersey marketing company working locally in promotions and sales. Nevenglosky is also a Republican committeewoman in the township and has worked on the campaigns of several county, state and federal-level candidates. A mother of four and married to Joe Nevenglosky for more than three decades, years, Nevenglosky said she has the integrity, time and commitment to handle the responsibilities of a county council seat.
JAMES A FAMILIAR FACE
Republican William “Bill” James, 66, of Exeter Township, has announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council. James has run for a few offices in the last decade and most notably for Luzerne County Commissioner. Born and raised in Kingston, James attended Kingston public schools and graduated from the first class at Luzerne County Community College with a degree in architectural engineering technology. He also attended Long Island University and Hunter College in New York. He started BJ Electrical Contractors Inc. in 1983 and was recognized as a small businessman of the year in 2003. James, a Vietnam vet, ran on the Republican ticket for state representative twice. He won the Republican primary in the 2003 race for county commissioner against Greg Skrepenak and Todd Vonderheid but lost in the general election. James publicly endorsed home rule in that county commissioner race.
BOB Q IN
Democrat Bob Quarteroni, 63, of Luzerne, has announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council. Quarteroni has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from King’s College and a master’s degree in journalism from Penn State. He was an editor and columnist for the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., for seven years before pursuing a career in academic public relations. Since returning to Northeastern Pennsylvania from New Jersey three years ago, Quarteroni has written editorials for The Times-Leader and worked part-time for a public relations firm in Scranton. He currently handles publicity on a part-time basis for Eckley Miners’ Village as well while pursuing freelance writing and editing opportunities. Quarteroni said his main qualification for council is that he never held or run for public office before, which means he hasn’t “been contaminated by association with the professional political piggies who have been feeding – and fattening themselves –at the public feeding trough for decades.”
Rick Morelli, one of the founding members in the creation of the home rule charter, and resident of Sugarloaf, PA, announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council in January. “It is imperative that our new form of county government which the citizens of Luzerne County supported is implemented correctly and efficiently come January of 2012. I believe my work on the Government Study Commission as well as being on the Home Rule Transition Team gives me the unique knowledge and experience to ensure that this new form of government moves in the right direction.”
“While being on the Government Study Commission, I fought vigorously to implement vast reforms which would lead to more accountability, a transparent government that would help to eliminate corruption and a county government that works for all its citizens and not just the politically connected. I am running for this office to make sure that these goals I set forth in the charter are carried out,”
Morelli is a 1989 graduate of Hazleton High School. He attended Villanova University on a full athletic Scholarship where he earned a B.S. in Finance and later furthered his education by attending Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where he obtained an MBA in Finance. He has worked in the financial services industry for over 16 years before his current position as a Strategic Customer Specialist for a national biopharmaceutical company. Rick is also the owner of the Sleep & Wellness Center of Greater Hazleton.
Rick is one of the founding members of the Luzerne County Government Study Commission where he served as Treasurer and helped draft the new home rule county charter. He currently sits on the Home Rule Transition Team in helping to prepare a smooth transition from one county structure to another. He also served on the Hazleton Area School Board from 2003 – 2007 which gave him the experience in working with municipal budgets of over $100 million like the current Luzerne County budget. He is currently on the board of the Greater Hazleton Can Do and Hazleton Area Quarterback Club. He is a proud member of the benevolent and protective order of the Elks Lodge # 200. Rick also hosts a local TV program on SSPTV called “Inside Scoop” which discusses local community topics that take place throughout the Greater Hazleton Area. “I am eager to engage in active dialog with my constituents, pursue an ethical, efficient and effective government that we expect out of this new charter and to bring a new voice with fresh ideas to Luzerne County's new government,” says Morelli. Morelli intends to reach out to as many voters as possible over the coming months, via community events and door-to-door meetings, in order to listen to their priorities for Luzerne County, and hear any issues community members may have with the existing charter. He also urges the citizens of Luzerne County to visit his website at www.votemorelli.com where they will be able to read more about his background and experience as well as read about his plan of action as a county council member. Viewers will also have the ability to reach out to him on his Home Rule Transition blog where he intends to update the public as to what he sees taking place with the county transition process. Rick is the son of Irene Morelli and the late Anthony Morelli of McAdoo, PA and is married to his wife Doreen. Here's his website: www.votemorelli.com