Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1852, November 30th, 2011

"Write On Wednesday" logo.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

OBAMA IN TOWN


Today President Obama touches down at the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Airport and will proceed to Scranton High School to give a speech about jobs. Here is an article on the visit and its political ramifications from the New York Times.
Obama Is Facing a Replay of ’08 Hurdles in ‘Hillary Country,’ Pa.
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE -- NY Times
SCRANTON, Pa. — It was trivia night at Kildare’s bar here, and among the teams competing was a group of history teachers from Scranton High School. They easily won the round that tested their knowledge of American presidents, including that the last one with facial hair was William Howard Taft.
But they were slightly stumped when a reporter asked them about their own preferences for president next year.
Brian Harrity, 33, who teaches world and early American history, said he had supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the state’s Democratic primary in 2008 over Barack Obama, and then Mr. Obama in November over the Republican, Senator John McCain.
But during the last three years, Mr. Harrity said, Mr. Obama has not taken full advantage of the powers of the presidency to “get things done,” which means, in Mr. Harrity’s view, that he has not put the economy back on track or created more jobs.
“I’m heavily Democratic,” Mr. Harrity said. “But if the right Republican came along, I would be open to voting for him.”
This is a common refrain here in what is still called “Hillary Country,” where Mrs. Clinton’s family roots run deep and 75 percent of Democratic primary voters backed her failed bid for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
It is also a sign of why recent polls show Mr. Obama in trouble here in northeast Pennsylvania and across the state. He is visiting here Wednesday, his first trip to Scranton since he became president.
The northeast is a swing, bellwether region in a state that suddenly seems in play. White, working-class voters, here and elsewhere, have been especially hard hit by the economic downturn. They have little loyalty to Mr. Obama and feel he has not lived up to his promise.
Polls show that fewer than half the voters in Pennsylvania view Mr. Obama favorably and that he is losing support among independents and union households. It is too early for such polls to have much meaning, particularly before there is even a Republican nominee. But Mr. Obama’s challenge in Pennsylvania, which has voted Democratic for president in the last five elections, is indicative of what he faces in states across the Rust Belt and could help determine the outcome of the presidential campaign.
His flagging poll numbers suggest how much has changed from 2008. Mr. Obama won the state over Mr. McCain by 10 percentage points; here in Lackawanna County, where Scranton is the county seat, he beat Mr. McCain by 26 percentage points.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, lower than the national average of 9 percent. But here, in this old coalmining region, the rate was 9.7 percent; the Scranton area has the highest unemployment in the state. The city is on the verge of losing 300 postal service jobs. The regional food bank served a record number of meals on Thanksgiving and has had a 25 percent increase in demand over the last year.
Local budgets are so squeezed that Mayor Christopher A. Doherty of Scranton, a Democrat and early Clinton supporter, has proposed raising property taxes by 29 percent. The county is proposing a tax increase of 38 percent.
“People are afraid,” Mr. Doherty said. “I remember when Ronald Reagan was president, unemployment was high and interest rates were through the roof. But we always thought things were going to get better. Today, we don’t think things will get better.”
He said that under President George W. Bush, the federal government had cut the community block grants to Scranton by 6 percent and he had hoped to receive more financing under a Democrat. But, he said, under Mr. Obama, Scranton has lost 16 percent of that money.
“Four years ago it was about hope,” the mayor said. “Now it’s about his record.”
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is the Republican candidate who fares best in the state in early polls, statistically tying Mr. Obama, in part because he is perceived as more moderate than the rest of the Republican field.
“For many people here, Obama is too liberal,” said Ed Mitchell, a Democratic strategist based in nearby Wilkes-Barre.
Mr. Obama may have got off on the wrong foot with them when he suggested in 2008 that voters in small towns were bitter about the world passing them by and would “cling to guns or religion.” He lost this state’s white, working-class voters, those without a college degree, first to Mrs. Clinton in the primary and then to Mr. McCain.
In a speech Wednesday at the high school — where Mrs. Clinton opened her primary campaign — Mr. Obama intends to exhort Congress to extend and expand his cut in the payroll tax, a move he says would save middle-class families an additional $1,000 next year.
Some are hoping Mr. Obama will do more to assert himself over Congress.
“Enough with the soft approach,” said Corey O’Brien, a Democratic Lackawanna County commissioner and early backer of Mr. Obama. “He’s got to say, ‘I’m in charge, and I’m going to get it done with or without Congress.’ ”
“People are furious,” Mr. O’Brien added. “Everybody here is petrified they are going to lose their jobs tomorrow, and I mean everybody.”
Although Pennsylvania has one million more registered Democrats than Republicans, the Republicans swept the state in the 2010 elections. They now hold the governor’s office, both houses of the legislature and two-thirds of the Congressional seats, and they control 54 of the 67 counties. This gives them an infrastructure they lacked in 2008.
“I’m feeling pretty good about where we sit,” Robert Gleason, chairman of the state Republican Party, said in an interview.
The Obama campaign has been on the ground in the state since April and is trying to rebuild and re-energize its base. It has organized events with students and women, and volunteers have made more than 250,000 calls from phone banks and collected more than 35,000 “I’m in” cards from Pennsylvanians pledging support, campaign officials said.
The Obama team is also planning to deploy Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has roots in Scranton. Where Mr. Obama may be restrained, Mr. Biden relishes playing to the bleachers and is likely to assume the traditional vice-presidential role of attack dog.
Any feistiness at all will be welcome here by voters like Brian Evans, 74, a retired bus driver.
“Obama doesn’t have the moxie to tell Congress to go to hell,” Mr. Evans, originally a Clinton supporter, said as he left the Glider Diner here. As for 2012, Mr. Evans said he was looking at Republicans.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1851, November 29th, 2011


Texas Governor Rick Perry.

NOT YET


Former Attorney and Luzerne County power broker Robert Powell was supposed to go to jail tomorrow. But that won’t happen. Judge Edwin Kosik has granted Powell’’s request to postpone his report date to prison so that he can be with his wife while she undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Kosik extended that date until Dec. 27 Powell relocated his family to Florida and says he has no relatives in the area to help with the care of his wife.

TAKING A PASS

The local legislators representing districts will not be getting that 3 per cent pay increase that automatically kicked in this week.
The Times Leader reported that “Citing the ongoing poor economy and high unemployment rates, state Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre; Mike Carroll, D-Avoca; Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Taylor; Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake; and Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, will again send their raises back to the state treasury. Sens. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township; John Blake, D-Archbald; Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston; and Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township, as each did last year, will send their raises to charity. Sen. Lisa Baker, who in the past has sent her raise back to the state treasury, has chosen to give the money to a local charity this year. “ All in all this was a smart political move because of the bad economy and the high unemployment rate in this area. Plus if you factor in the flood of 2011 and the slow recovery, anyone who took the money would be criticized big time.

STABACK NOT RUNNING

Representative Ed Staback has made it known he will not be a candidate for State Representative in the 115th district. Staback has been the representative for the mid valley district since 1984. He said he wanted to devote more time to his family as well as enjoying his health. Staback will be 74 when he retires. Staback is a ranking Democrat on the House Game and Fisheries.

EARTH TO RICK PERRY

The voting age for young people in America is 18. Has been since 1972. That was the first year young people could vote and a majority of them picked Nixon. Nixon, Governor Perry was the only President that resigned. Just giving you another clue. Oh and by the way, those red signs with the words S T O P on them, they do mean STOP. Again, just lending a hand.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1850, November 28th, 2011


President Barack Obama.

OBAMA IN TOWN


The President is on his way to Scranton. He’ll address about 400 ticket holders at Scranton High School. It will be interesting to see the head honchos gathering around the President as he comes to town. Look for Lackawanna County Commissioners O’Brien and Washo to be on the dais as well as Evie Refalko McNulty and Mayor Chris Doherty.

CAIN WAS ABLE

A Georgia businesswoman Monday said she and Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair, an allegation the Republican presidential hopeful denied as strongly as earlier allegations of sexual harassment."Here we go again. I didn't do anything wrong," Cain said on CNN. He acknowledged he knew the woman who was behind the accusation. Moments after Cain issued a preemptive denial, an Atlanta television station posted a story to its website quoting a woman identified as Ginger White as saying, "It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship." Whatever happens with this new development, the many loves of Herman Cain will not do as much damage as his obvious inability to be a candidate of depth and perspective when it comes to the issues.

THEN THERE WERE 15

The resumes and applications for County Council Executive is being paired down. A scoring system was set up by consultant Ken Mohr according to a story in the Citizen’s Voice by Michael Buffer. Hopefully the Home Rule Transition committee will have about 15 names to look at and then the phone interviews will begin. Best of luck to the finalists.

BARNEY FRANK RETIRES

Long time Congressman Barney Frank has announced he will not run for re-election. Frank, one of the first openly gay Congressman said he was tired with the struggle of trying to be nice to stupid people. Amen man!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1849, November 27th, 2011


Governor Tom and First Lady Susan Corbett.


22nd Senatorial District lawmaker Senator John Blake.

FLOOD RELIEF FROM BLAKE

Last week a bipartisan package of flood relief legislation that will help our communities ravaged by September’s record flooding begin to rebuild their infrastructure and restore their pride came out of the Pennsylvania Senate. .
Sen. John Gordner’s (of Columbia County) leadership and the other sponsors of these bills expedited this relief package which showed the flood ravaged businesses and families that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Senator John Blake was the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1267 included this package, which would allow local taxing bodies to decrease real estate taxes for properties substantially affected by the flood
The other bills included in the bipartisan flood relief package would:
• establish a restricted account in the state Treasury to provide additional state grant monies to individuals and families. Funds would be awarded based on income eligibility and damage losses;
• authorize $150 million for the state share of flood-related highway and bridge rehabilitation projects;
• allow local taxing bodies to decrease real estate taxes for properties substantially affected by the flood;
• authorize a county-by-county list of highways, bridges, flood control and hazard mitigation projects for state Capital Budget funding; and
• give the Secretary of Education the authority to waive certain requirements for public and non-public schools substantially damaged by the flood.

CORBETT’S THANKSGIVING


I have to give Pennsylvania’s First Family a lot of credit. They gave the kitchen staff at the Governor’s mansion the day off so they could enjoy the day with their own families. First Lady Susan Corbett did the cooking with the help of her children and relatives and even the Guv himself. On Topic A Friday night, L.A. Tarone and I talked about how the big box stores aren’t letting their workers spend time with their families on turkey day. I certainly hope they follow Governor Corbett’s example next year. Kudos to the Corbett's for recognizing Thanksgiving as a family holiday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1848, November 26th, 2011


"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there are some people thinking that President Obama will win a walk next year. They cite the fact that Ronald Reagan had a 36% approval rating in November of 1983. Also the fact that the GOP field seems fragmented and not well defined. Obama certainly can wield his incumbency like the proverbial flag but it’s going to take more than his being there to win a second term in these times which are vastly different than the early 80s.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that less than 6 months ago, the statewide GOP could not find any takers to run against incumbent Senator Bob Casey. Now there are more than half dozen Republicans lining up. The most intriguing is former house member Sam Rohr who ran against Governor Corbett in the 2010 race for the state’s top spot.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the most quiet Governor in the United States seems to be New York’s Andrew Cuomo. There are no national press appearances or other media from this guy. It seems like he is keeping his nose to the grindstone to build an effective first term.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that anti-Wall Street protesters took their message about corporate greed to Black Friday shoppers, staging demonstrations in commercial areas around California on one of the busiest days of the year for retailers and bargain-hunters. BAD IDEA! The 99 per centers were out there trying to get a bargain, not the 1% of the super rich. America is a consuming nation. You don’t mess with that if you want them on your side. Sometimes I wonder who is organizing these protests.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the “Dump Biden” talk has just started. Usually Presidents get that type of deluge around the summer of the third year of the Presidential term. Joe Biden will be on the ticket with Obama if he wants it. Obama will never pick Hillary now if he didn’t pick her in 2008 when he was riding high. Anyway, despite some gaffs Biden has been a good Vice President working in the stricture of the administration and doing something President Obama finds distressful: actually talking to members of Congress.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Governor Tom Corbett is taking some heat for the Penn State Child Abuse scandal. It has been pointed out that while Corbett was chasing around State Legislators and their staffs to “bonus gate” infractions, he had only one State Police investigator on this case. Corbett defended himself at a press conference adequately but you know they’;ll be more of this to come.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that every year the Black Friday stories just keep on getting scarier and scarier. Pepper spraying fellow shoppers for a place in line? That’s just plain crazy.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that Pakistan has demanded that U.S. troops not use an air base in the war against Afghanistan. The Pakistan government is upset that 24 of its soldiers were killed in when bombs were dropped looking for militants. They are promising to block supply lines vital to the war. Yeah, let them dictate what we do in a war when we are paying for the privilege of their support.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that three entertainment stories kind of got downplayed the past two weeks. The retirement of Regis Philbin, the death of former porn star turned disco Queen Andrea True “More More More” and the death of Jamaican singer Barry Llewellyn of the Heptones. The Heptones were a major influence on reggae and rocksteady genres of music.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that journalist Tom Friedman answered a question as to what advice he could give the new generation. He responded: "I think the most important advice for your generation is, pay attention to what's going on in your world”. Yeah, good luck with that!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1847, November 25th, 2011


The (Magnificent???) Seven, Santorum, Bachman, Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Palenty (who has since dropped out) and Cain.


Irena Sendler.


Our 1972 feature year logo.

TOO MANY DEBATES?

It seems like the Republicans are having a debate every week. That might be both a good and bad thing. The GOP has given us an array of candidates that have each taken their turn in the spotlight. It kind of reminds me of the kid who gets picked for Dodge ball and thinks it’s an honor until the spheres start coming at him. What this series of debates has accomplished is a type of vetting process for candidates that might not make it to the general election. The ideas of a Michelle Bachman certainly won’t fly in a head to head contest with the incumbent, nor will Herman Cain’s moral alleged moral flaws. Rick Perry still might have a chance for a recovery even though he tanked in the debates. (The GOP sometimes will nominate the less articulate candidate if he or she passes the litmus test). Newt Gingrich did something intriguing the other night, separating himself on the immigration issue by saying that those people here paying taxes, having jobs, going to church etc. should not be uprooted from their families. Despite the gasps from the conservatives on the panel, it is a statement that most Americans can understand. Immigration is a wedge issue. It sounds good as a broad brush ideology until a thinking person puts themselves in the place of a friend or good neighbor who they’ve known for years and might have that problem. In the dogma happy GOP, Gingrich might have taken a big risk, but it might prove to be as prescient as his outburst in this summer’s debates. It was Newt who predicted that the Super Committee would choke, not come up with a solution and a few days before Thanksgiving say “we got nuthin’”. Gingrich said their efforts would be a colossal waste of time, money and effort. He was right. Romney is the logical choice in the GOP field but watch Newt. If he keeps weaving a sensible path for himself and holds on to wife number 3, he might have a shot.

J. EDGAR

Saw the movie J. Edgar the other day. I really don’t see many movies but this was a pretty good one. It explored Hoover as a tortured personality and his very strange schizophrenic relationship with his friend Clyde Tolson. The movie ended with Richard Nixon salivating over Hoover’s secret files which were empty when Nixon’s people showed up to get them. I truly believe that had J. Edgar Hoover not died in May of 1972, Nixon’s “Watergate” affair would have either never have happened or if it did, would be squelched by Hoover. The movie is not a laugh fest but a pretty good insight into the original G Man.

MISPLACED NOBEL NOMINEE


Take a look at this story. Even the Nobel Peace Prize committee has taken the current affairs politically correct version of picking a winner. Here’s the story of a truly worthy runner up:
Irena Sendler, died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98) in Warsaw, Poland. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.
Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Later another politician, Barack Hussein Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.
It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.
This was written , in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!
Every time you hear people claiming the HOLOCAUST to be 'a myth'. It's imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

BLACK FRIDAY MOB

The crowds starting gathering Thursday even as people were sitting down to their turkey day dinners. Small make shift tents were put out in hopes of being the first person to get that bargain. Even the people on the news said that Black Friday was their main holiday, not Thanksgiving. In California, someone was shot and in New York some lady used pepper spray to get a jump on one of her fellow shoppers. And so it goes…………

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT



MEDIA MATTERS


SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with State Senator John Blake about the upcoming International Trade Seminar on Tuesday Nov 29th at Marywood University, and the senator also discusses his first year in office, and his recent flood relief legislation.
Brian speaks with Tim Perry, regional manager of Northeast Pa. Long John Silvers, about the canned food drive going on at their Rt. 11 Edwardsville location thru the end of November An encore of Brian’s interview with Dr. Wallace Ackerly and 2 lung cancer survivors, to commemorate November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. And Brian speaks with Dr Tina Wismer about pet safety.

1972

The last executions in Paris, France. Roger Bontems and Claude Buffet – the Clairvaux Mutineers – were guillotined at La Sante Prison by chief executioner Andre Obrecht (already suffering from Parkinson's Disease). Bontems had been found innocent of murder by the court, but as Buffet's accomplice was condemned to death anyway. President Georges Pompidou, in private an abolitionist, upheld both death sentences in deference to French public opinion……..Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of their seminal arcade version of Pong, the first game to achieve commercial success........In Pennsylvania, Governor Milton Shapp defends his policy against the death penalty saying no one will be executed in the Commonwealth as long as he is Governor…..in Luzerne County political jockeying begins for the 1973 off year election. GOP party leaders begin talks with General Frank Townend who was in charge of the Flood Evacuations to run for Judge on the Court of Common Pleas……….and 39 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”.

Another song that made an impact but did not hit number 1 was a hit by the Spinners, “I’ll Be Around” which led to a long line of hits for this soul group.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1846, November 24th, 2011


We can all agree that the only blizzard that should be served with turkey on Thanksgiving Day would come from Dairy Queen.


My father's intrepid track crew from the Lehigh Valley Railroad. This picture was takenm in the summer and my dad is in the white railroad hat.


WPTS staff at the time, Paul Grimes, "the fatcat of recordland", General Manager Al asteli and Program Director Rick Shannon.

THANKSGIVING DAY BLIZZARD

It was November 25th, 1971. I was a senior at St. John’s High School in Pittston. The Wednesday night before the big turkey day, the weather people were calling for some snow. That was not going to deter our plans to share the day with my mother’s sister, Sue, her husband Andy Dziak (one of my favorite people in the whole world) and their daughter Barbara and Rosemary. I stayed up late watching the late night talk shows and then a movie on the old WDAU Channel 22. I dragged my teenage self off to bed confident that I could sleep off the electronic hangover I inflicted on myself.
I was awakened by a 5:45AM phone call. My father got on the line and tersely answered into the phone. “Yeah, uh huh, okay, what ‘ya gonna do?” was all I heard. Then came the rummaging up the attic for his winter work boots. Snow boots. I got up and saw him putting on this big yellow gold insulated jump suit that was only worn for God awful cold days in winter. I asked him what was going on and he said, “Look out the window”. I did and saw 5 inches of snow on the ground with a howling wind, snow careering sideways and DeWitt Street looking like a huge white sheet. I looked in the direction of my grandfather’s house on Cliff Street and saw nothing but white. My father trudged down the steps, my mother armed him with a huge thermos of coffee and off he went to Coxton Yards to get his railroad assignment. That day he and a crew took the train to White Haven and began the long trek back of cleaning the tracks. He left at 7AM on Thursday Thanksgiving morning and returned home on Friday afternoon at 2PM.
Obviously our plans with my uncle Andy and his family in West Pittston were off. He never made it to his home on Warren Street that morning from his perch on Market Street in Wilkes Barre. My uncle was the guy who manned the booth where the historic Station Hotel was rebuilt as a tourist attraction. (Now the County, with you and me being the taxpayers is laying out a million bucks to restore the thing again after paying who I refer to laughingly as a local developer Thom Greco, a couple of million bucks for the property). Andy Dziak sat in that tower every night making sure those trains crossed the tracks and that local vagrants kept off of them. He was told to stay put because of the impending storm.
My mom and sister decided to have a Thanksgiving Day dinner anyway and began to scramble to make it happen. Thinking that my father would be home by 5pm, we decided to have a late dinner. I spent my time in my room going through my books and music. I had attempted to go out and shovel but the snow came down faster than my shoveling would allow. I thought of my father on those railroad tracks and I thought, “Damn he has a hard job”.
About noon the phone rang and it was Paul Grimes from WPTS Radio. I had hung around WPTS Radio doing errands and learning the broadcast trade. Earlier in the summer of 1971, me and a kid named Tim Kidwell from Scranton entered into a contest called “Disc Jockey For A Day”. He later became the Tim Karlson who became the Sports Director at WNEP TV. Paul told me he was at the station since 6AM and was destined to stay there until the sign off at 4:45PM. (Those were the days when WPTS went on the air at 6:15AM and left it at sunset). Paul wanted to know if I’d co host his show with him. By phone. I readily accepted because I was in love with radio and according to the nuns at St. John’s in love with my own voice. I asked my mom if we could clear the phone line for a few hours and she agreed. I sat in my sister’s bedroom and did the show with Paul. We’d banter back and forth, talk about the snow storm, the inches that accumulated and even introduced a few songs. One of the songs I mispronounced was Little Anthony and the Imperials “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop”.

Paul signed off at 4:45PM as did I. His dad came and got him (Paul drove a classic early 60s Thunder bird convertible that was hopelessly mired in a snow bank on Foote Avenue in Duryea). We had our makeshift dinner at 6Pm without my father who informed us he’s be coming home the next day. After 7PM, the phone started ringing with my classmates from St. John’s calling to say they heard me on the radio. I was quite surprised at the number of people who had the radio on during that snowy Thanksgiving Day. On TV that night, the weather forecasters, Joe Scott from WBRE, Anne Wideman from WNEP TV and Tom Reilly from WDAU (Bill White never made it in that day) said it was a historic snow storm of the century. All three showed the path of the storm on the map, cold coming from Canada and moisture from the south. It moved northeast they said but never once called it a “nor-easter”.
That night I went to bed worried about my father and my uncle. At 9AM the next morning the snow had stopped but there was at least a foot and a half on the ground. My sister and I began the long effort of shoveling. At noon the Pittston City Street Department came by. Our neighbor William “Tricky" Kridlo who was the head street guy was on a truck directing the Pittston snow plow. At 2PM my father arrived home bone tired, nodded wearily to me and my sister, kissed my mom and slept until 3PM on Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday we traveled over to Warren Avenue in West Pittston and had that huge turkey dinner my Aunt Sue and her daughter Barbara had planned. My father and my uncle said nothing about the long hours they put in, instead talking about Penn State and the NFL.
There aren’t many survivors of that Thanksgiving Day from 40 years ago. All the people of my father’s generation are gone and I find myself at the same age my father was in 1971. To this day I marvel at the hard work and their fight against the elements. I think of the late Paul Grimes who gave me the chance to shine on the radio on that miserable Thanksgiving forty years ago. As I sit down to my Thanksgiving Day dinner this afternoon, I’m grateful for the lack of snow and better temperatures. (I thank Joe Snedecker for that!) But I’m also grateful for what radio broadcasting was 40 years ago. WPTS was owned by an Italian couple, Angelo and Rose Fioranni. In today’s broadcast world they would not exist. Every radio station you listen to on Thanksgiving today will be run by a computer. And if a blizzard hits, there won’t be any live bodies on the radio to tell you about it. Or for that matter, some high school senior partnering on a land line with a broadcast veteran to entertain and also mispronounce “Shimy Ko Ko Bop”. I called it “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Be Bop” which I thought sounded better. But then again, everything and everybody seemed to sound better on the radio back then. Even during a snow blizzard on Turkey Day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1845, November 23rd, 2011

"Write On Wednesday" logo.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

WHITMAN ON THANKSGIVING

Walt Whitman wrote a short piece on Thanksgiving nearly 115 years ago. As we approach the great day of family, food, celebration and football, I thought this was an appropriate piece for our Wednesday feature.
THE PLACE GRATITUDE FILLS IN A FINE CHARACTER
by Walt Whitman
From the Philadelphia Press, Nov. 27, 1884, (Thanksgiving number)
Scene.—A large family supper party, a night or two ago, with voices and laughter of the young, mellow faces of the old, and a by-and-by pause in the general joviality. “Now, Mr. Whitman,” spoke up one of the girls, “what have you to say about Thanksgiving? Won’t you give us a sermon in advance, to sober us down?” The sage nodded smilingly, look’d a moment at the blaze of the great wood fire, ran his forefinger right and left through the heavy white mustache that might have otherwise impeded his voice, and began: “Thanksgiving goes probably far deeper than you folks suppose. I am not sure but it is the source of the highest poetry—as in parts of the Bible. Ruskin, indeed, makes the central source of all great art to be praise (gratitude) to the Almighty for life, and the universe with its objects and play of action.
“We Americans devote an official day to it every year; yet I sometimes fear the real article is almost dead or dying in our self-sufficient, independent Republic. Gratitude, anyhow, has never been made half enough of by the moralists; it is indispensable to a complete character, man’s or woman’s—the disposition to be appreciative, thankful. That is the main matter, the element, inclination—what geologists call the trend. Of my own life and writings I estimate the giving thanks part, with what it infers, as essentially the best item. I should say the quality of gratitude rounds the whole emotional nature; I should say love and faith would quite lack vitality without it. There are people—shall I call them even religious people, as things go?—who have no such trend to their disposition.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1844, November 22nd, 2011


The late President, John F. Kennedy and family. His wife Jackie is holding John Junior and Carolyn is between the two. Carolyn is the only surviving member of the family.

JFK-48 YEARS ON

The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was killed 48 years ago today. Those of us who lived through it, even as youngster were formed and shaped by that tragic event. Time has passed but not the memories of that fateful day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1843, November 21st, 2011


MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

MATTHEWS' REACTION TO OBAMA


Chris Matthews from MSNBC has been getting a lot of heat from pundits about his remarks with Alex Witt over the weekend on MSNBC. Matthews was plugging his new book on John Kennedy and said that the current President felt that winning the office was enough. That after the victory he stopped connecting with people. He said that Obama’s advisers were social media junkies with propeller hats and were not seasoned pros. He also said that Obama should do more talking to members of Congress and not be so aloof.
Matthews’ statements are true. But they come from a different perspective. Matthews, like I am is offended by the President’s approach to politics, the process, the guts and energy of how you get to government. Matthews worked for Tip O’Neill who once said “all politics is local”. This President has taken an elitist stand since leaving the campaign trail. He has yearned to be above the fray. Democrats don’t do that. They get to the root of politics, the down and dirty wheeling and dealing of compromise. And then you have an uncompromising party in your way, you steam roll them.
Matthews is saying what other Dems and media people are thinking. This guy has to get tough. Obama has proven that a community organizer isn’t a political organizer. Matthews comments simply want the President to start acting like a Democratic President, not some homogeneous blend of blandness.

SUPER BAD

The committee of jokers that was put together to solve the debt crisis was nothing but a sham. Predictability the GOP is blaming the President because he didn’t tell them what he wanted. Right now the approval rating of Congress is at 9%. No one thinks any of them are doing a good job. The temptation is there to vote everyone out. Commentators are saying that this will frame the Presidential Election of 2012. The Dems will stand on their turf fighting for the working people, the GOP will go on fighting for the super rich. This President should stick to his guns and make sure those automatic triggers go in. He has to call the bluff of the most incompetent, unprofessional and yes unpatriotic bunch of people ever to serve in Congress. Here’s the President’s statement:
As you all know, last summer I signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending over the next 10 years. Part of that law also required Congress to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion by the end of this year.
In September, I sent them a detailed plan that would have gone above and beyond that goal. It's a plan that would reduce the deficit by an additional $3 trillion, by cutting spending, slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
In addition to my plan, there were a number of other bipartisan plans for them to consider from both Democrats and Republicans, all of which promoted a balanced approach. This kind of balanced approach to reducing our deficit -- an approach where everybody gives a little bit, and everyone does their fair share -- is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans -- Democrats, independents, and Republicans. It’s supported by experts and economists from all across the political spectrum. And to their credit, many Democrats in Congress were willing to put politics aside and commit to reasonable adjustments that would have reduced the cost of Medicare, as long as they were part of a balanced approach.
But despite the broad agreement that exists for such an approach, there's still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington. They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research. Even if it means deep cuts in Medicare.
So at this point, at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.
Now, we are not in the same situation that we were -- that we were in in August. There is no imminent threat to us defaulting on the debt that we owe. There are already $1 trillion worth of spending cuts that are locked in. And part of the law that I signed this summer stated that if Congress could not reach an agreement on the deficit, there would be another $1.2 trillion of automatic cuts in 2013 -– divided equally between domestic spending and defense spending.
One way or another, we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years. That's going to happen, one way or another. We've got $1 trillion locked in, and either Congress comes up with $1.2 trillion, which so far they've failed to do, or the sequester kicks in and these automatic spending cuts will occur that bring in an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts. Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts.
My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.
We need to keep the pressure up to compromise -- not turn off the pressure. The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. That’s exactly what they need to do. That’s the job they promised to do. And they've still got a year to figure it out.
Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead. They can still come together around a balanced plan. I believe Democrats are prepared to do so. My expectation is, is that there will be some Republicans who are still interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place. And, as I have from the beginning, I stand ready and willing to work with anybody that’s ready to engage in that effort to create a balanced plan for deficit reduction.
Now, in the meantime, we've got a lot of work left to do this year. Before Congress leaves next month, we have to work together to cut taxes for workers and small business owners all across America. If we don’t act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I’m not about to let that happen. Middle-class Americans can’t afford to lose $1,000 next year because Congress won’t act. And I can only hope that members of Congress who've been fighting so hard to protect tax breaks for the wealthy will fight just as hard to protect tax breaks for small business owners and middle-class families.
We still need to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges. We still need to put our teachers back in the classroom educating our kids.
So when everybody gets back from Thanksgiving, it’s time to get some work done for the American people. All around the country, Americans are working hard to live within their means and meet their responsibilities. And I know they expect Washington to do the same.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1842, November 20th, 2011

Recent Wilkes Barre Area School Board candidates Kathy Grinaway and Sam Troy.

3rd PARTIES HELP OR HINDER?


I really have no use for Third parties. I know that’s unAmerican but I speak from personal experience. In 1968 then former Alabama Governor George Wallace ran as a Third Party candidate. He carried 6 states. Granted these were southern states that were long gone after the Johnson passed Civil Rights initiatives but he did get 45 Electoral votes. Who knows how much energy and money he siphoned off the Humphrey campaign? Especially in union support. There was a rogue element of labor that fell in love with Wallace.
Ross Perot ran in 1992 and while not carrying a single state, this demented little clown did get 19% of the vote making the Bill Clinton Presidency possible. Only a year before, George H.W. Bush stood at 91% approval in the polls.
In 2000, Ralph Nadar made it possible for another Bush to enter the White House, but by thoroughly illegitimate means. We lost the steady leadership of an Al Gore Presidency. They tell us Third Party candidacies are great for America and for the political system locally. Really?
Let’s take the Wilkes Barre Area School Board race. (I’m not even going to go into the fiasco that was the Wilkes Barre Mayor’s race!)
Democrat Lou Elmy, a crony of convicted school board member Jim Hite ran against Republican Kathy GRinaway. Grinaway almost won a double nomination in the primary. In the General, it was going to be regarded as a head to head battle.
Enter Sam Troy. Troy decided he was going to run as an Independent for Wilkes Barre Area School Board. He also ran for Council as an Independent in District C. (This running for multiple offices really has to be stopped too. The only way you should run for office like that is if you are aspiring for one and want to keep the other just in case you lose. You are already an incumbent. This stuff of throwing something at the electoral pie and seeing if it sticks is pretty stupid.) Anyway, a word about Sam Troy. I like Sam. I think Sam is a dedicated community activist who has something to say. I had nothing but enormous respect for Sam’s parents, Wilbur and Marilyn Troy. Both worked like dogs for Democratic candidates on the West Side. Wilbur was an ardent supporter of the principles of the Democratic party. He finally won a seat on the Valley West School Board, as a dual nominee after many tries. In every national Democratic campaign., no matter how long shot it was, like Mondale as an example, they were out front. Sam inherited that activism and I salute him for it. But this is how the Wilkes Barre Area Board race panned out:
Elmy: 5245
Grinaway 4120
Troy 3029.
Let’s face it, Elmy had the South Wilkes Barre machine behind him. Grinaway came up short by only 1125 votes. Don’t you think she could have gotten a little less than half of the 3,000 votes Sam Troy got?
I don’t criticize Sam Troy for running or campaigning. Nor do I any third party candidate who wants to express themselves. All I’m asking is that before you make the race, look at the options. Your entry into a race might deny a win to a more qualified candidate that would promote the change you so desperately want. As a candidate who has self interest, I understand how you might see how you might be better qualified than the two candidates facing off. But ask yourself one more question, is one of those two candidates you are facing off against in a three way contest more qualified and better prepared than the other? Third party candidacies are a fine exercise in Democracy but that’s all they are, an exercise that most times ends in futility.

NASCAR AND MICHELLE

So the rednecks at NASCAR starting booing the First Lady when she was saluting the troops. Why were they booing? Were they booing the troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? Were they booing the wife of the President that is winding down those wars and getting them home safely? Who were they booing? Do you think they were booing a First Lady or perhaps a First Lady of color? I have a few great friends that are NASCAR fans. One of them, a deceased veteran most likely would be asking the same questions I am if he were alive. Just what the hell were you booing about?

SUPER NOT SO SUPER

That Super Congressional committee has turned out to be another joke. These Senators can’t make a decision and you’ll see the results of their inaction tomorrow when the stock market tanks. By the way, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey is on the committee and is doing what he does best, help the rich and screw the middle class.

The LuLac Edition #1841, November 20th, 2011


My late mother in law, Anna Waskie. She shared a birthday with Thomas Jefferson. This photo was taken on her 93rd birthday.

MRS. LULAC’S MOM

We lost Mrs. LuLac’s mom last Tuesday. She was 94, closing in on 95 and led a pretty incredible life. As her son in law, we were essentially partners in crime. My wife is a type of pizza snob, she’s not real crazy about Domino's or Pizza Hut. So when she’d go out of town on a library conference, I got her mother that pizza for her evening meal. I’ll miss that, as well as her. What follows is her obituary and a copy of the eulogy given at her funeral.

Anna Waskie-1917-2011

Anna M. Waskie, 94, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. She was born April 13, 1917, in Parsons, daughter of the late Anthony and Anna Maciejczyk Wojcik. Mrs. Waskie attended the Wilkes-Barre schools and was formerly employed by Freider's Cigar Company, the Osterhout Free Library, Parsons, and in the local garment industry. She was a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Plains Township, its Mother's Guild and Altar and Rosary Society, where she served as president. She also was a member and served as president of Living a New Life. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Alexander, who passed away in 1969; sisters, Lucille Matiska, Frances Buzinski, Helen Kempka, Josephine Wychock, Julia Wychock, Mary Pokrifka; brother, Peter Wujcik. Surviving are her daughters, Mary Ann Yonki and her husband, David, Wilkes-Barre, Alexis Edwards and her husband, Kenneth, Carverton; grandsons, Ian and Todd Edwards. The funeral was held Saturday from the E. Blake Collins Funeral Home, Wilkes-Barre, with a Mass of Christian Burial. Memorial donations may be made to Cori's Place, 495 Wyoming St., Hanover Township, PA 18706, or to the Osterhout Free Library, North Branch, 28 Oliver St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705.

EULOGY

"Thank you Father Joe for opportunity to speak.
March 22nd, 1980. That was the day that I met Anna Waskie.
Full of myself, I strode into her living room on Kado Street. She was sitting on her couch with a cup of tea and her dog. I said to her,
“My name is David Yonki and I’m here to take your daughter on a date”.
She looked me up and down, looked at the dog, then looked at Mary Ann rolling her eyes saying, WELL, AREN’T YOU THE LUCKY ONE!!
It was then I learned that she did not impress easily.
The only three things that truly impressed her were THOSE THREE SPIRITUAL VIRTUES, Faith, Hope and Charity.
We all have our circle of friends, today it’s referred to as an entourage.
All of us gathered here today are part of Anna Waskie’s circle of spiritual values, faith, hope and charity.
THE MOST immediate part of that circle is her daughters Mary Ann and Alexis. She was so proud of their accomplishments. A common thread among depression/world war II era folks like my mother in law was that they not only wanted but demanded a better life for their children. No matter how tough the times, there was always money for books, for learning. As depression era parents, both Alex and Anna made sure their daughters had the chance to succeed. They had faith and they had hope.
THEN THERE WERE HER GRANDSONS. Ever since the first born Ian was 5, every time she saw him, she’d hand him a buck. You do the math, a buck at least three times a week, for 25 years, uh, anybody who needs a loan ….see that guy.
Todd was her second grandson. There’s a wonderful scene in the 1958 movie “Auntie Mame” where Rosalind Russell tells her nephew Patrick that she is going to take his son and travel so he can see the world. Twice Todd went to Poland with his grandmother. One month he was in school in South Wilkes Barre, a few weeks later he was in a village in Poland.
Faith in the future.
MY BROTHER IN LAW Kenny and I never got those jokes about mother in laws that people told. She treated us more like sons, than in laws.
Faith in the good sense and obvious excellent judgment of her daughters.
Then there was her husband Alex. It was 10 years before they had children but they had faith.
Unlike husbands of that era, Alex never held her back. He had faith in her. One day Anna’s uncle John was on a trip to Europe. He got robbed and mugged in France and was essentially left for dead. Never having been on a plane, not speaking French, never having been outside the United States, she found him, and brought him home to safety in America. Dan Flood the Congressman helped, but she got on the plane. Faith, hope and fearless charity.
When her husband died in 1969, after 30 years of marriage, she was shattered but certainly not broken. The second act of her life was a testament to the type of Catholic woman she was.
IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON for Kenny and me to load up her car with clothes, dry goods, cereal and money to the folks under the Communist thumb in Poland. When she made her visits to Poland, all told about a dozen, they knew who she was by her acts of charity. I can’t help but think that her charity, gave them hope against the Communists.
HER ROOTS were very important to her. We’d have conversations about her childhood where she and her siblings would pick berries and sell them. Even though she worked in major cities like New York and Philadelphia, she longed for a time when people grew their own food and were close to nature. And that’s how her cabin in Forkston came about. In her 70s she’d spend weekends up there with her books, sometimes her family but always with her prayer book and rosaries.
Faith: Whether on a big busy city neighborhood or up in the country, it was always with her.
EVERY JOB she had involved helping people. Whether it was cleaning up the Libraries after the ’72 flood or helping to raise other people’s kids, she helped.
THAT WORK EXTENDED TO HER CHURCH. She was involved with various projects under Father John and then Father Joe. One day, Mary Ann and I were in a doctor’s office and this lady was eyeballing us. She finally said, “You’re Anna Waskie’s daughter, right?” and Mary Ann said yes. The woman said “I’m on one of your mother’s committees for the church but I don’t like doing it”. I asked why not and she said, “BECAUSE SHE MAKES US WORK!”.
CHARITY WITH A KICK.
SHE’D LOAD UP HER CAR with girlfriends and visit nursing homes around the holidays. Now closing in on 80, she’d yell up the steps to us and say, “I’m going with my friends to the nursing home to sing for the old people”. One day I said, “Some of them are younger than you” and she said, “Oh keep quiet” and toddled out the door. CHARITY.
BEFORE LONG, THE SEATS IN HER CAR started to empty. Her old friends began their own long journey into God’s kingdom.
AND ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, what I like to call her LONG SUNSET BEGAN.
During this time, our family was blessed with two wonderful caregivers, Gerry Drozda and Marian Wooten. On my way to work, I’d hear Gerri reading the newspaper to her. On weekends, Marian and she would bake.
After years of giving, it was time to receive. Gerri would tell her countless times that it was her turn now to have others do for her. Reluctantly, she agreed.
In these remaining years, she’d use two words that are rare in today’s society. Whether it was handing her the church bulletin, making her a meal, fetching a cold drink or putting in her eye drops, she always said simply and sweetly in a tiny voice, THANK YOU.
WHERE EVER SHE IS TODAY, I’m sure she’s nodding her head and saying THANK YOU.
And the only fitting response that all of us who knew and loved her should be:
ANNA WASKIE
YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME.
IT WAS OUR HONOR AND CERTAINLY OUR PLEASURE. "

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1840, November 19th, 2011


"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo.

MAYBE I'M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there is a tug of war starting between the current Commissioners and the incoming group of Commissioners. Edd Brominski questioned some of the appointments being made by the Commissioners asking that a hold be put on them to let the Council decide. Commission Chair Mary Anne Petrilla literally tried to throw the book at him dusting off minutes from a 1983 Commissioners’s meeting where room made some appointments. Brominski correctly said the situation was different back then because the same form of government was in check, a new administration was just coming in. Brominski made the point that a brand new government and charter was in play here. And they’re off…….
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that all of sudden Wilkes Barre Area School Board Superintendent Jeff Namey says he needs Mayor Tom Leighton’s son as a permanent school teacher…..after the election. Must have been a busload of new students signing up after Election Day.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that even more than 10 years after his death, there are still more than 100 tribute radio shows to the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Even though his bobbie sockers are fast becoming a part of our historical lore, the music plays on.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer sat by and watched as his client creeped out America. Bob Costas’ interview was a true journalistic “get”, but you had to wonder why Sandusky had to dance around the question as to whether he was attracted to boys or not. Pretty chilling if you ask me.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that NBC hired Chelsea Clinton as a Special Projects reporter. This should not come as a surprise since children of White House occupants generally get a leg up when it comes to nabbing hot broadcast jobs. Also thought Chelsea Clinton conducted herself with class while in the White House and even on the campaign trail. And even though I never voted for Clinton for President, I thought he did a good job. All of that said, I wonder how a kid getting out of journalism/communications school these days feels about a “first child” getting a pass in front of one of them. I now fully understand Howard Cosell’s and Tony Kornheiser’s complaint about athletes stepping into the broadcast booth ahead of journalists.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Major League Baseball is now extending the playoffs by another team and moving Houston to the American League to even things out. I guess they are trying to have baseball go the way of the NBA making the regular season obsolete.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the brain operates on the same amount of power of a ten watt light bulb. For some people that will give new meaning to the word “dim bulb”.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the H.J. Heinz Company has joined a long line of American business companies that have started to downsize their portion size for products. It’s kind of ironic that the fast food restaurants give mega portions to stuff that tastes good but isn’t that great for you. And companies like this need to lower the portion content to stay competitive.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that even a story thirty years old is new and news again. The reopening of the Natalie Wood accident case came to the forefront this week again after three decades. Can another George Banks story be far behind?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that there should be no surprise as to the diagnosis of Joe Paterno’s lung cancer this week. Many people feel that the former Penn State Coach (who would ever guess that those words would be used this season) is in danger of going the way of legendary great Bear Bryant when it comes to longevity post coaching.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that good time rock and roll our parents used to rail against now is good for a cause. Friday evening’s concert event at Genetti’s featuring Eddie Day and the Starfires as well as Joe Nardone and he All Stars was a big hit. The event was organized by Union Township Supervisor Ed Raineri as a way to show support for residents who were devastated by the recent local flooding. Raineri also has a world wide known show on WRKC FM 88.5, Fridays at 7PM called The Beatleed Hour-----a show devoted to the Beatles.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that there is talk the new County Council members are going to have to figure out how to balance the new county budget. Current Commissioners will enact a budget that ensures basic services are taken care of. But it will be up to the new council members to cut if they want to free up dollars for additional spending. One of the key developments here is the new salary of the County Manager. The incoming council members are being left with a line item for some dollar amount that is significantly lower than was advertised nationally. This boxes in the new council to perhaps picking a new manager or an interim choice from within the county that is already meeting one of the requirements, he or she will fit the line itemed salary bill. Here we go……………….

Friday, November 18, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1839, November 18th, 2011


Attorney Bill Vinsko.

VINSKO’S SHOT ACROSS THE BOW

Presumed Democratic candidate for Congress, Bill Vinsko has reacted to a fundraising e mail sent out by Lou Barletta. Here’ it is:
The people of the 11th Congressional District need JOBS to help to balance their own budgets, while Congressman Barletta proves he is part of the know-nothing, do-nothing Congress.
On Thursday, November 17, 2011, Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA-11) issued a fundraising email to constituents of the 11th Congressional District of Pennsylvania which leads the great people of Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to believe that a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution is a “necessary step” to control government spending. Mr. Barletta then says “President Obama has already made it known that he will veto the Balanced Budget Amendment if it passes in Congress.”
This statement is embarrassing to the people of the 11th Congressional District, and an example of a Congress which is not only doing nothing, but, apparently is equally unaware of the procedure for a Constitutional Amendment. I find such an inaccurate statement alarming from a member of Congress who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The President of the United States has no veto-power over any amendment to the Constitution let alone a balanced budget amendment. A proposed amendment must pass both houses of Congress with a 2/3 majority and it is immediately referred to the state legislatures where 3/4 of state houses must approve of the amendment to ratify.
Article 5 of the United States Constitution sets forth the exact procedure for a Constitutional Amendment. In 1798, the United States Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. State of Virginia, 3 U.S. 378 (U.S. 1798), stated that the President does not have a role in the formal amendment process.
This is why the American people are upset. We have to stop using politics and scare tactics and start to get things done. This is also another example of the current Congress catering to the extremists, and an example of Mr. Barletta using the politics of fear to mislead the people of his district in order to be re-elected. 74% of the public may support the intent of balanced budgets and reducing the federal deficit, and I am one of them, but 100% of the people are fed-up with the partisan politics that have raised the level of dysfunction in Washington to unprecedented heights.
Ironically, even if this version of the Amendment was to pass, it would not help create one small business in the district, it would not create one job for a resident of the district, and it would not reduce one dollar of the federal deficit. For us in the 11th Congressional District, this version of the Balanced Budget Amendment would likely force critical cuts to Medicare, Social Security and crucial Veteran’s programs.
The people of the 11th Congressional District need a congressman who is ready to lead and not to follow; someone who is truly an independent thinker, guided by principle and not party doctrine, but most of all, Northeast and Central Pennsylvania need a representative rooted in the law with a full-understanding of the mechanics of government and legislating, because that is how one achieves results for his constituents and not points with extremist pundits.


YOUNG GOP STATEMENT

The Young republicans issued a press release today saying that they will have only one spokesperson representing them with the media. This is a continuing sage that has been going on since the Salavantis campaign. Many people have characterized this as a rift within the organization, I see it as a pronouncement that finally those within the local GOP feel there’s something worth fighting about. Now if only we can get the same energy out of the other GOP organizations in LuLac land.
Please be advised that until further notice, the only individual who has the authority to speak on behalf of the Luzerne County Young Republicans (“LCYRs”) is Bob Zaruta, the LCYR President. Any other individual claiming to be a representative of the group, unless notified by Mr. Zaruta to the contrary, does not speak for our group.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1838, November 17th, 2011


TOOMEY OFFICE QUILT EVENT: POSTPONED. (First story in today's LuLac edition).


Pa. Health Access Coordinator Athena Ford.


Incoming Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and WYLN TV 35's Tiffany Cloud.



Our 1972 logo.

QUILT FOR HEALTH CARE

Help us deliver our massive 'Keep Pennsylvania Covered' quilt to Pat Toomey's Scranton office. This is a critical time. Important safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid could be cut by a Congressional Super Committee that Pat Toomey sits on. Put the pressure on Toomey. Show him and the media that Pennsylvania supports Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Join us for this important action!
Outside his office on Tuesday, November 22nd @ 12:00 Noon
(Meet at corner of Adams Ave and Spruce in Scranton a few minutes before 12 noon)
RSVP today!! Email Athena at aford@pahealthaccess.org or click here to RSVP.
If you have questions, feel free to call Athena at 267-257-6968 or email at aford@pahealthaccess.org

BANKRUPT LEADER?

Who goes bankrupt? Is it the guy trying to keep up with his better connected and better funded buddies? Is it the woman trying to pay off her college debts as she goes after another Masters degree in pursuit of better money in her career? Is it the boomer mom and dad that are spending their 60 something years raising their grand children because their own kids were clueless as to birth control? Is it the widower or widow that overreaches at the new gaming casinos and just lets the plastic get out of control? Yes there are a few cases like this in bankruptcy court. But the number one reason for bankruptcy in this country is health care. The great American middle is the number 1 group that has to declare bankruptcy due to a catastrophic health care event. They have medical cards but they aren’t access cards that you get on welfare. These individuals have Humana, Blue Cross, Aetna and other insurance plans that they pay monthly premiums for. These people have co pays that are needed to be paid. In some cases, they get by and live to work and fight another day. But in most cases, an individual or a family has to declare bankruptcy in order to survive. In this country where billionaires and the so called job creators are sanctified, these hard working people are told, go broke. Or die. That is a disgrace.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT



STATEMENT FROM OBAMA

The Congress finally got off its rear and passed a tax cut bill for businesses to hire veterans. Here’s what the President had to say about this:
I want to congratulate Republicans and Democrats in Congress for coming together to pass these tax credits that will encourage businesses to hire America’s veterans. No veteran who fought for our country should have to fight for a job when they come home. That’s why I proposed these tax credits back in August, and I look forward to signing them into law. This is a good first step, but it is only a step. Congress needs to pass the rest of my American Jobs Act so that we can create jobs and put money in the pockets of the middle class.

IMMIGRATION FORUM

What: NEPA Forum on Illegal Immigration
When: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Where: Wilkes University Henry Student Center
Ballroom, 2nd Floor
84 W. South St
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Time: 6:00–7:30 p.m. Parking: Free, in rear of student center
You are cordially invited to attend the NEPA Forum on Illegal Immigration.
Congressman Lou Barletta and nationally known activist and former INS agent Michael Cutler will be speaking. A question and answer session will follow our distinguished guests' presentations. Congressman Barletta was perhaps the first local elected official in the nation to enact ordinances to protect his constituents against illegal immigration while Mayor of Hazleton, PA. As a newly elected Congressman, his first bill aimed at cutting federal funding to communities that provide sanctuary to illegal aliens.
Michael Cutler spent 30 years in various capacities with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now I.C.E.). Now retired, he is a much sought after expert on the issue of illegal immigration, frequently appearing on national programs such as the O'Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs and countless others. Cutler has also testified before numerous Congressional committees on the subject. The forum promises to be educational and is expected to span approximately 90 minutes. Program and parking are free to the public. For more details or to participate in the forum, please contact Brian McElwee at brianmcelwee1@verizon.net or 570-852-3942.

MEDIA MATTERS

STORM POLITICS

This week Tiffany Cloud welcomes the 29 year old history maker herself, incoming Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. Salavantis will talk about her approach to the new job she was elected to on November 8th. This is a return bout with Tiffany Cloud. Cloud had her on “Storm Politics” back in the early summer. A side note here, Tiffany Cloud has advised two young candidates two years in a row on their uphill battles against entrenched incumbents. Tarah Toohill in 2010 and Stefanie Salavantis in 2012. Who will be the 2012 Cloud entry into upset politics? Tune in to Storm Politics on WYLN TV 35. Broadcast times are: THURS @ 9:30 PM • SAT @ 5 PM • SUN @ 11 PM, MON @ 9:00 PM • TUES @ 4:30 PM.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

This week Shadoe Steele welcomes Samantha Sang who had the big hit “Emotion” in 1980. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies can be heard on WILK AM 910, 980, 1300 and FM 103.1 every Saturday from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour.



ECTV

Greg Betti of Lackawanna County's Drug & Alcohol Council will join ECTV Live Hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo during the week of November 21st. He'll be talking about the county's annual holiday effort to reduce drunk driving accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Operation Safe Ride provides free taxi rides from taverns to home for patrons who realize they may have had too much to drink! ECTV Live is seen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight.

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine:
Brian Hughes speaks with Dr Jeffrey Burke about nutrition concerns for senior citizens, and the 5 signs your elderly parent, friend or neighbor may not be getting enough nutrients in their diet And Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Dr. Joe Leonardi about the growing problem of childhood obesity. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT &97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


1972

On the Vietnam War: front, the United States loses its first B-52 Stratofortress of the war….President Nixon ASKS FOR THE RESIGNATIONS OF EVERY Cabinet member and promises a restructuring of the U.S. government for his second term…….in Pennsylvania Senators Hugh Scott and Richard Schweiker are named to the planning committee for the 1973 Nixon inaugural…….and in Scranton Mayor Gene Peters presents a balanced budget and no new tax increases as he anticipates running for another term as Mayor of Scranton in 1973….and in LuLac land and America the number 1 was “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash.