Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1947, February 15h, 2012

If the guy on the right won't take Iran's threats of an atomic bomb seriously, then maybe we should have the guy on the left (Benjamin Netanyahu) take care of it.

Donald Sangster has the unfortunate distinction of being the shortest-serving Prime Minister to date. Sir Donald was in the post for less than two months before succumbing to illness, but he still made a contribution to Jamaican politics. After being sworn in on February 22, 1967 as Prime Minister, Mr. Sangster was preparing his Budget speech when he suffered from a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage. He died on April 11th of that year and the International Airport at Montego Bay is named after him.

The late Jim Klee, Scranton Police Chief.


Our 1967 logo.

Bob Kulick then (1980) and a few nights ago.


Rick Santorum is running a great ad in Michigan regarding Mitt Romney’s penchant for throwing mud at his opponents. Mud is nothing new to politics but campaigning against it is a classic example of retaliatory advertising. In 1973 Democrat Joseph Notariani ran a campaign against then incumbent Mayor Gene Peters. For days the Peters camp stayed silent. Then a week before the election, an ad came on WDAU TV. It was a color photo of Gene Peters in a frame. All of a sudden, the camera starts to zoom in on the photo and then you saw piles of mud hitting the formerly pristine picture. Coupled with the loud “splat, splat, splat” and a simple tag line,”Some candidates must resort to mud throwing because they don’t have a record, others don’t”. The ad was effective and won Peters a second term. In the 2003 Commissioner’s primary, Bob Cordaro used the same tactic against the Corcoran and Castellani team. There was a photo of Cordaro and his family and mud started to fly. Then Bob got on TV and self righteously said that the Dems were attacking he and his family by saying that he “cut corners and was a scam artist”. God if they only knew the half of it. But this ad worked too and well you all know the rest. The ad by Santorum sends the message to the Romney camp that they (the Santorum’s) aren’t going to take any crap. Or mud. Or combination thereof.



Former Scranton Police Chief Jim Klee died the other day at the age of 73. “The Chief” was in ill heath over the years but that does not diminish the memory we have of him. Klee took office under the Dave Wenzel administration after the Vietnam war vet’;s upset victory over incumbent Jim McNulty in 1985. After Jimmy Connors won election in 1989, Klee stayed in the job and was in effect Connor’s number 2 man. Everywhere Connors went, you saw Jim Klee. He always wore a starched white shirt and a pressed suit. The guy looked like he came out of a “Dragnet” episode. During his time he faced many challenges dealing with crime in the economically distressed city. A hallmark of his stewardship was his relationship with the media. If there was a mistake, a problem, a complaint, it was addressed out in the open. Jim Klee never hid from anyone. Our condolences to his friends, family and especially to his good friend, former Mayor Jim Connors. Scranton police will form an honor guard at Klee's coffin during his viewing.


Former Dan Flood aide Bob Kulick is back in the slammer. Kulick was in jail on a weapons charge but got early release for information he gave in the Corruption Investigation. At a hearing before his release, Kulick’s wife vouched for him and said he was a changed man. But according to recent reports, she was dead wrong. He was arrested Wednesday after being released from Geisinger Wyoming Valley on charges he violated a temporary protection from abuse order requested by his estranged wife Michele Mattioli-Kulick. Monroe County prison officials confirmed Kulick was arrested by the Pocono Mountian Regional Police Department and is awaiting arraignment on charges his violated the order. Kulick spent Valentine’s night at the Red Roof Inn repeatedly calling his estranged wife. There were news reports that on the weekend Doctor Mattioli died, Kulick harassed his wife by phone during her time of bereavement. Kulick at one time was an aide to Dan Flood and ran for State Representative in another place and time far, far away.


Can America stomach another military involvement after 10 years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan? Many will respond no but on further inspection, something has to be done about Iran. This theocracy is hellbent on getting atomic weapons. They currently have all the tools for a weapon. They should not have it. They’re crazy. But they think we as a country are tired of involvements. But they underestimate one of the seminal events in this country’s history. In 1979 these religious thugs stormed our embassy and held American citizens hostage for 444 days. That wound has not yet healed. The notions of nuclear testing is poking at the scab of that wound. It will take little provocation to tear it off. Iran is an enemy that we as a country understand more than Iraq. I’m not sure if the Professor In Chief still wants to keep his sanctions on this deal but even he has proven that when he puts his mind to it, he can hunt American enemies down and blast a bullet through their cowardly foreheads. Let’s hope he can pull the trigger on Iran before they do something evil.


This is a comment to those taxpayers screaming for the heads of the current county council members who voted for a tax increase: what else could they have done?
Every single day the new County Council government lurches along is a justification as to why Home Rule passed. Do you remember the Vito DeLucas of the world that were campaigning for the status quo? Do you remember the county officials who said, “now hold on here, it’s the people you put it not the form of government?”
Well with every new revelation by the area news organizations, it appears it was the form of government as well as the people we (me included) put in. This week we saw the salaries of the County employees. To some it can be regarded as an invasion of privacy. That would never have happened if the union heads did some negotiating with the County Council. The other day we saw the fact that people in the Probation and Juvenile probation offices were making more money than Attorneys in the DA’s and Public Defenders office. Some people with less education are getting more money than others who did the time in school. Is that fair? No. But is it fair to all of a sudden say to an Adult Probation Officer, as a thank you for staying on the job so long, we’re now going to bounce you out because you hit the top of your pay scale? It happens in private business all the time but do you want to trade the experience of a long time employee in a fit of pique just because they took the money when offered? We’d all take the money if offered, you’d be nuts not to. So who’s to blame here and who’s the victim?
The victim of course is the taxpayer that is paying for a salary scale that makes no sense.
The victim is also the Courthouse employee who gets vilified for earning a living. The employee, once a recipient of their union heads shrewd negotiating prowess now aren’t being told much. And that victimizes them even more. Then there are the people who receive the services from the County. Right now, do you think anyone is receiving 100% undivided attention when people are worried about their jobs?
All of the victims here are in the present and the future.
The villains or incompetents are in the past. For whatever reason, criminal, negligent, disinterest, cronyism, incompetence, or just plain laziness, the problems the County faces today are the result of the aforementioned. The old way of doing things did not serve us well. We laughed at the “in laws” working side by side under the dome. We kidded about the “short work week” of some Courthouse employees. Some even nicknamed the Courthouse, the home of “Just us”. But as we went from Post & Goss to Crossin & Wideman to Trini & Phillips, to Makowski & Pisano to Skrepenak & Vonderheid, the jokes started to get less funny. The yo yo that couldn’t get a job until his aunt secured one for him was now getting paid more than any guy on his street. The kid that was forever in trouble and just getting by in school was now in Adult Probation. Isolated cases to be sure but telling. The absolute corruption of a court system with 3 Judges becoming felons didn’t help matters along with 30 others being charged and arrested.
It was the people and it was the system. And it was us. Because we kept on voting for the same form of government. The same ascension to power that allowed a scattered pay scale and a do as you please attitude was approved every four years by us, the voters of Luzerne County. Now when the new County Council raises a 2% tax, necessitated by the uncooperation of the unions, taxpayers raise holy hell and want the 6 who voted for it to resign? Please give them a chance. This Council is cleaning up more than 6 decades of debris. They’ve only started to lift the dust cover on this big heap of garbage. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. But have faith. Don’t lose your resolve. And by the way, when Mr. Lawton comes to town, he won't be worrying about pleasing 350,000 residents and the taxpaying public, he'll just be worrying about 7 of the 11 County Council members. So strap yourselves in for a wild ride.


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the Affordable Care Act provided approximately 2,363,000 Pennsylvania residents with at least one new free preventive service in 2011 through their private health insurance plans. Secretary Sebelius also announced that an estimated 1,507,983 Pennsylvania residents with Medicare received at least one free preventive benefit in 2011, including the new Annual Wellness Visit, since the health reform law was enacted.
Together, this means an estimated 3,870,983 Pennsylvania residents were helped by health reform’s prevention coverage improvements. The new data were released in two new reports from HHS.
“Americans of all ages can now get the preventive services they need, like mammograms and the new Annual Wellness Visit, free of charge, as a result of the new health care law,” Secretary Sebelius said. “With more people taking advantage of these benefits, more lives can be saved, and costly, and often burdensome, diseases can be prevented or caught earlier.”
Nationwide, the Affordable Care Act provided approximately 54 million Americans with at least one new free preventive service in 2011 through their private health insurance plans. And an estimated 32.5 million people with Medicare received at least one free preventive benefit in 2011, including the new Annual Wellness Visit, since the health reform law was enacted. Together, this means an estimated 86 million Americans were helped by health reform’s prevention coverage improvements.
The Affordable Care Act requires many insurance plans to provide coverage without cost sharing to enrollees for a variety of preventive health services, such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits, and flu shots for all children and adults. The law also makes proven preventive services free for most people on Medicare.
The report on private health insurance coverage also examined the expansion of free preventive services in minority populations. The results showed that an estimated 6.1 million Latinos, 5.5 million Blacks, 2.7 million Asian Americans and 300,000 Native Americans across the country with private insurance received expanded preventive benefits coverage in 2011 as a result of the new health care law.
The report discussing Medicare preventive services found that more than 25.7 million Americans (1,014,420 Pennsylvania residents) in traditional Medicare received free preventive services in 2011. The report also looked at Medicare Advantage plans and found that 9.3 million Americans (670,870 Pennsylvania residents) – 97 percent of those in individual Medicare Advantage plans – were enrolled in a plan that offered free preventive services. Assuming that people in Medicare Advantage plans utilized preventive services at the same rate as those with traditional Medicare, an estimated 32.5 million Americans (1,507,983 Pennsylvania residents) benefited from Medicare’s coverage of prevention with no cost sharing.


The Luzerne County Young Republicans (“LCYRs”) will be holding its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 7pm at the Waterfront Bar and Grill on N. River Street in Wilkes-Barre. The LCYRs are pleased to announce that Republican State Representative candidates, Rick Arnold (119th), Aaron Kaufer (120th) and Pete Mailloux (121st) will be in attendance and address the group.


One term Congressan Lou Barletta is going for it again as he seeks another term in Congress. He sent this letter to supporters. - It’s official. Today, I filed petitions signed by over 3,300 Pennsylvania voters, formally launching my campaign for re-election. I want to thank each and every one of you who signed or helped circulate a petition to get my name on the ballot.
In 2010, we filed with over 2,100 signatures, so this year’s total is a significant increase and is proof that our agenda in Washington, D.C. is resonating with voters in Pennsylvania. As you know, the 11th District for 2012 changed dramatically, which makes it even more humbling that voters in the newly drawn congressional district have stepped up in such a huge way. Now, our challenge shifts to reaching all voters in the new 11th District. Your financial support is critical in achieving this goal. To date, we’ve assembled a formidable, district-wide grassroots operation that will ensure enthusiastic, widespread voter support in every county. We need to get the grassroots-level activists the resources they need to fight effectively against the attacks fueled by Washington, D.C. special interests.



WVIA-TV Channel 44 will air State of Pennsylvania with the topic “Who Says It’s NEPA News,” on Thursday at 7 p.m. The show will feature representatives of regional news gathering agencies and will ask several questions: Do NEPA reporters make news when they report it? Is there really a difference between liberal and conservative coverage? Do you tell the difference?


This week Tiffany Cloud’s guest on Storm Politics is Peter Maiiloux a prospective candidate for State Representative. Storm Politics can be seen on WYLN TV 35 Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p.


This Week On Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Colby Swann from Dollar General, who discusses the store’s “Everyday Heroes” campaign.
Brian speaks with Paige Hanson from Lifelock Consumer Education about the rise in identity theft of taxpayers filing their income tax forms.
And an encore of Brian’s interview with Mollie Marti, author of the book “Walking With Justice”, which discusses the life and times of her mentor, the late Luzerne County Judge Max Rosenn. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:30am on Magic 93 and WARM 590 AM.


This week Shadoe Steele’s guest on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies will be Ian Mitchell of the Bay City Rollers who Shadoe tells me married a girl from Pittston. Tune in to WILK AM & FM from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour.


David DeCosmo returns to his seat as co-host of ECTV Live the week of February 20th. DeCosmo, who has been recovering from skin cancer surgery rejoins Judge Tom Munley for the program which will feature information about free programs and services provided to the community by Marywood University. Marywood spokesman Ken Luck will be the guest on the program which is broadcast on Comcast Ch19 at Noon, 6PM, and Midnight throughout the week. ECTV Live, as well as all oher Electric City TV programs, will soon be available on streaming video on your computer.


New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison claims he will solve the John F. Kennedy assassination, and that a conspiracy was planned in New Orleans…

Donald Sangster becomes the new Prime Minister of Jamaica, succeeding Alexander Bustamante...Trinidad and Tobago is the first Commonwealth nation to join the Organization of American States….The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution is enacted…….in Pennsylvania the political wars start to heat up. In Philadelphia, incumbent Mayor James Tate says he will run for another term. On the GOP side, one of the lawyers from the Warren Commission (the group that investigated the death of JFK) Arlen Specter indicated he may run for Mayor of the city of Brotherly Love as a Republican…….in Lackawanna County the Democratic organization endorses Patrick Mellody and Edward Zipay for another term in the upcoming spring primary for County Commission…and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was "Ruby Tuesday" by the Rolling Stones.



At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see a kind word about Chief Klee. He was I believe one of the good guys.

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah......not many kind words for anybody on this site anymore.

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... hit the nail on the head with Iran. False weapons of mass destruction was one thing....we even got fired up for that. But Iran? I'll never forget what those religious bastards did to us. Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran........back to the 15th century.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that the same Eddie Rambeau from Hazleton? Also.....I do indeed remember that Gene Peters ad. Classic.
As far as Chief Klee.....very good man.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The LuLac Edition #1947, February 15h, 2012":

David, you have access to inside information that no other blogger has yet you still fire from the hip. Why do you continue subgubg the wrong tube with regard to the blame game in the county. The current problem is not that of the county, it is the fault of Urban and Petrilla and the BS budget they left behind. They cut without concern and the new Council tried towork within the confines of a nonsense budget. It has been stated over and over how they left a budget that did not fund various parts of government that must operate. The problem as I see it is that the Council did not deal with the 25 million dollar debt payment the proper way. They are trying to please the taxpayers and the fact is that taxpayers can never be pleased. The Council simply needs to do what must be done. It is the council's cowerdess that will destroy gounty government. OK, you won your argument, I now officially think you are too hard on thecounty employees and seem to provide a cloak of protection to Urban and Petrilla. Both should be run out of town on a rail.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger David DeCosmo said...

The city of Scranton has lost a real friend with the passing of Jimmy Klee! He was a dedicated public servant and always had an open door policy with those of us in the news media. I'm proud to say that he became my friend and we kept in touch over the years.
To address another comment, yes,
"Eddie Rambeau" is from Hazleton.
His real name is Eddie Fluri.
Though he began his musical career as a singer he eventually
moved on in the field as a song
writer and producer. I always enjoyed his work.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Yonki that the taxpayers who are so vocal about this modest tax hike have not seen anything yet. His point is spot on, all Lawton has to remember is there are 7 people that can fire him. With that in mind, he may not get the votes he needs for tax increases if needed. So the next thing he'll do is slash the staffs. The breakdown of some of these offices is really out of line.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki, talk about kicking a man when he's down.

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:34PM: The Yonk is almost 99% on target when it comes to guys like Bobby K. Did you get a gander at the Voice this morning? And I wonder, did he paint houses?

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had to get a re run of a 4 Seasons song in there. Nice job.

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki ... Yonki ... Yonki!


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