Thursday, July 12, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2122, July 12th, 2012

A postcard from home, send money fast! 


Scranton is on the brink. A city that just a few years ago got national recognition with a network TV show now is on the precipice of a cliff. It’s been a long time coming but the chickens have come home to roost. The only way out for Scranton is to declare bankruptcy. It is the not the most attractive option but it is the only option left when no one wants to budge an inch. The City Council which presented its own budget blames it on the Mayor. The Mayor blames it on the City Council. Right now the temptation is to beat up on Chris Doherty. Doherty is after all the captain of the ship but in my mind he is acting as a strong leader. The issuing of pay checks for everyone for $7.25 an hour got everyone’s attention. The unions are complaining that the Mayor is not honoring the contracts. Doherty has been at odds with the unions for years. Not because of any meanness but because, like Ed Rendell did in Philadelphia in the early 90s, he knew he’d be running out of money. It was Doherty who floated the idea of a tax increase. Mayors don’t do that on a whim. Especially Mayors who always had their eye on the future. It can be argued that Doherty’s run for the State Senate, Ltn. Governor and even Governor might have been his wishful thinking for an escape from this day. But give him credit, he knew it was coming and sounded the alarm. In a nutshell, Scranton’s problem is its history. Scranton has always been a volatile city politically. While public officials in Luzerne County stayed in office a very long time, Scranton’s Mayors office was like a revolving door. There are only two Mayors who served three terms since 1961. Jimmy Connors and Chris Doherty. Politics and the desire to keep a job has brought Scranton to this problem. Jimmy Connors used to brag about the fact that he never, ever raised taxes in the city. He spoke of how important police and firemen were and somewhere in that period very rich contracts were doled out. And some were ridiculous. Like if you are a retired police chief and a new chief is hired at a higher salary than you, as a retiree you get a raise in your pension. If you are married to a policeman or a fireman, you too get health care for life. Right now there are over 2,000 retirees getting benefits from a contract. But they are getting those benefits at the expense of the 400 current employees. It does not appear that there will be any communication among the Council, the Unions, or the Mayor’s office. It’s time for the principal (and dear Lord not the Pennsylvania Economy League) to step in and guide these poor children. Scranton must do the following: 
1. Declare bankruptcy. 
2. Find a way to pay its bills. 
3. Raise taxes. 
4. Essentially fire every staffer, break the union and start all over again. 
If during the Mayoralties of Connors and Doherty just one of these things were done in a substantial manner, Scranton, the place where Larry Holmes fought his title bout and the place where Dunder Mifflin resides mythically, might not be in for such a fight or becoming a national joke. 


Attorney Matt Cartwright  and Senator John Blake


My reports tell me that the biggest hits of State Senator John Blake’s mid summer picnic was the appearance of 17th Congressional District candidate Matt Cartwright. Cartwright worked the crowd, re introduced himself to old friends and impressed the new ones. Cartwright is not letting the summer slow him down in any way and is running hard to be the new Congressman from LuLac land. 


Attorney Jim Bobeck who has been a founding father of the County Charter and its first Chair is thinking about stepping down. Bobeck was exhilarated and enthused about the new government. Even when the slings and arrows were being aimed at or near him, he faced all of it with good humor, and dare I say wisdom. Bobeck was a very good steward for the new County Council in its infancy. If he stays, great. If not, we wish him the best.

"Mr. Peanut" facade being torn down a few years ago in historically minded Wilkes Barre. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac) 


Exclusive Lulac Report We were going to send a correspondent to the Mr. Peanut convention in Wilkes Barre but couldn’t pony up the gas money for the trip. And unlike City Hall, we have no free pump to access. But here’s what our roving reporter did attempt: Was going to the MR Peanut Convention late this afternoon and called ahead to make arrangements. Much to my chagrin, I was told that MR Peanut himself would be leaving at 4PM and that today was his last day at the show. Obviously MR Peanut had a pressing engagement elsewhere. The demand for MR Peanut must be tremendous. Or is it that Peanut has some relationship issues and a taste for that drink which goes so well with his salted variety? Perhaps Peanut had to dash off for a rendezvous with another well known Snack Treat! Whatever the reason, I figured I’d go next time and get there in time for MR Peanut. 
Crushed Nuts 


Yesterday,  the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote for the 31st time to repeal health care reform. It's beyond ridiculous. The Supreme Court just ruled to uphold reform, millions have already benefited and 30 other repeal votes have gone onto fail in the Senate. So why this, #31? We know there are political reasons. It could also be that it's too great of an investment to walk away from. Opponents have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to destroy health care reform, including $235 million on ads. Today, PHAN is asking folks to send a message by donating $31 to our Campaign to Preserve and Protect the Affordable Care Act. Send a check for $31.00 directly by making it payable to PHAN or the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and mailing it to Pennsylvania Health Access Network; 112 North Broad Street, 11th floor; Philadelphia, PA 19102.  



This week on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies Shadoe Steele welcomes B.J. Thomas. Saturday Night Live can be heard from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM and FM. 


ECTV Live hosts Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Todd Pousley to the program during the week of July 16th. Mr. Pousley is a Director of the Habitat For Humanity program in Lackawanna County. He'll be discussing the status of the organization, it's future plans for the area, and it's need for volunteers. ECTV Live is a Public Affairs production of Electric City Television which is seen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with select showings at 6pm throughout the week. 


 This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with disaster preparedness expert Art Aiello on what you need to know to protect your family and homes during severe weather events. Brian speaks with Marywood University Professor Lindsey Wotanis and members of her Communications 224 class about their spring class project on hunger in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Steve Kepic from Wendy’s about their “Frosty Key Tag” promotion to support the Red Cross and local adoption efforts. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM. 

Our "1967" logo. 


The United Kingdom announces the closing of its military bases in Malaysia and Singapore. Australia and the U.S. disapprove…..A race riot breaks out in the North Side of Minneapolis on Plymouth Street during the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade and business are vandalized and fires break out in the area, although the disturbance is quelled within hours. However, the next day a shooting sets off another incident in the same area that leads to 18 fires, 36 arrests, 3 shootings, 2 dozen people injured, and damages totaling 4.2 million. There will be two more such incidents in the following two weeks…….in Philadelphia police gear up for any type of race violence I the city as the long hot summer continues……..the Wilkes Barre Area School Board opens up bid for the construction of the new elementary school that will be named after Congressman Dan Flood and 45 years ago this week the number one song in America and LuLac land was “San Francisco: Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair” by Scott MacKenzie.


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Why Mr. Yonki continues to lambast me with horrendous reflections on that disdainful year of 1967 strains my credulity. Perhaps, young man, you can return us to a more serene time...say 1947, the year the GOP took control of Congress for the first time since the New Deal.
The business of this classroom goes forward.....
Regarding the situation in Scranton, Mr.Yonki once again has garnered himself an A with his observations. The problem with big government and govt. patronage is that it is a monster all its own. Scranton, like it or not, has created this monster and all are to blame. But the solution is NOT to raise taxes but to cut the outlandish Pensions of which Mr. Yonki wrote.
Take an ax to unnecessary expenditures. Cut the salaries of city council and Mayor. Cut the salaries of firefighters and police officers---to a reasonable but not overly ecstatic wage level. Firefighters and police officers and garbage men should not be earning more money/benefits than a Doctor. Of course, doctors are paid by the private sector (at least for now).
The problem with Public employees is that they are tax eating, work evading slackers (many of you aspire to a public job I can see). Public positions should be conducted on merit and not on patronage. A job should not be guaranteed for life.
If it came to the Dean's attention that I was not doing my job, I would be out the door tomorrow--and deservedly so. Such is not the case with the slacker fireman who sits in the station watching ESPN all day. Or the police officer (who sits in the donut shop watching ESPN all day) and on and on.
Until we cut the fat, we will never get to the red meat of the problem.
Something to think about this morning.....
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your solution for Scranton is right on the money. Funny, though, that is pretty much the way believe GM should have been handled... but then again, you were all for their bailout!

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Scranton Situation: You said in your article that if you are married to a policeman or Fireman you get health care for life. Would be interested to know what is the cost
for each fireman, police officer, or spouse for their lifetime health care. Is it free health care for life
paid by the taxpayers?

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Penn State Lesson in part is this,
There are no Gods except possibly the Big One! Football Coaches, Basketball Players, Home Run Hitters, Race Car Drivers and Movie Stars are just people. They have power and money and they usually get their way no matter who gets hurt. They sacrifice their humnanity and their egos become monstrous.
They make mistakes, they are subject to moral corruption. They often fail miserably. They dont always travel the High Road they preach. Some do some good along the way.
Nothing in our culture is more precious than our children. Any person who violates that ideal is Evil.
This was much more than a Cover Up!

Waverly Robert

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie would be 100years old on Saturday. He may or may not have been a Communist, but he sure wrote some great Patriotic American Songs. We have Pete Seeger to thank for keeping Woody and his music alive and Bob Dylan for pitchin in.
Joe Klien's 1980 Bio is still the best in my book.

Old Folkie

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx for your post! I've never been even thinking about that.


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