Sunday, December 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2313, December 30th, 2012


As the year winds down, we continue with our year end features. “Women We Love” is something we ripped off from Esquire Magazine a few years back. Each year we get nominees for outstanding women locally, statewide and nationally. Interestingly enough, no statewide women made the cut this year although Kathleen Kane came close. Our criteria is simple, quality of work, recognition of community activities, challenging positions that give them a profile both good or bad as well as “buzz” about the type of year they are having and how it impacts on themselves as well as the community. Here are the LuLac 2012 “Women We Love”.
Karel Zubris. (Photo by David Yonki) 


I knew Karel Zubris longer than I realized. I had heard about her for years and witnessed her work in the media. But when I found out her maiden name just last fall, I realized I knew her family. One of the hallmarks of Karel is the fact that she is the most dependable, self less person that is involved in this community. Plus she is known to take a hit. During the 2011 Ciavarella trial in Scranton, Zubris was among the media throng following the former Judge down the street when she got conked on the noggin by a TV station’s camera. Undaunted, she kept on trucking to get her media sound for WILK. 
A communications professional for over a decade, Zubris worked at various media outlets including WILK News Radio and volunteering with one of many non-profit organizations getting  the word out as their media liaison. In addition she also have been working as a Program Assistant with The Arc of Luzerne County. Karel works with a program called TRACE. *TRACE is a unique two-year workforce development pilot program developed by The Arc of Luzerne County, designed to assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism prepare to successfully enter the workforce ! 
The type of work she does is indicative of her giving spirit. Just take a look at this community involvement.
She received the 2010 Outstanding Broadcasting and Mass Technology Communications Technology Distinction Award. 
Featured in The Weekender’s WHO IS spotlight, May 2009 Women in Red Feature - Showcased in Happenings Magazine, February, 2011 for Outstanding Women in their community.
Volunteered with the Northeastern PA Veteran's Multi Care Alliance 2010 Wyoming Valley Veteran's Day Parade. Was the  PR Chair 2010-11-12 Armed Forces Day Parade Publicity Committee 2010-11-12 
The Clifton R. Lewis Good Life Foundation Publicity Chair 2012.
Featured in the July 2012 international publication of Skating Magazine on successful skating club public relation's tactics. 
Selected as an honoree for the 2013 Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame. 
A few words about the Veteran’s involvement and the Ice Skating. Those veteran’s events you see don’t just happen magically. It is Zubris (her father John is a World War II veteran) who reaches out to the media for publicity, helps organize fundraisers as well as coordinates with the military to pull these events off. Flawlessly. Then there’s the skating. I can’t tell you how many people have learned the dynamics of ice skating from Karel Zubris. Even WYLN TV’s L.A. Tarone. We hand out these little recognition of “Women We Love” during the holiday season, a traditional time of giving. Karel Zubris’ season of giving is not just during Christmas, it is year round.
Actress and hostess of Masterpiece on PBS Laura Linney. (Photo: LA Times).


I think Laura Linney is one of the most underrated actresses and beauties of our time. Her body of work is both intelligent and arrogant. Unlike the current crop of Hollywood stars, she has never embarrassed her brand. Her performances in “Lorenzo’s Oil”, “Dave” “Mystic River”, “The Truman Show” and “Kinsey” are wonderful. She has the type of look that travels well for an actress. Given that, her talent will ensure that she will always have work. Her current movie, “Hyde Park On Hudson” pairs her with Bill Murray. Linney plays FDR’s love interest and “friend” Daisy who is his distant cousin. The film is based on Daisy’s perceptions as the viewer sees the happenings of a momentous weekend on the Hudson through her eyes. Linney bloomed late as a star coming to prominence in her 30s. She is a hidden gem in 21st century American cinema. Let’s hope success doesn’t spoil her.
WYLN TV 35’s Beth Mensinger.  (Photo: Sue Henry)


You learn a lot about a person when you sit in a trial for a couple of days with them. I met Beth Mensinger during the Ciavarella and Conahan trials and found her to be a young person wanting to know the answers to the curious questions presented by the political and criminal justice world. Beth’s work in those trials as well as her daily reports on WYLN’s Late Edition showed a grace and ease that belied her young age. Beth graduated from North Schuylkill High School in Schuylkill County in 2006 where she was a two-sport athlete.. basketball and softball. She studied and graduated with a B.A. in Communication Studies with a track in Broadcast Journalism from East Stroudsburg University, graduating in 2010. After the Ciavarella trial, she became a fixture at Wilkes Barre City Hall covering aspects of the Leighton administration, from the light (St. Patrick’s Day Parade preps) to the bruising election of 2011. Beth has an unbridled excitement for the news events she covered and in the blasé world of media that was refreshing. In 2011 Beth was presented with a new challenge that she dove right into. When WYLN’s Sports Director Kenny Karra went on to another job in the State College area, Mensingeer became the Sports Director at WYLN TV where she has performed incredible work covering the Penn State season, the Sandusky trial, high school football, the Phillies and Iron Pigs as well as other sports. You can see her every night on WYLN TV’s “Late Edition”. Beth is a life long resident of Zion Grove in Northern Schuylkill County.
Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary. (Photo HHS website).


Since the Affordable Health Care Act passed and then was ratified by the Supreme Court as the law of the land, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been busy preparing for the various rules to take place for the landmark legislation. However, in 2012 she violated the Hatch Act by making campaign speechs on behalf of President Obama. Called out by the press and the GOP., Sebelius’ actions were under scrutiny from the Federal Government. She was reprimanded and went back to work. In November, Sebelius, a former two term Democratic Governor from the red state of Kansas released this information: 
Stop insurers, starting in January, from charging more for insurance or refusing service to people who have pre-existing or chronic health conditions. Insurers may not charge seniors more than three times the amount they charge young people. Now, insurers in 42 states charge seniors five or more times the amount they charge young adults.
Allow insurers to charge smokers more, as well as adjust premiums based on family size and geography. 
Prohibit insurers from using claims history, health status, gender and occupation to increase premiums.
Require states to have 10 essential benefits, such as prescription drug coverage or hospital care, provided in the new health care exchanges -- websites set up so consumers can quickly and easily see what plans are available in their states. The benefits are meant to make it easier for consumers to see a comparison in prices and coverage. However, the new rules allow the states to determine how those benefits are set up. 
Allow employers to use wellness programs to promote health and try to control health care costs. Employers may reward people for annual exams or regular work outs, but they may not punish people who don't engage in those activities.
Propose implementing and expanding employment-based wellness programs to promote health and help control health care spending, while ensuring that individuals are protected from unfair underwriting practices that could otherwise reduce benefits based on health status. These rules will now give insurance companies, individuals and businesses plan for the full adoption of the Affordable Health Care Act.And those are just a few reasons why we love her!
Sabrina McLaughlin. (Face Book photo) 


If any reader who follows politics is fearing the future of young people in politics, all they need do is look to the body of work by Sabrina McLaughlin. McLaughlin has been involved in Democratic politics for such a long time that many people are surprised she is such a veteran for her age. A little bit about her. She is a  native of Northeast PA, born in Hazleton, hometown is Conyngham, currently in Philadelphia. Attended Bloomsburg University and holds a B.A. and M.A. in English, creative writing, and literary studies from Wilkes University and SUNY Binghamton, respectively. was a composition instructor for several years, off and on, at Luzerne County Community College. Worked on field staff of President Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and was assigned to organize Carbon County. Put Carbon (a swing rural county) in win column for the President in 2008. Worked to organize Tina Polachek Gartley’s general election campaign for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in 2009 – lots of retail politics! Ran for Democratic State Committee in 2010 primary (with the kind support of LuLac ). Missed gaining a seat by a nose (98 votes). Worked on staff of Pennsylvania Democratic Party in Harrisburg in 2010, getting a behind the scenes view of  State Party and HDCC operations, and expanding network by getting to work with some of the best county chairs and party activists statewide. Began 2011 cycle by organizing the beginning stages of another Court of Common Pleas candidate’s campaign (Lesa Gelb). Relocated to Philadelphia temporarily for the primary to work on fundraising for a City Council candidate. Returned to Philadelphia for 2012 election cycle, working as Finance Director for Brian Sims (D-Phila.) in his primary campaign for the 182nd state house district (raised $94K working with him). Made news with his primary victory as at that time he was the first openly gay legislator to be de facto elected to PA House. After primary went on to manage Will Sylianteng’s campaign for state house in suburban Philadelphia, a targeted state house race in Montgomery County. An enthusiastic cheerleader for Young Democrats of America organizations on the local, state, and national level (for the politically engaged, ages 18-36). Helped re-start the dormant Luzerne County chapter of Young Democrats with Mike Szustak in 2009, became a state chapter officer of Pennsylvania Young Democrats in 2010, currently still serving as National Committeewoman representing PA with national YDA organization. Serving as Vice Chair of the nationwide YDA Rural Caucus since 2011. Holds other appointed positions within national organization. “What’s Next”? Damned if she knows but I can tell you it will be exciting, enthusiastic and filled with quality moves that will make life for everyone better.
Mika Brzezinski  of MSNBC's "Morning Joe. (Photo:


The daughter of former Security Council Head Zbignew Brzezinski made the list this year because of the people who have made veiled references to her lineage and politics. It is delightful to hear right wing nut cases like Rush Limbaugh (who some people think is the head of the national GOP) and Michael Savage regularly refer to her as the liberal daughter of a Communist. To insult her and the family she comes from is really comical when you see how much they’ve contributed policy wise to the country. If you’ve ever watched “Morning Joe”, Brzezinski is the island of sanity in a sea of political testosterone from various journalists, authors, political pundits and commentators. When the “boys”, Willie Giest, Mike Barnicle, Chuck Todd and host Joe Scarborough speak of sports the sarcastic eye rolling begins. But Brenzinski is a solid journalist that asks the tough questions but keep the show moving especially when we hear for the 500,000th that Joe Scarborough was indeed a Congressman. Brzezinski makes the morning program not only wildly entertaining but pretty classy.
Attorney Marion Munley Cartwright. (Photo Cartwright FaceBook page). 


To most of the public, she was first visible as the face of the law form Munley, Munley and Cartwright. For those in the legal community she was well known as a vigorous and competent attorney who represented her clients extremely well. But it was the 2012 17th Congressional District campaign that brought Munley-Cartwright to prominence with people in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Campaigning for her husband, Attorney Matt Cartwright in an uphill bid to win the Democratic nomination for the newly formed 17th Congressional District, Munley met thousands of people face to face on the campaign trail. Whether it was bantering with voters about the unique project of raising boys or talking about the attributes of the last town she visited, Munley-Cartwright attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and reportedly wowed the delegations she visited. Munley-Cartwright studied legal issues at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. Of her campaigning skills, one local politico said, “We know she studied law at Temple, but where did she get her degree in political networking?” That’s information the Cartwright camp might want to keep classified.
WYLN TV's Ann Gownley.  (WYLN TV 35 Facebook page)


Another “Women We Love” designee is Ann Gownley from WYLN TV 35. Ann was was born and raised in Frackville, PA. I graduated from North Schuylkill Jr./Sr. High School in Fountain Springs near Ashland in 2006. She attended Misericordia University in Dallas, PA from 2006-2010 majoring in Communications. She was on the newspaper staff for "The Highlander", had a radio show on "Cougar Radio" and was Executive Producer, Anchor and a Reporter for "Cougar Cast", Misericordia's news magazine show. Gownley won a Telly Award for the work she did on a video Holiday Greeting from students and faculty that was sent to Alumni. In the Spring of 2009 she interned at WYLN TV 35 in Hazleton in the news department. After graduating from Misericordia University in the spring of 2010 she was hired by WYLN TV 35 in August 2010. For the past two and a half years have she’s been a reporter: shooting, editing and writing many of her own stories. In addition, Gownley became a kind of on the ground producer when there was team coverage of events that the Hazleton station covered. Last year, in December of 2011, she became the fill in anchor in December of 2011.Since then Gownley has stepped up to anchor the popular Late Edition program when Lisa Shugart takes some well deserved time off. Gownley has a pleasant anchor style that is friendly and informative. But it is her reporting in the field that shines. She gets the story assigned to her but is not afraid to delve deeper into the ramifications of it. Her reports on WYLN make their news coverage the most in depth in the area. Gownley asks all the questions you can imagine, then crystallizes the story into one neat package that gives the viewer the facts, nothing but the facts., Jack Webb would be proud.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. (Photo,


She was on the fast track to become the Secretary of State in the second Obama administration.  But then Benghazi happened on September 11th and Rice was put out on all the Sunday Morning Talk Shows trying to defend the indefensible. And that was the State Department screwed up by not providing enough security to an Ambassador that wanted to be among the people. Rice got the information from the sources she had and then was essentially found to be reading the lines given to her. It is significant that a rain of torrent fell on Rice, merely the messenger in this whole breakdown. President Obama took responsibility, Hillary Clinton has yet to address this issue fully. Rice was the good soldier and went out and gave the party line as was presented to her at the time. While Obama has sacked a few heads of security and no one knows the damage Clinton might have sustained in her future ambitions, one thing is clear about Rice’s role. Good soldiers always get the blame when something goes wrong and rarely get the credit when it comes up like roses. And Benghazi went wrong. Rice was the administration sacrificial lamb. Rice might have been too trusting and too loyal. You won’t see that again from Susan Rice and that’s a good thing.
WNEP TV’s Marissa Burke. (Photo WNEP


Marissa Burke has been a mainstay anchor on WNEP TV for years. She has gone from being mistaken for Nolan Johannes daughter in the 80s to a person seriously mentioned about running for public office. Through it all, Burke has been a steady presence on the screen reassuring WNEP viewers from the monumental to the mundane when it comes to news events. There is not one significant news event that Burke has not been a huge part of presenting. I personally salute her for being there every night as a steady, guiding force for information. Her on screen presence is an inspiration to younger broadcasters seeking her path. Whatever challenges have been presented to her off air have not deluded her effectiveness and credibility. She is a large reason why WNEP is still getting 60% of the market when it comes to news ratings.
Kate Upton. (Photo:


Kate Upton was on the cover of Sports Illustrated this year in its Swimsuit issue, on the cover of GQ eating a red, white and blue Popsicle and was in “The Three Stooges” movie earlier this year. No wonder she is one of the women we love!
WILK’s Sue Henry. (Photo WILK web page)


I am in total disagreement with Sue Henry politically. But I adore this person. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen in broadcasting. And I think that comes from her newspaper experience. What LuLac likes about Sue is that she is ubiquitous . She can be seen slinging potato pancakes at her church’s bazaar, covering a court event, taking a boatload of students to New York City for an awards ceremony, mentoring young people in the business, living her passion for stories of justice that she believes in, and constantly contributing to the people in her world. Entering into her next decade at WILK, I wish this for my friend Sue, (who has had a hell of a year in 2012)  less challenging events. This coming year, let others help carry the load. You’ll still be barking out the orders, that I’m sure of but you don’ have to do everything yourself. It takes a type A to know one.


At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sue Henry has been foxing it up lately. Is she available? If so, I would love to take her out. Love her politics, love her brain, and did you see the photo of her legs? Wow!

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave: Very good choices. I have a little story. My family was hells bells for Holden in this 17th Congressional race. But around St. Patrick's Day a few of them met Marion Munley, Matt Cartwright's spouse. Her poise in all situations political impressed these hard core Dems that always followed the leadership. What a huge asset in that tough primary. Good pick.
On the other hand Dave, Susan Rice? You say you are a Roman Catholic, not a Christian, but you put new meaning to the words "never kicking someone down even if they deserve it".
And Kate Upton.......Mrs. LuLac should find your SI swimsuit editoion last year and whack you up the side of the head with it. And I know you bought one.
Great stuff.

Susan Fulbright

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two great picks in Karel Zubris and Sabrina McLaughlin. As a Veteran, the work Karel does is incredible. I swear to God the woman is bionic.
Sabrina is a rising star among the Young Democrats. Hope she gets the needed votes next time around.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, Laura Linney a beauty? Me thinks Santa needs to get the Yonk an eye chart and new eye glasses!

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have to keep pushing that health care agenda don't you Yonki?
But your choices were good this year.
On Munley-Cartwright, her presence on the campaign trail was a plus. I had no idea there was a Mrs. Holden until Election Night!
Agree with previous poster about Ms. Zubris. She is a true community activist. Her commitment to Veteran's is certainly evident. Her husband is a good teacher and all around good guy too!
Susan Rice got a bum deal. Maybe she should have had a concussion.
LIke Mensinger on Sports on WYLN when I remember to watch it.
Sue Henry, you've shocked me Dave, shocked me with that pick.


At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sabrina McLaughlin - she's very behind the scenes for the most part, but she's a powerhouse in her own right. If she isn't holding public office in under 5 years, I'd be very surprised.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Blog, Your choices. Pretty boring stuff for the end of the year, Yonks. One or two of the women are comendable choices, overall blah...

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any list of females in politics is incomplete without Sec of State
Hillary Clinton. Mrs Lulac should be ashamed of you and prob'ly is! Mrs Clinton did a great job in more than one tough situation and stood by the President better than most of his appointees. I was not a fan before, as you know, but now I hope she stays healthy into the 2016 campaign. She stands tall among any and all other contenders.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Sue Henry has been foxing it up lately. Is she available? If so, I would love to take her out. Love her politics, love her brain, and did you see the photo of her legs? Wow

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really surprising is how you can type your female choices with one hand.

Get it?

At 8:05 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

What is really surprising is how you can type your female choices with one hand.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sue Henry is one hot hoochie mamma milf. we love the conservative sex goddess


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