Thursday, May 31, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2074, May 31st, 2012

This blog editor with the late Senator at a function during the 2009 elections.  (Photo by Gort 42).

CHARLES LEMMOND 

Former 20th District State Senator Charles Lemmond died Thursday at the age of 83. His death was announced by his long time aide who later succeeded him in the same office, Lisa Baker. Lemmond was an institution in Luzerne county law and politics. But before that, he and his wife Barbara were extremely active in the volunteer community throughout Luzerne County with a special concentration on the Back Mountain Memorial Library as well as Childsren’s issues. Politically, Lemmond first made his mark as a Luzerne County Judge. He was appointed to fill a term by Governor Richard Thornbugh. As a Luzerne County Judge, he had a sterling reputation for fairness and thoroughness. However he was defeated when he tried to seek a full ten year term because of the juggernaut they called the Democratic party of the 1980s. I remember the late Joe Tirpak who was County Chairman at the time saying, “The only thing wrong with him is that he isn’t one of ours”. He was defeated by then District Attorney Chester Muroski. Lemmond always presented himself in a very refined and dignified manner. That led some political operatives to underestimate him. When State Senator Frank O’Connell announced abruptly in 1985, nearly at the end of his second term that he was resigning, Lemmond entered the race for the Senate seat. Almost immediately, Charles Kirkwood, a hotel owner from the Poconos launched a tough campaign directed at the fact that the growing Poconos needed representation. His campaign operatives savagely attacked Lemmond as just the same old politico looking to advance himself. Lemmond fought back in a very reserved but determined manner. When the smoke had cleared, Lemmond won a convincing victory tallying up huge margins in Luzerne and Wyoming County as well as the upper tier counties of the district. Trouncing Kirkwood in the primary, Lemmond won the Special Election defeating Democrat Joe Bilbow. Elected to his own term in 1986, Lemmond never looked back. He was heavily involved in his district work but went about his efforts quietly. Lemmond would host visitors in his Harrisburg office and insisted they imbibe in a bottle of Hank’s Root Beer which he kept at the ready for constituent visitors. I had a few meetings with him in Harrisburg as did Mrs. LuLac. Out of town this week, Mrs. LuLac spied a Hank’s Root Beer display in Virginia and shared the story that a former State Senator from our area would serve that drink in his office. In all of the meetings we both had with Lemmond, there were other constants than the Root Beer. He’d be honest with you in terms of what he could do for your issue and you’d always get an answer within 48 hours. In later years, I’d see Lemmond at various campaign events which he chose very carefully. Lemmond was a curious mix of power and quiet leadership that is rare in Harrisburg and Washington these days. He never raised his voice to get attention, the attention always seemed to gravitate toward him. He was a combination of knowledge and power that he used for the good of his community. My personal opinion is that he would have preferred to remain a Judge. But fate had other plans and the residents of the 20th district were blessed with a steady leader representing them for nearly two decades. Our condolences to his family as well as people like Senator Baker who was very close to him. There will be many tributes dedicated to the late Senator. But I bet his favorite would be if some of his friends and constituents would track down an ice cold Hank’s Root Beer, lift it in his honor and take a swig. I think the Senator would appreciate that gesture.

The LuLac Edition #2073, May 31st, 2012

Formulating a budget. 

FORMING A BUDGET 


One of the things that has been rolling around in my mind since Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton brought up the 2013 budget is the fact that a budget is a living, day to day document. And very few people understand that. I’ve seen agencies and governmental entities bring out the budget tools just a few weeks before figuring out what the next year’s expenses are going to be. And in the past, they pretty much got away with it because the cost of government was more manageable. But as we have seen in Luzerne County, those days are long gone. It is scary that Lawton says he is operating on a razor thin margin. That’s not his fault as we pointed out the other day. The County Council did not have the political will to pass a tax increase that would give any manager any wiggle room. Again, I said this back before Lawton was even hired and Tom Pribula was getting pilloried in public for even suggesting a bigger tax increase. Imagine if a tax increase was voted down! There would be no room whatsoever in the budget. Lawton has a huge task ahead of him but I wonder if he, as an outsider (and believe me I thought bringing in someone from the outside was and is a good thing so he wouldn’t get strong armed) really is equipped to handle this budget. With all due respect, I have heard nothing from his part time budget chief Vic so I’m wondering what he is doing to formulate the plan. There is a paper trail of detail left by the interim county manager, a man who was not only a previous Director of Budget and Finance, but also has 30+ years of accounting and finance experience. “Vague” is not a word in Tom Pribula’s vocabulary. But I don’t see any evidence, at least from Lawton’s public comments that he is using that information. What bothers me about this budget is that Lawton has labeled this budget as “vague”, without reviewing the details. How can you create a 2013 budget without a through understanding of the 2012 budget? And that’s dangerous here in Luzerne County where taxpayers and average citizens are extremely skittish and nervous about any vagaries or any element of “trust me; I know what I’m doing”. Vonderheid and Skrepenak essentially destroyed the county (with them past was prologue, Vonderheid destroyed the Chamber and Skrepenak destroyed himself), then the three left over Commissioners purposely held back any real money for salaries of managers with the Home Rule Transition committee, so Lawton is starting, as we predicted at a deficit. But he can help himself by possibly looking at Tom Pribula’s files, his PC and other information that might make his life easier. Pribula was vilified for telling the truth and trying to give the new manager some room for error. I hope Lawton is looking at his reports which I understand are detailed and can provide a road map to an ultimate destination. There is a tendency for the newcomers to say that the previous administration did everything wrong. The fact is they didn’t. The Budget Director, Tom Pribula began a strategic plan of building  on one year after another. Even Maryanne Petrilla at first was very happy with his work. The newspapers also said the banks were happy they had a guy in charge who could speak their language and understand the long range implications of finance. With the buyouts and the cuts which were effective on March 1st, , as well as the 2% tax increase, the 2013 budget will have at least 6 million dollars to the good. If the tax monies unwind, I think the term is monetizing, it could be as much as 8 million bucks. Lawton is the guy now who has to work with the Council, a Council I might add that had to be kicked and dragging for a tax increase. The numbers that Lawton has to work with are part of the strategic plan begun by Tom Pribula on day one. A budget process, a good one doesn’t start with the wish list for next year. It is an inherited road map for the trip. Whatever the journey, you can be sure it will be a rocky road given the cynicism of the general public in Luzerne County as well as the trepidation of the County Council to raise taxes. The 2013 budget coincides with the first re-election year of the new County Council. The Council may be new…..but unfortunately for Mr. Lawton’s budget, the politics of this area are not. 

YOUNG DEMS TO MEET 


LUZERNE COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS TO HOLD MEETING 

The meeting will be held at Rodano's on Public Square Wilkes-Barre May 31 at 7:00 P.M. The Luzerne County Young Democrats will hold their Post-Primary Election at Rodano's located on Public Square on Thursday May 31, 2012 at 7:00 P.M. Representative Phylis Mundy will be attending the meeting to discuss Pennsylvania's Delaware Loophole. Democratic Congressional Candidate Gene Stilp will be sponsoring the meeting and will also be speaking to the group. The Young Democrats will be discussing the upcoming General Election, endorsing the Democratic slate for the General Election, and discussing agenda items to support such as the opposition to the Delaware loophole and Voter ID Laws. The Luzerne County Young Democrats encourage all registered Democrats age 18-35 to attend.
Lea Strasburg as Hyman Roth in Godfather 2. Or if he were alive, he could play Ray Musto. 

MUSTO’S DELAY TACTICS 

Former State Senator Ray Musto is fast becoming the Hyman Roth (played by Lee Strasburg in Godfather 2) of the LuLac land corruption episodes. Roth was the mythical gangster who in the Godfather series was dying of the same heart attack for 20 years. Now it seems Musto’s lawyers are playing the health card and saying the rigors of a trial may kill him. I do have sympathy for someone with a health condition but this has to end somewhere and sometime. A trial has to go forth and even if it takes a special arrangement, a medical crew standing by or some other consideration, let’s start the proceedings. It was the Senator after all who wanted his day in court. For many, not knowing the fate and outcome would be worse than letting it drag on and on. Let’s quit playing games and start.
When he performed "The Times They Are A Changin'" could Dylan have imagined this photo? 

DYLAN A MEDAL WINNER 


Bob Dylan received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama the other afternoon and despite some snickering, it was well deserved. Dylan was the person who inspired a young generation with his brand of thoughtful music. Among the other honorees were John Glenn, Pat Sumitt, Shimon Peres and Madeline Albright. Dylan, 71, was the last to receive his award, a vestige of his legal surname, "Zimmerman." He seemed lost in thought when his name was called, leading Obama to prompt him. Before the ceremony, the Marine Band's pianist played a medley of some of Dylan's songs — "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and the political "The Times They Are a-Changin.'" 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 

Tune in this week for Shadoe Steele’s “Saturday Night Live At the Oldies”. From 7pm to midnight, you’ll hear the best in oldies, as well as ABC News on the top of the hour. 

ECTV 


Riverfest 2012 is coming up soon in Lackawanna County and Bernie McGurl of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association will join ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo to highlight the event during the week of June 4th. ECTV Live is a Public Affairs program broadcast each day at Noon and Midnight on Comcast Ch 19 in the Greater Scranton, Pittston, and Wilkes-Barre areas. You can check Electric City Television's daily program schedule at http://sites.google.com/site/ectvschedule/ 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE


This Weekend on Sunday Magazine. Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Patrick O’Malley about the renovation work at PNC Field in Moosic and what local baseball fans can expect for next season. Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. David Borinstein about a unique form of arthritis that strikes adults between the ages of 20 and 40. And an encore of Brian’s April interview with Rev. Ronald Weeks from the Keystone Rescue Mission Alliance, and its work in the Scranton Wilkes Barre area. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 7am on WARM 590 AM.
Our 1967 logo. 

1967 

Moshe Dayan becomes Israel's Minister of Defense......The Beatles legendary release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, nicknamed "The Soundtrack of the Summer of Love"; it would be number one on the albums charts throughout the summer of 1967………  
in Philadelphia Mayor James Tate says that added police will be put on during the summer months to control crime. The action was encouraged by the Mayor’s Police commissioner Frank Rizzo who was becoming a constant critic of the Mayor’s administration……in Lackawanna County, fresh off of another Democratic primary victory, Majority Commissioners Patrick Melody and Edward Zipay start formulating plans for the fall campaign. With Democratic control of the City Council as well as the Mayor’s office, the outlook is good for a repeat of Democratic control come November….and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Release Me” by Englebert.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2072, May 30th, 2012

"Write On Wednesday" logo.
Bodies of children killed in Syria. Mass murdered by thugs.And they call this a civilization? 


WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 

BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS

The recent events in Syria remind all of just what an unstable world there is in the middle east. BBC reporter Jim Muir recounts the horror of what this disgusting regime is doing to humanity. It is almost biblical in nature, having soldiers going door to door to shoot children execution style. I would like all the conservative nut jobs who yammer on about how a Democratic administration led by a black man is taking away our country and our freedoms to read this. You have no idea what freedom, liberty or taking away means. 
Survivors of the massacre in Syria's Houla region have told the BBC of their shock and fear as regime forces entered their homes and killed their families. Several witnesses said they hid or played dead to survive. Most claimed that the army and the feared shabiha militia carried out the atrocities, though the regime insisted "armed terrorists" were to blame. UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in Damascus for talks on implementing his peace plan. Russia, which has twice blocked UN Security Council resolutions backing action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, said on Monday that both sides bore responsibility for Friday's massacre. Survivors who spoke to the BBC, and the local commander of the Free Syrian Army, said the people who carried out the killings were militiamen - shabbiha - from nearby Alawite villages. We can't confirm their accounts, but they are consistent with one another, and also with the reports given by activist groups on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the massacres. But Syrian leaders will be giving Kofi Annan a different account in his talks in Damascus. They still insist that what they admit was a massacre was the work of hundreds of armed rebels who massed in the area, and carried out the killings in order to derail the peace process and provoke intervention by Nato. Mr Annan will be trying to persuade President Assad to take "bold steps" to prove he's serious about that peace process, which is now in tatters. UN observers who visited the Taldou village where the massacre happened said they had found evidence of shelling from government forces. They also confirmed that some of the 108 victims - many of whom were children - had been killed by close-range gunfire or knife attacks. Most witnesses who spoke to the BBC said they believed that the army and shabiha militiamen were responsible. "We were in the house, they went in, the shabiha and security, they went in with Kalashnikovs and automatic rifles," said survivor Rasha Abdul Razaq. "They took us to a room and hit my father on the head with the back of a rifle and shot him straight in the chin." Of 20 family members and friends in the house at the time, she said only four had survived. Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he hid in the attic as gunmen took his family outside and shot them. "I opened the door, and I saw bodies, I couldn't recognise my kids from my brothers. It was indescribable. I have three children, I lost three children," he said. Other witnesses told how they were now terrified in case the regime forces came back to the area. Their accounts have not been independently verified, but the BBC's Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says the stories tally with each other, and with reports from activists on the ground. 'Murderous folly' Western leaders have expressed horror at the killings, and the UK, France and US have all begun moves to raise diplomatic pressure on the Assad government. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has flown to Moscow to try to get Russia's backing for harsher measures against the regime. France is convening another meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group, which Russia does not take part in. "The murderous folly of the Damascus regime represents a threat for regional security and its leaders will have to answer for their acts," said President Francois Hollande's office. Mr Annan arrived in Damascus on Monday and will hold talks with Mr Assad on Tuesday. He said it was a critical moment, and that he would be having "serious and frank" discussions with Mr Assad, trying to persuade him to take "bold steps" to prove he was serious about peace. Under Mr Annan's plan, both sides were to stop fighting on 12 April ahead of the deployment of monitors and the government was to withdraw tanks and forces from civilian areas. But the violence has continued, and on Monday activists reported clashes and deaths in at least seven different parts of the country. At least 10,000 people have died since protests against the Assad regime broke out in March 2011. 
Jim Muir, BBC. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2071, May 29th, 2012

Mitt Romney, nominee. 

ROMNEY NOW OFFICIAL 


After a contentious nominating process where more than eight candidates were the flavor of the month, Mitt Romney has numerically sealed the nomination with a crushing win in the Texas primary. Texas was supposed to be the last stand of Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich had hopes there too hoping to reprise Ronald Reagan’ds win in 1976 that almost brought the Gerald Ford campaign to its knees. Romney is it. He has the votes and now goes into a convention that is united behind him. There might not be much ardor for him but there is an almost blind hatred of anything related to Barack Obama. Mitt is the guy and the strategy will unfold for the general election campaign. You may see an earlier start o the fall contest than ever before. But tonight, Romney has climbed the mountain and is king of the delegate hill. He is nominated. Now on to November after the running mate selection and the convention.

The LuLac Edition #2070, May 29th, 2012

JFK in the late 1950s. 

JFK AT 95 

Today would have been the 95th birthday of the late President John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy family has insisted that the anniversary of his birth be celevrated rather than the day he died. But for people of a certain age, that Friday, November 22nd will live on in our minds until the last one of our generation passes. When I was in college, I was mystified and also very curious about the memories of those people who were the last survivors in the time of  the great Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson. I now find my generation at that same point in time. John Kennedy’s legacy in history is a mixed bag. No doubt in the coming years as more and more of his personal foibles come to light, it might be diminished. But for now, he is remembered by a generation, frozen in time, a pop cultural icon as well as a historical figure that still sparks a memory. Whether it be May 29th (as was the Kennedy family preference) or that dark day in November 1963, we still remember. And always will….until (quoting Bill Clinton here) “the last dog dies”.

The LuLac Edition #2069, May 29th, 2012

Did Columbo have a clothing allowance for those raincoats? 

DEFECTIVE DETECTIVES 

The Citizen’s Voice had an article in the newspaper on Sunday that should infuriate tax payers in Luzerne County. As many of you know, I am not a tax crazy. There are some instances where I would volunteer to pay higher taxes. I understand that taxes are the dues we pay for services. But these days, especially in Luzerne County, services can be found wanting. Last week a man was jailed by accident because some worker in the Clerk of Courts office entered incorrect data. Interim head Tom Pisano said the mistake happened because the office was understaffed. That’s a joke and is an indication of what is wrong with the system. Pisano should have owned up to the mistake saying it was a human error. People make mistakes. Own up to it and move on but to blame it on under staffing in a Courthouse bloated with employees is really reckless on his part. Or just plain dumb. Take your pick. But I digress. The article referred to the continued news about the sweet deal the County detectives have in the County. As always, Walter Griffith uncovered more information that just makes the blood boil. Griffith uncovered the fact that each County Detective has a county car that they take home every night on the theory that if there is an emergency, they need to get to the scene of the crime immediately. They can’t take their own cars? Does a hospital issue a company car to a surgeon on call if there is an life threatening emergency? Nope. Now not to be cruel here but most times when the detectives arrive on the scene, the victim is dead. The medical professional has a legitimate shot to save a life. Then of course there is the clothing allowance. The County provides the detectives a clothing allowance in case they get blood, guts, dirt or donut filling on their threads. How many average working stiffs get a clothing allowance? Does the single mom making 8 bucks an hour (THANK YOU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR THE HIGH PAYING GIGS BY THE WAY!!!) get a clothing allowance? Does the factory worker get a clothing allowance when a machine jams up and rips their shirt? How about the bank tellers who are told to look professional every time they appear before a customer? No clothing allowance for them. Why do the detectives get a clothing allowance? But more importantly, where did the idea come from? One day, was a previous DA looking over his staff and said, “You guys are slobs, you better dress better since the crooks might not be impressed when they see you in those crappy clothes?” I’m curious about things like that. But that’s me. Finally, there’s the salary. Each County Detective makes over $100,000 a year. And they get overtime. Are they worth that much? What crimes exactly have they solved? If you tell me that they solved a murder case, sorry I’m not buying that. The Wolfseffer case was solved by Wilkes Barre city detectives. The Selinsky case, which I’m sure they’ll take credit for, was a State Police investigation from the get go. If the County detectives contributed to it, it wasn’t worth the sum parts of their salaries. I was told that because of the lack of funding in local municipalities, county detectives take up the bulk of the case work. Really? What rural crime was solved by the county detectives? During the last election, Jackie Musto Carroll took a lot of heat for the Ciavarella/Conahan problems in the Courthouse. She was painted as aloof and not aware of the extreme crimes going on in what would be termed as the “Kids for Cash” scandal. But at any time, did these overpaid county detectives make a move to get the investigation moving? You tell me! Should the County Detectives division be abolished? I have no Criminal Justice degree so I can’t say 100% to get rid of them. But I can say that Robert Lawton needs to break this union. The detectives salaries need to be reduced as well as the staff. They aren’t lawyers and aren’t CSIs. So that doesn’t entitle them to a specific skill set salary bump. Plus, I understand that some county detectives already have other pensions. That should be stopped too but that’s a discussion for another time. The current District Attorney, elected on the promise that she would change the way business is done in her office needs to step back and reevaluate her staff priorities. Would she rather have more trained lawyers on her staff to prosecute the backlog of cases or would she rather keep the high paid detectives (who I’m sure are blowing smoke her way and telling her how invaluable they are to her) who are not 100% necessary? Lawton needs to analyze this office. And as far as the cars go, just because her predecessor used a county car and the detectives did, it doesn’t necessarily mean Stefanie Salavantis needs to now. Her campaign was all about change. That’s what the ads said anyway. Maybe if one of Bob Harper’s ads said something about the county detectives, this wouldn’t be an issue. But it is time to look beyond the campaign and start doing what’s right. And that begins with a meeting among the District Attorney, Walter Griffith and Robert Lawton. At least we’ll start knowing that they bought they own clothes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2068, May 28th, 2012

MEMORIAL DAY: More than fun and games. 

MEMORIAL DAY 


Our friend Wil Toole sent me an e mail last week about the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. I added a few things but you get the point. Another one of my regular posters Pete Cassidy has told me the same thing several times. But just to make it clear, so everyone understands………………………….. 
On Veteran's Day, we honor all who served and continue to serve. 
On Memorial Day we honor all who served and have gone to their reward. 
Let us not forget those that gave ALL. 
They supported The Commander-in Chief. 
Republican or Democrat, 
Liberal or Conservative. 
They shed their blood. 
They gave their lives. 
Like any patriot would. 
On any given day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2067, May 27th, 2012

The Golden Gate Bridge. 

GOLDEN GATE AT 75 


If you have ever stood on it, traveled on it, gazed at it from afar, unless you have no soul, one of the greatest memories of your lifetime will be seeing it. The Golden Gate Bridge. Today, in San Francisco a ceremony will commemorate the opening of that majestic span. The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel that is iconic in its stature in this country. Plus, its construction gave the west something the east coast had long owned: recognizable architectural monuments. The construction of the Golden Gate did that. Now 75 years old, the splendor is still there. The Bridge has become a symbol of what a country can do, when paired with business and government and hard work and determination of people wanting to work. It is a symbol of what happens when individuals undertake a project bigger than themselves. Here’s a report from AP:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2066, May 26th, 2012

Scott Carpenter on the cover of Life with his wife in 1962 during the week of  his flight. 

SCOTT CARPENTER’S JOURNEY 


Two days ago, May 24th was the 50th anniversary of the flight of Aurora 7, the second orbital flight of the Mercy space program. Being second is never an enviable position to be in. Like Gus Grissom who followed Alan Shephard as the second American in space, Scott Carpenter following the first orbital flight by that American icon, John Glenn. This week there wasn’t a ot of coverage in the national news media of the event but that’s what comes along with being second. Carpenter however is remembered for some wild heroics on that flight. His capsule got off course and his recovery was a few hours in doubt. As a second grader who had seen the Glenn launch, the second one I heard about second hand because even though it was a big event, it was also a school day. Carpenmerr’s capsule landed 135 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. His mission was successfully regarded and this week Carpenter was honored by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation in New York City. Carpenter solved a mystery in space. When John  Glenn had made his flight, he saw some small objects that were floating around his capsule. He called them fireflies. Carpenter had the same phenomenon on his mission but later concluded the particles were actually small icicles dislodged from the capsule's exterior shell. The mystery baffled Glenn and NASA scientists. In 1965, Carpenter left NASA and became an aquanaut conquering the deep sea world. That project was called SEALAB II launched off the coast of La Jolla, Calif. On a leave of absence from NASA, Carpenter spent 30 days living and working on the ocean floor at a depth of more than 200 feet. Not straying from his NASA roots, he participated in a historical event by he speaking on the phone phone with astronauts Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad as they orbited overhead during their eight-day Gemini 5 mission. Carpenter is hailed by many to be the first person to conquer both outer and inner space. Now 87, Carpenter is happy to be remember. Both he and Glenn are the only two living astronauts from the original Mercury 7 project. His capsule, Aurora 7 is named after his Colorado roots and the street he grew up on in the Mountain state. While Carpenter might not have had the huge acclaim John Glenn got, he is remembered in his own unique way with his outer space and deep sea activities.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2065, May 25th, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the news cycle this week seems to be very quiet around these parts nowadays. It might be the pre summer doldrums, I can’t really say. While the cancer death of a Riverside High School Senior was indeed a tragedy, I was surprised when his story was the lead on two of the local TV stations the other night at 11 o’clock. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that a Blue Cross spokesman said there is a possibility that the health insurer might stick more than 50 million dollars into the Medical College in order for it to survive while trying to find a partner. It is safe to say that BCNEPA has a major commitment to this worthy endeavor. And that’s a good thing. But I have to wonder why the two major hospital organizations, Geisinger and Commonwealth are running away from TCMC like people running away from a fire. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….. at the total number of unnecessary and unenlightening reality shows that populate the television landscape in the summer. Makes me want to read a book….or write another! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that last weekend’s Fine Arts Fiesta had four straight days of beautiful, sunny weather. The Fiesta is known for storm clouds and showers and cold weather. But last weekend’s event was spectacular. The local weather people are most eager to take credit for the good weather but I have a sneaking suspicion that Al Groh, Murray Popky, Dr. Charlotte Lord, Donna Morgan and Howard “Howie” Federick had a little something to do with the fine weather somewhere from the great beyond. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that with all of the fuss made about MSG, the reality is that table salt contains 39% sodium while MSG contains 12%. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that my friend Ed Raineri is celebrating 100 episodes of “The Beatledd Hour” on WRKC FM, 88.5 tonight at 7pm. Raineri has made the weekly show an Internet, international sensation, broadcasting from Wilkes Barre, Pa. Many, many more. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that some people on Facebook take pictures of their food. Really? It’s fast becoming more annoying than Farmville. I mean I can see if you were at Wolfgang Puck's or Smith & Wolenskys but please. Spare us. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the New Orleans Times Picayune, one of the oldest newspapers in the country (175 years) will be only publishing three times a week. The reason? Declining ad sales and revenue and the popularity of the Internet. This was the newspaper that vilified Huey Long in the 30s and won many, many Pulitzer Prizes. The decline of newspapers reminds me of the early 70s when some of the great magazines like Look, Life and the Saturday Evening Post went down due to TV. History seems to be repeating itself. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in 1859, 24 rabbits were transported to Australia. Within 6 years, the population grew to 6 million. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that at a recent graduation ceremony from the Lyndon Johnson School of Public policy, invitations went out to students, alumni, donors and friends with the word “public” spelled wrong. (They left out the “l”). LBJ, a former school teacher and perfectionist with anything that had to do with his image must have been spinning in his grave. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that a farm once owned by Babe Ruth in Sudbury, Mass. which includes a farmhouse, and a two acre plot was selling for 1.65 million dollars. Equally amazing is the fact that Ruth only lived there from 1922 through 1926. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that in Jefferson City, Missouri, the State House had to authorize money to buy a $1,000 security system to watch over a bust of Rush Limbaugh so that people would not vandalize it. Limbaugh was inducted into the Missouri Hall of Fame last week but the ceremony had to be private because protesters were going to well, protest. That Limbaugh, a real consensus building American there, don’t ya think? Maybe the people in Missouri got the bright idea from Mayor Tom and J.J. Murphy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2064, May 24th, 2012

The Vice President and chief campaigner, Joe Biden. 

WHAT BIDEN MEANS 

Vice President Joe Biden has been fighting the good fight against the Republican party. Even though the Vice President angered some Democrats by pushing the President into a declaration of his support for same sex marriages, Biden is going to be a potent weapon on the campaign trail. Biden would do well if he defended the Obama stimulus package and not run away from it like other Democrats have been the last three years. The stimulus did the following: 
1. Save jobs in the public sector that were going to be eliminated by the economic collapse. Teachers, police and firemen benefited from this.
2. The stimulus package enabled those unemployed to get a stipend for their health insurance premiums on Cobra. That was money put back into business. 
3. New construction projects like roads and other infrastructure projects that were stalled during the Bush administration because we were rebuilding roads and schools in Iraq while ours were going to hell. Without the stimulus, we’d be in worse shape than during the Great Depression. 

McCONNELL’S SILLINESS 

I heard Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell today on the TV and was incredulous with what he was saying. McConnell said that while Jimmy Carter was an incompetent President, Barack Obama was a dangerous one. Carter may have had his faults (one of which was acting like he was/is, a Christian.) If he were more ruthless and used his majorities in the House and Senate, he might have been more successful. But it was McConnell and the Republicans, who after day one decided that a black man was fine for one term but was never, ever going to get another. McConnell opposed the health care bill which means he and the GOP opposed waivers on pre existing conditions, an 80% cap on Insurance industry overhead as well as having youngsters without jobs being able to stay on their parents health plan. McConnell and the GOP also opposed the jobs bill and were willing participants in the debt ceiling debacle of last summer which caused our credit rating to plummet. So just who the hell is the most dangerous for America? McConnell and his spineless, gutless, solution less Republicans or President Obama? 

LAWTON’S LANDMINES 

Robert Lawton, the Luzerne County Manager told the County Council the other night something that they already know: the finances of the County are in a very precarious position. I mean what did you expect from a county that had 67 separate checking accounts? Lawton told the Council that cuts will be coming and that too, should not be a shocker to anyone. Here’s why: 
1. The pitiful tax increase did nothing to help build up a surplus for the beleaguered county. The tax crazies went out of their way to threaten to hang the people who wanted more of an increase. 
2. The previous budget directors under the Skrepenak/Vonderheid administration were running the office like a frat house. (And it kills me that some of them got rewarded with better jobs!) It was until Tom Pribula was hired that a grownup was actually in the room telling the truth about the budget. 
3. The previous administration tied the hands of any new manager by not having enough money to hire new department heads. I heard a leader say, “They could hire from within!” Yeah, that’ll solve everything. Lawton has to do two things. A budget is a 365/24/7 proposition. You have to watch it everyday or else it’ll get out of control. Then he has to do the following: 
1. Do an office by office audit to see what positions are truly necessary. 
2. Institute employee evaluations based on sound business performance metrics factoring in productivity, attendance, and professionalism. You know, like they do in the real world. 
3. Have administrators making over $65,000 grand take a 5% pay cut. That money can be reinvested in their offices if they have a good idea. 
4. Have the Courts, with the mandated salaries put a freeze on any new hiring. They are overstaffed to the gills already. 
5. Propose a new tax increase if the above doesn’t work. 
6. Say no to a few unions.  
7. Don't buy anything from Thom Greco.
Good luck Bob. 

THE BIRTHERS ARE BACK!!! 

The people who are saying the President is an alien are back. The other day, I saw one bloated jasper saying he didn’t believe that the Birth Certificates produced by the White House were real. A few facts: The President was born in Hawaii which is in the United States and was represented at the time by Senators Hiram Fong and Daniel Inouye. The lone representative was Patsy Mink. 
The Governor of the state was William F. Quinn. HE WAS A REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!! 
Plus an announcement was in the newspaper. How many of us were heralded in print when we came into the world? The more these people harp about this, the better it is for the President. Sometimes you’re enemies (and there are enemies that are pissed a black man is President!) can be your best blessings.
Keith Lombardi, President, Martin Guitars shows Matt Cartwright how it all comes together.

STRIKING A CHORD 


On Tuesday, Matt Cartwright, Democratic Congressional candidate for the newly formed 17th district, toured the C.F. Martin and Co. Guitar Factory in Nazareth, PA. C.F. Martin and Co. Guitar, established in 1833, is an industry leader in the design and manufacturing of acoustic guitars. “I am very excited about the chance to work with C.F. Martin and Co. Guitars in the future, the employees and more specifically their craftsmanship is outstanding,” said Cartwright. “The expertise put into each instrument takes a great deal of time. This facility is a jewel of the 17th District and I will work hard to keep family-owned business, such as Martin and Co., thriving,” Cartwright continued. The Upper Nazareth Township headquarters employs over 500 individuals and has added nearly 90 jobs in the last year and a half. Manufacturing over 50,000 instruments a year, the company has managed to survive the recent economic downturn, with an average employee tenure of 18 years. “Martin and Co. Guitars is an example of the type of quality product our hard-working men and women can manufacture. We must work hard to bring these good-paying jobs back to America,” said Cartwright. Matt Cartwright is the Democratic candidate running for Congress in the 17th Congressional District, which now includes parts of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Northampton Counties, as well as all of Schuylkill County. Cartwright is running for Congress to bring jobs to Northeast Pennsylvania, and make sure that corporations and wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 

This weekend Shadoe Steele features as his guest Bertie Higgins who had the big hit “Key Largo". “Saturday Night Live at THE Oldies” can be heard every Saturday from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM & FM with ABC News on the top of the hour. 

ECTV 


ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Ann Marie Banks to the program for the week of May 28th Ann Marie represents the Lackawanna County Federation of Sportsmen which will be holding it's annual Freen Children's Fishing Derby on June 2nd. She'll share the history and details of the event with ECTV Live viewers. The program is carried on Comcast Ch19 in the Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. You can check the Electric City Program Schedule at http://sites.google.com/site/ectvschedule/ The station is also providing re-broadcasts of the annual Armed Forces Day Parade in Scranton! 

BEATLEDD HOUR 


The Beatleed Hour marks its 100th program Friday night on WRKC FM 88.5. Tune in. Ed Raineri is host. 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine..Brian Hughes speaks with financial analyst Sarah Reiger, who discusses the need for people to have Disability Insurance. This Week In Harrisburg examines the need for more state funding to help Pa. residents pay their mortgages, a bill providing legal protections for individuals acting in an emergency, the need for school districts to dip into their surplus accounts, and job growth in the Marcellus Shale region. Brian speaks with State Treasurer Rob McCord about the Pa 529 Savings Plan to help families pay for college. And audio from the Northeast Rainbow Alliance’s “It Gets Better” campaign to stop bullying and suicides of LGBT youth. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 7am on WARM 590 AM .

PCN


PCN TO HONOR VETERANS ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air selected interviews from its “Voices of Veterans” series in order to pay tribute to those men and women that have bravely served our country. Throughout the Memorial holiday weekend, the statewide network will feature candid interviews with veterans from across the state. The special programming will air Friday, May 25 beginning at 7:00 p.m. as well as Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27 at 2:00 p.m. On Memorial Day, May 28, the veteran programming block will start at 4:00 p.m. While the network’s award-winning series, “World War: In Their Own Words” concentrated on the personal wartime experiences of veterans serving during World War II, “Voices of Veterans” expands the oral histories to include those from World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars as well as those who served during the Cold War. Since 2002, PCN has gathered almost 300 interviews with veterans from all branches of service. For historic preservation and education use, the network has donated a majority of those veteran discussions to the National Veterans’ History Project in Washington, D.C.
Our "1967" logo. 

1967 


Yuri Andropov becomes KGB chief......The 25th Amendment is added to the Constitution of the United States....Naxalite Guerrilla War: Beginning with a peasant uprising in the town of Naxalbari, this Marxist/Maoist rebellion sputters on in the Indian countryside. The guerrillas operate among the impoverished peasants, fighting both the government security forces and private paramilitary groups funded by wealthy landowners. Most fighting takes place in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.........The Australian referendum, 1967 passes with an overwhelming 90% support, removing, from the Australian Constitution, 2 discriminatory sentences referring to Indigenous Australians. It signifies Australia's first step in recognising Indigenous rights. The Folk-Rock band Fairport Convention plays their first gig in London.Biafra, in eastern Nigeria, announces its independence. (Wikipedia)……..in Pennsylvania, Mayor James Tate crows over his victory over Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo. Old line Democrats got behind the Mayor but the coalition that brought him to office, engineered by Richardson Dilworth and Joseph Clark begins to show signs of erosion…..in Luzerne County a nail biter of an election turns even more contentious when GOP party challenger beats out Wilkes Barre Attorney Joseph Kasper. The margin: less than 30 votes and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was by the Young Rascals. It would become the anthem for the summer of '67. (LuLac archives).

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2063, May 23rd, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

THE 1% AND US 

 Yesterday in the Citizen’s Voice, there was a letter to the editor that talked about the recent “mistake” made by the power brokers in the Stock Market. Ooops…..they lost 2 billion dollars. And you can bet those losses will not be absorbed by the fat cats in this country but by the working taxpayers who are just trying to get by. This is a very good letter. Take a look. 
Top one percent are sucking the life out of the United States 
Editor: When the Supreme Court decided the corporations are people then people became non-people.  America was supposed to be a democracy created to serve real people and no other reason. We were trying not be a kingdom where we were ruled by a king. Nor were we trying to be a feudalistic society where the peasant class (99 percent) was forever enslaved through bondage (debt) to the "Lord of the Manor" (1 percent). We are a country where all men (people) were created equal. Last week J. P. Morgan had $2 billion in trading losses. Chief Executive (Lord of the Manor) Jamie Dimon has been lobbying for less government regulation of Wall Street so that they can make more money through higher risk investments. However in 2008 when everything collapsed the banks came begging to the government for a bailout of trillions of dollars that we the people are supposed to be responsible for. They aren't taking the risk - the risk is transferred to us. That isn't fair. Why should we the people just hand the lord of the manor trillions of dollars that we have to pay back to them? I don't think so. Why should we deregulate them and have the people pick up their losses? The top one percent are sucking the life out of America. That's why we need to tax the rich to get our money back that they stole from us in 2008. These investors are not "job creators" they are turning into slave owners and our debt becomes the mechanism for instituting slavery. If the phrase "We the People" means anything to Americans then we need to rise up against our oppressors and tell them - we are the people - corporations are not people - and we are going to take America back from the rich and make them pay off the national debt that they created and tried to put on us. 
Marc Perkel 
Gilroy, Calif.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2062, May 22nd, 2012

Medical College on life support?? Stay the course or pull the plug?
Medical College logo. 

 DATING GAME OVER 

The courtship of the Commonwealth Medical College and the University of Scranton has now ended. Yesterday afternoon a joint announcement by both parties was made and the gist of the missive was that “there will be no deal”. 
"After careful thought and thorough analysis assisted by national experts, we have decided to end affiliation discussions and commit ourselves to strengthening and expanding the various forms of collaboration that have marked our relationship since TCMC was founded," the two paragraph release stated. "While disappointed in this outcome, we move forward with mutual respect, having reinforced our connection through this process." The release was signed by Kevin P. Quinn, president of The University of Scranton and Dr. Lois Margaret Nora,the dean and interim president of The Commonwealth Medical College. (Times Leader)
With this news, there are many questions that will need to be answered. 
If not Scranton University, then who? 
Will the school still be accepting new students? 
What of their credentials as a Medical College? 
Will there be any more money forthcoming from the Blue Cross of NEPA surplus? 
If the latter is yes, what will the reaction be of the BCNEPA rate payers? 
And most importantly, can any long standing funding give the school to at least be on the way to survival mode? 
The Medical College was a good idea. It put Northeastern Pennsylvania on the map and gave students an opportunity to learn their craft from truly great professionals. However, like so many things in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the concept started out seriously flawed and under a cloud. It is a very bad idea to lure people from outside of the area with cash bonuses while you are trying to raise money as a start up. It is almost criminal to hand out bonuses of over $50,000 a year to Human Resource flunkies who push papers around all day and contribute nothing to the financial growth of the institution. Now with the specter of former Senator Robert Mellow’s upcoming sentencing, the main legislative power will not be around to help at the State level. With Penn State and other statewide institutions getting cut, how can the Corbett administration justify aiding the school? If this school dies, it will not be because of the work being done by staffers on board now, the commitment of its students and faculty and the largess of area companies (see BCNEPA) that contributed money in good faith. It will die because of the greed of those people who demanded the bonuses and the stupidity of the board for giving them the money. Years ago when I worked for the United Way,  I was told that in every bus station bathroom out of state there was a sign that said “Come to Northeastern Pennsylvania: they’re easy marks. Apparently, that sign extended to professional levels too. Take the rubes over the coals, they’ll be impressed by the out of town credentials. Hell, they’ll even pay bonuses! And in the end, we not only pay but look foolish doing it time and time again. We never, ever learn.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2061, May 21st, 2012

Then candidate for Judge, Tina Polacheck Gartley and her dad in 2009. 
  

SOUL AND INSPIRATION


As I grow older, I begin to think of where I’ve been and how I got there. When I was in my 30s, I assumed that I did it on my own. But as I got older, I remembered the life lessons my parents taught me. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my parents, my uncles and aunts, all those who grew up in the Great Depression and came of age in WWII. One day that brought those thoughts clearly into focus was in 2009 when I attended a campaign event for Tina Polachek Gartley. I was making the rounds and spied the candidate darting from one potential voter to another. But that frenetic action stopped when she saw her father making his way toward a table unassisted. Immediately she anchored herself to him and begin introducing him around. He didn’t say much but as best I remember, school bus drivers were never the most loquacious. After all, they had lives in their hands every day. I got to meet Mr. Polachek and I asked if I could take a photo of the two. I got smiles all around.  This week Vice President Joe Biden went on a rant about how his middle class parents, those of that greatest generation dreamed the same big dreams that wealthy people dreamed for their children. He made the distinction that no one had to have a bigger bank account than another if they wanted to dream for their children. But the point Biden missed is that with the dream, comes the hard work. The inspiration, the example, the support. Without all those things, dreams would just be that: dreams. At one point, Mr. Polachek made a dream for his daughter. Then he began to set the example of hard work, good cheer and belief in her abilities. A parent and child are in effect a team in this endeavor. The parent plants the seed and the child, through work, determination, luck and good fortune make it a reality. Tina Polachek’s father Robert, died last night, (and that loss I’m sad to say will never, ever get better) but he did get the opportunity to see his daughter’s, and by extension, his wish for a better career life, come to fruition. It brings home the point that this is what parents are supposed to do. And those of us lucky enough to have had them in their lives, with their example, are recipients of a very lucky life lottery. If you think I’m wrong, take a good look at the photo. That night, with all the politicos trying to gain advantage, those two were frozen in a moment in time. Dad and daughter knowing that both were the two luckiest people in the room.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2060, May 20th, 2012

Oink, oink!!! The travel motto of Wilkes Barre City Council. 

WHAT DID THEY LEARN? 

Today, in the Times Leader, Terri Morgan Besecker writes about the thousands of dollars Wilkes Barre City Council members have spent at conferences. She pointed out that from 2005 to 2009 the Council members went over budget on the travel allowances. Annul trips to cities such as San Antonio; Reno, Nev.; New Orleans; Denver; Orlando, Fla., and Phoenix. were taken by Bill Barrett, Kathy Kane and Tony Thomas. Council members not only were paid for the trip but a total of 34 grand was given to all Council travelers without them even providing a receipt. In private business, that would never, ever stand. The worst part about all of this traveling is not once, not once, can I ever remember one of these Council members giving a detailed report on what they learned. (I realize Kathy Kane was busy insulting taxpayers and their constitutional first amendment rights, but what about the other two??) The Council members sit there like bumps on a log every month and then they wonder why the taxpayers ridicule them? You earn respect by giving respect. How can anyone respect people who go to a conference, take the taxpayers money and then not make a report. If there was a report made, I bet some newspaper would have covered it. In my career, I have been at conferences. In my career I have even put on statewide and national conferences. Like the report says in the Times Leader, most conferences include breakfast and lunches. And please, I don’t want to hear that they need the meal money because they might be diabetic or might have health issues! Anyone who has ever gone to a conference knows that fruit, grains, low fat, and proteins are available. And most hotels will provide special consideration if there is enough notice. They are hotels. They serve food. They can find it. So don’t give me that health crap. If they are soooooooooo sick….stay home. I’m sure we are going to hear about how hard it is to be a Wilkes Barre City Council member too. Yeah. (Mine has been in hiding in my district, wrote him a letter, never got a response). The story only points up the sad fact that the Wilkes Barre City Council takes and takes and takes. But hey, we let them. Every four years we elect these clowns to office and let them take advantage of us. It must be in our DNA. In the meantime, while these officials go to “conferences to learn” (but never ever seem to report) the line gets bigger and bigger on Jackson Street at the soup kitchen. Those people don’t need to save receipts either like City Council. But I bet I can find six of them who can do a better job at representing the people than the Council members and Kathy Kane. 

DEAD AT LAST!! 

 The AP reports that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, died Sunday nearly three years after he was released from a Scottish prison to the outrage of the relatives of the attack's 270 victims. He was 60. If you ask me, it couldn’t come soon enough. He was convicted, he was a terrorist, he killed nearly 300 innocent people. Hope he rots in hell.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2059, May 19th, 2012

Judge Joan Orie Melvin and her 2009 opponent Judge Jack Panella who screamed bloody murder across the state about Orie Melvin's connection. But it was to no avail. 

THE SECOND SHOE 

How would you like to be the Orie family from Western Pennsylvania? One sister convicted (although she was a State Senator) and another one charged with corruption. (She’s a Judge). Justice Joan Orie Melvin of the State Supreme Court was charged with using her taxpayer-funded staff in her campaigns for a seat on the state’s highest court. During that race a few years ago, the judge was all over the radio telling voters how tough she’d be on crime. But while she was talking to the Michael Smerconish’s and Sue Steve Corvbett’s of the world, her campaign was being aided and abetted by government staffers. It was a similar caper that brought down her sister, a state senator who was convicted earlier in the year. She is awaiting sentencing on similar charges. Two months ago, her sister Republican state Sen. Jane Orie was convicted of 14 counts of theft of services, conflict of interest and forgery charges.  The AP reported that Orie Melvin said that she will vigorously defend herself against the nine criminal charges, which a grand jury report called a “tale of corruption” that she “actively condoned and even promoted.” “I am a woman of faith,” Orie Melvin said. “My faith will see me through this. And I will not resign because of these politically motivated charges.” The high court relieved her of judicial and administrative duties Friday, but she remains a Supreme Court justice, on the payroll with a $195,000 salary and full benefits. The court also ordered Orie Melvin’s Pittsburgh office sealed to secure records, files and equipment that are property of the court. 
A woman of faith huh? If I said it once, I’ve said a thousand times here, my dad used to say that when they tell you how much they believe in God, or their faith, put your hand on your wallet.
Gas drilling operation in Hickory, Pa. 

 UPCOMING SPEAKER 

 Our good friend, Scott Cannon from the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition sent us this missive on a upcoming event this Wednesday night. It’s pretty important stuff and even though it is a few days before Memorial Day, I hope they get a good turnout. 
For Immediate Release: Speaker to talk about W. Wyoming Gas Compression Station Matt Walker from the Clean Air Council will give a presentation on health issues regarding the proposed UGI Compressor Station and pipelines on Wednesday, May 23, at p.m. at the West Wyoming Borough Building on 464 West 8th St. The Residents are urged to attend. Matt will discuss the following topics: Air Pollutants from Compressor Stations are Linked with Health Issues Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Formaldehyde, Methane 5 Dud Drilling Blowouts in Dallas spewing thousands of gallons of Bentonite Clay, a cancer causing carcinogen into wetlands might occur here as well. Other Concerns Noise: The engines at the station run constantly and can be very loud, especially when releasing pressurized natural gas periodically to change equipment Odor: The pollutants emitted from engines have the potential to create strong and unpleasant odors Visible emissions: Stations have the potential to emit dark plumes as a result of malfunctioning equipment Also, Matt will discuss the new DEP regulations to prevent public comment and file reviews what will take away the people's rights to speak out against the industrialization of our community. 
Matt Walker Clean Air Council Community Outreach Coordinator Marcellus Shale Program 215-567-4004 ext. 121 mwalker@cleanair.org Website: www.cleanair.org Facebook: Clean Air Council Twitter: @cleanaircouncil 
If you have any other questions you can call me at 570-817-6216 or contact Matt at the number above. Sincerely, Scott Cannon Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition

Friday, May 18, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2058, May 18th, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Luzerne County finally has gotten around to filing a lawsuit against Little Red Wagon, that Records Storage place that Bob Reilly was associated with. It’s about time. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt held a conference with all members of organized football leagues. In that year, 18 players participating in the sport were killed. Roosevelt felt the sport needed to be regulated because it was too violent even though Roosevelt used a few footballers to charge San Juan hill. I’m also equally amazed that the life expectancy for the average American male is 75. If you play in the NFL, it is 58. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that Stan Musial and his late wife Lillian (she died two weeks ago) were married 72 years! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that CSI Miami finally met its end after ten years. CSI Miami had good character development. David Caruso was superb in it and it will be missed. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that for years, a police official named Mike Keslosky talked about corruption in the ranks of the Old Forge Police Department. Equally amazing was that Keslosky, the winner of a huge civil rights lawsuit was paid no mind. All that said, the officers arrested in Old Forge have yet to present their side of the case. But it can’t help when investigators find a pair of panties in the Chief’s office. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that people still pay homage to the late Pirate Roberto Clemente 40 years after his death. Clemente is regarded as a god in Puerto Rico and Latin America but his Pennsylvania roots are still heavily on display in Major League Stadiums. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….but not so much that the WBRE broadcast of PA LIVE is still going strong. The show has great local segments, breaking news and weather and shows off the activities of Northeastern Pennsylvania in an easy going manner. The show is hosted by Dave Kuharchik and Monica Madeja.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..................that there are more English speaking people in India than there are in America. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED…that former WWE Wrestler Kurt Angle did not make the 2012 Olympics in London. Angle who thrilled wrestling fans at the Arena a few years back is a charismatic entertainer that could have spiced things up as a back story.
 MAYBE I’M AMAZED….......................that the topic of Chinese buffets came up on the topic of Talk Radio today. In this land of plenty, it is a shocking waste to see some of the food discarded by people who’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Moderate your plate and if you need to go back for more, no one is looking. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…............that every hour more than 1 billion cells in the body must be replaced.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that with the death of Donna Summer the other day, floods of memories came back to people in their 40s and 50s who were dating right in the middle of disco. Around here places like Rocky’s, Vispi’s Camelot Lounge, Francescos, the Gallery, The Staircase, and The Cabaret closed out every dance in the 70s and early 80s with what was for this generation, an anthem of how you were doing on the bar scene. If you were lucky enough to dance with someone during this song, you weren’t going home alone…..or if you were, hopefully you had a phone number.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2057, May 17th, 2012

Luzerne County Manager Bob Lawton. (Photo: Times Leader).

LAWTON’S GOOD CALL 

County Manager Bob Lawton made a very good call the other day when he turned back the decision of the previous regime to use 2 million dollars in grant money to renovate the old Market Street Square. In its heyday in the 80s, the place was fabulous. But it fell into disrepair after the death of owner Marvin Roth. Tom Greco sold it to the administration of Skrepenak and Vonderheid for 5 million dollars! In its current condition! If anything proved we needed Home Rule, (never mind the corruption) it was that deal that personified the word stupidity. Lawton’s decision was quite cogent. He rightly said that the building of a Senior Center as well as a Tourist Promotion facility would not create new jobs. It would move staff from current county agencies to a new facility. One of the big draws of Market Street Square was the train station itself. (I had an uncle, Andrew Dziak that worked the 11pm to 7am shift in that rail yard watching and protecting the facility when freight actually went there). The draw of the trains brought many people to the hotel. I always thought that a private developer could make a peddler’s market out of it or something like a craft mart that would feature high quality products like the summer craft fair at Eaglesmere. Add a Santa shop to it and you’d have something. But giving it to two county agencies that can’t create jobs is not good. I’m amused that former County Commissioner Steve Urban says the reason why Lawton turned it down is because the new County Manager wants to show the old Commissioners (of which Urban was one) up. Please! With the mess that was left by corruption, the self serving business community and the money grabbing union employees, Lawton most likely doesn't even think of Urban. Lawton is a new set of eyes with very few biases. This was a good, smart call. This is why he is earning the big bucks. Let’s hope we see more of this from him.
Getting your shots back oin the day.

VACCINATION MANIA 

I find it hard to believe that there are hundreds of students in Luzerne and Lackawanna County schools that have not yet had their immunization shots. What the hell is that all about? Once more the parenting skills of this generation is horrific. Buy Junior an X Box but don’t get him to the doctor to get the shots that are required by law. The school districts have done the right thing by barring the students from class. There are some that are going to harp about how government is telling them what to do….but c’mon, really? You as a parent can’t handle this on your own? And if you put it on the kid saying “he/she doesn’t like needles” or some celebrity bimbo said they’d get instant autism by the vaccination, well shame on you. You are the parent. `YOU! We won’t be satisfied until one kid from an irresponsible family infects everyone with whooping coughs. People still die from these diseases. They won’t die if they don’t get this year’s newest X Box version. 

DISTURBING NUMBERS 

There are some pretty disturbing poll numbers pout on the economy for the Obama administration. A recent poll shows that 50% of the American people think Mitt Romney can do a good job running the American economy. Only 43% say it would be P4resident Obama’s forte. After a bruising primary campaign., it appears that the GOP are lining up solidly behind Romney. If he picks a running mate that won’t rock the boat, who knows. But if I’m sitting in the White House right now, I’m concerned. 

MURPHY ENDORSES KANE


Patrick Murphy endorsed Kathleen Kane today for the office of State Attorney General. Here’s a release from his office: Today, Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy endorsed his Democratic primary opponent, Kathleen Kane, for Pennsylvania Attorney General. “Primaries are never easy. But it’s important to remember that this was a family fight. Now that it’s over, we must come together and rally behind our nominee. That’s why I am endorsing Kathleen Kane for Attorney General. Because in the end, Kathleen is Pennsylvania’s best choice for Attorney General,” Murphy said. “Kathleen is a fierce competitor. But she also has a vision for this office. We agree that consumer protection must be the cornerstone of this office and that we must do more to protect children from sexual abuse. We need an Attorney General who will protect the middle class and defend the rights of every Pennsylvanian, not just those with money or power. So now, we Democrats must come together, beat David Freed, and deny Governor Corbett the Attorney General he hand-picked to protect his radical agenda,” Murphy added. 

BIDEN GETS REAL 


Vice President Joe Biden exhibited oner of the reasons why Barack bama picked him as Vice President in 2008 and why Democrats love him. ABC News reported: At a campaign stop in Youngstown, Ohio, today, Vice President Joe Biden lit into Republicans and their presumed presidential nominee Mitt Romney for what he described as a failure to understand the plight of the middle class. “I resent when they talk about families like mine that I grew up in. I resent the fact that they think we’re talking about envy: it’s job envy, it’s wealthy envy; that we don’t dream,” an impassioned Biden told a crowd of manufacturing workers. “My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, that I could be, I could be vice president! My mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire, they could be a millionaire! My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams! “They don’t get us! They don’t get who we are!” he yelled before the crowd, drawing loud applause. Biden was referring broadly to Republican criticism of the administration’s push for higher taxes on wealthier Americans and expanded investment in federal programs aimed at boosting low- to middle-income families. The vice president argued for a populist vision — “Obama economics” – that “believes everyone deserves a fair shot, a fair shake, and everybody should play by the same rules.” “Then there’s the Romney philosophy,” he said. “The Romney economics which says as long as the government helps the guys at the top to do well, workers and small business communities, they can fend for themselves but the country will be OK if the big guy is doing well.” 
  

MEDIA MATTERS 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 

This week Shadoe Steele hosts Rupert Holmes on “Saturday Night Live” at the Oldies. The best oldies program in the world can be heard Saturday from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM & FM with ABC News on the top of the hour. 
 

ECTV 


John Hart makes a return visit to ECTV Live during the week of May 21st. He'll be discussing numerous public events marking the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War! Mr. Hart is Commander of the The Delaney-Delacy Guard, a component of the Sons Of Union Veterans Reserve. ECTV Live is hosted by Judge Tom Munley and co-hosted by veteran area newsman David DeCosmo who also produces the program. It can be seen daily on Comcast Ch19 in our area. Electric City Television will also be recording this year's Armed Forces Parade in Scranton this Saturday for playback on a rotating basis on the station. DLP is underwriting the coverage as a Public Service to veterans and the community.  

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine....Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with James May and Michael Tatulo from PENNDOT about their “Click It Or Ticket” campaign. Frankie also speaks with Steve Alfano from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs about their 2012 Hot Summer Nights promotion. Brian Hughes speaks with Melissa Sullivan from Move Rescue about “rogue movers” and moving horror stories. And Brian speaks with Karl Pillimer, author of the book “30 Life Lessons”, featuring lessons for living from the wisest Americans. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHt, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93 and 7am on WARM 590 AM.
Our 1967 logo.

1967 


Syria mobilizes against Israel....President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt demands withdrawal of the peacekeeping UN Emergency Force in the Sinai. U.N. Secretary-General U Thant complies... Tennessee Governor Ellington repeals the "Monkey Law" (officially the Butler Act; see the Scopes Trial)........In Mexico, schoolteacher Lucio Cabañas begins guerrilla warfare in Atoyac de Alvarez, west of Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero......NASA announces the crew for the Apollo 7 space mission (first manned Apollo flight): Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham. Wikipedia.. In the state of Pennsylvania, representatives to a Constitutional Convention are standing for election. The referendum for a Constitutional convention passed by a two to one margin….…….in Luzerne County, in the Democratic primary for Judge, the winners were Peter Paul Olszewski Senior and Attorney Ralph Johnston. They bested Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery, Bernard Podcasy and E Charles Coslett. On the Republican side, the two top vote getters were Thomas Mac and Robert Hourigan. All candidates cross filed and the general election would pit two Democrats vs two Republicans…..in an extremely tight nail biter of a race, Blythe Evans squeaked by Wilkes Barre Attorney Joseph Kasper by 228 votes in the official count. Evans an Attorney from Plymouth upset the GOP applecart by running a very strong race. At one point, less than 30 votes separated the two men after the absentee ballots were counted. Democrat Stephen Teller was unopposed…in the ace for County Commissioner, on the GOP side Jim Post and Wilkes Barre Councilwoman Ethel Price beat Clyde Bower, Gene Wagner and Matt Lieb. On the Democratic side, Ed Wideman and Frank Crossin were on top. Wideman the Democratic minority commissioner was renominated along with the Republican Post. The other sitting Commissioner, Bill Goss stepped aside to run for County Treasurer. He won his race against Frank O’Neil and Hazleton’s Robert Sacco…LuLac archives and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2056, May 16th, 2012

"Write On Wednesday" logo. 

 WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 

 ISRAEL THEN & TODAY 


Since 1967 is our feature year, this article caught my eye on the similarities between the situation in Israel in 1967 and their political leadership today. Fox Commentator Charles Krauthammer wrote this piece earlier in the week. 
Unexpected coalition echoes Israel of ’67 Commentary CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
In May 1967, in brazen violation of previous truce agreements, Egypt ordered United Nations peacekeepers out of the Sinai, marched 120,000 troops to the Israeli border, blockaded Eilat (Israel’s southern outlet to the world’s oceans), abruptly signed a military pact with Jordan and, together with Syria, pledged war for the final destruction of Israel. May ’67 was Israel’s most fearful, desperate month. The country was surrounded and alone. Previous great-power guarantees proved worthless. A plan to test the blockade with a Western flotilla failed for lack of participants. Time was running out. Forced to protect against invasion by mass mobilization – and with a military consisting overwhelmingly of civilian reservists – life ground to a halt. The country was dying. On June 5, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on the Egyptian air force, then proceeded to lightning victories on three fronts. The Six-Day War is legend, but less remembered is that on June 1, the nationalist opposition (Menachem Begin’s Likud precursor) was for the first time brought into the government, creating an emergency national-unity coalition. Everyone understood why. You do not undertake a supremely risky pre-emptive war without the full participation of a broad coalition representing a national consensus. Forty-five years later, in the middle of the night of May 7-8, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked his country by bringing the main opposition party, Kadima, into a national unity government. Shocking because just hours earlier, the Knesset was expediting a bill to call early elections in September. Why did the high-flying Netanyahu call off elections he was sure to win? Because for Israelis today, it is May ’67. The dread is not quite as acute: The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms. Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence – apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation acquiring nuclear weapons – since May ’67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found – as in ’67 – Israelis know they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves. Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus. By creating the largest coalition in nearly three decades, Netanyahu is establishing the political premise for a pre-emptive strike, should it come to that. The new government commands an astonishing 94 Knesset seats out of 120, described by one Israeli columnist as a “hundred tons of solid concrete.” So much for the recent media hype about some great domestic resistance to Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran. Two notable retired intelligence figures were widely covered here for coming out against him. Little noted was that one had been passed over by Netanyahu to be the head of Mossad, while the other had been fired by Netanyahu as Mossad chief (hence the job opening). To be sure, Netanyahu and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz offered more prosaic reasons for their merger: national service laws, a new election law and negotiations with the Palestinians. But Netanyahu, the first Likud prime minister to recognize Palestinian statehood, did not need Kadima for him to enter peace talks. For two years he’s been waiting for Mahmoud Abbas to show up at the table. Abbas hasn’t. And won’t. Nothing will change on that front. What does change is Israel’s position vis-a-vis Iran. The wall-to-wall coalition demonstrates Israel’s political readiness to attack, if necessary. (Its military readiness is not in doubt.) Those counseling Israeli submission, resignation or just endless patience can no longer dismiss Israel’s tough stance as the work of irredeemable right-wingers. Not with a government now representing 78 percent of the country. Netanyahu forfeited September elections that would have given him four more years in power. He chose instead to form a national coalition that guarantees 18 months of stability – 18 months during which, if the world does not act to stop Iran, Israel will. And it will not be the work of one man, one party or one ideological faction. As in 1967, it will be the work of a nation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2055, May 15th, 2012

Last week,  planners for the Armed Services Parade appeared on WBRE TV’s PA LIVE program. From left to right are Captain Keith Hickox, Captain William Dunn both of the PANG & Joseph Sylvester, 1st Sgt. Retired US ARMY and Parade Public Relsations Consultant Karel Zurbris.
Parade Grand Marshall Colonel Charles Gibson who is the Commander of Tobyhanna Army Depot, the Defense Department’s largest facility for the repair, overhaul and integration of Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. 

ARMED FORCES DAY PARADE 

Big doings in Scranton this weekend. This coming Saturday May 19th features the Armed Services Day parade. The parade will also feature the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Scranton-based 55th Brigade, the Diamond Pipe Band, the Scranton High School Marching Band, the North Pocono High School Marching Band and dozens of other military and veterans units. The parade will begin at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center and proceed south on Penn Avenue to Lackawanna Avenue, moving east past the Mall at Steamtown and turning north on North Washington Avenue past the Lackawanna County Courthouse. Courthouse Square will feature military equipment displays, a rock climbing wall and other activities. Joe Sylvester, chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, said he hopes people turn out on Saturday, or find another way to honor members of the military. 
What: Armed Forces Day Parade When: 11 a.m. on Saturday,; Those participating in the parade should arrive by 10:30 a.m. or earlier Where: The parade will begin at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center in downtown Scranton and proceed south on Penn Avenue to Lackawanna Avenue, moving east past the Mall at Steamtown and turning north on North Washington Avenue past the Lackawanna County Courthouse.