Saturday, June 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2108, June 30th, 2012

This is the house of worship the Diocese destroyed.

St. John the Baptist Slovak Catholic Church.  That's it there,  in that pile of sludge.

4 YEARS AGO TODAY


Four years ago today, the doors of St. John the Baptist Slovak Church on William Street in Pittston closed its doors by order of the Scranton Diocese. The ethnic parish was shut down after more than 100 years of service. A few years later, the church was demolished. It is now a parking lot. For many who aren't aware of its history, the vacant lot is just a place to park cars. There is no sign, no recognition of what it once was. The blood and sweat of Slovak immigrants built the church. But that mattered little to a heartless diocese that just wanted this little church out of the way. The schooling of children, the very sacraments administered in this church now are forgotten. Just like the people who built the church on the faith that it would be there for worship in years to come. So much for faith.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2107, June 29th, 2012

“Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that because I was so busy with new responsibilities, maintaining this site and just living my life, that I neglected to note the passing of Gordan McFadden. McFadden was a retired military man I met at King’s College in the 1990s. As an alumni, I used the exercise room with its bikes and stair masters. Gordy was the guy who manned the front desk and always had a kind and encouraging word. He was friendly but firm. We had many a discussion about life in Wilkes Barre and the world and I was sorry to see he had passed away.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that people who can find the money for cigarettes, cigar bars, X Boxes, designer purses and hundreds of dollars worth of tattoos all over their bodies can’t scrape up enough money for insurance coverage. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that one of the most widely anticipating “sporting events” on the Fourth of July is the Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating contest on Coney Island, New York. Go Joey Chestnut!!!! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…....................that a woman from Nanticoke asked to use the rest room at KRZ FM in Pittston Township. She then proceeded to bring her dogs in the building and have them run wild. After in her car, she then attempted to throw a beat down on the local gendarmes. Her visit to the radio station brought new meaning to the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out”.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the Corbett administration tells people with a straight face that the new budget for Pennsylvania is a good piece of legislation and the right thing to do. It of course slashes human services but gives big tax breaks to the energy barons. But he is doing what he told us he would do. Don’t blame me, I voted for Onorato. Maybe more people should have! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that a lot of guys I know religiously watch the Wimbledon finals when my girl, Maria Sharapova is involved. She has a Grand Slam to her credit, recently winning the French Open. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s wife said that the slugger’s drug abuse came from “the devil” himself. The devil didn’t have anything to do with it, it was Hamilton’s own backslide into that world. Besides, I always thought the devil wore a blue dress. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Giants ace Tim Lincecum is a mere 2-8 this season. But you have to give the San Francisco pitcher credit for blocking the plate with his lithesome form the other night. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….at how easy WNEP TV weathercaster Michelle Rotella has adapted to the fast paced repartee on the WILK Morning News with Webster and Nancy. Rotella replaced Joe Snedecker this week while he was on vacation and was a blast. Could we possibly see a LuLac “Women We Love” nomination coming at the end of the year? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….................that in Texas it is illegal to graffiti any of your neighbor’s cows.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that Jim Thome has 13 walk off home runs. Thome now holds the record that previously stood at 12. The people who held it? Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Jimmy Foxx, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson. Can we reserve a plaque for Thome in Cooperstown? Without a doubt! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that your big toe only has two bones while the rest of them have three. See, I paid attention in that Medical Terminology class at LCCC.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2106, June 28th, 2012

Depiction of the Court Decision this morning. 

UPHELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today the Supreme Court of America upheld The Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 5 to 4, the Court did not strike down the individual mandate. The bill is constitutional. Not since the landmark decision of the Warren Court on Brown Vs. the Board of Education has a decision been so widely anticipated. The Supreme Court recognized a few things that people who possess a modicum of common sense know: 
1. You can’t overturn something that is not yet in effect. How can you try to overturn a law when its effects and ramifications have not yet been put into practice? 
2. Right now we Americans are required to buy car insurance, we have to buy registrations for those cars, we have to pay a fee to get married and a fee to get divorced. We have to pay a fee to cross a bridge and dispose of our garbage. Is it such a stretch that we require Americans to buy health care? 
3. Roberts recognized that by not upholding the law, chaos would ensue. I read in the newspaper the other day that the local Blue Cross said the worst case scenario would be to throw out the individual mandate. In a country that wants our citizens to play by the rules, why would we allow citizens to abuse the system by not buying insurance when healthy but having others pay for the benefits when they are sick. I could never understand why the opponents who say they want a level playing field wanted to impose that unfairness in any system. 
4. This decision being upheld also gives insurance companies an opportunity to budget and prepare a financial model on how to pay claims. As a young boy in 1965, I heard the hue and cry when Medicare was passed. We were told the insurance companies would be put out of business. Yet companies like Blue Cross, Geisinger and Aetna make millions of dollars on supplemental policies. With the 80/20 rule, the insurance companies are going to become stewards of community health instead of rate raising shylocks. 
A follower of this site, Sabrina McLaughin wrote on her Facebook posting today that she is so used to having the Democrat’s policies knocked around and opposed these days that she was shocked the bill was upheld. On my drive to work, I had music on but at 1015PM tuned to a talk station to hear the bill was scrapped. I too was pleasantly surprised. No, I was elated. The bill should have been better (a public option) and should have been explained more clearly by the administration and not defined by a Republican party that has lost its mind. But today was a great day in America. Today, a Supreme Court Chief Justice chose common sense over ideology. John Roberts chose to take a bold stand and not stoke the flames of defeatism. The delicious irony in all of this is that he was a Justice picked by a Republican President. History has a way of shaping the man. As Earl Warren did in the 1950s making Civil Rights possible, so did John Roberts in this century. Making health care possible for all Americans. 

OBAMA TAX 

The new mantra now for the right and the Republican party will be to call this an Obama Tax. They couldn’t win on calling the Affordable Health Care Act Obama Care, now they have to label it a tax. Incredible. I am stunned at how quickly the spin masters of the GOP went to work. And these people are dangerous. These people are destructive. These people almost defeated the Health Care bill with staged town halls that scared politicians into hiding. Their rhetoric drove out many courageous political people that took a stand for the individual and not the corporation. Their job will be to now convince America that by buying health care, it will be a tax. Like Rasputin, their ill words refuse to die because they are fueled by people who are either ignorant of what is good for their country or who are hell bent on destroying any administration plan because it is proposed by a black man. Their comments need to be rebutted. 

A MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT 

The President came out this morning and these words struck me that the man still doesn’t get the fact that people don’t want him to succeed. “I know the debate over this law has been divisive. I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared.” The debate was divided because the administration let the other side define the debate. The very real concerns Americans had were part of the reckless rhetoric inflicted on them by the Republican right. Before the law was drafted, 85% of the American people wanted a public option. By the time the GOP spinmasters got finished, the Affordable Care Act barely passed. All because the President wanted to invite the bullies who stole his lunch money over for afternoon tea! The Affordable Care Act was Obama’s signature bill and he’s still apologizing for it. The famed chef, Julia Child once wrote, “Never apologize for a dish you made”. Congratulations Mr. President…………but wise the hell up.

The LuLac Edition #2105, June 28th, 2012

Sugar Notch Councilman Mario Fiorucci and Revolutionary War era hero Thomas Paine. 

SUGAR NOTCH SHUFFLES FREE SPEECH 

In a few days our country is going to be celebrating the Fourth of July. You know that holiday with the Declaration of Independence, that document that guaranteed liberty, the pursuit of happiness. You know the drill. One of the premier architects of that freedom from Great Britain was Thomas Paine. Paine was was an English-American author, pamphleteer who is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Colonial America. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–83), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” The beauty of America is that you could use the power of speech and the power of the pen to start a revolution. Thomas Paine did it and is regarded as a great American hero. Sugar Notch Council member Mario Fiorucci is doing the same thing but is getting arrested and charged with trespass. And Fiorucci is not advocating a revolution. All he is doing is passing out a one page document to borough residents (who by the way elected him to Council in 2009!) that highlights things going on in the town. Here are a few excerpts from the Town News obtained by LuLac: 
“A gaming funding (casino) grant for $85,000 was given to Sugar Notch for a 2012 Chevy Cruiser ($35,000) and a F 350 multi use dump truck ($53,000). 
“Karen Swast was retained by the council as a grant writer on a contingency basis”. 
“Sugar Notch is owed more than $100,000 in back sewer fees”. 
That’s what is in Mario Fiorucci’s town news. Nothing inflammatory, nothing revolutionary, nothing that smacks of treason. With all due respect, it smacks of boredom. But yet Fiorucci was charged with trespassing because he made a revelation about a used dump truck the Council bought that didn’t fit down the borough’s narrow streets. Former Council President Pat Dalton warned Fiorucci that his Town News was a dual offense of trespassing and littering. Within a month, Fiorucci, who writes the newsletter on his own time and dime was hauled in to a Magistrate’s office and charged with criminal trespass. This is a third degree felony. 
My God, if you are opening up a pizza joint, having a boy scout bake sale, or hawking Chinese Food delivery, don’t go on a porch in Sugar Notch with your flyers. You’ll get arrested. 
And note to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, 
DO NOT APPROACH THE FRONT PORCHES OF SUGAR NOTCH WITH A CAMPAIGN BUTTON, CARD OR FLYER BECAUSE CHIEF PELCHER WILL WRITE YOU UP AND SEND YOU TO THE GALLOWS! 
The charge was downgraded to “Simple Trespass” but listen to what it covers. Pennsylvania law defines trespassing as threatening or terrorizing an occupant. It also covers starting a fire or defacing a property. None of which Fiorucci did! All the guy did was drop off an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper to the residents who elected him. In an age where elected politicians avoid the press, limit public participation at public meetings and thumb their collective noses at the public, a guy like Fiorucci should be celebrated. But in Sugar Notch, he gets cited! (This is the same borough that didn’t want homeless people being housed in church shelters.) As if a homeless person is going to want to set down roots in Sugar Notch! Fiorucci was elected in 2009 because he went door to door. The old guard politicos don’t like him. And truth be told, Fiorucci can be an acquired taste. But his intentions are good and he and his one sheet are not a threat to anyone. I know small towns have their cliques and their neighborhoods. But that doesn’t trump freedom of speech and the right to tell your story. Trespassing is not a five second visit on a front porch to drop a flyer off. If it were, every freaking newspaper carrier in the country could be arrested. My advice to Fiorucci is to stop interacting with this police chief and the Council people trying to stomp on the American flag right before the Fourth of July. Mario Fiorucci,’s right are being violated. I’d pick up the phone and call the A.C.L.U. and maybe Attorney Barry Dyler. The actions of Sugar Notch are deplorable and scream, “small mind, small town, small time”. If Thomas Paine and the Founding Fathers saw this, they would most likely be asking, “What the hell did we do all this for? These idiots?” 

CORBETT’S BUDGET 

Tom Corbett is set to have another budget passed on time. The funding projections are getting better and there may be some dollars left over by the end of the fiscal year. Corbett’s budget weighs in at 27.7 billion dollars. State spending increases by $471 million, or 1.7 percent, from this year's $27.1 billion. Corbett had proposed holding spending level, but agreed to the increase because of improving tax collections. In reality, state spending increases by $371 million, or 1.4 percent Corbett is going to be using block grants to the tune of 100 million dollars to let the counties decide where best to spend the money. Two things are certain, the budget will get done on time and Corbett’s popularity will remain stagnant. Corbett is being a fiscal conservative in a state still in withdrawal from the check toting Rendell years. 

IF IT’S STRUCK…. 

Later on today, if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, this is what will be eiliminated. As you well know, President Obama signed the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – into law on March 23, 2010 and it’s already making a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans. The law is already holding insurance companies accountable and ensuring middle class families have secure, affordable health insurance. Thanks to the health care law: 
 • Preventive care --including mammograms for women and wellness visits – are available at no charge for everyone on Medicare.
 • 54 million Americans gained better preventive service coverage through their private health insurance plans.
 • By August 1, 12.8 million Americans will benefit from rebates provided by their insurance company because the company spent too much of their premium dollars on administrative costs or CEO bonuses. 
• 6.6. million young adults were able to sign up for coverage on their parents’ plans, including 3.1 million young adults who would have been uninsured without the law. 
• 5.3 million people with Medicare who hit the prescription drug donut hole saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs. 
• Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage because you got sick and made a mistake on your application. Nearly 16 million Americans who purchase insurance in the individual market are no longer at risk of losing their insurance. 
• Insurance companies can no longer limit the amount of coverage you can receive in a lifetime. Nearly 105 million privately insured American can now live with the security of knowing that their coverage will be there when they need it the most. These are just some of the ways the law is already making a positive difference for the American people. And now, you can see the latest data about how the law is helping your state by visiting HealthCare.gov/center. There, you’ll find a map with links to state-by-state data and facts about how the law is improving our health care system.
Luzerne County Councilman Rick Williams. 

WHAT AN IDEA 

Luzerne County Council member Rick Williams came up with a tried and true but tired old idea about workforce guidelines. Williams’ idea is not terribly original in the private sector but I guarantee you it is going to cause an upheaval in Luzerne County like you have never seen. His idea? Councilman William’s suggested workforce mandates for the administration, including switching all employees to a 40-hour work week and standardizing the number of vacation and sick days. Oh my God, there is going to be hell to pay for this. The Council has agreed to discuss it. And what a discussion it shall be. I’ll bet 1000 to 1 odds that the Court Administration will say, “We can’t do that!” The unions will freak and Williams might have to have a relative start his car every morning. As Maynard G. Krebs used to shriek, “Work?” 

NORA EPHRON 

Writer, movie producer, novelist, Nora Ephron died the other day at the age of 71. Her body of work filled the arena of pop culture in the late 20th century with seminal movies like “Heartburn”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Sleepless In Seattle” , “Julia” and “You’ve Got Mail”. Ephron’s movies were funny, sentimental and literate. I don’t think many of her movies today would be big sellers because in my opinion, movie goers today don’t have the attention span to think. Or appreciate good writing. She was a treasure. 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT 

 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 


Shadoe Steele presents Saturday Night Live at the Oldies this week from 7 to midnight on WILK AM and FM. Steele’s guest is Gloria Loring, that big blonde bombshell from “Days Of Our Lives”. To some she is Mrs. Alan Thicke. Tune in for a great interview this Saturday night. And donh’t forget about the ABC News on the top of the hour to keep you informed of what’s happening on the weekend. 

 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Weekend on Sunday Magazine…Brian Hughes speaks with the presumptive State Representative from the 112th Legislative District, Kevin Haggerty about state budget cuts, the financial problems in Scranton, and his plans should he be elected in November. Brian speaks with Karla Porter from the ARC of Luzerne County, who discusses the agency’s TRACE Program, which helps prepare developmentally disadvantaged individuals prepare for the workplace And an encore of Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning’s interview with Michael Tatulo and James May from PENNDOT, who discuss Fourth of July driving safety. 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 True Oldies 590, WARM

ECTV 

If "you can't see the forest for the trees" are there buildings to be seen in the city? The Lackawanna Historical Society plans a historical walk through downtown Scranton and Leni Piaskyre of the Society will offer a preview on ECTV Live with Tom Munley and David DeCosmo the week of July 2nd. ECTV Live is a Public Affairs program seen on Comcast Ch19.
Our "1967" logo. 

1967


Pope Paul VI ordains 276 new cardinals (one of whom is the future Pope John Paul II)...... The Buffalo Race Riot begins, lasting until July 1; leads to 200 arrests.......The first automatic cash machine (voucher-based) is installed, in the office of the Barclays Bank in Enfield, England.... Israel declares the annexation of East Jerusalem..........Canada celebrates its first one hundred years of Confederation.......In Pennsylvania, Lt. Governor Raymond Broderick tours the State Park system promoting the places as great vacation destinations in the Commonwealth……..in Wilkes Barre, the Redevelopment Authority signed a contract to sell 4700 square feet on South Main Street in Wilkes Barre to Provincial Towers in Philadelphia. The plan was set up to make luxury apartments on the site in the downtown and forty five years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was a song that has become one of the most performed, most requested and most heard tune of all time. Frankie Valli’s blockbuster hit, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2104, June 27th, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 

QUESTIONS WE’VE BEEN ASKING 

A letter to the Times Leader recently piqued my curiosity. The writer asked about the role of the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce. He posed a few good questions that many in this community have been asking for a long time. We’re still waiting for the answer: Congratulations to Bill Moore, the new executive director of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. We welcome him to the area and wish him well. I’m sure he’ll find the people of this Valley very accommodating. We have reasonable real estate prices and certainly a lot of homes for sale from which to choose. We are in close proximity to major cities, we have a wide variety of entertainment and we certainly have an abundance of pizza parlors. The news article on June 8 does leave us with some questions, however. Nowhere does it state Mr. Moore’s salary. Is it the same as Todd Vonderheid was making when he left us or has it been adjusted up or down? Who, in fact, actually pays this salary: federal, state or local government, or is it from member dues? How many employees does the chamber have, and are they all paid from the same funds as the executive director? What can the chamber point to over the years and say, specifically, that if it weren’t for its effort, this industry, this manufacturer, this store, restaurant chain, etc., would not be in the Valley? And how many jobs does it feel that its initiative brought to the Valley? Is there someone willing to respond to these questions? I and my cronies have wondered about this for years. 
Robert Hagen West Wyoming

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2103, June 26th, 2012

What is the percentage of a fair tax rate for the rich? Some are paying just 18%.

TAX RATE FACTS 

There has been a great deal of noise made about taxing the rich. If the rich get taxed too much, they won’t create jobs. Right now we have banks sitting on their hands not loaning money. We have employers hiding behind the Health Care Act because they won’t know what it will cost. But here are the hard cold facts about the tax rates for rich people. 
The tax rate now under this administration is 35%. 
The tax rate under Bill Clinton was 40%. 
The tax rate under Ronald Reagan was 70%. 
The tax rate in the 40s and 50s was 80%. 
It’s not about job creation or being afraid to invest. 
It’s about greed. 
And as the middle class recedes into a distant memory, 
it is fast becoming about treason.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2102, June 25th, 2012

Congressman Lou Barletta 

LOU VS. THE SUPREMOS 

The Supreme Court decision today on immigration got a predictable response from 11th District Congressman Lou Barletta. Barletta sent an e mail missive: 
This morning, the Supreme Court issued its opinion on Arizona’s illegal immigration law, SB 1070. The Court upheld the central provision, that if during the course of an investigation, or on a lawful stop, law enforcement may check an individual's immigration status with federal authorities, if there is reasonable suspicion a person is in the country illegally. This increased enforcement will be an additional deterrent to those who willfully break our laws. But the real problem is that the federal government isn’t enforcing its own immigration laws. Just a little over a week ago, President Obama unilaterally granted a back-door amnesty to up to 1.4 million illegal immigrants. It has to stop. I have been in this fight since it started. Before Arizona, when I was mayor of Hazleton, I created the Illegal Immigration Relief Act. Like Arizona, Hazleton was faced with a serious illegal immigration problem and the federal government refused to help. I took an oath to protect the people of Hazleton and when the federal government refused to do their job, I took action to defend my city. If keeping a steadfast, principled leader against illegal immigration in Washington is important to you, please click here to support my campaign. Make no mistake, those of us who are fighting against illegal immigration are under attack. It’s not just the president’s recent amnesty for illegals. The Justice Department is also suing Oklahoma, Missouri, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana for enforcing immigration laws. Speaking from my own experience leading the nation as the first mayor in the country to put tough, common sense anti-illegal immigration laws on the books, immigration enforcement is not something our state and local governments want to do. States like Arizona and communities like Hazleton have found they have no other choice when it comes to combating crime and protecting their residents, but to enforce the laws the federal government willfully ignores. I appreciate your support and, as always, will keep you updated with the latest in our fight against illegal immigration. Very truly yours, 
Lou Barletta 
PS. If the White House is going to work around Congress and the courts are going to take options off the table, we’ve got to re-ignite our fight in Washington. 
I like the Congressman personally. He is a nice man. This decision could have given him the opportunity to back away from this issue gracefully. Instead he’s diving back into it. Disagree with his stand but am amazed at his tenacity. 

THE DONUT HOLE 


OVER 5.2 MILLION PEOPLE WITH MEDICARE SAVE $3.7 BILLION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS 
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act average savings for seniors and people with disabilities this year is $651 As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 5,254,000 seniors and people with disabilities have saved a total of $3.7 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. The Centers for Medicare and  Medicaid Services (CMS) also released data today showing that in the first five months of 2012, 745,000 people with Medicare saved a total of $485.3 million on prescription drugs in “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $651 in savings this year. “Thanks to the health care law, millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “The law is helping people with Medicare lower their medical costs, and giving them more resources to stay healthy. By 2020, the donut hole will be fully closed thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” These savings are automatically applied to prescription drugs that people with Medicare purchase, after they hit the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole.” People with Medicare who hit the donut hole in 2010 received a one-time $250 rebate. In 2011, people with Medicare began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 7 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole. This year, Medicare coverage for generic drugs in the coverage gap has risen to 14 percent. Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase over time until 2020, when the coverage gap will no longer exist. For more information on how the Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare drug benefit coverage gap “donut hole,” please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/drug-discounts/index.html 

PCN TONIGHT AT 11 

The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air a special edition of Journalists Roundtable tonight at 11:00 p.m. The program will focus on the Jerry Sandusky trial and verdict. Joining host Corinna Wilson for an in-depth discussion on the topic will be Christina Butler of WHP-CBS21; Jeff Frantz of The Patriot-News; Ron Musselman of StateCollege.com; Dennis Owens of WHTM-ABC27 and Wes Oliver, a contributor for NBC News.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2101, June 24th, 2012

Dan McGrogan and John Diliberto protest the NDAA act signed by the President and voted on by Lou Barletta. 

SATURDAY PROTEST 

If you saw a couple of signs this past weekend near the VA Hospital, this is what it was about. The two sign carriers were protesting Lou Barletta’ and his vote on NDAA. The Act authorizes $662 billion funding, among other things "for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad." In a signing statement, President Obama described the Act as addressing national security programs, Department of Defense health care costs, counter-terrorism within the U.S. and abroad, and military modernization. The Act also imposes new economic sanctions against Iran (section 1045), commissions appraisals of the military capabilities of countries such as Iran, China, and Russia, and refocuses the strategic goals of NATO towards "energy security." The most controversial provisions to receive wide attention are contained in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled "Counter-Terrorism." In particular, sub-sections 1021 and 1022, which deal with detention of persons the government suspects of involvement in terrorism, have generated controversy as to their legal meaning and their potential implications for abuse of Presidential authority. Although the White House and Senate sponsors maintain that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) already grants presidential authority for indefinite detention, the Act states that Congress "affirms" this authority and makes specific provisions as to the exercise of that authority. The detention provisions of the Act have received critical attention by, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and some media sources which are concerned about the scope of the President's authority, including contentions that those whom they claim may be held indefinitely could include U.S. citizens arrested on American soil, including arrests by members of the Armed Forces. The duo also had a Ron Paul for President sign. I’m not sure how much awareness these two made this weekend for the issue but it was a nice day to get their message out. And LuLac was on the scene.  

DIAMOND CITY GETS RECOGNITION  

The local skating club got mentioned in Skating Magazine!!! SKATING with the local stars got its members and organization in the skating spotlight!!! And as they say in the infomercials,”Wait, there’s more!” The club will also be having their skating show: " Our friend Karel Zubris reports that “ Vacation on Ice" at the Ice Rink will happen at Coal Street Park. The Date: June 30th. June 30th. The Diamond City Figure Skating Club along with The Ice Rink at Coal Street will host the show that will feature guest skaters, special guests, and the Learn to Skate Program. This event is a fundraiser as well to help pay for the ice time so your support is appreciated. Admission is only $5 For adults, $3 for children and kids under 6 free. For more information regarding the show, the Ice Rink at Coal Street, or the Diamond City Figure Skating Club Visit www.coalstreeticerink.com or www.diamondcityfigureskatingclub.com or call the rink at 570-208-9473 

KAUFER’S PLAN 

State Representative candidate Aaron Kaufer is announcing an economic plan this Tuesday. Called Called PA FIRST, it is a program designed for Achieving Future Investments by Reforming State Taxes. He’ll explain it all to anyone who cares on Tuesday, 7PM June 26th at the Kingston American Legion. Kaufer is running against long time Representative Phyllis Mundy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2100, June 23, 2012

SANDUSKY CONVICTED

Friday, June 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2099, June 22nd, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at how people around here complain about 90 degree days as if it is the end of the world! It is summer, it gets hot, it gets humid and we get thunder storms. But as I’ve often said, and so many others including my friend Sue Henry’s mom, “you don’t have to shovel heat”. Enjoy the summer. It will go away sooner than you think and the dark, gray, cold death that is a LuLac winter will come soon enough. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……........................that there seems to be talk of a move by private investors, and members of the public to see if they can buy WARM Radio from Cumulus Broadcasting.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Shickshinny has fought all the way back from the devastating flood of 2011. To me it is the best family restaurant in Luzerne County. Fresh ingredients, good prices, relaxed atmosphere. And the fish fry was great. Good luck to the owners and staff who are coming back better than ever. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that even though I don’t watch a scintilla of the NBA throughout the year, the final championship week gets my attention. I’m glad Lebron James won a title. Only because I have worn out story lines that carry from year to year speculating “Will he ever do it?” 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the bride grooms stick around even after the hysterical brides appearances  on TLC’s “Say Yes To the Dress” by their women folk.  I do not watch but Mrs. LuLac does and I can’t help but hear the overflow of the show. God save us all!!! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the New York Daily News had the top New York Met team of all time. The all time manager was Davey Johnson instead of Gil Hodges. Johnson won in ’86, Hodges in ’69. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. But Hodges should’ve been named to the Hall of Fame too as a player. The team is 
 Catcher Mike Piazza 
1st base Keith Hernandez 
2nd base Edgardo Alfonso 
SS Jose Reyes 
3rd base David Wright 
LF Cleon Jones 
CF Carlos Beltran 
RF Darryl Strawberry 
RH Starter Tom Seaver 
LH Starter Jerry Koosman 
RF Reliever Roger McDowell 
LH Reliever Tug McGraw 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that Texas Outfielder Josh Hamilton has succumbed to the Sports Illustrated curse. Since appearing on SI in early June, Hamilton who had the greatest start of any player in 80 years has hit only .211 with 12 strikeouts. Stay off that magazine. Stay off that magazine unless you’re a super model. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the feds had a series of Jerry Sandusky’s other victims waiting in case they lost the case they built against the former Penn State coach. One of the most stunning announcements was that Sandusky’s own adopted son was one of the victims.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2098, June 21st, 2012


Ed Rendell's great book, "A Nation of Wusses". 

LOVE YA ED…..BUT 

You know I think Ed Rendell is one of the best Governors we ever had. You know I met the guy at least a half dozen times. You know that I would never do anything to criticize my man. But in a PCN interview with Francine Schertzer (one of our 2008 “Women We Love” award winners) the Governor made a slight historical error. (I just saw the DVR version of this the other night). In response to a question from a caller regarding on mandatory retirement age for politicians at the age of 70, Rendell said that great leaders governed well into their 70s. He mentioned Conrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt as people who were at the top of their game well past 70. He was correct on everyone but FDR. Roosevelt was born in 1881, he died in 1945 at the age of 64. But Ed did redeem himself when asked by Schertzer if he would ever run for any higher office. Rendell said that in order to be President, he’d have to spend three years of his life visiting Iowa and New Hampshire. Classic answer. If you’ev ever been to Iowa or New Hampshire, and met some of those people, you’ll realize that in those states is where God parked all the _ _ _holes.
State Senator John Yudichak (right) and Osterhout Free Library Director Rick Miller. 

YUDICHAK WALKS THE WALK


John Yudichak has actually done something that area politicians have not. In terms of promising to fund libraries, he actually did it! Politicians, take note. Keep your promise! The Yudichak Family Fund of the Luzerne Foundation recently donated $5,000 to fund the 2012 county-wide Summer Reading Club of The Luzerne County Library System. The Yudichak Family also funded the program in 2011. The kickoff for the Summer Reading Club was held today at the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center at King’s College. A similar program was held later on in the afternoon in Hazleton at the Middle School which is fondly known as “The Castle”. The kickoff featured a ‘Life in Space’ show being presented by The Franklin Institute. In addition, Yudichak bought a whole slew of books from Governor Ed Rendell last week and donated them to all of the area libraries. 

HEALTH CARE REBATE 

Yeah, you’re reading it right. Because of the Affordable Health Care Act that has been demonized by the do nothing Republicans in the House and Senate, more than half a million Pennsylvanians will get a health care rebate. That dreaded Obama care that is going to screw you over and cost you so much more money (the demagogues will tell you that) will actually get you a check this summer. Take a look at this: 
Health care law saves Pennsylvania consumers $51.6 million Health care law provides rebates to 576,000 Pennsylvanians 
Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 576,000 Pennsylvania residents will benefit from $51.6 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule. These rebates will average $165 for the 312,000 Pennsylvania families covered by a policy. The health care law generally requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of consumers’ premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement. Insurers can spend the remaining 20 percent on administrative costs, such as salaries, sales and advertising. Beginning this year, insurers must notify customers how much of their premiums have been spent on medical care and quality improvement. Insurance companies that do not meet the 80/20 standard are required to provide their customers a rebate for the difference no later than August 1, 2012. The 80/20 rule is also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) standard. "The 80/20 rule helps ensure consumers get fair value for their health care dollar," Secretary Sebelius said. Pennsylvanians owed a rebate will see their value reflected in one of the following ways: 
a rebate check in the mail;  a lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that is used to pay the premium if by credit card or debit card; 
a reduction in their future premiums; and 
their employer providing one of the above, or applying the rebate in a manner that benefits its employees. Insurance companies that do not meet the 80/20 standard will send their policyholders a rebate for the difference no later than August 1, 2012. Consumers will also receive a notice from their insurance company informing them of the 80/20 rule, whether their company met the standard, and, if not, how much of a difference between what the insurer did or did not spend on medical care and quality improvement will be returned to them. For the first time, all of this information will be publicly posted on HealthCare.gov this summer, allowing consumers to learn what value they’re getting for their premium dollars in their health plan. For many consumers, the 80/20 rule motivated their plans to lower prices or improve their coverage to meet the standard. This is one of the ways the 80/20 rule is bringing value to consumers for their health care dollars. 

SCHOOL BUS VIDEO 

A Rochester school bus monitor was brutalized verbally recently by little snots who have no respect for an adult, a service worker hauling their dainty asses right to their doorsteps . The glory of You Tube gave us a disgusting account of what passes for how the next generation is being raised. A fund was set up for the woman (which I don’t entirely agree with, we all get crap at one time or another in our jobs). If I ran the world in this situation, I would surcharge every parent of these little bastards (and given the unwed birth stats in our country I bet that term is a majority) $1000.00. And if they didn’t pay it, I’d expel the kids. 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT


MEDIA MATTERS 



WNEP TV's Jacqueline Boulde. 

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW 

WNEP TV recently announced that they were going to open up a news bureau on Public Square in  Wilkes Barre. The News Station plans to have a few crews downtown. In the 80s, the office At 15 Public Square was staffed by Mark Davis and Jacqueline Boulden. 

ECTV 


ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be getting ready to celebrate our Nation's Birthday as they welcome historian Bill Lewis to their program the week of June 25th. Mr. Lewis will be discussing the events that lead to the Battle of Wyoming. A monument to that historic event is the focal point of an Independence Day observation each year to which the public is invited. ECTV Live is telecast on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with selected airings at 6pm several days during the week.  

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine. Brian Hughes interviews veteran radio and TV newscaster David DeCosmo about his experiences in covering Tropical Storm Agnes as this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Agnes flood and its devastation of the Wyoming Valley. Plus Dave lets us know what he's up to these days. 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 True Oldies 590, WARM.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 


This week Shadoe Steele will have as his guest Peter Frampton. Steele will air an interview with Frampton as well as play the very best in oldies music from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM and FM with ABC News on the top of the hour.
Our "1967" logo.

1967


In the Cold War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for the 3-day Glassboro Summit Conference. Johnson travels to Los Angeles for a dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel where earlier in the day thousands of war protesters clashed with L.A. police...........400 million viewers watch Our World, the first live, international, satellite television production. It features the live debut of The Beatles' song "All You Need is Love". .......in Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer states that Pennsylvania needs to do more to attract visitors to its historical sights like Gettysburg and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Shafer says that the added revenue would solidify the Commonwealth’s designation as the Keystone State……locally the Luzerne County Commissioners can’t agree on a Merit Personnel Policy that keeps county workers who are under review (isn’t that a concept???) in limbo and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLacland and America was Jimmy Webb’s “Up, Up and Away” that put the 5th Dimension on the musical map.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2097, June 20th, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

A REVENUE SOURCE OR REFORM? 

For years State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski has been saying that there could be affordable health care for low income Pennsylvanians. Pashinski has been advocating that the money come from the Vendor Tax which raises over 70 million dollars every year. The state needed about 49 million to save the Adult Basic program. This past week, the Citizen’s Voice ran an editorial about the future of the Vendor Tax. It is, like many things governmental in Pennsylvania behind the times. Here’s what the newspaper opined: 
Back when you bought hardware at the local hardware store, prescriptions at the neighborhood pharmacy and clothes at a local shop, it made sense for the state government to reward those merchants for collecting the state sales tax and turning over the money regularly, on time. The process was labor-intensive and imposed significant costs on small retailers, who kept handwritten books. Now, of course, the process is automated for almost all retailers, especially for the big-box hardware, electronics and general merchandise retailers that have replaced the corner store. Yet the commonwealth continues to allow vendors to keep 1 percent of the sales taxes they collect if they turn over the money on schedule. Former Gov. Ed Rendell proposed eliminating the vendor discount about five years ago, arguing that the computerization of retail sales and accounting had rendered it unnecessary. Now, Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed a modified version, capping the discount at $250 per month. Substantial revenue is at stake. According to the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the vendor discount will leave $71 million in tax collections with retailers by June 30, the end of the current fiscal year. More than $1 million each will go to just five companies - Walmart alone will retain up to $3.1 million - and another 11 will keep $500,000 or more each. To keep $500,000, a company would to have more than $833 million in taxable sales. Among all retailers, however, most are small. About 74 percent will retain $50 or less. There is no reason to continue paying massive retailers to collect taxes they are required by law to collect, especially since the heavy lifting of doing so has been taken over by automated systems. Lawmakers should adopt the revision not only for the revenue, but as one step toward modernizing the state's tax structure.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2096, June 19th, 2012

This photo was taken in 1984 when Don Linker decided that I needed a bigger office. So he prevailed upon the Executive Director at the time, Chuck Reynolds to move me. Out of his area. It was my idea to have an open house and Don thought we should have a ribbon cutting. From left to right are; the late Don Linker, your bog site editor (that was a Mondale button in my lapel), Carol Housock, my boss at the time Martina Martin, Marie Harzinski from Wyoming National Bank and Dan Chipego from Wilkes Barre General. (The blond woman is a little obscured and I’m sorry to say that I do not remember the name of the gray haired woman with the black glasses). But Linker is the guy on the left and looking at his face, I’m sure you’ll realize that this guy loved life.  

L. DONALD LINKER 

I first met L. Donald Linker at the old United Way building on South Main Street. The UW was in the basement of the parking garage and the quarters were pretty tight. I began work as an assistant to the then Communications Director Frank Pasquini and naturally I got there early. As I sat in the lobby, I saw this man approaching me like a missile  shot out of a cannon. He stood in front of me and asked, “Are you lost?” and I replied that I was waiting for my new boss to start work in the Communication Department. He then replied, “Well you’re in the right place but I still think you’re lost!” At that he turned on his heels and carrying a stack of papers,  he walked down the hall cackling the most authentic joyful laugh I had ever heard. That was the start of an incredible professional workplace friendship that was an education, a mentoring for me as well as wildly entertaining. In a time when social service agencies are being cut to the bone, it is important to remember that in the 60, 70s, and 80s, Don Linker was most likely responsible for helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in this community of Wyoming Valley. Now it is true that the area companies, workers, CEOs and major corporations provided the money, but it was Linker through incredible organization and passion that got the solicitation teams together to get that money. He knew the delicate balance of how a community organization worked. He knew the power players, he knew the wannabees and he also knew the rivals. Incredibly he knew where to place each individual where they could do the most good for the community. 
The most frantic time in Linker’s life was in the middle of the United Way campaign. United Way had a Loaned Executive program where companies paid a person for the duration of the entire campaign. (Current United Way CEO Bill Jones was a Loaned Executive in the mid 80s). The job of the “LE” was to go out and raise money. Linker trained them for about a day and a half and then said “Go get ‘em”. And they did. Around October 15th of every campaign, just after Columbus Day, Linker would walk around saying “This campaign is going to be a disaster”. Despite financial reports to the contrary, you could never convince him. Until he saw the final totals the night of the victory diner, he was subdued. But when the goal was met, and the volunteers were thanked, he knew he had done some good. A fundraising campaign has to have a General, a coordinator and a Drill Sergeant. Linker was the drill sergeant. 
When the United Way office moved to 9 East Market, across from City Hall, Linker had the office all the way down the hall. By that time we had worked together for a few years and had mini conferences in his office. We called them “RCs”. Reality checks. Working in an organization, we both (especially me) saw people say and do things that just kind of made us wonder. As I sat down at his desk, he’d lean over and conspiratorially whisper, (mind you the office door was closed) ‘Did you hear that?” or “Did you believe that guy?” I think it kept me sane and entertained. 
Twice we were roommates at United Way staff conferences. Bunking together to save expenses, Linker was the perfect room mate. He was up in the morning and out the door by 6:30AM going to breakfast meetings with United Way cronies from all across the country and was usually in bed by 9pm. He’d always ask, “Did you call you’re wife”? and if I answered and said, “Not yet”, he bellowed from his bed saying, “Do it now because I don’t have time to go to court if she throws you out”. My two favorite places to go with him was Fairfax Virginia (where the United Way of America was headquartered) and New York City. In Virginia there was a restaurant called “Henry Africas”. I usually dined alone because Linker was working the room asking other United Way people in town for the conferences and meetings how they raised more money for their agencies. He’d come back with a little notebook stacked with ideas and numbers and then say “When we get home, type this in a list so I know what the hell those jokers said to me!” I read in the paper today that my friend, and the friend to many in the social service community Don Linker passed away Sunday at the age of 86. I had not seen Don in years but thought about him almost every week when I had a business situation at work or most recently when I tried to understand the logic in Governor Corbett’s cutting of Human Services across the state. While many might whine and complain, I somehow knew that Don Linker might be plotting a way to get more money for those less fortunate to keep those needed services. 
A final Linker story. On one of our trips to New York City, I prevailed upon him to go with me to the Carnegie Deli. Linker, not a very big eater was appalled at the size of the sandwiches I ordered for the both of us. Because it was the Carnegie Deli, they were sandwiches and at that time you had to ask for silverware. Staring at the sandwich, he said, “How the hell am I gonna eat this without a knife or fork?” He then started to pester a surly waiter who in typical pre Giuliani style, ignored him. The waiter came over and asked, “What do you want?’ And Don replied, “Silverware”. The guy then retreated back and within minutes at least a dozen pieces of knives, forks and spoons came flying at us (most of them hit me) and the waiter said, “There, ya got enough for a wedding”. At first appalled, he told me, “You know I think he might not like his job, what’dya think?” And within seconds came a booming New York voice of the waiter who yelled, “I like my job just fine there baldy. Better leave a good tip”. Which we did. 
During the 80s when I worked at United Way, Don would spend his lunch hours getting his then aging dad lunch. He’d leave the office and drive up to the Heights and try to get his father to eat some food. There were good days and not so good days. Sitting behind his desk, munching on whatever left over his father didn’t eat, he’d say, “Man, I’m going be at the gates of heaven before him the way he’s driving me crazy." Turns out that like all adult children who became caregivers of aging parents, that of course wasn’t the case. But if there are gates of heaven, I’m sure he sailed right through. The lobby of heaven is another matter entirely. Linker is most likely still stuck there, stalled on his way to his final destination. With that out sized personality, genuine kindness and hysterical laugh, he always knew how to work a room.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2095, June 18th, 2012

Friends of the Library Book sale invite. 

LULAC BOOKS 

Want to own a piece of LuLac? All you need to do is stop by the Osterhout Free Library book sale this week at the Library. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Mrs. LuLac prevailed upon me to get rid of 5 big boxes of books. 99% of them were political and sports biographies. And they are in pristine condition. Titled like David McCullough’s Harry Truman, the Stephen Ambrose book on D Day as well as tomes on Nixon and the Kennedys are all there. Mrs. LuLac also donated 5 boxes too so you’ll see some English literature and science fiction there too. People donate used books through the year and even though we have been saying we would do that for ten years, we finally got around to it. Check them out all this week on South Franklin Street. The books are cheap, in good condition and everything you spend helps the Osterhout.
A major footnote in history, Frank Wills. 

WATERGATE 40 YEARS ON

This weekend was the 40th anniversary of the break in of the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C. That burglary started the scandal known as Watergate which ultimately led to the resignation of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon. The initial reaction of political insiders at the time was incredulity. Why would a Presidential campaign, leading by double digits attempt a robbery at a party headquarters? At the time the Democrats were a hapless bunch, just having gone through a divisive primary fight that pitted the old guard of the party vs. the new, peace wing of the party structure. While they were raising money, the party was totally disorganized and working at cross purposes. The unions were wary of the presumptive nominee George McGovern and his staffers did not trust anyone or anybody from the old guard. Life long friendships of the major party players were strained. McGovern and Hubert Humphrey, friends for years were barely speaking. With all of this happening, one had to wonder, why bother. I always thought that the Nixon hatred for the Kennedys was a compelling reason. An old Kennedy hand, Larry O’Brien was Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (he later became Commissioner of the NBA, they named the championship trophy after him) and might have been the reason Nixon’s people decided to do this. The Washington Post started covering this as a police story. A lone reporter Bob Woodward starting working it but then was joined by Carl Bernstein. At the preliminary hearing, when it was revealed that one of the burglars, James McCord was employed by the CIA, the radar of the duo went up. From that day, the Watergate scandal buzzed around the Nixon administration like a buzzard circling a dead animal. I was at school in the summer and fall of 1972 in Washington, D.C. I visited the McGovern headquarters often. They were convinced there was chicanery from that burglary. On a visit to the Nixon headquarters, no one, and I mean no one spoke of it. As 1972 morphed into 1973, it was decided that a bi partisan committee be set up to investigate. It was made up of both Democrats and Republicans who wanted to know the truth. Under the political climate of today, this committee would never exist. We all know the events that transpired but the historical about face came about because a lowly paid security guard, a rent a cop if you will, noticed tape where the burglars taped the door. Frank Wills noticed a piece of duct tape on one of the door locks when he was making his rounds. He removed it, and continued on his patrol. One of the five burglars —take your pick, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio González, Eugenio Martínez, Bernard Barker and James W. McCord, Jr. — noticed that the tape had been removed, and replaced it with another piece of tape on the door (the tape was placed over the latch bolt to prevent the door from latching). When Mr. Wills returned, he saw that the tape had been replaced and called in the police. After that, all hell broke loose and it all happened 40 years ago this past weekend. 

HUGO’S NEW SQUEEZE 

On a front page story this past Saturday, the Citizen’s Voice revealed that Hugo Selinski has a new admirer. Turns out his new honey has been visiting him and helping research his upcoming trial. When a few friends of mine wondered how this Moosic woman could ever be infatuated with Mr. Selinski, I remember how a few years ago many local women (and yes I know some of the pickings are few around here but you’d never know it given all the illegitimate kids being birthed in LuLac land) thought that Hugo was just dreamy. Then I looked at her major and realized why she fell. In my book, a psychology degree equal psycho babble. Case closed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2094, June 17th, 2012

The late John Mikolaczyk and his son Dale, aka Shadoe Steele/Rusty Fender. 
  

FATHER’S DAY

Every year on this day, I endeavor to do something different to highlight the importance of this day. As the years pass between the time my dad died, (now going on 33 years) I can’t help but wish I could have him for thirty seconds and simply say, “You were right…..about everything”. But since I can’t, the next best things are memories. The past few years I shared my memories, and we also had sons of political fathers share their own thoughts. (The most genuine came from former Senator Ray Musto on the career of his father James Musto). When I was preparing this year’s edition, I decided to call on my friend and broadcast icon Shadoe Steele, aka Rusty Fender, aka Dale Mikolaczyk.  Shadoe always told the story of how he convinced his father to bid on an artifact that was being sold at auction at Rocky Glenn Park. Shadoe was working in New York and could not attend. He’ll tell the story in the body of this interview. But when I first heard it, I envisioned my friend’s father as a combination of TV dads. I thought of the fiscal responsibility and stability of Ward Cleaver. Throw in a little Jim Anderson who always wasn’t sure of the logistics of what Bud was doing with that engine but trusted in his ability. And then add the sense of adventure and reckless abandon of an adventure with his son and you get a little Phil Dunphy. In my conversation with Ed Rendell at his book signing the other night, he touched upon how the death of his father when he (Rendell) was 14 and how his dad's values impacted him on so many levels that even today they are vivid reminders. I think that is not unusual with surviving sons of fathers. We all wish we had them longer (Shadoe’s dad actually died on Father’s Day) we’re still trying to figure them out and we are praying that we honor them with our lives. There are many Father’s Day stories in LuLac land, this is just one of them. 
On Father's Day, when other people are taking their dad out to eat or buying them something, does the loss of your father hurt more? 
As my life usually runs in high melodrama, nothing hurts more than not having John around on Fathers' Day as it was on Father's Day June 17th 2001 that he passed! Both the day and date match up with Father's Day this year, but that is one of those times that sticks in my mind forever! How long has your father been gone? 11 years to the day TODAY! 
Your father was part of that WWII era. I found that with most dads of that era, there was no in between. you either had the character type of the strong silent type. Which was your dad? 
John was the strong, silent type, I never saw him cry! Unlike me who is always at a pedal-to-the-metal race with life, John was smooth and unflinching, nothing bothered him, EVER... except for the time I broke an upstairs window at our house on Main Street Duryea playing baseball in the schoolyard which is now behind the borough building in town! That line drive cost me my bicycle privileges for 2-weeks, but what a hit that was! 
How did your father's work influence you in your chosen career. My dad was on the railroad and never took me to see the trains because I think he wanted me to do better in a life's career than he did. You know, not to be outside every day in heat, cold and rain. How about your dad? 
The only thing that influenced me was my father's incredible work ethic, much like mine. He never took a sick day in his life and neither did I, he worked 7-days a week and never took a vacation much like myself. His entire career was as District Supervisor with A&P Supermarkets for 46-years, his only job in life! On the other hand in broadcasting I had to leave the area, working in New York City for 20-years, something I look back on now as a great break in the aerospace/satellite engineering business as there would have been no chance for me to be employed in that field unless I wanted to teach it, and I do that now and for the last 7-years at Wilkes University. My father started with A&P as a bag boy in the 1940s after serving with General George Patton in WWII and was in both the Battle of the Bulge and at Normandy. 
When did you feel you and he had an adult, equal footing understanding, if ever? 
Never, LOL! I found only during the final years that he had a great and deep respect for me and the things I accomplished in a rare field of high-tech engineering. He never understood what controlling the telemetry of C- and Ku Band communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit entailed and he didn't really care. John knew I did something that was out of the ordinary and that I made an incredible salary doing it, but through life if I said black, John said white! 
Did it help or hinder you as being an only child? 
Being an only child was the greatest part of life - I know this is very different than what most only-siblings would probably say. My parents were my friends! My mother, an English teacher, educated me years beyond what I would learn through formal education and it is because of her I've been so lucky in my career fields! 
What are the best strengths you think you inherited from your father? 
A work ethic second to none, people will stop me on the street at least once a week and ask me if I EVER take a day off to which I reply NO! Coincidentally I have just returned from my 4-days off per year at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wyoming and Montana and Sun Valley Idaho until next June's vacation! I do get 5-weeks vacation and 10-personal holidays per year but take only the 4-days as it's easier for me to keep things in order this way. 
There are certain fathers that stay aloof from their kid's hobbies. At least one time your father was not. Can you tell us the famous caper of the item you bought at Rocky Glenn Park's auction? 
On August 24th 1988, Norton's of Michigan (long before there was an eBay) were and are the world renowned auctioneers of the famed Rock Glen Park, an institution in this region for a century. I could not get the day off from the NBC Television Network at 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York City where I was working so special arrangements had to made between my father, Penn Security Bank and Norton, weeks before the auction. As I had already pre-arranged to be there myself and had spent about $150.00 for registration (just for the privilege of bidding) my bank had to provide a statement of funds contained in a savings or checking account so if a bid were made for an item that day, they knew there was sufficient funding via the bank to accept the bid, it still works this way today. This was a very complicated process especially in 1988. I told my father I wanted 4-items I thought may still be available for auction and were still in use in the arcade up to the early 1980s, the first being a Dodgem from the bumper car ride, the 2nd: the "Williams" mechanical bulldozer arcade game. For a nickel the player had to push as many 'dried lentils' into a chute which led to a scale, pushed by a player-controlled bulldozer at a work site mock-up, after which the high score (for the total amount of beans moved) would get another free game, the 3rd - the Mike Munves Corporation 'Grandma' paraffin wax, motorized fortune teller in an oak and glass 'phone booth' sized cabinet, which for a dime, the figurine dressed in 1920s clothing would move her hand over a tarot card deck and illuminated crystal ball and a fortune would drop out of a wooden slot beneath the coin slot, the 4th was an oak 23' SkeeBall alley. It turned out there were many amusement park 'operators' there, the carousel horses from the Merry-Go-Round, all Skee-Ball alleys and all Dodgem cars went to massively high bidders from other parks around the country and are still in use (the Merry-Go-Round is now in Central Florida.) The Williams "Construction Site" bulldozer was probably scooped up my Marvin Roth of the Roth Novelty Company on Pennsylvania Avenue Wilkes-Barre (before the auction) as many of his collection items were displayed at his "Station Complex" property at Market Street Square in the early 80s. The 'Grandma' was available but my father knew there were going to be some high stakes involved with this, as the bidding "started" out at $5 thousand! I had told John to go just a little higher than $10 thousand for any item if it was available, "regardless of condition" and although he thought I was out of my mind, he complied. The bidding slowed around $9 thousand and it was just my father and the bidder from the South in it. The auctioneer asked for $9500 and the floor was silent - my father threw in the final $10 thousand (although he later told me he would have gone to $11 firm) and the bidding ended! Although refurbishing the cabinet and mechanical elements "detracted" a bit from its worth (even with kid's initials, cigarette burns and chips in the oak cabinet, it would have been worth a bit more if I left it as is) Weller Woodworking from Hamlin was the ONLY place I would even dream of allowing to redo the piece! Chris Weller was so taken by the 'Grandma' he asked permission from me to allow video-taping of the restoration process to be used in their demonstration video for prospective clients, "still in use today!" The total restoration cost an addition $10 thousand including precise detailing of every screw, bolt and nut of the machine during dismantling as the entire 1200 pound cabinet had to be immersed in the wood-stripping solution tank. Today, 3 'Grandmas' exist in the world, two are in Germany, owned by US citizens, and mine - last appraised in 2000 (for insurance purposes) at over $77 thousand, and restored to pristine '1st State' museum condition. 
Okay, going to put you on the spot. What was your favorite place to go in the summer with your dad. Rocky Glen Park or the Mr. Peanut Store at the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville? 
Great question David, how did you know? 
I remember everything people tell me. It’s a blessing and a curse. So which is it? 
My father would stop at Mr. Peanut almost every Sunday in the Gateway Shopping Center Edwardsville for fresh-made peanut brittle. Although John and I hiked past Rocky Glen Park starting at River Street Scranton, walking south along the adjacent Erie-Lackawanna Railroad track (which still exists) during the winter of 1968, we were NEVER both at Rocky Glen Park together. 
I always have this small wish that if I could get my father back for one minute in this lifetime, I'd be happy. I figure I'd tell him something or ask him something. If you had that opportunity what would you say to your father? 
I'd be happy just to see him again. We were like the 1974 Harry Chapin song "Cat's In The Cradle", we never had time for each other - either he was working or I was working out-of-town in New York City all my life, and when we finally had a few minutes, he was gone. Thank you for letting me share these personal moments with you and the BlogSpot readers, David! 
My pleasure. Wish I had met him.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2093, June 16th, 2012


Ed Rendell taking pen in hand at Barnes & Noble Friday night. (Photo John Dawe).
Blog editor with Ed Rendell. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac). We have another photo from the Citizen's Voice Kristen Mullen coming in future editions. 

RENDELL IN WILKES BARRE 

Okay, I am going to admit it. To some of you it might not be a surprise, but to others who have not read this site, I’ll say it loud and proud: I LOVE ED RENDELL. Not in the Seinfeld “not that there’s anything wrong with that” manner but just in a pure political admiration sense. I personally first became aware of Rendell when he gave a most touching eulogy for the late Richie Ashburn. I wasn’t there in person but I saw it on TV and thought, “man can this guy connect with people”. It wasn’t the fact that Rendell, in that speech referenced baseball fans listening to Ashburn on tiny transistor radios or the history of the Whiz Kids. It was the way he said it, the passion and excitement that wanted you to be part of his memory. Rendell wanted his memories of Ashburn to be yours. Since then, I was a Rendell backer. The former Pennsylvania Governor brought that out sized personality and passion for it seems everything in the world to Barnes & Noble on Friday night. He was signing copies of his book “A Nation of Wusses” in which he calls out various leaders in the nation for not taking a stand. Arriving shortly before 7, Rendell sat at a small table armed with a few pens and a bottle of water and greeted the folks who bought his book. I was expecting to see the hoi poloi of local elected political leaders but then I realized it would mean they’d have to pay for the book. Scratch that. Rendell  did though attend a private gathering at the Woodlands so that current elected officials would not have to get their hands dirty by mingling with the regular people of LuLac land. God forbid Sid Michaels Kavulich, Bill Barrett or Kathy Kane would have to put up with that indignity!!!!!!! No, the people who came to see Ed Rendell were young Democrats inspired by his progressive thoughts on social issues. After the signing, Rendell even made a stop with the younger crowd at The Twist Bar on Route 315. Rendell greeted a mix of young and old who obviously had an interest in what he had to say. As I  waited for my turn,  that took me back to the days of the early 80s when I stood in line at autograph shows to meet the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. I was fortunate enough to interview those guys too so when they signed my item and gave me the perfunctory nod, I barely noticed. Because it was after all a business transaction, I paid, they signed. When I had the opportunity to sign my books at various venues, my anal sense of order wanted to keep those lines (such as they were) moving. But this event last night was something else. Rendell greeted everyone and then dove into telling the buyer about the book. When a woman asked about Hillary, Rendell with the excitement of a kid that got an A on a Chemistry test grabbed the book and rapidly leafed through the chapters to point out what he wrote about the former Senator and First Lady. When a buyer who was not necessarily familiar with Rendell’s policies got his book signed and mentioned the Philadelphia sports teams, Rendell picked up the book and pointed to the area where he wrote about the man’s referenced comment and said, “Oh you have to read this part. Don’t miss out on this”. A woman taking photos for a friend of hers commenting on how handsome he looked and he just sheepishly rolled his eyes and said “thanks” The interesting thing about the way he interacted with people was this: he already sold the book. There was no percentage in adding more to the purchase, at least for the average author. But Rendell wanted the buyer/reader to really read the parts that were connecting with them. My encounter was very similar to the more than 200 people who turned out. One of the great political strengths of Ed Rendell was the unbridled enthusiasm for any of his undertakings. He was so excited that you just knew you had to be part of it or you were missing out on something special. That’s what happened Friday night when Ed signed his book “A Nation of Wusses”. Mrs. LuLac who was never a fan (especially with the controversial library cuts in his first term) even admitted, he had that ability to draw you in even though you might not like some of the things he did as Governor.  He took stands. He was no wuss. Which I guess is the point of the book. We need more public servants like him.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2092, June 15th, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 
  

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED………but shouldn’t be surprised that so much money is being spent in this Presidential Election year. There are so many political action committees raising so much money that this is going to break all records. Plus, if you are individual and you have a lot of loot, you can write one big check to attack a candidate or support it. Then there was Sarah Jessica Parker who hosted a dinner at $40,000 a pop to dine with the Obamas. With all due respect to Matthew Broderick, I’d maybe take a loan of $40,000 to not dine with Sarah Jessica Parker. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the folks at Cigna Health Care are telling people they are hiring more than 140 new people. The reason why they need to hire so many new people is because the place, I’m told is a meat grinder and goes through more people than Carter goes through liver pills. And when qualified people with experience apply, they go for the kids. What a joke. My opinion only but I’m sure there will be many who will agree. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that work is progressing very well at PNC Park. I drove by there the other day and the upper deck is now off and things look on track for 2013. I might have mentioned it before but once you had baseball here for over 20 years, there is a void in the gold old summer time. Looking forward to next year at the old ball park. For the past 5 years, LuLac has gathered together a bunch of cronies and picked one game at the end of the year. We’re going to miss that this summer. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..at the total grace shown by Indiana Senator Richard Luger who has been nothing but statesmanlike after getting beaten by a right wing zealot. Jeb Bush had it right the other day when he said there is no place for him (Jeb Bush) in this modern day GOP. If Romney is defeat6ed, look for Jeb Bush to lead a coalition to take the party back from the “I want my country back” crazies of the right. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… at the way people meet and greet me in public in reaction to LuLac. It is most rewarding that people read and when there is disagreement, it is done very professionally and politely. Thanks. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the number of people who are dying to know the identity of Professor Milburn Cleaver, a frequent poster on this site. I too am curious as to the sex, location, and whereabouts of the good Professor. While many people do not like his posts, he states his opinion somewhat respectfully and always has a ton of insight. So whatever the identity, I’m glad he writes and gives his thoughts. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..at the speed in which the Jerry Sandusky trial is moving. The Judge is motoring along and seems to have been the anti Lance Ito. Ito, you recall was the Judge in the O.J. trial that enabled the whole thing to become a circus. You could tell that was not going to happen here. One of the by products of the o.J. trial was how not to conduct a high profile trial. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that it has been 17 years since the killing of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. Plus it’s been four years ago this week for the anniversary of the shocking death of NBC Newsman Tim Russet. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..........that in this same week in the year 2003, Roger Clemens got his 4,000th strikeout and 300th win. Now 9 years later he is awaiting his fate from a jury who will decide whether he lied to Congress or not. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the “remake” of Dallas this week featured a cast of backstabbers that would put the original cast to shame. Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman and his maniacal eyebrows return to TV for this do over. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the guy who is accused of torching the Plains Little League field was caught because he dropped h9is cell phone during the course of the crime. He allegedly set the fire to cover up the crime of making off with a deep fryer. If you can afford a cell phone, I’m thinking you can afford a deep fryer. Unless he got one of those cell phones from the government. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at what you find when you are looking for something else. As you know governor Rendell was in town Friday night to sign copies of his new book at Barnes & Noble. Two nights before, Mrs. LuLac and I were trying to find the 2003 invitations from the Rendell inaugural. I figured it would be a nice thing for him to sign.We looked through everything and never found them. But we found Mrs. LuLac’s birth announcement, her father’s selective service identification, pictures of my late mother as a young girl as well as pictures of Mrs. LuLac as a little girl. So even though the original search failed, the fruits of our labor were more than we could have expected.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2091, June 14th, 2012

From "OkayPolitechs", Obama as Urkel.

OBAMA’S ECONOMIC MESSAGE 

President Obama has to retool his message on the economy. If he doesn’t, he will lose. He will not lose like Gerald Ford did to Jimmy Carter in 1976. He will lose like George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992. Everyone knows that elections are won by the swing voters. The bedrock constituencies of both parties are going to stay put. They aren’t going away. You are not going to have a pro life Republican vote for Obama. Conversely, you aren’t going to have a public sector employee vote for Mitt Romney. That said, the President’s message that in order for the economy to grow, we need more teachers, policemen, firefighters and public sector employees is downright mystifying. Here’s why: 
1. With family income and individual wages plummeting to a 1995 level, there are people in this economy who are struggling. They are paying 2012 bills on a 1995 salary. Because they want a better life, more are applying for some of those public sector jobs. Because of the budget cuts and the poor outlook on these jobs, these ambitious job seekers are getting turned down. That is making them frustrated and angry. People want to do better…but can’t. Don’t remind them of hope and change. 
2. Most people in and out of the workforce make less than the people in public sector jobs. That’s all the people who are making less see. They don’t see the cutbacks, the belt tightening, the larger workload. All they see is that someone else has a public sector job and they are making more than they are. 
3. Firemen and policemen are extremely important in the concrete. When we are robbed or mugged, the immediate action by the police is comforting, expected. When there is a fire, we see the public service workers risking their lives to save our homes. But in the abstract, when the need is selective and not immediate, when the fire is across town and not on your street, all you see are the benefits, the retirement at 55 and the big wages.
4. Teachers are important. A teacher is like a Congressman in the sense that you don’t care if another district fires your cousin’s kid favorite school teacher, but God forbid if they come after your kid’s favorite educator. Teachers fall into that line of attack starting with the old axiom of getting the summers off. 
5. By referencing public sector jobs, Obama is reminding people of his much maligned stimulus program. Again, the President went too small on the stimulus. All people see is a higher debt not the good results of the bill. (And thee were some very good aspects of that omnibus bill. ) But when he keeps talking about police, firemen, teachers and public employees, the swing voters don’t see what government does for them, they see what it costs. 
Here’s what the President needs to do to get his campaign out of its rut. 
He has to stop talking about government jobs. The President has to formulate a plan to have private business create jobs. He can do this by formulating a plan that will hire new people in the private sector but have a part of their salary paid for by the government. Former Senator Bill Bradley outlined a similar plan in a new book. The President has to involve government and business as a team. Forget about Martha’s Vineyard this summer. President Obama should call a joint session of Congress and propose this plan. If the GOP House says no, he should run against Congress like Harry Truman did in 1948. And he should shut up about policeman, firemen, teachers and public sector workers. If he doesn’t do this, he’ll lose. 

THE GUTLESS PA. LEGISLATORS 

Once again the Pennsylvania Legislators showed how timid and ineffectual they are by not even getting a property tax reform ill out of committee. The lazy bastards (and I never ever thought in my lifetime I’d be referring to State elected officials like that) tabled it. Property owners in Pennsylvania are getting raked over the coals. It is an unfair burden on home owners. Homeowners have to pay for the schools that educate the children of renters, welfare recipients, drug dealers and people without means to buy a home. It is time to end property tax in the state forever. If it were me, I’d raise the state income tax to 9%. I would also tax every good sold in Pennsylvania with an education tax. That way, the drug dealers and the whores pay taxes on their 30 packs of Coors Lite, and whatever else they buy with their illegal proceeds. And the guy watching a football game on the weekends can buy his 30 pack and get taxed the same way. And please do not tell me that this is a regressive tax on the poor. The poor have money from welfare. The poor who have kids education paid for by property owners have to start paying something. A tax on all goods is a place to start. The poor can always buy less, just like the property owners who have scrimped and saved to stay in their homes. It’s time for the tax burden to be lifted from the home owners. It’s just too damn bad that everyone in the state of Pennsylvania realizes it, except the over paid under worked State Legislators.
This blog editor and Ed in 2008. 

RENDELL AT ARENA HUB 

Former Governor Ed Rendell will be I n town Friday night signing copies of his book “A Nation Of Wusses” at Barnes & Noble at the Arena Hub Plaza. His book signing starts at 7PM.

A PRO CHOICE NAZI??????

Catholic League President Bill Donohue compared pro-choice groups to neo-Nazis last week and suggested that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’s visit to Georgetown University is similar to the visit of a racist or an anti-semite. In an appearance on Fox News, Donohue, a long-time anti-choice advocate, expressed outrage at Georgetown’s choice of Sebelius for commencement speaker, saying that the administration official is no better than a hatemonger: Remember, Georgetown has no neo-Nazi clubs or skinhead clubs on campus, nor should they. But they have two – two!! – pro-abortion clubs at Georgetown University. Now they’re bringing in Kathleen Sebelius. They wouldn’t bring in an anti-semite, nor should they. They wouldn’t bring in a racist, nor should they. But they’re bringing in a pro-abortion champion, and they shouldn’t. Man, this is really something. To compare people who are pro choice to Nazis is really low and does nothing for people of any faith to take the pro life crazies seriously.  

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

 

 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 

This week Shadoe Steele returns with Saturday Night Live At the Oldies on WILK. His guest this week is Henry Gross of Sha Na na. Gross also had a big hit with the morbid 1976 song “Shannon”. Saturday Night Live can be heard on WILK AM and FM from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour. Look for our special Father's Day edition featuring Shadoe Steele. 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine...An encore of Brian Hughes’ February interview with Liz Hersh from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania about the impact of HEMAP, the Homeowners emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, and it’s impact on Pennsylvania homeowners dealing with foreclosures. And an encore of Brian’s July 2011 interview with Walter Barasch, author of the novel “Before The First Snow” which examines the American counterculture through the eyes of one person. 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 True Oldies 590, WARM. 

ECTV

ECTV LIVE Host Tom Munley will welcome a representative of the Wyoming Valley Flyers on the program the week of June 18th. The club consists of a group of individuals who fly model airplanes and helicopters by remote control. They'll be hosting a "Learn To Fly Day" at Moon Lake Park in just a week. David DeCosmo, who usually co-hosts the program, will be away on the 18th so the plan is to have Paula Deignan of WILK Radio fill the Co-host position! ECTV Live airs at Noon and Midnight each week day on Comcast Ch19 with selected rebroadcasts at 6pm several days during the week.
Our 1967 logo.  

1967 

Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall is nominated as the first African American justice of the United States Supreme Court......Mariner program: Mariner 5 is launched toward Venus. The People's Republic of China tests its first hydrogen bomb. Glenn Gould records Prokofiev's Seventh Piano Sonata, Op. 83, in New York City (his only recording of a Prokofiev composition). The Monterey Pop Festival begins and is held for 3 days. In Pennsylvania, Governor Ray Shafer and his GOP controlled Legislature come to an agreement on a fiscal spending plan that holds the line on new taxes. Critics say that bubble may burst and the Shafer administration is being too optimistic with its forecasts……..locally in Lulac land, a staple of local Catholic churches are Father and Son Communion breakfasts. These events provide an opportunity for politicians on the county level to press the flesh and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” by Spanky and Our Gang.