Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2367, February 26th, 2013

 Qiana Murphy Lehman. (Photo: campaign website). 


Qiana Murphy Lehman, a Pittston native, recently announced her candidacy for the office of District Magistrate Judge encompassing Pittston, Hughestown, Dupont, Duryea and Avoca. Qiana is an experienced trial lawyer who has prosecuted criminals with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and has significant trial experience on the civil law side working for local law firm, Brad and Grabowski. P.C. Prior to maintaining an office with Brady and Grabowski, Attorney Lehman established her practice in downtown Pittston. 
A Pittston Area Honors student, Qiana went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from East Stroudsburg University, before attending Law School at New England Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Attorney Lehman graduated law school Cum Laude before returning home to raise a family. She is the daughter of Ann Marie Zaffuto and the late, Dick Murphy. 
Attorney Lehman cites her ten years legal experience and extensive practice in both the civil and criminal area among her qualifications for the office. The Dupont resident is the advisor to the Young Lawyers Club at Pittston Area High School and the Past President of the YLD division of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association. 
In addition to her trial work, Attorney Lehman sits as a quasi-judicial officer serving as a Master in Divorce cases for Luzerne County. As a lawyer, Qiana, would be available on day one to work as the District Magistrate without having to take the Magistrate Judge Qualification test that is required for all non-lawyers. What Qiana has to say: "I have worked hard to prosecute criminals, defend working people's rights and raise a family. I'm not a politician; I'm a business person and mother of two who has the legal skills and experience needed to be fair and decisive. Working as your District Judge, I'll do the job like you would, with fairness, integrity and honesty."


Yesterday on NBC News, there was a story about the Sequestration. Lost in the story about how government agencies were trying to figure out how to make cuts was the fact that a Pennsylvania firm was going to be out of work because they advised Government department how to cut their budgets. 
These government agencies need paid consultants TO TELL THEM WHERE TO CUT THEIR OWN AGENCIES? They can’t figure it out on their own? 
Maybe these cuts might just be a good thing for some Agency Heads that can’t even figure where they could save money. Do they need a consultant to tell them the difference between Scott and Cottonelle?

Monday, February 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2366, February 25th, 2013

School Board aspirant Len Cornish. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Len Cornish who ran a campaign for School Board two years ago is going to take another run for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board. Cornisk h had a pretty credible outing the last time and will certainly step up to the plate this time with a more aggressive campaign. The last time out, he impressed a lot of people with his energy, outlook and grasp on the issues facing Education in this District. Cornish is employed a Soil Scientist. Look for updates and a profile on Mr. Cornish in upcoming editions of LuLac. 

U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Today, a new report was released by the Obama Administration on the harm that automatic spending cuts scheduled to occur on Friday would cause here in Pennsylvania. Rep. Cartwright renewed his call for House Republicans to take swift action on a balanced plan to stop these automatic spending cuts that would threaten our economy as well as a range of vital services for children, seniors, small businesses, and our men and women in uniform. “Today, the Obama Administration reminded us of the damage to our fragile economy and to the safety and security of families here in Pennsylvania that the drastic, indiscriminate, across-the-board, automatic spending cuts that start Friday will cause. Whether it is children in school, hungry seniors, college students struggling to pay for college, people looking for a job, or women who are the victims of violence, or our public safety and health, this report details the damaging impact these cuts will have on people here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians cannot afford another self-inflicted wound from Washington.” “That is why on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I have joined with my colleagues to call on the House Republican leadership to do what is right for our nation’s economy, security and families and take action this week on a balanced plan to avert these damaging and mindless spending cuts. “ “To date, Senate and House Democrats have offered fair, balanced plans to avert these damaging cuts. These proposals are built on responsible spending cuts, increased revenues, and growth with jobs. Yet Republicans have refused to work toward compromise on a plan to reduce the deficit because they refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes “ “With every passing day, thousands of jobs are at risk, the security of middle class families hang in the balance, and the safety of neighborhoods across the state of Pennsylvania are in jeopardy. Our nation’s economy cannot afford any further uncertainty, obstruction, and delay. Too much is at stake.” This new report demonstrates some of the devastating and widespread impact to local communities here in Pennsylvania:
Teachers and Schools: Pennsylvania will lose approximately $26.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 360 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 29,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 90 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Pennsylvania will lose approximately $21.4 million in funds for about 260 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities. 
Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,160 fewer low income students in Pennsylvania would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 2,290 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. 
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 2,300 children in Pennsylvania, reducing access to critical early education. •Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Pennsylvania would lose about $5,705,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Pennsylvania could lose another $1,448,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection. 
Military Readiness: In Pennsylvania, approximately 26,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $150.1 million in total. •Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $7 million in Pennsylvania. 
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Pennsylvania will lose about $509,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. 
Job Search Assistance to Help those in Pennsylvania find Employment and Training: Pennsylvania will lose about $866,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 36,860 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. 
Child Care: Up to 1,800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. 
Vaccines for Children: In Pennsylvania around 5,280 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $361,000. 
Public Health: Pennsylvania will lose approximately $1,213,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Pennsylvania will lose about $2,930,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,500 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And Pennsylvania’s health departments will lose about $639,000 resulting in around16,000 fewer HIV tests. 
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Pennsylvania could lose up to $271,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,000 fewer victims being served. •Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Pennsylvania would lose approximately $849,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2365, February 24th, 2013

John Gosciewski during WWII. (Photo: Gosciewski family). 
The medal recipient John Gosciewski talking with the local media on his belated tribute. (Photo: Karel Zubris).
Some of the people in attendance at the Medal Ceremony held Wednesday at the Kingston Armory. From lefty, Congressman Tom Marino, daughters Karel Gosciewski Zubris, Paul Gosciewski Tracy, John Gosciewski, Grandson Jason Zubris, daughter Susan Gosciewski Nerbercki and son in law John Zubris. (Photo: Karel Zubris) 


Many times I have written on this site about my late uncles who served in the military during WWII. During their lifetime, at least with my interactions with them, they never spoke about what they did in the war. They only said they served. It wasn’t until after they died and at their wakes, that their medals and heroics were displayed. It is the hallmark of what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation" that their actions spoke louder than their words. Raised during the Great Depression, these people who got into World War II were used to two things, adversity and sacrifice. Most likely for every service person recognized, there were others who were not.  So it was a good thing this week that one of our local residents was honored, Albeit seven  decades later for an incredible exploit he never got credit for. 
As World War II was winding down, enlisted man John Gosciewski was in the Po Valley of Italy. Along with his fellow troop members, Gosciewski carried his training from the military along with a skill that was common place for people growing up in his era. He knew the language of his parents, Polish. That came in very handy when his unit happened upon forty German soldiers housed in a barn. No one was sure any of them had weapons but Gosciewski did what came naturally to him as a Wilkes Barre Area Funeral Director years later in civilian life. He put one of the Germans at ease by engaging in conversation. Asking questions, getting the lay of the land and using his ability to ascertain that he could communicate in Polish with one of the German soldiers. In no time the German contingent was lined outside the barn thinking “God knows what” but Gosciewski marched them back to headquarters where a second Lieutenant. Promptly took over as well as taking the credit. 
Congressman Tom Marino’s office took a look into the case after it was ignored by the offices of certain local state government officials. After a five month inquiry, it was decided to give Mr. Gosciewski his due along with a few medals of recognition. While happy with the honor, Gosciewski called himself a “buck private” who was just trying to do his bit. 
On “Topic A” Friday night, L.A. Tarone and I talked about this story and concluded that there are more “buck privates” that do the hard work in the real world never getting the credit or the recognition. We both gave Mr. Gosciewski a shout out for making all the “buck privates” of the world look good. 
Like so many men of his generation few knew of this exploit. The only thing I knew about Mr. Gosciewski was that when he was in high school, he played the lead in a school play about Abraham Lincoln. A family member told me he said he got the role because he was the tallest boy in the class. Maybe. But perhaps Gosciewski might have channeled parts of that school boy performance by using guile, folksy dialogue, his language skills as well as compassion in the situation he was confronted with on that day in Italy. It was an untold story that we are glad to now retell on LuLac. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2364, February 23, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….at the recent dust up with the Luzerne County ethics code and the fact that outgoing engineer Jim Brozena is going to be paid a consultant’s fee. Being a municipal or county employee is like being in a type of separate class.  You never leave, you never get out. You’ll always be taken care of. Bill Barrett and Tony George “retire” as Police Chiefs in Wilkes Barre, they land Security jobs at local schools, one a college, one at Vo Tech. My old softball Commissioner, Bill Brace moved seamlessly from the city to the county and if not for that damn suit, might be doing spmething statewide now. It is what we do here and the County Ethics Board which is well intentioned should just let them pay Brozena for his expertise and move on. Like being born into money and good looks, certain employees will always have a soft landing when they retire and won’t have to worry about eyeing up the dog’s food for their next meal. Others won’t but as Sinatra sang, “That’s Life”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that after all this fuss and muss, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as Defense Secretary this week. Hagel’s nomination has been stopped by some GOP Senators worried about a primary challenge in 2014. The craziest thing was when Lindsay Graham admitted that he knew Banghazi was not on Hagel’s watch and had nothing to do with it but decided they would use that as a reason to block it. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….everybody seems to be talking about the first ten years of the automatic sequestration cuts asked for by President Obama. No one seems to be talking about the second ten years where entitlement programs will be at serious risk for running out of money. To avoid this, the President needs to knock some heads, decide if he is the President or if it’s Harry Reid in the Senate, and form an alliance to steamroll the Tea Party Caucus in Congress. Stay home, hunker down and get this done. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that some bears build nests in trees for sunbathing and resting. And we call them dumb animals. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that Seth McFarland, the creator of “Family Guy” is going to be the host of The Oscars this year. McFarland who has really pished the edge with his shows on Fox as well as with the movie “Ted” will be an interesting fellow to watch. I predict it won’t be lukewarm, he’ll either bomb or triumph. No middle ground. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that more Governors of  red States, including ultra conservative Florida’s Rick Scott and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer have opted to extend Medicaid, a key component of the Affordable Care Act. Except Governor Tom Corbett. This is money from the Federal Government and if a state does not take it, that state saying no will still have to pay for the other 49 states. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there is a museum in Belgian dedicated to strawberries. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that I hear of so many people who went into the “Lincoln” movie not realizing (a), Lincoln freed the slaves, (b) Lincoln was actually shot in a theatre (sans Surround Sound) and (c) Lincoln is the guy on the penny. These misconceptions span at least two generations. So yeah, let’s keep pouring more money into that black hole called education. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that one lump of sugar equals about three feet of sugar cane. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren asked some really basic questions about Wall Street’s responsibility during the fiscal crisis that the smart people were hard pressed to answer. Look at this: 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that this inquisition into Srcanton Mayoral candidate Liz Randol’s gun is so over the top that I can reach only once conclusion. To me, it is an attempt by the Lackawanna County political establishment to kill the chances of still another woman candidate for top office. It is worthy to note that Lackawanna County has never elected a female Commissioner and Scranton has never had a female Mayor. Usually there are no good reasons so something, somewhere along the line has to be trumped up to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the voters in the Lac.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2363, February 21st, 2013


Three people I know have thrown their hats in the ring for political office this year. Jim O’Meara, Harry Haas and Alex Malines have stepped up to the plate. These are good guys and deserve every consideration.
Plains resident Jim O’Meara. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


About fifteen years ago, WILK’s Radio Talk show host Ted Williams asked the question, “Is there any decent person in politics in this county?” I remember little of the Vopper but I do recall that statement. And I think of Jim O’Meara every time I wonder that. Jim O’Meara and I have disagreed about a lot but we do it over a lot of laughs. And talk about shared experiences. O’Meara has done great service for the Luzerne County Republican party. He made the Laureen Cummings campaign last fall credible by his input. He ran against Eddie Day Pashinski because he felt someone should in a democracy. This time, he has bigger fish to fry. Jim O’Meara is running for a seat on the Wilkes Barre Area School Board. Why O’Meara wsould want to be associated with that laughingstock is an easy answer. He wants to fix it. Currently there are board members trying to make an impact but the old boy network of cronies like Joe Moran, Lew Elmy, Mary Anne Toole Phil Latinski, and the skype master Doctor Robert Corcoran all have made a mess out of a district that other boards used to emulate. Jim O’Meara’s candidacy boils down to this: When a building is on fire, do you want a guy to pour water on it or gas? O’Meara tries to fix things. Make them better, not worse. But he needs your help. That’s why he’s running. Here’s his statement. 
My name is James O’Meara Sr. and I am running for Wilkes-Barre Area School Director. 
I am a 1975 graduate of Wyoming Area. I’ve lived in Plains Township since 1984. I attended Penn State as an undergraduate. I also attended College Misericordia (now Misericordia University) during the early years of my marriage. In each case I left college to work full-time. I have a lot of credits, but no sheepskin. Both of my children attended Wilkes-Barre Area schools and both graduated from James M. Coughlin High School. 
Over the years, I advanced in my careers through hard work and my own initiative. I haven't been afraid to take chances. I currently work in retail sales and run a small business. I also have sixteen years of information services experience (including management) under my belt. Like many other Americans in these uncertain times, I have experienced the challenges of joblessness. I know what it is like to face the cruel economic uncertainty that comes with the loss of a job. 
I am deaf, but my hearing was restored with bilateral cochlear implants. The first thing I did after getting my hearing back was run for office. I relished the chance to once again talk with …and especially listen to …thousands of people in a door-to-door campaign for state representative. As a candidate for school director, I will campaign the same way. I will listen to what you have to say. And I will take your message with me to every school board meeting. 
So why am I running? 
I have one young grandchild, and another is due any day now. I worry about the quality of education they will receive in the years ahead. I am concerned that the education of our children and grandchildren is being compromised in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. The Pennsylvania state constitution mandates in Article II, Section 14 that, “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education.” 
I believe the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board has a long way to go in meeting this constitutional mandate. 
The Citizens’ Voice reported in June, 2012 that Wilkes-Barre Area “…is the only school district in the entire seven-county region that failed to meet the state average in any of the 20 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests or the SAT for the 2010-2011 school year.” From where I sit the district gets a failing grade for delivering a thorough system of public education. 
As to the efficiency mandated by our state constitution, the failures there border on the spectacular. 
Just days ago, the Citizens’ Voice reported that Wilkes-Barre Area’s billing requirements were so derelict that a forensic audit couldn’t resolve whether the former solicitor overbilled for more than half a decade. In other words, it was impossible for the auditor to figure out whether the district was robbed, careless or both. 
Last November, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader lambasted five members of the board for “…refusing to recognize and prohibit the destructive influence of nepotism on a public institution.” In recent news, one board member is voting from half a world away. 
This is a school board badly in need of a shake-up. 
It’s time for some common sense leadership. It’s time for voters to send a clear message that politics as usual in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District must end. I look forward to delivering this message personally in November, and I ask for your support. 
Thank you, and together let’s make a difference!
Luzerne County Councilman Harry Haas. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


One of the most courageous young politician has geared up for another run on Luzerne County Council. Harry Haas who went into the job with a clear head and open eyes is asking for another term on Luzerne County Council. He needs to be re-elected to finish what he started. Here’s his statement of intention. 
I'm running for re-election to move into phase two of laying the foundation for Home Rule government. I see it somewhat like highway paving: We're laying the smooth macadam over the more dense stone foundation. 
In the first year, our council has successfully: --transitioned into our Home Rule form of government from the commissioner system. --hired our first professional manager, who was the most outstanding candidate. --passed two budgets, the first of which was initially handicapped by a $3million shortfall. --brought an unprecedented transparency to county government with open participation at council meetings and with public appointments to county authorities, boards, and commissions. 
My goals for another term on council are to: division heads. --agree upon a written vision for a 5, 10, and 20 year countywide plan. --continue to bring decency and respect to county government. 
Our campaign webpage is harryhaas.com 
Our campaign's kickoff event will be at Rodano's on public square --earmark any budget surpluses to specifically pay down our $400 million debt. --hire the best candidates for charter-mandated on Thursday, February 28 from 6-7:30. Fellow Republican candidates for all offices are welcome to bring their petitions. Pizza and soda will be offered with a suggested donation of $10.
GOP County Council candidate Alex Milanes. (Photo: Gort 42) 


The County GOP did a pretty good job in last year’s County Council races. I believe that had more to do with the strength of the individuals running than the dysfunctional party. (Bill Urbanski is making a concerted effort to build the party but it is a complex effort). In this year’s election, Alex Milanes has announced his intention to run for County Council. He is energetic, articulate and a new breed of leader that can make a difference for the future of the County. Here’s his announcement: 
My name is Alex Milanes and I know what The American Dream is. Fleeing Castro’s Cuba, my family settled in Northern New Jersey without a penny to their names. Within a few years, my grandfather would open an electronics store and my cousin would start a fencing business. Kenny Electronics and Delta Fence Company would eventually grow into successful businesses. I lived with my parents in an apartment over my grandfather’s store, and spent my youth in the shop, running errands and witnessing the hard work and long hours my grandparents logged each day. After graduating high school, I started working for my cousin at Delta Fence Company. Through these experiences at an early age, I can attest that hard work and discipline were the keys to realizing the American Dream. 
When my work with Alliance Inspection Management brought me to Pennsylvania, I lived first in Philadelphia before moving to Easton and then Wilkes-Barre, where I found a home. For the past few years I have involved myself in local Luzerne County politics. I serve currently as the Secretary of the Luzerne County Republican Party, as well as representing the 6th District in the party’s grievance committee. I also serve as the Treasurer of the 6th District and represent the first ward of Wilkes-Barre Township in the Luzerne County Republican Committee. 
I am a believer of supporting our veterans and currently an associate member of the Marine Corps League Detachment 412 “Black Sheep”, Social member of The American League Mountain Post 781 and a supporter of Vets to D.C. I am also an active member of the Luzerne County Historical Society. I want to make the American Dream that allowed my family to rise from nothing available to everyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules. I believe that immigration is the lifeblood of this country, and I am the only candidate that will make sure the interests of ALL people in Luzerne County are represented on the Council. I have a proven record of building bridges and serving the people of Luzerne County. 
Alex Milanes “Your County…Your Voice”
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (LuLac archives) 


The House GOP is at it again, cutting the wrong people and the wrong things. Congressman Matt Cartwright weighed in on this issue with the following statement. Cartwright issued the following statement after the House considered legislation that singles out middle-class federal employees by freezing their salaries for the third year in row: “While Congress has only two weeks to prevent sequestration and take action on a comprehensive solution to our deficits, the House wasted time and taxpayer dollars this week on a bill that once again targets federal employees and does nothing to prevent automatic spending cuts set to go into effect on March 1. Federal employees are middle-class Americans who have already contributed $103 billion towards deficit reduction. These hardworking men and women, who serve our country so diligently, are the only working Americans who have been asked to contribute to deficit reduction. We cannot put the burden of our fiscal challenges on their shoulders alone.” “Federal employees provide important services to communities across our country – they serve alongside our military personnel, keep our borders safe and secure, support our veterans and our seniors, ensure the safety of our families, conduct life-saving research, and fulfill countless other responsibilities. To single them out and continue to ask even more of them is unfair and unwise policy that undermines our ability to recruit the skilled workforce our nation expects. I oppose efforts that continue to target our public servants, and hope that Congress will get serious about a fair and balanced plan to prevent sequestration and put our country on a sound fiscal path.” Federal employees have already accepted a two year pay freeze, an increased pension contribution, and reduced and delayed cost-of-living adjustment this year. Together, that has resulted in a $103 billion contribution toward deficit reduction. By voting to freeze their salaries for a third consecutive year, the House asked federal employees to contribute an additional $11 billion. Rep. Cartwright will continue to urge Congress to work on a long-term, balanced deficit reduction plan that asks all Americans to contribute their fair share. 



Scranton's annual Saint Patrick's Parade is one of the biggest in the United States and plans for this year's march will be the subject of ECTV Live during the week of February 25th, Hosts Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome a representative of the parade commitee to the program which will mark its 150th show on March 4th. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch 19 each day throughout the week. 


Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The PartyZone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com 


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with State Representative Kevin Haggerty of the 112th Legislative District about school safety in Pennsylvania, and his opposition to the Corbett Administration plan to privatize state liquor stores. Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Tom and Noreen Clark from WNEP-TV about Bowl For Kids Sake, coming up on March 23rd at Stanton Lanes in Wilkes Barre, with proceeds benefitting Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeast Pa. And an encore of Brian's interview with travel guru Chris McGuiness about the best travel deals for the Spring. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.

Our 1976 logo.


The Spanish Armed Forces withdraw from Western Sahara. The Polisario Front, Western Sahara's national liberation movement, declares independence of the territory under the name "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic". Madagascar becomes the first country to recognise the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic……as campaigning for the New Hampshire primary heats up, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter and Arizona Congressman Morris Udall seesaw in the race to be the top vote getter in the Granite State. On the GOP side, President Ford’s lead widens over former California Governor Ronald Reagan….in Florida, Governor Milton Shapp’s long shot bid for the Presidency continues to sputter…and in Wilkes Barre and Scranton, both incumbent Congressman, Dan Flood from the 11th and Joe McDade from the 10th announce their intention run for reelection…and thirty seven years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Walk Away From Love” by David Ruffin, the former lead singer of the Temptations. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2362, February 20th, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 



We received a lot of reaction from readers regarding our post on "What Is A Journalist?" Our friend Joe Leonardi put that question into words in his novel America Enslaved. I don't agree with his character's assumptions here but it is a finely written prose. 

My First Time by: Dominique Mendoza 
My Dear Readers, As of today I have resigned my position as a reporter. I am no longer, a journalist. That does not indicate that I am going away, no, anything but. I am moving in a new direction here at the paper, I have been offered the opportunity to share with you all my “opinion” on what is going on here in South Florida and in the country and even, yes, the world. It was not an easy decision. My greatest sense of pride has always been my objectivity. Though I have been honored with professional awards, acclaim and accolades, the greatest compliment I have ever been given is when you, my readers, have approached me in public or sent correspondence to the paper, asking what my “opinion” was on a subject. The fact, that my “opinion” never became part of my journalistic endeavors was something I strove for as equally as I did for the accuracy in my reporting. 
 I have been working on perhaps the greatest story I will ever write. It will require a great deal of time and research. To complete this project, I had desired a leave of absence from reporting, but those here at the paper that hold sway over such decisions did not believe it was the best course of action. They offered a compromise: a position that would allow me to continue to write, but afford me the time I so desperately require to complete what will be my final piece of journalistic reporting. 
 I will confess that this was not my most desirous choice. At the risk of insulting some of my colleagues, I have always held in low regard those who spout “opinion” as journalism. I have always held that the reader should never be able to determine the reporter’s view on a story. I was told that I would still be a journalist, but I responded that was not the case. I am submitting my resignation as a journalist, I am surrendering my credentials as a reporter and today I am embarking on a new career as an opinion columnist. 
As I have already stated in this column, I have given you my “opinion.” It is my first time and with my first time I have sincerely told you the readers my view of the new position I will hold. However, as I have always strove in my career, I will endeavor to give more than my best. In the coming weeks you will, for the first time, know my “opinion” on the many stories I have covered over my long career. I will take my first few columns to dissect those stories that have been honored with Pulitzer prizes. I will take you inside not only what were my thought processes, but also how I viewed the subject of my reporting. I will share with you not only the facts, but also how I felt about the corruption that I uncovered and reported upon. 
Thank you and God bless. 
D http://www.amazon.com/dp/1479131113/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk 
Check out Joe Leonardi's book "America Enslaved" on Amazon.com. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2361, February 18th, 2013

The late Mike Wallace (right) with his co-host Buff on The Mike and Buff Show in early TV. (Photo: classicTVblogspot). 


Every time we do a post about a local issue that is reviewed by either a talk show host, a TV commentator or a reporter, a raging debate goes on about what exactly makes a Journalist. There are posts you see that I allow to be put up, posts you don’t see and others I just don’t bother with. 
The definition of a journalist is this: a: a person engaged in journalism; especially: a writer or editor for a news medium b: a writer who aims at a mass audience 2 : a person who keeps a journal .  
The definition of Journalism is: the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b: the public press c: an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium.
Okay, so if you look at those definitions and extend them to the electronic media, a journalist is someone who works in the news media, tries to appeal to a large audience and keeps track of what they are reporting. The craft of journalism is the gathering of news to present to the general public. 
There are some posters who say that Talk Show hosts aren’t journalists. Same thing with TV Talk shows. How do we make that determination? A Talk Show host has to collect news and present it to the General Public, correct? How do they differ from the reporter in the field? And is a reporter from the Huffinton Post or the Daily Beast any less a reporter than one from the Citizen’s Voice or New York Times? 
Here’s my take on what I think a Journalist is. First off, a Journalist doesn’t become one overnight just by calling themselves one. They work at a craft in a bona fide media operation. Once they have that level of experience in the trenches, even though they go on to another type of reporting, are they still a Journalist? I say yes. Is Bill O’Reilly a Journalist? Yes because prior to his entry into the Talk Show foray, he was a reporter for TV stations. Despite what his critics say, he had that base of experience. 
Are Rush Limbaugh and John Webster Journalists? No, because they came from the entertainment field and even though they offer opinions, they do not have the on the street experience prior to their current positions to call themselves Journalists. Are Dr. David Madiera or Joe Peters, both who host shows on The Talker Journalists? Even though they both bring credentials in Health Care and Law Enforcement their jobs, the answer is no. 
Are Nancy Kman, Sue Henry and Steve Corbett Journalists? In my opinion yes because Kman (with her Radio and TV news reporting) Henry (with her newspaper experience) and Corbett (with newspaper stints in Harrisburg, California and Wilkes Barre) bring that experience to the table. Just because you change the venue, doesn’t mean you give up the title or the quest for chronicling the truth. Just because both read commercials on their programs, does that diminish Sue Henry’s accomplishment of being the only person to get Diane Mellow to give an interview? Or Corbett uncovering the fact that Senator Mellow’s staff were selling tickets to his annual outing the very summer indictments were going down in Harrisburg to Senate staffers who were doing the same thing? Does reading a commercial trump that Journalistic pursuit? Does it trump that result? 
If that’s the case, then the late Mike Wallace should  posthumously be stripped of all of his awards. Wallace started out as a TV pitchman and Game Show Host in the 1950s. When he became a reporter there were many at CBS who scoffed at him but he made a name for himself by working as a Journalist. 
On the Internet, how do you not call people like Mike Allen of Politico.com not a Journalist just because he bellows out “Happy Friday” every week on “Morning Joe?” 
And bloggers, am I a Journalist? I say no. Even though I had been a radio reporter for two stations in the 70s, did TV work at WVIA and covered a few trials for WYLN a few years back does that make me a Journalist? My answer is no because there hasn’t been a significant body of work in that area.
Is Gort a Journalist even though as a blogger he has broken more than a few local stories by keeping his ear to the ground? Again, in my opinion no because prior to his blog, there wasn’t a significant body of work to give him those credentials. 
How about Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics.com, is he a Journalist? The answer is yes because he owned a newspaper, reported in that newspaper the goings on of politics in Greater Pittston and transitioned that on to an online entity. If you read a hard copy of the Pittston Gazette from the 90s and Pittston Politics.com now, the issues and reporting are the same. The names have only changed. Again, body of work. 
The advent of different types of communication through various media has blurred the lines somewhat. But anyone who previously worked as a reporter on a beat for more than five years, no matter where they transitioned to, be it talk show host, TV host or blogger can, in my opinion, lay claim to be called a Journalist. 
When the late Walker Cronkite appeared on the Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 70s and Brian Williams did frequent guest cameos on “30 Rock”, no one questioned whether they were Journalists. If no one dared disqualify them, reading a Rehabilitation Facility or Blinds commercial should not call into questions anyone else. But hey, that’s only my opinion.
This non Journalist on the set of TV 44's "Phone 44" with then Senator Ed Helfrick. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


I had to weigh in on the Marco Rubio water event. First off, let me say that the response to the State of the Union address has always been an invention of the media to prove they could be fair. It started during the Nixon administration when the networks gave the Democrats a shot to rebut. The only one who ever made hay out of his appearance was the late Senator Edmund Muskie who got more exposure in the early 70s for his reasoned response to a combative Nixon State of the Union. Most have been forgettable. And while we’re at it, is there now a Tea Party response to the response from the likes of Rand Paul? Really, what party is next, the “Is Franco still dead” party? 
More is being said about Rubio’s reach for his water bottle than what was in his speech. And that’s unfortunate. Rubio should have used the old Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”. Or never trust the guys behind the scenes. 
When I first started my modest TV career at WVIA TV, I got great advice from the late Jerry Schumacher who was the long time Program Director there during the George Strimel years. (From 5 to 6PM the TV channel had Shows called “Phone 44”. I was the Friday host and got statewide politicians to talk about the issues. Or try to. It was not widely watched and most likely rarely remembered but it gave me valuable experience on how to be a host but also a guest). 
Anyway, Schumacher told me two things, expected the unexpected and use the “SITS” method. The ‘SITS” method was, no matter what you do, “stay in the shot”. If you were dying of thirst or just plain dying, Stay In the Shot. Rubio’s little pirouette looked juvenile and the boyish Florida Senator can’t afford to appear that way. If it were me, I’d have had the little bottle of Poland Springs Water in my suit pocket. I don’t think this will have a terrible effect on Rubio’s political future but he’d be better off if he met a guy like Jerry Schumacher along the way.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2360, February 16th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that LAG Towing is now suing the city of Wilkes Barre (or threatening to) for who knows what. It is astounding to me that LAG is actually making Bob Kadluboski, even at his most confrontational with Mayor Namey seem like a choir boy. How can a company that benefited from a contract that was operated without question until recently bite the hand that has been feeding it? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that it wasn’t a big shock to me when the storybook saga of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius came to a screeching halt with a murder charge. I respected so much his tenacity and battle to overcome adversity as well as dealing with those arm chair slobs who said he would have an unfair advantage because of his artificial limbs Surely they couldn’t realize or achieve what he did athletically. That said though, in every interview I saw, I witnessed in him a type of angry chip on his shoulder that could have manifested itself in trouble. Don’t know why I had that feeling but I did. Let’s hope we get some clarity in this as to the whys and hows of this tragic situation. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that the latest reincarnation of the TV show Dallas is just as dramatic and full of suspense as the early original series on CBS in the late 70s and early 80s. With Larry Hagman’s death last year, the series will stage a funeral for J.R. as a way to write out the character Hagman played. You’ll remember when the series was jumping the shark toward the end of its run, J.R. committed suicide, was buried, then reappeared a few episodes later. This time, dead is dead. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that more people in the deep south are more prone to strokes than any area in the country. The two biggest factor are deep fried foods and lack of preventative health care options on the part of many residents who just want to put their fate “in the hands of the good Lord”. God may be your Lord and Savior but he isn’t going to help you with that medical bill you leave to your family. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………..that bacon has become the new Tobacco Chew for males in this century. Let me explain. In the 80s, almost every guy I knew chewed tobacco. (Not all but more than a few). It ranged from teenagers to old men taking a pinch and taking a chew. Now it seems most every guy I know is into bacon. Bacon on pizza, bacon in ice cream at Burger King, bacon on burgers, bacon on bacon. I like bacon but maybe once every two months if I’m lucky and never, ever on a burger. But hey, to each his own. I just find it interesting that some guys have moved on from “The Chew” to “Porky and Friends”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that mountain goats aren’t actually goats but in fact antelopes. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that my latest TV addiction seems to be with the 1960s series “Naked City”. The show aired way past my bedtime when it was on and like other boomer adults, I am watching a lot of “ME TV” on Fox. I am struck by the literacy in the stories as well as the plethora of actors who later made their marks in movies and TV later on. To be sure some of the shows were clunkers but others were masterpieces. Plus most of the series was filmed on location in New York City which gives you the sense of what Gotham was like in the early 60s. The show airs at 1AM Monday mornings. You can DVR or Hopper it. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that the guy with the crazy afro and red cheeks (actor Jesse Heiman) who was kissing super model Bar Refaeli turned up on an episode the other night on “The Big Bang Theory”. He was in a group shot toward the end of the show but he stood out.in the crowd. He'll be around more with his new fame. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that cats can make 100 sounds. Dogs can make about ten. But dogs are more fun. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that for the second time, the Topps Chewing Gum Company has retired the card number, (7) of Mickey Mantle. Topps did it after he died. Then ten years later entered into an agreement with the Mantle family to produce the #7 card in its new set every year. That 7 year contract is now over and Mantle’s two surviving sons, Danny and David are asking a fortune for Topps to renew. If the impasse remains, (Tops is balking) the Mantle card will once again be retired and Topps will not be selling Mickey Mantle cards in 2013. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that today is the birthday of the late Otis Blackwell. Blackwell was a songwriter who composed “Fever”, “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel”. Here he is performing that big Elvis and Cheap Trick hit on Letterman in 1987.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2359, February 14th, 2013


Republicans in the Senate said they will block the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense. The GOP says they feel rushed and need more time. Senate Republicans who are holding up the vote indicated when the Senate reconvenes, they will then vote to confirm. This is the case of the Senate holding their breath for spite. Time to get your mommies, wives, mistresses or whoever takes care of you to bring out the big boy pants and get rid of the baby shorts. Only in America today would an opposition party hold up the nomination of an enlisted man who nearly got killed in Vietnam. Swiftboating did not end in the election of 2004!
Judicial Robes 


You can change the robes in the Luzerne County legal. System but you can’t change the elements of dramatic comic opera that plays itself out under the dome. The latest dust up comes in the trial of former Wilkes Barre Township Fire Chief Michael Yuknavich. Yuknavich is charged with improprieties when he ran the Wilkes Barre Township Fire Hall. Here’s a recap from the Times Leader’s: Edward Lewis: Going against advice from a colleague, Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick asked Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. to recues himself from presiding over the trial. Melnick said he received an anonymous phone call Tuesday night claiming Sklarosky and Yuknavich’s attorney, Barry Dyller, had dinner together about a month ago. Sklarosky immediately denied the request, telling Melnick the dinner was attended by 12 people and the Yuknavich case was not discussed. Details about the dinner and where it was held were not released. Melnick had confronted Dyller about the dinner prior to Sklarosky coming out of his chambers. 
There are some say that Sklarosky Jr should recuse himself. I think that might be doing too far because in his short time on the bench he has exhibited some Judicial prowess. But his reaction Melnick’s request seemed petulant. Plus his office’s refusal to provide an e mail address to WILK’s Steve Corbett seemed odd. When the good Judge was campaigning he never refused an opportunity to court (no pun intended here,) the media. (And a word to the anti WILK, Corbett posters, if you write and tell me he is not a media news person, your comments won’t see the light of day, so don’t waste your time!) 
One also can’t blame Melnick for throwing a Hail Mary and trying to use every advantage in prosecuting his case, Melnick has been doiing this a long time and no one should be surprised this was in his legal bag of tricks. 
If this is on anybody, it is on Barry Dyller. Dyller who has a reputation, real or imagined for taking on the cases of the downtrodden regarding employee rights and civil liberties (and he doesn’t take all of them believe me) should never have gone to that dinner with the Judges. Unless he just became Yuknanich’s lawyer, he had to know that one of the Judges at that dinner was going to get this case. As the husband of a Judge who was elected along with Sklarosky Junior because of a major Judicial Scandal, he should have recused himself from that dinner. If he did, Melnick would not have a issue. This is post Double C, Conahan and Ciavbarella. The problem with becoming a lawyer is that they make you pass the law boards but don’t give you a test on common sense. 


Former State Representative Kevin Murphy got ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) instead of jail time for an assault on his wife and her friend last summer. I worked with Kevin Murphy. I thought he was full of Irish blarney but was a good guy in the cut throat world of media advertising and never saw him have a drink. Hitting anyone is serious when you are sober but when you are drunk (having dated my share of alcoholics) not only your judgment is impaired but so too are your passions. Murphy has done irreparable damage to an upwardly mobile political career and Lord knows how much to his family. I think this is the right decision. Murphy hurt people in one instant. And that was wrong. But I find it ironic that former Representative Ken Smith screwed his employees by not paying his taxes into their unemployment comp fund and gets rewarded with a $77,000 a year state job. Go figure. 


Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said no to Governor Tom Corbett’s proposal to sell off the State Lottery to a British firm. Kane said saying parts of it contravene the state constitution and other parts are not authorized by state law. Kane said that she was doing her due diligence by upholding the checks and balances responsibilities of her office. The Corbett administration can challenge her stance but at post time there was no word from the Governor’s office. I agree with our local State Senator John Yudichak who said this was a misguided decision that would put a successful statewide program for seniors at risk. Yudichak was being too kind. It will be an unmitigated disaster. Congressman Matt Cartwright. 


President Obama gave a wonderful speech the other night and outlined a list of things he wants to accomplish in his second term. I liked how the President said to Congress that he would be willing to sign bills if only the two chambers would agree. He signaled with Immigration and Gun Control that he would sign any bill. That is huge. After the speech, the President took his ideas on the road. I think he should have gone straight up to Capitol Hill Wednesday (if he doesn’t want them in the White House, no big deal) but he should go to them. If he gets his hands slapped, it’s not on him. It’s on Congress. Then go on the road and talk about your proposals. It is astounding to me that the Obama White House in governing does things so ass backward when their campaigns were right on the money.
17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: Cartwright for Congress). 


17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright had the following thoughts on the President’s State of the Union Address. President Obama presented a vision to the American people of a stronger Union, a foundation for prosperity, and a thriving middle class. Working together, we will adopt a bold agenda for our economic growth - founded on good-paying manufacturing jobs, greater access to education, critical investment in our nation’s infrastructure and a future of clean energy. Despite signs of progress in our economy, too many Americans are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Sustaining a secure and prosperous middle class is the defining challenge of our time. To rebuild the middle class, we must make America a magnet for good-paying manufacturing jobs, provide access to the skills needed for all Americans to compete in today’s global economy and make sure that hard work produces a good standard of living and long-term financial security. Education is the greatest investment we can make in our country and is key to rebuilding our middle class. It’s critical that we provide greater access to early childhood education and that we open doors to collegiate opportunities for all Americans. Education is the crown jewel of our nation’s economic infrastructure. We cannot sacrifice our children’s future. Immediate investment must also be made in improving our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. There is no such thing as a Republican bridge or a Democratic bridge: only the bridge we all travel over together. Investing in our infrastructure, allowing us to compete with countries across the world and providing jobs today, is imperative and is something we can and should all agree on. But, we need to invest in the technologies and economic strategies of the future. Clean energy creates jobs that you can’t ship overseas, and in turn boosts the economy. We must continue toward becoming fully energy independent and we need to lower energy costs to keep more money in the pockets of middle class families. Every step along the way, we must demand fiscal discipline - examining all unnecessary spending, but an indiscriminate across-the-board cut is the wrong approach. We can't just cut our way to prosperity or a strong middle class. Both sides need to work together with President Obama to provide a plan for a stable financial future. With his powerful words tonight, the President demanded that we fulfill our promise to fight for the interests of America's families, rebuild the keystones of progress, and restore opportunity to every American. Working together, we can realize a vision of growth, security and economic success for all Americans.
11th District Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: Politico.com)


Congressman Lou Barletta issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address: “I had hoped that we would hear more from the president regarding job creation, but unfortunately what we heard was more platitudes about government spending. This is precisely the recipe that led us into this fiscal mess in the first place. “The president likes to talk about a ‘balanced approach,’ but says nothing at all about a balanced budget. In fact, the president has consistently missed the deadline for submitting his own spending plan. “The sequestration that we now face, which will require dramatic cuts to defense spending, is the brainchild of the president. For him to now pretend it’s someone else’s fault is simply untrue. “Private employers know better how to create jobs, not government. Real people in the real world know better how to spend their hard-earned money. That’s how we grow the economy. “Additionally, I had hoped to hear some earnest talk about reform of the broken immigration system, but we didn’t hear that either. “We simply cannot sustain porous borders at the same time we are talking about amnesty for the millions who are already here contrary to our laws.”  With with all of that State of the Union talk, Lou talks about immigration? Not a surprise.





Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The PartyZone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com 


Representatives from Marywood University will join ECTV hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo during the week of February 18th to talk about a free public concert which will be presented in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts on February 23rd. The first alf will showcase the co-winners of the 2012 Marywood University Concerto Competition! ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 and is presented at Noon and Midnight throughout the week with additional showings at 6pm on selected days. 


The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will provide LIVE and taped coverage of the state House and Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings starting Tuesday, February 19. This will be the first week of hearings that make up the Commonwealth’s annual fiscal process. Throughout the weeks ahead, PCN will continue to offer both LIVE and taped coverage of the 2013-2014 budget process. Viewers are urged to check www.pcntv.com for airtimes of any taped hearings. Streaming of the hearings will also be made available on the PCN Plus streaming page at http://pcntv.com/pcn-plus/ on the network’s website at www.pcntv.com. Hearings run February 19th through 21st. The Appropriations Committee budget hearings will continue throughout the next weeks. The hearings are set to conclude on Thursday, March 7. 


This Week on Sunday Magazine Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Nik Mickleson about Bowl For Kids Sake, coming up Saturday March 23rd at Stanton Lanes in Wilkes Barre, which benefits Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeast Pa. 
Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Melina Jampolis about heart health. February is National Heart Health Month. This Week in Harrisburg examines school emergency plans in Pennsylvania, keeping the state 9-1-1 call system solvent, and legislation to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. 
And Brian speaks with Dr. Michael Cooney about age related muscular degeneration. Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


You can catch an encore performance of Sue Henry on WYLN TV's "Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud. The show airs Thursday at 9:30PM, Saturday at 5PM, Sunday at 11AM,  Monday at 9PM and Tuesday at 4:30PM.
Our 1976 logo. 


The 1976 Constitution of Cuba is adopted by national referendum……..The Democratic Presidential candidates converge on New Hampshire to gain advantage in the crowded Presidential race. On the other side, President Ford is pitted against former California Governor Ronald Reagan in their first real test………….Outgoing U.S. Senator Hugh Scott says that while he likes Ronald Reagan, an intra party challenge never helped anyone and indicated he will back President Ford….and in Wilkes Barre Mayor Walter Lisman says the revitalization of Wilkes Barre continues on track after the Flood of ’72. The Traffic Committee designates the Square as one way traffic………..and 37 years ago the number one song in America and LuLac land was a slowed down version of Neil Sedaka’s 1962 hit, “Breaking Up Is Hard To do'

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2358, February 13th, 2013

Our “13 Questions” logo. 


1. Okay, what did you think of the Super Bowl? 

As a person who has seen every Super Bowl on TV or heard it on the radio, it is refreshing to see a game that can come down to the last two minutes. That was not always so. I thought San Francisco could have run the ball at least once in the last drive. But that said, the Baltimore defense did its job. I just like to see a good game and I did this time around. 

2. Do you think your buddy the President should at least try to make an effort to work with the Congress on this sequester situation? 

First off, he’s not my buddy. I was for Hillary in 2008. Second, he better. It was his idea. He has a perfect opportunity because with the added number of House Democrats as well as some GOP members that are looking to get away from the Tea Party extremists, he can reach an agreement on something. But his team has to show the willingness to make the attempt. And  he should start cracking because March is closing in quickly. 

3. What was the menu at the LuLac household for the Super Bowl and were you invited to any parties?

Turkey/Sausage chili. And yes we were invited to a few parties but didn’t go. 

4. On WILK last week, John Webster was talking about an old shirt he wore for years and did not throw out. You got anything like that in your past? 

Yeah. A few. I had the GAR Grenadiers T Shirt an old girl friend bought me in 1975. I held on to that and wore it until it disintegrated in 2004. I also had a tee shirt that said “Still the Same” that I bought in 1981 at Lewis and Duncan. That bit the dust in 2006. I also had a Hanover Area 1990 Championship Tee Shirt that could have lasted another ten years but Mrs. LuLac dispatched that quickly. I’m still looking for a white button down shirt I bought in 1990 and a J Crew Cable Knit red sweater from the 80s that have gone missing. But my favorite was that GAR shirt. 

5. What are your thoughts about the fact that over 600 people have died in Luzerne County from heroin overdoses in the last ten years? 

Chilling. It proves the war on drugs was never won. It also shows just how insidious drug addiction can be especially among the younger people. I’m not sure there is will ever be any answer to this. When a drug sweep happens and people are taken off the streets, they are almost immediately replaced with a new supply of dealers and customers. 

6. You referenced in past articles that your father smoked, what was his brand? 

Raleigh’s. Came with a coupon on the back of the pack. I think Earl Weaver smoked the same brand. 

7. Best and worst drive through for food in the area? 

Best is the Dunkin’ Donuts on Scott Street in Wilkes Barre. They get you in there very, very quickly. Worst is the McDonald’’s on Northampton Street in Wilkes Barre. Runner up for the best is The Bake House in Edwardsville. 

8. What do you think of the Paterno Family’s response to the Freeh report? 

They have every right to make a response and were right strategically to wait until after the Sandusky trial and a year after Mr. Paterno’s death. The most impactful rebuttal is that the Freeh Report was done with witnesses who were not testifying under penalty of perjury. This will begin the process to rehabilitate the Paterno image. But in the end, those who were Paterno supporters will always be and those who won’t, won’t. What to me though about the Paterno legacy is this, the success of Coach Bill O’Brien with holdovers and not the cream of the crop in college football proves Paterno stayed too long at the fair. O’Brien infused a different aura and set of expectations. He was the right man for the job in more ways than one. 

9. Did you catch that 5 overtime college basketball game the other night? 

Yes. I rarely if ever watch any kind of basketball but nothing was on TV that night and I caught it from the first overtime. One for the ages. 

10. Can you name one or two n things you hate more than winter? 

Nazi Germany and blood blisters.

11. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, Kate Upton again? Your thoughts? 

I think Anna Davis would have been my pick but Kate Upton is certainly worthy of the repeat. 
 SI Model Anna Davis. (Photo Mercury News.com)

12. Who will be the front runner to be the next Pope? 

Front runners rarely get picked, although Benedict XVIth was the favorite going in the last time and prevailed. You won’t see a Cardinal from North or South America although I think Marc Ouellet of Canada may have a chance because he might have the ability to build a coalition with the Latin American contingent. Papal elections are all about alliances and coalitions. It was the late Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia who helped John Paul II with his election. But I think after more than three decades out of power, you might see an Italian restored to the Papal throne in the person of Angelo Scollo, the Archbishop of Milan, which has been a historic launching pad. Pope Paul VIth, the last Italian Pope had that title before his election in 1963. 

13. Did you ever have an imaginary girlfriend like that Notre Dame kid? 

No. I had all the trouble I could handle with the real ones let alone made up ones.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2357, February 12th, 2013

Kate Upton repeats again as the Cover subject  of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.




Monday, February 11, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2356, February 11th, 2013

Pope Benedict XVITH. (Photo: Idiopathic.blogspot.com)


I do a lot of thinking in church. Oh I listen to the homily and the readings but a lot of times I just think. And the other night I was thinking about Blogfest. I thought I had to put up an announcement about it in the Sunday edition of LuLac. Then I thought about that date, April 19th. That was the day that Pope Benedict XVIth was elected. I reflected on the fact that he was closing in on eight years as Pope. I wondered how his health was thinking about the concessions he made to age by having a type of vehicle roll him to the front of the altar at St. Peter’s Cathedral.
I remembered back to April of 2008 at Yankee Stadium. That was on April 20th. Mrs. LuLac and I had the opportunity to go the Papal Mass. A few of my friends and relatives wondered why I was so insistent on going to see Benedict. He was not the rock star like John Paul II. Why did I want to see him they all asked. It was precisely the reason why he was not a rock star like John Paul II that I wanted to hear and see him. Rock stars are always a hard act to follow. It takes a special breed, someone with a secure sense of himself but also someone not afraid to take on the mantle of responsibility knowing he would be forever compared to his more popular predecessor. Few leads can handle that. It was one of the factors in the political decline of Lyndon Johnson. 
Plus Benedict seemed to be the blending of the first two Popes of my lifetime. I was only four when Pope Pius XIIth died but as I entered grade school at St. John the Baptist (you know, the Slovak Church and School that was assassinated by the modern Catholic Church) I read articles on the two Popes provided by that youth oriented Catholic publication “My Weekly Reader”. (They had the best covers I had ever seen as a young child, to me it was my Life or Look Magazine). Perhaps m pull toward Benedict reminded me of Pius and John XXIII. Benedict seemed to be a hybrid of Pius’ intellect and the underestimation of John as merely being a placeholder to the Papal throne. Whatever it was, he was my guy. 
I came home from New York that night exhausted. Tired. Exhilarated. It was the last time I would see the old Yankee Stadium and what better way to say goodbye to it than with a Papal Mass. (I bought the hat and the tee shirt later on line). Here’s the link from LuLac on that day. http://lulacpoliticaletter.blogspot.com/2008/04/lulac-edition-465-april-21rst-2008.html 
Benedict, for his age made significant trips outside Vatican City. He took responsibility and apologized for the Sex Scandals in the church. To some that will never be enough. To me, it was all he could do. 
His legacy will be debated far and wide by people smarter than me. But even though I was surprised when I heard the news on the radio today (I had heard so many reports of Pope’s deaths that way) I wasn’t entirely shocked. Benedict was always the fierce protector of the Church as an institution. He was the gate keeper for Pope John Paul II. His role as Pontiff was to hold firm the Conservative policies of the previous Pope. So it should come as no surprise that Benedict looked at the Institution of the Church first his responsibility rather than the honor being the head of it afforded him personally. In church Saturday night, I thought it possible for Benedict to live to maybe 90 as many older people do in this age. And if he were to live that long as an ex Pope, how would that play out in Vatican politics? 
Benedict will be commended for many things. But perhaps the most important one will be the way he chose to leave the throne of St. Peter. It is a curious dichotomy. Church teachings say that the Pope, a human entrusted to be the Vicar of Christ is infallible in his decrees and decisions. Perhaps Benedict’s greatest legacy will be that he had the intellectual capacity to separate his spiritual title from his frailties as a human being. In the end, Benedict served the Church and not himself. It was a rare and selfless act to relinquish power for the greater good. We will not see that anywhere in this world for a very long time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2355, February 10th, 2013



APRIL 19th, 6PM until.......... 


More details to follow. 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2354, February 9th, 2013


Yesterday afternoon I found out about the passing of a person I grew up with in the Junction section of Pittston. Tommy Garretson was three years older than us and mentally challenged. He wasn’t into sports in the sandlot at the park off Cliff Street but could usually be heard critiquing us as he sped by on his bike. 
As we became aware of pop culture, so did young Mr. Garretson. The indelible reach of Television back then had no discrimination as to who it reached and how it touched them. Kids were impressionable. Our neighborhood was no exception. It just reached us in various degrees. 
When the “Tarzan” movies were on TV, Tom would go through the neighborhood doing a yell that might make Johnny Weissmuller green with envy. When Batman came on the scene, Tommy donned a white towel and rode that bike screaming the theme. The Beatles “She Loves You” gave him the opportunity to add to his repertoire. As he walked somewhere with his mother Lulu and father Denny, he belt out the lyrics to “She Loves You”. (By the way, it was 49 years ago tonight that the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan). 
My wife asked me today whether we ever made fun of Tommy in the neighborhood. I’m sure people might have but not in our circle because he could do things we were dying to do. Our parents told us that he could do it because he was “special”. So instead of making fun of him, I think we elevated him to a legendary neighborhood character. When we would get together years later, he always came up in our conversations. Fondly. 
As we grew older, Tommy was still a presence in the neighborhood. But he became much bigger and stronger than us. Any kid with sense knew that it was time to navigate this relationship carefully. One time I was coming out of Draus’ Variety Store and Tommy pulled up on his bike.  He was in a sour mood because someone had made fun of him singing the newest Beatle song, “All You Need Is Love” My sidekick that day, Jerry Fitzpatrick (a good friend and a Junction boy) said, “Change the song. Say to them, “All You Need is Tom”. He thought about it a while and then rode away on the bike singing “All you need is Tom”. 
Years later, (about 1989)  I saw Tommy on Public Square, thin, medicated I think, and sad. Or maybe I was sad thinking back to those days as I saw us as adults. I came up to him and said, “Junction”. He smiled and said, “Junction”. He then called me Fitzie but I never corrected him. It was the last time I saw him but certainly not the last time I mentioned his name. 
When my friend Bruce Prandy e mailed me yesterday  that he had died, the first thing I thought of was those Beatles songs. And as anyone will tell you, with the Beatles, “All You Need Is Love” or in our case, “All You Needed was Tom”. He was 61 and living in Assisted Living. He’ll was buried at St. Mary’s Help of Christian Cemetery on Chapel Street in the Junction. About a stone’s throw away from where he rode that bike and sang those songs.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2353, February 8th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that it appeared that Governor Tom Corbett’s stop in Wilkes Barre the other day had a stealth quality to it. The coverage of his embracement of the CHIP program at a local library was incidental. Corbett made his announcement in the Children’s Wing of the Osterhout but did media stops at both WNEP TV and WBRE. With some of the unpopular cuts the Governor continues to endorse maybe his people were concerned about possible protesters. Then again, maybe not. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there is still another bludgeoned baby death in the news in LuLac land. And just as before, no one can imagine how or why it happened, tears are shed before the cameras and a layers standing by tries to explain it all. There were less flashbacks in “Groundhog Day”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the state is Florida is larger than England. But hey, we all know what England does! 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that if an advertiser wanted to buy an ad in Super Bowl I (which I was around for) paid $37,500. This time around, 4 million bucks. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Coka Cola, with its new emphasis on consumer’s need for calorie control did not air their new ad regarding obesity and portion control. Even though the ad might have been longer than the norm, (look at the length of the Paul Harvey Dodge ad), I thought it was a missed opportunity. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the voice of the late Paul Harvey still has that pull on people. Younger people who haven’t heard of him, I’m told were mesmerized by the commercial and Harvey’s voice. The first time I heard Harvey’s voice was when I was home sick from school at the age of 9. I had been listening to the Phillies on WILK the night before and when I woke up, I heard that voice for the first time. And it was, like, “What and who is this guy?” 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..the most widely eaten fruit in the United States is the banana. And there was even a phone named after that fruit. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………at the number of people that still take pictures of food they are preparing to eat, they are ready to eat, they’ve already eaten or are going to buy on the Face Book machine. I’m glad they are enjoying themselves, Mrs. LuLac and I go to dinner a lot but so far, even in the finest meals we’ve had across the country, we’ve resisted the urge to be food shutterbugs. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the Mayflower held only 102 people. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……and I swear to God, this is a true story, that I heard some guy in the grocery store blaming the price increase in Sucrets on Obama Care, or if you will, the Affordable Health Care Act. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED..........at my wife's sense of timing and humor. As I'm writing this, a commercial for Christian Mingle.com  came on the TV. So I said, "Hey there ya go, Christian Mingle.com". She says, "I  wouldn't have found you there!" All comedy is based un truth. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2352, February 7th, 2013


This week Talk Radio and the local news was dominated by the news that a Scranton Prep Senior issued a threatening tweet saying that if a fight broke out at a high school basketball game he would "blow up" the two area schools. . Torre Scrimalli, 18 went before a Magistrate charged with making terroristic threats. I’m conflicted on this. Kids, hell even adults make really stupid mistakes. Off hand remarks are made all the time. But in the aftermath of Sandy Hook and our violent culture, these things should be kept to one’s self. Putting it on social media is still another thing I don’t get, For years this current generation has been preached to time and time again to remember “that the internet” is forever. The Courts will decide this young man’s fate. Let’s hope it is a measured response that is both responsible and fair. Another 18 year old will have his fate judged this year too but in an entirely different way. 18 year old Devon Brown of Old Forge has thrown the proverbial hat in the ring to be a member of Old Forge Council. With the scandals in the Police department, Old Forge needs new blood. And the younger and more innovative the better It will be interesting to see if this young person can overcome in Old Forge politics. An 18 year old Tom McGroarty did it in Wilkes Barre in 1983, maybe Old Forge will give Brown a chance.


U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)


17th  District Congressman Matt Cartwright weighed in on the announcement that the Post Office might close on Saturdays. Here’s his comment: 
The Postal Service is an American institution and must be preserved. Comprehensive postal reform legislation must address the issue of delivery frequency, and Congress should make such reform a priority. Today’s announcement by Postmaster Patrick Donahoe, regarding the loss of Saturday delivery, will have a negative effect on both the Postal Service and its millions of customers. The loss of Saturday delivery will be particularly harmful to small businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication. 
The agency’s crisis is a direct result of an unsustainable congressional mandate imposed on the Postal Service by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). The federal law forces the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees and to do so in a 10-year period. No other entity — public or private — bears this burden. Since the PAEA took effect in 2007, the Postal Service has been required to pre-pay approximately $5.5 billion per year. Yet the same law prohibits the Postal Service from raising postage rates to cover the cost. The Postal Service has already slashed mail service by closing 13,000 post offices and drastically reducing hours of operation, shutting hundreds of mail processing facilities, and downgrading standards for mail delivery to America’s homes and businesses. The effects have already been felt locally in Scranton and today’s announcement will only place a greater burden on the 17th Congressional district. 
Congress must take a holistic approach in passing comprehensive Postal Reform legislation addressing both the recent decline in mail volume as well as the strain placed on the Postal Service by the mandated PAEA.  




The Huffington Post reported yesterday that Strom Thurmond’s daughter died the other day at the age of 87. The former Presidential candidate (1948) and long serving Senator (he was a Democrat but then turned Republican was an unapologetic segregationist. As a matter of fact, his views were so abhorrent to mainstream media in the 21st century that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was sent packing when he gave a laudatory comment at a gathering for Thurmond when he was in his final days in office. Here is the fascinating story of his daughter. The mixed-race daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years to avoid damaging his political career has died. Essie Mae Washington-Williams was 87. Vann Dozier of Leevy's Funeral Home in Columbia said Washington-Williams died Monday. A cause of death wasn't given. Washington-Williams was the daughter of the one-time segregationist and his family's black maid. There had been rumors for decades in political circles and the black community that Thurmond had fathered a daughter by a black woman. But Washington-Williams did not come forward and identify Thurmond as her father until after his death at age 100 in 2003. Washington-Williams spent decades as a school teacher in Los Angeles. Thurmond was South Carolina's governor and for a time was the nation's longest-serving U.S. senator. 


An institution in the Luzerne County area has passed away. Jimeal Moses was known for a restaurant he had in Plymouth along with his dedication to the rewstoring of that town’s legacy. Jimeal's Catering was in business for 45 years and during the 1972 flood he served over 175,000 meals to flood victims at the Armory in Plymouth. 


Professor Al Groh died on Monday at St. Luke’s Villa according to the Times Leader. Groh was a fixture on Public Square during the annual Fine Arts Fiesta. Groh was a constant presence throughout the event and helped organize so many of the foundational events for that event that are now commonplace in its agenda. I remember Groh as a calming, cerebral influence where no problem of logistics couldn’t be solved without reason and tact. He was a long time Professor of English and the Arts at Wilkes College. One of my friends who went to Wilkes said Groh’s classes were both “mystical and magic” in their explanation of the great classical works of time. Groh leaves a legion of students who obviously feel their interaction with him gave them a greater appreciation for the arts. It goes without saying that one of these founder’s of this event has left his mark for not only my generation but for many to come. Groh was part of the very fabric of the Fine Arts Fiesta. He was 92.
“Pepper” Paire-Davis and Geena Davis. (Photo SportingnewsMLB). 


The Sporting News MLB reports that Lavonne "Pepper" Paire-Davis, a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the central character in the movie "A League of Their Own," has died, her son said Sunday. Paire-Davis died of natural causes in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Saturday, her son, William Davis, told The Associated Press. She was 88. Paire-Davis was a model for the character played by Geena Davis in the 1992 hit "A League of Their Own," which also starred Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna and Tom Hanks as the crusty manager who shouted the famous line, "there's no crying in baseball!" In 1944, Paire-Davis joined the league, created out of fear that World War II would interrupt Major League Baseball, and played for 10 seasons. 



Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The PartyZone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com 


ECTV Dave Williams, Operator of the Pennsylvania Farm Country Radio Network will rejoin 
ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo during the week of February 11th to outline plans for another FREE public event. It's the annual "Dairy Days" show to beheld in Honesdale. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 throughout the week atMidnighgt, 6PM, and Noon. The program presents information of events throughout the area that are open to the public free of charge. 


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Noreen Neary about her “Baskets of Hope” fundraiser in honor of her mother Jane, who died from breast cancer 15 years ago. The event will be held Sunday March 3rd at the Dunmore Community Center. Brian speaks with travel guru Chris McGuiness about the best travel deals during the spring months...Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Erin Pikul about the upcoming 5K “Renal Race 2” on Saturday March 16th on Public Square in Wilkes Barre to raise money in the fight against kidney cancer...............And an encore of Brian’s interview with Dr. Sharon Finster from the Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital in Plains about their care for pets in Northeast Pa. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30 on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on true Oldies 590, WARM.

Our 1976 logo. 


The Winter Olympic continued. 37 nations participated in the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. The '76 Winter Olympics marked the final time the Republic of China (Taiwan) participated under the Republic of China flag and name. After most of the international community recognized the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of all China, the ROC was forced to compete under the name Chinese Taipei, under an altered flag and to use its National Banner Song instead of its national anthem. Andorra and San Marino participated in their first Winter Olympic Games………………….. In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000............Nearly 2,000 students become involved in a racially charged riot at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida; 30 students are injured in the 4-hour fray……….The ratings are in and the Sonny and Cher program dominates CBS TV ratings. The twist is the show returns with the recently divorced Sonny and Cher. The bloom would soon be off the rose and the show would not last long….and pianist Vince Guaraldi was found dead in a hotel room at the age of 47. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for seventeen Peanuts television specials……in Pennsylvania, Ltn. Governor Ernest Kline ends speculation that he might run for the U.S. Senate seat of Hugh Scott. Kline’s announcement comes days after outgoing Auditor General Robert P. Casey says he will serve out his term and not compete for the seat…….in both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, the entire community is stunned by the sudden death of Advertising and TV pioneer Hal Berg. Berg suffered a fatal attack traveling to a client. Berg was one of the pillars of early day broadcasting in TV. Berg was also associated with WILK Radio and TV. He was a fixture in the Billboard Magazine column VoxJox where his program on WILK was promoted nationally every week. As Program Manager of the fledgling WNEP, Berg shaped the early days of survival of that entity. At the time of his death, he was the President of Hal Berg Advertising. When this happened, I was interning at a number of Media outlets in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His death triggered a common denominator that I had rarely seen among business people. I never saw so many people feel so bad at the same time to the same degree when they heard Hal Berg had died………and thirty seven years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon.