Sunday, March 31, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2385, March 31st, 2013


Any information you have on your candidacy in the upcoming primary elections  is welcome to send their information on events, meetings and biography to The LuLac Political Letter. 
Send to or
Please send JPEGS as well as Word Dox. (Sorry no PDF files). 
Good luck in the upcoming elections.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2384, March 30th, 2013

Logo from ceece. org. 


If you as a citizen of Luzerne County would like to give your opinion on the performance of the County Manager this far, you can. There is a form on line that you can access to give your assessment of the the job being done so far. Here’s the information. 
It appears the County Council is interested in the publics opinion of the Luzerne County Managers performance and has provided a form to be filled out by concerned citizens and employees. 
Attached is an easy "fill-in-the-blank" version, if you're interested. Please open the attached document, fill in the blanks and send the saved/completed form to Clerk of Council. 
Brittany M. Burgess 
Clerk of County Council 
OR By mail to: 
Luzerne County Courthouse, 
200 N River St 
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711 
Attn: Clerk of Council
Luzerne County Council Candidate Eileen Sorokas. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Eileen (Pipech) Sorokas of the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre, announced her candidacy for Luzerne County Council. Sorokas gave within a whisker of winning a Council seat the last time with an energetic campaign. This time, she is trying again with a little more name recognition in a less crowded Democratic field. She was born and raised in the Wilkes-Barre Area, graduated from Saint Joseph's Parochial Grade School, Wilkes-Barre Township High School, and Luzerne County Community College. Also, she attended the United Way Union Counseling Program and night classes at Kings College to advance her degree. 
Eileen is retired from the ILGWU and is in the process of rebuilding a farm in Hunlock Creek, where she raises farm animals and plants seasonal crops. She stays active in various charitable organizations being a member of the Huber Breaker Society(Ashley), AM-VETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 189(Greater Pittston Area), and the Rose Tucker Senior Center(Nanticoke). Eileen has been involved in Governmental functions on the local, state and federal levels, serving on the Democratic State Committee, Democratic National Convention and numerous political campaigns. "I am running for Luzerne County Council as a concerned citizen and taxpayer, to be a voice for all the residents of Luzerne County. I want to bring back dignity and respect to Luzerne County Residents. My Vision is to hear residents say, What a great place Luzerne County is to work and live." "Accordingly, I will strive for honest, responsive, and dependable government. One that understands and serves the needs of the public, which includes, holding the line on taxes and watching how our tax dollars are being spent. Furthermore, I will be accountable only to the residents of Luzerne County. "
Pittston Area Magistrate candidate Qiana Murphy Lehman. (Photo: Facebook). 


Qiana Murphy Lehman, candidate for Magisterial District Judge for the 11-1-04 district encompassing Pittston, Hughestown, Dupont, Duryea, Avoca, Pittston Twp., Jenkins Twp. and Yatesville is hosting a Meet and Greet at the Knights of Columbus in downtown Pittston on April 16, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm. There will be free pizza, beer and soda and a chance to meet and speak with the candidate. 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, Brady & Grabowski. P.C. Qiana is a resident of Dupont and is the daughter of Ann Marie Zaffuto and the late, Dick Murphy. To learn more about the candidate, visit her web site: 


The Wilkes Barre Area School Board is going to have an interesting group of candidates this time around. One guy making the rounds again is Len Cornish. Many have asked just who is Len Cornish? Here’s a brief bio provided to us by the candidate. Many observers on the campaign trail have told LuLac they are impressed with his credentials. 
My name is Leonard Cornish, and I am a candidate seeking election to serve as a Wilkes-Barre Area School Director. I currently reside in the Rolling Mill Hill section of the city of Wilkes-Barre. I am a 1968 graduate of James M. Coughlin High school and have earned both a B.S. and M.S. degree from Penn State University. I am a Vietnam era veteran of the United States Coast Guard. In 2004, I retired from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Currently, I am the president and principle soil scientist of Pocono Soil and Environmental Consulting, Inc. 
Throughout my life, I have demonstrated a willingness to serve. As a U.S. Coast Guard Hospital Corpsman, I participated in numerous air-sea rescues. As a state soil scientist, I have worked to protect our environment. As a high school wrestling coach, wrestling official and youth basketball coach, I have worked to better the lives of our area youth. 
As a community activist, I have worked to better the lives of all people. I now wish to serve all residents of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District as one of their elected School Directors. For years now, I have attended Wilkes-Barre Area School Board meetings and followed with astonishment the numerous reported incidents that have inflicted a severe wound to dignity, honor and trust in the system. I have been a strong advocate for the development of a robust hiring policy that prohibits the caustic influence of nepotism and cronyism. 
As an elected School Director I will diligently work to restore a system of responsible, efficient school governance. I will strive to find solutions to address our schools continued failure to achieve mandated proficiency standards. And, I will endeavor to determine the effect our changing demographics has on our school system and insure that our administration, teachers and staff are equipped to facilitate any issues this change may bring. 
I feel that through my different life experiences, that I bring a perspective that differs from those currently serving as our school directors, and that I will be an asset to our educational system. I truly believe “WE CAN DO BETTER”. 


 Today is National Doctor's Day. We salute those men and women of medicine who do the hard study time to become the best health technicians in the world. Thanks for all you do. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2383, March 28th, 2013

This week’s Time Magazine cover on the Gay Marriage issue. (Photo: Time Magazine) 


I met my first gay person when I was twenty five years old. It was the late 70s and I was dating a woman named Nancy who had a daughter. (My father referred to the divorcees I dated as “widows” because he could never rationalize divorce). It was the glorious time of Vispi’s Camelot Lounge and one night Nancy and I stepped out and were on the dance floor. To the tune of “I Love the Night Life”, we were joined by a lithe man who danced between us. At first I thought he wanted to cut in but then after dipping her, he twirled me around in a type of Anthony Quinn “Fiddler on the Roof” dance move and then went on his merry way. When we sat down to our complimentary bottle of champagne (Vispi’s was known for giving you a bottle if it was your birthday) I asked who the intruding dancer was. She answered, “Oh, that’s gay Bob”. Stupidly I asked why did she call him that and she said because he was gay and his name was Bob. Since Bob was her friend, I spent time in his company. At first he was distrustful of my intentions because of Nancy’s daughter. But once I told him about my father’s “widow” theory, he was fine with us as a couple. 
So as a young man I got to see the gay experience from a very good perspective. I saw that Bob’s life was not that different than mine as a single young man in America. We both were in tenuous jobs, were spending too much money and were struggling to find the right person to love. We bonded on music and books but I never brought up sports because I “assumed” those guys never got into sports. It wasn’t until later that summer when it was Bob who strolled into Vic Mar’s on a hot August night and greeted a group of us in our booth with the opening line, “Man that was a shame about Thurman Munson dying in that plane crash. Who the hell are they (the Yankees) going to get to replace him?” 
Later on I worked with gay men and women in various jobs. I even had a gay supervisor from out of town who offended me once because she tested my reaction to her flirting with another woman at Hottle’s. I just let it go but I knew she was trying to see what this NEPA hick might think of her “awful” behavior. I just nodded and said something like, “Hmm, too short for me”. I thought about all of this as the Supreme Court hears arguments about gay marriage . I come from a traditional Roman Catholic family. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been anyone gay in our combined clans. But in terms of marriage, on both sides of the family with my late uncles and aunts, there was but one divorce. With the hundreds of cousins in the my generation and the next , there might be less than 8 divorces. So my opinion on gay marriage has been formed by my “traditional” view of marriage and my vantage point as a young person peeking into the life of a gay man. My conclusion is that gay people should have the opportunity to marry. Here’s why: 
1. They told me marriage was about commitment. When I got married only my wife listened to that part. But after coming to that party late, I find it astounding that in this age of people not willing to commit, we are going to stop people who want to make that vow work. When we are talking about gay marriage, we are not mandating that every gay person get married. We’re only giving them the opportunity if they want to. Let them enjoy the fruits of a shared life like retirements and happily ever after. But also let them deal with the burden of being a married couple living in the America with the current  middle class tax structure.  If they want to commit, the sooner the better. Increase that revenue pool. 
2. The people opposing this talk about the kids. It’s always about the kids isn’t it? With the illegitimacy rate at nearly 49%, I’d say two gay parents are better than a single mom who is raising kids alone. I dated many of them and their lot in life was not fun. Plus consider this. With so many blended families and single women with multiple kids by more than one father, are you going to tell me that a Ted and Al or Barb and Betty are not as strong as a Mom with two or three fathers running around in the family unit? You think those kids in that arrangement are getting the same love and attention by just having two parents of whatever gender? Give me a Fred/Frank or Mary/Sally set of parents any day as opposed to a Mom, a Julio, a Vince and a Tom raising kids. Kids with women who have habitually multiple husbands are better off being raised by cats. 
3. Finally, religion. As a Roman Catholic if my church does not want to offer the sacrament of marriage, then that is their prerogative. Gays who want a religious sanctioned marriage should find a like minded entity. Perhaps organized religious groups think being gay is a sin. That’s their call. But we are all sinners and if your poison is loving someone of the same sex, it isn’t my sin nor my concern. Marriage is not about religion anyway. It helps but is not the defining thing the religious bible beaters would like to you believe. 
The success of a marriage depends not on heterosexuality, homosexuality or lesbianism. Like all relationships, when the sex flames out and there’s nothing else, you essentially got nothing. The best description I ever heard of a good marriage was from Gerry Flaherty who owns the renowned “Flaherty’s Drinking Establishment”. Before Gerry had his bar, I worked with him at a Youth agency in Wilkes Barre. Gerry once said this about marriage, “It’s like a store. You open up for business every day and work hard at your marriage. There are some good days and bad days. The good days you enjoy, the bad days you just forget about them, turn the lights out and start up fresh the next morning opening up the store. You don’t look back and talk about that bad day yesterday because you’ll never get it back. You keep working in that store every day. That’s what makes a good marriage”. 
Gerry told me that in 1980 shortly before he opened up his first bar on Park Avenue in Wilkes Barre. It is time for America to unlock the doors and give gay people the keys to open up that store Gerry Flaherty was talking about. 


Those "job creators" at their natural state. It fits for the gaming decisions. (Photo: Ogden on 


The recent announcement of the more than 12 million dollars from gaming revenues to some private entities the other day was nothing short of a disgrace. There were some worthy projects like the revitalization for downtown Pittston and the flood recovery money for the hard hit borough of West Pittston. Building a new Fire Station on the Sans Souci Highway for Hanover Township will improve safety for that area. Ashley Borough, Newport Township, Pittston Township and Duryea received money to repair or renovate government buildings that would otherwise have not been completed or put on hold. Two non profits, the Kirby as well as United Neighborhood Community Development Corporation got money for improvements. Those were good things. It is money that goes back into the community, FOUND MONEY if you will. Geisinger Medical Center, the most profitable health care entity in the state gets $400,000 for an expansion of its neuroscience area. At first I thought, why do they need the money? But then it was stated that  this investment would actually create 21 new full time, good paying jobs. And with the need for these services, especially with people needing care for life threatening illnesses, you know those jobs will become a reality. 
But there were other grants awarded that just don’t pass the smell test. Why is this state government commission giving money to private business? The money for the Hazleton bank buildings are ludicrous when you consider that the streets of Hazleton are worse than some in Afghanistan. But there’s a million bucks laid out for private business guys, some with dubious reputations so they can renovate a bank building, move their headquarters to the downtown and maybe add on a few people. And oh yes, they will lease out office space! Can’t they use their own money? Wasn’t this supposed to be community development money? Wouldn’t some of that Hazleton money be better served for maybe the Hazleton Library or the Hazleton youth program sponsored by Major League Manager Joe Maddon instead of Donald Trump wannabees? 
In last year’s Presidential election, we were told over and over how if only government got out of the way of business, more jobs would be created. We were told that we have become a nation of takers because people are living on government pensions they earned. But who the hell are the takers now? This is a lost million. You won’t see this again. Government rarely if ever asks for an accounting of what private businesses do with the money handed out for GOOD PAYING JOBS. They never come. This is a disgrace. 
The state has to rethink the way it parcels out these gaming revenues. 
First, no private businesses should get a cent. Let them invest their own damn money. 
Second, non profits and historical renovations should get first preference. 
Third, the Times Leader pointed out in an editorial that this 12 million dollars could easily have wiped out any property tax increases in all of the districts in Luzerne County. Put the money back where it was intended. 
You know Tom Corbett is gearing up for his election because he sent out a flunky to pass out his checks. Let this be a stark reminder that we need a new Governor who will prod this State Legislature to either give the money to worthy causes or property tax relief or just leave it in a fund from the casinos until someone in Harrisburg grows a set and gets a whiff of common sense. It used to be that the rich used to help the poor. Now they screw them and laugh all the way to their new and fancy bank buildings….paid for by us. 
Senator Bob Casey and the late Governor Bob Casey Senior. (Photo: National Journal). 


Bob Casey Junior the Senator was on TV the other morning talking about gun control. Casey said that since the tragedies at Connecticut in December he changed his stance on various aspects of guns. Casey said that even if the measure is not at full strength, he wanted to make a vote despite any political fallout from the gun lobby. Casey said that a vote like that only comes around once or twice in a while and as a Legislator you have to look back to see “what you did when you had the vote”. That statement echoes Bob Casey Senior who was always fond of saying about his term in office, “What did you do when you had the power?” 
I fear that many leaders today have no idea why they are there and how to use the power they have. Of course there is a lot of GOP obstructionism, and nearly as much of Democratic staunchness against the obstruction. But these guys have to realize that one day they’ll look back and ask, “What exactly did I do when I had the chance?” In the first two decades of the 21st century, I’d say “Not too much”.
U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Today Rep. Cartwright's office  announced that the Army has awarded a contract to two companies, one of which is the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Plant in Scranton. The $100,600,000.00 contract will be shared between General Dynamics and the IMT Defense Corporation in Westerville, OH. This contract procures a maximum quantity of 546,000 M107 Projectile Metal Parts. “This contract should serve as a boost for the hardworking men and women at General Dynamics who have built a strong reputation for building high quality projectile metal parts and components for large caliber cannons and artillery,” said Cartwright. “I am proud to have a company like General Dynamics in our District as it represents the best in American innovation. This contract is great news for our military and especially great news for Northeastern Pennsylvanians as we work to get our economy back on track.” The estimated completion date is March 26, 2018. 



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


ECTV Live takes on a serious Social issue during the week of April 1st as hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo welcome Mary Ann LaPota to the program to talk about the warning signs and treatment options for Child Abuse. The program is begin offered in observance of April as Child Abuse Awareness Month. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with selective additional showings at the 6pm time slot. Electric City Television, in cooperation with the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock is also airing replays of "Open Mic Night" which offers a venue for regional musicians and poets to perform before a live audience. 


Our 1976 logo. 


Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery of a San Francisco bank……Argentina military forces depose president Isabel Peron………The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opens....The military dictatorship of General Jorge Videla comes to power in Argentina. ...............The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that coma patient Karen Ann Quinlan can be disconnected from her ventilator. She remains comatose and dies in 1985...........In Presidential politics, George Governor Jimmy Carter beats Alabama’s George Wallace in the Florida primary effectively ending Wallace’s dreams of a nomination for the party. Carter’s win signals a “New South” emerging in national politics……….On the GOP side President Ford beats challenger Ronald Reagan in the Florida vote……Florida spells the end to the candidacy of Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp. Shapp gathers less than 1% of the vote and bows out…… Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties., interest in the Presidential primary intensifies with party regulars choosing Senator Henry Jackson of Washington as their man. Coalitions of students are gearing up behind Representative Morris Udall of Arizona but an intense organization effort begins on behalf of Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. The Pennsylvania primary is set for late April….and 37 years ago the number one song in America and Lulac land was “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2382, March 26th, 2013

WHERE I'VE BEEN..........................





Sunday, March 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2381, March 17th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that according to a report in the Citizen’s Voice this past week, the amount of money to rent either a house or decent apartment was about $740.00. The average wage is way below that. How in the name of God can a family, especially one starting out afford to live? Despite the platitudes of the politicians, this is an economically depressed area that holds a bleak future for people who try and do the right thing. And as always, the local Chamber of Commerce big shots are nowhere to be found when it comes to economic development. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that as I watch the County Council Meetings on Service Electric TV filmed by Video Innovations, I am struck by the passion of some of the public speakers who decide to take up their time and address issues of concern. And unlike other governmental bodies in this area, there is great respect and restraint shown by the Luzerne County Council. Chairman Tim McGinley has set an even handed tone of firm, respectful leadership that is sorely lacking elsewhere. The meetings aren’t American Idol (Thank God for that) but are a true public service.
Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran. (Photo: AOL.COM) 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that the Cardinal who made the announcement of the new Pope, France’s Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran seemed scared out of his wits as he announced the selection of Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio. He was tentative and after he made the announcement, (at least from my perspective) he stepped back and kind of had a look on his face expressing , “Hey, I had nothing to do with this vote” as the crowd processed the surprising information. This is as similar to when Pope John Paul II was chosen in 1978 where the crowd was unfamiliar with the choice of Poland’s Karol Wojtyla, the first Polish Pope and the first non Italian in four hundred years. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that the gestation period for a goat is only five months. And equally amazing is that goats only have bottom teeth but not top teeth. So if you see them eat an apple, they will attack it with their bottom teeth arching their mouths upward. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that in the Citizen’s Voice Friday, there was a report about the animal who killed Prison Guard Eric Williams a few weeks ago. Apparently the drug gang member was in solitary confinement when he was in an Arizona jail. When he came to the facility in Pennsylvania, he could roam with the other inmates. A prison official quoted in the story said that prison officials gauge the needs of the inmate when how to decide where they will be housed. THE NEEDS OF THE INMATE? What about the needs of the Prison Guards whose lives are in jeopardy every day? THE NEEDS OF THE INMATE? We are a ****ed up country when it comes to Crime and Punishment”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that since the election of Benedict VIth, we now have Podcasts, Twitter, Ipads and other electrical devices. You have to give it to the Vatican. They know how to keep a lid on this process even with this new technology. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the average human dream lasts only two to three seconds. If that’s the case, then why are the dreams I have so fact filled and vivid? Does it mean that my thoughts are racing at a millisecond rate? It might be true because when I wake up from a dream or particularly a nightmare, my heart is racing. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that I understand that the new Pope was caring for an elderly sick relative when he was a Cardinal in Argentina, that he enjoys opera and the tango. I liked Benedict a lot because of his traditionalist bearing. He was a throwback to the Latin Mass of my Catholic youth. This new Pope reminds me of the John XXIIIrd model where there will be more surprises than not from Francis I. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Cardinal Dolan of New York is the head of Catholic Communications in the United States. I found it fascinating listening to the Catholic Radio Channel on Sirius Radio this week. It is a great mix of fun, information, serious religiosity as well as personality. It definitely has the Dolan charismatic stamp on it. As a Catholic and Radio guy, I am impressed. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a much discussed Vice Presidential possibility in 2012 said he is reversing his stand on gay marriage. Portman’s son came out in 2009 and Portman evolved on his position. Prior to this he was against gay marriage. I am not cynical about Portman’s reversal. It had to be a journey of soul searching and thought that very few of us are challenged to go through. But is it going to take a gay son or daughter in every member of the GOP Congress to change this very basic position? When it’s under your own roof, then its acceptable but in the abstract, it is an abomination. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that it has been estimated that when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she circled the globe about 39 times! That’s more times around the earth than the original Mercury 7 astronauts who had a combined 34 orbits around the earth. Granted they were a bit higher…but still. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that anyone would ever book a Carnival Cruise. The recent news about toilets overflowing, lack of food and water as well as power outages causing lack of air conditioning tells me something is terribly wrong with Carnival. Plus I think that with the sheer number of passengers on each cruise (with 5,000 or more passengers, I mean picture the entire City of Pittston and Borough of West Pittston populations on a boat) is way too much to handle efficiently. Once upon a time, I sold cruises for a living but I’d be hard pressed to recommend one now. Especially Carnival.
Stacey Keebler. (Photo: Hairstyles Blogsite) 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that actor George Clooney has ended it all with former WWE Wrestling character Stacey Keebler. Keebler also was on “Dancing With the Stars”. I’d hesitate to dump someone who used to kick ass, fictional or otherwise for a living. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Saturday night, I was listening to a vintage edition of the Art Bell program from 1995 on WILK overnight. Bell said that the Democratic party embraced those people who wanted to be dependent on the government. He said the GOP was the party of the free thinker and the entrepreneur. A caller to the program then said the GOP was the party of the rich only and didn’t care about the little guy. Eighteen years later, nothing seems to have changed. That is amazing.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2380, March 16th, 2013

Pope Francis I. (Photo: 



My good friend Twig passed this article along from the Wall Street Journal written by Peggy Noonan. We both aren’t regular readers of Noonan but this article on the new Pope, the way he was chosen, the manner in which he has conducted himself as well as the promise he holds for the world’s future is worth sharing. 
I'll tell you how it looks: like one big unexpected gift for the church and the world. Everything about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election was a surprise—his age, the name he took, his mien as he was presented to the world. 
He was plainly dressed, a simple white cassock, no regalia, no finery. He stood there on the balcony like a straight soft pillar and looked out at the crowd. There were no grand gestures, not even, at first, a smile. He looked tentative, even overwhelmed. I thought, as I watched, "My God—he's shy." 
Then the telling moment about the prayer. Before he gave a blessing he asked for a blessing: He asked the crowd to pray for him. He bent his head down and the raucous, cheering square suddenly became silent, as everyone prayed. I thought, "My God—he's humble." 
I wasn't sure what to make of it and said so to a friend, a member of another faith who wants the best for the church because to him that's like wanting the best for the world. He was already loving what he was seeing. He asked what was giving me pause. I said I don't know, the curia is full of tough fellows, the pope has to be strong. 
Columnist Dan Henninger on what can be gleaned from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's background about how he might deal with China and Islam. "That is more than strength," he said of the man on the screen. "This is not cynical humanity. This is showing there is another way to be." 
Yes. This is a kind of public leadership we are no longer used to—unassuming, self-effacing. Leaders of the world now are garish and brazen. You can think of half a dozen of their names in less than a minute. They're good at showbiz, they find the light and flash the smile. 
But this man wasn't trying to act like anything else. 
"He looks like he didn't want to be pope," my friend said. That's exactly what he looked like. He looked like Alec Guinness in the role of a quiet, humble man who late in life becomes pope. I mentioned that to another friend whay he be a living antidote. 
He is orthodox, traditional, his understanding of the faith in line with tho said, "That would be the story of a hero." 
And so, as they're saying in Europe, Francis the Humble. Me teaching of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He believes in, stands for, speaks for the culture of life. 
He loves the poor and not in an abstract way. He gave the cardinal's palace in Buenos Aires to a missionary order with no money. He lives in an apartment, cooks his food, rides the bus. He rejects pomposity. He does not feel superior. He is a fellow soul. He had booked a flight back to Argentina when the conclave ended. But these two traits—his embrace of the church's doctrines and his characterological tenderness toward the poor—are very powerful together, and can create a powerful fusion. He could bridge the gap or close some of the distance between social justice Catholics and traditional, doctrinal Catholics. That would be a relief. 
And he has suffered. Somehow you knew this as you looked at him Wednesday night. Much on this subject will come out. 
The meaning of the name he chose should not be underestimated. Cardinal Bergoglio is a Jesuit and the Jesuits were founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, who said he wanted to be like St. Francis of Assisi. One of the most famous moments in St. Francis's life is the day he was passing by the church of St. Damiano. It was old and near collapse. From St. Bonaventure's "Life of Francis of Assisi": "Inspired by the Spirit, he went inside to pray. Kneeling before an image of the Crucified, he was filled with great fervor and consolation. . . . While his tear-filled eyes were gazing at the Lord's cross, he heard with his bodily ears a voice coming from the cross, telling him three times: 'Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.'" Francis was amazed "at the sound of this astonishing voice, since he was alone in the church." He set himself to obeying the command. 
Go and repair my house, which is falling into ruin. Could the new pope's intentions be any clearer? 
The Catholic Church in 2013 is falling into ruin. The church has been damaged by scandal and the scandals arose from arrogance, conceit, clubbiness and an assumption that the special can act in particular ways, that they may make mistakes but it's understandable, and if it causes problems the church will take care of it. 
Pope Francis already seems, in small ways rich in symbolism, to be moving the Vatican away from arrogance. His actions in just his first 24 hours are suggestive. 
He picks up his own luggage, pays his own hotel bill, shuns security, refuses a limousine, gets on a minibus with the cardinals. That doesn't sound like a prince, or a pope. He goes to visit a church in a modest car in rush-hour traffic. He pointedly refuses to sit on a throne after his election, it is reported, and meets his fellow cardinals standing, on equal footing. The night he was elected, according to New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Vatican officials and staffers came forward to meet the new pope. He politely put them off: Not now, the people are waiting. Then he went to the balcony. 
The church's grandeur is beautiful, but Francis seems to be saying he himself won't be grand. This will mean something in that old Vatican. It will mean something to the curia. 
After the conclave, I'm grateful for two other things. First, after all the strains and scandals they still came running. A pope was being picked. The smoke came out and the crowd was there in St Peter's Square. They stood in the darkness, cold and damp, and they waited and cheered and the square filled up. As the cameras panned the crowd there was joy on their faces, and the joy felt like renewal. 
People come for many reasons. To show love and loyalty, to be part of something, to see history. But maybe we don't fully know why they run, or why we turn when the first reports come of white smoke, and put on the TV or the computer. Maybe it comes down to this: "We want God." Which is what millions of people shouted when John Paul II first went home to Poland. This is something in the human heart, and no strains or scandals will prevail against it. 
I viewed it all initially with hope, doubt and detachment. And then the white smoke, and the bells, and the people came running, and once again as many times before my eyes filled with tears, and my throat tightened. That in the end is how so many Catholics, whatever their level of engagement with the church, feel. "I was more loyal than I meant to be." 
Much will unfold now, much will be seen. An ardent, loving 75-year-old cardinal in the middle of an acute church crisis is not going to sit around and do nothing. He's going to move. "Go and repair my house, which you see is falling into ruin". 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2379, March 14th, 2013

Former State Senator Bob Mellow. (Photo: Post Gazette archives).


The safe confines of a South Carolina prison former Senator Bob Mellow was utilizing has been invaded by the news that the former lawmaker is now facing charges of taking limos to Yankee Stadium, paid for by PNC which were undocumented and pressuring Turnpike vendors to contribute to his campaigns and those of others. Mellow’s picture was on top of the flow chart presented by Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Former Turnpike officials as well as two vendors were also charged. 


Democrats Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera, Eileen Sorokas, Michael Giamber, Linda McClosky Houck. and Richard Heffron are all in for the Spring primary. (Ciaruffoli-Taffera, Giamber and Heffron were in on the ground floor when the Charter was being proposed) That’s because the second time around for Luzerne County Council, there seems to be a dearth of candidates interested in running for the job. The five will proceed to the General Election and it will be interesting to see if they will run independently or on a ticket. 
On the Republican side, two incumbents and two good guys by the way, Harry Haas, and Eugene Kelleher will once more run again. They will be joined in the primary by Hazleton’s Kathy Dobash, Paul DeFabo, (long time GOP leader and franchise owner of the former Popeye’s Chicken on South Main Street, man that stuff was good!) Sue Rossi and Alex Milanes. As usual, most of the GOP candidates will most likely operate on their own and it will be interesting to see who will be the off candidate out. 
Independent Rick Williams is mulling a second run as an Independent. Williams ran a very good campaign last time and proved you don’t need an organized party (or as organized as political parties get in the Lu) to get you elected. 
I think the reason why there is not a lot of candidates running this time is because it has been proven how much work is involved in these County Council meetings. If you broke down the hourly rate of the 8,000 grand the Council members earn, and the time they put in, it might work out to about three bucks an hour. And with the new found transparency in the new government as well as the televised meetings every week on Service Electric filmed by our friends at Video Innovations, there isn’t a lot of room to sneak in a relative on the payroll. Plus there’s no money in the cash strapped budget.
Speaking of money, the Controller’s race is also on the line this year. Incumbent Walter Griffith is facing off against Karen Ceppa-Hirko of Wilkes-Barre. who polled very well against Kathy Kane in the Wilkes Barre Controller’s race. On the Democratic side, Council member and former Commissioner Steve Urban is in and he’ll run against Michelle Bednar of Conyingham Township. The current salary is about 36 grand, that jumps to $64,5 when either Griffith is re-elected or a new Controller steps to the fore.
Congressman Matt Cartwright (left) at St. Patrick’s Day Parade with his wife Marian. (Photo Facebook) 


Today, Rep. Matt Cartwright introduced his first piece of legislation entitled the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act. 
“It’s a proud moment for me, introducing as my first bill, this measure to protect the water supply for families in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and every place in America where the water could be endangered by oil and gas drilling,” said Cartwright. 
“The FRESHER Act simply seeks to eliminate the oil and gas permit exemption in the Clean Water Act and makes oil and gas exploration companies follow the same rules that apply to all other industries,” said Cartwright. “As hydraulic fracturing and the runoff that comes with it continues to increase, the need to make sure these companies are maintaining the cleanliness of our water becomes greater.” 
The bill also requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a basic study of the oil and gas stormwater runoff issue. 
The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 as a means of combating the discharge of pollutants into waterways for all industries. This law was amended in 1987 to exempt oil and gas companies. These exemptions were even further expanded in 2005 to cover the even more environmentally risky activity of construction, again just for oil and gas companies. 
“Fracking was not a concern on anyone’s radar when the Clean Water Act was originally debated, but the practice is expanding today” said Cartwright. “It’s time to update this important public health and environmental stewardship law.” Cartwright introduced his bill simultaneously with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who brought the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, to the floor. Both bills are meant to ensure that the fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. 
New technologies have led to the rapid development of hydraulic fracturing in Colorado and Pennsylvania before community members could fully understand the potential health, safety, and quality of life implications of drilling in their neighborhood,” said Rep. Polis. “Through the BREATHE Act and the FRESHER Act, we want to make sure that fracking is not exempt from the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.” 
Cartwright, who pledged that his first piece of legislation would deal with fracking and our natural water sources, will also sign on to the Frack Act, which if passed will eliminate the well-known “Haliburton Loophole.”
Pa. Governor Tom Corbett  (Wikipedia photos).


Is it possible for Governor Tom Corbett to become the first one term Governor since the Constitutional Change in 1968 that allowed Governors two consecutive terms? If you believe the polling recently released by QuinnipIac, that just might be the case. 
In head to head contests with former Congressman Joe Sestak, Sestak wins by 47% to Corbett’s 38%. In a match up with current Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Corbett garners just 39% to Schwartz’s 42%. Corbett beats former Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection head (corrected)  John Hanger, businessman Tom Knox and current Treasurer Rob McCord by scant percentage points that could well be within the margin of error on most polls. 
It is a year out to the election and things can change, especially if the Democratic party implodes itself with an embarrassment of riches with their candidates. No Governor seeking a second term has ever been denied since the Succession rule went into effect with the 1970 Gubernatorial election. 



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


This Week on Sunday Magazine Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Kimberly Pellicano from Commonwealth Health about their Healthy Woman event, featuring guest speaker Elizabeth Smart. Frankie also speaks with WNEP's Tom and Noreen Clark about "Bowl For Kids Sake" next Saturday at Stanton lanes in Wilkes Barre, with proceeds benefitting Big Brothers/Big Sisters on Northeast Pa.  Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Kat Miller and Spencer Casey from the ASPCA about pet obesity. And an encore of Brian's interview with Dawn Jackson Blatner about a healthier take on comfort foods. 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. 


Harold Wilson resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom……………Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery of a San Francisco bank……….Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter "Hurricane" Carter is retried in New Jersey………Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp hints he just might give up his futile Presidential bid for the Democratic nomination. Polls show the Governor finishing dead last in Florida, a state he was counting on to win……….in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, volunteer committees continue to work on events aimed at celebrating the 200th anniversary of the U.S.A. Informational programs are being featured on the radio and TV airwaves with “Bicentennial Moments” being the biggest and most popular venue of getting the word out electronically….and the number one song in LuLac land this week 37 years ago was the first number one hit by the Four Seasons since 1964’s “Rag Doll”, “December 1963 "/“Oh What A Night” featuring Frankie Valli.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2378, March 13th, 2013

Our “13 Questions” logo.


1. Can there be another Bush Presidency with the re-emergence of former Governor Jeb Bush?

Anything is possible. It’s kind of ironic that the great New England dynasty that was presumed, the Kennedys, never happened due to circumstances. Yet the Bush name seems to be viable. Jeb Bush’s greatest asset will be his father, 41. His greatest liability will be his brother, 43. I believe Jeb Bush can overcome any negativity about a dynasty worry because he is quick on his feet and has a very open, friendly engaging manner. He seems to be grounded and certainly has name recognition. However, will he have a problem pleasing the right wing of the Republican party? Bush may be attacked by those sharks within his own party and might not make it past the starting gate. An early announcement might help clear the field. Plus if Bush or any Republican nominee is up against say Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic, third terms for a party are tough to make happen. George H.W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan in 1988. The last time that happened was 1836 when Martin Van Buren succeeded Andrew Jackson. 

2. Have you seen any of the World Baseball Classic? 


3. Read any decent books lately? 

Just got through Tony Bennett’s “Life Is A Gift”. The tales of his WWII experience as well as his creative battles with Mitch Miller at Columbia were pretty entertaining. Up next is the bio of Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meecham and Calvin Coolidge that I got as gifts. But it takes time to sit and read with stuff going on. 

4. Do your sources within the Catholic Church regard a Shamrock Shake as a Lenten food?

A Lenten treat, hell a Lenten splurge if you think about it. It is meatless, I’ll give you that but take a look at the calories and fat content on just a medium! I’m not a fanatic when it comes to counting calories (obviously) but that thing is loaded. But I’ll pass this one by my Confessor and see what he says. 

5. Do you remember the Dance program on WNEP on Saturday nights? And who were the hosts? 

I remember TV Bandstand on Saturdays on WNEP. The first host was Sid Friedman. Then it morphed into “Komotion”. The hosts for that show were WWDL’s Doug Lane, Jay Kristopher and then Bob Woody. I was on one of the show’s Lane hosted when I went to St. John’s and I think that might have been early 1970. I’m saying it was ’70 because I remember the first song they played was “Touch Me” by the Doors. But then I remember being at the Skyliner Diner after the show with my date and another couple and “Sweet Mary” by Wadsworth Mansion came on the jukebox there and that was out in ’71. Either way, it was the early 70s. 

6. Are you loving the time change? 

You bet. I hate it being dark at 430pm. That’s nuts. 

7. Should we get out of Afghanistan sooner than late 2014? 

Yes. We failed to follow the lessons of Vietnam as well as what happened to other countries who went into that hellhole. The recent comments by (and I use the word loosely) by our “ally” (Hamid Karzai) are an insult to the memories of those Americans who died fighting in this conflict. I would not only pull the troops I out, I would destroy the infrastructure we spend billions building their country while ours is going to pot. 2 billion a week on this thug and his so called country? Imagine what we can do with that money! We have drones that can pinpoint any terrorist activity. Get out and take all of our stuff. They are not worthy of American troops who gave their lives for their version of “freedom”. 

8. Were you ever a big gulp drinker? 

No, I was satisfied with a nice cold 12 ounce beverage. Never got into the supersized because by the time you got to the end of those mammoth drinks, it was too watered down. 

9. Did you see that Town Meeting on TV the other night put on by your buddies at WYLN? 

Yes I did. WYLN does a very good job in terms of community service. They are a licensed TV station and takes their responsibility pretty seriously. I thought the questions and dialogue were very good. I think Chief Dessoye of Wilkes Barre and Chief D’Andrea certainly outlined the way investigations are conducted. DA Stephanie Salavantis, Reprehensive Tarah Toohill and Senator John Yudichak did more than political posturing. It was a good effort and all my “buddies” should be commended. 

10. They caught that inmate who murdered the prison guard. He was serving time for killing another person. They are talking about the death penalty. Fair? 

No. Don’t have an inquiry that will cost the financially strapped prison system any more money that it already doesn’t have. Kill him now. 

11. What media outlets were you following on the choosing of the new Pope? 

EWTN, CNN and something on Sirius Radio Channel 129 called “Holy Smokes”.
Actress Deborah Shelton played J.R. Ewing’s second wife Mandy Winger. (Photo: Celebrity 

12. Okay, so on “Dallas” they killed off JR. For good. Did you see the episode and what did you think? 

I thought it was very good in terms of setting up the rest of the season (the late Larry Hagman would have approved I’m sure and was happy to see them bring J.R.’s second and third wives back too. Mrs. LuLac and I had a slight wager on that one. 

13. The new Stadium at Moosic looks great. I’m sure you’ll be there this year. The Stadium will offer an array of different food. Do you have a regular ballpark staple or do you branch out into more adventurous cuisine? 

I stick with what I always bought at the Vet,  Yankee Stadium, Shea and the previous reincarnation at Moosic. 1 hot dog, 1 Diet and for dessert,  one soft pretzel. Once at Camden Yards I had one of Boog Powell’s rib sandwiches, dry as sawdust. Sticking to the classics.

The LuLac Edition #2377, March 13th, 2013

Pope Francis I. (Photo: AOL) 


The selection of a Latin American Pope has created more questions than answers. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the runner up in the last conclave that elected Benedict VIth. Did the impression he made 8 years ago stick with the College of Cardinals this time? And was there a concern that at the age of 76 could he be too old? (Remember Benedict was 78 when elected in 2005). Will the new Pope’s background as a Chemistry Teacher strengthen the Church’s resolve on matters of science? Or will it give him the secular experience to bridge the gap in terms of the issues facing the Church like stem cell research. 
The new Pope has shown great compassion for the poor. And he said in his opening homily that he wished to evangelize Rome. Will we see a sharing of the Vatican Treasury to developing countries? Will he have the administrative prowess to fix the financial problems in the Vatican? The best guess is going to come when we see who he appoints as his Secretary of State, the ultimate insider who will try to manage the Curia. 
His initial appearance was calming, reassuring and gave us a view into the humanity of the man. While Benedict portrayed a worldly, almost aristocratic view, this new Pope seems to be the exact opposite. At first blush, this Pope will hold the conservative doctrines of the previous two Popes. While John Paul II had a progressive appearance, in reality he dug in to any changes in church doctrine regarding Birth Control, Ordination of women and Sexual orientation. It will be interesting to see if this Pope will move on any social changes that will be more in keeping with the west. 
This Pope represents a number of firsts, the first Jesuit, the first Cardinal from the West who will be representing the majority of Catholics (Latin America has over 501 million Catholics) as well as the first runner up in a previous conclave to be chosen. 
The Papacy is a transformational office. We’ve seen what a Cardinal Bergoglio stood for and believed. It will be interesting and instructive to see how Pope Francis I will lead and whether like John XXIIIrd, there might be some divine flexibility living within the confines of his soul. 

The LuLac Edition #2376, March 13th, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 



We rarely think about air quality as an issue until we either have a health challenge or when an event occurs that threatens the quality of the air we use to survive. Last week the Citizen's Voice ran a thoughtful and cogent letter that we think bears repeating.
Respiratory therapist says 'Fight for clean air
Editor: As a respiratory therapist for 28 years, I have seen the disastrous impact of poor air quality. Patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis come in daily, fighting for air, suffering from what we call "air hunger." They become frightened as they gasp for air, becoming more anxious as they struggle. The anxiety and the shortness of breath build on each other. 
It's challenging for even the most experienced caregiver to see these patients suffer. I've seen first-hand the impact of air quality on those patients who live in cities with a large amount of smog or air pollution. 
Unfortunately, those patients were unaware that they had a higher chance of being diagnosed with bronchitis and asthma. 
Air quality can make a huge difference to those suffering from lung disease. We monitor the air quality every day because we know of the drastic impact it has on our patients. 
Air quality determines whether our patients will have a good day or a bad day. 
As more people are being diagnosed with asthma, more people need to be aware of the impact of air pollution on their disease. I'm proud to support the American Lung Association and its efforts to fight lung disease and to ensure clean, healthy air for all Pennsylvanians. 
Contact your elected officials and let them know that you expect them to fight for clean air and stand up to the companies that want to put profits before people. 
Debbie Gurnari Forty Fort

Monday, March 11, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2375, March 11th, 2013

Three possible contenders for the Papacy. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, of Quebec. Blogger Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Italian prelate Angelo Scolo of Milan. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


If you think politics in LuLac land is cutthroat, read some of the history regarding Papal Elections in the past. The Conclave is tomorrow but the intrigue has already been in place since Pope Benedict stepped off the world stage at the end of February. I’m sure there was jockeying before hand but after Benedict retreated to the confines of the Summer residence, the discussions became more intense. The Vatican has already had challenges with dueling press conferences from the European Cardinals and those of the West. 
One of the major issues facing the Conclave is the report about various investigations and fact finding reports that Benedict read but left for his successor to act upon. Cardinal George of Chicago has been adamant about having the Cardinals read the report before they meet. As of this writing, it appears that the request by the Chicago prelate has not been met. Whoever the new Pope is, he will have to deal with a lot of unfinished business. The new Pope will have to in short order:
1. Clean up the glacial bureaucracy of the Curia. The Vatican is the smallest nation in the world. A city-state, the small nation has layers and layers of established and ingrained inefficiencies that have become institutionalized. The new Pope will have to be a good manager with a big mean broom. 
2. The lingering effects of the Sexual abuse scandal is still front and center. There will have to be complete transparency regarding these past sins. Even though Benedict made the first steps in offering apologies, the new Pope, in order to restore faith in the Church is going to have to adopt policies of both crime and punishment, not crime and reward as has been the case with former priests. Moving them out of one parish to another is a reward. 
3. There will have to be a new Vatican III to bring the church into the 21st century. Attendance in the West has declined (more out of laziness than lack of faith in my opinion) and the Church has to figure out a way to move away from its past theological doctrines on Birth Control. How does an institution repudiate an Encyclical of a former Pope? The Church has made movements in more mundane matters like meatless Fridays and moving an altar around but this is going to be a monumental task in saying to the West. “We hear your concerns but after we reach out, are we sure you’ll show up?” A fine line. 
Another issue is the role of servants in the church. Shall Priests be allowed to marry and if they can, do you just isolate that to opposite sex or go all the way and endorse same sex unions? And what about the role of women in the church? Can a devout woman be any less a spiritual leader than a devout man? 
Plus, the new Pope is going to have to deal with right wingers in the Church, the Society of Pope Pius X who have ordained their own Bishops and want to repudiate Vatican II. During his tenure, Benedict has made overtures to them but has been rebuked. How on earth are they going to “get” Vatican III when they have been fighting Vatican II the last half century? 
So the new Pope is going to have to be up to the task to attacking the aforementioned three issues and implementing those changes. If the new Pope even comes close to implementing any of the thoughts I have brought up here, you can be sure he won’t have to quietly retire like Benedict did. He might be chased out of Rome! Will the Church go this far? No, but the discussion must be held because the Roman Catholic Church is at a crossroads. 


I have three candidates that I think might have a chance. They are: 
Marc Ouellet, of Quebec. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German. He is also known for his missionary work in South America. While a South American Cardinal may not be a possibility, that voting bloc may go for the Quebec Cardinal because of his work there. Appointed by Benedict in 2010 to head the Pontifical Commission on Latin America, Oulett has been in touch with leaders of the Latin American Churches on every issue from counseling to Church architecture. Plus, it is a Department of the Curia giving him at least an insight into the workings of the Church’s governmental mechanisms. The Conclave will move to him if it can’t settle on either a Cardinal from Rome or some other nation. 
Sean O’Malley of Boston:  Can there be an American Pope? While the press speculation has been about Timothy Dolan out of New York, O’Malley just might be the sleeper. O’Malley is a Capuchin Franciscan. The Franciscans are the closest thing to the “real people” of the church. O’Malley has not displayed the love of the top trappings of Rome like other Cardinals. Plus he has been active  as the Episcopal vicar for the Portuguese, Hispanic, and Haitian communities, taking a hard line against rebel infiltrators that were using the Church as a sanctuary from their criminal activity. In the age of sexual abuse, O’Malley called out Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, for once calling the criticisms voiced by victims of abuse “petty gossip. Unlike Dolan who can’t speak any language other than English, O’Malley is fluent in languages and has caught the imagination of the Italian press. Plus, O’Malley has a blog that he has been maintaining for a number of years giving his thoughts on life and the Catholic Church. Not because he’s a blogger…..but I’d put him way ahead of Cardinal Dolan in being taken seriously as a candidate. Dolan is a gregarious man who can tell a good story but the Curia needs more than an American spinning good yarns. O'Malley's management skills and demeanor makes him more appealing to the traditionalists in the College of  Cardinals than Dolan. 
Angelo Scolo of MilanAs the Archbishop of Milan, Scolo has the experience as well as the career pedigree to be a Pontiff. Pope Paul VIth was the Archbishop of Milan before assuming the Papacy. Scolo is said to have been a confidant of Pope Benedict and has much visibility as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Pope Benedict. In January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. Scolo might also be a favorite of the Western Popes, ie North America because of his stint in the mid 90s as President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome. He spent  a term spent as visiting professor at the counterpart Institute in Washington, D.C.. If the church’s stances on social issues need a reformer, he might be that person. Scolo’s problem is that the Italian Cardinals are divided and reluctant to coalesce behind him. It has been reported that he has 40 of the 57 votes needed to become Pope but that is pure speculation. But if he can peel off enough Italian and European votes as well as getting some support from the west, he might emerge as a contender too. 
Papal conclaves are odd though. Sometimes a favorite front runner stays that way like Cardinal Montini as Pope Paul VIth did in 1963. Then there are others like Pope John Paul II who was virtually unknown to the world until he was selected in 1978. 
The last two Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVIth have been theologic pastors who reflected on the spiritual doctrines of the Church. While reflection and study is good, the time for thinking is over. The next Pope is going to have to be a manager first and foremost who is going to fix the way the church is run. All of the problems facing the church, the Sexual Abuse Scandal as well as the banking problems have accelerated because of benign managerial neglect. Priority one will be to fix that in a transparent manner. After that, then gradual change might be the order of the day.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2374, March 10th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….about the time it seems to be taking for the College of Cardinals to get to know each other as they meet to pick the next Pope. There is a serious power struggle going on within the Church and you are either going to see a surprise choice or a rather ordinary one. The voting starts Tuesday. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… the lack of new ideas or even creative thoughts coming from those people who have entered the race for Scranton’s Mayoral seat. There is a paucity of creativity or ideas on how to get the Electric City out of its hole. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the late Curtis Montz, who passed away a week or so ago at the age of 101 worked at the FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts well into his late 90s. Montz was long associated with The Boston Store and Boscov’s for years. Plus Montz was in on the ground floor when Al Boscov renovated the old Paramount Theatre into the Kirby Center. He was a great gentleman with a dry, sarcastic wit. I was honored to know and work with him. a few years back.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that I’m not the only one who thought First Lady Michelle Obama’s involvement in the Oscars was just a tad over the top. I could not see any other First Lady crossing that line from First Lady to First fan. Sorry, didn’t fly with me.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that few people don’t realize that Seth McFarland, “Family Guy” creator is one lucky guy. He was booked on a Flight out of Boston on September 11th, 2001 but missed the flight due to a hangover.
Geena Davis at the Oscars (albeit years ago) showing off the goods. (Photo: 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that the screen actress I think is the hottest, Geena Davis actually had a problem with Seth McFarland’s take on women in the movies with his parody of the movies showing some skin. Davis has done a lot for women’s causes with Title IX support but this was a joke. And given some of her past outfits on the red carpet in her salad days, I think she is protesting just a bit too much. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that every year, I look forward to the Killarny Kapers on WICK/WYCK AM Radio and now the River 104.9FM. Jim Riley and Bobby Vanderheyden did a great job this year chronicling the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with wise cracks, history and wit. Jim Remish was sidelined and was missed but my old friend from Magic and WARM Radio Tom Jenkins did a stellar job doing the sideline reporting. The program which has been on the air for decades has become as much a part of the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the Morning Mass before the festivities. Next Saturday, Wilkes Barre has its parade with WYLN TV 35 broadcasting the event. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that with all the huffing and puffing by the Congressional GOP, President Obama got Chuck Hagel as his Defense Secretary and John Brennan as his CIA Director. A President rarely gets denied to name his team so as usual, this was all about the noise instead anything substantial. The only exception to their dismay was Rand Paul’s filibuster. I have no use for someone who says he wants to repeal Civil Right Legislation but his stand was a far cry from sound bite TV answers, he didn’t pull any stunts staying on his question and actually stood for something he believed in. His question was a legitimate one and he did get a detailed answer that was not forthcoming beforehand. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that every time a guy loses a Presidential Election and then gives his first interview, the national press will compliment him and say, “If only he acted like that on the campaign trail! Things would’ve been different. They said it about Robert Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain and now Mitt Romney. Romney was on Fox last Sunday and referred to the campaign as a roller coaster ride. I was thinking, “Can you imagine if he said that during the campaign?” The roller coaster jokes and parodies would be endless. But this is now……and that was then. The national press have bigger fish to fry……or burn. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that fresh apples float because 25% of their volume is air. And that includes any fresh apple. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that now you can carry a pocket knife on to an airplane!! Are you kidding me? This is dangerous. A pocket knife can be more dangerous than a box cutter. And the excuse they are using is because TSA workers need to concentrate more on finding bombs! A few Transportation entities are opposed to this and I can’t say I blame them. It's an open invitation for mayhem. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that a few weeks after his death, I’m still seeing commercials with the late Surgeon General C. Everett Coop hawking life alert systems for the disabled and elderly. Koop proudly proclaims in the pitch, “I wear one around my neck!”

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2373, March 9th, 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2372, March 8th, 2013

The marchers from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago this week. (Photo: antiyale blogspot)) 


This week marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the most significant Civil Rights March in that long campaign to achieve racial equality in the South. I write about this on LuLac because as a young boy, this march was on the Nightly News every night. It was in every local and national newspaper every single day. I was made aware of this event and its importance in my formative years. Today, the anniversary is even more important now because the viability of the very Civil Rights Act that this peaceful protest brought about is in jeopardy by the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently some members of that august body are saying the act is outdated and that there is no need anymore for racial entitlement. Racial entitlement? Are you kidding me? People got killed marching for racial equality. They were fighting for freedoms that were denied them. To quote a line from the “All In the Family” sitcom, and I directed this at Justice Scalia, “You may talk smart but you aren’t smart”. Here’s a recap of this historical event from the National Park Service website. 
The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks--and three events--that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a "symbolic" march to the bridge. Then civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., weighed the right of mobility against the right to march and ruled in favor of the demonstrators. "The law is clear that the right to petition one's government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups...," said Judge Johnson, "and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways." On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965--the best possible redress of grievances.
District Justice candidate Attorney Mark Singer. (Photo: Freelance Associates). 


Mark A. Singer Announces Candidacy for District Judge 

Pittston Attorney Mark A. Singer, Esquire is announcing his candidacy for District Judge of the Magisterial District Judge for District 11-¬‐1-¬‐04. The District comprises the municipalities of Pittston and the greater Pittston area, Duryea, Avoca, DuPont, and Hughestown. 
Singer graduated from Pittston Area High School in 1980 and immediately enrolled in the University of Scranton where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a duel Bachelor of Science Degrees in 1984. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 1987 from Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University. Singer was admitted into the Practice of Law in 1987 and in all courts in the State of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Middle District, The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the member of Lions International Attorney Singer was awarded the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow Award. 
He has also served as President of the Hughestown Lions Club. Mark is an elder in the Second Presbyterian Church of Pittston, a member of the Keystone Consistory and an Irem Temple Shriner. 
Attorney Singer is son to the late Francis Anthony Singer from Avoca and Amelia Lena (Foglia) of Hughestown. He is married to the former Heidi Baldygo and they have one daughter Anjelica Nicola, a student at the Pittston Area Middle School. 
Additional information on Attorney Mark A. Singer may be found on his website United States Supreme Court. He began his career after Law School in Lehigh County as a Public Defender and Attorney Singer has since served as an Assistant District Attorney for Luzerne County, and First Assistant Liaison to the Lower Lackawanna/Upper Luzerne County Drug Task Force. In addition, Mark Singer has served the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission (M.P.O.E.T.C.) for nearly10 years, as an Instructor. Mark was also Adjunct Instructor in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Luzerne County Community College. He has also been an advisor to the Pittston Area Young Lawyers. 
As a Defense Attorney, Singer is one of twelve (12) attorneys certified to defend capital cases. He has prosecuted murders, rapists, burglars, drug dealers, child abusers and those that prey upon the elderly. Mark is the only candidate to prosecute as well as defend a Death Penalty case. Deeply involved within the community, Mark A. Singer has been active in the Pittston Area School District having been involved on the Board of Directors and a Region 7 Director to The Pennsylvania School Board Association. 
For more information, go to

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2371, March 7th, 2013

Gas Drilling Awareness Poster. (Photo: GDAC Facebook page).


The place to be this Sunday night is at the River Street Jazz Cafe when the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition holds their third annual fundraiser. On Sunday March 10th from 6 to 9pm, guests will be treated to music, raffles, of art works gift baskets and get the opportunity to support the goals of this group. Suggested donation is $10.00 but c’mon, you can’t even buy a martini (I’m told) for that amount. Plus there’s free pasta as well as music by Mother Nature’s Sons and Maria DuBiel.


The recent mess in Washington over the budget cuts called The Sequester is going to have a deleterious effect on the Obama administration. First off, the inaction and hand wringing of the President did him no PR favors. His approval ratings are sinking and his other agenda items that he so boldly put forth in his State of the Union are in jeopardy. It is ironic that a President accused of being a lover of big government just might by stymied by his ability to operate the levers of that government’s power. It is a government of and by the people. And the masses he is speaking to can’t give him the votes in Congress to pass his programs. 
As the President, he has to appeal to the human traits of his opposition. All of them have ambition, greed, things they want for themselves. His disdain to horse trade is going to doom his agenda. Here’s an example. John Boehner is being shackled by the House GOP right. Boehner would like to make a deal, demonstrated that last year but can’t because he’s going to lose his Speakership. If I were in the White House, I’d appeal to Boehner’s patriotism. Get him on board, tell him that with or without the Sequester, the Tea Party will find something else wrong with him and depose him anyway. Get his support then offer him a soft landing. Ambassadorships, Cabinet, anything. Move jobs into his district, just get him on board. 
In my estimation, this is Health Care all over again! The President is losing control of the message. His administration has cut the budget but to hear the GOP tell it, Obama has made more spending cuts than any administration in the last decade. 
a. The continuing resolution of 2010 decreased the budget. 
b. The Budget Control Act of 2011 reduced the budget. 
c. The revenue increases at the end of 2012, start of 2013 drove the debt down. 
d. And now the Sequester even though the cuts are questionable because they are coming from discretionary funds and are not line items. If Obama gets about 6 billion in new revenues and makes real entitlement reform with people starting at the age of say 53, (right now) he can put the entitlements on the right track as well as reduce the debt by 1.2 trillion bucks! But he can’t do that by giving speeches. Or dithering. 
The dinner last night with the Senators was a start but the problem is in the House. 
Here’s the thing about Presidents. They get praised for everything when life is good and get blamed for everything when it’s bad. When the Hostage Crisis with Iran first started in 1979 and into the ’80 Presidential Election, the nation and voters rallied around Jimmy Carter. He beat Ted Kennedy in every primary early on. But as the crisis dragged on, people blamed Carter and stopped supporting him. 
Most Americans do not pay attention to the nuances of government. Many would be hard pressed to tell you who their Congressman is. One of my friends from grade school, who follows this stuff every day was surprised when he went into his voting booth in November and was startled that he didn’t see Lou Barletta on his ballot. You can blame that on gerrymandering or the fact that this got by him. But Congress is opaque in most Americans eyes. 
The Sequester is being blamed on Congress by the White House. They have said that every day to the American people. Except that most Americans don’t know a lot about Congress or who runs the levers of power. But most people, even the idiots know who the President is. That question is asked of every football player who ever got his bell rung or anyone checking into an ER. In the last two days I talked to three people and asked them about this latest debacle. And the answer was universally, “You mean Obama’s sequester thing? He better fix that thing”. No one mentioned a word about Congress. 
Again, I come back to Health Care in 2009. If he handles this thing like he did Health Care, not getting involved in the dirt and mud, say goodbye to any grand plans he might have had for his legacy. History will write that he was a rock star on the campaign trail but turned into a roadie, moving ideas from place to place but not really accomplishing anything except that during this golden opportunity of a second term. 


 Last week, Nanticoke resident Eric Williams was buried. He was the prison guard killed by an inmate at a Federal prison in our area. Now word comes that a 43 year old fellow employee of Williams committed suicide because he was so distraught by the incident. We still don’t know who the inmate was and why he had it in for this guard. WBRE reported that the “inmate” was at the facility in Wayne County temporarily and that he had killed another inmate somewhere else. But what we do know now is that now three lives are on this inmate. 
I have no problem paying the taxman, you all know that, but is would be outrageous if this inmate was brought to trial expending more money for his care. This animal should be put down. The prison guards should be armed. With guns. With bullets! Every nut in the world outside has a gun, why not a prison guard whose life is on the line? A bullet to the brain will stop an animal with a shank any day. Another example of this world being ass backwards!
Congressman Matt Cartwright.  (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Congressman Matt Cartwright made this statement on the cuts coming to Tobyhanna Army Depot. The Tobyhanna Army Depot released information concerning the $309 million reduction in funding as a result of the sequester cuts. Unless reversed, the Depot will move forward with unpaid furloughs to its 5,136 civilian employees for 22 non-consecutive days, totaling 176 hours, between late April and September 30. “Today’s announcement from the Tobyhanna Army Depot should remind us about the consequences of Congress’s inaction on sequestration, and I am deeply concerned about this recent news. We can all agree that, as we transition to a peace-time military, spending will have to decrease. However, the severity and the suddenness of these cuts will impair our war fighters’ ability to carry out their missions. The army has a plan to do this, but these sequester cuts will make it difficult for them to be implemented in a reasonable way. I have signed on as a co-sponsor to HR 900, a one sentence bill that will eliminate the sequester, so working families in Northeastern Pennsylvania don’t have to share in the pain of Congress’s inability to compromise. Rather than work toward a solution to avert the irresponsible and reckless spending cuts of the sequester, Republicans have wasted significant time having held only 20 legislative days out of the last 64. Congress can work together to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction while meeting the needs of our military- one which won’t result in layoffs and furloughs. I hope that the Republican majority will allow a vote on HR 900.” 



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


ECTV Live marked a milestone with its 150th program airing the week of March 4th. The program, hosted by Judge Tom Munley and produced and co-hosted by retired WYOU TV veteran David DeCosmo featured information on entertainment and service events and activities offered free of charge to the public in northeastern Pennsylvania. Representatives of many of the organizations featured on the program since its premier were in attendance on the program which is broadcast daily on Comcast TV Ch19.  
Next Monday's ECTV Live will have Rusty Fender filling in as co-hos while David DeCosmo is on vacation. Judge Tom Munley will welcome a representative from the Greater Scranton Jaycees will be on the program to talk about the organization's annual FREE Easter Egg Hunt as well as other public services organized by the Jaycees! The program, as usual, airs on Comcast Ch19 throughout the week!
State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


State Representative Kevin Haggerty will appear on PCN on March 11th at 8PM. Great attention has come to his school safety bill and recently a long standing Republican ( Representative John Taylor of Philadelphia) endorsed the bill through a state wide press release. .A few days later, March 14th WVIA will host a panel comprised of Haggerty former Congressman Chris Carney, Senator Lisa Baker and Dr Margaret Billings Jones, discussing his bill and overall School safety. That show begins at 7PM. Not bad for a rookie Legislator if you ask me! 


This Week on Sunday Magazine This Week in Harrisburg examines legislation to extend background check requirements to include volunteers who work with children. Senate Democrats look to restore public welfare benefits to those who lost them in 2011, and highlights from a Senate PENNDOT budget hearing, which includes Senator John Blake's inquiry about the fate of a long proposed rail line between Scranton and Hoboken, New Jersey.  Brian Hughes speaks with Marcy Bronsburg of Luzerne County Community College about their upcoming Zumbathon to benefit the school's dental hygiene students taking expensive National Board Exams. Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Erin Pikul about next Saturday's Renal Race 2 on Public Square in Wilkes Barre to raise money for kidney cancer research. 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. 


Two coal mine explosions claim 26 lives at the Blue Diamond Coal Co. Scotia Mine in Letcher County, Kentucky............Angola and Benin recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)...... Mozambique recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). .....After eight years on NBC, The Wizard of Oz returns to CBS, where it will remain for the next twenty-two years, setting what was likely then a record for the most telecasts of a Hollywood film on a commercial television network....
Jimmy Carter, a Georgia Peanut Farmer beats out the following contenders in the pivotal New Hampshire primary. He finishes ahead of U.S. Representative Morris Udall of Arizona, U.S. Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris and a former ambassador to France, Sargent Shriver. The next week, Carter appears on the covers of Time and Newsweek Magazines……in Pennsylvania, political insiders wonder whether Carter can play well in the state. As they wonder, Carter is already scheduling trips to the Keystone State for the Pennsylvania primary held in April…..and in Luzerne County, the cracks in the shaky alliance between Democratic Commissioners Ed Wideman and Frank Crossin reveal themselves when Wideman forms a voting coalition with Minority Commissioner Steve Yanoshak…and the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “All By Myself” by the former Raspberries member Eric Carmen. The song is derived from a Rachmaninoff piano concerto. Carmen thought the work was in the public domain but later settled with the family. 
 of the classical composer.