Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2411, April 30th, 2013

Scranton Mayoral candidate Liz Randol. (Photo: Randol campaign) 


Elizabeth Randol, Democratic candidate for Scranton Mayor, has received endorsements from two statewide nonprofit organizations: the Pennsylvania National Organization for Women and Equality Pennsylvania. “Receiving this vote of confidence from such esteemed and important groups in the Pennsylvania community is a true honor,” Dr. Randol stated. “I share their commitment to social justice and am very pleased to be able to accept their endorsements.” 
PA NOW’s website states that it “is a statewide grassroots, nonprofit volunteer organization with over 13,000 contributing members and currently has 20 chapters in [Pennsylvania]. [They] belong to the National Organization for Women based in Washington, DC which has over 500,000 members. NOW members are women and men, young and old, all colors, classes, and backgrounds, working together to bring about equal rights for all women.” 
In Equality PA’s written announcement, Adanjesus Marin, chair of the organization’s 501c4 board, commented, “We have candidates we are supporting from across the state, from the big cities to the rural center, and all of these people, if elected, will be strong advocates for the LGBT community. We urge all our members to vote for these exceptional candidates.” Additional details about Liz’s campaign can be found on her: 
Website: http://elizabethrandol.com 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RandolforMayor2013 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Randol4Mayor 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethRandolForMayorOfScranton


Yesterday NBA Basketball player Jason Collins came out and told the world he was gay. This is significant because Collins is the first player of the four major sports to proclaim that he was gay. I applaud the young man’s courage for doing this publicly. I think that his wearing of the number 98 to pay tribute to gay murder victim Matthew Shepard is a wonderful thing too. I think all of that is great. But I’m conflicted. If I had a kid like I was when I was 8 or 9, crazed about sports, how would I explain this situation? 
This might not be the most politically correct thing to say but Collins' sexuality is and was a choice to either keep quiet or be made public. Was there any great demand to hear how Collins’ spent his “Days and Nights of Molly Dodd?” Any thinking person knows that our entire population has gays in it. 99% of them function without fanfare and the 1% who don’t fly under the radar, are readily accepted too. 
Collins’ statement has been praised by everyone from the everyman to the President. And that’s good for tolerance, acceptance and better understanding. But let’s not confuse this with Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. No one tried to deliberately stop Collins from making a living at a sport he loved. 


Judge Correalle Stevens. (Photo: Standard Speaker). 


In an historic first, Superior Court President Judge Correale Stevens spends an hour with the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) on Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. talking about Pennsylvania’s legal and judicial systems. In a series called “Courts 101 with Judge Correale Stevens,” the head of Pennsylvania’s second highest appellate court will appear on PCN for four episodes. 
During the hour-long programs, Judge Stevens will talk about judicial temperament, what makes a good lawyer, and more about the court process. Viewers can check pcntv.com for airtimes. “Many Pennsylvanians have questions about our judicial system, and PCN has given us a great opportunity to talk directly to citizens about how courts work, to de-mystify what might seem like a confusing and intimidating process,” said Judge Stevens, who is serving his second 10-year term as a Superior Court judge and his first as that court’s president judge. PCN’s president, Brian Lockman, called “Court 101 with Judge Stevens” an important milestone for Pennsylvania. “The Superior Court was the first of the appellate courts to open up some of its proceedings to the public through PCN’s cameras. Now, Judge Stevens is making time to explain what citizens are seeing on PCN and for that, we are grateful.” 
PCN is a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization created and supported by cable television companies. PCN receives no state or federal funding. Network programming is distributed by participating cable systems in Pennsylvania serving more than 10 million Pennsylvanians in 3.3 million homes. For more information about PCN as well as network channel designations, visit www.pcntv.com.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2410, April 29th, 2013

Wilkes Barre Area School Board candidate Jim O’Meara, Senior. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Hopefully there is reform in the air concerning the Wilkes Barre Area School District. One of the most sincere and hard working candidates running for a seat on the board is Jim O’Meara. Here’s why he’s in the race: 
I am running for School Director because I have two young grandchildren who will grow up in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. I want them, and all young people in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, to get the best possible education. 
I also want that investment in their education to be one that doesn't break the backs of taxpayers. To that end, I am making just two campaign promises. I will not waver on these. 
1) If elected, I will not vote for a single hire until Wilkes-Barre Area has enacted an effective policy against nepotism. It can't be a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" policy. It has to have teeth. It won't matter to me what position is up for hire: Without a policy that sweeps nepotism into the dustbin of our school district's history my vote will always be no. 
2) I will never vote to raise property taxes. We have all heard campaign "promises" before. Frankly, you shouldn't take anything any candidate says at face value. I can only ask you to consider the following and make your own decision. 
I don't have a hidden agenda. I'm not looking to get family and friends jobs in the district. In fact, my family and friends would know better than to even ask. I am unconnected. I don't have relatives on the board or in local government. I have a reputation as one who tries to build bridges and will listen to and consider all points of view before making decisions. 
There will be those who say I will break one or both of those promises. They simply do not know me. I am making those promises not because they are easy, but precisely because they are difficult. 
All I ask is that you give me a chance. Thank you! 
James O'Meara Sr. Republican candidate for City School Director, Wilkes-Barre Area School Board
Matt Cartwright on Colbert. (Photo: Cartwright office). 


Matt Cartwright’s appearance on the Colbert program on “Comedy Central” went well. Colbert interviewed the Congressman in his unique style and I have to say that the Congressman handled the ridiculous questions with cool and aplomb. One place where I cringed was when Colbert spoke Spanish and the subtitles said in Spanish “Get out of my neighborhood” seeming to paint the immigration reform Congressman as anything but that. But the laughs took care of that anxiety. Cartwright gave Colbert lessons in riding a bike and gave the show host a shove as he navigated a colorful two wheeler down the halls of Congress. Colbert crashed into the side of a wall. The Congressman did anything but crash in this latest exposure and adventure unique for a freshman Congressman from our area.
11th District Congressman Lou Barletta (Photo: Congressman Barletta’s office). 


As you may recall, Rep. Barletta plays in the Congressional baseball game each year. Here he is warming up in the bullpen in practice this week. He believes he can still gas it to up to 80, and can still snap off a curve or two. The proceeds of this event benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs. The game will be played June 13th at Nationals Park. 


Saturday, April 27, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2409, April 27th, 2013

Lackawanna County Judge Patti Grande Rieder. (Photo: Facebook). 


On Thursday afternoon, Lackawanna County Judicial candidate Patti Grande Rieder posted this on Facebook: My campaign hit the airwaves this morning! Please share the video with your family and friends. Thanks very much for your support! She put this commercial up airwaves.  
So far so good, right? Well no. 
Then she submitted to an interview that was previously scheduled with WILK’s Steve Corbett three weeks ago. Broadcast on Thursday between 4 and 5pm and then re-broadcast Friday, the interview was horrible mainly because the candidate was woefully prepared for the questions from Steve Corbett. Campaign Media 101 states that any question you will be asked by the media already knows the answer. So it is how you respond to the question. 
Grande Rieder did not respond well. Or coherently. Her prior career was in the Lackawanna County Judiciary with the man she hopes to replace, Judge Chester Harhut. She was a Family Court Master. Apparently somewhere along the line, she was let go and then reinstated. But her responses were so foggy and unclear that to the average listener, she sounded evasive. By not answering the question clearly, she did what no political person wants anyone to do, speculate badly on who they are. 
All she had to do was say this: “Every day of my twenty-three year legal career has prepared me for the role of Lackawanna County Judge. I have worked for some of the most respected jurists on both the federal and state court benches – the Honorable Richard P. Conaboy, who at the time was the Chief Judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Thomas I. Vanaskie, presently a member of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and most recently with the Honorable Thomas J. Munley, President Judge of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas. As a Special Hearing Master in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, I have presided over thousands of cases, many of which protected the elderly from fraud and children from abuse. I pledge to use my experience and my knowledge to protect the rights of our citizens, make our communities safer, and ensure that Lackawanna County remains a wonderful place to live.
That’s from her website. If you notice the people on Cable TV, all they do is stick to the script. She didn’t! Couldn’t. 
Grande Rieder was also heard in her conversation to be prompted by someone with her. Not good. When she is on the bench, no one will be whispering in her ear when she is presiding. Then when she denied Corbett’s question whether or not she was prompted, (and folks this is radio) she told Corbett "I don't know. I don't know what you're talking about". 
What mystifies me is that no one, not even the candidate pulled the plug on this interview. If she were my wife, my sister, my candidate, I’d lunge for the phone and pull it out of the wall. Or if she was on a cell phone, I’d take it from her and throw it in the water cooler. Anything to stop the carnage.
On the candidate’s Facebook page, there are three people I know  listed as friends of the campaign. One is a political savvy guy I respect, the other two are involved in the media. (One I worked with years ago, the other I worked with in the Luzerne County Judicial trials when I was covering the cases for WYLN TV 35.) I wish she had consulted one of the three of them before she did this interview. 
In her discussion with Corbett, she talked about the appearance of impropriety and how a Judge has to surpass that bar. In her case, she should have been more concerned about the appearance of incompetence and incoherence than anything else.
Jeffrey Kulick, Girard Mecadon, Len Sanguedolce, Mark Singer, Art Bobbouine, James Red O'Brien, Qiana Murphy Lehman and Alexandra Kokura, at a recent forum in the Pittston Area. (Photo: Citizen’s Voice) 


When the Magisterial system was set up in the early 1970s to replace the old Justice of the Peace system, it streamlined the number of levels of law your average citizen needed to go through if arrested or wanted to file a small claims case. The Magisterial system also created a lower Judiciary where probable cause could be found in a criminal case. Known as inferior courts of limited jurisdiction magistrates routinely handle landlord-tenant matters, small civil claims (cases involving amount in controversy up to $12000), summary offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, and preliminary hearings and arraignments in greater misdemeanor and felony offenses pursuant to Pennsylvania's Rules of Criminal Procedure. As the lowest level of the Unified Court System, Magistrates operate in all of the 67 counties of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania except for Philadelphia. 
To be a Magistrate, you don’t have to be a lawyer. This was done politically because when the change happened, there were many popular Justices of the Peace in various towns all across the state who had the life experience but not necessarily the law degree. Those who are non lawyers have to pass a certification course prior to serving. 
In Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, the Magisterial system has been a feeding ground for Attorneys who later went on to become candidates or actually Common Pleas Court Judges. District Justices like Joseph Augello, Fred Pierantoni, William Amesbury (the late Michael Collins who held a DJ seat came very close in his bid) and the otherwise occupied Michael Conahan used the DJ office as a springboard toward a seat on Common Pleas Court. DJ Joe Carmody made a bid for State Representative prior to his time in the Courts. 
In Lackawanna County, Magistrates Alyce Hailstone Farrell, and James Gibbons are entered into a race this year to replace Chester Harhut. In the past, long time Mid Valley DJ John Pieski made a few attempts to become a Common Pleas Court Judge. So it is a good career move if you are an aspiring lawyer and want to get exposure. 
On the other hand, the non lawyers have served with distinction in their time. James Tupper in the Back Mountain, Paul Roberts in Kingston, Martin Kane in Wilkes Barre, Joseph Zola in Hazleton and Mike Dotzel in Wilkes Barre Township are non lawyers who have the respect of the legal system. As a matter of fact, the late Andrew Barilla and John Bednarz Senior are still highly regarded as two of the very best Magistrates around in their time sans degree. So if you ask someone is a lawyer more qualified than a non lawyer to be a Magistrate, the ultimate opinion lies with the voter. 
Attorneys have run against the likes of Martin Kane and Paul Roberts only to go down to defeat. In the Magisterial race to replace Bill Amesbury, Wilkes Barre Councilman Rick Cronauer faced off against more than one Attorney and prevailed. So it all comes down to name recognition as well as campaign organization. 
In the Greater Pittston Area to fill Fred Pierantoni’s seat, these are the candidates. 
Mark A. Singer, has served as an Assistant District Attorney for Luzerne County, First Assistant Liaison to the Lower Lackawanna/Upper Luzerne County Drug Task Force., Juvenile Public Defender for Lehigh County, and a Public Defender for Luzerne County
Art Bobbouine, 37, of Pittston, acting Luzerne County prothonotary and former chief deputy sheriff.
Alexandra Kokura, 30, of Dupont, a Lackawanna County court master, a judicial officer for the court. 
Jeffrey Kulick, 27, of Hughestown, who runs the Kulick Law Firm in Exeter. 
Girard "Jerry" Mecadon, 47, of Jenkins Township, who runs a law office in Pittston and is an assistant public defender
Qiana Murphy Lehman, 37, of Dupont, a Luzerne County court master and trial attorney for the Brady and Grabowski law firm. 
James "Red" O'Brien, 44, of Pittston, who is the former Luzerne County Recorder of Deeds, former Avoca mayor, 
and former Pittston Area School Board president. 
Len Sanguedolce, 34, of Pittston, who operates his own law office in Pittston. (Source: Citizen’s Voice-Bob Kalinowski) 
So it appears that in the Greater Pittston Judicial race, the only two people having to take the certification test are Red O’Brien and Art Bobbouine. They must take it before they can serve. So they might want to hit the books between the beer and chips events at the Knights in Pittston. 
The interesting thing about this race is that it is anyone’s to call. You can’t even say there is any gender or ethnic advantage since there are multiple Italians and women in the race. Flip a coin but my guess is it will be a lawyer following the career path of two the three previous Magistrates in the Greater Pittston Area.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2408, April 25th, 2013


Wilkes-Barre Area School Board candidates Christine Katsock, Kathy Grinaway and Barry Matthews will host a complimentary breakfast starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Woodlands Inn and Resort. Seating is very limited; deadline for reservations is Friday. To make a reservation, call 570-823-9563. 
Barry Matthews, 36, a life resident of Wilkes-Barre, is a graduate of E.L. Meyers High School and is employed as director of operations by Digital Control Systems, Inc. in Plains Township. He is married and has one son, Nicholas, who attends Kistler Elementary. 
Plains Township resident Kathy Grinaway is employed in the laboratory by Wilkes-Barre General Hospital as a toxicology supervisor. She is the mother of two children, Patrick, 24, a Ph.D. student in New York City, and Rebecca, 22, who attends Moravian College. 
Christine Katsock, a life resident of the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre, is seeking re-election. She is a paralegal for local law firms, as well as an adjunct professor of music at Luzerne County Community College.
These three candidates can make a difference in the woeful state of the Wilkes Barre Area School Board.   
Max Baucus, if this guy can be a Senator, surely any one can. (Photo: Daily Beast).


Montana Senator Max Baucus is going to retire after 6 undistinguished terms. Strange because he had a multi million dollar war chest ready to go for a 7th term. But his spineless behavior is catching up to him. It turns out that his tepid and damning with faint praise endorsement f the Affordable Health Care Act as well as his no vote against background checks has signaled the end to this sorry career. In addition, Baucus voted for the Bush tax cuts and the boondoggle that was the Medicare Drug Plan.   I am thrilled that Baucus was essentially driven out of the race by former Governor Brian Schweitzer’s popularity and poll numbers that show he would defeat this fool handily. Now there is a chance the Democrats might lose a Senate seat because of this “retirement”. But you know Baucus never was really with his party or for that matter sound policy. Every sane Democrat should be glad to see this fool shuffle off the political stage that he didn’t deserve.

President Barack Obama, and former presidents, from second from left, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter arrive for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center today. (Photo: interactives.wwlp.com ) 


The George W. Bush Library was dedicated today in Texas. President Obama as well as the four other living ex Presidents gathered for the event. Presidential libraries are a record of not only an administration but a time in our nation’s history. They are a significant snap shot into a time frame of an era in America. The first Presidential Library to be funded was that of Herbert Hoover. Since then, libraries chronicling a President’s time in office have become part of our American culture. 



Tom Munley returns from a vacation week to rejoin David DeCosmo on ECTV Live during the week of April 29th. Their guest will be Cheyl Boga from the University of Scranton who will discuss details about a FREE Public concert at the school as well as other events which are open to the public. ECTV Live is presented daily on Comcast C19 in northeastern Pennsylvania.  


This Week on Sunday Magazine Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Julianne Hogan and Jack McCarthy about the American heart Association’s Kentucky Derby Gala, coming up on Saturday at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes Barre. Brian Hughes speaks with health expert Stuart Tomc about a possible connection between nutrition and violent behavior. And Brian speaks with Melissa Sullivan from mayflower about why more Americans are on the move. 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.  


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 www.t102radio.com
Congressman Matt Catwright. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


See 17th Congressional District Congressman Matt Cartwright on  Comedy Central’s Colbert Report tonight on Comedy Central at 11:30PM. The show will re air Friday night at 7:30PM. Cartwright taped the segment a few weeks ago. 
The Colbert Report airs at 11:30pm eastern / 11:00pm central time. In addition, you can usually find their episodes online at around 3am eastern time on their website: http://www.colbertnation.com/. Typically, they try to keep a few weeks worth of episodes on the web which gives you plenty to catch up on if you missed out on some of his fantastic trolling.
Our 1976 logo. 


The Great Bookie Robbery in Melbourne: Bandits steal A$1.4 million in bookmakers' settlements from Queen Street, Melbourne.......The punk rock group the Ramones release their first self-titled album. In Pennsylvania there is constant political wrangling as the Pennsylvania primary approaches. Statewide races for Treasurer and Auditor General are up as well as nominations for a United States Senate seat being vacated by Hugh Scott….
Congressman Morris Udall and ex Governor Jimmy Carter, foes in the 1976 primary campaign. (Photo: Udall archives). 
in LuLac land, former Governor Jimmy Carter, U.S. Congressman Morris Udall, Alabama Governor George Wallace and Senator Henry Jackson visit as they push their Presidential bids for the Democratic nomination. Carter makes a stop at the Host Motor Inn on Kidder Street. The candidate travels by bus to the Crestwood Industrial Park in Mountaintop and greets rank and file workers on their lunch hours. The bus is populated by national media correspondents like Judy Woodruff, Sam Donaldson and Tom Pettitt. Donaldson playfully hides Woodruff’s luggage as she gets on the bus. When he spies Congressman Dan Flood through a window on the bus, Donaldson exclaims, “Must be too early for his cape!” Later Carter goes to WBRE TV for the taping of Tom Bigler’s weekly public affairs program. Carter is interviewed by Bigler, John Bendick and the silver haired weekend anchor Bill Graham. The local media as well as the national press were gathered in the main WBRE TV lobby as they watched the interview on closed circuit. Again the irrepressible Donaldson made his comments saying, “Man they look so bunched up together…..hey look at the guy with the white hair, he looks like Ted Baxter!” Carter later gave radio sounds bites to media (of which I was one on that day for WVIA FM) and then went on his way…..Meanwhile on a hot Easter Sunday evening, Congressman Morris Udall made a stop at a South Main Street pizzeria to bolster his campaign. Coming in close in the Wisconsin primary, Udall hoped that a coalition of young students and labor might help him win his first primary of ’76. The place was overheated, packed and the smell of pizza permeated that event…..Senator Henry Jackson made a stop in Wilkes Barre and Scranton at both Democratic organizational dinners pitching himself as a Centrist Democrat who could beat the GOP nominee in the fall. Jackson says that any effort by current Senator and former nominee Hubert Humphrey to enter the race is just talk and that if anyone can stop Jimmy Carter, it was he, Jackson, not anyone else….meantime, Governor George Wallace makes a perfunctory stop at the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Airport as his Presidential ambitions appear to be at an ebb….Surrogates like Rosalyn Carter and her son Chip also make appearances in the area before the primary election and 37 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2407, April 23rd, 2013

Kathy Dobash, candidate for Luzerne County Council. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Hazleton resident Kathy Dobash has been circulating a pithy 30 second video announcing her candidacy for Luzerne County Council. Unfortunately we can’t pull it up on the site but here’s a synopsis of her platform. 
Republicans, I appreciate your support as I campaign for a seat on Luzerne County Council. Democrats, I ask for your vote and write in my name. It would be an honor to serve and protect your tax dollars. I'm Kathy Dobash and I'm running for Luzerne County Council. 
I've shown my commitment to our county residents by frequently attending Luzerne County council meetings for the past two years. 
I will not vote to raise taxes. 
I will insist that our government employees share the costs of their healthcare. 
I will demand the county manager lives within the budget. 
I promise to work to improve transparency in County Government by ensuring that all members of Council follow the Sunshine law with deliberations at public meetings. 
This is the most appropriate way to move our county forward. 
Sincerely, Kathy Dobash Candidate for Luzerne County Council "Together, Let's make Luzerne County better". 
Dobash has been a candidate before and is a frequent speaker at Luzerne County Council meetings.
22nd District Senator John Blake. (Photo: John Blake Newsletter) 


With Governor Tom Corbett still resisting the Medicaid money for the State, 22nd District Senator John Blake has stepped up his effort to get the Governor to change his mind. In a social media outreach to his constituents as well as the General Public, Blake has mounted an effort to get Corbett to come around on an issue, that if left unchanged, will cost the state a lot of money. Plus residents who otherwise would have health care, will have to do without. Here’s what Blake wrote in his newsletter: 
I was hoping I could share the good news that Gov. Corbett had acted to include Pennsylvania in the growing list of states to accept our federal government’s offer to pay for an expanded Medicaid program, but we’re still waiting. 
There is a powerful and growing consensus in support of the expansion of PA’s Medicaid program. Consider the numbers and it’s a no-brainer. There’s something for everyone. 
The Rand Corporation did a study that said Pennsylvania’s participation in the program would mean an additional $2.5 billion from the federal government. And, between 2014 and 2020, the state’s “cumulative inflow” of federal funds under Medicaid expansion would be $16.5 billion higher than if the state declines the invitation to participate. 
(http://www.rand.org/news/press/2013/03/28.html) (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR256) 
Dollars aside, Rand found that 350,000 additional Pennsylvanians would finally be able to have health care insurance, reducing the staggering costs our hospitals – and, indeed, all taxpayers bear – for uncompensated or unfunded care. Further, the Rand study confirms that Medicaid expansion will sustain more than 35,000 jobs. The enrollment of 350,000 more Pennsylvanians in Medicaid will drop the state’s uninsured rate from 12.7 percent to 8.1 percent. By 2016, it would dramatically fall to 4.8 percent. 
The time is now for Gov. Corbett to move and to do what is right. 
Call, email, tweet, Facebook or write to him to tell him that you want federal tax dollars paid by Pennsylvanians to come back to this state to help our people. 
Gov. Corbett’s Office of Public Liaison: 717-787-5825 
https://www.facebook.com/Gov.TomCorbett https://twitter.com/GovernorCorbett

Monday, April 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2406, April 22nd, 2013


If you want to register to vote in the May primary, you must register today. For more information contact the Luzerne County Voter’s office @ (570) 825-1715) http://www.luzernecounty.org/county/departments_agencies/bureau_of_elections 
or the Lackawanna County Voter’s Office @ 570-963-6737. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2405, April 20th, 2013

Blogfest 2013 Spring logo. 


Blogfest Spring 2013 is in the history books and despite nasty weather and a national breaking news story, it was another huge success. Blogfest is important because it gives people the opportunity to meet the people who write the on line sites. My apologies for not making this one but we’ll be at future events. Believe me, it was out of my control. Meanwhile, here’s a video from Scott Cannon at Video Innovations who put together a capsule of last night’s event.
Photo of 67  Franklin Street and the infamous covered boat. (Photo: Sky News). 


Barring any other development, this past week will most likely be the most enduring news story since 911. In the weeks ahead, the focus has to be on the motivation of this young man and his brother and why they did what they did. It will do no good to attack the President when he talks about the melting pot of America. Neither will it do any good to torture this young man (although it is tempting) to get information from him. And please, under no circumstances, let’s not believe any of the nuts calling the Talk Radio all night shows saying “The government was behind it”. We need to stay calm, focused, united and do the Joe Friday routine, just get “the facts, just the facts”. Then we proceed from there.
State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. (Photo: LuLac archives.)


State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski has introduced a Voting Bill that is designed to make voting easier for busy people. Pashinski’s bill, House Bill 1044 that would allow votes to be cast up to 30 days prior to Election Day and allow Pennsylvanians to register to vote on Election Day. On WYLN TV 35’s Topic A, Pashinski pointed out that more than 35 states authorize some form of early voting. These states have a much higher voter participation rate than Pennsylvania and no documented cases of voter fraud. There are on line registration proposals out there that are being promoted. And that may help Pashinski’s cause. This bill is interesting for two reasons. 
1. I don’t know how long Pashinski plans on serving as State Representative because I fear this type of change will take a long time to pass in the glacial atmosphere of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. But it is a starting point as an anecdote to the toxic voter act almost enacted by Pennsylvania Republicans. 
2. Life and responsibilities change. There are people who would like to participate but either miss the deadline, are saddled with other issues or just aren’t that engaged. The people that aren’t engaged or only vote once in four years, hell you can have those people. By their lack of information, they do more harm than good with their ignorance. But for those busy, informed and responsibility overloaded people, Pashinski’s bill makes sense for the 21st century.
Congressman Matt Cartwright with our friend Duke from Dallas. (Photo: Gort 42 Facebook)


Rep. Matt Cartwright announced that through The LIVESTRONG Foundation Community Impact Project, both the Greater Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA’s will receive grant funding. The two centers will receive funding for a free twelve week exercise program for cancer survivors. 
The program, called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, is a small group program designed for adult cancer survivors. The program fulfills the important need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong. “The LIVESTRONG Foundation Community Impact Project is devoted to helping those who have been affected by cancer and I applaud their efforts. I urge folks to contact both the Greater Scranton YMCA in Dunmore and the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA to learn how they can participate in this free program,” said Cartwright. “ 
Through the LIVESTRONG Foundation Community Impact Project, 72 hospitals, cancer centers, community-based organizations and universities around the country will receive funding to offer important free services to those impacted by cancer this year. 


There was a request to put the names of the Senators who voted NO on background checks in one of our editions. We added it to the second April 17th posting, LuLac Edition #2402. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2404, April 19th, 2013



Thursday, April 18, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2403, April 18th, 2013


Dupont native and St. John the Baptist School alumni Drew Wasko getting fluids during the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Photo: EmmieWASK)
A sign made up by the family for Drew at Boston. (Photo: EmmieWASK)
Drew with his daughter Emma at the Boston Marathon. (Photo: EmmieWASK)
The three amigos in the late 1960s. (Photo: LuLac archives) 


As I heard the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon Monday, my first thought was how many people from LuLacland might have been there. When  I saw the news reports on TV and heard them on the radio I realized many people here had a connection to a runner there. I later realized after processing the day that even I had a connection with a runner. 
Throughout the editions of LuLac, I’m sure I’ve made references to the Wasko Brothers of Dupont. I went to the now closed and destroyed St. John the Baptist Slovak School and Church on William Street in Pittston with both Bob and Drew. Bob was in my class and Drew was a year ahead of me but riding the bus route that took us from the Junction in Pittston, through Duryea, Avoca and Dupont back down to Pittston City presented me with an opportunity to bond with the Wasko Brothers. With Bob it was Sports and World War II dramas on TV like “Combat”. With Drew, it was all about the music. I’m sure Drew and I drove the nuns crazy by studying the WARM and WSCR survey sheets more closely in the Library (yes the assassinated school also had a state of the art library back then courtesy of Father Super and the Christian Mothers) than our geography lessons. 
Even when Bob and Drew moved away to Johnson City New York in the summer of ’67, we kept in touch by mail exchanging those survey sheets. After high school, we lost touch but through the magic of the Internet we connected again. Despite the intervening years and events like our marriages, the birth of their kids and the deaths of our fathers, we essentially picked up where we left off. 
In May of 2008 when we had a St. John the Baptist Class reunion (the school and the church were still standing then) it was like a flashback in time to the days when life (even though we didn’t realize it) was pretty damn good. At the reunion, Drew told me he was a participant in the Scranton Marathon as well as the Boston one too. 
Tuesday morning, Drew contacted me about his experience in Boston Here’s what he wrote on the e mail machine: 
I was there running my 21st consecutive Boston Marathon. I finished 10 minutes before the bombs went off, way to close for comfort. The ending of this was horrible. We're all fine but the hour or so after the 2 blasts, (which I saw the 2nd), were very intense. I couldn't locate my kids. This being because I was diverted from the normal path to let Emergency crews through. In the meantime they are getting hysterical because I'm not showing up. Needless to Say, they were only a 1/2 block away from the blasts (all ok). It was very chaotic, with emotions running high all over the place. Bob, My Sister Marybeth and Brother in law Pat were @ Copley Sq just also just a 1/2 block away, they are fine also. It's not how I want to remember this Boston, but I'll never forget it. 
When I got that communication, I had a sigh of relief. Drew, 60, says he’ll continue to run and do what most guys from Dupont usually do after a close call. Using the words of the old war movies his brother Bob and I used to obsess over, Drew Wasko, his fellow runners and the city of Boston will go on and “never retreat”.
Scranton Mayoral candidate Liz Randol. (Photo: Keystone Politics.com)


Elizabeth Randol, Democratic candidate for Scranton Mayor, announced a new segment of her campaign – one that will be implemented entirely online. Through her website’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter, her campaign publicized the upcoming Ask Liz series. 
Through this online exchange, Scranton voters can submit questions to the candidate via Twitter using the hashtag #askLiz. She will then answer a portion of the submitted questions in a series of videos that will be posted to her YouTube channel during the course of her campaign. For Scranton residents without Twitter accounts, an online form has been made available for question submission via Randol’s website. “Social media has provided us with valuable new tools for creating an inclusive, transparent dialogue about ideas and plans for Scranton’s future,” explained Randol. “I hope the Ask Liz series contributes to making the conversation accessible and engaging to as many people in the Scranton community as possible.” 
Additional details about Liz’s campaign can be found on her: Website: http://elizabethrandol.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RandolforMayor2013 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Randol4MayorFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethRandolForMayorOfScranton 
It will be interesting to see how this type of campaign works in the old school, rough and tumble based politics of Lackawanna County. It has to be noted many times, unfortunately that Scranton, nor Lackawanna County has ever deemed it necessary or appropriate to elect a woman Mayor or County Commissioner. That can only change if new methods are used in reaching a new set of voters who are tired of the rerun mentality of Scranton government. Except for the cosmetic changes and boosterism of the city by Chris Doherty, the story line is still the same with the two word heading, “Distressed City”. Let’s see if this effort can propel some meaningful change in the city.
Twitter logo. 


LuLac has been trying to reach as many people as possible since its inception. We are on Facebook as well as Twitter. But the Twitter project has been kind of hit or miss mainly because of time constraints like living my life, holding a job and attending to other matters. So for the people following us on Twitter, we are at least going to design a designated time period for Tweets. Now to be sure if there is breaking news, and we have access, we will tweet. But for now, we will be Tweeting Tuesday and Thursday night at 8PM Eastern Time, with our Twitter Top Ten Tuesday/Thursday Tweets. (Try saying that fast). What we are losing in the spontaneity we’ll gain in our observations that might have been in our brain but had not been transferred to the screen. We are doing this to utilize the service and reach out to our followers. In the meantime, if you want to follow LuLac on Twiiter, we are David Yonki @lulacpolletter.



 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 www.t102radio.com 


The late Libby Smith who hosted a Classical Music Show from 10AM to 1PM in the early days of WVI FM, this blog editor back then and then News Director, later WVIA TV and FM Vice President Tom McHugh. (Photo: LuLac archives).
This blog editor along with then radio manager Roy Hoynoski preparing for our weekly afternoon radio show “Mostly Pops”. (Photo: LuLac archives)


This week WVIA FM celebrates its 40th anniversary. I am very proud to say that thanks to George Strimel the founding father of Public Broadcasting in this region I was given an opportunity to work on the ground floor of this operation. I learned a lot, formed lasting friendships with many and will never forget my time there. 
WVIA FM has grown into a cultural oasis that is a refuge from the bombardment of sensationalism and speculation. The other day as Mrs. LuLac and I were driving home, the news of the Boston Marathon bombing came on the air. The national commercial networks stayed on the air with information but also mindless speculation that was later debunked. At one point we put on WVIA FM and they had a 4 minute report then moved on to other things. I commented to my wife that I thought NPR might have been giving this story short shrift. She simply said, “They are going to wait until they have all the facts, not the rumors. They are going to get it right”. And they do. 
To the staff at WVIA FM, (dealing with horrendous funding cuts) Chris Norton, Larry Voytko, Erika Funke, Fiona Powell, Lisa Mazzarella, Paul Lazarr, Katy Moore, George Graham (a man I learned so much from through my time there with his quick wit, voracious knowledge and gracious manner) as well as the Captain of that whole enterprise, my old boss Bill Kelly, congrats on this wonderful milestone. 
And yes, we are members! As everyone should be! Tune in and call them this week. 



 Two long time WYOU associates will team up on ECTV Live the week of April 22nd as Frank Andrews (Shimkus) joins David DeCosmo to host the program during Tom Munley's vacation. The guest , Joe Gibbons, will be discussing the Flow Circus and other Free public events offered by Lackawanna Library System. ECTV is a Public Affairs program seen on Comcast Ch19 daily at Noon and Midnight with selective additional broadcasts at 8pm several days each week.

Our 1976 logo. 


The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson's 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration............As a measure to curb population growth, the minimum age for marriage in India is raised to 21 years for men and 18 years for women………in Pennsylvania the United States Senate race to succeed Hugh Scott heats up. On the GOP side Arlen Specter takes on Congressman John Heinz out of Pittsburgh. It is a classic battle between the East vs. West in the Keystone state. On the Democratic side, Congressman Bill Green who had run for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1971 faces off against long time State Senator Jeannette Reibman………in Luzerne County it is announced that Jimmy Carter, the former Georgia Governor will make a stop and tour in Wilkes barre (more on that next week) and 37 years ago today the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Let Your Love Flow” by the Bellamy Brothers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2402, April 17th, 2013

Cowardly Lion. (Photo: Wizard of Oz) 


The U.S. Senate said yes to the power of the NRA and no to 90% of the public (even members of the NRA who approved of background checks) by being cowards to their own ambition. Ambition trumps saving kids any day for these people. 
In addition, four Democrats, Begich of Alaska, Baucus of Montana, (the same guy that screwed the President on Health Care early on in 2009) Heitkamp in North Dakota and Pryor in Arkansas ceased to become real Democrats. 
To Sandy Hook families, Mayor Bloomburg and President Obama’s political arm…..destroy these cowards when and if they have the balls to run again 2014. Fund a challenge from the left on this issue asking just one question. 
Why did you vote no for background checks that would be stringently enforced to stop gun runners, rapists, possible terrorists and people with mental issues from getting guns? Explain why you favor what this guy says over 90% of the American people.  
Tonight we got Chinese and I opened my Fortune Cookie. It read, “Wise men learn more from fools than fools from wise men”. 
Apparently the wise men and women of the Senate are the fools for not listening to the common sense wisdom of the American people. It is time to rid the Democratic party of these disloyal and timid cowards.






These are the Senators who  voted no on the Background checks. 

1. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

2. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

3. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)

4. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)

5. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

6. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

7. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)

8. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)

9. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

10. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)

11. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

12. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)

13. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

14. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

15. Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID)

16. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

17. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)

18. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)

19. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

20. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

21. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

22. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

23. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

24. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

25. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)

26. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

27. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

28. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)

29. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

30. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

31. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

32. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)

33. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

34. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

35. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

36. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)

37. Sen. James Risch (R-ID)

38. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

39. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

40. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)

41. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

42. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

43. Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

44. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

45. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

The LuLac Edition #2401, April 17th, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 



The tragedy in Boston on Monday has given rise to a wave of reflection regarding violence, our vulnerability as a free society and even the specter of death. Dr. Joe Leonardi shared a story of his own, not about the meaning of life but the meaning of death. It’s our “Write On Wednesday” for today
Life Is Finite. 
I have never forgotten the day I learned the lesson that mortality pertains to me. As a 21 year old stationed in Hawaii, I was next to be assigned for an upcoming TAD ship posting. That ship was the USS Stark or another traveling with the battle group. I don’t recall why, but the personnel ended up coming from another duty station. However, I do recall the day we learned the ship was struck by a missile. 
The year was 1987, and we were at peace. Although previously assigned to ships that were in a couple of potential hot spots, nothing had ever happened — on that day, not only were fellow sailors attacked and killed, all of us severing in the Navy felt we were attacked. 
Walking out of my barracks room, I ran into one of my best friends, Robin Warren. We were both shocked. Robin said, “Buddy, I’m glad you didn’t get sent to sea.” It was at that moment reality struck; my parents could have received notice of their son’s death. While always aware that dying in service to our country was a possibility — that day it became reality. 
Life can be over without notice, without expectation and without explanation. It was the slap in the face of mortality that made me realize that we must embrace the reality of death, to genuinely enjoy life. 
As my age approaches fifty, barring any accident or illness, the bulk of life is in the rearview mirror. I accept the certainty of death. While in no hurry, if it comes, I am ready — there is no option. 
However, I have lived life and have done it, for the most part, on my terms. What saddens, sickens and angers me about the tragedy in Boston is the death of the innocent, the death of an eight year old child. 
An eight year old boy — waiting for his dad to cross the finish line. 
An eight year old boy — who must have been so proud of his dad completing one of the great marathons in the world. An eight year old boy — who had nothing but the future ahead of him. As the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, his life is prematurely over — there will be no carefree summers, no proms, no graduations — his, and their lives, were stolen by an inexplicable evil; an evil driven to harm rather than help, an evil intent to destroy rather than create. 
My experiences have taught me one important lesson, we are not promised tomorrow — so live for today. I close with the same words used to close a column I wrote for the Pittston Dispatch a few years back. 
Take every day with those you love and never forget to: Kiss them. 
Tell them you love them. Most importantly, hug them. 
Hold them close. 
Hold them tight. 
When you feel you have held them long enough — hang on one moment more.
Dr. Joe Leonardi is a former Congressional candidate, educator at Luzerne County Community College, Author, as well  a frequent contributor to "Write On Wednesday". He also is the owner of Betterlifeseminars.com.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2400, April 15th, 2013

LULAC AT 2400 (Photo 2400 Major).

 Today we embark on our 2400th Edition of the LuLac Political Letter. Each edition is not some little blurb or link to a story already reported. LuLac provides thoughtful analysis of what is going on in politics and pop culture. We also take care to create our own commentary and pride ourselves on the fact that 85% of our content is original. 
We continue to edit comments because we believe that even though everyone has an opinion, LuLac doesn’t necessarily have to share it with the world. 
As we continue this little adventure, (if we ever stop, we'll tell you why) we thank you for comments, your participation by reading and accessing us every day. As long as you are accessing us, we’ll be here every day commenting on Politics and Pop Culture. 
As the photo above indicates…full speed ahead.  


The tragedy in Boston today amplifies the fact that any event in America can be marred by an unthinkable event. One of the dead is an 8 year old child. The violence cowardly individuals who hide behind bombs knows no boundaries. 
We should mourn the dead, care for the injured, and then punish those responsible if found with the full weight of justice. 
After that….we continue. That’s how we overcome.
Walter Griffith and this blog editor. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Walter L. Griffith, Jr. announces candidacy for a second term as Luzerne County Controller. Dear County-Wide Neighbors and Friends: I hereby announce that I shall be seeking a second term as your Luzerne County Controller. 
When I announced in 2009 that I was going to be a candidate for the office of county controller, I made a promise to all taxpayers that I would represent their best interests as an independent monitor of the county’s fiscal activities. I also promised, when need be, to challenge government officials’ funding proposals, to share questionable activities publically and to complete audits in a timely manner in order to maintain the integrity of the county’s revenue and disbursement processes. 
You, the citizens of Luzerne County, spoke “loud and clear” in 2009 that you wanted an independent and candid overseer as Luzerne County Controller and elected me to work for you for the next four years. 
The results of your confidence have been noteworthy! In regard to monetary matters in general, accountability has been markedly improved. Specifically, overpayment of contracts have been curtailed, a policy for the fueling of the county fleet of vehicles has been instituted, and employees being paid double for services provided has ceased. 
As I undertake this election initiative and thereby seek your ongoing trust and support to continue as Luzerne County Controller, please be responsive to requests for your signatures in support of my May 2013 candidacy, and to the extent you are able, please contribute to my campaign fund (details to be announced) in order for me to address all the requirements and expectations of the election process for me to remain in your service. 
I am so very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent you, the residents of Luzerne County, during this four year term and look forward to your expressed confidence in me this May to remain your Luzerne County Controller. 
Respectfully and appreciatively, 
This blog editor with Michael Giamber. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Saw this item in the Times Leader the other day and quite frankly was happy to see it. 
Fairmount Township resident Michael S. Giamber has announced his candidacy for Luzerne County Council. 
A Democrat, Giamber said he spends most of his time as a citizen-activist and proponent for the county’s home rule government. “If given the opportunity to serve, I will focus my efforts on tax control and economic development,” said Giamber, who lives near Ricketts Glen State Park. 
Giamber, 59, was chairman of the Friends of Home Rule political action committee that pushed for adoption of home rule and said he remains committed to the success of the charter and the concept of self-governance. He believes home rule is a better form of government, he said, “with the right leadership.” “My goal is to devote full time to the position of part-time councilman,” said Giamber. “I pledge not to raise property taxes until I am completely satisfied the county has done all it can to eliminate wasteful spending and inefficient practices.” 
He plans to develop and propose policies that “cultivate an environment geared towards restarting Luzerne County’s economic engine, creating jobs and encouraging residential and commercial growth,” he said. 
Born and raised in Pittston, Giamber graduated from St. John the Evangelist High School and received a bachelor’s degree in business management from National-Louis University, Chicago. He is retired from the federal government in Washington, D.C., where he managed a diverse staff at six Department of Defense Naval installations, including the Bethesda Naval Hospital, and oversaw facility operations at the world-class National Gallery of Art.