Thursday, May 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2435, May 30th, 2013

Congresswoman Michele (one “L”) Bachman. (Photo:


Congresswoman Michele Bachman has decided to call it quits. In a You Tube video the other day, Bachman alluded to investigations going on from her failed 2012 Presidential bid but said they had nothing to do with her decision to withdraw. That’s kind of like the old line from athletes when they say it isn’t about the money. When they say that, it usually is. Bachman has been in office for eight years and has been a darling of the Conservative right. Her high water mark was during a Nevada Straw poll in 2011 when she scored an impressive but narrow 29% over other front runners. But like most current conservative flavors of the month, her shelf life was pretty short. Look for Bachman to make some money on the lecture circuit, show up on Fox News as a commentator and possibly become a body double for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. 


If the President continues to have his second term agenda stalled by a recalcitrant Republican House, look for him to do what other American Presidents have done with success. Obama just might embrace Foreign Policy initiatives in his second term to salvage a more durable legacy in history. Other Presidents like Nixon sought refuge from the scourge of Watergate in the 70s. Ford built up his bonafides as President after his WIN (Whip Inflation Now) campaign stumbled. Reagan focused primarily on Cold War politics in the second term and Bill Clinton tried to shore up a PLO/Israeli peace pact to get away from the Monica situation. 
Look for Obama’s attention to Foreign Policy to ramp up, especially if the Democrats take a fall in the 2014 mid terms and Obama is confronted with GOP majorities in both houses. Presidents never like to admit they are lame ducks and Foreign Policy keeps them in the game.
Luzerne County Courthouse. (Photo: Citizen's Voice). 


The Pepperidge Farm Bread Company’s slogan is “Good is in the details”. If only the Luzerne County Election Director, Marisa Crispell and the 5 member County Election Board had lived by that slogan. Granted, computer system do crash. It is unavoidable. But making a major mistake, calling Hazleton City (of all places in the County to overlook again!) a borough is unconscionable. Also failing to inform two neighboring counties that Steve Hahn withdrew his candidacy, the inaction of the Election Bureau altered the election. Hazleton resident and School Board incumbent Carmella Yenkevich lost by twenty votes on both parties. Yenkevich said she was told she must file legal papers, and pay a lawyer to file a challenge. Really? Oh yeah, that’s the Luzerne County way, put the onus on the injured party. I saw in the Citizen’s Voice where Bob Caruso demanded the resignations of the entire Election Board. He is correct. They are responsible as well as the Director. They are the big shots who get the glory and the credit and when a mistake, a basic mistake like this is made, they should all go. I’m sure Tom Baldino, John Ruckno, John Newman, Barbara Williams, and Jeremy Packard are nice folks but they should get a clue. They should be replaced by responsible individuals who are less interested in preening for the media and sit their asses down and look at the details. The simple, avoidable errors that make our county once more look stupid and like a bunch of fools that can’t get out of their own way. And while we’re at it, let’s look at Bob Lawton’s total trusting of everything Walter Griffith had to say when he first got to town. Griffith got involved in a dispute with Len Piazza and that incident was blown way out of proportion costing Luzerne County the best Election Director it ever had. Maybe when Tom Pisano bolted last year, just before the General Election of 2012, he saw something we were all missing in this picture. 


I read with interest where City Council Chairman Bill Barrett called on Mayor Leighton to form a committee to look at blighted buildings in Wilkes Barre neighborhoods. Barrett said that blighted buildings are not good for neighborhoods. Really? Barrett has been on Council now for more than two terms and he just realizes this now? Any Crime Watch person could have told him that. So after multi terms in office, Barrett takes a walk up George Avenue, sees boarded up buildings and slaps his forehead in amazement and incredulity. 
Is Barrett positioning himself as Leighton’s successor? With the crime in Wilkes Barre constant, with transients wrecking neighborhoods for years, all of a sudden this is news? 
Granted, the downtown looks beautiful. But Wilkes Barre City has been a joke in driving the good people out and keeping the garbage in. Case in point, a few years ago, a guy moved in to the late Councilman Joe Williams old house from Philadelphia. Had a wife and two kids. He started a business that employed people. One of the neighbors on my street (who is long gone) bitched that the guy was parking a truck on the street. The boneheads on the Zoning Board ruled against the guy and drove him and his business out of town. 
If you try to fix something to improve your property, you have a full scale investigation as to what you are doing from the Code Department. But if you keep your property like a proverbial shit hole, it can stand for another ten years or so ignored by the City, until of course some Councilman decides to take another walk.  
If you want to move something out of your house and get rid of it, God forbid if you park a truck halfway out of your driveway for thirty minutes in the middle of the day. A cop will write you up while a stabbing and on the other side of town a drug deal will go down! So now Barrett wants to get rid of blighted buildings! Nothing like coming to the party 10 years too late Mr. Chairman. 



ECTV Live will feature information about a FREE Health Care Fair on the program during the week of June 3rd. The program is hosted by Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo and is aired on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight each day.  


This Week on Sunday Magazine. Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Cindy Garin and Carol Crane from the Red Cross about their "Everyday Heroes" campaign. Brian Hughes speaks with travel guru Chris McGuinness about the best deals for summer vacationing. And an encore of Brian's April interview with medical expert Stuart Tomc regarding the "Massacre Mindset", and how nutrition may play a role. 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
WILK's Sue Henry. (Photo: You Tube). 


Sue Henry will have the entire President Jimmy Carter speech (time allowed) as delivered at the Wyoming Monument. Sue will speak with Attorney Robert K. Tanenbaum, New York Times best seller and author of the book, "Echoes of My Soul," an account of the 1963 "Career Girls Murder," which was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as a compelling reason to give Americans Miranda Rights after a 17 hour interrogation of an individual lead to a false confession. Also, Sue will host Jeff Selingo, editor-at-large for The Chronicle of Higher Education and author of "College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students. The Public Affairs Show airs at 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday on WILK.
Former PCN host Bill Bova. (Photo:


We received information today that former PCN TV Talk Show host Bill Bova was elected to the Palmyra Area School Board in Lebanon County. He voted at 8AM that morning and wasn’t even in the race. But things move fast near Harrisburg. Bova was approached by the GOP to allow his name to be written in as a candidate for the School Board. He got enough votes to be one of the four candidates to garner a dual nomination. The man who has so ably interviewed Governors, Senators, Ambassadors, Sports Hall of Famers and other people of note just might find himself on the other side of the microphone. Bova is currently a lobbyist for Greenlee and Associates. 


Singer songwriter Carole King won the Gershwin Award last week. She is the first woman to garner the award. King was feted by many contemporaries like Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Trisha Yearwood, Gloria Estefan and of course her singer, song soul mate James Taylor. To this day, one of the best concerts I ever attended was at the Arena with King and Taylor. It is an award well deserved. Here’s a clip from the event.  
Our 1976 logo. 


A car bomb fatally injures Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles........The Boston Celtics defeat the Phoenix Suns 128-126 in triple overtime in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the Boston Garden. In 1997, the game is selected by a panel of experts as the greatest of the NBA's first 50 years. – The Teton Dam collapses in southeast Idaho in the U.S., killing 11 the Arizona Caucus, hometown favorite Morris Udall beats ex Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter two to one, Udall also carries Washington State while Senator Frank Church takes Montana handily. But Carter prevails in contests in Rhode Island and South Dakota leading up to the crucial California, Ohio and New Jersey primaries…….on the GOP side, Ronald Reagan takes Montana and South Dakota while President Ford takes Rhode Island… Pennsylvania, Philadelphian Bill Green says that John Heinz will spend millions to buy the Senate seat Green is seeking in the General Election. Heinz said he will only spend what he needs to get his name out there… Wilkes Barre and Scranton, area race fans start gearing up for the Schaffer 500 due at Pocono Race Way set for late June. Wilkes Barre Mayor Walter Lisman and Scranton Mayor Eugene Peters have volunteer committees armed with a Bicentennial bent to get the overflow business to their cities from the big race that will be featured nationally as a Bicentennial event on ABC TV……and thirty seven years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was a really sad song about a dog. Henry Gross and “Shannon”.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2434, May 29th, 2013

Former President Carter in the Wyoming Valley area yesterday. (Photo: 


The 39th President of the United States joined the 19th (Rutherford B. Hayes) and the 26th (Theodore Roosevelt) in making a speech on the hallowed ground of the Wyoming Monument. Carter began his speech at about 3:05PM and spoke to a crowd about how things seems so much different in Washington now as opposed to the time he spent there during the embattled late 1970s. 
Carter commented on the weather saying farmers never complained about the rain. He talked about how as Americans we need to come together to make a better world. The former President,  at 88 is still on the top of his game and enthralled his audience with a story about a trip to a foreign land that did not have freedoms we enjoy. Carter said that in this country, he told a story that did not get big laughs when he gave it here at home. When he was finished with the story there, the crowd roared with laughter. After the speech, Carter inquired as to why so many people laughed. He was told that a sign was held commanding the listeners to laugh. Which they did. Reports I’m getting tell me that those in attendance Tuesday afternoon at the Wyoming Monument needed no signage to enjoy the former President’s remarks.
Our 1963 logo. 

President's Birthday Party, given by White House Staff. President and Mrs. Kennedy, assistants David Powers and Kenneth O'Donnell, others. White House, Navy Mess Hall. Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. 


Fifty years ago today President John Kennedy celebrated a relatively low key birthday (his 46th) in the White House. It was in stark contrast to the 1962 celebration which featured the sultry Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President”. Kennedy opened gifts in his office area with staff members,  then spent the rest of the early evening in his quarters with his family. Later in the year, Kennedy would be assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd. 


This week, it was revealed that Pope John XXIII suffered another hemorrhage and required blood transfusions, in his recently disclosed battle with stomach cancer. (The Pope was diagnosed in the early fall of 1962 but that news was kept from the public). Doctors reported the cancer had perforated the stomach wall and peritonitis set in. The Pontiff’s condition was then downgraded to grave and fifty years ago this week, the number 1 song in LuLac land and America Was “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore. Source: LuLac archives, wikipedia). 

Monday, May 27, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2433, May 27th, 2013

The White Haven Library and Visitor's Center building facade. (Photo: Times Leader). 


Friday night the borough of White Haven achieved something special. After 16 years of planning, fundraising, special events, money raising, corporate solicitations and just plain hard work and dogged determination, a ribbon was cut. Not for just any building but for the White Haven Area Community Library and Visitor’s Center at the Historic Engine House. Mrs. LuLac and I have been making the annual trip to White Haven every year to attend their Wine and Cheese and Taste of White Haven events to, in our own small,  way cheer this great community project on. 
For me, the return to White Haven brought back memories of the work my father and his brother did on the Lehigh Valley Railroad. As a young child, I knew the town of White Haven very well. Whenever we experienced huge snow storms and blizzards, my father usually got the 10PM phone call to put on his winter gear and meet the truck that would take him and a crew to White Haven. Once there, the crew would double back to Coxton after cleaning the tracks. Many a cold night, the men would congregate in that Historic engine house. 
My father and his railroad crew. They never made many visits to White Haven in the summer. And no picture exists of them in snow gear. I'm looking though. (Photo: LuLac archives). 
The first time I entered the building, (and it was a shell of how I remembered it being described as a kid) my first thoughts were how are these people going to turn this into a Library? But they did. It was a step by step process that took time. Sometimes it seemed, as an outsider looking in, that there was no progress at all. But the never say die attitude of White Haven prevailed. Friday night,  as the cold winds blew the event inside, there was a palatable pride in what was accomplished. A new parking lot with lines replaced the gravel lot that many a person judiciously traveled to get inside that big building. The large White Haven railroad sign hung stately in a lobby.  That sign that once indicated the destination of the town has become a directive for learning of future generations. 
The iconic White Haven Railroad sign that is now on permanent display at the newly opened Library and Visitors Center. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Remarks were offered by Diane Lamson, President of the White Haven Area Community Library Board of Directors, Elissa Garafolo of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Wayne Gower of the White Haven Historical Society as well as John Klem of the White Haven Borough Council. 

20th District Senator Lisa Baker. (Photo: Citizen's Voice)
A speech that really resonated was the one from Senator Lisa Baker who recalled how growing up near the Back Mountain Library literally gave her a better appreciation for learning. Baker talked about the importance of a community looking beyond its own present and gazing toward a future that would ensure future generations of a place to explore all the possibilities life can offer. Baker was involved with this project when she served as Regional Director of Governor Tom Ridge’s office. Now to put that in perspective, there have been four Governors in office since this project has been underway. 
A tireless volunteer and Chair of what was dubbed The Engine House Project, Charlotte Carter was also recognized. I have been coming to these events for years and the thing that struck me about Mrs. Carter is that she has this calm demeanor I have rarely seen from people who bear the title, “Project Manager”. If Carter became one of Donald Trump’s Project Managers, he would wind up being The Apprentice! 
I had a chat with former White Haven Councilman Bill Radley. Radley and I talked about our fathers. Radley said his dad was the last guy out when the Powerhouse shut down. I told him about the work my father and his brother did in the very place we sat. Then I thought about those hard winter night when those men would make the trek to White Haven. Both my father and uncle always used to stress that more education would always bring better things. As I gazed at the beautiful book shelves lined with tomes of learning, I knew they’d get a kick out of the fact that the Engine House they toiled in was now a Library. My family saw beyond their present and urged our generation to learn. Expand, be better than their present. 
That vision, that generosity of spirit and optimism I saw growing up was magnified a thousand fold by what the people of the White Haven community did with this project. Whether it was carrying boxes, making foods for events, soliciting corporate grants, donating books and money, this community kept its head down, did the work and got it done. Our heartfelt congratulations to this great American community. This is what the American spirit is all about.

The LuLac Edition #2432, May 27th, 2013

Photo: (

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2431, May 26th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that 41% of American two year old’s Daily vegetable calories come from French fries. By comparison, babies at 9 months get 48% of their vegetable calories from yellow, orange and dark green veggies. No wonder why this kid in the stroller had the objection to a french fry being dangled in her face! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that on Friday morning on my way to work, as the rain was coming down, I heard a few songs regarding rain in my car. I heard “Rhapsody In the Rain”, “Rainy Day Women” by Bob Dylan, “This Time I’m In It For Love” (with a rain lyric and “Raindrops”). Now I didn’t have the radio on but rather had a USB port which features over 45 hours of music on it. What are the odds that out f all tat music, on that day, in that time frame, those songs came up? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the birth rate for unwed teenagers has actually gone down in the last few years. And the lowest teenage birth rate among Hispanics was recorded in a long time. That is not only amazing but very smart on the part of our younger people. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED… what big a gap there was in some elections. The Scranton Mayor’s race had the two front runners, Courtright and Randol on the Democratic side but their votes were absolutely lopsided compared to the two other runners up, Lee Morgan and Joe Cardamone. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the outpouring of love and admiration for former governor George Leader. The interesting thing is Leader has been out of office for nearly as long as I’m alive. (I was 4 when Leader left politics). His service was filled with fond remembrances from his children as well as very light hearted with memories of a life well lead. PCN had a lot of great coverage too. For those not familiar with Leader, it gave a glimpse into what politics was like a generation ago. I'm sure when the time comes for former Governor Scranton, I believe he will be 96 in July, (and we hope WWS keeps trucking along for a while) it will be a huge news story given his accomplishments in public life.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Subway (which by the way I love, you can’t beat their Tuna on Whole Wheat with Spinach ) is touting adding Avocado to your sandwich in May. But what they don’t tell you is that to add it, you have to pony up an extra $1.50 per sandwich. So before you say, “avocado please”, know you’ll get charged. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that if you are taken by ambulance (like a small town one like Hanover as an example) to a hospital, Ambulance companies will try to screw with you for payment. Most health plans pay up to 90% of Ambulance Transfers. But they never submit the claims to the Insurance companies. So then you get a bill for $600 bucks from a third party provider. If you don’t know enough to submit it to the Insurance Company (not the Ambulance third party because I’, convinced they just toss it,) you’ll get another bill. But the next bill will say “Pay this amount: $20.00.” And you think, okay, that’s all I owe. But then you get another bill saying, “By paying the $20.00 you have committed legally to paying the entire bill”. Tony Soprano would even be appalled at these bloodsuckers. Even thugs sent flowers! Not these bastards. So bill payer, beware. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Obama Administration has not avoided the second term curse. Every President since FDR has had some type of mishap visited upon them. Ike had a Scandal with his Chief of Staff in the 50s, Nixon had Watergate, Reagan Iran Contra, Clinton had, (well you know my favorite Federal Employee of All Time) and Bush had Katrina and the Financial meltdown. Hubris, lack of good managers, bad luck or reckless behavior can derail a grand agenda for another term. I guess events have a way of evening out political grand schemes and power in a democracy. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that on Wednesday night of this week, I slept with a window open wearing boxers and a tee shirt. Friday night, I slept with the window closed shut, two blankets, a sweatshirt, long sweats and a stocking cap! Springtime in LuLac land! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that I heard some moronic Congressman on NPR this week defending the fact that those schools in Oklahoma had no tornado protection because he didn’t want his people to pay higher taxes for it and did not want the government telling his people how to build their local schools. I’m sure that is great comfort to the parents burying their children this holiday weekend! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that LeBron James is now being criticized for fist bumping an opposing player (Paul George) of the Pacers after some great play in the third quarter. James is being slammed for not being a true competitor. The 24 hour news cycle now has officially reached over to sports when nothing becomes something in a heartbeat! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that after seeing Gary Busey on “The Apprentice” again this year, I have to get my hands on that Buddy Holly bio pic he starred in during the late 70s. I always felt that Holly mig1ht have gone further and would have become bigger than all of them if not for that plane crash. One of the things I admitted about his music was that I understand he demanded a hand in the way a song was arranged. And there are certain tunes he did where you could tell where that level of involvement was.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2430, May 25th, 2013


Join us for the Second Annual
Susquehanna Stride
Half Marathon and 5K Race
The only City of Pittston Half Marathon and 5K!
Sunday, May 26th
Greater Pittston YMCA
Start Time: 8:00 am
Start/Finish at Greater Pittston YMCA
Half Marathon runs through Pittston and surrounding communities
5K runs through Pittston


The late George Gilbert of WARM Radio was fond of saying that when you hired someone, you not only tried to gauge how good they’ll be at the job but how good they will be to the people who gave them that job. That’s why in the height of WARM’s dominant ratings in the 60s, turnover was pretty minimal for a radio station. I thought of that last night when I heard that the latest County Budget Director, Richard Cardamone said he was resigning to take a better job. Well good for him. But bad for the taxpayers of Luzerne County who want their budget on track. I know this is going to sound naïve in this day and age, but when you a apply for a position, especially one involving the public, you owe it to the entity that hired you to stay. In the application process it had to be clear that this was a situation where not only expertise was needed but commitment. With the recent debacle involving the appointment of the judicial services and records division, this is a setback that in my mind at least questions the judgment of the hiring process. Council Chair Tim McGinley admitted to the Times Leader this would put the Council in a difficult position since by law they are facing a deadline at the end of next month. Maybe the next time this job, or any job comes open, maybe one basic character trait should be examined: loyalty. 


A former Kingston Council member, Marvin B. Rappaport died Thursday evening. Rappaport operated a pharmacy (Jacobson’s) across from the Goldstein Deli right there on the corner. Whenever I’d stop by to pay a phone bill or grab a magazine, the subject lines would be politics and the Cleveland Indians. Rappaport served on Kingston Council for over two decades (6 terms) and always had a friendly word for everyone. 
According to his obituary, he was also a member of Ahavas Achim Synagogue, Temple Israel Synagogue, Wilkes-Barre, and the Jewish Community Center, where he was an avid bowler for many years. (Oh, if I had only known that tidbit of information!!!) He was past president of Temple Israel School Board.  He was a great guy who will be missed. .

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2429, May 23rd, 2013


If anyone thinks local elections aren’t important, they should take a gander at some of the close races county wide and in smaller communities. The marquee races like Scranton Mayor, Lackawanna County Common Pleas Judge, and the two nomination battles for Luzerne County Controller were not nail biters. But in the race for District Justice in the greater Pittston Area, Attorney Alexandra Kokura and Red O’Brien are separated by 8 votes. On the GOP side, Attorney Gerald Mecadon by a mere 26 votes. And the trend continued in small towns. In Sugar Notch, incumbent Mario Fiorucci came within 9 votes of being re-elected in a tight race. For those who do not participate, you are missing out on the greatest reality show on earth. And that’s too bad because it’s only about your future community. 


I’ve always thought we have become spoiled by technology. When the LuLac computer goes down, I find myself going crazy trying to occupy my time. (Thank heavens Mrs. LuLac is a great IT person!) When my IPhone is misplaced, (usually by me) there is panic. On Tuesday night, when the Luzerne County website went down, during the election returns, all hell broke loose. The working press, those of us blogging that night as well as interested parties were transported back to the 80s when returns were gathered around a big table under the rotunda. I felt a great deal of sympathy for the new Voter Registration head, Marisa Crispell-Barber because she has had a hard act to follow in the person of Lenny Piazza. But when you have 50,000 people trying to get on the site at once, you’ll have this. We lived to tell the tale and know who won and lost, just not as fast.
An Election flyer from the late Judge Arthur Dalessandro. (LuLac archives).


It was Christmas Eve 1971 when Governor Milton Shapp appointed Arthur Dalessandro to become a Luzerne County Judge. Dalessandro was known as a tough Judge in his time on the bench and was known for his even handed approach to Justice. But then in the late 80s, an investigation ensued regarding allegations that the Judge got unclaimed revenue from a car dealership owned by his cousin Gene Lispi. Dalessandro pleased to felony counts and spent less than a year in jail. He got a break when the State Superior Court advised Dalessandro did not commit crimes against his office. As part of a plea deal, the Judge agreed not to run for re-election. He was 86.
The late Carl Zawatski. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


If you were traveling up River Street on Wednesday evening and encountered a traffic jam, it most likely would have delighted the man responsible for it. That evening, former Sheriff Carl Zawatski was being waked at Mikelski’s and hundreds came out to pay tribute to the former law enforcement officer. In 1995, Zawatski succeeded the late Frank Jagodinski who served as Sheriff for 24 years. Zawatski was controversial but fair. After losing a bid for reelection in 1999 to Barry Stankus, Zawatski remained active in law enforcement. He was 78. 



ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Bernie McGurl of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association to their program during the week of May 27th to discus the Riverfest 2013. A full day of river activities, music, food, educational and environmental displays will be available during the annual event which are available to spectators free of charge. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast Ch19 in northeastern Pennsylvania and is show daily on Electric City Television. 


We were distressed to hear of the passing of former Scranton Chamber of Commerce official Jeff Rubel. Rubel was one of the very first building blocks for the success of Public Television in this area. For years Rubel was a mainstay on WVIA'S ACTION AUCTION 44 the first week of every June. He was a dedicated Auction volunteer and always made sure the radio guys got some food during those long nights. He will be missed.  


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Ralph DeMario from Hospice of the Sacred Heart about their 10th anniversary and the history of hospice. Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with James may and Michael Taluto from PENNDOT about staying safe for the Memorial Day Weekend. And in honor of Memorial Day, Sunday Magazine features a story on the Fisher House Foundation, which supports wounded warriors and their families. 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 


Our thanks to the Citizen Voice’s Mike Buffer who reached out to us to give our thoughts on the Luzerne County Controller’s primary race. Here’s the link to that story:


WILK’s Sue Henry recently had a busy couple of days hobnobbing with celebrities in the political and music world. Sue met Carl Bernstein of Washington Post fame as well as Rock and Roll legend Marshall Krenshaw, Here are the photos of her activities on the media path she has been trailblazing for as long as both of us care to remember. 

Sue with Marshall Crenshaw. (Photo: Sue Henry Facebook page). 

Sue with Carl Bernstein. (Photo: Sue Henry Facebook page).

Our 1976 logo. 


In Washington, D.C. Concorde service begin. Rebounding from a bruising losses in Southern States, Gerald Ford defeats challenger Ronald Reagan in 3 Republican presidential primaries: Kentucky, Tennessee and Oregon. On the Democratic side, California Governor Jerry Brown makes a late entry into the Democratic race to try and halt the Jimmy Carter bandwagon……. Indianapolis 500-Mile Race: Johnny Rutherford wins the (rain-shortened) shortest race in event history to date, at 102 laps or 255 miles (408 km). • Syria intervenes in the Lebanese Civil War in opposition to the Palestine Liberation Organization, whom it had previously supported…in Pennsylvania, Governor Milton Shapp says that when he was campaigning for President, the state was in good hands with his Ltn. Governor Ernest Kline. Shapp said that he thought Kline would make a formidable candidate for Governor two years hence……in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, Memorial Day takes on special ceremonial significance with memorial services featuring a Bicentennial flare with Fife and Drum Corps as well as reenactments of Colonial soldiers…and 37 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “Get Up and Boogie” by the Silver Convention. THAT’S RIGHT!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2428, May 22nd, 2013


SCRANTON SCHOOL BOARD: Out of ten candidates running, Mark McAndrew, Doug Miller, Cy Douaihy, Carol Oleski, Todd Hartman, Robert Casey, Kevin J. Manley, Bob Lesh, Robert Sheridan, James J. Timlin (not the Bishop emeritus) Tom Schuster and Tom Borthwick, the following won a Democratic nomination. Robert Casey, Cy Douaihy, Bob Sheridan and Mark McAndrew,.  Incumbent Bob Lesh lost on the Democratic side but secured a GOP nomination as did Carol Oleski. Bob Sheridan and Cy Douaihy won dual nominations. for the fall contest. 
STUDY COMMISSION: The Fix It Ticket garnered six of the seven spots. The ticket was led by insurance Executive Chuck Volpe. Mary Jo Sheridan, Robert Weber, Chuck Volpe, Marilyn Ruane, and Chuck Gianetta were the victors. Marne O’Dea palmer did not win. Voters rejected Commissioners Jim Wansacz and Corey O'Brien suggestion that the row offices be eliminated. 
WILKES BARRE AREA SCHOOL BOARD: As expected Joe Caffrey did very well in his bid for the School Board. He and Denise Thomas secured dual nominations along with Christine Katsock.   Kathy Gtinaway got a GOP nomination and will face off against Ned Evans another former School District employee in the fall. This race proves that the Wilkes Barre Area School District political machine still has some juice and will have a tendency to take care of their own. 
PITTSTON DISTRICT JUSTICE RACE: Alexandra Kokura won the Democratic nomination besting former Row Officer Red O'Brien by just a handful of votes. Attorney Gerry Mecadon who finished third in the Democratic primary won a GOP nomination. This will insure a face off for the General Election. 
PITTSTON MAYOR: Jason Klush wins another term beating bar owner Gene Rooney. 
LUZERNE COUNTY COUNCIL: On the Democratic side, Eileen Sorokus was the top vote getter. On the GOP side, newcomer Alex Milanes almost beat long time veteran Paul DeFabo. The results might change when the final count comes in. Milanes dispelled any notion that he can't win a GOP primary nearly beating a well respected long time party favorite. 


Our good friend, the advertising and media consultant from Florida Bob Harper was two for two in his races Tuesday night. Harper did the ads for Scranton's Mayoral victor Bill Courtright producing a TV spot featuring Courtrighht and Liz Randol on cereal boxes. He also ran deputy Sheriff Mark McAndrews win in that race. Harper touted McAndrews as a "can do" type of guy. 

Our 1963 logo. 

Mercury 7 Astronaut Gordon Cooper. (Photo: www.


Fifty years ago last week, a very significant development happened in the manned space program that was dubbed Mercury. Gordon Cooper one of the original 7 Astronauts orbited the earth a whopping 22 times. That was a big deal for an American space program that at the time was behind the USSR in space travel. Those 22 orbits eclipsed the earlier Mercury orbits of John Glenn, Scott Carpenter and Wally Schirra. Cooper was the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission. His was the last manned single person space flight as Mercury gave way to the Gemini program. Cooper was immortalized in the movie “The Right Stuff” when at the end his flight was chronicled as the test pilot that flew the longest, the highest and the furthest. And fifty years ago when Gordon Cooper was flaying on top of the world at a furious pace, the number one song in America and LuLac land was by Jimmy Soul. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2427, May 21st, 2013



CONTROLLER’S RACE: After the dust settled it appeared that Michelle Bednar beat County Council member Steve Urban. On the Republican side, embattled incumbent Walter Griffith won handily over his opponent Karen Ceppa Hirak. Griffith opened up a lead shortly after the polls closed. 

COUNTY COUNCIL: On the Democratic side, Michael Giamber, Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera Richard "Kick" Heffronn, Linda McClosky Houck and Elaine Sorokus had no opposition. On the GOP side, Harry Haas, Gene Kelleher, and Kathy Dobash appeared to be winners. At post time, Paul DeFabo and Alex Milanes were separated by 75 votes. 


SCRANTON MAYOR: Liz Randol and Bill Courtright were the front runners and the race proved to be an interesting one that could change the course of Scranton. He was the big winner tonight was Bill Coutright over Liz Randol. Courtright built up majorities all across the city and despite a last minute problem with back tax fees on a rental property, Courtright won running away. But Liz Randol seems to have snagged the GOP nomination to set up a General Election rerun with Courtright. 

LACKAWANNA COUNTY JUDICIAL RACE: With James Gibbons, Alyce Hailstone Farrell, Donna Davis Javitz, Patti Grande Reider, P. Timothy Kelly competing, it looked like Jim Gibbons was on his way to winning a dual nomination. 
SCRANTON COUNCIL: Pat Rogan, Joe Wechsler, Joseph A. Matyjevich and William Gaughan were the apparent winners with Tim Perry following close behind. 
STUDY QUESTION: On the question to see if voters wanted to study a new form of government voters said they would support a Government Study Commission but said overwhelmingly that wanted to keep the row offices of Recorder of Deeds, Register of Wills and Clerk of Judicial Records. 


In the race for Pittston District Justice, Alexandra Kokura has 1313, Red O'Brien 1300 and Gerald Mecadon 1226. Would have loved to have given you earlier results but Luzerne County website went down. If anyone of these three gets the GOP nod, this might be a rerun for the General Election. More Wednesday. Results courtesy 

The LuLac Edition #2426, May 21st, 2013


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The LuLc Edition #2425, May 19th, 2013

The Lu. (Commons,



Kind of a light ballot. The big race is for Luzerne County Controller. Embattled and recently charged Walter Griffith is facing off in a primary against Karen Ceppa Hirko. Griffith was charged with three counts of wire tapping people without their knowledge. The charges come a few days before the election. Many political observers are saying Griffith is toast in the primary but Ceppa Hirko has run no campaign of notice and don’t be surprised if Griffith still has enough juice to pull this one out. 
On the Democratic side, Michele Bednar is running an aggressive well funded campaign against long time politician Steve Urban. Urban used to be a Republican but now is a Democrat. Bednar was first out of the gate spending money on TV and radio. Urban started shortly thereafter. Democrats are going to have to make a tough decision. 
Do they want a relatively young person who has shown a desire to affect change (she ran for County Council the last time around) or a perennial candidate of both parties that hasn’t yet landed on the office he feels he’s meant for? 
There are questions about all of these candidates. Should Griffith step down?  What exactly is Bednar's job with a Securities firm? Is Steve Urban an opportunist? And where is Karen Ceppa Hirko's campaign effort? 
Walter Griffith will face both the judgement of the law and the voters. I think that even though he was charged, Luzerne County voters will pick Griffith because they feel that his heart was always in the right place. 
Just take a look at these two races for Controller. Griffith's opponent is just not making her case. 
Democrat Michele Bednar at least realizes she is up against a political titan in the person of Steve Urban. In the last 14 years he has won 4 elections! Plus, he dragged his son and almost his wife across the finish line for the County Council race in 2011 to boot! 
Bednar, unlike the GOP candidate is working her ass off to make a case against Urban. Ceppa Hirko is not against Griffith. Just last night  in the mail there was a flyer from Bednar blasting Steve Urban as a political opportunist with a picture of him in red and blue to signify his switch in parties. Walter gets arraigned and there’s nothing from his opponent’s camp except a statement. 
For those looking to underestimate Michele Bednar in this race, I have two words for you: STEPHANIE SALAVANTIS!!! 
Part of the problem with the Luzerne County GOP is the fact that they don't recognize that in order to govern, you need to win elections first! Frank Trinisewski,  Christine Katsock and Steve Urban realized that. That's why they all became Democrats after knocking their heads against the wall of the Luzerne County GOP. 
If Griffith wins the primary and faces off against Bednar or Urban, there better not be any hand ringing about Griffith. Running for office means precisely that...running. I'd rather have a scarred fighter win an election than someone who didn't work for it and lucked out because criminal  charges came right before the election. The Controller’s race on Tuesday night will be interesting. 


Unlike the 2011 race, this year’s County Council race is tame. Six Democrats are running,  Michael Giamber, Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera and Richard "Kick" Heffronn, were all involved in the planning stages of the Government Charter.  Linda McClosky Houck and Elaine Sorokus are candidates who ran once before. McCloskey Hawk won, Sorokus nearly made it. 
On the GOP side, incumbents Harry Haas and Gene Kelleher are up for reelection. They are going to take heat from the tax crazies for their vote to get more revenue but they were doing the right thing and should be lauded instead of vilified. On my ballot, I wrote them both in since there was no decision to make on the D side.
Paul DeFabo, Sue Rossi,  Alex Milanes and Kathy Dobash are the other candidates running.  There is one seat the prospective nominees are fighting for. DeFabo has been a delegate to national conventions who has been consistently voted in by the party through the years. So the candidates fighting it out will be Rossi, Milanes and Dobash. 
Rossi has run for County office before getting about 25,000 votes against entrenched incumbent Bob Riley. Milanes has been active in the Young Republicans but has had controversial differences with the party and some of its candidates. Dobash has been a dogged anti tax advocate but is seen in some GOP circles as being on the fringe. But so was a man named Walter Griffith four years ago. 
It seems to me that the last seat on the GOP side will come down to Milanes and Dobash. And the determining factor will be how many Republican voters were more antagonized by either of them and if that will sway their vote on Tuesday. In the meantime, Independent Rick Williams will be circulating petitions to run in the fall as an Independent. 


The seat to succeed Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni is one of the most talked about in this election. Here 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) 
To me the race is going to come down to four people. Mark Singer, Alexandra Kokura, Girard Mecadon and Red O’Brian. 
Singer has a long and distinguished career and knows just about everyone. The question is can he translate the votes that got him on the Pittston Area School Board multiple times for enough to win. 
Attorney Kokura has impressed on the trail and like Singer is spending money on TV and radio. 
Girard Mecadon has been advertising, (his Pepper Cookie radio ad is wonderful) working very hard and might pull a good vote from his home areas. There is no one I know who said a bad word about him. 
And then there’s Red O’Brian. He is a wildly popular person who can take a political shot or two. But his grace is that even after a vociferous disagreement, he always extends a friendly hand and moves on. People love that about him. Those are your top four. 
And the others are all very good people too. I went to school with Art Bobbouine’s cousins and lived near one of his political buddies of the 90s Chuck Simalchik.
I knew Murphy Lehman’s dad for years and have heard good things about the other candidates. 
One thing I’m glad about in this race is this: that I no longer live in Pittston and need to choose on this one because it would be tough. I wish all of them luck. And don’t be surprised to see a nomination snared on the GOP side unless there is a stealth effort we aren’t hearing about by one of the front four to get a double. 
There are various other school board races in the county as well as municipal races for Mayor and Council. 
(See this link for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board race we wrote about last week in LuLac. ).
On Tuesday, just vote. And if you aren’t registered and follow this stuff, please register to vote for the next round.
The Lac. (



This is a very historic race this time around. First off, Bob Bolus and Gary DiBileo are not on the ballot. That’s worthy of note. And of course Chris Doherty, the three term Mayor too is not there. It is a changing of the guard. Doherty’s term has been punctuated by a mixed bag of success as well as failures. The successes were the marketing of the City of Scranton as a place to visit and host events. “The Office” in Doherty’s term helped in a huge way but Doherty had the foresight to embrace the recognition from the TV show. Dohertty failed to bring Scranton out of distressed city status and you have to wonder if anyone can at this point. 
Vying to succeed him in the Democratic primary are Liz Randol, who almost became a County Commissioner nominee in 2011, long time Councilman Bill Courtright, now Controller, Lee Morgan who has been around the block a few times politically and the head of Economic Development under the Connors administration Joseph Cardamone. The race is essentially going to come down between Randol and Courtright. 
Is Scranton willing to take a total chance with Randol who has no ties to the past 10 years of Doherty and Council or does it want a person who served on Council? Courtright can’t claim to be all shiny and new like Randol. 
The strength of each person’s organization in a low turnout primary will tell the tale. 
Morgan who has been a frequent speaker at Council meetings through the years can claim a group of like minded voters. 
Cardamone will have a block of voters committed but they are from an administration that governed in the last century. That may not translate into a first place finish. 
Look for Randol in a close race. 
On the GOP side, this race might be one to watch. Not for the GOP candidates that it produced but for what Democratic candidate might garner enough voters to win a GOP nomination. Don’t forget, in 2005,  Democrat Gary DiBileo snared the GOP nomination to face off against Doherty in the fall and in 2009 Doherty himself won the nod on the “R” side. Can Cardamone (recall his boss Jimmy Connors won as a Republican for Mayor in ’89, 93 and 97) get enough votes from the remains of the Connor organization with an aggressive write in effort? Or can Randol and Courtright grab some votes? 
If GOP candidates Marcel Lisi or Garrett Lewis have anything to say about it these Dems should have no chance for a double nomination. But Lisi did nothing but trash the community in the WILK debate (a lot of what he said was true but perhaps he could have been more diplomatic in his presentation) and Garrett never even bothered to show. Plus, the party is still smarting from the incompetent and bungling leadership of Paul Catalano as GOP Chair before the previous regime that is now trying to restore a semblance of an organization. 
Why wouldn’t a Democrat try to take a nomination that has been habitually pissed away by the Lackawanna County GOP party? The party has no one running for City Controller and Council. There, I just proved my case. 
City Council in Scranton has six candidates running. They are Pat Rogan, Tim Perry, Greg Evans, Joe Wechsler, Joseph A. Matyjevich and William Gaughan. Rogan is running for a second term and has acquitted himself well. The voters will pick three candidates. Gaughan had a disastrous radio interview on WILK which showed some pretty blatant political tone deafness. He has also been criticized for allegedly hurling anti gay slurs, being unruly and possibly intoxicated along with harassing media members during a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Among many Democratic, Irish hard drinking Scrantonians, that might be a plus. 
For Scranton School Board, Mark McAndrew, Doug Miller, Cy Douaihy, Carol Oleski, Todd Hartman, Robert Casey, Kevin J. Manley, Bob Lesh, Robert Sheridan, James J. Timlin (not the Bishop emeritus) Tom Schuster and Tom Borthwick. Borthwick has run before, has a lot to offer and I hope he gets there. Four need to be picked, everyone has cross filed.

From You Tube, here is one of the debates for the Scranton Mayor's race: 


Five candidates are running to succeed Judge Chester Harhut as a Common Pleas Judge in Lackawanna County. The five candidates who cross filed are; Donna Davis Javitz, Patti Grande Reider, Alyce Hailstone Farrell,  P. Timothy Kelly and James A. Gibbons. 
I believe that the three women candidates will split the votes with Hailstone Farrell coming in second due to her name recognition as a District Justice. However, unlike former District Justice John Pieski in past efforts, Farrell’s district is more populous than his was so she might pull it out. 
I don’t think Henry has the name recognition so look for Gibbons to win this with Farrell coming behind and Javitz and the awful and inarticulate Grande Reider finishing dead last. Once more though, since the candidates cross filed, look for a general election match up if one of the campaigns targeted Republicans to snare a nomination. 


Lackawanna County has a Sherriff’s race, the candidates are Rob Mazzoni and Mark P. McAndrew from the Mid Valley The other candidate is Nick DeSando from Dunmore. 
Mazzoni has name recognition, both good and bad, look for him to win. 
On the GOP side, Dominick Minetti and Joseph Albert will be duking it out. 
For Recorder of Deeds, Democrat Evie Refalko McNulty has been drawing her usually huge crowds and is unopposed. Her GOP opponent will be Alice DiLeo of Scranton. 
For Register of Wills, Michael Durkin, Kim Hardiing Kelly, Fran Kovelski and Paul Nardozzi are going after that nomination. On the GOP side, Christopher Arnone is running unopposed. Unlike Luzerne County, Lackawanna County has almost made the District Attorney’s office non partisan. Once more,  Republican Andrew Jarbola like his predecessors Mike Barresse and Ernie Preate have no General Election opposition. 


In an attempt to centralize their power, the Democratic Majority County Commissioners are behind a Government Study Commission which will eliminate the aforementioned row officers of Lackawanna County. Of course the Charter will keep the Commissioner’s office so that they can appoint officials to the row offices rather than have them elected. 
This whole thing to me is pretty ironic since all of the corruption in Lackawanna County has come from that office, not any of the Rows. But we now have two blatantly politically, ambitious men who need the oxygen of a government funded job. Anyway, that’s my take. Here’s the Public Question: Shall a government study commission of seven members be elected to study the existing form of government of Lackawanna County, to consider the advisability of the adoption of an optional form of government, and to recommend whether or not an optional plan of government should be adopted? YES NO 
So, just like in Luzerne County, just in case it is voted in with a yeah and not a nay, there needs to be a seven member study commission. 
The people running are: Mike Stutz Stuchlak, Marie A. Schumacher, Mary Jo Sheridan, Robert P. Weber, Laureen A. Cummings, Maximilian Peters,  Chuck Volpe, Michael A. Dempsey,  Mary Rose McAndrew Spano, Marnie O'Dea Palmer,  Jerry Notarianni,  Diane J. Walsh,  William Shanley,  Alexander J. Chelik,  Marilyn C. Ruane,  Michael A. Giannetta,  David Wenzel,  Paul J. Catalano,  Dorothy Macciocco,  Jason M. Miller,  Frank J. Bolock, Jr,. Joseph M. Walsh,  Sharon L. Gebert,  Mirhia Noldy, Dominick Perini,  Catherine C. Hosie,  Gerrie Carey,  Joseph J. Brazil,  Joseph Albert,  Reginald H. Mariani,  Michael A. Catanzaro,  Harry Kelly,  Gary T. Duncan,  Sarah F. Walsh,  Robert Calpin,  Lorraine Stevens,  Charlie Spano and Mary L. Oleski.
If you take a look at some of the names on this ballot you’ll see some familiar ones like former Scranton Mayor David Wentzel, former Mayoral candidate Jerry Notarianni, former Congressional candidate Laureen Cummings, Insurance magnet Chuck Volpe the face of the TV advertising for this effort, Jessup Memorial Day Parade Chair Dominick Perini, the aforementioned Paul Catelano and Charlie Spano. Plus, if you couldn’t find anyone you liked in this group you could write in a vote. 
Along with this ballot, there are various School Board and Municipal races up for a nod. The ironic thing about local elections is that the turnouts are always low because there is a segment of moronic voters who think the biggest difference they can make is in a Presidential election. I say let them stay home because I don’t want their ignorance infecting the local races. But still it is a shame some people think that way.
We'll see about all of this on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2424, May 17th, 2013

Our "Interview" logo.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. (Photo: 
Dr. Joe Leonardi. (Photo: LuLac archives)



New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently revealed he was having la band surgery. We took the opportunity to speak to Dr. Joe Leonardi on his thoughts regarding this story. 
In our previous conversations about Governor Chris Christie, you seemed impatient with his public stance on weight loss. Is that accurate? 
First off, I just want to be clear that my answers are based on the presumption, that besides being morbidly obese, Governor Christie is in relatively good health and has no underlying metabolic, hormonal or medical conditions that are either causing or contributing to his obesity.  With that in mind; impatient? Not with the Governor, I was vocal about Mayor Bloomberg and his proposed nanny state policies. I have said that if Governor Christie were going to run for President that he needed to take better care of his health; because the strain of running for and being president ages physically fit people and I didn’t think he could take it in his current physical state. Both President George W. Bush and President Obama have shown outward strains of the office, and both were above average in fitness when they took the office. As a person who has had weight issues, like me, what are your thoughts on his recent coming out regarding the lap band procedure? 
My opinions about any bariatric procedures are consistent, I don’t care for them. I don’t speak in my role as a Chiropractor, but as a Physical Culturist and educator; I have some serious concerns about bypassing, constraining or making any other type of alterations to a structurally sound and physiologically healthy body organ or organ system. Is the lap band procedure the least risk but the least effective? The least risky and most effective is a good sound diet, combined with a physical fitness protocol that includes some type of progressive resistance and endurance exercise program. I’m not sure of all the associated risks with the procedure, but of the handful of people I have known who have had some type of bariatric procedure, post surgical malabsorption syndrome is prevalent. 
You have done an incredible job remaking yourself but you’ve done it through diet and exercise. Is it possible that there are some people who can’t keep the weight off? 
Sure. Recidivism is high; hell it happened to me and I am pretty pissed off at myself for allowing it to occur; after more than 3 and half years of keeping the weight off and being physically fit, I recently backslid to the tune of 80 pounds. I have taken sole responsibility for allowing it to happen, which I am talking about on my blog and YouTube channel. I have caught it and I am now back on track. Once obese, one must be vigilant for a lifetime. There is no magic cure; not in a bottle nor at the end of a surgeon’s scalpel. There are people who have had some type of invasive bariatric procedure, who have gained back weight. Out of the dozen or so people I have met who have had some type of procedure, only one person kept it off for the long term, another binged so heavily that a very serious medical complication occurred. I think there are those that believe this procedure is a panacea, and it will make up for a poor diet and lack of an effective exercise plan. It is not an easy path; I would argue that it is actually a much more difficult option, because as the digestive tract is altered, there are other issues that arise. If the base problem of why one, who is otherwise healthy, does not take care of themselves isn’t addressed, recidivism, even after the surgery is almost a certainty. I did some serious soul searching on my recent weight gain, which I discuss here: It was only after I came to terms with the fact that I allowed certain stressors to trigger my gluttony and sloth, that I was able to correct my mental energy and tackle my recidivism head on, with full force and vigor. It is my hope that I have learned from this failure, and don’t repeat it --- but I am very well aware of the fact that I may, so I must remain both vigilant and responsible. 
If you were Chris Christie’s coach, Doctor, what would you have done differently with him? That is difficult to answer because I don’t know his overall history. However, I can say that if I were his friend, I would have advised against the surgery and to start properly eating and exercising. It takes a strong will and hard work to get to be the Governor of a state; I would have shown him how to tap into his better qualities to improve his physical fitness level. I would try to sway him to think differently. Instead of focusing on weight loss, I would push him to bring his attention to improving his overall physical fitness. Being slender, slim or thin is not a guarantee of good physical health or conditioning. There are plenty of folks out there who are not overweight, but eat a crappy diet, and the most movement they do is tracking a mouse of pressing the buttons of a remote control --- and you want to know something? They too are at risk of serious health issues. The idea that simply losing weight is the answer is profoundly misguided. Weight loss is a side effect of fitness; fitness is not the end result of weight loss. 
In your view, is Christie waving a white flag to all those who want to lose weight and just take this approach as an out? 
A white flag? God no. Any type of surgical procedure carries serious risks and complications; I think this was a move he made because many are now convinced that this is a viable treatment option for obesity. I hope that he is not under the false perception that the surgery will cure what ails him; because it won’t. He can backslide, and whatever may have led to his issues can return. It is kind of sad, because as I said earlier, the focus should not be on strictly losing weight, the emphasis needs to be on improving overall physical conditioning. 
Would you be inclined to vote for Chris Christie regardless of his weight? 
I’m not sure. There is both good and bad about him as a leader and politician. Politics aside, my concern about voting for him would have little to do with his weight and/or appearance, but with the concern that if elected, he would remain healthy enough to serve effectively. 
Any message you’d like to send to people who might want to contact you regarding this subject? 
There are plenty of ways to reach me; email, web site, blog, YouTube channel, Facebook, and I am on twitter I give a lot of information on both my blog and YouTube channel, and my book “Obesity Undone,” is still available through Amazon in both paperback and kindle. Additionally, I am in the process of writing a series of short kindle books discussing my recidivism. Dr. Joe Leonardi, D.C. is the president and CEO of Leonardi Chiropractic Wellness Office, PC and BetterLife Seminars by Fat Then Fit Now, INC. He is the author of the life-changing book Obesity Undone, Fat Then Fit Now 2nd edition. He has a B.S. from University of the State of New York and his Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. He is an adjunct faculty at Luzerne County Community College teaching Anatomy and Physiology. He has acted as the team chiropractor for the Arena Football League 2’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, the semi-professional football teams the Scranton Eagles and the NEPA Miners, the women’s roller derby Coal City Rollers and has provided chiropractic care at powerlifting and strong man events. He has made numerous television, radio and internet appearances to discuss the topics of fitness, wellness, obesity, childhood obesity and how childhood obesity relates to bullying.