Thursday, June 06, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2440, June 6th, 2013

Me and my trusty cane. Shall I rename it my "gimp" appliance? (Photo: Guy Cali).


I needed a day or two to write about the comment made by Luzerne County Elections Bureau Chair Jeremy Packard regarding people with disabilities. When I first heard about it, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. When I was growing up, I’d hear discussions about sports among my father and his friends. While they were complimentary in terms of their respect for sports figures, the way they described them, especially minorities, would be out of step in today’s society. I never heard them use the “n” word but their rather prosaic descriptions still would never fly today. I thought of that thinking there might be an education or generation gap with Mr. Packard. But I found he was in his 60s and actually ran Wyoming Seminary, the highly touted educational institution. 
Packard referred to people with walking and other disabilities as gimps. The exact quote was outlined in the Citizen’s Voice. At the May 7 meeting, board members and Director of Elections Marisa Crispell were discussing a Wilkes-Barre polling place, which was not accessible to voters with disabilities. The elections bureau was unable to use ramps at the St. Benedict Church Hall, 155 Austin Ave, because of angled steps, Crispell explained. Packard later referred to setting up "a little tent with one machine" for disabled voters then said, "A lot of gimpy people walking around back there, alright." 
Even if Packard made the comment as a throwaway remark, he did it at a public meeting. The word “gimp” has a very odd connotation. It seemed to me that it made the person dubbed that as “less than”. 
Let me relate my personal experiences as, to use Packard's words,  a “gimp”.  I wasn’t always that way. As a matter of fact, in my life I moved at a pretty good clip. I played tennis (badly) every week in the summer, and ran two Softball teams in Bill Brace’s Killer Bees Softball League. I swam three times a week at the King’s pool and was a member of Star Fitness at the Thomas Saxon Medical Center in Edwardsville. 
But in 1999 I was rear ended in car accident and had back pain that lasted for at least a decade. I went through dozens of therapists, medications and exercises. I was told by one doctor to forge ahead and walk without thinking. I then blew two ankle ligaments doing that. So in April of 2002, I started using a cane. I never thought of myself as a “gimp” but just someone who needed a device. 
When I had my hip replaced in 2011, for a time I used a walker. In my most recent health situation (which I will reveal at some point in time) I used a walker and cane because of breathing difficulties. Thanks to medication, at least for now, I’m trucking along with just my cane. Throughout my time using a device, I knew I had challenges but lived my life to the fullest. It never stopped me from going to the beach in Jamaica or the Bahamas, from going to PNC Field for a game or going places with Mrs. LuLac. For the most part, I think I was treated with respect and courtesy. 
But there were a few things that bothered me. When I worked at Blue Cross, the person who was my initial interviewer told me I’d be able to park near the building. I advised that my wife took me to work but when she was out of town, I’d park there once a week wishing not to abuse the privilege. That lasted a few months until one day when I was coming in to work, I said hello to the relative of the CEO who was on her way to work there too. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she turned and looked at my car and then me and I thought, “Uh oh”. The next day Security told me I couldn’t park there, it was for customers. Yet a week later, another employee (who bagged out on them) parked a huge white van in the same parking place. So I thought, was there a degree of disability? I never pursued it because I only parked there once a week, but it gave me an insight into what Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania thought of me and my disability. 
Another thing I have noticed is Handicapped Access bathrooms. Personally, I’ll use any port in the storm but I notice when healthy, skinny little guys emerge from the handicapped stall while I’m exiting a regular stall and there’s a guy in a wheelchair waiting his turn. So in terms of discrimination, I can’t complain. I’ve been hired by other places since BCNEPA, and even worked as a TV reporter during the Luzerne County corruption trials. But discrimination can be a silent assassin. Packard’s comments have started me to think, “How many looks, comments or side way stairs did I miss?” 
But let's talk about the comment about voters. Academics and politicians forget that voters are "customers". Plus, older voters who risk life and limb to vote do so because they believe in the system. They are a dying breed. I dare say, they are patriots. So Packard’s comments diminish them by inferring they are wandering around a little tent like circus freak show participants. But here’s what irks me about Jeremy Packard’s comments, it is his lack of courage. 
Packard has been hiding from the press like a little coward. He let down his committee by not showing up at acrucial meeting and left them holding the bag. Public officials make mistakes. People forgive them. Hell, there’s a guy running for Mayor of New York who sent photos of himself in under wear , but he owned up to it. Packard has not. He has chosen to wimp out on his statements. For that reason, he should just go. Resign. I’m sure there will be Wyoming Sem alumni who will sing his praises and tell us our brilliant he is, but the fact of the matter is when there was heat, he hid like a scared little puppy afraid of the doorbell. 
There is a reason why he finished in the lower bottom five of the County Council race in 2011. There is a reason why he is in hiding and not owning up to his incredible statement.  Character.
This numb nut gets a huge pension, every paid holiday you can imagine and can audit your taxes. (Photo: New York Daily News). 


If you ever wonder why people resent Federal employees, look no further than the IRS and their “conferences”. Who in the hell gave the go ahead to produce training videos of “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island?” And how about paying $10,000 for a Happiness Speaker? Really? I will bet every dollar I own that any one of those “conference attendees”, these federal employees wouldn’t last a week in the lowest rung private sector job in this country. If I were Obama, I’d clean house. Screw the unions and the pathetic bloodsuckers they protect. I’m not against all Federal employees, at least Monica Lewinsky had a skill set. 


So now Ray Musto’s lawyers are trying to delay his trial even though it hasn’t started. 
The Prosecutors filed a 48 page brief saying that Musto’s lawyers had no standing to challenge Judge Richard Caputo’s ruling saying Musto must stand trial. The former Senator’s lawyers say the trial can kill him. And the beat goes on……………maybe Musto is trying to break the Hugo Selinski record for delay. 


So Sunday I’m on the Facebook machine and I read that our friend Bill Vinsko is touting the 2015 Wilkes Barre Mayoral candidacy of local educator Frank Majikes. Vinsko (who would have been a great Congressional nominee) touted Majikes and said more details were coming. The loyal opposition in Wilkes Barre pulled this quote out of the Times Leader published August 11, 2002 where Majikes was quoted about his connections with this gem, “rattled off a list of his relatives who work for the city, county and the School board … They must have eight or nine jobs.” 
Later that day, the Facebook post went down. I don’t think it was the quote that got the post taken down, most likely one of the 4 political families that control Wilkes Barre politics got their nose out of joint when they weren’t consulted. Someone must have advised that the powers that be might give you jobs but that doesn’t necessarily let you under the “golden dome of holy of holies in Wilkes Barre city politics”.


David DeCosmo. (Photo: LuLac archives) 


Program Reminder: 60 Years of Local Television! WBRE and WYOU are marking a milestone. Six decades of technology, history, sports and personalities. Keith Martin, Derry Bird, Jack Scannella, Cholly Hayes, and more. Plus, hear the story of Madge Holcomb- a woman who paved the way for other woman broadcasting. Take a trip back in time with us on Friday, June 7th at 7:30 pm on WYOU. The 60th Anniversary of WYOU and WBRE. The program is hosted by David DeCosmo. 


Honesdale will come alive with music at the 8th annual "Roots & Rhythm Music and Arts Festival scheduled for June 15th. And ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and Davd DeCosmo will welcome Brian Fulp and Randy Kohrs to their program during the week of June 10th to learn more about thre event which draws people from the entire area to the free public event each year. ECTV Live is carried on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight. DeCosmo will also be hosting a special 60th year anniversary program on WYOU, Ch 22, on Friday evening at 7:30. The program recalls some of the unique history of WYOU and WBRE over the six decades since they went on the air. 

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty On Sunday Magazine. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, who reflects back on his 3 terms in office, and what advice he has to offer for his successor. Brian speaks with Terri Stocki from Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northeast Pa. about their upcoming Home Program for prospective home buyers. And This Week in Harrisburg features comments from State Representative Tara Toohill on the Corbett Administration ending its contract with the controversial correctional facility MinSec in Hazleton, and Senate Democrats discuss their budget proposal and the battle over liquor privatization. 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 


This week on WILK's Special Edition with Sue Henry, check out coverage of the All Rise Rally in Lackawanna County, highlighting the contribution of drug treatment courts across the country. Lackawanna County's started in 2000 and has been very successful. Also, an interview with Dr. Susan Ice, vice president and chief medical officer of The Renfrew Center, which treats eating disorders, and coverage of the Pennsylvania Cyber Tax Coalition's meeting at King's College on property tax elimination.


The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) and the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) are partnering together this year for a special monthly program called “Focus on Education.” The program, which offers a panel discussion concerning current issues facing education, airs on PCN the second Wednesday of each month beginning at 9:00 p.m. The upcoming June 12 episode will be to a TV, streaming of this program will also be made available online during the network airing by subscribing to PCN Select at For more information about the streaming service, visit The mission of The Education Policy and Leadership Center is to encourage and support the development and implementation of effective state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages. For more information about EPLC and its programs, please visit devoted to the subject of high school dropout prevention. During the program, Ron Cowell, president of EPLC, will give an overview of the featured topic and will then sit in on the panel discussion concerning the subject. The panel includes Nathan G. Mains, president and state director for Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania (CIS-PA); Pedro A. Rivera, superintendent for the School District of Lancaster and David Kerr, regional vice president of external affairs for AT&T Pennsylvania. 
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It is a big primary day in three states, in California Governor Jerry Brown routes Jimmy Carter by a two to one margin but Jimmy Carter prevails in Ohio and New Jersey by big margins…on the GOP side, Ronald Reagan takes California but President Ford wins New Jersey and Ohio…… the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, statewide preparations begin for the big upcoming Fourth of July celebration. Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo and Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty outline their plans in joint news conferences……in Wilkes Barre City, Mayor Walter Lisman says that the “Strong Mayor” form of government has its challenges but seems easier because of the relationship he can build with the new Council as well as his City Clerk, William Brace……and 37 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross.


At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Packard's gaffe is something else but how about him hiding election results from the electronic media on Election Night? What is with this guy?

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough wasted energy on what was said. Fix or move the damn polling places and move

gimp 2 (gmp) Slang
1. A limp or a limping gait.
2. A person who limps.
intr.v. gimped, gimp·ing, gimps
To walk with a limp.

[Origin unknown.]
gimpy adj.

Much ado about NOTHING.
What's next? Coal Cracker is now more offensive than descriptive?

Enforced sensitivity based on the random interpretation by whoever has the loudest voice.

This is not to diminish a person's handicap, affectation, defect, etc. but how about rolling back on the speech police and outrage merchants.

Sounds like you and I can handle our own affairs Yonk.


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the IRS crimes was they leaked
a persons income tax because he donated money to the opposition.
The people he donated to was revealed
and people started boycotting his business. If this isn't a crime I don't know what is!! Someone should be going to jail! And they want to hire 15,000 more of these clowns to make decisions on your medical care. But that's how they do it in Chicago.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get a kick out of the Conservative radio conversation about the IRS scandal (both). They talk about the party time activities but never mention that the head of the IRS during both scandals was a carry over Bush appointment. This jerk Andy on WILK evenings is hell bent on imp;eaching Obama over it and claims the Re;publicans were not half as bad. The idiot can't recall Nixon and his "hit" list of which the IRS went after individuals and gave them a bad time if Nixon had a problem with them. Going after indivduals is a lot worse than taking a closer look at Conservative group applications. One interesting note is that there was only one application flat out denied and that was a Progressive group.
I agree 100% that Packard should resign. I also believe it is a lot to do about little but in this day and age, political correctness is top priority. Personally, I'm much more upset about the refusal to release election updates to some of the media, that's just flat out wrong. I know I'm beating a dead horse but the fact is that the county needs Len Piazza back as Director of the the Election Bureau. It doesn't need a lot of fanfair but it could be done with strict provisions of probation. I had dealings with Piazza and I do't know him ersonally but he was devoted to his job, gave up; evenings to hold classes for polling place workers and met with candidatges in the evening to help them understand the rules of campaign laws. He really was the best ever and it is p;ainfully obvious he should be brought back. Also, let me make it perfectly clear that I don't think the young woman now in charge should be terminated, I think she should remain as Piazza's Deputy so there is a backup manager when and if needed. This is not a new thought with me, I always felt that Piazza should have had a deputy.

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you believe what Musto is accused of deserves the death penalty, then by all means proceed. If he dies during the trial, which is a strong possibility, hepatic aneurysms are no joke, the liver has a large blood supply, and excess stress can cause a spike in blood pressure, causing the aneurysm to tear, he will surely die, even if a surgeon is standing over him with scalpel in hand, these type of aneurysms can cause a bleed out and death w/i minutes.

When did we lose our compassion for others. Nothing against Must has been proven, and if you read some past articles, the recordings used to arrest him were edited to make him look as if he had done something wrong, in the transcripts of the unedited versions, there is a considerable amount of doubt. But if a judge reversed the order, thanks to the bloodsuckers, that judge would be tarred and feathered.

Even if the accusations are true, they are not death penalty punishable. So all you vultures really need to grow some compassion, you will all one day get old, and you may have health issues.

And even IF Musto is guilty, will him being killed by the judicial process make your life any better? Will it protect you and your family from any violent crimes?
If he dies, can the judges and prosecutors be brought up on manslaughter charges, since provided medical evidence states that the trial may kill him?

Even if he is guilty, he does not deserve the potential of a horrible, painful death.

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Packard is an Ass. He demonstrated that election night beyond a doubt.
He should go the way of the Packard Automobile which was according to all I've read a great car. That's clearly not the case with this guy. My limp is the result of a war wound which also brought a Purple Heart. My guess is Packard did not serve and he is not serving well now.

One Gimp to Another

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off point, but I'm starting up my campaign again to remove Texas and Florida from the Union. Texas regularly threatens to drop out and I believe we should let them. After all we stole it from Mexico in the first place. Hard to tell where there are more wackos, Texas or Florida. I liked the flag better with 48 stars anyway!


At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hard to tell where there are more wackos, Texas or Florida."

With that kind of standard it sounds like NEPA has their fair share. Personally I'm liking Tennessee.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we lost our compassion for others when our government started to define compassion and the appropriate actions/response.

When it was us (as a group: church, neighborhood, etc.) that helped out those in need we often expected a change in behavior. Not as a quid pro quo but more as a "better way" to live and therefore avoid the re-occurrence of the behavior that landed our neighbor in the straits they were in. Behavior modification of sorts.

EXPECTATIONS for a change in behavior was absent when the government stepped in since no one wanted to be told they were wrong or be judged for the results of their behavior. Hell, it was a no-brainer: no consequences for doing things that didn't work or were counter productive.

The course of least resistance wins all the time!

The tragic loss was the death of collective individual compassion.

Why should I care because it doesn't matter. We have FEMA, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, Unemployment Ins., etc.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, you ought to have the local papers get you to write a Media column. The last good one was done by Sue Henry. I like what you do in the Thursday edition. Very informative and has me tuning in to shows I might have missed.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree totally with 7:27 Dave. But for good $$$. You have time and again proven to be respectful, current AND interesting.

Of course, I remember how great and accurate Al Choman's Concert Reviews were and then suddenly they were gone.

Would not wish "editor's wrath" or "publisher's peeves" on you either.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tennessee is OK. We've got to get rid of Texas and Florida. Tennessee swings right but with Nashville and Memphis its pretty much in the current century.
The WACKOS abound in Florida and Texas is just that, Texas. I agree, next time Texas threatens to leave the Union we welcome the opportunity. Does a lot for the immigration issue too.
The movement needs a catchy name.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, here is a good one. The county cut the security staff way down and this week, one of the security guards wanted a week's vacation but was denied and only given 3 days off. The reason was they are too short handed. What BS management this is. They cut services because they refuse to deal with the fact that expenses increase each month and higher taxes are absolutely a part of life. Each year county expenses increase and they cant continue to cut jobs to balance the budget. Another strong point is that the current security staff have received little or NO training. I was amazed to see a cop walk into Penn Place and by pass security while he was in uniform and had his weapon on his hip. WTF, do these people realize that uniforms can be purchased at many retail locations? I don't have a problem with an officer in uniform carrying his weapon but he should go through security and show some form of Police ID to prevent an idiot from doing harm based on the fact he is wearing a police outfit.
OK, my rant is over but I do want to compliment you on today's post..... good job. And I am a strong believer that Len :Piazza should be brought back

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pete,

What is your definition of "wackos" so I know what you're talking about - just in case I agree and then find out Nanticoke or Plymouth wants out.

Maybe even realize I belong somewhere besides NEPA.


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