Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2485, July 31st, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo. 



This past week, a former Wilkes Barre Chamber employee who was pushed out of his job because he dared to ask pertinent questions regarding the "job creating" (excuse me while I choke) Chamber Real Estate Company's holdings penned a letter to the editor regarding The Irem Temple. It is passionate, factual and very important to read. The Chamber owns the building but has refused permission for photo journalists from France to tour the building. Aren't these guys at the Chamber supposed to promote growth and the history of what we have here? Never mind, they are just holding their seats until they get bounced out and then they can get a job with Rob Mericle! Anyway, here's the letter. 
Editor: A few months ago I was contacted by two, professional photographers based out of Paris, France, requesting that they be given permission to photograph our 107-year-old Irem Temple Mosque located on North Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre. They reached out to me assuming that I was still in charge of the real estate holdings of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund. 
I explained to them that I was no longer affiliated with the chamber, but after reviewing their website and credentials, I told them that I would see what I could do to gain them access to the mosque. 
The artists from Paris are by no means "fly-by-night" photographers. They have art galleries in Paris, London, and Stockholm. Using large format camera equipment, their artistic passion is focused on memorializing historically significant, deteriorating theaters of golden, by-gone eras. Please visit their website at to view some of their work. 
These men are flying to the United States next week to photograph several, historically significant, grand theaters on the east coast, as well as in Canada. They have specifically set aside nine days to spend in Wilkes-Barre with hopes that they will be allowed to photograph our Irem Temple. They will be in Wilkes-Barre from July 28 through Aug. 5. The fact that our Irem Temple appeared on the "radar screen" of these artists in Paris, France, should tell us something about the architectural significance of this treasure sitting in our back yard. 
The citizens of Northeastern Pennsylvania should feel honored that our iconic, historic landmark has gained global attention. This is an opportunity for our community that simply cannot be ignored. The problem is that the leadership of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry has made it clear that they have no intention of allowing this French team to enter the Irem Temple, which they unfortunately own and control. 
When several members of our group reached out to the president of the chamber, William Moore, to express their concern over his stance on this opportunity, Mr. Moore's scripted response was, "Thank you for contacting me about the Irem Temple and allowing photographers to enter the building. On the advice of our insurance carriers and legal counsel, we are unable to allow anyone to enter the building." 
The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, as stewards of several publicly financed projects and assets in the Wilkes-Barre area, including their ownership of the Irem Temple Mosque, I cannot help but feel that the chamber is not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility in doing whatever they can to promote our community assets, and to fulfill their mission of enhancing the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Why in the world would they stand in the way of any attempt to promote an initiative that could potentially assist in the restoration of this one-of-a-kind landmark? 
If anyone can attach a shred of logic to any of the chamber's actions as they relate to the handling of the Irem Temple Mosque, please let me know, because I am surely at a loss. In stark contrast to what immeasurable contributions our chamber made to this community over the past three decades, I'm not quite sure what their current mission or strategy is, or even what their significance and role is in contributing value to this community. 
Several months ago, we created a Facebook page titled, "Irem Temple Mosque Restoration Project," which is devoted to keeping the public aware of any and all developments concerning our 107-year-old Mosque. As of this writing, there are 372 concerned citizens who are members of this Facebook community. This website serves as a forum to discuss and exchange ideas on how to save our Irem Temple. This is no small task, but a lot of good ideas are being shared by the 372 members. Yes, there is clearly hope for the future of the Irem Temple. I invite all concerned citizens to view our Facebook page for news and updates at 
Conclusion: The Hotel Sterling will be our newest parking lot next week. The citizens of Wilkes-Barre cannot allow our Irem Temple to be the next victim of the wrecking ball due to unnecessary complacency. The Irem Temple can be saved. 
Thank you for listening. 
Ross G. Macarty Wilkes-Barre

Monday, July 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2484, July 29th, 2013

The photo I remember as a boy seeing in a few businesses in downtown Pittston. (Photo:
The Scrantons on the cover of Life Magazine at the '64 convention. (Photo: Life archives.) 
Bill Scranton on the cover of Time Magazine in 1962. (Photo: Time Magazine).
1964 Scranton campaign poster when Scranton ran for President. (Photo: Times Tribune).
The official portrait of William Scranton as Governor. (Photo: Harrisburg Patriot).
Bill Scranton on the speaking trail.  (York Daily Record). 


Bill Scranton has been on my mind the last few weeks. I knew he was going to turn 96 this month and I’ve resisted the urge to do a pre-profile for the same reason I didn’t write my mother’s obituary five years ago even though I knew she was gravely ill. It just seemed too morbid to do so. A few Sundays ago Mrs. LuLac and I took a ride to Clarks Summit and again he popped into my mind. On Sunday, I thought maybe I should start working on something. 
Then today, the news came that William Warren Scranton, the 38th Governor of the State of Pennsylvania died. It was a sudden but still a bit of a jolt since to me he was always a constant and in effect larger than life.
Bill Scranton was as part of my political coming of age as any Democrat in the 1960s. My first exposure to him came in the 1962 campaign for Governor when my father and his union railroad buddies backed Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth. Even though I was eight, and I heard my father’s Democratic family rail against Scranton, I was quietly impressed. In Scranton I saw a pretty sharp guy that everyone seemed to like. His demeanor was measured but he seemed very sure of himself. Plus in the mid 60s in some Pittston businesses like barbershops and cab stations, there was a photo of Bill Scranton, the Governor. 
Scranton was a Yale man, served with distinction in World War II (he logged more than 2000 hours of flight time but saw no combat) and was the scion of the wealthy family that founded the city of Scranton. The family was traced back to 1637 and the Scranton name was derived from the Dutch word “Schrantsen”. That meant to tear, break or seize.
Worthington Scranton, the Governor’s father was President of the Scranton Gas and Water Company. In 1928 Worthington sold the concern for 25 million dollars and donated his downtown home to the University of Scranton. He then built Marworth on 240 acres north of the city. 
His mother, Marion Margery Warren Scranton was a sufferagate at the age of 16 and founded the Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women. Known as “The Duchess”, if the national GOP wanted to make an inroad, it would have to go through Mrs. Scranton. From that pedigree came William Warren Scranton. Asthmatic as a child, Scranton was to become one of the most athletic Governors of the State. 
After the war Scranton resumed his studies at Yale and some of his fellow students were Supreme Court Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White, Sergeant Shriver, Cyrus Vance, Gerald Ford and Ray Shafer who would succeed him as Governor. When school was over,   Scranton entered business and had interests in salt, (broadcasting, he owned WARM Radio and WNEP TV) railroads and publishing. 
In 1959 Scranton entered public life and served 10 months with Eisenhower Secretary of State Christian Herter. In 1960 he ran for Congress, won in a heavily Democratic district in an election where John Kennedy won Lackawanna County big and made a name for himself as a political comer. The Scranton influence was so powerful that in 1961, with just a few campaign appearances, Scranton helped propel William Schmidt, then 37 to the Mayor’s office after a long time of Democratic reign. 
By 1962, the Republican party in Pennsylvania was desperate for a win. It was on its heels with a registration deficit of about 195,000 votes. About ten people jumped in the race, even Senator Hugh Scott for a while. Scranton said he would run if the field was cleared. In no time, Scranton had the support of 66 of the 67 GOP County Chairmen and won the nomination going away. In the campaign, Scranton was treated with disdain by his opponent who called him a “Little Lord Fauntleroy” but Scranton just smiled and plunged on. Dilworth had a hard time running against a candidate who as a Congressman voted to increase the minimum wage and support JFK’s depressed areas programs. 
As Governor, Scranton signed into law sweeping reforms in the state's education system including creation of the state community college system, the state board of education, and the state Higher Education Assistance Agency. Furthermore, he created a program designed to promote the state in national and international markets and to increase the attractiveness of the state's products’ and services. Scranton had record surpluses, the largest bring in 1965 when he had so much he started a 10 million dollar highway program that was lauded throughout the county. Scranton got the 1966 Mental Health/Mental Retardation Act of 1966 passed, the establishment of the Community Affairs Department, the Arts Council, the designation of the Lehigh River to state control after the coal barons took control of it in 1818, Temple and Pitt being classified as State Schools, the Creation of the Consumer Protection Agency and the historic first that mine owners would be responsible for above the ground damage done by their underground operations. When the Legislators did a pay grab in 1966, Scranton helped his successor Ray Shafer engineer a Constitutional Convention. 
Although he did not actively seek the 1964 Republican nomination for President of the United States in the beginning, a “Draft Scranton” movement quickly gathered momentum among moderate and liberal Republicans who saw him as an alternative to conservative front-runner Senator Barry Goldwater. Former President Eisenhower said he’d support his bid but minutes before Scranton was to appear on “Face The Nation” and announce strongly and forcefully, Ike pulled the plug. Other Republicans who feared that Goldwater's polarizing views would lead to defeat, after the campaign of Goldwater's liberal opponent, New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, had derailed saw him as an alternative. Early in the campaign, he announced that he would be willing to accept the nomination for Vice President.
Scranton first declined to enter the race but later threw his hat into the ring on June 12, 1964. Scranton won the support of ten state delegations in a 32 day campaign that cost 1 million dollars. There are some who say Scranton started too late. A month after the assassination of John Kennedy, a New York Herald Tribune editorial was written exhorting Scranton to run but he declined. 
Scranton was shaken by the death of Kennedy and had actually invited the late President to a commemoration of the Gettysburg address the week JFK was killed. Kennedy declined the invitation to go to Dallas. 
Rebounding from the nomination loss, Scranton reentered his job in Harrisburg with great gusto. Scranton, after leaving the office repeatedly said on the cover of Scranton newspapers that he would not run for any office ever again. He did not give up on public service though. Under the then-existing Pennsylvania law, Scranton was limited to a single term and could not run for reelection in 1966. 
After his term in office, Scranton attended the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1967-1968 and helped write a new constitution for the state, which included a provision allowing future governors to seek a second term. In 1968, President-elect Richard Nixon asked Scranton to become Secretary of State, but he declined. He did serve as a special envoy to the Middle East but when he said the Nixon Administration should be "more evenhanded" in managing the problems of the Middle East, some in the American Jewish community regarded this as anti-Semitic and Nixon quickly distanced himself from the former governor. In accordance with his 1966 pledge never to seek elected office, he rebuffed a draft movement encouraging him to run for the U.S. Senate. After the Kent State shootings in 1970 Scranton was asked to chair the President's Commission on Campus Unrest to investigate this and other incidents of campus violence and protest. The committee’s conclusions came to be known as the “Scranton Report”. Following Nixon's resignation from the Presidency in 1974, he was appointed as a transition team member for incoming President Gerald Ford. In 1976 Ford named him as Ambassador to the United Nations and reportedly he declined the nomination to run with Ford as Vice President. 
Scranton’s retirement years were punctuated by stints on various corporate boards, lending his expertise to good social causes, supporting his son Bill Scranton III’s political career, giving insightful interviews to local news outlets as well as taking care of his wife Mary who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At the age of 60, in the 70's, he was a "Senior Statesman".
Scranton died yesterday in Santa Barbara on a visit from cerebral hemorrhage. 
A few final thoughts about him. He was as much as an inspiration to young people interested in politics as John Kennedy was in the 60s. He was a moderate who had no use for right wing reactionaries that would bring his party disgrace. As we reflect on his life, we remember his wit, humor, grace under pressure, the Charleston display he did at his 1963 inaugural, his reputation as consultant to the world after leaving office, his more than 50 bestowed honorary degrees, his honesty and his honor. 
But one word sums up Bill Scranton and it was uttered by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower. Ike said, “When it all comes down to Bill, is a our letter word: duty”. 
Thank you Mr. Scranton for doing that duty. We are all the richer for it and are in your debt.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2483, July 28th, 2013

Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


The Scranton Times reported last week that after a nationwide search to fill the job of Executive Director for the Scranton Chamber of Commerce, two finalists were named. With the notoriety of “The Office” program as well as Scranton’s long history, you would think that there might be one qualified candidate to make the breakthrough from out of town. But according to the newspaper, two local men were the finalists. They are County Commissioner Corey O’Brien and former Scranton Chamber staffer Bob Durkin. Durkin currently serves with the Northeast Regional Cancer Center. The choice is intriguing and has created a lot of buzz in circles this week. The biggest talk has been the salary of outgoing Chamber Head Austin Burke who is making a reported $350,000 dollars a year. And of course in the transition, Burke is serving as a “consultant” that to some is just another excuse for a paycheck for doing very little. 
With the Wilkes Barre Chamber being a joke that virtually no one respects, (just look to the keen investments the Chamber made in moribund real estate properties no one can fix or want) the Scranton Chamber is the last vestige of hope for any real economic development in Scranton/Wilkes Barre). (The Hazleton CanDo organization has done great work and seemed to avoided the pitfalls of Wilkes Barre). If Scranton and Lackawanna County is to succeed economically in the years ahead, the person they must name to this post is Corey O’Brien. Here’s why: 
1. O’Brien is young, energetic and has incredible gifts that are just waiting to be used in a position of influence and power. O’Brien has made it clear that he is a believer in the future of this area. He has put himself out there on numerous occasions, sometimes successfully, other times not. But he is a man in search of a vehicle to catapult this area into this century with his talents. 
2. There will some who will tell you that O’Brien is abrasive and audacious. That he constantly overreaches, is ambitious  and has big dreams. His detractors will tell you that O’Brien is only out for himself but if that was the case, why did he move back here instead of staying in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia where there were numerous opportunities for him? 
3. O’Brien’s political record is a mixed one. He has been a twice elected County Commissioner and ran for Congress against an entrenched incumbent and lost. His first term as Commissioner with Mike Washo instituted badly needed reforms in the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office. It is not surprising that after his first term, O’Brien had a close race for renomination. Entrenched political entities and staffers, there before he got in office did not like to be told that under his watch they could not even accept a cup of coffee as a gift. That tended to piss people off. O’Brien’s run for Congress to some might have seemed quixotic but that was O’Brien at his finest, daring to dream and make the case for something better, something different, something bigger. 
 3. The Scranton Chamber as well as all of Northeastern Pennsylvania needs a viable organization that will need someone daring, need someone bold and someone that will advocate for this region. O’Brien makes a hell of a first impression. And once he has an idea or a concept, he will not let it go in the dustbin of naysayers and special interest cronies. And we all know there are plenty of those around here. 
4. Why do you think economic growth here in this region is so stunted? Are we any different than the Allentown/Harrisburg areas? Are we not as good? O’Brien will be the person to tell that story to people outside the region but also to those who need to hear it inside this area. With audacity and smarts also comes some courage. As well as a healthy lack of fear. The Chamber needs a fearless person in the top job right now. 
Northeastern Pennsylvania has been “studied” to death by organizations like the NEPA Development Council and The Pennsylvania Economy League. Wilkes Barre has been real estated to death by its incompetent Chamber and Scranton has been riding on the coattails of a fictional TV show that essentially made it a quasi character in the hit series. But that was luck. And luck doesn’t create an image or jobs. 
Bob Durkin was an associate of the Chamber in the eighties and nineties. Some say he was Austin Burke’s right hand man. Does that experience fall under the good or bad category? Surely Durkin knows the operations of the Chamber but after thirty years of a plodding, careful, let’s make no mistakes style, do Chamber members want more of the same? You can make the argument that an Administrative Assistant worth any salt can give O’Brien the lay of the land in under a week. And O’Brien’s political affiliations in Washington as well as Harrisburg might serve the Chamber better in business than someone who has been working in Health Care the last decade or so. 
The Scranton Chamber, in its choice to succeed Burke needs to do something out of the box. They need to pick a charismatic person of vision who will inspire, not be afraid to take chances and accept the job with the intention of doing something instead of being somebody. 
Corey O’Brien is the man for the job. 
It would be a shame if the business leaders of the Scranton area passed up their opportunity to give O’Brien the reins of their organization. The stakes here are big, it just isn’t about the business based member organization, it is about the future economic development of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The decision has to be made and it’s a hard one. 
Does the Scranton Chamber want to stay put or move forward? 
Let’s hope they move forward with Corey O’Brien.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2482, July 27th, 2013

Our "Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….and disgusted by the new book on the shelves called “The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess”. The author is a scumbag by the name of Turney Duff who after years of wretched Wall Street excess now has found religion and wants to do the right thing by telling tales of how much money Wall Street’s burned through before the crash in 22008. Keep in mind these Wall Street fools wrecked the U.S. economy and put us into a jobless spin hole that will not restore the unemployment lows of 5% in the Bush administration until 2024! Duff told the story in the book how he and his cronies had 8 tickets to the 2003 World Series in the Bronx. World Series tickets in the front rows went for $2500.00 a pop back then. Duff and a buddy were doing coke at the Stadium and after imbibing needed a smoke. Because of security they weren’t let back in without new tickets. These pigs used the tickets they had (tickets any hard working, true baseball fan would cherish and appreciate in their lifetime) re-entered the Stadium with the remaining tickets they were not using and had because they were Wall Street big shots. What a waste. Duff says he’s ashamed of himself and wants to get right with his daughter by telling her what an idiot he was. But he also has an agent and will most likely get a movie deal out of this “confession”. FYI, when they tell you it’s about doing the right thing, it’s isn’t. The only reason to buy this piece of crap is to maybe get the names of these animals that nearly bankrupted the country and never were called to account. I’d rather buy a drug dealer’s book than Duff’s because quite frankly, the dealer has more class and integrity.
New York Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson. Photo: New York Magazine. )
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that maybe, just maybe this  Anthony Weiner scandal might produce a candidate for Mayor of New York other than Christine Quinn or Weiner himself. William Thompson who ran on the Democratic side in 2009 is being looked at as the logical alternative to the sex crazed Weiner and the openly gay Christine Quinn. It’s not as if Thompson is an unknown and has no qualifications, he is a former New York City Comptroller, has long time New York Democratic political affiliations and is a graduate of Tufts University. Right now in the wake of the Weiner disclosures, he’s polling pretty well. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that after a long run, The Mountain is now going to be just a distant memory on the FM radio dial. In its heyday, “The Mountain” played alternative album cuts, had a stable of great jocks led by that radio mastermind Jim Rising. Tune in the next few days to hear the final days of a radio station that was not for everyone but for a select group of rock and roll enthusiasts that loved their music without contests, honking horns and breathless accounts of gossips about current day celebrities. “The Mountain” and I’m not even sure they are calling it that now will be replaced by a 24 hour sports station anchored by the NBC Sports Network. Word is WILK’s Joe Thomas will play a major role in the launch of the new outlet. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there are now three 24 hour a day Sports stations in this market. Somewhere the late Ron Allen is smiling somewhere. When WEJL/WBAX went from “American Popular Standards” to ESPN Radio around 2001, the General Manager at the time got death threats from little old ladies who loved that format. ESPN took a while to get a foothold but then Bold Gold Radio entered the fray with Fox Sports. Now there are three. One can hope that the new station put on by Entercom will have a more interesting local show than the snooze fests on ESPN Radio and The Game. High School athletes should be celebrated for sure, but they can’t be the very foundation of every local sports show. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that worldwide, the most popular fruit is the mango. In the United States, the most popular fruit is the banana.

Alex Rodriguez meets the media in Northeastern Pennsylvania. (Photo: Karel Zubris). 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that it has been a wild month for embattled Yankee Superstar Alex Rodriguez who by the way turns 38 today. Rodriguez has been going back and forth with the New York Yankee organization as to his health status after a stint with the Rail riders. He reportedly is also the subject of an investigation by Major League Baseball on Performance Enhancing Drugs. But with all of those things going on, perhaps the highlight of A Rod’s month was getting a chance to have his picture taken with our own local Media Reporter and personality Karel Zubris along with other local media standouts. Zubris has been at the scene on a few major stories this summer. This week she was at a news conference in Wilkes Barre where she got under Mayor Leighton’s skin a bit. But at least A Rod didn’t tell her to “get a life”. She has a pretty incredible one right now anyway. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that wild camels once roamed the desserts of Arizona. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that today marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Still to this day hostilities exist and nothing appears to be changed. Except of course it appears South Koreans have a better standard of living than those in the north. The day is highlighted locally by the return of the remains of Larksville’s Bernard Fisher to Arlington National Cemetery for Burial. Fisher was a 21 year old killed during that war. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that just four days after his birth, George Alexander Louis, the son of William and Kate is being painted as the anti Christ by crazy overnight talk show hosts. They were pulling out hexagons, lining up the letters of his name and all kinds of foolishness the other night. I’m all for free speech but these guys are just plain stupid. But I can guarantee you there are people in the audience who bought their line. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that moose shed their antlers every winter and grow a new pair the next year. If only Republicans in Congress would grow a pair! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Speaker John Boehner had the nerve to criticize the President for going throughout the country and talking about his economic plan. Boehner said the President should talk to Congress to make a deal instead of the American people. Mr. Speaker, HE DID. He came to you three times with deals. Deals that had his own party in an uproar because of cuts to future Social Security recipients. But because you Mr. Speaker could not control your own party of ultra tea party zealots, you couldn’t make the deal. So either go home or shut up already. Here’s how low Boehner is thought of even with conservatives. Even when right wing talk show host Michael Savage calls you (Boehner) an alcoholic with no justification I can see) you know you’ve lost any base of respect. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that can it actually be 17 years since The Spice Girls burst onto the scene with this breakout song? scene with this breakout song?  
Also, 30 years ago, Madonna broke onto the music scene with “Lucky Star” Madonna now is a cultural icon.  
And J.J. Cale died last night at the age of 74. He wrote "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton,"Cajun Moon" by Randy Crawford, "Clyde" and "Louisiana Women" by Waylon Jennings, "Magnolia" by Jai, "Bringing It Back" by Kansas, "Call Me the Breeze" and "I Got the Same Old Blues" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "I'd Like to Love You, Baby" by Tom Petty, "Travelin' Light" and "Ride Me High" by Widespread Panic, "Tijuana" by Harry Manx, "Sensitive Kind" by Carlos Santana, "Cajun Moon" by Herbie Mann with Cissy Houston, and "Same Old Blues" by Captain Beefheart.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2481, July 25th, 2013

Anthony Weiner pal, Sydney Elaine Leathers. (Photo: 


What the heck is wrong with Anthony Weiner? The point of resigning in shame and going into rehab for a sexual obsession disorder is this: YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN!!!! 
And if you do, you have to know that someone, somewhere is going to find it, release it and make your contrition the first time around seem insincere. 
Weiner appeared with his hot, smart Hillary Clinton employed wife and asked forgiveness again. Look, America is a land of second chances. But not third. And Weiner is asking for a third one. Weiner is getting attacked by people who are not necessarily offended about what he did the first time, but that he had the arrogance to do it again. 
Personally, I’d be more comfortable with Weiner if he said, “Yep, did it again, got my rocks off physically and emotionally, then went back to my work. Some guys text shirtless, some drink, some drive fast cars and others cheat. This is what I do. Won’t affect my work. If elected will I do it again? You bet to take off the pressure but would you rather have me drunk and out of commission for hours? Hiking the Appalachian trail when I was doing some Brazilian hot chick? Like it or lump it. Next case”. But Weiner did the mea culpa thing and begged for forgiveness vowing to remain in the race to stay looking like a wimp. 
Also, the 23 year old he was sexting released the information to the press. Look, I’m all for “going young”. Really, if you are going to go crazy, go young. But make sure she is mature enough to keep your secrets. Make sure she is an old soul. Make sure she knows what you have at stake and that this involvement will stain her as well as you. 
Are you ready for this? The 23 year old he was sexting, this is her name: Sydney Elaine Leathers. There are porn stores with more respectable names. If I were Weiner’s wife or campaign manager, I’d cut off his junk for just getting involved with someone named Sydney Leathers! 
As Lee Tracy said to Cliff Robertson in my favorite political movie, “The Best Man”, “It’s not the fact that you’re a bastard that bothers me, it’s the fact that you are such a stupid bastard”.
Senator Bob Casey. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


A few cynics the last two weeks have been decrying the presence of United States Senator Bob Casey in Lulacland and parts of the state. Casey was in Wilkes Barre two weeks ago as well as going to other areas. The hue and cry was that Casey was eyeing up appearances for his next Senate run. Look, this is what Senators do. They visit their constituents. If they don’t, they generally lose elections. And get way out of touch with people in their state. 
Besides, Casey’s term ends in 2018 and I predict he’ll be running for Governor that year if Tom Corbett is re-elected. Pennsylvania, despite Corbett’s poll ratings has had an eight year on and off cycle of Republican and Democratic rule since 1946. It is not unusual for Senators to want to run for Governor. The late John Heinz was planning to do so in 1994 until his untimely plane crash in 1991 and Casey yearned for the office his father once held when he got defeated by Ed Rendell in 2002. So his detractors could scream all they want, Casey will be at the bat in every home park in the Commonwealth.
Bill Goldsworthy (Photo: Citizen's Voice)

The late Dr. Jennifer Sidari. (Photo: Times Leader). 


Former West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy has always been a tireless booster of causes and people in his hometown. Goldsworthy’s heart and all of this area has been pretty heavy with the loss of a young medical school graduate set to start her residency at Geisinger Danville. Goldwworthy is organizing an event in memory of Dr. Jennifer Sidari. Here is a letter he has been circulating on this worthy cause.
Dear Friends, Dr. Jennifer Sidari, was my neighbor since she was born. She was two months older than my twin girls, and they were known as the Montgomery Avenue triplets!! We were all so proud, when she was accepted into the first class at the Commonwealth Medical College. She was the local face of the College, appearing in many television interviews, newspaper stories, magazines, and billboards. When she graduated as a Doctor, she was chosen by Geisinger to do her Residency in Pediatrics in Danville. Her dream of being a local pediatrician and staying in the area was a step closer. Then, weeks after her graduation and a week away from starting at Geisinger, it all came to a tragic abrupt end when she took ill, and passed away at the very hospital she was to work at. The Sidari family, relatives and I are starting to raise funds for an endowed scholarship at the Commonwealth Medical College so other LOCAL students will hopefully carry on Dr. Jens dreams!  Join us (bring friends) THURSDAY AUGUST 8th from 5 to 9PM at this fund raising event at Damentis on Route 309 in Mountaintop. I guarantee that the food, drinks and entertainment will be excellent! Your reservation and/or donations to the Dr. Jennifer Sidari Fund can be sent to this address: 
The Jennifer Sidari Fund c/o Gillespie Miscavage, 
LLC 67 North Church Street, 
Hazleton PA 18201.
Or you can call or email me your guaranteed reservation and pay us at the door. 
As always THANK YOU !!!!! 
Goldsworthy currently serves as Deputy Director Governor Corbett's Northeast Regional Office
U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright.  (Photo: LuLac archives). 


The day after U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright introduces legislation concerning the fracking industry, he will speak about need in Pennsylvania and across the country for the legislation’s policy change. Cartwright will have just introduced the Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations (CLEANER) Act. 
Rep. Cartwright will speak on the need for this legislation to protect our water sources from hazardous chemicals. The legislation aims to eliminate a hazardous waste exemption that was added into the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1980. That amendment, which exempted oil and gas companies from having to comply with hazardous waste disposal standards, would be removed under the CLEANER Act, forcing oil, gas and geothermal companies to play by the same rules as other industries. Fracking is now responsible for 90 percent of domestic oil and gas production, with thousands of wells peppering the countryside nationwide, and is a major industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The number of wells is expected to skyrocket during the next two decades. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 requires the safe disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials. In 1980, RCRA was amended to exempt waste from the production and development of oil and natural gas (“exploration & production” waste) and geothermal waste. The task of regulating disposal of these wastes is currently left to states, with mixed results. Recent reports show the extent of the problem and highlight the potentially fatal consequences. The news conference will take place at Cartwright’s Scranton office located at 226 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. The news conference starts at 1PM on Friday.



If you have been trying to get WARM Radio in the Wilkes Barre area, good luck. The WARM Five Towers of Power are wheezing along in their dotage. (WARM is over 70 years old). Engineers are affording to get the station back on an even keel. Meanwhile, if you need a WARM fix, here is a look at two videos from my 590 Forever WARM blogsite. 


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Robin Ganzert from the American Humane Association about preparing to adopt a cat into your home. And an encore of Brian's interview with Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, who reflects back on his 3 terms as mayor of the Electric City. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


This week on Special Edition, it's look back a at the effort to save The Sterling Hotel in Wilkes-Barre and a review of its history, a preview of the ninth annual Scranton Jazz Festival and an interview with Katie Duffy, the CEO of Democracy Prep, a New York City charter school whose first graduation at the Apollo Theater was profiled in The New Yorker. Ms. Duffy's mom, Erin Walsh Duffy, is a native of Dalton. Special Edition is on Saturday at 2pm and Sundays at 7pm on WILK.


 L.A. Tarone and I will be on "The Friday On My Mind" edition of Topic A Friday on WYLN TV 35. Show is on at 5pm with a rebroadcast at 7pm.


David DeCosmo will take over the main hosting duties on ECTV Live for a couple weeks while Tom Munley is out of town. David's guest during the week of July 29th will be Matt Tirella, representing Habitat For Humanity in Lackawanna County. They'll be discussing the history, current status, and future plans for the home building organization in our area. ECTV Live can be seen throughout the week on Comcast Ch19 at Noon, and Midnigh. 
Our 1976 logo. 

Former U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker. (Photo: NBC Universal archives).
A rare commodity, a Reagan/Schweiker button. (Photo:
Nancy and Ronald Reagan and Richard and Clare Schweiker the day of the big announcement. (Photo: UPI) 

The big political story nationally, statewide and locally 37 years ago this week was the announcement by GOP Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan that he was going to name Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker as his running mate. People across America were stunned. The true believer conservatives who were backing Reagan were astounded and almost out of their minds. 
Reagan was down by about 90 votes as he competed for the GOP nomination against Gerald Ford. The head of the Pennsylvania delegation was Drew Lewis, a close friend of Schweiker. The plan was to wrest 30 to 40 votes away from the committed Ford delegation and the rest of the state would follow giving Reagan a narrow convention victory. 
Drew Lewis was a business partner of Richard Schweiker in the 1950s. Schweiker was a World War II veteran whose brother Malcolm was killed at Okinowa. So Schweiker knew the cost of war. In the 50s, Schweiker and Lewis worked hard in the Montgomery County GOP organization. He had married a local TV celebrity, Clare Coleman of “Romper Room”. With that notoriety, his father’s business contacts as well as Drew Lewis’ organization skills, Schweiker beat out incumbent GOP Congressman John LaForte. In over 100 years, the GOP organization had never been beaten.  
Schweiker served for six years and lobbied hard to be Governor Bill Scranton’s successor but Scranton deferred to his Lt. Governor Ray Shafer. In 1968, Schweiker went after 12 year incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Clark. Clark was chagrined to learn that Schweiker held many of Clark’s same liberal views except for gun control. Schweiker played up his support of guns and Clark really couldn’t touch the younger man on anything else. Plus, while Clark could always count on the suburban counties, with hometown boy Schweiker in the race, Clark did not get the heavy advantage out of Southeast Pennsylvania he had hoped. While Hubert Humphrey carried Pennsylvania, Joe Clark did not and Schweiker won. 
As a liberal Congressman, Schweiker formed a group of moderates in the House that would be alien to today’s GOP. As a GOP Senator, the AFL CIO gave him a 100 percent rating while the Americans for Constitutional Action gave him a mere 30%. He voted to override 14 President Nixon vetoes at the same time his wealthy father, whose business had been sold to the Gypsum corporation was contributing to the re-election of Richard Nixon. He played a key role in the rejection of Nixon Supreme Court nominees Haynesworth and Carswell and even made Nixon’s black list.  
Schweiker won an overwhelming reelection bid in ’74. He  was a rising political star if he had just stayed put. But in ’76, restless he approached the Ford campaign about the Vice Presidency after they dumped incumbent Nelson Rockefeller. The Ford camp reasoned that if Rocky was too liberal for them surely Schweiker would be off the charts. 
Then Schweiker was approached by Reagan insiders who essentially announced him as the prospective Vice President for Reagan if only Pennsylvania would swing toward the California Governor. Reagan said that despite Schweiker  independent thinking, Schweiker was pro life, anti busing, against big government welfare programs and a deficit hawk. 
Meanwhile, Schweiker's  old friend, Drew Lewis now head of the Pennsylvania delegation. But despite pressure from Reagan himself and his old friend, Lewis would not move and the deal was dead in the water. Reagan insiders railed against Lewis saying it was he who denied Reagan the nomination.  
Schweiker never became Reagan’s nominee for Veep and announced he would not run for Senate the after this debacle in 1980. He said he would work for Reagan’s election. Reagan named him as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former nemesis Lewis who played a key role in the ’80 Reagan election became Transportation Secretary. 
But in the hot summer of 1976, Pennsylvania was all abuzz about the Reagan-Schweiker alliance…Statewide GOP conservatives labeled Schweiker as a blind opportunist who was giving up any principles he had……in Luzerne County key Republicans like Forty Fort’s Jim Phillips a Reagan backer said if it could get Reagan in the White House, so be it. Senator T. Newall Wood expressed surprise but noted Schweiker was still a card carrying Republican… Lackawanna County, GOP Commissioners Luger and Pettinato were shocked but felt that Schweiker would get a lot of support because of his frequent championing of projects in the County and Scranton Mayor Eugene Peters said he admired the Pennsylvania senator and hoped he’d climb the Reagan ladder..and thirty seven years ago the number one song in Lulac land and America was Chicago’s “Another Rainy Day In New York City”.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2480, July 24th, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.



Our "Write On Wednesday" this week is a mix of words and a photo courtesy of the Wilkes Barre Taxpayers Association. 
Please be advised that The Wilkes Barre City Taxpayers Association has rented a billboard on business rt 309 to display a photo of our Mayor (Thomas Leighton) "Taking" gas from the DPW pump, and putting it into his personal vehicle, on a weekend, in his undershirt. 
The purpose of our association: To prevent, misuse, misappropriation, mishandling of taxpayers’ funds, and to create an overall awareness of taxation. We the taxpayers WILL NOT tolerate any public official misusing public funds/assets and will use every tool at our disposal to call attention to this type of waste. 
Frank Sorick 
President Wilkes Barre City Taxpayers Association

Monday, July 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2479, July 22nd, 2013


The Scranton Times reported the other day that Attorney James Mulligan of Scranton put in his resume for the open candidacy for the nomination of the GOP for Scranton Mayor. Steve Corbett was talking up his candidacy this afternoon on WILK. 
The Scranton GOP is a joke, has been and will continue to be so if it doesn’t come up with candidates who are credible. The GOP had two candidates in the primary race this past Spring. Garrett Lewis and Marcel Lisi ran badly in the general vote count. Lewis bagged out saying he wasn’t interested. So the GOP Chair Lance Stange is accepting resumes and reviewing them. The deadline is August 2nd. 
Mulligan says he wants to work hard to give the voters an alternative to the Democratic nominee Bill Courtright. Courtright, even in victory has some detractors but Liz Randol is off to an organizing job in the state and any semblance of whatever organization she had is not enough to hurt Courtright. 
Stange, who has a back breaking job with Penn Dot will not reveal how many people applied. If any. 
Mulligan seems to be a good candidate. I mean he’s an Attorney, a card carrying member of the GOP and can build coalitions with disaffected Democrats. But this is not 1979 when the Reverend Vernon Searfoss beat the GOP organization candidate Ed Hughes and drew Democrats not happy with Gene Hickey. 
It is also not 1989 when former Democrat Jimmy Connors ran on the GOP line and gathered Democrats not happy with Jerry Notariani as the nominee. That year, there were multiple candidates in that race including former Mayor Jim McNulty and other Democrats of lineage and prestige. There was an abundance of beefs to pick off votes from. Not this year. 
If Mulligan becomes the nominee, it will put new life in the race for Scranton Mayor. He will add zest to the debate. Maybe make Courtright work a little bit harder. But what bothers me is that as I researched this article, I could not find a photo of Attorney James T. Mulligan in the public on line record anywhere. That’s not a good sign and tells me this will be an uphill battle.
Our 1963 logo. 


ZIP codes are introduced by the United States Postal Services......
Diplomatic relations between the Israeli and the Japanese governments are raised to embassy level. Roman Catholic Church accepts cremation as a funeral practice. Secret police loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, attack American journalists including Peter Arnett and David Halberstam at a demonstration during the Buddhist crisis in South Vietnam. And fifty years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land was "So Much In Love" by the Tymes. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2478, July 21st, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED….pleasantly that the female children of popular politicians are taking a chance at the political brass ring in their respective states. Liz Cheney is going after the Senate seat in Wyoming against an entrenched incumbent Mike Enzi and Sam Nunn’s daughter Michelle has her sights on the seat in Georgia being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss of course won election in 2002 when he ran a scurrilous campaign against disabled veteran Max Cleland. Cleland who lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam while Saxby got a deferment for a bad knee was attacked for "for breaking his oath to protect and defend the Constitution." Cleland’s crime? Cleland had voted for an amendment to the Chemical Weapons Treaty that eliminated a ban on citizens of terrorist nations being on U.N. inspection teams in Iraq. Chambliss turned that into a major issue against Cleland saying in the aftermath of 911, most people in Georgia wouldn’t vote that way. He hammered the veteran on that one issue and Georgia being a southern state, well they just believed the dirt bag charge from the dirt bag politician who became a dirt bag Senator. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that U.S. Speaker John Boehner is insistent on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If only this man had expended as much energy as trying to pass a Farm Bill and Immigration Reform. It is the law of the land, an act of Congress upheld by the Supreme Court. Plus the Health Care exchanges will provide found money to states that implement it. Let it go already John! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that horses are unable to vomit. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………at the awful commercials running on local radio with a very bad Paul Harvey imitation. There are people I’m sure who think Harvey resurrected himself from the dead to do local car commercials in LuLac land. Paul Harvey is dead, he did not record these before he shuffled off this coil. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that for the third time this year, WARM Radio’s signal is problematic at best. The station is almost unlistenable and station officials have assured me they are working to fix those old, tired 70 year five towers of power. What better reason to put WARM on one of Cumulus Broadcasting’s FM signals. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that 44 years ago yesterday, two men landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon but the ramifications of that step still resonate. Armstrong and Aldrin’s 22 hour visit had a very long reach with technologies that are still in use from space exploration. It is unfortunate that President Obama has all but dismantled a program that made America the nation of the possible and not the improbable. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the best kept secret in the summer is the Wyoming Borough Farmer’s Market held every Saturday morning from 9am to 3pm on Butler Street in Wyoming. Some fresh produce and baked goods are in abundant and fresh supply. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the city of Detroit can’t work its way out of bankruptcy because an Ingram County Court prohibited it saying it violated the Michigan Constitution. How will that city try to manage basic services and try to get out of 18 billion dollars in debt? Detroit also has to pay over 200,000 vendors. The unemployment rate is 18%, the average worth of a home in the city is just $40,000. Not surprisingly a federal judge is going to be called in to figure this all out through arbitration. The city now has about 750,000 residents after having huge populations at the peak of the auto industry. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that not many people realize that the Auto industry gave and took. Auto workers who did well in the factories fled to the suburbs to better neighborhoods. This the reason the population shifted so drastically. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that even with the landmark Supreme Court ruling by the Supreme Court on gay marriage, if you are gay here in the Commonwealth you can still be fired and cannot get benefits for your spouse if you are working in a municipal governmental job. The fight for equal rights across the board is far from over. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that President Obama can’t win when he talks about race in America. The President came out in a very good conversation Friday and he gave a perspective that was educational for most Americans. But with this issue, he can’t win. I give him accolades for his courage but I heard people like Tavis Smiley on “Meet The Press” saying he didn’t go far enough and didn’t say enough. Then people on Talk Radio, both nationally and locally said he shouldn’t have said a thing. It’s a shame but whatever he does and says, the country is so polarized…it’s impossible to have a serious conversation about race. Both sides showed that in their respective extreme reactions to the Zimmerman verdict.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2477, July 20th, 2013

Leslie Gromis Baker, Tom Corbett’s new Chief of Staff. (Photo: 


With his poll numbers in the tank, Governor Tom Corbett has “switched gears” as former PCN Talk Show Host Bill Bova used to say. Corbett is now on his third Chief of Staff and Third Legislative Director. In state politics, if you are the Governor you want your Chief of Staff to be the type of man or woman who inhabits your brain. Kind of like a “Radar O’Reilly to Colonel Blake/Potter” relationship. That person has to rein in your instincts to shoot from the hip in public. 
The changes come amid a dreadful legislative session where even though Corbett got the reduced budget in on time, his three big proposals stalled. Liquor Privatization, Pension Reform, Transportation and Medicare Expansion all got pushed back to the fall for further review. When that sense of urgency is lost it gives the Legislators more power in their branch than the Executive has. You would think when Corbett won the trifecta in 2010, the top office, the House and the Senate that he could have ramrodded through proposals that he wanted. But if a Legislative Director can’t control his own party, you have a power vacuum. 
Corbett’s situation reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s in the mid 70s. Carter had majorities in the House and Senate but his staff people never really connected with how Washington worked. I see that with Tom Corbett. 
The one glimmer of hope I see for him is his recent naming of a Chief of Staff named Leslie Gromis Baker. Gromis Baker was a White House political aide to President George H.W. Bush and served as public liaison in the administration of former Gov. Tom Ridge. She managed Ridge’s gubernatorial campaign in 1998 and the Pennsylvania campaign of presidential candidate George W. Bush in 2000. I’m sure the Democrats will howl about this too, Gromis-Baker’s ’firm LG Strategies, has been Corbett’s hired lobbyist in his dealings with the federal government. Her firm has been paid $560,000 by the Corbett administration beginning in 2011. Pennsylvania has had an eight year cycle of Democratic and Republican Governor’s since 1946. Whether the crowded field of Democrats can break that cycle and Corbett’s hold on it will largely be up to how his new Chief of Staff orchestrates this next year in Harrisburg for him.
Helen Thomas with JFK in the early 1960s. (Photo: 

HELEN THOMAS 1920-2013 

Everybody knew who Helen Thomas was in America. In my very first job in radio, when I was ripping and reading news for the old WPTS Radio in Pittston, I’d see Helen Thomas’ by line on the wire stories. As a Communications student, I made sure I’d catch Thomas’s performances at Washington, D.C. press conferences. She was a mainstay and was a trail blazer for every female journalist working in the media today. 
Thomas was the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, worked for UPI until 2000 when it was bought by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. She was hired by Hearst News Services as a columnist and had the opportunity to voice her opinions instead of doing straight news reporting. Thomas still kept her front row seat in the White House briefing room.
Thomas wrote three books, "Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times" (1999); "Thanks for the Memories Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House" (2002); and "Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and How it Has Failed the Public" (2006). Her husband Douglas Commel preceded her in death thirty one years ago.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2476, July 18th, 2013

Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. (Photo:


You have to love former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. Barry is a Washington, D.C. City Councilman nowadays. He’s staying out of hotel rooms with crack pipes and questionable women. He helped pass an ordinance not allowing Walmart to build three stores in the D.C. metro area. What was their sin? One typical of the retail giant. 
See, the Council wanted Walmart to pay a living wage of 12 bucks an hour rather than the lesser amount Walmart wanted to pay. Barry said that 12 bucks an hour was even poverty level for what it cost to live in D.C. But Walmart said that people who work for them are fine with lower wages. It is a shame that Sam Walton’s company, founded as a family business has now turned into the poster child for what is wrong with how business treats American workers. I can tell you horror stories of people employed at local Walmarts who get crapped on with impunity every day. And from what I understand, the waste of food is incredible. 
The last time I set foot in a Walmart was out of necessity a few years ago when McKinley, the LuLac dog got sprayed by a skunk and at 3 am I was in that place for deskunking materials. I’m glad a governmental body stood up to Walmart. I think it’s hysterical when the Chamber of Commerce do nothings say they bring good jobs to the area because of great places like Walmart  Yeah, right. 
The best reason to vote against liquor store privatization in Pennsylvania is that fact that Walmart will get its grubby hands on store licenses. They won’t give damn about who buys the booze, how old they are, what their workers in the stores get paid and who gets killed in the process. Kudos to Marion Barry and the D.C. council for pushing back to these cheap bastards of American commerce. 


So I ran into this smart guy last week and he told me this joke about a Republican talking to a member of the struggling middle class. 
Republican: Hey vote for our side. We’re for you. 
Middle class guy: But you’re against good wages for us while corporate fat cats that contribute to you make billions. And you tried to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act which bans insurance companies from refusing coverage for a pre existing condition and imposes an 80/20 rule so that they can’t spend millions on overhead. And you tried to repeal it 45 times.  
Republican: Very true. But when we ban gay people from getting married, I bet you’ll sleep better! 
It would be funny and satirical….if it weren’t so true. 
The middle class wants Congress concentrating on hospital beds for sick people, not who’s getting busy on their mattresses.

U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: Citizen's Voice).


Bet you thought this was a dead issue? Not with our Congressman. Here’s a recap of what he said on the House floor. As the House prepares to vote for the 38th time to take patient protections away from working families and to undermine the economic security of the middle class, millions of working Americans are struggling to make ends meet due to this chamber’s inaction. It has been months since the across-the-board sequester cuts were enacted, devastating so many important programs on which Americans rely. As the House leadership refuses to allow votes on alternatives to replace the sequester, 18,132 Defense employees are currently being furloughed across Pennsylvania resulting in a $71,476,743 economic loss for the state. Additionally, 3,528 middle class Americans are being furloughed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot, a facility that provides essential support for our war fighters.



The decision to put the terrorist bomber who killed and maimed runners in Boston on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine has met with the predictable outrage. As an American, I am offended by the fact that Rolling Stone (a magazine I subscribed to for years) put the little scum bag on the cover. He is the face of evil and deserves anonymity, not celebration for his cowardly deeds. I have avoided using his name or even dignifying his existence. Not to be cold but it might have been better for all if he died alongside of his scumbag brother. The families of the victims of 911 were spared trials because those morons were serious about dying for a cause, albeit evil. But these kids were just little freaks trying to make a statement against a country that welcomed, educated and supported them. Perhaps that's the reason for the outrage. 
The actions by Rolling Stone will spark a debate once more about freedom of press. But Rolling Stone is a magazine that is in business to sell product. I knew that when at the age of 17, when the Stone was a tabloid fold over paper, they did a huge story on the Mustang Ranch in Nevada. You got to see real photos of real hookers selling real sex in a real, legally run brothel in Nevada. Pretty heady stuff for the boys from St. John’s but Tony Amatea’s newsstand on William Street sold out immediately. The Stone published photos of a nude John Lennon a week after he was killed, put Nixon on the cover dubbing him “The Quitter” and a few other gems like Charles Manson. Time Magazine put Hitler on the cover throughout the World War II years The Ayatollah Khomeini was Man of the Year after Iran took hostages for 444 days. 
Evil sells. And Rolling Stone wants to sell magazines. 
Stores want to ban it, but I think that’s a mistake. If it is banned, people will scoop them up as “Collector’s Items” and the criminal will become even more celebrated. Nope. Be outraged but don’t ban the Stone’s right of freedom of press or freedom of bad taste. 
Don’t buy the magazine, ignore the little shit on the cover and honor those whose lives he destroyed. 
By doing that and not buying the magazine, you’ll send a message louder than your outrage on Face Book or Twitter. You’ll be saying to the Stone, “We aren’t buying what you’re selling”. And it was all about that anyway. 


WBRE TV’s Eyewitness News Weekend Morning Anchor and Reporter Sharon Gaeta. (Photo: Vimeo. )


WBRE TV has filled an important position recently. Joining the Eyewitness News Team is Sharon Gaeta. Gaeta comes to the weekend morning anchor position with a lot of experience. She worked as General Assignment Reporter and Fill In Anchor at Blue Ridge Communications TV-13, as a General Assignment Reporter /Producer WHYY TV-12 , worked her craft as a General Assignment Reporter at WMDT 47 News and was a Production Assistant and Microwave Coordinator at WCAU/NBC News in that great city of Philadelphia. Gaeta is a a graduate of Widener University with a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies.


This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with State Representative Kevin Haggerty of the 112th Legislative District on a variety of issues, ranging from veterans rights and the state budget to school safety, property taxes and LGBT rights. Brian speaks with Alissa Maria from Home Instead Senior Care about the issue of caregiver distress. And Brian speaks with Kelcy Hill, the organizer of the "Too Inspired To be Tired Walk", to benefit St. Judes Children's Research Hospital on Sunday August 4th at Nay Aug Park in Scranton. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


This week on Special Edition, it's an interview with former Lackawanna County D.A. and Pa. Attorney General Ernie Preate about the verdict in the George Zimmerman case and his opinion on current AG Kathleen Kane's announcement that she won't defend a civil lawsuit regarding gay marriage in Pennsylvania; a discussion with representatives of the Veterans Fund of the United States regarding a denial of a cafe, culinary institute and transitional housing they proposed in several locations, including Pittston Township and details of PennDOT's Car-FIT program, which helps seniors drive safer. The show airs on WILK Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m..


Paula Deignan will fill in as co-host of ECTV Live the week on July 2nd as David DeCosmo heads out on vacation. Paula and show host Judge Tom Munley will welcome Karin Fister of the West Scranton Neighborhood Watch Program to discuss events offered by that organization and safety tips home owners will want to use during the high crime summer season. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch 19 each day.

Our 1976 logo.


The 1976 Summer Olympics begin in Montreal, Canada........East Timor is declared the 27th province of Indonesia. Nadia Comăneci earns the first of 7 perfect scores of 10 at the 1976 Summer Olympics begin in Montreal........................ Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal is created.........Viking program: The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars................In Harrisburg, State Legislators are growing increasing impatient with the Shapp administrations multiple spending Scranton, speculation runs rampant whether Mayor Eugene Peters might go for a third term. The popular Scranton Chief Executive has been mentioned a a candidate for statewide office in 1978 and thirty seven years ago today the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" by Lou Rawls.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2475, July 17th, 2013

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.



A lot of words have been said and written about the George Zimmerman trial. Everybody has an opinion and sometimes they span from the sublime to the ridiculous. Fellow blogger Marc Cour had some thoughts on his site this past week. Here’s what he wrote on Circumlocution for Dummies.
Thanks to this Zimmerman trial down there in alligator country, there’s been a lot of electronic noise made about rioting, looting, retaliation and such. 
Face it, that unfortunate incident was a series of compounding errors in judgment, not racism on parade: The crime watch runt stupidly profiled the black kid. The crime watch runt ignored some sound advice offered up by the 911 employee. The candy-toting black kid, realizing he was being stalked by some persistent runt, instantly decided that violence was his best available option. And since runts tend to carry & conceal, the runt’s lack of physical prowess caused him to reach for his gun. 
The end result? A needless death followed by yet more racial animosity and divide. And this entire racial scrum is like a repeating loop that seems likely to never stop. None of it makes sense anymore. 
First of all, not a single white resident of Wilkes-Barre ever owned a slave. And not a single black resident of Wilkes-Barre can ever claim to have been a slave. 
Still though, whether they wish to admit to it or not, blacks look upon whites with a jaundiced eye. And being a card-carrying white, I can tell you that many whites resent being accused of a crime against humanity that they had no part in. Personally, I resent that hateful glance that often comes way my way from plenty of “minorities,” being that I have never done anything to them or any of their forbearers. 
The black folk claim that the police regularly engage in racial profiling. Yet, after the people who feel wronged call 911, my police scanner rings out with “black male” all day long. So which is it already? Are the cops profiling? Or are black males committing a disproportionate number of crimes? 
Whites are generally distrustful of blacks. Blacks point to that as proof of racism. So goes the destructive, unending loop. 
Many in Wilkes-Barre would have you believe that the city’s recent trends are the fault of one man. In response, I would tell you that Wilkes-Barre’s purported death by demography began immediately following the Agnes flood in 1972, when many of it’s better heeled residents abandoned the flood zone. And in their place came the absentee landlords, the dearth of Section 8 properties, the complete relocation of the indigenous population of the downtown and the city-wide reverse-gentrification that would quickly follow. 
In addition, we now live in a country where gainful employment has gone by the wayside, meaning far too many people have too much time on their hands. Couple that with the fact that the clueless leftists in this country have convinced too many of us that we are victims who should be offended and outraged at every turn, and you’ve got a recipe for violence and strife that manifests itself day-in and day-out. 
Basically, we’ve got a bored, drunk, and drug-addled populace ready to go all ‘self-esteem’ on the first fother-mucker who wants some. 
Still, far too many of the born-and-raised folks seem to think that Wilkes-Barre would be just fine and dandy all over again if the “outsiders” were made to return to their original points of call. Outsiders? That’s not-so-veiled code demanding that embattled Mayor Tom Leighton do something about those folks with the less desirable pigmentations. You know, flat-out racism. Thing is, local or otherwise, the gangs, the gang-bangers and the people producing and/or peddling drugs are here for a reason. And that reason is that societal decay has finally transformed Wilkes-Barre and it’s immediate environs into a booming drug bazaar, a microcosm among thousands of microcosms of the United States of Amerika. 
Face it, they shoot at each other for fear of declining profits. It’s just business, since there are no more cradle-to-grave steel mill jobs providing decent wages and health care benefits. 
And as the old adage would have it: The brown kids grow it, the black kids sell it and the white kids buy it. The point being, the brown folks, the black folks and the white folks are all equal and willing participants in the systematic destruction of our society. 
We all profile. We all feel safer with our own. We’re all distrustful of the opposite camps. Those facts are undeniable. And, sad as it may be, we’re all going to be on the receiving end of even more racial animosity and divide until our so-called “leaders” dispense with the race-baiting in the name of political expediency. Because, to politicize a thing is to make it a much worse thing. And while we remain deeply embittered and opposite camps, the people that purposely made us that way continue to make off with the treasury. Them’s all I got.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2474, July 16th, 2012



You most likely heard about the media fiasco on San Francisco’s KTVU about that Asian flight a week ago. The long and short of it was someone gave the news team the names of the pilot and crew. That never happens. Then the brain trusts said they confirmed it with the NTSB. Turns out an intern did a Frank Pantangelo from “Godfather 2” and said, “Yeah, sure”. This points to how bad even major local media is these days. In a city with a significant Asian population, no on checked? Take a look at this. 


A suspect in a fatal hit and run last summer got a trial date for March of 2014. But hearing the story on TV all you got was that the prosecution was trying to revoke his bail. Nowhere did the fill in anchor tell us that his trial was moved many months down the road causing the family more anguish. But you had to find that out in the newspaper the next. A guy’s trial being delayed so long should be big news right? Love my friends at the Wilkes Barre TV station...but c'mon.


Got this from dear friend the other day and maybe you’ve seen it, maybe not. But it is thought provoking and hilarious.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2473, July 15th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at the Tunkhannock woman charged last week for providing multiple cases of beer for his son and friends so they could party inside the home. One of the kids drinking at the house was involved in a fatal accident. After the woman was charged, she said she tried to be more of a friend to her son than a mother. Turns out she was not only a pretty questionable mother but a pretty crappy friend too! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Hawaii is the only state in the union that actually grows coffee. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that President Obama is finally coming to the realization that the sooner we pull out of Afghanistan, the better. There have been numerous instances of President Karziai doing the old bob and weave with this administration. Last week’s statement by the President certainly sent a n overdue signal. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the house in West Pittston had cash on hand of $750,000 and was the headquarters for illegal bath salt distribution and a gathering place for white supremacists. My question is where did the majority of the cash from, the drug entrepreneurs or the bigots? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that life has now gone on here in LuLac land now that Derek Jeter has left town. On his first day back from rehab, “The Captain” pulled some quad muscles. It is fair to wonder if on his next rehab, wherever that might be, will Jeter be doing the restaurant tours or just sitting put? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that when people are charged with violent crimes in the area, bail is set reasonably high. But then when a bondsman gets involved, money is made available for the get out of jail card. But when a suspect commits another crime, are they not skipping bail and violating those terms? Last week, there has been more discussion about bail in these parts than there has been for a long time. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that a Quartz Crystal in a wristwatch vibrates 32,768 times a second. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED………that as I researched the Presidential election of 1976 for our LuLac feature year, Jerry Brown’s name keeps coming up very prominently. Brown was the wunderkind youth Governor who challenged Jimmy Carter for President and did well in some big states. Equally amazing s that Brown 37 years later is once more the Governor of California. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said the ban against gay marriage in the state is unconstitutional. That’s one of those things that a more seasoned lawyer might think but not say publicly. This opens up all kinds of legal ramifications for this court battle in the state. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that everything Walter Griffith does now is getting major scrutiny because of his legal battles for wiretapping charges. Griffith named Patty Llewellyn as an emissary for him just in case he cannot serve in his office. Griffith was following the rules of the Home Rule Charter because his Deputy, Dan Chipeto resigned to take another position. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that Congressman Tom Marino wants to use Congressional powers to sue members of the Obama administration. He’s doing this because he feels the Attorney General Eric Holder is not enforcing the law. As least as Marino sees it. From Andrew Seder’s story in The Times Leader: “If the chief law enforcer of the country … will not enforce the law, and the president decides to break the law because he doesn’t like it, there has to be another mechanism by which we in Congress can kick into gear, pursue this, see if there are criminal charges we can file,” Marino said during an appearance on the David Madeira Show on “94.3 The Talker” in Scranton. But the GOP House aren’t obstructionists, right? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that yesterday would have been the 100th birthday of one of the most underrated Presidents of the 20th century. Born Leslie King, he was adopted at a young age and became Gerald Ford. Lyndon Johnson said he wasn’t that smart and played football too long without a helmet. My die hard Democrat dad even derided him referring to him as “Henry Ford”. But Ford made a ballsy decision in pardoning Richard Nixon because he felt the country could not go through the trauma of a former President being led off to jail in a jump suit. That cost him the election along with the decision to jettison Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President, Rocky I believe would have helped him carry New York. Ford lived to a ripe old age dying on December 26th, 2006. Before he died, his decision to pardon Nixon was vindicated when the Kennedy Library gave him the “Profiles In Courage Award” for that action.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2472, July 14th, 2013

Our “In Focus” logo. (Photo: Gort 42) 


Congressman Matt Cartwright had his Second Annual Summer Picnic at the Mercatilli and Segila Park yesterday. From 11am to 3pm more than 125 to 150 people stopped by, passed through and greeted the first term 17th District Congressman. There were the political types there, all staunch supporters of Cartwright. From a delegation from Monroe County to some people from Pottsville, it is safe to say there was a good cross section of constituents. The base of the crowd came from the Wilkes Barre/Scranton area. Cars lined both sides of the small access road to the park as music played, kids played in a bounce house and Cartwright supporters stood in line for an ice cream cone. (We stayed for part of the event due to other commitments in the day) Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer was slinging the hash but this wasn’t just hash. Hot Dogs, Fetch’s Sausage, Fresh Fruit and soft drinks were available for people to enjoy. One of the things I noticed about the crowd was the number of working, middle class families there. The conversations I heard at the various tables had to do not primarily with politics but with policy. People talked about Health Care, cuts in social services and how Cartwright’s GOP Congressional colleagues seemed ready to block anything this twice duly elected Democratic President had to offer. It seems like the more resistance that comes from Washington on basic issues like compromising on a Farm Bill are getting people, at least the people I talked to angry. No working person I encountered was worried that if an Immigration Reform Act passed was concerned they would lose their jobs. There was a crowd but unlike past political rallies, no one seemed to be looking for something. They were looking to help Cartwright and his Democratic minority help save what is left of the middle class. 
As for Cartwright, I believe that he has the potential to be one of the best Congressman this area has ever seen. Not to diminish Cartwright’s convictions and how he stands for them, but the bar on “Best Congressman” from our area is pretty low. I mean we have small government booster Lou Barletta wanting to make an immigration overstay a felony (who does he think will police that, you can’t farm that to private industry) and Tom Marino doing an audit on every poor person who has an Access card to see what they are eating! Cartwright can be a Dan Flood/Frank Harrison without their respective baggage. Paul Kanjorski was a technocrat and big dreamer in a time when those ideas weren’t being funded as much as he might have liked. But Cartwright in his short time has inspired people to get the middle class back to the middle and off its precarious cliff. 
Personally I’m getting increasingly annoyed when I hear people refer to Cartwright as “The Millionaire Congressman”. What a person has in his bank doesn’t mean as much as what he has in his heart. Rich men like Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you look at every action this Congressman has taken, it is geared toward working people who just need a break. It takes a special person to recognize that. Cartwright does and I knew it when we’d have conversations on the set of the old WYOU TV Interactive News. That’s why LuLac endorsed him over Tim Holden because we didn’t give a rat’s ass about what his assets were but rather how he’d work like hell for those people who are just getting by. There are more people in the latter category and Matt Cartwright knows that. Too bad other members of Congress can’t…..or won’t realize the same thing. 
Congressman Matt Cartwright, this blog editor and Attorney Marion Munley Cartwright. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac).
State House Representatives made the scene representing the Lu and the Lac. From left, Sid Michaels Kavulich, (114th District) this blog editor, Michael Carroll (118th District) and new comer Marty Flynn ( 113th District) (Photo: Mrs. LuLac).
I had the opportunity to meet up with a loyal reader of LuLac as well as a Face Book friend. Here I am with Joelle Barnes who is a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer for various Democratic candidates in the area. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac)
Former Scranton Mayor and Ed Rendell Governor’s Office Coordinator Jimmy Connors and I joked that if Home Rule stalls in both counties, we’d be more than happy to be the benevolent leaders (we changed that from dictators because we’re too old to be dragged through the streets) of both Luzerne and Lackawanna County. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac)
A shot of some of the early crowd arriving around 11:15AM.(Photo:Mrs. LuLac).
And the band (duo) played on. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac)