Saturday, August 31, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2506, August 31st, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights march on Washington has come  and gone, but the same battle over the Voting Rights Act seems to be in the forefront again. The gutting of a section of that act by the Supreme Court tells us that there still is a need for vigilance against discrimination in some states in voting. Just minutes after the Court eliminated the need for oversight of voting practice changes in southern states, Texas acted to make changes in the way people vote there.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that every time you see or hear about the murder of a young minority in this area, you’ll always see a pastor or neighbor interviewed on TV. Said person will lament about what a good person the deceased was and how his whole future was just ahead and what a waste of a life. I get that. But if the crime happened during a criminal enterprise, like drugs should said clergymen or friend had been on the scene earlier? Good boys and girls don’t hatch at the age of 12 or 13, they begin in early childhood. Not to be sure there are victims that are in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there are shootings that are connected. And talking about the murdered person after the fact is a little bit too little too late as far as I can see.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….. that the only sane Congressman who isn’t itching for a government shutdown is 17trh District member Matt Cartwright. Threatening to hold Medicare hostage is madness and the GOP just might overreach on this one. There are people who are not thrilled with President Obama’s performance legislatively on both sides of the aisle but he is being helped by the enemies, rather than the friends he has in Congress. A government shutdown will again blow up in the faces of the Republicans like it did in the 1990s. Don’t these guys read history?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that a song that repeats over and over or is stuck in someone’s mind is called an earworm.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that when Alex Rodriguez got hit a few Sunday nights ago delibertly by the Red Sox pitcher, (Ryan Dempster) it reminded me of the 1964 incident where Phil Linz was playing the harmonica on the bus from a double header loss to the White Sox and Yogi Berra knocked it out of his hand in anger. After that, the struggling Yankees seemed to surge. You might see this Yankee team of 2013 do the same thing. I don’t see a division title but with two wild cards you never know.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that old WARM survey sheets are now being sold on Ebay for about 11 bucks.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that people were actually bitching about a visit from the President of the United States. Oh the traffic, oh the congestion, oh those damn politicians. In the last half of the 20th century, from ’64 to 2000, Lyndon Johnson, (at the airport during his campaign) Richard Nixon, (at the behest of Dan Flood during the Agnes event) Jimmy Carter (at Pittston Area High School during his reelection bid) and Bill Clinton (in 1993 for his father in law Hugh Rodam’s funeral) all came to this region as sitting Presidents. From 2001 to now, we have had 4 visits by sitting Presidents, (Bush and Obama). That’s pretty good for a 12 year stretch.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that a pearl can be dissolved in vinegar.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but glad that one of the few balms to the sting of summer leaving is the specter of fresh grown tomatoes on the vine. Nothing against store bought mind you but there is nothing like a fresh grown juicy orb to make your day as the darkness comes earlier and earlier and the fast rush of oncoming winter death approaches.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that it is now 4 years that Senator Ted Kennedy passed away. Last week in church, the Gospel according to Luke referenced how the last shall be first. After the tragic death of his three older brothers, Kennedy, not yet 40 was put into that position, being the first after being the last, way before he was ready for it. Kennedy had an impressive legislative record in his long and storied Senate career and would be appalled at how Senators are treated like second class citizens by reactionary House Republicans blocking any type of progress at all. During his career, Kennedy was accused of socializing the free enterprise system with his support of social programs and disarming this country with his support of sensible gun regulations. Four years under the ground and business in this country is booming and no one has had their guns taken away! Go figure!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..on the performance enhancement situation in baseball at these statistics. This year there were 28 percent of foreign born players on the Major League level. But since 2004, at least according to Sports Illustrated, 63 percent of PED use were from foreign born players who wound up suspended. Not sure what to make of that in such a short period of time but I thought that was interesting.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Victor Conte, the guy who started this steroid ball rolling with his Millbrae Holistic supplement company was a side musician in the early 1970s band Tower of Power. When I lived in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 72 I got a chance to see them and they were incredible. Not sure if Conte was with them then, but man, what a sound!

MAYBE I’M AMAZED………about this conversation I heard in church. Now for some reason, people in our church don’t whisper. But a grandfather was giving advice to his grandson about protecting himself on the streets of Wilkes Barre. The subject of the King’s student being robbed of his cell phone on Madison Street (big surprise) by five black men (bigger surprise) got the ball rolling. The older gentlemen said, “Carry a blackjack. Hit them in the noggin..hard. When they least expect it. Don’t be afraid to thrash them. Blackjacks will do the trick”. Except of course if there are five against one (talk about cowards) or a gun.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not so much that Donald Trump is being sued for 40 million smackers. The would be Presidential candidate is being nailed because of his Trump University scam from a few years back. Trump was on the radio telling unsuspecting morons that they too can be as rich as Trump if they forked out fifty buck for his special kit. And he has the nerve to question Barack Obama's authenticity as an American? Trump will blame someone else for this but what a piece of crap this faker is.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…at the Republican party. Matt Cartwright is a formidable one term Congressman. He has put together a very visible presence, has been prominent in both the district and the national scene. So do the Republicans try to get behind one candidate to knock him off in a general election in a heavily Democratic district? Nope. There are two candidates running for the seat. Matthew Dietz of Windgap and Dr. David Moylan, the Coroner of Skuylkill County. Those Republicans, they’d rather fight among themselves than field a united candidate. It has to be in their self destructive DNA although any GOP running against Cartwright will be a long shot at best.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2505, August 29th, 2013

County Council member Rick Williams. (Photo: LuLac archives)


On September 3rd, Rick Williams will announce his candidacy for re-election to a second term on the Luzerne County Council. Williams is currently the only Independent council member, and is also the only candidate running as an Independent for Council in the November 5th general election.
Rick Williams' initial two-year term as a Luzerne County Council member is nearing completion. "Although Luzerne County's home rule government has been in place less than two years, I believe we’ve made real progress changing the way we govern ourselves," Williams states.
"Our work is not simple, nor can it be accomplished quickly. As an architect, I think of my role on Luzerne County Council as rebuilding a new, stronger foundation for a thriving Luzerne County of the future. I will be grateful for the opportunity to serve four more years."
During his first term, Rick Demonstrated an independent, positive voice in County Council deliberations. Rick is beholden to no political party. His votes are sometimes part of a majority, and sometimes in the minority.
Promoted sound fiscal and budget practices that put us on path to pay down our debt and obtain a favorable bond rating that will reduce long-term interest costs. He voted against a 2012 budget that relied on bond money for operating expenses. He voted for the 2013 balanced budget that did not raise taxes.
Voted to modernize, improve efficiencies and increase transparency in county government. Rick supported installing a new financial accounting system for better monitoring and reporting of county finances and upgrading computer systems to use virtual servers. He supports transparency in government, including posting on the county website the emails council members send to one another.
Supported measures to treat county employees fairly, while raising expectations of effective performance. Rick has advocated for simple, uniform and equitable benefits and work standards for county employees, while pushing for adoption of best practices to improve outcomes in all county operations and services.
Pushed to reverse decades of cronyism by insisting on merit selection for hiring and promoting employees,
and encouraging capable but previously "unconnected" citizens to serve on boards, authorities and commissions.
Promoted regionalism and represented Luzerne County on regional bodies. Rick serves on the Bi-County Board of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
During a second term, Rick's decisions will be based on his vision of a thriving Luzerne County of the future:
An ethical and fiscally responsible county government that pays down our debt, balances our annual budget, and improves performance without raising taxes.
A county workforce that has the tools, training opportunities, and accountability to succeed in the 21st century.
New economic development opportunities and improved quality of life issues tied to our physical environment, including cleaner waterways, passenger rail service, county parks, open space, bike paths and sidewalks.
Increasing municipal and regional collaboration while preserving what is wonderful about our county. (Rick Williams press release).

County Council candidate Mike Giamber and his signs. (Photo: LuLac archives) 


County Council candidate on the Democratic side Mike Giamber is up with some signs all across the Valley. Giamber is a regular at County Council meetings and has been very active in the study, formation and implementation of the new form of government.


Walter Mitchell who ran for the office of Controller on the Republican side in 2009 replaced the man who prevailed over him in that year’s GOP primary. Wednesday, Mitchell the ultimate renaissance man of theatre, finance and politics was sworn in to be the interim County Controller. He was picked over 8 Luzerne County residents that applied for the job.
On that same day, around 5:15PM, the man he replaced, Walter Griffith was closing up shop at his auto repair facility in Nanticoke with coveralls and cap as his garb. Griffith who made the zealous mistake of trying to get to the bottom of the disgrace that is called CityVest did what regular folks do when they get kicked down. They dust themselves up and get back up again. Let’s hope Griffith will still keep an activist profile that got him elected in the first place. Let’s also hope Mitchell lends a deft hand with his governmental experience to the County Council in his new position. Both men always had the public good at heart.
We wish them both well.


Bruce Simpson made an auspicious debut for Mayor of Wilkes Barre. On this site, his announcement generated a lot of comments and reaction. His front page story in the Times Leader touched all the bases. His observation that the colleges were a growth industry was also on target as he was interviewed on the spot where a King’s student was beaten up for his IPhone. But if Simpson becomes Mayor, let’s hope that he recognizes that college students are not the pillars of the community they are portrayed to be. Just go through the Wilkes College area or the North End on the weekend when it seems like there is a full blown rock concert going on. School’s back in session so we’re treated to the young lads and lasses dropping their garbage in the streets (yeah the red cup industry is a big one here!!) wandering obliviously into the street trying to cross (King’s had to even hire a crossing guard on North Main so the kids can navigate their way to classes) and just raising hell at the top of their voices because mom and dad aren’t around to police them.
I’m all for education, and not all kids are like this, but there are enough to make mention of this. Don’t know if Simpson can put manners on these kids but it would be fun to see him try.
On a side note to King’s, who always did and still has a kick ass Accounting Major, it might be instructive to have some of your staff members who screwed the pooch on your finances to maybe take responsibility. At the very least, maybe they can monitor some classes to learn how to not screw up what was once a glorious well run fiscally sound institution.

Representative Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)


Notes That Much Progress Has Been Made In Last 50 Years, But Says That More Progress Is Needed
Yesterday, Rep. Cartwright marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech that inspired a nation. More than 200,000 people – of all races and backgrounds – came from all over the country to participate in the March, calling for fundamental social and economic justice for all Americans, at a time when many public facilities in regions of the country were still segregated.
“This massive March helped to awaken the conscience of the country,” Rep. Cartwright pointed out. “Less than one year after the March, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the most sweeping civil rights bill since Reconstruction, into law. Then, a year later, on August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, which has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans, into law.”
“Over the last 50 years, key progress has been made in moving forward on the vision of America that Dr. King laid out in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” Rep. Cartwright said. “And yet more progress needs to be made.”
“The first key step that Congress must take this year is to restore the power of the Voting Rights Act by enacting a legislative fix in response to the damaging 5-4 Supreme Court decision in June, which took a step backwards on the Voting Rights Act by declaring part of it unconstitutional,” Rep. Cartwright stated. “This legislative fix must be designed to ensure that the Voting Rights Act continues to fully protect the right to vote for years to come.”
“Further, to live up to Dr. King’s vision, we must all work together to significantly expand economic and educational opportunity to all Americans – no matter what their race or ethnic origin,” Rep. Cartwright concluded. “We must ensure that ladders of opportunity are available to every American. By taking such steps as expanding early childhood education, making college more affordable, investing in effective job training, and raising the minimum wage, we can do much more to expand opportunity. We must continue to strive until Dr. King’s vision is finally realized and America fully lives up to its true promise and ideals.”



ECTV Live will take on some serious subject matter during it's screenings Labor Day week.Host Tom Munley and co-host David DeCosmo will welcome Kathy Wallace to the program to discuss details of the first annual Northeastern Pennsylvania Suicide Prevention Walk. The Walk, designed to call attention to the suicide problem in our area and to offer comfort tofamilies affected by this tragedy, will take place on Courthouse Square in Scranton on September 7th. Registration is scheduled for 9am. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch 19 each day at Noon and Midnight.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with State Representative Kevin Haggerty of the 112th Legislative District on his property tax legislation, the economy, jobs, his dispute with the White House, and abortion.
And Brian speaks with Roxanne Pauline about the 1st annual Northeast Pa Labor Day Festival, coming up on Monday at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre and benefiting the Keystone Wounded Warriors.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings 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, hear the story of friends and strangers who have banded together to hold a benefit for the family of Fred Kleman Jr. of Plymouth, who was killed on his street after telling a motorist to slow down. Also, details of the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program of Luzerne County, a group dedicated to giving neglected and abused children volunteer support as they make their way through the court system and coverage of a taxpayers' meeting in Scranton designed to introduce residents to HB and SB 76, designed as a revenue-neutral way to eliminate property taxes. On Saturday morning at 10 and Sunday at 7 p.m. Different time on Saturday due to PSU football.



How well do you know the first ladies from the past six gubernatorial administrations? Gain more insight about “Pennsylvania’s First Ladies” during PCN’s special presentation airing Thursday, September 5 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Each first lady will speak candidly about their personal experiences and contributions made to the Commonwealth during their time of service.
The tentative schedule is as follows. Check for any updates or additional airtime information.
7:30 p.m. – Ginny Thornburgh
8:00 p.m. – Ellen Casey
8:30 p.m. – Michele Ridge
9:00 p.m. – Kathy Schweiker
9:30 p.m. – Judge Marjorie Rendell
10:00 p.m. -Susan Corbett

Our 1976 logo.


James Alexander George Smith "Jags" McCartney was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands…….President Ford and Bob Dole go straight to the heartland to kick off their Presidential run. Dole on a campaign stop in his hometown of Russell, Kansas breaks down and weeps over how far he came from his World War II injuries……The Ford campaign releases its first commercial. However, this vintage commercial was never released because of the reference to riding in an open car in Dallas (which Ford did during the campaign) as well as the cherry bomb that went off when Ford was speaking. The Ford people felt the references  to  Dallas were  still too raw…

In Pennsylvania, Congressman Bill Green barnstorms the state in hope to become the first Democratic Senator in the state since 1968…… Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, the Labor Councils tie in their celebration of the Bicentennial with duel events in both cities showcasing the labor movement through the years….and thirty seven years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” by England Dan and John Ford Coley.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2504, August 28th, 2013


Our 1963 logo.
The late Martin Luther King, Junior.  (Photo: UPI)

A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, two of the organizers of the march on Washington who made the cover of Life after the event. (Photo: Life Magazine). 
Throngs at The March on Washington. (Photo: USA Today) 

March on Washington logo. (Photo: NPR org). 


It was the end of the summer for me. I hated August. The only good thing about it was my mom’s birthday but after that it was on to shopping for school shirts in the Huskey section of Sime Brogans in Pittston. For whatever reason, my crowd in the Junction pretty much gave up the ghost of summer in that last week before Labor Day and the return to school.
In the spring of ’63 I was hit with the trifecta of measles, mumps and chicken pox. I was relegated to my room with a radio which was my constant companion along with my school books. So I had an awareness of the great Civil Rights year of 1963. I had heard Martin Luther King on the radio and when I was out of my sickness mode, I always caught the news of this great struggle.
There were no black people I knew in my small area but there were plenty of opinions. I never shook hands with a black man until I was 18 and living in Washington, D.C. Some adults said that it was wrong to have people of color excluded from every day mundane life activities as drinking from a fountain or using a bathroom. Others said that they had the same things we did, but they were not with us. They were separate and that was good enough. Still others asked, “What in the world do they want?”
I tell you I was confused. Only 9 my only interaction with a person of color was a pen pal I got from one of those old Archie comic books. Nick, from El Paso and I wrote each other. We exchanged photos and as I showed his picture to a neighbor it was quickly pointed out to me that he was different. I was 9. He liked baseball, football, had no clue about Math and loved Coke. 
We’re weren’t that different I thought. But during that summer of ’63 I saw people of color being beaten on the news. One guy was getting the snot kicked out him and at his side was a black hat with a feather on the side. It was the exact same hat my father wore to church every Sunday. These people were different in the manner they were being treated in this country and what was happening to them was unfair, unjust. But I had no idea what to do because I was 9. So I relied on the news. I came to the conclusion that it was wrong for my friend Nick, (a Hispanic) to be thought of differently. To be treated differently. Curiously, there were no words of wisdom from my church. 
So between the TV promos for the new Fall TV shows like “The Fugitive”, The Judy Garland Show”, “The Farmer’s Daughter” as well as the short lived Bill Dana program were news reports about the big march on Washington. It was clear that this was big because on this day fifty years ago, all three networks carried this event. It led the TV news as well as the radio and papers. On the news that night I heard Martin Luther King Junior speak. His words were easy enough for me to understand and dramatic enough to make me excited.
The things King spoke of, dignity, the future, fairness, non violence were things I learned in the Catechism. Who wouldn’t want that? I found out later that for some segments of America, they didn’t want what King was selling.
After the speech, King became a constant with me. I followed him like I did ballplayers and politicians. To this nine year old from Pittston, he became top of the mind awareness.
By the time I was 12, King had won the Nobel Prize and been stabbed and nearly killed. When I was 13 he came out against the war in Vietnam. When I was 14 he was dead.
The triumph of Martin Luther King is the same as his sad legacy after death. In life he was the focal point of the movement of Civil Rights. In death he remained so but that was problematic because his successors were poor imitations of him.
As the years passed after the march, King met his objectives with the help of a determined Southern President (Lyndon Johnson) who, like my pen pal Nick, knew the pain and discrimination of those hills of Texas. But even after the legalities of acceptance, in America there is still an undercurrent of racism. It is not helped by the fact that the American family unit has made it acceptable for illegitimacy and unaccountability. Cuts in social programs have cut into the effectiveness of any American to get ahead. The irresponsibility of individuals of all colors on those programs has led to an entitlement society King did not advocate.
The dream of Martin Luther King was to have equality across the board. The dream was not a scheme to game the system.
The dream of Martin Luther King was to not only have little back boys and girls play together but prosper together economically.
The dream of Martin Luther King is still alive but on life support. 
The grandsons and granddaughters of those who opposed him with rubber hoses now use State legislators to deny voting rights by making it harder for people to vote. A Supreme Court Justice, in striking down the Voting Rights Act characterized it as a “racial entitlement”.
Some of the grandsons and daughters of those 200,000 who stood on the Mall with King do not honor that sacrifice by using their color as an excuse for what they say is discrimination in a world where there is a chance for everyone if they work hard enough. Or failing that in LuLac land, to kiss enough asses.
Fifty years after the March, there is good and bad. 
In 1963 just 365,000 blacks had college degrees. In 2013 that number now stands at more than five million. 
Conversely, in 1963 24 % of babies were born to unwed black mothers. In 2013 that number is at 72%.
Fifty years after the speech, King’s words still ring true. Still have a meaning and a purpose. But now more than ever, opportunity, tolerance, accountability, and responsibility must be practiced by all Americans of every color. If those stars stay out of alignment, the March on Washington as well as Dr. King’s speech will be known as a great event of what could have been instead of what we could be. There’s still time but it is running short. But I’d like to think that even with our problems, misunderstanding, cultural divides and distrust, we still shall overcome.

And the number one song in America and LuLac land on this monumental day in 1963 was fittingly enough Trini Lopez’ “If I Had A Hammer”.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2503, August 26th, 2013

Wilkes Barre resident Bruce J. Simpson. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Bruce Simpson has had enough and he is announcing that he will run for Mayor in the 2015 Mayoral race. Simpson has been mulling the decision for a while. Any person taking on the entrenched political interests of the city of Wilkes Barre is going to have an uphill battle. The wisdom of starting so early can be debated. The positive is that Simpson, a retired Federal employee could build more name recognition and tout his qualifications. The negative is that the political establishment in Wilkes Barre, so long dominant will have time to find a suitable alternative (at least in their minds) to a person with governmental, law enforcement and practical life experience in and out of the political arena.
See for people like Simpson, this is all about good government. For almost all of the elected officials in the city of Wilkes Barre, it is all about the “family business”. What’s in it for me….not how can I help.
Simpson definitely can help. And he’s no lightweight either. He garnered an impressive amount of votes when he ran for County Council in 2011 carrying the city of Wilkes Barre.
Simpson needs to build upon his constituency of supporters by pointing out that the people who pay the freight in Wilkes Barre are getting screwed. Neighborhoods are being ruined by marauding college students in the North and South end of town. (Corbett talked to a woman who is on her last nerve this afternoon).
Cronies of the political establishment get their relatives jobs without shame. City officials who ridiculed people for bringing out public safety issues a few years back now won’t come to Council meetings unless of course there’s photo op and a chance to get the new hairdo in the paper.
If Simpson could register at least half of the people fed up, he’d have a puncher’s chance. But the task will be overwhelming because sometimes “What’s In It For Me” trumps “What’s good for the city”.
Here’s his press release:
Bruce J. Simpson of Wilkes Barre City, has just announced that he is Democrat candidate for Mayor of Wilkes Barre. The former candidate for the County Council received more votes in Wilkes Barre City, than any other candidate in the Democrat primary.
"It's time to make sure that the current Mayor of the city is replaced as under his leadership, Wilkes Barre City has become "Dodge City." This is no longer acceptable when even little girls are being hit by gun fire. New Leadership is required if we are to reverse the current violent trend, and restore the streets to the people who have paid for them. The Wilkes Barre Police Department has done its best under the circumstances, but we need a police chief with full powers and not those which have been truncated by the Mayor. A total reorganization of the department is also called for, with an eye of using available resources in a better, more efficient manner that will increase their effectiveness. The policy of "cooking the books," on crime stats must end. Actual crime stats must be reported to the FBI and not ones that make the city look like, "Crime is down." It's not down, it's up regardless of what City Hall is putting out.
The latest abuse of the system was the hiring of the Mayor's brother by the School Board even though he wasn't qualified for the position and was not recommended! How blatant can this situation get? What happened to the gas? The questions go on and one, but the answer is plain: Leighton has to go, and quite possibly will go before the end of his current term.
Anyone interested in bringing back honest government in Wilkes Barre is encouraged to join me in the march to victory by writing to the campaign at:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2502, August 25th, 2013


Yesterday two children were shot in a crossfire at Sherman Hills in Wilkes Barre. They were the victims of the gun and drug violence that has permeated the city. News reports on TV said that the shooting was over turf and money.
So if the turf of gang shooters is not private property they own, or if they are not natives of this city with deeded property, then maybe some intervention is in order. Drastic measures need to be taken to stop this madness. There will be those who might say it infringes on constitutional rights but let them take it court. Oh, sorry most of lawyers of the "turf warriors" are public defenders.
Here's what needs to be done to protect good people from bad people doing horrific things. Unfortunately the good people minding their own business will be inconvenienced but at least they will be safe.
1. All rentals at public housing like Sherman Hills need weekly audits to see who is living there. Residents on the lease will all be required to have a housing ID. If they have "visitors" they must also have an ID.
2. All residents over the age of 12 must submit to a bi weekly drug test. Since drugs seem to be the big bone of contention, by testing residents you will get a good indication of where the turf wars are originating.
3. Anyone falling a drug test or harboring a "visitor" will be evicted and their children will be put in protective services.
4. All residents who have children are required to put the name of the father on the birth certificate of the child and have it with them along with their IDs.
5. Any person loitering in the public housing area and not showing proof of residency will be arrested.
6. The soup kitchen on Jackson Street should have operations suspended until this crime situation gets under control.
7. All residents who live in Section 8 housing should be required to report to a public area for a work assignment that will contribute positively to the community. Failure to comply will lead to eviction.
I know this is drastic but something needs to be done. When I knew people in Section 8 housing, right there on Parkview Circle, they were working to get out and live a better life. There was no such thing as a turf war started by losers who had no pot to piss in and attached themselves to people ripe for being taken advantage of. Neighbors chased them back to "the big city".
The good tenants sick of getting their lives shattered might not like the rules, but will live by them if it gets rid of the "turf warriors".
Some one needs to send a message loud and clear to these maniacs that Wilkes Barre is not their turf and to get the hell out.
Most "turf warriors" are lazy and want to take the easy way out all the time. Most "turf warriors" are not as powerful without a place to crash and a weapon to instill fear.
Make it harder for them, take away their enablers and their guns, and you'll see how quick things will change. But we can't take half measures anymore. If we hesitate, more mothers will be cradling more bleeding children in their arms because of "turf warriors".
They must be stopped: COLD.
They must be stopped: NOW.
Then we can debate the Constitition and rights of criminals to our hearts content....after we get the scumbags out of town.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2501, August 23rd, 2013

State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives)


Kevin Haggerty has taken a lot of heat this week because of the fact that he referred to the President’s visit as mere window dressing for this economically depressed area. In a way he has half a point. Any Presidential visit is going to bring out those politicians that feel entitled to the invitation. You rarely see some of them when there is a problem. Like the only thing I know about Haggerty’s prospective opponent in 2014 is that he has nifty tee shirts and did a terrible interview on the radio. Haggerty has been in the Legislature making some waves. His stance on the Presidential visit got attention because it is rare for a politico to say no to the most powerful man in the land.
Haggerty is correct when he said Scranton is a distressed city but by blaming the President, he is like a member of the GOP blaming Obama for everything. That said, here are two interesting things:
1. By making his statement he became the skunk at the garden party. And no one likes a skunk. But when the garden party is the same old bobble heads that resist change and only want to get the glory, maybe someone should make a stink. What better way to do it when there is a lot of attention to a big event. I bet if Haggerty made these same statements without a big visit, no one would even bat an eyelash.
2. Haggerty called attention to the same old same old in Lackawanna County. Instead of electing a new person with new ideas for Mayor, Scrantonians chose an insider who doesn’t pay his rental fees. Instead of choosing an energetic, out of the box thinker like Corey O’Brien to lead the Chamber of Commerce, Scrantonians chose Chamber retread and Austin Burke crony Bob Durkin. Haggerty’s only mistake was calling for an economic summit and have the President stay here for two days. He should have asked Obama or Biden to knock some heads of the entrenched politicos here in the Lac.
3. Finally, it is interesting at the ridicule Haggerty has taken. He has been accused of being too political, self aggrandizing and cynical. It is significant that all sides are ganging up on him.
I can attribute that to only one reason: THE TRUTH CAN HURT.

President Obama in Scranton today at Lackawanna College address college education. (Photo: Times Leader).


In a 32 minute speech at Lackawanna Junior College, President Obama said education is a necessity, not a luxury. The President also said that with the opposition he has had from Congress on his many programs, especially health care, the road will be rough. The President referenced his grandfather’s educational ride on the GI Bill and noted that students today face debt after school because of high education costs. The President said people with college debt can’t buy houses or start families with that around their neck. The President, joined by Vice President Biden said the “Pay As You Go” program has been successful for about 2 million students, said that colleges need a new yardstick to see which are most effective and fiiscally efficient. He said federal subsidies should go to the schools that produce. Obama also said that schools needed to be more innovative like offering more online degrees and easier access.
The President was interrupted by a fracking protester at the rally but the crowd drowned out the agitator. Obama also took at shot at the GOP House saying they wanted to shut down the government on September 30th instead of offering solutions to concerns like college affordability.


I can’t believe that President Obama and Joe Biden are traveling together. Not since John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson went to Dallas did this happen. The security for this is crazy and the logistics can be problematic if anything went wrong. Might a separate Biden visit been more practical? Just saying.


A word about Mike McGlynn. I knew him for about 35 years. I first met him when Franco Harris came through town on a campaign stop in 1980 for State Representative Joseph Rhodes when he was running for United States Senate.
Through the years, I’d see him at Donahue’s Hour Glass Café sparring with the bartender Joe as I sat calmly watching as I ate my clam chowder. He held court but did so in a very nonchalant but kindly subversive manner.
Two things I loved about him as a reporter was that he not only wanted both sides of the story, he demanded and got all sides of the story. The other thing was he never care about being first, he cared about being right.
Finally, LuLac was started in no small part to guys like McGlynn who penned Party Animals. When that went away as well as Bill Griffith’s political column in the Times Leader, there was no budget, inclination or institutional knowledge, sense of irony or skill level at the local level for that type of thing. To be sure, I am a poor imitation but at least I try to live up to those standards set by Mike McGlynn.
Finally, I hope wherever he is there is a keyboard, a bar stool, a cold beer, ham and cabbage and the whiff of a cigar smoke filled room filled with political talk. That will be Mike McGlynn’s well deserved heaven.

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright.  (Photo: LuLac archives)

Congressman Matt Cartwright penned an e mail regarding the usage of Medicare as a way to leverage political capital in the government shutdown fight when Congress returns from vacation. Yeah, they return from vacation and want to shut things down. What is wrong with this picture?? Here's the Congressman's message:
Despite the efforts of House Democrats, Congress left Washington last month without fixing our nation’s finances.
That means without bipartisan action, the government will shut down on September 30th.
It gets even worse. Some of my colleagues on the far right are actually trying to use Medicare as a bargaining tool -- saying that the only way to avert a shutdown is to cut health care for our seniors.
I'm joining with other Pennsylvania Democrats to call them on their bluff. Will you sign your name to our petition right now and demand Congress keep Medicare off the chopping block?
Copy and paste this link and
sign the petition to stop this madness. Or just click:
Yes, we have a budget deficit. Yes, that means tough choices. But I believe in a government that can maintain its most basic functions AND protect health care for our seniors. Pitting those two things against each other is a false choice.
The way we treat our seniors says a lot about the kind of country we are. Their benefits should never be used as partisan poker chip -- ever.



After some alternating vacation weeks the ECTV Live Host Team of Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be back together for the week of August 26th. Their guest will be  Chris Dimattio, Chairman of the annual Italian Festival in Scranton held over the Labor Day weekend. Chris will review all of the plans and featured musical acts for this year's "La Fiesta." ECTV Live can be seen every day on Comcast Ch19, Electric City Television, at Noon and Midnight will additional showings as the scheduled allows at 6pm.

Jill Konopka and me circa 2008. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Just wanted to give a LuLac shout out to our good friend Jill Konopka . Jill was the weekend anchor on WBRE and took her considerable talents to New England. Yesterday was her birthday and we wish her nothing but the best. I found her to be one of the most energetic and hard working reporters that came through this market. Hope she had a great day!


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with author Michael Wood, a contributor to the "Golden Rule Bible", regarding mistranslations and misinterpretations he discovered while researching the Bible. Brian speaks with Mo Devlin about the 3rd annual Bow Wow Pool Party coming up next Saturday in Pottsville to benefit the Hillside SPCA Animal Shelter.
And an encore of Brian's interview with professor Shaun Adrian Chofla on preparing youngsters for kindergarten. 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.


Karel Zubris and Nancy Kman doing live coverage of the President's speech in Scranton. WILK does this all the time with great results. (Photo: John Dawe-Facebook).
Our 1976 logo.


In Uruguay, the army captures Marcelo Gelman and his pregnant wife. Marcelo is later killed and his wife (and unborn child) disappear..........Jacques Chirac resigns as Prime Minister of France; he is succeeded by Raymond Barre.........There is a landslide disaster in Sau Mau Ping, Hong Pennsylvania, GOP Senate candidate John Heinz barnstorms the state with his primary foe, Arlen Specter. The two also make some select stops with outgoing U.S. Senator Hugh Scott as Heinz travels the state in his bid to succeed Scott. Heinz becomes a fixture at County fairs across the Commonwealth…in Luzerne County, Joseph Tirpak makes the rounds of all the summer picnics and bazaars. Tirpak announced early he was running for Controller again in 1977. Even though he was the victor in 1973, courts ruled he could not serve because of a financial conflict. Tirpak, a broker with a financial management company did not have a problem with that association. What stymied him was that he served as Deputy Budget Director under Frank Shintz and was barred by law at that time because of the conflict. Stephen Yanoshak remained in that office until 1976 when he became the Minority GOP Commissioner. Tirpak went full gear the summer before the election to make sure the folks knew he wanted to reclaim that financial throne one he held until his death in 1997 and the number one song in LuLac land and America was one of my all time favorites, coming in during the waning days of the season, “Summer” by War.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2500, August 22nd, 2013


I’m a milestone guy and here we are at 2500 editions of LuLac. During the last seven years, we have opined on all things political in the world, nation state and our own beloved little area here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. (I was tempted to say our little slice of heaven but I don’t want to get struck down dead in my tracks!)
We will continue this endeavor and hope you enjoy what we do and understand that each edition is not just one thought but a type of daily opinion page, fact sheet or report on  happenings. Our goal is to give you our “take” on things and feel free to agree or disagree.
We are working on some exciting developments that we’ll tell you about very soon. In a few weeks, we will be conducting a reader poll too. So be ready for that endeavor.
The last 150 editions have been extremely challenging to do. (We will share the reason for that in the future).
But in the meantime, God willing, we’ll keep at this until:
!. We get it right. (Father Tom Carten’s quote).
2. We are imprisoned at the Barney Farms or Glenmaura Gulag.
3. We get a gig on “Morning Joe”.
As one of my coding teachers at Luzerne County Community College used to say, “Onward!”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2499, August 20th, 2013

Subway. (Photo:

I love Subway. My favorite sub is the Tuna on whole wheat, with Spinach, Provolone Cheese and light onions. It is the single best tasting lunch or light dinner that just electrifies my taste buds. And they tell me its good for you which I guess is a plus.
But now I must tell you that I am no longer going to eat any Subway product. So I guess you can say, “I loved Subway”.
The reason is the way certain Subway franchise owners have reacted to the Affordable Health Care Act. When the President said he was going to give businesses a year’s grace period to ramp up so that it could be prepared, I wrote here that it was a mistake and an open invitation for employers to screw their employees out of hours and health care. And damn if I wasn’t right.
In New England, a franchisee who owns 21 Subways has cut back his employees to 29 hours per week. You can qualify for health care at 30.
According to CNBC, Loren Goodridge who owns the eateries said, "To tell somebody that you've got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me. I know the impact I'm having on some of my employees."
Goodridge said he's cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won't trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months. So the thing isn’t even going into effect yet and this guy sees an opportunity to mess with the health and welfare of his workers. And Washington didn’t tell him to cut those employees, he is doing it of his own selfish volition.
What galls me is he is blaming the Affordable Care Act for his unfair treatment of employees. A difference in an hour is what he is pissing and moaning about. The workers will blame Washington of course but maybe they should look in the eyes of the guy who owns 21 of these money making machines and ask “Why?”
Business people, if left to their own devices will always try to skirt the government regulations they so often wring their hands about. That’s why government has regulations to control these pillars of society. I heard this joker Goodridge doing the math on TV saying the cut to his employees per month could easily be a car payment for them. What a hypocrite! You’re the guy that’s cutting the hours. It’s like the old days around here when a miner got killed and the coal barons shrugged their shoulders and said, “Yeah, tragedy, heyna?”
But really, you have 21 franchises and you can’t do the decent thing? No where did this guy say anything about how much he stands to make as he screws his workers and buries them deeper into the lower middle class.
I’m off Subway because these mothers don’t deserve a red cent from any thinking American who has a friend or neighbor getting boned from cheap, punitive, small business moguls who hide behind their real intentions (like little babies hiding behind Momma’s skirts) and blame it on a health care program that has not even been enacted.
This guy’s Business Plan must have been a beaut.
In the meantime, you want a Sub around here, go to Primo’s, Wegmans’s or any reputable pizza joint. BUT NOT SUBWAY!!!!


Why is Health Care for the middle class so important? Let me give you two examples. This month there is a fundraiser for one of the women who was injured in the Ross Township Municipal Meeting shootings. The woman had no health care and now needs help with her Medical Bills after being shot. I don’t think she imagined she would be in that position but if affordable health care was available, perhaps her burden would be eased a bit.
On Friday night at PNC Park, a young lady, about 26 circled the bases as the Railriders and the Charlotte Knights cheered her on. A patient at Allied Services, in the prime of her young adulthood, she could not walk. I dson’t think she ever expected that would happen to her.
My point is this, these two cases are indicative of why providing affordable health care for middle class Americans is so important.
The GOP who is lying about this bill, passed by the Congress and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court keeps saying the Act will enable illegal immigrants and people on welfare free heath carer. They say it will cost you money because of that.
But they are wrong.
The Affordable Health Care Act, which is not free will give Americans access in case they get a disease that robs them of their mobility or in case they get shot minding their own business.
The lies really, really have to stop.
They are not only deceitful but downright unpatriotic.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2498, August 19th, 2013

Carolee Medico Olenginski with former Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith in a photo taken back in 2009.  (Photo: LuLac archives).

Like a retired veteran ballplayer pushed aside by a new regime, Carolee Medico Olenginski did not go quietly into that good night. As a matter of fact she left the Courthouse kicking and screaming at the behest of County Manager Bob Lawton. But she has re-emerged on the political scene.
Once thought banished, Medico Olenginski returns to the scene as an unintended consequence of Walter Griffith’s zealous attempt to find out just where all that money went for the Sterling Hotel. The Luzerne County GOP Sunday night gave the nod for the current, lame duck Prothonotary to run for the Controller’s office. With rumors abounding that certain members of the Executive Committee were feeling out people of all political stripes, this news was a tad surprising. Scott Cannon of Video Innovations tweeted to me that he was “stunned”. As was many of the followers of the political scene.
With Medico Olenginski the county GOP reveals a few things. The first is a paucity of well known candidates that can make a county wide race. The second is that it appears the party is more interested in winning rather than governing under the new form of Home Rule Government.
If Medico Olenginski is elected, this thing has reality show written all over it. Carolee has battled with Gene Klein, Jim Torbik, Sam Guesto, Doug Richards, Tom Pribula, Bob Lawton and anyone else in a position of authority. There is no reason to believe that this will not continue under her new position. It is doubtful that she will be given the interim post by the County Council but the vote might be closer than one might think. It all depends how Independent Rick Williams and the Urbans vote.
There are pros and cons to this move. First the pros:
1. Medico Olenginski is well known. She has been a fixture on the public scene since the mid 90s when she began her battle with the Luzerne County legal system over a divorce. She was then elected to the Prothonotary’s office in 1997 when there was a controversy over the way the office was being handled by the late Eugene Duffy. People have known her name for over twenty ears.
2. Carolee has a built in base of loyal supporters who will stand with her solidly. In her victories and defeats, (she’s won two,) they are rock solid. Add that advantage with the hard core Griffith supporters who feel he was wronged and you get a pretty decent start in votes to overcome by a Democratic candidate.  
3. More than any other candidate, she can lay claim to the Griffith watchdog legacy fighting to oppose a government that sent her packing and can be painted as ineffective and cumbersome. Again she will get the support of those Home Rule voters who will like nothing better for her to wreck havoc with the County Council. Remember, she sued to keep her job. She's not unacquainted with the local barristers.
The Cons.
1. Medico Olenginski is a polarizing figure who will most likely see things black and white, not the gray nuances of compromise government.
2. Carolee has made it clear that she has no love lost for Robert Lawton or the new Home Rule Governing body. There are some voters who might see this as rather being an obstructionist rather than a watchdog.
3. As one of the few elected officials, Medico Olenginski will need to pick staff members to help her run this office. She has a history of dispatching once loyal deputies with very little provocation. Plus, can she run the office in terms of fiscal audits which has been a challenge for every Controller since the days of Matthew Leib. (We’re talking early 60s here folks!)
Once more Carolee Medico Olenginski has become a factor in Luzerne County politics. It is said she has been cruel, kind, arbitrary, fair, visionary and reactionary. It all depends who you talk to or who experienced her first hand.
But all that said, the GOP Executive Committee hope voters in November will love her as much as they seem to in this selection.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2497, August 18th, 2013


Our 1963 logo.


The first part of August fifty years ago in 1963 had three events that dominated the news. Two were public, the other personal. As the Civil Rights struggle continued news from the American civil rights movement was progressive when James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
President and Mrs. Kennedy lost their two day old infant child Patrick Bouvier Kennedy to hyaline membrane disease, now more commonly called respiratory distress syndrome. The death of the newborn brought new attention to infantile respiratory diseases. It is also said that the death of young Patrick brought the Kennedy marriage (rumored to be on the rocks) closer together. Biographers have noted that after the death of the child, Kennedy made his wife more of a partner. Of course, this event was overshadowed by a larger one later on in the year which affected not only the Kennedy family but the nation.

Front page of the Hazleton Standard Speaker. 
 One news event that struck closer to home was the Sheppton Mine Accident. From August 13th the nation was riveted by the three miners trapped 300 feet below the earth. For all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, this was a raw wound. Just three and a half years removed from the Knox Mine Disaster, the fate of the trio was huge news. Local radio (WARM's Terrry McNulty was one of the first media people on the scene) TV and newspapers covered the event as a front page item every day. WDAU TV sent reporters down there every day and news director Tom Powell provided hourly updates.
People eagerly watched with concern as rescue workers tried to reach David Fellin, Henry Throne and Louis Bova. Bova’s body was never recovered. The event was sobering because there were still vestiges of the mines left with areas pockmarked by the strip miners. And everyone in my railroad family knew a miner. The bond was emotional and deep. As a nine year old, this was just one of the stories of human drama that got my attention. Another thing that made an impression was that even though the rescue saved two men, one never came out.
This past week, family members of the late Louis Bova gathered at a tombstone above the earth where Bova lost his life 300 feet below. More than 200 people attended a Mass for the fallen miner.
In 1970 a local group, The Buoys had a national chart hit called "Timothy about three men trapped in a mine. It was said that the tune was about Sheppton but the song's composer Rupert Holmes said he had no idea about the incident until the song was soaring to the top twenty.
WYLN TV did a special edition of Topic A on Sheppton. Here's LA. Tarone's work on this.

And fifty years ago this week, amid the big news events of this first part of August, the number one song in LuLac land and America was "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2496, August 17th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that MotorWorld got their asses kicked in court for a work discrimination case to the tune of $750,000 bucks. It seems that a Muslim woman who was working for them got habitually harassed by her fellow employees. And according to published reports, she was one of their top sales earner! Like, where was management? Who was in charge when all of this was going on? The Citizen’s Voice reported that Fadwa Charnitski claimed in a lawsuit she was subjected to a hostile work environment and was fired because she is a Muslim woman from Kuwait. The lawsuit claimed MotorWorld fired her without an investigation or hearing after a baseless complaint that she called a customer "a stupid American." More power to her on that one if she did. I hate going to the movies because I hate the ignorant jerks from this area that talk non stop through the movie. But today we went to see that new movie “The Butler” and the beloved seniors in the theatre would not shut the **** up. Plus, this area is so convinced they are constantly getting screwed out of everything, that maybe she ran into an ignorant bastard on that day. But that does not outweigh the fact that management did nothing. Maybe the harassment has more to do with her being a successful woman and not a Muslim at all. I’ve known a few car salesman and they are pretty touchy about the size of their commissions and a few other things I won’t mention. I won’t even go into MotorWorld’s business practices regarding selling of parts but if I’m a woman, a minority, a friend of a woman or a minority, the last place I would even consider going for a vehicle would be there. And please don’t tell me we are the Valley With A heart and tolerant! Shit, we have companies that have now been found responsible in court for harassment and discrimination to one of “the team”. Just imagine how they treat someone they don’t know and work with. But hey, we love everybody around here, don’t we???
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that now we find out the Mayor’s brother, Brian Leighton did not even have the qualifications for that job he got at the Wilkes Barre Area School District. The slime balls who hired him, JOHN QUINN, LOU ELMY, DINO GALELLA, PHIL LITINSKI and MARY ANN TOOLE had to know he wasn’t qualified. But each and every one of them owe their allegiance to the Democratic machine (which is on the run with crap like this) because that’s how they won election to the board. Only in the Wilkes Barre Area School District could an unqualified individual get a job and say when found out, “Uh, the transcripts are on the way!” Anywhere else in freaking America, don’t you have to have those before you get the job? 
Once there was CETA, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program. Now there’s the BFEMRP. That’s the Barney Farms Employ My Relative Program.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the Scranton Garbage fee billing office is sooooooooooo screwed up, even Senator Casey forgot to pay his 2012 bill because he never saw one. Casey did pay the 2013 bill on time and paid the 2012 one with interest. Really? Why should he pay interest and a late fee because the people in charge of the billing couldn’t even manage to send a bill to a guy who has lived in the same house for twenty years?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not so much that the Luzerne County Council is getting some side way looks from the union leadership because the Council wants them to work Luzerne County employees to work 37 and a half hours! I’m sure if half of them had jobs in the public sector, they’d have nervous breakdowns! I saw on Facebook the other day that a County employee was leaving work early to go to an amusement park with his family. It said, "Working in the morning, taking the rest of the day off”. I wonder how anyone could tell the difference? Now, let me state that this is not the case with "all" public employees at the Courthouse. I want to be clear on that, there are many dedicated workers. But those many get tarnished by a few goldbrickers that make it impossible to proudly bear the title of public employee.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the largest silver nugget (1840 pounds) was found in 1894 near Aspen, Colorado.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there are some people actually saying the FBI left town too soon when it came to the Wilkes Barre and Pittston Area School boards. Three people from the Wilkes Barre Area School Board got a prison sentence and the Superintendent from Pittston served jail time. Blatant disregard of school board policies (policies they voted on themselves) does not constitute illegality but the next step of outright criminality is just a few temptations away.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that it only took a few weeks for George Zimmerman to get in the news again. Zimmerman was stopped in Texas with a gun under his seat. This guy is a walking tabloid newspaper.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the crappy power signals I get in Wilkes Barre on FM. When I was growing up, FM was supposed to be “superior sound”. The FM signals for ESPN and The River come in fine at night but sound like AM 250 watters during the day. Reminds me of the old days when I had the transistor radio and pulled in stations like CKLW, WCFL, WABC and WKBW at night.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….but not much by the stories of the two “friends” who shot and killed their buddy and dumped his car and body into a gorge. You can’t fault the Scranton police for not saying it 1was a murder because I’m sure this helped flesh the idiots out. And then there was the woman who is charged with offing her boyfriend and calling it suicide. Coroner’s inquest scored big on that one. I guess the moral of the story here goes back to what your mom always said, “Pick your friends carefully”.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that Tom Corbett cannot or will not realize that by expanding Medicaid, that would reduce (according to published reports) the number of people who do not have health insurance to about 56%. That means those people not without, would be covered. But Corbett and this brand of GOP strikes me as those who don’t give a rat’s ass about those without. Now if they were oil companies asking for a handout…........something different entirely.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Luzerne County District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis had the gumption to file a lawsuit to try and get more funding for her office. Even though Salavantis’ action will not go that far, you have to give her credit for giving it a try. Salavantis has grown into the job and is building a record here. Plus she can compare notes with her predecessor Jackie Musto Carroll who reportedly is under the dome again in a legal capacity for the County.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… the speaking ability or lack thereof of State Representative Tarah Toohil in a public setting. When I was viewing the replay of the Swearing in ceremonies for Correalle Stevens for his seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I caught Toohil’s remarks. I was struck by the faces of the Judicial powerhouses behind her as she went on. She’s been elected twice, seems personable but it was really painful to watch.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that no matter what Major League Baseball does, it can’t get out of the shadow of the NFL. When I was a kid, the July 31st trading deadline was the biggest thing in the summer next to the All Star Game. Sports Talk was filled on Wednesday night, not with who was being traded or kept but about Riley Cooper of the Eagles use of the “n” word while trying to jump a line at a Kenny Chesney concert. The trade deadline story was about the fifth story down. (And if you are an NFL players, don’t you have flunkies or boys to do that type of thing for you?) Then last week no current Hall of Famer went into Cooperstown on induction day. My friends who have businesses up there for HOF weekend took a beating because that weekend makes their year. And the NFL had 7 luminaries inducted Chris Carter Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Larry Allen, Bill Parcells, Curley Culp and Warren Sapp Very glad to see former Packer Robinson finally in. He was a member of those Super bowl I and II Packers.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED…..that the highest denomination of money on U.S. currency is the $100,000 bill. And here’s the guy on it. (See below).

MAYBE II’M AMAZED…….that WARM Radio’s signal still is not up to par. Fans of the Mighty 590 are not really happy trying to get some listen ability to the signal. We’re told the staffers are still trying to repair it.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Congress has the lowest rating ever and with that, decides to go on vacation The reaction from visitors to the Capitol the other day was priceless. Imagine having tons of issues on your plate in private business and saying, “See ya, gotta go!”. That’s why no one respects Congress and even with his recently low ratings, Obama is seen by reasonable people as trying to do something.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that a polar bear can smell a seal from 20 miles away.
MAYBE I'M AMAZED.......that the Phillies would not let Manager Charlie Manuel go out gracefully. He turned the team around, got them to two World Series and won one. But loyalty is not abundant in MLB.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2495, August 16th, 2013


It was 36 years ago today that Elvis Presley died. I was working at WVIA TV and FM. Working the 2 to 10 shift, I walked through the TV Studios to the FM side and the teletype bell kept ringing. That was a bulletin. Big time bulletin from UPI. I tore it off and it read, “PRESLEY DEAD AT 42”.
Bill Kelly was walking through the Control Room taking a shortcut through the studios to his office. (At that time he had office number 2). When he asked “What’s up”? and I told him, he took the bulletin and cut an announcement in the TV sound booth. I did one for the automated afternoon programs running at that time on WVIA FM. IN the next month, the news and magazines were filled with news of Presley’s demise.
And for the next few months, the best ice breaker a single guy could make in a bar when approaching a woman, especially one a tad older than you was to say, “It was a shame about Elvis, wasn’t it?” Presley’s last chart song was this one. “Way Down” from the “Moody Blue” (the album was really blue) LP.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2494, August 15th, 2013

The Scranton Children leave the service, in front is William Scranton II, his wife, Marie Peters Scranton,, in the back are sons Joseph and Peter Scranton, along with the late Governor’s daughter Susan. (Photo: Patriot News).

During the eulogy yesterday, Bill Scranton the third spoke of how his father, on a trip to the newly open AstroDome in 1965 was found on his hands and knees inspecting the new marvel “Astroturf”. Scranton III said that his father was innately curious. Here Mr. Scranton plunged into a deep mine to take a peek. (Photo: Times Tribune).  


Yesterday in the Hill Section of Scranton, there was a memorial service for the late Governor William Scranton. The service itself reflected the late Governor’s life and style. To the point, optimistic, joyful and elegantly understated. Ecumenical it certainly was with prayers by Monsignor Joseph Quinn, Rabbi Louis Schwartz and Scranton’s former Pastor Fred Mulligan Junior. I mean the entire service reflected the eclectic nature of this ultimate renaissance man, Bill Scranton.
We learned that he had returned to school as a senior to study Italian Classics, we heard “Joy To the World” in the middle of August and mourners walked in to the cello and piano rendition of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “All That I Ask”. Perhaps the most poignant moment came when Scranton’s son, William Warren Scranton III detailed how the former Governor told him that living in a small room in a health care facility next to his beloved wife Mary made him the happiest he has ever been. Telling for a man of the world who eschewed elective office to devote more time to his family and causes he believed in.
Scranton III ended his eulogy by admitting he was stumped as to how he would end his tribute to his father. He recounted how he met a neighbor when he was walking his dogs who told him that she was a worker at Allied Services. She told the younger Scranton when the former Governor went to the gym there, he made everyone feel like a million bucks looking him dead in the eyes and telling him his father was a true gentleman. 
And you get the impression that Bill Scranton, the former Congressman, Governor, Ambassador, business mogul and renaissance man….would have been just fine if that is the only thing any mourner said about him yesterday.

Our Health Care, Not Scare Care logo.


If you are listening to the radio, you’ll hear an ad regarding the Affordable Health Care Act and how Americans should weigh the risk factors of the new law. A “mom” talks about how her child needed special medical care and how she is sooooooo worried that Obama Care will change that. She talks about how it might cost more and that Americans should look into the risk factors of Obama Care. She obviously is stating a correct scenario, she had health care coverage and it worked for her family. Good for her. The ad implies that the situation she stated is at risk.
Let’s go over the “risk” factors of Obama Care:
Obama Care does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
The Fact is ObamaCare gives 47 million women access to preventive health services and makes it illegal to charge women different rates than men. 
ObamaCare gives seniors access to cheaper drugs, free preventive care, reforms Medicare Advantage, and closes the Medicare Part D 'donut hole. The AARP agrees, costs won't rise because of ObamaCare, if anything, the improvements to the system will decrease the average cost of health care for seniors.
1 in 2 Americans have a "pre-existing" condition they could be denied health insurance for. ObamaCare chips Away at pre-existing conditions until 2017 when there are no more pre-existing conditions for anyone, including high-risk customers.
54 million Americans with private health insurance now have access to preventive services with no cost sharing due to the new minimum standards of ObamaCare.
ObamaCare doesn't ration health care; it protects consumers from the health care rationing insurance companies have been doing for ages.
ObamaCare reduces the growth in healthcare spending. The current $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system costs almost $9k a year for every man, woman, and child.
Starting OCT 2013, insurance companies will compete to be your healthcare provider via a health insurance exchange pool known as the Affordable Health Insurance Exchange. Americans earning below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for cost assistance. Make sure you realize what you are reading in the last line. The ad conveys the message that if you try to make Health Care available to the working poor, the well to do will get screwed. Guess who the ad was paid by?
A group called Americans for Prosperity or better known as “I got mine, I don’t ever care if you get yours”.

Former Sugar Notch Councilman Mario Fiorucci. (Photo: Times Leader).


Former City Councilman,  in that huge metropolis of Sugar Notch, Mario Fiorucci was charged with trespassing this past spring. A little background. Fiorucci self publishes a newsletter that he hand carries to residents of the borough. In it is an array of facts regarding the Borough and how citizens can better utilize their local government, such as it is. Fiorucci was charged with leaving a flyer on Paul Casey’s porch. The cops or cop (I’m not sure how big the ‘Notch police force is but I’m betting 5-0 has nothing to fret about!) charged Fiorucci with Defiant Trespassing. Casey brought the event up at the Sugar Notch Council meeting saying Fiorucci was trespassing. Casey said he told Fiorucci not to put a flyer on his porch. Fiorucci apparently forgot, left it on the guy’s house, went back to retrieve it when he was confronted by Casey. Casey said that even though he did not have a No Trespassing sign on his property, he felt that by telling Fiorucci he didn’t want the newsletter, that the implication was there that Fiorucci would be violating the law. Trespassing. Apparently Casey thinks everyone in town should be a mind reader. 
Frank Sorick of the Wilkes Barre Independent Gazaette reported that Fiorucci was found not guilty. So Fiorucci who was performing a community service gets crucified and Paul Casey brings new, extreme meaning to the old man phrase, “Get Off My Lawn”. The worst part of all of this is it was a news story. Even on TV! Imagine an out of town business looking to relocate here and seeing this Gomer/Goober town in action! Sad.



Rusty Fender is scheduled to fill in an co-host for ECTV Live for the week on August 19th while David DeCosmo hosts a tour into Canada. He and Tom Munley will welcome Keith Williams to the program to talk about all the events at the annual "Wally Fest" at Lake Wallenpaupack! ECTVLive is broadcast daily on Comcast TV Ch19 at Noon and Midnight. There are also selected showings at 6pm.
WNEP TV’S Joe Snedeker. (Photo: WNEP. Com)


Can you believe Joe Snedeker has been cavorting for more than 80 seasons of wacky weather. This week Snedeker celebrates 20 years as Channel 16’s Meteorologist. He is vastly entertaining, informative and attracts viewers with his down to earth style and honesty. A quick story here, when I was undergoing treatment for cancer in 2009, Medical Oncology Associates would always have on WNEP's Morning programs. I always noticed that when Snedeker came on the air, the glum sad faces turned into laughs and smiles. That is his true legacy and contribution. Also, his daily lectures on how precious  life is resonates. Joe does more for people than he will ever know. We wish him another twenty.



This week on Special Edition, it's an interview with Dallas Adams, a San Francisco bike shop owner who believes the inspiration for screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz's Rosebud in "Citizen Kane" was a bike stolen from in front of the Osterhout Library in Wilkes-Barre. Also, Nezka Pfiefer, curator of the Everhart Museum, discusses the creation of "Sidewalk Surfing," an exhibition paying tribute to skateboarding which includes contributions from local collectors and an interview with the fraud analyst for First Keystone Community Bank in Berwick about scams involving fraudulent checks that are targeted toward senior citizens, costing some thousands. Special Edition is on at 2pm Saturdays and 7pm Sundays on WILK AM and FM.
Our 1976 logo.


The big showdown for the GOP nomination in 1976 was going to be in Kansas City. President Gerald Ford had swept the early primaries but in May former California Governor Ronald Reagan got his traction winning southern and western states and turned it into a wild race. Going into the convention, Ford had won more primary delegates than Reagan, as well as a plurality in popular vote. However, Ford did not have enough to secure the nomination, and as the convention opened both candidates were seen as having a chance to win. When Ford and Reagan arrived in Kansas City, their main goal was to woo and win about 120 delegates. That’s how close it was. The Ford people worked furiously trying to engage GOP party stalwarts to stick with the President. The Reagan people really targeted Pennsylvania as well as the southwest delegations. Texas delegates went into other state meetings and tried to persuade delegations to switch to Reagan. However Reagan’s earlier plan to put GOP moderate Senator Richard Schweiker on the ticket as Vice President backfired. Conservative GOP firebrand Senator Jesse Helms mounted a campaign for New York Senator James Buckley. Buckley was already in a reelection race for New York Senate but that did not deter Helms. While all this was going on, delegates, especially those wavering had meetings with the President himself, there were numerous rides on Air Force One as well as patronage and Presidential perks that were doled out manically. As a last ditch effort, the Reagan forces offered a ridiculous amendment to the Convention rules that would require Ford to announce his running mate before the nomination was voted on. Reagan had broke ground by announcing his choice early. But the main motivation and hope was for Ford to name a nominee that would lose him votes and give Reagan the room he needed to steal the nod from Ford. The Ford people called this the “Misery Loves Company” plank in reference to the Schweiker pick. It was defeated 1180 to 1069. Ford then went on to win the nomination by 1187 to 1070. The next night he would pick Kansas Senator and World War II veteran Robert Dole as his Vice Presidential pick. In a magnanimous show of grace, Ford acknowledged Governor Reagan and asked him to speak to the convention. The philosophy here was to have the Reagan magic rub off on him but instead it inspired many GOP Conservatives to hope for a Ford loss and wait for another Reagan four years later…… In Pennsylvania, the statewide delegation which was divided because of the Reagan overture to Dick Schweiker coalesced around the Ford candidacy. Conservatives in the state were more than happy to have Robert Dole as the Vice Presidential pick because he was more in line with their thinking… Luzerne County, Reagan backers like Jim and Christine Phillips of Forty Fort were impressed with the way Reagan handled himself as the loser but said that since Ford could not run again in 1980 due to the 22nd Amendment, they would support Ford but be for Ronald Reagan right out of the gate in 'four years…….in Lackawanna County, Republicans like minority commissioner Sam Cali said he was pleased with the way the convention went and said that the Republican party would heal their wounds rapidly……….and 37 years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was…..”Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee.