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.


At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Ford ad.
I really liked him and thought he did the right thing by pardoning Nixon.

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Williams is a cut and slash Council member who operates with a T-Party mentality and thinks its just great to take local jobs and fill them with not just out of towners but out of staters. He voted to fire the young lady that was the secretary and did a good job and replace her with a woman from Scranton. To me that's BS! I';ll be happoy to see him and the others now serving get off Council and go their merry way.
Mike Giambre, he was one of those who gave us this mess and he is actually p[roud of the mess he was part of. I will never vote for Mike Giambre.
Walter Griffith? Nedver was qualified to be County COntroller and it was only a matter of time before he over stgepped his authority and broke the law. He can watch all he wants but let him fix cars and stay out of government.
Finally, Bruce Simpson, a b reath of fresh air. I met him during his run for COunty COuncil and if anyone can spend 5 minutes speaking with him and not be impressed then they have a major problem. The guy has a grip on what is needed and I look forward to voting for him, again.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:10, It;s too bad that spell check is not available on these sites and I can almost her your frustration. I guess the point is what matters, not proper spelling. This is not a shot, just a comment and like you, I often need a spell check.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Williams is a typical politician talking out of both sides of his mouth. He did not support the 2012 budget but would have if taxes were increased by a greater percentage to offset the use of bond proceeds to pay debt. At the present a vast amount of the 2008 bond proceeds still sit in the bank. Paying interest and principal in a historically low interest rate environment only to have cash in the bank is not sound fiscal management. Lawton (BLIND) leading the Council (BLIND) has not really benefited the County. The tough decisions were made much before Lawton started. We need to shake up the members of Council.

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Bruce J. Simpson said...

The Times Leader failed to print any of my comments regarding bringing jobs back to WB or my full response to the mugging. Regarding the colleges, here was the rest:
I want the area colleges to convert their security forces into police departments. Put the employees through police training, certify them under PA Act governing university police, and work out an agreement with the city where they can also respond to calls within say a two block area when a call goes out for a loud party, disorderly students, etc. This accomplishes two things: It cuts down on calls going to WBPD so they can be free to handle serious calls, and the citizen who is being disturbed can get a police officer to his or her front door. In an emergency where an officer is in trouble, they would be permitted to send a car to wherever in the city the call for help came from. In Maryland, where I was a cop and magistrate, the University of Maryland had police, not security. They had security aides that could walk a female student to her dorm at night, but they had police in cars that patrolled the large campus. Why couldn't we make a division of University Police, that would handle all of our colleges? The costs could than be shared between the colleges. This was one idea that we discussed at length that I had hoped would make it into print. Additionally, when parents send their kids to our colleges they have the right to expect that they will be safe, The mugging the other night by 5 individuals must end. The hoods are lucky they didn't attempt to seriously hurt or kill the student. They must be caught and prosecuted vigorously. We have a duty to these kids.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Bruce J. Simpson said...

Two more important things Dave.
Mike Giamber was one of two previous opponents who tried to "out" me using a political blog, not yours, which failed to work. Eileen Sorokos was the other. She tried to "out" me using the Times Leader. Both failed, but that's the kind of people they are...dirty politics at it's best. This time, these kind of people won't get the change to do it. I outted myself. BTW, did you know it was a gay man who saved Ford's life when Squeaky Fromme tried to shoot him with a .45? Once they found out the he was gay, his heroism faded into the dark recesses of bigotry. No more...

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Williams independent! I guess if you have a brother in law named Terry Casey that is about as independent as you can get. He is just as bad as Kelleher and Haas when it comes to standing on your principles.

Is Bruce Simpson alter egoes with that Professor who posts on here?

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it not suprise me in the least that Bruce Simpson is trashing Sorokas and Giamber on here

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few things:
1. Mike Giamber is a stand up guy who has attended every meeting and is building a new Luzerne County.
2. All is right wit the world because Matt Cartwright's story is back in his usual Thursday slot.
3. I love your historical perspectives and your readers picked a great year.
4. Rick Williams getting some heat, so he can't be all bad.

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Bruce J. Simpson said...

Trashing? I'm just telling the facts as they are. Plenty of witnesses to these two bozos and their attempted trip down the gutter to try an derail a campaign that they were afraid would derail them. In fact Giamber took far less votes than I did, and Sorokos just missed by a hair. Can't handle the truth? Too bad. Who do you think you're fooling?

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what Bruce says is true, than that isn't the kind of politics this area needs. It's the kind that has put us into the position we're in now. I fully intend to support Simpson for Mayor because I know he can do the job. Politics is a blood sport in the loosern county.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giamber is the ONLY man who has a plan for Luzerne and he just might get us out of the mess we are in. Eileen Sorokas has been to every meeting, she has charts and she takes notes! Its a shame she lost to bigmouth Gene.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:47 AM...I agree. Giamber has more than twenty years experience in the federal government. Plus he can bring a perspective that few can. I think it is a shame that people who come home to the area to make things better get vilified. I'm definately voting for him.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down, I think Sue Henry and Brian Hughes do a fine job with their shows. Wish I could get
ectv to see david decosmo.


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