Thursday, October 31, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2549, October 31st, 2013

When Tip O’Neill was a young politician running for office in Boston, a lady in his neighborhood he knew all his life voted for his opponent. Stunned, he asked the woman how she could do that given the long relationship their families had. The woman said simply, “You never asked”.
Well current Council member Ed Brominski is asking and here’s his recent missive:
Dear Friends:
Probably for the last time I am going to ask you for your support for a few candidates for County Office.
I am somewhat remiss to do so as I have failed to meet some of your expectations of me over the last 22 months. I have not fulfilled my obligations to the electorate, in my eyes, because of a lack of cooperation by the rest of council to address our needs. Certainly, in my mind, I have tried to address pressing issues facing us like, economic growth, debt payment and checks and balances of the actions of both the executive and legislative branches of our government. It is a difficult chore when you are in the minority.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, you have a chance to help me realize success for your desires and concerns. I respectfully ask you to support for the election of the following candidates , who I am certain will be a more progressive than the reactionary incumbents they seek to depose.
The Candidates are:
Mike Giamber, Renee Taffera, Eileen Sorokas and Kick Heffron.
With you endorsement of these candidates, this floundering ship of County can be up righted and we can progress.
Sincerely, as always.....

County Councilman Jim Bobeck. (Photo: Citizen's Voice).


On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, I make a simply plea: Please, go entire government is based off informed citizens voting to shape their government and electing quality people. Everything is based on voting, and the reflection of your government (whether state, county, federal) is based upon the votes of its people.
The plug: Vote straight conscience! Some people want you to vote straight R or Straight D, or just vote for a clever ticket name. Instead, vote straight conscience. Vote on people as individuals. On the county Council level, there has been great effort over the past two years to turn the ship around. County government is like an aircraft carrier. It takes great effort and time to turn it, but once it does, it moves swift, straight, and true.
Four Council members, despite struggles at times, want to continue service: Haa, Kelleher, Houck, and Williams. Prior to council, they were never elected to anything, and their motives are but only for the betterment of the County, We may not always agree with the choices of elected officials, but when examining the big picture, they have provided leadership by not cowering to special interests and voting for things that are best in the "long term" for the County. Furthermore, for any ills faced by the Council, they will not sit there and point fingers at others, which is a terribly unfortunate thing for anyone to do. Instead, they dust themselves off and look forward to the next battle and finds ways to bridge the gaps with other members.
Resolution, Compromise, and Optimism are the components of any solid foundation, and Haas, Houck, Keller, and Williams will continue to build that new foundation with these ingredients.
On the fifth council spot, I have gotten to know many excellent candidates for this position, and regardless of the results on Tuesday, the council will have a new make-up. Whoever it is, I look forward to continuing a spirit of cooperation of them. Thank you for your time, and best wishes to the County going forward.
Jim Bobeck, Esq.

State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo:  LuLac archives). 


State Representative Kevin Haggerty has weighed in on Health Care in the State. Here’s what he had to say about working families and their battle to stay healthy and afloat.
As a state lawmaker I find myself continually disheartened by the inequity among Pennsylvania families’ hard choices when it comes to health care, particularly at a time when there is so much doubt and turmoil in the market for benefits.
Yes, I am blessed with a family health benefit package for which I pay 1 percent of my salary, as are my 252 colleagues in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Meanwhile, providers are charging families no different than ours thousands of dollars a month for plans that pale in comparison.
And yes, we lawmakers are working hard to expand Medicaid to needy families and free up dollars for an expanded Pennsylvania marketplace to complement the federal Affordable Care Act.
But we can do more, and I pledge to do so by introducing a bill that calls for an increase in the premiums lawmakers pay for our health care. I’m compelled to do so, not only because it could generate savings in the middle-class health care markets, but because it’s the right thing to do for those of us who earn a living from tax dollars.
I will be seeking co-sponsorship from my colleagues in the near future. Please make sure your legislators are aware of this needed reform.

2013 WYOMING VALLEY PARADE COMMITTEE Karel Zubris, PR Chair, John Emil Sr., Mike Collins, LCDR Susan Allen (ret) US NAVY,US NAVY Albert Seeman, Art Stahl,CAPT Bob Ambrose, (ret) US NAVY, Charles Coleman, SSG Christopher Keen. 


The 68th Annual Wyoming Valley Veteran's Day Parade will take place on November 10th, 2013 in Kingston, PA. The parade with step off approximately at 2 p.m. which which will feature all branches of the military, host of floats, schools, and organizations. This is the largest Veteran's parade in NEPA and we invite all to participate in this event. For more information regarding the parade please contact the Kingston Armory, 109 Field Artillery at 570 288-6641. This year's parade theme is Saluting Our Veteran's and their Families.
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright introduced the bipartisan Save Access to a Valuable Investment Needed to Generate Savings (SAVINGS) Act with the support of 25 colleagues. The SAVINGS Act would prohibit Treasury from discontinuing the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program for five years unless the Department implements a universally accessible non-electronic alternative.
At present, the only means of purchasing paper bonds is through the U.S. Treasury’s Tax-Time Savings Bond Program which allows individuals to use a portion of their federal tax refund to purchase savings bonds. Treasury has committed to maintaining the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program through the 2014 tax season only.
“Savings bonds represent a powerful and patriotic savings vehicle for millions of American families,” said Cartwright. “Treasury’s decision would severely restrict access to savings bonds for many low-income families. Every family deserves access to an affordable savings vehicle and an opportunity to attain financial security.”
The termination of the Tax-Time Savings Bond Program would restrict the purchase of savings bonds to online purchase only, which would cut off savings bond access to the approximately 20 percent of Americans who lack internet access, and the more than 10 million Americans who do not have a bank account.
"We're delighted that Congress, through Congressman Cartwright's leadership, shares the Administration’s goal to help millions of Americans save money at tax time,” said Tim Flacke, Executive Director of the D2D Fund.



ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will devote their program tothe status and needs of area veterans during the week of November 4th. ECTVLive is broadcast of Comcast Ch19 and can be seen each day at Noon andMidnight. The public affairs program has aired more than 185 weekly shows sinceits debut on the area's Public Access station, Electric City Television.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at 7 pm on WILK FM 103.1


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


LuLac will be on PA Live tomorrow afternoon talking about the upcoming election on Tuesday. PA Live is hosted by Dave Kuharchik and Brittany Sweeney.

Brian Hughes (left) with your blog editor. Next time I'll wear my Packer shirt!!! (Photo: Gort 42)


LuLac will be on Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes this Sunday talking about the big races on Election Day.
This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with political blogger David Yonki of the LuLac Political Letter about the top local races ahead of Tuesday's election.
Brian speaks with Jessica Engle from Home Instead Senior Care about their "Be a Santa to a Senior" community service project.
And Brian speaks with Dr. Annabelle Volgman from Rush University about the "facts and fibs" about atrial fibrulation.
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.


On Election Night, LuLac will be joining WYLN TV 35's Don Pachance, Hazleton Councilwoman Jean Mope and Storm Politics Tiffany Cloud for in depth coverage on the Hazleton outlet. The station can be seen on Service Electric Channel 7.


LuLac will be on the Webster and Nancy program on WILK Election Day morning from 7am to 8am. Our main topic will be the key races on Election Day.


Hear that catchy ad for Scranton Mayoral candidate Bill Courtright against Jim Mulligan? It is funny and brilliant. You have to hear it. Harper is one of the best political ad men in the county!
Our 1976 logo. 


Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Gerald Ford, becoming the first candidate from the Deep South to win since the Civil War. In a close Electoral College Election Carter bests Ford by a narrow margin. Carter had 297 votes to Ford's 240 and won the election by about three percentage points......Many felt that Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon was the deciding factor. I always felt that had Ford not bowed to the Conservative wing of the Republican party and kept Bob Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President, he could have carried New York.....

in Pennsylvania John Heinz romped over Bill Wilkes Barre and Scranton,  the 11th Dan Flood and his 10th district counterpart Joe McDade went on to huge victories returning to Congress.....and thirty seven years ago the number one song in LuLac land was "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2548, October 30th, 2013


Eileen Sorokas speaks as Gene Kelleher, Harry Haas and Kathy Dobash listen. 
Harry Haas addresses the crowd at the Conference Center. Taffera, Heffron, Sorokus and Dobash are pictured.
Richard Heffron speaks as moderator Christine McLaughlin, Controller candidates Carolee Medico Olenginski, Michelle Bednar and others listen.
All photos by Mrs. LuLac


The candidates for Luzerne County Controller as well as the 11 people vying for Luzerne County Council met at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters at Luzerne County Community College Attorney Christine McLaughlin moderated the gathering and the event ran on time.
Candidates were asked to say a few words about themselves but couldn’t help themselves from launching into their platform. It always astounds me that people who run for office sometimes have a difficult time talking about themselves. But all handled that task adequately.

The challengers in the County Council race, Mike Giamber, Renee Ciarfolli Taffera, Richard Heffron, Eileen Sorokas, Linda Rossi Paul DeFabo and Kathy Dobash went on the offensive citing the failings of the fledgling form of government. The incumbents, Harry Haas, Rick Williams, Gene Kelleher and Linda McCloskey Hauck admitted that there were problems but that there was more problems facing the county then the budget. Harry Haas gave an impassioned plea saying that the County Council has taken incremental steps in getting the County out of the mess. Williams cited the cultural and social divides that enabled corruption to happen. McCloskey Hauck and Kelleher spoke of the debt as just one of the components a Council member had to deal with. Kelleher said that an entertainment assessment should be implemented throughout the county and that the money made from that would be dedicated to paying down the debt.
Giamber talked about a CEO who ran a company into the ground and how the board moved to make a change in order to have that company be more productive. Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera, said that any government, new or old had to be held accountable. Richard Heffron added that there had to be ways to gain more revenues that will pay down the debt. Heffron said that Luzerne County is the only county without a credit rating throughout the entire state. Paul DeFabo said that there should be no new taxes on an already over aged and overburdened population. Linda Rossi made some great points saying that with KOZ Zone giveaways and tax exceptions for businesses that contribute nothing to the county have driven our young people out of town. She said that other areas have benefited from our hard work throughout the years. Eileen Sorokas made the point that savings could be made through employee attrition and that it would be unfair to place a burden on taxpayers who were already paying more than their fair share. Kathy Dobash came out swinging against the current Council taking Gene Kelleher to task for voting to raise taxes and charging former Council Chair Jim Bobeck with intimidation of her at meetings. Dobash did speak to the issue of the debt.
In the Controller’s race, both Carolee Medico Olenginski and Michelle Bednar spoke. Medico Olenginski led off and stated the obvious: you know me. She spoke of her experience as well as the years fighting corruption bringing up the long forgotten Little Red Wagon debacle she exposed. Michelle Bednar touted her experience in the financial industry and said that she would be vigilant regarding taxpayer dollars.
But the big issue was the debt. And how this county is so far in the hole that there doesn’t seem to be a way out.
Prior to the meeting, I had a chat with former Commissioner Ed Brominski about how much money the county gives away in tax forgiveness. Republican Council member Gene Kelleher and I reminisced about the old Crossin and Wideman team of the 60s.
And as I sat in the beautiful Conference Center at the sprawling campus at LCCC, I realized the main frustration with the debt is this: WE HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!
We don’t have a regionalized County Police force to get rid of ten dollar an hour cops working twice a week in a tiny borough.
We don’t have a state of the art library system that is the envy of the state.
We don’t have an economic development team that goes out and gets jobs but rather gives county welfare to fat cat businessmen who toss us a few flat screens for 5 million buck.
We spent all this money and we got squat. That’s the frustration and that more than anything else will be the main reason why people vote.
All of the candidates did talk about the county employees in relatiion to the debt but no one addressed this issue. If the County workers are underpaid and overworked, maybe the reason why there are overworked is because they don’t put in a 40 hour week like the rest of us. You’d be surprised at how much less overworked you’d be if you put in a few more hours.
Other than that minor criticism, everyone did well. Now it is up to the individual candidates and their organizations to get the vote out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2547, October 29th, 2013


So the media now has jumped on the bandwagon saying that individual insurance coverage will be cancelled under Obama Care. The reason is because the individual policies did not fit the mandate of the health care bill.
Of course everyone has blown this out of proportion by saying that everyone’s health care will be jettisoned.
This is for Individual Plans. That is a person paying for their own insurance. When I was at BCNEPA 5 years ago, an Individual Policy cost nearly $600.00. a month with deductibles for Hospital, Doctors and Drugs. Plus, if you had a pre existing condition, you had a one year waiting period to get covered for that disease.
The Affordable Health Care Act, with its new stance on pre existing conditions makes that a moot question. If you get insurance now, you are covered under the act with pre existing conditions making your old policy not eligible under the Affordable Health Care Act. What the hell is wrong with that?
Furthermore, more than 270 million Americans who are covered by Company or group policies will keep their health care. Those people on individual plans who are losing their insurance will get a better deal.
People have been screaming about deductibles. Under individual and group plans, deductibles vary. Under my health care plan, which is the best offered by my company, I have a $2,000 hospital deductible. One man I was on the same floor with at Geisinger in Danville in March had a $20,000 deductible. That wasn’t because of Obama Care, it was the policy that was chosen and set by the insurer.
Health care is not free. And for people to wring their hands and say under Obama care deductibles will have to be paid, well guess what, we’re paying them now.
Did the President simplify things? Maybe.
But did he lie? No. Because this  only deals with individual plans. And if people really looked and investigated, they’d see that under the new Health care Act, they would benefit more. Who wants to keep a health care plan that doesn’t allow for pre existing conditions or one that makes you wait a year? C’mon guys, quit believing the hysteria.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2546, October 28th, 2013


This photo was taken this afternoon at Plains Solomon School. Is this improper solicitation (albeit passive) on District property by a candidate formerly employed by the district trying to be  a School Board member?  This just looks sooooooooooooooo wrong.
I don't know about you but I like this sign a lot better!

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


Cartwright Announces Three Affordable Care Act Informational Town Hall Meetings
Today, Congressman Matt Cartwright announced that he will be hosting three Affordable Care Act informational town hall meetings across the 17th Congressional district.
The town halls will be held in Pottsville, Wilkes-Barre Township and Wilson Borough.
“I look forward to hearing from and helping to inform the people I am privileged to represent and to answer their questions on this important topic,” said Rep. Cartwright. “I believe in being open, accessible and accountable to our constituents.”
Joining Rep. Cartwright at all three town halls will be the State President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the AARP, Jim Palmquist. Additionally Athena Ford, Advocacy Director for the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, will be joining Cartwright at both the Pottsville and Wilson town halls.
Friday, November 1, 2013:
Pottsville Town Hall
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sovereign Majestic Theater
209 North Centre Street
Pottsville, PA 17901

Wednesday, November 6, 2013:
Wilkes-Barre Twp. Town Hall
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wilkes-Barre Twp. Municipal Building
150 Watson Street
Wilkes-Barre Twp., PA 18702

Monday, November 25, 2013:
Wilson Borough Town Hall
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Wilson Community Center
2100 Liberty Street
Easton, PA 18042

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2545, October 27th, 2013

County Council member and former Luzerne County Commissioner Ed Brominski. (Photo: Times Leader).


Current County Council member Ed Brominski sent a note along. The former County Commissioner, now Council member has taken an interest in this year’s County Council race. He sent along his thoughts to the local newspapers as well as the bloggers. Here are his thoughts:
The following are examples of how TRANSPARENT three of the four incumbents running for County Council really are.
One incumbent said at a meeting of elected officials and some of the public “WE are not going to let the Charter get in our way”!! He has proved it by serving on a board which allows pay increases to employees of the county without Council approval as required by the Charter. He proclaims business knowledge yet has not made one suggestion as to how we are to solve the $430,000,000 crisis we are in.
A second incumbent read the Bible at a public meeting, yet he fabricates numbers to be saved by eliminating the tax collectors, at a political rally, without substantial information. The only purpose was to secure votes for re-election. Further he committed to vote for a person applying to a County Authority solely to gain votes for his re-election from a segment of his party.
The third incumbent solicited an applicant for a county appointed board (who he nominated and voted for) and also solicited the same person to apply for the Deputy Director’s Position in the Elections Bureau. All this was done to curry minority votes.
These are issues that the public does not know of, but are examples of the LACK of TRANSPARENCY by these incumbents seeking re-election in November.
These same candidates voted for the 2012 2% tax increase, voted for pay raises and now we are further in the hole with our budget. They have all indicated they support the 8% tax increase proposed by the manager. None have ever offered a way to solve our budgetary problems nor objected to the reckless spending by the manager.
These three also voted down a division head in order to hire another, less qualified person, at a higher salary. Make them accountable to you now, do not re-elect them.
I ask you to, research, vote and be very selective in your choices, and when you choose, select Mike Giamber, Eileen Sorokas , Renee Taffera and Rich “Kick” Heffron for Luzerne County Council.

Yours in Honest Government, I am…

Edward A. Brominski, Luzerne County Council Member

Independent Luzerne County Council member Rick Williams. (Photo: Times Leader).


Independent candidate Rick Williams is holding a Get out the Vote Party. On Wednesday, October 30th, from 5 to 7pm there will be a gathering at the Riverside Café, 187 Old River Road, Wilkes-Barre. It’s an opportunity to pick up materials for those who will be working at the polls on November 5th and to enjoy some refreshment. Williams throws a good event, so plan to stop by.


Jim Mulligan's minions have been firing up the e mail machines giving people their take on the recent Mayoral Debate between their guy and Democrat Bill Courtwright. Here's what they had to offer:
During Tuesday night's Scranton mayoral debate, Jim Mulligan confronted Bill Courtright on why he did nothing to stop an employee in his Single Tax Office from stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars and from collecting unemployment on the backs of taxpayers.
"A call from a bank helped tip off the Scranton Single Tax Office that one of their employees dipped her hands into the taxpayers' cash register unnoticed, according to arrest papers. Michelle Finnerty, a former Scranton Single Tax Office employee, allegedly took a $2,357.87 cash payment from an unidentified taxpayer for property taxes in February 2011, deposited only $506.92, and pocketed the rest - $1,850.95, according to arrest papers filed by chief of detectives for the Lackawanna County district attorney's office Joseph Jordan." (SOURCE: "Scranton Single Tax Office Employee Charged With Dipping Into Taxpayer Cash Drawer," The Scranton Times-Tribune, August 7, 2012)
"A woman charged with stealing tax payments from the Scranton Single Tax Office was allowed to collect unemployment benefits for six months after the theft's discovery and four months after she was charged. (SOURCE: "Thieving Tax Employee Collected City Unemployment, The Scranton Times-Tribune, October 13, 2013)
In response, Mr. Courtright simply said: "I don't know what else we could have done." (SOURCE: "Barbs fly as Scranton mayoral candidates debate at the U," The Scranton Times-Tribune, October 23, 2013)
Sadly, there were a few very obvious steps Mr. Courtright could have taken to manage his office such as... Fire the employee for cause!
"Ms. Finnerty officially left her job as a cashier as of May 31, 2012, as part of a previously scheduled layoff of seven employees in the tax office." (SOURCE: "Thieving Tax Employee Collected City Unemployment, The Scranton Times-Tribune, October 13, 2013)
And because Courtright did not fire her, she is now NEXT IN LINE to get her job back!
"According to a union representative, Finnerty remains on active call-back list for the Single Tax Office, and is in first call-back position should the need arise." (SOURCE: 'Courtright aids dismissed employee in collecting unemployment," Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Independent Gazette, October 22, 2013)
Scranton cannot afford to elect Bill Courtright, because with the city underwater, Courtright is in over his head!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2544, October 26th, 2013


In a LuLac photo exclusive, here's a picture of the Democratic ticket taken in Avoca the other night. From left, Eileen Sorokas, Richard "Kick" Heffron, candidates for Council, Michelle Bednar, candidate for Luzerne County Controller,  Linda McClosky Hauck, Mike Giamber and Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera Council candidates.
Democratic party slate card all set for upcoming election. 

After a shaky start out of the gate, it appears the Democrats in Luzerne County are united and loaded for bear in the upcoming election. The Democratic candidates have been running individual and collective campaigns. The Accountability team of Giamber, Heffron, Ciaruffoli Taffera were joined by Eileen Sorokas.  Sorokas who nearly made the cut on Council the last time has been busy running from community to community in her efforts. While Democrat incumbent Linda Houck has been running on her own and might have opposition just by being an incumbent, a Democrat is a Democrat in some minds here in LuLac land.
At the start of the campaign, the Council candidates seemed to have been ignored by the party. As a matter fact, the party made no formal endorsement but the group soldiered on and there are those who say they are in striking distance of a victory. Make no mistake, any election is not a sure thing but it is comforting to have a cohesive  group going into an election. It’s not make or break but it’s like chicken soup when  you are battling a cold, it sure can’t hurt!


Our 1963 logo. 

The tenth month of 1963 saw the 1000th day of John F. Kennedy’s Presidency. It was also the one year anniversary of the Cuban Missle Crisis that nearly saw world wide destruction. Here are other events that happened 50 years ago this month:
The President's Commission on the Status of Women issues its final reports to President Kennedy...... Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax sets a World Series record by striking out 15 New York Yankees in a 5-2 victory in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers sweep the series in four straight, with Koufax defeating the Yankees 2-1 in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium.

1963 Honduran coup d'état: A violent coup in Honduras pre-empts the October 13 election, ends a period of reform under President Ramón Villeda Morales and begins two decades of military rule under General Oswaldo López Arellano.
Hurricane Flora, one of the worst Atlantic storms in history, hits Hispaniola and Cuba killing nearly 7,000 people.....Sam Cooke and his band are arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Louisiana. In the months following, he records the song "A Change Is Gonna Come".

In northeast Italy, over 2,000 people are killed when a large landslide behind the Vajont Dam causes a giant wave of water to overtop it......The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, signed on August 5, takes effect.....The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, opens in the UK.......A revolution starts in Radfan, South Yemen, against British colonial rule.
Alec Douglas-Home succeeds Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Demolition of the 1910 Pennsylvania Station begins in New York City, continuing until 1966...and the number one song in America and LuLac land 50 years ago this week was"I Can't Stay Mad At You" by Skeeter Davis.

1963 source: LuLac archives and Wikipedia.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2544, October 24th, 2013


State Senator John Yudichak. (Photo: LuLac archives). 

Luzerne County Democrats are wondering what is going on with State Senator John Yudichak. In 2010, Yudichak vanquished both Wilkes barre Mayor Tom Leighton in the primary and County Commissioner Steve Urban in the General. Once elected Yudichak hit the ground running to get his district noticed in Harrisburg. Like his predecessor Ray Musto, Yudichalk put together a local staff organization that was constituent friendly and on spot with whatever a voter needed regardless of party affiliation.
However, Yudichak seems to be expanding his horizons and recent things I am hearing tells me he wants to channel a little Martin L. Murray in his repertoire.  Murray as you recall was the former shoe salesman who rose to be President Pro Tempore  of the Pennsylvania State Senate and ruled the Democratic party with an iron fist.
For starters Yudichak has made sure that every Democrat running for Governor (excluding me, you and the guy behind the deli at Price Chopper in Dunmore) knows where Luzerne County is. One of them is bound to be the nominee and maybe one might be Governor. Being on a first name basis with the head man/woman on top helps one’s career and district.
The Yudichak reach has permeated the recent County election with the Senator lobbying heavily for Michelle Bednar for Controller. By his enthusiastic support, the County Council race appears to have taken a back seat. The Democratic candidates were not even endorsed by the party but by the District Chairman. So far every district has had a meet and greet for the council candidates except on Casey Evans’ turf. The Democrats are running but certainly not as a united team. Having two events on the same night would never have happened under the Murray regime.
Now the latest rumor is that Yudichak is encouraging former Ashley Mayor John Joblonski, (at one time a rising young star in the Democratic party) to run against State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. But Joblonski  is now  a Republican serving on Wilkes Barre Township Council. He became a Republican to serve on that body. Now if I’m the Wilkes Barre Township GOP, I want him to run as a Republican but Joblosnki wants to run as a Democrat to primary Pashinski. One wonders why a neighboring Senator would want to encourage someone to run against a tenured Representative? Yudichak handily trounced Mayor Leighton in the primary in 2010 so one might ask what’s the beef with Eddie and the District?
As the County Council candidates scramble for votes,  Michele Bednar has more miles on her car than an Ice Road trucker and one wonders if the Election Bureau will ever gets its act together, with all this happening, the one question I keep hearing at every event, political and non political I attend is, “What’s going on with John?”

Former Mayor candidate Liz Randol. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


At one point, Luz Randol was the hottest political commodity in LuLac land. She nearly won a nomination for County Commissioner and made a decent if not inept run for Mayor of Scranton. Amazingly, she landed on her feet with a pretty decent job. (Not many candidates who challenge the establishment get that sweet a deal).
Yet Randol seems to have a serious flaw in terms of managing her life. Randoll was charged with a DIU the other night when a Scranton Police officer found her asleep at the wheel or passed out. But when the policeman knocked on the window, her car rolled backwards into the municipal vehicle that stopped her.
Randol eschewed a breathing test and the story hit the news. Can her political standing recover from this? Maybe,  but the larger question is can Randol get her life in recovery and then worry about the politics? Her backtracking in the Spring primary and on a Scranton street the other night gives new meaning to the words “Rolling with Randol”.


The Luzerne County Council has been taking heat recently for some moves. And they are being called to answer for them. The appointment of Jim Haddock as a Manager even though he had no qualifications for the job smacks of old time politics. The job is civil/criminal records overseer but County Judicial Services and Records Division Head Joan Hoggarth (she of the $35,000 raise) says his banking experience makes him qualified. I used to date a lot of nurses so I guess that makes me qualified to be a Hospital Administrator if you use her logic.
Then Tuesday night the County got into dutch with Wilkes Barre City Controller Kathy Kane who went to the board and railed against them for not reappointing her to the Arena Board. While I think Alex Milanes will be a fine addition to the board and bring in a newer set of eyes, I have to give Mrs. Kane credit for going to Council. How many of us who never got a job or an appointment where we truly believe we were the best choice just skulked away and let it go when all the time we wanted to confront the people who gave us the thumbs down and say “WTF??????” Tuesday night was Kathy Kane’s “WTF” moment and you have to love that.
All of this controversy cannot help any incumbent Council member running for reelection. A former County employee who really was let go unjustly referenced the Haddock hiring as well as the Red O’Brien hiring in the Pittston Area and said, “I guess if I need a job from the Council I have to open up a bar in Avoca!”



ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be looking towards winter on their show the week of October 28th. James May of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be on hand to discuss plans for the winter driving season, including an alliance PennDot has set up with the Army National Guard. SFB Patrick Scarfo will on the program as well to discuss the Guard's involvement. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 throughout the week at Noon and Midnight.


This Week on Sunday Magazine ...Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with James May & Mike Taluto from PENNDOT about Teen Driver Safety Week.Brian Hughes speaks with Todd Katz from MetLife about Fall Open Enrollment Season.This Week In Harrisburg features 2 Dunmore policemen being honored by the State Senate, legislation to offer reduced hunting and fishing license fees for disabled Pa. veterans, and legislation in the State House to create a "Corrections Officers Bill of Rights". And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Gabrielle Silver who discusses diagnosis delays.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.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at 7 pm on WILK FM 103.1

WBRE's Andrew Forgotch. (Photo: Twitter).


WBRE TV’s newest reporter is Andrew Forgotch. Forgotch has worked in local news before and is handling stories on the ground in the WBRE TV coverage area. Welcome to the region Mr. Forgotch. Looking forward to your Tweets!


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Our 1976 logo. 


Clarence Norris, the last known survivor of the Scottsboro Boys, is pardoned…….in the final days of the 1976 election, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter criss cross the country in their quest for the Presidency…….state wide, John Heinz and Bill Green go head to head but Heinz is outspending Green by five to one……in Luzerne County final campaign events by both parties heat things up as Carter and Ford partisans battle it out…..and thirty seven years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was a remake by Dusty Springfield by the Bay City Rollers, “I Only Want to be With You". 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2543, October 23rd, 2013

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.



 First off, there is something truly wrong about a 32 year old grandmother. That's only the subheading of the sordid story of the little two year old boy killed in Wilkes Barre. This poor kid never, ever had a chance with the monsters he was living with. Like chattel, he had no say. And like his young life, death was not kind.
Fellow blogger Betty Roccograndi has a great piece of this last week in her site Pure Bunkum. All these people cared about was hiring a lawyer, paid for by me and you to save their sorry, violent asses. Here's her take on this tragedy all too common in this progressive society we supposedly live in.
House of Horror
The three adults who live in a house where a 2-month-old baby was murdered have already lined up their public defenders.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most appalling and disturbing crimes brought to our attention.
We don’t know yet who this poor, poor baby belonged to, but he would have been better off aborted. And I say this as, for the most part, a pro-life woman.
Little Antonio Evans apparently suffered terribly at the hands of or gross neglect by one or more monsters. The local papers reported he was discovered unconscious and unresponsive on a table at 351 N. Washington St., in Wilkes-Barre, with ”raccoon eyes” and bruising under the left eye worse than on the right. He also had an injury to his upper lip and a deep bruise that covered his tiny buttocks.
This story was hard to read.
Three people live in that house. One has the same last name as the murdered baby, and that is Lamika Evans. Luzerne County Public Defender William Ruzzo is representing her. The two others are Tamika Johnson, 33, and her new husband, William Johnson, 49.
The Citizens’ Voice identified Tamika Johnson as the murdered infant’s grandmother and the mother of Lamika Evans.
Tamika was charged four years ago with hurting a 3-year-old boy she was babysitting by shoving him into a table when he urinated on a floor, The Times Leader reported. The CV said he was 2 and suffered bleeding to his brain and a broken rib after she pushed him to the ground. Mrs. Johnson apparently had zero tolerance for toddlers who had accidents. She initially lied to the police, saying he fell off a tricycle, according to the TL’s account. She served her time in jail.
As of Wednesday night, neither of the three who occupied the house where this badly bruised two-month-old was found were charged.
But someone placed a call at around 8:15 a.m. on Sunday to report that an infant, turning blue, was not breathing. Who made the call is still unknown.
Who’s responsible for this despicable crime is also still unknown. Hopefully, a newborn cannot experience terror. Hopefully, he died quickly and was unaware of the identity of his tormentor(s).
The Times Leader reported that a search warrant stated that family members were present at the scene, which became chaotic and potentially dangerous. Dangerous to whom aside from the baby? Hopefully, not the paramedics who came to rescue the child.
The CV, which had a lot more information than The Times Leader, reported that on Sunday morning, neighbors said they saw two women hysterically banging on the ambulance where medics were treating the boy.
The paper also spoke to a neighbor who said Children and Youth Services on Monday removed other children who were living in the house.
The Johnsons and Lamika Evans have petitioned the court for separate, court-appointed counsel, saying the Johnsons’ interest may conflict with Evans’, according to the CV.
It’s nice, isn’t it, that these three wasted no time lining up their public defenders to protect their behinds while offering no explanation for this baby’s injuries and subsequent death?
Let’s hope that the authorities lock them in a room and demand to know what they know.
How do you not have an explanation for a newborn found blue and unconscious with raccoon eyes and a bruised upper lip?
Yet these three whatevers had the wherewithal to contact the public defender’s office.
Betty Roccograndi


Wilkes Barre Area School Board candidate Kathy Grinaway. (Photo: LuLac archives).


Kathy Grinaway, candidate for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board will be Sue Henry's guest on WILK Radio Wednesday morning at 10:07AM. Grinaway will talk about her goals if elected this November to the Wilkes Barre Area School Board. Since you do such fine work covering the School Board, thought you might want a heads up on this. Hope you're well.
David Yonki

Monday, October 21, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2542, October 21st, 2013



The Wilkes Barre NAACP met with candidates for the Wilkes Bare Area School Board on Saturday. From all accounts Christine Katsock and Kathy Grinaway knocked it out of the park. Any rumors of a split between the two have to be put to rest. Both were seen engaged in conversation and banter. Katsock answered the questions fielded to her with the expertise of a someone on the board who has been paying attention.
Joe Caffrey who won a double nomination along with Katsock and Denise Thomas made no bones about the fact that he was an educator and stated educators bring an expertise in education to the board.
Denise Thomas and challenger Ned Evans spoke about security issues and said that the installation of better security would keep students safe. I can see their point but one must remember that there was security at Sandy Hook and those children did die. What bothers me about these two and their security issue is that I wonder if Hawkeye Security will be in the mix if they get their way. That would bother taxpayers too.
On the board’s hiring policy, Evans said he want to be more hands on personally to see what applicants can bring to the table. Again, I’m scratching my head over this. If my neighbor from across the street is applying for a job, as a School Board member do I really want to be that hands on?
Political insiders and parents that were on hand were impressed with Grinaway who said that minority students in the district needed role models that they could communicate with. Ron Felton, the organization’s President said that two candidates of color applied in Wilkes Barre but were rebuffed. They are now teaching in Bethlehem. Grinaway said the hiring policy has to be more inclusive to reflect the needs of the students. She also referenced the need for smarter spending so that the Wilkes Barre Area Taxpayers would see value for their investment.


Michele Bednar, candidate for County Controller had to fundraisers this weekend. Saturday was the one for the big shots at Isabella's for $50.00 bucks a pop and Sunday there was a Meet and Greet at The Red Mill for $8.00. I really wanted to attend this one because at Blogfest, I fell in love with the Red Mill, especially the deck! And my fellow blogger Gort 42 was there too. Bednar is racing around the County to get her name out there. These events helped.


Eileen Sorokas had a fine event on Sunday afternoon at Januzzi’s in Mountaintop. The event was well attended by County Council candidates of both parties. Rich Heffron, Mike Giamber, and Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera were on hand. I had a very long talk with Taffera who said running for office has been a very rewarding experience. She said that not many people realize the grind and commitment it takes to run and serve. She expressed kudos to those who came before her in politics. Eileen Sorokas was resplendent in orange and was beaming as her brother Bob Pepich brought in the Mountaintop crowd to lend support. GOP candidates Kathy Dobash and Linda Rossi made the scene. Dobash was coming from work and Rossi made the rounds. Council member Ed Brominski worked the room and as I sat with some attendees, one marveled and said, “Look, he goes to every table, every person, look he’s even talking to the waitress who most likely can’t even vote yet. He talks to everyone and then after that, he gets something to eat. Now that’s pro” the man said. Someone from the next table piped up and said, “No, that’s Bromo”. 

Congressman Matt Cartwright stopped by to meet and greet the crowd. The Congressman said he was glad to be home after being held hostage in Washington. Cartwright's entrance capped off a very successful rally. 
Here Sorokas greeted the crowd and outlined her reasons for running for County Council. 
Om the way in, I chatted with candidates Sorokas and Heffron and County Councilman Edd Brominski. 
Shortly before Congressman Cartwrighhty arrived, Mike Giamber, Richard "Kick" Heffron, Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera, Eileen Sorokas and I posed for a photo. 
GOP candidates Kathy Dobash and Linda Rossi shared a moment on the campaign trail. Both are working as many events in the County as they could. 
 This photo was not taken at any political event yesterday but at Dunkin' Donuts near the Woodlands. I met up with my old friend Jim O'Meara and when I walked in, I saw my old friend from Star Fitness Jim Alu. When I could walk, and when I worked at Rock 107, every morning I'd work out over at Star Fitness. Jim was an instructor over there and helped me immensely. I do miss working out and his friendship. But life and illness got in the way.


Tonight there was a event at Keeley’s Ale House in Kingston. The event was well attended and Council candidates Heffron, Ciaruffoli Taffera, Giamber and Sorokas were on hand. Wilkes Barre City Controller Kathy Kane was on hand as well as other politicos I’m hard pressed to name. But as always, Edd Brominski was at the scene. The event was held at the old Pileggi’s on Division Street and the pasta sauce brought back memories for many of the signature dish served there, Rigatoni and Meatballs. The candidates took off for an event forum later on in the night.
Two Wilkes Barre political trailblazers and icons. Eileen Sorokas with Wilkes Barre City Controller Kathy Kane. 
With Eileen Sorokas, Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera and her good friend Diane from Laflin Borough Crime Watch.
It was a reunion of the boys from the demolished St. John the Baptist Church and Slovak School. From left to right, Joe Sciandra, me and County Council candidate Mike Giamber. Joe and I remembered the name of all of the nuns. There might be a reason for that!


If you are heading up Route 309, you’ll see Carolee Medico Olenginski on a huge rotating digital billboard. It makes the point.


Independent candidate Rick Williams and GOP member Paul DeFabo are putting their ads up on TV. Both are sensational and are very professional.


The media mainstay of many a political campaign now has a Kathy Grinaway for School Director ad up. Grinaway, a Democrat nabbed the GOP nomination in the spring primary and is facing off with former district employee Ned Evans.The ad can be seen on Service Electric Channel 19. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2541, October 20th, 2013



Nominations for our year end “Women We Love: feature are now being accepted. Contact me by Facebook, Twitter or at Or if you want to post it publicly, send it to the LuLac comments section. We generally pick between 12 to 15 candidates. We need at least 5 e mails on a person for a discussion to start.


A note on comments. We will moderate them as we see fit. I will of course edit and I’m sure that will not thrill many people. But it is what it is.


We are also taking e mails for what year you would like us to highlight. This has been one of the most overwhelmingly popular but labor intensive segments  of LuLac. We’ll winnow down the years you want remembered to three and then run a LuLac poll in early December to see what we’ll do (providence willing)  in 2014.


Look for some reviews of recent events from this weekend in LuLac early this coming week.



The Democratic candidate for District Justice in the Greater Pittston Area will have a community event open to the public on October 24th from 6 to 8pm at the VFW on Main Street in Dupont.


The committee for Girard “Jerry” Mecadon, candidate for Magisterial District Judge, will host a Women's Fall Celebration on Sunday October 27, 2013 from 1-3 pm at Arturo's Restaurant, 140 Main St., Dupont. Cost is $25 per person. Food and Beverages will be served. Magisterial District 11-1-04 consists of Pittston City, the boroughs of Avoca, Dupont, Duryea, Hughestown and Yatesville, and Jenkins and Pittston Townships. For further information call 570-654-5030 or check our website

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2540, October 19th, 2013



Republican candidate for County Council Paul DeFabo had a get together the other night at the Northend Tavern. DeFabo had a core group of supporters stopping by. County Controller candidates Michele Bednar and Carolee Medico Olenginski made an appearance meeting and greeting the people on hand. Representatives from the Kathy Grinaway for School Director race made an appearance as well. Former Kanjorski aide Paul Maher was also there saying hello to the folks.
Former County Commissioner Jim Phillips, looking fit as a fiddle at the age of 81 dropped by to share some of his thoughts with the candidate.
It was also great to see Marge Davison Matisko there. Marge was a classmate of mine at King's College (along with her brother Bob) and she was also a former State GOP Committee woman.
Party stalwart Alex Partika was on hand too. Partika is known for his letters to the editor as well as his hard work at the polls on behalf of the GOP every election day.
DeFabo unveiled his campaign commercial set to go up on local and cable airwaves this week. Political guru Joe Zak showed the commercial to the folks gathered. Zak informed me that he knew everything so if he said it, it has to be true. The TV spot is voiced by former WARM personality Tom Woods.
It was great to see former County Commissioner Jim Phillips. Here is your blog editor with Phillips, Lynette Vilano and the man of the hour, Paul DeFabo.
Alex Partika and Marge Davison Matisko at the rally for DeFabo.
Paul Maher stopped by the event and caught up with Democratic Controller candidate Michelle Bednar.
Photos by Whitney Lopuhovsky.


We were thwarted in our efforts to get parking at the Fiddler's Green in Larksville so we headed to the Linda McClosky Hauk event in Swoyersville. It was great to see former Controller Walter Griffith stopping by to chat. I ran into another Walter, the current Controller Mr. Walter Mitchell. McClosky Hauck greeted friends and supporters. A nice group passed through. County Council candidates Harry Haas, Gene Kelleher (sorry Gene, missed you, was in deep conference with Rick Sorokas about our old days playing softball in the Killer Bees softball league) and Independent Rick Williams were also in attendance. Current Council members Jim Bobeck and the Chair, Mr. Tim McGinley were on hand. Bobeck was deftly handing introductions as well as his two beautiful children. Talk about multi tasking! Mr. McGinley and I had a very good talk about Educational issues in the County and Statewide. McGinley has been the steady hand at the helm of the County Council and is respected by all segments of the board as well as the incumbents and challengers in this current election. Former GOP County Council candidate Alex Milanes stopped by. Milanes is the latest appointment to the arena board. That appointment was sought after by many heavy hitters. Milanes though got a straight 9-0 vote. County Council candidate Eileen Sorokas also stopped in coming from the Larksville event for Mike Giamber, Renee Ciarufoli Taffera and Rich Hefron. It was a night of great fellowship and bipartisan bantering at this event. And the cookies….well they were incredible.
Here I am with candidate and Council Vice Chairman Linda McCloskey Hauck at her event Wednesday night.
Council Chair Tim McGinley and I chatting at the event. Turns out Mr. McGinley and I had a lot to talk about.
Council member Jim Bobeck, your blog editor, GOP candidate and Council member Harry Haas and current Council member and Independent candidate Rick Williams.
Stopping in on his way to work, newly appointed Arena Board member Alex Milanes poses for a photo. Milanes shared with me some exciting thoughts on his technical ideas for the Arena.
Photos by Mrs. LuLac


In 1979 there was a Wilkes Barre Attorney who was running for City Council in a very large field. John DePietro distinguished himself by handing out recipes during his campaign. He won. At the meet and greet the other night for Linda McClosky Hauck, one of the big hits were the cookies. Particularly the Pepper Cookies. Here is this awesome recipe. And by the way, the candidate made them herself. Any reader of this blog knows my favorite cookies were from my mom, and the Sanitary Bakery. Well, these are real close. Here’s the recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
4 ½ cups flour ½ box currants
6 -7 tbls cocoa 1 ½ water
2 ½ tbls baking powder 1 1/8 cup sugar
1 ½ tbls cinnamon 1 cup oil
1 tsp cloves (less - cloves are strong) 1 cup nuts
1 tsp pepper ½ box chocolate chips (or ½ small bag)
Boil currants in 1 ½ cup of water for five minutes, then cool water and currants.
Beat oil and sugar well.
Add currants and water.
Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly.
Add ½ cup more water if needed.
Add nuts and chips.
Refrigerate dough at least ½ hour. Roll into balls between oiled hands.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Ice with chocolate icing after cooled.


The Accountability for Luzerne County Government had a very good turnout at their event in Larksville Wednesday night. Candidates Mike Giamber, Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera, Richard Kick Heffron and Eileen Sorokas were in attendance meeting and greeting the folks. I do know Council member Ed Brominski was there but having not been present I do not have the roster of people attending. But from the photos, a good time was held by all. And it was a big turnout from what I’m told. I said to Mrs. LuLac as we struggled to find a parking place, if every car had four votes for these guys, they’d be a shoo in.
However, if you missed the one in Larksville, the gang will be doing it all over again Monday night. There will be a meet-and-greet rally for Luzerne County candidates Kick Heffron, Renee Ciairuffoli Taffera, Mike Giamber, Eileen Sorokas at Keeley"s Alehouse & Grill, 199 Division Street Kingston from 5 to 7p.m. Monday Oct 21. Food and refreshments will be served.
Council member Rick Morelli with  candidate Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera.
Look at this happy guy on the left with these two formidable ladies. Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera and Michele Bednar.
Edd Brominski, Mike Giamber and Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera share a moment.
Part of the crowd enjoying the event for the Accountability team.
Eileen Sorokas and me at a prior event. Sorokas was doing double duty with her husband Rick that evening attending the events in both Wilkes Barre and Swoyersville. That little jeep they have has been putting the mileage on during this campaign.  
Photos: submitted by Accountability Team. 
Yonki/Sorokas photo: Mrs. LuLac.