Sunday, June 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2459, June 30th, 2013

Pastors John Bednarcik, Michael Krupar and Joseph Super. All three served from for a total of a combined 69 years. (Photo: LuLac archives).
St. John the Baptist Slovak Church in Pittston as it stood five years ago. On this day, the Church was closed (five years to the day) and a few years later it and the other buildings were torn down. (Photo: LuLac archives). 

JOHN, MIKE AND JOE REVISIT PITTSTON

A little known fact about the great beyond is this: once every fifty years you are allowed to take a road trip. It can be anywhere, a place you missed when you were walking the earth as a mortal or, if you prefer, a chance to revisit the place you left. Recently three guys, John, Mike and Joe checked with the big boss to see if they would be allowed to leave the premises and take a gander at the place each had left. Permission was granted and the journey began. 
“Hey” called out Roncalli, “Where are you guys going?” 
“Back for a visit to our old stomping grounds in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Want to come?” replied Joe, the last one of the three to depart Pittston. 
“No thanks, Montini over there was in America and gave me the lowdown. I’m good but you enjoy yourselves,” said the jovial, chubby gentleman in white. 
As the three made ready for their journey, the one thing they had in common was their memories of Pittston. 
Mike whispered to John motioning toward Joe, “He’s not going to make us stop at the cemetery to see his tombstone with his picture on it, is he?” 
“Not if I have anything to say about it” replied the eldest of the trio. You know” continued John, “I was the first to leave. It was my time but it was so sudden’. 
“Indeed it was” replied Joe. “I was there with you on that hot September Saturday afternoon in Doctor Horvath’s office when you got sick. I was saying something to you and then you just up and left. Never had a rude bone in your body and then boom, gone” 
“Sometimes it’s better to leave that way instead of lingering” said Mike dragging on a cigarette with great satisfaction. 
 “Hey” said Joe with both alarm and disgust, “you get permission to smoke those things again?” 
“I got my permission, don’t you worry, haven’t had one of these in nearly 50 years. They tell me they cost about 8 bucks a pack now!” 
“Hey guys,” said John snapping his fingers at the other two. “I’m the senior guy here, I left first. Let’s put the attention back here on me”. 
“Sorry” both replied. 
 “I left after thirty years. I saw the very best and worst times of Pittston. There was that awful depression. The good people I knew helped those in need with food, shoes, even medicine. And the ones that sometimes needed the most were always the first to help others. If anyone was rich, it certainly wasn’t revealed to me. And that school, those parents, some without formal schooling themselves poured money into it so that their kids had a better life. Then the war came and I remember praying to Our Lady for the safe return of those Pittston boys and girls fighting those devils. And they were devils I tell you. But then those young people came home, blessed be to God, got married and had kids. I’m so glad we refinished that basement so they could have their dances there, heavily chaperoned mind you to listen to that bebop music they played in the 50s” remembered John. 
 “Rock and Roll” said Joe. 
“Pardon?” replied John. 
“It was called Rock and Roll, not bebop” countered Joe. 
“Well whatever it was, I remember it being very loud,” said the oldest of the three. 
Mike looked thoughtfully and said, “Oh those children. I remember them well. When I took over for you, I’ll never forget the way I was welcomed. I came from a little town, Mocanaqua, and wasn’t prepared for the big ceremony. They put me in the front row and they had my family behind me. Then all 8 grades of the school came marching in singing a version of the Army “Caisson Song” that was tailored to St. Michael’s Day. They sang, “So it’s hi hi hum…St. Michael’s Day has come” in my honor. It was very moving I’ll tell you. I’d make visits to each classroom. The good sisters let me sit in but I fear I made the kids too jittery so I never stayed long. But my God those nuns drilled math and reading into those children like there was no tomorrow. And the kids were good kids. Exuberant. They knew what was happening. Once when I was lingering, I came back and said a Mass. As I walked out, thin and weak, I heard a couple of the older boys cheer and say out loud, “He’s back again”. They got slapped good and paid for it but I can’t tell you what that meant to me. Then I left on Christmas Day. I remember it raining all day, the temperature was an unusual 60 degrees in December and it was like the water was cleansing me from the pain. By the way Joe, thank you for that homily the next day. It was very nice, that part about how it was easy to say I was a good man. But I’m afraid I left you too soon and left you much to do. 
 “No problem,” said Joe, “It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle”. 
 “He always was a cocky one” John said to Mike. “That’s why you got the job after I left, not him”. 
“But sometimes you need that in what we did as a vocation. Like only Joe could’ve pulled off that deal with the Pittston Electric building” said Mike. 
“Well thank you. It’s nice to be appreciated. I wanted our school to have everything to compete with the others. Pittston deserved that. The gym was something I never thought would happen but it did. Along with the other property annexations, we made our project something to behold. We had a thriving school, a good little church with loyal people and I made sure we tried to keep up the properties as well as we could. You know I had other opportunities to leave. They kept waving that Monsignor’s sash in front of me for years if I just left but I was blooming where I was planted. I took my leave in 1998, right in the middle of that nasty scandal with the President. I can’t wait to see how it all looks today” noted Joe. 
As the three approached Main Street, a little dog started running toward John. Scooping up the pup in his arms, he exclaimed, “My, my, you look like a little dog I had named Troubles” as the canine licked his face. 
 “The streets are in better condition and the buildings are a curious mix of old and new. But they are clean. And it looks like a lot of people seem to like to eat outside these days” observed Mike. 
As the trio turned onto William Street they looked to the right to see the majestic St. John the Evangelist Church. “Ahh, we should have asked Monsignors Langan and Knight to come along. The big church still stands so tall” said Joe. 
Turning to the left, the three halted in the middle of the street. John was so shaken he dropped the little black dog. The dog, wagging his tail, led the men onto the smoothly paved parking lot. “Where’s my church?” asked John. 
“Where’s my school?” inquired Mike. 
“Where’s my Athletic Center?” exclaimed Joe. 
“Where’s our house?” shouted all three together. 
Shaken, the three men walked the parking lot. 
 “Here’s where the altar was” said Mike. 
“And over here were those fire escapes that increased our insurance premiums” said Joe. 
“This is where we used to park our cars, why did we always have black cars?” asked Mike, “Who cares” said Joe in anguish as despair cascaded on the trio. 
An hour passed and the men wandered around in shocked silence until Joe spoke. 
“It’s all gone. It’s as if it never existed. Everything we worked for…..” continued Joe. 
John interrupted him and said, “It wasn’t about us, it was about the people and their faith”. “Yes I know” said Joe, “But we were the shepherds of that faith, and now the remnants of what that meant are gone. The ruins of Rome survived centuries but our little church and school couldn’t survive fifty years after the three of us left?"
By this time Mike had found his way to a parking space that used to be the small walkway between the church and the rectory where he used to sneak a smoke. Taking a long drag out of his cigarette he said, “Boys, maybe the lesson to be learned here is that in our time here, we as well as the people who came here had heaven on earth….but never realized it”. 
As John bid adieu to his canine friend, the three made their way back down William Street. Passing the solitary pizza joint on the street Joe asked, “You guys want to get a slice for the road? Hey wait, that’s Roncalli in there. He’s asking us to come in and he means business because he’s wearing ermine!” 
The three tentatively entered the little shop. The elderly man asked them to sit down. 
“Boys” he said, “I knew you’d be disappointed to see everything you worked for gone. But as I said in ‘62, the Church is a living body, things must change. But what you mourn is not really gone”. 
 “But your Holiness, there is no evidence of what our faith was!” said Mike. 
“You should know that the Church is where our faith is, where are heart is. The early Christians never needed a building to hear the word of God” continued the elderly priest. Reaching into his side pocket, he pulled out a device foreign to John, Mike and Joe. 
“What’s that thing?” muttered Mike to Joe, “It looks like a little TV”. 
“I think they call them tablets, you can view pictures on them” replied Joe. 
“You guys are crazy, tablets are those things from Hoban’s in Scranton we used to buy for the kids and they had lines in them” proclaimed John. 
 “Guys, focus. I don’t do this often but I’m going to make an exception” he said. 
“Can he do that”? asked John. “Hey” shot back Joe, “They’re making him a Saint, he can do pretty much anything he wants.” 
Roncalli instructed them to look at the small screen. Suddenly a huge 8 foot cross appeared along with two drawings depicting the Catholic School and Church of St. John the Baptist. “See, it’s a monument to what you and those good people of faith did through the years. You are fortunate to have served in a town that will honor that history” said the jovial old man beaming at his trusty device. 
The three welled up with emotion as they realized the good people of Pittston would never forget the work and faith of their parishioners. 
As the three headed home, led by the intrepid Roncalli, Joe reached out to the elderly prelate and exclaimed, “We are so sorry we doubted the goodwill of the people of Pittston and faith in God’s plan”. 
 “Don’t worry my friends” said Roncalli, “Both Pittston and the good Lord have been used to that for years!” 
Editor’s Note: For many in the greater Pittston Area, the buildings of St. John the Baptist might be gone but the faith that housed it lives on. Monsignor John Bendick has started an effort to place a memorial at the site of the former Church and School. For more information contact him at 570 654-0053. 
Also, in the story, there are two references to “Roncalli” and “Montini.” They are the surnames of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2458, June 29th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that according to a report from WBRE TV’ s Joe Holden, Wilkes Barre City Police have their press release on a clipboard. What is the city paying spokespeople for? And what if someone just takes all of them? There has to be a better way to keep the community aware of crime and its aftermath. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that after a long stay here, the aforementioned Holden is on his way to Pittsburgh to extend his talents. Look for him to make a lot of news and break some big stories in the Iron City.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Billy Joe Kramer of Billy Joe Kramer and the Dakotas has the same pitch today that he did back in 1965. 
 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane refuses to answer questions about her political relationship with currently incarcerated former Senator Bob Mellow. Kane might be prosecuting Mellow in the Turnpike case and should step down as lead Prosecutor. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the long awaited Wendy’s Pretzel Bun Burger is on the way. The burger will hit the stores in about two weeks. Cost about 4 bucks. I’d break my fast food price rule and try it. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that everyone knows the story of Dave Thomas and Wendy’s and of course the McDonald brothers and Ray Kroc. But not many people know the orgins of Burger King. It was original known as Insta Burger because two men, Keith Kramer and Matt Burns bought two machines called Insta Broilers. They began making Burgers, broiled and dubbed their stores Insta Burger King. In the early 60s, a franchisee David Edgarton bought the company from the duo. It was renamed Burger King and purchased by Pillsbury. It has gone through corporate changes since then but has been trailing McDonald’s. But BK has a following and is still an iconic American food franchise. 
My typewriter from high school that traveled with me to Washington, D.C. and King’s College. (Photo: LuLac archives). 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the typewriter was invented in Milwaukee in 1867. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that people on the right are coming after Senate members Marco Rubio and John McCain because of their support for immigration. But it will take a big lift to get it passed in the House. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Vice President Joe Biden has reemerged after having to have seemed submerged the last few weeks. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Tasty-Kake now has an Orange Creamsicle Pie out. WYLN’s Mike Lula says they are fantastic but in limited supply. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Paula Deen story just has gotten out of hand. Let her sell the new cookbook, give her space, let her fade away until she does what most fallen celebrities are allowed to do in America, make a comeback. But until then, give her, the story and us a rest. We need it.
Ladies checking out the Fashion Truck. (Photo: FashionTruck.com) 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that while Scranton is fighting about Food Trucks, Philadelphia has expanded to Fashion Trucks. Young ladies can stop by a truck and get an outfit to style rapidly and in class. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that it will be 5 years tomorrow since St. John the Baptist Church in Pittston closed. Tomorrow, look for a special edition of LuLac. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that after 150 years, a new map reveals the thought process of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The map gives an insight into his decision making process. Many wonder why Lee had his commanders attack the Union flank when in past battles he was canny and shrewd in his decisions. The simple answer may be that with the rolling Pennsylvania hillsides, Lee may not have seen the huge Union Army amassed and poised to defend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2457, June 27th, 2013

Corey Stevens of Hazleton. (Photo: Times Leader com) 

 IT IS UNANIMOUS 


Correale Stevens, the former State Representative from Hazleton and Luzerne County District Attorney was chosen unanimously the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary to succeed Jane Orie Melvin on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The nomination moves to the full Senate for confirmation. Stevens has been serving as President Judge of the State Superior Court since 2011 He is 66 and lives in Sugarloaf Township.
School strike message. (Photo: ABC.net) 

WYOMING AREA STRIKE? 

We are hearing rumblings that there will be a strike this fall in the Wyoming Area School District. And a large part of the reason will be over health care. It appears that the school board wants to bring the rank and file and union in line with the rest of the world. The rest of the world that pays the taxes have $40 to $80.00 co pays for Physical Therapy. Not $15.00. The rest of the taxpaying world has $500.00 to $2500.00 deductibles. 
When I worked at Blue Cross a few years ago, the teachers were having a stroke when they found out they had to pay $100.00 for a Major Medical deductible. Pittston Politics.com which was voted the number 1 Political blog in the area by PoliticsPa.com (gonna call my buddy Barack up and have the IRS look into that group!) reports that the teachers big concession is that they will reduce their opt out option to Health Care to a mere bag of shells amount of 5 grand. They now get $11,000 . I work with some people that barely get that a year! 
The opt out is if you don’t take the sweet health care plan, you get a check. But the union says they’ll cut that in half to just be fair. My friend Valenti and I are most likely going to be accused of teacher bashing. Well, so be it. 
First off, the teachers (and I had many educators in my family but they were concerned about the kids and not the check!) in any other private sector job wouldn’t be able to handle the stress. 
Second, Valenti says Pennsylvania can’t hire replacement teachers. They did it in 1990 in the Millersburg Area School District. Those “educators”: were back in a week! 
Third, Valenti gave out the Superintendent’s e mail address and urged people to send in a resume to be a replacement teacher. I won’t go there yet but I will if this stuff gets out of hand toward the supposed strike date. 
All the pork in the Wyoming Area School District ain’t at Fetch’s or Gerritty’s!
Claude Raines as Captain Louis Renault. (Photo: Celeb.net) 

SHOCKED SHOCKED!!!!!!

I am shocked, shocked, when I read in the paper Monday that former Educator Ned Evans, a candidate for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board got contributions from Phil Litinski and the departed Bob Corcoran’s dad. Evans is one of the education cronies seeking a seat on the School Board. Currently the School Board is weighted toward people with political contacts in the Wilkes Barre Area. One of the dual nominees, Joe Caffrey received money from Attorney Bill Vinsko’s Congressional campaign and the Friends of Tom Leighton. (Hey the kids are getting bigger and might need a job and Caffrey, quoting here "I know a lot of people through my career in education and in coaching. They are personal friends of mine. I know most families in many cases since I was a boy. Whether I was a candidate or not, those were always people that were always very, very good to my family. I've always considered them to be good friends."  
Yep, it’s good to have friends but let’s keep Evans out of the loop this general election. We need more than a few minority voices on the WB Area School Board. 

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives) 

BARLETTA ON AMNESTY 


The debate over immigration is heating up. The far right is pillorying John McCain and Marco Rubio and ready to read them out of the party. But Immigration has to go to the House and with statements like this from Congressman Barletta, Immigration Reform isn’t going anywhere.  Here's Barletta's statement:
The illegal immigration lobby learned how to pass a bad bill from Obamacare. The 990 page bill flew through the U.S. House and Senate with no debate on crucial issues, and now, they're trying to do it with the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill. Just last night, the U.S. Senate killed any more debate on the legislation's impact on national security and the economy. While I am not surprised, I am disappointed. After only a few days of debate on the 1,200 page bill – that's the size of the monstrosity now – the U.S. Senate thinks it is ready. A real debate – I'm advocating for one in the U.S. House – takes weeks, but the illegal immigration lobby knows that even a week's worth of debate would destroy this bill. So once again, they have tried "passing the bill so we know what’s in it." They'll say this is the same bill from May, but you and I know that it isn't. If it hadn’t changed, what would the 1,200 pages be for? U.S. Senators can't help themselves. They've made hundreds of changes and added dozens of amendments. The amendments supposedly make the bill better, but these are just sophisticated bribes to get more Senators to vote. It was a bad bill in May, but now it's terrible. You have no idea what you're about to get saddled with, and the illegal immigration lobby made sure of that. They coached the bill's authors on how to distract from and deny the truth of the bill, and now they're trying to rush it through Congress. The authors don't stand for a secure border, and they knew that if the debate continued all of America would know. They value amnesty over anything else, which will never solve the illegal immigration problem. Patriot, the stand against this legislation will happen in the U.S. House. I oppose this bill and anything that remotely resembles amnesty for illegal immigrants, and I know my colleagues in the U.S. House will as well if they read the bill and have an honest debate. America can't afford another blind vote. Join my stand against this amnesty bill. America has to protect our borders first. Anything less is negligent. 

MEDIA MATTERS 

ECTV 


ECTV Live during the week of July 1st. Hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Eileen Woelkers Miller to the program to discuss the very serious subject of distracted driving. Eileen's story is very personal as she lost a son in an accident involving distracted driving and has been involved in an ongoing campaign to save other lives through information and attempts to revise State legislation to deal with the problem. ECTV Live is carried on Comcast Ch19 in northeastern Pennsylvania and can be seen most days at Noon and Midnight. The July 1st program will mark the 167th presentation of ECTV Live on Electric City Television! 

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with attorney Michelle Quinn from HKQ Kids about their annual Fourth of July kids bicycle helmet giveaway at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre. Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Barry Hendin about the most common myths about Multiple Sclerosis. Brian speaks with Kelly Flynn, a coach for "Team In Training", celebrating its 25th year of raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And an encore of Brian's interview with travel guru Chris McGuinness about the best travel deals for the Summer. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.

SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION 

Here's the rundown: An interview with members of the Wilkes-Barre Racing Club about the upcoming Wendy's 5K Race for a Home, which will be held as part of the Scrantastic Celebration on July 3; a profile of Jay Sochoka, a Covington Township pharmacist and author of a book about his struggles with obesity and a preview of the 135th annual observance of the Battle of Wyoming with William Lewis of The Wyoming Commemorative Association. That battle was really something!Tune in Saturday t 2PM and Sunday at 7PM on WILK.

THE PARTY ZONE 

Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The Party Zone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com
This blog editor with WYLN TV 35’s L.A. Tarone. (Photo: LuLac archives).

TOPIC A 


Tune in Friday night at 5PM for Topic A at 5 on WYLN TV, Service Electric Channel 7 in Wilkes Barre and Hazleton. Rebroadcast is 7PM if not pre-empted by Iron Pigs baseball.
Our 1976 logo. 

1976 

On 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked. The culprits were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells. They were flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The government led by Idi Amin supported the hijackers. Amin even went so far as to welcomed the terrorists. Kenyan sources supported Israel. Amin issued orders to retaliate and slaughter several hundreds of innocent Kenyans present in Uganda. The hijackers separated the Israelis and Jews from the larger group and forced them into another room. That afternoon, 47 non-Israeli hostages were released. The next day, 101 more non-Israeli hostages were allowed to leave on board an Air France aircraft. More than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers, along with the non-Jewish pilot Captain Bacos, remained as hostages and were threatened with death. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met. This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation.[ These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan military troops The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. 102 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed.[ Operation Entebbe, which had the military codename Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to retroactively as Operation Jonathan in memory of the unit's leader, Yonatan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister. (Wikipedia.com)
As America celebrated the Fourth of July, the news of the rescue spread across the world and the United States. People celebrated the tough stand Israel took against terrorists and the fearless precision of their operation. Later two movies would be made, “Raid On Entebbe” and “Operation Thunderbolt”. The former starred Peter Finch and the latter was an HBO offering that is a pretty rare commodity these days. Here is the film as well as the climactic ending of a major news event that dominated the last week of June and first week in July of 1976…..  
In Pennsylvania, Senator Hugh Scott begins to wind down his time in the Senate. Scott is being profiled in Pennsylvania newspapers as a cunning political operative that knew how to read the tea leaves of survival…and in both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, preparations are made in earnest for the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial in less than one week…and the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2456, June 26th, 2013

SUPREMES ON GAY MARRIAGE 

In a victory for same sex couples today, the Supreme Court pulverized a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples. That law stated legally married same-sex couples could not get tax, health and pension benefits. The ruling also cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California. In a second decision, the Court declared California’s Proposition 8 law “unconstitutional.” 
President Obama made this statement: "The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free,” “I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.”
Congressman Matt Cartwright issued this statement: “In recent years, both California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act became symbols of discrimination around the country and around the world. Today, ‘equality for all’ prevailed. I applaud both rulings made by the Supreme Court this morning. The Defense of Marriage Act treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. In striking down Section 3 of DOMA, the Court ensures that married gay and lesbian couples are fully recognized by their government and that they and their children qualify for the host of rights and benefits designed to strengthen and protect American families. For married couples living in states that do not recognize their marriages, however, there is still uncertainty. The federal government must ensure that these couples receive full range of federal agency and federal policy recognition and respect that they deserve. I urge the administration to provide policy and administrative clarity to these couples and take every possible step to ensure they receive fair treatment. I am committed to working with the president to make that happen.” 
This ruling by the Supreme Court signals a recognition in America that all people can love who they want. And get the same benefits. It is the right thing to do. At long last.  Plus, it's common sense. People have a right to figure out their own relationships. It usually works out in the end if it's meant to be. No matter what the sex.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2455, June 25th, 2013

THE SUPREME COURT STEPPING BACK 

The U.S. Supreme Court voted today and tore away a provision of the 1965 Civil Rights Act that was in place for over 50 years. The High Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That provision of the landmark civil rights law that designates which parts of the country must have changes to their voting laws cleared by the federal government or in federal court. The 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, ruled in Shelby County v. Holder The justification was that “things have changed dramatically” in the South in the nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965. 
Wanna bet? This provision ensured that v1oting jurisdictions that had a history of embedded racism would abide by the law of the land. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed it best when she wrote, “The 2006 reauthorization makes abundantly clear [that] second-generation barriers to minority voting rights have emerged in the covered jurisdictions as at¬tempted substitutes for the first-generation barriers that originally triggered preclearance in those jurisdictions." President Obama weighed in on the decision: I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent. As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process. 
Congressman Matt Cartwright made this statement: I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.  
Just as a reminder, this was one of the reasons why the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (with all of its provisions) was passed. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2454, June 24th, 2013

Representative Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives). 

HEALTH CARE ON THE WAY!

Rep. Cartwright Marks 100 Days until First Day of Enrollment for New Health Insurance Marketplaces 

Today, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright marked the 100th day until the first day of enrollment for the new Health Insurance Marketplaces on October 1st by announcing that a new consumer-focused www.HealthCare.gov website and a 24-hours-a-day toll-free call center have been launched. 
The new consumer-focused www.HealthCare.gov website and new toll-free call center, 1-800-318-2596, are designed to help Americans who are looking for health coverage prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance. 
“Available now, the new HealthCare.gov website and toll-free call center are designed to make sure every American who needs health coverage has the information they need to begin preparing for the new coverage opportunities coming in October,” said Cartwright. “Then starting in October, HealthCare.gov will become the online destination where consumers can actually compare and enroll in affordable, qualified health plans.” 
Already over the last three years, due to the Affordable Care Act, numerous patient protections and consumer cost savings have gone into effect, benefiting millions of Americans, including: 6.6 million young adults up to age 26 have obtained insurance through their parents’ plans, of whom 3.1 million would be uninsured without this coverage; 
6.3 million people with Medicare have saved over $6.1 billion on their prescription drugs. 
34 million people with Medicare have received a free preventive service. 
71 million privately insured people have gained access to free preventive services. 
105 million Americans have had lifetime limits removed from their insurance.  
$1.1 billion in rebates from health insurance companies last summer helped benefit nearly 13 million Americans. 
Now, on October 1, with the opening of enrollment in these new Health Insurance Marketplaces, Americans who are looking for health coverage will have new access to quality health insurance coverage. The Marketplaces will provide a choice among numerous private health plans and provide sliding-scale premium tax credits to make the coverage affordable. “The new Health Insurance Marketplaces will make quality private health insurance affordable for millions of Americans for the first time,” Cartwright said. “The sliding-scale tax credits are designed to ensure that families can find a health plan that both meets their needs and their budget. These new Marketplaces will ensure the peace of mind that comes with health coverage for millions of Americans.”
Our 1963 logo. 

1963

The latter part of the month of June 1963 was filled with news events that would become part of historical lore. In movies, the release of the film Cleopatra is met with critical acclaim starring Elizabeth Taylor……..After Gordon Cooper’s historic Mercury Flight in May of ’63, the cancellation of Mercury-Atlas 10 effectively ends the United States manned spaceflight Project Mercury……Next up, Project Gemini set for launch in 1965…..
Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space. (Photo:The History Channel)

FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE

But as the U.S. pats itself on the back for six successful manned Mercury missions, Vostok 6 carries Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman into space. She returns safely a few days later…….The U.S. Supreme Court rules that state-mandated Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
Pope Paul XI. (Photo: Vatican News).

THE NEW POPE

Giovanni Battista Montini succeeds Pope John XXIII as the 262nd pope. One of Pope Paul’s first acts was to reaffirm the Vatican Council started by John XXIII. Montini was always considered Papal material, so much so that when Pius XII died in 1958 he was speculated as being the logical choice even though he was not yet a Cardinal.
JFK in Berlin. (Photo: JFK Library)

The famous quote.  (JFK Library)

JFK AT THE WALL

and John F. Kennedy gives his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Berlin, East Germany. The speech is regarded as one of the seminal moments in the Kennedy foreign policy and would be remembered for years to come….

 
and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land was Sukiyaki Kyu Sakamoto.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2453, June 23rd, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I'M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the only thing those three knuckleheads in Taylor cared about after they starved their son/brother to death was whether or not they would still get his check! Adding insult to injury, these zeroes did a taste testing on WNEP TV at Wal Mart for granola bars two weeks before this guy died. The sorry excuse for a mother said they couldn’t get him medical care because they had no transportation to get to a Doctor. But they sure got their ugly asses up to Wal Mart, didn’t they? I’ve said it many time, the family you get when you are born or adopted into can be the best winning lottery ticket you will win in your life or the worst. For Robert Gensiak's, he got the losing ticket with this clan of scumbags. And do not tell me that it seems like the mother doesn’t look right. Sorry. She was “with it” enough to keep track of his checks. Evil has many faces, and some of them are vapid and dumb. Like foxes. And what about those sisters? Imagine if your son or daughter brought home one of them! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….at how beautiful the Riverfront looks this time of year. Was down there Friday night for Topic A and really was impressed with everything. Kudos to the Riverfest people who started this event a few years ago when there were few takers or people who wanted in. They stuck with it. And today on the 41st anniversary of the Agnes Flood, the work done there as well as the great event highlight the resiliency of our community as well as the role government, yes that big bad government had in our recovery from that terrible time. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the madness of abuse continues in NEPA. In Dushore, a couple has been accused of keeping a their 12 year old daughter with cerebral palsy in a makeshift cage. These two beauts are 55-year-old Richard Frankenfield and 49-year-old Mary Beth Frankenfield. They said they locked the kid away to keep her from getting into things. Well, at least the small consolation is they didn’t go out and drown her! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that back in the 70s, many media people made fun of the Newswatch 16 slogan, “We’re Everywhere!”. Laugh or not, it rings true. They seem to have a lot of archival files that they happen to come by whenever there’s a news story. Just look at what they came up with when this Taylor tragedy was revealed. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Teddy Roosevelt had a pet bear when he was in the White House. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……. my Pirates and Indians seem to be above water this season. Could it be one of the two might be in the playoffs? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that James Gandolfini was an actor that kept you coming back for more in that Tony Soprano role. Kind of like what Jon Hamm does with his Don Draper. Season finale of “Madman” is tonight on AMC at 10PM. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at how Larry King got on CNN just hours after Gandolfini died and started yammering about how much the actor loved food. It is true that obesity is one of the main causes for heart disease but there are a lot of skinny guys who can pack it away too. Then the New York Post came out with a story about the actor’s last meal. The only reason why this is being brought up is because he was a large man. If Woody Allen dropped over from a coronary, they wouldn’t be dissecting his last meal. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the adverse reaction on Twitter (God, I hate Twitter, it’s like a license for morons to limit their thinking, such as it is to 140 characters) to Lebrun James’ comments after winning a hard fought championship series. James said he was an inner city kid from Akron that gets a chill every time he walks into the locker room and sees his number 6 with his name on the jersey. Lebrun was criticized for bashing his critics. He answered that question because he was asked whether he cared what people said about him. I guarantee you, if Tim Tebow or any other white athlete said what James said, they’d be celebrated. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………at the appreciation that has grown for James. I am not an NBA watcher full time. I’m a Knick fan but watch only the playoffs. But I’ve been around long enough to see Russell and Chamberlain at the tail end of their careers. Plus Jerry West, Bill Bradley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Kobe Bryant and Shaq.  This guy might not have them beat, but he is pretty damn close to being on par with all of them. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Time Off to Vote Act (H.R. 2350). The legislation would require employers to grant their workers at least two hours of paid leave to vote in federal elections. Great idea.  Maybe if it passes, it could be extended to the local elections too. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that if you shake a can of mixed nuts, the larger nuts will rise to the top. Kind of like the real world and corporate America.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2452, June 22nd, 2013

MEDIA MATTERS 

IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

WEEKENDER COVER PHOTO SUMMER 2013
GQ COVER PHOTO SUMMER 2012 

IN ANY CASE, HAPPY SUMMER!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2451, June 20th, 2013

Some seasonal  Women Shoppers of Wal-Mart. (Photo: Sue Henry Facebook page). 

LICKING THEIR CHOPS 

If there is a Liquor Bill by the end of this Legislative session in Harrisburg and it allows for beer or wine to be sold in retail stores, look out! Sources tell me that Wal-Mart is already making plans to scoop up as many licenses or permissions as they can to sell booze. And being Wal-Mart, they will demand and get the lowest prices. My main problem with privatization is that it will take the liquor out of a controlled environment and make it the old wild west again. Not to be a snob here because once in a while I’ll frequent a Wal-Mart. 
But do you want to put beer and wine in the hands of an 8 dollar an hour part time employee? Do you want some of the Wal Mart customers (and yes we are all God’s children but…) to have such easy access to booze at a cheap price? 
I’m hoping that cooler and saner heads prevail but I’m not confident of that. Wal Marts are the wrong place for beer and wine. They make enough money on everything else.
Former President Bill Clinton with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. (Photo: CNN).

WHAT IF?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie met with former President Bill Clinton the other day. He of course embraced President Obama and when the President visited the state during Hurricane Sandy. Christie took a lot of heat from the GOP right wing who would rather be righteous than win elections. But what if Christie after winning the New Jersey Governorship this year (and it is likely) what if he were t abandon the GOP and become a Democrat? Think about it. If he announces in the GOP 2016 race, he won’t get past Iowa, and North Caroline. He might have a shot in New Hampshire. But he will have a major problem securing the heart and soul of the right wing. If Hillary Clinton decides not to run, that’s an opening. Or if Hillary does run, how about Christie as the tough talking VEEP? Stranger things have happened.
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Cartwright Introduces Bill to Make the Right to Vote Accessible for All 
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Time Off to Vote Act (H.R. 2350). The legislation would require employers to grant their workers at least two hours of paid leave to vote in federal elections. Such a provision already exists in 24 states, and this bill would act to ensure that citizens everywhere have a voice in their government, regardless of where they happen to work. “At a time when some states are actually going out of their way to attempt to make it more difficult for Americans to vote, we must understand that the right to vote is essential to our democracy,” said Cartwright. “While the days of poll taxes and literacy tests are behind us, impediments to voting still remain.” Employers in 26 states are not required to give their workers paid leave to vote. In 19 states, employers are not required to let their employees leave work to vote at all. In this environment, employees can be actively prohibited by their employers from leaving work to vote, and many others choose not to attend the polls because they simply cannot afford the 1-3 hours of unpaid time that voting often requires. For example, an individual working a 40-hour job at minimum wage would forgo 5% of their weekly salary if they take off two hours to vote. “We can no longer afford laws that push people out of the electorate. For the United States to be a true democracy, every eligible American must be able to cast a ballot without suffering a burdensome economic sacrifice,” said Cartwright. “Voting should not be a luxury that only the well-off can afford.” Cartwright was sworn into congress on January 3rd of this year. 

MEDIA MATTERS 

ECTV  

Summer is officially here and ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be discussing many of the free summer programs offered by Lackawanna County on their program during the week of June 24th. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.  

 SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with author and chiropractor Joe Leonardi about the IRS and NSA scandals, as well as his new book, "America Enslaved". Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Will Beakman, Director of Programming at the Kirby Center, about their upcoming season. And an encore of Brian's interview with Russ Madlener from Microsofy about "the future of work" and cloud computing. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.  

THE PARTY ZONE 

Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The Party Zone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com  

SUE HENRY'S SPECIAL EDITION

The show will feature an interview with Lackawanna County DA Andy Jarbola about the starvation death of a Taylor man and the subsequent arrest of three family members, as well as an interview with one of the officers who responded to and prosecuted the Pestinikas case in the 1980s in Lackawanna County, a back and forth thumb wrestling match with the UFCW and Commonwealth Foundation over liquor store privatization and details of the R3 OPS Mud Run in July which will benefit local charities. Special Edition is on Saturday at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m on WILK.
Our 1976 logo. 

1976 

Strikes start in Poland (Ursus, Radom, Płock) after communists raise food prices; they end on June 30 The CN Tower is built in Toronto; the tallest free-standing land structure opens to the public. In Pennsylvania, Governor Milton Shapp says he will lead the delegation to the Democratic National Convention in New York City. Shapp who ran for President said as Governor, it is his right, duty and responsibility to do so…….in Wilkes Barre, Mayor Walter Lisman urges the Wilkes Barre Redevelopment Authority to continue its plan to rehabilitate the southern end of South Main Street at the corner of Northampton and S. Main…and 37 years ago the number 1 song in Lulac land and America was “Turn the Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

THe LuLac Edition #2450, June 19th, 2013

James Gandolfini. (Photo: TMZ) 

JAMES GANDOLFINI DIES IN ITALY 

Since we dedicate a portion of this site to pop culture, this is something we have to make a comment on. James Gandolfini – who became a household name playing a semi sensitive, ruthless mobster with issues, Tony Soprano died this afternoon in Italy. The actor was there for the annual Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and was scheduled to participate in a few events there this weekend. 
The cause of death was a heart attack. Gandolfini was 51. 
Prior to “The Sopranos” the actor played roles in “Get Shorty”, “True Romance”, “The Mexican” and as of late, “Zero Dark Thirty”. The Sopranos only had a run of 86 episodes. Gandolfini played a complex character who had problems inside and outside of his two families. The mythical organized crime one that operaed out of Jersey and the family he was related to by blood. 
Gandolfini won three Emmy’s during the program’s limited HBO schedule. The show later returned on reruns on Cable. Many people felt that after playing Tony Soprano, Gandolfini would be typecast. He was too good an actor for that. 
This untimely death leaves us with the cruel irony that the show’s ending had people guessing whether its main character Tony Soprano died in the end. When the show ended in 2007, who would have dreamed that the actor who played him would be gone in less than a decade. 

The LuLac Edition #2449, June 19th, 2013

BLOGS OF NOTE 

Just a heads up on a few local blogs you might want to take a look at. Dr. Joe Leonardi recently launched a political blog. It’s called Rant, Rage and Rampage. Here’s the link: http://rantrageandrampage.wordpress.com/
A few others of  interest:
Politics in NEPA http://politicsnepa.blogspot.com/ 
Pure Bunkum http://purebunkum.com/ 
Wake Up Wilkes Barre: http://wakeupwilkesbarre.blogspot.com/ 
David DeCosmo’s No News Is….Good News? 
http://no-news-is.blogspot.com/ 
Circumlocution for Dummies http://mcour.blogspot.com/ 
the WILK blogsites of their personalities. Look under blogs. 
http://www.wilknewsradio.com/ 
and the  Dr. David Madeira Show 
http://thedavidmadeirashow.com/

Monday, June 17, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2448, June 17th, 2013

WVIA TV/FM’S Bill Kelly. (Photo: Northcentralpa.com) 

BILL’S BUCKS

Many of you who have read LuLac know that I have major problems with inflated salaries for officials who don’t show results. Both public and private sector. If this was a fair world, I would demand refunds back from the officials who served at the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce from 1995 until now. Pulling down a huge salary for big salaries for a select business few that couldn’t make it on their own in the private sector? That’s a joke! I have railed about Wall Street people who put us on the brink of financial collapse and still walked away with millions. That stated, you won’t hear a negative word from me about the salary Bill Kelly is making as Head of the Endowment Department at WVIA TV and FM. Let me give you a little history. Bill Kelly came to WVIA TV in 1974 when then GM George Strimel recognized that he had to have a more aggressive fundraising department, The station at the time had as its main revenue stream, the TV 44 Auction. (In a previous LuLac edition, we referenced the death of longtime Auction volunteer Jeff Rubel.) 
Kelly came from WARM, the Mighty 590. When he arrived, there was both surprise and snickers. What was a top forty guy going to tell us about Public Broadcasting? A woman I worked with (who shall remain nameless due to the fact that I cherish her memory) once sniffed to me, “Has he ever heard of the Philharmonic?” What WVIA learned from the top 40 jock (drive time 3pm to 7PM) was plenty. 
Kelly totally revised the look of the fundraisers. He brought in energetic young people to become “Funding personalities”. He squeezed every ounce of talent out of directors like Peter Brewer, Ed Finn and the late Allen Murphy. The sleepy department got a kick in the ass. 
After two years of growth for TV,  he took his skills to radio. The first thing he did was take us on a road trip to WSKG in Binghamton, New York to see how their operation ran. We sat with the classical music radio hosts. We were told to take notes. We then reviewed those notes when we returned. 
Kelly believed in having us see the big picture of Public Broadcasting. I went on a trip to Chicago with him in 1977 which was exclusively for radio. Again, notes. The plane ride back was reviewing not only what I learned but how I was going to put it in action. 
Through the years, WVIA TV and FM has grown. And through the years Bill Kelly has made enemies. I liken Kelly to a baseball manager. At any given time, he fielded the strongest players on the field. Once you got complacent or your batting average dipped, you were gone. Many a person who thought they had a home there for a while had a rude awakening. It wasn’t about them, it was about the station. And for those people he let go, if you look at a large percentage of them, they all went on to better and in some cases bigger things. If you were wise enough to take away what Bill Kelly taught you (and once when I told him this he got very embarrassed) you had a skill set that would serve you well in any position. 
Now about the amount. Again, you have to look at the job. Public Broadcasting is under attack by right wing conservatives who think funding should be cut. If you look at the State Legislators who cut Public Broadcasting, can you honestly say they are worth what they get? Fundraising is a tough job. You are first off selling the entity but selling yourself. Kelly says he can make the station millions and I believe him. I know how he’s going to do it too. But unlike some of the dullards calling in to talk radio and posting comments on websites, screaming about this, I’ve been following Bill Kelly. He will make more than anticipated. Kelly has historically over delivered in every capacity. 
Look at some of the salaries CEO’s around here pull down. When I worked at Blue Cross, Denise Cesare back in 2009 was at around $750,000. The head of the Geisinger Health System, Dr. Glenn Steele was up there too. College Presidents have healthy salaries. Profit making companies CEO’s pull down millions. For those salaries, their boards and higher ups confirm what they should make. But the product comes to them. While they work hard at their jobs, I can’t believe that any of them toil as hard for their money as Bill Kelly has through the years. Responsible people will always buy health care, colleges will always have students and never bat an eye lash about raising tuition. For the aforementioned CEOs, the money comes to them. People need to realize that with this job, Kelly will hustle like he always did. Personally, I think it never was about the money for Kelly, it was about the challenge. 
Last night, my wife had on “Inspector Lewis” on Masterpiece Mystery on TV 44. Throughout the show, there were three pre recorded breaks with the same two people giving the same spiel. Mrs. LuLac said that in her mind that funding model might be going the way of the Beta recorder. The endowment fund is at $700,000 or thereabouts. The old ways don’t seem to be working as well as they used to and because of its attack by the know nothings in Washington, it is at peril. Plus the public perception that “you can get what they have on Cable) is shuddering. I wonder how many of those people criticizing the station have even turned it on in the last ten years! 
If Public Broadcasting is to survive, (especially here in Northeastern Pennsylvania where our local news outlets are consistently challenged by quality issues,) we need a street fighter who will make it his personal mission to build that endowment fund. 
Salary be damned, bet on Bill Kelly. Unlike CEO’s making bigger salaries, he’ll go after what the station needs to not only survive and thrive, but he’ll get results.
The late John (Chickey) Watson. (John Watson Facebook page, Pamela Rivers photo

JOHN WATSON 

I began working at the Sunday Dispatch when I was 14. The late William Watson Sr., the founder of the paper gave me an opportunity to write a rock and roll column. Whenever I’d stop in, I’d see this young man there who was always unfailingly polite and friendly. A few years later, I found out that his grandfather gave me my start and that his father, “Pidge” always mentored me when it came to knowing the inside outs of how a local newspaper was produced. At no time did John “Chickey” Watson ever tell me “Who he was!”. No chest thumping for that guy. 
He had a wry sense of humor, if I had his looks I’d never make it to my 40th birthday, and I never saw him raise his voice. His writing was even and measured and had a liberal bent He was not afraid to take on the powers that be, sometimes he was right, sometimes he was wrong, but he was always interesting. 
You never stopped reading a John Watson column in midstream. You finished it, read it twice and then passed it on to your wife or friends. 
For the past year, John and I communicated on the Facebook machine. A few weeks ago, he sent out a request to his friends from the Greater Pittston Area to write him a recommendation letter so he could find a better job in Seattle, his home since 1999. Here’s what I wrote: 
June 3rd, 2013 
To Whom It May Concern: 
Please accept this letter as an endorsement of Mr. John Watson for employment with your company. In this competitive job market, I feel compelled to tell you about Mr. Watson. I have known John for forty years. I was associated at a young age with his family business in the East, the Pittston Pennsylvania Sunday Dispatch. During my time there, John was an earnest worker, a talented editor and had great management and analytical skills that span every vocation. I believe John will be a great asset to your organization. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ***-***-****. .
Sincerely, David S. Yonki ,  Wilkes Barre, Pa. 
John passed away last Thursday at an age that was way too young for his talents to leave this earth. If he got around to using my letter, the people who are now trying to contact him will realize they missed out on knowing and working with a great, smart, kind and fun human being. He will be missed.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2447, June 16th, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that every time I drive down to Nanticoke to stop off at the Sanitary or to LCCC to attempt to see my old Coding Teacher (she’s always busy) I travel down South Prospect Street where the old WNAK building used to be. It was a big reconverted funeral home but now the thing is leveled and a parking lot. The once storied frequency too has been diminished somewhat with a simulcast of that great Oldies Station, GEM out of Tunkhannock. Times change I guess. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that when we were coming home from church last night passing through Parsons, I saw that a house had their garbage out. Then as Mrs. LuLac drove on, the whole neighborhood had their blue bags out. Is it possible the entire neighborhood put their garbage out early? En masse? Then we both realized Friday was Flag Day and a holiday for Public Sector workers. Damn, you have to love those unions! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that because of the weakness of the Republican Party in Scranton, a party that elected Gene Peters twice, David Wenzel once and Jimmy Connors three times can’t field a decent candidate. Bill Courtright will then waltz into the Mayor’s office. How does a party collapse like that in just a short time? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the Judicial situation begs the same question in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. In the current Judge race in the Lac, Jim Gibbons won a double nomination and in Luzerne County, despite some decent candidates running on the GOP, the only candidate who succeeded was Dick Hughes. And I believe that was more his community service and personal energy than anything the party did for him. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..in Germany, the “sshhhh” sound means “hurry up”. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that there are people around who continue to underestimate Correale Stevens of Hazleton. He has had the most consistent, unblemished, unquestioned climb of any local political figure of this generation. Seven years as State Representative, Luzerne County DA, a few years on the Luzerne County bench as well as time on the State’s Higher Courts. Now Stevens is poised to become a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The last time Luzerne County had representation was when the late Ben Jones was named to the Court in 1957. In Lackawanna County, Michael Eagen was named in 1960. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that a Supreme Court Justice who visited this area on more than one occasion, Seamus P. McCaffery is reportedly under fire for some questionable arrangements with his wife Lise Rapaport. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he is now reportedly being investigated by the F.B.I. for payment Rapaport received in her side business referring clients to lawyers. Not only did she work for her husband as a judicial aide while she was doing so, but McCaffery ended up ruling on many of those very cases for which she was making referrals. Didn’t Mark Ciavarella refer to that as “a finder’s fee?” This will be something to watch. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Miami Heat just seem able to turn it on when they need a big win. The Series with the Spurs is tied at 2-2 and the only explanation I have is that the Heat has been a team the last three years that played in the finals. Those extra games and pressure take their toll. If they win this year, will they have anything left in the tank for next season? 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that that we humans take 23,800 breaths in a day. That’s 161,000 a week, which translates in a year to almost under 2 million. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that political ripples are starting to develop in Lackawanna County now that the Government Study Commission, which was endorsed in the primary takes their seats. Look for organizer Chuck Volpe to be in the catbird seat and the current trio of County Commissioners (career politicians who have no place else to go) to start digging in their heels. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that most local community newspapers are now done out of town in a template format. Then they are sent back to a skeleton staff for approval. This is a far cry from the old Wyoming Valley Observer, the Pittston Dispatch, and the Dallas Post/Abington Journal. The latter two were owned and operated by William Scranton III who in my estimation would have made a great Governor of Pennsylvania. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that one of the true hidden treasures in the area as terms of a decent, home cooked meal is The Wagon Wheel in Shickshinny. Battling back after the most recent flood, the service is great, and the Friday Fish Fry is one of the best. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2446, June 14th, 2013

FLAG DAY 2013
HAZLETON SCHOOL BUS INCIDENT 

Today when I went to WYLN TV 35 to do “Topic A” after a long absence, the TV station’s fine reporter Anne Gownley did a story about an autistic 18 year old boy that awaited eagerly every day to wave to the school bus that passed by his mother's business. He looked forward to it. Well, apparently yesterday a group of students riding the bus started to shout the F bomb at him and threw objects too. They called him every obscenity in the book and were totally out of hand. 
But the rub to this story is that the students on the bus were FIRST GRADERS! 
****ing FIRST GRADERS! 
This is a disturbing story because it tells you all you need to know about how kids are being raised. The Hazleton School authorities said they will investigate the matter and will bring the full extent of the law to the little punks. 
The ironic thing about all of this is that their disgusting display was caught on video for the TV station to air as well as hopefully all of America. It is unkind at best to diminish one because they might not be as mentally developed as you are in your first grade big boy pants. 
But the video was shot by the victim they were calling names and making fun of. So my big question now is, which party is the dumb one? Not the victim that’s for sure! 
Two things need to happen: 
1. All those kids need to be banned from riding the bus for one year. Let the moms and dads and the grand pops and nanas cart their little asses to school every school day in 2013-2014. 
2. Empower school bus drivers to do this: when an incident happens, take the bus either to the police station or back to the school. Then have mom leave her job as she climbs the corporate ladder while her kid becomes a monster and get dad off the golf course or construction site and have them deal with their precious loin magic. 
You’ll see how fast this stuff stops. 

POOR CONGRESS! 

Politico has reported that 12 members of Congress say they will quit before the Affordable Health Care kicks in because “they can’t afford the co-pays of the government health care plan." That tells you enough about why they went you Washington, doesn’t it? 
These people are making in excess of $185,000 a year. They can’t afford an insurance employee copay like the rest of us? 
I pay $220.00 a month for my health care coverage on a salary that is considerably less than a member of Congress. These guys and their staff just need to go and join the real world. 

BUT THEIR REAL WORLD 

 …………..is not ours. What happens to you when you are a Congressman getting the ax in a primary? You land a job with the Liquor Control Board in the state for $71,000 a year. Tim Holden got his job from Governor Corbett. Look for Corbett to carry Schuylkill County next year. 

80 MILLION IN CAMOUFLAGE 

The U.S. Military can save 80 million bucks if they just had uniform camouflage for all branches of the service. The 4 branches have separate designs and that is costing that wasteful 80 million. I know people having their salaries cut because of the sequester and they are in the military. 
This makes a bad case the next time the military wrings its hands over cuts. Start with common sense because unless I’m wrong, terrorists don’t give a shit about the design of your camouflage uniforms. The taxpayers who support the military without question are getting hosed in this case.

Ltn. Governor candidate Brad Koplinski . (Photo: Harrisburg Patriot). 

KOPLINSKI GETS NODS 


The season for preliminary sparring has begun for State wide offices i n 2014. Brad Koplinski got the nods of key Democrats in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County as he crosses the state for the office of Lieutenant Governor. 
In the Lu, Dan Hartman – Democratic State Committeeman, Keith Moss – Mayor, Dureya Borough and Rebecca Sammon – President, Pennsylvania Young Democrats and  Democratic State Committeewoman. 
In the Lac, Ed Karpovich – County Treasurer and Justin Taylor – Mayor, City of Carbondale gave their support. 
Yesterday, over 115 elected officials, Democratic County Chairs and State Committee people and Party leaders throughout Pennsylvania endorsed Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Races for Ltn. Governor can be crap shoots but if a candidate gets his name out there and is persistent, you never know when he or she will be paired with a winning candidate. Catherine Baker Knoll was inflicted on Ed Rendell and the current Ltn. Governor, Jim Cawley won his primary race against Chet Beiler by 50,000 and a field of others. So if you are fast out of the gate..you never know.
Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives) 

BARLETTA TO HOST MEETING 


U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, PA-11, announced that his campaign will host a national tele-town hall to discuss the problem of illegal immigration in the United States, its impact on American workers, and current proposals in the House and the Senate. “A proposal of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants will not make our country safer, will not make Washington spend less, and will not help anyone find a job. In fact, it will make each of these issues worse,” said Barletta. He continued, “It is important that the American people have all the facts about granting amnesty to millions of people in this country illegally. They deserve to know what this will do to their employment prospects, national security, and government spending. I hope to add to this discussion by inviting everyone across the nation to this free tele-town hall.” Tele-Town Hall Date: Thursday, 20 June 2013 Time: 8:00 PM Eastern To Participate: 1-877-228-2184 and enter event ID 110601 

MEDIA MATTERS 

SPECIAL EDITION 

Sue Henry has an interview with athlete Stephanie Jallen, a 17-year old Harding teen who is trying to compete in the Paralympic Games in 2014 in alpine skiing, a preview of the inaugural Zamboni Fantasy Camp at the Ice Rink at Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre and a rundown of the upcoming Wyoming Valley Riverfest. Special Edition is on Saturday at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m on WILK. 

ECTV 


SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Kimberly McHale about Lightning Awareness Week, and her brother, who was struck by lightning last year at Pocono International Raceway, as well as the return of the Moscow Country Run. 
This Week in Harrisburg hears from both sides of the State House aisle on the passage of the House Budget earlier this week. State Representative Phyllis Mundy of Luzerne County and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai weigh in, and State Senator John Blake of Lackawanna County presses to increase funding for people with disabilities to live independently. 
And an encore of Brian's April interview with Debbie McGrady who discusses living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6m on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM. 

THE PARTY ZONE 

Catch the new extended 70s, 80s, 90s oldies show "The Party Zone" with Shadoe Steele beginning this Saturday from 6 - midnight on 50,000 watt powerhouse WAVT-FM - T-102. ... and on line at www.t102radio.com
Your blog editor and L.A. Tarone on WYLN TV 35’s Topic A. (Photo: Lulac archives) 

TOPIC A 

Returned this evening today after a multi week hiatus (which we’ll get into at some point) to WYLN TV 35’s Topic A. We’ll be at “Riverfest” next week. “Topic A” airs at 5PM on WYLN TV daily.I'm on with Tarone every Friday.
Our 1976 logo. 

1976 

The Soweto uprising in South Africa begins.......The National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association agree on the ABA–NBA merger..........Hundreds of Western tourists are moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the U.S. military, following the murder of the U.S. ambassador. o General elections are held in Italy…….in Presidential politics, the scramble begins on each side to get enough votes to secure the Presidential nominations after the primary season. Democrat Jimmy Carter needed over 2200 votes while President Ford the GOP front runner needed about 1150. Carter’s lead was much larger than Ford and negotiations began fast and furiously……in Pennsylvania, both GOP United States Senators, Hugh Scott and Richard Schweiker say they will be at the GOP convention in Detroit front and center…….and Luzerne County, Democrats who had supported Henry Jackson start to become enthused about Jimmy Carter and 37 years ago the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was More, More, More, Part 1 by adult film star Andrea True and her Connection.
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2445, June 13th, 2013

Our “13 Questions” logo. 

13 QUESTIONS 


1. Do you mind having your calls on a database somewhere so that they can be accessed? 

If this were the 80s and 90s, I’d care But since I’m behaving, I’m semi okay with it. I think there has to be a pattern of behavior to warrant an investigation. I don’t think anyone who is aware of how vulnerable we are was surprised by the revelation. I mean technology right now is so invasive, with a little work you can find out anything about anyone. The legacy and victory of Bin Laden (as much as we’d hate to admit it) is that the after 911, America drastically changed the way it did business. Does this take away our freedoms? To a point but I agree with my friends L.A. Tarone who has stated time and again how local governments infringe more on basic freedoms. A recent poll said about 56% of Americans said they are okay with the NSA actions if it protects us from a terrorist attack. 

2. I see you are highlighting 1963 as well as 1976. Reasons? 

1963 was such a significant year with so many events, not the least being JFK’s death. Just this week, as stated in LuLac Edition #2443, there are three historic news events which shaped history.

3. Did you see President Carter the day after Memorial Day at the Monument in Wyoming? 

I did not. I had work that day and virtually no time off available. (Unlike government workers, I have to earn my vacation time per day, just like most of the private sector). But a few friends went and gave me reports. I first met Carter in ’76 on the campaign trail, interviewed his wife and sons at WVIA TV and FM and saw Carter when he came to the Pittston Area High School during the 1980 campaign. But I understand he was great. 

4. Are you an aficionado of the Chinese buffet? 

Yes but not for the Chinese food. My top three places for Chinese are Peking Chef, Ho Yi and China Queen all in Luzerne County. But when I go to the Chinese buffet, I go for the big clams, raw seafood like mussels and clams on the half shell and Pepper Steak. Not a lot of carbs when I go to the buffets. 

5. The fifth anniversary of the closing of St. John the Baptist Church is upon us? Are you going to cry us a river again? 

You bet. It will be 5 years to the actual day in fact. And I’m working on something special. Monsignor Bendick of St. John the Evangelist is conducting a drive to put up a monument on the site of the school. That should be completed sometime this summer. Both my sister and I donated to the very worthy project.
Will D. Campbell, circa 1960s. (Photo: Alabama Public TV) 

6. Worthy of a Lulac mention, the death of Will Campbell. I became aware of him in Nashville where he was a celebrity of a different kind. A giant in civil rights and a white guy preacher in the South. 

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. He was a fervent supporter of the Civil Rights movement in the 50s and 60s and took a lot of heat for it. Campbell was just one of four whites that escorted black students to Little Rock Schools in 1957. He even embraced racists saying they were misguided but still were God’s children. He avoided saying racists were made in the image of God though. He was a National Book Award runner up in 1978 for his autobiographical Brother to a Dragonfly. He died on June 3rd at 88. 

7. The recent election has me depressed, especially in the Pittston Area. What in your estimation are the biggest mistakes qualified candidates make that enable them to get beat by lesser qualified people? 

Three basic mistakes I see. They pick the wrong agencies. I have seen brilliant candidates go by the wayside because they never picked an agency that understood politics. I can name the agencies but I won’t. A lot of times, the ad agencies have no frame of reference to the political situation and really don’t understand how politics is played here in LuLac land. The second mistake I see is that some candidates think advertising is enough. It’s not. You need to have people on the ground for you getting out the vote. A case in point was the recent Scranton Mayoral race with Bill Courtright and Liz Randol. He had the votes counted on the ground so accurately he knew he had won shortly after the polls closed. Finally, the third is timing. Is it the right time to run? Are you a better candidate in a one to one race or a crowded race. Where is the candidate the best? And then of course there’s money too. But you have to know how to target it wisely and not waste it. Perfect examples of that were the candidacies of Tina Polachak Gartley in 2009 and Jennifer Rogers in 2011 for the Luzerne County Judge seats. Plus a candidate has to be everywhere. 

8. I miss Carolee Olenginski as Pronothotary. Would Harry Truman been impressed by her?

Truman was impressed by very few local politicians especially Prothonotaries. When Harry Truman was on a barnstorming trip for the Presidency in Pittsburgh he met Dr. William McClelland who served as Alleghany County Prothonotary from 1944 to 1967. McClelland was a former Republican who was Pittsburgh Mayor and later Governor David Lawrence’s bane of existence. When Truman met him after the good doctor proclaimed his title, Truman asked , “What the hell is a Pronthonotary?” So I’m not sure how old “Give ‘em hell” would react to meeting up with you or Carolee. 

9. Are you a McDonald’s Dollar menu guy? 

Oh yeah, You won’t see me paying $4.19 for a Big Mac. Your e mail stated that McDonald’s came up in sales because of the less expensive items. I can see that. And no I don’t own stock in the company. 

10. Summertime TV viewing after Madmen goes off the air? 

I like “Major Crimes” on TBS. Other than that, baseball and politics. 

11. What kind of music did you listen to in high school? 

When I was in High School, I wrote a Teen Record Column for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch. So I wrote for an audience that was between 12 and 17. The record companies at the time were heavily promoting the Partridge Family, Bobby Sherman, the Fifth Dimension and artists that skewed younger. So I listened to that. But our high school class was divided into two groups, the people who liked Led Zeppelin and the Stones and the people who were drawn to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carole King, James Taylor and the Beatles. Thinking back, it divided right down the line. I was part of the CSNY/Taylor/King/Beatles wing. Our class song was “Morning Has Broken” for church and our song for class night was Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”. Pretty progressive for an IHM nun run school I’d say. My musical tastes grew more varied working at WRKC FM King’s College Radio and then when I worked at WVIA FM with George Graham. 

12. Are you addicted to Twitter? 

Hardly. I use it twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8PM to give LuLac a presence but that’s about it. When I’m on vacation, I don’t see the point of telling people where I am and especially bitching about things when I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying life. Twitter is good for breaking news but one of my followers is CBS News. Am I going to provide better insight them CBS? Now Facebook, I’ll check at least three times a day to see what my co workers are saying since I tend to shut up and just keep my head down at work. 

13. Is the LuLac household draped in black bunting because of the death of the Dells’ Marvin Junior? 

Glad you picked up on that. Things have been moving so fast, I missed that on the news. Junior was the lead singer of the Dells and died at age 77 from kidney disease. Junior was the lead singer of the DoWop group that was formed six decades ago. He was the lead singer on the two versions of their mega hit, “Oh What A Night”. I preferred the second version. The Dells had twenty five chart hits.