Monday, June 30, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2686, June 30th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that as a solution to the state budget deficit is being worked on by the State Legislature and Governor, there seems to be a serious disconnect as to where they’ll get the money to balance the budget. It appears that any tax on the people who have the money (the gas drillers) is off limits. The other options are one time allotments which will be gone after this year or the people that have the least, Pennsylvania taxpayers.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……and I hesitate to write this because if there are any guys out there who gave their girl friend’s pearls and the girl friend is upset, or vice versa, but vinegar will dissolve pearls.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that Oreo now has a new flavor, limeade. I have always loved lime as a flavor and think this new mix will be very good. But these Oreo varieties are like baseball caps. When I was a kid, there was a chocolate Oreo and one baseball hat per team. Progress I guess. So maybe we can eat our limeade Oreos while wearing a Sunday road baseball hat while watching a game at PNC Field. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that in addition to the plethora of show about houses (usually disgruntled 30 somethings who have more money than common sense and think that moving to Cowabunga, Belieze) there is a new show about people looking for a home in a foreign land. It’s called “Buying Naked”. These are people who are nudists and showing up at Open Houses with realtors. It was on at midnight on TLC (yep The Learning Channel) and I was just stunned. Then when the chunky husband (nothing wrong with chunky mind you) started doing karate with his scrawny bleached blond wife, well it was just time to shut that down. I’m told TLC just goes by TLC now, not The Learning Channel. A better moniker might be Try Lewd Cable.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that a 911 operator in Luzerne County was fired because a fire truck was dispatched to the wrong address. I’m sure there were discipline procedures in place for this type of thing. If this was a normal work place there might have been steps for corrective action. It is significant that the Times Leader reported that the employee missed some alerts. County Councilman Edd Brominski has called for a more in depth inquiry. Here’s the thing though, where were the managers or “leaders” in all this? I hope Brominski’s probe gives us more answers. These jobs are so important that in a case like this, said employee has to check and double everything. I’m stating the obvious here but details here count.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that the President who had the most children was John Tyler our 10th Chief Executive. His last child was born when Tyler was 70. You go John. Tyler as stated previously before on LuLac is significant because he was the first President to succeed from the Vice Presidency and withstood some pressure from William Henry Harrison supporters who were stunned by the death of the old General after 30 days and weren’t crazy about Tyler.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..and glad that the State Attorney General’s office has requested a copy of the transcript for the Megan Panowicz hit and run trial. Since the Judge never commented, I’m glad someone is looking for an explanation.
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand. (Photo: History Channel).
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that this weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro Hungarian throne and was a inspector general of the armed forces. He was not even supposed to be an heir but at the end of the 19th century, a cousin Prince Rudolph committed suicide. That left his father as next in line but he renounced the throne to Franz Ferdinand. Ferdinand was killed with his wife in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, His assignation along with national pride, various European alliances and a tug of war between nationalism and imperialistic forces were the causes that were laying dormant. His brutal assassination, just a few hours after a grenade attack by members of a Bosnia terrorist organization dubbed The Black Hand  is regarded as the fuse that lit World War I.  He was killed June 28th, 2014.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….but not really that Frankie Valli will be singing at the Fourth of July event in Washington, D.C. The success of the play and movie “Jersey Boys” as well as Valli’s long time popularity will be a welcome sight. Valli turned 80 this May.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that with the death Chuck Noll, the former Steelers coach, finally some credit is given those Steeler teams of the 70s. The Steelers won 4 Super Bowl in 6 years. And they weren’t all by one field goal like the New England Patriots. Chuck Noll was a class act and it is good people remembered his body of championship work.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2685, June 28th, 2014


We got word from Congressman Matt Cartwright’s office that the one term incumbent will debate his Republican challenger Dr. David Moylan, the Schuylkill County Coroner, Cartwright had no opposition in the primary for the Democrats. Moylan fended off Matthew Dietz and Matthew Connonly in his effort. Moylan did very well in his home county and got just enough to edge out his two challengers.If one of those guys dropped out or moved to another office, Cartwright most likely would have had a different foe.
While Dietz and Connolly campaigned hard and were seen frequently in this area of the district, Moylan has been pretty much a mystery man to some folks in LuLac land.
But he has an interesting website dubbed Docmoylanforcongress and his slogan is “The Cure For the Congress”. While Cartwright has not shunned the Affordable Care Act altogether, Moylan says on his website that Obamacare is a double-barreled shotgun aimed at the heart of America: Not mincing any words there either.
Personally I have to give Cartwright credit because he has not run away from any of his challengers. Plus he has given them the dignity and respect they should get as candidates for this office. Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In this debate, he will have on site experience in the Congress, something he didn’t have when he faced off against Laureen Cummings in 2012.
Since taking office, Cartwright has been a leader among his colleagues, introducing 43 pieces of legislation, being elected as a freshman class President and being named a “Moderate Democratic Leader” by the non-partisan watch-dog group, GovTrack.
The Cartwright campaign reports that a live debate will be held on Wednesday, October 29 at the WVIA Studios in Pittston Township, Luzerne County, and a second debate, which has yet to be scheduled, will be hosted by WLVT (PBS39) in Bethlehem, Northampton County.
The WVIA debates are always well run and organized. I’m thinking the second one will be too. October 29th might be a World Series night if the season goes that long but die hard politicos will be watching this.
The District, tailor made for 10 term incumbent Tim Holden who Cartwright beat in 2012 consists of Schuylkill County and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Northampton Counties.
Moylan appeared on the Public Access channel out of Hazleton SSPTV and I thought I’d put that video up.

Cooper and Justin Ross Harris. (Photo: HLN News).
We  received a few posts on this story already and I was going to post it under the June 26th Edition. But when I reviewed the Dr. Moylan video I thought maybe we should just put the comments in this post.
When host Sam Lasante asked Dr. Moylan why he is running for Congress Moylan talked about the sanctity of life. I get the belief that some people have. I am anti abortion but pro choice. I know that sounds like a conflict but it is not. But I digress.
Where I work, there is a huge common area for people to eat. A cafeteria if you will and toward the back of the room is a flat screen TV which usually has on the Headline News Channel. (HLN) Normally people just ignore it but the other day there was the story about the man, (and do I ever use that term loosely) who kept his baby in an SUV for 7 hours. The baby died. A few things here.
This happened in Georgia, one of the few Southern states which has seem to keep the moron quota down. But Justin Ross Harris left his 22 month old son in a hot car to die. He forgot about him. But he also went back to the car to retrieve something and still left the kid in the car. To die.
Wait, it gets better. At little 22 month old Cooper’s funeral, his wife Leanna took to the pulpit and said, 'Am I angry with Ross? Absolutely not. It never ever has crossed my mind. Ross is and always will be, if we have more children, a wonderful daddy, a wonderful leader for our children.'
She added: 'Cooper meant the world to him, there was not a day go by that we did not say how blessed we were to have him in our lives.” Maybe if the dumb ass husband remembered he had a child in the car, the child might have made it to kindergarten.
The crazy thing is this woman said she’d have kids with him again even though he searched on the internet how long it takes for an animal to die in a locked car in hot weather.
Sanctity of life is not just for the unborn, it is for the living children that sometimes have the unfortunate luck to be born to knuckleheads like this. Was this an accident? We’ll find out. But before we start worrying about what people do when they get pregnant and how they get pregnant and what type of birth control they use, let’s make sure dumbasses like this guy and his lovely “lady” don’t get their hands on live babies who are defenseless too.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2684, June 26th, 2014

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran. (Photo: U.S. Senate).
Why should any political observer care about the re-election of a six term Senator from the state of Mississippi over a Tea Party challenger? For a number of reasons.
First let’s recap, Mississippi has been represented in the United States Senate since 1978 by Thad Cochran. Cochran won election to Congress in 1972 and along with former Senator Trent Lott was one of the first Republicans elected from that state since Reconstruction. (Post Civil War).
In 1978 Cochran ran for the Senate seat vacated by James Eastland who served as Senator for thirty years. Cochran, though a conservative chaired the Agriculture Committee as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee. Time Magazine named him one of the best 10 Senators in 2006 and he was known as “The Quiet Persuader” who got more money for Katrina Relief than the Congress and President Bush at first were willing to give.
So like many other long serving GOP Senators, he was not the “cup of tea” of the Tea Party activists. Cochran, like Richard Luger of Indiana last year was targeted because he was not in step with the philosophy of the party extremists.
His Tea Party challenger this year was Chris McDaniel a forty something loudmouth who forced a run off with Cochran earlier this month. McDaniel’s people supposedly went to a nursing home where Cochran’s ill wife was and took pictures. McDaniel denied that clumsily but many in the Tea Party were thinking it would be a roll over for the challenger in the primary. It wasn’t. Cochran won his race by a few percentage points and McDaniel screamed like a little baby that the Democrats put Cochran in office because Mississippi has an open primary. Maybe some Democrats voted for him but once more the logic of the Tea Party eludes me.
The Democrats have a nominee, Travis Childers. Why would they put up Cochran who is an institution and not help a Tea Party Zealot? The people who pulled Cochran through were people who saw Cochran’s record, what he did for the state and who decided they didn’t want another Ted Cruz romping around in the Senate like a spoiled brat.
Sometimes voters, even in the Deep South think things through. That’s why Cochran won mainly because voters notice when a candidate and his zealots overreach.

Howard Baker in 1972. (LuLac archives).
Minority Counsel Fred Thompson and Senator Howard Baker during the Watergate hearing. (Photo: knoxnews.copm)
Former Senator Howard Baker died today and that brought back memories of the Tennessee lawmaker from 41 years ago. Baker was the Senator on the Watergate Committee that asked the important question about Richard Nixon’s role in Watergate, “What did the President know and when did he know it?” He got that question from the Minority Counsel Fred Thompson who would later go on to become a Senator, Presidential candidate, actor on Law and Order and now the spokesman for Reverse Mortgages. Baker was a person who was regarded as a fair individual on that committee who wanted to get to the truth. He did.
Baker was the first Republican Senator elected in Tennessee since Reconstruction (Post Civil War).
A little known fact is that Nixon wanted Baker to join the Supreme Court in 1971 but the Senator didn’t make his mind fast enough and Nixon chose William Rehnquist.
After the tumult Watergate died down, Baker made a run for President on his own in 1980 which did not succeed. Baker along with Ambassador George Bush was vanquished by the Ronald Reagan juggernaut. At the time of his Presidential run, Baker was serving as Senate Minority Leader (a post he won after Pennsylvania’s Hugh Scott retired) and then chose not to run in 1984. That seat was claimed by future Vice President and majority elected President Al Gore.
Baker wasn’t idle for long taking over the job of White House Chief of Staff from Donald Regan. The Reagan Presidency was suffering second term turmoil and Regan (the chief of staff) was seen by key White House insiders (especially First Lady Nancy Reagan) as a person who wanted to be a defacto Prime Minister to the President. Baker calmed the waters and sacrificed a chance to make another run for President in 1988.
Baker served as Ambassador to Japan during the George W. Bush administration.
Baker certainly married up. Twice. His first wife was the daughter of Senate icon Everett Dirkson and his current wife, Nancy Landon Kassebaum is the daughter of 1936 GOP nominee Alf Landon.
The striking thing about Baker is how he tried to build consensus and coalitions. His nickname as a Senator was “The Great Conciliator", Baker mattered in his tenure because he never forgot he was an American first and a member of a political party second. He was 88.




State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. (Photo: LuLac archives).
As Pennsylvania faces an estimated budget deficit of $1.5 billion, we must work in a bipartisan manner to develop a budget that will help to address the deficit, put Pennsylvanians to work and ask businesses to pay their fair share.
Unfortunately, this year’s budget falls drastically short of what the people need. Here's Pashinski's take.



ECTV Live host David DeCosmo will welcome Jen Moran from the West Pittston Library back to the program during the week of June 30th as she reviews a list of free programs to be offered to the public during the summer months, David's special guest co-host will be former WYOU Weather forecaster Barry Finn! ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Cable Ch19 in Northeastern Pennsylvania and runs twice daily throughout the week during the Noon and Midnight hour



This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Commander Tiger Pittman of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, who discusses big honors earned by the Ohio Class submarine.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Attorney Michelle Quinn from HKQ about their annual Bike Safety Helmet Day for the kids on the Fourth of July at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre. Brian speaks with author Dan Schwabel about practical advice for workers who plan to leave their present position for another one.And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Ellen Marmur about applying the proper SPF suncreen during the Summer months.Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on Good Time 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 noon 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!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.

Our 1974 logo.


On June 26, 1974, the first UPC bar code was scanned on a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a Marsh supermarket in Ohio.

The first UPC marked item ever scanned at a retail checkout was scanned at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio, at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974, when customer Clyde Dawson

walked up to cashier Sharon Buchanan.

Clyde handed Sharon a 10-pack (50 sticks) of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Sharon then made the first ever UPC scan of a product. The NCR cash register rang up 67 cents.

What happened to that first pack of Wrigley’s gum that passed under the rays of a bar code scanner? Forbes reported in 2002 that it rests safely on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. As NPR stated this morning, poor Clyde didn't even get to chew the gum! 
In Pennsylvania the Democratic Party State committee decides to go after the 17 seats won by Republicans in the 1972 Nixon landslide. Party insiders feel that with the embattled President under an Impeachment investigation and with Milton Shapp leading Drew Lewis in the polls gains could be made…….in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, GOP functions are visited fervently by Ken Lee, who was nominated as the candidate for Lt. Governor along with Drew Lewis….and forty years ago today the number one song in LuLac land and America was Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2683, June 25th, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2682, June 24th, 2014


Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives).
House Passes Cartwright’s Energy Efficiency Bill
Congressman Matt Cartwright’s Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 (H.R. 4092) unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, introduced by Cartwright in March, would establish a clearinghouse through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The clearinghouse will publish information on federal programs and financing tools that may be used to develop energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects for schools.
“I am pleased that the House unanimously passed my legislation and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure swift action is taken,”said U.S. Rep. Cartwright. “The bill is a strategic and cost-saving measure to help relieve the fiscal pressure felt by schools across the country while increasing our energy security.”
Companion legislation to H.R. 4092 is also advancing in the Senate, introduced as theStreamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2013 (S. 1084) by Senators Mark Udall (CO) and Susan Collins (ME).
“Our pursuit of true energy self-reliance depends on supporting energy-efficiency initiatives. My bipartisan Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act is essential to ensure that Colorado and the nation's schools can more easily take advantage of energy-efficiency programs,”U.S. Senator Mark Udall said. “The U.S. House of Representatives' vote shows the growing, bipartisan momentum for not only my common-sense and cost-saving bill, but also strengthening our nation's energy efficiency.”
Cartwright has introduced 42 bills this Congress, including H.R. 4092 which is the first to pass out of the House under his name. Earlier this year, Cartwright’s bill that provided a 1 percent raise to hourly federal workers, including at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Monroe County, was included in a broader spending bill.


It appears that the head of the Scranton Teacher’s Union, Rosemary Boland is following in the fine tradition of Teacher’s Union heads and being a sarcastic and smarmy bully. What an example for kids.
The “educator” made a comment about Board President Kathleen McGuigan saying she got “sand in her dentures” and because of that was taking it her actions at a meeting on other school board members.
Do you think that Teacher’s Union Presidents go to Longshoreman’s meetings to get their marching instructions?
There is a reason why regular rank and file taxpayers don’t like teachers, think they are doing a substandard job, are overpaid for what they do and have little or no respect like they received in the old days. Just take one look at their leadership.
Remember when the Wyoming Area chieftains picketed the late John Bolin’s business? It was a flower shop!!!!
I’m a Democrat, a union backer, have people in my family who are in a Teacher’s union, but keep up this playground behavior and you will have no friends left. Boland should be fired but her rank and file will not have the spine to do it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2681, June 23rd, 2014

’64 PHILLIES @ 50


Fifty years ago this past Saturday, on Father’s Day, the Philadelphia Phillies had a record of 37-23 and were in first place in the National League. The Phils were in New York facing the Mets in a 5 game series. The team swept the Friday night double header and lost on Saturday 7 to 3.
Jim Bunning was starting the first game at Shea while a rookie Rick Wise was starting the second game. I had been to a Father and Son Communion Breakfast at St. John the Baptist Church with my father. It was a hot humid day and none of my childhood friends were not around anywhere. As my father read the newspaper on the front porch, I tossed a rubber ball against our steps and fielded whatever came my way. Around 3:30pm, my father called me in the house and advised me to watch the game. Since this is a baseball story, let’s say I “balked” at the idea. He was insistent.
As I entered the living room with our behemoth black and white TV, the Phillies broadcasters were subdued but excited.
My father said, “It’s a no hitter, it’s a perfect game, 27 up, 27 down”. As the clock struck 3:19PM, Bunning struck out John Stephenson and headed toward his catcher, journeyman Gus Triandos.
I was so glad my father demanded I come inside. Bunning was paid $1,000 that night to appear on Ed Sullivan and was the toast of the town.
Years later I met Bunning in Philadelphia. I had sprained both ankles in a stupid basketball pickup game which I had no business being in. But nothing was going to stop me from going there and meeting him.I also interview him for The Sunday Dispatch. (At the time I was writing a column called "The Strike Zone").
Politically Bunning is against everything I stand for but the memories of that great day fifty years ago trump politics. Father’s Day and baseball have always been perfect together. Jim Bunning and my dad's insistence made it even more so fifty years ago Saturday.

Bunning on revised '64 yearbook.

Me and Jim Bunning in the early 80s at an event in Philadelphia. 
Here's Bob Murphy's call on New York TV from the MLB Network. 

The LuLac Edition #2680, June 22nd 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the comparisons to Vietnam and Iraq are so potent. In Vietnam in the 60s, the U.S. propped up the Diem regime which was primarily Catholic. Instead of working with the other major religion in that nation, the Buddhists, the policy was to leave them out and persecute them. Diem was later overthrown and killed. In Iraq, the current President who we backed is not being inclusive of every religious sect. The Sunnis, Shia and Kurds need to either be partitioned, like Joe Biden said when he was running for President or someone needs to put pressure on Iraq President Nouri al-Maliki. He needs to do something to either unite his country and not beat down a minority sect. Or some really bad history will repeat itself.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……… the number of people in the Republican party in Pennsylvania who are having major problems with Governor Tom Corbett. There is even talk in the Capitol that candidates running for Senate and the House are running away from the embattled incumbent. Somewhere I bet there's a e mail floating around even urging that course of action.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that in the Wall Street Journal this week, former Vice President Dick Cheney along with his daughter wrote an Op Ed piece essentially saying the that President Obama is on track "to secure his legacy as a man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom”. Again, the neo cons with the freedom word there. Of all people to talk about a failed Iraq policy, well let me tell you it just shouldn’t be Cheney. The guy is tone deaf and shameless if he has us believe the current threat of terrorism is the President’s fault. (I’ll give that maybe he should have done something in Syria). But by invading Iraq and destabilizing a Muslim government, we only emboldened the terror threat against us. The Iraq war was fought on a lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Cheney either believed that or told a bald faced lie. He said we would be greeted as liberators and that after our intervention extremists would have to rethink their future strategies of Jihad. A poster advised I used the word “mendacity” to describe the former Veep’s statement. The definition of that word is living in a world of falsehood and untruths. The amazing thing here is Cheney is not only being called out by liberals but guys like Conservative Pat Buchanan and Fox News’ Megyn Kelly who did not give Cheney a pass when he appeared on Wednesday night. Even Robert McNamara. toward the end of his life had the sense and good grace to apologize for his failures in Vietnam. This guy can’t or won’t. In the meantime, one must wonder what type of Presidency George W. Bush might have had if he picked someone else as a running mate instead of Cheney.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that during the 6am to 6:30AM time slot on a Saturday morning I counted 35 infomercials. More than a third of the 90 channels I was checking that morning.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that the Yankee Old Timers games just keeping getting sadder and sadder for fans of my generation. Sunday they wheeled Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra out in a golf cart. What is disturbing is that they start the ceremony at 11am now so the Stadium is half packed with fans.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that when tooling around the EBay site, I came across this cover of the 1965 Pittsburgh Pirates Yearbook. Now that ’65 team had a World Series Champ on it named Roberto Clemente. There was an up and coming star named Willie Stargell who would later go to the Hall of Fame. The Bucs had a pitcher named Bob Veale who would win 17 games that year. Another up and comer was Manny Mota as well as their great defensive shortstop Jose Pagan. By the way, these were as I’m sure you’ll surmise players of color. 
The Pirates decided to put the Coaching staff on the cover of the yearbook. Walker had just taken over for Danny Murtaugh during the previous season and I understand the issue of wanting to promote the new regime. But I was struck that 18 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Bucs did not promote their top guys, Clemente and Stargell on the cover. Tells you all you need to know about racial tensions in the mid 60s.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Internal Revenue Service wants us as taxpayers to hold on to records. But yet they don’t have the capacity to keep e mails for 6 months? Really? I think that is truly an insult to the people who pay their salaries, us. Dumb and dumber in the IRS.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that yesterday was the 70th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the GI Bill. That legislation enabled war veterans to return home, learn a trade, go to college and rebuild their lives. It is one of the landmark laws that has stood the test of time. If only there could be that type of cooperation between the branches of government today. Today Republicans in Congress would cry, “But where are we going to get the moneeeey for all of this?”
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that when you see the landscape of a truly totalitarian state, you see grand portraits and statues of “The {Great/Grand/Omnipotent, take your pick} Leader. Yet these are the societies where everyone and everything is supposed to be equal. There is a reason why democracies erect statues to their leaders after they have died. And why other governments pay homage to their living leaders.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..but not really about Joe Holden’s report on WBRE TV Sunday night regarding a Country and Western All Amurikan concert in Pittsburgh. Last year the tailgaters left the parking lot in shambles. This year city officials handed out garbage bags in hopes that the concert goers would clean up their pork skins, grits, pork bellies and beer cans after the event. After all, surely they are Americans that take pride in their country, the venue they are visiting and themselves. Of course the answer is they didn’t. I forgot they were Amurikans and most likely had to high tail it home in case President Obama was trying to steal their guns!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..every day I drive by Place One on South Main Street. As a fan of tall women in beautiful ball gowns, I used to lovingly look in the windows as I was stopped at a light on my way to work. More than a few times did an irate driver behind me lay on the horn to have me move on. But this morning I saw a sign in the window saying” Temporarily relocated to Scranton”. 
And I thought this; that is a long way to relocate. Once you relocate, do you still get the same business you originally had? How many consumers will drive to Scranton to get their finery? Consumers like the familiar, the easily accessible. Would it not be more prudent for Place One to grab another place in downtown Wilkes Barre? I understand Ms. Coffee’s fondness for the heritage building but sacred churches have been torn down in this area. The venerable Yankee Stadium has now been replaced by a new entity across the street. I think it’s time, just my opinion here, for Place One to relocate more closer to home. Say another store in the downtown of Wilkes Barre. I might have to change my traffic patterns but hey, life is full of changes.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2679, June 19th, 2014


After eight years of writing this blog/site and now short of 2680 editions, people still ask me how I can write about something every single day. Truth be told there are days when “I got nuthin”. In the past on days like that I would panic. What if I had a writer’s block that might last a year? What if the LuLac tank was empty?
Experience has taught me that just when “I got nuthin’”, some incredibly ignorant and stunning part of Luzerne or Lackawanna County politics or pop culture will arrive at my keyboard and like Superman save the day.
It happened again last night as I was doing a proposal for my real job, slugging down a Black Cherry Diet Jones Zilch soda with my 15 year old dog snoozing at my feet.
Then like a bolt from the blue comes WBRE’s Eyewitness News at 11 with a story from Anchor/Reporter Sharon Gaeta who visited the sleepy little hollow of Benton. Seems a resident put up a billboard with photos of Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin, that old German rascal ‘Dolph Hitler and our own President Barack Obama. A guy named Gary Mack wanted to make the point that he thinks Mr. Obama is a dictator. I’ve been through Benton and noticed there were satellite dishes on roofs so surely the word must have reached this little hamlet that Barack Obama was elected President not once but twice. But I digress.
Look, in America everyone is entitled to an opinion. And everyone is certainly entitled to be an idiot expressing that opinion. The signs that are on Gary Mack’s properties reflect more on his character than anyone else’s.
What is truly disturbing are some of the comments I heard (then saw, thank God for the magic of a DVD) from a woman who told the news person that “We have to take our country back”. Again, I ask the question, “Taking the country back from exactly what?’ When Gaeta and her videographer traveled from the station in Wilkes Barre to Benton, were they stopped at the border of Kingston and Edwardsville? Was their vehicle inspected and searched? I don’t think so.
Stalin was responsible for the suppression of freedom in Russia. He was so dangerous and onerous a dictator that even subsequent Russian regimes have shunned him. Hitler of course never bothered with the media because he had most of them killed and had his own propaganda machine in full gear. Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev estimated in 1989 that Stalin was responsible for the death of 20 million civilians in addition to 20 million military people. Hitler is a piker with under 8 million deaths attributed to his regime. I’m bringing this to your attention because the billboard asks rhetorically “Is there any difference”?
I’d say yes given who Stalin and Hitler were as leaders. But in this country, in these times, we don’t reference the historical accuracy of even our attacks. And from my perspective that’s a good thing because it only makes those making the comments utterly stupid and ignorant. 
A man Gaeta interviewed said that he felt the message was too harsh which gives me solace that there are a few sensible people in Benton. When WBRE’s Sharon Gaeta tried to contact Lou Ward, he was not available for comment. Actually he never showed up for the interview with the WBRE staffer. Probably found out she could read and maybe that threw him. They say Ward has a right to express his opinion. Good. I too do. Turns out Lou Ward is a coward and a bully. Like any good news story, the man and his message (which he did not defend) were exposed.
After that story…..I was off and running, here’s the rest of LuLac.


Hit and run victim Meghan Shaungnessey. (Photo:Times  Leader).

So out of town Judge Charlie Brown found the daughter of a prominent Luzerne County Attorney “not guilty” in the hit and run death of a pedestrian a few years back. The Judge ruled the defendant not guilty even though she left the scene of an accident, returned 12 hours later and did not offer assistance to the person she hit. When I was involved in a legal civil proceeding a few years back for a motor vehicle accident, I asked my lawyer about the option for a bench trial. And I was told, “Only special cases and special lawyers get bench trials”. Mmmm, if this were you, regular LuLac reader, you think you’d get a bench trial?
Leaving the scene of an accident calls for a 90 day mandatory sentence that a Judge cannot reduce or change. There’s the reason for the verdict. Just my opinion. In the meantime, if you are not happy with this latest manifestation of “Just Us” in Luzerne County, write a letter to the Judicial Conduct Board. The reason? Not following mandatory sentencing guidelines. Oh but wait, you can’t sentence if one finds the person not guilty. Write the Board anyway, they know our corrupt address by heart. Here’s the link:



Ahmed Abu Khattala. ( 
The same incompetent, careless, reckless, unfeeling administration that caused the death of 4 Americans at an American Embassy in Benghazi in 2012 (so say the GOP right wingers), captured a prime suspect in the case. Ansar al-Sharia's commander Ahmed Abu Khattala, was captured Sunday during a joint U.S. military and law enforcement operation, and will face prosecution in the United States. President Obama signed off on the mission last weekend. Uh the same President who tracked down, captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. The criminal is headed toward justice…but not before another 13 subcommittee meetings of caterwauling right wing zealots in Congress who only want to destroy this President and this country. The nuts are even saying the suspect was caught to diffuse and deflect the situation in Iraq. Silly, silly boys.


Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard M. Hughes, III, will be the keynote speaker at the 236th anniversary ceremony of the Battle and Massacre of Wyoming, on July 4, at 10 a.m. at the Wyoming Monument National Historic Site, Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming.


Governor Tom Corbett and his party are really facing some tough questions from voters this fall regarding his fiscal management. Corbett ran in 2010 as the tough fiscal Conservative that was going to right the ship of state in the Commonwealth. With a GOP majority in the House and Senate, Corbett, you’d think would get his way on just about everything. But that didn’t happen with liquor privatization as well as pension reform.
Now as we inch toward the Pennsylvania Budget deadline, Corbett who prided himself on meeting every deadline with a balanced budget just might fall short this year. Plus there is a budget gap in the millions and the Governor who eschewed taxes at every turn just might have to sign a bill crafted by his party’s legislators to raise taxes. In an election year. That’s not good for an incumbent already on thin ice.



ECTV Live Hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome a representative from the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to the program during the week of June 23rd to discuss the Family Fishing Program which' will be offered at Lackawanna State Park. They'll also be talking about the sport and its attraction throughout the state. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 at Noon and Midnight throughout the week.



This Week on Sunday Magazine.
An encore of Brian Hughes' interview with Vera & Harry Krewson and Arleen Mudrak, who discuss Myastenia Gravis. June is Myastenia Gravis Awareness Month.On Wednesday June 25th from 11am to 1pm, there will be an MG Information Day at Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Plains.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Michelle Quinn from HKQ about their annual free bike helmet giveaway for kids at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre on the Fourth of July.
Brian speaks with Dr. Mailan Han and Scott Cerreta about COPD.An encore of Brian's interview with Terri Stocki from Consumer Credit Counseling Services about their upcoming Home Program.
And Brian speaks with money guru Lynette Cox about the family car budget during the Summer months.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday mornings at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on Good Times 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 noon 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!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.

Our 1974 logo.


The Brisbane river floods large areas of the Brisbane business district and more than 8,500 homes were flooded in Brisbane and Ipswich… the United States people seem to be adjusting to the 55 mph speed limit imposed by the government in reaction to the energy crisis……… Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp keeps lines of communication open with Independent truckers who were plagued by violence earlier in the year in the state…… Luzerne County Senator Martin L. Murray makes the rounds of high school graduations as well as summer events as he campaigns for another term in the State Senate. Murray has become a confidant of the Shapp administration and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a ballad by Russell Tompkins Junior and the Stylistics called “You Make Me Feel Brand New”.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2678, June 18th, 2014

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.

Life Is Finite

This has been sitting in the LuLac "inbox" for a while. With the serious situation reigniting in Iraq as well as the recent posts regarding service to country by generations of soldiers, plus my admission that I'm not looking forward to dying, I thought this might an appropriate submission for our weekly "Write On Wednesday" feature.
I have never forgotten the day I learned the lesson that mortality is very real. As a 21 year old stationed in Hawaii, I was next to be assigned for an upcoming TAD ship posting. That ship was the USS Stark or another traveling with the battle group. I don't recall why, but the personnel ended up coming from another duty station. However, I do recall the day we learned the ship was struck by a missile.
The year was 1987, and we were at peace. Although previously assigned to ships that were in a couple of potential hot spots, nothing had ever occurred --- on that day, not only were fellow sailors attacked and killed, all of us severing in the Navy felt we were attacked.
Walking out of my barracks room, I ran into one of my best friends, Robin Warren. We were both shocked. Robin said, "Buddy, I'm glad you didn't get sent to sea." It was at that moment reality struck; my parents could have received notice of their son’s death. While always aware that dying in service to our country was a possibility --- that day it became reality.
Life can be over without notice, without expectation and without explanation. It was the slap in the face of mortality that made me realize that we must embrace the reality of death, to genuinely enjoy life.
As my age approaches fifty, barring any accident or illness, the bulk of life is in the rear-view mirror. I accept the certainty of death. While in no hurry, if it comes, I am ready --- there is no option.
However, I have lived life and have done it, for the most part, on my terms. There have been so many tradegities in the news over the years. And while all of them are upsetting, for some reason, I think because of my love of fitness, The Boston Marathon bombing continues to rattle me at my core. What still saddens, sickens and angers me most about the tragedy in Boston was the death of the innocent, the death of an eight year old child.
An eight year old boy --- waiting for his dad to cross the finish line.
An eight year old boy --- who must have been so proud of his dad completing one of the great marathons in the world.
An eight year old boy --- who had nothing but the future ahead of him.
As the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, his life is prematurely over --- there will be no carefree summers, no proms, no graduations --- his, and the lives of so many others, were stolen by an inexplicable evil; an evil driven to harm rather than help, an evil intent to destroy rather than create. An evil, that for the most part, those of sound mind will never fully understand.
My experiences have taught me one important lesson, there is no promise of tomorrow --- so live for today. I close with the same words used to close a column I wrote for the Pittston Dispatch a few years back.
Take every day with those you love and never forget to:
Kiss them. Tell them you love them. Most importantly, hug them.
Hold them close.
Hold them tight.
When you feel you have held them long enough — hang on one moment more.
Dr. Joe Leonardi, D.C. is the president and CEO of Leonardi Chiropractic Wellness Office, PC and BetterLife Seminars by Fat Then Fit Now, INC. He is the author of the life-changing book "Obesity Undone, Fat Then Fit Now 2nd edition" and "Sometimes The Bastard Returns; A True Life Account of Obesity Relapse." He has a B.S. from University of the State of New York and his Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College.
He is an adjunct faculty at Luzerne County Community College teaching Anatomy and Physiology. He has acted as the team chiropractor for the Arena Football League 2’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, the semi-professional football teams the Scranton Eagles and the NEPA Miners, the women’s roller derby Coal City Rollers and has provided chiropractic care at powerlifting and strong man events.
He has made numerous television, radio and internet appearances to discuss the topics of fitness, wellness, obesity, childhood obesity and how childhood obesity relates to bullying.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2677, June 17th, 2014



Attorney William Vinsko, Vice Chair Gale Conrad. Chairman Mike DeCosmo and Senator John Yudichak.
Tonight the Luzerne County Democratic Party held its reorganizational meeting at the Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Department Banquet Facility. Approximately 160 Democratic Committee members attended, in addition to several supporters, elected officials and volunteers.
By unanimous acclamation, Mike DeCosmo, from Hazleton, has been elected Chair of the Luzerne County Democratic Party. He succeeds Wyoming Mayor, Robert Boyer. His first appointment was to appoint Gale Conrad, of Plymouth Township, as Vice Chair.
DeCosmo credited his father, Mike DeCosmo, Sr., for getting him involved at a young age. “This is where the power of the party is, with the people” referring to the committee members who comprised one of the largest crowds in decades for the Democratic Party. “I will not overpromise and under-deliver, I will work hard and be accessible,” he concluded to thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
"Mike DeCosmo is a smart, hardworking community leader who has the organizational skills and professional experience to help us build a stronger Democratic Party in Luzerne County," said State Senator John Yudichak. "And, with Mike DeCosmo as chairman, a more robust and united Democratic Party in Luzerne County will mean more families will be heard on the issues they care about most like job opportunities, affordable health care, quality schools and safe communities."
Mr. DeCosmo will lead the Luzerne County Democratic Party for the next four (4) years.


Michael D. DeCosmo is a life-long resident of the Hazleton Area, and was educated in the Hazleton schools. Upon graduation in 1972, he attended Villanova University and in 1976 graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. DeCosmo continued his education, and in 1983 received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lehigh University.
In addition to his educational background, DeCosmo is also a Licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
DeCosmo is a practicing CPA and has been in business for 34 years, the last 18 in Hazle Township. In addition, he is also a college professor in Accounting. He has taught at Lehigh University, Luzerne Community College, and Lackawanna Junior College. For the last 29 years he has been a Professor at East Stroudsburg University.
DeCosmo has been active politically for years, following in the footsteps of his father, Michael Sr., a Committee man for 36 years. In 1979, at the age of 24, DeCosmo was elected city councilman in Hazleton. He was later elected to the Hazleton Area School Board where he was elected board president. Currently he is in his second term as Hazle Twp Tax Collector.
He is the son of the late Michael C DeCosmo Sr. and Loretta (Halton) DeCosmo of Lattimer. He is married to the former Linda Corvino and is the proud father of five children and seven grandchildren.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2676, June 16th, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery celebrated 150 years yesterday. That is worth noting since it has been a resting place for those who gave service to our country.
Ironic that the original grounds were the home of General Robert E. Lee who resigned his commission in 1861. Days after resigning from the U.S. Army on April 20, 1861, to take command of Virginian forces in the Civil War, Robert E. Lee left the Arlington estate where he had married Mary Lee and lived for 30 years. He would never return. After Virginia seceded from the Union on May 23, 1861, Union troops crossed the Potomac River from the national capital and occupied the 200-acre property and house that been built by George Washington Parke Custis, Mary’s father and the step-grandson of George Washington. After Mary Lee, confined to a wheelchair, sent a representative instead of appearing personally to pay a $92.07 tax bill, the government seized the property in 1864. With Washington, D.C., teeming with dead soldiers and out of burial space, Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs formally proposed Arlington as the location of a new military cemetery. On May 13, 1864, 21-year-old Private William Christman of Pennsylvania, who had died of peritonitis, became the first military man buried at Arlington.
Since then the war dead of every single conflict since then has been buried on what can be noted  as this nation’s most hallowed ground.
I was at Arlington twice and each time it was a moving experience. To truly understand the sheer magnitude of the cost of war, and service to it, you must experience Arlington.
150 years and a grateful nation is still sobered by the devotion to service and country.
Here’s the website link for information to visit:
Partial Sources: Arlinton website,


Casey Kasem in the early days. (Photo: CNN.COM)
Casey Kasem died Sunday at the age of 82. The death was not unexpected given the drama surrounding his last days. When you have a second wife and then children from a previous marriage, things can get problematic.
But let’s dwell on his career. America has always loved the countdowns. Starting with America’s Your Hit Parade on TV in the 50s to the top forty countdown shows on nearly every rock and roll station in the sixties, America and music lovers wanted to know where their favorite groups stood.
On Saturday night from 5 to 6pm I was glued to Ron Allen on WARM doing the final leg of the top 40 show. (It began at 1PM). By the time the late 60s rolled around, radio stations eschewed the top 40 countdown shows. Some just played  music, others did a top survey sheet. In our area, WARM, WSCR, WILK and WBAX at one time had printed survey sheets.
But by 1970, the kids who collected them were getting older. But there was still a need to see who was inching near the top. There was a void to fill and Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds and Ron Jacobs filled that void. Their company was called Watermark Productions and Tom Rounds was responsible for getting pop music stalwart magazines like Bilboard, and Cashbox to promote it. In the spring of 1970 full page ads began to run in the music trades..
By 1970, American Top 40 launched and WILK was the station in this market to carry it on a Saturday night. (It moved to various times later on).
American Top 40 hosted by Kasem did three things:
1. It kept the countdown alive as the onslaught of album cuts and progressive music took hold in America. The program was diverse too giving various artists in every genre exposure.
2. It gave radio stations an opportunity to run syndicated rock and roll programming without doing an extra weekend hire. It also signaled the beginning of radio automation for the weekends. Now it is not uncommon for radio stations to have voice tracks on almost every radio station in America.
3. AT40 was so well done that it still can be heard on Sirius XM and locally on the GEM Oldies stations out of Tunkhannock. The creators put together a quality but more importantly time tested program that can easily last as long as this type of music remains popular.
Casey Kasem was born Kemal Amin Kasem in Detroit, Michigan. His American Top 40 show was also known for his long distance dedications. Before the internet, e mail, face boo,twitter and everything else we have today, Kasem would read a letter, tell a story and dedicate a song to a listener.
Our long distance dedication to Kasem is simply this: "Casey, thanks for the innovation, the information, entertainment and eloquent presentation of the music of our times. May you always hear the sweetness of that music for all eternity”.


Congressman Matt Cartwright. (LuLac archives).
Representative Matt Cartwright released the following statement after the White House announced that President Obama has ordered his staff to draft an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity:
“Discrimination has no place in our nation. President Obama’s executive order is an important step forward for LGBT Americans. We must continue to work to ensure that basic standards of fairness apply in all workplaces.”

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2675, June 15th, 2014


My father in his early 30s. 

My father at Christmas 1979, his last.
This month my father would have turned 100 years old. For years we celebrated his birthday on June 29th but when he went on Social Security we actually found out he was baptized on that day. It turns out he was actually born on the 19th. Given the sketchy record keeping at the growing St. John the Baptist Church in Pittston in 1914, it came as no surprise to our family when we found out.
As I grow closer to the age of my father at the time of his death, he constantly flashes into my mind at the strangest times. I’d describe it as just a flash memory that comes and goes. And for reasons only a trained psychiatrist (maybe) could conjure up, the memories are short, scattered but intense. To make sense of them, I jotted them down on my IPhone and categorized them by the decades in my life. That made sense to me because he died at 66 and I am now 60.


When I was about 4 or 5 I was pretending to be a bull (damn Disney’s Zorro and that Guy Williams!) in my bedroom and decided to imitate a charging animal. Hands around my forehead, index fingers pointed, I took off but promptly slipped on a carpet and landed head first into a radiator. A gash opened up above my right eye and there was blood everywhere. I only remember my father carrying me down the stairs crying as he got me into a car of a visiting neighbor and rushed me to the hospital.

Maybe that’s why I feel so strongly about historical frame of references).

When I was 9 and already into news, sports and politics, my family lived through the assassination of President Kennedy. We sat there transfixed in front of the TV only taking breaks for meals and church that Sunday during that horrible weekend. Throughout the entire four day non stop broadcast, my father kept on murmuring “TV is a wonderful thing”. He later told me that that when Roosevelt died, there was only radio. He also said that when he was born, there was no electronic media to speak of. Later on in that tumultuous decade of the 60s when man landed on the moon and my father saw that from his living room on Dewitt Street in the Junction he was over the moon himself.


Throughout my years as a teenager my father impressed upon me the importance of work. But more importantly the quality of work. Showing up on time, respecting the bosses and doing the work. He also advised not to get involved in areas outside of work with other people’s lives. In other words, no drama.
When I did fall short of the mark at Detato’s, he knew because during his weekly visits to the market he’d speak with one of the Detato brothers to see how I was doing. When I started writing my column at the age of 15 for The Sunday Dispatch, he gave the same advice. Head down, concentrate on the task at hand and go home knowing you accomplished something. That work ethic has seen me through my entire professional life. I also think it is one of the reasons why I have continued to do this site as long as I have.


When I was in my 20s attending King’s College he pretty much stayed out of my way in terms of my education there. But he did stress that I had an obligation to the entities putting me through school. He never stopped me from what some people call over reaching in terms of career and meeting people we saw on the news. He never mentioned it to me but I’d hear him on the phone with his railroad buddies saying, “Yeah David interviewed Shapp, yeah Shapp the Governor, how ‘bout that?”


My father died when I was 26. It was Sunday January 6th 1980 and the last words he said to me were, “What time are the football games? That was back when the Super Bowl was still played in the middle of January. They took him to Pittston Hospital but my sister and I knew he was dead before he hit the floor. My aunt Mary, a registered nurse straightened out his leg so the undertaker didn’t have to. Nurses know about rigor mortis. After we got his things from the hospital, my mother handed me his wallet. Not much except for a Social Security card, Medical identifications and a few dollars. He didn’t have a driver’s license either so the wallet was light. It was one of those wallets that you got in the 60s where you’d get a section where you kept photos. There were pictures he took of his big three, my mom, my sister and me. Many of my friends lament the fact that those Depression era dads were never effusive with their praise or affections blurting out “I love you”. Those photos in the wallet told me everything I needed to know and hear from my dad on that subject.
By the time I was in my thirties he was gone. The only really good choice I made in my late twenties and thirties was my marriage to Mrs. LuLac. There were a series of really bad decisions (personal and employment) that I’m sure he would have been appalled at. What pulled me from the brink was the fact that I might be dishonoring his name with my behavior. When my father had his first heart attack in 1975, he was saved by a young co worker who drove him at breakneck speed to the Wyoming Valley hospital on Dana Street in Wilkes Barre. A few years later that young man died violently. The details were sketchy but a woman was involved. My father always warned me that “The wrong woman will kill you”. I thought about that often in my thirties and now with experience in the rear view mirror, I see what he was trying to tell me.


My father would have been amused at my employment in my forties. I worked in factories, drove a cab and in radio and TV sales. In each job I might not have excelled (the Italian Ice plant in Moosic is an example, they wear hair nets there now because of me) but I showed up on time.


As I entered my fifties, I thought often of the words of a political friend John Pitcavage who once told me, “In a political campaign, time is your biggest enemy”. I took that one step further and applied it to my life. My father rarely wasted time. He was always on the move, doing some project and just moving. In my fifties I wrote three books, started two blogs, reformulated my previous work in broadcasting, worked full time jobs, battled three illnesses and embarked on a few other ventures you may be hearing about. My mother used to say that “there was no rest in my father’s ass”. When Mrs. LuLac said the same thing a few years ago, I knew then I was truly my father’s son. My father said that when you die, it's a long, long sleep. Try to stay awake as long as you can.

1914-1980 A VIEW FROM 66 YEARS

My father was alive as a child during the first World War. He witnessed Prohibition and the Great Depression. There were the wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. There was the invention of both radio and TV. I have no idea what he would make of IPhones, the Internet, Twitter or Face Book. But I think one of the reasons why those memories are so potent is because of the photos I am finding for Face book. My dad was always eager to see what the next big thing was and I think he’d have been a gadget guy if he had lived in the Internet age.


At the age of 60 I think of the two and a half decades I had with him and the three and a half  I had without him. Obviously I wish I had more time. There have been so many events in sports and politics that I’m sure we would have enjoyed sharing. There are times I wish I can step back in a time machine and spend more time. Maybe ask more probing questions. Possibly not being allowed to be dismissed by one word answers when I asked, “How come I never saw you smile in any of the pictures they took of you when you were a kid?” Or “What was it like to be working right out of grade school?” Or “What did you mean you’d be a Philadelphia lawyer if you finished high school?” Or “What was Pittston like when you were growing up?” Maybe I’d still get the same answers I got back then, a shrug and a nod. But it would be worth the effort to ask once more.
Would I have liked my father around longer? Of course but I truly feel the two and half decades I had with him prepared me for what I needed to learn, survive and now thrive in my life. My friends say he would have been blown away by the type of person I am today. I think they are just being friends and being way too kind.
As the ads for Father’s Day ramped up, I started to think back when I’d get him gifts for his birthday or Father’s Day. He’d accept the gifts, smile and say thanks. As a kid, in the weeks prior to that big day, Father’s Day, I’d ask my mother or my sister what they think he’d want from me. Both would say, “Just be good”.
My father set the bar pretty low on that one so I hope I’m meeting the standard. This month my dad Stephen “Jake” Yonki would have been 100. But to me, he was one in a million.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2674, June 13th, 2014

Our "13 Questions" logo.


1. You seem to be having buyer’s remorse over President Obama?

It might appear that way but not really. The alternatives just weren’t that pretty. I was for Hillary Clinton in 2008 and will be for her in 2016 God willing. Under the Obama administration we’ve transitioned out of two wars, we passed the Affordable Care Act, there has been credit card reform, crime has dropped, unemployment has dropped, the stock market is going great guns, we are closer to energy independence and Osama Bin Laden is dead.
But there could have been so many other things accomplished if he struck in his first two years when he had the majority, and if he surrounded himself with political pros instead of people who have no clue on how to run a White House. Still like the guy but think he is not the manager and Executive he seems to think he is. I think Joe Biden would have been a better manager.

2. Don Zimmer the old Boston Red Sox manager recently passed away, you ever meet him?

Twice. On Opening Day in 1981 when he was the manager of the Rangers. Just shook his hand while I was trying to get to the box where Ed Koch the then New York City Mayor and New York Governor Hugh Carey were sitting.
In 1987 when Zimmer was the bench coach for Roger Craig in San Francisco I tried to score an interview with the then manager. I tried to catch him before the game and was wandering around the clubhouse. Zimmer asked me if I needed help and I told him what I needed. He told me Craig was in a meeting and to come back after the game. I did and when I was leaving Zim was sitting on a chair basking in the glow of a Giants victory. He noticed me and said, “You see Roger?” I replied “Yes”. He shot back, “Good thing we won, if we didn’t, all bets would be off”. Nice man. A baseball lifer.

3. Where do you think the Charter Yes people went wrong in their campaign?

I think the perception was that Chuck Volpe was running the show. Maybe there might have been other people on point instead of him. He did himself no good by trying to take the burden on himself. Also, the fact is government reform usually take a generation. The first charter vote in Luzerne County in’75 was defeated and then not introduced again until the next century. So it takes time.

4. Favorite summer time TV guilty pleasure?

“24” and “Major Crimes”.

5. What do we do about the gun violence in this country?

No idea. Just be careful and don’t talk to strangers. Since Sandy Hook there have been over 70 school shootings in this country. The gun lovers will say it’s people not guns, and they are right. To me this is a manifestation of budget cuts in Social Services, and Mental Health. But I just don’t know. I think that there has to be a ban on Assault weapons where the crazies don’t get a chance to reload. As far as hunters and sportsman, I don’t care if they have an arsenal as long as they use it for hunting and keep it locked up.

6. I’m sure you watched the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul I. Have you ever experienced a miracle?

Two. My wife staying with me this long and the Citizen’s Voice newspaper carrier hitting the front porch more than twice out of seven days.

7. Know you love Abe’s on South Main, but favorite  summertime dog at the LuLac house?

Abe’s uses Berk’s and they’re fine but I like Sabrett’s for home.

8. The Eric Cantor election was a shock. Will we see more of the same?

I’m sure of it. The incredible thing about that race in Virginia was that money didn’t help Cantor. If anything the ads against his opponent gave David Brat name recognition. Cantor spent 150,000 on steak house dinners, Brat spent $50,000 less than that. Voters are going to come out hard and fast because they know there are problems that need to be fixed. But I question how much electing a person to the right of Cantor will help move things along. The Tea Party loves to be the conscience of the party but other than Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, conscience doesn’t translate into wins. Plus you have to believe that GOP House members are going to be afraid to budge on any issue that might get them defeated.

9. We know how many ties you own, how about Hawaiian shirts?

About 8 but I only wear four that are my “go to” pieces. I really should get rid of the other four.

10. If parties are not that strong anymore, what will replace them?

Social media. There are people with Facebook pages that can drive more turnout in some cases than a County Chairman in this era. But it has to be on a specific issue which will drive the voters.

11. As a tax payer in the Wilkes Barre Area School District, what are your thoughts on the prospect of new schools or one central location?

Well as always with this area, important issues are kicked down the road. This should have been dealt with 30 years ago when it would have been cheaper and there would be more money from the tax base.

12. Do you think the Eric Cantor defeat can send a message to all Republican especially Congressman Barletta?

Oh yes. The Congressman is an honest, plain spoken, reasonable man who doesn’t pull any punches. He has not been in lockstep with the fringe of his party so I can see a challenge down the road. But he is likable and has worked at his job. I can't win speaking about Barletta. My Democratic friends think I'm brain washed when I say he is a good guy and the people to the right of him think he should be more dogmatic. But I wouldn’t rule any challenge out in the future.

13. Are you going to see the Four Seasons movie Jersey Boys and did see the play?

I’ll see the movie mainly because it is directed by Clint Eastwood. I wasn’t interested in seeing the play because I lived the life of a Seasons fan. Kind of like why I would never see a Beatles tribute band.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2673, June 12th, 2014


If you are a young person struggling to pay off your student loans, I have no idea why in the world you would ever vote for a Republican again. The other day the Senate GOP blocked consideration for more than 40 million Americans to refinance their student loans.
Before they start telling you LIES on Facebook, Talk Radio and to your face consider this:
1. This bill would help former students refinance their loans. They would still be paying the loans but at a lower rate. Apparently the party of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” means that paying a bill is not just plain Amurikan”. Their logic is “where do we find the money to pay for it?” The same place you found money for two credit card wars!
2. This break was for people doing the right thing and paying their bills. It was for people in the work force who pay half of their salary on student debt. Not illegal immigrants as the crazies will have you believe. Real American kids who took out loans because they were told you need to get an education.
Like with every issue this party stands for today, the clock is turning back.
Mitch McConnell and the GOP Senate sent a clear signal that the only ones they want in college nowadays are white, well do to sons and daughters of American Revolution pedigrees. We don’t want no middle class chumps stinking up our holly and ivy…….and if they dare to apply we’ll squeeze ‘em so they can’t afford homes.
I hope the moms and dads with 40 year old Lester with his BA and MBA living at home in the basement will think twice before voting for a Republican.


Soon to be ex Congressman Eric Cantor. (Photo: CNN).
The defeat of Eric Cantor was the canary in the coal mine regarding the national future of the Republican party. Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party backed conservative is telling because on Immigration, Cantor was to the right of Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio.
Jeb Bush who has made immigration a selling point for the party will now have trouble getting through the Iowa caucuses if he runs. Congressman and Senators who are in fear of a Tea Party challenge will turn into Sergeant Schultz and say nothing, nothing, nothing. The debate on Capitol Hill will be frozen another two years.
The GOP primary process in 2016 will want a Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. The legacy of the Cantor defeat is this: that in 2016, all any Democrat has to do is sound reasonable if they want to be President.

The Fall of Saigon 1975 ..or here we go again. (Photo: Time). 
So right now insurgents are taking bits and pieces of Iraq town by town. The ineffectual government can’t govern, the military which was useless to begin with, even after we trained them are not fighting and dying like the troops we sent there. Ironic that we sent troops to Iraq to die for something that they seem to be easily run from.
Iraq has become our 21st century Vietnam. I’m waiting for the right wingers to blame Obama for this. Look your President along with the votes of Democrats put us in a war where we lost 4486 people. For nothing. The next time one of the loudmouths start talking about Benghazi (which has already been investigated 13 times) and the death of four people, ask them just exactly what type of freedom those 4486 soldiers laying stone cold dead in their graves were protecting?
The last war where our “freedom” was threatened was World War II. I have no idea why we fought those others wars and what we as a nation have gained from it. We can love the veteran but hate the war now, but maybe we should have loved the veteran before we sent them off to senseless missions.

Tom Wolf and Katie McGinty. (Photo:
Something unusual is happening to Democrats after a hard fought primary. They are all getting together united for winner Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf has endorsed his former rival, the enthusiastic Katie McGinty to shepherd the party in Wolf’s General election bid.
Last month, I was lucky enough to get support from Democrats throughout Pennsylvania in the primary election for governor -- now we must work together to win the governor's office.
As you know, there is a long history of Democratic Gubernatorial nominees having their team in place to work in an integrated way with the party structure. It is why the election of the party chair immediately follows the primary election. State committee is incredibly important to me, and to the success of our candidates. The work each of you do in your communities is invaluable and the leadership of state committee members helps to elect Democrats up and down the ticket.
As I look toward the fall, I know that I need a battle-tested team in place to take on Tom Corbett, build the party, and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. And it is my sincerest hope that you will help me build my team that will lead the effort to defeat Tom Corbett.
That is why I am endorsing Katie McGinty to become our next Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Rep. Jake Wheatley for Vice Chairman -- and I hope you'll join me in supporting them, too.
Katie spent time meeting with members of the state committee, visiting with county parties, and talking with members about the importance of state committee. She has a deep respect for the work state committee members do in their communities, the connections state committee members make with voters and their devotion to Democratic candidates and values.
Many of you met Katie on the campaign trail and heard her story. She is the ninth of ten kids of a police officer and a hostess. After school, she worked her way up in the Clinton Administration, eventually serving as a trusted advisor to the President and Vice President. Later, she served our state and Gov. Rendell as the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
She knows how to solve big problems at the highest levels and she knows how to fight for working families. Katie is a trusted ally and a valuable advisor to my campaign and me. She is someone I turn to for tough advice and enthusiastic encouragement.
In Katie, Democrats throughout Pennsylvania will have an energetic and compassionate voice who will fight for middle class families. Katie will bring endless enthusiasm to counties throughout Pennsylvania. She will fight for our values. She will be our voice.


Congressman Lou Barletta, successfully amended legislation that reauthorizes the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) to require a report on unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border to include information on the impact on CBP. Barletta’s amendment, which was approved and incorporated into H.R. 3846, expands a required CBP report to include information on Border Patrol resources spent to care for unaccompanied alien children in their custody, including any operational or policy challenges impacting the Border Patrol. Barletta made the change during a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, of which he is a member.
“As a father and grandfather, I would not wish upon anyone the anguish that must come from sending an unaccompanied alien minor to another country. Sending minors on a path to be dumped on the border exposes them to human traffickers, who must notice this new crop of potential candidates for the sex trade or slavery. Likewise, these minors are prime recruitment candidates for violent gangs,” Barletta said. “U.S. Border Patrol is having a difficult time just keeping their heads above water in this flood of unaccompanied alien children, and this amendment would seek detailed information on the level of effort and amount of resources expended by CBP to manage this crisis.”
In recent days, thousands of unaccompanied children have been amassing at the border between the United States and Mexico, largely from Central American countries, including Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Overflowing holding centers have been opened to accommodate the influx, and Border Patrol agents have been pressed into duties outside their normal responsibilities. Some of the refugees report that news broadcasts in their home countries have told them they could enter America with impunity, even though they lack appropriate legal documentation for entering the country.
“In large part, the Administration’s immigration policies are enticing alarming levels of unaccompanied alien children to enter the United States illegally, and this influx has completely overwhelmed Federal resources, turning U.S. Border Patrol offices into day care centers,” Barletta said. “Our agents should not be babysitters. They should be doing the job they are trained to do-- protect our borders. Asking them to do otherwise is an operational flaw.”
Barletta has been warning that the conditions surrounding illegal immigration have been encouraging people from other countries to illegally cross the border. He believes a spike in illegal immigration was foreseeable.
“Three things have been contributing to the crisis we now face with those unaccompanied children at the border,” Barletta said. “First, we haven’t secured and don’t enforce our borders. Second, we have a president who openly refuses to enforce the law and enacts the DREAM Act without Congressional approval. And third, Congress has dangled the possibility of amnesty for illegal immigrants for so long that there might as well be a big welcome mat at the border.”


ECTV Live Host and Producer David DeCosmo has a lot in store for viewers during the week ofJune 16th. His guest, Clarks Summit Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe, will outline plans for a freeSummer Concert series which has been arranged by several area communities that have joined forces in the public interest. Additionally, popular WDAU/WYOU Anchor and Weather Forecaster Derry Bird plans to come out of retirement for the week's shows to substitute for co-host Rusty Fender! ECTV Live is presented each day on Comcast Ch 19 and can be seen around Noon and Midnight Monday through Sunday!


This week on Community Forum we'll discuss the plight of the American Farmer with agricultural broadcaster Dave Williams. Mike Remish hosts Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6;30 on NEPA's Sports Radio- The Game; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Vera & Harry Krewson and Arlene Mudrak about Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month, which is recognized during the month of June, and an upcoming event that will be held at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center on June 25th from 11am to 1pm. .
Brian also speaks with Terri Stocki from Consumer Credit Counseling Services about their upcoming Home Show for anyone considering purchasing their own home, and an online tool on how to sharpen your financial focus.
An encore of Brian's interview with Rob Olher and Chuck Edwards from the Chinchilla United Methodist Church discussing their 2nd Annual Ride for the Homeless coming up next Saturday.
And Brian speaks with Dr. Ellen Marmur about the importance of using sunscreen this Summer, and making sure you use the proper SPF.
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 noon 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!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.

Our 1974 logo.


Vice President Gerald Ford, in the midst of Impeachment hearings against his boss President Nixon said he is sure the Chief Executive will be exonerated once all the evidence is in. But later on in the week, Ford avoids opining on the subject….in Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty says he can win in the fall against Richard Schweiker. Flaherty says that the Nixon administration is a disgrace……in in Wilkes Barre Carl Lisman makes it known he will run for Mayor in 1975 once the Strong Mayor form of government change gets on the ballot and forty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was "Billy, Don't Be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.