Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2808, December 30th, 2014

This has to be a record of some sort. For the last 11 years Hugo Selenski, the charges against him, the revolving door of lawyers representing him and his "upcoming" trial have made the top news stories here in this area. Hugo's new trial in 2015? Well a key witness died so that trial date in January...we're not so sure anymore. And the beat..as well as Hugo goes on.
When I worked at Rock 107 there was talk about a commuter tax to help Scranton get out of debt. That was 18 years ago!!! 2014 once more saw Scranton in debt and once more proposing a commuter tax. The tax was shelved and one has to wonder where Scranton will get the money. Deja Vu anyone?
A judge sentenced convicted murderer Neil Pal to life in prison plus 20 to 40 years for the murder of Frank Bonacci in 2013. Pal was convicted of first degree murder by a jury in June for working with his friend Jason Dominick to shoot Frank Bonacci last summer and cover up the crime. Jason Dominick was convicted of shooting Frank Bonacci in the head last in July of 2013. The trial made headlines because the murder was over a woman among three friends. Pal and Dominick were convicted of shooting Bonacci in his SUV, then sending it over a ravine along Roaring Brook in Scranton. Bonacci’s body was found a week later
2014 saw still more residue from the Judicial and County government scandals that began in 2007. Developer Robert Mericle learned his fate when he was sentenced to one year in jail. That edict came down after former State Senator Ray Musto died in April. Mericle found himself expendable by the Feds. The documentary "Kids For Cash" was released in 2014 too. In Lackawanna County former County Commissioner Bob Cordaro was allowed to represent himself as he tries to get a new trial. I hope he won't insist that he testify again...but that's up to his lawyer, right? No guarantees there.
In Luzerne County the Council discussed chickens, tried to fire Bob Lawton, gave away Moon Lake Park and to the chagrin of residents some attended meetings by phone. The debt is still high, the homestead exemption is gone and there is no majority other than the 6-5 margin that has been the hallmark of every vote.
There are some residents that were asking Times Leader writer Jennifer Learnes Andes how they can get petitions to revoke the charter. Meantime elections are coming up and it will be interesting to see who will run and who will win. In Lackawanna County voters rejected home rule in the 2014 primary opting to keep the Commissioner form of government. 
There is also a new State Representative heading to Harrisburg. Republican Aaron Kaufer reclaimed the 120th seat held by Phyllis Mundy for over 24 years. Kaufer beat Eileen Cipriani in a heated contested race.
This year saw more work from the Sherman Hills task force as well as a new owner. Treetop Development put up a fence, increased security and put money into a playground. There have been incidents but are much more diminished since 2013.
Two stories made the news regarding teachers and sex. In Wilkes Barre Stephen Stahl a Dean of Students at Coughlin High School was charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student about a decade ago. His trial is set for January.
Meanwhile in the Wyoming Valley West School District Lauren Harrington Cooper plead guilty to having sex with male students. Harrington and her husband appeared on ABC's "20/20" speaking about what motivated her to act that way. She was sentenced to 9 to 23 months in jail. Another teacher from Hanover Area had was found not guilty in a jury trial of all charges. (Correction noted: 123114, 5:24PM)
The investigation into the ghost riders for the Luzerne County Transportation Authority resulted in the arrests of Executive Director Stanley Strelish and Robb Henderson the operations manager. Both were charged with threatening employees if they did not increase ridership numbers to maintain or increase funding. The trial is set for next year in Harrisburg.
Twenty years ago it was the grand showplace for the City of Scranton. But in 2014 the Mall at Steamtown was in foreclosure and at year’s end 70% of the tenants were gone. What happens next will be an ongoing story in 2015 and beyond.
From CNN on the night of September 12th, Two Pennsylvania State Police troopers shot late Friday, one fatally, were ambushed just outside the police barracks in Blooming Grove, Commissioner Frank Noonan told reporters.Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex T. Douglass was in stable but critical condition, Noonan said Saturday. The shooting happened at 10:50 p.m. Friday in a rural, wooded area.
"It cuts us to the core that such an event could happen," Noonan told CNN. "[They] really had no chance to defend themselves. It's a cowardly attack."48 days later Eric Frein was caught hiding out in an airport hanger. Cowering. 
Sources: CNN, Times Leader, Citizen's Voice, Times Tribune, LuLac archives).

The LuLac Edition #2807, December 30th, 2014


(in countdown form) 

In a battle to capture the important Pittston Area newspaper market, The
Citizen's Voice added a Pittston news veteran for its lineup. Eddie Ackerman
joined the staff as a columnist. The newspaper war between The Voice and The Times Leader continues with both touting circulation figures.
 He became a You Tube sensation when he was interviewed on WNEP TV, then wound up on The Ellyn Show. The kid was visiting from out of the area and made the word “apparently” a catch phrase in the summer of 2014. (Thanks to Brian Hughes for reminding me about this little ham!)
There was a mad dash by area radio people to land a job with Wilkins Radio as its Operations Director. The long time ops manager left and the broadcast group put an ad in the paper. 90 per cent of the radio people I knew applied for the job. After some fits and starts veteran broadcaster Jim Rising got the gig at WITK AM. The station was formerly known to area radio listeners as WKQV AM, WARD AM and WPTS AM.
WBRE TV won an Emmy for best nightly newscast 

and WNEP TV's Dave Bohman and Suzanne Goldglang won awards too. Bohman won for his investigative story
Ampersand regarding an environmental issue in Schuylkill County and Goldglang won hers for "Ferris Wheel Rescue". 
Despite what many people think there are people who listened to the Mighty 590 with it's fuzzy signal and golden oldies. (A generation of kids who used to bring in CKLW, WKBW and WCFL at night don't give a shit about static!) Around the end of the summer the music died and so did the signal. The good news is that new owner Cumulus Broadcasting improved the signal and put the nearly 75 year old radio station back on the air. The bad news it is still another all sports frequency in a radio market already saturated with them. But with an improved signal, maybe someone might buy it? Old WARM fans do play the Powerball you know! Anyway, LuLac will be on Sunday Magazine January 4th at 6AM with Brian Hughes. And NO, that is not the reason why this was the Top Media Story of 2014!

The LuLac Edition #2806, December 30th, 2014

(in countdown form)
At the start of the year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court voted to overturn the Commonwealth Court’s decision to enjoin Act 18’s photo identification mandate. A state judge ruled in January that the law, passed in 2012, violated the state constitution by imposing an unreasonable burden on the right to vote. The court found no evidence the law was necessary either to prevent fraud or to keep public confidence in the fairness of the election process. This ruling I believe was another factor in the defeat of Governor Corbett. Corbett had to pay for the incredibly stupid statements made by State Representative Mike Turzai that the new law would elect Mitt Romney as President in the 2012 election.
The weather was a huge factor in 2014. In Mid-Atlantic states like Pennsylvania, there were temperatures average below normal for the winter period (Dec-Feb). In general January and February were the coldest months compared to average for most locations. December and February were the wettest months, with well above normal precipitation being reported at all climate stations. January saw near average precipitation numbers. In terms of snowfall, all climate stations also saw above average snowfall for the period, with the Philadelphia to New York City corridor seeing the highest totals compared to average. For the months of December-February, Philadelphia even saw over 300% of their typical snowfall accumulation. Many locations (especially in LuLac land) have doubled or even tripled their snowfall compared to last year! To many the winter was relentless. There was essentially no break. Students had to stay in school until late June, Oil prices for home heating went through the roof and workers were less productive due to job stress and absences. The only person who appeared to benefit from this mess was Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf who ran a barrage of TV ads when many Pennsylvanians were held hostage in their own homes by the cold and snow.
As the Junior Senator from the state Toomey is being watched politically by all sides. The Democrats want to unseat him while the Tea Party segment in the state is making sure he doesn’t become a Schweiker-Heinz-Specter Republican. In the next year Toomey’s every statement will be under the microscope by all sides. Toomey voted for and defended the recent spending bill. Toomey also sounded a more than reasonable note in this interview with The Trib Tribune’s Melissa Daniels when he said, "Some have suggested that we ought to just let the Democrats learn what its like to live under the kind of regime that we've been living under. I'm not in that camp. I think the better thing to do is to rise above that, put it behind us. I've got a window of opportunity here to actually be a productive Senator. That is what I'm totally focused on." Toomey’s presumed opponent in 2016 is former Congressman Joe
Sestak but there are rumblings in the party that even though he came close, maybe another Democrat would fit the bill better. There is even talk of a primary challenge to Sestak who has announced. In my opinion this would all but insure Toomey’s re-elction even with Pennsylvania being dubbed a blue state.
Guys like porn. Sorry. There isn’t any one of us who hasn’t seen it at any time in our lives. But I hope a majority of us aren’t stupid enough to peruse it at work on a company owned computer. The scandal that rocked Harrisburg should come as no surprise to anyone because it indicated that the old boy’s network was well, an old boys network that was alive and well. And juvenile. While reviewing email accounts of members of the state Attorney Generals staff involved in the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse case, investigators found numerous emails shared among state employees and officials that contained pornographic images.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane named eight current and former officials as having received, and possibly shared, emails containing pornographic material. The list included two members of Gov. Tom Corbett's Cabinet, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Christopher Abruzzo and State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. The scandal has subsided but one must wonder why anyone opened them, answered them or forwarded them thinking somewhere this might have no repercussions. Can anyone say dumb and dumber? Well it has been said before. So we’ll just go with plain dumb ass.
First he got suspended for being involved in the Porn gate scandal. Then he vowed to fight and be back on the bench. Seamus Mcaferty showed the same amount of colorful bluster and bloviation that he brought to speaking engagements. Making his bones as the Judge at Veteran’s Stadium meting out justice to unruly Eagles fans, McCafterty was in constant retrench mode when his name surfaced. Saying he would not seek Senior status he resigned in October with his investigation wax dropped and his pension remained intact. McCaferty was elected to the state's Superior Court in 2003, and followed that by winning election to the high court in 2007. This is big news because the resignation will leave the court operating with six members until a successor is nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. That replacement justice would then serve until a new justice can be elected in November 2015.
The Natural gas industry continued to be a story this year in the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact it was a campaign issue between Governor Corbett and then candidate Tom Wolf. Even Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties have lobbied hard for a severance tax on natural gas drilling, their voices growing. But the gas industry fought back saying a tax would derail progress for the industry. Officials in the oil industry say it would stop job growth and is symptomatic of short sighted politicians trying to use the oil industry to fatten up the state’s coffers. Interestingly enough while Governor Corbett opposed a tax he did little to discourage legislators from speaking loudly about the issue. As 2015 approaches there will be a more heavily Republican Legislature and a new Democratic Governor who ran ads based on getting money for education underneath the ground. With all of that going on, let’s just say the natural gas industry will not recede into the background this coming year.
The 2014 Democratic primary for Governor started out with 8 candidates. Former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection John Hanger was the first to bow out followed by Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Then Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz announced a run for Governor but couldn’t get the required signatures and then backed out. Former Auditor General Jack Wagner announced late but realized that most of the big money in the party was committed to three other candidates. Two Term State Treasurer Rob McCord got the early endorsements from party stalwarts and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz got the backing of key people in the Philadelphia area. Katie McGinty, former State Environmental Protection Secretary ran an energetic campaign but the thought was she’d split the votes that would go to Schwartz. Then there was former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf who ran as, well,  a lone wolf. He traveled the state in 2013, got some key Democrats to work for him, spent a ton in the money in the primaries,  was blessed with a terrible winter that kept Pennsylvanians in front of their wide screens and was fortunate to run against opponents who took him and the Democratic electorate for granted. Schwartz was regarded as too left leaning to win a general, McCord was very strident in his attacks on Wolf and McGinty seemed to be the voice of reason in the debates as Tom Wolf was hammered by the Congresswoman and the Treasurer. Wolf won in large part because he spent money early, was calm and reasoned, connected with people on the campaign trail and seemed the most likely to rattle Tom Corbett. Most thought it would be close, Wolf won with 58 percent of the vote, followed by Rep. Allyson Schwartz with 18 percent. State Treasurer Rob McCord at 17 percent, and Secretary Katie McGinty closing out the race was at 8 percent. The primary set the stage for a historical Gubernatorial showdown in the fall.
At the start of 2014, Kathleen Kane was being mentioned as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016. (Kane was voted one of The LuLac Women We Love in 2013 by our readers.) By the end of this year she seems to be in the fight of her political life. To say she’s had a rough year is an understatement. Let’s start with the probe into the e mails from the Sandusky case. She uncovered the emails, but tried a little too hard to fault Tom Corbett for the Sandusky scandal. Now she's haunted by accusations she selectively released the emails for political advantage. Kane also did not prosecute charges against State Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown and Ronald G. Waters for allegedly accepting cash from an undercover operative. Philadelphia DA Seth Williams is now pursuing the matter. Kane then decided not to defend a recently passed gun law that allows lawsuits against municipalities that enact gun laws harsher than state laws. Her critics said she failed to once more fulfill her constitutional duty to defend the Commonwealth and the people who elected her. Kane then went on CNN to speak about the porn e mails and then inexplicably said they involved child porn. She had to walk that statement back. By the end of the year Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady said Kane was asleep at the switch and said he had no confidence in her ability to handle the job. That signals to me that Kane may have a primary opponent from the Philadelphia area. Say a guy named Seth Williams!! Then of course Kane publicly confirmed that her office was under investigation for a leak of grand jury information in a previous case. If that’s not bad enough Kane was involved in an auto accident that sidelined her for a few weeks. She took a lot of heat for that but an accident is beyond her control. An announcement came then that her 14 year marriage was breaking up. At year’s end State Representative Darryl Metcalfe called for her impeachment. Kane won her election with the support of former President Bill Clinton who was also impeached. Kane has to be hoping that Darryl Metcalfe will be her Ken Starr. Still with all of this going on Kane’s office continues to hum along better than ever and she announced she will indeed stand for re-election as the only woman and only Democrat to hold that office since it was turned over to the voters in 1980.
The 2014 election for Governor breaks down this way. Tom Corbett popularly elected by a majority of Pennsylvanians (54% to 45%) in 2010 never seemed to gain traction with his constituents. Many say Corbett did not lead Pennsylvanians and educate them as to his policies. Corbett never seemed to give people a reason to give him another term. Tom Wolf seemed an acceptable alternative. The sentiment against Corbett was so deep and widespread that this was all Pennsylvanians needed to make a change.The election was historic because Wolf broke the 8 year cycle. Started in 1954 the office of the Governor was held by each party for eight years. Wolf broke that cycle with his win. Interestingly enough, Wolf won by the same margin Corbett did four years earlier with 54% of the vote to Corbett’s 45%. Corbett made a little history on his own becoming the first ever Governor not elected to a second term. The State Constitution was changed in 1968 to allow a Governor to serve 2 terms and Corbett became the first one in a line of 5 previous Governors not to accomplish that goal.
It was a Friday night. The fall in Pennsylvania. Most eyes were focused on high school football games and the start of a nice weekend. That calm was shattered when two state troopers were brutally attacked by Eric Frein a self styled survivalist who went on the lam immediately after doing his damage. The attack happened just before 11 p.m. Friday at the State Police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County, just off Interstate 84 near Lake Wallenpaupack. Bryon Dickson who was killed was a seven year State Police veteran who recently transferred to the Poconos from Philadelphia. Alex Douglass was injured in the attack and is still recovering from his injuries. After the attack on September 12th, Frein — described by authorities as a self-taught survivalist with a grudge against police — had been on the run but was captured on the night of October 30th in a deserted airport hanger that “the survivalist” used with most of the comforts of home. The shooting gained national attention right from the start. Frein has lawyered up and I’m sure is cooking up some kind of case now to try and get away with his crime. 
Sources: Weather Channel, CNN, Philly.com, LuLac archives). 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2805, December 29th, 2014

(in countdown form) 
After twenty years of championships, thrills, five world championships and a career marked by no controversy on the field New York Yankees Short stop Derek Jeter retired. Jeter finishes the catreer with a .310 Batting Average, 3,465 hits, 260 Home Runs and 1311 Runs Batted in. Jeter is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
In April 2014, Sterling was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million by the league after private recordings of him making racist comments were made public.[3] When asked about the recordings in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Sterling stated "I'm not a racist," and also told Cooper that he had made a "terrible mistake" and was "here to apologize."[4] In May, Sterling's wife, Shelly, reached an agreement to sell the Clippers for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, which Sterling has contested in court. The NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer on August 12, 2014.
Soccer has long been America’s unloved team sport. “In America, soccer is something you pick your 10-year-old daughter up from,” the comedian John Oliver said, rightly, on his HBO show last month. But this summer, that changed. One of the most oft-quoted stats of the stats-heavy tournament was that USA’s match against Portugal was the most watched soccer game in US history, with an estimated 24.7m viewers of ESPN and its Spanish-language broadcast network Univision.
More Americans bought tickets for the World Cup than that of any other nation outside Brazil.
Lebron James returned to Cleveland and the people there were very happy. James left the Miami Heat after taking them to four NBC Finals and winning two. His start in Cleveland has been rocky and how he performs “back home” will be one of the top sports stories of 2015.
The $9 billion industry that U.S. fans devour on a weekly basis ran into a public-relations crisis, the likes of which nobody could have predicted, and not even the league’s supposedly well-oiled spin machine could repair. The real victims weren’t the league or the players, whose punishment often felt arbitrary, but rather, the women and children these players were supposed to care for and protect. This year alone there have been 135 reported incidents of abuse of significant others by NFL players.

The LuLac Edition #2804, December 29th, 2014

(in countdown form) 
Due to a wave of federal court rulings, 19 more U.S. states began allowing same-sex marriages, raising the total to 35 states encompassing about 64 percent of the population. Given that one U.S. court of appeals bucked the trend by upholding state bans on gay marriage, there was widespread expectation that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue and make a national ruling.
The Department of Veterans Affairs became embroiled in a nationwide scandal over allegations of misconduct and cover-ups. Several senior officials were fired or forced to resign, including VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. At the heart of the scandal was the VA hospital in Phoenix; allegations surfaced that 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment there.
Millions more Americans signed up to be covered under President Obama's health care initiative, but controversy about "Obamacare" raged on. Criticism from Republicans in Congress was relentless, many GOP-governed states balked at participation, and opinion polls suggested most Americans remained skeptical about the program. However as the year went on many people who did not have insurance found themselves covered. The scare tactics used for people who had insurance with established companies, screaming and yelling that premiums would go up and millions and millions of jobs would be lost just didn’t happen.
Comedian and TV icon Bill Cosby is accused of targeting, grooming, drugging and then raping 27 young women since as early as the 1970s. The slew of sexual assault accusations have never gone to court and Cosby has declined any and all such claims amid the cancellation of several of his ongoing tour shows. Mainly of the nearly 30 women accusing Cosby of sexual assault have only recently stepped forward, prompting national debates on domestic violence among celebrity couples. The highly detailed accusations include renowned model and fashion icon Beverly Johnson’s claims of being drugged and violently assaulted by the TV icon in the mid-1980s.
A cyber attack at the hands of North Korea crippled Sony Pictures Entertainment, with embarrassing emails from executives released and causing “The Interview” to be canceled. These attacks were sparked by “The Interview,” a movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogan about the assassination of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Theaters were threatened if they showed the movie, which led to Sony cancelling its wide release. Sony is now saying that “The Interview” will eventually be released. Brown, Garner
A story that has been flying under the radar is the U.S. Economy. It seems to be on an upswing mainly because of continued job growth as well as the reduction in gas prices. The lower gas prices has been the kick start that has increased consumer spending since more people have disposable income to use for other things. The U.S. economy grew at its quickest pace in 11 years in the third quarter, the strongest sign yet that growth has decisively shifted into higher gear.
The Commerce Department on Tuesday revised up its estimate of gross domestic product growth to a 5.0 percent annual pace, citing stronger consumer and business spending than it had previously assumed.
It was the fastest growth pace since the third quarter of 2003. The economy was previously reported to have expanded at a 3.9 percent rate.
President Obama took immigration reform into his own hands — at the ire of conservatives — as he put forth executive actions in an effort to spare nearly 5 million immigrants from deportation. His actions come after thousands of immigrants illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, overwhelming Border Security. Many immigrants were then sent to detention centers across the U.S. Following Obama’s executive actions, many states have sued the administration, calling the executive actions unconstitutional. In m y opinion, if the President had taken action before the election, his base, the base who put him in office twice would have come out strong
President Barack Obama made historic changes to the U.S.-Cuba policy by restoring diplomatic relations with the country in December 2014. The historic shift culminated after 18 months of secret talks between longtime foes which included a series of meetings in Canada and the involvement of Pope Francis at the Vatican. The president spoke with Cuba’s leader, Raul Castro, on the phone for nearly an hour, making it the first presidential-level call between the two nations’ leaders since the 1959 Cuban revolution. American Alan Gross, a government contract worker who had been held in Cuba for five years, was allowed to return back to the U.S. in exchange for imprisoned Cuban spies. Obama’s plans for re-establishing relations with Cuba include expanding economic ties, opening an embassy in Havana, easing travel restrictions to Cuba, and sending high-ranking U.S. officials to visit and review Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Will the GOP landslide in the House and Senate make President Obama a better President or will it be a more challenged situation for him? So far the President has fought back by issuing the decree on immigration. . Republicans not only took control of the Senate, and widened their lead in the House, as Democrats got crushed during November’s midterm elections. The GOP taking control of both chambers of Congress was fueled by Obama’s unpopularity heading into the elections. But why was he unpopular? Mainly because the White House and The Democrats lost control of the message. If the Democrats had run on the fact that millions of Americans were covered under the Affordable Care Act, if they had run on the fact that the deficit has been cut in half by this President, if they had run on the fact that Detroit was reinvented, if they had run on the fact that there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in this country, if they had run on the fact that this administration has eliminated many of the terrorists including Bin Laden who took down the twin towers, if they had not run away from these issues then MAYBE they might have won a few seats!!!!
Separate police killings of two unarmed black men sparked months of nationwide protests against law enforcement brutality. The Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the New York City choke hold death of Eric Garner sparked sometimes violent protests over use of force by law enforcement and highlighted racial tension between police and African-Americans. Grand juries declined to indict either white officer for wrongdoing, erupting federal investigations and ongoing debates of lethal force by police.
The killing of two New York Police officers has only complicated things. Police are now more tense than ever and for good reason. People like Al Sharpton continue to fan the fires along with the Police Union Head in New York who blames the Mayor Of New York for everything that goes wrong with the police. I’m afraid this top story of 2014 will continue right on to 2015 with no good end in sight. 
Source: wikipedia, New York Times, U.S.A. Today and LuLac archives).

The LuLac Edition #2803, December 29th, 2014

(in countdown form)

Pope Francis continued to be in the news this year. The pontiff traveled to Albania and Turkey and also announced a trip to Philadelphia for next year. In preparation for his visit to the U.S. the Pope made this statement that might have baby daddies and mommas flinching. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment." But perhaps the Pope’s most interesting news came at the end of the year when in a December 22nd statement the Pope blasted the Roman Curia for having “Spiritual Alzheimer's." Look at this: "It is the disease of cowards, who do not have the courage to speak upfront and so talk behind one's back. … Watch out against the terrorism of gossip!" As we enter 2015, let’s just end this segment with an old newscast line, "More to come”.
The games were held in Sochi, Russia, in the tradition of the Winter Olympic Games. The Games were held from 7–23 February 2014, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the most expensive Olympics in history
A series of shootings occurred on October 22, 2014, in Ottawa, Canada. At the Canadian National War Memorial. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty. He then entered the nearby Centre Block parliament building at Parliament Hill, where members of the Parliament of Canada were attending caucuses. After wrestling with a security guard at the entrance, Zehaf-Bibeau ran inside and was cornered and killed by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, after a shootout with parliament security personnel.[7] Following the shootings, the downtown core of Ottawa was placed on lock down while police searched for any potential additional threats. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigation into the shootings is ongoing
The attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was a 32 year-old Canadian habitual offender and drug addict from Montreal. Considered by several acquaintances to have mental issues, he had been observed by acquaintances and mosque staff exhibiting erratic behaviour.
The European Space Operations Center announced on November 12 in Darmstadt, Germany that probe Philae successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Before landing, Philae had been flying with its mother ship Rosetta for over 10 years and nearly 7 billion km in pursuit of the Comet 67P. Philae made history as the first human-made object to achieve a soft landing on a comet nucleus. By studying Comet 67P's makeup with the help of the 10 scientific instruments onboard Philae, scientists hope to unlock secrets of the solar system and even the origins of life.
Here is a link to give you an idea of how many times Israel was attacked from the Gaza in 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel,_2014
Yet to hear the attackers tell it Israel was the aggressor. Since 2001, Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip as part of the continuing Arab–Israeli conflict. The attacks, widely condemned for targeting civilians, have been described as terrorism by United Nations, European Union and Israeli officials, and are defined as war crimes by human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian structures that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets are illegal under international law.
Israeli defenses constructed specifically to deal with the weapons include fortifications for schools and bus stops as well as an alarm system named Red Color. Iron Dome, a system to intercept short-range rockets, was developed by Israel and first deployed in the spring of 2011 to protect its citizens. God knows how many people in Israel would have been killed without it. Is it any wonder that Israel will and should not trust Hezbollah and everything they stand for?
One of the greatest mysteries this year has been the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The plane departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 8 and was due to arrive in Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. But Malaysia Airlines lost contact with the plane less than an hour after takeoff and no distress signal or message was sent. Since the planes’ disappearance, millions of dollars have been spent searching for the plane’s wreckage in the Indian Ocean where it is believed to have crashed.
This has been an awful year for Journalists and people of good will. Extremists of all stripes in the Muslim world have targeted aid workers, journalists and average citizens who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some have been jailed, many have been beheaded publicly. Videos were shown but not before relatives had to beg for the lives of the victims in vain. The best strategy is to accept any future acts like this as an act of war and as painful as it is to just ignore the diatribes and the taunting. Then isolate their families and attack accordingly. There is no reasoning with this violence and the best way to handle it is with force.
It started with just a few cases in Guinea, and became the deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record. The virus spread throughout West Africa, claiming more than 5,000 lives. In September, the first case of the disease in the United States was diagnosed at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian citizen who had recently arrived in the United States, died of complications from Ebola. Two nurses who treated him also contracted the virus but recovered. Duncan’s death raised serious questions about the capacity of U.S. hospitals to effectively treat the disease and to protect health care workers treating the infected.
Anti-government protests continued for more than three months before finally escalating into massive bloodshed in late February, leaving hundreds of casualties. Elected President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. The country faces the possibility of separation due to the differing stances among ethnic groups. In early March, Crimea voted to join Russia in a local referendum, which was not recognized by Ukraine and major Western countries. In May, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in east Ukraine declared independence.
Dovetail this with the cnomic downturn in Russia because of decreasing fuel prices and you have a recipe for a meaner, more snarling Russia in the New Year. That will only complicate international relations with the world and the United States.
It was a brutal year in Iraq and Syria, as the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State, or IS, gained momentum and captured territory throughout the region, killing thousands along the way. The group posted online barbaric videos of beheadings. Two American journalists were among those executed. The United States continues to fight back through air strikes on the group in Iraq and Syria.
Sources: (Wikipedia, The Guardian, LuLac archives). 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2802, December 28th, 2014


As the year winds down, we continue with our year end features. “Women We Love” is something we ripped off from Esquire Magazine a few years back. Each year we get nominees for outstanding women locally, statewide nationally and internationally. The criteria is simple, quality of work, recognition of community activities, challenging positions that give them a profile both good or bad. Also, if there is a “buzz” about the type of year they are having and how that impacts on themselves as well as the community. Nominations come in via the LuLac E Mail box and a certain number is needed to make the cut. After that cut is dwindled, we choose the winners. Here are the LuLac 2014 “Women We Love”.

I might be accused of a little bias here because Jasmine conducts a lot of the interviews I do on WBRE TV’s Pa Live program. But the fact of the matter is that Jasmine was a near unanimous pick. Most of all people commented on her work ethic and grueling schedule. LuLac land viewers see her on the 5am news block of Eyewitness News in the Morning. She is always out in the community doing human interest stories that involve more than standing in front of a camera with a microphone. You might see her on a Ferris Wheel in Jessup at 5:20am and then during the 11AM Mid Day Newscast you’ll see her doing a report on Early Childhood Intervention or Senior Prescription Drug costs. Then at 4PM she co hosts Pa. Live with Dave Kuharchik sparring with him at the opening and keeping everyone on their toes. Plus, if you see her on the Anchor Desk her performance is nearly flawless every time. There is a rumor that once in a while she does sleep but that has yet to be confirmed by three sources. Brooks who is a true natural when it comes to caressing the camera (her reactions to comments are spot on) came to WBRE TV in 2012.
One of the reasons why I took instantly to her on the set of WBRE TV was because I found out she started in radio doing news on WPPA AM and WAVT FM as well as working with T102FM. After that she matriculated to the public access TV operation in Hazleton working as a multi media reporter and filling in on the anchor seat. The first time I saw Jasmine on TV here was when she was filling in as an anchor over a weekend. Still another skill set she brings to her resume. Brooks has a degree in Mass Communications from Bloomsburg University and is a big animal enthusiast.
Jasmine Brooks peripatetic schedule, her unbridled enthusiasm and optimism as well as her delivery of the broadcast goods throughout a wide spectrum is one of the reasons why LuLac readers picked her as one of the Women We Love in 2014.

If you look up the word multi tasking in the dictionary (am I the only guy who uses those anymore??) you might see a picture of Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman Corcoran. Plus if you also look up “political acumen” in the same place, again you would find Coleman’s photo. Last fall Coleman signed on to work for a little known York, Pa. businessman to help him in his campaign for Governor. That candidate, Tom Wolf was only known to political junkies and even then he wasn’t on the radar screen. Wolf was primarily known as the former Budget Director who eschewed a run for Governor in 2010. Coleman (among a few others locally) took Wolf to both pizza joints and the corridors of power in this area. While Wolf impressed, to seasoned veterans he didn’t have a prayer. Good thing for Tom Wolf Coleman was not regarded as “seasoned” for her age. Using every angle and relationship she had built up in her short career, Coleman introduced Wolf to the people he needed to see. But Coleman knew that wouldn’t be enough. So too did the Wolf campaign.
Bolstered by his winter ad campaign Coleman as Deputy Campaign Director started working tirelessly to get events planned. Working with early supporters like Attorney Bill Vinsko, Former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty and his wife Recorder of Deeds Evie Refalko McNulty, former Lackawanna County Commissioner Mike Washo, State Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski and Phyllis Mundy and others (like some blogger we don’t need to mention) Coleman coordinated efforts that gave people here the opportunity to see Tom Wolf. And of course we all know how that worked out.
If Evie Refalko McNulty became politically active when as a baby JFK gave her a kiss, Coleman was not far behind. She was drawn to politics because of her grandfather the late longtime Exeter Mayor Joe Coyne. Coleman would be front and center at rallies for candidates at every level tagging along with her grandfather. When he fell ill with brain cancer, she was constantly at his side. 

After he passed away Coleman, then barely in her early twenties was designated as the new Mayor of Exeter by the town Council. Ms. Coleman was appointed Exeter's mayor in October 2008, to fill the remainder of her grandfather's term. She served the remaining 15 months in his third term in office. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.
Coleman was also featured in O Magazine, the Oprah Magazine in May of 2011. After an hour and a half interview with the monthly, Coleman had no idea what slant they were going to take. But in the end the story showcased the positive aspects of community service, politics and gave Exeter a national and international spotlight. Coleman has been mentioned frequently as a future candidate for public office but after her work in the Wolf effort you can also be sure there will be other potential candidates beating a path to her door.
Cassandra married James Corcoran and in the midst of the hectic Wolf campaign she gave birth to James Daniel Corcoran IV. 
As a wife and mother, her husband and first born son are the apple and sweet pea of her eye respectively but politics has proven a worthy vocation for her. Many LuLac readers have opined that her grandfather would be extremely pleased with her progress thus far. Cassandra Coleman Corcoran’s attention to detail, her organizational skills as well as her ability to pick a winner makes her one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2014.

Her voice is recognizable on talk radio programs. Her passion for her conservative beliefs are unmistakable. When she makes a public appearance there is no missing that mane of blond hair when she enters a room. Laureen Cummings, by her own admission came to politics late in life. After raising her children Cummings started a private health care business and saw firsthand the struggles an independent owner faced. Cummings became one of the charter members, if not the first member of the Lackawanna County Tea Party organization. Cummings made a run for U.S. Senate in 2012 but then decided to run for Congress in the new 17th Congressional District. Her appearances on PCN debates in the Senate contest gave her more than enough confidence to stand with any other candidate. As a nurse and small businesswoman, she actively fights against Obama Care. Most strongly, she believes in fiscal conservatism saying that this country needs to pay as we go instead of putting the nation in debt. Cummings still favors replacing — completely — the income tax with the Fair Tax, a tax on the consumption of goods and services. That’s something that even I can agree with.
Cummings has used Face book as a platform for espousing her conservative views. She was elected to the GOP State Committee in the last election. Currently she is being touted as a possible candidate for Lackawanna County Commissioner. Cummings is steadfast in her beliefs but unlike more strident members of the Tea Party, she comes across as passionate but not unreasonable in her expectations of government. In an area dominated by Democratic leanings and policies, Laureen Cummings brings a different and debatable perspective to the public discourse. It is for that reason that she was picked as one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2014.

A name that was bandied about last year by LuLac readers once more surfaced in 2014. My friends Dr. Joe Leonardi and Bill Goldsworthy have been two of the biggest supporters of this young lady and her efforts. If you don’t know, Stephanie Jallen was born with the rare birth defect called C.H.I.L.D.S. syndrome. Known as Congenital hemidysplasia with ichthyosiform erythroderma and limb defects, the affliction caused the left side of her body to under develop. She was introduced to skiing at a camp for kids with disabilities at age 9. When one wonders if these outreach ventures are important and worthy of support, all you have to do is look to Jallen and the excitement and possibility this option provided for her. Jallen was relentless in her pursuit of a skiing championship. . In 2011. she was the US slalom champion after coming first in the event. 2012 brought setbacks but an example of the grit and determination she has for this sport. At British Columbia she needed 12 sutures after face lacerations in a fall that also injured her tibia and knee.
During the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Russia, Jalen competed for Team USA in three events, the Super-G, the slalom, and the super combined (Jallen is competing in standing in all events) She was the second-youngest member of the national team. She came third in the Super-G, finishing 5.94 seconds behind Marie Bochet; also finishing behind Solène Jambaqué, both of France. Jallen came third in the super combined with a time of 1:25.15 seconds, 4.74 seconds behind Bochet, who won.
A Bronze Medal winner, Jallen became the breakout star of the Games as she won two Paralympic medals, was named the Best Female Paralympian and her bronze-medal finish in the super-G was named the Moment of the Paralympic Winter Games at the United States Olympic Committee’s inaugural Best of U.S. awards.
Jallen has been nominated for the 2014-2015 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. The IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup series will begin in January of 2015, with the season concluding at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, British Columbia, March 1-11. Jallen is an inspiration to many people who sometimes need to look beyond themselves to see something positive. She has been an inspiration to returning Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans returning with lost limbs. Jallen is someone who has taken the deck of cards handed to her and decided to make most of them into aces. It is for that reason that we choose our youngest ever LuLac Woman We Love, Stephanie Jallen for 2014.

On the national stage some of my left leaning readers picked Ruth Bader Ginsburg as their pick. Ginsburg, who has been battling health problems has steadfastly refused to resign her post. She essentially told the President that no one can protect the progressive agenda better than she and most likely knows the President will “compromise” and pick a middle of the road judicial nominee that will sell whatever is left of the middle class down the river.
Despite some recent health scares, she is staying put. In an interview with Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic she spoke about those retirement rumors. “I should say, I am fantastically lucky that I am in a system without a compulsory retirement age. Most countries of the world have age sixty-five, seventy, seventy-five, and many of our states do as well. As long as I can do the job full steam, I will stay here. I think I will know when I’m no longer able to think as lucidly, to remember as well, to write as fast. I was number one last term in the speed with which opinions came down. My average from the day of argument to the day the decision was released was sixty days, ahead of the chief by some six days. So I don’t think I have reached the point where I can’t do the job as well. Who do you think the president could nominate and get through the current Senate that you would rather see on the Court than me? No one has given me an answer to that question.”
Ginsburg came on the Court in 1993 having been appointed by Bill Clinton. With twenty plus years on the Court she has seen the ebb and flow of policies and decisions. One gets the feeling that she’d like to stay on the Court until as her appointing President used to say, “Until the last dog dies!” Much is made about the fact that no one ever remembers the second person ever achieving an unreachable goal, usually giving the big honor to the first person to be the ceiling breaker. The first woman Supreme Court Justice appointed was Sandra Day O’Connor. Bader Ginsburg was the second. Being second will not diminish her historical importance to the nation and the court. Her consistency as well as her advocacy for social issues regarding equal pay for woman and a better way for justice in America as well as her work ethic is one of the reasons why Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the Women We Love in 2014.

Most of us are defined career wise by our job. In the case of Karla Porter, perhaps we have to add jobs to fully clarify that if we defined Karla Porter by just that aspect of her life. Karla currently works as the Director of Program Development & Marketing for The Arc of Luzerne County. But many people know her from her previous position at the Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce where she was the Director of Workforce Development and Human Resources. In that position she worked with various federal and state job training programs and also provided demographic data to prospective business clients looking for employees in this region. But what she has been known for primarily in the blogosphere is the innovative approach she has taken to the thing we refer to as the new media. From 2008 until the present time she has been Principal of Karla Porter Human Capital & New Media.
Her Linkedin profile describes this effort as consulting in strategic human capital management, candidate attraction, recruitment strategy, diversity, employee retention, employer branding, employee relations, strategic internal communication, relationship building, attaining employer of choice status, workforce development, and world class customer service.
But what really brought Karla to our reader’s attention is her work as a co-organizer of NEPA BlogCon, the region's only blogger and social media conference. The group recently held their second event this past October at College Misrecordia. NEPA BlogCon is Northeastern Pennsylvania's annual blogging, social media and tech conference. It's a day-long event where personal bloggers, tech professionals, marketing professionals, corporate communications professionals, PR/Marketing professionals, business bloggers, and members of the community unite to learn about storytelling and brand messaging through new media while sharing their ideas.
NEPA BlogCon is a not-for-profit event, organized by four women with a passion for sharing new ideas with the Northeastern Pennsylvania community. All proceeds benefit regional charity organizations.
Karla has been tireless in her efforts to make this event more than a social scene. Perhaps one of last year’s LuLac Women We Love, Michelle Hryvnak Davies said it best about Karla’s contributions to Blogcon. "Karla was the glue that held together our NEPA BlogCon project. If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have had a location to hold the event (LCCC) or two local charities to work with (The Arc of Luzerne County and the Northeast PA Veterans Multicare Alliance). She coordinated with the LCCC computer club to use a building on campus for the event. She worked with selecting the charities to provide our funds to as well as organize the accounting for both organizations. Without her tireless efforts we would not have been able to host this community event.” That quote came from 2013 when Blogcon was first launched. Now with a second successful year under its belt the event is growing in interest and recognition. Along with Mandy Boyle from Net Driven as well as the aforementioned Hryvnak Davies, blogcon is here to stay. One of the biggest reasons is the hard work, energy and dedication that Karla Porter puts into it. That is just one of the reasons why (we’d list all the jobs and associations if we could but I’m afraid we’d run out of bandwidth) Karla Porter is one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2014.

If you are a fan of the cable news shows featuring politics, (don’t be shy, raise your hands!!!) or the Sunday Morning Talk shows then for sure you’ve seen Nia-Malika Henderson. Henderson for a time was the lone African American Reporter for Politico but later moved on to The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, Nia wrote about education, race and the White House for Politico. In 2008, she covered the presidential election and local government on Long Island for Newsday. She also worked at The Baltimore Sun where she covered city government in Annapolis. A regular guest on Fox, MSNBC, and CNN, Nia has an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from Duke University, and graduate degrees from Yale University in American studies and Columbia University in journalism.
Henderson has wrote some pretty intriguing pieces the last few years that has put her in the forefront of a new breed of national political reporters. One of her most important pieces dealt with how black and white citizens hear President Obama differently. She has also done profiles on potential Presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
As more young people become engaged in politics, news outlets like NBC are courting writers and reporters like Henderson who bring a perspective that is both refreshing and intelligent. As an observer and viewer of the political junkie shows, I agree with many LuLac readers that Henderson is not your grandfather’s talk show panelist. Henderson has proven that the future of political opining is secure for her generation and beyond. That is one of the reasons why LuLac readers love Nia-Malike Henderson as one of the Women We Love in 2014.

You might not know the name because she is not political. But many of my readers recognize her as the leader of the Myasthenia Gravis Support Group I joined in early 2013. Vera and her husband Harry formed the local chapter in the Scranton Area after Harry got the disease.
Vera’s real job is at Marywood University where she works in the Development Department. But her other volunteer effort is coordinating bi monthly meetings for members of the Myasthenia Support group in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area. A graduate of West Scranton High and Dickinson College, Vera brings a great sense of organization and sensibility to newcomers afflicted by this disease. Her support as well as her good humor has facilitated many a meeting. While Mrs. LuLac is my IT guy, Vera’s husband Harry is her IT aid. What we wouldn’t do without our spouses huh? When Harry appeared on a TV and Radio programs this past year for MG Awareness Month in June many people became aware of this fine couple and of course the ramifications of the disease. Without them members who wanted to attend a meeting would have to travel to Danville. For starting the group, keeping it active and running those meetings like clockwork, we count Vera Krewsun as one of the Women We Love in 2014.

I am constantly being asked by several people if perhaps Elizabeth Warren might be 2016’s Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton. It is an intriguing possibility. Warren certainly has her supporters and has staked out a claim to the more progressive side of the Democratic party. Warren has made her bones by constantly taking on the Wall Street business interests who have been allowed to skate after playing a role in the 2008 near fatal financial debacle. A few weeks back on the Senate floor Warren gave this statement regarding provisions in the new spending bill that she says would do nothing for the middle class. "Mr. President, Democrats don't like Wall Street bailouts," Warren said. "Republicans don't like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts. And yet here we are five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again." Remember Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She is also responsible for getting credit card reform in the first year of the Obama Administration having served as the main architects of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Warren’s positions are interesting because the Clinton family have always been friendly to Wall Street interests. As a matter of fact in Hillary Clinton’s two Senate campaigns Wall Street heavily backed her. The juxtaposition of a Warren/Clinton race would be fascinating for the Democratic Party. It would pit the traditional heir apparent against another Democrat perceived as the “real deal”. So far Warren has been mum on her intentions to run, even saying she would not at one point. But 2016 is a lifetime away and the trajectory of the American economy under the latter years of the Obama administration and a Republican Congress, the way front runner Hillary Clinton runs her pre campaign as well as Warren’s reactions to all of that are reasons why Elizabeth Warren is one of the Lulac woman to watch for the future. It is also the main reason why Elizabeth Warren is one of the Women We Love in 2014.

If you think Tom Wolf is going to be an unconventional Governor then certainly his wife’s role as Pennsylvania’s new First Lady will bring a more artistic bent to the Capitol. Mrs. Wolf was born in New York City and raised abroad in Iran, Germany, France, Pakistan and England. She received a BA from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and a subsequent BA from Franklin and Marshall College and an MA from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Frances’s paintings of still lifes, human figures and scenes of the natural world have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, including the Lancaster Museum of Art, York College of Pennsylvania and the Artists’ House Gallery in Philadelphia. Her work is also part of numerous corporate and private collections.
Frances met her husband while both were in school. They married in 1975 and have two daughters, Sarah and Katie. Mrs. Wolf was on the campaign trail for her husband and had intense conversations with many people regarding education. I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Wolf and she seems to have the same down to earth personality as her husband. Readers have commented on her easy ability to walk through a room and connect with people of all stripes. This different educational background as well as her interactions with some of the people I saw her with is one of the reasons why Frances Wolf was chosen by like minded readers as one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2014.

During the last eight a half years you have been reading this site. For the last six years we have been recognizing Women We Love in our year end editions. I think that the time has come for me to recognize someone who actually made this blog and a type of second career possible for me. That’s of course my wife, Mrs. LuLac.
Mrs. LuLac is actually Mary Ann Waskie Yonki. LuLac was her idea. (The name, LuLac, I commandeered). When I wrote my first book, “A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In your Future Endeavors” I was looking for ways to promote it. My wife suggested I do a blog to gain publicity. I made a tepid effort and found that blogs (at least the rudimentary one I started) didn’t  necessarily have the ability and the firepower to sell many books. Looking at the blogs on line, I knew you needed more than one story. And writing a book, then trying to sell it wasn’t high drama and certainly something a reader would want to visit every day.
I first thought that perhaps a baseball blog would be good. I love the game but with work and my life at that time, I could barely keep up with the key players in the sport. My thoughts went to a Fashion blog for big men. But then one evening while I was at work, during lunch I looked at some of the local blogs and only two impressed me. Mark Cour’s Wilkes Barre On Line and Gort 42. My friend Jim Petrie always says “Write what you know” and I knew the history of politics in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County. So the seed of an idea blossomed into what LuLac is today. Through the early years and even now Mrs. LuLac is my IT person. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows I am very dramatic when it comes to any aspect of computers. I use them, use them very well but get concerned when they don’t respond instantly. Many a time I’ve gasped and screamed as well as went through wild gyrations of pandemonium (picture Cameron from ABC’s Modern Family) and Mrs. LuLac came to the rescue. There have been times when she made me find the answer. But as always she has been the technical support of this site.
Mary Ann has been the Wilkes Barre Library District Consultant for over 40 years. Through those four decades she has helped local libraries see many projects to completion helping with funding advice, personnel matters, programming as well as giving much needed moral support to their efforts. She has traveled the state and the country gathering information for the betterment of library services as well as offering her input from the years of experience in her position. In 2000 she and a select group of other librarians were flown to Seattle, Washington by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be trained in the couple’s funding vehicle. The goal was how to make computers more accessible to the general public through local libraries. If you notice more local libraries are now equipped with banks of computers for public use. Most of these are used for posting resumes, job training as well as allowing access to the internet for those who previously were shut out due to economic circumstances. That has happened in large part to the Gates Foundation but the implementation came at the local level and Mary Ann played a major role in that.
She is a graduate of Marymount High School, Wilkes College as well as Rutgers University. Her biggest challenge though has been being married to me. There was no education to prepare her for that.
But like her consistent work in the Library system (which I feel has been barely recognized-after such longevity, but that’s me) she has been extremely supportive of this new phase of my career. Whether it be driving me to an event or improving this site’s delivery system, she has been nothing short of my champion.
We are getting to the point in our relationship where we are finishing each others thoughts in our personal life. That exception is of course with some of the stuff I put up on LuLac that she may not agree with. But her perspective sometimes gives me an idea. That has happened more than I can count.
Since 2008 LuLac has recognized more than 80 women we love. I felt it finally fitting to recognize the woman I love as one of the 2014 LuLac Women We Love.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2801, December 27th, 2014



Pete DeCoursey, 52, American political journalist, cancer. DeCoursey was a mainstay on PCN TV and was one of the most widely respect of Pennsylvania :Political reporters. Throughout this year’s Governor’s race there wasn’t a day I wondered during that time how Pete would react to the Corbett/Wolf race. (Photo: PCN TV).
Juanita Moore, 99, American actress (Imitation of Life).
Jay Traynor, 70, American singer (Jay and the Americans), liver cancer.
Phil Everly, 74, American singer and musician (The Everly Brothers), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Everly Brothers were an early influence on The Beatles. As a matter of fact, Paul McCartney wrote this song for the Everly Brothers in the 80s.

Jerry Coleman, 89, American baseball player, manager and broadcaster (Yankees, Padres) and Marine aviator, complications from brain bleeding and surgery. I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Coleman in his one year stint as the manager of The San Diego Padres in 1980. He was warm, funny, insightful and knew this team was not going anywhere. (Photo: LuLac archives).
H. Owen Reed, 103, American composer, conductor and educator.
Rynn Berry, 68, American vegetarian activist and author, heart attack.
Sam Berns, 17, American high school student, progeria sufferer and documentary subject (Life According to Sam), progeria.
Ike Borsavage, 89, American basketball player.
Larry Speakes, 74, American journalist, de facto White House Press Secretary (1981–1987), Alzheimer's disease. Speakes became Press Secretary after Reagan’s first pressman Jim Brady was gunned down during the Reagan assassination attempt.
Jerome Willis, 85, British actor (Doctor Who, Space Precinct).
Ariel Sharon, 85, Israeli politician and general, Minister of Defense (1981–1983), Prime Minister (2001–2006), heart failure.
Frank Marth, 91, American actor (The Honeymooners, Hogan's Heroes), heart failure and Alzheimer's disease. (Photo: Wikipedia).
Russell Johnson, 89, American actor (Gilligan's Island), kidney failure. Johnson was born in Ashley, Pennsylvania and gained fame and fortune as the brainy Professor on the island. Only Tina Louise and Dawn Wells survive from the cast.
Dave Madden, 82, Canadian-born American actor (Laugh In, The Partridge Family, Alice), heart and kidney failure.
Yuri Izrael, 83, Russian meteorologist.
Charlie Osgood, 87, American baseball player (Brooklyn Dodgers).
Raymond Weil, 87, Swiss watchmaker and businessman.
Gerald B. Whitham, 86, British applied mathematician.
Rusty York, 78, American musician.
Doris Witiuk, 84, American AAGPBL baseball player (Racine Belles, Battle Creek Belles
Sue Wallis, 56, American politician, member of the Wyoming House of Representatives (since 2007).
Stevie Woods, 62, American singer.
Johnny Allen, 96, American music arranger (Shaft), complications from pneumonia.
Campbell Lane, 78, Canadian actor (Cool Runnings, The X-Files, Scary Movie 4).
Anna Gordy Gaye, 92, American songwriter ("Baby, I'm for Real"), co-founder of Anna Records, natural causes
Christopher Jones, 72, American actor (The Legend of Jesse James, Ryan's Daughter, The Looking Glass War), cancer.


Maximilian Schell, 83, Austrian-Swiss Oscar-winning actor (Judgment at Nuremberg, Julia, Deep Impact), pneumonia.
Gordon Zacks, 80, American businessman and presidential adviser, cancer.
Bunny Rugs, 65, Jamaican reggae musician (Third World)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, American Oscar-winning actor (Capote, Magnolia, Doubt), mixed drug intoxication.
Richard Bull, 89, American actor (Little House on the Prairie), natural causes.
Gloria Leonard, 73, American pornographic actress and magazine publisher (High Society), complications from a stroke. 
Joan Mondale, 83, (below) American arts advocate, Second Lady of the United States (1977–1981)
Ralph Kiner, 91, American Hall of Fame baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates) and announcer (New York Mets), natural causes. One of the biggest thrills I had was to meet Kiner at Shea in the Press Box. In 1980 I saw at least 12 Met games that year and Kiner was always very amiable and welcoming to the out of state media people.
Abe Woodson, 79, American football player (San Francisco 49ers).
Roy Alvarez, 63, Filipino actor, cardiac arrest.
Sid Caesar, 91, American Emmy-winning comedian and actor (Your Show of Shows, Grease, Silent Movie). (Photo: TV archives). 
Ralph Waite, 85, American actor (The Waltons, Roots, NCIS, Cliffhanger).
Jim Fregosi, 71, American baseball player (California Angels) and manager (Philadelphia Phillies), complications from a stroke.
John Henson, 48, American puppeteer (The Muppets), heart attack
Roy Simmons, 57, American football player (New York Giants), complications from pneumonia.
Garrick Utley, 74, American television journalist (NBC News), prostate cancer.
Jim Lange, 81, American game show host and disc jockey (The Dating Game, Name That Tune), heart attack.
Don Pardo was an American radio and television announcer whose career spanned more than seven decades. A member of the Television Hall of Fame, Pardo was noted for his 70-year tenure with NBC, working as the announcer for early incarnations of such notable shows as The Price Is Right, Jackpot, Jeopardy!, Three on a Match, Winning Streak and NBC Nightly News. His longest, and best-known, announcing job was for NBC's Saturday Night Live, a job he held for 39 seasons, from the show's debut in 1975 until his death in 2014.
Aaron Allston, 53, American game designer (Dungeons & Dragons) and sci-fi author (X-Wing), heart failure.
Shirley Temple Black was an iconic child star of the 1930s who later became a TV personality and American Ambassador. began her film career in 1932 at the age of three. In 1934, she found international fame in Bright Eyes, a feature film designed specifically for her talents. She received a special Juvenile Academy Award in February 1935 for her outstanding contribution as a juvenile performer to motion pictures during 1934, and film hits such as Curly Top and Heidi followed year after year during the mid-to-late 1930s. Licensed merchandise that capitalized on her wholesome image included dolls, dishes and clothing. Her box office popularity waned as she reached adolescence.
Temple worked in TV in 1958 with a two-season television anthology series of fairy tale adaptations. She made guest appearances on television shows in the early 1960s and filmed a sitcom pilot that was never released. She sat on the boards of corporations and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods and the National Wildlife Federation. She began her diplomatic career in 1969, with an appointment to represent the United States at a session of the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo: Time Magazine). 
She entered politics and became a diplomat, serving as United States Ambassador to Ghana and later to Czechoslovakia, and as Chief of Protocol of the United States.


Ted Bergmann, 93, American sports television and entertainment producer (NBC), complications following surgery.
Molly Bobak, 92, Canadian war artist, recipient of the Order of Canada
Porky Chedwick, 96, American radio announcer. Chedwick was a trailblazer in music and in radio. Starting in the late 1940s, he introduced music by black artists to young white radio listeners and gave early airplay to artists who later went on to be major stars, including Bo Diddley and Smokey Robinson. Mr. Chedwick was among radio personalities included in the "Dedicated to the One I Love" exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in 1996. The exhibit featured air checks from Mr. Chedwick and others.

Gail Gilmore, 76, Canadian actress, lung cancer.
Sheila MacRae, 92, English-born American actress (The Honeymooners).
Gwen Matthewman, 86, English speed knitter.
William Clay Ford, Sr., 88, American businessman (Ford Motor Company, Detroit Lions), pneumonia.
Cynthia Lynn, 76, Latvian-born American actress (Hogan's Heroes), multiple organ failure
Joe McGinniss, 71, American author and political journalist, prostate cancer.
Tom Shanahan, 89, American broadcaster and sportscaster.
Ray Still, 94, American classical oboist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Reubin Askew, 85, American politician, Governor of Florida (1971–1979), member of the Florida House of Representatives (1958–1962) and Senate (1962–197
Abby Singer, 96, American production manager (Remington Steele, St. Elsewhere), cancer
David Brenner, 78, American comedian, cancer. He also was a guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.
Charlotte Brooks, 95, American photographer (Look).
Howard Callaway, 86, American politician, Secretary of the Army, ’’member of the US House of Representatives for Georgia, complications from a brain hemorrhage. Callaway, nicknamed "Bo" also ran President Ford’s 1976 primary campaign.
Mareike Carrière, 59, German actress, cancer.
Jim Compton, 72, American journalist (NBC News), heart attack.
Heather Robertson, 72, Canadian journalist (Winnipeg Free Press) and author, cancer.
Robert Schwarz Strauss, 95, American politician and diplomat, Ambassador to Russia (1991–19920. He was known as one of the wise men of the Democratic party from 77 to 99.
James R. Schlesinger, 85, American government official, Director of the CIA (1973), Secretary of Defense (1973–1975), Secretary of Energy (1977–1979), pneumonia.
Charles Keating, 90, American banker, key figure in the savings and loan crisis.
Frankie Knuckles, 59, American disc jockey and record producer, complications from diabetes.
Bob Larbey, 79, British comedy scriptwriter (Please Sir!, The Good Life, As Time Goes By.


King Fleming, 91, American jazz pianist, natural causes.
William Mitchell, 85, Canadian hockey player (Detroit Red Wings), kidney failure.
Sandy Grossman, 78, American sports director (CBS Sports, Fox Sports), directed 10 Super Bowls, cancer.
Lucy Hood, 56, American television executive (News Corporation), President of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (since 2013), cancer.
Arthur Smith, 93, American musician and songwriter ("Guitar Boogie", "Dueling Banjos").
Ed Spencer, 85, American race car driver
Peter Kaberere, 30, Kenyan gospel singer, electrocuted.
Mickey Rooney, 93, American actor (Boys Town, The Black Stallion), Emmy Award winner (Bill). (Photo: Turner Classic Movies). 
Peaches Geldof, 25, English television presenter, writer and model, heroin overdose. (Photo: The Guardian). 
The Ultimate Warrior, 54, American Hall of Fame professional wrestler (WWE), heart attack.
Bill Henry, 86, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds), heart attack.
Carl Zimmermann, 96, American news anchor (WITI) and WWII war correspondent.
Hal Smith, 82, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals). Smith was a key hero of the 1960 World Series began Game 7 on the bench, but entered the contest in the eighth inning after starter Burgess was removed for a pinch runner. Smith came to bat in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, two runners on base, and the Pirates trailing by a score of 7–6. With two strikes, Smith hit a dramatic three-run home run off Jim Coates to give the Pirates a 9–7 lead. His home run electrified the Forbes Field crowd, who thought his blast would win the World Series for the Pirates. However, his hit would be overshadowed: the Yankees then battled back to tie the game at nine in the top of the ninth, leading to Bill Mazeroski's walk-off homer to win the Series in the bottom of the inning. Smith also was the first catcher to start a game in Houston in the 1962 season for the Colt 45s. (Photo: LuLac archives). 
Little Joe Cook, 91, American doo-wop singer. 
Basil Paterson, 87, American politician and labor lawyer, New York Secretary of State (1979–1983), member of the New York Senate (1965–1970). Patterson also ran for Mayor of New York City a few times in the 60s. His son David Patterson became the Governor after Elliot Spitzer stepped down. 
Lee Namey, former Mayor of The City of Wilkes Barre from 1988 to 1995. 
Steve Cappiello, 89, American politician, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey (1981–1984).
Bill Blair, 92, American baseball player (Indianapolis Clowns), journalist and civil rights activist.
Rubin Carter, 76, American middleweight boxer wrongfully convicted of murder, subject of "Hurricane" and The Hurricane, prostate cancer.
Ray Musto, 85, American politician, member of the U.S. House for Pennsylvania's 11th district (1980–1981), Pennsylvania House (1971–1980) and Senate (1983–2010), cancer.
Earl Morrall, 79, American football player (Baltimore Colts, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins), complications from Parkinson's disease.
Lee Marshall, 64, American radio personality, professional wrestling announcer and voice actor (Tony The Tiger), esophageal cancer.
Judi Meredith, 77, American actress (Ben Casey, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Hotel de Paree).
Janet Vivian "Jan" Hooks was an American actress and comedian best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, where she was a repertory player from 1986-91, and continued making cameo appearances until 1994. Her subsequent work included a regular role on the final two seasons of Designing Women, a recurring role on 3rd Rock from the Sun and a number of other roles in film and television.
Bob Hoskins was well known for playing Cockneys and gangsters. His best known works include lead roles in The Long Good Friday (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), and supporting performances in Brazil (1985), Hook (1991), Nixon (1995), Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005), A Christmas Carol (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).


Mel Clark, 87, American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies).
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., 95, American actor (The F.B.I., 77 Sunset Strip, Batman: The Animated Series) If you were an impressionable young boy in the early 1960s you knew this guy always got the girl because of those great convertibles he drove on 77 Sunset Strip. (Photo: ABC TV). 
Jimmy Ellis, 74, American boxer, WBA heavyweight champion (1968–1970), dementia.
Beverly Long, 81, American actress (Rebel Without a Cause, Father Knows Best).[139]
Nancy Malone, 79, American Emmy Award-winning producer, director (Dynasty) and actress (Naked City), leukemia-induced pneumonia. [She played Libby on the television series Naked City from 1960 to 1963. During the same period, she played Robin Lang Bowden Fletcher on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light. She subsequently played Clara Varner on the television series The Long Hot Summer, which ran for one season on ABC, and appeared in The Outer Limits (episode "Fun and Games") and The Twilight Zone (episode "Stopover in a Quiet Town"). She played Dr. Edith Gibson, the love interest of Goober Pyle (George Lindsey), on the last original episode of the television series The Andy Griffith Show ("A Girl for Goober," which aired March 25, 1968).
In 1976, she became the first female vice-president of television at 20th Century Fox. In 1977, she was awarded one of the first Crystal Awards by Women in Film for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.
Malone won an Emmy Award for producing Bob Hope: The First 90 Years (1993) (TV) and was nominated for Emmy Awards for directing episodes of Sisters in (1991), and The Trials of Rosie O'Neill in (1992).
Malone always felt that her role on “Naked City” was confining. She played Detective Adam Flint’s fiance and there were always formulatic scenes where she’d meet up with Flint to discuss his work in the Police Department. There were never any recurring appearances in episodes, she had her slot and then the rest of the show went on. Malone was the last surviving member of that cast that included star Paul Burke, Horace McMahon and Harry Bellaver. 
Malone made the cover of Life Magazine as a child. (Photo: Life Magazine). 
This is a photo of Malone with "Naked City" star Paul Burke. (Photo: New York Times).
Tessa Watts, 68, British music video producer ("Sledgehammer"), pancreatic cancer.
Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, 65, American neopagan, author and priestess (Church of All Worlds), multiple myeloma.
Jerry Vale, 83, American singer ("Have You Looked into Your Heart", "The Star-Spangled Banner") and actor. His version of "The Star-Spangled Banner", recorded in the late 1963, was a fixture at many sporting events for years. The Gold Record Vale achieved for this was displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown, New York. Vale was a mainstay on the TV talk show circuit in the 60s, played at The Kirby in the late 80s and was famous for being in movies like “Goodfellas”. Vale’s last hit of any consequence for Columbia was in 1966.

Nitya Pibulsonggram, 72, Thai diplomat, Foreign Minister (2006–2008), Ambassador to the United States (1984–2000) and United Nations, stroke.
Lee Chamberlin, 76, American actress (The Electric Company, All My Children), cancer.
Mike Gordon, 60, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs), acute myeloid leukemia.
Roberto Vargas, 84, American Puerto Rican baseball player (Milwaukee Braves
Massimo Vignelli, 83, Italian graphic designer (New York City Subway map, American Airlines).
Maya Angelou, 86, American author (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), poet ("On the Pulse of Morning") and civil rights activist.
Malcolm Glazer, 85, American real estate executive (First Allied Corporation) and sports franchise owner (Manchester United, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Dave Herman, 78, American radio personality (WNEW), aneurysm.
Martha Hyer, 89, American actress (Some Came Running, Sabrina).
Lewis Katz, 72, American media (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, YES Network) and sport franchise owner (New Jersey Nets and Devils), plane crash.
Jack Dittmer, 86, American baseball player (Boston/Milwaukee Braves).


Ann B. Davis, 88, American actress (The Bob Cummings Show, The Brady Bunch), Emmy winner (1958, 1959), subdural hematoma from a fall.
Tom Rounds, 77, American radio production executive (American Top 40), complications from surgery. Rounds was the brain trust behind the program that skyrocketed its host Casey Kasem to fame and fortune. Ironic that both died within a few weeks of each other in the same year.
Marjorie Stapp, 92, American actress (My Three Sons, Dragnet).
Roy M. Goodman, 84, American politician, member of the New York Senate (1969–2002), respiratory failure. Goodman made a run for Mayor of New York on the GOP ticket.
Don Zimmer, 83, American baseball player (Brooklyn Dodgers) and manager (Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs), heart failure as a complication from cardiac surgery.
Bob Abrahamian, 35, American disc jockey and record collector, suicide.
Don Davis, 75, American musician, songwriter (Who's Making Love, Disco Lady) and Grammy Award-winning producer (You Don't Have to Be a Star).
Anthony Keith "Tony" Gwynn, Sr. nicknamed "Mr. Padre", was an American professional baseball right fielder who played 20 seasons (1982–2001) in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres. The left-handed hitting Gwynn won eight batting titles in his career, tied for the second-most in MLB history. He is considered one of the best and most consistent hitters in baseball history. He was a 15-time All-Star, recognized for his skills both on offense and defense with seven Silver Slugger Awards and five Gold Glove Awards. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, his first year of eligibility.
Jean Geissinger, 79, American baseball player (AAGPBL).
Bob Welch, 57, American baseball player (Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics), Cy Young Award winner (1990).
Ruby Dee, 91, American award-winning actress (Decoration Day, American Gangster) and civil rights activist, National Medal of Arts laureate (1995).
Mark Ballinger, 65, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians).
Chuck Noll, 82, American football player (Cleveland Browns) and Hall of Fame coach (Pittsburgh Steelers), most coached Super Bowl wins (IX, X, XIII, XIV), natural causes.Noll is rarely touted as one of the greatest coaches of all time. That is patently unfair because he won 4 Super Bowl in virtually one decade. (Photo: Steelers Nation.com)
Casey Kasem, 82, American radio jockey (American Top 40) and voice actor (Scooby-Doo, Super Friends), Lewy body dementia.
Johnny Mann, 85, American composer, Grammy Award-winning arranger ("Up, Up and Away") and singer (Alvin and the Chipmunks).[Johnny Mann was the band leader for the late night Joey Bishop Talk Show on ABC TV in the late 1960s and also had a group called the Johnny Mann Singers.(Photo: ABC TV). 

Gerry Goffin, 75, American Hall of Fame lyricist ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "The Loco-Motion", "Go Away Little Girl", "Take Good Care of My Baby").Goffins was the husband of rock legend Carole King. Her breakthrough solo hit “Its Too Late” is based on their relationship ending.
Bill Renna, 89, American baseball player (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics).
Steve Rossi, 82, American comedian (Allen & Rossi), cancer. Rossi was a mainstay on TV Variety Shows in the 1960s with his partner Maury Allen. They also had a short lived TV show.
Eli Wallach, 98, American actor (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent Seven, Baby Doll). Wallach starred in many early 60s TV Drama programs including The Naked City. He also played a role in Godfather 3 as a conniving don who was poisoned by cannolis.
Howard Baker, 88, American politician and diplomat, Senator from Tennessee (1967–1985), Senate Majority Leader (1981–1985), White House Chief of Staff (1987–1988), complications from a stroke.Baker was the Senate Minority Vice Chair of the Senate Impeachment committee that investigated the Watergate break in that led to the eventual resignation of Richard Nixon.
Bobby Womack, 70, American Hall of Fame R&B singer ("Harry Hippie") and songwriter ("I Can Understand It").
Meshach Taylor, 67, American actor (Designing Women, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide), colorectal cancer.
Frank Cashen, 88, American baseball executive (Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets), complications from heart failure.
Bobby Castillo, 59, American baseball player (Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins), cancer.
Bob Hastings, 89, American actor (McHale's Navy, The Munsters, Batman: The Animated Series), prostate cancer. Hastings later played on “Archie Bunker’s Place” but his real TV fame came as Lt. Elroy Carpenter, Captain Binghamton’s second in command on McHale’s Navy. 
(Photo: Wikipedia.com). 
Richard Jencks, 93, American broadcasting executive, president of CBS Broadcast Group.
Kenny Kingston, 87, American psychic and variety show personality, cardiovascular disease
Paul Mazursky, 84, American film director and screenwriter (An Unmarried Woman, Harry and Tonto, Moscow on the Hudson), pulmonary cardiac arrest.


Stephen Gaskin, 79, American counterculture figure, peace activist and commune founder
Walter Dean Myers, 76, American award-winning children's writer (Fallen Angels, Monster).
Seth J. Teller, 50, American computer engineer and scientist (MIT), pioneer in human-robot interactions.
Dave Legeno, 50, British actor (Harry Potter, Snatch, Batman Begins), heat stroke.
Dick Jones, 87, American actor (Pinocchio, Buffalo Bill, Jr.).
Don Lenhardt, 91, American baseball player and coach (St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox).
Gloria Schweigerdt, 80, American baseball player (Chicago Colleens, Battle Creek Belles).
Eeieen Ford, 92, American model agency executive, co-founder of Ford Models, complications from meningioma and osteoporosis.
Sir Howard Cooke, 98, Jamaican politician, Governor-General (1991–2006), MP (WIF) (1958–1962) and MP for St James (1962–1980), Senate President (1989–1993).[
Tommy Ramone, 65, Hungarian-born American Hall of Fame record producer and drummer (The Ramones), bile duct cancer.
John Seigenthaler, 86, American newspaper journalist and editor (The Tennessean, USA Today), editor for team that won Pulitzer Prize . The journalist was also an aide to both President Kennedy and his brother Robert. He was also the point man for the Kennedy administration on the great Civil Right battles of the 1960s.
Kenneth J. Gray, 89, American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois (1955–1974, 1985–1989), heart attack.
James MacGregor Burns, 95, American historian (Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom) and political scientist, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize (1971).
Johnny Winter, 70, American Hall of Fame blues guitarist, singer (Nothin' but the Blues) and triple Grammy Award-winning producer (1978–1980).
Ross Burden, 45, New Zealand celebrity chef (MasterChef, Ready Steady Cook, MasterChef New Zealand), infection from bone marrow transplant.
Ray DiPierro, 87, American football player (Green Bay Packers), complications of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Elaine Stritch best known for her work on Broadway. She appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films and many television programs. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995. Stritch made her professional stage debut in 1944 and her Broadway debut in the comedy Loco in 1946. The actress's notable Broadway credits include her Tony Award nominated roles in the original production of William Inge's 1955 play Bus Stop, and musicals by Noël Coward (Sail Away, 1961) and Stephen Sondheim (Company, 1970), the latter included her performance of the song "The Ladies Who Lunch", plus the 1996 revival of the Edward Albee play A Delicate Balance and her 2001 Tony Award winning one-woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty.

Bob McNamara, 82, American CFL (Winnipeg Blue Bombers) and AFL (Denver Broncos) football player.
Robert Newhouse, 64, American football player (Dallas Cowboys), heart disease.
Don Lanier, 78, American songwriter.
Robert Drew, 90, American documentary filmmaker (Primary, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment), natural causes. Primary was a ground breaking documentary chronicling the 1960 primary battles in Wisconsin and West Virginia between John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
Dick Smith, 92, American special effects make-up artist (The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus), natural causes.
James Garner starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series Maverick and Jim Rockford in the 1970s detective drama series The Rockford Files.
Garner also starred in more than fifty films, including The Great Escape (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000), and The Notebook (2004). Garner was 86.(Photos: AP and NBC TV). 


Jess Marlow, 84, American news broadcaster (KNBC, KCBS), complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Ed Nelson, 85, American actor (Gun Smoke, Murder, She Wrote, Peyton Place), heart failure. Nelson was a heart throb in the 1960s for his role in the TV version of Peyton Place.
Myrtle Young, 90, American potato chip collector, heart failure
Peter Chippindale, 69, British newspaper journalist (The Guardian) and author.
Jim Command, 85, American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies).
Rolf Larsen, 79, American judge, member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1978–1994), only justice ever impeached by Pennsylvania Senate, lung cancer
Robin Williams, 63, American comedian and actor (Good Will Hunting, Hook, Aladdin), Oscar winner (1998), suicide by hanging
Lauren Bacall, 89, American award-winning actress (Key Largo, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Misery), stroke. In her earlier films with Bogart, you can see why the man went head over heels with her. She was absolutely stunning and remained an icon to her dying day. (Photo: Time). 
Jerry Lumpe, 81, American baseball player (Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees). (Photo: LuLac archives). 
Jim Jeffords, 80, American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Vermont's at-large district (1975–1989), Senator for Vermont (1989–2007).
Don Pardo, 96, American radio and television announcer (Saturday Night Live, Jeopardy!).
James Foley, 40, American photojournalist, beheading. (death reported on this date)
Richard Attenborough, 90, English award-winning actor, producer and director (Gandhi, The Great Escape, Jurassic Park).Attenborough’s role in The Great Escape was rated one of the most definitive in that movie. He played the ring leader of an Allied Prison camp hellbent on gumming up the works for The Nazis.
Bob Warren, 68, American basketball player.
Jim Petrie, 82, British cartoonist (Minnie the Minx).[
Jimmy Nesbitt, 79, Northern Irish police detective, investigated Shankill ButchersThe Shankill Butchers was an Ulster loyalist gang—many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)—that was active between 1975 and 1982 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was based in the Shankill area and was responsible for the deaths of at least 23 people, most of whom were killed in sectarian attacks. The gang was notorious for kidnapping and murdering random civilians from the Catholic community.
Joseph E. Persico, 84, American writer. A Speechwriter for Nelson Rockefeller, Persico published "My Enemy My Brother: Men and Days of Gettysburg", an historical work of non fiction covering the American Civil War. He also wrote "The Imperial Rockefeller", a biography of his former employer. This was followed by a biography of Edward R. Murrow. In 1995, He co-wrote Colin L. Powell's autobiography.
Bobbie Clarke, 74, British drummer, cancer.
Samuel Dunbar, 82, American businessman.
Stan Goldberg, 82, American comic book artist (Archie), stroke.
Jimi Jamison, 63, American musician (Survivor), suspected heart attack.
Kevin Jordan, 57, area radio broadcaster at WARM Radio, WILK, WYOU TV and WBRE TV. He was also head of Luzerne County Voter Services. Here he is reporting at a rally in downtown Wilkes Barre in the 80s. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Frank Calloway, 99, American artist and longevity claimant.
Donnie Humphrey, 53, American football player (Green Bay Packers).
Joseph Shivers, 93, American textile chemist, developed spandex.
Rogers McKee, 87, American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies)
Charlie Powell, 82, American football player (San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders) and boxer.
Andy Stapp, 70, American political activist, founded the American Serviceman's Union.
Roy Leonard, 83, American radio personality (WGN), esophageal infection
Hopeton Lewis, 66, Jamaican singer, kidney failure
Joan Rivers, 81, American comedienne, actress (Spaceballs) and television host (Fashion Police), cardiac arrest. Rivers performed a few times in the Wilkes Barre Are wowing local fans.
David Lomax, 76, British television reporter and interviewer (Panorama).
Sean O'Haire, 43, American professional wrestler, suicide by strangulation.
Denny Miller, 80, American actor (Tarzan, the Ape Man, Wagon Train), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Bob Suter, 57, American ice hockey player, Olympic champion (1980), heart attack.
Grant Dunlap, 90, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals).
Richard Kiel, 74, American actor (The Spy Who Loved Me, Happy Gilmore, Tangled), heart attack.
Bob Crewe, 82, American songwriter ("Big Girls Don't Cry", "Rag Doll") and record producer (The Four Seasons). Crewe was the person who teamed with Bob Gaudio to write the most prolific hits of the Seasons 4. Crewe also struck out on his own with The Bob Crewe Generation and scored a huge hit in 1967 with “Music To Watch Girls By”.

Joe Sample, 75, American jazz musician (The Crusaders), and songwriter ("One Day I'll Fly Away", "Street Life").
Frank Torre, 82, American baseball player (Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies), cardiac arrest. Torre made big news during the 1996 baseball season when his brother Joe, then Yankee Manager was trying to get the Yanks in the World Series for the first time in 16 years. He was waiting for a heart transplant that came right in the midst of the 6 game Series with the Braves, the former team of his and brother Joe.
Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., 73, American lawyer, lobbyist and politician, heart attack.The sister of ABC and NPR commentator Cokie Roberts, Boggs was known as”The lobbyist lobbyist” in the 80s and 90s.(Photo: LuLac archives). 
Michael Hayes, 85, British television director (Doctor Who, Z-Cars, An Age of Kings) and newsreader.
Buster Jones, 71, American voice actor (Super Friends, The Transformers, The Real Ghostbusters).
Dr. Thomas O'Donnell, former Wilkes Barre Area School Director and Congressional candidate. 
George Hamilton IV, 77, American country music singer (Abilene), complications from a heart attack.
Margie Day, 88, American R&B singer.
Polly Bergen, 84, American singer and actress (Cape Fear, Cry-Baby, Desperate Housewives), Emmy Award winner (1958).
Eric the Actor, 39, American dwarf, member of The Wack Pack.
Skip E. Lowe, 85, American talk show host, emphysema.
Michael McCarty, 68, American actor (Casper, ER), heart failure.
James Traficant, 73, American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio's 17th district (1985–2002).
Jerrie Mock, 88, American pilot, first woman to fly solo around the world.[
San W. Orr, Jr., 73, American businessman.
Martin Lewis Perl, 87, American physicist, discovered the tau particle, Nobel Prize laureate in Physics (1995), heart attack
Sheila Tracy, 80, British broadcaster and musician (Big Band Special).[
Angus Wilson Lennie was a Scottish actor best known for his film appearance as Archibald Ives in The Great Escape (1963). He was also known for being in the television soap opera Crossroads. Lennie was the third featured actor from the movie “The Great Escape” to pass away in 2014. (Photo: AMC). 


Shlomo Lahat, 86, Israeli general and politician, Mayor of Tel Aviv (1974–1993), lung infection.
José Martínez, 72, Cuban baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates), coach (Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs) and executive (Atlanta Braves).
Michael Goldberg, 55, American screenwriter (Cool Runnings, Snow Dogs), brain and sinus cancer.
Jean-Claude Duvalier, 63, Haitian politician, President (1971–1986), heart attack.
Paul Revere, 76, American musician (Paul Revere & the Raiders), cancer. Revere and his lead singer Mark used Colonial garb as a gimmick but their music was quite good. The band was a mainstay on American Bandstand as well as the Dick Clark spin off show “Where The Action Is’.
Bill Campbell, 91, American sportscaster.Campbell was one of the voices of my youth. I used to listen t him many times on the Phillies broadcasts as a kid, especially during the 1964 season. I met Campbell many times down at the Vet in the 1980s and enjoyed listening to his stories in the Press Box.This was the team that broadcasted Phillies games for many a year. Campbell, Ashburn and Saam. (Photo: Philly.com). 
Johnny Midnight, 73, Filipino radio and television host, prostate cancer.
Jack Bruce, 71, Scottish bassist (Cream, Manfred Mann) and composer, liver disease.
Jeff Robinson, 52, American baseball player (Detroit Tigers).
Gavin Smith, 59, American film studio executive, missing since 2012. body discovered on this date)
Gordy Soltau, 89, American football player (San Francisco 49ers.
Thomas Menino, 71, American politician, Mayor of Boston (1993–2014), cancer.
Ben Bradlee became a national figure during the presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward's and Carl Bernstein's stories documenting the Watergate scandal. At his death he held the title of vice president at-large of the Post.
He was also an advocate for education and the study of history, including working for years as an active trustee on the boards of several major educational, historical, and archeological research institutions. (Photo: Washington Post). 
Geoffrey Lamont Holder was a Trinidadian-American actor, choreographer, director, dancer, painter, costume designer, singer and voice-over artist. He became worldwide for his 7UP uncola commercials and was featured in a 2011 episode of NBC TV’s “The Apprentice”.


Marian Brown, 87, American media personality. She became well known for her radio and TV programs in the Bay Area with her twin sister.
Pete Harman, 95, American businessman, opened first KFC franchise.
Mike Nichols, 83, German-born American director (The Graduate, Angels in America, Spamalot), Oscar winner (1968), cardiac arrest.
Dave Appell, 92, American musician, musical arranger and record producer. Appell (pronounced "AP-el") is associated mainly with the Cameo-Parkway record label, in whose history he played a substantial part. Appell was a frequent visitor to WARM Radio promoting his records locally here in the 1960s. Here is Appel at WBAX Radio with Joey Shaver and Dee Dee Sharp. 
Jimmy Ruffin, 78, American soul singer ("What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"

Ray Sadecki, 73, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets), blood cancer. Sadecki was one of the big guns of that storied 1964 Cardinals run to the World Series. 
Jadwiga Piłsudska, 94, Polish pilot and architect, WWII flying officer for the Air Transport Auxiliary.
Jane Byrne, 81, American politician, Mayor of Chicago (1979–1983.
María José Alvarado, 19, Honduran beauty pageant winner, Señorita Honduras (2014), shot.
Alvin Dark, 92, American baseball player (Boston Braves, New York Giants) and manager (San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians), Alzheimer's disease.
Big Bank Hank, 58, American rapper (The Sugarhill Gang), kidney complications from cancer
John Doar, 92, American lawyer and civil rights activist, heart failure.
Carol Ann Susi, 62, American actress (The Big Bang Theory, Cats & Dogs, Death Becomes Her), cancer.
Phil Crane, 84, American politician, member of the U.S. House from Illinois's 13th (1969–1973), 12th (1973–1993) and 8th (1993–2005) districts, lung cancer.
Gary Lane, 76, American bass player (The Standells), lung cancer.
Richard Schaal, 86, American actor (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis, Trapper John, M.D.).
Frank Mankiewicz, a writer and Democratic political strategist who was Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s press secretary, directed Senator George S. McGovern’s losing 1972 presidential campaign and for six years was the president of National Public Radio, died on Thursday in Washington. He was 90.Mankiwicz was the the son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who wrote “Citizen Kane,” and the nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who directed “All About Eve”. As Press Secretary to Robert Kennedy he announced his death on the morning of June 6th, 1968. 


Sy Berger, 91, American baseball promoter.
Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston, 80, American football player (Green Bay Packers).
Mary Ann Mobley, 77, American actress (Diff'rent Strokes, Falcon Crest) and television personality, Miss America (1959), breast cancer.
Earl Hayes, 34, American rapper ("Nolia Clap"), suicide by gunshot
Russ Kemmerer, 84, American baseball player (Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox).
Brian Roy Goble, 57, Canadian musician (Subhumans), heart attack.
Mark Lewis, 60, American storyteller, actor and teacher.
Ken Weatherwax, 59, American actor (The Addams Family), heart attack.
Jimmy Del Ray, 52, American professional wrestler, traffic collision.
Stella Young, 32, Australian comedian and disability advocate.
Queen Fabiola of Belgium, 86, Spanish-born queen consort of King Baudouin.
Gil Marks, 62, American food writer and historian, lung cancer.
Bryan Burwell, 59, American sportswriter, cancer.
Vince Kabacinski, Homeless Advocate, Executive Director of Vision. 
Bob Montgomery, 77, American songwriter ("Heartbeat", "Misty Blue"), Parkinson's disease.
Jeremy Thorpe, 85, British politician, Leader of the Liberal Party (1967–1976), MP for North Devon (1959–1979), central figure in the Thorpe affair, Parkinson's disease.
Herman Badillo, 85, Puerto Rican-born American politician, member of the U.S. House from New York's 22nd (1971–1973) and 21st (1973–1977) districts, heart failure. Badillo ran for Mayor of New York in 1969 and 1973 but was widely regarded as "the minority candidate".
Bobby Keys, 70, American saxophonist (The Rolling Stones), cirrhosis.
Larry Auerbach, 91, American television director (Love of Life, One Life to Live, As the World Turns), complications of glioblastoma.
John Fry, 69, American record producer, founder of Ardent Studios, cardiac arrest.
Larry Henley, 77, American singer (The Newbeats) and songwriter ("Wind Beneath My Wings").
Mandy Rice-Davies, 70, British model, figure in the Profumo affair, cancer.
Dieter Grau, 101, German-born American rocket scientist.
Richard C. Hottelet, 97, American broadcast journalist (Murrow's Boys). He was the last surviving member of the storied CBS News crew dubbed Murrow's Boys. He also was the first to report from D-Day. (Photo: CBS NEWS) 

Ernie Terrell, 75, American heavyweight boxer, WBA champion (1965–1967.
David Garth, 84, American political consultant.
Sy Berger, 91, American baseball promoter.
Joe Cocker, 70, British singer ("With a Little Help from My Friends", "You Are So Beautiful", "Up Where We Belong"), lung cancer.

Buddy DeFranco, 91, American jazz clarinet player.
Joe Macko, 86, American baseball player and manager. He was also a member of the Chicago Cubs' College of Coaches in 1964. That was the experiment where Cubs owner Phil Wrigley had rotating managers from the College of Coaches. That stuck didn’t it?
Norman Ray Bridwell was an American author and cartoonist best known for the Clifford the Big Red Dog series of children's books.
Christine Cavanaugh, 51, American voice actress (Rugrats, Dexter's Laboratory, Babe, Darkwing Duck).
Edward Herrmann, 71, American actor (Gilmore Girls, The Practice, The Lost Boys), brain cancer.
Sources: Wikipedia.com, AP, The Guardian, LuLac archives.