Friday, January 31, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2592, January 31, 2014

JUDICIAL CORRUPTION 5 YEARS ON

Around 2007 through 2008, there were rumors going around Luzerne County that something big was going to rock the world of Luzerne County politics. We were already into the credit card debacle on the County level, heard rumors of Commissioners being investigated and on the State level we were dealing with Tom Corbett’s investigation into Bonus Gate. As the Presidential year 2008 continued there were rumors of a major Judicial problem in Luzerne County. But after an uneventful Holiday season, there seemed to be doubt anything would ever break.
During January 2009, there were little blips but nothing until the last week in January. On January 26th I received an e mail from WYOU TV News Producer Dawn Miller. Since December of 2007, I had been a frequent guest analyst on the TV station but I always seemed to get the 7pm or 11pm call. One or the other. I was at my desk at Blue Cross and she asked if I could be available for all the WYOU TV newscasts that night. All of them I thought? Then I knew the charges were going to come down.
You can’t get a full appreciation for how painful and torturous this scandal was for this community until you start at the beginning. Here’s what I wrote that day from Edition # 705 of LuLac.


COPPING A PLEA


The long saga of impending charges against two Luzerne County Judges appears to be at a dramatic crossroads. Federal officials today announced they charged Luzerne County judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan with concealing more than $2.6 million. The dates ranged from January 2003 to January 2007. The charges were filed today in federal court. The charges alleged Ciavarella and Conahan engaged in fraud by taking millions of dollars from two unnamed individuals connected to the construction and expansion of the juvenile detention center. Payments were made to the judges in return for discretionary acts that the judges took related to the juvenile centers. The Judges have already made a plea agreement and will resign the county bench and serve terms of 87 months. Breaking that down, we're talking roughly 7 years. The indictment charges both judges with engaging in a scheme to defraud the public of their honest services and with conspiring to defraud the IRS. The resignations will put the Luzerne County Judiciary in an uproar with 5 Judge vacancies in this election year. Earlier in the day, Ciaverella resigned as President Judge in reaction to his fight with the County Commissioners over budget and hiring matters.
I mean we could have gotten out of this easier had Ciavarella stuck to his deal. For me this whole thing was just plain crazy. I had met Judges. As a boy, my uncle introduced me to Judges Brominski and Hourigan. Later on I had the opportunity to meet Judge Corey Stevens and Patrick Toole Senior. I met men like Ralph Johnston, Tom Mack, Charles Bufalino and Michael Collins who had aspired to be Judges. I once interviewed Commonwealth Court Judge Genvieve Blatt. They were friendly but I knew these guys were the pillars that everything was supposed to stand on. Call me naive and silly but this was a real wake up call for me.
Later on that night on WYOU TV, Attorney Matt Cartwright, Eric Scheiner and me took to the airwaves with WBRE’s Andy Mehalshick and gave these comments.

In the rear view mirror the scandal was bad enough. It cost us in terms of reputation and public trust. But as Cartwright alluded to in his TV appearance, this was only the tip of the iceberg. And all of that happened five years ago this week.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2591, January 29th, 2014

THE SPELL OF HUGO

Is Hugo Selenski the devil? Is he the greatest conman ever placed on this earth? Like is he the second coming of evil? I’m blown away by the number of seemingly smart people that have been stained by this guy.
The latest person entwined in the web is Attorney Sherry Centini. Through the years, I have heard nothing but good things about this Attorney. When I heard she was getting involved with Hugo, I thought, to quote Tim Gunn, “She could make it work”. She didn’t. Instead she has been charged with lying and witness intimidation. The word on the street from the legal eagles is that Centini wanted to become a name by defending Hugo Selenski and possibly getting him off.
It has happened before in this county. John Moses became a Defense legend by defending Rocky Holiday in 1975 on murder charges. Holiday, a former fighter was acquitted. John Moses became a local legend after he bested Luzerne County DA Patrick Toole. 
But make no mistake here, Hugo Selenski is no Rocky Holiday. He has been screwing with Judges and lawyers since 2003. To put that in perspective, when Hugo started his “defenses”, there was no You Tube, Twitter,  Facebook, Fox Sports Network, or IPhones.
The charges also refer to the money and trust lost in the Justice system in Luzerne County. This whole thing is just crazy. So crazy there’s a joke making the rounds about Hugo and Pope Francis. They both go in to a bar together and minutes later the Pontiff comes out  quoting Madalyn Murray O'Hair.


MOSCA COMES HOME

Mosca in Ms. Unico Photo. (Photo: Times Leader).

So Elise Mosca was not given the rose on The Bachelor the other night. I watched it for the first time and was stunned at how upset Ms. Mosca was that she was turned down by Juan Pablo What’s his face. I hope to God she was acting because I seriously question her taste in a marriage partner. She needs a nerdy lawyer type or urologist type nerdy guy who is not ugly enough to make certain they have beautiful babies. Not some sharpie with an accent that is so obviously so far beneath her.
And if she gets trouble from the Wilkes Barre School Board for her Yuletide video, I’d ask the board about Frank Pizzella, Brian Dunn and Jim Height about just what the hell “morality” is all about!


VIETNAM OR BUST!!!

What Mosca missed out was a trip to Vietnam. Apparently if she got a rose, she’d go to that country for a romantic rendezvous. I understand it is a beautiful country. But as I watched the snippet of this ridiculous program, I started to channel my late father and uncles. Especially my uncles. Right or wrong, they wanted nothing to do with Japan or Germany when I was a kid growing up in the 60s.  When the song Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukou)- by Kyu Sakamoto came out in 1963 and hit number one, WWII was still an open wound. I have to admit when the leftovers were being told of their great trip, I couldn’t help but remember how bitterly the war divided this country and how many men and women died there protecting what we thought was freedom. Maybe if they stopped at the Vietnam War Memorial before they went, it might put it in a little historical perspective. Oh wait, never mind that would require thinking.



THE STATE OF THE UNION


State of the Union recap. The Republicans sat on their hands on every initiative that would aid middle class Americans. They were livid when Obama said he was going to use Executive Orders. The speech was Obama boiler plate. As a matter of fact in some places you could have just re-read the 2013 speech. But once again Obama is blessed by an opposition party of idiots. There were three rebuttals to the State of the Union. Rand Paul, Mike Allen both Senators and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave her rebuttal. Hers was by the far the most ridiculous. My dad drove a bus, they told me to work hard, I did, I got lucky, I got mine now you get yours.

CARTWRIGHT ON THE SPEECH

“Economic opportunity must be our first priority and I commend the President on beginning the conversation by signing an executive order this morning providing a minimum wage increase to $10.10 for federally contracted workers. July will mark five years since the federal minimum wage was last raised, that’s why I support legislation introduced by Senator Tom Harkin and Representative George Miller that would raise the minimum wage of $10.10 by 2016. This policy would directly provide higher wages for close to 17 million workers by 2016.“Research suggests that a minimum-wage increase could have a small stimulative effect on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and providing job growth.”


BARLETTA ON THE SPEECH


“Tonight, the president tried to convince us that our economy is better off today than it was when he first took office. However, our national debt is 18 trillion dollars and growing, the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act has proven disastrous, and executive overreach has become the new normal in Washington.
“The president talks about “income inequality” but his policies have done nothing to help close that gap, much less spur the economy or create jobs. I believe the best way to address this divide is to put hardworking Americans back to work. We should invest in our small businesses, our infrastructure, and the next generation of our nation’s workforce. More government regulations will only add fuel to the fire, amplifying existing problems that our country cannot afford.
“On immigration reform, I'm unconvinced that 'legal status' is anything less than the functional equivalent of amnesty. I've seen very little throughout this debate to assure me that we will permanently secure our borders. Failure to do so will repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty law that gave birth to the illegal immigration crisis our country has faced for the last two decades.
“This past year Americans suffered countless broken promises from the president. If we hope to ensure equal opportunities for all Americans, a ‘pen and phone’ strategy is not the answer."

MEDIA MATTERS

PCN

 
GOVERNOR CORBETT STATE BUDGET ADDRESS COVERAGE LIVE ON PCN
On Tuesday, February 4, Governor Tom Corbett will deliver his state budget address before a joint session of the PA House and Senate. PCN will devote the day’s programming to extensive LIVE budget address coverage.
LIVE studio coverage begins at 11:00 a.m. with former state representative, Kathy Manderino of Intercommunity Action and former Chief of Staff to Governor Dick Thornburgh, Rick Stafford of Carnegie Mellon University.
LIVE coverage of the Governor’s Budget Address before a joint session of the House and Senate at 11:30 a.m.
LIVE coverage from the state Capitol will continue with budget reaction from legislators.
Viewers will also get a chance to share their thoughts or ask questions concerning the state budget by dialing toll-free 1-877-PA6-5001 post-speech as well as during the 7:00 p.m. LIVE PCN Call-In program.


ECTV


ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will highlight plans for this year's Clarks Summit Festival Of Ice as the program airs during the week of February 3rd. Gail Rees from the Festival's Planning Committee will be on handto discuss the history of the multi day event and outline the plans and artists scheduled to take part this year. The Festival features live ice carvings, displays throughout the town and talented entertainers who will be preforming at venues in Clarks Summit....all for free!
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 in our area daily at Noon and Midnight with additional screenings at 6pm on selected days.



SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine, Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Joe Leonardi about his take that exercise is better than meds when it comes to dealing with heart disease. This Week In Harrisburg examines the challenge of Senate Democrats to Governor Tom Corbett to produce a spending plan that is aligned with the needs of Pennsylvanians. Senator John Blake of Lackawanna County spoke about this during an appearance earlier this week at Carbondale City Hall. And earlier this week, Senator John Yudichak spoke to senior citizens at the Hazleton Senior Citizen Center about the importance of the Pennsylvania Lottery and efforts to preserve it. And an encore of Brian's interview with Ron Davis from R.J. Financial Services, who discusses the Bowl Over Cancer Fundraiser, coming up on Feb 23rd at Chacko's Lanes in Wilkes Barre. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on true Oldies 590, WARM.

SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION

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

BUDDY RUMCHEK

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

Our 1974 logo.


1974


The month of January started with Time Magazine naming District Court Judge John Sirica as their Man of the Year….and as the month ended There are now ongoing calls for Nixon to resign and the Congress begins to seriously consider impeachment.
In Pennsylvania State Representative Ken Lee of Tunkhannock announces that he will run for Lt. Governor in the State’s election…in Luzerbe County Stephen Yanoshak who actually lost the Controller’s seat to Joe Tirpak takes back his office anyway. The County code at the time dictated that the Controller could not have held a financial job prior to taking office if that was within the Courthouse. Tirpak was employed as the Assistant County Budget Director under Frank Shintz…and this week in LuLac land and America the number one song was “Love’s Theme” by the Love Unlimited Orchestra led by Barry White.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2590, January 25th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that all of a sudden you see Governor Tom Corbett everywhere. The good Governor is making the scene across the state touting energy, talking potholes (The Governor commented on a big one in Wilkes Barre on statewide radio last week) and even speaking about the weather on Talk Radio stations across the Commonwealth. Is this re-election campaign actually making Tom a people person?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…………that people are critical about Luzerne County Controller Michelle Bednar restructuring her office. Let’s face it, Home Rule has made that office a shell of itself and Bednar needs to pick who she feels will help her get the job done effectively.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that I’m talking to area football fans who are actually pulling for a blizzard on Super Bowl Sunday when the first open air game is played. Regular fans have been priced out of the big game for years and it would be poetic justice to see the 1 percenters trudging through the snow to make it to the big game. Plus this is unfair for Payton Manning who is not a cold weather QB. Not only Manning but think of this, you are an NFL player that dreams of this and you get to this game after busting your butt. Do you not deserve a venue that won’t kill you? However, Manning says he's up for it. So we'll see.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…...that this Chris Christie story seems to be getting more traction in Jersey and beyond. Once the Feds get involved, it slows things down. One must wonder how this will impact on Christie’s Chairmanship of the Republican National Governor’s Conference this year.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that in a recent poll people under 40 could give you the names of two of the judges on American Idol but had trouble picking Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts out of a line up!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that horses can’t vomit.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that as the year 1964 goes on, you’ll be hearing the name Lyndon Baines Johnson over and over again. This year will be the 50th anniversary of many landmark social and civil rights initiatives spearheaded by Johnson. Much maligned over the Vietnam War, Johnson’s domestic accomplishments seem to have sparked a renaissance for the 36th President.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at this tidbit. If Hillary Clinton either falls by the wayside or decides not to run for President and if Joe Biden can’t get enough support to coalesce around him, the name being bandied about as a possible nominee in 2016 is, are you ready for this, Secretary of State John Kerry who lost the Presidency in 2004. All of this is unlikely because it seems that the Obama fund raising giants are getting behind Clinton but man, that’s one heck of a scenario though isn’t it?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2589, January 23rd, 2014

THE SLOB-IFICATION OF THE KIRBY

I have to get this off my chest. It has to do with the FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. I was around in the mid 80s when Al Boscov wanted to save The Paramount. The tattered old theatre was in need of renovation and the community got together and raised enough money to restore the Theatre to its art deco splendor. During the first few decades, entertainers of all stripes graced the stage. This blog editor even had a hand in a few shows thanks to the good graces of John Loesser, the Executive Directorthrgeee at the time. Does the last name Loesser sound amiliar? His father was one Mr. Frank Loesser of “Guys and Dolls” fame.
What I remember about the Kirby was getting dressed up. If it was the NEPA Philharmonic or Asleep At the Wheel, people got dressed up. And when you wanted beer or wine, you drank it in the lobby. Before or after the show. When you went to an Oldies or Rock Dhow, you danced in the aisles.
Not anymore.
I talked to a few friends who went to see Trombone Shorty last Friday. They had good seats, about row 10 and paid about fifty bucks for them. Unfortunately they saw little of Trombone Shorty because of the jackasses dancing in front of them. In order to see him they had to go to the aisles. And of course there were the cup holders on the back of the seats in case the local drunks couldn’t get through fifteen minutes without a beer.
The Kirby was intended to be a showplace for entertainment and the arts. Greats like Miles Davis played there as well as the Righteous Brothers. People came to see the acts, not to be seen. The Kirby has some great programs on tap but be warned, if you go, you may not see the show. The slobs have invaded the arts. The Kirby like all of our culture has now entered the era of Wyoming Valley slobification. I ams whose I am and don’t care if yuz don’t like it. Yep, we’re all class. Heyna.


AND THE BEAT GOES ON

County Council Vice Chair Edd Brominski sent us a letter (and others) the other day regarding his ideas on how to save the County money. Here’s what he wrote:
During the past two years of service on the new Luzerne County council, I have attempted , through words and actions, to promote Luzerne County and it’s assets. I have arranged and attended meeting with the Manger at the Northeast Leadership Council, Rotary groups, summer outings attended by Local, County, State and Federal Officials as well as significant community leaders, in an attempt to jump start our movement toward county growth. I have also had businessmen make cost saving presentations to the manager ( savings on utilities and foresting of our woodlands). To date none of my attempts to have these resources used to improve the economy of the county have been utilized.
Most recently I made an amendment to open the county budget to implement some of my suggestions. After a rather contentious meeting regarding the opening of the budget, I was asked why I did not make these suggestions before. I had apprised the council on numerous occasions of my ideas , unfortunately they went right over most of the then majorities’ heads. Now with a new majority , I may be heard, although it may be too late too really impact a change in the budget.
Be that as it may . I was amazed that two of my fellow councilmen criticized my proposal and said they were pie in the sky and essentially inane. Interestingly the two critics had proposals for enhancing Luzerne County, both were costly not cost savings. One proposal was to build a skate board ramp along the river commons and the other was to extend new road ways to accommodate cyclists.
Certainly they are to be commended for their suggestions, but when we are $380,000,000 in debt, I believe something more substantial should be offered. With that in mind I proposed to gain revenue by:
1. Selling Valley Crest at a reduced amount of $3.5 million
2. Give an early retirement incentive to employees( mostly upper income people) saving about $2.5 million
3. Reduce the county share to LCTA by the reduced percent of senior riders saving about $350,000
4. Implement utilities saving which could realize $120,000
5. Forestry of our woodlands that could bring in about $250,000 per year.
The total could amount to $6.5 to $7 million which would put our tax increase at about the CPI ( Cost of Living raise) which we senior received.
I plan to announce another initiative for improved revenues for the county.
Predictably County Manager Bob Lawton disagreed with Bromo’s plan. He outlined his outrage in Jennifer Learnes Andes story in the Times Leader today. Here’s the link:
http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1142939/Lawton-blasts-Brominskis-proposed-budget-cuts

BARLETTA ANNOUNCES

Rep. Lou Barletta Announces Re-Election Bid
Rep. Lou Barletta kicked off his re-election campaign today with meetings with community leaders, supporters, and the media. Barletta released the following statement:
“Today, I officially announce my intention to seek another term as U.S. Representative to continue my fight for the people I’m honored to represent. As someone who sees the world through the eyes of a mayor, my priorities are always local. But we have also made progress on important national issues like cutting Washington’s wasteful spending and protecting my constituents from the harmful impact of Obamacare.
“Through my chairmanship of the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee I have been able to save over $700 million in taxpayer funds by applying the common sense principles I learned as a small-business owner and as a mayor to how Washington does business.
“I continue to defend American workers and small towns across this country by opposing any attempt to grant amnesty to those that are in this country illegally.
“And, judging from the letters and phone calls I receive, the concerns people share with me when I am touring their town or meeting with community leaders, it is clear that the people of my district are deeply concerned about the negative effects of Obamacare. Just recently, the pressure I and many of my colleagues put on the Internal Revenue Service prevented the agency from treating volunteer firefighters as employees for federal tax purposes. As a result, volunteer fire and rescue companies will not have to face crushing Obamacare costs for their volunteers. This is a victory for volunteer fire companies in the 11th District, and across Pennsylvania and America. I will still be pursuing legislation to write the protection of volunteer firefighters into law, so that this issue will not be subject to the whims of IRS policy makers.
“In short, Obamacare is a bad law that is hurting our economy, forcing the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, killing jobs, and even threatening public safety. I will continue to oppose it.
“Over the summer, I fought for Sarah Murnaghan and her search for equitable treatment and her right to life. Sarah, a 10 year old Pennsylvanian with Cystic Fibrosis, was in desperate need of a life-saving lung transplant but was prevented from receiving the care her doctor prescribed for her due to regulations imposed by U.S. Health and Human Services. After a long fight, I am happy to say that Sarah received her needed double-lung transplant and is healthy and strong.
“After the damage of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene, I saw a need for change in how Washington handles national disasters. The Federal Government simply didn’t do enough to help families and businesses rebuild after Mother Nature strikes. I introduced the Disaster Loan Fairness Act of 2013 to help solve this problem. While I realize no amount of money can ever replace the lives, valuables, or family treasures lost in a disaster, this legislation makes more affordable avenues of recovery available to those impacted by national disasters.
“There’s still a great deal of work to be done in Washington and I humbly and sincerely ask for the support of the people of the 11th District. Together, with their help, support and prayers we will put America back on the right track and guarantee a better opportunity for our children and our grandchildren.”


MEDIA MATTERS



ECTV


Steamtown National Historical Site has a lot of exhibits and attractions. It also has a schedule to Free Fee Days throughout the year! ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Park Ranger Tim O'Malley to their show during the week of January 27th to announce those free admission dates and talk about the many things to see at the Railroad based National Park. ECTV Live is seen on Comcast Ch19 every day at Noon and Midnight with additional showings at 6pm several days during the week.


THE DOCTOR ON PA LIVE

Dr. Joe Leonardi will be a guest during the 4pm hour on PA Live on WBRE TV. Leonardi will be on the January 27th program.

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION


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


BUDDY RUMCHEK


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

Our 1974 logo


1974 


4th NFL Pro Bowl: AFC beats NFC 15-13…….7th ABA All-Star Game: East 128 beats West 112….A college basketball game ends with this score. Essex Community College beats Englewood Cliffs 210-67 in basketball……Gold hits record $161.31/silver hits record $3.97 an ounce in London……1st edition of women's magazine "Story"….. Christian Barnard transplants 1st human heart without removal of old and Ray Kroc, CEO (McDonald's), buys SD Padres for $12 million……………….in Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner under the Shapp administration Herbert Denenberg says he will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator to try to upset first termer Richard Schweiker…….in Luzerne Ciounty, freshman Representative George Hasay announces his re-election bid for another term in Harrisburg. Hasay was elected as one of the youngest Representatives in 1972….and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “You’re Sixteen” by former Beatle Ringo Starr.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2588, January 21st, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I'M AMAZED ......that 1. Super Bowl XLVII. had 108 million viewers.
2. AFC Championship Game, Ravens and Patriots had 47.8 million viewers.
3. NFC Championship Game, 49ers and Falcons had 42 million viewers.
It will not surprise me if Sunday’s games and this year’s Super Bowl had the identical ratings performances or better.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that I heard somewhere that a student asked his parent why there were Super Bowl numbers at the beginning of a book he brought home from the Library. They don’t teach Roman numerals in school anymore? Yeah, let’s give more money to education. We’re screwed.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that a woodpecker has a brain the size of 2 ounces. But the woodpecker can generate up to 1,000 g forces from pecking on a tree limb at least 12,000 times a day. The bird has an uneven build that deflects the impact and has a tongue that is long enough to wrap itself around the crown of the bird’s head to absorb the shock. And there is a third eyelid inside its head to keep the bird from pecking its eyes out. How come with all this going for it no country ever made the Woodpecker its national bird?

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that 11 years ago Major League baseball instituted the luxury tax to help out small markets. They collected 285.1 million dollars. Of that amount, the Yankees contributed 252.7 million smackers.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that when going through the TV channels Sunday morning I came across a Home Shopping Network that had as its programming label “Martin Luther King Junior Sales Weekend”. I don’t think this is what King and other Civil Right pioneers had in mind when they fought for equality in the 60s but as dubious as it is guess given the hard fight, it is sort of a mainstream compliment.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….but not really about the fact that there is virtually no property tax relief from gambling in Pennsylvania. The Times Leader ran a story on this Sunday and some of the figures were staggering. Is it any wonder why people are upset about the fact that taxes are too high and given what the high schools are turning out in the way of students is not impressive, well you add those two thins up and the money invested by taxpayers just doesn’t seem worth it.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Alex Rodriguez is using the same logic Lance Armstrong used when saying he never failed a test. A Rod is being vilified by many Yankee fans but if he can play in 2015, I’d put him on the field if there weren’t any better players to take his place. He will have diminished skills but he can put up decent numbers that will not have him hit his bonus numbers but make him a viable edition to the line up. A Rod’s career with the Yankees (except for 2009 ) can be summed up like this. When the game is 11-2 in the fourth inning look for him to blast a home run and clear the bases. In the bottom of the ninth in a 2-1 nailbiter…………….uh maybe a weak infield pop up.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that as we enter 2014, two of the biggest stars of the 2009 off year elections are now under fire and it isn't pretty for the Republican party. When Bob McDonald won in Virginia and Chris Christie won in Jersey it was viewed as a repudiation of the Obama record. Perhaps it might spell disaster for the fortunes of the Obama re-election bid. Mr. Obama carried both states in 2012. And this week McDonald and his wife got indicted for corruption in Virginia while he was in office and Christie still is dealing with the fallout from his highway shenanigans. When I was growing up, it was said a month was a lifetime in politics. Today, it’s like a New York minute. Or less.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Guy Fieri, the Food Network star who samples big sandwiches from across the country has his own Pasta Sauce. Saw in an ad for Weis the other day. Six bucks! I love good food and don’t mind paying for it but 6 bucks for a jar of sauce? Nope, I ain’t buying that.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED .....that businesses will always blame the cost of their overhead on their employees. True that is a large part of expenses  but let's be fair in terms of wages. Take Walmart as an example, if they raised wages for every associate to 12 bucks an hour, that would impact the cost of each customer on goods they buy from that store by less than 2 bucks a year. No one will even notice that increase. And while we're at it, how can this area have now become so anti union when there are hundreds of photos from here with photos of children working as breaker boys!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED....that the Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten rid of The Jolly Roger Pirate on their uniforms. Really? Are there any pirates out there that have been defamed? Is there a pirate defamation league? My God. I even sprung for a shirt this year!!!

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Richard Sherman that Seattle Seahawks player is getting a load of crapola for his actions on Sunday night. Look, the 49ers have done their share of high fiving and whining throughout the last two years. The 49ers were sliced with their own sword by trusting in a running wild child Quarterback like Colin Kaepernack (Tarone calls him “Tattoo Boy”) when they had a perfectly good QB in Alex Smith. This will blow over once the Super Bowl starts. I saw the play later because I was listening to it on the radio because Mrs. LuLac had on Downton Abbey and was taping something else on our DVR. But after I saw the replay, I thought, ”C’mon!!! We survived Terrel Owens for crying out loud!” And come to think of it so did the ‘Niners.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2587, January 20th, 2014

KING’S LOST GEM


(Photo: boktowergarden.com)
If Martin Luther King Junior had been alive in this era of 24 hour news, Facebook and Twitter we’d hear every utterance he made on this earth. But back when King was on the front lines for equality for all Americans there were just three TV networks, newspapers and radio. In many parts of the country, King’s words were either ignored by malice or just apathy. King is of course famous for the “I Have A Dream Speech” but today a speech was released that has been under wraps for over 51 years. King was in New York on a dias with Governor Nelson Rockefeller, an outspoken advocate for King’s beliefs. Take a listen to this lost gem of Martin Luther King.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2586, January 18th, 2014

VOTING LAW STRUCK DOWN
(Photo: Pa Local Civics blog).
Friday Pennsylvania,  Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley struck down a bill passed by the Republican controlled State Legislature and signed by GOP Governor Tom Corbett. The bill will have an impact on the 8.2 million voters eligible to cast a a ballot in Pennsylvania. Here’s my take on it,
I think the Judge made a decision that made sense. The people who cling to the Constitution to make every political argument these days were told in essence that requiring Voter ID limited access to the right to vote, a basic tenant of freedom. Our state has the strictest voting law in the U.S. and I think this was push back to the legislative branch from the Judiciary.Checks and balances my friends, in the Constitution.
Personally I feel that there is no need for it because voting fraud has not been prevalent in this state for a very long . I think it dishonors those poll workers who are there every election day. Senator Bob Casey on Face book said this:
Today’s ruling is a victory for the fundamental voting right of every Pennsylvanian. Implementing Voter ID would prevent tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians from exercising their right to vote, including elderly Pennsylvanians who've fought in our wars and worked to make our country safe. Voter ID is crumbling under the weight of its own faulty premises and misguided reasoning.
If a compromise is needed, and you want voter ID, require it but if you don’t have it, you could still vote but then allow the person to get a voter ID if they have none. And then put a photo on every new voter registration card.
Politically, the left will say great and the right will howl. And it will be appealed. My inclination is to say that this would never have become an issue if there wasn’t such political polarization these days.


THE BABE, THE BLOGGER AND THE BOARD
Reality show contestant and former Miss Unico Elise Mosca. (Photo:Face Book).
So now Elise Mosca is getting press  from a blogger who specializes in spoiling the endings of reality shows. The blogger, Steve Carbone, author of the website “Reality Steve,”wondered out loud about the actions of the Wilkes Barre Area School Board and Mosca’s employment. He writes according to the Times Leader, why the Wilkes-Barre Area School District didn’t
hear about this video now for the first time, because I made it public when it took me two clicks on a Google know about Mosca’s background before it hired her to teach at Heights/Murray and then Dodson elementary schools.
“Do they even do background checks?” he asked on his website. “Why is the school search of ‘Elise Mosca’ to find it? Seems like the school district should have a little egg on their face for this, and not just Elise.”
Hey Reality Steve, get this. The Wilkes Barre Area School Board has no shame! The voters here elected the same old educational retiree flunkies who hire their friends. I don’t know how Mosca got her job. But it’s hers and the District gave it to her and now gave her leave.
But in the Wilkes Barre Area School district, my opinion is, given its past performances in hiring relatives, friends, brothers of Mayors, sons and daughters of politicos, cronies, having three board members carted away to prison in the span of a 18 months, if even a former stripper or porn star (which Mosca clearly is not!) applied for a job and were related to the members of the School Board majority, they’d have a job. Period. So my point here is it would be disingenuous for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board to now slap it’s forehead and say to Mosca “Oh hey wait a minute, maybe not”. The decision has been made to let Mosca pursue her career goal and if any criticism on this should come, it should, as Reality Steve pointed out come to the Wilkes Barre Area School Board for its lazy ass approach to things. By the way, Ms. Mosca is a contestant on a TV show I’ve seen once but we wish her well. And Reality Steve…love your stuff. You fall under the LuLac rule of “Wish I wrote that”.


BARLETTA AWARDS MEDALS

Congressman Lou Barletta with Davis Sturdevant, a U.S. Air Force veteran yesterday at ceremony in Barletta's office. (Photo: Times Leader).
Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, will awarded long overdue medals to area veterans of the United States military at a ceremony at his Hazleton district office Friday. Recipients include David Sturdevant of Tunkhannock, George W. Zeeb (deceased) of West Hazleton, and Joseph C. Heintz of Hazleton.
In other news, was named a member of a special panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee to focus on the use of and opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) across all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, water, and maritime infrastructure and equipment. Barletta was named to the panel by T&I Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall (D-WV).
“This is a great opportunity to build upon the work that I’ve been doing as Chairman of the T&I Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, where I’ve already been able to identify more than $700 million in savings to the taxpayers,” Barletta said. “The more we can do to link the private sector and public property, the better it is for the government, the taxpayers and the nation.”

CARTWRIGHT AND FRACKING

Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Cartwright Offers Amendment to Bring Transparency to Use of Chemicals in Fracking
Washington – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright is offered an amendment during the House Committee on Natural Resources full committee business hearing. Although the amendment had bipartisan support it failed by a vote of 26-14.
Cartwright’s amendment would have ensured that the Natural Resources Committee would have the ability to subpoena all documents disclosing the composition and quantity of all chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on public lands and Indian lands. The amendment is a basic oversight measure that is critical to millions of people’s health and safety.
“There is mounting evidence that these chemicals are impacting our environment, our drinking water, and creating additional hazards,” said Cartwright. “While the recent spill in West Virginia was not related to fracking, it is a good reminder of just how precious our drinking water is and that we should do whatever is in our power to protect it.”
According to the Interior Department, 90 percent of all new wells drilled on public lands now employ hydraulic fracturing. However, regardless of the familiarity or prevalence of fracking and industry claims that the process is safe, we are still not being told the composition and quantity of all chemicals being used in this process. Concealing this information not only prevents those harmed by the chemicals from knowing what they were exposed to, but also prevents comprehensive solutions to the dangers these chemicals present.
Additionally, the minimal disclosures contained on the website fracfocus.org are simply inadequate to fully understand what chemicals the fracking process involves. Much of the information on this site is redacted and it is nearly impossible to aggregate data using this tool.
Ensuring that the fracking process is performed in an environmentally safe manner has been a top priority for Cartwright since being elected to Congress. The first bill he introduced, the FRESHER Act, would close loopholes for oil and gas companies in the Clean Water Act, and has garnered 61 cosponsors. Cartwright also introduced the CLEANER Act, which would ensure that oil and gas companies test their waste to determine if it is hazardous and, if so, dispose of it using the safe methods that other industries already employ.

MEDIA MATTERS

ECTV

Viewers of ECTV Live may want to have paper and pencil ready when the program runs and re-runs during the week on January 20th. Representatives of the Voluntary Action Council will be on hand to discuss the free tax preparation
assistance their agency provides to the public. Hosts Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be on hand to conduct the interview. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight.


SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Ron Davis from R.J. Financial Services about "Bowl Over Cancer", coming up next month at Chacko Lanes in Wilkes Barre.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Brian Fisher about the Wilkes Barre Area Educational Improvement Foundation.
An encore of Brian's November interview with Dr. Michael Roizen, who discusses getting the right nutrients to protect your vision.
And Brian speaks with novelist and art historian Reba White Williams about her novel, "Restrike".
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


TARONE ON WILK

WILK Radio host L.A. Tarone (Photo: LuLac archives).
I know he’s a long time friend and yes we did show together on WYLN TV 35. BUT I have to tell you as an objective radio observer, it seems the response to Tarone’s nighttime show on WILK has been very good. I’ve tuned in at various times due to living my own life (love to listen for the whole two hours sometimes but I can’t) and he is not wanting for topics or for that matter callers. Let’s hope it translates into ratings.
Nighttime talk is very doable. I know this is ancient history but for years WBAX had a Nighttime Talk from 10pm to 1am and it was gangbusters. Hope history repeats itself. Looks like the Tarone Show is on good path to success.


BUDDY RUMCHEK

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

Our 1974 logo.


1974


Look at this score when the 24th NBA All-Star Game was played in this week 1974!!! West beats East 134-123 at Seattle……Expert panel reports 18½ minute gap in Watergate tape, 5 separate erasures….."Jaws" by Peter Benchley is published….. NY Yankees Mickey Mantle & Whitey Ford elected to Hall of Fame……"$6 Million Man" starring Lee Majors premieres on ABC TV…..in Pennsylvania businessman Drew Lewis announces his candidacy for Governor on the Republican side……in Luzerne County’s 14th Senatorial District Martin L. Murray makes it clear he’ll go for another and in the 20th T. Newell Wood announces he will run again. In the 22nd, Freshman Senator Bob Mellow gives a thumbs up to a second term….and 40 years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “ The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2585, January 15th, 2014

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY

Ellyn Ramich, author of '411,' a collection of humorous stories from her time working in customer service.  (Photo: Citizen's Voice).

CALLING 411!!!!!

Last week the Citizen’s Voice’s Kristen Gaydos did an article on a local author who penned a book on her experiences as a 411 operator. Here is that story and how Ellyn Ramich went about telling it:
As a directory assistance worker, Ellyn Ramich heard plenty of goofy, inane and unbelievable comments from customers. The Hanover Township resident documented the funniest exchanges in her book, "411."
JS: What led you to a job in directory assistance?
ER: I actually worked directory assistance twice, the first time for almost two years and the second time almost six. I saw the ads in the paper and thought it would be a good fit for me with my previous customer service experience.
JS: How did you get the idea to write a book about your experiences?
ER: I'd been writing seriously since I was 14 years old and ended up majoring in English in college. Poetry has always been my primary genre, but I had talked to my best friend, who has a publishing background, and after hearing some of my stories from work he said, "That's your book." It's just one of the reasons I'm very grateful to him.
JS: Did you have good moments with customers as well, where their niceness was surprising?
ER: We had to work all holidays, and sometimes we'd get a call on Thanksgiving or Christmas simply thanking us for working that day. I really appreciated that. There were also times where they would take the time to ask me how my day was going, which was very nice considering they were simply calling for a phone number and/or address.
JS: How do you think others who work in customer service view "411"?
ER: My hope is that they will relate to it. Customer service is getting worse, for both the customer and the employees. It's a tough field and it's not just limited to phone work but retail, restaurant workers, medical staff, just to name a few. I would like them to kick off their shoes and relieve some of their stress with a lot of laughter.
JS: Who are your influences as a writer?
ER: As a writer there are many who have influenced me, but I'd have to say writers such as Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Samuel Beckett. Their work is so classic and so remembered because they dared to break the mold of their time, and I strive to embrace uniqueness and individuality in my work.
JS: Are you working on any other projects?
ER: I'm in the process of putting together stories for my second book of funny customer service stories. In fact, I am encouraging all who have a funny customer service story to please message me on my Facebook fan page, and if I pick the story for my next book they will win a free signed copy of "411." I am also having a Facebook free book giveaway from January to June where if I get a certain number of fans per month people can win a free signed copy of "411," and whoever is the 411th fan will not only receive a copy but a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card as well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2584, January 13th, 2014

Our “13 Questions” logo. 

13 QUESTIONS 

1. Would you rather be right than happy?

Happy. Even if you are right, there will always be people who say you aren’t. There will be some argument, some fact, some nuance where people will think “maybe he’s not right”. You can’t argue with happy. And the cool thing about happy is it infuriates miserable people.

2. Will the GOP take control of the U.S. Senate?

At the start of the year I thought yes. But they seem to be trying to play the part of Scrooge. Take this extension of unemployment benefits. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t come across a friend or associate looking for work. Or who have lost jobs. The attitude of most Americans who have jobs is, “There but for the grace of God go I”. There are exceptions but people understand others not working. And the Republicans can scream all they want about Benghazi, NSA and the IRS but when push comes to shove, Americans don’t like mean.

3. How are you coping with winter?

Not well. Hate the dark, hate the snow, hate the cold.

4. I know you use most of your writing time on keyboards at work and home but where do you get your pens?

Unique question! I have two pens that I won’t use because they are special gifts. The pens are from the JFK Library, and the Jefferson Memorial. When there’s a sale at Office Max we get pens but in the pinch, I “borrow” them from a Doctor’s office or a Restaurant. Best “borrowed” pen, a Green Fidelity Bank number. But make sure you tip the waitress extra if you are going to “borrow” The Fidelity pen.

5. I read that you thought Judge Caputo’s decision on Ray Musto was fair. Do you think it’s fair that Musto is pulling down his 10,000 a month pension?

Yes. He earned it. He took the risk of running for office. He made the trips to Harrisburg and Washington. If he gets convicted, then follow the law. But until then, until convicted, he’s retired.

6. What’s the LuLac winter drink regimen?

Diet Coke and Low Sodium V8 at the office at 9. Diet Tea at lunch, water in the afternoon. Then Diet Tea or water. Had a hot chocolate one of those nights the wind was howling. As a treat, I’ll grab one of those 8 ounce Classic cokes about twice a week.

7. Best radio job for SWAG?

First off definition of SWAG is “Stuff We All Get”.  Rock 107 had a great deal for events and if you attended you got a tux to wear. Plus you could count on a Rock 107 Birthday tee shirt every spring. But the best was when I was at Citadel, now Cumulus. I still have a Hot 97, WARM, Cat Country and The Bear Denim shirt. They are button down chambray and are closing in on being the legal drinking age. Last week I found a very nice Fleece sweatshirt that was too small for me when I got it back in ’99. But I pulled that baby out of the LuLac archive prize closet, had Mrs. LuLac wash it and I wore it twice last week to work during the cold snap.

8. Any favorites so far for the Democrats running for Governor?

Not yet. Too many to process so far. It is surprising that Katy McGintey seems to be running well in the polls. For Lt. Governor I’m seriously booking at Mark Smith, a Bradford County Commissioner. State Committeeman Tom Shubilla had a meet and greet for him which I missed because of an emergency work commitment but he’s on my radar for that office.

 9. Will Mayor Leighton run in 2015?

Not sure. But a clear indication will be what he does in 2014. If you see him making the rounds of the Gubernatorial candidates and other events, that might be a signal. Book it if he says he’s thinking about a neighborhood clean up.

10. My Sports Illustrated Magazine started running a little box before Christmas asking me if I did not want the Swimsuit Issue sent to me. Yeah as if I’m going to access that! Will Kate Upton three peat or will a new lovely grace the cover and who might be since you seem to be an SI aficionado?
Wow, high praise, thank you. I’m thinking Kate’s reign will be over and think Chrissy Teigen will be on the cover. She has a lot of buzz within SI with her numerous appearances on the Dan Patrick Show (who has a column for SI). Plus her impending marriage to singer John Legend also helps. But we shall see.

11. Will Hillary Clinton have an easy path to the nomination?

Anything can happen, I mean just look at the Chris Christie thing this week. With Hillary, right now the path seems clear but watch out for these two guys to gum up the works for her. The one is former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer who has been sounding a populist wave and could be 2016’a Howard Dean. And if he doesn’t give her fits, I’m hearing buzz about Jerry Brown, the current California Governor who ran in ’76, 80, and ’92. Brown was the final holdout against Bill Clinton. Too early to tell…but with the Democrats you never know. And with the Presidency on the line, nothing is a sure thing. It would be ironic if Clinton cleared the field of guys like Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and others but got caught up by these two guys.

12. If you had to give the new Home Rule Charter a grade in its first administration, what would it be?

I’d give it a B plus. This group came in with the task of putting together a new form of government that Luzerne County has never seen the likes of in its history. They had to find and hire a manager, they dealt with personnel problems that came up and started to attack that debt of 429 million dollars. One thing the first Council administration didn’t do was kick the can down the road. They moved forward to try and restore professionalism to the old boy network. A lot of the decisions they made were criticized. There were some who felt they shouldn’t have raised taxes, then there are some like me who feel they didn’t raise them enough. My grade is based on three things
a. The amount of work they did in terms of dedication and hours.
b. The fact that the Council had two Chairs that treated everyone with respect and heard their opinions. Ad nauseum at times. The next administration will have big shoes to fill in terms of the Chairs from the first administration.
c. This form of government in this County will never get an A minus or an A place. There are still too many people who feel the old ways should return. Guys, this is only two years in. Patience and a steady hand is needed.
I got crap for calling this a fledgling government and maybe that was a wrong term. The definition of the word is someone or something that is getting started in a new activity. I did not mean the people involved in the first Council had no experience or ideas on how to accomplish them. I meant it was NEW.
Getting back to my point about why this form of government will never get an “A”, here’s why. If everyone was 100% happy with their decisions or 100% unhappy with them, there would be something wrong.
The ultimate vindication of this form of government will come if Lackawanna County gets their form started up with an elected manager. I predict you aren’t going to see anything near a B minus with an elected County King or Queen.

13. When you go to political events do you pay your own way?

I always have. I feel strongly that I shouldn’t get freebies even though I’m not a journalist. I got kind of spoiled by all the free events from the County Council candidates in ’13 and really went to a lot of them in the Fall to make up for being laid up in the primary.  I’ll usually set some money aside to go to small events. I think the most I paid was 70 bucks for a Judicial candidate and the lowest might have been 10 bucks. The Rendell Inauguration in 2003 was a big ticket but that was not political and a special occasion. But I think bloggers should pay. As well as other media. .

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2583, January 12th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that plants like humans can get a fever.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that of all the things to try and mess with, why would Chris Christie’s operatives mess with such a thing like traffic?!!?  Especially around that Fort Lee area where that roadway is only the gateway to all of New England. Again, quoting my all time favorite political movie, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. “I don’t object to you being a bastard, I object to you being such a stupid bastard!”. Christie should have prospective staffers watch the movie for that quote alone.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre got all the votes of the 16 member Hall of Fame expansion era committee. The three managers have 7,555 wins combined with La Russa having 2728, Cox, 2504 and Torre 2326. With the dearth of Hall of Famers last year, 2014 will more than make up for that slack with this trio as well as Tom Glavine, Greg Maddox and Frank Thomas entering that hallowed hall.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..at just how raunchy CBS’ “Two And A Half Men” has become. It is  a really bad show. To call it a parody of a soft porn movie would be an insult to the words parody and porn. Was channel surging the other night and there appeared to be an orgy party going on. Yikes. This is not Paul Henning’s CBS. Plus the jokes aren’t even funny, just gross.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that in Switzerland it is illegal to own only one guinea pig because they are prone to loneliness.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that in Duryea a fight broke out between two dudes in their twenties over an argument about bowel movements and passing gas! Even more amazing is that an elderly woman was trying to break up the fight between the frying pan warriors . Imagine sitting in jail next to a burly hood. “What ya in for man?” “Murder, you?” “Hitting my buddy with a frying pan because of the way he broke wind!” Yeah that’ll go over big.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…but really not at what happened with Governor Chris Christie and his staff. Too many staff people are too young, politically tone deaf, strategically ignorant and only have a political and pop cultural frame of reference of about 20 years. Anything before that, it wasn’t important they weren't alive to see it. The successful politicians have an old time pro who has seen it all. It isn’t rocket science and if they need help watch old episodes of The West Wing or some old movies. I’d bet a hundred bucks that if you asked the two staffers the Republican Christie fired who Haldeman and Erlichman were they couldn’t tell you.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… that retiring Phillies Roy Halliday pitched 67 complete games in his career. His win total was 203 so you do the math. Halliday will be on the Hall ballot in 2018 and it will be interesting to see if he goes in as a Blue Jay or a Fightiin’ Phil.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the top tanked and best selling sports book of 2013 was “Francona” by the former BoSox manager. Former Packer Donald Driver’s book sold well and the number 1 Sports Movie of 2013 was “42”.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the last two pure play callers in the NFL were Terry Bradshaw and Jim Plunkett. Manning does his own thing on audible but the game is so controlled right now, (and I don’t have a problem with that per se, just pointing it out) you have to wonder how smart those guys had to be from an instinctual point of view as athletes.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that Ariel Sharon was in a coma for eight years. Ain’t no death panels with Israeli Health care I bet! At least for former war heroes and Prime Ministers. On a serious note though, Sharon is the last surviving politico and military official that was involved in the 1948 founding of Israel. Sharon also was noted as a hardliner who if given the chance might have made an accommodation with the PLO.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2582, January 9th, 2014

WAR ON POVERTY @ 50
President Johnson meeting some of the impoverished fifty years ago. (Photo: Dailywonder.com)
Fifty years ago yesterday in his very first State of the Union address, broadcast live on TV at 12:30 in the afternoon, Lyndon Baines Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty” Even with the innovative legislation of Franklin Roosevelt decades earlier, it marked the first time the federal government had ever launched an aggressive program to eliminate poverty and raise the standard of living in America. Johnson wanted to build his program because he felt that someone should do something about the state of the poor in this country. Johnson was no stranger to poverty. His father went into debt and went from a respected state lawmaker to someone who was financially ruined. Johnson’s youth was punctuated by cruel comments and having to live off the charity of relatives. His first job as a teacher gave him a firsthand look at the underfed and under educated Hispanics in Texas. If not for Vietnam maybe the war Johnson chose would be more successful. But even though LBJ might be regarded as the last President to truly advocate for the poor, events overtook the “war”. When Johnson declared war, there were 19 million poor people in the United States. When he left office in 1969, that number was down 7 million to 12. Today, we are not trending downward but upward standing at 15 million and growing.
Johnson’s intentions were good but events and the horrible nature of people undercut what he intended. The war on poverty has changed though. Johnson brought people into housing with plumbing, started programs for better education for youth. But those programs were bastardized by not enough safeguards and responsibilities.
The Johnson war on poverty was not intended to become a breeding ground for “baby mamas” and their thug boyfriends living off the taxes of hard working Americans. Johnson’s war can still be salvaged but not without having people willing to take money from the government for support forced to abide by a set of standards and rules. Otherwise like Vietnam, Johnson’s war on poverty will be regarded as a decision that could have had a better result if outlying events not intervened.


CHRIS CHRISTIE’S PROBLEM

On the traffic scandal in Jersey he says, I was got unawares of this situation and was lied to. He is outraged. If he runs for President, his opponents will have a field day. They won’t ask, “When did you know there was a problem?” but “Why didn’t you?” Duped is almost as bad as being labeled a crook. People expect an ambitious politician to be cagey and bend the rules, not to be duped.

ELVIS @ 79/ NIXON @ 101


President Nixon and Elvis as White House staffer Egil Krogh looks on. (Photo: National archives). 
Elvis would have turned 79 yesterday, Nixon would have been 1012. Both are joined and frozen in time by this memorable photo.


CARTWRIGHT RATED NUMBER ONE!

Cartwright Ranked As Hardest-Working House Freshman in Four Major Legislative Categories
Yesterday, GovTrack.us released its 2013 Legislative Scorecards. These special year-end statistics cover representatives’ records during the 2013 legislative year and compare them to other representatives serving at the end of the session. Among the categories scored were Bills Introduced, Leadership Score, Powerful Co-Sponsors and Government Transparency.
Cartwright ranked #1 in the following categories among House Freshman:
Leadership Score:1st among House Freshmen
Bills Introduced:1st among House Freshmen
Powerful Cosponsors:1st among House Freshmen
Cosponsors:1st among House Freshmen
“I am pleased that GovTrack has come out with an objective analysis that allows constituents to better understand the work their representative is doing. I am working hard every day to accomplish the things that matter most to my constituents, introducing important legislation and working across the aisle,” said Cartwright. “I will always support a good idea – no matter what side of the aisle it comes from. I am looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of northeastern Pennsylvania to solve problems and get results, not score political points.”
At a time when the narrative surrounding Congress is often about the gridlock and lack of action, Cartwright has played a leadership role in a freshman class that came to Washington a year ago, intent upon improving Congress’s record and image. In 2013, Cartwright introduced 25 pieces of legislation which aim to solve issues affecting seniors, veterans, and employers such as Tobyhanna Army Depot throughout the 17th congressional district. Of the 25 bills introduced, 16 were bi-partisan and together the 25 bills netted over 900 co-sponsors.
“I'd like to point out that much credit for this legislative work belongs to my superb legislative staff in Washington: Legislative Director Jeremy Marcus, Senior Legislative Assistant Mae Stevens, Legislative Assistants Shelby Boxenbaum and Michael Szustak, and Legislative Fellow Amir Fairdosi. Without their tireless efforts, none of this work would have been possible,” said Cartwright.


MERICLE ON DECK

The recent development in the Ray Musto saga has not slowed down the wheels of Justice for developer Robert Mericle. His sentencing hearing was delayed due to his cooperation with authorities including the Musto case. Mericle is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26 in U.S. District Court, Scranton, on one charge of withholding information in the Luzerne County judicial corruption scandal. The Real Estate developer plead guilty to the charge in 2009 and testified at the Mark Ciavarella trial.


MEDIA MATTERS

ECTV

A number of free public activities are scheduled in Scranton to honor the works and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jim Williams, President of the Martin Luther King Commission in Lackawanna County will outline those events on ECTV Live during the week of January 20th. ECTV Live is hosted by Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo and can be seen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight.


SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine. Brian Hughes speaks with Scott Cannon & Duke Barrett from the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition about the recent Pa. Supreme Court ruling on Act 13, and how it will impact gas drilling in Pennsylvania. And Brian speaks with Dr. Derek Van Amerongen from Humana Ohio about making the right food choices in 2014. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.

SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITION

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


BUDDY RUMCHEK

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

Our 1974 logo.


1974


In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly four months early in the United States……ABC airs final episode of "Love, American Style". A few days later, a show called "Happy Days", which was a pilot on "Love American Style" aired.……

Super bowl VIII: Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota Vikings, 24-7 in Houston.  Super bowl MVP: Larry Csonka, Miami, RB….The day after the Super bowl, the World Football League is founded…in Pennsylvania, Governor Shapp’s re-election committee starts to take shape. Shapp can be the first Governor to succeed himself under the revised State Constitution of 1968…..in Scranton Mayor Eugene Peters embarks on a second term……and in America and LuLac land the number on song “Time In A Bottle” by the late Jim Croce.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2581, January 7th, 2014

MUSTO SIDELINED
Ray Musto leaving court yesterday with his attorneys. (Photo: Andy Mehalshick Facebook Page).
This afternoon Federal Judge Richard Caputo made a decision on the fate of former Senator Ray Musto. And it was anything but definite.
Caputo ruled Musto was not ft to stand trial next week due to various ailments. He did recommend that Musto be sent to a facility where his physical and mental health will be evaluated for at least four months.
The great thing about this decision is that it pleases no one. To those who want Musto to stand in the dock and face the music after years of delay, this is not a good move. To those who feel the former Senator should be permanently granted exemption from trial this is just another delay.
Federal Judges are supposed to make difficult decisions and Caputo handled this hot potato as best he could. And who knows, with Musto being evaluated on a more regular basis via a non partisan medical facility, his outlook might improve.

HOME RULE ACT 2

The Second Act of Home Rule opened up last night as Rick Morelli and Edd Brominski were voted in 6 to 5 as Chairman and Vice Chair. Those voting for the duo were Eileen Sorokas, Kathy Dobash, Stephen A. Urban and Stephen J. Urban along with Brominski and Morelli rounding out the majority.
Tim McGinley had the votes of Harry Haas, Rick Williams, James Bobeck and Linda McClosky Houck. The question here with McGinley losing the Chair,  will this take the bloom off any rose of a possible candidacy for Phyllis Mundy's seat? I think not because McGinley is a formidable candidate.
The first two years of Council can be characterized as a learning, building block experience with Council at times sticking their toes in the water. My opinion here is that I get the feeling that this new Council majority, will dive into the pool full force and make a splash. This second act of Home Rule in Luzerne County might very well determine the effectiveness and efficiency of this fledgling form of government for a long time.

WAR: YES!!!!  JOB HELP: NO

I laugh when I hear Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul say stuff like we can’t pass extended unemployment benefits for jobless unless we figure out how we can pay for it. Rich. This Republican party ran two pointless wars on credit cards which even conservatives will admit was the most reckless of spending.
But to help extend help for the jobless, nope. There’s a special place in hell for these Johnny come lately to fiscal conservatives. If those wars were fought on a pay as you go basis, maybe there wouldn’t be 5,000 dead and thousands maimed.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2580, January 6th, 2014

(Photo courtesy of John Diliberto, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Independent Gazette.)
Left, Luzerne County Council member Edward A. Brominski; center, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Correale F. Stevens; right, Kathleen M. Dobash, Luzerne County Council member.

DOBASH SWORN IN


Even though Luzerne County Council will hold their reorganization meeting tonight, Kathy Dobash was sworn in earlier in the day at her home area of Drums. Precedent was set for this in 2012 when Steve Urban Senior and Junior were sworn in at a private ceremony. Dobash said she scheduled the swearing in because she was not told of the Swearing In ceremony at the Courthouse in a timely manner. Just my opinion…..but here we go……..
It is interesting that a long time Democrat, Council member Edd Brominski held the Bible. And it was Bromo’s own Bible.
Newly elected Democrat Eileen Sorokas took the oath with other Council members Harry Haas, Rick Williams, and Linda McClosky Houck. Dobash also joined them at the Courthouse ceremony according to the Times Leader.
We’ll have more on the reorganization this week. Good luck to all in a challenging year ahead.


BEDNAR SWORN IN

Michelle Bednar took the oath today from Judge Fred Pierantoni. Flanked by her husband, John Scott, child, Kyle and dad, George Strumski.  Bednar embarked on a political adventure that few could have foreseen last year. We wish her luck.


Jill and I at the LCCC radio studios in 2011. (Photo: LuLac archives).


JILL BODEK

36 year old Jill Bodek died the other day and it was my great pleasure to know her through the years. Jill faced a lot of monumental challenges in her life and did her very best to overcome obstacles that would have defeated lesser people.
My last encounter with Jill was when I was contacted by LCCC instructor and radio station manager Ron Reino to be interviewed by Jill for a story on local radio. Jill asked the questions and I talked. And talked. And talked.
When I was working a candidate in the 70s (Tom Lehman who was running against Frank O’Connell) Lehman’s opponent in the primary John Pitcavage told me that time is the most important thing in life. He said you could lose money, you could lose friends, even love but you can never get time back. My biggest regret in life has always been the time I wasted on meaningless people and pursuits. When I met Jill in the 90s I saw that this was a young lady who was not going to waste her time. I hesitate to use the word “hero” because it is so overblown and used today. But Jill was helped in her goals by heroic people, friends, teachers, family and support systems.
Jill will be remembered and missed by many people as a sweet, intelligent young woman with a friendly smile and the patience of Job. I remember her as someone who saw their goal, got down to business and never wasted her time or those lucky enough to be in her company.  RIP Jill.


Saturday, January 04, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2579, January 4th, 2014

Our “Maybe I'm Amazed ” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that with all the plaudits awarded to Bill O’Brien for his remarkable job at Penn State, let me throw this one in for the O’Brien haters. In the 63-14 loss to Ohio State in 2013, it was the first time in 114 years since Penn State gave up that many points. Loved O’Brien but if a Paterno die hard  needs a comeback against O’Brien's tenure, as flimsy as it is  there ya go.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that if you accrue 1376 days in the Major Leagues, roughly eight seasons, you can get a Golden Pass shaped like a credit card to get you in any major league ballpark in any regular season game. The card reads “In appreciation of long and meritorious service”. Kind of cool, that player  will always belong to that baseball family.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..speaking of baseball, in the 1952 season Virgil Trucks who died in 2013 was 5-19 for the Chicago White Sox. However, two of his wins were no hitters and he pitched an additional one hitter.He had an ERA of .397 that season.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the bumblebee bat is the smallest mammal on earth. The bat weighs less than a penny.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that there are ads running now against Democrat incumbents who voted for the Affordable Care Act saying the Act was responsible for health insurance policies being  cancelled. Here’s the deal: the Act didn’t cancel the insurance policies, the insurance companies did. Remember that.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Cheerios touted the fact that they are getting rid of Genetically Modified ingredients. Now genetically modified ingredients are safe according to the FDA but a big hue and cry began by people who started to complain. However Cheerios is only taking the modified ingredients out of their main brand and not out of the the Honey Wheat or other varieties. Hedging their bets? In for a penny, in for a pound I’d say.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that a bolt of lightning can reach temperatures hotter than 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Five times hotter than the sun.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that certain people in Scranton are making a big deal out of the fact that incoming Mayor Bill Courtright is having a big Inaugural Ball ceremony even though the city is distressed. Ceremony is important and this is what politicians do to thank their supporters. Tom Leighton had a big deal in 2004 when he took over in Wilkes Barre. There is no need for a incoming office holder to wear a sack cloth and ashes to try to get the administration going. Party on and then get down to real business.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at the stones on the guy in Hazleton who broke into an apartment to have sex with a woman while his girlfriend was hanging out on another floor in the same apartment building. So another  woman with the apartment getting broken into finds the guy coming out of her  bathroom and the guy asks her not to say anything because he doesn’t want to get in trouble with his girlfriend! I think I’m going to write a script for Vivid Video and send it to Chatsworth, California and see what happens!
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that I had to look twice to see who the new District Justice sworn into Pittston was. Seems like Alexandra Kokura Kravitz took the oath. Never saw the name Kravitz prominently displayed on those campaign posters. Just saying. So I guess the front runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016 is Hillary Rodham, right?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that in Colorado the price for an ounce of marijuana goes for $400.00. In New York City, it’s $120.00 and in Philly as low as $115 depending on the neighborhood. Like tobacco, I tried it once but the thing took too much work and wasn’t worth the effort. But isn’t that a wide disparity of price for legal vs. illegal?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that August has the highest amount of births.