Thursday, February 27, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2609, February 27th, 2014

FLAG FLAP

This week there was a big controversy over the request to raise the Dominican Flag over Hazleton City Hall. Mayor Joe Yanuzzi said no and was told that the Hibernian flag flew over the edifice in 2012. And then all hell broke loose.
Here’s my take on this. No one embraces ethnic history more than I do. I think the ceremonies and carrying on of traditions is extremely important. Those customs were brought over by my ancestors from the “old contry” to give us an appreciation from where we came from. But for every Slovak tradition we upheld, we were always reminded that we were Americans. And those who camr to this country would never go back in a heartbeat.
Through the years ethnic pride has been on display in this area through festivals and educational programs. The Luzerne County Folk Festival started by the late Paul Lauer and others gave voice to ethnic pride of many stripes. Wonderful ceremonies were held at the Luzerne County Courthouse especially when Kathy Bozinki was running them as PR Director.
I love hearing stories about people’s background. But I look at a request to fly a flag of another country over a government building this way. When a U.S. citizen who served in the military and is of Italian, Irish, Polish, Dominican, Cuban or whatever descent you can name, and is killed in action, the flag they put on the coffin is the stars and stripes. So let’s celebrate diversity, let’s honor everyone’s heritage but not on the top of a government building reserved for “our” flag. Never forget where you came from and honor the past. But we are all Americans living and dying under one flag.


CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Did you hear the talk that there are people who think California is too big to manage and they want to divide it into six states? That would be incredible. Imagine, 12 more Senators. And California is a blue state, no?


BENEDICT ONE YEAR ON

One year ago  Friday, Pope Benedict the XVIth faded into the Roman sunset as he retired. The Pope emeritus has emerged only twice once when Pope Francis was elected and then this past Sunday when he attended the ceremony for the selection of the new new Cardinals.
Benedict has two major legacies.
1. He started the real conversation of church sex abuse by publicly apologizing numerous time and putting in motion the wheels of reform. Benedict was the Pope who met that issue head on. More clergy has been defrocked and thrown out since he started the process.
2. His resignation was ground breaking. By leaving in apparent good health, Benedict paved the way for a seriously ill Pope to take his leave.
Hard to believe that one year has passed.


JACK WAGNER

The entrance of former Auditor General Jack Wagner into the gubernatorial free for all in Pennsylvania is intriguing. Wagner has run for office statewide 4 time. He’s a known commodity and has a solid base in Western Pennsylvania. Wagner is the lone candidate from the Western part of the state. John Hanger, Jo Ellen Rob McCord, Kathleen McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, and Tom Wolfe are not from the West. Wolfe is from Central Pennsylvania but Wagner if funded properly can carry the West. In a primary he can make an impact. This race has all the earmarks of the ’78 GOP primary where a number of Eastern candidates divided the vote and the ultimate winner Richard Thornburgh won the west and the state. Might happen again.


CARTWRIGHT AND THE MINES


Cartwright Announces $52.3 Million Available for Pennsylvania to Clean Up Abandoned Coal Mines
U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Interior has made $52.3 million available for Pennsylvania in 2014– the largest amount made available to any State – to reclaim abandoned coal mines. Funds will be distributed via the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).
OSMRE provides Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grants to 28 coal-producing states and tribes. AML grants enable states to help eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining.
Between now and the end of September Pennsylvania will apply for its annual reclamation grant, after which time OSMRE will make the award amount available.
“These funds will allow the Commonwealth to reclaim abandoned mines in an environmentally safe manner while providing communities with much-needed jobs,” said Cartwright. “The entire state and especially the 17th District are blessed with a beautiful and precious natural landscape, and I will work to protect both the environment and the public from potentially harmful and dangerous abandoned mines.”
AML-funded projects include closing dangerous mine shafts, reclaiming unstable slopes, improving water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restoring water supplies damaged by mining. The AML funds that OSMRE provides also support vitally needed well-paying jobs for communities in coal country.


MEDIA MATTERS

SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Tom & Noreen Clark from WNEP about "Bowl For Kids Sake" to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeast Pa, coming up on March 29th.
Brian Hughes speaks with James Tiger from Marywood University about their "R-Vets" program to help veterans get ahead in the workplace.
Brian speaks with Dr. Sergio Golenback and parent advocate Kim Sutherland about RSV, a contagious virus that affects the very young and very old alike.
And an encore of Brian's December interview with Jamie Fulmer from Advance America about payday loans.
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.


ECTV

The scheduled program on ECTV Live during the week of March 3rd involves an upcoming special presentation at the Dietrich Theater addressing Violence against women. ECTV Live is hosted by Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo and can be seen on Comcast Ch19 daily.


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!”


KAREL ON THE STREET

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

Our 1974 logo. 

1974 

People Weekly magazine's first issue is released in the U.S. Mia Farrow is on the cover. The introduction of the magazine started the cult of celebrity that dominates our society today......
in Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mayor says he will not run for Governor against incumbent Milton Shapp in the Democratic primary……and in Luzerne County Wilkes Barre Democrat Bernie O’Brien launches his reelection bid for another term in the sState House…..and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was "Boogie Down” by former member of the Temptations Eddie Kendricks.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2608, February 26th, 2014

STICK 'EM UP

(logo: aurorapictures.com)
Only in LuLac land would a Chamber of Commerce thump its chest about saving jobs by using a shell game. A company that has been in this area for a long time was located in the city of Scranton. The embattled city benefited from the influx of employees working in the downtown.
But now, the jobs are moving to Moosic and the County, another embattled government entity that raised taxes on its residents by 40% gives the company $250,000 in a loan to move. Huh?
It appears the business in question gave hints it would leave and everyone did their thing. Same old tax breaks and loans for the cronies all in the name of saving jobs. I wonder if a non profit like a Women’s Resource Center or a Drug and Alcohol place needed a loan for a move, would they get it? Nope because a business crony didn’t put the squeeze on them.
How about this for a novel idea to the Chamber of Commerce flunkies in Scranton and Wilkes Barre, instead of moving the jobs you have here like a carnival barker in a shell game, how about creating new ones? Like bringing in new jobs that you don’t have to “pay” for in loans, taxes, free rides and amenities.
It is easy for anyone to be a job creator when you give the store away. And you get paid a princely sum for doing so. And in the meantime the people who pay, are the taxpayers. Taxpayers are funding, loaning successful business people money for something they should be doing themselves.
But hey, the more we take from our homeless, the more we take from our disadvantaged, the more we screw the working poor, the more we’ll have in the kitty to bribe, beg and God knows what else to business people to stay.
Yeah, we’re the champs. No wonder real businesses with real salaries out of the area shake their heads and laugh at us. We’re like the kid who bribed the bully to not steal our lunch money. Just incredible. But hey, we’re saving jobs. I wonder if the Economic dynamo the Chamber found for the City of Scranton is wondering what he got himself into. I’ve heard of addition by subtraction but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2607, February 25th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….and thankful that the games in Sochi ended peacefully. The threats of terrorism were real and rampant. It is good to know that somehow the monsters were held at bay at least for a while.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that “This Week” has a quiz on its Sunday program regarding politics and Presidents. The last four weeks I got shut out on all the questions. This week I got one right and it was about Olympic Women’s figure skating, something I never watch. The question was who was the last citizen of the Ukraine to win a Gold Medal for that sport. It was Oksana Baiul. Have no idea why that was rattling around in my brain. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……………that Outsiders, the bar that was closed after a killing last fall in Wilkes Barre was cited for serving liquor after it was shut down. Really? Are they dumb or greedy? And why in the hell would anyone go there, I mean it’s not like there aren’t other places to get a drink. I’m a brand guy through and through and I have loyalty to places I love. But this is too much.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but pretty happy that Pope Benedict joined Pope Francis in the ceremony naming 19 new Cardinals. For the Church this is huge because it represents the past, (Benedict), the present (Francis) and the future (the 19 who will be naming the next Pope.) It was the first time Benedict and Francis have appeared together at a public liturgical ceremony since Benedict retired a year ago and became the first pope to step down in more than 600 years. We are closing in on the first year anniversary of Benedict’s leaving the Papal Chair. Benedict had the real Bob Uecker seats, in the front row with the senior cardinals. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that even though Kate Upton didn’t make the front cover of Sports Illustrated this year, she did get the back cover. Alone. Those at SI, no dummies. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that “K” was chosen to stand for a strikeout when the letter “S” was designated for Sacrifice.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the very best breakfast in the morning for a drive through bagel is at The Bake House outlet in Edwardsville. Hot, fresh and the best way to kick start the morning.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……but not really that Tom Wolfe now has topped the list of candidates running for Governor on the Democratic side. Introductory biographic spots are extremely important in gaining statewide recognition. The very model for this earlier this century was the Rendell for Governor spots. And a generation before Milton Shapp, a wealthy businessman like Wolfe garnered huge recognition by blanketing the airwaves with his bio commercials.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that before there was the big Peaches and Herb number one hit in 1979, “Reunited”, there was a hit in 1968 entitled “United”.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there are 21 secret highways that dot the entire countryside on the U.S. Interstate Highway system. There are no markings or signs indicating where the roads are located.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that fifty years ago tonight, Sonny Liston lost the Heavyweight Championship to former Olympian Cassius Clay. Now 5 decades later, there are reports the fight was fixed. Anyone who saw that fight thought Clay swung and missed with the "knockout" punch. All I remember about that fight was that it was the talk of sports that week in school. You would be hard pressed to talk about boxing in the present tense these days.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2608, February 24th, 2014

BACK IN THE SADDLE

Since I started LuLac in 2006, I have been publishing pretty much nonstop. The only breaks I took was when I had cancer surgery, hip surgery and the removal of a gland to deal with a neurological disease I am still coping with. (More on that when the time is right). Recently I turned 60. And I had a perfect birthday. Nothing blew up at work, it didn’t snow, I had wonderful birthday meals and got flowers at work from Mrs. LuLac. The only thing that we didn’t get to do was see Congressman Cartwright the night of his re-election announcement bid. My plans for the weekend were pretty simple. I was going to put my inspection sticker (which I got on January 19th!) on my license plate, attend the GOP Luzerne County Lincoln Day Breakfast, try to hook up with political and music buddies (or at least schedule something) and then just hang out.
So on Friday when I left work, all I wanted to do was go home and crash but Mrs. FB and my best friend from Denver, Colorado formerly of Kingston, Pa. Jim Gibson had other plans. Throughout the entire week Mrs. FB seemed to be on a mission....Moving crap, hanging up my ties (we’re down to 97 thank you very much) cleaning up the guest room, telling me to not be such a man in the bathroom, stuff like that. But working, writing and trying to deal with this winter, well to be truthful, I hardly noticed. After telling me we’re going to La Tolteco on Friday night, (I was revved up all day for that) she tells me she feels like Italian. Really? But I think, what the heck. So we go to Bettelli’s and I’m stressed because I’m wearing jeans and a shirt that is older than three quarters of the people I work with. We sit down and I’m looking at the menu. All of sudden, my friend Jim Gibson is calling me a Son of a Gun (well not really) and I think, WTF, why is he here in Wilkes Barre? Turns out that Jim, Mrs. FB and Jim’s wife Bonnie back in Denver have been planning this thing for weeks under my nose. Bettelli's was picked because when I was in college, I took my first dates there to make an impression. And you could do it for under eight bucks back then. Gibson though delighted in telling anyone who would listen at King's that all of my dates were "dutch treat". He was like a one man wrecking crew for my social life at King's. And for this reunion, no data or history was ignored. 

At the moment of surprise. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac)
After the dust settled. (Photo: Mrs. LuLac)

Days later it is still surreal. It was one of the most amazing birthday surprises I ever had. Turning 60 is not too bad after all. And it only happens once if you are lucky. I had a high school graduating class of 90, 12 of them are gone. So when it was clear Gibson was here for the weekend, we closed down LuLac for a few days. I am so touched by what they did for me this week. It is something I can never begin to repay. I wasn’t expecting this……..so I guess that debunks any theory that I’m a high maintenance man! So to those of you who did not access Face book, there is no medical issue. I’m sure they’ll come because at my age they always lurk but that explains the short absence. As the Professor might say...the work continues.


LUZERNE COUNTY GOP MEETS

Pictured at the Lincoln Day Breakfast Standing:  are District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis, Senator Lisa Baker, Dan Meuser- Secretary of Revenue - Senator John Gordner, State Representatives Tarah Toohill and Karen Boback and Bill Lewis.  Seated- Lack. Co. Chair Lance Stange, Lynette Villano, Bill Urbanski, TARS Chair Brandon Ferrance (teenage R group) and Columbia GOP Chair - Bill Toth. 
Saturday morning at Genetti’s in Wilkes Barre the Luzerne County Republican party had its annual Lincoln Day Breakfast. While tributes were made to old Honest Abe the first Republican President, the talk was firmly on the election year 2014. More than 100 in attendance heard from incumbents Lisa Baker, State Senate in the 20th, Tarah Toohil (116) and Karen Bobeck 117th) Sen. John Gordner ( 27th district) and Dan Meuser representing Governor Tom Corbett.
One of the byproducts of Home Rule has been the strengthening of the Republican party in terms of winning seats on the Council.  Now granted many will tell you it is because of the depth of the personalities of the candidates and not the party. But a win is a win. And no one can deny that many Republicans have helped the candidacy of Independent Rick Williams. Plus the win of current DA Stephanie Salavantis (albeit a close one) sent a message that if a fully funded energetic candidate beat the bushes, the local GOP could prevail despite the registration disadvantage in the County.
Regarding Statewide races, the GOP has had an impressive track record of unity. The party in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County gave Governor Tom Corbett pretty impressive vote totals in 2010 and even though people say Corbett is unpopular do not underestimate him. Despite the controversy over the gas drillers in his administration, Corbett has a large war chest. He also reduced the state budget and essentially did everything he said he was going to do when he was running. There is something to that. And let’s not forget the 8 year cycle of parties that has been in place in the Commonwealth since 1946 where each party was in office for eight years.
I was not at the event but from what I heard the enthusiasm is there for this election year from the local GOP and it will carry over long after the smell of bacon, scrambled eggs and coffee.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH

 
When the Luzerne County Transportation Authority Ghost Rider issue hit, I was pretty hard on the Executive Director Stanley Strelish. A few of my political confidants really let me have it telling me that I was unfair, jealous and that he was always on top of things and worked like a dog. Fair enough. But I know a lot of people who are on top of things and work like a dog. They get hit with new issues everyday and need to resolve them quickly. Even people in sales get a bonus based on commission. But they have to produce mightily to get that check. Stanley Strelish got a raise and I don’t begrudge anyone getting a raise. But $18,000 in one clip? When your agency is under fire? Sal Licata tells the newspapers that this was in the works before the Ghost rider thing hit the fan but isn’t this sending a signal that even though things aren’t running smoothly you still get rewarded so handsomely? There are thousands of people on the West Side alone not making a year what Strelish’s raise is.  But my friends tell me he’s a fine fellow so I guess it’s all right. But County Council Chair Rick Morelli is going to be asking for answers on this one.


LACKAWANNA COUNTY STUDY VOTE

The Lackawanna County Study Commission voted 7-0 to vote for a change in a new form of government. No surprise there but it seems like this thing is moving way faster to me in the Lac than it did in the Lu a few years ago. The new charter will call for 7 districts and an elected county Executive. Names being mentioned already are Commissioner Jim Wansacz, former Mayor of Scranton Chris Doherty as well as former statewide candidate and current staffer on Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s staff Joe Peters. The Luzerne County Study commission voted for hiring a manager instead of having one elected in fears that a wildly popular person might get to the be the king of the county. This will be interesting to see.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2607, February 22nd, 2014

"So Mr. Yonki, you want some time off to do some frivolous activities with some hooligan? Do whatever you please young man, just quit eyeballing these ladies behind me. They are way out of your league Mister!"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2606, February 20th, 2014

BIG NIGHT-BIG CROWD

Congressman Matt Cartwright announced his intention to run for re-election to another term. The Fire Hall in Moosic was packed with supporters who gave the Congressman more than enough encouragement as he embarks on a second  go round.
Cartwright has been one of the most influential and most noticed Congressman in the Freshman class of Democrats. Plus he has been receiving some note worthy national exposure. Out of all the Congressman in the state, Cartwright has carved a niche for himself as the go to guy for questions from national reporters.
But at home, in the new 17th, Cartwright has provided excellent customer service to all of his constituents. When gerrymandered happened there was fear that Scranton and Wilkes Barre would lose their Congressman. Don’t forget for generations Scranton had a Congressman and Wilkes Barre had one. The new district brought us a potential for political infighting between the two major cities. But Cartwright’s primary win in 2012 over incumbent Tim Holden put those fears to rest.
The refreshing thing about Cartwright is this. He is a Democrat front and center. He makes no apologies over the fact that working families need larger incomes, that his constituents need better opportunities in every aspect of their lives. Cartwright lives by the mantra of our 33rd President Franklin Roosevelt who said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
In the manic celebrity world of Trump, the Kardashians and the Wall Street thieves who nearly bankrupted this country, that sentiment has been lost. There are many reasons to look into the candidacy of Matt Cartwright but that powerful quote is the best reason of all.


Photos from the Cartwright rally Wednesday night which we couldn't attend because the parking lot was so full and I was doing the Yonki birthday tour.  (Photos: Cartwright campaign).

GIVE MINIMUM WAGE A FAIR SHOT

There has been a lot of debate this week over the raising of the minimum Wage. And I just don’t understand the blow back. Ever since the minimum wage was adopted people have been making the same arguments. Prices will go up, the kids won’t have jobs, these are entry level jobs and are not meant to be full time.
Let’s look at the reality of today. Prices have been going up since the last minimum wage increase. Someone has been making profits with employees making almost 8 bucks an hour. Where are those profits? Who is benefiting from the high prices we pay? Certainly not the workers. The money is going somewhere.
They tell us the kids won’t have jobs. True. Because those jobs, those minimum wage jobs are bang taken by unemployed workers who got laid off during the great recession. The Job stimulus program was way too small and you don’t see business stepping up to lend a hand.
As for the argument that the entry level jobs are not designed to live on, let me say this. 
NO SHIT! 
People need those jobs to survive, some people need two of them. It is incredible to me that anyone opposes this. This wage increase will actually help the economy. People who will get extra money will spend it. They’ll pay bills, they’ll do some personal or home improvements. Might get a car. Might get a better job.
I’m amazed that this country gives huge tax breaks to the very rich who will put that money away and sit on it. But to give the working poor a break, nope, it’ll cost too much. The sky will fall and the nation will crumble.
I’m struck by the arguments from two groups of people I’ve heard on talk radio this week. The first group are my favorite, I got mine, you get yours. The second group are those I’d think would maybe have some compassion. “I never got ten bucks an hour on a minimum wage, why should you?” Yeah,  we’re the Valley with a Heart.
If you go out to eat this weekend and look your waitress straight in the eye, realize she makes under 3 bucks an hour. Tip her well because the way things are going, she’ll be making the same minimum twenty years from now. We used to brag about “The Spirit of America”, now we’ve become “The Mean Spirited” of America.


DUNMORE COMMUNITY CENTER 

This week there has been a lot of wringing of hands about the Dunmore Community Center. It seems the gym isn’t attached to the roof. The focus is on the original contractor but answer me this: who the hell inspected it?

LINCOLN DAY DINNER


Luzerne County GOP to host Lincoln Day Breakfast
In honor of our nation’s first Republican President, the Republican Party of Luzerne County will host a Lincoln Day Breakfast on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM at the Genetti Hotel and Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre.
A donation of $20.00 per person is payable at the door.
All candidates, committee persons, elected officials, and supporters of the Republican Party are invited and welcome to attend.
RSVP (not required but appreciated) to tlvgop@gmail.com or by calling 570-654-6567.


KAUFER AGAIN

Aaron Kaufer announces for another run in the 120th on the GOP ticket. (Photo: Times Leader)
He’s at it again and this time Aaron Kaufer will not be facing a two decade incumbent but a product of a possibly divisive primary fight. Kaufer announced his run Tuesday night in Kingston hoping to become the first Republican representative in that district in 24 years. Kaufer made an intriguing promise saying if elected he’d term limit himself and not accept the massive state pension Representatives give themselves. This young man just might make hay with that one. Now if the County GOP would let him alone and run unopposed the guy might have a shot.


MEDIA MATTERS

ECTV 

Changes in Health Care have left a lot of people confused and during the week of February 24th ECTV Live will focus on free assistance for those who depend on Medicare for at least a portion of their coverage. Diane Brown of the Voluntary Action Center will join hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo to discuss that
assistance. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 throughout the week at Noon and Midnight with dditional screenings at 6pm on available dates.


SUNDAY MAGAZINE 

This Week on Sunday Magazine
An encore of Brian Hughes interview with Ron Davis from R.J. Financial Services about their Relay for Life team and the "Bowl For Cancer" event coming up on Sunday at Chacko Lanes in Wilkes Barre.
This Week in Harrisburg examines the success of the quick strike drug force team in Hazleton earlier this week. State Senator John Yudichak weighs in.
Legislation has been introduced to examine the health effects of intensive natural gas drilling, and House Appropriations Committee budget hearings to examine the effects of state employee and teacher pensions on the state budget.
And an encore of Brian's January interview with State Representative KevinHaggerty of the 112th Legislative District about flood insurance.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH FM, 93.7, 530am 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!”

KAREL ON THE STREET

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

Our 1974 logo.

1974

The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon makes its first flight at Edwards AFB, CA...After a record 84 days in orbit, the crew of Skylab 4 returns to Earth.....A soccer stampede occurs in Cairo, killing 49......In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Mayor Peter Flaherty says he will run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Richard Schweiker…in Scranton Mayor Eugene Peters makes it official. Despite prodding from State Committee people Peters said he will not run for the office of Lt. Governor and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a truly horrible song (last week a poster asked me if music in ’74 was going to get better, the answer to this is “not yet” obviously) called “Seasons In the Sun” by Terry Jacks.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2605, February 19th, 2014

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY 



HEALTH CARE ACT WORKING

So many Republicans in this country are telling us how health care will not work. But it is a Godsend for those people in their fifties and sixties who are stuck right in the middle of the health care vise that has been squeezing them for over a decade and a half. From the Huffington Post, stories about how Obama Care is working out for these people. They are not illegal immigrants, they are not on welfare, they have been paying their own way. Finally they are getting a break, a break they will willingly pay for.
For many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession, the quest for health care has been one obstacle after another. They're unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis.
These luckless people, most in their 50s and 60s, have emerged this month as early winners under the nation's new health insurance system. Along with their peers who are self-employed or whose jobs do not offer insurance, they have been signing up for coverage in large numbers, submitting new-patient forms at doctor's offices and filling prescriptions at pharmacies.
"I just cried I was so relieved," said Maureen Grey, a 58-year-old Chicagoan who finally saw a doctor this month after a fall in September left her in constant pain. Laid off twice from full-time jobs in the past five years, she saw her income drop from $60,000 to $17,800 a year. Now doing temp work, she was uninsured for 18 months before she chose a marketplace plan for $68 a month.
Americans ages 55 to 64 make up 31 percent of new enrollees in the new health insurance marketplaces, the largest segment by age group, according to the federal government's latest figures. They represent a glimmer of success for President Barack Obama's beleaguered law.
The Great Recession hit them hard and for some its impact has lingered.
Aging boomers are more likely to be in debt as they enter retirement than were previous generations, with many having purchased more expensive homes with smaller down payments, said economist Olivia Mitchell of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. One in five has unpaid medical bills and 17 percent are underwater with their home values. Fourteen percent are uninsured.
As of December, 46 percent of older jobseekers were among the long-term unemployed compared with less than 25 percent before the recession.
And those financial setbacks happened just as their health care needs became more acute. Americans in their mid-50s to mid-60s are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than other age groups, younger or older, accounting for 3 in 10 of the adult diabetes diagnoses in the United States each year. And every year after age 50, the rate of cancer diagnosis climbs.
The affordable coverage is "an answer to a prayer really," said Laura Ingle, a 57-year-old Houston attorney who had been denied coverage repeatedly because she has sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease. She recently had back surgery for a painful condition that's been bothering her for months.
One night in September, 64-year-old Glenn Nishimura woke up with wrenching pain that sent him to the emergency room. It was his gallbladder. A doctor recommended surgery.
Instead, Nishimura went home. A consultant to nonprofit groups, he was self-employed and uninsured.</ "I checked myself out because I had no idea what this was going to cost," the Little Rock, Ark., man said. "They didn't want me to go, but they didn't stop me."
Nishimura lost his coverage after leaving a full-time position with benefits in 2007, thinking he could land another good job. The recession ruined that plan. After COBRA coverage expired, he was denied coverage because of high blood pressure and other conditions.
He made it until September without a major illness. A second night of gallbladder pain and a chat with a doctor persuaded him to have the surgery. After getting the bills, he negotiated the fees down to $12,000, which he considered "a big hit, but it could have been worse." The average cost of a gallbladder removal in Arkansas was listed at three times that. Nishimura dipped into his savings to cover the bill.
In December, he chose a bronze plan on the new insurance marketplace that costs him $285 a month after a tax credit. The deductible is $6,300, so he hopes he doesn't have to use his coverage. He can get on Medicare in April, just in time for his annual checkup.
"Now there's the peace of mind of knowing the limits of my obligation if I have catastrophic health needs," he said.
Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger said he's noticed a recent increase in patients in this age group at his family practice in Miami. Lots of them have untreated chronic conditions that have progressed to an advanced stage.
"Many have delayed necessary treatments due to costs and expect a total and quick workup on their first visit," he said, adding they want referrals to specialists and tests including colonoscopies and mammograms.
The abundance of older patients signing up is no surprise to the Obama administration, which conducted internal research last year that showed the "sick, active and worried" would be the most responsive to messages urging them to seek coverage.
Signing up younger, healthier enrollees is seen as more difficult, but crucial to keeping future insurance rates from increasing. The administration said those age groups may put off enrolling until closer to the March 31 deadline.
"We have always anticipated that those with more health needs would sign up early on, and that young and healthy people would wait until the end," administration spokeswoman Joanne Peters said.
Some of the aging boomers were determined to get coverage in the marketplace, despite repeated problems and frustration with the federal website.
The hours spent online and over the phone paid off for real estate agent Greg Burke and his beautician wife, Pat. The empty-nesters qualified for a tax credit that will lower their monthly health insurance premiums by nearly half.
The Burkes, from Akron, Ohio, are among the 38 percent of marketplace enrollees in the state between 55 and 64 years old. He's 61 and had a knee replaced six years ago.
They will now spend $250 a month for health insurance, "a huge savings," Greg Burke said. Their deductibles also dropped from $2,500 each to $750 each, meaning they will pay less out of pocket.
In Miami, licensed practical nurse Marie Cadet, who is 54, often works double shifts to make ends meet for herself and her 12-year-old daughter. She had been paying more than $150 a month for health insurance, with a $3,000 deductible. In effect, she paid most medical costs out of her own pocket, including about $80 a month for blood pressure medicine.
After choosing a plan from the marketplace, Cadet's monthly payment dropped to $86 a month, with the government kicking in $300. Her deductible fell to a more affordable $900.
"Now," Cadet said, "I'm not scared anymore."

Associated Press writers Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston, Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, and Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contributed to this report. Huffington Post.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2604, February 18th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……......that there are still people in this area who are gleeful about this snow. I’m guessing these are the people who have no children to get to school, no aged parents to care for, no homes to maintain and have never had trouble with their cars.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that those Olympic Ralph Lauren sweaters I trashed on 13 Questions last week were sold out by the Ralph Lauren Company at $595. They were available on Ebay for $3,000 and I’m sure people with more money than brains bought them. Nonetheless they are still ugly.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the planet Saturn has a density lower than water. It would actually float if placed in water.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that there was such a big deal made about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sorry the dude died. He was a good actor. But he was a heroin junkie. He had three kids and a woman he never married. He was a selfish, irresponsible slob that pissed away a fortune, a career and a family. Sorry, no sympathy here.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that as I approach 60, I seem to remember more and more the words of wisdom my late relatives gave me. Wish I could thank them in person. Youth is indeed wasted on the you know who.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……….that the only thing sustaining me through this winter of death are two things, baseball and Super models. There will be a trio of models on the SI Swimsuit Issue set for release this week but in the meantime, this photo is on my desk top. By the way, I’m no Braves fan. 
And I was correct, Mrs. John Legend gets the cover, if not partially. From left to right Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen. On the flip side, Kate Upton.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at how many people remember the comic genius of the late Sid Caesar. Caesar inspired two characters on TV and in a movie. He was the inspiration for Alan Brady on the Dick Van Dyke Show as well as the character King Kaiser on that great 1982 movie, “My Favorite Year”. Caesar is one of many influential celebrities who passed away in 2014. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that for Black History Month, the only major push for touting the number of participants of color is of all institutions the WWE. Interesting marketing if you ask me. But the kicker is on the bottom of the photo on line here is this disclaimer: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. No mention of slavery but ownership. Just saying. ……that the can opener was invented 48 years after the can. That must have made for some interesting maneuvers before meal time.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that with this snow situation, many are calling for students to attend cyber classes from home. Nice idea but not all kids have access to computers at home and how the hell do you police the testing?  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that thirty years ago, in Super Bowl 18, the MVP of the game, Marcus Allen of the Oakland Raiders drove his own car to the game. Allen was stopped by security and was not let in until he could get one of the Raiders front office people to verify his identity.  
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the City of Wilkes Barre decided to get rid of the icicles on City Hall at……wait for it, 5PM today during traffic rush hour when workers were going home. Traffic was backed up all the way up Washington Street. Rather safe than sorry I guess because Thank God no one got hit by a brick when the Sterling was up.So I guess that was from the Sterling playbook.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2603, February 17th, 2014

PRESIDENT'S DAY 
A poster asked the question in the first comment today, did we ever have a good one? You decide. You can even give me your top 3.  Meanwhile, with all this talk of a woman President, well it isn't that new.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2602, February 16th, 2014

LENNY, LAWTON AND THE LACKEY

Oh man the news from the Luzerne County Courthouse just keeps getting better and better. A lawyer for the County said that Piazza was justly fired because he was lying about targeting a private citizen. Piazza said he was trying to set up a campaign Finance Compliance policy because Controller Walter Griffith had some mistakes on his campaign reports. Piazza was accused by new Manager Robert Lawton of violating Griffith’s Civil Rights. He was fired five days later.
It has been contended that Piazza was hired because people say Griffith was poisoning the well of various employees with the rookie Lawton. That has been denied.
But let me ask this question. It is the same question I asked when wire tap charges were filed against Griffith? Has it been worth it?
Because of Griffith’s misstep, we lost a Controller who (no offense to the newly elected Controller) really took the bull by the horns. And now with Piazza’s dismissal, we are seeing in virtually every election how ineffective, and downright ineffectual and his replacement is. Prior to Piaza’s dismissal, every election ran like clock work. Now everyone is holding their breath when the polls open.
Maybe Lawton should have given the guy a warning. Put him on a suspension. But to abruptly fire the guy? Dumb. Rookie mistake.
The news about the lawsuit this week brought to mind something I heard on the sandlot when I was a boy. “You might not always learn from rookie mistakes but you sure as hell have to pay for them”. Like Luzerne County is still doing.


Palm card from the late Joe Hannon's 1975 run for Luzerne County Treasurer. (LuLac archives).
JOE HANNON
Two term Avoca Mayor Jim Hannon died this past week. Hannon was a towering figure in local politics in the 60s and 70s and was quite the charismatic Irish Democrat. Hannon served on Council for a few terms before getting elected Mayor in 1969. Hannon was active in the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and always made sure he made room and time for “his Slovak interlopers”, referring to my late uncle Timmy Pribula and me when we’d attend those dinners.
Hannon was a Democrat’s Democrat but did not refrain from bucking the party. In 1975 he ran for county Treasurer against the then incumbent from Shickshinny Bill Curwood in the ’75 primary. Hannon was defeated but still was a favorite among Democrats. His passing just illustrates how colorful and interesting local politics was back then. He died at Wesley Village and will be remembered and missed.


SORRY 1 %

I apologize to the 1 per centers. In last year’s Presidential campaign some of us had been very hard on you. Sorry. The people we should have been after are the less than one percent billionaires that spend 40% of the consumable goods in this country. These are the hedge fund managers who pay less than 14% in taxes. These are the people who have 2 million dollar birthday parties. These are the people that President Obama should have targeted instead of those people making $250,000 a year. But the man can talk, just can’t execute.
Someone said that the gilded age has returned where there are the super rich and the rest are just getting by. Teddy Roosevelt in the early part of the 20th century busted the trusts. If someone with balls doesn’t come along and regulate these Wall Street slobs, this will continue. Maybe if the 1 per centers got together with the rest of us, we can make these people pay their fair share. That’s why there needs to be radical tax reform. And very, very few loopholes.

THE COST OF SNOW

The ski operators and the people who love this winter crap are happy. But the economic cost of this storm is going to take a toll. So far 15 billion dollars has been lost in sales for restaurants, movies, concerts, shopping and grocery items. People can’t get out. But hey right, it’s sooooooooooooooooo pretty. So was Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2601, February 15th, 2014

PASSPORT NOPE!!!!!

So if you want to get a Passport at the Courthouse, you can forget about it. That announcement came from that very qualified political journeyman Jimmy Haddock, who heads up the county's prothonotary and clerk of courts offices. The problem here is that Passports were not a mandated service. Haddock said that the employees needed to perform the services required by the office and not the “extras”. Now the Passports were making money for the county. As a matter of fact Haddock said that passports increased in the last year. In 2012 the County processed 3150 passports and garnering  $25.00 a clip from Federal reimbursement the County earned $78,750.00. In 2013, there were 3500 passports processed and that came to $87,500 earned. So by eliminating this service the County is pissing away nearly $90,000 in revenue.
Okay, here my take on this.  People in government around here don’t understand government can make money on extras. Private business does. When you go to a restaurant and they ask you if want you dessert, or mushroom and onions on the steak, that is a huge mark up. Pork and Beans came about as an “extra” because the “manager” saw workers standing around soup kettles waiting for them to boil.
Only in government would a Manager who is supposed to make this stuff work use as an excuse that people were laid off. Also, this is what happens when you lay County workers off. So his solution is to say “bye bye” to money earned? He can’t come up with a creative way to allocate staff time? Major corporations have eliminated jobs and still allocated duties to other workers. It’s called management but apparently some of the County managers appointed to their jobs charged with coming up with solutions have an unfamiliar acquaintance with that concept. And nowhere in Haddock’s proclamations was there maybe a way for him to pitch in and help? Nope he’s a manager….and he has to manage. Or come up with excuses.
Meanwhile if you want a passport, you can go to
Dallas Post Office, 2759 Memorial Highway, Dallas;
Hazleton Post Office, 231 N. Wyoming St., Hazleton;
Nanticoke Post Office, 70 N. Market St., Nanticoke;
Wilkes-Barre Main Post Office, 300 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre. (Citizen's Voice).


CARTWRIGHT AGAIN

Cartwright to Announce Re-Election Bid
WHAT:
Congressman Matt Cartwright will announce that he will be running for re-election in 2014. Cartwright is currently serving his first term as a Congressman, representing Pennsylvania’s 17thCongressional District.
WHEN:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
WHERE:
Greenwood Hose Company
3727 Birney Avenue
Moosic, PA 18507.
Congressman Matt Cartwright, your blog editor and Marion Munley Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


HEALTH CARE SIGN UP

It appears that the numbers for the month of January for the Affordable Care Act have been very good. In January more than 3 million people signed up for Health Care. Also the amount of young people signing up has grown by 3%.
Now it is true that a goal of 4 million enrollees was set but things seems to be moving along. Yeah, let the GOP run against Obama care in the fall. Can anyone say Johnny One Note?

PUTIN HOLDS HIS BREATH

Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding his breath as the Winter Olympics in Sochi continue. So far so good with security. It will be interesting to see the aftermath of Putin's games. Will it enhance or diminish his standing?
LINCOLN DAY DINNER


Luzerne County GOP to host Lincoln Day Breakfast
In honor of our nation’s first Republican President, the Republican Party of Luzerne County will host a Lincoln Day Breakfast on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM at the Genetti Hotel and Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre.
A donation of $20.00 per person is payable at the door.
All candidates, committee persons, elected officials, and supporters of the Republican Party are invited and welcome to attend.
RSVP (not required but appreciated) to tlvgop@gmail.com or by calling 570-654-6567.


MEDIA MATTERS

ECTV


Enjoy Winter? Yes. It is possible and ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will help you learn how as they welcome representatives fromLackawanna State Park's annual Winterfest to the program during the week of February 17th. The show represents the 201st edition of the popular PublicAffairs Program which features information on entertainment, educational, and service programs and events offered FREE of charge to the public in our area. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Ch19 each day throughout the week at Noon and Midnight,


SUNDAY MAGAZINE

This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Wyoming Valley football legend Charlie Wysocki, who discusses his glory days at Meyers High School and the University of Maryland, and his lifelong battles with mental illness, featured in the book he co-wrote "Saddle Up Charlie", as well as a musical tribute to Charlie, also titled "Saddle Up Charlie".
And Brian speaks with Alyssa Maria from Home Instead Senior Care about their "Salute to Senior Service", and how you can vote for your favorite senior volunteer.
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!”


KAREL ON THE STREET

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

Our 1974 logo.


1974


Great Britain had a Parliamentary Election and there were a few surprises. The incumbent Conservative government of Edward Heath got the most votes in the House of Commons but lost in terms of Commons seats obtained by Harold Wilson's Labour Party due to a more population majorities of the Labour vote. But Wilson even with a seat majority was unable to govern.Heath did not resign immediately and another election was held in October…..meanwhile in the U.S. President Nixon continued to battle charges in the Watergate investigation……in Pennsylvania Governor Shapp’s budget sails through as he prepares for re-election. Shapp becomes the first Governor eligible to stand for re election……in Lackawanna County the new majority of Bob Pettinato and Charles Luger begin a wholesale shake up in a Lackawanna County government that was dominated by Democrats for years and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was "The Way We Were” by Barbara Streisand.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2600, February 13th, 2014

Our “13 Questions” logo.

13 QUESTIONS

1. If the verdict, which is the final legal say on this, is accurate, and supports Ciavarella's contention, combined with his campaign commercial where he states something to the effect, that if a juvenile offender is brought in front of him, they will receive the maximum sentence, and also the well known fact that his sentencing from when he first took the bench, long before the scandal, until the end of his time was consistently maximum or near maximum... do you believe that the title of the movie, along with the news media and others, who continue to use the moniker "kids for cash," are now defaming and slandering Ciavarella? Also, is it possible that Ciavarella always believed that the initial money, and continued money received was for forcing through the construction of the juvenile detention center, and not filling it, since he was filling the old center anyway?

You bring up intriguing points but that moniker has stuck and will not go away. Any other legal action by Ciavarella would be pointless now in my opinion.

2. I saw a report on TV WNEP the other night where a family’s farm was destroyed by a Juvenile Ciavarella sent to jail. His record was expunged, he got a settlement and these people who were victims are still trying to put their lives together. Is that fair?

No, there were a lot of kids who got a free pass that maybe they didn’t deserve. I would like to see someone with more time and resources than I have do a case by case look at who stayed out of trouble and who achieved success despite this roadblock. The biggest crime in this case is that while Ciavarella’s action were unjust to many and deemed too harsh, there were some criminals who blatantly got away with major crimes. That more than anything is the sad legacy of this, Ciavarella as a Judge meted out unequal justice. The ramifications of his sentence is that there was undeserved reward for some.

3. What is the best concert you ever attended?

In my life I have been fortunate to see many performers up close. I interviewed Frankie Valli a few times, introduced Tony Bennett at the Kirby and saw people like Mott the Hoople, Barry Manilow, Kiss, Carole King and James Taylor, Diana Ross, and others. But the best concert ever by far was Simon and Garfunkel at the Arena. They were incredible and as a bonus they showcased the Everly Brothers. It was an incredible night with the duo of Simon and Garfunkel paying homage to the rockers who inspired them, the Everly Brothers. It was the same night that Aaron ****ing Boone hit the Home Run that put the Yanks in the Series against Boston. The concert started on October 15th, we got home just in time on October 16th to see Boone demolish that Tim Wakefield pitch.

4. Who was Franklin D. Coslett and did you ever meet him?

Franklin D. Coslett was one of the first anchormen in the Wilkes Barre Scranton market. He was a WWII Veteran and did the news on WBRE TV every night. At the end of each broadcast he saluted and smiled. It was the only time in the newscast he smiled. He did great work during the Flood of 1972 and retired I’m thinking in 1980. Met him twice, once at the station when I was interning. WBRE was a Union shop at the time and we were constantly told, “Don’t touch anything”. He was gracious and kind. He lived on Lee Park Avenue and during my Senior Dance at King’s I picked up my date who was staying with a girlfriend in the house next door to him. Franklin was coming home from doing the news and I was stuffing myself into my Camaro in my powder blue ruffled tuxedo. Recognizing me from the station, he smiled and said, “Where’s the rest of the orchestra?”
But there is more than my personal anecdote. Coslett enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. He had been working at WBRE since the age of 16. By 1944 he was a Chief Navigator and flew missions all across Germany. In April of that year, his plane was shot down in a bombing raid on Berlin. He safely parachuted and wound up as a member of the Dutch underground evading the Nazis for eight months. Published reports said Coslett as a member of the Dutch underground really threw a monkey wrench into the Gestapo operations. So much so that he was wanted as a terrorist and marked for death. On Christmas Eve 1944 he was captured by the Gestapo, put in solitary confinement, and sentenced to death. As the war was winding down, Coslett waiting for his execution was rescued by Canadian forces. After that Coslett commanded intelligence operations until the end of the war. After the conflict he returned to WBRE TV becoming its Anchorman in 1952 and staying there until 1980. Still a military man, Coslett headed up the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a Colonel. To my e mailer who asked me this question, here is the kicker, Franklin D. Coslett, the man you never knew and asked about in your question passed away in 1992 at the age of 76. The date, February 13th. 13 Questions karma? 

Franklin Coslett at WBRE TV in the early 50s and a photo from his obituary in 1992. (Photos: Osterhout Free Library).

5. If you were advising Robert Lawton what would you tell him?

I’m not sure I couldn't tell him much but I’d advise him to rehire Piazza and Pribula, be his own Press Secretary and meet more with reporters to get his side of the story out and keep your friends close but your enemies closer. It was also a good move to block all the e mails except those of the Chairman because that is what the Council wanted in the first place. And I would definitely tell him about Engle Eye Wear.

6. Favorite Beatle?

McCartney.

7. Thoughts on Super Bowl 48?

The Seahawks kept Manning from being Manning. A good defense stops a good offense any day but people tended to romanticize the second Super Bowl win of Payton Manning. The Seahawks were having none of that. Reminded me of the first Giants/Patriots Super Bowl where Tom Brady was the favorite and Eli Manning was “the other Guy”. Russell Wilson became “the other Guy” in this game and made a name for himself.

8. Most vivid birthday memory?
Prandy, me and Chedrick then. 
Prandy, Chedrick and me in 2006.
February 19th, 1960. My class at Jefferson Kindergarten was cancelled and my friends Bruce Prandy and John Chedrick came to my house for an impromptu birthday party. At around 1230pm my sister came home screaming the school was burning and that she left her coat in the classroom. My mother said don’t worry about the coat. That is still ingrained in my mind. My birthday and the fire at St. John the Evangelist High School.

9. Were you a Jay Leno fan and sorry to see him go?

Yes and yes. I think he did a good job, was very good with big guests and became this generation’s Carson. I thought he was funny and charming. I like Letterman too but watch the shows on DVR if there was/is a guest I’d like to see. But yeah, I liked Leno.

10. You must love the Ralph Lauren uniforms being displayed by the Americans at the Olympics since you are a big Polo/Lauren man?

Actually I don’t. I think the uniforms or costumes or whatever you call them are too busy and gaudy. Very overstated if you ask me.

11. Target or Wal Mart?

Target. Last time I set foot in a Wal Mart the dog got sprayed by a skunk at 3am.That was 7 years ago.

12. Most memorable Valentine’s Day?

Okay, everyone I had with my wife for the good ones. The worst one was when I was single and I sent flowers to two women. They lived in the same town and the florist mixed up their addresses. To add insult to injury, a mother of one of the women actually exchanged the flowers. The two moms had quite the conversation. Never did that again. The Florist is also out of business.

13. When will be back on TV again on Pa. Homepage?

I’m slated to be on WBRE Pa  Live March 7th. With the Olympic coverage on the station, my crazy schedule and this God awful winter things have been a little hectic for all parties. But look for us on March 7th. 
 Your blog editor with Pa. Live Host Dave Kuharchik. (Photo: LuLac archives).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2599, February 12th, 2014

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY


Government should help America's unemployed
This week there was a brief letter to the editor regarding unemployment benefits for Americans. The writer made some good points as to who we spend money on and who we don’t.
Editor:
For many of us who have lost their jobs and can't find a new job, it's devastating. To make things worse, the Senate failed to pass an extension on our unemployment.
When our government can give millions away to other countries yet turn their backs on the people who voted for them, it's very disheartening.
With all this going on, did it stop the utility companies, the cable company and our towns from raising their rates and taxes?
I would like to know if they are aware of our financial problems and where do they expect us to come up with money for these increases.
So many people in this area are selling their homes because they just can't afford to pay for their upkeep.
What do we do and where and who do we go to for help?
It sure isn't our government.
Instead of going forward, we are going backwards.
Let's create jobs for all Americans and be less dependent on China's goods.
All tapped out.
Mary Jacobs
Dallas

Monday, February 10, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2598, February 10th, 2014

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 

MAYBE I’M AMAZED

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..at how flawless the Opening Program was at the Sochi Olympics, the opening glitch notwithstanding. One of the things that struck me was the segment where the Russians were courting, marrying,  then having babies signified by the baby strollers. The way this country is going, you have the baby first, maybe get married and once in a while date.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the more I hear and see about the Kids For Cash scandal I have to wonder why Michael Conahan is allowed to get less heat than Ciavarella. I know that Ciavarella was the face of the Justice system to those kids but I can’t help but think that Conahan was the master puppeteer who saw in Ciavarella a guy who really believed what he was doing. That was confirmed by one of the scandal’s victims. She said in n interview that Ciavarella really believed what he was doing. And Conahan gets a lighter sentence and gets to sit in a lower security prison.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that people barely remember the Ed Sullivan Show’s presentation of “Oliver” the same night as the Beatles’ appearance. But the late Davy Jones, he of the Monkees fame was on that show too. ’
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that there are still politicos that think Governor Tom Corbett is not going to win re-election. The Guv is not the most lovable guy in the world. He would out dour the dour the portrayal of Eliot Ness played by Robert Stack. But he has two things going for him, the first is he has cut the Pennsylvania budget. You may not like what he cut but people understand that things need to be cut. People have done so in their household budgets. Second, love him or hate him, he is the GOP candidate. The Dems have a  free for all right now and Corbett has the luxury to hammer what he did. His Achilles Heel still might be gas drilling but Pennsylvanians are reluctant to get rid of incumbents. Also the Governor is constantly being attacked for cutting Education but look at this chart provided by Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center which was up on Pa. Politics. Look at the graph and see were Corbett stands on Education funding. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that tug of war was an Olympic sport in the early 1900s.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Speaker of the House John Boehner has said that now he is opposed to Immigration Reform because he can’t trust the President. What the hell does he think, the President is going to turn us into the United States of Mexico and gerrymander his district to Tijuana? Boehner is like a duck in a shooting gallery, never staying in one place on an issue. That's why this Democratic administration could never deal with any part of this maddening GOP Majority in House very much.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that when the Democrats and Republicans did compromise on the Farm Bill, not one member of the GOP came to the bill signing in Michigan. Bad, bad form. So maybe the Democrats should take total credit for getting that thing passed. 
Wilkes Barre City Snow Removal Tool. (Photo: LuLac archives). 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that cities like Wilkes Barre have no clue as to how to handle small alleys and streets when a snow storm comes. I know the big trucks and plows can’t get down the alleys.  But maybe it might be a good idea to outsource with contractors who have little trucks with little plows to get down places like Pershing Street, Almond Lane or Laufer Lane. My in laws street, McLean once was totally ignored and residents had to shovel themselves out. They moved.
The frustrating part about this weather for taxpaying residents of Wilkes Barre not living in the spacious confines of Barney Farms is that they get no answer when they call City Hall. 
Blog Editor with then candidate Jennifer Rogers in 2011 campaign. (Photo: LuLac archives). 
 MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….at the big deal being made over the fact that Judge Jennifer Rogers tried out to sing the National Anthem at the Railriders Park in 2014. Hey, at least she tried out, in the old days in LuLac land someone might have put the arm on a Stadium employee and the Judge would be singing without an audition. She played by the rules. By the way, Rogers was involved in Theatre before becoming a Judge. And if selected, she’ll do herself and the country proud.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the Hugo Selinkski trial is off again once more. The Judge threw Attorney Sherry Centini off the case and now poor Hugo has to find himself another Attorney. Maybe the Olympic Committee can contact Mr. Putin of Russia and get Hugo an old KGB barrister looking to enjoy the high life of Wilkes Barre. No Attorney in the states in their right mind would touch this case which is what the wily Hugo is counting on.