Thursday, January 08, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2813, January 8th, 2015

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Photo: AG office)
This afternoon news came down that State Attorney General Kathleen Kane might be indicted for perjury because she testified about leaking information on a case to the Philadelphia Daily News. I was asked to speak to the political ramifications of this on WBRE TV News this evening. But let’s be clear, this “scandal” does not affect the outgoing or incoming administration. Kane has made some missteps but do we really think a Montgomery County DA wanting to make his political bones have any credibility?
And while we’re at it, what happened to “confidential sources?” Kane may not recover politically from this, that’s how it look tonight but the process might be a long haul. She has Lanny Davis, the same attorney who stood by President Clinton in his difficulties. That is no small thing. Plus as of tonight she has not been indicted. This is still a fluid situation.


Luzerne County Council has proposed a tax on every vehicle registered in Luzerne County. The reaction to it was fast and furious. Edd Brominski and Eileen Sorokas, two people I have support and will continue to do so think it’s a bad idea. At least according to the newspapers. Fair enough. I don’t.
A charge to each registered vehicle will make everyone in the County get skin in the game. The burden of taxes have been on homeowners. Renters don’t have that burden. The County is in bad shape and this puts the responsibility of every person using the services in this County. It is only fair. What some people don’t seem to understand is that this County Council is cleaning up the mess of previous administrations. It’s like they are the responsible siblings that are paying off the debts of their drunken sailor brother. It needs to be done. And the money will go to improve things that benefit everybody. Let’s do it.


My friend Gort 42 in his blog used to say around this time every year that there should be a joint holiday celebrating Elvis Presley (born on the 8th and the King of Rock and Roll) and Richard Nixon (born on the 9th who thought he was “king’ and nearly derailed the U.S. Constitution) birthdays. Maybe we can get some petitions going and call it ELVNIX Day or PRENIX Day. I think it’s a good idea but there are others that might think it is cruel.


Rep. Barletta with Bob Timko, volunteer firefighter with the Fairview Twp. Fire Company,
who first alerted the Congressman to the danger to fire companies from Obamacare. (Photo: Lou Barletta office).
Congressman Lou Barletta has reintroduced legislation to protect volunteer
r firefighters and emergency responders from the unintended consequences of Obamacare. Barletta’s bill, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, ensures that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Employer Mandate of Obamacare. If volunteer fire companies were subject to the mandates of Obamacare, they could be liable for crippling new health care costs, causing many to have to close their doors.
This is the first significant challenge from the Floor to the Affordable Care Act. It will be interesting to see if this will be the bill the House GOP Leadeship picks to launch their attack on the ACA.  (LuLac)
“Firehouses and municipalities across the country need assurance that they wouldn’t have to pay costly fines or shut down. This bill provides them with that certainty,” Barletta said. “Public safety is too important a concern to leave to the whims of an unelected government bureaucracy like the IRS.”
Barletta authored the same legislation in the 113th Congress. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 11, 2014 by a unanimous vote of 410-to-0. When it reached the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted controversial unemployment benefit language, effectively killing the bill. Following months of pressure from Barletta, other members of Congress, and firefighters, the IRS indicated that it will not count hours of volunteer firefighters and emergency responders when determining an employer’s full-time employees in compliance with Obamacare. Barletta, however, has continued to pursue passage of his legislation as insurance against future changes from the IRS.
Prior to Barletta’s pressure, the IRS declined to indicate how it would classify hours of service for emergency volunteers under Obamacare, meaning that fire companies and municipalities could be forced to provide volunteers with health insurance or pay a fine. Such a situation would saddle fire departments or municipalities with unbearable additional financial burdens, threatening their existence and endangering public safety.
“Volunteer firefighters are vital members of our communities, particularly in Pennsylvania,” Barletta said. “As a former mayor, I know just how important fire companies and emergency volunteers are to the health of a community.”
In Pennsylvania, 97-percent of all fire companies depend either entirely or mostly on volunteers. Nationally, 87-percent of fire departments are exclusively or largely volunteer, according to the2012 National Fire Department Census conducted by the U.S. Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Under the Employer Mandate Provision of Obamacare, employers with 50 or more employees must provide health insurance or pay penalties. If volunteers were ever considered employees, fire companies could exceed the 50 employee threshold in several different ways: a volunteer department by itself based on size; by being part of a combined, paid-volunteer firefighter department; or by being part of a municipality that has 50 or more public employees in total.
“There is no way that fire companies could absorb the enormous cost of providing health care to their volunteers, who presumably have other jobs or receive their health care from another source,” Barletta said. “It is just another unintended consequence of a very bad law.”
Barletta was first alerted to the issue during a parade in the 11th District by Robert Timko, a volunteer firefighter for the Fairview Township Fire Company, who also serves as Pennsylvania’s Alternate Director for the National Volunteer Fire Council. Barletta then sent a letter to the IRS seeking the clarification regarding volunteer firefighters and their status under the Employer Mandate Provision contained in Obamacare, in which he wrote:
“Forcing volunteer fire companies to comply with the Shared Responsibility Provision will not extend health insurance to the uninsured – rather it will close firehouses and place communities at risk. Furthermore, subjecting volunteer fire companies to the Shared Responsibility Provision may force them to eliminate volunteers in order to avoid classification as a large employer.”
“I don’t trust the IRS today or in the future, especially when it comes to public safety, and that’s why we are making this the law,” Barletta said. “Volunteer firefighters are just that – volunteers, and should not be subjected to the Employer Mandate. It’s just common sense.”
When introduced in the last Congress, Barletta’s legislation was supported by organizations such asthe National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Towns and Townships, the National Association of EMTs, and the National Association of State EMS Officials. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives also unanimously endorsed the proposal. (Source: Barletta press release).


Tyrone and Stacey. (Photo: WNEP
Tyrone Parker the 18 year old former student (Gee, I wonder why??) from Lackawanna College who photo bombed WNEP TV’s Stacey Lange back in November got fined $300.00.
He yelled an expletive into her microphone as she was doing a live report. This type of behavior is something that needs to be punished. As young people, especially in college we all did things that were stupid. BUT we drew the line at interfering in someone’s livelihood as well as stop the flow of information to the public. His actions were the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre. But this is a society of everyone being “duh star”. Hope it was worth the three bills he lost.
After one year L.A. Tarone makes the WILK Timeline on the Facebook and web page!!!  Tarone on every night 7pm to 9pm. WILK News Radio.


This Week on Sunday Magazine

Part 1 of Brian Hughes 2 part interview with Mark Chamberlain & Terry Martin about the "Leg Up University" event coming up on Feb 3rd at the Tunkhannock Library.
Brian speaks with Shannon Peduto, Executive Director of the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center about their First Annual Gala coming up on January 30th at Mohegan Sun.
And Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Susan Collini from Community Cares For Kids about their fundraiser coming up on January 24th at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes Barre.Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM, and 6:25am on Magic 93.


Activities planned to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day in Lackawanna County will be the subject of ECTV Live during the week of January 12th. Hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome Dr. Paul Porter, President of the Martin Luther King Commission, to the program to review scheduled events and discuss the impact of Dr. King's legacy on today's society. ECTV Live is carried on Comcast Cable Channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast several times each day throughout the week.


This week on Community Forum Mike Remish talks with Bernie McGurl from the Lackawanna River Corridor Association. You'll hear the program Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA's Sports Radio-The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


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


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


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


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.

Our 1965 logo.


The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years…..The unmanned Gemini 2 is launched on a suborbital test of various spacecraft systems…moving to .in his State of the State Address Governor Scranton says he is unfazed by the new Democratic majority he will be facing in the State House of Representatives…..and in Luzerne County Minority Commissioner Ed Wideman and Majority member Bill Goss speak openly of making a faux majority in effect trying to shut out James post and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was a late year release from 1964 that climbed slowly to the number one position in 1965, Petula Clark’s “Downtown”.


At 9:35 PM, Blogger David DeCosmo said...

A County Vehicle Registration Fee. Looks like another way around "not raising taxes" to be.
A vehicle is property. A tax on a vehicle is a property tax. I'll admit to being bias here. I have three cars and a motorcycle. That's an additional $20 per year from my very fixed income. And it dose not take into consideration the higher State vehicle charges soon to take effect. (Inspection & Registration) My motorcycle is a 1971 with Antique plates. My newest car is a 2005 which makes it 10 years old. If the County must do something, and that debate can continue, at least adopt Conn.'s system which pro rates vehicles as they age. Our cars will nickel and dime us to death on their own. They don't need the County's help!

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw you on TV just now. Thought you were way kinder to Kath uh leen Kane than the Lackawanna College prof.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listening to Petula Clark's "downtown" sure
brings back the memories. Was in the UK at
Raf Bentwaters when this song came out.
Told my ssgt that this song would become number 1. He didn't believe me. Also at our
airmans club Dusty Springfield was there one night. Sure was great to see her in person! Also could of seen the Beatles in my 2 years in the UK. I said who hell are
the Beatles. Can't win them all!

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we should study just how the French authorities handled this double hostage situation. Terrorists dead, Hostages safe! Best outcome you could ask for. Great job all. Another time to take a moment and appreciate those who protect and serve.

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please amend previous post. Some hostages were killed.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kath u lene Kane was not anywhere near qualified to be State Attorney General. If thats the best PA can come up with we are in trouble. Tom Wolf is going to need stronger support on all levels to succeed. Should she be indicted or just relieved for inexperience and incompetence does he get to appoint a successor? I hope he's looking right now. I'd truly like to see Tom turn the state around.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sue Henry is as predicitable as snow on russian christmas. She mentions Kane's attractiveness and then goes into attack mode. Every time there is an attractive female in the news out comes attack attack attack. I'm not sure who is more upset about attractive women being successful her or steve corbett

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AAaaa Yonk, MY LANDLORD PASSES ON THE PROPERTY TAXES TO ME!!! Renters pay them in the form of a rent increase. You would do the same if you where a landlord since I don't think you're in the subsidy biz. Enough skin already.

What the hell do we get from the taxes? Better roads and bridges? HA! What has been done with the taxes I have already paid? Oh yeah, corruption. Silly me, how'd I forget that?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Every time there is an attractive female in the news out comes attack attack attack. I'm not sure who is more upset about attractive women being successful her or steve corbett
I did not hear the broadcast but I think that there is no doubt Kane is, was an attractive candidate in all ways. Well funded, has a good appearance, etc. I think that if she were unattractive and still under a cloud both Sue and Steve would still cite the record.

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think, perhaps, the most telling sign about Kane was Joe Peters bailing out on her.


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