Sunday, May 31, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2921, May 31st, 2015

Frank Sorick. (Photo: Times Leader).
If anyone read the story in this morning’s Citizen’s Voice by Jacob Seibel you’d think the election for Mayor was over in Wilkes Barre. Seibel talked to political analysts about the uphill climb the GOP has citing huge Democratic registrations as well as history as a guide to make his case. And it is a good case.
Since the strong Mayor form of government was adopted in 1975 only two people have won seats on Wilkes Barre City Council as Republicans One was Frank Trinisewski who parlayed his ’75 win into a three terms as a Republican County Commissioner (one term in the minority, two in the majority) until he became a Democrat in 1988. The other was Jack Jones.
The Wilkes GOP through the years has been known for doing two destructive things.
1. Not fueling any candidates in races.
2. Fielding too many candidates in races. One year they had three people running for Mayor.
Sorick has an uphill battle but one has to remember that the Democratic nominee only won by 151 votes. Tony George himself realizes that not taking anything for granted.
If Sorick can get new voters registered, discourage the crazies from mounting third party challenges to dilute his strength, and hammer home the message he gave at Wilkes College he may have a puncher’s chance.
Most importantly Sorick not only needs to run against not one administration but one party.
I agree with the article but it never is a good thing to discourage Democracy. Plus let us never forget that when Tom Leighton won his first race, it wasn’t a romp.
Don’t worry Frank, I’m not going to send you a bill!

Beau Biden. (Photo: CNN)
Last night Vice President Joe Biden’s son passed away from brain cancer. He was just 46 and had been Attorney General in Delaware and was planning a run for Governor in 2016. Those plans were derailed when the cancer returned. Here’s the statement from the Vice President:
Statement by the Vice President
It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.
The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.
Beau's life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.
More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father's saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.
In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.

1964 The Tribute” takes their audiences on a musical journey to an era in rock history that will live in all of our hearts forever. They are hailed by critics and fans alike as the most authentic and endearing Beatles tribute in the world.
Choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era, “1964” astonishingly recreates an early 60’s live Beatles concert, with period instruments, clothing, even Beatle boots, hairstyles, and onstage banter. Come see why “1964 The Tribute” are masters of their craft and the definitive Beatles show.
1964 has been hailed as, “Best Beatles Tribute on Earth" by Rolling Stone Magazine. They have performed all across the globe, including at Carnegie Hall in New York City 12 times to sellout audiences.
“1964 The Tribute” is being presented by EDD RAINERI, host of “The Beatledd Fab Four Hour” radio show on WRKC-FM.
Jun 6, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
Doors open at 6:30 PM
Ticket Prices

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2920, May 30th, 2015

Ellen and Robert Casey. (Photo: Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
15 years ago today the Commonwealth lost a great Pennsylvanian. On this day the 42nd Governor of the State died at the age of 68. If any public official can serve as an inspiration to us all, it was Robert Patrick Casey Senior.
Casey served as State Senator in the 22nd Senatorial District and then for two terms as Auditor General. He ran for Governor in 1966, 70, 78 and 1986 before winning the job he truly wanted. Casey had ample opportunities to do other things politically but doggedly kept his eye on the prize he wanted.
After winning a hard fought race against fellow Scrantonian Bill Scranton III, Casey took the helm. During his administration he was a strong advocate for Pro Life believers, a stance which put him in conflict with national Democrats.
Casey worked expanding health care services for women, introducing reforms to the state's welfare system, and introducing an insurance program for uninsured children (which became a model for the successful SCHIP program later adopted nationwide). Today the CHIP program still is in place and has helped scores of young people who got health care that they might not have been able to afford. To be blunt, this program saved lives.
Remember the "Capital for a Day" program? Casey started a mechanism where the state's official business was conducted from eighteen different communities throughout the state. In effect the executive government came into a town and conducted its business for all to see. Thousands of people were inspired to get into government because of that innovation.
The job he sought for so long came with a few bumps in the road. Casey had open heart surgery his first year in office and was later diagnosed with hereditary amyloidosis, an inherited condition characterized by the deposition of insoluble proteins in organs and tissues. Though rare, the disease had also claimed the lives of Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri and Erie Mayor Louis Tullio in 1988 and 1990, respectively. To combat the disease, he underwent an extremely rare heart-liver transplant on the morning of June 14, 1993 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. That day WARM had a full news team in Pittsburgh reporting on Casey’ progress.
Casey made history by naming Lt. Governor Mark Singel as the first Acting Governor in the history of the Commonwealth. Singel held that office until Dec. 13th when Casey returned to his job with a rousing capitol rotunda nearly shaking with thunderous applause..
Following his operation, Casey strongly supported legislation that encouraged organ transplants by guaranteeing access to the families of potential organ donors by organ recovery organizations, providing drivers' license identification of potential donors, and establishing an organ donation trust fund from voluntary donations to promote the benefits of organ donation. Today the organ donation trust fund is named in his honor.
My interactions with Casey were few but memorable. As a high school Democrat I followed Casey’s campaigns in 1966 and 1970. I also passed out flyers for him at the polls in 1968 when he ran for Auditor General. Casey served two terms before leaving office in 1977.
Casey had an apartment in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. A friend of mine who got a job with the Navy base there in the 80s invited me to his new digs away from Wilkes Barre. It turned out to be the same place Casey stayed at while he was Auditor General. At least that’s the legend.
Casey was extremely kind to me in 1977 when as a very young broadcaster I had the opportunity to interview him on Channel 44. I was way too young to realize what a big deal it was and in hindsight I should have been terrified. What I do remember most is how Casey answered the questions and was very respectful and even helpful. With any other politician I’m sure there would have been a big meeting after that broadcast at the station but it went without incident because he was just that good on TV.
During a meeting when he was Governor I had the chance to say hello and chat with Mr. Casey. Our subjects were the budget and his upcoming plans for social service funding. 
My final encounter came on St. Patrick’s Day 1997. I was working at Rock 107 and as company policy mandated had to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Afterward the staff made their way to Whistles and The Liedenkrantz. I made appearances but walked down to The Steamtown Mall where the former Governor was holding a book signing. His book, “Fighting For Life” had just come out and I wanted it signed. With his wife Ellen, Casey was dressed in a green sweater (befitting the day) and because there was no line we spoke about all of his campaigns. The ’66 campaign came up and Casey seemed surprised I was old enough to be part of that. I shrugged my shoulders and explained my entire family of Democrats were with him from the start. He said, “All supporters are appreciated but the ones right there from the start……….those are the best”. I got my book and went on my way very happy that I made the event.
Casey died on May 30th, 2000. He lived to see his son Bob Casey elected Auditor General, a position he once held. He had struggled health wise with the side effects of his disease and subsequent recovery. However he was seen about town at church and at Russell’s never leaving the confines of the place he loved, Scranton. He was waked at Marywood College and was laid to rest after a wonderful Mass that celebrated his truly wonderful life at St. Peter’s Cathedral.
The legacy of Robert Casey the Governor, the politician, and the public servant can be summed up in one question he kept asking over and over again when he was interviewed by former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty on WYOU TV. Casey said the true measure of any person involved in public service should be measured by one standard. “What did you do when you had the power?” If only the politicians of today embraced that question!
If you take a look at Casey’s administration, his personal conduct and his legacy both public and personal…it is evident that Bob Casey Senior used his power well.
That’s why we remember him today, 15 years to the day after his passing. 

Casey met more than a few Kennedys. Here he is with the late Senator Robert Kennedy in 1964 when RFK gave keynote address at the Scranton St. Patrick's Day Dinner. (Photo: Times Tribune).
Here is Mr. Casey with Congressman Joe McDade and Edward Kennedy. (Photo: Times Tribune).
During the 1968 campaign Mr. Casey was seen with Hubert Humphrey and 14th District Senator Martin L. Murray. (Photo: Sunday Independent).
Here are a few brochure pieces from the 1970 campaign. (LuLac archives).

Then there were these 2 ads from the 1990 re-election campaign. (Note: The Dole Clinton debate for whatever reason is attached to these two commercials.)

Friday, May 29, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2919, May 29th, 2015

JFK @ 98

John Kennedy the 35th President of the United States would have been 98 today. He was born on this day in 1917 in Brookline, Mass.
The birthplace of John F. Kennedy stands in Brookline and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is maintained by the National Park Service and is open to the public from May through September.
St. Aidan's Church was where John F. Kennedy was baptized and where the Kennedy family and other prominent Irish-Americans were parishioners. The church was designed by architect Charles Maginnis, who was awarded the American Institute of Architects' gold medal. Though it is on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Aidan's Church has been closed and converted into housing. (wikipedia)
The Kennedy Birthplace then..........................
The Kennedy birthplace now.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2918, May 28th, 2015

The late Doctor Dan Kopen.
Dr. Dan Kopen passed away Tuesday after a tremendous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. If you read the man’s obituary you will see a line of accomplishments and talent that saved thousands of lives while he was in practice here in Luzerne County. Mrs. LuLac was a patient of his but also attended Wilkes College with him. She told me he was a guy who “just got everything” in terms of learning. In addition to the medical degrees, he had a law degree. He worked hard and never rested on his laurels.
Dr. Kopen was not one of those high flying egotists you see in the Medical or Legal field. He was friendly and down to earth. He treated his patients and their families with compassion and respect.
On an office visit to Dr. Kopen’s office with Mrs. LuLac, he started chatting me up about health care and how he felt there should be a fix. It was methodical and to the point and cost efficient.
Kopen wrote the book “Common Sense Health Care Reform”. The book, all 80 some pages of it has some intriguing suggestions and suppositions. Dr. Kopen said that currently we have no health care system but rather we possess “a murky amalgamation of special interest groups which in aggregate provide the semblance of a dysfunctional system of health care delivery”. In his book, Dr. Kopen touched on the player’s involvement in this which ranged from Doctors, Insurers, Lawmakers and Drug companies. The doctor also wrote about a special court that would handle medical malpractice, taking the judgments out of the hands of lay jurors and having impartial medical experts weigh in on any problems. On rationing care, the doctor told us that the very nature of today’s health care system does just that, universal health care does not necessarily mean coverage for everything.
The book was comprehensive but to the point. He told me he was going to send it to lawmakers and I’m sure only Eddie Day Pashinski read it. If some ideas had been adopted the system might be less difficult.
The very fact that this talented good man suffered from a disease like ALS is a total injustice. With all of his talents, skills and kindness it makes me angry. What did this guy ever do to deserve this?
They tell me Dr. Kopen lived out his days with determination and courage. In my short time knowing him, I’d say that was typical. We can still be angry that he’s gone and the way he went. But we should also look to him as an example of how we should live every day of our lives.
I’ll admit it readily, I am a lesser being in terms of contributions to humanity than Dr Kopen. The very least I could do with every day I have is to be the best I can be to honor his life. So should all of you. It is the only way I can put my arms around this awful injustice of a death that took from all of us a very dedicated Doctor, an intelligent scholar and a very good man. If God were before me as I write this, I’d tell him, “This stinks!”

On the roof in 2010 with Mayor Leighton. (LuLac archives).
Through the years when his slogan for Wilkes Barre was being vigorously debated Mayor Tom Leighton still believed. As a matter of fact he even signed his correspondence “I Still Believe”. Leighton is the recipient of the final “I Believe” award from the Chamber of Commerce.
Leighton will receive the award on June 23 beginning at 4:30 at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
There are those that criticized Leighton for the slogan and the rah rah spirit of it. Bu if you take a snapshot of Wilkes Barre in 2004 when Leighton became Mayor and today you’ll see a city developed and improved. There were tough decisions like the demolition of The Hotel Sterling and the one strike ordinance for problem landlords. If you wanted warm and fuzzy, Tom Leighton was not your guy.
But once in a while he’d have this excitement at what was happening. Around 2010 there was a party on the roof of the Intermodal Transportation Center. There was a band playing and on a Friday night in August people were gazing at the skyline of the city. We were chatting and Leighton said, “Who would have ever thought that we can have an event like this?” His eyes were lit up like a little kid on Christmas Day.
He believed then, still believes now. At the very least he should get the award for that alone.


Rep. Barletta speaks with Jackie Katz of California, daughter of murder victim Bertie Smith
Congressman Lou Barletta, has introduced legislation that ensures that veterans buried in military cemeteries are truly eligible for that honor, and have not been convicted of state or federal capital crimes. The legislation, Bertie’s Respect for National Cemeteries Act, is named for Pennsylvanian Bertha “Bertie” Smith, who was murdered by a man who was subsequently interred in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Pennsylvania. The legislation also provides for her killer’s removal from the cemetery. This legislation is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Our national military cemeteries are hallowed ground, and they ought to be treated that way,” Barletta said. “Our brave men and women have sacrificed so that we may remain free, and they should be afforded every right, privilege, and honor they have earned. The cemeteries we reserve for them should not be tainted by those who have been convicted of the most heinous crimes imaginable.”
Bertie’s Respect for National Cemeteries Act was made necessary by the burial of George Emery Siple at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Siple was convicted of the October 15, 1969 capital murder of “Bertie” Smith outside a local store front. He was interred in the cemetery upon his death in prison in 1999, despite his evident ineligibility under current law. Smith’s family has been unsuccessful to this point in petitioning for his disinterment.
Bertie’s Respect for National Cemeteries Act
• Requires Department of Veterans Administration (VA) National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery to take every reasonable action, including searching public criminal records, to ensure that a veteran is eligible to be buried.
• Allows for the disinterment of veterans convicted of capital crimes, to apply to all burials after 1997.
• Provides for the disinterment of George Emery Siple.
In 1997, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators led the effort to protect the integrity of our VA National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery, by barring veterans convicted of a federal or state capital crime from being buried or memorialized in these esteemed cemeteries. At the time, veterans across the nation were justifiably appalled that Timothy McVeigh, a domestic terrorist and convicted murderer, could be buried with full military honors.
The 1997 law was not actively enforced until 2006 – almost a decade after passage. Since then the VA has relied on an “honor system,” which requires family members to willingly report their relative’s criminal record. On December 20, 2013, Congress once again sought to protect our VA National Cemeteries by passing a law to explicitly allow the VA to disinter veterans convicted of a federal or state capital crime. However, this law does not extend to veterans buried between 1997 and 2013, a time period that includes George Emery Siple.
“A VA National Cemetery is a place of honor,” Barletta said. “I don’t think it’s too much to state that murderers should not be buried next to true American heroes.”



David Muir the newest anchor ABC "World News Tonight" just topped the May sweep in both the 25-54 and 18-49 demographics for the first time in eight years.
In the May sweep period, "World News Tonight" beat "Nightly News" by 62,000 viewers 25-54 and by 15,000 18-49.
However not to be outdone, Lester Holt has done a very good job steadying the ship that was almost sunk by Brian Williams. Lester Holt's NBC program still eclipsed David Muir's ABC offering by 35,000 audience members, 7.708 million viewers to 7.673 million.


ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Febder will welcome Stephen Perillo as their guest during the week of June 1st as he discusses the history and concert series for Making A Difference Ministries.

ECTV Live is shown on Comcast Channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast three times daily throughout the week.


This week's guests are Marie Onukiavage, Executive Director, and Owen Dougherty, President of NAMI-Scranton. They'll discuss mental health Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA's Sports Radio-The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7/106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Stephanie Wissman from API Pennsylvania about who the natural gas industry opposes Governor Tom Wolf's proposed gas severance tax.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with author and Wyoming Valley West student Ashlee Harry about her new book.
And Brian speaks with makeup expert and beauty and style writer Felicia Walker Benson about how women can make a "power move" in the  workplace.
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.


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.

France performs nuclear test at Ecker Algeria (Underground)……- Marlene Hagge wins LPGA Babe Didrikson-Zaharias Golf Open- Viet Cong offensive against US base Da Nang, begins- Vivian Malone is 1st black to graduate from University of Alabama- Jim Clark becomes 1st foreigner in 49 years to win Indy Indianapolis 500: Jim Clark wins in 3:19:05.370 (242.506 km/h)…..A Penzias & R Wilson detect 3°K primordial background Pennsylvania Phillies Dick Allen hits 529' HR out of Connie Mack Stadium….
 and in Luzerne County elections were held. Here’s what happened… was a very light primary race. The big County offices were for Controller and Prothonatary. Steve Yanoshak was unopposed for the GOP nomination. The Democrats had a primary fight with Simon Russin and Joseph Yanik. Russin prevailed. The Prothonatary’s race had Democrat Bernard Podcasy unopposed as was his GOP counterpart Peter Kanjorski. In the Register of Wills race on the GOP side to take on Helen O’Connor in the fall, Helen Selecky bested Frank Farrel. In Wilkes Barre City, Ethel Price and Fred Bell 

were the high vote getters on the Republican side Bob Brader and Ernest Waskell were unopposed. A two year term pitted Patrick Lenahan on the GOP side winning to run against Frank Delaney who beat Tom Lavery. and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Bob Dylan’s "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Lulac Edition #2917, May 26th, 2015

Former Senator Rick Santorum. (Photo: CNN).
Former Senator Rick Santorum who ran a very credible campaign in the 2012 Presidential race is traveling to his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania tomorrow to presumably announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination. One does not go to a hometown and say, “Uh, not so much, nope, not gonna do it!”
Santorum finished second and won more delegates except for Mr. Romney. But his challenges this year are more daunting.
First off there re more candidates that have religious views and social beliefs this time around. Perhaps those early primary voters might want to test drive those new candidates.
Second, Santorum has to split the religious right vote that was virtually ceded to him four years ago. Mike Huckabee’s entry will certainly dilute that support.
All that said, it is important to remember that Santorum is a Presidential candidate that can live off the land. While he would love a well funded campaign, he can go guerrilla style with town hall meetings that are conducive to early primary enthusiasts. Also Santorum has a compelling message. Even though you may not agree with him, you can discount his passion. One thing he must be careful of is overeach in terms of his comments regarding women's reproductive rights. 
But Santorum has a base of true believers that will act as a base. How far that will take him in a field as crowded as this one will be anyone’s guess. But you can bet he will find a way to stand out. Dust off those sweater vests for the winter of 2016.


District Attorney Stefanie J. Salavantis and Luzerne County Sheriff Brian Szumski organized a roundup of fugitives in the City of Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas last week through the D.A.’s Advanced Tactical Anti-Crime Unit (ATAC). A total of thirteen wanted persons were taken into custody as a result of their efforts. Of the thirteen individuals arrested, nine were wanted on felony charges and four were wanted on misdemeanor charges in the County.
Members of the District Attorney's ATAC Unit include officers from the Luzerne County Detective Division, Luzerne County Sheriffs, Pennsylvania State Police, Luzerne County Adult Probation and Parole, Pennsylvania State Parole and Wilkes-Barre City Police in conjunction with Hanover Township Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the United States Marshal Service. Agents from multiple divisions worked in teams to raid locations throughout the central part of Luzerne County and capture these wanted individuals.
District Attorney Salavantis expresses her gratitude to all of the agencies who participated, saying, “Today’s success once again is attributed to the cooperation among all law enforcement on the local, county, state and federal levels. This roundup is merely one of many efforts that will be regularly occurring throughout Wilkes-Barre City and the surrounding area to fight crime and bring fugitives to justice.”
United States Marshal Martin J. Pane stated, “Our office is dedicated to bringing to justice those wanted for crimes committed within our community. By working together with our partners in law enforcement, we ensure victims have the opportunity to face the accused.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2916, May 25th, 2015


Saturday, May 23, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2915, May 23rd, 2015

Democrat Robert Schnee and Republican Eugene Kelleher are back in the race for Luzerne County Council. As reported here last week Kelleher mounted a write in campaign after being persuaded and urged to get back in the game. Schnee was part of the endorsed Democratic ticket. Any way you cut it, as I opined here when the endorsements were made, a few of the endorsed would not be winning because of the presence of Edd Brominski and Steve Urban Senior.
With Schnee getting the GOP nod, he has a better than even chance of winning the general election. Here’s why. Schnee will be regarded as the Hazleton area candidate. During the last election for County Council Kathy Dobash got 17,000 vote and Sue Rossi who ran a very limited campaign came within striking distance. I can see Schnee pullng a big vote out of the area. He is friendly and engaging and knows the issues.
Kelleher on the other hand adds another person to the 4 seats filled by members of the GOP. (They did not get a full slate to file). Kelleher adds his previous experience from County Council to the race and has managed campaign for Republicans in this very Democratic County. I can also see him being a strategist for the rest of that GOP ticket.
There were 1900 write in votes, Kelleher was the top vote getter with 448 and Schnee received 384. That was well above the 250 votes needed for a write in nomination.
Two incumbents came very close to winning a dual nomination. Former Chair Tim McGinley missed it by 51 votes with 199 votes. Steve Urban had 181 votes. I believe Urban might have received more but his son Steve Junior was on the ballot and perhaps that might have led some voters to think their ballot might be disqualified. Or maybe they might have thought they had already voted for the father. The other GOP candidates are Marc Dixon, Wright Township; Ray Gustave, West Wyoming; Mark A. Rabo, Hazleton; and incumbent Steve Urban Junior of Wilkes-Barre.
What this does is make the race competitive. There are six seats open. My prediction still stands that in the General Urban Senior, Edd Brominski and Tim McGinley will prevail. So there are 3 seats up for grabs and no party is guaranteed a sweep anymore with these new developments.


I know this is way too early to even think about but this might be something to ponder over the summer. The knock on County Council has been that they seem to focus in on minutia and personal attacks. A voter has to answer this question: what candidates for County Council, (Democrats, Rostock, McGinley, Urban, Brominski, Gadomski, Jane Waitkus-Watkins,) or (Republicans Marc Dixon,Stephen Urban, Ray Gustave, Mark Rabo, and Gene Kelleher) can work with Kathy Dobash, Harry Haas, Linda McClosky Houck, Eileen Sorokas and Rick Williams?
For any thinking voter that is the defining question of the next election. Something to ponder over the summer.


Congrats to Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik and the staff of the Voters Bureau for running a relatively smooth election. There were doubts raised by the Board of Elections who later changed their minds a few weeks after holding a grand standing press conference stating that the primary was going to be a fiasco.

I was very happy to see the Pennsylvania Lottery commercials celebrating the likeness of our 22nd and 24th President Grover Cleveland. The actor playing Cleveland appears in scenarios where lucky winners buy some big ticket item with Cleveland’s approval. The contest is Cash for Life and Cleveland appears on the $1,000 bill. In the earlier part of the 20th century Cleveland appeared on the twenty but was replaced by Andrew Jackson in 1928 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jackson’s election to the Presidency.
A few facts about Cleveland. He was not named after the city nor was the city named after him. He was distantly related to General Moses Cleveland after whom the city of Cleveland, Ohio, was named.
He won election in 1884 and defeated James Blaine. .(Blaine wrested the GOP nomination from Chester A. Arthur who was the first and so far only sitting President to lose a nomination by his own party. He was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in 1888 but four years later defeated Harrison.
Cleveland’s Vice President was Adlai Stevenson I, the grandfather of 1952, 1956 Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson II.
Cleveland was a bachelor but asked permission to correspond with a college student he knew by family association. A short time later he married Frances Folsom who was just twenty one. He was 47. (A very impressive age difference I’d say for the portly gent!)
Cleveland had surgery in secret on a boat. From Wikipedia:
In 1893, Cleveland sought the advice of the White House doctor, Dr. O'Reilly, about soreness on the roof of his mouth and a crater-like edge ulcer with a granulated surface on the left side of Cleveland's hard palate. Samples of the tumor were sent anonymously to the army medical museum. The diagnosis was not a malignant cancer, but instead an epithelioma
Cleveland decided to have surgery secretly, to avoid further panic that might worsen the financial depression.[ The surgery occurred on July 1, to give Cleveland time to make a full recovery in time for the upcoming Congressional session.Under the guise of a vacation cruise, Cleveland and his surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bryant, left for New York. The surgeons operated aboard the Oneida, a yacht owned by Cleveland's friend E. C. Benedict, as it sailed off Long Island.[214] The surgery was conducted through the President's mouth, to avoid any scars or other signs of surgery. The team, sedating Cleveland with nitrous oxide and ether, successfully removed parts of his upper left jaw and hard palate. The size of the tumor and the extent of the operation left Cleveland's mouth disfigured. During another surgery, Cleveland was fitted with a hard rubber dental prosthesis that corrected his speech and restored his appearance. A cover story about the removal of two bad teeth kept the suspicious press placated.
Cleveland was born in New Jersey and retired there.
In 1908, he suffered a heart attack and died.His last words were, "I have tried so hard to do right."[ He is buried in the Princeton Cemetery of the Nassau Presbyterian Church.
In 2006, Free New York, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group, began raising funds to purchase the former Fairfield Library in Buffalo, New York and transform it into the Grover Cleveland Presidential Library & Museum.
And now his legend lives on through the Pennsylvania Lottery. Aaron Kleiber plays Cleveland in the Lottery commercials. Here is his website.


Sammy Davis Junior died twenty five years ago this month. As an African-American, Davis was the victim of racism throughout his life and was a large financial supporter of the Civil Rights movement. Davis had a complex relationship with the African-American community, and drew criticism after physically embracing President Richard M. Nixon in 1972. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. "Handicap?" he asked. "Talk about handicap — I'm a one-eyed Negro Jew." This was to become a signature comment, recounted in his autobiography, and in countless articles. (Wikipedia).
After reuniting with Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli internationally, before he died of throat cancer in 1990.
His two chart topping hits were “I’ve Got To Be Me’ and “The Candy Man” in 1972. Davis was one of the famed members of the Rat Pack which included Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Marttin and Joey Bishop. Bishop was the longest of the group to survive dying in 2007. Lawford died in 1984, Martin in 1995 and Sinatra in 1998.
Davis was a Veteran of World War II serving in an integrated Special Services Entertainment unit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2914, May 20th, 2015






It appears that Tony George will be the next Mayor of Wilkes Barre. Early returns showed George in the lead early in the evening and he maintained that margin. George ran a no nonsense campaign based on Law and Order. The turning point I think came in the debate at Wilkes College where George announced that after one warning to problem properties with suspicious activities he would then go in with a battering ram.
Brown came within 200 votes of winning the race. He ran a very multi faceted media campaign and seemed to be everywhere. In another year he would have won in a walk with this textbook campaign. No stone was left unturned.
Runners up Brian Kelly and Darlene Duggins Magdalinski combined polled less than 400 votes. One wonders if they were not in the race if some of the 398 votes might have gone to either Brown or George.
George takes on Frank Sorick the GOP nominee in November.



Councilman Jeff Cusat has defeated Mayor Joe Yannuzzi three to one in the Republican primary. The win ends a long time political career for Mr. Yannuzzi who served on Council, was Council President and Mayor of Hazleton. On the Democratic side long time Councilman Jack Mundie defeated Grace Cuozzo for that nomination.


Tim McGinley- 9,771
John Gadomski- 7,741
Edward Brominski- 7,510
Jane Waitkus- 7,353
Anthony Rostock- 6,883
Stephen Urban- 6,862
John Pekarovsky- 6,505
Robert Schnee- 4,400

As predicted here the incumbents all came through along with a few newcomers. Despite no endorsement from the Democratic party Edd Brominski finished well. Steve Urban Senior who faced an onslaught in newspaper ads also prevailed. It appears that Brominski and Urban are like the dandelions on your front lawn in spring. No matter how hard you work to mow them down, the voters just won’t let them go away.

On the GOP side here’s what happened there.
Marc Dixon - 4,575
Stephen Urban- 4,570
Ray Gustave- 4,169
Mark Rabo- 3,491
Gene Kelleher ran a Write In campaign and most likely will run in the fall. Let's hope so. 



District Judge nominations  in North Wilkes Barre go to Tom Malloy. This has been a hotly contested race but it looks like Malloy beat the embattled Jared Kane, the son of the incumbent Magistrate and newcomer Justin Woychik. On the Democratic side Woychik kept up with Kane and even finished ahead of him in the final count. It was a remarkable showing given the fact he spent little money and worked his full time job at Geisinger.


Joe Spagnolo defeated his 6 rivals on both the Democratic and Republican side in Plains Laflin. Other runner ups were Kristine Katsock, Joe Lakis, Tom Wardle, Dominic Feola, Ryan Molitoris and Stephen Menn.



Jerry Notiariani pulled what some say is an upset ending the short tenure of former State Representative Jim Wasancz as County Commissioner. It was Wansacz who recruited Pat O’Malley to help bolster the Democratic ticket after Corey O’Brien left to enter private business.
The two majority Commissioners who won the last election are out of action and Notariani and O’Malley need to decide how to co-exist in the fall campaign as they face off against The Republicans Bill Jones and Laureen Cummings.In the last race, O'
Malley ran far away from Jones. If both Jones and Cummings stick together maybe Steve Corbett's prediction that O'Malley might be the odd man out just might come true.


Mauri Kelly replaces Mary Rinaldi in this post. Candidates who vied for the job were Robert Casey, Teresa Colarusso, Kevin Haggerty, Bob Sheridan and Kim Yencho.


Attorney Paul Keeler won a double nomination in the Abington District seat held by Judge John Gibbon.


Democrats nominated Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court Judge David Wecht, who both were backed by the state party, but also Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue, who wasn't.
GOP voters chose Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Adams County Judge Mike George and Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey. Unfortunately Corey Stevens of Luzerne County did not win a nomination.
Philadelphia Judge Alice Beck Dubow beat Allegheny County Judge Robert Colville, to gain the party's Superior Court nomination. And Pittsburgh lawyer Michael Wojcik, defeated Scranton labor lawyer Todd Eagen for the party's Commonwealth Court nomination



Starting at 1pm Friday Magic 93 will kick off an 80s Music Memorial Day weekend.


Our guests this week on Community Forum will be Kyle Ruane and Colin Devroe from Coalwork in downtown Scranton. They'll discuss the concept of co-working. Jim Riley hosts 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


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with James May & Michael Taluto from PENNDOT about drivers safety for the Memorial Day weekend.
Frankie speaks with Colin Riccobon from the Red Cross about how you can help the Red Cross over the Memorial Day weekend.
An encore of Frankie's interview with Jason Harlan from Wyoming Valley Alcohol & Drug Services about their 22nd annual Golf Tournament coming up next Friday.
An encore of Brian Hughes' interview with Gayle Voytush Klink about her film project on the life of Schuylkill County native Donna Garze, who became one of the top female amputee golfers in the U.S.
And Frankie speaks with Donna Sedor from the Wyoming Valley Childrens Association about an event they have coming up on Tuesday in conjunction with Pocono Raceway.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM & 6:25am on Magic 93.


Music lovers will want to set Wednesday evenings aside on their calendars as the annual Hillside Concert Series gets underway in the Abingtons this summer.
Attorney Mike Cowley joins hosts David DeCosmo, Rusty Fender, and Director Mark Migilore on ECTV.
  Live during the week of May 25th to talk about this year's concerts and some of the artists who will be entertaining.
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired three times each day throughout the week.


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 first skateboarding championship is held……. Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in the first round of their championship rematch with the "Phantom Punch" at the Central Maine Civic Center in Lewiston….

Internazionale beats Benfica 1-0 at the San Siro, Milan and wins the 1964-65 European Cup (football)…in Pennsylvania Congressman Richard Schweiker ponders a bid for Governor…in the city of Scranton James Walsh wins the Democratic nomination for Mayor hoping for a chance to knock off incumbent William Schmidt..and fifty years ago this week the number one song in America and LuLac land was “Back In My Arms Again” by the The Supremes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2913, May 19th, 2015



Monday, May 18, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2912, May 18th, 2015

The mailer targeting Tony George.
When I was a kid, I was thrilled to get political mailings. Being the political geek that I was, I actually saved them. Through the years and since I started LuLac I've scanned some just for future reference but truth be told never looked closely to see where they came from.
Tonight I came home from work and saw the mail on our steps. I saw an ad with Tony George's photo on it. Again, no reaction. One last minute blitz I thought to blunt the barrage of George Brown materials.
Then I heard about the ad, then I read it.
A few things. First off, this goes to show that anything you do, any decision you make years ago will come back to bite you. George's lack of knowledge of the group was not pretty but as a Police Chief while he needed to know who specifically these people were, I think he realized what a fine line he needed to walk in making a terse comment to the press.
Second, this flyer said that it represented no other candidate or entity in Wilkes Barre. If that is true, then who did the research on this and what is the Wilkes Barre to Houston connection?
Third, Tony George must have a lot of haters who don't want to see him as Mayor. People have a perverse reaction to things like this. Instead of buying it hook, line and sinker, they react in the opposite direction and vote for the beleaguered candidate because it is a last minute smear. Who can ever forget the last weekend news about George W. Bush's DUIs in the 2000 Presidential race?
There are people I've spoken to who told me they are voting for George because of this.
Fourth, the worst thing about this flyer is that it is unfair to ALL the candidates. It puts a negative light on an otherwise competitive and spirited race. If Brown wins, even though he had nothing to do it with it, it was dirty. If George wins, it is because people felt bad for him. No one wins here.
This area has enough blood sport activity in it without inviting the crazies into the pool.

 District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. (Photo: Standard Speaker).
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis has issued a press release to update the public on the status of the investigation into the allegations surrounding the election for Wilkes-Barre Magisterial District Judge in District 11-1-02.
The District Attorney’s Office received a complaint alleging fraudulent signatures on a candidate’s petition. Two detectives were assigned immediately upon review of the written complaint and are currently acting to gather information pertaining thereto.
District Attorney Salavantis has also already personally contacted the Office of Attorney General to ensure a conflict would not exist with her office performing the investigation and any potential prosecution and awaits that determination.
Although the Petition had been filed and made public on March 10, 2015, the complaint was not made until days ago. While others may have an interest in the investigation concluding before tomorrow’s election, that is an impossibility. The duty of the District Attorney is to objectively investigate crime and prosecute offenders. That duty is not and will not be determined by the election calendar. This criminal matter will be investigated expeditiously and fairly just as any other matter brought to this office.
In the meantime the three candidates for that District Judge's seat are working down to the wire. Jared Kane had a breakfast yesterday at The Golden Palace and did a mass mailing targeted to today, Tom Malloy has been working the neighborhoods and Justin Woychik was on WILK's L.A. Tarone program tonight touting his candidacy.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2911, May 17th, 2015


View the top races for Tuesday's Election on LuLac Editions #2906 through #2910.

The LuLac Edition #2910, May 17th, 2015





Three candidates are vying to replace Martin Kane. Jared Kane his son, an employee of Shiell’s Tom Malloy a community volunteer and also an employee of Schiell’s Supermarkets and Justin Woychik a computer analyst with Geisinger Health Systems.
Right now the race between Kane and Malloy is too close to call. Woychik did not file on the GOP side. There could be a situation where either both Kane or Malloy will win on both tickets. One will get the robe and the other will go back to the store. Or one will get a Democratic nomination and the other the GOP nod setting up a face off in another race in November similar to the Amesbury-O’Donnell battle of 2001 in the South Wilkes Barre District.
The recent allegations against Kane and his nominating petitions on the GOP side have now thrown this race and all the plans set by Mr. Kane and Mr. Malloy into turmoil.This will be interesting to watch.


There are seven candidates trying to replace Diana Malast in Plains and Laflin and this race has been a donnybrook. A few weeks back you could separate the candidates into the top and lower tier. But since then things have changed. Now you have to separate them according to category and occupation.
The Lawyers: Ryan Molitoris and Steve Menn. One young, one older. History has shown that very few lawyers are trusted to get this job. Attorney Alice Kokura broke that mold last year in greater Pittston but look for these guys to finish near the bottom.
The protégés: Joe Spagnolo and Christine Katsock. Spagnolo’s father who has been politically connected for a very long time is pushing his son. Hard. Word is Spagnolo is walking around saying he has this. I met him and he is an engaging fellow.
Convicted felon Frank Pizzella is pushing Christine Katsock. Katsock has run a great TV campaign but is not as engaging or comfortable as Spagnolo.  Spagnolo wasn't interested in the race until last year and reports are that he has taken to campaigning like a duck to water. Katsock at least to me seems more comfortable in the role of governing than campaigning. Plains and Laflin voters are going to have to decide who they like better and if they want a one of these two to be the District Judge. 
The Lawmen: Dominic Feola portrays himself as a former intern with law enforcement. He is a counselor at Red Rock with a tough job. He is young but he does have supporters. Two people I know and respect are backing him because “he is a good kid”. Well, if you want a kid in this job………………….have at it.
Joe Lakkis, is a former State Trooper and works at the Vo Tech. He ran a nice radio ad and essentially described Tom Wardle who didn’t have enough money to run an ad like that. Lakis and Wardle may split a vote or maybe not.  
Tom Wardle has been going door to door and making his case.His twenty year career as a Police Officer gives him a unique perspective with experience that can serve him well on the other side of the bench.
The smart money on this race is Spagnolo first but you never know. The real contest here is going to be on the GOP side. If a candidate gets that nomination that isn’t Spagnolo that opens up a whole other kettle of fish for November. Spagnolo vs Katsock? Or Katsock vs Wardle? Or Feolo vs. Lakis.
The whole thing is a toss up and makes me glad I don’t live there.
Dominic Feola, Christine Katsock, Joe Lakkis, Stephen Menn, Ryan Molitoris, Joseph Spagnuola and Tom Wardle are in a dog fight. Who will be the top dog come Wednesday morning is anyone's guess.



Unlike Luzerne County, Lackawanna County voters seem to vote for Attorneys for District Judges. Four attorneys are vying for the spot that was formerly Judge John Gibbons’ post. Attorney Michael Goffer , Attorney Paul Keeler, Attorney Malcolm MacGregor and Attorney Grace Doherty Hillebrand are duking it out and spending big money. To some MacGregor was the front runner but a recent report in the Times Tribune stated that Malcolm MacGregor’s failure to file required financial interest statements has sparked an investigation that has gone straight to the Attorney General’s office. MacGregor said he filed seven years worth recently. Like the situation with Jared Kane, people are questioning the timing of this action.
The wild card here is Attorney Grace Doherty Hildebrand who is a niece of former Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty. Can the Doherty Casey axis pull her through in this one? We shall see soon.

The LuLac Edition #2809, May 17th, 2015


GOP Councilman Jeff Cusat and incumbent Mayor Joe Yannuzzi.
Democrats Jack Mundie and Grace Cuozzo.
The city of Hazleton is really at a crossroads and one has to wonder if the four candidates running for Mayor are up to the job. On the Republican side Mayor Joe Yannuzzi is facing off against Jeff Cusat. Yannuzzi knows the nuts and bolts of the city but one wonders if those cogs and wheels are getting rusty.
Jeff Cusat seems to be an alternative but there have been no specifics other than not doing what Yannuzzi has done. He has said that the city administration must be more diligent in collecting taxes and fees that are owed.
On the Democratic side Jack Mundie is facing off against Grace Cuozzo. Mundie has been on Council for 12 years and is opposed by Grace Cuzo who lost out to the Mayor by less than 200 votes the last time. Mundie has the experience, Cuzo has the fire.
On WYLN TV 35 I picked a Mundie VS. Yanuzzi face off, Gary Perna picked a Cuozzo VS. Cusat face off. We’ll see who was right.
Whatever the outcome, third party candidates are looming.Tune in Tuesday night for the results.

The LuLac Edition #2908, May 17th, 2015


Wilkes Barre Mayoral candidates George Brown, Darlene Duggins Magdalinski, Tony George Brian Kelly and Republican Frank Sorick. (Photo: Citizen's Voice). 
There are four horses in this race and only two front runners. George Brown and Tony George are running very competitive races. The choice couldn’t be starker. Brown is running on his business record and wants to run the city more efficiently. He has the support of the current administration’s leader and former employees. In the 2011 election that segment of the population was known as the Amesbury block. (Current Judge Bill Amesbury in his elections as District Justice and Judge on Common Pleas could always count on that district of South Wilkes Barre coming out strong for him.) Brown has been all over the city and has promised to do a replay of his role as a Council member by having town meetings. He has run a textbook ad campaign (it reminds me of the late Tom  McLaughlin's effort in 1979 when he won the nomination going away) with all the components covered. In any other election he’d have a cakewalk. 

Brown's plane message running on Saturday. 
Tony George’s greatest asset could be events that are tearing the city apart. George might be in the right place at the right time as crime has intensified. George is a former Police Chief who wants to be tough on crime. Hell let’s face it, every Mayor wants to be tough on crime. But to me, this is a Reagan VS. the Soviet Union thing going on here. The other three candidates say they will make crime a priority. Brian Kelly wants a Police Commissioner, Darlene Duggins Magdalinski wants to reach out to the community she knows, and Brown has a District by District plan. All very logical. But crime has become a visceral issue. My feeling is that when residents, voters or otherwise hear the other candidates speak, they (the voters) think they will try to stop crime. When they hear George speak about battering rams and targeted patrols, they get the feeling he means it. One city resident on the fence until the debate told me that she felt not only would Tony George be tough on crime but would take great in ridding the city of the trash that is causing it. 
 Tony George at his old stomping grounds when he announced his run for Mayor. 
As a candidate George has talked about streets cleaning, neighborhood improvements, clutter clean up and neighborhood business development projects. But it is white noise because people look at him as a crime fighter.
The two camps, Brown’s and George’s are formidable. Brown’s strength represents the established political guard that has run the city for 32 years out of the 40 since the strong Mayor system was adopted.
George’s strength comes from the eight years of the McGroarty administration as well as his involvement in every administration since the strong Mayor form was adopted.
This race is going to go down to the wire. I will be shocked if any candidate wins in a landslide.
As far as the other two Democratic candidates both have run good races. Brian Kelly and Darlene Duggins Magdalinski have brought great things to the table. We should thank them for their involvement and commitment. Perhaps a future administration can use their services.
But that’s Mr. Brown’s or George’s call. And right now what they are involved in is way too close to call.
On the GOP side Frank Sorick might have a fighting chance if he had a party behind him with a little more than a handful of registered voters. Non political people I spoke to said that he won the debate hands down at Wilkes College. But he will be lucky to survive a GOP primary with Democrats trying to get Republicans to write in Mr. Brown or Mr. George.


District A
On the Democratic side, Don Winder, Todd G. Harding, an assistant purchasing agent for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, Mike Belusko, 54, owner of Belusko’s Garage in Wilkes-Barre and Tommy Sorick, 23, a mechanic are running on the Democratic side. On the GOP side Ray Bernardo is running alone. Harding is connected (school district employee) and the others are going to be fighting for the rest of that pie. This is the seat vacated by George Brown.
District B
Democrats Louis Elmy, is a corrections counselor at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility and full time employment officer for his family, William V. Lewis, 22, owner of an estate liquidation business as well as the son of longtime GOP State Committeeman Bill Lewis, and Ronald D. Trimble Sr., former director of purchasing for the City of Wilkes-Barre.
If I’m a Democrat in this district, I'd go for anybody but Elmy.
On the GOP side Tony Brooks faces off against long time candidate Vince Guarneri who has been around for a while and ran before. Brooks is mounting a write in campaign on the Democratic side too and has a lot of people pulling for him.
District C

Democrats include Jim Burden a former Marine, Beth Gilbert a Political Science Major at Wilkes and Sam Troy a perennial candidate who has become a sad joke in Wilkes Barre politics. It pains me to say that because I had enormous respect for his late father Wilbur. But Sam runs not to win but to spoil the outcome. On the GOP side Steve Urban Junior is running for the seat. He is also running for County Council. The guy likes to keep busy. This seat s being vacated by Marilyn Lavelle.
District D
Councilman Bill Barrett is running for another term. Retired officer Thomas Unvarsky Sr., 70, is Barrett’s sole opposition in the May 19 primary election. Both are running aggressive campaigns.
District E
In my district incumbent Mike Merritt is running against William Smith who is a plumber. I’m torn here because I wrote two letters to Merritt when he was on Council and never got a response. That stinks. I’m bothered by the fact that Smith has not responded to press inquires but he does have signs up. Merritt told the Times Leader that “signs don’t vote”. Yeah well, in this case they do. Merritt seems to have run a campaign that has taken voters in his district for granted. He'll win but not because people have seen him, talked to him or heard from him. I understand he had a loss in the family last year and we are all sorry about that. He has attended all the Council meetings but not many people in his District have heard from him directly. A more prominent candidate might have made this a race.

The LuLac Edition #2907, May 17th, 2015





There are more than a few dynamics going on in this race. First and foremost the shaping of the Democratic ballot might determine the fate of the County Manager. The recent interviews in the Voice regarding the way Democrats and members of the GOP would vote on retention of Lawton was mixed.
For a few years the local Democrats have bemoaned the lack of a strong party head and leadership. This year when it presented itself, people started to complain about the takeover of the party.
The organization which did not endorse in 2013 did so this time. A slate of newcomers John Gadomski, John Pekarovsky, Bob Schnee, along with political veterans Anthony Rostock and Jane Watkins Waitkus joined incumbent Tim McGinley on the ticket. Incumbents Steve Urban and Edd Brominki were not endorsed. Urban was particularly singled out in advertising by the group painting him as negative in his approach as a Council member. Mark Altaville also did not receive an endorsement. 

The ticket was put together well and with Schnee and Rostock anchoring both Hazleton and Pittston that might help pull the others in along with support of third parties. But name recognition dies hard here and I’m still convinced Brominski (who has been at every event I’ve been to) and Urban who is the Road Runner of Luzerne County politics) will prevail.
On the GOP side, only four are running. So this primary is a bit more relaxing. Marc Dixon of Mountain Top has signs out, Ray Gustave, of West Wyoming has been making the rounds, Mark Rabo, of Hazleton and Stephen J. Urban, of Wilkes-Barre has been at many events.This week Eugene Kelleher a former member of the Council announced he is mounting a write in campaign.
No matter who wins this election if the Democrats stay focused and none of the six don’t do something stupid, without a full slate running on the GOP side, the General Election will hold very little interest.



Corey O’Brien threw a monkey wrench into the carreer of Jim Wansacz when he left to pursue a job in private business. Wansacz recruited GOP minority member Pat “The Statesman” O’Malley. At first it seemed O’Malley might have been sold a bill of goods. After all he could’ve been a Minority Commissioner for life. But now it appears that he might be the high vote getter given his strength and visibility in Scranton.
Wansacz has a base but he is not as strong in the City and the Mid Valley. The Mid Valley will play a major role in this. Throop candidate Tom Lukasewicz has been campaigning hard on the landfill issue. He may get a good vote. But there is only passion for that issue in those communities. Jerry Notarianni ran for Mayor in 1989. That’s a long time to be out of the spotlight. Both may get a segment of the vote for there seems to be no big clamor to upset a ticket of Wansacz and O’Malley. Even a mitigating circumstances like a proposed strike of social workers will not cause an upheaval. Wansacz pulled a tone deaf move when he announced the non stop flight to the Bahamas proclaiming he just might take his family on vacation. When half of Lckawanna County voters are making low wages that in my estimation was not a smart move. 
On the GOP side Bill Jones returns for another run along with Laureen Cummings. Charlie Spano rounds out the team of anyone who matters on the GOP side.


This should have been a sleeper of a race. But now there are six going for this position. They are Robert Casey, Teresa Colarusso, Kevin Haggerty, Mauri Kelly, Bob Sheridan and Kim Yencho.
A few things here. Mrs. Mary Rinaldi has held the seat for a long time succeeding her late husband the beloved Bill Rinaldi.  Will gender be an issue? Will voters pick one of the women candidates or will they split the vote? Bob Sheridfan has been a neighborhood activist and school board member. Casey has been a top vote getter on the Scranton School board.
Then there’s Kevin Haggerty who is running an aggressive campaign throughout the County.

Again too crowded and crazy to call. How crazy you say?
Just a scant 8 months ago Kevin Haggerty and Frank Farina were fighting to be the State Representative of the 112th Legislative District. They despised each other. The campaign ads were vitriolic. Frank Farina is now supporting Haggerty for this job. My guess is Farina wants to keep him occupied for a while.