Thursday, September 24, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3031, September 24th, 2015


So there is talk about a few school teacher strikes going on in LuLac land. First off before I begin, let me say that my family had a few teachers in local districts. A few relatives are there now. One of them risks her life every day teaching what amounts to very disadvantaged non socialized students. They like most of the teachers in the area are hard working and do their share to improve education in today’s society. But their challenge is daunting because of the breakdown of the family unit and frankly lack of interest many parents take in their kids.
All that said, the recent demands if you will are pretty much an insult to the taxpayers. I stated many times I do not mind paying taxes, unlike many people doing better than I am who bitch constantly about how they are taxed. Maybe the issue wouldn’t be so visceral if the Chambers around here did their jobs and there was a way to have everyone pay for education. Right now property owners pay for renters and section 8 dwellers. There is an element of unfairness in this.
The Education community has ceased to be part of the middle class. They are a class unto themselves. When you are offered a multi contract with a guaranteed raise at 3 per cent or more, you take it. Even major companies have performance reviews.
When you are getting your health care paid free for you and your family take it.
When I worked for Blue Cross, some school districts for the very first time had a $100.00 deductible for their Major Medical Plan. Oh the cries we heard!
Bottom line is this, when average people get performance reviews every year and get raises on merit, so should educators.
When working people have to pay a deductible and a copay and you don’t have that, take it.
Years ago teachers were underpaid, today in this area they are not.
School districts that go on strike and have their members talk about low wages are not helping their cause.
Teachers will tell you that it is not their fault many taxpayers made bad career choices. I bet there are hundreds of people here with education degrees that made that career choice but didn’t have a relative on a school board to get them their job.
This has to stop now. There has to be a dedicated tax that everyone pays, not just property owners.Then everyone would have skin in the game and no one would envy teachers salaries.

Pope Francis before Congress. (Photo: USA Today)
Pope Francis so far has not disappointed with his visit to the United States. He has predictably wowed the crowds with his humility and passion for the human condition.
What is hysterical to me is the right wing radio reaction to Francis calling him a Marxist tool and someone who has a socialist agenda. All he asked Congress to do today was to to abolish the death penalty, fight global warming and embrace immigrants. Well as far as I’m concerned, two out of three isn’t bad.
But Francis gave a little something for everybody. He delighted the traditional GOP members by being the first Pontiff to speak before a Joint Session. It is after all under their watch. But his address was more to the Democrats liking.
When the dust settles though and the glow of the speech is gone, his words will be remembered with fond memories. With this Congress though that's all there will be, and  there will be very little action.


Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Congressman Lou Barletta, today issued the following statement regarding the address of Pope Francis to a joint session of Congress:
“It was a singular honor for me and my wife, Mary Grace, to be present in the House chamber when Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, the first time any pope has done so. These are very troubling times in which we live, and the pope’s message of peace is something that people of all faiths – or no faith at all – can benefit from. We should be greeting the Holy Father as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats, and check our politics at the door as we do so. He is the leader of one of the great religions of the world, the successor to Saint Peter, and we should all listen to and reflect on what he has to say.
“As a Catholic, I revere the pope as the leader of my church, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and I am glad to have him open conversations about secular policy, which we may consider and discuss freely. Whether Pope Francis’s remarks confirmed your position on a certain issue, or caused you to examine your own beliefs, his speech was a call for us to be better caretakers of each other and our world. As matters of public policy, members of Congress may disagree on the pathway to achieving certain goals, but his overall message is something we can all embrace.
“I agree with Pope Francis that we must be good stewards of the environment, and appreciate his embrace of new technologies as a means to that end. His view that prosperous nations such as ours should welcome new citizens is well taken, as is the church’s Catechism that those new arrivals must respect the laws of their new host countries. Finally, he was unequivocal about the sanctity of life, and that we must cherish and protect life in all of its stages.
“When the pope speaks of caring for the poor, the sick, and the unborn, he is speaking to what many of us believe. It is fitting that he has visited America, because this is a nation which shares his vision of putting people in position to be able to pursue their dreams and enjoy the blessings of liberty.
“This was an extraordinary thrill for Mary Grace and me to witness Pope Francis’s address, as well as the canonization mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. These are experiences we will never forget.”


When I was a kid one of the first baseball cards I had was Yogi Berra’s. I never was one of those guys who followed the glamour players, (my favorite Yankee was Clete Boyer, my favorite Phillie was Gus Triandos) and Yogi certainly wasn’t filled with glamour. But he was steady, reliable and a team player. He left his vaunted catching position to make way for another future MVP, Elston Howard.
Through the years I followed his exploits on and off the field as a Manager with both the Yankees and Mets.
During the 80s I had the good fortune to work as a Sports Columnist for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch. I wrote a column called “The Strike Zone” and made an association with the Yankees PR guy Ken Nigro. Unlike future Yankee promotions people who denied access to small papers like the Dispatch in the future,  I had full blown credentials for the years 1980 and ’81.
One day before a game with the Tigers, I came across Yogi Berra. I introduced myself and told him that I just re-read a book Yogi wrote with a ghost writer. I tried to locate it for this edition but I either donated it to the Library or sold it. Yogi  replied, “I didn’t write no book!” When I showed him the book, he smiled and said, “Oh yeah, that guy!” 
Sensing I was going into some dicey territory, I asked him about the difference between managing and coaching. “Less pressure but you still have to be in the game, still have to pay attention”. I asked him about the Tigers and whether he had any memories about them as a player. He said , “They were always in the mix in the 60s, them and the Orioles. White Sox too. Those were three tough teams”. I tried to ask him about ’64 but he cut me short and went to hit fungos to the outfielders. That photo is below taken by me at Yankee Stadium. Yogi autographed it two years later at the Stadium. 

Unlike other Yankee stars of the 60s, he kept his money. He never fell for the get rich schemes and invested wisely.

In his book “Ball Four” Jim Bouton referred to Berra’s luck. Bouton wrote that he could envision the Yankee plane crashing with Yogi missing the flight. In the newspaper the next day would be Yogi sitting tearfully reading the headline that read, “Mickey Mantle and 24 others killed in air crash”.
Other than Whitey Ford and a few others, he outlasted and outlived most of them. He will ailways be remembered as one of a kind.


Joe Biden is second in a new poll with Bernie Sanders third and Hillary Clinton first. He registered in at 28%. This may be the push to get him in.



Area residents are being invited to an unusual cemetery tour and that's the subject on ECTV Live for the week of September 28th. Hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome Julie Esty to the program to talk about plans for the " Criminal Intent/Dunmore Cemetery Tour! 

ECTV Live is carried on Comcast Cable channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast three times daily throughout the week at Midnight, Noon, and 6pm.


I do not know how long it will last but The River 104.9 is on AM 1340 and 1400. Not sure if the station pulled the plug on Fox sports but it is good to have music back on the AM side.



This Week on Sunday Magazine
An encore of Brian Hughes' interview with Richard Bryzinski & MaryClair Sawiki about Telespond's 5 Mile Run & 2 Mile Walk next Saturday in Scranton.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Paul LaBelle & Amanda about the Judi H Memorial Rock On 5 Event happening this Sunday to benefit the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
Brian speaks with Mark Schwartz from the Life happens Foundation about the importance of having life insurance.
And Frankie speaks with organizers of the Greater Scranton YMCA's inaugural Teen Self Help Fair, coming up next Saturday at the Y.
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.


The Doo-Wop Sock Hop can be heard every Sunday night from 6P to 9P on “105 The River (104.9 FM) Host is the incomparable Bobby V.


Our 1965 logo.

The Indonesian army, led by General Suharto, crushes an alleged communist coup attempt (see Transition to the New Order and 30 September Movement)....The classic family sci-fi show Thunderbirds debuts on ITV in the U.K.......Fidel Castro announces that Che Guevara has resigned and left the country...President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an immigration bill which abolishes quotas based on national origin……

in Pa. Senator Hugh Scott says that the President needs to keep an eye on the economy even though he has achieved great things legislatively……in Luzerne County Majority Commissioner Bill Goss and Ed Wideman team up to hire a few people under the dome. The move was not amusing to Commissioner Jim Post…..and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Yesterday” by The Beatles.


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One of them risks her life every day teaching what amounts to very disadvantaged non socialized students."
"...their challenge is daunting because of the breakdown of the family unit and frankly lack of interest many parents take in their kids."
"when average people get performance reviews every year and get raises on merit, so should educators."

1) How do you measure/evaluate the teacher's performance? Unlike Ford, if a component arrives below specs, they refuse to use it. Teachers must, by law, attempt to educate (and by extension, pass) those who may be essentially illiterate, emotionally damaged or handicapped.
2) You don't enter teaching to get rich but the requirements one is saddled with deserves adequate compensation both immediate and retirement.
3) Teachers need to justify the positions they take in these matters. Their unions do a crap job of making their case. The Commonwealth is equally incompetent in this avenue.
4) We would not be talking about the medical benefits if Obama didn't carve out ObamaCare dispensation for the unions. Since he did, anyone with half a brain would take advantage of it and hold their position.
5) When nepotism and it's associated "bargains" color every aspect of the job search, not all of your salary ends up in your take home. Or has the FBI sold their LuLac residence?

When you risk your physical, emotional and psychological well-being in a job on a daily basis you become a bit callous to things around you. It's called survival mode. PTSD is not out of the realm of possibility.
We are living with the choices made years and years ago.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I say the more I see, listen, and read that I am "poped-out"!

The Pope has seriously disappointed those of us who believe the Roman Catholic Church preserves and teaches the truth.

The truth is Christ risen and unity with him. It is not a debate about the minimum wage or air conditioning.

Pope Francis is popular on the world stage, and the crowds love him.

But if he fails in his basic duties as the Pope, if his concern is more for secular than sacred, if he aids the political agenda of the atheistic left, he is a false prophet leading his flock to a dangerous place, where
there is more central planning and less personal liberty.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if we did an investigation and see how some of these teachers were hired, if there maybe some federal interest.

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason why people complain about teacher's salaries is because the Chambers here (and Yonk you have been beating this drum since LuLac) have done little to attract good jobs. Lift a box at a warehouse or talk to a pissed off person who didn't get their prescription drugs on time. All for a sum of 9 bucks an hour.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Chamber, Todd Vonderheid landed there, took off leaving it in a heap and Skrep goes to jail. Wonder who the real mastermind was there at the County. Not saying Toddie did anything wrong but just went one step ahead of the trouble.
Instinct or........................?

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yogi was great and that ny friend was a fantastic photo for a one eyed, left handed Slovak boy from the Junction!

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Chambers here have done little to attract good jobs.

So, who's responsible for this?

Is the Chamber being blamed because they are an easy target or is the man in the mirror blind?

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 9 bucks an hour gets you $18,720 (9x40x52). You don't get to go to the head of the line at the pharmacy. If you don't get your 'script on time maybe it wasn't important enough or even necessary to make it a priority. Of course, the worker most likely has an govt sponsored drug plan but that's another can of worms.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Is the Chamber being blamed because they are an easy target or is the man in the mirror blind?


Well the man in my mirror is half blind so I can see at least half of the problem. Since the coal days we have settled for less and I truly believe it has to be because of the political cronyism here as well as the lack of energy from the Chambers.
First there was the Committee of 100.
Then there was the Committee For economic Growth.
Committees, subcommittees, etc. That's one part.
The other part is this region looks like a pit in terms of litter and the way we take care of stuff.
The Chamber is an easy target because it has made itself so. But you are correct there are other elements like a workforce that just wants to get to the next paycheck, as well as a group of companies that take the tax advantages, promise decent jobs and then break them.
Look at the record of businesses that have come and gone.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Junction said...

Teacher strikes. Too easy to point fingers. Too hard to solve the real problem that is the root of this whole situation. But the powers to be do not want to acknowledge it.


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