Monday, November 09, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3065, November 9th, 2015


Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo:
Congressman Lou Barletta's office announced this his office will be accepting entries for the 2015 Congressional App Challenge, which is a contest for high school students who program and design their own original applications, known as “apps,” for electronic devices. Sponsored by The Internet Education Foundation, the contest offers students the opportunity to showcase their creativity and programming abilities to a national audience and make contact with potential future high-tech employers. The deadline for entry is January 15, 2016.
“Nearly everyone is walking around with a smart phone or tablet of some kind, running all sorts of apps for games, entertainment, social media, productivity, health, or a thousand other uses,” Barletta said. “The Congressional App Challenge is a great opportunity for students to show their coding expertise and get their apps noticed. It’s also a fun way for students to learn more about STEM-based education and the creation of technology that is rapidly evolving and expanding.”
The app of the winning student or team in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (, and displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.
There are a number of rules for Rep. Barletta’s Congressional App Challenge participants:
Students must be at least 13 years of age and eligible to attend high school within the 11th District of Pennsylvania (students outside the district should contact their own Representative).
Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four, provided at least two of those students reside within the District in which they are competing.
The app students create can cover any topic that they like, but they must:
Be original.
Be appropriate.
Have been created within the calendar year before the Challenge closing date (January 15, 2016).
Students must submit a video of themselves explaining their application and how it works.
Barletta’s office will appoint a panel of qualified independent judges who will evaluate the app submissions based on creativity and originality, execution of the app design, quality of user experience, and excellence in coding and programming. Winning apps will be announced on February 15, 2016.
For more information on rules and entry requirements, interested students may contact any of Rep. Barletta’s offices or visit For information about the Internet Education Foundation, please visit


WILK's Karel Zubris flying high. (Photo: Facebook)
This past weekend The Veteran's Day Parade took place in Wilkes Barre. Our friend Karel Zurbis rode shotgun in the SNJ 1943 training plane piloted by Veteran Lou DeFazio, one of the instructors at Wyoming Valley Aviation who looped the vintage aircraft twice over the valley!! Along with Karel of course.

"Helps to get rid of the bad blood". Peter Clemenza


So this last week was very busy for me in all respects. A great high school friend of mine died last week and I was dealing with that with many of my classmates. My work responsibilities needed overtime and since some other slugs I work with decided not to even show up, that gave me more incentive to work to help my supervisors.  Then there were the elections and my various media commitments. I'm not complaining, having been in broadcasting I knew all about working odd hours. And doing this with my neurological condition makes me so grateful for the chances I have to just be normal again. Or as normal as I can be. 
On Wednesday morning I put up an edition that outlined a summary of the election. Believe it or not, when I don't post for a day, people e mail me, call my cell and ask if I'm okay given my past health issues. So Friday at work during lunch I sketched an outline for Edition # 3064.
Now some inside baseball here, my Thursday edition is one where I give boosts to the good people in the media who do public service shows. It is the most innocuous edition I produce. By the way, if you look at it, I not only promote WILK but I promote my friend Brain Hughes from Cumulus, Mr. David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender from ECTV as well as The Bold Gold Community Forum. 
However I wrote four stories about Tony George (where I gave advice as a blogger and citizen of Wilkes Barre,) I gave credit to Frank Sorick for a tough loss because he worked with what he had, I mentioned the lack of communication with the new County Commissioners with WILK in The Lac as well as giving kudos to Kathleen Smith and Tony Brooks of the Tony Brooks campaign. 
I worked on it on Friday night after a tough week and figured, "done" and like other editions posted on Thursday and Friday, I wouldn't hear a peep. Boy was I wrong! The next day I get this comment. You've most likely read the comment but because I was busy this weekend preparing for God forbid another TV appearance and dealing with the sale of a very important collectible, all I could do was post the various comments. A poster on Monday morning asked if this was the most comments LuLac got, close but no cigar. The most comments we had were 43 and that was 7 years ago about lawyers. 
But let me answer the poster's comments. I do actually read the stuff I write before I publish. Sometimes not as much as I should but yes I do. And I believe in what I write and put my name on it. 
I used a Teddy Roosevelt quote to praise not only Frank Sorick but all candidates who run for office. At every LuLac Forum I hosted, I always said "The second most patriotic thing anyone can do is run for office. The first of course is serving in the military. "
The poster took offense to me offering Tony George advice on how to run the city saying I never ran myself. True but that is a choice, not an obligation. If I don't have a right to tell the Mayor what do do, how about those who don't vote?
Look  I am a citizen of the city. The new Mayor will do what he wants but I think he is open to all kind of suggestions, what is the problem in putting them in print? Do I have to be elected to offer a suggestion or what I’d like to see him do? By the way, the LuLac focus group thought they were pretty good suggestions. 
Then comes WILK and the comparisons to Steve Corbett.  to quote the poster:
"In this day an age, WILK, and other media outlets, are NOT necessary. Elected official can use social media, create a blog or a YouTube channel and interact directly with the voters; they do not require the biased filter of boisterous bullies and "critics" to get their message out."
Stop right there. When I was on a panel for WYLN only one of three candidates for Mayor were using social media. There are still political candidates who read this blog that introduce me as from a newspaper. So while there are some that are social media savvy, many are not.
Then I'm asked if I know so much why don't I run?
No candidate or blogger knows as much as people think they know. I’ve never run because of
1. Financial responsibilities to my household.
2. Seeing so many candidates led down the primrose lane by people who said, “Hey I’m with ya!!!” I saw a candidate for State Representative hold a fundraiser and have only his family show up because “the party” thought he was a lost cause. Yet 10 years later when the district went “D” they were patting themselves on the back for what “they did”. I saw a guy running for Magistrate this year getting smoke blown up his pants and the same “friends” hung him out to dry. I worked my ass off for a woman who ran for School Board who essentially was cut by her “running mate”. The tragedy of that was the clown who beat her. But what really tore it for me was how this woman’s running mate had no clue how to leverage political power.
Then there's Bill Vinsko who should be a Congressman BUT he was gerrymandered out of a district. 
I managed three campaigns in this county and did media for about 10 in both the Lu and the Lac from 1973 to 2002. The only difference between politics here and in the Mafia is that here they let you live.
If you think that makes me a horrible person…so be it. But at my age, I don’t have time for wasted promises and bullshit from people who blow smoke up my trousers. The older I get, the more cognizant of the time I have and its use. My friend Eddie Ackerman said that at our age, "You only be where you want to be". Having seen first hand how people got screwed, I want no part of it.  If you want to know who your friends really are, run for office.
3. I have no kids who need jobs. I have two nephews are on a career track so they don’t need to be working pushing papers at a county agency. In other words they are smart enough to take care of themselves.
4. I violently disagreed with blogger Mark Robbins about a few things this year but one thing he was right about was the family tree of nepotism. If I were to go up against say a Mike Merritt for Council in Wilkes Barre the ranks would close. The relative who was a relative who knows a relative would vote for him, not me. It is a stacked deck.
The only hope to unstuck the deck are these districts on Council. Tony Brooks and Beth Gilbert ran well because they outworked the other Democratic candidates and there was only a pool of votes for them to draw from. When the City had no districts, the top 7 won. I backed and did media for a guy named Guy Izzo who was a community activist. Guy ran for Council and did everything he was supposed to do. Media, ads, the whole gamut. Even hats!  He came in 9th out of 7. As I watched the votes being announced at City Hall, I was stunned by the life and death features I saw on the faces of the incumbents fighting for that 6th and 7th spot. To them, this was not public service but a livelihood. To Izzo it was all about where he lived. With districts, people like Tony Brooks can have a breakthrough because the at large pool has more votes that can be controlled.  In districts, you can target.  
5. I have a full time job where I work 8 hours solid a day. Not 6 hours of work and then chatting with friends. Not two hour lunches disguised as meetings. Not running a Final Four pool. It’s a real job where sometimes you stay until 5 on Friday and not leave at 3.
6. BTW, have you noticed I walk with a cane? Door to door would be doable but sometimes problematic.
Those are 6 reasons why I'd never run. I'd serve and then run like Shawn Walker did but never, ever run initially in this environment. Jump on me about that if you like.
Then there was my support of Tom Wolf who never talked to anyone on the campaign trail. Wolf was accused by the pollster of treating the media like diseased vermin. That was his political strategy but after he took office he met with the press. Wolf was the right guy for the job.
Then there was this: 
What is your great business background? What risks did you take to build an enterprise? How many jobs have you created? How many times have you climbed the ladder of success that warrants anyone following your suggestions? Or, are you simply the loudmouth at the corner bar on a Saturday or Sunday, yelling @ the television, telling the successful coach what he is doing wrong?
The first few questions were about personal choices and opportunities that may or may not have presented themselves to me. Had I wished I made other choices? You bet but we all can say that. But again you seem to be saying that only an elite business person who created jobs can comment and I can’t? You might want to ask the same questions to elected officials like O’Malley (prison guard) . As a matter of fact, other than Dan Mueser and Chris Hackett I can't think of a job creator who ran for office.  As for bars, I avoid them. Don’t drink, not a bar guy. 
Regarding inquires on compensation, believe it or not I do get a quarterly check for doing this blog from someone at Google. It comes to directly into my account. Any inquires on compensation or perceived lack thereof from other sources as mentioned in your comments and others are unavailable to you. My tax man and Mrs. LuLac, yes. You,
Finally,  thanks for posting and taking so much time. I respect your passion. It gave me more hits than any TV appearance I ever had. And no, I did not write the post myself, doing this and the WARM blog takes a lot of my time.  By the way I ave another blog, feel free to tear that apart too. This is also not a hobby, but a commitment. When I began this I felt there was no true political commentary worthy of the late Carl Romanelli and Bill Griffiths. That's why I started this thing. Besides, I hate hobbies.
I don't take offense to any of the comments. It tells me that people are reading, caring and engaging. Look at Peter Clemenza's quote, we needed to vent and bleed.  Or as Gort used to say, "Sometimes we all  need a political enema".  
I thank you for the comment. It is one of the most articulate pieces I’ve read in a long time. Please identify yourself so I can mail you a check, lest some people will think you are “being used” for sharing and giving away such stellar insights.


Last summer (June) an anonymous poster asked abut some material I used for Write On Wednesday. It was linked and it was attributed. But the poster thought there might be a copyright issue. Because it was anonymous, I had no way to respond directly but tried to get an answer. The answer I got confirmed my proper usage which I would have shared. However, after a few days the anonymous poster got agitated and tattled on me like a little child. I got this.
Since you chose not to reply, I called the TL, and they are unaware that you have been re-posting their copyrighted material.
Reply to whom? I have an answer but cannot contact you because you are pretty much a nit picking coward. But you know where to find me.
Which is more than I can say for you.


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