Thursday, December 31, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3108, December 31st, 2015




Monday, December 28, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3107, December 28th, 2015


The Editions #3099, through #3106 include our Year End Features. Please scroll down to see our News in Review of the "Top Stories of 2015," our "Women We Love" Award winners for 2015 as well as our "Moving On" Feature of notable deaths this year. 

The LuLac Edition #3106, December 28th, 2015

(in countdown form)


Former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty had a big birthday party in February at the House that Jim built, the Lackawanna County Railroad station. At least 1500 people showed up to greet the former Mayor and wish him well as he faced cancer. The place was a who’s who of politicos and even former World Heavyweight Champ Larry Holmes showed up. At the end of the year, the mayor’s wife Evie resigned her position as Recorder of Deeds in the Lac to become Chief of Staff for the Notarianni and O’Malley team. She was also named to Governor Wolf’s Commission on Women.
The power couple of The Lac later in the year had a Cancer Awareness event at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.


Tony Brooks did something no Republican has done in the City of Wilkes-Barre since the 1980s. He won an election as a REPUBLICAN. The last two Republican Council members elected were Jack Jones in the 80s and Frank Trinisewski in 1975. The last time Wilkes-Barre had a Mayor was 1960 under the strong Mayor form of Government and later John Morris under the City Manager Form of Government. The Republicans are vastly outnumbered in Wilkes-Barre and the win by Brooks is historic. It also should give people who are thinking of running against an establishment candidate encouragement that maybe it might not be an impossible task. Brooks’ win along with Tom Shubilla’s victory in Plains, Beth Gilbert’s win in District C in Wilkes-Barre and the emergence of Scott Cahalane in Hazleton give us proof that change can come if you work smart and hard.


The Steamtown Mall, once a bright spot in downtown Scranton had turned into an albatross that only Al Boscov seemed to want. 2015 saw Boscov being outbid for the property by local business man John Basalyga The new owner is a businessman who also owns a roofing company and a popular restaurant.
The local guy had the winning bid of $5.25 million when the Mall at Steamtown went up for auction. Basalyga was not able to go public because the sale was not final and during that time period there was much speculation as to who actually bought the Mall. There were rumors about Commonwealth Health, Geisinger or even the University of Scranton buying the place. Basalyga recently has made a name for himself by renovating old industrial buildings throughout the county and making them into apartments.


The tenure of County Manager Bob Lawton came to an end. Lawton hired in 2012 lasted for three years which was more than most people expected. Politically right from the start his career was tenuous because he had a faction against him. But through his time Lawton put a framework in place that hopefully his successor can build on. Lawton was an avuncular presence who maybe did not play as nice as he could have with the Council. It was said that after the loan debacle there were votes to fire him but that did not transpire at the meeting. Lawton resigned the next day and is leaving as this is being published. His legacy will be that he did more good than harm and will be admired by future employers for lasting as long as did here in Luzerne County.


The Pennsylvania budget affected the funding in Luzerne County. Councilman Harry Haas voted no on taking out a loan to get the county through the year. The state had the money but didn’t release it. After a few days, the Council voted again and the County ran well through the year and even passed a budget of their own on time. Haas said he voted no to send a message to the State Capitol, a better message was the Council passing a budget on time.


A controversial power plant will be built in the Lackawanna County community of Jessup. This year Jessup council approved a request to amend a zoning ordinance so plans can move forward.
In the summer at Valley View High School there were boos and cheers as the vote took place to pave the way. The decision by borough council came down to a vote of 6-1 with council agreeing with Chicago-based energy company, Invenergy. By changing the zoning, the Chicago based company .will be able to set up shop in Jessup, which some say is the Capitol of The Mid Valley.


Okay, a short synopsis of the Lackawanna County Commissioners race. At the start of the year the Commissioners were Corey O’Brian, Jim Wansacz and Pat O’Malley. O’Brien, a Democrat resigned to take a job in health care. Wansacz decided to pair himself up with GOP Minority Commissioner Pat O’Malley, a former Democrat. They decided to run as a team. Enter Jerry Notarianni who ran for Mayor in 1989. O’Malley and Notarianni win leaving Wansacz in the dust. (Don’t worry, he’ll have a state job by February).
On the GOP side Laureen Cummings (one of last year’s Women We love and Bill Jones who ran with O’Malley in 2011 teamed up. Enter Charlie Spano who runs too. Jones’ people send out a mailer, Spano loses and blames Jones. In the General Jones and Cummings say they are a team but there are doubts about that. Spano runs a write in again with the help of the wily Bob Harper. There are 5 people running five separate campaigns. At least that’s what I saw. The winners were the Democrats, Notarianni and O’Malley and Cummings and Jones battled with Cumming winning by less than 90 votes. Whew!
Bottom line here is that Notarianni and O’Malley will have their hands full with Cummings as a Minority Commissioner, Bill Jones will run again and Charlie Spano rides off into the political sunset with one hell of an effort.
Politics in The Lac; now “That’s Entertainment”.


The Huggo Selenski was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the gruesome strangulation murders of pharmacist Michael Kerkowski and his girlfriend Tammy Fassett in May 2002 and 20 1/2 to 41 months in prison for escaping the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in 2003. Luzerne County Judge Fred A. Pierantoni sentenced Selenski to consecutive sentences of life in prison on two counts of first-degree murder for killing pharmacist Michael Kerkowski and his girlfriend Tammy Fassett, who were strangled in May 2002. Following Selenski's conviction last month, a jury opted to give Selenski life in prison rather than the death penalty.
Family members of the victims gave statements prior to the sentencing, including Kerkowski's mother Geraldine Kerkowski.
Hugo will appeal but hopefully this will be the last we hear of him.


Crime still reared its ugly head in Wilkes Barre and Hazleton. The bad news is that there was still crime but the very faint good news was that the violence seemed to be lower at least in numbers compared to 2013. But there were still problems.
BIG PROBLEMS! And those problems were troubling because it indicated that Wilkes Barre residents were easy prey for predator, repeat criminals. There were 5 criminal homicides, three of them that took place in the homes of the victims. That is troubling especially the case of Donald Bachman who was a person who actively looked after his neighborhood and reported suspicious activity to police. Bachman was coming home from work when he was shot to death. This has residents uneasy, angry and scared.
An aggressive police presence in both cities is being developed further and you can bet there will be concentrations on problem areas as well as problem people. There is hope that the many unsolved crimes in this area will be solved and the criminals who seem to feed off the hard working people of this region are brought to justice.


Elections are big deals in LuLac land and this being an off year election made it all the more fascinating. In both Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton there were bitter fights for the nomination for both parties to be the new Mayor. With Wilkes-Barre’s Tom Leighton stepping down after 12 years, the Democrats had a five person race featuring Councilmen Tony George and George Brown, author and former Congressional candidate Brian Kelly and activist Darlene Duggins Magdalinski. Both George and Brown ran a fierce campaign and in the end it was Tony George who prevailed by less than 200 votes. The primary between George and Brown was not delicate and even as the summer dragged on there were issues with George’s campaign reports that were leaked to the Election Board by anonymous sources. Frank Sorick who ran on the GOP side thought he had a fighting chance but the strong registration of the Democratic party prevailed in November.
In Hazleton incumbent Joe Yannuzzi faced off against Jeff Cusat in the primary. Cusat won big over the Mayor. The Democratic primary featured incumbent Councilman Jack Mundy against Grace Cuzo who ran against Yannuzzi in 2011. The General election brought Cusat, Mundy and Independent Scott Cahalane together for various debates about town but in the end it was Cusat who prevailed. Cusat won the sign war in the city, and hired media genius Bob Harper to help out with his effort.
Both George and Cusat face similar problems like crime, where to find more revenue and how to improve safety in the neighborhoods. The problems might be the same but the faces will change.
Sources: LuLac archives, Scranton Times, Citizen's Voice, WNEP, Pa Homepage.

The LuLac Edition #3105, December 28th, 2015


(in countdown form)


And really no one noticed. Except we here at LuLac which also produces the 590 Forever Blog. Special thanks to our friend Joe Klapatch who has provided us with some great articles from WARM’s formative years.


The 50th anniversary of the iconic race track brought a lot of media exposure to the region when it first started fifty years ago and that continued on its golden anniversary.


WILK Radio produced a version of Charles Dickens’ “Scrooge” It was an outstanding radio effort with great performances by L.A. Tarone and John Webster, among others.


Monica Madeja who has been with WBRE since 2009 spread her wings and wound up in Boston. Her chair on the Morning News program was taken over by Jasmine Brooks.


Two men who were instantly known for their on air presence as well as broadcast longevity passed away this year. Jay Daniels who was part of the storied Daniels and Webster team on Rock 107 died at the age of 61. Former WNEP TV News anchor Nolan Johannes passed away and was remembered fondly by area viewers and professionals.
Sources: LuLac, WNEP, WBRE TV, Scranton Times, Pa. Homepage)

The LuLac Edition #3104, December 28th, 2015


(in countdown form)


Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by F. Gary Grayabout the rise and fall of the Compton, California hip hop group N.W.A. The film borrows its title from the name of their 1988 debut studio album and the album's title track. Straight Outta Compton stars O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube (in his feature film debut), Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, and Paul Giamatti as N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller. Among the film's producers are Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E 's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, with MC Renand DJ Yella as creative consultants.
The film was released on August 14, 2015, received positive reviews from critics, and has grossed over $200 million worldwide


Veteran CBS News Correspondent Bob Schieffer stepped down as host of Face The Nation. Schieffer who had a storied career was a no nonsense news reporter and moderator. He was replaced by CBS Correspondent John Dickerson whose mother was Nancy Dickerson, a pioneer woman in TV broadcasting.


Comedian Bill Cosby’s fall from grace began in 2014, but 2015 was also a terrible year for the once celebrated actor as well. In January, Cosby was mocked by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes. Then, in July, a transcript of a 2005 deposition was released, in which Cosby admitted to giving women quaaludes in order to have sex with them. That same month, New York Magazine released a cover with 35 women who have accused the comedian of sexual assault. The inside pages of the magazine detailed each of their stories. Additionally, more than 20 women came forward in 2015 to claim Cosby had acted inappropriately with them by either drugging them or sexually assaulting them or both. More than six schools also stripped the actor of his honorary degrees in 2015. The actor was also sued by seven women for defamation and he filed a counter suit for defamation in December, blasting his accusers for ruining his reputation.


John Stewart quit the Daily Show, Stephen Colbert took over for Letterman. Larry Wilmore, took over for Stewart. Both Letterman and Stewart had emotional farewells.


In February, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months without pay for misrepresenting events surrounding his coverage of the Iraq War. It was later discovered that there had been other inaccuracies in Williams’ reporting over the years, and he was permanently replaced on “Nightly News” by Lester Holt. In June, Williams was given a new – much less prominent – role at MSNBC to cover breaking news and special events.
Sources: MSNBC, wikipedia, CNN, LuLac). 


The LuLac Edition #3103, December 28th, 2015

(in countdown form)


Philadelphia did itself proud when the city of Brotherly Love hosted the visit of Pope Francis. The Pope said Mass at various events for World Family Day and was his usual hit. Security was tight and many people expecting to see the Pope in person actually had to see him from a jumbotron. But those who went had a very good experience. Philadelphia spending nearly 8 million dollars for the visit was shining as the best little brother city New York ever had.
So hey, if Philadelphia was good enough for the Pope to visit, how come it isn’t for the Pennsylvania Society?


Ray Tonkin fought to keep the seat he's held for seven years and won as a Democrat by 500 votes in the Pike County DA race. Helped by the campaigning of the late trooper Bryon Dickson’s mother, Tonkin beat his foe Kelly Kelly Gaughan. The voters of Pike County and Tonkin essentially got a do over and ensured that the Frein trial would have an uninterrupted transition.


The Lewisberry, PA team of York County won a 3-2 victory over Pearland, Texas, on Saturday for a berth in the Little League World Series championship game before a record announced crowd of almost 46,000.
Krauss drove in Braden Kolmansberger, who had walked and moved to third on Jaden Henline's one-out single.
Cole Wagner struck out 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings and hit a home run for the undefeated Red Land Little League team, which draws from Lewisberry and several other towns that are just a two-hour drive from Williamsport and 70 miles north of Baltimore.
Lewisberry played undefeated Tokyo for the World Series championship but lost in a high scoring game.


Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky has had his pension restored. Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ordered the state to restore the pension of the former Penn State assistant football coach. Sandusky’s pension was taken away three years ago on the day he was sentenced to prison on child molestation convictions.
The Court ruled unanimously that the State Employees’ Retirement Board wrongly concluded Sandusky was a Penn State employee when he committed the crimes that were the basis for the pension forfeiture.


This year, Pennsylvania, the governor and state lawmakers battled over creating the state's first-ever severance tax. Drilling for natural gas – and oil, to a lesser extent – has ramped up in Pennsylvania in recent years.
The efforts to increase taxes on growing drilling activity in the Commonwealth have been resisted by the oil and gas industry. There are some that think a severance tax will smother a potential energy boom just out of the womb. .
Two states, Pennsylvania and Ohio are responsible for 83 percent of the increase in U.S. natural gas production since 2009, according to federal statistics.
Government forecasters predict the Marcellus Shale formation, which runs under eastern Ohio and much of Pennsylvania, will yield up to 147 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by 2040. And the Utica Shale formation, a few thousand feet below the Marcellus, may be even more promising.
But the battle over a severance tax was one of the sticking points in the budget. And believe it or not, in addition to Governor Tom Wolf, Governor John Kasich of Ohio wants a tax too. How ‘bout that!!


Democrats celebrated a clean sweep of three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, locking in a majority on the state's highest court for at least a decade that could help shape the legislative redistricting that will follow the 2020 census.
The winners of the seven-way race were Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue of Allegheny County.
The losing GOP candidates were Superior Court Judge Judy Olson of Allegheny County, Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey of Bucks County and Adams County Judge Mike George


Hundreds of pages of pornographic e-mails that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane says will exonerate her -- became public on this summer.
Exactly two weeks after holding a press conference where the Scranton-native pushed for their release the state Supreme Court acted. Some of the emails contain nude or scantily-clad women. They had previously been under court seal.One document from Kane's attorneys says two former state prosecutors, who were peddlers of pornography, triggered the grand jury investigation against her.
The e mails keep on coming but many political observers say they will have little impact on her fate as AG.


Tom Wolf took office this year with a type of bare bones Inaugural. He named a diverse Cabinet, but ran into an issue with his pick for State Police Commissioner when the person he named wanted to wear the uniform even though he did not serve in the Pa. State Police.
But that was nothing compared to the road block he faced with the State Legislature as he tried to pass a budget. You have to wonder at Christmas morning breakfast in the Wolf house this year whether his wife or one of his kids might ask him, “You spent 10 million dollars for this?”


2015 was not the best of years for Kathleen Kane. Elected to the office of Attorney General as the first elected woman, Kane was riding high. As a matter of fact, this 2012 Women We Love Award winner was riding high. But In August 2015, Kane was arrested and charged with multiple offenses, including two counts of felony perjury, and obstruction of justice. In September 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Kane's license to practice law, the first such occurrence for a Pennsylvania attorney general.. Her e mail saga now complicated by her sister passing dubious e mails as well as her continuing legal battles will flow into 2016 and beyond.


The State Budget Stalemate had to be one of the most frustrating stories of the year. The Governor wanted to make a stand in his first year and refused to budge on certain concessions. The House and Senate were at odds like they were in the Tom Corbett days but this time they had a Governor who was standing firm. An unholy alliance happened between Democrats who were pressured by union and GOP House members on a bill that would give new employees an option to take a 401 k pension instead of one supported by the taxpayers.
As this is being published, the Governor has the House version and is making a decision as to whether he should sign it.
Sources: Scranton Times,, Penn Live, AP, LuLacPolitical Letter.

The LuLac Edition #3102, December 28th, 2015


(in countdown form)


This June, Bruce Jenner made waves across the United States and beyond as he graced the cover of Vanity Fair magazine with with the title,“Call me Caitlyn.” Jenner posed for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz weeks after telling Diane Sawyer he was transitioning to a woman. Social media blew up in reaction to the photo, and it wasn’t long before Caitlyn Jenner reached a Twitter following of over 1 million. In fact, Guinness World Records announced Jenner had set a new record for fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Twitter — a total of 4 hours and 3 minutes. Jenner’s transformation was received well for the most part, and ESPN gave the former Olympic athlete the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at this year’s ESPY Awards. But others struggle with Jenner’s new identity, seeing the former athlete in an entirely different light. In November, the widower of a fallen 9/11 hero, who was posthumously named as one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2001, Fed Exed the award back to Glamour in response to Jenner’s 2015 nomination.


Vice President Joe Biden said in 2015 that he will not run for president. . Biden made his announcement at the White House Rose Garden, standing with his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama.
He cited the death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in May.
"As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along what I've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president," Biden said. "I've concluded it has closed."
Biden is and was an area favorite and many people here in LuLac land were looking for a Biden/Clinton face off. Former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty is fond of saying that “Joe Biden is Scranton’s son while Hillary Clinton is her adopted daughter”. That face off, which would have been one for the political ages, was not to be with Biden’s announcement. However this is a 2015 wrap up and there are many who believe even though Biden shut the door, he was still checking the window to see if anyone is looking for him.


I’m almost sickened to include this as one of the top stories of this year. But here it is because this woman’s defiance and ignorance must be documented.
Kimberly Davis was the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky who gained international attention after defying a federal court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the right to marriage is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the Fourteenth Amendment. Davis began refusing to issue any licenses, either to same-sex, or to opposite-sex couples. Four couples represented by the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Davis, Miller v. Davis. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ordered Davis to issue licenses as required by law. Her lawyers filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court seeking to put the lower court's order on hold while she pursued an appeal, but the application was denied. Davis continued to defy the court order and refused to issue marriage licenses, saying she was acting "under God's authority". She was subsequently jailed for contempt of court, then released five days later. When she returned to work, she stated that she would not interfere with her deputies, who had begun issuing licenses as directed by the court order. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said that because the matter was already being handled by the federal court, the appointment of a special prosecutor to pursue charges of official misconduct against her "is not necessary at this time.


Between Sept. 24 and Sept. 26, millions of people flooded the streets of New York City armed with their cellphone cameras, hoping for a glimpse, not of a famous rock star, but of Pope Francis. The pope’s first visit to the Big Apple was arguably one of the biggest events for New York City in 2015. The pope’s schedule was so jam-packed in his two-day visit — with an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a visit and address to the United Nations General Assembly, a multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, a historic procession through Central Park, and a Mass at Madison Square Garden — it’s amazing he had any time to sleep or even eat. One of the biggest challenges for New York City was keeping a pope who is known for spontaneously greeting his followers safe and secure during his visit. Business boomed for many in the city while the pope was in town, with pope memorabilia flying off the shelves. And after capturing the hearts of New Yorkers, Pope Francis was given a New York City municipal ID card, making him an official New Yorker.


The economy expanded a touch slower in the third quarter than previously reported, revised government figures show, but the path of growth is still the same: The U.S. running well below the historical norm more than six years into a recovery.
Gross domestic product — the sum of all the activity in an economy — increased at a 2% annual pace from July to September, according to the government’s latest update. Previously the Commerce Department had said the U.S. grew at a 2.1% rate after a 3.9% increase in the second quarter.
The slight downgrade was triggered by a larger trade deficit and a smaller buildup in inventories than earlier estimates showed.
The U.S. expanded at a 2.2% rate through the first nine months of the year, and the economy is projected to grow at a similar pace in the fourth quarter that ends on Dec. 31. If so, the economy will have failed to reach 3% growth for the 10th straight year, marking the slowest stretch since the end of World War II.
Historically the economy has expanded at a 3.3% rate.
Keep in mind though that jobs are still being created, the economy is doing a slow build from the near disaster of 2008 and unemployment is at its lowest since 2005.


There was a lot to House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation but it wasn’t crystallized until late September of this year. A Conservative rebellion that could not be quelled, a visit from the Pope which Boehner had been advocating for two decades and the realization that he could not handle a minority of his party made Boehner’s decision for him. With the Government on the verge of another shutdown, and the threat by the “crazies” to strip Boehner of his seat if Planned Parenthood was not defunded gave Boehner all the reasons he needed to exit.
He served admirably, tried to make deals with the administration but was damned by the success of the GOP in regaining the House. While Boehner could work with Democrats and some Republicans, he had major issues with Tea Party candidates who would rather destroy government than make it work. He made a good call for himself.
Ironically Paul Ryan who reluctantly took the position, now got a budget deal through that Boehner would have been pilloried for.


“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. … [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. And with that, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country on June 26. President Barack Obama hailed the court’s 5-4 ruling as “a victory for America.” Gay and lesbian couples could already marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The ruling meant the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, had to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation’s social norms. Spontaneous celebrations were echoed in New York City, where the LGBTQ community was gearing up for its annual Pride parade. Two days after the ruling, more than 2 million people watched as over 22,000 marched in a declaration of their new freedom


More Americans were killed by guns this year at an alarming rate. Some were killed by police. Here are just two examples.
Police officer Michael Slager, 33, was videotaped shooting Walter Scott, 50, multiple times in the back as Scott ran away after being stopped for a broken brake light. The video made all the difference in what would have been a major cover-up. It helped to get Slager fired from the North Charleston Police Department and charged with murdering Scott.
On April 12, Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore for possessing what police claimed was an illegal switchblade. Video surfaced of Gray being dragged into a police van, and we would later find out that while in the van, Gray fell into a coma. He was then taken to the hospital and died a week after his arrest from a spinal injury. The whole country watched as the citizens of Baltimore expressed their anger, grief and frustration with peaceful protests, as well as riots. The six officers who were initially suspended after Gray’s death were hit with charges soon after; false imprisonment for all, as well as manslaughter charges for three of the officers.
Police were also the victims of gun violence. These cases will wind their way through the Judicial system but stories like them will surely take place again in 2015.
Another off shoot of these cases has to be the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. The incidents with police as well as the availability of cell phone videos has given Americans of all races the indication that things are not fair for everyone in America. If anything The Black Lives Movement has increased awareness of that disparity.


A New York Times report in March revealed that former secretary of state — and current 2016 presidential candidate — Hillary Rodham Clinton had conducted all of her official business using a personal email address during her four years at the State Department. Facing calls for transparency, Clinton turned over about 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department that she sent and received using a homebrew server set up at her New York home. This happened at a time when Clinton’s support in the early Democratic contests had declined against a rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). In late August, the State Department released roughly 7,000 pages of Clinton’s emails — including about 150 emails that were censored because they contain information that is now deemed classified. But it wasn’t until early September that Clinton apologized for the arrangement she had made with the State Department. Initially Clinton had said an apology wasn’t necessary because what she did was “allowed” by the State Department.


When I was first starting to follow politics as a young boy, the election year began in the time frame that the elections were supposed to be held. Not now. This year 17 candidates entered the race on the GOP side. Bush, Christie, Carson, Cruz, Fiorina, Gilmore, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Rubio, Santorum, and Trump. Perry, Walker, Graham and Jindal dropped out. On the Democratic side five made the effort with two dropping out, former Senators Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee. 
This election year was the year of Donald Trump and the others. The entry of Trump, the vast number of candidates vying for the top job and the 24 hour news cycle made Election 2016 more like a pepped up pre game show to a long awaited Super Bowl. One wondered when the main event was going to begin.  The interesting thing about 2015 and election years before the actual Election year is that no votes are counted. This year it was all bluster and entertainment. 2015 were the preliminary bouts, 2016 is the main event. That’s when votes count, and bluster does not.
Sources: wikipedia, Wall Street Journal, The Blaze, MSNBC, CNN, LuLac archives,


(in countdown form)


The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series in 30 years beating the New York Mets.


Revived by a fresh-faced shooting superstar Stef Curry, and a first-year coach who made them believe, the Golden State Warriors again reign supreme. Their 40-year NBA championship drought is finally over.


In a frantic finish, and after a dose of karmic payback, the Patriots survived. It was New England that became a team for the ages, not Seattle, winning its fourth Super Bowl title, 28-24, when Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass in the end zone with 26 seconds remaining


American Pharoah (Foaled February 2, 2012) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2015. In winning all four races, he became the first horse to win the "Grand Slam" of American horse racing. He was bred and owned throughout his racing career by Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, trained by Bob Baffert, and ridden in most of his races by Victor Espinoza.
In my lifetime, there have only been 4 Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).


To the delight of American fans, Carli Lloyd of the United States scored a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of the FIFA Women's World Cup Final against Japan on Sunday
The U.S. team won the Women's World Cup soccer final 5-2 in a game that brought U.S. fans to their feet, reduced polished sportswriters to all-caps expressions of awe and rewrote FIFA records.
Sources; AP, ESPN, Fox Sports.

The LuLac Edition #3101, December 28th, 2015

 (in countdown form) 


The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is held in Paris, attended by leaders from 147 nations. A global climate change pact is agreed upon at the COP 21 summit, committing all countries to reduce carbon emissions for the first time.


Greece becomes the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the 71-year history of the IMF. At the start of the year there was supposed to some movement after an election.
The voting brought Alexis Tsipras and his leftwing Syriza party to power, added further friction between Greece and the rest of the Euro zone. Mr Tsipras vowed to undo austerity — a promise he could not deliver on his own.
In the event, after winning a referendum in July against the terms offered by the Euro zone, he agreed to a new €86billion three-year Euro zone program on terms not so different from those he had persuaded the Greek people to reject. After a split in his party, Mr Tsipras then won another election in September. Yet the capital controls imposed in June remain in force and the economy has fallen back into recession.
Is there a good chance that economic recovery will take hold in 2016? Only time will tell, but this will be a story to watch in 2016.


NASA's New Horizons spacecraft performs a close flyby of Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft in history to visit the distant world. NASA announces that liquid water has been found on Mars.


Cuba and the United States reestablished full diplomatic relations, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility between the nations. Cuba becomes the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.


This year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress. Netanyahu said yes and gave a speech to Congress outlining his opposition to the Iran arms deal. Netanyahu and the President are cordial but not the very best of allies. This relationship started to deteriorate when Obama in 2009 first proposed that Israel return to pre 1967 War borders. From then it just went downhill.
By the way, one of the top international stories last year was when Israel was bombed and invaded by terrorists using tunnels in the Gaza. Israel killed whoever came through. Case closed.
The terror invasion through tunnels in Israel was NOT a major story in 2015.


The nation of France had 5 significant attacks this year that killed residents who were just going about their business. France is a perfect example of what true terror is, mindless, calculating and deadly. Here’s the run down.
January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, series of five attacks across the Île-de-France region, 7 January – 9 January
Charlie Hebdo shooting, shooting at satirical magazine, 7 January
Porte de Vincennes siege, attack on Kosher supermarket, 9 January
Saint-Quentin-Fallavier attack, suspected Islamist beheading and bombings, 26 June
2015 Thalys train attack, 21 August
November 2015 Paris attacks, a series of violent attacks on 13 November.


The election in Canada had a few issues that certainly had an impact on the final outcome. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, one of the West’s longest tenured leaders, was in a fight for his political life.
He lost. Big. It was the longest campaign in Canadian political history. 11 weeks.
Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau won an overwhelming victory along with his party. Trudeau, the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was a school teacher a scant five years ago. Now he is Canada’s new Prime Minister.
The totals are significant because at the start of this campaign Trudeau was an underdog. Even two weeks before there was talk that Canada would have a Minority government because there was fear of a three way split. But Trudeau’s Liberal Party garnered 170 seats to incumbent Stephen Harper’s 130. The New Democratic Party which made significant gains in 2012 only wound up with about 30 seats.
The reasons for Harper’s loss can be linked to voter fatigue with his party as well as a downgrade in the economy largely driven by a collapse in oil prices.
The Conservative Harper’s campaign was faced with many hot-button obstacles ripe for liberal exploitation, including a scandal over lawmakers’ expense accounts and controversies over his government’s recent decision not to take in more Syrian refugees. Plus there was a move for a ban on the right of women to wear the face-covering niqab while taking citizenship oaths.
The campaign was marked with four spirited debates as well as an ad featuring Justin Trudeau walking backwards on an escalator to illustrate the fact that Canada was going backwards.
Nanos Research, an Ottawa pollster conducted a survey before the election and a resounding 71% said it was time for a change in government.
The Liberal victory is all the more stunning since they came into this election with only 31 seats after having a very disastrous showing in 2011.
The Trudeau victory, much like his father’s initial election in 1968, might signal a second wave of Trudeau mania in the provinces. Plus Trudeau’s victory might prove to be a lesson to Democrats running in the states. Trudeau said that there would be deficit to fix things like the infrastructure of the country as well as take care of those on pensions. Our neighbors to the North have spoken and very loudly for a change to the left. The question is are they just catching up to the U.S. in picking a liberal government or are they paving the way for more change here concerning fixing things at home and taking care of those who still struggle.


Once more the United States has been in this quagmire. With our ties to Israel and with the need for oil in the 70s our future was part of theirs. 2015 was still another year when our Foreign Policy was dominated by issues in this region as well as frustration. Makes people long for the old Cold War in some cases.


Pope Francis has undertaken a total overhaul of the Curia. Francis, through his travels, has become a rock star in the image of Pope John Paul II. But behind the scenes he is changing the way the church does business at its vital core. The Vatican is reeling with new procedures and guidelines that did not exist before. The new watch word is accountability. There are those in the Curia that are waiting for the next Pope. Good luck with that. Francis has named new Cardinals that are more in line with his philosophy of the church and his vision.


ISIS the terrorist group dominated the news this year with violence, beheadings and ignorant vandalism of very important historical landmarks to the culture of their own people and religion. The worst part about ISIS is that they have inspired hate of the Muslim religion.
The President seems to think that if he doesn’t react to ISIS, that will frustrate them more. Many disagree. What I would do is try to form a coalition of rivals and destroy everything related to the group. Even their families. Sorry, the only thing that beats a bully is force. ISIS is the most formative and evil bully. In World War II we danced with many devils to defeat Hitler. We must do that to level ISIS.
ISIS brought its ugly head to the United States where young people were being recruited. The two terrorists who attacked the health care facility in San Bernardino California were also inspired and some say aided by ISIS sympathizers.
ISIS was the top story last year, the top story this year and from an international stand point will be the top story next year too. They must be stopped.
Sources: Wikipedia, NY Times, Time Magazine, LuLac Letter editions.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3100, December 27th, 2015


As the year winds down, we continue with our year end features. “Women We Love” is something we ripped off from Esquire Magazine a few years back. Each year we get nominees for outstanding women locally, statewide nationally and internationally. The criteria are simple: quality of work, recognition of community activities, and being in challenging positions that give them a profile, either good or bad. Also, if there is a “buzz” about the type of year they are having and how that impacts on themselves as well as the community. Nominations come in via the LuLac E Mail box and a certain number is needed to make the cut. After that cut is dwindled, we choose the winners.
This year was very different. Several of our nominees from the past were renominated for their electoral and governmental accomplishments. So “Honorable Mentions" go to Evie Refalko McNulty, Laureen Cummings and Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavants.

For 2015, The LuLac Women We Love

(Photo: Laurie and Lynn website).
The true success of any radio performer or for that matter any public person is how they relate to people. If you listen to WILK Radio Saturday mornings at 9AM you’ll hear Laurie Cadden speaking to her radio partner Lynne Evans as if she is your neighbor conversing with you over a fence. The Laurie and Lynne Show has become a staple for Saturday mornings in this community and Cadden’s personality is a contributing factor. A little bit about Laurie.
Laurie Cadden is not afraid of a little hard work. Owner of Laurie Cadden Enterprises and a real estate agent at ERA Real Estate in Scranton, she definitely gets to do her share.
Cadden began her career with the banking industry when she was only 19. She earned her realtor's license in 1988 while living in Philadelphia. After returning to the area in 1991, she became involved in the community through volunteering and working on different committees and boards, which she enjoys immensely.
At Laurie Cadden Enterprises, she is responsible for securing sponsorships, working with media partners, planning and organizing special events, and finding and meeting with potential sponsors. At ERA Real Estate, she works with buyers and sellers of commercial and residential properties.
The most influential person in her life has been her father, Jim Cadden. "He told me to be a leader, never a follower, and to do whatever I want," she said. Also, she has had great role models in her grandmothers and mother, all of whom showed her that women can be strong without losing their femininity.
Another great mentor has been George Pann for instilling in her the wisdom in not obsessing about who's behind you, who's beside you or who's in front of you, but in staying focused on where you are going. John Martines has also been a great role model, demonstrating the importance of civic responsibility and giving back to the community. Cadden also names Tara Finnerty, a friend who helped her understand the importance of self acceptance.
She advises up-and-coming business women to "learn how to flirt with women as well as men," she said with a laugh. She also firmly believes in the advice: "What you think of me is none of my business."
Cadden is the proud mother of two "wonderful" sons, Thomas J.Foley, IV, 21, a junior attending George Washington University, and Sean Cadden Foley, 16, a sophomore at Scranton Prep.
She is also engaged to a "terrific" man, Myer Moskovitz, and has two adorable dogs, Phoebe and Lulu, that keep her even busier. She loves traveling, reading, Broadway plays, volunteering, and shopping. Laurie's work ethic and her force of personality make her one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2015.

(Photo: CBS News).
A few of our readers decided to single out CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes. On a few nomination e mails, she was referred to as a straight shooting reporter that always seems to hold her own on CBS’ Face The Nation. I’m always struck by Cordes’ demeanor and her ability to make her case without getting snarky. Prior to joining CBS News in 2007, Cordes was an ABC News correspondent based in New York (2005–07), where she reported for all ABC News programs and covered many major news stories, including Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, and the 2004 election.  Before that, she was a Washington-based correspondent for NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News (2003–04). Prior to joining ABC News, Cordes was a reporter for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. (1999-2003), where she covered the September 11 attack on the Pentagon, the 2000 Presidential race, the D.C.-area sniper attacks, and peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia. She began her career as a reporter for KHNL-TV in Honolulu (1995–97).
Cordes grew up in Hawaii on the islands of Kauai and Oahu. She is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. Cordes received a master's degree in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Cordes gets the votes of many LuLac readers because she reports the news well and is not afraid to push back on the Sunday talk shows. That’s why she is one of the LuLac Women We Love this year.

(Photo: Laurie and Lynn website). 
This year LuLac readers reaffirmed our good thoughts about the team of Laurie and Lynne on WILK Radio. Readers said that the radio show gave an interesting perspective on not only women’s issues but what goes on socially in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is the profile the other member of the duo, Lynn Evans.
Long-time clients of Lynn S. Evans, CFP®, say it’s her unique combination of sincerity, honesty, breath of financial knowledge and expertise that enable her to guide them through the rewarding process of financial life planning. Lynn founded her company Northeastern Financial Consultants, Inc. twenty-five years ago so she could do business her way. That is, she takes the time not only to understand the hopes and dreams of her clients, but also to ensure they understand the financial strategies she implements on their behalf.
Recently, Lynn’s focus has been on what she views as the financial knowledge gap of Baby Boomer women where traditional stereo-types are being reexamined and exciting new opportunities await on the horizon. Viewing divorce, retirement, and widowhood not as a time of withdrawal and fear, but gearing up for new challenges and rewards, Lynn helps her clients prepare financially — and emotionally — for these significant transitions.
As it has from the start, Lynn's fee-only business model ensures that there are no conflicts of interest. Quite simply, her clients' needs come first. In fact, clients view Lynn not simply as a financial ad-visor, but as their partner in life’s financial journey.
Passionate about educating her community on financial matters, Lynn has authored a monthly personal finance column for the Northeast PA Business Journal since 2001. What’s more, she's a sought after public speaker on topics ranging from financial life planning, and the new retirement to estate planning. A valued source to the local and national media, she has been quoted in a variety of publications.
Lynn earned her BA from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She’s held the CFP® mark of distinction for more than 25 years Active in her community, Lynn holds leadership positions in a variety of civic organizations including the Women's Resource Center of Scranton, which she co-founded, Northeast Philharmonic, and Cedar Crest College's Alumnae Association.
Lynn and her husband, Patrick A. di Napoli, enjoy spending family time with their son, Tyler, and boating on Lake Wallenpaupack in PA's Pocono Mountains.


(Photo: LuLac archives).
For decades she was a respected school teacher but a few years back decided to get into the political arena by running for Luzerne County Council. One of the charter members of the Luzerne County Council and its form of government, McCloskey Houck has made her mark as a skilled practitioner of reasonable politics. Houck has been very even handed and steadfast in her beliefs about how this new government should work. Many readers said that she did not demonize the County Manager but instead tried to give him as well as the new system the benefit of the doubt.
While there may have been a few discordant notes as the Charter form of government started, Houck, a graduate of Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and certification in Music Education tried to accentuate the positive.
While her career was primarily music and education, her own family became involved in politics in the 80s. Her mother was the first female ever to serve on Luzerne Borough Council serving after her father ran but passed away before being able to serve. She was later elected to the seat in her own right and served a total of 4 years.
Houck ran for County Council at the encouragement of colleagues, who found her to be very organized, methodical, and process-oriented. During her two campaigns she told people that “I'm not much of a politician but I hoped to be a good public servant”. (If only someone had whispered that in Jeb Bush’s ear!!) Houck did a lot of work in the first 2 years working on the Codes and setting up the ABC process. Re-elected to a second term, as Chair of Council in this past year she tried to solidify the processes for how the work of Council is managed, being consistent with how items are introduced and progressing from work session discussion topic to voting session item. This year at her direction, Council scrutinized the proposed 2016 County budget line-by-line, so that all had a thorough understanding of what is in it - an approach that has received many favorable comments from other Council members and from the public as well.
Personally, she has been a professional musician most of her life - started playing piano at age 4, began playing the organ in her parish (St. Ann's (Lithuanian) Parish, now Holy Family Parish, in Luzerne) when she was 13 years old and continues there today as organist/choir director and Director of Worship. She was music director for many shows in community theaters for many years and is still the music director of MostlyOpera, an operatic troupe based in Scranton. (Maybe in her spare time she can compose an Opera on the Charter form of Government!!! Can you imagine the cast???)
She’s been married to Dale, who is also a professional musician and a retired music teacher, for over 34 years, and they have 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. She was a stay-at-home mom when the kids were little and started teaching elementary instrumental music at Wyoming Valley West 21 years ago when her youngest daughter entered kindergarten. A few years ago she underwent a career transition teaching 1st and 2nd grade remedial reading. She’s also been the president of the WVW Education Association for 8 years.
She is a woman of faith (Republicans take note, Democrats can have faith too!!) serving as the Director of Worship, and a member of the Pastoral Council at Holy Family Parish.
She loves to bake, and during the various campaigns she introduced her Pepper Cookie recipe which we’ll show you here.
This year the readers of LuLac picked Linda McCloskey Houck as one of the 2015 Women We Love for her slow and steady pace in leading the County Council as well as contributing her time and energy to make her home area a bit better.
Dry Ingredients:
4 ½ cups flour ½ box currants
6 -7 tblsp cocoa 1 ½ water
2 ½ tblsp baking powder 1 1/8 cup sugar
1 ½ tblsp cinnamon 1 cup oil
1 tsp cloves (less - cloves are strong) 1 cup nuts
1 tsp pepper ½ box chocolate chips (or ½ small bag)
Boil currants in 1 ½ cup of water for five minutes, then cool water and currants.
Beat oil and sugar well.
Add currants and water.
Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly.
Add ½ cup more water if needed.
Add nuts and chips.
Refrigerate dough at least ½ hour. Roll into balls between oiled hands.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Ice with chocolate icing after cooled.


One of the women that made the list of LuLac Women We Love is WNEP’s Sharla McBride. Most of the voters advised that the reason for her selection was the smooth and almost seamless transition she made from Sports Reporting to co anchoring the nightly news. Plus it was also mentioned that no LuLac Women We Love ever had a bobble head made in their image.
Sharla co-anchors the evening newscasts weekdays at 7pm, 10pm and 11pm. She originally joined the Newswatch 16 team in April of 2008 as a weekend sports anchor, and weekday sports reporter.
Sharla’s passion for reporting began in Athens, Georgia, while studying Broadcasting and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.
A graduate of UGA, Sharla roots for her “Dawgs” every chance she gets and even had an English bulldog named Herschel Walker!
While in college, Sharla interned at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, and later worked there as an associate sports producer. In May of 2007, Sharla took a job as a sports reporter and fill-in anchor at KTXS-TV in Abilene, TX.
When Sharla isn’t working, she enjoys volunteering her time to several area organizations including the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, Susan G. Komen Foundation of NEPA, and the United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA.
You can also find Sharla watching sports with her super sports fan of a husband, Todd.
Her quick wit, her ability to engage with the vast WNEP TV audience on all levels as well as that bobble head are the reasons why Sharla McBride is one of the women we love in 2015.

(Photo: Scranton Times Tribune).
When Kathleen McGuigan was on the Scranton School Board she was sensible, pragmatic and brooked no nonsense. She has been on the LuLac radar for years and it is ironic that after she left the School Board, she was voted as one of The Women We Love in 2015. McGuigan was on the school board for 11 years and her resignation still reverberates.
Essentially she had her fill of back room dealing that has been a Scranton School District hallmark for years! McGuigan did what few politicians ever do, called out her colleagues as being selfish and ineffectual. She also claimed that the Board members were forcing administrators to resign and creating a hostile atmosphere in the District. She was lauded for taking a stand and to this day some Scranton residents wish she was still active in the District.
Since leaving the board, she has maintained her career serving the Scranton area as their local GEICO Insurance Agent since 2008. Her office serves residents of many of the neighboring communities including Wilkes-Barre, Carbondale, Dickson City, Dalton, Factoryville, Olyphant, Jessup, Taylor, Moosic, Moscow, and Pittston. Meeting people in the area and helping them get proper car insurance is what she enjoys most about being a local GEICO agent.
In addition to her stint on the Scranton School Board she is very involved in community events that benefit the needs of  local children. There are Gecko events for the Ronald McDonald House, the Jewish Discovery Center, the Scranton Cultural Center and at various high school and youth events in both Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. McGuigian was recently appointed as a board member of the St. Francis of Assisi kitchen which provides hot, nutritious meals to our area's less fortunate. Her office also serves as a drop-off point for the annual Toys for Tots program.
Just a few years after taking a stand against interference and non transparency of the Scranton School Board Kathleen McGuigian is still remembered as a person of principle. That’s one of the reasons why she was named one of The LuLac Women We Love in 2015.

(Photo: Mandy Boyle Pennington).
We are very happy to announce the choice of Mandy Boyle Pennington for the LuLac Women We Love. Mandy is one of the co-founders of the BlogCon organization which has lent professionalism and educational development to the blogging community. Mandy Boyle Pennington is the Director of Internet Marketing at Net Driven, a website provider for the automotive industry. In that role, she leads a team of SEO analysts, SEM specialists, local directory managers, copywriters, and social media managers, all working toward meeting client goals.
But outside of her 9-to-5, Mandy is involved with several other pursuits. She is also the Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of NEPA BlogCon and Squirrel Girls Tech Camp.
NEPA BlogCon is the region's only blogging and social media conference, and since 2012, NEPA BlogCon has educated hundreds of bloggers from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and beyond! Unlike other conferences, NEPA BlogCon has a mission to support community enrichment and development by donating all proceeds to fund local non-profits or education projects. This year, NEPA BlogCon will turn 5 and in that time, it has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the Arc of Luzerne County, Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, the NEPA Veterans Multi-Care Alliance, and to fund the Squirrel Girls Tech Camp.
Squirrel Girls Tech Camp, organized in conjunction with TecBridge, is a STEM education camp for girls in grades 4-6. Campers spend time with local tech professionals, learning about computer programming, critical thinking, gaming design, and other skills that can build their confidence in technology. In the coming year, Mandy, along with fellow co-founders Karla Porter and Michelle Davies, will be working on further developing the camp so that it can serve even more girls throughout the region.
Mandy is also an adjunct instructor in Communication Arts at Marywood University, where she graduated with both a BA and MA.
She is a published freelance writer, with credits including Binghamton University Magazine, the Back Mountain Community News, Search Engine People, The Next Great Generation, and most recently, White, an Australian wedding magazine.
Mandy is an active member of the regional theater community, too. She is a founding member of the New Vintage Ensemble, and regularly performs with them as well as other theater groups in the area, including Gaslight Theater Company and Diva Productions. You can see her in the New Vintage Ensemble's production of "Hamlet" this January at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple.
She enjoys hugs, is an adventurous eater, and has a passion for communication. And she believes that there is so much potential in NEPA, if you take the time to look. :)
You can find her at, on Twitter @mandyboyle, or on Facebook.


(Photos: Facebook.The Christmas photo with Bob, Paula, Maggie Mae, PookiScammer, and PJ.
One of the persons nominated this year is a veteran broadcaster who has been part of the fabric of Northeastern Pennsylvania for a few decades. Paula Deignan Reynolds has been taking the helm of the WILK Daily News broadcasts since the retirement of Bud Brown. Reynolds made the transition easily and prior to that was a news person at WARM Radio and WWDL in Scranton.
Paula graduated Scranton Central High School where in her senior year she was in a play which placed first at the State High School Festival at Penn State. She claims that's why she chose Radio/TV/Theater as her major. Like many who got the broadcast bug in college, she began working at the old WSCR in 1978.
After graduating from Marywood in 1980, she tried to get the most experience wherever she could. She tells LuLac the most important lesson she learned was to get involved in anything you can for experience because you never know what can happen. She was the Easter Bunny at  Scranton Dry, joining Santa Claus as Mrs. Claus when he arrived at The Globe Store, being a clown in the early days of St. Joe's Center Festival and taking part in the filming of promos for WDAU-TV during the "Looking Good" Campaign. Without saying a word in the promo, she later got a phone call to apply for a part time position at then WBGI AM/FM. Joining the other broadcast denizens in the basement of Scranton Prep she worked at the old WGBI AM and FM, she was a listener favorite.
She went on to Winter Haven, Florida at WZNG-AM and Lakeland Florida WPCV-FM. After a stint there, she moved back home, and started part time at WWDL-FM/WICK-AM where she stayed and eventually became Program Director until 1995.
Multi tasking was in her DNA, and in 1985 she started as the host of "Call The Doctor" on WVIA. It was Saturday morning, an hour, live, with live phone calls from 1985-1998.
Having never done anything on TV, never mind LIVE with medical professionals, no commercial breaks on a whole host of topics, Reynolds was a local favorite. One of the first topics in the area included the very first show on "Male Impotence" long before that little blue pill and the babe in the football jersey we see on TV now were a prime time commercial.
Near the end of her time hosting the show her mom died from Colon Cancer in 1997. Her mom was her inspiration, as she fought a disease no one talked about back then, for over 10 years. Her mom, though, was around for a seminal moment in her life. In 1993 she began the best adventure of her life marrying Bob Reynolds and helping him raise his 4 children.
Reynolds joined the staff of WARM Radio in 1995 and stayed until right before Thanksgiving in 2004 when the staff were called in one by one to be told the station was "changing format" and "we wish you well in your future endeavors". That day essentially ended WARM Radio as many adults in this area knew it.
After her stint on WVIA ended, she was invited to host a public affairs show on WSWB-TV. This was a combination of on-location shooting which brought her to numerous activities throughout NEPA, and in-studio interviews with local public affairs topics. During her time there, she was also able to be an announcer for one of the St. Patrick's Day Parades in Scranton on FOX 56.
She then moved onto positions in the non broadcast sector. When WNAK was undergoing a change she joined their staff as it transitioned into Lite 94.3FM.
After occasional fill-ins on WILK, when veteran newsman Bud Brown decided to retire, Reynolds was the perfect choice.
Back at WILK full time in the morning, she is also a fill-in anchor on WYLN-TV for their 5:30 newscast and was able to be their street reporter in the recent Wilkes Barre Santa Claus Parade.
For other activities, she lectors at St. Patrick's Church in White Haven which I’m sure thrills the Reverend Mike Kloton. She is a member of Pleasure of Your Company Therapy Dogs and Furry Tails Reading Partners with her therapy dog Maggie Mae. Paula also enjoys spending time with her husband Bob, their children and grandchildren.
She has never stopped "getting involved" in things for experience...because you never know where it might lead you. That factor is something she instills in her grandchildren and other young people she has the chance to mentor. Her ability to tackle any challenge, improvise and succeed throughout her long career as well as her ability to inspire others makes Paul Deignan Reynolds one of the LuLac Women We Love for 2015.


(Photos: LuLac archives).
When I first heard that Valerie Tysanner was going to be interviewing me for PA Live I was both excited and eager to work with her. I had seen her on WBRE News as part of the Central Pennsylvania News team, the renowned WBRE TV I Team,  as well as when she was co anchoring. I could tell that she was indeed a political junkie and found all about that on The Fourth of July segment I had taped this past summer. Valerie came in before the show and we sat and met as pictures were taken. This California-born transplant and I got along fine except for snow in the winter. I’m against it and she’s for it.
On PA Live Tysanner is a steady presence, lighting up countless living rooms with her personality and she keeps guests calm. To guests who have never been on TV, she smiles and tells them not to worry. “It’s live and it’s fun, don’t worry about being afraid, just enjoy the time here”.
Tysanner joined the Eyewitness News team in June 2013 from WVTT, an independent television station in Western New York. While there, she spent much of her time covering Pennsylvania's northern tier. Before moving to the Empire State, she worked at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.
While at NBC 4, Valerie worked as an editorial assistant. She also field produced for NBC's coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, and Conrad Murray trial.
Prior to working at KNBC, Valerie reported for Santa Barbara City-TV, and KCSB radio. She also interned for Dateline NBC and the FOX affiliate in Los Angeles.
Valerie graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is excited to explore Central and Northeastern PA. She loves an adventure and has gone skydiving, parasailing, and zip lining. She also enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and a good book.
As stated before, I have had the pleasure of doing the political segments on PA Live with Valerie the past few months. She is an avid news junkie and enjoys the political process for what it provides in both educational and entertainment areas of Journalism.
Tysanner has become a daily part of the lives of those daytime TV viewers who eagerly await the news as well as the lifestyle segments provided by PA Live. For that reason and many more she is one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2015.


(Photos: AT&T,
That woman you see on those AT&T commercials is actually an Uzbek-American actress, comedian, writer, and producer who is best known for playing the "Lily Adams" character in a series of AT&T television commercials. Her name is Milana Aleksandrovna Vayntrub.
Vayntrub has appeared in many short films and in the web series "Let's Talk About Something More Interesting" co-starring Stevie Nelson. She currently stars in the Yahoo! Screen series Other Space.
Vayntrub was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and is Jewish. She moved to West Hollywood with her parents at the age of three. She started acting in Mattel Barbie commercials at the age of five, due in part to her family's financial problems.
Vayntrub briefly attended Beverly Hills High School, but dropped out after her sophomore year, got a GED, and went on to get a degree in communication from University of California, San Diego. She received training with the improvisational comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade
Vayntrub and Stevie Nelson teamed up to start the YouTube comedy channel Live Prude Girls where they produced a number of shorts and the hit web series Let's Talk About Something More Interesting] Live Prude Girls went on to be featured on NewMediaRockstars' Top 100 Channels countdown, ranked at #93.
Vayntrub has had small roles in film and television, including Life Happens. She has also starred in several CollegeHumor videos. In 2011, Vayntrub was the lead in the music video for "Teenage Tide" by Letting Up Despite Great Faults. She appeared as Tara in an episode of the sitcom Silicon Valley.
Since November 2013, she has portrayed a saleswoman named "Lily Adams" in a series of TV commercials for AT&T and also currently portrays Tina Shukshin on the Yahoo! Screen original series Other Space.
So apparently LuLac readers aren’t the only ones committed to pure politics. This year they surprised us by selecting the spokesperson for a cell phone carrier. Who knew that with all of her honors in her career, Vayntrub would snag an award like this!!!!

(Then Governor Tom Corbett with one of his biggest supporters. Photo: Facebook).
There are many volunteers in political parties that are known as the unsung heroes of ever campaign cycle. You never see them out front but rather they are the first persons to arrive and the last to leave. In effect they are the political roadies that set up the stage for the candidates. They stuff the envelopes, work the phone banks and bake the cookies. You’ll see them at the sign in tables as well as chasing down errant candidates for a picture.
This year Susan Zaykoski was chosen as one of the Women We Love in 2015. Now you may not know her as a political household word in Luzerne County but people like her are the backbone of any political organization.
Zaykoski became involved in politics around 2007 when she was inspired by past LuLac winners of "Women We Love", WYLN TV 35’s Tiffany Cloud as well as newly elected Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings. Since then she has been a mainstay at local party events. Zaykoski has been front and center at these events and is guided by both religious and patriotic principles. Zaykoski wears these principles as well as she wears the Red, White and Blue vest she sports at GOP gatherings.
She works for Commonwealth Health as a Medical Pathology Transcriber, lives in Bear Creek with her husband of more than 3 decades, and has two children Adam and Leigh.
Her steady dedication to the cause of the Luzerne County GOP, her reliability as well as her sunny personality (not to mention baking abilities) makes Susan Zaykoski one of  the Women We Love in 2015.
Sources: Biographical information submitted by nominees, Linked In, Facebook, Scranton Times Tribune, LuLac archives, Citizen's Voice, CBS News, nominee websites or workplace websites).