Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3289, August 31, 2016

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.


Charles Urban has a new crusade and it involves Property Tax Reform. Urban sent this letter to anyone who would read it. I have always been for a user tax that would pay for schools. That way, everyone pays not just property owners. Plus Urban made a good point to me when he said property owners, without the burden of taxes (especially landlords) could expand and improve their properties with the extra money. Here is hi open letter:
Property Owners: Luzerne, Lackawanna. Wyoming, Pike, Monroe, Columbia, Lehigh, Carbon, and Wayne Counties
Did you receive your school property tax bill? Your school property taxes will continue to increase if you don’t take action now.
Attending school board meetings, expressing your concerns are commendable, but it will not solve your problems completely. Your school board members will listen to you, but they can do only two things; Raise or lower your school taxes, mostly School Boards raise your taxes as they are faced with the rising cost each year to operate.
There is a solution and that starts with you by becoming involved. Remember you are the government, the employer, the stockholder and you have the power to control the purse strings.
Let’s start first: You must elect a lawmaker, that will listen and represent you in Harrisburg and not give you lip service or excuses. Today we are faced with the problems that affects each homeowner that is unable to pay their school taxes through no fault of their own. Retirees on limited income, those affected by loss of jobs, sickness and those on disability unable to earn a living. 10,000 homeowners and 350,000 foreclosures each year lose their homes because of the causes listed.
You might ask how can I fix this problem? For every problem there is a solutions, by getting involved. If you don’t succeed at first you must become persistent. We the PTCC members have been trying for years to eliminate school property taxes and finally we have been as close as ever. We were persistent as our elected officials tried to turn a deaf ear and gave us excuses. Today we still have some lawmakers who don’t support elimination of school property taxes and that is where you the property and taxpayer must contact you elected officials and demands you want elimination of school property taxes
Solution: Senate Bill,House Bill 76 would:
*Abolish school property taxes. Schools would be allowed however to keep a small portion of school property taxes until the debt is paid off.
* Raise the state income tax to 4.95 percent.*Expand the sales tax to apply to many more items and services.
*Expand the sales tax to 7 percent
*Put the money from the tax increase into a fund separate from the rest of the state budget.
*School districts would be paid the same amount they currently receive in property taxes from this fund with future increases tied to inflation or average wage increases.
*Allow school districts to hold referendum on temporary tax increases.
*HB/SB 76would eliminate school property taxes forever.
Once the mortgage is paid off you will own your home, not renting for all these years from the government. A man’s home is his/her Castle and he/she should not lose it.
You will receive some opposition from some of your lawmakers with excuses. Why? Because some lawmakers are influenced and bought off by special interest groups by lobbyist representing the PSEA.
Homeowners; it’s election time and you must decide who you want to elect that will support the elimination of your school property taxes.
Contact your Senator and Representative in your district and demand that they support and sponsor HB/SB 76.
We are asking you to call these questionable and non-supporters asking them if they will support 76 as this will determine your support? Tell them that you want a definite answer. YES or NO.
Senator John Blake 570-207-2881 : Senator John Gordner 570-784-3464: Rep. Frank Farina 570-876-1111: Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich 570-562-2350: Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski 570-825-5934: Rep. Mike Carroll 570-655-4883.
CALL them and be persistent.
Charles Urban President Luzerne County Property Owners Member of 87 Pa.Taxpayers Cyber Coalition #570-288-2972 E

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3288, August 30th, 2016


Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that there are 365 steps in the U.S. Capitol. One for each day of the year.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the Trump campaign somehow has blamed Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the recent Anthony Wiener sexting scandal. Seems the disgraced Congressman just can’t get over sending photos of himself to the lay-ay-dees. Now his wife, Huma Abedin announced Monday that she and Weiner are separating. But this is what someone wrote on Facebook: Human Abedin and Anthony Weiner separating but plan to remain, per her statement, "devoted to doing what is best for our son..." Hey Huma: here's a radical idea...if you want to do right by your kid...stop LYING for your boss...and tell your estranged husband to stop being a total PERVERT!
So there is still gold to mine, no matter how farfetched in those Clinton hate statements. Meanwhile, because Weiner involved his son, I’d dump his ass and arrest him. But not bring in the former Secretary of State into it.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that John McCain’s opponent in his Senate race said he was way too old for the job. The state of Arizona is btw populated with urbane seniors who won’t take kindly to that type of ageism, from a doctor no less. But this is what tea party types do…over play their hands.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that when I make a strong, liberal, progressive statement on the blog, I’m compared to Steve Corbett. When I make a Conservative type statement, I’m compared to Sue Henry. I must be doing something right, I think.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED… how quick the Railriders season goes. But I was happy to get to a game this year. The Railriders clinched a playoff spot. Kudos to them. Speaking of baseball, Matt Cartwright has an event this Saturday. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…that the Trump campaign and the GOP tell us that blacks in this country have NO Jobs, no futures and are the victims of huge unemployment. Well, when Barack Obama took office, black unemployment was 16%, now it is 8%. Not great but better than before.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that when Hillary Clinton makes the claim that Donald Trump is not a real Republican, she inadvertently makes the case for GOP Senators like our own Pat Toomey, Arizona's John McCain, New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte , Ohio's Rob Portmanand Wisconsin's Ron Johnson to hang on. People in the GOP fold who can’t abide Trump will either not vote for the top of the ticket or hold their nose and vote for Clinton. Then justify it by saying they voted for a real Republican for Senate.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that this was the 50th anniversary for the last time the Beatles toured in the U.S. wrapping up in San Francisco. Ironically both surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are touring the country this year. As you know, Mrs. LuLac and I got to see Ringo and his All Star band in June. Here are two songs, one by Ringo and one by Paul that didn’t make the concert program but are still two of my favorites.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..but really not that amazed that Donald Trump is not preparing for the debate by going over briefing books. This will be one heck of a debate!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3287, August 29th, 2016.

Governor Tom Wolf (Photo:
Governor Wolf announced the establishment of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Charter Schools as an effort to improve quality and accountability of charter schools across the commonwealth. The office will assist charter school educators and leaders in setting goals to advance student achievement, increase parent and community involvement, and ensure academic and financial responsibility.
“Charter schools play an important role in our education system, but that role must be accompanied by sufficient oversight,” Governor Wolf said. “Establishing this new division within the Department of Education will allow us to maximize our resources to not only ensure charters are being properly supported, but that they are being held accountable to taxpayers.”
Charter schools are an important component in the State but it needs oversight given the financial situations some found themselves in recently.


This is not Hillary's doctor, Gary Johnson's, or my Doctor!!! (Photo: Huffington Post)
So there seems to be a great deal of speculation about Hillary Clinton’s health. It doesn’t help that conspiracy figures are pumping the venom and the steam. GOP nominee is only too happy to weigh in. Fox's Sean Hannity has nearly begun a cottage industry on Clinton's health. But in this interview there was quite a debate with Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald calling out Hannity. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump had a doctor give him a note of good health while the limo waited for the good Doctor to scribble it out. Dr. Harold Bornstein, in a four-paragraph letter assertied that Trump’s “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary” and his lab tests results were “astonishingly excellent.”
ASTONISHINGLY EXCELLENT!!!! Well now that should make us all feel better.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3286, August 28th, 2016


State Representative Aaron Kaufer had his kick off fundraising event this afternoon from 1 to 4 at Wyoming Hose Company #3 and had a really good turnout. The event was sponsored by various Kaufer backers.
Surrounded by friends and family, Kaufer was introduced by State Senator Lisa Baker and outlined his plans to continue to serve the 120th district.
Kaufer's Legislative initiatives include expanding job creation and economic development, and making Pennsylvania more job friendly for the businesses and corporations that create them. He also plans to focus on eliminating the school property tax burden placed on Pennsylvania’s homeowners. That one folks.... is a biggie.
Kaufer had a bill that passed making certain that Welfare recipients in the state would be cross checked so that they would not be collecting money elsewhere in neighboring states.
The event was very well attended and gives Kaufer a good kick off for his re-election bid.
The Representative and I spoke at length about the elimination of the property tax to pay for schools in the Commonwealth.

Was very happy to see an old friend, Jack Schumacher from Kingston at the event.  Jack served as one of the Original members of the Luzerne County Government Study Commission. Jack also was a good friend of a family member,  the late Wilkes Barre Policeman Bryson Wardle and worked in the Assessor's office with my uncle Timmy Pribula.
Speaking of old friends, I came across Richard "Dick" Adams. In the 1968 campaign, I was a young volunteer for Mr. Adams when he ran for office. I also took one of his courses when I went to the college at the corner of River and Jackson Street.
Here is Dick and his wife Linda with their grandchildren Axel and Dash. They will be eligible to vote..but not just yet.
I had a very lengthy discussion with this guy, Environmental icon Charles Urban. We covered everything from property tax reform to baseball. Charlie has sent me some information on things he is working on regarding Property Tax elimination and we'll be putting that up too.


Always great to see Attorney Bill Urbanski at the event. Urbanski was an active GOP Chair and serves as an Assistant DA in Susquehanna County.....Very happy to meet the daughter (Molly O'Connell) and grand daughter, (Luzerne County Assistant DA Linda Phillips) of the late Legislator Frank J. O'Connell.......GOP stalwart Santo Agati made the scene.....very glad to see Lynette Villano, Vice Chair out and about. Our deepest condolences to her on the loss of her husband........and on the way out I met new Chair Ron Ferrance who stopped by to put the icing on the cake of a great event.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3285, August 27th, 2016

First off, let me preference my remarks by saying that I am very familiar with a person who has to live with an allergy. The biggest scare of my life came a week after I was married to Mrs. LuLac. We had just returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica and set up shop on Grove Street above Leggeri’s Supermarket. On a Friday night we went to get our first food order at the old SuperSaver at the Penn Plaza on South Main Street in Wilkes Barre. Prior to that, we had dinner at a Chinese Restaurant, (one close by that I still frequent when she is out of town) and while I was in the cereal aisle, I heard a commotion. My week old marriage was being threatened by an egg roll that had peanuts as a thickener. Since then, we are careful when we dine out and make sure conversations are held with wait staff and in some cases even chefs. (Except Abe’s on South Main and Eric Lee’s in Dallas). So I am sympathetic to people who get allergic reactions.
This week there was news that the owner of the EpiPen, Mylan, the majority provider of the severe allergy treatment lifesaving drug was responsible for a fourfold price increase on EpiPen. Meanwhile, it’s CEO, Heather Bresch. Daughter of Senator Joe Manchin, took a huge pay raise that amounts to millions of dollars a year. The going price at pharmacies for the epi-pen was $600.00. This provoked outrage by people who need the drug. By the end of the week, after people complained Mylan offered a 50% discount, a rebate program and get this, called for reform of the Insurance Industry. Bresch cited the Health Care crisis in America.
Uh no…………………………………the crisis with the EpiPen is the decision of a drug company to gouge its consumer. Bresch said that the company needed to recover the costs of owning it. So she does that by taking a 30 million dollar plus salary?
Ah the private market. Our conservative friends tell us let the markets control the economy and the prices of things and everything will get better. Except for people spending $600.00 on a life saving drug.
Which brings us to our friend Frank Scavo, a frequent caller to WILK Radio, a former Old Forge School Director, race car enthusiast at Giant’s Despair Hill Climbs, and a Tea Party fan who feels that government should stay out of the lives of all of us. Frank also ran for the State Senate in the 22nd District in 2010 to replace Senator Bob Mellow. On Facebook Frank is a prolific poster. I have violently disagreed with some of his posts. I might have even said that for me that invalidated his opinion on some issues. At one point he was even reported on FB which I disagreed with more violently than my dismay with his posts. But that’s their decision, not mine. (As a person who edits comments on LuLac how can I fault them?) But I digress.
Through the years Frank has posted pictures of his family trips to the Caribbean, his race car ventures at Giant’s Despair, concerts, family gatherings and his very anti-Democratic party stances on the issues of the day. He is well known as a Conservative’s conservative. But this week Scavo found himself in the middle of a health crisis which led the WNEP TV news the other night.
Scavo had an undetermined reaction to an allergy and needed to go to the ER for it. He went to a pharmacy as a preventative measure but declined the Epi Pens when he was told the cost was $600.00 citing the expense.
Here’s the link to the report from WNEP’s Peggy Lee.
In the interview Mr. Scavo said,

“My face had blown up, it was the size of a football, I could no longer breath through my nose, my sinuses and my throat was beginning to close.”
His doctor told him about the EpiPen auto-injector, a device carrying the drug epinephrine that works as a muscle relaxer during an allergic reaction.
Scavo got a prescription but when he went to get the medicine, he got a big shock.
“They said it`s $600 upon which I said forget it, I can`t afford it!” said Scavo. “And the pharmacist said, listen many people do cancel because the cost is very expensive for the average working man.”
Scavo, and millions of others across the nation, are expressing outrage at EpiPen`s manufacturer, Mylan over what they feel is price gouging.
“If I had the EpiPen it would probably have relieved it (the allergic reaction) long before I got to this point of having to take a $500 ambulance ride and a $5000 emergency room visit,” said Scavo.
Now caught up in national firestorm, Mylan say it`s making immediate changes to EpiPen distribution.
It says it will offer patients savings cards that will cut the cost in half, to $300.
Scavo, who has now bought the EpiPen, feels more needs to be done.
“Who`s looking out for the working man? Where`s the FDA, where`s the Consumer Protection Agency on these issues because this {drug} at $600? Who`s going to buy it?”
Thursday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey issued a statement on Mylan also saying what the company is doing is not enough. (Narrative: WNEP TV)
Well a few things here for Mr. Scavo and Mr. Casey. First Mr. Scavo, the Consumer Protection Agency stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. It doesn’t say anything about pricing though because pricing is part of private industry which drug companies are. Mylan has learned that the private market on their Epi-Pen has pissed people off and adjusted things accordingly. But it wasn’t until after the furor that they chose to back peddle and come clean.
To Mr. Casey, you are correct, Mylan is not doing enough because they don’t have to. The reason why is that drug companies spend nearly 280 million a year contributing to politicians. Meanwhile since 2003, Medicare, the biggest drug purchaser in the US, cannot negotiate drug pricing. As a result, some of the most disenfranchised patients pay high co-pays, and tax payers are forced to cough up billions in taxes to subsidize Medicare drug spending. The Epi-Pen story this week brings out a few things.
1. Drug companies as private entities don’t give a shit about consumers. All they care about is profit at any cost. And this is why guys like Bernie Sanders have had a hearing this years because people aren’t dumb.
2. Consumers who need life saving or quality of life prescriptions need to know they are faceless to the big companies. I am currently on a drug that is pretty inexpensive but if or when I reach 65 Medicare won’t cover it. So because I know that now, I’m making contingencies. Plain and simple, the drugs mean more to me than the other stuff. Is that fair? No. But that’s life. I want no surprises like Mr. Scavo got.
3. Government regulation, an anathema to a guy like Frank sometimes is onerous. But as Paul Kanjorski used to say, “Regulations exist for the percentage of companies who don’t do the right thing.” Like Mylan.
4. The reason why these things happen is because the drug and insurance companies can do whatever the hell they want. The country needs a Public Option where every American has health care and Epi-Pens won’t cost $600.00. When the President took office, 75% of the American people supported the Public Option. The well was poisoned by people who stood to gain the most, companies like Mylan.
All this needs to be fixed and only one of the Presidential candidates seem to be talking about it. But I won’t mention her name because Frank Scavo has had a rough enough week already.


Independent candidate Everett Stern (Photo: Stern website)
There is a Third Party candidate running for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat. Everett Stern is a 2016 independent candidate seeking elction to the post.
Stern was a 2014 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 13th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. However, he withdrew from the race prior to the filing deadline.
Here is the letter Stern wrote on his website:
Dear Voters, Family, Friends, and Colleagues:
The Republican Party in Pennsylvania did whatever it could to keep me off the Republican ballot for US Senate because I am challenging their darling incumbent, Senator Pat Toomey. I’m sure the party insiders think they’ve handed me a resounding defeat, but nothing could be further from the truth. Everything they’ve done to keep me off the ballot only serves to strengthen my resolve to win this fight. I will now run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent candidate. The biggest mistake people make is to look at me as if I’m a politician. I’m not a politician. I’m a fighter. And I know how to fight like I’ve got nothing to lose because I’ve been there before.
When I decided to blow the whistle on banking juggernaut HSBC for willingly flaunting US anti-money laundering regulations, I didn’t realize it would cost me everything. Doing the right thing left me penniless, but I had to do it. Innocent lives around the world depended on me not turning my back on how the bank was allowing money to flow through its US accounts and into the hands of terrorists. I saw first-hand how insatiable corporate greed for short-term profits leads to policies and practices that fly in the face of American values and laws. When it’s all about the money, honor and integrity are too often flung aside in favor of the almighty Dollar. HSBC doesn’t careabout anything except raking in gargantuan profits.
The same is all too often true in politics. Senator Pat Toomey sat on the Senate Bank Financing Committee and utterly failed to hold HSBC accountable for its egregious violation of US law and banking regulations. To add insult to injury, Senator Toomey has also accepted campaign contributions from HSBC bank. No wonder he did so little to hold the bank accountable. After all, it’s helping make sure he gets reelected. In the same way that HSBC simply doesn’t care about anything except making money, Senator Toomey clearly doesn’t care about doing the right thing – he only cares about making sure he’s got the money he needs to get reelected, no matter how dubious the source of funds.
It’s this trend of indifference and not caring that keeps me in the fight. I don’t have the financial resources of HSBC backing me. I certainly don’t and won’t have the millions of dollars Senator Toomey will have at his disposal for campaigning. What I do have, however, are several things Senator Toomey lacks: Honor, integrity, and the steely resolve to do what’s right for the American people. I believe the good people of Pennsylvania will eventually see the differences between Senator Toomey and Everett Stern and make the right choice.
I am willing to put everything on the line to win this election. Senator Toomey, on the other hand, doesn’t even show up to most of the GOP events from which I’ve been so conveniently excluded. I believe the American people deserve so much more than someone who doesn’t even care enough to show up. On the battlefield of this campaign, I show up every time and fight the good fight. Even after a setback such as not getting on the Republican ballot, I continue to fight.
I understand that in a war, you can’t expect to win every battle. Right now my campaign feels like a young and inexperienced David facing off against Goliath – but we all now how that particular encounter ended. I felt the same way when I faced off against global banking giant HSBC. I know what it’s like to be the little guy taking on giants, and my aim is true.
I look forward to rallying anyone and everyone to my cause with the clarion calls of CHARACTER, HONOR, INTEGRITY, and LOYALTY. Those are what I’m all about, and they’re everything lacking in Senator Toomey. Together we can fight the apathy that threatens our nation. We can fight the indifference. We can fight the not caring. And we can win. I know you’ll join with me in this fight because you care about everything for which America stands. Together we will win the victory.
“I came to the swift, raging river, And the roar held the echo of fear;
“Oh Lord, give me wings to fly over, If You are, as You promised, quite near.”
But He said, “Trust the grace I am giving, All-pervasive, sufficient for you.
Take my hand, we will face this together;
But My plan is – not over, but through.”
Everett A. Stern, M.B.A.
Intelligence Director
United States of America


Mrs. LuLac and I spent part of our afternoon today with Wilkes Barre Councilman Tony Brooks and his friends. We traveled to Stoddersville  on the Lehigh River joining Tony and friends at WAC-ZIP Lodge.
Here is a shot of the beautiful scenery.
From left to right, your blog editor, Councilman Brooks and Megan MacGregor.
WAC-ZIP was built by John Lord Butler, Sr., a member of the Yale Class of 1915. His grandfather George Hollenback Butler acquired the town of Stoddartsville when he married Gertrude Taylor Stoddart in 1890. The Stoddartsville Association manages eleven properties and are still owned by descendants.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3284, August 25th, 2016


Donald Trump and Congressman Tom Marino have called for a Special Prosecutor regarding The Clinton Foundation. Trump even went so far to say that Clinton was the most corrupt person in politics because of her foundation. Uh, proof there big fella? Should the Clintons have divested themselves of it when she was Secretary of State? Sure. But PROVE somewhere that there was a quid pro quo. Here’s what James Carville had to say:


Well if you are black in America Donald Trump is NOT your friend. Through the years Trump has been sued for discrimination against black renters in one of his buildings. Trump has not called out his supporters for obvious race baiting at rallies. He tweeted this, “Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won't see another black president for generations!”
Then there was this: His stance on Muslims is also problematic because 17% of Muslims are black. So by his logic, Ali the boxer was an enemy of the state?
Yeah, trust him! Even Ben Carson who endorsed him said that Trump would be hard pressed to make inroads into the black vote.
Believe me, Democrats are not taking the black vote for granted. Just look at the difference between the conventions.


Sometimes when you try to be authentic, you can’t. The day before Mike Pence visited a barbershop in Norristown, the advance man came in and asked the barber to come in on his day off. But from the evidence on this video, don't you think they should have prepared the barber for what was to take place? I wonder how many black barbers Pence visited in Indiana. Here’s how the Trump advance team made out.

Former Congressman Pete McCloskey. (
Then Congressman Pete McCloskey made a run for President against Richard Nixon in 1972. He ran on an anti-war platform for the Republican nomination for President in 1972 but was defeated by incumbent President Richard Nixon.. In April 2007, McCloskey switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party. He is a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran of combat during the Korean War, being awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two awards of the Purple Heart.
He published a book called Truth and Untruth: Political Deceit in America in 1972. One of McCloskey's enduring legacies is his co-authorship of the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
McCloskey made this statement in an e mail this week regarding the GOP stance on the environment and one Mr. Donald Trump. 
My family has been active Republicans in California since 1860 and the election of Abraham Lincoln. I was privileged to serve in Congress for 15 years, as a Republican, between 1967 and 1983, co-chairing the first Earth Day in 1970 with Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, co-authoring the Endangered Species Act and other landmark environmental legislation, and I was the first to suggest Richard Nixon should be impeached. In those years, Republicans favored balanced budgets, women's rights, limiting presidential war power, civil rights, tax reform, and protection of the environment.
No more.
The 2016 Republican platform calls for transferring federal lands, including several national parks and national forests, to the states, and for denying women the right to choose. It also ignores our obligation to address global warming. And it moves to limit the voting rights of minorities and opposes campaign finance reform.
And then there's Donald Trump.
But defeating Trump is not enough. If Republicans are allowed to continue to control the Senate, the next president will be hobbled, as President Obama has been. Only if the Senate has a Democratic majority will the next president be able to appoint reasonable Supreme Court justices, protect women's rights, and preserve the environmental progress that has been made over the past 45 years.
We have the opportunity to elect Democrats in several too-close-to-call races, including Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, Ted Strickland in Ohio, Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, and Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania. Each of these Democrats can win. (Source: wikipedia, McCloskey mailings)

Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives)
Congressman Lou Barletta warned that numerous Pennsylvania residents have contacted his office to report a telephone scam in which the caller impersonates a representative of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller identifies himself as an IRS agent and threatens legal action if the recipient of the call does not pay a specified amount in alleged taxes and penalties. Barletta strongly advised citizens to refuse to provide any personally identifying information over the phone and to report such calls to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“We have seen these IRS phone scams in the past, and apparently they are back again. The sad fact is that these criminals would not be continuing this tactic if they were not successful in tricking some people into giving them money,” Barletta said. “The most important thing to remember is that the IRS would never demand payment over the phone. If you receive one of these calls, you should make a note of the number, immediately hang up, and report the call right away.”
The callers may already know certain pieces of information about their intended victims, which are used to give the scam more credibility. It is important to note that there are certain things that the IRS would never do. The IRS would not:
•Call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes owed without first having sent a bill through the U.S. mail.
•Demand tax payment without providing an opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say is owed.
•Require a specific payment method for taxes owed, such as a prepaid debit card.
•Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
•Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to enforce non-payment.
Residents who receive a call they believe to be part of this scam should:
•Refuse to provide any information to the caller.
•Hang up immediately.
•Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration to report the call online by using their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page, or by calling (800) 366-4484.
•Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.




This week's guest will be Marylee Schirg from the Cooperative Farmers' Market in Scranton. Listen Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA Sports Radio-The Game 1400/1440 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender, David DeCosmo, and Director Mark Migilore welcome Chris Dimatto to the program during the week of August 29th. to out plans for this years La Festa Italiana in Scranton.
ECTV Live is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 insome areas) and is presented each day at approximately Noon, 6pm, and Midnight throughout the week.
This weeks program featuring Tom Leary, President of Luzerne County Community College can be seen through this Sunday or viewed on David DeCosmo's Youtube site.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Karen Thomas from Penn State about the Prosper 5K, coming up on Saturday, September 10th.
Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Howard Purcell about the importance of eye exams, especially for children heaing back to school.
Frankie speaks with Deb Petersen from the Scranton Cultural Center about their "100 for 100" benefit raffle.
And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Theresa Cerulli about getting kids with ADHD prepared for a new school year.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and Sports Radio 590, WARM & 6:25am on Magic 93


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. . The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on WILK, and on KRZ, Froggy and Max 102 early Sunday morning.


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.


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 1971 logo.

President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.....Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam……British troops are engaged in a firefight with the IRA in Derry….. A right-wing coup ignites a rebellion in Bolivia. Miners and students join troops to support president Juan José Torres, but eventually Hugo Banzer takes over......The USS Manatee (AO-58) spills 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of fuel oil on President Nixon's Western White House beach in San Clemente, California…..Senator Richard Schweiker tours Tobyhanna Army Depot… Scranton the Peters administration announces that WSCR News Director Ed Hughes would be consulting in the administration and forty five years ago the number one song in LuLac land was “Ain't No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.

Another song making the rounds was this version of Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now”/ “Abraham, Martin & John” Tom Clay.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3283, August 24th, 2016

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.

Trump Doesn't Trust Military Generals or US Intelligence Community, Turns To... Himself, Lou Barletta and Tom Marino ('Blunder and Frightening')

Recently former Congressman Chris Carney weighed in on Donald Trump and his foreign policy pronouncements. You should read this:
After Donald Trump release a new ad, Congressman Chris Carney, a Former Commander in the United States Navy Reserve, highlighted how reckless and dangerous Trump's presidency would be. Trump, who recently declared he would not rely on the military Generals or the US intelligence community as president, is instead taking advice on global affairs from himself and two junior Pennsylvania Congressmen, Lou Barletta and Tom Marino.
"Americans deserve better than Donald Trump’s dangerous and divisive ideas on national security. This is why it's no surprise that more than 50 top Republican national security officials like former Governor Tom Ridge are rejecting him. Trump's international experience is limited to hosting beauty pageants and opening golf courses. He does not have the sort of serious, in-depth understanding of the complexities of the international system required of a Commander-in-Chief, and he's made it abundantly clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to national security. He is simply the least prepared person in our nation's history to be Commander-in-Chief -- he would not keep our country and families safe. Instead of relying on experienced military leaders, Trump is recklessly relying on himself as well as two junior Congressman with very limited national security experience.
"Trump refers to Mr. Barletta and Mr. Marino as "thunder and lightning" -- I believe it's much more accurate to refer to them as "blunder and frightening," especially when it comes to protecting this nation's security.
"This is yet another example of Trump's irresponsible behavior that would threaten our security. For the life of me, I cannot understand how any American, never mind Trump backers could be supportive of a man who proposes allowing more countries access to nuclear weapons, who has cozied up to strongmen and dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un, who threatens to unravel our long-standing military alliances, and who would order our military to commit war crimes that only play into our enemies' hands. The policies Trump has proposed would leave not only our nation, but the world far less safe."
From Trump and his running mate Mike Pence’s shared support for a ban on Muslims, to their advocacy for the use of torture, to Trump’s proposals to allow more countries to have nuclear weapons, to his secret plan to defeat ISIS, to his cozying up to strongmen and dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un, to his threat of abandoning our allies, one thing is clear: a Trump presidency would leave both our country and the world dramatically less safe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3282, August 23rd, 2016


Today President Obama went to Louisiana to meet with the people who were victims of heavy rain. He has taken a lot of flack for finishing up his vacation when the brunt of the recovery work was going on. As a matter of fact, Governor John Bell Edwards asked the President not to come because the visit would take away resources needed to get the townspeople on track. Meanwhile GOP candidate Trump and Pence dropped by to unload a truck for 49 seconds. But that thrilled his base who went after the President for not showing up.
Here’s the thing: If anything Trump and Pence did anything to help, I say great. The President monitored the situation and visited today. But while the Trump/Pence backers went nuts on Face book and Twitter, let’s remember one thing about this Republican party.
From 2011 when they took over Congress, this party has not been a friend of disaster relief. H.R. 152 (113th): Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 was passed with just 49 Republican votes partnered with 192 Democrats. 179 Republicans voted NO. The bill passed with a Democratic minority actually giving a shit about people by a vote of 241 to 180. By the way, Paul Ryan voted NO!!!!
During the disaster that was Hurricane Sandy, 31 GOP Senators voted against helping the victims. Incredibly enough, our own Pat Toomey who asked for disaster relief before the rain even stopped....... voted no!
So if this party of the middle class is criticizing the President for not showing up until today, remember this. This party has voted NO NO, NO for the very relief they are chest thumping about this past month.
Obama might have been playing golf but he and his party weren’t actively screwing disaster victims while telling them hypocritically that they feel their pain.

John Rafferty and Josh Shapiro. (Photo: Fox 43)
Nick Field, Managing Editor of Politic Pa. reports that State Senator John Rafferty won a second survey of the Attorney General race, and just like in June, Rafferty emerged ahead of Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro. Rafferty ended up with 953 votes from the readers.
Meanwhile, 638 respondents chose Shapiro.
It might help is anyone saw Shapiro campaigning anywhere.


Despite stormy skies the Luzerne County GOP had their annual picnic at Anthony Attardo Pavilion in Pittston Township. A good crowd showed up for the annual summer event.
GOP Chair Ron Ferrance leading the GOP parade. 
 A crowd shot of the event from Sunday.

(Photos: Luzerne County GOP Facebook page.)


Saturday, August 20, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3281, August 20th, 2016


It was Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium in 1993 and my buddy The Mickman had some very sweet seats. As we were settling in, Donny Boyle, a co owner from “Diamond Legends” nudges me and says “There’s Rudy Giuliani Yonk, go over and talk to him.” Hey, I loved the guy and respected all of his work in going after the Mob in New York. My father used to tell me that anyone who says they’re in the Mob….aren’t. And Guiliani knew the loudmouths were not the guys to focus in on. Rudy had lost to David Dinkins but was now set for another run. I sprinted over (this was pre cane days) and we had a conversation about crime, New York and his chances. One of his campaign aides took a photo that you see here.
As Mayor he transformed New York City by being very tough on crime utilizing “the broken window” theory of neighborhood policing. During 911 he courageously walked through the debris of the carnage and became the defacto spokesman for America until President Bush got back to the White House.
He was one of the Republicans that I as a Democrat could support for any office.
All of the above makes Giuliani’s statement this week very sad for me. He said, "By the way, under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office."
Okay, okay, I know what he meant. He certainly didn’t forget about the 911 carnage. He went to enough funerals of first responders and military to not forget that.
But in his passion to support Mr. Trump, he almost invalidated any credibility he had on terrorism. Almost.
Donald Trump may win the election. He’s behind but Gerald Ford and my boy Hubert Humphrey were behind too and made up a ton of ground. I voted for them and they lost. President George H.W. Bush made up a lot of ground and won. I voted for him.
But if Trump loses, he will go back to the golf courses and the beauty pageants. However the people with reputations that supported him in a blind partisan rage will have history to answer to with what they said and did in this year.
And Rudy will be the first one to explain whatever the hell he was thinking. I’m afraid I’m being way more kinder to Rudy then history will.

Your blog editor and Otto Voit. (Photo: Ron  Ferrance)
A few smart politicos made the scene at the always crowded and well attended Pittston Tomato Festival. Our good friend and GOP Chair Ron Ferrance brought around Otto Voit the Republican candidate for State treasurer.
Then Saturday Congressman Matt Cartwright made his annual appearance at the event. From left to right Grand Knight Rich Korpusik, Joe "Elvis" German, your blog editor, and Nick Barbere.
In addition, Lt. Governor Mike Stack started off the Race and also marched in the parade.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3280, August 17th, 2016

Designated AG nominee Bruce Beemer and his old boss, Kathleen Kane (Photo:
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf nominated Kathleen Kane's former top deputy to step in as attorney general for the remaining months of her term. Wolf announced today he has named Bruce Beemer for the AG job. Beemer must still get the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Until then, former Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor will serve as acting DA..
Personally I’m relieved that Castor is out of the mix. Castor was the District Attorney that was involved in the Bill Cosby case. More than ten years ago, Kastor did not charge the entertainer with sex assault, and then said the decision was binding when called to the witness stand this year by Cosby's lawyers. Even though Castor has the resume, his staying on, even until the election would be a huge distraction in an office that has been full of them since 2013.
Beemer was formerly an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law from 2005 to 2011 where he taught trial advocacy to third year law students. He also served as a Board Member for the Center for Victims of Violent Crime before he was appointed as Chief of Staff for the office of Attorney General under former Attorney General Linda Kelly in 2013.
Beemer is a University of Scranton alumnus. He also studied post-grad at University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


Donald Trump offered a blunt explanation for why he wants retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn at his side as he gets his first classified briefing at FBI headquarters on Wednesday — he doesn't trust intelligence information coming from those currently in charge.
As a Presidential candidate Trump gets them. These briefings are what leaders in the government see. Ironically Trump is insulting the intelligence gatherers of the nation. They DON’T make policy.
And then former Mayor Rudy Giuliani says this, "He should take Gen. Flynn with him to be able to ask critical questions. This is the art of being a good executive," Giuliani explained.
Translation: my guys an idiot.


So then there’s this official of the Trump campaign Steve Cohen, who had no working knowledge of how the polls were going. Watch this:


Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini (Photo: NPR)
First off, I had Aetna Insurance in one of my jobs and it wasn’t great. But in the next few days you’ll be hearing about how the Affordable Care Act is going to collapse because the Insurance Company pulled out of the exchange. But here’s what really happened.
In July Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini wrote a letter to the Justice Department in response to a Department of Justice request for information about how a decision on the Humana deal would affect Aetna's participation in the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.
At this time the administration was just trying to make a decision. The letter said this, If the government moved to block the merger, then Aetna would begin to pull out of the health insurance exchanges. Some people said it was more of threat.
A little more than two weeks later, on July 21, the Justice Department said it would sue to block the Aetna-Humana deal and the other proposed megamerger between Anthem and Cigna.
On Tuesday, Aetna said it would dramatically scale back its participation on the insurance exchanges in 2017. The company move would take it out of 546 counties in 11 states, leaving it active in 242 counties in four states: Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.
Ironically Bertolini was praising the business potential of the exchanges as back in April, when he said during a call with analysts and investors that the exchanges were "a good investment," despite the losses incurred.
What changed? The company didn’t get it way and cut back because it was now all of a sudden bad business. The one failing of the Obama administration on the ACA is that they didn’t go for the public option when they had the chance.
This proves it.

Donald Trump and Chris Christie on the trail. (Photo: CNN)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denied knowledge Wednesday of a reported settlement that reduced the amount of debt owed by Donald Trump’s casinos by roughly $25 million.
The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday on the settlement, the product of a long-running legal battle involving the state of New Jersey and Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.
According to the article, the state fought in court to collect overdue taxes, which had grown to nearly $30 million – but after Christie, a Republican and Trump ally, took office, the state in 2011 accepted a $5 million settlement.
Christie spokesman Brian Murray said in a statement Wednesday, though, that Christie was not involved in the settlement, which was handled by the state Department of Treasury and Office of the Attorney General.
The Trump people had no comment.


Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s resignation.
“Tomorrow, Pennsylvania can finally begin to move forward from this shameful chapter in its history,” Gleason said. “If the saga of the past two years has taught us anything, it’s the need to elect an Attorney General who will make serving their constituents their top priority. Republicans are proud to have John Rafferty as our Attorney General candidate, and we look forward to helping him win this November.”
Meanwhile, just where the hell is Democrat Josh Shapiro hiding these days???


Don Lemon of CNN and the new campaign manager of the Trump campaign Kelly Conway sparred Tuesda night on CNN. This was worth seeing since Conway seemed to have received a pass on the weekend Michael Smerconish show. The host’s ear piece went out and he could not hear what she was saying as she pretty much filibustered the debate. On his radio show Smerconish took credit for her new job saying the Trump people must have seen her performance. Ah live TV. Here’s what went on:



The Luzerne County GOP picnic is this Sunday, August 21 from 1-3 PM at Tony Attardo Memorial Park, 79 Bryden St. Pittston Twp. Chairman Ron Ferrance made the announcement. There will be news about the new GOP headquarters as well. This is a really nice time and a very good event to end the summer. Check it out.


Kathleen Smith and Councilman Tony Brooks. (Photo: LuLac archives)
From Wilkes Barre Council member Tony Brooks’ Facebook page, Florence Foster Jenkins is now opening in Wilkes-Barre on August 26th. Special thanks to Kathleen Smith of the Shawnee Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for arranging this at Movies 14. FFJ was also a member of the DAR and there will be a special ceremony honoring her at Hollenback Cemetery on Saturday, September 10th at 11:00 am.
Meryl Streep has been invited to visit her mausoleum (keep your fingers crossed).
Smith has been relentless the last few days calling the movie chain’s headquarters and “educating” them on the local connection. The theatre person she spoke to was unaware, as well as the movie promotion people that there was a connection. Kudos to my buddy Kathleen.


Luzerne County Community College is about to open a branch campus in the Marketplace at Steamtown (formally the Mall at Steamtown) and College President Tom Leary will outline the plans on ECTV Live during the week of August 22nd.
 ECTV Live is hosted by David DeCosmo with co-host Rusty Fender and is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas). The Public Affairs >program is scheduled to run at Noon, 6pm, and Midnight every day throughout the week of the 22nd.


This week's guest is Dunmore School Superintendent John Marichak. You'll hear the program Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA Sports Radio-The Game 1400/1440 am and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Bob Chepalonis from Martz about the Wyoming Area Catholic Golf Tournament, coming up on Sunday September 11th.
Magic 93's Joe Rae speaks with Indy Car legend Mario Andretti ahead of Sunday's ABC Supply 500 Indy Car Race at Pocono Raceway.
And highlight's from Monday's Hillary Clinton & Vice President Joe Biden's joint campaign appearance at the Riverfront Sports Center in Scranton.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. . The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on WILK, and on KRZ, Froggy and Max 102 early Sunday morning.


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.


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 1971 logo.
India signs a 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union…….. Construction begins on the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans……British troops are stationed on the Ireland border to stop arms smuggling… Pennsylvania Pirates Manager Danny Murtaugh says his team is one of the most mixed of nationalities (they call that diversity today) in baseball history….in Scranton the team of Melody and Zipay embark on a door to door effort to shore up support for another term and 45 ears ago this week the number one song in America an LuLac land was the very first hit by the Chicago Transit Authority, later known as Chicago called “Beginnings”.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3279, August 16th, 2016

For the past few days I have been avoiding posting anything of consequence on Facebook. Tonight after dinner I had on a re-play of an L.A. Tarone Show. A caller who says he’s a retired teacher said that he saw on Facebook that when Hillary Clinton gets elected, her supporters will “purge” all Trump supporters. Kind of like Stalin did.
First off no one will bother to purge people who support a different candidate. It is not the Democratic candidate who blocks media from campaign events.
It is not the Democratic candidate who points out media people, calling them every name in the book and then looking on with glee as his supporters surround the reporter just doing her job.
That’s Mr. Trump.
To even imply that if the Democrats lose the election that supporters would do harm to Trump people is an example of
a). Someone who wants to make himself relevant.
b) Someone who is proud of his ignorance and stupidity.
c) Hates easily.
d) Tells blatant lies with authority.
e) Someone who like his candidate just wants to entertain.
This guy says he was a teacher and is now retired. I don’t mind paying taxes here in the Commonwealth but I sure as hell resent paying for part of his pension.
But then even fools need to be fed.


ABC News is reporting that the FBI gave certain members of Congress interview notes and other materials produced during its investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
The FBI provided the House Oversight Committee with documents relating to the FBI investigation into Clinton's email today, and committee officials are reviewing the information.
Here’s the thing. If the FBI is going to release this information, it should to everyone. The public, everyone so it can be put in context.
The Committee staff is currently reviewing the information that is classified SECRET. There are no further details at this time," a committee spokesperson said.
The rare move by the FBI comes after top House Republicans on Capitol Hill called for FBI Director James Comey to release the FBI's investigative file of the matter.
Like a dog with a bone……..

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane stepped aside today, a day after she was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from her leak of grand jury materials to a Philadelphia newspaper to discredit a political adversary.
Kane’s lawyer Gerald Shargel vowed to appeal, while calling the verdict “a crushing blow.” She is scheduled to be sentenced within 90 days.
Kane made the following statement:, “I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania, and I wish them health and safety in all their days
Her lawyers said she would appeal. 
Whatever you say about the now former Attorney General, you can't say she didn't do things "her way" 


It is 39 years to the day that Elvis Aaron Presley passed away at the age of 42. I was working at WVIA TV and FM and my boss at the time Bill Kelly looked at the UPI wire and told me the news. He proceeded to go into the TV booth to announce the news and I went on the FM channel to report it. This was big enough to interrupt "Sesame Street" and Gustav Mahler. Presley is still an American icon. Even though many of his fans are joining him in that big Graceland in the sky, his music still lives on.
Here’s some vintage King. The first was recorded 60 years ago!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3278, August 15th, 2016


Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (Photo: Melina Mora, Washington Post)
Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton and the current Vice President Joe Biden came to Scranton to solidify the working class support that has always been kind to both.
Biden, in a very long speech said told the assembled multitude that Clinton had "grit, courage and determination to never, ever give up. "They deserve someone who not only understands them. They deserve someone who will be with them." Biden finally gave way to Clinton but those in the crowd did not seem to mind the colloquy of the hometown son who lived in Scranton until he was 10.
Clinton to a rousing round of applause spoke about her Scranton roots saying that the foundation of her middle class life came when her grandfather worked at Scranton Lace. After parrying with the crowd saying there might be some in NEPA toying with the idea of voting for Donald Trump, she said that “friends should let friends vote for Trump. Clinton then came after Trump by saying, "No matter what Donald Trump says, America is great and the American Dream is big enough for everyone to share in its promise."
The Democratic nominee also gave a well deserved shout out to the late Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty as well as his wife, Evie Refalko McNulty citing their friendship and support through the years. It was a nice touch since the late Mayor and I had a few conversations about what a visit to Scranton would look like by Clinton and Biden.
The Mayor was fond of saying that “Joe Biden was Scranton’s favorite son and that Hillary Clinton was her adopted daughter.
More than 3,000 people packing the venue (although talk radio yamerheads were spreading the bullshit that there were only 1500 people there) had to agree.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane (Photo: ABC News
The news came this evening that Attorney General Kathleen Kane was convicted of nine criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy. Apparently the strategy of saying prosecution witnesses would say anything to get out of their own trouble didn’t work.
Closing arguments were this morning and the Jury came back around 9PM.
The sad part about this whole deal is that this didn’t need to happen,. The former Scranton Attorney was playing way out of her league when she tried a stunt like this. It pretty much broke down the façade created by a successful 2012 run for Attorney General. Now a former rising star in the Democratic party is a felon. While the jury deliberated, Hillary Clinton, one of her biggest supporters was in Kane’s backyard meeting the folks while Kane was pondering what might have been.