Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3629, October 31st, 2017




George Papadopoulous (Photo: ABC News)
President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted Monday on charges of conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, and several other financial charges.
Think about that for a second, the campaign Manager for Donald Trump was charged with CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES! Even during Watergate, the crimes were political, not an attempt to have a Foreign government deal with campaign aides. 
The charges were the first stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible ties between Mr. Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. The indictment filed in federal court in Washington accused both men of funneling tens of millions of dollars in payments through foreign companies and bank accounts.
Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates surrendered to federal authorities, and were expected in court later Monday to face charges brought by Mr. Mueller's team.
The indictment lays out 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and several charges related to failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts. The indictment alleges that they moved money through hidden bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Seychelles. In total, more than $75 million flowed through the offshore accounts. Manafort is accused of laundering more than $18 million, according to the indictment.
The significant thing about this is that a third person was charged with lying to the government. He has plead. That is significant because there is a real possibility that he is talking. 
In a development directly related to Trump’s 2016 election campaign, it was also revealed Monday that George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. This was amazing in the sense that it was left under wraps. That gives you an idea of just how focused this FBI investigation is.
Mueller’s office said Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents about the timing of contact between him and a professor in London who claimed to have information that would hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos, a little-known former foreign policy adviser in the campaign, made a plea bargain which stated that he has since “met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions,” according to a court document.
When Watergate broke open, a supposedly insignificant person,  James McCord decided he didn’t want to serve any more time than he needed to for his role in The Watergate Break In. He wrote a letter to District Judge John Sirica and the race was on. Watch what happens with Papadopoulus. The plea agreement happened in early October. God knows how much evidence and testimony this guy has collected. He might have even worn a wire.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was a minor, unpaid figure. Yet in an audio tape Trump touted him during the campaign as someone helping his effort. Here's a video of a different sort.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3628, October 30th, 2017


 (Photo: World Book)
Five hundred years ago, an unknown monk named Martin Luther marched up to the church in Wittenberg, a small town in what is now Germany, and nailed a list of criticisms of the Catholic church to its door.
Five hundred years ago tomorrow Oct. 31, 1517,is the anniversary of what would become the Protestant Reformation. His list of criticisms, known as the 95 theses, would reverberate across world history. The Church would split, wars would be fought and people would be burned at the stake. It was the birth of Protestant Christianity. This knowingly or unknowingly lit the fuse.
The big thing about the treatises was that it coincided with the invention of the printing press. The intersection of Luther's revolt along with the invention of the printing press gave birth to twin worldwide revolutions in religion as well as communication.
Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences as he understood it to be, that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.
500 years later, Luther's actions are commemorated by religious and secular historians  as examples of how the written word and questioning of authority changed the world. Like many, Lither missed a few things along the way. His anti Semitic writings put his legacy from being a theological great.  
But five centuries ago............he set the path for better or worse,  the civilization we have today.
(Sources: wkipedia, Philly.com, LuLac)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Lulac Edition #3627, October 29th, 2017

Mr. Potter, aka the REPUBLICAN State Legislature. (Photo: Movienet) 

My friend Rob Neyhard used to regale his radio audience for years with his annual family Christmas tradition. Every year when Rob put up his tree, in the background would be the movie “ A Wonderful Life”. We all know the plot, the hated Mr. Potter tries to screw our hero Jimmy Stewart, aka George Bailey, out of his little Savings and Loan Association.
When George is facing death by his own hand, his angel Clarence shows him what his town would be like without him. You see a town a tad different, meaner, coarser than the one he and his neighbors were trying to build. Even the name of the town was changed to Potterville.
It seems that the overpaid State Legislature has done the same thing. The REPUBLICANS are presenting a budget that will increase the amount of casino gambling in the state. Here’s what we will see if this passes. Pennsylvania, already the nation's No. 2 commercial casino state, could see casino-style gambling in truck stops, airports, online portals and 10 brand new casino locations around the state, each with hundreds of slot machines and possibly table games. WHAT? No restroom or bowling alleys?
It also would make Pennsylvania the first state to allow both casino and lottery games online, in a quest for money from new and younger players. Bars would be frozen out of the package, despite the House's long insistence that a gambling expansion should favor those businesses, rather than casino operators.
So those sainted REPUBLICANS who tell you how much they love small businesses and entrepreneurs screw them and plant a big fat smooch on the asses of the major casinos.
All of these things are not life improving. Think about this: the state is number two in the country in terms of organized sanctioned gambling.
I have no issues with gambling per se. Hey I’m pretty Libertarian when people want to make decisions good or bad about their lives. I’ve never gambled but if others want to..go for it.
But what galls me is what we DIDN’T get in return.
This REPUBLICAN Legislature under Speaker Turzai has kicked the can down the road for the future of Pennsylvania.
In a few years because of this increased gambling, Pennsylvania’s quality of life will decrease. We’ll still be stuck with the same money sucking problems too.
I might not be around to see it but to me, it’s a safe bet that one day the Commonwealth will go the way of many unsuccessful casinos.
We’ll go BANKRUPT!
And if history wants to hold the time frame responsible, it’ll be this Legislative session of 2017-2018.
Tom Wolf might have to sign this but on the campaign trail next year, I’d scream bloody murder if I were him.
The REPUBLICAN party who are in FULL CONTROL proved that they are once again COWARDS!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3626, October 28th, 2017


I love how the Republicans frame their social issues all the time by saying progress is an attack on this or that. Marriage equality…that's an attack on the family. As if there weren’t gay relationships a hundred years ago. They constantly yammer about not being able to say Merry Christmas when indeed no one is stopping them. They’ll tell you that anything they don’t agree with is an attack on Christianity.
Well this week the REPUBLICAN party has attacked people who use credit and banks. We have such short memories here in this country it isn’t even funny. Remember it was these REPUBLICANS, who nearly led us to financial ruin in 2008. Then they have the unmitigated gall to attack President Obama’s recovery program as tepid when the current occupant takes credit for the gains he inherited.
But this week, they put the screws to the middle class. The defenders on talk radio brought up a local McDonald’s case where people got charged for their pay checks on debit cards. The “faithful” whined, “but arbitration could have solved this!”.
Right. In this right to work state where you can fire anyone just for sneezing, do they naively think those workers would have won in arbitration?
This week, Senate Republicans voted to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new rule that protects your right to take big banks and financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Equifax to court when they cheat you.
Well why not, we have the biggest cheaters running the White House right now. I have been screaming about Obama’s credit card reform for years as an accomplishment but the zombies who voted for Trump, all they heard was “Lock her up” and “Make America Great” again.
This was created to get the tricks and traps out of financial products and level the playing field for working families. But now, Senate Republicans are gutting the CFPB and weakening essential consumer protections.
If you have a checking account, a credit card, or a student loan, you’ve probably signed a very long contract with a bunch of gibberish that you didn’t bother to read.
Hidden in the fine print of many of those contracts is a forced arbitration clause.
FORCED! These guys talk about freedom only when it’s an issue that doesn’t concern MONEY. That’s why they use wedge issues like the NFL players and the flag to divert attention from what they are doing.
That’s a fancy way of saying that you signed away your right to join together in court in a class action lawsuit to challenge big companies when they break the law.
Forced arbitration clauses are “ripoff clauses,” If a bank unfairly charges you $10, you’re most likely not going to spend the time and money challenging them all on your own through an industry-friendly arbitration process. So if a bank sneaks that small fee in millions of people’s bills, they can create ginormous profits for themselves -- with little accountability from their customers.
By prohibiting forced arbitration clauses, the CFPB made huge progress in stopping companies from tricking, misleading, and flat out cheating their customers. But then the big financial institutions spent millions of dollars on lawyers, lobbyists, and slick PR campaigns to get their Republican pals in Congress to reverse this policy.
That’s millions of dollars on top of the big bucks that they’re already spending to repeal the rules put in place after the 2008 crisis -- including the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
This is something they are slipping in under the radar but just wait……when a senior gets ripped off at a Casino with their credit card by a bank charges, then they’ll most likely still blame Hillary and not the people they voted for to screw them out of a 30 bucks. 
When banks who make so much money need to nickle and dime people, you know they are not your friends. Regulations exist, as Congressman Paul Kanjorski used to say, "For those 5% of people who need to be forced to do the right thing!"  
The GOP war on the middle class has started. 

When this guy starts tweeting about Hillary.....it's because Mueller has the goods! Lock who up?
The cracks in the dike are starting.

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), and Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) introduced bipartisan legislation to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The Innovate America Act would double the number of STEM-focused high schools, promote computer science training, and expand research opportunities for undergraduates in STEM majors.
“By boosting STEM education, this bipartisan bill lays the groundwork for future innovation and helps secure America’s standing in the global economy,” said Rep. Cartwright. “My bill not only devotes more resources into STEM fields, but also works to eliminate burdensome regulations and to provide our nation’s businesses with the workforce it needs to compete in today’s economy.”
Specifically, the Innovate America Act would:
• Improve STEM education by doubling the number of STEM-focused high schools, promoting computer science training, and expanding research opportunities for undergraduates in STEM majors;
• Study the impact of STEM field retention programs for students;
• Establish a website for technology commercialization ideas;
• Establish a manufacturing assistance program aimed at assisting small and medium-sized businesses;
• Identify regulatory barriers for small and medium-sized manufacturers;
• Identify the regulatory barriers for the top 20 exporting industries to improve global competitiveness.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3625, October 26th, 2017


As the year winds down, we will 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 is simple, quality of work, recognition of community activities, challenging positions that give them a profile both 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 site E Mail box, LuLac posting message, Facebook and Twitter Messaging. A certain number is needed to make the cut. After that cut is dwindled, we choose the winners.
Deadline for nominations is Nov. 30th.

Senator Jeff Flake, non Conservative enough. (Photo: CNN)
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has announced he will not run for re-election. A few other GOP Senators have made the choice too. So too did Representative Charlie Dent. The President will say they are afraid of losing. I think something different is going on.
These Republicans think that at some point their party will be destroyed. I believe Bob Corker, Charlie Dent and Flake are setting themselves up as reasonable alternatives when Steve Bannon and Trump crash the party. 
Remember, Flake has a 96% Conservative voting record. He will re-emerge. 
Smart move.

(Citizen's Voice)
One of the things that really annoys me is when you get people who have lived in a neighborhood for a while bemoan the fact that it is changing. "It’s not like it used to be. A lot of drug dealers, welfare cheats and people who don’t work." That’s what you hear. But I always said that those people who give you that mantra are more worried about the complexion of their neighborhood, not necessarily the composition.
In my neighborhood, young people walk their kids to the bus stop. Some are crossing guards. A few pass my drive way walking on their way to work. Others are loading up their cars in orange vests to begin their work day. On Sunday you see people dressed way better for church than some of the ones I see in my parish. See this neighborhood of 2017 is just like mine in Pittston in the 1960s except of course is the shade of color which seems to bother people. I chalk it up to fear and ignorance. Luzerne County has plenty.
I thought about all of this the other day when I saw the front page f the Citizen’s Voice announcing arrests of drug dealers in the County. Most of them are white.
So next time I hear someone talk about their changing neighborhood, I will call them on what exactly they mean. Most of those charged are between the ages of 39 and 55. Maybe if THEIR parents had been worried about what their adult kids were doing, instead of worrying about their changing neighborhoods, we might not have seen that big a picture in the paper.
A few weeks ago, a former candidate for Mayor who booked out of this area bemoaned the fact he had to come back for something. (I can only speculate just what since he took off rather quickly. But none of my business.) He said he’d feel unsafe returning because of “how bad things are here”. Really?
Maybe it’s a good thing people like him have left. In the meantime, the neighborhood keeps changing.It changes in character, culture and yes complexion.
And as the kids used to say, (or maybe still do) “It’s all good!”


Kim  Jong- Un (Photo: CNN)
Now I know that this is North Korea but as I recall, I don’t remember Fidel Castro saying such things about Jack Kennedy during the Cuban Missile crisis. North Korea is going after President Trump again, calling him a "lunatic" and a "warmonger."
State-run newspaper, the Pyongyang Times, also called South Korea and Japan puppet forces for the U.S.
These comments come as tensions between the White House and the North continue to rise, specifically dealing with the rogue nation’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The headline of the article read, “Subservience to US leads to abyss of destruction.” The Times noted that people in the Trump administration can’t cool him, saying he’s overheated with a "war fever."
Trump has repeatedly gone after North Korea with a strong military option.
"If we take that option, it will be devastating. I can tell you that -- devastating for North Korea. That's called the military option."
The newspaper went on to say that Trump is taking America into ruin at the “peril of their lives.”


There is a lot of talk about whether this House Bill vote on the November 7th ballot. More than a few people have message me and asked me what I think. I think YES. Here's why: 
On November 7, Pennsylvanians will be requested to vote on a ballot question that will open the possibility of reducing or eliminating residential school property taxes through the state’s existing homestead exclusion program. The current program, enacted in 1998, allows the exclusion from taxation of up to 50% of the median assessed value of owner-occupied homes in each taxing body.
The proposed constitutional amendment on which you will be voting would allow, if passed, local taxing bodies to exclude from taxation an increased amount of UP TO 100% of the assessed value of owner occupied homes. If approved, the amendment does NOTHING by itself and will have NO immediate effect but will simply allow the General Assembly at some future date to enact enabling legislation, the content of which is currently unknown, and supply a funding source for such legislation.
The exact language of the ballot question requires a “yes” or “no” response and will read as follows:
"Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?"
Since this has no immediate effect there is no hazard in voting "YES" for the measure.
The Harrisburg lawmakers who are working with us to enact true school property tax elimination through HB/SB 76 have warned us that the self-serving opponents of our legislation are eagerly anticipating the defeat of this amendment so they can claim that 100% elimination was offered and was rejected by the voters, and therefore no further consideration of HB/SB 76 is necessary. Voting down this amendment will likely destroy our chances of school property tax elimination for the foreseeable future.
Because of this, the PTCC STRONGLY recommends that you vote "YES" on this amendment on November 7.


Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $595,578 to Luzerne County and $245,898 to the city of Wilkes-Barre through its Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).
HOME provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use - often in partnership with local nonprofit groups - to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.
“Ensuring Northeastern Pennsylvanians have access to safe, affordable housing is a priority of mine,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “These grants are an investment in our community. They fund programs that meet the needs and priorities of our neighborhoods, remove blight, and attract businesses.”
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.




This week's guest will be Maggie O'Brien, Regional Director of Make-A-Wish. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


WILK's newest afternoon Talk Show host is Frank Andrews, former anchor of WNEP TV, WYOU TV, State Representative and Mayor.  He replaces the late L.A. Tarone  in this full time position. His debut is October 30th.


ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender, David DeCosmo, and Director Mark Migilore welcome John Gleason from the Keystone Mission to the program during the week of October 30th. Keystone Mission provides services to homeless individuals and families in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties and the need for those services increases as the Fall season begins.
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired during the Noon, 6pm and Midnight hours each day of the week. Following Monday's Live program the show will become available on Electric City Television's YouTube channel which can be viewed on your computer.


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!”



Our 1977 logo

The European Patent Institute is founded…..The president of Catalonia, Josep Tarradellas, returns to Barcelona from exile and the autonomous government of Catalonia, the Generalitat, is restored…..The last natural smallpox case is discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination and, by extension, of modern science…..Space Shuttle program: Last test taxi flight of Space Shuttle Enterprise, over California…..in Pennsylvania former U.S. Senate candidate Bill Green says he is leaving his options open for another run at a seat in Washington. He later ran for Mayor of Philadelphia instead….in Lackawanna County the heat is termed up in Scranton as three candidates, Vernon Searfoss, James McNulty and Gene Hickey duke it out to succeed Gene Peters as Mayor, also in this area former Auditor General Robert P. Casey Senior was non committal on a run for Governor at this point in time (late '77) but was very interesting and kind to a young 23 year old TV host....
 and forty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Brick House" by The Commodores.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3624, October 25th, 2017


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo


Last week the Citizen's Voice ran this letter from a local resident who pretty much said Trump fooled him. Take a look:
Editor: Some of the reasons we voted for Donald Trump were, one, we didn’t like Hillary; two, Trump was going to bring back jobs to America; three, Trump was going to give “everyone” better heath care at a lower cost; four, Trump was going to have Mexico pay for a wall; five, Trump was going to balance the federal budget “fairly quickly;” six, Trump was not going to allow any cuts to Medicare of Medicaid; and seven, Trump was not going to play golf often and take frequent vacations.
Wow. Were we fooled. I feel like a victim of a professional con artist. Maybe we should have judged him more by what he had done in the past and not by what he promised in the future.
He fooled us similar to the way he used Trump University to scam many naive people out of a great deal of money, by promising to make them millionaires. What he avoided telling them was that his companies had gone bankrupt four times and that by not paying small businesses what he owed the, he forced many of them to go bankrupt as well.
Joe Czarnecki

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3623, October 24th, 2017

Important Dates to Remember

The deadline to apply for CIVILIAN ABSENTEE BALLOTS for the
Municipal Election is OCTOBER 31ST, 2017

COMPLETED BALLOTS must be returned to the Bureau of Elections no later than
5:00 PM ON NOVEMBER 3RD, 2017

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright’s bipartisan legislation to protect older, low-income veterans from financial scams passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The Veterans Care Financial Protection Act (H.R. 3122) would direct the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to work with other federal agencies and states to develop and implement standards that protect veterans from predatory practices.
The VA offers an Aid & Attendance (A&A) benefit for veterans who qualify for a VA pension, and need financial help with in-home care or assisted living. The A&A application is free, but scam artists have targeted veterans and charged them to obtain these benefits. With this information, scammers can take ahold of the veteran’s assets, and may even move them into an irrevocable trust or an annuity. This movement of assets may also disqualify the veteran from other assistance, such as Medicaid.
“Scam artists are turning the well-deserved A&A benefit into a financial nightmare for those who can least afford it,” said Rep. Cartwright. “There needs to be greater safeguards for our veterans. This bipartisan, commonsense proposal will help protect veterans from financial scams. We owe this to our nation’s heroes.”

Senator Bob Casey (Photo: CNN)
The League of Conservation Voters just endorsed Senator Casey's reelection campaign because of his record on the environment. In a news release, the group stated:
Senator Bob Casey is "standing up to the Trump administration's relentless attacks on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the lands we cherish."
The Trump administration has hamstrung the Environmental Protection Agency and has made it clear that they side with corporate polluters over the families they hurt. We need strong voices like Senator Casey in Washington to stand up to anyone who cares more about profits than about having clean air and water for our kids.


Attorney Jim Haggerty (Photo: Citizen's Voice)
The Committee to Elect Jim Haggerty as District Justice will have a fund raiser on Wednesday October 25th from 6 to 8pm in Kingston. The event is at Pierce Street Deli.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3622, October 23rd, 2017

Andrew Wyeth (Photo: Wyeth archives)
"Christina's World" (1948)
"Maga's Daughter" (1966) 

"Battle Ensign" (1987)
As part of our Centennial celebration of famous individuals, we take a look at artist Andrew Wyeth who was born on July 12th, 1917 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvanian.
In his art, Wyeth's favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Wyeth often noted: "I paint my life." One of the best-known images in 20th-century American art is his painting Christina's World, currently in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This tempera was painted in 1948, when Wyeth was 31 years old.
Wyeth's art has long been controversial. He developed technically beautiful works, had a large following and developed a considerable fortune as a result. Yet there have been conflicting views by critics, curators and historians about the importance of his work. Art historian Robert Rosenblum was asked in 1977 to identify the "most overrated and underrated" artists of the 20th century. He provided one name for both categories: Andrew Wyeth.
Admirers of Wyeth's art believe that his paintings, in addition to their pictorial formal beauty, contain strong emotional currents, symbolic content, and underlying abstraction. Most observers of his art agree that he is skilled at handling the medium of egg tempera (which uses egg yolk as its medium) and watercolor. Wyeth avoided using traditional oil paints. His use of light and shadow lets the subjects illuminate the canvas. His paintings and titles suggest sound, as is implied in many paintings, including Distant Thunder (1961) and Spring Fed (1967). Christina's World became an iconic image, a status unmet to even the best paintings, "that registers as an emotional and cultural reference point in the minds of millions."
Wyeth created work in sharp contrast to abstraction, which gained currency in American art and critical thinking in the middle of the 20th century.
Museum exhibitions of Wyeth's paintings have set attendance records, but many art critics have evaluated his work less favorably. Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The Village Voice, derided his paintings as "Formulaic stuff, not very effective even as illustrational 'realism'." Some found Wyeth's art of rural subject matter tired and oversweet.
N.C. advised Wyeth to work from one's own perspective and imagination; to work for "effect" means the artist is not fully exploring their artistic abilities and, as a result, the artist will not realize their potential.
He worked predominantly in a regionalist style. In his art, Wyeth's favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine.
Dividing his time between Pennsylvania and Maine, Wyeth maintained a realist painting style for over seventy years. He gravitated to several identifiable landscape subjects and models. His solitary walks were the primary means of inspiration for his landscapes. He developed an extraordinary intimacy with the land and sea and strove for a spiritual understanding based on history and unspoken emotion. He typically created dozens of studies on a subject in pencil or loosely brushed watercolor before executing a finished painting, either in watercolor, drybrush (a watercolor style in which the water is squeezed from the brush), or egg tempera.
Wyeth’s Chadds Ford studio was given to the Brandywine River Museum of Art by the artist’s wife, Betsy James Wyeth, the studio provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience this very personal space.
This studio served as the artist’s principal Pennsylvania workplace from 1940 to 2008. Thousands of paintings and drawings were created there, inspired by the people, architecture and landscapes of Chadds Ford. The studio still houses the furnishings, library and collections acquired by the artist, as well as examples of the art materials he used throughout his career.
The Andrew Wyeth Studio is a National Historic Landmark and a member site of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio introduce visitors to all aspects of his career, enhancing the museum’s gallery experience. Tours depart from the Museum via shuttle on the schedule listed below.
There is still time to take a tour. Tours take place through November 19, 2017, and last approximately one hour. Children under age six are not permitted on the tours. It’s 8 bucks for others.
Here’s the link http://www.brandywine.org/museum/studios/nc-wyeth-house-studio
Here’s the link for events.
Wyeth died in January of 2009 at the age of 91.
Here is a conversation with the artist before he died. (Source: wikipedia, LuLac, Brandywine museum)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3621, October 22nd, 2017


Our Maybe I’m Amazed logo

MAYBE I’M AMAZED....that it seems like our President is set on pretty much upending foreign policy. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that our allies who have helped build coalitions to fight common enemies think he is a dangerous fool who regularly exhibits his own ignorance.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED...bot not really, that Penn State is having the season of seasons. Let’s hope that any distractions about the legacy of Joe Paterno will be muted and this team long removed will get the recognition they deserve. Last night's game proves they are right there.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED...that Wilkes Barre City is going through a third transition on its garbage and recycling system while the city of Scranton has yet to adopt even one sensible way to pick up trash.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED..that despite their perceived idea that blogs have diminished at the hands of social media, blogs seem to be thriving. Went to two events last weekend blogcon and blogfest and they were well attended.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED...that right now there seems to be a bigger field than expected for the GOP nomination for Governor. Can it be that the Scott Wagner, the darling of the right in the state is not acceptable to the party bosses of the GOP?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED..that statewide there are many who feel Lou Barletta is overestimating his appeal. He might make it through the primary but in the general I can’t see him carrying Phiily.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that it seems our President is not content to honor the fallen like a normal person of humanity. It is beyond me why he brings other people into a simple conversation comparing himself to other Presidents. Is he that insecure? 
And let’s stop with Hillary for Christ sakes Mr. President. You might gin up your own sorry 31% of your supporters but you remind the other 69% of what they are missing. Namely, a competent White House. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED.....that just one bale of cotton can make 215 pairs of jeans, 1217 tee shirts, or 313,600 $100.00 bills.  Is that what they mean when they say "high cotton?" 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that General Kelly came under the spell of Trump. Not sure if the General exaggerated or got bum information by attacking the Congresswoman falsely by saying she took credit for a Federal building in her district. His stellar career is now tainted after his defense of Trump's actions this week. Trump has tarnished pretty much everyone he has touched.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Steve Bannon even gets invited to Republican functions. While there he spits on former Presidents and tries to coach a party he wants to tear down. Totally illogical.Would you invite someone who tells you they will burn your house down...to your house?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that shots were fired at that speech given by Richard Spencer, an avowed White nationalist in Gainesville, Florida this week. Did peaceful protestors fire the shots? NOPE! 
Gainesville police said Tyler Tenbrink, 28, and William and Colton Fears, 30 and 28, respectively, stopped their car near the campus to argue with a group of protesters.
After threatening the protesters and making Nazi salutes, Tenbrink fired a single shot at them as the Fears brothers yelled “kill them” and “shoot them,” police said.
Then like little wussies, they fled. Police caught up with them. I guess these three were some of the “nice” people the President spoke of in Charlottesville.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3620, October 21st, 2017

Dr. Anthony Mussari (Photo: Citizen's Voice)

Mussari for Mayor palm card (LuLac archives)
If you grew up in the Wilkes Barre/Luzerne County area in the 60s and 70s, you knew the name Tony Mussari. Or more accurately Dr. Anthony Mussari. Mussari was a very popular and opinionated Professor that many students gravitated toward at King’s College. He was young, articulate and passionate.
He took that skill set to Education when he was elected to the Wilkes Barre Area School. The board back then, long an enclave of political factions divided up by the school jointure, was made up of political titans in their own little areas. It was a curious mix when two Doctors of educational status, Mussari and the late Tom O’Donnell joined the Board. Mussari distinguished himself by trying to balance the needs of the taxpayers as well as the progress of Education in a district that went through the growing pains mandated by State Law. Then of course, there was The Flood of ’72 which gave additional challenges to the fledgling district.
Regarding that fateful disaster, Mussari wrote a book about the Agnes Flood called “Appointment With Disaster’. The book became for a time the definitive explanation of the way the community dealt with such a challenge before, during and afrer. Additionally, Mussari involved his students in the research.
During this time and into the late 70s, Mussari did Editorials on WNEP TV. This was back in the day when your local TV station had on air opinions at the end of their newscasts. The big three were Mussari on WNEP, Tom Bigler on WBRE TV and Tom Powell on WDAU, now WYOU. His editorials were on point, logical and forward thinking.
Mussari made two runs for Wilkes Barre Mayor. Prior to 1975, Wilkes Barre had a Council/Manager form of Government. That era only lasted a decade. The 1975 Mayor’s Democratic primary featured Controller Walter Lisman, Wilkes Barre Community Development Director Joe Williams, and School Director Mussari. The issue was how Wilkes Barre would be rebuilt especially in terms of Redevelopment. Lisman, as City Controller had an advantage because he was in on many of the grant applications that started the rebuilding process. Lisman won in the primary. He later was elected as the first “strong” Mayor of Wilkes Barre since Frank Slattery. .
In 1979 when Lisman chose not to run, Mussari was bested by City Councilman Tom McLaughlin in a bitter primary contest. During both campaigns Mussari took a lot of heat mainly for his academic credentials. It was amazing to me that local Democratic pols were intimidated by Mussari’s intellect and ability to think on his feet. In his campaigns Mussari offered himself as a progressive alternative. Both times the Democratic establishment won the battle. But it was not lost on many that Mussari, in those two campaigns, brought a discourse that paved the way for others, most notably Kevin Blaum, who beat a multi term incumbent for State Rep the year after.
Mussari continued his passion for education but transferred it into film. His series “Windsor Park Stories” produced alongside with his wife Kitch, was a mainstay for many years on WVIA TV.
While I did not have him as a Professor at King’s, we interacted a great deal when he and his wife attended the monthly meetings of the Professional News Media Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania. (I had the honor of being the group’s Secretary.) He always sat in the back row, taking in the information and commented succinctly his opinion. When he spoke, people listened. Now keep in mind, this group was very active during the post Agnes era, the end of the Dan Flood political era, the George Banks trial, the Bud Dwyer suicide and how Reaganomics affected local social service agencies.
He passed away at the age of 75 from a rare brain disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Mussari was laid to rest Saturday.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, please direct any communication to the The Nancy Beck Loftus Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Misericordia University.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3619, October 19th, 2017


The President put his bulliness on full display the other day in an impromptu set of appearances that give us a look into his soul. First his assertion that President Obama never called his own Chief of Staff John Kelly’s family after his son was killed. The fact of the matter is White House visitor records show Kelly attended a breakfast Obama hosted for Gold Star families six months after his son died. A person familiar with the breakfast, speaking on condition of anonymity because the event was private, said the Kelly family sat at Michelle Obama's table.
He has disparaged the Military and Veterans since taking office. Remember when he called the Military a disaster?
The great news he is being called on it.Then he back down and does his Ralph Cramden hamana hmanana thing.
Then there was his reaction to John McCain’s speech the other night when the Arizona Senator was awarded the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia. McCain referenced Trump’s buddy Steve Bannon and by non verbal inclusion the President, McCain said, "To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."
Trump responded this way.
"Yeah well, I hear it. People have to be careful because at some point, I fight back. I'm being nice. I'm being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won't be pretty."
Big man Donnie Trump. He actually threatens an 81 year old war hero, a member of his party and a brain cancer victim.
Despite all that, my money is on McCain kicking his sorry un-Presidential ass.

Congressman Tom Marino (LuLac archives)
10th Congressional District Congressman Tom Marino bowed out as President Trump’s Drug Czar. See, a drug czar isn’t supposed to take money from a Pharmaceutical company to increase opioids and decrease regulations. As soon as I saw a Tweet from West Virginia Senator Joe Mancin asking for Marino to leave, I knew it was going to be tough.
Both Tom Marino and Lou Barletta were out in front for Donald Trump. It seems like anyone who has been touched by the President gets soiled. This time Marino was exposed. While Lou Baletta has never had any questionable dealings, ever, one has to wonder if he will get an electoral defeat not by his own reputation but by his association with Trump. 
 Our friend Gort 42 has a very good take on this. Here’s his link:http://gort42.blogspot.com/


Aryanna Berringer (Photo: Lancasteronline.com)
I had the opportunity to meet an exciting young candidate running for Lt. Governor at Blog fest this year. Aryanna Berringer has been out early making her case. She’s an Iraq War Veteran. Her job is running the on profit American Nutritional Security which advocates for fresh and local food served in schools. She three children ages 12 years, 10 years, and 20 months. In Iraq she served in combat and in training was even involved in a dangerous situation during which a grenade launcher she was holding failed to discharge the live grenade. Some say she might be a long shot but she has the energy and the will. Plus the 2018 field will be very crowded and with that dynamic you just never know. We wish her luck.


If you are sick and tired of paying Property Taxes, supporting school district as its only funders, take a look at what our friend Charles Urban from The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition wrote. This solution will end the burden of home owners in this region. Check it out and tell your Legislators you want relief.
Property Owners: Luzerne, Lackawanna , Wyoming, Monroe, Columbia, Carbon, Wayne Counties
It's time to end Property Taxes to fund our schools. Your school property taxes will continue to increase if you don't take action.
You can, because, We The People are the Government, and this is the solution. House Bill/ Senate Bill 76 the Property Tax Independence Act, will abolish school property taxes. School districts 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 more items and services.
*Expand the sales tax to 7 percent.
* Put the money from the tax increase into a fund separate from the state budget.
*School district's would be paid the same amount they currently receive in property tax from this fund with further increases tied to inflation or average wage increase.
*All school districts to hold a referendum on temporary increase with the voters approval.
* HB/SB 76 would eliminate school property taxes forever.
*Once the mortgage is paid off you will own your home and not renting from the government.
* To learn more about HB/SB 76 go to http://ww.ptcc.us for complete details.
Homeowners we have one hurdle to cross. This shows how some of your legislators work. Voters on November 7 you will be asked to vote on HB 1285, a Constitutional Amendment for whether the state legislature should allow school districts, counties and municipalities to completely replace property tax. This amendment that would increase the current
Homestead exemption from 50% to 100%. Moreover to do the legislators would need to jump through many hoops on a long road ahead.
While the Constitutional Amendment is not he answer it is part of the conservation. We should vote YES on this amendment on November 7. However, if this amendment is defeated legislators who oppose true property tax elimination through HB/SB 76 will claim that the people voted against elimination. .I think it is wise to vote YES and then we can really pound them asking where is the funding?
HB/SB 76 is where the funding is and the only solution is to support Senate Bill 76 Please continue to contact your local Representative and Senator to support 76
Charles Urban Pres. Luzerne County Property Owners Member of 87 PTCC groups in Pa. This letter was approved by the PTCC.

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $1,393,671 to the city of Wilkes-Barre and $3,784,927 to Luzerne County by way of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The CDBG program provides annual grants to states and local units of government to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
“These grants will help Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County address a wide range of unique community development needs,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I will continue to do all I can to bring vital federal funds to Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.




This week's guest with Jim Riley will be ME. Jim and I will be talking about local elections in both The Lac, The Lu and an overall view of politics. We also take a deep dive on President Trump.
Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400-The Game, NEPA's Fox .Sports Radio and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender welcome Deborah Conway, Superintendent of the Steamtown National Historical site to the program the week of October 23rd. The popular Railroad Museum is now open to the public free of charge and will offer some special Halloween activities this year. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired during the Noon, 6pm and Midnight hours each day of the week. Following Monday's Live program the show will become available on Electric City Television's YouTube channel which can be viewed on your computer.


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!”



Our 1977 logo

Three members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a charter plane crash outside Gillsburg, Mississippi, 3 days after the release of their fifth studio album Street Survivors......

The European Patent Institute is founded.....Lt. Governor Ernest Kline says he is a go for 1978 and the Governor's race....in Wilkes Barre City discussions begin about what will happen to the Paramount Theater on the Square regarding the redevelopment of the city and forty years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3618, October 18th, 2017


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo


This past Sunday The Citizen's Voice did a wonderful story on the famed pizza restaurant Victory Pig in Wyoming. I first went to "The Pig" in 1965 when neighbors who used to live in Pittston moved to Minnesota. On a visit back home, the family ordered a lot of pizza and even took some home with them.
Through the years it was a stop for my friends and me.  Especially when one of us had a crush on one of the waitresses. Thankfully she didn't have anything to do with us because one of the guys would be married to someone who is closing in on 80 now.
Mrs LuLac and i go there occasionally and it is the go to place for out of towners in the summer.
The business stuck to its roots and stayed open only three days. But now at 75 and running, changes are afoot. Here's Denise Allabaugh's article (partial) and then the link from the paper to see the full story.


Victory Pig, a little mom and pop business on Wyoming Avenue, has been a landmark for pizza lovers across the United States for decades.
The old-fashioned business, which has been owned by the Ceccoli family since 1942, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Victory Pig began in a time before chain restaurants and fast-food franchises dominated the landscape of the area, the Ceccolis said. The pizza recipe has been passed down through four generations of their family.
Italian immigrant Louis Ceccoli and his wife Lee founded Victory Pig and it began as a little shop specializing in pork barbecue sandwiches. That’s where the “Pig” in the restaurant’s name came from and pork barbecue sandwiches are still a staple on the menu.
The restaurant was later operated by their son, the late Robert Ceccoli. His wife, Mary Ceccoli, 92, retired five years ago after working at the restaurant for 68 years and lives on the property near the restaurant.
Today, her son Rich Ceccoli operates the family business and his sons, Richard, Robert and Randon work there.
Paul Pearson, 63, who has worked at Victory Pig for 48 years, is like family, the Ceccolis said.
The business was always called Victory Pig, said Rich Ceccoli, while showing an old photo of the restaurant.
“There was a big barbecue pit in the back and a guy used to cook pigs on a spindle,” he said.
He said the pizza craze began when his grandmother made his grandfather four cuts of pizza to eat at the restaurant.
Forty Fort residents eating in the restaurant did not know what pizza was then, he said. When his grandfather explained it was pizza and they asked how much it was a slice, he charged them a nickel each.
“He sold his supper to four people and they wanted more,” Ceccoli said. “He put a nickel in the pay phone, called my grandmother who lived a quarter of a mile up the street, and told her to make more pizza, bring it in through the kitchen and send it out the window.”
The next night, he said the people from Forty Fort brought in more people who wanted pizza. Louis Ceccoli called his wife again and said she needed to bring in 12 more slices.
As the demand continued, Lee Ceccoli told her husband they needed to put an oven in the kitchen to make the pizza there.
“We still operate like it’s the 1940s. People come in and say, ‘I hope the pizza hasn’t changed. The building didn’t.’ I say it’s the same,” Rich Ceccoli said. “There always has been a Ceccoli in the kitchen and there always has been a Ceccoli behind the cash register.”
For 75 years, the business also has continued curbside service.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Lulac Edition #3617, October 17h, 2017

(Graphic: Brainsonfire.com)
This is a tad late due to the heavy maintenance on Question number 9 in our Edition #3516 on October 13th, my big blog Saturday activities and then a church event Sunday night. It was indeed stimulating to go through those comments though about WILK's new talk show host. But, better late than never, I’d love to give a recap of both Blogcon and Blogfest.
First a few thank yous to Michelle Davies and Harold Jenkins for getting me back and forth. My main concern was the formidable steps at the Worthington campus but both of these fine people got me within shouting distance.
Since I started this blog, I met many fine people and at Blogcon Saturday I met many more. I always believed that in life, if you stop being curious, you pretty much render whatever project you are working on stymied. I always wanted to start a LuLac podcast and got the information that I needed to look at doing that down the road. The other thing I wanted to accomplish is to change the address on the 590 FOREVER WARM Radio blog to increase effectiveness and readership. I met someone who can help with that mission.
The presentations were incredible. Film maker Kenny Luck was filled with energy and passion for his art. Then there was the Red Road Radio Show podcast hosted by Lew Hastings. His take on how the Native Americans are faring was very informative. It will also be information I will share with my sister and her husband who are into Native American history. Other presenters were Claudia Pennington, Kathryn Bond, Sam Chiarelli, Lori Rocino, Kristin Elliot and Dan Kimbrough. Their topics ranged from content to practical applications such as what type of equipment to buy when you want to advance past the written word.
The three founders of this Conference, Michelle Davies, Mandy Pennington and Karla Porter announced that this would be the last Blogcon Conference but plan to take it to the next level.
One of the biggest regrets I have is that I did not attend one of these earlier but I was very glad to get in under the wire on this fabulous community and information resource.
Here’s a few photos from the conference.
 Very glad to meet Kevin Granville and Candace Allen from WHATNOW.
WhatNow! is a FREE mobile app community for meeting new friends in your area based on your common interests and finding fun activities or events going on around you in real-time. This would be great for political meet ups and flash rallies or Exploring Events and Activities In Your Area, Create Events to Share With Others, Search for Specific Activities Near You and View a Live-time Data Feed of Activities. Here’s their link:

The three founders of Blogcon were front and center doing the magic that created the event.  Mandy Pennington, Karla Porter and Michelle Davies are shown here. 
The turnout was the largest and the organization of getting people from place to place was flawless. 
My two lunch buddies Taylor and Rich were a joy. Taylor works in Health Care and Rich is a musician. 
The event was fueled by Panera. I do not drink coffee at all but this day was an exception. 


Down at The River Grille in Plains, an after party was held. It was great to see the attendees from Blogcon as well as all the political people. This was very widely attended. Here are a few photos plus at the end, Gort 42's link. 

Was so glad to be in this photo with these intellectual heavyweights. From left to right, Karla Porter, Mandy Pennington, Ben Hoon, Michelle Davies, and Harold Jenkins. These were the key drivers in Blogcon and Blogfest. 2017.

   Here we are visiting with incumbent Luzerne County Controller Michelle Bednar and Democratic party advocate Polly Delaney. 

The Republican party was well represented by Marc Dixon and Greg Wolovich, (candidates for County Council) Vice Chair of the 5th District, 120th, Lynette Villano who had a film crew following her and former County Controller but current GOP nominee for that office, Walter Griffith. 

Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor PA Lt. Governor candidate Aryanna Berringer came all the way from the Steel City.
Candidate for Luzerne Borough Mayor John Cordora was on hand. I've known John for years when his hair was black and I still had mine. 
Wilkes Barre City Councilman Tony Brooks and Wendy Cominsky candidate for County Council.
 Democratic party and Progressive icon Bob Caruso and former GOP Chair in the County, Bill Urbanski.
Steve Urbanski and Ben Hoon 

The two WILK rejects, me, and Mark Barrett, aka Duke From Dallas. 

Jim O'Meara, Barry Kresge, Junior and Marc Dixon share some strategy. 

Luzerne County Council candidate Wendy Cominsky with me. 
Kathleen Smith stopped by the event. She was one of last year's LuLac Women we Love. 
Finally Ben Hoon and I were presented with this flower that we were going to get scientifically tested to see if we could turn it into Medicinal Vodka cubes. An update very soon. 

Photos courtesy of Ben Hoon.