Sunday, December 31, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3687, December 31st, 2017

The late DA Robert Klein (Photo: from his media guy and friend Bob Harper)

Friends and colleagues of the Susquehanna County District Attorney are mourning his death this week. Bob Klein passed away Wednesday after battling cancer. He was 53.
Klein was elected to the position of Susquehanna County District Attorney in 2015. Many say it was his "dream job."
Before taking that position, he was a prosecutor in Lackawanna County for more than a decade and his impact was far-reaching.
"Whatever Bob set his mind to he did with 110-percent: friendships, family, his work," Shane Scanlon said.
Lackawanna County DA Shane Scanlon called Klein more than just a friend but also a mentor.
He says Klein challenged laws when needed and led Lackawanna County's fight against bath salts and spice several years ago.
"He wasn't afraid to go after the right thing whatever it was!" Scanlon said.
Since being elected DA in Susquehanna County, Klein developed new ways for his community to report drug crimes.
He also got a special van donated to help pick-up prescription painkillers across the county.
Klein handled thousands of cases over time time so his impact was vast.
Shane Scanlon saw Bob Klein just one day before he passed away.
He called his friend a fighter who gave his all in his battle against cancer in addition to his battles in the courtroom after being elected Susquehanna County DA.
"It was truly his dream come true. He got to live it only for a short period of time but he got to live it!" Scanlon said.
Friends and colleagues say Bob Klein more than anything was a devoted family man.
He leaves behind a wife and three children.
(Source Eyewitness News Report)

Outgoing Council member and Women We Love nominee of LuLac Kathy Dobash (Photo: Standard Speaker)
Kathy Dobash was once known as a gadfly and thorn in the side of Luzerne County officials. After one unsuccessful run for County Council Dobash scored a solid victory in 2013 and went on County Council where she was an outspoken advocate for transparency and taxpayers. At the final meetings, she made sure that Library services funding was restored. Through the years, she has been pesky, sometimes ridiculed, sometimes championed. But her true legacy is that she never strayed fro her principles. Here is her farewell to Luzerne County residents.

Luzerne County Citizens,
First, and most sincerely intended is my appreciation for all my supporters and those voted for me to serve on the Luzerne County Council.
I have fond memories from knocking on doors throughout Luzerne County. I appreciated and listened to the citizens and their concerns.
I made a promise to insist on County government employees to co pay more for their healthcare costs.
I made a promise to oppose County tax increases .
I made a promise to speak for my constituents .  I spoke for the citizens and listened,  responded to and represented those who took time to contact me and the County Council as a whole.
My efforts to keep my promise to the voters were not supported by the  Council majority . 
I also promised for more accountability and transparency.
Improvements are needed in Luzerne County Home Rule Government.
Under Home Rule, overspending by the Manager should not have occurred.
It is a big disappointment to know the County Controller did nothing to stop the overspending of $16.9 million by the  County Manager.
I have several other concerns about the persistent persuasion tactics of the County Manager teamed with the Chief Solicitor to manipulate County Council discussions and decisions.
The solicitor opinion is just that: an opinion.  It is not a court order.
The recent rationale to stop the implementation of a Home Rule Study Commission on the basis that it is a lame duck Council was ridiculous. There are a majority of members of this current Council who will serve on Council in 2018.  Cronyism and nepotism in Luzerne County Government is obviously present.  That is very apparent in the hiring practices.  Rehiring those who have resigned and were in questionable situations as County employees is somewhat alarming.
Salary increases and benefits need to be seriously considered as the taxpayers cannot afford the direction management has taken.  Management must work harder for healthcare co pays and lessen the burden on the taxpayers.
There is talk about a new prison project for female inmates. I hope Council proceeds with caution as the idea is being sold as a revenue generator. We had the whole horrible "Kids for Cash" situation. Citizens need to keep a watch on it as we do not need a Female inmate "Beds for Cash " scandal.
Mental health services and preventive measures require an intense review to stop the tragedies  we experienced this past year within the Corrections Division.
In this closing statement,
I believe Luzerne County Home Rule does require certain changes:
*Smaller County Council elected by Districts
*Limited two terms for all elected officials and the County Manager
*County Manager and Sheriff should be elected.
*The Controller should sign off on outgoing checks.
We still require an improved system of check and balances.
I support the voters' right to ask for these changes. If you, the voters feel the same,  support Mr. Walter Griffith's efforts and volunteer to collect signatures.
Contact him and offer your assistance at this email address:
Wishing you all the best I say farewell as your elected official.

Have a prosperous New Year,

Kathy Dobash
Hazleton, PA

Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)
Once more, it is quite refreshing and even unusual that a local congressman in our area is bringing home funding for local services. Of course it is not unusual for Mr. Cartwright but we hear nary a word from the bobsie twins of the 10th and 11th District, Tom Marino and Lou Barletta. But enough but them and their fsilings, let's share some news about Matt Cartwright! 
Representative Matt Cartwright announced that Luzerne County Head Start received $4,448,810 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These funds are used for the continuation of high quality, comprehensive, early childhood education.
Head Start is a federal program created in 1965 to address the educational and developmental needs of low-income, pre-school children. Head Start’s comprehensive service system provides social, nutritional, and educational services for thousands of children and their families across the United States. Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child's first and most important teacher.
“Head Start and Early Head Start programs are an important investment in our community and our economy,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “I applaud Luzerne County Head Start on their continued award and their dedication to enhancing the quality of life for children and families in Luzerne and Wyoming Counties.”
Over the past 51 years, Head Start programs have been operating at the local, grassroots level across the country. Through Head Start's comprehensive service system for both children and their families, thousands upon thousands of children have been given the chance to be and to do their best in order to achieve their potential in school.



ECTV Live welcomes nationally known Agriculture Broadcaster Dave Williams to the program as the New Year begins with details on this year's edition of the Pennsylvania Farm Show!
ECTV Live is seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired three times daily. The program can also be viewed on the Electric City Television YouTube page.
Producer-Host David DeCosmo, co-host Rusty Fender, and Director Mark Migilore wish you all a Very Happy New Year! 


This week's show reviews the top stories of 2017. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Game, NEPA's Fox Sports Radio 1340/1400 am, 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.


One of the most watched games in TV history was the 1967 Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. I was returning from Danville with my family in an ice storm. My late Uncle, Paul "Philco" Yonki was driving a Chevrolet Belair and we listened to the game on the radio.
The 1967 National Football League Championship Game was the 35th NFL championship, played on December 31 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
It determined the NFL's champion, which met the AFL's champion in Super Bowl II, then formally referred to as the second AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The Dallas Cowboys (9-5), champions of the Eastern Conference, traveled north to meet the Western champion Green Bay Packers (9–4–1), the two-time defending league champions. It was a rematch of the previous year's title game, and pitted two future Hall of Fame head coaches against each other, Tom Landry for the Cowboys and Vince Lombardi for the Packers.
Because of the adverse conditions in which the game was played, the rivalry between the two teams, and the game's dramatic climax, it has been immortalized as the Ice Bowl and is considered one of the greatest games in NFL history.
Leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the game, NFL Films is releasing an episode of its Timeline series about the events that day and the lasting impact. The episode is narrated and co-produced by filmmaker Michael Meredith, whose father Don Meredith was the QB for the Cowboys that day. (LuLac, wikipedia, You Tube).


LuLac took to the airwaves this past Wednesday and recapped the year in Politics. As they say on TV, let's go to the tape or in this case, the Tube. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3686, December 30th, 2017


1. WILK UPHEAVAL: It started in March during that huge snowstorm when nearly 10 year afternoon drive time host Steve Corbett was fired. Corbett told a local paper he felt his anti Trump stance did him in. Predictably, loud mouth listeners of the right wing took credit.
Right after that, l.A. Tarone was promoted to the afternoon time slot which his broadcast idol the late Bob Grant held. Sadly, Tarone’s cancer advanced and he was off the air in early May and passed away on June 25th.
In the interim, shortly after l.A.’s death, Rob Neyhard filled in during the time slot and applied for the position along with many others in what was reported to be by some, a disjointed and unfocused interview process. Neyhard who did yeoman's service during Tarone's illness was from reports, not even given an  interview.  
Neyhard was by passed over and the job was given to Frank Andrews, a talk show host on WEJL thirty five years ago,  anchor on both WYOU and WNEP, a one term state Rep and a Minister. 
Because the change took place in between a ratings book, no one will know the full effect of the hire for a while. 

2. FOX 56 NEWS DEBUTS: At the start of the year, Fox 56 launched a newscast set for 10pm. Previously WNEP and WBRE TV staffed the newscast. Led by former WBRE Producer Dawn Miller, the newscast has established a niche in the very important 10pm slot in NEPA. Miller as News Manager has grown the program tremendously since her arrival late last year.

3. WHERE DID I SEE THEM AGAIN? Local TV news continues to go national as part of “The Designated Survivor” series when more WNEP personnel appear on the show in the role of newscasters. Meanwhile, former WNEP TV anchor Marisa Burke (one of last year’s LuLac Women We Love) is seen on TV commercials with lawyers and bankers.
Kurt Aaron took over as Chief Weather guru at WNEP after Tom Clark retired while new reporters arrived at Channel 16.
Meanwhile at WBRE/WYOU Jasmine Brooks headed to Harrisburg, Dave Caufield  to Wisconsin and Kelly Byrne came north.

4. MEDIA PASSINGS It was a very bad year for veterans of local media. The aforementioned L.A. Tarone passed away after a battle with cancer. D.C. Day, long time mid day announcer on Rock 107 died, Kevin Fennessey who was on WFIL in Philly and spent time at Oldies 92, WQFM paaased at age 63 from cancer and long time reporter/anchor  John Perry of WDAU died in Florida. 

5. FROM ONE BANKRUPT OWNER TO ANOTHER........Cumulus broadcasting which bought Magic 93, WARM, BHT FM and the rest filed for bankruptcy. Ironic since Cumulus bought the group from the bankrupt Citadel chain of stations.
My good friend Brian Hughes headed out of there to do Traffic Full time and is doing well in that job where he is still heard on Magic.The financial issue should not significantly impact the stations survival in the market because it contains heritage stations that have been constants in this area. 



One significant note in social media this year was the ending, I like to call it a suspension because you just can't keep this group still for any amount of time, of the annual Blogcon seminar held in the fall since 2012. After this year's successful event, the organizers left this message.
In 2012, four women joined together with the intention of creating something new for our community. The aim was simple: make an event where bloggers could learn from and support each other. To do something good for our region. To make it accessible to all. To raise the level of conversation. To help others. To inspire, educate, and motivate.
And we did it.
For six years, NEPA BlogCon brought together nearly 1,000 people to learn about digital marketing, blogging, and social media. We helped businesses, nonprofits, students, and professionals. We raised more than $15,000 to benefit organizations that do invaluable work in our community. We gave dozens of children the opportunity to learn, play, and discover technology through Squirrel Girls Tech Camp.  And we did all of that with you, our friends, our supporters, our sponsors – our partners in success. The gratitude in our hearts cannot be measured.
You were all by our side at every step of the way. And now comes the time for us to take the next step in our journeys.
The women who began this, Michelle Davies, Karla Porter, and Mandy Pennington now take nepa blogCon to the next level. We wish them well and in our small way are here to help with their next endeavor.
A shout out also to our friends Harold Jenkins who still has the listing of all blogs here in NEPA alive and well with his and our good friend Gort 42 who now has become a roving Facebook/Social media photo blogger at area political events.

The LuLac Edition #3685, December 30th, 2017



1. SPORTS NO LONGER REFUGE FROM POLITICS……Sports has now intersected with divisive social issues this year. There was always one or two events that crept in but this year with Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem and President Trump’s insertion in that issue, it is sometimes a rarity when a game just gets covered for its own sake. The lines are drawn and while there are those who say sports should occupy a type of rarefied air of neutrality, I think dialogue is important among all the parties involved. As long as there’s free speech and opinions, those who bemoan the fact that sports should avoid this conflict just aren’t willing to live in these interesting and provocative times.

2. NEW ENGLAND WINS SUPER BOWL AGAIN….I know there are Patriot haters out there but let me say that the 2017 Super Bowl was one of the most incredible games I have ever seen. The Belechick/Brady Patriots are like those characters in horror movies that you think are killed off before the credits start to run. Then they come back. True the Falcons folded but the Pats took advantage of that failure and never gave up.

3. CAVS AND WARRIORS, PERENNIAL FOES….Warriors won this year. There is a good chance you might see a rematch in 2018.

4. ASTROS WIN FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP….in a year when the Playoff Series were the interesting prelude to the first 7 game World Series in years, baseball did show its interest and intensity. The Yanks and Indians played a great series setting up their return in 2018 and the Dodgers who lost to the ‘Stros are built to stay for a while too. To some, the slog of baseball might be boring as the summer wears on but once mid September comes around, Baseball, for those wise enough to enjoy it, is temporary king of the sports world.

5. SEXUAL ABUSE OF  FEMALE GYMNASTS ALLEGED…. Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney says the group that trains U.S. Olympic gymnasts forced her to sign a confidential settlement to keep allegations of sexual abuse by the team's doctor secret. Maroney filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics. The suit also seeks damages from Michigan State University, where the team's doctor, Larry Nassar, worked for decades. The lawsuit alleges that the settlement was illegal and "for the purpose of silencing a known victim of Nassar." 
This will continue well into 2018.
(Source: ESPN, CNN, LuLac)  

The LuLac Edition #3684, Decemberr 30th, 2017



1. OPIOD ABUSE IN LULAC LAND….This year saw a major spike in opiod drug deaths in both Luzerne and Lckwanna County. Groups have decried this as a health crisis. There were and will be many events and seminars on this but this video crystallizes what has happened recently. 

2. DEMOCRAT BECOME DA IN THE LAC SINCE MOON LANDING…. Democrat Mark Powell became the first Democrat District Attorney in The Lac since the year men landed on the moon, 1969. Powell ran a smart, focused campaign against Assistant DA Gene Talerico who beat incumbent Shane Scanlon in the spring primary.

3. ARRESTS MADE IN TWO UNSOLVED MURDERS IN LUZERNE COUNTY…the Luzerne County District Attorneys office has painstaking been doing their due diligence in bringing accused murders to trial. This year arrests were made in the 2013 death of Deejay Mo outside of Outsiders Bar in Wilkes Barre. Roberto “Ruthless” Battle, 28, and David “D-Rock” Nealy, 36, to trial on charges of homicide and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the shooting. It was determined that Dee Jay Mo was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Then a few weeks back, a big break came in a senseless murder on Thanksgiving night a few years ago.
State police said Anthony Spudis broke into the home of Gertrude Price, 97, on East Grand Street in Nanticoke, in November of 2013, ransacked the home, and beat Price to death.
During a news conference Thursday morning at the state police barracks in Wyoming, Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis announced the arrest.
"After four years of the investigation, this morning, thanks to the unending, diligent work by the Nanticoke city police, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County detectives and prosecutors, we have arrested Anthony Spudis."
According to police, Spudis broke into Price's home that night through a basement window and burglarized the home and When he came in contact with Price, he proceeded to beat her to death.

4. STILL A NATIONAL MEDIA CURIOSITY ….even after President Trump took office, national news media outlets still converged on Luzerne County to see why The Lu gave such a thumbs up to Trump. Everybody from NPR to a film crew tagging 5th District Vice Chair Lynette Villano at Blogfest wanted to know what the story was. Look for them to arrive here in 2018 for a reprise.

5. TWO CHARGED IN PENN STATE HAZING DEATH….two local men were charged in that Penn State Hazing death in February of this year. Gary DiBileo and Ed Gilmartin of Scranton were arraigned at the Centre County Courthouse. Gary DiBileo, Jr. was released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He does have some travel restrictions and the judge ordered him to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
The second man with local connections is Ed Gilmartin of Scranton. He is facing tampering with evidence charges in connection with the case.

6. TRUMP MAJORITY DOESN’T TRANSLATE WELL IN LOCAL ELECTIONS …..Donald Trump pretty much won Luzerne County by a landslide in 2016 when Democrat Hillary Clinton lost. However in 2017, the Luzerne county GOP faltered in trying to get new registrations, build a campaign war chest and capitalize on the win. They had no Lincoln Day Dinner, had a very weak and unattended summer outing and lost two  open seats for Luzerne County Council and the Controllers race.
They did end the year strongly though with a well attended event honoring outgoing Kingston Mayor Jim Haggerty where a significant amount of money was raised by the 5th District.

7. WHERE IS KEVIN HAGGERTY ….Kevin Haggerty didn’t show up for work as a State Legislator for over 200 days. Haggerty said he was attending to his children because of a very tough divorce. Now I always liked Kevin Haggerty but when is any divorce easy?
Haggerty was chastised by House members, who by the way were Democrats who put their displeasure in the House record. Haggerty recently gave an interview saying he still liked his job, still cared about the district and wanted to get back to work.
Good for him. Look, there are many people who go through brutal divorces and have child care issues. But they GO TO THEIR JOB  EVERY DAY and MAKE IT WORK at significantly less salaries than Haggerty’s. When you look at the last three individuals who held this seat, you have to wonder just what the hell is in the water up there in that area of The Lac.

8. PROPERTY TAX MOVEMENT LOCALLY RAMPS UP....Local residents who are sick and tired of paying property taxes have held rallies throughout the bi county area saying that Property Tax Reform is needed. There are even State Legislatures behind the effort. Expect to see more in 2018 on this.

9. SCRANTON SCHOOL BOARD IN DEBT FOR MILLIONS BECAUSE OF MISMANAGEMENT…The disgrace that is the Scranton School District announced that because of past mismanagement they are 19 million dollars in debt. Incredible. They just noticed it now. If there needs to be layoffs, let it be. But I’d start with administrators who are overpaid and under-worked. Plus Senator John “I cast the decisive vote for NOT SUPPORTING PROPERTY TAX relief” Blake and Representative Marty Flynn have obtained money from the state to give some sort of a bailout to the District. So citizens in The Lac are paying DOUBLE TAXES, first from the money pissed away by the District all those years and then from “the bailout” coming from the state now.

10. BLIZZARD OF 2017 …March saw a significant blizzard here in NEPA. While it was scary when it was going on, we got through it. The area and state were prepared and the damages to both heart and mind were, thank goodness minimal. 
(Source: Scranton Times Tribune, Citizen's Voice, LuLac) 

Friday, December 29, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3683, December 29th, 2017



1. STARTING EARLY……The 2017 election wasn’t even over but the 2018 off year elections started in earnest this year. Republican challenger State Senator Scott Wagner went on the air and started to beat the bushes. Wagner picked up key endorsements throughout the state and is now seen as the presumptive nominee.
On the Democratic side, Tom Wolf’s campaign began to formulate as he embarks on his run for  a second term.
The Senate seat of Bob Casey is up and Republican Lou Barletta announced his intentions. At this point, it seems Casey should win because of the dissatisfaction with President Trump in the stater. But there has always been a two term curse for some Senators and Casey does not want to follow in the footsteps of Democrat Joe Clark or Republican Rick Santorum. Trump barely carried the state, largely because of the 26,000 votes from The Lu. Is the rest of the Commonwealth like Luzerne County?  THat's the big question.

2. OPIOD CRISIS…Governor Wolf signed legislation to battle Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic. This legislation will strengthen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, restrict the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors or in emergency rooms, establish education curriculum on safe prescribing, and create more locations for the drop-off of prescription drugs.

3. THE IMPOTENCY OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE….if it were up to me this would be the top story. The state Legislature did NOTHING on Property Tax Reform, did NOTHING on Pension Reform and FAILED AGAIN in passing a budget on time. It passed abortion restrictions, tried passing anti-union legislation sought by top Republicans which failed and left legislation to tax Marcellus Shale natural gas production in an undecided state. One has to ask at the end of the day, why do we pay these people and why do we keep returning them to Harrisburg?

4. THE COSBY TRIAL…..When you thought about sexual harassment earlier in the year, the name Bill Cosby came to mind. However, with the plethora of allegations and public humiliation with major players in entertainment coming to the fore, the Cosby trial seems like a distant memory. But like a renewal of a TV show for another season, Cosby and his trial will be back in 2018. Jurors heard lurid testimony about the TV star once known as "America's Dad" for his role as kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." But the jury's epic deliberation — which lasted more than 52 hours over six days — failed to produce a verdict, and the judge declared a mistrial

5. DRUNKEN BEHAVIOR AND HAZING DEATH AT PENN STATE..... On Feb. 4 there was a hazing death of a 19-year-old fraternity pledge at Penn State yielding criminal charges against 26 people. Two of the accused were locals from the Scranton Area who most likely got their drinking training wheels at various St. Patrick’s Day celebrations through the years. The victim, Tim Piazza drank heavily at a pledge party, then fell head-first down basement stairs — the first of several tumbles that left him mortally injured. Security camera footage seized by police revealed that fraternity members did little to help.
Months later, a grand jury accused Penn State officials of displaying "shocking apathy" about excessive drinking at Pennsylvania's flagship university. Penn State, in turn, blamed national fraternities and their members, alumni and even parents for being unwilling to accept major reform.
That last part is the most telling statement to me. Penn State, an institution that CHOOSES who they will educate have to kiss the asses of the parents and alumni who don’t want their precious little bundles of joy to get their itty bitty feelings hurt when they are told to follow the rules.
Bottom line here is someone died because drunken slob pigs let him. I’d say “LOCK THEM UP." 

The LuLac Edition #3682, December 29th, 2017



1. RUSSIAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE INVESTIGATION....Even before the election, 13 Intelligence agencies say Russia interfered with the election in 2016.

2. THE TRUMP ERA STARTS....Trump gets inaugurated. Disputes crowd size. Then the way the Presidency is conducted, perhaps forever changes it. The term "fake news" is termed for what Trump actually says and does and then reported by the media.

3. THE WOMEN MARCH....Millions of people worldwide join the Women's March in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. 420 marches were reported in the U.S. and 168 in other countries, becoming the largest single-day protest in American history and the largest worldwide protest in recent history.

4. TRUMP MAKES A BIG MISTAKE..... Trump fires FBI Director Comey. The Mueller investigation begins.

5. TRUMP DUMPS CLIMATE AGREEMENT....Amidst wide criticism, the U.S. announces its decision to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement in due time.

6. SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND THE ME TOO MOVEMENT........many men were cut down in film, TV, Journalism, industry and even in politics as women came out and reported Sexual Harassment.  The "Me Too" movement even inspired Time Magazine to name the accusers as persons of the year. The number one person who was accused actually admitted to it on tape, but he's still President.

7. HURRICANE FURY.....Hurricane Harvey strikes the United States as a Category 4 hurricane, causing catastrophic damage to the Houston metropolitan area, mostly due to record-breaking floods. At least 90 deaths were recorded, and total damage reaches $198.6 billion (2017 USD), making Harvey the costliest natural disaster in United States history.

8. THE HORROR OF PUERTO RICO....The Caribbean and United States are struck by Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane that is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The storm causes at least 134 deaths and at least $63 billion (2017 USD) in damage.  To date Puerto Rico has not fully recovered with power still out in one third of the island. 

9. A total solar eclipse (nicknamed "The Great American Eclipse")is visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States of America, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.

10. TRUMP'S WINS..... The Trump Presidency fails at trying to repeal The Affordable Care Act, passes tax bill at the end of the year that 63% of the public says will help the rich.

The LuLac Edition #3681, December 29th, 2017



1. North Korea prompts international condemnation by test firing a ballistic missile across the Sea of Japan. This is an 0ngoing story that will most likely continue in 2018. With the possible resignation of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, there might be less of a diplomatic opportunity for a truce or diminished amount of reason.

2. -US Foreign policy and the changes brought about by the Trump administration. Questions bound regarding the fate of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, our relationship with our oldest allies, England, France and Germany. Additionally, the intersecting of bonds with the UN and NATO as well as whether in a crisis we can count on these steadfast friends if anything happens where we need their support. Foreign policy at State and the upheaval there has to be one of the biggest international question marks.

3. Computers around the world are hit by a large-scale ransomware cyberattack, which goes on to affect at least 150 countries.

4. Terrorism continues internationally. A terrorist bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England kills 22 people and injures over 100. Two terrorist attacks were simultaneously carried out by five terrorists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against the Iranian Parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, both in Tehran, Iran, leaving 17 civilians dead and 43 wounded. It became the first ISIL attack in Iran.

5. Iraqi Civil War, Mosul is declared fully liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

6. Jerusalem named the Capitol of Israel.The ramifications of this will be stunning. While I have always supported this from a spiritual standpoint, the potential for violence is staggering and mind boggling. Plus it keeps us out of the Peace process in the Mideast. After years, we have ceased to become a player in the entire region.

7. Yemen Famine. Conditions in Yemen have worsened significantly with every passing year. The country’s humanitarian crisis was already one of the world’s worst by the end of 2015, and by this time last year it had eclipsed every other catastrophe on the planet. Today the multiple, overlapping disasters of mass starvation and a record-setting cholera epidemic easily make the suffering of Yemen’s civilian population the largest crisis and most important story in the world. More than eight million people are on the verge of famine, and at least another nine million don’t have enough to eat.

8. Venezuela Deadly clashes between protesters and police marred voting on Sunday, as Venezuelans cast ballots on a controversial measure that could mark a turning point for their country.
The election will allow President Nicolás Maduro to replace Venezuela's current legislative body -- the National Assembly -- with a new institution called the Constituent Assembly that will have the power to rewrite the constitution.

9. Raul Castro confirms he will stay Cuba's president to April. Castro confirmed that he will continue as Cuba's president into April, two months longer than expected, as parliament extended the political cycle citing delays made necessary by a damaging hurricane.

10. Pope Francis continues the mission of the church by traveling to Myanmar, Egypt, Portugal, Columbia and Bangladesh. Francis is set to travel to Chile, Peru and Ireland in 2018. 
(Source: CNN, wikipedia, MSN, LuLac) 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3680, December 28th, 2017


As the year winds down, we continue with our year end features. “Women We Love” is something we ripped off from Esquire Magazine a few years back. Each year we get nominees for outstanding women locally, statewide nationally and internationally. The criteria 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. Longevity in some cases is a factor. Nominations come in via the LuLac E Mail box and a certain number is needed to make the cut. After that cut is dwindled, we choose the winners. Here are the list of 2017 Women We Love.

(Photos: 740AM Zoomer website)
Some people in LuLac land may not know of Jane Brown or what she does. But a core group of avid radio listeners to that powerhouse AM station out of Toronto, Zoomer 740AM do. Brown is the morning newscaster on that 50,000 watt monster that reaches 28 states and 2 provinces. Her news starts at 530am and as part of  “The Happy Gang”,  Brown gives both Canadians and Americans news of what is happening up north.
With commercial radio branching out onto the internet and now a presence, many of Brown’s voters said they hear that morning show on the computer. Some listen to it throughout the day, others click back and forth with Zommer and either WILK or ESPN Radio. The New AM740 has the largest broadcast footprint in North America, with its rare 50,000‑watt clear channel frequency that reaches extensive parts of Ontario, Quebec & 28 American states. It is the only AM channel still playing music in Canada’s largest market.
A little about Brown.
Jane Brown is a veteran of the Toronto radio news industry and has been nationally recognized for her achievements in radio journalism. Jane is the recipient of the RTNDAs 2004 National Byron MacGregor Best Radio Newscast Award. Byron McGregor was the brain child of CKLW 20/20 news in the late 60s and early 70s. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters also recognized Jane as an award winning co-anchor of the coverage of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York City and Washington.
Jane Brown has worked as a Toronto radio news reporter and anchor since 1986. Jane has been the morning news anchor on The Happy Gang show and the Associate News Director for both Zoomer Radio and the New Classical FM since 2009. Prior to that, she was at the CKO Radio Network, 680 News, CBC Toronto Radio News, and more recently as the morning news anchor at Newstalk 1010 CFRB.
As a morning show personality and interviewer, Jane has enjoyed on air conversations with such celebrity greats as Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr., Anne Murray, the late John Candy, Jim Carrey, Lou Gossett Junior, and Eugene Levy, to name a few.
Jane is actively involved in raising funds for cancer research. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, she captained a team for the CIBC Run for the Cure, raising $30,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. After joining Zoomer Radio in 2009, Jane co-captained Team Zoomer with Libby Znaimer in the annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers to benefit Princess Margaret Hospital in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Team Zoomer supporters have donated in excess of $140,000. In 2015, Jane turned her attention to raising funds for Bladder Cancer Canada, in honour of her mother Sandy Brown who died of bladder cancer in 2012. Jane and her team mates surpassed their goals for the Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk in both 2015 and 2016, and thanks to generous Zoomer Radio listeners, have raised a total of nearly $12,000 for bladder cancer research and awareness.


(Photos: WBRE/WYOU Homepage) Jayne Anne Bugda and a demonstration of her ability to herd these political cats, Andy Mehalshick, WBRE/WYOU Anchor and Head Eye Team Reporter, Eyewitness News Political Analysts Dr. David Sosar, David Yonki and Chris Cullen.
The people on the TV news set will get the accolades but this year our voters wanted to give a nod to Jayne Ann Bugda of WBRE/WYOU Eyewitness News. Bugda serves as a the face along with Andy Mehalshick of the award winning Eyewitness Newsmakers series of WBRE TV.
Jayne Ann Bugda is a proud member of the Eyewitness News Team for 32 years. Jayne Ann is the Senior News Producer, Web Producer for and Host/Producer of the public affairs program, Newsmakers. She is the producer of Eyewitness News at Seven and oversees the news content on PAHomepage as the web producer. She also serves as the documentary producer for WBRE/WYOU.
Over the years Jayne Ann has won a number of Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasting Awards for Outstanding Public Affairs programs and documentaries. Early in her career Jayne Ann was an EMMY award-winner as producer of a show named “Best Newscast”.
Jayne Ann has produced the documentaries- “Agnes Flood of Memories” Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) Winner; “Coming Clean: True Stories of Prescription Drug Addiction” Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) Winner ; “What Happened to the Girl Next Door”, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) Winner; along with a number of special series including “Williamsport Welcomes the World”; “No Text NEPA”, “Teens Making Good Choices”, and “The Office Says Farewell”- to name a few.
In addition to working at WBRE/WYOU, Jayne Ann wrote columns for the Sunday Independent Newspaper and the Citizen’s Voice. She also worked for several radio stations early in her career covering local news.
Jayne Ann holds a BA Degree in Mass Communications from King’s College, is a graduate of Dale Carnegie Public Speaking/Leadership training, is trained in American Sign Language and is a second degree Reiki Practitioner. She serves on several boards of community and civic organizations in NEPA. Jayne Ann serves as a member of the SHINE Advisory Board. She is also a Governor for the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Mid-Atlantic Emmy Chapter.
Member of Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf, Past public relations for Hazleton Funfest, Greater Hazleton Concert Series, Judge for Miss Deaf Pennsylvania; First woman member of the Greater Hazleton Jaycees .
Jayne Ann’s second love is fashion and she keeps up to date with the latest trends. She is also a diehard New York Yankee fan, enjoys horse racing, live theatre, the arts, and enjoys helping community groups promote their events.
Her commitment to the news, its accuracy, truth and importance are just a few of the reasons why Jayne Anne Bugda is one of the women our readers and her viewers love in 2017.   

(Photos: LuLac archives)
The nomination of Mary Carrano is a combination of two things. A point of personal privilege because she was a dear friend of our family and the fact that there were people in two industries that she worked in that took the news of her sudden death in January particularly hard. Mary was my wife’s best friend since college. When I first met Mrs. LuLac she looked at me with a wary eye but I eventually won her over. Through the years she was a dedicated friend, confidant, co conspirator of mine in surprising Mrs. Lu Lac and being a constant in our lives.
Mary worked for 29 years at the Luzerne County Bureau of the Aging. During that time, she was part of the transition that was made by the Shapp administration to make Aging a cornerstone of social services in the state. Her roles at Aging varied from Planning, Social programs, handling advertising for Senior Centers and interfacing with local agencies under the leadership of the late Charlie Adams and Carol Lewis.
After she left Aging, Mary worked in Real Estate and Banking but then transitioned into a Leadership Position at Lord and Taylor. When she passed away, the number of people who came from those respective places was a comfort to her family.
Her father died when she was an infant and her mother saw to it that she got a formal education as well as the most important skills one can have, kindness and love from the heart. My words though are inadequate to describe her though. The following is a note Mrs. LuLac wrote on Facebook the day after she died. The second piece is from a eulogy that was given by her cousin Angela Hoolick at her funeral in January.
They say good friends are hard to find. I got lucky when I was a freshman at Wilkes University and I met my best friend. Mary Carrano was a Psychology major. My major was English. We met through a mutual friend who had been a high school classmate of mine and who was also a Psych major. We shared so many interests that it was uncanny: the Beatles, James Bond (Sean Connery was the best), movies - old and new, Star Trek, good books, Jane Austen, politics, travel, all things Broadway, tropical islands, dogs, cats, amusement parks, and family. Over the last 40+ years, we sang together, laughed together, shared broken heart stories as we tried to figure out what made guys tick, grieved when we lost our mothers, stood at stage doors to meet the actors we admired, kvetched about our jobs, celebrated our successes and regularly went on “adventures.” That’s how we found ourselves on the South Pacific island of Tahiti, jumping up and down on a balcony overlooking the Sea of the Moon as we looked into the night sky and saw the Southern Cross for the first time. Other adventures ranged from an excursion to Williamsburg Virginia where we laughed at the absurdity of the news that someone had broken into Democratic National Committee Headquarters; attending a cast party when the Broadway musical 1776 ended its run; stifling giggles as we sat within a few feet of a musical conductor who was unintentionally and wildly comic in his manic gestures; moving a cot and suitcases on the subway from Manhattan to the Bronx, and countless impromptu trips to Johnny’s on Rte. 46 in New Jersey for hot dogs.
Over the years I got to know Mary’s family at least as well as my own. She was the youngest cousin of a large and loving Italian family. Her parents married late in life and when Mary came along, most of her cousins were already grown. She never knew her father, who died when she was 18 months old. Her mother was a strong, independent and educated woman, from a long line of that type, and she raised her daughter to be strong, independent, curious, loving and kind. Mary’s mom often quoted plays, authors and assorted figures in history. I still remember one of my favorites: “Where there is no hope of survival, there is no restraint on impertinence.” Mary and I laughed about that one more than once, especially when in a situation that seemed to demand our ‘impertinence’.
One week ago today, Mary and I had planned to get together to exchange Christmas gifts. I texted her about the time and she texted back that she was too sick to come. I told her to get some rest and to let me know when she felt better. The next morning I got the phone call no one is ever prepared for. It was her beloved cousin Angie, telling me that Mary had died. Her funeral was on Friday. Ever since the wake, I’ve been fighting the urge to call her and tell her who was there. She’d have been so glad to know the people from her past and present who thought enough of her that they came to pay respects.
My parting words to you are these: If you are lucky enough to have had a friend like Mary, who is more sibling than acquaintance, cherish them and the relationship you share. You will never regret it. If you don’t have someone like that, look around you. Maybe you just haven’t recognized each other yet.
For Mary, here are some words from our favorite show, 1776:
When Heaven calls to me, sing me no sad elegy
Say I died, . . . . loving life.
So, I won’t be sad, but will be grateful for all the wonderful times we shared and the memories I will hold in my heart forever.

I don't remember the day I met Cissy, she has always been a part of my life.
She came into the world, the love of her mother and the apple of her father's eye. Her parents married late in life and she was a welcome surprise. She was an only child of Aunt Mary and Uncle Tony and lost her father around the age of 18mos.
Her mother was an amazing woman, my grandfather's sister, also Mary. She was wise and witty, the driest of humor that would have the whole house laughing.
Although she was an only child, Cissy was never alone. No, there was always an Aunt or an Uncle available to pick her up from school. Aunt Mary was one of 8 and in a large Italian family with 4 brothers and 4 sisters, there was always an Aunt or Uncle to take care of Cissy while her mother continued her education and worked.
Aunt Mary was a brilliant woman who received her Master’s degree from Fordham. Great Grandma Josephine made sure that her daughters received good educations and that her sons, while educated, were domestically honed at cooking, sewing, and raising babies, as well.
One of Cissy's favorite people in this world was our Uncle Rocky. A “gentle soul”, she called him. “Never heard him raise his voice”, she told me. (In a family of loud Italians, that's quite a feat)
Uncle Rocky and Aunt Amelia would decide to buy a big beautiful house and stay in town, so that after Uncle Tony's untimely death, Aunt Mary and Cissy would be able to stay with them and have no worries while somebody would always be home for Cissy.
Another one of those people was Uncle Jimmy. Uncle Jimmy would often be charged with the task of "after school duty" with Cissy, only unbeknownst to Aunt Mary, he would take her downtown, where my grandfather and his brothers had a pool hall. Cissy would get to pick out a hand full of penny candy, which would occupy her for the duration, while the boys played poker and smoked cigars in the back room. Aunt Mary would have killed them, not to mention what Grandma Josephine would have done.
Uncle Jimmy was also known for his fabulous sense of humor. There is a story that he used to sing in a quartet and they were scheduled to perform at a local theater, when there was some type of hold up to the start of the show. Uncle Jimmy, like a true La Mas, took the stage and began an impromtu stand-up act that brought the house down, laughing in hysterics.
As time marched on, Cissy grew up to be a bright, beautiful child with the same wit and humor as the large extended family who helped to raise her.
Cissy was the youngest of the 11 grandchildren of my great grandparents. My father was the oldest, with 30 years between them. That put Cissy smack in the middle between the first cousins and the second cousins, making her the bridge between generations. To this day, both sides still try to claim her for their own.
For years the entire family would have Sunday dinners at Aunt Amelia and Uncle Rocky's, which would eventually become known as Aunt Mary's house. These dinners continued throughout Aunt Mary's life and whoever showed up was welcome, and the food and laughter would continue all afternoon. Afterward, the men retired to the living room and the women in the kitchen, (where they would be talking about the men), and the kids running around or trying to learn a tune on the piano. Eventually, the piano would get on somebody’s nerves and we would start to hear the grownups yell, “Whose banging on the piano?!”
There was enough food to feed an army, the smell of slow simmered spaghetti sauce lingered for hours, bread crumbs strewn all over the table cloth from the crusts of hearty loaves of Italian bread, and glasses of Chianti filled at different levels, remained on the table.
My parents bought a house a few doors down from Aunt Mary's, the “second biggest house” on the block, as Aunt Mary’s was the biggest. As years passed, Aunt Mary's would eventually just be called, "the house". "Are you going down the house, today?" Everybody knew that meant Aunt Mary's.
Another family trait that Cissy inherited, would be the love of animals, there was always a stray cat or dog that we would find as kids and take to Aunt Mary, who would promise to find a good home for them, but would inevitably, end up keeping them. Anyone who knew Cissy, already knows, that too, was the story of HER life.
All the years that we grew up, Cissy played the role of our big sister. There were many second cousins in all the families and she was always interested in everything that each kid was doing. In my family, we were 5 girls, our eldest sister passed away as an 8 year old child, there was always a void for us. Nobody could take the place of Mary Jo, but Cissy did all the things that a big sister would do, and I remember thinking, "I wonder if every family is lucky enough to have a Cissy?".
She introduced me to so many new and exciting things. Her best friend and partner in crime was Mary Ann. They did everything together. They were liberated, independent and educated. Sort of like Mary Tyler Moore, who the world lost earlier this week. I was infatuated with the idea of being that type of woman. They took me on little trips with them, one time we went to Hershey Park where they had just opened the super dooper looper. Cissy chickened out, so Mary Ann rode with me. I was scared to death and prayed the Hail Mary all the way through the loop.
They were fascinated by American History and had a love for theater and dramatics. It was nothing, even to this day, to be sitting with Cissy at a table in a restaurant and have her break into some show tune from My Fair Lady or 1776 the musical, all the while with her eyes wide and a big grin on her face. Her laugh was one of a kind and abrupt, at times she would cry tears at a good joke or funny circumstance. Her smile would light up a room.
Another player in the story was our Aunt Loretta. Loody, she called her. Aunt Loretta was like a second mother to Cissy and a big part of her childhood. Loody came to stay with Cissy during her illness 20 years ago, leaving her own family in Flushing, because that's how this family operates. Whoever and whenever one of us is in need, we band together and survive. Cousin John, was like a brother to her, and his son Johnny is her godson. Aunt Loretta and Uncle John sent Cissy her best birthday present ever, when they sent her to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966. Aunt Mary was her date, they had an amazing time and Cissy always said that Aunt Mary screamed and swooned more at the sight of the Beatles than she did!
Cousin Lorraine would play the role of Cissy's big sister. The daughter of Aunt Amelia and Uncle Rocky, “Mama son”, as she called Lorraine, was her Godmother and guide in many ways, even unto the day Cissy left us.
When I got into high school, our relationship began to grow in the best of ways. One day she called me on a whim and asked me to go to the Treadway Inn with her for an Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Class. We were always suckers for the latest gadgets or self-improvement gigs. We were so spontaneous yet so undisciplined. We always had our “turn over a new leaf” speech once or twice a year, and although our intentions were good, time waits for no man. We shared a love of our family heritage. We were alike in so many ways. I would sit for hours and soak up stories of the generations before me that I had missed out on knowing, like my great grandparents and some of the Great Aunts and Uncles.
While it was my father who was her cousin, she and my mother, were soulmates. They went out every Saturday afternoon until the day my mother died. I often joined them and after my mother died, we continued our dates and in the latest years, young Loretta would join the tradition as well. She and my mom had a kindred spirit the way they approached life with patient wisdom. During our weekend breakfast dates or impromptu dinners after work, as well as events and family functions, I learned so much from Cissy.
Mostly, I learned how to accept people for who they are, she never judged anyone. She was kind spirited and generous to a fault. She taught me to get up, dress up and show up. She quoted her mother and SO many great sayings. She was a wealth of knowledge about life and our personal family history.
“The iron fist in the velvet glove!”, “Il pesce puzza dalla testa!” or “The fish stinks from the head!” “We love our people, warts and all!” All of these wonderful sayings from various authors, but always applicable to the situation at hand. And one of the best things she would tell me, especially with my current health scares, was something my own mother had said to her during her cancer diagnosis 20 years ago. She reminded me that if the situation was not making sense or helping me in any way, that “this was simply unacceptable”. And we would forge on to brainstorm yet another solution to the problem at hand. How I wish she were here to help me now, in dealing with her loss.
Cissy loved her work. Wherever she was employed, she took a great interest and was conscientious. After retirement from the Bureau of the Aging, she finally realized her dreams in real estate, she also worked some retail and eventually she joined the ranks at Lord and Taylor. She loved the customer service aspect and made friends so easily. Mostly she loved the idea of the history of Hudson's Bay and its French Canadian roots. She spoke French and bought a ton of French cookbooks. She loved all things French.
Every year we would start the weekend breakfast routine with our annual state of the union address on how and what we were to accomplish in the coming year. At the top of the list was always a trip to Paris. We had a 2 year plan for the past 20 years. We put away $75 per pay check and every time we'd get a couple thousand dollars, a water heater would break or something would happen. We finally visited AAA and spoke with a travel agent and began planning our trip and mapping it out, what to see, where to stay. We never got to go.
We would talk about our dreams, moving south, getting back to playing our instruments, starting some hair brained scheme of small business for independent wealth. Like Ethel and Lucy, more like it. She would always encourage me to get back to writing. She was in my wedding, my fifth sister. She was at my graduation from nursing school. She never let me down, ever. She was my biggest fan and supporter in SO many ways. We agreed that the biggest thing we had in common was our gift of procrastination. (She would appreciate that I just wrote this eulogy at 3:30 this morning). We decided that it always came down to discipline, or our lack thereof, so we would wrap up the brainstorming session and promise to make good on our plans for better health and accomplished goals.
This year was no different, we had big plans. She wanted to get well fast. She was determined and she was faithful. We sat together at Sunday night mass right here at St. Mary’s church only last weekend and held hands and prayed together.
God had other plans for Cissy.
She was so many things to so many people; a friend, a sister, a confidante. And like another famous Mary who passed away this week, ......
She too, could turn the world on with her smile.
It has been nearly a year since our friend Mary Carrano left us. She is thought of everyday and will be for the rest of our lives. It is for that reason that she is/was one of the women we will always love. 

(Photos: NBC Today archives)
With the recent revelations about Today Show Host Matt Lauer, more than a few of our readers gave Ann Curry a last minute rush in  the voting. I'm thinking it's a reaction to Lauer and Today Show officials giving Curry the bum's rush a few years back. A little bit about Curry.
Curry has been a reporter for more than 30 years, focused on human suffering in war zones and natural disasters. Curry has reported from the wars in Syria, Darfur, Congo, the Central African Republic, Kosovo, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Curry has covered numerous disasters, including the tsunamis in Southeast Asia and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where her appeal via Twitter topped Twitter's 'most powerful' list, credited for helping speed the arrival of humanitarian planes.
In June 2012, she became the national and international correspondent/anchor for NBC News and the anchor at Large for the Today show. She was co-anchor of Today from June 9, 2011, to June 28, 2012, and the program's news anchor from March 1997 until becoming co-anchor. She was also the anchor of Dateline NBC from 2005 to 2011.
On January 13, 2015, it was announced that Curry would be leaving NBC News after nearly 25 years.
In January 2015, Curry founded her own multi-platform media startup. She continues to conduct major news interviews on network television, most recently securing an exclusive interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about the Iran nuclear talks
In 1990, Curry joined NBC News, first as the NBC News Chicago correspondent then as the anchor of NBC News at Sunrise from 1991 to 1996. Curry also served as a substitute news anchor for Matt Lauer from 1994 to 1997 at Today. From 1997 to 2011, she served as news anchor at Today, becoming the show's second-longest serving news anchor, behind Frank Blair, who served in that capacity from 1953 to 1975. During this time, she also served as a substitute anchor for Today. In May 2005, Curry was named co-anchor of Dateline NBC with Stone Phillips; she remained as the primary anchor when Phillips left in June 2007, until she replaced Meredith Vieira on Today in 2011. She was the primary substitute on NBC Nightly News from 2005 to 2011.
Curry covering the 2009 Commander in Chief's Ball, with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen
Curry has reported on major international stories, filing stories from places such as Baghdad, Sri Lanka, Congo, Rwanda, Albania, and Darfur. Curry hosted NBC's primetime coverage and highlights of the Live Earth concerts on July 7, 2007, and also contributed with interviews for the special with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore. Curry reported from the USS Theodore Roosevelt during the invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001, and had an exclusive interview with General Tommy Franks. She reported from Baghdad in early 2003, and then from the USS Constellation as the war in Iraq began. Curry was also the first network news anchor to report from inside the Southeast Asian tsunami zone in late 2004.
On December 17, 2007, Curry bungee jumped off the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, England to raise money for charity. Her jump was shown live on the Today show.
In 2009, Curry traveled to Iran where she interviewed then-President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad days before Ahmadinejad traveled to America to speak in front of the United Nations General Assembly.
In 2011, Curry appeared in the first PBS Kids Sprout "Kindness Counts" PSA.
It was widely reported in June 2012 that Curry would be replaced as co-host of Today. Curry hired attorney Robert Barnett to represent her in her discussions with NBC.
On June 28, 2012, Curry announced in an emotional broadcast on the show that she was leaving Today. She signed a new multi-year contract with the network as NBC News National and International Correspondent/Anchor and Today Anchor at Large. For a time, she led a seven-person unit producing content and reporting for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, for which she also is a regular substitute anchor, Dateline NBC, Rock Center with Brian Williams until it was canceled before the end of its first season, Today, and MSNBC. Curry also anchored multiple NBC News prime time specials.
On August 9, 2012, Curry made her first post-departure appearance on Today, when she reported a story during the show's coverage at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The reunion with her former co-anchor, Matt Lauer, was described in the media as "tense", "awkward", and "chilly". In September 2013, Lauer said he was disappointed in the way the media reported Curry's departure.
It was announced in January 2015 that Curry was officially leaving the NBC News network. Many say that Lauer had a lot to do with it. With Lauer on the outs, permanently, Ann Curry snared a spot on the Women We Love just because it falls under the category "Karma is a bitch!"  


(Photos: NPR)  
One of the women our readers focused on was from National Public Radio. Like  last year's nominees, Katy Tur and Kaci Hunt,  the political turmoil has given Tamara Keith multi media exposure. Her work on NPR has also given her a platform for appearances on MSNBC. It seems like she is the Washington energizer bunny being on the air in the morning and wrapping it up at 11pm with Brian Williams. From the NPR website a a bit about Tamara Keith.
Tamara Keith is a NPR White House Correspondent and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. During the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton.
Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, Keith was a Congressional Correspondent who put an emphasis on covering House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time. She began covering Congress in August 2011.
Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues, and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived of and solely reported The Road Back To Work, a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.
Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member station KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment. In 2004, Keith began working at NPR Member station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign.
Keith then went back to California to open the state capital bureau for NPR Member station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. In 2006, Keith returned to KQED, serving as the Sacramento-region KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment.
It really began in earnest in 2001, when Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.
Keith earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Keith is part of the Politics Monday team on the PBS NewsHour, a weekly segment rounding up the latest political news. Keith is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

(Photos: Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair)  
My good friend Jim Gibson used to bust me in college when we’d go out to eat saying that best female chefs and waitresses were my best friends. Oh if we had cooking from Padma back then perhaps our lives would be different! In the plethora of food networks as well as shows on Cable, Padma has appeared to be one of the favorites of LuLac readers. She is seen regularly on the Today Show and provides simple but tasty recipes for easy or elaborate meals. A little about her.
Padma Lakshmi is an Indian-born American author, actress, model, television host and executive producer. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the "Best First Book" award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Her debut memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate was released on International Women's Day, March 8, 2016.
Lakshmi's modeling career began at age twenty-one while studying abroad in Madrid, when she was discovered by an agent while sitting in a café. She has stated, "I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan, and New York. I'm the first one to admit that I was a novelty."  Lakshmi was able to pay off her college loans by working as a model and actress.
Lakshmi has modeled for designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Alberta Ferretti and appeared in ad campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Versus. She was a favorite model of the photographer Helmut Newton, whose photographs of her often highlighted the large scar on her right arm.
Lakshmi has appeared on the covers of Redbook, Vogue India, FHM, Cosmopolitan, L'Officiel India, Asian Woman, Avenue, Industry Magazine, Marie Claire (India Edition), Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and Newsweek. Lakshmi also posed nude for the May 2009 issue of Allure magazine.
Lakshmi married novelist Salman Rushdie, who dedicated his novel Fury to her.[24] On July 2, 2007, the couple filed for divorce. Lakshmi was in simultaneous relationships with venture capitalist Adam Dell and Teddy Forstmann (former chairman and CEO of IMG).
She currently serves as the host and one of the judges on the television show Top Chef, having joined in 2006 during its second season. Top Chef was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2007. Lakshmi was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program in 2009 for Top Chef. The show won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2010. Lakshmi also serves as an executive producer of the show. Padma's way around the kitchen and the way she stands out in the multitude of TV food is one of the reasons why she is one of the women we love in 2017.

(Photos: WVIA FM-TV)
If you are a listener and dare I say a fan of Public Radio, then you know the voice of morning Classical Music host Liza Mazzerella. Her Classical Music show which follows NPR's "Morning Edition" is filled with upbeat presentations of the classics plus very nice theme shows. It is a combination of entertainment and music education.
Since 1993, Lisa Mazzarella has been the "early morning voice" on WVIA-FM. From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., she is the local host during NPR's "Morning Edition" and produces regional newscasts. From 9 to 11 a.m., she produces and hosts a classical music program highlighting some of the "lighter fare" included in the WVIA-FM music library. With the goal of making classical music accessible to everyone, she recently inaugurated "The Classical Club" which encourages audience feedback, commentary, and musings about selected pieces of music featured during the morning show.
Lisa is also the producer of the very popular WVIA TV "Our Town" documentary series. The series has looked at the history of towns throughout the WVIA viewing area. It is impeccably researched and produced. In an area that has sometimes downplayed the strengths of what we have, the show is quite refreshing.
Aside from her radio work, Lisa has also voiced television documentaries for WVIA-TV, and is the current underwriting voice for the television station. She has written entertainment reviews, arts profiles, children's poetry, and biographical articles for local and national publications. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Scranton Civic Ballet Company, moderates area symposiums in the arts and health fields, and is an adjunct communications instructor at Marywood University in Scranton -- where she received her B.A. in Communication Arts.
Like many broadcasters before, Mazzerella has staked out niche of dedicated liteners who welcome her into their lives every morning. Some say she even makes Membership Drives painless. It is for the reason that Lisa Mazzerella is one of the women we love in 2017.

(Photos: McDonnell Facebook page)
Through the years we have had some readers inquire about a TV cable star from Wilkes Barre, Pa. There was enough buzz and votes to warrant Mary McDonnell, now wrapping up the final season of “Major Crimes” on TBS a designation as one of the women we love for 2017. Her character on the show was killed off with heart disease but Mrs. LuLac was not convinced that is the end of her. It was. The producers reportedly did not want the sho to go to another network. There are 2 more episodes left on TNT. But a little bit about McDonnell.
Mary Eileen McDonnell an American film, stage, and television actress. She received Academy Award nominations for her roles as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves and May-Alice Culhane in Passion Fish. McDonnell is well known for her performances as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, the First Lady in Independence Day, and Rose in Donnie Darko. She was featured as Captain Sharon Raydor during seasons 5–7 of the TNT series The Closer and currently stars as Commander Sharon Raydor in the spin-off series Major Crimes on the same network.
McDonnell was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Ithaca, New York. She is the daughter of Eileen Mundy and John "Jack" McDonnell (1923–1973), a computer consultant.  After graduating from the State University of New York at Fredonia, she attended drama school and joined the prestigious Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, with which she worked for over 20 years.
McDonnell made her film breakthrough in 1990 as Stands With A Fist, the daughter of American settlers raised by Sioux Indians, in Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves. Portraying the adopted daughter of Graham Greene's character Kicking Bird, McDonnell, then 37, was only ten months younger than Greene and less than two years younger than Tantoo Cardinal, who played Black Shawl, her adoptive mother. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role.
McDonnell's role in Passion Fish (1992) brought her another Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other notable films include Grand Canyon (1991), Sneakers (1992), Independence Day (1996), and Donnie Darko (2001). McDonnell also starred with Patrick Swayze in the 1988 movie, Tiger Warsaw. In 1997 she played the judge in the film 12 Angry Men. The film also featured future Battlestar Galactica castmate Edward James Olmos.
On television, McDonnell had her first regular part in 1980 on the soap opera As the World Turns. She starred in 1984 on the short-lived medical comedy E/R, alongside Elliott Gould and George Clooney. Coincidentally, she guest-starred in 2001 on the NBC medical series of the same name, ER, which also featured Clooney. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role on the show as Eleanor Carter, the mother of Dr. John Carter played by Noah Wyle, who also had a role in Donnie Darko. She played Dr. Virginia Dixon, a surgeon with Asperger syndrome for three episodes of Grey's Anatomy in 2008 and 2009.
In 2003, McDonnell starred in the miniseries Battlestar Galactica as Laura Roslin. The miniseries led to the subsequent weekly series, with McDonnell reprising her Laura Roslin role. The series ended in March 2009. McDonnell received worldwide recognition for her performance in the show, part of which was shown when she was invited to the United Nations for a retrospective and discussion with Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama).
From 2009 to 2012, McDonnell had a recurring role in The Closer as Capt. Sharon Raydor, a police captain in the Force Investigation Division, who often butts heads with Kyra Sedgwick's Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning character. McDonnell received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2011 for the role.
McDonnell's character is the lead in the spin-off, Major Crimes, which debuted August 13, 2012, after The Closer wrapped up its final season in the summer of 2012.
During the run of “Major Crimes” McDonnell has played opposite many actors who are household names. In every scene and instance, she has more than held her own as a strong, smart, determined woman. For that portrayal as well as making Wilkes Barre something else to be proud of, Mary McDonnell is one of the LuLac Women We Love in 2017.

(Photos: Bloomberg, C-Span)
The Trump administration has been in battle with the national news media almost from the very first day it started. But ironically the President’s business connections, his horrible habits of Tweeting as well as The Russian Investigation has increased the power of the printed press.
During the campaign, Trump railed against “the failed New York Times” but since his attacks, subscriptions have increased. More than 20 FB, Twitter and LuLac followers have told me they now have the paper sent to their homes. Now that’s a small sample but before this, I’m not sure they would have subscribed.
With the news staffs churning out more and more content and Cable News looking to add shows  with a set of analysts, new blood has emerged. LuLac voters this year dubbed Shannon Pettypiece (she of the unusual last name) as one of those rising stars. You can see her primarily on MSNBC as well as on Chuck Todd’s "Meet The Press Daily”.  Here's a bit about her:
Pettypiece grew up in Lake Orion, Michigan where she attended Lake Orion High School. At age 5, she began showing horses competitively and was involved in 4-H as well as her high school and college equestrian teams. She attended the University of Michigan where she was a reporter and editor at the Michigan Daily, the university's student-run newspaper. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in political science with a focus on Russia and the former-Soviet Union. Her mother is a teacher and her father is a woodworker.
Pettypiece's first journalism job was as an intern for The New York Times in Washington, D.C. She later worked as a stringer for The New York Times in Detroit. She has covered local government for Miami Today News and health care and technology for Crain's Cleveland Business.
In 2006, she joined Bloomberg News in Washington covering the Food and Drug Administration. She later moved to New York where she took over coverage of the pharmaceutical industry. She has also been a contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. While at Bloomberg, she has interviewed the chief executives of the world's largest health care companies, including Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer and Eli Lilly. Her reporting has taken her to China where she went inside Chinese hospitals, research labs, and homes for a four-part series on the country's evolving health care system.
In 2010, she became a correspondent for Bloomberg TV, covering the health care industry.
She currently covers the White House for Bloomberg News. You will see more of her as the politics of the Trump administration makes its way through what will be the greatest amount of valleys vs peaks in any administration. 
Moving into 2018, we'll hear much more from Shannon Pettypiece as the Russian saga continues and the Trump Presidency descends into more turmoil.

(Photos: Scranton Times with former Mayor Jimmy Connors, Lackawanna county website) 
One of the women nominated from The Lac was Mary Ann Rinaldi. Mrs. Rinaldi, was appointed Dec. 6, 2002 to replace her husband, William, until January 2004. Mr. Rinaldi died Dec. 1, 2002. Bill Rinaldi, an inspirational as well as knowledgeable politico was well known in the community. It was only logical that his “right hand” not only in his personal life but someone who helped him with his duties be given the post of Lackawanna Clerk of Judicial Records. She retired in in 2016 and was succeeded by Mauri Kelly.
Through the year Rinaldi became a political force of her own winning election since the mid 2000s with very good approval ratings.
She was educated at Marywood University with a B.A Elementary Education- 1971 and an M.S. Special Education- 1977. Prior to that she worked for Scranton School District as an Educational Diagnostician and a teacher of Learning Disabled Students
She is active in her community with Board Member- Goodwill Industries, the Voluntary Action Center, Deutsch Institute The United Nations Association of NEPA- Executive Committee, Serving Seniors, Inc. The Muscular Dystrophy Association, Broadway Theatre of NEPA, The Lackawanna County Federation of Democratic Women, The Friends of the Scranton Public Library, The Lackawanna County Courthouse Renovation Committee. 
Her volunteer work as well as her professionalism in her elected office is one of the reasons why we looked to The Lac to have Mary Rinaldi as one of the women we love in 2017.


(Photos: Jennifer Wade).
During the last few years, many voters, posters, friends mentioned the name of Jennifer Wade as a nominee. This is the year that she is recognized for her work in broadcasting. Wade has been in TV news since graduating from Juniata College in 1988 with a BA in English/Written Communications.
She worked at TV stations in Allentown, Harrisburg, and Scranton/WB, with titles including news writer/producer, assignment editor, and Assistant News Director. She also coordinated election coverage for many years. Considering the coverage area of Newswatch 16 as well as the viewer feeling that their hometown is well, the hometown, this is a daunting task. Wade is now in her 7th year as Assistant News Director at WNEP-TV.
Having grown up near Lehighton, most of her career has been spent working near her hometown.
Outside of work, she stayed involved with Juniata, going back often to represent WNEP at the annual Career Fair. Wade also recently wrapped up a three-year term on Alumni Council. Now, with 2018 getting closer, she will be involved in planning the 30-year reunion for the Class of ’88.
We recently asked Wade about the changes in her career through the years, here's what she told us.
Big changes I’ve seen during my career include the downsizing of camera equipment and the transition from tape to digital. My station has not used videotape for news gathering purposes since 2007. And, currently, everything is done digitally – video is recorded onto SD cards in the camera, then uploaded into a computer, where it can be edited and then prepared to play. The change in technology has allowed for the rise of multimedia journalists, referred to as MMJs or one-man bands, who shoot and edit the stories they report.
The transition to digital has also brought changes in workflow. Specifically, it allows producers (the people who choose and write the stories for a newscast) to work more quickly. But, it also requires them to do more, including many of the tasks that were once done by directors and other technical folks. For example, the lower-third graphics that specify who is talking or where the video is from, used to be typed by one person on a machine called a Chyron. Now, those graphics are created by the producer, so there’s no need for a Chyron machine or for someone to run it.
The news cycle, even for local stations, is pretty much 24/7. Over the years, stations have added and/or expanded newscasts. And, of course, the web is always on. On-air and on the web, stations have expanded their news coverage to include national and international stories. And, who doesn’t love a good viral video?
So, to sum up, the 30 years I have spent in the news business have brought technological advances that have allowed broadcast journalists to gather more news more quickly and broadcast it on a variety of platforms faster than before. The news, quite literally, is a always on!
With TV being on all the time, many must realize that all of that doesn't happen in a vacuum.  News content comes from dedicated professional perfectionists behind the scenes that make it happen every day and in some cases every hour. It is for that reason that Jennifer D. Wade is one of the women we love in 2017. 
(Sources: wikipedia, information from nominees, NPR and MSNBC websites, LuLac archives)