Monday, September 30, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2527, September 30th, 2013



Sunday afternoon about 75 people stopped by the Katsock/Grinaway for Wiles Barre Area School Board event at the Plains Pavilion. John Katsock, Christine’s father was on hand meeting and greeting the folks. 
Kathy Grinaway who came within a few votes last time of getting on the board made the rounds and gave a few impressive reasons why she should be on the School Board. She is a concerned taxpayer who just wants to get her money’s worth as a property owner. And quite frankly the record in recent years of the School Board has been dismal. 
The School Board has become a haven for washed up politicians like Phil Latinski and a social club for former district employees who now want a second bite of the taxpayer apple that is not quite as juicy and big as it once was. This School Board has acted with impunity feeling sorry for people they hired to over bill the distinct and thus the taxpayers.
With the recent disgraceful behavior of school teachers in other districts, the last thing the Wilkes Barre School board needs is another ex teacher or school board employee. The best argument to be made for Grinaway is that she is a private citizen who is sick and tired of this district being the laughingstock in the state.
Christine Katsock has a double nomination but thinking people in the District need to also vote for Grinaway. The Teachers and District employees will go in lockstep for the guy with the purple signs so the ordinary people who work at 9 to 6 job with eight full hours and are not living on a fat pension need to support her. It only makes sense. Here are some photos  courtesy of Mrs. LuLac.
Talking things over with the candidate Kathy Grinaway. 
Democratic Controller Michelle Bednar stopped by with Dupont Council Chair Stanley Knick.

Part of the crowd at the event on Sunday in Plains for Katsock/Grinaway. 
Republican candidate for Controller Carolee Medico Olenginski was meeting and greeting folks outside the pavilion. The candidate is in the spiffy pink running suit. 


The Luzerne County Democratic party met at a grove in Ashley Sunday too. (Thank God it didn’t rain, huh?) And the County Council candidates showed up in force and gave a few speeches. A few candidates for Governor made their way to Ashley to press the flesh. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, businessman Tom Wolf, businessman and former pastor Max Myers, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz made the rounds. Candidates for Lt. Governor Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith and former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz also made the scene.
Word has it that some union members were going to boycott the event because of their disdain for a few candidates running.

Well, they refused to run a ticket in the primary and are still pouting that the candidates who won…………….won. Maybe the Working Families people didn’t run anyone in 2013 because they got their asses handed to them in ’11.
But I understand from my friend Gort that a good time was had by all. Here are a few photos courtesy of Gort 42.
Luzerne County Council candidates Mike Giamber, Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera and Rich Heffron attend the event.
Eileen Sorokas says, "Smile on your Sorokas camera!!! as she attends still another event.
Part of the crowd for the Democrats in Ashley.

Is Giamber saying to Linda McCloskey Hauk, "Do the union guys really like me?" And Sorokas is saying, "What did he say?" 
Candidates for District Justice in the Greater Pittston Area Alexandra Kokura and Gerry Mecadon got the white shirt memo.  
Here's Ashley resident Jim Spak and former Congressional candidate Gene Stilp saying to each other, "Do you think we can run Jerry Brown for President in 2016?"


My Indians are in the playoffs for the first time in a while. Even when they were successful, I couldn’t stand some of the Indian managers. Mike Hargrove was too passive, Charlie Manuel was ill and not really concentrating properly. The difference has been Terry Francona and I hope the Tribe goes far this season.We shall see!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2526, September 29th, 2013


Ever have one of those days where everything happens and you go from one place to another? And then there are others days when there is absolutely nothing happening? Well this past Friday was not one of those days where everything was going on. 
In addition to work and some iron studies at the Oncology Center on Friday, (they gave me a hat because I was a good boy!!!) we of course had our weekly commitment with WYLN TV’s Topic A. (More news on that in later editions of LuLac. ) Then we attended Blogfest at the Red Mill which incidentally is a very nice place with great food. 
After that, I attended a family get together for my brother in law Kenny Edwards who retired on his birthday from Times Shamrock. Ken has been in the newspaper business since the early 70s working for the old Sunday Independent, then transitioning to the Citizen’s Voice and then finally to the Times Shamrock organization after they bought the Voice and virtually everything else on the east coast. This day was long anticipated by Ken and the level of congratulations he received from coworkers past and present during the last week was just incredible. Plus, he’s a good all around guy to have as a brother in law and friend.
I was happy to attend Blogfest since I missed the last one after recovering from surgery. And as always, it was good to see my good friends Joe Valenti, Harold Jenkins and Gort 42. Those three guys really are the engine behind blogfest along with Michelle Hryvnak Davies who does a great job on social media for the event.
I had a great conversation with County Council candidate Eileen Sorokas and her husband Rick. Then I had the opportunity to meet and greet the other Democratic candidates Rich Heffron, Mike Giamber and Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera. All the Democratic candidates are hitting every event and it was interesting to see how the four who attended worked the room separating and working their personalities as they chatted with the attendees.
I had a great conversation with Independent candidate for Council Rick Williams as well as Carolee Medico Olenginski who is running for County Controller. There are reports that Carolee is running very well in recent polls taken. Medico Olenginski was passing out some great smelling pizza from The Red Mill but I passed because I was going to dinner later. But our conversation focused on the campaign and the candidate said she has been running nonstop since she received the GOP nod in August. She said that with the unanticipated campaign and her 20 grandchildren things can get quite hectic. Her Democratic opponent Michelle Bednar was on hand but I did not get a chance to speak with her.
I swapped stories with County Council candidate Paul DeFabo about fast food, his past runs for public office, his work with the Republican National committee and the obituary pages which we both try to avoid. I also got the opportunity to speak to Alex Milanes who is an up and comer in the County GOP.
I missed the candidates for District Justice, Gerald Mecadon and Alexandra Kokura as well as Bob Morgan from Congressman Cartwright’s office.
Next Blogfest in the Spring God willing I hope to  stay longer. But I left laughing when Joe Valenti said, “So how’s my favorite Socialist?” His comment made me feel like I was in a time machine and was transported back to 5pm earlier that evening when I was on WYLN with L.A. Tarone.
Here’s some photos: 
 4:59 PM: Buttoning up as we get ready to do Topic A with L.A. Tarone on WYLN TV 35. 
7:06 PM: Saying hi to Luzerne County Drmocratic Council candidate Eileen Sorokas.
7:10 PM: Posing with Democratic Luzerne County Council candidate Mike Giamber and my good buddy Gort 42.
7:13 PM: These three guys make Blogfest really happen. Pittston Politics Joe Valenti, Gort 42's Ben Hoon and NEPA Blogs and Just Another Monkey blogger Harold Jenkins.
7:17 PM: If you are a two fisted drinker or just a Diet Coke guy like me, this young lady at The Red Mill can hook you up.
7::21 PM: Democratic candidate Renee Ciaruffoli Taffera and I have a conversation about the campaign.
7:25 PM: Republican candidate for County Controller, Carolee Medico Olenginski. Carolee was doing her best to make sure I had a slice of that delicious Red Mill Pizza as well as telling me about the excitement of this campaign for her.
7:57 PM: Me and my recently retired brother in law Ken Edwards at his family gathering Friday night. I wanted to take the picture with the proper signage that would indicate the true spirit of the day. (Look up) Like any hard working person, the path to retirement was long and winding, may the years after work be straight ahead and smooth sailing. This one's for you Edwards, the Beatles.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2525, September 26th, 2013






Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Poor Texas. (Photo:


Ted Cruz in his fake filibuster compared the acceptance of Obamacare and the policies of Barack Obama to the rise of Nazi Germany. Cruz said that the United States today has become a type of Neville Chamberlain nation (the English Prime Minister who appeased Hitler in the late 30s) and went on to say that our country is very much like the English government that never stood up to Hitler. Again he repeated that the appeasement came in the 40s.
Well Mr. Princeton and Harvard grad, by the 40s England had chosen Winston Churchill as its Prime Minister, the United States had been involved in arming Europe with the Lend Lease Act and U.S. service people were on the ground and in the air fighting against Hitler and what he stood for. Maybe for all of his Ivy League education, he should had a seventh grade American History and Civics teacher like the late Marie Fearick of Pittston. Mrs. Gerick, the first lay teacher at St. John the Baptist Slovak Grade School in Pittston would have slapped him on the side of the head. My grade school classmates, Mike Giamber, Andy and Drew Wasko, Paul Komensky, Joe White, Bob Hizny, Bob Para, my cousins Bob Yonki, Karen Musloski, Tom Pribula, Wyoming Dave Dellarte and even my seventh grade girlfriend would tell you Mrs. Fearick would slap him silly for being so historically dense. But with Ted Cruz, it’s not about what you know, it’s all about the show.


If Obama Care hasn’t started, how do you know it won’t work? 
How can a failure be something before it starts?
Why does a party that cares so much about an unborn fetus not give rat’s ass about a live baby born with a disease that in the insurance industry is known as a preexisting condition?
Why does a party that got 5,000 people killed in undeclared wars and spent 30 billion dollars a month all of sudden come to religion on the deficit? Weren’t the future of “our children” just as important when we were buying bullets back then? Isn’t health care for 30 million uninsured a better investment?
Why is this party so fixated on Benghazi where four Americans died (a tragedy for sure) and never talks about the 5,000 dead Americans from the undeclared wars?
Iraq/Afghanistan: 5,000.
Benghazi: 4.
A life is a life and every one of them is precious no matter the reason for the loss but numbers don’t lie.
Why is a party advocating Americans not signing up for a government program designed to help effectively cheer leading and urging its failure?
Isn’t that treason?
Why does this party insist on hurting the middle class?
Just asking.


Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan (once)
GEORGE H.W. Bush (once)
Robert Dole.
Richard Schweiker
H. John Heinz III
Arlen Specter
Richard Thornburgh.
William W. Scranton III
Barbara Hafer
Tom Ridge
These were all the Republicans I voted for in my electioneering life. These were reasonable people. As an American, I can no longer vote for any Republican nationally or even state wide because the party has been hijacked by a fringe element.
The party of the men and women I voted for as an Independent Democrat who was taught government was a bi partisan effort is just a memory. I can no longer support a party that is
Unflinching in its obstruction and just plain


Red Mill, Pittston, starting at 6. Have the TV commitment before and a family one later on. Will be there for a time.


The County Dems Annual Fall Picnic, Sunday September 29th 12-3pm at the Catholic War Vets Grove in Ashely. PA Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn will be attending. This is a free event.


Don’t forget that key fundraiser at the end of this month for two candidates running for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board. Current board member Christine Katsock and Kathy Grinaway will be holding a fundraiser on Sunday September 29th from noon to 4pm. Cost is $15.00 per ticket or 2 for $25.00. It will take place at the Plains Lions Pavilion which is located at Clarks Lane in Plains. On the menu will be hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, haluski, pasta salads, deserts and beverage.

17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright introduced a resolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Since 1994, more than 39,000 Pennsylvania residents have participated in CNCS programs and served for over 51 million hours at more than2,800 locations throughout the state.
“Each day, CNCS provides millions of volunteers with the opportunity to serve and achieve a positive change within thousands of communities across the state and around the country addressing a wide range of issues,” said Cartwright. “I am proud to work with Senator Nelson to celebrate CNCS’ 20th anniversary and look forward to the continued impact of the agency.”
“Over the past 20 years, millions of people have been able to give back through programs organized by CNCS,” said Nelson. “Americans have become more involved in their community, and neighborhoods and towns across this country are stronger as a result. It’s been an impressive 20 years, and I know CNCS will continue to build upon that success in the future.”
Since 1993, the CNCS has operated as an independent Federal agency, overseeing all national and community service programs authorized by the National and Community Service Act of 1993 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. These programs include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. Each year, CNCS engages more than five million Americans in service.



ECTV Live will take us into the Halloween season with a large helping of history during the week of September 30.Hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Margo Azzarelli to the program to discuss this season's FREE walking tours at the Forest Hill Cemetery. The stories of prominent and lesser known people buried there trace the history of our area. ECTV Live can be seen on ComcastCh19 throughout the week beginning Monday at Noon.


This Week on Sunday Magazine...Brian Hughes speaks with Elija Miller from the Roc Rec Center in Trucksville about his 54 mile run and 540 pullups for charity.
Brian speaks with Scott Benner and Amy Hess Fisch about Type 1 Diabetes and children's sleepovers.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Julie Sidoni from WNEP about a big gala coming up next weekend at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes Barre to benefit the Osterhout Library.
And Brian speaks with Steven Rothschild form the Life Foundation about the need for young people to purchase life insurance.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


Tune in Saturday afternoon at 2pm and Sunday night at 7 when Sue Henry interviews top news makers from the recent week. The show can be heard on WILK AM and FM.

Our 1976 logo.


The Irish rock band U2 is formed after drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. posts a note seeking members for a band on the notice board of his Dublin school.............................Stevie Wonder releases his hit-album Songs in the Key of Life.....

After the success of the first Presidential debate since 1960, the Vice presidential candidates, two United States Senators agree to a debate for mid October. Kansas and Minnesota Senators Bob Dole and Walter Mondale agree to the ground rules but continue on their campaign… Pennsylvania the budget passed by the Legislature at the direction of Governor Shapp begins to fall apart. While it only projected spending for 5 billion dollars, money projected for tourism dollars was totally inflated. Lawmakers told the Shapp administration that the state might not have enough to cover education subsidies……….in Lackawanna County, Eugene Hickey keeps making the rounds and tells anyone who will listen that he will run for Mayor of Scranton. Eugene Peters the two term Mayor is mum on his plans for ’77 and the number two song in America and LuLacland thirty seven years ago was “The Best Disco In Town” by the Ritchie Family. The number one song was “Disco Duck” but I refused to have anything to do with back then and I still feel the same way today. (Griffith Photo: Citizen's Voice, Sad Elephant,  Sean Binkley).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2524, September 24th, 2013














Sunday, September 22, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2523, September 22nd, 2013

Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED………..that only a handful of people were in line at Best Buy when the new IPhone machines came out. That either tells you LuLac land is wired just fine thank you or else people really don’t care that much.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………at the father of the cat from the Abingtons who was arrested by the Secret Service for threatening the life of the President when Obama came to Scranton. The guy’s father said his son was a good boy. Yeah, a good boy who just happened to have 11,000 rounds of ammunition in his house. Marguerite Oswald, Lee’s mom said this, “"Lee Harvey Oswald my son, even after his death, has done more for his country than any other living human being." So go figure.
Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States. (Photo:rususa).
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that there seems to be a resurgence and recognition of the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson. Johnson is going to be the subject of a Broadway play with “Breaking Bad” star Brian Cranston playing the 36th President. Johnson who died 40 years ago on January 22nd in the late afternoon at his Texas ranch (he was 64) has benefited by the rudderless Congress. Stories of Johnson’s wrangling of Senators to get the Civil Rights Bill have become the stuff of legend and are even more pronounced given the diminution of bipartisan poetics in Washington. Plus Johnson gets very little credit for the seamless transition that occurred fifty years ago when he became President after the death of John Kennedy.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that Pen State was the fourth biggest selling sports ticket in the nation this week. It appears that Nittany Lion fans are coming back in force and that is in no small measure to the leadership of the Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. Also, I’m going to make a prediction here, the Paterno statue will be up on campus by the year 2020.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the city of Wilkes Barre has fined Sherman Hills over 30,000 bucks for code infractions. Good. It is about time. If the new ordinance is going to go after landlords with problem tenants, then go after a landlord and/or company that has had a history of problems.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………….that it appears County Democratic leaders are more concerned about taking back Control of the Controller’s office than they are having a working majority on the County Council.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that from the crime files, we have Jason Geasley who was arrested on a parole violation. This was the guy stealing bones from the Hollenbeck cemetery and was jailed a few years back. Then there were the two drug dealers/users living in filth in Kingston who were arrested on trafficking charges. The woman had packets of drugs in her mouth as a way of concealing them. She told police she was not a dealer but a user. I guess she was trying to just gulp ‘em down for a maximum ride.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Republican Sen. Rand Paul says President Barack Obama's health care law probably can't be defeated or gotten rid of. And he's suggesting there is little he and other congressional Republicans can do to stop the law from taking effect. Then why are they wasting our time with their blockage of a law? The only thing I can see is that Cruz and these other idiots wanted to have Congress defund it, then have a vote go to the senate so Senators who are on the ropes for 2014 will have to take one more vote on it. Then the GOP lie machine will bombard their states with ads that completely misrepresent the Affordable Health Care Act as well as the sitting Senator. Awful people who don’t belong in positions of trust. 

Mariano Rivera saying goodbye today. (Photo:
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that as the Yankees set to honor Mariano Rivera today for his long service to the New York Yankees as well as his contributions to Major League Baseball, it has been revealed that Rivera was almost traded to Seattle in 1995. Yankee adviser to George Steinbrenner, Clyde King thought that the team needed a back up to then rookie Derek Jeter because King thought he was progressing too slowly. King who had an undue influence on Steinbrenner almost had his way but Gene Michael, the man rebuilding what would become the Yankee dynasty put the brakes to that action seeing potential in Rivera. King was described by many as back stabbing, petty influence on the Yankees and he held great sway with the owner. Many Yankee experts think had King not been part of the equation, the Yanks might have gotten to the post season earlier.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that even Karl Rove has taken Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee for not consulting with other Senators on their two front assault on their own party members in Congress and the Affordable Health Care Act. History has shown that when the GOP touts government shutdown, it never works out for them in the long run.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that Larry King who retired is back on TV hawking a product called Omega Excel or something like that. Well, at least we don’t have to hear him say, “Cleveland….go ahead”.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….....that former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards has not yet, not yet bought a headstone for his late wife’s (Elizabeth Edwards) grave in North Carolina. Edwards reminds me of that old Garth Brooks song, “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers”. Can you imagine if a slime ball like that got anywhere near the residency? The one saving grace of George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004 was that Edwards didn’t get near the Vice Presidency.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that it has been forty years since two big events in the month of September. The first was that tennis match between Bobbie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. That was broadcast nationally on ABC TV and was a huge event. Riggs said he took a dive, King is trying to debunk that statement. I don’t know, I saw the thing on TV and think she faced him. She had an age advantage to begin with.

And also forty years ago last week was the untimely death of Jim Croce. Hated “Big Bad Leroy Brown” but loved his other stuff especially this one.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2522, September 21st, 2013

Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).


The GOP controlled Congress voted to increase hunger in America the other day. These fat and happy leaders who have theirs are hellbent on denying people a step up. The good news is the votes are getting closer as the fraud of this GOP leadership and its Tea Party ilk are becoming increasing evident to thinking Americans. Our own Congressman Cartwright quoted the late Ronald Reagan in pointing out the insanity of this latest punitive measure by a bunch of mean spirited “Represenhtatives of……..whoever the hell they are representing because it certainly isn’t the people.  
Rep. Cartwright voted against the “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act”, legislation which cuts food aid (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP) by nearly $40 billion, denying basic food for nearly 4 million Americans next year. The measure passed by a vote of 217 to 210.
“Today, I joined with religious and hunger prevention leaders across the county in standing up for America’s families who are struggling to put food on the table, including 28,000 here in Pennsylvania’s 17th District,” Rep. Cartwright said. “Voting against draconian cuts that will take the food out the mouths of nearly 4 million Americans next year was the right thing to do. These devastating cuts will harm children, seniors, veterans, and Americans looking for work.”
“SNAP is a vital tool to fight hunger and help unemployed Americans feed their families as they seek new employment, send their children to school, and get themselves back on their feet. More than 90% of people on SNAP are children, the elderly, disabled, or already working, and yet they are struggling to put food on the table as SNAP benefits amount to only $1.40 per meal here in Pennsylvania,” Rep. Cartwright stated.
The bill contains a number of provisions that ignore the reality of a sluggish job market and unemployment, which is at 7.5% here in Pennsylvania. For example, the bill would end governors’ ability to waive SNAP’s harsh time limit for people looking for work in time of high unemployment. Further, the House bill will cut school lunches for over 200,000 children and eliminate food assistance for 170,000 veterans.
“Not only is this bill harmful to the most vulnerable, it will weaken our nation’s farm and rural economies and jeopardize any chance of enactment of a new farm bill to support our nation’s farmers, ranchers, food security, conservation, rural communities,” Rep. Cartwright stated.
“I agree with Former President Reagan, who said, ‘As long as there is one person in this country who is hungry, that’s one person too many, and something must be done about it.’ As too many children and seniors go to bed hungry each night, my vote today rejecting these shameful cuts was a vote for enacting a bipartisan Farm Bill that restores essential nutrition initiatives for nearly 50 million Americans,” Rep. Cartwright said.

Pope Francis I. (Photo: The Guardian). 


You just knew when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope things were going to change at least in the language coming from the Holy See. Here is a guy who eschewed the ermine stoles of past Pontiffs, paid his own hotel bill and decided to live in small quarters inside the Papal compound.
In an interview with The American, a magazine put out by the Jesuits he said the church needed to focus in on the person and not make judgements on people. He said that the Church as an institution has to rid itself of its obsession with small minded rules that focus on sex, gay rights and abortion. Now to be clear, the Pope is not advocating gay priests, abortion and even women priests but what he was pointing to was the minutia certain Catholic Bishops have been dealing with in their churches.
Case in point, I don’t think any Bishop has a right to deny communion to a politician that is pro choice or is pro life and votes for a health care bill that gives people the opportunity to buy contraception. All it is an opportunity to obtain those services, and nothing more.
The Pope also decried abortion as part of our throw away society and even though that was seen as an olive branch to the church conservatives, it was also a common sense thing to say. Abortion should be last a resort but it does remain a resort for people who choose that route.
It is refreshing to see a Roman Catholic leader still adhere to the true principles of the church which are preaching the gospel of humanity instead of trying to tell people how to run their sexual lives.
And I think it is freaking hysterical that the same right wing conservatives who wring their hands about how we have to get back to the principles of our founding fathers think Francis is out of line when he gets down to the basics of what Christinanity was founded upon, Faith, Hope and Charity.


Let’s put this one health care rumor to rest being spouted by people opposed to Obamacare. No one can dime the system by contracting a disease, then signing up for the Affordable Care Act and then opt out of it. Like all insurance, there are enrollment periods. The first enrollment period starts from October through March 2013, 2014. You can enroll in a health care exchange program. After that, like all insurance, there is an enrollment period from October through December. THAT’S IT!!! 
So if you hear that the costs of this are gong to be driven up by transient users of the Affordable Care Act, that’s a lie. As a matter of fact it is out and out BULLSHIT. I don’t know anyone who plans a heart attack, cancer or stroke. The people who are opposing Obama care are going to look as silly as the people who said that Presidents Clinton and Obama were going to their precious guns away because they opposed assault ban rifles in the hands of average Joes. You still have your guns and in five years, you’ll have cheaper health care.
Luzerne County Councilman Rick Williams. (Photo: LuLac archives). 


Okay, okay, that headline doesn’t mean someone is going to revive the old Sunday Independent newspaper, but it does mean Independent Luzerne County Council member Rick Williams has penned some thoughts on how the County has been running and what the Council’s impact has been. Here are his thoughts.
Dear Editor
Less than two years ago, the new Luzerne County Home Rule government began to change the way Luzerne County governs itself. As I listen to residents throughout the county, I am often asked: "So what's really different, except now there are 11 council members instead of 3 commissioners?"
When it comes to reforming the past practices of Luzerne County government, most people would like to see major changes happen quickly. From my perspective as the only Independent on the County Council, important changes are happening, though not as quickly as we would like. Changing government is not simple. But progress is being made.
County Council is now implementing sound fiscal and budget practices that have put us on a path to pay down our debt and budget our money wisely.
We are modernizing, improving efficiencies and increasing transparency in county government.
New systems are being put in place to improve services to citizens by raising performance expectations, while simultaneously treating county staff fairly and with respect.
Many dedicated citizens, not previously included in past political processes, are now serving on boards, authorities and commissions.
And the Council is considering long term policies to improve the health, safety and economic development of our county to make Luzerne County an even better place to live, work, and visit.
I am running for a second term on Luzerne County Council to continue this work because I believe these changes are essential to achieving ethical, excellent and accountable county government….the level of service the people of Luzerne County expect and deserve.
I hope citizens will consider the hard work that the Council has devoted to building a foundation for the future and will support me with a vote in the November 5th election.
Rick Williams

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2521, September 19th, 2013


State Representative Darrly Metcalfe. (photo: theczechwordpress).


The other day State Representative Darryl Metcalfe called a news conference in Harrisburg to deride Governor Tom Corbett’s policy on expanding Medicaid for low income people in the state.
Metcalfe said he doesn’t want to raise taxes on Pennsylvanians, as all Americans are affected by the 2 percent increase in Social Security portion of the payroll tax passed by Congress. He suggests to avoid increasing taxes, the state should opt-out of the Medicaid expansion through Obamacare.
By opting out of the state Medicaid program, he will be throwing away federal dollars that will help fund the program. Now it is true that it will add people to the Medicaid rolls but these are people deeply in need and it will be 2 billion dollars out of 27 billion dollar budget. Metcalfe is so worried about Pennsylvania taxes but has done little to reduce his staff as well. As the perks he gets as a Legislator. I’d think Metcalfe would be more credible if maybe he’d start paying for his own health care and stop trying to screw the working poor, many who can’t even buy medication because they don’t have coverage.
Tom Corbett is being reasonable and responsible, Darryl Metcalfe is being a petty little man who just likes to make noise and is not taking seriously by thinking Pennsylvanians. He not only is a mean spirited loudmouth but an idiot. Which proves anyone can be elected to the State House in Pennsylvania. 

Senator Mike Lee. (Photo:


Senator Mike Lee is running an ad on the radio urging people to defund Obamacare. He is touting the fact that if the President’s health care plan comes to fruition, it will cost Americans 800,000 jobs, destroy the 40 hour work week and put the economy in a downward spiral. Really?
The Affordable Health Care Act will In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.
The health care law extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years. From 2010 to 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at 1.7 percent annually, substantially more slowly than the per capita rate of growth in the economy. And the health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology.
That’s just a few of the things Mike Lee, a Congressional bully will not tell you. Because it is the truth and he hasn’t had an acquaintance with that in a long time.
There is an enrollment period for health care exchanges so people looking to game the system, signing up when they get sick just won’t be able to.
Mike Lee and his ilk are really part of the reactionary section of the Republican party that are so desperate, they use scare tactics. And they lie. 

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. (Photo:



Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s ban on driver’s licenses for the children of illegal immigrants was upheld by a state judge. The President, as you recall said in June that some young immigrants would be protected from deportation. The Department of Homeland Security has said immigrants with work permits issued under the policy are lawfully present in the U.S. Brewer’s decree said that immigrants could not have Arizona State driver’s licenses. Legal immigrants can have them but immigrant children who got here before the age of 16 and are not yet 30 and been here for five years can serve in the military, go to college, high school, or get a GED. But in Arizona, not a driver's license. This denial by Arizona is mean and punitive. It robs young people of essential needs of transportation in getting a job or an education. Does Brewer think these people are going to be joyriding across the border? The Republican party talks about how they want people to be self reliant, to help grow the country and to be entrepreneurs. But with this action, they are hampering that effort.The Huffington Post reported that Brewer said, "This portion of the ruling is not only a victory for the state of Arizona – it is a victory for states' rights, the rule of law and the bedrock principles that guide our nation's legislative process and the division of power between the federal government and states”. Hysterical!!! I am old enough to remember when the opponents of Civil Rights in the 60s said the same thing, states rights, division of power between the federal and state governments, all of that crap. The only difference between Brewer and her ilk is that they haven’t started bombing churches with little girls in them. YET.

State Representative Kevin Haggerty. (Photo: LuLac archives).


State Representative Kevin Haggerty took a lot of heat when President Obama came to town regarding his stance on jobs, taxes and the deterioration of Scranton. Here is a Legislative idea he shared with us: 
This legislation would immediately cap taxes at 25 mills and allow the people to have a voice regarding if taxes would go any higher.
We are living through horrible times in the city of Scranton. I have been a very out front representative regarding our changing county government (nearly 75% of the people want a new system in place). The below legislation will also help create a stronger economy in our area. When the vast majority of the people are taxed to death, it simply means they can not save or spend- and that is no way to recover an economy.
In the near future, it is my intention to introduce legislation that amends the Home Rule Charter & Optional Plans Law within Title 53, specifically, §2962(b), which provides for taxing power for local municipalities and governing bodies.
The genesis for this legislation is to correct a legislative oversight that is now codified into state statute via Tiltle 53, §2962(b). Essentially, this section gives local governing bodies the authority to override their Home Rule Charter provisions when levying taxes in excess of an expressed, written threshold in the Home Rule Charter.
This all stems from HB 1175 of 1983, Act No. 170 which created the last sentence of §2962(b), and from that, a 2006 Commonwealth Court Ruling which cited the section to side with defendants:
In the opinion issued in Musewicz v. Cordaro, Munchak, and Lackawanna County,Commonwealth Court found that a 48% take hike by then Lackawanna County Commissioners Munchak & Cordaro was legal and did NOT violate Lackawanna County’s Home Rule Charter, and thus, local government rule of law.
Specifically, the court sided with its lower counterpart (Common Pleas) and the County Commissioners citing state case law precedent; local law was preempted by state statute – Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) , Section 2962(b). Essentially, state law supersedes local charter provision(s).
It is my belief, and that of my constituents, that local governing bodies should not be above their own Home Rule Charters – essentially, Title 53, Section 2962(b), nullifies a municipality’s home rule charter – my legislation intends to reverse that.
The last sentence of 2962(b) was never intended to have the scope ascribed to it by Commonwealth Court. To be clear, the Court’s reading of current section of statute is correct, but the section has unintended consequences, and should be reversed so that a Home Rule Charter is not in essence, violated by inappropriate and unauthorized, excessive taxation.


Wilkes Barre resident Bruce Simpson who announced for Mayor of Wilkes Barre just a few weeks ago has now announced he will not run for Mayor. The election is in 2015.

Congressman Matt Cartwright.  (Photo: LuLac archives).

Cartwright Introduces Legislation to Provide Coverage of Audiology Services for Medicare Beneficiaries

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright announced the introduction of the Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act with the support of 8 members of Congress.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one third of individuals over the age of 65, and nearly half of those over 85, report some degree of hearing loss. Within Pennsylvania, 1,601,000 residents report some degree of hearing loss, which represents 12.9 percent of the state population.
The HEAR Act would provide Medicare coverage for hearing rehabilitation services, including a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate. The bill would also extend Medicare coverage to hearing aids.
“We must continue to strengthen Medicare as seniors struggle for access to affordable healthcare,” said Cartwright. “After years of hard work, Pennsylvania’s seniors have earned the right to a high quality of life during their golden years.”
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), people aged 50 and older with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, anger and frustration, emotional instability and paranoia than those who wore hearing aids.
The National Grange has endorsed the HEAR Act.
"Hearing loss is becoming a normal occurrence for many Americans, especially senior-aged Americans who are already struggling to pay all of their healthcare costs. Hearing aids need to be covered by healthcare plans, including Medicare, to ensure that these patients have access to a basic tool that could dramatically improve their quality of life,” said Grace Boatright, Legislative Director of the National Grange. “The Grange is happy to support this bill and we hope to see it passed in the near future."



ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Karen Thomas of the PennState Extension to their program during the week of September 23rd. Ms. Tomas will discuss plans for a Free public program designed to strengthen families which gets under way in October. ECTV Live can be seen daily on Comcast Ch19 throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.


This Week on Sunday Magazine. The theme this week is children's health. Brian Hughes speaks with chiropractor Joe Leonardi about Childhood Obestity Awareness Month, during the month of September.And Brian speaks with health expert Stuart Tomc about how to add a "brain boost" to your child's lunchbox. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93, and 7am on True Oldies 590, WARM.


Our 1976 logo


The semi-legendary 100 Club Punk Festival ignites the careers of several influential punk and post-punk bands, arguably sparking the punk movement's introduction into mainstream culture.....Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C. by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet....Patricia Hearst is sentenced to 7 years in prison for her role in a 1974 bank robbery (an executive clemency order from U.S. President Jimmy Carter will set her free after only 22 months).
President Gerald Ford performed well in what was the first televised presidential debate since 1960. Polls taken after the debate showed that most viewers felt that Ford was the winner. Carter was also hurt by Ford's charges that he lacked the necessary experience to be an effective national leader, and that Carter was vague on many issues. Take a look for yourself

…in Pennsylvania, Senator Hugh Scott proclaims that the Ford performance in the debate was right on target and that it could only help the President’s prospects….
Former WNEP TV anchorman Garry Essex.  (Photo: Carl Abraham). 
in LuLac land, new anchor of WNEP TV’s nightly news Gary Essex makes a huge splash. WNEP, now called The News Station totally revamped its set, presentation and news team. News Director Eldon Hale unveiled Essex as the new anchor after Labor Day and the public reaction to the newscaster was extremely positive. The fall of 1976 brought a seismic shift in the way news was presented in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The impact has lasted until present day when WNEP still gets mere than a 60% share of the audience for news broadcasting and thirty seven years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was"Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry.