Monday, December 31, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3973, December 31st, 2018

APOLLO 8 @ 50

The excitement and strong heartbeat of the US Space program was still a big part of America in that tumultuous year of 1968. In the year of assassinations, a divided country over the war as well as conflicts between generations, one thing united our country. The space launches that most Americans still cared about and followed.
On Christmas Eve 1968, the three astronauts circling the moon, miles away from the turbulent earth capped off a year of misery with a message of peace and hope. Next to the moon landing just 6 months later, the might have been NASA’s finest hour provided by true American heroes.
Apollo 8, the second manned spaceflight mission flown in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on December 21, 1968, and became the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.[1][2][3] The three-astronaut crew—Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders—were the first humans to witness and photograph an Earthrise and to escape the gravity of a celestial body. Apollo 8 was the third flight and the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket and was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Originally planned as the second crewed Apollo Lunar Module and command module test, to be flown in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious command-module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, as the lunar module was not yet ready to make its first flight. Astronaut Jim McDivitt's crew, who were training to fly the first lunar module flight in low Earth orbit, became the crew for the Apollo 9 mission, and Borman's crew were moved to the Apollo 8 mission. This left Borman's crew with two to three months' less training and preparation time than originally planned, and replaced the planned lunar module training with translunar navigation training.
Apollo 8 took 68 hours (almost three days) to travel the distance to the Moon. The crew orbited the Moon ten times over the course of twenty hours, during which they made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first ten verses from the Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo 8's successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. president John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s.

The Apollo 8 astronauts returned to Earth on December 27, 1968, when their spacecraft splashed down in the northern Pacific Ocean. The crew members were named Time magazine's "Men of the Year" for 1968 upon their return. 
(wikipedia, Time, LuLac archives) 

The LuLac Edition #3972, December 31st, 2018


Martin Luther King Junior wanted to build on the gains made by the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and shiner a light on poverty in America. In particular, King wanted people to see the inequality of economics. The poor in the deep south in the 1960s was not the only segment of black America, hell all America that were impoverished. The plan was for King to highlight this in another march on Washington. His death in April did not stop the effort. But because the main driving force was gone, the end result was not as impactful as hoped for. That stated, the Poor People’s campaign was a wake up call to many Americans who never knew of the suffering going on in their own land of plenty.

King wanted to bring poor people to Washington, D.C., forcing politicians to see them and think about their needs: "We ought to come in mule carts, in old trucks, any kind of transportation people can get their hands on. People ought to come to Washington, sit down if necessary in the middle of the street and say, 'We are here; we are poor; we don't have any money; you have made us this way ... and we've come to stay until you do something about it.'"
The Campaign might be a mere footnote in history. But the significance of it was that all American’s in poverty, across all racial lines was recognized as a serious issue. While poverty has not yet been fully eliminated and there is still great economic imbalance in this country, the Campaign from 1968 was a noble start.
This past year, begging the question about how much we might have fixed poverty in half a century, another march was held in D.C.

(Time, wikipedia, AP, LuLac archives)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3971, December 30th, 2018


1. Tornado Strikes Wilkes Barre. It was a night of fear to remember. A tornado landed in a shopping plaza in Wilkes Barre Township leveling the place. The blessing was that the event hit after 830pm when most of the stores like Panera Bread, Tovon, Game Stop and Holiday Hair were empty of most workers. Rebuilding efforts are progressing as we write this.
2. Mid Term Elections were top of mind here. Lou Barletta won Luzerne County but lost the rest of the state. Governor Tom Wolf was elected easily to another term. Particular focus was on Luzerne County in ’18 because of the big Trump win in ’16. Scott Wagner and 8th District candidate John Chrin nearly camped out here. But a revitalized Democratic party in the county beat back challenges. Democratic State Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski in the 121st and Gerry Mullery in the 119th faced stiff challenges against former R\radio talk show host Sue Henry and Justin Behrens respectively but they did win new terms.
3.New map, same old same old. It turns out that the Congressional redistricting carries little weight in Congressional races. The State GOP whined liked babies without a rattler when the State Supreme Court took over the Congressional redistricting plan they couldn’t handle. The districts were carved up but nothing in Lulac land changed. We started with 2 Republican Congressmen and one Democrat one and ended that way. Tom Marino won in the new 12th,. Dan Meuser in the new 9th and Democrat Matt Cartwright in the new 8th. After all the noise went on, “Obladi, oblada, life went on” just the sane.
4. Grand Jury report on Catholic Church hits home. The Grand Jury report on the Catholic Church hit us here between the eyes. Many well known clerics were called out and church collections as well as attendance declined a bit. There was no aggressive Bishop’s Appeal. The year ended with a report that of the 59 Scranton Diocese priests identified among 301 child-abusing clergy across Pennsylvania by a state grand jury report released last week, records show Bishop Emeritus James Timlin had knowledge of more than two dozen cases before and during his nearly 20-year tenure.
5. 1960s Consolidation had nothing on this! The Wilkes Barre Area School Board moved ahead to get that new school built. The plan is to borrow up to $137.3 million to fund the construction of a new high school between Maffett and North Main streets in Plains Twp. It is a 78-acre site that Pagnotti Enterprises owned.
The school district also merged the three schools of Coughlin, Meyers and GAR. There will be football and the team name will be Wolfpack.
6. Dallas teachers, board end stalemate. The Dallas a\Area School district finally came to an agreement with the teachers after a multi year strike. The new contract extends to 2023 and that is a relief to school district parents and students who were essentially the victims in this game of ping pong.
7. Property Tax Forums held. Multiple Property Tax Forums were held in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County this year. Large crowds came out to support the elimination of Property taxes through House Bill 76. Even though there was support among those attending these numerous events, the candidates who supported it 100% did not prevail at the ballot box.
8. Not cleared for take off, the Crestwood School District ran into an issue with drivers of their buses not having clearances on file. The Districty had teachers ride the buses a few days and an investigation and change of bus lines ensued.
9. New Veep, Old Veep come a calllin'. Vice President Mike Pence showed up in Forty Fort in October touring the candidacy of John Chrin who was trying to make a dent in Luzerne County. Chrin running against Cartwright ultimately lost but my GOP friends tell me that Pence was quite charismatic at this event. 
The Sunday before the election, former Vice President Joe Biden rocked the vote at The Pittston Area High School. Biden, his voice hoarse but enthusiastic  rallied the troops with some wondering if he will make a run for the top job in 2020.
10. DeeJay Mo gets justice. Posthumously. Two men accused in the death of a popular local DJ have both been convicted of first-degree murder. Roberto Battle and David Nealy are the two men charged with killing Michael Onley in 2013.Onley was a community activist and DJ known as DJ Mo.

The LuLac Edition #3970, December 30th, 2018


1. Eagles win Super Bowl, After a few false starts an trips to the big game, Philly finally won the Super Bowl. In my mind, it all started at the end of the first half when circumstances called for a field goal. The Philadelphia Eagles, leading the New England Patriots 15-12 near the end of the first half of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, had the ball on a fourth-and-goal, at the New England one-yard-line. Kick the chip shot field goal, take the points, head to the locker room happy. Philly coach Doug Pederson, however, not only broke convention by going for it, he also delved deep into the playbook and called for some trickery: the “Philly Special,” in which the center snapped the ball to a running back, who flipped it to a tight end, who ran right before tossing the ball to the quarterback — yes, the quarterback — in the end zone. Tom Brady threw for 500 yards and still lost.  Eagles claimed the win.
2. The Crimson Tide Comeback, Trailing Georgia 20-10 entering the fourth quarter of January’s national championship game in Atlanta, the Crimson side came back to win
3. Serena Williams Wigs Out, Serena Williams’ extended argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Open final in September was uncomfortable: she called him a “thief” for calling violations on her, and she accused him of sexism, as many male players have treated umpires far worse than she did and never suffered a game penalty at a crucial point of a Grand Slam match.
4 Tiger Comes Back, Think what you want of Tiger Woods. But no athlete in his sport — and maybe all sports — commands eyeballs quite like Tiger. After injuries and personal scandal nearly left him an afterthought on the PGA Tour, Woods capped off a stellar comeback campaign, in which he contended for two major titles — Woods shot a final round 64 at the PGA Championship to finish second — with his first tour win in over five years, at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
5 Boston in MLB, Washington in NHL, Golden State in NBA: All winners.

The LuLac Edition #3969, December 30th, 2018


1. Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal: The horrors exhumed by the Pennsylvania grand jury, detailing abuses across six dioceses, sent tremors through the American Catholic church reaching to the Vatican. Perhaps not since the Boston Globe revealed the extent of similar abuses within the Catholic Church in Massachusetts in 2002, has misconduct by priests and efforts to conceal it been outlined in such detail.
While stunning in scope, the Pennsylvania grand jury report landed as a wave of abuse allegations also washed over the Catholic Church in Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Guam and the District of Columbia. The release of that report hit the entire state and hit at the very foundation of the Dioceses in the state. Reports are that funding for many of the Bishop’s annual appeals were way down..
2. Innocents gunned down in Steel City: The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was a mass shooting that occurred at Tree of Life – Or L'SiInnocents gunned down in Steel Citymcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2018, while Shabbat morning services were being held. Eleven people were killed and seven were injured. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.
The sole suspect, 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers, was arrested and charged with 29 federal crimes and 36 state crimes. He pleaded not guilty to all 44 crimes laid against him in federal court. Using the online social network Gab, he had earlier posted anti-Semitic comments against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in which Dor Hadash and Tree of Life[ was a supporting participant. Referring to Central American migrant caravans and immigrants, he posted on Gab shortly before the attack that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in. Then in a blink of an eye, people died because of the hate of one unhinged killer.
3. Kathleen Kane goes to jail: After her appeals were exhausted, Kathleen Kane started to serve her jail time in 2018. She arrived an hour before her 9 a.m. deadline and reported to jail late this year. She is currently housed in a lockup with about 330 other inmates in the women's wing of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
Our friend from WNEP TV, Dave Bohman made the point in his coverage that Kane's term in jail begins six years and three weeks after she was elected Pennsylvania's attorney general. She was sentenced to between 300 and 700 days in the lockup in Montgomery County.
4. Tom Wolf wins second term: Tom Wolf won a second term as governor last month beating brash Republican challenger Scott Wagner and sending the Democrat back for another four years to share power with a GOP-controlled Legislature.
Wolf has said he will continue advancing his first-term priorities, including trying to fix funding inequities in Pennsylvania's public schools and seeking to impose a severance tax on the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. But he will be up against Republican lawmakers who fought two extended budget battles with him, blocked many of his top priorities and forced him to lower his expectations.
With that stated, the key thing to remember here is that Wolf's re-election will give Democrats a seat at the table for the first time in 30 years when Pennsylvania draws a new map of congressional districts after the 2020 Census.
5. Casey wins re-election for third term: Democrat Sen. Bob Casey has won a third term after defeating Republican challenger. Casey maintained a comfortable lead in the polls over Barletta heading into Election Day. Casey’s victory in Tuesday’s election gives him another six-year term in office and ensures that Trump will have another swing state opponent in the closely divided Senate.
The 58-year-old son of the late former governor has now won six statewide elections, including wins in races for state treasurer and auditor general.
Casey seemed more passionate and energized when faced with the prospect of a Trump Presidency. Lou Barletta, one of Trump’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill and drew two presidential visits to Pennsylvania to help rally support for his candidacy. But Barletta never gained traction against Casey, and was heavily outspent while getting virtually no outside help from GOP groups to overcome Casey’s heavy fundraising advantage and built-in recognition as a household name in Pennsylvania politics
6. Legalized pot now making retail inroads:
A number of national legal industry trends took hold in the Pennsylvania market this year, as firms looked to gain market share by head count growth and acquisitions.
Of course, that included a number of mergers, as law firm combinations become more frequent industry wide. But it wasn't just the local players making strategic moves. Some out-of-state firms looked to strengthen their ties to the local legal scene by recruiting longtime partners from area firms.
7. The Eagles Win the Super bowl: This year saw the Philadelphia Eagles rise to the occasion and win the coveted Super Bowl. After the game Eagles fans celebrated with some issues in the street. But all told, most enjoy the Eagles climb to the top of the Football heap.
8. Bob Brady, Philadelphia congressman retires after two decades: Brady graduated from St. Thomas More High School, found employment as a carpenter and was soon part of the leadership of the Carpenters’ union. He continued to be a member of both the Carpenters’ and the Teachers’ unions.
Congressman Brady was elected Chairman of the Committee on House Administration in May of 2007 and served until the end of the 111th Congress in December 2010. In announcing his election, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi highlighted Brady’s “...experience as a leading member of the House Administration Committee for four years and his in-depth knowledge of the internal functions of the House.” She also highlighted his ability “to promote equality and diversity on Capitol Hill.” Congressman Brady currently serves as the Ranking Member on the Committee. His retirement makes Brady one of the most consequential Congressmen from Pennsylvania to serve in that body/.
9. Incumbent Mike Stack defeated for Lt. Governor’s slot: In a historic win as unconventional as the candidate himself, the work-shirt wearing, small-town mayor John Fetterman defeated Lt. Gov. Michael Stack in the Democratic primary Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
Stack is the state’s first lieutenant governor to lose in a primary election. Despite earning an annual salary of $163,692 and only responsible for filling in for the governor if he no longer can hold office, Stack has spent most of the year putting out public relations fires.
After his staff reported abuse and harassment by the Stack family, Wolf made an unprecedented move of stripping the family’s state police detail and restricted the lieutenant governor’s residence staff.
Shortly after, Stack’s wife received in-patient treatment for a mental health issue. Wolf declined to release a report by the inspector general’s office to protect the Stack family’s privacy due to her mental health treatment. Fetterman rarely campaigned with Wolf but was not a hazard to the ticket on the campaign trail. The Wolf strategy after distancing themselves from Stack was to let the voters decide for themselves in that crowded and now deemed historic race. 
10. Bill Cosby goes to jail.  Once known as "America's Dad," was sentenced Tuesday to three to ten years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago.
Cosby's bail was revoked and he was escorted from the courthouse in handcuffs.
"This was a serious crime," Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Judge Steven O'Neill said. "Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come."
Cosby, convicted in April of aggravated indecent assault, declined to speak to the court prior to the sentence. His attorneys have said they intend to file an appeal.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3968, December 29th, 2018


1. Dave Kuharchik leaves Pa. Live. Kuharchik who was the first ever host/producer of the show took a job with Robert Mericle and company.
2. Henry in contract dispute with WILK, Long time radio host Sue Henry could not come to an agreement with her employer Entercom and left her position in May of 18.
3. WRKC FM celebrates their 50th anniversary.
4. Dateline from the AP: WILKES-BARRE — Thundering that the media is the “fake, fake disgusting news,” President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of grievances Thursday at a Pennsylvania campaign rally in which he cast journalists as his true political opponent. What can we say, it’s a top story because he called an area with more news outlets per capita in the country “fake”. 
 5. Former WILK Talk Show host Steve Corbett pens a novel called “Blood Red Syria”.

The LuLac Edition #3967, December 29th, 2018


1. Making America Hate Again: The Trump Presidency and its lack of knowledge and ability to make a decision has been the underlying top story of this year. The Trump reign is like that of a demented, syphilis king that doesn’t stick to any promise except one (the wall) and who his own party can’t trust. That same party though enables him at every turn and is no profile in courage. The attack against the news media has emboldened the ignorant to follow his lead on just about everything. The 35% of the people who sttill support him are just like him. They want simple answers to complicated questions. There is no research done by the President or any of his supporters because they are too lazy to do it. Finally the reason why Trump has his base is because they, like him are afraid of change and disdain thinking about the implication of an issue unless it is uncomplicated and easy to understand. That’s why this base and Trump are made for each other. But that simplistic love affair has caused the country to not be great again but more hateful than ever. Sadly the number one story this year is the breathtaking incompetence of the great deal maker, Diaper Don.
2. Trump-Russia probe: This investigation has now gotten to the point that real progress has come out of it. More than 30 indictments and guilty pleas. What comes out in 2019 will certainly be one of the top 5 stories of next year. For those complaining about the length of investigations, let’s remind people that probes take time. The Clinton investigation lasted for a little over 4years. Iran Contra years about 7 years. . A murder investigation lasts years. If you really want the truth, don’t complain unless you are afraid of the truth.
3. #MeToo movement: It started with a Hashtag used in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Since then powerful men have been toppled from important positions for sexual harassment of some type or the other. The movement is here to stay with all men reassessing their behavior. 2018 saw more men under scrutiny for past behavior.
4. Parkland school shooting/Mass shootings: A former student went on a shooting rampage at a Florida high school leaving 17 dead while panicked students barricaded themselves inside classrooms and frantic parents raced to the scene.
The gunman, who had been expelled and graduate was armed with “countless” magazines and an AR-15-style rifle. In the aftermath of the shooting, students took to their megaphones and began to go fter lawmakers for not doing enough to protect them in schools. Rallies were held, students were attacked by Fox News commentators as being actor but still soldiers on asking for more controls on automatic weapons. Those who died did not die in vain in my opinion because these survivors are out for political blood if any candidate doesn’t see it their way in the future. Meanwhile more gun violence too numerous to mention continued in the United States.
5. 2018 midterms: This was in House Districts a repudiation of the Trump agenda and Republican vision of America. Plus more women gained sentence to the House as the Democrats gained 40 seats. The ads against Nancy Pelosi by scared GOP candidates were fruitless. Meanwhile the Senate had gains for the GOP from red states. But the House that has been ruled by the minority Freedom Caucus will now be run by a woman and party that put the needs of people first. The biggest deal breaker issue for most House candidates was Health Care. Those who embraced it as n issue….WON.
6. US immigration: Children torn from parents, refugees turned away and a relentless stream of changes to immigration regulation and enforcement. To those who champion President Donald Trump and believe cracking down on immigration translates to better lives for Americans, 2018's breathless headlines were a fulfillment of campaign promises. To many others, they hearkened back to dark moments in U.S. history. Even as those living in the U.S. illegally remain targets, the administration has sought to redefine what legal immigration looks like, too, slowing or halting those seeking to come to the country for a job offer, through their relationship to a citizen, or to find a home as a refugee or asylee. The bottom line is that there could have been an immigration bill in 2013 but the House Freedom Caucus stopped it. There could have been a fix to DCA and Diaper Don would have got 20 billion for his wall. But he reneged on the deal. Immigration can be fixed but not under any current or foreseeable Republican leadership.
7. Brett Kavanaugh hearing: Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on July 9, 2018, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. When nominated, Kavanaugh was a sitting judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The Senate Judiciary Committee began Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing on September 4. At the end of the confirmation process, Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford thirty-six years prior, while they were both in high school in 1982. The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed its scheduled vote to allow both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh to respond. In the interim, two other women (Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick) alleged separate instances of sexual assault. Kavanaugh categorically denied allegations made by Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick.
Bottom line after all of this, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the GOP Senate by a very close vote, 51 to 49. 
8. California wildfires: The 2018 wildfire season is the most destructive and deadly wildfire season on record in California, with a total of 8,434 fires burning an area of 1,890,438 acres, the largest amount of burned acreage recorded in a fire season, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center, as of December 6. The fires have caused more than $3.5 billion in damages, including $1.792 billion in fire suppression costs. Through the end of August 2018, Cal Fire alone spent $432 million on operations. The Mendocino Complex Fire burned more than 459,000 acres, becoming the largest complex fire in the state's history, with the complex's Ranch Fire surpassing the Thomas Fire and the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889 to become California's single-largest recorded wildfire.
9. Climate change: Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events).
10. Jamal Khashoggi murder and attack on free press: Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian dissident, author, columnist for the Washington Post, and a general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel who was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 by agents of the Saudi government. He also served as editor for the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi Arabian progressives. The Trump administration’s reluctance to condemn the murder outright as well as its constant attack on the press with the two syllable attack of “Fake News” has put all journalists in fear for just doing their job.

The LuLac Edition #3966, December 29th, 2018


1. Trump-Putin, a most revealing summit: In July, Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he stood by Putin's side at a Helsinki summit news conference and gave weight to Putin's denial that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, despite the firm conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that it had. "I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said. By that statement alone people of all stripes in this country should no Diaper Don is in bed with Putin and the Russians. 2018 draws to a close with warnings of a nuclear Armageddon by Putin's prompt. It was clear that Trump's intention is to appease and please the Russian dictator. .
2. Trump meets Dictator in North Korea: President Donald Trump in June became the first U.S. president to meet a North Korean leader when he sat down with Kim Jong Un at a hotel in Singapore. The summit followed years of missile tests, military exercises, threats, and name-calling. The U.S. and the North -- both nuclear powers -- at times verged on the edge of threatening war. While there are no signs that the talks have made much progress, the Trump administration has been pushing ahead with plans for a second summit in 2019.
3. Cave rescue: When a dozen young soccer players and their coach ventured into a cave in Thailand in June, they thought they’d explore for a bit and come back out that day. But pouring rain flooded the cave -- pushing them deeper inside and stranding them without supplies or any way to call for help. Authorities mounted a desperate search-and-rescue mission as family members and the world’s media gathered outside. Days ticked by with no word of their fate. After nearly 10 tortuous days, expert divers finally found them -- cold and hungry but in relatively good condition. Thai authorities, working with divers from around the world, devised a complicated and daring plan to bring the team out, one by one. One diver died setting up the operation. Over several days and one by one, the divers pulled the boys, who were sedated, through narrow passageways to the cave’s entrance.
4. When Harry married an American: Actress Meghan Markle, from Los Angeles, wed Britain’s Prince Harry on May 19, captivating royal fans around the world.
Tens of millions of people around the globe watched the couple tie the knot in at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, the site of many royal weddings in years past.
5. An hasty retreat in Venezuela: The economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsened precipitously in 2018, with the number of refugees and migrants fleeing the country exploding.
The United Nations said in November that 3 million Venezuelans had left the country, with a third in neighboring Colombia and the vast majority in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The LuLac Edition #3965, December 28th, 2018



This week's show reviews the top stories of 2018. 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 The River 105 and 103.5.



ECTV Live Producer & Host David DeCosmo visits the Ghosts of Christmas Past in a special holiday presentation that will air Christmas and New Year's week! David joins Mark Riccetti Jr. from the Luzerne County Historical Society for a walk through tour of the Sweatland Homestead, one of the oldest homes in northeastern Pennsylvania, where they explore Christmas and New Year's celebrations as they were observed through several time periods in our area. The shows will air several times daily on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and will also be rebroadcast on the electric city television YouTube page!
ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired during the Noon, 6pm and Midnight hours each day of the week. Following Monday's Live program the show will become available on Electric City Television's YouTube channel which can be viewed on your computer.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3964, December 27th, 2018


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: very simple. It includes quality of work, recognition of community activities, challenging positions that give them a profile both good, or bad. Also, if there is a “buzz” about the type of year they are having and how that impacts on themselves as well as the community. Nominations come in via the LuLac E Mail box this year. We went through our usual selection process to pick these nominees. Here are the LuLac 2018 “Women We Love”.


She’s bright, engaging, smart and totally full of fun. The newest co-host of WBRE TV’s “Pa Live” is tasked with not only be the co- host but a sometime producer and coordinator. With guests she is sincere and makes them feel welcome upholding the tradition of the show’s founder Dave Kuharchik as well as Monica Medeja, Brittaney Sweeney, Jasmine Brooks, and Valerie Tysanner.
Bianco loves being home in Pennsylvania! She joined the Eyewitness News team in May 2016 as the Schuylkill County Bureau Reporter. In September 2018 she joined Dave Kuharchik on WBRE’s lifestyle show, PA Live! You can see her on the show Monday through Friday 4 to 5 p.m. The show features community organizations, local bands, area chefs and so much more!
Haley got her start as a multimedia journalist in Bluefield, West Virginia at the NBC-affiliate, WVVA. Before that, Haley was an intern in Los Angeles. She helped with red carpet events while interning for NBC Universal’s E! News, and covered events as a reporter/producer for Entertainment Scoop. She has also interned for KMIR 6 NBC News in Palm Springs, California. Haley’s first internship was at Blue Ridge Communications, News 13 in Lehighton.
Haley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kutztown University. She has a bachelor's degree in electronic media, journalism, public relations and professional writing. During her time in college, she was an active member and leader of KU's TV station, radio station, National Broadcasting Society, and newspaper. She has received recognition by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and the Associated Collegiate Press.
When she’s away from the newsroom, she enjoys spending time with family, friends and her yorkies, Mini and Mambo. Haley grew up in Allentown, which is where her family still lives. Her brother goes to Kutztown University (go Bears!) and her sister goes to Misericordia University (go Cougars!).
Haley enjoys volunteering for local animal shelters, and helping high school and college students prepare for their careers.
Our readers love Haley’s spark and she even on occasion has made me look smarter than I am! It is for many reasons other than that, our committee has chosen Haley Bianco as one of the LuLac Women We Love.

Polly with Matt Vough and Tom Bindus.
Polly Delaney has been mentioned so many times the past few years and for good reason. She is a human dynamo when it comes to her passion for this country. A long time Democrat who has never wavered from her beliefs, Delaney has been one of the catalysts for the rejuvenation of the Luzerne County Democratic party. She is also one of the people that finally got a charter for the Democratic Women of Luzerne County.
One of the things she is most proud of is the way she engineered and put in place the Luzerne County Democratic Women's Organization.
2018 saw the Luzerne County Democratic Women celebrate their first birthday. The chapter was chartered
September 27, 2017 with State President Ruth Raglin along with State Officers from Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties present.
The chapter was chartered with ten women and now has over seventy dues paying members including men!
What a year they had-- the chapter hosted Senator Bob Casey on August 10th and Senator Casey asked the chapter be represented at the November 4th rally with Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Matt Cartwright and VP Joe Biden. The chapter members worked hard,
(many having run for County Committee) to see that Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Matt Cartwright, State
Representatives Jerry Mullery and Eddie Day Pashinski were re-elected. The chapter members believe Democrats Care and use that slogan when promoting Democratic candidates.
Next up--- 2019 elections! The chapter supports the Democratic Party and know the importance of keeping the County and State Blue!
This enthusiasm, sheer focus on organizing her beliefs as well as her ability to easily articulate her mission with a friendly smile is one of the reasons why Polly Delaney is one of the women we love in 2018. 

You’d have to thank former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for all of us knowing this designation for Women We Love. Had he not bailed on the Supreme Court, Christine Blasley Ford would still be little known in the country. But her courage in coming forward to tell her story as well as the way she dealt with the onslaught against her by President Trump and his right wing extremists in this country is telling. Her character shone through while others diminished.
We all know the story about her encounter at a young age with Brett Kavanagh. That story was told and is in the history books. But a bit about her recent activities.
Blasey Ford, the woman who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, was selected by Sports Illustrated to present an award honoring the first gymnast to publicly accuse former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of abuse.
Ford recorded a video announcing Rachael Denhollander, a lawyer and former gymnast, as the recipient of Sports Illustrated's Inspiration of the Year award. The video marked Ford's first public statement since she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation against Kavanaugh in September.
“I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you,” Ford said in the video. “In stepping forward, you took a huge risk, and you galvanized future generations to come forward even when the odds are seemingly stacked against you.”
Ford was thrust into the national spotlight when she came forward over the summer to accuse Kavanaugh, then a nominee to the Supreme Court, of sexually assaulting her during a teenage party more than 30 years earlier.
Her future is up to her. Will she recede into the background as a footnote of history or will she become an advocate? In this perilous political time for women and others no one could blame her if she retreated to the sidelines. Either way, her guts and calm under fire is one of the reasons why she is one of the women we love in 2018.


The five Fortney sisters who came forward about sexual abuse from a priest on Smart Talk Radio.  
Fortney sisters (from left) Marisa, Lara, Patty, Carolyn, and Teresa, on a trip to Adventure Park. The picture was taken by Father Giella, the priest they say who abused them.

This year with our feature, we have an unprecedented occurrence. It was spurred on by the Roman Catholic Sexual Abuse scandal which hit Pennsylvania very hard. Many horrible cases came to light but the most incredible, ugly and morally apprehensive was the abuse of five sisters in one family. Four Pennsylvania sisters said they were all sexually abused by the same Catholic priest in Dauphin County. One sister claimed that the despicable acts began when she was a toddler.
Patty, Lara, Teresa and Carolyn, the Fortney sisters said they were victimized by their priest in the central Pennsylvania town of Enhaut beginning in the early 1980s.
Carolyn said she wasn’t even 2 when abuse began. She told The New York Post she never realized it until she was `12. ”
A Pennsylvania grand jury documented cases of more than 1,000 kids who were abused by more than 300 priests.
The Fortney sisters said they grew up idolizing the late Rev. Augustine Giella, and didn’t view his kindness as anything sinister.
He would give them candy, clothes, and toys. In some cases, the priest molested one sister in front of the others,. According to Fortney-Julius, the good padre was very hands on. “He was constantly hugging me in front of them, kissing me in front of them, trying to put his tongue in your mouth. He needed to know my cup size. I would continually remind myself, ‘He’s my priest. He’s the mediator between God and man. This is OK”.
The priest was so brazen, he’d even touch the girls in front of their parents.
Giella was later arrested and charged with possession of child porn and sexual assault. Fortney-Julius said Giella, who retired in 1989, was found to have pornographic pictures – including nude images of her sister Carolyn.
Giella was later arrested and charged with possession of child porn and sexual assault.
He died in 1993 at the age of 72, awaiting trial. The women said they hope their horrific tale will inspire other victims to come forward.
The Diocese of Harrisburg told various news organizations that it sent apologies and prayers to the family. The sisters, who have all left the Catholic Church, said they’ve never received a direct apology from the archdiocese.
The sisters have become advocates and activists traveling the state to impress upon people the need to have legislation extended so that victims can sue the Church for their situation and get both justice and closure. Appearing on various TV shows and radio the sisters wanted the statute of limitations window changed so that the window for legal action could be put in place. Most of the Senate and House of Representatives agreed but Senator Pro Tem Joe Scarnatti blocked the amendment not once, not twice.
The cowardly Scarnetti in typical right wing fashion said that it was not Constitutional and the courts should handle it. To many he has become almost an enabler to pedophiles or a tool of the Church that just might want this to go away. Everyone in the Pa Legislature WANTS this window extension. Except him! But history, public opinion as well as his maker will judge him.
However where there is no ambiguity is the courage and zeal of the sisters who have come forward to share their pain as well as their fight for further justice. It is for this reason that for the first time in our decades long history of this feature…..we salute women in one family who have come forward to tell the ugly truth of their religion and how it shaped them. Calling them courageous is an understatement.That's why The Fortney Sisters are 5 of the women we love in 2018.

The widow of the second American in space, Betty Grissom is recognized posthumously for her dedication to her husband, country and space program. At first she was one of the wives of the original Mercury 7. Always at his aide in public, taking care of hearth and home. But her husband’s untimely death in Apollo I nearly 52 years ago made her into an advocate for space craft safety.
Nearly four years after the fire, Mr. Grissom’s widow, who was raising two sons on her own, filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful death suit against the Apollo program’s primary contractor, North American Rockwell. (The government itself cannot be sued.)
The statute of limitations for wrongful death for survivors was two years and had expired, said Ronald D. Krist, the Houston lawyer who represented Ms. Grissom. But the general negligence statute was four years and had not expired, allowing her to sue for Mr. Grissom’s pain and suffering. She settled for $350,000, or about $2.2 million in today’s dollars.
Her action brought Ms. Grissom considerable grief, with strangers accusing her of being unpatriotic and the close-knit space community shunning her.
The experience embittered the family, said Mark Grissom, who was 13 when his father died.
“We got the dark side of NASA,” he said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “People who were my friends were no longer my friends. A lot of people turned their back on us, and Mom got a lot of hate mail. They were like, ‘How dare you sue NASA?’ We were no longer part of the NASA family.”
Mr. Krist said that NASA had forwarded her a note from one critic who said that Ms. Grissom should not be filing a suit because her husband had assumed a certain amount of risk by being an astronaut.
But Mr. Krist, a product-liability lawyer, said the astronauts had a right to expect that their capsule would be properly designed and that all prudent precautions would be taken to protect them. “The capsule was anything but fireproof,” he said.
In any case, Mr. Krist said, the suit made it easier for the families of the other two astronauts who were killed to receive compensation without having to go to court.
Betty Lavonne Moore was born on Aug. 8, 1927, in Mitchell, Ind., to Claude and Pauline (Sutherlin) Moore. Her father worked at a cement plant. She grew up in Mitchell and met Mr. Grissom in high school. They soon married, and she got a job as a late-night telephone operator for Indiana Bell while he studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University on the G.I. Bill.
Ms. Grissom spoke with friends and guests at a memorial event at Cape Canaveral on Jan. 27, 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo disaster.CreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times
Ms. Grissom spoke with friends and guests at a memorial event at Cape Canaveral on Jan. 27, 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo disaster.CreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times
In addition to her son Mark, Ms. Grissom is survived by another son, Scott; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Her sister, Mary Lou Fosbrink, is deceased.
In the 1983 movie adaptation of “The Right Stuff,” Ms. Grissom was portrayed by Veronica Cartwright and Mr. Grissom by Fred Ward.
When she received news of her husband’s death in 1967, Ms. Grissom was at a friend’s house for their weekly poker game. She said at the time that she had “already died 100,000 deaths” being married to an astronaut.
An early scare came in July 1961 after Mr. Grissom, as the second American in space, had successfully completed a 15-minute suborbital flight under the Mercury program. He nearly drowned when his capsule landed in the Atlantic Ocean and sank after the hatch blew off prematurely.
 On Jan. 27, 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo disaster, Ms. Grissom and her family attended a small memorial ceremony at Cape Canaveral on Launch Complex 34, the now-crumbling concrete site where her husband’s capsule had been engulfed in flames.
The site was decorated with three red, white and blue floral wreaths provided by the Grissom family to honor all three men who had perished. She and her family had come annually on the anniversary of the fire, but she said she sensed that this would be her last time.
In contrast to the way she had been shunned in earlier days, Ms. Grissom was the center of attention, according to an account in The New York Times.
Betty Lavonne Moore was born on Aug. 8, 1927, in Mitchell, Ind., to Claude and Pauline (Sutherlin) Moore. Her father worked at a cement plant. She grew up in Mitchell and met Mr. Grissom in high school. They soon married, and she got a job as a late-night telephone operator for Indiana Bell while he studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University on the G.I. Bill.
She told an interviewer that her husband’s sacrifice had helped pave the way for future missions in which other astronauts made it to the moon.
Still, she said, “I’m pretty sure he got to the moon before they did.”
“Of course he didn’t make it,” she added, “but in spirit I think he was already there.” Her spirit, her determination not to sit quietly and just go with the flow as most wives of astronauts did, makes her a compelling choice, albeit posthumously for one of the women we love.


We see her in the community  at debates, city hall ceremonies and at political gatherings. You'll see her at church and other volunteer functions too. That person with the easy smile and determined manner is Linda Joseph.  In her retirement, she has become the face of involvement in her home area known to many as Rolling Mill Hill section of Wilkes Barre city. 
Linda is a graduate of Meyers High School, Class of 1972. She has lived in the Rolling Mill Hill area of Wilkes-Barre all of her life. She has recently retired from a local accounting/tax preparation office as Administrative Office Assistant/Tax Preparer. Since retiring, she has given enormous time to volunteering in many capacities. Her faith is extremely important to ger as a lifelong parishioner at St. Anthony-St.George Maronite Church having served as bookkeeper, Altar & Rosary President and Treasurer, member of Parish Council, parish choir and various committees throughout the years. 
Where she has really made her public mark is as the President of the Rolling Mill Hill Residents’ Association since 2016 when it was newly established under the guidance of Wilkes-Barre City Councilman Tony Brooks. The association has worked together with Councilman Brooks and WB City Administration in providing information and helping residents express their concerns and we work to achieve a better quality of life for those in Rolling Mill Hill. Their Annual Halloween Party for all children throughout Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas has been a great success in offering a free event that was enjoyed by over 400 children and parents this year. The association has participated and supported many of the city sponsored events such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Christmas Parade, Halloween downtown, Crime Watch National Night Out, Earth Day Clean Up Campaign, etc. Linda attends the meetings of the Downtown Residents’ Association on a regular basis and participates in their events held during the year and occasionally attend the meetings and events of the South Wilkes-Barre Residents’ Association. She also volunteers at the First Presbyterian Church in Wilkes-Barre at their Annual Christmas Dinner for those who are alone for the holidays.
You can see her at all the Wilkes-Barre City Council Work Sessions and Public Meetings for the last 3 years to learn more about the workings of city government and to voice my thoughts and opinions in many instances. Joseph is a strong advocate of everyone working together to help improve Wilkes-Barre and move the city forward. In addition, she attends monthly meetings of the Rolling Mill Hill/Iron Triangle/Mayflower Crime Watch of which she is a member.
Joseph is also member of the board and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society. She is proud to have played an integral part in the purchase and ongoing restoration of the Zebulon Butler House on South River Street, the oldest house in Wilkes-Barre. By doing this work, her appreciation of the historical richness in Wilkes-Barre and all of Wyoming Valley has increased.
Joseph is a board member of the Osterhout Free Library and a member of their Development and Community Relations Committee. She also, works closely with the South Branch of the library located in Rolling Mill Hill. As if that’s not enough, she recently volunteered and was appointed to the Parking Ticket Appeal Board for the city of Wilkes-Barre for a 2 year term. 
Wilkes-Barre City Council President Tony Brooks perhaps summed it all up the best way. When you meet Linda Joseph, she in some way makes an impact in your life. Brooks told us, "There are times in your life when someone walks through the door and in a matter of weeks it feels like you have known them your whole life. A simple knock on Linda Joseph’s door in Rolling Mill Hill as I was campaigning in 2015 changed both our lives forever. In three short years she has become the neighborhood activist and organizer (some call Empress of Hill) with a love and drive to make Wilkes-Barre better. Linda’s dedication to uplifting the lives of neighborhood children, preserving the oldest house in Wilkes-Barre and her steadfast love of St. Anthony’s + St. George’s is an inspiration to us all."
Joseph’s dedication to her hometown and neighborhood is one of the reasons why she is one of The Women We Love in 2018. Unlike others who talk a good game, Linda puts her head down and gets the assigned task done.

As outgoing President of the Wilkes Barre Chapter of the NAACP Attorney Laurore has been front and center in the fight for equal justice and equality in Northeastern Pennsylvania. For way too long the word “freedom” has been taken over by those who never lost it, don’t appreciate it and want it for their cause but not others. Attorney Laurore’s leadership for the Freedom Fighters of the local chapter of the NAACP has been evident and articulate. .
She made news earlier this year at the NAACP Martin Luther King breakfast when she took on President Trump for his comments about Haiti, her country of origin being a shit hole. If you were in that audience, she methodically made the case against the inaccuracies and hate exhibited by the President.
Laurore’s road to Wilkes Barre has been inspiring. Originally from Haiti, she graduated from high school in French Guiana and later moved to France, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in1995 and a master’s degree in clinical psychology and psychopathology in 1996 from University of Provence Center of Aix.
She moved to the United States in1997 and worked in the human services field for about seven years. She earned a juris doctorate degree in 2004 from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Del. Ms. Laurore is licensed to practice law in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey state courts as well as federal courts since 2004. She has been admitted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and Michigan's state courts since 2005. She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ms. Laurore is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Minority Bar Committee and is the diversity representative of its Solo and Small Firm Section, of which she is also an elected council member. Ms. Laurore is also the diversity representative of the PBA Law Related Education Committee, of which she is also the chair. She is a member of the PBA House of Delegates, the PBA Task Force on the Interbranch Commission Report on Juvenile Justice and the PBA Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania. A graduate of the PBA Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) class of 2010-2011, she is co-vice chair of the Immigration Law Committee and is a member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession, Quality of Life/ Balance Committee and Legal Services to the Public Committee. She is the Mock Trial District 3 coordinator, and at the local level, she is Potter County Bar Association pro bono coordinator. In addition, she is the president of Coudersport Elementary Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Dedicated to ending domestic violence, she is a member of the Domestic Violence Attorney Network (DVAN) and sits on the board of A Way Out, an organization servicing survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Laurore is the 2011 recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Michael K. Smith Excellence in Service Award.
Locally, in addition to her NAACP duties, Laurore is an immigration lawyer. Her client services include
Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity
Deportation and Removal Defense
Family-Based Green Cards and Adjustment of Status
Naturalization and Citizenship
Worksite Enforcement
Appeals and Federal Litigation
Laurore has offices in the Bicentennial Building on Public Square. 
During her term as NAACP head, her passion, knowledge and eloquence of the issues we as a society face in these turbulent times is one of the reasons why Attorney Laurore is one of the women we love in 2018. 

It is with great pleasure and pride that we tell you that Nancy Pelosi is one of the LuLac women we love this year. Pelosi has been the fodder of right wing loudmouths and Conservatives who blindly question her knowledge and patriotism with little regard for the facts. For years even Democrats wanted to jettison her because she made people uncomfortable. They said she was a lightning rod for Democrats who believed that the old white men with no college degrees would be won over if they got rid of her! What garbage. Those guys aren’t coming back to the party that made them members of the middle class.
Pelosi has shown strength in trying to school this ignorant President in the way of not only government or common sense.
Here’s what she is all about.
From 2007 to 2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history. As the Democratic Leader, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle class families. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.
For 31 years, Leader Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California's 12th District, in Congress. She has led House Democrats for more than 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip.
Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as "one of the most productive Congresses in history" by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people," and the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago.”
Working in partnership with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi led House passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009 to create and save millions of American jobs, provide relief for American families, and provide a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. With the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi continues to focus on the need to create jobs in America and prevent them from being shipped overseas.
Speaker Pelosi achieved passage of historic health insurance reform legislation in the House which establishes a Patients’ Bill of Rights and will provide insurance for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term. The new law provides patients with affordable insurance choices, curbs abuses by the insurance industry, strengthens Medicare, and reduces the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years.
In the 111th Congress, Speaker Pelosi also led the Congress in passing strong Wall Street reforms to rein in big banks and protect consumers as well as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands educational opportunities and reforms the financial aid system to save billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Additional key legislation passed into law included the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination; legislation to provide health care for 11 million American children; national service legislation; and hate crimes legislation. In late 2010, Pelosi led the Congress in passing child nutrition and food safety legislation as well as repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
Pelosi has made energy security her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making an historic commitment to American home grown biofuels. In 2009, under her leadership, the House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive bill to create clean energy jobs, combat climate change, and transition America to a clean energy economy. The legislation was blocked by Republicans in the United States Senate, but sent a strong signal to the world about the United States’ commitment to fighting the climate crisis.
A leader on the environment at home and abroad, Pelosi secured passage of the “Pelosi amendment” in 1989, now a global tool to assess the potential environmental impacts of development. In San Francisco, Pelosi was the architect of legislation to create the Presidio Trust and transform the former military post into an urban national park.
In continuing to push for accountability and transparency in government, under Speaker Pelosi, the House passed the toughest ethics reform legislation in the history of the Congress, including the creation of an independent ethics panel, and increased accountability and transparency in House operations, including earmark reforms. As Speaker, Pelosi led the fight to pass the DISCLOSE Act in the House, which fights a corporate takeover of U.S. elections and ensures additional disclosure; she continues to fight for this legislation today.
Additional key accomplishments signed into law under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi include: an increase in the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years; the largest college aid expansion since the GI bill; a new GI education bill for Post 9/11 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and increased services and resources for veterans, spouses, survivors, caregivers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service. Her late father, Thomas D'Alesaanddro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, also served as Mayor of Baltimore. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren. 
Her ability to withstand blistering, ignorant criticism, her backbone in defending an agenda for those who are not regarded as part of the President's America and her ability to forge a return to true middle class values are the main reasons why Nancy Pelosi is one of the women we love in 2018. 

If you are a fan of “Saturday Night Live” you’ve got to love the versatility and talent of Cecily Strong.
Strong was born in Springfield, Illinois, and was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, an inner ring suburb of Chicago.She is the daughter of Penelope and William "Bill" Strong, who worked as an Associated Press bureau chief and is now managing partner at a Chicago public relations firm. Strong's parents are divorced.[6] Strong grew up adoring SNL as a child, reenacting sketches to her friends and watching old SNL commercials on VHS. "I had a tape of the best commercials, and I wore it out, every day." She has stated that she was inspired by Phil Hartman
Strong performed regularly at The Second City and iO Chicago. Strong has performed on a "cruise ship with fellow Second City members for four months". She appeared at the Chicago Sketch Fest, Chicago Just for Laughs, New York Sketchfest, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at the Goodman Theater, Bailiwick Theater, the Mercury Theater, and with the all-female improv troupe Virgin Daiquia.
Strong debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on September 15, 2012. Strong co-anchored the recurring Weekend Update segment with Seth Meyers, beginning with the season 39 premiere. Strong later co-anchored with Colin Jost,[16] and was replaced on Weekend Update with writer Michael Che, beginning with the season 40 premiere in September 2014, partly at her own request to focus on doing sketches as a part of the regular cast. 
Strong's recurring characters include an extremely ditzy, unintelligent and unnamed pseudo-activist known as "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party"; Dana, a loud-mouthed, unfriendly retail employee who always insults her coworkers out of fear of being fired; Heather, the One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male-Driven Comedy; Kyra from "The Girlfriends Talk Show"; Cathy Anne, the drug-addicted neighbor of Michael Che (usually introduced by Che as "the woman who's always yelling [sometimes "screaming"] outside my window"), who has strong opinions on current events; an unnamed blond former porn star-turned-model/commercial actress who hawks elegant items; Gemma, a British woman with various boyfriends; and Gracelynn Chisholm, one half of a married duo that hosts a talk show. Her celebrity impressions include Huma Abedin, Brooke Baldwin, Maria Bartiromo, Gloria Borger, Paula Broadwell, Erin Burnett, Marion Cotillard, Susan Collins, Stormy Daniels, Lana Del Rey, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Dianne Feinstein, Carly Fiorina, Ariana Grande, Hope Hicks, Scottie Nell Hughes, Anjelica Huston, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Jill Kelley, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Koenig, Tara Lipinski, Rachel Maddow, Kate Middleton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Liza Minnelli, Alanis Morissette, Jeanine Pirro, Michelle Rodriguez, Melania Trump, Ivana Trump, Sofia Vergara and Allison Williams.
Strong was the featured entertainer at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Association dinner (cracking that she was the first straight woman to be so in twenty years). She took digs at the various news organizations in attendance, politicians of all persuasions, and President Obama. She also took shots at the US Secret Service, host location the Washington Hilton, Brian Williams, Sarah Koenig and the state of Indiana.
In 2016, she appeared in a commercial for Old Navy,[ alongside other SNL cast members Nasim Pedrad and Jay Pharoah. That year, Strong also joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as a celebrity correspondent. In 2016, she guest starred as Samantha Stevens in TBS's Angie Tribeca and Catherine Hobart in Fox's Scream Queens. She appeared in a series of commercials for Triscuit in 2017.
Her take off of characters, her range of motion in her imitations makes Cecily Strong one of the Women We Love in 2018.

One of the Women we’ve always loved was Lorri Palovchak. Lorri has been front and center as a State Committee Woman for the Republican Party. Her loyalty to country and party has always been evident. Even in the most turbulent times, she could always be counted on to be a reasonable and reassuring voice.
Lorri ( Walko)Vandermark- Palovchak, was raised in Nanticoke Pennsylvania. The daughter of the late Maureen Mangan Walko and James (Jim) Walko. Jim was a Republican Committeman and because of him that Lorri became fascinated with the police process at a young age. She began attending political functions and helping at the polling places at the age of 9. Growing up in a town where Republicans were in the minority, Lorri earned the nick name of "The little Republican Girl". Lorri continued her involvement and later became the Chair of the 4th District Teenage Republicans. Throughout her teen years, she remained involved , working for local, State and National candidates. Her biggest honor during those times, was meeting Vice President George Bush and Barbara. In 1982, Lorri married her high school sweetheart, Frank Vandermark. Frank joined the United States Air Force. That started Lorri's journey as a 20 year military wife, while raising their children, Erik and Heidi. They lived in 5 states and Germany. Upon his military retirement, Frank and Lorri returned to NEPA and once again became involved with the Republican Party. Lorri served as Frank's campaign manager, when he was elected as the first Republican School Director for Nanticoke Area in the past 39 years!! She also was very proud to have been heavily involved in all of Congressman Barletta's congressional campaigns. In 2015, tragedy struck, when. Tsgt. Frank Vandermark became one of the 22 veterans each day, that we lose to suicide. Since that time, Lorri and her brave children, have become outspoken advocates for veterans rights and suicide prevention. Lorri also uses her experience as a Emergency Behavioral Health Crisis Counselor for the Department of Human Services to reach out to families and those contemplating suicide, on her social media platforms.
After Frank’s death, she of course went into the shock that survivors of such a loss feel. She told us, " You either get bitter or get better". She came across that saying after Frank's death. Already not living healthy and with his death sending her into a tail spin. She used it as motivation to change lifestyle. She became active and healthy, lost 70 pounds and started her own business with Young Living Essential Oils. She went from being a couch potato that ate junk food to walking 5 miles a day and removing bad food and toxins.
Lorri currently serves a member of the State Committee for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. In addition to her counseling and training consultation with the Commonwealth, she is the Manager of Public Relations for LCTA ( Luzerne County Transportation Authority). Lorri has be Lorri is also thrilled to have been married on December 8th, to David Palovchak. David and Lorri currently live in Swoyersville with their dog Diva. They also enjoy visits from their three grandchildren, Daniel Daleo, Grayson Daleo and Evelyn Vandermark.
Her resiliency, knowledge, easy going manner but passionate beliefs make her one of the Women We Love in 2018.


Every day this former White House operative in the Bush 43 White House takes it to the current occupant in her daily show on MSNBC “Dateline: White House.
From the White House to now, she has been a political commentator, author, current anchor of Deadline: White House, and chief political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. She is a frequent contributor and guest host on MSNBC programs The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and Morning Joe, as well as NBC's Today Show. She is a former co-host of the long-running ABC talk show The View (season 18.)
In her former political career, Wallace served as the White House Communications Director during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign. Wallace also served as a senior advisor for John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. She appeared frequently on network and cable news programs as the campaign's spokesperson and defender. Wallace also served as a senior advisor for the McCain–Palin campaign in 2008. She appeared frequently on network and cable news programs as the campaign's top spokesperson and defender.
In late October 2008, campaign aides criticized vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. One unnamed McCain aide said Palin had "gone rogue," placing her own future political interests ahead of the McCain/Palin ticket, directly contradicting her running mate's positions, and disobeying directions from campaign managers. In response to reports of dissension within the McCain-Palin campaign, Wallace issued a statement to both Politico and CNN saying: "If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there."
Wallace was portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the 2012 film Game Change.Wallace described the film as highly credible, saying the film "captured the spirit and emotion of the campaign." Wallace also told ABC News Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos that the film was "true enough to make me squirm."
Wallace has stated she did not vote for a presidential candidate in 2008 because Sarah Palin gave her pause
Wallace is the author of The New York Times Best Seller list bestselling contemporary political novel, Eighteen Acres and It’s Classified. Her third novel Madam President was released in April 2015.
Wallace serves in a number of capacities with NBC News and its cable network MSNBC. She is the chief political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News.[1] She is a frequent contributor and guest host on MSNBC programs The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and Morning Joe, as well as on NBC's Today Show.
In 2016, Wallace, along with Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Eugene Robinson, served as chief political commentator for MSNBC's live coverage of election results.
Since May 9, 2017, Wallace has been the anchor of Deadline: White House, which airs at 16:00 Eastern Time on MSNBC.
Everyday at 4pm on MSNBC, Wallace does a show that is fueled by the fire of a Republican administration that in normal times she could defend. But since January 20th, 2017 and the months that followed, the Republican party that she knew as well as many of our readers have known is gone. She pushes back and makes no bones about calling out the President and his brand of Republicanism. It is for that reason why Nicole Wallace is one of the women we love in 2018. 

Photo credits: LuLac archives, NASA, Times Leader, Citizen's Voice,,  MSNBC,, Smart Talk Radio, Lorri Vandermark-Palovchak, Linda Joseph Facebook.