Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 904, January 31st, 2023



The Luzerne County Democratic Party and its 6th District Committee will host a petition signing event for all Democratic candidates for municipal, county and statewide office who will be running in the May Primary Election. Come, meet the candidates, and enjoy complimentary food and beverages! All attendees are kindly asked to bring a nonperishable food item (or several!) which will be donated to the food pantry at St. Nicholas Church. See you there!

Be the first one to tell your friends about this event. 😎



Monday, January 30, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 903, January 30th, 2023




Thursday, January 26, 2023

The LuLac Edition #4, 902, January 26th, 2023



(Photo: PA Homepage)

The Luzerne County Election Board Wednesday reversed its recent decision to change the way voters can address mail ballot defects on Election Day.

At a special meeting Wednesday morning, the board voted 4-1 to reverse the decision and allow voters to cast a provisional ballot at the polls if their mail-in ballot was disqualified.

Voting for the motion were board members Danny Schramm, Board Chairwoman Denise Williams, Audrey Serniak and Jim Mangan. Board member Alyssa Fusaro voted against the motion.

Schramm requested the special meeting to withdraw his support for the recent change, saying he could no longer provide the vote needed to make the change. Schramm said he changed his mind after reading a new communication from the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania urging the board to reconsider its decision.

In scheduling the special meeting, Board Chairwoman Denise Williams said she wanted to avoid waiting for a decision, if possible, because the election bureau already has started identifying Jan. 31 special election ballots with outer envelope deficiencies and needs a directive from the board to explain options to voters.That election is for the 27th Senatorial district which has parts of Luzerne County in it. 

If a voter wanted to “cure” their ballot say from Hazleton, it would be a huge inconvenience to have them drive to the Pen Place in Wilkes-Barre to do so instead at their polling place. This is just another attempt by the Republicans on thqt Election Board and in Luzerne County to intimidateviters and make it hrder on people to vote.  



In an interesting twist three rabid Republicans on the County Council wanted  to put a 7 person panel together to see if voters wanted to change the make up of the Council. The majority who voted no preferred singular ballot measures to improve the Council.  

The Times Leader reports that Councilman Stephen J. Urban had proposed the ballot question asking voters if they want to convene a seven-citizen, elected commission to assess the home rule charter and recommend whether to keep it as is, revise it, try a different structure or revert back to the prior three-commissioner system.

The current charter replaced a system in effect for more than 150 years and put 11 part-time elected council members and a council-appointed manager in charge of decisions previously made by three elected commissioners and several elected row officers.

Only three of 11 council members supported placing the study commission question on the upcoming primary ballot: Kevin Lescavage, Brian Thornton and Urban.

Voting against the question were Carl Bienias III, John Lombardo, LeeAnn McDermott, Tim McGinley, Matthew Mitchell, Chris Perry, Kendra Radle and Gregory S. Wolovich Jr.

Council members voting against the study commission argued council should have an opportunity to bring suggested home rule improvements directly to voters through ballot questions, saying that approach won’t risk a commission recommendation to return to the old structure. (Times Leader, LuLac)



Attorney General Garland and Pence (Photo: CNN)

Documents with classified markings were discovered in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home last week, his lawyer told the National Archives in a letter — the latest in a string of discoveries of confidential information in private residences.

The records “appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration,” Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in the letter shared with The Associated Press.

He said that Pence “engaged outside counsel, with experience in handling classified documents, to review records stored in his personal home after it became public that documents with classified markings were found in President Joe Biden’s Wilmington residence.

The Justice Department already is using special counsels to investigate the presence of documents with classification markings taken from the Florida estate of former President Donald Trump and from Biden’s home and former Washington office. The department says roughly 300 documents marked classified, including at the top-secret level, were taken from Mar-a-Lago, and officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone else should be charged with illegal possession of those records or with trying to obstruct the months-long criminal investigation.

With the GOP yelling about Biden’s issue, the fqct thqt Pence did the same thing helps Biden. Furthermore both Pence and Biden are cooperating while Trump used every legal tool he could to not do so. Also, Penve hqndled his issue wqy better than Biden by getting in front of this thing.



House Republicans have alluded to cuts they want to make to the federal budget for months.

They're becoming more explicit about those cuts involving Medicare and Social Security funds.

They've indicated that they're willing to leverage raising the debt ceiling to secure cuts. Not raising the ceiling could spell financial disaster.

After being evasive about their plans for entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare in the months leading up to midterms, the House GOP has begun to confirm its intention to cut spending on both.

That's according to The Washington Post's Tony Romm, who reported that Republican lawmakers are willing to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in order to get the Biden administration to cave on spending cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Failing to raise the debt ceiling by the summer could cause the US to default on its debt for the first time in history, the consequences of which would be dire.

"We have no choice but to make hard decisions," Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told The Post. "Everybody has to look at everything."

The Post reported that in the past few days, a group of Republican lawmakers have pushed for House panels that would recommend changes to Social Security and Medicare.

Democrats control the Senate, and Republicans only have a slight majority in the House. But it's enough of a majority to give them power over the debt ceiling, a law restricting the amount of money the government can borrow to pay its bills.(Business Insider)



Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo:  LuLac archives)

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright  announced at a press conference that as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, he successfully secured $180,460,000 in additional funding for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in the 2023 Government Spending Package to sustain and increase BOP recruitment and hiring efforts nationwide.

“This funding will address critical staffing shortages at federal prisons across the country, including the U.S. Penitentiary, Canaan, in Wayne County,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This much-needed financial support will provide robust federal investment in the safety of our federal prisons and the brave correction officers who go to work in them every day. I was proud to deliver this essential funding as the chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee.”

Overall, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was funded at $8.7 billion, an increase of $582.6 million, or 7% more than the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, and includes funding for programs to allow prisoners to reenter society successfully as well as communications and security upgrades and other maintenance and repairs in federal prison facilities.

$180 million of the increase secured by Rep. Cartwright, above the Administration’s request for BOP operations, will go towards the recruitment, retention and hiring of qualified corrections officers by offering competitive pay and benefits as well as retention and hiring bonuses.

“It has been ten years since my son Officer Eric Williams was brutally murdered by an inmate at USP Canaan. Eric was working alone in a housing unit of 125 high security inmates when he was killed. Had there been a second officer on hand, the outcome may have been very different,” said Donald Williams, father of the late Senior Officer Eric Williams. “My organization, Voices of JOE, has worked in conjunction with the Council of Prison Locals these past ten years trying to address the staffing crisis within the Bureau of Prisons. With this money now allocated by Congressman Cartwright and his Appropriations Committee, we are hopeful that some real resolution will be forthcoming to alleviate this ongoing crisis of understaffed prisons.”

“We appreciate Congressman Cartwright’s support and his ongoing efforts to help us recruit and retain employees at USP Canaan,” said Corrections Officer Dave Demas, who is also the Union President of AFGE Local 3003. “In addition to corrections officers, we’re actively hiring for a number of positions including all levels of medical personnel and administrative and clerical workers. The money Congressman Cartwright has helped us secure will really help us in our recruitment efforts and maintain our high standards of safety and professionalism throughout the institution.”

To further support USP Canaan, Rep. Cartwright joined with Senator Bob Casey to send a letter to the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget requesting Wayne County’s inclusion in the New York locality pay area. This recommendation, which would increase the salaries of federal employees working in Wayne County, has been tentatively approved by the President’s Pay Agent, and following a formal rulemaking process, workers would begin receiving the increased pay in January 2024.

As the chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Cartwright was responsible for overseeing more than $80 billion in annual federal spending, including funding for the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons was established in 1930 to provide humane care for federal inmates by professionalizing and centralizing the federal prison system. The Agency employs more than 34,000 workers and houses over 150,000 inmates in 122 institutions across the country.



Governor Josh Shapiro (Photo: LuLac archives)

Governor Josh Shapiro is already delivering on his campaign promise to spur economic growth, create jobs and foster innovation in Pennsylvania through the signing yesterday of Executive Order 2023-05, officially establishing the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity within the Governor’s Office as well as the Economic Development Strategy Group. This new executive order follows the Governor’sother transformativeactions during his first week in office that opened the doors of opportunity for more workers and ensured the highest level of ethics and integrity in his administration.

This newly created office will make it easier to do business in Pennsylvania, acting as a one-stop-shop for companies looking to grow and thrive in Pennsylvania’s economy. As part of this announcement, Governor Shapiro named Pennsylvania business leader and entrepreneur Ben Kirshner to the role of Chief Transformation and Opportunity Officer.

The creation of this new office and the decision to bring in a proven business leader to run it collectively underscore how building an economy that works for all is a key priority of the Shapiro Administration. Both the Office of Transformation and Opportunity, and the Economic Development Strategy Group, will work to create a unified strategy for economic growth and development, with a special focus on disadvantaged and underserved communities.

“From the campaign trail to the start of the administration, Governor Shapiro has demonstrated a commitment to creating real opportunity and spurring economic growth right here in Pennsylvania,” Luke Bernstein, PA Chamber President & CEO. “Today’s step is important as we continue in that journey, as Governor Shapiro sends a clear message that Pennsylvania is open for business, we’re going to be a leader in economic growth, job creation, and innovation.”

“Our team is constantly innovating and moving us forward to figure out the best way to get the job done. We believe that when you invest in people and in family sustaining jobs, you are making the best possible investment in your company’s future,” Grace McGregor, Director of Strategy and Operations, McGregor Industries. “Governor Shapiro shares that vision and has a plan he is putting in action today to help businesses like mine continue to grow and thrive. When small businesses and manufacturers like us succeed and do well, Pennsylvania does well.”

“It’s energizing to see economic development paired with quality job creation. To me, that means union jobs,“ Angela Ferritto, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President. “Just one week into his administration, Governor Shapiro has affirmed that his priorities are the peoples’ priorities. We applaud the governor and his team for coming out of the gates with vigor and values.”

“At this this pivotal moment for society, we are faced with a once in a generation opportunity to carve out a distinctive leadership for Pennsylvania as the frontier for innovation and job creation,” Farnam Jahanian, President of Carnegie Mellon University. “By launching the Office of Transformation and Opportunity, Governor Shapiro has underscored his commitment to accelerating Pennsylvania’s competitiveness as a destination for businesses and entrepreneurs. Pennsylvania has all of the core assets of a dynamic innovation ecosystem and through the visionary leadership of the Shapiro-Davis administration, we will be better positioned to leverage these resources to expand the geography of innovation and bring opportunities to both urban and rural areas across the state. The higher education community is energized to support the Governor’s bold vision for shaping Pennsylvania’s future.”

“Governor Shapiro is a proven national leader for the working men and women of Pennsylvania, Tony Seiwell, Business Manager Laborers’ District Council of Eastern Pennsylvania. “With his recent executive order, Governor Shapiro is making Pennsylvania one of the best states in the country in terms of streamlining the navigation of complicated economic incentives and a permitting process that impacts new economic development to Pennsylvania. Making it easier to invest and easier to create jobs, means more construction projects that support Pennsylvania’s working families.”





Tune in Monday night at 9pm as 8th District Congressman Matt Cartwright  and 9th District Representative Dan Meuser talk about their work in the 118th Congress. Larry Voytko is the host. 



Host Him Riley interviews NAACP Executive Committee member and Secretary Daryl Lewis about Black History Month. You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on 1400 am The Mothership and 7:30 am on 105 The River.





Our 1954 logo.

The Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, the second line in the system and the first built after World War II, is opened between Ikebukuro and Ochanomizu stations.[citation needed…. Chicago businessman W. Leonard Evans Jr. establishes the US-based National Negro Network with forty-six member radio stations. He was born William Leonard Evans Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of William L. Evans Sr. and Beatrice Evans. His father was an architect and secretary of the National Urban League. In the 1940s, as a member of the Associated Publishers newspaper representatives, Evans was part of "one of the first extensive studies to examine the purchasing habits of black consumers in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C." Following his work with Associated Publishers, Evans had his own advertising agency (Evans and Durham, Inc.) in New York City before joining Arthur Meyerhoff & Company as an advertising executive in Chicago. After four years with Meyerhoff, "Evans reduced his role at the firm and opened a second agency in Chicago ... [and] created Negro market campaigns for companies such as Pet Milk, Philip Morris cigarettes, Wrigley gum, and Armour meat products."

In December 1953, while Evans was an account supervisor at the Meyerhoff agency, he organized the National Negro Network of radio stations. The network was "composed of approximately 40 basic stations" and was expected "to reach approximately 12 million of the 15 million Negroes in America." The network operated just over a year before Evans ended it because of insufficient advertising. 
Evans began Tuesday magazine in 1965, with the formation of Tuesday Publications.He chose that name because Tuesday was "the traditional press day for Negro weeklies".[ The publication "featured positive stories on African American life, politics, and culture."Evans, who was the magazine's editor and publisher, summarized the magazine by saying, "Look and Life are basically published for whites but also read by Negros. Tuesday is basically published for Negros and read by whites too."……Tuesday was inserted as a supplement every other month in nine metropolitan general-circulation newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin.[8][self-published source] Its first printing "reached over 1.3 million homes" The magazine's success led to a spinoff, Tuesday at Home, which began in 1970. Evans' entry in The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia summarized the combined success of the two publications. By 1973, the two magazines were inserted into the Sunday editions of 23 major newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, and reached over 4.5 million subscribers. At its peak in the early 1970s, Tuesday Publications was the 29th-largest black-owned business in the United States, based on gross revenues, and the second largest of the nine devoted to communications.  Evans was married to Maudelle Bousfield from 1936 until his death. on May 22, 2007, in Tucson, Arizona, following a stroke and 69 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Make Love To Me” by Jo Stafford.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The LuLac Edition, 4, 901, January 25th, 2023



Our “Write On Wednesday” logo

This week we give an editorial from the Times Leader regarding the peaceful transfer of power in Harrisburg. Sadly because of election deniers, what used to be the norm is now the exception.

And like magic, Pennsylvania seemed almost the epitome of rational politics.

No, no great bipartisan legislation was passed and signed into law. Republicans and Democrats from across the spectrum did not gather to sing “Kum ba ya.” We didn’t hear any joint speeches about seriously working across the aisle for the good of the state rather than for the good of the party.

Nothing momentous happened Tuesday other than the orderly transfer of power from an outgoing governor to an incoming one. Yes, the baton got passed from one Democrat to another, but it should not matter who was leaving and who was moving in. A fundamental — and absolutely essential — part of Democracy occurred, with no lingering challenges, no yammering of “stolen” or “rigged” elections (at least none among the gubernatorial candidates and their inner circles).

To give him his due, this happened largely because Republican Doug Mastriano didn’t follow the lead of the former president, who never conceded losing the 2020 election and has relentlessly pushed arguments without an iota of proof that he actually won and should be reinstated (there is no mechanism for that in our system, which may be why at one point he called for “suspension” of the U.S. Constitution, even though he claimed he didn’t do that).

Mastriano was deemed a far-right candidate, a true Trump believer who won Trump’s support during the Republican Primary. He supported the debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen, called for de-certification of the results, attended the Jan. 6 Washington, D.C. rally that devolved into an assault on the nation’s Capitol. At one point he really did say that as governor he would have the right to de-certify results from any election machine. He spearheaded an effort to have a forensic review of the 2020 election audits.

In short, he seemed a likely person to claim he won the governor’s office and/or launch endless claims and challenges to the election results. Yet he conceded his loss to Josh Shapiro, and he did so with grace in a matter of days after the November election. Terse grace, it’s true, but grace all the same.

“Difficult to accept as the results are, there is no right course but to concede,” Mastriano said in one-page statement issued the Sunday after the election. “Josh Shapiro will be our next Governor, and I ask everyone to give him the opportunity to lead and pray that he leads well.”

And Shapiro took that mantle at Tuesday’s inauguration. It is not a perfect transition; As the Associated Press pointed out, he takes office while it remains unclear which party will control the state House of Representatives.

It’s too early to judge, but Shapiro has started out looking a bit like a man genuinely willing to reach across the aisle. he nominated several Republicans to cabinet positions. And as the state’s former attorney general, he comes to the role with some serious Harrisburg experience.

But regardless of who took power, it’s helpful to remember (and sad to feel the need to point out) that this is how democracy is supposed to work. Elections are held, any challenges work through the system, the results are settled and the winner takes office.

We didn’t agree with much of Mastriano’s election rhetoric, but we thank him for letting the system function. We wish Shapiro well, and hope his early outreach to the other side bears fruit.

Mostly, though, we appreciate a break from hyper-partisan battles and a return to what — believe it or not — once passed as “normal.”