Thursday, April 25, 2024

The LuLac Edition #5, 101, April 25th, 2024



The primary election might have had a light ballot but here are a few thoughts on some of the races:

THE 117th:  Every couple of years there is a race that is so close, the saying “every vote counts” hops off the shelf of clichés and sounds like a thunderbolt. There was a Judicial race thirty years ago where the late  Attorney Charles Bufalino lost by 12 votes to Corey Stevens who then secured the double nomination. This year the Cabell/Walsh race is this year’s lesson in the fact that as iof this edition, Walsh was leading by 8 votes. EIGHT! He ran to the right of the incumbent and with dedicated sections of MAGA believers in Luzerne County, it appeared that Cabell had his work cut out for himself.  Then there was the $10,000 alleged deal for one of them to drop out of the race in return for a clear field (I don’t understand how anyone even thinks that O’Connell/Lemmond/Baker seat if opened up) in 2026 when the 20th district seat might be available to only one candidate. The votes are still out there as Cabell stated on WNEP so we’ll find out soon enough.

If Walsh wins, voters in that district should remember that this the guy who took on the school boards starting a parental rights group during the Pandemic. So don’t expect a moderate in this seat.

The 120th: The Democratic party establishment failed miserably by putting up a candidate against Fern Leard. She has been running since she was defeated by Aaron Kaufer and has passion in her blood and soul. Why anyone thought this Morgan guy who got himself a state job after a twenty year hiatus of not working would be a good choice is confusing. He might be from Exeter but the The 120th is more than just that borough. Plus he dodged the debate and one wonders’ if the traditional old school machine Dems were just a wee sexist by propping up this guy., Leard has a challenge ahead of her against Brenda Pugh the head of the Luzerne County but she should not be underestimated. Leard has a registration deficit in that district but Pugh has Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. She is going to have to position herself very deftly between the MAGAs and the old school GOP and that will take some work. Look for the two previous reps Phyllis Mundy and Aaron Kaufer to make their voices heard in support of these two candidates. Mundy for Leard, Kaufer for Pugh.

THE STUDY COMMISSION: Luzerne County voters said YES to a  study commission to revise the charter. Kudos to the voters for going through all 17 names and picking the adults in the room (with the exception of Steve Urban Junior sans baseball bat) to work on this study.

The Commission members elected were:

 • Cindy Malkemes, Dallas Township, an academic counselor and associate professor at Luzerne County Community College.

• Vito Malacari, Hanover Township, a high school government teacher.

• Mark Shaffer, Wilkes-Barre, a research analyst at The Institute.

• Stephen J. Urban, Kingston, an IT support coordinator for a major food distributor and prior county council member.

• Ted Ritsick, Forty Fort, a professional planner, a current member of the county’s Wyoming Valley Airport Advisory Board and a prior Forty Fort Borough councilman.

• Timothy McGinley, Kingston, a Wyoming Valley West School Board member, prior 12-year county council member and retired nonprofit administration director.

• Matt Mitchell, Plains Township, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator at the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority.   Rumor has  it that tickets might be sold to see Mark Shaffer and Steve Urban square off with McGinley and Mitchell officiating.,

IN THE LAC: All was calm,  no drama. 



Eugene DePasquale, the former state auditor general, beat a crowded field of opponents to win the Democratic primary for the open attorney general seat. He will face Republican David Sunday in what’s expected to be competitive general election race.  My candidate, Jared Solomon finished a respectable second.




What is voting “present” on the House floor mean? Sometimes in Washington, you can take sides by doing absolutely nothing.

When a bill or amendment is up for a vote, a Representative may vote “aye”, “no”, or “present”, which is a refusal to take sides. A “present” vote does not count towards or against the passage of a bill, but it contributes towards the quorum, which is the minimum number of Members required in attendance for the body to conduct business legally.

So Meuser, not wishing to piss off his four times indicted, currently on trial President used a tactic to DO NOTHING!  What a profile in courage here! But  I can’t blame the guy for cozening up to the MAGAs in his backyard. Howeverr if there are voters in the 9th who care about Ukraine and future democracy in Eastern Europe (Dan doesn’t seem to be a Haukski type of guy!) vote for his opponent Amanda  Waldman.



In Luzerne County there were no issues at the polling places. A great job by a former coworker of mine Emily Cook, her staff as well as Coiunty Manager Romilda Crocomo for an uneventful night.



I don’t know how this thing will work out but it appeared Trump wants to go to jail for contempt of court. If I were the Judge, I’d cite him but reserve the right to jail him AFTER the trial. I’d say, “Whether you are guilty or innocent, either way, after the verdict you’re doing  the  30 days.” I’ll have to consult a Judge on that one.



Congressman Matt Cartwright (Photo: LuLac archives)

Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler (NY-17) re-introduced the Help Extend Auditory Relief  (HEAR) Act to expand hearing benefits for seniors on Medicare.

Approximately 15 percent of American adults (41 million) report some degree of hearing loss, according to the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). This includes nearly one-third of individuals aged 65-74 and nearly half of those over 75.

Left untreated, hearing loss can dramatically impact the health and wellbeing of older adults. Research indicates that older adults with hearing loss experience a faster decline in cognitive abilities and have a greater risk of developing dementia compared to older adults with normal hearing. Hearing loss can also increase social isolation and loneliness and has even been linked to an increased risk for falls, among seniors.

For many individuals, hearing aids offer a simple solution. They are dependable, nearly invisible, and can significantly improve quality of life. Yet for older adults on fixed incomes, hearing aids can be prohibitively expensive. This is especially true for older adults who require prescription hearing aids, which can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per pair. Despite this, traditional Medicare does not cover prescription hearing aids or related hearing services.

The Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR) Act would rectify this by:

         Requiring Medicare to cover hearing rehabilitation services, including a comprehensive audiology assessment to determine if a hearing aid is appropriate, a threshold test to determine audio acuity, and various services associated with fitting, adjusting, and using hearing aids.

“Hearing loss among older Americans is common, and more serious conditions like depression and anxiety often follow if it’s not addressed. Exams and hearing aids are simple ways to mitigate hearing loss, but those resources are far too costly without insurance coverage,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This common-sense bill supported by both Democrats and Republicans will extend Medicare coverage for prescription hearing aid devices so seniors can access these life-enhancing solutions without breaking their bank.”

“I’m thrilled to be co-leading the Help Extend Auditory Relief (HEAR Act) with Representative Cartwright, which would expand Medicare access for millions of Americans, ensuring they have the ability to get the hearing aids they need and deserve,” said Congressman Lawler. “I will never stop fighting for our seniors, those who are disabled, and those who need a helping hand - we are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable in our society, and this bill goes a long way towards helping them.”

Elements of this bill were included in the landmark Lower Drug Costs Now Act, passed by the U.S. House in December 2019. The taxpayer savings generated from empowering Medicare to take on big drug companies and negotiate lower prices for Americans on Medicare and private insurance would have been partly reinvested to implement the HEAR Act’s provisions to expand Medicare Part B coverage of  hearing benefits.

This legislation is endorsed by the Center for Hearing and Deaf Services, Hearing Loss Association of America, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) and the SeniorLAW Center.

“With one in five Pennsylvanians being over 65 there is growing number of seniors having hearing loss,” said Barbara Kelley, Executive Director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. “Representative Cartwright’s legislation will help people afford hearing aids to stay engaged, active and in many cases, working beyond age 65. Hearing health is part of overall health, and the cost of hearing aids can be a barrier to treatment. This bill will help reduce those barriers.”

This legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Mike Lawler (R-NY-17), Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Mark Takano (D-CA-39) and Mike Thompson (D-CA-05).




Senator Bob Casey (Photo: LuLac archives)

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the Long Term Care Workforce Support Act. This comprehensive bill would ensure caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career by providing substantial new funding to support workers in every part of the long-term care industry, from nursing homes to home-care to assisted living facilities. The bill comes as the Nation faces a caregiving crisis marked by widespread worker shortages due to low pay and long hours across the essential industry.

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is supported by a wide swath of organizations working on behalf of care workers, older adults, and people with disabilities who rely on care to live with health and dignity. See below what they are saying about how this legislation will transform the caregiving workforce and the availability and accessibility of high-quality care:

Ai-Jen Poo, CEO and President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance: “Our care workers need and deserve good jobs, including better pay, benefits, and access to paid leave. As the foundation of our entire workforce, these essential workers provide life-giving care that enables our families and communities to thrive — but without greater public investment, they remain trapped in cycles of poverty. The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is an important step forward in strengthening our long-undervalued and underfunded care workforce. We applaud Senator Bob Casey for his leadership on this issue.”

Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union: “Direct care workers form the backbone of the long-term care system, and the growing workforce crisis limits access to crucial services, preventing elders and people with disabilities from receiving high quality, person-centered care in the setting that’s best for them and their families. This crisis is exacerbated by low pay, poor job quality and a lack of respect for the workforce, which consists largely of women of color. The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act will make important new investments across the long-term care workforce, raising wages, expanding access to training and opportunities for professional advancement, and helping to ensure that care jobs are good jobs.”

Joe Macbeth, CEO and President of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals: “For decades, the long-term supports and services system has failed to adequately address its workforce challenges. These issues have been researched, documented and shared with policy makers at the state and federal levels on a regular basis. We know that building a competent and stable workforce is a key lynchpin to the success of the Long-Term Supports and Services and the millions of Americans who rely on it. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals thanks Senator Casey for introducing the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act that takes a bold step to finally invest the financial recourses and worker protections into building and strengthening the most important element of long-term care – the direct support workforce.”

Edwin S. Jayne, Director of Federal Government Affairs, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: “The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is a crucial step toward building a more equitable, sustainable and compassionate care economy…This crucial legislation not only underscores the importance of protecting the health and well-being of our nation’s aging population and individuals with disabilities, but also represents a vital step in bolstering the care economy by recognizing the indispensable contributions of direct care workers.”

Kenneth Hobby, President, and Maynard Friesz, Vice President of Policy of Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Dystrophy): “Cure SMA is pleased to support the Long-term Care Workforce Support Act. Your legislation would help address the caregiving crisis faced by individuals with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other disabilities by investing in public-private strategies to expand caregiving services and strengthen the long-term care workforce…Cure SMA and the entire SMA community appreciate your leadership and efforts to expand caregiving services and strengthen the long-term care workforce for individuals with SMA and other disabilities.”

Amy Robins, Senior Director of Policy, PHI National: “This is a historic piece of legislation designed to systematically improve direct care job quality and address the workforce crisis in long-term care. PHI has enthusiastically endorsed this comprehensive bill.”

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is endorsed by 50 organizations, including Domestic Workers Alliance, SEIU, AFSCME, Caring Across Generations, National Coalition on Aging (NCOA), Justice in Aging, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).




Governor Josh Shapiro (Photo: LuLac archives)

Governor Josh Shapiro joined Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Reggie McNeil, Constellation President & CEO Joseph Dominguez, and Lightsource bp Senior Vice President Alyssa Edwards to unveil the Commonwealth’s renewable energy initiative, the Pennsylvania Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy (PA PULSE). By next year, Pennsylvania will get 50 percent of its electricity from ten new solar arrays around the Commonwealth – making Pennsylvania the first state in the country to commit to getting half of its energy from solar power. With that commitment, Pennsylvania is leading the nation in getting energy from renewable resources that include solar and wind power, beating out states traditionally known for clean energy like California and Texas.

DGS has entered into a contract with Constellation for a 15-year fixed price agreement – so even as energy costs rise, Pennsylvania’s rate will stay the same – saving Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars while providing reliable, sustainable, and affordable electricity in the long term.

“When I announced my energy plan last month, I made clear that we must reject the false choice between protecting jobs and the economy and protecting the environment,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “The historic PA PULSE initiative, which began under the previous Administration, is proof we can do both – investing in reliable, affordable power in the long-term. With our energy plan and innovative projects like PA PULSE, my Administration will create energy jobs, take real action to address climate change pollution, ensure consumers pay less on their bills, and continue to ensure Pennsylvania maintains its energy independence for years to come.”

“We applaud Governor Shapiro for his leadership on growing Pennsylvania’s economy with clean power at the foundation, “said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “At Constellation, we are proud to partner with the state on this project to power vital state agencies with clean energy and keep the Commonwealth on course to a carbon-free future.”

“These projects are shining examples of how a public-private partnership is advancing the energy transition, providing a cleaner, healthier environment for the community – along with increased energy security and independence,”said Emilie Wangerman, Head of USA, Chief Operating Officer (interim) at Lightsource bp. “The partners – Constellation, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Lightsource bp – are mutually aligned in our goal to maximize its benefits for our local communities.”

“This visionary project aligns seamlessly with Governor Shapiro’s dedication to combatting climate change by significantly reducing carbon emissions. The successful installation and launch of the first three solar farms during the first quarter of this year created over 200 union jobs and is a promising start toward our renewable energy goals,” said DGS Secretary Reggie McNeil. “Upon the completion of all 10 solar arrays, PA PULSE will enable the Commonwealth to slash its carbon footprint by a staggering 157,800 metric tons of CO2 annually. That is equivalent to removing emissions from nearly 35,000 fuel-burning cars each year.”

The PA PULSE initiative includes ten solar arrays, built, owned, and operated by Lightsource bp across six Pennsylvania counties: Columbia, Juniata, Crawford, Northumberland, Snyder, and York. In total, the project will supply 361,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually to 16 Commonwealth agencies, making it the largest solar commitment by any state. PA PULSE will reduce the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint by 157,800 metric tons of CO2 each year – the equivalent of 34,000 gas-powered cars – and create 200 jobs. The solar arrays are setback from nearby property lines and use discreet fencing with wildlife planted around them to avoid disrupting residents. Many solar farms also become habitats for new wildlife, and the soil will be protected from erosion.

PA PULSE began under the Wolf Administration and was spearheaded by the Pennsylvania GreenGov Council – co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources. The Council works to advance energy efficiency across state agencies through projects like PA PULSE that lower emissions while cutting costs for Pennsylvanians.

This initiative builds on Governor Shapiro’s energy plan, which would lower energy costs for consumers, create more than 14,500 jobs, and help Pennsylvania maintain its energy independence. As part of his bold vision for Pennsylvania’s energy future, Governor Shapiro is proposing two critical initiatives that together will lower prices for consumers, create and protect Pennsylvania jobs, and lower climate emissions.

Following the recommendations of the Governor’s RGGI Working Group, which brought together labor leaders, environmental advocates, and industry to evaluate the merits of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Governor is proposing the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act (PACER) to establish a Pennsylvania-specific cap-and-invest program that allows Pennsylvania to determine its own cap on energy sector carbon pollution and invest directly in lowering consumers’ electricity bills. Under PACER, 70 percent of the revenue will be directed back to Pennsylvania residents as a rebate on their electric bill – more than any other cap-and-invest program in the nation – resulting in long-term, price relief on energy costs. PACER allows Pennsylvania to chart its own energy future, independent from the influence both from foreign oil and other states’ energy policies.

Governor Shapiro’s plan calls for a second legislative initiative, as well, to build out a more diverse, reliable, and affordable energy sector. Pennsylvania is currently 45th in the nation in terms of investing in clean energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower. That’s why Governor Shapiro’s plan introduces the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS), which will attract federal investments in the Commonwealth and keep utility costs low in the long-term by building out the reliable, affordable fleet of power sources we will need for the decades to come.

PACER and PRESS are designed to work together to deliver on Governor Shapiro’s goals of protecting and creating energy jobs, lowering energy costs for Pennsylvanians, and ensuring Pennsylvania’s energy independence for the long term. Together they will spur a new generation of energy development and save consumers money each month on their electricity bills, all while reducing emissions and building the most reliable fleet of energy resources in the nation.






One thing I’ll say about Robert Cordaro, WILK’s own late morning Mussolini sans balcony, he never disappoints with his hate, ignorance and jealousy of President Biden. The one time Democratic candidate (yes he was a Democrat) was at it again last week when he was pissing and moaning saying that Congressman Cartwright and Senator Bob Casey were distancing themselves from Biden’s visit in Scranton. He said they purposely stayed away because Biden was politically a drag. 


See the reason why Cartwright and Casey weren’t there was because they were in Washington WORKING. Once more he LIED (like all Trumpanzees) and screamed his hate like he does every day to make himself…I don’t know feel important again.




Award winning journalist Steve Corbett has returned to the media scene with the Scranton City News. His skillful  Hemingwayesque writing style and belief system is quite interesting providing a different perspective that is sorely lacking  from the new owners of The Scranton Times. Since leaving radio (which was a loss) Corbett has had two published novels, three free online novels, plus a number of essays and short stories. This summer a new novel will be coming out with a California book tour.

Although I wish he'd leave my man Scranton Joe alone, his news venture has interesting stuff.  Here's the link: News – The Outlaw Steve Corbett (






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Centers for Disease Control says virus discovered in France causes AIDS…..Franz Weber of Austria skis downhill at a record 209.8 kph…Montreal Expo David Palmer no-hits St Louis Cards, 4-0 in a perfect 5 inn game. During the second game of a Busch Stadium doubleheader on Saturday, April 21, 1984, Palmer retired the first 15 St. Louis Cardinals he faced as a light rain started falling in the fourth and intensified by the fifth. Palmer’s accomplishment was considered official until September 1991, when the Committee for Statistical Accuracy, chaired by then MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the official definition of a no hitter, declaring it a game of nine innings or more that ends with no hits. The stringent definition eliminated 36 no-hitters from the books that were shortened by rain, darkness or other reasons, as well as two losing efforts by the away team in which the home team doesn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth…… CBS premiere of TV film "Pope John Paul II", starring Albert Finney in title role….President Ronald Reagan visits China.The presidential party had taken its time crossing the Pacific; as a consequence, Reagan was well rested when he arrived. After vacationing briefly at his ranch near Santa Barbara, California, Reagan flew on Air Force One to Honolulu for a series of meetings with U.S. military leaders. From there, the presidential plane went to Guam, where Reagan spent the night. It then took him to Bali, Indonesia, for a few days before finally touching down in Beijing. As Reagan’s reelection bid approached, the president sought to highlight his desire to improve the diplomatic relationship with Chinese leadership at a time of growing trade between the two nations. Other topics that came up included U.S. help to China to develop commercial nuclear power and China’s displeasure with continuing U.S. support for nationalists in Taiwan. The two nations ratified four documents on avoiding double taxation and tax evasion…..and this week in 1984 the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police.


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