The LuLac Edition #1451, Jan. 27th, 2011
TWO YEARS ON
I was working At Blue Cross the day the indictments came down for Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan two years ago yesterday. The call came at 1PM from WYOU TV’s Dawn Miller who at the time produced the WYOU TV News. It turned out that I was a guest non all of their newscasts that night. The talk was that the Judges were going to plea to a deal and get about 7 years each. Word on the street was that this matter would be disposed of quickly. As you can see, apparently that was wishful thinking. More than two years later, the major principles in this case are still roaming the streets. Attorney Bob Powell was seen in a Mountan Top Market in shorts one Sunday looking tanned, rested and ready for who knows what. Judge Conahan who has agreed to testify against his former collegue Mark Ciavarella is awaiting his fate. And Ciavarella is still trying to finesse questions to prospective jurors. When and if this trial takes place, it will be one of the major events of the year.
Newly minted State Representative Tarah Toohill is having some difficulty as she assumes her duties in the Hazleton Area. Toohill has had no trouble in Harrisburg being named to Leadership positions of trust by the new House Majority. But back home in the district office the files have virtually been eliminated. Toohill says there was no transition between her and her vanquished rival Todd Eachus. Plus there are no constituent files from the previous year. Toohill says she is working from scratch and asks anyone who has had a standing request with the district office to please give her an update on what the matter was about. Eachus’ behavior is puzzling. Apparently he has given up all hope of another run, at least in that district.
Wilkes Barre Councilman Bill Barrett is going for another term on City Council. Barrett has been on Council since 2004 and will be running in District D. Barrett is a former Police Chief and has served as Chairman of Wilkes Barre Council.
ISSUES AND EGGS
The League of Women Voters Wilkes Barre Area will hold its annual legislative breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center of King’s College, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre.
Reservations are required and may be made by calling 639-0961. The cost is $15 per person. Local state senators and representatives will be available and guests will have the opportunity to discuss points of interest and concern over breakfast with the legislator of choice. After breakfast the legislators will form a panel to further discuss issues that are important to the general public. A question-and-answer format is followed for the panel with written questions coming from the audience and asked through a moderator.
The Democrats in the State Legislature got slapped around big time by the Republicans who were pretty hungry after being in the minority the last 4 years. Republicans in the state House moved to expand their power over how legislation is considered. They did this by cutting the number of Democrats on committees and overturning amendment procedures passed as a reform change in the wake of the 2005 pay-raise law. The GOP pushed the changes through a raucous Rules Committee meeting over shouting, catcalls and bitter objections from Democrats, who said the changes would disenfranchise their constituents.
Republican leaders said the proposal to permit the tabling of amendments on the floor, and to reduce the number of Democrats on standing committees from 10 to nine, would probably be voted on by the full House on Monday. Republican committee membership would remain at 15.
See, this is something the Democrats really don’t know how to do when they are governing: be ruthless. All the Dems on the national and statewide level want to compromise and they think that in return they’ll get the same consideration from the GOP. They won’t! If the scene in the Rules Committee is any indication, it is likely to be an emotional and highly contentious debate.
Two local legislators, rookies if you will did not go gently into that good night. Sid Michaels Kavulich from the 112th told the Times Leader, ““We represent all parties – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and other third-party citizens – who deserve fair and equitable representation. Closing the door on open, cooperative government, as the Republican leaders seem to be doing, will leave thousands of Pennsylvania citizens without a voice in Harrisburg".
Even more vocal was newly elected Representative Gerald Mullery from Nanticoke representing the 119th. Mullery said it was a matter of disenfranchisement. He said, Democrats represent 45 percent of Pennsylvania residents, and they have a right to be heard,” Mullery said. “What happened today was the opposite of good government and reform because the amendment process is an important part of making everyone’s voice heard. This is Harrisburg at its worst.” When the House reconvenes on Monday, there will be more action and presumably shouting on this set of, ahem, reforms set forth by the GOP.
IT’LL BE A GAS!!
As fundraiser for the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, the popular local modern country band XCountry (pronounced Ex Country) will reunite for one show this Sunday, January 30, at Brew Bros. West on 75 Main Street, Luzerne. XCountry exploded on the local music scene in the winter of 2004 and became Froggy 101’s house band. That led to opening slots for Gretchen Wilson, Kenny Chesney, Sawyer Brown and many others.
The show will be from 5pm to 10pm and will feature 2 other bands. There will also be a basket raffle with great prizes including a flat screen television.
5pm to 6pm – “Southern Sky” members of Abilene and the New York Times Band
6: 30pm to 7:30pm – “ASIZ” classic/modern rock
8:30pm – “XCountry” NEPA’s infamous Modern Country Party Band!
This event is sponsored by the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition which
includes Luzerne County citizens concerned about the potential
problems gas drilling by horizontal fracturing (“fracking”) will bring
to this populated and developed area.
Two immidiate issues of concern for Luzerne County are
1. The building of a potentially dangerous gas compressor station and pipeline directly across the street from the Dallas, PA schools.
2. The building of a hydraulic fracking water treatment facility at the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority that will bring lots heavy tanker trucks through the narrow residential streets. Other concerns include polluted water supplies, toxic waste, radioactive mud, dirty air, depleted water habitat, noise, eminent domain, loss of farmland, loss of tourism, higher crime rates, increased traffic and collisions, lowered property values, and increased taxes. The goal is to protect our communities and environment from exploitative gas drilling.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
State Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, reintroduced legislation (H.B. 224) that would allow local area agencies on aging to take full advantage of state funding for a program that helps residents caring for an older person at home.
Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program reimburses eligible family members for the costs associated with caring for an older person provided they live in the same household. However, its rules bar non-relatives or relatives living outside the senior’s home from accessing the program. That has resulted in many local area agencies on aging being forced to turn back state funding despite having a waiting list for the program. Caring for an elderly parent is no easy task. Hopefully this bill will give caregivers a bit of a leg up.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Shadoe Steele’s guest this week on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is Special guest Jack Blades, founding member and lead singer of "Night Ranger", "Damn Yankees" and Shaw-Blades (Tommy Shaw of Styx) 8 - 9 PM ET this Saturday. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is heard every Saturday Night on WILK AM and FM Radio with ABC News at the top of the hour.
L.A. TARONE SHOW
L.A. Tarone’s guest this week on the Tarone program on WYLN TV 35 will be the principles involved in the documentary on the Agnes Flood. The Tarone show airs: 6:00PM on Thursdays, 12:30PM Saturdays, 8:30AM Sundays, 4:00PM Mondays and 7:30PM Tuesday.
Tune in Sunday Mornings for Brian Hughes Sunday Magazine. Sunday Magazine airs on WARM 590 AM at 9;30AM. This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Jan 30th Brian Hughes interviews Helen Lavelle and Randy Williams about Ibuynepa.com, a new non for profit website that’s helping local businesses compete on the internet. This Week In Harrisburg examines battles between House Democrats and Republicans over the passage of government reform bills and a lack of debate, State Representatives Sid Michael Kavulitch of Lackawanna County & Eddie Day Pashinsky of Luzerne County comment. and House & Senate members discuss proposed legislation to better manage sports related concussions, including testimony by a former Tamaqua Area girls high school basketball player who talks about her own experience dealing with a concussion. And Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Summer Belles and Ann Bramlett Barr from the West Pittston Library about their presidents display, in time for President’s Day.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X,
6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.
Bloody Sunday: The British Army kills 14 unarmed nationalist civil rights marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland.....Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations….King Birendra succeeds his father as King of Nepal...The Committee to ReElect the President, CREEP opens up its offices in downtown Washington in anticipation of the ’72 Presidential race…….Remnants of the Constitution Party in Pennsylvania urge former Third Party Presidential candidate George Wallace to make another independent run for President. The Pennsylvania third party offers Wallace its endorsement at a small rally in Harrisburg……in Wilkes Barre police step up patrols in tiny alleys in the city to cut down on vagrancy and possible nefarious activities……..and in 1972 the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Day After Day” by Badfinger.