Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The hottest race in the county is for Cororner. I'm sure there was a reason in the past why the Coroner was elected but it doesn't apply today. Forensic science is such a technical specialty that maybe we shouldn't not elect this office but hire the best person available.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Todd Vonderheid said an estimated $50 million to $100 million in public infrastructure damage has been caused countywide by four floods that occurred since he took office in 2004.
Devastating flooding is occurring where it has never happened before, he said.
Hey points out "the causal relationship between the disorganized and uncoordinated development patterns and this damage that has already cost the taxpayers and private individuals and insurance companies millions and millions of dollars in Luzerne County."
The solution is to use the countywide storm water management plan but it is not mandatory. Instead of handing out tax breaks and taxpayer loans to every company that promises to produce a few jobs the state should look at the consequences of paving everything in sight.
UPDATE: From The Central PA Gazelle
(PARADISE) - A developer today announced plans to purchase the entire Lancaster County community of Paradise, pave over it and put up a parking lot.
Our local guy has the balls to go on the Better Know a District segment of the Colbert Report despite what Rahm Emanuel thinks.
U.S. Rep. Chris Carney is ready for his close-up, even if a veteran
colleague is advising freshmen Democratic members of Congress not to go on the
Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report.”
In January, Mr. Carney told The Daily Item that he received an invitation to appear on Steven [sic] Colbert’s
satirical show that usually features Washington politicians.
But according to The Hill, a newspaper that covers the Congress, Democratic Caucus chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, is telling newcomers to Capital Hill to stay off the show and, apparently, avoid any embarrassing situations.
Mr. Carney isn’t worried, though. His spokeswoman, Rebecca Gale, said Friday that he’s “shown himself to be a leader” and will follow his own instincts and do “the best for the people of his district.”
And if that means going on a television show, Mr. Carney’s up for it.
“He really is an independent,” Ms. Gale said, adding
if he does appear on “The Colbert Report” he’ll do fine. “He has a great sense
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
It looks like a letter sent from Mayor Lou Barletta.
Inside the envelope, it becomes more clear that this is not a note sent from Hazleton or the mayor. It’s a fundraising effort from a Colorado-based legal group giving free legal advice to the city to defend its illegal immigration ordinance. The money raised from this mailing does not go into Hazleton coffers.
What's the old saying, if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.
CV: Blue Cross gave the Democratic Governors Association two contributions of $35,000, according to U.S. Internal Revenue...Unlike donations made by Blue Cross Voice PAC, the non-profit health insurance company’s employee-funded political action committee, the money for the governors association came directly from revenues Blue Cross earns through premiums paid by its 600,000 subscribers and investment income from its surplus...The decision to contribute to the governors association was made by Blue Cross CEO Denise Cesare.
Blue Cross has a PAC that is funded by employee contributions and can give to whoever they want. But using premiums to contribute to political campaigns is another diversion of the surplus they have accumulated and should be out of bounds. They are also planning to spend $175 million of the surplus to integrate local health-care systems and support the creation of a local medical school. Worthy projects but that's not we paid our premiums for.
State Rep. Phyllis Mundy, who has repeatedly criticized Blue Cross for building a surplus instead of lowering its rates or offering rebates to subscribers, said she was “100 percent opposed to this kind of activity.”“This seems extremely egregious if it came out of ratepayer dollars or money earned on ratepayer dollars through investment,” the Kingston Democrat said.
Blue Cross of NEPA is also very stingy when it comes to health care coverage of it's employees and retirees. They just settled a lawsuit over a promise to provide lifetime coverage that they reneged on.
Benefits lawsuit vs. Blues settled
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Marsilio Campaign Calls for the Attorney’s General Office to Investigate District Attorney David Lupas
When David Lupas lost the Hugo Selenski murder trial he blamed the Judge.. He made up allegations that had no factual basis in order to have the Judge remove himself from the second Selenski Trial.
When Mr. Lupas had a case dismissed because it was not brought to trial on time he blamed an Assistant District Attorney and said it was the Assistant’s fault.
When the newspapers ran a story on all the cases that have been dismissed because they weren’t brought to trial on time, Mr. Lupas blamed the Police.
Now a man, Lewis Jones, has been murdered because Mr. Lupas ignored a Court Order made on March 5th to issue a Warrant for the arrest of the man who killed Mr. Jones. This Court Order was made 8 days before Mr. Jones was killed. Mr Lupas has blamed the Public Defender’s Office and said he ignored the Judge’s Order because they asked him not to issue the Warrant.
Where does it end? When is Mr. Lupas responsible for something?
Mr. Lupas is telling the voters he intentionally ignored a Court Order because he was asked to. What right does Mr. Lupas have to ignore a Court Order because someone allegedly asked him to?
The Attorney General’s Office should be called in to conduct an investigation of Mr. Lupas and the District Attorney’s Office and make an independent determination of the culpability of Mr. Lupas for the death of Lewis Jones. The Attorney General’s Office should decide if criminal charges are warranted against Mr. Lupas in the death of Lewis Jones. No one, not even the District Attorney, is above the Law.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Some of my favorite blogs have moved, redecorated or quit.
Rick Santorum's favorite reporter Brett Lieberman has had a wandering URL that hopefully has found a home at Pennsyltucky Politics. John Micek has brightened up his place at Capitol Ideas with new drapes, wallpaper and may have even trimmed his beard. Thanks for all the shoutouts guys.
Northeast PA media news and gossip has revamped the layout and launched a new message board. Another Monkey is back to posting pictures and artwork that I enjoy and has added some seasonal pics to NEPA Blogs.
On the down side my friend Randy Potter has decided to spend more time on what's is really important and stop blogging but will keep PennPatriot Online up to prevent the spammers from taking over the domain. And adding to my reputation as the kiss of death of local blogs I listed a few new ones at NEPA Blogs that stopped posting right after I linked to them. Also my old friend and nemesis Dr. Rick seems to have been anesthetized.
Back to winter. On this cold, snowy night I give you this picture of Rudy Giuliani in drag to keep you warm.
The people who live near the proposed site of the Hazleton Cargo Airport predictably started yelling NIMBY and doubting the job creation numbers that have been floated. The potential environmental damage hasn't even been explored. Paving a big chunk of forest is going to create runoff problems. Gladstone Partners is already trying to put one local business, Paragon Adventure Park, out of business and many other property owners worry that they may get screwed by the use of eminent domain by John Doe and company.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged senior citizens , Or to take arms against a sea of troubles in an election year, And by opposing end them?
Or just kick it down the road. Our Hamlets on the Susquehanna have found another way to delay the long overdue property tax assessment for the 3rd time. The last one was in 1965 so what's the hurry? The Bond Brothers aka Luzerne County Commissioners Todd Vonderheid and Greg Skrepenak voted Wednesday to delay reassessment another year. What the hell, they found some cover from the appraisal company that said it's alright because of more time needed to review properties because of declining real estate values in some areas, a recent flood and new growth indicators. The contract with 21st Century Appraisals Inc. expires March 31 and they're willing to extend it for a mere $850,000 because they want to get it right. But no political considerations affected this decision. Republican Commissioner Steve Urban has been screaming "politics " since the first delay but Skrep denies that. Who do you believe?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Laflin is a nice place with well kept properties and one of my favorite restaurants, Dan's Keystone Grille. It has forest and creek and trails but I think it the most well known for is having one of the first upscale developments in the area called Oakwood Park or "millionaires row" as the locals call it. When I was a kid that was one of the best addresses around. I have no idea who lives there now but the houses and yards are well kept but nothing spectacular.
Now Dorothy Yazurlo is the new mayor and I wish her well. I don't know her very well but I've dealt with her professionally. I found her to be hard headed, detail oriented and fiercely loyal to her employees. Many tell me they miss her. She's also a ton of fun leading her Red Hat ladies all over the place.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Dr. Jack Consalvo has the job now after being appointed by the Governor to fill out the term of late, great Dr. George Huddock. I had the pleasure of having lunch with Dr. Huddock a few times when he wanted to talk business, needless to say I didn't eat much. We'll never see the likes of him again. A trained pathologist who never had to spend a dime to get reelected. W-B Area School Director and undertaker John Corcoran is also running for the job.
Paul Golias recently suggested that Coroners position should be eliminated and a regional medical examiner's office should be created. I'm for that. There was probably a time the coroner should be elected but it has passed. In this world of highly technical forensic pathology the coroner should be hired not elected.
The only issues in this case are whether Hazleton's ordinance violates federal and commonwealth law" by addressing immigration policy, a power normally reserved to the federal government, similar to foreign policy and trade, Walczak said.
If Hazleton loses this case the city's taxpayer will be liable for some hefty legal bills then we will see if people still consider Lou Barletta a small town defender or a publicity seeking irresponsible fool. What started as stunt to help Rick Santorum's reelection chances has taken on a life of it's own. After being on 60 Minutes it must be hard to admit that this is not a wise course of action.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Selenski rips DA for delay tactics, denies he’s seeking publicity
Hugo is a keen observer of the local political scene as it relates to him. Some choice quotes:
It appears we’re headed for a systematical slow walk through the system that’s been pre-ordained to allow you to scurry out of the DA’s office leaving the mess you’ve made to the future DA...You hid behind closed doors in the first trial and you’re going to run from this trial...
He makes a couple of good points. Mr. Lupas didn't prosecute the first trial and wants to run out the clock on this one. And he says he wont appeal the next ruling on the escape charges but puts out this challenge:
The escape issue has been an arduous battle between us. Don’t let us all down by handing the case to an assistant to argue at trial.
One last thing, you continuously accuse me of “seeking publicity.” That seems to be your “cure all” statement toward dealing with me. The truth of the matter is that I only speak to the media on occasions that you irritate me to the point of speaking out. (I guess we can say it’s a weakness of mine that I have a short temper when it comes to you.)
Hugo has turned down many requests for interviews by the big media. Too bad. Imagine him on the Nancy Grace show? And he has another issue with Lupas:
If you continue to run your mouth with this asinine statement that I’m “seeking publicity” I’m going to show you how quickly you can become a national comic instead of just a local one.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
That seems to sum up the rap I've heard on the only Republican Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban. He's running for another term but has a bunch of competition which is probably good news for him.
Bill James will make the race which is good because we would be dissapointed if he didn't. Dave Shipula is learning computer skills courtesy of the Hanover Area taxpayers and defends the rights of beer distributors. He is the President of the Malt Beverage Distributors Association and reminds us that "Alcohol is not like other consumer goods. If not properly controlled, alcohol can be dangerous!" Crestwood School Board member Bill Jones may not have all the answers but he asks the right questions. He is the only candidate that has the aversion to debt that I have.
Christine Katsock's entry into the race has thrown the whole thing up into the air. The conventional wisdom is that she will eat into Urban's vote and may sink them both.
I hope I'm wrong but the way I see it shaking out is that Skrep and Petrilla win the Dems nod and Urban and one the others are the GOP's nominees and the after the general election the commissioners are Skrep, Petrilla and Urban.
Friday, March 09, 2007
If a guy convicted of perjury who used to work for the VP when many agree he was covering up for his boss but took the fall then changed a name on a tax lien and married another candidate for election in the same jurisdiction and recorded record profits after pitchers and catchers reported to the Yankees camp in Moosic who's team didn't get picked for March Madness after Al Gore appeared on the Weather Channel after he worked out in Spring Training.
I'm a bit confused.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
DA: Feds eyeing ‘Doe’ flap
Changing the name on a tax lien for a pal may or may not be a crime but it sure doesn't look good. Our crusading District Attorney/Judicial candidate typically punted the issue, “Because it involves federal Internal Revenue Service issues and federal liens, it would be looked at by officials at that level,” he said.
A Big Fat Slob and The Lu Lac Political Letter have more. Like many of us Mark wants to see Jill in a tube top.
Everybody is up in arms over the response to the Valentines Day snow storm from all levels of government but there will be very few changes. You can't fire the Governor even if he might deserve it. The Mayor of Wilkes-Barre is up for reelection but no serious candidate is taking him on. A few weeks ago the Yonk did a rundown of politicains getting sunk by some weather event. My little Burgh of Plains Twp did an outstanding job but I don't give any of the politicians credit or blame them for the streets that got missed the first time plowing. Our DPW guys cleared the snow as best as they could. It's not everyday that 2 feet of snow is dropped on your head.
To me the question comes down to Article I, sec. 8 of the US Constitution: The Congress shall have power...To establish a uniform rule of naturalization.
Can a political subdivision of a state supersede the authority of the Congress?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Former Police Chief Tony George will not run because "I would rather spend the time with my family." Can't blame him for that.
Tim Grier has filed petitions to run for city council and Mayor. We'll see what office he wants to run for.
There's a Republican!
Republican Linda Stets said she will run for city council and mayor with a focus on on the neighborhoods. I did a Google search but didn't come up with much.
A list of who's running for what is available at the Luzerne County website.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
She said she did not give her law partner special treatment and would treat others the same. Yeah, right. LV Dem's Beware of the Good Ole Boys tells us how it works.
This guy is involved in just about everything, the Hazleton airport, the sweethart deal of the juvi prison in Pittston and other projects that the taxpayers financed.
Another reason why this job should not be an elected position. Chris reminded me of it.
I'm in that boat right now. I don't want to go into the details-YET! But we're all subject to some sort of intellectual property dispute by publishing a blog. This might help some of my fellow bloggers.
Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.