Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day

I think I have have watched every inauguration since 1972. Since 1800 when Jefferson took over from Adams this country has witnessed the peaceful transfer of power or continuation without a shot being fired as Senator Lamar Alexander reminded us today.

There are 2 pageants of American government,  this and the State of the Union speech.  

Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama in my lifetime. The speeches escape me.

Why some people who profess to be patriots and Constitution adherents would boycott the day is puzzling. You lost an election so go get them next time.

TV Blackout on Monday



Sunday, January 20, 2013

YouTube Weekend

Aggie, Joe, CPC and many others have wondered why I haven't posted lately. Thank you for the encouragement and concern. I had an illness that I wouldn't post on Facebook and just got into my midwinter funk with the resulting writers block,  that and playing too many video games.

CPC told me that YouTube Weekend is his 2nd favorite feature just behind Polka Friday on WILK so here is a song from one of his favorite artist.

Don't be a drag Just be a Queen.

President Obama was sworn in for a 2nd term. \\

My bride has also pointed out that I have neglected her .

Friday, January 11, 2013

Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera for Luzerne County Council

Larksville resident Renee Ciaruffoli-Taffera is the first candidate to announce a bid for Luzerne County Council. CV: She was an active member of the "Friends of Home Rule" campaign committee and aggressively campaigned for the successful adoption of the charter. Since then, she has attended and participated in more than 160 meetings and forum events.

 She has been a regular at council meetings raising concerns about the prison K-9 unit and advised that the county should ignore the Affordable Care Act until it's fully implemented in 2014.

On her website she lists 45 cost savings ideas.

Some highlights:

3.     Consider abolishing flood authority, bring in-house reduced redundant operations

6.     Re-negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements like we mean it.

8.     Consider outsourcing functions through attrition  

17.   Eliminate Passport Office, it's a Federal mandated function, not County (not a profit center)

19.   Lease moon lake pool to a for-profit organization (get a piece of the action)

 24.   Scrutinize KOZ’s

 29.   Have employees pay a greater share of health benefits.

 37.   Eliminate monthly fee for Kronos system and get rid of it all together. 

 44.   Stop monetizing delinquent tax claims

She is running for a Democratic nomination.

A toilet on a candidate's website might be a first. 

5 seats on the Luzerne County Council are spot are up for reelection next year. Democrats Elaine Madden Curry and Linda McClosky Houck and Republicans Harry Haas and Eugene Kelleher along with Independent Rick Williams were the bottom 5 of 11 elected in 2009 so their seats are up this time. The other 6 seats will be decided in 2015.

Monday, January 07, 2013

College Football National Championship

I don't agree with the system but this is the game of the year in College Football. I still haven't got over the 1975 Sugar Bowl. 4 times up the middle.

Go Irish beat the Tide.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Idiot Watch

DUNMORE - Pennsylvania State Police at Dunmore reported that a 22-year-old woman drove from Dickson City south to Laflin on Interstate 81 North at about 5:37 a.m. on New Year's Day....The driver, identified as Paige Cicardo, 22, of Azalea Drive, Albrightsville, was arrested under the suspicion of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment.

 Another reason to stay off the roads on a holiday. Fortunatley no one was  hurt.

Thanks to Michelle for pointing this out.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Controller threatened online

Some genius using the handle "WBYup" has been leaving inflammatory comments on the Times-Leader and Citizens Voice websites over the last few weeks and Luzerne County Controller Walter Griffith has had enough.  The jerk is just probably blowing smoke and thinks he/she is being funny in a sick way but the threats have been referred to DA Stefanie Salavantis by Griffith and Brian Shiner.

TL: One comment that appeared on The Citizens’ Voice website read: “I wish you and Walter were dead!” on Dec. 28th. The comment has been deleted. WBYup also said Shiner was a “DOG” and promised to “tear into” several county council members “like you cannot imagine” if they run for re-election this year. 

This is not an isolated incident. On the 12/19 CV story about Jim Brozena retiring WBYup had these enlightened insights.

WBYup   GIBBONS ... another incompetent! JOE, you'll be the first FIRED when LAWTON gets back on his white horse and rides into the sunset!....Driven away by the corruption and the incompetence that followed! Namely LAWTON and the Council of Cowards
arwalt  The area hates honest people.
WBYup  That's why GRIFFITH goes after all of them!
WB Yup also elevates the discussion on the TL website with these comments on the 1/3/12 story about County Councilors possibly seeking reelection.

...If we even have elections ths year! The cowgirl from Noxen might not have it together for a few more years!
....And, if only two are elected that will vote to fire Lawton 
... Well, that will put the vote count at 6-5 and we'll be delivered from the carpetbagger!
....his comment must bother you, must be all the folks liking it? Well, get this - people HATE Lawton, and plenty of folks here don't like outsiders! Hire a good manager from here not some washed up government-to-government paycheck grabber like Lawton!
And in a true spurt of eloquence we get this on the 1/3/12 CV story about budget maneuvers

WBYup   ....Don't worry, I'm running against Walter.
 ....Nope, never ran for office before, but its time! You have to be voted out, screwball. Get to work and stop using county computers to blog, greaser
... Walter is a FLITHY DOG and I need to let folks now it!
 .... It's gonna be a dirty campaign ... One that really gets at Walter's personal life too.
.... I will beat him like a DOG!
....F U
... Yeah GREASE MONKEY go back to the garbage, you MUPPET!
... EWWW GRIFFITH DOESN'T BATH! I just ran into him and he stinks like bad BO!!!
... He was talking to that COW from NOXEN at Penn!
 .... Griffith's got a face that only a .... Naw, his mother doesn't even love it! What a dog!
... Lawton will wind up in jail like Skrepenak. I can't wait to visit him in prison! I'll gladly take him a bar of soap. They will like his big mushy backside there!
... F U ... See you at the polls with a baseball bat pal!
Wow. If I ever let comments like these to stand on my blog I would get a well deserved browbeating from my regular readers. I say that WB Yup is a "genius" because both papers use the DISQUS system that requires commenter's to sign in with an email address so it's not that hard to figure out what computer they came from. It's just a matter of time before we learn who posted them.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Luzerne County Councillors running for reelection

5 seats on the Luzerne County Council and the Controller's spot are up for reelection next year. Democrats Elaine Madden Curry and Linda McClosky Houck and Republicans Harry Haas and Eugene Kelleher along with Independent Rick Williams were the bottom 5 of 11 elected in 2009 so their seats are up this time. The other 6 seats will be decided in 2015.

In this story by Jennifer Learn Andes in the TL none of them definitely said they will run again but they all sound like candidates. The new form of government is a work in progress and except for 2 members the council seem to be trying to make it work. It will take a few more years to iron out all the kinks and these people want it to work.

This time around we will see plenty of candidates starting to circulate petitions starting Feb. 19th but fewer 3rd party and independent bids.

Republican candidate in 2011 Kathy Dobash sent this along:

I have gone to many Luzerne County Council meetings throughout the year, made comments and it resulted with a lack of response.
I remember a contingent of elderly veterans came to the Luzerne County Council meeting and had to wait over 3 hours before given an opportunity to speak because Mr. Bobeck refused to place them on the agenda.

Many left because of their age and I still recall the words: "Shame on you!"
The 2012 budget contained a tax increase.  Was it really necessary?  The 2013 budget gave a $1,000 bonus for non union employees.
Mr. Lawton was late presenting the 2013 budget and did not comply with the Home Rule Charter.  The 2013 budget revenues are questionable.  It is highly likely the revenue will not materialize without future borrowing.  I have seen Mr. Lawton keep County Council members in the dark about issues facing Luzerne County.  Updates must be provided by the County Manager on County business as required by the Home Rule Charter.  Why is the Charter ignored?
Throughout the year there was much discussion about the County debt, however the majority of Council has continued to spend Bond money without a plan.  Many Council members complain about the County debt but foolishly spend over $30 million of Bond money left over by previous administration.  They raised taxes and gave out bonuses. This sounds like tax the people and spend their money to me.
I will continue to attend Luzerne County Council meetings in 2013.  I will question our County officials on issues important to the residents of Luzerne County.
Happy New Year to the all citizens of Luzerne County,
Kathy Dobash
Hazleton, PA

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

The Senate passed the fiscal cliff deal 89-8 and now it's up to the House to ratify it so we can move onto the next manufactured crises like raising the debt ceiling. I have every confidence that the House of Representatives will find a way to screw this up.

One crises after another that could be avoided if Congress would just do it's job. Many of my friends like to quote the founding fathers to justify the obstruction of the Republican party in the House and Senate but they forget  that our system of government is designed that no one person or group of people can get their way all the time. You have to make a deal.  See the Connecticut Compromise.