Friday, September 30, 2011

You're a slave to that machine

Despite the prediction of my friend Dana I still don't have a cell phone. No matter where I'm at people are either talking on one or checking for text messages. More than once I was having a conversation with someone who was distracted by the device and started texting. I asked if they were transcribing our conversation. I think it's rude.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I like a good joke with a cup o' tea

I spotted this at PoliticsPA

A Primary Challenge for Casey?

Add another Tea Party name to the growing list of candidates for U.S. Senate, with a caveat: this one’s a Democrat and a former candidate for Congress.
Brian Kelly, a retired software engineer and former assistant professor from Wilkes-Barre, is planning to throw his hat in the ring against Senator Bob Casey.

You may remember that Kelly ran in the 2010 Democratic 11th CD primary against incumbent Paul Kanjorski and Lackawanna County Commmissioner Corey O'Brien. I anticipated another candidate to enter that race to difuse the anti-Kanjo vote and he was it. Kelly spent very little money and still managed to get 17% to O'Brien's 34% holding Kanjo under 50% that was an indication that Uncle Paul was in trouble going into the fall. That was a fluke that won't be repeated in the Senate race next year.

Kelly has some interesting views for someone running in a Democratic primary. He will be lucky to get 5% from people who just don't like Senator Bob Casey for one reason or another.

I think that Casey has been an outstanding Senator and will be easily reelected.

Dan Hirshhorn has a survey of the legitimate Republican field

GOP fissures hurt Pa. Senate hopes

The TL covers Republican candidate Tom Smith's visit to the area

Tea party leader challenges Casey

The Yonk has more

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PA Electoral College votes-NEPA reaction

Bill O'Boyle has the reaction from some of our local legislators on Republican State Sen. Dominic Pileggi's (pictured at right) idea of changing the way Pennsylvania awards it's Electoral College votes. In short the Republicans like the idea and the Democrats hate it.

Congressman Lou Barletta: For me, it doesn’t matter, I’ve been targeted since the first day I was elected. It’s an interesting idea; I’m staying open minded on it.”

State Sen. Lisa Baker: “The proposal is an interesting attempt to find a middle ground between those who want to eliminate the Electoral College and those who want to keep the existing system.”

State Rep. Gerald Mullery: “It’s intended to rob many Pennsylvania voters of one of their most fundamental rights of citizenship – the right to have their vote for president count,”

State Sen. John Blake: “Job creation needs to be our number one priority and unfortunately, the proposed changes to the Electoral College will not put anyone back to work.”

State Rep. Phyllis Mundy: “This is an unfair attempt to stack the deck against Democrats,” she said. “I could never support it.”

State Sen. John Yudichak put it best: “It appears Republicans are not satisfied with comfortable majorities in Harrisburg,” he said. “They want a permanent majority beyond the approach of elections and will employ partisan tactics like gerrymandered districts, voter suppression measures, and now an assault on Pennsylvania’s right to vote for a president of the United States to achieve their ends.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dan McCaffery for Attorney General

This dropped into my inbox today

Date: September 27, 2011

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania - Daniel McCaffery announced his candidacy last night for the Office of Attorney General of Pennsylvania. A former Assistant District Attorney and Army Cavalry veteran, McCaffery brings over twenty-years of court-room experience to this office along with the courage necessary to enact real reform in Pennsylvania.

"I am running for Attorney General because I know what I'm doing. I have spent every day of the last twenty years in a courtroom; I've never backed down from a fight and never will." Said McCaffery.

"Over the last five years, we've witnessed a financial meltdown as a result of fraud and greed by Wall street. Millions of families have lost their life savings. These are good hardworking men and women, Pennsylvania families, American families who have lost their life savings, retirements, pensions and their homes. No one is standing up for them."

"As Attorney General, I will create the most aggressive law enforcement agency in the nation, hold these offenders accountable, and bring them to justice... This is about protecting Pennsylvanian Families from financial crimes and rooting out fraud against taxpayers, Political corruption is rampant and white collar crime goes unpunished." Said McCaffery.

The link to his website included in the email takes you to a signup page instead of a welcome page that I find annoying. He also has a Facebook fan page and a YouTube Channel.

He joins Democrats Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy in the race. The only announced Republican is State Senator John Rafferty.

Flavor of the month

I remember the last time around in the Republican nominating process when some of my Republican friends thought Fred Thompson was the answer to their prayers because they were unhappy with the field especially front runner John McCain. That worked out well.

This time many of the true faithful want an alternative to next one in line , Mitt Romney. Michelle Bachman created a buzz for a bit even winning the Iowa straw poll until Rick Perry got in the race and stole her thunder. Now Perry is fizzling out after his less than stellar debate performances losing the Florida GOP straw poll to the pizza guy.

So now the hope is that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will get into the race despite his previous statements like "short of suicide, I don't really know what I'd have to do to convince you people that I'm not running. I'm not running." The blunt talking Governor telling people to
"get the hell off the beach." as Hurricane Irene was bearing down and telling Washington to get it's act together after the disaster

“You want to figure out budget cuts, that’s fine..You’re going to turn it into a fiasco like that debt-limit thing where you’re fighting with each other for eight or nine weeks and you expect the citizens of my state to wait? They’re not gonna wait, and I’m going to fight to make sure that they don’t,” Christie said putting the Tea Party-driven House on notice that its slash and gut politics will not be tolerated.

He also defended his choice of a Muslim as a Judge saying "Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all, it’s crazy!"

Yep, he will go far in this atmosphere.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some photos from Blogfest

I decided to do a separate post with a few pictures from Blogfest as I was inspired by LuLac's IN FOCUS feature but nothing can top Yonk's Angels. I lifted a few of these from Photo Bucket. Note to my friend Joe V., we don't have a spending problem we have an unemployment problem.

The turnout was great again despite the crummy weather. A big thanks to Gene Rooney and his staff for another outstanding job.

Libertarian candidate for Mayor of Wilkes-Barre Betsy Summers with an old Young Democrat Bob Caruso. Bob and I were in the YD's a few years back and I consider him one of my political mentors. We had backing from the boss at the time, Senator Marty Murray. My local committeeman Thomas Shibula and Mike Szustak are now leaders in the organization.

Republican nominee for Mayor of Wilkes-Barre Lisa Cope with Democratic Luzerne County Council nominee Michelle Bednar and friend. The great thing about Blogfest is that party labels are left at the door. Everybody has a good time.

Local blogger Karla Porter did a great job during the latest flood crises setting up a Facebook page that kept us up to date while filtering out rumors that were not true. Duke from Dallas can be heard on WILK in the week's he hasn't been banned by Bosco or Sue. Karin Spak does great work with the Fresh Air Fund. My friend Harry Haas is a Republican candidate for Luzerne County Council.

James O'Meara, Sr. is running as a Republican candidate for commissioner in the Democratic
stronghold of Plains Township. It's about time we elect a Republican in my little burgh. Michelle Hryvnak Davies has been the driving force in reviving NEPA Blogs that DB Echo started a few years ago and I have slacked off on updating. Her tech savy and enthusiasm has helped the site become something of a media sensation with radio appearances and a regular gig on WBRE.

Judge candidate Molly Mirabito talks with 11th CD candidate Bill Vinsko with County Council candidate Rick Morelli in the background. Morelli has a big job ahead of him, he helped write the charter and if elected has to make it work.

Mike Vough is a double nominee for the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas but that doesn't mean he isn't out there asking for every vote. Next to him is one of my favorite people in politics, Patrick Murphy. As a Congressman he wrote the legislation to amend the UCMJ to end the DADT policy and is now running for PA Attorney General. The weather was terrible as he was coming up the interstate and could have easily bailed on the event but he kept his promise to me. Thank you Pat. On the end is Bill Vinsko who is the only announced candidate so far for the Democratic nomination in the 11th CD taking on Lou Barletta.
We don't even know what the district will look like yet but he decided to get out there early instead of playing it safe.

I don't have the time to link and label everything in the last 2 posts that I think violates some sort of blogger rule that someone invented without asking any bloggers for input.

My apologises.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blogfest-2011 fall edition postgame


Will the rain ever let up? There was more flash flooding yesterday that made it difficult to get to Pittston for our semi-annual get together. I understand that many people just couldn't make it because of the weather. We dealt with basement flooding then a bunch of detours to get to Rooney's but 100+ hearty souls made it.


My fellow host bloggers made it along with some other local scribes . DB Echo and Michelle had a nice display set up, you have to catch their act on TV. The Yonk had a TV gig that made him a little late accompanied by Mrs. LuLac. Joe Valenti took a break from cleaning up the devastation at his home and snapped pictures all night. Tom Borthwick attracted a few Lackawanna political types and Justin Vacula talking with Bible Buck was priceless. Some non political bloggers including Karla Porter made it..

Many candidates in the upcoming election and their supporters made the rounds.


Most of the hopefuls for Luzerne County Judge of Common Pleas made an appearance. Dick Hughes was the first one I spotted followed shortly by Lesa Gelb. Mike Vough and Joe Sklarosky hung out most the night along with Molly Mirabito. I'm having a hard time deciding to vote for in this race and was surprised that some of them agreed with me that Judge's shouldn't even be elected. Do you think that Michael Conahan could have passed a background check?


I had the pleasure of talking with 2 of the 3 candidates for Mayor Wilkes-Barre. Libertarian Betsy Summers has become a pal over the years and I promised her I would never publish a picture of her eating a corn dog or ice cream cone. I save that sort of snark for Presidential candidates. Lisa Cope is the Republican nominee who wants the best for her city.

As expected we had a bunch of candidates for Luzerne County Council.

Blast from the past Ed Brominski likes his chances ( I really wish Wil Toole had won a nomination)and Joyce Dombroski-Gebhart brought along her dad who is a published author and a sharp man. Gina Nevenglosky has run for county office before is in the hunt this time. Blythe Evans has been running an aggressive campaign. Eileen Sorokas had a tee shirt that was electric. Rick Morelli helped write the new charter and wants to see it implemented properly. Harry Haas wants a seat on the council and would bring some common sense to the body. Michelle Bednar is another one. A young man was handing out cards for Tim Mullen but I didn't catch his name. Charlie Hatchko has a dream of being elected to something and Independent Rick Williams has a real chance of winning.

Our 1th CD Congressional candidates were well represented by Lou Barletta's press guy Shawn Kelly and Barletta's only announced challenger Bill Vinsko. I chewed Vinsko's ear for a bit. .

Statewide the only election I'm following is PA Attorney General in 2012.


Liz Randol plugged Kathleen Kane's bid for PA Attorney General, good luck with that.

The highlight of the evening for me was Congressman and PA Attorney General candidate Patrick Murphy who braved the monsoon on the interstate made it to our event. What a great guy.

So many people told me tonight that this their favororit event. No speeches, panels or an obligation to eat a rubber chicken/ spagetti dinner. We will keep doing it.

You Tube weekend

The don't ask, don't tell policy for the US military ended last week and reaction from some Republicans has been predictable.

Everyone, Even Conservatives, Criticizing Santorum’s DADT Debate Answer

Maybe Rick thinks the Army will start to look something like this

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blogfest tonight

The next blogger meetup will be Friday September 23rd at Rooney's Irish Pub 67 S. Main St. Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 6PM.

Our political bloggers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be there along with our readers, commenter's and people who are just interested in local politics. We should also have many candidates and their supporters.

You don't have to blog about about politics to attend as we welcome everyone who blogs. There is no charge for admission.

We are looking at good turnout.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PA Attorney General 2012- the Democrats

We have 3 announced candidates so far with former Philadelphia DA Lynn Abraham mulling a bid.

No Democrat has won this office since since attorney general became an elected post in 1980. Being elected attorney general does not necessarily position someone to run for higher office but it did become a launching pad for two gubernatorial candidates: Mike Fisher, who lost to Ed Rendell in 2002, and Governor Tom Corbett who used his office for political prosecutions that concentrated more on the misdeeds of Democrats than Republicans as Casablanca
PA has documented.

Philly lawyer Dan McCaffery (no website I can find) lost the DA's race in the city of brotherly love in 2009. He is getting some early love from Congressman and Philadelphia Dem chair Bob Brady but Lynn may be calling Bob to survey the field. He is the brother of PA Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery who became famous for presiding over Eagle's Court.

From our backyard Scranton native Kathleen Kane is in the hunt touting her experience as a Lackawanna County assistant district attorney.

From her website:

Born and raised in Scranton PA, Kathleen’s working class upbringing contributes heavily to her work ethic. A graduate of the Scranton public school system, Kathleen continued her education at The University of Scranton and Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia. Her legal career began with civil litigation with the firm of Post & Schell, P.C. in Philadelphia before returning home to accept a position as an Assistant District Attorney in the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office.

The frontrunner at this point has to be former Congressman Patrick Murphy.

He went to King's College here in Wilkes-Barre and his brother JJ worked for the city. Murphy was a Captain in the 82nd Airborne and a JAG in Iraq. After he was elected to Congress he led the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory policy that prevented gay men and women from serving openly in the military. I was in the military in the 1970's and we knew who was gay but didn't give a shit. All that mattered was if you could do your job.

From Muphy's website:

The Attorney General should be the people's protector. As Attorney General, Patrick will stop at nothing to keep our families safe and hold criminals accountable.

Patrick Murphy was inspired by his father, a 22 year veteran of the Philadelphia police department, to dedicate his life to enforcing the law and protecting Pennsylvanians. On September 12, 2001, Patrick volunteered for combat to help bring to justice the terrorists responsible for killing innocent Americans. As a federal and military prosecutor, he put dangerous criminals behind bars, including terrorists bent on killing American soldiers.

Patrick knows no one is above the law – especially not corporations or their friends in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania attorney general's race is off to a crowded start

Murphy, who lost his congressional seat to Republican Mike Fitzpatrick in the fall, has positioned himself as the Democrat to beat, raising $500,000 in six weeks and racking up endorsements from unions, local party leaders, and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

"I'm running hard," said Murphy, 37, an Iraq war veteran. "I will not be outworked."

Murphy has been taking something of a victory lap on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't tell.

From his Facebook page:

Wow. What an incredible day. My favorite moments by far were the calls I made to the heroes kicked out of the military they loved because of DADT. It is amazing how many of them want to sign back up. Absolutely inspirational.

He has a lot of support in Luzerne County and will be at Blogfest tomorrow.

There is a Republican Presidential debate tonight

And it's on Fox News. There are so many I can't keep track.

My favorite GOP candidate for President reminded me of it a few hours ago.

He is getting vary familiar with me calling me "mate, " we are not in Briton. It's kind of a gay thing to do in America.

Running Mate,

I just arrived in Florida for tonight's debate, and I hope you are planning on tuning into Fox News Channel at 8PM ET to watch the debate.

In today's Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove wrote that I have been one of "the most consistently impressive debater[s]," and that I have "had strong, even Reaganesque, moments on foreign policy."

I intend again to focus tonight's debate on what I've done in the foreign policy arena, how I reformed welfare and how I will work to turn the economy around. I also won't be afraid to take on my Republican opponents when they support misguided policies or runaway from our shared conservative values.

I hope you'll tune in and see what others are concluding all across the country – that I am the only passionate conservative in this race.

Thanks, and I'll email you after the debate to let you know how things went.


Sent from my wireless device

I await his email.

Kudos to Comcast

I bet that's a headline my long time readers would never expect to see.

Earlier today a Comcast technician showed up on my doorstep saying that the company's remote diagniostics detected a week signal on my internet connection. He came in and did some measurements and decided we needed some new cables to replace the same wires we have had since 1996. He also replaced the splitters with dead ends that I had jury rigged over the years.

I really can't complain about the signal service as we have rarely lost our connection to cable or the internet. The pricing, boxes and other hassles is another story.

The last time I did a post about this media bohemeth one of their press flacks contacted me the next day. Let's see if that will happen again. Are you out there Melissa or have you moved on?

PA Electoral College votes

My last post on this subject had some well thought out and researched comments. Thank You.

My position is that the Electoral College is an anachronism and should be scrapped. It will take a Constitutional Amendment to get rid of it which is not easy to do. Whoever gets the most votes should be President.

Anonymous said...
On the Electoral College, see Federalist No. 68 and Anti-Federalist No. 70 and 72.

It is a little simplistic to say that they merely didn’t trust individuals to make the right decision. Hamilton instead wanted the population to elect electors that “will most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” The Federalists that supported the Electoral College also supported it on the grounds that it more strongly supported a central form of government (federalism.) Lastly, there was also concern that, absent weighting the vote, smaller states would have less of a voice in the process. Basically, they also wanted to enhance the status of minority interests guaranteeing them at least equal weight to other sparsely populated states. For instance, even the smallest state would have 3 votes (one for their House member and two for each Senator.)

The Anti-Federalists argued more along the lines of your perspective, “that the sacred rights of mankind should dwindle down to Electors of electors, and those again electors of other electors.” The Anti-Federalists were against a strong central form of government and wanted to remain a decentralized union with stronger state’s rights. Direct election by the people (popular vote) was the logical extension of that.

If your argument is that the popular vote should prevail as the Anti-Federalists argued, it is inconsistent to oppose the Republican Plan. I say that because the Republican plan is closer to the Anti-Federalist model in that it brings the election of the president closer to the people than the present system.
2:38 PM

toto said...
Republican legislators seem quite “confused” about the merits of the congressional district method The leadership committee of the Nebraska Republican Party just adopted a resolution requiring all GOP elected officials to favor overturning their congressional district method for awarding electoral votes or lose the party’s support. While in Pennsylvania, Republican legislators are just as strongly arguing that they must change from the winner-take-all method to the congressional district method.

Dividing Pennsylvania’s electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system and not reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania.

The district approach would provide less incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in all Pennsylvania districts and would not focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state as a whole. Candidates would have no reason to campaign in districts where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind.

Due to gerrymandering, in 2008, only 4 Pennsylvania congressional districts were competitive.

In Maine, where they award electoral votes by congressional district, the closely divided 2nd congressional district received campaign events in 2008 (whereas Maine’s 1st reliably Democratic district was ignored)

In Nebraska, which also uses the district method, the 2008 presidential campaigns did not pay the slightest attention to the people of Nebraska’s reliably Republican 1st and 3rd congressional districts because it was a foregone conclusion that McCain would win the most popular votes in both of those districts. The issues relevant to voters of the 2nd district (the Omaha area) mattered, while the (very different) issues relevant to the remaining (mostly rural) 2/3rds of the state were irrelevant.

When votes matter, presidential candidates vigorously solicit those voters. When votes don’t matter, they ignore those areas.

Nationwide, there are only 55 “battleground” districts that are competitive in presidential elections. 88% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President. "


A survey of 800 Pennsylvania­ voters conducted on December 16-17, 2008 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republican­s, and 76% among independen­ts.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in ME and NE). Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states or districts (in ME and NE). No more distorting and divisive red and blue state and district maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed iin recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO– 68%, IA –75%, MI– 73%, MO– 70%, NH– 69%, NV– 72%, NM– 76%, NC– 74%, OH– 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –75%, ME — 77%, NE — 74%, NH –69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, RI — 74%, and VT — 75%; in Southern and border states: AR –80%, KY — 80%, MS –77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, and VA — 74%; and in other states polled: CA — 70%, CT — 74% , MA — 73%, MN – 75%, NY — 79%, WA — 77%, and WV- 81%.

Come the end of voting on Election Day, most voters don’t care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans consider the idea of the candidate with the most popular votes being declared a loser detestable. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

The bill has passed 31 state legislativ­e chambers, in 21 small, medium-sma­ll, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdicti­ons possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PA Attorney General 2012

State Senator John Raferty looks like the choice of the PA Republican party to be the next Attorney General. He has the support of the best fundraiser in Pennsylvania who happens to be a convicted criminal, Bob Asher.

Asher Endorses Rafferty for AG

Just a reminder

1987 Conviction

While chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania Asher was convicted of perjury, racketeering, conspiracy and bribery in connection with a state contract award. He resigned after the conviction and served one year in federal prison.[7] The case gained national attention in 1987 when his co-defendant in that case and political ally, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Budd Dwyer, committed suicide on national television just before sentencing.

With friends like that.......

Lou Barletta just may become the Congressman we need

I got this press release today:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, said he voted against a continuing resolution Wednesday because the measure didn’t provide enough disaster relief funding.

Rep. Barletta released the following statement after his vote:

I support the Senate version of this bill because this continuing resolution doesn’t include enough funding for disaster victims. I, along with 76 Democrats, sent a letter to the House leadership saying that we support the Senate version of the bill because it includes more funding for disaster relief. I agree with Senator Casey and Senator Toomey, who supported the Senate bill.

Every day I toured the destruction caused by record flooding in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I told my constituents at home that I would come back to Congress and fight for them. I promised them that I would make sure the full resources of the federal government are used to help them rebuild and protect them from future floods. This continuing resolution does not do enough to rebuild the lives of people who lost everything they own. It doesn’t do enough to fund mitigation efforts so this type of flooding doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t do enough to help local businesses reopen and protect American jobs.

Rather than spend money on disaster relief funding, the continuing resolution continues funding for the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), and it continues $300 million in annual funding to the Title X family planning program, a prime funding source for Planned Parenthood.

Because the continuing resolution does not include adequate funding for disaster relief, I voted against it.

When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, the United States is the first country to help rebuild. But now that a disaster occurred right here in our own backyard, we need to start rebuilding here, first. Let’s help Americans first.

My friend McGruff points out that he joined with Democrats to reject budget games to get people who were flooded the help they need now. Even Senator Pat Toomey decided he had enough and joined with other GOP Senators from states that have major damage from Hurricaine Irene and Tropical Storm Lee to provide disaster relief.

It's disgusting that the Congress is even delaying disaster relief so they can play political games. Many people in the House and Senate didn't worry about offsets to fund the wars in the middle east. As Dick Cheney once said "Deficits Don't Matter" unless a Democrat is in the White House.

Monday, September 19, 2011

PA Electoral College votes

I am not usually in favor of amending the Constitution unlike some of my "conservative" friends who swear fealty to the document but want repeal the amendments they don't like and propose all sorts of changes.

After the 2000 election when Al Gore got 500,00 votes more than Bush I was disappointed that there wasn't a bigger push to scrap the Electoral College. The founders made it hard to change the process of electing a President as they didn't trust the people to elect the leader of our country and put it in the hands of state legislatures. The person with the most votes would be President and the the second place finisher would be Vice President. The election of 1800 revealed a flaw in the system when the ticket of Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both got the same amount of votes and the House of Representatives had to decide the thing after 20 something ballots. The 12th amendment was passed shortly after that. The constitution was a living document even then.

Now Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate have to decided to try to game the system proposing to award Electoral Votes by congressional distinct instead of the winner take all standard that is used by 48 other states. Nebraska has the CD requirement and is looking at changing it because the President won one of five of the Electoral votes in 2008.

I actually like the idea of awarding the electoral college vote by congressional districts but every state has to sign up for it to work. It doesn't require a constitutional amendment If Texas. Mississippi, California, Utah, New York, etc agree to it I'm all for it but that is not going to happen.

Be careful what you ask for as it just might backfire.

Some people in the Pennsylvania Republican party are freaked out by this idea.

House GOP fret over new Pa. electoral plan

Capitol Ideas is all over it.

In this case I'm all for amending the constitution scrapping the Electoral College. The winner of the popular vote should be the President.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blogfest-2011 fall edition this Friday

The next blogger meetup will be Friday September 23rd at Rooney's Irish Pub 67 S. Main St. Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 6PM.

Our political bloggers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be there along with our readers, commenter's and people who are just interested in local politics. We should also have many candidates and their supporters.

You don't have to blog about about politics to attend as we welcome everyone who blogs.
There is no charge for admission.

The turnout should be as good as the last 3 times. We realize that some of our regulars may not make it because they are still dealing with flood damage that is consuming both their time and money. We did consider rescheduling the event because of it but there is always something else going on. In the spring it was the 3rd District Ziti Dinner. Whatever date we pick there are conflicts and objections. We were gong to do next Friday but that is Rosh Hashanah. In October just about every day has a candidate event.

You can RSVP at our Facebook event page or drop me an email at with any questions.

Our good friend Joe Valenti of got clobbered by the flood but will take a break from cleaning up to attend.

Head for the hills

I am amazed by some of the comments on this site, other blogs and the newspapers. In short the argument is that you elected to live in the way of danger so don't expect me to pay for your damage when you get wiped out.

By that logic the Wyomimg Valley should be abandoned because of the flood threat, everyone in California should move inland because an earthquake may happen, get away from the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico coastlines as a hurricane or 2 will hit your town. You should move to a safe place in the interior like Joplin, Mo. or Tuscaloosa, Alabama. No wait, they had tornadoes. . How about Portland, OR or Seattle where you drown after falling off your bicycle. The list is endless

There is no place in America that doesn't have a history and threat of a devastating weather event.

I have an idea. There is a national flood insurance program so how about expanding it to national natural disaster insurance. I know my conservative friends would object to a mandate so make it voluntary at first. The insurance pool would be enormous as just about every homeowner and business in the United States would be eligible. It could be administrated by insurance companies to satisfy my Republican friends and the politicians that have been paid off by them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meet Bill Vinsko- Candidate for Congress PA 11

The only Democrat that has had the balls to announce he is running for Congress before the new boundaries are set is Bill Vinsko.

I think that is a smart move. Lou Barletta is a Republican freshman in a traditionally Democratic district and no matter how they draw the lines in Harrisburg this should be a very competitive seat. By getting out there early Vinsko is clearing the field.

I don't know the guy but I hope to quiz him on the issues at his gathering at
at the Wyoming Valley Country Club
on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

A word of advice to the Vinsko camp. Put some content on the website.

Rick Santorum wins Pennsylvania Republican straw poll for President

Capitol Ideas is reporting from the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee meeting where all the buzz is about the plan to blow up the way the state will allocate it's Electoral College votes in the Presidential election and the brewing civil war that has pitted the legislature against the state party leadership worried about down ballot races and the Republican US House members who are worried about getting reelected. I would usually expect cooler heads to prevail who would keep the winner take all system but in this crazy atmosphere anything can happen. has the results of the straw poll that for some reason doesn't attract as much attention as the one in Iowa.

In the interest of fair and balanced coverage that Fox News has pioneered I decided to put up the unofficial Gort42 campaign photos of some of the candidates. Please send pics of the candidates if you have better ones.

Former PA Senator and long time Virginia resident Rick Santorum topped the poll with 138 votes out of 388 tallied. The horse race coverage people like percentages so that is 35.5%

Mitt Romney came in 2nd with 98 or 25.5%. The dog that he strapped to the top of his car for a 12 hour ride didn't have a vote.

Flavor of the month Texas Governor Rick Perry got 71 votes of the faithful (18.3%). If he signs a few more death warrants he may increase that percentage.

Ron Paul continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of this race, no respect at all. 21 votes

Jon Huntsman may be the most qualified guy in the race after being Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China. He even speaks a foreign language that probably disqualifies him with the English Only Crowd. In today's Republican Party that is a handicap. Look for him 2016. Tom Ridge endorsed him. 18 votes.

Herman Cain. 16 votes.

Newt Gingrich is someone I sometimes liked when he was talking ideas instead of his scorched earth policy of partisan warfare. 14 votes.

Last in the poll was Michelle Bachman.

ALex said: Only 12 for Michelle Bachmann? Maybe that anti-vaccination insanity had a stronger effect that I thought.

Whoever wins the Republican nomination has to run against this guy. 0 votes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lou Barletta demanding aid for flood victims

Maybe Lou has changed his mind about offsetting disaster relief with cuts to the budget in other areas. I got 2 press releases from Barletta suggesting that he may break from the House GOP leadership and will be the Congressman that we need in a time like this.

Rep. Barletta demands full funding of Disaster Relief Fund

HAZLETONU.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, today sent a letter to Republican leaders in the House demanding that the Disaster Relief Fund be fully funded.

Rep. Barletta sent the letter early Wednesday afternoon to House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers.

"I have been crisscrossing the 11th District since Thursday night. I have spoken with thousands of my neighbors who need help recovering from this epic disaster. I've met with elected officials whose municipal budgets cannot pay for the damage they suffered or the recovery effort. That's why I'm calling on my colleagues in the House to make sure the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania get the assistance they need and deserve," Rep. Barletta said.

Part of the letter he wrote to Speaker John Boehner:

In order to help those, whose lives were torn apart by these unprecedented storms, I ask that you fully fund the Disaster Relief Fund and provide additional emergency resources, as needed. These funds are desperately needed to help those in Northeastern Pennsylvania and others who were victimized by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Together, we need to stand by those were affected and help them as they start to rebuild their homes and lives.

He also wants the Small Business Administration to give our local businesses the same interest rate break that was afforded to Hurricane Katrina victims.

Rep. Barletta working to lower high SBA disaster loan interest rate

“This is a natural disaster. It should not be a money-making operation for the federal government.”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The blogroll is restored, mostly

More navel gazing.

I was able to return my blog buddies to the side bar and added a few sites that I like with the exception of NEPartisan. For some reason everytime I open it in Internet Explorer 7 it crashes my computer. It opens in Safari without any hiccups but can't load it to the blogroll on Firefox. I need some help computer geeks.

In other blogger news our good friend Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics got clobbered in the flood but he and his family will come back better than ever.

NEPA Blogs has been a hot site for the last few months. For the longest time me and DB Echo did all the hunting and linking but then we brought Michelle on board and her energy and internet savvy has made it the place to go for news and links from the local blogosphere. Believe it or not I was only interested in linking to political sights then Michelle dug up blogs about all sorts of subjects and NEPA Blogs has become something of a media sensation.

Now my pals have a gig on the new show on Channel 28

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

And tonight you can catch some of our local scribes at
NEPA Blogger's Roundtable

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Biden coming to town

I got a press release from the White House that said Vice President Joe Biden will be in the area to inspect the flood damage on Friday but didn't give any details. Congressman Lou Barletta's office doesn't know where he will be either.

I think that the President and VP should just stay away from disaster areas. Let the people who know what they are doing do there jobs. They just get in the way.

Former Congressman Paul Kanjorski gives a full throttled defense of the federal government in the the CV:

Lu Lac has it

Blogfest-2011 fall edition

It was so much fun the last 3 times we are going to do it again.

The next blogger meetup will be Friday September 23rd at Rooney's Irish Pub 67 S. Main St. Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 6PM.

Our political bloggers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be there along with our readers, commenter's and people who are just interested in local politics. We should also have many candidates and their supporters.

You don't have to blog about about politics to attend as we welcome everyone who blogs. If you're listed on NEPA Blogs this is the place to be.

The promotion of this event is a bit behind schedule because of the flooding that has impacted just about everybody involved but there should be a good turnout. I'll do my best to get the word out and expect my blog buddies to do the same.

There are 3 rules to the event.

1. No Speeches

2. You must wear clothes even it is warm.

3. Agree to disagree but don't be disagreeable.

There is no charge for admission.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Somehow I just deleted my blogroll

I guess I know what I'm doing the rest of the night. Anybody that wants a link let me know. I have to rebuild the thing from memory so I may miss someone.

Update: Still rebuilding, hope to have it done by the weekend. Also need to spend some time blogging.

Flood advice from Phyllis

My 3rd favorite state rep sent me this email:

Flood victims should document property damage

KINGSTON, Sept. 12 -- State Rep. Phyllis Mundy is encouraging residents to document flood damage to their property with photographs and detailed information to help with assessments that could lead to federal assistance.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is asking individuals and businesses to report damages and losses to municipal officials. Each municipality will collect damage reports from residents and report them to counties for submission to PEMA. PEMA compiles the totals and forwards them to Federal Emergency Management Agency to be considered as part of the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration.

"In addition, we expect local, county, state and federal teams to conduct damage assessments as soon as it is safe to do so," said Mundy, D-Luzerne. "They will need that information if there is a federal disaster declaration that includes Individual Assistance."

Individual Assistance is made up of a number of federal programs designed to help citizens get back on their feet. It can include funds to repair damages, replace major appliances or pay for temporary housing. There is no state disaster assistance program.

If there is a federal disaster declaration that includes Individual Assistance, FEMA and PEMA will release information with instructions on how to apply. Citizens will be able to apply over the phone or Internet.

FEMA will also staff disaster recovery centers in the counties included in the Individual Assistance declaration. The recovery centers would offer information on every available federal resource to recover from the flooding.

Meanwhile, residents can begin the repair and recovery process, but they should keep copies of any receipts from repairs.

In addition, Mundy said it is expected that assessment teams will examine damages for federal Public Assistance, which applies primarily to infrastructure damages for local, county and state governments and certain nonprofits.

I also got an email from her campaign in July: If you want discuss this or any other issue with her
A breakfast for 120th Legislative District State Representative Phyllis Mundy will be held on September 24 from 9am-11am at Genetti's Conference Center. This years event will feature guest speaker, former DEP Secretary John Hanger. For tickets email

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wyoming Valley Flood 2011-paying for it

Every government agency in the Wyoming Valley and throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond responded to this emergency as we expected them to. The fire departments, police, DPW workers and countless other agencies did their jobs as they were trained to do and improvised in unexpected situations that saved lives and property. Every level of government (state, county, municipal) spent money that was not budgeted because you really can't see this sort of thing coming.

See LuLac

So the state, county and local government agencies spent more money than they have on emergency response and now we are looking at the clean up effort that includes areas that have never been flooded before so people don't have flood insurance. Will the Federal Government kick in to help like in the past or tell people that they are just on their own?

A few days ago I asked Lou Barletta's press guy Shawn Kelly if he was still committed to Eric Cantor's approach of playing budget games ahead of relief for people who are suffering, his response:

“Rep. Barletta is committed to bringing the full force of the federal government’s response to the areas affected by this historic flooding. Rep. Barletta believes there are any number of unnecessary and duplicative programs across the vast federal bureaucracy that can be cut or eliminated to provide the response and recovery needed in the 11th District. He’s already spoken with other members of the House about finding ways to secure that funding as quickly as possible.”

He added:

Sorry for the late response. We were touring the district. I wasn't alive for Agnes, but I spent time working at a few newspapers and covered some pretty bad stuff. What I've seen since Thursday is a whole new level of destruction and loss. It's going to be a long road back for many, many people. Now that the waters are receding, Lou's office is fully mobilizing and will be very accessible to the people affected by this epic event. You'll see details of that soon.
I hope you and your family are safe.

Barletta's reponse

As Mrs. G said earlier " I'd rather have Kanjo."

HAZLETON – Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, announced the establishment of several Constituent Recovery Centers – places where his staff members will be to help people who have questions with the federal disaster assistance procedures.

Beginning Monday morning at 10:15 a.m., members of Rep. Barletta’s staff will be on hand to talk with residents, business owners, and elected officials to answer questions about the federal response to the historic flooding of the Susquehanna River.

Rep. Barletta’s Constituent Recovery Centers will be at:

•Duryea Borough Building, 315 Main Street, Duryea
•West Pittston Police Department/Borough Building, 555 Exeter Avenue, West Pittston
•Bloomsburg Office of State Rep. David Millard, 605 West Main Street, Bloomsburg
•Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry office, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre (for business inquiries)
Future hours of the Constituent Recovery Centers will be announced.

Rep. Barletta reported that teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are in the area and have begun working on damage assessments.

“I strongly encourage all residents who have been affected by this huge disaster to document their losses. Take photographs. Make lists. Report your damage. Then work with your local officials and get those reports to them. Data is being collected at the county level, and that data will then be submitted to the state and federal governments. The more accurate the assessment, the quicker our residents, business owners, and municipalities can get the federal aid they deserve,” Rep. Barletta said.

“The scale of this disaster is unprecedented, and it can be frustrating and confusing. Rest assured that my office is going to be here to help you, every step of the way. We’re going to work with you. We will be here for you. We’re not going to leave you on your own,” Rep. Barletta added. “I will do everything I can and I will fight to make sure the people receive the help they clearly deserve.”

Wyoming Valley Flood 2011-the levee system held, now the cleanup

The Susquehanna River crested above the 1972 Agnes flood level but Wilkes-Barre and the west side of Wyoming Valley didn't get wiped out because Congressman Paul Kanjorski was able to convince President Clinton and the Army Corps of Engineers that the dikes should be able to withstand another flood of that magnitude. I know that there is lot of talk about how the levees funneled water into other areas that are not protected by the system but there are trade offs in every project as Another Monkey points out:

The Susquehanna nearly overtopped these levees this week. Nearly, but it didn't. As of this writing, Wilkes-Barre and Kingston and Forty Fort have been spared the devastation they experienced in 1972. The levees held, bottling up all that water.

Creating a bottleneck to protect one area causes problems elsewhere. West Pittston, just upriver from Wilkes-Barre, has sustained damage in excess of what it experienced in 1972. Jenkins Township, Shickshinny, and other communities not protected by levees have experienced massive devastation. Even if areas destroyed in 1972 fared better now thanks to levees, the increased destruction elsewhere will again result in a multi-billion dollar repair bill.

Kanjo in the TL is reflects on his legacy:

“We probably dodged a bullet that probably would have cost the Wyoming Valley probably five, six billion dollars,” Kanjorski said. “...If those levees hold, there isn't one person in the Wyoming Valley who shouldn't just shout that the federal government did something good; that they built one hell of a levee system. We've got good, clear evidence that federal government, sometimes, does something right....“It was a very long, drawn-out process that took 10 years,” Kanjorski said. “It wasnt until 1996 that I was able to get President Clinton down here to convince him that we needed it... It took more than 10 years after that to complete it, and every year it took millions of dollars in appropriations. I had to get those funds earmarked every year to get those funds.“To protect some of those homes over in Plymouth Township, and I have sympathy for those people, but it would cost millions of dollars to protect one home in Plymouth, and we just cant afford to do that,” Kanjorski said.
“Its not a perfect system,” he continued, “but it's far more sophisticated today in terms of protection. You have to remember when we got hit with Agnes, there was no Federal Emergency Management Agency. That was something I was very active in creating.”

Others agree:

Mayor, state rep thankful for levees

"I hope that people take a moment tonight and say a prayer and thank the Lord that that dike held," State Rep Eddie Day Pashinski said. "Those of you that experienced 1972 know what kind of devastation we experienced in Wilkes-Barre and throughout the entire valley. Ladies and gentlemen, we dodged a major bullet."
But that never happened, thanks in part to former U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski's work to raise the levee system in the Wyoming Valley, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said.

"Without his hard work in Washington over the years, this valley would have been ruined."

If you want to help out Michelle put up a great post over at NEPA Blogs:

This has so much good information I'm going to repost it. I'm sure she won't mind. To click on the links go over to NEPA Blogs.

Giving Help
Many of us in the area have been fortunate enough to not be affected by the September floods, but others did not fair so well. The whole basis of NEPA Blogs is to talk about blogging and people from the area, but we would not be doing the community a service if we didn't help out in this time of extreme need.

Here are ways that you can help:

Entercom Communications is holding a cleaning supply drive for the victims of the flooding. You can drop off supplies at either the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Wal-Mart or the one in Taylor. Help them fill the trailer. More details here:

The American Red Cross's Facebook Page states that "Over 4,000 people spent last night in Red Cross shelters in NY & PA." You can donate to the Red Cross's efforts by texting REDCROSS to 90999. I believe the 10 dollar donation will be tacked on to your monthly cell phone bill.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce has setup a recovery website where you can give help/get help or find information about the recovery efforts. Wilkes-Barre City has a similar website setup here.

The HelpLine of NEPA is always a valuable resource for assistance for crisis situations. They are on Twitter and Facebook and also have a website:


From Wyoming Valley Flood 2011 Facebook Page:

The Cross Valley Federal Credit Union, starting on Monday, all of our branch locations will be accepting donations of cleaning supplies for the American Red Cross. We will also have donation canisters out for those wishing to make a monetary donation to Red Cross. Any support is greatly appreciated! We have locations in Wilkes Barre, Dallas, Forty Fort, Mt Top and Hazleton. For a specific listing of all of our locations you can also visit It doesn't matter where we donate - as long as we do. :0) This Valley is capable of doing amazing things!!! Our hearts go out to all those affected.

The West Pittston Public Library is in need of volunteers to assist with their clean-up effort. From what I understand, they started working on the efforts again today (9/11) at 10am. You can offer your services via their Facebook Page: West Pittston Library.

The Hunlock Creek Fire Hall is now a drop off site for cleaning supplies for all of those affected by flooding. If you want to donate, please drop off at the hall....(editors note: however, I do not have specific dates or times that they will be open.) They are specifically requesting the following items: disinfectants (clorox, lysol, etc.), mops, brooms, gloves, buckets, etc.

Excelsior Hose Company in Duryea is collecting cleaning supplies, clothing and anything else you can think of donating to the flood victims of lower Duryea. THere are some who have lost everything unexpectedly, since the forecast was not for the Lackawanna River to flood. (Editor's note: I do not have any specific dates or times for these collections)

Duryea Update: Anyone who has spare cleaning supplies, clothing, basically anything that can be of assistance to flood victims who reside in the lower section of Duryea and is willing to donate them, please bring the items to the VFW on Stephenson Street in Duryea. They are also accepting monetary donations. They will be on site at this location until 11pm.

TradeMark Realty Group will be collecting any donations like cleaning products, clothing etc. or just anything you could spare and give it to Red-cross or local churches for distribution.
 Our office will be open everyday 9am -5pm and will be available for chat through our website if you have questions.

Servpro of Hanover Township has crews out in full force helping people get their lives, homes and businesses back to normal. If you are in need of water damage cleanup and restoration services, our office available 24/7 at (570)-822-4700. Via Their Facebook Page.

West Side All Starz will be a drop off area for donated clothing, blankets, pillows, non perishable foods, bottles of water and cleaning supplies for those who have lost their homes and belongings in the flood. Items can be dropped off starting today 11am-10pm at 545 Charles Street, Luzerne PA 18709. If you are in need of items please email Tammy at

Cub Scout Pack 100 and Plains Soccer are asking for your donations to help our neighbors who have been affected by the recent flooding. DONATIONS OF non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, bleach, mops, paper products, toiletries, towels, linens and clothing of all sizes. DROP OFF at SCOUT HALL, 13 Stocker St, on Sunday from 5-8 PM, Monday from 6-8PM, and Tues from 6-7PM.

The PA Department of Health will be at the PSTI Headquarters building Sunday at 3pm with their mobile unit giving tetanus shots to emergency responders, who have not a shot in 10 years. Please note: This is ONLY FOR FIRST RESPONDERS.

MedExpress in Edwardsville has Tetanus shots available. Open from 9am to 9pm daily.

West Pittston Fire Department on Spring Street has some supplies available to its residents affected by the flood. They state they have water, gloves, self-heating meals, hand sanitizer & water available.

Attention Wyoming County residents! This information is for you --

Interfaith Friends has a list of available furniture and larger items available for free to those affected by the floods. If you need furniture, baby items, clothes or anything Interfaith Friends has, you may stop by during business hours. ALL items are given at NO CHARGE to anyone affected by the flood. Their contact # 570-836-2428.

The Cub Scout Pack 518 of Tunkhannock are collecting donations to give to flood victims. So far they have clothing, toys, games, paper products, personal care items and backpacks. However, I'm not sure of how to get in touch with them.

P & G has a diaper booth setup in the Tunkhannock Wal-Mart parking lot. They will be there Saturday (9/10) from 6pm to 9pm. They will then be set up Sunday (9/11) through Friday (9/16) from 7am to 7pm.

All information for Wyoming County was found via the American Red Cross of Wyoming County's Facebook page.

Lackawanna County --

Several Red Cross blood drives have been scheduled. There is one today (9/11) at the American Legion Raymond Henry Post 327, 101 Willow Ave, Olyphant from 10am to 3pm. Monday (9/12) at CMC, Mulberry Street, Scranton from 12pm to 4pm. More blood drive information including additional dates and locations can be obtained by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS

Columbia County --

(All information obtained via the Y 106.5 Facebook page)

Free Childcare for residents who were affected by the recent floods in our area and to those who are helping with the clean up efforts. Childcare service provided by Chrissy Van Hoover and Jennifer Devine Arbogast and other childcare providers and volunteers at Wesley United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove from 11:30-5pm Sunday Sept 11th.

Y 106.5 FM is taking American Red Cross Donations now and throughout the weekend at their Sunbury Motors Studios in the Susquehanna Valley Mall. Donate now for your friends, neighbors and community. Their webpage is

Century 21 Mertz and Assoc; 299 Mill Street Danville (next to BJ Ribs) is organizing a collection of items for disbursement to local shelters, the Red Cross and Salvation Army. They are specifically looking for donations of cleaning supplies, canned food, adult & children's clothing as well as monetary donations.

Bloomsburg Fair Association is requesting volunteers. They are in need of volunteers to help with the clean up efforts at the fairgrounds. Flood waters hit the fairgrounds at an all time high. With the fair starting at the end of the month, they don't have much time to recover. The fair is scheduled to being on September 24, 2011. Currently they have no phone service, so please no phone calls. Basically, if you can help, just show up. The fairgrounds are located at 620 West Third Street; Bloomsburg, PA 17815.


Towing Services: Also, LAG will conduct free tows for any vehicles trapped in flooded water or need to be taken to higher ground from the flood areas in coordination with the city. Contact 570-208-4152 to request service. Source, WBRE.

Photography Services: Top of the Mountain Photography by Bridget Banik is offering to take flood damage pictures free of charge to anyone who may have lost their camera/electronics in the flood. You can contact her via her Facebook page or call 570-417-6330. Also, according to the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce's twitter account, Patrick Gensel, freelance photographer and NEPA Blogger is willing to help as well, please contact him through his website at

Pet/Animal Information: Please contact the SPCA of Luzerne County if your has been lost. In Luzerne County, stray animals are taken to the facility when they are found within county boundaries. Contact them at 570-825-4111 and they will take a "lost" report and cross match it with any reports they get of found animals or with animals that have been brought in as strays. More information can be found on their website:

Update ~ There is now a Facebook page for the lost and found pets of the Sept 2011 flood. Click here to view it.

Road Closure Information: Available via 511PA which is updated via PENNDOT.

Health Care Facilities:

Click here to read an updated statement on Wyoming Valley Health Care System facility openings/closures.
Click here to read and updated statement on Geisinger Wyoming Valley's openings/closures.

This is just the beginning of the list, I've read about several dozen smaller communities, churches and businesses taking up collections for the victims. If you know of any, please feel free to post in the comments, or hit us up on Facebook to let us know. I would like to get as much information in this post as possible for the victims and will continue to update as more information becomes available.

Oh and by the way, Harold & I were made administrators of the Wyoming Valley Flood 2011 Facebook page which has grown to 6,547 likes as of this post. It has served as a information portal for questions about evacuations, road closures, and donation collection points, etc., etc., etc. Please feel free to follow it if you are in need of any of that information. We would like to thank Karla Porter for her efforts in creating this page. It has helped several people get the information that they needed in this crisis.

Edited to say: If you are questioning any of the information you are hearing online or otherwise, it is recommended to contact the Luzerne County Rumor control hotline at 800-821-3716.