Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday morning one-liners

1. The NFC Eastern division is home to 11 Super Bowl trophies, none of which are in Philthydumpia.

2. While a financially obliterated Scranton disappears into the ground a la Carrie White, WILK’s talk jocks continue to badmouth Wilkes-Barre at every opportunity.

3. Is Wilkes-Barre poised to lose it’s two-newspaper status? I sure hope not.

4. After reading and listening intently for months on end, I can’t come up with 11 county council candidates that seem worthy of a vote.

5. Big upset on election day? Try Maureen Lavelle for city council.

6. With societal decay being what it is---being surrounded by circus tent freaks, dope-infested welfare cheats and the invading, bedraggled hordes with the fake IDs---I find my long-suppressed auto-hostility issues creeping back into the mix.

7. Despite the valiant and somewhat fruitful efforts of my daughter Peace, I have finally accepted the fact that I will never meet my father.

8. To the apologists and bashers: Point a gun, any gun, at a police officer and you will be shot. Bummer.

9. No names, but what does it tell you when the vast, vast majority of a candidate’s yard signs are displayed on public properties?

10. We’re finally leaving Iraq? Good! Now let’s get our people the hell out of hell. Er, Afghanistan.


A cautionary tale

They keep playing this election ad on WILK in which one of the challengers to Wilkes-Barre’s mayor claims that we need to stop electing the same politicians who “created this mess.”

My initial thought? Honey, we did as much way back in November of 2003.

She also said some presumptive and insulting thing about voting for the person, not the party. As a registered republican, I will be voting for the democrat who steered us clear of the Sargasso Sea that is Act 47.

The following Scranton Times editorial is a must-read if you’re at all uncertain about where Wilkes-Barre was in 2003, and where it very easily could have gone.

Chris Kelly: Act 47 ruling rips map of recovery plan from city's hands

At the mayoral debate, one of the challengers was surprised to learn that the mayor of this city regularly interacts with the bond insurers and suchlike on Wall Street. Sadly, she said something vague about having the so-called “finance department” deal with that.

The other challenger has repeatedly promised to cut our taxes to the tune of $9 million in lost revenues. Imagine what Wilkes-Barre would be reduced to if our operating budget was slashed from some $35 million to $26 million. Or, rather than imagining, read that Scranton Times piece one more time.

We can hem and haw about the cost of a home security system, but we haven’t had to discuss Act 47, municipal bankruptcy, bond ratings or red ink since January of 2004 when firm financial stewardship came to Wilkes-Barre.

No elected official should go unchallenged on election day. And, as Wilkes-Barre residents, we'd have owed a debt of gratitude to both our republican challenger and our third party challenger if it were not for the FOIA smear campaign somehow passing as campaigning.

But with all due respect, it is this resident’s firm opinion that neither of them are even remotely qualified or knowledgeable enough to lead this city during these tumultuous financial times.


Friday, October 28, 2011

From the email inbox

How is my favorite termite inspector? I am asking for your help in getting the word out on this. HELP. Thanks.

NMA Pennsylvania Alert: Act Now to Stop Red-Light Camera Expansion

Dear Pennsylvania Member,
Red-light cameras may be coming to a city near you, now that the Pennsylvania Senate has approved SB595. The bill authorizes the spread of red-light cameras to 19 cities, including Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg.
The measure is moving quickly to the House, and we need swift action to stop it. One Pennsylvania member who's very active on this issue urges others to take the following steps:

Contact not only your House member, but the entire House membership to tell them their vote affects you directly.

If you can't speak to the member, ask for their chief of staff or legislative director.

Be patient and polite and voice your concerns to whomever will listen.

The National Motorists Association categorically opposes red-light cameras and other automated traffic enforcement systems. (Learn more about the NMA's arguments against red-light cameras here.)
Philadelphia is the only city in the state currently using red-light cameras. With your help we can keep it that way.
John Bowman

National Motorists Association

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WBPD: Luzerne County's finest

Yesterday, two Wilkes-Barre police officers as well as a Luzerne County sheriff's deputy faced what no law enforcement officer wants to face: having to brandish and then discharge a firearm. Yet, they saw their duty and they did it.

I know many of these people we take for granted on most days are former members of the military. And some were decorated members, or members of special forces units and the like.

While many in Wilkes-Barre may not perceive a gunfight to be of any special signifigance in this oft-troubling era dominated by societal decay and high-profile crimes, I see the sacrifice that is doing what some were once sworn to do, no matter how brief and potentially life-altering as it may have been as proof that some of us still believe in ideals, standards, mottos and a greater good.

On my honor...

Or dare I continue...For God and country.

Here, here!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sophists on the march

Another day, another laughable political stunt here in Wilkes-Barre…

From The Times Leader: Council candidate files complaints against mayor, former administrator

The excerpt: WILKES-BARRE - City council candidate Linda Urban filed private criminal complaints against city Mayor Tom Leighton and his former administrator, J.J. Murphy, regarding the installation of security systems at their homes in 2004.
The complaint against Leighton alleges he committed misappropriation of public funds by an elected official and the complaint against Murphy alleges he committed "theft and possibly larceny," Urban said today.
How about if we charge somebody for wasting the time of a district magistrate and a district attorney?

You know, if the half a dozen or so insurgents keep it up at this dizzying pace, it’s going to backfire on them. After screaming “corruption” for one hundred days on end, it’d sure be helpful to their flagging credibility if they actually had proof of some corruption.

During mayoral candidate Lisa Cope’s most recent appearance on WILK’s Corbett, she said, “…we’ve been working hard to expose the corruption, and we’ve proven it.”

Really? Uh, proven what exactly?

So what’s on tap for tomorrow? Wilkes-Barre activist claims Tom Leighton kicked his three-legged puppy? Probably.

What we have going on here is overkill gone overzealous gone full-blown overbearing. And the backlash is building while the majority of registered voters in this city realize that the two pretenders to the throne are simply unacceptable.

Food for thought: If galaxies were to collide and the nightmare scenario actually played out whereas the Crime Watch leaps from behind their drawn curtains and captures Wilkes-Barre by force, how in the hell does a police officer's wife negotiate a new police contract? No conflict of interest there. No cries of corruption with that.

I'd bet those who would be the sophist kings never thought of that.


Saturday, October 15, 2011



Somebody affiliated with the overzealous Wilkes-Barre insurgency had better take a break from stalking and smearing the locals and get after this interloping sumbitch in a big way...

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Becomes A Destination – Kings And Wilkes Play Large Roll

What??? The downtown??? We hate the downtown!!!

So say the folks who mistakenly think they can fix whatever it is that they nebulously claim they would fix in our neighborhoods without the income the recently revived downtown generates.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre? A destination? It doesn't fit the narrative written by those who would preside over the final destruction of Wilkes-Barre.

Hurry up! Somebody get after this guy for daring to point out facts. Somebody should smear him. Or sue him. Or ram him with a wrecker. Something!

Welcome to the big W-B, well-meaning blogger, where abject idiocy passes as the opposition. Where abject idiocy poses as the future.


Friday, October 14, 2011

All we need now is the bearded-lady

And they wondered aloud as to why I--the Wilkes-Barre resident who forgot more about how a city of this size operates and suchwhat than the current crop of insurgents will ever know--stopped attending council meetings. Why? I point to the following redundancy on parade...

Citizens' Voice: Circus atmosphere at W-B council meeting

Sorry and all, but the best clowns in this town come only once a year by train and then march themselves and their bevy of elephants up to the shiny arena on the asphalt-covered hill. Last I checked, this particular circus has been perpetrated upon Wilkes-Barre far too many times by the same old tired clowns.

Ah, but with the lazy local media enabling the greatest clown show on earth, the show will most certainly go on.

A talent-starved three-ring circus? That somehow passes as a campaign?



The orchestrated smear mushes on

 You know, it's one thing for the hapless dozen or so insurgents in Wilkes-Barre to defame an elected official over and over again, but it's a whole other legal thing when you start calling a now-private resident a liar in print.

From some obscure site called Wilkes-Barre Online--1-15-2008: J.J. Murphy interview

Go ahead. Meet Wilkes-Barre's newest election season villain.

Assuming for a moment that the alleged stalking or harassing was really going on when the home security system was installed at taxpayer expense, my first thought was that the system would be a legitimate need for a guy with a wife and a crew of small daughters who is prone to overseas military deployments.

Yep. "Must be me" file again. Apparently, I don't see eye-to-eye with the patients that escaped the padded rooms.

I know J.J. Murphy. J.J. is good people through-and-through. And anyone who tells you otherwise is not fit to serve in an elected office, nor are they even remotely believable when they wax not-so-poetically on any other subject.

Them's my thoughts.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another election, another...

Another nod goes to Fireman Dan on this link…

What we have going on is a rapidly approaching election neatly coinciding with the sudden emergence of yet another incendiary, inflammatory, name-calling blogger inane enough to mistakenly believe that a new blog with absolutely no following at all could alter the course of local history in a few short weeks.

The link: Wake Up Wilkes-Barre!

Seriously, this predictable malarkey plays out as if by rote with every turn of the election season calendar. Another election, another short-lived, fire-breathing blogger.


The big difference in this case is that the accusatory claptrap seriously devoid of any actual documentation is coming from one of the direct players in said election, from the campaign manager of one of the candidates.

And even though the site itself is more ill-conceived and ill-prepared than is the so-called candidacy of the author’s candidate, going forward, it’s even more ill-advised if said author ever hopes to be taken seriously as a local political player.

In reiteration, another election, another short-lived, fire-breathing blogger. What else is new?

If I actually tagged my posts, I’d tag this one as a soon-to-be “defunct blog” and “political graveyard.” Perhaps even a “political suicide.”

If what you really want is astute political analysis of the local variety, stick with the trusted mainstays such as Gort and Yonki. Oh, yeah, and myself when I have one of those rare moments of clarity.

Wake up W-B!!!

Yeah, whatever.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Next up: Utica Shale?

I have to tell you, after doing some necessary reading, I’m convinced that those gas-drilling rigs are here to stay.

Welcome to Pennsyltexas, kiddies!

From what I can discern, while Utica shale lies under the Marcellus shale and Black River shale lies even deeper yet, once the Marcellus deposits are tapped out, with the infrastructure already in place, the logical next step is to go after the more lucrative Utica shale. Right?

A couple of links:

New Gas Plays Hold Promise

Utica Shale - The Natural Gas Giant Below the Marcellus?

It might be time to get on down to LCCC and enroll in the Commercial Driver License courses.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Only in Wilkes-Barre

I read yesterday’s Times Leader blurb “Protest against mayor” with stunned bemusement, and then moved on to the real news. As I have been known to say to Wifey, only in Wilkes-Barre.

With no due respect to the ad-hoc gaggle of “protestors,” calls for the mayor to resign does not a mayoral campaign make. In fact, save for the calls to WILK’s Sue Henry, a couple of lot cleanups and the impromptu City Hall protests, the mayor’s two challengers seem intent on allowing the so-called scandals to bring the mayor down come election day.

It seems as if everybody and their red-headed step-sisters have submitted FOIA requests on every conceivable subject, but still, all they’ve unearthed is the old news that is the summer hires issue.

If you’re one of those who sees the mayor caught up in a swirling vortex of scandal, what would be your alternative: The candidate who claims to be too intimidated to wage a campaign, or the one who thinks we can do away with taxes?

I do not care what the coalition of self-aggrandizing “activists” may believe, if you vote against the demonstrated capable leadership, you will be voting for one of two wild cards who have yet to matriculate any semblance of a clear and concise understanding of the intricacies of managing a third class city. None.

Sez me.

This dust-up over the Coal Street project had me shaking my head again.

What will undoubtedly be the most amazing entrance to a city throughout all of northeast PA is somehow a bad thing in this city. The thing is, this town seems to be filled with disaffected malcontents.

No matter what projects have been proposed or constructed, they have brought nothing but moaning and caterwauling and outright anger.

What does that downtown theater draw? 600,000 visitors a year? Remember when the negative ninnies opined with abject certainty that it would be a profound failure? I do.

A splash pool? Oh, what a crime against humanity. The horror. The horror.

Ice rink? Won’t work.

New playgrounds? New basketball courts? Big deal.

A new neighborhood rising from the ashes of the Courtright Murray complex? So, so, so what!

752 additional parking spaces were added dead center in the middle of the downtown. Busses as well as taxis were eliminated from the Public Square. And somehow, there’s been nonstop grumbling about that, as evidenced by yesterday’s inept letter to the Leader’s editors.

Yet, throughout the entirety of my life I have been told that there was not enough available parking in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It must be me.

I’ve heard many a miscreant complain about the new riverfront amenities; there’s not enough this, they should have done that, blah, blah, freaking blah. I suppose those inaccessible weed-covered banks were preferable. Got me, man.

Now they’re grumbling about the proposed River Street makeover, by which we would no longer be taking our lives in our hands by trying to access said riverfront. Nope, they don’t like it and they don’t want it.

See, if the traffic is restricted and thereby slowed on River Street, drivers might actually be forced to drive at the posted speed limits while they text. And nobody wants that.

And the Coal street residents claiming they knew absolutely nothing of this gargantuan project right at their thresholds? That’s pure bullspit.

PENNDOT announces these meetings, see. And at these meetings they have charts and maps and graphs and artist’s renderings and engineers and so on and so forth. And by attending these meetings long before any ground is broken, residents can learn what is about to affect their lives and properties.

But if they’re too completely lazy, apathetic or stupid to attend these well-publicized meetings, then they are later reduced to bitching at their elected leaders when progress finally arrives by way of a bulldozer.

I’d go with lazy. With a sprinkling of stupidity.

Speaking of campaigns, has anyone seen anyone out campaigning? The election is less than a month away, and I am yet to meet anyone out pressing the flesh. I thought we had this historic county election afoot. Oh, and the insurgency in Wilkes-Barre.

So far, I’ve gotten a Leighton door hanger and a Ceppa business card stuck alongside my mailbox. That’s it.
Personally, I love mixing it up with those who would be kings. I’m not your average Wilkes-Barre voter. That is, I pay attention to a bit more than my commingling schedule.

Silly, ain’t I.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Must-see Hotel Sterling pics

I'm busy watching football again.

But I took a quick look at some of the localized sites and ran across these startling pictures of the rapidly disintegrating interior of the Hotel Sterling.

I used to give the CityVest players the benefit of the doubt. I honestly thought they had done a yeoman's job of trying to resuscitate the old building, while also giving them a pass for not managing to do so once the economy and the real estate market and the financial markets and the rest of it went rouge on us.

But after seeing the pictures, especially the pictures of the so-called mothballed roof, I now have to wonder where in the hell the millions of dollars went. I'd say CityVest has some splaining to do.

Thanks, Dan.

Excellent pics.