1-27-2005 SAYSO@Wilkes-Barre


We shall make the most orderly progress if we look upon social security as a development toward a goal rather than a finished product. We shall make the most lasting progress if we recognize that social security can furnish only a base upon which each one of our citizens may build his individual security through his own individual efforts.--Franklin Delano Roosevelt, January 16, 1939

Make of that what you will.

Let's start with...a letter sent to the editors of the Voice:

Editor:

Employers should not allow their employees to curse on the job. There should be a law passed in Congress banning vulgar language in the workplace.
Alex Partika
Wilkes-Barre

No cussin' on the job? F**k that!!!

And while we're on...the subject of lunacy, why not snatch something from that meeting of the dimwitted minds otherwise known as SAYSO:

I GET A KICK...out of Kevin Blaum's exuberance stating that when the state office building is built in downtown Wilkes-Barre the restaurants will follow and then the shops will follow. I think he's going to need the Pied Piper to get retail back down in Wilkes-Barre. As an example, just take a look at that innovation center. There hasn't been a retail client in there since it opened. And I'll guarantee anybody that there never will be one as long as that building is on South Main Street, a total waste of taxpayers' money. What jobs have they provided for this besides the head administrator? Other than that, it's been a total waste of money.

Damn! The Pied Piper? Can the Chamber of Commerce really afford to bring his consultation firm to town? It's highly unlikely.

To be honest, I get a kick out of the enfeeblement that passes as brilliance in the SAYSO column. The Pied Piper? Did we think that one up on our own, or did a failed candidate for council help us with that one?

So the Chamber folks gutted the former Woolworth's luncheonette and built that Innovation Center@Wilkes-Barre. And as of this moment, it doesn't seem to have paid any dividends at all. It's just sitting there. It's just sitting there waiting for what?

Take a gander at the section of this story from today's Voice that I copied:

Tortilla-making plant to open in Mountain Top

By Tim Gulla, Citizens' Voice Staff Writer

01/27/2005

A Mexico-based company's food products subsidiary will use a new plant in Wright Township to supply corn and wheat flour tortillas and nacho chips to grocery stores and eateries from Maine to Virginia.

Irving, Texas-based Mission Foods, which is owned by Mexico-based Gruma SA de C.V., purchased a recently built flexible-use building from Mericle Commercial Real Estate and has launched an aggressive schedule to get its newest food products plant up and running by May.

The company said it will initially hire about 100 people for its production line and as many as 232 people within three years as more lines are added. The company didn't release wage estimates but said the pay will be "competitive."

Though the state put together a $6.7 million financial package to lure the company to the region, Mission Foods President and CEO Jairo Senise said the oversized ceremonial checks he received Wednesday were not the only reason the company chose Wright Township.

"We found the environment was welcoming of a new company," he said.

He also lauded the way state, county and local officials were able to mobilize to get the project moving forward quickly.

Though Senise declined to name the other locations his company had been investigating for its 16th production facility, officials from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry said Wright Township had been one of more than 20 communities in the running.

The company ultimately narrowed its list to just two communities, and Wright Township won out over another location in New Jersey, said Steve Barrouk, chamber president.

"Gruma could have gone anywhere," said Gov. Ed Rendell. "Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut were all bidding for this site."

Rendell credited the state's economic stimulus programs and the region's strong workforce for giving Northeastern Pennsylvania the edge. Barrouk also credited the fact Luzerne County had an almost ready-to-use site.

"Most companies are moving very quickly and don't want the lead time," he said. Though some changes needed to be made to the site to accommodate food production, Charles Lung, a construction manager at Gruma, said the pre- constructed building gave Mission Foods a year to 18-month head start.

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Now let's zero in on this snippet from that story:

Rendell credited the state's economic stimulus programs and the region's strong workforce for giving Northeastern Pennsylvania the edge. Barrouk also credited the fact Luzerne County had an almost ready-to-use site.

"Most companies are moving very quickly and don't want the lead time," he said. Though some changes needed to be made to the site to accommodate food production, Charles Lung, a construction manager at Gruma, said the pre-constructed building gave Mission Foods a year to 18-month head start.

A head start? Hmmm. An 18-month head start? Hmmm. It sure sounds as if it's not a bad idea to provide the vehicle by which a company can relocate to this area and hit the ground running. Heyna? If you build it they will come? Or if we build it, only the head administrators will come? Some folks can't see the potential progress through the SAYSO fog. Some folks should not have access to an anonymous hatchet job generator. Some folks should know better than to publish such mis-informed bile.

Then again, this interesting snippet came from none other than a Times Leader employee that posted on the "What Happened to Walzer?" web site:

There's no doubt that the T-L did good journalism under Allison's stewardship, but there also is no doubt that the newspaper did a lot of bad journalism as well. As the paper's news hole shrunk over the years, so did the level of creativity from the top, culminating in the hideous and unimaginative SAYSO line that flies in the face of everything that decent journalism is supposed to represent.

Need I say more?

The latest from the Chamber's web site:

INNOVATION CENTER @ WILKES-BARRE RECEIVES

(01/10/2005)

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry’s Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre recently received the 2004 Silver Commonwealth Design Award, recognizing its contribution to design excellence and responsible development in Pennsylvania. The award was presented at a ceremony and luncheon attended by Governor Edward Rendell at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Commonwealth Design Awards were developed by 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania as an annual juried program to raise awareness of projects that successfully demonstrate sound land use principles around the Commonwealth – from urban and suburban to rural development and redevelopment projects.

Larry Newman, Executive Vice President at the Wilkes-Barre Chamber explains, “The awards honor smart growth design, cutting-edge community development, and progressive urban and rural planning in Pennsylvania. Smart design can revitalize abandoned or neglected sites. It can brighten, preserve, and transform towns, villages, and cities throughout the Commonwealth.”

In addition to the Commonwealth Design Award the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre also received a Special Recognition Award from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Both award nominations were submitted by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, project architect

More than an office building or a traditional business incubator, the Chamber’s Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre is a place designed to unite energy, ideas, talent and expertise. Opened on May 20, 2004, the building is located in the historic Woolworth’s building on South Main Street in Downtown Wilkes-Barre, close to colleges and universities. The technology incubator provides tenants with convenient access to a well-trained workforce, as well as research and development resources. Designated a KIZ and KOZ (Keystone Innovation and Opportunity Zone) area, the facility offers newly renovated Class A space and tax incentives to potential tenants -- with 15,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of small business start-up space, along with 30,000 square feet of retail space.

The Commonwealth Design Award winners embody the following Smart Growth objectives:

o Revitalizing existing communities and business districts
o Strengthening local, regional, and state land use planning and implementation
o Encouraging future development near existing infrastructure
o Reducing traffic congestion and air and water pollution
o Providing housing for people of all ages and incomes
o Protecting historic, natural, agricultural, and recreational resources
o Reducing land and resource consumption
o Conserving fiscal resources

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A total waste of money?

Or, an investment in our future that was built just a tad bit early?

Wait. Here's another news blurb:

BEN FRANKLIN TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS INVEST $45,000

(11/17/2004)

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) recently presented an investment of $45,000 in support of the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre(ICWB), the technology incubator project of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry.

The goal of the ICWB is to promote new venture development in the Luzerne County area by providing business advice and support services, professional resources and appropriate space for entrepreneurs and other small businesses with a focus on technology.

BFTP/NEP’s goal is to help lead Northeastern Pennsylvania to a better economic future by building partnerships that develop and apply technology for competitive advantage.

For more information, visit www.icwb.biz

********


I remember way back when...when we were trying to lose an incompetant administration, quite a few members of our very own police department told me off the record that the hose dudes were crazy to endorse any candidate for mayor in this city. They told me that the hose dudes got burned the last time they did such a thing, and that they'd regret having done so once again. While I respected their opinion, I, of course, was having none of that. I completely respected the hose dudes that took a public political stand while facing intimidation tactics and whatnot from the administration that was treading some serious water, and I still do.

And as we were heading into the big primary battle between Tom Leighton and Tom McGroarty, then Mayor McGroarty announced that he and the cops had settled on a new contract that had some of us gasping in disbelief. Not only was it a long-term contract by public employee standards, the scheduled salary increases were very liberal considering that the then mayor couldn't pay the overdue bills that were piling fairly high on his desk at city hall.

While the case could be easily made that the former mayor was either trying to buy votes, or buy a union endorsement; the copper dudes stuck to their guns and endorsed neither of the mayoral candidates.

And after running across the following news blurb, I'd have to say that the former mayor, who had probably never even heard of The Hobbs Act, got lucky that the cops will not dive into the middle of any political entanglement. Read on...

Grand jury quizzes fire union leaders, aides to Mayor Murphy

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

By Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal prosecutors questioned city firefighter union leaders and current and past Murphy administration officials, including former Deputy Mayor Sal Sirabella, yesterday for almost five hours, as they continued to probe a contract Mayor Tom Murphy awarded the union on the eve of the May 2001 primary.

City Solicitor Jacqueline Morrow, who testified for nearly an hour, said prosecutors largely asked for a "chronology of events" from early 2001, as the administration was negotiating contract terms with the union in the months leading up to the Democratic primary for mayor.

Shortly before the primary, Murphy agreed on a four-year contract deal with the union that included salary increases and shielded firefighters from layoffs and station closings. The then 850-member union endorsed him and Murphy went on to win the Democratic primary by just 699 votes over challenger Bob O'Connor.

Prosecutors are apparently trying to discover whether Murphy awarded the contract, which union President Joseph King said last year included $10 million to $12 million in upgrades, in exchange for endorsement by the union.

*********

Yup. The Hobbs Act. If any our big guns have never heard of it, they had better study up for future reference.


I couldn't resist....this SAYSO gibberish:

GEORGE BUSH wants peace all over the world. You can't even walk the streets at night in Wilkes-Barre with the drug heads and the pimps.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hmmm, we see people out there doing it. What do others think?

So...what's your f**king point? George Bush wanting "peace all over the world" is a bad thing? Or is Bush responsible for what goes on in Wilkes-Barre? Was-a-matta? Aren't the bullet-proof curtains making you feel safe enough as you peer outside at the untamed world?

I walk the streets after dark all the time. Or cycle on them. Anyway, no one has ever even as much as threatened me after dark excepting for one of the former mayor's suck-ass cronies turned failure as a politician.

The criminals want only your pocket change. The criminals pretending to be activists and viable political candidates won't rest until they have sucked the lifeblood out of this community.

Drug heads? Pimps?

No biggie. At least they don't want to run the entire show.

Me gotsta go.

Some local chickie went and sent me four CDs via snail mail.

I'm in Heaven!

CYA

PS-via the e-mail inbox:

In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden ... and thus the word GOLF entered into English.



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