4-11-2005 It's still half full


I don't know who the players are going to be, but we're gonna have a good team.--John Smoltz

Dig that one Phils fans!!!

The state's Weights & Measures crew is in town and inspecting our suddenly suspect parking meters at a dizzying rate. Good.

And whether they're fully cognizant of it or not, and whether they'd believe it or not, some of the folks currently residing among us are, well, pitiable.

Here's a snippet from the Leader story W-B's next task: certifying meters.

By Lane Filler

City Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski inserted himself into the fray Friday, arriving at City Hall to deliver papers to Leighton demanding that the city stop writing tickets until the meters are certified. He also said the city should refund all of the money it has collected on parking tickets since 1997, a sum that would likely amount to more than $1 million.

Kadluboski in the past has pressed the city to save money by cutting the pay, benefits and pensions of elected officials. He was the city’s exclusive tower until last year, when a dispute led to arbitration that allowed the city to relieve him of his duties.

When Kadluboski showed up at City Hall, Leighton refused to speak to him.

As several police officers hovered nearby, Leighton invited the media into his office and left Kadluboski standing in the reception area.

“We impounded cars, put the boot on cars, and now it turns out it was all illegal,” Kadluboski said. “How would you feel if you had paid $2,500 worth of tickets only to find out the meters were illegal?”

Kadluboski’s fees were also paid by the people whose cars might have been towed or impounded illegally, but he said he would not return the money, adding, “Why should I? I didn’t do anything wrong. The city should return the money I got paid too.”

And we've got this excerpt from the Voice story State to inspect W-B's parking meters.

By Denise Allabaugh and Elizabeth Skrapits

City-Wide towing operator Bob Kadluboski believes the city does owe refunds on the parking meter fines. He marched into Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton's office Friday demanding the city refund all the money collected from parking meters since 1996.

Kadluboski, who makes his living charging $85 for each illegally parked car he tows, complained the city still issued parking tickets after learning the meters are not state-certified.

"They're just flirting with trouble," Kadluboski complained. "The city booted their cars and impounded their cars. People were arrested. The city owes them an apology and a refund."

Leighton called six police officers to city hall after Kadluboski arrived and demanded the city stop issuing parking tickets.

Kadluboski handed a letter to Marie McCormick, executive assistant to the mayor, stating he sent letters to Luzerne County district attorney's office and Wilkes-Barre police asking them to seek an injunction against the city to stop ticketing vehicles.

Leighton would not accept Kadluboski's letter or allow him into his office.
The mayor said the city's parking enforcement officers are still writing tickets.

Here's two other tidbits I snagged from the Voice:

The Citizens' Voice exclusively reported last week that parking meters in Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Plymouth, Shickshinny and Hazleton, were not certified by the state, as is required by law. Scranton's 1,300 meters have also not been certified.

Pascal acknowledged it is difficult for the 14 people who work for the department to inspect all gas pumps, supermarket scanners, parking meters and other units.

SO...practically every town in this county had no idea at all about the 1996 changes to the law that led to this ridiculous situation. And the fact of the matter is that municipalities from all over the state found themselves in much the same position. And with a staff of 14, it seems that the Bureau of Weights & Measures is about as well staffed as a whorehouse sitting at a gay beach' edge.

Who cares? The Citizen's Voice gets the exclusive it sought, some deadbeats are rejoicing after being given a reprieve by the local magistrate and somehow, Tom Leighton managed to get those scale inspectors into Wilkes-Barre in just one week's time. Or, for those of you clinging to your negativity...he fixed the problem inside of a week. Are atta-boys appropriate about now? Or should we follow the lead of the pitiable?

Answer me this. Wilkes-Barre was not the only town blindsided by this parking meter relevation. So why is it that Wilkes-Barre was the only town involved that had one of it's own pulling a cheap circus stunt in response? I didn't read of any scabrous doings up Pittston way. I didn't hear anything about salacious folks going off in Scranton. Nope. Not a single outraged soul stormed The Bastille in Hazleton. Nobody freaked out in Shickshinny other than a couple of council folks that want to do a ten-round death match over a couple of water pumps. (?) No one from Plymouth dressed like a secret agent man and sought out their mayor for a bit of needless political showboating. Why is it that Wilkes-Barre always seems to be the birthplace of political idiocy run amok?

And people ask me why I'm so completely down on the phoney few who profess to be saving me something or other? One week our newest defender of the faith claims he's working to save us taxpayers oodles and oodles of money. And the very next week he's demanding that the city stupidly fork over millions of dollars to folks who purposely skirted the law in most cases. How's that for consistency coming from a guy still seething with anger after being unceremoniously dumped? A guy that ignored the possible political ramifications of his actions for well too long.

From where I'm sitting, our self-appointed taxpayer activists offer up little more than false assumptions, faulty premises and intentional misrepresentations. Oh, and a nominating petition every now and again. I'd take my chances with a sleepover at Michael Jackson's ranch before I'd ever support any of those hapless dorks.

City-Wide towing operator Bob Kadluboski believes the city does owe refunds on the parking meter fines. He marched into Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton's office Friday demanding the city refund all the money collected from parking meters since 1996.

Yawn.


Uncle Paul went and got one right for a change.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Contact: Gretchen M. Wintermantel 202.225.6511

Congressman Kanjorski Calls Cuts in Community Development Block Grants Catastrophic

WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) today confronted the Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Commerce, telling them they are “out of touch with reality” when they requested that Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) be slashed by $2 billion and consolidated into a new program.

Congressman Kanjorski rejected the proposal that cuts CDBG funding by 35 percent in the 2006 budget, calling the Administration’s cuts morally and fiscally irresponsible.

Carlos Gutierrez, Department of Commerce Secretary, and Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development today testified before the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over CDBG grants, asking that the funding be moved from HUD to the Department of Commerce into a new program called Strengthening America’s Communities. Congressman Kanjorski utilized his role as the second highest Democrat on the Committee to tell the Secretaries if it were it up to him, he would double the funding for economic development programs.

“Communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania count on this funding for vital economic and community development initiatives. This Administration’s 2006 budget slashes funding from Community Development Block Grants by more than $2 billion. This restructuring is nothing but the ‘smoke and mirrors’ tactic that we have seen all too often. The effect of these cuts will have a far-reaching impact in all five counties in my congressional district. I have been contacted by many of the elected officials I represent and they have expressed to me the devastating effect these cuts would have. This proposal cuts at the heart of the communities that rely upon this money for projects that they cannot otherwise support financially.”

Additionally, Congressman Kanjorski was among 181 signatories of a March 8 bipartisan letter to the House Budget Committee expressing deep opposition to the changes that would jeopardize the local flexibility of the program that has made it work so well.

And Dubya is sucking stagnant pond water on this one.


This little ditty from The Times Leader also caught my eye:

Posted on Sat, Apr. 09, 2005

COMMENTARY

Wilkes-Barre will be sum of our efforts

TWO PROJECTS under way in downtown Wilkes-Barre — the downtown theater complex and the River Common development — have been criticized in recent months. The comments focus on wasted dollars in a city that will never again be vibrant.

We respectfully disagree with this line of thinking. Wilkes-Barre has significant potential and we believe these two projects should be viewed with pride. Community revitalization and community sustainability come from investment. In this case, local government, county government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and our local chamber of commerce are investing in our downtown. They have become developers of last resort. These two developments pave the way for new investment from the private sector. Developers and new businesses aren’t going to invest in a community when the community doesn’t care enough to invest in itself.

Growth and prosperity come from new investment. We can already see real estate transactions occurring in downtown involving individuals and developers, both locally and from out of the area, as a result of what has been started.

One need only take a look at how Pasadena and San Diego have transformed themselves in the past 10 years. Other communities, such as San Antonio, Fayetteville, Akron, Denver, and Detroit, have reinvested in themselves and reinvented themselves, and have created more jobs and improved the overall quality of life.

Wilkes-Barre and surrounding communities have many strong attributes that we often take for granted. There is an appealing quality of life; there are many amenities; the cost of living is affordable; and we have proximity to major markets. We have limited traffic congestion, clean air, and a strong higher-education infrastructure.

There is no denying that many things are broken and need to be fixed. However, we need to begin somewhere. Many success stories begin with the public sector paving the path toward investment and creating projects involving the arts, culture, recreation, and venues. These types of projects help to develop a community’s image and restore its pride. The tie to economic development is simple.

Companies want to locate where their employees want to live! Business owners know their employees are more productive if they are happy, if they can afford to purchase a home, have their children attend good schools, and have options regarding recreation, shopping, dining, and cultural activities.

We tend to forget that this community deteriorated over time, and it will take time to repair and rebuild it. We also tend to take for granted the positives of our region by minimizing their importance while focusing on the negative. Image and pride are developed by being informed and involved.

It is time to work for and support positive change, rather than remain negative, complacent, and uninvolved.

Teri Ooms is the executive director of the Joint Urban Studies Center, a research-based think tank founded by Wilkes University, in partnership with College Misericordia, King’s College, Luzerne County Community College, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, and the University of Scranton. JUSC was formed to educate, strategize, and convene on urban renewal, community, and economic development.

That's kinda like the long version of Wilkes-Barre's glass not being half empty, but still half full.

Wilkes-Barre has significant potential and we believe these two projects should be viewed with pride.

I follow that. Unlike many of the folks that call this place their home, I am unequivocally opposed to being negative all of the time for lack of anything better to be. We spent eight painful years being led towards the cliff's edge before pulling back at the last possible second, and I refuse to join the ranks of the negative scurfs that generate the bulk of the "Wilkes-Barre sucks," or the "Leighton sucks" calls to SAYSO. And as far as Tom Leighton's performance is concerned, his most vocal critics are gonna look really stupid a few short years from now. And I can't wait to rub their noses in their stupidity they so willingly put on parade.

Kevin Lynn's hero, Karl Marx, once said that "religion is the opiate of the masses." In this area, too many of us pray at the altar of abject stupidity. Their orthodoxy is one of negativity that, I'm afraid, reverberates far beyond the bucolic confines of this county. If we think we suck, why wouldn't outsiders be resigned to believing us? You see, my friends, in this area negativity seems to be the opiate of the masses. And I'm sick of it.

As for me, I live in Wilkes-Barre and I'm damn proud to say as much.

You'll see. Be patient and supportive.

Wilkes-Barre's glass is not half empty.

It's still half full.


From the e-mail inbox $100.00

A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00.

When the postal authorities received the letter to God, USA, they decided to send it to the President. The President was so amused that he told his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill. The President thought that would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.

The little boy way delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:

Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Washington, DC., and those assholes deducted $95.00 in taxes

It's the end of the world as we know it. I feel fine.

THEIR GOVERNMENT AT WORK

Law will force men to do housework

New measure hailed as victory for feminists in macho Spain

Posted: April 9, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Spain is about to pass a law forcing men to do housework.

The draft approved by the Spanish parliament's justice commission says men must "share domestic responsibilities and the care and attention" of children and elderly family members, the London Guardian reported.

The amendment, which has the backing of every Spanish party, will be incorporated later this year into the marriage contract at civil wedding ceremonies in a country where it's reported 40 percent of men do no housework at all.

It will be applied in divorce proceedings: Men who don't do their share could be give less time with their children.

"The idea of equality within marriage always stumbles over the problem of work in the house and caring for dependent people," said the law's chief sponsor, Margarita Uría, of the Basque Nationalist party.

"This will be a good way of reminding people what their duties are," she said, according to the Guardian. "It is something feminists have been wanting for a long time."

The London paper said statistics show even where both men and women have jobs outside the home, Spanish women do three times as much housework.

Uría also is concerned about women taking most of the burden of care for the elderly.

The law, expected to be passed in three weeks, will add domestic obligations to marital duties that include fidelity, living together and helping one another.

A study five years ago by Spain's Centre for Sociological Investigation found just 19 percent of Spanish men believe mothers of school-age children should have a full-time job.

The survey also concluded fathers spent an average of 13 minutes each day taking care of their children.

Yeah! They're legislating household chores? Somebody get that old, grumpy fart Kevin Lynn on the phone and ask him if he still wants the United States to become Europe West?

Opal, you hot lil' bitch! Get me a golled danged beer and then get yer ass to dustin' my fargin' CDs!

Looky there! Something else to bitch about.

Whatever. Let the negative ninnies knock themselves out.

Gotta jet.

CYA


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