A couple of days back I read one of those public notices in the Voice which announced which folks were seeking zoning variances and where within the city's limits. And one in particular caught my attention. It sounded kinda fishy to me. And then I awoke to find this snippet I grabbed from a Times Leader story:
Posted on Fri, May. 06, 2005
Homeless mission eyes W-B
A rescue shelter on Park Avenue would help men with alcohol and drug addiction.
By LANE FILLER firstname.lastname@example.org
WILKES-BARRE – A national missionary group is seeking to locate a facility on Park Avenue that would feed, shelter and rehabilitate homeless men suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism.
The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, which operates more than 300 such shelters, hopes to renovate the former Recupero Funeral Home buildings at 135-137 Park Ave. and 141-143 Park Ave. The parking lot behind 248-250 S. Welles St. would also be used.
“The first line of our mission work is to reach out to homeless men with food,” said David Treadwell, president of the Association’s Mideast District. “We then look to house them, and move them into an active program of recovery for their addictions.”
The shelter needs the approval of the city’s zoning officials,
The site is located in a residential/commercial stretch of Park Avenue which has seen some trouble.
Heard enough? I know I have.
Do we really need yet another idiot magnet in this city? Do we? Why can't these so-called missionaries head on down to Brazil and build some fecal matter and pebble huts somewhere in the remote rain forests? Why not teach the cannibals to pray? Or go to Africa and frolic with some endangered species, or something. Why Wilkes-Barre? Why Park Avenue? Are all of the adult rehab beds at the Salvation Army skyscraper spoken for?
As far as I'm concerned, they should take these transplants from the big cities back to the big cities and build a freakin' flop house in their hometown and not in our's.
We are very restrictive when men come to stay here. So these men, who have to be in at a certain time and account for their actions, are not the ones causing mischief. Bringing this kind of mission into a neighborhood solves these problems, it doesn’t cause them.
Yeah, and drunks can f>ckin' fly! Maybe I should get my Uncle John on the blower and ask him to write an op-ed about the people these missionaries seek to "help." He's spent the past decade working in just such environments. This is nothing more than the latest entry into the cottage industry that drunks, drug addicts and criminals on the lam have become. And if you think I'm somehow off-base, or simply being hard-hearted; get a Wilkes-Barre cop on the land line and see if they need another regular stop added to their already staggering itineraries.
I have no clue who sits on the zoning board, but if they allow this monstrousity to go forward, I would be forced to assume that they reside nowhere near it. Not even close, I'd bet. There's a couple of vacant apartment buildings right around the corner from police headquarters on N. Washington Street. If they really must round up some losers so as to justify their employment, let the missionaries work their "magic" there.
And another thing. It really yanks my chain when I happen upon the lists of donors to our various and sundry idiot magnets dispersed so far and wide throughout this city. They usually read like a Who's Who of the rich, the elected and the professional sect. Yepper. The philanthropists living in the 5,000 square foot houses must feel really good about their generosity, but they aren't doing us any favors by propping up our idiot magnets for the foreseeable future. And the way I see it, most of them are shooting themselves in the foot. Very many of the same people that donate to the havens of lunacy are also working very hard to revitalize some aspect of this city and, or county. I can't feature that.
Why invest one's time and energy in trying to help rehab a flailing city, while at the same time, in effect, paying the electric bill for that huge neon sign that reads: "FREE STUFF FOR IDIOTS IN WILKES-BARRE," that always seems to be blazing away? I don't need to read anymore parables from the high-falootin' folks that don't have to pay for our cops, our paramedics, our firefighters, or who will likely never need one. As it stands right now, is there a shortage of idiot magnets in this city? Not from where I'm freakin' sitting. And who exactly do our cops, paramedics and firefighters spend a great deal of their time tending to, or chasing after? You got it, kiddies. The idiots when they're let out of the magnets that drew them to this city in the first place.
Bottom line, what would happen if the soup kitchen, the missions, the Salvation Army, VISION!, the meth clinic, and all of the other idiot magnets I can't think of right now picked up and moved to Pittston? What would happen?
The idiots would migrate to Pittston, too.
Somebody drop me an electronic pulse if you happen to know who sits on that zoning board? We simply cannot stand for anymore of this costly and destructive government sanctioned reverse-gentrification bullspit.
"Yeah Don, he's always been great. Every day he told me I'm his lady, he loved me. He told me he had deep feelings for me.--Cynthia Ore, Congressman Don Sherwood's longtime "acquaintance"
I snagged this from WNEP's internet oasis:
Friday, May 6, 4:06 p.m.
By Scott Schaffer
Woman Alleges Affair with Congressman
A congressman from our area finds himself in an embarrassing controversy. Republican Don Sherwood, who represents the 10th district, has issued an apology to his family and his supporters. It comes after a Washington D.C. area woman has just gone very public, claiming she had a five year affair with the married congressman.
A number of reporters were recently tipped that, back in September, the woman called police from Sherwood's Washington apartment, claiming the congressman tried to choke her. Newswatch 16 investigated the information last week, but could not substantiate the woman's claim, and police found there was no cause to file charges.
Now the woman has turned up in a newspaper and on a radio station in our area talking about much more than a one-time incident. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader published a photograph of Cynthia Ore, 29, on it's front page Friday.
At about the same time, Ore was speaking live to WILK radio in Luzerne County from her home in Maryland.
"I met him in 1999," she said to the radio interviewers, adding they have been dating.
"And you stayed at his apartment and left clothing there?" Ore was asked. "Yes, clothes, shoes, personal items," she responded.
His apartment refers to Congressman Don Sherwood, Republican representative from the 10th district, married for more than 30 years and the father of three daughters.
"Yeah Don, he's always been great. Every day he told me I'm his lady, he loved me. He told me he had deep feelings for me," Ore said.
But she didn't say much about the September, 15th, 2004 incident, in which she called police from Sherwood's D.C. apartment, claiming he was choking her. "It was a very long day and I ended up in the E.R.," she added.
The incident report says police found no cause to press charges. Ore told WILK that it was no secret in Washington she was the congressman's lady. "So my girlfriend's know. Actually they think he's hot, which he is of course," she said.
Congressman Sherwood's office had no comment Friday except to repeat the congressman's apology for any pain and embarrassment he's caused his family and supporters.
I was with a customer very early this morning, so I was not privy to the latest from local talk radio. Yeah, I'm back to listening to Kevin Lynn, this area's bed-wetting version of Michael Savage. And yeah, I have somehow managed to tolerate Nancy Kman's daily outrage over what Tom Delay, Tom Bolton, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez, George W. Bush, or anyone else not hugging a tree, or their same-sex partner did to all of humanity. She's no Anne Coulter, but she sure as hell mimics Maureen Dowd.
Anyway, I concluded my business with the aforementioned customer and turned on my pocket AM radio only to hear Kev and Nancy discussing their just concluded conversation with none other than Cynthia Ore. In case you're not up to speed, she's the chickie Don Sherwood was accused of massaging...well, somewhere or other. And if that wasn't amazing enough, they said they were going to replay their entire conversation with Ms. Cynthia right after the upcoming news break. From that moment on, I was counting the nanoseconds, while my denuded mind spun. How did they get her on the phone? Why in the hell would she talk to them? And where was Don Sherwood? In DC trying to come up with some new entitlement programs? Or in NEPA sitting in front of an AM radio with his head in his hands?
I'm not totally naive, here. I realize that congressmen have flings with brainless bimbos about as often as Russian submarines disappear into undersea trenches never to be seen again. But for the local talk jocks here in Culm County to get this chickie from DC on the telephone, and then to have her babble away is quite the news gathering achievement. While Kev and Nance were pressing the babe, there had to be station employees high-fiving each other just out of the microphones' reach.
Nancy takes the bounce pass off the boards and skates over the blue line. She shoots...SHE SCORES!!!
To be honest, when I saw this lady's picture on Page 1 of the Leader this morning, that bubble-headed blonde stereotype jumped right into my brain. Suzanne Sommers' TV persona? Nah. Ya got me. Some dumb blonde would come to mind sooner or later. And no sooner did WILK replay that audio did Marilyn Monroe jump right at me. Wanna know what sort of zaniness flashed before me? How 'bout: "Happy Birthday Mister Congressman..."
And before I knew it, the morning drive show was ending, and Sue Henry's show was set to get underway shortly. Wanna guess what topic dominated her show? "Happy birthday Mister Congressman..." And after a slew of adjectives were used to describe Ms. Cindy's performance, Sue herself made a reference to Marilyn Monroe. See!!!
The audiotape was absolutely frightening. I don't want to disparage the lady, but she really seems to be the intellectual equivalent of a dill pickle slice. I'm sure she's really, really nice...in a thong. Sorry about that. I'm sure she's really, really nice...in the buff. Jesus! Sorry. I'm sure she's really, really nice...covered in whipped cream. Shoot! I'm sure she's really, really nice...all spread eagled and waiting for the best "massage" this side of Adultery Falls.
You might be leaning towards big whoop right about now. But to get this babe to talk about her "affairs" with the good congressman on the radio is damn near next to impossible. And to get her to call back a second time is almost beyond belief. And yet...I heard it all with my very own wax-encrusted, pointy ears. Unreal. Un-freaking-real.
Whatever, man. Don't much matter to me. I ain't got no dog in this "hunt." But the entire episode did make for some breath taking talk radio. I still can't believe it.
And this creates an opening for the Green Party's Kurt Shotko. With all of this controversy swirling around Don Sherwood, I'm thinking Shotko has a legitimate chance of capturing 9 percent of the vote next time around.
"Happy Birthday Mister Congressman..."
Rated 84% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record.
(I actually typed all of that refuse last night, but there came a point when I was too pooped to post)
I snagged the tail end of Mary Ondrako's Radio Rap column in today's Voice:
WILK wins awards
Nancy Kman, WILK's program director, recently returned from an Associated Press awards banquet in Hershey that recognized medium market stations in Pennsylvania.
She and co-host Kevin Lynn won for best morning show, while Bud Brown's noon news program placed second for best regularly scheduled newscast.
Joe Thomas, Rob Neyhard and Tom Regan, associated with WILK's "High School Football Game of the Week" placed second for sports play-by-play coverage.
Mary Ondrako writes about radio every Saturday. She can be reached at email@example.com
It should be noted that Kevin & Nancy "won for best morning show" in the entire state of Pennsylvania. That is no small accomplishment. You can read Nancy's thoughts about it by visiting Nancy & Kevin's Daily Update
Who knew that mercilous Bush-bashing could garner such lofty awards? Sorry, but I had to get that jab in there.
Wanna see a nifty picture of the sewage Uncle Kanjo wants to dam for recreational purposes?
We might as well include the latest from the folks that absolutely refuse to cease with the well-worn sowing the seeds of discontent bit. A letter to the editors of the Leader:
Posted on Wed, May. 04, 2005
W-B’s residential areas neglected; central city gets attention
This is an open letter to Wilkes-Barre mayor and city council. What districts constitute the City of Wilkes-Barre? If my memory is correct, the city, starting from the north, consists of North Wilkes-Barre, Miners Mills, Parsons, Brookside, East End, Heights, Mayflower, Rolling Hill Mills, South Wilkes-Barre and, last but not least, Goose Island. Those are all residential sections of the city that at the present time pay the highest percent of income and property taxes. Many also pay the $52 emergency services tax.
At the present time the mayor and city council are against district representation. Since the 1972 flood, we have spent millions of dollars on central city. Congressman Paul Kanjorski presented the city $100 million, and where was that money spent? On projects in central city.
Central city has been well represented by the mayors and city council from the year 1972 to 2005. I think in this case districting has the support of our elected officials.
Congressman Paul Kanjorski presented the city $100 million, and where was that money spent?
$100 million? Did I freakin' miss something? $100 million? Uncle Kanjo ascended to Intern Alley in...wasn't it 1984? And in twenty years he managed to deliver $100 million in federal pork to be spent in downtown Wilkes-Barre? Wow! Forget f>cking Henry Aaron. Somebody had better do a bit of fact checking on Kanjo's track record as the alleged pork barrel champion the likes of which no intern has ever squatted upon.
$100 f>cking million??? That's a f>cking ludicrous claim. Then again, the hydra-headed taxpayer activists seem to have no qualms about skewing the facts and figures, or making what they know fully to be incendiary misrepresentations. Some of these folks seem to have an intrinsic negativity that pervades everything that they see and do. I find it untolerable that the wigged-out whack jobs among us can do no better than to constantly bombard us with their sublimated impulses of abject negativity, and their proclivities for spreading an unending message of impending doom. They are to unmitigated idiocy what Michael Jackson is to pederasty.
Sez f>cking me.
Hey, Ambrose. Check the following pics. There's $7 million the governor of the state sent our way. That's bad too, right?
I remember reading an e-mail back in late summer 2002. We were marching towards that primary showdown between McG and Leighton, and that e-mail was a bit of a warning proffered up as some friendly advice. I think Kevin sent it my way. Kevin grew up in Nord End, but like so many others before him, he chose to live elsewhere when he had finally grown beyond his parents control. You know, he grew up.
Anyway, the gist of his electronic pulse was that maybe I should pull back from wholeheartedly supporting Leighton just in case the guy actually won the mayoral spot and then proceeded to fall flat on his face. The fact is, that was some pretty good advice. If Leighton had gotten himself elected to the top spot and then proceeded to be totally clueless, my credibility would have been lower than that of your garden variety taxpayer activist slug.
But as I told him at that time, I don't do things half-way. When I go for something, I dive in head first. And the way I saw things back then, we either elected Leighton, or we joined the caravan headed out of town. I was convinced Leighton would do us proud. And I also knew that I'd never be near as happy cruising on any bicycle through the Back Mountain, or across Mountain Top (one word, or two?) as I would wandering through the city that I've been connected to throughout my entire life.
Cruisin' down Main Street Dallas? I think not. Pedaling along the back roads while sophisticates in BMW coupes double the speed limit with one hand on a cell phone and the other on a Blackberry? Not!
Nah. I'd prefer to cruise Public Square with the fountain full of screaming children on a hot summer day. I want to saunter along on top of the dike and wonder when we'll be able to splash into that water without having a leg amputated only because we had an open wound when we did so. I wanna traverse the length of the city. I like watching the Nord End kids playing out their dreams at the ballyard, and then somehow ending up in South Wilkes-Barre later on that same day and watching those other kids putting their hearts and souls into a six-inning game. Back Mountain Little League? Nope. Too damn big and too damn centralized. The ballyard goings-on are supposed to be a neighborhood thing.
I wanna park the car and wander from store to store in a downtown setting. I have no need for packing up the kids and bouncing from unsightly strip mall to unsightly strip mall completely devoid of atmosphere, or charm, while the overbearing multitude of other drivers do their level best to violate every traffic law ever written. Nope. I want the Park 'n' Lock. I want the retailers that will validate my parking ticket. I want a Gallery of Sound within walking distance. I seek the smallish, informal eateries with reasonable prices, ash trays, an owner not on the Forbes list and waitresses that won't try to suggestively sell anything to me that I didn't already ask for.
I don't want to be just another refugee lost in the sprawl. I wanna be in the thick of things. I don't need a 10,000 pound SUV to take in any parade, the 4th of July fireworks, or any festival truly indigenous to Wilkes-Barre. I have a bicycle, and I have a Radio Flyer wagon. If the oil embargo to end all oil embargos started tomorrow, I'd still be cruising from one end of my city to the other, while the folks who chose the long commutes to nearly everything they need would be considering a bullet.
And I enjoy watching my police department bringing the hammer down on street level miscreants. That never upsets me. You won't see me grabbing the kids, running to the car, locking the doors and speeding off to Gateville. There's no sense running away only because some folks can't, or won't get their acts together. Screw that! Stay, support your police department and relish those moments when they reaffirm your faith in them. If enough of us were of the attitude that the miscreants had better watch their asses, maybe the exodus out of the city never would have happened in the first place. When a kid from Dallas sees some piss-stained fool loitering in an alley, mommy covers his eyes and speeds back to La-la Land. When I see that very same piss-stained fool loitering in the alley, I take some pictures, laugh out loud and taunt him just a bit. Safely back in La-la Land, mommy calls the cops when the neighbor erects a gymset too close to her property line. One person's out-of-touch perception reduces them to being a sniveling wimp and a victim waiting to happen here in the big (?) city. And yet another person's city living reality forces them to face life head on rather than running away from it.
If rural living is abject perfection, why is it that the folks who's back yards are impinging upon the once pristine forests are constantly bitching about their problems? Oooo, the deer ate my favorite bushes. The chipmunks got into the garage and ripped our sleeping bags to shreads. The bears destroyed our pricey Humming bird feeders. And the field mice ripped into our bags of bird seed. I had to shell out $8,000 to tap into the sewers. No, I'm stuck with propane living out here. Service Electric? No, not way out here. It's the satellite dish, or Jigger Vision Inc., so we had to get the dish. And those damned hunters keep whizzing bullets past our property.
You need a landscaper so as to keep up with the Jones'. You need a pool guy so as to keep up with the other Jones'. You need to have the 5,000 trees ringing your property pruned now and again. You have to shovel the deepest of snowfalls from in front of the mailbox, or the rural delivery, imitation mailman drives right on by. You need a dependable (new) vehicle at all times. In many cases, you need a gas-powered generator to power the well pump iffin' the 'lectricity goes away on the stormiest of nights. You have to own a snowblower big enough to excite Tim the Tool Man. You need to buy your own plow, or pay someone else to plow the private road to the bungalow. It'd be smart to lease a wood chipper. A $25,000 John Deere would come in handy now and again. Those really, really big bees are boring holes into the exterior of the guest house/garage. The voles are ruining the appearance of the mulch beds.
Simplicity? Methinks not. No, you can keep your bucolic hideaways. As for me, I'll be down here in Wilkes-Barre dealing with reality as it is. And the way I see it, that's a good thing. I can walk two blocks to the west and load up on groceries. I can walk two blocks in the other direction and load up on pizza and six-packs. I can walk a couple blocks to the south and marvel at the stupidity of the folks hovering over the lottery machine. Or I can venture a few blocks northward and remind myself why Wilkes-Barre is where I always wanted to be. A vacant lot is all that remains of my grandmother's house these days. But every, single time I drive past that vacant lot, I can't help but to glance over at it and remember that that lot was what drove me to want to be in Wilkes-Barre no matter where it was that I was living at any given time. And despite being much older and wiser (subject to intense debate) nothing has changed for me.
Wilkes-Barre is my chosen home and I'm not going to abandon it without first putting up a serious fight. Many others before me have done just that-abandoned it-but I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I like it here. I really do. And I love a good challenge. So, y'all can run away screaming if you'd like. But I'll still be here mocking that piss-stained fool loitering in an alley.
So, who's with me?