6-22-2005 You wanna put these people in charge?


Wassup? Miss me? I didn't think so. I've been preoccupied of late with grandkids, a late day at work and a block party meeting. Let's cover that block party.

If it's not already the best party bang you can get for ten bucks a pop, it's about to get even better. Last night's agenda was dominated by the discussion revolving around a couple of great additions to the party. First off, we're gonna have a pig roast. No, that does not excite yours truly. In fact, I'd just assume marry Rosie O'Donnell rather than tearing shards of flesh off of some poor bastard of a pig. But, those who enjoy eating dead animals tell me there's nothing like a fresh roasted pig. Yuk.

Last year we had a couple of new issues to deal with, so it was decided that we'd have a Wilkes-Barre police officer on hand for this year's event. It can get a bit pricey paying for off-duty cops to patrol whatever it is that you want patrolled, so maybe we can get a break on the price if we offer up some free pig. The quasi pun was completely intended. Oh, come on! It beats those tired donut jokes, don't it?

Yes, we will once again have the big top tent, so the weather will not be an issue. We're going to have redesigned T-shirts made with a comic, but racier theme. Oh, and get this, a Thompson Street Block Party web site will soon appear in cyberspace. And, no, from what I'm hearing, I won't have to assume the webmaster duties. Whew!

And since some uninvited, younger Nord Enders tried to crash the party last year, when you show up this year, you will be issued a wristband denoting not only that you belong, but also whether you are of drinking age or not. But, no, no metal detectors. Well, that is, unless we can convince a local business to donate them.

And remember, this street is a rap and hip-hop-free zone, so don't bug me with any of that sonic bilge. I do play requests, but nothing along the lines of that garbage. And take it easy with the country music. Listening to pretend cowboys yodelin' about drinkin' with their make-believe horses can and often does make me crazy.

Anyway, the big party is scheduled for Saturday August 13, so pencil that in and show up on time. The cost was ten bucks a head for those of us 16 years-old and above, but it may need to be raised ever so slightly this year. Stay tuned and make your reservations early.

Sorry, no autographs.


This is odd. I'm posting an e-mail that I might have written if it was not for the fact that I rule over this web site rather than reading it from afar.

Although, you gotta be careful when criticizing the Firehouse Cabal. First they had a young girl with some health issues championing the losing cause for the press. Now we've got a teen-aged girl penning the new slogan. In other words, if you happen to disagree with this group, or it's methods, you had better tread lightly whereas your criticisms are concerned. You wouldn't want to criticize, "The children," would you? It's funny, you'd swear that someone with some real political savvy, (wink, wink) some real political experience, was advising this bunch, heyna? (one more wink)

From the e-mail inbox Hi Mark!

A quote from the Times Leader :

"Mayor Tom Leighton was forced to close the station on an emergency basis in late October because of a number of structural issues. Further investigation of the building led to permanent closure, but the issue has created a firestorm for Heights residents.

The group is selling T-shirts for $6 each with the logo, “Come on mayor light my firehouse.” That idea is the brainchild of 17-year-old Amanda Bennett of Lehigh Street, who has been active in efforts to get the station reopened.

Even if the group was to raise the funds to fix the roof, the building is in desperate need of other repairs that the city has contended will cost at least $300,000 to fix".

“Come on mayor light my firehouse.” !!!!!????!!! Their kidding right? What a lame slogan! They need to give it up...they won't even come close to that kind of money. Especially not with that slogan!! Sorry I am lmao at that one!

Yeah...I know. That's exactly what I thought. Firstly, at six bucks each, you're gonna have to sell a friggin' motherload of friggin' T-shirts to friggin' rehab that friggin' sh*thole. Not even a Sprawl-Mart deal will sell that many T-shirts.

Secondly...the slogan. Urgh. Come on mayor, light my firehouse? That almost sounds like an invite to commit an arson, and, in this case, that's probably not a bad idea. It's kind of weird coming from people purported to be "nervous," ahem, about fires and such. Actually, if they wanted to come off sounding like even bigger smart-asses than myself, they should have thunk up some clever variation on the basic "I believe" theme. I don't freakin' know. Right off the top of my pointy head, how 'bout, "I believe...the Heights needs a firehouse." Like I said, I don't know. Nor do I care.

At the very least, somebody had better tell that kid that Jim Morrison went tits-up, like, twenty years before she was even thought of.

You knew his words would be untrue
Now you're calling him a liar
Even though he said to you
$50 million--can't go much higher


C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
Try not to set the Heights on fire!

The time for sanity is through
No time to wallow at the bar
Try now we will never lose
As the Heights remains a hill too far

C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
Try not to set the Heights on fire!!

Talk of the bottom line is through
No time to swallow anymore lies
Referendum now! It can't lose
As we're hoping for a real bad fire

C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
C'mon mayor, light my firehouse
Try not to set the Heights on fire!!!

We know that you are being untrue
We know that you are but a liar
If I was to say to you
$51 million ain't much higher

C'mon baby, buy my T-shirts
C'mon baby, buy my T-shirts

Try not to set the Heights on fire!
Try not to set the Heights on fire!!
Try not to set the Heights on fire!!!
TRY NOT TO SET THE HEIGHTS ON FIRE!!!!

Okay. Alright. Enough of this hacking on people just for the fun of it. Let's get to the scary part of all of this trumped-up nonsense, shall we?

From the Times Leader:

Posted on Wed, Jun. 22, 2005

Station fight continues

Group hopes to raise enough funds to save East Fire Station

By WARD PRICE wprice@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE – City residents are planning to sell T-shirts in hopes of raising enough money for repairs to save the city’s East Fire Station.

The organizer of “Citizens for Safety,” Denise Carey, said that they will launch a fund-raising effort to attempt to pay for repairs to the East Northampton Street firehouse. Carey also announced the effort to gain enough signatures to add a public initiative/referendum to the November 2005 ballot that would make it easier for residents to set city policy by adding specific government issues to future ballots.

Mayor Tom Leighton was forced to close the station on an emergency basis in late October because of a number of structural issues. Further investigation of the building led to permanent closure, but the issue has created a firestorm for Heights residents.

The group is selling T-shirts for $6 each with the logo, “Come on mayor light my firehouse.” That idea is the brainchild of 17-year-old Amanda Bennett of Lehigh Street, who has been active in efforts to get the station reopened.

Even if the group was to raise the funds to fix the roof, the building is in desperate need of other repairs that the city has contended will cost at least $300,000 to fix.

In addition, Mayor Tom Leighton has asserted that even were the station fixed, the cost of staffing and equipping it would tax the city’s finances beyond the breaking point.

Leighton has repeatedly said the city will spend $50 million on fire protection in the next five years and cannot afford any more.

Councilman Jim McCarthy, who has been vocal in his support of Carey’s group, showed up to support the approximately 60 protestors Tuesday night. His family’s bar, Jim McCarthy’s Tavern on the Hill, raised money to pay for the signs that have cropped up on East Northampton Street arguing in favor of reopening the station.

The fifteen or so signs declare “Save our firehouse,” “Heights residents not important” and “Response time is 5-6 minutes – not acceptable,” among other things.

The group needs at least 975 names to the petition for it to be included on the November ballot, representing 10 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, but the group’s goal is 1,500, according to Carey.

The group’s next meeting and petition drive will be held at the Puritan Congregational Church, 71 S. Sherman St., Friday at 7 p.m.

The organizer of “Citizens for Safety,” Denise Carey, said that they will launch a fund-raising effort to attempt to pay for repairs to the East Northampton Street firehouse. Carey also announced the effort to gain enough signatures to add a public initiative/referendum to the November 2005 ballot that would make it easier for residents to set city policy by adding specific government issues to future ballots.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Apparently, there's something more potent than mold spores growing in that closed firehouse. How many petitions can one person carry? What happened to petition designed to change from a strong mayoral government to a strong council type government? What happened to that haphazard piece of nonsense? Thinking it up on the fly, eh? That's what I fu>king thought.

Evidenced by the tumult and chaos that each and every one of these well-meaning, but in many cases, spiteful petitions have brought us, is that really what we need more of? And do we really want to put the general public in charge of any specific government issues? These people don't know what a TAN is. These people think AMBAC is some recently diagnosed, but, heretofore unknown disease. These people think garbage trucks and police cruisers grow on Zehner's farm. Most of these dunderheads actually believe that cops live for donuts, and donuts alone. You wanna put these people in charge?

Listen to me tell it!

These "Citizens for Safety,” all fu>king twelve of them, had better consider the destructive ramifications, the unintended and utterly perverse consequences that typically follow when folks not usually capable of leading get a bug up their asses and set about leading.

We don't need to do even more damage to our situation simply because someone who suddenly fancies themselves as a powerful individual went and thunk up some newfangled way of fu>king up this entire city. What a bunch of fu>king loose cannons! A firehouse closes, so we need to burn the city's charter and start all over? The World According to the Northampton Street Dart League? This is a classic illustration of good intentions run completely amok. And it smacks of a, "We'll show him" mentality that should in no way be construed as being remotely constructive, well thought-out, or far above the thought processes of your garden variety maggot. Just in case I'm not being too clear, I reiterate...this is abject stupidity that borders upon legal wrongdoing.

And, if that's not sorry enough, two of our very own council folks are encouraging this appauling affront to our intelligence--this clear and present danger to our well-being as a functioning city--this charade brought on by just a few people that seem addicted to the limelight. One day they claim to be fighting to save a shuttered firehouse, and the very next they elevate themselves to some sort of a commissarial importance. One day it's about public safety, and the very next it's about the reinventing of our city government by a handful of folks that have probably never been put in charge of anything more important than feeding the vacationing neighbor's puppy. One day it's determined ladies picketing city hall, and the very next it's Lorena Bobbitt reaching for her referendum Ginsu.

I knew this sh*t was getting out of control when it was publicly suggested that the mayor's house needed to be picketed. And now, it's gone way beyond being distasteful, spiteful, and nonsensical. Now it's become all too vindictive, mean-spirited and feebleminded.

Quite honestly, I'd give up my CD money for a month to have the two neighborhood council folks in question state very clearly as to whether they think the once noble fight to save a firehouse should morph into a cause celeb for turning our city government on it's head. I'd love to have that addressed. In fact, I'd love to know if they feel even remotely responsible for creating a monster that this city needs not, nor has much of a stomach for right now.

Just when we thought it was safe to open the morning papers--just when we thought that Wilkes-Barre had finally turned a long-blighted corner--some agenda-driven people totally lost sight of that original agenda and have now become the latest purveyors of Wilkes-Barre's daily black eyes in the press. Thanks a whole lot.

As far as I'm concerned, y'all can shove that sh*thole of a fu>king pretend firehouse so far up your asses, you'll be able to taste the mold spores.

You wanna put these people in charge?

Stupid is as stupid does.


If you've been following my internet gibberish for any length of time you would have to know that one of the biggest reasons for the creation of this internet oasis was the fact that our local newspapers would not print the letters I sent to them. Well, they printed a couple, but they were batting, like, .090 way back when.

But when a certain Kings College Dude who happened to write for the Crown, the student newspaper, wrote an article about my internet tomfoolery, I was suddenly provided with my first real clues as to why the local papers had shunned most everything I had sent to them.

"Somehow the mix of anger and fun makes for entertaining reading."

He also used "acerbic" and "sarcastic" to describe what it was that I did at that time.

Initially, I remember thinking to myself, "I'm not angry." But after further review, I did understand why he wrote what he did. The fact of the matter was, I was a bit angry back then. And I also had more questions than answers to offer. At that time, I was shocked as sh*t by the appearance of this city, as well as by the way our former mayor was conducting himself, and city business. In hindsight, if all that I had to offer during the turbulent McGroarty years was anger, sarcasm, acerbic rants and a bit of fun...well, I'd be proud to call all of that gibberish my own.

I've seen and heard all of the anti "I believe" diatribes that the dimmest of the dimwitted among us have had to offer. And I've also been told by folks I know and love that my entire take on the, "I believe" event was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and then some. I beg to differ and then some. And while I can understand the disappointment of some, I still wholeheartedly believe in the basic premise of what Tom Leighton had to say.

And the other night, I sat down here by my faithful word processor and sought to not only address his hopeful message, but also the rancorous negativity that if were ever to be offered in book form in this area, would quickly top the local non-fiction best-selling list. Well, that's provided that such a list actually existed. You know what I mean. Clam, okay?

Anyway, I typed up what I thought was a reasonable appeal to those of us that cling to their abject negativity no matter what to lighten up already. And when this magnum opus of mine was completed, I proofread it only to end up thinking that if I posted it here, it would once again be mis-construed as more of my sticking up for my buddy, the mayor. And that was not my intent.

So, I didn't post it here. Instead, I fired off a copy to both of our local newspapers. It's been a while. It's been well over five years since I bothered to send them any of my acerbic, sarcastic and angry comments that they steadfastly refused to publish in the past. In all honesty, after I sent them my comments, I felt kind of stupid for having done so. I figured that my writing style, whatever it may be, could not have changed enough over the course of the past five years to ever make a difference in their minds, so why in the hell did I bother in the first place?

Much to my surprise, a dude from the Leader called me early the next afternoon and said that the Leader would in fact publish my letter to the editors, "Probably on Sunday." Here's the weird thing. I can publish whatever the muck I want on a daily basis, but I was sort of thrilled to learn that I had somehow graduated beyond being some sort of acerbic asshole constantly defiling the internet. Needless to say, trust me, I could really care less what anyone thinks of me, or anything I happen to post on the internet. But, I really found it interesting that I had finally snuck through that safety net, that filter that keeps insane people such as myself from being foisted upon an unknowing public.

And I got to wondering why they would suddenly accept something from me, where once everything I sent them ended up in the recycling bin. Have I really changed that much? Or have they? Am I less acerbic? Less sarcastic? Less angry? Or more fun? Is it me that has changed? Or are the standards at The Times Leader slipping?

Here, I'll treat you to a snippet of what I had to say:

So, for this nobody--this lowly Joe Six-Pack--that suddenly sees Wilkes-Barre’s glass as being half full, it was not altogether surprising to learn that so many of us steadfastly refused to see a few glowing coals of hope through the aged piles of culm.

Does that sound any different coming from me? Any less..(whatever)?

Maybe the Lorena Bobbitt bit again? No?

Oh, whatever.

Don't expect a weekly column, or anything thereabouts.


Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies.--Dickless Durbin

Is, "Fu>k off and choke until you expire" too strong of a reaction to this weasel's bullspit?

Gotta roll.

Russell Crowe is swinging his massive sword at Romans. Cool!

CYA


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