When the local headlines amount to little more than 'Those idiots in Wilkes-Barre are making spectacles of themselves again,' I usually let out a long groan and then proceed to read the details of our latest outbursts of rancor and chaos offered up for the rest of the world to judge us by. But I must admit to having cracked up quite a bit while taking in the following uproarious story:
The Citizens Voice
W-B council session heated
By Denise Allabaugh, Staff Writer 09/23/2005
The closed Heights firehouse issue led to a shouting match between Wilkes-Barre Council Chairwoman Shirley Vitanovec and Councilman Jim McCarthy on Thursday night.
As McCarthy continued to press Mayor Tom Leighton about what will be done for Heights residents, Vitanovec shouted, "What part of no don't you understand?"
"To hear you talk meeting after meeting with the same points of view and the mayor stating the same points of view, I'm flabbergasted as to why you don't understand what's going on here," Vitanovec told McCarthy. "Am I on a different planet?"
McCarthy said he had the "floor" and he charged Vitanovec was "out of order."
"You live down in South Wilkes-Barre. You're a flat-lander," McCarthy told Vitanovec.
The closed firehouse came up for debate again when Heights resident Denise Carey asked the mayor and council again if the firehouse can re-open.
Leighton told Carey countless times that the city cannot afford to fix it and staff it. Carey led an unsuccessful petition to change the city's charter to put a referendum on the ballot about the firehouse. She was ordered to pay $11,056 in legal fees, but that apparently has not silenced her.
Carey told the mayor and council that she read in The Sunday Voice that the city now has a $830,000 surplus. She asked if this money could be used to repair the firehouse.
"I'm asking council one more time if you could take a look at the safety of the residents," Carey said. "Before I was told there was no money. That's all I heard about for months. Now, I hear there is." Tom Makar, president of the firefighters' union, asked if this surplus could be used to hire more firefighters.
Leighton said the surplus is needed to ensure the city can continue to provide services into next year.
"We cut to the bare bone. That's how we got to this point," Leighton said. "Expenses continue to rise, but revenues are staying in a straight line."
Wilkes-Barre resident Walter Griffith Jr. commended Vitanovec and Councilman Phil Latinski for having no travel expenses and council members who kept their travel expenses low since 2004.
Leighton and council members adamantly defended their travel expenses. They highlighted several trips which helped the city financially.
Mason Gribble, a resident of Davis Place, complained about drug houses on his street. He said Children's Service Center wants to buy his property, where he lived for 65 years, and he does not want to move. Davis Place residents need more police protection, he said.
"Why do we have to live like this? Something has to be done," Gribble said. "I'm sick of coming here and asking for help. If I don't get help, I'm leaving."
Leighton told Gribble the problems will be addressed. City officials will visit Davis Place on Friday, Leighton said.
Now check the latest drivel from the long dormant Save My City blog.
I must tell you that I find that childish bit to be somewhat funny. Points for creativity must go to the anonymous webmaster, but being a fraidy cat quickly wipes out any points earned for said creativity. What we have here is yet another example of someone being demonized if they are not with The Citizens for Safety. You're either with the ten of them, or you're just another target to them. So, add council honcho Shirley Vitasupernova to the ever growing list of folks to be hanged by their eyelids until that dump of a firehouse in the Heights is re-opened.
And they wonder why I don't bother to attend these overly-redundant council meetings. Basically, since Leighton took the keys, if you've seen one banal rantfest you've seen them all.
At this late stage of the game, what is up with this?
"I'm asking council one more time if you could take a look at the safety of the residents," Carey said. "Before I was told there was no money. That's all I heard about for months. Now, I hear there is."
Is it just me, or was Shirley Vitabossanova barking at the wrong Hilltopper?
"What part of no don't you understand?"
You live down in South Wilkes-Barre. You're a flat-lander," McCarthy told Vitanovec.
That had me chuckling. Flat-landers? Where the heck did that one come from?
Flat-lander? Why, who in tarnation are you callin' a flat-lander, you mangy polecat? Back where's I come from, the hill people mostly keep to themselves, make weapons out of turnips and marry their younguns off by the time they quit on that schoolin' nonsense. Why, I reckon I oughta...
I think his comments all but prove that voting by districts will only serve to split the city into opposite, warring tribes destined to be reduced to fighting amongst themselves forever more. Place your bets for the battle of the voting districts now.
First up: The Hilltoppers versus The Flat-landers.
I'm an asshole? You've got a helluva lotta nerve cuttin' in line, while so many others are waiting to tell me as much. Wait your turn!
Satan is using me? Well, then. There's a f>cking first. Whatever happened to bald, fat and unemployed?
Satan is using me and it will be my undoing? Oh, no! I had better join the Green Party, buy me some used bongos and smoke an awful lot of grass. Then, and only then will Satan release me from his crushing grip and go and possess some other non-commie dupe.
THE POWER OF POT COMPELS YOU!!!
THE POWER OF POT COMPELS YOU!!!
THE POWER OF POT COMPELS YOU!!!
This is f>cking rich. We're gonna have to start a page listing the all-time dumbest e-mails sent my way.
Yes, people do in fact lie. I know that the people mentioned in your petty argument against Kurt Shotko did lie. You do not know what you are talking about. You are afraid to believe people who you think you need would lie to you. Because you know deep down inside that without corruption, phoniness, lies, deceit and the good ol' boy system you would not be able to stand on your own. You would be a failure who could not take care of his family. Your weak legs would buckle and you would lie in a quivering huddle of shame and fear. Yeah, he calls them Gestapo, and your response is to hope they behave like Gestapo "when no one is looking." Well thought out dude.
Lies? Deceit? Conspiracy theories? I'm shaken. I'm starting to sob. I'm gonna slice my wrists and jump off of the Market Street bridge. The thing is, I was there when Kommie Kurt went and got himself busted. And the police brutality he claimed to have been subjected to was non-existant. Nope. Didn't happen. Wait. I forgot. They took him to the "bowels" of police headquarters and beat him with rayon hoses until he finally broke down in tears and pledged to don a swastika and join the Wilkes-Barre Police Auxillary Shock Troopers. That was the gambit, right?
Funny, I was treated to a tour of that entire building and for the life of me, I can't remember seeing any "bowels" where only those to be tortured are spirited away to. You don't suppose he was stoned off his ass again, do you?
They dragged me and they beat me and they told me they don't like me...--Francis Vincent Zappa
Because you know deep down inside that without corruption, phoniness, lies, deceit and the good ol' boy system you would not be able to stand on your own. You would be a failure who could not take care of his family.
The good ol' boy system??? Have you been huffin' corrosives? Are you hallucinating? The only thing the "good ol' boy system" ever did for me was to totally f>ck-up both my city and my county. Other than that, I'm utterly clueless as to what you're babbling on and on about. Hold on. Sorry. Tom Leighton did give me two nifty hat pins.
Yeah, he calls them Gestapo, and your response is to hope they behave like Gestapo "when no one is looking." Well thought out dude.
Right! There comes a breaking point when the idiotic, slacker-f>ck, drug-deflicted anarchists who can't get with the f>cking program need a baton or two to the head. Right!
Wanna know why your commie buddies can't secure meaningful employment and just get on with things, chill out and enjoy their lives? Do you wanna know?
Because they can't pass a pre-employment drug screen, that's why.
Shovel some coal? Um, okay. Whatever you say, man.
Take another hit off of that bong.
And pass those Cheetos.
THE POWER OF POT COMPELS YOU!!!
I gotta go spin The Hooters' Nervous Night backwards and get my marching orders for tommorrow.
Enjoy the protest march.
Now, I know the guy that sent this along, and he's a really bright guy. But his point was totally lost upon me. I read that e-mail. And I then re-read it. Still, I was just not getting it. After watching a bit of sports on the video advertising box, I came back here to cyber land and glanced at it again. What in the muck? Anyway, I went to bed not knowing of what he was getting at.
Later the next day, while I was playing in a mud hole purported to be a functional basement, a light bulb suddenly appeared above my dim bulb of a head. Actually, that was the only light bulb employed in that "basement" for all of that work day. It's funny how spending hours upon hours all alone in a pitch black, muddy solitude will get your mind to spinning wildly out of control.
What he was getting at was Harry's recent e-mail.
If I wanted to, I could sit here all day and write out a list of my fathers accomplishments ranging from the Federal Government's recognition of dyslexia as a learning disability and the provision of special education funding to overcome it (research "Justin's Law"), to helping the elderly get their black and brown lung benefits. From his role in establishing Radio Free Europe under the Kennedy administration to his reporting on apartheid in South Africa.
You sure got me by the stones, man. I'm not getting into the middle of that one. My surname is already Mud.
Hey, didn't Steve Corbett start Radio Free Europe?
You had nothing to do with banning bicycles? Really?
The Citizens Voice
W-B council plans ban on Square bike riding
By Denise Allabaugh, Staff Writer 05/21/2005
Wilkes-Barre council wants to pass an ordinance to ban bicycle riding on Public Square.
Councilman Jim McCarthy said some kids who ride their bikes on Public Square bump into senior citizens and damage property.
"We want to make sure it's Public Square and not a racetrack," McCarthy said. "It seems there is a different attitude with kids these days. They just don't seem to take into consideration that Public Square is for the public and it is not for skateboarding or bike riding."
Council will discuss the ordinance at a work session Tuesday at 6 p.m. and vote on it at a meeting Thursday at 6 p.m.
According to the ordinance, the penalty for anyone violating the ordinance is a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $300 for the third and subsequent offense and/or jail time up to 90 days.
According to Wilkes-Barre Police Capt. Donald Crane, there is a state law that prohibits bicycle riding on sidewalks and in business districts.
I think I see what you're saying. You didn't actually propose the bike ban legislation. Someone else did and you merely supported the silly notion. So despite your having homologated that mis-guided nonsense in public, you had nothing to do with it. Ah, I see. It must be me.
As to the skateboards, I was the one who proposed , also years ago, that we turn the beat up, rusty, tennis courts at Coal Street Park into a skateboard park for the kids, and found a grant to help us do it (under the McG administration- which means it went nowhere).
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Not exactly the same slant Casey Jones had, heh?
But back to the grant:
I freaking hear that part. Grants are one thing, but if we could find some creative way to conquer the liability insurance hurdle, having a snazzy skateboarding facilty would give those slacker kids a place to ply their obvious lack of skills. Plus, you never know, it could even host some sorts of regional slacker events and draw people to Coal Street Park every now and again. Seriously, there are some, like, pro skateboarding events held in this country and they are usually quite the draw.
Why don't you give that one another look. Dot your Is, cross your Ts and then hope like hell that none of your granddaughters get all goofy-eyed over some "professional" baggy-assed kid with purple hair. Look at it this way, if Wilkes-Barre becomes the skateboarding Mecca of the United States, we can always schedule a vacation touring the Caribbean during championship week. Tell you what, I'll spring for the shark repellent. Oh, and the beer.
This might get expensive.
Submit? Ain't f>cking happenin'. After I run out of live rounds they can gleefully saw my fat head off. Better to sleep amongst the grubs and worms than to bow before the "peaceful" insects.
I really do hate to belabor the bike ban thingie, but what's a gallon of gas going for these days? Lemme ask y'all something: If the city acquired some grant money and built a bike path spanning damn near the entire length of Wilkes-Barre Boulevard, would more of you consider leaving the overpriced imported cars in the driveway and pedaling your way to work?
No? Maybe? Probably not? Before you go and get all week-kneed on me, consider my travel expenses to go back-and-forth from the adobe to work.
Sweat equity: Priceless
Think about it. It makes mucho, grande sense. Besides, there is no greater freedom than being free from debt.
Whatever. I threw it out there. Too much like work?
Jim, care to take a shot at some grant money for a smallish 3 to 4 mile bike path? Please.
Now that's progressive thinking.