3-2-2004 Chuck E. got cheezed-off

This project, which was originally known as the theater project, is going to be known as the South Main Street project from now on, because in two to three years you're going to see South Main Street fully developed.--Mayor Tom Leighton

WARNING: If you scroll down far enough you will be subjected to a naked boobie.

Thanks to the heroic exploits of some selfless dufus', Chuck E. Cheese's was denied it's request for a liquor license. The world is now a safer place. Well, actually, it isn't, but don't tell the "What if" crowd that offered us nothing but hypotheticals while arguing their anemic case.

Hey! Ya' never know. What if? Okay, let's do this. You can't take your toddlers to Chuck E. Cheese's, get a bit tipsy, and then saw off a pole on the way home. But...the rest of the population can get drop dead drunk at the arena, or any other establishment on that street, broadside your car, and ....

What if? Heyna?

On to the next magnificent, and equally moronic not-in-my-back-yard cause.

I saw the letter to the Voice today calling for the removal of the canopies from our downtown. No freaking way! They may need some work, but those canopies are totally unique. I think it's extremely short-sighted to call for their removal without having an inkling of what is yet to come as the plan for the downtown's renewal is just now beginning to take shape.

When once our downtown was hustling and busting, those canopies were a welcome convenience for shoppers not having to carry an umbrella while strolling the sidewalks. Wandering along under those glass roofs made it seem like being in a mall to a degree, while the open air of a downtown environment reminded you that you weren't in a mall afterall. Now that the downtown is an empty and rotting shell, the calls to tear down what little remains of that former vibrant downtown seem to be increasing from the hoi polloi, despite what the urban planners are telling us.

Slow down, kiddies.

From today's Times Leader:

Gossip spreads like wildfire beneath the Luzerne County Courthouse dome - some baseless, but much of it right on the mark. Courthouse buzz has historically provided grist for news stories and catalyst for change.

But for Luzerne County commissioners, the gossip equates to image problems.

They say it harms the institution - and they've proposed a new "harassment policy" to make employees think twice before feeding the grapevine.

The policy would punish employees caught making false or malicious statements or spreading rumors about peers, supervisors, management or county government in general.

"In today's competitive environment, maintaining a positive countywide image is of extreme importance. We are evaluated by our actions and service to our community," reads the proposed policy unveiled at Monday's commissioners' work session.

"In order to project ourselves favorably to the public we must strive to create a work place conducive to fostering positive employee morale and employee job satisfaction," the policy says.

County Manager for Administration Mark Dingman, based the draft on a policy used in a previous workplace.

After reading the entire article, I chuckled at first. An anti-rumor policy? That sounds like something a 5th Grade teacher would come up with after Johnnie told his classmates that Suzie had kissed him on the cheek. That also sounds as if it'll be a tough one to enforce. Then, I wavered just a bit. At our courthouse, it probably can't hurt. At our courthouse, there has been little that resembled a chain of command. Got a gripe? Call the media. Got an even bigger gripe? Sue somebody. In all honesty, it has been a circle-jerk over there as of late. If our commissioners adopted an elephant as the County Mascot, the circus protestors would be all over that place in a heartbeat.

Our new majority commissioners promised change. That they did. I just never thought that "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" would end up being policy. Shut your holes boys and girls and holdover cronies.

There's been some upheaveal of late in the fire department and I no longer know exactly who does what. Who is the fire inspector? Is it still the same dude. Listen up.

Mice love to chew on wires. Wires remind them of twigs and weed stems from their more natural environs. Recently, a high speed "Bullet train" on it's way to Tokyo was stopped dead on the tracks when a single mouse chewed the wrong wire while aboard that train without a ticket.

And there's this from one of America's foremost P.H.D. experts on mice: 25% of structure fires of unknown determination are attributed to rodents.

So when the inspection begins after the hoses are rolled up and are taken away, check for signs of a serious rodent infestation. There's surely no shortage of those in this city.

Somehow, this is almost exciting. The Sterling Hotel now has electricity.

Got juice

Car-jackings are weird enough on this street. Yesterday, we had a report of a "Big black pig" running wild right around the corner. We just had to head out for a look. We saw the cops looking for it, but no pig.

Then the scanner chirped-up with: "Kind of ironic, us chasing a pig." It's good to hear that the copper dudes still have a healthy sense of humor. LOFL!

Where can I get a copy of the monthly magazine, "Happenings?" I've seen 'em around on occasion, but I can't remember where at. It has come to my attention that Happenings did a story about "Patty's Coffee House," or whatever it's going to be called. Another new downtown business is on it's way!

The Leader announced that our new downtown bike shop is on it's way by April 1st. It'll be tucked in right behind Musical Energi on N. Main st. I prefer to do my shopping in Wilkes-Barre, so it's au revoir to Main Bike World in Kingston. Will Sprawl-Mart build you the custom bike of your dreams?

I spent my entire day at a seminar today. I understand the need for constant improvement and developing new skills, but sitting for any length of time is abject torture for me.

Constant improvement

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corporation? Just about the time we thought we were coming up to speed on understanding how Wilkes-Barre works, they go and spring something new on us. But...after reading today's Leader story about this shadowy group, I'm not complaining. It all sounds like a plan to me.

Basically, we don't want a brand-new building in a neighborhood that needs work.--Fred Lohman, GWBDC

We have expectations, the city has expectations and the theater operator has expectations. We're trying to work backwards from what we think is a realistic (theater) opening date.--Larry Newman, GWBDC

There will be people downtown and things for people to do downtown.--Mayor Leighton

What was it I said on May 21, 2003? The adults have assumed control.

In-deedy they have.

Okay. Maybe we should tolerate a bit of nudity during the Super Bowl.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide is alleging that he ws kidnapped by U.S. forces and his removal amounts to a coup-d'edat.

That's freakin' hilarious coming from a guy who was probably only a few hours away from being "necklaced" with burning tires by his own countrymen.

And Charles Mongrel (D) N.Y., was quick to gather the Congressional Black Caucus and criticize the president's handling of the Haiti crisis.

And John Kerry claimed the president reacted too late to Haiti's latest and all too usual political meltdown.

Bash! Bash! Bash! At least they're consistently ignorant.

And the French did send troops to Haiti!!! A country where they won't get shot at.

I gotta roll. I was forced to sit all day and I'm beat as a result of it. Figure that one out.