3-31-2003 The rubbish vote?

A mayoral position requires that whoever fills that role be capable of discretion, leadership, professionalism and respect for the other members of town council.

That sentence was included in a letter to the editors and published in the Sunday Voice yesterday. That sentence triggered an instant question in my demented mind.

Discretion, leadership, professionalism and respect for the other members of town council.

Are those qualities exhibited by our current mayor? Are those qualities exhibited by Tom Leighton? BANG!

Check this e-mail from a city resident:

******I'm not sure if you've received your latest bit of vote pandering propaganda, but the residents of Parsons have. I found mine on my front porch....a packet of brown paper grocery style bags for yard waste, and a 7 page letter from McM*r*n. The letter brags of all the city's accomplishments and what's to come. It's basically a campaign letter, paid for by the taxpayers. He's got nothing in his war chest, no financial supporters, so he's using his office to run his campaign. This sounds like something the state ethics commission needs to hear about. He says,"There is no cost to you for these biodegradable yard waste bags, and will be funded by DEP grant funds to the city." This means that the city shelled out the money for these bags, and it MAY be reimbursed by the state. He also stated, "The delivery cost was zero since, I delivered this letter and bags myself." Well, maybe you should have paid for them yourself too. This guy just doesn't quit! I'm freaking paying for his campaign whether I like it or not. He also states that over the last six years, the city saved over THREE MILLION DOLLARS by recycling. Where the hell is it? Show it to me. I'm not seeing it. Was it invested in some brand new fire equipment? Nope. Was it used to hire more cops? Nope. Was it used to buy and erect new light poles downtown? Nope. Where the hell is it? I'm getting riled......Later.....TLFM******

The guy has to be sniffing glue at this point. Oh gee whiz Martha! Guess what?! We finally received our biodegradable yard bags! Oh, goody goody! Life is good again, let’s make out! When I first read about these needless biodegradable bags I thought to myself “And this news excites me how exactly?” Needless to say, I didn’t get a stiffy. Let’s take him at his word (No, I’m not drunk) and accept his most likely dubious claim that recycling saved the city three million dollars over the past six years. If...that’s if that’s true, all I can say is a heartfelt thank you to the men that made that program happen. Thank you John Bergold and thank you Lee Namey.

IF...we actually saved millions, imagine where we’d be without the ultra-annoying recycling gibberish. Yeah I know, some frustrated communists claim that we are saving the Earth by going from one garbage can out back to six or eight. Just wait! You’ll see. I was in a neighboring city recently and they have a separate recycling can for every substance ever created by man. Rather than having a yard, they have an area out back that resembles a junk yard. We’re talking Sanford & Son here. Want a leader with some backbone, some common sense and a forward-looking vision? That would be the politico that turns his or her back on recycling and pushes for a larger landfill and reduced fees to access it. Pitch it down the funking bank!

And don’t e-mail me about the precious water table! I get tested by the state and my company about the water table. I am not an environmentalist armed with cliches-I actually possess some knowledge. Nearly everyone has fallen for this flim-flam that bottled water is somehow safer and healthier and rarely if ever drinks tap water. Here’s a tip for you. There are two very successful “Bottled Water” companies currently filling their bottles in Pittston, the home of the Butler Mine Tunnel. That sounds healthier to me.

Sorry. Sorry, but recycling makes me crazy! Have the state re-institute the once-upon-a-time deposits on bottles and cans and the homeless goobers will collect our cans and bottles without our needing a single dump or garbage truck. Waive the ban on burning, get a steel 55 gallon drum and there goes the newspapers and phone books without needing a front end loader or a single city employee to collect it.

Try this. We have an airport that is barely used. Sit out in the yard on one of your recycling bins and count the large aircraft that soar overhead on their way to the facility for a couple of hours. There’s lots of traffic and that’s to a dead end airport. Focus your binoculars on 81 and watch the heavy and always increasing volume of traffic zooming by the city all day long. With all of these various fuel-burning vehicles spewing exhaust 24/7, if I burn my newspapers once a week I’m destroying the ozone layer? If you believe that rubbish (pun intended), you probably believe that a mayoral race should be decided by which candidate has a better garbage plan.

Whatever. I did go nuts here, heyna? Recycling? I don’t give a flying fu*k! Phone books? Bread them, cover them in marinara and a substance that passes as mozzarella and deliver them to the soup kitchen-I really don’t care. We have a failed politician running for re-election on his curbside refuse pick-up record, while the city’s finances and infrastructure have been laid waste by his my-way-or-the-highway antics. This is really getting pathetic. On May 20th, should we vote for the garbage expert that promises us pyramids and personally delivers yard bags, or should we vote for the man who said:

We have a great city and great people who live and work here. Now we need to make the city as great as its people are. As I said, this will be done by progress, not promises. And today we take the first step toward making that progress a reality.

Me, I’m tired of garbage-I want progress.

Then we have this from today’s Voice editorial:

The price of a three-foot-high yard-waste bag:
30 cents.
The price of the failed call center and movie project:

I will admit to being somewhat surprised by it, but both the Leader and the Voice have published editorials that have practically begged the residents of this city to come to their senses and send our mayor off packing to Labor Ready where he belongs. Our Recycler-in-Chief thinks he can count on the senior vote to allow him to continue his de-evolution of Wilkes-Barre, but seniors DO faithfully read their newspapers and luckily-we reside in one of the few remaining two paper towns in this country. Our mayor may believe it, but I don’t believe that the majority of our gray-haired residents are as stupid and hopelessly obsessed with curbside pick-ups as he would prefer to believe they are. I think the mayor/king is gonna’ get spanked at the polls on May 20th. That’s not a suggestion that we should all relax and wait for the primary, but I really think he’s gonna’ get a resounding message on the night of May 20th. Go away!

Enough of my blather. Time out. Let’s do an e-mail:

******After reading your disclosure regarding the sister-in-law of the third Democratic candidate I couldn't resist sending you a copy of my e-mail predicting this back in December. I also sent another one on February 18 suggesting this likelihood.

When I saw that there was a third Democratic candidate I was suspicious but I couldn't verify my suspicions. Thank you for doing that for me. It amazes me how you are able to uncover and report relevant information that the local media is not.

Here is another prediction for you: McGroarty will lose but will stoop to ANY length to retain his dictatorship. Leighton should now prepare a strategy to deal with voter fraud, voter intimidation, illegal use of city employees and resources, and polling place improprieties. McGroarty's entire political campaign should be intensely scrutinized starting with the petitions.

West Side Dude

His earlier e-mail dated December 21, 2002:

The call center was supposed to employ 1000 people and provide tons of foot traffic for the local businesses. Then they built this cinder block monstrosity, never employed more than a few hundred people, and built a bridge (along with an in-house cafeteria) to ensure that the employees would never hit the streets of W-B. Mayor McNuggets got his headlines and the residents got the shaft.

I still think McNuggets is going to try something drastic next spring. The most logical thing would be a third Democrat candidate to split the vote. In my opinion it's his only hope and a slim one at that.

If I was Leighton's campaign manager I would suggest a TV commercial showing a smiling Mayor McNuggets contrasted with street lights recklessly smashing into the heart of W-B. I think that says it all.

Leighton should prepare a strategy to deal with the prospect of a third candidate entering the fray.

Keep up the good work.
West Side Dude******

Yepper, you called it. We have a third democratic candidate for mayor who’s only actual intention is to help to preserve the status quo which totally sucks! The guy can’t even attempt to defend himself against that claim after we found out that his sister-in-law was carrying the mayor’s petition. Counter-punching by the amateur while on the way to the floor won’t help after being dealt a potential knock-out blow. It seems to me that we’ve got two amateurs and one pro in this mayoral slugfest. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Can somebody answer this question? Is this the same guy that used to own Jay’s Bar at Harveys Lake? If so, I guess I should apologize for all of the damage we caused to the place and the complete hurting we laid on your bouncers a while back. Sorry, but they started it. They shouldn’t have tried to charge us the cover charge after we walked in to purchase six-packs, they shouldn’t have parked their bloated ex-jock selves in front of the door when we protested and they shouldn’t have left their guard completely down and smiled so cockily when confronted by “skinny” types either. “Where’s fu*king Rocky” quickly turned into “Hey guys, I don’t want anymore trouble.” I do love it. Oh yeah, sorry about that. LOFL!

Don’t e-mail me if you were there and I know a couple of you veterans of the psychic wars read the site and point out that I was the first one down. That ex-linebacker sucker-punched me, but...BUT, I managed to not spill a drop of that pounder until I hit the floor! Heyna? And who was it exactly that jammed his hand down his throat afterwards much to his amazement? And who was it that told that Harveys Lake cop that responded to the brawl in an AMC Hornet (LOFL) to drive away or else? And he did! LOFL! Ah, the good old days. “Where’s fu*king Rocky?”

Oh boy! I’ve gone and done it again. See what happens on slow news days?

Thanks again for all of the congratulatory e-mails following the birth of Taylor Kate. I talked to Scott this afternoon and mom and baby are now at home with Gage. Scott said that the original amazing one is totally wound-up now that mom is back at home with the new addition. They are coming to Wilkes-Barre for a visit on Sunday and y’all can feel free to drop by the adobe and say hello after my Bike About is concluded.

Here’s my favorite congratulatory e-mail that is totally in keeping with the spirit of Wilkes-Barre Online, past and present:

******Congratulations, Grandpa dude.*******

Grandpa dude. I like that. Short and sweet. Simplicity again. That’ll work. If that’s all I’m ever known as or for-that’ll be just fine with me. Our kids were supposed to do better than us, heyna? Wasn’t that the plan? I think mine are well on their way.

With all of the turmoil that passes as Planet Earth raging around us everyday and all of the young people that seem to be so opinionated without having much experience at anything, this e-mail was a welcome respite from the daily news accounts of tattoed, overly-pierced college students chanting dim-witted sh*t such as “No blood for oil!”


First of all, Congratulations on your new Grandaughter and our best to all of your family! XXXX and I are still waiting to take that first step towards true "family" status, but for now we're happy with just the two of us rambling around the house. But anyway, I just wanted to make sure that you got a chance to see this story from the Saturday Leader. With all of the uninformed students in New York and Philly holding these anti-war (damn near anti-America) protests and laying down in streets stopping traffic, I thought it was nice to see how the students at King's and Wilkes have reacted to the current world situation. My pride in all of these students grows more and more every day, and seeing this kind of story and hearing most of these quotes makes me even happier! Just wanted to give "college students" in general a bit of fair reporting, they're not all willing to be followers that protest our country and president and our downtown-college students have shown that BIG TIME! Take it easy!
King's Employee Dude
Ps. As always, TLFM!******

Posted on Sat, Mar. 29, 2003

Area colleges see prayers, not protests Campuses quiet as students at Wilkes and King's fear for friends in service.
For the Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE - Today's King's College and Wilkes University students were barely pre-teens when America first fought Saddam Hussein. They remember network news pre-empting their favorite TV shows, images of bright green flashes over dreary Iraqi skies and parents telling them not to worry: American soldiers would overwhelm the enemy and bring our troops home safely and soon.

Besides, parents counseled, war would never come to our shores.

With Sept. 11, 2001 dashing that belief - and with the first war of their adult lives now in full swing - King's and Wilkes students are no longer passive watchers with words of comfort close at hand.

For some, the war feels close.

"I have four or five friends over there," said Chris Hopkins, 21, a senior marketing major at King's from Glenolden. "I don't know their exact location. I don't know if they're actually out there fighting, but they are there," he said. "I think about them."

Hopkins' friends are Marines and he supports them - and President George Bush's policy on Iraq - completely.

"I'm not for war, but if President Bush thought it was necessary, I'm behind him. I support Bush because Saddam hurts people - even his own people."

Concerned for his pals, Hopkins watches CNN regularly and looks at local newspapers from time to time. He said he hopes for the best.

Joe Sweeney, 21, of Springfield, Delaware County, a senior human resources major, also has close ties to the war effort. "My roommate was just activated," he said. "He's in the National Guard in Fort Dix (New Jersey), driving a supply truck.

"I'm really interested in what's going on. I watch CNN for an hour or so ... sometimes I read USA TODAY," Sweeney said.

Both students said the King's campus has been quiet from the first talk of American invasion right on through the clashes that have been aired on TV daily, with neither pro- nor anti-war factions holding rallies or demonstrations.

It may be because King's is a small school, some students said. Jennifer Tully, 20, a junior political science/English major from Schuylkill Haven, has another take.

"I think people here ... would be more likely to go and pray," she said.

King's is a Roman Catholic institution, run by priests of the Holy Cross order.

A special service called "A Prayer In Time of War" was held Thursday in the campus chapel. It drew about 60.

Associate campus minister Bob Shearn said the service was not planned as a political event, but billed as "an opportunity for people to verbalize what they're feeling during this very, very stressful time - to help them sort out their fears, thoughts, the images they now see every day ... to help them deal with the emotional fallout of this war."

Noting that he is a pacifist and that "the Catholic Church was opposed to this war from the start - from the Pope all the way down," Shearn said that position is not embraced by the student body.

Few are peace activists, he said.

"I think they are ambivalent about this war," he said. "It always comes down to the question of~ 'What do you do about Saddam Hussein?' I think most students want to support the troops now that the war has started."

Down the street at Wilkes University, the same calm prevails, and the same ambivalence is evident.

Maya Tatum, 23, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Lansdale, has a brother and a cousin in active military duty and supports them enthusiastically. Still, she said, she doesn't like to be "labeled" or "close-minded."

"Look, we're going to another land, causing all this economic damage - there's a lot to the big picture," she said.

Jeanna Miller, 23, of Bradford, also a fifth-year pharmacy student, said she doesn't support the war, but would never demonstrate against it. "It's futile," she said. "It's not going to bring the troops home sooner."

As pharmacy students chatted, a large group of ROTC cadets in full camouflage gear mingled with other students nearby. None would comment on the war. "We're just not allowed to," one said.

Damn straight! Our city college kids do deserve some credit and yes, I did miss that story. I was busy hanging out in a maternity ward.

Some pics. The Graffiti Impact Team members had better stop picking up their kids at Bishop Hoban every afternoon and get cracking. Oh yeah, Gerry too. The knob-jobs running through the city with spray paint cans are winning the battle that the mayor thought could be won in one day.

Sup Mang?

U tink u bad?

No! No! No! I don’t want the credit for this one. My guess would be that SNAKE had more free time than what is usual. Don’t blame me man! I don’t want those Chamber types chasing me and hitting me over the head with Todd posters or something.

Don‘t blame me!

Grandpa Dude is rapidly getting a chest cold and is seriously beat.

Talk to ya’.