"It's not a shock to me."--a downtown businessman reacting to yesterdayís SWAT team event at the Murray Building.
The question is, was it a shock to anyone in the city that pays attention at all? Iím leaning toward NOPE being the correct answer to that one.
Hereís another quote for yaí:
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.--Dave Barry
The hose dudes are fighting a structure fire of some sort right now at the Lion Brewery on Penn Ave. For godís (still legal) sake dudes, SAVE THE BEER! Hey, that brewery has to be the single largest operation in Wilkes-Barre that could be called a manufacturing facility as far as I know. Save the precious revenue that it generates for the city coffers, but the search teams have got to think beer first and structure or employees second.
I was accosted by a city politico this afternoon and guess what? He wasnít threatening to ďget meĒ he was just saying hello. Imagine that. Apparently not all of the folks at the top of the political food chain in this troubled place feel the need to beat the cityís residents into line if they stray from the crowded ranks of the apathetic. Some of them do not react negatively to very close scrutiny or even to sometimes acerbic commentary or troubling pictures generated by the lowest of the low-the residents. This is the way it shakes down in my often simplistic view of the world. If a politico doesnít mind our breathing down his back while he goes about conducting city business, he probably has nothing to hide and is confident that he is doing the absolute best that he can for the city. Conversely, if a city politico reacts negatively to close public scrutiny by lashing out at those who are doing the scrutinizing, it suggests to me that they either have something to hide, are not on the up and up, or their actual intentions do not match their published words.
Basically, any city politico that threatens me or anyone else for paying attention does not deserve a single vote from anyone dead or alive. This is Luzerne County, heyna? Whatís that clever, but over-worked cliche? If you canít stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! Itís apparent that some of the elected types and hopefuls are not bothered in the least by scrutiny from city residents, while others fear that scrutiny and scheme to suppress it. Donít get me wrong, Iím not demanding that the folks that I have so often criticized invite me over to the house for supper, or promise to dust my CDs, but if any of them feel that Iím way off-base, they should seek to engage me in a debate and prove to me that Iím wrong about whatever they feel Iím wrong about. BUT, when the politicos start issuing threats to quell the voices of the troubled residents they are sworn to serve, or wish to one day serve, it suggests that the undercurrent of discontent that is rising to the level of a tidal wave is resonating with them, but they refuse to change their tried and true Luzerne County style political tactics that have never failed them before. Threats and intimidation.
Well guess what? A funny thing happened on the way to the Callplex. The folks in this county are beginning to pay attention and demand better from their elected leaders. Our majority county commissioners have chickened-out and are not seeking another term. The Home Rule people are still plotting a possible future re-structuring of our entire county government. The Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers Association has grown in stature in the eyes of many city residents now that their warnings of foolish spending once readily dismissed are now being proven true. City Council meetings are becoming crowded and often boisterous affairs. Unfortunately for the elected folks that mostly phoned it in in the past, that doesnít seem to be cutting it anymore in a county known for itís economic retardation and a city that has become an abject failure seemingly overnight. Itís like I posted the other night. They can conspire to put me out of my misery, but the insurrection will go on because the residents in this county are beginning to become much more politically astute.
Iíve been babbling on this site for well over two years and Iíve received many e-mails from folks heaping all sorts of praise on me for starting it or being a big part of it and I donít really know how much my efforts played into any of it, but what I do know is the folks in this city and county are not as dumb as some of the politico types give us credit for. Yeah, it was probably accurate when a local once labeled me as the Matt Drudge of Wilkes-Barre, but I donít want notoriety or accolades. I want the folks that beg us for our votes to do what they promise. They promise us all that the world has to offer during each and every election cycle, but the Saturn car plants never get built here, the theaters never get built here and something as simple as a Borders book store canít be enticed to set up shop here. Meanwhile, drugs, violence, murder and prostitution has definitely secured a solid beachhead here.
Itís not just our mayor and his merry band of hapless supporters that have failed us. Politicians promising progress and delivering next to nothing seems to be an occurrence that is pandemic throughout all of Luzerne County. But, the times are slowly changing. The politicos that resist that change are the ones that need to be done away with at the polls. In the near future, the folks that find themselves winning on election day had better do what they said theyíd do-serve, protect and look out for the best interests of the city and itís residents and not their political supporters.
I support completely Tom Leighton (TLFM) in his bid to become our next mayor and I will send him a measly check, but all I want in return from him after he takes his oath as our next mayor is a clean, neat and safe city. Oh, and some cool pics on occasion. Nothing more. Make my city whole again. Make it thrive again and treat the city employees and residents with the respect that they all deserve. Competently take care of business and we can all live here and enjoy the cityís big comeback. And relegate Wilkes-Barre Online useless.
Letís do some e-mails. I gotta go. Wifey has the house torn apart and Iíve got some furniture to move and whatnot.
Grandpa dude. Shut up and pay taxes has been the status quo in wb forever and now look where the city is. If the political types are giving you grief then wilkes barre online is winning the battle. People are afraid to bitch about things except to their own family for fear of retribution. Keep stirring up the pot. Maybe somebody will catch on why people are leaving town.******
******I was attempting to navigate thru the city yesterday when I found South Main to be blocked with several cop cars and a State Police copter flying overhead. I made my way to the post office parking lot to find out what all the commotion was about. Well, I found out and low and behold who was there, but our illustrious Mayor. I guess he figured that his "military training" would somehow help this situation. Being right next to Fire HQ, there were all kinds of people standing by, waiting to help for with whatever transpired. State Police, hose dudes, copper dudes, etc. They were all there. I missed one person though. Our police chief was oddly missing. Maybe he was out of town with the fire chief, but if he wasn't where was he? Hey, everyone know that guns and fires are dangerous. That line of work isn't for everyone. There's lots of other jobs in this world. If you choose those careers, you accept the possibilities that come with them. Anyway, my point is this. If the police chief wasn't at the scene because he was scared, then only in W-B would we have a fire chief who is afraid of fire and a police chief who's afraid of guns!
P.S. I know that I have been sort of flooding you with emails lately, but my status as a disgruntled employee grows every time I go to work. I find waiting for the primary to be a lot like Christmas as a kid. You hope that you are going to get a certain gift, but you never truly know until Christmas night, after all the presents are opened, whether or not you got what you asked for.******
******If Greco's latest plan includes reimbursing the city the 16 or so million bucks that is still owed on the call center, and the 400 and sum odd thousand for the demo of the steam heat building....BRING IT ON!.....If not, then he needs to just shut up and concentrate on his latest fiber optic steam pipe deal. That's all we need is another crack pot with big ideas throwing other people's money down the drain.
I had the pleasure of watching the events unfold today at S. Main and Ross Sts. I have to say, the rank and file of the WBPD did a great job. Chief George is an entirely different story. There were officers taking up positions outside the building, a perimeter I guess, that didn't have "vests" on because there weren't enough to go around. The Chief though, he had a vest on. He was at the firehouse next door....with a vest on. Thank goodness noone was shot. By the way...If they do purchase new vests.....Get a real big one for the chief. Better yet....save the vest.....he'll be unemployed along with fire chiefy next January......TLFM******
By now, you're probably aware of the robbery/hostage situation that took place on West Ross St. Seems it was a drug deal gone sour, but once the police showed up, everyone took off faster than a marathon runner.
And, of course, in the midst of everything, who shows up? Hit the fanfare, for critically acclaimed media whore Tom McGroarty is here! Besides avoiding questions from WBRE's reporter, he interrupted the interviews to greet the various members of the media walking about. Perhaps the best quote of the day was when he met a photographer from Wilkes University. "You're from Wilkes? Yeah, I've got a lot of friends there."
Remember what I said when Rendell was in town?
A lot of passerby took the opportunity to opine about McMoron and his less-than-ideal dealings with the city. Whether it's Coal Street or the West Ross crackhausen, I heard it all. It even seems that his "silent majority" isn't so silent at all. Said one elderly woman watching, "I hope he gets voted out. I sure wouldn't vote for that nut!"
May 20: Be There.
Even got to meet a fellow Wilkes-Barre Online reader. Alas, I forgot his name. Can't deny the influence of the site!
Wilkes Dude has to get himself back to work now. Need to make money for more guitar strings.******
******I am sooooooo disappointed that the council candidate you encountered last night has joined forces with McG. He had my vote but has lost it.******
Check this story from The Beacon at Wilkes College. Just kidding! Wilkes University.
ďI find waiting for the primary to be a lot like Christmas as a kid. You hope that you are going to get a certain gift, but you never truly know until Christmas night, after all the presents are opened, whether or not you got what you asked for.Ē
I hear that!