4-11-2003 WE


The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.--Thomas Sowell

Holy uncollectable parking tickets! Coal St. has been paved from the bumpy Boulevard all the way up to bumpy Sherman Street. Itís not exactly rebuilt, expanded or elongated as has been promised over and over and over to the point of absurdity in a town where progress is easily promised and rarely delivered, but itís paved! Can you believe it? The mayor finally paved Coal Street. Thereís no doubt that he feels vulnerable during this election cycle based on the laughable gallimaufry of paving projects, church sidewalk replacements and almost daily town hall meetings announcing even more progress to come, but he actually paved a street that really needed to be paved! Coal St. isnít an alley or a trail-itís a god honest street. After years of promises and then updated promises-he at least paved it. The guy is no doubt worried.

Itís been kind of quiet on the election front, but Iím sure things will heat up soon. I was hoping the mayor would personally deliver one of those seven page lists of his triumphant accomplishments to this adobe, so that I could giggle myself sick and then go to hacking on the site. Just in case he swings by Thompson St., I want to point out that he should not drop off any biodegradable yard waste bags at this address. They would surely cause a fit of uncontrollable laughter that would probably result in Medic-5 being dispatched to dislodge some cheese pretzels from my throat. What funking election year folly! Anyway, I would love to see the list.

Iím sure items such as our miniaturized hovercraft are front and center on the ďVote for meĒ fliers that many believe were prepared on the cityís new $11,000 (?) copier. The hovercraft is barely large enough to rescue a family of frightened hamsters hopelessly adrift on the Susquehanna. And Iíd bet that weíd be treated to boneheaded platitudes such as ďIf it saves one life it has served itís purpose.Ē The hovercraft has officially been credited with a river rescue, but the truth of the matter is-some fisherman latched onto a bridge jumper until the twenty minutes necessary to launch the craft had already passed. Whatever. We got one. It barely serves any purpose, but itís cool to look at and it may convince someone to vote for the guy. Thatís really all that matters, isnít it?

I have doubted that I would receive my seven page flier hot from the new copier, because I figured that it would be preferable if I was not given the opportunity to totally pick it apart and allow all of us a good, hardy belly laugh before we send the author packing. Then I imagined that since the mayor and his merry band of covert storm troopers have put me on notice that they are going to retaliate against me in a variety of ways, maybe theyíll supply me with a copy so as to afford me the opportunity to further hang myself and then sue me for all that IĎm worth afterwards. You know, suppress the use by the residents of their inalienable right of freedom of speech. The parallels between the just removed regime in Baghdad and the sure to be removed regime in this oligarchy are frighteningly similar. Open dissent will eventually be dealt with very harshly. At least, thatís what the mayorís lackey told me face-to-face.

I honestly canít imagine that many of Wilkes-Barreís residents, young or otherwise will vote for the guy (did anyone ever notice that I never refer to him as a man?) that has single-handedly accelerated Wilkes-Barreís problems to ultra-emergency status and also committed the unpardonable sin of assuming that the residents of this city were both blind and stupid. Now that he is mortally wounded in the political realm, he not only needs us, but he now serves us (for two short months) and has become the quintessential ďbaby-kissing, hand-shaking, senior-strokingĒ politico about town. In my opinion, for the most part, the only residents that will vote for him are the ones that stand to lose monetarily if he goes the way of the Hudson and that list does not include one average Joe.

Lots of folks are worried that the paving for votes program might actually reverberate with some residents and allow the mayor to continue to plunder this city for four more years. Iím not buying into that pessimism. I refuse to entertain the notion that the majority of registered voters in this city are that easily hoodwinked. During at least the past three years, residents all over the city (plus the residents of our neighboring communities) have duly noticed that crime had gotten way out of control, the infrastructure of the city has been developing major cracks and the mayor was too busy to notice while he scrambled to prove that all of his high profile, expensive blunders were the fault of city council, the ex-Governor and Bozo the Clown. I just cannot believe that the hoi polloi are that easily fooled. I canít. The mayor is undefeated when running practically unopposed, but this year he faces a formidable challenger and I think his record of broken promises, expensive false starts and his frequent denials that Wilkes-Barre even has a myriad of major problems will not be forgotten on May 20th. Thatís what I think.

As I have previously stated, it really doesnít matter to me in the long run. If the residents of Wilkes-Barre vote for the final nail in the coffin, I am splitting this failed program. I would prefer to stay, but Iíll quickly join the other productive folks that have migrated from the failed cities to the bucolic settings where a handful of folks are not yet allowed to destroy the home of the many. Think about that. Wilkes-Barre has 42,000 residents and a seven member city council and the lot of us are expected to hang on the mayorís every word. The mayor knows best. The mayor knows whatís good for us. The mayor OWNS Wilkes-Barre and anyone who disagrees with his utopian, albeit self-serving plan is not a moral man, plays in the sewer with skunks, or has the goon squad issuing threats to them while out and about. If the voters of Wilkes-Barre disappoint me on May 20th, I promise, Iíll visit what little remains of the city now and again.

Although, it has to be about a 40 mile round trip from Sorber Mountain to Wilkes-Barre and that would no doubt qualify as a serious ďBike About.Ē Whatever. I can hack it. But, I would prefer the seven or eight mile variety bike abouts for sure. Iíve made my way to Harveys Lake a few times and thatís a 32 mile round trip, but itís a bit much to be a steady Sunday gig. Iím hoping that my sometimes lazy, sometimes frenetic bike rides continue to include the sights and sounds of Wilkes-Barre, but the ultimate vote that will determine whether I ride in the city or up and down the side of a mountain somewhere is not mine alone. We shall see.

Whatever man. I turned this gizmo thingy on and just went with it, no matter what ďitĒ happened to be. I guess thatís how I so often get myself in trouble with the clueless folks so desperately hanging from the generous taxpayer teat. This place we call Wilkes-Barre is not about what I need, or what you need. Itís supposed to be about what WE need. Itís supposed to function to serve the collective needs of the taxpaying masses. What we need is to elect a mayor whoís overriding concern is for US and not ME, as in himself.

Itís been an overly rugged week at work. The week long and excessive hammer-drilling through two and a half feet of concrete has taken itís toll on me. My right hand is still twitching a bit and my right elbow is sore as hell. My rock hard legs are a bit tired and my lower back is reminding me not to push it much more. But! But, I still rode my 7.4 miles on the aging Huffy today and Iíll fire up that Dewalt again tomorrow morning. Thereís no quit in this idiot, so keep the threats coming loonies.

Letís do a few e-mails:

******If you aren't willing to vote for a sitting city council member you might as well be sending McGroarty a campaign contribution. His strategy is to divide and conquer and I am afraid he is having some success. Does council even have the powers to stop McGroarty's manic paving projects? I don't know.

This manic madman is making me nervous. By now he should be shamed and humiliated and instead he is gaining ground. Leighton better not wait too long. Time is running out. Somebody has to have the courage to confront this madman and speak the truth. My only concern about Leighton is that he may be too much of a gentleman to conduct an effective campaign against a desperate madman like McGroarty.

Furthermore, why isn't the local media reporting, with some prominence, the real story about the paving projects. McCheese is getting away with another scam! Where are the irresponsible, lazy local news media? I really think they are afraid of him.

West Side Dude******

Whoa! Way too much name-calling there dude! A gentleman? Wouldnít that be a completely welcome change of pace. Mayor Leighton, What is your reaction to the stinging criticisms from your numerous detractors? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me! Nah, it just doesnít fit. I do have a word of warning for our next mayor. He had better practice the egg toss a bit more before attending our next block party tentatively scheduled for August 2003. See yaí there Mayor Tom.

Rutro! Check this one:

******Well it appears that the hatred of the Mayor extends and affects other people now. While working the XXXXX shift Tuesday night I put the radio on scan and what a joyous sound I did hear. It was none other than one of my fellow west side copper dudes pulling over a car. Nothing unusual you might say but when the registration was ran county 911 returned this information over the air. The vehicle is registered to a Thomas and Joanne Mcgroarity(spelling) 220 Willow street Wilkes-Barre.

I started to laugh, they had pulled over the gorgeous blonde that Tommy so frequently refers to. As they ran the 27 for the driver and it came back to Joanne, zone A erupted with kind words such as "Write her", "Give her 2". These words were spoken several times. I was almost pissing myself listening to this and imagining the reaction of the portly little guy when he found out. As it turned out Joanne was given a citation(I donít know what it was for, but does it really matter) and sounds of joy and elation were heard about the radio.

So it now seems that the hatred for this mayor is having a direct effect on the residents of this city.******

What the hell, he breaks all of the rules, why shouldnít she? I have witnessed this phenomenon from Mountaintop to Centermoreland. My customers usually ask me where I reside and when I tell them the usual reaction is something like ďWhat the hell is wrong with your mayor?Ē Imagine that. 85 year old women living on a dirt road twenty miles from Wilkes-Barre are repulsed by his nonsense while watching from afar.

Jesus! An e-mail from Las Vegas:

******dude,

no sh*t, the mayor sent somebody a check for a flat tire. damn maybe i should move back to wilkes barre. i just had a flat fixed on my truck and my local mayor didn't send me a check. must be a relative of mcnutts.

XXX******

Dude! Las Vegas, the last time I checked, was still part of the United States. Wilkes-Barre is caught somewhere between the Twilight Zone and that spookily empty airport that The Langoleers gobbled up.

From Kings College:

******Mark,

I thought you'd be interested to see this note in case there is controversy in your email box. I really believe that this project is going to make another part of the city more attractive. Take it easy.

XXXX

To the King's Community:

As many of you know, last night City Council approved the plans for our Franklin Street Pedestrian Mall. The matter now rests with the Mayor who has ten days to approve or veto the resolution.

Contrary to some reporting, King's did file a traffic study conducted by the firm suggested by the City of Wilkes-Barre. In addition, that traffic study was reviewed by PennDOT. Finally, King's did testify at the three public hearings of the Planning Commission. I myself made our presentation and the City Council reviewed the transcripts of all three public Planning Commission meetings.

I remain convinced that this project is an investment in our future. It benefits the College, our neighborhood and our city. I thank so many of you who have been so supportive.

Father Tom O'Hara, CSC

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic. - Dave Barry

I do too. I think the cul-de-sac will not only add to the Kings environment, I think it will create a unique and interesting place in an empty drowntown crying out for the unique and interesting. Besides, nobody really uses that city block except for the Kings kids and the colleges purveyors for the most part. Oh, and the parking enforcement treads.

One more time:

******Hey Mark,

Great photo. My Brother (deleted) was on that team. It certainly takes me back to the "Glory Days"

Thanks******

Donít thank me. That photo came to me from a former Nord Ender who loved growing up in Nord End, as did I and who prefers to remember the ďGlory DaysĒ versus what has become of a once proud, quiet and safe neighborhood. The bigger concern is, could both you and your brother homer at Guthrie Field with alarming regularity? I sure hope so.

Me gotta go nite nite. Very tired.

Protest this!

TLFM