4-8-2005 Is this trip really necessary?

Is this trip really necessary?

I found this on our soon to be deleted forum page late last night:

[> Re: what a low life -- Mr. Oblivious, 16:47:26 04/06/05 Wed [1]

@ing me that he left his wife for Linda SXXXX? I thought she was shacking up with Urban. This fireman should be ashamed if this is the case.

As far as I can recall, I've only ever had to delete one posting on that page. But I came close to deleting a second one last night. And for the most part, everyone has been pretty cool as far as respecting my wishes that no outright profanity be posted there. Some folks have taken their shots at me. And some have fired a few salvos at others. But no one has ever lowered themselves to posting anecdotal bilge about anyone's sexual exploits, let alone attaching someone else's name to said "evidence."

I know who we're talking about with all of this, and I don't think any of this marital spat stuff should have ever made it to the internet. But sadly, somehow it did. And if it doesn't stop tonight, I'll put the hammer down on all of it. And I would like to suggest to our anonymous "Mr. Oblivious" that any further outrage on his, or her part could easily be delivered to the "offending" fireman during a face-to-face encounter at fire headquarters. The forum page is not a place where we should be disclosing exactly who boffed who, or who we might think may have boffed whom. If SAYSO blurbs is all that some of us are capable of, I imagine they should be calling the Times Leader rather than sharing anymore of their rumors with any of us. I don't care who happens to dump who. And I don't care who may, or who may not have slept with whomever. While those sorts of undocumented stories may be temporarily scintillating, they are none of my business. Or yours for that matter.

And as far as the woman in question is concerned, her name should never have appeared in that forum under the circumstances it happened to appear under. While I vociferously disagree with much of what comes out of her piehole, her private life should remain just that-private. I don't trust her motivations, I disagree with much of what she espouses and I dislike her unmitigated ferocity and her unchecked vitriol. But that's where any public discussion of her should come to an end. I take exception to anyone who's politics or ideas I deem to be not in the best long-term interests of my city, but after the bogus press conferences and the rancorous council meetings are over, I don't care what the hell she does with her time. And that's the way it should be.

Is this trip really necessary?

You tell me.

All that I need is a single keystroke to make all of it go away in an instant.


From the e-mail inbox Hey Mark,

Could ya, would ya put a mention of this on your site? The Music Box is in dire straits and could use a boost in audinece participation, thus saving this venerable theatre. "Children of Eden" is really good, the music is fantastic and the local talent is Broadway caliber. Whoever knows the stories of Adam & Eve and Noah & the Ark will enjoy this production. But they have to hurry. I just got this notice yesterday.


Bill "captf53" UXXXXXXX

Hello Everyone,

The Music Box is asking for YOUR help. We are facing our last and final weekend after 24 years. Rising costs along with a difficult winter for ticket sales have left us unable to continue operating. Without great attendance to our Saturday and Sunday show this weekend, Children of Eden on Sunday, April 10th will be the final show here at The Music Box. We need everyone to attend on either Saturday, April 9 for Dinner & Show or Show Only or Sunday April 10, a Special "Family Night" show-only performance at 7pm. Will this be enough? We don't know, but we do know it will keep the lights on for the next weekend, and we will deal with next weekend, well, next weekend. What we do know is that without a great turnout THIS weekend, Saturday April 9th and Sunday April 10th, the Music Box will go dark. For good. Please come and bring as many people with you as possible. This may be your last chance to say, " I was there".

Call the box office at 570-283-2195 or 1-800-698-PLAY and make your reservations NOW, there is no more time to wait. This is a very bad situation, and without your immediate action and support, The Music Box Players will be no more.

There will also be a meeting following the Sunday performance at around 9:30pm to try to see if anything can be done to help keep the Music Box alive. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend, show you care and stop by. This is a very serious matter, nobody wants to see the theatre close but without YOUR help we cannot continue.

Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard and Discover card donations are also a very good way to show you care but attendance, people in seats telling their friends on Monday at work, are the best way to keep the lights on here at The Music Box

Please pass this letter on and tell everyone you know about the plight of The Music Box Dinner Playhouse. If enough people care about saving this valuable resource, right here in our own back yard, attending Children of Eden just might keep the place open.

Thank you very much and I hope to see you at the show!

Dana FXXXXXXXXXX-Secretary of the Board

The Music Box Dinner Playhouse

Rules, schmules.

The Citizens Voice

Three motorists successful in challenging Wilkes-Barre parking tickets

By Nichole Dobo, Staff Writer 04/08/2005

Steve Bloomburg, of Forty Fort, originally came to court Thursday to fight his meter violation because he thought the meter was keeping inaccurate time.

But after he found out Wilkes-Barre's meters had not been certified by the state, he had a different defense. He used the fact that the city's meters had not been certified by the state as his defense.

And he won, calling it a "happy coincidence" that he could raise the new defense.

All of Luzerne County's parking meters must be certified every three years by a state weights and measures official. Currently, none are certified, raising questions about whether tickets issued on the meters are legal.

Three people came to court Thursday afternoon to fight meter violation tickets using the defense that the meters are not properly certified. All three said they had not originally sought to fight the ticket for this reason, but after learning of the law, Act 155, they decided to use it before District Justice William Amesbury.

All three won.

Amesbury said that he would find defendants in parking meter cases not guilty "if they raised the defense." If not, then Amesbury could only consider the evidence that is laid out before him, he said.

If that evidence does not include testimony that the meters are not certified, don't expect the city to bring it up.

Beating a parking ticket brought a smile to the faces of the three who were found not guilty Thursday. Each hearing took less than five minutes once they brought up the meter certification law.

Brian Sashko's case was typical.

A meter enforcement officer testified that he found Sashko's car at a meter that was expired. The judge asked if the meter enforcement officer checked to see if the meter was working properly. It was.

Next, Sashko simply asked, "Was the meter certified?"

"No," the meter enforcement officer responded.

Amesbury scribbled on a sheet of paper.

"Not guilty," he said.

The Times Leader


You, too, can easily elude paying fines

Just ask if the meter is certified, because none has been for at least a year, and you’ll get off scot-free, judge says.

By LANE FILLER lfiller@leader.net

“I’ve read the law and if the lack of certification is offered as a defense, then I will find the person not guilty.”-William Amesbury District judge

WILKES-BARRE – The upshot of Thursday’s traffic court was this: If you ask whether the meter was certified, you’re not guilty.

District Judge William Amesbury began his Thursday afternoon court session in an unusual way, telling the defendants gathered before him, “Just for everyone’s edification, I did have the opportunity to get to the courthouse this morning to do some research.”

Then the first defendant was called.

Amesbury swore him and parking enforcement officer Al John in. John told Amesbury when he issued the ticket, to what type of car, and why -- an expired parking meter.

The man, in his own defense, said he paid for an hour of time and used less than that. Also, the time written on the ticket was later than when he got back to the car, and John directed “salty language” his way when he asked him to take the ticket back.

“I think the polite way of asking the question would be, ‘Was the meter certified as accurate?”’ Amesbury said to John.

“No,” John answered.

“Not guilty,” Amesbury said.

It’s a scene that might play out quite often during the next few months. In fact, it played out twice more Thursday in front of Amesbury.

“I never got a ticket that I saw,” Mary McGurk said. “I thought I was going to have to come here and be very angry and self-righteous with the judge. But instead, I can just politely say, ‘Was the meter certified?”’

McGurk did just that, and walked away smiling, $150 still in her pocket for one ticket and court costs she won’t have to pay.

A recent court case in Butler County illustrated the fact that state law says meters must be certified every three years, and the state says it has not checked a meter (other than just recently in Butler County) in at least four years. Every meter in Luzerne County and nearly all in 40 other counties are uncertified, and by Amesbury’s reckoning, every ticket written recently because of those meters can be overturned if the defendant asks that one question.

In 1997 a law was passed that said counties and municipalities could opt out of having their own sealer of weights and measures and pass the responsibility on to the state. Many did, but the state’s Bureau of Rides and Measures, Weights and Measures division, is still soldiering on with 18 employees just as it did before the law changed. According to Weights and Measures Chief Ken Deitzler, the division is woefully undermanned.

“I’ve read the law and if the lack of certification is offered as a defense, then I will find the person not guilty,” Amesbury said, “but the person has to offer it as a defense. I can’t do it for them.”

Amesbury hears parking citation cases for Wilkes-Barre, where Mayor Tom Leighton sounded a bit befuddled Thursday. Leighton said the city is looking into getting its own sealer of weights and measures (which is still allowed) and could not estimate how much money the current situation will cost the city.

“We’ve talked to the state and they will have people here to inspect them on April 18,” Leighton said. “As for right now, I’m thinking it over, but these guys will still be out writing tickets tomorrow, but we’ll take a look at that too, I guess.”

The city budgeted $360,000 in revenue from parking meters and $347,000 in parking fines for 2005, but would not guess how much of that money is in jeopardy.

In court, Brian Sashko intended to explain to the judge that the car he got a ticket on was totaled before the ticket was written, but he didn’t bother. Instead, he simply asked if the meter was certified, and walked away scot-free.

John called the situation “frustrating” and said, “I’m not going to lie about whether they’re certified, though.”

Three defendants with parking citations did not show up, and Amesbury said he would find them guilty, but added that they had the right to appeal to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, where they would almost certainly prevail.

Steve Bloomburg, of Forty Fort, originally came to court Thursday to fight his meter violation because he thought the meter was keeping inaccurate time.

The man, in his own defense, said he paid for an hour of time and used less than that. Also, the time written on the ticket was later than when he got back to the car, and John directed “salty language” his way when he asked him to take the ticket back.

I never got a ticket that I saw...

In court, Brian Sashko intended to explain to the judge that the car he got a ticket on was totaled before the ticket was written, but he didn’t bother.

I think they covered just about every possible bullsh*t story going, heyna?

You see, your honor, a cybernetic organism was about to kidnap the city administrator and whisk him away to the not-so-distant future so that he and Sarah Conner could procreate and produce the next leader of the resistance, only to have the unlucky offspring's brain harvested and studied by Skynet. I knew I was short on time and my 40-watt plasma rifle was out of zenon cartridges. But I also knew that I could use my solar frunobulator to cause an electro-magnetic pulse large enough to damage the synthetic brain of the would-be kidnapper, but not large enough to harm my fellow humans outside of the blast radius. With the future of humankind on the brink of future destruction, I did not have enough time to run into the nearby news stand and rob them of four quarters. That's why I only put one quarter in the meter as I began what proved to be an epic battle. And after saving all of mankind from certain extinction, I did not appreciate being sexually harassed by the parking meter Nazi. Yeah! Yeah! That's the ticket. He touched me down there. Yeah! And he threatened the life of my goldfish. Yeah! And he made fun of my dead grandmama. Oh, and he kicked me. Twice. And it hurt. Real bad like.

I can't freakin' believe these deadbeats even bothered to talk to the press. Why not have an "I'm a deadbeat" tattoo emblazened on one's forehead? Or sport an "I'm a cheatin' scofflaw" sign taped to their backs? I lied to a magistrate and all I got was this "I'm a con man" T-shirt?

Whatever, man. Do whatever it takes to escape the responsibilty for your own actions. Gyp, swindle, trick, or tell an extremely tall tale.

And then wonder to yourself where the heck your kids are getting it from.

From the e-mail inbox You might be a redneck if. .

It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God. . "

You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You still say "Christmas" instead of "The Holidays."

You bow your head when someone prays.

You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You treat Vietnam vets with great respect and always have.

You've never burned an American flag.

You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

From the e-mail inbox I heard a story the other day about a man, wife and 8 kids waiting at a bus stop. While waiting, a blind man comes up beside them and waits for the bus also. When the bus arrives, it turns out there are only 9 seats vacant. The man lets his wife and kids on the bus and he and the blind man decide they will walk. After walking a few blocks, the man becomes irritated with the tapping of the blind man's cane and says " why don't you put a rubber tip on that cane, it is very annoying to listen to it". The blind man retorts, if you had put a rubber tip on it, we would be riding the bus now instead of walking.

All aboard!!!

Is anybody up for a bikeabout tomorrow afternoon? If so, lemme know by noon or soon thereafter. I kept telling the Gagemeister that it'd get warm soon enough. And warm has all but upped and jumped right on our heads. Thank Allah.

Lemme know.