4-30-2005 Coach Cour?

You need to be aware that most internet traffic is inaccurate. In fact, most of it is false.--Paul Harvey

But rest assured, you can trust anything you read in the newspapers. Plus, anything coming from Dan Rather's former soapbox...CBS NEWS.

The way those politicos up the hill a ways in Wilkes-Barre Township conduct their business, it's a wonder they are sitting in the center of the retail universe here in Culm County. Howbeit, they were dragged kicking and screaming by Kevin Blaum all the way to the AHL promised land.

And now, while they remain defiantly steadfast in their foolish belief that further legal uncertainties still exist; they are about to have another paying customer magnet forced upon them. Yepper, dancin' girlie fans. Naked, jigglin' boobies along with some other fully exposed neatherlands (heretofore unscene in these backwards parts) are comin' to Wilkes-Barre Township.

Gentlemen's Club 10

Wilkes-Barre Township keeps on landing winners in spite of itself. Hang on to yer ya-yas...here come the girlies.

Did anyone happen to check the baseball box scores and such this morning? I realize that the New York Mercenaries starting pitchers were all born long before the advent of electricity and are mostly sucking wind of late, but who is this new guy starting today? Wang? Wang? Who in the hell is Wang?

Wang...will be the starter today when the Mercenaries limp onto the field to do battle with the Toronto Blue Jays. What do you think? Can Wang hang? Does Wang have the balls? Or will Wang peter out early on? Is he a swingin' dick or not?

And will the Mercenaries give the newest stud to rise a bit of run support? Or will Bush shut them down? Tune in, kiddies.

Bush versus Wang.

What are the odds?

Take your pick...

From the Times Leader:

The entire discussion took about 15 minutes, a mere warm-up for a wrangle, primarily about the closed Heights firehouse, that lasted for more than two hours.

Denise Carey, who has consistently fought for the re-opening of the firehouse on Northampton Street, addressed council at length, demanding an emergency ordinance be passed to get the station repaired immediately and saying that she and about 25 supporters who accompanied her did not want to leave until that happened.

The emergency ordinance is a fix that Griffith, who also spoke on this issue Thursday night, has been advocating since another station, the one on Conyngham Avenue, closed nine months ago.

Carey said that in the recent snowstorm a firetruck was unable to climb up a hill in the Heights, and talked about an elderly resident who was unresponsive and an infant who stopped breathing, claiming both had to wait too long for help.

“People are going to die,” Carey said. “I don’t want the blood on your hands.”

Fire Chief Jacob Lisman argued all three points, saying he had not heard of any truck not making it into the Heights; the elderly man was actually a woman in her 40s suffering from low blood sugar; and the infant never stopped breathing, but merely had a high temperature and was vomiting. He also said both calls were answered in an extremely timely manner.

“What upsets me is when information is put out to the public that’s not accurate,” Lisman said. “People who are resentful of four- to five-minute waits for help should consider the waits in other towns and rural areas of Luzerne County. We are the A-Team, and every day of the year we are out of the door and responding to every call in less than 60 seconds.”

From the Citizen's Voice:

Six months after the closure of the East Fire Station on Northampton Street, Heights residents are still demanding action.

Denise Carey, who has lobbied for the station to be reopened since its closure, asked Wilkes-Barre council Thursday to pass an emergency ordinance authorizing the city to repair the fire station so it could be reopened.

Calls that would normally go to the Heights fire station are now being handled by headquarters on Ross Street. Carey was concerned, along with Councilwoman Kathy Kane, because a fire engine could not make it up Northampton Street during a snowstorm last month.

Citing two specific calls - one for a non-responsive elderly man, and another for a 1-year-old whose mother had to perform CPR to save the infant's life - Carey said response times have been adversely affected since the station closed. It sometimes takes firefighters up to seven minutes to respond to a call, Carey said.

"I'm not exaggerating," said Carey. "I really believe that there can't be any more waiting."

Fire Chief Jake Lisman refuted Carey's claims, stating that she was misinformed.

He pulled the records from the calls Carey referenced and said the first one involved a woman in her 40s and not an elderly man. Lisman confirmed that the other call did involve a small child, but the chief's records indicate that the baby never stopped breathing and the child's heart never stopped.

"It's unfair to inflame the situation," said Lisman, who maintains that firefighters are always en route within 60 seconds of a call.

The chief further added that city residents should consider those in rural areas if they're worried about four to five minute response times.

Despite the call to action by Carey and council, Heights residents left the meeting without their emergency ordinance.

Council was concerned about the legality of passing an ordinance without any text, even on title only. However, Solicitor Tim Henry said he would have an ordinance drafted by the next council meeting.


It's not easy being the leader of the activist pack, is it? Well, that is, when you either don't have your facts straight or when you're willing to deal in the latest activist currency, namely, shameless misrepresentations of the facts.

The following is a fictional account of a possible town meeting. Very few of the characters are based on any actual persons living, deceased or otherwise capable of rational thought.

Overbearing activist hotshot: What about when that four month-old was yanked out of the backyard pool blue, unresponsive and not breathing? How about that Mr. Mayor? It took the rescuers a full nine minutes to respond! And according to cuzzin' MaryLou, the paramedics outright refused to give him mouth-to-mouth!

Evil, lying fire chief: If I may, Mr. Mayor, I'll take that one.

'Scuse me, ma'am. But that was a four month-old goat you're talking about. It had facial lesions, a puss-filled eye and it was foaming at the mouth.

Hot shot: Well...okay...maybe. But it still took them nine minutes to get there!

Evil one again: Given the circumstances, I can see how the smokey haze at activist headquarters might have precluded you from seeing the correct time on the official Coors Light promo clock, but my men were on scene in under five minutes, and they were delayed in getting to the pool by a gaggle of wild-eyed folks waving petitions.

The Singing Yoda: (interrupting) I've studied the city charter extensively when I wasn't f**king up petitions and I demand that council adopt an emergency ordinance hearby putting every issue--no matter how miniscule or mundane--up for a referendum vote. We refuse to take no for an answer while we're trying to get ourselves elected to...I mean...while we're trying to save the world from the likes of you greedy, uncaring DEMOCRATS!!! Give me headlines, or give me death!!! Wait. What I meant to say was...I want the state to audit that water jug the mayor throws his spare change into.

(chaos erupts)

Grass Party spokesman: We demand that the council and mayor bend to our every whim no matter how little we may know about the issues at hand. Lemme hear your voices, people! Panama Red! Panama Red! Panama Red!

Council veteran: Why can't we build a 19 story peanut-shaped skyscraper?

School board/City Council/Mayor/State Rep hopeful: (being interviewed nearby) You know, I may not have any practical experience at any private or public sector job, but I did stay in the general vicinity of a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Council underling: There is no 'I' in firehouse!!!

Pretend F.B.I. Agent: I'll huff...and I'll puff...and I'll huff and puff some more until someone, anyone is intimidated by my juvenile antics!!!

Council Prez: Order! Order! I...er, where's my frickin' gavel?

Hotshot: We'll protest in front of your house! We'll protest at your kid's marble tournament! We'll protest right outside of your morning shower!!! We will not be denied! To the bottomless burning pits with the bean counters!!!

WBRE Babe: What say you, Mr. Mayor?

WNEP Dude: Mayor, mayor. Why haven't you allocated the necessary funding to build a helipad on the roof of city hall?

Times Leader Guy: Your former opponent claims...

Mayor Trys-alot (heard mumbling to himself) I just knew I should have run off to Honduras and joined the rag-tag dirt farmers fighting against the heavily-armed, Cuban-backed right-wing death squads.

An open letter to Mayor Tom Leighton


Stay the effing course.

Markie in Nord End

P.S.--Buy some real headphones, drink heavily and blast some Alice Cooper.

I never lied to you, I've always been cool

I wanna be elected

Of all places, I found this at The Weekender:

Posted on Wed, Apr. 27, 2005

Hoping to translate

Cinco De Mayor comes to W-B

by Josh Barr

When translated by bar hoppers across W-B as "Fifth of Mayor," Cinco De Mayor may lead to some confused liquor store runs, or worse, some nearly inexplicable acts on our mayor. No, Mayor is not a new brand of liquor.

And no, celebrating Cinco De Mayor does not involve chugging a fifth of any of Mayor Tom Leighton's excretions, sweat or otherwise.

Rather, the aptly named Cinco De Mayor refers to a May 5 benefit event at which area mayors are scheduled to climb into the dunk tank at Public Square in Wilkes-Barre for some good spirited public humiliation.

Mayor Leighton, along with area mayoral cohorts, Mayor Michael Lombardo of Pittston, Mayor Bill Goldsworthy of West Pittston and Mayor Chris Doherty of Scranton, are scheduled take to a wet plank seated precariously above a watery destination May 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on a day termed by many suffering from chronic parking tickets as "Retribution Day."

Directly preceding the mayoral dunkfest, Public Square will see a ribbon-cutting for the new pavers around the fountain at 10:30 a.m., held by Leadership Wilkes-Barre's "Pathway to the Future: Building Tomorrow Brick Buy Brick" group. Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for the Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2006.

"Leadership Wilkes-Barre continues to be an integral partner in helping the city move forward in its beautification processes, and I thank Pathway to the Future and look forward to the project's completion," Leighton said.

Still not in the know? Crawl out from under the rock.

Leadership Wilkes-Barre is a non-profit community leadership program dedicated to providing the information, skills, and training needed to sculpt and nurture local men and women desiring to serve as the region's future leaders and has helped produce many of the area's prominent community heads over the past 24 years.

To help the organization, citizens can now take their shots at the mayors while enjoying the sounds of a live mariachi band and devouring Leighton burgers, Lombardo dogs, Doherty chili dogs and Goldsworthy ranch burgers from Ranch Wagon.

But forget bringing in the Red Barons pitching staff for the dunkfest as Mayor Leighton reluctantly admits, "With the way they're getting hit, I think I'd be safe."

Make sure to strengthen those pitching arms, fine-tune your accuracy and come out to Public Square on Thursday, May 5 for Cinco de Mayor to settle those parking tickets by dunking the mayor of your choice.

When asked if he would dress up and join the mariachi band for a few songs and pictures if Weekender editor Joe Student dunked him, without missing a beat, Mayor Leighton responded, "I'd have him arrested for assault."

We'll get those pictures somehow.

Cinco de Mayor

Public Square


Thursday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.

FREE admission

more info:

Leadership Wilkes-Barre


Is Larry Newman going to be manning the pie throwing booth? We really need to know now that we're going to be rained on while conducting even a wee bit of commerce in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

From the Citizen's Voice story: W-B towing contract awarded to Duryea firm

The mayor did what he thought was right. We'll just have to wait and see.--Paul Falzone, owner of Falcone's Towing.

Imagine that. Someone in this city didn't get what they wanted and they still managed to restrain themselves. There's a first time for everything, heyna? That's exactly what we need in this challenged town of ours...more freaking adults.

So the towing contract was awarded to L.A.G. Transport Inc., which came highly rated by a couple of mayors from nearby cities. L.A.G. Transport? Hmmm. All I can say is, they had better be like Johnny on the fargin' Spot when our vehicles break down, or get battered into submission by motorists who have no regard for any traffic protocols. Otherwise, their moniker, L.A.G., is going to prove to be an ironic name when we start firing off "lag" one-timers.

What's the freakin' lag, man?

Base-a-ball... you bet.

From the e-mail inbox Mark, haven't been on the site much. Thought it was time to get caught up since it was brought to my attention that baseball hit the site.

Caught the annoyed part of the story. Am I annoyed, pissed off, or what ever one can feel at you. Nope. Everybody has a right to their opinion and everyone has the freedom to express it. Am I frustrated with what has been goning on the past year or so in the city. Sure. But I can deal with it. I can move on.

Now since baseball was brought up; You can see the subject was North Wilkes-Barre Baseball. We had to combine with East End over the past few years to keep the number of players up. It is not your "fathers" North End anymore. But we still host teams out of North End. More and more, players are combined on each team from each side of the Boulevard. So each team is not a dedicated East End team or North End team. But it makes for some good baseball.

Bring on Gage. I spend most of my free time cutting the grass or doing something on the field. Stop by. Or if you have the free time in the evenings starting next year (if I have the number of birthdays correct) and take on coaching. It's the best time of my life right now. Watching my kid play his final year in little league and I got to spend the last 8 years with him doing it. I know he'll do Coughlin proud in a few years.

Keep swingin' and lay off the high ones.

Caught the annoyed part of the story. Am I annoyed, pissed off, or what ever one can feel at you. Nope. Everybody has a right to their opinion and everyone has the freedom to express it. Am I frustrated with what has been goning on the past year or so in the city. Sure. But I can deal with it. I can move on.

That paragraph is the reason I posted your e-mail. All references to baseball aside, yet another adult seems to have spoken.

Am I frustrated with what has been goning on the past year or so in the city. Sure. But I can deal with it. I can move on.

As I previously alluded to, we win some, and we lose some. While I firmly believe that, yes, we can fight city hall and win, being a city employee during the most turbulent years in this city's history has to have been a roller coaster ride of trials and tribulations on illegal steroids. While I do not envy you folks to a very large degree, I do respect the occasional defiance, the stick-to-itiveness, and the dedication to professionalism that so many of you have displayed while Wilkes-Barre has been one long, drawn-out gut-check for so many of us.

And like you, I'm entitled to my opinion. And while my opinion may not be Gospel, it does seem to shake a few trees now and again. I really don't perceive that to be a bad thing in a city that had just about claimed rock bottom as it's birthright. If anyone is offended by anything that I have to say, I would encourage them to find a forum where they can vent, provided that they have more to offer than the mentally incontinent SAYSO blowhards. Wouldn't that be uplifting if lots of folks went to hackin' and attached their names to what they had to say?

For the time being, however, if you want any different sort of angle on local happenings other than what the traditional outlets have to report, you're all stuck with me. Sucks, ain't it? I'm not entirely certain as to how that came to be, but that seems to be the way it is until Ethel starts his own web thingie. And when that glorious day finally arrives, I can deal with it. I can move on.

But...local politics and the saving of one's flailing city pales in comparison to teaching the smallish scrubs why they should aspire to one day be the starting shortstop, or the starting centerfielder.

Baseball, in a single word, fully defines Americana. Baseball is the sport that separates us from the rest of the world where Soccer is king. Soccer rules all over the world simply because it requires little or next to nothing to play in the world's poorest countries. To play soccer, all that you need is a field cleared of landmines, a ball and a bunch of kids willing to march back and forth, up and down the field, while three or four other kids kick at each other. It's either that, or the stifling unemployment rates force the 'yutes' to join the growing revolution, or the growing unrest for lack of anything better to do.

In this country, we more or less demand that Junior learns by his ninth birthday to keep his hands well back, his weight well back, his eyes on the ball and that he either hits the ball off of the outfield fence, or well over it. And while we're demanding that a 9 year-old should know the difference between a hittable pitch and an 'out' pitch, they are facing pitchers two, and quite often three years older than themselves. In my mind, asking a kid too young to operate a can opener, or deliver the morning papers to emulate, if not encapsulate what some of the greatest athletes in the history of sports had to offer is what makes this country great. We don't ask our kids to chase a ball all day long. We ask our kids to suck it up, put their game faces on and apply what we pounded into their heads during all of those practices they would have gladly skipped.

Playing baseball requires real skills. And it's taught to those who want to learn, or those who think they want to learn at a very tender age. Would I volunteer to teach those too young to know why daddy signed them up in the first place? You betcha. Would I love to coach my grandson at the Nord End ballyard? Take a guess. I never had the pleasure of coaching my outstanding kids a decade ago.

But before any of that sort of thing can go down, someone has to convince Gage's mommy to sell her 'spensive cul-de-sac home and come on home to Wilkes-Barre. I know she wants to. I'm not sure what she tells her hubby, but I know she yearns to be back here. Thanks entirely to her job, she has resided all over the eastern half of this state. And if you ask me, much like myself when I was forced to reside elsewhere, I think she'd like nothing better than to see her kids grow up in Wilkes-Barre. Now, how do we make that happen?

Get that bat through the zone faster, suck it up rather than letting them see you cry, and spike 'em if need be!!! Or as Tommy used to say, "Go to hackin', Leonart!" Yup. Leonard with a 'T'. Blatant disrespect blathered up as a motivator. Are you really sure you want me to get involved again? My team may not finish anywhere near the top of the standings, but the other teams would tread very softly in the playground after the games.

Coach Cour? In 1975, maybe. In 2005, they'd have me removed. But, by no means does that suggest that I wouldn't jump at the chance.

Suddenly, John Fogerty comes to mind.