6-30-2005 Turds of a feather...mock together

Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution has arisen and the Islamic revolution of 1384 [the current Iranian year] will, if God wills, cut off the roots of injustice in the world. The era of oppression, hegemonic regimes, tyranny and injustice has reached its end.--Mahmood Ahmadinejad--Iran's president-elect

Great! They went and put yet another lunatic in charge of one of the worst asylums. Great!

Who's the fu>king asshole? That's the first semi-coherent thought that I had this morning. I woke up, I wandered down to the front porch, I rolled the Leader open on the computer desk, and spotted that picture. That's how my day began.

Who's the fu>king asshole?

Times Leader Staff Photo/Fred Adams

Times Leader

Posted on Thu, Jun. 30, 2005

It may be a sign of disbelief

Business on New Frederick Street implores mayor to pave pothole-ridden street.

By KRIS WERNOWSKY kwernowsky@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE – So you’re miffed the city hasn’t fixed a pothole-laden street outside your business for years.

What are your options: Letters, phone calls, sit-ins, hunger-strikes?

Jim Evans decided to hang an enormous banner with a response to Mayor Tom Leighton’s now familiar “I believe …” slogan as a very visible call for action.

Evans, owner of Mountain Productions, had employees unfurl a 15 foot by 40 foot banner with three and a half foot purple letters on the side of the building that read: “I’ll Believe When You Pave Our Street.”

Evans said he’s sick of the cracked and broken pavement on New Frederick Street, which runs along his business in the Rolling Mill Hill section of the city.

The mayor fumed about Evans’ sign when he learned about it Wednesday afternoon and suggested money earmarked for the street might be better spent elsewhere.

In the city’s defense, Leighton said the street is slated for repairs later this year. When he learned about the sign from a reporter Wednesday afternoon he was not amused.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, that street is out for bid. I do not need a kick in the a--,” Leighton said. “This is part of why I need an ‘I believe …’ slogan. He should know, being a businessman, it takes time.”

Evans insisted he believes in the city and is in no way anti-Wilkes-Barre. He said it’s obvious since he started and kept his highly successful concert and festival production company here for more than 25 years.

“This is our only location,” he said. “For the number of shows we do and places we can roost, we could go to North Carolina to a better climate and probably pay less in taxes. I was born here and we hire a lot of kids from (Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational-Technical School).”

Of the 55 employees at the plant, Evans said only two weren’t born and raised in the Greater Wilkes-Barre area.

Then if he already believes, then why put out the sign?

“I’m just trying to prod them along a little,” Evans explained. “I’m using (Leighton’s) slogan to try to get my street paved.”

Evans said his gripe with the city spans two mayoral administrations and 10 years of promises that the city would fix the street. He said weather, shoddy repairs and heavy traffic left the street a tattered mess of potholes that chew away rubber tires.

Drivers use the Mountain Production parking lot as an alternative route to avoid the cavernous holes in the street. The company placed more than 70 barrels along the perimeter of the lot as a barrier to keep cars from driving through.

Leighton said that city planning and development director Butch Frati was at New Frederick Street Tuesday examining the road with an engineer.

Evans said he’s only been told that the city would pave the street, but has never seen New Frederick Street on any list.

“I never saw a list, I’ve only been told,” he said.

News of the sign also sparked a suggestion from the mayor that the city may need to re-evaluate what streets need to be paved.

“Maybe we’ll re-evaluate what’s more important,” he said.


That friggin' street is a mess. It's a challenge for a Humvee. I know that street hasn't been paved since, like, Super Bowl V. And I know McGroarty blew this guy off for the better part of a decade. So while I can understand his frustration, I cannot understand why he chose to bust the new mayor's jewels. And I also can't understand why he thought it would be cute to deliver a needless Page 1 black eye to all of Wilkes-Barre? Really, his logic (or lack thereof) escapes me, Captain Kirk.

Just when we thought it was getting relatively safe to pull those ink-stained rubber bands off of our rolled-up newspapers, it seems as if loose cannons are coming out of the woodwork and then some. Nobody that owns and manages a successful company that is international in scope does not understand that a new mayor cannot correct every problem in a mere 18 months after inheriting a total sh*tstorm of a city from the previous mayor? Leighton has had to endure his fair share of detractors and whatnot after his June 9 public relations stunt, but he didn't deserve this when you consider the source.

I don't care how good these people are at erecting scaffolding and spray painting plywood black. This banner was an ill-advised cheap shot.

But...when I read the mayor's angry comments in the Leader, I was horrified by one in particular.

You’ve got to be kidding me, that street is out for bid. I do not need a kick in the a--. This is part of why I need an ‘I believe’ slogan. He should know, being a businessman, it takes time.

That one's on the mark. So good so far.

Maybe we’ll re-evaluate what’s more important.

That's the comment that had me recoiling in horror due to it's McGroarty-esque nature.

So, I was left to assume that Mayor Tom was not merely annoyed, rather...he seemed to be pissed-off to the max. I've seen him frustrated many, many times over, but never so angry that he came off as sounding vindictive. Well, until today that is. In my polluted mind, there had to be more to the story than that stupid banner. What exactly was it that blew the mayor's fuse.

Truth be told, the owner of Mountain Productions confronted our mayor at a charity event held earlier this year and he launched into a diatribe over the poor condition of that thing that is supposed to pass as a street, and probably, rightfully so. The thing is, the mayor promised him that New Frederick Street would be paved during Fiscal '05. Hmmm.

And then there's that matter of the city planning and development director showing up on New Frederick Street with an engineer seeking site specs so that the project could be put out to bid. And that visit was not lost on the owner of Mountain Productions as the city planning and development director spent the better part of an hour going over it with him. Hmmm.

So...why the stupid banner?

I'm not exactly looking to make new friends tonight, so...iffin' the owner of that stage riggin' outfit is actually a stand-up person, I'm thinking he owes our mayor a public apology for that little circus stunt of his.

Unlike some of those that served before him, I believe this mayor has clearly demonstrated that he can be expected to deliver that which he promises. Think about it. It'd probably be easier to convince Elton John to kiss a nekkid girl than it would be to get Tom Leighton to conjure up a robust promise or two without first getting him in the patented Markie death-grip.

And what did the owner of Mountain Productions have in his back pocket long before that banner went up?

Two...count 'em, two promises.

A public apology is clearly called for in this confusing case.

Sez me.

I'll believe...when?

If you're interested, Denise Carey, chairwoman of the...um, whatever it is that they currently call themselves beer garden cabal, will appear on The Sue Henry Show tomorrow morning. Sorry, but I'm not sure as to what time she's scheduled to don a microphone, but Sue's show runs from 9:06 AM 'til 11:45 AM.

Actually, this is gonna be good. It'll start out being about a closed firehouse, and public safety issues, but it'll be tough, really tough for Sue to keep the parade of malcontents calling in on point.

This morning, when the New Frederick Street imbroglio came up, Walter Griffith was first in line on the blower and he meandered all over the friggin' place. In a nutshell, his point was, well...skimble skamble at it's best, but only the WILK listeners take him seriously. WILK is the only forum he has where he's not forced to say, "I stand corrected," after spewing his latest off-the-wall misrepresentations. Think he'll be first in line tomorrow morning to lecture the city's administration about public safety and whatnot? I wouldn't bet your lil' sister's virginity against such a happening.

Anywho, I'll have the tape recorder running for this puddle of piddle in the making.

Turds of a feather...mock together.

From the e-mail inbox Read your Response
I switched and voted for Leighton in the primary( I also voted for Flood and Todd, I went to the debate and they impressed me the most) but in the general I voted back home in Montgomery County. I am disappointed in Leighton because he raised the tax on college students(parking tickets) I only gotten 2, one on freshmen move IN Day(welcome to Wilkes-Barre) and another when there was 6 inches of snow. Then I believed before he gave his speech, but He still made a horrible PR move. Before that I thought he could switch parties and take on Kanjorski well maybe Doherty can do it now.
The Luzerne GOP is getting better everyday they came up big for grassroots for the Bush campaign. It is just hard for them to break the New Deal Coalition which is still alive and well in NEPA.

Take Care
Bill Fitzpatrick

Dude, if Tom Leighton ever decided to run for congress, or some such other sh*t, my jaw would drop about 17 kilometers and then some. He was born here, raised here, educated here, raised a family here, has a business here, and jumped into a political hornet's nest here. And despite the mess he inherited, and the impatient populace raggin' his ass, he stepped forward and asked the lot of us to believe in this city again. I don't think he ever intended to go anywhere but here. And I don't think his ultimate legacy will be chiseled in Washington. His legacy will be built right here. Right before our very eyes.

And fret not over knocking Kanjo off. He's not long for the political battlefield. If Yudichak doesn't do him in, our soon to be newly-created lake of his brimming with floating fecal matter will. He's never been right about much of anything, and Lake Doo-doo will be his eventual undoing.

And, as far as the Luzerne County GOP is concerned, in my mind, the only thing it lacks is viable, exciting candidates. Other than that, it's working wonderfully. (?)

If being little more than a bunch of canaries in a coal mine, while the county Dems remain the entrenched political robber barons is no longer acceptable to y'all, maybe it's time that you shake things up just a tad. And, if I may, a little friendly advice; stop having your "top-flight" candidates appearing to be in lock-step with those protest sign-waving county Greens. Are you folks true conservatives, or are you so frustrated by your ineffectiveness that you'd climb into bed with a bunch of Hippiedom idealogues in search of a few votes?

Think about it. Would George Bush and Michael Moore make for a winning political marriage?

Sorry. I didn't mean to bite your head off. Remember, at heart, I'm a republican. But what has the local GOP done for me lately? Or, ever?

I'm just saying.

I'll believe...when?

I snagged this from, of all places, Boiling Springs Villager.com.

Don't ask.

If you're interested in starting your own community website the way it's been done here, this is what you'll need:

More money
More money still
A computer, stuffed to the gills with memory, processing power and disk space.
Software for web page development, graphics design, photo and video editing.
A scanner.
A web host, preferably your own server.
Digital cameras for stills and video, blank disks, tapes, and all that other camera stuff.
Someone who knows how to use everything mentioned above.
Desire and commitment.
Concerned Citizens

Not much, and actually quite simple for some of us. Except that money part.
Good luck!

From the e-mail inbox Hey Mark,

Hope all is well.

First off, I want to give you the Giants Stadium update. The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS didn't get the blessing to build a new stadium on the west side of Manhattan, so Big Blue will be sharing their new digs with the Jets, kinda sucks, but what can ya do?

Today I took a drive out to Wilkes-Barre to visit a friend of mine, and I do have to say, that the city looks much better than it did the day I left after graduation. It was actually clean, but I was sad to see Jack Knelly's (sp?) closed down. When did it close? It was pretty nice to run over there for a few things back during the Myers Court days, but other than that little sad part I was really impressed. what Leighton is doing with Wilkes-Barre.

Well just had to let you know that what I am seeing being done in W-B looks promising. All the city needs now is some good paying jobs, and the college kids will stick around. Shit, I'd even come back from Hoboken to take part in that renaissance.

Be good, and stay cool.

Jersey Dude

First of all, the true Jets fans are those scumballs from Flushing and Queens. If you happen to reside somewhere within the confines of the five boroughs, and happen to call yourself a freakin' Jets fan; I'm thinking that your step-daddy put out way too many Lucky Strikes on your naked backside.

Then again, while growing up in very Western Connecticut when I did, the AFL was to commies what the NFL was to American patriots. Well, at least, that's the way I saw it at the time? Joe Namath? Are you stoned? Or did your black light freak you out again? Ever hear of Johnnny Unitas, man?

Sorry. I'll stop that sh*t short. I have no idea what that might have led to, but you just know that Marcia Brady would have been included in the ancient mix, heyna?

As far as Wilkes-Barre is concerned, yes, things really are looking better. Yet, so many of us that live here still refuse to see as much. And if possible, by all means, c'mon back. We'll do a keggar that'll bring on some flashbacks for ya.

Jack Knelly's? Closed? I was not aware of that throwback's having been closed forever. I'm sitting here hoping that you're somehow wrong on that account. When we relocated back to Wilkes-Barre in 1971, we would have starved to death if it wasn't for Knelly allowing my mom to charge groceries until her next welfare check arrived in the mailbox. Pickle loaf and American cheese. Is it any wonder I'm so completely afoul of normalcy?

It's funny, when I ran across his kids in the hallways of Coughlin, I always felt like a useless scumbag simply because their dad owned a local grocery store, while my mom was forced to go in there and beg for a tab. She had dignity, but she was forced to swallow it every day. All of my hang-ups aside, looking back on those days, I realize that Knelly always treated my mom with the utmost in courtesy and discretion. He was always a class act, and he knew how to drive a small business by word-of mouth. Whatever.

That was the old days. These days, we can always jump in the Volvo and head on out to Sprawl-Mart for a pound of pre-packaged American cheese. I believe I just bummed myself out.

Good hearing from you, J-Dude. Don't become a stranger.

Or a lowly Jets fan.

I'll believe...when?

Gotta go.

I don't want to come off as sounding selfish, but I'm working on a banner that says, "I'll Believe When Cheap Trick Plays At My Block Party."

I’m just trying to prod them along a little. I’m using (Leighton’s) slogan to try to get my street rocked.

Wanna get rocked?