10-16-2005 Believing isn't silly anymore

In most cases, an immigrant must be a legal permanent resident for five years before becoming a citizen. The wait is three years if the person marries a U.S. citizen. He also must pass history, English and civics exams.--INS web site

Yeah!!! Unless they wade across the Rio Grande.

Who do I have to sue to get a part of yesterday back?

Trust me, I could care less about Penn State, or Joe Paterno. While I realize that Joe Pa is a legend, it sure as heck looked to me as if he was going to go out as a loser. So, basically, for the very first time I started following his most recent trials and tribulations. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I started rooting for him, only because he deserves better than to retire on the bottom rung of the standings. Which leads me back to yesterday afternoon.

For the first time since Penn State's defense was charged with stopping Herschel Walker himself, I eagerly awaited a Penn State gridiron battle and then settled in front of the video advertising box. My thought on the matter was that if they played up to their newfound capabilities, Penn State could run the table and Joe Pa could retire at, or very near the top of the entire heap. So, here they were 6-0, playing at Michigan, and I got sucked in only to see them lose a heartbreaker on the very last play of the game.

Needless to say, I'm pissed and I want my three hours-plus back.

The big story of late has to be the big drug bust right here in Wilkes-Barre. My thoughts on the matter are as follows:

I f>ckin' told ya! While some create web sites denigrating our cops, and still others maintain that downtown Wilkes-Barre will never be made safe again, I told ya that this mayor knew all along that before people will come to our downtown in droves again, something had to change. And change it will, but it takes time while dealing with the worst that humanity has to offer with limited resources. And in these pursuits, we need to be a bit patient.

But I think that what will come to pass in the next twelve months will surprise even the most negative of the negative naysayers. I firmly believe as much and I'll tell you why.

You know I make it a point to shy away from no place in this city regardless of it's propensity for producing crime. As a matter of fact, I regularly seek out and visit such places just to check them out for myself. Just yesterday, Gage, Taylor and myself toured the city quite extensively on the elongated Rock Stomper. I rarely happen upon a crime being committed, but that's to be expected when the lawless types know they are being watched, even by a civilian. And with that in mind, consider what's about to happen, or is already underway in our downtown.

First, with Wilkes University having aquired both the Call Center and the 10 East South Street highrise, the miscreants that used to loiter in that area have been all but replaced by hustling and bustling college kids. And when the Wilkes security office opens on the ground floor of the parking garage, that can only help but to reclaim that area by night.

With the canopy finally downed, and new streetlighting well on the way, the areas once dominated by the canopy will be much, much more well-lit and visible after the Sun goes down. That can only help to reclaim those areas. Well, that and a steady police presence.

In my mind, the thing that will help the most in convincing those street urchins to move to Kingston will be improved foot traffic in the downtown. And trust me, it's a comin'.

The Labor & Industry building will bring 250 new jobs into the mix. The Chamber of Commerce folks estimate that the theater itself will bring 600,000 visitors a year. After seeing the design plans for the riverfront project, I know that will only draw even more people to River Street, and maybe even breathe new life into the Hotel Sterling. The Wise Crackers comedy club just jumped into the downtown fray, as will the folks from Farley's, right in between both the theater complex and the L&I building. Talk about an awesome location. I've recently noticed quite a bit of work going on in a few of the long-empty Humford Equities properties on the east side of S. Main. And now it seems that we're going to offer Wi-Fi services in a downtown already home to a new high-tech business incubator. The CYC already draws a ton of people, as does the YMCA. Throw in the new streetlights, the new streetscaping, the bus terminal and the vertical parking that will follow and things should start looking somewhat upbeat to even the most negative among us. I don't think I'm being overly optimistic by being excited by our chances.

And with all of that having been said, the cops are quietly going about their business and taking the druggies down.

All of Tom Leighton's plans, decisions and promises of better down the road are starting to give some shape and substance to what is looking more and more like something worth believing in. And when that long since dead downtown of ours starts turning itself around, all that will be required of us is to get on down their and support our downtown merchants.

We turned our backs on them once before, but we can't afford to do it again. Fact is, this city needs to generate some revenue down there, so it's time to forget the big boxes--the category killers--and support your hometown.

Grab a couple of hoddogs at the Anthracite and join the grandkids and I in the middle of the Square. We'll be close to the fountain. Just look for the bike that looks like a train. We may not have any Planter's Peanuts to toss to the pigeons anymore, but I'm sure we'll dream up some new tradition quick enough.

That is, if we try.

Where once it seemed like too much of a leap of faith to say "I believe" in public for some, now it makes perfect sense to proclaim as much.

Let's do this real quick.

What is up with The Times Leader's 'War on Dessoye,' already? Did you see that stupid editorial cartoon declaring as much? And did you notice that the Leader had to put a huge picture of the druggies' kid on Page 1 only because she was crying foul after the cops searched her home? What was up with that? What there should have been was a pic of a Wilkes-Barre cop leading some drug kingpin away in handcuffs. But, no!!! The Times Leader doesn't like Chief Dessoye, so even on a most triumphal day, our police department has to see themselves disparaged on the front page. Very, very poor on the Leader's part. Very poor. In my mind, it was unconscionable.

If they keep it up, I'll cancel my subscription and read their web site from here on out.

And just for the record, Chief Dessoye has my support.

I am not an attorney nor do I play one on the internet. Fact is, I wouldn't want to be an attorney, and I can't envision myself working tirelessly to bilk some innocent property owner out of a quick quarter million only because my client went and fell on his face like a big dummy. Besides, when I escaped the hospitality industry fifteen years ago, I promised myself that I'd never, ever wear a tie again. Alas, Patty Leighton spoiled that goal of mine by banning jeans, tank tops and Braves caps at the big inauguration ball. Shoot.

I'm listening to Carl Romanelli's Sunday morning Green Party musings on WILK's Outlook for NEPA show, and right out of the proverbial gate, he wanted to revisit Judge Conahan's decision to tag the Carey's with an $11,000 bill associated with the most recent save-the-world petition boondoggle.

On the one hand he says he's very confident that Judge Conahan's decision will be overturned by a higher court. But, on the next hand he says that Mayor Leighton should "take the high road" by no longer seeking to recoup those costs. After all of the rubrical diatribes and rhetorical feints these people have sent our way, they continue to insult our intelligence by suggesting that they and only they are taking the high road. I hate to get all sort of monosyllabic on y'all, but that's just sh*t.

If you set about fighting city hall and lose badly, that in itself should not be tendered as proof positive that the elected folks bite the heads off of chickens on a regular basis. Even the barking moonbats toiling away among us should be able to mentally extrapolate as much. It seems like we've got a few too many people flattering their own senses of moral superiority these days. And not suprisingly, they are the very same folks trying to get themselves elected to something--anything. Take the high road? Spare me the self-absorbed idolatry.

The Citizens Voice

Federal court getting failed petition drive

By:Ed Lewis 10/14/2005

A Wilkes-Barre woman is claiming her constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech was violated when she was ordered to pay an $11,056 legal bill after she withdrew her petition.

Denise Carey, and her attorney, Lisa A. Welkey, filed a notice Thursday in Luzerne County Court informing Wilkes-Barre officials that they intend to challenge a ruling by President Judge Michael Conahan in federal court.

"Denise Carey reserves the right to file a federal action ... for violation of her constitutional rights of free speech, petition, and association ...,"according to the one-page notice.

Carey obtained about 1,300 signatures to make additions to the city's charter. Her goal was to place a referendum on the ballot giving voters a say about the closed East Northampton Street fire station. After her petition was submitted on Aug. 5, city Attorney Bill Vinsko and his staff compared the signatures to a list of registered voters in the city. City officials claimed Carey deceived people in order to get them to sign the petition.

Carey filed a similar appeal in state Commonwealth Court.

Like I said, I'm no attorney but after no more than a cursory glance at that news blurb, I got to scratching right above that steel plate in my head. Would someone care to 'splain the following to me?

"Denise Carey reserves the right to file a federal action ... for violation of her constitutional rights of free speech, petition, and association ...,"according to the one-page notice.

For Pete's sake, over the course of the past year, that lady has been quoted more often than even the mayor himself.

She's presided over meetings in the church basement. She, and many of her neighbors have those god awful-looking signs planted all over a four block area. She, or someone associated with her cause have been making consistent noise at every city council meeting since that firetrap of a firehouse went dormant on us. She's spoken out on local talk radio. She's spoken out on the internet. She's been quoted in the local newspapers for, like, twelve months running. She even had her day in court.

She was denied her constitutional rights to free speech?

If that's a well-thought-out challenge, I just might be in the wrong business.

Those who risk nothing lose nothing. But those that risk something do stand to lose now and again.

Ramming speed...

Oh, that's right. The last I heard, there is an election being held next month.

I found the following document on the front porch yesterday. Why is that I keep finding these sorts of materials on my porch, but I have yet to hear a knock on the front door? I mean, I can understand Christine Katsock's not bothering to talk to me, but are all of these politico hopefuls afraid of interacting with me?

There was a time when some folks mistakenly thought that all I was about was bashing the incumbents based solely on what I did during the previous mayor's run at city hall. Am I now getting a reputation for bashing anyone hoping to aspire to city hall? I sure hope not as that is not the case. The thing is, I want to see only the best and brightest elected. I don't care what party they happen to call their own. I merely want the best we have leading the way.

Knock on the freakin' door. I may play an asshole on the internet, but I'm not that bad in person.

Knappman 1

Knappman 2

By the way, Green Party pro-dopers need not knock. Don't waste my time.

From the e-mail inbox I recently picked a new primary care physician. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing "fairly well" for my age. A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"

He asked, "Do you smoke tobacco or drink beer/wine?"

"Oh no," I replied. "I'm not doing either."

Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"

I said, "No, my other Doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!"

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?"

"No, I don't," I said.

He asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"

"No," I said. "I don't do any of those things."

He looked at me and said, "Then why do you give a sh*t if you live to be 80!?"


Short of doing a Google search, can anyone tell me from which musical this comes from?

Now there you are;
Yes, there's that face,
That face that somehow I trust.
It may embarrass you to hear me say it,
But say it I must, say it I must:
You have the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet there's that upturned chin
And that grin of impetuous youth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

I hear the sound of good, solid judgment
Whenever you talk;
Yet there's the bold, brave spring of the tiger
That quickens your walk.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

And when my faith in my fellow man
All but falls apart,
I've but to feel your hand grasping mine
And I take heart; I take heart

To see the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet, with the slam-bang tang
Reminiscent of gin and vermouth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.


I gotta go. The Cowboys are coming!!! The Cowboys are coming!!!

I must watch the continuing adventures of Eli Manning.