4-2-2004 Book her, Dano.

Wowie-freakin'-zowie! Those folks that called Todd & Skrep Makowski clones must feel pretty stupid right about now. SAYSO might be slow for a few days. Fired? Luzerne County employees? Fired? Is that even legal in this county?

From WNEP.com:

The ax fell Friday in Luzerne County. The directors of two county departments were fired. The director of the county's 911 dispatch center, Norbert O'Donnell lost his job. Sheriff deputies escorted him from the building.

Also fired was Quality Assurance Officer Ronald Rome along with a dispatcher. The county commissioners blame poor job performance. There was no reaction from the fired employees.

The other firing came in an office that has drawn attention for mistakes several times recently. The Director of Voters Services, Kevin Jordan, is out of work. He's been the one to answer for the county's election problems.

Commissioner Greg Skrepnak said there were clearly problems in the voter services department. The commisioners blamed Jordon's job performance. The county election board met only hours after Jordan was cut.


Hey. I think I'll apply for that 911 honcho position. Talk about scanner land. Scanner land heaven. I've listened to my scanners for years now, so I'm probably more qualified than the hacks that were put in charge of that program from it's inception. I heard on WILK that the cost per phone line for 911 service in California is .53 cents. In Luzerne County it's $1.25 per phone line and we lack the enhanced system and the ability to locate a cell phone call. Ah sh*t. Let's be honest. The freaking Sunni Triangle will have the advanced 911 system before we ever see it.

A rather juicy e-mail. The name was deleted to protect the identity of the Namey administration hack.

*******Hey Mark Hope all is well with you and your family.

The scoop: XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX of the Inspection Bureau was "let go" because it was found out that she was pocketing cash payments for building permits. She was given the option to "pay the $70 fee she just pocketed and quit-- or face prosecution and get fired".

This is what pisses me off about the leaders: Why not prosecute? WHO GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO CIRCUMVENT THE LAW? If that was you with your employer--where would you be right now? Why brush it under the rug? THE ANSWER IS CLEAR--IT'S THE TAXPAYERS MONEY SO WHO WANTS ALL THAT WORK TO INVESTIGATE?



Theft. Hmmm. Let's see here. How would the private sector handle that? It depends on the company involved. I used to hire and fire folks for a living and my approach to theft was eerily similar to, "Book 'em, Dano." But how should a third class city react to an employee that is stealing not only from the city, but from the residents to boot?

The condition of a lot of our aging housing stock leaves much to be desired as of late. So a guy buys a permit, makes some upgrade to his property, the permit is never recorded as being purchased in the first place, and the completed construction is never given a follow up inspection by the city. There's a recipe for disaster. Assuming that this has been going on for a while, do you think our slumlords who own multiple properties throughout the city would eventually catch on to and gleefully approve of that program? Damn straight they would.

And what about the senior citizen lady who's porch is falling apart. You know she'll be leaning toward the lowest possible bid from whoever shows up and pretends to be a reputable contractor. So she opts for the cheap guy, he does sub-standard work, or totally screws her by using shoddy materials; and the entire slip-shod project never gets inspected by the city. Safety first. Right? And don't think this scenario isn't quite common. Remember what I do for a living. I see construction anomalies every single day, and 50% of those anomalies are what you'd call a complete rip-off at the hands of the contractors.

This is the way I see it. If we buy construction permits, it not only works to ensure public safety, it adds to the coffers of the city. If a city employee was caught pocketing cash, that employee was ripping off the taxpayers of the city. That employee needs to be dragged cuffed and hiding their face before the cameras from both WNEP and WBRE. The days of sweeping things under the already bumpy rug whereas the politically connected are concerned has got to come to an end. Different standards and different levels of scrutiny for those drawing a paycheck directly from our wallets is a travesty of the highest order. For a city employee to be caught stealing from the taxpayers and then to be allowed to walk away without any fanfare is a direct slap in the face to said taxpayers.

Then again, we're not even supposed to know about this. Sooner or later, the politicos are going to have to find a way to kill this internet thingy. Us low-life types should be kept on a need-to-know basis while our cities, states, and our country slips closer and closer towards the abyss.

I say, "Book her, Dano."

From the e-mail inbox:

*******Here is one for you that I forgot all about.....

Do you remember when Zayers and the Sunshine were down where Home Depot is now? Remember the guy who would always be sitting outside of those stores with pencils and he had a wagon? What was that guys story? Do you remember this dude? I wonder what ever happened to him? He used to be there everytime.I am sure he is not around anymore, because I was only a kid when he would be hanging there and he was old then. LOL.*******

"The Pencil Dude form Hell," as far as I was concerned when I was but a wee lad. I do not remember that dude being at either Zayre's or Sunshine. If you recall, downtown was always my grandmom's favorite place to be and that's where we were on most days. As far as I knew as a kid, pencil dude had leased space on the sidewalk in front of The Boston Store. He was always there without fail. Even though my grandmom really didn't have two extra nickels to rub together, she was a devote, devote catholic and a philanthropist that was second to none in spite of her limited means.

Every time we wandered anywhere near that pencil dude, she opened her cavenous purse, flipped open her mini change purse, and handed me a quarter. And then I swallowed hard. I would have preferred to keep my distance from him. He sat there on his surf board thingamabob with extra leaf springs built into it's suspension and to my untrained eye, he looked all twisted and somewhat deranged. If given the chance, I would have opted for sleeping without any of the blankets that protected me from Godzilla to approaching the pencil dude. Saying that I was filled with trepidation won't describe how I felt as I targeted his tin cup. And if you saw me make the deposit with cat-like reflexes, you'd swear my father was Bruce Lee. My grandmom did not want a pencil in return for her generosity and that suited me just fine.

The dude scared the hell out of me as a little boy. What can I say? But the worse part was right after that quarter impacted the bottom of his can and made that unmistakeable noise he always recognized. As soon as he heard it he'd bark something at me that even S.E.T.I.s computer arrays could not decipher. ARGHEE_GROT&reu##yrr!!!!! And then my heart raced until I reached safety within the confines of the Lazarus department store.

What ever happened to him? Ya got me. I imagine that once our downtown became a ghost town, he probably got disgusted with his shrinking profits, threw his monster skate board into the trunk of his rusting Gremlin, and moved on to more profitable sidewalks somewhere in the Midwest. I could be wrong.

Another e-mail:

*******You idiot,,,,,,,,you totally friggin idiot!!!!!!!!!! I tell you something in confidence and you post it for all the world to see,,,,,,, You IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are cut off dude. My operation was supposed to be private; only a very few people knew; Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY APRIL*******

Okay. I was not pulling your legs about the sex change operation. April Fools (in reverse)!!!

And there it is. The Labor & Industry building is in fact a done deal afterall and the Gov's reps were on hand today to tell us so. I missed most of the details that WILK reported at 11 am. I did catch the fact that this project is being expedited in a big way. This building will be going up sooner, rather than later. 250 captive shoppers in our downtown, IF we can provide them with somewhere to shop. Or somewhere to watch a movie. Or...

Thursday...the Times Leader reported that Wilkes-Barre had received a $153,916 recycling grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Friday...some goober's gripes about the grants and his love of all things curbside was on the pages of SAYSO. Jeez! These freaking dufus' work fast.

"...why are they cutting down on what they're picking up?"

Is it not obvious that these folks that pray at the curb make me freaking crazy?!? What's the biggest hurdle Wilkes-Barre has to clear? That's easy, heyna? Increased services, right? More curbside pick-ups. Why not lay-off the entire police department and the entire fire department and assign one city employee and one DPW vehicle to each f**king house? GOD! The stupid sh*t that people actually worry about!

This is bizarre. I'm freakin' out, man! No kids. No grandkids. And no work tomorrow. I just knew I shouldn't have licked that stamp.

Time for some throbbing headphones. Guess where I'm headed. I'll give you a hint.

Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust.