12-28-2005 GO ORIOLES!!!

I snagged this tidbit from Newsmax.com:

In another of continuing political demonstrations across the country, more than 4,000 people rallied Wednesday in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, in favor of the major Sunni Arab party, the Iraqi Accordance Front. Demonstrators carried banners say "We refuse the election forgery."

Wow! These Sunnis sure do learn fast. Either they've taken a play out of the Democrat's playbook, or Nancy Pelosi is secretly advising them.

No! No! We didn't lose the election. Those evil Shiites conspired with alJazDiebold to steal the election.

The left-leaners in this country speak and the world listens. Our elections can't be trusted. Our prez is a loose-cannon of a murderous cowpoke who lies ten times a day. Our rogue military 'tortures' and 'terrorizes' innocent people with impunity. Our country is polluting the entire world all by it's lonesome. Our 'evil' big businesses are exporting all sorts of horrors to the more pristine countries of the world. And we should react to attacks upon our soil by wringing our hands and soul-searching right before we apologize and offer increased foreign aid to the attackers.

And we wonder why they hate us? If you listen to the roar coming from those left field bleachers day-in and day-out...you can't help but to start thinking that America sucks in every way imaginable.

"We refuse the election forgery."

Yeah, and Al "Chad" Gore can fly.

The following blurb is from a 12/22/05 Voice story:

Cutting the cable: It's crunch time for cable subscribers. With a Dec. 31 deadline looming and no new talks scheduled, it looks like WYOU and WBRE will no longer be available on Adams and Service Electric Cable Systems.

This is a change from the way things looked last month when Nexstar officials and representatives from the cable companies were cautiously optimistic about reaching an accord.

"I've had no communication with any of the cable companies for a couple of weeks,'' said Duane Lammers, Nexstar chief operating officer.

Lammers said he had been close to a deal with Service Electric but the company changed its mind at the last minute. He gave a proposal to Adams several weeks ago, but never received a response.

"I've since notified both companies that they need to remove the stations after Dec. 31,'' he said.

Both TV stations had run crawlers informing viewers that their stations would be pulled from the cable lineup at the end of the year. The station advised viewers to get a satellite dish if they wanted to continue watching programs on these stations.

Nexstar, owners of WBRE and managers of WYOU, want the cable companies to pay to carry the stations' signals. Nexstar is seeking one cent per day per station for each subscriber to the cable systems.

The only reason I knew about this impending blackout is because I follow the latest local media goings-on at Beale's Bites.

No more WBRE? Ah, it's just as well. Things just haven't been right without that tall drink of water--Kim Martucci to eyeball.

How sexist!

The Department of Justice believes -- and the case law supports -- that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the president may, as he has done, delegate this authority to the attorney general.--Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick said in 1994 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

From today's Times Leader:

Posted on Wed, Dec. 28, 2005

Court: Firehouse activist’s appeal valid

Commonwealth Court vacates prior ruling to allow Denise Carey to proceed with her case against W-B.

By JON FOX jfox@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE – A city woman’s appeal of a ruling that slapped her with thousands of dollars in legal fees should be reconsidered, a state court has ruled.

Denise Carey was charged more than $11,000 in legal fees after she withdrew a petition to alter the city’s charter.

In November, because her attorney didn’t follow proper procedure, Commonwealth Court quashed Denise Carey’s appeal of the ruling that held her liable to reimburse the city for time spent by its attorneys challenging her petition. The court threw out the appeal because attorney Lisa Welkey failed to properly enter onto the docket sheet the Luzerne County court’s order directing Carey to pay the fees.

The procedural glitch led the state court to dismiss the appeal of President Judge Michael Conahan’s Aug. 24 decision without considering its merits.

But last week’s decision handed down by Commonwealth Court Judge Jess Jiuliante vacated that ruling, allowing for the reconsideration of Carey’s appeal.

Because Carey is named neither as defendant nor plaintiff in the city’s case challenging the petition, her attorney argues that she cannot be held accountable for the legal fees spent by the city. The case was brought by the city against the county board of elections.

Carey, a social worker lobbying to repair and reopen the Heights firehouse, had attempted to alter the city charter to allow for issue-specific referenda and initiatives.

The city had only 10 days to prepare the legal challenge to the petition, during which city attorneys deposed witnesses and logged enough hours to account for an $11,056 tab, according to William Vinsko, assistant city solicitor.

Carey withdrew her petition minutes before a scheduled hearing on the matter, but Conahan, who berated Carey for wasting the court’s time, granted the city’s request that she be assessed the fees.

In October, Welkey, Carey’s attorney, filed a federal civil lawsuit against Mayor Tom Leighton and the city claming Carey’s reputation was damaged and her First Amendment rights were violated.

The suit claims that the city’s actions have caused Carey “mental anxiety, stress, humiliation, loss of reputation and sleeplessness.”

This was all so freakin' needless. It really was. It reminds me of my not so veiled threats against the Chamber's Larry Neuman. He kept going on and on about how we needed to tear down our unique canopy system. And I kept threatening to nail him right in the puss with an oversized cream pie if he dared to do as much. According to a Chamber insider, he hired himself two heavily-armed bodyguards and then quickly proceeded to tear down my beloved canopy. And if that's not revolting enough, my mayor not only supported this decision, he upped and paid for the removal.

And what was my immediate reaction to that undertaking that I so vigorously disagreed with? Well, I figured you win some and you lose some. And in this case, I lost. No big thang. No need for a fedrule lawsuit. No need for collecting signatures in an attempt to reinvent the political wheel. If I felt that strongly about this issue, I could lay low until said mayor came asking for votes again and then work against him with some tireless dedication heretofore unseen in these parts.

Oh, wait. I already did that bit. Nevermind.

Anyway, I could have Wifey assemble a tiny doll that kind of resembles our canopy taker-downer at the Chamber and skewer it with copious amounts of needles and pins until it disintegrated in my hands. Take that, you f>cking canopy killer!!! Reap the whirlwind, baby!!!.

Whew! A Franklin's midnight shift flashback. I hate...er, I love when that happens.

Instead, I watched as the canopy came down, and then pedaled through that area after it was histoire. And as I previously stated, I like the new, open look. I never thought I would, but I do. So Larry did away with the heavily-armed bodyguards, and there is no acrimony as it might relate to our now defunct canopy system.

There's no doubt that I'm an opinionated sumbitch, but I realize that no one voted to put me in charge of anything. I can rail against whatever I like, but I'm not the guy being paid to call the shots. And if the guy calling the shots makes a huge mess of things, I will in turn rail against him. But I got no need for any petitions, or the resulting lawsuits and whatnot. Mine is a painfully simple program and I do like simplicity: Mayor Leighton, you've got yourself four years. Do us proud, or maybe Wifey gets to constructing a tiny doll with a goofy-looking cap on it's head.

As for Larry, he is hereby pardoned for his crimes against humanity's canopy.

99% of the time, I think I know what's best for this city. But when my take on things goes ignored, despite my mental instabilities and all, I'm not gonna over-react. I'll just bide my time and see what's what on election day.

It's terribly unfortunate where this 'Save our Firehouse' effort has led some folks to, but I think it's a clear indication of what not to do when you do not agree with the decisions the powers that be have made.

Repeat after me: Whatever.

Also from today's Times Leader:

Posted on Wed, Dec. 28, 2005

Ex-mayor’s brother sues W-B over firing

Gerard R. McGroarty says dismissal was retaliation for supporting his brother, Tom.

By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER tmorgan@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE – The brother of former Mayor Tom McGroarty has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and current Mayor Tom Leighton, alleging Leighton fired him from his position as director of parks and recreation because he supported his sibling in his failed re-election bid.

The suit, filed Tuesday by attorney Kimberly Borland, says Gerard R. McGroarty performed in a professional, competent manner in the position, which he held from 1996 to 2004. He was fired on Jan. 4, 2004, shortly after Leighton took office.

The suit alleges Leighton retaliated against McGroarty because he had actively campaigned for Tom McGroarty, who served as mayor from January 1996 to Jan 4, 2004. Leighton defeated Tom McGroarty in the Democratic primary election held in May 2003, and went on to win the general election in November.

“Political affiliation is not an appropriate requirement for the effective performance of the officer of director of facilities, parks and recreation for the city,” the suit says.

Contacted Tuesday evening, Leighton denied the allegations, saying there is “adequate evidence” to support his decision to remove McGroarty from the position. Politics had nothing to do with it, he said.

“I kept people from the prior administration that campaigned against me,” he said.

The suit, filed in federal court in Scranton, says McGroarty’s First Amendment right to free speech was violated. It does not cite any specific incidents to support McGroarty’s claims, other than the fact he was terminated.

The suit seeks to reinstate McGroarty to the position, as well as award him back pay and other compensatory damages. It also seeks an injunction to prevent Leighton or the city from taking adverse employment against him on the basis of his political affiliation.

On it's face, this lawsuit is preposterous in my demented place. And I'll tell you why.

I'm not looking to bash anyone's family name, but is there any further doubt that the McTommy administration was an abject, no, an abysmal failure? C'mon folks. We're all pretend adults here. Facts is facts.

I've never met the guy in question, but I've been told many times over that Tom McGroarty's brother is really a stand-up guy. And I take no issue at all with that assessment of his character. But there was a stigma attached to his employment by the City of Wilkes-Barre when his brother's first official act as mayor was to dive head-first into the nepotism pool. I mean, please, spare me. What does Wilkes-Barre need to go forward, Mr. Mayor? Um, my brother.

Yeah! As-farging-if!

And have you seen the completely deplorable condition of our parks and recreational facilities lately? Yeah? And who was in charge of those properties for eight years? Whatever. That is not the issue at hand.

I attended the press conference when Mayor Leighton unveiled his Dream Team that would lead Wilkes-Barre out of the financial and infrastructure morass it had found itself just about buried by. Admittedly, I was shocked to learn that his administration would look very similar to Tom McGroarty's administration. I really thought that some serious house-cleaning was in order, but as he told me at that time, there was no reason to punish these more than capable folks for the sins of their former leader. You wanna know what? He was right. If he was ultimately confident in their abilities, then who the hell was I to question their continued employment at City Hall? And many of these people were openly mocked--by me--when put in bad positions by the previous administration.

Basically, I trusted the guy. I had placed my faith in the guy many, many months before, and if he thought he could push the city forward with this group of underlings, then by all means, my thinking was: let's press on with things. But I also remembered how many of these people had supported the previous mayor during the run-up to the primary, and I wondered aloud about their loyalties. The point is, Tom Leighton knew full-well who had supported his run for mayor, and he also knew who didn't. And very many of those who didn't support him showed up to congratulate his big victory once the election night celebration all but overwhelmed the Ramada.

Then again, those same city employees were approached by their boss--the previous mayor--while in search of nomination petition signatures. At that time, I called the voter services office to inquire about whether that was an ethics violation, but I was told by Leonard Piazza that he did not know, and that I should call the state. Talk about dodging an election campaign smoking gun! Needless to say, any respect I might have had for him evaporated in an instant.

And if y'all remember correctly, very many of you sent e-mails my way castigating--ripping--our mayor-elect for not putting all, that's all, of Tom McGroarty's immediate underlings out of their misery. Remember that sh*t? I do. Yeah, you were calling for blood and as it turned out, the employment blood-letting was very minimal at best. Almost microscopic.

Now, it's being suggested in court briefs that a former city employee was let go "because he had actively campaigned for Tom McGroarty?"

You know that's complete hogwash, and so do I.

And I find it totally annoying that the city's future always seems to take a major backseat to the whims of the folks that seek progress much less than they seek personal enrichment. The many seem to be the recipients of nonstop tumult coming from the few, and frankly stated, I'm really getting fu>king sick of it all.

Screw it! What's another lawsuit? The taxpayers can afford whatever outlandish excess that happens to be dreamed up in some enterprising lawyer's office.

Reinstate this!!!

Go away.


From the e-mail inbox You're a child of the seventies if:

You remember having to get off the couch to change the TV channel.

Hmmm. I did as much until about 1972 when my mom hooked us up with Home Box Office and we had that 100-foot wire leading right back to the television.

Here's a snippet of a Citizens' Voice story:

Stewart, who was visiting the home, was standing inside arguing with the suspects, described by police as two black males in their early 20s wearing dark clothing and bandannas on their heads.

One of the men shot Stewart and the juvenile through the front door and apparently continued firing the gun as he ran, Middleton said.

Both men were gone by the time police arrived. They fled on foot, and police do not believe they have a vehicle.

Stewart was taken to Community Medical Center in Scranton and the juvenile to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre for treatment, police said.

Police did not release the names of the suspects. Both remained at large Tuesday night.

The two men, who were originally from New York and do not have local addresses, seemed to be arguing about residing in the home, Middleton said.

"They may have been staying there. I think they overextended their welcome," he said.

The gunshots shocked residents in the neighborhood, which is home to many Wilkes University students.

The two men, who were originally from New York and do not have local addresses...

Lemme go out on a rather sturdy limb here...they were here to deal drugs??? They flock here to sell illegal drugs because we buy illegal drugs. So, how can we put an end to the violence?

Um...ya sure got me by the crotch threads.

7 months ago

Unlike what went down in Lackawanna County many moons ago, the voters in Luzerne County did not want to put a couple of inept commissioners in charge of a major sporting venue. Thankfully, Kevin Blaum took it from there. So, does anyone other than Kevin Lynn want to keep on busting the balls of the Luzerne County voters who could see the disasterous writing on the, then, still to be built wall?

If we had voted "Yes" and put Luzerne County in charge of our arena, you'd all be comparing it to Valley Crest right about now. Red ink? Red ice? What's the frickin' difference? The difference can be summed up in terms of profit and loss. One sporting venue is quickly turning into a financial liability, while the other one is operating at a profit, and it's potential seems limitless. And I voted "No." Go figure. I got that one right.

Yo, Kevin! Get off the radio you old doper!!!

Whether you wanted it or not, allow me to be the first person to yelp NEPA's new rallying cry.