2-1-2006 Double overtime?

“What the fu>k was that?”--The Mayor of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Well, it‘s all over the media again. More bloodshed in Wilkes-Barre. I don’t know what it’s going to take to put an end to it, but I know we’ve got some very capable people working on the problem: The Wilkes-Barre Police Department.

Newspapers: From the Citizen’s Voice:


WILKES-BARRE — A man was killed and another seriously injured by a flurry of gunfire Monday night outside White House Cafe, the second serious shooting incident linked to the city bar in less than a year, authorities said.

Radio: From WilkNewsRadio.com:


Wilkes Barre Police are busy with a second Hazle Street death. The body of a woman described as white, mid-30's, was found around 4 PM Tuesday in a first floor apartment at 340 Hazle, a couple of blocks from the White House. Acting Coroner William Lisman didn't seem to make a connection between her death and the shootings. An autopsy is set

Television: From WBRE.com:

1 Dead, Another Wounded In Wilkes-Barre Shooting 1/31/06

One man is dead, another in the hospital after a double shooting outside of a Wilkes-Barre bar.

I turned on WILK this morning only to hear “Walter from Wilkes-Barre” pointing the finger of blame squarely at the present administration of this city. You know, playing politics is fun and all, but it’d sure be nice if he knew what he was talking about. And it’d be really helpful if he’d cool it with the fictional stories he makes up for political gain.

Listening to Walter is much akin to listening to Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi rail against, not so much the war, but the president. He supports the troops, but not the war. He gushes with admiration for our police department, but in the very next breath claims we’re not addressing the crime problem in the city. Now, we already know he’s dedicated his life to badmouthing our mayor every chance he gets, but by claiming that our city cops are “reactive” rather than “proactive” due to a lack of manpower and then blaming the mayor for said lack of manpower is tremendous bilge at best. This administration hired ten new police officers after raising the emergency services tax and was roundly criticized--by Walter--for having done so.

You raise the revenue necessary to hire ten new cops and get trashed for it. And then a year or so later, you get trashed for not hiring enough cops??? Is this the best the Republicans in this city have to offer?

The sudden surge in violence is extremely troubling. And, yes, one of us innocent passersby types could get clipped by a stray bullet. But the fact remains that the recent up-tick in violence has been almost exclusively the “criminal on criminal” variety. And it’s next to impossible to predict, or prevent random acts of violence from occurring, so the blame game is a mostly useless endeavor. If I decide to up and shoot somebody outside of a bar, there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it except to shoot back at me. You say proactive. I say reactive. Let’s call the mayor the problem. Whatever works for the folks with a political axes to grind.

I could care less if someone criticizes the mayor provided that the criticisms are fair and accurate. I am not his chief apologist, but I will not sit idly by while folks with political agendas make up tall tales for public consumption. Here’s a great example of just such a tall tale culled from Sue Henry’s show earlier today.

And I quote “Walter from Wilkes-Barre:”

“God bless those policemen, because I’ll tell ya, I spoke to, I’m pretty good relationship with some of the policemen and the one guy said he never gets time to be home anymore. He’s on overtime, double overtime (?)…if he’s not on the police force he’s at a magistrate’s office. He’s never home and he lives right there in Hanover Township and he said he can’t spend any time at home. Because every time he tries to get off the force to go home somebody tells him ‘Hey. You have to work overtime. We need ya tonight.’ And the poor guy never gets a chance to go home.”

End quote.

(Where to start.) As far as forced overtime is concerned, that claim is bogus. It’s untrue, and I challenge Walter to back up his bogus claim. Fact is, when the cops need an officer to work a double, they put a call out over the scanner which each on-duty patrol officer has to respond to over the air. It goes like this:

HQ to 557, 88 10-6?

That’s the Copper Dude in charge of the shift asking one police officer on the 2 PM-10 PM shift if he can stay overtime and work the 10 PM-6 AM shift. And more often than not, the reply amounts to 10-10. To us civilians, that means NO. And then on to the next unit it goes.

HQ to 640, 88 10-6?

And if no one responds with a reply of 10-4, on an on it goes down the roster.

During the latter stages of the McGroarty administration when our police department had dwindled to it‘s lowest numbers ever recorded, this was a daily, sometimes even a twice-daily event. And if we remember correctly, a few smart police officers worked every available overtime hour, padded their retirement benefits and then opted for retirement. I challenge anyone to take issue with anything I’ve typed to this point. Do it. Embarrass yourself.

But…after the city added the ten new police officers, the “88” calls became a very, very infrequent event. I still hear those calls for overtime go out over the airwaves, but they’ve become a very rare event. Completely by happenstance, I found myself talking to a Wilkes-Barre cop on the telephone this morning. I told him about Walter’s ludicrous “overtime, double overtime” assertions and he scoffed at Walter’s latest fictional accounts of how Wilkes-Barre really works. I could tell you the name of this police officer, but then he’d have to kill me. Err…something like that. I’m still trying to decipher what “double overtime” means. Maybe the cops are being forced to work triple secret overtime. Maybe even triple double-double secret overtime. Then again, maybe some people are prone to calling the local radio station and telling very tall tales.

Then we’ve got this tall tale concerning our make believe police officer. “..if he’s not on the force he’s at the magistrate’s office.” So this is what skeet shooting is like. This is fun.

Um…Walter, excuse me for forcing us all back to reality, but the police officers that are scheduled to appear at the magistrates’ offices are on-duty when they actually appear before a magistrate. Just in case no one noticed, these guys do belong to a union. Do you really believe they’d agree to volunteer their days off away for the purposes of attending hearings at the local magistrate’s office? Do you honestly think they prosecute criminals out of the kindness of their hearts? Excuse me for being so brash, but wouldn’t it be a violation of a few major labor laws to require people to work on their days off for no compensation? Or would that be considered quadruple secret overtime and not subject to labor laws?

What you had to say to Sue today was complete hogwash and I seriously doubt that you spend much time speaking to one of our police officers that supposedly lives in Hanover Township. I’m not a candidate/activist/watchdog as you portend to be, but I forgot more about how our police department operates than you’ll ever know.

You wanna put this guy in charge?

Here’s another classic--a quote--from “Walter from Wilkes-Barre” exactly as it appeared on WILK today:

We don’t need to be spending all this money on downtown. We need to be taking care of the neighborhoods. We need to get more police on the street and do what we have to do to make people safe in the city. Unfortunately, they have their heads turned 180 degrees out of phase here in this city. I don’t understand.

BANG!!! He finally nailed it. I don’t understand.

Spending all this money on downtown? You mean the state and federal grant money? Sorry, but when a grant is secured to build a theater, you cannot change your mind and spend the money on something else. You either build the theater, or the funding goes back to the treasury from which it came. You can’t opt for less screens and then hire new cops. You can’t go with the cheaper roofing materials and hire more cops. And you cannot play games with federal funding as our last mayor tried, but failed to do. The fact that piles of economic development funds are being spent on our downtown does not in any way affect the size of the police department. Nor will they ever.

The hiring of new police officers comes directly out of the general fund. And if the money is not available, then it’s not available--no more new cops for now. And to suggest that the money being spent on the downtown is somehow a detriment to overall public safety demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge, or something much more sinister.

You wanna put this guy in charge?

If you want more cops on the streets Walt, tell us how to pay for them. But until then, try to stay away from the preposterous claims bordering on the totally absurd. You said it, not me. You don’t understand. Doesn’t stop you, though.

Is this the best the Republicans in this city have to offer?

From the e-mail inbox Was up da river the other day trying to accomplish some meaningful labor. The water has that nice blue-green color this time of year and that reminded me that I haven't checked out your site for a while.

I saw an article in the paper a short while back about David Buck and his kayak trips out of Wyalusing. I know David and he's a really nice guy which got me to thinking about planning and organizing a group trip from his shop to my cabin (Eaton Twp.). If I can get it together would you be interested in going?


Hell yeah, I’d be interested, but I’d need some advance warning. Although, I don’t own a boat. Yet! (Sssh! Wifey might be listening. ) I could be mistaken, but I think I met David Buck at the boat launch in Wysox. I think he was the guy who delivered the donuts before we put in. If it’s the same guy, he alerted the local media about such a rare undertaking as a January kayak trip, only to call them off after he learned there were only three diehard participants involved with said trip. Crazy muckers all.

What did you think of those pics I posted from that Wysox to Sugar Run kayak trip? Did they not clearly suggest that a clean Susquehanna would be preferable to a dammed filthy Susquehanna? I dunno. I thought they did. There’s no doubt that that’s a very scenic area.

Maybe we should load up the trucks and head on up there never to be heard from again. I’ve got the Lonesome Cowboy Mark routine down good enough to go almost completely unnoticed in such a place. Ya reckon?

How does Sugar Run Online sound?

From the e-mail inbox During Pres. Bush's address, it was nice to see that Sen. Clinton left her bitchy, snotty facial expressions outside the chamber. Won't it be fun to watch her buried in a 2008 landslide by whomever the Republicans nominate?

To be honest, I didn’t watch the State of the Union address and I can’t remember the last time I missed one. I did read the entire text of the speech earlier today, but I can’t take much more of the irresponsible vitriol bordering on outright hatred that encompasses much of the Democrats talking points these days. Plus, this prebuttal, rebuttal and triple secret overtime rebuttal nonsense just goes beyond the pale of what of what normal folks should be doing and still pretending to be somewhat objective.

The thing is, what Bush had to say didn’t matter. His words were sure to fall on the deaf ears of the folks that stand for income redistribution, sodomy, the brutal killing of unborn children and not much else of note--The Democrats. They hate him and that’s that. If he said the sky was a pretty shade of blue, they’d force copious amounts of black coffee down Ted Kennedy’s throat and run him out there to accuse Bush of unspeakable horrors in response. If he said he liked pizza, Hillary would be out there shrieking at the top of her lungs about his alleged ties to Big Pizza. If he says he will defend America no matter what, they’ll give Nancy Pelosi an injection to stop her eyes from bulging out their sockets and she’ll call for his impeachment. When he rides a mountain bike, they belittle him. When he professes his love for his God and his family, they laugh at the ex-drunk. When we walks, they say he’s cocky. When he talks, they say he’s stupid. When he breathes, they pray that he stops. They really have gone way over the top. It’s grotesque. It’s becoming very hard to watch. Especially after the previous president had that special way of basting his cigars just outside the oval office.

I disagree with much of what Bush has done while in office, but the more they attack him the despicable way that they do, the more I feel compelled to defend him. He’s gotten a raw deal from day one, but, apparently, nothing is off-limits when the Democrats lose power.

Jimmy Carter sitting with Michael Moore at the party’s convention? That’s a party drifting further and further away from mainstream America. They can scream far-right all they want to, but the Kerrys, the Clintons, the Kennedys and the Pelosis of the party are pandering to a far-far-far-left base to reacquire power. When a low-brow outfit such as MoveOn.org becomes a significant part of a political party’s base, I no longer recognize that party as being a part of the mainstream.

Bush is standing in the way of the socialist revolution and he must be destroyed at all costs. But we’ll just see what the costs might be after the Red States decide that they’ve had just about enough of the morally bankrupt, the sodomites, the radicalized feminists, the frustrated commies and the baby killers.

We could stomach the Clintons. Barely. But we’ll never be able to sit still for the Michael Moores, the Al Frankens, the Cindy Sheehans, the George Soros‘, the Heinz-Kerrys, the Sean Penns, or the formerly sane Al Gore

Have no fear, though. Since 1968, only three times have we elected a Democrat to the White House and they got there by pretending to be centrists--by lying to us--and this current bunch of leftist pretenders to the throne will no longer get away with posing as moderates while their energized base is more and more dominated by far, far-left fringe groups with far-out agendas. Hillary may have been a hawk up ‘til now, but she’s gonna have to start lying real soon is she hopes to make peace with the anti-war zealots that she’s already made enemies of. Do you see the dilemma she faces? She needs to be a hawk in the red states, while simultaneously appearing to be an anti-war dove in the blue states. How many more times can she reinvent herself without losing the White House during the next presidential election tussle?

Sorry. I believe I just snapped to some degree. Whatever.

Trust me, the opportunistic carpetbagger from New York isn’t done being bitchy and snotty. She seeks power and she’ll do whatever it takes to feed her massive ego. The thing is, she seeks that White House for herself, and not for the common good. She does not serve as much as she seeks to prove that we’d be better served by voting for her and proving she’s worth serving. She’s a communist.

It takes a commune, er…a village.

Buried in 2008? That might be. There’s absolutely no doubt she will motivate the base of the Republican party and then some. I don’t want her being my appeasing, new-styled One World Government Commander-in-Chief and I don’t want her hayseed of a husband being my First Philanderer. I’ve had just about enough of the 60’s counterculture rejects all grown old.

Anyway, I skipped the big speech last night.

Gettin‘ there

Gotta go.