3-4-2006 Rep. Katsock?

“What did you tell me Simon?” she said, slurring her words. “What did you tell me? Simon gave me advice and said on “The X Factor” he always refers to a fortune cookie and says the moth who finds the melon - (laugher) - finds the corn flake always finds the melon and one of you didn’t pick the right fortune.”--Paula Abdul on the latest installment of American Idol

Yikes! She’s got that Ted Kennedy thing going on in a big way.

After goofing around with this online video demonstration of our soon-to-be new newfangled electronic voting machines, I think I could actually order me a hoagie at the local Sheetz all by my lonesome. I think.

That’s not to say that Dubya and his unscrupulous “big business” cronies at Diebold haven’t already figured out how to tap into them and fix our local elections, but what’cha gonna do?

Click on the following link and give it a whirl. It’s so simple even ersatz 527 groups such as “Lesbians for Phallic Worship” could vote on these buggers.

So, take a gander at the iVotronic Demonstrator from the manufacturer. And then there‘s this one that goes into more detail for those that are technology-averse: Easy as 1-2-3 Video

Thank you for voting.

From The New-Age Examiner.com:

There was a call to evacuate the structure at that point, but the men - fully aware of the danger they were now facing, asked if they could have a few more seconds to bring Boston outside.

Firefighters called 'heroes'

From DiamondCityWeekly.com:

This dude absolutely nails it.

You would think a man that successfully operates nightclubs in two cities that actually have downtown nightlife would be greeted with a smile. That was not the case. The proposed Flashbacks location would sit at the base of a residential high rise that houses mainly retired residents, so, you see where this is going.

Dance Hall Daze

Paul Kanjorski has contradicted his own statements regarding his proposed deflatable dam so many times, I think he has to study up on it before even broaching the subject these days.

I was exploring his new, Kanjorski for Congress web site, and found myself rehashing this old press release:

July 27, 1998 Kanjorski Announces Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed Is Designated American Heritage River!

Our Watershed Is 1 of 14 Rivers Selected From 126 Applicants Designation May Promote Clean-up of Hazleton's Jeddo Tunnel

Washington, DC — In a dramatic victory for Northeastern Pennsylvania, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) today announced that President Clinton has named the Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna River Watershed one of the nation's fourteen American Heritage Rivers. The watershed stretches from Thompson in Susquehanna County through Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Bloomsburg, and Danville to Northumberland in Northumberland County.

Full Press Release

Whatever. Thanks entirely to the efforts of Uncle Paul, the Susquehanna was named an American Heritage River. What that means exactly remains sketchy, but we do have ourselves an official River Navigator as a result. Although, if I had to guess, I’d say our official river navigator has probably paddled less miles on the Susquehanna than my 4-year-old grandrodent, Gage Andrew, has. You don’t suppose that Gage could serve as an overpaid consultant to Alex Rogers, do you? Nah, he’s got the wrong last name to be in the running for anything cushy such as that.

Here’s a spot of trouble for those damn clueless dam proponents. If you take the time to explore the American Heritage Rivers site, you run into contradictory statements such as the following:

Your River and Its Watershed

The quality of our nation's waters -- rivers, streams lakes, and estuaries -- is determined by activities within the land area, or watersheds, which surround them. Although most discharges of pollutants from factories and cities directly to our waterways have been strictly controlled for many years, water quality problems remain. These problems are principally associated with run-off of rain and snowmelt. This run-off picks up soil and pollutants from the city streets, suburban lawns, and rural farm fields to become the principal reason some 40% of surveyed rivers aren't suitable for the uses recreation, supporting fish and wildlife, etc.) for which States have designated them. Physical changes, like removing streamside vegetation, interrupting flows with dams, draining or filling wetlands, and bulk-heading channels also degrade our water bodies. Even air pollutants from cars, power plants and other combustion sources harm our waters and the life they support when pollutants fall back to earth or are carried to the ground by precipitation. Pollution also seeps into the soil, is carried to aquifers, and then flows underground to rivers, lakes, or coastal waters.

Now, unless I’ve gotten to the point where my battered brain cells have passed the point of repairing themselves without a surgeon’s intervention, I just read that interrupting flows with dams is not conducive to recreation, supporting fish and wildlife, etc. and, also degrades our water bodies.

Or as Kayak Dude has proven over and over again: Dams degrade rivers.

Anywho, Paul Kanjorski is asking for your rubber stamp, um, I meant, your vote again.

From the e-mail inbox You never answered my question, also its too bad to hear about JJ daughter....apparently you need a new candidate...... so my bet is your going to take Jim Hayward....Basically its just because he came from the city crowed....and apparently since your special interest is the city personal you will always support them anyway....Further, i really liked your comments about the cops.... i agree totally we need more police officers... One more quick question for you...what do you think will end up happening to Hugo....do you think our D.A. office dropped the ball? I think they did.........


W-B Twp

Sorry, what question was that? Refresh my memory and I’ll take another whack at it.

I need a new candidate? Not really. I’m not one for glomming onto the best of the worst. What once looked to be a crowded field turned out to be not so crowded after all. Here’s the current list of prospective candidates and my gut-reaction during the early going:


Brian O’Donnell--Nope.
Mike McGinley--Nope.
Bob Reilly--Nope.
Tim Henry--More info needed.
Jim Hayward--Nope.
Jim Williamson--Nope.


Christine Katsock--Nope.

I’ll certainly vote for somebody, but right now, I am definitely one of those likely voters in the “undecided” category. There you go. 100% of the voters in my far less than scientific poll are currently undecided. I was really hoping for someone young, someone energetic, and someone with a proven track record of success despite their youth. Someone like Kevin Blaum when he first ascended to Harrisburg. Needless to say, I am no longer feeling energized as far as this race is concerned.

And trust me, I do not support anyone that happens to emanate from the city’s political circle. I recently took some e-mail guff because I clearly stated that I was dead-set against electing Tom McGroarty’s former second-in-charge. And I also mentioned that when J.J. Murphy was hired by McGroarty, I gave him a pretty rough going over on these electronic pages of mine. However, I do support both Tom Leighton and J.J. Murphy because, in my estimation, they’ve done a bang-bang job since they took over the reigns. I know that bothers some and gets them to calling me all sorts of colorful things, but I will not waver in my support of them simply because the ill-informed mistakenly believe I’m somehow “in the loop.”

Maybe Christine Katsock deserves her shot at electoral stardom already. She’s been a relentless political trooper and she’s definitely a policy wonk extraordinaire. Never once have I considered voting for her, but with that anemic list of hopefuls, it’s quite possible that she deserves a second look. Heresy you say? Maybe. But the way this system works, we can flush our electoral mistakes during the very next election go-round. And if you ask me, that list reads like a veritable Who's Who of those worthy of being summarily flushed. Why not Katsock in a watered-down field of candidates?

As far as the cops and policing in general is concerned, I have gone to great lengths to educate myself rather than just complaining about that which I do not understand as so many of our average residents do on a regular basis. I once met an area cop who said that as civilians go, I was this city’s foremost authority on all things policing. I think I blushed in response to his assessment of my efforts, but I took it as a major compliment. I honesty believe that rank-and-file policing is the most misunderstood of all fields of endeavor by the oft-frustrated and oft-misinformed unwashed masses. I do my level best to provide some insights into why they do what they do, but all too often people react badly to what I have to offer. Fact is, I do not need to suck up to anybody to get out of tickets, because I never do anything to earn one in the first place.

Hugo? That’s an interesting case brought on by an interesting character, hayna? I don’t know if the D.A.’s office dropped the ball as much is they were charged to prosecute a weak case from a bad position. I think Hugo’s guilty as charged, but I’ve been telling my better half for a long, long time that I think he’s going to be found not guilty. But, I know not of such important legal goings-on. The last time I appeared in a court room was when my Mom was going through a very, very messy divorce back in Connecticut, circa 1970. Although, if I could have, I would have volunteered to sit on Hugo’s jury. Very, very interesting case.

Take a peak at another opinion coming from someone who has covered such goings-on titled Hot for Hugo.

I got it bad! I got it bad! I got it bad! I’m hot for Hugo!

From the e-mail inbox Hi Mark. Did you read the "Letter to the Editor" (2/27) in the T-L from the lady in Avoca who wrote "I am a mother who lost a daughter in September 1999 due to a drug overdose. Unfortunately, she was in the company of someone who was a drug-dealer and user". She later goes on to say the fellow who just opened a tattoo parlor on North Main Street "was the drug dealer". And she then questioned why the City would give him a license to operate an tattoo studio, stating "knowing his background it simply amazes me that someone with his record could be allowed to open such a business". Lets see, a 13 year old girl sexually assaulted by a tattoo "artist"; a report from our Health Department that another such "studio" was "filthy"; and a comment from another tattoo "artist" that he had spent time in prison, not saying what for. And Wilkes-Barre has no laws or ordinances or health standards for the operation of tattoo parlors or body piercing studios. Only thing we can do is deny them a business operating permit. Which we haven't done yet. I've been trying for three years to pass an Ordinance, based on six other Pa. city's Ordinances, mandating health standards and inspections of such operations, and background checks on the operators. Its gone nowhere. And the news media has ignored it, or made fun of it. Ever wonder why some politicians get tired of trying to make things better for our residents? After all, it only took me five years to get the "Rental Inspection" Ordinance passed...and its driven a half dozen slum-lords out of our fair City. And I'm still trying to get the City to buy a drug-sniffing dog to check incoming buses/etc., which the U. S. Supreme Court recently ruled is legal. I had considered running for Kevin Blaum's seat, but if it takes this long to get six others to agree with such things, just think how long it would take to get the state legislature to pass them! As Ronald Reagan said of Congress "I wonder what the Ten Commandments would look like if Moses eever tried to get them through the Congress". 'Nuff said? What are your thoughts on the above noted subjects?
Take care...keep up the good work.


No, I missed that one, but here it is:

Posted on Mon, Feb. 27, 2006

Appalled tattoo parlor, owner promote by newspaper

I am a mother who lost a daughter in September 1999 due to a drug overdose. Unfortunately, she was in the company of someone who was a drug-dealer and user.

I was totally appalled to see such an elaborate article in your newspaper on Feb. 21 promoting Russo’s new tattoo parlor. Russo was the drug-dealer. Knowing his background, it simply amazes me that someone with his record could be allowed to open such a business.

Don’t your staff writers investigate a person’s background before promoting a business or before doing such an article? I thought your paper used better judgment. Apparently, I was wrong.

This is a heartache that my family and I have to live with daily. To be reminded by such an article touting his accomplishments is sickening.

Nancy Karpowich Timlin -Avoca

Remember, The Times Leader also did a big business section write-up when Sylvia’s soul food restaurant opened it’s doors, more than 2 years after I had chronicled the, then, continuing misadventures of it’s beaming owner as being a drug dealing high priestess. I almost choked when I read that. The patrol cops knew what she was all about. City detectives were following her every move as often as they could. But, apparently, the Times Leader missed out on all of that, which I find to be somewhat perplexing. They’ll check into the background of a guy that wants to open a dance hall, but not a long slippery character known to local law enforcement officials.

Maybe the newspapers should check with the folks typing in their underwear iffin’ they want to know what’s going on around here.

This kind of jumps out at you, don’t it?

Knowing his background, it simply amazes me that someone with his record could be allowed to open such a business.

What I’m wondering is, if a person has to appear before city council, or the zoning folks while in pursuit of permission to open a business in this city, does anyone on council or the zoning board ever think to request a background check on them before proceeding to banging gavels and such? Or do the residents have to do that sort of legwork? How is it that known criminals end up securing a business permit?

I talked to a Wilkes-Barre cop earlier today and asked him if he knew anything about this Russo guy’s background, which he did not. Hopefully, he’ll either look into to it, or pass it along to the city’s detectives to take a look at. Who knows, he might be on the up-and-up.

I know we need mercantile taxes, sales taxes, property transfer taxes and whatnot, but if it were up to me, I’d just assume pass on the folks hoping to open tattoo shops, pawn shops, check cashing shops, and rent-to-own shops. In my opinion, they prey upon the poor, the young, and the hopelessly misguided. Then again, Wilkes-Barre hasn’t been in a position where it could pick and choose which businesses should be rejected for a long, long time.

With the drug dealers refusing to be run out of town just as progress is set to bloom as part of a retail Spring if you will, it might be high time that the city embraced your idea and acquired not one, but two or three drug-sniffing dogs. If we can afford two police horses and continue to justify their deployment, I fail to see what the problem would be with the acquisition of a couple of canine troops trained to interdict the drug trade.

When a Code 30 stop goes down, it’d be real easy for Rover to stick his snout into an open car window and take a good sniff, wouldn’t it? Plus, wouldn’t it to a hoot to see what might happen if a beat cop took a drug-sniffing drug for a walk around Public Square for hours on end? I’ll betcha there’d be a helluva lot less dregs-only chess and checker tournaments going on. If you positioned a drug-sniffing dog directly in front of that temp service place next to Abe’s hoddogs on S. Main, I think it’s safe to say the long-fought War on Drugs could be won in less than a month.

Get the mayor on the blower. Let’s do this thang. Arf!!!

I had considered running for Kevin Blaum's seat, but if it takes this long to get six others to agree with such things, just think how long it would take to get the state legislature to pass them! As Ronald Reagan said of Congress "I wonder what the Ten Commandments would look like if Moses eever tried to get them through the Congress". 'Nuff said?

I love it. I do. (I cracked up when I read that) Always the firebrand, aren’t you? Don’t take this as an insult, but if you were born a few decades later than you happened to be, you would have made for quite the muckraking blogger. Hell, I’d have linked to your content anytime. It’s never too late, you know. Could GentlemanJim.com be in the offing?

Council Dude, you just stood on the genitalia of your fellow council members on the internet for all to read. If we could goad them into responding to your comments, this would be the hottest political read this side of ForbiddenCityHallLust.orgy. If only.

I’ve heard you called many a thing over the course of the past five years, but I’ve never heard anyone accuse you of not doing your homework. I’m sure you’d be devastated to be compared to the likes of me, but we do have that much in common.

Carry on, dude!

Spring is getting close to springing, and with that comes a return to the daily grind for myself. We’ve undergone a ton of changes at work while I was away. My Chevy S-10 was given away to another co-worker, as was my larger Ford F-250. In return I got me a 2000 Ford F-250, but it is the subject of some debate. You tell me, man. Is that thing midnight blue? Or is it frickin’ black?

My new vehicle

Don't hesitate to criticize the president, but do it respectfully. Fifty-one percent of the country voted for him. When you call him names, his voters take it personally. Remember that each time you call him an idiot, you're also calling his voters idiots-not a good idea if you're looking for their votes.--Mark Joseph

Don’t bother trying to hook up with me tonight. I’ll be “right between the sound machine.”