3-9-2006 I’m "too pro-Leighton"

That‘s it? The defense rested and no Hugo? What a rip. If this trial was a pay-per-view event, I’d be hopping mad right about now. Guilty or innocent, as far as I’m concerned, I did not get my proverbial money’s worth.

If I’m on that jury, the obvious ‘reasonable doubt’ has to win the day.

Tom Leighton made his big appearance on The Sue Henry Show today and it went reasonably well for him. Most of the callers were respectful and applauded his efforts as mayor so far. “Bob from Wilkes-Barre,” always one of Wilkes-Barre’s biggest naysayers, made some crack about Leighton offering up another “fairy tale” and then had his clueless ass handed to him. I think the highlight was when Walter Griffith called (just as I had promised to my co-worker) and commended the mayor’s efforts as far as some of the downtown projects are concerned and quickly got to the “but” we all knew was coming.

BUT Mr. Mayor, while you’re devoting so much time, energy and resources to the downtown, the city’s neighborhoods are being ignored. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the crux of Walter’s sh*t sandwich. Walter is full of so much dung, if he smeared pine tar all over his body the flies would stick and carry him away into the sky never to be heard from again. His feigned concern for the neighborhoods is political flatulence.

Leighton promised to get that downtown humming and producing revenue for the city again. Sadly for the likes of Walter, it is happening. So, Walter complains that the rest of the city is somehow being shortchanged.

If Leighton had promised to revitalize the city’s neighborhoods and left the floundering downtown as it has been for years, Walter would be on the blower to Sue complaining that the mayor was shortchanging the downtown.

Walter is going to adopt a contrary position no matter what the mayor says or does, and I fail to see what he offers us other than white noise. If the mayor orders new playground equipment, Walter will bitch about potholes. If the mayor patches the potholes, Walter will cite the poor condition of the playgrounds. With each small piece of the progress puzzle finally falling into place, Walter seems unable to grasp the fact that the passage of time has proved him to be wrong about every issue he has brought to the forefront.

Remember, this is the same man who pandered to a handful of seniors and railed against the, then, proposed dance club coming to downtown Wilkes-Barre. And pandering to senior citizens is a telltale sign that he plans to run for an elected office. Again. So let’s dispense with the phony baloney “activist” tag and call a political spade a political spade. Candidate Walter, the Republican, was ripping into that damned Democrat of a mayor again. One more good reason not to vote for him. Again.

And as far as Sue’s performance is concerned, I fail to see why Scranton’s biggest moonbat, “Kurt from Scranton,” should be banned from the local radio airwaves while Wilkes-Barre’s is allowed to call whenever a chance to further damage Wilkes-Barre’s image presents itself. A loon is a loon is a loon.

We want Kurt! We want Kurt! We want…

Is Maureen Forster, the graffiti girl who said “I will destroy Wilkes-Barre,” really Public Enemy #1? Well, I guess not. It’s not like she shot anybody or anything. At her age, it’s likely she’s not a Republican or a staunch Bush supporter either, so it’s not like she deserves to be burned at the stake like in Hillary’s demented commie world. But, she did promise to destroy Wilkes-Barre, so she should at least be held in solitary confinement and forced to listen to the Bee Gees until she chews both of her hands off.

Jeez, I’m frickin’ brutal. Nobody deserves that.

Anywho, for more on her exploits, take a peek at Built Like Delaware. I know. How ‘bout if we duct tape headphones to her head and blast some Leo Sayer. Yeah, that’s right!. I support capital punishment.

Moon River anyone?

I don‘t get this whole Lent versus St. Patty’s Day dilemma. If I’m hearing this correctly, the traditional meal for green day is some ham and cabbage concoction, but a good catholic is not allowed to consume dead animals on Fridays during lent. Oh, but the Diocese of Scranton will make an exception this year. This year, in honor of St. Pat, we’ll forget God for one day and eat all of the dead animals our green hearts desire.

Is it me?

I thought that nothing was more important than one’s faith in God. Oh sure, we drink, we lust, we cuss and we do nasty things with knockwurst when we’re all alone, but three Hail Marys and a few other ancient chants repeated often enough clears one’s record in the eyes of God providing that the envelopes tendered every Sunday are amply stuffed with greenbacks. Right? But telling almighty God to chill the fu>k out and relax his normally high standards for a holiday known for bouts of excess drinking is good for the soul?

Am I missing something?

I was approached today by one of Wilkes-Barre’s most recognizable, ahem, “activists.”

He said I was “too pro-Leighton.” He went on to say that I “should tell the other part of the story.” In situations like these, it’s best to just smirk, nod a tad and pretend that you don’t have pity on folks such as these. Humor them. They’ll usually speak their piece and then head back to that personal asylum of theirs. And if they don’t? Well, some concealed weapons and hand-to-hand combat experience makes for a nice fallback posture. Ah, the good ole’ days.

There’s not much to explore there, but let’s do it anyways.

I’m too pro-Leighton.

As compared to what? As compared to whom? After that Flood of ‘72, this city was the recipient of so much federal aid, it was looking better than any small city in America. The city looked great, and so did the future. And as we all know, the remade downtown was fraught with urban planning failures, while the city’s politicians did little more than put the city on auto-pilot, raise their own salaries, perks and bennies, and pass stupid ordinances such as ‘no cruising’ statutes. Whatever. My point is not to hack those that “served” before, my sole point is to state the obvious.

I loved our once vibrant downtown as a child, I worked in the downtown throughout my teen years as I did throughout a good part of my twenty-something years. At 17, I rented my first apartment right across the back alley from Percy Browns. The very same building Tom Leighton wants to demolish to relocate the LCTA buses from Public Square. I’m not some schmuck that had a couple of bags of roasted peanuts, a few slices of Kresge’s Pizza and then went away to college never to return. Downtown Wilkes-Barre has always been an integral part of my life, and I’d like for it to be again.

Throughout my life, the downtown has slipped, slipped some more and then still some more. There came a point when it was obvious to everyone that is was all but dead, but some of us witnessed that slow demise up-close and personal. And believe me, it was extremely painful to watch up-close.

Once there were crowded sidewalks in advance of high noon, and again at dinnertime. Full-service sit down restaurants had waiting lines that spilled out onto the sidewalks. Beat cops abounded then and quite often dropped in for free coffees and more than a few free glances in the direction of sexy hostesses. The panhandlers were few, but stood out like the hookers do these days on those very same, now, abandoned sidewalks. But as time passed, the beat cops grew fewer and fewer while the panhandlers grew more and more, and more aggressive. During the years I managed a store on South Main, I never once spied a hooker plying her skills anywhere near my store. We had no graffiti. We had no empty forty-once beer bottles left on rotted benches. And there was no such thing as a drug dealer working their magic anywhere nearby.

When I was 14-years-old, a city cop just about dislocated my shoulder for attempted jaywalking. When I was 24-years-old, they were harder to find in the downtown. By the time I was 34-years-old, a beat cop was basically a thing of the past. And when I was 44-years-old, we had us a mayor that decided we didn’t even need cops in patrol cars. Sorry, but you’re never going to control the streets without employing and correctly deploying enough people to maintain that much desired control.

And while our police force was steadily diminished, our mayors glad-handed, while our legislators banned this, that and damn near everything in the downtown area. But what everyone of any importance failed to realize that was the sudden lack of control was directly attributable to a lack of policing. Where once jaywalking was enforced, now next to nothing was even observed. Where once we got chased by cops for playing acoustic guitars in the middle of the Square after dark, now only Allah knows what goes on out there after dark. Legislation amounts to nothing without the necessary boots on the ground to enforce it.

When Tom Leighton proposed that we raise the Emergency Services Tax from $10 to $52 and use the projected $1 million in increased revenues to hire a platoon of new cops, that was the very first time I had ever heard a city politician promise to devote serious dollars to regaining control of our streets. I was wildly cheering him on, while the absolutely clueless “activists” were crying foul. A few short months and a few shootings later, they are now crying for an enhanced police presence.

On a related note, I agree with Councilman Phil Latinski. Let’s dump 911 and get back to the days when our police department dispatched it’s own. I listened in on that fateful day when 911 took control, and it’s been downhill and longer response times ever since.

W-B councilman questions 911 effectiveness

Take that for what it is. In no way does that support, or dismiss anyone else. It is what it is, what I’ve learned by being a regular Scanner Land listener.

I’m too pro-Leighton? Really? He’s the very first politician to commit serious dollars to addressing our most glaring need. You can bet your ass I wholeheartedly support that.

I should tell the other part of the story.

Trust me, I have no idea what he was referring to, nor do I care. What, pray tell, is the other part of the story? I can only speculate and I’m not in the mood. Somebody fill me in. What is the other part of the story as it pertains to Tom Leighton?

The stuff of fools, anyone?

Our “activist” also announced that another movement is afoot to reduce the salaries of our elected folks by way of referendum.

At this point, recognize this sort of tomfoolery for what it is--the childish, vindictive swinging of political axes presented as doing good by the downtrodden taxpayers. Only a simpleton huffing gross amounts of plastic cement wouldn’t see this useless silliness for what it is, but those aforementioned stoned and dimwitted folks are easily led to petitions. And the cretins dealing in political payback are counting on that.

You want to significantly cut Tom Leighton’s salary? Yeah? Do you also want to lose the best mayor Wilkes-Barre has had since I last laid eyes on the Sandy Beach dancehall? Be real careful what you vindictive clods hope for. Be real careful. Better yet, try thinking for a change. It won’t hurt.

The best part of my impromptu summit with our “activist” was the demands he made upon my co-worker. He implored my sidekick to supply me with lots of free cigarettes so I can smoke myself to death. How’s that for a quick glimpse into the mind of someone who thinks he knows how better to manage a third class city? In his special place, Wilkes-Barre would be better off with me dead. While that may be true to some degree, I absolutely shutter to think what else swirls around in that deteriorating cesspool of his that once passed as a functioning brain.

If the fu>ker wants me dead, what’s he got in mind for the mayor, or city council? Maybe we need a metal detector installed at the entrance to council’s chamber. Maybe a city cop needs to be in attendance each and every time they dust off the gavel. But the thought of free Newports does have me somewhat intrigued.

I’m too pro-Leighton?

Nah. I simply recognize responsible leadership when I see it.

Some folks are just too completely stupid, too pigheaded, or too filled with rage to be anything other than negative. Shame on them.

Sez me.

I’ll talk at ya later.