4-26-2006 Get outa town by sundown

I watch television just about as often as I am put in sole command of the flight deck on an Airbus 380. Near as I can recall, my television viewing habits are limited to the local news broadcasts, MLB entanglements, Jints games, NASCAR races, The Military Channel, The History Channel and some cable news surfing. No, I am not strictly limited to watching FOX News. I also enjoy the anti-right incessant ramblings of the lightweight nitwits at CNN.

I’d just assume skip the re-runs of Seinfeld and make myself privy to the latest test flight results of the YF22 Raptor, or the YF-23 Black Widow. New fighter/attack aircraft are put through rigorous testing at Edwards Air Force base before they can go into squadron service, and stuff such as that is much more interesting to me than who pissed off who on Everybody Loves Raymond. Being that I never knew my father, I found myself interested in what he did for a living at a rather early age. Some guys get off by dropping by the local strip bar. Still others get stiff at the thought of dogfighting maneuvers even at supersonic speeds. Our rapid airlift capability is really exciting, too.

Anyway, I did not see the 30-second spot Comcast has been running on the cable channels in which Mayor Leighton is obviously trying to promote the soon-to-be invigorated downtown in this city to our neighboring communities and potential downtown visitors.

From The Times Leader:

“This is the City of Wilkes-Barre,” Mayor Tom Leighton says, “where public safety is our number one priority.”

W-B mayor touts safety in TV ad

Um…I have not talked to the city’s top dog in quite a while, but I can assure you that he is well aware of the fact that the city needs to change the public’s negative perception of it. Despite what the activists/candidates might tell you, he’s not stupid. He’s taken more than his fair share of verbal abuse over the closing of the firehouse in the Heights, but he did hire 11 new police officers and did allow the police chief to re-deploy his troops as he deemed necessary. The horse patrols are out. Motorcycle patrols are in. The beat cops are back again. We’ve got a new paddy wagon, new patrol cars, a new undercover car and one of those hand-held electronic gadgets that fire, like, 21 billion jiggawatts of electricity and instantly convert a violent criminal into an epileptic gone vibrato. While on a still somewhat level playing field with economic development, I’d say public safety is our number one priority.

Still and all, the honchos at The Times Leader felt obligated to publish a quasi rebuttal to the Comcast advertisement blitz, and I honestly don’t understand why?

Our Opinion: Help set record straight about Wilkes-Barre crime

But at night, there is still a culture that is not neighborly, respectful or welcome.

Night and day. We know that reality exists when it comes to crime here.

Let’s make sure we don’t let that fact escape our rationale when, in the exuberance of progress, we pitch the safety of our streets.

You folks in Kingston, Pittston, west Wyoming and Pringle got that?

Ssshhh. Real quiet like…don’t come to Wilkes-Barre after dark. The mayor says it’s safe here, but don’t listen to him. We at The Times Leader know better than that. Sure, you can get a hoddog and a lottery ticket on the square during the daylight hours without getting mugged, but you’ll likely get dragged into an alley and sodomized by an unruly street urchin if you venture into the downtown by night.

If this is the very best we can expect from the newspapers as our long-depressing downtown is being revitalized, I figure we ought to form up a wagon train as far as the good eye can see, head on over to Montana or thereabouts and claim some squatter’s rights to a soil-less plateau known for frequent Bigfoot sightings.

Why bother at all if the newspaper folks have to go well out of their way to scare prospective shoppers away? If I was the mayor, I’d be on the blower to the editors over there and the first ten or so words out of my mouth would begin with an effin’ F.

Want my opinion? Maybe those aging white folks at the Times Leader ought to run away to the bucolic hills like the rest of the frightened and intolerant white folks that previously fled the ‘coloreds’ and continue to offer eye-opening statements that typically begin as follows: “I’m not a racist, but…”

Cripes! If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that phrase uttered in this valley, I’d own my own Leer jet and a staff of twenty topless Swedish women to operate, maintain and staff the damned thing. Let’s get this straight. A black person being out after dark does not constitute a criminal, nor does it justify your misplaced fears and your inherently unfair racial prejudices. And, yes, crimes are committed in Wilkes-Barre at a rate much higher than most of us would prefer, but then again, we’ve got 42,000 people residing in something approximating six square miles. It kind of goes with the territory, doesn’t it? New York City has 8 million inhabitants and gets to bragging in the press when less than 1,000 of those inhabitants get murdered in a given year. Yet, The New York Times is not doing it’s level best to scare away potential tourists.

What-fu>king-ever! I’m not going to go on and on with this. The mayor says public safety is our number one priority and our newspaper feels the need to offer a rebuttal. Why?

Needless to say, I am annoyed to the point of beating innocent puppies just for the fun of it.

As the May primaries rapidly approach, the editorial board of the Times Leader sat with Ed Pashinski who hopes to replace Kevin Blaum.

Pashinski: High costs threaten middle class

WILKES-BARRE – Eddie Pashinski wants you to know he believes in doing the right thing. He also believes the cost of health care and oil are crushing the middle class.

That’s clear.

Things get a little less clear when it comes down to what he plans to do about it if elected to the state House of Representatives in the 121st Legislative District.

At first glance, I thought they were going to do a number on him. But, when you’re focusing on the escalating cost of health care, the staggering crude oil prices and the devastating effects that illegal drugs have on our society--there are no clear or easy answers. At least, none that I’ve heard to date.

Although, while touting his ideas about early-education programs, he offered this gem: “The family circle is no longer what it used to be.”

That’s a fact, but I honestly think we are utterly powerless to counteract the debilitating effects that piss-poor parenting has on our neighborhoods. And when we’re suggesting that the schools need to make up for said poor parenting, we’re probably half way home to admitting that societal decay is here to stay. We can’t outlaw stupidity, and we can’t neuter the stupid. And the way I hear it, we can’t even toss stones at them.

As far as the troubling Terri Schiavo case is concerned, I think he’s a bit off-base. Legislators did not flock to Florida or return to Washington in response to any massive public outcry, per se. More specifically, Republicans kowtowed to the segment of their political base that demands we base everything we do, think, or say on ancient scriptures. Not to single out Republicans for critical review. The Republicans knuckle under to those who abhor the thought of damn near everything, while the Democrats knuckle under to those who abhor the abhorrence of damn near everything. And while they chest-bump over what orifices should or shouldn’t be fair game, or whether human life has any sanctity at all, nothing important gets done.

Isn’t this great watching your civilization decline right in front of your eyes?

I know Ed Pashinski is a decent guy. But his platform sounds long on good intentions and short on viable solutions.

I wish him luck.

Big mo‘mucker

This was not the way I wanted to start my day today.

From The Citizens’ Voice:

City council stalling vote on redistricting

McGinley, who lives a block and a half away from Latinski and six blocks away from Barrett, said he is concerned that city residents can only vote for one council member in addition to mayor and controller in 2007. For the last 200 years, city residents could vote for seven council members. McGinley believes council members should represent all city residents, not just one district.

By cutting the city up into “five little pieces,” he said council members will each represent their “own little area” at a time when there is a push on for regionalization.

“To me, that’s going backwards,” McGinley said. “I understand districts have to be made and that’s the law and we have to live with that. I’m not saying I agree with it. Now, you get three votes to help you in your city and that’s it. I don’t think people realized that this is what was going to happen. I think that hurts the city as a whole.”

Latinski agreed that council members should be elected at-large instead of by district. He supports voters’ decision to have five council members instead of seven, but he said the districts should have been a separate question on the ballot in 2002.

“I don’t think the intent of the people who presented this resolution was to have neighborhood districts. I think the intent was to get rid of two members of council,” Latinski said. “I think the resolution was not written correctly. What happened as a result of this is the confusion we now have.”

And God said unto the sheepish council folk: “Deal with it already, will ya?”

With all…ahem…due respect, how many times are we going to rehash these same tired issues? We’ve heard it all before. And unless you’re prepared to take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court, table it for a vote and vote!

If things keep going at this rate, I’m gonna have Gage, Taylor And Zach redistrict the city by way of crayons and submit them for consideration. And judging by what’s gone on so far, I figure one of those plans will be enacted by…say… the second Sunday come April 2027.

It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of the referendum or how it was written at this point.

“I understand districts have to be made and that’s the law and we have to live with that.

So, freaking live with it and vote on it!

The longer this nonsense drags on, the more and more it takes on the appearance of elected people not wanting to relinquish their power and all that it entails. Point blank: Two of the council folks up Parsons way are dead political ducks, as well as one currently emanating from the Heights. And after the political bloodletting is all said and done, the city will not implode upon itself and find it’s remains being sucked into the ground ala Carrie White.

You need more time to “study the districts?” No way, Jose. No, I’m buying into that foot-dragging mucky muck. I think you need more time to figure out a way to re-re-redistrict the city and save your political necks as a result.

Face it. Three of you are histoire. There’s the way you’d prefer it to be, and then there’s the way it is. Say what you will about that referendum and whatnot, but the people voted on it and the results are in. All that remains if for city council to adhere to the will of the people and spare us the feigned concern for the city.

It’s time.


From today‘s Citizens‘ Voice:

Hearing on inflatable dam scheduled

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on the proposed inflatable dam Monday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre.

The purpose of the hearing is to solicit public comments regarding the project, particularly the use of dredge and fill material to construct the dam.

According to a public notice issued by the Corps, the proposed structure will stretch from Gordon Avenue in Wilkes-Barre across the Susquehanna River to state Route 11 in Larksville Borough. The structure will only be inflated during the summer and will raise the water level near the Market Street Bridge by 4 feet. A 4.5-mile lake will be created with an average depth of 8 to 10 feet.

The hearing will take place on the third floor of the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, which is located in the between Franklin and North Main streets, directly behind the King’s College Library. Signs will be posted. The King’s parking lot on Union Street will be open, and additional parking will be available at the parking garage next to the Ramada Inn.

See you next Monday

Big too