10-26-2006 You've got more passion than brains

Let the free-for-all begin.

There are those who will tell you Wilkes-Barre has won a great victory today.

From The Times Leader:

WILKES-BARRE – It appears as though a five-member city council elected by district will finally be assembled next year, six years after voters approved the change.

Two Luzerne County judges on Wednesday ruled against a lawsuit filed by city resident Anne Bergold against the county’s Board of Elections that sought to partially overturn that 2001 voting change.

The Voice version:

Judges rule W-B council question won’t be on November ballot

Despite Ann Bergold’s recent efforts, I think everyone had anticipated that we were finally going to be voting by districts. And because of that, plenty of names have been mentioned as possible city council candidates. Actually, lots of names have been bandied about. If nothing else, the May race should be the most interesting in many a year.

I am not going to run down the list of rumored candidates here because, quite frankly, with the new voting arrangement finally in place, I no longer give a sh*t about 4/5s of the city. Yes, the “will of the voters” has been realized, so all I really care about from this day forward is the Nord End of the city. That’s what y’all wanted, right? Territoriality, turf wars? Squabbling for paving dollars and such what? Still sound like a doable plan? We shall see.

I have no idea who my “North End” council person will be, but I figure we might as well get in the swing of things right now. Why are we putting so much emphasis on the downtown’s rebirth while the Nord End obviously needs infrastructure improvements? Why? And why are we planning to refurbish Coal Street park when the Nord End playground needs some attention paid to it? Why was George Avenue recently paved while Conyngham Avenue languishes on? And when will the city pay for the demolition of that Murray property on Courtright Avenue? What, the Steam Heat plant’s removal was important, but the Nord End is still being denied some long-overdue attention? Fellow citizens of Nord End, we’re being shortchanged here, kiddies. And just as soon as he or she is elected, we need to sic our council person on those who would put their greedy district’s needs above ours. We’re tired of being the red-headed step-sister of Wilkes-Barre’s voting districts and we demand our remonstrance!

To hell with South Wilkes-Barre. They get everything. And why should the residents of the Heights have their firehouse reopened while ours remains shuttered? Who put them at the top of the goodies list? What? No community development funds? I don’t want to here about it, Mr. Nord End Councilman. You get down to that council meeting and tell those no good so-and-sos from those other districts that we’re not gonna take it anymore. Solomon’s Creek? Hey, it rains up here, too. Why does South Wilkes-Barre get all of the flood control projects? ‘Cause the mayor hails from that district? And why the new creek walls and such throughout Parson’s? Oh, because Parsons ranks? It’s appalling, I tell you.

How come Barney Farms is getting new playground amenities? Because all the white, filthy-rich politicos reside there? Our playground equipment is over five years old and totally sun-bleached. Don’t the much poorer children of Nord End matter? Guess not.

What? New sidewalks in the downtown, but none up here? Who do they think they are? I need a new street sign on my street, but the mayor ignores my district. I heard he’s related to such-and-such up there on Politics Street, so that’s why the money always goes to that other district. It’s all politics, man! Dirty, filthy politics!

Mr. Nord End Councilman, get with the program! You either bring home the pork, or we vote for some of that other white meat. And I don’t want to hear no hollow bunkum about the good of the overall city or anything. No swill about long-term planning vs. short-sighted thinking. I want my street paved! You were elected and sworn to represent this tiniest of districts, and this long-ignored and impoverished district is all that should matter to you. Now hit it and git it, or else!

There’s the way we‘d like it to be, and then there‘s the way it is.


The following news was totally unexpected, but really, really good news nonetheless.

From The Citizens’ Voice:

In addition to an expanded menu with more upscale pasta dinner items, the new 3,000-square-foot location on Northampton Street also will give Januzzi’s Pizza room to seat up to 90 people, said co-owner Jim Januzzi.

The Januzzis will close their smaller, 2,000-square-foot location on Academy Street as a result of the move into the downtown. Their new restaurant, which will have separate entrances for a dining room and take-out, will be located to the left of the theater entrance.

This household loves Januzzi’s pizza. Although, we have never once set foot in that tiny outlet of theirs on Academy Street. Ours has been a delivery-only relationship, but that is about to change. Well, after the construction is completed, that is.

I would much rather have a local businessman open a unique destination in the downtown than to have some big box of a corporate restaurant chain setting up shop. You can eat an Uno pizza in any number of nondescript towns all over these fruity plains. But, if you want to visit the new-and-improved upscale Januzzi’s, you’re off to downtown Wilkes-Barre. With the addition of the upscale menu and the exterior seating, this one sounds like a win-win to me. So, it’s Januzzi’s and a movie from here on out. Nifty.

Now that Gage Andrew is in kindergarten, he and his sister are spending significantly less time here in Wilkes-Barre. As a direct result, my bicycling forays with the grandkids in tow have just about come to a stop. That’s why I put together that biking slideshow, ‘cause it kind of felt like the end of a thoroughly enjoyable era to me. Why’d they have to send him off to school when we were having so much fun?

Anyway, whenever we’d stop in the downtown for a bit of lunch over the many weekend bike rides, we were limited almost exclusively to hoddogs or Happy Meals for lunch, and the numerous pictures bare that out. So, when the warmer weather returns and we’re out and about, we’ll be able to stop the elongated bike right on the sidewalk, grab an outdoor table and order us some lunch.

I’ll see you there.

Warning: Don’t get too close to that monstrous bicycle thing. It displaces about 28 tons and is always just dying to topple over.

Let‘s cover this right here and now.

From the e-mail inbox "You wanna argue about politics and whatnot? Fine, let's get it on. But stop well short of speculating about who my friends might be and what they might be up to. If you want to make things personal whereas politics is concerned, you are sending a clear signal that you are a worthless lout clearly not worthy of a vote. And depending upon where the limits of your abject stupidity might actually lie, you could be cruising for a bruising. I may be all quasi-mature and sh*t these days, but much like learning to ride a bike, my Fight Club days are always there buried within me and ready to be called upon. Come to think of it, maybe you should avoid Thompson Street. "

Well, if you don't like people to speculate who your friends are, why do you speculate about mine?

I am registered non-partisan; I never vote party lines. Nobody put me up to this (you are wrong again), I am a veteran being strong-armed by MY government - that is my reason for my actions.

Maybe you were raised on their free cheese, but that doesn't mean you should be kissing their asses, that should just tell ya that you were in that situation because the same corrupt system was in place when you were a kid. To bad you can't get over that whole lack-of-father-thing you got goin' on and maybe read some Emerson (Self-Reliance). Not only have they been offering cheese and powdered milk for some time, but you could also have picked up on some of those low-interest loans and got yourself some education courtesy of Uncle Sam, too.

Sorry, I don't know where you'll find a backbone, that just seems to be your poor genes.

There is a lot of hypocrisy on your site, Mr. I-like-to-sit-in-my-basement-in-my-underpants-and-drink-beer-and-rant-even-if-nothing-ever-gets-accomplished. No doubt your kids are proud (if they are, well, that's almost as creepy as a guy drunk in his basement in his underpants trying to tell me something).

My actions bring the problems we all face as a community to the forefront. I just brought your attention to it so you'd tell more people about what I'm doing - i.e. more google crawls for me.

Peace - t.g.

Your friends? My friends? Um, that Kathy Kane "hero" gibberish was attrituted to one "Walter." So, who actually wrote it? Are you Tim, or are you Walter? Or are you a whole other, yet to be exposed anonymous internet entity? Which is it, "Mr. Nobody Put Me Up To This?" The lines have become seriously blurred. Typical, though.

Peace. Yeah, like that’ll ever happen.

If some of you feel the need to wage a jihad on this city’s administration--and you know who you are--knock yourselves out. Sincerely, have a ball.

If you must continue with the frivolity, the hysterics, the grandstanding, the conspiracy theories, the calls for multiple investigations from on high, the videotaping of meetings and the repeated accusations of threats and intimidation…again, enjoy your trip to your well-deserved martyrdom. I mean that.

But, while you blaze a trail to glory, don’t think for a minute that I, or some of the more responsible local bloggers will be goaded into a tit-for-tat electronic brouhaha with the lot of you. Well, with both of you, that is. Sorry, but yours is a fool’s pursuit and not real high on the list of important things worth reconsidering. Thing is, most circus acts are easily and readily forgettable.

The filing of a civil suit against damn near everyone at city hall is definitely news and I immediately weighed in on it. And when council meetings are reduced to being the theater of the patently absurd, I will probably do so again. You two can keep e-mailing us and calling us out on your vapid little web pages, but you need to now that we both have real lives and while we may be amused by your needless antics, we are really, really not all that worried about them. As a matter of fact, your sideshow sub-culture of disaffected political malcontents is certainly fun to watch, but it smacks of bitterness, small-mindedness and probably well-meaning (?) efforts that could be easily more wisely spent.

You know what I think of your efforts. Conversely, I also know what you think about mine. Who really cares what I have to say as I’m just some goober sitting around typing in my underwear? (Right, Jon?) When I called for the removal of one administration, I was told I was clueless as to what I was going on and on about. And now that I have complete faith in yet another administration to do the right thing, I’m told I’m clueless as to what I’m going on and on about. Meanwhile, this formerly shell-shocked, dispirited city has rediscovered it’s civic pride and is, sometimes begrudgingly, beginning to believe. I’m of the opinion that your self-aggrandizing efforts at activism are completely misplaced and exactly six years too late, but you see things otherwise. So be it. There’s plenty of room for all of us in this political system of ours. In this country, our revolutions are peaceful.

But be mindful of the fact that I will not be goaded into a knock-down, drag-out war of words with any of you. If you’ve got a cogent point to make, send it along, I’ll post it here and attempt to rebut it if I wholeheartedly disagree with said point. Otherwise, please dispense with the less than veiled attempts to get things all riled up to the point of absolute foolishness. And while you industriously continue with your regrettable and useless program of flipping all available rocks in search of scurrilous controversies where none do or need exist, I am reminded of something Congressman Paul Kanjorski had to say recently to an avowed opponent of his proposed inflatable dam. He said, and I quote: “Missy, you’ve got more passion than brains!”

With that said, y’all can freak out to your passionate heart’s content. Just don’t expect me to come along for the disastrous ride.

I believe in this city’s administration. I believe our county commissioners have made some forward-thinking investments in this city’s future. I believe that Governor Ed Rendell has demonstratively delivered upon his campaign promise to restart Pennsylvania’s far-flung struggling downtowns. I believe City Vest is a partnership we can not do without. And I believe the oft-dreaded Chamber of Commerce deserves much, much more of the credit for Wilkes-Barre’s ongoing turnaround than it is ever likely to receive.

I guess it’s all a matter of perception. You perceive things to be going wildly astray, while I do not. You see repressive corruption and I see progress borne of adept leadership. You stubbornly cling to your abject negativity. And me, well, I’m cautiously upbeat about our suddenly soaring chances as a city.

In a nutshell, you are wrong and I am right. And with the passage of but a year or two, I will be proven to be right.

So, anyway, you are certainly free to wage your ankle-biting jihad, but I steadfastly refuse to participate. E-mail me all you like, but I will not be dragged down into that place from which idiocy so easily flows. Sorry, but the constant state of hysteria is something I find to be far, far less than appealing. But, by all means, feel free to continue making complete jackasses of yourselves. You see, last time I checked, stupidity put on display for all to marvel at was still not punishable by law. You’re good to go to wherever it is that you think you need to go, but I‘m not tagging along.

Enjoy the ride. It’s sure to be a bumpy one.

Sez me.

What the world needs now, is more cow bell. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

Yeah…um, something like that.