7-20-2007 No ping pong in Parsons

Another general election looms on the horizon, and so does another firehouse controversy.

Excuse me while I groan.

Although, unlike the previous firehouse donnybrook, in which residents were fighting to save what they perceived to be a much-needed public safety mainstay, this new half-cocked firehouse brouhaha is political brinksmanship at it’s worse, and horribly ill-conceived at it’s best. Tear it down and build a new community center? With what? The proceeds of a bake sale and a car wash?

Somebody has been huffing the balsa sealer again, and it weren’t me.

Stets began the meeting by first suggesting that once the building is turned over to the residents of Parsons, it should be razed and a new community center be built. She even brought architectural drawings that showed an indoor basketball court, a community room and other facilities. The group flatly rejected that idea.

“We want to keep the building up,” said Charlotte Raup, who ran unsuccessfully for council in the May primary and chairs a Crime Watch group in the city. “We don’t want to tear it down. It’s got so much historical value to Parsons and the city.”

Finally. An adult emerged.

Yes, it does have historic value to life-long Parsons residents. In addition, if it were to come under the control of the locals, it’d be a heck of a lot more manageable and quicker to fix the existing structure rather than removing and replacing it altogether. The lesser of the two plans is certainly doable, while the much more ambitious plan is probably more than a group of well-meaning citizens can bring about.

But then the mayor had to go and practically rain on everyone’s horribly foreshortened parade by announcing that several developers are interested in that shuttered firehouse. And with that, the original intent and purpose of this firehouse proposal kicked right in…politics.

“This man won’t give us a commitment,” Stets-Urban argued. “The ball is in his court right now. We’re waiting to see if he is going to give it to us for $1. We cannot refurbish a building we do not own nor can we deal with a government official who doesn’t respond to direct questions. We have a right to know what developers he has been talking to.”

“If he has interested developments, I want to know what. We have a stake in that property. He doesn’t own it, we do: the taxpayers,” Stets-Urban said. “They think they can play around with the press. If I’m elected, everything is on the table.”

Excuse me while I yawn.

The long and short of this is, vote for Linda and you’ll have someplace to play ping pong. And it’s unfortunate that she’s so willing to use her fellow Parsons residents as willing pawns as part of her thinly-veiled political end-game. Invariably, it’s a noble pursuit. But, in this case, it’s stained by the political triangulating that it so obviously is.

And to suggest that commercial pursuits should not be located next to city parks…well, I guess the city has too many businesses on it’s hands, so interested developers should be shunned at nearly every turn. Or, something like that.

No ping pong in Parsons?

Boy, that Mayor Leighton is obviously a mean, mean, mean man.

Excuse me while I gag.

During your average summer, localized politics usually takes a long and well-deserved vacation. But, this here is Wilkes-Barre. And in this here place called Wilkes-Barre, we’ve got this loosely-knit coalition of hyperventilating imbeciles, self-serving raconteurs and mindless myrmidons some refer to as being the “activists.” Although, an activist in this town is typically little more than a grossly under-funded and severely factually-challenged Republican.

Apparently, this is not your average summer. No, the perennial losers are making lots of noise of late. And with every little effect.

As reported by the Times Leader, Walter Griffith is crying foul again. Yeah, so what else is new? Yeah, it seems that a political neophyte screwed-up his first-ever campaign finance report. And then he apologized, fixed it and paid a fine levied by the folks at the local election office.

But, since that political neophyte was easily the top vote-getter when we last voted in May, and since Walter has to go head-to-head with him when we next vote in November, Walter will do anything he can to stave off the inevitable…a thorough thumping at the polls.

County Election Bureau Director Leonard Piazza said in May that Cronauer, after learning of Griffith’s complaint, filed an amended report and paid a $250 late fee. Cronauer portrayed the lack of disclosure as an unintentional mistake, Piazza said.

Griffith said all candidates should be forced to adhere to reporting requirements because reports are the official documents telling the public how campaign funds are received and spent.

“If the board doesn’t act, you’re going to have a Pandora’s Box in elections from now on. Every candidate will file a two-page report, and if they’re challenged, they can simply say, ‘I’m going to amend my report,’” he said.

Oh, but not to worry, kiddies. Since Walter will not be burdened with being a city council person during our lifetimes, I’m sure he’ll do what he always does with his idle time by challenging damn near everything in sight. Yeah, we’ll be bicycling, or kayaking, or taking in a movie, while he’ll be down there at the voter’s services office trying to dig up “dirt” on damn near everyone else. Yeah, we’ll be out enjoying ourselves, but he’ll be right where he always is. And if he ever figures out where that is exactly, I’d really like to know about it.

Cronauer in a landslide.

Now, check this out, whih I copied from another local Web Site:

Walter has left a new comment on your post "The LuLac Edition #266, July 18th, 2007":


The County of Luzerne is turning its head regarding my complaint about Campaign Finance Reporting and I have done the research and no one has ever filed an amended Campaign Finance report...I will file a Lawsuit in County Court to make sure that the laws of the Commonwealth are upheld and I feel this is another way for Mr. Piazza and the "Old Boys Network" to take care of their own...I know if it was any other candidate other than a Democrat, then the County Board of ELections would be all over this matter...look what they did to Tim Grier for simply staying inside the voting booth last year...The County authorized an investigation as well as a fine..When I circulated a petition to lower the Mayor and City Council salary, the State Police were at my door less than a week after I withdrew my petition, to investigate me and my supporters...I think there is a coverup going on here...Rick Cronauer is a relative of Barrouok and also a distant relation of the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre so just follow the Nepotisum Trail...

5:57 PM

Um...the top vote-getter, Rick Cronauer, is a nepotist? Um...800-plus votes in a single voting district is proof of nepotism? Um...he was duly elected (Yes, it's over) by the voting public, so, in your denuded mind, that's nepotism?

Walt, every time you speak, or, in this case, type, you lose votes. You are your own worst enemy.

You crack me up.

And then we’ve got the self-appointed and self-righteous defender of the unwashed masses everywhere, the local political upstart himself, Tim Grier.

You know, I really, really, really tried to warn him that 1.) His lawsuit was frivolous, and, 2.) He was not armed with all of the pertinent facts in this case. I warned him. I did. I warned him a long time ago that the reimbursement he was demanding was in the works. And being that people will not dispatch with significant sums of money in their possession until the very last second, it did take a while. But, just like I said, when it came time to go to court, the city was, in fact, reimbursed. So, his lawsuit was, in fact, frivolous in nature, he wasted the time of everyone that was reluctantly involved, and I’m thinking he should stick to something he’s good at, if, in fact, there is actually something he is good at.

Perhaps he should become the self-anointed leader of the growing legion of unemployed skateboard kids, since he too seems to know something about having way too much time on his hands.

“I think staying active in the face of bad government and causing them to stay on their toes usually tends to have a positive impact,” Grier said Monday.

That’s one taking credit for something that one had absolutely nothing to do with.

Excuse me while I puke.

Those of you that no longer reside here in good ole Culm County, but still follow the latest from NEPA need to know that WILK, our one and only remaining local talk radio outlet, is now streaming it’s audio on the internet.

Yep, while you’re at the office and pretending to be taking care of your company’s many pressing needs in…oh, let’s say Denver, you can listen to the entire WILK gang discussing important local issues, and accusing George Bush of crimes against humanity that haven’t even been thought of yet.

Although, be warned. They call it “streaming audio,” which it obviously is. But, from 3-7 pm on weekdays, when Steve “I am a Mexican!” Corbett is relentlessly polluting the local radio airwaves, it’d be more accurately described as being screaming audio.

Speaking of WILK, here’s one for Kevin Lynn to chew on when he’s sober. Employing your boundless fatuity is no way to face life.

Kevin, can you say…myrmidon?

Oh, and Steve “I am a Mexican” Corbett ought to consider this timeless classic.

“Everybody deserves the right to dignity and respect.”--from a caller to “Corbett,” who, by the way, Corbett wholeheartedly agreed with, 7-19-07.

Steve, be they callers or hosts, talk radio is no place for the barely sentient. And this tiresome pretense that you alone can lead us to the promised land is anencephalic gruel. Um, sorry. For those of you too completely stupid or too completely lazy to operate a dictionary without assistance, that would be borderline retarted.

And Sue? Well, Sue’s just Sue. She’s easy to disagree with at times, but she’s impossible to dislike.

With all of that having been typed, and with all possible political differences having been put aside for the time being, I send heartfelt well-wishes along to the lady in charge of this eclectic bunch.

If there’s anything I can do…

Let‘s cover this growing scandal in which a baby was born in a jail cell at the Lackawanna County Prison. A baby that was born in a jail sell despite the fact that the on-duty prison employees knew she was in labor for four long hours.

If what has been alleged turns out to be true, there is no excuse for what would be yet another glaring example of man’s continuing inhumanity to man. If the facts match the accusations, heads need to roll. Heads need to roll at the prison, and possibly, at the courthouse as well.

Just imagine the incessant howling and the threats of lawsuits that would follow if a county commissioner’s daughter was forced to endure such an unthinkable thing.

Four fu>king hours? Four hours?

There is no possible excuse.

Excuse me while I beat the helpless kitten.

From the e-mail inbox Dear Holder of Block Parties:

I see where the Guv is unable to attend your yearly street gig, and does so "with regret." Tell him how many tv stations and voters will be there and I'm sure he will find the time (at 100mph) to drop in for a big-smile set of photos.

When several of us clergy types were officiating at Sgt. Sherwood Baker's funeral, he was there. Came in late, worked the crowd in the church as he made his way to the front. For a moment, I almost forgot who we were honoring. I was afraid he'd move the casket aside and lay there in front with a flower in his folded hands.

Call it a backyard barbeque and get Josh to show up with his crew from 28. He ain't the Guv'nor, but at least he'll stay.

Tom Carten

* * * * Today's thought:

Don't do anything that will scandalize the children or stampede the cattle.

Visit me at: http://northfranklin.blogspot.com

Don’t tell anybody, but I’ll waive the fee iffin’ you wanna take in a kick-ass block party.

Josh from WBRE? Now there’s an outstanding idea. If he shows up, he buys the food, right?

Ah, the governor. If he actually came here, he be stunned to learn how unimpressed I am with anyone of his supposed stature. I mean to say, I wouldn’t be a total asshole as I so frequently am. I’d just be very specific and very judgmental whereas the actions of my state government have this annoying habit of draining my wallet, as well as allowing others to drain my wallet.


In my opinion, it would have been a hoot.

I was at Sherwood Baker's internment. I was working nearby, but I somehow felt compelled to be there at that Italian cemetery, whatever it’s name was. Weird, it was. I spent my precious lunch break without food, while paying my last respects to someone I had never even met.

After some reflection, I got to wondering if he had marched past me as part of the 2001 Veteran’s Day parade, when, just a few weeks removed from the attacks of 9/11, I knew damn well that the 109th guys just might be off to war and sometime soon. They marched past me on Public Square, and a sizable, but controllable lump appeared in my throat. And barely a year and a half later, there I was standing behind the assembled crowd in that Italian cemetery.

I never knew Sherwood Baker, but I will never, ever forget him. More aptly put, I will never forget his sacrifice.

And while we all have differing perspectives whereas wars and why they are ultimately fought is concerned, we should all be of the exact same mindset whereas remembering what those who prosecuted them made and continue to make possible is concerned.

In your roundabout way, thanks for reminding me how completely easy I have it.

Now, please excuse me while I drink too much.

‘Til next time.