4-3-2009 Breaking news: Xenomorphic aliens in Wilkes-Barre!

Even though the following e-mail is days old, and even though the following data contained within was previously reported on two other local blogs, I still want to go there.

From the e-mail inbox Dear Dave, ETAL

The count of the endorsement was as follows

1. Luzerne County Judge

a. Richard Hughes 114
b. Michael Pendolphi 54
c. William Amesbury ( Write-In) 18
d Do Not Endorse at all 14

2. Controller

a. Alice Coffman 3
b Walter Griffith 39
c. Nanda Palissary 51
d. Robert Sypniewski 19
e. Ed Brominski (Write In) not eligible because of not being in the Party for more than 1 year got 3
f Do Not Endorse at all 17

3. Prothonotary

a. Carolee Medico Olengenski 75
b Walter Mitchell 55
c. Do Not Endorse at all 4
4. Register of Wills
a. Nevengloski 74
b Do Not Endorse 54

5. Jury Commissioner

a. Frank Semenski 107
b Do Not Endorse 21

total returned ballots 132

Total Committee people on Roster 272

Total percent voting 50%

Walter L Griffith Jr
Taxpayer Advocate
Luzerne County
Phone 570-XXX-XXXX
Fax 570-XXX-XXXX
Cell 570-XXX-XXXX

Okay, so the republican committee people, rather than the party honchos, got together and voted on the endorsements. Frankly, I see no distinction between the two groups. Whether the committee folk, or whether the honcho crowd tells me who I should vote for, I’m ignoring the lot of them and voting my own mind.

And to be perfectly blunt, in this corruption-addled one-party thiefdom of ours, haven’t we displayed enough blind faith? Haven’t we had enough of this nonsense wherein we vote for who we’re supposed to vote for, even though we‘re not exactly certain as to why? Haven’t we seen the costly and destructive results of too many people being blindly loyal party hacks on election day?

Party endorsements? I got no time for, no need for and no tolerance for such utter nonsense. And just because I switched my party affiliation, just because I am now a card-carrying republican, that doesn’t mean I’m now suddenly accepting of any marching orders from anywhere or anyone. The official endorsements, at least for me, are much ado about nothing. And they should be the same for every self-respecting voter no matter their political stripe.

As I mentioned, these numbers were reported elsewhere long before appearing here. They were made mention of on Gort’s blog, as well as at The Lu Lac Political Letter.

And the thing that stood out for me was the textual beating Walter Griffith took in the comments left by the readers of Lu Lac. A beating that follows a previous beating he took from some of the anonymous cretins over at Gort’s place. A beating, I might add, that was administered by the bravest of the brave, the folks desperately clinging to their anonymity.

Look, I don’t need any “you should talk” blowback on the beating Walter took. He and I have agreed on the issues facing Wilkes-Barre about as often as bloggers stop blogging with their unstated agendas in mind. And I was never shy about taking serious issue with anything he’s said or done. But in my case, at least he knew who was taking the shots at him. And with that info in hand, he would occasionally return a few tracer rounds in my direction. He missed.

But let’s get to the root of my problem with the reader’s comments.

I used to respect the hell out of then city councilman, Jim McCarthy, for sending me e-mails he knew I would publish and then respond to. And more often than not, we would not see eye-to-eye on the issues of the day. Still, he was absolutely fearless, in that, even though I did my best to rebuke some of his positions, he’d send another e-mail if and when he felt like it.

To my credit, even while disagreeing with him as I so often did, I tried to treat him with the respect his position accorded him. I did not attempt to embarrass him, belittle him or worse yet, take his words totally out of context. I respected the fact that he was not afraid to debate in a very public forum in which I had all of the control, and he had none.

In case we didn’t take notice, no other elected official in this city or county other than Wilkes-Barre City Administrator J.J. Murphy ever submitted their thoughts to bloggers for publishing and/or debate. In this respect, these two gentlemen stand alone. And I think they should be given credit, and some measure of respect for doing so. Because, as we all know, I could have edited their words any which way I wanted to so as to make them look bad.

Now, back to Walter’s treatment at the hands of the anonymous cowards.

Unless I’m missing something, Walter Griffith is the only candidate that has engaged the local blogosphere as we march on towards May 19, when next we vote. Call it self-promotion and what have you. Call it whatever you like.

In my opinion, he’s been very forthright, honest, maybe even transparent. The very qualities we supposedly demand of the elected folk. And the net result of that is what? Let’s see here, he gets his name out there on the blogs, as he probably should. Oh, and then the anonymous sissies slithering around among us beat him up for it? And the authors of said blogs, eager to display their vast readership, go and allow all of that?

And still, you wonder aloud as to why blogs are anathema to the great majority of the elected, as well as almost all of the hopefuls?

Why? Because they have no guarantees whereas anything even vaguely resembling fair treatment is concerned.

Hey, Walt. Send me some content of any which sort, I’ll post it, and then I’ll allow my nameless and faceless pussies to have at you real savage like. Does that sound like a plan? Sound productive?

As far as I’m concerned, the nameless and faceless can beat the hell out of Walter, or anyone else for that matter. It doesn’t matter to me. But I would suggest to the blog authors and the blog readers that, as it pertains to the overall lack of participation of the political players, it’s mostly your fault.

It’s no better than, it’s no more productive than talk radio, or the former Times Leader SAYSO column, where anyone assuming a fake name can say whatever untruth they wish, or anyone using no name at all can slander away at will.

As for Walter, I’ll say this. At least when I used to beat on him, he could mark a target for some return fire at some point. But to continue engaging the local blogs with their current Wild West, no-holds-barred formats, is to invite what amounts to terrorism in return: No name. No face. No uniform. No home nation. Just the results of the terrorist attack.

By the way, that completely unsolicited campaign advice comes to you absolutely free.

And still, you wonder aloud as to why blogs are anathema to the great majority of the elected, as well as almost all of the hopefuls?

We’re done here.

I was checking the local blogs, which, these days, takes all of ten minutes, when I arrived at PittstonPolitics.com with Joe Valenti.

Um, Pittston politics. What can we say about Pittston politics other than it’s a microcosm of the much bigger problem currently entrenched at the Luzerne County courthouse.

This is the town where once the larger and/or higher profile structures were grossly over insured, and then quickly burned to the ground a la arson. This is the very same town that was once mentioned in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten list of cities wallowing under the suffocating stranglehold of organized crime.

Whatever. They can do whatever it is that they do up there. I got no dog in that ages-old nepotism hunt.

Anyway, I bothered to watch the latest installment of the author’s vlogging exploits, a video blog segment in which he sits in front of a camera and waxes poetic about the latest political rumblings and the like from Pittston and the immediate surrounds. And I must say, a more effective consciousness-suppressant could not be found anywhere.

So anyway, listed just below the video viewer was the following prompt, the following call to action:

Let's hear your blogs on this!

Okay, here’s my reaction to that.

Locally speaking, we’ve got three different types of bloggers, almost all of which are anonymous. There are those who do so as sort of an interactive autobiography in the works. There are those who do so to further their unstated agendas. There are those who just flat-out crave attention. And then you’ve got me, the guy who was single-minded in purpose and scope, but who now sticks with it as an electronic hobby of sorts.

As to that aforementioned Pittston blogger, the one who charges a fee of those who appear on his pages, the one who blogs for profit, why the hell would I fall for that self-promoting claptrap?…Hey! Let's hear your blogs on this! Let’s see you drive traffic to me!

Dude, in my opinion, there’s nothing worse than someone who poses as a blogger who cares, but only when they can profit from that enterprise. In addition, while I’m limited in scope and readership by design due to my narrowly delineated content, Pittston and it’s regressive politics is about as stimulating as would be the downing of a half gallon of Nyquil.

Wil Toole? You’re serious? You want me to drive traffic to that?

Wil Toole?

Assuming I won’t be charged for it, let's hear your blog on this!

Some of you have been prodding me to provide regular updates on the personal genealogy pursuits. Something, by the way, that I have absolutely no qualms about doing.

My newfound family members from California and Denver (to name a few) and my clan have this invite-only blog site going, where we share all kinds of info. Some among this group have some privacy concerns. As for myself, I have no such privacy concerns. With that said, it’s been fairly easy for me to write about my father’s side of the family over the years, because I knew next to nothing about them. I mean to say, it’s not like I exposed anything they didn’t want exposed, because I didn‘t know anything about them in the first place. Now, I’m dealing with people that are either alive, and/or actually reading what’s being written about them. Anyway, while I’m willing to share just about everything, I’m not in this alone.

I recently found a picture of my grandfather’s tombstone on this here internet thingy. Turned out, it was actually recently found by my new cuzzin in California, but she hadn’t gotten around to making me aware of it just yet. She’s busy, you know?

Anywho, some new info, EJC was the Midwest Editor for Pathe News and the head of the Washington bureau of International Film Services. He was also a famed photographer for the Chicago Tribune, as well as a film industry cameraman in his latter years.

With his name being Eugene Joseph Cour, somehow we started referring to him as EJC. And since my dad’s a junior, we started calling him EJC II. And the question was recently floated, who’s going to find EJC II? Truthfully, I do not know. At least, I not know how to find him.

But remember, I did tell y’all that I appealed to the following linked-to guy for help.

‘Locator’ helps W-B family

No, he didn’t help my family. But, you never know. I’m still holding out hope that he’ll decide to take on my recent request for help.

So, anyway, we’re still digging and searching and exploring every lead.

Feel free to inquire about any aspect of any of it.

A friend of mine recently knocked on the front door wanting me to sign his friend’s election petition for the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board.

And I immediately made a face reminiscent of the face of a person being slowly decapitated. And he said, “What? You don’t like the school board?” And then I shot right back with, “What the fu>k is there to like?”

Let’s be serious here, kiddies. It’s not like it’s been a closely guarded secret in these backward parts that you need either the right last name, or a hell of a lot of disposal cash to get yourself hired by most any local school board.

And lo-and-behold, from the Times Leader:

FBI probe extends to schools

Feds obtain records, start interviews in W-B Area School District, Wilkes-Barre Area Vo-Tech.

Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before, but just in case, let’s do it again.

A few years back, my oldest daughter was studying for her education degree and doing a student teaching stint at a grade school within 5 miles of this modest adobe. And when asked by a teacher in that school what her plans were after she had earned her degree, my kid said she wanted to teach kindergarteners here in Wilkes-Barre. And that was met by a laugh, as that teacher went on to tell her that, since she had the wrong last name, she had better come up with some cash.

Stunned, my kid asked me about it when she got home. And I told her how things worked around here. About how only the relatives, the friends, or the neighbors of the school board members were hired for any unfilled positions. And I also told her that, due to the frequency of the cash-for-jobs stories, she had better resign herself to never being a teacher here in Wilkes-Barre. She was disheartened to hear as much.

The school board? The school board?

Fu>k the fu>king school board!!!

This is fun. Even when underage people in Scranton get sh*t-faced while marching in that city’s St. Paddy’s Day parade, even when those same kids are noticeably wobbling and vomiting, and even when they end up standing tall in front of both the Scranton police department and a few West Scranton school officials…on WILK…Wilkes-Barre ends up being the butt of the on-air joke.

From The (Scranton) Times-Tribune.com:

Police: West Scranton cheerleaders were drunk during parade

Eight to 10 West Scranton High School cheerleaders have been punished for being intoxicated while marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade last month.

The incident and punishment have outraged parents, but the Scranton School District refuses to discuss details or the suspensions.

During the March 14 parade, an adviser to the squad suspected that the students were intoxicated and observed at least one student vomiting, Scranton Police Chief David Elliott said Thursday.

The adviser alerted police, and officers met the cheerleaders after they were finished marching. Police gave Breathalyzer tests to the students the adviser suspected of drinking, Chief Elliott said.

The students who tested positive were then taken home by their parents, and their names were given to the school administration for discipline. No charges were filed against the students, Chief Elliott said.

“This is strictly an administrative issue,” he said.

At near about 9 AM this morning, as the Kevin and Nancy show was set to end and the Sue Henry show was about set to begin, the three hosts shared a couple of minutes of unscripted banter. And the drunk, under aged Scranton kids came up, and the talk show hosts opined away about what a proper punishment should amount to.

Sue stated that she’s for alternative sentencing, and she thinks the drunk kids should be sentenced to attending the Scranton parade for five years…only stone cold sober.

And then Kevin quickly interjected with, “Or the Wilkes-Barre parade.”

Ha! Ha! Ha! Guffaws all around.

Kevin, for a washed-up, fast-widening has-been…you are soooooooo fu>king funny!

But just as soon as Kevin let loose with his latest unfair, smarmy slap at Wilkes-Barre, Sue started backpedaling away from his usual phlegm sent our way. Whoa! That wasn’t me. I didn’t say it.

And then Nancy made what was obviously a direct reference to my “Sue Henry Pothole Challenge” post with, “First it’s potholes, now it’s…”

Guffaws all around.

First of all, I’ll take the lack of response on the pothole challenge as proof that the proverbial potholes in question are in fact not there. Secondly, I fail to understand why Wilkes-Barre ends up on the receiving end of any verbal abuse when the news item being discussed happened exclusively in Scranton.

Yes, when people in Scranton go off the deep end, Wilkes-Barre takes it’s lumps. Make any sense to you? Apparently, it makes sense to Kevin.

All of which reminds me of WILK’s lead news blurbs when they take their news breaks. No matter how many violent or disturbing criminal incidents happen throughout the entire region, the top story is always out of Wilkes-Barre. That is, the top story is always out of Wilkes-Barre, even when the folks at WILK have no idea what the story is.

Case in point: The Bowman Street incident, which, by the way, I followed on the scanner right from the get-go. Here‘s the scanner version of events.

A report of a shooting and people fleeing up into the hills of East End. The first police units rush to the scene, while a slew of others set up a perimeter extending into the Nord End. Then, a report of someone fleeing towards the railroad tracks but feet from my house. At that moment, I rush outside with a portable scanner, a monster Maglite and a concealed weapon. And as soon as I’m out the door, two police units speed past me up the street and into the alley.

Then things bog down. And then the cops mention that they’ve got uncooperative witnesses. And at that point, I know this thing is going nowhere fast. Not nowhere, but with witnesses clamming up, just painfully slowly. And the next morning, the print reporting is next to non-existent, in that, it reported less than I knew, and even got a few details wrong. Long story short, there was no way anyone employed by WILK could have had a clue as to what had gone on. Not a single fleeting clue.

But did that stop WILK from leading each news break for hours on end with “news” of the Bowman street incident? Why, hell no!

Every hour…Something happened in Wilkes-Barre last night. Something or other on Bowman Street. Gunplay may have been involved. A car accident may have been involved. Somebody may have been hospitalized. And a xenomorphic alien may have possibly been involved.

That’s news?

Why, hell yeah it is! Why? Because, whatever the hell it was or it wasn’t, it happened in Wilkes-Barre. Whatever it was.

And they just couldn’t help but get suckered into reporting the homeless-on-homeless drunken tomfoolery under the South Street Bridge as some sort of shocking stabbing incident…in Wilkes-Barre.


That’s what happens when you rush to report on far less than a full reporting of the incident. Homeless-on-homeless drunken tomfoolery. That’s what happened. Oh, but it did happen in Wilkes-Barre, so it’s a legitimate lead story on WILK. Violence in Scranton? Boring.

Oh, but, you had a bunch of murders in Wilkes-Barre recently. “Splain that, dickhead blogger!

What, the guy from New Orleans went berserk on his wife? Some kid from Nanticoke threw a single punch at the supermarket, and the guy he hit went and died? They found some dead guy in a creek bed? And that denotes what?

And my favorite, the kids from King’s College have gotten into two separate violent scraps in the middle of the night with passing vehicles. And what should that tell you? That all of the people driving around in circles in Wilkes-Barre are looking for trouble? Or that the college kids stumbling back drunk to their off-campus apartments in the middle of the night keep doing their level best to find trouble? Gee, no coincidence there. Whatever.

If the management of WILK thinks it’s in their best interest to perpetuate the perception that Wilkes-Barre is unsafe, so be it. Have at it. Knock yourselves out before you run away to the thick of the woods at the end of each work day. Like it matters a lick to them what goes on anywhere near Wilkes-Barre. They’re all long gone before sundown.

As for Kevin, what are you going to do with a bitter old fool such as that? You can’t pound on him, because, he’s one of those effeminate men who would press charges even though he knows he probably deserves a beating. I think he knows. You can’t call him up at WILK and debate him. If you did, he’d berate you, he’d belittle you, he’d accuse you of listening to Rush or watching Fox News, he’d deflect the argument, he’d hang up on you and then he’d call you a knuckle dragger as an exclamation. You can’t complain to his boss, because she obviously condones his sophomoric antics.

I guess we’re reduced to hoping he keeps on flying to Jamaica with every vacation day at his disposal. Because, if he keeps on flying to Jamaica for the foreseeable future, there’s always that remote chance that the Bermuda Triangle will suddenly reappear, work it’s unexplained magic and send him to where he rightfully belongs.

To reiterate…

There was very public underage drinking event in Scranton.

And because of that, Wilkes-Barre sucks.

Just another news day at WILK.

If I failed to annoy anyone at all today, I apologize for the oversight. I can and will do better in the future.