Monday, April 30, 2007

Tony Snow back on the job

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Tony Snow was back on the job Monday, five weeks after doctors discovered a recurrence of his cancer. He said he would soon undergo chemotherapy "just to make sure we've got the thing knocked out."
Snow, 51, has been on medical leave since undergoing exploratory surgery last month, when doctors discovered that a growth in his abdominal area was cancerous and had metastasized, or spread, to the liver.
Snow started typically early, appearing Monday on the North Lawn of the White House for a series of morning television network news shows, including an interview on "Fox and Friends," with his former Fox network colleagues.
"I've recovered from the surgery, more or less," Snow said in a CNN interview. "I'll start doing chemo on Friday. We'll do it every other week for four months."
Once a month, Snow said, "We'll do a maintenance chemo just to make sure we've got the thing knocked out and put in remission."
Snow had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Over the weekend, Snow spoke to students and alumni at Davidson College, from which he graduated in 1977. During an impromptu question-and-answer session there, Snow said he has become closer to God and his family because of the cancer, The Charlotte Observer reported.
"I am actually enjoying everything more than I ever have," Snow said, according to the newspaper. "God hasn't promised us tomorrow, but he has promised us eternity."
Snow is married with three children, 10, 11 and 14.

Coal Township (PA) man in need of help

This article was copied from a story that appeared in The News-Item on Sunday, April 29th.

Tour raises money for desperately ill CT man

COAL TOWNSHIP — Kenny Smink, 37, bought his fishing license last month. He always used to wait until the last minute.

This year, he was prepared early for days of sunny recreation, rod in hand. But about a week after his purchase, he became sick and was hospitalized with cancer.Smink, a longtime member of East End Fire Company, was honored by friends and family Saturday with a Poker Run/ $10 night. The motorcycle ride began in the former Ames parking lot along Route 61 in east of Shamokin, traveled to places as far away as Catawissa and Danville, and ended at the fire company, where there was a party awaiting the riders’ arrival. All proceeds will go to Smink and his family.The ride lasted from 2 to 7 p.m., and the 60 bikers in attendance winded down Tioga Street so Smink could see their efforts from his home. He had undergone dialysis all day at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and was too tired to leave his bed. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. He’d give you his left arm and he’d bend over backwards for you. He never tells anybody ‘no,’” Danny Worhach, of Shamokin, said about Smink.The benefit ride was organized by Mike Engle, of Coal Township, who has been friends with Smink for about 12 years. He even had someone filming the event so Kenny could see everything he missed.“He’s been a friend for a while. I’m the godfather to one of his children,” Engle said.Smink has two daughters, Kennedy, 10, and Sheridan, 4, with longtime girlfriend Lisa Hornberger. She choked back tears at a table surrounded by friends while looking over a speech she had prepared for the evening.“I truly believe we can receive a miracle,” she had written on a sheet of white paper. She said he was sick for a couple of weeks before the doctors found that he had three different types of cancer. He was hospitalized in late March and sent home Wednesday, April 25. “He’s fighting, he isn’t going to give up,” Hornberger said. Hornberger, a 1988 Line Mountain Area graduate, met Smink about 16 years ago. He graduated from Shamokin Area High School in 1987.“If he (Smink) could be here, he would,” Hornberger said at the fire company. “He’s just overwhelmed with what everybody has done. He’s very, very grateful,” she said.Kenny Smink’s brother, Wade Smink, talked about the call he got from his brother on March 26.“He told me he couldn’t eat and they said they were probably going to hospitalize him,” Wade Smink said.He looked up at the ceiling, pausing to think.“It’s just a shame that it takes something like this to make you realize how much you really care, you know?” he said. Despite his condition, Wade Smink said Kenny’s not giving up.“He’s unbelievable, the strongest guy I’ve ever met,” Wade said of his brother.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What a Fortnight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't posted some original material in a long time, but it has been an incredible two weeks on the local, state, and national scenes.


Carm DeFrancesco is hired by Upper Dauphin to be the head football coach.

Bucknell's Chris McNaughton is named scholar-athlete for the third consecutive year.

The New York Yankees are in last place.

Three former members of the Duke Lacrosse team have all charges dropped. Applaud the North Carolina State AG's office. The lacrosse team had the ways and means to defend themselves. To be fair, does minority America have the same chance? Ask yourself.


Cardinal Brennan standout softball pitcher, Cori Kushwarra, was killed in auto accident.

Spring snow dumps 9 inches on elevations, driving conditions the worse in recent years. Thank you PennDOT management.

Don Imus fired. Hypocrisy at it's finest. I did find out that I am now in a demographic that consider's me old. Ouch!!!!!!!!!!

THE UGLY need to say more.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Where to see the Coal Region Voice?

At the very last minute, I have been recruited to do public address at a charity basketball game featuring the Philadelphia Eagles in Shamokin on Saturday, April 21st. The game starts at 3 pm and is to benefit the Luke Mirolli Fund.

You can read more about the event here.

See you at the game and "Fly Eagles Fly"!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Republicans Block Medicare Drug Price Bill

Senate Republicans blocked legislation yesterday that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices, denying Democrats a victory on their 2006 election vow to lower prescription costs for senior citizens.

read more | digg story

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bush wants to create new "War Czar?"

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus vs. the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks Chart(language warning)

It's a sad, sad state we are in these days - Have you seen the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart this week?

read more | digg story

Monday, April 9, 2007

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft Speaks at Bucknell University

The former US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, spoke to about an audience of students and spectators at Bucknell University. Ashcroft's new book, Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice, is out on the market.

While most of the lecture focused on the 9/11 and the Patriot Act, Ashcroft didn't really offer any insights to America's problems after he left the Justice Department. At times he sounded like Sean Hannity, while at other time he seemed to be offering testimony.

If anything one issue that the audience was concerned about was immigration. One protecting our borders. Two, while only admitting 700 Iraqi's last year, what will become of their 500,000 refugees. This was the most insightful question of the night by the audience.

In a bold statement of the night, Ashcroft said this current administration has shown the most restraint of any administration regarding civil rights in time of war. From the elephant talking point, Ashcroft indicated what Roosevelt, Clinton, Wilson, Lincoln and Washington did in times of war.

Ashcroft's successor Alberto Gonzales even said Washington loved electronic surveillance.

10 Things I wanted to say or ask.

1.) Why weren't recommendations of the 9/11 commission adopted?

2.) Why was Senate confirmation bypassed for US Attorney's in the Patriot Act?

3.) Why was more spent on Whitewater (70 million) than 9/11 (13 million).

4.) If we have a FISA court why was it being bypassed?

5.) Who decides who is an enemy combatant?

6.) Where have you gone, habeus corpus?

7.) Will you try for appointed or elected office again?

8.) Where is Osama Bin Laden? Work on this with Rumsfeld.

9.) Please don't joke about WMD's over 3100 good men and women lost their lives because of it.

10.) Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither liberty or security - Ben Franklin

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Dave Shinskie assigned to Single-A Fort Myers

According to a spokesperson for the Twins organization, Mount Carmel Area product Dave Shinskie will be assigned to the Fort Myers long season single-A team which begins play on April 5th. Shinskie had an outstanding season with Beloit in 2006 coming off of injury in 2005. Shinskie was called up to double-A New Britain and appeared in 11 games late in the season. Shinskie had several solid outings in double-A along with a few diappointing ones contributing to some bad stats.

In one appearance that could be found this spring, Shinskie gave up 5 runs with 3 being earned in a loss to the Pirates appearing in the 8th inning.

Fort Myers is the highest single-A classification for the Minnesota Twins.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Why Must Boys Be Boys?

Penn State football players are being interviewed by State College police in connection with an assault that occurred during a downtown apartment party early Sunday morning, police said yesterday.

read more | digg story

BREAKING NEWS: Iran 'to release British sailors'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf will be freed.

read more | digg story

How Bogus "Niger Uranium" Letter Became a Case for War

In February 2002, the CIA received the verbatim text of one of the documents, filled with errors easily identifiable through a simple Internet search...interviews also showed that France, berated by the administration for opposing the war, honored a US intelligence request to investigate, determining that its former colony not sold uranium to Iraq.

read more | digg story

Monday, April 2, 2007

Homeland Security wants master Key for the Internet

The US Department of Homeland Security is insisting that Verisign hand over the master keys of the Internet. If it succeeds, the US will be able to track DNS Security Extensions (DNSSec) all the way back to the servers that represent the name system's root zone on the Internet. Effectively it would mean that US spooks could snoop on anyone.

read more | digg story

Henry Kissinger: "Military victory no longer possible"

FORMER US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped engineer the US withdrawal from Vietnam, said yesterday the problems in Iraq are more complex than in the Vietnam War, and military victory was no longer possible.

read more | digg story

Sunday, April 1, 2007

1985 NCAA Champions - The Villanova Wildcats

1985 Tournament MVP, Ed Pinckney, with the CoalRegion Voice after a game at Bucknell in December 2005
A Student's Perspective
Landing myself on the campus of Villanova University in the fall of 1984, little did I imagine how the spring of my freshman year would turn out. I would be witness to the epicenter of March Madness and of one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament final history.
Among the many topics of our freshman year was how good our bad the team would be in the Big East and a possible NCAA run. Little did we know that the history of the previous three seasons would prepare the 1985 Wildcats with destiny. The 1985 Wildcat team were led by three seniors, Ed Pinckney, Gary "Gizmo" McLain, and Dwayne "D-Train" McClain. The team was rounded out by juniors, Harold Pressley, Dwight Wilbur, and Chuck Everson. Also sophomore Harold Jensen and freshman Mark Plansky would round out the major contributors. Others on the team included Wyatt Maker, Veltra Dawson, RC Massimino, Brian Harrington, and Connally Brown.
On the surface the game looks like the 8th seeded Wildcats came out of nowhere. The core of this Wildcat squad made it to regional finals against North Carolina in 1982, Houston in 1983, and played against Keith Lee and Memphis in the 1982 tourney. Ed Pinckney had a big game against Georgetown his sophomore year with a 27-point, 22-rebound game while holding Patrick Ewing under 10 points. That era produced big men like Ewing and Hakeem Olajouwan that could run the court. They were a precursor of today's big men.
1985 Tournament
The first four games produced wins over:
Dayton - at Dayton's home floor
Michigan - #1 seed in the region
Maryland - Len Bias led
North Carolina - thank god Jordan was in the NBA
Memphis - held the Tiger 27 points under average and a season low 45.
Georgetown - one last time the Jake LaMotta-Sugar Ray Robinson battle took place with the wildcats coming out on top.
Interesting tidbits:
Villanova shot 22 of 28 from the floor. 28 attempts are still the lowest by a winning team
and the Cat's only pulled down 17 rebounds. Dwayne McClain made 24 of 25 free throws in the tourney. Pinckney had 48 rebounds in 6 games.
Also, on April 1 st, 1985 Al Severance, long time Villanova head coach passed away at a Lexington hotel. I would compare it to John Wooden suddenly passing the day of a UCLA championship.
April Fool
It was hard to imagine what winning would be like. I never seen so many police in my life. I got together with some and watched the game at Sullivan Hall with about 20 people crammed into a small dorm room. Once the final buzzer sounded, I was in the middle of our quad. Car horns honking for miles. Still a blur, I believe I got back to St. Mary's around 4:30. Not being able to sleep I made to the cafe and phone rang. With Easter coming in five days, they decided to let us go home early, the campus had more toilet paper on the ground than Charmin. It would take a week to get the campus up to condition on Easter Tuesday. Legend has it, unused rolls of toilet paper were going for $10 the following morning.
For the Rest of Us
Living in St. Mary's dorm along with with half of the players was a true college experience. You got to see what national television wasn't showing you. They were true students and gentlemen. Our dorm had it's own cafeteria and on crowded days no one ever denied a seat at their table (They sat at the same place out of habit and not reservation).
As the rest of my four years continued, you can see what Division I basketball is about. A small group of men with a common purpose. When signing on the join a special fraternity. They pretty much come to breath Villanova sports. In comparison, when my friends and I are going home to families on holidays or enjoying spring or summer break, the team is always preparing for the next game by taking summer courses to lighten up the load in the fall or spring or working out. Today, I dust off the tape one more time and 22 years later. Whenever I think of something that can't be done, I think about that incredible April Fool's Day in 1985 and imagine the possibilities.
Most of the 1985 Wildcats met some great success and person triumph. Ed Pinckney returned to Villanova and remains an assistant coach. Gary McLain probably has the most interesting story and you could read by clicking the link above. Gizmo has the true rags to riches to rags and possibly back to riches story. See where Florida coach Billy Donovan played an important part. Mark Plansky and I became friends through his junior year roommate who was from Pottsville, PA. If you want to read more about the team check out Pinckney's book. I have a direct link to it on the blog. Just scroll down on the left.