Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
As October was being painted pink for breast cancer awareness the 5th anniversary issue of the Colondar was published. The Colondar and the Colon Club was started by Molly McMaster who was diagnosed with colon cancer on her 23rd birthday. The Colondar and Colon Club are used to bring awareness that anyone can be diagnosed with colon cancer and it is not an age related issue.
For the 5th straight year, Erika Kratzer of Snyder County in Pennsylvania graces the cover. Erika was diagnosed in 2000 at the age of 22. I got to meet Erika and her family through a local newspaper article about the Colondar. Being diagnosed myself at age 36 in 2002, I had a side effect from chemo that made my eyes water. November 29th, 2002 was the day I first had symptoms of this disease.
Through bringing the Colossal Colon to the Susquehanna Valley in 2005, Erika's mother Janet Bilger and I co-chair the Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer Task Force. In 2008, our task force's efforts were realized by signing HB1155 (Colon Cancer Screening) into law in Pennsylvania.
Here is a toast to the Colon Club and the Colondar. May Erika grace the cover for another 10 years.
Here is a picture of Erika's mother with Governor Edward Rendell at the signing of HB1155.
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 9:00 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Mount Carmel practiced at Shamokin Area on the turf on Tuesday evening. Despite cold temperatures and snow squalls, the Red Tornado practice looked very crisp.
Hard to believe we are 35 years removed from the annual Mount Carmel-Shamokin game for the Coal Bucket played on Thanksgiving Day. Does anyone have any fun stories from the blizzard in 1971? The snow fell on Wednesday and the game was cancelled until Saturday.
Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll is scheduled to be laid to rest today in Pittsburgh. I had the privilege of meeting the Lieutenant Governor three years ago for the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days.
"Take those visitors tags off" said the governor. "You are my guests today." She made time to talk to our group and let us know how important our work was as citizens. Recently, a member of the Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer Task Force sent her a get-well wish and it was answered in a hand written note.
From David's Blog, here is a quote of Knoll on her life:
“The leaves of my life keep falling one at a time. When you rake them into
a pile of memories a couple of lessons become evident. One is that if we get
wrapped up in ourself, we’ll become a very small package. The other is that
making a living involves what we GET – building a life involves what we GIVE.
Now more than ever we should recognize that life is precious – that it is a
once-in-a-lifetime experience – and it is your job and mine to encourage all of
our citizens not to undervalue what they are.”
Remembering James P. Kelley
Last week former Northumberland County Commissioner, James P. Kelley, was laid to rest. Probably the best tribute to him was this letter to the editor as Kelley was taking office for his first term in 1971.
Mr. Kelley's style and compassion for the office will greatly be missed.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Well it has taken a long time, almost 20 years to be exact, but I have made Sound-Off. In lieu of writing a letter to the editor, people could call and leave comments anonymously to the News-Item.
Lunch box, press box?
With regard to Ed Washuta’s letter to the editor about food in the press
box, I have a question: Does he not get paid for his duties? When I worked
construction, I took a lunch box and thermos with me or we purchased food from a
neighboring restaurant. In any case, we provided our own food. I think he should
do the same.
Get a hoagie
I was just reading Ed Washuta’s letter to the editor about the press box
being catered. Doesn’t he know that on the way to the stadium, Mac’s is right on
Arch Street? He can stop there and get a hoagie instead of depending on the
school district to feed him.
Here is my letter to the editor
To the editor: As a resident of the Shamokin Area School District and member of the electronic media, I would like to thank the athletic department and school administration for providing food and refreshments for the press box this past football season.
On any typical game day, I arrive at Kemp Memorial, unload and set up radio equipment and try to interview the visiting coach before he goes into the team pregame routine. Having refreshments in the box gives me the opportunity to get these things done. Once I am “on the air” at 6:40, I am not off air until 10 minutes after the game, whenever that may be. Time spent at the stadium is usually from 4:30 until 10 p.m. It is worse for the print media who, after the game, must conduct interviews and file a story before their deadlines.
This season, a Heartland Conference member did deny access to the press box to the school television station and myself. This is our chance to be noted for “good will” rather than bomb scares.
With articles in your paper on Nov.12 and letter to the editor on Nov. 14 from a school director, I feel, as a taxpayer, time could be better spent trying to solve the lack of student space in the district.
Trying to draw a link between students not having enough to eat during the day and providing food to the press box after the school week is over is very weak at best.
I'm glad that readers are concerned that I may getting something for free. Mac's would be great, but I avoid Arch Street on game night. Stopping means being delayed once again getting to field. I did mention I set up equipment. The closest I could park is near the visitor's lockeroom. Two trips from the car to the box with setup and checks and all of a sudden the visitor's are ready for pregame.
I'm sure if I worked construction, I would patronize the neighboring restaurant. I would also pack a lunch and a thermos. Being that major construction has not on in Shamokin since the new wing at SACH and SCI-Coal Township, I would be looking at 16 hour day with work and travel.
My problem lies with logistics. Once I go "on the air", I don't leave the box for 4 hours. Try talking for fours straight without drinking something.
A few people have written letters in support of Coach Z. Read this one from a Shamokin grad and this one from parents of a current Shamokin player. As a parent, if you have faith in the coach that is where the support should be measured.
Here is something from his college roommate. A guy named Jim from Florida comments:
I was Coach Z's room-mate at Lock Haven (At that time State College) from 1977-80. Z played a lot, I practiced a lot. He actually was responsible for winning a couple of games with key interceptions and tackles from his Safety spot. I live in Tallahassee Florida now. I'm not sure what happened to high school football in the past 25 years, but things are getting a bit insane. Where I live, there is a school called North Florida Christian. One of their players actually went on to Florida State, and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's, as a pretty decent QB. His name is Casey Weldon. He was hired as Head Football Coach at his alma mater a couple of years ago, in three seasons he was fired. His record? 25-3. Hang in there Zeebo!!!!!!
November 20, 2008 8:39 AM
I was a little surprised on Friday with Riverside choosing to air it out against Southern leading 18-7 and under 3 minutes left in the game. Up until the Southern game, that was the first time I seen Riverside play so I will hold my judgement. I do question Harry Armstrong sending in Joe Klebon to kick the extra point. Why risk injury to a money player???
Dan Burda writes about it in the News-Item.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Notre Dame suffered one it's worst defeats yesterday dropping a 24-23 game to Syracuse at home on Senior Day. The Irish were 19 1/2 point favorites.
Charlie Weis has been on the hot seat for a few weeks now. Weis has 7 years left on a 10-year contract. A coaching change after the season will be painful and expensive.
Even though the Philadelphia Eagles are in Baltimore this weekend, a few of their fans showed up for the game.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
November 22nd, 1963 is a day never forgotten in American history. 45 years ago, 3 shots rang out in Dallas and America was forever changed. I wasn't born when this even took place in our history, put I can never stop listening to stories of where people were on that day. The presidency took a terrible turn in the next decade. The country was saddled with a war in Vietnam and Watergate led to Richard M. Nixon's resignation in August of 1974.
I still remember the story of the First Lady having Caroline's birthday party within the days after the tragedy.
David recounts the day and what followed.
Gort relates what may have happened in today's world.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Due to 5 inches of snow falling in the Mount Carmel area, AD Greg Sacavage is asking for volunteers to help remove snow from the Silver Bowl. Sacavage is asking for volunteers to report to the stadium around 9 am to Mr. Wojcik.
Due to the field being grass, people are asked to come with shovels and wheelbarrows. Mount Carmel needs a similar type effort of snow removal like in 1997 before the South Williamsport game.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harold Raker previews of the MCA-Montoursville game in the Daily-Item.
Raker also adds this piece about Zach Lutz.
Dan Burda features Southern LB Tony Drain for the News-Item.
Raker previews the Southern-Riverside game.
Raker also features lineman Chase Fraley of Southern.
Joby Fawcett of the Scranton Times features Matt Talerico of Riverside.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The first talk with Coach Z. at last year preseason picnic.
My last interview with Coach Z.
The more things change the more they stay the same. As autumn give way to winter, once again Shamokin Area is looking for a head football coach. Dave Zielinskie was fired yesterday by a 5-4 vote of the school board. The board voted, 5-4, with directors Charles Carpenter, Ed Griffiths, Todd Hockenbroch, Barry Rebuck and Daniel Venn voting yes, and directors LaRue Beck, Robert Getchey, Tracy Witmer and Mark Anonia voting no. Over 15 years ago, when Zielinskie was let go, too many penalties was the excuse.
This time the firing was a little bit more elaborate. Athletic Director Nick Celinscak gave an "evaluation"of Mr. Zielinskie and a substandard performance only to be rebutted by Zielinskie himself.
Celinscak was only a "patsie" for the board. Someone had to make a motion, second it and vote.
When Zielinskie took over for Carmen Defrancesco, I asked to video our pregame interview that would be played back on radio on game night. Coach Zielinskie obliged and it was pretty much a staple. As far as handling players and coaches, I thought he great support.
One thing that is very hard to do in life is notice change while it is occurring. Kemp Memorial is still the same, except for the turf and new booster stand, but many things have changed. Not many kids are motivated to play football anymore. On average Shamokin has dressed the below 40 the last few seasons.
With the schedule and personnel, how much better were Shamokin than 5-15 in two years. Zielinskie lost his number one running back to illness, most of his secondary to injury and insubordination, but he never offered any excuses. With a full squad of players that were with him in the preseason would Shamokin have beaten Southern, Mount Carmel, Selinsgrove, and Montoursville?
If you look back at the Indians over the last 20 years was it the coaching or the players? If you point out to the winning season's Shamokin has had since 1988, their success centered on having a 1000-yard rusher (Tim Krebs, Richie Shick, Jamie Wis., etc) or a strong one-two punch like Kirk Stehman and Gary Anascavage.
One of the by-products of the head coaching merry-go-round is the developing talent. The senior class of 2010 would have played for 3 different head coaches. Most of the success of Mount Carmel and Southern Area is delveloping football players and plugging them in the right holes. The other thing is coaching stability. MCA has had three head men since 1961. The core of Southern's staff have been together for 25 years plus they still have many mile left.
It should be an interesting sideshow until Christmas. With a $6000 bill staring the Board in the eyes, will they go cheap? Dave Zielinskie did all that was asked of him by the board and some more. He didn't stand for insubordination and got rid of players that violated team rules. This was done in 2007 and 2008 knowing full well he was short at those positions. As far as ejections this season, I believe there were two. One against Southern and one against Selinsgrove.
Coach Z. still has alot of coaching left in him, sad to say with his second stint over at Shamokin it will not be as a head coach.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
This past weekend with Southern and Line Mountain all tied at 14, a series of plays at the end of the half went a long way determining the winner. Line Mountain was driving toward a go-ahead TD with under a minute left. Aaron Inch dropped a potential go ahead TD pass and Line Mountain fumbled the ball away on the next play. Southern took over on their own 13. Steve Roth ripped off a 60-yard run and face mask penalty put the ball on the Eagles' 14. Two runs, two timeouts and Steve Roth scored from 2 yards out with 12 seconds left in the half.
In a tale of what-ifs, how would Southern have played being down to start the half? Would Line Mountain have had more enthusiasm? One thing I do know is that it was an exciting first half no matter what side of the ball you were on.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Jim Roth is closing in on win number 300 in his career with win 297 over Line Mountain on Friday night. The News-Item documents some of the impressive winning streaks Roth has had over his 25 seasons. A trip to the state finals may never be sweeter, but the hardest and toughest football is ahead.
The one thing about Roth is his relative youth when you look at other coaches either approaching 300 or his 25 seasons as a head coach. He still has plenty of coaching of sometime in his gas tank.
The Heartland Conference released a copy of their football all-star teams this past week. Where is Shamokin Area? The Indians (4-5) deserved some consideration for players like Brent Forbes with over 1000 yards and force at defensive end and Tyler Scicchitano who was a tackling machine and later made big contributions at running back and kicker on special teams.
Former Mount Carmel Area and Susquehanna University graduate Ron Miller has guided the West York Bulldogs into the District 3 Semifinals. Check out their performance in the quarters against Conrad Weiser. Good luck to Ron and the rest of West York against Garden Spot.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Now for the game. With Southern's 37-14 win over Line Mountain last night, the Tigers reclaim the district title, their 17th in the last 18 years. In what may have been a team record BJ Snyder kicked 3 field goals in one of half of 35, 29, and 35 yards and Joe Admire added a 51-yard punt return. Count them, four scores on special teams. The defense came up just as big pitching a shutout in the second half and limiting the Eagles to under 60 yards of total offense.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Shamokin Area School Director Tracey Witmer submits Letter to the Editor in November 14th issue of the News-Item in response to the article published on November 12th.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This was published in the Times-Leader, Pittston Dispatch by Pittston chiropractor Joe Leonardi.
“Coal Miner Mentality” is a phrase that is boorishly bandied about to describe many here in Greater Pittston and to a larger extent all of us who reside in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Along with hard scrabble and coal cracker, this terminology is not meant to compliment, congratulate or commend.
It is most often intended to demean, deride or dismiss the good people of, as Steve Corbett extols, “Hard Coal Country.” How little those outside of the anthracite arena know the offspring of the miners whose labor fueled the industrial revolution.
My grandfather was an owner/operator of a few mines here in the valley.
Unfortunately for my bank account he was not a coal baron. However, fortunately for my character he was a coal man.
We, all of us, are the heirs to the throne of king coal – we are the ones responsible to maintain the legacy of those who took from the ground the hard black carbon.
Yet, inexplicably, many look down upon us and our ancestors.
How is it anything less than an honor to be descended from those who sacrificed so much, but were recognized by so few?
How can we not revere those that left the sunlight behind and ventured below the earth’s surface to bring forth the precious anthracite?
How can those whose lives, by comparison are easy and risk free – not swell with pride when we recall the men who risked not solely simply injury, but often instant death or worse the slow, suffocating strangulation of black lung to provide a home and life for their families.
The coal miner was not formally schooled, he was educated by the cold realities of a harsh dark world.
The coal miner was not selfish, he did without, so his children would not need to inhale cancer causing coal dust.
The coal miner was not weak, through the strength of his spine he provided food for his family.
When I think of a coal miner, I see a strong hardworking individual. One who came to this area looking to improve not his life, but the lives of his children. I see individuals of deep faith, honesty and integrity.
When I teach a class and look upon the faces of my students, I see the realization of the dreams of those miners who so long ago shortened their own lives so my generation and the following ones, would not have to.
There is a movement afoot to prod the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp honoring the coal miner. This effort has gone on for many years with zero success.
This is an initiative that yearns for our support.
I say we wear with pride the badge of honor our coal miner roots inspire. We must look to the terms coal miner mentality, coal cracker and hard scrabble and take them back.
We must, with pride – own them.
I demand we proclaim; “We are the children of coal!”
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Barack Obama was projected President-Elect around 11 pm Eastern time on Tuesday evening November 4th, 2008. John McCain gracious in his defeat may have given one of his best speeches in concession. (Where was that John McCain the entire campaign.)
Gort provides a great view why conservatives should have voted for Obama.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich outlines the challenges ahead when the real contest begins.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
SUNBURY - The Northumberland County Board of Elections has announced a programming error will prevent voters today from voting a straight ticket for one party.Mary Thew, director of the Northumberland County Board of Elections, told The News-Item that a problem was discovered early in the vote process.
read more | digg story
Posted by Coal Region Voice at 10:21 AM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Video of Carney in Lewisburg on November 1st.
In 2006, I supported Chris Carney wrestle the 10th Congressional seat away from Don Sherwood. In 2008, is effort to lead the fight for the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway Project and his twice voting no to the 700 billion dollar bailout has earned my vote.
The Thruway Project regardless of Carney though is facing a difficult time due the financial crisis. The Bailout deserved a no vote due to first too much power to Henry Paulson and then too much pork from the Republican side of the Senate aisle. "Sweeping the House", friend Greg Maresca informs fellow readers the original bill went from 3 pages to 425 pages filled of pork. In that 3 pages were 32 words that were very dangerous:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
With the current track record of our executive branch a no-vote was a no-brainer.
Other are still upset by the VA Clinic being located in Snyder County and not Northumberland. Check out this Letter to editor. Do you think Don Sherwood would have addressed this issue at all?
In the 11/2 print edition of the Daily-Item, Chris Hackett says the Paxinos manufacturer Fleetwood Motor Homes moved to Indiana because it is cheaper because of Indiana's state tax situation. No Chris, Fleetwood moved because they make a big-ticket item that no one is buying due to price of gas. They don't need two plants open at this time. By the way, Fleetwood's stock (FLE) was trading around 70 cents when the decision to close Paxinos was made. As of 10/31/2008, the stock closed at 45 cents and gained 9 cents on Friday to do it.