Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#30 takes out Brian Westbrook

It seems that two high profile were taken out in the last few days by #30. LT of San Diego and Brian Westbrook of Philadelphia. 30 isn't the uniform number of an opposing player but the Mendoza Line for NFL running backs.....Age 30.

As an Eagle fan and Villanova alum, I am a big Westbrook fan. He played hurt, but in the long run the concussions have taken their toll.

Unlike the Dawkins departure after last season, releasing Westbrook now gives him an opportunity to sign with a team in his favor. The Eagles did the right thing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Remembering Terence P. Reiley

Today marks 10 years since death of Terence(Terry) P. Reiley lost his battle with leukemia. I first met Terry in September of 1984 at Villanova University. He happened to be in a class or two with Robert Scanlon who would become one of my roomates the following year.

At the time of his death, Terry was the mayor of Pottsville, PA. An engineer by trade and just finishing up law school, the sky was the limit. One great character trait Terry had while being a life long politician was his ability to talk to anyone regardless of where they fell in the class structure. Everyone was important to Terry.

His father has carried the stewardship of being mayor for the past decade.

It only seems like yesterday when you were holding court at the Humane on St. Patrick's Day Saturday or trying to get in the Brass Tap on the same day. On this day the Villanova community remembers Terry and our lives are better for it.

God Bless!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Get the Knack!

Sad to report, Doug Fieger, leader of the power pop band The Knack who sang on the 1979 hit "My Sharona," died Sunday. He was 57.

The Knack was a rock group that had the biggest selling albums of 1979 and "My Sharona" spent six weeks at #1.

The Knack provided that bridge from 70's disco to what we had in the Big 80's.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do You Believe in Miracles................Yes!!!!!!!

Those were the words of ABC hockey commentator Al Michaels as the last seconds of the USA's improbable victory over a heavily favored Soviet team in Olympic ice hockey. Today marks the beginning of the 21st Winter Olympics. It is hard to believe that 30 years have gone by since the USA's miracle run a Olympic gold and hockey immortality took place in Lake Placid, New York.

Back in 1980, the US hostage crisis with Iran was entering a fourth month of a 444-day ordeal that would bring down the presidency of Jimmy Carter. We had high inflation with little growth coining the phrase "stagflation". The country was still wounded from our involvement in the Vietnam War. The Soviets were fighting in Afghanistan.

The 1980 Olympic Hockey team gave this country a shot in the arm. Along with speedskater Eric Heiden and some drama of ice skating pairs Tai and Randy. The US had a pretty good home showing.

The Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc no longer exist. We are knee deep in Afghanistan. The economy is hurting.

What will the Vancouver Olympics bring? Here is a look back on what 1980 and Lake Placid gave us:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Death and Taxes

Gov. Rendell released his 29 million dollar budget today. While trying to lower the state sales tax from 6 to 4 percent. 74 items that were exempt could be back on the table.

  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
  • Administrative services
  • Advertising, public relations & related services
  • Air transportation
  • Airline Catering
  • All other professional and technical services
  • Amusement & recreation industries
  • Architectural, engineering, & related services
  • Bad Debts
  • Basic television
  • Call Center Credit
  • Candy and Gum
  • Caskets and Burial Vaults
  • Catalogs and Direct Mail Advertising
  • Charges for Returnable Containers
  • Coal
  • Coin Operated Food and Beverage Vending Machines
  • Commercial Vessels (Construction & Repair)
  • Commercial Vessels (Equipment, Maintenance)
  • Common Carriers
  • Construction of Memorials
  • Consulting (scientific, environmental, & technical)
  • Custom programming, design & data processing
  • Dry-cleaning & laundry services
  • Electric - Residential
  • Electrical, plumbing, heating & AC service fees
  • Financial Institutions Fees
  • Firewood
  • Fish Feed
  • Flags
  • Fuel Oil/Gas - Residential
  • Funeral parlors, crematories & death care services
  • Gratuities
  • Helicopters
  • Horses Sold To Out of State Purchasers
  • Hotel-Permanent Resident
  • Information services
  • Investment Metal Bullion & Investment Coins
  • Legal
  • Liquor or Malt Beverage Purchased From Retail Dispenser
  • Magazines
  • Mfg. Exemption (Public Utility)
  • Motor Vehicles (Out-of-State Purchases)
  • Museums, historical sites, zoos, & parks For-Profit
  • Newspapers
  • Non-Prescription Drugs
  • Other transportation
  • Other: personal services
  • Parking lots & garages
  • Personal care services
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Rail Transportation Equipment
  • Recreational parks, camps & campgrounds
  • Rental of Films for Commercial Exhibition
  • School Buses
  • Scientific research & development services
  • Services to Buildings and Dwellings
  • Specialized design
  • Spectator sports admissions (excludes schools)
  • Stair Lift Devices
  • Telephone - Residential
  • Temporary Usage
  • Textbooks
  • Theater, dance, music & performing arts admissions For-Profit
  • Tourist Promotion Agencies
  • Transit & ground transportation
  • Trout
  • Truck transportation
  • Uniform Commercial Code Filing Fees
  • Veterinary fees
  • Warehouse Storage
  • Waste management and remediation services
  • Water and Sewage Services
  • Wrapping and Packing Supplies

Stimulus in Union-Snyder County

How to be for the stimulus while being against the stimulus.

Deitrick May Toss in Hat in 108th

Former Northumberland County Minority Commissioner Sam Deitrick may toss his name in the Republican primary against Northumberland County Controller Chuck Erdman.

Here is the story from today's News-Item.

I wonder if ghosts from Deitrick's commissioner's loss will emerge in the upcoming months.

In a little surprise today, Senator Robert Mellow (D-22) decided not to seek reelection in the 2009. Here is a overview of the Senator by Lulac. With the retirement of Mellow and Musto, the Senate has a big hole in leadership in Luzerne and Lackawanna like central PA has in the retiring of Belfanti, Phillips, and Fairchild.

Why is everyone bailing????

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shots fired in 107th!!!!

George Zalar officially announced his campaign to replace Rep. Bob Belfanti in the 107th district. Belfanti in giving Zalar a $2500.00 check didn't waste anytime blasting Zalar's potential opponent and current Northumberland County Commissioner, Kurt Masser.

It all stems back to a project the Coal Township Board of Commissioners assumed from the Northumberland County Commissioners. Belfanti said Masser didn't want him to succeed with the project.

With Belfanti's early support of Zalar and almost giving Masser the GOP nod, will there be any other candidates that join the mix???

Sunday, February 7, 2010

DeFrancesco Returns After 17 Year Exile

Carm DeFrancesco has become just the 5th coach for the storied Mount Carmel Red Tornado football team since 1962. He succeeds Bob Chesney after going 7-5 in one season.

For the record, only three men applied for the position including current assistant Rob Varano, and former assistant and Danville head coach Jeremy Winn.

DeFrancesco who will be making his 5th head coaching stop after stints at Cardinal Brennan, Danville, Shamokin and Upper Dauphin, finally comes to his alma mater nearly two decades after being the front man to succeed Joe "Jazz" Diminick.

The previous four stops were reclamation projects while Mount Carmel will be asking their native son to return them to statewide prominence.

If you ask his previous 4 stops if they would like to see Carm back, 3 out of the 4 would probably agree with one now being closed in Cardinal Brennan. When Carm left Cardinal Brennan, they were beginning to show signs of a numbers problem which would eventually close the school. Carm left Danville because of Shamokin working with him professionally for teacher certification and a position.

The most acrimonious end came at Shamokin in 2006. Problems began to brew for DeFrancesco back in 2005. That year the Indian's opened up facing Southern Columbia for the first time since 1900 and came away with a 19-16 win at Southern in overtime ending Southerns longest win streak in school history at 27. The Tigers went on to lose just one more game in capturing the state title that year while Shamokin stumbled to .500.

Hit hard by graduating in 2006, incidents of "hazing" and a new administration that had some run-ins with DeFrancesco in the past, DeFrancesco was sent packing. Whether you agree with his firing at Shamokin or not, Carm gave it his all while there. He had detractors who said he "threw" the MCA game on purpose every year and after going 0-7 against his alma mater that also proved to be an albatross.

In his tenure at Shamokin, DeFrancesco probably spent more time worrying about keeping kids eligible through academics and discipline than being overcome with injuries.

DeFrancesco was sent to high school purgatory in 2007 at Upper Dauphin. In a conversation with Carm back then, he indicated that "the fastest guy on the team was the head coach." He didn't complain about the hand he was dealt in 2007 and said these are kids I could work with to get better.

Success came in 2009 with the outright championship of the Twin Valley Conference and District III runner-up.

It is hard to say what is in store at MCA. He does have to build a coaching staff since his assistants will be staying at UDA. For one, DeFrancesco has one of the firmest foundations to build upon. Being a consistent players in the state playoffs will be hard.

Since 2002 and MCA's last state title, the dynamic has changed. It now takes 3 wins for a district title and two more wins to get into week 16. There was only week 15 back in 2002. Also, you add District 12 which does it's fair share of "recruiting" students (see West Catholic). MCA has only won district title since the 8-team format with that coming in 2008.

You can see he already has big detractors.

What does the future hold? It is hard to say. The Coal Region is dying. Paper Magic and Pace Arrow are gone. Catawissa Lumber is on life support. Does it affect Mount Carmel? Carm is now 57, just a few seasons away from the age when Diminick was ousted. On the other hand, Carm is a better head coach now than when he would have gotten the job back in 1993. He has seen and experienced everything on and off the field you can imagine.

At the end of the day, you ask yourself this about you head football coach. Would you want your son to play for him? I would want my son to play for Carm as with for the previous head coach. I don't know if that will be enough.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who will be the new MCA coach?

The MCA Board meets this evening with the possiblity to name a successor to Bob Chesney. Will Carmen Defrancesco return after an 17-year exile filled with success?

Belfanti joins Phillips and Fairchild on Boot Hill

Rep. Robert Belfanti D-107 will not run for a 16th term as reported in the News-Item. Belfanti who has had major health issues the last few years, has decided he can no longer ignore them.

While his seat his still warm in Harrisburg, Coal Township Commissioner George Zalar and Northumberland County Commissioner Kurt Masser have thrown their respective hats into the ring.

With Reps. Phillips and Fairchild already announcing retirements, Belfanti's retirement puts a huge gaping hole in leadership and seniority in central PA.

With a few other legislators moving on in NEPA, I wonder what the main issue that is looming in Harrisburg?

Personally, I would like thank former Governor Tom Ridge for my back door tax increase for electricity. I got my first bill under deregulation with a 20 percent increase. But hey, I got to choose my supplier and did save 10 percent.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Nice to Play with the House Money

In the latest case, of the Northumberland County Court suing the Northumberland County Commissioners, both sides have spent of to 50,000 in the case according to the Daily-Item. There seems to be a rift between Chairman Sawicki and Commissioners Clausi and Masser.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Shamokin's connection to the Super Bowl

Rick Reiprish

Shamokin will be represented this Sunday at the Super Bowl by Shamokin native Rick Reiprish who is the head of college scouting for the Saints.

Here is his bio from the Saints.

Reiprish is a graduate of Lourdes Regional High School and Villanova University. He earned a Masters Degree from Austin Peay.

RFK Jr. Speaking at Bucknell on February 2nd

As part of their Spring Forum series, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will speak at Bucknell University. Here is the press release by Julia Ferrante.

It will be interesting if Mr. Kennedy talks about drilling for natural gas in the Northern Tier of the State.

According to reports on WBRE-TV, a company was fined $3500 for three different drilling violations in the Northern Tier. $3500? That's a DUI!!!

Please note that the night of the event, additional seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, including any ticketed seats not taken by 7:15 p.m. So even if you do not get tickets, we strongly encourage you to arrive early that night as seats are likely to be available.