Friday, April 30, 2010

The Fall of Saigon, 35 Years Ago Today

April 29th into finally April 30th marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon ending the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. With the wars still going in Iraq and Afghanistan when will we celebrate the first anniversary?

For those men in now in the 50's and 60's who served over there and for those who never made it back, your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bang the Drum Slowly, What is Next for OLOL????

It will 26 years next month since I graduated from Lourdes Regional High School in Shamokin, PA. As a proud member of the Class of '84, 139 graduates walked down the aisle of the gymnatorium on Clinton Avenue.

In the fall of 1980 when I entered my freshman year, roughly about 550 students were in grades 9 through 12. When I graduated, there was a trailing class that already had under 100 students.

In today's News-Item, this story doesn't paint a colorful pictures. The big numbers in the story are enrollment figures coupled with tuition increases. The projected enrollment of grades 7 through 12 are 170 students while pre-K through 6 will have 200. With an average tuition increase of $300 to $2000 for elementary and $3700 for high school plus a fundraising goal or donation, how many more will leave?

According to officials, it cost $6000 a year per student while only $3500 is collected in tuition. Even with cost saving measures, one thing Lourdes Regional hasn't seen or the area for that matter has seen has been rising population and a growing economy. While the short term fix is finding money, the long term fix is finding students.

Maybe the answer would be going the other way. Luzerne CC in Shamokin seems to be thriving, why not a Catholic Junior College? It could be an avenue worth exploring.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Transfiguration Church Celebrates 125th

Transfiguration Greek Catholic Church celebrated their 125th Anniversary with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Metropolitan Archbishop, Most Reverend Stefan Soroka.

In what began as a celebration of the liturgy in the Ukrainian tradition back in 1884 in the basement of the Whitney School in Excelsior, PA, evolved into a thriving parish celebrating 125 years in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

One of the great things of today's celebration was the fact that many parts of the Liturgy were said in "old Slavonic" like they were 125 years ago. With many mergers and closings being done in first the Harrisburg Diocese and now the Scranton Diocese of the Latin Rite, Transfiguration Church has been able to maintain it's cultural identity throughout it's history.

The first church was build on land at Pearl and Pine Street in Shamokin and eventually moved to land located at Clay and Shamokin Street where the current granite structure is today.

The best way to sum up 125 years of history from parishioner's perspective was done today by Joanna Wolfe. Wolfe said that our immigrant founders of the church chose not to establish their homes in their new land first, but chose to build their church before anything else.

Mnohaya Lita, Vladyko!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Derk: Less is more in D.C.

Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk reveals his Tea Party thoughts. I wonder if Sarah will be coming to the 10th since she posted the target on her Facebook page. Derk now makes it two out of three candidates in the Republican primary that side with the Tea Party movement.

Derk: Less is more in D.C.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Step in the Right Direction

The Norco County Commissioners came to an agreement with Pennwind on a new lease of county land yesterday. The new agreement calls for Pennwind to pay the county a 6% royalty on a kilowatt produced versus 3% in the original contract. The acreage from the lease was reduced from 900 to 75 acres.

Pennwind still has deed and title issues to settle with a California-based company on the 30 million dollar project.

Like I indicated before, once the project is completed the cost to produce a kilowatt should relatively remain stable of the life of the 29-year lease.

Northumberland Co. Republicans Break Number One Commandment

"Thou shall not bash a fellow GOPer."

In two local newpapers, 108th District Candidate Chuck Erdman discoverd someone was around digging information on him. It was someone who called himself Patrick Daly. Erdman had letters of disclosure delivered to two other candidates in the Republican primary race.

Speeding Ticket????

Digging for dirt????

Mr. Erdman has had a over a decade of public service and has worked admirably with administrations in the majority and minority including one of the other candidates in the primary. Is there any more to this story? I doubt it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Single in Shamokin????

10th Congressional District candidate Dave Madiera was in Shamokin on Sunday to begin:

Ride for Freedom! Get your Harleys out to "remember the ride of Paul Revere!"

Unfortunately, Madiera was the only rider. There wasn't a William Dawes or Dr. Samuel Prescott.

My main interest in the event was to see support of a "tea party" candidate close to home. For the record I passed by at 11:50 leaving church and arrived back around 12:25 to check out the support. Also, I did not check out the support received in four scheduled stops.

I had one simple question for Mr. Madiera before the start of the ride. Why start in Shamokin?? After a long pause, Mr. Madiera said that 10th District is made up of 14 counties with Shamokin being in one of the most southern point's in the 10th CD. His goal was to get to all of them is the ride was part of his campaign.

We briefly touched on his campaign financing report as far as lagging behind. He said there has been improvement since the report was filed.

Mr. Madiera was personable enough and was very enthusiastic about the ride and event. I wished him well and thanked him for not taking money from PAC's.

Shamokin was part of the 11th CD up until the 2000 census.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

35 Years Ago, My Start in Baseball

It kind of went by really quick without realizing it, but it was 35 years ago in April of 1975 that I started being involved with some type of organized ball. It was with St. Stan's team of the Twin Valley Little League.

Growing up just five houses away from a softball/baseball complex had much to do with it. In 1975, there weren't any electronic gadgets we could afford, but a ball, a bat and beat up glove and we played for hours.

Like with any sport, the equipment has dramatically changed since 1975. Like 1975, I still can't afford the top of the line. When I started your first generation aluminum bats were taking the place of wood. Now high multi-alloy bats are all the rage for economic reasons in reverse.

Looking back at those days since 1975, I played some sort of organized ball from '75 to 2000 with the exception of 1988 and part of 1989. I thought I was totally done with the game other than a spectator, but in 2007 decided to become an umpire.

With my return to the game as an umpire, I have umpired high school, ASA, PONY, and USSSA softball. I am slowly easing back into baseball with American Legion, Little League and teener recreation.

It is hard to say how long this will last. I know there will come a spring once again where I don't have to worry about the pitch, the batter or the runner. For now I will enjoy my time out on the field, the smell of the grass, the sound of the bats and with the other players even though I am not part of any team.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

McNabb's Wings on the way to DC

The Donovan McNabb era in Philadelphia came to an end on Easter Sunday with a trade to the Washington Redskins. The Eagles now own 11 picks in the 2010 draft. With an 11-5 record in 2009, the Birds were the second youngest team in NFL. Now with the unloading of McNabb and Brian Westbrook the Eagles have become a lot younger.

Inside the stats, from 1999 to 2004, McNabb was 54-19 as a starter and missed 7 game to injury. From 2005 until last season, McNabb is 36-26-1 and missed 17 games due to injury.

Kevin Kolb will come in loaded with some weapons, but first year starters usually suffer a two or three game drop in wins due to performance in fourth quarter. Don't tell that to Matt Sanchez.

It will be hard to say how history will judge McNabb. Obviously, the Eagles made a great pick in 1999 with the number two pick overall in the draft. The fans were screaming for Rickey Williams. Other QB's in that draft were Duante Culpepper, Akili Smith and Tim Couch. Maybe the Hall of Famer from the draft is Champ Bailey.

The only one now left from the Eagle's roster from the 2005 Super Bowl is kicker David Akers.

While the Eagles may give up being a contender in 2010, they will be ok in the long run.