Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dan Foor Talks About Mifflinburg in 2010 Opener

Two diehards watching the checking out the Indian practice

Shamokin Area head coach Dan Foor offers up his thoughts on Mifflinburg in the 2010 opener for both squads.

Jim Roth Talks About the Opener Against Line Mountain

Combat Operations End Today in Iraq

End of a war from an earlier generation.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pictures from Shamokin vs. Athens Scrimmage

Some pictures of the Shamokin vs. Athens scrimmage. When I arrived at the end of the first half, Shamokin was leading 35-7 on a strong line and running game. There was a mix and match of first and second string after the 2nd quarter going back to 10-play series.

Some video to follow later.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leadership to Remember, Katrina 5 Years Later

President Bush strumming the guitar while Katrina is hitting west of New Orleans on August 30th, 2005

In case you forgot.....

by Kevin Drum

BUSH AND KATRINA....For what it's worth, I'd like to make absolutely clear why I hold George Bush accountable for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. First, though, here's what I don't blame him for.

I don't blame him for being on vacation when Katrina made landfall. I don't blame him for a certain amount of chaos in the initial response — that's inevitable no matter how good your plan is. I don't blame him for rolling FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security. I don't blame him for focusing more on terrorism than on natural disasters. That was a natural reaction to 9/11.

Nor do I think that Bush doesn't care about natural disasters. It's not as if he sat down one day and decided that hurricanes were no longer worth worrying about.

Obviously Bush deserves criticism for his listless lack of leadership and life-as-usual politicking in the first three days after Katrina hit. Beyond that, though, what happened was the result of a long series of decisions, all flowing out of Bush's natural conservative governing instincts, that added up to make Katrina more damaging than it had to be and at the same time eroded our ability to react to its aftermath. These decisions were deliberate and disastrous, and that's why I think Bush deserves a large part of the blame for what happened.

Because I think this is the most important part of the story, I'm going to reprint a chronology I originally posted last week. It tells the story of what happened over the past four and a half years of George Bush's presidency that led to the events of last week:

  • January 2001: Bush appoints Joe Allbaugh, a crony from Texas, as head of FEMA. Allbaugh has no previous experience in disaster management.

  • April 2001: Budget Director Mitch Daniels announces the Bush administration's goal of privatizing much of FEMA's work. In May, Allbaugh confirms that FEMA will be downsized: "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program...." he said. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."

  • 2001: FEMA designates a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as one of the three "likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country."

  • December 2002: After less than two years at FEMA, Allbaugh announces he is leaving to start up a consulting firm that advises companies seeking to do business in Iraq. He is succeeded by his deputy and former college friend, Michael Brown, who has no previous experience in disaster management and was fired from his previous job for mismanagement.

  • March 2003: FEMA is downgraded from a cabinet level position and folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is refocused on fighting acts of terrorism.

  • 2003: Under its new organization chart within DHS, FEMA's preparation and planning functions are reassigned to a new Office of Preparedness and Response. FEMA will henceforth focus only on response and recovery.

  • Summer 2004: FEMA denies Louisiana's pre-disaster mitigation funding requests. Says Jefferson Parish flood zone manager Tom Rodrigue: "You would think we would get maximum consideration....This is what the grant program called for. We were more than qualified for it."

  • June 2004: The Army Corps of Engineers budget for levee construction in New Orleans is slashed. Jefferson Parish emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri comments: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay."

  • June 2005: Funding for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cut by a record $71.2 million. One of the hardest-hit areas is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes.

  • August 2005: While New Orleans is undergoing a slow motion catastrophe, Bush mugs for the cameras, cuts a cake for John McCain, plays the guitar for Mark Wills, delivers an address about V-J day, and continues with his vacation. When he finally gets around to acknowledging the scope of the unfolding disaster, he delivers only a photo op on Air Force One and a flat, defensive, laundry list speech in the Rose Garden.

  • So: A crony with no relevant experience was installed as head of FEMA. Mitigation budgets for New Orleans were slashed even though it was known to be one of the top three risks in the country. FEMA was deliberately downsized as part of the Bush administration's conservative agenda to reduce the role of government. After DHS was created, FEMA's preparation and planning functions were taken away.

    Actions have consequences. No one could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence. It's the Bush administration in a nutshell.

    By the way, we still don't miss you.

    Out of Service

    I will be out of commission for a few days. At the age of 44, say bye-bye to my tonsils.

    Margaritas and wine slushies should help in recovery.

    The Voice

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Fry Those Eggs!!!!!!

    Not since the duct tape and plastic response have we seen this.......no more sunnyside up!!!!!

    Coal Township Woman, 75, Puts Down 101 Laps in Relay

    This past June, Catherine Reed to part in her first Relay for Life in Coal Township, PA on the campus of Shamokin Area High School.  For those of you who never attended a relay, it can be a moving and also a healing experience. Reed at age 75 vowed to walk 100 laps or 25 miles in 2 days.  Well, she made 101!!!!!!

    Keep in mind when the relay was held over June 18th and 19th how humid the weather was during that stretch especially on Saturday.  Here is the account that appeared in the News-Item.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Michael O'Brian Band Wows the Celtic Festival at Spyglass Ridge Winery

    Once again the Michael O'Brian Band wowed the huge crowd at the 7th Annual Celtic Festival at Spyglass Ridge Winery.  What started out as a small idea by Spyglass owner Tom Webb over 7 years ago has grown into premier wine tasting, Celtic music favorite destinations in Pennsylvania.

    This years music selections ranged from Leo Schott to national renown Seven Nations.

    Brian Anderson and Michael Zerbe provide the entertainment with their wide range of covers and pub favorites with a little mix of storytelling.  The duo brought the main stage alive with their version of Puff the Magic Dragon, sung by Elvis, Johhny Cash, Billy Idol, and AC/DC.

    After their performance on the main stage, the duo rocked the inside of the winery with the Unicorn Song and ending with Smokie's version of Living Next Door to Alice.

    Zerbe had busy day also performing with his other band Full Kilt.  Plenty of talent graces the 'Kilt lineup with Zerbe on guitar and vocals, Mandy Passmore on the fiddle, Chris Myers on the base and Bodhran, and Pat Boland on the drums.

    Brain Anderson (l), Coal Region Voice, Michael Zerbe (r)

    Big Crowd On Hand For 7th Annual Celtic Festival at Spyglass Ridge Winery

    In a matter of fortnight, Spyglass Ridge Winery has become the place to go for entertainment in central Pennsylvania.  Two weeks ago, the winery hosted legendary rock band Kansas.

    This past Saturday, the winery hosted their 7th Annual Celtic Festival. There were many changes to this years festival including an open  main stage and decentralized wine sampling.  Also, more food and craft vendors were on hand.  On the liquid side, beer was being served by the Sunbury Elks Club.

    My favorite of the day was the Fillet Mignon sandwich provided by One Smart Cookie of Shamokin, PA.

    The Owl is watching you
    The Falcon and the Hurricane
    Professional Kilt Checkers
    Michael O'Brian Groupies

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    MCA Experineces First Major Injury of the Season

    The injury bug hit the Mount Carmel Area Red Tornadoes this week.  It wasn't an injury to a key offensive or defensive player, but to the head coach.  Carmen DeFrancesco blew out his ACL and MCL during a punt return drill.  DeFrancesco will have surgery after the season. 

    Hall of Famer and former college teammate of Joe "Jazz" Dimminick Art Donovan once said, "ACL's and MCL's, they didn't have those in my day."

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Mission Accomplished....Combat Operations Come to an End in Iraq

    After 2709 days, 4415 soldiers killed, the last combat units have moved out of Iraq into Kuwait. Who won??? No one is really attempting to answer that question. What we do know is up to 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq as part of a peace keeping mission.

    It has been over 7 years since President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1st, 1993.  In case you forgot, the original mission was too look for WMD's that were being stockpiled by Iraq and hidden from UN inspectors.

    The one thing I will take away from the Iraq War will be watching ABC's This Week segment that highlighted the names, ages and hometowns of the fallen troops.  As combat was winding down the past few months and seeing ages of the fallen ranging from 18 to 21 and realizing they were 13 or younger when all this started.

    With no draft for military service in place, I take great comfort that there are men and women volunteering to defend the Constitution of the United States.

    For the 4415 who gave their lives, let us strive to make the world a safer more peaceful planet.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Hallowed Ground??????? Obama Endorses The Constitution

    There is has been quite a stir this past week about President Barack Obama endorsing the First Amendment of the Constitution. 

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    As you could see from the map, another "community center" is a block closer than hallowed ground.

    From the conservative Washington TimesMuslims have been praying at hallowed ground for years.

    Incidentally, the Ground Zero Mosque will be a block further than the titty bar.

    Carney Receives Thumbs Up!!!!

    Local leaders and law enforcement gather in Sunbury's Cameron Park to endorse Congressman Chris Carney 3rd term reelection bid.

    Carney was recently attacked by Republican challenger Tom Marino on Carney's long time stance on abortion.

    Borrowing from Bob Cesca,

    It's also worth noting at this point that the Republican plan for fixing the economy is, 1) Muslims can't be trusted, 2) Mexican babies can't be trust, and 3) Married gay people can't be trusted.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Dan Foor Address Indian Faithful at Hillside Coaches Picnic.

    The Hillside Coaches held their annual preseason picnic for the Shamokin Area High School Football Team.  It gives a chance for parent and players to mingle with coaches before the start of double sessions.  The big news so far in the Indian camp for 2010 is the end of their freshman football team.  Once consider the gold standard of freshman football, the team has been in decline in recent years.  At one time the freshman team went a full decade without getting beat. Times have changed.

    Most of the schools in the Heartland Conference and previous the Anthracite League, have not had many numbers in the freshman ranks.  Over the years, if I heard one fan I heard a thousand say "wait until this team are seniors."  What most schools were doing were playing able bodied freshman on junior varsity and varsity Leaving other freshman and 8th graders to fill the ranks.

    Over the years, the freshman team became it's own entity.  It was independent of the varsity and did not run the same scheme that was being run on the next level.  That was insane!!!!

    Foor also talked about getting back some community pride in the program and some school pride.  He was disappointed with only one pep rally last season.  I say brink back the cannon!!!!!

    Also new for 2010 is a reshuffling of the schedule as Shamokin moves up to AAA.  Mifflinburg and Jersey Shore start the season, Southern moves to Week 3 and Mount Carmel move back to Week 10 after 29 years.

    In Week 2, the 1975 Shamokin Eastern Conference Champions will be honored in the pregame.  The Indians beat the Dunmore Bucks at Kemp Memorial 33-20.

    In the post, I included a video of the last touchdown I seen last year and asked that you continue to pray for the improving health of Seth Lauver.

    In nice moment Black Diamond Network's Phil Manney read the lyrics to Kenny Chesney's Boys of Fall.  For most of the audience were glad Phil didn't sing them but here they are as we get ready for 2010:

    The Boys of Fall Lyrics

    When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass/
    I'm back in my helmet, cleats and shoulder pads/
    Standing in the huddle listening to the call/
    Fans going crazy for the boys of fall/
    They didn't let just anybody in that club/
    Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood/
    To get to wear those game day jerseys down the hall/
    Kings of the school man, we're the boys of fall/

    Well it's turn and face the Stars and Stripes/
    It's fighting back them butterflies/
    It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball/
    And it's knocking heads and talking trash/
    It's slinging mud and dirt and grass/
    It's I got your number, I got your back when your back's against the wall/
    You mess with one man you got us all/
    The boys of fall/

    In little towns like mine that's all they got/
    Newspaper clippings fill the coffee shops/
    The old men will always think they know it all/
    Young girls will dream about the boys of fall/

    Well it's turn and face the Stars and Stripes/
    It's fighting back them butterflies/
    It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball/
    And it's knocking heads and talking trash/
    It's slinging mud and dirt and grass/
    It's I got your number, I got your back when your back's against the wall/
    You mess with one man you got us all/

    Well it's turn and face the Stars and Stripes/
    It's fighting back them butterflies/
    It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball/
    And it's knocking heads and talking trash/
    It's slinging mud and dirt and grass/
    It's I got your number, I got your back when your back's against the wall/
    You mess with one man you got us all/
    The boys of fall/

    We're the boys of fall

    We're the boys of fall

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Kansas Lives Up to Billing at Spyglass Ridge Winery

    There are hopes and dreams when one starts any business.  This past Saturday night, I believe the dream came through for the Webb family, owners of Spyglass Ridge Winery.  The dream of  having a national act perform in front of over 2000 people came together after months of careful planning. Parking was orderly, neighbors cooperation went beyond the call, and the attendees had nother but praise for the event.            

    Now it is on to the Celtic Festival on August 20th with the one of my favorites, the Michael O'Brian Band.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Getting Ready for Kansas!!!

    Mud Anyone?

    Fearless Roadie

    An early tailgaiter and the ladies rooms

    Preparations were being made at Spyglass Ridge Winery on Friday for a Saturday concert by the legendary rock group, Kansas.

    It should be a great time!!!!  Celtic Festival in two weeks.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Another Southern Tiger Passes from 2004 State Champion

    Tragically killed in a motorcycle accident this past weekend, Geoffrey Michalesko becomes the 4th member of the 2004 PIAA "A" football champions to pass.

    Chuck Souders remember's the Michalesko.