Monday, January 31, 2011

Incumbents Sawicki and Clausi Decide to Run in 2011

Democrats Frank Sawicki and Vinni Clausi have announced their plans to run for reelection for the Northumberland County Board of Commissioners.

With their announcement the race is now up to four with the two Democrats joining Republicans Richard Schoch of Sunbury and Tom Aber of Miltion.

The News-Item reports about the possibility of more entrants.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Northumberland County Controller Chuck Erdman Moving On

Northumberland County Controller Chuck Erdman has decided to resign effective February 13th to take a job in Governor Tom Corbett's administration.

Deputy Controller Tony Phillips will be acting controller until Governor Tom Corbett names a replacement.

Erdman won his first term as controller in 1997 and has been the controller for the past 13 years.  Always giving honest assessments of county finances, Erdman as controller was used by Democrat Vinni Clausi in a campaign ad back in 2007 drawing the ire of incumbent commissioners Sam Deitrick and Kurt Masser.  All of that seems like ancient history now.

The Voice hinted of this move back in November.  We wish Erdman well as he moves on to his future endeavor.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Soupie" to Help Injured Marine

This coming Saturday night the Forest Hill Fire Company located on Route 225 in Coal Township will hold their 10th annual "Soupie"  (Sopressata) Contest.

Proceeds from the contest will to help in the recovery of Cpl. David Noblit, a 2007 Line Mountain graduate and native of Herndon, PA. Noblit lost both legs this past October while serving in Afghanistan.

Doors open at 3 p.m.; the contest begins at 7 p.m. For more information, call 648-8671.

Donations can be made directly to:

Amanda and David Noblit Jr., c/o Nicole Wendt at the First National Bank, 2625 N. Susquehanna Trail, Shamokin Dam, PA 17876.

Read the rest of the article here.

An Eyecatcher in the PA House

This past week when committee assignments were given to incoming House Reps for the 2011-12 session, the House Environmental and Energy Committee only has one member from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Hughestown, is the region's sole representative on the 25-member House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, the springboard for legislation dealing with protecting water supplies from drilling activities, severance taxes or impact fees on natural gas production and boosting development of the deep gas pockets in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The whole region has been a hotbed of activity for the entire gas industry and one representative out of a 25-member committee is from the region.

Read the whole Robert Swift article here.

Ask no questions, no one will tell a lie.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NFL Football Picks Today

I usually don't try to pick or handicap winners of NFL games.  Even though it is miserably cold in the Northeast, we can all be thankful the Cowboys are not playing today!!!!

Beginning with the Packers vs. Bears, I like the Packers and her is why.  Through the magically NFL playoff formula, the Pack were a 6th seed and needed a win on the final week.  What I like about the Pack is in two road playoff games, they have been pretty much imposing their will on the home team.  In the NFL, that is rarely done.  For the most part, Aaron Rodgers has not broken a sweat in this year's playoff run.  

The pick:  Green Bay 24, Chicago 13

Pittsburgh and the New York Jets have more intriguing match up.  The Steelers played are horrible first half and managed to win last week.  Their defense won the game......and they were going against Joe Flacco.  Usually at this time of the year, the Jets are saying wait until next year.  The Jets went into Indy and New England and took out two of the best QB's in the game.   In the game within the game, the Jets are better than Baltimore at coverage.  Only the 1976 Oakland Raiders beat the Steelers in the regular season and playoffs in winning the Super Bowl.  In the NFL, it is hard to pick two road dogs in the conference finals.

The Pick:  Steelers 20, New York 17.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Final Countdown

In this video Olbermann pays tribute to his late mother.   This may have been one of his finest works.

In a way I'm surprised this  didn't happen earlier, but I guess the details had to be worked out after the suspension.  Although the show is overtop in the last few years, Olbermann did some of his best work in the show's early days.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is Coming Into Sunbury?????

City officials in the dark about what is going on, but material is being hauled in to a demolition site and being shipped via rail to Ohio.

DEP is investigates while Moran Industries remains silent.

Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

JFK and 50 Years Ago Today

Hard to believe that a half a century has passed.

Marino Co-Sponsors HR 2

Tom Marino (PA-10th) has signed on as a co-sponsor of HR2 which is to repeal the Health Care Act of 2010.

Marino quoted from the article uses this tactic:

“ObamaCare adds trillions of dollars to our existing liabilities, drives up costs even further and puts government bureaucrats in between doctors and patients,” Marino said. The current law, he said, is hindering the economy from getting back on track because it includes more than $500 billion in tax increases, not to mention the burdensome IRS 1099 paperwork requirements and an employer mandate that has already started to have detrimental effects.
Here is where the 500 billion figure originates. I'm sure the figure will be tossed around like gospel in the coming months.

Since the Health Care Act was passed in March of 2010, and HR2 has "Job Killing" in the title, what killed all the jobs prior to March 2010??????

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

End of the Line for Floyd Landis

Professional cyclist Floyd Landis decided to call it quits today.  The five year journey trying to get back to the top of cycling is over.

Landis won the 2006 Tour de France with Team Phonak only to be stripped of his title and eventually banned from the sport.

“I've been riding my bike a lot, trying to figure out life, which is the same reason I did it to start with, so I've come full circle. I'll always ride my bike. But I'll never start on a line on a road and try to get to another line on a road faster than another guy. That's over.”
Right now Landis says the sport cannot be fixed, but that isn't his fight.  An investigation in doping allegations against former teammates including Lance Armstrong continues by the people that investing BALCO.

A long fall for an athlete from Lancaster County.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Softball in Central Pennsylvania!!!!!

Check out Generations Sports Dome in Muncy, PA and USSSA.  I umpire for their organization.

Change Set for Pennsylvania on Tuesday

Governor-elect Tom Corbett will be inaugurated on Tuesday in Harrisburg.  There were some surprising developments that took place earlier this week that raised some eyebrows.

Dan Meuser who was the Republican candidate pitted against Chris Carney in the PA 10th in 2008 will head up the department of revenue.   Meuser's campaign contribution to Corbett was 48K.

Barry J. Schoch was named to head up PennDOT.  His nomination drew the ire of a local chamber that was opposed to tolling on I-80.

Free speech will be under attack in Benton Township this week.  A public meeting will be held to discuss an exploratory application to drill a gas well.  Although, it is a public meeting the public will not be allowed to comment.

Remember people, you can't have the 2nd Amendment without losing sight of the 1st Amendment.

U2's Tribute to MLK

Thursday, January 13, 2011

James Pizza, a Shamokin Institution

Is that Heather Locklear working behind the bar?

Tom Marino's Staff Takes Shape....What is Wrong With This?

New elected 10th Congressional Rep. Tom Marino has filled out staff positions of political director and deputy political director with Jason Fitzagerald and Leshelle Gretzula.  Fitgerald was Marino's campaign manager.

Where the story gets complicated is Fitzgerald and Gretzula are employees of JDM Consultants and engineering and consulting firm owned by John Moran located in Watsontown, PA.  These two will be paid by Marino's PAC called Marino for Congress.

JDM and Moran are looking to develop the former Celotex site in Sunbury for the expansion of the natural gas industry.  Although both are hired to direct a political agenda, who's agenda will be promoted first.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Boy, the Way Glenn Miller Played

It is hard to believe but Archie Bunker and All in the Family turn 40 !!!  The sitcom made it's debut on January 12th, 1971 and evolved into Archie Bunker's Place which ended in 1983.

My favorite episode has to be when Archie and Henry Jefferson went to battle with each other over who was moving into a vacant house.  Henry wanted a black family, while Archie wanted a white family. The make an "unholy" alliance when they find out a Puerto Rican couple is looking at the home.

To put numbers in perspective the show was told totally in satire to an audience of 20 million a week.  The show was ranked #1 in it's second season and held unto the position for 5 straight years.

My favorite recurring and supporting characters were Maude Finley played by the late Bea Arthur and George Jefferson played by Sherman Hemsley.

Many people who lived through the first run of the show say it would never be allowed on TV today.  I beg to was a classic.  It was ahead of it's time 40 years ago and no one has gained on it since.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rest in Peace Major Winters the Biggest Brother

Major Dick Winters pass away on January 2nd.  His story was made famous by the miniseries Band of Brothers. Already in his 80's when the series was released, Winters reluctantly became famous internationally.

When people asked him if he was a hero, he liked to answer the way his World War II buddy, Mike Ranney, did.

“No,” Ranney said. “But I served in a company of heroes.” That became the tag line for the miniseries.

I personally never got to meet Major Winters.  The closest I came were conversation between myself and author and Iwo Jima veteran Dick Wheeler.  Wheeler and Winters became friends through history and actually didn't live far from each other.  While Winters was an army officer and Wheeler was a Marine corporal, both shared the bond of combat.

Major Winters gave Dick Wheeler a copy of his book,  Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters,  inside was penned "To Dick Wheeler, Hang tough because we are just hanging on."

Dick Wheeler passed away in October of 2008.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tragedy Hits Close to Home

Nine-year old Christina-Taylor Green was victim in yesterday's senseless shooting in Tuscon, Arizona. She was the granddaughter of legendary Phillies manager Dallas Green who led the Phillies to their first world championship in 1980.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dallas Green in the early 90's before a Phillies game.  Greene, a larger than life character,  poked fun of me for wanting a picture of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas.

Although this will take months to sort out, Tuscon became the crossroads of 1st Amendment meeting the 2nd Amendment with consequences.   This past election cycle, a former vice-presidential candidates PAC placed cross hairs on 20 incumbent Democratic Congressmen including the 10th District's Chris Carney.  A Senate candidate in Nevada called on "2nd Amendment solutions."

Our republic was founded on basic freedoms and Bill of Rights.  One thing that makes the United States unique is our system of checks and balances with peaceful change in government.

With my children in tow, I have attended political rallies for the "targeted" Carney with my 9-year old.  It was and still is a great chance to view the political process up close and personal.  Did all that end yesterday?

Listen to the Special Comment, especially the second half.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hyno's Last Game at Pitt?

With three head coaches in the few weeks and the threat of a spread offense in the horizon, today could be Hank the Tank last game at Pitt according to reports.

Hyno has been listed as the #1 fullback in the country to many reports.  For those of you who can't see the forest through trees, Hyno will end up on an NFL roster.  He is a beast on the football field and workhorse demon off of it.  The NFL needs a ton of short yardage blocking backs and ends......aka are the Eagles listening?

Dave Shinskie decides to stay put at BC.   With two years of eligibility left, this was a wise move.  BC's offensive line woes may continue as well as a problem having healthy QB's.  David will see the field once again.  He needs to be ready.

Vinni Clausi Goes Rogue in 2011

Once again Northumberland County Commissioner Vinni Clausi has decided to run for reelection and also with out a running mate in the May Democratic primary.

Vinni's friend and Coal Township commissioner Gene Welsh is pondering a run but has yet to formally announce his candidacy.  It will be interesting to see who would be the two survivors in a Welsh, Clausi and Sawicki race. Also, the domain name is still available for according to 

In other county business:

Non-union employees granted 3% raises.  Although there was a circus in voting on these raises,  The raises which total to 69,000 dollars amount to less than .1% of the counties 69.4 million dollar budget.  In other words, .1% is 1 dollar for every 1000.  The raise will affect 136 employees. However, the war on labor continues throughout the land.

Richard J. Schoch announces candidacy in the GOP primary for commissioner. 

Former Northumberland County Commissioner Allen J. Cwalina takes up new residence.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Have Been Called the Silver Voice

Let's hear for Ted Williams. Not the Boston Red Sox star, but the new star over the airwaves.

I have been called the silver voice by some. Give me the same chance as Ted so one day I don't end up homeless.

Listen to me hear at the 2:48 mark of the Shamokin versus Loyalsock game. It was my best call of the year.

The Silver Voice  

So Long Dr. James C. Gehris

Dr. James Gehris passed away Tuesday evening.  Dr. Gehris was the definition of family practice in the greater Shamokin community for over 3 decades.  As far as medicine changed today,  Dr. Gehris delivered many of us 40-somethings along with house calls to the other sick in the community.

The last time I seen Dr. Gehris was this past fall at the 35th anniversary of Shamokin Area's Eastern Conference Championship.  He was there as team physician and to represent his son who played on the team. 

No matter what the occasion, Dr. Gehris also took time to say hello.  Godspeed Dr. Gehris you will be missed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sea of Change?

January ushers in a new era in politics both on the state and national levels.  Locally, Lynda Schlegal-Culver (R-108th) and Kurt Masser (R-107th) take over for retiring Merle Phillips and Robert Belfanti.  Both Belfanti and Phillips served their districts for 30 years. This is the first elected office for Culver and Masser moves to the state level after serving as Northumberland County commissioner for 7 years.

The Commonwealth faces some pretty stiff challenges when Tom Corbett is sworn in as governor on January 18th.  The gorilla in the room is the 4 billion dollar budget gap.  New elected state speaker tip his hand a bit in a speech that included the mention of selling off the LCB and "education costs ie the teacher union."

Corbett who campaigned on no new taxes, cutting spending and balancing the budget faces reality come January 19th.  When it comes to gas industry, this doesn't add up at all?  Corbett's top contributors were from the gas coalition.

Turning over to the federal government, PA's 10th and 11th district have freshmen congressmen in Tom Marino and Lou Barletta both from the GOP.

The first order of business for the new GOP House Majority will be a vote on the repeal of the Healthcare Act of 2010.  The GOP want to trim down 100 billion from spending and start by cutting 35 million from the congressional budget by the way is .004% of the budget.

The GOP have been very good at memory loss over the campaign trail.  While they talk about saving the world for the children and grandchildren by cutting spending in Social Security and Medicare, they tend to forget there were two wars going on for the past 8 years.  2011 will mark (yes it has been) 10 YEARS in Afghanistan and March will mark the 8th year for the war in Iraq. 

Most of the payments for these wars were off budget items but were accrued to the national debt. They were their own spending bills.

It seems like every generation is called upon to "visit hell".  Their families are asked to sacrifice and upon return resume a normal life.  For our investment in war on two fronts, what is our return? 

They latest fiasco of governance on the horizon is a possible shut down and default on debt obligations.  Could you say financial murder-suicide?

Cribbing from Dr. Robert Reich, GM now makes more cars in China than the US.  Two-thirds of GM sales now come from outside the US.  GM boasted when it became public again that half of their cars made around the world will be made with labor of $15 per hour or less.

In 2010, while most of the US were hurting, the Dow Jones and NASDAQ came in with over 10 percent returns.  This was good for  401k's provided you had a job to contribute to one.

I do have one prediction for 2011.  Investment in bootstraps should be high.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!!!!

Happy New Year to everyone from the Coal Region Voice!!!!!!