Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene and the National Guard

First of all, for those who suffered the lose of a loved one you will be in my prayers. 

For the rest of us that didn't notice, I just had to wonder.  After watching numerous local and national news stories......did any state's National Guard get called?  Are they all deployed overseas?  They are supposed to be in case of a domestic emergency.

In case of an emergency, do not follow the pictures below.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Joy in Mudville

 Strike Three!!!

In Ernest Lawrence Thayer's memorable poem Casey at the Bat, there is no joy in Mudville because mighty Casey has struck out.  This past summer, I was able to find some joy in my Mudville.  With the loss of the Keystone All-Stars last night at the Little League Series, I was able to put a season behind me.  More importantly, I have come away on a positive note even in defeat.

When Carl Stotz tripped over his lilac bush in 1938 in Williamsport, what he created out of necessity has become the largest organized youth organization in the world with 2.5 members. Carl's vision of providing a safe place for young boys to play baseball is the lasting one.  He wasn't a big fan of the corporate version.

The Shamokin-Coal Township Little League had been laughing stock for District 24 for nearly 30 years.  Small miracles were making a game last to the 5th inning.  This is not a knock against the kids that played, but an indictment over adults in the area having two leagues over a money issue. I knew the only way to South Williamsport was going to be by hopping in the family car and driving up Route 15.

I got to watch my son grow up through Little League baseball and facing it's trials and tribulations.  He was fortunate enough to be on 3 league champions when his team was only considered a favorite once.  He settled into the catcher's position for his league team and all-star team knowing his dad once played the position.  His all-star team ended up with two victories.  It was the first time since 1980 that his team won 2 games in districts.

As pictured above, his Little League career came to end on July 4th.  He happened to be the last out.  We were able to catch Keystone in the Section 3 tournament as fans.  Keystone has been playing a long time since July 4th.

It was nice to watch a local team make it to the Little League World Series.  Back in 1997, I watched a coworker coach his Railway Park league to the South Williamsport's paradise.  Whether you struggle to win a district game or have the talent to go all the way, most of the characteristics of the teams are the same.  Fathers trying to coach and be examples for the sons.  Boys and some girls playing a simple game of baseball with the neighborhood friends. Boys getting a chance for the first time to represent their community.  Players taking their swings and chances at fielding a ball. Take away all the fanfare, this is most basic part of the game.

Keystone will be remembered in their community forever.  Lost over time will be who they played and how many games they won.  What will be remembered is the efforts by the kids, coaches and parents coming together and uniting a community and state. Although my son only won two games in the local district tournament and he was the last out to end the dream, there was still joy in Mudville.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where is My Shamokin?????

Recently a page came to be on Facebook called "You Know Your from Shamokin When." It talks about all the things that people grew up with in Shamokin and it's surrounding Coal Township.  It is a little skewed to do most social media users being under a certain age.  Most of the memories come from the last 40 years but there were a few like that went a little further back.

It is hard to pinpoint why such things now so dear to our memories have been lost and to the reason why.  The reasons really don't matter.

Here are some of the things Shamokin had at one time:

  • Edgewood Amusement Park.
  • Three movie theaters called the Majestic, Capitol and Victoria.
  • A drive-in movie theater.
  • Trolley service
  • Passenger train service
  • A vibrant downtown that included clothing, shoe, and sporting goods stores often with multiple selections of stores. Anything a person wanted could be found downtown.
  • The F&S Brewery.
  • 2 major industries were coal and textiles.
  • One radio and one television station.

It is hard to comprehend, but this phenomena wasn't unique to Shamokin.  It happened all over northeast Pennsylvania.  Pick any town from Shamokin to Scranton.  You can see what happened for better or worse. Are there remedies?  Only those of us left can decide.

One Week and Wake Up Until Kickoff

Yes, it's hard to believe.  A little more than one week away from the kickoff of the high school football season.  Once again, Clear Channel Williamsport will be covering Shamokin Area, Mount Carmel Area and Southern Columbia on the BILL95 and VARIETY 99 stations. 

What's cooking after a week of practice?  On the very first day of practice Southern took a big blow with Tyrell Thomas being sidelined for the year with a knee injury.  The Tigers are going to lose over 1500 yards from scrimmage from the talented senior.  Tom Schetroma returns after sitting out the 2011 campaign with a knee injury. According to newspaper reports, Matt Moore looked good on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers.

Mount Carmel looks to have their best team since 2008 when the Red Tornadoes lost in the state playoffs to Lancaster Catholic.  Once again, the Red Tornadoes look down both barrels with the opening two weeks against Selinsgrove and Lewisburg.  Reports out of the Green Dragon camp are that they are little dinged in the preseason.

Shamokin will be trying to implement more of a platoon system and also strengthen the secondary.  The are looking for a leader in the backfield in trying to replace Jared Montgomery.  They also need to find someone to take up the scoring slack.  A strong experienced offensive line and opening games against Mifflinburg and Jersey Shore may take some of the pressure off the young Indians.

As time permits in the following weeks you will see our radio schedule. Previews and interviews about upcoming games and a salute to the 1991 Shamokin Area Indians.  In 1991, they are the only Shamokin Area team since the jointure to finish the regular season undefeated.  The Indians lost to Conestoga Valley in the AAA state semifinals at Bucknell University.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Celtic Festival is Upon Us!

On Saturday, the 8th Annual Celtic Festival will take place at Spyglass Ridge Winery near Sunbury on Saturday. Here is a sample of my favorite bands:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Silence on Clinton Avenue

With the start of official practice for scholastic football players in Pennsylvania, there will be at least one team gone from the annual August event.  Lourdes Regional will not field a football team and entered into a co-op agreement with Mount Carmel Area High School.  Economics and numbers finally caught up to the Red Raiders. 

This is kind of a far cry from the early 70's when Mount Carmel, Lourdes Regional and Shamokin won 3 consecutive Eastern Conference titles which was the only championship to be won.

Lourdes Regional has fielded a football since the early 60's when Leo Mulhall was the first head coach and is the namesake for the current stadium.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cautiously Optimistic!

Shamokin Area football boosters held their annual preseason picnic on Saturday in a downpour at the RCA grounds.  With many first year starters at the skilled positions and seven starters returning on defense, Coach Foor talked about being "cautiously optimistic"

Mike Gurski returns to be defensive coordinator and Paul Stehman returns to coach the offensive line.  The Indians will take the field this week at 8 am and 5 pm. with a 10 am scrimmage on Saturday against Williamsport.

Could this be the last year for two-a-days?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Only Four Weeks!!!

Kickoff for the 2011 season is just four weeks away.  Start the countdown!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Look Out Below!!!!

Today, the Dow tanked 500 points.  If your cashing your retirement out Friday,  you could have a problem.  On July 21st the Dow closed at 12,724.41.  Today, the close was 11383!!!!  A loss of 1341 points in two weeks!!!

It is interesting how it parallels with the debt-ceiling debate.  The real crisis is jobs.  WE HAVE A JOB CRISIS!!!!!!

Since coming to the majority on January 3rd, 2011, the House GOP has yet to introduce a jobs bill.  I have made a little counter on the left to remind them how long they have had the power to do so. 

This guy has some good ideas:

And the best way to get jobs and growth back is for the federal government to spend more right now, not less – for example, by exempting the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes this year and next, recreating a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps, creating an infrastructure bank, providing tax incentives for small businesses to hire, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and so on.

Good night and good luck!!!

Geisinger in the News

Geisinger Health Systems have made the headlines in our area recently.  They have to pay 1.3 million back into Medicare for overcharging.

The next day, the health system thought it was a good idea to give 5 million to 10000 employees as a bonus.

There was a great article about the charges by Geisinger for a baby delivery by News-Item reporter Julie Nicolov in her "Don't Get Me Started" column, but it seems the scrubbers were at work.  The article appeared on July 22, 2011.  Geisinger seems to want her first born as payment.

I am not against anyone receiving a bonus at all. However, with revenue being collected from insurance and Medicare, one just has to wonder where the system is going?

Monday, August 1, 2011

MTV Turns 30

MTV turns 30 today.  For better or worse, they have moved away from showing music videos.  In it's heyday, they gave bands a new format for promotion.  Today, they give us Snooki.  Here is the first video that aired and some of  my favorites for no particular reason.