Monday, December 17, 2012

Of Whales and Worms

When whales contrive to beach themselves,
They are given quite a play,
But what of worms who strand themselves
On the sidewalk every day?

The situation's much the same,
Except, of course, for size.
The little creature, like the large,
If left unrescued dies.
The above light verse was written by a man who lived well into 80's, wrote 18 books and books, and fought in one of the bloodies battle of World War II.  He also would pick up a stranded worm on the sidewalk and deposit it to the next piece of grass he saw.

I got to spend some time this past weekend with the some friends in his home he shared with his surviving sister for the holiday season. 

In light of this past Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the blame went around full circle from God, government, media and of course guns.  84 people have died in the US this year as a result of mass shootings and the upcoming weeks and months will fill up with debate from every angle.  Once again, a caucasian young man with above average intelligence and mental health issues followed down a path and chose as his last act to leave the defenseless powerless and make the choice to take their lives and his own.

I don't care to judge the shooter or his mother.  Like with someone who has committed suicide, I am no worthy to judge.  I did not walk down the last miles in their shoes.  I don't care to blame God.  He or she has never left us, we may want to chose to leave him back in our lives.  The two big G's are up for another debate at another time.

We need to take a look inside as to what our own culture has evolved.  Day by day, year by year, our society celebrates winning and winners to new levels of praise while leaving others as vanquished.  In this country's continued debates about fiscal policy the elderly won't be touched as much as children with nutrition, health care, education, and school lunches.  Who did PA state government attack the most in their last budget? Child poverty is rising faster than the adult poverty rate.  We have evolved into a society where if you don't have wealth or status, you really don't matter and are nothing. We do all we can to take and hold power but we do very little to empower.

One just has to look into the wisdom and observation a man had a long time ago.  If you are either a whale or a worm, you still have worth and you matter to society.  Between now and the end of this holiday season, ask what you can do to reverse this trend.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Operation 2002

December 6th, 2012 marks 10 years to the day that a plum sized tumor was removed from my colon.  The biopsy would result with me being diagnosed with Stage IIb colon cancer.  I also had a harrowing two-week stay in the hospital. 

The experience continues to evolve.  It has changed my life in many ways for the good.  It has also had some other changes that have not been so good.  There is one thing, however.  Ten years later, I am still alive to change those many negatives into positives and have a better influence on the people that I continue to meet and interact with in my life.

God Bless!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Celebrating My Second Decade of Cancer Survival

On November 29th, 2002, I woke up with symptoms that would lead to my eventual diagnosis and treatment for Stage II colon cancer in 2003.  I had colon resection surgery on December 6th, 2002 followed by a two week hospital stay.  The results of the biopsy were revealed to me that I had Stage II colon cancer.

In honor of celebrating the start of my second decade of cancer survival, I am having 2 fundraising events for the 2013 Shamokin Relay for Life.  I agreed with relay chairwoman, Kathy Masser, that I would emcee the event in June.  The first fundraiser is listed above and modest goal of raising $500.

The second fundraiser involves a little help from some family and friends.  I am asking my friends through Facebook and on here to donate toward one or two baskets of cheer (the more the merrier) and a lottery tree.  Tickets will be sold and chanced off on December 23rd, 2012, the date I received my diagnosis.

I am in the process of negotiating a time and venue that will be announced shortly for the rest of the fundraiser. 

All donations will benefit the Shamokin Relay for Life and American Cancer Society.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Perfect Storm" Clouds on the Horizon

The world of crazy weather gave us a brutal hurricane in Sandy last month where a hurricane combined with a nor'easter to wreak havoc on the east coast.  Called the "perfect storm" this term comes from the Sebastian Junger novel of the same name made into a famous movie starring George Clooney.

In less than one week after the 2012 Presidential Election, the country has turned it's eyes to the "fiscal cliff" that stares down the country on January 1st, 2013.  It is a combination of spending cuts and taxes increases that are supposed to take place in the first quarter of the year.  Many economists believe this will have unemployment back up over 9% along with triggering a recession.

This is the federal part of the storm and no matter what side of the aisle you are on, one has to a balanced approach to taxes increases and spending cuts.  It like trying to conduct a major league baseball game without balls or fans. 

Here in good old Pennsylvania, the General Assembly and Governor ignored the coming pension crisis and instead worried about keeping people from voting. In 2013, most public schools are facing budget shortfalls including my district which is staring down a 3 million dollar deficit. 

A possible contribution to future revenue shortfalls for PA, HB2626 was fast tracked in the General Assembly.  From introduction to the governor's desk, it took less than two months.  Here is the reason for the warp speed bill.

This is why it is bad for the taxpayer.

The electorate would like you to believe that we are spending too much when they are actually creating their own shortfalls.  Yes, we would like to have Oracle move some jobs to PA and take advantage of workforce.  No, we don't want Oracle to move jobs to PA and take advantage and dupe the taxpayer.

Hold on to your checkbooks in 2013

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Southern Columbia District Championship Preview

Jim Roth talks about the District IV Championship game with South Williamsport. Southern Columbia won by through the "mercy rule" in the first meeting.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Amity the Calamity

The old Amity House

A view from 6th St. with Weis in background

This week demolition started on the building that once housed the Amity House restaurant.  The building was most recently occupied by a video rental business that closed in 2010.  Since then the building has sat vacant. According to the News-Item, the only plans as of now are for a parking lot according to Weis Markets who are the owners of the property.

There was much commentary on social media outlets this week regarding the use of the building and memories from the long-time business of the Amity House.  As of Friday, Weis Markets is a 1.07 billion dollar company. Razing the structure will save some tax money by not having a structure on the property, but in the scheme of things it is less than specs of pennies in their operation. 

I am sure over the last two year, the business and the landlord class have approached Weis with offers for the building in property.  Walnut and Sixth Street in Shamokin is a major way of getting through town both east and west and also north and south.  It is prime location.

There is one thing when old dilapidated buildings are torn down in a depressed area.  They have seen their time and the citizens are glad to see them go.  Maybe I'm wrong, but the last time Shamokin said goodbye to something iconic was Nash's Bakery in last 2007.  We are sad to see them go, but we still have their memories.  With a healthy building surrounded by major commerce, it is gut wrenching and soul searching to know just another parking lot is on the way.  To the Amity House, thanks for the memories.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Apology for Record

No apologies!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Winners and Losers in 2012

Whether you believe or not the sky is falling or we are on our way to prosperity, I have some final thoughts on the 2012 Election looking at from the national, state and local level.  I will also examine my local precinct which is an area that transitions from blue to red.


The president won reelection capturing much of the youth, minority and female vote.  On a national level female incumbents won with also women being elected to make 1 of 5 members in the US Senate are female. Big money was a big loser with Tom Smith ponying 17 million of his own dollars to get beat.

Same sex marriage was approved in Maryland and Maine while their farming industry will get a big boom in Washington and Colorado with recreational marijuana use being approved.


I took a look at my precinct results where the GOP holds a 2 to 1 advantage over the Democratic Party.  I also looked into some Blue areas where I grew up.  Most people came out to vote for Mitt Romney and most of the GOP ballot.  Kathy Kane made some headway in my area where the GOP won most elections by a 20 point margin.  I believe this went a long way in keeping GOP incumbents in both US and State Houses.


There wasn't a local contested race in the 108th House and 27th Senate Districts.  Over in the 107th Kurt Masser won a 2nd term for Harrisburg.  Education funding and ACT 22 may have been trumped by Romney.

A summary for some of the winners and losers.  Let's start off with the winners which include women, minorities, and youth.  Also issues such as marijuana and gay marriage moved forward.  The US Senate will be controlled by the Democrats until 2015.  Big Energy and Big Banking will be under further scrutiny until 2016. Conservation and alternate energy won a stay. President Obama will be appointing more Supreme Court Justices.  Common Sense also was a winner when most voters believed the policies of Bush Administration were the root of the financial crisis according to the Associated Press.

Depending on how you want to slice it, some of the loser on the national level include big money, big banks, big energy, the Tea Party Movement and white male policymakers(not being racist just stating the facts.)  With most state races in PA on the back burner, education will also be a loser with most local school boards being back to square one when January rolls around. Tom Corbett was a big loser in two ways.  The row offices of Auditor General, Attorney General, and State Treasurer are all in Democratic hands.  Attorney General-elect Kane was given a mandate to look into Corbett's conduct as AG during the Sandusky investigation.  With 3 more trials for PSU officials on the horizon, this is only the beginning. 

Let's face it. For the most part, we are still the same nation and made up of the same officials that we were on Monday.  It's time to work together.  The change everyone needs to embrace is that we have changing electorate making those decisions and that's not a bad thing.  God Bless America!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

What "We the People Need" on Wednesday

Tomorrow we as citizens of the country will exercise our right to vote in this democracy bringing to an end a campaign that was long and expensive.  Some of the early estimates are around 3 billion dollars.  Be that as it may, there are some of things we need to start working on Wednesday as a nation no matter who is elected and what side of the aisle you may sit.

The basic problem of our country right now are jobs, wages, and growth of the economy.  You can talk welfare and illegal aliens, but fix those three things first. 70% of our economy is tied up into consumer spending.  Without jobs with wage growth, this demand won't return.  Most of consumer leverage was tied up into home equity which isn't returning anytime soon.

Where to start?  With mother nature and other disasters occurring with more frequency, our country could use a National Infrastructure Bank to invest in road, rail, electrical lines and broadband.  We could big money investing in a more modern electrical grid and traffic system of lights. Money needs to be in the system, not on the sidelines.

While America is led to believe The President is the problem.  There is another group of people sitting on their collective asses since 2010 trying to guarantee failure of the country. Michael Smerconish wrote this column recently and all should read it not just for the sitting president, but for the future.

The other group of people can be summed up here and here.

The same group that has spent over a billion trying to convince you the President is the problem are representing the group who gave you this little problem a decade ago.

For this voter, it is too early to let the fox near the hen house.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coach Carm Interview For Shamokin Area

Red Tornadoes practice on soccer in preparation for Shamokin

Listen to the wind!  It was bonechilling damp on the soccer pitch next to the high school!

Dan Foor Interview for Coal Bucket

I also found this video from and old Shamokin pep rally. The speech was inspiring!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Life Interrupted

In just under 14 months, we were hit with with major flooding and staring down the barrel at another storm that made last year's flood seem like a leaky faucet.  Last year's Irene/Lee event was the first large scale even since Tropical Storm Agnes hit our area 1972.

Last September's events taught us so much that we take for granted everyday can be lost our changed in an instant.  The only thing in the end that really matters are our family, friends and people in our lives. They cannot be replaced. 

The other thing it taught us was to be prepared.  I think both our elected officials, EMA and private citizens did their best to adhere to the warnings that were being posted and cooperated. If there was some good that came out of Irene/Lee, this could be it.  The memories are still fresh and some will never go away.

My event roughly lasted about 60 hours from preparing to move things on Saturday until I felt at ease this morning.  I also was hit with an expense of $1.40 for premium gas because the station was out of regular.

Although our local area came out of this even for the most part OK, we all know someone who was affected much worse.  The 8-year old boy wasn't so lucky.  We are all family. We are all friends. We are all neighbors and Americans.

We still have plenty of time to be political, but I want to leave with the thoughts of Dr. Robert Reich and our decision at hand next week:

Our decision will signal whether we believe we're all in this together -- not just in hurricanes but in everyday life -- or are mainly on our own; whether we're members of the same society in which we have obligations and responsibilities to one another, or we're simply occupants of the same economy in which we either succeed or fail by virtue of personal luck and effort, and the family we're born into
Stay safe everyone and prayers.

Remember this from 2000?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who will win the Coal Bucket? Take the Poll!

We, of the Shamokin-Mount Carmel Area,  will hopefully come out of Hurricane Sandy in good shape.  As the Ibis will be flying over the Silver Bowl, it will be time for the Battle for the Coal Bucket.

Who will win?  Take the poll on my blog.  Like in any coal region election, vote early and vote often!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Could Anyone Help This Man?

In the world of Facebook, you run into something like this.  Could anyone help?

I am seriously thinking which should I use? A noose, a bullet or overdose. I am very depressed and such a loser and waste of life: (
Later, there was this:
Yea great guy I dont have a job Im pretty much homeless I just got out of jail and I cant support myself let alone my kids. If I ever find a job I cant get to it cause I dont have a drivers license cause of a DUI.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Just remember who your vote supports.

The Voice is a Guest on the R & R Auto Show

I spent some time talking high school football on Week 9 of "R&R Auto Group's Wednesday Night Live" from Michael B's. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First Half Surprises in the Coal Region

Going into the 2012 football season.  There were some high expectations for Shamokin and Mount Carmel, while Southern Columbia was hoping to overcome huge graduation losses.  Going into the 2nd half of the season, the Indians and Red Tornadoes have combined for just 3 wins, while the Tigers are undefeated heading into a showdown with Selinsgrove.

What happened in the first half the season? Here is a team-by-team breakdown:


The Indians came into the season expecting to run the football and score points.  However, the Shamokin running game seemed to take a jolt when center Brody Young broke is ankle in the 2nd scrimmage against Williamsport. With the Indians passing game depending on the success of the running game, the offense has suffered as a whole.

Injuries have also taken their toll.  In addition to Young, Kevin Carsto is out for the season along with Andrew Hasuga and Draven Miller missing some significant time.
With a rushing offense averaging under 3 yards/carry.  The Indians must improve this stat to put W's in the win column.  The defense has carried Shamokin all season.
Mount Carmel
In the last three games for the Red Tornadoes (all losses), the Big Red has given up yardage, big plays and point totals that would rival some great defensive season totals.  What happened to "Red Death."
Southern Columbia
After making it back to Hershey for the first time since the days of Hyno, the Tigers were expected to stumble a bit out of the gate due to heavy graduation losses.  People wonder why and how Southern are able to reload every season.  From my observation, the staff at Southern want their players to develop as athletes by speed training and weight lifting.  A player (athlete) will eventually get their chance and get plugged in where the need arises. 
This was most evident when in 2011 when Tyrell Thomas and over 2000 yards from scrimmage goes down in the first minutes of preseason.  Plug in Matt Moore and follow him to Hershey.  Plain and simple, the more athletes you develop, the more options you have as a team.
Going forward, after seeing the Tigers in Week 1 and Line Mountain in Week 4, I am not sure if there is a team that could challenge the Southern Area in District IV.  A possible showdown with Old Forge would be a marquee opening round game in the PIAA "A" playoffs.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Contender and Pretenders

With each passing football season, teams must find out who their new leaders and playmakers will be for the ones that just graduated.  Sometimes, there is a smooth transition.  Other times, the road may be long. As we go into Week #4 of the high school football season, some of those new team foundations are being poured.

Shamokin Area and Mount Carmel were expected to have a solid nucleus of starters returning lending to some expectations from both school's fan base.  Southern Columbia who had to replace many starters on both sides of the ball was expected to have some growing pains.  After three weeks of play, it looks like the Indians have some work to do offensively and the Red Tornadoes have to the same on defense.  Both issues have surprised many in the area. The Tigers while only entering Week #4, look to make a run deep into the playoffs.


In a long time coming, Line Mountain will honor 1961 Mahanoy Joint grad Glenn Ressler before their game with Williams Valley.  Ressler went on to become the best collegiate lineman in the country at Penn State. He played in Super Bowl III and V with the Baltimore Colts.  He is the first person from Northumberland County to earn a Super Bowl ring.  He is one of two players  from the Twin Valley conference to make it into the NFL.  The other being Williamstown High's Gary Collins who was a two-year All Pro. Collins was a wide receiver and punter for the Cleveland Browns.  Collins scored the first TD on Monday Night Football which debuted on this date in 1970.


Salve Regina ran their record to 2-0 on the young season.  The Rhode Island D3 program now has a 9-game winning streak.  The Seahawks are coached by Kulpmont native Robert Chesney. He also is assisted by his father Robert and brother Nick.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Helping the GOP in Time of Need

I haven't been really blogging for awhile, but once again with a presidential election upon us and the eve of another high school football season, I was start to get back on track.

I found an old post from 2006 and thought I would cross the aisle and help out the GOP in their time of need. 

So since they insist they want religion to have the force of law, here are my suggestions in a form they may recognize:

1.) Thou shall not steal. (This includes elections, not just money)

2.) Thou shall not bear false witness. No more lying to the American public, especially about getting us into a new war (Iraq).  Oh, and that means no more untruthful attacks on your opponents, either.

3.) Thou shall cease war on women.  Record your bullshit first. Listen to it. If it sounds bad to you, it is bad for yourself.

4.)  Thou shall not murder.  That means everyone: Iraqis and Palestinians too.

5.) Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.  Now, some people interpret this to mean no cursing.  I think God gets pissed from time to time when His name is used as cover for nefarious purposes. 'Nuff said!!!

6.) Thou shall not have strange gods before me. Money and power, boys, it trips you up every time.

7.) Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's House.  Sounds like you work with the other side of the aisle in the spirit of cooperation!

8.) Honor thy father and mother.  You kiss your mother with that mouth? Would your father be proud of you for stealing and cheating your way to the top?  What, were you raised by wolves???

9.) Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.  Don't go on the Sunday morning talk shows and defile the airwaves with lies and bullshit!  Try sincerity, eventually the people will like it.

10.) Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.  Stop worshipping the elephant guys and stop putting it above everything else.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Look Out Below

Today the NCAA has imposed the some of the toughest sanctions ever doled out to a university and one of their sport's programs.  The NCAA handed down a 60 million dollar fine, took away post season appearances for 5 years, reduced scholarships by 10 per year, and vacated all the wins by the program from 1998 to and including 2011. Their current or recruited players can now transfer without penalty.

The NCAA did this while never conducting their own investigation. For all intents and purposes, PSU received a "death penalty" without it being official.  Call it fair, unfair, or whatever you want, but NCAA sanctions in most instances penalizes the current and future teams. It does also penalize over a decade of players most who worked hard for 5 years.

This story is far from over and there is actually more "bad" to come from this.  In one of my favorite movies of all time, Jaws,  the chief of police is in conflict with the mayor of the town to close the beach for the safety of the residents.  In a shark attack where the mayor's and chief's children were nearly victims, they come to an agreement to deal with the problem.  The Chief said in a statement, "Larry you are the mayor of shark city." That was movie fiction and this is real life.

Somewhere between 1998, an indictment, a jury trial, and an internal investigation, like or not, Penn State has become synonymous with cover up, secrecy and child molestation. The most famous name of the university has become the new mayor of "Shark City."

College football in general is part of the problem.  Pressure whether intentional or not is put on football programs to win and generate revenue for the universities.  Do you realize they play a full schedule, rely on computer, and vote who the two best teams are and play a championship game roughly six weeks later????  This is part of the insanity.  A team with two early season losses is almost never in contention for the vote.

Penn State won't be last university in trouble for putting the dollar and their reputation ahead of what is right, but the NCAA and college football needs to look at itself in the mirror.  We as Pennsylvania citizens need to more adamant about the incestuous relationships that exist between our elected and appointed officials have with institutions they supposed to regulate and provide oversight.  (See campaign contributions from 2nd Mile and grants given to them by the state.)

To those former players and graduates, you will continue to be leaders and innovators in your chosen professions and endeavors. Nothing that has transpired over the last 15 years that could ever change it.  To all current students, study where leadership has failed on your board of directors, the attorney generals office and transparency of your university.  Become engines of change.

To the new generation of Penn State football player who decide to play their careers with no hope of post season, I applaud your decision. You will still receive a great education and your displaying leadership qualities which has been lacking and will hopefully translate into a better future for all involved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beyond a Best Friend

Beyond a best friend - News - News Item

News-Item sports writer Chuck Souders talks about his decade long relationship with the stray dog he adopted named "Girlie."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saying Good Bye to the Greascar

After over 60K miles on grease, it was time to say good bye to my 1983 Mercedes 300SD.  The new owners were just as enthusiastic and committed to getting it back on the road once again and getting over 75mpg (this figure was bases on how long the diesel gas last while running grease) on diesel and 25 mpg on straight grease.

Running a car on used grease does work!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Primary Day, ID-Up

If you are voting today, unlike Northumberland County Commissioner Steve Bridy who is a registered independent, please bring valid photo ID. 

This little ditty was in the Daily-Item Letters to the Editor:

No one who has followed Gov. Tom Corbett's decisions regarding public education funding would be surprised that he would ignore the civil protest at Indian Hills Golf Course on Friday, April 20, two days before Earth Day. He has continued on his path to lift up fracking and deter education, and what better place to do it than a few miles north of Shamokin?

If the governor had left the rolling countryside of Paxinos for a short ride along Route 61, he would have passed the massive slag heaps and culm banks left by the coal barons of yesteryear. He would have witnessed the empty factories, the condemned homes, and the chemically endangered Shamokin Creek. People may be easier to ignore.

The governor believes there will be enough jobs driving trucks to compensate for potential environmental damage. Presumably truck drivers don't need to be educated in the arts or foreign languages or whatever else the schools have to cut to make their budgets work. But those of us who grew up and were schooled in Shamokin look at the burgeoning fracking industry through eyes educated by our own experience and remain doubtful.

Many of us had a mixed connection to our surroundings. We understood our anthracite heritage, celebrated by parades and fireworks. Without mining, there would not have been an opera house, beautiful churches, and mills of all sorts to keep people employed. There would not have a been a rich cultural mix of social clubs with ethnic foods and festivities.

There also would not have been black lung, mine cave-ins, underground fires, dangerous child labor, and the resulting economic depression of a large demographic when the mines closed down. Due to competitors' outsourcing, long before outsourcing was a word, the successful factories like the ones my family owned and operated were unable to stay afloat. Those of us who took our education to other locales did so with the sad realization that it would be harder to advance in the town we called home. Others brought their professional skills, including teaching, back home to help succeeding generations.

I wish Gov. Corbett had been invited to dinner in Shamokin. It may have been less expensive than $1,000 a plate, but more valuable. Maybe.

Kay Hooper, Selinsgrove

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tom Corporate Coming to Indian Hills on Friday

PA Governor Tom Corbett will be coming to Indian Hills Golf and Tennis Club as part of $1000/couple plate fundraiser to benefit the reelection campaign of Kurt Massser (R-107th) of Elysburg.  Just last Thursday, Shamokin Area School District furloughed 22 staff in response to the governor's budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

While school districts are the big losers in Corbett's budget. Act 22 cuts a proposed 2 million to the elderly, handicapped, and children of Northumberland County.  Northumberland County Commissioner Steve Bridy is on the record for calling state legislator "cowardly."

“As a collective, they’re cowardly,” said Bridy, chastising the state Legislature, particularly state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, and Sen. John Gordner, R-27 of Berwick, for delegating the proposed cuts to the secretary of the state Department of Public Welfare. “They’re the second highest paid (state lawmakers) in the nation, and it’s just wrong to push blame on someone else. It’s just asinine and hypocritical to cut services to the elderly and needy children.”
Schlegel-Culver and Gordner basically say we didn't know this would happen????

Act 22 was intended to give Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander temporary authority to cut fraud and wasteful spending and “in no way did we think it was going to come to this. These are unintended consequences,” Schlegel Culver said of the statewide budget cuts. “I know (Bridy’s) frustrated. Everybody’s concerned about it.”

Gordner said there was no way to foresee cuts would be made in to the department of aging, but hopes the funding will be restored if state revenue rebounds for a second month in a row in April.
The big lie the GOP and Corbett tell and repeat often enough is that PA's school funding crisis has been caused by federal stimulus funds drying up and local school boards.  He blamed local school boards as recently as last week. 

So if you look at the funding crisis from the Heartland Conference point of view, the problems faced the past two years at Shikellamy, Selinsgrove, Midd-West, Lewisburg, Mifflinburg, Warrior Run, Mount Carmel and Shamokin are all the result of inept school boards, business managers, and superintendents??? That if very hard to believe governor.

If you can't read between the lines the governor is attempting to privatize public schools through charter schools and vouchers.  As collateral damage, the public school teacher's union will be crushed.  One of Corbett's top contributor's is man named, Vahan GureghianRead about him and the Chester-Upland SD here.  For profit companies making big $$$ off your childrens' education.

In case Mr. Corbett forgot about the goal of public education, here is very well written letter published in the April 17th edition of the Daily-Item.

Masser touts his credentials in the April 17th issue of the News-Item saying he votes what is best for the 107th.

The most frequent criticism made by potential Democratic opponents and other political critics against state Rep. Kurt Masser is that the first-term legislator can be expected to follow the "party line" by voting for whatever Gov. Tom Corbett and the House Republican leadership want.

Masser said such assertions couldn't be further from the truth. Although he makes no apology for being philosophically in tune with and supportive of much of the Republican agenda, Masser said he carefully considers how every bill would impact his constituents.

"With every vote I cast, I do my best to represent the (107th House) district," Masser remarked. "That is my job. It is not my job to please the leadership by going along with whatever they want."

The most recent example of Masser's independence, he said, was his vote against the voter ID law. Masser agreed with the "heart of the bill," he said, but strongly believed its implementation should have been delayed until 2013.
Voter fraud was so rampant around the state, Act 13 was passed with the fury of a flash flood.  Make sure to disenfranchise the electorate.  I agree with Mr. Masser it needed to wait until after 2013.  Again, Corbett needs to do all he can to stop President Obama.

The Daily-Item had some disagreement with Mr. Masser with HB 153.

Over the last 50 votes, the four representatives serving the Central Susquehanna Valley voted identically 47 times. Keller went his own way three times. On one of those occasions, Culver agreed with Keller.

Ninety-four percent of the time we could easily save $240,000 in salary by eliminating three of those legislators and never know the difference. Keller seems to be the legislator most inclined to think for himself. Why not pick him?
Who will be at the Indian Hills on Friday for dinner?  Not that the fare is bad as I myself am a member, but my guess is Senator Gordner, Rep. Culver, Rep Keller, some heavy hitters from the gas industry and Moran Industries.

As a side note, if you want to see what is happening to the Susquehanna River and water under the governor's watch, check out the Susquehanna River Sentinel

When election day comes up in November, ask yourself the following question, "Do you want to be able to buy dinner for your family or do you want the scraps off the $1000 plate????"

To borrow a line from the governor himself, "remember the children."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

22 Jobs Could Be Lost at Shamokin Area Schools

Shamokin Area faces the loss of 22 teaching positions at tonight meeting of the board. The meeting has been moved from the regular meeting room to the cafeteria and from the cafe to the gymnasium to handle what is expected to be a big turnout of the public.

Programs in play are the elementary music, gym, and art program.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lynda Gag (a) Culver

I guess I wasn't the only one a little skeptical when I read Rep. Lynda Culver (R-108) said this,

“the patient can know, the doctor can know, but other than that they cannot disclose to anyone else.”
Read the rest by the reader here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What the Frack, Gag Order on Doctors Written Into Law

Recently passed Act 13 hydraulic fracturing law bans doctors from sharing information with patients in the name of corporate trade secrets.

Read the article from the the Daily-Item here.

According to Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108) - Paraphrasing a quote taken from the Daily-Item above, Schlegel-Culver indicated that doctors could share information about chemical contamination with a patient, but it stays right there and the patient cannot share information with their spouse.  Are you kidding me? Not being able to share a medical condition with your spouse.

In honor of Good Friday, was the 30 pieces of silver worth it?

Note:  Most of the print edition of the above article is missing from the online version above. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Dreamin'

Around this great country of our, lottery fever is sweeping the nation.  A chance for one individual to win over a half-billion dollars!!!!  What would you do?  What would I do with all that money?  It has been well documented about the trials and tribulations of lottery winner over the years.  Heartache come to most if they are not wise. 

From my office, to out on the street, to social media, people have been putting their thoughts out there on how best to spend the money.  It is really hard to say what I would do.  I would not want to keep track of more than 2 vehicles. The same goes for homes. I could travel.  Could I be a target for kidnapping? Hard to say.

I guess for anyone that wins.  Try not to hurt anyone including yourself.  It has been a fun week and it only cost a dollar to dream.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Habitat For Wildlife Calls It Quits

Although announced on Facebook over the weekend by President Dave Kaleta, the news hit the local paper on Wednesday.

The scope of the organization's work can be seen here:

Work done by HFW has earned considerable praise over the past dozen years. The group was responsible for planting more than 43,000 seedlings and 68 acres of food and cover plots, Kaleta said, and members, supported by local individuals and businesses, removed thousands of illegally dumped tires and hundreds of tons of trash from illegal dumpsites.
Here is their final letter from their website

The End of Habitat for Wildlife Inc.

            Well it's been 12+ years since the unofficial start of HFW and now, I'm saddened to say it's time we move on. Or more to the point it's time I move onto areas of the State where cleaning up illegal dumpsites, aspen regeneration, planting food plots/trees is welcomed and appreciated. I am now the Habitat coordinator for Woodcock Limited of Pennsylvania.

"Woodcock Limited of Pennsylvania, founded in February 2007, is a state chapter of Woodcock Limited, a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization.   We are a Fraternity of Hunters dedicated to the welfare of the American woodcock.  We work with local, state, and federal organizations to promote habitat and woodcock research, habitat management, and harvest management in Pennsylvania. WL of PA also engages in educational efforts to advance the public's knowledge of woodcock and its management needs." (

            While I will miss working on my local fields and woodlots - the backward thinking and anti-environmental actions and non-actions in eastern Northumberland County has made it impossible to continue work here.
            All other HFW's officers have resigned as well. We fervently thank the hundreds if not thousands of volunteers, businesses and those whom have generously donated their time, effort, money, and most of all - friendship in helping to establish a cleaner and healthier environment. We greatly appreciate your participation.

            Oh, I will still be poking around reporting illegal dumping and other illegal acts to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and hope you will be doing the same.

            If you see a tall grey-bearded man walking behind a German Short-haired Pointer,stop and say hi.

David F. Kaleta
of the former
Habitat for Wildlife Inc.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giant and Weis Choose to De-Slime

The "pink slime" beef additive garnered some headlines in recent weeks. Now grocery chains Giant and Weis won't sell their beef using the additive

The question now begs, why didn't they stop this practice sooner????

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vince Papale Comes to Geisinger for Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Vince  Papale, whose life story came to the big screen in the movie Invincible by Walt Disney Pictures, kicked off Colon Cancer Awareness Month this past weekend at Geisinger Medical Center. Papale was diagnosed with Stage 1 colon cancer 10 years ago and is now advocate for early screening.

Around 4 years ago, I was involved in the Central Susquehanna Colon Cancer Task Force.  Our group was involved in advocacy and tried to promote one project per year toward advocacy and awareness of colon cancer screening.  Bringing Papale to the Central Susquehanna Valley was on the drawing board for our group, but sponsorship was at a minimum.   However, a phone call to me this past fall by the American Cancer Society indicated that there was interest in the project again.  I gave ACS the information on contacting Papale and along with the Geisinger Medical Center, the project came to be this past weekend.

Papale, who spoke for an hour, was able to incorporate his life story and how it relates to cancer survival.  Papale spoke about his fathers hauling "bootleg coal" from Mount Carmel in the 1930's and also mentioned local Super Bowl champion, Henry Hynoski twice in his speech.

A touching moment came when Papale talked about his mother who suffered from mental illness and treatment in that field was light years away from what it is now.  Papale when talking about his mother and father and two coaches in his life, spoke clearly from his heart.  From observing the interaction with his wife Janet, she is his rock.

After the talk and ensuing panel discussion, both Vince and Janet Papale were able to sign their book, Be Invincible for the crowd.  While waiting in line, a woman told me that her 13-year old son lost his colon a day before due to ulcerative colitis.  She said the Papale's visited and spent time with him in the Janet Weis Children's Hospital.  Although I had an idea a few years ago which took the help of others to get done, I still have a smile on my face. 

It is the one boy lying in hospital bed that a man and woman like Vince and Janet Papale could inspire to dream and give hope to...........Be Invincible!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daydream Believer

Yesterday, Davy Jones of Monkees' fame passed away suddenly in Florida at the age of 66. Jones was a resident of Beavertown in Snyder County in central Pennsylvania for the past 22 years. From everyone who posted in social media and in newspaper articles, Jone was a very good neighbor and a good citizen of Beavertown.

Jones was famous throughout the world for his two-year official stint of being a member of the made for TV group.  Unlike most people of fame and means, he chose to live as a regular person in the quiet Snyder County community.  A Snyder County day in the life of Jones may have been sitting on a neighbor's porch, getting food at the local OIP or performing for the locals in Northumberland.  Often recognized, he was cordial and would honor any autograph.

In 22 years, I seen Jones a total of 3 times in 22 years.  I seen him at the Susquehanna Valley Mall, walking down the Market Street in Sunbury after doing some promotion work and in a concert at the Front Street Station in Northumberland.  On stage, Jones could connect with an audience of any age like no other.  He was probably most comfortable on stage. You could not help but like the guy.

Often we try to put celebrity death into some type of perspective. Most recently earlier in February with Whitney Houston.  You remember where you were in life when they were at the top of their game.  For most of us, we were kids watching reruns of the Monkees or seeing Jones on that famous Brady Bunch episode.

Many celebrity death is often met at the lowest ebb of the personal life.  Looking back at Davy Jones, personal life and a good neighbor, he finished on top.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.  Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer but one of the most curable with early detection.  Getting tested is the key.  If you have a family history of the disease or are approaching your 50th birthday please talk to your family doctor.

My friend Erika from Snyder County once again graces the cover of the Colondar

On Saturday, March 3rd, colon cancer survivor Vince Papale will be speaking at Geisinger.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Onward Tom Corporate!!!

Tomorrow school district business managers, school boards, and superintendents will find out how smart they were when the Governor reveals the PA budget for 2012-13 fiscal year.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Year of the Dragon?

It is the Year of the Dragon in the 2012 Chinese calendar. In PA, our legislature saw it fit (wasted time) to pass HR535 declaring 2012 "The Year of the Bible".  I kid you not. 

Fred Keller was the only local rep to sign on to sponsor this resolution.  Please pass the Constitution around.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Made Hyno a Pro????

This coming Sunday will be the "Big Game" fomerly known as the Super Bowl.  This year there is more local interest due to one of our own starting for the New York Giants.  Henry Hynoski will take the field as the starting fullback for the G-Men.  For the first time since Glenn Ressler played for the Colts in Super Bowl V, Northumberland County will have a native son on the field.

Covering high school sports for the past 23-plus years and running into to an occasional professional athelete now and then.  I found out that they share some common trait.  When it comes to professional sports there really is no free pass.  It is the ultimate capitalist program going.  Winner take all.

It hard to think of someone that started out as a Ralpho Raiders earning a place in the sports biggest championship game.  Hey, you have to start somewhere?  The first thing most athletes have that play on the biggest stage is natural ability.  At birth, they went through the ability line 10 times compared to our one.  No one ever starts out in life and says their career will be a fullback in the NFL.  Henry's friends and teammates will say he was the best athlete of their peers and was also an outstanding baseball player.   Usually, they can play multiple sports as well.  You can see when the Eagles or Steelers play charity basketball in the area.  They could play with the rock!  They also could have competed at the college level in another sport.  Local baseball player, Frank Bolick, could have been a D-1 punter or more in football.

You can combine the second elements together.  From my view, professionals have intense work ethic and desire to compete.  This usually weeds out the best of them at the highest level.  It seems the more fierce the competition the better they perform.  Steve Kline from Winfield was one the  fiercest competitors in baseball from the bullpen in his playing days. They have the NFL combine, but it doesn't measure heart.  There are still first round flops in every sport.  Hyno has a work ethic that is well documented and vetted all the way back to junior high through high school and on to college. 

The last thing you need especially playing on professional team sport is some luck.  Whether it is being in the right place at the right time, a great spring training or the need to get out left handed batters in relief, this intangible goes a long way.  In the case of Hyno, I think it was the guidance of his mother and father that gave him that extra push to the top. In the case of his father, having some NFL pedigree didn't hurt.  Although intially damaging not being drafted and blowing a tire in the combine looked bad at the beginning. The luck of the lock out gave Hyno a chance to take a long hard look and see who would be the right fit when the opportunity called when the phones started ringing.

Henry could have been drafted by anyone to try to make the team as the 3rd down tight end and could be now be sitting home with the rest of us eating wings and pizza.  He is now a year removed from doing just that with a chance to win one of sports' most coveted trophies and earn a place in history.

Good luck to Hyno and the rest of his family. The trip is well earned and for those who had the chance to see you along the way, we appreciate it!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is It Radio? No It is PA Live!!!!!!

Yesterday was my big day on live TV, a chance to cook on WBRE 28 (NBC) live variety show called PA Live.  I submitted a recipe received from a friend that was a very healthy version of turkey chilli.  I asked my good friend and fellow umpire Joe Bordell pictured above to accompany me on the trip to Wilkes-Barre.

Doing any kind of live show can be fun, but many times something can go wrong.  Through my years of working in radio, I lived by my 10 commandments.  Get there early and be prepared.  I repeat these commandments 5 times each for 10. 

Joe and I arrived at 3 pm and were led to the set by an intern from the the University of Scranton who looked no older than 16.  We got a quick wave from our hosts, Dave and Monica.  They looked a little busy to chit-chat and I thought it would be better to get prepared for the show.

We walked out onto the set and were showed where the cooking would be done.  The kitchen was modern and first class.  I got to talk to production staff that would help get the show on the air and through an hour without a glitch.  Many shared the same radio background as I.  We laughed about some of the things that go wrong technically but you manage somehow to get through. They also loved my jersey of the most famous high school player in America, Polk High's Al Bundy.

Cooking sometimes can be a chore, but working with a little timer in your head can be a little stressful.  My main objectives were to finish the meal by shows end, make sure preparations was done accordingly, and finally have the staff enjoy some healthy chilli.

Dave Kuharchik and Monica Madeja are great hosts.  I hope the show does take off and becomes an afternoon staple.  After a quarter century of the same talk, unreality based TV it is nice to find some variety going back to an earlier time.  Lost in my cooking, I didn't get to appreciate the work of singer Phil Mentor and the show on based on cultural diversity.

Here is a link to some of the video.

Monday, January 30, 2012

4 for the Price of 1?

Check this editorial by the Daily-Item.

Watch so you don't get trampled by the herd.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So Long Joe

Funeral services for Joseph Vincent Paterno will be held this afternoon.  Here is an article by Bob McKinnon who had dealing with the Paterno family outside of football.

Godspeed Joe.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joseph Vincent Paterno, 1926 - 2012

There are two guarantees in life, death and taxes. In Pennsylvania, you could say we may have had three.  For most of us for the past 60 years, it was death, taxes, and Joseph Vincent Paterno.  Today, Joseph Vincent Paterno left this world at the age of 85.  His death was prematurely reported as early as 8:15 pm eastern time last night.

Besides the Los Angeles Dodgers and Greg Maresca, Brooklyn's most famous export set up residence in the middle of farm country in central Pennsylvania.  Over the next 60 years, Paterno through his leadership with the football program helped transform a agriculture, land-grant university into something of envy throughout the nation and the world.

Joe Paterno's football teams won on and off the field.  His players became doctors, lawyers, teachers, Hall of Fame football players, composers and who touched many people in every walk of life.  I would venture to say, 90 percent of any incoming freshman class were influenced in attending the university for what leadership they saw on and off the football field and the history behind it.

There are still some unresolved issues that will be written about the final legacy of JoePa.  Out of respect for the respose of the soul of JoePa and his family I will only offer my sympathy and prayers.


For the millions of fans of Joe Paterno and PSU football, Saturday afternoons will never be the same.  You have the last of an iconic college football coach who became the symbol of a state and a university.  Take pride in the fact that you also helped build PSU for what it has become today and it's influence around the world.  Time will heal and a time will come to honor JoePa.


There are probably not many alumni who know PSU withough Joe Paterno. JoePa provided you with an example of leadership that you should continue in any endeavor you have chosen.  It is still a path if chosen to follow will provide you with rewards in the end.


In the upcoming months there will be a trial.  There will be a time to come clean.  Remember, power and greed trips you up everytime.


Grieve the loss of a husband, father, and grandfather.  Eventually time will heal.  Hopefully, the family will be able to find a new purpose in life beyond football.  Maybe on the horizon valuable influence could be spread among, cancer, child abuse and early childhood education.  These are problems the state and the country faces as our lives move forward.

God Bless the Paterno family, you will be in our prayers.

Edward Washuta

Etta James 1938-2012

This past Friday, legendary singer Etta James left this world.  Up until May of 2011, I really wasn't much of a blues or jazz fan.  By coincidence, I happened to go to a local blues festival with other artists where I met up with some old friends. 

Although a life filled with torment, James crossed over many musical boundaries.  In only to really getting to know her 9 months before her death, I would say the James was a true original.  I am glad through friends I got to learn and appreciate the talent that we may never see again.  In the above video, James sings Sunday Kind of Love. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Turkey Chilli

I recently entered a Turkey Chilli recipe on the PAHomepage contest for the Super Bowl.  I could sure use the influence of Harold Jenkins and Michelle Hryvnak Davies.  I see my fellow bloggers on the show from time to time.

Calling all bloggers!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Where Harper Was Found

This video takes a little close look at the area where the pit bull now affectionately called "Harper" was found.  Although a little out of the way, the area is easily accessed. 

Looking closely though, all that damage would not have been done to the pup if it simply rolled 20 feet down the hill.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

PSU Hires O'Brien

In an event most of us haven't seen in our lifetime, Penn State has hired a new head football coach permanently replacing Joe Paterno.  Bill O'Brien at age 42 and also a Brown University graduate was named to the top job.

Some took the board's decision as good and some bad.  Many fans are torn between wins and losses and restoring integrity to the fabled program.  There are hurts on all levels for fans.  They are still hurting about the treatment Paterno received in being removed from the job.   They are also hurting about the way interim head coach Tom Bradley was treated by the board.

What fans have to understand is when the PA AG released it's findings in it's grand jury report and subsequent indictments the landscape of college football and the Penn State program was changed forever. Joe Paterno was the last man standing in an era of coaches like Bobby Bowden, Bear Bryant, Eddie Robinson and Woody Hayes.  Coaches who put their stamp on a program and that have become revered state symbols. There is only one chance in the world to do what Joe Paterno had done.  Any successor no matter under what circumstances they were hired are caretakers of what Paterno built.

There are some positives out of this hire and you may or may not agree:

 - O'Brien has little ties to the program and is good right now.

 - Larry Johnson is staying.

 - Other assistant coaches may have the same opportunity.

 - O'Brien isn't afraid to light someone up, check the video of the discussion with Mr. Brady.

 - State College is still a good place to raise a family and be an assistant coach.  O'Brien should be able to attract quality assistants.

- PSU fans have long been moaning and groaning about offense and pretty much the lack of quality over the past quarter century at the quarterback position with exception of a few.

-Although there is an active NCAA investigation going on, PSU still has their full compliment scholarships.  Winning in 2012 is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Good luck in 2012.

Monday, January 2, 2012

PSU National Champs......25 Years Ago Today!!!!!

With most of Northeast PA digging out from over a foot and half of snow, the Penn State Nittany Lions to the field in the desert in Arizon and upset the Miami Hurricanes 14-10.  The above is the SI cover from the game......not much ink, but here is the story.

Here is footage of the final 10 minutes of the game.  With PSU playing 3 times in the 80's up to that point for the national title, looking back some people now say that was the end of the "golden age."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year Shamokin!!!!!

This PSU fan hopes for a better fate in 2012.