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.