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Let's continue "On the Lighter Side"
Let's continue "On the Lighter Side"
Joe Valenti
Let's continue "On the Lighter Side"
   Last week we ran a piece entitled “Locals celebrate wine making.”
   We put it under the heading “On the Lighter Side.”
   While PittstonPolitics.com mostly centers around local politics, we do like to do features like this.
   Surprisingly, last week's feature received quite a few hits.
   That’s why we’d like to continue it. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:10 pm
Exeter will be key in State Rep's race
Exeter will be key in State Rep's race
Coleman, Goldsworthy & Mundy
Exeter will be key in State Rep's race
   I’ve been thinking (that’s a scary thought). 
   How does West Pittston Mayor beat Phyllis Mundy for State Representative?
   The numbers are certainly on his side considering there are more Republicans than Democrats within the district.
   Goldswothy is a Republican and Mundy is a Democrat.
   But can he win with just that?


 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:01 pm - 54 opinions posted
Carroll may see fight in the Fall
Carroll may see fight in the Fall
Mike Carroll & Luddy Fleming
Carroll may see fight in the Fall
   It looks like State Representative Mike Carroll may have some competition.
   Not in May, however. 
   While we haven’t heard any names being tossed around on the Democratic side, he’ll most likely have to square of against a Republican in the fall.
   Terrance O’Connor, a Monroe County Attorney, has confirmed he’s interested in entering the race as a Republican.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:01 pm - 6 opinions posted
Connecting the dots with Patti Patte
Connecting the dots with Patti Patte
Frank Pizzella
Connecting the dots with Patti Patte
   If you’re wondering how the Patti Patte gambling charges are connected with the ongoing Luzerne County federal corruption probe, it’s easy.
   Frank Pizzella.
    As you know, Pizzella was indicted and eventually pled guilty to corruption charges.
   Pizzella claimed he was the bagman and only passed a bribe to a Wilkes Barre school director in return for a teaching job.
   We also heard Pizzella was working for a local engineering firm and was seen going in and out of a local school district.


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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:01 pm - 1 opinion posted
"Agenda-gate" upsets some WA board members
"Agenda-gate" upsets some WA board members
Board Pres. John Bolin
"Agenda-gate" upsets some WA board members
   It seems some Wyoming Area board members were a bit incensed that I posted the January agenda prior to the meeting on my web site.
   I was “called out” at the meeting on this after I asked the board how long they had proposal for a student run credit union.
   “You had it before us,” exclaimed some board members.  “We got it off your web site.”
   “No” I replied.  “All I posted was the agenda.”
   So why are some board members, and probably the superintendent, so upset that I laid my hands on the agenda?
   After all, it is a public document.





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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:01 pm - 4 opinions posted
Waiting to hear from WB Mayor, Greater Pittston battle ground for Senate race
Waiting to hear from WB Mayor, Greater Pittston battle ground for Senate race
WB Mayor Tome Leighton
Waiting to hear from WB Mayor, Greater Pittston battle ground for Senate race
   Nothing irks me more than placing a phone call and not getting a return call back.
   This past Friday at noon we reached out to Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom Leighton who has expressed interest in running for State Senate.  His secretary said he wasn’t available and she said she would have him return my call.
   So here it is Saturday, and no return call.
   I know, he’s just really busy running the city and didn’t have the time. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:01 pm
Locals celebrate wine making
Locals celebrate wine making
Mark Miscavage, Paul Savakinas, Charlie Adonizio, Ron Wellington, Sandy Gubbiotti, Sam Alba, Leo Sperrazza, John Pischotti
Locals celebrate wine making
   For the past decade, local wine maker come together to celebrate their unique talent.
   This year was no different.  The 11th Annual Amateur Wine making Competition was held on Friday, January 29th, 2010.
   A great turnout by the Greater Pittston winemakers who participated and all who attended had a great time!
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE!
 Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 2:28 pm - 2 opinions posted
Reader comments on WA Credit Union
Reader comments on WA Credit Union
UFCW will launch a student run credit union in the district
Reader comments on WA Credit Union
by Roger H. Stout
President, Credit-U-Comp
  On January 26th, the Wyoming Area Board of Education – note, that’s EDUCATION – held their monthly meeting as usual.  When item #10 was discussed, the approval of a credit union office in the high school, the meeting deteriorated to what is best described as a farce very rapidly.  Thanks to PittstonPolitics.com, I was able to be there without ever leaving my computer! 
   I previously thought that school directors were elected to ensure our children would receive the best possible education.  After this meeting, I’m convinced that many of the Wyoming Area Directors have other agendas.  The approval of item #10 must be looked at as merely allowing an outside vendor to do business inside the high school.
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Roger H. Stout - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm - 2 opinions posted
What was Jackie thinking in cat case?
What was Jackie thinking in cat case?
District Atty Jackie Musto-Carroll
What was Jackie thinking in cat case?
   UPDATE. Monday, February 8, 2010:  This case was so ludicrous is was actually featured on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. 

    $10,000 - that’s approximately how much it cost to prosecute the woman who pierced her cat.
   First, I love animals.
   Growing up in West Pittston, we had a dog and a cat.
   But the circus in the Luzerne County Courthouse this past week prosecuting this was outrageous.
   With how our courts are backed up, I am absolutely amazed that our District Attorney, Jackie Musto-Carroll, allowed this to proceed. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm - 1 opinion posted
With Lombardo out, who will step up
With Lombardo out, who will step up
Mike Lombardo
With Lombardo out, who will step up
   While former Pittston City Mayor Mike Lombardo won’t be in contention for the upcoming Senate race, rest assured someone from northern Luzerne County will.
   In fact, you may see someone from Lombardo’s inner circle step up to the plate.
   As of this writing, we cannot disclose who this may be, but he or she will be as strong, if not stronger than Lombardo in the third and fifth districts. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm
Open forum, Bob Lampman, Mark Singer & Punxsutawney Phil
Open forum, Bob Lampman, Mark Singer & Punxsutawney Phil
Bob Lampman, Mark Singer & Punxsutawney Phil
Open forum, Bob Lampman, Mark Singer & Punxsutawney Phil
   With the exception of Joe Oliveri's sentencing, it’s been kinda quite on the East Side this week. 
   With that, we’re going to have a Free for All/Open Forum this week.
   First, I’d like to say “Happy belated Ground Hog Day” to Mark Singer.
   Next, I only have two words – BOB LAMPMAN.
   Finally, remember, keep in above board and all posts will be screened and monitored by yours truly.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm - 42 opinions posted
What...there was a MARCH?
What...there was a MARCH?
Hundreds of thousands showed up at the March for Life in DC
What...there was a MARCH?
by Donna Starinski-Valenti
Guest Columnist
  Lack of media coverage of the March for Life in the nation’s capital was one of the motivating factors in writing this article. A substantial number of people from this area were involved in the March, signifying great interest in the respect for life cause, surely newsworthy.
   Unfortunately, I did not attend the March, but I heard wonderful thing about it at the 27th Annual Respect Life Prayer Breakfast, held last Saturday, January 30th, at St. Mary’s Center in Scranton. I was impressed by the more than 400 people in attendance, which included Attorney Thomas Marino, Dave Madeira, Lou Barletta, and AJ Munchak. Also in attendance were multiple clergy and youth. Prayer was offered by representatives of both the Jewish and Christian faiths, all united with the cause of respecting human life.
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Donna Starinski-Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm - 1 opinion posted
GOP honors Solano, Ridge keynote speaker
GOP honors Solano, Ridge keynote speaker
GOP Chair Terry Casey presents Solano with award
GOP honors Solano, Ridge keynote speaker
   “Pat Solano has always been my 911 when I needed advice,” former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge told a crowd of over 500 at this year’s Lincoln Day dinner.
   The former Governor was the keynote speaker at the GOP’s annual event.
   Hughestown resident Pat Solano was the organization’s recipient of the Henry Hoyt Award for Lifetime Achievement.
   Guest speakers who gave accolades to Solano included Mayor Lou Barletta, GOP Chair Terry Casey, Attorney General Tom Corbett’s wife Susan Corbett and Senator Lisa Baker.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE!
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:46 pm
Oliveri gets a year and a day
Oliveri gets a year and a day
Joe Oliveri
Oliveri gets a year and a day
   A year and a day.
   That’s the amount of time former Pittston Area School Director Joe Oliveri will have to spend in a federal prison.
   He will also have to pay a $3,000 fine.
   He pleaded guilty to accepting a $1,500 bribe from a district contractor.  In exchange Oliveri would give his support for a contract worth more than $100,000.
   He actually got off fairly light considering he faced a maximum sentence of ten years and a $250,000 fine. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Monday, February 1, 2010 12:04 pm - 28 opinions posted
PittstonPolitics.com launches "Online Chat"
PittstonPolitics.com launches "Online Chat"
   PittstonPolitics.com is adding a new feature this week, online chatting.
   As you know, the Internet is interactive.  We have shown this with our readers being able to post or blog to articles.
   We’d like to take it to the next level.
   For the next two weeks, we are launching and will test “PittstonPolitics.com Online Chat.”
   If successful, we will continue the feature.


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Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010 12:03 pm
State of the Government
State of the Government
Atty. Harry Skene
State of the Government
by Harry Skene, Esq.
Guest Columnist
   I am one of the masses who have become discontented with the government.  From the top down or the bottom up, local, state and federal they all leave much to be desired.  It is sad, but I do not feel comfortable standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.   I love our country and our people, but the nonsense in government is unacceptable and has turned me off.  As an attorney, I swore an oath to uphold the United States Constitution.  I have taught Constitutional law and respect the document greatly.  However, since I have taken that oath I have seen the constitution battered around by its guardian, the United States Supreme Court.
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Harry Skene, Esq - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 11:26 pm - 2 opinions posted
WA credit union deal lacks transparency; vote to approve was not valid


Above is the motion and open discussion
on student run credit union


Above is a question about credit union agreement.
Gil Dominick becomes irate with John Bolin
Download:
FLVMP43GP
   If Wyoming Area Board President John Bolin was alone in a forest and motion was made, did that motion pass?
   I’ll get to that point later in this article
   Next, Wyoming Area Board President John Bolin could have been a hero at this past school board meeting.
   The board approved to have a student run credit union placed inside the school.  Or did it?
   The vote was 5-4 with Bolin, Toni Valenti, Nick DeAngelo, Sam Aritz and John Marianacci voting in favor; Gil Dominick, Estelle Campenni and Frank Casseralla voted no while Dave Alberigi abstained.
   This vote went through after a motion to table the credit union failed.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm - 17 opinions posted
The Saga of Luzerne County

Found this on YouTube.
Thought our readers would appreciate it
*I wonder if my
"Irish Mc breakfast Friend"
will have any comments:-)
 Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm - 3 opinions posted
Musto delivered when the chips were down
Musto delivered when the chips were down
Senator Ray Musto
Musto delivered when the chips were down
   With the retirement of Senator Ray Musto, some are saying “Thank God.”
   The good Senator has had his detractors over the years.  Most all saying he couldn’t deliver on a job.
   So what?
   Other than that, Musto has been good for Greater Pittston.
   Musto is one of the few politicians who ALWAYS returned my calls and ALWAYS delivered on what I asked.
   And, I never asked for a job.  I never needed to.  And, wouldn’t expect it. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm
And the next Senator is.....
And the next Senator is.....
Yudichak & Lombardo
And the next Senator is.....
   With Musto not seeking re-election, who will be stepping up to the plate?
   First, Musto seemed to make it clear when we spoke with him that he’ll sit on the sidelines in this election.
   “I don’t know who’ll do the choosing.  At this point, I think I’ll be a statesman and stay out of it.” Musto said from his Harrisburg office this week.
   Three names surfaced quickly – State Representative John Yudichak, County Commissioner Steve Urban and Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm - 10 opinions posted
Goldy looks at challenging Mundy
Goldy looks at challenging Mundy
WP Mayor Bill Goldsworhty
Goldy looks at challenging Mundy
   Rumors have been running rampant that West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldworthy would be challenging Phyllis Mundy.
   Mundy is a Democrat and Goldy, a Republican.  would square off against her in the General election.
   We got a chance to speak with Goldy and he said he is giving it serious consideration. 
   “I’m in the exploratory phase right now,” Goldy said.  “I hope to have a final decision by mid February.”
   The politics behind this will make this a great race. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm - 12 opinions posted
Father Paul will stay in the "Exotic town of Laflin"
Father Paul will stay in the "Exotic town of Laflin"
Father Paul McDonnell
Father Paul will stay in the "Exotic town of Laflin"
   There was an announcement recently that a new priest would be coming to The Oblates.  Some rumors have been circulating and my wife emailed Father Paul asking him if he was leaving, Actually, this is the best news I've heard in the past year. 
   Here is his response. 
   "Thanks for your concern and I know the rumor mill of Greater Pittston is in full motion with the nomination of Father Philip Massetti as the new Oblate Provincial.
   I believe I will be staying right here at the seminary and continue in my duties as seminary rector and probably help Fr. Phil behind the scenes in his role as provincial.
   So, although people have me going to Australia, Rome, Haiti and California….I’ll most likely be staying right here in the exotic town of Laflin!!!
   God bless & have a great day!"

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:01 pm - 1 opinion posted
Musto won't seek re-eleciton, the deal that happened six years ago
Musto won't seek re-eleciton, the deal that happened six years ago
Senator Ray Musto
Musto won't seek re-eleciton, the deal that happened six years ago
   Senator Ray Musto will be retiring and will not seek re-election.
   He said after 40 years its time to retire from the senate.
   While this is big news, the story behind the story is who will be the chosen one to step into Musto’s shoes.
   Word on the street is State Representative John Yudichak will have the blessing of the Democratic party and the Third District fits into this picture big time. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3:09 pm - 36 opinions posted
Singer says "The system works very well"
 

 
   “The system works very well.”
   After I heard Pittston Area Board President Mark Singer say that about the possibility of having a work session on a separate evening than the regular meeting, I had to go and replay the video.
   Yes, even after what Pittston Area has been through, with the arrests of Ross Scarantino and Joe Oliveri, Singer actually said, “The system works very well.”
   Huh?
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:01 pm - 28 opinions posted
PA should have students more involved
PA should have students more involved
John Lombardo
PA should have students more involved
by John Lombardo
Pittston Area Student
   During the Pittston Area School Board meeting this week, Pittston mayor Jason Klush and Council member Joe Chernouskas announced a new project to get students involved with the city. The project involved the creation of a “Parks Committee” that would have one student member.
   First of all, I think that’s a great idea! Getting the students involved in the local government, even if it is a parks committee, is a great thing. Read More ...
John Lombardo - Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:01 pm - 7 opinions posted
At WA:  The Feds & Credit Unions
At WA: The Feds & Credit Unions
   Wyoming Area rumors have been running rampant over the last two weeks.
   I probably received around half a dozen calls all claiming the feds stopped by Wyoming Area.
   My initial thought was – where there’s smoke there’s fire.
   Nope, not this time.
   District Solicitor Ray Hassey said if the feds paid a visit to Wyoming Area, he was unaware of it.
   Next, we heard some rumblings that the board might be voting to bring a new credit union into the school.
   We were able to confirm this with the up coming agenda (click here to view) on page 10. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:01 pm - 14 opinions posted
Gov Ridge tabbed for Lincoln Day Dinner, Solano to be honored
Gov Ridge tabbed for Lincoln Day Dinner, Solano to be honored
Joe Valenti (20 lbs lighter) & Gov Ridge at a Pat Solano gathering
Gov Ridge tabbed for Lincoln Day Dinner, Solano to be honored
   Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Luzerne County Republican Party. The event will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Ramada Hotel on Public Square.
   Ridge, a two-term governor and first Secretary of Homeland Security, will present an award to Patrick J. Solano, a longtime party worker and former GOP County Chairman.
   County Republican Chairman Terry Casey said the organization is “thrilled” that Ridge will join the group for its annual fundraiser. Republicans across the United States traditionally hold Lincoln Day events to honor the Feb. 12 birth of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:01 pm - 1 opinion posted
County has bigger fish to fry
County has bigger fish to fry
The County will longer provide an operator for callers
County has bigger fish to fry
   Voice mail hell.
   That’s what you get when you call the Luzerne County Courthouse.
   This past week the commissioners voted to layoff 13.  Of those 13, one was the courthouse operator.
   Their rationale was because there was an automated phone system in place an operator is no longer needed.
   Technology is great.  I love technology.
   But calling the Courthouse is akin to calling the IRS. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:01 pm - 6 opinions posted
Carpet bagging Judge no stranger to domestic problems
Carpet bagging Judge no stranger to domestic problems
Judge Charles Joseph Rehkamp escorted by State Trooper
Carpet bagging Judge no stranger to domestic problems
   It looks like Judge Charles Joseph Rehkamp who was arrested for roughing up his wife is no stranger to domestic disputes.
   Rehkamp, who is actually from Perry County, was appointed to help out Luzerne County in their back log of court cases.
   According to Pennlive.com, “A Perry County senior judge will not be required to pay his ex-wife what she claimed was more than $24,000 in back alimony payments plus interest, a Chester County senior judge has ruled. At the same Judge C. Joseph Rehkamp will not receive more than $32,500 he claims his ex-wife Kerry Rehkamp owes him.”

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2010 11:22 pm
Lescavage still helping out Garden Village
Lescavage still helping out Garden Village
Former WP Councilman Kevin Lescavage still helping out
Lescavage still helping out Garden Village
   When I saw West Pittston Council members Pete Albano, Pete Musinski, Brian Thornton and Jim Rose taking down the town’s Christmas decorations I was pleased.
   When I saw former councilman Kevin Lescavage, however, lending a hand, now that surprised me.
   As you know, Lescavage lost his bid for re-election this past November.  I wrote that I was disappointed to see him off council because I thought he was a good councilman. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:54 pm - 17 opinions posted
New year brings more lawsuits at WA
New year brings more lawsuits at WA
District Super Ray Bernardi
New year brings more lawsuits at WA
   If you thought the new year and the new school board brought an end to the lawsuits at Wyoming Area, you were mistaken.
   And, it looks like this new board will be paying for the sins of the previous board for years to come.
   Over the Christmas season, the district was served with yet another lawsuit by Robert Micheletti.
   Does that name sound familiar?
   You betcha.  
   Micheletti was part of the “Tri-Fecta,” the federal lawsuit he along with PJ Pribula and Jim Zarra had against the district.  There was a $500,000 award for the trio. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:46 pm - 3 opinions posted
Why "Home Rule" will fail
Why "Home Rule" will fail
   Many have asked me my thoughts of a new form of government for Luzerne County.
   First, I thought the Study Commission would pass overwhelmingly when placed on the ballot.
   Next, if the Study Commission does happen to come up with a new Charter, it will pass as well.
   My thought, however, the members of the commission will never come to terms.
   History proves this. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:46 pm - 1 opinion posted
The ghost of Ross will live on at PA
The ghost of Ross will live on at PA
Scarantino, Singer & Linskey
The ghost of Ross will live on at PA
   On Tuesday, the Pittston Area Board will have their meeting.
   And, as past protocol would have it, Ross Scrantino’s legacy will live on when nine members of the board have their work session and then proceed right into their meeting.
   Pittston Area Board President Mark Singer will call the work session to order and run down a list of items to be voted on at the regular meeting. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:46 pm - 3 opinions posted
Rumor Mill kicks off for 2010, attorneys next target |
Rumor Mill kicks off for 2010, attorneys next target
   Remember that rumor mill last year and the year before?
   I especially like the one that claimed Ciavarella and Conahan were to going be indicted in 2008. 
   For the last six months of 2008, the rumor was the “Juvie Brothers” would be going down on Tuesday.  Not a specific Tuesday, just Tuesday.
   Well, Tuesday never came in 2008 and it happened on a Monday in 2009. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 4 opinions posted
New year, new faces may bring change in Pittston City


   Pittston City’s new mayor, Jason Klush, didn’t waste any time getting down to business after he was sworn in this past week.
   After viewing the agenda, Klush requested the reappointment of city administrators be pulled which included the reappointment of sitting City Clerk Ron Mortimer.
   We also understand this had the blessing of Councilman Mike Lombardo.
   With three new faces sitting at the board table in Pittston, we might see some changes.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 9 opinions posted
Feds poking around in Jenkins & Pittston Townships
Feds poking around in Jenkins & Pittston Townships
Greg Skrepnak
Feds poking around in Jenkins & Pittston Townships
   For those of you who thought its been awfully quiet with the feds, its not.  We’re at the end of the beginning.
   This past week they were poking around in Jenkins Twp and Pittston Twp. 
   We’re not exactly sure what they were looking for, but my thoughts are it has something to do with TIF’s and KOZ zones.
   Please recall former County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak was indicted recently and it had something to do with a new development in Jenkins Twp.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 5 opinions posted
Lampman says taxpayers should be more involved
Lampman says taxpayers should be more involved
Bob Lampman
Lampman says taxpayers should be more involved
   EDITOR’S NOTE:  Bob Lampman blogged this last week and I thought it was very pertinent to what is going on at Pittston Area.  Consequently, I’m posting it as an article. 

   I hope people stay on the subject here.  I have been yelling about the same facts from last week’s article for months.
   The thing here is that people don't really care.
   Yes, they sit around complaining about this or that, but when it comes time to stand up they sit down.
   Yes, look at what has happened with our school district over the last 15 years. Millions and Millions of dollars have been wasted and who ends up paying? YOU AND I. Read More ...
Bob Lampman - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 26 opinions posted
Stankus says Garden Village off to a Rocky Start
Stankus says Garden Village off to a Rocky Start
District Justice Joe Carmody (left) swears in Barry Stankus, Barry Hosier, Pete Musinksi & Brian Thornton
Stankus says Garden Village off to a Rocky Start
   Newly elected West Pittston Councilman Barry Stankus isn’t too pleased only a week after he took office.
   “They made the decision to appoint Brian Thornton Council President long before reorganization,” Stankus claimes.
   He said proof of this was that the agenda (click here to view) which was given to him in December, before the first meeting, had Thornton listed as “President.” Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 5 opinions posted
Hobbs will be missed
Hobbs will be missed
Eddie Hobbs
Hobbs will be missed
   The East Side lost a good friend this past week with the passing of Eddie Hobbs.
   Simply put, Eddie was a great guy.
   I first met Eddie back in the 90’s when I owned the Pittston Gazette.  Right from the start we hit if off.
   To say he was a supporter of mine would be an understatement.  That was, and will, always be greatly appreciated.
   Hobbs served three successfully terms on the Pittston Area School Board.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 3 opinions posted
West Wyoming investigation may come to a close
West Wyoming investigation may come to a close
West Wyoming Boro building
West Wyoming investigation may come to a close
   EDITORS NOTE: With the passing of the former West Wyoming Borough Manager, the investigation into wrong doings may come to come to a close.  Chief of Police Stanley Sipko sent the following letter which was read at the past council meeting.

   On December 17th, 2009 I, Chief Stanley Sipko was contacted by Corporal  Gerald Williams of the State Police at Wyoming regarding the State Police investigation into the discrepancies that were found by Carver and Associates in mid October of 2009. At this time Corporal Williams requested that I meet him at the State Police Barracks on Friday December 18th, 2009 at 10:00 am to talk about the investigation. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 1 opinion posted
Musto to become Court Administrator
Musto to become Court Administrator
Former County Judge Joe Musto
Musto to become Court Administrator
   The following was reported by fellow blogger Dave Yonki’s LuLac Letter (click here to view).  While we have been hearing this, Yonk sums it up perfectly
   “Even though Joseph Musto’s second tour as a Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge ended on Monday with the swearing in of Bill Amesbury and Tina Gartley, we heard on very good authority that Musto will be appointed Court Administrator under the dome. While many will say this is business as usual, Musto will bring to the position a great deal of experience as a litigator, Judge, Master and Arbitrator. Plus his knowledge of the court system from every side will make him unparallelled in his qualifications.”

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Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:46 pm - 9 opinions posted
Judge Muroski invovled in accident, leaves the scene
Judge Muroski invovled in accident, leaves the scene
Judge Chester Muroski
Judge Muroski invovled in accident, leaves the scene
   Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the third floor in the courthouse, it does.
   After celebrating a new day for Luzerne County when a new President Judge was selected and two new judges were sworn in, questions again plague the courthouse.
   Monday evening, on his way home, former President Judge Chester Muroski was involved in an accident.
   Reports from The Times Leader and Citizens Voice say Murowski had “one or two drinks.” Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 6:44 pm - 2 opinions posted
Obama is one sharp cookie
Obama is one sharp cookie
Obama
Obama is one sharp cookie
   You know our President.
   Yea, President Barack Obama.
   He’s so freakin smart it scares me.
   This past week, all by himself, he figured out that Al Qaeda was responsible for the Christmas day attack.
   Or, should I say, as Obama put it, “alleged attack.”
   Golly, this guy is so sharp.
   Careful too.
   Up until this past Friday he used “alleged” any time he referred to the terrorist.  Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2010 8:18 pm - 14 opinions posted
There is another option for Luzerne County
There is another option for Luzerne County
Ubran, Petrilla & Cooney
There is another option for Luzerne County
   The way many see it there are only two ways to get Luzerne County out of the mess we’re in.
   One, raise revenues/taxes
   Two, cut expenses.
   There is a third, which I will get to later
   No one understands the mess we’re in better than our newest County Commissioner Tom Cooney.
   You see, Cooney has been in private business for quite a while running one of the leading architectural and engineering firms in the valley.
   Cooney, year after year, understood that if his firm could not bring in the revenues to support the expenses, he was left with two choices.
   One, cut expenses.  Or two, borrow money Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2010 8:18 pm - 1 opinion posted
New WA majority playing their cards
New WA majority playing their cards
Alberigi, Marianacci & Bolin
New WA majority playing their cards
   Remember the line in Godfather III:  “Keep your friends close but you enemies closer.”
   This could sum up how things are playing out on the Wyoming Area Board.
   Many in the Gil Dominick and Frank Cassarella camp weren’t too pleased Toni Valenti was appointed Secretary of the board.
   In fact, Casarealla abstained on the appointment.
   During this past election there were at least four factions:  LaNunziata; Aufiere; Bolin and Marianacci; and Dominick and Casarella.
   All four were concerned with getting themselves elected.  It was only at the end when LaNunziata was trying to parley the Bolin and Marianacci votes into his own. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2010 8:18 pm - 2 opinions posted
PA Board needs to rid black eye
PA Board needs to rid black eye
Oliveri, Scarantino, Singer & Linskey
PA Board needs to rid black eye
   I was disappointed at December’s Pittston Board meeting.
   I really thought Bob Linskey would have attempted to push through his idea to have the work session on a different evening than the regular meeting.
   What’s the worst that could have happened?  The vote could have gone down majority/minority lines.  And, if that happened, what a great issue for the next election.
   As we wrote a few weeks back, this is actually a good idea. 
   Like it or not, Pittston Area has a black eye.  This black eye will haunt the district for decades.
   This black eye isn’t about Tony Rostock and a football coach.
   This black eye is about a couple of crooks who sold out the district to the highest bidder who would line their pockets. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2010 8:17 pm - 17 opinions posted
YEAR IN REVIEW:  Judges top stories
YEAR IN REVIEW:  Judges top stories
Mark Ciavarella & MIke Conahan
YEAR IN REVIEW: Judges top stories
JANUARY
   By far the biggest story to hit Luzerne County in 2009 was the when the US Attorney’s office held a press conference announcing the plea agreement with Judges Conahan and Ciavarella.
   While we list this as the top story of 2009, it is probably the biggest story to his NEPA in the past century.
   This story was so big it made national news and ABC news featured it on their weekly news show 20/20.
   With this story came some vindication with Judge Ann Lokuta who maintained she was targeted by the judges because she was not part of the good ole boys club.

FEBRARY

   With three openings on the bench, names start to surface including Joe Musto and Joe Terrana.
   Coupled with the Judicial indictments, Court Administrator William Sharkey joins Conahan and Ciavarella and is indicted.
   The Pittston City race heats up:  Luddy Flemming announces for City Mayor Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, December 26, 2009 11:34 pm - 3 opinions posted
BREAKING NEWS:  Owner of high profile engineering firm new County commish
BREAKING NEWS:  Owner of high profile engineering firm new County commish
Thomas Cooney
BREAKING NEWS: Owner of high profile engineering firm new County commish
   Thomas Cooney, a "Principal" of the high profile engineering firm A&E Group, has been appointed as Luzerne County’s Commissioner.
   According to Pittston Area Board member, Terry Best, A & E Group is the engineer of record for Pittston Area.
   A&E has also done work for the county, LCCC and Pittston Housing Authority.
   “This is more of the same,” Best says.  “Now it seems with Cooney we are going back to the old days.” Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 6:14 pm - 12 opinions posted
UPDATE:  Judges dis Santa Wil on first round
UPDATE:  Judges dis Santa Wil on first round
Santa Wil
UPDATE: Judges dis Santa Wil on first round
UPDATE:  December 24, 2009 - 9:30AM
   It looks like Christmas didn’t come early for Santa Wil.
   With 68 applicants applying for Greg Skrepank’s seat as County Commissioner, Santa Wil didn’t make the first cut of 14.
   Seven Luzerne County Judges said thank you Wil, but no thanks.
   It is clear, looking at the resume of the 68 who applied, Toole was the most qualified.
   But the judges saw through Toole’s ruse and didn’t even afford him a second interview.
   Here’s a good analogy of Wil Toole looking to get back into the public sector
   Remember Bernie Madoff?
   Looking at Madoff’s resume, he is absolutely a qualified investment advisor.
   Would you, however, now give him a dime of your money to invest?


December 22, 2009
  “It’s a lock.”
   That what I was told Wil Toole said about his bid to be county commissioner at a Christmas party I was at on Monday night. 
   This Christmas season he’s going to bring good “Wil” and tidings for all Luzerne County to enjoy.
   Those in attendance at the party (at an undisclosed location) told me he has all the judges lined up and he’s a shoe in to be the next Luzerne County Commissioner to fill Greg Skrepnak’s spot.
   Maybe he forgot Ciavarella, Conahan and Toole are no longer judges. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:17 am - 43 opinions posted
Morreale one ups County bizzaro world
Morreale one ups County bizzaro world
Mike Morreale
Morreale one ups County bizzaro world
   Just when you think it couldn’t anymore bizarre in Luzerne County, it does.
   The Times Leader is reporting Luzerne County Treasurer Mike Morreale was charged with hunting for dear with bait.
   Yes, this is our own Mike Morreale from Pittston Twp.
   What makes this even more crazy, is that Morreale is in charge of doling outing those sought after doe licenses. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 10:06 am - 5 opinions posted
OPEN LETTER TO JUDGE MUROSKI:  I want to be County Commissioner
OPEN LETTER TO JUDGE MUROSKI:  I want to be County Commissioner
President Judge Chester Muroski
OPEN LETTER TO JUDGE MUROSKI: I want to be County Commissioner
Dear President Judge Muroski
   Please accept this as my letter of application for Luzerne County Commissioner.
   Before we go any further, please allow me to express my intent if appointed to the position.
   When appointed, my first order of business will be to go directly to the Federal Courthouse to sign a plea agreement.  I will do this before my first day on the job.  You see, because the job only pays $45,000 per year, you leave me no choice but to rob, pillage and loot the good taxpayers of Luzerne County. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 5:37 pm - 4 opinions posted
EAST SIDE: Joe Valenti's Fireside Chat with Jimmy Zarra


PART I

PART II
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Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 5:37 pm
WEST SIDE: Joe Valenti's Fireside Chat with Sammy Agolino


PART I

PART II

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Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 5:37 pm - 2 opinions posted
Skrep signs plea, resigns
Skrep signs plea, resigns
Greg Skrepnak
Skrep signs plea, resigns
   Again, PittstonPolitics.com was first to report that County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak has signed a plea agreement.
   According to reports, Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak has signed a plea agreement to corruption charges.
   He also submitted his letter of resignation to the governor.
   This didn’t come as much of surprise considering Skrepnak did not attend the recent cost cutting budget talks with Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla and Steve Urban.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 2:31 pm - 26 opinions posted
Kitchen Table Politics for December 13, 2009

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 8:27 pm - 2 opinions posted
Linskey is right, hold work session on separate evening

 
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   Pittston Area has a big hurdle to jump in 2010.
   That hurdle being to rid the stigma of a corrupt school district.
   Since I’ve been covering Pittston Area, politics has run rampant.  Probably the largest player in the politics over the years has been Ross Scranantino who was indicted last spring for accepting bribes.
   While we have seen the complexion of Pittston Area Boards change dramatically over the years, nothing really ever changed.
   The reason – Ross Scarantino.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm - 10 opinions posted
Only in Luzerne County
Only in Luzerne County
Frank Pizzella
Only in Luzerne County
   Or should I say "Loser County."
  Just when you think it can’t get any worse for Luzerne County, Wilkes Barre School Director Frank Pizzella is elected President of the Board.
   Yep, that’s right.
   Pizzella, who was recently indicted by the feds will serve as the President of the Wilkes Barre School Board.
   Scratching your head right about now?
   Me too.
   I couldn’t believe it when I read it.
   Yea, I know, innocent until proven guilty….blah, blah, blah… Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm
Bolin addresses 800 pound guerrilla
Bolin addresses 800 pound guerrilla
Board President John Bolin (right) presents Joe Valenti 800 pound guerilla (PHOTO BY JOHN MARIANACCI)
Bolin addresses 800 pound guerrilla
   Wyoming Area’s new board president made it official and presented me with the 800 pound guerrilla this past re-organizational meeting.
   As most know, I’ve been asking the $500,002 question:   Will and when the Wyoming Area Board address the 800 pound guerrilla in the room?
   We heard Bolin was originally going to have someone dress up as a guerrilla at the meeting and come over and give me a big hug.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm - 8 opinions posted
Deal?  Or no deal?
Deal?  Or no deal?
Atty Ray Hassey (left) & Joe Valenti
Deal? Or no deal?
   I received this photo from Tony Callaio which he snapped at this past Wyoming Area Board meeting. 
   He asks:  Is this a deal in the making or is it:
   A. Joe seeking legal counsel?
   B. Joe showing his appreciation for the stuffed animal he just received from Ray?
   C. Joe asking Ray if he can get him an autograph from County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak for him?
   D. Ray asking Joe for directions to the leather store to buy a jacket like the one he and Dave Amico are wearing?
   E. All of the above.
   G. None of the above.  It is a deal in the making
   CLICK HERE TO VOTE

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Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm
Campenni questions procedure, may be stuck in the corner again
 
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   Wyoming Area Board member Estelle Campenni has now been on the board for two years.
   During those two years she has failed to receive a second on numerous motions she made.
   For the most part, her ideas are genuine and would be in the best interest of the school.
   I thought because the complexion of the board is changing, she’d have an easier time moving her agenda forward.
   That was up until the re-organizational meeting this past week.
   I comprised the above video to point out why this year she may again fail to receive a second.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm - 7 opinions posted
Futher analysis of PA re-org
Futher analysis of PA re-org
Bob Linskey & Dr. Ross Latona
Futher analysis of PA re-org
   Last week we wrote Pittston Area Board members Ross Latona and Bob Linskey would try to move their agenda forward by dividing and conquering.
   Both made an attempt to elect Bruce Knick as President of the Board. As you know, Attorney Mark Singer will serve in that position.
   While I witnessed this move, it didn’t quite make sense other than they were trying to divide and conquer right out of the gate.
 
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:01 pm - 15 opinions posted
New WA majority inclusive of all members
New WA majority inclusive of all members
District Justice Joe Carmody (left) swears in incoming directors Gil Dominick, Frank Cassarella, John Marianaccia & John Bolin
New WA majority inclusive of all members
   Inclusion.
   As predicted in this past week’s column, this new Wyoming Area will add that word to their vocabulary.
   Some were predicting, even lobbying, Toni Valenti would not receive anything.
   However, she will serve as the Secretary to the Board as well as liaison to the Pennsylvania School Board Association.
   Eight members of the board voted for Valenti.  Frank Cassarella abstained on both positions. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 8:36 pm - 13 opinions posted
Has Skrep already signed a plea?
Has Skrep already signed a plea?
Greg Skrepnak
Has Skrep already signed a plea?
   We heard from two separate sources that County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak has signed a plea agreement.
   This supposedly has direct ties to the indictment of Jeff Piazza.
   This also correlates with the fact that on advice from his attorney, Skrep refused to testify in hearings about the juvie scandal.  This is known as “Taking the Fifth.”
   We hear Piazza has also given up two former high ranking county officials.
   One is from Greater Pittston and has ties to a job handed out by the Pittston Area School Board. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 3:05 pm - 26 opinions posted
At Pittston Area re-org, divide and conquer tactic fails

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   Divide and conquer.
   After seeing the move by PA Board members Ross Latona and Bob Linskey attempt to nominate newly elected board member Bruce Knick as President of the board, it became clear how they plan on moving their agenda forward in the upcoming year – divide and conquer.
   While their methodology should be commended, their execution failed.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 9:34 pm - 16 opinions posted
Judge Toole was probably wired for sound
Judge Toole was probably wired for sound
Judge Michael Toole
Judge Toole was probably wired for sound
   As most are aware, there are many questions why Judge Michael Toole was allowed to serve on the bench after he signed his plea agreement back in September.
   After all, he was presiding over cases after he admitted he was a crook,
   In President Judge Chester Muroski’s press conference he was visibly upset with this and said those questions should be taken up with the US Attorney’s office. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 6:03 pm
Connecting the dots with PA, WVW and the Vo-Tech
Connecting the dots with PA, WVW and the Vo-Tech
Joe Oliveri & Jeff Piazza
Connecting the dots with PA, WVW and the Vo-Tech
   With the indictment of Jeff Piazza, will more follow?
   While I’m having a tough time connecting the dots, my thought is that Wyoming Valley West is somehow connected as well.
   Eighteen months ago, Valley West decided to pull board representation from the West Side Career and Technical School (WSCT aka the Vo-Tech).
   Their rationale was because they sent more kids to the Vo-Tech than any other district, they should have more representation.
   Each participating member of the Vo-Tech has three representatives from each school district sit on the Vo-Tech board. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 13 opinions posted
WA to reorganize
WA to reorganize
Alberigi & Bolin
WA to reorganize
   The Wyoming Area Board will be reorganizing this week.
   A couple of weeks ago, we predicted Dave Alberigi would be appointed President.
   We still think this might happen, however, because John Bolin was the high vote getter, we may see him take the reigns at WA. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 5 opinions posted
Nothing to change at PA reorg
Nothing to change at PA reorg
Guariglia, Quinn & Singer
Nothing to change at PA reorg
   Don’t look for many changes with the reorganization at Pittston Area.
   Because of the turmoil surrounding the ongoing federal investigation, Attorney Mark Singer will remain President.
   Tony Guariglia will most likely continue on as the Vice President.
   The only decent appointment which will be decided is who’ll fill John Adonizio’s shoes as the representative to the LIU. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 7 opinions posted
“Not for publication!” doesn't mean not for publication
“Not for publication!” doesn't mean not for publication
Joe Valenti
“Not for publication!” doesn't mean not for publication
   This is a notice.
   If you email me and put a disclaimer in it “Not for publication!” please don’t think I am obligated not to publish it.
   This past week I received an email with that disclaimer.  Currently I’m still contemplating publishing it.
   I don’t think I will, however.
   Please don’t feel you can’t send me something.  It’s just that unless I agree not to publish it, its open for publication. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 3 opinions posted
Third Dist GOP to host Christmas party
Third Dist GOP to host Christmas party
Arthur Bobbouine
Third Dist GOP to host Christmas party
   The Third District Republicans will be hosting their annual Christmas Party on Sunday December 27, 2009 at the VFW in Dupont at 5pm.  Cost is $20 per person and $30 per couple.  Buffet will include chicken, Beef, Piggies, Pasta, Potatos and Vegetable.  Beer and Soda will also be served.  Everyone is invited.  Please contact Art at 760-7815 with reservations.
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Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 4 opinions posted
We can be proud with these two
We can be proud with these two
Augello & Cosgrove
We can be proud with these two
   There is good news for the Luzerne County Courts and Greater Pittston.
   It looks like Pittston native Joe Cosgrove will be one of the court’s new jurists.
   The other good news is that Pittston’s own Judge, Joe Augello will be the new President Judge replacing Chester Muroski.
   This is truly a breath of fresh air for our area.  Augello, like Tom Burke stayed above it all during the Ciavarella and Conahan scandal. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:32 pm - 1 opinion posted
Piazza enters into federal plea agreement
Piazza enters into federal plea agreement
Jeff & Auggie Piazza
Piazza enters into federal plea agreement
   Jeff Piazza, son of political heavy weight Auggie Piazza, has signed a plea agreement with the feds.
   PittstonPolitics.com was again the first to report Jeff Piazza resigned from his $55,000 job at the Wilkes Barre Area Vo-Tech which led to his plea which was signed November 19th (CLICK HERE TO READ PLEA).
   In his plea, it says he accepted thousands of dollars in kick-backs from a vendor while he was the technology coordinator of the Vo-Tech.
 
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 3:43 pm - 36 opinions posted
Judge Toole pleads guitly; Muroksi says no more Judge shopping
Judge Toole pleads guitly; Muroksi says no more Judge shopping
Toole & Muroski
Judge Toole pleads guitly; Muroksi says no more Judge shopping
   As first reported at PittstonPolitics.com back in September, Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole was the next one to go down.  According to President Judge Chester Muroski, Toole signed a plea agreement on September 25th. 2009.
   Toole has agreed to plead guilty to honest services fraud and filling a false income tax return.
   Pursuant to the complaint filed by the US Attorney’s office, Toole agreed to put the fix in by appointing an agreed on arbitrator in an uninsured motorist lawsuit. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 3:57 pm - 5 opinions posted
Duo singing in perfect harmony
Duo singing in perfect harmony
Karen Holly & MIke Pasonic
Duo singing in perfect harmony
   Thirty days in a federal halfway house.
   That’s the amount of time former District Justice Karen Holley will have to serve for robbing the Sanitary Authority.
   What does this light sentence tell us?
   Karen Holley is singing like a bird.
   Holley has been knee deep in Sanitary Authority politics forever.
   As we all know, the Sanitary Authority has been the best kept secret in Wyoming Valley. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 11:01 pm - 3 opinions posted
PA Board members must have cut history class
PA Board members must have cut history class
Bob Linskey & Dr. Ross Latona
PA Board members must have cut history class
   For being two highly educated individuals, Pittston Area Board members Bob Linskey and Ross Latona must have cut history class.
   While I was gone away the week of the past Pittston Area School Board meeting, both along with Kent Bratlee tried to modify the First Amendment of the Constitution.
   Pittston Area Student John Lombardo touched on it a bit with his coverage of the meeting last week.
   It looks like Bob Linskey isn’t too pleased with his opponents receiving campaign donations from the Pittston Area Teacher’s Union. He wanted to prohibit school directors from taking campaign donations from the Union and attempted to legislate federal election law from the Pittston Area Board room. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:01 pm - 23 opinions posted
Conflicting opinions on WA right to know request
Conflicting opinions on WA right to know request
WA Super Ray Benardi
Conflicting opinions on WA right to know request
    “Communications between the Superintendent and school board are confidential and therefore this is not for public record.” 
   That was the response I received from Denise Holmes, Wyoming Area’s Right to Know Officer about a request I had made to     Wyoming Area for all correspondence from the District Superintendent to the board for the month of August 2009.
   Wow!  That’s a pretty broad denial.
   So I decided to ask Attorney Mike Butera who was filling in for Ray Hassey at this past board meeting about it.
   Butera was in agreement with me that correspondence concerning personnel and legal matters would fall under the district's right not to disclose. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:01 pm - 1 opinion posted
It was a love fest for LaNunziata


   I almost shed a tear when Ray Benardi had a love fest for John LaNunziata because it was LaNunziata’s last meeting.
   I’m not going to opine on this because Benardi’s words speak volumes.  I’ll let you form your own opinion.
   In fact, let’s hear your opinion on Benardi’s words for departing John LaNunziata.

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Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:01 pm - 5 opinions posted
Butters fills in for Hassey
Butters fills in for Hassey
Atty. Mike Butera
Butters fills in for Hassey
   There was a bit of a gasp in the Wyoming Area Board room when Attorney Mike Butera took Ray Hassey’s (the district solicitor) seat at this past meeting.
   At the end of the meeting George Race asked why Butera was there and not Hassey.
   Board President Nick DeAngelo said Hassey was on vacation and that Butera was just filling in.
   We also heard Butters was there because he might have to “field any of Joe Valenti’s questions.”
   Wow!  I’m not exactly sure if that’s true but I can assure you that I’m just an innocent warm little fuzz ball.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:01 pm - 6 opinions posted
Parting words from LaNunziata & Wall
 

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Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:01 pm - 2 opinions posted
Singer out of line & some observations at PA Board meeting
Singer out of line & some observations at PA Board meeting
Board President Mark Singer
Singer out of line & some observations at PA Board meeting
by John Lombardo
PA Student
  I attended the school board meeting on Tuesday, and at one point I was almost re-considering my future career as a “politician” because of what I saw. If this meeting taught me anything, it’s that all politics is dirty, and the animosity and greed that goes along with it is sickening. But enough about that for now.     First, I want to discuss are the arguments and bickering that went on during the meeting.
   They disappointed me.
   First, Attorney Singer was way out of line when he started banging his gavel and yelling at Dr. Latona because he asked a question to Mrs. Boyt about the special education department, after she already sat down. There was absolutely no need to do that. I think Atty. Singer made a fool out of himself. He could have calmly explained that it was improper to do that, instead of nearly causing World War 3 right there in the library. Read More ...
John Lombardo - Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:02 pm - 20 opinions posted
Amico's position is the political plum
Amico's position is the political plum
Dave Amico
Amico's position is the political plum
   This week will mark the final meeting for Wyoming Area School Directors Gerry Wall and John LaNunziata.
   Some are quite sad to see these two leave.
   However, others are saying good ridden. 
   Two in particular who are probably a bit distraught over LaNunziata’s departure are Ray Benardi and Dave Amico.
   I remember when Amico was first hired and the dust settled, he said to me he hoped that this would end my writings about him.
   “For now,” was my response.
   “However Dave,” I continued, “the bull’s eye has been on your position since time began.  As soon as the faces change (I was pointing at the board table) of those sitting up there, you’ll be in the headlines again.”
   And, as I predicted, Amico was an issue in this last campaign. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:02 pm - 5 opinions posted
WB Vo-Tech board shouldn't fill Piazza slot
WB Vo-Tech board shouldn't fill Piazza slot
Tony Guarigilia & Marty Quinn
WB Vo-Tech board shouldn't fill Piazza slot
   With the microscope the feds have on the Valley right now, don’t expect the Wilkes Barre Vo-tech board to immediately fill the void left by Jeff Piazza who resigned abruptly as the “Attendance Coordinator.”
   The board’s first mission:  Figure out what an “Attendance Coordinator” does.
   After that, look for the board to do one of two things.
   One, eliminate the position because it was a bull crap position to begin with.
   Or two, redefine the position to coincide with the school’s mission.
   Allow me to put myself in the position of Marty Quinn or Tony Guarigilia.  Both sit on the Vo-Tech board.
   Both should make the recommendation to eliminate the position. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:02 pm - 6 opinions posted
Tick Tock:  Time running out for Commish & Judge
Tick Tock:  Time running out for Commish & Judge
Skrepnak & Toole
Tick Tock: Time running out for Commish & Judge
   Last week I was two for two with my article about County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak and Judge Michael Toole
   First, Judge Toole.
   Or should I say “soon to be ex-judge.”
   This past week it was announced Toole cleared his schedule and would be taking vacation time for the remainder of November.
   My thought is he’s packing his tooth brush along with clean underwear because he might be on an extended 18 month vacation.
   The question remaining is how does Skrep fit into those plans?
   Will he be taking an extended vacation as well? Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:02 pm
In Flordia I ran into WA Super
In Flordia I ran into WA Super
   You’re not going to believe who I ran into on my flight back from Florida.
   And, believe it or not, it wasn’t until I heard his voice behind me.
   Nope, not Ray Bernardi.
   It was former Wyoming Area Superintendent Bob Fumanti.
   Yep, after we touched down in Allentown, I heard a familiar voice in the seat behind me.
   I said to myself, “That sounds like Bob Fumanti.”
   I turned around and said, “Hey Bob Fumanti.” Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 4:40 pm - 2 opinions posted
Glen Beck lampooned
For all you Glen Beck fans, here's something that John Stewart did last week.  Funny stuff!!


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Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm
WOW! Ooh Ooh Bird serves up last call Saturday night
WOW! Ooh Ooh Bird serves up last call Saturday night
Tiny, a gentle giant
WOW! Ooh Ooh Bird serves up last call Saturday night
   WOW!
   Saturday was a sad day for the West Side when the Ooh Ooh Bird in Exeter closed its doors.
   After nearly seven decades of serving cold beer and the best Wings in the Valley, Andrew Klapal, affectionately known as Tiny, served up his last round of drinks.
   While the name of this landmark bar was “The Ooh Ooh Bird,” most referred to it as Tiny’s.
   You see, Tiny is a big guy.  However, Tiny’s heart is even bigger.
   He’s truly a gentle giant.

LOTS OF FAREWELL PHOTOS INSIDE!




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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 2 opinions posted
Dupont Mayor will be missed
Dupont Mayor will be missed
George Legezdh
Dupont Mayor will be missed
   When I heard George Legezdh, the former Mayor of Dupont, passed way this week, I didn’t think of him as a politician, I thought of him coming to the aide of my family when my dad passed away nearly a decade ago.
   George was a member of the “Greatest Generation” as Dan Rather wrote in his book.
   He served our county and protected us from evil during World War II.
   From that point forward, George continued to honor those who served and protected us as well. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm
New WP Council finds themselves in same predicament
New WP Council finds themselves in same predicament
Joe Campbell
New WP Council finds themselves in same predicament
   As you know, West Pittston Council fired Joe Campbell.
   I’m not going to get into the reasons, but I wish Joe and his family well.
   What I do want to get into is the politics revolving around Campbell over the last five or six years.
   Please recall the previous council, led by Bill Rowe and Carl Rosencrance, attempted to fire Campbell about five years ago.
   After that, when Bill Goldsworthy formed the “The Mayor’s Team”, Campbell’s firing was one of the main issues.
   “The Mayor’s Team” swept and took control of council.
   Now, the defunct “Mayor’s Team” is in the exact same position with Campbell as Rosencrance and Rowe were in six years ago. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 10 opinions posted
With Piazza, more questions than answers
With Piazza, more questions than answers
Piazza's restaurant & Augie Piazza
With Piazza, more questions than answers
   With the abrupt resignation of Jeff Piazza from the Wilkes Barre Vo-Tech, there are more questions than answers.
   There are also a lot of dots that will eventually be connected.
   First, Piazza worked at Vo-Tech for ten years earning 55 grand a year.
   He was originally hired as the Technology Director.
   Then he was the “Attendance Coordinator.”
   What the hell is an Attendance Coordinator anyway? Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 22 opinions posted
Bernardi comfortable with new board
Bernardi comfortable with new board
WA Super, Ray Bernardi
Bernardi comfortable with new board
   We hear Wyoming Area Super, Ray Bernardi, is quite comfortable with the complexion of the new board.
   As you know, the voters gave John LaNunziata, Bernardi’s strongest ally, the boot.
   New comers Gil Dominick and Frank Cassarella will join Dave Alberigi, John Bolin and John Marianacci to form a new majority.
   During the campaign, besides the cross hairs being on LaNunziata, there was a lot of talk Bernardi was the cause for many of the district’s problems. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 9 opinions posted
Rumor mill about Commish and Judge run rampant
Rumor mill about Commish and Judge run rampant
Commish Greg Skrepnak and Judge Michael Toole
Rumor mill about Commish and Judge run rampant
   My calls about who is next down the county have become quite voluminous over the last three weeks.
   Two names that keep popping are County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak and Judge Michael Toole.
   Every week I keep hearing, “Friday.”
   Friday comes and goes, and nothing.
 


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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 7 opinions posted
I'll be in sunny Florida this week
I'll be in sunny Florida this week
Joe Valenti
I'll be in sunny Florida this week
   This week I’m going to sunny Florida to take my mom back.
   I’ll still have access to the Internet, however, it won’t be as often as I’d like.
   No need to worry though, your blogs and posts will still be screened. 
   It just may take me a bit longer to get to them.
   One thing I will be doing is looking for a good deal on a waterfront condo.
   Does anyone know where I can find one?
   And, I’ll need a “reel” nice boat to park dockside at condo.
   Maybe I’ll get a new suit while I’m down there as well.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:32 pm - 4 opinions posted
Piazza abruptly quits at WB Vo-Tech
Piazza abruptly quits at WB Vo-Tech
WB Vo-Tech on Jumber Rd
Piazza abruptly quits at WB Vo-Tech
   In a brief one sentence letter, Jeff Piazza abruptly resigned his position at the Wilkes Barre Area Vo-Tech (click here to view).
   Addressed to Principal Frank Majikes, Piazza simply wrote, “Please accept this letter of correspondence as my letter of resignation from my position at the Wilkes Barre Area Career and Technical Center affective November 10, 2009.”
   Vo-Tech’s web site lists Piazza as the “Attendance Coordinator.”
   Piazza has been employed with the school for about seven years.
   “This is the first I heard of it,” Pittston Area Board member and representative to the Vo-Tech Tony Guariglia said Thursday evening. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:47 pm - 8 opinions posted
W. Wyoming fires admin
W. Wyoming fires admin
Council Chairman Richard Yarosavich confers with Boro Solicitor Lanell Lukesh
W. Wyoming fires admin
W. Wyoming fires administrator after audit findings, investigation pending
   Adding to Luzerne County corruption troubles, West Wyoming now joins the ranks with their own internal scandal.
   At Monday night’s meeting, borough council terminated Borough Administrator Tom Loftus as a result of findings of an audit performed for years 2007 and 2008.
   As first reported last week here at PittsttonPolitics.com (click here to view), this involves credit cards, overtime and pension funds

Video below of West Wyoming meeting

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 10:01 pm
Why WA voters ousted LaNunziata
Why WA voters ousted LaNunziata
Post card sent to WA residents
Why WA voters ousted LaNunziata
   “When the people fear the government, it’s tyranny.  When the government fears the people, it’s Liberty.”
   That’s a quote from Thomas Jefferson.
   This kinda sums up what happened with John LaNunziata’s loss in Wyoming Area.
   You see, when LaNunziata took control four years ago he thought he was King Kong.
   I’ll be the first to admit when he won it was a mandate. 
   He won on one main issue – the building project.
   Shortly after his victory, however, he forgot the people elected him.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:33 pm - 11 opinions posted
Juvie Brothers make Colbert report
Found this on my fellow blogger Gort 42's site.  Thought our readers would appreciate it as well


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - The Green Mile
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating


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Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm
WA majority to change, Algerigi to be tabbed as board president
WA majority to change, Algerigi to be tabbed as board president
Gil Dominick, Frank Cassarella, John Bolin and John Marrianaci claim vicotry with their supporters
WA majority to change, Algerigi to be tabbed as board president
   As I was driving past a local political gathering place this past week, white smoke billowed from the smoke stack
   Look for Dave Alberigi to become Wyoming Area’s Board President.
   As you know, John LaNunziata lost while John Marrianaci and John Bolin were retained.
   New comer Frank Cassarella along with his running mate Gil Dominick will be new faces to the Wyoming Area Board.
 


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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 15 opinions posted
PA majority will stay intact
PA majority will stay intact
Bruce Knick & Bob Linskey
PA majority will stay intact
   Two things surprised me in the Pittston Area election.
   One, Bruce Knick was top vote getter with 4315 votes.
   Two, Bob Linskey finished third with 4131 votes.
   Please keep in mind Knick received a single nomination on the Democratic ticket.  The race was between him and Bob Lampman who won a Republican nod.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 21 opinions posted
Toole's showing in the City was dismal
Toole's showing in the City was dismal
Wil Toole
Toole's showing in the City was dismal
   I don’t think anyone is surprised Wil Toole lost his bid for controller.
   What did surprise me was his dismal showing in Pittston City.
   He finished third with only 338 votes out of 1376 cast for controller.
   Walater Griffith, the Republican, even beat him with 411 votes while Bob Morgan, the Democrat, received 627.
   In the City, Wil Toole received 25% of the votes which is actually worse than the 29% approval rating he received in a PittstonPolitics.com poll.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 5 opinions posted
Goldy easily wins, Barry and Barry win, Lescavage will be missed
Goldy easily wins, Barry and Barry win, Lescavage will be missed
Bill Goldsworthy & Brian Vandermark
Goldy easily wins, Barry and Barry win, Lescavage will be missed
   I’ll be the first to admit I thought West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworhty was toast.
   And, my thought is – he thought so too.
   Goldy easily won another term with 60% of the vote.
   On election morning I would have given three to one odds Goldy would lose to Brian Vandermark.
   My rationale was that Goldy really had no “political faction” with him.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 9 opinions posted