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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
Don't ever under estimate the power of the electorate
Don't ever under estimate the power of the electorate
Judge Tom Burke & Peter Paul Olszewski
Don't ever under estimate the power of the electorate
   We learned a valuable lesson in this past election.
   Don’t ever under estimate the power of the electorate – they ain’t stupid.
   First, if you asked anyone inside the bubble at the courthouse, Judge Burke and Olzsewski were done.
   There was no way either of these judges would be retained.
   They were wrong.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 2 opinions posted
What's next for the third floor
What's next for the third floor
Tina Gartley speaks with WNEP at her victory party
What's next for the third floor
   The analysis about Tina Gartly’s and Bill Amesburry’s win isn’t about how they won, it’s about what’s next for the third floor.
   With Olszewski packing his bags at the end of the year, who’s in line that will be measuring his chambers for new curtains.
   There could be three to five openings come 2010.
   The list of candidates will be quite voluminous.
   The first person to come to mind is Jackie Musto-Carroll.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:31 pm - 1 opinion posted
ELECTION RESULTS
CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM THE COURTHOUSE

WA Board:  LaNunziata Out
1.  Bolin 2945  - WIN
2.  Marianacci 2871 - WIN
3.  Cassarella 2864 - WIN
4.  Dominick 2856 - WIN
5.  LaNunziata  2217 - LOSS
6.  Aufuire  2129 - LOSS

Wyoming Mayor:  Boyer retains seat


West Pittston:  Goldy retains Mayor's seat
Council:  Musinski, Stankus, Hosier, Thornton

PA Board:  Knick high vote getter: 

1. Knick 4162 - WIN
2. Latona 4026 - WIN
3. Starna 3972 - WIN
4. Linskey 3980 - WIN

5. Lampman 3002 - LOSS

CONTROLLER: Griffith wins, Pittston's Wil Toole loses big
                                                      Total votes     percentage
  •  Walter L. Griffith Jr. (Rep)        28,160          48.3       WIN
  •  Bob Morgan (Dem)                       21,916          37.59       
  •  Wil Toole (Ind)                                8,197          14.06       
  •  WRITE-IN.                                         33              .05         
  •  Total                                            58,306               
Post analysis on Sunday!

Please blog your post analysis of the election.  Why you think they won and why you think they lost...let's hear it!
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Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 8:54 pm - 38 opinions posted
WP Council Prez sets the record straight
WP Council Prez sets the record straight
Brian Thornton, WP Council President
WP Council Prez sets the record straight
   "To Discusted, your conclusion as to why we brought back Frank Keder is off the mark. If you would attend a public meeting now and then, you would know the truth. As soon as I was alerted that Frank held more seniority than Mr. Carpenter, I realized we had made a mistake. I immediately requested that our Council correct the wrong, that is, bring back Frank...and we did. I know Fritz personally for 32 years....I think he's a terrific guy and friend. Read More ...
Brian Thornton - Posted: Monday, November 2, 2009 11:07 pm - 4 opinions posted
With no opposition, City candidates still pack em in
With no opposition, City candidates still pack em in
Chris Latona, Mike Lombardo, Jason Klush & Joe Chernoskus
With no opposition, City candidates still pack em in
   While those running in Pittston City have no opposition, they still figured they'd still have a rally.
   And, what a rally it was.
   The packed Rooney’s Irish Pub on Main Street where Councilman Danny Argo and Friends provided the entertainment.
   Many county candidates made an appearance.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:27 pm
Exeter officials seek office
Exeter officials seek office
Tom Shannon, Cassandra Coleman & Thomas Polacheck
Exeter officials seek office
   Thomas Polacheck has announced his candidacy for Tax Collector of Exeter Borough.
   The incumbent, he was appointed by Council in 2001 to complete the term of the office left vacant by a resignation and has since served as Tax Collector for the community.
   Polacheck is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has studied Economics at King’s College.
   Tom, now retired, and his family have resided in Exeter over 40 years. He has five children and 10 grandchildren and is a member of St. Cecilia’s Church. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 2 opinions posted
EXCLUSIVE: Corruption woes hit West Wyoming
EXCLUSIVE: Corruption woes hit West Wyoming
W. Wyoming Boro Bldg
EXCLUSIVE: Corruption woes hit West Wyoming
   There is a situation brewing in West Wyoming that could make Wil Toole look like Mother Theresa.
   We have learned that there may be a problem with the borough administrator.  Currently he is on an unpaid suspension leave.
   From what we have gathered, over the last four years there have been misappropriated funds.  It may date further back than that.
   The problems include altered pension records and overtime slips along with undocumented credit card purchases.
   The total dollar amount could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 3 opinions posted
Former Mayor takes exception with Toole's comments
Former Mayor takes exception with Toole's comments
Mike Lombardo
Former Mayor takes exception with Toole's comments
   “You created a monster,” Mike Lombardo (the former Pittston City Mayor) said referring to our article from last week entitled “Toole shines in debate.”
   He said this in conversation at a rally held for the Pittston City candidates this past week.
   You see, this was the first political event I’ve seen Toole at this year.  And, I’ve been to a lot.
   I asked others in attendance and they also confirmed this was the first event they’ve seen Toole at as well.
   Lombardo also took exception with Toole blaming the Lombardo Administration for all his problems a decade ago. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 7 opinions posted
Analyzing the controller race & the double top secret deal
Analyzing the controller race & the double top secret deal
Rostock, Toole, Morgan & Griffith
Analyzing the controller race & the double top secret deal
   Last week we ran a poll asking “Who would you most likely chose as Luzerne County’s Controller?”
   We started it Sunday evening and had to cut it short Tuesday evening because someone was playing games.
   You see, one candidate’s votes nearly doubled in a half hour period.  That just doesn’t happen.   I won’t disclose who the candidate was, but our readers are smart and can figure this one out all on their own.
   However, before this happened, Walter Griffith was winning the poll with approximately 42% of the vote.  Bob Morgan garnered 37% while Wil Toole received 21% of the 100 or so votes that were cast. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 6 opinions posted
PA board race winds down, ticket holds final rally in Old Boston
PA board race winds down, ticket holds final rally in Old Boston
Controller Candidate Wil Toole (right) at Lampman rally works the crowd
PA board race winds down, ticket holds final rally in Old Boston
   The Pittston Area School Board race comes down to Burce Knick vs Bob Lampman.
   Marilyn Starna, Bob Linskey and Dr. Ross Latona all won double nominations.
   Knick will appear on the Democratic ballot and Lampan will appear on the Republican.
   Knick is aligned with the majority while Lampman ran with Linskey and Latona who sit in the minority. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 13 opinions posted
somebodY shOUld…..
somebodY shOUld…..
Ree Ree DeLuca
somebodY shOUld…..
   If I had a penny for every time someone approached me about things that needed to be done at our Little League, Football organization, in our town, with our School Board and every other organization I am involved with or know something about I would be a Gazillionaire.  I am not sure if that is an actual word but it does sum up how I feel about all those people who want things to get done.  The funny thing is they usually want me to do something about it.
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Ree Ree DeLuca - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 8 opinions posted
Well organized WA ticket comes down the home stretch
Well organized WA ticket comes down the home stretch
John Bolin, Dave "Buttons" Alberigi & John Marianacci
Well organized WA ticket comes down the home stretch
   Hoping not to leave any stone unturned, Wyoming Area Board members John Bolin and John Marianacci held a home stretch rally at Guilfords this past week.
   Over 100 came through the door in support of the incumbent school directors.
   This turn out was quite impressive and reminded us of the breakfast they had at Fox Hill where extra tables had to be set up in the hallway to accommodate the overflow.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:16 pm - 7 opinions posted
Exeter Councilman Joe Esposito backs Shannon and Skursky
by Joe Esposito
Exeter Councilman
  To All Exeter Residents,
   As a proud Exeter Resident and Member of the Exeter Council I am writing this letter to give my full support to Thomas Shannon and Dale  Skursky for council. I am supporting these candidates because of the following.
   Both have pledged to me that they will not accept any contributions from any vendor or professional service provider of Exeter Borough.  They will not have any back room meetings or any deals not made in the full view of the public. They will not accept any gifts of any kind including meals, golf green fees or tournaments from any vend0r or professional service provider. Read More ...
Joe Esposito - Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:28 pm - 1 opinion posted
WA loses appeal, Union says Bernardi is the problem
WA loses appeal, Union says Bernardi is the problem
Ray Bernardi
WA loses appeal, Union says Bernardi is the problem
   “The problems at Wyoming Area have nothing to with the School Board,” John Holland of the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) said.  “Sole responsibility lies on the superintendent, Ray Bernardi and Ray Bernardi alone.”
   Holland confirmed Bill Simmons, who was terminated last year, won the appeal which was filed on behalf the school district.
   After Simmons was terminated, Holland said there was a grievance filed against the district and Benardi.  This was done on behalf of Simmons for violation of the district’s contract along with unfair labor practices. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:27 pm - 11 opinions posted
UPDATE:  Toole shines in debate
UPDATE:  Toole shines in debate
Wil Toole
UPDATE: Toole shines in debate
   I’m going to say something here that will make most, no, all of my readers fall of their chair.  Wil Toole won the debate hosted by Dave Yonki of LuLac.
   And, no, I didn’t’ bump my head.
   First, over the past two months, I never questioned Toole’s qualifications or knowledge of the issues.
   I did, and Monday night confirmed it, feel Toole is qualified.  And, as Toole put it, “I may not be the most qualified to be the controller,
 LuLac Controller Debate below
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 12:02 am - 18 opinions posted
Luzerne County Controller Poll ends
Luzerne County Controller Poll ends
Controller poll ended
Luzerne County Controller Poll ends
   Here's the deal.  I've closed the poll.  Someone was playing games.  No one gets 35 votes in a half an hour.  I'm not going to mention who received those votes, but it doesn't surprised me!  And, that's too bad:-(
    There were approximately 100 or so votes up until then and that was over a four day period.  I'll post the results on Sunday.
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Posted: Sunday, October 25, 2009 10:20 pm
Peter Paul needs to play the Wil Toole card


 
   I think we’re all in agreement Judge Peter Paul Olszewski is going to have a tough time.
   I’ve been thinking, what could possibly drag him across the finish line?
   How can he distance himself from Ciavarella and Conahan?
   Then it hit me.  Play the Wil Toole card.
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Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 9:00 pm
In WA:  First stop Avoca
In WA:  First stop Avoca
John Bolin, John Marianacci, Gil Dominick, John LaNunziatta & Mike Aufiere
In WA: First stop Avoca
   In the Wyoming Area School Board race there has been one common theme:  Get to Avoca.
   Six weeks ago I actually passed through the quaint little town by railroad.
   First, has anyone told Gerry Wall he lost?
   After all, he attended the School Board convention with only 45 days left on his term.
   We’re also seeing Wall yard signs popping up. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 8:10 pm - 5 opinions posted
AG's office looking at WA building project
AG's office looking at WA building project
Ray Bernardi, Gerry Wall & John LaNunziatta
AG's office looking at WA building project
   This past week someone asked the Wyoming Area Board if any of them had been contacted by the FBI.
   Right question, wrong agency.
   The question should have been has anyone from the Wyoming Area Board including the superintendent been contacted by any investigating agency.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:40 pm - 2 opinions posted
WB engineer did a lot of work on West Side
WB engineer did a lot of work on West Side
Mike Pasonick
WB engineer did a lot of work on West Side
   As most are aware, the microscope is on Wilkes Barre Engineer Mike Pasonick.
   It was PittstonPolitics.com who first broke the story about Pasonic four weeks ago.  We said it was rumored he had been wired for sound and was most likely responsible for the recent arrests.
   Now that this is out in the open, my thoughts are those who have contracted with Pasonick over the years are having some heart burn right about now. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:17 pm - 1 opinion posted
Third District GOP hosts "Meet the candidates"
Third District GOP hosts "Meet the candidates"
Trish & Arthur DePrimo Bobbouinne
Third District GOP hosts "Meet the candidates"
   Judges Tom Burke and Peter Paul Olzsewski were in attendance.
   We didn’t get to hear Burke speak, however, we did make it in time for Olszewski.
   When asked about the debacle with Conahan and Ciavarella, Olszewski said that because Juvenile Court was held behind closed doors, much of the goings on went under the radar.
   “We had criminals in black robes commit crimes in secrecy,” Olszewski said.  “And, it took the US Attorney four years to figure it out.”
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:52 pm - 1 opinion posted
Independent WA ticket draws nice crowd
Independent WA ticket draws nice crowd
Frank Cassarella & Jacquiline Yanora
Independent WA ticket draws nice crowd
   Considering Gil Dominick and Frank Cassarella are running on the Independent slate, 150 passing through the doors at a rally they hosted this past week is quite respectable.
   West Wyoming resident and long time educator Jimmy Dennis acted as the master of ceromnies.
   He took some of the majority members of the Wyoming Area School board to task citing the recent half million dollar lawsuit along with the labor dispute with Bill Simmons.
   He also hit on taxes noting, “It’s not a matter of raising taxes, it a matter of when.”
   Nepotism was also on the top of the list.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:11 pm
Linskey says PA majority looking to create another job
Linskey says PA majority looking to create another job
PA Board Member Bob Linskey
Linskey says PA majority looking to create another job
by Bob Linskey
Pittston Area Board Member
  I believe there is a plan in place by the P.A. Board majority to create another unbudgeted job.  I thought for sure it was going to happen at our last Board meeting but when it did not, I realized it is probably put off until after the November election.
    Let me give you some background.  On July 20, 2009, our Director of Special Education told the Administration that the only special education teaching position she needed for the coming year was the one that was open due to a special education teacher (participant 1) transferring to a social studies position.
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Bob Linskey - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:01 pm - 50 opinions posted
Mayoral candidate and mayor offer up response on "bad checks"
Mayoral candidate and mayor offer up response on "bad checks"
WP Mayor Bill Goldsworthy & Candidate Brian Vandermark
Mayoral candidate and mayor offer up response on "bad checks"
Editor’s Note:  This past week we received copies of four private complaints (not criminal) filed at the Magistrate’s Office against West Pittston Mayoral Candidate Brian Vandermark for bad checks.  I sent them off to Vandermark and asked for a comment.  Mr. Vandermark along with his wife came to my home to explain the situation.  I found him sincere and credible and offered him space to explain.  Likewise, I also asked his opponent, sitting Mayor Bill Goldsworthy, for a comment.  Their reponses are noted below. 

Brian Vandermark's response:
   This is a notice to all the well-meaning citizens of the Garden Village. The rumors, gossip and innuendo of dirty politics and character assassination are nothing new to our town. I had sincerely hoped that certain individuals would remain respectful and address our differences of opinion in a civil fashion. My hope has been dashed by rumors regarding "bad checks" and the character assassins are out spreading the worst of all lies - a half truth. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:01 pm - 5 opinions posted
Wil Toole's problems in his own words

   This week I had every intention of rehashing Wil Toole’s involvement with the Bernie Olson scandal some twenty years ago.
   But I’m not.
   However, and because I’m such a fair guy, instead, I came across videos of Wil Toole’s interview with the Times Leader.
   The above are four (12, 13, 14 & 15) of those clips.
   If you’d like to view the entire interview, please click here.
   First, I’m not making this up. 
   These four clips are in Wil Toole’s own words and I learned quite a few things. 
   You will as well.
  • Besides Mike Conahan, disgraced Luzerne County Judge Mark Civarella has also sided with Wil Toole.  I didn’t know that.
  • Wil said, “In all honesty I thought I was going to jail.”  He was referring to a column John Watson wrote in the Sunday Dispatch.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:01 pm - 2 opinions posted
Judicial candidate Dick Hughes sits down at the Kithcen Table

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Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:01 pm
Conahan allowed Toole to put tooth paste back in the tube
Conahan allowed Toole to put tooth paste back in the tube
Wil Toole in handfuffs escorted in perp walk by PA State Trooper
Conahan allowed Toole to put tooth paste back in the tube
   What do you think would have happened if the feds were in town with the fiasco that Wil Toole pulled off a decade ago?
   Let’s just take a look at one instance.
   First, disgraced judge Michael Conahan dismissed the charges only after Toole paid back $19,000 of the $30,000 Toole ran off with (click here to view the article).
   Geez, this sounds awfully familiar. 
   Karen Holley paid the money she robbed from the Sanitary Authority. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 2:05 pm - 15 opinions posted
Handicapping the Judicial race
Handicapping the Judicial race
Amesbury, Hughes and Gartley
Handicapping the Judicial race
   Many politcos have been attempting to handicap this judicial race.
   First, Bill Amesbury won a double nomination.  With the recent developments of the board of elections now putting instructions on how to vote straight party line, my thoughts were that it wouldn’t be as easy as some were speculating.
   With this, Amesbury will be tough to beat.
   So that leaves Tina Gartley and Dick Hughes.
   Gartley is a Democrat and Hughes is a Republican.
   When I analyze this, it looks like Lokuta and Kellar all over again. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:13 pm - 2 opinions posted
With 45 days left on Wall's term, he goes on $1000 junket
With 45 days left on Wall's term, he goes on $1000 junket
WA Director Gerry Wall
With 45 days left on Wall's term, he goes on $1000 junket
   Wyoming Area Board member Gerry Wall must really like chocolate.
   With approximately 45 days left until Wyoming Area School Board member Gerry Wall is no longer a school director, he continues to spend our hard earned tax dollars.
   Yes, this past week, Mr. Wall actually attended junket held down in Hershey for the Pennsylvania School Board Association.
   Why?
   Let’s see, he has only two more board meetings he’ll be attending before he’s off the board. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:31 pm - 10 opinions posted
What happened to the "Mayor's Team"
What happened to the "Mayor's Team"
Where's Goldy?
What happened to the "Mayor's Team"
   Where’s Goldy?
   Sometimes I don’t have to call anyone to write a story.
   And, in this case, instead of a picture telling a thousand words, a political sign tells even more.
   As you peruse through the Garden Village, you’ll notice black and white political signs entitled “re-elect LESCAVAGE, MUSINKSI & THORNTON.”
   Where’s the mayor? Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:31 pm - 9 opinions posted
PITTSTON AREA:  What happened in Vegas won't be staying in Vegas
PITTSTON AREA:  What happened in Vegas won't be staying in Vegas
PA Board members treated to Vegas trip
PITTSTON AREA: What happened in Vegas won't be staying in Vegas
   Ah, craps!
   Considering the arrest of business owner Richard Emanski, one must ask if this has ties to Pittston Area.
   You betcha!
   Emanski’s company did the tile and carpeting work in the past building project.  I believe it was somewhere around a million buckaroos.  He also did work at LCCC and Wilkes-Barre Vo-Tech.
   Now here’s where it gets interesting.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:31 pm - 14 opinions posted
Sad but true, Rush on Obama money

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Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:41 pm - 1 opinion posted
Open forum / Free for all!
Open forum / Free for all!
   We can't forget to let you to have an open forum.
    Have at it!
    Remember, no unsubstantiated allegations, no name calling and keep it above board.
 Read More ...
Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 1:10 pm - 8 opinions posted
WA appeal will cost defendants & taxpayers even more
WA appeal will cost defendants & taxpayers even more
John LaNunziata and Jerry Wall
WA appeal will cost defendants & taxpayers even more
   Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock….
   Do you hear that?
   That’s the sound of the 6% interest clock ticking against the defendants of the Wyoming Area Federal lawsuit.
   Get ready because clock will be ticking away for at least another three years.
   This past week, the defendants in the infamous “Tri-Fecta” filed an appeal.
   That is to be expected of course.
   However, a $500,000 verdict could turn out to be $600,000 with interest.  Plus attorney fees which I’m sure by the time they’ve exhausted the appeal process will be close to $400,000. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 12:28 am - 13 opinions posted
Kitchen Table Poltics October 11, 2009
 

 
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Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 12:00 am - 11 opinions posted
With Skrep, we'll make national news again
With Skrep, we'll make national news again
County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak
With Skrep, we'll make national news again
   When Wyoming Valley and Luzerne County make national news, it’s usually not for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
   As we all know too well, the last time we made national news, 20/20 pulled up their vans and featured “Kids for Cash.”
   My thoughts are that if County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak is knee deep in this county scandal as many are speculating, the 20/20 vans will be pulling up to the courthouse again.
   This time the headline will be “NFL star does good, becomes County Commissioner, now involved in political scandal." Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:57 pm - 6 opinions posted
Ross was not a rat
Ross was not a rat
Ross Scarantino
Ross was not a rat
   An observation I made this past week is why was Ross Scarantino sentenced so quickly?
   After all, there have been a handful that were arrested before Ross.
   So why now?
   Then it hit me with the arrest of Bart Weidlich..
   Scarantino is not a rat.
   My thought is Ross stopped cooperating. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:32 pm - 8 opinions posted
Gartely should be distancing herself
Gartely should be distancing herself
Mary Anne Petrilla, Tina Gartley & Susan Kolessar
Gartely should be distancing herself
   Just when I thought Judicial Candidate Tina Gartley was staying above all, this week I’m left scratching my head
   On LuLac, Dave Yonki’s blog (click here to view), a photo of her posing with County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla surfaced.
   And, it’s not a photo that was taken before all this crap with the county happened
   Gartley actually had the Luzerne County Commissioner introduce here at one her rallies.
   According to Yonki’s  blog, “Mary Anne Petrilla introduced Polachek Gartlley and wasted no time taking a jab at the County GOP. Alluding to their slogan, “Elect Republicans-End Corruption”
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2009 12:31 pm - 14 opinions posted
State investigating Exeter sewer project


   Something stinks in Exeter!
   According to a letter (click here to view) sent to Exeter Borough, the State Auditor General is looking for documents pertaining to a sewer project performed in 2008.
   The letter, signed by Special Investigator Edwin Tyler, is requesting the following documents “relative to the sanitary sewer construction work done on Orchard Street in 2008”
   1.  Copies of proposals from contractors for the Project
   2.  Copies of invoices for purchases made by Exeter Borough for the Project;
   3.  Copies of cancelled checks for all disbursements made relative to the Project: and
   4.  Copies of Borough minutes for the period July 2008 through January 2009. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 11:17 pm - 8 opinions posted
Poll says Burke will come out on top
Poll says Burke will come out on top
   According to a PittstonPolitics.com poll, there’s good news for Judge Tom Burke.
   And, there’s bad news for Judge Peter Paul Olszewski
   With an overwhelming 77% of the 200 or so who participated in our poll, Tom Burke should be retained as judge
   However, those numbers are completely flipped when it comes to Olszewski.
   73% feel he should be given his walking papers.
   There are a couple different ways to analyze these numbers. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm
We're one year old!!
We're one year old!!
   This past week, we here at PittstonPolitics.com celebrated our one year anniversary.
   Getting this web site / blog up and running was quite the task initially.
   However, after we got the hang of it, things started to progress a bit easier.
   Shortly after our launch, we began doing video.  With that, we took our camera to school board meetings, county commissioner meetings, etc…
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 12 opinions posted
Retention rally held for Peter Paul |
Retention rally held for Peter Paul |
Peter Paul Olszewski speaks to the crowd as Mike Lombardo looks on
Retention rally held for Peter Paul
   About one hundred came out to show their support for the retention of Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olzsewski at the Red Mill in Pittston this past Thursday..
   Olzsewski thanked Pittston City Councilman Attorney Mike Lombardo for organizing the event.
   He also said the past week had been a bit bumpy, but he wanted to assure everyone that’s all it was.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE:
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 16 opinions posted
KITCHEN TABLE POLITICS: Corcoran buys breakfast, sits at kitchen table

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Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm
GOP blunder or is there a smoking gun?
GOP blunder or is there a smoking gun?
Corbett, Amesbury, Hughes & Gartely
GOP blunder or is there a smoking gun?
   Within an hour of the Luzerne County GOP issuing the following three questions, Steve Corbett had Bill Amesbury, Richard Hughes and Tina Gartley on his show.
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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 5 opinions posted
CORBETT:  Retain Judge Burke
CORBETT:  Retain Judge Burke
Steve Corbett
CORBETT: Retain Judge Burke
   Until he retired in the cruel aftermath of a stroke, my father Shamus kept a message of inspiration taped on the wall of his office at the police station where he worked for nine years as chief after serving 34 years with the Pennsylvania State Police.
   The word was “truth.”
   As one of the best police detectives in the world, my dad believed so much in the search for “truth” that he cut colored letters from a magazine and slapped them right up there on the wall of his office for anybody and everybody to see.
(click here to continue to WILK's website)
 Read More ...
Steve Corbett - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 3 opinions posted
Biscotti-Gate takes on a life of its own |
Biscotti-Gate takes on a life of its own |
Biscotti cookies & John LaNunziata
Biscotti-Gate takes on a life of its own
   Just when the West Side figured out the route to Avoca, up pops Biscotti-gate.
   Yes, that’s right, Biscotti-gate.
   Don’t ask. I have no clue what Biscotti-gate is.
   It all started when MadammVP, one of our bloggers, posted, “.Lanunziata, time to forget about the biscotti cookies and start worrying about good governance, mmmkay?” in our article about Gil Dominick (click here to view the article) running for Wyoming Area School Board. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 34 opinions posted
Its a "Free for all" |
Its a "Free for all"
   A couple weeks ago we had a free for all.
   Many, many posts/blogs.
   We have had quite a few requests to bring it back.
   Well, back by popular demand, have at it, a “free for all” as Corbett says.
   Remember the ground rules:  No unsubstantiated allegations, no name calling and keep it above board.

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Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 19 opinions posted
Pittston Area Chief of Security position comes under fire
Pittston Area Chief of Security position comes under fire
Board President Mark Singer
Pittston Area Chief of Security position comes under fire
   Unfortunately I didn’t get to go the Pittston Area Board meeting.
   I understand it was a barnburner.
   We heard Terry Best and Bob Linskey got into about replacing/hiring a head of security.
   Best’s position is they need to replace Chief Doran who passed away last year.
   Linskey’s position is it is an unbudgeted position.
   Wait a minute. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 17 opinions posted
All roads lead to Pittston
All roads lead to Pittston
Bart Weidlich
All roads lead to Pittston
   It looks like the feds have their cross hairs on some who reside in Pittston.
   This past week the feds nabbed Bart Weidlich for obstruction of justice.
   Please recall a few weeks ago, the feds grabbed county records out of a warehouse he owns.
   Further, the county has done some advertising business with the outdoor billboard company Weidlich owns as well.
   There’s more here than meets the eye. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:31 pm - 7 opinions posted
BREAKING NEWS:  GOP asks:  Who was on the boat?
BREAKING NEWS:  GOP asks:  Who was on the boat?
Bill Amesbury, Richard Hughes and Tina Gartley
BREAKING NEWS: GOP asks: Who was on the boat?
   The Luzerne County Republican party has taken a shot across the bow in the up coming judicial election.
   In a press release issued Tuesday, September 29th, they’re asking all the candidates who are on the ballot for a spot on the bench three questions
   1.  Did you, a member of your immediate family, or member of your law firm ever travel on the private jet that was owned by Robert Powell?
   2.  Were you, a member of your immediate family, or member of your law firm, ever a guest on Robert Powell’s yacht “Reel Justice?”
   3.  Were you, a member of your immediate family, or member of your law firm, ever a guest at the Florida condominium owned by the wives of former judges Ciavarella and Conahan? Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 3:22 pm - 18 opinions posted
TOOLE SERIES:  Stay tuned for next week
TOOLE SERIES:  Stay tuned for next week
Wil Toole
TOOLE SERIES: Stay tuned for next week
   When I attended the Pittston Area School Board rally this past Saturday, I had quite a few tell me how much they were enjoying the “Wil Toole” series.
   My response to them is that I have a file on most of the politicians, however, my Wil Toole file is ten times the size of any other politician.
   This week I’m not running anything. 
   Sorry:-(
   I still have to confirm a few more facts.
   Stay tuned!

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:46 pm
Even at PA, you can't spend $41K to save $12K
Even at PA, you can't spend $41K to save $12K
   A couple weeks ago we wrote that the Pittston Area Board was considering hiring a safety coordinator.
   Well, as of this week, it looks like that is off the table.
   I did receive a call from a friend in Wilkes-Barre this past week.  He said a friend’s son was to be interviewed Tuesday.
   However, he received a call that day informing him not to come in.
   This person also told me they spoke with Wil Toole and Toole told this person not to even waste his time because the job was promised to Jerry Shovlin. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:34 pm - 19 opinions posted
POLL:  Do you feel the judges should be retained
POLL:  Do you feel the judges should be retained
County Judges Burke & Olszewski
POLL: Do you feel the judges should be retained
   With the retention of Judge Tom Burke and Peter Paul Olzsewski looming, many are quite curious what will transpire.
   With the photo of Olszewski sharing some Grey Goose (at least it was some good stuff) with Conahan, many feel this may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
   Now is the time to let us know your plans.
   This week we’re conducting a poll:
   Will you vote to retain Judge Tom Burke and Judge Peter Paul Olszewski?



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Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:34 pm - 7 opinions posted
Free bus rides to Allenwood
Free bus rides to Allenwood
Pink Pig Bus
Free bus rides to Allenwood
   How can one resist poking fun at the courthouse on their 100th anniversary?
   My phone was ringing off the hook with calls about the giant pink pig.
   You can view the video below of the pink pig from WILKs web site where Steve Corbett offered some commentary.
   With that, I decided to google corruption pig and came up with the above photo.
   I think we should grab this bus, park it outside the courthouse and offer free rides to Allenwood.

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:33 pm - 2 opinions posted
Dominick seeks seat on WA Board
Dominick seeks seat on WA Board
Gil Dominick
Dominick seeks seat on WA Board
   Gil Dominick has elected to run for a seat on the Wyoming Area School Board as an Independent candidate along with Dr. Frank Casarella. 
   Gil believes every community’s ultimate strength lies in its people and their commitment for a better tomorrow.  Gil is well known for his dedication, trustworthiness, and leadership while serving on the Wyoming Area School Board for many years. He prides himself in the loyalty and appreciation he expresses toward voters and the community. Gil plans to commit his time, energy, and abilities to strengthen and improve the quality and effectiveness of the Wyoming Area School system. Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 24 opinions posted
All is peachy at Wyoming Area

   After attending the Wyoming Area School Board meeting this past week, if I didn’t know any better, things are just hunky dory.
   District Superintendent Ray Bernardi got up on his soap box a praised the district on the great PSSA scores.
   He also let the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, Dave Amico, sing accolades of what a great job he and his staff did after the explosion took out some of the JFK school.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 3 opinions posted
Dress Code & Uniforms brought up at WA meeting

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Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 27 opinions posted
PA candidates hold pig roast
PA candidates hold pig roast
Ross Latona, Bob Lampman & Bob Linskey
PA candidates hold pig roast
   Pittston Area Candidates for School Board Ross Latona, Bob Lampan and Bob Linskey held their fall pig roast this past Saturday.
   All in all it was a very successful outing.
   Ross Latona’s father gave me a bit of a ribbing when I was taking the candidates photos saying, “You’re not speaking to him are you?”
   Bob Linskey replied, “Hey you never pick a fight with the press.”
   “He’s not the press, he’s a political commentator,” Latona responded.
MORE PHOTOS INSIDE:

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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 31 opinions posted
Let's retain Judge Tom Burke
Let's retain Judge Tom Burke
Judge Tom Burke
Let's retain Judge Tom Burke
   With the pig at the courthouse and Judge Peter Paul Olszewski picture down at the condo in Florida making front page news this past week, how will this affect the outcome of the judicial retention vote.
   I caught up with Judge Thomas Burke this past Saturday at a political rally in Hughestown.
   He basically said he’s come this far, running on his record and looks forward to the election.
   While I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with Olszewski, I have had quite a few conversations with Tom Burke.
   I, along with my family, have known Tom and his entire family since I was a little boy growing up on Exeter Ave in West Pittston. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 14 opinions posted
A Day In The Life;  My Visit To The IRS
A Day In The Life;  My Visit To The IRS
John Watson
A Day In The Life; My Visit To The IRS
   Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across......
   Actually, I forgot to pack a comb, so I began my day of discovering Denver and answering the summoned call of my government and its revenue department in a frizz.
   I got a room for two nights at a really cute boutique hotel, The INN at Cherry Creek, in an upscale part of town, thanks to the Vail Resorts discount, but this left me far from my 9 a.m. appointment with the IRS in Englewood, about 20 miles away.
   Sometimes I compare my life to one of the great advances in future medical technology, the nano. When America starts healing instead of killing, we will soon be able to shoot microscopic nanos into the bodies of sick people, and they will root through the arteries and organs, finding, diagnosing and destroying the cellular enemies of our bodies. Read More ...
John Watson - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 11 opinions posted
Indoctrinating young minds into mush

   Did you happen to catch the above video of kids singing sons about Barack Obama?
   What has me even more outraged about this indoctrination of second graders, is that they’re being taught to sing about Obama to the tune of Glory Glory.
   I wonder if these second graders were taught the Star Spangled Banner?
   If they were, it was probably filled with propaganda about our new messiah.
   Indoctrination – that is the only word that can describe what has transpired here. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:31 pm - 4 opinions posted
TOOLE SERIES:  Poll very telling
TOOLE SERIES:  Poll very telling
Wil Toole
TOOLE SERIES: Poll very telling
   According a PittstonPolitics.com online opinion poll, County Controller candidate Wil Toole doesn’t have a chance.
   With 189 participating in the poll, 24% felt Wil Toole should be county controller
   Twenty percent chose “Wil Toole is not a crook and would make an excellent County Controller.”
   Four percent chose “Wil Toole turned over a new leaf and is exactly what Luzerne County needs.”
   And, six percent felt I am just picking on the former city clerk.
   While an overwhelming 70% didn’t give Mr. Toole very good marks. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 7:31 pm - 14 opinions posted
Feds issue sealed indictments, West Side heating up
Feds issue sealed indictments, West Side heating up
Frank Pizzella
Feds issue sealed indictments, West Side heating up
   First, the most recent rumor to hit is that feds have filed six sealed indictments.
   These indictments supposedly reach from Pittston to Wilkes-Barre.
   Next, during the primary, the east side was a hotbed of politics.
   Now, during the general, the tables have turned and the West Side seems to be burning the mid night oil.
   With the arrest of Frank Pizzella, it was pointed out that he was a courier for Mike Pasonic who is an engineer.  Pasonic had his fingers in quite a few projects on the West Side. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 7:31 pm - 3 opinions posted
Media bias and outrage
Media bias and outrage
Kayne West, Taylor Swift & Senator Robert Casey
Media bias and outrage
   It’s not often I offer national commentary here, but this week I just can’t help myself.
   As you know, Kayne West diss’d Taylor Swift at the national VMA awards.
   Then, in an off camera moment, President Barack Obama said West was a “Jack Ass.”
   Wow!  
   With that, the president’s approval rating probably shot up a few ticks.
   Why?  Because West was a “Jack Ass.”
   Which got me to thinking – what if President Bush called West a “Jack Ass”?
   Racist – that’s how the media would be labeling Bush.
   Oh, in case you weren’t aware, West is black and Taylor Swift is white. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 7:31 pm - 26 opinions posted
West Side Free for all
West Side Free for all
   It looks like our “Free for All” was a success last week with 52 posts.  Most addressed West Pittston.
   This week, let’s try it again. 
   However, we’ll split it into three:  County, East Side and West Side.
   Blog here  about the West Side.
   So have at it; no name calling; keep it above board and unsubstantiated allegations will not be approved.
   However, if you have an allegation and you disclose your actual identity, your post will be given serious consideration.
 Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:36 pm - 32 opinions posted
East Side Free for All
East Side Free for All
   It looks like our “Free for All” was a success last week with 52 posts.  Most addressed West Pittston.
   This week, let’s try it again. 
   However, we’ll split it into three:  County, East Side and West Side.
   Blog here  about the East Side.
   So have at it; no name calling; keep it above board and unsubstantiated allegations will not be approved.
   However, if you have an allegation and you disclose your actual identity, your post will be given serious consideration.
 Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:35 pm
County Free for All
County Free for All

   It looks like our “Free for All” was a success last week with 52 posts.  Most addressed West Pittston.
   This week, let’s try it again. 
   However, we’ll split it into three:  County, East Side and West Side.
   Blog here  about the county.
   So have at it; no name calling; keep it above board and unsubstantiated allegations will not be approved.
   However, if you have an allegation and you disclose your actual identity, your post will be given serious consideration.
 Read More ...
Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:34 pm - 8 opinions posted
Feds squeezing hard, local official stands his ground
Feds squeezing hard, local official stands his ground
   This past week we heard from a multitude of sources that two high ranking county officials and former Pittston Area Board members have turned down federal plea agreements.
   The feds have one official for accepting a laptop computer in exchange for giving preferential treatment to that vendor.
   This official said “thanks but no thanks.” 
   It looks like the feds want him to rat out another judge who happened to be in Atlantic City this past week.
   The problem, if in fact he did accept a laptop, is it was an old laptop that was about to be discarded.  Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:24 pm - 2 opinions posted
WP Mayoral Candidate lays out his platform
WP Mayoral Candidate lays out his platform
Brian Vandermark
WP Mayoral Candidate lays out his platform
   EDITORS NOTE:  Last week in our “Free for All” West Pittston Mayoral Candidate Brian Vanermark blogged the following.  I thought it was worth noting again and it looks like its his platform.
   I would like to start by saying I am Brian Vandermark and I am on the ballot. I appreciate that in a political season the incumbent has the burden of proving his record. While I respect Mayor Goldsworthy, we have serious differences of opinion on how our community needs to change. I have a website www.brian4mayor.org where I am posting my latest statements. It also has my number and e-mail to address any who would need me to be available for their concerns. The following posts are my stands on the issues being raised in this blog. If you differ in your opinion, I remain open to suggestions and consider myself open-minded and free from influence enough to be fair. Read More ...
Brian Vandermark - Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:56 pm - 22 opinions posted
New job at PA needs to be justified
New job at PA needs to be justified
Bob Linskey & Ross Latona
New job at PA needs to be justified
   Last week I received the following blog:
   “Someone should tell (name deleted) at PA the feds are in town.  He wants to create a $41,000.00, unbudgeted job and already told everyone who's getting it. Congat's (name deleted).  If the rest of the board doesn't want a visit from the feds they should vote NO. I heard (name deleted) even tried to make a deal with Bob Linskey???”
   I did not approve this, however, it did peak my interest so I did some digging. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:43 pm - 14 opinions posted
TOOLE SERIES:  Tell us how you feel
TOOLE SERIES:  Tell us how you feel
Wil Toole
TOOLE SERIES: Tell us how you feel
   This week in our Wil Toole series we’re going to take a different angle.
   As most know, Toole was in Pittston City Hall for a decade or so back in the 90’s.
   Upon his exit, there was quite a stir when Tool grabbed a $30,000 check.
   He was arrested and charged.  The controversy that came along with Toole’s shenanigans would rank up there with all that is happening now throughout the county.
   Now, over the last decade, it seems Wil Toole has been saved and found religion.



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Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 6:52 pm - 3 opinions posted
PA student weighs in on ditrict's dilemma
PA student weighs in on ditrict's dilemma
John Lombardo
PA student weighs in on ditrict's dilemma
   “Another one bites the chalk dust.” Those are the immortal words of Corbett in response to the continued discoveries of corruption in the school districts of Luzerne County. One in particular, is the Pittston Area School District. We have everything from teachers paying for jobs, to superintendents and board members taking kickbacks. How much better can it get? All of this has caused concern among just about everyone. There have even been days when corruption has been the topic of choice in school! It has raised doubts about the elected officials, and the administrators. It has also become a huge distraction to some of the better things that are going on around the schools. The mess that Scarantino started brought a “dark cloud” over Pittston Area, and it’s going to take a while for this storm to pass.
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John Lombardo - Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 6:30 pm
In the words of Steve Corbet:  It's a Free for all / Open forum
In the words of Steve Corbet: It's a Free for all / Open forum
   I’ve been getting a lot of emails and backdoor posts about West Pittston.
   Quite honestly, I have a tough enough time covering the school boards. 
   Covering the small towns can be a bit tedious.
   Not to say we are ignoring them, but I’m just one person.
   With that said, let’s call this an open forum.
   Or, as Steve Corbett would say “A Free For All.”
   Let’s hear your beefs.
   The rules – no name calling, keep it above board and no unsubstantiated allegations.
   Joe V
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Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 9:53 pm - 52 opinions posted
TOOLE SERIES:  Wil is sue happy
TOOLE SERIES:  Wil is sue happy
The above cartoon ran in the Sunday Dispatch after Wil Toole cut himself a $30,000 severance check
TOOLE SERIES: Wil is sue happy
   Talk to any official on the east side and ask them to comment on Wil Toole.
   Chances are you will not get an on the record comment for fear of Wil Toole suing them.
   You see, Wil Toole is sue happy.
   It all started after he allegedly bilked the city out of thousands of dollars.
   The Sunday Dispatch took Toole to task and he sued John Watson and the paper.
   I asked John Watson whatever became of that.
   Watson’s response:
   “Well, Joe, one of the reasons I left the Dispatch was because Knight Ridder (the parent company of the Times Leader and the Dispatch) wouldn't support me on the Toole suit and told me to stop writing about it. They were jerks.
   After that, I didn't really care about it. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 8:48 pm - 2 opinions posted
Sheriff says "Poor me"
Sheriff says "Poor me"
Mike Savokinas
Sheriff says "Poor me"
   There’s a new Sheriff in town – not.
   This past week Luzerne County saw another casualty of the ongoing political saga in Luzerne County with the resignation of Sheriff Mike Savokinas
   In Savokinas’s three page resignation letter (click here to view), which read more like a manifesto, he blamed the media and the commissioners and basically said “poor me.”
   Fellow blogger Gort 42 summed it up best saying (click here to read it in full):
   “Luzerne County Sheriff Michael Savokinas resigned because he doesn't like his press coverage and battles with the Luzerne County Commissioners.  I didn't know what to make of this and a friend summed it up. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 8:20 pm - 5 opinions posted
Not so fast, previous WA super was protected too
Not so fast, previous WA super was protected too
WA super, Ray Bernardi
Not so fast, previous WA super was protected too
   For those who wanted Ray Bernardi’s head on a platter because his contract said the Wyoming Area School District would be responsible for his portion of the half a million dollar federal judgment “Tri-Fecta” as George Race coined…
   Well, sorry to disappoint you.
   The exact language was in the Joseph Casarella’s, the previous superintendent, contract (click here to view) as well.
   In section seven of Casarella’s contract and nine in Bernardi’s it reads: Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:32 pm - 7 opinions posted
BEST:  City Organization won't be endorsing Toole
BEST:  City Organization won't be endorsing Toole
Terry Best
BEST: City Organization won't be endorsing Toole
   There’s a rumor floating around that the Pittston City and the 3rd district Democratic Organizations will be endorsing Wil Toole for Luzerne County Controller.
   Toole switched from a Democrat and is running for controller as an Independent.
   With that, we went right to the horses mouth - the City Democratic Chairman Terry Best.
   “No,” Best said when asked if his organization would be endorsing Toole.
   “It is our plan to endorse all Democrats,” Best noted.  “Bob Morgan is a Democrat and he’s running for controller.  That’s who we’ll be endorsing. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:10 pm - 7 opinions posted
What the hell is wrong with him?  More to come
What the hell is wrong with him?  More to come
Jerry Bonner
What the hell is wrong with him? More to come
   POLITICAL WARNING!  The feds are in town.  Accepting kickbacks will most likely result in you be arrested.
   I think I’m going to start a Wall of Fame entitled “The world’s stupidest politicians.”
   At the top of this list would be Jerry Bonner.
   This past week, Luzerne County Jury Commissioner Jerry Bonner was arrested for accepting kickbacks.
   Think about this for a second.
   He was indicted for accepting a bribe between January 2009 and June 2009.
   Would someone please tell Jerry Bonner – THE FEDS ARE IN TOWN! Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 6:55 pm - 4 opinions posted
Irony Upon Irony; Right Wingers
Irony Upon Irony; Right Wingers
John Watson
Irony Upon Irony; Right Wingers
Will Cause Single Payer System
   Wild ironies are among the great flavors of life and we are seeing one develop now.
   If the Republican party keeps cow-towing to the radical right and is successful in stopping what is, in reality, albeit not rhetorically, a moderate reform of the health insurance industry this year, it will almost certainly cause the creation of a full blown single payer system in the years ahead.
   The employer based health insurance system under which working people now live is about to crumble under its own weight.
   Its days are numbered.
   Forget the politics and the ideologues. Just do the math. Read More ...
John Watson - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 6:16 pm - 28 opinions posted
PA students takes exception to Obama's "Educational" Speech
PA students takes exception to Obama's "Educational" Speech
John Lombardo, PA Student
PA students takes exception to Obama's "Educational" Speech
   This Tuesday President Obama is planning to make a speech(as if He hasn’t given enough already), but this speech is different from the rest. This one is directed at the students in every school across America. He is supposed to speak about education, and the importance of staying in school. The President plans to have every school(voluntarily) show the speech from a live broadcast on the White House’s website.  As a response, the Department of Education has sent out suggestions of lesson plans to base around the speech. Some of these include writing about how to “Help the President”. They also include plans to hang up posters in the classrooms with some of the “memorable” quotes from the speech. Is this just a friendly speech about staying in school?  I, along with a lot of concerned parents throughout the country don’t think so. Read More ...
John Lombardo - Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 5:46 pm - 35 opinions posted
Wyoming resident questions official's actions
Wyoming resident questions official's actions
Bob Borzell
Wyoming resident questions official's actions
by Bob Borzell
   In July and August my wife wrote letters to the editor in the Times Leader and Citizens Voice newspapers. She criticized the job our mayor Bob Boyer and police chief William Ragantesi were doing (or should I say not doing ) in reporting acts of criminal activity to the police blotters.
   Mayor Bob Boyer and several councilmen took her to task at Wyoming Boro's subsequent council meeting which was held August 11th.  They made derogatory, comments about her (using her name) when she wasn't there to defend herself.
   When can a public official use a private citizen’s name in a public forum? She is not in public office, nor is she running for any office. Read More ...
Bob Borzell - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:10 pm
Complexion of WA majority changing; Campenni still can't get a second


   Over the last three years, the eight majority members of the Wyoming Area School Board have voted together 100% of the time.
   Well, things are a changin’ and not like you might expect
   This past week, minority member Estelle Campenni sided with John LaNunziata, Toni Valenti, Nick DeAngelo and Gerry Wall.
   All five voted to give Laura Mondlok another three year contract to be Wyoming Area’s Athletic trainor.
   Four of the board members broke rank with the majority.
   Dave Alberigi and Sam Aritz voted no while John Bolin and John Marrianci abstained.
   I’m not going to get into the merits of the vote, however, this vote seems to be the beginning of the end for the “eight strong” of the majority. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:10 pm - 2 opinions posted
Analysis of who will fill out the remainder of Oliveri's term
Analysis of who will fill out the remainder of Oliveri's term
Dr. Ross Latona & Marilyn Starna
Analysis of who will fill out the remainder of Oliveri's term
   With Joe Oliveri off the Pittston Area School Board, who will serve out his remaining four months?
   As of this week, it looks like Dr. Ross Latona has the inside track.
   He won a double nomination this past election and is almost guaranteed a win in November.
   The problem, however, he has some political allegiance.
   Allegiance to his running mates along with board members Bob Linskey, Kent Bratlee and Terry Best who all supported him.  All sit in the minority consequently changing the complexion of the board. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:10 pm - 16 opinions posted
The Cynic's workbench:  Top 10 signs your school superintendent is losing his mind
The Cynic's workbench: Top 10 signs your school superintendent is losing his mind
   10.  He hired a contractor to dye his hair red
   9. He hired a  hairdresser to build a garage
   8. He applied for a greeter job at the Exeter Wal Mart
   7. He went back to work without washing his hands
 Read More ...
The Cynic - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:09 pm - 2 opinions posted
TOOLE SERIES:  The silence is deafening |
TOOLE SERIES:  The silence is deafening |
Wil Toole
TOOLE SERIES: The silence is deafening
   One thing I am asked quite often is – where do I get my inspiration / ideas to write week after week.
   To be honest with you, much of it comes from my bloggers.
   For example, last week’s headline in my Wil Toole series read “He’s cured and able to run for controller.”
   The inspiration for that article came from the week before after Diamante (one of my bloggers) asked how could Wil Toole run for controller and collect a disability pension.
   Then Politico (another one of my bloggers), said Toole is on a pension, not disability.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:09 pm - 8 opinions posted
WA board allows discussion of personnel issue at public meeting

   While discussing personnel issues on the open floor at board meetings is not allowed, Ray Hassey, Wyoming Area’s Solicitor, says “When Mr. Simmons and Mr. Holland aired their complaints in the newspaper and put their views out, they waived their right to personnel protection.”
   Bill Simmons was recently reinstated by the Pennsylvania Labor Board after he filed a grievance stating the district would not take him back because of his role in the support staff union.
   A labor board judge ruled Simmons could have his old job back and receive all back pay.
   Two days after returning, Simmons was struck ill while painting a fence in 90 degree heat and was subsequently rushed to the hospital.
 Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:09 pm
Feds back Wilkes Barre engineer into a corner, gives up 25 names
Feds back Wilkes Barre engineer into a corner, gives up 25 names
   Hold on tight cuz we’re goin’ for a ride
   When I hear something dramatic from one or two individuals, I usually sit on it or try to confirm it.
   Well, this past week I heard from at least a dozen that a prominent Wilkes-Barre engineer has been talking to the feds.
   And, it’s been the same engineer every time.
   I really can’t disclose who the engineer is at this time, however, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:09 pm - 10 opinions posted
There's an 800 pound guerrilla in the room at WA
 

   Riddle me this:  What has 18 legs and no balls?
   Answer:  The Wyoming Area School Board.
   In light of the recent half million dollar federal judgment coupled with the labor dispute involving Bill Simmons, the Wyoming Area Board doesn’t want to address the 800 pound guerrilla sitting in the room.
   According the board’s solicitor, Ray Hassey, the board is currently not taken any steps to prevent this from happening in the future saying, “I’m not aware of any policies or procedures.”
   Hassey did note, “I’m sure that is something they’ll look at down the road.”
   Down the road?
   Are you kidding me? Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2009 6:08 pm - 6 opinions posted
Analysis what happened on the East Side
Analysis what happened on the East Side
Terry Best
Analysis what happened on the East Side
   Allow me to analyze what transpired in Pittston Area, Pittston City and Terry Best.
   First, we know Terry ran and won a council seat.
   He said he would resign his seat on the Pittston Area Board and take a seat on council.
   As we know, Terry withdrew his name from council a decided to serve out his term on the PA Board.
   With that, Terry lobbied the city Democratic organization to appoint his son PJ to fill the void on ballot for council. Read More ...
Joe Valenti - Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 8:07 pm - 19 opinions posted