Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Foreclosures' Other Victims: Abandoned Pets

Foreclosures' Other Victims: Abandoned Pets
By Ann Brenoff
Posted May 26th 2011 3:30PM

Real estate agents have become frontline soldiers in a shadow crisis to the foreclosure mess: Pets are being abandoned by their owners in their empty houses. It isn't uncommon for an agent to open the door of a foreclosed property and find a starving dog or cat left behind when the family moved on.

Local animal shelters report a large uptick in the number of pets turned in by owners who were evicted in foreclosures. The families often wind up living with relatives or becoming renters and find themselves taking their house pets to local shelters. But the turned-in animals are the lucky ones.

Just last week, Phoenix real estate agent Cathleen Collins of Bloodhound Realty was showing a bank-owned property and discovered a black and white longhaired tuxedo cat that the family had abandoned outside. The pet, left to fend for itself for more than a month, had been sleeping on the front step and scratching at the door to be let inside. The cat was badly matted and clearly hungry, Collins said.

"All she wanted to do was get back inside her house," said Collins. "The poor thing had no idea what happened to her. She was starved -- and starved for affection." Collins fed her and called a local pet rescue.

Animal shelters and rescue groups say the surge of abandoned pets since the housing crisis began has further strained their already shrunken resources. The shelters are being asked to do more with less, said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the ASPCA; municipal budget cuts have meant reduced staff, and donations are down in general since the recession started. Plus, he said, many people are struggling to stay afloat and don't feel that they can open their home to a new pet, so adoptions in general are down because of the economy.

But the problem of pets being let loose, tied up in the yard or left behind in the house when a family moves is even worse, said Zawistowski.

It's a story told anecdotally since no one, including the ASPCA, keeps track of pets abandoned when their owners have lost their house. But they know the numbers are up and they track closely to places where foreclosures have run the highest -- California, Florida, Texas and Nevada. He estimates that about 3 million pets to date have been at risk of losing homes as a direct result of the housing crisis and it's a situation likely to worsen as the number of foreclosures increase.

Zawistowski said that foreclosed-on homeowners frequently -- and wrongly -- assume that once they are evicted, someone from the bank will be by the next day to secure the house and discover the animal. But that front door may not be opened again for weeks and, once it is, the law is fuzzy on who owns the pet found inside.

Who Owns the Pets?

The bank owns the house, but not any personal property left behind. Personal property is subject to auction. And in a nod to farm and cattle ranches, animals are considered personal property in some states -- dogs and cats included.

California passed a law two years ago requiring lending institutions to bring a pet found at a foreclosed home to the animal shelter. It's also a crime in all 50 states to abandon a pet, said Zawistowski.

Since in so many cases the first person to open the door is a real estate agent asked to list the home, the problem of what to do with the pet they find inside often falls to them. The ASPCA urges real estate offices to work with the directors of their local animal shelters to figure out a standard operating plan for how to handle pets found in properties. Some agencies have done that.

"You just can't ignore these animals when you find them," said Sandy Zalagens, a Keller Williams Realty agent in Los Angeles who has become one of the most prominent Realtor-dog rescuers in the country. She sponsors a dog for adoption every time she closes a sale and led the Keller Williams team in Race for the Rescues, a fund-raising effort where the proceeds were distributed among rescue groups.

Zalagens lives in South L.A., "where irresponsible dog owners are prevalent," she says. She got her start in dog rescue five years ago, when she came upon five abandoned black lab puppies -- one of which still lives with her. But since the foreclosure epidemic has struck, "it's unbelievable" what's happening with pets being abandoned, she said.

"People are desperate. They have nowhere to go with their dog, so they leave the dog behind," she said. "It used to be that overpopulation was the main cause of homeless dogs, but now the formerly responsible pet owners have become irresponsible, too, because of their circumstances."

Zalagens recently responded to a call from a Realtor friend who found six pit bulls in a ReMax listing. The dogs were abandoned, all tethered to fencing without food and water. They had not been socialized and neighbors said that they were used for breeding or fighting. One dog was so messed up emotionally and physically that it had to be euthanized; the others were farmed out to rescue groups.

Rescuers Step In

Like Zalagens, many agents wind up adopting the pets they find. That's how John Aaroe Group agent Tina Smith in Los Angeles got Vinny, her now-6-month-old pit bull. Vinny and his six litter-mates were left in a box in the closet of an abandoned home, without food or water. The family had taken the two adult dogs with them when the bank foreclosed, but left the puppies behind.

The dog rescue community also has stepped up to the challenge of helping Realtors deal with what they find. There are some rescue groups that deal expressly with pets in foreclosure situations.

Jodi Polanski, founder and executive director of Lost Our Home, a pet rescue group that finds both foster and permanent homes for displaced animals, said it's heartbreaking to watch what's been happening over the past few years. "There are people who flat-out abandon their pet in their foreclosed home or after eviction. Why anyone would let another living being suffer a slow, torturous death of dehydration and starvation is beyond anything I can answer."

Phoenix, where she is based, is one of those places where pets are considered property. So if someone abandons their pet, a neighbor or rescuer can't legally even enter the backyard to help it. That would be trespassing, said Polanski. "We need permission from the owner, which could be the bank. Or maybe the person still legally owns the home but moved out before the bank officially takes it over. Either way, it's hard to get written permission if you can't find the owner."

Cheryl Lang, founder of No Paws Left Behind, a rescue group based in Houston that specializes in foreclosure pets, says that she has spoken with a lot of borrowers who want to do the right thing. "When someone is going through a foreclosure," she said, "there is a such a sense of failure. They have no resources. They are losing the houses that their kids grew up in, that they celebrated holidays and birthdays in.... I'm not defending them, but this isn't the easiest time in their lives either."

Of the ones who practice animal cruelty in the process, though, she says, "I do everything I can to report them to the authorities and hope they get what they deserve."

Lang recalls a Nevada man who left his two dogs in the backyard with a note saying, "Please take care of us. Our Daddy couldn't bear to bring us to the pound."

Matthew Ecker, a sergeant with the El Mirage (Ariz.) Police Department, encountered the problem personally. One of his officers found a pit bull abandoned in the yard of a rented house in the middle of the Arizona summer. The animal (pictured at left) was lying in a the dirt under a tree, emaciated, with ticks and flies all over her body and barely able to stand.

The neighbor who reported the dog's abandonment had put out some food and water in the yard for her, but it was removed a few days later by the owners who stopped by to take out some final things. Inexplicably, they left the dog, but removed the food and water dishes the neighbor had set out.

Ecker said that it was more than he could handle. He put the dog in his patrol car and took her to the veterinarian, where it was estimated that she had been without food or water -- other than what the neighbor had given her -- for 30 days at the time of her rescue. Ecker said she was "dehydrated to the point that she needed an IV to stay alive. And she was covered with thousands of ticks, so many that the vet had to rehydrate her slowly, so that the water wouldn't dilute the small amount of blood still left in her body."

Three weeks after her rescue, the dog -- renamed Sweetheart -- died of organ failure. She had been rescued too late.

We (Fire and Police) see this way too much. Abandoning a pet is inexcusable, especially with the SPCA so close. This is nothing less than cruelty, and that says volumes about our society.

Dan Emplit WBFD

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Quote from Alexander Fraser Tytler

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."
~ Alexander Fraser Tytler

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service. First enacted by an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic — to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. It was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not.

The first known observance of Memorial Day was in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865; freedmen (freed enslaved Africans) celebrated at the Washington Race Course, today the location of Hampton Park, and each year thereafter. African Americans founded Decoration Day, now referred to as Memorial Day, at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers.

The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, New York, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, was likely a factor in the holiday's growth. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic – the organization for Northern Civil War veterans – Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

God Bless our veterans, those currently serving and the families waiting for their return.

Thanks to all our current and former members of the armed services. And... to all of those who perished while protecting the ideals that allow us to enjoy times of peace and fulfillment.

To make the ultimate sacrifice for your fellow man is the mark of a TRUE HERO.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Someone beat me to it

Betty Roccograndi of Pure Bunkum beat me to a subject that has been bothering me.
I always thought that News services were supposed to report the news, Not try to influence it. And if the paper thought strongly about a candidate, they would publish the article as an editorial (So people would know it is the papers OPINION) Obviously this is another thing I have been wrong about.
The Times Leader has become Leightons propaganda machine, even going as far as publishing the 'Leighton ledger' with a little tiny note saying, "Oppses we meant to mention that was a paid advertisement." Somehow, even with multiple shady deals, Constitutional Rights violations, Threats (that their reporters have witnessed), lies (That one of their own reporters caught him in) and financial boondoggles they still endorsed Leighton. Publicly. In print. And lets not forget that the FBI is still hovering around the county government. It will only be a matter of time (The FBI moves VERY slowly to make sure the cases stand up in court) before they take a close look at the city... If they aren't already.
Will the Leighton Regime escape unscathed when the Feds look at it?

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Sunday, May 22, 2011

DDM4 Torture Test

Anyone who has doubts about todays M4 (the modern incarnation of the M16) needs to watch this video.
That is Larry Vickers doing the test, He trains people going to the worlds biggest litter box.
Daniels Defense is a world class firearms manufacturer.

Dan Emplit WBFD
M4 owner and fanboy

Pure bunkum has a post about Conahan Leighton Carey

Nice Goin', Mayor Leighton, Racketeer Conahan

And shortly after Conahan decicded against Mrs. Carey, a private medic unit (That Conahan was part owner of) was awarded a VERY lucrative no-bid contract to back up the city ambulances.
Isn’t any contract worth more than $10,000 a year supposed to be a closed bid? This contract is EASILY worth 20 times that amount.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doing the Big-Check Dance in Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Doing the Big-Check Dance in Downtown Wilkes-Barre
by kustomkool
Big, comically oversized checks might look funny, but when politicians hand out big checks, the joke is usually at taxpayers' expense

In April 2010, Congressman Paul Kanjorski did the big-check dance in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Coming along for the ride were Pennsylvania state senate hopefuls, John Yudichak and Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton.

On the receiving end of the big check was a start-up company, Federal Review Services. Federal Review was promising to create 100 new jobs in downtown Wilkes-Barre with salaries from $35,000 to $65,000.

Federal Review announced layoffs only two months after being handed that big check.

The moral of the story? Big checks from politicians don't create jobs. Jobs are created by businesses that fill a need in the marketplace. If you have a great idea that will make money, you don't need the government...you need a bank. People who rely on government sources for start-up funding usually have better connections than ideas.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Denise Carey

I've written about Denise before Here and she has written me as well.
But a few people will not pay attention to facts. They wish she had curled up and gone away after the first lawsuit. (You remember, the one that then judge Conahan decided against her. Why did he decide that way? I do not know. It has been suggested that the No-Bid contract that his ambulance service got shortly afterwards may have something to do with it. BTW any contract worth over $10,000 a year is supposed to be put out for bid. That is the law. The back up ambulance contract is worth at least 20 times that.)
But back on target. Denise didn't 'curl up and go away'. She stood tall and fought for her Constitutional Rights. AND WON. Court after court has decided in her favor. I've always heard that courts don't like to reverse decisions. (Makes you wonder why then Judge Conahan decided against her).

"He bullied me, he bullied my family. He put us through a lot of sorrow and heartache for a lot of years," Carey said. "It's still not over yet, and he still has not yet taken responsibility for it yet. I can't respect someone like that. I just can't."
Personal vendettas are not the mark of true Leadership.
I've mentioned Dictator Leighton has a problem with taking responsibility for his actions.

We need a mayor who doesn't look at the First Amendment (The right to free speech) as something to wipe his feet on. We need a Mayor who doesn't try to bully anyone who thinks differently than he does. We need a Mayor who doesn't get involved with questionable deals. We need a Leader.
And we need a city council that will oppose the Mayor when he is wrong. Not a bunch of mutes that WILL NOT oppose someone who treats our Constitution like a baby treats a diaper.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Thursday, May 19, 2011

bin Laden's last speach

Websites air audio purportedly recorded by Osama bin Laden

"My Muslim Umma (nation), we are monitoring with you this great historic event, and we join you with your joy and delight, so congratulations on your victories, and may God have mercy on your martyrs. May He cure your injured and grant the release of your prisoners."

"The (Muslim) nation was always getting ready for the victory that is rising from the eastern horizon, but the surprise was that the sun of the revolution rose from the Maghreb, the west. The light of the revolution sparked in Tunisia, and the nation felt the relief, the faces of the people got brightened, and the throats of the rulers got coarser, and the Jews got terrified because the coming of the promised day."

"With the overthrow of the tyrant, the definitions of fear, humiliation and surrender have fallen as well. The new meanings of freedom, pride, audacity and courage were risen. The winds of change came, in a will of liberation."

"This revolution was not a revolution for the food or the clothing but a revolution for pride and glory, a revolution of sacrifice and kindness, a revolution that enlightened the upper and lower Nile and all of its surroundings."

"I believe that the winds of change will overtake the whole Muslim world, with God's permission"

"Allah Dammit, That helicopter ruined the audio on the last bit. Can we redo that part? Oh someones at the door, Hey Dominos, 30 minutes or less! Allah love them."

Yeah, the last paragraph was me.
Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

More from the bin Laden family

Bin Laden relatives want probe and proof of death

Oh Lord, where do I start?

Relatives of Osama bin Laden want proof that the terrorist leader is dead and are calling for an investigation into how he was killed, according to Jean Sasson, an author who helped one of bin Laden's sons write a memoir.

"They just really want some answers, and they would just really like to know what exactly happened, why they weren't called," said Sasson, who worked with Omar bin Laden to pen a memoir titled "Growing Up bin Laden."


They want to know "how he was killed", Natural causes. Cause it's very natural to be dead when your brains are splattered all over a wall. I mean "Shot in the head by US Navy SEALS" isn't too complicated a cause of death. No need to page Dr. House for this one.

Bin Laden's relatives "would like to have been able to have witnessed seeing the body, at least identified the body, because, you know how it is in the Middle East so many times: They really need proof or people start believing -- this has been discussed by a lot more people than me -- that many people will not believe that he's dead," Sasson told CNN Wednesday.

They "would like to have been able to have witnessed seeing the body", I'd like to have a key to the Playboy Mansion.... What's their point? If we hadn't flushed the (ahem) body, they would be whinning that we didn't observe Islamic tradition.

It says that despite the extensive coverage of his death, "we are not convinced on the available evidence in the absence of (a) dead body, photographs, and video evidence that our natural father is dead."

I saw a T-Rex eat a goat in a movie once, Doesn't mean I believe 'Jurassic Park' is a real place. These fanatic whackjobs wouldn't believe he was dead even if we airdropped his corpse on their homes.

"If OBL has been killed in that operation as (the) president of United States has claimed then we are just in questioning as per media reports that why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world."

"We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems and crime's adjudication as justice must be seen to be done," the statement said.


Maybe if you had told 'Dear ole Dad' this ten years ago, he wouldn't have become a mass murdering scumbag and would be alive now.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


First off, I'd like to remind everyone to vote today. It is our right, our responsibility, and one of the things that makes our county great.

Now I'd like to point out an abuse of power, not here in Wilkes-Barre.
Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun
by John Stossel | May 16, 2011

A story in today's Philadelphia Daily News shows why it's so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops - it can be citizens' only way to fight back against police abuse of power.

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.

But he didn't count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.

"Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.

"Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino said. "It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn't matter to the cop:

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

"Excuse me?" Fiorino said.

"Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying," Dougherty said.

"Sir," Fiorino replied, "I'm more than happy to stand here -"

"If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you," Dougherty snapped. "I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!"

"Is this necessary?" Fiorino said.

It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.

Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

"You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?" yelled one officer.

"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Fiorino said. "If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say."

"F------ a------, shut the f--- up!" the cop hollered.

The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:

A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it's hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who watches the watchmen?"

Listen as a citizen exercising his 2nd amendment right to legally bear arms was violently assaulted by Philadelphia Police with no cause.

In Pennsylvania carrying a gun is not reasonable suspicion of a crime and not justification for a stop and search or a detainment.

Open Carry is legal in Philadelphia with a valid license to carry firearms; openly carrying on foot is legal without a license everywhere else in Pennsylvania.

Dan Emplit WBFD
(And Licenced for Concealed Carry)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Lies

In Leightons 'The Leighton Ledger' which was delivered in yesterdays Times Leader (May 14, 2011) which is a PAID ADVERTISEMENT (and about as accurate as late night ads), Leighton claims "The city has 3 fire stations strategically placed in the north, center, and south of the city". This is another of the dictators half truth half lies. South station is manned about an eighth of the time. This leaves south W-B uncovered for seven eighths of the time.

Plus he claimed, "The Wilkes-Barre Fire Department's average response time to an emergency call is 3:27 Which is significantly lower than the national average." Another half truth from Leighton. He doesn't tell you that 16 men per shift is the national standard and we have been cut to a minimum staffing of 12 per shift. Meaning that the long delay for a second engine risks our safety. It's not just what our response time is, it's how long it takes to get the minimum number of firefighters on scene.

Quotes from our dictator, notice he ALWAYS blames someone else and that shows his leadership skills(or more accurately, his LACK of them):
June 10, 2005 (WNEP) "I wouldn't say I oversold it. I think maybe the media did,"
AKA It's not my fault, it's the medias fault.

June 8, 2005 (WNEP) "I would love to have a fire station in every neighborhood but you have to remember, this is neglect of the past," said Mayor Leighton.
AKA It's not my fault, it's McGroartys fault.

Mar 12, 2010 (Citizens' voice) "You left me with no choice, I'm not failing you, the city administration is not failing you and city council is not failing you. Your union is failing you."
AKA It's not my fault, it's the Firefighter Unions fault.

Oct 18, 2007 (Citizens' Voice political blog) Leighton raised taxes 20 mills when he first took office in 2004, but has not raised taxes since. “I was forced to raise taxes because of past mistakes, because of past debt,” Leighton said.
AKA It's not my fault, it's McGroartys fault.

October 27, 2008 (Times Leader) Leighton said the union contract demands that the city first call out all city firefighters before another community can be contacted for help. He said Luzerne County 911 does the call-out, but the mayor said a lot of time is lost during the process.
AKA It's not my fault, it's the Call Centers fault.

July 16, 2010 (WBRE) About claims by police officers the system is bogged down by technical glitches at times, Leighton said "they're (police) not happy about it because they think we should put more people on the streets."
AKA It's not my fault, it's the Policemens' fault.

October 15, 2008 The mayor blames the hike on health care costs and a million-dollar firefighters’ arbitration award. "By no means am I happy or proud of this budget, but it's legitimate numbers, it's legitimate expenses," said Leighton.
AKA It's not my fault, it's the Firefighters' fault.

May 16, 2010 (Citizens Voice) "We've tried to work with them to help the city," he said. "They have to help. Employees have to help. We've had other unions help us"
AKA It's not my fault, it's the Firefighters' fault.
When mayor was elected he asked all the city unions to help the city financially in their contracts. the fire union did (concessions = approx 3.5 million dollars over 7 years). Mayor Leighton said "By making (these) substantial concessions, the firefighters' union has agreed to become partners with the city in its revitalization plan" The Fire Fighters Union did their part and who gets cut back? And what did the other unions do exactly?

October 15, 2008(WNEP) Mayor Leighton blames the tough economy, increasing health insurance premiums and a recent award of one million dollars to the city's firefighters union for the budget gap. But he promises the financial squeeze won't mean fewer police patrols, or reduced services like salting, plowing and roadwork.
AKA It's not my fault, It's the tough economys', increasing health insurance premiums' and a recent award to the city's firefighters unions' fault.

Oh and he he 'promises' the financial squeeze won't mean fewer police patrols, or reduced services like salting, plowing and roadwork.
What about essential LIFE SAVING Services?

We are paying for the services. Police protection, fire protection, and clean neighborhoods. WE ARE NOT GETTING WHAT WE ARE PAYING FOR! We are experiencing POOR customer service!
Voting for any of the incumbants (basically hiring them for 4 more years) for ANY political position makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday cake or a cupcake.

On a side note, The The Lu Lac Political Letter (a local Blog) did an independent poll of his readers to gauge the mayoral Democratic primary election results.

The results were :
Tom Leighton 31%
Charlotte Raup 64%
Nick Punko 8%.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Six years ago today we lost a Desert Storm Vet

The USS America CV-66 was sunk in a controlled scuttling on May 14, 2005 at approximately 11:30, although the sinking was not publicized until six days later. At the time, no warship of that size had ever been sunk, and effects were closely monitored; theoretically the tests would reveal data about how super carriers respond to battle damage. The ship rests 16,860 feet below the Atlantic Ocean surface, roughly 250 mi off the North Carolina coast. The name America will live on though, as the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship will be named USS America.

The fifth USS America (CVA/CV-66) was one of four Kitty Hawk-class super carriers built for the United States Navy in the 1960s. Commissioned in 1965, she was a veteran of Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The America also held the distinctions of being the last U.S. super carrier built not named after a person.
Nicknamed the 'Big A', her motto was "Don't Tread On Me".

She was decommissioned in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia on 9 August 1996. America was planned to be sold for scrapping. However, she was chosen to be a live-fire test and evaluation platform in 2005, to aid the design of future aircraft carriers. There was some objection to a ship being named for the nation being deliberately sunk at sea, and a committee of her former crew members and other supporters attempted to save the ship for use as a museum ship. Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In a letter to them, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John B. Nathman explained:
"America will make one final and vital contribution to our national defense, this time as a live-fire test and evaluation platform. America's legacy will serve as a footprint in the design of future carriers — ships that will protect the sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of America veterans. We will conduct a variety of comprehensive tests above and below the waterline collecting data for use by naval architects and engineers in creating the nation's future carrier fleet. It is essential we make those ships as highly survivable as possible. When that mission is complete, the America will slip quietly beneath the sea. I know America has a very special place in your hearts, not only for the name, but also for your service aboard her. I ask that you understand why we selected this ship for this one last crucial mission and make note of the critical nature of her final service."

Although I am sad to see such a noble lady pass in a 'live fire' exercise, her sacrifice will give data on how to give our super carriers an even better chance to survive attack, Meaning even more service men and women will be able to come home.
After 40+ years of defending America, her passing will defend our sailors and marines for decades to come.
Goodbye to the USS America.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

Remember the Backroom deals

1. The no-bid contract to disgraced ex-judge Conahan's medic unit (This happened after it was proven that a part time 3rd ambulance would cost the city NOTHING). This happened right around the time then judge Conahan ruled against Denise Carey (Read the details here and here). Interesting that Conahan rules against Denise and his medic unit gets a no-bid contract. Interesting... or suspicious?

2. The Old River Road Bakery. Where do I start on this? Here? Or Here? Or here?

3. Screwed up selling the Sterling hotel (costing us $325,000). Which is Here and Here.

4. And the 'missing' 38.8 MILLION dollars, Here and Here and Here.

Sorry I've been out of sight and distracted the last few days, family medical problems are keeping my attention elsewhere. Things are well on the way to being better now. Thank you to a few true friends who helped when it was truly needed.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Friday, May 13, 2011


I've posted about the dictators court (AKA city council) before. But this one REALLY Takes the cake (Pun intended).
W-B City Council Towing service operator Bob Kadluboski seeks lower salaries, elimination of pensions

Posted: May 13
Critic’s challenge lands with thud
BILL O ’ BOYLE boboyle@timesleader.com

WILKES-BARRE – Bob Kadluboski on Thursday presented his case to City Council, asking the five-member panel to support lowering salaries for elected officials and to eliminate their pensions.

When he was finished, nobody offered support.

Kadluboski wants council to enact a salary ordinance that would significantly reduce the salaries of the mayor, council and controller and do away with their pensions. He targeted Councilman Bill Barrett, a retired city police chief who now works at Luzerne County Community College. Barrett told Kadluboski he had bad information, stating that he (Barrett) does not take any of the benefits offered council, other than salary.

Kadluboski also claimed Council Chairwoman Kathy Kane receives a pension as a retired teacher and she should not take the benefits available as a member of council

“By the time you get all your pensions, you will need me to haul you home with all your money,” said Kadluboski, a towing service operator.

He asked for extended time past the allotted five minutes to address council, but was denied. He became upset when Kane was talking to City Attorney Tim Henry while Kadluboski was addressing council.

“You’re interrupting me and that’s rude,” Kadluboski told Kane. “You don’t understand, Kathy, you work for me.”

When Kadluboski’s time was up, he walked to the back of Council Chambers and Kane said, “See you cupcake.”

Kadluboski said taxpayers can no longer afford what he termed “these pricey sums” for elected officials. Earlier this year he decided not to run for mayor despite securing the more than 200 signatures necessary on nomination petitions. He said Tuesday that if no candidate supports him on the issue, he will get in the race for mayor.

The owner of City Wide Towing, Kadluboski said he sent each city candidate a certified letter asking for support on the salary and benefits issue. None of the candidates for mayor or council spoke on his behalf last night.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens on Tuesday,” Kadluboski said, referring to the primaries. “If none of the winning candidates supports me, I will run as a write-in candidate in November for mayor.”

The mayor’s salary is $79,911 per years, council chairperson makes $14,699, council members are paid $13,199 and the city controller earns $41,553. If elected since 2001, the mayor, council and controller become vested in the city’s pension plan after 12 years of service; prior to 2001, it was 10 years of service. All become fully vested in the pension plan after 20 years of service.

In other business Thursday, council:

• Heard from Chris Stephens, who talked about noise, litter and other activity at Scouten Lee Park during late hours. He said he has called police and he suggested removing the basketball courts to deter the adults from using the park late at night. Kane said she will ask the administration to look into increasing patrols.

• Was asked by Tyler Hammond about the city’s purchase of a 2005 Chevrolet van that was subsequently sold four and a half months later. Hammond said he requested information on the vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number, to find out what happened to the van, but received nothing. He said a check was issued for $18,000 to United Sanitation for the vehicle.

Council will look into the matter, he was told. “How does the city lose these records?” Hammond asked.

• Received a request from Scott Spinucci for support for two projects: having the River Common declared America’s First Park and to establish a Diamond City Walk of Fame and Museum.

• Listened to another request from home repair contractors Mike Haduck and Fred Heller for the city to make it easier for contractor to obtain licenses to work in the city. Both said the city’s policies are unfair and they asked the city to accept the state licensing system.

I think I'll start with Tyler Hammond. He's a W-B paramedic, FRIGHTENINGLY smart, and an 'all round good guy'. He's been telling me about trying to find out about the city's shady purchase of several vehicles and his attempts to get some facts from the city. Our evil regime has been dodging and weaving all his attempts, FOR MONTHS. By the way isn't United Sanitation owned by the Denaples? and aren't they business partners with LAG towings owner? Who is a campaign contributor to ..... Emperor Leighton? And that brings us back to ..... the Old River Road Bakery debacle. Politics as usual in this area.

Now on to Bob Kadluboski and his points.
The first thing I've got to say is, If City Wide Towing can loses its contract with the city for Bob being rude then Kathy Kane should be FIRED (Or impeached, forced to resign, or what ever you do to a council person) immediately for her conduct to the tax paying public at these meetings. This isn't 'Judge Judy', It isn't a ratings driven TV show, and she needs to be reminded SHE IS A PUBLIC SERVANT NOT ROYALTY. Whether she likes Bob or not, whether she can't stand him or not, she needs to go for this behavior.
Also for what she gets paid, the LEAST she can do is LISTEN to the speaker and not talk to the City Attorney. If she doesn't want to do her job, SHE'S GOT TO GO.
Remember her rudeness when you vote. She's running for the City Controller's Office.

Next up:
"Barrett told Kadluboski he had bad information, stating that he (Barrett) does not take any of the benefits offered council, other than salary." No, but he and Kathy Kane do take the buy out for health care. (How many PART TIME jobs give you health care?) Thats a couple GRAND a year.

I totally agree and have posted before of my belief that working a part time job for 12 years and a full time one for 8 years, DOES NOT qualify you for a sweet $40,000 a year pension. Hell you shouldn't get health care after working only 8 years full time.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Show Your Thanks to World War II Vets by Watching This 2-min Video

Help spread this important message:

This story is incredible. Send this touching two-minute video about World War II veterans to FIVE friends and family to remind them that every day alive in this great, free country is truly a bonus. Let’s get 50,000 views for the video by Memorial Day (May 30th) to show these living heroes, one last time, just how grateful we are for their unbelievable sacrifice. The video is a trailer to a documentary that will come out in November. The more we can show interest in the trailer (i.e. views), the more Americans will get to see the film. Time is running out: 1,000 WWII vets die every day. We are free today because of these men and women. The least we can do is watch a web video and send it to five people. Let’s get this mission done!

"This story is incredible.
The video is a trailer to a documentary that will come out in November.

The more we can show interest in the trailer (i.e. views), the more Americans will get to see the film.
Time is running out: 1,000 WWII vets die every day. We are free today because of these men and women." ~ My friend 'ZIPBAGS'

Thanks to 'ZIPBAGS' for telling me about this.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992


Heartbreak on Schuyler Street, through a photographer's lens
Story Updated: May 10, 2011

The fatal fire on Schuyler Street Monday caused a lot of emotion, and you could see it in the eyes of the firefighters, the bystanders, and even the media who was there attempting to sort out the chaos and report it to viewers and readers.

One of those at the scene was WKTV's Photojournalist Tim Fisher - a 40 year veteran of the news business, who wanted to respond to an onlooker saying firefighters didn't do enough to save the family. The same onlooker who struck Tim when he saw him recording video at the scene.

WKTV decided it was important to show you Tim's side of the story, in his own words:

"Bringing you the news and stories of the day is our job and it is a vocation we take seriously. We are granted access to people and events that are often beyond what most folks experience. We observe, record, and report what we see and hear and understand to be the facts and realities that occur in and impact our community.

An important piece of our mission is to give voice to those who may otherwise be ignored. But we must also give perspective to the events we attend, especially when the voices we present seem one sided, unbalanced, or inaccurate.

At yesterday's fatal fire on Schuyler Street in West Utica, some close to the family felt that the fire department did not try hard enough to find and rescue the 4 who died.

What I can tell you is the following:

Pat Bailey and I arrived across the street from 935 Schuyler Street within 15 minutes of the initial call from Utica fire dispatch. I know this because we literally walked away from what we were doing at the WKTV studios on Smith Hill and drove down to the scene.

I immediately began to record the flames and fire and work of the firefighters and police officers. Within 2 minutes I observed and recorded a firefighter exit the front door of the house, looking tired and spent. Flames were shooting out of front windows and smoke was pouring out of a side window with flames licking at the roof just above it.

About 3 minutes later a couple of men rushed up to the police officer next to me, breathless as if they had just arrived, agitated with an understandable fear, and began to shout that there were 3 or 4 people in the burning apartment. One of them, the same one who said later that he felt not enough was done to search and rescue the occupants, observed me recording him and lunged at me. At the time, believing he was probably the father of those in the building, I felt compelled to be understanding of his emotional out burst. This was an awful, dreadful day for those whose family and friends were in danger.

But it is important to note that firefighters had already attempted to search the building and had made the judgment that conditions were too dangerous, the fire too hot, (indeed I can say that I felt a bit of that wall of heat all the way across the street). They also determined the building too unsafe. Chief Brooks said he knew from his experience that conditions were lethal and could be for firefighters as well.

I observed the firefighters pouring water from at least 5 hoses and multiple angles into the building as police and fire chiefs attempted to gain accurate information from frantic, nearly hysterical family and friends.

Within another 5 minutes the fire was pushed back enough to gain entrance. This time with better information about bedrooms and such, they found children and their mother who had perished in the inferno.

As they brought out the bodies, some firefighters stumbled and knelt on the ground, obviously exhausted.

The fire was then attacked with more water once the searchers were out and eventually it was extinguished.

I am a photojournalist. I am obviously not a firefighter. But I have to present the narrative that I feel is accurate and true, the more so because one that I perceive to be clouded with emotion and grief has already been told, demanding another perspective.

And the story that played out in my mind was one of desperately difficult work, a terrible and heart rending loss that tore at the faith and fabric of the determined and experienced first responders.

The outcome almost seemed to cut them down, yet they saw it through.

They never gave up, fighting the fire and their grief that lives were lost. They reminded me of an image from my childhood of an aging Y.A. Tittle, kneeling after his NY Giants were defeated in the old NFL title game. But this was no game. For firefighters this is their life and livelihood. On the one hand it was just another day at the office. But on the other it was a loss that will "take a piece of their heart out'.

I admired these firefighters. They gave it everything they had. The heat was intense, the flames an awesome sight that struck fear deep into my heart. But they never shrank. They just did their job as they had learned it and as they were directed by their chiefs.

Why do I take this time you may ask?

I believe it is important, especially at this moment in our country's history when public servants are being resented for what they earn or bargain for to see them at work as they truly are. Folks just like all of us, doing a hard days work. In this case it was a very intense job in which they faced "a clear and present danger". Still, they did it and then went back to their firehouse to await the next call. We don't even know their names.

Did they do all they could?? I wish you could have watched and listened and felt what I did yesterday. Then I would be happy to leave it up to you. But I hope this helps."

-Tim Fisher - WKTV Photojournalist

WKTV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Mohawk Valley area of Central New York State licensed to Utica.

Thomas Makar (from facebook), "This same scene has happened more than I would like to remember in W-B. Seven souls have died in fires since 2005 at 4 different fires. I feel for the Utica Fire Fighters. But this reporter is right...Fire Fighters are Public Employees who are being used by heartless politicians to lay blame."

Due to Blogger being down (Publishing problems, not viewing ones) and some family health problems I haven't been able to post.

Dan Emplit WBFD

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pakistan Hints China Wants the Stealth Helicopter used in the Osama Bin Laden Raid

Video clip in link
Osama Bin Laden Raid: Pakistan Hints China Wants a Peek at Secret Helicopter

By MATTHEW COLE, JIM SCIUTTO (@jimsciuttoABC) , LEE FERRAN and BRIAN ROSS (@brianross)
May 10, 2011
Pakistani officials said today they're interested in studying the remains of the U.S.'s secret stealth-modified helicopter abandoned during the Navy SEAL raid of Osama bin Laden's compound, and suggested the Chinese are as well.

The U.S. has already asked the Pakistanis for the helicopter wreckage back, but one Pakistani official told ABC News the Chinese were also "very interested" in seeing the remains. Another official said, "We might let them [the Chinese] take a look."

A U.S. official said he did not know if the Pakistanis had offered a peek to the Chinese, but said he would be "shocked" if the Chinese hadn't already been given access to the damaged aircraft.

The chopper, which aviation experts believe to be a highly classified modified version of a Blackhawk helicopter, clipped a wall during the operation that took down the al Qaeda leader, the White House said. The U.S. Navy SEALs that rode in on the bird attempted to destroy it after abandoning it on the ground, but a significant portion of the tail section survived the explosion. In the days after the raid, the tail section and other pieces of debris -- including a mysterious cloth-like covering that the local children found entertaining to play with -- were photographed being hauled away from the crash site by tractor.

Aviation experts said the unusual configuration of the rear rotor, the curious hub-cap like housing around it and the general shape of the bird are all clues the helicopter was highly modified to not only be quiet, but to have as small a radar signature as possible.

The helicopter's remains have apparently become another chip in a tense, high-stakes game of diplomacy between the U.S. and Pakistan following the U.S.'s unilateral military raid of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, more than a week ago. The potential technological advancements gleaned from the bird could be a "much appreciated gift" to the Chinese, according to former White House counterterrorism advisor and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke.

"Because Pakistan gets access to Chinese missile technology and other advanced systems, Islamabad is always looking for ways to give China something in return," Clarke said.

The Chinese and Pakistani governments are known to have a close relationship. Last month Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif concluded a trip to Beijing, afterwards telling Pakistan's local press that China was Pakistan's "best friend."

Dan Goure, a former Department of Defense official and vice president of the Lexington Institute, said last week the stealth chopper likely provided the SEALs an invaluable advantage in the moments before the shooting started.

"This is a first," he said. "You wouldn't know that it was coming right at you. And that's what's important, because these are coming in fast and low, and if they aren't sounding like they're coming right at you, you might not even react until it's too late... That was clearly part of the success."

Neighbors of bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, told ABC News they didn't hear the helicopters the night of the raid until they were overhead.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Defense declined to comment for this report, and a senior Pentagon official told ABC News last week the Department would "absolutely not" discuss anything relating to the downed chopper. Several Chinese government officials in the U.S. and in China were not available for comment.

U.S. officials have not officially disclosed any details on the helicopter, but President Obama said it was a "$60 million helicopter," in a report by The Washington Post. While the price tag on normal Blackhawks varies depending the type, none cost more than $20 million according to the latest Department of Defense procurement report.

If the Chinese are allowed to see the wreckage, it may not be the first time the Chinese military was given an opportunity to benefit technologically from America's misfortune. In 1999 an American stealth F-117 Nighthawk bomber was shot down in Serbia, the wreckage of which was reportedly passed along to the Chinese.

More than a decade later, in January of this year, China's first stealth fighter, the J-20, took a test flight that caught international attention and sparked a debate over whether China had developed the stealth-capabilities based on what they learned from the downed Nighthawk. Balkan military officials told The Associated Press the Chinese likely based their designs on the American plane, but Chinese officials denied the allegation in their state-run newspaper, The Global Times.

Regardless of its origins, the J-20 could serve as the first major challenge to American air superiority in decades. In an analysis published last week, the conservative think tank The Jamestown Foundation concluded the J-20 was capable of rivaling America's best air-to-air fighter, the F-22, in everything from speed to stealth and lethality.

The U.S. gives Pakistan almost $1.3 billion dollars annually. U.S. aid to Pakistan should STOP IMMEDIATELY if the helo parts are NOT returned NOW. $1.3 Billion may only be a drop in the deficit bucket, but I would like that drop to land in OUR bucket if the Pakistan government back stabs us AGAIN.

Sir Salman Rushdie – renowned novelist and essayist, said: "It is time to declare Pakistan a terrorist state and expel it from the comity of nations." Rushdie asked whether the world is to believe Pakistan when it professes its ignorance about Osama's presence on its soil in the very town housing its elite military academy. He stated: "In the aftermath of the raid on Abbottabad, all the big questions need to be answered by Pakistan."

Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said, "Murderers and villains deserve such a fate and the fight against all its [terrorism] shapes and forms should not stop and is first and foremost the responsibility of Arabs and Muslims who have the duty of liberating Islam from its kidnappers", and "the history of our nationalism and Islam will never forgive that man who was a black mark for two decades, filling the minds of youngsters with ideas about terrorism, murder and destruction".

Steve Kroft said on the 8 May 2011 edition of 60 Minutes, "For more than a decade, bin Laden managed to elude the U.S. military and intelligence establishments, and he taunted three U.S. presidents. That finally ended last Sunday, and the last thing bin Laden saw was a Navy SEAL in the third floor bedroom of his compound in Pakistan." According to The Economist, "The silence of the usual critics of 'illegal', 'extrajudicial', targeted killing in the wake of America's killing of Osama bin Laden might reflect hypocrisy, sure. But this can be tough to distinguish from resignation to the fact that Mr Obama didn't submit his case for executing Mr bin Laden to some global civil authority because there isn't one and he didn't have to—because America's the biggest kid on the block and, ultimately, what America says goes. And, if it comes down to it, Britain, France, Italy, Russia and other powerful governments hope America will indulge their own kill-squad adventures with similar approving silences. Of course, if some aggrieved faction in the future seeks retribution through the targeted killing of one of these countries' leaders, that will be raw vengeance, that will be terrorism, that will be an international crime, because, like it or not, that's how it works."

Regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden, the 14th Dalai Lama said, "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."
How screwed up is it when the Dalai Lama agrees with me?

BTW I've heard rumors that the bin Laden family wants to sue the U.S. for killing the worlds #1 terrorist. Might be crap, but some libtard would try it.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sketchy Deal Behind the Sale of the Old River Road Bakery

Someone elses take on the Old River road bakery debacle.

He also has this:
Beat the Candidates (part I)

Even Lex Luthor Knew How to Make Money in Real Estate.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Thomas M. Leighton
Education: King's College 1982
Elected: 2004
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Looks Like: (See above)
Dubious Wikipedia Entry Obviously Planted by Someone on the Payroll:
“...Leighton's policies have led to the 'brightest future Wilkes-Barre has seen since the' '50s”

Like his doppelganger - Lex Luthor in Superman II – Wilkes-Barre mayor Tom Leighton knows the value of land.

“People are no damn good, but they will always need land and they'll pay through the nose to get it!” -Lex Luthor to Miss Tessmacher.

Lex Leighton has deftly transferred the trench-warfare skills he learned in the family real estate business, to the loftier (and more lucrative) arena of political wheeling and dealing.

Leighton supporters like to trumpet his complex real estate transactions as being part of a grand plan to open up a can of gentrification whoop-ass in Wilkes-Barre's diminished downtown. The problem is, these noble deals are routinely dispatched through the usual good-old-boy networks and non-government organizations like the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, CityVest or the C.E.O. (Council on Economic Opportunity.) Beyond the Wyoming Valley, a “chamber of commerce” evokes visions of organizing Christmas parades and keg parties for a membership of barbershop owners and life insurance agents. The Wilkes-Barre chamber operates more like a private developer with back-door access to public money - sans the pesky checks and balances that might limit an above-board, taxpayer funded entity.

Leighton has also signed off on well documented deals of dubious ethical parameters and little apparent benefit to anyone but political cronies and hockey players. City and federal funds earmarked for construction or demolition, usually end up in the pocket of somebody on Leighton's Christmas card list. A recent demolition job - expedited in the name of public safety - conveniently cleared the way for a proposed housing project. Of course, both projects were spearheaded by ad-hoc organizations attached to familiar names.

When a local woman started a petition to keep a neighborhood firehouse open, Leighton played a big part in a morally questionable, carpet-bombing campaign against her. That ugly episode cost Wilkes-Barre hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and the likelihood of an eventual settlement in her favor will add a few zeros to the total. Keeping a firehouse of questionable utility operating would have been a bargain in retrospect.

Like his northern neighbor, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, Leighton has visions of glory that stretch beyond his hometown. Leighton has his eyes on the Pennsylvania State Senate seat of the departing, long-reigning king of sketchiness, Ray Musto. The biggest hurdles between Leighton and his Harrisburg ambitions are a reputation coated by a thick mucus of proximity to the endless Luzerne County scandals, and a dubious history of quasi-legal shenanigans – low-hanging fruit to potentional challengers.

Sketchiness Rating: 2.5 Stars

I'd give the dictator a higher Sketchiness Rating.
I couldn't find the 'wikipedia' entry. It may have been changed. It does mention these things,

"On June 9, 2005, Leighton unveiled his 'I believe...' campaign for Wilkes-Barre, which was intended to boost the city's spirits and rid residents of their cyncisim and negativity about the city. Many residents were, and still are, skeptical of the campaign, since it is being paid for with tax dollars."
"A renovation of the landmark Hotel Sterling is being pursued by CityVest, a nonprofit developer. In March 2006, CityVest purchased a property adjacent to the Hotel Sterling for $325,000, the City had a lien on the property, but the property owner got the cash, the City somehow transferred the lien to CityVest(and then forgave it), and the taxpayers were on the hook for $311,000."

And the SHORT List of his 'accomplishments';
1. Backroom deals (like the no bid contract to disgraced ex-judge Conahan's medic unit)
2. Trying to sell city property for 8 cents on the dollar to a campaign contributor
3. Lying to county officials to get tax forgiveness to a campaign contributor
4. The largely worthless camera system (Costing us well over $2,000,000)
5. Violated contracts (like Citywide Towing's contract) so he could give it to a campaign contributor (that cost us over $225,000)
6. VIOLATED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, TWICE !!! (Denise Carey & the Hammonds). That's going to cost us over $275,000.
7. The Threats (I've been on the receiving end of some, Why? Because I dare oppose him.)

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Friday, May 6, 2011

More Comments

Time for more from the comment section of our newspapers. I've done this twice before. 9 out of ten commenter's agree and comments from the Times Leader.
Now from the Times Leaders 'Leighton touts city’s progress at final town hall'
Once again I edited out the ones that are just insulting, irrational or made zero sense, Also a few were repeated, so I took them out for space reasons.

On drug and gang violence, the Mayor and his police chief don't have a clue. They reek of arrogance and need twice the number of cops they have. What good is a rehab'd downtown if you can't be sure you'll leave alive at night? How many officers are assigned to the "gang unit?" Do you even have a "gang unit?" What about drugs? What's being done to cut off the supply from New York and Philadelphia? Looks like that so called "town hall," was nothing more than "gimme another four years of taxpayer money to live off," meeting.

I'm afraid to critique Leighton, he may want to beat me up like he threatened to do to Yudichak.

Feel safe to walk downtown??? in broad daylight maybe, shootings in the parkade and on the streets, stabbings, fights outside downtown bars, cops being jumped and knocked out while responding to calls huge amounts of drug and gang acitivty.....and I should feel safe to walk downton...this is a small city these problems go unaddressed and are festering........SAFE? I laugh at this political bravado and challenge anyone who thinks the city is safe to prove me wrong.

Former City employee
Another taxpayer funded event for the Leighton for Mayor campaign! The entire front row of that picture is his staff! These numbers he throws out, $13 million spent on District C and 53 new businesses what is he talking about? Your reporter O'Boyle should question him on these numbers.

The mayor has done squat. He uses his position to improve his private business which is a conflict of interest. The mayor makes twice what the mayor of Scranton makes . Scranton is a far better place to be than WB in my opinion. Why is the downtown composed or restaurants only? What factories like manufacturing has Leighton attracted to Wilkes Barre? The apartments or should I say condos still remain vacant and will remain vacant at the prices being asked. Who is going to buy a condo without mass transit operating after 5:30? These are NY prices but they have transportation most of the day and night. Who are the owners of these condos and why are they silent? Why doesn't the TL send some cloak and dagger reporters into the business's on the square and ask them hows business. You will get an ear full.

It does not matter. Leighton wins even if he loses. If he wins, he runs his business out of the Mayor's office and draws over $80,000 a year while doing it. If he loses, he runs the business at his work office but still draws over a $40,000 a year pension from working only 8 years full time. While I get a tow truck pulling cars into an "unsafe" building that used to have a Fire Truck in it that protected me.

How much did that 'movie' cost the city?

30 people turn out for final town hall meeting .........but half of them were administrative staff.........DOH !

And from 'Our endorsement Wilkes-Barre Mayor (Democrat) Tom Leighton'

I just keep thinking about that Old river road bakery deal.

Generally speaking, the longer someone is in power, the more corruption seeps in. Leighton, a real-estate magnate, is responsible for converting a tax-generating property on South Main street in the heart of our city to a tax-exempt property putting yet even more burden on already stressed taxpayers. This is unconscionable. For a multitude of reasons, its time for a change.

Randall Flagg
How does a city of 40,000 people justify paying a mayor $80,000.00? The mayor of Pittsburgh, with a population of over 300,000 people only earns $16,000.00 more than Mayor Leighton.
Want something closer to home? The mayor of Scranton, with a city population larger than Wilkes-Barre, makes half as much as his Wilkes-Barre counterpart.
I swear Luzerne county residents are an apathetic bunch, who enjoy being screwed over by politicians. As long as the beer is flowing at the bars, everything is a.o.k. in Luzerne County.
It is disgusting.

He may have done all that but at what cost? Look at the city streets!! Downtown may look nice but you have to drive over HORRIBLE streets to get there.

Anyone who would listen to this endorsement with any brains at all can see that the Wilkes Barre is a mess. And to endorse him. Please I thought the TL would have done itself a favor as well as the voters and stay out of it. The people of Wilkes Barre deserve better than the current Mayor.

And finally from 'Leighton lists achievements at town hall '

Former City employee
The Mayor once again uses his political position to hold his Election Rally, I mean Town Meeting to tout his accomplishments as the election draws near. Where were these meetings for the past 7 years? I thought the purpose of the meeting was for City officials to hear concerns from the residents not the residents hearing a paid for political ad!

Let's not forget about the downtown nightlife achievements Leighton made. If you want to see overly intoxicated people vomiting and urinating in the street, fighting, committing acts of vandalism, etc., the downtown is the place to go.

Wilkes Barre has been and is still a mess. Roads are a disgrace, no stores in the downtown, empty buildings, rampant drugs, no reason to go downtown. The city needs a lot more then Leighton.

Jeff Thomas
I like Leighton, but bragging about establishing an online presence seems a little extreme. Everyone has an online presence these days. it was the inevitable response to the changing times.
Furthermore, 250 cameras with no measurable results seems to be overkill. I know the room with all the screens looks cool, but I question the effectiveness of the system.
If Tom wants to get votes, he needs to distance himself from LAG Transportation, and do the right thing with the Old River Road Bakery. Sell it for a discounted price (NOT 39,000!) to the highest bidder.

The Ice rink is the only project he created on his own. The other projects were from McGroarty. The theater, the coal st. widening, the transportation center, all McGroarty's administration. All Leighton did was torpedo McGroarty's project at the theater so his buddy Finlay could make out. Then it cost the taxpayers 5 million for the "hole in the ground". I don't hear him mention the "Call Center" project, Ive seen a picture with Leightons name as Chairman of Council, taken in front of the Call Center. Taxpayers lost Millions of Dollars on that project. His camera's haven't caught anybody important for 2 million bucks. Now he started cleaning the City up because the eelections coming. Where was Tommy boy the last 7 years? People aren't that stupid Tommy!

Ernest L. Schmid
800,000 people spending money at hotels, bars, restaurants, that puts money in the pockets of hotel owners, bar owners and restaurant owners. How does that help the taxpayers of the City of W-B ???? How does it put money back into the city, when most of them are in a KOZ zone ? Taxes have been raised, fees have been raised, but at least we have a facebook page...ain't that just great. As far as the streets being paved it was paid for by the people who drive and buy gasoline, with the fuel tax you pay at the pump, and the paving was long overdue.

Still in bankruptcy???? Guess those millions of dollars wasted on the useless camera system could have been used better. The vast majority aren't in a neighborhood.
And "those people are spending money in our hotels"? Who uses the ice rink or goes to a movie and then stays in a hotel? Hired 29 officers??? Not new positions, just filling openings. 3 million to the fire dept? Wasn't that from a federal grant?
I remember over a year ago his press conference about computers for police. Still none in their cars..... though he said there would be. And the crime tip site? Could it be any more generic??? Check scranton's page for a real one.
Seems he likes to put his spin on things.

JoeLuke in reply to COWBOY33
Spin???You are a joke Cowgirl. Let me take your false info in order...
The cameras were obtained through a grant and if they were not applied for the grant would have went to some other project outside of W-B. The cameras are in EVERY neighborhood as they are in every park.
Coal Street rink built with grants. see note above about the money being spent elsewhere. So a family comes in from out of the area for a weekend hockey tournament and stays in a hotel. Chances are they take in the positive things that are in the community to include our movies and new restaurants. Hopefully they do not run into a negative officer like you, but chances are, you hide yourself pretty good instead of being a proactive officer.
Since I assume you are not a Police Chief, when is the last time you arrested a guy on a bench warrant? Since you were critical of Chief Duffy, I like to hear your record.
You said the Mayor just replaced 29 officers. Weren't there only 60-something when he took office and now there are more than 90. For that alone you should be thankful. Instead you sit behind your computer or phone and make negative comments all day.
The Fire Department has a bunch of new equipment and a new firehouse. Again, never enough...OHHHH the truck was paid for by a grant....Glad to see they are applying for these grants.
Computers in the car....Not sure I ever read about that, but sounds like more progressive ideas from the Chief...Again, you complain that it is not happening fast enough. lol
The city has email, a wireless city, a website and now a crime tip line...All done under Leighton's leadership. If you are such a good cop do some investigation and name another city in PA that has all of these. I will be waiting for your answer.

COWBOY33 in reply to JoeLuke

Sure ...web tips are progressive??? Yep, breaking news in 1992.... in 2010, not big news.
Magically you forget when he falls through with his promises. It was a big story.... technology in the city and how we were moving forward.
Ok, so where are the cameras in the neighborhoods? There aren't any!
As for the grants, yes they were applied for.... but they could have been applied for and used for much better things.3 million on a useless (for the most part) camera system so his buddies could start their own business....
Would much rather have seen police and fire get better equipment, and the roads paved. But hey, who needs money? I mean he can sell a bakery worth 250k for 39k. I guess the city didn't need that money.
And bankruptcy? Wasn't he touting how he has taken care of the cities finances? So which is it???
What city has those? Other then the Amish in Lancaster county most have e-mail,and webpage. W-B twp has had them for many years.

22 comments.... ONE pro Leighton. Kinda says something.
JoeLuke 'The Fire Department has a bunch of new equipment and a new firehouse. Again, never enough...OHHHH the truck was paid for by a grant....Glad to see they are applying for these grants.'

We needed the equipment, The newest Engine was a '97 with many problems, the best was a '91 also with many problems. The Ladder was a '76. So they HAD to be replaced.
We got a new fire station. He closed TWO! He said with 3 stations, the city would have adequate protection, and now he is poised to close ANOTHER!!
The Engines, the Ladder and Hollenback station were paid for with grants. Hope he doesn't hurt himself patting his own back for doing PART of his job.

Oh BREAKING NEWS, 5 or more stabbings in the city tonight. 1 at Stanton and Airy, More on Coal St. In 18 years I can't remember this much violence in one night. Do you feel safer? I don't.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Obama shows his compassion..... NOT

Obama Walks Away From 9/11 Family Member Who Asks About Investigation of CIA Interrogators

Debra Burlingame, who lost her pilot brother on 9/11 when his plane crashed into the Pentagon, had a reportedly chilly exchange with President Barack Obama today. During a meeting with a select group of 9/11 families, Obama greeted Burlingame and even hugged her after a few pleasantries.

But when Burlingame asked about Eric Holder’s plan to file criminal charges against CIA interrogators, Obama’s friendly manner allegedly stiffened.

Burlingame asked Obama if he would voice his opinion to Holder on the matter of the investigation of the CIA interrogators. She said, “I know that as a former attorney … you can’t tell the AG what to do in an investigation, but these [the interrogators] are unsung heroes….and they have been exonerated in two justice department investigations. But that didn’t satisfy Eric Holder….Would you, in light of what’s happened, speak to him about standing them [the investigating prosecutors] down?”

Obama allegedly responded that Burlingame is right, that he cannot tell Holder how to conduct his investigation. Burlingame jumped in, saying, yes but “You can give him your opinion, will you do that?”

Obama said, “No I won’t.” And then he allegedly turned and walked away.

Burlingame suggested, “You can do it privately.”

Obama allegedly responded, “No.”
Video clips of FOX interviews of Burlingame are on the original link.
Gotta love that the Main Stream Media will not tell this story. Maybe he couldn't tell her anything but he could've been more compassionate. But that is not on his agenda.

Dan Emplit WBFD

Thursday, May 5, 2011


WARNING: These pictures ARE GRAPHIC, but I've seen worse in movies.

Osama bin Laden's photo is too disturbing for the American public..... But pictures of the three other DEAD dudes aren't. They were published by Reuters. The 'story' is that some Pakistan politician sold the pictures.

This goes with Bidens blunder, the blurting out of Seal (DevGru) involvement. I guess every court needs a jester, or is it a clown?

Target #1 looks like COM (Center of Mass), chest shot.

Target #2 Head shot, If you have a weak stomach don't look to close, 'cause I think I can see brain matter.

Target #3 Hard to tell, I'm guessing COM from the rear/side.

None of these pictures are very detailed (They are surprisingly Low-Res), so any analysis is guess work.
IMO the picture needs to come out for Closure, for the American public, but mainly for his victims families.

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." ~ John F. Kennedy

ADD ON: "A man who hurt so many people will never hurt anyone again. I know that this is not the last of horrible men, but at least it is the last of this horrible man, this symbol of hatred and war and bloodshed." You need to read this article.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992

Who Dares Wins

Today is the thirty first anniversary of the British SAS liberating the Iranian Embassy in London.

Around 11:30 on April 30, 1980 six man calling itself the Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan (that's a bit of a mouth full, lets shorten it to DRMLA) captured the Iranian Embassy in London.

The group's demands were for the autonomy of an Arab-majority petroleum-rich region in southern Iran known as Khūzestān and the release of ninety-one of their 'comrades' held in Iranian jails.

26 hostages were taken, with 5 being released over the next few days. On May 6, 1980 the kidnappers killed a hostage, press attaché Abbas Lavasani and threw his body outside. It was now time for the SAS to go to work and the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) section was already in place.

To mask preparations for the storming of the building, aircraft taking off and landing from Heathrow Airport were told to reduce altitude and fly lower over the embassy. British Gas began noisy drilling in an adjoining street to provide noise cover as the SAS moved into position. Detailed architectural plans of the building were obtained, and additional information given by the freed hostages and a detailed briefing from the caretaker (who revealed that the first two floors had a very high grade of bullet-resistant glass installed, hence the use of frame charges rather than sledgehammers in the assault).

Consideration was briefly given to a stealthy entry via the skylight during night-time, in which the terrorists would have been shot with suppressed (silenced) weapons while they were asleep. However the plan was abandoned.

Prior to the attack, the kidnappers and hostages had been observed through fibre-optic probes inserted through the shared wall of an adjoining building. Microphones were used to eavesdrop from the building next door. The raid was rehearsed in a mock-up of the building in nearby Regent's Park army barracks in central London (The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war).

Hostages were located on the second floor, with men at the front and women at the rear of the building. The attacking force consisted of five four-man teams:

One team to the front, entry via the first floor, entry from No.14's balcony - as seen by television cameras
One team through the second floor panoramic skylight to the stairwell, via abseiling
One team through the second floor rear balcony, via abseiling
One team through the first floor door, clearing the basement
One team through the first floor door, clearing the first floor

Five of the six militants were killed and 19 hostages were saved (One hostage was killed by a kidnapper during the assault). One of the SAS men became tangled in his abseiling gear on entry to the building. Before he could be cut free, a fire was started by a stun grenade and reached the sergeant, who suffered 60% burns. He carried on with the operation despite his injuries. Below is the picture of him BURNING. This is an example of why these heroes are Elite.

After the assault ended, the last surviving gunman, Fowzi Nejad, posed as a hostage and was escorted outside the embassy with the others. There, a real hostage quickly identified him as one of the attackers.

There was controversy over the deaths of two of the terrorists. At a coroner's inquest the SAS were cleared of unlawful conduct by a jury.

Television clips of the SAS raid were used as an example of how the United Kingdom had stood firm on terrorism and (unlike several other countries at the time) refused to surrender to the demands of terrorists.

More Information can be found HERE

Also of note:
Claude Stanley Choules (3 March 1901 – 5 May 2011) was, at the age of 110, with Florence Green one of the two last living World War I veterans in the world, and was the last living military witness to the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow. He was also the last living veteran to have served in both world wars, and the last seaman from the first world war. Choules was also the last surviving male World War I veteran (the last female veteran being Florence Green), and the last World War I veteran living in Australia. At the time of his death, he was also the third oldest verified military veteran in the world and the oldest man known living in Australia. He was the 7th-oldest living man in the world. Choules became the oldest man born in the United Kingdom following the death of Stanley Lucas on 21 June 2010. He died in Perth, Western Australia, at the age of 110.
Rest well, Sir.

Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992