Saturday, November 1, 2014

Andy's Angles: Post Office

If you want a picture that screams "small town America," this is it.

It's Harford's Post Office-- a little blue building in a town where just about every other structure is white.

Apparently, actor Bronson Pinchot controls the building.  In an episode of his short lived DIY Newtork series "The Bronson Pinchot Project," he had decorative brackets and period lighting installed on both sides of the front door.  As you can see from this recent photo, they're gone.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ready for Tuesday Night

ABC has announced what it plans to do and when for Tuesday night's election coverage.  Here's the skinny from the network:

On Tuesday, November 4 ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead live, uninterrupted coverage online from 7:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET. At 10:00 PM ET and 10:00 PM PT it will be simulcast live for one-hour special reports on the ABC broadcast network with additional live updates at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 11:00 PM and 12:00 AM ET as polls close in various states.
The network's Election Night coverage kicks off with a special edition of "World News Tonight with David Muir" at 6:30 PM ET, with live updates throughout the night.
Starting at 7:00 PM ET Stephanopoulos will anchor live coverage from ABC News Election Headquarters in Times Square in New York bringing viewers the whole picture on election results.  Stephanopoulos will also be joined by ABC's Diane Sawyer, "World News Tonight" Anchor David Muir, Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, "Nightline" Anchor Dan Harris and Fusion Anchor Alicia Menendez.  ABC contributors Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, David PlouffeWilliam Kristol and Nicolle Wallace will  provide analysis live  from Election Headquarters.  They will be joined on the air by ABC News veteran political journalist Cokie Roberts in Washington, DC. 
In addition, ABC News will report live from our ABC stations, polling places and election headquarters across the country.  ABC's Ron ClaiborneJeff ZelenyCecilia Vega, Tom Llamas and Linsey Davis will be on location, with results and reaction on the ground, traveling to key races.
The team from FiveThirtyEight, led by founder and Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver, will live blog and join Stephanopoulos and the ABC News team, adding context as the results come in.  Additionally, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and veteran pollster Gary Langer and team will break down the polls throughout the night.
Special live editions of "Nightline" anchored by Dan Harris will air at 12:35 AM and 3:35 AM ET. "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" will preview Election Day races on Sunday, November 2. "Good Morning America" will report the latest on all the results on Wednesday, November 5. 
The live stream anchored by Stephanopoulos from 7:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET will be available on ABCNews.com, ABC News mobile apps and Apple TV.  ABC News Digital will introduce personalized alerts for Election Night, updating users with all the results from their local races.

Locally, we've got you covered on WNEP, WNEP2, WNEP.com, plus Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Ride

Regular riders know I ride my bike in the early morning hours, the very, very early morning hours.  50 degrees is about my cut off point, and I thought my bike riding was done until the spring.

Fortunately, that one day heat wave that began on Tuesday stretched in to Wednesday morning so it was a rare, unexpected, and exceptionally fun, late October ride.

I checked the radar before heading out.  Rain was approaching, but it wouldn't be here for a few hours.  Clouds were moving in, so it wasn't a moonlight ride.

Curbside fallen leaves rustled as I blew by.  Skunks and a possum were ravaging trash cans, looking for a late night snack.  It was odd to hear the hum of air conditioners at homes I passed, coupled with Halloween decorations in the yard and on the porches.  Summer time comfort mixed with fall decorations-- something you rarely see.

I'm going to hate mothballing the bike for the winter.  Please, Mother Nature, just one more warm spell!

As for the World Series, I was off by one game.  I predicted Giants in 6.  It was Giants in 7.  Kansas City pleasantly surprised me.

Baseball's over.  It's going to be a long winter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Better Living Through Chemistry

This is part Sofia Ojeda style "Taste Test," and part nostalgia.

I was walking through one of the big box stores on a recent morning when I spotted 12 packs of Tab tucked on to the shelves.

A little history-- Tab, manufactured by Coca Cola, was one of the first of the diet colas, way back in the early 60's.  It was aimed at the female dieters crowd, but anyone looking to cut back on sugar and calories grabbed a can now and then.

Tab has an unforgettable taste, and it was the last of the sodas to use saccharin.  In fact, a read of the label still shows saccharin as one of the main ingredients, although there are some modern sugar-less sweeteners now in the mix.

That unforgettable taste of Tab in the old days I referred to?  It was like a mouth full of chemicals.

I'm surprised Tab is still around.  Diet Coke, beginning in 1982, stole all the thunder-- and the sales.

I let curiosity get the better of me, and I threw a 12 pack in to my cart.

So, how is Tab 2014?  It still has that unmistakable saccharin flavor and after taste.  It doesn't appear to be as harsh as the old days, but it's still there.Tab isn't great, and it is tolerable.  I'll finish the 12 pack, but it will be a while before the Tab nostalgia itch needs scratching again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One Week

The polls open here in Pennsylvania at 7 AM, one week from today.

All eyes are on the race for governor, where Republican Tom Corbett is trying to hold on for a second term.

Most polls have Corbett trailing Democrat Tom Wolf, but gaining.  A recent Franklin & Marshall College poll has Corbett trailing in every part of the state, even Republican strongholds.

Since the state constitution was changed in 1968, every Pennsylvania governor was elected to a second term.

Corbett is in danger of making history, and not in a good way.

It all comes down to turn out, in my view.  If Corbett can get big numbers out of the middle and northern parts of the state, he stands a chance. Part of the equation is Philadelphia voters, a huge Democratic area, staying home.

So far, Wolf has run a smart campaign.  He spent early to gain name recognition, and he kept his name in front of the public during the normally slow summer political season.  He painted Corbett as the guy who gutted funding for education, and the guy who was too friendly with the gas drillers.

Corbett struck a few hits in his commercials, claiming Wolf to be just another taxing and spending Democrat.

It will be an interesting final week.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unfinished Monday

Sears is closing a bunch of stores around the country.  Five are in Pennsylvania.  Two are in our area- at Columbia Mall near Bloomsburg and Schuylkill Mall near Frackville.

Sears owns KMart, and the company has been bleeding money in recent years.  Walmart came in and made KMart irrelevant.  Sears appears to be plain, old tired.  It's really surprising because Kenmore and Craftsman are outstanding brands.

Locally, Schuylkill and Columbia malls have limped along for years.  Both have tons of vacancies.

As for Columbia, I never understood how a mall in a college town, with no other malls for miles, struggles.

I'm old enough to remember a time when Schuylkill did well.  Then, for various reasons, the bottom fell out and it never recovered.

Our second item today deals with WARM 590.  WARM has been off the air for more than a month.  The company told the Federal Communications Commission that it has massive transmitter and transmission system issues.  Those issues are so large, they haven't figured them out yet, and there's no timetable for getting back on the air.  The company has a year to fix it.  If that doesn't happen, 590 is gone for ever and ever.  A former engineer listed all the problems on an industry message board.  Yikes!  It looks like it will cost more to fix than the station is worth.

Some will remember I got my start at WARM, and I treasure my time there.  I just have a bad feeling that WARM will be relegated to the radio history books.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Andy's Angles: Polk Pond

The fog did me in.  This could have been a spectacular photo,  It's Polk Pond in Harford.

This one goes on my list of places to re-visit.  With any luck, I can get there on a crisp, clear late fall day to show you how beautiful this area really is.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Andy's Angles: Country Barn

This barn along Route 547 just outside of Harford in Susquehanna County has seen better days, but that just adds to its character.

I've seen a thousand "rustic" barns along country roads here in our area.  For the most part, you either have to travel on to private property to reach them, or you have to pull over on roads where it's dangerous to do so.

I was lucky with this one.  There was a side road on which to park-- and take in the scene.

Friday, October 24, 2014


The picture says it all.  I'm on vacation.

As always, no plans.  I hope to get out with the camera for a bit if it ever stops raining.

We've all been putting in a lot of hours due to a busy news cycle, so I can use a bit of a break.

Bill Wadell has the air chair, as we used to say in the radio business, this weekend.  The broadcast is in good hands.

I'll still be writing here, so I'll see you soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Teaching Moment

courtesy:  Washington Post
Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee died Tuesday.  93.

He was running the paper during the Watergate era, and a passage in his Washington Post obituary, written by Robert G. Kaiser, jumped out at me.  It was a quote from Robert Woodward, one of the Post's two main Watergate writers.

“He was a presence, a force,” Woodward recalled of Mr. Bradlee’s role during the Watergate period, 1972 to 1974. “And he was a doubter, a skeptic — ‘Do we have it yet?’ ‘Have we proved it?’ ” Decades later, Woodward remembered the words that he most hated to hear from Mr. Bradlee then: “You don’t have it yet, kid.”

You see, it takes stones to run a story.  It takes even more to hold back until you are absolutely sure you are right.
I hope every journalism professor in America reads the Bradlee obit, prints it, and distributes it to students.  From what I've observed, students are being learned how to push buttons, plus social media.  They're lacking in hard driven fact based journalism.  I've even witnessed irresponsibility in those who have been drawing "professional" pay checks for years.

Ben Bradlee saw the media's role in maintaining a vibrant democracy, holding people's feet to the fire, and making sure they're accountable.  He also saw how important it was to make sure his own people had the i's dotted and t's crossed.  After all, they were taking on the President of the United States.

Let's get it right.