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Friday, April 30, 2010

Stick It

I went for a long ride yesterday afternoon, and during the course of a couple hours on the road, I came to do a complete 180 on those "family" stickers you see on cars and mini vans.

I grew to hate them.  Too many.  Too cute.  They're everywhere.  They're a fad.  I hate fads.

Then, just as my trip was coming to a close, it hit me.  I should be happy there are so many family units out there.  Sociologists will point to the disintegration of the family as one of the many factors in drug abuse, crime, a lack of civility and manners, etc...  The family should be celebrated, and if you choose to do that by smacking some silly stickers on the back of your car, go for it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Were You Thinking?

Shad Olsen, a news anchor at KOTA in Rapid City, SD, was recently suspended-- but not fired.  His infraction was speaking at a tea party rally.

I've personally known violators of the "don't get involved in politics" rule. I've been amazed they haven't been caught.  I knew some managers had knowledge of what was going on.  Either they pretended not to know, or didn't care.  Both are dangerous.

A weekend morning news anchor for WLS in Chicago was fired for failing to show up for work.  It was hit third infraction.  Three strikes.  You're out.

Let's get back to the first case.  Politics in intertwined in our lives.  Many people in the biz pride themselves in their voting records.  I've never missed an election in which I was eligible to vote.  I love talking politics with the movers and shakers I meet out in the road.  The inside information is fun, and it helps you cut through the morass that is political advertising.  You can also pull these tid bits from the memory bank when you're doing election day and night coverage.

As for this blog, I learned a long time ago, while I was doing a radio talk show, there there is distinct difference between opinion and analysis.  We've come close to opinion a lot of times.  When I'm discussing politics, analysis is first and foremost.


In the Chicago situation, I can understand sleeping in once in a great while.  It's happened to just about everyone who has to work an early morning shift.  Most of us have double alarms, and phone call back-ups.  Still, it can happen.  Fatigue gets the better of you.  I hope the fired anchor finds better work, on a better shift.  I also hope he finds better work habits.

How do I handle it?  Extremely strict "get to sleep" times.  I don't care what's happening.  Scarlett Johansson is at the door and she wants to meet me?  Too bad.  I have to be in bed at least eight hours before that alarm is to go off.  The dark curtains are drawn.  The phone is turned off.  Some pharmaceutical help (legal) is thrown in.  If you get to sleep on time, you'll get up on time.  Luckily, I have few distractions (a.k.a. children)  to disrupt the routine.

See you Saturday morning...  I hope.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Bishop

I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about the inner workings of the Roman Catholic Church, but I do know a bit about public relations.

From a distance, it appears former Bishop Joseph Martino did the right thing in closing churches and schools.   The population of priests,  the population of students, and the population of parishioners could no longer support all those buildings.

On the other hand, the Martino years were a public relations failure.  A disaster.  Tough decisions come with heat.  Early on, it was clear Martino decided he just didn't want to deal with it.  Discussion?  Zero.  Yes, there were news conferences.  They all went the same way-- a consultant was introduced, and he did the heavy lifting.  I'm sure there was compassion within the walls of the bishop's office.  Unfortunately, that compassion did not escape to the people outside.

The Martino era officially ended Monday.  There's a new bishop, Joseph Bambera.  He owes Martino a debt of gratitude.  Martino pulled the trigger on the tough calls.  The decks are cleared.  The diocese is leaner, and a more manageable size.

Martino also showed Bambera how NOT to do things, and Bambera should be grateful for that as well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Larry Lavelle

I first met Larry Lavelle in the early 80's.  I was a young radio reporter.  Larry was a television news photographer, first at channel 22, then channel 28, then channel 16.  In later years, we laughed about it.  We both worked at all three.  There was a difference.  Larry's departures from 22 and 28 were voluntary.  Mine weren't.

We shared a running joke back in the day, "Where's the calliope?"  It seemed we covered more than our share of circuses years ago-- the trials, the courthouse and city hall hijinks, the political dog and pony shows, etc.   The only thing missing was the circus type music.  Hence, the calliope.  Larry was great fun to be around, especially during those long hours at the courthouse and other venues.  He took his work seriously.  He didn't take himself seriously.

By the time I joined WNEP in 1998, Larry had moved out of news and worked on Home & Backyard.  He was one of the people who helped keep Newswatch 16 dominant in the early days.  Now, he was helping make Home & Backyard a very watchable broadcast.

The new times brought another running joke.  We still referred to the calliope.  Now, it was my merciless ribbing over a H&B story at a chair museum.  Let's just say I didn't think the story was a grabber, and I let Larry know about it-- often.  He laughed it off.  It was Larry being Larry.   I know he thought I was wrong, but he didn't let me get to him.

Larry Lavelle died suddenly on Sunday.  53.  We are all shocked and saddened.  Larry left us too soon.  There were more stories to tell, more laughs to share.

I found out about Larry's passing when I opened my e-mail very early Monday morning.  The first thing I did when I got to work at 2:45 AM was grab my camera, and visit Larry's desk.  There are some things you should see, and it tells you a lot about the man.
Larry had a collection of old broadcast and newsroom gear-- film cameras, microphones, a typewriter, press passes, ID's, video tape gear, etc.  It's quite a group of items.

We often kicked around ideas.  I thought about pitching a magazine show idea.  Larry was intrigued.  Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right.  The staff was tied up on other projects.  The good time slots were taken.

There is so much Larry did around the station that you didn't know about.  I'm sure you appreciated it, because it was good work, even if you were unaware of who was behind the camera and the keyboard.  Larry had his hand in quite a bit at WNEP.  For that, we are extremely fortunate.
There are a couple awards on the wall, in the above shot.  Remember that wonderful Steamtown/Tunkhannock Viaduct/Nicholson piece photographed from Skycam a few years ago?  Larry did that.  He appreciated history.  He knew how to capture the images, and edit them into something memorable.
It's the standard cliche at a time like this.  It fits like a glove.  Larry was a nice, nice man.

Larry Lavelle leaves a big chair to fill.  I was lucky to have known, and worked with him.  My sympathy to his wife and children.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

You can't go wrong with a good creek picture.  This is another view of Tunkhannock Creek at Nicholson.  In this view, the bridge is at my back, and I'm looking downstream.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Climbing Another Mountain

My memory on this one is a big fuzzy, so bear with me.

97.9 called itself "The Mountain" for a while.  Then another company said it had the rights to the name.  97.9 became something else.

That other company put its version of The Mountain on 102.3 FM, where it resides today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Scrapple

The major advantage to having digital cable is, of course, WNEP 2.  However, I can't overlook the availability of one of the WVIA/PBS digital sub channels.  It's called Create.  It re-runs some Julia Child cooking shows from the 1990's.  I'd forgotten what a delightful woman Child was-- the perfect combination of gravitas, information, and fun.  Food TV executives, producers, and hosts should be locked in a room and required to view all of Child's work.  They'd learn something, and Food TV would be a better network.

I spent about nine hours at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton on Wednesday.  The staff was one nice person after another, from the second I walked in the door, right up to the time I left.  Relax.  My visit was nothing major, and I'll offer a few lines about it one of these days.  Thanks to the people at MTH.

Esquire magazine named Christina Hendricks the "Sexiest Woman Alive."  Bravo!  A wonderful choice!

I preface this by saying I am not America's moral compass.  You can't help but be troubled by the Ben Roethlisberger case.  While there is not enough evidence to prove a crime, it's clear he took advantage of a drunk, naive, and immature 20 year old-- a child, at a Georgia bar recently.  The NFL suspended him for six games, and there are continued reports the Steelers will trade Roethlisberger if the right deal comes along.   I feel six games is a tad severe.  The league will cut it to four if Big Ben manages to behave himself.  There are two ways this can go.  Ben can grow up, wise up, straighten up and fly right, or he'll continue on a self destructive path that will end with a career as a wrestler.  We are a people of second chances, even though I occasionally have a hard time dealing with that.  Michael Vick, for example.  Roethlisberger will get his opportunity at redemption, and I hope he doesn't blow it.

An Allegheny County state representative has announced a plan to get the state out of the retail liquor business.  Similar bills have flopped, badly and repeatedly, over the years.  This one will likely meet the same fate.

We deal with a lot of tragedy in the news business...  so places like the Game Show Network and Food TV are often a nice destination for an escape.  The same goes for some selected sports talk radio shows.  I've become extremely tired hearing about the sexual organs of Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger.

The video of the Iceland volcano is nothing short of fascinating.  Grounding of all those European jets shows that despite all our technology, Mother Nature is still firmly in charge of our lives.

Only a few more Saturday bumper stickers left!

The weather this weekend looks lousy.  Try to enjoy it, anyway.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day


I have a problem with Earth Day, and I bet you're not surprised.

We go nuts for one day, and then it's over.  People quickly revert back to bad habits, and wasteful ways of the past.

Like everything else, Earth Day has become politicized, and that's most unfortunate.

Organizations, like NBC, become preachy and shove it down your throat.

Am I perfect?  Not by a long shot.  I probably could shut down the computer more often.  I do some gas wasting during recreational drives and photo expeditions.  On the other hand, I recycle what I can, and most of my light bulbs are CFL's.

I'm trying to find a clever way to say every day should be earth day, but it's just not happening.  Simple is best.  Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Law and You

It's funny how work-related words and phrases infiltrate your civilian life.  They pop out, without even realizing it.

I spend a lot of time in court.  There's a phrase judges use quite often:  duly noted.

It means, essentially, "I hear you ."

A health care professional had me on the phone yesterday.  She was giving me a list of instructions.  I'll write more on that in the near future.  At the close of her comments, it came out.  I said "duly noted."

I listened, and I understood, although I got the distinct feeling that the person on the other end of the phone had no idea what I was talking about.  It was likely her first experience with duly noted.  A simple "OK" would have sufficed.   Maybe even an "okey doke."  "Got it" would have worked nicely.  No.  I had to be different.

Duly noted.

And then, there is Governor Rendell's plan to use a merit selection system for county judges, rather than an election.  There are many pluses and minuses.

I'm hesitant to take any decision away from the voters.

There's nothing to stop even an appointed judge from going bad.  It's happened many times before.

Let's take last year's judicial election in Luzerne County, for example.  There were more than a dozen candidates on the ballot.  Did the best ones win?  Maybe not.  The ones with the best campaigns won, and that does not necessarily mean they will become the best judges.  Point for merit selection.

Of course, this whole thing would be a moot point, if certain members of the bench were able to behave themselves, and some other court officers and county officials were too stupid, or too lazy to see something was going wrong.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crime and Punishment

Jerry Bonner was in Federal Court yesterday.  He was sentenced to two years probation, including three months home confinement.  He admitted to passing a "gratuity" from an engineer to a fellow fellow member of the Luzerne County Housing Authority.

No one disputes that Jerry Bonner is a nice guy, who's done a lot for the community.

Granted.

He says he didn't realize he was doing something wrong.

Huh?

The amount in question:  $1,400.

If this was above board, why didn't the engineer directly pass the money to the board member?  Why didn't the red flag go up for Jerry Bonner?  Bonner said he thought he was doing someone a favor.  I still have trouble believing Bonner when he says he thought he did nothing wrong.

Some chalk it up to the local culture of corruption.  Palms get greased, and that's the way we do business here.  Sickening, but true.

At least Bonner had the guts to face the cameras after the sentencing.  He admits to an error in judgement, and we've all done that, at least once-- maybe not to Bonner's extent, but we are, by nature, imperfect beings.

I reserve the right to remain skeptical when it comes to Bonner's alleged logic.

Shifting gears, Bloomsburg Police handed out more than 150 citations during block party weekend.  If you treat people like adults, they will act like adults.  There's a big crowd on block party weekend that apparently has maturity issues.

There are many times when I'm sorry I didn't take the time to have more fun during my college years.  Fun is one thing.  Law breaking is another.  There are more than 150 in Bloomsburg who have to learn when to stop.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

As I noted a few weeks ago, I took a ride to Susquehanna County on a recent afternoon.  I took Interstate 81 north to Great Bend, and Route 11 south back home.

The return trip took me through Nicholson.  Loyal blog readers know I'm fascinated by the Tunkhannock Viaduct.  I've photographed it dozens of times.  As I was driving, I said to myself, "I'm going to keep moving.  I have enough pictures of the bridge."  Then, I saw it, in the afternoon sun.  I couldn't resist.  I looked for a view I hadn't shown you before.  This is the Tunkhannock Creek, which runs beneath the bridge, and eventually flows into the Susquehanna River.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Strike!


This sticker was so long, I had to put it on my scanner diagnoally, and it still wouldn't fit.

Unfortunately, I don't remember much about it.  If memory serves, I got it during the 1981 Major League Baseball Strike.  WABC carried the Yankees' games back them, and the station gave out these stickers as the job action dragged on.

WABC did something I really liked.  It has a 50,000 watt, clear channel signal.  It has a wide coverage area during the day, and it can be picked up in about one-third of the country at night.  Anyway, the station was very good about sending stuff to listeners, as long as they provided a self addressed, stamped envelope.  I acquired a few "top hits of the year" music survey sheets in that manner.

The stickers were not creative masterpieces, and the call letters were rather small.  However, it was a very good idea.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Words I Never Thought I'd Say

I feel sorry for Jerry Jones.  I really do.

The Dallas Cowboys owner was having a few drinks in a bar when some putz with a cell phone camera secretly recorded him. Jones said some unkind things about former coach Bill Parcells and college quarterback Tim Tebow.

What Jones said was irrelevant.  First, he shouldn't have been taped.  Second, a Dallas TV station, WFAA, acted in an exceptionally slimey fashion by airing it.  And, we continue to wonder why a large number of people hold broadcast journalism in low esteem.

Should Jones have been more careful?  Most certainly.

When the government gives a broadcaster a license, it also bestows responsibility.  A lot of broadcasters have forgotten that.  Case in point:  WFAA.

The tape is all over the internet, and I won't even begin to open up that can of worms.

Could it, and would it happen here?  It's really a case for the lawyers to straighten out.

It reminds me of something that happened back in 1996.  A news director had a great idea for a story.  She wanted me to call the "Psychic Hotline" to see if what the "psychic" had to say about my life was accurate.  I declined.  First, it was stupid.  Second, Pennsylvania has strict wiretap laws.  You cannot record a telephone conversation without the consent of the party on the other end of the line.  The story was assigned to another reporter, who wisely recorded only her half, the reporter's half, of the conversation.  Here, I use the word "reporter" loosely.  In this case, following the letter of the law didn't make a difference.  It was a bad piece, and it had no busness being on the air.  See the earlier paragraphs about "responsibility" and "low esteem."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Quiet Day

Can it be? 

Have we gone through an entire 24 hour period without federal agents raiding someone's home or business?

Have we spent a day without a case of arson?

There are two ways to look at this.

First, the federal raids show that, yes, crimes have been committed here, but the system is working.  Efforts are being made to get to the truth, and the law breakers will be punished-- eventually.

Also, hats off to the investigators who are able to pinpoint a fire's origin and cause.  I was at the Bingham's Restaurant fire in Susquehanna County Monday morning.  There wasn't much of the building left.  It was pegged as a case of arson, even before the rubble cooled.

As I write this, there are a couple questionable fires on the books.  Let's hope they turn out to be accidents.

I spoke too soon.  An apartment building and garage fire on Tompkins Street in Pittston has been determined to be a case of arson.

You cannot overlook the cumulative impact of our local crime spree.  Thanks to the internet, the news is able to escape from our little corner of the planet.  We already had a reputation for political and governmental hijinks.  Thanks to more than two dozen arrests, and more coming, northeastern Pennsylvania's place in history has been cemented.

If that isn't enough, we're closing in on the title of "Deliberately Set Fire Capital of the World."

Thanks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Times Change

It's the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 odyssey.  I vividly remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Glooch, a fine woman, leading us in a little prayer for the safe return of the astronauts.  Public school.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  No one complained.  If she tried that today, she'd be up on charges and fired in a heartbeat.

Times change.

Conan O'Brien is taking his television show to TBS in November.  There was a time when basic cable was seen as the lesser cousin of the broadcast networks.  Those days are long gone.  Entire generations have grown up with cable television.  Younger folk see a cable network as being on the same level with one of the big four broadcast networks.  It makes no difference.  It's all the same.  By the way, O'Brien's people couldn't cut a deal with FOX.  The network and its affiliates are happier with reruns late at night.  They cost less and bring in more money.  That says a lot about the economics of the business, doesn't it?  Tired, old shows are favored over fresh programming.

Times change.



But, something remains the same, and that's unfortunate.  The Masters golf tournament still dictates all the rules, including announcer selection, to CBS.  Spectators must be referred to as "patrons."  Talk of prize money is forbidden.  The problems with Tiger Woods were glossed over.  CBS has no shame.  The really sad part is that if CBS passed on the Masters, there'd be a half dozen other networks waiting to take its place.




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Never Been There...


I must have passed it a thousand times, but I never stopped in.  That ship has sailed.  Bingham's restaurant was destroyed in a spectacular fire late Sunday night.

The restaurant, in Susquehanna County's Lenox Township was famous for its pies and baked goods.  So famous, Newswatch 16 did a "Pennsylvania Faire" feature there in October of 2008  I watched the video again Monday morning.  The food looked great.

It was apparent Bingham's held a special place in the hearts of the locals.  Several people stopped by our satellite truck Monday morning to say how much they'll miss the restaurant.  About fifty full and part timers worked there.  The number varried according to the season.

Monday afternoon, it was revealed that the fire is a case of arson.  An arrest has been made.

One can only hope they rebuild for all those workers, and the people who simply enjoy a good pie.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

It's one more New Milford photo before I head south.  This has to be one of the most interesting buildings in our entire area.  It's the Pratt Library on Main Street.  This building was built in 1903.  Small, but spectacular.

By the way, I didn't tweak the colors of the recent photos from New Milford.  The sky really was that blue.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Expo

Not much of a blog today (what else is new?!)...

I'd just like to say "thank you" to those who stopped by during my time at the Home & Backyard Expo.

My weekend schedule doesn't allow for much participation, but I was able to spend a few hours at the Wyoming Valley Mall Friday morning.

The kind comments concerning our weekend morning broadcasts are greatly appreciated.  It's nice to know we have so many loyal viewers, and I'm sure Noreen values your words as well.

The Expo wraps up today.  Several members of the team will be there throughout the day.  Be sure to stop by and say "hello."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

WWDL

You can't go wrong with a big, bright, yellow, highly noticeable bumper sticker.  Or, can you?

The radio station owner's hot air balloon gets more space than the radio station, and I guess that was okay.  The balloon was the station's symbol, sort of the mascot.

WWDL was on 104.9, so I was a little surprised it wasn't called "Stereo 105."  I think a later marketing shift had the station re-branded as "Lite 105."

To make a long story short, the owner got into some trouble with the law and was forced to sell.  WWDL is now "The River."  I don't know the fate of the balloon.

Or, maybe I do.  I Googled "Sunkiss balloon" and found an outfit called "Sunkiss Ballooning" in Glens Falls, NY.  Looks like the same balloon to me.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Scrapple

I know she's had a horrible year, but I'm really tired of hearing about ESPN's Erin Andrews.

The New York Post reports former NY governor Eliot Spitzer wants to get back into politics.  He resigned a couple of years ago in a prostitution scandal.  The sheer hypocrisy of Mr. Law and Order bothered me more than his dalliances.  At least he didn't go running for rehab.

Speaking of rehab, Tiger Woods and Nike have a new TV commercial, featuring Tiger's late father, Earl.  What were they thinking?  This is beyond tasteless.

Some "experts" are talking about an economic recovery.  I've yet to see it.

I'd love to know what the FBI was looking for at Senator Ray Musto's home, and I'd be extremely disappointed if it turned out the man did something wrong.

WalMart got the okay to build in Exeter.  There's a reason it's the largest chain in America.  WalMart always gets what it wants.

A lot of people loved the recent hot spell.  Not me.  I need a little springtime.

Attendance at last night's SWB Yankees home opener:  6,500.  Yes, I realize the weather was bad.  I remember the days when you couldn't get a ticket for opening night.  A Morning Call sportswriter had it right in last night's Dave Bohman piece.  The Yankees have alienated their fan base.  You can't do that, and still survive.

There have been plenty of changes in the radio business in recent weeks.  Outside of a select few comments to me, no one really seems to care.  I weighed in on those changes recently, so scroll back, if you choose.  I will add this-- Kevin Lynn showed a great deal of class in his post-dismissal comments.

I have no desire to own an i-Pad.

Traveling Interstate 80 is not part of my daily routine, but I'm still happy it will not become a toll road.  This move penalized the wrong people.  The state has to learn to do more with less, like every other business in this country. The state will find other ways to get its money.  Everybody pays.

CNN has a seen a rather large ratings drop recently, especially in prime time.  I've read where some in the industry think CNN should move toward more opinion related programming, like FOX News and MSNBC.  Please, don't!  You can do real news and still draw a crowd.  Improve your story telling and presentation.  Hire some good talent, and dump those Larry King and Anderson Cooper bore-fests.

WNEP's Home & Backyard Expo starts today at the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre Township.  Stop by if you're in the neighborhood.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It Makes You Wonder...

...And, it makes you sad.

Carbondale Police arrested Dominick Williams yesterday.  He's charged with last month's armed robbery of a Turkey Hill on Belmont Street.

Williams is only 15.

You can only shake your head in disbelief when you hear about 15 year olds knocking off mini marts.

Because a deadly weapon was allegedly involved, Williams is charged as an adult.

I preface this by saying young Mr. Williams is innocent until proven guilty.

He is now at a crossroads.  I'm assuming this is his first offense.  He can be punished, learn a lesson, and go on the straight and narrow.

You know where the other path leads.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Here We Go Again

I think it was in early 2009...  Some alleged financial experts came out with a long list of companies likely to go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the year.  The vast majority of companies on the list stayed solvent, and they're still around today.

Well, there's been another list.  Once again, Blockbuster has made an appearance.  It's not suprrising the company has been closing a ton of stores.  It's apparent people like Red Box machines, Netflix, and "on demand" a lot better.

Borders is on the "likely to fail" list.  I wonder if the writer has ever visited the Viewmont Mall store.  It's busy from opening to closing.  I will concede that the internet and gadgets like Kindle have given readers other options.  I'm a big Amazon.com fan.  The prices are reasonable, and books arrive in your mail box just days after ordering.  Still, there's nothing like wandering through a book store and holding one in your hand.

Another entry on the endangered list is Rite Aid.  The reason is that sales are down while the company is swimming in debt from the Eckerd chain purchase.  I'm a frequent visitor to the Dunmore store.  Like Borders, it's busy from opening to closing.  Rite Aid's newer stores are rather nice-- not too big, not too small, everything you need.  WalMart has better prices on most stuff, but as a drug store, I've always been rather happy there.  Still, you can't ignore crushing debt.

I have to wonder if the latest list is just another doomsday scenario.  Like last year, I'm betting most of the entries will live to see another year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Almost

In baseball, they call it warning track power-- a player who can hit it far, but not over the fence, never a home run.

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had the football equivalent of warning track power.  He could win you some games.  He was good, but not good enough.  His playoff record was 9-7.

The Eagles, smartly, finally decided McNabb didn't have a Super Bowl championship in him.  He was dealt to the Washington Redskins, for a couple draft picks, Sunday night.

It's a trade that helps both teams.  The Eagles can use the draft picks.  McNabb is better than Jason Campbell, last year's starter for Washington.

The NFC East is always an interesting division, and it will be even more so this year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bad Photography Monday

Thursday was too nice a day to hang around the house, so I pointed the car north to Susquehanna County.  This is the old church in New Milford's Midtown Park.

New Milford is one of my favorite photographic destinations, and there are still big parts yet to be explored.

I hoped to see some trains, especially north of town.  Unfortunately, it was a quiet afternoon on the rails.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I was playing with my camera in New Milford the other afternoon, and I thought this would make a great picture for Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Returning to the Q

On Halloween, I chronicled a little of the history of WSCR, which later became WBQW.  The station had little bumper stickers, or "Q Spots" back in the day.

No one really knew what they were all about.  Did they say "13Q"..."BQ"...or both.  The first generation was blue, and on the blog in October.  The next version is on the left.  Red.

Then, a change of direction.  It was back to blue, but notice a re-design  the "3" is very different, clearly indicating it's "13Q."  Also, notice the reinforcement, via the addition of "radio" and the frequency.

You have to give them credit for trying, but 13Q never really took off.   It was probably one of the last times an AM radio station around here made a super serious run at attracting an audience.

1320 has been off the air for years and will likely never return to the Scranton area.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thumbs Up !

I've always liked Roger Ebert.  He and Gene Siskel made movie reviews interesting, even if you weren't a movie buff.  Ebert has the right touch.  He can relate to both the casual and serious film fans.

Disney is cancelling Ebert's old show, "At the Movies" after 24 years.  it goes off the air in August.

Roger Ebert has had a series of horrific health problems over the last few years.  He can no longer speak or eat.  A computer does his talking.  Nurtition comes from a tube.

I was thrilled to read that Ebert will produce another movie review show for syndication, possibly being available later this year.  While he won't appear on camera, you will hear his computer synthesized voice offering occasional comments.  Ebert feels there's still a place for a serious film show on television, and I agree.

Do yourself a favor.  Go to Ebert's web site.  It's more than movie reviews.  His essays are outstanding.  The man can write.

His perseverence after all those health problems is nothing short of amazing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time Passages

There have been a few changes regarding local media, and it's nice, for a change, to be able to watch from a distance.

WILK and morning show co-host Kevin Lynn have gone their separate ways.  I've known Kevin for a long time.  I wouldn't say he's a friend, but we always got along.  That includes a night of laughs at the Scoreboard Lounge in Erie, the night Tom Ridge was elected governor in 1994.  That's another story for another time.  I have to level with you.  The Kevin & Nancy morning show wasn't my thing.   It was a little too loud, a little too shrill, a little too caustic for my tastes.  Kevin is a smart guy with a lot of talent.  It will be interesting to see where he turns up next.

John Webster has left WEZX in Scranton.   Again, I've known John a long time.  Nice guy.  He'd been co-hosting the morning show for about 25 years, and after a quarter century, that horse had traveled as far as it's going to go.  I'm betting a change will be good for John and good for the station.

Mr. Webster says he's headed to WILK to replace Kevin Lynn.

Retired Scranton Times columnist Joe Flannery died the other day.  Our paths crossed a few times over the years.  I don't think Joe ever said or wrote anything bad about anybody.  My sympathy to his family and friends. Joe Flannery was 82.

A new month brings a new picture at the top of the blog.  While it may look like the Tunkhannock Viaduct in Nicholson, it's actually a smaller bridge-- the Martin's Creek Viaduct near Kingsley in Susquehanna County.