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Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Scrapple

UNIONIZED COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS:
They don't realize how good they have it.  Try working your way through college.  I see a kid every morning at the gym.  He's cleaning toilets to earn the money for his education.

OLYPHANT BABY HOMICIDE:
There are no words.  A ten month old was beaten to death.  There is no explanation or justification.

MYSTERIOUS ODOR IN THE AREA:
Really?  Is this the most important thing we have to worry about?

ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE:
It wasn't what you did, but how you did it.

BASEBALL SEASON:
Starting in Australia was silly, just like the NFL games in London.  It's good to see the USA baseball opener.

BRIAN BILLICK:
Dumped by FOX Sports.  Not great, but among the better football analysts out there.

MISSING JET:
Are you amazed, as I, that this can happen in 2014?

MASSIVE GENERAL MOTORS RECALLS:
Are you amazed, as I, that this can happen in 2014?

WASHINGTON MUDSLIDE:
I saw a much smaller one in Eaton Township, near Tunkhannock.  I was there when it happened.  Unforgettable.  Can you imagine a mile of mountain sliding away?

THE MALL AT STEAMTOWN:
Still waiting for that new store and recovery plan.

DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES:
Is everything on this show fried, or covered in cheese and gravy?

JOSH ELLIOT:
Leaving ABC and GMA for NBC Sports.  Published reports say Elliott wanted $ 8 million to stay.  Amy Roback becomes GMA news anchor.  Smart move.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Andy's Angles: Growing Season

Out newest reporter, Kristina Papa, did a story the other night on the colder than normal spring.  Growing season has been pushed back a few weeks, and farmers aren't happy.

It seems the only things growing are Christmas trees-- the only color in a brown field, north of Scranton in Lackawanna County.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Andy's Angles: Sunny Day

It was unseasonably cold Thursday morning, but at least it was sunny.  Today, a reminder that the sun is getting stronger every day.

I took this shot of a solar panel in the middle of a Christmas tree farm near Lackawanna State Park to remind you that warmer days are ahead.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Road to Nowhere

I spent a good part of my Tuesday morning hanging around the Avoca/Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport Interstate 81 interchange.

Two ramps were permanently closed.  It's part of the process of replacing traditional exit and exit ramps with roundabouts, or traffic circles.

A good part of this project is badly needed.  The bridges are old and narrow.  The acceleration and deceleration lanes are too short.  Navy Way, the last right before you enter the airport, will be extended to the Grimes Industrial Park in Pittston Township.  The Navy Road extension could be the best thing to happen to this area.

The point of today's entry deals with traffic circles.  Google the topic.  Drivers hate them.  An internal Penndot source tells me the only ones who like traffic circles are the engineers.  Your state government is taking a reasonably functional interstate highway interchange, and turning it in to what could be a nightmare.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Best Dressed Vest

Occasionally, things come up on-air, as a joke, and they require further explanation.  This is one of those cases.

My Tuesday morning story was a big change in the traffic flow on Interstate 81 at Avoca.  Penndot has hired a contractor to get rid of traditional exits, and replace them with traffic circles, which everyone hates.  The Tuesday angle was the closing of two ramps, one north and one south, and combining them into one exit.  The actual roundabouts are still months away.  The work also involves an extended road called Navy Way, plus wider bridges.  It started last summer and will be finished in the fall of 2015.  This cost $ 42 million of your taxpayer dollars.

Anyway, we were close enough to the highway Tuesday morning to wear yellow reflective safety vests.  It's a station regulation, and there are at least two vests in every WNEP vehicle.  They might look a little silly, but safety comes first.  It was dark, and while I was well out of the flow of traffic, I Velcro-ed up.

Joe Snedeker had a little bit of fun at my expense Tuesday morning, and that's okay.  I will admit that I looked a bit odd and out of place, but I was just following the rules.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The King



It's no secret that I'm a Letterman man.

NBC botched it badly when Jay Leno was handed the today show.  CBS did the right thing by grabbing Letterman and making him very happy for the past 20 + years.

Monday night, there was proof why Letterman is the King of Late Night.

His guest was former president Jimmy Carter.  Carter wasn't a very good president, but he's been an outstanding ex-president.  Carter visited Dave to plug his new book.  The topics were serious:  the sex trade, abuse of women, genital mutilation, intestinal parasites...  all things Carter and his foundation are working to make disappear.  Dave also asked Carter about Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia.  Carter has experience in that department.  USSR invaded Afghanistan on Carter's watch, back in 1979.  Letterman handled the interview with an outstanding mixture of reverence and playfullness.  He asked all the right questions and made the appropriate observations.

The very end of the interview was exceptionally dour.  Letterman did the traditional thing-- held up the book so the audience could see.  He mentioned the release date, looked at Carter and said "We thought you'd be funnier."  The audience roared.  So did I.  It broke the somber mood and made everyone feel at ease.

Jimmy Fallon's ratings have been very good and the guy has a lot of talent.  Jimmy Kimmel puts on an entertaining broadcast every night.  Letterman leaves both in the dust.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Hate This

I love the vast, vast majority of my job.  And then, there is this-- a fire.

This is a camera phone shot I took of a Monday morning fire on Honesdale Road in Carbondale Township.

I've always hated fires.  A two month old was checked out for breathing in smoke, and was quickly discharged.  No one was seriously hurt, and there's a lot to be said for that.  A lot.

It also should be noted, a family lost everything, some things that cannot be replaced.  Police say the family had no insurance.

It's all so sad.


Unfortunately, we had to be there.  Bad things often happen to good people.  That's news.  You spend money on volunteer fire departments.  You should see what your dollars do, and see the sacrifices of the men and women and women who fight these things.

Some hydrants froze and others didn't work.  It's an infrastructure story, and you should know that, too.

Yesterday's efforts should be lauded.  The same goes for last week's fire at Damenti's in Butler Township.  In both instances, access and information were not issues.  That includes everyone from traffic control to the chiefs.

Thanks.

Monday, March 24, 2014

24

Scranton's Parade Day marked my 24th anniversary in TV.  It was down the street.  Part time.  Weekends.  Hourly news updates, plus a little assignment editor stuff.  It wasn't much, but I was happy to have it.

TV anniversary day reminds me of my first time in front of the camera.  I think it was spring of '81 at Marywood's cable TV station.  Back in the day, we did four newscasts a week.  They weren't very good, but that's not the point.  We were there to make mistakes and learn.  Believe me, there were plenty of mistakes.

I signed up to do sports for one of the shows.  I think it was the Tuesday edition.  Awful would be putting it mildly, and I think I lost half of my body weight in sweat.  However, you get a crash course in what works and what doesn't.  There was no "take two."  Being in front of a live mic and a hot camera was great experience.

I paid a visit to the old campus studio back in December.  I was struck by how small it was.  It seemed cavernous when I was a pup.  Size really has nothing to do with it.  I've seen some marvelous productions out of small spaces, and some hideous work at state of the art facilities.
I was also disappointed to see the studio looking like a cluttered warehouse rather than a professional work space.  Yes, it was between semesters, and I expected a little disorganization.

My TV Marywood sports days were short.  I was part time at WARM 590 at the time, and my schedule changed, so I had to give up the sports thing.  Additional radio hours, plus a bigger pay check were impossible to refuse.   I managed to fulfill my educational requirements by working behind on the scenes on classmates' projects.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Classic Andy's Angles: Above

The Mall at Steamtown has been in the news a lot lately, mainly due to stores closing and financial difficulties.

Today, another reminder of the way things looked in April of 1992-- right after several Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton buildings were imploded to make way for new construction.

This shot was taken from the 8th floor of a bank building at North Washington and Lackawanna.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Classic Andy's Angles: Lackawanna Avenue

It's been a while since I've done a classic edition of Andy's Angles.  Translation:  I was too busy and too tired to run out and snap off some new photos.

Today, the street level view from Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton, shortly after the April 1992 implosion.

You can see the rubble at left and center, with the state office building off to the right.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Media Friday

The best thing CBS and the NCAA ever did was bring the Turner Networks in to the March Madness mix.  I'm not a basketball fan, but I can see how a hoops freak would love this.

Sam Champion's new Weather Channel morning show is aimed at getting people away from computers and smart phones for their morning weather information.  After watching for a week, I can't see how this show changed any morning habits.

Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson are changing places April 1, and CBS says it's no joke.  Carey gets The Late Late Show for a night while Ferguson will host The Price is Right.  They are two of my favorite people, and I'm really looking forward to it.  Announcers, sidekicks and models are part of the swap.

ABS's Elizabeth Vargas, according to USA Today, is writing a book about her alcoholism.  It's due out in the Spring of '16.

There have been plenty of complaints about the cable networks going wall-to-wall on the missing jet.  Excessive?  Yes.  But, that TV of yours has an "off" switch.

From the "Radio Now" newsletter:
In northeastern Pennsylvania, the license for WPLY Mount Pocono (960) is now deleted and gone, permanently. Friday’s FCC Actions notes the “license is cancelled,” per a letter to Nassau Broadcasting II, the debtor-in-possession. Connoisseur bought the rest of the Nassau stations in Pennsylvania, at a bankruptcy auction. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring

I went for a longer than normal walk yesterday.  The main reason is it's what the dog wanted, and she always wins.

Plus, it was the last full day of winter, so to was time to assess the season.

A walk around town showed the damage.  Block walls shifted.  Those sealed road cracks became unsealed.  Curbs heaved.  I saw a collapsed car port, potholes, and assorted other problems caused my more snow and more cold than usual.  A dirty, salty crust covered just about everything.

I'm sure the phenomenon has a name.  I don't know what it is, so I'll describe it.  Salt infused melted snow runs down the curb, and creates channels beneath snow and ice piles.  A crunchy shelf forms when it freezes solid overnight.  It brings out the kid in me.  I just love to step on the plates of ice and crack the surface.  Don't ask me why.  It's always been that way.

Look, it's just March 20.  April cold spells and snow storms are not unusual.  There will be several more bad days before we finally turn the corner, but it's just nice to say "spring."


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Hustle

This one is a little complicated.

A local foundation is holding a fund raiser later this month.  Money collected goes to a charity that helps abused and neglected children.

I admit I know little about the foundation.  I do know about a bit about the charity, and I've never heard a negative word about it.

Part of the fund raiser features an appearance by Pete Rose.  Let's examine the Rose record:  a tax cheat who did jail time.  A man who bet on baseball, lied about it repeatedly, and was banned from the game for life.  Rose only admitted to what he did because he had a book to sell.

Yes, it's a children's charity, and I wonder what kind of message this sends to the kids.

I'm a firm believer in redemption and second chances.  If Pete Rose stands up and says it's possible to lead a productive life, even after everything he's done, then I'm okay with it.

Being a baseball fan, I've followed Pete Rose over the years, and it's always the same old song and a dance.  Pete Rose plays the victim, and he never fully took responsibility for his actions.

They don't call him "Charlie Hustle" for nothing.

I wonder if the charity can take the money with a clean conscience.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Home

I can't believe I'm writing something under the "Vote 16" banner already, but judging by cable news and talking head standards, I'm already a year and a half late.

Anyway, today's topic is Joe Biden.  You can say a lot about our Scranton born vice president, including the fact that he occasionally says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and he's prone to talking too much.

Be that as it may, you have to give him credit for coming home once in a while.  Why wouldn't he?  The man seems immensely popular here.  Wife Dr. Jill packed a Dress for Success luncheon in Scranton yesterday and Mr. Biden did the same thing at a Greater Pittston Friendly Sons banquet in the evening.  You have to maintain the base while you're expanding your reach.

It's no secret that Biden is considering a presidential run.  If successful, Biden would be the oldest president in quite a while.  The same could be said for Biden's likely opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

Both Clinton and Biden spent a lot of time in this area, and if the Democratic race is still active by the time the 2016 Pennsylvania Primary rolls around, it would be interesting to see who wins the hearts, minds and votes of Northeastern Pennsylvanians.

If Hillary is going to make a solid run in this area, she has a bit of catching up to do.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Media Monday

CBS announced last week that it's renewing "The Big Bang Theory" for another three years.  It's the second time the network has offered a three year renewal.

While I think the show has lost a little zip off its fast ball, it still generates laughs, and it's a huge money maker for CBS.

The new deal takes "The Big Bang Theory" to ten seasons.

We knew it was coming.  ESPN has bounced Brent Musberger from its main college package.  No more Saturday nights.  Musberger will move to the ESPN controlled SEC network to be the lead football announcer this fall.  Musberger will be 75 next month.  No one stays forever, but I thought he was still doing a great job.  ESPN was in a bind.  It has announcers wanting to move up the ladder, with no place to put them.

FOX Sports 1 will start broadcasting Mike Francesa's radio show beginning later this month.  I respect his popularity and longevity, but I really don't get this guy.  I've tried to watch and listen.  I can't make it work.  Maybe, it's a New York thing.

David Brenner led an amazing life.  We knew about the comedy.  Few people knew he was an author and documentary producer.  If you can find "Soft Pretzels With Mustard," read it.  You'll enjoy it.  Could you imagine 150+ Tonight Show appearances?  Brenner died Saturday.  Cancer.  He was 78.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Andy's Angles: Spring

Thursday is the vernal equinox, so I checked the WNEP back yard and beyond for signs of spring.

Nothing.

Zip.

Nada.

It was a grey as a mid winter day.

Please hurry.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Andy's Angles: Parade Day

Scranton's Saint Patrick's Parade will be held today, a tradition that began way back in 1962.

In recent years, the parade has been known for its excesses rather than its celebration of Irish heritage and culture.  It's unfortunate, and the problems remain, in spite of efforts to control the violators.

If you can insulate yourself from that, and if you can insulate yourself from the cold, it's a rather nice event, and something that makes our area special.

Above, a recent photo of an Irish banner, near the Lackawanna County Courthouse.  This shot is from the Spruce Street side.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Not Just Me

I've long used this space to whine about the state of local radio, both here and around the country.

Staffs have been cut.  There is less local programming, and especially less local news.

A new survey shows radio operators had better get their act together.

Here's what I found on a radio industry web site:

“Radio is well behind TV and the Internet” when Americans seek local emergency info.
Researcher Mark Kassof says “I’m a radio guy,” so he personally turns first to radio. But he says “consumers set me straight” about their evolving habits, in a new 707-person phone survey of Americans age 18 to 64. Here’s the wording he used – “Let’s talk about sources of information about emergencies that could affect a local community – like severe weather, flooding, power outages, gas leaks, chemical spills, fires, tainted water supplies and major accidents. Where would you go to first for information in the event of an emergency? Would you turn to…” And respondents could choose AM/FM radio, TV, Internet, newspapers, smartphone apps or some other source. TV was the choice of more than a third of the participants, at 37%. The Internet was second at 25%. AM or FM ranked third at 17% - not that far ahead of smartphone apps at 13%.
Immediacy is what makes radio special.  Yes, the internet come close, but nothing beats the spoken word and the audio experience.
Part of me believes that once people have abandoned radio as a news source, they're not coming back...  But, I choose to hope someone can figure this out and get home town local radio back on track.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's 2014...

...  and it defies analysis.

As I'm writing this, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 hasn't been found.  The best we know it the 777 disappeared over the weekend, somewhere off the coast of Vietnam, or maybe not.

We have satellites that can read auto license plates from space.  Your location can easily be discovered via a call phone call.  Someone is swiping credit card records on a daily basis.  Yet, we can't find a jet with 239 on board.

Granted, Malaysia flight 370 apparently went down in a rather uncivilized part of the world.  However, it seems like we're still relying on ancient "technology" to track and find our flights.  If you're flying on a carrier outside of the United States, best of luck to you because a lot of them really don't have their act together.  The Malaysian government and its airline seem especially incompetent.

I can't wait to see the way this one turns out, and I hope we've learned lesson.  There are better ways to track flights, and it's long overdue.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chapter 11

Some things happen in the business world that need some explanation.

Sbarro filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, for the second time in three years.

Industry analysts say Sbarro was done in by rising debt, and a lack of traffic in malls, where it has many of its restaurants.  A  spokesman for Sbarro says it's getting its financial house in order by closing unprofitable locations and restructuring its deals with suppliers. An exit from Chapter 11 will come sooner than later.

In my book, speaking strictly as a consumer, I just don't get this one.  Sbarro produces a fantastic product, and it was always a destination during past trips to Harrisburg and Baltimore.  It's one of my favorite pizzas.  Based on product alone, Sbarro should be rolling in dough, pardon the pun.

It goes to show that you need more than a quality product to survive.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Lies Beneath...

My grandfather was a miner.  My father was in construction and excavation.  It runs in my blood.  However, I've never had a desire to dig a hole nor crawl in to one.  Yet, I'm fascinated by the process.

I had the opportunity to watch a water main repair in Wilkes-Barre Monday morning.  The process is, on the surface (pardon the pun) simple.  Shut off the water.  Dig a hole.  Pump out the accumulated water.  Assess the situation, and get to work.  In this case, a sleeve and collar were placed over the broken section.  It took several hours.

I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.  The pipes are old and brittle.  We've been through a brutal winter, and the frost line is much deeper than normal.  The ground seems stable.  It moves from above.  Thanks to our mining past, it moves from below.

We all love to hate utilities.  They're not cheap.  It's frustrating when the lights go out in a storm.  If you lived through the giardiasis outbreaks of the 80's, you know the water issues.  Telephone land lines and cable television are luxuries to many, and it seems like the price goes up every year.

In spite of it all, there are billions who would be thrilled with what we have.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Business Monday

I was there for the first implosion on Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton, and it looks like I'll be there for the second.  The latest implosion is financial, rather than physical.  The downtown mall is having serious money problems.  Foreclosure.

There are a variety of reasons.  America has shifted away from the mall culture, although some continue to do very well.  Marketing was horrendous, with some of the worst television commercials known to man.  I've read the comments on the newspaper's web site.  People don't feel safe here.  The food court has been a revolving door, with a lot of empty spaces.  It's a long list of problems, and they will not be solved easily.

By the way, enough of the second guessing.  A mall wasn't the greatest idea 20 years ago, but it was the only option.  No one had the time and money to save all those old buildings.  Some just couldn't be renovated.

Staples is closing a bunch of stores.  I do enjoy my visits, but I'm a geek.  The internet is taking a bite out of Staples brick and mortar sales.

CNBC reports Target has taken a sales a hit, and a lot of it is due to the pre Christmas data breach.  Trust disappears quickly, and it takes a long time to get it back.

USA Today reports Netflix is upping its subscription fee.  Programming acquisition fees are going up.  I'm glad I never got hooked.

Roma Pizza is out of the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City after 41 years.  The mall is building a sit down restaurant at the site.  The Times~Tribune reports the mall offered another space at a higher rent, but Roma decided to move up Business Route 6 to a stand alone building.  Good food and good memories when Roma's was in another location at Viewmont.  Best of luck up the street.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Andy's Angles: Lucky

Another shot from Pittston today...

As I was waiting for the striping crew to start on the green line down Main Street Tuesday morning, I spied a young woman, painting a rainbow and a pot of gold on the window of a law office.

I hope it was part of the St. Patrick's parade celebration, and not an ad for the law office guaranteeing big settlements.

It really seems Pittston got behind the revival of the parade, and that's great.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Andy's Angles: Stripes

We see it in a few different places every year, and it always gets a lot of interest.  It's the green line that marks a St. Patrick's parade route.

The one you see above was a little different.  It was on Main Street in Pittston Tuesday morning.  Pittston holds its first St. Patrick's parade in five decades this afternoon.  As I've noted before, downtown Pittston has made a lot of improvements in recent years, and it's a nice space.  The parade is another piece of the puzzle.  Downtown bars, restaurants, and businesses are offering specials today.  It's always nice when the community gets behind a project.

M. Mayo Striping of Falls did the painting for free.  The gentleman you see with the camera, in the red coat, is Newswatch 16 photographer Steve Smallwood.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Media Friday

It's bad week for game show hosts.  First, Jim Lange passed away.  Geoff Edwards died Wednesday.

Edwards will never be on the list of greats, but he did a good job with what he was given.  On "Jackpot!," it was an unruly and oddly formatted show where 16 contestants played for an entire week, and it was exceptionally difficult to win the really big money.  Edwards was part of the "new breed" movement at NBC.  It was the mid 70's and he rarely wore a tie.

Geoff Edwards wore a tuxedo on "Treasure Hunt."  I read where it was a tough show to host.  There were dozens of different scenarios, based on the box chosen by the contestant.

He was a fixture on Los Angeles radio, and in an odd bit of trivia, Edwards' station sent him to Dallas after the Kennedy assassination, and he witnessed Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.

Geoff Edwards was 83.  Great voice, great enthusiasm.

FOX Sports has chosen Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci as Tim McCarver's replacement in the baseball booth this season.  It hasn't been widely talked about, but most of the Saturday afternoon games migrate over to FOX Sports 1 cable channel.  Pardon me a geezer moment, but I remembered when the NBC Saturday afternoon Game of the Week was a really big deal and appointment viewing.  CBS killed it when it got the baseball contract in 1990.  FOX brought it back for a while.  Now, the games go to cable because the broadcast network is only interested in the post season.

I continue to be impressed by the network reporting from Ukraine, especially Holly Williams on CBS.

Does it seem like CNN is reinventing itself every other week?  Advice:  drop the gimmicks, do the news.

ABC scored really nice ratings with the Sunday night Academy Awards.  I suspect it's a combination of factors, including nominated movies people have actually seen.  Host Ellen Degeneres'  inoffensive and mildly amusing comedic style didn't hurt.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

PS

It was nice to see reading emphasized in elementary schools this week.  I sincerely hope it was more than the yearly Dr. Seuss publicity stunts, and the focus on reading continues all year long.

Wilkes University has purchased the old Bartikowsky building and intends to create a gateway to the campus off South Main Street.  For a while, Scranton fought expansion of the U of Scranton.  Thankfully, we don't see that in Wilkes-Barre.  Colleges and universities build, spend money, educate young people, and spur development.  Yes, some property reverts to tax free status, but look at the big picture.  They are economic and image magnets.  I wish Kings and Wilkes would get together to buy the old Irem Temple on North Franklin Street before we get another Sterling on our hands.

Target's technology chief has quit because of last year's data breach.  Someone had to pay for it, and Beth Jacob is our winner.  Even if it wasn't her fault, someone had to pay for it as Target attempts to regain public trust.

Russia doesn't seem worried about sanctions imposed by western nations.  That, in and of itself, is frightening.

We're coming up on the first of a few "parade weekends" here in our area.  Let's hope everyone behaves.

Walter Cronkite walked away from the CBS Evening News 33 years ago tonight.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Time Passages

Radio Shack announced yesterday that it's closing more than 1,000 stores, or about one-quarter of the company.

Above is a picture of the Taylor store that I took yesterday.  We don't know if Taylor is on the list.

As I noted here a while back, somewhere along the line, Radio Shack stopped being fun.  I remember the yearly thrill when the Radio Shack catalog arrived.  Thanks to the internet, the things at one time found only at Radio Shack, are all over the place.  This is a company that lost its way, and I'm sorry.

I'm also sorry to note the passing of former Wilkes-Barre mayor Lee Namey.  I was on the radio when he was first elected, and I thought we had a good, working, professional relationship.  Namey might have tried to spin me, but he never dodged me.  My symapthy to Lee Namey's family and friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday Scrapple

The NFL is said to be close to adding two teams to the playoffs.  It's just a greedy move, aimed at getting more money out of the networks.  The playoffs are OK as they are.

USA Today reports Quizno's is close to filing for bankruptcy.  Talk about a fine chain that lost its way.  Quizno's is a little pricey, but its offerings are different than standard sub fare.

The Ukraine situation, especially Russia's saber rattling scares me.  By the way, after decades of saying "The" Ukraine, it's tough to get in the habit of writing and saying simply "Ukraine."

I know it's only spring training, but it's nice to see baseball again.

Paula Deen would be better off if she did fewer interviews.

I've really tried to like Jimmy Fallon.  It's not happening.  Letterman's humor is more to my liking.  More clever, more edgy, less silly.  I'll give Fallon credit for being a solid music/comedy talent.

The federal government wants more user friendly nutrition labels.  The reason?  So people know what they're eating.  Food choice, for a lot of people these days, is what you can afford and what you have time for, rather than the soundest nutritional selection.

I was sorry to read the University of Scranton student newspaper is warring with administration over the release of information.  The students just learned a valuable lesson.  He who owns the press controls the content.

The director of the "Anchorman" series says there won't be a third installment.  I wish he felt that way about "Anchorman" and "Anchorman2."

Monday, March 3, 2014

About the Cover

Canadian Pacific recently donated a 1959 caboose to the borough of Dickson City and it's parked next to the old freight station along Boulevard Avenue.

The caboose was scheduled to be scrapped, so it's great to see it saved from the scrap heap.

It's also nice to see Dickson City intends to create a little focal point, just a block from the main intersection in town.  Every town needs something to make it visually interesting and special, something to give it character.  One of the goals is to teach kids about the area's railroading history, and you can't argue with that.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Andy's Angles: The Lackawanna

There is talk of occasional eagle sightings along the Lackawanna River as far south as Scranton and Dickson City.  I had a few minutes to spare the other afternoon, and stood along the Lackawanna, just behind Dickson City's new borough hall.

Nothing.  Not even a sparrow.

Still, an increasing clean river on a cold winter afternoon wasn't a bad sight, so I snapped off a photo.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Andy's Angles: Frozen Tundra

March is here, and it's time to say good bye to winter-- but not before a parting shot.

In the spring, summer, and fall, this is Pine Hills golf course in Taylor.  On the day I visited in late January, it was the frozen tundra of Lackawanna County.

Better days are ahead.