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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

Vacation!

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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Scrapple

So many aspects of the Frein search continue to defy analysis.  Like everyone else around here, I cannot wait for it to end.

Fall is a great time of year.  Unfortunately, it passes far too quickly.  We've already seen our first snow flakes of the year.  It won't be long before the shovels are out.

It was nice to see the Steelers win.

ABC News released the results of a new poll Sunday morning.  Will we see a Romney/Clinton presidential contest in 2016?

CNN just laid off 300.  Talk about a newtork losing its way...

The Big Bang Theory, at one time one of the most clever on TV, seems to have become just another bickering couples sitcom.

Staples is the latest to report a possible credit card breach.  Will it ever end?  Some retail analysts believe companies hit by breaches will suffer during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Speaking of which, Macy's opens 6 pm Thanksgiving evening.  It's gradually getting earlier and earlier.  It's just a matter of time before everything is open all day on Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

World Series 2014

Game one of the 2014 World Series is tonight in Kansas City.  The San Francisco Giants are in town to take on the Royals.

I'm a little tired of looking at the Giants in post season, but I respect what they've done.

It's nice to see Kansas City back in the Fall Classic, after a 29 year absence.  What a great story!  Eight straight post season wins, taking down two very good teams (and Oakland).

Prediction?  I'm usually wrong, but here goes.  Heart says Kansas City.  Head says San Francisco.  Las Vegas says SF, so I'm going with Giants in 6, possibly 5.

KC is built on the "small ball" concept, and teams like that are less susceptible to cold bats and hitting slumps at the worst possible time.

However, I like San Francisco's pitching and the ability to go long.

Bottom line:  I really don't care who wins.  I just want an entertaining, and long, World Series.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola

Ebola has been THE national and world story of the last few months.

Yes, there has been a lot of irresponsible and alarmist reporting.  Yes, it's prompted a lot of complaints.

Your chances of getting sick are microscopic.

It all comes down to a combination of factors.  Yes, people are afraid of Ebola, and rightfully so.  The even bigger fear factor stems from a lack of faith in the federal government and its agencies to do the right thing.  The Centers for Disease Control already admits to making mistakes.  Hey, you are paid to be on top of these things!   Lives are at stake here.

Dallas Presbyterian Hospital?  Monumental incompetence.

This isn't a Democratic or Republican issue.  It's a bureaucracy issue.

You know what it's like getting a doctors appointment.  It takes weeks.  Emergency room?  Hours of waiting, and good luck getting a bed in a timely manner.  The cost of health care is through the roof, and the mess the health care industry finds itself in was decades in the making.

It's possible Ebola is a wake up call and will lead to some much needed reform.  I like to think that, but I'm also a realist.  When Ebola ends, and it will end, we'll be back in the same position.

And if that isn't enough, the United States is expected to be the world policeman.  It's now expected to be the world doctor.  Nations where this whole thing started can't control it, and they're looking to US for help.  We'll be there.  It's what Americans do.  However, it appears a lot of countries aren't holding up their end of the deal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Andy's Angles: Decker Court

"The Bronson Pinchot Project" was recorded in two homes in Harford-- the one I showed you yesterday, and this one.  It's just across the street, at the end of Decker Court.

It's a lot smaller than the primary house, but it has more character.  The copper roofed cupola was an addition.  It was purchased from an antique shop in Portland, Maine.  I had mixed feelings about the cupola when I saw the show.  It protruded too much, and it looked out of place.  In person, I get it.

Again, sorry for the fuzzy photo.  It was a foggy morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Andy's Angles: Bronson Pinchot

It's happened before.  I'll get hooked on a TV series after it goes out of production and no new episodes will be produced.

The latest case in point:  "The Bronson Pinchot Project."  He's the TV and movie actor who was in "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Perfect Strangers."  Pinchot bought some houses in Harford and was fixing them up by restoring them to their original look.

This wasn't your father's home improvement series.  It was odd, and quirky, and oddly entertaining.  Pinchot's designs were unique, and they didn't look comfortable to me, but that's the way things were done way back when, and that's what he wanted now.

There are only 24 episodes of "The Bronson Pinchot Project."  DIY Network sprinkles them throughout the schedule, so you never know when one will pop up.  It's too bad the series ended.  Pinchot told the Times~Tribune that DIY pulled the plug due to the lack of advertiser support.  That's unfortunate.  It was a good show.

By the way, I do know how to focus my camera.  The photos above look fuzzy because I was in Susquehanna County on a foggy morning.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tech Talk

It's worse than a visit to the doctor, dentist and proctologist.  Combined.  Times ten!

I'm talking about a visit to the cell phone store.

One of the phones on my account needed to be replaced, so I dragged myself to the store the other morning.

First all, I just needed a basic phone.  Have you seen the choices?  There are none.  I selected something decent and got ready to do the transaction to add it to my account.

But then, and it always happenes, there was the attempt to sell me something else.  It's usually a smart phone because, yes, I still don't own one.  But no!

This time, it was a magic box that replaces my copper phone line by feeding my home line through a box that connects with the wireless network.  Yes, I still have a land line.  I rarely use it, but I like the security.

To back up a little, the phone company wants to get rid of as much copper as it can.  The network is expensive to maintain.

The sales kid was nice enough, and he made a good pitch.  We ran the numbers, and on some levels it made sense.  There was a demonstration on how the magic box works, and how it includes features that I don't have on my rarely used land line.  I'll have to admit that I was intrigued, and I got the feeling the sales kid thought he had me.

I said no.  He asked why.  I said simply, "I'm an old man."  End of talk.

When it came down to it, I didn't want all my telephone communications to rely on the same wireless company and network, even though cell service where I live is decent.

There is a back up.  I can do voice calling through a thingy I have on my computer, so there is a way to communicate with the outside world in case cell service temporarily disappears.

I'll do some reading up on the magic box, and I might pull the trigger some day, but not soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Law & Order

The head of the PA State Police this week said resources are adequate as the search for accused cop killer Eric Frein ends its fifth week.  He still hasn't been caught, so one could argue that resources are not adequate.  Several news organizations report fewer officers involved in the search.  Can anyone official reconcile the numbers?

A ten year old boy is accused of killing a 90 year old woman.  He's charged as an adult because that's what the law calls for.  Don't blame the prosecutors here.  Clearly, laws need to be modified.  The child said he just wanted to hurt her, not kill her.  You have to wonder about what forces would turn a child so evil, so fast.

A state representative from Scranton fought off muggers in Harrisburg by firing his gun, a gun he was licensed to have.  My question is, was this loaded gun ever taken inside the capitol building and why?

Some really good questions are going unanswered.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Modem Family

I opened an email from my internet service provider a few weeks ago.  It said due to system upgrades, I really should acquire a new modem.

I will admit that my current modem was an old one, so old, I bought it at Circuit City.  I liked it and it was working fine.  My philosophy on things technical is that if it's working well, leave it alone.  I do have some skills around a computer, enough to get by, but If I don't have to mess with it, I won't.

As always, when faced with technical issues, I consulted the engineering and IT staff at the station.  Some were ambivalent on a new modem.  A couple thought it was a good idea, so I went for it.

There was some on-line modem research time, and a call to the cable company.  I could lease one for $ 8 a month.  The advantage is that I get a new one for free is something goes wrong.  On the other hand, a purchase would pay for itself in nine months.

I found the model I liked in a big box store.  Next thing I knew, it was in my cart.  I was through the check out and home.

Installation was rather easy.  Remove the old one.  Plug in the power cord, the ethernet cable, and the coax.  Boom!  Done!  There was an alleged way to activate it on-line.  It wasn't working.  It was then time to do what I despise most:  call customer service.

I don't like outsourcing, but it's a way of life and I just have to deal with it.  It was clear that the person I called was in a foreign land.  She might have been a smart woman, but her English language and communication skills were severely lacking.  She couldn't complete the process.  I was given another telephone number to call, at an office that opened after 7 AM, EDT.  I called, talked with another gentleman from another land, and got the thing hooked up, up and running in about ten minutes.

Note to companies that love outsourcing:  Please insist that the workers have adequate communication skills.  It was frustrating enough to almost prompt me to find another service provider, but show me one that's all USA, all the time.  Different company, same issues.  It was a hassle I didn't need.

By the way, my internet is indeed faster.

Having said all that, if an annoyance over hooking up a new modem is the most of my problems, I should consider myself very lucky.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Unfinished Tuesday

It looks like Katy Perry has been chosen to perform at half time of the Super Bowl XLIX in February.  I haven't watched a Super Bowl in years, and I can't name one song Katy Perry does.  Still, it seems like a good choice.  People like her.  She behaves, and she seems like an okay person.  Having said all of that, Katy Perry or not, I still expect to be asleep by kick off time, February 1, 2015.

WARM 590 has been off the air for more than month.  Like previous episodes of dead air, I assume it's transmitter problems.  I don't know for sure.  Management isn't very good about communicating with its audience.  No ads.  No news releases.  No social media updates.

Even though a parade of managers and owners has bungled WARM into irrelevance, it was my first commercial radio station.  I will always have a connection with it, even though I walked out the door in 1991.  Plus, I like the oldies.

As I stated here in the past, WARM will never be what it once was.  That doesn't mean it can't be a good radio station, with a clean signal, and an important part of the community.  The neglect makes me sad.

A FOX Sports investigation shows Florida State University hindered the sexual assault investigation into one of its star football players, Jameis Winston.  Once again, the "football first" mentality that snared Penn State rears its ugly head.  If true, FSU deserves a long list of Penn State style sanctions from the NCAA.

Published reports say the Yankees have dropped Butch Wynegar as hitting coach for the SWB RailRiders.  I met him a couple of times and saw him play back in the day-- a nice man.  I hope he finds something better.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

Columbus Day has always been one of my favorites.  It comes at a great time of year-- crisp fall weather, leaves peaking, baseball playoffs, mid point of the NFL season...

Plus, it's a nice little holiday respite during the long period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  A lot of schools these days get something called "fall break."  What's up with that?  Three months in the summer, plus a week and a half at Christmas isn't enough?

It's popular to knock Mr. Columbus these days, if you hold him to current standards.  Yes, he did some bad things way back when, but that was accepted practice at the time.  We now know better.

Still, it's time for a little break.  Enjoy a day off in October.  Have some fun, and get back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Andy's Angles: The Mountain

Today, another picture of the Conyngham Valley in Luzerne County-- the big hill that you see in the middle of the photo.

I know out mountains were caused by glaciers, but this one always reminded me of a dormant volcano.

Let hope that if it ever does spring to life, I'll be long gone/

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Andy's Angles: The Valley

It's an area I've passed hundreds of times.  Yet, I've never had the chance to pull over and snap a few photos.  I've always been traveling to or from a story and never had the time.

I decided to make the time a few weeks ago, and this is the shot of the Conyngham Valley from the Top of the 80's, near Hazleton.

When I was here, the view was fuzzed up by a bit of haze, and the colors on the trees had yet to really start to pop.

It's a great view, any time of year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Month

I never thought that I'd be writing that it's been one month since two troopers were shot outside the Blooming Grove barracks, and the killer is still on the loose.

Above, the sea of police cars at a staging area-- Barrett Elementary, near Canadensis.

State Police say they believe the alleged killer, Eric Frein, is trapped in a five mile area of forest near the Monroe-Pike county line.  There have been four supposed sightings in the last week.

Others remain skeptical, believing he's fled the area.

Some aspects of the search have been troubling, leading to a lot of second guessing.  I'd love to have the opportunity to ask some questions when all of this comes to an end.

Now, the cost.  We've heard the complaints.  I'm sure the final numbers will be absolutely staggering.  But, what is the cost of a human life?  What is the cost of justice?  Do you want to tell a widow and two father-less children that you don't want to spend the money to find a killer?

A lot of people are anxious to see the way this tragic movie comes to an end.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday Scrapple

"Supertramp" has a ton of good songs.  So, why is "The Logical Song" played over and over and over on the radio?

I was hoping the Nationals would win, but the Saturday night/Sunday morning game between Washington and San Francisco was a classic.  18 innings, and gripping until the last out.

Speaking of the baseball playoffs, they are spread out over TBS, FOX, FOX Sports 1, and the MLB Network.  I suspect the dip in ratings has something to do with the fact that the games are nearly impossible to find.

The experts tell us we shouldn't be frightened about Ebola in the United States, but I've yet to meet a person who isn't worried.

The general election is a month away.  I hate to say it, but I think turnout will be lackluster.  There's a real lack of compelling and interesting races.

I really don't mind the arrival of cooler weather.

Is there anything Larry King won't advertise?

It's just the first week of October, and I noticed a lot of trees have already passed their color peak.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

wNbc

Kevin Metheny died last week after suffering a heart attack.  At the time, he was programming a couple of radio stations in San Francisco.

If you do know the name Kevin Metheny, it might not be in a positive light.  Metheny made Howard Stern's life miserable while both were at WNBC in the early 80's.  The bumper sticker above is from my collection.

The Kenny/"Pig Vomit" character from Stern's "Private Parts" movie was actually an amalgam of programmers fought with over the years, but a lot of it was Metheny.

Paul Giamatti played Kenny in the movie, and a scene with Giamatti and Stern was one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.  It's the scene where Kenny is teaching Stern the proper way to say WNBC, with heavy emphasis on an elongated N.

That scene hits home.  I've told the story before, but in case you're new here...

I spent a lot of time in radio, and there was a time my radio station's parent company employed a talent coach.  We received notice one day that the coach was coming to pay a visit with the goal of, get this, "teaching us how to be natural." Really?  Can you teach natural?

I tried to keep an open mind.  After all, the talent coach, who passed away a few years ago, was a lovely man.  I was young and I needed help.

I didn't think the sessions went well.  There were some good tips, but he made me exceptionally self conscious of every syllable I pronounced.  It was the exact opposite of natural.

The talent coach went back to the main office, and I never heard from him again.  I'm not sure if it's because he thought i was doing well, or if he viewed me as a lost cause.  I stayed with the company for several more years, so someone must have liked me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lift Like Leckey

I work weekends, and overnights, and early mornings.  Therefore, I rarely participate in reindeer games, also known as station events.

There are exceptions, when I can drag my tired body away from my desk, or out of my bed.

This past Saturday was Lift Like Leckey at CrossFit on Albright Avenue in Scranton.  It's part of the whole Ryan's Run V campaign, and you can get all the information on that at WNEP.com.

I got to witness the efforts of some amazing athletes and some really great people.

Please, do what you can to help.  Every dollar counts.  Thanks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Buffalo Bill

I don't know what made me think of it, but recently the old Dabney Coleman sitcom"Buffalo Bill" came to mind.

Critics loved it, but it never found an audience.  Most attributed it to the nastiness of the main character.  Coleman played a local tv talk show host in Buffalo.  "Bill Bittinger" was angry he could never make it in to the big time, and he took out that anger on everyone around him.

I loved the show, and I did some tooling around on the internet last week.  Yes, you can get all two dozen episodes on dvd, and at a cheap price.  Next thing I knew, the dvs's were in my mail box, then in my player.

Wow.  The performances were as outstanding as I remembered-- especially Coleman, and station manager Karl Shub, played by Max Wright.  Bill never respected authority, and he made Karl's life miserable.

"Buffalo Bill" aired in 1983 and 1984.  It still holds up today, and I'm thrilled to have it in my dvd collection.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Andy's Angles: Reflections

Another photo from Blooming Grove...

Even though the sky wasn't the greatest, I can never resist the reflection in the still water of a country pond.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Andy's Angles: Water Power

You don't see things like this very often, and when I spotted it, I had to pull over and take a picture.

It appeared the paddle wheel (not sure if that's the correct term) was in working order, harnessing a little energy as water flowed from a pond into a creek in Pike County's Blooming Grove Township.

The scene provided a little peace in what's been an awful time in that community.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Three Weeks

I can't believe it's been three weeks.  No one can.

Three weeks ago, Eric Frein allegedly ambushed two state troopers at the Blooming Grove barracks.  One died.  The other was seriously hurt.

According to investigators, Frein took off in to the woods between Blooming Grove and his home in Canadensis. 

That brings us to today.

Still searching.  Troopers hurt in the process.  Cars smashed.  Credibility and confidence wounded.

I can understand why it's taken so long.  I took the photo you see above Monday morning.  The terrain is unforgiving and is rugged as rugged can get.  Frein allegedly has experience in places like this.   It's a huge piece of land, and the suspect apparently knows it well.

I can also understand why people around here are becoming frustrated.  From talking to many, they've grown weary of the "we have him on the run, and we have him cornered" pronouncements by those in charge.  Residents want their lives back.  I spoke with parents Monday and Tuesday.  They fear for themselves.  They fear more for their children.

There is no easy solution.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Folly

I don't live in Scranton.  I don't work in Scranton.  Yet, I have a big interest in what goes on here.  It's the biggest city in our area.  Outsiders don't know about places like Dickson City, Taylor, Moosic, Dunmore...  To outsiders, this is all one big town called "Scranton," and as Scranton goes, so goes the rest of the area.

The utter folly that is Scranton and its operation continues to fascinate and disappoint.  A judge Tuesday kicked out Scranton's proposed .75 per cent commuter tax.  It was a tax on most people who live elsewhere, but work in the city.  The tax was meant to help bail out the city's pension plans, which have been paying out a lot more than taking in.

The judge ruled that Scranton officials violated a key aspect of the law when it enacted the commuter tax:  if you tax the outsiders, you also have to tax your own.  I guess the people in charge didn't read that part of the law.

Equally as amazing, city leaders were shocked at the judge's ruling.

According to our friends at the Times~Tribune, the council president called it a "mild setback."  Mild?  Are you kidding me?  This was your life line, and you just watched it slip away.

The mayor told the newspaper that other options would be explored.  Really?  Shouldn't you have been doing this all along?

Some predict Scranton will eventually have to declare bankruptcy.  I'm not sure that's the best option.

In a way the city is already bankrupt... of ideas.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

About the Cover

October has three big things going for it-- leaf peeping, Halloween and Columbus Day.

I've photographed a few Columbus statues during the ten years of the blog, but Hazleton has always escaped me-- until now.

Chris occupies a nice space in a park at Church and Diamond.

It's always nice when a city has some green space in or near downtown.  This one is just a few blocks away from the main Broad Street corridor.