Sunday, May 28, 2017

Andy's Angles: Come Sail Away

Actually, it's Come Row Away.  Come Sail Away is a Styx song from the 70's that an old friend loved.  I hated it.  My friend left us about five years ago.  I think of him and all the miles we put on our cars any time I hear the song.

Anyway, this is the lake at Tobyhanna State Park.  Have a happy and safe holiday weekend.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Andy's Angles: Holiday Weekend

I can't believe it's Memorial Day Weekend already.  As I'm fond of saying, it's seems like Christmas was yesterday.

These picnic tables and barbecue were empty on a recent visit to Tobyhanna State Park.  No doubt they'll be busy this weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

What Would Johnny and Walter Do?

I don't watch a ton of television, but I do follow trends.  It seems anything anti Trump seems to be doing well in the ratings, especially Rachel Maddow, Saturday Night Live, and Stephen Colbert.  One of the things I do watch is Johnny Carson on WNEP 2.  Politics provided a lot of Carson's monolog material, and he held court during some of America's most fascinating times-- Nixon's crimes, Ford's bumbling and inflation, Carter's weakness, Reagan's perceived indifference toward the poor, Bush 41's lack of knowledge of the problems of the middle class...

Carson was miles ahead of the current bunch.  He poked at the powerful, but he did it with charm, wit, and a smile.  Now, what passes for comedy is simply mean.

Now, let's take you back about 20 years.  I was producing the morning news at another station.  There are times I'd write something funky and funny.  One of the anchors, a guy I liked, respected and admired, would print the script, walk over to my desk and say "Would Cronkite say it that way?"  The answer was always "no."  I'd change the script to make the anchor happy.  If an anchor isn't happy with the copy, he or she would read it poorly, and no one wins when that happens.

In this modern day and age, it's a Facebook world.  We all want you to "like" us and read what we have to say.  Some people have more fun with it than others, and that's OK.  To each, his own.  there are times I'm tempted to go out of character, let what's left of my hair down.  Then, I hear an inner voice.  It says "Would Cronkite do that?"  That's when I apply the brakes.

From what I've read and seen, Uncle Walter did like to have fun.  He did a morning show with a puppet lion named Charlemagne.   he did pose for the rare goofy picture.  There were guest appearances on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Johnny Carson.

I wonder how Cronkite and the pioneers would handle modern social media.   My bet would be the happy medium-- newsy, personal insights, a little fun, without going overboard.

For me, it's easier said than done.

One other thing before I hit the "publish" button for the day.  Monica Lewinsky had an op-ed piece in the New York Times.  She charged former FOX News Channel head Roger Ailes exploited her.  Ailes died last week.  Ms. Lewinsky got it wrong.  Bill Clinton exploited her.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Flying Away

I preface this entry by writing I know that the old terminal building at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport has outlived its usefulness, and it had to go.  Everything has a shelf life.  The expiration date on the old building has arrived.  It's demolition time.

I am very sorry to see that building go.

It was an occasional destination on Sunday afternoons with the family when I was a kid.  There was a burger or a slice of pie in the airport restaurant, which had huge windows looking out on to the runways.  Then, it was upstairs to the observation deck to watch planes arrive and depart.  It was a nice way to kill a couple of hours.  I can still see that restaurant-- a line of stools at a counter, a long series of booths on the window side.  I can still see the airline signs-- Eastern, Altair, Allegheny...  If memory serves, it cost a dime to get through the turnstiles up on the observation deck.  I don't think I ever paid.

Even when I got older, old enough to drive, friends and I would occasionally venture up there for a little plane watching, and a lot of life planning.

Obviously, things changed.   Security.  Tight security.  No views of the runway.  No observation deck.  Airports aren't fun.  They're not designed that way.

Below, the old and the new.

Still, you can look back on safer and simpler times, and smile at the memory.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Scrapple

Roger Ailes changed politics and television.  Very few people are on that list.

My neighbor, across the street and two houses down, has a lilac bush that perfumes the entire neighborhood.  It's amazing how far the scent drifts.

I whined to Ally Gallo a couple of weeks ago that the weather has been preventing me from getting in some bicycle time.  Thankfully, that changed several days ago.

We just had an election and I can't wait for November.  It should be a fascinating time-- and next year's election should top that.

I'm hooked on peach iced tea.

Cinnamon Pepsi makes its limited time only debut shortly.  It doesn't look like it comes in a diet version.  Still, I'll try the regular.  I'm okay with cinnamon in sweet things.  Some places use cinnamon in savory dishes, and that just doesn't work for me.

I've met experts who predicted Twitter's demise.  It's still going strong.  I think President Trump is a factor.

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus is no more.  I shed no tears.

I'm a big fan of the MLB's Network's morning highlight show, called "Quick Pitch."  It seems there's really been a huge increase in cheap home runs in recent years.  I suspect bad pitching and smaller ballparks.

Enough with decorated graduation caps.  It was cute for a while.  Now, it's overdone and tedious.

Just checked the list of summer movie openings.  Nothing thrills me.

I stumbled upon a live version of Harry Chapin's "Taxi" on Amazon Music.  It blew me away.  Great song.  Great performance.  Great connection with the audience.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Let There Be Light

It was a question photographer Jason and I heard a lot one week ago:  "Why Weston?"

It was election day morning, and we wanted a place where we could introduce our election preview stories.  Scranton was selected because the largest city in our coverage area is electing a mayor this year and there was a hot race for the Republican nomination for Lackawanna County district attorney.

As you might have figured out, there's not a lot going on at polling places at 4:30 AM.  Finding an interesting background is a challenge.  Most polling places are boring buildings in the dark-- fire stations, church halls, schools, town halls, etc.  There is an exception, and I found it-- Weston Field, along Providence Road.

While we come with our own lights, you can't beat the architectural and security lighting at Weston Field.  Plus, it's a great looking building-- big white columns, trees, green grass...  I really liked the look, and it is one of the most visually interesting polling places in our area.

There was a bonus-- the voters and the poll workers here were all exceptionally nice.  Thank you for the hospitality.

Bonus number two:  ample parking!

There is no law against going back to Weston Field in November, but we would like to mix it up, for variety's sake.  If you have a suggestion for an interesting and well lit background, drop me a line.  Thanks.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Beer and Smokes

A mini mart, directly across Providence Road from Scranton High School and Memorial Stadium, has applied for a permit to sell beer.  I saw the big orange application sign in the window last week.

On one level, it's slightly alarming-- an alcohol outlet just feet from school property.  Let's examine this a little closer.

I have no problem with the responsible use of alcohol.

The company applying for the permit is a big one, and I trust it will be careful.  The initial fear is kids getting their hands on alcohol.  Upon further reflection, someone getting drunk and crashing their car in a school neighborhood can be a bigger issue.

So far, there have been no problems in that part of town.  There are two bars along Providence Road, and a beer store just a couple of blocks away, on Olive Street.  Beer stores and mini marts are frequent sights in Scranton and other cities here in our area.  As the liquor sales laws loosen up, get used to it.

On the other hand, one crash-- one injury-- that could have been prevented is too many.

Shifting gears, there's another attempt in the state legislature to ban smoking in all public places.  Right now, bars that serve little or no food, parts of casinos, and private clubs are exempt.  All this is about is fairness.  Previous legislative attempts to level the playing field have failed miserably.

Pennsylvania, the time has come.

Other states have more strict smoking bans.  The entertainment industry hasn't collapsed.  It's all about health.  Every study shows second hand smoke is dangerous.

To the argument that it should be up to each individual business owner...  think about this.  We don't exempt them from other safety laws, like cleanliness, fire exits, wiring, etc.  Cigarette smoke is no different.  No one is taking your smokes away.  Just light up in places where it doesn't bother anyone else.

I've blown off get togethers in smokey places.  Bar owners, this could work in your favor.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Andy's Angles: The Bell

Yesterday, I showed you the whole church.  Today, it's what first caught my eye in Sterling-- the steeple and the open bell.
It's a striking feature, and the congregation is lucky to have such a beautiful building.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Andy's Angles: Country Church

It is one of the joys of aimless wandering, on a spring morning, with a camera in the passenger's seat.

This is the Sterling United Methodist Church in Wayne County.

Green trees, white clapboards, blue sky...  It was practically begging for a photo, or two.  You'll see tomorrow.

Friday, May 19, 2017


I'll blog about it one of these days, but I've been in a rental car for the past week in a half.

It's a much smaller vehicle than I'm used to, but it's nice-- a peppy little thing.  Even though it's a temporary step down for me, the rental has one big thing going for it:  satellite radio.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I'm always whining about the lack of live and local, and a good deal of the local (not all of it) leaves a lot to be desired.

I had a satellite radio at home for several years.  I loved it, until Sirius/XM started dropping some of the talk stations I liked.  I found I could get the same stuff through an internet radio, and it was for free.

So, after a few years, what are my impressions of satellite radio?  It hasn't changed much.  Most of my time was spent on the 70's channel.  The music is fantastic.  I heard some songs I hadn't heard in eons.  There is sort of a disc jockey, doing breakers between music sets.  It still has a super canned feel and wasn't very topical at all.  The jingles were cool, an attempt to recreate the 70's radio song.

So, did the satellite bug bite?  Will I reactivate my home unit?  No.  The internet radio is great, and I really suggest you look in to getting one.  Amazon's Echo does the same things, and I love that too.

Will there be a satellite radio in my next car?  Possibly.  Depends on the price.  I don't have far to drive to work or my recreational activities.  I can live without it.

Still, it was an enjoyable and interesting week.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's Now Official

Summer is here.

As always, the first official act of summer is to stick an air conditioner in the bedroom window.  I have those ductless units, and it's great, but my bedroom gets the afternoon sun, and it needs a cool air boost.  Plus, if you have to go to sleep at noon, you need all the cool air you can get.

I'd much rather have a fan and open windows, but the heat is excessive.  Plus, if I sleep better, I feel better at work, and that's more important than ever.

This year seems a lot like others around here-- a warm spell early, followed by a return to winter, than a rapid warm up.  I like an extended spring.  It seems like there's a quick jump from winter to summer in recent years.  Fall has really jumped forward as my favorite season.  Warm days, cool nights.

I saw an extended super forecast that says the summer will be cooler and wetter than normal.  Get ready to hate me.  I'm okay with that.  When you work all night and sleep all day, cool and rainy is a plus.  I'm sorry. 

Having said that, any forecast over seven days out is nothing more than a guess.  50/50 accuracy at best.

If you like sunny and hot, I hope you get it.  My air conditioners and I will be ready.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vote 17: The Numbers

I will admit I was surprised by Gene Talerico's victory over Shane Scanlon in the race for the Republican nomination for Lackawanna County District Attorney.  Even though Scanlon was appointed to the post, incumbency is a powerful thing.  I noticed signs of trouble during the day-- a light turnout.  Talerico had a chance if his home territory, the down valley, came out and the rest stayed home.  I haven't seen the town by town breakdown.  I suspect that's what happened.  Talerico had some effective ads, smartly answering allegations made in a controversial Scanlon mailer.  Talerico had the experience, and that resonated with voters.  Scanlon made some mistakes. That mailer closely aligned him with county judges, giving the perception he's an insider.  Scanlon also refused to debate Talerico, and that made him look weak.  If that wasn't enough, people really didn't seem to like that an anti opoid public service campaign looked a lot like campaign commercials.  There was a perception Scanlon was promoting himself on the backs of drug abusers.

Talerico faces Mark Powell in November.  It should be an interesting race.

Janine Edwards, Wayne County's District Attorney won both the Republican and Democratic nominations for judge, again, proving that incumbency can be powerful.  People like law and order.  A county's top law enforcement officer running for judge can be tough to beat.  The same goes for Eric Linhardt in Lycoming County.

It appears big city candidates did well in races for seats on the state's appellate courts.  That's unfair in one respect.  Some very good legal minds, who live outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, often get left in the dust.  Electing judges is a good thing.  There is some accountability.  Maybe the state should be divided into districts.

It looks like Tim Buege edged out Pat Loughney for the Democratic nomination for Dunmore Mayor.  Loughney has been in the post for a very, very long time.  Voters apparently wanted change, and an old controversy over a DUI checkpoint didn't help.  The margin was razor thin.  There will be a recount.

Other than that, it was a slow night.  Turnout was light.  That's always disappointing.  I do understand it.  There were so many uncontested races.

I hope you voted.  I met some very nice and caring people at the polls yesterday.  Let's do it again in November.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Election Day

It's primary day, or municipal election day.  Forgive me if I go off on a familiar rant.  You will be electing mayors, council members and school directors today.  These are the people who have a huge influence on your life, your police protection, your taxes, the education of your kids...  And yet, a lot of people blow off going to the polls and stay home.  The people on the ballot today likely have a larger impact than presidents, representatives and senators.

Several row offices are up in the county in which I live.  Most are unopposed, and that sickens me.  The process is broken and good people are sitting on the sidelines.

I expect my standard election day.  A big breakfast.  There will be preview stories on Newswatch 16 This Morning.  After the broadcast, I'll roam about looking at turnout and trends.  There will be a story for our noon broadcast.  I'll then go home, take a nap, and watch my colleagues report the numbers tonight.

Notice something is missing.  I won't vote today.  Regular blog readers will know I'm an independent.  Unless there's a ballot question, I have to sit out primary day.  No complaints.  That's the way the system works.

If you are registered and a member of a party, please vote today.  It really matters.

Look for updates here, on, on my Twitter page, @AndyPalumbo_, on Instagram, andy.palumbo, and on my Facebook page.

Speaking of Facebook, "likes" have taken a nice spike lately.  Thank you and tell a friend.

I have some predictions in mind.  Watch this space tomorrow to see if I was right.

Vote.  Please.  It's important.

>>>2:30 AM UPDATE:  Scripts have been double checked and tweaked.  I looked at a potential live shot location on the way in, and I like it.  As many know, an election morning tradition is to stop for a spicy chicken sandwich at the only 24 hour fast food restaurant that serves it.  The place is known for horrible food and service that's even worse.  However, tradition is tradition.  I don't know if the staff was read the riot act, or there's new management, but today's stop was glorious.  The food was excellent, with speedy service.  Let's hope that continues when I drop by in November.  Now, it's time for a little housekeeping, then in the truck for the morning live shots.

>>>4:45 AM UPDATE:  First live shot done.  Five more to go before the day is done.  We chose Weston Field in Scranton.  Why?  Why not?  I wanted someplace different, and this one is lit up nicely.  It's tough to find something scenic in the middle of the night.  Usually, at this time of day, at a polling place, you get a brick wall and maybe a few signs.  Weston Field is a pretty building.  It's white.  It's bright, and it's a good place to preview the election.

>>>10:00 AM UPDATE:  A flurry of activity...  visiting polling places, talking to voters, texting friends who voted, talking with candidates.  All, to get a handle on turnout.  There are some busy pockets, but it is generally light.  It's not a surprise.  Just slammed a story, went over the script, handed it off to an editor, and it's time to get set for the noon broadcast.

>>>11:30 PM UPDATE:  The noon broadcast was clean, went home, and went to sleep.  I woke up to some surprises.  I'll digest it all in a half hour.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Enough Already

It happens every year, regardless of the party in power.

Someone is chosen to speak at a high school or college graduation.  The speaker has some unpopular views.  The graduates protest.

The U.S. Secretary of Education spoke at the Bethune Cookman graduation last week.  Some shouted.  Others turned their backs.  More chose to walk out.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  Commencement addresses are the most overrated speeches in American history.  They are forgotten about five minutes after their completion, maybe sooner.  Graduates are just sitting there, wondering about the post graduation party and then finding a job.  Parents ponder how they're going to pay for it all.  Everyone is looking at their watches and the exits.

A county court judge spoke at my high school graduation.  Great guy, but I don't remember a word he said.  Some expert on world hunger spoke at my college graduation.  I don't remember a word she said.  Perfectly relevant.  Droning on, while we all wondered how we were going to earn a paycheck.

The speeches are all the same anyway.  Work hard. Play hard.  Family comes first.  Be good citizens.  be kind to animals.  Don't litter.   Blah, blah, blah...

Kids, I have a little advice.  Just suffer through the speech and get on with your lives.   The graduation ceremony is really for your parents.  They're proud of you, as they should be.  Let them have their day, even though you're the one in the cap and gown.

Don't drop more significance on the commencement address than there needs to be.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Andy's Angles: Will the Last One Out...

Stores fleeing the Mall at Steamtown, not the Marketplace at Steamtown is nothing new.

This one was going regardless of what's happening in downtown Scranton.

Radio Shack's parent company struggled and the chain failed.  It was a long, slow march to irrelevance.  The stores were too small, too expensive, and other chains simply did it better.  Toward the end, Radio Shack didn't know what to be.  It turned out to be a phone and battery store.  Again, others did it better, and the internet did it faster.

Still, the demise makes me sad.  I used to love exploring Radio Shack.  There was always something neat to look at, things you couldn't find any place else.  The catalog's yearly arrival was an event.

Everything has a shelf life-- a beginning, a middle and sadly, an end.  Radio Shack used to be fun.  Now, it's just one more retail memory.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Andy's Angles: Progress

This was taken Thursday morning at the Marketplace at Steamtown in downtown Scranton.  It's what's left of the food court.  Believe it or not, there are a pizza counter and a Sunway still operating here, even though you have to go through a maze of construction to get there.

The goal here is turn this from a standard mall food court, in to a marketplace type destination-- local food and drink, locally made items, etc.

To orient you, the windows looking out on to the Steamtown National Historic Site are off to the left.  The main mall concourse is on the left.

Brick surrounds the supports.  What you're looking at in the center is the beginning of stalls or booths.

It's worth a shot.  Clearly, the old way didn't look.  I just hope it's something really worth visiting rather than flea market fare that you can find in dozens of local locations every weekend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Time Passages

We lost Gene Free the other day.  60.  Cancer.  Too young.

Gene got his start at the old WEJL AM 630 in Scranton, back when it had a roster of live and local personalities, including a strong news department.

New Yorkers knew him as Gene Michaels.  WALK, WCBS, and WINS, WFAS, plus a short stop at a short lived all news FM station in New York.   He also taught at two metropolitan area colleges.

I knew his work, but I can't say I knew Gene.  Our paths crossed a few times many, many years ago.  Always a gentleman-- professional on and off air.  I never heard a bad word about the man.

My sympathy to his family, friends, and fans.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Business Thursday

I minored in public relations and advertising because I thought it would help me in journalism.  I was right.  I learned the tricks of the other side.

Even though I was never part of it, the retail world always fascinated me.  I am old enough to remember when the Viewmont Mall was built, when the Wyoming Valley Mall actually had fountains and a much cooler mix of stores.

I also remember when the Schuylkill Mall had stores.  Period.

The hammer dropped this week.  The entire mall will close.  No surprise. Most stores bailed.  The place was sad and empty.  In the old days, a trip there was rather enjoyable.  Good stores.  Fayva Shoes.  Chik Fil A.

For the life of me, I don't know why this place failed.  At its peak, it was much nicer than another smaller mall in the area.  It was adjacent to Interstate 81, even though you had to take a curvy and confusing access road to get there.

The same goes for the Columbia Mall near Bloomsburg.  I could never figure out why most stores there closed.  Great location, right next to Interstate 81.  It is the only mall for miles.  Yet, it struggled.

Looking at what used to be the Mall at Steamtown, it's easy to see why it failed.  People didn't feel safe there.  Cavernous parking garage.  Poorly lit.  Montgomery Ward went bankrupt and closed.  Bon Ton was nothing special.  The Globe flamed out shortly after the mall opened.  Nothing in the food court.  Other than Boscov's, there was no reason to go there.  Viewmont and the Shoppes at Montage simply did it better.  The mall, now a "marketplace" is in the midst of a make over.  I hope it works.  I raise a skeptical eyebrow.

I don't fault the construction of the mall.  As I've said time and again, it was the best, and only option, available at the time.  Those blocks of Lackawanna Avenue were a bloody mess.

Back in the day, I was a frequent Baltimore vacationer.  It was a great place to get away for a few days.  Close.  Inexpensive.  Plenty to do.  I'd visit friends in Harrisburg on the way down, or on the way back.  I'd get a room at the Hampton Inn just north of the city, near the Hunt Valley Mall.  What a great place!   Two levels.  Stores we didn't have here.  Rockin' food court, including Sbarro pizza (love it) and Chil Fil A.  The mall failed.   Don't ask me why.  It was de-malled and is now a strip shopping center.  Plus:  Wegman's.  Minus:  Walmart.  There are web sites and Facebook pages dedicated to the old mall.  There's a wave of melancholy any time I look.

I'm sure the experts have all the answers of why some malls work and others don't.  I still enjoy visiting the malls that actually have stores, even if it's only to sit on a bench and eat a soft pretzel.  Cal me strange, but I love being there at opening time and watching the gates roll up or sideways.  Loved it as a kid.  Still do.  Don't ask me why.

Maybe there will be a day when malls will be popular again.  I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday Scrapple

Outside of the one eyed horse, I didn't detect a lot of interest in the Kentucky Derby.  On the other hand, it's become a party day in hundreds of other venues across the country.  Sorry.  I have no interest in wearing a funny hat.

The recent rainy spell has been frustrating, but no worries.  It will be brutally hot soon enough.

A lot of people see next week's election as a yawn.  Not me.  I find something fascinating in every election.

I never get tired of seeing the brilliant white home uniforms of the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  For some reason, their uniforms seem whiter than the others.  I love it.  Plus, it's always a kick seeing those robin's egg blue uniforms several teams used in the 70's.

One of my favorite moments of the week is when I finish shaving on a Tuesday morning, and I know I won;t have to touch a razor until Friday night.

I'm fascinated by the new touch screen version of the Amazon Echo.

Watching a cat look out a window never gets old.

After some searching, I got my hands on some disposable fountain pens.  I read where Peter Jennings loved them.  Now, I understand.

As soon as it dried out Monday afternoon, everyone in my neighborhood had the same thought:  mow the lawn!

Speaking of outdoors, I'm old school.  We cut the grass.  We don't mow the lawn.  And, can they make a quieter weed whacker?

Can't believe Memorial Day is almost hear.  It seems like Christmas was yesterday.

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey yesterday.  It's clear Comey made mistakes, and he lost the confidence of Democrats and Republicans alike.  The timing?  The exact reason?  Those will be debated for a long time.

Sports Emmys:  Brent Musberger Lifetime Achievement.  Yay.  Studio host Bob Costas.  Meh.  Pardon the Interruption.  Yay.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Backward and Forward

It's one week before the Pennsylvania Primary, or more accurately, the municipal election...  and we're still talking about Vote 16.  I suspect we'll be talking about the past for quite a while.  One book is already out, and there are more to follow.  No surprises there.  It was a fascinating election.

Hillary Clinton recently said she takes responsibility for her loss, but she also said FBI director James Comey and the Russians played roles.  Clinton added that if the election was October 27, she would be president today.

Let's look at this a little more closely.  It's clear the Russians did something, but remember Clinton easily won the popular vote.  That tells me a bad campaign, rather than the Russians, played a bigger role.  The political experts say Clinton didn't have a clear message and she spent time and money in the wrong states.  You can't blame the Russians for that.

As for the FBI investigation into Clinton's private email server...  We;;, if Clinton didn't set up that server as Secretary of State, none of this ever would have happened.  No server, no investigation.  Again, the political experts say the server was set up for one reason-- to circumvent established procedure.

The red flags should have gone up long before November.  Clinton couldn't put away Bernie Sanders until very late in the primary season.  Democrats had a flawed candidate.  So did Republicans.  Trump was simply more successful in conveying his message.

To go a little further, I think Clinton sealed her fate when she called Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables."

I'm in a very competitive business.  It would be suicidal to call people who get their news from other sources "deplorables."  What if Walmart called Target shoppers "deplorables?"  Would you ever set foot in a Walmart after that?

The "deplorables" line will go down in political history as one of the worst ever.

As for next week's election, it will be here before you know it.  Our friends at the newspapers have been doing a great job of profiling candidates and looking at issues.  Read up and vote May 16.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Media Monday

Joe and Mika of MSNBC morning show fame are engaged.  I've tried to watch.  The broadcast was never able to hook me.

ESPN recently laid off 100 people, and I really feel sorry for them.  Been there.  I am admittedly an outsider, but it seems the network didn't expand wisely.  The market has changed, and some good employees have to pay the price.  I sense a lack of direction.  SportsCenter shows are too personality oriented, and some are simply unwatchable.

Speaking of ESPN, the last episode of the Sunday morning "The Sports Reporters" aired yesterday.  Mixed feelings.  With all the ESPN channels and resources, you would think there is room for a show like that.  On the other hand, I stopped watching long ago because some regulars talked way too much.

A local radio station now proudly touts that it's all music overnights, no talk from a disc jockey, or whatever they're called these days.  I get what they're trying to do, but it still makes me sad.

Stephen Colbert's vulgar rant the other night was embarrassing.

The story of Jimmy Kimmel and his son was heartbreaking.  I'm sorry he turned the whole thing political.

The Big Bang Theory is experiencing some audience erosion.  It's a moot point because the series has been renewed for another two years.  It's become just another bickering couples "comedy.'"

FOX has signed former NFL QB Jay Cutler for its number two broadcast team.  CBS has rookie Tony Romo slated for its top team.  Whatever happened to rookie announcers starting at the bottom and working their way up?

I'm not a "Star Wars" fan, so I was thrilled when May 4 became May 5.

I've been watching old Drew Carey shows and Night Court episodes on a channel recently added to my cable line up.  It was nice to be reminded of how funny they were.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Andy's Angles: Stormy Weather

We're a little more than four months in to 2017, and it's turning in to the "Year of the Storm."  We've had tornadoes, a record setting blizzard, and plenty of wind damage.

Below is another picture taken Tuesday morning in Wilkes-Barre Township, the morning after a big wind storm came through.
Above, you can see a front porch awning, mangled by the wind.  There's also a piece of aluminum hanging over a wire.

Trees that had been in this Wilkes-Barre Township neighborhood for decades are now likely mulch.  It's all very sad.  At least no homes were destroyed and no one was hurt.

I wonder what the yest of the year will bring.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Andy's Angles: Storm Damage

My Tuesday morning shift started after some violent storms moved out, but before all the storm damage could be assessed.

Photographer Jason was on his way back from a Wilkes-Barre Township neighborhood that got hit hard.  He had pictures and interviews.  I looked at what he gathered, put together a couple of stories, then headed back to Wilkes-Barre Township to be live on Newswatch 16 This Morning.
I took the photo you see above after the sun came up.  It shows an uprooted tree and a blown over fence.

More trees down and homes damaged around the corner.  It really was a big mess.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.
I've always been amazed at how large trees can have such shallow roots.

We gathered more interviews, and more video after the broadcast.  We then headed back to the office to work on a piece for Newswatch 16 at Noon.  The video was striking, but it didn't come close to reflecting the hit that neighborhood took.

Friday, May 5, 2017

About the Cover

OK, I'm a little late with a new blog header this month.  It's a frequent problem.  When I have free time, it turns cloudy and vice versa.

You've seen North Scranton Junior High on the blog before, but not in the header.

The building is now apartments run by Goodwill, plus there's a theater inside.

Management has been changing the color of the lights outside to suit the season-- red and green for Christmas, green for St. Patrick's Day, red for Valentine's Day.  I took this one yesterday morning.  I'm assuming it's pastels for Easter.

I still haven't been inside.  From the outside, the building looks great.

You may remember, as the conversion from empty school to apartments project was stalled, the building was falling apart.  Broken windows, assorted other deterioration.  I advocated in this space that the place be torn down.  It had become an eyesore, and there was no sign the plans would ever some to fruition.

Well, a few years ago, they managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat, and this is a real asset to North Scranton.  I'm glad Goodwill stuck with it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Boss Floss

I have a great dentist.  He is a talented individual with a solid staff.  There are no long delays in the waiting area, which is why I unfortunately had to part company with my last dentist.

Every visit ends the same way-- with a bag containing a toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and a tiny, tiny container of dental floss.

The floss is outstanding stuff.  It's very thin, but strong and doesn't shred.  I love it.  I'm a bargain shopper, and had several containers of another brand in the bathroom.  There was no need to buy more-- until recently.

I went looking for this fantastic floss.  No luck.  None in the big box stores.  None in the drug stores.  I e-mailed the company, which makes a long list of other dental products.  The company quickly got back to me.  Due to a lack of consumer demand, they no long manufacture it.  The e-mail went on to say if there is enough demand, it might come back.

Are you kidding me?!

I thought the purpose of a free sample was to entice you to buy the product.  Lord knows, I've bought enough stuff based on samples-- dryer sheets, soap, razors, toothpaste, shampoo...  Why give a free sample of something you can't buy in a regular, enlarged package?

It's not the fault of my dentist.  I checked the expiration date on the floss sample.  It's new stock.  The expiration date is a couple of years down the road.  Who knew floss expired?    I can't understand why the company is making sample sizes, but not the larger ones.

I guess I'll ask the dentist on my next visit in six months.  In the meantime, I'll floss daily, but I won't enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Book It

Last week, I did something I hadn't done in a long time.  I visited a book store.

Watching brick and mortar businesses close is difficult, and I have to admit that I'm part of the problem.  I do a lot of shopping on line, especially books.  For example, I ordered a David Letterman biography before it was released.  It arrived in the mail on the day it came out.  It can't get any better than that.

Last week, I was shopping for a gift.  I knew the book I wanted.  The warehouse club store didn't have it, so it was a short trip up the street to a big box book store.  Even though the book has been in the news a lot lately, it wasn't on the "featured" tables at the front of the store.  It was back in the "politics" section.  I grabbed it and headed to the check out.  The staff was very nice.  The store seemed to have anything you would want, and it was nicely organized.  Having said that, I still don't think this book store is as good as the one it replaced.

Still, having any book store is better than none at all, and I'm thrilled there is still a book store close to home.

I was thrilled to see a large kid's section.  My parents encouraged reading when I was a kid, and I got any book I asked for.  I know parents who do the same.  I hope schools have changed.  Most of my unmotivated teachers back in the day treated reading as a punishment and a chore rather than a pleasure.  There were a few exceptions.  When it comes to meeting young people, personally or professionally, you can really tell the ones who read.

As for the Letterman book I'm reading, look for a review here in the days to come.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Full disclosure:  I'm a Letterman fan.  Always have been.

The title says it all.  David Letterman was the last giant of late night.  Can you imagine any of today's hosts lasting that long and making a huge impact?  Jimmy Fallon has his silly games and no interviewing skills.   Stephen Colbert bombed when he went mainstream, so he had to go back to his old political character to build an audience, proving he is a one trick pony.  Conan O'Brien has evolved into a strong talent, who no longer tries to be funnier than his guests.  He seems to be the most Carson-esque of the current bunch.  Jimmy Kimmel produces solid laughs night after night.

Now, Dave.  Having been a follower since the morning show days, there wasn't much I didn't know.  The book spends most of its pages on the NBC years.

It did provide perspective on a lot of things, including the Leno vs Letterman controversy.  I've always felt Letterman was the superior talent, but I now have a better idea of why NBC gave the Tonight Show to Jay Leno, and I've already read "The Late Shift."  NBC had concerns Letterman couldn't attract a wide audience.  He was difficult to work with, and his relationship with NBC executives was strained, to say the least.  NBC was right.

Letterman evolved from quirky and a bad interviewer to a solid late night host.  His show lost something when he parked his butt behind the desk and did fewer remote segments.  Cranky, angry Dave came out way too many nights, and that didn't wear well.

There was a serious disconnect in the later years.  No rehearsals.  Limited contact with staff.  A serious writer churn.  An unhappy office.  Miserable working conditions.

I read other material that indicated the move to CBS and the Ed Sullivan Theater was good for Letterman and good for the show.  This book contradicts that.

But, when it came to sitting behind the desk and communicating with the audience, talking, opening up, bantering...  None better.  The stuff is available on You Tube.  Watch Letterman after 9/11, after Johnny Carson's death, after Robin Williams' passing, during the O'Brien/Leno controversy, when he got caught messing around with female staffers.  It was outstanding stuff.

The book does get bogged down with some trivial stuff, like writers' squabbles.

I'll give it a qualified "thumbs up."  If you like Letterman and have an interest in TV, you'll love the book.    Middle of the roaders should like it too.  For the rest, it might be a little too "inside" to be entertaining.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Year 6

My bike came out of the shop just before I went on vacation.  It was nothing major-- a check up, lubrication, adjustment...

Last week's vacation gave me the opportunity to try it out, the start of my sixth season on two wheels.

To get you up to speed, I bought a bike toward the tail end of summer 2012.  I've found that early morning rides suit me best, and as long as it's over 50 degrees, you can see me pedaling through a few small towns in my neck of the woods.

Standard practice, even though I go to a gym year round, is to start off easy.  I skipped that this year and plunged into my normal route.  It was surprisingly easy.  I did do something wrong.  It was chilly and I over dressed.  By the end of the ride, I overheated badly.

Some observations...

My ride cemented my feeling on LED street lights.  They might save energy, but the old style does a better job of lighting the road.  I should add that my bike does have a light and I do wear a reflective vest.

Some towns have done a great job of sweeping up curbside winter gravel.  Others, not so much.

The potholes that were there when I stopped riding in late October are still there, and they've made some new friends.

Companies that print political yard signs have to be making a fortune this primary season.

It's still a big kick to see a shooting star.

So, bike season has arrived for me.  I'll alternate bike and gym mornings through summer and in to the fall.  See you on the road.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Andy's Angles: Flashback

On a weekend when summer-like temperatures are expected, a flashback to the morning of March 14.

This is Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre, as the Blizzard of '17 was just getting wound up.  A few inches of snow on the ground, and two feet more on the way.

Enjoy the heat and the weekend.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Andy's Angles: Do Not Disturb

It's been a while since Nathan made an appearance here.

I took this as he was napping the other day, obviously annoyed that I disturbed his mid day snooze.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let's Review

The first vacation week of the year is in its final hours.

Let's review.

I got a hair cut, went to the gym, rode my bike, took some pictures, shopped, had a reunion with a high school friend I hadn't seen in nearly 40 years, worked on the blog and other social media, read a couple of books, watched some baseball on TV, and I caught up on some sleep.

Except for the reunion thing, it was your average week off.  I'm okay with that.

Thanks to Jim Hamill for filling in for me.  I understand it was a very busy weekend.

See you in the morning.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Given the circumstances of the case and the way the law is written, there could be no other outcome.

Eric Frein:  guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to death.

The evidence for the first degree murder conviction, and the case for the death penalty were overwhelming.  The prosecution had written and taped confessions.  Mitigating factors during the penalty phase were weak, at best.  That's not the fault of the defense attorneys.  They did the best with what they had.  They didn't have a much.  A victory would have been keeping Eric Frein off death row.

There is an automatic appeal of death penalty cases.  Some legal experts believe errors were made during the trial.  We could go through this again.

I won't get in to a death penalty debate.  The death penalty is still on the books here in Pennsylvania.  An inmate hasn't been executed in two decades.  Governor Wolf is against the death penalty.  This will be a court and legislative battle for a long time to come.

There are still unanswered questions.  As I am fond of saying (not an original thought), a trial is not a search for the truth.  It is a judgement of evidence.

We know what Eric Frein did, beyond a reasonable doubt.  We don't know why.  The prosecution doesn't have to establish a motive.  It was shown Eric Frein didn't like authority and he favored a revolution.  Still, there has to be some reason why he chose those troopers, at that barracks, on that night.  I like to think we'll know some day.  Someone will talk, eventually.  It could be and should be Eric Frein.  Remember, there are laws that prohibit criminals from profiting from their acts.  He cannot sell his story.  He does owe everyone an explanation-- the police, the people who paid for the search and trial, the people who lived in fear during his weeks on the run...

Someone will talk, someday.

Until then, this is a book without a final chapter.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Scrapple

There was a reunion of the people who used to work at one of my old television stations last weekend-- a great bunch, and I was lucky to work with them.  Thanks for the invite, but I'm not much of a social butterfly these days and I didn't attend.  There were many familiar faces on David DeCosmo's blog.  I hope my teachers, and my friends are all doing well.

As noted here before, a guilty pleasure is watching old game shows and old newscasts on You Tube.  Scrabble was a darn fine show, and I wish someone would bring it back.

Joanie from Happy Days, Erin Moran, died last week.  56.   That's way too young, and I'm sorry.  I know I'm about to offend a lot of people, but I never thought Happy Days was very good and was one of the most over-rated TV shows in history.

Even though I was off last weekend, I was up all night anyway.

Earth Day has become so political, and it was a trend that started lone before Donald Trump became president.  Unfortunately, it reminds me of the Great American Smoke Out in the fall.  It's forgotten about the day after.

What's on the internet now that April the Giraffe has given birth? is one of my favorite web sites.  It's clean and easy to use.  It has the character of the newspaper, but a distinct web identity.  Some newspaper web sites are a total mess.

President Trump is coming back to Pennsylvania this weekend.  Harrisburg.  Luzerne County is one of the places credited with putting the Trump campaign over the top.  There have been two recent visits to south central Pennsylvania.  None here.  Why?

I haven't touched vinyl in years, but I'm still very happy there is a National Record Store Day.

The apparent and admitted misbehavior of the lieutenant governor is just sad.  If that happened in the private sector...

CVS is eliminating most candy in its stores.  It doesn't bother me.  For some reason, a drug store was never my "sweet" destination.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Start

The Eric Frein homicide trial in Milford brought back a lot of memories.  I was on the duty the night of the shootings.  It was my job to make sure we had our people in the right places to cover the story.  I produced, wrote and anchored the first newscast after the incident, Newswatch 16 Saturday Morning.  My coworkers stepped up, and I was very proud of our product that weekend.

The trial also reminded me of my first venture into street reporting, and let me tell you what brought back those memories.

My job on opening day of the Frein trial was to do reaction from people in the Milford.  Things like this are few and far between.  The town was filled with media and the curious.  Newswatch 16's Jim Hamill covered the opening arguments.  I was the street guy.

Photographer Bonnie and I surveyed the landscape.  The first few people we approached for interviews turned us down.  We then spied a young woman across the street.  I discovered her name was Brenna Cavallaro.  We talked, on camera.  She said she comes from a law enforcement family, and she was there with the goal of writing something for her high school newspaper at Delaware Valley.  That story is at the top of today's blog entry.

Not only did Brenna provide some interesting comments, she was "the hook."  She wasn't just a random person in the perk.  Brenna had a special reason for being there, and a beyond run of the mill perspective.  I did get another interview, but Brenna was the focus of the story.

As Bonnie and I went back to our truck to write and edit a story for Newswatch 16 at Noon, I handed Brenna a business card.  I asked her to send me a copy of the story if she was successful in getting some space in the paper.  The story was in my WNEP mail box when I made a special trip back to the office, during a vacation, to check.  It's good work, and that's why I'm sharing it here.

I should note that the entire newspaper "Del Aware" looks great and has solid content.  It rivals some college newspapers I've seen.  The students and faculty should be proud.

Now, me.

I was just a pup at WARM 590 in March of 1982, having been on staff for less than a year.  Our news director, the great Jerry Heller thought there was a story in Honesdale we should be covering.  A man was on trial for killing a child.  Jerry asked if a couple days of coverage would fit in to my college schedule.  It did.  He asked me to come to the station, pick up a news car, and then go to Honesdale.  I deferred, saying it would be easier for me to go to the courthouse directly.  I was too embarrassed to say I couldn't drive a car with a standard transmission.  Thanks to coworker Brian Francis Roche, I later learned.  Thank you, Brian.

I arrived at the Wayne County courthouse on that first morning and was totally lost.  This wasn't "Matlock."  It's nothing like what you see on television.  I took notes on the testimony and phoned back an hourly report.  The first ones weren't very good.  The legendary Terry McNulty was doing afternoon news on WARM back then.  He suggested ways to make my reporting better, more clear, and more concise.  Terry got me through, and I owe him a lot.  I still remember and use some of Terry's first day lessons.  Most people remember terry for his zany DJ antics as "The Big Fella."  In my early years at WARM, Terry was one of the afternoon news anchors.  We had disagreements and a battle or two.  You have to give the man credit for knowing how to present a news story with a sense of immediacy and urgency.  I owe Terry a lot.

After a while, I got the hang of it.  I could almost predict when the district attorney and defense attorney would object to something.  Even a newbie like me could see there were some big holes in the case.  Trials move very slowly.  I was able to pick my opportunities to get out of the courtroom to hit the pay phone in the lobby.  Again, it's a skill I use to this day.

I wasn't there for the very end, but the defendant was found "not guilty."  I wasn't surprised.  Simply, it was not a solid case.  Remember that a trial is not a search for the truth.  It's a judgement of evidence.  Also, it's a court of law, not a court of justice.

I should add that the district attorney was Ray Hamill.  I have the pleasure of working with his son, Jim.  Small world.

As I've said here before, It's rewarding to have "the big story."  However, as the years add up, I get just as much satisfaction from seeing young people blossom in to solid journalists and broadcasters.  I have a feeling Brenna Cavallaro will be added to the list.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Factor

I've always thought Bill O'Reilly is a tremendously talented broadcaster.

After reading a book by a former producer, I learned O'Reilly is responsible for every word of his now former FOX News Channel broadcast.  He either wrote it at a computer, scribbled it out on a note pad, or dictated it to a secretary of producer.

If you read a transcript of his show, and didn't know the author, you would think it was coming from a moderate, reasonable individual.

He is smart, and informed, and he knew how to draw an audience.  For 20 years, O'Reilly was the signature voice and face of the network.

Unfortunately, good broadcaster doesn't translate into being a good person.  O'Reilly denies all the harassment allegations and I get that.  You have to admit there's an awful lot of evidence against him.  You can forgive a mistake.  Overlooking a distinct and long standing  pattern is an entirely different story.

FOX News let O'Reilly go last week.

He doesn't need the money, but I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will re-surface somewhere.  I think his network days are done, at least for a while.  He could sign with a TV station group, or syndicate a show on his own.  He'd be perfect on Sunday mornings.

There was a radio version of the O'Reilly Factor.  It didn't last long.  O'Reilly went up against Rush Limbaugh, a tough time slot.  For the most part, Limbaugh had all the decent stations locked up.  That has changed, so the climate is right for O'Reilly to take another shot at it.  Podcasting to the masses is always an option.  There is already a subscription only podcast.

There is a place in the media world for Bill O'Reilly.  There has to be some serious image rehabilitation, responsibility taking,  and some daring sponsors first.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Andy's Angles: St. Nicholas

This is St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Scranton, almost next door to St. Matthew's, which was in this space yesterday.  They are separated only by Vine Street.

The sun wasn't my friend when I took this recent photo, but I think you get the idea.  It's a beautiful building.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Andy's Angles: Blessed

Our area is blessed, pardon the pun, to have so many historic and beautiful places of worship.

This is St. Matthew's on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The First

It's sleeping Homer's first appearance of 2017, and it means I'm taking my first vacation week of the year.  There were a few scattered days off in January, but I haven't had a full week off since October.

I'm a little tired.  It's time.

Now, the standards:  no plans other than the gym, some bike rides, reading, photography, and possibly Kmart.

I have yet to decide on a vacation beard, which has been the standard the last several years.  I haven't touched a razor since Tuesday morning, so I'm on my way.

The weekend morning broadcasts are in the capable hands of Jim Hamill.

See you soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Getting Personal

I really don't get super personal here, but today will be an exception.

Let's go back a few months.  An old friend from junior high and high school called me out of the blue and suggested we get together.  I agreed to the concept, but I kept delaying the actual event.  My old friend knows the hours and days I work.  He was completely understanding and forgiving, even though I kept blowing him off.

I sent him a text the other day, saying I'm sorry for the delay.  I'm on vacation.  If you're still interested, name a time, day and location, and I'll make it happen.

It happened Tuesday night.

Part of me looked forward to it.  Another part dreaded it.  He suggested a little corner bar in Scranton.  I agreed, as long as it was non smoking.  It is.  By the way, Diet Cokes were exceptionally reasonable.  It's amazing how many bars soak you for a soda.  Responsible behavior is important, but it can be very expensive.  The food looked great.  However, I wasn't hungry.

The meeting went well.  We had some laughs about the old days, and caught up to current times.  I heard some stories about classmates that I didn't know before, and I'm sort of sorry I learned what I learned.  Be that as it may.

I don't know what my friend expected.  I assured him that I might have grown a bit, but I am essentially the same guy he last saw in a cap and gown nearly forty years ago.

Okay, here is some more personal stuff.  When I'm off duty, Mr. Television goes away.  The TV job is like a coat.  I like it a great deal, but I wear it only when I'm working.  When my shift ends, I enjoy and savor fading in to the background.  I talk for a living.  I don't do much when I'm away from the office.

Take a look at the photos you see here.  You see landscapes, buildings, rivers and a cat.  You almost never see me.  The same goes with Facebook and Instagram.  There is no need to be the center of attention.

What occasionally scares me, is I fear some people mistake retiring for arrogant, because I don't really say much when I'm off duty.  It's happened before.  If you have been offended, I'm sorry.  It wasn't intentional.  Thankfully, my friend "got it" and the night went well.

He suggested doing it again, and possibly adding another friend or two.  I left the door open.  Small steps.  I was one of those high schoolers who had a small, but close circle of friends.  That was more than enough.  There was no desire to be class president.  One of the best feelings ever was when I took off the cap and gown, and walked into the fresh, post-graduation air of an early summer evening.  As I have said here before, I liked learning.  I didn't like high school.

As for my friend, good times and bad.  That's typical.  We've all been there.  Back in the day, he was one of the funnier people at that soul crushing school of mine.  The laughs were important back then.  They still are, and he is still capable of delivering.

I'm sure there's a lesson in here somewhere.  Maybe, a moral of the story.  You may take what you please from the above paragraphs.  Looking ahead is important, but there are times it can be equally important to see where you came from.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday Scrapple

Do people still care about Hatchimals?

The price of Donald Trump ties has skyrocketed on E-Bay.

The Frein trial moved faster than expected.  We learned a few new things, not a lot.  More than anything, it seems like a defense exercise to avoid the death penalty.

I was in a Burlington store the other day, and all but one of the front doors was locked.  There was no panic hardware on the inside.  It looks like an attempt to curb shoplifting, but it's a clear violation of fire safety laws.  Why am I the only one who noticed this?

"Quick Pitch" on the MLB Network remains one of the best shows on television.  No silly ESPN style schtick.  Just the highlights.  Outstanding!

The speed in which we went from a blizzard and two feet of snow, to flooding, to brush fires is amazing.

I found some very nice Easter flowers this year, but man, did the price go up!

Brian Williams can't seem to stay out of trouble.  He has been harshly criticized for remarks made during coverage of the U.S missile strike on Syria.  Williams talked about the beauty of American weapons, and many on social media let his have it.  Williams isn't my favorite guy, but look at intent.  I don't think he meant to diminish the importance and significance of human life.  It was just a poor choice of words.  Let's leave it at that.

I can't wait for the primary season to really heat up.

It looks like Bill O'Reilly is in some serious trouble at FOX News.

It seems like a lot of criminals come to our area to hide, and it seems like an awful lot get caught.

It was chilly and breezy yesterday, but I actually managed to get a little sunburn.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fly United

The dust hasn't totally settled on this one, but it's settled enough for me to yammer about it.

United recently came under fire for bumping a man from a flight.  The passenger didn't want to go, so they dragged him off.

It's disgusting behavior on United's part, and perfectly legal.  On the ticket, it says the airline has the right to bump you.

That's simply a lousy practice, and it should have been outlawed long ago.

Airlines claim their profit margins are slim, so they have to maximize every flight.  In this case, United said it needed the seat to get a full in crew in place for another flight at another airport.

Often, passengers book and never show.

I don't care.

Don't make your passengers suffer just because you have a hard time making money.  Figure out how to do it right, or go out of business.

Grampa Stroehmann doesn't reserve the right to take his bread back.  Ronald McDonald doesn't tell you he can snatch a Big Mac out of your hand if he feels like it.  Airlines shouldn't be any different.  Buy the ticket.  Take your seat.  Get your flight.  Receive what you paid for.  It's time for the government to step in.
The head of United said an incident like this will never happen again.  I hope he's right, and I hope other airlines follow suit.

Yes, there has always been financial consideration for those who voluntarily give up their seat.  It shouldn't come to a situation like that in the first place.

Monday, April 17, 2017


I hope you had a chance to see Jimmy Kimmel's Don Rickles tribute.

One part really jumped out at me.  Kimmel related a conversation with Rickles when Don asked "Keep my name alive."

Apologies for yammering on again about my old radio days.  I was very proud of what we accomplished there, even though the station was in decline when I arrived in 1981.

Even though its dominance ended a long time ago, people are keeping the legend of WARM alive.  There's at least one blog and one Facebook page that I know of.  That's great.

Here is what prompted this blog entry.

We went through a few program directors during my time at WARM.  John Hancock was the best.  He repaired a lot o damage and got the place humming again.  We were aggressive, we got out in to the community more, and we had a great time doing it.  It was fun to go to work.

For the last 25 years or so, John has been at WBT 1110, a blowtorch in Charlotte, NC.  He does 3 to 6 PM.  Thanks to my C. Crane internet radio and my Amazon Echo, I listen at least a few days a week.  John occasionally tells a WARM story, especially when it comes to the talents and the antics of the late, great Terry McNulty.  I've been mentioned in a few of those tales, and it's always a kick.

I've been on national TV and radio, and in a couple of movies.  However, my greatest delight is being mentioned on the radio in Charlotte, and someone keeping WARM, and what we did there, alive.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Andy's Angles: Pike County Courthouse

Milford is one of my favorite places, even though it's in the spotlight this month for a horrible event.

This is a dawn shot of the Pike County Courthouse.  On the right, you can see the steel skeleton of an addition.  They tried to tuck it into the back, much less obtrusive than an earlier design.

I can't say I'm a fan.  It will detract from the beauty and the historical nature of the building.

The need for space and security is acknowledged.  I would have built a totally new structure near by and used the old courthouse for something else.