Wednesday, May 31, 2023



Full disclosure:  I graduated from Marywood College in Scranton, now Marywood University, in 1983.  I have used this space to express my feelings on things the school has done well, and things the school has done poorly.

The student news site (can't call it a "newspaper" because it doesn't publish in print) has been doing this thing the last several years, where the students issue a grade.

This year, Marywood merits a "D."

Are you kidding me?

The article on the web site lays it all out-- things that have gone well, areas where the writers feel the school has come up short.  I get it.  Marywood is running in the red.  Things are changing.  There aren't as many faculty members and staffers as there used to be.  Safety/security is always a worry.

My concerns deal with that D.

All I can picture is a high school kid, in a bedroom or library, researching prospective colleges.  The kid sees the D, and quickly moves on to the next school.    Why would anyone want to go to a college where the students grade it a D?  You've lost a student, a customer.  A sad cycle begins anew.

I applaud the students for exposing what they see as deficiencies, areas where Marywood has fallen short.  Every organization can benefit from a critical eye.

However, there are more elegant and creative ways to say it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Orange Crush


Today, my friends, it is proof that some organizations and their employees have far too much time on their hands.

Case in point:  The Pennsylvania Beverage and Licensed Tavern Association.  I'm sure they do good work.  After all, there are still many mom and pop taverns across the state, and they need a voice in Harrisburg.

The Association has named its official adult beverage of 2023.  It is the "Orange Crush."   The drink is a mixture of orange juice, orange flavored vodka, triple sec, and citrus flavored soda.  Oranges are the garnish.

Why the "Orange Crush?"  I guess it's because Pennsylvania is famous for its oranges.


The state has so many great breweries and distilleries.  Is "Orange Crush" the best we can do?

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day


I always liked Memorial Day.  

When I was a kid, it meant the start of the summer season.  The school year was coming to an end.  The coats and jackets are put away.  Thoughts turned to innocent afternoons of wiffle ball, playing with balsa airplanes, Frisbees, and endless games of catch on the street around the corner.

Memorial Day itself meant a visit to the cemeteries where uncles, aunts, and grandparents are laid to rest.  My parents always instilled that sense of responsibility in me.  There would be a stop at a little market in Dickson City for cemetery flowers.  We'd also grab some tomato plants and other vegetables for the backyard garden.  I come from a conservative family.  The backyard garden never went in before Memorial Day because of the threat of frost.

There would be burgers and dogs on the grill for lunch.

The day would have a fairly early end.  Tomorrow is a school day.

Memorial Day is one of those unique observances.  You remember the family you had in the past, and the sacrifices they made.  You celebrate the good times with the family members you still have left.

Above is a Wednesday morning photo from Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.

Please, remember what the day is all about and count your blessings.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Andy's Angles: One More!

 Okay, it's one more flower picture before I put the genre to bed for a while.  Flower bed!  Get it?

Who doesn't love tulips?  This is a late April shot from the front of Marywood University's Liberal Arts Center.

One of the great things about spending four years here, and occasional current visits, is the scenery.

Grass, trees, flowers, and squirrels can make a bad day better.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Andy's Angles: A Little Color

 We need a few more flowers as we say good bye to May and the start of the blistering hot summer season.

As I've said here before, my macro skills need to be exercised once in a while.  This shot was taken in late April at my alma mater, Marywood University.

The focus was on the purple specimen in the center of the shot.

I simply liked how it stood out among the green and red.  Dare to be different.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Memorial Day Weekend


It's okay to enter "holiday mode" a little early.

Take a deep breath, and do something nice for yourself and your family.  There are many times a three day weekend isn't enough.  Make it four days!

I took the photo you see above at Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton Wednesday morning.  There is something about the location, the slope, the density of the flags and more that make it a wonderful photo opportunity, and a great place to honor those who defended our freedom.

Some unrelated photos will appear here this weekend, and I'll offer a few thoughts on the observance Monday.

Take it easy today.  You have my permission.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday Scrapple


I don't care how much it's hyped, I'm still not paying to watch a football game on TV.

Daffy Duck is an underrated cartoon character.

I often catch a "Jeopardy" category and/or final question on You Tube.  Please, stop the spoilers.  the same goes for Facebook comments.

I'm thrilled trains have been getting so much attention lately-- the Nickel Plate's return to Scranton, and the excursions from Pittston to Jim Thorpe.

Lackawanna County's voter turnout last week was 30 per cent, as expected.  Also as expected, I'm sad.

Wendy's will experiment with keeping some restaurants drive-throughs open until 2 am this summer.  Intriguing.

The schedule makers have given the RailRiders every Monday off, except one.  It's the July 3rd game in Syracuse.  Wouldn't Memorial Day and Labor Day games have been nice?

The WNEP+ channel on Roku and Fire TV recently showed some old Centralia video.  To see the way it used to look was haunting.

Cell phones have been around for decades, and it still infuriates me to see people drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

I know I say it every year.  Writing on top of graduation mortarboards is just tiresome.  Walk on stage.  Get your diploma.  Sit down.  Go home.  Get a job.

Is Wordle still a thing?

I'm not a huge Bon Jovi fan, but I always crank up the volume and drive a little faster when "Bad Medicine" comes on the radio.  Thank you for the frequent plays, Rock 107.

The Scranton Armed Forces Day parade returns next year, for the first time since 2019.  I'm glad men and woman in uniform are recognized.  Unfortunately, this parade could never draw a crowd.  I hope that changes next year.

Tina Turner was an amazing performer and I always loved "Proud Mary."

ESPN is paying huge money for vulgar Pat McAfee's radio show, while it lays off employees.  Note to ESPN:  there is better, classier radio talent out there that doesn't cost nearly as much.

I'm thrilled for Ally Gallo Conway and her husband Max.  I'm almost as thrilled baby Mollie postponed her arrival until after the Sunday morning broadcast wrapped up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Close Call


After a fairly steady diet of death and destruction, it was a breath of fresh air when I had the chance to do a positive and fun story, and it almost didn't happen.

We learned the bus carrying the East Stroudsburg University Warriors softball team was leaving campus for the Newark airport, then Nashville, then Chattanooga, for the division two World Series.

Editor Jason and I worked on a totally different story for our morning broadcast.  Photographer Tim and I then high tailed it to ESU to get the bus leaving.  Time was not our friend and we knew we would be cutting it close.

We drove around campus at 4:15 am, and couldn't find the bus!  I stopped a police officer and asked him if he saw a bus on campus.  He didn't.  Panic was setting in.  I really wanted this story.  We we late?  Did we get bad information?

I was ready to search all 57 buildings on all 258 acres of the ESU campus.  As we were making another loop, photographer Tim spotted the bus lights in a parking area behind the field house.  Relief!

There was barely time to jump out of the car, do some interviews, and get some video before the bus had to leave for the Newark airport.  I was in such a hurry, I didn't even bother to tuck my shirt in to my pants.  ESU coach Jaime Wolbach took the photo you see above.  Katie "Donnie" Donaghue is the player in front of my microphone, a really nice young lady.

This was a true "crash and burn" effort-- a flurrie of activity for ten minutes, ending when the ESU bus pulled out of the parking lot, filled with a great bunch of kids.

Tim sent some video back to the station for the morning newscasts.  We then packed up and headed back to the office to work on a story for Newswatch 16 at noon.

Good luck, and thank you for the story, Warriors!

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Raison D'Etre


Once again, a photo with no real reason for existence.  I happened to have camera in hand and snapped away last month, when I was on vacation.

This is the Scranton Times building at Penn and Biden (Spruce) with the big WEJL tower on top.

Regular blog readers know I love radio and no matter how many times I see it, I still enjoy looking up at the mass of steel and wires.   There really isn't anything new here.  I've shot the building and tower from the North Washington Avenue parking garage before-- love the view.

Monday, May 22, 2023

And, My Next Guest Is...


I left full time radio employment way back in 1991.  Even though the people, the locations, and the technology has changed, I still feel at home in a radio studio.

There have been three guest appearances on Froggy 101.  When Nikki Walton Stone on sister station WILK recently asked if I would mind hanging out for a while, I instantly said "yes."  We settled on a date, and last Monday was it.

I showed up at 11:45 am and chatted with the Fed Ex employee, waiting to pick up an envelope in the lobby.  She was very nice, as was the receptionist.  The morning talk show ended.  The noon news was on, and I was escorted back to the studio.

This is the joy of Nikki.  She entered a few minutes before the scheduled start.  Nikki had her show mapped out in her head.  She didn't tell me, and that's the fun.  I think that's why Nikki keeps having me back.  This was our third show.  The first was planned.  The second was a spur of the moment thing.  I was just finishing a Froggy hour when she asked me if I wanted to talk on the air for a while.  While Monday's stop was a scheduled appearance, Nikki didn't realize it was the day before election day when she booked me a month ago.  Our shows are more of a conversation rather than me sitting there and answering questions.  We mix it up, and I think I asked her almost as many things as she asked me.

Of course, we spent plenty of time on politics.  Because I do news for a living, Nikki knows I can't get opinionated, and she adroitly fields those calls, keeping me out of the hot seat.  There were other topics, including food, games, road rage and TV news competition.

The three hours flew by.  The callers and texters were very nice.  Thank you.

Nikki and I made tentative plans to do another show down the road, and I look forward to it.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Andy's Angles: Up the Street


Just up North Washington Avenue from yesterday's photo is this-- the spires of Scranton City Hall on a very grey morning.

It seems any time this building is in the news, it's about something wrong-- deterioration, parts that need repairs, a space crunch, leaks...

Be that as it may, it's a beautiful old building that can use some TLC.

By the way, Fidelity Bank has offices and a branch in the building just to the right of City Hall.  The Scrantonian Tribune called this building home for many, many years.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Andy's Angles: Government Weekend


Scranton and Lackawanna County have a lot going for them.

One of the plusses is seen above-- Courthouse Square, as seen from the parking garage at North Washington and Linden Street.

I really wasn't a fan of the renovation project here several years ago.  While the ugly annex on the Linden Street side had to come down, too many trees were destroyed.  There is far, far too much concrete and granite.

I'm happy to say the new trees are growing nicely, but unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the sea of stone.

By the way, today is Armed Forces Day.  We don't celebrate that as enthusiastically as we once did.  No parade.  No display on the square.  It makes me sad.  Make up for it by thanking people in uniform-- all the time.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Media Friday


The NFL released its 2023-24 schedule last week.  There are five European games.  I can tolerate them because it's nice to see a little football on a Sunday morning.  On the other hand, I always felt those games hose the home town fans, and I still feel that way.

If that isn't enough, the NFL has scheduled a Black Friday game.  The day after Thanksgiving was always college football turf.  There is also a New Year's Eve game.  It's too much, because holidays should be holidays.  I'm sure the TV ratings will be through the roof, which is really what this is all about.

NBC received permission to move one of its playoff games to the Peacock streaming service, so if you want to watch it, you'll have to pay for it.  The exception is, the game will be on broadcast television in the teams' cities.  I'll pass, and it's just one more way to squeeze money out of the fans.

Why are there so many people on the internet who think I want a PhD in pizza?  I love pizza, and there is no doubt those sites receive more hits than this humble little blog, but enough already!

Speaking of "enough,"  it seems like there is a "Jeopardy!" tournament every week.  It's a great game that has stayed mostly gimmick-free.  I just want to see a good game, with three average people.

Thank you to WILK's Nikki Walton Stone, who had me on her afternoon radio show May 15th.  That will be a blog entry, soon, in and of itself.

Paramount owns MTV.  It recently axed its news department and pink slipped a bunch of people.  I haven't been in MTV's target demographic in decades, and I never watch it.  But, anything that exposes young people to news is good.  MTV really did a nice job with "Rock the Vote" a long time ago.  #sad.

Thursday, May 18, 2023



Summer arrived one week ago.  It's now official.  That was the day I stuffed an air conditioner in to my bedroom window.

The house has those split ductless things, which are great.  But, my bedroom gets baked in the afternoon soon.  I need a little more.

It's not a huge unit.  My bedroom isn't enormous  It's just a cumbersome process.  Why don't they make these thing with handles?!

I've looked in to those units on wheels that the TV shopping networks sell.  They make sense on some levels, but there are a lot of bad reviews.

I used to love summers, but when you work the overnight shift, light, heat, and noise are your enemies.  Summer has become my least favorite season.  Lawn mowers.  Leaf blowers.  Weed whackers.  Enough!

And, I hasten to add, this is the life I have chosen.

Fall can't get here fast enough.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Numbers


Surprises, and the expected last night...

Michael Stender wins the special election for state representative in the 108th.  The seat remains in Republican hands.  It's been that way for decades.  A Democrat won a special election in the Philadelphia area, so the Democrats keep control of the state house.  The Republicans still have the majority in the senate.

It's a bit of a surprise in Lackawanna County, where incumbent Democrat county commissioner Jerry Notarianni failed to win a nomination.  The nods go to Bill Gaughan and Matt McGloin.  This was widely believed to be a race for second place, with Notarianni appearing safe.  Go figure.  It seems Notarianni was hurt by a low voter turnout.  Incumbent Chris Chermak and Maria Campbell win the nominations on the Republican side.  Laureen Cummings political comeback falls short.

Paul Ware captures the Democrat and Republican nominations for district justice in Scranton and Dunmore.  He beats back a challenge from Maryclare Hayes.  This was an aggressive race, with Ware keeping his seat.

Michele Bannon cruises to the Democratic nomination for Carbondale mayor.  There are no Republicans in the race.  Barring a strong write in in November, Bannon is the city's next mayor.

Here's a surprise!  Luzerne County had election problems, before, during and after.  First, many ballots weren't printed properly.  Second, Hunlock Township ran out of ballots.  Third, the numbers trickled in.  Can someone explain what is going on here?

Now, on to November.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Election Day


It's finally here.  A spirited primary season comes to a close.  Election day has arrived.

It's an off year primary, and turnout is traditionally low.  That astounds me.  You are electing mayors, council members, school directors, supervisors, judges, magistrates...  These are the people who control your municipal services, your taxes, justice, your roads, the education of your children...  I never understood why people just don't care about this stuff.

My day will consist of some preview stories.   I put together the bulk of them yesterday.  I tweaked a bit this morning.  Our election manager put together a rather extensive briefing book.  That was a big help, but I also did some of my own research, along with the knowledge gained by working elections for a very long time.

It's likely I'll chase down a candidate or two after the polls open at 7 am.

On the ride in to work today, I was reminiscing and doing a little math.  Many of the people who were coworkers and competitors on election day have moved on to other jobs or retired.  That makes me sad.  I miss them.  As for the math, between primaries,  generals, and special elections, if it's not 80, it's close.

Election morning always consisted of a fast food breakfast.  Sadly, the place where I was able to grab a spicy chicken sandwich and fries at 2 am is no longer a 24 hour operation.  I wasn't hungry today, anyway.  I had a couple of cups of hot tea when I arrived at the office.  That is rare for me.  I'm a cold tea kinda guy.

 I always vote after work, but I'm an Independent and I have to sit this one out.  There will be the traditional Tuesday afternoon nap, so I can stay up tonight and watch the numbers come in.  It is entirely possible that we might now know all the winners tonight.

There was a great opportunity to talk a little politics yesterday, for three hours, on Nikki Walton Stone's WILK radio show.  That was spectacular fun, and I'll write more about that down the road.

I'll pass along an update or two in this space today, along with a little analysis tomorrow.

Please, care.  Please, vote!

>>>8:45 AM UPDATE:  I visited a few polling places in Lackawanna County this morning.  All show an extremely light turnout.  Of course, when all is said and done, you have to factor in the mail in vote.  Overall, this looks like a very down primary.

Monday, May 15, 2023



It happened 40 years ago today.  I received my diploma from Marywood College, now Marywood University.

What do I remember about that day?  Morning drizzle moved the commencement from the commons on campus to the performing arts theater.    I really wanted no part of the whole thing, but may parents were proud of me, so I did it for them.

After it was over, I said good bye to some friends, posed for a few photos, and that was just about it.  I really have to dig those photos out one day.  I believe I know where they are.

As I walked back to my car, I decided to stop by the college radio station one last time.  Some of my happiest Marywood moments were within the walls of WVMW.  Al Piela was on the air.  He would be graduating in May of 1984.  Great guy, now a real estate tycoon in Ocean City, Maryland, after many years in broadcasting.  Al sends me a calendar every year.

Any, we chatted a bit.  I looked around one last time.  I thought about all the adventures in the basement of what was then called the Learning Resources Center.  I wasn't the best DJ in the world.  Far from it.  Very far from it.  I was there to learn my craft, which I did.  I hope I entertained a few people along the way.  There was great satisfaction is a new album coming in, finding a good track and then playing it before anyone else did.  It didn't happen often but there were a few times when I listened to the rest of the radio world catch up.

As it was time to leave, I told Al, "Well I have to go now."  Al then proceeded to sing "Go Now" by the Moody Blues as I exited.  An unforgettable moment.  Key line:  "Before you see my cry."  I still listen to it at this time, every year.

As for the rest of the day, I went home, took a nap, and I did my usual WARM 590 shift at midnight.  Yes, friends.  I didn't even take the day off from work.  No party.  No celebration.  No fun.  I wanted it that way.

I am one of those sorry people who tortures themselves constantly with second guessing.  I regret everything.  Every newscast I do, I finish by thinking I should have done some things differently.  Every action.  Every personal relationship.

I made a lot of mistakes at Marywood, but it was a good place to get an education, and my time there was not wasted.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Andy's Angles: Green


This was actually a contender for this month's blog header, but I went with the pink flowering tree instead.

I've noted how I'm trying to up my macro game.  This is a recent shot from along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail in Archbald.

I'm not one for patting myself on the back, but I do like this shot.  River on the right, trail on the left.  Blob of green in the middle.

I'll be back when the colors change in the fall.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

About the Cover: Pink


I wanted something that said "May."  This was the solution-- a tree in bloom at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.

September and October are my favorite months.  Leaves change and we get relief from the brutal summer heat and humidity.  May isn't far behind-- plenty of color and a little warmth as we prepare to sweat for the next three months.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Raison D'etre


The French have a phrase, raison d'etre.  It means a reason for being and a justification for existence.  I took a lot of photos during my recent time off.  Most fall in the "raison d'etre" category.  They don't have one!

On days where I really don't have anything to say, I'll pop up a picture under the raison d'etre banner.

Here is one.

This is a downstream shot of the Susquehanna River at Pittston, a place I've visited with my camera several times over the years.  It's a great place to shoot-- the river is wide with plenty of vegetation.

The photo was taken on a spring morning.  Unfortunately, the sky was grey, but the trees were greening up and there were some pink blooms over on the West Pittston side.

Yes, the photo doesn't really have a raison d'etre, but I like it anyway.

Thursday, May 11, 2023



I stumbled upon the scene above while doing some aimless wandering the other morning.  Crews are ripping off the front of the building that was most recently Burlington, before it moved to Dickson City.  Rumor has it a near by retailer is abandoning its rapidly deteriorating shopping center and will take up a portion of the old Burlington building.

This shopping center has a long and sad history,  It once bustled.  Now, it's mostly empty.
The main building began life as Masters, a huge discount store.  It didn't last long.  Independent Merchants Association and an outlet mall followed.  I liked them.  They didn't last.  This was also home to a "theater" that showed movies for $1 admission.  I saw one movie there, "Dave."  It became one of my favorite films.

The rest of the shopping center housed a supermarket, which would have been at my back when I took this shot.  It's claim to fame became just about the only place you could find cans of Canfield's diet chocolate fudge soda.  Delicious.  

There were some other cool stores here-- a pretty good pizza shop tucked in to a corner.  Carvel!  Packard Outlet, which sold men's clothing.  They all disappeared.  There was a Dollar General here for a while.  You know a shopping center is in trouble when DG deserts it!

The only thing left is Big Lots,  and a hair shop in a separate building at the shopping center's entrance.

The building is on a very busy Business Route 6, but it was never a hugely successful shopping center.  I believe it was hurt when Sugerman's next door went belly up.  Plus the Casey Highway took away some of the vehicle traffic.

I wonder if anything here will ever work.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

First Person: Little Things Becoming Big Things


Early, early Monday morning wasn't turning out to be particularly busy,  Something crossed my computer screen.  It didn't appear to be earth shattering, but I thought it could be interesting.  Photographer Tim and I went out to take a look.

A block of East Ridge Street was closing so the Nanticoke Fire Department could bring in an outside firm to test its hoses-- all 15,000 feet!

Above is a screen grab from the Newswatch 16 story that ran at noon Monday,  I should have taken my own photos, but I was pondering other matters at the time.

Television is all about the visuals, and this one was neat-- fire trucks, and fire hoses strung down the block, water, pressure tests, coiling and uncoiling of all those lines.

Many of us think firefighters only work when something is burning.  Not true.  There is a massive amount of training and equipment maintenance

We could have easily treated this as a routine filler story, but there was more here.  We showed how having tested and working gear gives firefighters more comfort and confidence.  The young man heading the testing, on the left, takes pride when he sees firefighters more effective because he spotted a problem before it became critical.

A long time WNEP employee looked at the script and the video, and he said it might have been the first time we've covered something like this.  In more than forty years of broadcasting, it was a first for me.

Maybe there is a life lesson here:  look deeper.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

It's Time to Go


I used to love the Kentucky Derby.  It meant spring time, fun, parties and mint juleps.  

Now, it means something totally different.

Seven horses died last week at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  Seven!

Similar tragedies happen at tracks around the country, but seven in one week seems to have set a record.

It appears to be a sign this "sport" has run its course.

And I have to note the passing of former Federal Communications Commission head Newton Minow over the weekend.  In the early 60's, Minow called television a "vast wasteland."  Yes, there was a lot of dumb stuff on TV in the early 60's, but the networks regularly broadcast documentaries.  News was taken seriously.  Very seriously.  I know Minow has been out of the public eye for a long time, but I wonder what he thought of today's offerings.  I'm guessing he wasn't pleased.

In today's tidbit of useless trivia, the SS Minnow on "Gilligan's Island" was not named after the little fish.  It was an inside joke the producers made about Newton Minow.

Newton Minow was 97 years old.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Rust Never Sleeps


I've photographed scenes along the Lackawanna River dozens of times over the years, and I think this is the first time I've taken shots of this particular phenomenon.

This is the Lackawanna at the Old Forge/Duryea line.  The rocks here are bright orange.  It's easy to understand why.  Acidic mine drainage stains the rocks.  Voila!  Orange.

It happens elsewhere.  It isn't pretty.

Politicians looking for photo ops have been here many times over the years, promising a solution.As you can see, well, you know the rest.

Solutions are not really practical and the things that have been kicked out are supremely expensive.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think we'll just have to live with it.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Andy's Angles: The Color of Spring


Green is often considered to be THE color of springtime.  The grass greens up.  Green leaves pop up on the trees.  If green is first, yellow has to be a close second.

Daffodils are usually among the first flowers to appear.  This beauty is alive and well in the Rose Garden at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Andy's Angles: Yellow Focus


This one nearly wound up as this month's header, but I did something similar in March of 2020, just as the pandemic started rolling.   That photo was taken on the WNEP property in Moosic.

This is a forsythia along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, near Laurel Street in Archbald.

I've long said my macro game needs work, and I was attempting a little creativity here.  Notice, the focus is on the upper right, showing that the focus of a photo doesn't necessarily have to be in the middle.

Another in the yellow series tomorrow.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Andy's Angles: Mellow Yellow


Yes, I know Andy's Angles is traditionally a Saturday/Sunday thing.  I did take a lot of photos during a recent vacation.  Most are "springy," so I'm getting them on the blog before summer blasts in to high gear.

This weekend's theme is "yellow."

This tulip is part of the Rose Garden, facing Arthur Avenue, behind the Everhart Museum, at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.

It's on the verge of what, no doubt, will be a beautiful bloom.

More yellow tomorrow.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Cable Changes


When big and controversial events occur, it's often best to sit back, learn as much as you can, and let the dust settle before commenting.

The time has come.

FOX News parted ways with 8 pm host Tucker Carlson last month.  He was leading the charge on allegations the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and a voting machine company. Dominion, was part of the conspiracy.  FOX settled out of court, paying Dominion about three-quarters of a billion dollars.  As I noted before, there was no way FOX could let this go to trial.  The risk of exposing internal secrets and assorted dirty laundry was too much of a risk.  Cut the check, pick up the pieces, and move on.

Carlson was the main face of the vote fraud story.  Plus internal emails that came out in the pre trial process showed Carlson was tough to handle, abusive, out of control...

Another nail in the coffin was advertisers abandoning his show.  Carlson was a dominant number one in his time period, but what good is it if you can't make money from the ratings?

It's unfortunate.  Tucker Carlson was a talented young journalist, and I enjoyed his appearances on all of the political panel shows when he was starting out.

He changed.

It reminded me of the CBS story on President George W. Bush's military service record, or lack of one.  Dan Rather was convinced it was true, even if he didn't have the evidence.  The only "proof" Rather had was a forged and phony document.  The story and the half hearted, at best, apology wrecked Rather's career.  He should have known better, but Rather's agenda apparently overwhelmed the truth.

Tucker Carlson has a ton of options.  First, he's sitting on all that FOX money.  Second, he can form his own company, putting his content on the internet.  Others have done it, but there is no way Carlson will have the same clout as he had in prime time on the number one cable news network.

By the way, we'll all be better off when we realize most of the cable "news" on television is not news.  It's opinion.  Take it for what it's worth, and always remember, the way you can do the most harm to a broadcaster is to hit the "off" switch.

Moving on...

CNN bounced morning news anchor Don Lemon on the same day Tucker Carlson was shown the door.

CNN management took the very opinionated Lemon out of prime time and installed him on a revamped morning show, one that still fails to gain traction.  You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube.  We know how Lemon feels about everything, and making him an anchor on a straight news show just didn't work.  Viewers couldn't trust a word he said because we heard everything he spewed at night.

I read an enormous Walter Cronkite biography several years ago.  He was a liberal, but you never knew it.  At 6:30 every night, Cronkite took it right down the middle, and he because the "most trusted man in America."  Current news  broadcasters, this paragraph is what I call a teachable moment.  The path to long term success is not in uttering your opinion on everything.  It's not dancing on web sites.  It's being someone your audience trusts.  It might not be flashy, and it might not earn you a ton of money.  But, at least you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning.  You can walk out of the studio every morning and night and not be ashamed of what you've said or done.  It's not about you.  It's about the news.

And, there is more.  Published reports say Lemon wasn't a team player.  There were frequent clashes with co workers, some of which were on the air.

Like Carlson, Don Lemon is sitting on a ton of money.  He'll be okay.  I wonder, however, about his options.  Don Lemon is damaged goods tight now.  It might be a while before we see him again.

But, we are a country of second chances.

I should also note the recent passing of singer Gordon Lightfoot.  84 years old.  Folk music was never really my genre, but "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was a haunting masterpiece.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

History Repeats


The Reading and Northern Railroad, a few months ago, announced that it would run weekend train trips from Pittston to Jim Thorpe, and I understand ticket sales are through the roof.  The excursions start later this month.

That makes me happy, and I hope an entire new generation is learning to appreciate trains.

The beginning and end point is along North Main Street in Pittston.  I stopped by during my recent vacation to take a look around, and it was impressive.

I couldn't get close and the photo above doesn't do it justice.  The boarding platform is still under construction.  Two things jumped out at me.  There is a ton of parking here, and that's important.  You're looking forward to a good time, and the last thing you want is a parking nightmare.  The other item shows some thought and money are going in to the process.  Take a look at the left,  near the dark colored pick up truck.  Period lighting will line the access road and the parking area.  That's a nice touch.

This looks to be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

History Lost and Found, Part II


Yesterday, I began a discussion centering on the destruction of an auto dealer that was part of the burned out slaughterhouse complex, along Hull Avenue in Olyphant.  I am particularly concerned about the fate of a big Studebaker logo above one of the doors.  So far, I have no answers.

I do love the photo above because you can see  the ghost of the old Granada Theater logo that is on the back of one of the buildings in the distance.  It fronts on Lackawanna Avenue.

Be that at is may, as I poked around and snapped pictures, take a look at what I found.

Blowing around in the rubble, some bills and one check from when there was a Chevrolet dealership here.  The dates are hard to read, but there are items from 1938!  And, look at the phone number!

This is just a small sample of what was floating around here, all destined for the landfill.

I hope that masonry  Studebaker logo I showed you yesterday enjoys a better fate.

Monday, May 1, 2023

History: Lost and Found, Part I

 Fire destroyed an old slaughterhouse along Hull Avenue in Olyphant back in February.  Below is a photo I took a few days after the flames were out.

It was a big, hulking building-- a danger and an eyesore.  I'm glad no one was hurt putting out the fire, and I'm sure no one was sorry to see it go.

I spied something else when I was here, and those photos are below.

The remnants of an old auto dealer are part of the complex.  I hoped someone would save the Studebaker logo above one of the doors.

When I stopped by recently to see the demolition, I didn't see it in the rubble.  Much of it had already been carted away.  The demolition workers were too busy to talk.

Below is what's left of the auto building.

The Studebaker logo would have been above the entrance at the right corner of this photo.

I know there are salvage businesses that specialize in saving things like the logo, and I hope they paid a visit here.  It would be a shame if it was destroyed.

Tomorrow, a bit of unexpected archaeology at the site!