Saturday, September 30, 2023

Andy's Angles: Flowery Weekend


You can't get enough flowers and color in your life.  This weekend, it's a few more photos from my early August visit to the Garden of Cedar in Scranton.

I was born without the "green thumb" gene, so I don't even try.  However, I do appreciate the work of others.

There is a lot here to admire, and it was a great morning to exercise "depth of field" skills.  

Tomorrow, a little more color.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Free Speech


I am a firm believer in free speech.  I also believe "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

The New York Jets are struggling mightily this season under the leadership of backup quarterback Zach Wilson.  

The face of the franchise, Joe Willie Namath, who led the Jets to their one and only Super Bowl win, went on a radio show this week and savaged young Mr. Wilson.  It was brutal.  For the record, Wilson is an adult, and a well paid professional.  Slings and arrows come with the job.  The world knows the Jets are awful.  Namath was just piling on, and I didn't see a need for it.  He could have said the same things, but in a much more diplomatic fashion.  It's tough to have sympathy for a kid who makes more in a year than I'll make in a lifetime, but I did.  Joe Willie was just being mean.

On an unrelated note, Terry Kirkman died last week.  He was one of the founders of "The Association."  "Along Comes Mary" is one of pop's greatest songs-- ever.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Here We Go Again


There is a new bill in the state legislature to get rid of smoking just about everywhere.  As it stands now, you can still smoke in smoke shops, parts of casinos, and bars that make less than 20 per cent of their money from food.

There is a strong lobby to kill this bill, like similar bills in the past.  Watching this one die wouldn't surprise me.  As has been said many times, follow the money.  Some people and organizations with big bucks never want this bill to see the light of day.

A dead bill makes no sense on several levels.  It's been proven, time and again, that there is no safe level of second hand smoke.  Bill opponents say going in to an establishment that allows smoking is a personal choice.  The same goes with working there.  I do get that, but there is a long list of safe workplace regulations already on the books.  Why second hand smoke isn't on the list is a mystery.

I'm not as much of a fanatic about this issue these days.  It's really easy to avoid places that allow smoking, and I really don't go out as much, anywhere, these days.

Bill killers predict the economic collapse of the casino and bar industry.  Show me.  Places that have totally banned smoking are not boarded up.  Casinos are still making box car loads of money.  Bars adapt.  You might lose some smokers along the way.  You'll gain the people who don't like smoke, and probably wind up with more customers in the long run.

Call me skeptical, but it was a nice try.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023



One of the earliest television memories I have is sitting on the couch with my mom, and watching the TV game show "Concentration" in the 60's.

"Concentration" was an NBC mid morning staple for years, and I enjoyed it, even though as a tot, I wasn't very good at it.  It was visual, and fun, and the half hour flew by.

The show is tough to describe succinctly, but "Concentration" was a memory game, where you have to match prizes to uncover clues on a giant puzzle board.  Solve the rebus, and win the game.

While "Concentration" had several versions over the years, it's been off the air for a very long time.   I still play, and here's how.

The latest round was early Monday morning.  It was pouring, thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia.  In "Concentration," you had to remember the numbers that hid the matching prizes.  In my round, you had to remember the locations of the potholes on Scranton streets.  You couldn't see them because they were filled with Ophelia water.  Olyphant Avenue, Boulevard Avenue, and South Washington Avenue are especially bad.  I kept waiting for Hugh Downs to appear.

How did I do?  I didn't win a car, but I arrived at work with my car still in one piece.  I only hit one pothole, and it was a glancing strike, at best.

I managed to control my anger and take advantage of my "Concentration."

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tuesday Scrapple


Is there anyone who doesn't hit the "skip ad" button when they have the chance?

I'm still amazed at the number of people who ignore the "wipers on, headlights on" law.

A giant mine related sink hole opened up in Glen Lyon Sunday.  Considering this area's history and how mine owners skirted the rules for years, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.

Ophelia's slow movement was frustrating.  I've never been close to a hurricane or tropical storm.  One day, I'd like to be at the beach, safely, and watch the big waves.

Thanks to the people from Nicholson, who gave me a ton of blog hits over the weekend.

Even though I don't watch much television, other than the news, I'm happy the Hollywood writers union strike is over.

Amazon Prime Video is adding commercials.  How much more money does this company need?

It looks like NBC's "Tonight" show is taking on water because of allegations of Jimmy Fallon's misbehavior.  I've always said Fallon is a talented guy, but "Tonight" isn't the right vehicle for him.

The new iPhones are out.  I'll pass.

I don't find supermarket shopping as much fun these days.

There are dozens of Facebook pages dedicated to dead and dying malls.  I look at a few from time to time, remembering when malls used to be cool.

I watched a few "Quiz Show" clips over the weekend, just an outstanding movie.

I'm really looking forward to fall foliage season.

It's a good thing I don't gamble.  There were simply some bizarre football outcomes, pro and college, over the weekend.

The new "The Price is Right" studio made its debut yesterday.  The producers were smart not to screw around with a classic look.


Monday, September 25, 2023

Biting the Hand


The National Football  League wields considerable power over the media in this country.  That's why it's a little surprising, and refreshing, when someone who makes their living off the league issues criticism.

It came last week from former Bengal and Jet Boomer Esiason.  On his WFAN radio morning show, Esiason said the league has a real problem on its hands, in the form of violence at football games-- not on the field, but in the seats.

Fights and football go hand in hand, or fist in fist.  It's nothing new, but some fights this year have increased, and some were horribly violent.  By the way, fighting over sports teams might be one of the stupidest and saddest things ever.  Isn’t there anything more important in your life?  

Exposing the problem is the first step, and I'm glad Esiason did that.  It took guts to bite the hand, and it should be noted that Esiason is on the CBS TV pre game show Sunday afternoons.  The solution is elusive.  Increasing security is a no-brainer.  I don't think security can stop fights, but it can break them up quickly.

And, then there is alcohol.  Beer companies spend big money to advertise on television, on radio, and in stadiums.  Limiting in-stadium sales won't go over well, with breweries or fans.  Plus, there is no way you could have enough security to patrol tailgate parties in parking lots.

Yes, Boomer, the league does have a big problem.  It faces some difficult choices ahead.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Andy's Angles: Fogged In


It never fails.  It was a crystal clear summer morning where I live.  No haze.  No smoke.  Clear and wonderful.

While I have dozens of photos of the Nicholson Bridge, or the Tunkhannock Viaduct, I felt the urge to go up there and play with my wide angle lens, which I acquired a few years ago.

I knew I was in trouble as I approached from the east.  It was around 7:30 in the morning and a dense fog had settled over the valley.  It's happened before, and I should have known better.  Nicholson visits should be saved for afternoons.

I played with the shot in a couple of editing programs I have.  There was no saving it.

Enjoy!  It is what it is.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Andy's Angles: Before and After


As Newswatch 16 reported several months ago, the old Nicholson train station has been restored.  Above is a shot I took back in 2018.

Below is the finished product.  I'm really impressed, and it tickles me to no end when history is restored.  There is so much pride here in this part of Wyoming County.  Add this to the list.

It's quite a change, and clearly, it was more than slapping on a coat of paint.

And, yes, I do know the photos are of opposite ends of the building.  You can tell by the larger overhang on the left in the old photo and the right in the new one.

Friday, September 22, 2023

10 +


Regular blog readers know I'm big on history, especially broadcasting history and local history.  There were a couple of broadcasting history gems earlier this week.  Today, it's the latter.

I'm really sorry this escaped me, but late July marked ten years since the old Hotel Sterling was demolished.  The building at Market and River in downtown Wilkes-Barre was built in 1898, and what a grand building it was!

Sadly, the years were not kind.  The place was never the same after the 1972 Agnes flood.  It deteriorated, and badly.  And speaking of local media history, at one time, the Sterling was host to the Citizens Voice newspaper and WBRE radio.

Part of one of the best nights of my life was spent at the Sterling, and no, not that way.  There was an election night in the early 80's when the Republican congressional candidate was headquartered at the Sterling and the Democrat was at the then  Sheraton Crossgates on Public Square.  North Franklin St. and Bennett Place was the short cut between the two.  I was on the radio and tasked with covering both candidates.  My night was spent running between the two, and as luck would have it, I caught both the concession speech and the victory speech.   I went home very happy that night, or rather, that morning.

I also met Bob and Elizabeth Dole here.  Regardless of what you thought about Bob's politics, he was a great American.

It was sad to see the building come down, and I am even more sad the Sterling couldn't be saved.  There are plans for a new hotel and parking garage here.  We're still waiting, but then again, the world has been strange for the last several years.

I'm kicking myself while I'm looking at this.  Again, this is a ten year old photo, shot from North Franklin St., back in the days when most of my stuff was on "automatic" or "landscape."  This one was begging for "shutter priority" so I could freeze the motion of the bricks and other debris falling to the ground.  As it turned out, there was enough morning sunlight to allow for the camera to go with a decent shutter speed, anyway.  You can see the bricks tumble on the left of the photo.  A faster shutter speed would have sharpened the shot.

But, breaking news!  I dug in to my files and discovered I had the camera in the "sports" mode.  Yes, it speeds up the shutter, and it allows you to hold down the shutter button for several shots in rapid succession.  Some call it the "spray and pray" mode-- fire off a number of shots quickly, and hope you get a good one.

I'm a better photographer now.  I'm sure if I had another chance at it, this would be a much better photo, but there was only one Hotel Sterling.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Dust in the Wind


The controversy over Pennsylvania primary elections is taking another turn.

Five former PA governors, three Republican and two Democrat, have called on the legislature to pass a bill mandating open primaries.

As it currently stands, only Democrats and Republicans are eligible to vote in primaries.  Independents have to sit and watch from the sidelines.

The governors say it's a matter of fairness.  Independents help pay for the elections.  They should have a voice.  Pennsylvania has 1.2 million Independent or third party members.  Only seven states have closed primaries.

Proponents say open primaries will help moderate candidates succeed.  Opponents believe only party members should choose candidates for the general election.  A Jefferson County Republican controls the committee that has the major power over the open primary bill, and he's said he will refuse to bring it up for a vote.

A recent survey shows 74 per cent of Pennsylvania voters favor open primaries.

It reminds me of all the legislative complaining when we switch between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time.  Do something, or drop it, already.

Something is out of whack somewhere.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Wednesday Scrapple


Can we stop the "I was today old when..." stuff already?

A 17 year old football player dies on the field, and I get this horrible feeling it could have been prevented.  The investigation should be interesting.

The United Senate relaxed its dress code.  Do you remember when institutions used to stand for something?

The new moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press" began her tenure with a stunt.  Please see previous entry about institutions that used to stand for something.

The New York Times farmed out its sports section this week.  See previous entry about institutions that used to stand for something.

Will a new UAW union contract place the cost of a new car out of reach for the middle class?

It's 2023.  Why are there still mink coats?

Wendy's has discontinued the strawberry Frosty for the season.  I can be more than happy with the chocolate.

If you want an eye opener, buy a police radio and note the number of overdoses on the weekend overnight shift.  It worsens every week.

My old friend, the great David DeCosmo, recently celebrated a birthday.  The man is a legend and I'm glad we worked together.  Plus, David was a tremendous help during my radio pup days.

It never fails to irritate me when football fans gloat over an overwhelming win against a vastly lesser, cupcake opponent.  Plus, running up the score during high school games has become a weekly thing.   Show some class. It's one of the reasons I don't follow sports as closely as I once did.  Of course, I do need a passing knowledge because of the job.

How could a flood kill more than 11-thousand in Libya?

Why did it take the government so long to determine some popular decongestants don't work?  What have they been doing all these years?

One word if Twitter charges a fee:  delete.

Monday Night Football will be on ABC every week.  The network needs material because of the writers' strike.  Just like the old days.  Nostalgia.  I like that.

By the way, Buck and Aikman have now passed Summerall/Madden as the longest tenured NFL broadcasting duo.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023



We are devoted to a minor bit of television history today.  This is the 40th anniversary of the debut of "Press Your Luck" on CBS.

I was working nights on the radio at the time.  My days were free and I remember watching that first week.  My thoughts then are the same as they are now-- mildly amusing.  The questions weren't very challenging, and the "spin" rounds lasted far too long.  Peter Tomarken was a solid host, coming off a stint on the underrated NBC game show "Hit Man."  I really loved that one.

"Press Your Luck" lasted three years on CBS daytime, and a prime time version still pops up on ABC once in a while.  The new version features a computerized and utterly randomly changing game board.  The CBS version had a pattern that could be recognized, and a contestant did that to his advantage, racking up an unbelievable amount of cash and prizes.

In a bit of useless trivia, "Press Your Luck" actually is a retooled version of a short lived ABC daytime show called "Second Chance."  It was prematurely cancelled because ABC had already committed to another show and had given it a firm start date.

Even though PYL was never a major hit, there are still a lot of people who know what you are talking about when you say "big bucks, no Whammys."

And, while we are discussing anniversaries, yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the debut of "WKRP in Cincinnati."  I always thought the show was wildly uneven.  Some episodes were hilarious.  Others were yawns.   The show did introduce us to some unforgettable characters.  I spent more than ten years in radio, a valuable experience.  I worked with Johnny Fever types, and the producers really nailed the salesman Herb Tarlek character.

Monday, September 18, 2023



I'm hooked on those satellite radio rebroadcasts of those old Casey Kasem "American Top 40" shows from the 70's and I've told you that before.

My favorite part of the show is 40 to 20.  That's where you hear the big hits on their way down, and some songs that were very good, but never reached the top tier.

I was listening to an episode, a couple of weeks ago, from September of 1978.  Guest host Larry McKay introduced a song from the great Rita Coolidge.  It was called "You."  I thought to myself, "I don't remember that one."  That was, until I heard it.

The words didn't come back, but the melody did-- along with Coolidge's fantastic voice.  "You" is a bit on the disco side, and that's okay-- even for a kid who was only about a year away from becoming a long haired rock and roll disc jockey, and yes, we did play discs in those days.  Not all disco was bad.  September 1978 was the start of my senior year in high school.

A little research made me feel better.  I didn't remember "You" because it didn't get a ton of airplay.  It made it as high as 25 on the Top 40 chart, but 3 on the adult contemporary chart.  For those of you unfamiliar, it is just what it sounds.  Songs that appeal to a slightly older crowd.

As you might have guessed, Alexa is probably tired of me asking her to play it.  In spite of it all, she never fails.

The moral of today's story is this is just another example of the power of music, the power of radio, and the memories they inspire.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Andy's Angles: The Globe


It always was The Globe, and it always will be The Globe.

I always think of this place and this time of year-- back to school time.  One stop shopping for just about everything a kid needed.

It's now the Lackawanna County Government Center on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton-- a tribute to drywall and cheap vinyl flooring.

Oddly, I didn't have a big problem with the county's purchase.  It was empty for a long time and there were no signs of interest.  It was so sad to see it vacant.

Unfortunately, from the inside and outside, it's really nothing special.  There was so much potential here, and it's done nothing to revitalize this part of the downtown.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Andy's Angles: Nightwatch Weekend


There is a certain charm to walking around downtown Scranton on a still night, or morning, which I did in late August.

I'm just sorry I didn't have my good camera with me, so a camera phone will have to suffice.  This is the Lackawanna County Courthouse, from Adams Avenue, with the Scranton Electric sign in the distance.

And a few blocks away, this is the shot down Lackawanna Avenue, pointing west, from the corner of Lackawanna and Wyoming.  That's the bridge crossing the avenue, at the Marketplace at Steamtown.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Let's Review


Another vacation week is in its last hours...

As I have already established, September vacations are great because the weather cools nicely.  How did that work out for me?  It was days of record heat and oppressive humidity.  Things are moderating, and it's time to get back to work.

I hasten to add that my issues were a minor nuisance when compared to the utter misery of Saturday night's storms.  I consider myself to be extremely fortunate.

The time off was nothing special-- slightly productive, with a flu shot and car maintenance.   I did a little visiting, took a few photos, read a little (not nearly enough), wrote some letters, grew a vacation beard, shaved a vacation beard and got plenty of sleep.

I didn't watch one second of the NFL and Major League Baseball.  It just didn't interest me.

It's back to the grind tonight, and I'm not complaining.  I miss my desk.

There are weeks off in October and November, plus several scattered day off.

Let's get back to work.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hot Stuff


I don't twist it in as often as I once did, but I do watch the Food Network once in a while.  Valerie Bertinelli can cook me anything, but I understand her show is cancelled.  PBS has a dwindling few shows worth watching.

Note to the kids:  "twist in" is an archaic reference we old people use, harkening back to the days when televisions had dials.

I don't cook.  The food shows are a simple diversion from the doom and gloom out there.  Even dedicated newsies need a break once in a while.

I was lucky, and I never fail to count my blessings.  Both of my parents worked, both were good cooks, and both made sure there was a good dinner on the table every afternoon.

Here is where I'm going with this.  Those TV people take the temperature of EVERYTHING!  We had a thermometer in a drawer.  I never saw the folks use it.  Yes, I know you need it for specialized applications like candy making, but we never did any of that.  My folks knew when something was done by the look, the aroma, the feel, the time,  the way they regulated the heat of the oven or under the pan.  It always came out fine.  No thermometer necessary.

I suspect it's a skill learned from their parents, and their parents before them.  Remember, these were the days before ovens with digital controls and state of the art cookware.  No easy pots.  No microwaves.  I can still those big, old coal stoves and giant cast iron pans.  I just can't my nana poking a probe in to anything.

You didn't need a thermometer.  You just needed to know what you were doing.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Go Serve Yourself


I saw a newspaper story last week that said a huge fast food chain is phasing out self service soda dispensers in its dining rooms.

The company reasons that the bulk of its business is now drive through and delivery.  Fewer people are eating in the building.  The machines are an expense and a maintenance issue.  Out they go!  The story goes on to say employees won't be burdened with the task of filling your drink, even if you dine-in.  They'll have a machine behind the counter for that.  Translation:  I hope you like ice because you are going to be getting a lot more of it in your drinks!  At least the self service machines were customizable.  You could get as much ice, or as little, as you liked.  It's the American way.  Pay more, get less.

Drink up!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Tuesday Scrapple


In the "Portnoy versus Dragon Pizza" feud, I'm siding with Portnoy.

A heat wave is bad enough, but it's especially awful when it comes at a time when you look forward to cooler weather.

The Hollywood strikes seem like a case of mutually assured destruction.

I like "Hungry Heart" and Pink Cadillac."  Otherwise, I'm not much of a Springsteen fan.  I'm still distressed he's having some health problems.

I was never a big Jimmy Buffett guy, either.  Still, his passing saddens me.

One more musical note, pardon the pun.  I was listening to the satellite radio 70's channel this week and heard a few Linda Ronstadt songs.  What a marvelous voice!

The NFL season is underway.  It bothers me to say I'm underwhelmed.

I will not be purchasing Wendy's new pumpkin spice Frosty.

September hits, and it seems like some road repair projects pick up steam.  Check the calendar.  Construction season is nearing its end.

School bus driver has to be one of the toughest occupations out there.

I usually sail through flu shots, but I did feel a tad bit feverish after my shot last week.  It could have been the heat.  Regardless, it passed quickly.  Get your shot!

Tennis is a wonderful game.  To me, it seems like the U.S. Open and Wimbledon take an eternity to complete.

Hurricane Lee looks terrifying.  Let's hope it turns to the north.

I am still amazed by the people who have the onions, in spite of security cameras everywhere, to load up carts and simply stroll out of stores.  Penalties need to increase, or the retail industry will collapse.

I won't miss summer.  I will miss sweet corn season.

Gerry Rafferty and Stealers Wheel, "Stuck in the Middle with You" is an outstanding song.

Boscov's is advertising winter coats.

The Saturday night flooding is heartbreaking.  Sadly, there isn't much you can do when it rains several inches in just a few hours.

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Rideless Ride


The familiar sign was there, but this year's day in Jessup dedicated to SGT Jan Argonish was quite different.

Jan was killed in Afghanistan 16 years ago.  There was a charity motorcycle ride for 15 years, with the money raised going to help veterans and their families in need.  For a variety of personal reasons, I couldn't attend last year-- the first one I've missed in eons.

Last year was the final ride.  Organizers thought 15 years was a good time to cap it off.  Yesterday, it was a small picnic in Jessup-- food and drink, some music, raffles, etc.

It reminded me of when Jerry Lewis scaled back the telethon.

I stopped by for a few minutes, took a few pictures, caught up with some old friends.

While the event has changed, the mission remains the same.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Andy's Angles: Summer Steeples. Day and Night


No major reason for today's entry.  I just liked the photo.

This is Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church on Prospect Avenue in south Scranton.  The towers look amazing against a clear blue summer sky.

Conversely a summer night shot.

Actually, a summer morning shot.  This is St. Peter's Cathedral, on a camera phone, as I strolled around downtown Scranton on a recent morning.  I love the lights on the building.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Andy's Angles: Sunflowers


This was a contender for the September header, and I should have posted it sooner, but some other things got in the way.

This is one of the sunflowers at the Gardens of Cedar in Scranton.  It was shot on a mid summer morning and it was a rarity.  The summer's morning didn't have any of that typical smoke, haze and humidity we've been accustomed to.

It was nothing but blue sky and sunshine-- and flowers.

By the way, this is the photo right out of the camera.  Yes, I could have cropped it a bit, but I didn't touch the lighting or the colors.  Nature at its finest!

Friday, September 8, 2023

John Hart


I'm sorry I didn't get to this until now, but somehow the passing of John Hart escaped me.  I didn't learn of John's death until I saw page one of his wonderful community newspaper, The Dunmorean.

I first met John when he worked for the old Scrantonian Tribune.  We hit it off.   He was such a nice man, and very kind to newbies in the business.

John is responsible for one of the funnier moments in my radio career.  I was working for WARM 590 while John was promoting a big festival at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.  My assignment that day was to do a story on the upcoming festival.  By the way, I believed then, as I do now, that Nay Aug Park is an underused asset.

Be that as it may, John and I were riding around the park in a golf cart, and he listed the attractions and where there would be located.  John pointed to the area where there would be kiddie rides and things children would enjoy.  He added, "Over here, we will have the adult entertainment."  Of course, John meant polka bands, big band music, and things for the older crowd.  People with a playful imagination, including some of my afternoon news cohorts, joked that "adult entertainment" sounded a big naughty, and we got a good laugh out of it while I was editing the tape.

John loved Scranton and Carbondale, old cars, old trains, and old trolleys.  Our community is a better place because we had John Hart on our side.  I'm glad I knew him.

Thursday, September 7, 2023



It is one of the most important things I do each year-- receive a flu shot.

Yesterday's edition came in the morning.  I made an on-line appointment at a big medical group a few weeks ago. I arrived on time, lifted my sleeve, got the jab, and it was done.  It didn't hurt, but I know my arm will be a little sore tomorrow.

A flu shot isn't a guarantee.  However, it does give you a decent chance of avoiding the flu this winter.  If you do get it, the symptoms will be less severe.  Please, don't believe all the junk out there that says you'll actually get the flu if you receive the shot.

Do it for yourself.  More importantly, do it for your family, friends, and coworkers.  A little peace of mind goes a long way.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Business Wednesday


U.S. Steel is weighing sale offers.  No timetable is set.  I do check the Pittsburgh newspapers just about every day, and there is considerable concern out west that a sale will mean a reduced U.S. Steel presence in the city.  It's another "wait and see" situation.  One can only hope the board of directors and the shareholders do the right thing.  But, just remember, U.S. Steel is a business, not a charity.  It's supposed to make money.

At least a half dozen AM radio stations went off the air last week.  There are essentially two reasons.  The first-- they are losing money.  The second-- the owners realize the land occupied by the tower is worth more than the station itself.

I am very hesitant to weigh in on the situation with our friends down the street, because there is still much that isn't known.  As you may have heard, the Scranton Times Tribune, the Pottsville Republican, the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice,  and the Hazleton Standard Speaker have been sold to an investment group.  A look at its track record shows a history of cutting jobs, and therefore reducing local journalism.  I'm already hearing horror stories from the locals.  Some newspaper employees have expressed their concern, and anger, on social media.  Pay cuts.  Loss of vacation time.

When I was a radio pup, spending a lot of time at the Lackawanna County Courthouse, I marveled at the skills of Fran D'Andrea, Pat McKenna and others.  Tom Staff had a handle on city hall up the street, and Bill Halpin knew everything that was going on inside the federal building on North Washington Avenue.   I mean EVERYTHING!  The same goes for Frank Scholz, who left us several years ago. I've known Dave Singleton and Borys Krawczeniuk for more than thirty years.   Rich Mates, now retired, was always a fun read.   I respect them all.

The newspaper industry in general, and local papers in particular, have struggled in recent years.  You can tell.  All the signs are there.  Headline fonts are larger.  Photos are bigger.  It's all to disguise the fact that there are fewer stories.  Craig's List killed the classifieds.  The Sunday paper was a "must" for coupon clippers.  Many of those are gone.  The same goes for the circulars.  It is a much thinner paper.

We all hope for the best, but the handwriting is on the wall.

It just makes me sad.

And, before I go, a few words about local versus out of out of town control of a newspaper, tv station or radio station.  I spent nearly 11 years at WARM.  The home office was in York, and we did much more community service than the radio stations that were headquartered in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre.  When I was at WYOU, we were owned by a wonderful, family company in Bangor, Maine.  We did parades, a high school football game of the week, helped build a Habitat for Humanity home, the Easter Seals telethon, and several other things.  WNEP has been under a few different owners in my 25+ years.  The home office has been in New York, Chicago, suburban Cincinnati, and now in McLean, Virginia.  St. Joseph's Telethon?  Still there.  Feed a Friend?  Still there.  Endless promotion of community fund raisers?  Still there.  Promoting the work of Allied Services?  Still there.  We've given out thousands of smoke alarms.  We've helped find furever homes for pets in shelters.  The Super 16 Dream Team.

The location of the home office is irrelevant.  The location of your heart is.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023



Sleeping Homer is back and that signals the start of another vacation week.

September was always a huge vacation month for me.  I like the cooler weather and, because the kids are back in school, nothing is crowded.  It's a moot point these days, in that I rarely venture beyond the back porch.

The forecast of a heat wave leaves me distressed, but I should have cooler weather for the tail end of the vacation.

Outside of the usual things of sleep, reading, photography and a few walks, there is nothing major on the agenda.  

There is some productivity on the map, including car maintenance and a flu shot.  More on the shot down the road.

The weekend morning broadcasts are in good hands, and I'll still be around with my daily ventures here, in to the insignificant.

I'll call you back later.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Labor Day


Labor Day has finally arrived, and regular blog readers know it is among my favorite holidays.

It means a return to cooler weather, kids back in school, smaller crowds everywhere, less weekend traffic, and whole bunch of other good things.

For people of my era and slightly older, Labor day was always Jerry Lewis telethon day.  The man helped raise millions to fight muscular dystrophy and time will never dim those accomplishments.

I'll admit that Lewis was never my cup of tea.  However, I was watching an ancient appearance on "What's My Line?"  He was clever, funny and charming.

I digress.

Above is a recent early morning photo of the statue of labor leader John Mitchell, on the Adams Avenue side of Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton, complete with my shadow in the foreground.

Some many people worked so hard to build this country, and work hard to keep it going.

Please, remember what the day is all about.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Andy's Angles: Lighting Up the Night


Yesterday, I promised a couple more shots of the old Parodi cigar factory on North Main Avenue in Scranton.

I was trying to get that long exposure glow effect.  The shot you above is a 6 second exposure with an f 11, hence the little starry effect from the light shining down from the top floor.

While the shot you see directly above looks a bit like the one from yesterday, I did take it from the other side of the street.

It's worth a trip out of your way to see the finished product.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

About the Cover

There are a couple of stories behind this month's header.

My childhood neighborhood  never had mosquitoes when I was growing up because all the old Italian men in town smoked Parodi's and the aroma kept them away.

It broke my heart when Parodi abandoned this building along North Main Avenue in Scranton.  We lost a lot of history when production moved.

A developer stepped in and turned the factory in to apartments.

Let's fast forward to the morning of  Tuesday, August 22.   I was running early, so I avoided Interstate 81 and took the long way to work, down Main Avenue.  I find long drives in the middle of the night to be therapeutic.  Think time.  Singing along with the oldies radio station and no one sees you.

As I was driving south on Main, I saw an unfamiliar orange reddish glow in the distance.  As I drove closer, I spied what you see above and it absolutely blew me away.  I could not get it out of my mind.

I returned with my camera on one of my days off, early on the morning of the 24th.  Radar showed a gap in the showers and I had my opportunity around 5 am.  The wet street, reflecting the lights, adds to the atmosphere.

How I got the shot?   It was a 10 second exposure at f 11, and I really had to under expose.  The brightness of the sign on the front absolutely blew everything else away, and I really should have underexposed even more.   There wasn't much traffic, so there is only a single light trail in the south bound lane of Main Avenue.

There is even more lighting in the back, which you can see while traveling on the North Scranton Expressway.  I was going to shoot it, but I didn't want to get arrested for prowling.  Now that the sun sets earlier and rises later, I'll be back at a more reasonable hour.

A couple of different angles tomorrow.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Friday Scrapple


Do you get the feeling Shohei Ohtani watched millions of dollars fly out the window last week?

I smell fall, and I'm happy... but there is still plenty of hot weather coming up, and I'm sad.

Does anyone still shred their own cheese?

The Little League World Series seemed longer this year, and the high school football season arrived faster than usual.

The horror of the Maui fires isn't wearing off for me.  And, hurricanes will forever fascinate me.

WE ARE...  last in football academics in the Big Ten!

Last week's Republican presidential candidate debate had far too much screaming for me.

I like $5 bills.  So versatile.

I still believe Post Its are one of the greatest inventions in American history.

The "drought watch" for my county is finally over!

I know the subject material is controversial, especially for someone who went to a Catholic college, and for someone who started on a radio station owned by a Catholic college, but Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" is a fine song, and yes, I remember every word.

Late night TV is so bad, I almost long for Conan O'Brien.

I never tire of the "college kids moving into dorms" story.

Remember the days when a mosquito bite was a minor nuisance rather than a major health crisis?