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THE RIGHT TO GRIPE

I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!







Friday, April 27, 2012

GRIPE SHOTS

As you all know by now, as the week goes by, things that happen pile up in my brain causing a back log of GRIPE. When this log jam of anger builds there is only one thing I can do.  No, going out to beat up on some poor schmuck is not the answer.  No, abusing small animals is not the answer either.  And certainly kicking your wife down the steps is not the answer.  That will only land you in the slammer.   Yep, it's time to belly up to the bar to slam down a healthy portion of GRIPE SHOTS. Doctors say that too much stress is no good for the body and a few drinks a day will not hurt you.  So grab a stool and lets slam down some GRIPE SHOTS.  Believe me you will feel much better.

 The other night I was watching the Yankees vs Rangers game and a foul ball went screaming into the stands. As it hit the seats, a young boy about 3 or 4 years old went to get the ball when a man in his 40's jumped in front of him and snatched the ball. As the kid stood there in total dismay, tears swelled up in his eyes as fans throughout the stadium booed the crap out of the guy and his wife. Everyone at the stadium expected this guy to hand the ball over to the bawling kid. Guess what, he didn't! To that I say, "Good for him". I wouldn't have given this sobbing tart the ball either. I have been going to MLB games for 48 years and I have not even gotten a sniff of a foul ball. I say it's every man for themselves when it comes to foul balls in the stands.  Would it have been nice, warm and fuzzy if the kid got the ball?  Sure, but he didn't and that's the bottom line.  Tough luck kid, maybe next time.

I read a story the other day about former State Senator Robert Mellow that just sent me through the roof.  If you remember, "Mellow Yellow" conspired between 2006 and 2010 to have staffers illegally perform duties for Friends of Bob Mellow, an organization that raised money for his re-election campaign. The group also supported some of his Democratic allies.  Prosecutors allege that the scheme cost the state Senate as much as $120,000. If so, Mellow could be sentenced to five years in prison; but don’t worry, he’ll probably serve much less time – if any.  First off, if this poncy scheme of "Mellow Yellow" cost the State Senate money, then that means it came from taxpayer dollars.  In my opinion that should be mandatory jail time....PERIOD!  The thing that swells in my gonads is this guy is collecting $11,579 per month pension for serving in the State Senate.  That’s about $139,000 each year, or more than three times the median household income in Luzerne County, based on the latest census data.  ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!  No wonder our government is flat broke!  I'm sure he is getting his health care paid for as well.  This really ticks me off!  By the way, one of "Mellow Yellow's" big supporters is Rob Mericle.  Oh boy, this shit pile gets deeper and deeper.

 Finally, it's about freakin' time PennDot started work on the Pierce St. bridge.  That thing was ready to drop into the sulfur laden waters of the Susquehanna River.  However, between this project and the Hotel Sterling debacle, traffic into the crime riddled city of Wilkes-Barre is snarled like a tooth on a cat.  The spring is not over yet and I am sick and tired of seeing the color orange.  Those bright barrels are everywhere.  In fact a GRIPE SHOT goes down to the person on Facebook who proclaimed that the orange construction barrel has been designated as the new state flower of Pennsylvania.  Soon as the weather gets nice the barrels come out.  Anyway, Penn Dot expects to replace the bridge platform by May 2014.  WHAT!  2014!  As for the Sterling, that thing will rot away and fall down on its own before anything is done by CityVest or the county.  It appears that we will have to bend over and smell the fragrance of the orange barrel flower of Pennsylvania.

Well, that's it for now.  I am tipsy with GRIPE and must go GRIPE and drive.  Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Levee, Minimally Acceptable

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a report this week that gives our levee system along the Susquehanna River a minimally acceptable inspection rating. This rating was the same score that our levee received before the massive flooding back in September. The Army Corps sited poor vegetation removal, bad encroachments and the need to inspect conduits with in-line inspection means. The damage caused by the record high river level of 42.66 feet also contributed to the low rating according to an Army Corps representative. In general, the Army Corps said the levee is in "good shape" and "well maintained". The county must correct all of the deficiencies to avoid a future unacceptable rating which would lead to losing federal funds.

Now call me cynical here, but doesn't a minimally acceptable rating mean the levee is not in good shape? Common sense would lead you to believe that and not that the levee is in "good shape". I walked the levee system along the Forty Fort area after the flood in September and found it to be visually damaged. There are cracks in the walls and holes in the dirt parts of the levee itself. Now whether those cracks are deep or superficial I cannot say. I am certainly not an expert in this area. There was also tons of debris scattered all along the levee and in the trees along the river. It appears that Luzerne County has not done much clean up or repair the levee damage for the past 7 months.

This now brings up a question as to what the county is doing with our Levee Tax money. Obviously NOTHING! In 7 months, the rating from last year has not changed which leads me to believe that we are getting duped! There is no excuse for our levee system to receive anything lower than an acceptable rating from the Army Corps of Engineers. As usual, the nit wits over at the court house are pissing away our hard earned tax dollars on other things such as the Hotel Sterling albatross. Speaking of the Sterling, lets get this thing ripped down already! In previous GRIPES I figured that the county should have millions of dollars stockpiled away for levee maintenance. It appears they don't because they can't even cut the damn grass and clear out the debris. ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME! What the hell are they doing with our money? It's now time for The Insane Clown Posse to step up to the plate and get these levee problems fixed and fast. If they don't, they will lose all of the federal funding which means they will slam us in the can with another tax. Frankly, my can is full and I cannot fit anything else up there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Big Waste Of Taxpayers Money

It's round two of the Roger Clemens steroid debacle. The Feds are up to the plate for the second time in the game to prove that Roger misled a House committee at a landmark drugs-and-sports hearing in 2008. The first trial last July ended in a mistrial when prosecutors introduced inadmissible evidence after only two witnesses had been called. Currently, they are in the process of picking a jury from a bullpen of 90 potential jurors, some who know who Clemens is and some that actually don't. I'm not sure how you cannot know who he is, but some don't. In case you are one of those people that don't know, he is a 7 time Cy Young Award winner who would have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot if it wasn't for all of this steroid stuff. The Feds hope to convict Roger "The Dodger" for lying to a Congressional Panel on a hearing concerning steroid use in baseball. Clemens faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted on all six charges.

Let me just say that I am a baseball fan in its purest form. In my opinion there is no room in sports for performance enhancing drugs of any kind. PERIOD! It's cheating plain and simple. It tips the playing field to favor a group of unethical players. It appears that in the current modern day of baseball, that playing field was tipped 90 degrees due to a very large group of players shooting P.E.D.'s into their bodies. It actually makes me sick. It gives the grand game of baseball a black eye, a shiner, a mouse under the eye. It also skews any and all records that may have been broken by modern day players such as Barry "Potato Head" Bonds. In my opinion he will never be the home run king. There is no question in my mind that he loaded up his body on steroids just to hit more home runs. Hell, his hat size went up almost an inch due to the roids.

The question I have about all of this cheating is should our federal government take time and countless taxpayers dollars to worry about performance enhancing drugs in sports? The answer, HELL NO! The government has many other problems to worry about like health care, inflation, unemployment and bringing industry back to the USA. That is only a few things on their list to fix, not drugs in sports. They need to tuck their ugly ass tails between their legs and high tail it back to Washington. I'm sure the price tag to the taxpayers will be in the millions if this trial goes all 9 innings. That is money to be better spent on things that really matter to the American public.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First Day of Trout - What a Joke!

Every year thousands of people wake up a 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning to pack up their fishing gear to fish for trout. They wait in lines, dash to what they think is a "hot spot" and wait for the gun to sign so they can throw their lines into the water. They line up shoulder to shoulder with rod and reel in hand for that magical moment. It is a pilgrimage for these folks every single year. They pay $22.70 for their fishing license and then another $9.70 for the trout stamp. In most cases, people pay a total of $30.40 to fish for one day. Some catch their limit which is 5 fish of 7 inches or longer, while others go home frustrated and disgusted because they didn't even get a bite. The lakes and streams of NEPA are stacked with people waiting for that bobber to go under so they can set the hook and bring in that elusive trout.

I for one used to make this pilgrimage every single year. I would slip on my hip boots and wade into the ice cold Lehigh River or Bowmans Creek to cast my frozen line into the water in hopes of catching a fish. This yearly adventure ended about 10 or 12 years ago when I finally figured it out as I waded into the still somewhat frozen Lehigh River. It was so cold that day that the eyelets of my fishing rod were freezing up which prohibited me from casting correctly. After about 4 hours of not getting a bite, I strode back up to the car, turned on the heat and swore I would never fish like that again. It was INSANE! In fact, the entire first day of trout is INSANE! Standing shoulder to shoulder, lines getting tangled, fighting for a fish just doesn't make any sense. It became very unenjoyable to be part of the slaughter.

Yes, the first day of trout is nothing but a slaughter house. An outdoor joke on mother nature! Hell, half of the fish are illegally caught by anglers who follow the stocking trucks around. Soon as the Game Commission guys dump the fish and pull away, these parasites throw in their lines. God forbid if the stocking truck looped back around to catch these greedy bastards. In fact, the PA Game Commission web site actually lists what day and where they are stocking. Hell, that's not fishing! It's nothing but a kill zone. If these clowns want the fish that bad, then let them fish right at the hatchery. They make me sick! Believe me this stuff really does happen. I knew a guy who used to follow the stocking truck around, actually help them put the fish into the water and then immediately catch them. ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME! This also happens when the brainless Game Commission stocks pheasants and Grouse. Hunters wait with guns in hand until the birds are released and the truck pulls away. The birds don't go very far because of their new surroundings so they are easy game.

I for one will never again fish on first day of trout until changes are made. The first change I would make would be to start the season in early May. Stock in April so the fish can get acclimated to their new surroundings which in turn would make them a little bit harder to catch. How about that concept, make it harder? Second, stop listing the stocking days and places so these parasite fisherman don't know when and where to go before the season starts. Also, after stocking, swing by a Game Commission flunkie to catch these pigs and fine them. Also, change the limit to 4 for adults and 6 for kids. Let the kids have some fun. A friend of the Gripe took his daughter out to Lake Francis on first day where that caught NOTHING! A big ZIP! Now wouldn't that just damper the enthusiasm of a young fisherman. HELL YEA! Finally, stop stocking certain waterways like Francis Slocum Park. Stocking these places simply kills the Bass Fishing. While fishing for trout, people are catching bass and either keeping them of killing them because they don't know how to remove a hook without fatally injuring the fish. To sum it up, 85% of the people that go out on first day of trout only fish that one day and don't know how to actually fish.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Wake Up Call

As I keep a close eye on the Tyler Winstead murder that happened this past Thursday, I can only keep thinking that it is time for "We The People" to start taking back our neighborhoods. In case you had your head buried in the sand like an Ostrich, 14 year old Tyler Winstead was gunned down in cold blood on High St. in Wilkes-Barre as he returned from the C.Y.C. Tyler was a quiet kid who happened to be an Honors Student at GAR High School, an athlete and what everyone says an all around good kid. His football coach for the Heights Packers described him as a "quiet kid, always had a smile for you and was kind, kind as could be". Wilkes-Barre Police have been tight lipped so far as to what or any leads that they have as to who would commit this senseless killing. I guess they either have a solid lead and want to spring on the scum bag when everything falls in place or no leads at all and are back at the station eating fresh donuts and playing Solitaire on their computers. I think you all know which one of these I would lay a paycheck down on! The bottom line is this entire thing sickens me! Even as I write this Gripe, I keep saying to myself "why would someone just gun this kid down in cold blood in the middle of the street"? It just doesn't make any sense! Was it a case of mistaken identity? Was he killed as a message to someone else by the scum sucking drug dealers who are slowly taking over our city? Was he actually in over his head in something and got whacked? My guess it will come out it was a case of mistaken identity that took the life of a good young man. No matter what the case, the killer or killers should be tried, convicted and strung up in the middle of Public Square to be torn limb from limb by Tylers relatives and the residents of The Heights.

I for one am sick and tired of reading about the murders, robberies and assaults that happen every single stinking day in Wilkes-Barre. Our once good city has gone to the dogs and the drug dealers. A person I know that just moved to this area from Vermont told me that there is more crime here in W.B. in one month than there was in one year in the entire state of Vermont. I am not going to look up that statistic, but I think I might believe it! Now this crime has reached its filthy tentacles into towns like Kingston, Plains, Parsons and Miners Mills. It's like a virus, infecting our area and spreading from town to town. I remember as a kid growing up in Kingston we would go to the drive-in every Sunday night and leave the front and back doors open and unlocked to we could get cool fresh air throughout the house. No one ever walked in to steal anything. If you did that now you would come home to an empty house. Your neighbors would think you are moving.

So what is the solution? It's simple. It's time for "We The People" to take back what is ours. Form Crime Watch Groups and demand that the police be more proactive in patrolling neighborhoods. Visibility is 75% of the battle. Wilkes-Barre needs beat cops working the streets down and around downtown W.B. to vacate the square rats that infest what should be a hub bub of activity. Lets make sure we arm the cops with weapons better and more powerful than these drug dealers. Hell, older military surplus weapons are available to law enforcement. Let's go out and get them. A cop walking a beat downtown with an M-16 or M-1 strapped to his body would turn some heads. Let's raid all of these drug houses. Everyone in the neighborhoods know exactly where they are but the cops never seem to raid them. WHY? The answer you always get is "we are waiting for the right time so we can catch the bigger fish". I say lets exterminate the bait fish so the "bigger fish" will starve and move to another area. We can call it "Operation Drug Extermination". Folks, it's time we take our streets back! I want to feel safe on the streets after dark! I don't want to lock my car doors every time I am in W.B. when the sun goes down. Perpetrators of crime watch out, "We The People" are coming to get you!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Guest Gripe

Karen H., one of our top notch Gripers sent me this email the other day. She just had to get this off her chest so she checked in with this Gripe. Before you read Karen's Gripe, here is the news story from timesleader.com she is referring to. It's a gem!

Police officer Michael Lehman was on patrol near the West Side Mall on Sunday when he saw a purple vehicle speeding through the mall parking lot and stopped the driver at Northampton Street and Wyoming Avenue near Cole Muffler and asked him to pull into the parking lot at the nearby Ollie's restaurant. Lehman asked the driver, who was identified as Allan W. Randall, 45, of 75 B St. Clair St., why he was driving so carelessly, and Randall refused to answer. He also could not produce a driver's license. While Lehman was checking Randall's information with Luzerne County 911, a loss prevention officer from Price Chopper approached him and told him Randall was just involved in a retail theft incident at the store.

The loss prevention officer reported:

At about 3:30 p.m., she observed Randall select a roasted chicken, Sobe Life Water and an apple from store shelves and then eat and drink the items. Randall then put the chicken bones in the lobster tank, which contained live lobsters, and shared the apple with his two young children. Randall then picked up bottles of soda, shook them up and threw them back on the shelf, ditched the rest of the chicken near the soda aisle and kicked several food products, damaging them, on his way to the exit doors. When approached by store security, Randall said he didn't do anything and told the officer to get away from him and left without paying for the items. When the officer went outside to get Randall's license plate number with the store manager, Randall yelled threats at them and swerved his vehicle in their direction, nearly hitting them. After the loss prevention officer called police, she noticed that Randall had been pulled over and went to talk with Lehman. Randall told Lehman nothing happened at the store and, when asked to exit his vehicle, became belligerent. He was placed in the rear seat of Lehman's police cruiser. Randall's wife, Jessica, who was with him, also had a suspended license, and the vehicle was towed. At the police station, Randall refused to get out of the police car, started to swing his cane at Lehman, striking Lehman in the hand several times and cutting his thumb area. Once in the police station, Lehman received a call from the Price Chopper loss prevention officer, who told him the lobsters had to be removed from the store because they were contaminated after eating the chicken Randall put in the tank with them. The total value of the retail theft was $209.12. Lehman said it was Randall's second retail theft offense. Randall was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, retail theft, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, driving with a suspended license and driving an unregistered vehicle. Randall was arraigned before District Judge John Hasay in Shickshinny and lodged at Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. April 4 before District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston.


Karen H. writes: I’ve got a gripe. The more I think about this story, the more I scratch my head. I am not sure what to even address first. The lowlife scumbags in this area never cease to amaze me. This schmuck goes to a grocery store and acts like it’s a buffet. He took a rotisserie chicken, some apples, and a beverage…then proceeds to walk around the store consuming said food items. For whatever reason, he decides to share his bounty with the lobsters in the seafood section (effectively ruining them) and then discards the remains of the chicken carcass before vandalizing the store and exits without paying. If that’s not bad enough, HIS TWO YOUNG CHILDREN WERE WITH HIM. What the hell kind of example is this setting? This is telling them that it’s okay to help yourself to whatever strikes your fancy, you don’t have to worry about paying for it, and it’s a good idea to reshelve soda bottles after shaking the shit out of them, and it’s perfectly acceptable to toss your trash wherever the hell you feel like it. My heart aches for these poor children. The article also said he was driving an unregistered vehicle carelessly on a suspended license. He nearly took out two Price Chopper employees before being rounded up by the fuzz. Well done, officers. Now kindly corral the remainder of the filth in NEPA.