In Japanese lore, the seven samurai defended a village of peasants against all odds.
In a way, samurai were cops, disciplined guardians of the peace willing to fight and die for what was right.
Good cops are always honest cops.
No in between exists.
That means that police officers must always tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
We're waiting, Lenny Galli.
The Exeter Borough police sergeant and well-known macho man is no modern-day samurai.
Galli has surrounded himself for decades with controversy that is always all about Lenny rather than all about protecting and serving the people who pay his salary and pick up his benefits. For whatever the reason, over the years borough officials have settled several lawsuits against Galli, usually involving accusations stemming from his inability to control himself under pressure – with pressure being defined as anytime he strapped on his gun and badge.
Galli has never admitted wrongdoing in these events – even one involving the former head of the Scranton Secret Service office who received over $100,000 in damages in a case that Galli and borough officials wanted – but failed - to keep confidential.
Now confidentiality has come back to bite Galli and his handlers.
Borough officials have finally had their fill of Lenny, accusing him of spending official on-duty time downloading and watching thousands of hardcore porn videos on the police computer - which he also allegedly used to handle business affairs for his karate school - as well as arrange meetings with men he met in an online meat market.
Back in February borough officials suspended Galli with pay, as they tried to figure out how to handle Galli's latest embarrassment to the borough. As always, Galli tried to play all the angles, a technique that had always worked in the past. But officials had enough and hired a Philadelphia lawyer – somebody who knew well Lenny's kind.
Galli refused to accept any public disclosure of his alleged bad behavior and filed a complaint in Luzerne County court, showing up smiling in shades, a glitzy gold chain and a track suit that made him look like a cross between a dysfunctional Elvis bodyguard and a dull extra in a Steven Segal movie.
The Philly lawyer then publicly filed his own court document that laid bare all alleged Galli transgressions – accusations that chewed up Lenny's macho image and spit it out.
The first Luzerne County judge to get the case grew fearful and backed out, recusing himself because he knew Galli as reason for his dereliction of duty. The second judge has now sealed all the documents – a move that smacks of cover-up and official censorship - but not until the bad genii had escaped from the bottle.
Meanwhile Exeter taxpayers suffer.
So what else is new?
Judge Bill Amesbury postponed the hearing that was scheduled for today until June. Unless borough officials change the conditions of Galli's suspension, and they should, Galli will likely continue to pick up his paycheck. And taxpayers will continue to wonder why officials kept Galli on the job as long as they did.
Still working as a bouncer at a local nightclub, Galli's situation brings shame to the club, the borough, his family and his karate school.
As a brother aikido black belt (mine is traditional while his comprises a mutation of the art) and veteran martial artist, I've known Galli for decades. On at least two occasions I tried to counsel him about his lack of control, obvious insecurity and short fuse. Galli always justified his every move and explained away his dismal immaturity and lack of honor.
Shortly after moving from California and returning to Northeastern Pennsylvania, I called Galli in 2007 to talk about yet another situation he created that made the papers. Thankfully I was gone when Lenny shot the turtle. Again, Lenny wouldn't listen so I finally cut my ties with him and wrote him off as a terrible example to children and adults.
That's why I'm here now, to add my voice to those who consider Galli a dangerous thug who needs to go.
We need all the good cops – and black belts - we can get.
We need men, women and children who exemplify the righteous code of conduct that defines character and discipline – traits Galli lacks, according to his weak past and the present allegations against him.
The word "aikido," translated from Japanese, means "the way of peace and harmony."
Because of Galli, Exeter needs peace and harmony as much, if not more than, most places in our hard coal region.
Borough bosses must let Galli go.
Let true guardians protect and serve in the spirit of the most noble and courageous samurai. Let honor be our guide. Let character glow with all the power of a finely-honed sword blade cutting through deceit and dishonesty.
Karate legend Chuck Norris had nothing on Scranton Mayor and self-proclaimed martial arts master Bill Courtright when the alleged 8th-degree black belt leaped into action at a St. Patrick’s Day parade beer bash gone bad on Taylor Avenue.
Everybody was king fu fighting.
Those cats were fast as lightning.
In fact it was a little bit frightening.
But they fought with expert timing.
And now it’s case closed, with the police report already written and available to the public and high-ranking officers defending the rookie mayor’s involvement in physically restraining a suspect who real cops later handcuffed and charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
For Master Courtright, public service is just another day at the dojo.
But it’s not case closed for truly professional law enforcement officers, whose best trained advocates strongly advise against civilians, including the ghost of Bruce Lee, interfering in the sometimes deadly world of protecting the public.
To make matters worse, no mention of Courtright’s involvement appears in the official police report.
Police Chief Carl Graziano said that should not be the case. Maybe the officer was so busy in the aftermath of the chaos that is the Scranton Paddy’s Day parade that she overlooked including the mayor in her report, Graziano said.
I doubt it.
The officer included the name, address and telephone number of a witness who called 911 because “things were getting out of hand” at the party. With such expected attention to detail I would also expect the officer to include a major martial arts moment from the mayor – her boss – that resulted in a restraint technique used by the master who is a certified self-defense instructor at the local police training academy.
If the accused gets a lawyer and sues, and I will not be surprised if that now happens, I would expect said lawyer to ask for the police report to look for who exactly took his client to the ground so he can subpoena that person to court and cross-examine him about why he jumped into an official police action when he is not even a cop.
Courtright would then have to answer questions – questions he has steadfastly refused to answer from me, by the way – concerning his teachers, his formal training and who promoted him to a black belt ranking higher than God’s.
The only explanation for Courtright’s use of force is that the officer he was accompanying on what police call a “ride-along” was in real danger or being attacked. But Graziano made no mention of a real threat or attack when we spoke yesterday.
I understand that the officer is forbidden by department rules from commenting.
Still, we need a full and detailed explanation.
So does the city’s insurance carrier.
Is Courtright covered for physically restraining anybody? Even if he’s right, what if the accused claims he got injured by an elected official while sworn police officers stood by and watched as their supervisor put him into some kind of ancient and mysterious arm bar reserved for use only by the elite and secret shogun protection unit of a secret Samurai force?
Who’s going to pay the legal bills, ninjas? Or taxpayers in the already cash-strapped and feudal city Courtright is paid to serve? What if Courtright got injured? What if he had encountered a 9th degree black belt schooled in the mysterious and ancient art of chop suey phooey?
Yes, it’s an ancient Chinese art. And everybody knew their part. There was funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung. He said here comes the big boss let’s get it on.
And that’s exactly what the Electric City’s big boss did.
For better or worse, the civilian mayor put himself on the front lines of a battle in which he is not supposed to engage – unless, of course, he was busy saving the female officer from not being able to do her job. Did she really require his assistance? Was she in real physical danger? Did she agree to step aside so Courtright could protect her?
If so, why didn’t she include those answers in her official police report? Why did she keep Courtright’s name out of the report all together? Will Graziano require her to file a supplemental report? Should somebody investigate the mayor, who failed to respond to a message that I left with his secretary?
From a feint into as slip and kicking from the hip.
No response to legitimate requests for an interview with my congressman, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright.
And that’s no way to treat a voter - not to mention that I’m an elder statesman of the local press who has worked the truth-seeking trenches for almost 30 years in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
On Friday, in the spirit of Irish peacemaking and in preparation for the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day parade the following day, I declared an official truce between me and the no-account politicians with whom I have developed a prickly rash of a relationship over the past year.
That’s my job, by the way. Pester, antagonize, provoke, challenge, annoy, belittle and sometimes even work to destroy the careers of those who dishonor the public trust or do not take seriously their public responsibility to uphold the public trust.
That sounds rash because it is. Trite as it might sound to you, the press must comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. And nobody is more comfortable in hard coal country than elected officials.
Cartwright, just by virtue of his position, is the most comfortable daily diner at the public trough.
When he ran as an underdog, nobody was more in his corner than I was. At times he seemed like a co-host on the show, turning up with little or no notice to answer questions about why he was the best candidate for the job.
Cartwright ran in the Democratic primary in a newly constructed district, facing off against Democratic darling and longtime incumbent congressman Tim Holden, a crotchety and well-oiled veteran who controlled much of what passed for democracy in his district. Powerful status quo Democrats, people like U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, played it safe with Holden. I ran amok with Cartwright, who passed himself off as an “FDR Democrat,” a liberal who was proud of his leftist leanings. And when Cartwright won, the lads from the other side became his new best friends. Even worse, Cartwright became one of them, a posturing, fawning, timid and lackluster follower rather than the rebel leader he claimed to be.
Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Then I asked for a favor as a constituent, good citizen, and law-abiding member of the community. I didn’t just ask for myself, either. I asked for us all.
Would Cartwright help us remove from a public park the name of an admitted federal gangster, a prison inmate and former powerful Democratic Party warlord who pillaged the public trust?
Cartwright quickly refused. Stammering and spinning, the rookie lawmaker passed off his duly elected responsibility to anybody who could get him off the hook. We sensed his fear and an unwillingness to stand up for what was right. We sensed a dereliction of duty. We saw right through him. Obviously embarrassed, Cartwright also didn’t like what we saw.
As you might expect, my on-the-air critiques became sharper.
Then one day his normally obedient communications director – who also serves as his re-election campaign field director – stopped taking my calls. Shane Seaver stopped responding to my emails. I still received the bureaucratic press releases that seemed to be spit from Washington automatically, but human contact ceased. Even my most serious questions about policy – including an alleged murder that a self-proclaimed former gang member whom Cartwright appointed to a task force claimed he witnessed - went unheeded.
Then I declared my First Annual Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Corbett Truce.
The truce went well. Standing in front of cathedral steps, I watched a nest of elected sinners descend into the street. I shook hands one after the other with men who likely still despise me but agreed to abide by my truce. Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright, state Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, Scranton City Councilman Bill Gaughan, Scranton School District Superintendent Bill King and others smiled as we broke shamrocks together.
I made a point to hunt down Cartwright. Stepping to my congressman, I announced the truce. Cartwright grinned and announced that we were not fighting. People around him laughed and we were all of a sudden in this mess together. Cartwright even relaxed long enough to tell a silly story about congressmen doing yoga at the Capitol at taxpayer expense.
More about that later.
And off I went, with a second handshake and the promise that, “We’ll talk.” I made the promise, by the way.
On Monday, Cartwright’s editorial about immigration appeared in the Times-Tribune. I figured the issue was serious enough to invite him on the show. So I did. I left three voicemails for Seaver and spoke to a staffer in Cartwright’s Scranton office. I left a personal voicemail on Seaver’s cellphone after getting the number from a Washington staffer.
Maybe we had a mix-up along the way. Maybe Cartwright isn’t getting the messages.
London’s calling from “across the pond,” as the young woman television researcher puts it in her emails from England.
They’re interested in Betty Wolsieffer’s murder, she says, mostly in giving a voice to the victim whose death so many years ago has been forgotten by too many, a death that occurred before the researcher was even born.
That’s why I agreed to talk with the television people from the Discovery investigation show when they come to Wilkes-Barre at the end of the month.
After I agreed, though, I had second thoughts and told them I wasn’t interested in speaking with the director, reporter, researcher or anybody else who showed up with a camera crew.
Time had not healed all wounds and I didn’t want to continue to open the cuts.
A few months ago, after talking on the phone to Betty’s killer, her husband, Glen, for the first time in more than 20 years, I wrote a front page newspaper column in The Times Leader, the newspaper where I worked and wrote columns for 17 years.
Killer Glen was up to his old pathology of trying to manipulate public opinion about his innocence. After telling prison officials that he “took responsibility” for his crime, Glen told me that he only admitted guilt to get out of prison after spending 13 years inside. He faced a maximum sentence of seven more years.
Sicko Glen lied to get his way.
So what else is new?
People needed to know that he was back on the street and up to his usual bad behavior.
I must admit that I was disappointed at the lack of interest in the column. I expected more. Of course people read the story but I wanted more public outcry. I wanted people clamoring for Glen to come clean. I wanted real justice. That didn’t really happen and probably never will.
Telling the story is something I always do and this story needs to be remembered. That’s why I changed my mind and agreed again to talk with the British broadcast journalists.
Actually, another force, a force of evil, pushed me.
Glen’s talking to us, too, the British researcher tells me.
The killer's continuing spin creates a major problem.
I have no doubt that Glen will try to resurrect the mystery “intruder” theory for the brutal strangulation dearth of his wife. A jury found, however, that Glen left Betty’s body on their bedroom floor when he was through with her on August 30, 1986.
For me to turn away now would dishonor everything I have fought to achieve as a journalist. To ignore his brutal power play would disrespect the memory of the woman he murdered and the pain her family still endures at his hand. To remain silent while Glen gains international attention for once again, using and abusing his wife – even while in her grave - would be unforgivable.
So I plan to talk with the crew.
Maybe I’ll suggest that we stop by Glen’s house together. As I have done in the past, I’m willing to knock on the door at the little house on Magnolia Avenue where he lives with his mother. I’m willing to face our wicked has-been husband and ask why he not only killed by why he persists in living the lie that keeps attacking redemption while continuing to hurt him and others.
Glen is frail nowadays.
Glen is fragile.
Glen is broken.
But Glen is still dangerous to himself and others.
No matter what bogus yet confident drivel he posts on Facebook, Glen, according to police, was seen several times sitting alone in his car at night, smoking cigarettes at the end of Birch Street where he lived when he became a murderer.
I told Glen when we spoke that some people worried that he might kill himself. I told him that he might feel better if he talked and explained exactly what happened and why he did what he did. Instead of facing facts and reality, instead of truly facing himself, Glen floated off to the netherworld where he lives with the devil in his personal piece of hell where lies always come to the rescue until they explode in great balls of fate and fire.
Glen still believes that his delusion will set him free.
I am not alone in seeing through the charade. I see fear and insecurity, weakness and indecision. I see Glen trying to fool himself that he will be able to persuade knowledgeable people of his innocence. I see a pathetic attempt to mislead that has always failed in the past.
That’s why I urge you to look for the British film crew when they come to town. Welcome them into your lives. Talk with the, Tell them the truth. Speak for the good wife and mother who can no longer speak for herself
That way we will do our part if we are able in setting the record straight each time Glen tries his murderous manipulation on a new set of victims.
I don’t want Glen to suffer any more than he already has.
I don’t want anybody else to suffer, either, especially Betty’s family whose prison of pain is a dreadful life sentence of loss.
Looking forward to our October trip to Italy, a tour of a lifetime for me, my wife and our travelling companions through AAA North Penn, I can’t help but remember the late, great Tony Perugino, who exemplified the lure of the Old World cradled like a soft Roman sunrise in the newness of modern time.
Tony’s gone now, but his Italian-American legacy remains.
And I’m among countless people who learned a little bit of Italy from a master whose pride in his heritage touched those lucky enough to be taken into his confidence.
I was one of the lucky ones
And I’m Irish.
Within weeks of our first meeting, Tony was calling me “Stefano,” Italian, he said, for “Stephen.”
Tony had taken me under his wing, in his rough, yet comforting, embrace of family. Old enough to be my father, Tony carried himself in the manner of the Depression-era Italian-Americans whose dignity knew no bounds.
An expert on boxing, the inner sanctum of the Vatican, food and so much more, Tony shared through whispers and homemade wine the tips I needed to know to navigate the tight-knit tribal culture of Northeastern Pennsylvania – lessons I will carry as a gold-standard guide book on the October 4 through October 12 trip that will take us to Venice, Florence and Rome.
Did Tony ever know food.
For years, his restaurant in Pennsylvania hard coal country – land of Italian, Sicilian and so many more immigrants who flocked to the mines to dig out their part of the American Dream – catered to people who craved their little piece of Italy seasoned with Tony’s personal magic touch.
I was partial to the calamari.
Today, as I dream of October, I know what to look for in the pounded white tubes of fresh squid that must be prepared in a certain way – a way I will know when I reach the land of Tony’s ancestors and dig in to my first plate of steamy food from the sea.
And fresh pasta.
Tony taught me well.
Yet many mysteries big and small await discovery, as we walk the small winding streets of Italian cities, towns and villages from Venice to Florence and on to Rome, anxiously awaiting the sights and sounds that will make this trip so very special.
In my mind I hear the music, smell the tomato sauce and taste dry red wine on my lips. I feel the slow roll of the Venice water taxi, the tilt in the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the sun on my face in St. Peter’s Square as we walk to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in Christendom, to see the famed “Pieta,” by Michelangelo.
I can see it now.
Still, I have a secret to tell you. Lean close and I’ll tell you, the way Tony used to tell me some of his secrets.
I’ve never been to Italy.
Many of you have likely never visited Italy, either. That’s why, whether a rookie or a veteran Italian tourist, this trip will bring us together in ways we can only imagine in our dreams – a trip filled with art, music, language, food and the finest trappings of ancient and modern culture comes alive in every present moment.
Now is the time to make our dreams come true.
Tony would have been the best guide, of course, but we’ll be well taken care of by local guides and a professional Italian-English speaking escort who will be with us every step of the way. We’ll be driven by private, deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach and stay in luxury first-class hotels and eat first-class Italian meals.
We’ll have time together and time on our own.
What’s particularly reassuring about this Italy trip is that CIE Tours International is running the trip – a tour company unlike any other. In recent years, my wife and I have traveled CIE to Scotland, England and Ireland many times. No need goes unattended by CIE. Their reputation among international tour operators is unparalleled - and I’m speaking from experience.
After returning home from Italy, my friend Tony used to love to talk about what he saw and what he did and what he ate. Tony gestured with strong hands, smiled and whispered and regaled me with stories about the old country – a sacred land where every traveler is guaranteed unique memories to last a lifetime.
“Go to Italy, Stefano,” he’d say. “You’ll see.”
So I’m going to Italy, finally, and I hope you’ll join me.
For more information contact the AAA North Penn office nearest you.
Looks like young Robert Casey drove his political career straight into a brick wall.
Or did he?
Maybe in the long run few Scranton voters will care that the All-American boy with the Irish-American grin, the high vote getter in the November school board election, the grocery clerk at the local supermarket who still lives at home with mom and dad while he works on his college degree, spun out of control in the early morning hours of a recent weekend gone wild.
But I care.
That’s why young Casey – no relation to the famous Scranton senator of the same name – must soon decide that he’s not up to the job of public service – at least not yet.
Dad drove him to rehab Monday for treatment of an alcohol problem. Meanwhile they await police action on the East Stroudsburg accident that sent young Robert crawling from the car and walking to the hospital for 14 stitches in his hand and a blood alcohol test.
Dad says his son told him he had been drinking and was off on a little ride in a car that belonged to a young woman he had recently met. Robert was alone, Dad said, and rolled the car. Maybe his driving skills would have been better if, even at 23, he had a driver’s license.
But young Robert has no license.
Dad says he called the young woman’s father and offered to pay for everything, including a rental car and another vehicle of similar value. In return, Dad says the owner suggested that he might not push police to charge young Robert with stealing the car.
Driving without a license.
Not to mention the two other alcohol-related charges that your rookie public servant has in his past. Notice that I say in his past and not on his record because no record exists, according to Dad. Young Robert pleaded guilty a few years ago to public drunkenness and received community service as punishment. The record was eventually expunged,. Dad says.The underage drinking charge disappeared when police failed to show at the hearing for Robert and four of his buddies, one of whom had fallen off a rock in a display of drunken ballet near the baseball stadium.
Technically young Robert has no criminal record for alcohol.
But young Robert has a history.
And that history can erupt in an explosive stupor that at any moment could kill him and anybody around him.
But he’s such a gentleman, one caller to “Corbett” said Monday when we broke the story on the air.
He’s so polite.
He’s a good boy.
Yeah, he is that and more.
He's also a drunk.
I voted for young Robert and publicly endorsed him.
But I sensed something wrong when he never called the show during either the primary or the general election. Dad says he advised him not to call in the primary because young Robert wasn’t polished or sophisticated and he worried about his boy. Young Robert personally gave me his word in the supermarket one day that he’d call during the general.
But his word was no good.
I now wonder if they worried that I might have heard the drunken stories the way I heard the most recent tale. I wonder if they were both playing Scranton politics – Dad is a former Scranton school board member himself and an admitted recovering alcoholic. He said he was so drunk once that Wilkes-Barre police stopped him and eventually called him a cab. Dad says he told the cabbie to pull over because he was going to be sick. He then ran back to his car and took off.
Police only then charged him with DUI.
But, according to Dad, he made a few calls and the charge went away.
That’s the way things got done back then.
But, as Dad says, it’s a new day.
Let’s hope so. Let’s hope young Robert recovers and works to stay sober. Some people just can’t drink without running amok.
But Glen Wolsieffer found time to snicker once or twice when we spoke recently about that day in 1986 when he killed his wife, Betty.
Time to publicly explain what happened, I said as we talked on the phone. Time for remorse, I said. Time to tell us why you strangled Betty, 32, and then blamed her cold and terrible death on an “intruder” you claimed came out of nowhere and knocked you unconscious.
His case languished for more than three years before his arrest in 1989. A year later, he went to trial in Luzerne County Court, and in June 1992 he reported to state prison to begin serving his sentence. The story attracted national attention and became the subject of a book, “Murder at 75 Birch,” that was developed into a TV movie of the same name that aired in 1999.
Back in 2005, after sticking to his “I’m an innocent man” story and spending almost 13 years behind bars after a jury convicted him of third-degree murder, the former dentist told members of the state parole board that he “took responsibility” for his crime.
That admission secured his release.
But now I have to wonder if Glen, 60, has taken responsibility for anything.
“I told them I did it so I could get out,” Glen said.
“So you lied?” I asked.
“I didn’t want to do seven more years,” he said.
Glen said he told the parole board a lot over the years that resulted in his bid for parole being rejected five times out of six.
“Survival of the dumbest,” he said.
“So now you’re saying you didn’t kill Betty?” I asked.
Glen didn’t answer the question.
“I could tell you right now I didn’t do it and you wouldn’t believe me,”
“Why can’t you just tell me why you killed Betty?” I asked.
“You want to know something that nobody else does,” he said.
“Why did you do it?” I asked. “Why did you kill Betty?”
“There’s no reason why I killed Betty,” Glen said.
Glen seemed flustered, scattered and talking in circles. His voice was soft, not weak but not strong, his words interrupted a few time by nervous laughter at inappropriate times.
“Are you telling me now, today that you didn’t kill Betty?” I asked.
Glen said nothing.
“That’s over,” he said of the eight-to-20-year sentence a judge handed down after jurors convicted him of third-degree murder, missing a first-degree conviction that would have imprisoned him for life, by one vote.
The maximum is up, Glen said.
“That sentence is over,” he said.
“Your sentence is never over,” I said.
“Why are you bringing up that when you called to talk about Denise Thomas?” Glen asked.
Elected in November, Thomas is a Greater Wilkes-Barre Area School District school board member who has exchanged recent Facebook comments with Glen on her page. A listener I have known for years sent me page shots of those comments. In one exchange, Glen responded to Thomas about her anger over comments made about the school district by a WILK News Radio host who filled in for me when I was on vacation.
“A wannabe Corbett. LOL,” Glen wrote. “That is dangerous.”
Glen “laughing out loud” at me deserved a response.
So I called him recently.
“After everything that happened, you want to taunt me? “ I asked.
“You do a lot that isn’t correct and isn’t right,” I said.
“Everybody does,” he said.
“Not as bad as you,” I said.
This was the second time Glen and I had talked in a little more than a year.
On Aug. 30, 2012, the anniversary of Betty’s death, I had gone looking for him on Magnolia Avenue in Wilkes-Barre where I understood he lived with his mother. Glen wasn’t home but a neighbor told me about him sitting on a lawn chair in the driveway, day after day, chain-smoking cigarettes and looking gaunt.
“He told me he’s seeing a counselor,” the neighbor said.
I found out later that day that city police had responded months before to a report of a man sitting alone in his car smoking cigarettes at the end of Birch Street, where Glen, Betty and 5-year-old Danielle lived when daddy killed mommy. Glen was the man in the car. Police shooed him away without a charge and filed a formal report on the incident. The police report says officers found Glen alone in his car near Birch Street more than once.
Glen, who listed his phone number on a federal court document when he filed for bankruptcy in 2011, answered the phone when I called the following day. At that point we hadn’t spoken to each other in about 23 years.
I told Glen that I had stopped by his house to see him, that maybe it was time for us to talk.
Glen softly said he didn’t want to talk about Betty’s murder
I told him that I heard he wasn’t feeling well. I told him that talking might help. I told him that telling the truth always helps.
I told Glen that we would talk another time. I said I would call him again.
“Okay, bud,” he said.
On my most recent call a few weeks ago, I reminded Glen that I was polite and respectful when we spoke last year.
“I was being fair and didn’t want to push you into a corner,” I said. “Some people were worried that you might kill yourself,” I said.
Glen said nothing.
But the Facebook “laugh out loud” was too much, I said.
Glen said he understood.
“You and I need to sit down and talk about this,” I said.
CorbettCam breathes and smolders and ignites and offers a heated respite from the same cold leftover television news features and alleged commentary that plagues our news at 11.
Television news gets dull and duller. So do the anchors, walking, talking personality disorders who are overpaid and way too impressed with themselves.
CorbettCam takes it to the streets.
News coverage is changing, of course. Online video is all the rage but when it comes to real rage, how many cute kitty cat tales can you swallow before your Youtube clogs and you take a choking fit on 21st Century technology? How much inane babble from young people so hip that it hurts can we take?
Hipsters are posers are inauthentic are doomed. College loan debt has turned them inward. Generation Device is one big dysfunctional app. Listening to them is enough to send anybody off the edge. So, for you young people (20 to 35) too hip for your own good and older people so dull, competitive and ego-driven that their hair must hurt, I bring you CorbettCam – alive and strong and breathing fire from the mountain.
The new feature on WILK TV, accessed by going to wilknewsradio.com, brings you a very real look at the scene of the crime and the grime, a reality-based commentary with satire and action shots, interviews and, of course, my personal brand of commentary that is unlike anything you have ever seen.
That’s why I’m Corbett, painful as my identity can sometimes be. But I’ve worked all my life to become what I am today, for better or for worse. For 62 years I’ve cultivated and reshaped myself so I can deliver local news, commentary and analysis of our community in ways that sometimes even surprises me.
For most of the decades of my journalism career I’ve relied and depended on the written word.
In this new medium, I am spoken word – a cross between a poet and a pirate, a media messiah with a message the powerful often don’t like to hear. Holy CorbettCam, do I like that characterization. Come to me little degenerate corrupt politicians.
Political commentary is, in fact, sacred.
My mission is a crusade.
And you’re part of the drama.
The first CorbettCam adventure, with intrepid videographer to the stars Karel Zubris and Hulk Hogan look-a-like producer/bodyguard Crockett, captured our journey to find the next Scranton mayor.
The race was coal country nasty, pitting Jim “Kiss Me I’m A Deadbeat” Mulligan” against black belt karate “Grand Master” Bill Courtright who absolutely refused to divulge the deep West Side secret teaching that resulted in his alleged 8th degree martial arts ranking.
The video is an award-winner and will be entered in this year’s Canned Film Festival in South Side.
Last week’s video took us to the dark side of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport where landing passenger jets has become a possible “lights out” operation that one day could result in a crash and burn that kills everybody on board because the bad weather landing lights have been out and have not been replaced for at least nine months.
The Federal Aviation Administration, by the way, failed to get back to me o that one.
As financially unstable as Northeastern Pennsylvania has become, the FAA could at least send body bags.
Next week, we’re headed to the sewer for a national Boycott Yuengling beer protest. Or maybe to a homicide scene in Wilkes-Bare – we have 13 so far this year so take your pick. Maybe we’ll visit my fragile Democratic congressman Matt Cartwright to ask why he won’t talk to me anymore after I was his biggest media supporter during the campaign when even powerful Democrats like U.S. Sen. Bobby Casey rooted against him. Or maybe we’ll hunt down federal convict Bob Mellow as he relaxes at the halfway house on our dime.
With CorbettCam, anything is possible.
But I need your help. Let me know where you’d like to send CorbettCam next. If I take your suggestion, I’ll give you a free CorbettCam “You better Listen” t-shirt and you can come to the Canned Film Festival in South Side.
OK, so the festival is still in the planning stages. How about a canned ham? Or canned Spam? Or better yet, canned yams?
So far we’ve got two CorbettCam episodes under our belts. I foresee so many successful future adventures that we’ll be able to run them around the clock on a CorbettCam channel.
Even young people, tweeters as I call them, will one day accept the truth that CorbettCam shall set them free.
As of Tuesday, Election Day of all days, Bob Mellow is on the loose.
Even living in the federally- supervised Scranton half-way house he checked into this week, the admitted federal gangster and degenerate convict poses enough of a public threat to assign a squad of undercover marshals to watch the facility’s doors and windows day and night.
The decision to release the Democratic warlord and former powerful state senator to a facility in the heart of his one-time political kingdom is reckless, foolish and loaded with potential for abuse and, yes, corruption. Mellow once ruled these same streets, reaching his toxic tentacles from the political sewers and gutters of our lives and through the windows and doors and air vents of every city, county and state office building in Scranton.
Now Bob Mellow’s back in town, flashing his feeble pearly whites. Sick as his lawyers claim he is, Mellow’s ready to sink his teeth into everybody and anybody who helped put him in prison or failed to write an letter to the judge when he was ready for departure.
Mellow is still dangerous.
So are his politically-connected lawyers.
Make no mistake about it, even if you see Mellow sweeping floors at St. Peter’s Cathedral up the street from the half-way house, Mellow wants vengeance - no matter what the Lord says.
Only one big obstacle exists. Mellow faces state public corruption charges and is scheduled for trial next year. If convicted, Mellow, 70, could spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars. We’re talking state prison, too, not the soft land of minimum security white collar bottom-feeders with whom Mellow spent his leisure tine in Georgia. We’re talking Philly stick-up men, biker enforcers and psycho rapists – even the occasional demented one-time Harrisburg silk tie wearer.
Mellow actually knows a couple of current cons inside because at least two one-time big-time Democrats from Mellow’s gang of fools are serving time carving ballots out of bars of soap for their own vicious assaults against the public trust.
But who cares about them?
Our Bobby’s home and that’s all that matters.
I wonder what Scranton-native and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane thinks about Mellow’s new mailing address? If you remember, Kane once challenged Mellow for his seat in the Senate. But she quickly crawled on bended knee with a tear in her eye to beg forgiveness for ever thinking about humiliating him with such a threat to his power. I wrote a column about Kane’s secret meeting with Mellow last June. Then I sent the column to the Capitol press corps after sounding the alarm that Kane’s behind-closed-doors meeting with the man whose prosecuting she now leads could derail the case long as Mellow knows what she and he discussed and her own prosecutors don’t. One reporter responded to my emails but nobody wrote about the story.
Kane’s husband’s family still holds the multi-million dollar state liquor contract that they worried Mellow might torpedo if Kane continued with her race to unseat Mellow in the Senate. But Kane got scared and quit. And the champagne bubbles exploded from Scranton to Harrisburg and back again for the politically-connected Kane family.
Even Kane’s PR flack, Joe Peters, a former federal prosecutor and self-proclaimed Mafia buster refused to respond to my concerns. That’s because he’s now part of the problem rather than part of the solution. More people in Scranton are part of the problem than part of the solution that there are made men in the Mafia.
In the absence of attention elsewhere, I’m planning to send my Kane/Mellow column to the judge in the Kane/Mellow case. Rich Lewis knows me from my days raising hell with weekly newspapers in Harrisburg. He was a crack district attorney in Dauphin County so maybe he’ll pay attention.
In the meantime, Mellow is housed in the same building in downtown Scranton that housed former reputed Mafia boss Billy D’Elia, who, after becoming a rat, took a job as an Exeter ice cream scooper when he was released into half-way house custody – or custardy, if you like.
So what kind of job will Mellow take to help pay his debt to society while he lounges at our expense in the Scranton federal frat house? The cathedral sweeper gig sounds lovely. Maybe he can answer phones in the office of his former understudy and now state Sen. John Blake. Maybe Mellow can serve as a political consultant to Scranton mayor-elect Bill Courtright, who says he’s already met with Blake.
In Scranton, where anything can happen and usually does, anything is possible.
By the way, who do I see about getting tickets for the welcome home clambake?