Saturday, April 27, 2013

Child Porn Internet Scam



"Computer users around the globe are being hit by a new kind of virus that freezes their computer and accuses them of committing heinous crimes, like distributing child porn. The threats sound real enough that victims are coughing up $200 to pay a "fine," and virus writer gangs are netting millions, security firms say... The message is fake, of course — and even those who pay the "fine" still have a broken computer. But victims worldwide are falling for it... The criminals behind that virus netted $5 million, Symantec estimates."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Allentown Water Lease Is A Go



"Officially, council voted 6-1... Councilwoman Jeanette Eichenwald, long a critic of the proposal, dissented.

... Eichenwald made a motion to defer voting on the two bills to allow more review time and to let right-to-know requests filed by media and advocacy group Food and Water Watch relating to the entire bid process be resolved. When nobody seconded Eichenwald's motion, several people in the crowd yelled "disgraceful."


"Once the meeting started things got a little heated... Some people threatened to sue the city, claiming it violated the Sunshine Law because they feel all information about the lease was not disclosed before the vote."

Allentown council votes for water/sewer lease
By Emily Opilo | The Morning Call
"The vote, which capped a rowdy, hours-long meeting that drew cries of "shenanigans" from the audience, was 6-1, with Councilwoman Jeanette Eichenwald opposed and Councilwoman Cynthia Mota voting in favor by phone from a hospital bed in Venezuela. Council members Julio Guridy, Ray O'Connell, Jeff Glazier, Peter Schweyer and Joe Davis also voted for the lease."



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Indexing Social Security: What You Need to Know!


On April 18, 2013 the 'Congressional Budget Office' (CBO) came out with a report entitled,
Using the Chained CPI to Index
Social Security, Other Federal Programs,
and the Tax Code for Inflation


The whole concept of 'chained CPI indexing' assumes that by reducing Social Security payments seniors will buy alternative cheaper items and still be able to afford basic needs. However seniors' needs are different then most other age groups. The chart below represents a comparison over the last 30 years between two methods of calculating the effects of 'Chained CPI indexing. The one doesn't factor in seniors requiring different expense then the rest of the younger population. The other does. About 30% of those over 62 years of age rely on Social Security for 90% of their income while presently 13% of us as a nation are 65 years or older. So this is a big deal.


Overlooked is the elephant in the room. Seniors spend almost three times more on out-of-pocket health costs. Health costs which have risen disproportionately faster then the rest of ordinary inflation.


Everyone should readily see that those relying on Social Security for most of their income will not be able to find cheaper alternatives for their current healthcare coverage . Compounding this problem for them are the increasing monthly costs for Medicare and the supplemental plans coupled with ever decreasing Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities as well as for medications.

Below is a chart for all 3 CPI methods of calculating future Social Security payments courtesy of The AARP

The GREEN is what Obama & Congress have in mind
The BLUE is the CPI adjusted specifically for seniors The CBO report mentions
(The latter being something I haven't heard either one of them discuss)


Here's Another Thought. Most seniors spend every dime of their retirement income which puts it right back into the economy. It isn't like they are taking their Social Security check and investing it for sometime in the future. So giving them a couple of bucks more to live on isn't as though the money won't be spent to help keep the economy growing. On the other hand if you take out $339.8 billion in total from changes in the program over the next 10 years, that's $339,800,000,000 less seniors have to pump back into the economy.
* * *


Some Highlights From THE CBO REPORT
"The chained CPI grows more slowly than the traditional CPI does: an average of about 0.25 percentage points more slowly per year over the past decade. For example, if such a proposal took effect next year, Social Security benefits would be roughly $30 a month lower, on average, by 2023 than they would be under current law, representing a reduction of about 2 percent of average benefits

...The consumer price index reflects prices paid for the goods and services purchased by an average household, not by any specific individual or by the average person in certain age groups, income groups, or other categories. Therefore, most people experience price changes that are either higher or lower than reported in the CPI.... The possibility that the cost of living may grow at a different rate for the elderly than for the rest of the population is of particular concern in choosing a price index for Social Security COLAs because Social Security benefits are the main source of income for many older people....

... BLS computes an unofficial index that reflects the purchasing patterns of older people, called the experimental CPI for Americans 62 years of age and older (CPI-E). Since 1982 (the earliest date for which that index has been computed), annual inflation as measured by the CPI-E has been 0.2 percentage points higher, on average, than inflation as measured by the traditional CPI-U or the CPI-W.

... The longer-term difference between the growth rates of the CPI-E and CPI-U mainly reflects the fact that a larger percentage of spending by the elderly is for items whose prices rise especially quickly. In particular, compared with the overall population, the elderly devote a much larger percentage of their spending to medical care. That difference in spending patterns alone accounts for about half of the long-run difference between the CPI-E and the CPI-U.

... The CPI-E differs from the CPI-U only by using different percentage weights for the 211 categories of goods and services in the CPI market basket. For the CPI-E, BLS calculates those weights on the basis of the spending patterns of people ages 62 and older as observed in the Consumer Expenditure Survey, whereas for the CPI-U, BLS calculates expenditure weights on the basis of the spending patterns of all urban consumers in the survey.


Published on April 24, 2013


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gun Control Debate Is Not A New One

Former President Ronald Reagan University of Southern California
His first public appearance after leaving office

The Whole 55 Minute Speech Can Be Found Here


G.W. Bush: 2004 Presidental Debate



Bill Clinton: 2000 State Of The Union



From The TV Show- 'The West Wing'


We haven't come to an agreement over the past 25 years. I doubt whether an agreement will be reached over the next 25 either, if history is any indicator.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Muhlenberg College: Just Tap It!

Speaking Of 'Earth Day'...


Sustainability at Muhlenberg College---"Just Tap It is an initiative to reduce the amount of bottled water consumed on campus developed by students with the assistance of the Muhlenberg College Greening Committee.

As a result of these efforts, water bottle purchases on campus dropped by 92%."


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Video Courtesy "WFMZ


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Which Country Has The Best Bar? (HUMOR)



A Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman were drinking one night and started bragging about their homeland bars.

"As good as this bar is," said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow , there's a wee place called McTavish's. The landlord goes out of his way for the locals. When you buy four drinks, he'll buy the fifth drink."

"Well, Angus," said the Englishman, "At my local in London , the Red Lion, the barman will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two."

"Ahhh, dat's nothin'," said Paddy Sheehan, the Irishman. "Back home in me favorite pub, the moment you set foot in the place, they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like, actually. Then, when you've had enough drinks, they'll take you upstairs and see dat you gets laid, all on the house!"



The Englishman and Scotsman were suspicious of the claims. "Did this actually happen to you, Paddy ?"

"Not me meself, personally, no," he admitted, "but it did happen to me sister quite a few times."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why I Oppose Funding Bethlehem Steel's Hoover-Mason Trestle



Putting it in the simplest terms...

Here goes another $10.1 million of taxpayers money in times the state, local and federal budgets are already strained.




"A $10 million elevated walkway is expected to open on the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site by June 2014, officials said."

The trestle restoration is being paid for through a special tax fund on 124 acres of former Steel land intended for infrastructure investments on the site. After the trestle work, officials will have about $6.5 million left in the tax increment financing district fund with about $1 million of that set aside to pave the gravel lot at SteelStacks."

First off the price for the 2,000 foot long span comes in at about $5,000 dollars a linear foot ($285 a Square Foot). Which seems kind of high to me considering the supporting structure is already here.

That aside what tweaks me is once again taxpayers will HAVE TO pony up for this through 'Tax Increment Financing'. For those unfamiliar with "TIF" I will describe it as briefly as possible. The state issues bonds (advances the money). The bonds are repaid back to the state by ever increasing future property taxes for decades. Keep in mind in-between then and now other tax revenues have to replace the difference between tax increases that state would have received otherwise over the next 20 years or so. All of this is based on the assumption that the property values actually will go up as a result of the trestle. So slice and dice this all you want, the fact is in the end it is the taxpayers who will pay for this.

Don't get me wrong, I think a pretty walkway is a great idea. What I have a problem with is who is paying for it and who benefits from it. In this case apparently it won't be the property owners in the surrounding area. The only way is if the project produces the iffy results they predict and owners of property cash out.

But what about homeowners who have no desire to sell? Assigning an ever increasing property value is totally meaningless to those who are retired or others who intended on staying put. These presumed ever increasing property values, along with their accompanying tax increases mainly serve two purposes. To benefit investors and/or gentrify an area. So I suppose it depends whether your a winner or a loser on how you feel about this.

Why does there even have to be winners and losers?
Why not instead solicit voluntary contributions from private and corporate sponsors for this project?
Why should the taxpaying public be forced to foot the bill for a few of the well connected ?

SPIN THIS ANYWAY YOU LIKE, BUT...
Whether one labels these a "'TIF', 'NIZ', 'KOZ' or any other name, it's still requires a tax increase to fill in the lost government revenues in the interim . Since the use of public tax money doesn't materialize out of thin air there can be no other way to pay for them other then by increased taxation both now and later.

Yeah I'd like a new deck too, but if I already have too many expenses/debts and a decreasing income it seems kind of foolish to take on yet another expense just to gussy the place up. Yeah I may or may not get that investment back in 20 years, but how am I to afford my living expenses until then? Then again I can't force my employer (by law) to give me more money like the government(s) can. And that's why I oppose the funding for this project.

Real TV Comedy

Back In The Heydays of TV these were the masters of comedy. Long before today's scripted , phony canned laughter and cheap shot foul mouthed humor there was this...




































Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ringling Brothers Circus Train Rolled Through Bethlehem



'East Coast News Photo' posted a video showing one of Ringling Brothers two circus trains as it rolled through Bethlehem on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. I had no idea that each are about a mile long.

The dual engines pull about 20 freight cars and around 40 passenger cars. I'm not sure whether this was the 'Blue' or 'Red' Tour. I'm also not sure where it was headed. I do know it wasn't the 'Gold' tour because that one uses trucks only.




As I watched The Video I thought will I ever see the end!

Imagine how much it cost to keep just this one tour on the road

Wikipedia: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

LCA's Website For The Allentown Water/Sewer Lease

The Lehigh County Authority says, "In effort to share as much information as possible with the public, current customers and Allentown city residents, Lehigh County Authority has launched a new dedicated website:

"This website has been developed by Lehigh County Authority (LCA) to provide accurate and timely information to the public about our project to lease the City of Allentown’s water and sewer systems for the next 50 years

INTERNET WARNING: (Humor)



If you get an email titled "Nude photo of Nancy Pelosi,"
don't open it...

It contains a nude photo of Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, April 15, 2013

On This Day The Titanic Sank


"On April 15, 1912, John B. “Jack” Thayer III was the 17-year-old heir to a Pennsylvania railroad fortune, riding in first class on the most spectacular ship of its era — the Titanic. He barely survived the disaster.."

Wikipedia: RMS Titanic


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Paris Jackson's First Print Interview



The Sunday April 14th 2013 edition of The Daily Mail's "Event Magazine" came out today in England. In it they managed to score an exclusive interview with Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. who just turned 15 on April 3rd (2013).

"The Daily Mail" highlighted online some of the things that are in the article.

A few of the highlights are that she would like to restore the 'Neverland Estate' her father once owned for sick children to visit. Two years ago she made a visit and was heartbroken to see how decayed it has become.

She spoke lovingly of her father Michael. You can read more about the article through the link above.




Growing Up Inside The Michael Jackson Home


What I'd like to focus on is how well she has turned out. Paris is a typical 15 year old despite the spotlight always being on her...
TMZ Posted This On March 7th, 2013


What I didn't know was that...
Paris Sang At Her Father's Funeral
She sounded a whole lot like her father at her age!


Here's a short piece about her June 2012 interview with Oprah

The Entire 17 Minute Interview With Oprah Can Be Seen Here


Some Paris Jackson Photos

Video Courtesy Daria Ilkevich


Paris Jackson with her father MJ

Video Courtesy Paris Jackson World


Sometimes the world can be a very ugly place. Many in the trash talking gossip mongering media business earn a ton of money by doing just that. I suppose we'll never truly know what went on in Michael's private life (as if he ever had one). Only time will tell as each of his offspring grow older and what they may one day say about growing up inside the eccentric world of the Jackson family.

A few things we do know about Michael is that he donated millions upon millions of dollars to charities and foundations. Some of which included setting up a burn center for children. A camp for cancer stricken children. A huge college scholarship fund. Established the 'Heal The World Foundation' which among other things delivered tons of food to Sarajevo. Here is another site that list 36 of them. In fact he was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records for breaking the world record for the "Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star." That link states that he once hosted 200 Air Force families at 'Neverland'. CNN reported that MJ even visited Capital Hill in 2004 where he spoke with congress members about his fight against AIDS in Africa .


So despite all the crap we've heard about Michael, little to nothing was said regarding his good deeds. With his passing at 50 so too were much of the good works that he would have continued to finance and publicize. Instead the focus was on exploiting him by cashing in on his unusual looks, personality and lifestyle.



This whole Jackson thing is quite heartrending for all those he could have helped if he had not died nearly 4 years ago on June 25th, 2009. Was Michael as evil as the tabloids would have us believe?

Or was he trying to make up for what he never had?
Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions.
For God alone reads our hearts

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~


Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Few Funny Video Quickies

Immigration Rhapsody



This Country's Getting Dumber!



Newspaper Headlines

All Videos Courtesy "Flowgo"


Friday, April 12, 2013

My Short Broadcasting Career


Too Much Information!
This was back in the early 70's. It was when almost anyone who wanted to be a DJ could get a job on a local radio station. It was when privately owned and operated stations employed dozens and dozens of people in the Lehigh Valley. Not like now where only a few hours in the morning are broadcast LIVE locally. Then down linked to nationally syndicated satellite programming till once again the next morning.

Every town had a different format and personality. Some of the biggest names were; Barney Pip out of WCFL Chicago. Joey Reynolds at WKBW Buffalo NY. Cousin Brucie on WABC. Joe Niagara at WIBG Philly. etc. etc. I listened and tried learning from these radio broadcast pioneers.

I was weaned on radio...
At about 10 years old I sat every Saturday morning aside of Dopey Duncan. Even acquiring some air-time, cueing up the big ET's (no 'Gates' cart machines in those days) and even running board a couple minutes out of the hour when Dopey had to take a dump or something :) This was at WKAP owned by the Rahall Brothers out of Florida.

My time finally came at 19 years old. I started (and ended) at WHOL (500 watt daytime only) after it came out of bankruptcy. Prior to bankruptcy it was a top 40 rock station. After the new owners bought it WHOL was changed to a country format except for Jolly Joe Timmer's polkas in the afternoon. We cornered the country market. Well of course we did since we were the only ones playing it. However being the only game in town didn't mean I wasn't proudly at the bottom of the ratings :-) My program usually came in around the same low ratings as The Bethlehem Globe's (a former newspaper owned radio station ) WGPA. I worked at WHOL for a little over 2 years.

I also did a short stint a top 20 station in Washington NJ at the same time I worked at WHOL. Even though I only did 3 hours on a Saturday I found myself working nearly 65+ hours between the two. Needless to say the wife wasn't happy with that, especially after my son was born. After just 3 short weekends I quit that gig! This was the beginning of the end of radio for me. I saw locals guys so desperate they'd endure almost anything to hang on. Slowly the noose for local DJ's was tightening. Times were changing and the role of DJ's was fading.

After having every title, none of the money and working 60+ hours a week with a son on the way, I went out for lunch and never looked back. The station manager was starting to get (I'll put it nicely) really aggressive. A co-owner stopped by my apartment after I walked out to express his empathy on how I was treated. He told me he too felt trapped, but couldn't leave because his money was tied up in a partnership with several others. At any rate it took 2 full timers and 1 part timer to replace me. He went on further to tell me that the extra hires were driving their budget back into the red which was not the case with my lone single salary when I was there. He stated he had no idea how much I was giving on a fixed salary. During the second year I was there was the only time the station turned a few bucks. Shortly thereafter WHOL was sold to today's present owners.

From there I helped maintain/manage 300+ apartments, then moved on to manufacturing for 33 years. The kind of jobs that actually pay the bills. Too bad, since I longed to be a DJ from the time I was 10 years old. But I don't regret the choice I made because...

Lo these years later DJ's can no longer run a free format of their choosing like I did. I knew a few that jelled with the public and ran the ratings through the roof. Soon corporations bought up the local stations and told them exactly what to do and say or get out. A few, like myself did. Others did not and became trapped in the biz until the new corporate owners tossed them aside and syndicated the broadcast day via satellite. Mostly the way radio broadcasting is today.

I don't envy the few remaining in the biz. It's more like an honorarium then a job in my eyes. Something like, how much are you willing to put up with to be on the radio?


Telling Tales
Once at WAEB Jeff Frank spilled his soda into the old tube main control room board. POP! POP! POP! The sounds of vacuum tubes popping just before the board sizzled and fried.

Larry Brooke pressed his bare buttocks to the newsroom booth window while Super Lou was attempting to read the news. Super broke up and went to commercial skipping the remaining 3 minutes of the newscast.

Ernie Stiegler doing one of his many sports broadcast used an old clock radio to make sure he was on-the-air. He accidentally had the wrong station on. Thinking he was not patched in to the studio he went on a cursing tirade LIVE on air!

This happened when WAEB was located at 7th & Hamilton Streets. Gene Kaye received a speeding ticket while coming back from one of his many trips to Philadelphia. He walked into a supposedly off-the-air news/production studio. As it turned out a key was thrown the wrong way and his tirate went out LIVE over-the-air... OOPS!

One of our own at WHOL hosted a program of religious music on Saturdays. He was on a hot 2nd mic unbeknownst to him as he told tales laced with colorful language. The next day an on-the-air light was installed!

Then there was Joe Vargo who just loved to give Dopey Duncan some very severe wedges while he was speaking on air.

Jay Sands (the morning man) was extremely ticked one early morning because some ass left a chair in the middle of the record room as he came through in the dark. He nearly tripped over it and stubbed his toe. He kicked the hell out of the chair into a dark corner where Super Lou was sleeping on the floor from the night before. Lou kept quiet as a mouse despite his pain and Jay never knew about it.

Speaking of Jay... there was animosity between him and Gene Kaye. One time Gene Kaye worked frustratingly hard on recording an advertisement onto a tape cartridge. Doesn't Jay record over it with a plug for his morning show. Gene never saw it coming till he hit the play button on the old 'Gates' cartridge machine. Gene retaliated by pushing a thumbtack through a local semi-hit record that Jay's daughter had made. Then posted it on the control room bulletin board :-)

Bud Musselman owned WSAN and every year would crawl perilously to the top of his broadcast towers and string Christmas lights. Towers are fabricated in sections and there was poor electrical connection between two of them causing Bud to get severely zapped. He fell at least 20 feet coming to rest at the feet of Dick Ziegenfuss (one of his broadcast engineers). Highly determined Bud uttered a few profound words and crawled right back up on the tower and proceeded to finish stringing his lights!

WAEB-FM came about through the license purchase from Bud over at WSAN who saw no future in FM at the time. In WAEB-FM's infancy it consisted of automated 8 giant reel to reels. Each had a category. Male/slow, male/up tempo, instrumental, and so on. The equipment was quite used prior in one of the other Rust stations (Bill Rust owned WAEB). Advertisements were run from a 'Gates' cassette player tower consisting of about 25 vertical trays. The player head would advance itself upward by 2 screw drives drawing in the carts and sliding them back into the trays. Then proceed up to the next one. Well not always. On more then one occasion it would only slide the cassettes partially back onto it's tray. Then would wind back down the rack catching each cassette smashing each one to pieces on it's way back down to the bottom. DEAD AIR! Eventually they put a silence sensor which would just skip any piece of equipment that did not come online within 30 secs and advance to the next one.

Ok what about my dirt?
The most enjoyable live remote broadcasts were that of Jolly Joe picnics at Bushkill Park. I would stay in the remote unit to run board while Joe's band performed. His fans would just love to bring food and liquor to me in the remote. Being young and stupid I consumed the lot of it. End of broadcast. Time to back the remote unit out of pavilion.. yeah well.. right into a wall. DING! I prayed the boss never saw the dent.

Similarly on one of the Kempton fair broadcasts I was bringing the remote back when I stopped at the top of a steep hill for a stop sign. When I pulled out CRASH! Every record, record player, board.. EVERYTHING fell to the floor. I couldn't hide that one. OOPSY! Tone arms were bent. Record needles mangled. Quite a mess.

We had a big country show at the Allentown Fair grounds. Below the stage was an ice filled tub with every assortment of alcohol known to man. Fortunately I got my Jeanie C. Riley interview and all the air personality plugs from Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Dollar, Nat Stucky, Cal Smith & Geo. Morgan.

Did a remote at Cedar Crest Shopping Plaza. I never followed the rule of thumb... interview oldsters not teens. I walked up with mic in hand and attempted an interview with a teen who shouted into the mic, "WHOL sucks!" Yep straight out on the air. I pretended he never said that. I went onward with a great big , "well great to see you" and slinked back to the remote unit jabbering away like it never happened and spinning another record.

Ever sit behind a metal microphone under 75' towers when lightening strikes? DON'T!

Well that ought to be enough to get me in trouble! If any of you guys still around want me to pull your story down, let me know. No harm intended.
~
About:
WHOL- 2 years
3 hours spinning records daily
10- 5 minute news segments
4- weekly 15 minute public service programs




Radio in it's heyday...
..employed dozens of people. Where there are less then a handful locally today. You could always make a few extra bucks by DJing the pools, schools' ice cream festivals etc.

Some of the DJ's had exclusive gigs like: The Hub (YMCA). Notre Dame Bandstand. Castle Rock (Dorney Park).

Later teen night clubs were born and mostly replaced the record hops- Bill Daniels. The Mod Mill, The Mad Hatter, The Zoo, Saylor's Lake Pavilion, etc.

Nationally 50,000 Watt clear channel super stations like WKBW in Buffalo who had Joey Reynolds. WBZ-Boston. WCFL in Chicago who had Barney Pip DJing. WIBG in Phila. whose DJ's included Joe Niagra, Hy Lit. Then there was WFIL in Philadelphia with the likes of Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien. WABC in New York City- Cousin Brucie (Morrow). They all could all be heard in this area with a good radio.

Speaking of stories (names protected). Who will ever forget when one Philly station ran a contest with a prize amounting to $1,000's. In a matter of poor judgement one of the DJs at another competing radio station called a listener and awarded the other stations money! Yeah the DJ got fired!

Old Owners/freqs..
* WAEB-790- Rust Broadcasting. Bill Rust went on to accumulate 14 radio stations after graduating from Lehigh University. Bill Rust earned his fortune by designing broadcast equipment. His designs were the ones most broadcasters used at the time. Bill retired in 1986. Passed away in 1991 at 77

* WSAN-1470- Ruel 'Bud' Musselman & his sister. Bud passed away at 78 years of age.

* WKAP-1320- Rahall Brothers.

* WHOL- Carl Stuart, Jim Herbert & silent partners. When WHOL went into bankruptcy prior to these owners Max Hess (Hess Brothers) once considered buying it but backed out. WHOL used to be 24 hr. 1,000 watts 1230. But WEEX, when WHOL went dark, applied and obtained their license, frequency and power thus limiting WHOL to 500 watts daytime.

* WGPA- Bethlehem "Globe Times"

* WYNS- Harriet Phillips (Lehighton)

What Happened to these DJs?
Good question. One got drafted and when he came back became a cop. Another bought a night club and produced rock concerts. A number of them went into advertising sales. Another formed a rock band. Still others are in the business in some form or another today here and elsewhere.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dopey Duncan's Testimonial Speech

Dopey Duncan (Luther Gehringer)
Birth: Jul. 30, 1920
Death: May 12, 1990
(69 years of age)

Dopey Duncan at his testimonial/roast
Days Inn, South Whitehall
Sunday, June 28th 1987




This further reminded me of other fond memories of my youngest days which led them back to those of Luther Gehringer (aka Dopey Duncan).

Nearly every Saturday morning when I was about 8 or 10 years old I used to sit alongside Paul Galgon & Dopey during their "Two On The Sunnyside" morning program on WKAP. It was because of Dopey that I pursued radio broadcasting as one of my first jobs.

Dopey was not just some guy who left me run the board, spin the EP's with ads on them or talk on the mic at WKAP. He also introduced me to fishing at Lake Wallenpaupack. Let me drive one of the 1/4 midget racers. Left me pump the player piano he had in his body shop out in Minesite, Pa.

The late mother-in-law used to live above Dopey when he was just a teenager. She remembered her mother going downstairs late a night where Dopey would be singing and playing his guitar to yell at him to shut up and go to bed. :-)

Coincidently on Saturday, Sept 18, 2010 in Allentown the 3rd Annual Road Jamboree and 2nd Annual Hamilton Street Cruise was held (10 a.m - 4 p.m.).

The event was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Timing Association which is celebrating 55 years of continuous operation and in memory of Dopey Duncan.

Below I've gathered a bunch of articles (all from the Morning Call) that spoke of him.

They are direct COPY & PASTE. Therefore I give fully credited regards to The Morning Call- no copywrite violations are intended.

In 1987 I saw the Dopey Duncan's roast on TV at the 'Days Inn'. Sadly I cannot find a copy. I'd just love to post it here. It was attended by some 781 of his closest friends!
~ ~ ~


Dopey Duncan' Gehringer Is Dead At 70
May 14, 1990 by GERARD M. SHIELDS, The Morning Call

Luther Gehringer, better known as "Dopey Duncan," whose career spanned four decades as a Lehigh Valley radio personality, comedian, country band leader, celebrated war veteran and race car builder, died Saturday night at his Eustis, Fla., home. He was 70.

For Gehringer, who made generations of area residents laugh with his outrageous costume featuring a checkered suit, goofy hat, string bow tie and trademark oversized yellow shoes, the end came tragically. He was found in his backyard with a gunshot wound to the head. A Lake County, Fla., medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

Gehringer was suffering from a 1986 stroke that left the right side of his body paralyzed. Friends said that over the last few years, the injury also crippled the trademark charisma of Gehringer, who often used his celebrity status to raise money for Lehigh Valley youth programs.

Gehringer's professional singing career began in 1941. His last performance was about three weeks ago at an stroke clinic, where he entertained fellow stroke victims.

"Dopey was one in a million. He did so many things," said Les Baer, whom Gehringer recruited as a radio colleague at the former WKAP radio.

"Dopey was always known as my friend, my father, my teacher and my brother," added a choking Baer, who also played in the 1940s with Gehringer's country band Dopey Duncan and The Top Hands. "I can never repay him."

News of Gehringer's death rippled sadness through the overcast, damp Allentown area yesterday.

"He never wasted a minute," said Frank Kleckner, a childhood pal of Gehringer. "He was always doing something. If he fixed one car, he fixed a thousand."

Gehringer started his radio career with Allentown station WSAN. He was a comedy character on a weekly show, broadcast from a ranch mock-up in Dorney Park's Castle Gardens, South Whitehall Township. Gehringer once came on stage as the comic ranch hand Dopey, carrying an oversize cup and dunking a doughnut. The name Dopey Duncan stuck.

Although known for his humor, Gehringer had a serious side. He was most known for his WKAP radio career, which thrust him into the forefront of community and youth related issues from 1949 through 1973. Gehringer had two programs, 7 to 9 in the morning and 4 to 6 p.m., where he would send out his hard-hitting radio editorials on community issues, such as municipal services or the revitalization of downtown Allentown.

His name, program and credibility gave Gehringer more power and influence that some elected officials, friends said.

"He could point out the bad in the city and not get everybody mad," said Ogden "Oggie" Davies, who hired Gehringer when he served as vice president of Rahall Communications, which owned WKAP. "Everything he did was corrective. He was just a likable guy."

Gehringer's love for comedy, the stage and music was equal only to his passion for automobiles. An experienced auto mechanic, Duncan established a general-service garage in 1949 next to his home near Wescosville, where he modified engines for racing, experimented with various designs and made frequent trips to sprint car races.

Gehringer built race cars for some of the top Lehigh Valley drivers. The Indianapolis 500 became an annual pilgrimage for Gehringer, who was good friends with racer Mario Andretti. Yesterday Andretti finished taking his qualifying run at Indianapolis for the May 27 Indianapolis 500 race when he was told about Gehringer's death.

"He was one of the good guys that was always recognized as part of auto racing in the '50s," said Andretti in a phone interview after tentatively winning a second-row starting spot in the nation's most prestigious auto race.

"He was one of those rare breeds," Andretti said. "There were just so many who were like that and the mold was thrown away."

Andretti said he remembered Gehringer most as an announcer on the local midget racer circuit, where Andretti raced in the 1960s.

"He was very, very well known by Eastern fans," said a solemn Andretti, who was named honorary chairman of a local Gehringer roast in 1987. "I cherish the friendship."

Gehringer used his knowledge of mechanics as a positive way of reaching local youth. He was instrumental in forming the Lehigh Valley Timing Association, a "hot rod" group for teen-age boys in the 1950s.

Youths needed a place to race their cars, so Gehringer helped control drag races on an abandoned air strip at Queen City Airport twice a month. The innovative group was later copied in communities around the country.

"He was like a father to them all," said Baer, who also worked in Gehringer's auto body shop. "All those kids used his tools and paint equipment and he never took a dime from them."

He kept the garage, and three of Gehringer's band mates, who were also auto body artists, became his work mates.

Gehringer went to World War II and served in the Army's last cavalry unit, the 124th Horse Cavalry out of Brownsville, Texas. He fought in the China-Burma-India theater, but rarely talked about battles, even with his friends.

He later was asked to join the Canteen Caravan, a group of traveling war musicians and comics. After returning from the war, Gehringer opened a barn with horses at the Allentown Fairgrounds, where he trained horses.

Much of Gehringer's routines were performed in the Pennsylvania Dutch community, where he was active in Grundsau lodges.

In 1977, Gehringer and his wife, Betty, settled in Florida to get away from the cold weather. He continued his community activism, becoming president of the Kiwanis Club in Eustis.

He opened a garage and warehouse known as DD (Dopey Duncan) Specialties. He built his own home from plans in a how-to book published by Reader's Digest.

In February 1986, he was working on the roof of a garage, cutting beams with torch. He went home tired and during the night had a stroke. Over the last four years, Gehringer spent many days in rehabilitation, including at Allentown's Good Shepherd Home.

In 1987, many area residents gathered at the Days Inn Conference Center, South Whitehall Township, to honor and roast Gehringer. Allentown Mayor Joseph Daddona and Lehigh County Executive David Bausch led 781 friends who paid $20 a seat for the affair. In continuing his benevolence, Gehringer requested that some of the money go to the Lehigh Valley Heart Fund and to Good Shepherd.

Over the last few years, the impact of the stroke worsened. Gehringer explained to friends that the right side of his body had a constant burning sensation. The sensation got worse and kept Gehringer from sleeping.

"He couldn't even play the guitar anymore," said Davies, who talked to Gehringer last week. "It was pretty hard for a man like Dopey who was handy with tools and everything else."

Richard "Dick" Layton spend much of his life with Gehringer, serving as a guitarist in the Top Hands and an ace repairman in Gehringer's garage. He even moved to Florida with Gehringer and joined him in his new shop and warehouse.

About a month ago, Gehringer called Layton if he would play guitar for what he called "the stroke club." Gehringer agreed and the two got together to practice. In the middle of the practice, Gehringer broke down crying because he forgot some of the words to the old songs

"He could still sing good, (but) some of the numbers he'd forget," said Layton, who first met Gehringer in 1941 when he auditioned for the band at Allen Cab Co. "I said `Dopey stick to the easy stuff and we'll get through.'"

In his "show must go on" style, Gehringer performed for the stroke victims, telling jokes and singing the songs he knew.

Family members are planning services for Gehringer today. An additional memorial service will soon be held in the Allentown area, according to Gehringer's son, Geoffrey.

Also surviving in addition to his wife and son is Gehringer's daughter, Donna Raedler of Pennsburg, Montgomery County.

Many of Gehringer's friends spent yesterday reminiscing about the man they called "Dopey."

Kleckner recalled Gehringer's young teen entrance into show business.

"As kids sitting in the alleyway in the backyard, he decided he wanted to learn to play the guitar," Kleckner said. "We walked from Jefferson and Chew streets to Ikey Phillips at 4th and Hamilton. I think he paid $4."

Kleckner asked a reporter yesterday if he was doing a story on his childhood buddy.

"You'd better save a big page," he said somberly. "He had a big life."




It was a night of jokes, memories and thanks.

It was a night to honor Dopey Duncan for his many contributions to the Lehigh Valley area over the years.

Dopey Duncan, an alias for Luther Gehringer, was the main attraction at a testimonial and roast attended by 781 friends and fans at the Days Inn Conference Center, South Whitehall Township.

Gehringer was active in many aspects of Lehigh Valley life, from entertaining as Dopey Duncan both live and on radio station WKAP for many years, and as a proponent of activities benefiting the area's youth.

"People do indeed remember you and what you've done for this community," former state senator JimRitter told Gehringer. "There's a lot of love in this room tonight, Luther Gehringer, and it's all for you."

Ritter read Gehringer one of the many proclamations he was to receive during the evening. Ritter presented one from the state Senate, honoring Gehringer for his service to the community. Ritter's daughter, Karen, D-131st District, presented another from the state House of Representatives honoring Gehringer. In addition, Allentown Mayor Joseph Daddona made June 28 "Dopey Duncan Day in Allentown," and Lehigh County Executive David K. Bausch proclaimed it "Luther Gehringer Week in Lehigh County."

Congratulations and good wishes also were sent from Gov. Robert Casey and President Reagan.

Many of Gehringer's long-time friends and co-workers roasted the 66-year- old, who now resides in Eustis, Fla. But before the jokes and fun got under way there were some more serious moments from Gehringer's fellow veterans of the China-Burma-India theater in World War II.

While an address was being read by a representative of the veterans' Great Valley Basha, Gehringer's face reddened and his eyes began to tear. He took off his glasses and wiped his eyes, then tried to hide his emotions from a touched crowd by covering his eyes.

Later in the evening, the roast began and Gehringer was forced to laugh at himself as his friends recalled stories of his past.

Gehringer got the last words in, however. He thanked everyone for their efforts in organizing the diner, which he thought was going to be nothing more than a little get together with friends. He wrapped up the evening with a poem, which he said was always important to him: "The Face In The Glass," about the importance of being true to oneself.

Gehringer received a standing ovation and, after the benediction, was kept at the head table for aboutan hour as streams of well-wishers approached him.

Walley Ely, chairman of the event, presented the honoree with an oil portrait of Gehringer and his wife, Betty, painted by Ronald DeLong of Allentown. He also presented a caricature portrait created by Allentown artist James Musselman, featuring scenes from Gehringer's life.

Betty Gehringer was presented with a video cassette recorder, because Gehringer has never agreed to have a VCR in the home, and they would need one to view a video tape made of the evening.

In his role as comedian Dopey Duncan, Gehringer used to dress in an outrageous costume including a checkered suit, a goofy hat, a string bow tie and oversized yellow shoes. His act, which was performed before a variety of audiences, often featured Pennsylvania Dutch humor.

Gehringer also was a radio celebrity, performing regularly on WKAP for more than 20 years. The achievement he was most praised for last night was not the fame he gained through entertaining, however. It was how he used his fame.

Gehringer was long an activist for community change and for a positive approach to local youth. A mechanic by trade, he was instrumental in forming the Lehigh Valley Timing Association, a "hot rod" group for teen-age boys in the 1950s. The group held controlled drag races on an abandoned air strip at Queen City Airport twice a month. The innovative group was later copied in communities around the country.

In continuing with his benevolence, Gehringer requested that some of the proceeds of last night's dinner, which cost $20 a seat, be donated to the Lehigh Valley Heart Fund and to Good Shepherd Home and Rehabilitation Hospital.

Mario Andretti, the honorary chairman of the event, was unable to attend last night because of his involvement with a grand prix race at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Gehringer is still partially paralyzed on his right side from a stroke he suffered in February of 1986.




Broadcaster gave 50s teens a voice and a place to race
May 02, 2002 By WALLY ELY, Special to The Morning Call -- Freelance
Gene Jaindl of Allentown tells it best: Dopey Duncan was getting fed up with the antics of his fellow WKAP broadcaster "Uncle Tom" Livsey. The long summer of Livsey's harassment of the teenage drivers in the Lehigh Valley had gotten to Dopey.

Livsey loved to brag how he knew everything that was going on in Allentown. City Hall. The Police Station. "Up and down the Rialto." And, he made a career of blasting politicians who didn't see eye-to-eye with him. His "Melody Ranch" noontime radio program on WKAP was extremely popular in the early 1950s, so when Livsey spoke, he was bolstering listeners who looked to him for support of their ideas.

BLOGGER COMMENT: If you think bloggers are a pain in the ass.. Livsey was a pure bastard for area politicians to endure! I can't count the number of lawsuits that were flying around when he was on WKAP and later on WHOL

So, Jaindl remembers that this young entertainer and car repairman-turned-broadcaster; a relative newcomer to radio took a bold step which would help him take his popularity to new heights, leap-frogging over Livsey as the voice the community cared about and respected.

In real life, he was Luther Gehringer, a Pennsylvania Dutchman through and through. Married. Father of two. Owned his own garage business. Played in more than one country band. But he was mostly known by his entertainer persona "Dopey Duncan."

It was the fall of 1952, and Jaindl was 16 when he heard Dopey invite young drivers in the community to a gathering one evening in a gas station on Union Boulevard in East Allentown. Livsey wasn't in on this one!

Duncan invited the president of the National Hot Rod Association, Wally Parks, from California to the session. To everyone's pleasure and amazement, Parks showed up! Duncan told the crowd of teenagers that he would support an effort to keep automobile racing off the streets, if the group could come up with a drag strip that was off the public right-of-way. That was what the teens wanted to hear: Adults agreeing with their ideas, and offering to help. And they had clout, locally (Duncan) and nationally (Parks.)

The young men formed a club to emulate hot rod racing organizations on the West Coast. Jaindl remembers they named themselves the Lehigh Valley Timing Association, and elected Duncan the first president. The quest for a permanent home and for a drag racing site was under way. Dopey had put a positive spin on all the bluster coming from another broadcaster, and was doing something constructive about it.

The kids (hardly any were as old as 20) decided early on that driving violations would not be tolerated. The peer pressure to drive safely on the streets was enormous. And it worked. The kids toed the line!

Within months, Duncan opened the doors to his auto body shop near Wescosville -- sharing everything he had with the young drivers. They in turn respected Dopey, accepted his help and learned from him. Soon, a barn along Spring Creek Road in western Lehigh County became available. Duncan made the arrangements, and the Timing Association had a place to hold meetings, work on cars, gather and share youthful ideas.

The kids decided to demonstrate to the community their sincerity about being good citizens, exactly the opposite of the Livsey picture of thugs and reckless hoodlums. They carried in their pockets business cards that read, "You Have Been Assisted By A Member Of The Lehigh Valley Timing Association, dedicated to safety…" At every opportunity, club members would help a stranded motorist get back on the road with a can of gas or a battery jump start. And they would never take a penny, choosing instead to hand the grateful motorist that little business card.

If Duncan were here, he would tell you of the phone calls and letters of thanks he received about this process. Every incident furthered his cause of making his LVTA members a bastion of respectability. Duncan told and retold the success stories of his young followers. Meanwhile, WKAP listeners every day heard about the need for an off-highway racing drag strip.

Duncan lobbied city fathers in Allentown for permission for LVTA to organize drag racing activities on a city-owned abandoned airport on the south side of the city of Allentown. Concurrently, Duncan negotiated with farmers around Trexlertown, trying to identify a drag racing site.

Maybe they got sick of seeing Duncan at city council meetings. For whatever reason, Allentown Mayor Donald Hock and city council eventually gave in and said, "yes." And from then on, it was up to the kids to prove they could do what they promised.

This is not the place to explain the success of the Convair Airport Drag Race operation. In short, the kids did all that was expected of them, and more! The Lehigh Valley Timing Association had pulled itself up from a bare bones beginning in 1952 to a respected organization in national drag racing circles by 1955!
All because Dopey Duncan decided to stick up for the young people of the Lehigh Valley.

Wally Ely is a producer and reporter for "Time Out Lehigh Valley" on RCN. He is retired from a career in bank marketing and research.



Lots More Information: A Blog Memorial to DD

America ON WHEELS Museum --Dopey Duncan" in His Shop"He owned the "Dopey Duncan's Auto Body Shop" in Wescoesville, Pennsylvania and, later, Cooper's Speed Shop in Alllentown. The car in the display area is a 1934 Chevrolet Hot Rod Coupe."

The "Orlando Sentinel" Obit-
Ex-radio Host 'Dopey Duncan,' 69, Dies "When Gehringer and his wife, Betty, retired in the early 1970s, they sold their home and set out to travel the country in a motor home. When they arrived in Lake County, they went no farther."
(Jake) VARGO DRAGWAY - A BRIEF HISTORY
Yes, Luther "Dopey Duncan" Gehringer even had a part of it's history too!



Frankie Laine Singing Dopey's Theme Song used for his radio program


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Greatest Political Speech Never Made

It is just as true in it's time as it is today..

Charlie Chaplin in the 1940 movie "The Great Dictator"



While we're on the subject..
This Concerning the Debt Ceiling




This too Which Concerns How Politicians Play Games With It...




What We Really Should Be Concerned With..


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GMO Madness (Cartoon)


Video Courtesy "UFOTVstudios "
©2013 Infomatic Films- Distributed by UFOTV, a UFO Video, Inc. Company


How Stores Spy On You



According to this article at Consumer Reports.org"Many walk-in retailers are taking spying to a new level. Video cameras record your every move. Your face and car’s license plate are captured and filed in searchable databases. Hidden cameras classify you by age, sex, and ethnicity, and even detect your body language and mood. Even your bank account records are being pried into. The main goal of these surveillance methods, of course, is to get you to shop more and spend more.
One such manufacturer, 'Axis Communications', posted the following video on YouTube



How CCTV can assist retailers in driving sales


From what I gather it is possible, with the right software, to identify a individual customer from the moment they pull into the lot. From that point on they could evaluate what kind of car they drive and it's value. How long they were in the store and through the use of the RFID tags on merchandise track where they went in the store. It's also possible to track eye movements to see what merchandise someone(s) are looking at. Then upon checking out, through the use of anything other then cash, further identify that person by name and address.

Upon repeated visits a retailer could develop a profile of the dollar value, how much and what kind of merchandise that individual takes home. It could also reveal whether someone goes shopping as an individual, with their mate or with whatever number of kids. It could also reveal whether kids influence the purchases they make via kids pestering their parent(s). Yes even one's gender and racial makeup.

With the proper software these systems can also detect any suspicious behavior which can trigger automatically an alarm on the system's security equipment. Who knows it may be even possible to detect your medical condition if the store has a pharmacy in it.

Which brings me back to my repetitive pleas for consumers to support small local business owners. If people are truly concerned about privacy .... VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET.