Wednesday, February 11, 2015



225,000 visits

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Wilkes-Barre to bid out inspections?

Who can answer these questions?

Why was Sherman Hills was not inspected for 6-7 years?

Why was this cesspool ( a murder last week) sold for a $7.7 million profit (96 %) in three years.?

 Why did Sherman Hills sell themselves to an affiliate of themselves (Treetop)?

  And why do I (through a Right-to-know) have hundreds of inspections on certain years with no matching paid receipts? 

  The other years I have nothing.


Monday, February 9, 2015

TIMES LEADER - Crestwood Junior told to "take a nap and not wake up,"


An editor is in many ways like a referee. There are refs that call games tightly and some loosely. So it is with an editor who decides what is fit to print. 

Imagine what a game would look like if the referee threw in his whistle and walked off the field of play. This is essentially what George Spohr has done as editor of the Times Leader. 

If there were a disability for Spohr - it would be "judgment impaired." He thinks that being fair is letting everyone do as they please. The sociopaths and imposters have free reign of the paper. They lie. They libel. They steal identities. They speak for people not themselves. One 17 year old Crestwood student was told "to take a nap and not wake up."  (See  LETTER TO THE EDITOR BELOW). The Times Leader doesn't even follow its own standards let alone what one would expect of even the worst newspaper.  


     Please remove Wilkes-Barre Times Leader George Spohr from his duties as the Times Leader Editor. The paper has fallen into a state of disrepute. Spohr has demonstrated a lack of common sense and inappropriate sensitivity to tose affrcted. Common sense is not something one can train for. 

      The articles and more importantly, the comments, are nothing but a literary cesspool. I am not so naive as to think that some of this vitriol doesn't get a short term bump in page hits. It is like staging a cock fight. Some will show up to watch.

     But at what cost? The integrity of the Times Leader is in a free fall. Investigative reporting is a thing of the past. The high end advertisers aren't going to be associated with a paper that peddles smut. Good luck with a low end "Ricky Lake" paper with ads for hot dogs and "Asian Yum Yum Massage."

I will allow you to scroll through the blog to give you just a sampling of the issues. George Spohr has said he won't touch anything. Identity theft and people posting under a false name can have dire consequences for the victim. The identity of the girl below has been hacked. She is a student at Oregon State (see HERE and then scroll down)
 Morgan Willer

This picture and the name of "Bethany Morgan Willer Rhodes" has been used on the TL comments section with very nasty comments. When this college student is looking for a job..."Morgan Willer"  will show up in a search with the Times Leader comments. HOW PRAY TELL IS SHE TO DEFEND HERSELF OF IDENITY THEFT?

Her picture has been used on over 500 comments !!
(and we think we know the imposter)
I have tried to contact her directly.

The bigger question is why does the Times Leader - who knows that identities are being stolen - do nothing?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR (02/08/15 Times Leader)
Warning: Blood may boil
Letter to the Editor: Venomous comments on 
newspaper’s website compel teacher to quit reading
Last updated: February 08. 2015 11:15PM - 67 Views 

I am an English teacher at Crestwood High School, and for the past eight years I have assigned my eleventh-grade students to write a letter to the editor. Although they were not required to send their letter to the newspaper, students were awarded extra credit if their letter was printed.

During that time, I am proud to say that more than 200 students have had a letter published in the Times Leader. Unfortunately, this is the last year that I will be giving the assignment thanks to the malicious statements directed toward them in the newspaper’s online comment section.

While I welcome intelligent feedback and constructive criticism for my students, the majority of the comments on the site offer neither. The personal insults and childish name-calling put teenage social media to shame in the area of juvenile pettiness. While many of my students found some of the immature commentary amusing, the laughing ceased when one poster, who refers to himself or herself as “LiberalTerminator,” stated to a 17-year-old girl: “I think you should go to sleep forever. That would end your misery.”

The vile comment was in reply to her harmless viewpoint that high schools should begin their day with a later starting time. I am astonished that such a statement would be permitted to appear and remain on the site. Although a classmate of the young lady reported said comment to the site’s monitors, the abhorrent proclamation continued to be accessible to any viewer with the click of a mouse.

It would be easy for the Times Leader to shed responsibility for this atrocity by claiming that the company Disqus operates the comment section and assumes responsibility for its content. The newspaper merely sits back and collects advertisement revenue. The fact remains, however, that the URL above reads

I understand that this is a turbulent time for newspapers as print readership has declined and several publications have folded. I also realize that online advertisement dollars are the only means for many papers to remain afloat. Unfortunately, the Times Leader loses any credibility as a reputable publication once one views the comment section of its online site, thus defeating its overall purpose as a legitimate news publication.

While I cannot predict the future success or lack thereof for this newspaper, I can assure you that its readership just declined by one.                      Bill Reznak
Commentary from Sunday Times Leader   Feb 1, 2015
Zeroing in: Vocal few can make comment board a nasty place
Last updated: January 31. 2015

Betty RoccograndiZeroing In     COMMENTARY   FEB 1  2015
Story Tools:    TIMES LEADER

Years ago, the Times Leader published a wildly popular feature called, “Say So.”

It was also, at times, an insanely unfair free-for-all verbal slug fest.

“Say So” grew by leaps and bounds because it allowed anyone out there to not only comment on news stories but also to take pot shots at just about anyone. Some of these cowards attacked individuals while hiding safely behind cloaks of anonymity.

I believe, for that reason, the powers that be at the time stopped the feature.

It’s so easy to criticize someone, isn’t it, when you’re not required to reveal your identity? How many comments, some vile, would appear online if the spineless authors were required to stand behind their remarks? I’m guessing not many.

There’s a lot being spewed in the comments section at the end of news articles, editorials, letters to the editor and opinion columns in local and other newspapers. Spirited debates are encouraged, and I’m all for that.

Writers generally love to hear what readers have to say. Sometimes those who weigh in are insightful and witty. Many readers make excellent points. It’s always enlightening to hear the other side because there’s always another side.

Then there are those who make the dialogue personal, add nothing to the conversation and diverge from the subject at hand while putting on display their narrow-mindedness, pettiness, sheer ignorance and, in some cases, viciousness.

Take, for instance, the person disparaging activist Mark Robbins, who shined the spotlight on Wilkes-Barre City’s former towing contractor Leo Glodzik, who has since been charged with several crimes. He or she comments as MarkGayRobins. Another called city critic Frank Sorick, Frank “Soredick.” Not funny in the least.

Now, if Bethany Morgan Rhodes is who she says she is, then we commend her for being one of the few who goes on the record. However, the youthful, innocent photo she includes with her postings belies her vulgarity. It’s hard to take an immature potty mouth seriously.

There’s no doubt that if our newspapers only published comments from those willing and unafraid to identify themselves, the comment sections would shrink. I’m not advocating this; however, there needs to be some controls.

It doesn’t take any guts to go online, as the big bad wolf, to opine that it “sounds to me” that a Luzerne County councilwoman’s ”got her hands down the manager’s pants!” or for “Wacknuts” to call Hugo Selenski’s former girlfriend an “ex-crack head” for everyone to read and possibly believe whether it’s true or not.

It would be nice to know who these people really are, so the rest of us can consider the source.

I cannot understand why a newspaper won’t publish a letter to the editor before the paper verifies the author’s identity and hometown but will allow readers to take anonymous swipes online at others with whom they disagree.

If someone wants to accuse a prominent elected official of being a drunk, a scoundrel or an adulterer, why not come out of hiding, tough guy, so the accused can come face to face with the person who defamed him? If not, how about sparing the rest of us your unsubstantiated remarks, which come darn close to libel.

Actually, there are codes of “Member Conduct” attached at the comments section of the Times Leader. They forbid using sexual preferences to insult someone “in any way, shape or form” and from using vulgar, profane, sexually explicit or defamatory language.

Unfortunately, some readers who seem to get a kick out of indulging in all of the above haven’t read the memo.

Personally, I’m flattered that Comedy Central superstar Jon_Stewart reads my column. Or does he? His picture accompanies his posts, so it must be him. If that’s not Jon Stewart, what’s stopping the rest of us from hijacking someone else’s name and photo to comment on news articles, pretending to be someone we’re not?

I believe the whole idea for comment sections is to get people engaged in the subject at hand, to agree or disagree, so fellow readers can hear diverse points of view on important issues which affect us all.

But like everything, there are those who feel the need to ruin a good thing by debasing a public forum with unnecessary name-calling, defamation and unverified allegations.

Betty Roccograndi is a Wyoming Valley resident and award-winning journalist. Zeroing In appears weekly.

George Spohr: Why do we allow such awful 

comments on the Times Leader’s website?

Last updated: January 31. 2015 11:30PM - 489 Views 

Every day – sometimes multiple times a day – the newsroom is contacted by someone who wants us to delete a comment made by a reader on

Some of those comments are lies. Some are vulgar. Some are offensive.

And all, unfortunately, are fair game.  (Is this the policy of Civitas? To publish lies?)

Online comments are the bane of many news organizations. As champions of free speech, most journalists probably would argue that anyone should be allowed to say anything at any time. As is so often the case, though, that freedom is abused. As a result, dealing with fallout from reader comments takes up an increasingly bigger part of our day.

Different news organizations have tried different approaches to solving the comment conundrum. Some allow their editors to edit comments. Some allow editors to delete specific comments. Some allow editors to delete entire threads. Some have moved from anonymous comments to Facebook’s platform (the theory there being that people are likely to be kinder when their name is attached to it). And still others have turned comments off of their website completely.

For a very brief period last year, began moderating comments. The backlash was swift from readers who accused us of censorship and deleting comments critical of the Times Leader. (For the record, that did not happen. Our journalists were instructed to approve any negative comment about the Times Leader – including personal attacks against me – simply because we didn’t want anyone to think we were censoring our readers.)

In response to that backlash, we returned to our old system that relies on “community policing.” When a comment is downvoted by three different users, that comment is hidden from view.

In the interest of full disclosure, what’s driving our policy is a fear of being sued.

Once we as a media organization begin tinkering with comments – either by moderating them or editing them – we have exerted “control” over that content. We then assume responsibility for that content. Given how many people misuse our commenting system, that’s not an assumption of responsibility we’re willing to accept.

Where we should draw a line between removing hurtful or harmful comments and not exerting control depends on whom you ask.

Different lawyers told us different things about where our responsibility falls. One attorney told me that we can delete comments and, so long as we don’t edit them, we haven’t crossed any “control” threshold. Yet another attorney told me that deleting comments is a de-facto form of exerting “control,” and we shouldn’t do it.

The same goes for users and usernames. Over the past few days alone, we’ve had multiple requests from readers asking us to ban users who were either impersonating or stalking other users. We couldn’t help them.

There’s no right-or-wrong way to handle those type of requests, it would seem. We tried doing the right thing by moderating comments – forcing readers to keep their comments clean and on-topic. But the online community revolted and we relented. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


QUESTION: Does the Times Leader verify that the ads for prostitutes and massage parlors are who they say they are?


Any reasonable person would assume an "adult" page (in the "Weekender") would be providing adult services. The ads with just phone numbers are likely to be for escort/prostitution. I don't they advertise for poetry reading. A man would naturally expect to perform coitus with some of the lovely dolls below.

1) Say a customer is tied up and killed by a prostitute whose rap sheet is a mile long. Or say too much cocaine was snorted?

Who took the money for this match to happen? The Times Leader. Did they know an illegal act would happen? Obviously yes. So wouldn't the Times Leader be at least partly liable? You would think.

2) If the Times Leader performed due diligence and gave proper warnings and acknowledged the prostitution was likely to occur - things would be a little safer. But  the the Times L:eader would be putting itself in the ring.

Damned if they do and damned if they don't. There seems to be a lot of criminality and liability lying on the floors of businesses around town in the form of the Weekender.

PS  The Times Leader editor is ultimately responsible for their part in the skin industry.This would be George Spohr.

Reporters like Bill O'Boyle, Jerry Lynette, Ed Lewis, Steve Mocarsky, Jenn Learn Andes, Roger Dupuis, and Mark Guydish and others have nothing to do with this. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How the Times Leader profits from the girly joints

I was in a Turkey Hill Mart the other day and I saw (what appeared to be) 11-12 year old kids (2 girls and 1 boy) leafing through "The Weekender" with giggles. I wondered if their parents would have been happy with what they were looking at. I saw that they were looking at the girly ads. Nice seed to plant in little girls' minds, huh?
Back Cover of Weekender
All photos courtesy of  Weekender; redactions made so as to not geive free advertising)

This blog post is not about men (mostly) who independently decide to visit these places. That is their personal business and I, like everyone else, have not been a choir boy my entire life. This isn't a lecture. This post is about a "community" newspaper and where it places its priorities. Especially given the paper is FREE and any child can walk away with it (The Weekender).

What I am more concerened about is the women who get caught in the industry - the industry the Times Leader supports through advertising (The TL owns The Weekender).

I refer to Asian women who cannot speak 20 words of English and who (according to previous TL article) only take cash. They are likely living lives as sex slaves... or perhaps indentured servants. Not fully independent.

I also refer to local young females who "work these places" to get cash to support their heroin habit (name your drug). Despite the rare examples cited on TV (such as an Ivy League stripper), very few girls have the moxie to take off their clothes in front of a phalanx of strange men. Interviews have shown that many girls will do a line of cocaine just to muster the courage to perform.

Even fewer females would go completely nude at one of the seedy BYOB shacks. 

Tragedy: A young mother I know from a local church (from a nice part of kingston) was on methadone. She fell off the methadone and began using heroin again. She went to the strip clubs to get money. The stripping turned to prostituting (often the case for more money). She overdosed and is now dead.

Recently the Spa below was busted by state police. Four years ago there was talk of women being trafficked.

A rational person would assume that one Asian Spa has a business model almost identical to another one down the street. So what does the Times Leader do? It pulls the ad for spa that was busted and continues to advertise for the other "me too" spas. Classy. Real classy

Courtesy Times Leader 

Fortunately we live in a two paper town. While no paper is perfect, the Times Leader has missed the mark by a mile. Based on:

1) Their published announcement that anyone can falsely assume another's identity (Comments secrion) and state defamatory remarks as that person...

2) The fact they don't follow their own guidelines which "forbid using sexual preferences to insult someone “in any way, shape or form” and from using vulgar, profane, sexually explicit or defamatory language."

3) The fact that they support the sex industry which promotes the enslavement of both local and foreign women.

I ask you to vote. Vote with your wallet. Buy the Citizens Voice.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


  George Spohr is executive editor of the Times Leader. He can be reached at He has ultimate controls of the Comments section at thr Times Leader.

 Do the following make sense to you legally or even as common sense?

- Libel is allowed on the TL comment site. You can say someone fondled babies or knocked Grandma out. It is all good.

- Posting under someone else's name is allowed.

-  Posting under someone else's name AND libeling someone else is allowed.

- Someone actually falsely posted as Leighton (w pic) and wrote a recommendation for a candidate that Leighton (presumably) did not favor.

- One comment poster has 9 aliases that we know of.


Below id the fake post of Thomas Leighton. Not only did the imposter use his name... but they used his picture. This is an outrage. We do not know who the poster is... but the Times Leader is opening up a "can't miss" political campaign... just hi-jack the profiles of anyone and write your own message. The TL calls this "free speech."

TL Editor George Spoher made this outrageous statement: “The same goes for users and usernames. Over the past few days alone, we’ve had multiple requests from readers asking us to ban users who were either impersonating or stalking other users. We couldn’t help them.”

No... no... no   you CHOSE NOT TO HELP HIM (in this case Leighton)


On Sunday night someone hi-jacked Ted M's identity and hurled an insult against one of Ted's (the real Ted) friends.

This is the TL Policy. Decide for your self if it is fair or even if it is legal.
1) Ted would have to find the post in question. This is he was at work or asleep. 
2)  Ted would have to flag the comment
3) Ted would have to find two other friends to flag it.
Ted would have to do this for every comment

The victim has to align his life around putting out fires that a perpetrator sets. THIS IS INSANITY.

Times Leader editor George Spoher said, “Some of those 
comments are lies. Some are vulgar. Some are offensive.
And all, unfortunately, are fair game.


What is printed in the Times Leader?

News articles   Sources are checked. Stories are vetted

Editorials         These are vetted.

Letters to Editor   These are vetted.

Public Comments   No due diligence whatsoever