A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Did you Boscov Today?

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that losing the Boscov store in downtown Wilkes-Barre would be a good thing. But I question some of the statements made recently by the powers that be about the city of Wilkes-Barre loaning 3 million smackers to keep it afloat. Mayor Tom Leighton swears-no wait let me rephrase that because we know Tom Leighton does NOT swear. He wouldn’t say excrement if he had a mouth full of it. It’s not in his vocabulary. Not even if he hits his thumb with a hammer. Hizzoner said “This will have no impact on the taxpayers.” Interesting choice of words. Impact? Does that mean if the loan to a bankrupt store, which after all is what Boscov is right now, is never repaid then that’s ok? Then where did the money come from? “This money does not come out of our general fund” says the Mayor. Then where from does it come? The special fund? The fund to pay for losing lawsuits against private citizens? That fund has been tapped out recently. According to published reports the loans are being financed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They have an address in Washington D.C. I checked it on the internet which is now, as Homer Simpson says, on computers. So the money is coming from our country tiz of thee’s Government. Where does the Government get that money? From the big printing press in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, I know. It’s just down the street. But where does the money really come from? Here’s a hint. You pay taxes, right? And even though the Mayor says all is well a teeny tiny bit of uncertainty exists. Todd Vonderheid, Chief Executive of the Greater Wilkes-Barre chamber of Business and industry said “There’s clearly some risk.” Hmmm. 3 Million dollars is a lot of risk in a city that from all appearances does not have mountains of cash stored in silos. I hope Boscov’s survives. I really do. Because I have this sinking feeling if they don’t that I know who will be paying the bill no matter what the powers that be say. Oh and could they use some of the 3 million to maybe spruce up the joint a tad? Last time I was there the store was showing its age and not well. A little paint, some new carpets and maybe a swipe with a dust mop would be a help. Near the escalator that was broken that day I counted in my line of sight 15 light fixtures with burned out bulbs.
If the lights are out, there isn’t anybody home. Or then again I could be wrong.

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