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Thursday, February 21, 2002     Page: 12A

PPL UTILITIES recently reported profits down by 67 percent. Some three weeks prior, they filed a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission of a liability in a Brazilian company, that liability being some $341 million. If this doesn't sound like another Enron deal, I don't know what does. I think there is a story here and I would appreciate the Times Leader looking into it and reporting on same.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps the difference between PPL and Enron is that PPL is reporting its financial troubles involving subsidiary operations.
    PPL reported a decline in diluted earnings per share of 65 percent from 2000 to 20001. Here's a synopsis of the Jan. 29 PPL news release:
    Earnings per share from core operations - the generation and sale of electricity in the United States and in the Pennsylvania electricity delivery business - rose from $3.28 in 2000 to $4.22 in 2001.
    Five events had the combined effect of diluted earnings per share from $3.44 in 2000 to $1.22 in 2001.
    Those five events were the Enron situation (reduced by 19 cents per share), cancellation of generation projects (reduced by 60 cents per share), the Brazilian electricity delivery problems (reduced by $1.48 per share), a re-evaluation of the value of an investment in England and Wales (reduced by 80 cents per share) and a pension accounting change (increased by 7 cents per share).
    Specifically about the Brazilian situation, the company reported that a prolonged drought, electricity rationing, the regulatory climate and disruption of Brazil's electricity markets have reduced the value of CEMAR, PPL's Brazilian electricity delivery company. As a result, PPL took a $217 million charge against earnings in 2001. An additional write-off of about $100 million is expected in the first quarter of 2002. CEMAR is trying to work with government officials to ensure a continuation of reliable and safe service to its 1 million customers.
    Despite the declines in diluted earnings, the company increased its common stock dividend by 36 percent. A full discussion of CEMAR and other PPL issues is available on line at pplweb.com. Click on Investor Center and PPL News.
    EVER SINCE the article was in SAYSO, there has been no smoking in the Dallas Post Office.
    I CAN'T understand why people call in SAYSO with so many complaints and there is no solution to whatever they are complaining about. So why even call and waste your time in calling in? There (are) no solutions to these problems and there is no reason to call in. When you get a solution to these problems, then continue to call in.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: See the call above yours.
    SAYSO ARTICLES keep criticizing President Bush about going overseas. That is part of his job. If you thick-headed Luzerne County Democrats, your heroes, the Clintons, spent more on overseas travel and money then any other president in the history of our country. Grow up and get a life. Join the Republicans.
    THEY OFTEN SAY that if people are cruel to animals most likely (they) are cruel to human beings. This past Sunday I was coming home from worship service in Nanticoke and I observed a woman on her front porch throwing rocks at a cat. The cat was scared to death and she kept hitting him with rocks. Naturally I called the cat and rescued him. It is just terrible the way people treat animals. How would they like to be treated the same way?
    I HAVE SOME advice for the King's and Wilkes students. If you are already a resident of Wilkes-Barre, get out there and vote. If you are a dorm student, you can change your registration to Wilkes-Barre and vote. That is the best favor you can do for everybody in town.
    LET US GET one thing straight. The $30 million lost in the state employee pension fund from investing in Enron doesn't affect only teachers but all state employees. The teachers and all state employees are in the same fund. Nowhere was it ever mentioned that the loss would be replaced, let alone replaced by taxpayer expense. Nowhere.
    I DON'T SMOKE, so the caller that said ``put it in your pipe and smoke it'' isn't getting anywhere with me. As far as the good old polka is concerned, it is the dumbest dance I ever saw, and listen sometimes to the lyrics.
    I WOULD JUST like to thank the person that turned in my lost cell phone to Redner's market at the Pittston Plaza in Pittston Township. Your actions were greatly appreciated. Again, thank you.
    THIS IS TO the chief of police in Lehman Township. If I were you, chief, I would quiz your officers on the definition of probable cause. I am a criminal justice major and I would just like to suggest, quiz them on probable cause.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds like you have a beef. Why not call our Law and Order Team and talk about it, though you should be aware that we will call police for their take on the matter.
    I WOULD JUST like to thank the young gentleman working at Blockbuster on the Sans Souci highway. I dropped some money the other day and he sent it to me. I am very grateful to him.
    DEAR DEDICATED doctor. Not all doctors are dedicated, but some are skillfully making money. The way they push people through, it is like Ford Motor production line making cars. Likewise, not all lawyers are greedy and help victims when you screw up. If doctors didn't screw up, we wouldn't be having this discussion. But the most greedy are the insurance companies taking high premiums from the workers and giving little service, refusing necessary tests and care. They have no school of ethics whatsoever.
    THE CITY removed a fire hydrant by the theater project this morning. It is the only fire hydrant in the first block of South Washington Street. I don't know if it was an accident or on purpose. Could you find out when it will be replaced? Does the fire department know it was removed? The two closest fire hydrants to it are several hundred feet away and are both low volume and they really wouldn't get a lot of volume of water there if there isn't a correct fire hydrant there.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney said the fire hydrant was on a ``small water line which gave the fire department between 500 and 1,000 gallons of water per minute.'' He said there are two hydrants at the corners of Northampton and South Washington and Market and South Washington streets that provide 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and those are the hydrants firefighters would use first. Delaney said he hopes the line that feeds the removed hydrant will be upgraded with a higher flow in the near future.
    DOES ANY ONE know where the Catholic Church gets the ashes that are distributed on Ash Wednesday? What do they burn to make the ashes? Does any one know?
    EDITOR'S NOTE: The church burns palms saved from Palm Sunday the year before. And, by the way, Ash Wednesday is not a Catholic-only observance. Members of many Christian denominations - from Roman Catholics to mainline Protestants, including Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians - observe Ash Wednesday.
    LUZERNE COUNTY, I dare say, is known as one of the most politically corrupt counties in the state of Pennsylvania, and nationwide they hear about it. Luzerne County is said to be somewhere in Pennsylvania. Have we any more substance than that? Is that all we're worth?
    MARK GUYDISH'S story about state employees getting raises, note: State retirees have not received a raise in four years. They contributed to build a pension fund up to over $15 billion, but are not getting their fair share. The politicians in charge are not being fair and have created a state (of emergency) situation amongst retirees. Mark, please ask them why they are not being fair or are they just being plain greedy.
    I'LL TRY TO find out one more time about Sunday's article, the Kanjorski Network. Is this the same Paul Kanjorski I saw on television at the Enron hearings, pounding the podium and shouting, ``it's greed, it's greed''?
    EDITOR'S NOTE: The very same.
    THIS IS TO Exeter borough officials. How about having police checking the side streets for illegally parked cars. No inspection stickers, no tags on their cars and are out there for at least a year. People have been complaining for over a year and a half and nothing seems to be getting done with this problem. People are getting disgusted with it. How about looking into this.
    NO WONDER DeNaples and all them people don't want their business dealings known. They bought the land. They sold one third of it for 13 times what they paid for the whole parcel. I guess all them people with Enron are looking at that the same way.
    THIS IS TRUE. I just read the article about the Nanticoke Street Department. Years ago, they picked up the garbage, recyclables and the yard waste and had 11 men working for them and a lot got done. Now they have seven men and nothing is done. I think they should shut the heat off in the trailer and have the men out working.
    THIS IS IN reference to the ATVs taking over the Newport Township area. Great job. That a boy, boys. That's for the Newport Township Police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission for the job they're doing on the Earth Conservancy land in Newport Township and in Wanamie and on the Retreat mountain area. Now that the ATVs are out running rampant, all the trails are now open in Wanamie and on the Penobscot mountains. Also, on the Retreat power line, beer cans are piled 4 feet high in the woods and it looks like they are moving the guard shacks from the prison to the middle of the mountain.
    IN REGARD TO police finding the Big Boy statue in the King's College student's room. They said they don't know if charges will be filed. Why don't they just charge them with receiving stolen property? That's what they deserve.
    IN RESPONSE TO ``You can say what you want about Clinton, but the economy was good and the stock market was up.'' The economy topped in January of 2000, long before this administration came in, and these accounting problems happened during his eight years in office. That's when we lost our fiduciary responsibilities.
    THIS IS TO all you people who don't think before you open your mouth. The city of Pittston doesn't have anything to do with the Pittston Cemetery. Just because it is called Pittston Cemetery doesn't mean we the people of Pittston have to take care of it. Check the facts before you open you mouths. Find out who does own the cemetery. You people who have buried there have to know who is in charge of it, and it isn't the city of Pittston.
    I WISH YOU people would do some investigating of the Valley West Middle School. They haven't had any hot water over there since last Friday. The kids can't even wash their hands in warm water. There is no hot water.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Deborah Troy, assistant principal at the Wyoming Valley West Middle School, said a small section of the school was without hot water, but for less than one day. As of Feb. 14, hot water was running fine from all outlets. The interruption in service did not pose a problem or health risk for the nurse, cafeteria workers or students, Troy said.
    I AM READING SAYSO from the doctor who said how hard he had to work and he comes from a family of doctors and goes on to refer to the greedy lawyers. Well, I take offense. I am not a lawyer. The lawyers aren't greedy, but if that doctor takes one good look, the insurance companies are what is screwing him up.
    I THINK THE Irem Temple and the Kirby Health Center are two beautiful buildings and worthy of a stop on the tour of the city. The entrance to the Kirby Health Center and especially the entrance to the board room, I believe it is on the left, are especially outstanding.
    SINCE WE HAVE a president, Mr. Bush, eager to cross party lines for the good of Americans and being that the health insurance, the national health insurance, is desperately needed by the American people, it seems like the time is right to get this accomplished. All this money going to foreign countries is OK, but give the American people the peace of mind we need at home, those of us that work and have no health care. I am a Republican, and I am an American.
    IT HAS BEEN over a week now since the story broke in the Times Leader about the landfill between DeNaples and Karam group. I have a question. Are these two gentlemen still on the board of trustees at the University of Scranton? It is pretty alarming that they weren't taken off of the board immediately after the story broke. I can't believe that school still has those people on their board.
    WHEN I DIDN'T receive my mail today, President's Day, I thought of another group of people that receive benefits at the expense of the working public, and that is the postal workers. They get socialized medicine, but we get the bill. I got my newspaper today. Does the newspaper staff get government free health care? I doubt it.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Nope and we didn't get President's Day off either.
    LISTEN, SANDRA. When your guy tells you you look better without makeup, he is lying through his teeth. And as far as ``Joe Sixpack,'' the guys around here are just as fat in the butt as the women.
    TO ALL YOU people who are always criticizing hunters for killing wild game, just remember that the God of the Bible required the killing of animals and sacrificing of these animals to him. So don't tell me that this is wrong to kill animals. They were created so we could eat or use them as we saw fit.
    I THINK ALLISON Walzer's column on Sunday, Feb. 18, was absolutely brilliant. I think all the residents of Luzerne County should now submit our bills to the county commissioners for doing nothing.
    EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's get going.
    IS THERE A branch of the public health department that specifically watches over beauty shops operating in this area? They should be forced to offer clean facilities to the public. The sinks in most of these shops are filthy and the brushes are full of hair from the past five years. How about fines for dirty shop operators?
    TO THE TEACHER who said that teachers in the valley are two or three times more educated then the average person. It is just too bad that they don't put that education to use like the average person uses common sense to do things. Education is great, but you have to use it, and it seems that the teachers are lacking a lot of it.
    TO THE PERSON who found the gift certificate on Feb. 12 between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, my name was clearly written on the front of the check. You made no attempt to turn it in at one of the two grocery stores where it might have been lost, nor did you check the phone book for a number. I hope you get caught forging my name on the bottom of the check, and might I add, I hope you sit in jail for quite a while because of the forgery.
    NO MENTION IS ever made of all the hours that teachers spend at night correcting homework.
    EXCUSE ME, BUT I would like to clarify something for the reading public. Teachers start their careers with a mere bachelor degree. Every credit they earn thereafter, every other degree, their costs are reimbursed by us, the taxpayers. So they may have an education, but we pay for it.
    (!NOTES!)views front; dave i. says first item has to run in sunday views
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