Friday, November 28, 2014

Butt-fumble distant memory for Sanchez as Eagles rip Cowboys | New York Post

   It just dawned on me....Maybe its the JETS who suck and not Mark Sanchez. Best wishes to our former QB in his bid for playoff glory with the other green team.

Butt-fumble distant memory for Sanchez as Eagles rip Cowboys | New York Post

Dog Park Siting Creates Rival Factions Based on Interesting Criteria

   City Councilman Stephen Jennings is going full bore in favor of a Thompson Park location for the proposed dog park. Mr. Jennings is introducing his own resolution to that effect rather than just trying to amend the one I am introducing naming. Councilman Jennings invokes the name of the Northern NY Community Foundation in his resolution and he distributed some letters to Council members he says indicate 88% of the public supports his position.
     Following a tour of six proposed sites, Council Members discussed their first-blush opinion and there was no stated support for Thompson Park, but Mr. Jennings has since argued that fundraising efforts are linked to his site and that those who have agreed to help in fundraising all back the Park site. Mr. Jennings is joined by long time dog park advocate Scott Gates in supporting the Thompson Park location.
    Mr. Gates has debunked the other locations for various reasons.
   Opponents of Thompson Park argue it's already a place dogs are brought and it's relative isolation would discourage use by those most in need of an off-leash area. 
     The other arguments in favor of the competing Factory Street Park location is that facility is underutilized, it would be easy to develop as the land is clear and a parking lot exists. There is also visibility from the street and a location near downtown where an emerging urban population lives and is moving to.
      A dog park on Factory Street would also be a way to spruce up a neighborhood due for a $13M street reconstruction next year. The other argument is that some neighborhoods are in need of efforts to lift them up and provide amenities perhaps most needed.
     A common argument against Factory Street is the people in the neighborhood are not who much of the community wants to associate with.
     Either way, what I thought was a process to bring consensus will be contentious, but that's part of governing too.
     

Time to Buy a Gas Guzzler !

   A decision by OPEC to maintain current production prompted another drop in oil prices with a barrel now under $70.  A sub $3 gallon of gas was reported in Watertown over the weekend.
    Consumers, businesses and really any entity that uses gasoline if getting a break and some experts say the price of a barrel could fall further.

WDT: Extra Cash Has Albany in a Spending Mood

   Albany is awash in cash and that has everybody with a pet cause...from education to infrastructure, money from a settlement with insurance companies has puffed the cash reservoir by $3.5B.

    That's not a lot given the voracious appetite of Big Education and the cost of even basic highway projects.

     The amount of money in question is about as relevant to the state as those $350 checks were to an average household.

Watertown Daily Times | Cash on hand

WDT: Election tallies confirm Nov. 4 results in most races; 116th still up in the air

      Among registered voters, those who didn't care won 62% to 38%.....That's right, less than two in five registered voters cast ballots in numbers released by the Jefferson County Board of Elections. The numbers confirm the election of Colleen O'Neill as Sheriff and there are still the 300 or so absentees waiting for a judge to decide in the race for Assembly.

       Many observers say it's now likely Assemblywoman Addie Russell hangs on to win, but we will see.

Watertown Daily Times | Election tallies confirm Nov. 4 results in most races; 116th still up in the air

Thanksgiving Shopping Makes People Do What Doesn't Make Sense

     After a day of watching football and working for a bit, I just can't imagine  milling around Target or K-Mart at 1:41 in the morning instead of watching TV while lying in a warm bed.

     In the late afternoon two gentlemen stopped in for a beer as they were expected by the Mrs. to be in line at Target at 6PM in hopes of getting the 40 inch TV for $110. They had no choice as the wife called them to make sure they were on track and not in a bar drinking beer and watching.

      The idea of doing that and likely not succeeding is crazy.

Thanksgiving shopping starts at dawn

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Validation

   So, there I was at Ruby Tuesday's talking to a gentleman from Florida who travels on business and had no idea who I was...
    He ask me what the big issue in Watertown is and I mentioned the dog park siting. He then ask me, without prompting, if our downtown is residential or a "ghost town at 5PM."
     I related how well we are doing and how much is being invested and the man...named Tom...immediately told me it's a no brainer.
     The dog park should be a part of a resurgent downtown.  He still didn't know my nexus to the issue, so I thought his remarks especially prescient....and gratifying...
     I do try to discuss the topic with as many people as possible but I will concede I don't travel in the same circles as the Councilman now siding with SG.

WDT:| Watertown Savings Bank acquires deed for Cape Vincent’s Roxy Hotel

   When I got into the bar business thirty years ago, I scratched and clawed for years, upgrading and making ends meet. I am still there.
   The Roxy in Cape Vincent was a nice cozy bar in an old hotel and the State of NY lavished money on a developer who had no business being in the bar business. Now the bank is taking it back. Albany's money is gone.
   There are instances where these things work out, like the Woolworth Building.  However, public funding for a gin mill is not a good idea, as the way to succeed is to scratch and claw and keep government as far away as possible.
I hope WSB can find someone who can make a go of it, but from following the comments on the blog, I can see Cape Vincent is so seething with antipathy, I am not sure a social setting can succeed.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown Savings Bank acquires deed for Cape Vincent’s Roxy Hotel

Hundreds Turn Out For Turkey Day Race | WWNY TV 7

   In a day where excessive calories is a certainty, several hundred hearty souls were out early today for the Turkey Trot, a 5K race.

     It's nice to approach the table with penance already done, although the charts you see on the amount of exercise needed to counteract what's on the table shows it's a hopeless cause.

      But there's always tomorrow.

Hundreds Turn Out For Turkey Day Race | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local

EDITORIAL: New York doesn't need its own weather service - Niagara Gazette: Opinion

   The Niagara Gazette has panned Governor Cuomo's plan for a state weather forecasting service. The Gazette says its ill-advised and a duplication of fully adequate predicting from the National Weather Service..

     Down the road, the Buffalo News supported the plan to spend millions of dollars on the prognosticator for the Second Floor.

EDITORIAL: New York doesn't need its own weather service - Niagara Gazette: Opinion

Politico: Modern Times Have No Lock on Partisan Kerfuffles

   Here's a good Thanksgiving history lesson that shows the two parties can get all worked up over executive overreach and traditional American values without cable TV to amplify it.
President Set Off a Firestorm in Bid to Help Stores

    Back in 1939, when FDR unilaterally moved Thanksgiving up a week to help the retail industry, there was a partisan firestorm and for two years the holiday was celebrated on separate Thursdays in red and blue states (but they didn't call them that back then.)

Franksgiving - Josh Zeitz - POLITICO Magazine

Decorated Fort Drum Soldier Killed in Attack in Afghanistan

       Not all families can sit down for a cozy Thanksgiving dinner and some like the wife, five children and mom of Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner spend this day grieving.

        The decorated 48 year old career soldier stationed at Fort Drum was killed this week in Kabul, a reminder how thankful we need be for those serving in harm's way.
        Also killed in the same attack was 27 year old Specialist Joseph Riley.

Decorated Fort Drum soldier killed in attack in Afghanistan | syracuse.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You Can Escape

   If you feel the need to get out, the Pearl Street Pub will be open as usual at 8AM.   Stop by on your way to somewhere else....It will be a fun time watching football and getting away from the hub bub.
    And at night its Erin from Pete's !

I'm In Charge Here

     It's snowing in parts of NY and in this age...in the post Katrina world....no politician wants to be seen as insensitive to anyone's suffering....or anyone's momentary inconvenience as well....
     Today...after days in Buffalo fussing over snow filled driveways, Governor Cuomo convened a cabinet meeting to discuss an snow event in eastern NY.  An event that will slow traffic but little more.


       Listen, when snow looms in Watertown, I know that Gene Hayes and the DPW will get it done and I don't lose sleep over it.  If it's really bad, I will visit the troops to let them know they are doing a great job......Governor.....I know you always want to be seen as engaged, but your people will get the routine stuff done....Chill

In Some Quarters, Elise Will Never Feel the Love

   No honeymoon for Elise....She is weeks away from raising her right hand and former and future foe Matt Funiciello is pledging weekly critiques......Democrats like Danny Francis are calling the HOTLINE rapping her choices for staff positions.....and in the comment section of blogs the sniping has begun...Some snark noted in media as well and even the WDT is using the least flattering file photo in a story today.

      Of course politics isn't bean bag and in NNY the chattering class likes their role, but when they want something, they'll be the first ones asking for help....whether its saving Fort Drum or raising the water levels at their cottages.
Funiciello to issue weekly critiques of Stefanik

Capitol Hill Policy Veteran Named Stefanik Chief of Staff

   Rep-elect Elise Stefanik has named Lindley Kratovil as her chief of staff for her new Congressional office.  Ms. Kratovil worked in the Bush White House, the Department of the Treasury and was legislative director for a pair of GOP MOCs.  She attended Vanderbilt University.
Lindley Kratovil       


      Ms. Stefanik also announced Michigan native and University of Rochester grad Emily Hunter as scheduler. 

Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving......

  Republicans are increasingly glum about their prospects of winning the 116th AD race as their candidate trails by 103 with only 317 votes outstanding. The matter is in court on Monday. One GOP insider said the trend among absentees, affidavit ballots and Election Day machine totals supports the premise that John Byrne's late media surge meant the picture on November 4 was different from a month earlier when absentees were cast.
    Many people today are talking about the Lottery winner...Judy Brown gave a piece of her million a year to her two brothers. A nice gesture, and she gets $800K a year.
    That's a healthy annual income but nothing to get getting crazy about and giving money to everyone with a hand out.
    Throw it in the bank. Pay bills. And think about what you want to do and how you want to live.
     Thursday night's a treat on Pearl Street as Erin from Pete's will be filling in on the holiday. Good to see some folks like making the extra cash. Stop in and see Erin. Maybe someday we can get the McGraw lass to make a guest appearance on this side of town.
     No one I know thinks the Andy Cuomo Weather Service idea is a good one.
      And I did notify June that the Times Union mistakenly identified me as a Republican as I don't want the Second Floor to get the wrong idea with so many important things for Watertown in the hopper.
  

Nice N Easy with Tim Hortons Drive-Thru Planned on Washington Street in Watertown

   More doughnuts for Watertown as a Tim Horton's/Nice and Easy is planned for Washington Street at the city limits. Convenience  stores are getting thicker than bugs on a bumper.

Nice N Easy with Tim Hortons Drive-Thru Planned on Washington Street in Watertown

From On High, Media Discovers Society's Foibles and Failings

    A couple of arrests for prostitution and suddenly the folks at 120 bellow its a growing problem in Jefferson County.
    They call it "indoor" prostitution as it occurs in hotels and contact is made over the Internet...Hey, it's cold outside. See "hooking up" and "on-line dating."
    When he was alive, Alex Duffy had some great stories about the madams on Court Street, so its probably not as new as our cub reporters think.
      But don't get me wrong, I'd run the story too....And I'd make it a series. November is still a sweeps month, isn't it.
      Not to be outdone, the folks at 260 this week discovered some people drink too much.
Feedback: Prostitution Is Growing Problem In Jefferson County | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Some Relief for Jail In Sight...But Issues Remain for New Sheriff

     The new Sheriff will have some additional inmate space to start out in January as a dormitory project nears completion. It's not the additional wing, Sheriff John Burns wanted and there will still likely be inmates housed elsewhere, but its an improvement.

     Meanwhile, the City's modest lock up at City Hall continues to be an option for pre arraigned inmates as they are, I understand, still not being held at the county jail.

Watertown Daily Times | Dormitory conversion at Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building nears completion

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

20 Republican wannabes to watch - Mike Allen - POLITICO

       I like Rand Paul, but many think he can't win, so I think John Kasich is the early favorite in the GOP field for 2016.  I don't think Mitt goes for it, Jeb is another Bush and Rubio and Jindl lack appeal.....

20 Republican wannabes to watch - Mike Allen - POLITICO

WDT:Stefanik says she’ll embrace bipartisanship and constituent service

   The Post Star or the HOTLINE....either way you can find out what's on Elise Stefanik's mind. Today the Congresswoman-elect called the popular radio show to explain how her first weeks in DC have been and how she plans to seek bi-partisan approaches to many issues.
    Ms. Stefanik says with orientation over, she is back in the district and will next be in Watertown on December 8.
Watertown Daily Times | Stefanik says she’ll embrace bipartisanship and constituent service

George Stephanopoulos lands first interview with Darren Wilson who breaks silence to the ABC anchor | Daily Mail Online

      The only time I met George Stephanopoulis was in a hotel in Buffalo in 2000 when he was covering speeches by Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton to an Indy function when it looked like those two would compete for the Senate seat.
       He was very gracious and offered my date his coat in the chilly room....Of course I should have first, so I learned a lesson in chivalry.
       Anyway, George got the "get" in the Ferguson case with an interview today with police officer Darren Wilson...
       Had to do it in a secret location.
George Stephanopoulos lands first interview with Darren Wilson who breaks silence to the ABC anchor | Daily Mail Online

Governor Cuomo Urges Motorists to be Safe and Consider Potentially Hazardous Conditions When Planning Holiday Travel | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

      It' weather on the ones for Andy as just off the Buffalo weekend he is warning New Yorkers to be wary of the next storm, a nor'easter that will blanket the eastern parts of the state.
      The Governor is not satisfied with traditional weather forecasters and wants his own weather bureau.
Governor Cuomo Urges Motorists to be Safe and Consider Potentially Hazardous Conditions When Planning Holiday Travel | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

McHugh for SecDef ?

   Former NNY Congressman and current Secretary of the Army John McHugh is on the list of possible replacements for outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Mr. McHugh is a Watertown native and is an avid reader of this blog.

Times Union: Stefanik Called "Fearless"

   The Albany Times Union was not a fan of Elise Stefanik's candidacy, instead preferring Aaron Woolf, but allowed some kind words in print today.....

    One error though....The T-U identified me as a Republican. I am not registered in any of the established parties in NY State.

Churchill: Rising political star has deep Capital Region roots - Times Union

Watertown Woman Living Large After Lottery Win

   Watertown resident Judy Brown, a retired nurse, is the million dollar lady, having won $1M a year for life. She gave 10% of the prize each to her two brothers and will collect $800K a year herself. That take the edge off retirement.

    Congratulations Judy !

Major Story on Several Levels Today in Gouverneur

  
The biggest news story in NNY today is the Jefferson County woman who bought a $30 Lottery ticket and won a million dollars a year for life.
     That's a life changing event and a human interest gold mine. In fact you could get three days of stories about it by focusing on those surrounding the winner.....Like neighbors, co workers, etc.
Who's looking to pick the carcass ? What do you do with that money as in investing and taxes.....
     People like to dream and they are always interested in what other people make or have.
     So like I said....this is a big story. In fact I would have advanced it with a visit to the store in Gouverneur in a bid to find out ahead of time.....But that's why I'm not in the news business anymore...Too tabloid.

Al Roker takes on Cuomo for forecasting criticism | Politics on the Hudson

   The big names in weather, Sam Champion and Al Roker, are taking on Governor Cuomo over his claims the forecasters left government flat footed in dealing with the Buffalo snow storm.
     The predictions were for a "historic" storm with two to three feet significant additional accumulation possible.
     That's what happened.....
      The Governor spent a long weekend in Erie County overseeing cleanup..But in the process rapped the weather people, suggesting the state set up its own forecasting agency.
Al Roker takes on Cuomo for forecasting criticism | Politics on the HudsonPolitics on the Hudson

Stefanik seeks to set bipartisan tone-Post Star

    Fort Drum, bipartisan cooperation, transparency are key themes of Rep-elect Elise Stefanik as she has completed freshman orientation and is working on a legislative agenda for her new job as the face of a new generation of leadership in the capital.
    I'd stay away from the boilerplate and predictable rhetoric normally found in the two cable news echo chambers populated by the two parties.
    Just pass a few things and give the public the confidence to make a change up the street in 2016. It's a long term game that extends beyond a spot on tonight's Hannity.
Stefanik seeks to set bipartisan tone#.VHPJea5EU8k.twitter#.VHPJea5EU8k.twitter#.VHPJea5EU8k.twitter#.VHPJea5EU8k.twitter

NJK: City to Consider Outdoor Ice Rink in J.B. Wise Parking Lot

   This is a good idea from Councilman Butler, and should happen if the technical issues can be bridged. Again, creating activity and focus on downtown is a good thing and we have the facilities that we need to better utilize.
    Outdoor rinks are always a challenge due to changeable weather, but it's worth a try.
City to Consider Outdoor Ice Rink in J.B. Wise Parking Lot

Heartless, pathetic Jets bottom out with Bills massacre | New York Post

   Time to root for the other green team this year as the JETS proved how horrible the 2014 version is in a 38-3 loss to the Bills in Detroit.

      It was one of those games you couldn't watch anymore, so I didn't.  Let's see how the Eagles do on Thursday with former JET Mark Sanchez at the helm.

Heartless, pathetic Jets bottom out with Bills massacre | New York Post

Monday, November 24, 2014

No Charges in Ferguson

     UPDATE:  Riots broke out overnight with looting and businesses set afire.


A Missouri grand jury has delivered a no bill against police officer Darren Wilson in the Ferguson MO case that has captivated the nation.  The death of Michael Brown was ruled not to have been a crime.
     President Obama spoke after the decision and urged non-violence and restraint.
     Hopefully the City of Ferguson can work through this with a minimum of violence.

WDT: Cuomo signs elected city judge legislation

     Governor Cuomo has signed a bill to ensure both Watertown City Judge seats are filled by election. This may be the first instance of expanding the voter's franchise in an era when most of the functions of government are done by appointed people.

      It was the right move and Judge Catherine Palermo will face election in 2017.

Watertown Daily Times | Cuomo signs elected city judge legislation

Ferguson grand jury reach decision on Darren Wilson shooting | Daily Mail Online

       The nation will watch Ferguson, MO tonight as the grand jury's decision is announced at 9PM in the case involving Officer Darren Wilson who may be charged in some way with the shooting death of  Michael Brown.
       While few expect the most serious charge, one wonders if the jury feels the pressure to do something in order to stem violence. Many accounts say the victim was in the officer's car trying to grab his gun, so speculation has also been a no bill may be coming.
        How long after 9PM will the Commenter in Chief speak ?
Ferguson grand jury reach decision on Darren Wilson shooting | Daily Mail Online

Owens discusses transition

   It might be too much to ask for, but it would be nice to see a mature, cordial transition and not what I have been told is standard practice where in a party change all office documents on constituent issues are shredded.  I've been told stories about that in State Senate and Congressional transitions and I always shake my head.

    I can't imagine that would happen with a class guy like Rep. Bill Owens, and hopefully the incoming Member will follow up on things started by the incumbent.

Owens discusses transition

Talks under way to give NY legislators a pay raise | New York Post

    Whoever loses the 116th may have extra reason to be sad as the Post reports those pay hike talks are gaining traction and some speculate the end salary will be above the $112,500 paid to each of 50 NYC Council members. Wow....Hope they cut the per diems, lulus and ability to earn outside income.
     Commissioner pay would also go up but the Post reports the Governor needs cover from major newspaper editorial boards. The Buffalo News has scolded "greedy" lawmakers, but the WDT favors a hike.
Talks under way to give NY legislators a pay raise | New York Post

Stanley Law Helps Our Urban Mission.

      Famous TV lawyer Joe Stanley was in at the Watertown Urban Mission today to help out with the food bank during the holidays Mr. Stanley who is well known for his "Joe knows" commercials for his Syracuse law practice.  Mr. Stanley and radio personality Glenn Curry presented the Mission's Erika Flint with $4300 from a recent concert in Clayton.
      Mr. Stanley toured the Factory Street facility and saw the operation which is buzzing away. Lots of frozen turkeys and a full lobby of people in need.
       It's always good to see people helped and we appreciate Mr. Stanley taking in the Mission while he was up here.

Promoting Obamacare is Expensive

   I would have done that commercial for Obamacare the state shot in the Arcade recently. I know what they spent in terms of production costs and walking around money. Good for the Bartletts.  Now the media also gets a chunk too, so they will look kindly on it all.
    An adjacent business grabbed $300 to rent some space for the day to be used for costume and make up.  They had a crew of like 15 and one guy just to check shelves to make sure no brand names were visible in the background. The end result was top notch and the actors are now members of SAG.
    They even get royalties.....So much for spontaneous testimonial.

WDT: Woman Wins Million a Year for Life.

   Economic development has just occurred in our area.  Tomorrow morning in Gouverneur, a Jefferson County woman will be awarded a Lottery prize of a MILLION DOLLARS a year for life (at least $20M).

   This may be the biggest economic boon to the area since Fort Drum expanded.

Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County woman wins lottery prize worth at least $20 million

Odell Beckham catch defies gravity on Sunday Night Football | Daily Mail Online

    New York football fans will apparently have nothing to cheer about in the post season and Giants fans will have to settle for memories of the "greatest catch of all time"....a snare by Odell Beckham, Jr. in the Giants loss to Dallas.

     Meanwhile the 5-5 Bill hope to keep their thin playoff hopes alive tonight in Detroit against the JETS.

Unlikely to happen though.

Odell Beckham catch defies gravity on Sunday Night Football | Daily Mail Online

The Weather Guessers to Andy....Not So Fast - The Buffalo News

       Faceless bureaucrats are fighting back, saying they did predict the dire weather in WNY amidst claims by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Erie County officials that the National Weather Service failed to predict the intensity of the storm.
      Forecasts called for blizzard conditions and heavy snow in the range of two feet or more. As it turns out it was more, but overall the NWS did sound the bell....Not loud enough for the Governor who now wants his own weather service to predict storms.          
Weather Service defends forecasts as Cuomo seeks state system - City & Region - The Buffalo News

Wages of Sin Vary Widely in Pamelia

   The price of sex varies in the Town of Pamelia. Two women arrested for alleged prostitution. One is said to have charged $85, the other $200. But in any retail trade there is a gradation in pricing for essentially the same product. A can of Busch goes for about $2 in many working class bars, but a Heineken costs $4 or $5 in the same spot.    

3 Charged In Alleged Prostitution At Pamelia Motel | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Hospitality industry readying to get swamped on Black Friday

      Let's hope people let loose and visit local hospitality haunts, be it restaurants, taverns and the like. Wednesday is usually a pretty good day as folks get off from work early and Friday just about everyone is off.

      Thursday is usually at home but some are out and movies do well that night. Let's kick off the holiday season with revelry and don't forget small business Saturday.

Watertown Daily Times | Hospitality industry readying to get swamped on Black Friday

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What bartenders actually think of your drink order

  This is actually pretty true.....Among the other modern phenomenon is somebody holding up their cell phone and saying "make this" as they just discovered something on the Internet.
Bartenders Can Tell a Lot About You By What You Drink
    Guys shouldn't be ordering White Russians and you get tired of people wanting Long Island Ice Teas and then thinking it should be a $3 drink.
     And don't order a sidecar or a pink squirrel unless you are over 90.
What bartenders actually think of your drink order

Cuomo: National Weather Service got it wrong...Albany Weather Service Will Do Better

    Governor Cuomo says New York State will get its own weather forecasting capabilities after he says the National Weather Service botched the predictions of extreme snow belt activity in Western NY.
     Mr. Cuomo says the NWS got it wrong and didn't warn about the intense local snowfalls.
     Gee, I thought they gave a lot of warnings, and in our area little developed. However, the prospects for a serious storm were forewarned, although exact snowfalls and locations are head to predict.
      Sometimes bad weather happens and the state doesn't need to be in the forecasting business.
Cuomo: National Weather Service got it wrong | wivb.com

WDT:Local restaurateurs featured in state health coverage campaign

   Hey, didn't I read this here the other day ?

Watertown Daily Times | Local restaurateurs featured in state health coverage campaign

Did You Know ?

   Was I the only one asleep the past thirty years ? I follow pop culture and remember Bill Cosby coming to Watertown two years ago. He was always an icon going back to his days on I Spy. Now everyone says these allegations have been talked about all along....I don't think they were. That's just cover for those who never brought about his fall from grace earlier.
     Now it's reported with impunity he is a serial rapist.

He Was the Original Rob Ford and More Durable...Marion Barry Dead at 78- The Washington Post

   He was shot...he was arrested in a crack sting. he did six months in jail, had four broken marriages, and much more, but Mayor Marion  Barry's life was DC and he served four terms as mayor and 15 years on City Council, presiding over racial strife, Super Bowl wins, redevelopment of blight and countless things good and bad for the Nation's Capital.

    His death at age 78 ends the career of a political icon, albeit a flawed one.

Marion Barry dies at 78; 4-term D.C. mayor was the most powerful local politician of his generation - The Washington Post

After Considering Options, I Came to a Conclusion

    My position on the dog park location was actually not where I started when Council agreed weeks ago to designate a site based on a selection process. Originally I leaned towards the Fairgrounds as its easily accessed and has other facilities and supervision on site. Because of competing uses, it didn't make the cut when the planning staff did not include it in its list of six proposed sites.
    When I heard the Sewall's Island proposal it was intriguing as it would begin the rehabilitation of the potentially scenic island. However the logistic and regulatory issues made it a bridge too far at this time.
      I hadn't thought about Factory Square Park till staff recommended it as a contender. When I looked at it's advantages and its position to be a part of redevelopment in the city center, I liked the idea.  I am wedded to the idea of revitalizing the city's core...I plead guilty to that.
     I will not run around trashing the sites I passed on, as if Council went in another direction I don't want the well so poisoned by rhetoric that no one will support it. You see decisions are based on available, information and judgment. I happen to believe I have chosen the  best course...It doesn't mean I believe I am right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. They just have a different opinion and I respect that. 
     The sites were vetted for suitability and availability issues already by the Planning Department. That's why we went that route.
      The decision will be made December 1.
    

Bill Cosby paid off women says ex-NBC employee - NY Daily News

      At age 77, after years of being portrayed as America's Dad, Bill Cosby is getting his turn in the barrel as the piling on has started over his randy ways back in the day when he was king of TV.  Now a former NBC employee has come forward to say he paid off women and stood guard at the dressing room door while young models visited.

      While it might have been an issue at the time, it wasn't and NBC was happy it was not.

Bill Cosby paid off women says ex-NBC employee - NY Daily News

WDT: Critic No Fan of Tim Horton.

    With doughnut joints opening all over, the new WDT restaurant critic has taken a swipe a chains in favor of  people having their confection communion with locally made fried goods.

     Big Shelby celebrates local greasy floaters over the Tim Horton variety.

     Regardless of taste issues, let's remember Tim Horton's and other chains contribute a bundle to the tax base as with the new store on the North Side , replacing an abandoned bank building on Mill Street.

Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Socialization Skills Needed for People Too

          One of the great euphemisms I heard once for drinking is that alcohol is a "social lubricant".
          During the Holidays, the occasions for cocktails are many and nowhere is that more true than at the historic Crystal Restaurant, where Tom and Jerries flow freely for six weeks.  It is a tradition that brings people together to socialize and these days everyone is on Facebook with cocktail in hand.
          This is a tradition that brings family and friends together.
        

Cuomo On The Scene in Buffalo for Storm Aftermath

    Governor Cuomo has spent a lengthy amount of time in the Buffalo area this week, offering support to workers and comfort to those affected by the heavy snow that crippled parts of WNY
. A strong state presence helps speed recovery and is needed to mitigate these events and the Governor on the ground lets people know someone cares.
    I know from visiting shelters during the 1998 ice storm, people in need appreciate knowing their leaders are there and someone cares.
   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Novelty Game in Detroit a Hit With Fans

   Both are visiting teams with scant playoff hopes (none for the JETS), but Ford Field in Detroit will be filled for what should still be an exciting rivalry....Free tickets went in a hurry and if I had known it was going to be indoors, I would have planned a trip there to see Gang Green over come the three point spread and win their third game.

Free online tickets for Bills' game against Jets at Ford Field no longer available | syracuse.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

Polish Town Opposes Pooh Bear for Unclear Gender - ABC News

    Officials in a town in Poland oppose naming a local children's park after Winnie the Pooh because the bear is immodestly dressed and has unclear gender. One town official worried the bear could be a "hermaphrodite".

Polish Town Opposes Pooh Bear for Unclear Gender - ABC News

Holidays Coming

          A slow week coming up.....a meeting Monday afternoon, and not much else happening in the run-up to Thanksgiving.  There is no regular City Council meeting till the following Monday.
           One thing I am looking forward to briefing Council on is a new marketing effort for downtown in a bid to tell the story to prospective developers and business owners about the tremendous investment and opportunity in the city center.
            We have the Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade on December 5. Notice I said Christmas.
            Have to start penciling in the Christmas parties for the month ahead. The Bernier Carr festivities are over at the Arcade this year due to the closure of the BRVC.  There's a City gathering and the radio station party, and we will have a customer party at the bar. Of course there is the New Year's Eve all night party.
            Holidays are fun and its especially so in the hospitality business.

Buffalo, North Country snowfall totals for week: Where did the most snow fall? | syracuse.com

      So far 88 inches in four days is the highest recorded snowfall from the WNY lake effect. Only four inches fell in Niagara Falls.  Traffic is moving on the Thruway and the next challenge is rain soaking the roofs with feet of snow on them.
    We are fortunate to have avoided serious issues in Watertown.
Buffalo, North Country snowfall totals for week: Where did the most snow fall? | syracuse.com#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2

It Begins: Buffalo PD to Confiscate Registered Guns from Families of Deceased

   Snowstorm or not, the confiscation of weapons will occur as pistol permit holders die and the police swoop in to seize the guns from family members, who are  working through their own grief and won't have time to get licensed themselves.
      Of course, who knows where the deceased had stored those guns ?
Mad World NewsIt Begins: Buffalo PD to Confiscate Registered Guns from Families of Deceased

NZJ: Mayor Graham, Councilwoman Macaluso Leaning Toward Factory Square Park for Proposed Dog Park

     This week the agenda comes out for the December 1st meeting, and as promised I will present  a resolution to designate a site for a dog park, if it is ever built.  I distributed the text of the resolution at the last meeting to Council and the media. Left blank was the actual location pending public comment and thoughts from Council.
     The resolution going out this Wednesday will designate Factory Square Park as the site. As with any legislation, Council has the option to act or not act, pass or defeat or amend.
      However, I believe this is the best site on several levels although I acknowledge and respect the fact there are other views from people sincere in their position.
      This site is centrally located, the most shovel ready, has a parking lot, is currently underutilized, and offers the chance to dovetail into the $13M Factory Street reconstruction which should help in redeveloping the neighborhood.
     The city's downtown area is on fire with over $100M in projects currently being worked on.
     Naming a site is a chance to move this concept ahead and let the community support the endeavor.
     In countless communities across the nation, dog parks exist as part of the panoply of recreational activities afforded to residents. The concept has been slower in coming to Watertown, and more controversial than need be.
    After eight years of on and off discussion, let a site be designated and move on.
Mayor Graham, Councilwoman Macaluso Leaning Toward Factory Square Park for Proposed Dog Park

Restaurant owner blasts city fines over single-gender ads | New York Post

    A NYC eaterie has been fined $5000 for advertising for "waitresses" as the egalitarian regime in the Apple says that's gender discrimination.  "Server" is the correct word. 
     What you are supposed to do is let a bunch of people fill out apps who you don't intend to hire. Fact is there are jobs where gender specificity is appropriate and in no case is such a fine justified. One more bit of harassment for the small business.
     Mandatory gender sensitivity training should be ordered
Restaurant owner blasts city fines over single-gender ads | New York Post

WDT: Owens Gives Thumbs Up to Bam's Immigration Plan

      The immigration actions this week by President Obama have prompted predictable local response along  party lines.
      And like most people, I see it as the dilemma of executive overreach versus legislative inaction. I don't know enough about the specific Senate legislation that the House refused to consider, but it's common in legislative bodies that the rank and file are either protected or prevented from having to vote on something by leadership.
      Rep. Bill Owens says the President's action will aide NNY farmers currently using people "in the shadows." Rep-elect Stefanik says Congress must craft immigration law and the President has to enforce what's on the books.
      Watertown Daily Times | Owens and farmers say president’s immigration plan will help solve labor problem

WDT: Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Looms as Residents Gird for Violence

      While most of Ferguson's residents just want it to end, that doesn't seem to be what's going to happen as a grand jury prepares to release its findings on the police shooting death of a man. 

       Protests and outside agitators could erupt into violence if a no-bill is returned against the officer.. That's what is feared, but for months now residents and business owners have lived on the edge and just want normalcy to return.

Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

WDT: Why were some ballots challenged in Cape?

   Clearly, the lesson of the Cape this year is that if your ballot is absentee and not in person on Election Day, there is a chance you may lose your vote. Not that they wouldn't like to get at your vote on the machine, but its not possible to track it down and examine it like the absentees which are separate items in a envelope with your name on it.

    These letter writers are among those who voted absentee as they say they thought they might not be able to make it to the polls on November 4. They are now among the challenged and a judge will decide whether their votes count.

Watertown Daily Times | Why were some ballots challenged in Cape?