Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WDT: Jennings to Run for Mayor

     The announcement was a surprise, no doubt about that. Councilman Stephen Jennings announced he is running for Mayor on a platform of things are not getting done that should be.
      Well, I suppose that's always the case but the number one issue that will fester this year is the fate of the Fire Department, with Mr. Jennings a strong proponent of reducing its size.
      Petitions begin being circulated next Tuesday and one is not "officially" a candidate till they are filed around July 10. We will see what the field looks like then.
       Mr. Jennings is in the second year of his first four year term.  Council Members Joe Butler and Roxanne Burns are up this year, and there are no announced challengers.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Mom suing daughter for her share in $1M lottery jackpot | New York Post

   It's a bearer instrument. If you want to split with someone, jointly cash it.

Mom suing daughter for her share in $1M lottery jackpot | New York Post

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 2015 could be warmest May in Syracuse in 104 years | syracuse.com

        After that winter, a warm May is most welcome.....

May 2015 could be warmest May in Syracuse in 104 years | syracuse.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

Buy Local....

     Today I bought local, venturing up to Philly to buy a  storage shed from North Country Storage Barns. It will be delivered next week. Could have gone to Lowes or Depot, but I decided to keep it local. They have a great selection there and I bought a picnic table too.

Council Gnaws on Familiar Topics

   City Council put off final budget passage till Monday after making a couple changes including more discussion on health insurance premiums and the nixing of a study on management pay.
    Council discussed the $165K slated for the lawyer for fire negotiations.
     That means the entire 1.88% increase in the tax levy is the result of the appropriation to pay Terry O'Neill, the gregarious downstate lawyer whose job it is to end minimum manning as we know it.
    The fun part of the meeting was the back and forth over health insurance that resolved nothing, and really spent nothing, but gave rival factions a chance to speak and speak and speak.
   
    

Parties Joust Over Pension Forfeiture

    Competing versions of a pension and benefits forfeiture law are working their way through the capital. It's the latest attempt at reform and accountability and links conviction of a felony to loss of benefits. Democrats are seeking to limit the scope of the law to elected officials and appointees of the Governor.
     They want civil servants exempt.
      This will be a like a three strike and you are out law. Lots of unintended consequences.
       labor unions raised issues

Stefanik on PTSD program closure: I'm working "to get to the bottom of this" | NCPR News

     As the Army seeks to cluster more of what it does on post, the decision to close a PTSD clinic at the River Hospital in Alex Bay has been questioned by Rep. Elise Stefanik, who says her staff if working to see if anything can be done.

    The clinic provided a valued tenant for the tiny hospital, but prospects to reverse the decision based on that alone seem remote.

Stefanik on PTSD program closure: I'm working "to get to the bottom of this" | NCPR News

George Pataki to announce presidential bid Thursday | New York Post

    The man who in three terms brought us a 65mph speed limit, Quick Draw and a death penalty that was intentionally flawed so it would never be enforced, is running for President.
    Former Governor George Pataki will announce Thursday in New Hampshire.
    In recent years, the three term Guv who knocked off Mario Cuomo in 1994, has been a talking head, fundraiser and party elder.
     Mr. Pataki is known for his moderate views on social issues and criticism of the GOP for shooting itself in the foot with its message.
    The Governor's prospects ?   Slim, unless a divided party turns to him or perhaps he becomes the Biden of 2016 and gets picked as the gravitas candidate for VP.
George Pataki to announce presidential bid Thursday | New York Post

Spitzers on Different Teams for Dem Presidential Race - POLITICO

     In the intricate world of politics, Governor Spitzer's ex is fundraising for Hillary Clinton and the Luv Guv's current squeeze, PR whiz Lis Smith is working for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who is going to announced a run against Ms. Clinton later this week.
      Mr. Spitzer has been in a relationship with Ms. Smith for two years. Their fling caused a stir as at the time she was working for the new mayor.
     However, Client #9 is not expected to be active in the O'Malley bid  himself....Mr. Spitzer is said to be done with politics.
Hillary Clinton 2016: Silda Wall Spitzer hosts Hillary fundraiser - POLITICO

WDT: Media Survey of Emergency Calls Shows Many are Minor....But How Do You Know Till You Get There ?.

      The debate over the city's Fire Department centers around the type of calls the Department goes on, with some contending responding to every potential medical emergency drives  up the number of calls and results in higher staffing levels and more wear on equipment.
      The Times analyzed three days of calls to try and prove the point,
       Fire Departments everywhere are less about fires and more about things like EMTs, Hazmat, extractions, and the like.
       Yet being ready for a fire is part of the job too.
        The City Manager has proposed a full court press in negotiations to eliminate or reduce current minimum manning language, as a prelude to reducing staffing in the city's most expensive department.
         It's tough to do that without reducing the number of calls for medical emergencies, and while it's clear to observers there are  a lot of minor calls responded to, there is also the theory that when someone is in need, extra help or help on the scene before an ambulance arrives is something people want when its their emergency.
         It's a difficult debate, as no one is taking to the streets to protest current staffing, but there is a belief long term the city's finances are not sustainable without  structural reform of the fire department.
         To that end $165K has been budgeted but not yet approved for hiring a labor attorney to negotiate a contract.  That's equal to about a two percent hike in the tax levy this year for that one expenditure.
        City Council meets tonight for its next budget session.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Monday, May 25, 2015

NY state Republicans to target Long Island’s ‘leftward shift’ | New York Post

     There's nothing "conservative" about Long Island.  Have you followed the string of nanny state laws passed in Suffolk County ? 
        The Island's liberal GOP Senators are what comprise the Governor's defacto majority in both houses.
NY state Republicans to target Long Island’s ‘leftward shift’ | New York Post

Blotter: Women Taking Charge

       The blotter shows women with knives and fists beating up men.  Not the Ozzie and Harriet world I grew up in.

Newzjunky.com Police Blotter

Bears' Ray McDonald arrested on domestic violence charge: reports - Chicago Tribune

       A leopard doesn't change its spots....or a tiger his stripes..and a serial woman abuser doesn't stop because an NFL team like the Bears signs him against better judgment.
       Now Ray McDonald has blown his latest chance as he was arrested this weekend for.......you guessed it....domestic abuse.
       But the commissioner sure did nail Brady.
Bears' Ray McDonald arrested on domestic violence charge: reports - Chicago Tribune

Crowd of Nearly One Hundred Gathers on Sterling Street to Honor the Fallen

   Actually, there was a nice crowd at the Legion this AM to honor America's war dead and as always the firing squad and the rendering of Taps was moving and something more people should see and hear.
     This year, Councilman Steve Jennings joined me along with Pete Fazio who is the county's veterans coordinator........
      One thing about events like this. You don't see the community leaders and opinion makers.  The ones with awards, that is.  They are all at camp...or a cottage, or if really well off, a summer home.
      Didn't see the media either. Hope they were covering something to do with the war dead.
       For those who pointed out the public buildings with flags at full staff, I will look into in the morning.
     

Get Those Flags Out.....

     How many people fly the colors on the major patriotic holidays ?  That would be Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day.
      Not as many as in days gone by and I will be interested in the turnout for the Memorial Day observance at the Legion this morning.
        They say only about one percent of Americans have any direct connection to the military, so for most this may just be a day off from work.
        It's Memorial Day dammit !  Take at least a few minutes to remember those not here so you could have your day off with a new barbecue, four wheeler, and house by the lake.

Ten Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Utica in May 2015

 
        We'd like to think it's the Richard Gere's and Julia Roberts involved in quid pro quo sex, but there are some not so attractive people involved as evidence of these mug shots of alleged prostitution related crimes in Utica.
Utica PD Mug Shots

        Nothing Vegas about any of this.

Ten Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Utica in May 2015

Capitol Confidential » State settles Susan Bruno no-show job case

   While everyone frets over what lawmakers in Albany are paid, the real issue is how can a lawmaker use position and influence to obtain jobs for friends and relatives. The State has settled a civil suit involving a no-show job for the daughter of then Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

     The Skelos scandal involves helping out a son.

      Surveys show children are living longer and longer under the financial help of parents, even living in their homes well after college.

      In Albany, helping out the kids is a long standing tradition.

Capitol Confidential » State settles Susan Bruno no-show job case

A Landslide for Gay Marriage in Ireland -- POLITICO Magazine

      SSM has gotten a thumbs up in Ireland with 62% of voters approving a referendum that only a few years ago was unthinkable in the mostly Catholic country.

      Back in the US, a Supreme Court ruling is awaited, but the vast majority of Americans live in states where SSM is legal.

A Landslide for Gay Marriage in Ireland - Donny Mahoney - POLITICO Magazine

Sunday, May 24, 2015

WDT: Bucks Win Opener....Fans Have Fun.....What More Is There in Life ?

     Despite a week of fussing over the league they play in the Watertown Bucks roared in their home opener with a 12-7 win over the Road City Explorers.
     A crowd of several hundred looked on and enjoyed exciting ball played out under sunny skies. This will be a fun addition to Watertown and as pro players, who knows ?  Somebody might make it big.
Councilman Joe Butler and I Wished Team Well
 
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Winter Seems So Long Ago

   What a beautiful day as Memorial Day weekend ramps up and folks spend time closer to water and nature. This afternoon is the home opener for the Bucks and that should be fun.   For me a bit of paperwork at City Hall this morning and the rest of the day is to be enjoyed.
    
     Thanks to local news hound Katie Ward for this photo of the waves crashing ashore at Point Peninsula.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Heather Moving Quickly on Dog Park Effort

   I for one am glad the Dog Park issue is outside of Council Chambers and in the hands of enthusiastic and competent fundraisers headed by Heath Spezzano.
    Ms. Spezzano has a fundraising package and strategy in place and a Facebook page up and running. Heather successfully did the fundraising for the SPCA adoption center at PETCO and has the team to get the job done. City Council did it job in heeding the sincere efforts at establishing a dog park and now its part of the annual budget and part of the plan for Parks and Rec.
    Congrats and thanks to Heather for her community spirit !

Saturday Night

      Ran into Councilman Butler at Pete's tonight and we talked about Tuesday's budget meeting and what issues are coming up.  Also talked about cars, as he asked me about the Renegade I ordered.  However, I was  at the Bay store yesterday and given the long delivery time, I may make my belated 60th birthday present something else. Maybe a Wrangler or Ram.  Those Chrysler 200s in AWD are nice too.  The AWD Chargers are nice too but at a certain age, that's like being bedecked in gold chains aboard your 800HP cigarette boat at the Alex Bay dock.
 
      I know a guy who has been going to all the Fucillo stores every day this month to enter in hopes of changing his life by winning a part of the quarter million Billy F. is giving away.
      Yeah, I went up to Caprara's for the pearl necklace, but that was only for a radio skit we had planned.
       While the weekend looks like a quiet one, the sales tax quarter about to end has been good over in my world......so much for all the projections.....Just hope the summer holds up and we do have construction up the street....so we'll see....but at least the winter doldrums didn't leave a pool of red ink.
     
     

Ready....Set.....Go.....Summer Season Begins....A Week Early to Boot

    Memorial Day weekend is underway with sunny skies and brisk temperatures for the first day...This is the earliest the holiday can fall and there is a whole week of May still to come.
     Some must do activities this weekend. One is attending the home opener for the Bucks to show support for our new team and for the wonderful activities at Parks and Rec. 
    By the way, we got an update on the Arena yesterday and a lot of the asbestos removal and demolition is underway. Once all asbestos and lead are gone from the world, I wonder what that industry will do ?
    Monday is of course Memorial Day, and as I do every Memorial Day and Veterans Day , attending the remembrance is a must. This year it's at the Legion on Sterling Street.
     By and large it looks like a fine weekend, and it's OK to get out the white shoes and straw hats.

Teacher says she shouldn’t be fired for having sex with student | New York Post

      A teacher cleared of criminal charges of bedding a 12 year old student wants her job.
back even though the 'preponderance' of evidence suggests it really did happen. It's not easy to fire a teacher so it could be a rubber room for teach.
Teacher says she shouldn’t be fired for having sex with student | New York Post

Friday, May 22, 2015

DEC changes stance: 'We do not ticket anglers for taking photos of fish' | syracuse.com

      So state agents are trolling Facebook and the Catch of the Day on Newzjunky for images of out of season fish ?  Then they write tickets ?  Or did write tickets ? This story is a hoot.
     I always remember the time Plumpton and I were out filming an episode of Rod 'n Reel and a carp got caught in the net and was dragged on board....The DEC agent clubbed the fish in the head and then asked us not to air that.
     In those more genteel times, we complied.

DEC changes stance: 'We do not ticket anglers for taking photos of fish' | syracuse.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

Rain Accused Of Having Affair With Assistant While Seeking Pay Hike | WWNY TV 7

    Since when did local media report on the sexual dalliances of local pols ?  From the dancing on the table to bottlegate, our media has always been circumspect about the personal lives of pols....What's next, school superintendents swapping principles for principals ?

WWNY's Famous Bottle Shot from Election Night (Times Photog Seen in Background)
 
        Media is getting tawdry. I never reported I ran into her once at the Kilt the day before Thanksgiving.  Just didn't think it that big a deal and isn't she single anyway ?
 

DiNapoli: Pension Fund Hits $183.5B

    The state pension fund is predicated on a 7.5% rate of return. 

DiNapoli: Pension Fund Hits $183.5B

Possible Council Budget Vote Tuesday | WWNY TV 7

   Much of the City budget is decided but the final approval is pending one more budget session on Tuesday.   The end result will be within the state's tax cap, although there is not agreement on everything in the spending plan.

     Last week in  a hasty session , many items were quickly rushed through without much discussion, but there will be discussion on Tuesday, and if further discussion is necessary, the deadline for adoption isn't  till June 1.

     Council Budget Vote Tuesday | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Opening Day

         Sunday's home opener for the Watertown Bucks should be great entertainment on a holiday weekend with the weather forecast favorable and the City's newest diamond offering ready to go.

        Owner Bruce Zicari has lived up to expectations and we all look forward to ball on Sunday.

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

WDT: "Mammouth" Manure Hole To Be a Neighbor to Rutland Residents.

     Neighbors on the Ridge Road in the Town of Rutland are not thrilled over the meteor sixed crater that will be filled soon with thousands of gallons of manure, prompting concerns over odor and possible leakage into wells and the Black River.
     City water superintendent Michael Sligar is concerned a breach could flow through the aquifer into the river and impact the City water plan which serves thousands throughout the region.
      Meanwhile the builders of the hole say it's within their right and will pose no problem.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stefanik to Show Off Her Right Wing on Mound Against Media "Babes'

    Rep. Elise Stefanik is being eyed for a mound appearance in the annual Congressional Women's Softball Game against the Bad News Babes of the media.

     Ms. Stefanik is one of three rookies on the team along with fellow New Yorker Kathleen Rice and Rep. Mia Love of Utah.     

Congressional Womens Softball Game 2015: Players Announced

An Invitation to Look at a Prospective Manure Pit

   Mid afternoon I was invited to a site on the Ridge Road in the Town of Rutland where a neighbor says a manure pit being built could pollute the Black River and the City's water supply if a breach occurred.
    I was told an underground vein leads from the site to the River, and the State has been asked to ascertain any risks.
     At this point, I don't know enough to comment further, but I thought I should take a look if it gets to be an issue.

For the Bucks, It Truly is a League of Their Own

   When the league your team is in folds...one option to save the season is to start your own league and Watertown Bucks owner Bruce Ziccari has done that...merging four teams into the North Country League meaning the fledgling Bucks can open this Sunday at 2PM against the Road City Explorers.

    The team is in town and ready and with this crisis passed Watertown will have pro ball in 2015.

Home | Watertown Bucks Baseball

WDT: Man Drives Bike Off Show Room Floor....Without Paying for It.

        State Police are looking for a man who just wanted a nice ride for the summer.  The fellow is on camera breaking into an Ogdensburg sport shop and riding off on a 2009 Harley Ultra Glide.  It's white in color and will be a snappy ride.

        I wonder how long you could get away with driving it if you slap an old plate on it and don't attract attention with traffic infractions ?

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

Here's What I Want Done and Your Job is to Rubber Stamp It

   Talk about making it up as you go, Governor Cuomo's "wage board" for fast food workers met this week for the first time....Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown chaired the session which will  end up raising the minimum wages in one industry without the Legislature weighing in.
   According to this, the Board derives its statutory authority from the state's 1937 minimum wage law.
    The premise is to recognize conditions in one industry that may differ from the overall work force. For the Governor, it's a means to an end as he has already stated what he wants.
     It's painful to watch this tape as its so phony and contrived.
     

SENATE OK’S RITCHIE BILL TO OPEN UNDERUSED STATE PRISONS TO EASE LOCAL JAIL CROWDING | New York State Senate

    A bill proposed by Senator Patty Ritchie to allow underused state prison bunk space to serve as the overflow for county jails has passed the Senate and is headed to the Assembly. It's prospects there ? I don't know, but if you are locking someone up, it seems there may be merit, except things that make sense seldom gain favor in Albany.

    It was only recently the practice of the county holding pre-arraigned city inmates resumed after being halted for months. Lots of expense in the meantime.

SENATE OK’S RITCHIE BILL TO OPEN UNDERUSED STATE PRISONS TO EASE LOCAL JAIL CROWDING | New York State Senate