Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bill Clinton batters and blasts Bernie Sanders

     The Clintons are in tough straights...having to have the former President out bashing the iconoclastic Senator from Vermont.

Bill Clinton batters and blasts Bernie Sanders

Super Bowl

         Kickoff time for the Super Bowl and I am the sole person at Pete's and there seems little action around town...I don't think the game has a lot of interest no matter how they hype the old guy entering his last battle.
         Lady Gaga just sand the Anthem and did a good job. Remember when nobody knew what she looked like ?  
         We'll watch a little bit here and then go home.
          I think the Panthers will win, but it's an opinion without conviction.

Caustic Comments..What Do They Mean ?

     The last couple days I have noticed a lot of acrimonious comments about City Hall, even though there was nothing here posted on City issues, particular anything about the Fire Department or members thereof.
       The stories about a rest room incident are the most curious sounding. A news person was asking me about that today.
       I post the comments as I think there is a simmering angst in some quarters, but I am just not sure what its all about, and frankly some of them are out there.
       As one now detached from the process it seems the public needs in both city and county government, as it is in the towns, a chief executive who is elected and can determine events as a representative of the public. There is no substitute for the linkage to the people.
       The current system creates a legislative branch which sort of oversees an executive function and when there is dissent, situations become difficult.
        It's also too easy for the electeds to walk away from controversy by saying they have no say over key decisions.
        The ability to instantly marshall public opinion through the Internet means a passive or a complicit media can't stop disdain from growing.
         Like I said, I view comments with interest as they are indicative of something out there.
        

Those Who Know Confirm Plague of Heroin Deaths.

   As the issue of heroin addiction gets more awareness, there is still a class distinction with the tragedies more likely to manifest in certain social strata. So it doesn't percolate up through usual media channels.
   One way to cut to the bone on the issue is to talk to funeral directors. One mortician I was chatting with the other day was telling me how causes of death change over time and the number of overdose deaths is astounding.
    Yes, these things show up in obits but for privacy and modesty issues, the cause isn't publicized.
     It would be an interesting news story to talk to the morticians as they have front row seats for these social changes.

WD| Malinowski is Tug Hill Commission’s first female executive director

      A couple of days ago when a person named "Katie" was named director of the venerable Tug Hill Commission, I came to the conclusion Ms. Malinowski was a woman. Now we get the usual patronizing and goofy story and headline trumpeting her as the agency's "first female executive."
     Let's tell who she is and what she is all about and not merely define her success as some female benchmark
    Gone are the days when a woman ascending to management is a big deal. The list of women in such roles is too long to list here. Now there were pioneers like the late bank president Rita Mackey,  There were the days when women had to enter the back door at the late Black River Valley Club.
     I knew from this lady's name she was a woman. Tell me something I didn't know.
     Like " New Tug Hill Boss a 16 Year Veteran of Working with Local Governments"
     Identity politics is like identity journalism. At some point it gets silly. From the name and photo I figured out gender. 
Watertown Daily Times | Malinowski is Tug Hill Commission’s first female executive director

SNL's Larry David takes aim at Bernie Sanders in Titanic-themed skit | Daily Mail Online

   A pair of national polls show Senator Bernie Sanders neck and neck with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
    Meanwhile Secretary Clinton is calling in her operatives from across the nation to salvage a good showing in NH. Even former Secretary of State Madelyn Albright was dusted off to tell supporters the revolution this year would be electing the first woman President. Ms. Albright also admonished, "there is a special place in Hell for women who don't like women."
     The Clinton campaign is full of old themes and old party assumptions and bromides.
      How sad is it for black Americans that they are thought of as Mrs. Clinton's "firewall" ?..in essence the dependable indentured servants of the party.
      By March 15, Secretary Clinton will either have it locked up or she will face a long spring and the chance her inevitability is not as certain as the pundits think.
SNL's Larry David takes aim at Bernie Sanders in Titanic-themed skit | Daily Mail Online

Rubio Falters......Will the "Establishment" Look Elsewhere

       Call it  choke, or nerves, but Senator Marco Rubio confirmed what many have suspected and that is he is a robotic and shallow candidate not ready to lead his party in the race for the White House.
      Under a withering cross from Governor Chris Christie, the witness cracked, with Senator Rubio repeating four times a memorized diatribe against President Obama.
      Suddenly 'big mo' abndoned the third place Iowa finisher and the talk till Tuesday will be about the halting and erratic performance and the resulting deer in the headlights stare.
      For the other candidates, a mostly solid night with Donald Trump and Jeb Bush having a good night, while Governor John Kasich widely thought to have advanced his cause.
      The analysts on all the nets agreed. Marco Rubio had a bad night.
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/gop-debate-rubio-chris-christie-fight-218873

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Stefanik Visits Pearl Street.......Meets Otis

    Rep Elise Stefanik stopped by the Pearl Street Pub for coffee today and we had a nice chat about a variety of topics of mutual interest, which was mostly politics.
Otis Meets Elise
   The first term MOC also met Otis, and he told his story about meeting Albert Einstein while working at Princeton's Terrace Club in 1955.
    That story is always a hit.

WDT:Snowtown festivities kick off

      Snowtown activities are underway, even though there is only  dusting on the ground. The good news is the temperatures are comfortable, unlike last year when oppressive cold lingered throughout February.

Watertown Daily Times | Snowtown festivities kick off

Democrats could gain up to six House seats in New York

    Will upstate turn blue again ?  I don't see GOP gains in House seats in recent years as evaporating totally but fact is these seats are at least competitive enough they could flip, while the many Dem seats downstate are mostly out of play.
    The open seat in the Hudson Valley may be interesting as while GOP leaning, Republicans are likely to field a well funded political retread in John Faso in what is an open seat.
     The Utica based district is an open one as well.
      The NNY and Syracuse seats seem safe, but the top of the ticket could be a factor.
Democrats could gain up to six House seats in New York

F-Bomb Dropped on the Granite State


    Dropping an F-bomb in a speech is plowing new ground, even for Donald Trump.  While it's off limits in my world, frankly the level of disourse in general discussion these days mirrors Trump's utterance in NH this week.
    When you hear younger people talk these days, the F-word is common usage, and the notion of watching your expletives in front of women is a quaint anachronism.
     Expletives have a role in language when used sparingly for emphasis,  Like when you are pounding a nail and hit your thumb.
     Today vulgar words are so common in general speech, they have little impact.

NYC Lawmakers Now Paid $148,000

       The fifty members of the NYC City Council are now paid $148,000 a year , up from $112,500. That's why in the City, these are more coveted spots than an Assembly or Senate seat. 
        Restrictions on outside income are also being imposed. Council members are elected by district. Locally our Council members are paid 13 and change, and their last raise was the 3% hike enacted last summer.
        http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-York-City-Council-Gives-Itself-Pay-Raise-367849281.html?partner=nbcnews

Best Buy tp Charge to Recycle TVs

      Televisions used to be something you cherished as furniture and felt bad about getting rid of.  When the picture flickerd, you'd call the TV repairman or take the tubes down to Kinney's and take a try at the tube tester.
       Today's TVs are not part of the family. We all own several of them and when they expire, they are like dead goldfish. They are gone, without ceremony or much remorse.
        Who would think to take the TV to a store, much less pay $25 to get rid of it ?  Recycling as an economic model will not work if there is a charge, or at least a charge that's visible.
http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2016/02/best_buy_now_charges_25_to_take_used_tvs_for_recycling.html

Friday, February 5, 2016

Broadcasters Cash Out


    Ah to be the sales manager at WMUR or other stations in NH.....According to a report I saw today, the broadcast advertising in the Granite State related to the primary is fiddy times what it was in 2012.
    But it all ends Tuesday, then it's back to car dealers for livelihood.

Interest is Growing

   I think the race for President is taking hold. At Pete's various people are talking about the candidates and what's going on. One man said Rubio is like Barack Obama in terms of experience. Others want new choices.
     As I told one person.....I'd like to be in Manchester this weekend....Some people would pay good money for a cruise or a week in the Keys.
     I'd pay to spend this weekend in Manchester......Everyone on TV looks to be having fun.
     Maybe when the circus moves to SC,  Mr. Leven will send me down to tend to his stations.

Is Rubio About to Rush to the Nomination ?

      It's looking more and more like Marco Rubio may end up the GOP nominee this year. Governor Bobby Jindal just endorsed him and everyone else is speaking in couched terms until they are sure Jeb! is DOA.
       Ted Cruz is looking swarmy after the tapes came out demonstrating his dirty tricks in Iowa against Ben Carson.  The Donald was snowed out of NH today and needs a reassuring performance in the debate Saturday and a better ground game.....
       For all the talk of an open Convention, these things can stampede quickly and people will be pushed aside and feel obliged to endorse the person they see having a future with.
      I think Senator Rubio is thin gruel and a GOP version of Barack Obama.
       However, these are times when talk of experience, leadership and knowledge are not in demand.
There are no "it's your turn" nominations as this is a year the dogs are not eating the dog food.

Friday Evening

   Tonight I stopped at Reed and Benoit for Jim Brett's calling hours. The former Councilman and radio executive passed recently at 87. 
   Jim Brett's life was one of being an old school politician, visiting many calling hours himself and always there at fires and community events. He cared about Watertown and his community spirit will be missed.
     By the way....I just realized the calling hours were the first time this year I wore a tie.....Yes !
    Got a call from the WDT today asking for my comment on a story they are running. It was a complicated topic and I was busy waiting on customers. Through are the days I am interrupting business to talk to the press. The reporter concluded, asking if I was declining comment, I said no, I'll have ample comment, but at a time and place of my choosing.
    Chatted with Ralph Green today who gave me some advice on hand dryers. He was very helpful.
    Tomorrow is the chili cook off and I have a meeting in the morning as well  I will be working in the afternoon, and I am keeping Saturday evening open to watch the GOP debate. There are seven men. The one remaining woman was excluded by ABC, the network of Stephanopolis.
     Had a nice chat with Councilwoman Macaluso today, as well. 
   

Remember Super Bowl Squares ?

     Don't you miss those Super Bowl Squares that used to be pervasive ?   Some were a dollar a square, some like at the old Benny's were a couple hundred a square. Some polls paid on the quarters....some on score changes....
     Folks would call around and find out their numbers once drawn, and it was a nice, friendly way to add some fun and consequence to the big game.
     New York State have stamped out the pools by declaring them illegal in any licensed establishment and these days few want to take the chance.
    There's still a few out there being done on the down low, but for the most part, Super Bowl squares are a thing of the past.

Free Plug for a Friend's Restaurant !

   Need some good food and atmosphere in West Carthage ?  Try the Rooted Drifter, it's right across the street from the Wicked Wench.  Items like this Chicken,  Bacon, Ranch Pizza are available.

State judge salaries would near $200,000 under new plan, a 40% hike since 2011 | syracuse.com

      While the focus of public rage over politician salaries is elsewhere, New York judges are starting to rival school superintendents for salary and the elected posts are increasingly becoming prime plums for lawyers, especially in areas of the state where lawyers struggle to get $200 an hour.
       With judge salaries nearing $200K, our local judges are smiling as they get the raises without nasty grams on the OP/ED page.
        One of two City judge posts is up in 2017 and the higher pay will likely entice someone anxious for a good job to run against incumbent Catherine Palermo, who was appointed to a part time slot in 2012 prior to the Legislature making it  full time slot.
        While a limited number of lawyers live in the City, the name of last year's Democratic DA candidate has been mentioned, if he is willing to switch party registration.
         The salary and benefits and the ten year term are enticing and it's a job with prestige without having to hustle up clients or pay a staff.
State judge salaries would near $200,000 under new plan, a 40% hike since 2011 | syracuse.com

What is a Progressive ?

        The argument on the Democratic side has come down to just who is a progressive......Is there is real definition of the word popularized in the early 20th Century, when Teddy Roosevelt style trust busting, environmental awareness, and political reform was taking place. That's the era where we got direct election of Senators and the income tax.
         Today,"progressive" has evolved.  It has turned the Democratic Party on its ear with everyone wanting to be one but only one willing to also accept the more ominous moniker "socialist."
http://mic.com/articles/134430/everything-you-missed-from-the-first-head-to-head-democratic-presidential-debate#.mCZ7i7ljF

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dem Debate a Good Show

    The first one on one Democratic debate was entertaining as you could actually compare two people rather than meandering through seven or eight people trying to zing the person who spoke three people ago.
     Senator Sanders went after Hillary Clinton who accused her opponent of engineering an "artful smear" by calling her the establishment candidate linked to Wall Street interests.
     Mrs Clinton countered saying the Senator has no record of accomplishment or relevent experience for the job as Commander in Chief.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3433036/Have-met-Jane-Sanders-greets-Hillary-Clinton-handshake-Democratic-debate-makes-swift-exit-stage-husband-Bernie.html

The Doctor is Pissed

   What Ted Cruz did was politics. And it worked. Same as what the Clinton machine did on the other side.
    Ben Carson is upset....Well, Doc, you got screwed.  Like I said, it's politics, and the best remedy is revenge.
The fury of Ben Carson

Des Moines Register calls for audit of Iowa results: 'Something smells in the Democratic Party'

     Anybody who knows what a caucus is knows its antithetical to democracy, and the shady Democratic caucus in Iowa is being questioned by the Des Moines Register.  The lack of transparency and the convenient end result suggests a finger on the scale.
     They always say that landslides are the result of hard work, but a close election is best stolen.
      As for the complaints on the GOP side, that's mostly idle whining. Ted Cruz' mailer and his disinformation on Carson are aggressive tactics but generally standard fare.
      Carson and Trump need to learn, the game is about winning.....at all costs.
Des Moines Register calls for audit of Iowa results: 'Something smells in the Democratic Party'

Colleagues Show Support For Accused Corrections Officers | WWNY TV

    As the media likes to say, they were there to support one of their own...About one hundred packing the Town of Watertown court to show solidarity with three COs accused of fudging time cards.
    There has to be more to all this than meets the eye as the sums involved are small and normally even if caught these things are handled out of view.
      As they always say..."its a personnel matter" and the media goes along, as we know well.
     Colleagues Show Support For Accused Corrections Officers | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: NY warns taxpayers of scammers posing as tax officials

    Scammers and shake down artists posing as tax agents from the state. You can see why they blend in so easily.

Watertown Daily Times | NY warns taxpayers of scammers posing as tax officials

Not Such a Good Witness ?


      Jurors must have been bemused when an alleged 22 year old hooker took the stand in defense  of her abusive pimp.  Jennifer Encarnacion was wearing Louboutin stilletos, a Ferragamo belt and carried a Gucci handbag as she testified she was a favorite customer of cops, lawyers and at least one judge. She told the jury she is not a victim.
        "I do what I want,"  she told the court.
       Louboutin footwear has red soles and I don't think a pair has ever been seen in Watertown, although Gucci has been spotted on occasion.
http://nypost.com/2016/02/03/this-hooker-says-cops-lawyers-and-judges-cant-get-enough-of-her/
     

Schumer Gets an Opponent


    The GOP sacrificial lamb to run against Senator Chuck Schumer may be the same lamb who ran against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a few years back.
    NYC attorney Wendy Long is expected to seek the GOP and Conservative Party nominations.
     Senator Schumer is a proven vote getter, even upstate and is sitting on a huge war chest.
     Senator Schumer will be seeking his fourth term and is thought to be in line for the leader role as Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is retiring.
      Ms Long visited the HOTLINE during her last run and was well spoken and congenial, but it's hard to see a path to victory this year.
http://www.wgrz.com/news/politics/wendy-long-may-run-against-sen-chuck-schumer-in-november/31758830

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sanders Files Petitions For Ballot Access In New York

   New York Democrats will get to vote for delegates committed to Senator Bernie Sanders as well as a slate for former Senator Hillary Clinton.... The Clinton slate in NY21 has no names familiar to me.

Lynne Boecher
 Jeremy Espinosa
 Julie Garcia
 Larry Bulman
 Suzanne Cohen
 Gregory Young
    The primary is April 19.
Sanders Files Petitions For Ballot Access In New York

Campaign Notes

    Between Twitter and all-day cable coverage of every bump and grind in NH, it's politics as entertainment and today Ted Cruz declared Donald Trump is "losing it" as in his mind while The Donald rattled at Cruz about the tactics used in Iowa.
    A lot of this stuff always has gone on, it's just that we see it now with so much media in the Granite State.....Or the Live Free or Die State, if you prefer.
     I enjoy watching and find myself second guessing a lot of what is said..
     Meanwhile the herd is thinning with Rand Paul and possibly Rick Santorum out. More will be gone in a week.   I suspect Christie, as he is running scorched earth this week with his calling of Marco Rubio, "the boy in the bubble."
     I think Bush Nation thinks he can hold out till the party turns to him, and Governor Kasich is banking on a strong NH showing to keep him going. We assume he will win the Ohio primary, so he has something to look forward to.
     Carly Fiorina is so done,
      By next Wednesday, the race is Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush and Kasich....Where it goes from there I don't know.
      Now the Dem race is getting interesting. After the party bosses' finger on the scale win for Hillary in Iowa, there is real bad blood and the knives are out. At the Sanders rally on Monday, the crowd was chanting "Liar, Liar" while Mrs. Clinton was on the giant TVs.
      The Clintons are feeling the "Bern".
       As for coverage, MSNBC provides the most and their reporters are top notch. CNN is decent and FOX is OK, but you don't get to see as much of the action, although I like The Five.

      

Assembly Passes Bill to Combine Federal, State and Local Primaries

   Yeah but will the Senate pass it too ?  And while I am pretty sure the City's non-partisan statute is worded to mirror the state's calendar, I'd say that should be checked. It may actually be a good time to get rid of that system anyway, as it's confusing and accomplishes little. 

    Early primaries will lengthen the general election campaign, but they are mostly uncontested anyway.

Assemblywoman Russell helps pass legislation... | Assemblywoman Addie Russell

WDT: Andy To The Rescue.....No Flint Here

      Governor Cuomo doesn't want any Flints on his watch and Phil Reed won't have his made for the moment issue for an Assembly run.  The Times reports Albany will be funding the deal for municipal water in the Town of Orleans where well are contaminated by salt from a DOT barn.
      Prove positive the political process works to get things done. I am impressed.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/governors-office-to-orleans-help-on-the-way-for-water-project-20160203

Groundhog is Right...Spring is Coming With a Fury

   Some wild weather today with high winds and rain taking away the little snow left in the City. I am liking this winter what with minimal plowing bills....no hiring a loader in February to move it around and lower heating bills.
   Here in the valley on Pearl Street we don't get many limbs falling, so the wind is no problem.
    There are winners and losers in this kind of weather, but most I talk to are fine with it and look forward to an early spring.
     Back in the day, we knew when spring was hear as the MSM would report on the first crocus on Paddock Street. They don't do that anymore, so I will make it my mission to look for the first crocus and post it here.

6th Graders Speak Out During Watertown City Council Meeting | WWNY

       Listening to the next generation is a good thing and hearing from sixth graders is a different perspective....They suggested a dog park and a homeless shelter while addressing Council.  None of the young citizens called for an end to minimum manning or the need for hiring lobbyists.

       Mayor Butler says he will visit the sixth graders at their school to hear more and that's a good move on his part.

       I always enjoyed visiting schools.

6th Graders Speak Out During Watertown City Council Meeting | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Gray Doing His Job in Albany

   I see Scott Gray at the Governor's Mansion this week for one of those receptions held for local lawmakers.  That means he is doing his job as Chairman. It's not just the meetings and local oversight but its representing the government you work for.
   It's building relationships and attending these events (within reason, we can't all match the record of the Lifesave Mayor) accrues to the benefit of the locality.
    It's a case of hiring some with "connections" or making connections.

Trump: I Should Have Debated

     Donald Trump took a gamble in skipping the FOX debate and admits it hurt him, along with a lack of ground game in Iowa....But the GOP frontrunner says his second place finish was a good one given where he started and the nature of the Hawkeye State demographics.
     Mr. Trump is in NH where he hopes to get back on track with a win on Tuesday.
http://nypost.com/2016/02/03/donald-trump-admits-ditching-fox-news-debate-was-a-bad-idea/

WDT: Lambs Led to Slaughter ?

    Two Council members told the Times they were surprised how expensive the Syracuse lobbying firm was...surprised it was not hired through competitive bidding, and that they had never heard of the firm.
    Another Council member recused himself because of the political connections of the firm.
     It was a $60,000 political bone.  There was a letter to the editor last fall that predicted this.
      http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-hires-syracuse-grant-writing-firm-20160203

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

America Not Ready to Accept an "L" for Fiddy

    This story about Lady Gaga singing the anthem at the Super Bowl reminded me of something different this year.....Ever since it began the Super Bowl has been delineated by a Roman numeral...Something I assumed was supposed to give it that gladiator image.
    But this year it's the fiftieth Super Bowl....Called  Super Bowl 50 and not Super Bowl L.
     That would be confusing as many wouldn't know why the letter "L" is there, so in a dumbing down exercise , the NFL went to regular numerals.
http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story/0ap3000000631477/article/lady-gaga-will-sing-national-anthem-at-super-bowl-50

Another Mall ?

   We've all seen lots of "developer eyes (fill in the blank)" stories, so this one has to be viewed through that prism.
    This one is for an outlet mall, with an auditorium.  Brick and mortar retail is suffering, so I don't know if more space under cover  is really needed.
http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Outlet-Mall-Proposed-For-Town-Of-LeRay-Property-367410171.html

LGBT Advocates Push Flanagan On GENDA

     Outside of Canton and Potsdam, I don't think anyone up here knows what these acronyms stand for, so maybe Liz should spell them out for her upstate readers.

LGBT Advocates Push Flanagan On GENDA

WDT: The Reverand Raps the Times

  OMG....oops sorry....but clergy to the paper rapping them over coverage of doctor's billing practices just struck me as something I wouldn't see.

    Does this make it open season ?



Watertown Daily Times | The Rev. Fred G. Garry: Local doctors deserve our support

NY-21: Stefanik Given Independence Party Nod

    Oh boy, all the staffers in the State Senator's offices will have to carry all these Indy petitions.  They are such a pain to find these people. Just your standard cross endorse all upstate GOP candidates get.

    Not like previous years when somebody had to take an envelope to Utica.

NY-21: Stefanik Given Independence Party Nod

WDT: Paper Says Patty Plate Out of Line

      Senator Patty Ritchie voted for a bill that limits municipalities from unilaterally cutting health benefits to retirees....Call it "Sampie's Law" and it makes some sense. In their most vulnerable years, retirees don't need their social contract broken by lawyers looking to undo what was done in good faith.
      Now the argument can be made to stop offering these benefits on hiring or offering benefits with more employee cost sharing, but frankly I agree with the Senator that those who have achieved whatever they get in retirement shouldn't have to wallow in some ex post factor shaming.
      Now the Times doesn't like that the Senator took this stand. Classic example of those who are all set wanting to change the rules for those trying to get by.
Watertown Daily Times | MYOB: Ritchie tells constituents to butt out when asked about a vote

Groundhog Day 2016: Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow : The Two-Way : NPR

       Punxsutawney Phil says an early spring adding his expertise to what all of us have been thinking.

Tomorrow its going to be in the fiddy's.  That's my kind of winter.

Groundhog Day 2016: Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow : The Two-Way : NPR

Lupica: President Cruz? Better chance with Penelope, not Ted - NY Daily News

      Penelope would give us Cruz plus the first female President.

Lupica: President Cruz? Better chance with Penelope, not Ted - NY Daily News

Herd Thins (A Little)

   Huckabee and O'Malley are gone, and during the heat of caucus, the Cruz campaign was on social media claiming Ben Carson was dropping out, all in a bid to sway some Carson caucusers their way.
    Trouble is Dr. Carson said it was not true. The Cruz campaign skillfully pulled all the levers to engineer their win, including a direct mail piece designed to shame voters.
     The big test is NH where the system is different and so is the electorate.

WWNY: Tour Next Week of Arena Will Focus on Food


       Three unnamed entities interested in putting their name on the Fairground Arena and a struggle over whether to have a concession stand or a snack bar. It all took up half the time at last night's Council meeting.
       The media keeps reporting the City wants to hire a vendor to run the food outlet, but that's not my understanding. They are not hiring anyone. It's a plan to rent out the space to a private business or person.  No one seems interested with all the uncertainties and the best prospect continues to be the City operating the stand as it did with a small profit before the facility closed for renovations.
      City staff doesn't want to be involved with the snack bar or handling money although two retirees who worked the stand told me last night they'd love to come back.
      Plans to renovate the proposed area to provide more food options are on hold till Council tours the facility next week.
       Naming the Arena is a tussle lawmakers don't need.  This facility needs to roll out as an asset to the community long term.  Slapping a car dealer's name on it means the people who paid for it won't have a sense of ownership and the pride that goes with it.
      http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Arena-Naming-Rights--Concession-Stand-Up-In-The-Air-367324911.html

Well Connected Consultants Hired By City

   Elections matter and for members of the Wladis family of Syracuse that meant a long sought $60,000 deal to prepare grant applications for the City of Watertown.  The law firm of the same name has been trolling the North Country in recent years seeking consulting and lobbying work and has been a key supporter of GOP candidates.
     Strategic Development Specialists was founded by Leeann West and Diane Wladis, according the WDT.
    I remember two women from the firm pitching services to me a couple years ago, but I declined interest.  This reminds me of when I first took office years ago and new members pushed a change in bond counsel to Doug Barclay's firm.
    Law firms love municipal clients because they always have the means to pay.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/fairgrounds-concession-stand-project-costs-jump-to-150000-20160202

Hillary Proves Adept at Coin Tosses

      A strange process in which the Democratic Party refuses to disclose actual caucus vote totals resulted in the apparent whisker thin win for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, taking 29 delegates to 21.....
      In five precincts, a toin coss was Secretary Clinton's margin.  Reports of improperly staffed prcincts and other issues cast further doubt. In all five instances where a coin toss was used , Mrs Clinton won.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3427637/Money-DOES-win-elections-Hillary-won-two-Iowa-precincts-coin-toss.html

Monday, February 1, 2016

New York Weighs In Late

       If the race lasts, New Yorkers will see their first contested Presidential primary on April 19.   New York seldom matters but may this year if races in both parties persist.       tp://www.syracuse.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/when_is_the_new_york_presidential_primary.html#incart_river_home

Cruz Wins Vote, But Rubio Wins Momentum With Strong Third Place in Iowa.

    For the number of people who take part, the Iowa caucuses garner a lot of attention and for Senator Ted Cruz, the win he got tonight is a boost......For Donald Trump, a performance less than the polls had showed, and for Senator Marco Rubio a strong third place finish that sets him up to be the establishment candidate.
     Mr. Trump tried to pull off a win, but other factors prevented that...including the Cruz ground game and perhaps the debate snub.
     Also there was a withering barage of TV spots featuring The Donald's old quotes and interviews, suggesting he is not as he seems today.
      As for other candidates, Dr. Ben Carson held his 10% and pledged to carry on....Jeb Bush was far back and others like Christie and Huckabee attracted few votes.
      As the circus moves east, a three way race looms as Senator Rubio will raise money and gain momentum from his 20%+ performance.
      Mr. Cruz faces a less hospitable backdrop in NH, while Senator Rubio may strip the other establishment candidates of their modest totals.
      By SC, it may be Trump, Cruz , Rubio and perhaps Jeb Bush, who still has lots of money.
       On the Dem side, it appears Hillary Clinton edged Sen. Bernie Sanders in a more complicated voting process but the margin was very small.   The race could be seen as a rebuff to Mrs. Clinton, who at one time led by a large margin.  It's on to NH where Senator Sanders needs a win.

Poll: Two-thirds of New Yorkers support $15 an hour minimum wage | syracuse.com

      With two thirds of New Yorkers supporting the $15 wage, that's fine. I'd be glad to work for that and I show up. And that's way more than I made as Mayor.
       Poll: Two-thirds of New Yorkers support $15 an hour minimum wage | syracuse.com#incart_river_home#incart_river_home

Ted Cruz promises that if his wife becomes first lady, 'French fries are coming back' | Daily Mail Online

      Not only will he make the sands of the Middle East glow, Senator Ted Cruz says his wife as First Lady will bring French fries back to the school lunch menu.

       Wife Heide, who had been a Wall Street big wig will be relegated to a more traditional role apparently as her hubby as President will restore the popular food to schools.

        Maybe those Salisbuty steaks and other delights will return too.

        Making an issue of school lunches has proven ineffective in races for federal office.

Ted Cruz promises that if his wife becomes first lady, 'French fries are coming back' | Daily Mail Online

Quieter Days for Unions

       The fact its no longer news may be a sign of the changing nature of industrial trade unions, but as a neighbor I was glad to see Saturday's ratification of a three year contract at NYAB.....Back in the day it was brinksmanship to the end and sometimes a strike with one year the cops dressed in riot gear.
      It's a different company and different workforce today and while there was opposition the pact was approved by a four to one margin , according to workers who filled me in.
      The approval was three months early too.

NYP: Cuomo Calls Out Those Making Maximum Wages

      Governor Cuomo has hit on something worth discussing......The pay disparity issue is not just about raising minimums through government fiat, but also the crazy high salaries among some in "public service"
       Mr Cuomo is pointing out he huge salaries at SUNY and CUNY schools.
http://nypost.com/2016/01/31/cuomo-wants-state-universities-to-cut-down-insane-salaries/

WDT: Robotic Milking the Latest Response to the Rising Cost of Labor

     As the cost of labor rises, the market reacts as it always has by developing technology to reduce the need for workers.
     From robotic milking parlors that automate and keep track of cows to customer driven ordering at fast food outlets, fewer workers will be needed in the future
     Farm wages are well below the pay of most people eating the products and we see in the paper today, the latest woe is us story about the proposed $15 an hour minimum wage.
     Employ as few people as possible, and do the best you can for those people. As it has always been, that's the recipe for success.
     http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/area-dairy-farmers-daunted-by-prospect-of-15-an-hour-wage-proposal--20160201