Saturday, February 25, 2017

Daily Mail: Was Trump Right About Sweden ?

   Trump may have been right, or at least had a point. But the narrative of Trump ranting off the cuff and being wrong and racist is already baked in the cake of fake news purveyors.

Snowtown Activities Cancelled as Mercury Soars

       With temperatures in the 60s today, the notion of making the best of winter gives way to enjoying an early spring, if only for a few hours, and that means nixing Snowtown activities slated for today in Thompson Park.
         Also this morning five people and two dogs escaped or were rescued from a house fire at 517 New York Avenue. Thankfully there were no serious injuries.

WDT: Council Faces Tough Choice on Court Issue

       With the City and County reportedly ready to talk further on building a city court annex on back of the county court building on Arsenal Street, it would seem a time not to rush to a decision.
        The City is reluctantly doing this as a result of pressure from NYS which runs all courts but requires municipalities to house them at their expense.
        The current court has no debt service or rent to be paid, and a new one would recreate a long term expense like what the City incurred with the PSB project. There is also uncertainty over how courts might to regionalized in the future.
      Efforts to formulate a rehab of the existing court have not gone well. Tough decision ahead and not one to be steamrolled into by the State.

Press Gripes Continue in War of Words With White House

      The President can speak for an hour, but if five minutes of it is jabbing the "fake news", that's the lead. Shep Smith came to the defense of CNN today in another of his screeds that makes the case for watching CNN's Brooke Baldwin during the three o'clock hour.
      Others are mad over not getting invited to a press gaggle in Sean Spicer's office. Low energy Jeb, Lyin' Ted and Crooked Hillary are gone and the press is the new foil for Mr. Trump. It gets a little tiring but so does the press sanctimony.

Friday, February 24, 2017

WDT: Correction ? Don't Blame the Reporter for a Lack of Presentation

   I see there was a correction in the Arena snack bar story, but it still isn't clear just what the finances are, and there are beliefs some want to make sure the picture is as bleak as possible.
   How about this. Many of us deal with P/L reports and the like often. Tell us the gross sales minus cost of product which gives you gross profit, a number that reveals whether your markup is sufficient. Then we'll take expenses itemized by category....subtract the sum of that to get net profit.
    I understand some things are not as cut and dried on allocating expense because it a publicly owned building and labor may be split with other functions. That said, more transparency is needed, as it is with other revenues in that department. I heard today other fees are up 100%. That's good, but from what to what ?  Given the previous accounting problems, fuzzy math that requires "corrections" hardly creates confidence.
      If there are positive things this Council needs to tell that story.  We also need to know as people are already sniffing around hoping to take over the concession now that the hard work has been done. To assess their offers , we need numbers you can believe in.

Protest Finds Watertown

   A mostly affable crowd held a scrum in front  of the Public Square office of Rep Elise Stefanik to voice their demand for a town hall meeting.   Looked like mostly out of  towners and one woman was clearly hostile to me even though I was there to observe although they didn't like it when I told them they only wanted a town hall for spectacle .   I did have a nice chat about the ACA and it was cordial.
   There was one Stefanik supporter in addition to me .
     After I went to the gym and saw a couple of geese had returned to Stateway Plaza, a sign of an early spring.

Boehner: ACA Will Not Play Out as Some Think

      Former House Speaker John Boehner can say pretty much what he wants these days and doesn't have to adhere to a party line. So when Mr. Boehner says the ACA will be changed and not repealed in concept, there is merit to listening...
    Of course, the Ohio Republican can be dismissed as an old style compromiser, that in the end will be what's needed as the political heat on both sides is singing many MOCs who just don't want the grief or blowback.
    The critical mass is not the lefty activists. It will be regular people concerned or scared over where things are headed. The doctrinaire message of some is not sustainable, especially with 2018 already underway.
    Tuesday's speech to a joint session by the President will be telling. And by the way, the people who call other people "scumbags" should really do their job and show up.

Fake News Takes Many Forms

   Fake news takes many forms, but one of the more obvious are the death reports about celebrities that quickly spread across the Internet. One such report this week about Andrew Lincoln, the popular star of AMC's The Walking Dead.  I was surprised when a caller laid the news on me during the HOTLINE, insisting it was true because it was on the Internet.
     I quickly did some checking and found no corroboration. However one can see how fake news spreads as many hear the assertion and not the correction.
     This kind of fake news is senseless and seemingly serves no end, but there are other kinds that do.

Postscript: It Was an NBC Hit Job That Missed the Mark

    That it was an NBC staffer who released the Billy Bush tape that so captivated the nation last October is no surprise. The whole network was committed to taking down the Trump campaign, but the fact remains it was a Presidential race and it was a provocative and titillating tape that could be looped for days.
      Many voters put it all in perspective, especially since it was a years ago private conversation.
       Frankly, given Mr. Trump's years in entertainment, I think that only one tape came out is a surprise.
      Whatever happened to Billy Bush ?

WDT: Coach Should Have Bent Rules

    The story of the TI Central lad who was late for a hoop game because he was volunteering on a rescue call with the local FD continues to make news. Lucas Patchen was not allowed to play when he did get to the game and thus started a worldwide excoriation of the "insensitive" coach.
     Today the WDT takes the side of the lad.
      This story is truly a kerfuffle as it was a real time decision to enforce a rule that somebody made go viral.
       Given a knowledge of all the circumstances, perhaps the coach should have allowed him to play, but my God, its one high school basketball game.
       I'll take the unpopular editorial stance concerning the young man.
       Get over it.

Jenne: Carolyn Pontiac Building Among Those Getting State $$$$$

       More free money for local projects....A half million dollars for rehabbing the old Carolyn Pontiac on Outer Washington Street. Anybody know what this is going to be ?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spicer: We Are Enforcing the Pot Laws

    There's a funny bit of hypocrisy about to be exposed....The Trump White House says they will enforce federal laws against weed....That lays bare the left who want to sort of look the other way while still supporting the war on drugs. Imagine forcing Congress to come clean on an issue rather than assume the Justice Department will look the other way.
   What do the tough-as-nails prosecutors do and the substance abuse industry do when they have to explain why state laws going easy on dopers don't count.

Andy and Eric Fight For Your Right to Use Any Bathroom You Want......

   Well, you knew this was coming.....Albany leaping to the defense on an issue that affects virtually no one....Andy and Eric are on board to guarantee anyone can use any bathroom in the state's 700 school districts.
    Is that happening here ?   Likely won't be reported on anytime soon.
     I deal with accommodating people every day....and certainly am respectful of those who feel uncomfortable using one bathroom or the other.
     The President was right getting DC out of this bathroom issue. Let the state and local pols bloviate over it.
     But really, what is being done locally to fulfill the Governor's pledge.  We need to know.

Coco Will Be Whippin' in the Prison Kitchen

   The man who teamed with a star football player from a local high school in a sex, violence and drug soaked video called 'Coco Whippin' in the Kitchen'....has pleaded to a murder rap in the 2015 killing of a Winslow Street man.
     The whole affair was a road map to the social deviancy all too frequent today.

Warm Weather Continues

   Record temperatures will continue through Saturday and while next week will be cooler it still looks like above average temps heading into March.
   Put the shovels away...And get ready for Spring.

Weaponizing Glassware.....Do We Need to All Use Plastic Cups ?

    Some Boston bars are being threatened with a no glassware provision after a series of incidents where broken glasses became weapons. Of course regulators are quick to govern to the exception as surely the vast majority of people every day enjoy their beverage from a glass...There is something less gratifying about a plastic cup unless you are in a stadium or the beach. Some glasses actually add to the presentation.
     In 32 years of bar ownership, I only once saw someone try to weaponized glassware and it was a bottle. Hold the neck, smash off the bottom end and you have a scary and effective weapon.
     But it's not the glass that kills, so creating a world of red Solo Cups will not eliminate the idiots the world is full of.

WDT: Two Consecutive Glass is Half Full Stories

         Two days in a row city officials have been able to read the paper and get a positive message about the Arena. This time it was a story on good attendance at various skating events.
          After months of bad press, this if nothing else provides some balance and perspective.

Constituents hold town hall meeting without congresswoman |

      They are really making a fuss out east about these town halls, even holding an empty  chair town hall in a bid to shame Rep. Elise Stefanik. Of course this all happened in Glens Falls where activists have concentrated their efforts. Of course, you can get Albany media over there, but this continues to be a distant story to the rest of us in the sprawling district.

      If there is national coordination to all this, it is likely Ms. Stefanik would be on the hit list as she is tightly linked to leadership and is considered a rising star.

Constituents hold town hall meeting without congresswoman |

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NYDN: Conway Off Air

      I thought Kellyanne Conway did wonders during the campaign but   she did get a bit over exposed and maybe needs a rest.

Go Ahead...Do the Town Hall

   A long time ago when I was running for Assembly in a three way race, there was the usual clamor
for a debate or forum...
   Conveniently the venue was the Belleville Henderson School in the most remote corner of the district and the Superintendent banned live radio coverage.
    I don't know if that kind of party maneuvering is even possible these days but if there's going to be a town hall for Rep. Stefanik, let's hold it in East Jesus, where the Internet is spotty and roads to get there are dark and winding....Make the snowflakes work for their spectacle.
   That aside, I did read a Huff Po story today about the Congresswoman's previous stated affinity for town halls as a means of reaching millennials...
    Contrived as they are the yelling and give and take for a couple of hours isn't going to hurt anyone and not doing it gives the opposition something to talk about.
     Not holding one is risk avoidance...Little downside , no real gain...But actually taking up the offer for a live event all could see might be good politics and good governing.
     If they are exceedingly rude, its sympathy for the tyro....and it would surely get some national press which isn't bad for the party's up and coming star.
     When Mika said on air today it's up to her ilk to shape what the public thinks, I changed my mind on town halls...Maybe those who actually were chosen by voters should take control of shaping public perceptions.
     So I would do the event and make it a spectacle on your terms...Maybe not in East Jesus, but in Canton, where donning safety pins is a morning ritual.

WDT: Andy Playing Both Sides on Pot Issue

   The WDT rightly asserts this morning that Governor Andrew Cuomo is having his brownies and eating them too on the issue of legalized use of marijuana.
    The Governor wants to pander to the law enforcement and the substance abuse lobby by wanting it illegal to use, but wants it legal to carry in a bid to appeal to his minority, urban voting base.
     Maintaining contradictory laws only discredits the rule of law. The public gets it, especially younger adults who view all this puffery as hypocritical. Get married at 14...have sex at 17.... buy a cigarette at 18, but smoke it at 16, vote at 18 , drink at 21, carry some pot, but don't smoke it and shoot heroin at any age.

LePen Rebuffs Mufti Over Hajib Demand

     French Presidential hopeful Marine LePen refused to cover her head as a provision of meeting with a grand mufti.
     Why should any woman have to kow tow to medieval practice ?  Of course she must be condemned because her politics are not in line with media hegemony. Still, she was right to decline this condition.
      Some might say it's sexist.   And is there a grand mufti in Watertown ?

Bathroom Brawl Looms

     The Trump Administration is likely to leave the matter of transgender bathrooms to the states, meaning we'll have them in NY but likely not in Alabama....
   This matter has been talked about a lot...For many of us with restrooms, the occasional instance this might come into play is easy to deal with. Just use whatever bathroom you want.
    However, a lot of parents would be interested in what the policy in schools is and how much is being spent on floor to ceiling toilet stalls.
    We likely won't find that out, but it would be interesting to know.

WDT: Stefanik Backs Bid for Health Care Help for Small Business

    As the complicated and politically nuanced effort continues to "repeal and replace" the ACA, Rep. Elise Stefanik is supporting legislation to enhance the ability of those in small business to obtain more affordable insurance. Those involved in the mom and pop's were left in the cold by Obamacare.
     I suspect the ACA will end up more a series of efforts to repair problems than the complete overhaul promised as the politics of that don't appear too good.
      Many support core concepts of the ACA and in some form Obamacare will live on perhaps different and with a different name.

WDT: Arena Snack Bar Generates More Than Scheme to Outsource

         Despite the need to buy equipment and build inventory, and despite the ill advised efforts to farm out the function for peanuts, the Watertown Arena concession stand is in the black this year and the projection for next year is brighter yet.
         By running it internally the City has control over product and an assurance to the public of quality and accountability. There was little private sector interest during a bidding process that consumed a lot of staff time and proved the concession was better off handled as is.
         Public response to menu improvements has been positive and even the most grumpy of Council Members grudgingly conceded it's good news for the facility that often has generated controversy from construction woes to the failed plan to cash out on naming rights.

WDT: Fireman's Brew Pub Red Lighted By Zoning Law

       It's being called a "glitch" in news coverage, but it seems it's the law that is holding up a proposed brew pub in the Lincoln Building, but City Council is expected to change the law so it can happen. Kind of reminds us of the restrictive zoning on Washington Street that prevented a financial services office there.
         It's surprising that things like zoning are not considered by business people ahead of time, and frankly zoning and all its nuances are often decades behind developments in the market place.
         Many businesses that were regulated don't now exist and new ones are not considered, leaving regulators to interpret.
         According to this article the issue will be addressed promptly and the law will be changed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chainsaw Attack on Boss...Film at Eleven

      There's so many more questions with this bizarre incident in Lewis County where a man is said to have taken off after his boss with a chain saw.  This is interesting news.

Migrants Riot in Stockholm....Oh and It's The AP Reporting It

      So there is unrest in Sweden....Must be fake news...Oh wait , it was the MSM that reported on it.

Fake News From Out East

     It's a tale of two districts...Over there, it's a fuss over no town halls with Rep. Stefanik....the protests...the editorials....the ludicrous headlines about being caught in the tailwinds of an angry populace.
     Over here nobody cares.
Old Foes Like Jet Want a Town Hall

      She is smart to say no.....Why give MSNBC and CNN all that video of people feigning outrage....Let some other MOC endure it all.  We know how to access our Congresswoman if we need to...It's easier to text her than sit through some Godawful town hall.