Polar Dip in Alex Bay Saturday at 1PM

Polar Dip in Alex Bay Saturday at 1PM
To Benefit River Hospital

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Call Out Cuomo" tour to rally North Country against Cuomo plan | NYSUT.org

   Teachers and supporters of public education are rallying across NNY this weekend in a "call out Cuomo" effort that visits Indian River Central School this afternoon.

   Administrators, parents and pols are invited.

"Call Out Cuomo" tour to rally North Country against Cuomo plan | NYSUT.org

The Longest Short Month Winds Down

   As revelers splash into the icy St. Lawrence, the last day of a long and record cold February ends and March stands ready to come in like a lion...with more cold and a little snow.
   The weather guessers say it will be 39 on Wednesday, the first above freezing day in recent memory...Then its back to cold, in time to turn the clocks ahead next weekend.
7-Day Forecast for Latitude 44°N and Longitude 75.91°W

Congress Punts

      Congress ended up passing a one week extension of funding for Homeland Security, kicking the can on the latest shutdown showdown in the capital.
       Rep. Elise Stefanik bolted from the GOP in voting for a longer extension.

Stefanik votes in favor of three-week Homeland Security funding extender

92 Year Old Car Salesman, Other Seniors Still Going Strong At FX Caprara | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

   There is a family atmosphere to working at the FX Car Companies, but most salesmen probably won't stay till they are 92. Born when all the cars were black, Jim Edwards still sells at the Caprara store in Pulaski.
     There are other seniors working there.
     The best thing about the older work force ? They show up.
      Hope I am around to buy a VW from Walt Young when he is 92.
92 Year Old Car Salesman, Other Seniors Still Going Strong At FX Caprara | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: 260 Supports Polar Bear Dip.

     Today's Polar Bear Dip is hopefully a last hurrah for a winter gone bad, as dozens of people jump into the St. Lawrence River to raise money for Alex Bay's River Hospital.

     It's a worthy cause and a fun event what with all the costumes. I will be stopping by and hope all of you do to.

     It's not Cancun, but it will be good to get out from under cabin fever.

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

The dress: Celebrities join the white and gold or blue and black debate | Daily Mail Online

    It's a short trip to become an Internet sensation these days. The world was aflutter on Friday over a photo of a dress that appears as different colors depending on who looks at it and how long.

    It appears to be an optical illusion, but you can decide.

The dress: Celebrities join the white and gold or blue and black debate | Daily Mail Online

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mayor Says Arena Project Needs To Be Scaled Down | WWNY TV 7

     WWNY's John Moore accompanied me on a tour of the Fairgrounds Arena as Monday's vote nears on what is a $10M rehab and expansion of the forty year old structure.
     Two members of Council say they won't vote for more than $7.5M to $8M and that would force a rebidding and redesign of the project.
      I invited media to visit the Arena tomorrow to see what does go on here, and there may be other ideas that come up Monday. That's the process and we will see what the results are.
       In an all things being equal analysis, the project at $10M could increase the levy by 8% and the lower figure would increase it by 6%. That's assuming no other economies are found elsewhere in the budgets in coming years.
       There is also the question of revenue from the Arena and how that could mitigate debt service. All topics worthy of discussion, but not likely to sway anyone at this point.
  Mayor Says Arena Project Needs To Be Scaled Down | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Stefanik Supports "Clean Bill" to Fund Homeland Security

   Rep. Elise Stefanik is showing common sense in supporting a straight up funding bill for Homeland Security and not tying it to defunding the President's immigration policy.

    The new MOC is supporting not allowing the agency to shutdown and more important seems averse to the practice of shutdown showdowns.

Senate passes homeland security bill House won't support

Girl Busted for Sending Boy Nude Photo

      A 19 year old girl sends a nude photo of herself to a 16 year old boy via Facebook. Now she is arrested and likely to be on some sex offender list.
       Does anyone know how different life is with social media and the Internet ? Should she have done it ? No, but the likelihood of doing ill-advised stuff on the Internet is so pervasive.  One slip up and you're done these days.
     Newzjunky.com Police Blotter

Arena Debate Likely to Rage Over the Weekend......Easy News Stories

    The debate over Arena improvements has its adversaries even in City Hall with the second floor insisting the debt is too much and the Parks and Rec Super making the point the department languished for years as a subset of DPW and facilities are tired and users are reduced to having their small children change into uniforms in the lobby on a busy Saturday morning.
    In fact , it would be nice if the MSM went to the Arena tomorrow morning to see what's up.
    A modern facility would also have allowed for charging a realistic rate for renting the facility.
     Quoting the effect of any one project on tax rates in a single year is dubious as there are a lot of moving parts in city finances, including the retirement of other debt and other reorganizations that could change expenditures.
     But if you accept the premise the project would add 8% to the tax rate, the opponents of that have publicly stated they support a $7.5M expenditure, which, using their math, would be a 6% increase.
    I didn't hear that end of the analysis on TV yesterday.

How Mohammed Emwazi became ISIS' Jihadi John: First picture revealed | Daily Mail Online

    Nice kid, nice family, went to good schools, grows up in great surroundings....Then he becomes "Jihadi John", the scary and evil executioner on TV cutting off heads for ISIS.
     Now we know who he is.
     Can he be found ?  Should his head be cut off on TV or should he be burned alive in a cage. Or maybe consumed by wolverines while tied to the ground and smeared with animal fat.
      It would be hard to imagine a suitable disposition for this dude. Maybe just a head shot from 300 yards.
How Mohammed Emwazi became ISIS' Jihadi John: First picture revealed | Daily Mail Online

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

   What's wrong with the Internet ?  It's the greatest single invention of this era, opening up the flow of information, commerce and entertainment in ways none of us could imagine back in the days of black rotary dial phones.
     The Internet promotes individual free speech allowing for publications like this blog which would be off limits in the old days except for those with access to the means of dissemination.
     Now the FCC, a largely obsolete agency, enacts "net neutrality" rules , attempting to make the Internet the subject of their ham-handed ways.
     Aside from a blubbery, all-knowing government getting in the way of commerce and free speech, one wonders why there is the need to fix what isn't broken.
FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet' : The Two-Way : NPR

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Arena Statement from the Mayor


        For months City Council and staff have planned a series of renovations to the Fairgrounds Arena designed to correct problems with the aging structure and provide a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for the families, young people and visitors who use this "front door" to our City.
      Last Friday, I watched the bid openings and the numbers came in higher than expected. While not surprising given the scope of the job, the question has arisen as to whether Council, as representatives of the community, would approve the borrowing and resulting long term debt service.
       The bids and engineering costs would have resulted in a cost of $10.5M.
        Knowing this would be problematic, I discussed the matter with my colleagues and staff and concluded it is unlikely there will be the four votes needed to bond for the project. To have approved the bids in a project this size without assurance of bonding would have been reckless.
        Today, I instructed the Manager to draft resolutions rejecting the four bids and to distribute them to Council on Friday, so that lawmakers can step back and reconsider the scope of the project without a messy debate and failing vote on the project. I don't presume what the Council will do, but seeing the landscape is part of the legislative process.
       I also asked staff to be thinking of the priorities to include in a reconstituted and smaller scope project that will be bid. With many of the specs already drawn it is hoped this process would be short if the Council opts not to vote on the bids and bond ordinance.
       City Council meets Monday at 7PM to consider its options and decide what to do. While I am willing to support the entire project, I recognize the trepidation and am hopeful the deficiencies at the Arena are acknowledged and addressed in some manner.
        
       

Statement on Arena Disussions

      After meeting and talking with my colleagues, listening to public comment and meeting with staff this week, I will have a statement on the Arena project at 8PM. That seems a fair time for all and I haven't written it yet anyway.

Cuomo To Cuba On April 20

       Governor Cuomo is headed to Cuba in April now that the prohibitions against the island nation are coming down.
       If it's an island he wants, how about Sewall's Island, where we'd like something good to happen as soon as the DEC loses interest in sniffing the rocks.

Cuomo To Cuba On April 20 (Updated)

Lunch with Joe

    Today there was a such thing as a free lunch as Councilman Joe Butler bought lunch at the Fairgrounds Inn in satisfaction of his wager on the GOP Sheriff candidate last fall.
     We had a nice chat about a lot of things.  First on the list was the Fairgrounds Arena, just a couple hundred yards away.
     More on that tomorrow
     We talked a little sports and finance, as the Councilman is a broker.
      Councilman Butler praised the choice of Rex Ryan as coach for the Bills, something we agreed on.
      For the record, Mr. Butler had a turkey club and I had a grilled ham and cheese.
      Transparency
    

Thursday in Tundra Town

   The day started poorly when I discovered the sewer lateral from my house to the bar froze. It only happened once before during a similar cold snap. Something to work on today, along with meetings with a couple of my colleagues on different issues.
     Got to get moving with hiring someone for the bar too.
     How's your Thursday going ?

Sheldon Silver’s on thin ice! Nearly tumbles after court appearance | New York Post

   Former Speaker Sheldon Silver's lawyers sought a dismissal of the corruption charges against him and the 71 year old lawmaker almost took a tumble, slipping on ice while leaving the Manhattan court house.

    Team Silver argues the grand jury was improperly influenced by the US Attorney, but that's just jockeying and posturing for the trial which may come as early as summer.

Sheldon Silver’s on thin ice! Nearly tumbles after court appearance | New York Post

Letter: Cuomo "Waging War" on Education and Teachers. Rally Planned for Saturday

     This Saturday there is a "Call Out Cuomo" rally being held at Indian River Central School in Philadelphia.  Teachers are organizing the event at 4PM, and they have invited administrators and elected officials.
      While local state legislators like to talk up support for school funding and opposition to common core, I doubt they will come to excoriate the Governor.
      Teachers seem worked up over the Governor, although the state spends as much or more on schools as ever.
       I may stop by the rally on the way back from Alex Bay's Polar Bear Dip on Saturday afternoon. Can't stay long as I have to work in the evening.
       There are enough teachers in the state, that if they felt so strongly they could have defeated the Governor last fall in the primary where a pro teacher candidate was available.
        Apparently many teachers voted for Mr. Cuomo or didn't vote at all since he carried Jefferson County in the primary and easily won the election in November.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

WDT: Arena Project on Thin Ice.

     The Fairgrounds Arena project will highlight Monday's meeting, but with relatively little public comment being heard over the months of planning, and concern over cost, there may well be a move to seek a compromise, or putting off the project for a time 

      There are good arguments on both sides and this is a difficult vote. 

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reform in Albany: Now There's Four Men in a Room !

   The five member IDC gets a seat but the minority leaders in both houses get no voice.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Water Fluoridation May Increase Risk of Underactive Thyroid Disorder

   Time to cancel the Newsweek subscription as the long time weekly has joined the heretics by printing a story critical of fluoride.

    Water Fluoridation May Increase Risk of Underactive Thyroid Disorder

Clayton's Outdoor Bars Too Noisy? | WWNY TV 7 -

   Stop already.....People....adult people...like to go out...Enjoy the short summers...have some cocktails and conversations on a deck...out of doors....
    You like that too...You probably have a deck...or a patio or a picnic table in the back yard...And so it is for Clayton businesses. This is a nice village with a burgeoning tourist business.
    Now village leaders want to pass a law to restrict outdoor imbibing.
    You've got a good thing going....Don't chase the folks away.

Clayton's Outdoor Bars Too Noisy? | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: BRVC Officially Folds

   Like so many clubs , the Black River Valley Club is closing....For good. The member ship is dissolving the corporation and that's a responsible way of ending it, unlike some other clubs just left abandoned.
    Hopefully the building will be preserved, but the notion of an exclusive men's club doesn't cut it in modern times.
     It's unfortunate, but economics is economics. In the day, the story was lawyers had to decide if their case was better served being heard before or after lunch at the "Club".
   Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Life in the Tundra

    I asked about chlorine in the water as flat soda is not something the community can endure. The professional consensus is that it is not the city water causing the flat soda noticed in some precincts.
    A meeting is set for Tuesday at Knickerbocker School on a proposal to make the street in front of the school one way.
    Discussion continues on the Arena. although the votes are likely there to approve the bid contracts, raising the issue of how to fund the project. If a fourth person isn't willing to approve a bond ordinance it could have to be funded out of current year revenue, a clearly unacceptable choice.
     Monday's Council meeting should be spirited.

Meet the New Month, Same as the Old Month

   Another week of not seeing the freezing mark on the thermometer as long range forecasts show continued below average temperatures.

     Cabin fever is on the rise as life in the tundra continues.

7-Day Forecast for Latitude 44°N and Longitude 75.91°W

Editorial: Dicker on to Something | New York Post

       The Dicker-Cuomo dust up over kept man Larry Schwartz' made-up $181K state job means Fred got it right, according to the scribe's boss, the NY Post.

        No wonder those legislators carp about pay when they see all these people that do nothing making twice what they do.

Garbage | New York Post

WDT: Tipped Workers React

     The concurrent issue in the service industry is jerking people around by scheduling and then sending people home because its slow. Or scheduling someone for 25 hours one week and three hours the next.
     Food is a tough business and controlling labor costs is where's it's at to maintain the bottom line.
Getting people to show up is tough. A generation has been taught, "calling in" , is OK , and people have a host of bad work habits.
    But the workplace is tough.  It's labor intensive at times...very lucrative at times, but it's slow at times too.
    Employers have an obligation to keeping the doors open but also a basic obligation to create as good a working environment as possible and as much opportunity as you can for good people to make something.
    I don't favor a subminimum wage and have never used it. It's a competitive advantage for those that do. However this ever-escalating talk about minimum wage will squeeze small business especially in our field where between wages and tips, workers make in the range of $20 an hour or more averaged out over the week.
     The people setting these rules don't understand small business, especially small mom and pop businesses. 
      And by the way. The President should ban the use of subminimum wages on federal installations. Set an example.
      And any of you business owners asked by the media to be interviewed about this issue, don't. Makes you look cheap and a user of the vulnerable.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Fluoride in water to protect teeth could spark depression, scientists warn | Daily Mail Online

      These darn publications like the Daily Mail....printing what's not allowed here, where if you question the conventional wisdom, you are quickly beat down by the editorial writers and the public health professionals.
       Mass dosing of fluoride is done to reduce the Medicaid dental costs. I know because the aforementioned people told me. Those people drink bottled water.
Fluoride in water to protect teeth could spark depression, scientists warn | Daily Mail Online

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gov. Cuomo's plan to stop publishing election notices is shortsighted (Editorial) | syracuse.com

    The publishing of official notices has always been a sop to the publishers. Andy is right to stop it.

Gov. Cuomo's plan to stop publishing election notices is shortsighted (Editorial) | syracuse.com

After 75 years, Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to be republished in Germany - The Washington Post

      Here we go again.

After 75 years, Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to be republished in Germany - The Washington Post

Stefanik Puerto Rico apoya la estadidad

       Rep. Elise Stefanik has put her name on a mostly Democratic supported bill to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. Maybe we can combine Delaware and Maryland to keep the number of Senators at 100.
        Congresswoman, just don't get on board with DC statehood.
       Stefanik co-sponsors first Democratic- introduced bill

WWNY: Turtle to be Righted Under New Moniker

       WWNY reports an unidentified man claims he will reopen the shuttered Nautical Turtle bar on the east end of Public Square.
       The Turtle had its license cancelled following a series of complaints about rowdiness.
        That won't be easy but I don't think the action included a prohibition on use of the property. That can result from a full revocation action.
Nicely Done Decor

         TV 7 says the bar will have another name.
         Whoever the mystery owner is will have to secure a license in his own name. Something not always easy, especially for a property already on the SLA radar. That said, the Turtle was nicely renovated and is in good shape with a good location.
       The new operator will have to secure a two year lease with the building owner and pass muster himself with the SLA.
    Watertown's Nautical Turtle Tavern Loses Its Liquor License | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Water Woes Mount as Cold Won't Relent

      This morning I was talking to a Water Department crew fixing a meter on my street when they got the call to go to Factory Street where a 12 inch main was gushing through the pavement across from Colesante's.
      It was the latest effect of the relentless cold, now set to continue well into next week.
      One note. While those who have had frozen service lines are encouraged to leave a trickle of water running to prevent refreezing, those without problems should not leave water running.

WKTV.com: Cuomo's administration to raise tipped wage to $7.50

   As expected Governor Cuomo has approved a 50% increase in the wage paid to many tipped workers, mostly in restaurants where the wage is often $5.00, although someone was telling me recently they worked on Fort Drum and only got $4 an hour, which is a disgrace considering who is President.

   Many businesses pay minimum wage or more anyway and the sub minimum wage has been criticized as an homage to Big Food.  Proponents say it reflects the reality of what is received in tips.

WKTV.com: Cuomo's administration to raise tipped wage to $7.50

Stefanik promotes Girl Scout cookies

        Saw this in the Post Star....To 'self-serving' to be reported in the westerns half.

Stefanik promotes Girl Scout cookies

Remember that Evening of Bar Hopping in 2009 ?

      Six years ago a man had what he says was consensual sex with a woman, who's boyfriend was standing nearby.  A jury has convicted Andrew Regan of first degree rape and he faces a sentence of five to 25 years. His life is ruined, he will likely see his marriage evaporate, is unemployable when he gets out and tarred forever. He has already spent six years on the bubble of the blubbery and slow moving criminal justice system.
        DA Mary Rain claims a great victory. Hope she puts the champagne in a glass first.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Poll: Part-time NY lawmakers should disclose more about private income or stop moonlighting | syracuse.com

       A polls shows 92% of New Yorkers say corruption in Albany is a major problem...That's predictable given the drum beat of news out of the capital.
      Define corruption.
      Legislator jobs are just that, jobs. They are not "part-time", although in NYC an Assemblyman likely has little to do other than session in Albany. In NNY, a lawmaker is busy as they interact directly with local officials and are well known in their communities.
      The public hears the term "part time" and thinks its like ten hours a week as a Wal-Mart greeter (they no longer exist, but its a good example).
       The real money in the Capitol is in the background. Look at the job created for the Governor's too-controversial chief of staff.
        The public now believes everyone is corrupt although most know nothing of the jobs.  That's why people just ignore government and interest in civics is at an all time low
Every debate is slathered in name calling and assertions of corruption.
           Poll: Part-time NY lawmakers should disclose more about private income or stop moonlighting | syracuse.com#incart_river

Stefanik walks tightrope on tough vote - Times Union

      Washington's latest shutdown showdown is over the Department of Homeland Security, and agency reflexively created after 9/11 and now possessing its own constituency of employees and lawmakers who want them functioning in their district.

      Superimpose the orthodoxy of party loyalty and brinksmanship is tough back home where a purple area is ambivalent towards the great set piece battles between the White House and Capitol Hill.

       As our local Assemblywoman found out, there are times you need to get a pass on party hegemony.

Stefanik walks tightrope on tough vote - Times Union

WDT: Bite the Bullet.

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

WDT: Call to Accept Loonies at Par Not a Panacea

     The issue of taking Canadian money at par when the bank discount on it is at 20% is more complicated than just wanting to be nice to customers.
     First of all, Canadians are more tuned into current events and understand the effect of a strong dollar, so they know they will spend more here.
     Most transactions these days are on plastic, so the exchange gets done that way.
     The margins on things you sell vary. Selling a Jack and Coke for four Loonies still yields a gross profit, while selling four Loose Change tickets is a clear loss of money.
      Then there is the issue of offering change, which absolutely would have to be in Canadian currency.
      Retailers have to work a little harder to welcome Canadians with marketing and better service.
You have to make the visit worth the premium.
      Businesses find a way to accommodate their customers.. The call by the local Chamber to take money at par is a promotion that may work for some, but local business will have to make that call.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ritchie: Vote for Your Favorite Library and Librarian

    Senator Patty Ritchie wants us to vote for our favorite library and librarian.
    That's easy.
    Flower Memorial Library and it's new director Yvonne Reff
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Mother-of-four Marie Holmes collects $127m share of Powerball jackpot | Daily Mail Online

    The baby daddy has to be kicking himself now...A good looking 26 year old wife and mother who is fabulously wealthy. Damn !

Mother-of-four Marie Holmes collects $127m share of Powerball jackpot | Daily Mail Online

Melanie Griffith: I Won't Watch My Daughter's Movie

    I think Melanie Griffith was spot on in telling the Red Carpet press corps she does not want to watch her daughter's hit movie, "50 Shades of Grey".
    Dakota Johnson stars in the racy tale of dominance and submission. The 25 year old actress is the daughter of Ms. Griffith and actor Don Johnson.
    It's the proper stance.  Doesn't mean she doesn't love her daughter, but parents don't need to always approve..just understand.

Week Off Without a Meetng, But Big Decision on Arena Comes Monday

      The Arena project will be an interesting vote on Monday  Will the bids be accepted ?  Will the issues with completion date be solved ?  That's actually the more vexing issue now as Council had been assured the bid documents would mandate a Halloween finish and the consultants said it was doable.
    I support moving ahead, as the repairs and incremental improvements will not get less expensive with time. However, there has to be a four-fifths vote to approve the bonding ordinance and its not a slam dunk.
    A tabling of the matter ensures a late completion, and there are likely not the list of cuts some hope for but can't identify.
    A rescheduling of work till 2016 is possible but would raise other issues.
      What is an issue ahead is the willingness to adjust charges for use of the improved facility and the edict from Council to privatize concessions. That's not as easy as it sounds.
       A lot of us would consider bidding but everyone would want the booze concession if they are to pay top dollar and take the risks.
        For me the days ahead are a time to learn about the nuances, and make an informed choice.
      

Andy Lashes Out at Dicker and the Post...Calls Paper "Garbage"

     A story from Dicker that former Cuomo chief of state Larry Schwartz is still on the state payroll enraged the Governor who promptly called the NY Post "garbage".  Schwartz is widely thought to be the man who knows a lot of inside stuff and while he was pushed aside as chief of staff after the Moreland flap, he was likely too toxic for a private sector job, hence he is being kept on in an obscure but well paid state job. That's what I was told by a longtime capital insider.

     It's a switch for Dicker who had lavished praise on the Governor in his first campaign and in his first months in office.

      Fred Dicker is the deal of Albany reporters and is widely read. He also has a listened to talk show.

Cuomo Vs. The New York Post#.VOu7irDkKNc.facebook

Merchant Told Too Much Chlorine in Water the Reason for Flat Soda

        A seller of fountain beverages in the has had complaints of flat soda and the repairman from the vendor is blaming the City. He says there is too much chlorine in the water and that if you pour club soda (which is just water), you can smell and taste it.
     It seemed to me like that's true, but until the complaint I was sipping Diet Coke on the gun all day and didn't notice anything. Maybe the fluoride made me too dumb to notice. (humor).

Keeping The Flouride Flowing

   City water crews are busy thawing out dozens of frozen service entrances and fixing broken water mains like one six inch pipe on Morrison Street. Crews say the frost line is three to five feet below surface and with more cold coming the job should continue.   
    Once unfrozen many are urged to leave a trickle of water running.
    Standing in a cold hole in a foot of cold water handling a cold pipe is now on my list of jobs I will avoid. Kudos to the Water Department for keeping the H2O flowing this winter..
   

WDT: 21 Days for Adultery

Obviously the rules are different for prosecution under military law, so I was reading with interest the results of recent court martials on post.
  One guy got 36 years for a child sex rap, and there were others rapped for misappropriation of funds and unbecoming conduct.
    One 21 year old convicted of adultery was confined for 21 days and busted to E-1.
     Imagine if adultery were a crime outside the gate ?  The jails would be packed and we'd have a joint task force to ferret out offenders, although I suspect in some cases the arrests and adjudications would come with some level of hypocrisy.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Are These Wimpy Times We Live In?

   As people my age are want to do , we were talking last night  at Dry Hill about our days on the slopes and about how despite a spate of winter weather, ski areas suffered last week because its too cold. Too harsh..Parents won't drive their kids....
     Kinda like school these days , we concluded, affirming our own heartiness  and stoicism "back in the day."
     It does seem like schools close with the slightest provocation and everybody has to be driven regardless of weather. The traffic jams take once bucolic neighborhood schools and turn them into big city gridlock and flaring tempers.
     Is there a generational divide on manning up to the elements ?  Then the talk turned to when we used to slide down hills on cardboard because our families couldn't afford sleds, and I agreed with the paradigm, even though I distinctly remember having a Flexible Flyer and a Flying Saucer, along with all the ski gear I needed.
     After much bravado about the good old days I scampered to my car as I was getting cold.
    Closings

WDT: For People in Some Occupations a Thaw is Welcome.

      Work goes on despite cold weather and among the toughest occupations is farming where the drill continues despite the weather.  

       Dairy farming is especially tough what with the needs of livestock, frozen pipes and more.

       I thought the same this winter watching workers from Syracuse Utilities install power lines on Factory Street.

      Even people who depend on winter wanted some relief. Up at Dry Hill, owner Tim McAtee said the bitter cold discourages skiers and last week's school break suffered from it despite great ski conditions.

      Temps are down around zero this morning.

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snowtown Ends....But Winter Continues

   The drone overhead to chronicle the event, skiers with flares came down the slope at Dry Hill and fireworks exploded. The end of Snowtown is not the end of winter, but it concludes a successful series of events celebrating our most challenging season.
The Dot in the Upper Left is the Drone
 
   Kudos to City staff, the Chamber, Dry Hill Ski Area and many sponsors for helping to brighten up the season.
   

When Does Average Happen ?

  The average daily high in Watertown in February is 30.2 degrees.. I am sure this late in the month its a couple or three higher.

   There are always cold snaps, but this year, since New Year's there have been no thaws. I don't remember the last day we saw freezing. We will finish the month below freezing and enter March like a lion.

Climate Averages by ZIP Code

Snowtown Ends...But Winter Marches On

    As we wait for spring and enjoy a Sunday only a half dozen degrees below normal, the bright sun is refreshing and tonight we bid farewell to Snowtown with closing ceremonies at the Dry Hill Ski Area.
    Check it out tonight at 6PM. There are fireworks and fun, and I'll be there to enjoy it.
Not that winter won't continue. Our outdoor rink has lasted longer than ever and looks to be good for a least a week more.
     There is no Council meeting this week, but some decisions have to come soon on the Arena project. Deleting the replacement of floor piping will save $800K and a quicker construction schedule may be negotiated.
      Had another interested party approach on 138 Court Street, which is encouraging.
     

WDT: Local Schools to Stop Asking Citizenship Questions.

       Watertown Schools are going to stop asking new students if they are illegal aliens under an agreement reached with AG Eric Schneiderman.
        I never knew there was controversy over this until Mr. Schneiderman said there was. That's what AG's do, I guess.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

WDT: State Looks for Ways to Spend Extra Money.

      The $5.4B in settlement monies the state will receive this year is a one time infusion but it's just one part of the many streams of revenue making up the budget. That doesn't mean we need to cook up a separate list of $5B in expenditures.
      Just to put it in perspective that's like the City of Watertown getting a one time payment of $1.5M when you look at it as a percentage of budget.
      The Tappan Zee Bridge was going to be done anyway, and the array of other little tax cuts and checks to poor people are all short sighted.
      Don't spend time thinking up things to spend it on.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.