Monday, November 24, 2014

Stanley Law Helps Our Urban Mission.

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

Promoting Obamacare is Expensive

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

WDT: Woman Wins Million a Year for Life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unlikely to happen though.

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

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

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

Wages of Sin Vary Widely in Pamelia

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

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

WDT: Hospitality industry readying to get swamped on Black Friday

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

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

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What bartenders actually think of your drink order

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

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

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

WDT:Local restaurateurs featured in state health coverage campaign

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

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

Did You Know ?

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

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

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

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

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

After Considering Options, I Came to a Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

WDT: Critic No Fan of Tim Horton.

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

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

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

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

Socialization Skills Needed for People Too

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

Cuomo On The Scene in Buffalo for Storm Aftermath

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Novelty Game in Detroit a Hit With Fans

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

Free online tickets for Bills' game against Jets at Ford Field no longer available |

Polish Town Opposes Pooh Bear for Unclear Gender - ABC News

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

Polish Town Opposes Pooh Bear for Unclear Gender - ABC News

Holidays Coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WDT: Why were some ballots challenged in Cape?

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

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

TGI Fridays launches mistletoe drones to make holiday dining more romantic |

   Better get used to seeing drones and not just over your house....Now drones with mistletoe will be hovering over diners at select TGI Fridays in the UK....Won't be at the Arsenal Street store...but you can still smootch if you want.

TGI Fridays launches mistletoe drones to make holiday dining more romantic |

Friday Night Buzz

   A Democrat with close ties to the Russell campaign told me tonight they are confident their candidate's 103 vote margin holds up when all the votes are counted....On December 1, Supreme Court Judge James McCluskey will hear the challenges to 317 ballots lodged by both parties.
    Today on the HOTLINE I explained my reasons for choosing to support Factory Street Park as the site for a dog park.  Central location, easy access, existing infrastructure, and no displacement of other uses are among the reasons. I will introduce a resolution to that effect on December first and have a second. At that point Council will debate and decide.
     Five other sites were proposed and my support for Factory Street has already drawn fire from dog park proponent Scott Gates who said today I am vindictive.
     The agenda for the December 1st meeting will come out next Wednesday.
      We had a great discussion at the Watertown Trust this morning on the upcoming downtown marketing drive and in looking over the past quarter century there are so many projects that have led to the resurgent downtown we have today. Buffalo may have its billion, but we have a good quarter of a billion into downtown since the city's center reached it nadir around 1990.
Judge Catherine Palermo at her 2011 Swearing In
     Oh, and I heard tonight Governor Cuomo is signing the bill to make our second City Judge position an elected one...That's a good thing and it sets up an election in 2017 for incumbent Catherine Palermo.  It's not often the public gets more people they can select. In the modern age, just the opposite is true.

WDT: Oregon man will head zoo at Thompson Park

     A new zoo czar will be in place by February. Mathew Holdgate of Portland Oregon takes over the job running the menagerie.

     We welcome the Holdgates to the North Country.

Watertown Daily Times | Oregon man will head zoo at Thompson Park

Good News for a Change...JETS-Bills on WWNY Monday at 7PM

      The kind, and generous crew at WWNY just told me channel 7 is carrying Monday's New  York JETS-Buffalo Bills game postponed from Sunday due to the snow storm. The 7 PM kickoff is in Detroit's Ford Field.
     I called WWNY and Jim Corbin told me...moments later Jeff Cole texted me and then Scott Atkinson called me to deliver the news....Scotty said they were airing it just for me, but I was prepared to go to Shootie's if necessary as he has the NFL ticket.....Now all will enjoy the game.

Arcade Business Owners the Face of the ACA

    The owners of a downtown restaurant are featured in full page ads in upstate newspapers promoting New York's version of Obamacare..
    Dave and Robyn Bartlett own Johnny D's in the Paddock Arcade and were chosen to represent the health insurance exchange as they bought insurance through it utilizing the Foy Agency as navigator.
     Recently a production crew spent two days at their business taping a television commercial to start airing this week.
     Dave says he was happy with the service he got and that those not in union or government jobs need help getting insured.
      My guess the full back page ad in color probably cost the state four or five grand.

Don’t wear jeans if you want to interview Prince William and Kate | New York Post

     Guess you can't show up in baggy jeans and a hoodie if you want to cover the royal visit. Dressed-for-lack-of-success reporters are being given a dress code if they expect to cover royal events during William and Kate's next US visit.

Don’t wear jeans if you want to interview Prince William and Kate | New York Post

No TV for Snow Game

   I just heard Warner Wolf say the postponed JETS-Bills game will only be seen in the Buffalo and NYC markets....If that's true, that sucks.

Attorney General Schneiderman to examine low voter turnout - NY Daily News

       So the AG is going to study low voter turnout....I will save him the trouble.  People don't think it matters and there is no longer a sense of civic education and civic duty.

       Besides, Eric Schneiderman easily won reelection, so what does he care....Except that NYC numbers were very low and if upstate ever got uppity and really turned out, that could be a problem.

Attorney General Schneiderman to examine low voter turnout - NY Daily News

Obama announces immigration action for millions of illegal immigrants | Daily Mail Online

       Executives love to tout their authority to do things without legislative approval.  So it is with President Obama, as he created his own immigration amnesty program.

        It's also a chance to pick a post election fight with Republicans in a bid to reduce the impact of the recent elections that didn't go so well for Bam.

        So you can argue the policy or the tactics, but its a chance for the usual suspects to be on TV huffing and puffing.

Obama announces immigration action for millions of illegal immigrants | Daily Mail Online

NFL Moves JETS Game to Detroit on Monday....Passes on Carrier Dome

   New York State has lost one of its rivalries with the Bills game against the JETS being moved to Monday night in Detroit due to the snow storm that has buried Ralph Wilson Stadium and snarled traffic in the Buffalo area.

   The Motor City's indoor digs will provide a field that is wired for NFL games, but wouldn't it have been nice to have this upstate-downstate showdown in Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.

    Loss of the game to Buffalo was yet another hit as this was motor home weekend at the stadium with many travelers expected.

     Ironically by Monday the roads in Erie County will be largely cleared as warm weather is on tap.

Source: NFL says Carrier Dome won't host Buffalo Bills game; technology reportedly an issue |

WDT: Letter- Donate tax rebates to local school districts

    Here's a letter writer truly devoted to government as a force for good. He urges Times readers to take their tax cap rebate checks and sign them over to their local school district. In my case it was $13. The City of Watertown got a $5 check for a house we owned through tax sale (now sold).

     You see I never thought of donating the check back to government. I just cashed it.

Watertown Daily Times | Donate tax rebates to local school districts

State Offices Will Be Closed Friday | WWNY TV 7

      After a day in which there was all of three inches of snow, state offices in Watertown are closed again on Friday. Why close entire systems of government because of localized weather problems ?  We've had lake effect storms since the beginning of time and while there are areas in the state that need special assistance, these storms don't conform to county boundaries.

State Offices Will Be Closed Friday | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WDT:Black River Valley Club trying to avoid closure

       Clubs just don't have much cache in the modern age....Fraternal, social, whatever...People don't feel the need for exclusivity or bonding with like minded people.

       The Black River Valley Club is a vestige of a day gone  by, but it's still a nice facility downtown for social events....

       For better or worse the business models don't work anymore.

       Watertown Daily Times | Black River Valley Club trying to avoid closure

Schumer meets with Stefanik

   Rep-elect Elise Stefanik is building relationships in DC....although I suspect she had quite a few already. Ms. Stefanik met with Senator Chuck Schumer this week after a previous meeting with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.


Elise Stefanik with Senator Schumer.
    Senator Schumer had high praise for our new MOC, calling her smart and savvy.

Schumer meets with Stefanik

NFL discussing alternatives for Bills game

        The NFL didn't take my suggestion to move Sunday's JETS-Bills game to Cleveland where the stadium is free as the Browns are in Atlanta.  I really wanted to enjoy the game Sunday at 1PM....OK, Commissioner ?

        They are considering Monday night in Detroit, Pittsburgh or DC.....Well, Detroit is indoors...For that matter by Tuesday the rain will have cleared up things in Erie County and you could stay put.

         If it were baseball, you could hold it another Sunday as a twi-night double header. Remember those ?

NFL discussing alternatives for Bills game

Rep. Owens has some advice for lawmakers as he prepares to retire: Be rational - DecodeDC Story

      Shortly after the President's speech tonight, a cacophony will arise as Republicans talk impeachment and gridlock...some will...hopefully not all as that is just what the POTUS ordered.
        Among those who are not one to take bait is our retiring MOC, Bill Owens.....Rep. Owens was always a pragmatic, level headed type and while his initial ACA vote incensed some, he generally was like the district he represented....Reasonable.
      We'll see who takes the bait tonight and who doesn't....Just because you have a pie hole, doesn't mean it always has to be in motion.
     Rep. Owens has some advice for lawmakers as he prepares to retire: Be rational - DecodeDC Story

Stefanik Gets a Office

        Elise Stefanik's office will be on the fifth floor of the Cannon Office Building....That's the same floor JFK started out on, not that we are drawing comparison to the Harvard alums.
         Ms. Stefanik drew #51 of 57 in the office lottery.
         Veteran DC insider and now Clayton bon vivant, Cary Brick says he has many interesting stories about the fifth floor. Did Cary ever meet Fannie Foxe while he was there. ?

So Far a Non-Snow Day

     Fortunately the sun is out right now and we haven't seen much snow here, and this morning when a teacher came in at 8 to tell me there's no school, I headed off to a Watertown Trust meeting and then to City Hall for a conference call with Albany on our CDBG audit. After that it was the HOTLINE....
      Hopefully our good luck continues.

My Solution....Play Game in Cleveland

     With Ralph Wilson Stadium snow bound for Sunday, the JETS-Bills could move to nearby Cleveland where the Browns are in Atlanta on Sunday.
      Moving it to the Meadowlands gives the JETS two home encounters with the Bills, and delaying the game only creates schedule issues.
       Give the folks in Cleveland something to cheer about this weekend.

WDT: Cuomo: ‘Impractical’ for Bills to play Jets Sunday

       Governor Cuomo says the JETS and Bills cannot play in Orchard Park on Sunday.....I've been looking forward to this game for weeks, but you really can't commit resources to clearing a stadium when there are so many other problems.
Watertown Daily Times | Cuomo: ‘Impractical’ for Bills to play Jets Sunday


     A rumor in the comment section caught my attention. It said former Senator Aubertine forgot to sign his absentee envelope. Is that true?. I know some of you were in the room .

WDT: All Things Considered I'd Rather Have a 103 Vote "Modest" Lead Than the Contrary

   In a print headline, Addie Russell's 103 vote margin is called "modest"...But it's actually more decisive than the not so modest 117 vote margin that two weeks ago called the race for John Byrne...At that time there were over two thousand votes uncounted , now there are about 300 and both sides know pretty much how each one voted.
    You can detect a change in tone in candidate quotes, but we will wait nonetheless.
     Initial hubris about a GOP win was based on the narrative of a cache of monolithic anti wind voters in the Cape's large cache of absentees....Then the other absentees turned away from Mr. Byrne by a margin not anticipated by Republicans.
     A GOP wag in the Arcade had proclaimed SLC absentees would go Byrne because people hunt in the Big County.
      Meanwhile the local GOP is screaming bloody murder about Conservative Russ Finley who they Republican orthodoxy is that the B line nominates and the C line cross endorses.
      This year the GOP candidate was unacceptable to the Conservative state chair and Mr. Byrne was unable to win an OTB.
       Probably somebody has analyzed the names left unopened and can divine the results. For the rest of us its up in the air.
        But for the record. 103 votes is close out of 30,000 cast but with 300 to count , it's significant and usually insurmountable.  However, given the Cape effect, I am done prognosticating.
Watertown Daily Times | Uncontested votes all counted in state Assembly race; judge will decide outcome

Cosby Toppled....The Rev. Denies .....and Charlie's Not So Bad | Daily Mail Online

   One of America's favorite people is being tossed to the dust bin as decades old stories about alleged sexual aggression towards women are coming out...Bill Cosby, at age 77, sees his career in tatters after a lifetime of being one of the nation's favorite funnymen and social commenters.

    Then I was reading the Post and Al Sharpton was denying he is the daddy of the son of deposed deBlasio aide Rachel Noerdlinger. He offered the denial without prompting at a presser where he was rationalizing all those tax liens he has...Al will be able to change the subject soon. He has a flight to Missouri coming up.

     Then the mother of the 26 year old marrying Charles Manson said she doesn't agree with her daughters call. But the reason is because Charlie is too old. Mom says the infamous Mr. Helter Skelter made bad decisions but is not the monster the media makes him out to be.....OK

Bill Cosby comedy series cancelled by NBC and Netflix | Daily Mail Online

WDT| Ante up: New York could attract better leaders with higher salaries

     Oh I don't know about that....The Times opines for higher salaries in the hope of getting better leaders...the best and the brightest...people of vision and virtue...

      Whether a salary is what it now is or twenty or thirty grand more has no bearing on who is elected. Only certain people will ever have the desire or availability to run for office and drop what they are doing to do so.

       Yes, the people who work for lawmakers and work for commissioners do earn more than them, and that's not fair but that's also life. After all, the hired advisor for cooking up the ACA was paid millions while the man from whom the law is named gets $400K....Just the way it is.

                Besides, who says the people who serve are bad people ?. My colleagues are all decent folks who care about what they do.

Watertown Daily Times | Ante up: New York could attract better leaders with higher salaries

Freshmen lawmakers pick Capitol digs | Dallas Morning News

       The Dallas Morning News reports Elise Stefanik drew the low number in a lottery to see who gets the most choice office.  It's interesting to follow the process for breaking in new MOCs.
      Apparently the upstate tyro won't be getting the most choice office space in the Cannon Office Building. 

Freshmen lawmakers pick Capitol digs | Dallas Morning News

And Our Version of Reality Is...... | WWNY TV 7

      It's hard to follow the AD 116 race when people report different numbers...The WDT said its 90 and the Lucky 7 says its 103 that Addie Russell leads by.   Now they both say its 103, but the number of votes uncounted varies depending on the account you read.

      .Can't wait till the final numbers are picked.

      With St. Lawrence Count Over, Russell Leads By 103 | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

State Office Building to Close Again on Thursday

   Another day off at the State Office Building. We were open across the street.

WDT: North country braces for snowstorm’s second round

    More snow is coming and then a big thaw on Sunday.....When you think of all the time and money spent moving snow and it will be gone on its own in 72 hours...

Watertown Daily Times | North country braces for snowstorm’s second round

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WDT: Buffalo Bills say they’ll pay fans to shovel 8 tons of snow at stadium

     We need the field clear so the JETS can win !

Watertown Daily Times | Buffalo Bills say they’ll pay fans to shovel 8 tons of snow at stadium

Governor Cuomo Tours Winter Storm Conditions in Western New York | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

   Governor Cuomo was in Buffalo today in the wake of the snow blitz that has rocked western New Yorkers...We had a snow storm, they had a killer storm of frightening proportion.

    Ever since Sandy, the state involvement in storms is very prompt and the Governor's people called yesterday to ask if we needed anything.

    Fortunately we didn't, but Buffalo does....Eight deaths are blamed on the storm that buried homes and cars.  Serious stuff.

Governor Cuomo Tours Winter Storm Conditions in Western New York | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

WDT: Uncontested votes all counted in state Assembly race; judge will decide outcome

   An update show 317 votes now set aside for a judge to decide on their validity, and the result of that will determine who represents the River District in the Assembly.
   Incumbent Addie Russell has a 95 vote lead will all uncontested votes counted according to the WDT.
Can She Survive ?  Depends on Who You Talk To.
    It sounds like Justice James McClusky will decide on the votes.
     There are a variety of protest reasons, including time stamps, signatures matches, and other matters. The court will hear the matter December 1.
      Normally in a three way race with one person leading by 90 and 317 outstanding, it would be a heavy life to win...But if you accept the premise there is a monolithic block from the Cape for Mr. Byrne, then he could win...
      Figure out of 317, there is a write in, a couple blanks, and maybe 14 for Finley..That leaves 300. Mr. Byrne would need 196 of them. Ms. Russell needs 106.
Watertown Daily Times | Uncontested votes all counted in state Assembly race; judge will decide outcome

Assembly Race Likely to Go to a Judge

     Nothing new I have heard on the AD116 count, other than one observer says due to the antipathy in the room and varied reasons for setting aside various ballots, the matter will likely go to a State Supreme Court justice...
      The protest range from the real, to the technical to the absurd like one side protesting a candidate's mother and the other side doing a tit for tat and protesting Darrel's ballot.
       It's a game of high anxiety that will not resolve itself on its own.
       With something like 300 ballots set aside, Addie Russell leads John Byrne by 110 votes....

Obamacare Commercial Shot in Arcade

   A downtown business will be front and center in New York's effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. 
    Recently a full production crew including costume and makeup artists swooped into the Johnny D's in the Paddock Arcade to film a commercial and shoot billboard photos promoting Obamacare in NY.
     Dave and Robyn Bartlett star in the spot as they utilized the exchange and are happy customers.
     The commercial will start airing just before Thanksgiving we hear.
      It was said to be way more elaborate a production than any locally done spot.
      I am surprised the MSM missed the event since they are located across the street.

Talking About the Snow That Wasn't

   This morning, when I got up at six the lot was plowed and not much snow had fallen overnight and skies were partly cloudy, so then I did a pre-arranged interview with WSYR radio where they thought we were in calamity.....So far in Watertown, the storm has been an eye opener in that it reminds us of winter's arrival, but the most impact was in rural areas north of us.
    But I gave the best interview I could and reminded listeners of how able we are these days to quickly rebound from what is crippling elsewhere...While doing the interview, I realized how media narratives are driven by the premise.
    However the snow has started again, so part two may be on the way....Stay safe.

Stranded 24 hours in Thruway snow, Niagara women's basketball team just wants nightmare to end |

    Buffalo deserved the publicity this week as a positively scary lake effect storm sent snow crashing through front doors and leaving 115 miles of the Thruway closed and plugged with feet of snow.
     Motorists were stranded and this weekends motor home weekend at Rich Stadium for JETS/Bills is a said to be on but can people get there ?
Snow Storm Roils Near Buffalo  (Photo:Facebook)
     By Monday temps are in the 50s but this early storm is an attention grabber.
     In Jefferson County, lesser amounts of snow but still hazardous driving conditions. So far in the City we have been pretty lucky. We will reserve judgment on how lucky till Monday.
Stranded 24 hours in Thruway snow, Niagara women's basketball team just wants nightmare to end |

Snow storm sees four dead and more than 100 stranded in Erie County, New York | Daily Mail Online

    And early storm has upstate, or portions of it , reeling. In WNY , feet of snow is snarling everything and in NNY, winter's early bluster is sending cars off the road and hampering travel.
      And there is more to come we are told. Hang on !.
Snow storm sees four dead and more than 100 stranded in Eerie County, New York | Daily Mail Online

WDT: We Need Addie to Lose If Only to Rationalize Our Too-Soon Call on Election Night

     For those who prematurely called the election on November 4th only to see their furtive wish perhaps evaporate with the counting of absentee ballots, it is time to call for a quick end to the long count in AD 116.  Let it play out and see what happens.
      At this point its standard legal strategy for a close race on both sides.
       With a 110 vote lead, Addie Russell may just call for all to drop all their objections to individual ballots and see what happens.  Also, while changing the voter role en masse after the fact won't cut it, there may be some individual egregious cases of improper practice. From our perch here , we just don't know.
         Imagine if those participants in that Town of DeKalb highway race had the presence of mind or resources to lawyer up...It might have been worth a few grand to a lawyer to walk away with that job.
As we saw in Florida 2000, when it's essentially tied, the game turns to methods other than respecting the will of the people as in such races there is no will to be divined, only a scramble for a legal technicality, and a win.
Watertown Daily Times | Seasonal voters count: Russell’s attorneys need valid reason to toss absentee ballots

WDT: DeKalb highway race ends in tie vote

      From the 'my vote doesn't matter' department, a town highway superintendent race in DeKalb has ended in a tie with both candidates garnering 290 votes......At stake was a decent paying job.

       Watertown Daily Times | DeKalb highway race ends in tie vote

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Will Bills Flee to Jersey to Avoid Snow ?

   A guy named Jim Kelly, but not the real one,  posted on Facebook this evening that Sunday's Bills-Jets game in Orchard Park may have to be postponed or moved to Met Life Stadium in NJ due to several feet of snow being dumped on WNY.
    Football is not supposed to be a sissy sport and adversity is what the game is about. Play it Sunday at 1PM.....We want the win.

WDT: Russell Margin Pegged at 110, Pending........

      Seems the Addie Russell margin is now 110 votes once a dozen military and affidavit ballots were tallied late Tuesday following the count of absentees.

   Watertown Daily Times | Russell pulls ahead of Byrne in race for Assembly seat

Interest in Dog Park Surfaces

     A retired school teacher who I know very well has pledged $1,000 in support of the dog park, but I told her to wait till things are a little more firmed up.
     It's going to take a hundred people like that to make it work, but the first step is for City Council to designate a site and for the ad hoc committee being formed to firm up a plan.

Stefanik Meets Gillibrand

Representative-elect Elise Stefanik met this week with Senator Kirsten Gillbrand, who like her came out of the Albany area to rise to high office....
    Ms. Stefanik went from Albany Academy for Girls to Harvard.....Ms. Gillibrand went from Emma Willard to Dartmouth.....
     The Senator has a political pedigree reaching back to Mayor Erastus Corning and a dad who was a GOP lobbyist...Both her parents were lawyers...
Kirsten Gillibrand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Senate rejects Keystone bill - POLITICO

   Democrats stung by defeat ensured one more today by leaving Sen. Mary Landrieu out to dry on the Keystone pipeline vote...59-41...

Senate rejects Keystone bill - POLITICO

Addie Up By 118.....May Be Able to Avoid Court....

     Sources say the tally in the Big County has incumbent Addie Russell up by 118 after picking up votes in the Maple City where Republicans thought they had the Ritchie factor on John Byrne's side.
     What is clear is two things....Absentees were not subject to Democratic malaise of staying at home, since their ballot was on the kitchen table....and the absentees voted before Mr. Byrne's effective end game...
      What is also true is that Addie Russell....with a third party Conservative in the race and an unknown and in some ways flawed opponent still is on the verge of losing.
      Ms. Russell may be able to drop all objections (assuming the other side does) and take her chances on an actual count.
      If she does...and if she prevails, there are lessons to be learned..About allegiance and who put you there.

Weather Hysteria....Here We Go Again Says Small Business

   As always, it's small and pop America that is hurt the most by weather panic....cancel travel....Snow-megeddon
    Government folks get the day off with pay....but it's the cake shop...the corner tavern, or the small gift shop that sees one, two or more days business gone...
    Now there are reasons to be wary of a snow storm....but really, it is NNY, and people closer to the edge have to earn a living.
    I came over to Pete's tonight and the weather was fine...Took it easy and drove a little slower....
Snowy, windy Watertown weather cuts local dessert business sales in half every winter |

Addie Up by 94....Two EDs Left in the Burg

    The latest intel from Canton is that Addie Russell has pulled to a 94 vote lead with just two EDs left in Ogdensburg.....Still a lot to be written in this race, but Democrats feel a lot better than they did last week....Of course the Cape vote still looms, but its not as clear a picture as it seemed days ago..

Weather Deteriorates.... Snow Hits City....Caution Urged

    The November Snow Apocalypse has zeroed in on Watertown after spending the day lingering to the north of us.....Caution is urged and travel is advised against....especially out of town....

Addie Up by 69.....This Could Be More Competitive Than Thought

   UPDATE 2:20PM - Addie Russell leads by 69 votes midway through counting Potsdam. I think only Waddington and the City of Ogdensburg are left. Clearly the absentee pool, voting a month ahead of the Byrne surge voted slightly different from Election Day voters.  There are still a lot of moving parts in this, but it is interesting.

 The plodding count of absentees in St. Lawrence County now has incumbent Addie Russell up by about 30 votes with Massena, Morristown and most of Oswegatchie added to totals today.
     My guess is the remaining towns including Potsdam, will put Ms. Russell up by 50 to 70 over John Byrne....BUT...
     Still in play are contested ballots, many from Cape Vincent, set aside for possible review by a court.

Charles Manson gets license to marry 26-year-old | New York Post

       Proof positive, there are indeed a lot of attractive women who like bad boys...but this 26 year old has exceeded expectations by landing a marriage proposal from none other than Charlie Manson.

       These type of things shouldn't be allowed.

Charles Manson gets license to marry 26-year-old | New York Post

Snow Apocalypse Predicted.....Much Cancelled,

      Just about everything shut down today...except the private anticipation of a snow apocalypse that at this hour had not happened in Watertown but could be happening elsewhere....We got three or four inches on Pearl Street and traffic is fine.
Snow Hanging to the North of Usual Spots
     But you never know with these storm, especially to the south of us, so caution is advised. The weather guessers on TV say heavy snow ahead, so we'll be ready.

WDT: Addie Needs Decent Lead to Justify Pending Court Fight Over Absentees

“At this rate, it could take all week,” Republican Election Commissioner Thomas P. Nichols said. “Actually, at this rate, it could be spring.”
  And if it does take all week, isn't that your job ?
   Anyway, the count resumes today in the Big County, midway through the alphabet of towns......Massena will be completed, then its on to Patty Country in Morristown, Ogdensburg and Oswegatchie, where the GOP should do OK and the count concludes with Potsdam and Waddington where Democrat Addie Russell should rally further.
     My guess is the incumbent walks out of St. Lawrence up by 50 to 70 with a stack of contested ballots still to be decided on.
     This will provide the PR hook to continue with a court fight as if Ms. Russell were still trailing, that would be hard to do.
      On Election Day, Republican John Byrne was leading by 117 votes with over two thousand absentee and affidavit ballots not counted.
Watertown Daily Times | Russell closes gap to four votes as absentee ballot counting moves slowly in St. Lawrence County

WDT: County Leg to Pick Successor for Bob Thomas

    One suspects a choice is already pretty much made for the County Leg seat resulting from last week's passing of longtime Legislator Bob Thomas.
     With a GOP majority controlling the board, the replacement will be an "R" for sure, and must come from the towns of Brownville or Lyme which make up District 2.
       Mr. Thomas personal skills and consensus building ways will be hard to duplicate.
       The job pays about $15K.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County Board of Legislators to name successor to seat occupied by the late Robert J. Thomas

Gillibrand wants Stefanik on softball team

Clearly the Senator Saw This Photo on MGV
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is scouting talent for the Congressional Women's Softball team and has her eye on our new MOC.   Senator Gillibrand, in congratulating Elise Stefanik on her election, also said she wants the 30 year old on the team, which plays an annual charity game against DC journalists.
Gillibrand wants Stefanik on softball team

Assembly Republicans Restless Over Leadership

   Albany's potted plant brigade, known as the Assembly minority caucus are apparently getting restless with leader Brian Kolb.  Among them is Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney who helped pen a letter critical of the leader.

     The minority of less than 45 of 150 seats is not able to exercise much influence, and while Mr. Kolb will likely be reelected, who leads the caucus is of little consequence as the action is on the Senate side.

McLaughlin Will Vote For Kolb, But Wants A Plan

Inside the hypocrisy of the de Blasio administration | New York Post

       The $170K (you read it right) aide to the unelected wife of Mayor Bill deBlasio has been forced to take an unpaid leave of absence following the latest chapter in the tale of Rachel Noerdlinger.  The 44 year old is blaming the media for picking on her and her family, but the tale of her personal life and her associations finally piled too high for Mayor Bill.

      Inside the hypocrisy of the de Blasio administration | New York Post