Monday, May 30, 2016

Did Cincinnati Zoo really have to kill a rare gorilla? - CNN.com

     As is the custom these days a makeshift memorial has been erected for......the simian shot to death when a four year old boy fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. Some are questioning the split second decision to kill the rare 17 year old gorilla. Others say the parents should be charged while others say it was the prudent decision.
     This is a made for cable news incident on a holiday weekend and there's video to boot.
     What do you think ?
Did Cincinnati Zoo really have to kill a rare gorilla? - CNN.com

Bharara to Cuomo investigator: Stay away from Buffalo Billion | New York Post

      Tensions continue between the predator and the prey. US Attorney Preet Bharara is reportedly warning Governor Cuomo to steer clear of the probe into the Buffalo Billion.
      Mr. Cuomo has commissioned his own probe but the lawyer conducting it has been told not to interfere with the federal probe.
      Many New Yorkers are wondering if the Governor will be the third of the three men in a room to go down, while that may in the end be a bridge too far for the ambitious US Attorney.
      To an extent, Mr. Bharara is redefining corruption to be what he says it is and taking out the Governor is not the same as doing in an unpopular Speaker and a Senate boss unknown but to a few in the state.
Bharara to Cuomo investigator: Stay away from Buffalo Billion | New York Post

Wyoming Democrats dodge convention rancor - POLITICO

     Remember a couple weeks back when a raucous Democratic state convention in Nevada had the establishment blaming Bernie Sanders and fearing there were be more disruptions ?  The media dutifully agreed such rancor threatened the unity desire by their candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton.

    In Wyoming a similar convention was held this weekend without any rancor. No news there and where is the predicted wave of violence ?

Wyoming Democrats dodge convention rancor - POLITICO

Former Pageant Reporter Still Follows What Happens

   A Watertown woman won third runner up in the Miss NY Pageant, once held in Watertown, but now firmly planted on Staten Island.
    Kristina Blackstock,  Miss Thousand Islands, finished behind the pageant winner and new Miss NY, Michelle Sims of New York City.
Kristina Blackstone (Photo: Miss TI Website)
 
    These things don't get much coverage up here even though we are still part of New York State and the winner is our representative in Atlantic City.
     A lot of serious journalists don't like to cover pageants as they think they are out of step with their progressive views towards women.
Sue and Gary Pilon of Watertown Among Those Active in Pageant World
(Pictured with Kristina)
 
     However, these are fun events and there are many serious and dedicated pageant people locally including Allison Carlos of Watertown who competed for her final time.
     I know the Pilons are very active as well as is their food critic daughter Hungry Shelby
      There are still a lot of local angles possible in the coverage. I remember covering them back in the early 80s. They had a swimsuit photo op at the Ramada and I had been asked to get some tape of Miss Syracuse for one of the stations there. Little did I know Vanessa Williams would be such a big deal.
      Reminds me of the time Plumpton and I interviewed Seinfeld at the Golden Lion on Arsenal Street. Thought he was funny but had no idea. Wish we still had the film.
http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2016/05/miss_new_york_2016_camille_sims_aka_miss_pride_wins_coveted_crown.html#incart_river_home

Memorial Day

      While most people observe Memorial Day with reverance or at least indifference, there are the usual stories of bad acts like the man who drove his Ford Thunderbird through a display of white crosses honoring war dead.
       I had my usual two flags out front yesterday and of course some miscreant stole one of them. Hopefully he is displaying it with honor and didn't just take it and throw it on a lawn.
       This is a day to remember our war dead and everyone should take some time to do so.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/memorial-day-display-henderson-trashed_us_574c0297e4b055bb11727d88

A Long Career and Record Provides Treasure Trove for Opposition Researcers and Clinton Surrogates

     Using the loopholes as a money grab or doing business in the world provided ?
      Career NYC pol, Rep. Jerry Nadler who has long fed at the Democratic trough, is telling the NY Times about his belated outrage over Donald Trump receiving a grant 15 years ago to help business owners with properties impacted by the 9/11 attacks.
       Mr. Nadler says the $150K is an exploitation of loopholes and a two fisted money grab at the expense of smaller businesses.
      Mr. Trump says he did a lot for the tenants of his building at the time.
      A businessman who has been successful will have had his setbacks, controversies, disgruntled customers and will have availed himself of tax "loopholes" and government programs.
      Tell me something he has done bad lately and not a 15 year old grant or a long ago interview on the Stern show.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/us/politics/jerrold-nadler-donald-trump-sept-11.html?_r=1

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Night

   Heard a rumor that a fisherman out of Henderson discovered by chance the drone from Fort Drum missing for some time in Lake Ontario. The angler snagged the aircraft in his lines and identified it on sonar before calling authorities.
    A massive 161 foot yacht was seen in the Thousand Islands this weekend. No word on who was on board.
    After many years I have a new mail carrier. Rick Loonan has retired. This week a couple of new faces alternated. Both nice folks, but we prefer the blonde.
   Monday is Memorial Day and please take time to remember those who served and sacrificed. We will be open on Pearl Street. I work the day shift and Chrissy words the evening.

Johnson-Weld Ticket the Most Formidable Third Party Bid Since Perot - POLITICO

     This is a significant development as both candidates are former GOP governors and as such credible.
Much has been said about third party bids this year but for the Bloombergs and other hopefuls the issue is always the very real challenge of ballot access nationwide. It's not easy, but the Libertarians have such status and across fifty states, the pair could draw a lot of votes.
     I think the presence of this ticket makes the Trump running mate choice more important and will provide a safe haven for some of the "never Trump" crowd.
Can Libertarian nominees Gary Johnson and Bill Weld siphon votes from Trump? - POLITICO

Libertarians pick Gary Johnson as presidential nominee - POLITICO

     When you talk of a third party candidate the only true one is the Libertarian who has ballot access in all fifty states. Two term NM Governor Gary Johnson is now the nominee with a VP still to be chosen later today.

Libertarians pick Gary Johnson as presidential nominee - POLITICO

Gorilla shot and killed after grabbing four-year-old at Cincinnati Zoo | US news | The Guardian

   Where were the parents ?

Gorilla shot and killed after grabbing four-year-old at Cincinnati Zoo | US news | The Guardian

WDT: Federal overtime rule more concerning to local non-profits than businesses

    For years employers have been getting free labor by declaring some workers exempt from hourly wages on the grounds they are management. Now some people who are not always "on the clock" like the flexibility of salary and the chance to work extra if they want to, so it's not all bad.
   However, often it's just a way to get out of paying people by calling them professionals. That's happened a lot to reporters in some organizations.
    Now the threshold for exemption is raised to about $47K and the NFPs are chirping and our NFP friendly media responds.
    Everyone should pay up. Employers are employers. Period.
     Of course the best kind of management to be in is in the public sector, where a battalion chief in fire or a lieutenant in the PD gets OT on a base wage of $40 an hour.
Watertown Daily Times | Federal overtime rule more concerning to local non-profits than businesses

BBC: A Variety of Animals Can Appear in Your Toilet

   Not something you want to read about when you are in that most vulnerable position each day. There are large sewer rats in Watertown, and while we don't see them often, nobody wants to ponder an encounter with the Animal Kingdom while in the loo.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36397505

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Watch Your Pets in the Heat

   The extreme heat is a time to remember pets who should be kept where its cool and have plenty of water.  In Rodman, a dog and a pig were all tuckered out after a day in the sun.

Hot mugshot girl has the internet in a tizzy | New York Post

   When you are arrested, you often don't look your best, but that's not always true. Some people shine in their mug shot and that's OK.

Hot mugshot girl has the internet in a tizzy | New York Post

Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism - The New York Times

    The New York Times is going all out to frighten voters away from Donald Trump and towards their candidate, Hillary Clinton...A couple weeks back, an enormous and largely debunked story on women and Trump and now dredging up comparisons to Fascism, and the Nazi era.
      Going to be a brutal and nasty fight ahead an frankly Mr. Trump has been pointed on some issues too like Vince Foster and Bill Clinton's assault on women.
      So, all's fair, and the Times will be a house organ for a left increasingly frantic over their prospects.
Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism - The New York Times

Hot Day

   Things are slow here in town as perfect summer weather has settled in for the holiday weekend. Temperatures soared to near 90 todbacay leaving the City empty as residents sought relief elsewhere.
    Really not much to write about either.  Budget is settled, FD dispute on back burner again, local politics pretty moribund, just not much happening.
      So bored I watched about 8 hours of the Dating Naked Marathon.  Hard to believe people do that. And there is a season premier coming next month, so I guess more people are willing to share their ink and possibly be humiliated.
     But if something comes along , let me know and we will opine profusely.

Donald Trump: A star is scorned - POLITICO

   The left is keepin' it classy...showing their support for their nominee by starting riots, pelting cops, and having their dogs crap on Donald Trump's sidewalk star in Hollywood.

    So much hate.

Donald Trump: A star is scorned - POLITICO

TV as a Reflection of Who We Are

   Sometimes we all muse on the decline of  values and family, and then on a Saturday morning with customers cruising the dial for something interesting to watch, we settle on VH1's Dating Naked.....In fact this weekend is a Dating Naked marathon.

     It's a sign of the inner struggles of a Judeo-Christian nation that we have such a show where you go on three naked dates with different people you don't know, but as a moral society we blur out those square inches of flesh society says are naughty.

     Even back in the day when I was more physically suitable to appear on such a show, I wouldn't. Too much Catholic guilt maybe.

New Season | Wed June 29th + 9/8c

Weekend Marathon Starts Now

WDT: Toddlers jump on climbing equipment to celebrate FunXcape opening

   The new children's play place is open in downtown in the JD Wise side of the Empsall Building. Congratulations to operator Vina Bonner and best wishes.
Watertown Daily Times | Toddlers jump on climbing equipment to celebrate FunXcape opening

WDT: Speedy Trials Doesn't Mean Speedy Court Rooms

    The long talked about court renovations at City Hall are still just talk. It's been going on three or four years since the State deemed changes must be made due to the addition of a second city judge and other long standing security concerns.
    Ironically all this was solved in 1964 when an integrated police, court, holding cell arrangement was in place. "Progress" left just the court in a setting not always adequate.
     Used to be the city ran the court but the state took over the function and the costs of personnel. However as part of that the municipality has to provide the facility to state specs.
      The dithering on expansion has been frustrating but it has also demonstrated that Judges Renzi and Palermo have been able to work together in sharing much of what is there now and they are both satisfied with their chambers.
      Are two million dollars in changes needed ? Probably not, but let's hope in doing so there is a demonstrable improvement in convenience, safety and service.
      By the way, Judge Palermo has to run for her first full term next year and while thought to be in good shape, the rumor in lawyer land is that last year's Democratic DA candidate has changed parties and intends to run for the judgeship next year. Of course judge candidates can run on any and all lines without a W/P but there is the mindset that registration matters. We will see what happens next year.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown, state officials discuss changes in court expansion

Friday, May 27, 2016

Trump to spend Memorial Day weekend with bikers at Rolling Thunder

   Donald Trump has decided against debating Bernie Sanders, but the pair got two days of press over it.
   Maybe it was seen as too risky and besides, Mr. Trump wants Hillary Clinton as his foe.
    Mr. Trump will be hanging with bikers this weekend at Rolling Thunder in DC.
     Today he was in CA where of course protestors mugged for the cable news cameras. 
     Trump to spend Memorial Day weekend with bikers at Rolling Thunder

Syracuse firefighters OK contract requiring new hires to live in city 5 years | syracuse.com

      Syracuse firefighters have a new contract and it includes a residency requirement for new hires in their first five years with the city. Then they can move to the burbs.
    The three year pact also increases the contribution to health insurance to about 15% with the city paying the other 85%.  
     Salt City smoke eaters will get raises totaling 8% over the three years.
      According to the Post Standard, mandatory residency can only be imposed as a function of a CBA.  Buffalo firemen have a career long requirement to live in the Queen City.
Syracuse firefighters OK contract requiring new hires to live in city 5 years | syracuse.com#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home#incart_river_home

WDT: Former highway superintendent accused of illegally selling Watertown town equipment

   Somebody was out to get somebody. A town highway super is charged with official misconduct and petit larceny for allegedly selling scrap metal and using the money to buy meals for town employees and to be equipment.
    That's the kind of informal and friendly ways you see in towns where there is little oversight and people don't get all jazzed up over it. Someone had a burr under their saddle.
      Maybe its the new Watertown highway super who makes $80K a year for an elected office.

Watertown Daily Times | Former highway superintendent accused of illegally selling Watertown town equipment

Another Lawyer Quits

 Life must be bad in the Land of Rain if another lawyer quits their ADA job. It's still a government job, with at least a year and a half left before it all ends.
http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/St-Lawrence-County-DAs-Office-Loses-Another-Assistant-381010211.html

Two Press Releases on the Day Foe Announces

         I noticed a pair of Addie Russell press releases on Newzjunky today and who know's , TV may pick up on one of them and do a story, which of course is the goal.
        One of the releases has a shot as it deals with zombie properties, a trendy issue these days.
        Ms.Russell has clearly tuned up her act from the haphazard 2014 campaign that nearly cost her a seat in the Assembly.
         Now she has to keep up the drumbeat and wait to see who her opponent is.
http://addierussell.blogspot.com/2016/05/assemblywoman-russell-helps-pass-zombie.html

Captains to be Crunched Get "The Letter" Soon

     As notices are being readied for the eight fire captains being demoted to firefighter, the men involved face what no employee likes. Making less.
     Even though they still will make $26.75 and hour plus steps, longevity and a thick benefits package, it's still about ten grand a year less. In the context of coworkers, friends and family, they surely will feel some level of embarassment at being "demoted", as achieving rank of any kind is a source of pride and status.
      Some citizens say they are upset, others have said its high time the department was reined in.
      The City launched a mini PR campaign designed to show how top heavy the FD is. It had an impact. Emotions are raw and it's by no means over.
      Now a small course correction has been made, and for the gang of eight, they get to bear the brunt while all the other excesses in all the governments around us go on. Would anyone in Big Education  be asked to take a 16% pay cut to make a bloated system sustainable ? 
       City Council must achieve  a game changing CBA that challenges convention and must decide what the real agenda is here as reducing the current budget by one percent is hardly achieving "sustainability."
        Both sides will have to decide whether the future is an innovative and frank bargaining process or just a continued lawyer full employment program.  Lawyers serve a function but usually make their living off the churn of human emotions and often leave the scene paid while the clients wonder what they got fot their money.
    

Thursday, May 26, 2016

2016 Election: Can #Nevertrump become #Yeslibertarian? - POLITICO Magazine

    With little overt Trump support locally among the elites in the GOP, I am wondering if most of those people who huddled in the Bruce Wright Center last month to see John Kasich will vote Libertarian.
     Not because they are libertarian...OMG those people don't believe in the supremacy of the state and need for corporate and personal welfare. They may vote the L line just to absolve themselves of the guilt associated with voting for Hillary Clinton.
     We still are not seeing endorsements for Mr. Trump locally and you know that PerryKos has to go Hillary.
      We could see a 10% Libertarian vote this year in Jefferson County this year.
2016 Election: Can #Nevertrump become #Yeslibertarian? - POLITICO Magazine

Sanders angers Democrats with Trump debate ploy - POLITICO

   After all the efforts to "shade" his candidacy Democratic establishment types are mad Bernie Sanders won't go quietly into the night...They are really mad at the prospect of a Sanders-Trump debate in the wake of Hillary Clinton's refusal to honor her debate pledge.

    It's fun to watch and the twists and turns never end.

Sanders angers Democrats with Trump debate ploy - POLITICO

Watertown Holds Rally In Hopes Of Getting $10M | WWNY TV 7

      Forty people attended the rally today in support of the city's application for that $10M state grant for downtowns.  One NNY community will be awarded the money.

     Watertown Holds Rally In Hopes Of Getting $10M | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Trump and Sanders agree to debate

   A Trump-Sanders debate would be great and it would provide a great wedge for the Vermonter as his Democratic opponent is ducking a final debate before California's June 7 primary.  Hope it happens.

Watertown Daily Times | Trump and Sanders agree to debate

WDT: Trump and Sanders agree to debate

   A Trump-Sanders debate would be great and it would provide a great wedge for the Vermonter as his Democratic opponent is ducking a final debate before California's June 7 primary.  Hope it happens.

Watertown Daily Times | Trump and Sanders agree to debate

Good Idea

    I've gotten a lot of positive feedback to the proposal to put that fountain on Pearl Street, across from Shooties. It's a heavily travelled road and in a neighborhood with no defined style, the modern art 60s era fountain would be at home.
    What do we have to do to get it started. Maybe some in-kind work from the city and a grant from the NNY Foundation.  The intersection of Main and Pearl is also a good spot with a couple open spaces.
    

Byrne Running For State Assembly Again | WWNY TV 7

      As expected John Byrne announced another run for Assembly today.....After a close finish two years ago, the Cape Vincent Republican is trying again to unset Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

      First he faces a GOP primary again ex bobsledder Russ Finley. Today TV 7 called him to ask when he is announcing and he reminded them he did so months ago on their air. Hope they interview him anyway.

       The Republican primary is in September and then there is the C line.......Byrne claims the W/P but Finley has a lot of connections at the state level. Of course, an in party member could run as well.

      Assemblywoman Russell has tuned up her office and image since her lackluster effort in 2014. She also is said to be more willing to unleash opposition research on her opponent that was withheld last time.

       For his part Mr. Byrne ran well last time and has to be considered in the hunt this year.

Byrne Running For State Assembly Again | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Fountain on Pearl Street ?

   Today on the HOTLINE I suggested the Lachenauer Plaza Fountain be erected on the vacant lot across from Shooties. I would dress up the lot and be a nice welcome to the city.  Just hate to see the tribute to the former Mayor sitting on its side in a field on Marble Street.
https://soundcloud.com/newzjunky/graham-move-lachenauer-fountain-to-pearl-street

Trump Was Right....Rosie is a Pig | Daily Mail Online

   I was chatting with a local priest last night about the demise of society and while he lamented the loss of institutions like family, I mentioned the lack of dignity and decorum.

   I think we could both agree Rosie O'Donnell exemplifies the decay of society and she proved it this week.

Rosie O’Donnell’s foul-mouthed rant against Donald Trump | Daily Mail Online

Trump Hits 1237

     An analysis of unbound delegates has put Donald Trump over the 1237 he will need to win the nomination at the RNC in July.
      With the delegates he will win June 7, the businessman will well exceed the minimum.
       This marks an amazing political fete, as the once unlikely nominee leapfrogged past 16 opponents in eleven months since he rode down an escalator at Trump Tower.
        Mr. Trump is campaigning today in Montana and ND, touching all the bases.
        While the GOP has coalesced around Mr. Trump there are holdouts including House Speaker Paul Ryan.
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/281350-ap-trump-clinches-gop-nomination

WDT: Will Union Now Blink in Tense Standoff

   There are a couple of schools of thought on where the Fire Department spat heads. One is arbitration in which the current contract survives and a new path to impasse begins. Maybe a little court fight over whether demotions can be done arbitrarily in a city that can't argue inability to pay.
    The other view is that by eliminating the eight captain slots, it increases pressure for the union to deal on manning in order to restore pay for eight members likely not pleased at a $200 a week pay cut. That plus some other compensation (or 24 hour shifts) for surrendering the manning clause that is at the heart of all this despite the detours into overtime and sick time. Council can reward current employees but needs to also win new pay schedules for new hires including getting rid of steps and longevity. It's complicated but a deal needs to be reached that ensures service for years to come, including the years when the hydro deal runs out.
     Some union members know they have something of value that can be monetized. Others argue for preserving future jobs and public safety.
      Council only accepted a part of the reorganization and that may or may not have been wise, but a veteran observer of City politics crowed to me this week that Council didn't blink and called the union's bluff. It's also thought the public has turned on the issue as well.
       Imagine how much more interesting it would be if a captain had actually been a part of the Council decision on eliminating captains ?
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown City Council adopts $42 million budget with 1.48% tax rate hike

Clinton a Drag on Her Own Ticket ?

      Veteran Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein was on TV today and his take on the Clinton Email report is that it's "devastating" and her behavior "reckless."  As a man who knows scandal in DC and is by no means a right wing partisan, Mr. Bernstein's analysis seems relevant.
    This is of course why Senator Sanders stays in the race and why VP Biden isn't making himself scarce.
     Mrs. Clinton has 45% of the vote no matter what she does, but even if Justice goes light on her, she still faces an FBI interview and more disclosures.
      The Bernstein interview made me think this matter is more profound than the page 3 (page 3 here doesn't match the British model)  coverage it gets here.
       Donald Trump's unique style seems to be keeping it close, and the Sanders-Trump numbers may actually represent the true R-D breakdown this year. In that case, Mr. Trump better hope Mrs Clinton soldiers on and the party goes along.

Woman: Schenectady mayor 'highly intoxicated' in pursuit - Times Union

   The Mayor says he was pursuing two women he thought might be breaking into cars in his neighborhood. The women told police Mayor Gary McCarthy had a snoot full.
   Who knows ? There were no charges, but you don't pursue people at 1AM without something bad happening.
   The ladies were said to be picking through recycling bins. Probably had to pick because of comingled recycling.
Woman: Schenectady mayor 'highly intoxicated' in pursuit - Times Union

Debate of the Year ?

    A Sanders-Trump debate ?  It would be great theater but it's hard to imagine it happening.
  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-tells-kimmel-hed-be-willing-to-debate-sanders-for-charity/

Can You Believe These Candidates ?

  Lyin' Ted must be scratching his head.
   The two likely nominees are always being caught in fibs and prevarications. Donald Trump last night told Jimmy Kimmell he did indeed use aliases in press interviews yeas ago after denying it two weeks ago
   Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton was dinged by the State Department IG for repeated dodges, fudges and over the top bad judgment in the report on he E Mails.
    For Trump it's just the left overs from a public and irreverant life.
    For Mrs. Clinton, it's possibly more serious, but for her supporters it doesn't seem to be a problem.
     But the guy who has "lyin" in his moniker is back in the Senate while two of the most untrustworthy candidates ever are center stage for the fall.
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/26/donald-trump-publicist-alias-jimmy-kimmel-live

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Man Who Destroyed Watertown Fountain Pleads Guilty | WWNY TV 7

   
   The man who destroyed the Lachenauer Square fountain has pleaded out and will go a year without a license...But by the time his license is restored it looks there will be no fountain. Council show no interest in restoring it despite receiving insurance money. Instead the 1960s sculpture sits on its side in a field on Marble Street.

Man Who Destroyed Watertown Fountain Pleads Guilty | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Alexandria student falls short of finals at Scripps National Spelling Bee

   Congrats to Alex Bay's Hailey Hemmingsen for making to the big time spelling bee in DC.  I am always pleased to see students achieve academic recognition.

Watertown Daily Times | Alexandria student falls short of finals at Scripps National Spelling Bee

Wednesday

   I heard another on premise licensee, this one in the city, is getting a raspberry from Albany retroactively over being too close to a church.  Too bad, as its a respected spot, if true.
   Talked to a long time critic of the Fire Department tonight who told me the fight is won against the Department as a result of the captain crunch. Not sure its that cut and dried yet.
     A friend of mine called the new Asian Spa on the west side. It's only $60 an hour.
      Also went to the monthly dinner at the IACA tonight...Great club, great people.
      Holiday weekend ahead....Looks like great weather.

Doctors claim 'heaviest newborn baby girl ever' born in India

       A fifteen pound baby girl.  Does that mean she will always be big ?

Doctors claim 'heaviest newborn baby girl ever' born in India

Feedback: State Pays $900K For Bottled Water In Orleans | WWNY TV

      Good for Blue Mountain Springs...Nice pay day for them...For the taxpayers, not so.

Feedback: State Pays $900K For Bottled Water In Orleans | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Council Busts Cap.....Budget Done

     City Council passed a budget and it includes a four percent levy increase for taxpayers.  Council Horbacz voted no on the budget and no on the setting of the tax rate. Councilman Walczyk voted yes on the budget but no on paying for it. That was to preserve the record on being able to say he never voted to exceed the tax cap, although by voting for the budget he did.
     There was no further action on the firefighters so the eight captain slots are gone. They need to listen to some of their members who realize they have something of value in the manning clause and can sell that for a good price to a Council anxious for a win and for this to be over.

Network Aghast at Pocahontas Reference - CNNPolitics.com

     In watching CNN while at the gym today, I could see they were very upset Donald Trump had called Senator Elizabeth Warren a horrible pejorative.
     He called her "Pocahontas" a reference to Senator Warren's widely laughed at assertion in her Harvard employment app that she is of Native American descent.
      The CNN anchor was in a tizzy as if this is hate speech and not a humorous jab.
       Pocahontas is a Disney movie and a line of food products. There is no negative connotation nor is the historical reference to an Indian woman in Virginia at all negative.
      As I watched I realized again not only how ill informed news people are but how totally dishonest.
Elizabeth Warren blasts Trump; he calls her 'Pocahontas' - CNNPolitics.com

Most House GOP Women In Tough Races Biding Time On Trump

      With a clinch expected in two weeks, Republicans in Congress, especially women in competitive races are cautious about embracing Donald Trump beyond bland statements about having agreed to support the "party nominee".
        While Mr. Trump is competitive in polls nowadays, his statements genuinely trouble some and others are just worried as their brand of conventional politics doesn't include Muslim bans or women as bimbos.
        Formal endorsements may not mean a lot but challengers will seek to make this careful dance an issue.   I'd continue to demure as there is reason to insist Mr. Trump flush out his positions. Seeing how he performs in Cleveland is a good line of demarcation. After that it is time to fish or cut bait.
Most House GOP Women In Tough Races Biding Time On Trump

NY board poised to OK $485M for solar plant amid questions | Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

       In something this big , there's a lot to question, but what is Solar City, the solar panel plant supposed to be at the heart of a revitalized Queen City ?   The Buffalo Billion is under scrutiny, but the project is already the subject of TV spots, so on it goes.

NY board poised to OK $485M for solar plant amid questions | Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Looks Like Martinez Won't Be on the Short List...Or the Long List

      She dissed him by not appearing, and he followed suit by calling her a lousy Governor.
       New Mexico's Susana Martinez' is appearing less likely as a running mate as the head of the Republican Governors Association continue to not endorse the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
        One could argue it was a pointless move by Mr. Trump as it gains nothing and hurts the goal of GOP unity. As for the "riots", it looked mostly like bored teens following the cameras in a one block area.
       Mr. Trump was on his plane to California be the time the street ruckus started. He is in the Golden State for a major fundraiser and a rally in Anaheim.

Elizabeth Warren: Trump is a 'small, insecure moneygrubber'

      Senator Elizabeth Warren is on the war path and making a name for herself with what the press calls her "searing" excoriation of Donald Trump. Others might call it mean, negative and a debasing of the political process but all those lines have been crossed already this year.

      Meanwhile Senator Warren is eclipsing the likely nominee in the eyes of the Left and she will be well positioned if things unravel for Hillary Clinton before the convention.

Elizabeth Warren: Trump is a 'small, insecure moneygrubber'

WDT: Hear's The Tongue Lashing You Wanted to Get Out of the Way

      The former Times staffer now running Addie world surely have expected this editorial when he wisely got his boss back in the news on ethics and lanced the boil of Shelly Silver by having the Assemblywoman say she was betrayed.
       It was cringeworthy but it gets this last big vexing issue for her out of the way. She takes her lumps for defending the Speaker when he was charged, and now can say she was let down but by golly wants to do something about ethics now.
       Any competant opponent would have rode this pony till November, but without any significant opposition, it looks like smart politics to raise this, let the bad facts be recited and claim the errors are now seen and rectitude and redemption are the orders of the day.




http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/addie-come-lately-russell-reluctant-to-decry-corruption-when-confronted-with-it-20160525

Lame Riots

        Trump inciting riots ?  Not really.  These are the people who trash things when their favorite team loses, or wins.  They want to hang out, throw things, and act like they know something..
         This isn't the summer of '68.
          People who went to see a rally had to worry about getting home safely as lawlessness broke out on cue for the cameras.
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3607997/Gunshots-fired-Trump-rally-Albuquerque-spark-mayhem.html

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Police: Female Motorcyclist in Critical Condition | WWNY TV 7

      Why is the victim of a weekend motorcycle crash in the city remaining unnamed ?  It was a 28 year old female. We hear she was a soldier although not confirmed. We hear the high speed chase over an allegedly non-visible license plate startled northsiders. We hear the woman suffered a broken back and neck and is in a coma.
     Accident victims are routinely identified but why is the media going along with this ?
     Frankly, that the driver was a woman makes this more difficult.  Difficult to explain that is.
Police: Female Motorcyclist in Critical Condition | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

North Carolina school board votes to stop naming valedictorians | Fox News

     You think of NC as down south but in Wake County its a northern liberal's delight. The Universities and the Research Triangle and ideas like this one. No more academic leaders in high school. Too stressful and creates unhealthy competition,

     Really ?   I enjoy seeing the pix on Newzjunky of those who excel. I think they have something to be proud of and none of them have backward baseball hats or tats.

     High school is competitive and a participation ribbon upon graduation is a waste of time.

North Carolina school board votes to stop naming valedictorians | Fox News

WDT: Watertown Fire Department in process of responding to captain demotions

       Fewer vehicles responding is what City Council wants. But the public may be wary of a restructuring that was only partly adopted and leaves employment levels unchanged but service unclear.
       The demotion of eight captains has the Fire Chief coming up with the bump and grind list by July 1st and Chief Dale Herman says the heavy rescue will likely not be responding to medical emergencies.
       Council, armed with a study and statistics and management intent on cutting costs in the FD enacted the changes without talking to the Chief, according to TV 7 News.
        All this comes amidst rancorous contract talks presided over by the downstate legal Svengali hired by Council last year on a three to two vote. One has to assume the restructuring was part of the labor contract strategy which has so far been ill defined and murky in public.
         Literature suggests a triage in response to medical issues that may not reassure an aging population who don't like taxes but do like the attention when adversity comes their way.
         Fallen and can't get up ?  We'll get there when we get there.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown Fire Department in process of responding to captain demotions

Finding News Without Taking Eyes of My Laptop.

     That story I posted about that old home on Clinton Street being sold was a result of seeing a post on Facebook and knowing enough that it had news value given the issues that home and neighborhood have had.
     These days that social media is a place to find out things, some of which matter much of which doesn't.
      I like the story as it shows generational change in Watertown and its institutions.

NPR: Addie Betrayed and So Over Men Like Shelly

     No more standing by her man for Assemblywoman Addie Russell, who as part of her rehabilitation for 2016 tells NPR she now feels betrayed by Speaker Sheldon Silver, whom she defended when charged with corruption.
     That episode is a loose end hanging out there. A loop needing closure as Ms. Russell actually went beyond a presumption of innocence and charged the Speaker's prosecution was political.
      New staff, a kumbaya aura with her antagonists at 260 and Presidential turnout models for 2016 have most insiders feeling her 92 vote scrape with defeat last time won't happen again.
      Meanwhile on the GOP side the former bobsledder and former bar owner are toiling in arenas the media doesn't cover, with the establishment choice apparently anti Trump and the pro Trump candidate hated by party leaders and the press.
       Hammering the incumbent on her slobbering defense of a clearly tainted Speaker was about the only issue she was highly vulnerable on this year. That dealt with, Ms. Russell seems poised for another term.
       And she supports revision of SLA law and we like that.
North Country Assemblywoman says she feels ‘betrayed’ after her defense of Speaker Silver when he was arrested | NorthCountryNow

WWNY: Staffing "Fits Right In"

     In a staggering bit of editorializing masquerading as news, TV 7 declared Watertown's 15 person minimum staffing requirement "fits right in" with their survey of other upstate cities.
      Their own survey shows Auburn at 12 and Elmira at 10.  Those differences amount to millions of dollars. Just playing with numbers a 12 person level here would reduce staffing by 12 or an immediate 15% reduction in the tax levy.
       Kingston NY (not Ontario) was said to have minimum of 21 which is higher and would result in at least  a 30% levy increase here.
        Such comparisons don't take into account many factors, not the least of which is the city's contention that manning  is a function of management not a CBA.
         Further, words matter, and suggesting Watertown as "fitting right in" is a characterization of data designed to support a conclusion.
        Watertown will not succeed in it's bid to purge the contract of minimum manning, in part because there own explanations of intent are murky.  
         There best hope is a lower level providing some cost containment in the years leading up to the end of the hydro agreement, which I mentioned last year as something the city had best come up with a plan for, but that doesn't seem to be happening.
          In today's climate resolution of any of this seems far off.      
         Firefighter Staffing Levels: Looking Beyond Watertown | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Mercy Plans Finally Submitted

      The redevelopment of the Mercy site has taken a step forward as COR has submitted details for the site which is now cleared of the former hospital and several blighted homes
       Concern over the vibrancy of the housing market still exists but one hundred million dollars invested in our downtown is hard to overlook.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/cor-submits-plans-to-redevelop-former-watertown-hospital-site-20160524

Spectrum Is New Name for an Old Nemesis

    Time Warner is taken over by Charter but now will be known as Spectrum and will provide wonderful new things with no hidden charges. I saw a commercial announcing that this morning.

Because It's News Doesn't Mean It's New

    The demotion of eight fire captains reduces department expenditures by less than one percent, and from press accounts left the departments brass talking to the press with bewilderment about how to make it work, the union announcing talks are done and arbitration is next, the CM's proposal gutted, and Council accused of not knowing anything about public safety.
     For those who want what they see as a blubbery department trimmed, it didn't happen and while the rank structure may have been an issue worth addressing, the core goal of stripping the minimum manning language from the CBA remains a bridge too far.
      Council is still raising taxes, exceeding the tax cap by four fold, but Council Members will tell you they are hearing from the public that the FD must be brought under control.
      Meanwhile for the rest of us, summer is here, trees are in bloom, a holiday weekend awaits and the intrigue at City Hall is a familiar tale. I was talking to a former news person last night who raised to me his amazement at how little in life changes and how the issues he covered decades ago are the same, citing feuds with the FD several mayors ago.
      http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/eight-city-fire-department-captains-to-be-demoted-as-part-of-restructuring-20160524