Monday, January 16, 2017

WDT: Hundreds March in Canton for ACA

   A protest march was held in Canton on Sunday as part of a national day of action organized by Dems in support of keeping the ACA in its present form.
    It's always good to see people actually doing something. Political activism has not usually been a hallmark of life in NNY.
     Last spring thousands came out to a rally for then candidate for President Donald Trump.
     The ACA issue is complicated and for most protestors the current debate likely has little effect.
     Republicans have promised a replacement for the ACA concurrent with voting to repeal the six year old law. President elect Trump has said the finishing touches are being put on the replacement proposal.

WDT: Nasty Notes Case Ends in Plea

   In a celebrated case that brought attention from New York's AG, a misdemeanor, no jail plea deal has reportedly been reached for Amjad Hussain, the author of the nasty notes directed at a college professor.
    The 2015 incidents sent the college brass and the media into a tizzy because the notes allegedly contained racial and homophobic references.
     Reading this story, it seems  some of Mr. Hussain's most troubling statements revolved around getting a gun and going to the school to settle the matter.
     I don't know as the content of the notes was ever specifically reported on, but as I said at the time, if there were actual threats of violence against Professor Youngblood, that is certainly serious although the hate crime aspect got the attention.
     In any event its over, and in a world where communication is easy, saying something worthwhile or appropriate is often not.

WWNY: Centralization of Courts Raises Facility Questions

          The notion of court centralization is being talked about by state officials and Jefferson County. It would seem there are plusses and minuses to this, but it also seems the OCA needs to provide the leadership if there is to be a realignment of courts.
         This is particularly true as one aspect of the state court system pressures the City for a new court facility. We also see our two city judges assigned to other duties around the Fifth Judicial District, which is fine, but also underscores how much the city court is part of a system and not its own entity, even though the judges are elected by city residents. (One seat is up this year.)
          A clearer look at the long term future of local courts would be a good thing to the facilities can match the vision.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pearl Street Pub Welcomes Inauguration Revelers !

   Just as entertainers fear brand damage from performing for the new President, many bars and restaurants are reluctant to feature the inauguration on Friday despite it being an historic event....
    But the Pearl Street Pub is hosting a swearing in party starting at 8AM and lasting through the inauguration speech.
    Businesses, like individuals, are fearful of the scorn of the snowflakes....Look at LL Bean...
     But the public is invited to see and hear the events on Pearl Street with pizza at noon.
      Protestors are welcome to use the restrooms.

When Does Alec Baldwin Just Go Away ?

     There are liberal comics I can watch and get a laugh...I think Samantha Bee or Tina Fey are funny, but Alec Baldwin is just a bitter liberal with an ax to grind. You just know he's a nasty man and he revels in his cheap shot impersonation of Donald Trump. I kind of liked him on 30 Rock, but he just looks like a dick with his Trump imitation.
    I wouldn't stay up to watch SNL....Of course I fall asleep by then so I am not a target demo.

Blotter: Puppy Kicker......A--hole...Big Time !

   So a man....I use the word loosely....kicks a 13 week old puppy causing head trauma.
    Let's hope the puppy gets a good home and the big tough guy gets the same treatment from someone bigger than he is. And while the following will offend the snowflakes...I find this action and this story more troubling than the Canton ATC nasty note or the goofy Fowler legislator on Facebook.

WDT: 2016 in Review

    A couple of City of Watertown stories made the WDT's list of top stories of 2016. Problems at the Arena and the Firefighter labor woes made the list which was headed by the Oral Hillary trial in Canton.

WDT: Legislator Receives His Punishment

   SLC Legislator Joel LaPierre has gotten his swat across the nose with a rolled up newspaper for his goofy Facebook remarks about the President about to leave office.
     Social media is rife with hazards for the sometimes flippant or irreverent...Add in the sometimes foolish or stupid and it's easy for posts and emails to get out there...Look at the sheer number of emails from one person in the news last year.
      I am not sure a Legislator from Fowler is that major an opinion leader but this should end it. However there will be a media clamor for a censure resolution, something not necessary.
      Words matter but they are currency between the speaker and those who choose to listen. Sense of the body resolutions are silly as they perfunctory for some and opposed on principle for others.
       Mr. LaPierre can now join Ernie LaBaff in the ranks of Big County leaders who offended someone.

WDT: Mayor Looks Back on First Year

  Tis the season for retrospectives and for Mayor Joe Butler Jr, his first year as Mayor is in focus. Lining up state funds for various projects, including Western Boulevard lead the list of accomplishments.  The Mayor and Council also moved ahead on projects like Factory Street and a new Children's Playground.
     A difficult strategy of brinksmanship with the fire union is underway, with so far no results but that's a long term endeavor.
     The Arena is running successfully despite nettlesome construction issues.
      Some downtown projects are moving ahead and a rental registration law was passed, although without inspections.
      Still in flux is the Mercy site and Council's desire to build a new pool in Thompson Park.
       The Mayor has represented the City well and has worked at building the relationships with other governments that are needed.
        As with any year, there's a couple of things that could have gone better but by and large I am sure the Mayor s pleased with his first year.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

WWNY: Stefanik Prefers Cautious Approach to ACA Replacement

   North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik tells NNY she is content with a more deliberate approach on replacing all or part of the Affordable Care Act. The complexities of policy and politics makes this whole endeavor not as easy as some have said.
    A key to all this would seem, lawmakers getting away from the bromides and telling constituents what is happening.

The Bitter Are Beating Feet Out of DC

   Democrats are said to be fleeing DC to avoid attending the Trump Inaugural....Who cares if Rep. Maxine Waters is there ?
    I've never seen so many sore losers and election deniers.

Will Mahoney Gobble Up the Salt City ?

   It sounds like Cuomo favorite Joanie Mahoney could gobble up a lot of municipal governments in Onondaga County without  having the support of the elected officials in said towns, villages and cities.
     The proposal from the Governor would allow her to set up consolidations referendums. Of course Ms. Mahoney is at least elected but the push is on to consolidate, assuming the right people end up in charge.
       Ms. Mahoney has been a steadfast supporter of the Governor despite party label differences.

WDT: Fake News : Day Two

    So this SLC Legislator from Fowler apologized to colleagues and by extension others for his goofy Facebook post rapping President Obama and his family....But the apology goes in the last graf....The perfunctory and encouraged calls for resignation is the lead.
      Joel LaPierre is getting his turn in the media barrel. This too shall pass. 

Civil Rights Icon Says Trump Not Legitimate

  There's a little karma at work in the assertion on NBC by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) that President elect Donald Trump's election is illegitimate. After all, Mr. Trump did lead the birther movement for a time questioning Barack Obama's legitimacy on residency at birth issues.
    That bit of payback aside, Mr. Lewis does the bidding of a Democratic Party anxious to delegitimize the new President at all cost.
    Mr. Lewis says he will not attend the inauguration.
     Mr. Trump says the Congressman should spend more time helping his district.
     Many excuses have been proffered for the Hillary Clinton loss from fake news, to Comey to the Russians.
      The Russian argument is interesting....That foreign countries might chime in on an election is not news and voters can judge as they see fit. In this case, Russian hacking was debated during the campaign and Democrats were able to use the Putin bromance issue against Mr. Trump prior to November 8. If anything, the Russia issue was a wash or hurt Mr. Trump among foreign policy establishment types.
        Rep. Lewis citing this as making Mr. Trump illegitimate is troubling but it's the mosaic Democrats are shopping along with their media acolytes.
        Their concurrent villain is Director Comey who now has probes launched against him. Remember when Mr. Comey  was the Democratic hero?

Chicago Gets an F for Running a Police Department

      Chicago is dependably Democratic and has as its Mayor a Clinton protégé. It's the political home of the first black President and yet a Democratic Justice Department has excoriated the City's PD for racism and abuse of citizens.
      Generations of black Americans and urban dwellers have been taught their salvation rests with voting Democratic.
      How can this be ?

WDT: Snowtown Film Festival Prospers Without Snow

   We lost all our snow this week, but one winter activity not dependent on bad weather is the Snowtown Film Festival, which this year attracted Watertown High grad and actor Viggo Mortensen
    Providing such activities in the dark of winter only brightens the community and this event is rightly praised.

PS: New Hairdo, Same Policy in the 'Cuse

       Mayor Miner has gotten a makeover and new hairdo and I didn't recognize her at first when I saw the photo in this Post Standard story about sanctuary cities....She has declared Syracuse to be one, although there is no such designation per se, only a stated police policy of not actively seeking out illegal aliens who may have settled there.
       Syracuse is getting the reputation of a not so safe spot and while police may not be chasing aliens there are plenty of other criminals they can concentrate on.
       Fact is there are not many local PDs who run around trying to be immigration cops, when there is so much else to do.
       So in that sense there are lots of sanctuaries for those who stay beneath the radar and behave. Publicly stating your PD will not enforce laws sends a different message, but Steph is term limited so it doesn't matter anyway. She needs to burnish her liberal bone fides to land a job with the Cuomo Administration where she has had rocky relationships.

Daily Mail: A Low Energy Denial

   The BBC reported and Jeb Bush denied involvement in the opposition research leading to the "dirty dossier that dogged President elect Bush this week. The research and bid to discredit Mr. Trump seemed to have it's roots in the early GOP competition for the nomination when Mr. Bush was widely considered a favorite to win.
     The retired British spy behind all this has made himself scarce.

WDT: Testimony Points to Conviction in Box Murder Trial

     Grim scenes were presented to jurors in the murder trial of a now 20 year old Carthage man accused of the 2015 stabbing death of a Watertown man following a Craig's List meeting gone awry.
     The self defense claim of Kyle Box is clouded by the 46 stab wounds and the attempt to conceal evidence by torching the victim and his Morrison Street home.
      Crime scene photos and the clinical descriptions of wounds suggests a rage perhaps born of a change of heart over a sexual encounter between a 62 year old and an 18 year old, or perhaps dissatisfaction over a transaction related to the encounter. Whatever it was , its hard not to convict and then its a long jail term for Mr. Box.

Friday, January 13, 2017

NYT: Ivanka Now Deemed Evil Too

    The Times must be struggling to dream up more anti Trump stories, so now they go after his daughter.....Just how is Ivanka dangerous ? The Times tells us. story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

WDT: Trump a Mangy Rat

   Not to be outdone, the WDT's Editorial Czar has trumped the Fowler Legislator by referring to the next President as not a Muslim with big ears, but a mangy rat fighting for cheese.
    At least he left out the golden showers in the Moscow Ritz Carlton.

Stefanik Votes to Begin Demise of Obamacare....

   Rep. Elise Stefanik has voted for the House resolution beginning what could lead to repeal and replacement of the ACA (Obamacare).  All well and good, but many in small business and depending on their own resources are watching where this all leads.
    The expectation of those voting for change is that replacement will be concurrent with those aspects repealed although the whole topic is very complex. Too complex for bloggers and broadcast journalists.
     We will see what transpires.

City Judge Given Additional Duties

   City Judge Catherine Palermo has been assigned some additional oversight duties. She will be overseeing village and town justices in Oswego County.  Judge James McClusky will oversee local judges in Jefferson County.
    Judge Palermo is finishing her six year appointed term and is seeking a full ten year term at the polls this fall. So far there is no announced opposition. Judge Palermo is also eligible to hear cases in county court. A lot of these judges get moved around to other courts. The other City Judge, Eugene Renzi sometimes has other assignments as the courts are run by a central office in Syracuse.
     The oversight appointments were part of several made by Fifth Judicial District Czar James Tormey.

WDT: Murder Trial Shows the Dangers of Bad Decisions and Not Being Able to Walk Away

   Kind of sad one man is dead and another life is ruined over mere gratification sought on Craigslist.
This is all a classic example of the merits of no means no and walking away.
    Bad judgment to begin with,.....sure....but all this tragedy and strife over what ?

Possum Caught on Water Street....Film at Eleven

DiNapoli: People You Don't Know are Putting You in Debt

       Comptroller DiNapoli says everyone of you....even infants...owes $13487 as a result of debt piled up by so called public authorities..You know....dormitory authorities..the Thruway Authority....DANC....
        The debt is run up by unelected folks who think they have some public mandate to spend....The public rightly held me to account for borrowing on projects like the Arena.....If that had been approved by an unelected authority....crickets....
        It's called 'backdoor borrowing'.  And it's only a portion of what you all owe.
         Mr. DiNapoli should run for Governor next year. He is a Dem, but seems to get it more than his cohorts.

Is It Real or Is It Memorex ? Is It News or Is It Fake News ?

       A county legislator from Fowler NY (its near Gouverneur) made a Facebook post calling President Obama a Muslim and suggesting he be packed up and sent back to Kenya.
       Leg. Joel LaPierre wins front page above the fold coverage for his remarks, although I suspect derogatory remarks about the President elect don't warrant that.
        The 'back to Kenya' narrative is getting old and smart people are not continuing to rant over Mr. Obama but are looking to the changes ahead.
        But on the other hand, he's a county legislator from Fowler...Come on...
        These type of stories are common these days as social media encourages excessively chatty behavior and the media loves to feign outrage when their heroes are pilloried.
        Now the next step is to start asking other lawmakers what they think and whether Mr. LaPierre should be censured, whatever that means. Now if someone had raised this at a county board meeting, then there's a news hook.....but it appears at this point, we have another case of fake news.
        Ultimately its up to any prospective opponent to raise this as an issue and let voters decide.

Older Women Find Income in Massage Biz

   It's not just street walkers and crack whores police are after.  A simple massage if not given by a licensed rubber is attracting the attention of the law including the arrest of a 70 year old Jacksonville FL woman on prostitution.
      When does a massage go from therapy to pleasure. The former being OK and the latter a crime.
       Thank goodness our police don't have to make these determinations.

Oneidas Buying Up CNY

      Indians now own over 17000 acres of land in the Syracuse region which includes 13 gas stations and three marinas. The Oneida Nation is quite the player.

Winter Gets a Beat Down

   We all enjoyed a nice break from winter with soaring temperatures that broke a record on Thursday with a high of 54 degrees. Most of the snow that bedeviled us last week is gone and the forecast, while colder, is pretty good for the coming week.
    There is a lot of winter ahead, but we are getting to the point where there is more behind us than ahead of us.

WDT: Higher Juvenile Age Gains Support

      There's chatter in Albany about raising to 18 the age where the accused are tried as adults. The rationale is youthful indiscretions should not lead to criminal records.  Well, there are also a lot of very violent crimes being committed by children.
     Perhaps a universal age of majority in  a state where a girl can get married at 14, have consensual sex at 17, drive a car a 16, vote and buy a cigarette at 18 and have a devil's brew at 21 ?
     Deciding where adulthood begins has always been a dicey proposition. Look at the mess this Box fellow is in. If he had killed a man months earlier it would be a juvenile offense in some eyes.
     Then there's all the drug crimes.
      Should some teens get a break ? Yeah they probably should but so much depends on the crime, the person and the circumstances. There are no easy answers found in an arbitrary age.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

WDT: Dogs Not Interested In Our Sing Songy Tone

    The way we talk to dogs may be similar to how we talk to infants...A high pitched, sing songy tone. "Who's the best dog ever." we chirp.
Research says dogs don't care and ignore our solicitation.  But the saving grace is still there....You can talk to your dog and they won't argue and won't repeat anything.

More Probes as Election Bitterness Continues

   Now the Justice Department and FBI are being probed for misdeeds in their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.....While it's thought Director Comey's statements and actions aided Donald Trump, you'd also have to look at the AG's tarmac encounter.
    Can these people get over it ? The Dems lost a close election because their candidate couldn't hold the blue wall against a mistake prone GOP candidate who nonetheless inspired many with a message of change.
     In a contest of strategy, they got snookered and the new Administration is ready to get started.
     Dems....get a grip. You lost.

WDT: City Smokeeater to Open Brew Pub

      A City firefighter is doing his part for the Renaissance of downtown by taking on chance on opening a brew pub in the Lincoln Building. Dan Daugherty and his wife are opening the Boots Brewing Company in the spring. The nearby March Spa is also moving from the March Building on State Street.
     A yoga studio is already located in the Lincoln which is being renovated by property Svengali Brian Murray.
     The notion of a brew pub is a challenge, as just tasting beers doesn't make money but Mr. Daugherty has the potential for a built in clientele given his occupation and that can form the core of a customer base.
     The biggest  challenge in property these days would seem the trend away from bricks and mortar retailing but some things you can't do on the Internet and getting a beer, a massage or some time on the yoga mat are among them.
      Remaining challenges downtown include the commercial space in the Woolworth Building, andthe upcoming space in the Empsall Building.   I hear there is a new beer place of some kind opening next to the Crystal and the former Turtle is said to have been renovated again for opening but so far nothing heard on whether it actually opens.

PS: Chelsea Manning Among Those Waiting for Bam's 11th Hour Pardons

     Former Fort Drum soldier and transgender secrets passer Chelsea Manning is hoping for a commutation of her 35 year sentence for espionage. Surely others are waiting to see who the President let's go on his way out the door next week.

Cuomo OK After Scary End to His SOTS Tour

    Governor Andrew Cuomo is safe following an emergency landing of his state helicopter while enroute to NYC. The craft had filled with smoke.
    The Governor had just completed his six stop State of the State show in which Mr. Cuomo outlined his plans for the coming year.
     The Governor, in a tweet, said the speeches covered 1260 miles as opposed to a single speech tot he Legislature in Albany.

WDT: Zoo Gets Bailout But What Next ?

    The NNY Community Foundation will be kicking a hundred grand into the fiscally wobbly Thompson Park Zoo following recent dire predictions from the conservancy running the facility.
    City Hall had declined to provide a larger stipend or bailout and while news of financial woes was not a surprise, the lack of ongoing dialogue and the surprise announcement at a Council meeting seemed to catch Council by surprise.
     The reorganization grant will help but given the Zoo's limited attendance and appeal and that it's running by a private board, a lot of questions remain about long term viability.

WDT: ACA Debate Needs Clarity and Concurrent Action.

     The Affordable Care Act is surely complicated and if critics are believed is unsustainable fiscally, so changing it or replacing it may be not just desirable but necessary.
      However the looming dispute seems to be over just what is meant by repeal and replace.  One gets the impression some in the GOP in Congress think a simple repeal with the promise of passing something new in three or four years is sufficient. Others like the incoming President want something passed concurrent with the repeal.
       The recent election didn't hinge solely on disdain for the ACA and with the margin of Mr. Trump's win so thin, it's easy to imagine the current political window closing quickly.
        It would seem Mr. Trump's promise for simultaneous repeal and replacement works best as whatever is done will take time to implement and the current rancor over the ACA can't go on forever as the public will get antsy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Piers Morgan: Press Blows It

   Anxious to kill the Trump Presidency in the crib, the media took it on the chin with peddling salacious Trump smears as fact although labeled misinformation.
    Last night they were talking impeachment a la Nixon, but today the press used their long awaited presser trying to talk Russian ho's pissing on a bed rather than the issues people care about.

WWNY:Zombie Law Said to Be Having Some Impact

    Ten Eyck zombie aside, the City Assessor says a new state law putting teeth into forcing banks to do something with zombie homes they inherent is working. Banks are better maintaining and moving properties along.
    I am sure there are critics, but it would seem this effort is one effective arrow in the quiver.

WDT: Latest Cuomo SOTS Address Tests National Themes

   Six State of the State for water infrastructure (Flint, MI?), and now a buy American program....
   Governor Andrew Cuomo is off and running for 2020 keeping up his profile and promoting key issues.
    He is an articulate big state Governor with fundraising ability and connections. He knows how to run elections and knows the value of an early start.
    Two Queens natives competing in 2020....That would be a novelty.

Post Star; Reader Wants More Tranparency

      So some lady writes an essay for the Post Star rapping our MOC on transparency..... There is a tendency when in office to play it safe and guard your brand.
      Generally I look for someone who  represents my viewpoint as that person will have to apply that judgment to a range of issues....I think Rep. Stefanik does that, but I get what the lady is saying and enjoyed her tome.
     God forbid engaged citizens offer thoughtful analysis to their local paper. I post her letter just to prove I am not a mindless acolyte incapable of understanding competing views.

CNN,Buzzfeed Open New Front in War on Trump

     Kinky stuff in a Moscow hotel, or just the "intelligence community" and a biased portion of the press run amok.
     A new kerfuffle about alleged memos detailing compromising oppo research the Russians have on the President elect.
     Politics ain't beanbag.

WDT: Another Court Plan Pondered

    An addition to the County courthouse on Arsenal Street is reportedly the latest idea being considered for housing City Court.  What started as relatively simple alterations to accommodate a larger court has bloomed and meandered into numerous and more expensive proposals.
    The irony is the court has functioned just fine in the interim, but state officials based in Syracuse are insisting on the improvements.
    Building onto the County Court will still be expensive and it crowds the facility into a crowded block. Other proposals have included expanding City Hall, building new by the jail or converting the American Legion.  When all this started, the notion of spending a million on City Hall alterations was alarming, and now all the plans are over three million.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

D'Amato Booted Off Plane

   The funniest story of the day is former Senator Al D'Amato getting kicked off a Jet Blue flight for causing a ruckus....Senator Pothole sticking up for the put upon passengers.

WWNY: Here's Our Me Too Story on the Fire Spat

   Now that this story has spilled over on to TV it has some more legs as the new JCC survey says TV is the leading source of local news and a TV 7 story also gets it on Newzjunky.
    While the shouting match likely doesn't please people, there is considerable sentiment to curb the expense of the FD...Not among everyone but certainly among the people the Third Floor listens to.
     The whole issue will die for a while as this is a one day story, and the whole story is too complicated and lengthy to report on.   The City will either win, lose or settle for staffing at 12 or 13....That's my read. What could change things is if the fireman gets in the Council race or if anyone else who is articulate does as well. I think the incumbents still win, but it will be more raucous.
     Still unanswered is who went to 260 with details of a private phone call ?

Politico: Hill Still Coy About Run for Gracie Mansion

   So far Hillary Clinton has not thrown a bucket of cold water on talk of her running for Mayor of NYC.  Well, everyone appreciates the attention but shouldn't she show her loyalty to Mayor deBlasio ?  It's the Democrat thing to do , but Hizzoner is unpopular and the Clintons are still political gold in least south of the Nyacks.

Blotter: Man Points Piece at Old Lady

     Today's blotter tells of a 24 year old pointing his .22 caliber revolver at his old lady during a 5AM domestic....Some would argue for more gun control, but the fact is those who adhere to NY's already stringent laws don't behave this way. No one would have a firearm out during a domestic and the thing probably wasn't registered anyway.  A Chiappa 1873, which is a replica for a Colt of the same era.
      So when the libs call for more controls, realize they are controlling the responsible and doing nothing to the uncontrollable element.

Clemson Tigers, Dabo Swinney reach the dream of a national title

It was one of those games where the early arc and 'Bama lead led you to fall asleep and miss the excitement of the come from behind 35-31 win by Clemson over the Tide.
Oh well...
Clemson Tigers, Dabo Swinney reach the dream of a national title

WDT: Tempers Reportedly Flare on Third Floor over Fire Dispute

This is not really new. The running dispute between the Third Floor and Fire Chief Dale Herman has been long standing as the CM has been frustrated with management seen as more in line with the union than bosses.
Chiefs are civil service and not at-will employees.
It says in the story that this dispute took place in a phone call which means someone ran to the Times with enough details to grab  their interest.   There were also what appear to be direct quotes from the conference call that included labor lawyer Terry O'Neill.
    What's interesting as well is the file photo of Ms. Addison is of her sitting at a desk three years ago at a presser announcing her hire. I am featured in the photo....I don't think I've been in the Times since leaving office, so I appreciate the shout out whatever the intention.
Watertown Daily Times | Addison, Chief Herman clash over fire union

Did you lose a safe in Oswego County? State police attempting to find owner |

The good news for Sentry safe owners is they are not easy to get into as a damaged but apparently unopened one was found by State Police in the Town of Oswego.
Police are attempting to find the owner. Maybe Geraldo could open on live TV.
Did you lose a safe in Oswego County? State police attempting to find owner |
State Police Photo