Friday, September 30, 2016

New Law Will Likely Pass in a Town Where Few Know Amendments Other than the Second.

    I had occasion to talk to a big time, influential supporter of this rental inspection concept who when he heard about only enforcing it against out of county people, just shook his head.  Another lawyer I talked to tonight said it's clearly an equal protection issue under the Fourteenth Amendment.
     Now none ot fhat matters in a town where people acquiesce and don't have the inclination or resources to fight the man.....And The Man knows that.
     Monday the City Council could approve the revised edition of the inspection law...It's been given the blessing of city counsel, so it will likely pass easily. Compliance will be an issue and maybe, someone will dispute it.
       Either way the whole thing will not solve the stated rationale for the law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Protection_Clause

Trump sex tape comments frustrate GOP supporters | TheHill

  I am a Trumpist most of the time, but I wouldn't have gone down this rabbit hole...Unless we want a full blown redux of the 90s.

    I would have advised to let this sleeping dog lie as there is  no end to the outrage stories about what Donald Trump has said over the decades.

      Trump sex tae comments frustrate GOP supporters | TheHill

Debate commission says there were ‘issues’ with Trump's audio - POLITICO

   Oh, so Trump was right.....Not until after being ridiculed for complaining about the defective microphone he got....that....a "moderator" with an agenda...and Hillary's IFB....Low and behold Trump loses the debate.

    Done. The Clinton syndicate wins.....

Debate commission says there were ‘issues’ with Trump's audio - POLITICO

WDT: Jennings New Proposal....Enforce My Law Against the People Who Can't Vote Against Me....

    Councilman Stephen Jennings says he has the votes for a revised version of his rental registration and inspection law. Mr. Jennings says he is proposing everyone have to register but only out of town landlords be subject to inspections. There is no reference in the Times article to fees. Nearby Oswego is now charging a three year fee of $150 per unit.
     Also absent is the notion of equal protection under the law...I think it's the 14th Amendment...maybe its one of the other ones.....The City Attorney says the notion doesn't apply hear. That's an encouraging line of reasoning.
      Now let's only write traffic tickets to out of towners and we'll be all set.
      Local advocate for inspections, Glenn Curry, praised the Jennings proposal saying this "don't tread on me" nonsense has to go.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-city-council-may-consider-new-rental-inspection-law-20160930

Hillary Cleared But Days in the Courtroom Far From Over

    Oral Hillary will be in court again. His freedom isn't on the line, but his checkbook is.  While there is the possibility of a wrongful death suit there is the very real prospect of Mr. Hillary suing the Village of Potsdam for wrongful arrest and imprisonment. He filed a notice of claim four years ago to preserve that option.

     Hillary Cleared But Days in the Courtroom Far From Over

WDT: No Justice for Garrett....Ever

     Big County DA Mary Rain says the judge got it wrong and that there will be no consideration of other suspects in the 2011 murder of 12 year old Garrett Phillips of Potsdam.
     After a crash and burn courtroom loss this week Ms. Rain held an invitation only presser to announce Oral Hillary is the killer and there will be no further investigation. The legal scholar and one term DA opted against the old "jury has spoken" approach in favor of being the bitter and vindictive prosecutor.
       Prosecutors do sometimes lose even though they have tremendous advantages going in including unlimited resources. It's the law that protects the accused and in this case Judge Felix Catena said the state didn't meet the burden of proof.
       Clearly, Ms. Rain did believe Mr. Hillary strangled the lad, but there is a time to shut your pie hole, and that opportunity was missed by the DA.
Watertown Daily Times | Rain concluding Phillips murder investigation unusual, with possible future ramifications

Lady Gaga reveals that she will perform at the Super Bowl in 2017 | Daily Mail Online

     Here's some good news. Lady Gaga will do the Super Bowl halftime show. You can be sure the theatrics will be first rate, perhaps on a par with the Katy Perry appearance, which ranks among the best, according to his humble observer.

Lady Gaga reveals that she will perform at the Super Bowl in 2017 | Daily Mail Online

Jeb Said to Favor Johnson

     Low energy Jeb is reportedly suggesting to friends they vote for Gary Johnson for President. This is the only indication so far of the one time assumed GOP nominee who was crushed by Donald Trump and driven out of the race by South Carolina.
    Governor Johnson is the Libertarian nominee and has now been labled "gaffe prone" after two gotcha interviews on MSNBC, a network anxious to make the race binary as polls show Johnson an alternative for voters cool to Hillary Clinton but scared of Mr. Trump.
     Slowly the Bush family preferences are coming out. Recently Jeb's father, Bush 41 is said to have told a Kennedy friend he will vote for Hillary Clinton.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-jeb-bush-suggests-voting-gary-johnson-luncheon-article-1.2812065

WDT: Council to Consider Snow Jacks for Roof

    A couple years back when I had a metal roof put on the house, I didn't anticipate the piles of snow that would fall in front of the door creating uncertainty every tiime you walk out and leaving more of a pile than I wanted to shovel.
     So this year year I had an awning built to redirect the pesky snow. Now that's a change order of sorts I paid for, and one could argue I should have considered all of this two years ago.
     Of course, I am just a homeowner, not a high paid engineering firm or a high paid public employee.
     So now City Council has to look bad again (been there, done that) as news leaks out of a snow issue at the Arena. It was known about some time ago, but now Council faces a $100K fix.
      I recall during the construction a misplaced support pillar in the middle of a doorway. It's tough on lawmakers who are not really in charge of much and are along for their ride when these thngs happen.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/council-to-consider-another-change-order-to-watertown-ice-arena-20160930

Funiciello Candid With Media About This Year's NY21 Race

      Very seldom does a candidate walk into an E Board meeting and concede defeat five weeks before the election, but that's the interesting strategy of Matt Funiciello who tells the Times and others Rep. Elise Stefanik will win but his goal is to finish second ahead of Democrat Mike Derrick and in the process discourage a Dem candidacy in 2018, giving Funiciello a clear one on one with the incumbent.
      It's hard to finish second, despite Mr. Funiciello's name recognition and the appeal of his outsider message in a year featuring Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
      The reason is what I call the 'turnip vote.'   A certain percentage of the electorate would vote for a turnip if it was listed on a major party line.
        My prediction is 55-30-15. Jot it down and let me know if I'm right.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/in-ny-21-race-funiciello-sets-sights-on-defeating-derrick-20160930

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Everything you need to know about the 2016 vice presidential debate - POLITICO

     A 20 year old flap with a beauty queen was the trip wire set by the Clinton campaign, stumbled over by Trump and fixated on by media now going for the kill as the race nears the five week mark.
      Gary Johnson has been marginalized by massive coverage of Aleppo moments, and much rests now on Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. He needs a win over Senator Tim Kaine and from what I've seen of the two of them, that could happen on Tuesday night.
        That would change the narrative and tee the ball up for the next Presidential debate where Donald Trump would have to save his candidacy, which was winning a week ago but is stumbling again over a Miss Universe who couldn't push herself away from the table.
         For now, Mike Pence is under pressure to deliver.
Everything you need to know about the 2016 vice presidential debate - POLITICO

Green Funiciello says Republican Stefanik will win North Country House race | NCPR News

     An early concession in the NY21 race, but a realistic one as Green Matt Funiciello says the Democrats latest hope will lose badly and Funiciello hopes for a one on one in 2018.

Green Funiciello says Republican Stefanik will win North Country House race | NCPR News

Fire Department, City Draft Response Plan | WWNY TV 7

   They always make it sound like the FD and PD are separate entities. They are part of city government so it's not like two disparate sides have agreed on something. Semantics aside, this episode looks like it's coming to a close, and the city has fewer captains.  The real savings is in scrapping the manning clause, but if they can sustain the demotions, it gives management some leverage by dangling pay restoration for the eight people affected.

     Fire Department, City Draft Response Plan | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

'Creepy Clown' Threats Investigated In St. Lawrence County | WWNY

      Now there's creepy clowns in the Big County......It goes from bad to worse up there.

'Creepy Clown' Threats Investigated In St. Lawrence County | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Toilet Garden Featured

        While overshadowed by the trial, Potsdam recently got some publicity from NBC Dateline. They did a story on the Market Street toilet garden, which is a short distance from the scene of Garrett Phillips murder.
          Sometimes when you do one story another one jumps out at you.
https://www.facebook.com/datelinenbc/videos/10154432600731420/

Courting Options

      Yesterday's Times story about the City considering a new site for the court (and possibly the PD) invites the obvious question. Where ?
      The American Legion building was floated a couple years back by the club given it's proximity to City Hall.
      However, does the court have to be at City Hall since the police are no longer there. The original 1964 design made sense. The rise of the PSB across town changed that.
     So what other buildings ? Some have mentioned the Masonic Temple as it would dovetail function with rehabilitation of an old building.
      Today a retired cop messaged me to suggest the North Side League as it's a spacious building and lot. Plus there's a nice neighborhood tavern across the street.
       There's some downtown buildings in transition like the Lincoln Building and the former Empsall's.  Access, parking and proximity to other courts for the convenience of lawyers are a factor.
       There's also a second story over the existing court or just keep dragging it out till Tormey retires and then start a new,protracted dialogue and let somebody else figure it out.

Can SNL Take Out Trump ?


     With Donald Trump persistant in the polls, despite a full court media blitz to discredit him, it may fall to comedians to take him out.
     Saturday Night Live's parodies of debates are epic and this Saturday will be the same.
     Some in the SNL world want to use their access to the public to portray what they see as Mr. Trump's racism and bigotry. Others want to just make fun of his on air performance.
      With just five weeks left, taking out Mr. Trump is a priority.
 http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/saturday-night-live-trump-228874

Report: Some COR Projects May Be Shut Down

        The Cuomo administration is reviewing COR projects linked to state funding and is not ruling out shutting some down, depending on the nexus found to alleged bribes or campaign contributions.
         I would think the overall turmoil and internal disruption of the arrests in COR would pose more of a threat, plus local pols and leaders are going to be less likely to be seen with or work with COR management.
        

WDT: Times Locked Out of Presser

       After endorsing her and not running the champaign photo they had (betcha we see it now), the WDT found itself banned from Mary Rain's post trial presser. That's their take at least.
       This is an unusual move since the Times is the only local paper, although many other news outlets did cover the trial of Oral Hillary.
       As a sitting DA holding a press conference on a major public event and holding it in a public building, it was of course a petulent move by Ms. Rain, who is obviously chagrined and frustrated by this latest setback in her three year tenure in office.
       She shouldn't have bothered to hold a presser as there's little more to add to the acquittal of Mr. Hillary other than the usual prosecutor contempt for losing.
        And the solace is she gets paid $3500 this week, win or lose.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/da-rain-bans-watertown-daily-times-staff-from-post-verdict-press-conference-20160929

NYT: Fawning Over HRC Costs Some Papers Even More Readers

    It looks like just about all major newspapers this year will endorse Hillary Clinton as before the first debate words were spoken, papers in AZ, TX and OH joined the NYT and WaPo in backing the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State.
     In this story we hear some of those papers are getting backlash in the form of cancelled subscriptions, something few papers can afford.
     It may be the gratuitous fawning over Mrs. Clinton right out of the gate, as well as an ethos this year that journalists have a higher calling than just reporting this year and should use their position to halt a particularly pernicious politcal force.
      Most people are not going to cancel over an editorial as they have little impact anyway, but the overall lurch in coverage is annoying to readers who believe there is a rigged system in politics and media.
       The essence of newspapers and broadcast outlets is mass appeal, but by becoming house organs for one side , they are becoming either obsolete or part of the growing niche media where everyone retreats to their intellectual corner for comfort and reenforcement.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/business/media/clinton-endorsement.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Z Gal and Faso Neck and Neck

      The guy who lost to the Steamroller in 2006 and the gal who lost to the guy who keeps score in 2014 are locked in a dead even 43-42 race for Congress in eastern NY.
      John Faso....the well financed journeyman GOP pol vs the eclectic progressive from Vermont who so PO'd Andy two years ago.
       This is an interesting race between Woodstock and the back woods.
http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/politics/2016/09/27/siena-poll--dead-heat-between-faso--teachout.html

Poll: Losing Friends Over the Election

   A poll shows this year's divisive race for the White House is costing friendships and relationships. Seven percent say so, but 70% say the Clinton-Trump race is too nasty.
     I know people I like who are so over the top on Facebook, I have to discipline myself not to hate them.
     http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/poll-2016-election-broken-friendships-228846

WDT: It's Time for Press Releases on Endorsements

     The AFL-CIO backs Russell.....The NFIB backs John Byrne....the kind of perfunctory endorsements we see a lot of this time of year.
      Matt Funiciello made some news by swiping an SEIU nod from it's rightful Democratic Party owner.
      There are media endorsements coming up.
      Likely the Times goes with Clinton, Stefanik and Byrne. I think the stink around the Second Floor will give them some reason to call for change in Albany.
       But look at all the endorsements from famous people for Mary Rain...How'd that work out for all of you ?
Watertown Daily Times | Russell gets AFL-CIO endorsement

WDT: Will Karma Get Nick Hillary ?

   A relative of the deceased 12 year old shouted that Karma would get Nick Hillary following Mr. Hillary's acquittal in the 2011 murder of young Garrett Phillips.
    Where do you go at age 42 when every time somebody Googles you , it comes up you were charged with murdering a child.  Acquittal or not, few would hire such a person, but liberal academia can be forgiving, so who knows ?
      If he really did it, how does the mind compartmentalize such things without the fight of a trial to win ?
      OJ was a major league sociopath, but I don't know about this guy.
       I can't help but think today's world where a woman meets a guy in a bar and moves him with her and the kids is not the way I was raised. Our world where everyone in a family has a different last name and there's always the previous and future boyfriends in the wings.
       As for Mr. Hillary, maybe he covered it well or maybe he was lucky the cops and DA weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. 
      Of course, maybe he didn't do it....In which case, who did ? The other person talked about was busy getting some ink in the Times the day of the verdict.
       Sadly, a young man was lost and all the careers and billable hours later don't really justify the loss the 12 year old suffered.
Watertown Daily Times | Nick Hillary found not guilty in murder trial

Funiciello Boasts He is the Real Foe to Stefanik

        Green Party Congressional hopeful Matt Funiciello says he sees the race for NY21 as between him and Rep. Elise Stefanik. Mr. Funiciello, a baking czar from Glens Falls, says Democrat Mike Derrick has no traction despite heavy advertising.
         Mr. Funiciello was on the HOTLINE today where he stressed his identity with working people and railed against the corporate candidates.
        He took several digs though at Col (ret) Derrick who he says is a child of privilege and only recently a resident of the area. The Green questioned Derrick's opposition to TPP since corporate Democrats are among the biggest free traders.
         He dismissed the incumbent as beholden to corporate interests.

WDT: NOT GUILTY ! Hillary Walks as Judge Rebuffs Rain Prosecution

   While widely expected due to the paucity of evidence, today's acquittal of Oral Hillary in the five year old murder of Garrett Phillips left beleaguered DA Mary Rain shocked and ashen  looking.
     The controversial prosecution was taken over by Onondaga DA William Fitzpatrick as the local DA was clearly in over her head. This case defines her tenure and ensures no second term in the $180K a year post as the Big County's prosecutor.
      Watertown Daily Times | Nick Hillary found not guilty in murder trial

A Wine Lounge ? Isn't That Your Kitchen ?

    What's a "wine lounge".....One is proposed for the Franklin Building. A man and a woman have secured the spot on the Franklin Street side of the building and are said to be applying for a license.

     Sounds like a hobby business, as you could never make money doing what most do at their kitchen table, and that's OK. I will certainly stop by and you should too.

     I will say, everyone thinks there's big money in alcohol, but it's a tough grind. We will see how this concept flies.

DBAs Filed at Jefferson County Clerk's Office in September 2016

Was Hillary wired for Trump debate?

      An ear insert and a lump on her back and what appeared the outline of a wire up her back in video as she entered the stage at Hofstra.
      Could it be Hillary Clinton had an IFB ? The ability of staff to message her on what to say and remind her of talking points.
IFB, Cough Suppression Device or Optical Illusion
     Clearly Donald Trump missed several easy responses as Mrs. Clinton and her lap dog NBC moderator rattled Mr. Trump after he got off to a strong start.
    Yes, Mr. Trump missed opportunities, but anyone knows performing is easier when there is a voice in your ear.
Was Hillary wired for Trump debate?

WDT: Mayor Butler concerned about Mercy project’s future

        Two or three years back, I remember half jokingly saying if the Mercy Heights project went no further than demolition, the City was ahead of the game as the looming hulk of a vacant hospital was a problem that could linger for decades.
        Now that's possibly a scenario coming true and Mayor Butler is saying at least we are rid of the buildings.
        The legal problems swirling around COR Development may stall the project in part because the firm is too toxic to access the kind of state assistance they have been used to.
        Something may happen there but the removal of the hospital and several houses is progress and whatever happens in the future can be viewed without the context of site preparation.
Watertown Daily Times | Mayor Butler concerned about Mercy project’s future

Rental permit fees in Oswego raised...Is This Our Future ? | WRVO Public Media

       Oswego's Common Council has approved Mayor Billy Barlow's plan for a five fold increase in rental permit fees, raising the cost from $30 to $150 for a three year permit.
        Tell your tenants their rent just went up five bucks a month.
         Mayor Barlow has been on the leading edge at trying to use city code enforcement to crack down on blighted and unsafe rental properties.
         Watertown is considering similar action and it's hard to imagine we wouldn't have to face a similar fee structure. That's an extra fee for a service that should be part of the panoply of things government just does.
          Again,  thanks to Newzjunky for posting news on what's happening in Oswego as it is relevant to us given the similarities in the age and condition of our cities.
Rental permit fees in Oswego raised | WRVO Public Media

WWNY: Verdict to Be Carried Live at 10AM

       The verdict in the Oral Hillary murder trial will likely be announced this morning when court convenes at 10AM.  Judge Felix Catena will announce his decision in the bench trial of Mr. Hillary who stands charged in the five year old murder of 12 year old Garrett Phillips.
      The verdict will be carried live on WWNY-TV, and you are welcome to share your views on the HOTLINE and Live at Five on AM 1240-WATN.
      

WDT: The Other Boyfriend Says He Didn't Do It

      On the day of the verdict the Deputy also talked about a lot in the Garrett Phillips murder case is speaking out. John Jones was also a boyfriend of the deceased's mother, and in these cases the boyfriends are always suspect #1.
     In this case, there have be ruminations that the deputy should have been looked at more closely but he says there was no cover up.
       If Oral Hillary is acquitted, the subject of who did it will arise again, but the case is so old and the evidence so sparse, the only way someone would get snared is through loose lips.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/deputy-jones-speaks-out-about-hillary-murder-trial-without-a-doubt-hillary-killed-garrett-phillips-20160928

WDT: Court Renovations Still Vexing for City

       City Hall is again considering scrapping courtroom renovations at 245 and coming up with another location to dispense justice. The problem is the state is insisting on revamped facilities to handle not just expanded operations but also to provide for better security.
      Council and staff have struggled with renovation schemes which are not only expensive but also logistically difficult in regards to security and trying to fit what they need into a 50 year old building.
       At one point a couple years ago there were preliminary talks to acquire the Legion building across the street as the veterans group expressed interest in selling.
         The City is obligated to provide a suitable space for a court and the NYS Office of Court Administration provides the staff (including judges) for the court.
          When first built, the PD, Court and holding cells were efficiently placed there, but many changes since then have left a far less efficient scheme and the Mayor says a final decision on the whole thing will come next month.
          There was an agreement on a plan two years ago, but that has fallen apart.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/court-facilities-could-move-out-of-watertown-city-hall-20160928

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Y Director Named

       Copenhagen native Denise Young has grabbed one of the top NFP jobs locally, heading up the Y and taking over from Peter Schmitt who is retiring. This six figure gig is closely linked to local political and social elites and it's a job where relationships and fundraising is as important as management.
      Ms. Young use to work for me on Pearl Street and has prospered in local health care circles.  She is replaicing a man who is a taskmaster and  a shrewd and effective money guy.
      Ms. Young at one time also operated the Cottage Inn in Copenhagen.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/director-denise-k-young-leaves-fdrhpo-for-watertown-family-ymca-20160927

Howard Dean stands behind Trump 'coke user' tweet - POLITICO

     Outrage will be minimal in the media, but it's outrageous what Howard Dean was peddling today on MSNBC. The physician, pundit, former VT Governor and former DNC Chair was saying that the nasal sounds from Donald Trump during the debate said the GOP nominee is a cocaine user and he cited various psychological factors that buttress his point. Then he said he won't take it back.

     Can you imagine if a Trump surrogate went on TV and said such things about Hillary Clinton ?  Now the Dems will play confirm or deny.

      Governor Dean is a low life, and should be removed from punditry.

Howard Dean stands behind Trump 'coke user' tweet - POLITICO

Poll

   I had a pollster call this evening and in the long series of questions it was clear it was a push poll for Democrat Mike Derrick.
    I answered all the questions.  I never get called so it was interesting to hear it all. I even answered them honestly.

WDT: A record 84 million TV viewers tuned in for presidential debate

       Roughly one in four Americans watched the Presidential debate and that's  a record. That' good that people are interested.

         I will be watching all four debates....not because I am undecided, but because I like to watch.

Watertown Daily Times | A record 84 million TV viewers tuned in for presidential debate

False Narratives...Part of Today's Dishonest Press

    Donald Trump has publicly stated he will attend the next debate in St. Louis, yet NBC reporters in Mrs. Clinton's plane were just peppering her with questions about whether she is worried her opponent won't show up.
    So dishonest, as they are creating a news story out of thin air by getting someone to react to something not happening.

Ichiban Restaurant Opens In New Spot | WWNY TV 7

        That was quick. The Ichiban is open again in a new location. I assume its food only as getting a license that quickly isn't that easy, especially given previous issues. According to NYS, there is still an active liquor license at the 111 Court Street location,.

        Ichiban Restaurant Opens In New Spot | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Debate Check: 12 Hillary Lies Debunked | LifeZette

     While fact checking was Lester's choice for Donald Trump there was no real time analysis of Hillary Clinton even though there could have been.
      Republicans are like Charlie Brown and the football. They keep participating in this bogus debates ad act surprised when the inevitable happens.
Debate Check: 12 Hillary Lies Debunked | LifeZette

Lester as Candy

   http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/26/lester-holt-candy-crowley-moment-first-debate/
      This issue of stop and frisk as a tool to fight urban crime came up again last night and Lester Holt weighed in as Trump fact checker saying it's unconstitutional.
     There was some dispute this AM on whether Lester was right. A 1968 SCOTUS case, Terry v Ohio, established that officers can stop and frisk if they have a reasonable suspicion a crime is imminent. The notion became widespread under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a judge ruled the application (widespread) was unconstitutional but Terry v Ohio was not overturned.
    That case was appealed and the appeal was dropped when Mayor DiBlasio took office.
      There were a couple times Mr. Holt tried to fact check Mr. Trump and I am not sure it was accurate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_v._Ohio

WDT: City Turns a Profit On Vanduzee Fire

    Looks like the City did very well on the Election Day fire last year that destroyed the Vanduzee Street warehouse. It was finally revealed (through a WDT FOI request) that City Hall got a $750,000 insurance check on a building they had just taken title to. The City's blanket property policy automatically covers a newly acquired building without scrutiny for a period of 90 days.
    Normally a vacant building like this would be difficult to insure and according to reports the insurance company disputed the claim.
    News of the possible insurance windfall was known to me last fall when I saw an adjuster looking up records on the property, but this was kept on the down low for some reason.
    Demolition costs totaled nearly $600K, so in the end the City got the property for taxes and the demolition done with some cash left over.
    In essence, while it was a danger to neighbors, the arsonist (s) did the City a favor, which surely made the insurance carrier sick to is stomach.
     Twice in this news story, the reporter referred to the blaze as an "Election Day fire', a sign of the lingering suspicions about this unsolved arson, along with others earlier last fall.
     Another point....If this insurance payment came in July, was City Council aware of it since it would have a real effect on city finances, and if they did know,why didn't the public find out without the pulling-teeth exercise of an FOI ?
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/vanduzee-warehouse-blaze-costs-580000-in-cleanup-expenses-20160927

WDT: St. Lawrence County Voters the Victim of Bad Advice

    This week our friend Perry delivered an excoriation of SLC DA Mary Rain and said next year Big County residents must expunge their error made three years ago.
    Well, yes I guess voters need to take a closer look at who they are voting for but you have to remember Ms. Rain was endorsed by Perry's paper, and that gives the imprimatur of legitimacy.
     Perhaps some circumspection, or at least naval gazing is needed at 260 on why they made such an erroneous recommendation to voters.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/section/blogs10

Katz: Six Weeks Out and the Race Goes On

        If there was a pre-debate strategy that worked well it was the decision to keep Hillary Clinton off the trail, not just to practice, but to rest up after her recent health issues. Mrs Clinton looked rested and was on the attack throughout the 90 minutes.
       Donald Trump missed opportunities and left much on the table in terms of attacking his opponent, never mentioning the Clinton Foundation and he got too defensive on issues like taxes returns and Iraq.
       The questions seemed to focus on issues related to Mr. Trump, but he looked strident  and lacked a sense of humor, almost Al Gore like in his on camera reactions.
        On the other hand Mr. Trump didn't make any major mistakes and made it through 90 minutes against an experienced office holder with a long DC pedigree. He was able to point out how long Mrs. Clinton has been in government for those who want change this year.
         The VP debate is next but that will produce little new and the attention will shift to the final two Presidential debates in October. Governor Pence is quick on his feet though and could be an effective attack dog, making some of the points Mr. Trump didn't.
          It's still a race, but Mr. Trump clearly missed some openings last night. However history notes cases of  a candidate struggling in the first debate and coming on strong later and winning the election (Reagan in '83 and Obama in '12). 
https://mic.com/articles/155198/donald-trump-had-a-rocky-first-debate-at-hofstra-but-it-s-far-too-soon-to-count-him-out?utm_content=bufferb730d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=ckatz+facebook#.OfuDaqWpW

Stefanik Airs New Commercial


    https://www.facebook.com/EliseforCongress/videos/883291621800830/
    I saw this new Stefanik commercial and it's sharp and snappy. Really projects energy, enthusiasm and competance. 
   

COR Donations to Cuomo Substantial

          Governor Cuomo's approval numbers are dropping and the media is looking at the over $300K in donations his campaigns have received from COR Development.   The political fallout from last weeks arrest on bribery charges has yet to be determined, but I suspect it will blow over.
http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2016/09/cuomos_campaign_mum_on_what_to_do_with_cor_money.html

Monday, September 26, 2016

MSM Declares Clinton the Winner

         No gaffes, but the two Clinton friendly networks quickly declared the debate a win for Hillary Clinton.  What is clear is that while Donald Trump made points, he also allowed himself to be on the defensive on some issues particularly in the last half hour.
         I am not sure there was much determined by the session, but I do think Mr. Trump failed to make progress even if he didn't lose much either. He got tied down on birtherism and some other issues that needed a quick , dismissive answer. A pro Clinton question at the end about her appearance was bobbled as well.
     Mr. Trump did demonstrate conversancy in several issues, but the media spin will be that Mrs. Clinton won
      The next debate is the two VP candidates. I expect Mike Pence to do well.....

Trump Holds His Own

     The debate droned on and on and each side made their points, but frankly Donald Trump held his own against Hillary Clinton....Those on each side will claim victory, but for Mr. Trump it means he avoided the usual criticisms about his campaign.
       Mika will say Mrs Clinton found her voice but it was by no means a win for her even though she was favored.
        Donald Trump won by not losing and the Democrat missed the chance to put the race away.

Syracuse is negotiating for new naming rights deal on Carrier Dome (report) | syracuse.com

    The Carrier Dome may be something else as Syracuse officials attempt to negotiate a new agreement on naming rights.
     Is Carrier still in Syracuse ?  Beats me, but I wouldn't blame them if they bailed. I don't know who else is going to shell out millions.
      Whatever happened to the naming rights for the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena ?
Syracuse is negotiating for new naming rights deal on Carrier Dome (report) | syracuse.com#incart_m-rpt-1

Murders Up

    Murders are up 10.8% this year over last according to the FBI. Now there's an inconvenient truth. Wonder if it comes up tonight and will anyone be fat checking the FBI ?

The weekend America's newspapers called Donald Trump a liar - Sep. 25, 2016

    The nation's largest papers and other Clinton sycophant media spent the weekend teeing the ball up for the expected truth squad assault on Donald Trump during and after the debate.
      There were many stories about Mr. Trump purportedly telling a lot of lies....All a prelude to the debate narrative.
        Of course the papers drive the broadcast coverage and they hope to make Lester Holt part of the team for 90 minutes this evening.   
         Bloomberg TV (as in Mike, a key Clinton backer) is billing their debate coverage as offering real time fact checking during the debate. Let people please just watch it without spinning it in real time.
The weekend America's newspapers called Donald Trump a liar - Sep. 25, 2016

Hillary Verdict To Be Announced Wednesday Morning | WWNY TV 7

    It's nice to know your lead story for Wednesday two days ahead of time. The main verdict story and the reaction and analysis sidebars should chew up a good five minutes of the 6PM news hole. That's the kind of day those in charge can take a long lunch.

    Most people think he walks, but who knows.

Hillary Verdict To Be Announced Wednesday Morning | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Derrick Still Won't Say He Supports Hillary Clinton

        The Colonel has another direct mail piece and this one continues to stress that Mike Derrick is a 28 year Army retiree while he says his opponent is a DC politician, which of course he would be too if elected to the Congress.
       The Colonel also rails against a rigged system and the TPP.
        In his issue matrix, Mr. Derrick says Rep.. Elise Stefanik supports and is voting for Donald Trump. On the other side, the Colonel says he opposes Donald Trump, continuing his pattern of refusing to profess support for Hillary Clinton.
        Funny thing is, Mr. Trump is leading in some polls and is no longer considered a drag on Senate candidates, so that would seem a tactic from a couple of months ago.
         I assume from his flyers he does not support Mrs. Clinton....Maybe he's a Jill Stein supporter ?
      

Post Standard: How Onondaga's DA Became Lead Prosecutor in the Big County

   Here's an interesting Syracuse news story about why CNY folks have to watch their full time DA off in Canton taking the lead in the murder trial of another full time DA who apparently doesn't know how or is too inept to prosecute the case.
   William Fitzpatrick started out offering advice to Mary Rain, but as Ms. Rain's problems blossomed, the Onondaga County DA too over the trial of Oral Hillary.
   Big County residents should ask why this is the case but so should Onondaga County residents as there are lots of murders there surely in need of the oversight of the elected DA.
     The judge's verdict is expected soon in Canton.
      If it's a guilty verdict, who claims the win ?

http://www.syracuse.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/09/how_syracuse_da_took_control_of_north_country_murder_trial_from_troubled_local_d.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Blotter: Two Plants Found

     Lewis County lawmen found two pot plants growing in a back yard. 
http://www.newzjunky.com/police2016/coplog160926lcso.htm

NYDN: Another Faustian Bargain ?


   The Daily News reports the Governor is willing to trade a legislative raise for passage of new ethics rules.
    How is that different from what nine people got charged for this past week.  Quid pro quo, money in exchange for consideration.
    One can argue both ways and one way is that we are in an era when politics gets criminalized when we want it to be. The same concepts in another application are OK. That's why it's so hard to know what is corrupt and what isn't
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-ethics-reforms-exchange-pol-pay-raises-article-1.2806128

COR Lawyer Says Charges are False and Lobbyist Threw His Clients Under the Bus

     Of course you'd expect a defendant to say he didn't do it, but for the COR officials charged with bribery, it's a whole company and operation on the line as everyone wonders if their myriad of projects, including one in Watertown will happen.
      COR is made up of former Pyramid execs who went on their own and aggresively created a seemingly successful development behemoth.
      Aggressive, connected, perhaps unscrupulous, many wonder what's next.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/attorney-for-cor-development-officials-claims-pair-innocent-of-bribery-counts-20160926

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Arnie's Army Mourns

       Sad news tonight as we learn of the passing of Arnold Palmer, the golf icon but also a symbol of class in sports and life for generations of Americans.  Arnie was 87 and died at his home in Latrobe, PA.
http://nypost.com/2016/09/25/golf-legend-arnold-palmer-dead-at-87/

NY Post: Group of Dems Meet to Plot Cuomo[s Retirement

   Even before this past week's corruption arrests a group of progressive Democrats were planning ways to topple the man who through force of will rules NY politics and the Democratic Party. Now with Andrew Cuomo rocked by scandal at his doorstep, more might participate, but you have to remember, politics is largely fueled by fear and taking on such a powerful persona takes a leader and that's where it gets iffy.
     Remember a couple of years ago when Ted Ford posed for a picture with Cuomo antagonist Zephyr Teachout ? Even though Ted held no positions that could be taken away, the Governor's people called the local Dem chair to see what could be done to punish. Imagine the effect on someone who actually had something to lose....and that was over a photo.
     My guess is it will be difficult to mount a serious challenge for just that reason.
http://nypost.com/2016/09/24/state-democrats-want-to-drive-andrew-cuomo-out-of-office/

Gennifer Flowerss Won't Be at the Debate.

   Gennifer Flowers will not be at the debate despite a humorous suggestion from Donald Trump that the one time Bill Clinton mistress would counter the appearance of billionaire Mark Cuban in the front row.
     It's all part of the juvenile head games both sides are playing in the days leading up to the showdown.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/gennifer-flowers-said-she-would-attend-debate-for-trump-but-trump-camp-says-no-20160925

Chief: He Was Rolling a Joint

      Police in Charlotte released some of the video of the Keith Scott killing and the police chief added that Mr. Scott was in possession of not just a gun but also some weed.
      Police executing a warrant on someone else at an apartment complex, saw Mr. Scott in his vehicle rolling a joint and attempted to confront him.
      Meanwhile protests continue and media fixation continues.
       Once the public understands the deceased was rolling a joint, I am sure they will calm down.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/25/us/charlotte-police-videos-keith-scott.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

WDT: Nothing New Here....Just Move Along

      Three months after eight captain slots were downgraded to firefighter, there is no protocol for staffing in place, but work still goes on every day. The SOP's were being written by former water czar Michael Sligar who was brought in due to an inability or unwillingness of existing management to do it.
      The issue is largely out of sight and out of mind for City Council and I don't hear much public chatter on it as well.
       The demotions  were an effort to deal with what was deterrmined to be top heavy management, but so far the City seems far from it's central goal of stripping minimum manning language from the CBA.
      Meanwhile the eight former captains are the only ones in this saga making less money as the City saves roughly $100K a year.
       Another twist has surfaced as we hear the NYS DOH has informed the city its policy of not going to medical calls because there is not a captain to supervise, places the city at risk if something goes awry. City Hall has been clamoring for fewer responses to medical calls, particularly ones that turn out to be minor.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/city-manager-still-waiting-to-receive-new-fire-department-deployment-model-20160925

WDT: Despite Editorial Backing, It's, Time to Pause on Inspection Law and Let Voters Have Their Say

     It's no surprise the rental inspection proposal championed by Councilman Stephen Jennings got editorial support today from the WDT.  What's not known is whether the proposal will move forward given what seems the lack of public support.
     Forget the public hearing. That is only a part of opinion. When you talk to people....real landlords and others, the support is just not there.
    It is viewed as intrusive, expensive, duplicative and most of all unlikely to accomplish its stated goal of  reducing blightt.
     It is portrayed as a harmless start to addressing what is seen as substandard housing.
     I am not sure it is so benigm, and there is no demonstrated desire to spend the kind of money needed to implement such a widespread crackdown.
      Council members say they want to tweek the proposal and are hesitant to oppose the Councilman widely considered to be the next Mayor.  One such tweek is to eliminate inspection and only pursue registration.
       One also wonders why the issue stops at the city line. Isn't this a regional issue as well ?
       I don't know if this will pass, but for now it's in limbo and with Mr. Jennings term in office up next year, it seems a valid election year issue where voters can weigh in.
      For now, no hasty action is needed.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/we-can-live-with-this-councilman-jenningss-rental-inspection-plan-worth-pursuing-20160925

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gennifer Flowers ‘agrees’ to sit front row at first debate | New York Post

   Team Hillary and her media sycophants were all giddy announcing Trump nemesis and critic Marc Cuban would be in the front row at Monday's debate....Now it looks like a tit for tat as Jennifer Flowers has agreed to sit in the front row too.

    This is hand to hand combat.

Gennifer Flowers ‘agrees’ to sit front row at first debate | New York Post

New York Times endorses Hillary Clinton - POLITICO

   Doesn't the NY Times endorse her every day ?

New York Times endorses Hillary Clinton - POLITICO

Trump could win the debate simply by bluffing | New York Post

    Can Donald Trump win the night on Monday without the reservoir of factoids and wonkish knowledge Hillary Clinton's life has afforded her ?
     Maybe, if his demeanor is pleasant and his tone strong to suggest leadership.
      Mr. Trump needs a decisively better performance as anything close to a tied will be deemed a win for Mrs Clinton in the days afterword.
      Both sides have prepped but in different ways. What are your thoughts ?
Trump could win the debate simply by bluffing | New York Post

WDT: Literary Chaos Peddled as Political Analysis

      So I thought I'd read this locally written OP/ED on Trump penned by SLU Prof. Peter Ladd. I concluded the professor doesn't like Mr. Trump, but I knew that when I read where he worked.
       I concluded the writer was overly marinated in academia when I read the gobbled-gook offered up as political insight and analysis.
        Read it and tell me what he is saying.  Perhaps I am obtuse and unsophisticated...but this tome is really nonsensical.
         I will stipulate though that I am an uneducated, blue collar, old white male and that's not a demographic on a par with Canton's intelligentsia.
Watertown Daily Times | Peter D. Ladd: Donald Trump is the master of chaos

WDT: Stefanik Wants Cuomo to Look Into Dairy Irregularities in Canada

        Maybe this is why Ernie got our MOC all mixed up with the now retired bovine spokesperson Elsie.
Her concern with NNY dairy farmers is laudable and appreciated.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Cuomo Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Says 2018 Bid is on Track


     Like a man shocked to learn of gambling in a casino, Governor Cuomo says he had no inkling of the alleged corruption around him and his economic development programs.
    The US Attorney did assert there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Governor.
     Mr. Cuomo says none of this affects his plans to seek reelection in 2018, although potential opponents like 2014 hopeful Rob Astorino and AG Eric Schneiderman likely see an opening.
      I'd keep an eye on Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who has run his operation without scandal, and is an affable and effective campaigner.
      Contesting a Democratic primary against a powerful incumbent is risky, but its a certainty Astorino will try again.
http://www.wgrz.com/news/politics/cuomo-condemns-corruption-case-vows-reforms/324811575

Charlotte Shooting Aftermath Extends into the Weekend

       It's always iffy to compare two of the these police/black shooting incidents in the news so much these days but there is one interesting common thread.
      Both of the deceased also seemed to have some level of disability. One missing an eye and use of one ear and the other having suffered from a traumatic brain injury. So all the screams to submit from officers could have confused the two middle aged men who didn't seem inclined to be on the path to a showdown with police.
      There's nothing new in any of this. It's just we see it now due to video, and these showdowns, like combat scenes are not pleasant when you actually see it.
     Another victim of the aftermath in Charlotte are businesses closed due to civil unrest and the people who work there. That continued  for a fourth night Friday and with the release of new disturbing video and the failure to release government tapes, the trouble may continue.
     Even politicking had to be put off as Hillary Clinton nixed a pre debate trip to Charlotte on Sunday at the request of local leaders.
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/charlotte-shooting-video-footage-shows-fatal-encounter-between-police-keith-n653426

WDT: Trust to Regionalize

       With loan funds underutilized, the Watertown Local Development Corporation is regionalizing and plans to solicit loan applications from outside the city.
       This is a new policy and will allow the trust to be another of the alphabet agencies part of JCIDA projects and that's something the county agency has sought for years.
      Other's have argued the "Trust" should be focused on urban redevelopment and not water down its impact over a large area.
       The loan fund originated with a repaid Urban Development Action Grant related to NYAB's building of a foundry decades ago.
      The WLDC is staffed with two people and is top heavy on administrative costs, with the rationale that it can promote and market in-city development, particularly downtown where the size of the $10M portfolio could have impact.
     If it becomes just another component in the IDA tool box, that identity will fade and so will it's status as its own agency. One suspects as current staff retires, structure will change.
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/watertown-trust-to-expand-outreach-beyond-city-20160924