Saturday, December 12, 2009

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin spars with William Shatner on 'Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien'

-Sarah Palin was on the Tonight Show Friday giving Bill Shatner a shock...Captain Kirk has been poking fun at Palin's new book by reading passages with a beatnick musical trio in the background...It is dry humor the way Shatner can deliver. Palin showed up unannounced last night and did a reading from Shatner's book. Shatner is a great actor and I am sure he appreciated the theater of Sarah's surprise visit.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin spars with William Shatner on 'Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien'

Weekend Happenings

-I like history and my favorite feature of the Watertown Daily Times is Dave Shampine's history pieces. I ran into Dave in the City Historians lair in the basement of City Hall this week. I won't reveal what he was working on but you will find it an interesting vignette on life downtown many years ago. Dave has agreed to a HOTLINE visit.
-Speaking of the Times, their sales boss tweeted me to say ad sales are up 10% this year which is quite an accomplishment given the economy and the free fall of newspapers in general.
-Post Office is doing a good job...Mom mailed a package Thursday PM in NC and it got here Saturday AM.
-John Moore continues to migrate back to his rural roots in Lisbon. Last night at the radio Christmas party John says his next vehicle will be a pick-up truck. He currently drives a Sportage. John will be the most dapper gentleman farmer in all of St. Lawrence County.
-Speaking of the party....great food and atmosphere at the Brew Pub in Sackets. Steve Flynn a wonderful host. He was showing me his fancy Italian-made draft dispenser. Has a glass washer on the drain tray. Steve calls it a beer mug bidet.
-Dave Mance is returning to Watertown Tuesday from Florida. Dave is still hoping the Hospital will name the new parking deck after him.

Audacity One Can Only Hope For

During the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Oslo,it was interesting to note that a scant five years ago the recipient of the award was a State Senator from a district in Chicago with no national or international portfolio.
When you think about it that's really an amazing sequence of events and it shows that one path to success is to be so audacious.
It doesn't always work, but the notion you wait your turn and work your way up like you would the chairs at the Elks Club is hardly riddled with success stories. Just ask Presidents Dole, McCain or Kerry.
To win with audacity you have to have a story to tell and have the good fortune to run in one of those "change" years.
You have to be able to win a Peace Prize a week after you went to war.
Now that's audacity!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Exclusive: Officials Were Warned

The Gouverneur Times continues its stories on alleged shortcomings in the recently used optical scan voting systems. The assertions put the GT at odds with rival Watertown Daily Times which has been defending the voting and calling the GT a phony "pseudo news site."
The sites (GT) that are not real news organizations but play them on the Internet threaten the credibility of all the legitimate sites when they pump out a product for no other reason but to make a few bucks.
Sounds like some catty scribes at work here.
Exclusive: Officials Were Warned

Tiger in the Tall Grass as Bimbo Eruption Continues.

A more contrite sounding Tiger Woods is taking a hiatus from professional golf to work on his marriage, parenting, and human skills....
Two grueling weeks of revelations about Woods' rambunctuous personal life have left his commercial endorsement business in tatters....and the viability of his five year marriage in question.
For the PGA, the prospect of golf without Tiger is frightening but the string of women going on TV to talk about his sexual exploits has been debilitating to Tiger's squeaky clean image.
Some reports say Tiger and his bride Elin may go to Sweden to escape media scrutiny.
One of the mistresses reportedly was from Ogdensburg.

WHS White Christmas Performances this Weekend !

Watertown High Students will offer holiday entertainment this weekend....Well worth the time spent !
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

High Tech Hanukkah

History has posed plenty of challenges for Judaism as we saw with the recent destruction of the Public Square Menorah...the symbol of that religion and the celebration of Hanukkah.
Technology is making ritual a little easier.
Used to be you had to light the Hanukkah lamps with olive oil...Not just any olive oil, but special oil from the first squeezings of the olive...Then there were candles and other fuels followed by the electric light which still required turning on a bulb everyday for eight days.
The city's new Menorah is solid state and can be programmed so the proper light comes on a the right time every day. You don't even have to go outside to observe the holiday.
The old days with the olives may have involved more acts of faith....but technology certainly takes the fuss even out of a venerable institution like Hanukkah.
Rabbi Roth is urging those who want to be hearty soles to join him Sunday at 4:30 for the lighting of the third LED candle.

Brick Surges to Fire Commissioner Win in Clayton

The insurgent candidacy of Cary Brick has lifted the former Congressional aide to the job as Clayton fire commissioner.
Mr. Brick credits his win to last minute endorsements by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.
"The tea partiers really came through for me !," quipped Mr. Brick.
Watertown Daily Times | Cary Brick elected fire commissioner in Clayton district

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jack Nicklaus on Tiger Woods' reputation: 'We've always been a forgiving society'

The Golden Bear is offering the wisdom of his years on the Tiger Woods situation. Jack Nicklaus says Woods problems are personal and he will work them out, as this is a forgiving society.

Jack Nicklaus on Tiger Woods' reputation: 'We've always been a forgiving society'

WDT: Congressional Campaign Cost Just Under $7million !

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

Hanukkah...Snow....and Holiday Parties....and a Little Politics

- With just hours to spare , city crews will erect the Menorah on Public Square at 9 AM Friday.
The array of lights is used in the celebration of Hanukkah which begins at sundown Friday.
The Menorah will return to its past location at the far east end of the Square after the previous aluminum structure located near the manger scene was destroyed by vandals on Thanksgiving night.
Rabbi Roth of Watertown is inviting people to join him Sunday at 4:30 for the lighting of the third candle. Rabbi Roth says solidarity and tolerance are needed following the destruction of this symbol of Judaism.

-After a slow start winter got some gusto today with whiteouts and cars off the road.
The bands of lake effect snow will hopefully settle in to the south of Watertown, but large accumulations in some areas are possible.

-Christmas parties in full swing....Attended the Bernier Carr party Thursday at the BRVC....Lots of toys collected....Friday is the company party for the radio station....And next week....lots of them...

-County Legislator Barry Ormsby says the GOP has been doing polling the past week or so to see if he is a viable candidate to oppose Sen. Darrel Aubertine. Ormsby and St. Lawrence County Clerk Patty Ritchie are thought to be the most likely Republican hopefuls although neither has committed to running.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Maple City's Finest !

-Talked to some Ogdensburg residents last night who were visiting Watertown....They did indeed know Mindy Lawton and described her as a partier even in high school....
While she didn't achieve national fame in the way figure skater April Sargent did for the Maple City, Ms. Lawton has at least made the 'Burg a footnote to the most sensational gossip story of 2009-10.
Attached is another view from the WDT SLC editor.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

'Top-To-Bottom Review' Underway In State Senate »

In their top to bottom review of the State Senate, how about turning the institution upside down....Sen. John Sampson has proved no more adept at ending dysfunction that former Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. Having Espada as part of the leadership...even if in name only....has done no good.
How about a decent,straightforward upstater like Darrel Aubertine for majority leader....These NYC guys are too marinated in the clubhouse politics of the five boroughs. It won't happen and the current dysfunction will continue.
'Top-To-Bottom Review' Underway In State Senate »

News From a Windy Day

-The weather outside is getting frightful......
After an extraordinary fall with mild temperatures and no snow, winter-like weather is headed our way.....
Drive carefully and stay safe.
-Our good friend Rabbi Roth has suggested folks gather Sunday at 4:30 to light the third candle on the Menorah on Public Square. Rabbi Roth wants to show solidarity in the wake of recent vandalism that destroyed the previous Menorah.
-The legal descriptions are being gathered to officially name the city's newest street. Hudson Lane will be part of the Summit Woods project just off Washington Street. The street follows a tradition of naming streets for former mayors...in this case Mayor Henry Hudson....who was also a justice in NYS Supreme Court.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blogging is Good for the Gray Matter

I was reading comments today and noticed I was excoriated for being on my "high horse" criticising the "Senator" while others thought my plate parody of Republican Patty Ritchie was unfair to a "fresh face" in local politics.....
I guess that amounts to "fair and balanced..."
The partisans only react to perceived slights against their guy...
Couple days back I had a great conversation with a NYSUT member who described herself as a "progressive liberal." She said she loved reading this blog.....
How can that be ?
Easy, smart people like to have their ideas and orthodoxy challenged.
That's why I will read Palin's book and Frank Rich's columns. Or enjoy both a Maureen Dowd or Ann Coulter.
Of course I won't identify the teacher in question. There are not that many phys ed teachers and I wouldn't want to subject her to peer ridicule.

Tiger Woods TV Ads Disappear After Reports of Affairs (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

Tiger ads are disappearing and Gatorade has dropped a drink with his name on it. The effects of the Tiger Woods bimbo eruption are being felt. Initial statements of support from advertisers would have held if the word "egregious" were not attached to Woods's escapades with various women other than his wife.
Stories of police concerns over impairment and the apparent departure of wife Elin from Wood's home are taking a toll on the $100 million plus annual endorsement income enjoyed by the golfer.
While coverage is pervasive and perhaps excessive, the prospects for containing the scandal are growing dim.
Many continue to insist its a personal matter and that men in his position do these things. But the number willing to cut him that much slack is far less than the 80+% of Americans who used to think highly of him.
Tiger Woods TV Ads Disappear After Reports of Affairs (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

Plummer Wins Shapiro Award

Now this is a fellow who deserves the recognition....Mike Plummer spends countless hours on community and soldier-oriented activities. Good choice.
Watertown Daily Times | Shapiro Award goes to Plummer

State Sen. Darrel Aubertine: Joseph Bruno lost sight of his job to serve public | News from The Post-Standard -

Senator Darrel Aubertine says Joe Bruno lost sight of what public service.....Well, that's hardly a rare ailment in the state capital.
Bruno's conviction on two federal corruption counts has the hand wringing going on....among the pols and among the Albany media who watch the hijinx day in and day out.
Some still degend Bruno...saying he got things done and provided the firewall against a liberal Assembly. He was a defender of upstate and Long Island where the GOP used to be able to craft a majority caucus.
But Senator Aubertine should pay some attention to the hoodlums and thugs in his own caucus.....Mr. Aubertine gets to enjoy majority status because of the likes of Pedro Espada and Hiram Montserrate....In fact throughout Albany there are so many people in phony jobs arranged for them in exchange for who knows what....
Unfortunately party politics and the decorum of the body prevent a fellow like Aubertine from denouncing his esteemed collegues.
In Albany, you have to wait till someone is retired and convicted before you can condemn them.
State Sen. Darrel Aubertine: Joseph Bruno lost sight of his job to serve public | News from The Post-Standard -

To Pave or Not to Pave....That's the Council's Question

Last night City Council put off action on a special use permit for property on State Street. The former gas station on the corner of Rutland and State was sold to local businessman Mark Bonner last year in a controversial sale.
Now Mr. Bonner wants to rent the building to a man for use as a small used car lot. Now that's not what City Council thought would go there when it was sold to Mr. Bonner in a private sale without competitive bidding. Council members thought a Tim Horton doughnut shop was going there.
At the time I voted against the sale, instead preferring an auction as other qualified bidders had come forth.
A lot of time has passed and the car lot was apparently the only development option for the long-vancant parcel.
While I didn't agree with the circumstances of the sale, the fact is the property is Mr. Bonner's now and with no objections noted from the neighbors he should be able to rent the property.
Council wants to make paving the parking lot a condition of the special use permit.
Everybody would like to see it paved but that is expensive and the car lot operator is uncertain he can afford to do it. Further Council wants to place a two year deadline on paving.
I believe this is wrong.
Paving is not mandatory to run a business and if Council wants to suggest it is, they should make that an up front condition, although I would question the legal basis for such a condition.
If it is not paved by 2011, the only Council redress is to revoke the permit and put the lot out of business. How likely is that to happen ?
I didn't like the handling of the sale of the property and frankly have not been enamored with the owner. However its his property now and I do not feel obliged to block his efforts or subject them to whimsical conditions.
We will see what is proposed at the next Council meeting.

The End Result of Letting Senate Republicans Shape Your Political Persona

I am a Patty Ritchie fan.....but if she really is running for Senate she better get beyond license plates before the MSM wants to do an extended interview that ends up like this:

MSM: Senator Aubertine has opposed the farm labor bill....Do you also oppose efforts to protect agricultural workers ?

PR: I support our farmers and their right to operate their tractors without the burden of puttin' those expensive license plates on 'em.

MSM: Mr. Aubertine voted against same sex marriage....How do you stand ?

PR: I could only support that abomination if we made those gay newlyweds put a special plate on their Saabs and Volvos that said GAY 4 LIFE

MSM: Do you support an extended navigation season on the St. Lawrence River ?

PR: As long as it doesn't affect the folks from Heuvelton gettin' out on the Big River in our unlicensed pick-ups and sittin' in our shacks while navigatin' through a couple 18 packs of PBR.

MSM: Would you have voted for the deficit reduction package passed last week ?

PR: You Betcha' I would to eliminate that gosh darn deficit so long as hard workin'
families with cars on the front lawn don't have to buy those dang plates made by the hard workin' felons in prisons like the great ones in our district.

MSM: Mr. Aubertine favors Big Wind...where do you stand on the issue ?

PR: A big wind to blow away those dang shad flies is always welcome.

MSM: Are you worried that the plate issue serves to characterize you as a one trick pony ?

PR: Maybe the media elite at the Watertown Times don't mind payin' 25 bucks for a retro plate for their Acuras and Infinities, but my friends....like that sweety from the Burg who hooked up with Tiger.....we can't be spending on David Paterson's crazy scheme to send our money to those good-for-nothing New York City liberals who register their cars in my DMV office.

MSM: But are you a one trick pony ?

PR: 'Course not....just don't want our seniors to have to choose between food and license plates.

MSM: Thank you.

(For those who don't understand satire, this is a fictional transcript)

Monday, December 7, 2009

City Council Stuff

-Council tabled the resolution for a special use permit for a car lot on State Street. Two Council members want to impose a condition to requiring paving of the lot by 2011.
-Council approved the collection of the County tax levy...The money is collected by the city comptroller. The County Legislature increased the levy by a little over three percent.
-Lawmakers agreed to pursue hiring a Thompson Blvd physician as the City's Health Officer.
-Heard an update on state aid...better than expected...however the Governor is threatening to withhold over $700K in aid already approved....So we are not out of the woods at all
-I told the Council about the proposal to raise dollars for the Menorah replacement. None of them reached for their checkbooks.
-Honored a city man for helping the police.
-Discussed PBA contract talks.

Bruno Guilty on Corruption Charges...Faces Jail Time

Politics as usual in the state capital took it on the chin today when a jury found former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno guilty on two corruption counts. The jury acquitted him on five others and was deadlocked on the eight count.
It's all about pay to play....hiring folks like Bruno to do no work...in essence, a way to channel money his way in exchange for legislative or regulatory consideration.
Some say Bruno was set up and the charges trumped up....Like all corruption cases, its a conviction on an individual matter that is supposed to be symptomatic of overall behavior.
Joe Bruno was a wheeler dealer and if he is corrupt, are those who supported him enablers ?....and is Bruno any worse than the Espadas...Parkers...and Montserrate offered up by the Dems ?
How you feels depends on party affiliation, I guess.
By the way, there is a stadium in Renssalaer County named for Joe Bruno.


The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

Let's Show Some Spirit and Some Disapproval at the Same Time

Heard a great suggestion today from a HOTLINE caller who relayed a letter sent to the paper by city resident Peggy Coe.
The suggestion was to send donations to the city comptroller to pay for replacement of the Menorah destroyed by vandals.
This is a great idea and a means to show disdain for the thoughtless acts by these vandals who so far have not been caught.
Send donations to:
City Comptroller
245 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Write "holiday decorations" on the check and it will go into a separate trust account for this project and future maintenance of the Public Square holiday decorations.
Thank you for the suggestion.

WDT: Ogdenburg Woman's Hair Pulled By Tiger

An Ogdensburg Free Academy grad is the one who had her hair pulled by Tiger Woods during rough sex at the golfer's Florida home. The WDT reports Minday Lawton hails from the the Maple City.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York#2009912079996#2009912079996#2009912079996#2009912079996

NYDN: Aubertine an Ignoble Farmer

The New York Daily News has blasted Senator Darrel Aubertine for blocking passage of a farm labor bill that farmers say would have inflicted undo hardship on their troubled industry.
The legislation was pushed by big labor, including the Working Families Party, a group in part responsible for the election of Mr. Aubertine.
Passage of the bill would have put farm workers on parity with other workers and was seen as a way to help people being "exploited" by the agriculture industry.

The upstate Democrat's name is Darrel Aubertine. Remember it well. He represents farmers who would prefer to keep exploiting this rather captive workforce. In fact, he is a farmer himself.
Noble profession. Ignoble behavior: He asked to block the bill from seeing the light of day. He even deep-sixed a watered-down compromise.

-NYDN

Republicans were hoping to use passage of the bill as a club in their effort to defeat Aubertine this coming year, but with the bill not passing that club goes away.
The flip side is that the WFP has had to eat crow by getting involved in upstate races, then not being able to control the person they elect.
New York

City PD Announces Arrest in Saturday Night Shooting

This morning this release, via Newzjunky.com from city police naming a 17 year old as the shooter who Saturday night killed a city man at a home at 715 State Street.
Jireh Di'shon Finney, 17, of 717 State St., Apt. B, Watertown, was charged by Watertown police at 2:15 a.m. Monday with second-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery.
He is being held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building pending arraignment this morning in City Court.
A weapon, believed to have been used in the shooting death of Ronald F. Gowing, 43, has been recovered, according to Lt. Frank J. Derrigo.


The brazen shooting on the front porch of a home on a busy street at 8:30 in the evening is indicative of the subculture that exists here and thanks go to Chief Goss and his force for solving the crime quickly.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

1st Brigade Gets the Call

-Fort Drums's commander confirmed tonight a Newzjunky story that the Tenth Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will be leaving for Afghanistan mid-March.
Major General James Terry made the announcement at a Christmas reception Sunday for community leaders held at the LeRay Mansion. MG Terry said his soldiers maintain the freedoms that America enjoys and do the bidding of the national leadership when called upon.
The 1st Brigade originally was to go to Iraq this month but those orders were cancelled as US presence in Iraq is decreasing and the Afghan war is ramping up after this week's announcement by President Obama.
The Tenth continues to be among the most deployed units in the Army.

Menorah Destruction on Island Labled What it is....A Hate Crime

The AP reports the Long Island community of Holbrook had its eleven foot aluminum Menorah torn down and twisted in what officials there are investigating as a hate crime. The Suffolk County PD actually has a hate crimes unit.
The Menorah on Watertown's Public Square was destroyed recently by vandals. The motive was clearly hate....but up here we don't call things hate crimes per se.
On Long Island, there have been several such crimes in recent years.
While the vandals here in Watertown were not caught, we should not mistake these motives for anything other than hate and condemn the actions accordingly.
A new Menorah is expected to be on Public Square this week.

2 new Woods gals, S&M bombshell revealed - NYPOST.com

So he takes his wife to Perkin's restaurant while she is pregnant....Then when the wife is out of town he comes back to the restaurant.....hooks up with a sassy 33 year old redhead...she follows his Escalade home in her old Saturn and they have rough sex in the mansion where golf's greatest lives with his wife and two children. This goes on a couple of years and like many other liason's, rumors and news coverage are tamped down by Tigers staff of damage control experts.
The latest drip drip drip of mistress revelations is testing even those who say it's just his personal life and he is still a good golfer.
All of that may be true....but now when you see Tiger pitching razor blades, Gatorade or some other All-American product, won't you be thinking about the waitress who said Tiger likes to pull her hair while she talks dirty to him.
There's a point where the chuckle factor with Tiger overrides his skills on the green.
Are we there yet....maybe not...but definately getting there.
2 new Woods gals, S&M bombshell revealed - NYPOST.com