Saturday, December 25, 2010

Top Stories of the Year Gone By.....You Tell Us

One of the rituals of the final week of the year is musing about the top local stories of the year gone by.
Some come to mind quickly, like the elections and the related stories about toppled incumbents and outrageous spending.
There is the Cuomo juggernaut and the Paladino meltdown.
Dysfunction and deficits plagued the State Capital.
Mercy Healthcare finally careened out of control and has been forced on a path to closure.
The economy bucking the national trend with surging retail and unemployment at or below the national average...
I am sure there are some fires, crimes and trials of note.....
Take a turn at naming the top local stories. Submit your comments and we will post them.

You Dressed Your Dog in a Bun and Sent a Photo to Me ?

I have a dachsund, so I am by no means being critical of Democrat Brian McGrath for owning one too...I am sure his Roxy is a delightful pooch.
But...politics is politics and in the rural and redneck precincts of the 122nd Assembly District, they just don't dress up their dog in a hot dog roll...Or if they do, it's in the privacy of their own home.
If Mr. McGrath is going to run again for this seat, he needs to leave Roxy home and take a Lab or a Golden out for photo ops.
Roxy might play in big cities like Watertown or in the ultra liberal college towns of St. Lawrence County....but in southern Jefferson County or in the foothills of the Adirondacks, they just expect a little more bite from their candidate's canines.

Christmas, 1776 – Washington Soundly Defeats British at Trenton

Not all Christmas Days in America were quiet times of solitude with family...In the uncertain, early days of the American Revolution, when British suppression of the uprising seemed almost sure, it was a daring Christmas attack in 1776 by George Washington against a British backed garrison in Trenton, NJ that was later seen as a key turning point that galvanized sagging spirits in the colonies and showed to foreign powers the rebel army was a force to contend with.
It could be argued that America's greatest Christmas gift was Washington's against-all-odds crossing of the Delaware and victories that month in Trenton and later in Princeton.
All of this is worth remembering as well if you are in the mood to talk at the dinner table about the real meaning of Christmas.
Christmas, 1776 – Washington soundly defeats British at Trenton Suffolk County Liberty Report

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bristol Palin, sun bird? Daughter Buys House in Arizona

Dance star and Sarah Palin daughter Bristol has bought a house in Arizona. The local newspaper reports she paid $172,ooo for the home in Maricopa County. It's hard to keep them in the tundra once they have seen the Lower 48.
Bristol Palin, sun bird? - AMIE PARNES POLITICO CLICK

Merry Christmas to All !

On this Christmas Eve, I would like to extend wishes for a Merry Christmas to all the people of Watertown. In particular I wish the best for all our City employees and their families and thank them for another year of dedicated service.
I also thank my employees, especially Diana who has become a dedicated and dependable overseer of Fort Pearl. In the busy year ahead, I will rely on her even more. Also, a blessed Holiday for Fort Pearl's customers who make it all possible.
Today and tomorrow on Christmas, I look forward to welcoming Holiday visitors to Fort Pearl. There is little I enjoy more than seeing friends and customers on these happy occasions.
We have a New Year's Eve wedding set for this year and expect a festive atmosphere for the Holiday week.
And finally, a big Holiday shout out to all of you who have been reading this humble blog. What started as a hobby is still very much that, but also a way to share my ideas and views as well as highlight the interesting things in our City you may not see or read elsewhere.
Merry Christmas to you all !

Paterson “Has Vacated” The Governor’s Mansion | Politics on the Hudson

It's not know how much he will live there, but Governor-elect Cuomo will have time to check out the Executive Mansion on Eagle Street in Albany as Governor David Paterson says he is out of there, choosing to spend his last holiday season in office at his NYC home.
Mr. Cuomo no doubt knows the mansion well from his dad's days as Governor, but it's likely he will continue to spend considerable time at his girlfriend's house in Mount Kisco in Westchester County.
The mansion was built in a era when ,once elected, the Governor wanted to be within walking distance of the Capitol. In more recent times the residence has been used less often as a place to lay your head.
Paterson “Has Vacated” The Governor’s Mansion Politics on the Hudson

A Note From Liz

Liz is on vacation, Jude is between jobs and there isn't much going on in Albany....But I am still in the loop and if I hear of anything important, I will pass it along.
There are still important things going on like getting an office up and running for the new State Senator, trying to figure out what the new governor will say at his swearing in, or speculating on redistricting,
Liz says she will travelabroad with spotty cell service......It will test her relaxation quotient, as Liz is always in the game.
A Note From Liz

Thursday, December 23, 2010

McMillan warns Obama - Ben Smith -

Imagine if a white person said this...Read on.
McMillan warns Obama - Ben Smith -

Popular Christmas Gift For Women: Guns - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando

A left wing socialist regime in DC is at least good for the gun industry as sales are up in a nation where some fear the continued absorption of individual rights by the state.
In particular,women are buying firearms. Very Palinesque,wouldn't you say ?
Popular Christmas Gift For Women: Guns - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando

All They Want for Christmas is a Few Open Parking Spaces

I was down to Solitary Consignment, a delightful store on Public Square, where I met with merchants about their parking concerns. TV 7s John Moore was there so you can see his coverage at 6PM.
They had several suggestions which I will take back to City Hall, but on a personal level, I want to appeal to those downtown workers and business owners who park all day and play the cat and mouse game of moving cars after they have been chalked.
Please try to leave the on street spaces for shoppers and the disabled. The short walk from the JB Wise lot will help keep businesses viable.

Sarah Needs to Speak Out and End the Silliness in the Courts

A phenominal rising from the grave victory for Senator Lisa Murkowski running as a write in candidate is arguably the single most interesting political tale of 2010 and its overdue for her opponent and her opponent's most famous supporter to suck it up and congratulate the winner.
After losing a GOP primary, Sen. Murkowski went rogue and defied party dogma to run as a write in....Say what you want about the sanctity of a party primary, but she overcame tremendous odds and the continued court fights are unseemly. Every reasonable count has her the winner.
Senator Murkowski will represent AK for six more years, and former Governor Palin would serve the process well by saying its over and in effect ending her candidates efforts.
Lisa Murkowski goes rogue - Meredith Shiner -

This is Scandalous But Not a Scandal in Rural Madison County

Wow, this story is a good metaphor for whats wrong with government....Little podunk counties hiring Al D'Amato's consulting firm to the tune of a million dollars to help the county gain access to important politicians.....
Al D’Amato, ‘Wizard Of Oz’?

Media Matters......Inside Baseball Stories Popular

People like their media stories...The Blogger site meter shows Jude Seymour stories are the most viewed on this site this month and the third most viewed since Blogger started keeping track last spring.

Is it the Weather or Something Else ?

Texas has no income tax and gains four Congressional seats....New York has a 7.9% personal income tax with a special higher rate for the rich and we lost two Congressional seats...
The Census data is revealing in many ways.

JETS Try to Deal With Latest Sidelines Flap

With the JETS poised to clinch a playoff spot in Chicago on Sunday, suddenly an enormous distraction...Coach Rex Ryan and his wife Michelle are linked to foot fetish and swinger websites while he was a coach with the Baltimore Ravens.
The NY media is going nuts over it, but really, what's the offense ? A happy 23 marriage and a successful (10-4) NFL coach.
I am a JETS fan and I'll be rooting for them. So don't let the MSM get you down. They are easily aroused.
Jets coach bashful about foot-fetish questions -

WDT: Paterson KOs Power Panacea

These power deals seem great....Jobs,Jobs,Jobs....Publicly owned electricity targeted at businesses....good paying jobs for America's working families.
The reason is the electric the tax climate is so unappealing in NY State, that taking the electricity of the many and selling it cheap to a few businesses or municipal systems is a way to mitigate that.
What about the masses of people....families...small businesses that pay the long price for juice ? We have created small enclaves of low price power using a system of production paid for by all of us. Good for those who had the good fortune or foresight to get a piece of the electric dole......
We need to be careful when the public's resources, be it money or electricity, is set aside to be divied up by Big Business and Big Labor......
It's just another way of thinking about these redistribution schemes sold as economic development.
Watertown Daily Times Paterson nixes power deal

Aid to 9/11 Workers on the Way

Love was in the air as New York's two US Senators cooed over passage of the Zadroga Bill, providing aid to victims and famlies of the aftermath and cleanup of 9/11. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had been the most persistent in seeking passage of the bill that the GOP was holding up over concerns about how the aide would be paid for.
In the end the emotional appeals of the sick and dying probably did as much as anything to promote a caving in by Republicans increasingly chagrined by reaction to their position.
As for not know how it will be paid for....Why should that stop Washington ?
State of Politics Blog

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cuomo Has Seven Christmas Trees

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has not one but seven Christmas trees to look for gifts under....but he doesn't likely have to worry about decorating any of them...He can leave that to girlfriend Sandra Lee, the homemaker and Food Network star who owns the Westchester home she and Mr.Cuomo live in.
It appears the new Governor will be living a Martha Stewart lifestyle with Ms. Lee....although I doubt they will spend much time in the dowdy official residence on Eagle Street in Albany.
As you can see from the photo, Ms. Lee is a fan of all things white and is known for her meticulous place settings and home decorating. Don't just throw you clothes on the floor in this home !
Capitol Confidential » Andrew Cuomo has seven Christmas trees

Playboy's Miss Social

Winner of Playboy's Miss Social honors...Whatever that is.
Playboy's Miss Social (2)

Crazy Legs Bartender Wins Playboy Honors

Watertown woman wins Playboy honors...Details to folo.
Cassandra Marie Walker (2)

Massachusetts Lad Named Political Scribe for WDT

The Watertown Daily Times has vowed to fight back after the loss of its ace political scribe to the rival WWNY-TV.....The newspaper's managing editor Robert Gorman has named SU Grad and Bay State native Brian Amarel as replacement for Jude S.

Pre Holiday Musings

Kumbaya in DC....the 911 workers aid bill...the START Treaty, no more DADT, a tax deal.....Wow !
NNY assured of a white Christmas and beyond as below freezing but pleasant temperatures prevail through the weekend.
Imagine buying Akwasasne Indian cigarettes at $8 a carton, selling them for $20 and having a state Legislature so proud of itself. for its tax policy...Its going on everyday.
KUDOS to Gray's Wholesale in Clayton for their always jovial way when I am there to buy cigarettes for the tavern.
Found out today that liquor stores have to close on Christmas...but you can buy all the beer you want on the holiday.....betcha when supermarkets get wine, they'll be able to sell it that day. No Lotto allowed that day, so it's moved up to Friday out of respect for the Lord.
Looking forward to the holiday weekend....Its a great time to see so many friends and customers.

Sheriff Retires...Then Takes Office Again January First

Somehow all of the bloviating about pension reform rings shallow when you hear the story on YNN this morning that newly relected Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh has submitted retirement papers and will take the office anew on January 1st....Pension plus salary !
It's all probably legal and I know that's the system we play under.....I think people should be able to retire with some degree of security, but really....Is this right ? Can we afford to keep doing this?
The answer is no....Enjoy your retirement Sheriff....along with Pedro Espada who also filed his retirement papers this week.
Time for a defined contribution system for new hires.....
The Sheriff tells YNN's Bill Carey, "this is common practice in law enforcment."
Indeed it is....Our new lieutenant governor is drawing a large pension from being a Rochester city cop and has another retirement in the offing as mayor and LG.
No wonder so many retirees love New York.
Mail just arrived...Got a Christmas card from Matt Doheny

WDT: Harter tapped for seat on board

The administrator for the Town of LeRay will take over the County Legislature seat being vacated by Assemblyman-elect Ken Blankenbush. Steve Harter will take on the second job which pays I think around $13 or $14K.
Mr. Harter is well known in Town government and has relationships with others in government. As an existing government employee the extra income will result in a pension bump as well.
The seat will be subject to election in the 2011 cycle. I assume they will have redistricted by then, and the Town of LeRay may end up with three districts wholly contained within the Town due to increased population on Fort Drum.
Watertown Daily Times Harter tapped for seat on board

Hyundai, Kia, VW Top Insurance Industry Safe Cars List ...Good News for FX

Wow, my former co-workers at FX Caprara have to be happy about this...The franchises we worked to sell at the outer Washington Street store are listed as the top cars for safety.
Kia and VW top the list and my experience was that safety was always an issue consumers focus much or more as gas mileage.
Since leaving the dealership, Kia has moved to a stand-alone store in the former Saturn Building and a new Volkswagen showroom is being built across from the main store which will soon house Chrysler/Jeep.
Congrats to Billy, Brad and the gang at FX. As for me, I buy at the Alex Bay store so I can visit with Crazy Ray.
Hyundai, Kia, VW Top Insurance Industry Safe Cars List « CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NNY District is Holy Grail to Some.....Not to Me

There will be much said in the MSM in the coming weeks about preserving our North Country Congressional district.....But why should we want to ?
The notion that a vast, hard to cover, biggest district anywhere is good for Watertown is not true
No matter what happens when the map is redrawn to reduce the number of CD's in NY from 29 to 27, Watertown, Fort Drum and Jefferson County will be in somebody's district and that Member of Congress will feel obliged to represent us.
For year's Watertown native John McHugh represented us....Now a Plattsburgh attorney named Bill Owens is our Congressman. When was the last time you or anyone you know went to Plattsburgh ? (Lovely a city as it is)
We have more affinity to a Syracuse than the Vermont suburbs.
Plus as we have seen in recent elections, the current district spans many media markets and is hard to campaign in, or represent.
Who knows what will happen, but I am not one of those tied to the status quo....In the end we will get what we get....Just have to make the best of it.
Census figures could have major impact on North Country » Breaking News » Press-Republican

Addie's Alaska ?

While visiting Dave at the Bistro who is letting me borrow his pretzel display case, I got an email from Ted Ford inviting me to the office Christmas party for his boss, Assemblywoman Addie Russell.
You know how some people have their black friend or their gay friend.....Well, these two are my liberal friends. I went over and learned an interesting tid bit you only find out in an unguarded moment.
The Assemblywoman has been watching "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC....She described the episodes to me, so I knew she wasn't kidding.
Other than that we talked some politics....the Seymour move....and other stuff.
Some lady came in pushing a dolly with office supplies on it.....She unloaded a box of paper, had some snacks and moved on....That's a state job I could relate to.
Ted said to forget about it.
A very pleasant visit, and my wishes for a Merry Christmas to them all.

Merry Christmas Patty !

Must be the Christmas season has our Senator-elect in a spirit of comity and forgiveness. Today I got a lovely Christmas card from Patty Ritchie.
Happy Holidays to you too, and best wishes on your new duties in Albany.

WDT: Creek Wood tax deal Among Items Considered by Council

Monday night I was chided by one Council Member for wishing everyone a happy holiday season, instead of the presumably more Christian greeting, Merry Christmas. I was just being nice and was not part of War on Christmas. For the record, I oppose schools and muicipalities banning the naming of pageants, parades and trees after Christmas.
Indeed, I fully support everyone having a merry fact a very merry and joyous Christmas.
On other things, as you see by the link, Council OK'd the Creekwood Apartments tax deal. We also completed annexation of a small city owned parcel on the southern border of the City. We agreed on a new methodology for evaluating the city manager and city clerk.
A measure to attach a name a street through the middle of the Fairgrounds was tabled. How about the Middle Road ? That's what it is.
Council agreed to listen to an alternative on the Woodruff site access road and the nomination of Matt Doheny to the Library Board was approved.
Some cub scouts were on hand to earn their civics merit badge and firefighters Troy Chisamore and Jeffery Narrow received awards for heroic actions in saving a life at a fire.
Various perfunctory resolutions were passed, and yesterday I signed the deed on the sale of that much talked about land to Friendly's Restaurant and construction is expected to begin in the spring.
Watertown Daily Times Creek Wood tax deal OK'd

Why Does Seymour Have a Link to Nowhere ?

OK, Jude Seymour is leaving his current employer to take a TV job. So when I click on his blog site at the WDT site all you get is a blank page. If he is on the outs, why not get rid of the link ? I know in broadcasting if you tell the boss you are giving notice to move up the street, you are out immediately. I assume its the same in all media and like in the old Soviet Union, all public vestiges of your existence are eliminated.
When you go work for the competition, you can also never go home.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Meet 27-year-old Camden Mayor Jeffrey Graham

Hey, there is another Jeff Graham who is a mayor. He is Jeffrey R. Graham, Mayor of Camden, SC, a city of about 10,000.
Meet 27-year-old Camden Mayor Jeffrey Graham

Just What is the Difference Between a Real and Fake Coach Handbag ?

The Justice Department is cracking down on bogus products being sold to consumers as the real thing.
Everything from purses to drugs...It is said fake goods cost the economy $100 Billion a year....
All of that is said to have led to the Salmon Run Mall on Monday where observers told me fake purses were being seized by federal and state agents. The WDT reported Coach handbags were among the items seized by the Customs and Homeland Security agents. Frankly a fake Coach handbag doesn't make me lose sleep....
However, its interesting a bevy of well paid agents can descend on a kiosk to protect local women from the indignity of a counterfeit handbag.

CPI Fines Paterson $62,125 In Yankees Tickets Case

For David Paterson, getting out of office may not come soon enough...Now the ridiculed lame duck governor has to pay a $62,125 for his ethical lapses in the Yankee tickets caper....Governor Paterson had attended the World Series courtesy of the team, but performed no official function there. When accused of improperly taking gifts he lied about his function and lied in telling probers he intended to pay for the tickets.
He was a candidate for reelection at the time and party leaders were intent on pushing him aside, so he had an interest in not being seen as taking free tickets....So he lied.
Ultimately that was his sin....most people could care less if their governor gets to go to a World Series game, but lying about it prompted the large fine from the state'sPublic Integrity Commission....
One result of this case, is we learned of the existence of such a commission. It would seem they would have their hands full.
CPI Fines Paterson $62,125 In Yankees Tickets Case

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Assistant to the City Manager Ready to Start Jan. 10

The new aide to the City Manager will begin work on January 10th. Elliot Nelson is from Michigan and will fill the position vacated 18 months ago by Bryan White. The position was included in the budget adopted last summer.
At its meeting toinght, City Council approved the salary for Mr. Nelson, and also ratified the appointment of Matt Doheny to the Flower Library Board.
Council also approved a tax deal for the Creekwood Housing project on the north side....
New Assistant to the City Manager Ready to Start Jan. 10

State Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos: We Win. Back To Work! | New York Daily News

The last court fight is over and the Republicans have officially....finally and for sure won control of the State Senate by a 32-30 margin. A district Long Island had been in dispute till a ruling today from the Court of Appeals that the Democrat had no right to further counting of votes.
State Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos: We Win. Back To Work! New York Daily News

Jude to be the "Lady Liz" of Watertown....Bolts Times for TV 7

One of the go-to political reporters of the local 2010 elections has quit his job at the Watertown Daily Times to join WWNY-TV 7, meaning Jude Seymour will become the "Lady Liz" of Watertown.....That's a reference to YNN's Liz Benjamin, a former print reporter turned political blogger and host of Capital Tonight.
Mr. Seymour is a Notre Dame grad and will start his new duties at 7 in January. The departure is a shocking development in local media as Seymour had become a frequent source for the statewide poltical blogs, including YNN, the NYDN and Capitol Confidential.
He turned out a steady stream of material in 2010, but his best work was often relegated to the WDT website and often didn't make print or if it did, was several days later.
For political junkies like yours truly, Jude's blog was required reading and if he recreates the blog at TV, he will be able to finally offer the station legitimate political coverage, an area they have been lacking in. Political coverage is trending towards the cross pollination of print-via-blog and television is a powerful marketing vehicle in news, something never really done in this market before.
Last month I did on-air analysis on election night for TV 7 and they liked having the expertise on the set. With Seymour, they will have such expertise full time.
Mr. Seymour is a comprehensive interviewer. He and his wife spent over half an hour in my basement at Fort Pearl in October interviewing gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis. We were all upstairs wondering what he could find so fascinating in politics....but he is very inquisitive.
This humble blog wishes him well in his new duties.
Award Winning Political Reporter To Join 7 News WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: B-Bush Angry at DEC Bureacracy

Assemblyman -elect Ken Blankenbush is not in office yet, but he has put out a press release about an issue of concern to rural residents. It's wood burning furnaces, that the DEC wants to regulate and plans to do so on Christmas Eve.
Mr. Blankenbush says he the agency is promulgating rules and regulations without adequate public comment.
Get used to it Ken....They are not interested in public least not the public you represent. These agencies do what they please because elected bodies continue to off-load such matters to the unelected bureacrats.
That was what was done with he Rodman land fill. Its done that way to give lawmakers "plausible deniability" when speaking to angry constituents.
But a star to Ken for speaking out early and we will see how he does.
Watertown Daily Times Blankenbush will challenge vote

Sharpton Dances to His Own Tune

In all fairness to the Rev. Al Sharpton, he is a good dancer as is seen in this Liz' blog about a dance contest fundraiser held this weekend in Brooklyn.
State of Politics Blog

DeDe: Thank You Northern New York

With her career in elected office soon to give way to a new avenue in state government, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava has bought an advertisement on Newzjunky to thank voters for her career as Mayor of Gouverneur and Member of the NY Assembly.
DeDe was a media darling and a popular political icon, especially among female voters....but her political career unraveled in 2009 when she assumed that her popularity meant it was her turn to be Member of Congress...a natural succession fortified by county GOP chairs who dutifully gave her the nomination in a special election with no feel for what the party membership was thinking. The result was a brutal internecine battle with Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman that toppled Scozzafava's candidacy and drove her into the waiting arms of June O'Neill and Rep. Steve Israel, who talked her into ditching her campaign and backing Bill Owens. The move worked.. Owens won, but Scozzafava has left scorched earth in the GOP and now she awaits a lifeline from the Cuomo administration.
Assemblywoman Scozzafava did represent well the mood of the community she came from, but reached too far and didn't realize national politics is laced with partisanship and idealogical litmus tests not faced in the down home Republican politics that led to her rise.
We wish her well.
Thank You Northern New York

Giant Collapse Shines Light on Vick Redemption Tour

The Giants collapse at the hands of the Eagles is dominating the talk this AM as fans cannot believe what happened and the initial tirade by Giants coach Tom Coughlin blaming his punter was out of line.....Who could have predicted the return by DeSean Jackson ?
What's most interesting is the seeming redemption of Eagle's quarterback Mike Vick.....I though his return to football was dubious and ill-fated after his prison time for an incredibly brutal spate of dog fighting and animal cruelty. Vick has played better than he ever did in his younger, gangster days in Atlanta and while his past is still disturbing, he is now competing with the Pat's Tom Brady for MVP honors.
I don't know what Vick's inner feelings are, but for those who do something really bad...or just plain sorta bad....It's good to know there is a such thing as redemption....He still has to prove a lot in the way he lives for years to come, but its a great story for now.
Tom Coughlin screams at Matt Dodge, but Giants coach deserves most blame for collapse vs. Eagles

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doheny Soire a Good Time Had By All

Well, I went over to the Christmas Soire at Matt Doheny's Paddock Street pad.....It was a good time....lots of Republican operatives...the Robbins lass...Graham Wise....Anthony Foti.....Mia.....and the GOP stalwarts like incoming County Leg. Chair Carolyn Fitzpatrick...
I had a long chat with the Bach's of Clayton, whom impressed me by being JETS fans.
Tomorrow night, City Council will appoint Mr. Doheny to the Library Board, and the Paddock Street home looked lovely for the Holidays, although the tree was artificial.
There is as little doubt to me about Matt's intentions in 2012.

Giants Suck Really Bad in Meadowlands Choke

As I write this the JETS have whacked the Steelers 22-17 so Gang Green won't get the grief the Giants will at the water coolers tomorrow morning...The Jints gave up 28 unanswered points late in fourth quarter in an epic choke...losing to Michael Vick and the Eagles, 38-31.
It was a Giant choke as grandstanding punt returner DeSean Jackson trotted in the end zone after a taunting dance in front of the pursuing defenders.
DeSean Jackson's punt return touchdown caps Eagles comeback, led by Michael Vick, against Giants

SNL Gets One Last Laugh At Paterson’s Expense

Governor Paterson did have a school named after him this week...and got one last roasting from Saturday Night Live.
SNL Gets One Last Laugh At Paterson’s Expense
Just testing blogging from my cell phone...

Comments Are Improving...But Some Haven't Got the Message

Some days I catch grief for sticking up for Patty when the Dem hacks go after her for attending a cocktail party...then there are those who call be a terrible person for the tumerity to suggest a new senator be more demonstrative in outlining her plans for office...
The partisans continue to read only what they want to see...that which buttresses their unchangeable views and convictions.
You are welcome to your opinions...but let me reitterate for those who have not caught on...Obscenity and personal attack and name calling will not make it through the filter. So unless you are content with only me reading it, keep it clean and not gratuitous.

Will "Blasphemy" Fit in the Military's World of Discipline

The end of "don't ask, don't tell" ends a long debate but it by no means settles the core issue of incorporating openly gay lifestyles into the structured world of the Armed Forces.
It will take months for the Obama Administration to come up with a certification required in the statute and then a protocol for dealing with the matter. There will be endless sensitivity classes and stacks of rules as the bureacracy tries to codify what is blasphemy for some, uncomfortable for others and no big deal to many.
I am of the view that one's personal relationships of any kind should be kept out of the workplace. Its been something I have had to deal with for years in the bar business, as employees struggle with the issue that they are in a place of business and not an extension of their personal lives.
In the military, drawing the distinction is even more difficult, because the services are a life and a lifestyle, where people live together, work together and share a common culture often separate from that of the nation they serve.
While most of us are not freaked out by gays as was the case a generation ago, military commanders will have their hands full making sure the new policy and its implementation do not become a distraction to the mission. I suspect it will go smoothly and there will be some well publicized but hopefully few in number examples of trouble. (Paging Gloria Allred)
While I don't equate this issue with the great civil rights struggles of the 50s and 60s, times have changed and the action of the Congress was appropriate, assuming its implemented with good judgment.

WDT: Sewall's Island Cleanup Continues

For twenty years, I have been driving over Sewall's Island as an on again, off again state sponsored clean up has taken place....Supposedly one last bit of cleaning up is to occur in 2011 and then the old indistrial site will be deemed clean.....Actually there never was much wrong there, but being labled a "brownfield" is a scarlett letter not easily erased.
This is an ugly and blighted piece of real estate from the road, but a walk around the site reveals attractive riverfront. Over the years, there has been demolition by fire as buildings left vacant would burn and now we have a fenced off lot full of concrete foundations.
Someday, the Island will be put to good use....But it will be many years. The stigma of our industrial past lingers far longer than any real or imagined pollution.
Watertown Daily Times Grant to aid city in island cleanup

WDT: Redistricting Fights Over Inmates Will Trickle to Local Level

As the decennial fight over redistricting readies to get underway in Albany, local governments will be drawing boundaries for county legislatures. In St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties there will be the usual fights over who counts as a person for the purpose of representation.
Dating to the days of the three-fifths compromise prior to the Civil War, Americans have argued over who should and shouldn't be counted.
Prison inmates and college students are frequent subjects of these fights and this year the State Legislature enacted a law banning the counting of inmates when determining state legislative boundaries. The effect is to increase representation for the areas (mostly downstate) where inmates originate, even theough they no longer live there.
Local counties may or may not have to adhere to the same policy, but as you remember there was a big fight ten years ago about whether to count soldiers at Fort Drum, as the result of doing so would shift representation to newly created districts where few people vote or participate in local civics.
Case in point in Jefferson County Legislative District 8, where a couple dozen votes is all that's needed to get elected because most of the 7500 residents are on post and don't choose to vote in local elections.
My view is people are people and you count them where they live on April 1 of the decennial year. That's way too simple, so look for lots of arguing this coming year over redistricting.
Watertown Daily Times St. Lawrence County questions law on counting prisoners in redistricting