The Vortex... Urban Legend or Is It Real ?

The Vortex... Urban Legend or Is It Real ?
Second Annual Event Starts at Five PM Friday at Thompson Park

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Substance vs Fluff...The Challenge in Albany

Closing an "integrity deficit", a property tax cap....no new taxes...defying Democratic orthodoxy by letting the surcharge tax on the rich expire....These are things Andrew Cuomo is talking about...
But if you listen to the news about the new laws taking effect...The centerpiece of the Legislature's year is a law requiring caution and deference when driving near an emergency vehicle....You know...what we all have done for years...Yielding..pulling over...giving such vehicles a wide berth....
This law surely resulted from a tragedy, but it's the kind of nonsensical legislating the obvious that takes too much of Albany's time....
No, I am not advocating running into ambulances or cops...I am saying good drivers have done these things for years...We didn't need a law or the threat of a ticket.
The Legislature needs to stop the nonsense and focus on real issues and not press release laws.
Capitol Confidential » In speech, Cuomo seeks to close ‘integrity deficit’

Lawmakers Take Their Job Too Seriously in California

My native state is living up to its reputation as a bastion of big government....725 new laws take effect today....Good grief...a place more absurd than New York ?
The problem with lawmakers is they have bought into the notion that "there ought to be a law." And boy do we have plenty of them...
Laws are tougher than a tick on a dog to get rid of....At least with a tick you can touch it with a cigarette and it falls off....
There oughta be a law against that, you say....Don't say it too loud or there will be.
There Oughta Be a Law: Californians Getting 725 New Ones in 2011 - La Mesa, CA Patch

Ritchie Raises Her Right Hand, Giving the Senate Back to the Republicans

State Senator Patricia Ritchie took her oath of office in what appears to be her living room (I've never been there). Senator Ritchie now represents Oswego, Jefferson and western St. Lawrence County and she succeeds Democrat Darrel Aubertine.
Senator Ritchie's win gave the GOP control of the Senate by a bare 32-30 majority, but her win will have implications on issues like redistricting which would have been a bloodbath if Dems had controlled both houses.
There is also the theory that Governor Andrew Cuomo secretly wants a GOP Senate to act as a foil to his efforts to change Albany.
We assume freshman Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush got sworn in, but since he doesn't have a media Svengali like Jim Reagen, I didn't get a photo.

Cuomo Tears Down The Wall...Begins a New Era of Governance

In a bit of symbolism with real benefits to visitors to the Capitol, Governor Cuomo has taken down the post-9/11 barricades and made the seat of government more open....Even the Second Floor, known as Fortress Pataki will be accessible to reporters.
It's all a throwback to the days of his father, when Gov. Mario Cuomo's staff would talk to the press and relations with Legislative leaders were far more collegial. Andrew Cuomo has talked often of the old days of decorum and integrity in Albany and has pledged to work for its restoration.
Mr. Cuomo gave his inaugural address to a small gathering at the Capitol today and will speak this week to all New Yorkers in his State of the State Address to be delivered from the nearby Egg.
The new Governor was flanked by companion Sandra Lee and LG Robert Duffy, who has pledged to be a defender of Upstate. Duffy is the former mayor of Rochester.
An understated, somber but determined tone has marked Mr. Cuomo's start as the state's 56th Governor.
A new era of governance in a capital widely ridiculed in recent years.
Cuomo Tears Down The Wall New York Daily News

A Few Words to Start the New Year from Your Mayor

To all the citizens of the City of Watertown and to all the employees and volunteers who help keep government going, all the best for 2011.
The nation's number one topic as it is locally is the economy, which has been spotty and in transition in much of America. Meanwhile, we are proving to be more prosperous than most of the country.
It is true our local economy is becoming more and more service oriented and in that arena we continue to do well.
Stream has proven to perform beyond the conventional wisdom when it opened nearly a decade ago. New hotels, restaurants and stores are attracting and keeping retail dollars and jobs in the Watertown area.
Traditional industries like NY Air Brake and Knowlton Specialty Papers have stabilized and continue to prosper. CarFreshner is a cornerstone of the economy and small firms like Roth Industries quietly are picking up the slack left by industrial decline in the Northeast. This year's closures of Covidian and Northland Electric were clear setbacks, but were countered by growth in other areas.
The hospitality industry did well in 2010 and our parity with the Canadian dollar continues to bring money into Jefferson County.
Government and health care jobs continue to dominate the economy and the activity related to Fort Drum keeps us out of the economic dog house.
The pending Day of Reckoning for state and local government likely means government will not grow further, and the extent to which Governor Cuomo proposes real change will determine where we head.
Jefferson Community College celebrates its 50th this year and it continues to be an engine for the economy by training work forces at home.
Downtown Watertown looks forward to the opening of the Franklin Building and the completion of the final phase of public works improvements with the JB Wise project. A proposed hotel in the Woolworth Building and new owners for the Masonic Temple will keep those buildings in transition although financing is likely an issue in both cases.
New owners of the Best Western are modernizing that hotel. A couple of new housing projects should get started in the City in 2011, including the former Borden (Ogilvie) site and a postponed complex called Creekwood on the City's northern edge.
We hope to be working with the Zoo on a new role for the Aviary built throught the efforts of Mayor Burns, and City Council hopes to meet soon with the Flower Library Board to see what is needed to enhance that treasure.
On the third floor at City Hall we will welcome a new assistant to the City Manager and a new planner, both filling slots funded in last year's budget. The City will take over dog licensing under the capable guidance of the City Clerk, and we will take a look at smaller but important issues like a noise ordinance, improving downtown parking enforcement and equalizing in city water rates to benefit homeowners in the long term.
And of course, we still keep filling the potholes, putting out the fires and nabbing the scofflaws. Our new concession stand at the Fairgrounds Arena is a work in progress that I think could benefit the City finances and also improve the consistency and quality of service to patrons.
The City will complete its upgrades to west end sewer service which should aid commercial development both in and outside the City, including the much awaited Olive Garden (but I will still go to Petes).
We will have to make some decisions as the fiscal realities close in...particularly in the area of the state pension fund....
Fiscal caution in the last few years and a reduction in positions has left us better than most and an uptick in our largest source of revenue (sales tax) has softened the blow of the '08 Recession.
In a perfect World, true structural changes in local government would happen, but it will only occur with pressure from Albany. In the meantime, we continue to play by the current rules and do the best job possible.
I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Council, the manager, the staff and the community on these and many other initiatives. With your continued support and confidence, I look forward to continuing.
May God bless you all on this dawn of a new year...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Cuomo Takes the Oath...

The gubernatorial nightmare of the last four years is over...and we all hope Governor Cuomo can make the changes needed for the good of New York State. Congratulations Governor !
The Daily Politics New York Daily News

DeFranco to Leave TV-7.....Surprise Leaves Void Difficult to Fill

Local weatherman Rick DeFranco is leaving NNY to head for an unspecified future in Big Sky Country. Rick is leaving WWNY-TV on January 19.
Rick was one of the true gentlemen in local broadcasting and his affable and authoritative presentation will be missed....His departure leaves John Moore as clearly the most dapper person in local TV.
The announcement of his departure did not specify what he will do once in Montana.
Weekend weatherman John Kubis will take over until a permanent successor is named. The other internal name to be considered is Beth Hall who does a great job in the AM.
Rick came to TV 7 from Ogdensburg, where he had managed the local radio stations. Since the weather slot is the frontline symbol of local TV, replacing him with someone credible and likeable is key.....
Meanwhile, best wishes to Rick on whatever the future brings.
Friday: DeFranco To Leave WWNY WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Roger Stone Declares Himself the Fashion Czar

A vacuum needs to be filled....That's nature...So with the passing of Mr. Richard Blackwell, the dapper political consultant and Bon Vivant Roger Stone has named himself as arbiter of good taste and has his list of the best and worst dressed.
Roger's willingness to bring his own sense of style to bear on society is appreciated in a time when style and manners is lacking.
Thank you Roger, and Happy New Year.
Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

Line for Sale ? Duh

With his black dress shirts and cigarette always in hand, John Dote always looked the part of the Utica political Don....Now he has the indictments to go with it. Oneida County Indy Chair John Dote is named in a 27 count indictment related to used of campaign contributions for personal purposes....
None of this is any shocker....the notion that minor party endorsements are often nothing more than a commodity....Its shocking to me that anyone is shocked to hear about it.
Members of the Legislature dutifully pay homage to party bosses and money is the coin of the realm in many cases....It just has to be dressed up the right way......Winks and nods are the game in the Capital...Must be John was allegedly too obvious, or p----- somebody off.
In any event, the Independence Party has slipped to Line E on the ballot....In the commodity market of politics that's a down tick.....
Another Indy Party Indictment
Coverage of the Cuomo inaugural begins tomorrow at noon on YNN (Time Warner channel 10)

WDT: Chaumont Ponders Municipal Oblivion

I would have guessed Herrings would go first in the dissolution effort since the tiny village has trouble filling its board positions....but it's Chaumont that is considering oblivion under a recently passed state law making getting rid of villages easier. The historic Village of Seneca Falls voted itself out of business this past year.
The biggest loss in these actions is identity and the notion that folks living near each other can achieve the economies of scale needed to provide services at a reasonable cost.
Town governments would become the delivery agent for local services....In this case the Town of Lyme.
This is the first case of a local village choosing this path. How this plays out will be a template for other local communities.
How about the Lyme School District ? Oh, not those kind of consolidations.
Watertown Daily Times Chaumont considering dissolution

Gov. David Paterson sounds pension alarm: On his last day in office, urges focus on crisis

Claiming its a financial and moral challenge, soon-to-be ex-Governor David Paterson has been doing exit interviews and is stressing the pension crisis as the dilemma plagueing the state and its local governments that participate.
Public employees from the Capital to the smallest town participate in the system which will start imposing larger contribution requirements to fund current benefits.
Typical party dogma is to blame Wall Street, but Mr. Paterson says that's a false claim by unions, and that the financial sector must be a part of the solution.
Look for pension costs to be used as a rationale for higher property taxes, but that must be resisted.
Gov. David Paterson sounds pension alarm: On his last day in office, urges focus on crisis

NYP: Sanitation Workers Sabotaged Timely Plowing

If this is true, it's a pretty outrageous "job action" to protestbudget issues in NYC. The Post alleges Sanitation Department workers slow walked snow removal in the outer boroughs, leaving residential streets clogged after last weekend's blizzard.
Roads are plowed now and higher temperatures should alleviate the situation. With such a large storm in a large city, I had defended the difficulties in getting streets cleared. I am sure many people did work hard to clear the snow, but if this report is true, it's a shameful black eye on organized labor in the public sector.
It's doubtful any of this could be proven, but now hearings will be held.
Sanitation workers selfishly slowed down the cleanup - NYPOST.com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roxy McGrath chocolate story passes Dead Animal Show and Tell to become number 2 story on blog of all time !

Car czar Steven Rattner agrees to pay $10M to settle New York pay-to-play pension scandal - NYPOST.com

One of the major players in Democratic Party politics in NY has cut a deal in a pension pay-to-play scandal that essentially lets Steven Rattner off for a hefty fine, but no admission of wrong doing...Of course, maybe he did no wrong.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino attempted to make Rattner an issue last fall....but the MSM had decided Paladino was a loon and they wanted to curry favor with the man they knew would win...so they soft peddled Rattner, and now the AG has as well.
The Democratic Party has been linked too much with pension issues...Remember Alan Hevesi ?
The new ethical Albany promised by the incoming governor will be a daunting task as business as usual seems to still be OK.
Car czar Steven Rattner agrees to pay $10M to settle New York pay-to-play pension scandal - NYPOST.com

Gov.-Elect Cuomo’s Skills at Working the Phones - NYTimes.com

He never called me. Guess I am one of the good guys.
Gov.-Elect Cuomo’s Skills at Working the Phones - NYTimes.com

Time to Exit the Stage

Pay the $5Ok...Sit on the side lines for the last game...and retire...Brett Favre has been an exciting player, but this tawdry tale of e-mailing pix leaves a bad taste....Not so much because some camp follower was offended, but because Favre is a married man with a cancer survivor wife and should have behaved better....
Anybody ever here of keeping this stuff on the down low ? The Internet is not the place to display your junk.
Brett Favre fined $50K but not suspended by NFL -

Last Day at the Office for 2010 Musings

At City Hall going over things with the manager who is back from vacation after a bout with the nation's storm ravaged air system.
We went over upcoming events and the things I plan to raise under new business at the Monday City Council meeting. Its always better to discuss things ahead of time rather than out of the blue at a meeting.
Got an invite for an Addie event in Kingston...and another for a 50th anniversary kickoff breakfast at JCC.
In case you don't feel old, January 20th is the 50th anniversary of Presidents Kennedy's inaugural address. We are doing a program in conjunction with the US Conference of Mayor's for a local high school class visiting City Hall on the 12th.
An interesting street name proposed for the road through the middle of the Fairgrounds.
Line Drive. The road passes by the ball field. Get it ?
Getting ready for the final HOTLINE of 2010...No show Friday. Happy New Year !

Police: NY Woman Gave Rum To Snow-Shoveling Teens « CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

I stand corrected. There are teens who pick up a shovel after a storm.
Police: NY Woman Gave Rum To Snow-Shoveling Teens

WDT: Teen Pot Use Up

"Don't Bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me.."-1960s song lyric.
It's really not a surprise....Surveys show nearly half of Americans favor its legalization in some form....While there is a big push against smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol, many teens likely conclude there has to be something they can do for a little kick and they may choose the easier to obtain and easier to conceal joint.
Young adults do watch TV, where every form of pharmaceutical is shopped, leading to the conclusion there is a drug for every woe.
The culture sends many mixed messages to people this age, and the War on Drugs is seen as rife with hypocrisy. Plus, its natural for people to seek a relief from day to day stresses and in a "like wow" World, with so much indulgence and so little work ethic, a Cheech and Chong existence has appeal.
What's the percentage of teens who pick up a snow shovel and go out an earn a little cash after a storm ?
In the people come to conclusions based on the facts and circumstances surrounding them. For teens to come to the conclusion pot is OK is hardly surprising giving the social ambiance of the day.
Watertown Daily Times Teen marijuana use on the rise

WIGS Surfaces Again

Most people frankly don't care, as this is an issue only of concern to those in the industry, but look for wine in grocery stores (WIGS) to be revived again this year.
Because the Governor-elect has promised no higher taxes, the prospect of new money from grocery store license fees will be too much to resist.
The question is whether there will be an soft landing for liquor stores who have had to play under current rules....I doubt it...They are expendable politically.
Susan Hayes: Wine in grocery stores will help local economy - Another Voice - The Buffalo News

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good God Mayor, Don't Apologize...Tell Your City to 'Man Up !'

There was a time when a storm had consequences, but nowadays everybody is conditioned to believe that all suffering and malady can be mitigated by a large and compassionate government....So when snow buried NYC, it was expected there would be no adversity...no inconvenience...
Well, there are consequences to bad things...and people are inconvenienced....and despite the best efforts of the sanitation department, it took a couple days to clear things up....
The people involved did the best they could. Too bad the citizenry has been sold by politicians who tell them they can provide free healthcare...get them a job....eradicate drugs.....whatever else is marketed as possible, but really is not.
I am with the NYC DPW, and could care less if they wrecked one SUV while doing their job......
Man up, New York !
Mayor Bloomberg apologizes for snow screw-ups during blizzard of 2010, defends sanitation department

Dog Felled By Chocolate Scare...OK Now

Got a message today that 2010 Assembly candidate Brian McGrath's dog Roxy was hospitalized last night, so I really felt bad about exploiting his image to make fun of his Democrat, trial lawyer owner, who earlier this week sent out a photo of the dog dressed in a hot dog bun.
Today I was relieved to hear Roxy was sprung after ingesting homemade chocolates left unattended.
As anyone with a law degree knows, dogs cannot safely eat such confections.
The matter has been referred to Lewis County CPS (canine protective services) where numerous case workers and counselors will be assigned as omsbudsmen for the dachsund.
No word yet on whether Eric Schneiderman will intervene, but given the dogs multi-color coat, he may deem it a civil rights issue.
But no worry...An experienced trial lawyer like Brian can sue his mom who made the chocolates and set up a victims fund for all dogs subjected to chocolate abuse....
And we haven't even got to the book and movie rights.

Loonie breaches parity with U.S. dollar again

The Canadian Dollar continues it's strength versus ours and that is continuing to feed the NNY retail economy. Sales tax numbers continue to reflect the Loonie surge. Otherwise the national recession and frequent deployments would suggest a less robust picture.
Canadian currency strength is largely due to their resource-based economy with extensive oil and mining operations giving true value to their economy in otherwise iffy times.
Loonie breaches parity with U.S. dollar again

Conservatives Crow over November Triumph

As you have already read here, the state's Conservative Party (aka Mike Long) is happy over winning back Line C on the ballot, as a result of their showing in the Gubernatorial race. Conservatives bump the amorphous Indepedendence Party to Line E and the acorn-based Working Famlies Party moves up to Line D....The Greens are on Line F.
Ballot status is important as the party can run candidates for any office. Minor parties routinely cross endorse and use the Wilson Pakula statute to make their line a fungible asset that can in essence be sold for money or idealogical purity.
New York's fusion voting system allows a candidate to total up the votes from different lines.
Mike Long says the results send a message to the state's powerful....of which he is one.
If you're Con then you're on - NYPOST.com

WDT:Dog Licensing Will Acquaint People With Their Town

Who says the local takeover of dog licenses will raise those hackles ? Prospective dog owners will have to go their town offices. This will establish some needed knowledge of where their local government is under NYS's system of governence. They will have a chance to meet their town clerk...maybe even the town supervisor.
In recent years, folks have lost a sense of identity with the town they live in. I run into people who live on say, Plaza Drive, who say they live in Watertown, when really they live in the Town of Pamelia.
An entire generation of young people has grown up not knowing where the town line is. Sending them to the town offices to license Fido will let people know about their town...Hopefully town officials will use the traffic to educate residents on the system.
Watertown Daily Times Dog licensing process could raise hackles of owners

Sanitation boss' Street Plowed Clean, but Nearby Streets Remain Plugged

The feeding frenzy over NYC's response to this week's snow storm continues. Lots of finger pointing...claims of short staffing....budget cuts...calls for City Council hearings on the dilemma...And as temperatures rise this week, much of the situation will improve, but in the meantime teflon Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being criticised for the situation.
Meanwhile other people are being tormented in airports by delays and cancelled flights.
All of it adds credence to the bromide, "there's no place like home for the Holidays."
Sanitation boss John Doherty's street plowed clean, but nearby streets remain winter blunderland

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

German Shepherd Gets Head Stuck In Wall

The only thing worse than having your owner dress you in a bun is to get your head stuck in a concrete wall.
German Shepherd Gets Head Stuck In Wall

Lighting a Candle for State Workers

The end of the week marks the end of jobs for nearly 900 state workers being laid off...Don't look for a reprieve from the new Governor, as I am sure the cuts have the tacit OK of Andrew Cuomo.
A candlelight vigil will be held at the Capitol on Friday night....I doubt too many state workers will sacrifice their New Year's Eve for such a show...
Too bad there were no candlelight vigils for all the private sector jobs lost in NY due to the policies that led to the budget crunch that led to these layoffs.
Like a candle in the wind New York Daily News

Quinn Calls For Hearings On City Storm Response

Mayor Bloomberg is a lame duck (unless he amends the Charter again), so potential candidates for Mayor of NYC are more than happy to take a snow storm and make a big deal out of it....We all know that in a city that big with that much snow, the principle strategy is to hope for warmer temperatures...No way do they deal with it like we do...You couldn't possibly....
Quinn Calls For Hearings On City Storm Response

City Hall on a Tuesday

-The City has sent out its first set of dog license renewals since the State got out of the business. Fortunately, City Clerk Donna Dutton had been maintaining a City set of records over the past several years, so when the State dropped out, the transition was seamless. Other towns in Jefferson County have also opted to keep the dog licenses local. My dog Zeppelin is registered.
-Look for debt to be a possible issue in this year's City elections with requests being made to look at several years of bond ordinances. While the City has a self imposed cap on borrowing, and has reduced the scale of borrowing from previous years, the level of debt compared to some other city's is still on the high side.
-I did some research on parking tickets following last week's complaints about chronic day parkers on the south side of Public Square. I am beginning to think people who just choose to ignore tickets is an issue. As for the spots in question, many were vacant today, but that could be due to the post holiday week. More on all that at Monday's meeting.
-Longtime City Council attendee Wayne Zimmer sent City Council a tin of fudge from his new home in Tennessee.
-Got a letter from Senator-elect Ritchie today thanking me for my congratulatory note sent after the election. We look forward to working with her.

Lewis County Pol Out of the Dog House

Must have struck a nerve....After Assembly hopeful Brian McGrath sent this blog a holiday photo of his drug dressed up in a hot dog bun...He today sent a more traditional pose of Roxy perched atop a pile of expensive pillows....
The sissified get-up had prompted the dog to turn away from the camera.

WDT: Should Not for Profits Pay ?

This editorial is against any movement towards taxing not for profit entities...Apparently many governments are considering going after tax exempt properties by assessing fees, or payments in lieu of taxes.
While this is an idea aimed at avoiding real cuts and reforms in government, there is a problem with our current system of taxing property.....its become too popular to hand out exemptions,leaving the remaining tax base feeling abused and debased.
Many not for profits are essentially businesses such as hospitals. Churches are off limits as politicians fear offending religion, yet church properties use services and many properties owned by religions go beyond faith.
The phrase "not for profit" is a misnomer, as the operations that occur on these properties results in cash flow to the principles and the administrators.
While changing the tax code should take a back seat to budget cuts, let's not be naive about the growing inequity caused by tax exemptions.
Watertown Daily Times Balancing budgets

Local Governments Not Lining Up for This Crazy Scheme

Few local governments are signing up for a dubious program of paying pension costs...a program that allows towns, cities, villages, counties and even the state itself to pay current year obligations over ten years at an interest rate of 5%.
This is such a wicked case of kicking the can down the road and at a pretty high rate of interest.
Pension obligations are rising sharply as the system had been predicated on ridiculous assumptions on the investment growth of the fund. The 2008 stock market dump is showing up now in the rates charged participants on behalf of employees.
The Paterson administration offered up a typical Albany answer.
Local governments are wise to avoid this scheme to prop up a system in need of serious reform.
Local government leery of pension borrowing plan theithacajournal.com The Ithaca Journal

WDT:| City Clerk Gets Copy of Cookbook Published by F.W. Woolworth Co.

The City Clerk's office is not just the place to go for dog and marriage licenses....Donna Dutton's office is also a repository of records and a portal to the City Historian office nestled in the basement of City Hall, right next to the Police Academy.
That is why the Clerk's job is not just to be a record keeper but also the resident expert on the City's past. I know, City Council regularly counts on Mrs. Dutton for information on events past....After all, there really is nothing new under the Sun.
The City of Watertown has a rich past and we appreciate the Clerk and her staff's diligence in preserving that past.
Watertown Daily Times City clerk gets copy of cookbook published by F.W. Woolworth Co.

Committee on Corporations, Commissions and Authorities wants to fine defunct and troubled entities - NYPOST.com

The retirement of Assemblyman Richard Brodsky should make lots of public authorities and IDAs happy. Mr.Brodsky has been a leading critic of the secret policies of these public entities...Brodksy's Committee on Corporations, Commissions and Authorities wants to crack down on local governments setting up not for profit corporations supposedly not subject to scrutiny....
Committee on Corporations, Commissions and Authorities wants to fine defunct and troubled entities - NYPOST.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

WWNY: Bumper Cars Hit The Ice In Alexandria Bay

This seems like a good idea if you can get enough people to do it at one time...Who didn't grow up loving the bumper cars at amusement parks and fairs ? Well, I did.
Fixing up the Alex Bay arena is an outgrowth of the Town government taking it over....Hopefully the cars give the sleepy River village something to do in the Winter and will make some dollars to boot.
Bumper Cars Hit The Ice In Alexandria Bay WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Liz Trumps Price in Battle for Who Supplies TV on Pearl Street.

So some guy calls tonight, pitching me on changing from Time Warner to Direct TV.....Says he could save me money...He was nice enough so I played along...Free equipment...free installation...lower prices...sounds great...
I told him I wanted the local news...he said they carried the local stations....
So I had to tell him...I watch Time Warner for the Weather on the Tens and Liz Benjamin......
End of conversastion.

Jimmy McMillan Prepares For Presidential Run

In the debate at Hofstra that I attended, Rents too High guy Jimmy McMillian gushed over Barack Obama....Now the suddenly famous media icon sees value in taking on the President, so he says he plans to run against him....
McMillan is all about McMillan and clearly enjoyed his 15 minutes when he stole the show at the debate....Even though his rants made no sense, he became the media darling and garnered over 41 thousand votes despite spending no money and having no organization.
His run likely took enough white iconoclastic votes away from Libertarian Warren Redlich to cost him the 50,ooo votes he craved to get party status.
His purported Presidential run is so vacuous and media driven, I can't imagine it will go anywhere.....But this is a shallow nation, so who knows.
Jimmy McMillan Prepares For Presidential Run

'Sarah Palin's Alaska' explains 'refudiate' on TLC show as simple mis-typed Twitter message

The elite in academia can't stand it but Sarah Palin has created a work and is proud of it.....The former AK governor now embraces "refudiate".
'Sarah Palin's Alaska' explains 'refudiate' on TLC show as simple mis-typed Twitter message

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell blasts Eagles, NFL for postponing game because of snow

Kudos to PA Governor Ed Rendell for ripping the panzy NFL for postponing Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game because of overblown media hype over the storm that swept the East Coast....Only three inches of the "white stuff" fell on the City of Brotherly Love....Football's greatest moments are played in harsh weather and the wimpish PPD would indeed have shocked Vince Lombardi, whom Gov. Rendell said would turning in his grave over the decision.
We are tired of the wimpi-fying of America and the hysteria over a little snow.
Gov. Rendell is right...The NFL was wrong.
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell blasts Eagles, NFL for postponing game because of snow

Bloomberg Defends His DPW

Mayor Bloomberg has defended his DPW response to the Boxing Day Blizzard and well he should...I am sure everyone did their best to cope and that crazy senator from Brooklyn should keep his mouth shut.

Blowhard Sen. Kruger Slams City’s Snow Reponse

Talk about grandstanding....a State Senator running to the MSM to slam NYC's snowplowing....Hey, it's a big city and a big storm...and to put out a press release only hours after the first flakes fell gives politicians a bad name.....Senator Kruger should call his City Council member with his complaints. In the meantime this Albany fixture should shut his pie hole and pick up a shovel.
Sen. Kruger Slams City’s Snow Reponse

A toast for Andy: Cuomos Low Key Return Sets the Right Tone for a Somber Job Ahead

It will be a New Year's Eve and Day with few politicians for Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy. Only outgoing Governor Davis Paterson and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings will be on hand for the mansion dinner and low key swearing in at the Capitol on Saturday.
I definately like the understated return of the Cuomo family to power. The last thing New Yorkers want to see is business as usual pomp.
Mr. Cuomo comes a week after the Census Bureau delivered the bad news that NY is losing two more Congressional seats because despite NYC being the immigrant point of entry, too many others are fleeing the Empire State for greener, less taxed pastures.
I will be listening intently to Mr. Cuomo's remarks from the Capitol. We all should...There is a lot riding on his ability to change the direction this state has been on.
A toast for Andy: Cuomos set to return to governor's mansion on New Year's Eve after 16 years away

Christmas Storms....and a New Year Ahead

For all the media chatter about the Christmas storm...much of it is of course driven by the fact the storm passed right through the center of their world....we in NNY made it through the weekend with just a spate of cold and no snow...
In fact its sunny this morning with a balmy 10 degrees on Pearl Street.
It was a quiet Christmas and now we head in to the run up for New Year's.
That's a holiday that isn't what it used to be...I don't think people get as worked up over it as they used to....Mostly its a night out at dinner or house parties....And of course New Year's Day is watered down...
Remember the big football day..the bowl games..Rose, Cotton,Orange...
Now there's a zillion bowl games with the silliest names and teams with no business playing a post season game. The purported national champ is chosen by means always in dispute and the biggest bowl is often not on New Years, but the much heralded Totistos Bowl on January 4....A bowl named after a snack chip...that's a sign of something.
But this is the week of transition...diets started...resolutions made...and a look ahead at what the new year brings.
It looks like a good year ahead,with the economy improving and a less radical regimen likely coming out of Washington.
Everyone is waiting to hear what Governor-elect Cuomo has to say on Saturday when he takes over from the severely beaten and scarred David Paterson.
The City has some challenges to be sure, but there are many good things happening as well.
You can start taking down the Christmas decorations, and quit eating those ubiquitous Christmas cookies that should be fading away by now.
Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Big Storm Coming...But Not for Us

Last year we had a light winter, as the nation's East Coast got blasted time after time.but we had very little of, as they say on Arcade Street, the "White Stuff."
Today another coastal storm is roaring along the seaboard and my Mom told me where she lives in NC had six or seven inches...an almost unheard of amount that will paralyze them tomorrow for sure.
So be thankful, we have avoided it all and if you are worried about the ski areas, our cold temps of late should keep them making snow...Let them make it, as long as I don't have to shovel it.
East Coast braces for major blizzard - latimes.com

Retired public officials allowed 'double-dip'

Amidst the many ways the state pension system is gamed is elected officials "retiring" to get a pension and then staying in office, in essence collecting a pension plus current salary for the job they are still working in.
This was pointed out last week in the case of Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh who was just reelected, but is now retiring to get a pension and will resume his office with its $110,000 salary the first of the year. A couple North Country Members of Assembly are doing the same and countless others have done this over the years.
There may be Jefferson County officials doing this as we read this story in the Press Republican. It doesn't normally attract fanfare and is one of those things that is legal, even though like many examples of pension gaming, it points to major pension reform as a top priority in Albany.
There are reasons the law is as it is, and there are much larger abuses throughout the system, but this is the type of situation many in the private sector wonder about....
Retired public officials allowed 'double-dip'

WDT: Judge: DWI law unconstitutional

The state's mandatory retirement law for judges will force City Judge James Harberson into retirement in another year, and that's too bad because Hizzoner is a jurist who on several occasions has taken to task politicians and prosecutors for laws that go too far.
This decision on the so called "Leander's Law" is a good example. The latest anti-DWI statute, among other things, requires ignition interlocks on all vehicles owned by someone convicted of a DWI. It's the latest law named after a victim of a crime, passed in Albany with a flurry of press releases.
In a 15 page opinion, Judge Harberson said the law is unconsitutional as it imposes penalties without defining the cost and with delineating how to deal with indigent defendents. What the specifics, this law creates another DWI-releated cottage industry for those who manufacture and install interlocks and creates another imposition on persons not at all related to the crime who would be impacted by the devices.
Lower standards for what is intoxicated and stepped up publicity and crackdowns have dramatically reduced the actual incidence of driving while intoxicated. There are chronic drunks who continue to drive without licenses and seem immune to whatever Albany cooks up. This is another of the laws that passed because no one politically dares vote against it, and whether you like judicial review or not, left to their own devices, elected leaders will often vote for anything regardless of consequence in order to seize what they feel is the current moral high ground.
Interlock technology may have application in private vehicle fleets, but as court ordered mandate applied in the manner this law proscribes, it is wrong and Judge Harberson is right in writing so in his opinion.
Watertown Daily Times Judge: DWI law unconstitutional