Saturday, April 2, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Tea Party darling and potential 2012 presidential contender fundraises $2.2M

Conventional wisdom says it's Mitt Romney's turn to be the GOP nominee for President after being passed over in 2008....But why is Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann raising the most money of possible Republican contenders ? Rep. Bachmann is the most visible face of the Tea Party movement and she has loyal followers. She has also eclipsed Sarah Palin, who increasingly looks like a no-go in 2012. All of this may speak to the lack of a clear frontrunner in the GOP and Mr. Romney's inability to excite the base...and they are one's giving the cash at this point. President Obama is still leading in polls and as the incumbent is the favorite. A point or so drop in unemployment and the MSM will be able to give the President a pass on the economy..... I don't see an opponent who can win and that may explain the interest in a candidate like Bachmann who at least says things Tea Partiers like even if she cannot win a general election race. Michele Bachmann, Tea Party darling and potential 2012 presidential contender fundraises $2.2M

Tax Free Clothes You Drive to With Fully Taxed Expensive Gasoline

Gee, while Albany cut out the sales tax on clothing for working families, the full sales tax is in effect for gasoline which is escalating in price. While you can put off many clothing purchases, gas is a necessity in a rural area.... Point is that exempting one product from sales tax may make for a great press release, but its not the whole story. Sometimes the inequities created by a crazy quilt tax system is worse. So get ready for $5 gas and the 7.75% you get to pay on it. Gas Prices Expected To Hit $5 By Memorial Day « CBS Chicago

WDT: Comedy Club Owner Prevails Years After Damage Was Done

Here's another example of vindication coming at a cost...In this case for Mike Kinnie it was years of legal expense and angst because the business you worked for is on the line. It's a fact of life that in politics there is a lot of "gotcha" moments and if you are going to be in certain regulated industries you better include a line item in the budget each year for lawyers. It's very easy to go after a seller of the "devil's brew" in the same way politicos find it easy to impose "sin taxes." Kudos to Mike for fighting back and setting prescedent and not just paying a fine to make it all go away, which is of course what the system wants. I know he moved on to another job and don't know if he still has the Comedy Club, but all of us in the biz wish him well and compliment him on fighting the good fight. Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Stone Zone: Spitzer Would Have Raised Taxes...Thanks Ashley for Getting Rid of Him

Good thing Eliot Spitzer is not governor and thank goodness for those "sex workers" for driving him from office. In a recent interview, Spitzer criticised Governor Andrew Cuomo for drawing the line on taxes in an effort to bridge the $10B deficit. It's so egalitarian of Mr. Spitzer to buy into the logic that we can continue to have big government and those pesky millionaire's will pay for it. Check out Roger's column on the subject. Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

TV 7: Aubertine Nomination Now Moving

I hope that was not the case...The slow walking nomination confirmation procedings for Acting Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine is now moving after the Senate Majority Leader was asked point blank if Senate Ag Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie was intentionally sitting on the issue as payback for last falls contentious Senate race between Ritchie and Auberting. Senator Dean Skelos says the election was six months ago and everyone has put that behind them. I would hope so. A spokesperson for Senator Ritchie said she was busy with budget issues and didn't have time for the nomination hearings. Senator Ritchie should be helping the North Country native to gain approval Its good to see someone from our area be chosen and most people recognize Mr. Aubertine's affinity for AG issues. Aubertine Nomination Now Moving WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

Friday, April 1, 2011

French Mayor Says Statue to Busty for Public View

Wow and I thought the French were free thinkers....A bust of Marriane who is the female embodiment of the French Revolution has been ordered under wraps because a local mayor thinks the breasts are too large. Mayor Gerard Cordon says the statue was causing the public to gossip, but the local artist who did the work said she oversized the breasts to show the generosity of the French Republic. The mayor would probably not like that statue in the Flower Library....... Such pronouncements are not likely to occur soon in Watertown. French mayor upset about statue's breasts

Budget and Union Debate Heating Up Talk Radio

The State Budget, Wisconsin, teachers, taxes, millionaires, superintendents and more have all provided a treasure trove of talk on the HOTLINE of late...Whether its the Duff....Danny Francis....Justin...Prophecy...and lots more are calling in all worked up over the debate over the 2% cut in state spending that as it trickles down to the local level may result in layoffs in schools and other places. There is real passion over this debate about the cost of public employees and whether we should just keep spending in order to keep them in jobs. Various wars, national health care, the debate over more taste or less filling....none has generated the heat that we have seen of late... People are engaged in the debate in a way I haven't seen in years.... Watertown Daily Times Officials in NNY make best of budget

Lottery Winners Have a Lot of Decisions Ahead

There are all sorts of "what if" stories about the seven state workers who won the huge Lottery prize on Friday...Over $12M each after taxes... The precise moment the quick pick was purchased likely determined the numbers and the fact the man purchasing the ticket delayed his purchase to pick up a Snickers bar makes for an interesting aside. Fact is they were just darn lucky. They are a diverse group and it would be interesting to see in a year where they are all are. A couple could take their state retirement now, while others need to decide if they want to go it alone with being a millionaire for an occupation or use the money to suppliment their life....There is the young lady whose boyfriend was smiling in photos...I would too, but how secure is his status ? All seven will be besieged by relatives and friends and will feel a desire to help others, but even that amount can go quickly if you are not careful. Mike Barth

WDT: More West End Development Planned

More development is planned for the Donegan properties adjacent to Stateway Plaza. The planning board is set to consider the matter soon, and in my mind this makes a recent City Council decision to delay are sewer improvements worthy of reconsideration. Council wanted to put on hold a fast tracked plan for a pump station after a new sewer diversion line west of I-81 removed the immediate need for enhanced sewer capacity in the Gaffney Drive area. While there are unknowns about the exact capacities needed, I continue to believe the sewer issues are key to development in this key corridor in the City. The City had already sought and received at least two grants to go towards the project. Council voted three to two to delay the sewer project with Councilwoman Burns and I voting in the minority. Watertown Daily Times 3 restaurants, bank planned for Watertown

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paint Job Complete

The painting of third floor offices at City Hall is complete with pictures hung back up in my abode. It looks nice, so stop by and pay a visit...It's your office too.

Budget Highlights Of Interest To North Country Residents | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY | North Country Politics

Here's the spin on budget highlights courtesy of the Governor's office. Budget Highlights Of Interest To North Country Residents WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

Yanks Poised for....Maybe Another Title

Opening day of baseball season isn't quite the thrill as when you are a kid, but its still an important day...As the Yankees play Detroit, the conventional wisdom is the Boston Red Sox are the team of destiny in the American Leagues Eastern Division. We will see. The Yanks look a little shopworn and the rotation is suspect, but there is still a lot of talent and tradition in the Bronx. And really, who wants the BOSOX to win anyway, now that Chief Gaumont is is Texas. Sox good enough to be second to none -

Diaz's Dog Bill Rolls Over

Talk about multi taskers ! While I thought the Legislature was enmeshed in a bitter but substantive debate over spending, there is another debate going on over a proposal by Senator Ruben Diaz to require obedience training for dogs within a year of their birth. Even our Senator (through a spokesperson) had to take time to comment that she will not allow the state to "go to the dogs" and that Senator Ritchie owns a yellow lab. Yellow Labs and Black Labs are the dogs of choice in NNY politics. It doesn't look like the obedience law will go anywhere so now we can get back to the budget until the next distraction from a lawmaker who anxious to respond to something in the news of the day like a dog attack. As for my 15 year old Dachshund, he prefers napping to worrying about his behavior. You will know I am running for state office when I get a lab. Diaz's Dog Bill Rolls Over and Plays Dead WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

WDT: Neighbors Helped Farmers Under Federal Scrutiny

While federal agents from Syracuse were putting on their show raid at a Henderson farm, neighbors helped get the cows milked and keep the farm running while the hard working owners dealt with a caravan of police they were told were about to descend on their farm. Media was there so the cuff n stuff could be on TV. Fact is the Butterville Farm operates in the shadows of the economy where Americans don't want to take the jobs and migrants are the ones who pick up the slack. The chattering class just likes to drink the milk when it comes to market...They don't care how it gets there and there will be no press conferences or politicians at farms like this where the people are not pretty and a lot of people don't speak English. There's a nice farm near Sackets that is the proscribed backdrop for a political statements. Watertown Daily Times Federal agents arrest farmer

Michael Bloomberg's Albany budget fight--Editorial -

Except for those littering the halls of the Capitol last night, most everyone thinks Governor Cuomo's budget was a good first step at reforming the financial practices of the Empire State....but the job is far from done. Andy's next big fight is mandate relief and that includes the controversial changing of "last in, first out" for teachers and a variety of other pro labor aspects of the state's public employee laws ranging from the Triborough Amendment to binding arbitration. While none of this affects basic union rights to bargain, it will be portrayed as such and the specter of Wisconsin will be used to whip up fear in the Legislature. The Governor also has to come through with his pledge to cut the number of state agencies by 20%. His work is really just beginning and with liberal legislators being ridiculed for being "rolled" by the Governor, spines will stiffen and the prospects for change will fade. The biggest player in the bid for mandate relief is the head of the state's economic engine, the City of New York. Mayor Bloomberg will have his hands full trying to convince the dozens of Senators and Assembly members from NYC to help him. Michael Bloomberg's Albany budget fight--Editorial -

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mega Millions Miss: New York state IT worker misses out on share of $319 million after skipping office pool -

Talk about a loser...what about the state worker who passed last week on the office lottery pool even though he normally participates ?...Then the seven others win $319 million ($205M) cash value. The chatter at my office today was whether he should be cut in even though he passed.......Some say that's the decent thing to do, but thats about $3.2 M coming out of each of the others....I say s--- happens...He should have bought in....But if I liked him, I'd say if everyone threw in 10K that would give him something. The workers are at the NYS Housing and Community Redevelopment office, where they process our CDBG requests....Hope somebody takes care of all that. Mega Millions Miss: New York state IT worker misses out on share of $319 million after skipping office pool -

Kilt Hosts AUSA Membership Event

There is a lot of enthusiasm between City Council and the Thompson Park Conservancy over the proposed rehabilitation of the Aviary. I was talking tonight to Zoo Board President Doreen Garrett who was hosting the AUSA membership event at her eaterie, the Tilted Kilt. City Council is backing the project and the Zoo has come up with an interesting proposal to better use the aging but unique structure. The key is to come up with a final design that makes sense from a use, energy and expense viewpoint. Other than that it was a nice event at the Kilt, which Doreen owns with her husband Jodie. While the food looked great there, I retreated to Petes where there is WiFi, so I could file this update in a timely manner.

Leader of North Country Tea Party stricken » Local News » Press-Republican

The head of the Tea Party movement in much of NNY has been stricken with a brain aneurysm. Mark Barie is being treated in a Burlington hospital. Leader of North Country Tea Party stricken » Local News » Press-Republican

Silver’s Warning

Speaker Sheldon Silver is getting tired of op/ed writers saying he got rolled by the new muscular and energetic Governor. Last night I watched the Speaker's interview on CapTon and in his low key style suggested that the seizing of the budget process by the Governor may see court challenges in the future...Not necessarily by Mr. Silver but by a child suffering under the new spending plan...That means somebody's kid has to be the straw man plaintiff for such a suit. Nobody likes to be told publicly they have Low T, and the Speaker is used to having his way...He did on much of this budget get his way like on mal practice limits...But the conventional wisdom is the Speaker was emasculated by Mr. Cuomo... As a permanent member of the gang of three, Mr. Silver will plot his next moves carefully. Silver’s Warning

$300 To Have Dinner with Fred Dicker ?

Wow, if you want to break bread with Liz and company, it's pretty pricey....$300 for a ticket to the Legislative Correspondents Association dinner at which they perform skits making fun of Albany pols. Who goes to these things ? I am sure the same people who attend all the other fundraisers in the capital every night of the week this time of year. While I know these affairs are supposed to highlight the comity and fraternity among scribes, can't you do that over beer and pizza after work on a Friday ? This kind of price tag suggests reporters are perhaps a little full of themselves, just like the people they cover. Oh, and on an unrelated subject, the famous 'Charlie's Angels' photo taken last year of the Cap Tonight team is now a collectors piece....I read that reporter Kaitlyn Ross left Albany for a gig in sunny Florida. State of Politics Blog

Delivery Of Telephone Directories In Maryland Will Soon Stop « CBS Baltimore

Another icon of our younger years is headed for the dust bin....But its OK...They make the print so small these days, its impossible to read anyway. Delivery Of Telephone Directories In Maryland Will Soon Stop « CBS Baltimore

WDT: Watertown to Chicago Coming Soon

The federal government will spend $6.1 million over the next two years so Watertown International Airport will have a carrier. American Eagle will fly twelve flights a week to Chicago's O'Hare Airport....A string of subsided carriers have come through the local airport in recent years as the bulk of consumers continue to take the quick drive to Syracuse for most of their air service needs. The airport located in Dexter is a nicer facility since Jefferson County took over its operations. The federal money is part of a program purporting to provide "essential air service" to rural and isolated communities where having a carrier is not economically feasible. Let's see how this works out. Watertown Daily Times Feds pick Chicago flights for Watertown

Newzjunky - Voters for Wind Holds Forum in Cape

One thing is for sure, the wind issue can pack a room..A forum sponsored by pro wind residents of Cape Vincent was held last night and residents living near other NY State wind farms talked to the crowd about their experiences. Tax revenues to local governments were discussed and possible adverse effects like noise were talked about. Few issues generate as much citizen involvement as wind. Newzjunky - Voters for Wind Holds Forum in Cape

Symphony To Shut Down Due to Money Woes...Summer Concerts in Peril

Independence Day may be a little less special in Watertown's Thompson Park this July with today's announcement the Syracuse Symphony is suspending operations due to money woes. The union representing musicians has refused a concession package, and despite a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year, the SSO board of directors says the plug has to be pulled next week.... A suspension in 1992 lasted six months. The Symphony is a popular fixture throughout the region with the July concert in the Park attended by thousands of people. SSO suspends operations effective April 3 - NewsChannel 9 WSYR

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Sandra Lee’s Lips - Food Bank, Not Budget -

NY First Lady Sandra Lee is out raising money for food banks and has no comment on the state budget, despite being pestered by the media...Why should she comment on it ? She has her own career and her own interests and doesn't feel the need to get sucked into the 'gotcha' world of politics.... Good for her. On Sandra Lee’s Lips - Food Bank, Not Budget -

TV 7: Jobs Go Begging Every Day

Despite unemployment said to be pushing 12%, everyday Jefferson County residents say no to jobs of all sorts because it's too much work or they cannot be bothered. So says TV 7, which reports that agriculture jobs are refused by the locals and in turn immigrants from Central America take them. Farm work is hard work and there are easier ways to get by......Everybody pooh poohs immigrants but if they are willing to keep those local farms open, good for them. Imagine how much a gallon of milk would be if it was NYSUT or SEIU workers tending to the cows..... Even off the farm, small business owners and managers all tell me how difficult it is to get people to work...That's because so many of those not working are not working for a reason... They are the ones always sick....always with a car that broke down....couldn't drive in this weather...had a high school friend just killed in a crash....lost their license for not paying a fine....have a class to go to but never graduate....have a friend whose cat died and they have to be there for her.....and on it goes.... They are the people who work a couple days and then just stop showing up......or think that showing up five minutes late is a right. They apply for jobs in food service with piercings all over and greasy hair...They apply for jobs with baggy pants and sweatshirts... They are 27 years old and can't account for their years and will never hold a job more than three months. There is a tendency to make fun of those people taking those farm jobs as victims or losers...In my book anyone who shows up on time and wants to work is a hero... Feedback: In Recession, These Jobs Go Begging WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Baby Count vs. Census Count

With so much federal aid riding on the numbers, big cities like NYC are challenging the 2010 census and they are using easy to gain figures to make their case...Births and deaths....Of course there are other factors that go into the equation but Mayor Bloomberg says his city was undercounted. Small communities do not have the resources to mount such challenges..There is nothing absolute about a census...much of it is determined by statistical modeling as well as actual body count. In New York State, the City has been gaining clout as its population has climbed while other areas have declined...The biggest drops were in western New York where all the counties in Carl Country fell. Baby Count vs. Census Count

Capital Abuzz Not Over Budget But Over Lottery Winners

Albany is certainly abuzz over the seven state workers who will split a $319M ($205M cash value) MegaMillions Lottery prize. There are all sorts of stories about who may or may not be in on the cash...The guy who borrowed a dollar to play...the guy who decided not to play this time (he will litigate for sure). Of course, the people in Albany are musing about what they would do with such a windfall....We all think about that unlikely prospect. For me, there are the obvious people to help like mom or my brother...there are good friends like JR or Tammy whom I would want to help and other peripheral folks I would do something for....But all that doesn't add up to anywhere near the amount won here.... Pay off bills...sure...New house...maybe, but how much space do I need ? There are a couple of community projects I would like to make happen and help out some worthy local charities like a Hospice or Urban Mission...Oh, I forgot....the to help them out and we'd have one bodacious aviary up in the Zoo. Oh, and I better throw a little at Rande's statue. While the temptation would be there to use some money to hire lawyers to torment those who have given me grief, that kind of nastiness serves no purpose... If you were the sole winner of the cash value prize, after taxes you would still have a good $120M....So far what I am talking about is a small fraction of that....I could launch a preemptive strike on an Arab country and that would take care of the balance in about 20 minutes. What about you ? How would you deal with $120M dropped in your lap. Amid dreams, 7 empty seats - Times Union

Let's Ferret Out the 32 Millionaires Among Us

Those who continue to argue for the "Millionaires Tax" are citing a survey by a left leaning think tank that show Senators how little risk they have politically in taxing the rich. In our three county district there are but 32 souls who have taxable income over one million dollars...In the more wealthy 7th district downstate, the number is a bit over 1800, but that is still a small percentage of the total population. Going after this group by arguing they don't have the votes to matter may seem cynical, but that's exactly the argument.... I think they used to call that the "Tyranny of the Majority"....Now it's called 'helping our working families." Capitol Confidential » Millionaires by Senate District

Dicker: Cuomo is Amazing

None of the state's political media will accuse Governor Cuomo of having "Low T" this week as they are all on board praising the muscular, powerful and cunning chief executive for his on-time budget and cuts in spending. Andrew Cuomo actually built on the tactics of predecessors who had fought to consolidate budget powers on Eagle Street, particularly the use of extenders that include the governor's budget proposals instead of just extending the status quo past April 1. Mr. Cuomo's chiseled features, intense stare and assertive tone (see, I can hop on the bandwagon) are imposing, but one should never underestimate the institutionalized spending in New York law and the desire of veteran legislators to feed their constituencies. Reporters like Dicker have seen first hand the dysfunction that is Albany, so this year's spasm of change, modest as it is, is seen as a source of amazement. But amazement is among the hardest of emotions to sustain... Gov. Cuomo passes on-time budget through hard work, guile -

Albany Waits to Meet Its Millionaires

In Albany today, the wait is on for the seven state employees who won a massive $319M lottery jackpot to come forward....Those not so fortunate to win the Lottery were busy at the Capitol, lobbying for more money,even though a budget deal had been announced the night before.... Listening to the whiners, you would think all these groups had lost crippling amounts of money....Folks the cut in aid was TWO percent....Two...T..W....O... If that can't be made up through efficiencies, then the people administering the money should be looking for other jobs...but they won't.... Effort made to fight state on budget cut - Albany - The Buffalo News

Monday, March 28, 2011


Oh great...I am sitting at Pete's on the computer and checking out Brittnee's Facebook page and local icon Mary Parry taps me on the shoulder to say hello. Just trying to keep up on the travels of those General Brown grads.

Hey BooBoo, Its Dangerous in the Empire State

The DEC reports hunters bagged over one thousand bears in New York State last year... DEC Announces 2010 Bear Harvest Results

Politico: Trumps Birth Certificate Questioned

After latching on to the birther argument, the Donald's own birth bona fides are being questioned....Politico reports the certificate offered by Mr. Trump is a hospital document and not a City of New York certificate.... Donald Trump has been raising the issue of President Obama's birth status in calling for Mr. Obama to authorize the State of Hawaii to issue a certification for public view. While contemporaneous news accounts in the Honolulu papers show Mr. Obama born there in 1961, there continues a small segment who insist the President does not meet Constitutional muster in proving he was born in the USA. The President has been a little coy on the matter, likely wanting his friends in the Obama-mania media to keep making fun of those tea bagging "birthers" who are really few in numbers. The Donald is getting lots of press for raising the issue but since he is likely not really running, his fulminations have no impact. My view is both Mr. Obama and the Donald are entitled to be President... Whether I would want either one is another story. (While there is no requirement the Mayor of Watertown be born in the country, I do have an actual certificate from Santa Clara County, CA in my desk should anyone ask to see it. The certificate my mom gave me from the hospital is no longer valid and I had to send for a certified copy when I needed to get a passport. I was born at Stanford University Hospital, so when I tell people I attended Stanford, I am techically correct) Trump fails to produce birth certificate - Ben Smith -

Siena Poll: NYers Back Cuomo In Budget Battle

The people back Governor Cuomo in his bid for modest reductions in says a Siena Poll out today. Despite the support, protestors are expected in the capital this week to continue the drumbeat for more spending. Siena Poll: NYers Back Cuomo In Budget Battle

New York's New Steamroller Will Have a Tough Time With an Encore

Governor Cuomo is getting high marks for at least taking a first step at containing costs in a state where spending is so institutionalized in law that it will take many more battles to get things right. Trimming spending in actual dollars rather than phony cuts is a good start. The challenge in the future is to reform the structures of government and that has to come from Albany. You cannot fight every year the 700 plus superintendents and the maze of labor laws that ensure any move at economy is portrayed as punishment for children and sick people. In 2011 we learned that a cut is a reduction in actual dollars, not just a reduction in the rate of increase. Nothing was done in the area of mandate relief or restructuring of government. The SAGE Commission still has to meet. Lots still has to be done. Andrew Cuomo has proven he has the demeanor to push lawmakers......But as we saw with George Pataki, a year or two in office wears you down.... Can New York's new steamroller keep rolling ? Time will tell, but history suggests its a tough battle ahead for Andy. Forget Spitzer and Paterson: In Gov. Cuomo, New York has a 'steamroller' that works

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NY Post: Cuomo Gets Much, While Shelly Protects the Trial Lawyers

The earliest state budget since 1983 is done....Some little victories for the special interests...Speaker Silver nixed the $250K cap on medical malpractice awards in a tip of the hat to his friends including the law firm he works for. A bunch of things were added back in although the Governor's plan was largely left in place including granting Mr. Cuomo discretion to close up to six prisons and use his SAGE Commission to kill 20% of state agencies. The Governor called the budget a "first step" in changing the fiscal culture of the state. Gov. Cuomo seals deal with Legislature on tentative state budget -

Is Michele Bachmann the brightest bulb in GOP race? -

She is dismissed as a "bimbo" by liberal comedian Bill Maher and some in the party establishment have called her a "kook" but Rep. Michele Bachmann continues to gain traction in the GOP race. I read in this story her previous occupation was that of a tax attorney. Now I am not saying a law degree makes you brilliant, but in the case of a Barack Obama, it was the law degree that gave him legitimacy out of the gate...That's true of many attornies in politics...One assumes a baseline intelligence to get into the field. So why is Bachmann being a tax attorney make her a kook and a bimbo ? The Iowa native and Minnesota Congresswoman has seized on a simple household issue to amplify her fight against big government...She wants to prevent the government from banning incandescent light bulbs in favor of making us buy the mercury laden but more efficient curly-Q bulbs. The measure of her success will be the early debates in which she could replace Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin as the icon of that movement. Palin is in a comfy role on commentator and speaker and will lose that if she gets into the race... Same story for Huckabee, who likes being on TV. With no one else lighting the field on fire, dark horses from Minnesota like Bachmann and former Governor Tim Pawlenty may stay with the pack and be able to close in the stretch against tired frontrunners. Is Michele Bachmann the brightest bulb in GOP race? -

‘Definitive Framework’ Of $132.5 Billion Budget Deal

I guess a budget deal is reached...Some money restored to schools so Legislators have something to talk about back home....Most of the budget is said to be what Governor Cuomo wanted. Now the details have to trickle out...There will be no "millionaire's tax". There is no specifity on which prisons will close or be cut, just a total number of beds. In fact the plan is being called a "definitive framework" which sounds to me like some details were kicked down the road.... Liz reports the Governor was doing the most smiling at the press conference to announce the framework....The Governor comes out of this politically more powerful. Other institutions like the education hierarchy didn't fare as well...While still in charge, superintendents took a public relations hit in this as the Governor successfully cast them as recalcitrant defenders of the status quo. ‘Definitive Framework’ Of $132.5 Billion Budget Deal

Vacation Photos are Now for All to See !

Alexandria Bay Polar Bear girl Brittnee must be vacationing in San Francisco from the photos and postings on her Facebook page.....Then there's Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson posting his vacation photos from Aruba....With the Internet we can live vicariously through the postings of those who like to be seen having a good time. I confess I would rather follow Britnee's travels as opposed to the Mayor's. Meanwhile the below average temperatures continue in NNY for those of us not jet setting. Brittnee Kriner (14)

State budget talks break down, despite optimism - Politics - The Buffalo News

It appears Albany will be throwing a little money at school districts and the snag in adopting a budget is how to carve up the reported $250M to be restored to the Governor's proposed spending plan. Deciding which prisons to close and capping medical malpractice claims also are issues in play. There was talk of a budget deal being announced Friday, a full week ahead of the deadline... Realists were skeptical and with good reason.... State budget talks break down, despite optimism - Politics - The Buffalo News

WDT: Scribe Coins Word for Owens' Sleepy Affair

Representitive Bill Owens' town hall forum Saturday in Potsdam was a solemn affair given to thoughtful reflection on the issues of the day. In other words it was boring, thus use of the word "snorum" instead of forum by Times scribe Brian Amaral. This is edgy writing as "in the day" the MSM would never have referred to anything John McHugh did as boring, even though it likely was. Watertown Daily Times Owens hosts town hall snorum

WDT: Second Lewis County Lawyer Eyes Top Bench Job

Former Lewis County DA Michael Young tells the WDT he too may be interested in running for NYS Supreme Court Justice in the Fifth Judicial Diatrict, which includes Lewis, Jefferson, Oswego,Oneida,Onondaga and Herkimer Counties. There are three seats up this year with justices now sitting in Lewis, Jefferson and Oneida Counties leaving. An informal "handshake" deal in the GOP has allowed at least one person from each county to be elected, thus keeping a local presence on the bench. There is no legal reason that has to be and since Syracuse dominates the district in terms of political clout, lawyers from there are said to want the two most rural seats now held by Justices McGuire and Gilbert. Democrat Lewis County Court Judge Charles Merrill has already said privately he intends to run for the office which with its 14 year term is a nice glide path to retirement. Attorney Young says he wants to preserve the Lewis County seat but it is unclear if he can garner the votes in the GOP judicial convention in September. The process does not allow just anyone to run, although on the Democratic side I am sure Merrill could get the nod of his party. Watertown Daily Times Young eyes run for state justice