Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sarah Palin turns heads at Tammy Haddad's brunch - PATRICK GAVIN | POLITICO CLICK

Sarah Palin is part of the Georgetown elite scene...at least for a time today as she attended a fundraiser garden party...Politico reports the news media normally anxious to rip her apart was fawning for pictures with her.
Sarah Palin turns heads at Tammy Haddad's brunch - PATRICK GAVIN POLITICO CLICK

Florist: $3 Million Lottery Winner at Carthage Market

   A report today of a three million dollar Lottery winner at the Carthage Market...Heard its a woman named Barb...
    Don't know anything more.

Here's Another Silly Set of Rules for Patty to Take On

   So today I get a newsletter from the NYS Restaurant and Tavern Association and one of the advisories is about the new Wage Theft Prevention Act."  It took effect April 9....
    It says I have to provide workers with yearly pay notices and proper wage statements...I thought those were called w-2s....It says I cannot retaliate for reporting labor law violations.
     I have to give workers an annual notice stating their rate of pay; the overtime rate of pay; the basis of the pay (whether its per hour or per something else); the employer's regular pay day, the name of the employer and the mailing address...Oh and I have to give employees my telephone number. Has to be done between January 1 and February 1.
     Sound complicated...The Department of Labor has a template form to use and its available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Creole, Polish and Russian......
     To the pin heads who wrote the law, let me say all this stuff is either already law or just standard practice.  Who takes a job without knowing what they are paid ?
      Oh and getting back to the name of law...What "wage theft" are we preventing with this law ?
    

Loo a Loser for Organize Labor ?

    A WDT reporter asked me yesterday my thoughts on the prefabricated public rest rooms being installed in the JB Wise parking lot as part of a pavillion to be used for public events there.
     The structure arrived on a flatbed and is a pre-built structure, but I am told a gentleman from one of trade unions is planning a protest because it was not built on the spot by union masons and carpenters.
    The engineer plans for the project called for the prebuilt rest room as it is said to be less expensive than building on the spot.  I suppose the question of the Wick's Law could also be raised.
      I think its an attractive structure and would be a great addition in public venues like the Fairgrounds or Thompson Park which often lack suitable facilities for when nature calls...
      I guess before you go, its common practice for some to look for the union label.

WDT: Efficiencies Apparent as Government Looks to Save

This is an interesting editorial about NYS spending practices, including the maintaining of massive amonts of vacant office space, erratic purchasing practices, numerous unused toll free lines still being rented and so on.
State government is huge, but has lots of ways to save money.....Now maybe that office space is being rented from the "right" people, but certainly there is a lot to be improved.
There is a tendency to believe things are OK, as we have discovered with fiscal practices in one of our own City departments. In fact there is always room for improvement that is not discovered till there is either scandal or the necessity of seeking economies.
Watertown Daily Times State spending

Friday, April 29, 2011

No Sales Tax Extender Yet For Jefferson County...But Please Understand...These Things are a Game

Here's how these home rule tax issues work.....
No member of the state legislature wants to be tagged with advocating higher taxes...or standing in the way of a tax cut....
The goal is to have local lawmakers pleading for the higher level of sales tax and then you have "plausable deniability."
In other words, state lawmakers like local officials to have to come back to them for renewal of home rule legislation...I get it...
Let me help out...
The argument in favor of retaining the 7.75% sales tax is that it allows more of the cost of local government to be spread accross a larger pool of people including those visiting the area and those exempt from property taxes.
The argument against it is that it is regressive against the poor and that the only way to force efficient local government is to restrict revenue and make the locals choose between "bloat" and higher property taxes.
In the City of Watertown, our general fund debt is down six million dollars in recent years and the real dollar tax on an average home is down 16% over the past 8 years....That's largely the result of sales tax revenue...
So how about this...Renew the sales tax...pass a property tax cap...and do some mandate relief...
Life will be good.
PS I think the drama over this is overdone...I say it happens....at least the first part of it.
No Sales Tax Extender Yet For Jefferson County WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits flood-ravaged Adirondack town | syracuse.com

While our plight is not nearly as bad as Alabama, parts of NNY are reeling under the erratic and very wet April weather....I was over at Maggie's today watching the Black River roar past...I could only think of the turbines at the Marble Street plant whirring away....One person's bad weather is anothers good fortune, but I hate to see the suffering the weather is causing this week.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits flood-ravaged Adirondack town syracuse.com

An Elephant and a Donkey Hope to Keep Judges Local

   Thursday's soire for my campaign also produced another likely candidate for Supreme Court Justice from the Fifth District...Town of Watertown judge Jim McClusky stropped in and told me he is running in hopes of keeping a justice in Jefferson County....
   Meanwhile Lewis County judge Charles Merrill is also running but as a Democrat hoping to keep a local judge sitting in Lowville...
    Central NY lawyers covetous of a 14 year term on the bench are trying to scrap a long time deal to keep at least one judge in each county.
    If they get their party's respective nominations these two men will in effect be running as a team up in our area, although the party poobahs will never allow them to admit it in public.

Upstate Schools Score Better than Downstate on Cost Containment

A conservative group monitoring governing in NY does give upstate school districts higher grades in managing and containing costs... I offer this link so you don't think I am always down on superintendents...
Scribd

Friday Politics

A bit of a surprise on the usually static Jefferson County Legislature...A third incumbent is bailing out...This time it's District 7's Kent Burto, a former chair and ardent Republican....Now he says is tired of it all, especially party politics...Readers will remember the televised confrontation Kent and I had over sales tax in 2004 but other than that incident, I always was treated well by Mr. Burto...Best wishes.
Jude also is reporting the Democrats are touting they will introduce the new County Treasurer at their spring luncheon in May...Nothing like making it more political than it is....Give up the name now Governor...Let's end this dance.
It was with sadness I heard an old boss of mine passed... 87 year old Howard Brown has owned WWNY since the Johnsons sold in in the early 80s.....I worked there then. Mr. Brown was always a decent gentleman. He died at his home in Kenosha, WI.
Today I sat in on Assemblywoman Addie Russell's cross border tourism forum at Maggies. The event was scaled back as many members of the delegation from Kingston stayed home due to a visit today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in advance of Monday's federal elections.
And it's Arbor Day, and members of Tree Watertown celebrated with a tree planting the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Off to City Hall for me to pick up the agenda for Monday and see what's up.
Jefferson County Legislature Losing Another Incumbent WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

Birthers Give Way to Schoolers

As I found out last night, birth certificates and demanding to see them is a great laugh line at political events and now that the Donald is demanding to see the Presidents college transcripts, that may be the next battleground.
Like the President, I like to think I can be judged on performance in life and not letters and numbers assigned to rate me decades ago...A couple D's may dot my transcripts which I had to dig out a new years back for a job application...Since I didn't get the job, maybe the grades were a factor...
I certainly value the education I was able to have and think its an important building block for life...Like the birth certificate there is surely no reason anyone's view of the President would change if released...
All of this speaks to the fawning lack of vetting done prior to Mr. Obama's election....It's not the President's fault..Apparently no one asked during the intoxication over Hope and Change.
RealClearPolitics - Video - Valerie Jarrett: Obama Not Releasing College Records

ROYAL WEDDING 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton say 'I WILL' at Westminster Abbey | Mail Online

The fawning media cannot get enough of the pomp of this very special wedding that joined the lives of Prince William and Kate Middleton...the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and a King and Queen in waiting.
The Royals are saved...a popular new commoner is being touted as the saviour of the Monarchy....After an enormous black eye following the tragic tale of Diana, the Royals now have an 80% approval rating.
For the record, the bride looked beautiful and was radiant.
Now let's move on.
ROYAL WEDDING 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton say 'I WILL' at Westminster Abbey Mail Online

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WDT | Graham presents birth certificate

I have my college transcripts ready should the demand be made.
Watertown Daily Times Graham presents birth certificate

Thanks to My Friends Who Came to Pete's on a Thursday Night

    It was a lot of fun tonight at Pete's Restaurant as about 100 friends and supporters rallied in support of my candidacy for reelection as mayor.
    It was an honor to be introduced by the likes of dear friend Ted Ford, and my friend and Library Board member Matt Doheny and Councilwoman Roxanne Burns.
    Of course I had to begin the speech by sharing a certified copy of my birth certificate, as voters in 2011 expect nothing less from their candidates for President or Mayor.
    I also laid out my version of a "progressive" agenda which included tax cuts, debt reduction and still finding ways to enhance quality of life by aiding the Urban Mission and building a community room at the Zoo.
    It was great to see such a diverse group from Members of Assembly to liquor store owners.
     

WDT: Graham takes sales tax swipe at Ritchie

Wow, this interpretation is way off....I wasn't even thinking about the pending sales tax extender when I complimented Jim Wright on his help in the 2004 sales tax agreement that has allowed the City and many local towns to remain solvent through tough times.
I even said my two favorite senators of all time were present in the room for the announcement by Lt. Governor Bob Duffy of state help for the Creekwood Housing project on the city's north side.
But since Brian raised the issue, let me add that extending the current tax will allow for the property tax relief I feel is essential to our city......
If good, decent people come to virtuous decisions on their own...who am I to stand in their way.
Watertown Daily Times Graham takes sales tax swipe at Ritchie

Transcript Reveals My Innermost Thoughts

Talk about the "gotcha" media....Jude prints out a transcript of my interview and then uses an old photo that makes me look disgusting....I don't mean to sound vain, but losing weight is a lot of work....
Anyway tonight is my campaign event at Pete's Restaurant on Breen Avenue....You are all invited and it should be a good time...Ted Ford, Matt Doheny and Roxanne Burns are featured speakers ! Lots of other politicos will be there.
Lots of good citizens and friends too...so its not all politics.....
Thanks to campaign czar Melissa VanBrocklin who has done wonders getting things ready and thanks to the others who helped with invitations.
Politics and Pete's just go together..
A Chat With Mayor Graham About His Re-Election Bid WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

House Republicans Launch Attack Ad Against Rep. Owens - Washington Wire - WSJ

Next year's race for the 23rd Congressional District is getting underway with the GOP airing some ads ripping Democrat Bill Owens...Republicans say the Congressman and his policies leave us at the mercy of the People's Republic of China.....shades of the Yellow Peril....
I suppose its about the deficit and the debt we owe to China.....Seems like more people than Mr. Owens caused that problem...But look for the deficit to be issue one next year when businessman Matt Doheny takes a second stab at Mr. Owens...
House Republicans Launch Attack Ad Against Rep. Owens - Washington Wire - WSJ

Gabrielle Giffords WALKED up stairs to fly to husband Mark Kelly's Endeavour launch | Mail Online

Wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of AZ's 8th District was photographed walking up the stairs to board a plane for the trip to Florida to see her husband's shuttle lift off at Cape Canaveral.
While the Congresswoman was still struggling with her right side, the images are astounding proof of progress in recovering from being shot in the head less than four months ago.
Her efforts to soldier on are inspiring.
Gabrielle Giffords WALKED up stairs to fly to husband Mark Kelly's Endeavour launch Mail Online

WDT: Wind Welfare Awaited for Galloo

I am no Donald Trump when it comes to economics, but if the State guarantees the purchase of power from these wind farms like Galloo Island, doesn't that just mean we all get to pay more in our electric bills...all so someone can carry on about green jobs for the 21st Century and some very rich people can be a little richer ?
There is so much that is subsidized by all of us. In four hours I am attendng an announcement of subsidy for housing construction. I was just a little ill advised to have gotten into a line of work that is considered "sin" so we get to pay extra taxes instead of fewer.
I still would like the State to guarantee the sale of all my product. Some brands of beer just will not move.
Watertown Daily Times Ritchie supports deal for power

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hawaii Was Slow on Providing Straight Answers

Why did it take the State of Hawaii so long to produce a long form certificate of live birth ? Even after the state's governor promised to end the controversy ?
Now the skeptics can wonder anew...is the one released today altered ?...Had a guy on the HOTLINE insisting so...
This whole thing was bizarre and I am convinced in recent weeks the President and his media sycophants gladly fanned the issue to portray anyone opposing the President as wacky and racist....
Of course the Donald helped too..but he had his own reasons for the publicity laden issue...
The whole thing reached the absurd today with the President feeling the need to take on the Donald on television, before he hopped on a plane for Chicago to tape the Oprah show....
Its all about the show biz.
Hawaii's blunders fueled birthers - Byron Tau - POLITICO.com

Schools, Localities, Can Live Within Tax Cap, Cuomo Says

Governor Cuomo is still pushing his tax cap...And he should. Its needed to send the right message as well as hold down taxes.....
Schools, Localities, Can Live Within Tax Cap, Cuomo Says

WDT: Creekwood to Get a Boost from LG Duffy on Thursday

Since its in the MSM now, I can say a much rumored visit by the Lieutenant Governor and former Rochester mayor Bob Duffy is true......The late morning presser will be to announce funding for the Creekwood Housing project on the City's northern edge.
This has been in the works for some time and this will be the first time for me to meet LG Duffy. Anytime an upstate mayor ascends to high office, that's a good thing.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Main Street: New WIGS Campaign ‘Simply a Joke’

The big, rich and powerful supermarket oligarchy is stepping up its efforts for WIGS....or wine in grocry stores....Meanwhile the hard working, family values, struggling small business liquor store owners are fighting back.
I think the little guy loses this, as the public wants to get their alcohol where they please and no one other than Prohibitionists really cares....Also the supermarkets have better lubricated the wheels in Albany with money.
Main Street: New WIGS Campaign ‘Simply a Joke’

Saranac Lake Mayor Spots Celebrity On Street Corner

Want to see the Governor...I guess you have a pretty good chance in Saranac Lake, where Mr. Cuomo and Sandra Lee like to visit....And the sleepy village has a Democratic mayor in Clyde Rabideau, who is also the former mayor of the City of Plattsburgh...
Saranac Lake Mayor Spots Celebrity On Street Corner

Obama Birth Certificate Released by White House - ABC News

Saying "we don't have time for this silliness" President Barack Hussein Obama II released his long form birth certificate and declared the nation has big problems to solve and should not be distracted by the issue of whether he was in fact born in Honolulu, Hawaii in August, 1961.
The man who forced the issue was in New Hampshire and Donald Trump quickly took credit for what he sees as a long overdue move. The President specifically referenced Mr. Trump in his White House remarks.
My own expert on birth certificates, City Clerk Donna Dutton, long ago told me this was a kerfuffle and that the already available documentation suggested beyond a doubt that Mr. Obama was indeed born in our 50th state.
Now the Donald can move on to the President's college transcripts.
Obama Birth Certificate Released by White House - ABC News

Gov. Cuomo unveils bill to bar public officials from collecting pensions if they are convicted of a felony - NYPOST.com

If they are in jail, how else can they support their families ? That's the pending dilemma for public officials convicted of corruption if a proposal by Governor Cuomo becomes law.
Increasingly there have been news accounts about the public officials doing time and also collecting their state pensions. Of course, the argument is these are separate issues and they 'earned' them.
Its not the ones in jail that bother me....Its all the legal double dips and pension enhancements that are the problem.
Proposing a law and dubbing it "Hevesi's Law" is a good press release, but does little more.
Gov. Cuomo unveils bill to bar public officials from collecting pensions if they are convicted of a felony - NYPOST.com

WDT: No PILOT from Larry Doesn't Stop the Goodies from Government

Despite a denial of a PILOT by the Town of Pamelia, the developers of a housing project on Route 37 will still be getting lots of goodies in terms of tax relief incuding likely use of a controversial "sale-leaseback" procedure that allows for the avoidance (some say evasion) of sales and mortgage taxes that all the rest of us pay on our properties.
The avoidance of property taxes pales compared to other giveaways.....
Pamelia Supervisor Larry Longway tood a stand on the PILOT, but it will not end the public subsidy.
Yes, I realize these deals have been done on projects within the city limits. As the lawyers say, I will stipulate to that.
Watertown Daily Times Pamelia denies project PILOT

WDT: Wizards Bills Paid, Audit Gears Up

Tens of thousands of dollars in back bills relating to the Watertown Wizards collegiate baseball team have now been paid and an auditor is being hired to study overall billing and fiscal issues as they relate to the City's recreation programs. The whole affair has truly left City Council members shaking their heads and wondering just what are the issues that would lead to unpaid bill stretching back for a decade and uncashed checks sitting in desk drawers.
While the independent audit is done, changes are being made to tighten up the situation and first among them must be the notion that groups renting public facilities need to pay up front. We cannot and should not be running "bar tabs" for such things.
The facilities at the Fairgrounds cannot wait for the audit and recommendations. Those fields and other facilities need to be used this year, but there should be no long term arrangements until this matter is sorted out. Over the past two decades significant improvements have been made to recreational facilities and they are well maintained.
Obviously the City Council and administration have work to do in seeing the business end of these programs is in order.
Watertown Daily Times Wizards back bills to city paid up

WDT: Chamber to Take Up Political Activism

The issue I might have with political advocacy by the Chamber of Commerce is it purports to represent "business", when it in fact represents a small group of insiders. There are certain broad brush issues that the business community clearly has an interest in, but not everyone in business faces the same set of issus nor do they all carry the same ideologies and agendas.
There are a lot of business leaders I know who are big government types, especially is they are profiting off the bloat. There is certainly a vibrant debate over the freebies and corporate welfare. Certainly when it comes down to candidates and endorsements, where do you end up ?
For a time my friend Dave Mance was running the Chamber.....He carries the requisite old school Republican party registration but more recently has supported candidates like President Obama and Rep. Bill Owens. Do you go with incumbency in order to curry favor with those who hand out the goodies, or do you stick with a more pure view of capitalism ?
I am not against advocacy and I am a Chamber member. I think support for broad business principles is what the group should stand for. In my mind that does not include advocacy for any taxes, yet Chambers have been the big cheerleaders for things like "Bed Taxes." See how easy you can violate core principles when one subset sees an advantage to bigger government ?
Of course, my views are directly proportional to who they endorse in the mayor's race.
Watertown Daily Times Chamber planning foray into political activism

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As of Now, Two Races in City Seen for November

Jude is declaring the mayoral race in Watertown off and running even though its still over two months till candidates can officially file for ballot status.......I won't be dwelling on the race much here as I am a likely participant. So far two candidates are viewed as likely contenders while there are no apparent challengers for the two Council seats up this year.
The hot ticket may actually be the race for City Judge...Lawyers Keith Caughlin and Eugene Renzi will joust in various party primaries before heading on to November.
Watertown Mayor Race Begins In Earnest WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY North Country Politics

A Trip to Channel 7 on a Rainy Afternoon

    Today I ventured to channel 7 for an interview with Jude Seymour...He was asking me pre-campaign type questions and about Thursday's soire at Pete's.
     I also spent a little time in the newsroom. I chatted with Canadian Brian Ashley who game me pointers on the Stanley Cup and the upcoming Canadian elections so I won't appear like the ugly American at Friday's panel discussion with reps from Kingston...They are coming to Watertown.
      Anne was there and said hello and so was Diane Rutherford, whom I remember when she did a live shot from Pearl Street the first time I was elected in 1991. She hasn't aged a day.
      His eminence Scott Atkinson came down from on high to greet me.
       Then it was off to the room next to the GM's office to do the interview...Then I was released to go back to City Hall. 
      Make sure you watch....
      

GOP Sweep in Legislature Possible...But They Can't Find a Bean Counter

    Republicans have no prospect for winning the Jefferson County Treasurer race this year...That's the word from a well placed GOP source...They just cannot find anyone who wants to give up what they are doing to make $60K as a fiscal watchdog.
    Not all is bad for the party of Lincoln....They have a chance at grabbing all 15 seats on the County Legislature...whatever that means.....
    They are likely to pick up District 15 with Anthony Doldo sure to run for the seat he almost won two years ago.
    They have a shot at District 4 as Legislator Allen Drake is in the rumor mill as the Democratic pick for Treasurer. Otherwise Drake retains the seat.
     Would Republicans want all 15 seats with no rhetorical foil should something go awry ?  It doesn't likely matter as the party lables mean little at the local level....
      A shutout would be a feather in the cap of the GOP county chair, but I am not sure he sees feathers as a desired fachion accessory.

WDT: Orchestra's demise casts doubt over Thompson Park event

The fiscal unraveling of the Syracuse Symphony is finally sinking in, and the annual Independence Day concert in the park is a goner.....Without the orchestra or its staff to organize, its hard to imagine such an event being replicated.
Other types of concerts could be organized but it likely would lack the patriotic and very safe atmosphere offered by the Symphony.
Watertown Daily Times Orchestra's demise casts doubt over Thompson Park event

A Mayor's Trip to Aruba Posted for All to See

     All of us in public life like the traditional publicity over ribbon cuttings and other trappings of office. In today's Facebook world, some choose to publicize all sorts of personal and family photos which are just a typical vacation slide show in most cases, but may also provide political fodder for an electoral foe.
     Beach pictures, glass of wine in hand photos, posing with strangers photos all offer political risk.
     I look at what many post on these pages and am amazed as these photos can be copied an used anywhere. 
     When I was growing up, these photos were in the form of slides in those Kodak Carousel trays stacked in the closet until an unsuspecting friend or relative agreed to a slide show....
    Now the slide show is there for all to see.  Of course if you just put it out front,  it takes the steam out of paparazzi with their long lenses. 

NYC Ticket Fixing is Rough Justice Fix for Predatory System

There is the requisite feigned media outrage over the revelation that tickets written by city police get "fixed", or made to go away without a court appearance. What's so new or different about that ? In the stampede to write tickets and produce revenue, nobody who passes laws or dictates their enforcement gives any thought to mistakes, overzealousness, compassion, politics, hardship or a variety of other factors including connections. OK, there is a "Mr. Fix-It" office to handle these matters.
I am more concerned about these crazy ticket writing cameras that are just revenue shakedowns or the escalating fines being seen as a means of budget rescue.
As ticket writng quotas rise and lawmakers raise fines, the process of traffic law is becoming more shakedown than safety. If somebody's ticket gets fixed, that may be just one more injustice in an increasingly dubious system.
The Daily Politics New York Daily News

WDT:Duffy in Watertown this week?

I guess I missed this political buzz...I hadn't heard anything about a high ranking state official like the LG coming to Watertown...I know on Friday, Assemblywoman Russell is hosting Canadian officials from Kingston in the flipside of her trip to the Canadian city earlier this year. That's on Friday.... I guess we will have to wait and see.
Watertown Daily Times Duffy in Watertown this week?

Newzjunky - Watertown Police Grapple with Noise Ordinance Enforcement

Although a ticket has been written, enforceability of the city's new noise law continues to be in question and in this story, Oswego pollice are ask about the issue.
Newzjunky - Watertown Police Grapple with Noise Ordinance Enforcement

Francis: No SAGE Role For Layoffs

Here's a 'they don't get it' moment......The co-chair of the so called SAGE Commision on government efficiency says the panel will not make any recommnedations that result in the loss of state jobs...
Huh ?
That's what efficiency is. There is a fundamental lack of unstanding of the word 'efficiency'......
Francis: No SAGE Role For Layoffs

Monday, April 25, 2011

City Council Takes a Road Trip to Factory Street

   City Council met with the management of the Watertown Urban Mission this evening for about 90 minutes to learn more about the organization. They also toured the Factory Street HQ of the mission which among other things runs a thrift store and a food pantry.
    Council also met in executive session to begin the review of applications to be City Clerk.
    This week, Councilman Smith will stand in for me at the Legion Law and Order Dinner as I had already scheduled my campaign kickoff at Pete's before I learned of the dinner....Thanks to the Councilman for being a stand up guy and filling in.
    Tomorrow, I head to TV 7 as Jude Seymour wants to interview me about the upcoming election.
    The City election that continues to bubble beneath the media radar is the one for City Judge....Its an open seat race that will pit Keith Coughlin against Eugene Renzi...Nothing like a couple lawyers competing for a cushy six figure job with a 10 year term to generate some fun.
   

The Donald's Wife is on TV Too

      If New York's First Lady* can be a Food Network personality, why can't the next FLOTUS be a jewelry pitch woman for QVC....Melania Trump, 40, does just that and even says the current First Lady would look good in the baubles she hawks on the shopping network.
      Meanwhile the Donald is busy explaining his spotty voting record and now its revealed he donated $50K to the mayoral campaign of Rahm Emanual.  So what. The Donald realizes politics is about relationships, just like in business.. It's the art of the deal....Make a good title for a book.

Study: New Yorkers Like Their Misery

    A study shows misery may indeed love company....New Yorkers rank 45th in happiness among the 50 states, but despite the despair we rank last in suicides....
    Apparently the unhappy are content to have others to share they dismay with...

Haley Barbour bows out of 2012 - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has taken himself out of the race for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination race, leaving some puzzled and others wondering who benefits from the announcement. Gov. Barbour said he couldn't make the fire-in-the-belly type of commitment to the race and that he says is what voters deserve.
Haley Barbour bows out of 2012 - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Two New Restaurants Open Today

        Two restaurants opened today in Watertown...One was the Philly's Finest on Court Street which held an 11AM ribbon cutting.
       Later in the day the Olive Garden open its doors on outer Arsenal Street.
       The latter should become an attraction over a large area as the popular chain will likely be packed for weeks to come.
     Philly's finest is the result of the Russell family, Chris and Carolino, moving here from PA to try their hand at the restaurant business...They had visited and liked the place and its people.
     Its gratifying to see people choose your city, not because of cookie cutter business modeling, but because they truly want to make their stand in life here.
    Congrats to the owners and employees at both restaurants.

Senate Romance....Its Not the Royal Wedding But in Albany...The Next Best Thing

Its good to see some old fashioned romance admidst the nonsense and dysfunction of our state capital. Senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino are NYC lawmakers who are both single and have found playing footsie in the Chamber makes the whole experience more bearable. Ms. Savino was in NNY last fall helping out then Senator Darrel Aubertine.
The two Senators are members of the four member Independent Democratic Alliance, a rogue group angry at minority leader Sampson.
While their districts are only a couple of boroughs separate, it will be interesting to see what would happen if the relationship progressed to the next level....In politics though, married people can represent different districts...Tougher to do for most of you I suspect.
Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino in Albany Romance - NYTimes.com

In Sing Sing’s Hometown, Dreams of ‘Big House’ Closing - NYTimes.com

While NNY lawmakers can't get enough prisons, one long time prison community increasingly wants its prison closed....The phrase "up the river" was coined for Ossining where the Sing Sing prison occupies a large portion of the scenic Hudson River village....They want the prison closed so the scenery can be enjoyed and they don't seem to care about the 800+ jobs....
Ossining is increasingly a place where the NYC crowd wants to take the short commute up the river for a more bucolic lifestyle...
Closing the historic prison would end a chapter in NYS history as so many famous and infamous have lived and died there. Funny how the gentrified people of Ossining want the prison gone but another community starting with the same letter seems to desparately be begging for the the same industry.
In Sing Sing’s Hometown, Dreams of ‘Big House’ Closing - NYTimes.com

Mission for anti-Palin movement: Expose her - Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com

If you think birthers are on the fringe, check out the crazies frantically producing anti-Palin diatribes even though it looks like the former AK governor is not going to seek the Presidency.
Politico reports a spate of books featuring salacious stories about Palin are being readied by the freakish crowd of uber liberals who have taken their fight to a level at least equal and likely more nasty than that directed at President Obama.
People have always been catty, but these days one does wonder why anyone would put up with the abuse.
Mission for anti-Palin movement: Expose her - Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com

WDT: Ribbon Cuttin at 11

Here's a piece on Chris and Carolina Russell, the Philadelphia, PA couple who uprooted their family to move north to Watertown, NY and open Philly's Finest, a cheesesteak eaterie on Court Street.
Mr. Russell is a retired smoke-eater from the City of Brotherly Love. Congratulations to them both and i will be there at 11m for the ribbon cutting.
Watertown Daily Times FARE FROM THE OTHER PHILLY

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Buff News: Tax Cap Comes First

With so many possible items to concentrate on, there is a need for Governor Cuomo to concentrate on the most important.......The Buffalo News lists a property tax cap and independent redistricting as tops on the list..
Those are worthy issues, but redistricting will always be an inside baseball endeavor that is run by the people who have a stake in the outcome. Nobody else cares..I wouldn't put it at the top of the list for Mr. Cuomo.
The tax cap is important for its symbolism and its ability to spur reform in other areas including mandate relief....
Currently the Governor is making a lot of noise about same sex marriage...that's a matter for the Senate to resolve and that's where the debate should be. Governor Cuomo doesn't need to waste time or political capital on pandering to a constituency he already has in his corner...The Governor has said he will sign the bill. That should suffice.
Nobody ever achieves what they want on 20 different matters...You have to prioritize, and the tax cap is a good hook to hang his hat.
Credit for Cuomo - Buffalo News editorials - The Buffalo News

Trump Under Fire as Old Guard Fears He Really Will Run

The GOP's Karl Rove calls a Trump candidacy a "joke"....The White House calls it a "sideshow". But for someone so discredited an awful lot of effort is going into discrediting the Donald...
Now its his business dealings and casino bankruptcies....
You know what ? If he stumbled, so what ? Those who have never taken risks likely have not failed...I don't hold that against him and while I don't think he runs, I hope he keeps stirring the pot...
Donald Trump's bankruptcies whittle away at his reputation as a great businessman

WDT: Farming Criminalized by Overeager Feds

This is a good kind of Sunday newspaper story...Something questioning conventional news judgment that says when the Feds busted that farmer in Henderson for harboring illegal aliens, the cameras go along in tow and dutifully chronicle this latest war on the populace. The farmer doesn't get much sympathy as he is scruffy, overweight, poorly dressed and doesn't have the words US Attorney in front of his name.
Hopefully upon reflection sensible people conclude this was a dog and pony show and that farmers are in a truly non-win situation....They are carriers of the torch of America's hearty agrarian roots, but represent a field of endeavor too messy and requiring of hard work to be of interest to today's work force. Next time the "suits" tip TV about a major bust, let's hope they are more skeptical and less puppy-like. (I used to work in that business and got sucked in on these things too on occasion).
Watertown Daily Times FARMERS OR CRIMINALS? When a north country farmer was arrested for allegedly employing illegal aliens, the region's dairy industry was left to wonder, 'Who will be next?'

Population Dropping, But Not the Number of Superintendents

It could always be worse...The state's least populous county became less populous over the past decade with Hamilton County dropping 10% to under 5,000 residents...Schools haven't got enough students to field a sports team, but I did notice that in this Daily Enterprise story, there are quotes from no less than four school superintendents...That to me suggests at least four districts (maybe more) are located in this county with virtually no people.
Those four superintendent jobs are no doubt a key part of the local economy, but can that be afforded ? It isn't just the supers, who are likely intelligent and committed educators, it is the entire infrastructure of people, buildings and equipment that go with this gang of four.
Coping with population decline - AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise