Saturday, July 2, 2011

Baboon Headed to Jersey Shore Caught...Snooki Still on the Loose

A baboon escaped from an animal park was caught two days after its breakout...The simian was tranquilized and nabbed some 20 miles from his home..
Escaped New Jersey baboon captured in Howell, New Jersey, tranquilized

Dowd: "Utopia on the Hudson"

The gushing for Andrew Cuomo's first six months continues with this op/ed from Maureen Dowd. But since Maureen is one of the better writers out there, I always enjoy her take and she is right that Mr. Cuomo has skillfully altered Albany's image and developed a national following by seizing the marriage issue at a time when others didn't see that a lot of people were ready to accept the change or at least not violently opposed to it.
President Obama lost the initiative with the left on that, and nobody on the right really believes him when he says he is against it.
The Governor is shopping his image as an "aggressive progressive" committed to social change but willing to loosen his family's bear hug for big government.
I don't know if its "Utopia on the Hudson." That may be an oxymoron.....But its better than it was and the capital is off the laughingstock list at least temporarily.
Utopia on the Hudson -

Kate Plants a Tree...Media Goes GaGa

The new "Di" is continuing to wow Canada...even when planting a tree..It's nice to have a diversion people can get excited over...Looks like the Monarchy is enjoying an uptick in popularity.
Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plant a tree in Canada Mail Online

Cuomo Backs Fracking Report

The DEC report on hydrofracking is 700 pages and hardly the kind of light reading most of you had in mind for the holiday weekend...But Governor Cuomo has quickly embraced the plan which would allow drilling in areas of upstate outside watersheds for Syracuse and the City of New York.....On the upside the economic development would create jobs and tax revenue as has happened in neighboring Pennsylvania...
The downside is environmentalists will fight it on grounds its a potentially dangerous process.
Everybody wants environmental protections, but you never know what to believe from these people....A patch of land thats wet is suddenly called a wetland and then its useless.....Cleanups of things that aren't threatening anyone while other blights and abandoned buildings go untouched.....
I just don't trust the declarations from the environmental establishment.
Leave a mound of dirt in a spot they don't like and they fine you...I have seen it happen.
So if the DEC says hydrofracking can begin, that certainly indicates only the most strident tree huggers oppose it.
the 700-plus pages

The Journal: More News from Planet Patty

The press releases are thick as shad flies on the St. Lawrence as Senator Ritchie announced the opening of her office in the 'Burg, got some license plates returned to a lady in Oswego County, and announced plans to fete Dallas Mavericks head coach and Maple City native Rick Carlisle on Tuesday.
Mr. Reagen is a prolific press secretary.
Oh, and I forgot...the prisons are staying open !
The Journal Sen. Ritchie's City Office Now Open

Friday Night Vignettes

    *At the concert in Thompson Park, I learned long time USO supporter and former Chamber director Mary Parry is hosting a motorcycle poker run to various American Legions. It will be for charity as Mary has been a long time supporter of the USO and of various military related events.
     * While showing me how adept he is at opening a soda can tab with one hand, the hubby of one local pol was telling me he remembers drinking Piels beer out of the can back in the day when you had to use an opener.
      *Assemblyman Blankenbush says he had his first-ever conversation last week with Speaker Sheldon Silver whom he described as a smart man with a dry personality.
      *Town of Watertown Supervisor Joel Bartlett told me a property owner in the town is trying to lure the new assisted living center out there as possible wetland siting issues threaten to dash hopes for locating it on Washington Street next to the Sisters of St. Joseph. More bizzare environmental regs from Washington to protect a miniscule wetland.
    *Tuesday's City Council meeting will feature discussions of the Fairgrounds with an effort by one councilman to remove the facility from under the supervision of the DPW superintendent.  That may be OK to do, but I have argued the rapidly expanding scope of various events held there speaks to the need for a business like approach through hiring a facility manager.  In any event I think everyone's goals are the same and this may represent different means to an end.

The Devil's Brew Comes to Burger King

Everybody wants to sell the Devil's Brew these days and even Burger King is adding hops and barley to its menu in selected Whopper Bar locations....The first with beer is in South Beach and its not likely to raise eyebrows there.
Whopper Bars are highly styled, gourmet food locations and are much more hip than the normal Arsenal Street variety of BK.
If every venue and event is going to be slathered in beer and alcohol, perhaps its time to get real and lower the drinking age back to 18 so we can all stop looking the other way in so many instances. The only place the law is enforced anymore is in licensed establishments.
Introducing the Whopper Bar: Burger King to sell beer at fast food joints - New York Daily News

Judges Seek Nod from the Indicted in Scramble for Indy Nomination

What's a hoot is that all the State Supreme Court candidates have made the pilgrimage to see John Dote who is in charge of the party's Fifth Judicial District Conventions. All of them tell me they never talk to John one on one and always make sure someone is in the room. Getting that extra line on the ballot involves some indignities....but the irony of prospective judges pleading on bent knee to Mr. Dote is irony at its best.
This is one reason I got away from all of this and didn't run for judicial delegate from the 118th.  In fact there is no longer a Jefferson County wing of this party.
Of course Mr. Dote is innocent until proven guilty, as all these judge hopefuls are aware.
Local Independence Party chairman faces more charges - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

Marriage Scam Gets Three Marines in Hot Water

This is not all that unusual and there have been similar incidents locally as gay couples have showed up to marry another gay couple of the other gender to get benefits...Once the ceremony is complete they go back to their previous preferences but have status as being married. When you see weddings every day, you see lots of things that don't live up to institution Congress passed a law in defense of.
With so much in the way of money and benefits riding on saying the vows, people do all sorts of things to game the system....Of course, many marry for love but not that many of them are in a hurry to do so on a Friday afternoon.
3 Marines face charges of adultery, marrying for financial gain -

WDT: Woolworth Building May Get New Life

The owner of the Woolworth Building now says he has the financing to begin moving ahead with a rehabilitation of the vacant landmark. It will be interesting to hear more specifics and what ways the City can help get this cornerstone of Downtown back in use. Developer Michael Treanor's plan is for 60 units of housing instead of a previous plan for a hotel. State approval is still required, and the developer has asked the City to move the bus station.
Watertown Daily Times Apartment financing worked out

Dominque Strauss-Kahn's accuser was hotel hooker, insiders say -

This DSK case gets stranger every day, but its now clear the French pol an former IMF head was the victim of a scam and authorities were too quick to cuff and stuff and stage a career ending perp walk....Now Strass-Kahn's womanizing isn't all that appealing, but it looks like his victim was a foreign born hooker perhaps looking for asylum in the US as the victim of a sex crime.....
This guy has good reason not to think of the US as the land of the free.
Dominque Strauss-Kahn's accuser was hotel hooker, insiders say -

Friday, July 1, 2011

Night at the Park

   Nice crowd at Thompson Park for Symphony Syracuse....The event was salvaged through the efforts of many including former Mayor Tom Walker.  Councilwoman Macaluso and I attended from the City and County Board Chair Carolyn Fitzpatrick was there.
   So was Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush who told me he single handedly saved the eight North Country prisons.
    There was some news I heard there, but I will let it trickle out through conventional means.

Indy Party Making News Again

The arcane and cumbersome petition process is too much for some people...So they just do them at the kitchen table....
Rockland Independence Party chief indicted on perjury, fraud charges The Journal News

Baboon Stalks Garden State

Baboon mania hits NJ after animal escapes (VIDEO) -

WDT: Independence Day Concert Tonight in Thompson Park

A great tradition continues tonight in Watertown's Thompson Park as the Nation's birthday is celebrated with a concert by Symphony Syracuse, augmented by local band Fred and the Eds and some help from Fort Drum with cannons...All prior to a fireworks display.
A special thanks to former Mayor Tom Walker and others who put the event back together after the bankruptcy of the Syracuse Symphony a couple of months ago.
The concert has become a mid-summer tradition attended by thousands and it is free of charge.
Watertown Daily Times Independence Day concert tonight in Thompson Park

Are Governor's The Best Presidents ? Some, Including Andy, Want You to Think So

One of the conventional wisdoms of politics is that governors make the best President, and those who feel that way are happy to use the tenure of Barack Obama as an example. No management experience, but a lot of hope and change versus the decision making regimen a governor must endure.
That's why GOP governors will play a role in setting the table for their party's nominating process for President. That's not good news for a Michelle Bachmann whose career path didn't take her through a statehouse, but the former and present governors like Romney, Pawlenty and Perry like this scenario.
One governor who has to wait his turn but surely will feel this way too is our own Andrew Cuomo, who will run for President in 2016.
GOP governors huddle on 2012 race - Jonathan Martin -

ABC News has paid $215,000 for Casey Anthony scoops | Poynter.

Pay to play is not limited to politicians as the practice of pay to play journalism is happening more and more. In a competitive environment where otherwise obscure stories become nation obessions, ABC news has gotten out the checkbook to get better stories out of the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando.
One can argue how important this tale is and with major news organizations making six figure investments, its no wonder the trial dominates news coverage in a nation arguably with other larger concerns.
ABC News has paid $215,000 for Casey Anthony scoops Poynter.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton on royal visit to Canada | Mail Online

There is nothing like royalty to bring Canadians back to their routes....Princess Kate is a huge hit, rivaling Princess Di a couple decades back....
Prince William and Kate Middleton on royal visit to Canada Mail Online

State To Close Seven Prisons, None Here

Governor Cuomo is planning to close seven prisons...but none in the Watertown area....The announcement today spares the Dry Hill facility near Watertown and a pair of prisons in Ogdensburg.
Since its other people's prison's being closed, we enthusiastically support the plan.
State To Close Seven Prisons

Report: State To Lift Fracking Ban (Updated)

There is a report the Cuomo Admnistration will lift the ban on hydrofracking in search of natural gas reserves in the state's Southern Tier.
Could be NYS is putting jobs and economic growth ahead of regulation and special interests.
Report: State To Lift Fracking Ban (Updated)

News About Nothing: Mark Halperin Apologizes for Obama Gaffe on Morning Joe

You mean you cannot call the President a "dick" on live TV ? Disrespectful as it may have been, MSNBC has done more than enough in the past to help Mr. Obama...I am sure the White House looks at the big picture.
Watching the gushing apology was funny....Usually being a pundit means never having to say you are sorry.
Mark Halperin apologizes for Obama gaffe on Morning Joe (video) - Tim Mak -

Newzjunky - Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin 'Thrilled' to Perform in Watertown

Another concert held last night at the Fairgrounds and this time it was bluegrass music featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers and comedian and music buff Steve Martin. Seems like a good time was had by all.
Newzjunky - Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin 'Thrilled' to Perform in Watertown

Pro Gay Senators Get Reassured and Threatened After Vote

Mayor Bloomberg will throw them some cash for voting in favor of gay marriage, while the National Organization for Marriage says it will spend $2million to defeat them.
"They" are seven state senators who switched their marriage vote from no to yes from 2009 to 2011. This is how politics works. Elections are a market place where orthodoxy is enforced with money..Lots of it...
So far since passage of this law, only one town clerk has announced she might not sign licenses and I haven't heard anyone get all that upset over this. This issue will not be a big issue in 2012 races.
After support of gay marriage, Sen. James Alesi gets props from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Democrat and Chronicle

WDT: Meeting Focuses on Boat Incident

Canadian tourism officials are cringing and hoping this issue goes away but top bureacrats keep defending the actions of border agents who in essence shook down a 22 year old angler for a thousand dollars because he didn't go to the Canadian mainland to check in before dropping a line in Canadian waters near Gananoque .
Privately I am told the angler could appeal for a reduction in fine and he would have it lowered to $1, just to make this go away.
Also, we don't know all the details of the incident and whether the man did something else to capture the attention and ire of agents.
At issue continues to be decades of tradition, good relations, and the convenience of just going fishing in waters where its very easy to not know where the imaginary line is.
For instance, those wanting to fish in remote areas like Lake Ontario's Duck Islands would in theory have to go all the way to Kingston to register, although guides are said to be assured that as long as they stay on the down low, there will be no similar incidents with them.
Perception is the one wants to be cuffed and stuffed and be threatened with forfeiture and fines. At this point its easier to forego getting a Canadian fishing license and just stay in NY where you can get a ticket for something else.
Watertown Daily Times Border chief will review boat incident

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Capitol Confidential » Schneiderman names public integrity officers statewide

Attorney General Eric Schniederman has appointed Watertown Assistant AG Deanna Nelson and 13 other staffers as 'public integrity officers' around the state. There job is to keep an eye on all of us in public office to make sure we are not profiting too much off our office.....
Does that mean I no longer get that free water and sewer ?
Capitol Confidential » Schneiderman names public integrity officers statewide

Michele Bachmann: People want to see me 'mud-wrestling' with Sarah Palin

Only if I can have the beer concession !
Michele Bachmann: People want to see me 'mud-wrestling' with Sarah Palin - James Hohmann -

MCM: Christie-Bachmann 2012 the GOP Best Hope

   It's always good to hear the perspective of the other side....Middle Class Mike called the HOTLINE today and mused about President Obama's prospects...
    Mike says the strongest GOP ticket would be Governor Chris Christie and Rep. Michelle Bachmann for VP.    He says its because they have clarity of conviction and believe in what they believe, whereas the President does not.
    I thought it an interesting view from a "progressive" who says the public wants a candidate committed to ideas...any ideas...more than a schmoozer.
    Mike will vote for the President, but his analysis was sound.

Local pride: Utica Club tattoos gaining popularity

A nice girl from Utica with a UC tatt right above her butt. Maybe Sackets Harbor residents will take up this kind of home town pride.
Utica Club logo tattoos are said to be gaining popularity. Better than a skull or a swastika I suspect, although I suspect the prohibitionists will consider a "gateway" tattoo.
So lets head on down to see Dr. Strange and on the way stop at Shootie's for a couple of cold U-C's....Oh wait, nobody sells that anymore. My last UC customer died during the Reagan years.
Local pride: Utica Club tattoos gaining popularity - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

WDT: JCIDA Seeks Compromise Over Contract Employees

The Donald and I don't always see eye to eye, but I agree with him in the case of two employees of the JCIDA who have provided service over the years to the Watertown Local Development Corporation. Due to recent scrutiny of such agencies, the Comptroller of New York State has ruled IDA's should not be employing people as contract staffing for other economic development entities.
The WLDC or "Watertown Trust" has been a public sector agency for years and has been operated as such, but some time ago lawyers wanted staffing done in the current manner. Employees took jobs under those circumstances and performed duties. There were no illusions and the arrangement was blessed by attornies.
The Comptroller is right to scrutinize IDA's but Mr. DiNapoli is mistaken in trying to penalize individuals who participated in and contributed to a pension system with no knowledge the scenario would be ruled inappropriate in the future.
If eligible these LDC's should probably stand alone or have employees work for the municipality where they serve. One could argue it should have been set up differently years ago and we all tend to rely on the opinions of those $400 an hour lawyers.
The two individuals I am familiar with at the Trust should not be penalized for a system not of their making and one they were led to believe was proper.
Comptroller DiNapoli is a decent man trying to make the system accountable. Its not an easy job, but he needs to temper this case with common sense towards individuals, even if changes need to be made in organizations.
Watertown Daily Times JCIDA seeks compromise from state

Alleged Overserving Brings Suit Against Three Eateries

The widow of a man killed two years ago in a mid-day motor vehicle accident near Chaumont is suing a trio of Sackets Harbor restaurants for allegedly overserving an already intoxicated person. The family of victim Robert Burkard has been relentless in seeking punishment for his death at the hands of Leo Coleman Jr, the son of a prominent Watertown restaurant and bar owner.
Mr. Coleman has been sentenced, but the Burkard family thought the sentence too light. The suit against three restaurants alleges all three failed to train employees or exercise control over alleged service to Mr. Coleman.
Coleman was determined to have a .17 BAC at the time of the crash.
Its a nightmare scenario for the licensees as even with the most well trained staff, they now face time on the civil justice treadmill, hiring lawyers, answering complaints and wondering if they will go out of business trying to keep up with the expenses of a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff with the means and motivation to plow ahead.
Licensees are required by law and by common sense (a higher calling at times) to refuse service to clearly intoxicated persons and a tragedy can result in what's called a Dram Shop suit. It is a difficult case to make as timelines and precise descriptions of what happened are not clearly established. Even though, defense against a suit can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Often its a 'thereby for the grace of God' that happens, like the case last Friday of the man who left a concert in Watertown and stole a city pickup truck before Troopers nabbed him on Route 37 and he blew a .21 BAC.
No accident, no plaintiff, no foul.....Buts its a fear everyone who serves the devil's brew has.

Watertown NY Breaking News Newzjunky ® Fort Drum Watertown New York Newz, News, Obituaries, Weather, Homes Apartments Auto North Country Thousand Islands Newspaper Lowville Carthage Ogdensburg

Andrew Cuomo 2016 Speculation Has Chattering Class in a Lather

Less than six months on the job and the chattering class has Andrew Cuomo running for President. Its much the same thing they did to NJ Governor Chris Christie when he had a quick start to his term in office.
Speculation feeds on itself without any encouragement from the Governor as political reporters and their talking head friends devote air time and column inches to the matter.
For the record, Mr. Cuomo eschews such talk, saying he still has much to do as Governor. He does. While he had some successes in his early months, little of substance has been reformed.
Real pension reform and restructuring of government are two areas he needs to show more.
However, the political class is more enamored with SSM and is content to use its passage of evidence its time to move to the White House.

Andrew Cuomo 2016 speculation heating up - Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman -

It's a Grain, Dammit !

   My sometimes substitute HOTLINE host Joe Brosk of Carthage is mad over SSM as he feels it improperly redefines marriage as something it is not....
    But Joe tells me he is more upset over the Legislature naming corn the official state vegetable.  Joe says corn is not a vegetable at all but instead is a grain.
    Joe is a West Virginia native who is still having trouble adapting to New York thinking.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WDT: Clerk Vows to Defy SSM Law

My guess is that this town clerk who says she will refuse to sign marriage licenses for gays will in the end yield to that great will not give up her job and her pension to make a principled stand against gay marriage.
Its a nation of laws...and when you are in a position to enforce the laws, you obey them.
I am proud of the attitude our our City Clerk towards this new law...Never once was there the suggestion of not obeying.....
This Oswego County town clerk needs to remember the oath she took.
Watertown Daily Times Post-Standard: Clerk in Oswego County won't sign gay-marriage licenses

Giffords's first public appearance

This is great news...Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has made her first public appearance at a NASA event for her astronaut hubby. Rep. Giffords is recovering from a gunshot to the head in January and was able to stand before a crowd. She is said to be in good spirits.
Let's hope her rehabilitation continues.
Giffords's first public appearance - Jennifer Epstein -

Treasurer and DA Rally Tonight in Watertown

    There was a big Renzi-size crowd at Pete's tonight to support County Treasurer Karen Christie. She is the newly appointed Democrat running unopposed for a four year term...
     Lots of Democratic luminaries were on hand...What is a Democratic "luminary" ?
      Meanwhile District Attorney Cindy Intschert held a similar event for her unopposed race...Ms. Intschert and friends gathered in the friendly confines of the Black River Valley Club.
    I went to both events and enthusiastically support both of them.

Lotta' Beer at Concert...But One Person Had A Little Too Much

     With City staff on hand to help with the counting, there was a reported $61,000 in beer sales at last Friday nights Tragically Hip concert at the Fairgrounds, thus netting $6,100 for the City.  City Council was informed of the submission today.  That is more than the reported sales for all such events last year.
     At the prices charged that amounts to about 100 kegs. The particular demographics attracted to this band likely led to the large sales volume.
     That volume of sales should also generate  over $4500 in sales tax revenue.
      The sales did not come without incident. After the concert a 47 year old retired CO from Ogdensburg left the facility and hopped into a City pick up truck on site for cleanup. The man is said to have hit several cones upon driving away and was picked up north of the City on Route 37.  He blew a .21 and was charged with felony DWI and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
     The truck was recovered with no damage.

Cuomo: Prison closure announcement in next week or so - YNN, Your News Now

Pending announcements on prison closings are focused on facililties in Watertown and Ogdensburg.
The decision on which beds to eliminate was put off till lawmakers left Albany, leaving the bad new in the hands of the Governor. It is doubtful the Cuomo plan will be reversible.
There are four Senate districts likely immune from closure. Those are the ones represented by GOP Senators who crossed the aisle on the SSM vote. Those communities with strong enough ambient economies to withstand a closure might be more vulnerable. That makes me wonder about Dry Hill.
Of course, we all realize the cuts are part of the measures to balance the budget and save taxpayers money. So while we respect the goal, don't look for affected communties to endorse the results.
Cuomo: Prison closure announcement in next week or so - YNN, Your News Now

WDT: Law Seeks to Hold Landlords Accountable for Tenant Rowdiness

This is an interesting concept. The Village of Canton is considering fining landlords who rent to tenants who are "rowdy." The village board is also considering landlord registration.
I have known many landlords over the years and know those who manage properties. Some are better than others at what they do. While a registration program may not be harmful, the matter of fining landlords for the activities of tenants is problematic. Is it a question of how many police calls there are or whether its drug related or just a domestic ?
I am a landlord too and try to rent to people who won't cause me problems, but a fining program would be difficult to administer and would result in responsibility for bad behavior being transferred away from the misbehaving and onto the backs of business people.
Watertown Daily Times Law proposed to fine landlords for rowdy tenants

WDT: Lookback at Fairground Finances Continues, But Council Needs to Look Forward

With several budget related and other issues behind them, City Council should be able to begin a discussion on the recently completed audit of the Recreation Department and the management of the business end of the facilities at the Fairgrounds on Coffeen Street.
Identifying and correcting past issues is part of the equation but from a policy perspective the Council needs to make some decisions.
One major decision is to determine what the facilities are to be used for. Back in the the day the Fairgrounds hosted the Fair, and some youth and family sports events. Now there is a trend towards major commercial, even nightclub style activities going on in various facilities.
In areas as basic as rest rooms , there continue to be disturbing public health issues which don't need description here. Let's just say 'when nature calls...."
There are legal issues about the sale of alcoholic beverages in a venue that is not licensed for the sale of such items. Its a complicated area of law that the City has not been dealing well with.
Previous studies have detailed the actual cost to taxpayers of staging major events, yet little of this is covered by facility rental fees.
Councils have been reluctant to impose fees that allow for the kind of facility improvements to handle the kind of events going on there. The rationale is always that its done for a "not for profit." Yet these are really commercial events in which the budgets are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars yet the venue is rented for $500.
Lawmakers are not there to "micro manage", but we are there to set the goals and objectives for the facility. My expectation is that it be run in a businesslike manner, consistent with state law and with revenues able to offset at least part of the capital improvements needed to make the facilities a suitable spot for those agencies, businesses and individuals that choose to use it.
Those who follow City Council know my public pronouncements have not revolved around individual recriminations, and the pending nature of certain seasonal events have prevented doing much this year to change things.
However, changes are needed and that may include having a facility & business manager. It should include total transparency so in the area of accounts receivable and account aging, the public knows who owes the City money and for how long. Finally, the Council needs to reach a consensus on a fee structure that is fair....that reflects the true costs to those renting it...and one that is collected and not undermined by a reluctance to not charge certain groups or individuals.
It will be difficult politics, but the conversation must be had to end the revelations that have overshadowed the many otherwise fine activities that go on at the Arena.

Watertown Daily Times Internal city audit going back to 2005

Monday, June 27, 2011

If Only He Had Appointed Valerie, He Wouldn't Be in This Mess

Am I the only one who thinks Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of politics ? Really, the notion of a quid pro quo for appointment to a Senate seat is not new or news....Now Blago was blatant and crude. He didn't speak in code and didn't appoint Valerie Jerrett.
He is a typical big city wheeler dealer pol. What he did was offend the wrong people and he was too cocky. As for horse trading, it goes on all the time...But not on the phone.
Rod Blagojevich guilty on 17 charges in retrial - Jennifer Epstein -

The Press Catches a Break With Bachmann Error

The media got what it needed from Michelle Bachmann, something Chris Matthews can get a tingle over...Seems in one interview Ms. Bachmann sullied her candidacy announcement by mistakenly referencing Waterloo IA as actor John Wayne's birthplace....Actually it was another Iowa town that can claim that and Waterloo is the birthplace of infamous mass killer John Wayne Gacy.
The MSM was on the mistake like white on rice.
The wrong John Wayne - Washington Times

Fun on the HOTLINE Today

    What a great time I had on the HOTLINE today meeting Major League pitching greats Tommy John and Vida Blue....Both men were in town today for a USO fundraiser and these are definately two of the stars from my prime baseball years....
     Tommy pitched with the White Sox, Dodgers and Yankees, while Vida was an MVP with the Oakland A's before hurling for the Giants.
     They are off to a meet n greet today from 5 to 7 at the Texas Road House and are on Fort Drum tomorrow.
     It was great talking baseball with two stars of the game.

No Change Needed in Vows

   At the end of  a wedding, the official always says "you may kiss the bride."?  Well, not exactly.
    It's been years since City officials have used that male-based phrase and nowadays its always, "you may kiss your partner."  That said, there will be no change needed in vows when SSM starts in July.
     Just in case you were wondering, as I was, what the official would say under the new circumstances.

Bloomberg plans 'NYC I Do' campaign to attract gay couples, cash in on legal gay marriage law

The sanctity of marriage is quickly giving way to commerce, as Mayor Bloomberg now says he wants to market NYC as the place to spend your gay wedding dollars....
NYC is expecting a rush of same sex marriages in the final week of July when the unions become legal in NY.
Don't expect a rush elsewhere. There was one one inquiry this morning at City Hall in Watertown, but in the Big Apple it will be a media event and the novelty of NY being only the sixth state allowing SSM may indeed foster a mini surge in the tourism industry.
I wonder if the Mayor of Niagara Falls is being as aggresive as Mayor Bloomberg. The western NY city is the most iconic wedding destination in the nation.
Bloomberg plans 'NYC I Do' campaign to attract gay couples, cash in on legal gay marriage law

Prison Closure Announcement Coming Soon, Cuomo Says

Look for an announcement on prison closures in the next week or so...So says Governor Cuomo who has delayed specifics on the cutbacks until after the Legislature left town...That way their fingerprints won't be on the plan......It will just be an administrative decision beyond their control.
It would be naive not to ponder the fate of some local prisons. The logistics of a given facility and the ability of the area its in to absorb the job cuts will no doubt be factors.
Governor Cuomo was on Fred Dickers radio show today.
Prison Closure Announcement Coming Soon, Cuomo Says

Bachmann well-positioned for Iowa, and maybe beyond -

Chris Wallace on FOX yesterday ask her is she is a "flake"....Michell Bachmann is trying to dispel that image as she embarks on the trail to the White House today with her announcement in the place of her birth, Waterloo , IA.
Even hostile MSNBC was acknowledging this AM on Morning Joe that she is not a "flake" and that Wallace may have been out of line to ask...Sort of a built in media bias against conserevative women.
Former Rep Harold Ford, who likely wouldnt' hestitate to call her a flake while at a Manhattan cocktail party, this morning said on the the air he didn't know she was a lawyer. When he found out he suddenly was more deferential in his comments....Oh how they want another Palin.
Ms. Bachmann is still a long shot, but along with Romney and maybe Huntsman will likely be the top three when the herd thins.
Bachmann well-positioned for Iowa, and maybe beyond -

Obstacles in Push to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York -

Why does Senator Joe Griffo think SSM is a degradation of values but yet is the state's leading supporter of mixed martial arts...sometimes known as "human cockfighting" ?
Politics creates strange dichotomies.
Obstacles in Push to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York -

Cuomo's grand slam -

Governor Cuomo's first legislative session is history and the reviews continue to be glowing. Union concessions, no new taxes, ethics reform, and in gesture to his left, a pushing through of SSM against steep odds.
There is still pension reform and a host of other issues, so there is time for the accolades to fade. The Governor faced a non-race to get elected last year but he his smart enough to have learned that the rage and frustration poorly expressed by "Crazy Carl" needed to be addressed.
New Yorkers worried that a second Governor Cuomo are learning that events shape the man and the need to change things is making this Cuomo different than the last. The setbacks faced by Andrew Cuomo in 2002 also have shaped who he is today.
The Governor says he wants to restore the stature of the Empire State as a beacon of progress and reform. That's fine as long as he remembers this NY is still a bloated and non-competitive state where we can afford a social gesture like SSM but still need to reform the duplicative and overly complicated systems for delivering government services.
As long as we have a school superintendent every five miles and multiple layers of taxing jurisdictions, the resolution of issues like marriage equality is still only a headline. I suspect Governor Cuomo realizes that and we will continue to see a push for change that matters.
Cuomo's grand slam -

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Atop TV Sets, Cable Boxes and DVRs Drain Power -

For all our talk on energy conservation and "green" this and that, its interesting to note that those cable TV boxes and DVRs consume in the aggregate more power nationwide than all the annual power consumption for the state or Maryland.
So while you can get free money from Washington for wind mills and solar panels on your roof, no one thinks twice about having umpteen flat screen TVs with cable boxes always on.
But I leave the TV on for the cat, so I am not one to talk.
Atop TV Sets, Cable Boxes and DVRs Drain Power -

At Gay Pride Parade, Cuomo Is Center of Attention -

Politics is so different upstate than downstate...Today, Governor Cuomo was Mr Gay and proud of it during celebrations in Lower Manhattan for the passage of same sex marriage....Any upstate lawmaker who voted for the bill could not expect such a response.
Now that a couple of days has passed since the passage I have continued to survey people I run into.....Trust me, other than Joe Brosk and the Bishops , nobody cares.
The next interesting development will be to see how many couples show up July 24 to avail themselves of the privilege.
At Gay Pride Parade, Cuomo Is Center of Attention -

Mount Carmel Procession Attracts Big Crowd

    Fair weather brough a good crowd to the Sunday night finale of the Mount Carmel Feast in Watertown.
    A procession was held as the faithful remembers this is a religious festival..I bought some raffle tickets, a couple beers, talked to some friends and then left.
    A good time was being had by all.

Sometimes There are Other Things on Your Mind

        The trevails and pettiness of life tend to fade in importance in the light of certain events. Ten days ago a friend of mine entered the hospital for the final act in a battle with cancer. I went to the hospital a couple times this week to bring him the NY Posts he always enjoys reading and the decline over just three days was marked. On Friday, Paul Dean told me his affairs are in order, and he is appreciative of visitors but wanted me to tell his friends not to visit as he is not up to it.
       Saturday, his nephew came over to Fort Pearl with a pair of vintage Schultz and Dooley steins made famous by Utica Club in 1960s advertising.  I was told Paul wanted to make sure they were in a safe place. This morning I placed them in my office.
      They will be safe there.

Andrew Cuomo 2016 Speculation Heats Up

Governor Cuomo's successful battle for same sex marriage is fueling speculation about him running for President in 2016. While that issue has been one most pols including the current President have skirted, it is an issue that appeals to the Democratic Party core liberal groups who vote in primaries. It also places the Governor in a position as taking a gutsy stand and winning, and that is always noted in politics.
The Governor has also gotten favorable national press for taking a firm stand on fiscal issues and tackling his party's sacred cows like the education establishment and public employee unions. However, Mr. Cuomo is seen as being able to work with groups to get things done.
Andrew Cuomo is well positioned for a run at the Democratic nomination should President Obama win a second term and the seat be open in 2016.....Vice President Biden is not a likely successor and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed for retirement.
Its not just idle chatter among the political class to muse about Andrew Cuomo's prospects in 2016.
Andrew Cuomo 2016 speculation heating up - Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman -

Ritchie Getting Help Now for 2012 Bid

       With no likely opponent in sight, Senator Patty Ritchie is still getting some heavy support from her party's leadership. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Deputy Leader , Sen. Tom Libous are coming to the Thousand Islands next month to attend a fundraiser at the summer home of Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny.
        The event is an early sign that every district is in play and the GOP would like to lock this seat down early by not having a strong opponent.  The thin one vote majority held by Republicans will be under assault from Democrats, but frankly there are more easily picked off seats than this one.
    So far Senator Ritchie has played it safe on issues and concentrated on being seen around the three county district while trying to get familiar with her new post.
     The core GOP argument for retaining Ritchie is the notion of retaining a Republican check and balance on the downstate weighted Democratic team.  That argument remains in place and some of the early successes of the Cuomo regime buttress that argument.