Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not Much Folo Up on those Dealer Raids.

  There has been little said in the MSM about all those state and federal agencies raiding a chain of three car dealerships in St. Lawrence County...Someone who lives up there says the raid that closed the Park-Way dealerships may result in significant customer inconvenience as alleged drug smuggling and money laundering may mean sniffing vehicles already in customer driveways.
   Bad news concerning car dealers is always treated gingerly by media as they are such big advertisers....

Across New York, Hundreds of Gay Couples to Marry on Sunday -

Sunday will be a day of weddings in cities across the Empire State as the same sex marriage law takes effect..Many municipalities are rolling out the rainbow carpet for couples with weddings in Niagara Falls just after midnight to some 823 nuptuals planned for the City of New York.
A judges order is required to skirt the one day waiting period, but in the Big Apple 60 judges have volunteered to be on standby.
I don't know if the media will even find a marriage locally to cover as there are few inquiries and the ceremonies would not occur til Monday.
Across New York, Hundreds of Gay Couples to Marry on Sunday -

Big Time (Alleged) Drunk

Lady Blows a .34% BAC !.....Now that's a pro....People like that wake up everyday at .15...... :: Police Blotter

Jessica Shaw Visits Pearl Street....Film at 11 (She's too young to know what film is)

   So I was working at Fort Pearl and in comes a batch of mayor calls....A Meadow Street woman concerned about Red and White Auto trying to come back next door...I remember that controversy from Mayor Butler's years and am not looking forward to the deja vu all over again version.
    Also got a call from TV 7s Jessica Shaw who wanted to interview me about Godsmack....Well, its not a controversy to me as I think the city manager is just doing her job, but there are those trying to make it a culture war pitting rockers against an aging Captain and Tenille generation.
      I did the interview as it looks worse not to and merely said the manager is doing what I would expect in seeking to make sure the facility can handle such an event and that the public's safety is preserved.
      There is substantial public subsidy and liability in any such event and its her job to make sure everything is done to make it a safe and enjoyable experience. I knew I would be juxtaposed to former Councilman Simmons in the story.  Mr. Simmons is a co-promoter of the event on August 20 and is also staging a concert this Tuesday by the band Buckcherry.
       To me its not personal. Its just that sometimes in the pursuit of fun or profit there has to be an adult in the room....I am sure the manager will fairly review the issues at her staff meeting Monday.
       Anyway, its always a pleasure to be interviewed by TV 7 and I invite you to watch this evening...Perhaps before you head out to the Reba concert which looks like is blessed with great weather.

Casey's Lawyer in NYC Trolling for Interview Bucks

If true, the big three networks (well, formerly big three) are barking up the wrong tree by offering to pay a million dollars to interview Casey Anthony. She has really nothing to say. I kind of agree with the jury on their stance that the case was not proven to the standard applied, but that doesn't mean I think I will hear some great truth from Casey's lips.
Oh, and I keep reading all this outrage over the cost of the trial or the publicly funded defense...Hey, the state brough the case and she is entitled to a defense. Get over it.
I don't know what she does from now on, but at some point she will join Monica Lewinsky, Fawn Hall and a list of others on the list of momentarily famous. In the meantime, the fading networks should save their money.
lawyer in New York negotiating with major TV networks for first tell-all' Mail Online

Paper Opines Over Micromanage Issue Relating to Fairgrounds

Like the writers of this editorial, I have followed over the years the continuing balancing act in our form over government over the issue of "micromanaging" versus legislating.
Some issues test the limits and capabilities of all involved and there is an ebb and flow to City Council involvement. People come to a Council meeting sometimes because they do not feel the "system" is working for them. They want what they see as a wrong corrected.
In the case of the Fairgrounds and concerts, Council approved years ago a contract that granted exclusive concession rights to one individual who at the time happened to be a Councilman.
The end result was a burgeoning alcohol beverage enterprise centering around concerts and talent shows that increasingly led to questions being asked and concerns being raised. It was never about taking away someone's music, but it was about the costs to the taxpayers and climate being created.
As is known now, bills were not being paid, people were selling alcohol who never held a license, and it is clear that an evolution in use of the facilities was in no way concurrent with the management structure for dealing with it.
Among the things Council has done this year"
1. Commission an external audit to identify the fiscal problems. An action plan is in effect to correct those problems.
2. End for now exclusive alcohol franchises until a coherent policy can be devised. To help in that the City has secured the services of a respected former state legislator and ex head of the Liquor Authority to analyze and recommend in the context of what the law actually is. That process will play out over the next several weeks.
3. Council successfully conducted a meeting to devise a management plan for recreation, that includes running Parks & Rec as a separate entity( a Smith idea) while also ordering the hiring of a person to manage the facilities in the public interest (a Graham idea). The job descriptions are getting an expedited run through the civil service process, and the city manager will begin a hiring process for both superintendent and program manager jobs.
Meanwhile, life goes on and while structural changes are being made by the City Manager, events this year in the pipeline are being scrutinized.
One upcoming concert is getting extra scrutiny, not because of a "bad element" , but because those responsible for city functions have concerns about the handling of and the cost of large gatherings fueled by keg counts now over 100 for a single event.
Last Monday a group came to Council concerned about their investment and their commercial ventures. Council affirmed the Manager's role in determining whether the event will be held and under what conditions.
Emotions have run high at times as what happened was wrong. There are also a lot of dollars and livelihoods in play.
A check of the facts shows the only thing denied this year was a request for an alcohol franchise at an event at which the group requesting the franchise did not identify who the performing acts were. Every other event, including a concert tonight and one on Tuesday are being accommodated at significant effort by City staff.
I share the WDT concern about potential "micromanaging" but it is the elected leadership people go to when something is not as they would like and in this case events dictated Council take actions to help create a management structure for the future.
That is causing some chafing in the short run, but in the long run its the best course.
   Tough issues involve spirited debate, and that process, like legislative debate elsewhere, is not easy...But it is necessary.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown City Council should stop micromanagiing

President Summons Leaders...Maybe That's The Problem

I get it...Brinksmanship is often the only way a deal is struck when the options are as uncomfortable as raising taxes or cutting entitlements.
But these debt talks in DC have an Albany-like flavor. Instead of three men in a room, its five people in a room...The four legislative leaders and the President.
Presumably they will produce a last minute deal that the respective flocks (parties) will vote for without debate or amendment.
The problem is these lemmings call lawmakers are getting antsy about sitting in DC waiting to be told what the deal is...
Meanwhile all have bought into the August 2 deadline on raising the debt limit. Actually, its not as simple as one day its all over. With revenue still coming in, the Fed can still write checks...just not checks to everyone..
The truth is whatever happens the debt limit will go up and the deficit will not go away. There will be threats of closing a campground at Yellowstone or shutting down the National Weather Service. No one will think about all the foreign entanglements that are bleeding us. And the complexities of the medical system will prevent any changes to Medicare.
It's beyond resolution. We just have to compromise where we can and hope for the best.
Republican Debt Talks With White House Off; Obama Angered - Major Garrett -

Friday, July 22, 2011

NY1 Exclusive: Former Mayor Ed Koch To Endorse Republican Candidate Bob Turner -

Mayor Ed Koch is sending a signal that could spell trouble for President Obama next year...Hizzoner is backing Republican Bob Turner for CD 9, the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner....Mr. Koch is backing Turner to send a message about the President's poor relations with Israel...and given Jewish support for the President in key states like Florida four years erosion of Jewish votes could prove disastrous among the many retireess in South Florida.
NY1 Exclusive: Former Mayor Ed Koch To Endorse Republican Candidate Bob Turner -

Friday Night Vignettes

    Mayor Bill Nelson of Ogdensburg wants a favor of our City Council...He has some friends getting married in Watertown this fall and in order to perform the ceremony  needs to be designated a marriage officer in the City for a day....
    I think I can cobble together three votes to get the resolution passed.

    The Black River Rollers, our local roller derby team, have been a big hit and will be holding a car wash to raise money for  the  team...The event is Saturday, August 13 from from 11AM to 2PM at Fort Pearl Tavern, 557 Pearl Street in Watertown...Oh that's my place, isn't it ? Mark it on your schedule to get a clean vehicle that day.

    Looks like cooler weather by Sunday !  Can winter be far behind ?


Post: Weiner Looking to Impress Hillary

This Weiner is kinda weird....He is flying back and forth to Orlando for therapy for his addiction to sexting. And he is worried about not just making peace with his wife...but also her mother and suprisingly Secratary of State Hillary Clinton.....
Maybe his psychosis are deeper than thought....
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner in therapy; wants to convince Huma Abedin's boss Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that 'I'm cured' -

Ritchie: Governor Heeds My Request for Longer Pool Hours

As one who has been labled a self promoter for writing a blog (at no cost to anyone), I can't help but smile at the endless press releases, Facebook posts, photo ops and the like that my old friend Jim Reagen cranks out for his boss, Senator Patty Ritchie.
Today's release touts the "leadership" shown by the Senator in asking that state park pools and beaches be left open till 8PM due to the heat wave....A heat wave that has already ebbed in NNY after Wednedays scorcher.
There is nothing wrong with making that suggestion to the Governor and indeed it shows the Senator is in touch with the needs of average people...
But really now...It's not "leadership" on her part....But it is "hyperbole" on Jim's.
UPDATE: It was Governor Cuomo who ascribed the word "leadership" to the Senator.....At least he didn't say "leadership and vision."   And the other oft-overused word "Hero" was not used either.


New York to Open Gay-Marriage Era as Lottery Winners Celebrate - Bloomberg

While clerks in many communities across NY will be open for business Sunday to handle the first day of same sex marriage, the focus will be on NYC where a record one day total for weddings is expected...Over 800.
Judges are on duty too, to sign waivers for the one day waiting period.
On Sunday New York becomes the most populous state to sanction SSM.
New York to Open Gay-Marriage Era as Lottery Winners Celebrate - Bloomberg

WDT: Sorting Through Petitions Yields a Few Tid Bits

One of the nuances of petitions filed for this year's election is the retirement from politics of Brownville Supervisor Leo Thompson.
Mr. Thompson is passing on another term and Dexter resident Richard Lane is running unopposed to be the new supervisor.
There are a handful of other races of interest...One is a challenge to District 12 County Legislator Carolyn Fitzpatrick by Democrat Carl Disalvatore, a lawyer and political newcomer.
The other is a challenge to longtime District 14 lawmaker Jennie Adsit....That challenge is from Michael Peto, an employee of a local phone company and may be the result of anger over a controversial contract for county phones.
Insiders say a flawed petition will eliminate the District 14 Republican primary.
No other surprises...City Council is unopposed with Butler and Burns getting a pass, and a contested race for Mayor and City Judge.
The twist in the judge race will be the minor party primaries in September for the Indy and Conservative lines...If Eugene Renzi wins those, its case closed for November...If Keith Caughlin, who has been an active campaigner so far, wins the minors, then its race on for November.
Watertown Daily Times Every candidate in Jefferson County

Romney Sees a New Face Over His Shoulder

Mitt Romney need only ask America's Favorite Mayor about the perils of being the early frontrunner for the GOP Presidential nomination.....New polls show the nationally unknown Texas Governor Rick Perry quickly gaining traction among Republican voters.
Governor Perry has yet to announce....and may indeed just be the flavor of the week (Bachmann was last week's headache for Romney).
Of course, Governor Perry has been subjected to little national scrutiny and his mini surge may be more about lack of enthusiasm for Romney than it is support for Perry.
Four years ago Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the clear front runner before collapsing in the early primaries.
2012 Presidential Election - News, Analysis, Candidates, Polls -

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pilon Retires as Water Czar

   City Water Superintendent Gary Pilon received warm congratulations from a full house at the Italian American Club as he retired after a 42 year career at City Hall.
    Mr. Pilon came on board in 1968 and served two stints as City Engineer in addition to being the City Water Czar.
     In his years, he became a widely respected employee as well as active community member. He was particularly active in the Miss Thousand Islands Pageant.
     Mr. Pilon will continue to help out at City Hall in coming weeks, but also hopes to travel and enjoy time off.
    He has been a credit to the City and deserves a kind word from us all on his retirement.

Doesn't This Happen Every Year About This Time ?

And our top story....OMG, it's July and it's hot outside......Film at 11.
7-Day Forecast for Latitude 43.98°N and Longitude 75.91°W

WDT:City of Watertown should repeal ban on parking in margins

After a recent news story ripping the city's law on parking in the margin between the sidewalk and road, I am not surprised an editorial followed...But I agree with the WDT that the law should be repealed.....Actually altering it with a hardship exemption permitting process might be a compromise.
I tested the waters with other Council members following the last meeting and there is no appetite for repealing it or providing an appeal mechanism.
This isn't the first time a law with good intentions creates unintended consequences. The front yard parking ban makes sense 98% of the time....But there are instances in older neighborhoods where some flexibility is needed due to space....A waiver process would help, but lawmakers like to ban things and a world made of shades of grey doesn't look good when all you want to see is black and white.
Watertown Daily Times City of Watertown should repeal ban on parking in margins

WDT: Small Business Gets Another Tax

Its OK....We can afford it....I got my bill the other day, and gladly paid it as a down payment on stimulating the economy.
Unemployment is up to 99 weeks....So we in small business better get ready to pay some more....But we are up to the task.
Watertown Daily Times North country businesses will pay New York fee to cover unemployment insurance

Reba Concert Keeping Crews Busy....Meanwhile Work Continues on Planning For Future

        This weekend City crews are busy working in support of two major concerts scheduled in the coming days the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds. One is the Reba concert on Saturday night which is a Joe Rich event. This concert is on the baseball diamond.
       The second concert is on Tuesday with a group called Buckcherry performing in the Arena.
       Both events involve significant effort to set up and both events feature the sale of beer. You likely have heard talk show chatter to the contrary, suggesting the summer events are being impeded or "cancelled" by City Hall.
        City staff is reviewing the arrangements for a large concert requested for late August by the band "Godsmack".   The city manager, with the advice of department heads will decide whether the event can be accommodated in a manner consistent with the public interest.  Hopefully it can as committments have been made, but it is her call, and the concerns she has raised are appropriate to consider.
          Meanwhile work continues on a reorganization of the Parks and Recreation Department; the hiring of a new superintendent; and the development of policies for approval of events, including the issue of the appropriate and legal way to handle alcohol sales, if desired.
          I would like to see the expenses tracked and if the logistics are to be underwritten by the taxpayers in the name of economic development, then the cost of such subsidy should be approved yearly as a budget line item.
          I don't agree with the notion that concerts attract a "bad element" although those responsible for the public safety have a legitimate interest in the arrangements for these events.
         I also don't agree with the statement that "this is a concert , not bible study."
         As owner and operator of the venue, the City should make sure events there reflect community desires and standards.
          It's not a question of you pay your money and you are on your way. Significant taxpayer money subsidizes these events, and so it should be no mystery who ultimately is in charge.

Morning Joe: Pawlenty May Have Floated Michelle's Migraines to Slow Her Down

Even the Morning Joe crew called it "sexist" and unfair....The raising of Rep. Michele Bachmann suffering headaches is now thought to be an effort of GOP foes....possibly the Pawlenty raise doubts about the surging Bachmann who now trails only Mitt Romney in polls of GOP voters.
The story was first run in a conservative publication and may be a further sign of how worried the old bulls of the GOP are worried about the Tea Party favorite's rapid climb.
Pointing out her headaches also reenforces a stereotypical view of women as in "I have a headache".
Pawlenty calls migraine focus a 'sideshow' - Maggie Haberman -

Newzjunky - JRC Bicycle Theft Victim Gifted a New Ride

A little good news never hurt anyone...The parishoners of Asbury Church in Watertown have given a JRC client a new bike after the three way cycle he had ridden to church was apparently stolen.
Reverand Leon VanWie present the bike to Perry Kelts.....Mr. Kelts is one of those people you see at many events and always asks for an autograph.
Kudos to those who helped Mr. Kelts back on the road.
Newzjunky - JRC Bicycle Theft Victim Gifted a New Ride

Three resign in Fall River pool scandal

Three state employees have been shown the door after it was discovered a public pool they inspected and approved for operation contained the body of a 36 year old woman who had drowned after using a water slide while life guards were on duty.
The pool in Fall River MA was reported by inspectors to be cloudy in their report. Meanwhile the body of Marie Joseph lay at the pool's bottom for two days.
Three resign in Fall River pool scandal -

Using New Media...Are Patty and I Wrong to Share Our Thoughts and Images to the Public ?

    On a warm summer night when I was having trouble sleeping,  I checked the Internet and saw on Senator Patty Ritchie's Facebook page that she had visited some senior citizens and brought them some ice cream. Made me think how refreshing some ice cream would be right now and how great it would be to have a State Senator show up with a pint of chocolate mint. 
    Alas, that's not likely to happen, but if it did I wonder if I would have the episode on my blog before the Senator's press flack would have it on her Facebook page.
      Of course, the Senator has a staffer well trained in media as a former managing editor of a daily paper. He knows how to bypass the filter of old media and take his boss' case directly to the public.
      Just a few years ago, we had no idea what our public officials did except for what the MSM told us. Of course, they are professional gatekeepers and know how to tell us what we need to know....
       Now I know my Senator visits seniors, taps maple trees and has saved cheese and chili from the clutches of unfeeling bureaucrats.
        I never had that kind of insight into Jim Wright when he was senator. Although I know he was at Pete's last night.

Bachmann Releases Letter from Doctor About Migraines - -

We need a complete tour of the medicine cabinets of all candidates for President, and a note from their doctor saying its OK to particpate in dozens of caucuses and primaries. Its not like this process would not elimminate anyone not capable of endurance.
Bachmann Releases Letter from Doctor About Migraines - -

Mayor to gay couples: come to Binghamton!

It's not that it cost that much to have a judge and a mayor available on Sunday to get on the news by performing the first ever same sex marriage in their respective community....Its just so unnecessary...
As I have said in previous posts, there is no need to be waiving the modest one day waiting period to get married after obtaining a marriage license. Equality means being treated the same, not differently. I don't mind if clerks want to issue licenses on a Sunday as a tip of the hat to the new law. Judges need not participate by being on duty to waive the law and neither do mayors looking to be on TV.
My best to anyone getting married under the SSM law.
Mayor to gay couples: come to Binghamton! Politics on the Hudson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

State Blasts Former Head Of Black River District

I run into Greg LaFave all the time....He is a nice guy.
State Blasts Former Head Of Black River District WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Cuomo Mulling Medical Marijuana Use in New York

But is it covered under ObamaCare ?
Cuomo Mulling Medical Marijuana Use in New York WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

OK, Cut My Mail Service....But.....

When something has been the same forever, its hard to imagine change....But when you think about it, what's so bad with three day a week mail delivery. Now I like seeing my mailman everyday. Rich is a great guy....
However, despite all the bills, political stuff and business solicitations I get, there is no reason it couldn't be laid at my step every other day.
Heck, why should I wait at the mailbox every day for that money Andrew Cuomo owes me, when I could lessen my anxiety by checking every other day for the check that's "in the mail."
I am more concerned with the way banks don't want you in the building anymore...Not my bank...they are very nice, but they are going to be sold...Its just they don't want you dealing with tellers...But for me that's part of my daily ritual....So I would rather have mail three times a week than bankers hours getting even shorter.
And since I am in private sector retail for a living...I will continue to work seven days a week...And I love doing it, as despite occasional bouts with poverty, its still better than working for the man every night and day.

Head of U.S. Postal Service says delivery could be scaled back to 3 days a week - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

Mouthy House Freshman Gets Ugly and Personal

Here's a guy ill suited to Congress....Rep. Allen West went into an insulting and rude rant against fellow FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, calling her vile, despicable and 'not a lady', among other things....It was all over her chiding of him on his position on the House "cut, cap and balance" bill.
Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is a highly partisan advocate for her party, but she is also well-spoken and affable when on TV...That's why the Dems put her in as head of the DNC. She has made some statements that are edgy and unfair but non as personal and caustic as Rep. West.
 Mr. West launched his tirade in an email to leadership and copied to the press. Instant access to the Internet didn't serve this impulsive hot head Congressman.
He was wrong and should say so.
UPDATE: Mr. West has apologized for his comments.
Allen West tirade: Wasserman Schultz 'vile...despicable...not a Lady' - Ben Smith -

Michele Bachmann Admits to Suffering from Migraines

Michele Bachmann admits she suffers from migraine headaches, leading to speculation the excruciating episodes would hamper her ability to campaign or serve as President. Anyone who knows someone with the malady, knows how difficult they can be but many people also lead active lives.
Rep. Bachmann is surging in polls and so there is more scrutiny of her private life.
All things considered, the Presidency is a headache, so maybe she is conditioned to put up with it already.
Michele Bachmann faces more migraine questions - Kasie Hunt and Molly Ball -

City of Watertown Cooling Sites During Heat Wave

We don't have many big time heat waves, but the effect of this week's hot weather can be debilitating on the elderly, those with health issues and pets. Once again you are reminded of public buildings like City Hall or the Flower Library provide a venue to escape the heat. City recreation programs (pools) and our tree-filled parks also provide a time out.
Oppressive heat can easily overcome those most vulnerable, so please keep an eye out for others and if you are a pet owner keep Fido in a cool spot with plenty of water.
City of Watertown Cooling Sites During Heat Wave

No Wild Hair, Makeup For Lake Students - Education News Story - WKMG Orlando

In the continuing struggle to compensate for lack of parenting and a degradation of standards, a school board has sought to ban wild hair colors, arguing they are a distraction.
They are whistling past the graveyard as colored hair is not the problem per se, its deeper than that.
No Wild Hair, Makeup For Lake Students - Education News Story - WKMG Orlando

Utah’s Liquor Laws - Like in NY Lots of Nuances That Make You Scratch Your Head

As one who has been in the retail alcohol business for 26 years, it never ceases to amaze me the crazy nuances in alcohol laws not just in NY but elsewhere.
In many places the number of licenses is strictly limited so it is a very closed shop, and there are many restrictions on this and that, including in Utah where in some establishments drinks can be served but the alcohol and the drink preparation process must be concealed from view.
Alcohol control laws date to Prohibition when it was determined that while alcohol can be legal but must be dispensed under strict terms and conditions.
Many of you may have served Jell-O shots or wine slushies at home parties, but such drinks are illegal in NY eateries and bars as they don't come that way from a distributor.
The nuances of New York's alcohol laws has become an issue of late here in the City as the sale of such products are allowed on public property that is not licensed in the sense all of us in the business are.
Most people just want to have a beer, and can't understand why those in the industry are interested in what seems to be too many rules. Such laws and regulations are slow to change as the anti alcohol lobby is busy wanting more things outlawed and restricted.

Utah’s Liquor Laws - Relaxed, but Still Peculiar -

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Governor Cuomo Holds Cabinet Meeting to Announce Phase II in His Plan to Build a New New York | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Community first....bottom up....performance based....the press release is loaded with lots of economic development jargon and bromides about locally driven solutions shaping the individual economic recovery of regions....
Trouble is no one I talk to knows what the Governor's planned regional economic councils are all about...what they will do...and what they can fund....
Watertown is in a region that snakes around to Albany, so we have to hope we are the tail that wags the dog.
There is natural skepticism about these kind of rearrange-the-deck-chairs solutions.
The Governor is planning an ad campaign stressing that New York State is "open for business." Again, that's fine but the state has a heckuva reputation to live down.
Marketing alone will not change the climate because our problems are not just in perception but reality.
Less regulation, lower taxes and an Ontario-style reorder of the structure of local government would be a start.
So much of what we purport to do in the jobs arena is forcing one segment of the economy to subsidize another to create the impression that jobs are created....
The fact is all businesses must get a break so that the tide rises...and that does raise all the ships..

Governor Cuomo Holds Cabinet Meeting to Announce Phase II in His Plan to Build a New New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Good Place for Him...Sharpton Eyed for MSNBC Slot

Reverand Al Sharpton (of Tawana Brawley fame) is being looked at as the host the 6PM slot on uber liberal network, MSNBC. If chosen, he will be a perfect fit right after Chris Matthews, but before Rachel Maddow...As a fill in host, Sharpton saw an uptick in ratings...
Rev. Al Sharpton might host a nightly hour-long show on MSNBC -

Clinton man gets prison time for killing dog - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

A Utica area man got two years in jail for killing his dog....If only he had done the deed in Orlando.
Clinton man gets prison time for killing dog - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

WDT: No Anger Management Needed,...Despite Differences We Get Along

I read in the paper I had an angry exchange with fellow Council member Jeff Smith....I wouldn't say it was angry and we spent the better part of an hour this morning on the phone discussing issues related to concerts, and various residential parking codes.
Despite the preening for the camera that sometimes happens at meetings, I try to talk to members often and I know they talk to one another. That's what it takes to make a small five person body functional.
We had a good hiring process for City Clerk which netted a good choice, but no extneral discord....The Recreation reorganization meeting was very productive and even the Mercy/Masonic matter was a good chance to clarify a baffling topic.
Angry is when you see those Taiwanese lawmakers punching each other out.
Watertown Daily Times City: No deal for Mercy tax sale certificate

Mid Summer Petition Shuffle as We Wait to Hear Precisely Who is Running

       Even though there are few contested races in local elections, some clarity should come soon as today the deadline passes to accept or decline party nominations and we should know if there are any objections being filed to petitions submitted last week.
        One race to watch is in District 14 of the County Legislature where there were apparently two sets turned in for the GOP nomination. However the challenger to longtime lawmaker Jennie Adsit may face objections.
         I haven't heard if that Democrat in District 12 submitted anything or not.
         As I have said before, there is no contested race for City Council and no surprises in the mayor or judge races with the expected candidates submitting ample petitions.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dutton Affirms Her Oath....Welcomes SSM Marriage Applicants on the 24th

Some municipal clerks ( only a couple actually) continue to protest same sex marriage by resigning their post...Meanwhile here in Watertown, City Clerk Donna Dutton informed Council tonight her office will be open on Sunday July 24 to accommodate the first day SSM marriage licenses are legal to issue.
Ms. Dutton is handling the submissions on an appointment only basis, but says she wants to respect her new patrons by not making their special day a media event.
Ms. Dutton sets a high standard for tolerance and adherence to the law.
Her designated successor Ann Saunders was in attendance at the Council meeting tonight...The two rode downstairs in the elevator together after the meeting.
Granby Town Clerk resigns over gay marriage law : News :

WDT: Scozzafava gives $100 to foe-turned-friend Owens

Dede Scozzafava gave her ex foe Bill Owens $100....To most in Albany and Washington, this is hardly worth noting, but in the parsimonious world of NNY politics, its a major commitment.
Ms. Scozzafava was running against Mr. Owens in a 2009 special election that turned sour for her.
Finance reports say DeDe still has a political slush fund even though she has a state job in the Cuomo administration.
Watertown Daily Times Scozzafava gives $100 to foe-turned-friend Owens

Council Meeting Hits on Several Topics

    After a discussion on the future of the Mercy Building, city attorney Robert Slye added a new twist with his assertion that the company that had been holding a tax sale certificate on the property does not any longer have a claim on the property due to failure to pay taxes and letting a successor tax sale be held. So I guess the City is in line to control the property in 2013..
   But the big yank of the night was over an upcoming Godsmack concert proposed for the Fairgrounds Ball Field.
   Watertown Wizards owner Paul Simmons and the County Fair Board are asking for approval for the event, but the City Manager says her staff has several potential concerns yet to be worked out.
    Council also heard a tearful plea to allow front yard parking at a Winslow Street home,  and heard another request to allow margin parking, this one on Meade Street.
Council voted four to one to restore the lady's property to its original state with paving between the sidewalk and road.
   We really need to repeal or amend the margin parking rule, but so far there is no consensus to do so.
    All in all, it was not one of my better meetings, as so many people were complaining about so many things. Oh well, we will get 'em next time.

Samaritan Medical Center Senior Village Site Selection

Samaritan Medical Center has relocated its proposed Senior Village to a parcel just south of the City because environmental issues on its Washington Street site prevented building there. Hospital chief Thomas Carman informed City Council of the decision and said the hospital still intends on purchasing a parcel of city owned land for about $60,000. Mr. Carman said other parcels idenitified by City Hall didn't meet the available space requirements. The 288 unit home is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
Either way it has no effect on taxable value since hospital properties are tax exempt.
Samaritan Medical Center Senior Village Site Selection

It Could Always Be Worse

Yeah we got some unsent invoices, but there are city's with some real splainin' to in Fall River MA where a womans body laid for days at the bottom of a public swimming pool where six lifeguards worked and a health inspector approved the pool even though the water was "cloudy".
And of course in typical CYA the local health department said there was no danger to the body being there due to the chlorine.
WHDH-TV - Fall River pool death investigation continues

Utica Club is a Tradition Worth Reviving

It's hard to say if it was really the first beer brewed following the end of Prohibition....but Utica Club still makes the claim on its label, and nobody is disputing it.
The brand is still made despite having its clientele die out in the 1980s. I had one today and reminisced about the blue collar flavor that appealed to me decades ago. I also like the old Matt's beer balls marketed by the West End Brewery in Utica.....I even drank a Fort Schuyler from time to time.
Many old brands have disappeared and there are few Mabel's left to serve a Black Label. Some beers once popular faded and returned...Pabst is a good example.
In the interest of nostalgia, I have resumed carrying Utica Club at Fort Pearl. Today's generation should learn they don't need to drink some "raspberry honey wheat" craft brew to escape the taste hegemony of the major brands.
Chad'z Beer Utica Club Pilsener Lager Beer Chad & Friends' Beer Reviews

Joe Brosk is Off and Running

    I began my first week as a listener to America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show, aka the HOTLINE on AM-1240-WATN.
     Joe is talking about trees, a subject I seldom broached and he is talking about bluebirds, the official bird of NYS.
      I am off the show to comply with federal broadcast law regarding candidates for public office and actually the rest is a good thing. I can catch the Price is Right in its entirety.
     Best wishes to Joe on his new duties.

An Intriguing Way to Account for Free Money

    From the easy solutions department...There has been debate over the true cost of underwriting the logistical costs of anyone who wants to rent the Fairgrounds for a concert.  Some say it promotes culture and economic development. I have said they are commercial enterprises operating on public property and should pay a market rate....
   Here's another solution.  Charge the promoter the true cost of the staging the event for all the public works and public safety costs....That would give the public the transparency needed to judge these events.
   Then to continue the subsidies, the City Council can appropriate grants to promoters to cover those costs.
    Therefore a concert that costs $22,546 for the city would be billed and the promoter would be given the grant money to pay his bill.
   This way , those who think it should be free are satisfied, but lawmakers would have to own up to what they are spending.
     Now this may not be what I think should be done, but it would be a more transparent way for some lawmakers to continue doing what they are doing.

Little Leiby the Latest Example of Disposable Kids

Gruesome crimes are the lifeblood of Tabloid America, but the case of Leiby Kletzky is an especially disturbing example of violence against kids. The eight year old walking home in his very safe Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn was snatched by a fiend, taken to an apartment, suffocated and then dismembered.
Dismemberment was a means of disposal as was the decision to place little Caylee Anthony in a bag and throw her in a swamp.
Levi Aron has confessed and deserves what misery he gets, but as with Caylee a vulnerable child was let down and paid a price as evil does indeed lurk out there.
Cops focus on evidence from Levi Aron's living room in case of murdered Brooklyn boy Leiby Kletzky -

Dicker: Andy May Eschew Close Ties to Bam in 2012

This is an interesting Dicker piece suggesting an Obama win in 2012 is not in the best interests politically of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who no doubt fancies himself running for the White House in 2016.
The premise is that Mr. Cuomo's carefully cultivated image as a budget balancing, no tax, no class warfare yet socially liberal governor is at odds with Mr. Obama's image as the most liberal-ever President and a man who even if reelected will stuggle with taming the deficit given his proclivity for spending.
Running for President in defense of that record may not be Andy's cup of tea, and Dicker says the Governor may quietly root for a GOP win in 2012, figuring it will be easier for Andrew Cuomo to take on that race in 2016.
Are people that calculating, even to the point of defacto party disloyalty ? Of course they are, and don't look for Mr. Cuomo to do any more than perfunctory campaigning in NY state for Mr. Obama.
Andrew Cuomo will not want to take his high numbers on the road in defense of a man struggling to hang on.
Obama's defeat next year could be a win for Cuomo in 2016 -

Gay rights groups target Bachmann

Michele Bachmann's views on fiscal restraint and Tea Party economics doesn't appeal to everyone but likely will find a constituency among those who harbor the view that spending cannot go on unchecked. That's why the left hopes to rough up Ms. Bachmann on social issues, particularly gay rights.
While the Bachmann campaign has avoided social issues this year, she has been a culture warrior in the past and is a "target rich environment" given her previous statements on gay issues.
Just imagine if Sarah Palin used the phrase "target rich environment" in reference to a political foe, yet the libs get quoted using it. Why isn't that promoting hate and violence...Oh, sorry, I digressed.
For the long shot in the race, Ms. Bachmann best stick with ecnomics and not get sucked into the media gristmill over gays, abortion and guns.
Gay rights groups target Bachmann - Ben Smith -

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Many Topics Likely to Surface at Monday Meeting

   Monday's City Council meeting has a light agenda, but its likely several other subjects will come up...from the latest request for an exception on parking in the median to a talked about parking scenario for Goodale Street that has garnered media attention.
   Also look for possible follow up discussion on our Parks and Recreation remake, as I am sure Council members want to know more about the timetable for hiring as well as the role of interim P&R chief John VanBrocklin.
    There was also another concert request Council members learned of last week as former Councilman Paul Simmons distributed a letter to lawmakers for the Godsmack show he is proposing for August.
      As I said before the big item are the tax sale certificates for Mercy and the Masonic Temple.....Council has a chance to secure control over the destiny of the Mercy properties since a path to title has been an impediment to devising or proposing redevelopment.
       The meeting starts at 7PM...Stop on up for a Monday evening in the air conditioned Council Chamber.

WDT: Parks and recreation getting interim help

Changes are afoot in Parks and Recreation, but the day to day work goes on and the City Manager has designated an interim leader for the operation.
City Council acted last week to order the establishment of a separate department and the hiring of a new superintendent. While it takes a little while to get all the pieces in place, there are too many major policy issues to wait too long.
Watertown Daily Times Parks and recreation getting interim help

America's Most Famous Meter Reader Sues

In a bit of Americana that still makes you shake your head, the water meter reader who discovered the remains of Caylee Anthony is sueing a bounty hunter for defamation....This is one of several suits possibly coming out of the brutal Casey Anthony trial.....Ms. Anthony is being sued for defamation by a nanny and a prison inmate in SC is suggesting he might be the father of Caylee and wants to sue for her wrongful death.
For Ms. Anthony, the legal treadmill will follow her and so will the perjury traps in depositions that will surely lead prosecutors to a second bite at the apple.....
Roy Kronk: Kronk sues bounty hunter Leonard Padilla for defamation -