Saturday, July 30, 2011

GOP Leaders Hint at Possible Breakthrough in Debt Talks - Major Garrett -

The drama continues and for those who like to watch cable news, its a great weekend. There will be some kind of deal, but there will still be a big deficit.
GOP Leaders Hint at Possible Breakthrough in Debt Talks - Major Garrett -

Libyan TV Took a Licking, Kept on Ticking

The US backed NATO effort to topple Moammar Qadaffy in Libya drones on, months after the campaign was supposed to bring about regime change. Now we are bombing the television station in Tripoli.
This is another failed policy of the Bush/Obama years...Another ill advised foreign entanglement we cannot afford. Even that guy we helped get released for the Lockerbie Bombing is still alive a couple of years we were all told he was a terminal patient released on compassionate grounds.
Meanwhile in DC, they are arguing over the best way to keep spending on what we cannot afford.
Libyan TV still on air despite NATO bombing Reuters

Old Photos Bring Back Memories

  My brother sent me some old photos of me in case I have to document that I was indeed younger and one photo had me piloting the family SeaRay somewhere on the St. Lawrence.
    In these politically correct times, I immediately noticed no PFD.  But I put the picture up anyway as it was taken in an age of innocense when such nuances were not noticed....Kind of like those pictures from the 50s of Jack Paar smoking on air.

Is SUNY Playing College Roulette with NNY Campuses ?

The colleges in the Big County are one of the economic engines of this rural swath on the state's northern border, so its understandable talk of a consolidation or more of the SUNY colleges in Canton and Potsdam gets the Irish up of the local political class.
It's "save our prison" all over again and SUNY's chancellor is denying and ducking while Canton's president pretty obviously has been told (or paid) to keep his pie hole in a resting mode. Canton's political class is crying foul and demanding answers.
When I was up at SUNY Potsdam on Thursday, it was clear that facility along with the presidents of Potsdam and Clarkson were on display. I wouldn't have read much into that, except for the flurry of excitement over Canton's fate. Like any agency, SUNY has to be concerned with efficiencies, and as with prisons, when that happens, somebody's ox gets gored.
Time to head on down to the Hoot Owl for a couple of cold ones. Is that still open ?
Watertown Daily Times Canton rallies behind its college president

Norway Civil Servant Back at Work after Being Spiked by Terror Bomber

For all the griping about public employees from some, heres a shout out to one hearty Norwegian civil servant who is back at work only a week after surviving the Oslo bombing with a foot long wooden spike in her head.
Just one of many horrific stories resulting from the bombing and shooting spree that claimed nearly 100 lives.
Norway massacre victim had foot-long spike in her head after bombing, but now is back at work

Friday, July 29, 2011

Harry Belafonte Rips Bam

Its bad enough that Peggy Noonan called him a loser on MSNBC...but now the King of Calypso is calling President Obama a failure lacking in "moral courage." Singer Harry Belafonte said the "yes we can" mantra was clever, but nothing more....
The President's Amen Corner is getting smaller every day.
Summer TV Press Tour 2011: What Harry Belafonte would ask Congress about the debt crisis - The TV Column - The Washington Post

John Boehner debt ceiling bill passes.. Focus on Senate

Boehner bill passes...but what does that mean ?
John Boehner debt ceiling bill passes; Senate deal making begins - David Rogers -

WWNY:St. Lawrence County Women Face Drug Charges In New Jersey

These girls from the Big County are a little rough.
St. Lawrence County Women Face Drug Charges In New Jersey WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Noonan: Bam's a "Loser"

Certain words are meant to cut to the bone...Pathetic, Junvenile, Liar.....and "Loser".
The doyenne of conservative commentators called President Obama a loser today on "Morning Joe." That's strong language...especially about a President.....
That must have floored Mika.
Peggy Noonan Barack Obama Loser Mediaite

Balanced budget amendment adds momentum to Boehner plan

So the Boehner plan may pass the GOP with a balanced budget amendment....Like that will pass the Senate ? By now its about face saving and getting something passed.
Balanced budget amendment adds momentum to Boehner plan - Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan and Jonathan Allen -

The Green in Going Green

   I was sorting some cans today and while doing it I wondered if people realize how much the state is ripping them off with the bigger, better bottle bill.
   When you buy that case of Pepsi you pay 5 cents a can or $1.20.  When the empties go to a redemption (not spiritual) center they are sorted by distributor and the redeemer has them picked up by the distributor. They are paid 8.5 cents a can or $2.04 a case.
    Who pays the extra 74 cents ?   Is it the rich bottlers...the greedy merchants....? No, it's you...Its part of the cost of the product when you bought it, along with the costs of carting around, picking up and storing all these cans and bottles, most of which end up in a landfill.
     They should teach that economic lesson in schools.

This and That

-Remember when Sarah Palin "targeted" certain districts ? That was a bad thing to say, as is any weapon-related imagery....So howz 'bout today on Morning Joe they had some head on there comparing Republicans in the House to "economic terrorists" strapping dynamite to themselves and blowing us all up. Mika never blinked.
-We have a commenter who wants everyone to know that my participation on the Governor's North Country Economic Panel is as an "ex-officio" member based on the title I hold. That is true, but I look forward to adding to the discussion in the weeks ahead, although I think its important to explain that "ex-officio" means non-voting member who serves generally by position.
-A journalist wrote this week that as Mayor of Watertown, I am a figurehead. I will partially stipulate to that as I take the leadership and policy making role seriously, although I concede I cannot just order people around.
-I have asked that Monday's agenda include a discussion of our hiring of former Liquor Authority Chair Anthony Casale to help draft a policy for alcohol use and sale on city property. Numerous licensing issues have been raised of late.
-Everybody loves a winner.....GOP Senator Betty Little couldn't gush enough about Governor Cuomo yesterday in Potsdam and so did our Senator Ritchie. That's a good thing. We don't need the days of Andy's dad when sniping at the Governor was an obligatory laugh line at local party dinners.

NCPR News - Cuomo unveils regional economic council in Potsdam

Eventually, Even NYS Catches Up To You

Subway has been a staple of the downtown eating scene for some time, so its hoped this tax situation is cleared up. However, an $8300 levy for one quarter indicates gross sales of about $110,000 for the quarter and while you can get away with not paying for a while, it always catches up to you.
Since sales tax is collected from consumers as part of the purchase, it must be paid on time. Sales tax is also the primary funding source for local government and the lost city share on this one levy is about $900.
Nonetheless, many in small business have made the mistake of falling behind on these taxes and once caught up, should learn from the experience.
The product at Subway is good and its hoped the eaterie can reopen soon.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown Subway restaurant seized for unpaid tax

Why the 2012 Election is Important...It Resolves a Split Decision

This Krauthammer op/ed makes the best case for passing the Boehner Bill. While Tea Party activists may feel 2010 was some kind of mandate, the election stands in contradiction to 2006 and 2008 when voters opted for a different vision.
The 2012 election is the rubber match. To do what they want, Tea Party activists need to win the Senate and White House. They cannot institute major change from controlling (sort of) one house of Congress.
Raise the debt cap, cut a little spending and move on to the debate of 2012.
The great divide - The Washington Post

Charting the American Debt Crisis - Interactive -

If you remember Ross Perot's 1992 flip charts, this NYT series of charts and graphs makes the current debt debate a little easier to understand. There is debate over the exact date for running out of money, but there is also no action in DC on the matter.
A vote last night on the Boehner Bill was called off due to lack of votes and there will be more festering today.
The last two Presidents have been the worst deficit offenders but the last 30 years has seen an escalating path towards insolvency and there is no end in sight.
In 2010, a frustrated public voted for restraint, but the Tea Party activists who think they are doing the right thing are now portrayed as intransigent. Well, they are...but are so because they think bitter medicine is needed for an indulgent society.....Bitter medicine never sells easily.
There will have to be cuts, but at some point tax reform and tax hikes as well. The bitter pill for Democrats is that those easy- to-propose soak the rich taxes won't be enough. They will have to soak those working families too.
Republicans are captives of Tea Party rhetoric, but Democrats are captives of their own working families/tax the rich rhetoric. No end in sight.
Charting the American Debt Crisis - Interactive -

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thanks Patty !

Let me take a moment to thank the office of Senator Patty Ritchie for their rapid and effective response to my concerns about the local prison no longer providing work details to help our agencies like the Salvation Army.
Capt Evelyn Hopping of the Army contacted me the other day, and I turned to the Senator's office for help and they got results. Both inmate work details that were cancelled have been restored.

Governor Cuomo Launches North Country Regional Economic Development Council

I am pleased to be one of five Jefferson County representitives on Governor Cuomo's North Country Regional Economic Development Council named today in Potsdam.
Jim Wright of DANC, Carl McLaughlin of the FDRLO, Timeless Frames owner Lisa Weber and Jefferson County Legislature Chair Carolyn Fitzpatrick are also on the body.
In the coming weeks representitives from ten regions across the state will meet to devise a jobs strategy for their region. The plan will be used in competing for economic development dollars from Albany.
Just as important is the sessions will create some synergy among people across the usual geo-political boundaries.
Given the importance of jobs and education to the North Country I am pleased and honored to represent our area in this process.
Only two mayors were chosen as members with Plattsburgh the other city.

Governor Cuomo Launches North Country Regional Economic Development Council Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor and Godsmack in the News Today

I am off to Potsdam to participate in the Governor's announcement of regional economic development councils, including one serving NNY counties. It's a new way to deliver the state's economic development program as ten regions will compete for grant money. Given the importance of jobs to this area, I look forward to participating in the program in whatever ways are appropriate.
Meanwhile I noticed there was a 9:30 presser today to announce the much talked about Godsmack concert is being held at Can-Am Speedway in LaFargeville...just up the road from Ted Ford.
After a review of staff concerns over the logistics of such a large event at the Fairgrounds, the city manager had OK'd the concert with reasonable stipulations. A meeting with promoters had been slated for 11AM, but news of the change flashed across Newzjunky earlier in the morning.
I can only assume the facilities at the racetrack better suited the promoters and the event is still in Jefferson County, convenient to Route 81.
Meanwhile, the manager was meeting today on job descriptions for two new posts to oversee the Recreation Department. One a superintendent responsible for facilities and events management, the other a program director for recreation programs.
Events for this summer were reviewed on an individual basis and the Godsmack request, which was made in June required additional review due to concerns expressed by the Police Chief and others......Those were resolved this week, but the promoters felt their interests were better served at the more expansive Can-Am facility.
08/20/11 - LaFargeville, NY : Godsmack

First Same-Sex Marriage Performed In Watertown

Things are always a little later coming here..heck we only recently got an Olive Garden, but three days after marriage equality became the law of the land in NY, Watertown's first SSM ceremony was held Wednesday.
Under the gazebo between City Hall and the Flower Library, two ladies who had held a committment ceremony 15 years ago became legally married under the watchful eye of City Clerk Donna Dutton (and of course John Moore).
Congratulations to the couple.
First Same-Sex Marriage Performed In Watertown WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: Governor in NNY Again, and Other Stuff

-Governor Cuomo brings his economic development council show to NNY today with an announcement in Potsdam. It will be interesting to hear more about this. I am going to head up and attend the event.
-The WDT reports Canadian officials are pledging a review of policies on non-terrorist anglers caught drifting across the border in the St. Lawrence River.
-I have been watching an evening of commentary on MSNBC...Its going to be a nasty 2012, as there is no middle ground anymore.
Watertown Daily Times Cuomo in Potsdam Thursday to unveil development councils

Only GOP Pols Make Pretty List

   I looked through that list of the 50 most attractive people in DC and three of them are members of Congress.  Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) were the three. At age 54, Senator Murkowski was among the older, yet pretty people.
    Some years ago, our Congressman, John McHugh made the pretty list put out by The Hill.
     Rep. Bill Owens did not make the list, nor did any other Democrat. Most of the other 47 are staffers and lobbyists.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Downtown Merchants Working Hard to Make Public Square Welcome

   In addition to the Farmer's Market on Wednesdays there are a couple of other noteworthy events downtown...Wednesdays after work is the Downtown Concert Series on the Woodruff Site. Tonight there was a nice crowd on the lawn and the music was just fine.
   Fridays is the Lunchbox Concert Series in front of the Historical Society on Washington Street.
   These are great events downtown. Check them out !

Owens: Tax Hikes Coming After 2012

Rep. Bill Owens tells Liz that there likely will be higher taxes but not until after the 2012 election...Such candor is appreciated, but the cynicism of official Washington is noteworthy too...In any event the Congressman is on Capital Tonight, which is worth watching no matter who the guests.
State of Politics Blog

50 Most Beautiful People for 2011 -

The newspaper The Hill has come out with its 50 most beautiful people in DC and there are some great looking people in our Nation's Capital.
It's reassuring that in the fierce partisan debate over the deficit, the media can take time out to recognize the superficiality and narcissism that is our culture.
These really are beautiful people...Too bad they get ugly as they get older.
50 Most Beautiful People for 2011 -

Pilot treads water for 17 hours after plane crashes in Lake Huron

Here's the latest on the miracle on Lake Huron involving a Gouverneur pilot.
Pilot treads water for 17 hours after plane crashes in Lake Huron Detroit Free Press

Some Really Good News Today

Good news abounds...How about the gentleman from Gouverneur who survived as the plane he was flying landed on Lake Huron and he had to spend the night in the drink treading water....Kudos to Michael Trapp and thank God his family can look forward to his return.
It looks like there might be a better outcome for the Salvation Army and its work-crew help from the local prison. Senator Ritchie's office got back to me this morning and said the warden at the Watertown Correctional Facility would honor existing committments. Kudos to the Senator's staff for a quick response.
I've got a full day of mayor stuff tomorrow including a CAPC breakfast at the Childrens Home. I will update you on the day when it happens.
Listen: Michael Trapp Describes Crash, Ordeal WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Niagara Falls considers a return to its daredevil past

The Niagara Falls City Council has approved a high wire crossing of the Falls in an effort to revive the city's daredevil image....Its dangerous, but it will attract attention to the iconic natural attraction that has become a little tarnished in recent decades.
Ever since the Love Canal, its been nothing but bad news out of the Falls , with most people concluding a trip to the Canadian side was a better deal. Now the American side has its own casino and hopefully is poised for a comeback.
The other day the Mayor co-opted all the media coverage for SSM with his rainbow-lit falls, just-after-midnight ceremony. It was a reminder that you are supposed to honeymoon in the Falls.
Good luck to Niagara Falls and we hope for a safe crossing...but if not, we will all be watching.
Niagara Falls considers a return to its daredevil past -

Cuomo to WNY: Get Out of the Past !

While many details have to be fleshed out, the Governor's plans for regional economic development councils are off and running with a panel named in western NY. The plan is praised but as with everything, it depends on your definition of "regional". In NY many of the local issues relate to the 19th Century structures of government and the layers on layers of taxing jurisdictions.
However, in a world where economies don't stop at the imaginary lines of a century ago, the Governor's plan provides a framework for progress and we will have to see how this new structure plays out statewide.
Let's give it a try.
Cuomo to WNY: Get out of the past - City & Region - The Buffalo News

Poker Pro Turns Chips into Shoes...Lots of Them

What is it about accessories that fascinates women ?....Professional Poker player Beth Shak reveals she has 1200 pairs of shoes...Remember Imelda Marcos ? The 41 year old Ms. Shak makes lots of money playing poker....She is still single as her career and her shoe collection likely occupy her time.
Reminds me of these women who obsess over handbags...Coach bags were big and all of a sudden people were spending the family grocery money on Coach bags....Then if someone walks by with a Louis Vuitton, there is great sadness among the Coach cluchers.
Then there is the jewelry industry which has turned rocks into great wealth by selling the sizzle.....Furs used to be sought after, but do you know anyone who calls himself a furrier anymore ?
Anyway, Ms. Shak earned her money and is entitled to all the shoes she wants.
Poker pro is also shoe fiend, with 1,200 pairs -

Bond Ratings More an Issue than Default

Recently, the City of Watertown saw its credit rating improved. The reason is debt.....decreasing debt, dropping by six million dollars over the past eight years.
Now take the case of the United States government, where debt is having the opposite effect on credit ratings....A downgrade is possible and is seen as more of a threat than a default.
For the City of Watertown the upgrade in rating means lower borrowing costs and easier access to capital. For the United States a credit downgrade means just the opposite.
Its an almost unsolveable problem at the national level and the adoption of the Boehner plan is at least a step forward and begins a process of cutting. The President is not committed to debt or deficit reduction and this issue must be allowed to play out as a national choice in 2012.
Meanwhile, its what Moody's thinks that may be important in the months to come.
Credit hit worries Obama, Congress more than default - Carrie Budoff Brown and Ben White -

WDT: Owens Backs Reid Plan as 2012 Showdown Looms

North Country Representitive Bill Owens is all over TV this week, telling the media he favors taxing the rich, but will settle for the plan advanced by Senator Harry Reid. All members of Congress are getting lots of phone calls and emails and Mr. Owens knows he will face an aggressive challenge next year by his lost foe, businessman Matt Doheny of Watertown.
Mr. Doheny is a business whiz and surely plans a campaign centered on his disdain for deficits and debt. Mr. Owens will focus on class warfare and protecting entitlements for a largely older and lower income NNY constituency.
Ads are already on cable ripping at Mr. Owens and if the GOP is successful in forcing the President to sign a shorter term debt ceiling increase, look for NY23 to be a battleground in 2012 on the issue of debt and deficits.
Watertown Daily Times As debt ceiling deadline approaches, Owens website crashes

WDT:| Out of work for months? Don’t bother applying

Apparently some employers are mentioning in their ads that those who have been out of work a long time need not apply, and of course some want to make that illegal.
Its like a lot of things you are not allowed to mention in an advertisement. For instance, if I am looking for a female bartender, most media would not allow an ad saying so. I would have to receive all the applications from people I have no intention of hiring and then reject them.
The reality is employers feel those out of work a long time may be that way for a reason. The NY Times reports the average time out of work for the laid off is nine months.
My advice is if an ad says only the recently unemployed apply....go ahead and apply anyway, if you want the job. A key to getting hired is being hungry and aggressive.
Passing another law on the phrasing of ads is not the answer.
Many good people out of a job for an extended period deserve a break and employers should be willing to consider them. That's a matter of decency, not a matter of law.
Watertown Daily Times Out of work for months? Don’t bother applying

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Caprara Opens VW Store on Outer Washington Street

    Auto empresario Billy Caprara has firmed his grip on the local car market by opening a stand-alone Volkswagen store on Route 11 across from his Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge store.
The Capraras also own a Kia store and a used car lot on the "strip".
     The VW store is run by Neal Tyrrell and staffed by veteran salesmen Paul Bouchard and Walt Young. The store is ultra-modern and will feature new and certified used Volkswagens including the first American-made models.
      Its a beautiful store and worth a visit to look at the new VW's.  Later this year the remodeled Beetle will debut.
       Congratulations to the Capraras on their success.

Canadian dollar hits three-year high

Come on down !.....The loonie is now worth $1.06 US....Means we should be paying a premium on their money...
This is a great opportunity for merchants and the tourist industry to promote visits here....
Nothing lasts forever, but this monetary situation means good things for NNY...
Canadian dollar hits three-year high

Salvation Army Told No More Inmates to Help Out

     One of those nice, feel-good programs that helps local not for profit agencies is apparently gone...
     Capt. Evelyn Hopping of the local Salvation Army called today to let me know the NYS Department of Corrections told her they are no longer supplying inmate work details to organizations like hers.  The inmates did lots of tasks including painting.
      I am helping her get her message to state representitives to see what they can do.
      The Watertown Correctional Facility on Dry Hill is the prison in question and its one that is remaining open.  Don't say budget cuts....the DOC is saving money due to a new water rate schedule adopted this year....
       It would be nice if the inmates could continue to be used in this constructive manner. I will be interested in seeing what the State's response is.

Wu Resigning From Congress - -

Must have been the photo in the tiger suit that did him in. Rep. David Wu (D-OR) says now he is stepping down after the debt crisis is resolved...
The reason, sexual advances on a teenager.
If Mr. Wu needs to leave, why not now ? Why wait ?
Wu Resigning From Congress - -

Michele Bachmann, GOP presidential candidate, plagued by 'teen suicide epidemic' report

If you don't think the MSM has an agenda...consider this...there happen to be nine teen suicides in one Congressional district in the past two years..... Apparently thats above the statistical average....OK....thats a tragedy and we feel bad when young people choose that route.
FLASH- The CD in questions is not just any district...Its the Minnesota district represented by Tea Party favorite and surgins Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann.....
Quick, do a story on if the incidence of suicide has anything to do with Congressional boundaries...Maybe that shoud be taken into account in redistricting.
Michele Bachmann, GOP presidential candidate, plagued by 'teen suicide epidemic' report

Brad Paisley Fans Arrested...But That Doesn't Mean It Wasn't a Good Time

The 54 arrests at this western NY concert are likely the result of police actively enforcing the law as opposed to adhering to the Willie Nelson Rule, which is to say you overlook some things at a concert you wouldn't overlook on the street.
By virtue of the arrests, a concert most people likely enjoyed appears in the MSM to be bad and evil.
Meanwhile for those who understand the correlation between having issues and consumption of the devil's brew.....Alcohol sales at Reba were $19,000 compared to the $61,000 at the Hip at the point they ran out of beer.
Tonight in Watertown there is a concert by Buckcherry and a meeting will be held soon to work out the logistics on the Godsmack concert for August 20. Meanwhile Jim Kenyon of TV3 is coming up to do a story on the issue.
Brad Paisley fans get themselves arrested in droves during Darien Lake concert The Batavian

Cultural Event Slated for August 13

The Black River Rollers are coming to Fort Pearl on August 13. Click for details.

Mutton Busting Comes Out of Corral Into the Main Arena -

Here's another one of those sports that hasn't hit Watertown yet...Mutton Busting....Kids riding sheep in a rodeo setting.
Looks like fun and it gets kids away from the computers and out in the fresh air.
Its not a new activity....just new to urban and suburban America long out of touch with their agrarian past.
Mutton Busting Comes Out of Corral Into the Main Arena -

Dueling Speeches Accomplish Nothing

Can someone explain why President Obama and Speaker John Boehner has to take to the national airwaves last night for competing politcal addresses to the nation.
In over 4000 words, the President repeatedly barked about a "balanced" approach to the deficit that includes cuts and taxes. The Speaker spoke about a temporary debt ceiling hike so that we could go through all of this again in six months.
Of course these cuts are not really cuts, so everybody is full of hot air.
The President was eloquent but I doubt his pleas for people to call their Congressman will get anywhere.
Al in all, a waste of air time.
The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

NFLPA OKs deal, Roger Goodell says 'football is back' - ESPN

The National Football League has ten years of labor peace after today's player thumbs up to a labor pact. That means the season will go off as planned and we can look forward to the season.
NFLPA OKs deal, Roger Goodell says 'football is back' - ESPN

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Monday Night With No Council Meeting.....

       My good friend and landscaper Kay Plante called me today about this letter to the editor from a former poster to this blog.  It wasn't on the on-line edition so I missed it, but it was pretty scathing...blaming me for just about everything.  Remember what I learned growing up...You never build yourself up by tearing others down.
      I had news people pestering me today about Godsmack....As I said before. It's the City Manager's decision based on her deliberations with staff.   Its not about censorship or prejudice. It's about the facility and public safety. If a police chief has concerns, that's not something cooked up by me. Whatever she decides I am sure will be appropriate.
      Full house at Pete's....I ran into that model Amy Hunt again. She was with her parents who I went to high school with. Her dad owned the old Studio One bar on Factory Street back in the day when you had to be careful not to wander in front of a train when crossing the street.

Obama backs Reid debt plan; will speak at 9 p.m. - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

All these people talk too much...The President is taking to the airwaves for a 9PM address to the Nation on the debt situation...I hesitate to call it a crisis, as a lot of people say August 2nd is no big deal, while others say it is......
Keep spending, and raise the borrowing limit...There is no way we will ever shed this debt.
The talk of $2.7Trillion cuts is specious as its just reductions in the proposed rate of increase...A trillion of that is the assumption these wars will end, as if we won't find new ones....
None of it means again...just keep spending.
Obama backs Reid debt plan; will speak at 9 p.m. - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

David Wu won't resign; Nancy Pelosi seeks probe

Another sex scandal involving a Congressman.....Rep. David Wu (D-OR) says he won't step down but also won't run again after allegations he made improper advances on the teenage daughter of a friend.
Another ethics probe has been launched and we are on our way...This is the Congressman who posed for a picture wearing a tiger suit...But so far only FOX shows the photo...
David Wu won't resign; Nancy Pelosi seeks probe - John Bresnahan and Jonathan Allen -

"Retired" Sheldon Silver aide lands high-paying SUNY job -

He could get a job at the St. Lawrence Eastern Ontario Commission...Oh they don't exist what, no one will notice.....We need more little fiefdoms to tuck people away in.
"Retired" Sheldon Silver aide lands high-paying SUNY job -

NCPR News - Old rivals face off in Watertown mayor's race

I don't know if we are "old rivals" as Mr. Smith and I have never run against each other. We have both served in local government about the same number of years.
Like most people who have kicked around a few years, I don't think either of us is as strident as we used to be or as wild and crazy. Mr. Smith is assertive in his support for alternative and green energy. He has also been very involved over the years in the Fairgrounds Arena as a hockey dad. On issues like water and sewer rates, we have stood together in advocacy of flatter rates and fairer rates to City customers. This year we both voted for a budget that reduced taxes and debt.
With two candidates who both have long records in office and many votes cast, I suspect there is ample evidence to judge us.
While there are those who see advantage in trying to advance their position or candidate by tearing someone else down, I don't see that being the tone of this race.
My opponent and I have known each other for years...We disagree sometimes, but don't look for this contest to be disagreeable.....In fact, at points over the years we may have voted for each other on occasion. I know I have..
NCPR News - Old rivals face off in Watertown mayor's race

Schumer Frustrated By Debt Talks

Still no agreement on debt and deficits as the two camps stay to themselves and try to come up with their own plans to raise the borrowing authority of the federal government and prevent a "default."
Democrats want a deal to extend borrowing past the 2012 elections...a long term deal...The GOP wants a short term deal so we can have this argument again in January.
Pick your poison.
Schumer Frustrated By Debt Talks

TV 7: Why Council Decided to "Micromanage"

As staff discussions are held on concerts, current and future, I was interested in this TV7 piece over the weekend featuring former Councilman Simmons identified as a principle of Amp Entertainment and  telling us he is involved in promoting concerts in other parts of the state. That's totally cool as I respect anyone taking advantage of opportunity.
  However in talks on a renewal of a rental and concession agreement earlier this year the former Councilman was in the role as owner of a baseball team providing entertainment and using the proceeds to support youth sports. I was specifically told the profits from concessions were needed to keep baseball in Watertown. "Paul just wants to play baseball," is what I was told
    This was viewed with skepticism as  Councilman Smith, Councilwoman Burns and others were wise in insisting that there be no universal franchise agreement granted to Mr. Simmons as part of renting the ballfield for the local collegiate team, the Wizards. If that contract had been approved as requested, a private concert promoter would have owned concession rights for everything. Talk about a profit center.
A previous contract that expired last fall granted exclusivity, meaning all events involving alcohol were channeled through the Wizards, and by extension the promoters of certain concerts. However, the concessionaire didn't technically sell the product but was deriving profits as the local Fair Board was applying for one day permits and ostensibly buying and selling the product. A brilliant arrangement that skirted scrutiny and liability.
While we get through this season on an event-by-event basis, the advice we will soon get from an adviser who is a former head of the Liquor Authority will ensure concessions on public property are run properly and in the public interest.
As for concerts, they are valuable as cultural events, and a new Parks and Recreation Superintendent charged with managing the facilities for the benefit of all will make future events safe and profitable for all involved.
  The tangled web of problems now being corrected would make an interesting tale.
City Voices Concert Concerns WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

To Reach Simple Life at Camp, Lining Up for Private Jets -

Who says the econ0my is bad or that Nation is going broke ?
The NY Times reports wealthy families who send their kids to pricey summer camps in Maine, NH and upstate NY are no longer struggling with the logistics of getting their kid a ride to the "remote" sections away from the cities and suburbs that spawn their privilege.
These kids are being chartered private jets.
Are these the corporate jet users the President is always railing against ?
To Reach Simple Life at Camp, Lining Up for Private Jets -

WDT: Couple Interesting Races Out There

Wind will be the issue in Cape Vincent as Town Supervisor Urban Hirschey faces a primary challenge from wind power supporter Harvey White....This will be a great neighbor vs neighbor, haves vs. have nots, locals vs. non-locals type of race......
Another interesting race is in the Village of West Carthage where Mayor Scott Burto faces a primary in his newly adopted Democratic Party...A woman named Erica Leonard, who lives across the street from Burto, is challenging the Mayor....There apparently is no GOP candidate.
Absent from much of the scene is the Independence Party, which has no local committee to issue out of party authorizations. There are however Indy and Conservative primaries for City of Watertown judge, meaning the race between Eugene Renzi and Keith Caughlin will be previewed weeks before the main event in November.
Watertown Daily Times Urban Hirschey, Cape Vincent town supervisor, will field challenge from wind power proponent Harvey White

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sources: Football Deal Reached...Vote a Formality

Time to break out the JETS jersey...Sources say the NFL lockout is over and with no prospect for breaking the deficit debate in DC, its time for some escapism...
After two years in the AFC Championship game, the JETS will not be denied this year ! Not by Shootie or anyone else.
2011 NFL lockout -- Owners, players come to deal on all points, sources say - ESPN

Purse Lost...Found...and Returned to Owner Thanks to Roxie and Newzjunky

UPDATE 2-Thanks to a post on Newzjunky the owner contacted Councilwoman Burns and has her purse and its $260 back. It was a Coach handbag of which the Councilwoman has several...If it was Louis Vuitton...well you never know !
UPDATE-Councilwoman Burns found a small clutch style purse with cash and a casino debit card in it. Call her at 408-4945 with description to retreive.
    Big crowds were in Thompson Park this weekend as the North Country Arts Council held a garden party on Saturday evening and a family picnic on Sunday.
     The garden displays, entertainment and even the fanciest Porta-Potties wou have ever seen made for a spectacular event.

Politics a Yawner to Public These Days

   This year's unopposed race for the two seats on City Council brings to mind 18 years ago when seven candidates ran for two seats. Indeed my memory is that these were sought after and respected positions in the community. New faces would show up a Council meetings in the spring as a prelude to announcing.
    Now voters will reelect Joe Butler Jr and Roxanne Burns without opposition, and the Mayor race features two long time incumbents.
    The way it plays out is if I win, the Council in January is unchanged as my opponent has two years left on his term. If my opponent wins the vacant Council seat will be filled by the four members in office in January, although its entirely possible names have been discussed in the event that happens.
     Given its only a five person body and its not a strong mayor form of government, a one seat swing does represent a change in balance of power.
     In any event, the old days of candidates like Bob Roshia, Dave Mance, Helen Sturtz, Tom Hefferon and others are gone.
     Whether its the discredit ascribed to politics these days or a general lack of civics, there is little interest or excitement. Even the media plays it low key. I heard there are two people running for County Leg in the city, but don't know a thing about them.

Boehner Prepared to Move GOP Debt Framework

What's obvious in the debt limit debate is that Democrats want the limit increased enough to place the next increase after the 2012 elections and Republicans are willing to increase the debt enough to make sure the issue of deficits and debt comes before Congress in January, 2012, just in time for caucuses and primaries.
The focus is now shifting to Congress and the four leaders met last night without the President.
With the knowledge in hand that Mr. Obama cannot turn water into wine, it is time for lawmakers to cut a deal and see if the President will sign it. That is what the Constitution outlines in terms of process..
Speaker Boehner will try to advance a legislative package he thinks can get a handful of moderate (vulnerable) Democratic senators to support....If he gets that passed, then the monkey is on the President's back (that's an old expression).
I don't ruminate too much about this what with the loss of Amy Winehouse and the chance of seeing a Casey Anthony interview. The economy and the markets have run for years and always go up and down...but in the end survive.
Boehner Prepared to Move GOP Debt Framework - Jim O'Sullivan' -

First weddings as NY allows same-sex marriage - US news - Life -

Two upstate mayors seemed to be competing for the distinction of which public official was first to perform a SSM ceremony under the NY law effective today.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster had the best backdrop as he tied the knot for two Buffalo women on Goat Island with the famous Falls in the background lit in rainbow colors.
However Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings tweeted that he performed the first ceremony at 12:01 AM in the capital.
NY is the sixth and by far the largest state to allow the unions.
First weddings as NY allows same-sex marriage - US news - Life -

WDT: Cape Vincent could resume wind law discussions in “private meetings” Cape Vincent, town officials say they want wind law discussions held privately by the board members not up for election this year...and by the way there will be no action on wind until elections are held...
Why rile up the voters ?
I wonder what the reaction would have been if I had proposed delaying the hiring of a city clerk till after the election so as not to antagonize unsuccessful applicants ?....Or maybe we could have sat on those checks and uninvoiced bills at the Fairgrounds a while longer so as not to have the public focused on something negative ?
Elections obviously affect events, but should not suspend governing. People want to see you doing something, and if there is going to be action on wind development, it should proceed.
If those running are intent on slow-walking a wind zoning law with the intent of killing the projects, then they should publicly run on that platform.
Watertown Daily Times Cape Vincent could resume wind law discussions in “private meetings”