Saturday, December 3, 2011

Council Meeting Monday.....Agenda Is Out

     Monday's City Council meeting is the first for December...usually a slow time but there are a couple of agenda items. One is a rewrite of the proposed dog ordinance, that I think strikes the right balance.  There is also an executive session on personnel matters that should prove interesting.
      One item that comes up every year is designating the official newspaper of the city for the purpose of legal notices. We are told every year the law requires a hard copy paper be designated, but I think that's so passe'.   We should be able to put notices on the City website and people can check them there. That's not pro or anti's just we live in an Internet based world.
     Also this month Council will decide on alcohol policies for City properties. That I believe will come up at the work session.
      I for one am tired of hearing about family-friendly venues and then the scramble is on to see who gets to sell dozens of kegs of beer. Call me old fashioned...You want to drink, go to a bar or buy an 18-pack and go home.

Cain Quits

Six weeks ago he was the flavor of the week in the GOP Presidential contest....Today Herman Cain is a quitter....Out of the race amid claims of sexual harassment and marital infidelity.
While Mr. Cain told supporters in Atlanta today that he will remain a force in advocating for his issues, there is no forum like that of a candidate and he is essentially done, other than to endorse a candidate...likely fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich.
The Cain candidacy was improbable but had gotten further than expected based on his outsider image and personal charm.
His personal life and his lack of foreign policy gravitas eroded his popularity and by today he had little choice...quit or be a truly marginal candidate.
As a black American....a conservative businessman.....he did not fit the orthodoxy of blacks in American politics and that likely contributed to the media skepticism towards him.....He challenged the Democratic Party hegemony over blacks and that was not lost on advocates of the way things are.
He also was incredibly naive in thinking in the rough and tumble world of politics, all this would remain private. In local races it often does, but not in a race where the stakes are this high.
Cain is gone and the race will focus more on Gingrich and Mitt Romney......
Herman Cain halts campaign - The Washington Post

Wild and Crazy Under 40 Crowd Takes a Bow

   The area's new strike-a-pose cover girl may well be Jennifer Dindl-Neff, one of the Hot 20 under age 40 being featured in this months NNY Business magazine published by the WDT, a noted respository for those over 40.
    There is an awards ceremony this week for the hot and happening of NNY's new generation. Magazine editor Ken Eysaman is a nice guy and is putting out a slick product that may well find a niche.
     As for Ms. Dindl-Neff, her animated cover pose is the real deal. She works in the office of Senator Patty Ritchie and Dindl-Neff was recently elected to the Town of LeRay board. Just don't get too wild and pose wearing meat.
      There have always been people under forty. In fact I used to be one.  It's good to see aggressive hard workers out there taking the spotlight off the less assertive and ambitious we see so much of.
      The publisher says on Facebook that the magazine will be on the street December 13.

Cain Launches 'Women For Cain' Website Where Supporters Attack His Accusers As 'Jealous,' 'Husbandless' | ThinkProgress

With Herman Cain giving hints he plans to hang on to his faltering White House bid, now come reports his supporters have launched a "Women for Cain" website.....This is where happily married women with adulterous hubbies disparage those "husbandless" and jealous b------, who can't get a man but are looking for a payday.
Those would be the same childless, marriageless people we have heard attacked before.
Mr. Cain's wife is said to chair the "Women for Cain" movement, however the website contains no direct testimonial from Gloria Cain.
Cain Launches 'Women For Cain' Website Where Supporters Attack His Accusers As 'Jealous,' 'Husbandless' ThinkProgress

Could Jimmy McMillan Run and Win in Jefferson County ?

     Samantha called the HOTLINE on Friday and said she is homeless. She moved out of an apartment on State Street and now regrets the move because its so tough for those of modest income to find housing.
      This is the tail end of the area's housing dilemma as  a near zero vacancy rate is driving up rents for more modest housing.
       More and more, people are agreeing with 2010 gubernatorial hopeful Jimmy McMillan, who coined the mantra "The Rent's Too Damn High."

WDT: Locals Being Stripped of Exemption Authority for the Greater Good

There is something vaguely un-American about taking away from the duly elected officials the decision on who pays taxes. I think the phrase "taxation without representation" comes to mind.
That is why this matter of PILOT deals for housing projects is producing what the local paper terms "desperate actions for desperate times."
A move is afoot to strip local governments of the burden of approving enhanced PILOT agreements, and vesting that authority solely in the IDA or other agency authorized under state law to obviate taxes in the name of development.
The action is precipitated by a flap over the size of PILOTS for housing developers seeking to build complexes to answer a current "critical" housing situtation related to the increase in troops at Fort Drum and the resulting rent-flation for everyone in the Watertown area.
Economic developers say the electeds want to be relieved of the controversy and heat they take over PILOTS, although I am not sure there really is a lot of heat.
Lawmakers say the pro formas of these projects show massive profits for developers and that the scope of the exemptions is not warranted. Those on the other side say the development costs (sewer lines for example) on roads like Route 202 (The Wal-Mart Highway) are so high and the local town won't pay for the improvements, so a break is needed for the developer to do the work.
There are implicit claims the area may lose the affection of the Army and the golden goose that it provides to the local economy.
There are also subtexts like resentment over who is selling some of the land for the project on 202 and a scramble by lawmakers representing the Town of LeRay to get more construction in their part of the county.
Here is one way out for the electeds. The Drum boom fuels the sales tax explosion that has allowed local governments to make property taxes less and less a part of their funding of local government. Therefore, there is little harm to a couple of exceptions to normal PILOT guidelines.
I can find things about these proposals I don't like and things I do like, but having heard the briefings on housing and knowing that in life all things are not perfect, it's best to hold your nose, cut a deal and move on.
Watertown Daily Times JCIDA to send out policy that allows PILOTs for housing, approval without taxing jurisdiction consent

Boeheim Opts for Contrition in Bid to Save Season

After a big win over Florida at the Dome, SU hoop coach Jim Boeheim took time to more completely apologize for his comments about the accusers of Bernie Fine, and the words may help put the Fine matter off the table as far as this year's season.
That is, as long as there are no other revelations that suggest the team overlooked or tolerated deviant behavior on the part of Fine or his wife.
Mr. Boeheim's initial comments defending Fine suggested an arrogance and lack of concern over the scope of the allegations. There is a lot to be sorted out, but for now the college wants a winner without the distractions of the Fine affair. Meanwhile the team is winning in what observers say could be a championship season for the Orange.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim apologizes for initial statements about Fine accusers

Friday, December 2, 2011

Only Tree of Its Kind in City Decorated Tonight on Pearl Street

An American icon was decorated tonight at Fort Pearl by Diana, a couple of customers and myself.....An authentic aluminum Christmas Tree purchased from Weston's Shoppers City on Arsenal Street was donated to me several years ago by a HOTLINE listener.....
Every year the classic bit of Americana is put up on Pearl Street. The trees were marketed from the late 1950s to the the mid 1960s and became a metaphor for the over commercialization of Christmas.
While spurned by the purists, the tree is a quaint and quite attractive addition to the holiday season, and I invite the people of Watertown to come see the tree.
I wish I had the colored light wheel to help out, but I think the tree looks pretty darn good..This year we put some political buttons on as decorations, including a rare Patty for Senate button from 2010.
Senator Ritchie is likely is too young to remember these trees, so that's why I have included a Wikipedia link for the benefit of her and all of you.
Aluminum Christmas tree - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WWNY:Ousted Gouverneur Mayor Appointed Administrator

This is a curious turn of events in Gouverneur...The woman ousted as mayor has been hired by the village board as a part time administrator under the new mayor.....If voters had wanted Dorothy Vorce to stay on, they would have reelected her....This places an undo burden on the new mayor.
That's why when the MSM asked me this year what I would do if I lost, I told them I would leave the stage. That's what you do when you lose.
Ousted Gouverneur Mayor Appointed Administrator WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: DejaVu All Over Again

None of this is new. I remember as a newsman in the 1980s, following all the debates over PILOTS for 801 housing, as there was a "crisis" precipitated by the expansion at Fort Drum that for a quarter century has kept the local economy stable and ended those days of double digit unemployment in the early 80s.
The issues were the same and in some cases those making the arguments were the same.
The gun was to their head. Do this or risk losing massive economic stimulus as the Army will look elsewhere. Others were concerned about the integrity of the tax base and seeing someone getting something for nothing.
In the end, deals were cut and projects were built and a generation of prosperity occured.
There are other overlays that impact this issue. Personal grudges.......regional rivalries.....secrecy .....the unelected elites vs the local yokal politicians.
It all happened before circa 1985. Let's look back at how that turned out when judging the current kerfuffle.

Watertown Daily Times COR Development apartment project in Watertown may have PILOT

Lady Gaga's recipe for good skin is simple: 'orgasms and spinach'  - NY Daily News

Spinach juice and sex help keep her skin great, but the current queen of pop has trouble with relationships....Lady GaGa says things always start out well, but people end up hating her.
Women are always a challenge and so are relationships....especially with a woman who wears meat.
At 25 , she has time and besides, her stardom may be two much to share with anyone.
Lady Gaga's recipe for good skin is simple: 'orgasms and spinach' - NY Daily News

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is Spezzano Welcome in Utica ?

There is a very real question whether veteran Watertown radio DJ Johnny Spezzano will ever be welcome in Utica after his verbal assault of the City last week during a visit to my HOTLINE program. YNN has now carried the story and I apologized since the statements, while not made by me, happened during my show.
To tell you the truth I was shocked when he said what he did, as I have known Johnny for many years.
I did send a note of apology to the Mayor and he is invited to call the HOTLINE on Monday.
Mayor Roefaro objects to Watertown DJ's criticism of Utica - YNN, Your News Now

Which Syracuse Basketball Players Had Sex With Laurie Fine?

Wow, this is creepy....and if true it would likely be the end of the Boeheim era....If the wife of Laurie Fine was sleeping with players and not just the ball boy her bubby allegedly molested...well that's the kind of script you can't make up.
Now I doubt any of the elite players will admit to it, but its being reported in fringe media that Laurie's company was a rite of passage for the players.
That's definately taking one for the team.
Which Syracuse Basketball Players Had Sex With Laurie Fine?

WDT: Dogs and Ponies Descend on Albany

The Regional Economic Councils set up by the Governor have created relationships that didn't exist before and that's always a good thing. It has also forced communities to look at collaborative efforts...All that's fine.
On the negative side, there is a lot of rolling of eyes, even among those participating and among state staffers supporting the effort. It's still a mindset of getting the state to pay for things localities or businesses don't want to pay for.
Presentations this week from ten councils to a panel deciding who has the best plan have attracted some attention, but for most people in the regions, its like this debate over PILOTS and Fort Drum housing...Very much a game for the insiders.
The fundamental truth of economic development is that it is all designed to mask the overall hostile business climate in this state. The rest of us pay so someone else can get a break...That's because often the barriers to entry (such as building housing) is so high because of various regulatory issues.
This housing issue needs to be resolved as rightly or wrongly our fate is linked to Fort Drum and we cannot afford to send the message that there is no room at the Inn, because there are other Inns in other states.
The synergism of a Regional Council might help bring that issue into focus, but make no mistake, many feel the Councils are a goat rope. Don't get me wrong. I am glad to have attended and met new people, but its easy to get caught up in the hype and Powerpoints with these things.
Am I being too candid ?

Watertown Daily Times Regional council presents economic plan to panel of state judges

WKTV: Roefaro Mad Over Spezzano Slams

Utica Mayor David Roefaro says he is not at all happy with Watertown disc jockey Johnny Spezzano.
The Mayor says he will be interviewed Monday on the HOTLINE to refute the assertions made by Mr. Spezzano about the character and climate of Utica.
The Spezzano off the cuff comments went viral in Utica when a local blogger linked to the audio from last weeks show.
Disparaging comments about Utica on Watertown Mayor's AM Radio show prompt Roefaro interview NBC-WKTV News Channel 2 - Utica News, Weather, Sports - Local News

Huntsman Family Not Your Average Utah Folks

Their dad is not catching on in the GOP race for President, but Jon Huntsman's daughters are proving to be fetching campaigners with their media appearances and videos. The glamorous (dare I say sexy) imagery doesn't seem to fit the stuffy, Mormon motif of the Romney campaign, but that's OK.
The Huntman's seem to be pretty hip and worldly, but dad is too middle of the road to win the nomination and Romney is just not catching on.
I never would have thought it possible, but Newt looks like he could win the nomination and maybe the Presidency...
Meanwhile, in Huntsman-world ... - Alexander Burns -

Five Guys Burgers and Fries to Open in Watertown Saturday, Jan. 7

Just when you think you know all there is to know about hamburgers, along comes more and better burgers in the name of Five Guys, a national chain restaurant opening in Watertown on January 7.
It's part of the development of the Arsenal Street corridor and this restaurant is on the Donegan property, which for decades was swampy land until a series of moves opened the area up for development and created a large area of assessed valuation and jobs.
Arsenal Street, both in and outside the City is the area's prime retail area and stands to improve further if some 700 units of housing is built on and near route 202 near Wal-Mart.
2012 should be a busy year for retail with all of Fort Drum home, but much depends on whether sensible heads can prevail in addressing the current housing shortage, which threatens the viability of this area's relationship with the Army.
A chain hamburger joint is not the sole harbinger of prosperity, but the confluence of these developments is an indication someone thinks there is market potential here.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries to Open in Watertown Saturday, Jan. 7

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WDT: Some Interviews are Best Done in Person

Both our candidates for Congress have recently been interviewed by FOX Business News anchor Tracy Byrnes. I can see why Matt wanted equal time. I've got Saturday morning customers who watch the Fox business lineup just to see Tracy and her pouting assessments of the big money world so distant from most of us 99 percenters.
If most of the TV you watch is talking heads, there is no harm in the heads being easy on the eyes. For those being interviewed it must be more distracting than chatting with Ben Stein and the guy who used to be on M*A*S*H.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny talks regs

Tree Lighting Kicks Off Season of Holiday Parties

      The Holiday spirit was in the air tonight on Public Square as the Christmas decorations were lit before a crowd of several hundred.
      No live shots as both TV news operations have live trucks on the fritz...but we did time the lighting to coincide with the proposed live that's a good rehearsal for next year.
     Santa was there too.
      Among other duties was a trip to the Zoo to Do fundraiser at the BRVC. I ran into my friends Bob and Brenda Wood who go to a lot of these affairs and are always the most fun people....
      It's gotten so there are a lot of these type of events this time of year...
      This Friday, a more low key event at the Zoo as the Holiday light show is lit...Its only two bucks a head and wear a baggy coat so you can hide a flask. Might be cold out.
      Thursday there is a DBA event and a holiday party put on by Bernier/Carr.  
       Tis the season.

On Bent Knee, Let Me Assure You, Utica is One Fine City

       Let me start by apologizing for the comments about the City of Utica made by my friend and co-worker Johnny Spezzano when he popped into the studio the other day while I did the HOTLINE program on AM-1240 WATN.
       Johnny repeated some old and inaccurate bromides about Utica and while I chastised him on air, the comments made various blogs and caused a kerfuffle in Oneida County.
       Utica is a city that has seen its population go up since the last Census and many neighborhoods are coming back. There are many parks there and a fine zoo.  The City is also the home of Utica Club beer and the fine line of Saranac brews.
        I have had many enjoyable visits to Utica over the years and I extend to Mayor Roefaro congratulations on his stewardship of such a fine community.
       My understanding is the Mayor will be a guest on the HOTLINE on Monday and we look forward to his visit.

Millionaire's Tax Via the Back Door ?

While the state's ten regional economic councils are making presentations in Albany (NNY is presenting as I write this), the chatter in the Capitol is more about taxing the rich...
Reports now say the Governor is considering a restructuring of the tax code to make it more "progressive." We use the Ted Ford definition of "progressive" which means spending and taxing more.
In relation to tax codes, progressive has a double meaning....There is the hijacked use where the left lables all they do as "progress......Then there is the notion of a tax code that progresses to higher rates at higher incomes, the antithesis of a flat tax.
Remember Governor, its taxes that are the reason we have all this "economic development." It's all basicly a remedy for the illness we caused...
So we don't need higher taxes veiled as a restructuring of the code.

State of Politics Blog

Fire districts are canaries in tax cap mine shaft - Albany - The Buffalo News

Tax caps seem like a good idea...but in a state with over 10,000 taxing jurisdictions, its hard to know if its being adhered to.
Albany reports more than half of nearly 900 fire districts haven't met reporting requirements, so no one in the capital knows if they are or are not complying with the cap.
The same must be true of lighting districts, library districts and business improvement districts.
Fire districts are canaries in tax cap mine shaft - Albany - The Buffalo News

Tree Lighting Tonight

   Watertown's Christmas tree will be lit this evening with ceremonies starting at 5:15 on Public Square and the switch will be flipped at 6PM.    There should be a large crowd if Sunday's parade is a measure and the weather will be warm enough not to discourage anyone.
    Watertown is in the spirit of the season, so please stop down this evening and take part !

TV 7: Carthage....Lourdes for Lottery Players ?

If true , for the fourth time in five years a Carthage store has sold a million dollar scratch off ticket, making the Lottery the economic engine of the sleepy Jefferson County village. It also makes Carthage a Mecca for scratchers.
The latest winner is a Herrings man who says he won a three million dollar prize.
That would catapult the gentleman into the 1% category in Herrings, a village of just over a hundred people.
Feedback: Herrings Man Says He Won $3 Million Lottery WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who Needs Bernie ?....Orange Romps at Dome

No ill effects from the Bernie Fine firing...the Orange dominated tonight at the Dome, whipsawing Eastern Michigan 84-48 with a runaway second half. Just shy of 20 K fans came out to see the game, and after the rout coach Jim Boeheim told reporters the Fine scandal would not distract players. Boeheim continued his new party line response to questions, and pledged that when the school's chancellor speaks, that's the final word.
Syracuse defeats Eastern Michigan 84-48 in first game since Bernie Fine's firing

It's Five for Five for the Carny Priest at My Swearing In

I am pleased to announce Monsignor Robert McCarthy, the legendary "carny priest", has accepted my invitation to recite the invocation at the City of Watertown swearing in ceremonies slated for January 1, 2012 at the Flower Memorial Library.
For me it is special as Monsignor has brought his message of faith to my previous inaugurals in 1992,1996,2004 and 2008.
This year's ceremony also includes swearing in the new City Judge, Eugene Renzi, and two reelected members of City Council, Roxanne Burns and Joseph Butler, Jr.
Monsignor McCarthy will surely have a message worth hearing....And I am working on one too !
Carny Priest : Father Mac, as Pope's Emissary, Goes On With the Show - Los Angeles Times


The extra money for housing helps, but a lot more public awareness of the housing issue is needed now that vacancy rates are nil and rents are sky high. As much as the insiders go to briefings about a housing shortage that threatens the Army's presence at Fort Drum, the broader audience knows little about the complicated nuances of a problem that has currently percolated up as a controversy about tax breaks for housing developers.
The popular news site, Newzjunky, is running a poll showing 80% of readers oppose subsidies to out of town developers. Meanwhile the WDT is beating local officials over the head with editorials and news stories pitting heads of industry against local electeds..The developer says without the abatement, no housing will be built.
A supporter of the PILOTS ask me today what can be done to move the issue along....Well, part of it is we live in times when tax giveaways to the rich or the perceived rich are not in public favor.....(see occupy movement and class war rhetoric from the left). The other thing not being done is making the case to the public.
I do a radio talk show, and no one has ever called to ask to be on to talk about the housing issue and the reasons a PILOT, while not popular, may have offsetting benefits that could mitigate opposition.
It's just a thought, but you have to get outside the bubble and tell the story. If I were trying to make the argument on property tax abatements, I would correlate it to what is now the primary source of income for local governments (except schools) and that is sales tax. The economic engine that is linked to Fort Drum produces much of the retail activity that allows local electeds to crow about stable or non-existant property taxes.
There are a lot of arguments pro and con on all this and I won't belabor it here.
County legislators and others are hearing the views of people on spending and subsidy. That's why they are balking at extra sweet PILOTS. So if that is representitive government, it would seem changing the minds of the public would be one route to pursue.
But what do I know ?


Cantor: "He's Our Coach' (until he's not our coach)

SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor was in Albany today making the Syracuse region's pitch for economic funds...But the exercise in boosterism turned into a media scrum as reporters were only interested in the Bernie Fine scandal and whether SU Head Coach Jim Boeheim would be following Fine to the unemployment line.
For now the Chancellor says she supports the coach after Boeheim staged a hasty retreat from previous comments in support of Fine. There is reason to believe more was known of the sex allegations than has been let on, so Boeheim is on a bubble too...
For now, he's safe as the high dollar hoop program must go on...
Bernie Fine case -- Jim Boeheim gets support of Syracuse Orange chancellor Nancy Cantor - ESPN

American Airlines Parent Files for Bankruptcy -

I don't have enough toes and fingers to count the number of airline bankruptcies in my lifetime....The lastest by the parent company of American Airlines also has a local tie since American Eagle commuter service to Chicago was just started at Watertown Airport.
Actually, the early take on the Watertown routes is positive with fully booked flights. AA officials say the reorganization is designed to shed debt and reduce labor costs and the firm will continue flights at usual.
Wish I could spend like crazy and then file a BK just to get rid of debt and cut labor costs....In small business, when you get to that point, you are done.
American Airlines Parent Files for Bankruptcy -

Rich Connecticut guys win $254 million Powerball -

Three rich guy money managers from the Nutmeg State are the winners of a recent Powerball jackpot.....What will the "occupy" people think of the one percenters getting even richer ?
Rich Connecticut guys win $254 million Powerball -

Post Standard: How Chancellor Decided Enough is Enough

She may not be paid as much as a head coach, but SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor had to step up and staunch the bleeding the college was suffering over the Bernie Fine case and Jim Boeheim's steadfast (since revoked) defense of the randy (read creepy) assistant hoop coach.
True fans talk about what a great team the #4 Orange are this year, but Ms. Cantor realized this matter could pull down the sports program and cost the college dearly.
It's not over, as there will be more revelations, but firing Bernie Fine was a good start.
A good rule of thumb is when the satellite trucks gather outside, its time to do something.
How Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor decided to fire associate head coach Bernie Fine

WDT: Maple City Hires Law Firm to Study Report

I could be making $195 an hour. Ogdensburg's most august legislative body, the City Council, has hired a Syracuse-area law firm to assess the report on Knox Street that they already paid their own city attorney to write.
For free in this column, I had already given them the answer to both their questions.
On the matter of releasing the should have been made public when it was delivered....And as for what to do with the city manager, put it to a vote in open session and live with the results.
A portion of this report was already leaked and there is a stated desire to find out who broke that "trust". The only trust broken was not releasing the whole thing.
The other day I read the Council is festering over the process of filling a Council vacancy, with one member saying its too "political". No kidding, it's a political body where the members are elected by party. It's supposed to be political.
Back to the lawyer issue.....There are good reasons to make sure you are correct on the law and lawyers are a vital resource.....but they are not a substitute for good judgement and for doing the right thing, right away.
Watertown Daily Times Ogdensburg council hires lawyers to review housing report

WDT: Bring Us Your Mittens

Next time you are paying a visit to the Wicked Wench, just meander across the street to Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush' office and donate some winter clothes to the lawmaker's effort to prevent a Dickensian winter in the 122nd AD.
I think Assemblywoman Russell is also collecting things....books I believe, so youngsters won't grow up stupid.
Our local Members of Assembly may disagree on the "Millionaire's Tax", but they both agree on the need for a spirit of charity from the rest of us. Call me old fashioned, but if I had a boat load of jackets and mittens sitting around, I would take them to the Urban Mission before going to a state legislators office, but a trip to West Carthage is always a good time, so what the heck ?
Watertown Daily Times Bring your coats to Blankenbush's office

QUICK TAKE: Barney Bows Out, Citing Redistricting Among Reasons - National Journal Staff -

A smart but annoying Member of the House is leaving, citing age and redistricting....Rep. Barney Frank had an election closer than would have liked last fall and has decided to hang up the spikes.
Mr. Frank is known for a lot of things, not the least of which is his combative style.
He was first elected to Congress in 1980.
QUICK TAKE: Barney Bows Out, Citing Redistricting Among Reasons - National Journal Staff -

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chuck and Matt......a Team for NNY ?

He couldn't bring himself to say it in this statement about border crossing fees...but it was Senator Chuck Schumer who brought the issue of the $5.50 tax to light and called for its repeal.....So when the Feds relent and decide not to enforce a portion of the law, everyone wants to chime in.
Matt Doheny is praising the move and he should....Matt and Chuck are simpatico on this one and that's OK....We need people working together for the common good without all the party nonsense...
As an independent, I am not bound by the rules of liking or hating based on party registration...If my friends Matt and Chuck can find common ground on an issue of concern to me, that's a good thing.

Doheny Comments on Customs Fee Dropped

Monday Stuff

      There are lot's of culinary reasons to visit Pete's Restaurant on Breen Avenue in Watertown.  Among the other reasons are the great staff. Take some time to visit !
    It was a very interesting HOTLINE today with Zoo Czar John Wright for the whole hour....I think he has a lot of good ideas that will serve the Zoo well. His idea for a "date night " activity flies in the face of the usual marketing towards kids. He has wisely channeled the debate over the former aviary towards a worthwhile project and this Friday the Zoo unveils a holiday light show done with donations and volunteer labor.
   Tonight at Pete's I helped a pair of constituents report some street lights out on Weldon Drive...It can be done on line through the City's website.
   I also talked to Ted Ford today....I called to seek a little political insight, and when Marie handed him the phone he was in the bathtub....I was glad it wasn't a Skype connection as I heard the water splash in the background.
   There is no City Council meeting this week as it is the fourth Monday of the month, but I hope you will all join with me in offering prayers and condolences to Mayor Butler on the loss of his wife Nancy who passed this weekend.

Ginger Snaps Back at Cain

Pizza executive and would-be President Herman Cain is busy denying an affair...this time before it was even reported....Wow, what an active social life !
Is it really a bad thing or is it playing on racial stereotypes about blacks that the media is more than happy to apply to a black with non-conforming views...?
I think its only bad if he is a hypocrite and talks about family values while hanging out with a girl named Ginger.
Herman Cain

Dicker: GOP Jitters Could Retain Millionaire's Tax

The clock is ticking on the state's "millionaire's tax" and its expiration may not go off as planned...Democrats, big labor and occupiers want it extended, while the Governor and Senate Republicans are said to want it to expire in a bid to reduce the state's onerous tax scheme.
However, Dicker reports there are fears some upstate Republican senators may cave as tax the rich sentiment grows in a nation convinced higher taxes have to be a least part of a solution to deficits.
The theory is upstate districts don't have a lot of rich people, so the political cost to supporting the tax is small.
One such district might be the one we live in, however this is not a competitive seat for 2012 as Senator Patty Ritchie is expected to face at best only token opposition next year. I don't see her wanting to be linked to any taxes, even if its just against the small number of one percenters in her district.
With the GOP only holding a one vote majority it will be difficult to keep the caucus in line...There might well be one or two senators who are antsy about being seen as sticking up for the one percent, especially when the unions start running lots of ads on the topic.
Gov. Cuomo’s pledges of raising taxes for the rich may not hold up come January -

Time to Save Their Own Hides and Let Bernie Fend for Himself

With the trickle of troubling news on a long time hoop coach continuing, Sunday afternoon was the time Syracuse University and its legendary head coach decided its time to save their school, sports program and their own careers and its time to cut Bernie Fine loose.
Jim Boeheim has lost his fiery defense of Fine and his attacks on the accusers...Now he tows the college line and has apologized for offending anyone. In short, it's a case of not wanting to go down the road with Bernie.
SU has fired Bernie Fine, and that's the right move, especially after a nine year old phone call with his wife implicating Mr. Fine.

Syracuse University fires assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good News from the Meadowlands

    Good news from the NFL....Mark Sanchez fired four TD passes to lead the JETS to a 28-24 win over the fading Buffalo Bills......
     At 6-5 the JETS still have a shot at the playoffs.

Thousands Line Washington Street for Christmas Parade

     Downright balmy late November temperatures drew a huge crowd I pegged at five to seven thousand on Washington Street for the annual Christmas Parade.
     From the enormous Statue of Liberty float from Liberty Tax Service to the WHS Select Choir, to the string of Ambulances to Santa....and many floats in between. parade goers were treated to  a fine parade and a good time was had by all.
    The temperature hovered at 62 degrees and the rain held off long enough for what was the best attended Christmas Parade in my memory.
    The Holiday season kicks up another notch Wednesday with a 6PM Christmas Tree lighting on Public Square.

Newt Gingrich Gets Big New Hampshire Endorsement | Fox News

Newspaper endorsements can certainly shade a race, but can the Union Leader's backing of Newt Gingrich bring about a campaign-ending loss in NH for Granite State homeowner and former MA governor Mitt Romney ?
The Union Leader is Manchester's paper and always gets attention in Presidential primary season. Remember Sen Edmund Muskie tearing up on the steps of the paper ?
Mr. Romney spent time courting the publishers of the Union Leader but to no avail as the surging Gingrich candidacy cauther their fancy. In 2007, the same paper passed over Mr. Romney in favor of John McCain.
Media wags are making a big deal about the endorsement. Whether its a leading or lagging indicator will be known in about six weeks when the state votes.
Newt Gingrich Gets Big New Hampshire Endorsement Fox News

WWNY: Protecting Local Schools From State Budget Cuts

Sometimes you have to look at the wording in news stories...When its reported as fact that a pol is going to "fight for our local schools" or that there have been "already deep cuts" in state funding, it's a case of shading the coverage to reflect an institutional bias towards the status quo.
The "cuts" have more often than not likely been reductions in the rate of increase, and reforming the structure of the education hierarchy is indeed the challenge, so saving our "local schools" is equated with saving the layers of administration that dot rural counties and drive up costs.
The Governor gets villified in this kind of coverage as news people know what Dave Mance always told me....when in doubt marry a teacher.
Protecting Local Schools From State Budget Cuts WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: Another Taxing Jurisdiction ?

Residents of the Town of Norwood have apparently opted to create a new taxing jurisdiction to fund their local library. I presume the reason is those advocating such a thing were unhappy with the Town board and their unwillingness to appropriate what they feel are sufficient funds for the library.
However, that is how representitive government works.....The duly elected local government appropriates based on their best judgement. If someone disagrees with what they do, then try to elect new people or try to lobby the existng board.
These kind of single function districts with ability to levy taxes are not a good idea. I have always supported funding for the Flower Library, and I support the concept of allowing the Library Board the autonomy to decide on exactly how their stipend is spent. However, I do not support granting the ability to tax to people not matter how laudible the cause.
Watertown Daily Times Library tax will fund repairs and new books