Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pete's to Host Doheny Fundraiser

Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny has a couple of fundraisers coming up to go along with his Doughnuts with Doheny sessions being held around the district....
One is a $50 a head soire at Pete's on March 22...That's great because I will be there anyway. It's cheaper to play politics in Watertown. A similar upcoming event in Syracuse is $250 a head.....I'll stay at Pete's, thank you.
(24) Matt Doheny

Rush Limbaugh Apologizes to Sandra Fluke - Ethan Klapper - NationalJournal.com

Under pressure from many in his own base, talk show host Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling a Georgetown law student a "slut". Mr. Limbaugh said in a written statement that his choice of words was poor in a bid to be humorous.
Sandra Fluke had testified to Congress on the issue of insurance mandated coverage for birth control. Limbaugh made fun of her testimony but punctuated his remarks by suggesting Ms. Fluke was a "slut" who wanted the government to mandate coverage for her libido.
Rush Limbaugh Apologizes to Sandra Fluke - Ethan Klapper - NationalJournal.com

Salary 'spiking' drains public pension funds, analysis finds - latimes.com

Unused vacation time, car allowances, bonuses, educational incentives....They are all in play in some California counties as ways to spike final year salaries and in the process spike pensions. Forms of spiking go on in NY State too....And for that matter locally as well, although such things are kept on the down low.
While everyone wants a larger pension for those golden years, spiking hurts the system as the contribution system doesn't anticipate payouts based on spiking.
Salary 'spiking' drains public pension funds, analysis finds - latimes.com

Mild Winter

    The mild winter finally brought me something measurable. My February Grid bill was the lowest I have seen in quite a while for the tavern. The lack of bitter cold kept the gas bill well under $200 for the month.
     I am not complaining at all about this winter and am glad my snow shovel is safely stored in the basement.
      Now should I lament Grid not getting more out of me ?  NO !

POTUS Calls Woman Insulted By Rush

It's become a national issue in the latest televised shouting match in the culture wars on cable TV. Rush Limbaugh zeroed in on a woman who testified before Congress that health plans should pay for birth control, leading Limbaugh to conclude the woman wants to be paid or compensated for her proclivity for having sex....He then called the woman by name, a "slut" and a "prostitute".
President Obama even called the woman to express his regret at the intemperate and tasteless remark. The President then had his press secretary relate details of the call to the media.
Now it's a cable back and forth.
I know I would be in Mr. Leven's office pronto if I did that (which I wouldn't), and there are plenty of mean things said by all parties in our current national debate. In Rolling Stone this week a writer delighted over the death of commentator Andrew Breitbart who was yet to be at room temperature after leaving a wife and four children at age 43.
Limbaugh was wrong. The President need not call all people offended by talk radio or he will have no time to be President.
The Associated Press: Obama calls student in contraception debate

Update: Request for Talks to Be Made By Hockey Team

    Privateer owner Nicole Kirnan and I talked late this afternoon and she said her team will make a request to pursue more detailed talks on locating at the Fairgrounds for the 2012-13 season.
     Ms. Kirnan will make her request in writing prior to Monday's meeting so Council can decide whether to proceed further. I see staff level talks on logistics as the next step if Council deems that appropriate.
     Meanwhile, I think the possibility of an anchor tenant at the Arena has merit and deserves further talks.
  

WDT: City Sues Two Businesses for Stiffing Us at Arena

One of the efforts to clean up the billing mess at Parks and Recreation is taking some of the non-payers to court and that is what's happening to two companies that rented the Arena. While it' a good message being sent, I continue to believe there is usually no reason to carry anyone on credit for use of these facilities. My views differ from the Council as a whole, and I am sure there can be exceptions for other governments like school districts who may use PO's and issue checks shortly thereafter. Our auditors say things are being done much better now and that's a good thing.
In God We Trust, all others pay cash is the old expression. I am not saying this from a position of never having been taken. I have a seven year old judgement against someone suitable for framing and not much more.
Watertown Daily Times City suing two businesses for unpaid bills for arena

WDT: The Utica Obsession

Some advice for Doheny....If they put Utica in the district you are seeking, don't trash the town the way Rep. Buerkle's staff did to Ithaca.....Sure the inclusion of the Democratic enclave in Buerkle's district is a challenge, but don't come out of the gate claiming you caught the plague.
If Utica is in, praise the community as a place you would be proud to represent. After all, Utica may not be thrilled with being placed in the NNY district where they get a Member of Congress from Vermont....oops excuse me, Plattsburgh.
Utica is used to its own Member of Congress...Boehlert, Arcuri, Hanna.....
I don't think it will end up in the same district as us, but if it does, so what...We will get attention up here due to Fort Drum, so unlike my friends at the Times, I am not worried about Watertown no longer being the largest city in a sprawling district.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny's been preparing for redistricting

Friday, March 2, 2012

WDT: Coverage on Hockey Will Naturally Raise Questions

With coverage of the Wednesday meeting between the Privateers and Councilman Smith and me, I should provide some elaboration for other stake holders at the Fairgrounds Arena as well as City Council and staff.
This seems the easiest way to do that.
It comes down to the difference between 'conceptual', 'exploratory' and 'preliminary' talks...All of which come before 'substantive' discussions.
This week's session was definately conceptual in nature and a chance for the parties to meet and see whether there is merit to further talks.
I hope to hear this weekend from the team owner on their impressions of the facility and I am sure the matter will be raised Monday night as well.
The natural inclination with something like this is to quickly do the calculus on how will affect me? What's it cost ? Is it logistically doable ? and who is getting the chance to make money ?
I am of the opinion that if the team is interested, then some preliminary talks could be held involving staff to answer the afore mentioned questions.
In the meantime, no one is trying to pull a fast one or big foot anyone. It has to start somewhere and this matter began Wednesday in my office. Where it goes from here, time will tell.
Watertown Daily Times Privateers must decide on move by end of April

Higher office awaits Andrew Cuomo - NY Daily News

The drumbeat has begun....Mike Lupica calls Governor Cuomo the most successful politician in the nation and declares he is headed for the White House.
The herd is forming and the stampede of conventional wisdom has begun .
Actually, if he does run, I look forward to Bob Duffy being governor as he seems competent and down to earth. As for Andy, he has done some things right since getting into office, and in Albany any progress is heralded as the Second Coming.
We will see if he prevails on pension reform....Can he beat back the left on fracking ? Can he make the structural changes in government needed to make NY competitive ?
We keep setting these people up as saviors...as something new and different the likes of which have never been seen.....then we tear them down because they didn't get everybody a job or find the magic way to tax less and spend more without incurring debt.
I like the Governor's style so far, but as for the White House, ask me this time next year when we have a better grasp of Andy's New York accomplishments.
Higher office awaits Andrew Cuomo - NY Daily News

WDT: The Endless Struggle for Open Government

One of the Sisyphian tasks of journalists is fighting the constant and pervasive use and abuse of "executive session" by elected bodies. I think I have had a pretty good record on openess over the years, but hardly a perfect one.
At both City Council and the Watertown Trust, I have been in on executive sessions that are dubious under the states Open Meetings Law.
Sometimes it's mission creep. You get in the back room and the conversation meanders or an issue has different nuances, some of which are sensitive, some are not. Sometimes it's just not an issue that should have been in executive session at all.
On most occasions, use of the back room is justified.
The reasons for most sessions is to avoid embarassment....for somebody. Sometimes it really is that public disclosure would have a deleterious effect on something. One downside on the sessions is the presumption of secrecy. Once a body votes to go into session, you are more or less bound to the pact even though whats being talked about should or could be public. Sometimes its hard to remember what you agreed to keep quiet about and sometimes you leave such a session with reservations.
It's not that the people involved are evil...it's just they take the path of least resistance which some times involves avoiding doing things they know will be criticised. I've been in close range to one of those recently.
The essence of public bodies is to be open. However, there is usually little interest in what we do, from the public or the media. Most public sector meetings get little or no coverage and there is great temptation to think of  ourselves as "executives" who should be doing things in an executive manner...aka in private.
Anyway, this is one of those back and forths that will always exist.
Watertown Daily Times School officials should open the rule book before closing a meeting

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Albuquerque Dog Registers to Vote......I'm Signing Up Zeppelin

A dog named Buddy is among the newest registered voters in New Mexico, although his owner could be in hot water for the stunt.....Seems an effort to show how loosey goosey voter registration is in the Land of Enchantment.
While it's easy to sign up, even here, the prospect of punishment is real, unless you are in the WFP.
Albuquerque dog becomes registered voter KOB.com

A Mann's Job.....Drawing Lines Goes to Her Honor

Federal Judge Roanne Mann and a three judge panel will be drawing Congressional districts after the two houses of the Legislature declared impasse in coming up with maps for the State's 27 districts.
Judge Mann will consider plans from both houses as well as citizen groups. She will issue her decision March 12, just a week before candidates have to begin circulating nominating petitions. I am not sure if the Legislature can suddenly agree on something...My suspicion is no. (Where's Liz when you need her ?)
Members of the political class and media wags will all have an opinion. I like the notion of communities of interest, but that's tougher to do in sparsely populated NNY. My opinion doesn't matter and I don't know what criteria the judge will use.
I could say I want the district most likely to elect my candidate....just as MCM could say he wants the district most likely to elect his candidate. Or we could take a principled stance and say we want what is most logical for the people.....Oh, there will be none of that.
All I know is all the plans I have seen have both Bill Owens and Matt Doheny living in them, so for me on my perch in Jefferson County USA, that will be the most likely choice. Whether I have to share a Member of Congress with Utica or Speculator doesn't matter much to me, but is sure does to those two candidates, although I am told either way it's race on.
Capitol Confidential » Congressional plans differ in Capital Region treatment

WDT: Don't Bogart That Joint My Friend......Rock Concert Returns to Lewis County

The moe. is coming back to Snow Ridge Ski Area in Turin, NY after a couple of years in Herkimer County. moe. is a band and for a dozen years held it's
moe. down in Lewis County. The concert will be in August and will attract many people to the sleepy village which this winter cannot have done that well with a depressed ski season.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Buerkle and Ithaca...Now That's Culture Shock

Ithaca will just love Rep. Anne Marie Buerkle of Central NY.....Redistricting plans have the Tea Party Member of Congress who barely won the Syracuse seat two years ago being saddled with wildly liberal Tompkins County, with the very Democratic City of Ithaca in the middle of it.....Rep. Buerkle was on the endangered list already and this will likely do her in and put former Rep. Dan Maffei back in Congress.
Ithaca could join Syracuse in new congressional district that leans toward Democrats syracuse.com

Pilgrimages to the Capital Highlight This Time of Year for the Government Class

    In what has been called the "Tin Cup Brigade" , legions of government, not for profit, labor and other groups sequentially descend on Albany this time of year to ask for more money....Usually it's the counties, the towns, the villages and cities, and with the mayors back home, the school districts and teacher's unions head to the Capital for photos with their Senators and Members of Assembly.
    With a budget promised for this month and everybody's mind on redistricting (at least everyone in Albany) there won't be any real changes to the what Governor Cuomo has proposed. But it's a couple days at the Crown Plaza and some nice socializing with like minded people, so you can't blame them for going.
     

WDT: Let's Be Clear...Utica is a Great Town

Whats the story you should be pining over today ? Is it that March came in like a lamb depite media hype to the contrary ? Or are you dragging yourself out of bed this AM in a frenzy over the rival plans for redrawing our Congressional district.
Think of how much money we could save if we lived in a Wyoming or Delaware and didn't have to do this decennial exercise in manipulation.
So the Dems want to preserve Rep. Bill Owens by adding Utica to the district and removing some rural areas that vote GOP. It makes a more compact district and a more Democratic one. The GOP wants the district to remain rural with Watertown the biggest city. They want to add Herkimer County, and the rest of Fulton County to the get the population to the needed level.
It's all supposed to be resolved by March 12 in time for petition gathering to begin on the 20th.
With the new primary date in June, March will politically at least be going in and out like a lion.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

WDT: Ogdensburg Sells House...Finally

The Maple City is finally selling the Knox Street property that plunged Ogdensburg into a year of intrigue and festering that led to the departure of the City Manager. Never has one modest home led to such fuss and the sooner someone else has title to the property the better.
Watertown Daily Times Ogdensburg council approves sale of problem properties

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SENATE VOTES TO REPEAL BUSINESS PAPERWORK RULE | New York State Senate

I pointed out this foolish requirement weeks ago....A paper signed by employers and employees stating who the employer is, when the pay day is, how much the person is making.....Then you have to keep the paper on file for six years.
It's nonsense and Senator Patty Ritchie is trying to repeal it, but it will likely never pass the Assembly...The question is , how do these rules get passed in the first place ?
SENATE VOTES TO REPEAL BUSINESS PAPERWORK RULE New York State Senate

No Lions....That's Fine With Me

    In like a lion ?   Not really....
    Despite hyperbolic warnings about harsh weather, the First of March is not going to be anything more than a continuation of a blessed and light winter of 2011-12.
    A little snow and ice perhaps,.....but by the weekend, we are in the 40s again....
    In a time of $4 a gallon gas, it's nice to get a break on heating and plowing bills....
   

WDT: Times 86s DC Bureau

The closing of the WDT Washington Bureau is no surprise. In fact I was surprised it came after the demise of the Albany bureau.
Times are changing and the cost of bureaus and the ease of getting news from afar has long spelled doom for the "little engine that could" ethos that prompted the Times to open distant outposts.
I feel bad for Marc Heller who is being laid off, but I also remember fondly the late Alan Emory, who was DC bureau chief for years. Mr. Emory was one of those old style reporters who knew his stuff. I remember him interviewing me at the '92 DNC in NYC.....He also did some on air analysis on TV in 1980, during the final years of Times ownership of WWNY. When it comes to NNY media , I have some institutional knowledge.
The need to cut back is obvious as business models evolve, but for newspapers content is king. People who do seek out long-form journalism don't want to be left asking 'where's the beef ?'.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown Daily Times to close Washington, D.C. bureau

Hockey in Watertown ? Who Knows, but It's Worth Talking About

      A hockey summit was held in my office today as the owners of the Thousand Islands Privateers met with Councilman Smith, Parks Superintendent VanBrocklin and me
      It was a low-key meet and greet as the team is exploring other options in the wake of issues at their current home at the Bonnie Castle Arena in Alexandria Bay.
     Privateer Owner and former SLU player Nicole Kirnan and her dad, Don, who runs the Federal Hockey League came by to discuss their plans and whether Watertown should be in them. They also toured the Fairgrounds Arena.
    This is all very preliminary and there are many issues to be addressed if the City Council and the team are interested in further talks.
     However, the talks were productive and Councilman Smith said he will raise the issue at Monday's Council meeting.
    
   

WDT: Canada to Lighten Up on Getting In Their Country

Canada is easing a restriction on entry that has been preventing lots of visitors from entering the country due to misplaced sanctimony over criminal pasts, including years-ago DWIs.
Those with one offense will now be able to apply for a temporary residence permit to get into Canada. Its still treating people like criminals for events most consider to be a mistake not indicative of overall character....
Being a do-gooder loses its appeal when you add up the lost tourism dollars of the policy.
Imagine if our own government said anyone with a DWI couldn't get a fishing license or rent a campsite in a state park. I am sure three is a constituency for doing that as we live in judgemental times.
Watertown Daily Times A welcoming change: Canada to ease entry restrictions for U.S. visitors starting March 1

Romney Wins Ugly in Michigan

Mitt Romney is back in the inevitable mode after his two wins in AZ and MI., although rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will fight on. The wins swell Mr. Romney's lead in delegates and while GOP voters may still be at best lukewarm on his candidacy, there is a point where simple math takes hold. Next week he wins VA by default and wins MA and VT. Even if he loses OH, OK, TN and GA, the delegate count still goes his way.
Mr. Santorum had the momentum two weeks ago but a series of distractions and controversial statements staunched the bleeding for Romney and gives the GOP old guard a sigh of relief.
Romney Wins Ugly in Michigan - Beth Reinhard - NationalJournal.com

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1252 State Workers Look Down on Andy

A whopping 1,252 state employees make more than Governor Andrew Cuomo....Including a prof at SUNY Albany who made $792,000 last year. Those are among the findings of the latest data base on state workers made public.
Maybe we need to Occupy State Government.
The Empire Center for New York State Policy

WDT: Tale of Bonnie Castle Seeping Out

Bonnie Castle Resort was once the premier spot in Alexandria Bay, but it is tired and behind in its taxes.....Talk of a "racino" aside, the facilities are fading and talk of new owners just confirms what was already known....
I don't buy the argument that gambling somehow changes the metrics of tourism in this area....The trouble with casinos is there is no middle ground...Only big operations will get approved and gambling as the centerpiece of tourism won't work here. It's too prevalent elsewhere.
Watertown Daily Times Pending sale of Bonnie Castle Resort should not affect proposed racino project in Alex Bay

Kellie Homecoming

Congressional candidate Kellie Greene continues her long shot bid for NY 23 with a trip to her native Oswego for a meet n' greet. In our continuing effort to be fair to her, we link to this story.
News - Oswego, NY - The Palladium-Times - Oswego native Greene returns home to talk politics

The New Scarlet Letter

With DWI's a cottage industry , news of them barely rises to the level of what speeding tickets did a generation ago when the local paper would publish them.
However, a DWI is a great way to publicly humiliate someone.....if you want to....
Today, Newzjunky was likely pleased over a Times senior staffer getting a Dee-Wee early Sunday....The man in the stocks is Ken Eysaman, the nice guy who edits NNY Business, a Times spin-off.
It was a great way to jab a rival.....
DWI's, with the requisite mug shot dutifully (or in some cases reluctantly) provided by the cops, offers the public humiliation needed in just the right situations. The recent mug shot orgy for Roxy is a good example.
Now, not to say driving drunk is a good thing...it's not....But there seems a blood lust in the media to get the right person in a tough situation.
But as I know, you don't have to be charged with a crime to be made to look like a criminal by the pious who tell us what's news.
No one else will make a fuss over Mr. Eysaman's DWI...and having met him, I don't really have a desire to see him hammered in public...There are people I would chuckle over seeing this happen to as there are those who would wish the same for me....
Life...it seems...is all about your turn in the barrel.


NNY Business Magazine Editor Arrested for Driving While Drunk

My Day Trip to Potsdam and Other Things

Today it was off to Potsdam for a meeting of the Regional Economic Council held at Clarkson University's Cheel Arena.....Lt. Governor Robert Duffy was there and there was a discussion of the CFA (combined funding application) process now being used to apply for state dollars. I go mainly to stay in the flow of information and show the flag as state support for projects in and around Watertown is important.
On the way up I stopped at the HSBC bank in Evans Mills since I was passing by at opening time. Never been there before but I saw some people who used to work at the other branches. It's too bad it's all being broken up through sale, as I always liked the service and as an aging coot had gotten to know all the tellers and other people. Branches in Evans Mills and Carthage are being sold to First Niagara while other branches in the county are being acquired by Community Bank NA.
When I got back to town I stopped at Coughlin Printing to look at some proofs on posters (non political). Then I went to Pete's before heading off to work.
North Country Regional Economic Development Council Discusses Strategic Plan Implementation

WDT: Creek Wood apartment project ahead of schedule

One additional by product of the light winter is faster-than-expected progress on a key housing project in the City.....The Creekwood project on the City's northern edge is ahead of schedule and a second phase of the project is slated for this fall.
Watertown Daily Times Creek Wood apartment project ahead of schedule

NASCAR - Danica Patrick can't avoid trouble at Daytona - ESPN

Monday's Daytona marathon that resulted in Matt Kenseth winning was the end of a long weekend for Danica Patrick who brought her considerable marketing and driving prowess to NASCAR but came out short with a trio of wrecks. She did finish up last nights race in 38th place, which was better than the popular Jimmy Johnson, who was knocked out in an early wreck.
Patrick gets more publicity for whatever she does than any other driver.
NASCAR - Danica Patrick can't avoid trouble at Daytona - ESPN

Pension Debate Continues from Albany to Pete's

In a good natured way, one of my three teacher friends chided me at Pete's last night about supporting the Governor's pension reform plan...
Her contention is it takes away from working stiffs stuggling to earn both a living and a future. Why do I want to pick on future generations I was asked....Well, I responded that leaving in place a system that we cannot afford isn't doing anyone a favor in the present or the future.
She conceded there is gaming of the system and that some people have cashed in unduly.....I said its about changing things and the end result will be a compromise anyway.
By the time she left, we were still friends and the congenial atmosphere at Pete's prevailed.
We will see what comes of the Governor's efforts, which I think are laudable as changes have to happen if local governments are really going to live within a tax cap.
Watertown Daily Times Mayors Graham, Nelson support Cuomo’s pension plan

Monday, February 27, 2012

Listen Up ! Cindy Habeeb on HOTLINE Tuesday

     It's good to find a TV 7 celebrity with the committment to community to help out the Mayor and fill in on the HOTLINE.....Here I am going to Potsdam to take part in the Regional Economic Council and it was hard to find a fill in host.....
    Then my old friend Cindy Habeeb steps up......
     It's not easy to find an appropriate and competent fill-in for America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show...
     But we have one on Tuesday....Tune in and talk to Cindy !

Alexandria Bay Resort To Be Sold...You Heard It First Here

So the scuttlebutt at the bar was right. Bonnie Castle is being sold. I subscribe to the old Chuck Kelly school of journalism...You always keep your eyes open and ear to the ground.
Alexandria Bay Resort To Be Sold WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Local News

HockeyOwner to Visit City Hall

Last week Mel Busler ask me about the 1000 Islands Privateers possibly playing games in Watertown. The team had publicly stated it was looking for new quarters.
Later this week I will be meeting the owner of the Privateers to discuss their future and whether there is any relationship that can or should be developed with Watertown. The team now is in Alexandria Bay and is part of the Federal Hockey League.
Team owner Nicole Kirnan has NNY ties and is a grad of SLU. It's basicly an initial meeting that will include City staff, Councilman Smith and me. There are no goals or expectations, just an initial meeting.
Federal Hockey League: 1000 Islands Privateers Front Office

If the Rain Stops....Stop at the Mayor's Bar for Daytona !

   Forget about Kyle Busch....We have $2  16oz cans of Busch Light tonight at Fort Pearl Tavern for the Daytona 500.
   And there is the lovely Brianna to entertain !
    Crazy Ray will be there too....

WDT: Gay Sheriff from AZ Gets a Bit Part In NNY Politics

Wait a minute...What's a gay Sheriff from Pima County, AZ got to do with our North Country Congressional race ?
Sheriff Paul Babeau stepped aside from the Romney campaign effort in AZ after he revealed he is gay and there were allegations about an illegal alien being his partner. All of that makes for great intrigue out there as that's not the preferred marketing strategy for police officers.
It makes its way to NNY when GOP Congressional hopeful Kellie Greene posts some words of support for the Sheriff on Facebook and that post quickly gets circulated to the WDT.
Lesson one...watch what you say on Facebook if you are running for Congress. But the secondary point is , who cares ?
Sheriff Babeau might be gay, but he also might be a decent sheriff and what's so bad about a friend putting in a good word at a time when he is facing political jabs.
In politics, everyone is worried about the images that were important a generation ago and are quick to run away from tainted goods. The fact that Ms. Greene showed support for a friend is not a negative.
The fact she lived the past eight years in AZ is not something however, I would be pointing out if I were her.
Watertown Daily Times Facebook fights, Web ads and more

Mayor in tiff over tiers - Times Union

The pension reform battle is pitting Democrats against one another. The Democrats favoring the Governor's plan are usually those responsible for paying for the outcome of the present system. That includes mayors like Albany's Jerry Jennings who is feuding with Comptroller DiNapoli, who is a steadfast supporter of the status quo.
Maintaining the present system means workers are locked into public sector employement, where as the Governor's plan provides portability as an option.
Many of the state's mayors are meeting in Albany today for the annual NYCOM session.
Mayor in tiff over tiers - Times Union

Unions Pressuring Cuomo to Give Up Dreaded 401k

Governor Cuomo is now talking about dropping one of the more interesting aspects of pension reform in order to placate the public employee unions. The optional 401k plan is reportedly on the block if agreement is reached on other changes including a higher retirement age and restrictions on padding.
While the private sector has migrated to 401k's over defined benefit plans, the public sector clings to the lucrative and unaffordable status quo.
Nevermind that 401k is just an option under Andy's plan or that such plans provide more flexibility for workers. The unions don't want it and the Governor may be forced to cave.
That's too bad, as it was an interesting aspect of his plan.
Gov. Cuomo may drop 401 (k) option if incoming public workers get reduced pension benefits - NY Daily News

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Actor Has Pet Crow

Not everyone dislikes crows....Actor Nick Nolte has a crow as a pet...One he adopted after finding it with a broken wing.
The enigmatic and sometimes drunk 70 year old actor discussed his pet, John David Crow, while being interviewed on the Red Carpet at tonight's Oscar's.
The crow resides in a six foot high cage, but the door is left open.
– USATODAY.com

Three....Maybe Four Day Weekend

     A pesky weather system forced the Daytona 500 Race to be postponed to Monday at Noon......
     That means many Americans will call in "sick" and those going to work will be distracted.   Let's just call it a Monday holiday. I would hope the superintendents call a snow day.
     This is the first Daytona to be postponed. Four races have been shortened by bad weather.
     Mondays forecast is for thunderstorms and an 80% chance of rain....Tuesday is partly cloudy....So be prepared to take that day off too.

Tuition, Room and Board to Increase at St. Lawrence University

Nearly $56,000 a year to attend St.Lawrence University....Does that come with a free pair of Birkenstocks ?
Tuition, Room and Board to Increase at St. Lawrence University WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Local News

The "Kiss" That Sank the Costa Concordia

The alluring 25 year old from Moldavia says she was flirting with the ship's captain when the Costa Concordia stuck bottom resulting in up to 32 deaths and a black eye for the cruise ship industry.
Seems searchers even found Domnica Cemortan's luggage in Captain Francisco Schettino's cabin, although the siren says their relationship had gotten no further than a passionate kiss.
With these two on board, the Costa was surely a Love Boat.
Costa Concordia: Domnica Cemortan 'kissed captain Francisco Schettino' before crash Mail Online

Greene Needles Doheny But Unlikely to Derail Him

Even though I am in the tank for Matt Doheny's campaign for Congress, I certainly want to present a fair assessment of the race here and give candidates their moment in the sun.
There are said to be three candidates for the GOP nomination, but really there are two....Mr. Doheny has three years into campaigning.....his most significant challenger is Kellie Greene, who has a new web ad out and is travelling the district trying to get on the radar.
It all is headed to a June 26 Republican primary in which Mr. Doheny is favored. Under New York's system of "fusion voting" the minor Conservative and Independence Parties are also important and in each party the state chair decides which, if any, out of party candidates are allowed to seek the line.
In-party candidates can run too.
Ms. Greene is showing some of the trappings of a campaign and her web posts show she can needle Mr Doheny on the issue of who is the "true" conservative. My suspicion is he ignores her, as he knows the minor party lines are a lock and the GOP primary is his to lose.
Ms. Greene's latest ploy to Scozzafava her opponent is interesting and clever, but I don't see it working. Doheny has too big a lead on building relationships and a much greater conversancy on fiscal and foreign policy issues than Ms. Scozzafava ever had.
To paraphrase the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen.....I know Dede....Dede is a friend of mine....Matt Doheny is no Dede Scozzafava."
Watertown Daily Times Long says Doheny sealed fate on Conservative line by backing Scozzafava

WDT: Cuomo Aide Calls for Schools to Merge

Consolidating school districts due to the outlandish crazy-quilt of expensive administrators in rural parts of the state, including the North Country. Insenstivity to the children and disrespect for teachers when I say it, but now it's mainstream as Governor Cuomo's point person in the area is calling for just that. Former Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava has called for consolidation despite the emotions that keep a six figure superintendent every five miles across a large swath of Upstate NY.
Watertown Daily Times NNY schools should consolidate, state official says

WDT: Doheny Gets Nod from Tea Party Group

At a meeting Friday in Clinton County, the North Country's "Tea Party" group called UNYTEA cast its lot with Matt Doheny for Congress, although two other long shot candidates for the GOP nomination did combine for 36% of the votes.
The endorsement is one more ticket punched along the way for Mr. Doheny who may face a June primary against Kellie Greene and Tim Stampfler. Ms. Greene seems more likely to be on the primary ballot as she seems to have the support of at least some of the activists linked to Doug Hoffman's 2009 and 2010 runs that resulted in the election of Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.
Meanwhile, Ms. Greene, who didn't compete for the Tea Party nod is using Facebook to pick open a scab and prevent the Conservative Party from going with Mr. Doheny. Ms. Greene linked to a 2010 WDT story quoting Chairman Mike Long as saying Doheny's support for RINO Diedre Scozzafava in 2009 is a disqualifier. It's an interesting tactic although Doheny's support for the GOP nominee in 2009's special election seems more a case of supporting the party and not the person. The ghost of DeDe lives on.
Ms. Greene, who recently returned to NNY after nearly eight years living in Arizona, may not have the organizational support, but she is pushing some of the hot buttons that cause a rift between cloth coat Republicans and the more strident Tea Party and Right to Life activists.
As for Mr. Doheny, he continues to criss cross the NNY district, lining up the support needed to win the GOP primary.
With the petition period for the June primary coming quickly, the test will be to see who can get that job done, especially in the Conservative and Independence primaries where an out of party authorization is needed in addition to signatures.
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