Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daylight saving time starts this weekend: But what if it's all just a waste of time? -

   My thoughts are main stream...Daylight savings time is nonsense.
Daylight saving time starts this weekend: But what if it's all just a waste of time? -

Saturday Travels

      Today I got my hair cut, but Autumns was closed so I went to JC Penney's, which is really a busy hair place. I got the orange haired Gouverneur native, who did a good job, although there was another cutter with blue hair. You see I am not one of those people who refuses to go to JCP just because Ellen does the commercials.
       I walked around the Mall and visited the Caprara display to chat with Greg LaClaire and stopped at Hallmark to pick up a birthday card for my Mom. Bought some lemons and limes today...They keep getting more expensive.
      Then I went to work and trained a new part time bartender. A young lady named Emily who I think will do a very good job.
      Unfortunately I missed the Firefighters hockey game today, although I hear the City smoke eaters beat the volunteers 7-1. We haven't beat the County that bad since they took the airport....

Santorum Wins Kansas......Mitt a South Pacific Hit

   Senator Rick Santorum cruised to an easy win in the Kansas GOP Presidential caucuses. Meanwhile frontrunner Mitt Romney was winning Guam and the Northern Marianna Islands.
Both men face off Tuesday in primaries in Mississippi and Alabama.
    Santorum needs a pair of wins Tuesday, in part because that could force Newt Gingrich out of the race as the former Speaker's candidacy hinges on sweeping the Deep South.
Santorum Wins Kansas - Naureen Khan -

Daylight Time a Waste of Time....

     Tonight the clocks go ahead...It's Daylight Savings Time...something cooked up in the World War I era to create the illusion of more hours of sunlight during times of day when that might be useful.  Not every place in the World goes along and I think its silly. 
      Time is of course just a made up construct anyway. Who says there have to be 24 hours in a day ?
       I say leave the time the same all year and if somebody has to go to work in the dark...just go in an hour late.
Daylight saving time - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Update on City Issues

       The recruitment effort for a new city manager is moving along. City Council's facilitator on the search, John Krol, has consulted with lawmakers and top city employees and  has written a description for the post and designed ads which will be placed in professional journals and local print and on-line sites.
     The complete solicitation will be on the City's website some time this week.
      Once advertised, there will be a deadline in late April for submissions and at that time Mr. Krol and Council will work to winnow the field.
       An interim manager will have to be named by Council until the recruitment is complete.
        City Council has a work session meeting on Monday and will among other things discuss redevelopment of Sewall's Island.

Advantage Watertown.....Not Exactly a Shadow Government...But Some Wonder About What is Does and If Its Needed

    An ad hoc citizen advisory group called Advantage Watertown met the other day to chat about pending issues facing the City and hear a briefing on the effects of next year's reconstruction on Factory Street.
     The group meets once a month and includes a variety of people from different governments and industries with an emphasis on downtown. 
      However, over time many people, including some on City Council, openly wonder what the purpose of the group is, other than it was established as part of a state program years ago relating to waterfront development.
       Council members have talked about eliminating or altering the group's role after concerns that Advantage is deciding on issues that Council should be.
       Since I serve on the body, I benefit from the discourse, but Council members without the day to day contact at City Hall have come to view Advantage Watertown with some wariness.
        Meanwhile some Advantage members have also openly asked just what is the point of the monthly chit chats.
        Since the groups meetings get covered as real news, there is some chafing when lawmakers read about something they didn't have previous knowledge of.
        The idea of dialogue among interested people with varied expertise is always a good thing, Whether this format is best is increasingly being debated behind the scenes.

Advantage Watertown Discusses Proposed Factory Street Renovations

Anna;s Police Connections Latest Fumble by Manhattan DA

       A tangled web in NYC as the latest madam scandal has ties to the NYPD with a former detective and officer with ties to top brass also working as a bodyguard for Anna Gristina, the hockey mom who came to the City that Never Sleeps to run an multi-million dollar escort service.
     Prosecutors have arrested her and are squeezing her for lists of clients, but the revelation of cops providing cover for Ms. Gristina over the years is a good example of thin the line is at times between virtue and vice.
Retired NYPD detective worked as bodyguard for alleged “millionaire madam” -

WDT: Reader Questions Bureau Closing

   A Times reader from Macomb wrote a letter to the editor questioning the closing of the paper's DC bureau.
    The letter points out the fact there are serious consumers of news who actually follow such things as the structure of how news is gathered and the importance of boots on the ground in covering some stories.
    However, in all fairness, today's technologies and changes in consumer expectations do mean one can still provide good coverage without having a physical presence day in and day out.
     So much of what we need comes from a variety of sources (not all reliable, but that's up to us to decide) that the notion of a single gatekeeper of news and public affairs is not viable.
      Today's world of websites, bloggers, citizen journalists and the like is haphazard for sure, but it increasingly provides the checks and balances on big government that media finds it increasingly difficult to provide due to deteriorating business models.
      So while the closing of a bureau is an emotional and significant marker for those close to the old ways of journalism, for most citizens....especially those under's not that important.
Watertown Daily Times | Explain decision to close D.C. bureau

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Party That Brought Us Dede Scozzafava Wants to Stop Ann Marie Buerkle | RedState

    The Scozzafava race for Congress in 2009 continues to be a metaphor for RINOism.
Red says the same NYS GOP that promoted Ms. Scozzafava has tried to defeat Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle through a collaberative effort at redistricting with Democrats.
    Red State is right on this one.
The Party That Brought Us Dede Scozzafava Wants to Stop Ann Marie Buerkle | RedState

WDT: Alliteration With Food a Popular Political Ploy

    In a clear swipe at the more pedestrian and ethicnally agnostic "Doughnuts with Doheny" , Sen. Joe Griffo is now hosting "Canoles and Conversation" sessions.
     I think the Senator is pandering to identity politics and prefer the less divisive doughnuts.
     Then again we could have a couple of martinis......Olives with Owens ?
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Go to Home Depot and Buy 16 Green CFLs

    It takes 32 compact flourescent bulbs to light four faces of the clock in the First Baptist Church on Public Square.  The City has 16 green ones left over from Christmas so it would take another 16 to illuminate the clock faces in green for St. Patrick's Day.
    The bulbs are available at Home Depot and cost about five dollars each, according to an Electric Department source I ran into at Pete's
     Jefferson County Democratic Chair Sean Hennessey has been running a campaign to have the clock faces lit to promote the Irish Festival next week. A suggestion to do so came to me via Newzjunky and I relayed it to the City Manager, who decided it would be difficult to accommodate requests for colored lights for various events and charities since another group was concurrently requesting blue lights for cancer awareness.
    The Council and I concurred at last Monday's meeting. Since then, I have been made the heavy in what I suspect is unfinished business Sean had from last year.
     The faux controversy has accomplished its goal and I am sure the Council will dutifully vote to buy some light bulbs on Monday.

Gov. Andy Cuomo says he will know a good redistricting plan when he sees it - NY Daily News

   Governor Cuomo is sparring with the Legislature on redistricting as well as pension reform. Mr. Cuomo seems to not want to let the lawmakers do what they are inclined to do which is cave to special interests and to conventional political wisdom.
    State Legislators really could care less about Congressional boundaries. They care about their own districts and that plan is still in play.
    Since the state offices may not be decided until a September primary and the federal offices are contested June 26, we could have two petition periods and a confusing year ahead.
   My guess is there is a last minute, global deal on boundaries and primary dates. Otherwise, it just gets too crazy.

Gov. Andy Cuomo says he will know a good redistricting plan when he sees it - NY Daily News

WDT: Bus Stop Move Costly

      It will be a difficult political sell to get City Council to spend $200,000 moving the bus stop across the street in addition to approving a PILOT for the proposed Woolworth Building remake.  However, that will be the challenge for the building's owner and developer Michael Treanor, when he presents his plans at an upcoming meeting.
     Delays in the project and other factors have left the project in doubt, but the developer says he has regrouped and will move ahead.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown looks at $200,000 cost of moving CitiBus transfer station

Gov. Cuomo and unions in political war over pensions -

      The state's powerful public employee unions are turning to TV ads to try and derail Governor Cuomo's pension reform proposal, even though the plan would have no effect on any of the union's current members.
      It looks like lawmakers, even Republicans, will fold quickly on the Governor's optional 401k component, which would likely become popular as the Governor's revised defined benefit plan is less attractive to prospective new workers.
       There are the usual conflicting numbers on what the benefit reductions actually are, but the pressure will be intense to stick with the status quo, even though most experts say taxpayers cannot afford it.
Gov. Cuomo and unions in political war over pensions -

WDT: "Bulwark of Inevitability".....Should You See a Doctor for That ?

     With the petition period approaching and no one looking forward to that exercise so early in the year, a "bulwark of inevitability" has arisen around the Congressional campaign of Matt Doheny. (Those are Amaral's words)
     It's in reference to the string of County GOP committees and activists who are endorsing Mr. Doheny's bid for the nomination against Kellie Greene, the Sackets Harbor resident vowing a primary challenge.
      Surrounding one self with a phalanx of supporters is a technique to discourage your foes and get the media to write about you in terms like, well, "inevitability."
      That's why in pressers in the big cities, the pols always have their posse standing behind them, to show the home viewer it's an imposing mob that stands ready to do whatever for their guy.
      I won't use the word 'bulwark', but will opt for the more conventional and trite buzzword, "presumptive nominee" to refer to Mr. Doheny.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

WDT: Tax Deal Moves Ahead on Housing Complex

       A PILOT deal has gotten approval from the Town of Watertown Board for a housing development on the road that connects Wal-Mart to Outer Coffeen Street.
       The tax abatement doesn't affect the Town which does not have a property tax, and it will have to be approved by the County and the Watertown School District.
        One assumes that will happen or the matter wouldn't have been voted on by the Town.
Watertown Daily Times | Town board approves first OK for Morgan PILOT

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Toilet Paper May Run Out in Trenton as Mayor Spars With Council

    Tough times in Trenton, when the City Council makes a stand on spending over the purchase of paper products, including paper cups and toilet paper.
       Council is refusing the Mayor's request for purchase of paper products after a year in which many jobs were cut as well.
Toilet Paper May Run Out in Trenton as Mayor Spars With Council

Report: Spitzer Tipped Off Escort Madam to Investigation

      The Big Apple's latest madam scandal is linking to previous madam scandals and even includes our esteemed former Governor and Attorney General  Eliot Spitzer.  Anna Gristina is the Westchester mom of 4 who ran a high dollar escort service. Seems she shared a hooker booker with the Manhattan Madam years ago and during a previous crackdown the Love Guv allegedly tipped off Gristina so she could lay low.
      I found out a lot about what really happens in the high end of life from chatting with Ms. Davis back in 2010 when she ran for Governor and visited Fort Pearl. In fact, I had never heard the terms "hooker booker" or "rub n' tug" will I met her.
      Clearly I lacked the sophistication of our former Governor.

Report: Spitzer Tipped Off Escort Madam to Investigation - Eliot Spitzer - Fox Nation

Memo on Clock Cost Coming to Council

    City Council will have the option of deciding on green lights in the Clock Tower on Public Square at their Monday meeting. A memo on the cost will be sent to lawmakers ahead of time. Today a poster campaign in Downtown businesses was in force advocating lighting the clock for St. Patrick's Day.
    The clock faces were lit red and green for Christmas and a media campaign suggested the green for St. Pat's Day. The fuss in media and on a popular talk show has made this a bit of a water cooler issue and in the process is attracting attention to the Watertown Goes Green festival next week.
   As for the clock, colored lights make it hard to read the hands, but that's not what this is all about.

Mandate Meeting in Town

  I heard there was a Mandate Relief hearing in town today with LG Duffy in tow....I must have misplaced the invitation, so I regret missing it, but many other local pols were there including Maple City Mayor Bill Nelson.
   I've done all the obligatory lobbying on the pension issue, which seems headed no where....If past is prologue, there won't be too many other mandates disappearing in the Capital this spring.

Sue Simmons’ big salary led to WNBC ditching her

    Anchors on Arcade Street look at WNBC's Sue Simmons and ask, 'why can't I make $5Million a year and drink between newscasts ?'.    Well, Brian and Anne, you can have half of Sue's deal.
     The celebrity side of news is astounding and channel 4 cannot be blamed for cutting costs and looking for another news reader.
       When I worked at Channel 7, operations czar Glenn Hall would eschew the words "cue the talent" when directing the newscasts.  Glenn would say "cue the talker" as a reminder you weren't all that important.
Sue Simmons’ big salary led to WNBC ditching her -

Pension Reform: Firefighters Will Not Be Running Into Burning Buildings at Age 65

    For all the hyperbole about the Governor's pension reform bill,  retirements for police and firemen remain largely unchanged and  65 year old smoke eaters will not be running into burning buildings.
    Under the Governor's Tier 6 plan, current 20 year thresholds remain, even though other states have gone to longer service requirements.
     Unions have described the Governor's plan as draconian and its largely thought to have little chance of passage now.
Pension Reform: Firefighters Will Not Be Running Into Burning Buildings at Age 65 | CBC

WDT: Latest District as Good as Any

   The Times is lauding the latest proposal for a Congressional district even though the sprawling 12 county land mass does shift political weight to the distant eastern areas of Glens Falls and Plattsburgh.
     The problem with trying to keep some kind of all North Country district is it is so large, somebody will be forced to live a couple hundred miles from their Member of Congress.
     The only other alternative would have been the radical move of putting Syracuse and Watertown/Fort Drum into a more compact district. That has its political perils as well.
     At this point, its obvious most people really don't care or understand the whole process, as such matters are best left to the political class every ten years.
Watertown Daily Times | NNY district

Michigan woman wins $1 million lottery, still collects welfare. -

   Might as well leave her on public assistance as the lottery winnings will be gone quickly enough and there is no need to have to go through all that paperwork again.
     There are some people not meant to work
Michigan woman wins $1 million lottery, still collects welfare. -

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

No More Women of Distinction...They Are Already All Over the Place

   Let me speak the unspeakable....I am against the Athena Award and Senator Ritchie's "Women of Distinction" Award. It's all patronizing and contrary to current trends.
    Here in NNY, we have women as Senators, Members of Assembly, District Attorney, City Judge, City Manager, County Treasurer, Planning Board Chairs, Library Board Chairs, Community College Presidents, TV station GMs, bank presidents, union bosses,  and lots, lots more. In fact I know of a woman who may be appointed to a previously male bastion.
    Many of these folks have been appointed by yours truly, and the day has passed (thankfully) when he have to acknowledge women who do something.
     Remember when we had a women's programming person at the local radio station or a woman's editor at the paper.
    Women these days still face some nonsense, but the measure of their accomplishment would be the elimination of special awards.
      Let's see how fast I get called a mysoginist

WDT: GOP Whine Over Redistricting...Just Man Up and Run

 . Oh stop the whining....There are no core constituencies or communities of interest....It's just upstate real estate and to form a CD you need 720,000 or so people within its boundaries.....
   As long as Liz and the MSM give voice to those seeking to game the system for their own survival, there will always be controversy.
   As for me, I don't care about the distant counties. I care about the one I live in and that's why I am voting for my friend and fellow Watertonian Matt Doheny.
Watertown Daily Times | Republicans don't like judge's plan for NNY

Who Called Today ?

A guy named Joe Carvin called "America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show" today....Says he is a town supervisor in Rye, NY and is seeking the GOP nomination for US Senate to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
He says he speaks five languages and made it a point to tell me his wife is African-American. Like Reverand Al will be impressed with that !
He seemed pleasant enough and is concerned about deficits and tax policy....certainly valid areas of concern.
Mr. Carvin is hoping the GOP puts him and his two opponents in a June 26 primary.
I betcha the GOP goes with Wendy Long to set up the girl-girl contest they think will be most competitive.
It will be tough to beat the Senator, who has built her liberal street cred downstate while not offending too many people upstate.
‘Anyone But Carvin’ (Updated)

WDT: Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham mails Addie Russell, Patty Ritchie on pensions

Ted Ford texted me and asked why I would even write a letter to Assemblywoman Russell, since she has already pledged loyalty to the Comptroller's position opposed to Governor Cuomo's pension reform proposals. I also wrote to Senator Ritchie, whom I suspect would be hard pressed to support this "radical and draconian" measure, as no state politician wants to cross swords with the public employee unions.
Besides we all know the Governor will cave on the issue of a 401k style plan.
Anyone familiar with bargaining knows to gain anything, you have to adopt what is viewed as the strident or unacceptable position, even though it incurs the wrath of the Hennesseys and the MCM's of the world.
While I think the Governor's plan is sensible and realistic for future hires....and I know it will help localities contain costs.....I also know the Legislature is not going to take on the unions head on.
It will take years and continued pressure from localities to give lawmakers the fortitude to take this on.....So it won't happen this year, but groups who represent taxpayers like the Conference of Mayors have to be willing to take the heat you get when you advicate against free stuff.
That's why I wrote Ms. Russell, even though I know she will roll her eyes at her favorite mayor.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham mails Addie Russell, Patty Ritchie on pensions

Hennessey: Irish Festival Must Formally Decide on Parade Route

The Irish sat down Tuesday to discuss a parade route for the upcoming Irish Festival.
City Manager Mary Corriveau and Police Chief Joe Goss, both of Irish heritage, oppose a plan to close Public Square instead of using the standard parade route on Washington Street.
Festival organizer Sean Hennessey is leading the charge to route the parade from JB Wise Parking Lot, through the Square to the State Office Building.
The city code designates the manager as the one authorized to approve deviations from the standard parade route, although a majority of City Council wants to accommodate the request to reroute the procession.
UPDATE: Parade will remain on Washington Street and we all hope its a success as usual.
Hennessey: Irish Festival Must Formally Decide on Parade Route

WDT: Duffy Tells Owens to Fight Defense Cuts

The Cuomo Administration is letting the state's Congressional delegation know how important upstate military installations are. LG Duffy was in DC this week to deliver the message.
Fort Drum and a likely Base Closure Commission process will be a big issue in this year's NNY race between Rep. Bill Owens and likely GOP nominee Matt Doheny.
Watertown Daily Times Lt. Gov. Duffy meets with Owens on defense cuts

Pension Reform Fades as Unions Keep a Boot on Neck of Lawmakers

The State'e public employee unions appear headed to a win over Governor Cuomo on the matter of pension reform. Despite lobbying by mayors and others in favor of Mr. Cuomo's Tier 6, a watered down version is far more likely as lawmakers have given the unions veto power over any changes.
The Governor's plan would only affect future hires and the existing flock of state and local workers would still be covered under current terms. However, Mr. Cuomo's proposal would channel those hires to a 401k style plan, something bitterly opposed by the unions.
The NY Conference of Mayors ask its members to write letters to lawmakers, which I did. I even got a nasty letter from the boss at PEF over my joining with support of a plan that would save even tiny Watertown some $30million over the next 30 years.
Tier VI turns to compromise - Times Union

Romney Rolls, But Wobbly Performance in Rural America Prevents Mitt from Locking It Down

Mitt Romney won in six of ten contests on Super Tuesday, but was unable to KO his two principle opponents, neither of whom have a path to the nomination. The math of delegate selection still favors Mr. Romney, but upcoming southern state primaries promise another wobbly week for Mitt.
Granted, if Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum stepped aside, it would be real trouble for the front runner, who has trouble getting to 40%, or even 30% in the South.
My odds remain the same. Mitt Romney is 85% certain of getting the nomination.
In the rural religious South, Mitt Romney just doesn't connect -

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Redistricting: What Happens Next?

Observers say the redistricting plan prepared by special master Roanne Mann will likely stand as drawn. Given the work she put in it, it will be hard to argue her map needs to be gerrymandered to suit one party or the other.
Nonetheless there will be comment periods and public hearings and finally districts will be in place for the March 20 petition period.
I know everyone is trying to calculate winners and losers...But it looks to me she tried to be fair and draw logical districts based on common interests. The whiny politicians need to shut their pie holes and get out there and run.
Redistricting: What Happens Next? Politicker

Bam Slams Rush.....POTUS Gains Upper Hand Over Slut Remarks

Rush Limbaugh is learning that calling a young law matter how liberal.....a slut and prostitute evokes bad feelings among people who have daughters....even those of us without kids find it creepy.
President Obama invoked his own daughters as reason for calling Sandra Fluke over the Rush comments that he has since apologized for. This is not about whether Ms. Fluke was right about mandated insurance coverage for contraception. That's a valid subject for debate.
Calling someone a "slut" is something that hits home. While he is only a talk show host, Rush holds himself out as a GOP icon who is correct 99.7% of the time.
Last week his .3% was on display and the President drove a truck through the opening.
Obama invokes daughters in Rush Limbaugh response - The Washington Post

Fireball Run Comes to City Hall

     Fireball Run Director J. Sanchez and Chamber of Commerce officials visited my office today to discuss logistics for the upcoming auto rally that will visit Watertown in September.
     The event is an eight day trek from Ohio to Maine and includes selected small cities along the way. The rally benefits the search for missing children and provides a marketing opportunity for communities selected.
     It sounds like a lot of fun and a chance for Watertown to shine .  Kudos to the Chamber for getting us involved.

Latest Maps Take a Stab at Logic

   Congressional maps drawns up by a judicial special master reek of common sense and avoid the geographic gyrations the parties want to use to preserve whatever it is they are preserving.
    One district covers the City of Buffalo...One for Rochester....No connecting the two with a sliver of lakeshore property.
     Other districts  are drawn along seemingly logical boundaries, except of course the NNY district which now would cover 12 counties and continues to be too big for its own good.
      Can't get around it thought...We are what's left and are in a corner of the state boxed by Lake Ontario, Canada, and Vermont.
      If the new 21st District stands, I don't know who benefits (that is what we pols are supposed to care about, isn't it ?).
      Losing Oswego County used to hurt the GOP but in recent years the County of Barclay has gone purple, voting for Barack Obama in 2008.

Clock to Stay White, Film at Eleven

One thing I learned over the years as a newsman and a news maker is you never can be certain what constitutes "news" and certainly cannot predict the lead story from two separate reporters sitting at the same table covering the same meeting.
I thought the news out of last night was Council backing the prospect of the Privateers moving to the Fairgrounds, while the WDT thought the Library fountains were tops and Newzjunky had a more eclectic choice of leads. The upstart Internet site led with a debate about putting colored light bulbs in the Public Square clock for St. Patrick's Day.
The clock had sported red and green lights during Christmas, but the City Manager who had initiated the holiday lighting denied two other requests for colored for green bulbs for St. Patrick's Day and the other for blue lights to illustrate colon cancer awareness month. (No one in the MSM pointed out I wore a blue shirt and tie for the reading of the proclamation on the disease.) Varied lighting of the clock face was thought to be confusing to the public who would have no reason to know why the clock face was a different color.
City Council Denies Green Clock Illumination for Irish Festival

Monday, March 5, 2012

Privateers Talks Get Thumbs Up from Council

     City Council unanimously voted to pursue further talks with the 1000 Islands Privateers after receiving a letter of interest from the team on locating at the Fairgrounds Arena.
      The vote came after a discussion last week I had with the team owner, Nicole Kirnan.
Council members agreed the team could provide the increased utilization of the Arena to justify incremental improvements to the facility.
     I recommended the further talks, as there has been much positive response to the proposal in the last few days.
     Lawmakers also received a draft of a job description for city manager and affirmed support for repairing the fountains in front of the Flower Library. Council adjourned to next Monday night at 7.

Senator Snares Anchor as Press Flack.....(I Resisted Temptation to Say 'Anchors Away')

    The revolving door connecting politics to media spins again today as TV 7s Sarah Compo meanders over to Senator Patty Ritchie's office to become press secretary. She replaces Jim Reagen who is being used for other community outreach and issue development. (I don't know what that is either...just repeating what I heard)
    Anyway the ascension of Ms. Compo (Alex Bay native, I believe) to press flack puts a congenial face on the Senator's public image and will be a sure hit with the media who like to hang out with one of their own in hopes they too someday will enter the womb of public employment.
     Congrats to Ms. Compo, who does a great job and is a very nice person. Not an easy combination in media or politics. She begins her new duties April 1.

Hockey on Agenda Tonight

   The owners of the Privateers hockey team has delivered a written request to City Council to allow further talks on the possible relocation of the team to the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena. The request will be discussed tonight.

WDT: Doheny Asks a Little Help from His Friends

Getting geared up for petitions that start March 20 is a challenge for pols like Matt Doheny and others seeking federal office. Doheny is sending out letters asking his dearest friends for help in getting the signatures for the three lines he hopes to occupy.
Nobody likes to do that stuff anymore, especially for the minor party lines which require many more signatures proportionally.
More and more campaigns are going to paid staffers to do all that, as the old network of party faithful has faded away.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Potsdam Bartenders Accused Of Serving Alcohol To Minors...Time to Ban the Practice of Youngsters Selling Devil's Brew ?

I couldn't help but feel sorry for the Scarlett Letter treatment two young ladies got in Potsdam after being caught in an "underage" alcohol sting. One woman is 19, the other is 20.
When is this state going to end the charade of allowing "underage" people to handle and serve come in contact with the touch and smell it and look at it...prepare it for sale but not consume it ?
I am surprised the do gooder groups and anti alcohol lobby....insteading of lobbying for new laws named after people.....don't lobby to ban the sale of this product by those two young to consume it.
It sends a confusing message to ladies this age, who see all their friends drinking, and probably drink themselves, but have to enforce the law in the narrow setting of a tavern.
Of course the easier answer is to restore the 18 year old drinking age.
PS- Would those mug shots be all over the media if there parents worked in media ?
Potsdam Bartenders Accused Of Serving Alcohol To Minors WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Local News

Hoffman for Assembly?

So Doug Hoffman is being touted for an Assembly run in distant Essex County ? Could be the GOP high command thinks Mr. Hoffman just wants to hold an office, so they dangle an Assembly run on the Conservative line out there in hopes he gives up on trying to run for Congress against Matt Doheny.......
Next thing you know they'll be touting Kellie Greene for Assembly in the newly redrawn Addie District, which now includes Hounsfield.  Oh, wait, that already was suggested to me this morning by a GOP poobah.
Hoffman for Assembly?

WDT: First Female Sheriff ?

A State Police retirement from the substation at Alexandria Bay usually doesn't make much news, but when the senior investigator retiring is the daughter of the former Jefferson County Sheriff, my political antenna pays attention.
Colleen O'Neill is the daughter of former Sheriff Al O'Neill, a popular Democrat who had gotten the county post after a career with the State Police.
Ms. O'Neill tells the Times she has no plans for her retirement other than a vacation in Ireland.
The Sheriff's seat doesn't open till 2014 and it's unknown if popular Sheriff John Burns will seek another term, although he briefly suggested in his last campaign that it may be his last.
Watertown Daily Times New senior investigator slated for state police at Alexandria Bay

WDT: Letter Writer Exposes State's Unfair Alcohol Laws

I am liking what this letter to the editor writer has to to say about the defacto effort to put taverns out of business in favor of drinking in tax free and often unregulated environments.
In particular the many advantages given to so called "not for profit" entitities that do not level the playing field and actually lessen government tax revenue through sales tax. The State has also pushed drinking into dorms and back roads with its 21 year old drinking age.
One of the interesting recent phenomenons are so called "Queen of Hearts" raffles allowed in private clubs. Thousands of dollars change hands in gaming the State deems immoral and illegal elsewhere.
The City of Watertown only recently enacted rules on sale of alcohol. Prior to that, saying you were a "not for profit" got you carte blanche to do anything.
Those who are by the state's rules...and pay the license fees should not be at a disadvantage vis a vis those interlopers who want to be bar owner for a day, or those who inexplicably sell this product in a tax free environment.
Before someone feels the need to say it. I have been a tavern owner for 27 years this month and gleefully admit to having a vested interest on these issues.
Watertown Daily Times Counties losing money from unfair alcohol laws

Newzjunky: Council Expected to Sell Old Shoe Store...Other Weighty Issues Loom As Well

City Council tonight will act on the sale of the former Berow and Monroe shoe store building on Court Street and with only one person responding to a request for proposals, it is likely the building's former owner will be able to purchase it back. I was surprised there was no other interest.
Council will act on a variety of other matters, but a looming issue is what to do about the appointment of an interim city manager when current manager Mary Corriveau retires in the coming weeks. While the City Council did approve the search process I suggested for recruitment of a manager and that effort is moving along, there will be the need for interim oversight of city operations.
I certainly favor first looking at internal persons with knowledge of the organization and a rapport with employees. Some cities utilize rent-a-managers in these situations. That is usually a retired "range rider" type who fills the void on a per diem basis, but for continuity on many issues, I don't see that as a good idea here.
As with all such things there needs to be a consensus among Council members as well as a willingness of someone to step into a position for a short period.
On another issue, Council is expected to receive a more formal request from the 1000 Islands Privateers hockey team to have formal talks on possible relocation to the Fairgrounds for all or part of their 2012-13 season.
Council Members Expect Berow & Monroe Building Sale to Pass

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BBC News - Russia election: Vladimir Putin declares victory

Congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his election to a third term as Russian President, just four years after he was term-limited into serving a stint as Prime Minister. Now Mr. Putin is back !
Critics say the use of "carousel voting" helped him get to the 64% claimed....Carousel is bussing the same voters to numerous polling places to cast ballots.
Reminds me of a person I know who voted twice in a school board election in Watertown by just showing up at both polling places....Of course I cannot reveal who that person is, as he is in a position of responsibility.
BBC News - Russia election: Vladimir Putin declares victory

Anchorman Bitch-Slapped for Flip Remark About Danica

Can you call a woman a "bitch" and not suffer sanctions ? One television sportscaster found out the answer this past week when he cryptically called NASCAR newcomer Danica Patrick "a word that starts with a "b" but its not 'beautiful'."
A one week suspension for the remark.
I think with women the word 'bitch' is often used to describe someone who is aggressive, assertive, petulant, successful, and somehow a threat to manliness. Usually there is some allusion to cyclical mood swings attached to the gender.
Not that the same traits are not seen in men, but there is not a specific word for it, although a--h--- is an often used unisex term for such conditions.
There is a lot back and forth on Ms. Patrick with some saying her marketing prowess and fan base is good for the sport, while others ridicule her recent spate of wrecks as just another woman driver. "She was too busy putting on her makeup to pay attention to the road" was what one bar wag chortled today to nodding male heads on each side.
I heard some of those bromides from the local legal community recently when I appointed a female judge. "Too emotional" I was told.
The jury may be out on what you can get away with. This weekend Rush Limbaugh had to apologize for calling a law student a "slut" because she told Congress she wanted free contraceptives. Perjoratives exist on a continuum of language with only one word referring to women guaranteed to get you fired.
Anchor suspended for Danica Patrick comment - NASCAR News FOX Sports on MSN

Eric Cantor endorses Mitt Romney -

Mitt Romney has more establishment support with the endorsement this AM from the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Yesterday Mr. Romney won the Washington State caucuses and Tuesday he is expected to do well enough in ten primaries and caucuses to secure his path to the GOP nomination.
While still not the favorite of many, the Romney campaign has the resources to grind out the nomination process and no other candidates seems able to become the viable and acceptable anti-Romney candidate.
Republicans will get used to Mr. Romney as their nominee...They will have to...Unless there is a series of upsets on Tuesday. First among them would have to be Santorum wins in Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee coupled with a Gingrich win in GA and a weak showing by Mr. Romney in VA and other less contested states.
Eric Cantor endorses Mitt Romney -

Senior Complex Expansion May Move Eagles Club

While work continues on Samaritan Hospital's "Senior Village" on outer Washington Street, the development of the area may lead to a move for the once popular Eagles Club located nearby on valuable road front property. I am told overtures are being made to acquire the Club building perhaps in exchange for relocating the Club to another location.
Like all such Clubs, the Eagles have had their struggles in recent years, but members tell me a relocation would be welcome and frankly the property they have does have value at this point in time.
One scenario ? How about a deal to use the North Side League building or some other structure in town struggling as well ?
Watertown Daily Times Progress is being made with Samaritan Medical Center’s senior-care complex

WDT: Library Repairs a No Brainer

There is no greater source of pride in our heritage than what is offered every day by the Flower Memorial Library. This beautiful building is a marvel and just a visit to the building will leave you in awe.
The matter of fixing exterior features like the fountains or marble fencing is and should not be controversial. It is a responsibility we all have to preserve such a structure and in recent years the Library has undegone significant renovations.
The roughly $30K to fix the fountains out front is a maintenance item smaller than any number of such items performed on City properties without even a mention. A widget at the sewage plant could cost that or more and no one would debate it.
The concurrent fixation on "can we get a grant ?" is also misplaced. This is a responsibility of the owners of the property and should be done without hesitation.
Equally important are the mind building activities within the Library and City Council will have to decide this budget cycle on a Library Board request for funding to staff seven day a week operations. That is a conversation that will occur soon.
Watertown Daily Times City Council will discuss library fountain work Monday