Saturday, April 28, 2012

Newzjunky:Davidson GM Super Center Opens with Solar Panels, 'Green Initiative'

     Fancy showrooms and the like have long been part of car dealerships in big cities, but Watertown showrooms have been a bit behind the times until lately with all sorts of construction going on.
     Davidson GM has a new building that even features solar panels so maybe those Saab and Volvo drivers will feel at home buying a Chevy.
      With sales surging and smaller dealerships squeezed out in the 2008 shakeout, car buying will be different in NNY.
        Some things don't change....Before you shop, know what you are looking for...know what you want for your trade...know your payoff and your credit situation. Don't be rushed, but don't be unrealistic either...It is a business and nobody gives anything away.
         I wouldn't buy because there are solar panels on the building, but that issue was resolved in the last election.
      The new Davidson properties sound very nice, although I have for some time been and will remain a Caprara customer....Only problem is I am so happy with my two year old Wrangler, I might never trade again.
Davidson GM Super Center Opens with Solar Panels, 'Green Initiative'

Consumers Find More Ways Around State Butt Tax

Bulk Butts the Way True Smokers Evade Andy's Taxes

      Everyday I hear stories of customers going to great lengths to get their cigarettes without paying the high taxes that have created a market in untaxed butts.
     Today I saw a bag of 200 cigarettes that is sold for under ten dollars at the Res near Massena.
     Other smokers drive to Onondaga Nation in Nedrow with cash in hand....The ones at Akwasasne are far cheaper but you have to run the cop gauntlet, or at least have a good poker face.
     At the equivalent of a buck a pack, the bagged butts are a bargain.
     State officials continue to act amazed at the circumvention of their tax structure.  At some point market forces speak expecially when the difference is ten fold.

Cuomo Skips DRC

   Governor Cuomo is so popular, he can start skipping some of those appearances Democrats have used to regain the upper hand in the post Pataki/D'Amato era.
     The Governor blew off the Democratic Rural Conference in Corning this week. The DRC was the brainchild of the North Country's Mike Schell and has been instrumental in Democratic successes upstate.
     LG Duffy filled in and the Dems present had a pro Cuomo banner already made.
Cuomo Skips DRC

New Rules for the Secret Service Frat House

   The Secret Service has new rules about drinking and philandering while abroad. Meanwhile the frugal agent who tried to pay only $28 of an $800 hooker bill has been outed. He is a 41 year old family man from Maryland.
     He is now out of work, so there is likely some strain on his "family" status.
     In defense, I suppose the retort is that it's a stressful, high pressure job and that agents have to unwind...And what they do on their own time is their business....Now they are going to have to lay low, drink in their room and only visit the hotel bar.
Secret Service agent at center of scandal revealed as agency cracks down on party culture - NY Daily News

WDT: Which One Percenter Do We Send to Congress ?

   Our top choices in the Congressional race both say they are paying near the top rate in federal taxes. Meanwhile a third party candidate for the office was not interviewed for the story in the local paper. Another candidate vying for the GOP nomination declined to talk to the paper.
    Both Rep. Bill Owens and challenger Matt Doheny are well above the average income of the folks they want to represent, although neither would provide the WDT with their tax return. (Why should they ? We don't ask to see the publisher's tax return in exchange for reading his paper)
      GOP challenger Kellie Greene continues her policy of not talking to the media, something unlikely to serve her well in the run up to the June 26 primary.
      Green Party candidate Donald Hassig is not likely to do much discussing of anything as media insiders say they think he's too erratic (that's my way of putting what they said more politely) and they have a policy of not dealing with him.
      On taxes, Mr. Doheny is against higher rates and Mr. Owens is for them.
      As for me, like most 'po folk, I pay the bulk of my taxes in the more regressive way with sales tax, sin taxes and lotteries.  So I spend little time worrying about the top rate, which I will never see anyway.

Watertown Daily Times | Owens, Doheny are near top of tax bracket

Friday, April 27, 2012

Soire for Patty Attracts Subdued but Affable Crowd

     A well behaved crowd estimated at 120 crowded the lovely Dexter home of picture frame magnate Lisa Weber this evening. The event was to raise funds for the reelection of Senator Patty Ritchie.
     Lots of luminaries there including a former Miss NY and two of the three living Watertown mayors.  There was a former Senator and several political operatives.
     I was patted down on the way out to make sure I didn't have any silverware (I didn't). 
     A couple of old friends there too...Wiched Wench owner Tammy Bramhall and her daughter were surprise visitors.

Danica Patrick Orders Flowers from Grays !

     Several key players in NASCAR placed floral orders today with a local florist to be delivered to the services of an elderly Clayton woman who passed away. The well wishers include Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart....It is not known the connection.
     The orders created a buzz in the local flower industry. Not as much of a buzz as if the Patrick order had been for me.
(24) S Andrew Gray

Trees, Photos and a Soire Highlight End of Week

    Today, there are Arbor Day ceremonies at JCC and Councilwoman Burns will be filling in for me as I have to do the HOTLINE. Tonight its a soire being held at an Athena Award winners house in Dexter for Senator Patty Ritchie. I think I might go, as I seldom make it to soires.
    Also, my fashion and style advisor Kari Plumpton and her sister Kelly are going to do a photo shoot for the Mayor's Bar website. They will be modeling the new T-Shirts.
We won't let Glenn Curry near, as he would make them crawl around and tell them no one would ever recognize them or see the video....Then all of a sudden its on a High Life commercial.
     So that's my Friday...take it or leave it.

NCPR News - Cuomo predicts "quiet end" to legislative session

   Governor Cuomo is suggesting the Legislature will do nothing more this year, particular on the issues of campaign finance and minimum wage. I don't buy it. Agreements often surface as lawmakers head out of town and there is a lot of traction on the wage issue.
    New Yorkers should always be wary of a Legislature with time on its hands and a Governor who likes to play the game of triangulation with the two parties in the Assembly and Senate.
    The next six weeks will not be as quiet as suggested.
NCPR News - Cuomo predicts "quiet end" to legislative session

Be Wary of Campaign Matching Fund Proposal...It's Not Really Reform

      A move is afoot in Albany to set up a system of matching funds for campaigns similar to what is done in the City of New York.
      Speaker Sheldon Silver wants the system in place as what is billed as campaign finance reform. Obviously the current system has its issues as incumbents have access to huge sums of money from special interests and lobbyists, but matching funds creates its own set of problems and corruptions.
    The City's system provides up to $6 for each dollar raised, but it often becomes a defacto business venture.
     People with no chance, or desire to win but can raise some cash and in effect leverage the system to create hefty war chests which in turn can be laundered for pretty much anything.
     In my travels over the years, I saw it and knew the people who did it.
     The message is that campaign finance reform often is not reform at all, but just a different method of gaming politics for dubious ends.
No public matching funds for Albany—Editorial -

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Mayor's Bar: Watertown's Neighborhood Tavern - 557 Pearl Street

     It's still in the planning stage, but the Mayor's Bar website is being built. Stay tuned.
The Mayor's Bar: Watertown's Neighborhood Tavern - 557 Pearl Street

Dinner Company

    While sitting next to Senator Ritchie at the Legion Law Enforcement Dinner, I certainly gained a lot of insight into local politics. I can't repeat any of it here of course.
     I told her whatever I can do to help her get reelected is no problem...I will continue to post every picture of her tapping a maple tree or perching a parrot on her arm.....
     The Senator had her new press entourage with her consisting of former TV 7 anchor Sarah Compo and longtime insider Graham Wise.
      There weren't too many pols there. Assemblywoman Russell had her hubby read a statement and County Leg Chair Fitzpatrick was there too.

Trooper as Pimp....Cop Suspected of WNY Hooker Ring

   A State Trooper from Western NY has been suspended over allegations he was running a prostitution ring involving Canadian women.  Trooper Titus Taggart even looked the part of pimp in his Facebook posts.
    Seems the trooper took the Governor's "Open for Business" slogan a little too literally.
Exclusive: State Police probe troopers in prostitution ring - Times Union

Fairgrounds Has a Baseball Legacy

   As the Watertown Wizards collegiate ball season readies for another season, we are reminded that no less than 65 players who have performed at the Duffy Fairgrounds have made it to the Major Leagues.....
    A variety of teams have played at the Fairgrounds, including Single A teams for Pittsburgh and Cleveland. News

NY Open for Business ? That's The New Mantra

    New York State plans to begin telling itself it's a good place to do business...because much of our image problem is in our own minds. The "Open for Business" theme was first launched last year at the Governor's Regional Economic Councils.
     I don't know if they will do it, but I had suggested to LG Duffy, that the Open for Business logo be reduced to a window sticker for NY businesses to display. 
    They are planning TV ads and eventually will advance the theme in advertising outside the state.
     There are still impediments in the state, but to his credit the Governor has tried to revive New York's image by getting Albany to operate more smoothly.
State plans major ad campaign to lure businesses - News - The Buffalo News

Thursday a Busy Day

    Among today's highlights....
     We raised the Israeli flag at City Hall today to mark Israeli Independence in 1948. Local members of the Jewish community joined me for the 9AM ceremony.
     A meeting was held this morning with the owners of the Privateers Hockey Team to see if there is mutual interest in the team moving to Watertown for next year's season.
    This is the first session to include the new city manager and parks superintendent.
     Also, some people have sent in comments about the blog format. I like the old format too, but the changes were not all my making. Google provides the formats through what is called Blogger. They are always updating this and that and last week I had to choose from some new layouts.
    I can try different ones, but I tried to keep it simple. Stay tuned.
     Tonight is the Law Enforcement Night at the Legion where awards are given out to top cops and smoke eaters.

Study: Hard-partying young Americans Have High Death Rate

   They flock to Spring Break, or just party at home...American youngsters are partying hard and paying a price despite endless laws and stings. Prohibition didn't work then and isn't now.
Hard-partying young Americans have highest death rate of any high-income country, study says - NY Daily News

Piercings Unregulated as Society Focuses on Other Things

     It's another of society's strange and conflicting messages....Get a drink at 21, smoke at 18, drive a car at 16 and mutilate your body through piercings as young as 12.
     Young people are lining up to poke holes in tongues, ears, navels and just about anywhere else. That's in addition to the tattoos almost standard on the lower backs of young ladies. Then there are the forked tongues and the stretched ear lobes that are just plain creepy.
     When I grew up, long hair was the statement of choice....but you can always get a haircut.
       It's always ironic when I have to tell that 20 year old with tatts, piercings, a baby at home, a Medicaid card for ID because they lost their license, and cigarettes in their pocket, that they can't have a beer, even though they had a couple in the car on the way over.

Piercings for pre-teens on unregulated St. Marks Place in Manhattan -

WDT: Bar Owner Accused of Burning His Place for Insurance

     A bar in Morley burned down and the Dreyden Insurance Company won't pay the claim as they insist the owners arranged to have it burned down, even though no criminal charges were ever filed.
     I've been paying this insurance company for 27 years and never burned my place down. Can't.....I need it to earn a living and besides, there are people, including a young family living upstairs. That wouldn't be nice.
      Also, City Firefighters are so good, you could never get it to the ground.
       I've never had a claim, and hope not to, but If I do, I hope they pay it.
       As for a bar in Morley...Where is Morley ? And who would think a bar would prosper there ?
Watertown Daily Times | Insurance company says Morley bar owners behind 2010 fire

WDT: Watertown CSD ready to vote on PILOT

    Nobody is warm and fuzzy about PILOT agreements in general, but the one being considered by the City School District for a new housing complex near Sam's Club seems like a compromise worth voting for. It provides tax revenue not now happening and promotes growth within the greater Watertown area.
    As I have said, if the District is wary of the costs of new students from that area, they could cede the land to an adjacent district like General Brown or Sackets Harbor. Short of that, the Watertown School Board should move ahead next week to approve the deal and should be lauded for seeking the best deal they could get on behalf of taxpayers.   
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown CSD ready to vote on PILOT

Soccer Mom Madam's not hooked on prison  - NY Daily News

   For a victimless crime, NYC prosecutors are pulling out the stops to squeeze Soccer Mom Madam Anna Gristina. They have her in squalid conditions on Riker's Island with an incredible $2M bond in a bid to break her and get her to give up her client list.
    George Zimmerman is out on bond for killing an unarmed teen which was far from the happy endings Ms. Gristina was selling.
Soccer Mom Madam's not hooked on prison  - NY Daily News

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Queen of Hearts Grows and Grows....Elks Capture Big Bucks

     People from across the North Country are flocking to the Elks Club in Watertown to buy tickets for the Queen of Hearts raffle...The jackpot is over $126,000, but the amount the winner takes home is capped at $50,000......
     The progressive raffle has dragged on for weeks and only a few cards are left.....
      The unique raffle is only allowed in fraternal clubs and has resulted in weeks of full tables and a full bar at the Bradley Street club.
     So intense is interest, normal sign in pools have been put on hold during the big stampede....
Watertown Elks Lodge 496

WDT: Young Guns ? What the Heck is That ?

      Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny is a star in the GOP's "young guns" program touting the up and coming stars of the party.
       Mr. Doheny is an aggressive, hard working, bright guy. To me that sounds better than a frat boy appellation like "young guns".  But then I am a "seasoned lawmaker", so how phony is that ?
       How about this for framing the race ? Matt Doheny is the forward-looking choice....a new generation ready to take charge....Sounds so much better than "young guns."  Jude will hate me for saying that.
Watertown Daily Times | Doheny moves up in Young Guns program

WDT: Team Owens Touts Itself

   As a fair and balanced blog, we offer this story on Rep. Bill Owens touting his constituent service....
   Such matters are a key to reelection as the impressions left result in votes and word of mouth. Frankly, even local GOP folks say they interact well with Owen's staffers.
    That means the race is about ideology and philosophy.
     Watertown Daily Times | Owens office lauds its constituent service

National Site Tells of Local Cop Hit in Noggin' With Dildo

    North Country law enforcement continues to make news in distant places...Just days after a British tabloid featured the Topless Deputy, a national outlet is chronicling the story of the Watertown cop struck in the head by a 12 inch sex toy....We assume it was a dildo, although I am sure such matters are considered "evidenciary in nature".
     No one was hurt.
New York Woman Arrested For Striking Cop In Forehead With Pink Sex Toy | The Smoking Gun

On Minimum Wage, Less Daylight Between Cuomo And Silver

   A compromise minimum wage bill will likely get through Albany this spring. Liz reports the Governor and Speaker are moving close on a bill and my guess the Senate will bite too.
   Let's see what the details are.
On Minimum Wage, Less Daylight Between Cuomo And Silver

New Masonic Hall Owner Says Plans Are Underway For Arts Center | WWNY TV 7

    A man on a mission says he is making progress towards his dream of renovating the former Masonic Temple in Watertown into an arts center.
    Garrett McCarthy says he is trying to secure funding sources for the long shot project.
     Mr. McCarthy secured title to the property recently in hopes of doing what has been an evasive goal for many others.
    The building is in deteriorating condition.
New Masonic Hall Owner Says Plans Are Underway For Arts Center | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Watertown Woman Strikes Police Officer in Forehead with Sex Toy

   This is one of those slice of life stories that old media spurns and new media thrives on. Definite water cooler stuff....Short on details, but maybe the 'rest of the story' is best left to imagination.
Watertown Woman Strikes Police Officer in Forehead with Sex Toy

WDT: It is a Cliche: But Parks Super is 'Off and Running'

      The City's Recreation Department is by no means the largest or the most costly, but recent events have made it the most watched.
       The department's new superintendent has been busy making changes and making sure past issues don't happen again.
        Erin Gardner has challenges for sure, but also opportunities as the City Council is focused on seeing that needed improvements happen, including repairs and improvements needed for some time.
         That doesn't mean grandiose projects, but instead incremental improvement that can fit into the City's spending plan.
         The next big change will be the hiring of a program manager but that cannot happen until the State's old and creaky civil service system provides test results from an exam given in February.
          It should be a fun and busy summer, but we are looking ahead too as talks resume this week on the possibility of hockey at the Arena next Winter.
Watertown Daily Times | New parks superintendent changing department

NYT: A Little Drinking Makes a Better President

      Jimmy Carter removed liquor from the White House and George W. Bush was a recovered drinker.  Barack Obama had the "beer summit" and today campaigned in a seedy Colorado bar.
      Now along comes Mitt Romney, who once tasted a beer as a teen, but nothing since.
     The NY Times raises the issue of whether non drinkers make good Presidents and their conclusion is they do not.
      Mitt's temperance is deemed to indicate a rigidity of thought not good for high office, according to the Times.
                                 (President Roosevelt Drank Martinis and Smoked)
       It's no secret the Times favors the President's reelection...but on the grounds of who drinks more ?
The Wrath of Grapes -

WDT: St. Lawrence County the Texting (Ticket) Capital

   Jefferson and St. Lawrence County have roughly the same number of people, but the "big county" logged more than three times the number of texting while driving tickets in the past year. 578 to 175 is the margin. And in neighboring Oswego County (also same population) the number was 99.
    What's the reason ?
Watertown Daily Times | Gov releases stats on txting while driving

$100 for a pack of cigarettes? New Zealand may up price in order to stamp out butts  - NY Daily News

    In New Zealand they want to raise the price of cigarettes to $81 (US) a pack to discourage puffing. Butts are currently $32 a pack in the island nation.
     Who's kidding who ?
      I don't smoke...never have..never would....but I see smokers every day and many of them make the trek to Nedrow or Massena to buy Indian brands. Others with relatives or friends down South have them sent to them. A small number have turned to rolling their own. People are resourceful.
       It's like the phony prohibition on alcohol that has young people drinking hand sanitizer to get around the 21 year old drinking age.
       You'd think the 'professionals' determined to save us from ourselves would have thought of all this.
$100 for a pack of cigarettes? New Zealand may up price in order to stamp out butts  - NY Daily News

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Romney Crushes What's Left of Opposition in Five Primaries

   Mitt Romney has won five Northeast primaries against what is now token opposition. Mr. Romney is virtually assured the GOP nomination.
    The only mystery is the running mate.

Witness: John Edwards Labels Pregnant Mistress a "Crazy Slut"

   It was only some astute voters in Ohio who kept John Edwards from being a "heartbeat away."
John Edwards trial: Harvard Law graduate daughter is defense's secret weapon | Mail Online

State Nabs 65,081 for Distracted Driving in 2012

      The register is ringing as the state goes on a Jihad to write texting while driving tickets...One officer wrote eight in one hour !
       Maybe the cops could text topless photos of female officers to unsuspecting motorists and when they look at them....GOTCHA !
State Nabs 65,081 for Distracted Driving in 2012 | Politics on the Hudson

Greene Says Her First NY Vote in a While Goes to Santorum

     Longshot GOP Congressional hopefule Kellie Greene says she voted for former PA Senator Rick Santorum in todays NY Presidential primary.
     Ms. Greene, who just registered to vote in NY last fall announced her support even though Mr. Santorum's campaign is suspended due to the apparent lock Mitt Romney has on the nomination.
     Only Republicans vote in today's primary...One of five being held today.
      I texted GOP front runner Matt Doheny to see who he supported today. I will let you know when I know.
UPDATE- Matt told the WDT he won't reveal his vote. I don't blame him, as you have to say Romney even if you don't like him...It's what you have to do as the establishment candidate.
Greene to vote for Santorum - News Notebook by Chris Morris - | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Blowtorch Burglars Target Pizzeria ATM

   Wow, that's pretty brazen for whatever amount of money is in an ATM machine....Granted it might be several thousand dollars assuming the burglars with blowtorches had the sense to know when the machine  was filled..
     Used to be you would rob a liquor store....But crooks go where the money is and today that must be ATMs.
Blowtorch Burglars Target Pizzeria ATM | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Ubiquitous Commenter on Local Politics....Does MCM Make a Difference ?

    A year ago Mike Flynn (self proclaimed Middle Class Mike) was a regular contributor to the local paper as an advocate for Councilman Smith in the Mayor's race. Mr. Flynn took to blogs and talk shows as well with a strong evisceration of your's truly and he  became ubiquitous in the process.
    MCM's candidate didn't win, and some have argued that MCM's acerbic advocacy was so over the top it may have done more harm than good. Who know's ? He is a bright and engaging talker, who keeps it interesting.
     This year MCM has set his sights on the relection of Rep. Bill Owens and his target to rip is likely GOP challenger Matt Doheny.
    He is beating the drum on the the issue of Doheny's purported smooch in a DC restaurant that other local media have generally ignored. Mr. Flynn has gone as far as ripping one media baron who was his ally last year. MCM is openly criticising the WDT and its Managing Editor, Bob Gorman. MCM contends the media needs to demand a press conference on the dinner in DC.
     As for me, I have no beef with Bob this year. Heck, his household even has a "Mayor's Bar" t-shirt. The irony of MCM's attacks on the local media doesn't escape me though.
                                         FACEBOOK PHOTO of MCM
 It reminds me of the old adage in politics, that if you don't like the way things are, just wait a minute and it will all change.
(15) Mike Flynn

WDT: Local Governments Look for New Banks

   The biggest stash of cash in local government will be doing its banking with First Niagara when HSBC pulls out of town in the coming months. Jefferson County Treasurer Karen Christie says the lack of a Niagara branch in the city will cause no problems as most tranactions are on line.
    First Niagara bought most of HSBC's upstate branches, but in Jefferson County only acquired Evans Mills and Carthage, with Community Bank grabbing the rest.
     Local governments are choosing different options in finding a new bank to deal with.
Watertown Daily Times | Local governments go bank shopping

WDT: County Leg and Sheriff Burying the Hatchet ?

     Long standing rivalries between the Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson County administration underscores the lawsuit issue.
     The Sheriff is elected and is not a direct report to the County Leg or its hired administrator. However, all the dollars used to run the department and the dollars used to defend and perhaps settle the suit are appropriated by the County government.
      Now that the suit has garnered international coverage, counsel may be hired to preside over it, although the County does maintain its own in house counsel.
       Given the publcity over women's issues this year and the issue of workplace harassment in general, it won't be long before some national media wants to cover it.
        Of course, alleging something and proving it are two different things, so we will see what happens.

Watertown Daily Times | Internal battles present hurdles in Jefferson County’s response to lawsuit

Oops ! Sheriff's Scandal Makes it to the UK

   The popular British on-line tabloid, the Daily Mail, has picked up and run with the Topless Deputy storty.
     The tale of the Jefferson County cop who posed topless for a scheme to catch predators has made it big time.
      Female deputy sues for $50m after topless photos of her used in pedophile internet sting were not returned | Mail Online

Monday, April 23, 2012

Comity Reigns as Council Holds an Extra Meeting

    An adjourned session to discuss recreation fees and city manager applicants led to an Era of Good Feeling as four lawmakers and the City Manager retired to Pete's after the meeting for socialization.....
    To me, that's a good thing, as Monday's session was productive. Council adjourned to next Monday to continue deliberations on it's choice of a new manager.

My Day Includes Trip to Library and Hosting Student Intern at City Hall

    A student intern stopped at City Hall today to learn about what the mayor does. Savannah Gabriel wants to pursue a career in politics...So why not come see the area''s premier political hobbyist.

Later in the day I visited the Library after chatting with City Manager Krol about budget issues.  At the Library, I joined the Friends of the Library and ran into Congressional candidate Matt Doheny. Also there was Senator Ritchie. Of course the political flacks were there too...newly minted Senate PR hack Sarah Compo and veteran campaign hack Jude Seymour were there too.

County Ponders Sheriff Department Investigation

   While City Council tonight will deal with the weighty issue of chair rentals at the Fairgrounds,  county lawmakers will huddle under the cone of silence to discuss the $50M topless deputy lawsuit.
    All things considered, I am content to talk about the chairs.
County Ponders Sheriff Department Investigation | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Race Shapes Up for Newly Minted NY 21

   The stage is set for at least a three way, possibly a four way race for Congress in NNY.
    Green Party hopeful and local gadfly Donald Hassig has made the ballot as have Rep. Bill Owens and Matt Doheny.  Sackets Harbor resident Kellie Greene is contesting Mr. Doheny for the GOP line. Mr. Doheny is already on the Conservative and Independence Party lines.
     Republican prospects for wresting the seat center on unifying the R-C and I lines, while hoping the Green nominee siphons votes in the college towns.
      The GOP is hoping the three new counties on the east end of the district will hold to their registration numbers and produce margins. Democrats hope to define their opponent in unfavorable terms to those new voters who know neither Mr. Owens or Mr. Doheny.
      While most expect Mr. Doheny to win the GOP primary in June, observers will be looking at Ms. Greene's numbers as an indicator of a gender gap. That falls short of a War on Women, but its clear Dems plan to play the gender card nationally and locally this year.

Drumbeat Over Wage Hike Says Volumes

   With the budget over with and time on their hands, Legislators in Albany will have to do something between now and June 24 when session ends for the summer.....One of the bills likely to pass is the minimum wage hike to $8.50 an hour.
    There is a drumbeat like this NYDN editorial and the relative silence on the matter of the Governor and the Senate Majority Leader sends a message that its time to cave.
     With the price of everything going up, business owners will have to decide whether to cut hours, make less themselves or raise prices.
      As a veteran Albany watcher, I can sense a bone being thrown to Shelly after the perceived slight over pension reform.
Increase New York’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour - NY Daily News

WDT: Rural America Looks for Firemen

    As a former newsman, I covered my share of rural and small town fires and saw the dedication of volunteer firemen, but I can see why its getting tougher and tougher to field a team when the bell rings.
     Volunteer squads are actively recruiting, but today's lifestyles and attitudes work against the effort. It's a lot of time, training and risk for people with jobs, families and a sense that such things are government's job.
      The day's of hopping off the tractor when the siren sounds to go help a neighbor are over and I am not sure what the solution is.

Watertown Daily Times | Firefighters use open house to recruit

Cartagena and Columbia Trade Image of Violence for Love, Albeit for Hire

     The nice beaches and historic architecture may be what's on the Chamber of Commerce brocure, but it's girls, girls, girls that  is now the image of the Columbian city of Cartagena.
      Legal prostitutes everywhere is what you would think from the MSM coverage of the city since the Secret Service sex scandal eclipsed the President's trip to a conference of leaders from around the Hemisphere.
        I am sure there is more to do than party, but look at the bright side...No one is talking about the Columbian drug wars and the violence of Pablo Escabar anymore.
Cartagena’s night life spelled trouble for Secret Service - The Washington Post

Winter Returns for a Brief Encore

    After essentially no winter, our least favorite season has roared back  with a bit of snow to be seen out my window although rising temperatures and rain should wash it away quickly. There will be more snow in some areas of upstate NY.
     Just a temporary setback though and no need to break out the snowblower. It's just a reminder of how weather can vary and a chance to tell friends at work how you can remember how it once showed on Mother's Day.
Powerful, Cold Storm Targets the Northeast

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Powerful, Cold Storm Targets the Northeast

    Looks like our early Spring comes to a halt for a few days, but the weather hyperbole will make it seem far worse....did you hear we are getting 12 to 18 inches ( we are not) ?  Remember when we got two feet on Mother's Day (we didn't)?
    It's going to be cold and rainy for a few days as a storm meanders up the East Coast.   Good time to stay in your neighborhood tavern and enjoy the company of friends and the Devil's Brew.
Powerful, Cold Storm Targets the Northeast

Jets cheerleader wannabes prefer Tim Tebow to Mark Sanchez -

      Mark Sanchez continues to become an afterthought, as I predicted...The Sun is shining on the JETS new "backup" quarterback, Tim Tebow....
      Even at the JETS cheerleader tryouts this week, it was all about "Tebowing" and not about the ostensible starting quarterback...      
Jets cheerleader wannabes prefer Tim Tebow to Mark Sanchez -

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner Holds Taxes With "Spin Up" Aid

      A nuance of this year's budget in Albany is helping NY cities hold the line on taxes this year but underlying problems remain. In Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is proposing no increase in property taxes based on a $21M one time "spin-up" on state aid that does not have to be repaid. For Watertown, that number is $3.1M.
     If managed carefully the funds can help cities get over the peak of the pension bubble which peaks in 2015 with employer contributions for some workers cresting at 32% of payroll before slowly receding in subsequent years.
      NY mayors have been vocal this year in the bid for pension reform which achieved some success in passage of the Tier 6 plan.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner proposes no tax hike in city budget |

Army dumps Nugent from concert after Obama remarks

    Entertainers who decide to emote politics have to realize it can affect the pocket book.
    Ardent Republican and Motor City Madman Ted Nugent has lost a gig playing at an Army post after his inflammatory comments about the President led to a visit from the Secret Service (although those visits have a snicker factor these days too).
     I don't believe Nugent is on the summer fare for the Fairgrounds here in Watertown.
Army dumps Nugent from concert after Obama remarks -

Philips Introduces $60 LED Light Bulb for Earth Day

   Some things just the day I woke up and you could no longer buy a phonograph record. So it is with the ubiquitous light bulb we all use and changed on a regular basis.
   Then it was the compact flourescent, more expensive and supposedly longer lasting and more energy efficient, except if you broke one it was poisonous.
    Night these fancy LED bulbs, even more expensive and supposedly lasting across generations. People will probably start stealing them.
      Today is Earth Day, so we must do something nice for the environment. Recently I bought a small desk lamp using a bunch of LED's. Now it's in the Rodman landfill as the little lights started pulsating like a disco without the music.
     Now I have a new light with a round flourescent tube and its working fine.
     I will wait to buy the $60 bulb.

BBC News - US introduces $60 LED light bulb

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