Saturday, September 1, 2012

Brisk Trade on First Night at the New Pete's

     UPDATE: In a text from the Restaurant high command, I was told a bar menu with various sandwiches and the like will be available "down the road" for those not interested in fancy dishes.
     Restaurant critic I am not, although I do eat out a bit, so I will weigh in first on the New Pete's Trattoria and Pizzaria owned by chef Geoff Puccia.
     On the approach up Breen Avenue, diners are greeted with a new black sign that better contrasts with the deep red siding. Plants out front and a remade entranceway greet customers looking for sumptuous without the patina of corporate dining.

Matt and Mary Doheny Among Many Greeting Bartender Johnny Tufo on First Night
    Inside, a clean, freshly painted look and a greeting by a chalk board with specials in colored chalk that compliments the pale gray walls and black trim, punctuated by black and white photos the owner took while in Italy.
    Johnny Tufo was bartending and was affable but not as easy on the eyes as Caitlyn or Callie.  Alcohol selection was limited as the license came late Friday, but the merlot was fine with a spacious bouquet wafting into the slightly over air conditioned air.
     Now to the menu...did it change ?  I had the old one memorized and the new one is different although it is a work in progress I am sure.
     There are no sandwiches. No hamburgers, sausage, veal, chicken...Ooohh...That means I need to be open minded....
    Pork Osso Bucco ?  Sicilian Cod ? Utica Greens ?  Oh, that's OK, I know where Utica is and I love the City.
    There is veal and chicken parm, steak, ribs and the ever popular Ralphie Wings.
    Calimari described as "tubes and tenticles"...Salad and bread were great.
    Oh, they have pizza...I know what that is...
    All of this requires more study than the first blush I got tonight...I will check it out further Sunday night....
   They did keep the WiFi which is handy for those who like to be connected while eating. I am surprised more places don't offer it.
   

Ritchie: House Parole Violators At Dry Hill Prison

   It seems logical but that doesn't mean it will happen...Vacant beds at the Dry Hill state prison while down the hill, Sheriff Burns pays to outboard county inmates elsewhere.
   Senator Ritchie says an inmate is an inmate and why not use the local beds...Makes some sense, but the bureaucrats and lawyers will fight it.
    Its like the other day I was over at a state agency discussing rural water systems. The task was explaining to a newcomer to town why a pipe was built 25 miles to service Glen Park from Cape Vincent, when City water was only a couple of miles away. The answer was that at the time, town officials wanted to make sure they weren't drinking city water....Honestly, that was the answer...
    It's kind of like the Creekwood school mess where General Brown insists on those kids on the City's northside while the kids moving into new housing on Route 202 have to go the other way to Watertown, even though they are close to Brownville and Sackets.
     It's a full time job explaining the workings of government.
     The Senator's proposal makes sense on the surface, but don't look for the system to embrace it.
Ritchie: House Parole Violators At Dry Hill Prison | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Special prosecutor will probe Lopez - NYPOST.com

   Albany is still abuzz over their latest errant lawmaker...Queen's Assemblyman Vito Lopez who now faces a criminal probe over the circumstances surrounding a once secret settlement of sexual harassment charges by two Assembly employees.
   The $135K payoff including over 100K in taxpayer money was secretly approved in June but since surfacing has become controversial.
    Mr. Lopez won't leave office but certainly looks the part.


Special prosecutor will probe Lopez - NYPOST.com

Veteran Syracuse TV anchor Jackie Robinson to retire

      Congrats to a fixture of local TV news who is retiring next week. Channel 3's Jackie Robinson is wrapping up a 34 year career. She is a North Syracuse native who graduated from SU.
       Veteran Syracuse TV anchor Jackie Robinson to retire | syracuse.com#incart_river_default#incart_river_default

Friday, August 31, 2012

Capitol Confidential » Pension costs for public employees up 11 percent plus

       It's no secret to readers here, but the NYS Comptroller has released employer contribution rates for the coming year for the pension system.
        Local governments must now contribute 20.9% of payroll to the pension fund in order to sustain current year benefits. For uniformed services, the rate is over 28%.
         That means the top paid member of the Watertown PD, a lieutenant who earned over $95K last year will result in taxpayers paying roughly $27K more on behalf of that officer to the pension fund.
        While the new Tier Six plan may help contain costs long term, local governments are in an era of significant hikes in pension costs for coming years.
Much of the pension hikes are exempt from the property tax cap, so the two percent ceiling will not be two percent in many cities, towns and villages.


Capitol Confidential » Pension costs for public employees up 11 percent plus

MSNBC’s Matthews, New York GOPers shout at each other

      Angry and liberal MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews got into a heated exchange with New York delegates Friday morning as the GOP convention was disbanding.
     Wonder if Don Coon was nearby ? The Jefferson County party boss was part of the NY delegation.
MSNBC’s Matthews, GOPers shout at each other - Erik Wemple - The Washington Post

Wimpy Romney Aides Scratch Their Heads Over Eastwood’s Speech

   The Romney campaign is so vanilla...so not bold...They put Clint Eastwood out there for a crusty endorsement which I thought was funny and well done...Then because the Chris Matthews crowd feigns outrage and says it was racist (I am sure they will say it if not already). Could be part of the War on Women too.
    Now team Romney is skampering away from the move and acting like it was no one's idea.
    Man up Mitt !....
Romney Aides Scratch Their Heads Over Eastwood’s Speech - NYTimes.com

Friday Night in Fun City

      On the night before Pete's reopens I stopped by the Breen Ave. eaterie and ran into John from Blackstone Electric and a fellow from Hyde-Stone...All getting final touches in place for Saturday's opening. Sawcases of wine and beer as they got their license today.
     I was going to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings tonight as they advertise WiFi, which I need to work on the blog during dinner. Unfortunately, it wouldn't work properly or stay connected, so I had half a beer and left. I went to the Kilt where the Internet does work.
     Someone ask why I don't go to Panera Bread....It's nothing to do with waitresses, but if I am having dinner, I want a  cocktail. Besides, they are outside the City.
     Anyway, there is a decent crowd here.
     Oh, I also stopped and filled the Jeep with gas and we are back in the $50+ tanks.
I have been trying to be green but its a funny thing...Using the scooter this summer means getting the Jeep out rarely....but everytime I do it seems to need gas...Wonder if someone is siphoning me.
      Had a guy acost me at the recycling center today as he was mad at the City Hall coverup of Air Brake pollution because he heard about it in the media...Oh really...if it was such a big deal, how come the MSM never showed any interest. I have been at City Hall in 17 of the last 21 years...No one is involved in a cover up.
    If the state DEC is not being as forthcoming as some would like, that is worth discussing..But the talk of a City Hall coverup is political theater. Anyway we expect a crowd Tuesday night and with no A/C at City Hall, things could get hot.....Like the courtroom scene in Inherit the Wind. Better get some hand fans.
    

WDT: We Opine Against Texting While Driving

   The Times is against texting while driving. Glad they helped us out forming that opinion.
Watertown Daily Times | Texting and driving

Final Touches on Pete's Prior to Saturday

   Looks like the new Pete's will indeed be open by Saturday...Some scrambling by Senator Ritchie's office to help with licensing and a flurry of paint brushes has given Geoff Puccia the chance to open his own place in a location with a built in clientele.
   It is exciting to start and run your own business.
    Now he can start saying "I built this business", unless you are in the company of Dems.

The Journal | Experts skeptical of Ritchie’s tax-cutting figures

    Politicians just can't help themselves when it comes to claiming to have lowered taxes and now the snarks are circling around a Senator Ritchie mailer making such claims.
    Nobody believes taxes really go down when spending is going up. Why not make the more plausible case for reelection and that is the need for upstate-based GOP control of the Senate and the Senator's clear affinity for the lives of the people who live here ? Her appeal, as it was with her predecessor, is that she is one of us.
     Sometimes the simple answers are the best.
    
    

The Journal | Experts skeptical of Ritchie’s tax-cutting figures

New York Jets score first touchdown of preseason in 28-10 loss to Philadelphia Eagles - NYPOST.com

  
 The good news is the preseason touchdown draught has ended for the JETS....unfortunately it took the team's third string QB to log the six points....
    Meanwhile the JETS are done with a perfect oh and four string and look for the new paradigm to take shape September 9 against the Bills.
      New York Jets score first touchdown of preseason in 28-10 loss to Philadelphia Eagles - NYPOST.com

Florists for Romney ?....They Should be After Last Night

    Mitt Romney endeared himself to florists last night with the anecdote about how his father, George Romney, would give his wife a rose every day for their 64 year marriage.
     Can you imagine how rich Scott Gray would be if every husband did that ?
Special Programming - Romney: Dad gave mom a rose every night - YouTube

Al Gore Calls for End of Electoral College

   As always happens about this time, someone is proposing an end to the Electoral College system of selecting a President. Al Gore now says its time to scrap the system because he says many states are disenfranchised.
    Since amending the Constitution is unlikely (38 states would have to ratify it), although there are efforts to get around the system by other means.
     Leave it as it is. Mr. Gore was dealt a tough hand in 2000, but that's the system and any close race involving 130 million voters is going to leave the loser second guessing.
Al Gore Calls for End of Electoral College - National Journal Staff - NationalJournal.com

Romney Moves on to the Final Campaign With Convention Wind at His Back

      Declaring the time has come to turn the page, MItt Romney accepted his party's nomination for President although, I have to admit I missed it.
      Before the speech I texted another blogger that I was going to watch the acceptance speech...and I did watch the biographical movie...the rambling but rivoting speech by screen legeng Clint Eastwood...the intro by Senator Marco Rubio...
     Then a few minutes into the Romney speech I dozed off and didn't wake till it was over and the MSNBC crowd was declaring it a failure and Eastwood a joke.
     I am sure it went better than that, although bemusement over Eastwood seemed to dominate th post speech chatter.
     So you can comment here and we will see what the Dems bring next week.
Mitt Romney RNC speech: ‘The time has come to turn the page’ - POLITICO.com

Thursday, August 30, 2012

State Goes After Credit Card Records

      With some businesses now doing virtually all their sales on plastic, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is seeking to ensure full reporting of retail sales by requiring the sales tax forms include all credit card sales for the quarter.
     One would suppose they feel they can extrapolate total sales from that and reduce the amount of unreported sales tax.
    With cash sales, the only way to police the issue was by trying to compare inventory bought to total sales. That prompted a couple of years back, in my industry, reporting of purchases from the beer and liquor vendors. Of course, that effort didnt' include the out of system purchases, so the credit car reporting, they hope will zero in more on retailers.
    While a cashless society is convenient, it's also very traceable...And in the end, the expression "cash is king" is always valid. Until they get rid of cash...

WDT: Doheny Backs Romney (No Surprise)...Wants Owens to Embrace Obama

   Banking on his own polling showing Mitt Romney likely to win in NY-21, Congressional candidate Matt Doheny is trying to press Rep. Bill Owens by endorsing Romney and asking the Congressman if he is supporing his party's nominee.
   So far many Democrats have steered clear of President Obama, even avoiding the DNC next week in Charlotte.
    Coattails from Mr. Romney...a drag from Mr. Obama...that's the theory.
    In the end Mr. Owens will have to be seen backing his party's nominee but it will be one of those Friday evening stories for sure.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

New York State Parks visitation Up 2.3 million in 2012 | NBC-WKTV News Channel 2 - Utica News, Weather, Sports - | Local News

   Attendance at state parks is up this year by 5.6%....Before the Cuomo administration takes too much credit, let's give a shout out to Mother Nature for the phenominal weather.
   New York State Parks visitation Up 2.3 million in 2012 | NBC-WKTV News Channel 2 - Utica News, Weather, Sports - | Local News

Gorman:" Hey, even a human/gorilla/warthog hybrid has feelings"...Response to Hassig Missive

    Enigmatic and some say crazy Green Party Congressional candidate Donald Hassig has engaged in a war of words with the always wordy WDT Managing Editor Bob Gorman.
    Mr. Hassig has called Mr G a "human/gorilla/warthog hybrid"
    While Mr. Hassig's observations, platform and demeanor leave something to be desired, I also know even the blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn.
     The exchange is refreshing. Keep it coming. It's much more interesting than a UPS driver or a recitation from memory of nearly 200 towns     
Watertown Daily Times | Hey, even a human/gorilla/warthog hybrid has feelings, too

Pete's Facelift Nearing Completion

      Bartender Callie busy cleaning in newly painted bar at Pete's Trattori and Pizzaria due to open Saturday. Insiders say there are already about 30 reservations but details of the new menu are not yet available (to me).
      A new color scheme in the bar and dining room and some other minor changes are evident.
      As for tonight, I haven't decided where to eat.

The Journal | Doheny outlines aggressive outreach approach

   If elected, Matt Doheny says he will be more aggressive on constituent outreach than Rep. Bill Owens. Part of his plan is to have an office in each of 12 counties, although some may be shared with other legislators.
    I ask about what people in a Hamilton County office would do all day and was for the moment considered more snarky than the Times lad.
     Mr. Doheny also plans on numerous town meetings.
     He has been energetic in his campaign regimen and is able to recite the names of all towns and villages in the 21st District.
     Most people don't know who their Congressman is and being everywhere in this district plus tending to DC duties is no small task.


The Journal | Doheny outlines aggressive outreach approach

Tonight May Be More Important Than the Debates

   Mitt Romney has it all on the line tonight as he accepts the GOP nomination in a speech in Tampa, and while he has been on the scene for some time, Mr. Romney has a chance to tie it all together  this evening for a large national audience.
    Ultimately its a referendum on President Obama, but for people thinking of a change, they have to feel good about the alternative. Mr. Romney has taken a summer full of incoming and his image has suffered...
    For the persuadable souls out there, tonight might be the moment....If it isn't, look forward to a static race with the President clinging to a slim lead.
    So far the convention has worked well, but in the end people vote for President and that's why tonight matters.

Tonight May Be More Important Than the Debates - Charlie Cook - NationalJournal.com

WDT: Russell Defends Speaker on Hush-Hush Deal to Buy off Victims

       When you are in a party, you sometimes defend anything because you have to. The payoff of victims of sexual harassment in the office of a downstate Assemblyman is an afront to taxpayers.
        Assemblywoman Addie Russell says confidential settlements are common and she is right...they are...and they are wrong when public dollars are involved. Hush agreements are not something appropriate for public agencies.
       There are certainly times for discretion and we all exercise that routinely...but when its public dollars, transparency is needed....
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Deferiet Saves Its Post Office

     Deferiet has saved its zip code and its post office and as a means of preserving identity and convenience, its a great accomplishment.
     One wonders if they will come again for a little spot like this in the future, but for now it's a win.
      The Postal Service is in money trouble and incremental changes like dinging a small village will not turn the train around.  It may help, but ultimately some kind of big change is needed, like two day a week delivery....And a year after it happens, nobody will remember why they wanted six days a week.
Deferiet Saves Its Post Office | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Air Brake Legacy Still Debated

    A crowd is expected at Tuesday's Council meeting as a group that recently met at the North Side League is beating the drum for the City to take up their cause in a dispute with the state over pollution monitoring on and near the NY Air Brake site.
    A rep from activist Erin Bronkovich was in town of late suggesting there is a cover up and that City Hall is involved.
    Actually that's not true, but I have asked staff to meet with DEC officials prior to next week to gain a better understanding of what, if any, threat there is to public health.
    The state says a series of tests in 2008 showed no significant problem.
    Years ago pollution to nearby creeks did happen, prompting a cleanup. Some residents say the residue of that era has caused them health problems.

Congressional Candidate Arrested for Disturbance Outside Watertown City Hall

    Crazy-like-a-fox Congressional candidate Donald Hassig brought his eclectic campaign to Watertown yesterday, getting arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance in front of City Hall by playing a stereo loud and waving his arms at passers by.
    Mr. Hassig was arrested recently for the same thing in Colton and was escorted out of the State Fair earlier this week.
     The arrests force media coverage and resulting publicity for a candidate with no money for advertising but capable of drawing protest votes in what is considered one of the swing races for Congress.
     Some have speculated Mr. Hassig functions as either a planted or unintended stalking horse to draw liberal votes to the Green line, thus helping challenger Matt Doheny. I am not sure it's that simple, and media insiders widely believe Mr. Hassig to just being an obstreperous nuisance unable to play by the usual rules which are raise millions and buy ads.
     Is Mr. Hassig a third party candidate raising issues no one else will or is he making light of the serious candidates he is competing against.
     Who knows, but I do hope he accepts that debate invitation in Glens Falls.
     

Congressional Candidate Arrested for Disturbance Outside Watertown City Hall

Republican National Convention attendee given boot for racially taunting black CNN camerawoman - NY Daily News

    A chip-on-his-shoulder liberal reporter let go from NBC for his antics has managed to manufacture the requisite race story for his new employer, CNN.
    David Shuster reports an attendee at the RNC "taunted" a black camerawoman saying someone threw nuts at her, saying "this is how we feed the animals."
     Some people think the press (media jackyls) are animals so it may not have been racial, but in any event little, stupid vignettes like this are illustrative of nothing.
Republican National Convention attendee given boot for racially taunting black CNN camerawoman - NY Daily News

WDT: Hassig invited to Glens Falls debate

    Will he show up ? Probably not, but it's a good thing that Green Party Congressional candidate Donald Hassig is invited to the Chamber of Commerce debate slated for late September in scenic Glens Falls.
     It's a nice gesture that any candidate of a party with ballot status gets to take part.
    Watertown Daily Times | Hassig invited to Glens Falls debate

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Keynote Speech, Christie Asks Country to Face Hard Truths - NYTimes.com

     Day one (really two) of the GOP convention brought nominees confirmed for President and VP....
     Keynoter Chris Christie delivered the tough love message about the tough decisions ahead that he says the current administration is stepping over....
    Mainly the size and bloat of government and the concurrent deficits hanging over us.
    Governor Christie says this generation cannot lanquish in its creature comforts and must step up as the previous "greatest generation" did before us.
    It was a foreboding speech deliver with intensity...But its a message worth hearing.


In Keynote Speech, Christie Asks Country to Face Hard Truths - NYTimes.com

WDT: WDT's e-edition Debuts Sept. 5......Pay Wall a Month Later

      As the Post Standard cuts its print editions, the WDT says it will unveil an "e edition" on September 5. While ultimately a pay product, it will be free at first and will I guess be like looking at the print pages, only its on line.
     According to this article, a group of "insiders" reviewed the product last week and loved it.
     Who am I to judge, but I guess I along with everyone else will judge when the outsiders get a peek next week.  I'd price it at $19.95 a quarter..It sounds more affordable and less of a commitment for something so new.
Watertown Daily Times | WDT's e-edition rolls off assembly line Sept. 5

WDT: Timeless Frames CEO to host fundraiser for Owens

      Part of being in business is either staying out politics or backing the incumbents...Picture frame magnate Lisa Weber is hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Bill Owens at her riverside home near Dexter, so she has decided to take sides....I like people who take sides, so I guess I like her, even though I will be missing this soire.
      Couple months back she hosted one for Sen. Patty Ritchie.
      Most of the wheeler dealers give money to all sides, but this particular captain of industry should fit the GOP template if you look at her business....Ms. Weber is also an Athena Award winner but I am not sure what that has to do with Amaral's story unless he is prepared to tell us the preference of all Athenas.
Watertown Daily Times | Timeless Frames CEO to host fundraiser for Owens

Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics

      The only political sages I have met who are attending the GOP convention are Roger Stone and Liz Benjamin. Since Liz is bound by the media she works for to utter the more conventional, I enjoy reading about what Roger is up to.
     He is supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson for President and has stories to tell from conventions back to 1964 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
      I met Roger when he was helping Kristin Davis with her bid for ballot status in the 2010 race for Governor....Roger and few others anticipated the mayhem the Rent's Too High guy would cause for third party hopefuls and frankly, Davis past endeavors were too close in the mirror for many voters...
       The time I met him was at a hotel on Long Island at the debate....All business all the time and his business is politics. He even ask me a couple questions about the Taylor Law so he could say without guilt that I had advised him on issues. 
       There's three people I met who I learned a lot about politics from....Roger, Jim Wright and Indy State Chair Frank MacKay......I make no qualitative or moral judgments about what I learned. *
* I will give an honorable mention to Middle Class Mike.

Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics -- Daily Intel

Post Standard....Another Canary in the Coal Mine

         There are a lot of things that have changed in our lifetimes and the dissemination of news is no different.
          Bowing to the emerging relalities of the publishing industry, the venerable Syracuse Post Standard announced its print editions will be only three times a week starting in January as more and more of the news business migrates to electronic media.
         It started with radio...then television, which basicly took out the afternoon dailies...then the Internet with on line aggregators and news sources themselves proving a more convenient method of delivery for even the most stuck-in-the-past consumers.
         P/S officials said today to not change would ensure failure, although one wonders whether a hybrid of print and on-line really has a future beyond a period of transition.
         Old habits die hard and the publishing poobahs have varied in their response to the Internet. Some embraced it...Some resented the free enterprise nature of it and the use of their product in an environment beyond their control.
         I guess this begs the question of what happens in NNY ? Beats me, but you can be sure there will be no Old Newsboys Day in 20 years as there will be none left.
        Anyway, I remember going to the newsstand in downtown Rochester when growing up....It was neat to see all the out of town papers even if they were days old...And I remember seeing the kids from the ghetto buying one paper from the box and then taking the whole stack to sell them on the street....
       There's a lot of things that just will not be the same....The consolation is back then I couldn't have blog read by great people like you.
The Post-Standard cutting delivery to homes to 3 days a week - NewsChannel 9 WSYR

WDT: There's More to Being a Working Family Than Driving a Brown Truck

    If our two millionaire candidates for Congress are going to try and connect with us, they will have to do more than don a brown shirt (remember when Brown Shirts were bad people) and ride around delivering small packages.
     They could work in a nursing home and try to make the best of a situation that always turns out bad.....they could pose as someone on full SSI who is working under the table for a contractor.....they could juggle three jobs....they could spend six months in a God forsaken country being shot at....they could own a small business and not take a dime this week because you had to make payroll....they could be a principal who wants to smack the little bastards but can't......or how about a farm worker, where you always smell like cow no matter how hard you try...
     There are endless things our candidates could do between now and November 6 to prove they are one of us.
      Truth is they are not one of us....They are trying to be the one in 800,000 who gets the letters 'Rep' in front of his name....
      Show us how you will do that job.
Watertown Daily Times | Owens delivers

Republicans turn to Chris Christie to jump-start their party - NYPOST.com

   The blustery and popular governor of New Jersey holds one of the keys to GOP success this year. Gov. Chris Christie will be watched by many tonight as he delivers the keynote speech at the RNC and kicks off a three day roll out of the Republican national ticket.
    Governor Christie has the bar set high as his rhetorical flourishes have puncuated his three years in Trenton.
     Christie reading the riot act must be followed by strong speeches this week by Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney as Americans begin to focus for real on the race for the White House.
Republicans turn to Chris Christie to jump-start their party - NYPOST.com

Doheny, Owens Differ on Unemployment....

     As an employer, I understand unemployment insurance and how it's supposed to be funded and how it's become a way of life for some and a system sometimes gamed.
      Matt Doheny says 99 week unemployment crosses the line from social safety net to being a comfortable hammock , while opponent Bill Owens says tough times make extended unemployment necessary.
       Mr. Doheny says during his hundred business tour he learned how employers are dinged for higher insurance rates by people quitting or getting fired and then hopping on the unemployment carousel where there is little scrutiny about claims.
       He didn't need a tour, because as an Alex Bay native, he knows how unemployment has become a way of life but also a way for employers to keep seasonal employees.
       For Mr. Owens, supporting 99 weeks is part of the social safety net....trying to tide people over because all the talk of creating jobs is just that. Mr. Owens has always worked for law firms and probably never been galled by someone who walked off a job a year ago, and is still able to submit a claim against your account.
        Meanwhile, Mr. Owens did try to gain insight into the non-lawyer working world on Monday by tagging along with a UPS driver. He is not doing it today, I presume...Hope he doesn't file a claim.
Doheny, Owens talk about unemployment benefits

WDT: School District Rallies Around the Notion That Boundaries Trump Students

     A student at IHC wants to take an advanced physics course offered at Watertown High School and his parents are willing to pay out of district tuition, but he is not allowed to because he lives across an imaginary line that may not mean much to parents but is sacrosanct to administrators. Am I reading this right ?
      This is in the news in part because the young man has well-to-do parents, but really...what harm is there in parents seeking to do something extra for their kids ? Well, what's wrong is that once you violate the santity of district boundaries, who knows what might start happening  This is the slippery slope towards an la carte education tailored to an individual student and a rejection that the world as we know it is divided into districts.
       Imagine where this could lead. Those kids to live in Creekwood might start being allowed to go to the school across the street instead of being bussed to the one five miles away.
        It's heresy I tell you.

Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Japanese competitive eater stuffs down 110 hot dogs at the New York State Fair

   In a society where just about all kinds of unhealthy food is verbotten, why do we venerate a contest where a guy eats 110 hot dogs in ten minutes. Why does the Mayor of NY preside over such things while he wants to ban big sodas ?
   Are there any stomach doctors out there...this can't be good for you.
    I call on Senator Schumer to hold a presser to demand legislation and want the Attorney General to launch a probe....Eating 110 hot dogs has to be worse than bath salts.
Japanese competitive eater stuffs down 110 hot dogs at the New York State Fair | syracuse.com#incart_river_default

City Councilwoman Hot Over Careless Motorist

    Nothing worse than lack of A/C on a muggy day like today...At City Hall, it's warm days ahead for a while as all the air conditioning equipment in the basement and roof is being replaced.
    That should make it all the warmer at the next Council meeting where a big crowd is expected.
            Then it was over to the Brew Ha Ha where Councilwoman Macaluso was musing over her A/C condensor struck by a motorist who was not even a customer...An 18 year old driver who had a mishap on Coffeen Street decided to pull into the business lot to view that damage and proceeded to whack the condensor turning the cramped building into a sauna.
          Apparently the young lady was fleeing when nabbed by another customer...People are grand.

Baby Names Mimic Art

       Gone are Jeff, Joe, Mary, Cathy, Debbie, even Heather and Brittney...No Dakota either.  Fred, Ethel, Beulah and the like are prehistoric.
       The rage in baby names...For girls...Mila, Bristol, Audrina, Adele and Elle...For boys, try Harry, Iker (?) , Kellan, Jenson, and Logan.
        Of course this is the national trend...Locally, hospital reports show people still taking existing monikers and applying funny and unusual spellings.
         Some of this is our love of pop culture and celebrity. Instead of honoring a family tradition, we pick our favorite actress, singer or daughter of a political celebrity.
From One Direction and Mila Kunis to Audrina Partridge and Bristol Palin, the stars inspiring the latest hot baby names | Mail Online

Republicans Compete on the Split Screen With Mother Nature

   Republicans are in Tampa waiting for the rain that comes with being on the distant edge of being near a tropical storm or hurricane......
   Delegates don't have much official to do other than have a good time, but with bad weather approaching New Orleans instead, the split screen world of television news means Republicans can't be seen having too good a time.
    They cancelled their first day of activities and will now be criticised if too ebullient because people are suffering in the lower wards of the Crescent City.
      Four years ago, a hurricane curtailed the GOP convention in Minnesota...Not that the weather there was bad, but you couldn't be seen on the split screen partying while people sat on their roofs a thousand miles away.
      The delegates and pols should enjoy themselves...This is a political vacation and the weather is not their fault and they can't do anything about it.

Party time for Republicans in Tampa despite looming tropical storm - NYPOST.com

10 People Cited Early Saturday with Trespassing at Thompson Park

      As I look back at a life in which more and more things have been made illegal, I remember visiting Thompson Park late at night back in the 70's.
      People in shift work would go there at midnight....and drink beer in the night air.  Couples would "park" at the Lookout. It seemed like hanging out was OK, now its a crime.
      So when a passle of 18 and 19 year olds are arrested for just being in the Park between 9PM and 6AM, I know it's against the law and people that age should not be out at 2AM (or so we have convinced ourselves), but it just doesn't seem that onerous.
      A couple of years back, there was discussion at a Council meeting about easing or eliminating the scheduled closing hours at the Park.  The system fought it bitterly and the idea died on the vine. 
      Back in the day, I can't say I always behaved at age 19, but I was always doing something.......Even if doing something was just hanging out.
       Given all the rules and laws passed since then, I wonder what people that age do to while away the summer these days.

10 People Cited Early Saturday with Trespassing at Thompson Park

Optics Capture the Eye of Political Observers

       Times political scribe Brian Amaral opines on the Congressional race as a contrast in styles between the jocular and the avuncular...The self described salesman Matt Doheny versus the older more staid and statesmanlike Rep. Bill Owens.
        It may have as much to do with the 20 year age difference or the difference in careers, but I guess the stylistic difference may matter.
         Style must be read quickly by voters. There is little or no television coverage of the tick tock of day to day campaigning, and it will be commercials that shape the impressions.
          Photo ops are a window into the soul I suppose....Keep tabs on the Net on the backdrops and activities seen behind the candidates.
            One candidate is at the belly flop contest...one is posing as a UPS driver.....Who needs issues ?

Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Pavillion Gets an Atta Boy from Ag Fans

     The final touch on the JB Wise Parking lot downtown has provided a new home for the Saturday Farmer's Market and hopefully for other activities as well.
      The pavillion located along Black River Parkway was the site Saturday as the agriculture community gathered to celebrate the facility.

New pavilion houses farmers market in Watertown | NCPR News

Jets fail to score a touchdown again in loss to Panthers - NYPOST.com

     The Sanchez-Tebow offense is so far showing little as the JETS completed their third preseason game without a win or even a touchdown      The JETS open against Buffalo on September 9.
Jets fail to score a touchdown again in loss to Panthers - NYPOST.com

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In the Post Pete's Era, the Kilt is Spot for Dinner on Sunday

     Sometimes its good to break a routine and certainly me going to Pete's was a routine....The new owner is renovating and hopes to reopen on Saturday. Meanwhile I had to eat and blog so I came over to the Tilted Kilt which has WiFi.  There are about 40 people here and their TVs are big and sharp...
    The JETS play at 8pm so I want to get a look-see on how bad things seem to by in the Sanchez to Tebow era.

Kilt Waitress Very Pleasant, Albeit More Revealing Than Pete's
     Meanwhile, I got a photo from Geoff Puccia at the new Pete's showing his remake has begun. If it's like anything I ever started, as soon as you repaint, you notice how much the ceiling or floor needs work...but Rome wasn't built in a day and generally Pete's was in pretty good shape.
     As for the menu at the Kilt, they do have chicken wraps which I like.  Tomorrow night, I am invited over to Councilwoman Burns for some chow.
     If you know of other restaurants with WiFi, let me know....I like to stay in touch whereever I am.

Mance to Exit Area to Care for Parents in Western NY

    Long time community leader and businessman Dave Mance is pulling up his final stakes in our area as he sells his home on Tennis Island and moves to a spot on Conesus Lake in western NY. Last year, he sold his Thompson Boulevard home.
     Dave and lovely bride Nancy are returning to where they once lived before coming to NNY where Dave ran radio stations and Nancy was a gym teacher in Carthage.
        Conesus Lake is part of the Finger Lakes and is closer to Dave and Nancy's parents who are in need of assistance.
        Among Dave's notable moments were a wedding photo prank perpetrated against his friends at the WDT and a letter to the editor last fall that likely tipped the mayoral race back in my direction.

Dave Mance (r) as Chamber Director Notes My 25th Year on Pearl Street
       Dave was active in Morning Rotary and in summer camp programs for kids. A former Republican, Dave has in recent years become a disciple of President Obama and with his winter home in Florida had hoped to swing that state's 29 electoral votes that way.
      Dave and Nancy are great friends and he was a great boss...They will be missed.....but fortunately can keep up on NNY through this blog and Newzjunky. 

WDT: Delayed Housing Coming On Line....Reader Raps Housing Initiatives

   Problems with subcontractors and a dispute over a construction exit road into the Town of Pamelia were among the things delaying completion of the first phase of the Creekwood housing project on the City's north edge. A second phase is expected to start in the Fall resulting in a total of 200 units.
    The building of housing for Fort Drum and others is a priority for local officials but at least one commenter to the WDT had a decidely different view in this morning's on-line edition of the paper.

By fedupwithdrum Sat., Aug. 25 at 6:33 pm
Don't tell me all for the fort drum trash right??? I am so sick of these soldiers ruining this town. We have more violence and welfare programs thanks to them being here. All they do here is take all the housing and leave the run down dumps after they are through with them. Fed up with this douche hole town!!! Screw these scalping landlords with all there freaking rules. I am having my own home FINALLY!!! STAR WOOD ,KELSEY DUMP CREEK AND SUMMIT CAN ALL KISS IT!!!! AND ALL THE OTHER FRIGGIN SLUM LORDS IN THIS SOLDIER TOWN!!!!sick of paying taxes here for fat azzzed soldiers wives and 10 kids and welfare trash with every free program they can get here. Welfare ,soldier town is all this place is anymore. OH WOW!! Fort Slum all they added to this community is TROUBLE AND PART TIME BURGER FLIPPING ,RETAIL TRASH JOBS ...BIG DEAL!!!! THEY NEED TO CLOSE THIS BASE AND WATCH THE SLUM LORDS AND THE REST OF THIS ..GOD FORSAKEN WHOLE OF A TOWN BECOME A GHOST TOWN,.... I CAN'T WAIT CAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN EVENTUALLY...LOL!!!!    

  Lot of rage there...and while the housing situation is tight, the construction of new units is what will even out demand and stabilize rents. Again, I printed the comments not because I agree with them, but because they represent a segment of public opinion seldom uttered in media until the Times printed this in their on-line edition. Watertown Daily Times | First set of Creek Wood apartments finished

Pete's Colors Revealed

   As you source for what's happening at Pete's...word is work is underway on the remaking under new owner Geoff Puccia.
    Last night's finale under the Costanzo's went well. Today's task includes rest room work and repainting.
    The bar will be "retro avocado" with the back bar wall in terra cotta.  (I would have mirrored it).  Other than that, the bar is pretty new and needs little other than a change in music and pictures.
    The dining room will be gray with black trim, decorated with B/W photos the owner took on a trip to Italy.
    The tentative opening date is Saturday September 1....but I have been around enough renovations and good intentions not to hold anyone to such an ambitious schedule.
     One question for the days ahead is where to the regular attendees dine this week..other restaurants...with friends...at home ?
     Among those making plans (other than myself) are the County Treasurer, a former Senator, a paving baron, County Legislators on Tuesday, a senior Democratic operative and a retired NiMo lineman.
     Monday is all you can eat spaghetti at Councilwoman Burns house...Y'all stop over.

WDT: Owens, Doheny diverge on Interstate 98

  Advocating for an Interstate highway is cheap talk....but any rationale person knows its not going to happen...
   It's good chatter because everyone has been inconvienced on a trip through SLC and besides musing about a road to Plattsburgh is a chance to promise jobs, jobs, jobs...That's always good rhetoric.

      If you read this story you'll see Congressman Owens has it both ways. He acknowledges it will never be built, but promises to try and build it. That will gain him votes in the Big County where local officials advocate a four lane for them.
      Challenger Matt Doheny isn't going to carry SLC and takes the still expensive but more prudent stand against I-98 in favor of incremental improvements to US Route 11.
      When it comes to conservative spending, Mr. Doheny is not a purest as he advocates government spending on broadband service, but at least he doesn't bite at the largest bit of largesse which is I-98.

Watertown Daily Times | Owens, Doheny diverge on Interstate 81