Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maggie's is Back

     For my Saturday night out, a friend and I opted to try out the recently moribund Maggie's, which had suffered through an eight month alcohol hiatus due to a spate of  late night antics that captured the law's attention a  little too much....
    Having paid their price to society and professing the requisite contrition, Maggies is back and tonight's trip get's a hearty thumbs up.
     The ambiance was just right with the music at the right level for a mixed dining and drinking crowd of adults. At the bar, we were promptly greeted by bartender Jessica who was smiling, attentive and very much on top of her craft. She was hustling behind the bar, something too often lacking in the local scene.
      For food, I had steak on flatbread and my friend had a mac n' cheese with lobster chunks in it....Both were delicious and well served in a timely manner.
       As the crowd grew, Jessica and the other servers seemed to keep up without losing track of those already there.
       Attention to the basics...good food and a location on the water no one else has will serve this eatery well.

Gas on Mind of Californians....But Not on those Going to Obama Concert

      In gas starved California, supporters of President Obama will be hitting the freeways this weekend to see the likes of Katy Perry, John Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson take to the stage for The One.
      Meanwhile polls are coming out showing the race for the White House a toss up once again.   Six dollar gas in the Golden State won't sway that large electoral prize, but it will elsewhere.
    Obama fundraiser Sunday with Katy Perry, Bon Jovi to snarl traffic -

Greening of Pearl Street

    Trying a little of that green technology as I am in the process of replacing my parking lot lighting with new LED fixtures....They supposedly use a lot less power....and last forever, thus reducing maintenance costs.
Crew from NASCO Works on Lights
     There was a National Grid program I wanted to participate in, but they only work at ladder height and said I'd have to rent them a bucket truck....Wow, how do they expect to do commercial work only at 12 feet ?
      The folks from NASCO are installing the lights as they are also recovering my front awning.  Capital projects for 2012 are almost at an end.

Pageant Pix

    Official photos are out for recently crowned Miss Thousand Islands Lonna McCary. I remember when pageants like this were a big deal in NNY. Now they don't really even get covered.
     Regardless of the publicity, I know folks toiling in pageant nation and they put a lot into these events, which do reenforce values like education, poise, hard work and community.

Lowville Attorney Weighs in

        When I was watching YNN last night and they had a story on the passing use of the word 'gay' in a post here a couple days ago, I realized again how easy it is for something small to get bigger...That and a hectoring column by a local reporter and an admonition from a Syracuse anchorman. (I thought changing the word used after an email request was pretty nice of me, but then the run to the media started.)
       Today, my Lewis County friend Brian McGrath commented on the need to make this a teachable moment. 
"I know you are not homophobic, but use of the word in that way sends a bad message to gay people, including the many young gay people in Watertown struggling with their sexual orientation," Brian opined.    

        OK, we all know no one needs to take grief in life over personal matters...Point taken.
        My point over language and semantics was made in my previous post.
        And by the way, Brian...I never chastised you for doing this to a dog.

Patty on the March To Second Term

    As lawn signs start to pop us that show there is a race for State Senate, the incumbent continues to do the best kind of campaigning, which is doing her job....
     Yesterday Senator Patty Ritchie held a mobile office visit in Volney, in Oswego County and has another one slated for Fulton next Tuesday.
        I did see some Amy Tresidder lawn signs popping up on Route 283, so there is at least a bit of a race going on.
        Most observers see a result in the range of 65-35, but you never know and the Senator is taking no chances.

The Journal | Morrill asks for county spending cuts

   A St. Lawrence County legislator who I think is related to Democratic Senate candidate Amy Tresidder is calling for a potential list of county staffing cuts in St. Lawrence County....
   Finance Committee Chair Frederick Morrill wants the cuts outlined to turn up the heat to get a higher sales tax or at least to redirect sales tax from the county's towns to the county.
    It also makes sales tax the wedge issue between Ms. Tresidder and Senator Patty Ritchie who has rejected efforts to get a higher sales tax approved in Albany.
UPDATE: Mr. Morrill's request was later turned down by the county administrator, and its more likely Senator Griffo, who also represents a part of the county, will ultimately carry any tax hike legislation.
    The Journal | Morrill asks for county spending cuts

Friday, October 5, 2012

Politico: 303-235 in Electoral College

   It's a tighter race for President and it's looking like Virginia may be swinging Mitt Romney's way...After that, it gets tougher as other swing states will take some doing to flip.
   Swing-State Map, List & Polls -

Gasoline Prices Set to Rise Through Election Day - US Business News Blog - CNBC

     If pols are going to take credit for a modest increase in jobs last month...shouldn't they also lay claim to rising gas prices....actually there are a variety of factors, but the bottom linie for voters may be , some else in office can't be any worse.

   Prices in California lead the nation.....
Gasoline Prices Set to Rise Through Election Day - US Business News Blog - CNBC

WDT: Fish On !

   As a frequent user of words, I like to poke the pit bull once in a while and trespassing on a word now the property of a particular group...well, you can't do that.
    What's interesting is that use of the word "gay" in the slang sense as a synonym for awkward or lame generates a media demand for retraction and then a media story about media outrage....
     That reminds me of the tail wagging the dog....but don't worry, I didn't touch the tar baby.
Watertown Daily Times | Graham revises 'gay' post

State of the Nation Depends on the Numbers You Use

   The Dow is at a five year high...unemployment has at least edged downward...but its on the strength of part time jobs....gas is firmly over $4/gallon and the nation's debt is over $16Trillion.....Pick your metrics in describing who benefits from the state of the US economy.
     Dow Jones index closes at new 5-year high

Lehrer on Being Interrupted: "So What."

    One of the dumbest and most callow rants about the debate was on MSNBC when Matthews and company eviscerated 12 time debate moderator and 78 year old broadcast Jim Lehrer.
      The Obama-mania media was pissed because Lehrer didn't come to the defense of Mr. Obama and rescue him from an aggressive and on-point Mitt Romney....

       The notion the President was a victim is belied by the clock...Mr. Obama talked two minutes more than Mr. Romney in the 90 minute session.
       As a broadcast, thanks to Mr. Lehrer for your career and you stewardship of these debates over the years.
It’s Jim Lehrer’s turn to discuss the debate - The Washington Post

Meet the Obama Donors at the BLS | Washington Free Beacon

   At least a couple of Bureau of Labor Statistics economists are big contributors to the Obama campaign....That's enough to keep the conspiracy folks humming about todays downtick in jobless numbers....
    Whether anything is amiss, everyone should remember these jobless rates are the result of surveys and not a headcount of the unemployed....It's like a poll...
     Regardless, the 7.8% rate, no matter how arrived at, is a bit of good news for the President after a bad debate.
 Meet the Obama Donors at the BLS | Washington Free Beacon

Beer or Liquor....Beer and Liquor.....That is the Question

     New York's crazy quilt alcohol laws are creating a stir among local liquor store owners who for years have had to live under strict rules that allow them only to sell liquor and wine, and not beer, cigarettes or anything else.
    Now, a local beer store called Bear World has applied for a liquor store license in the same building, just using a different door....I hear Arsenal St. Liquor is doing the same thing, only they are opening a beer store in the same building.
    Now, I know its silly to draw distinctions. After all, you can stop in my bar and order a shot of Jack and a bottle of Bud from the same owner....
    However in stores, its different....Liquor store owners are concerned about proximity of new stores and these defacto combination outlets.
     Part of operating in a regulated industry is finding legal ways around the regulations...That's what these two stores are doing, although I hear objections have been filed with the SLA.
      Since its not an occupation nice people engage in, there is little news coverage of this simmering battle.

Moderate Mitt returns — but conservatives cheer anyway

   It's always been that to win a nomination, you appeal to the base and to win an election, you tack to the center.  Team Obama is screaming through their MSNBC mouthpieces that Mitt Romney is doing something unusual or evil be shaking the Etch-a-Sketch in October...
   Fact is Mr. Romney is a moderate and played the conservative game to get the nomination.

   Everyone knew that and now he is poised to be the real Romney for the month before the election.
Moderate Mitt returns — but conservatives cheer - Reid J. Epstein and Ginger Gibson -

Bill Maher on Denver debate: Obama needed teleprompter

   The real opportunity for Mitt Romney is not so much the debate but the days of effusive coverage and admissions of defeat even by President Obama's most ardent supporters like comedian and political commentator Bill Maher. Mr. Maher, like others, was tweeting in real time during the Denver session about how badly it was going for the incumbent.
     While the President quickly got his charm back in rallies the next day, the horse race has been restored, at least for now.
      Not that many people actually change their mind in a race like this, but the solid Romney evening revs up the base, brings in cash and gets rid of the MSM narrative about a bumbling campaign.
     The race, the media climate, and the electoral map still favor Mr. Obama, but it's no longer a foregone conclusion.
      The new Democratic narrative is that Romney lied and the President couldn't keep up with all the misrepresentations...But that he will get him next time.

Bill Maher on Denver debate: Obama needed teleprompter - Kevin Cirilli -

WDT: Long: ‘I can win’ U.S. Senate seat....(Nobody Believes That)

      Wendy Long's visit to Watertown yesterday was an opportunity to visit at length with a statewide candidate for US Senate trying to win against a Democratic incumbent whom nobody sees very often.
      Ms. Long spent the day here, visiting the MSM, doing local talk shows and speaking at a GOP dinner. Such attention to one small community is not something we will or have seen from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is cruising to reelection without having to put forth much effort.
      Ms. Long's conservative views and solid intellect are laudable, but not likely to get her elected, especially since she doesn't have the millions of dollars needed to fight the fight.
And as she told the WDT editorial board, the MSM has it's finger on the scale in favor of the incument.
       Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet her and talk at length and we wish her fun times on the trail these next few weeks.
Watertown Daily Times | Long: ‘I can win’ U.S. Senate seat

Facebook now has 1 billion active users, more than one-third in US get news there | Poynter.

     Now that Facebook has over a billion users and millions find out about so much from things like Twitter, we see more and more scenes like this past week in Syracuse where the local newspaper cans 112 people and cuts publication back to three days a week.
     We have been watching the trend for years in local media. Single AM radios used to all have a newsman or two...Now the same companies house six stations in the same building with no news or public affairs department.
      If you have a job to fill or an apartment to rent, you are really uncertain how to get the word out as no one uses classifieds but things like Craig's List are kind of hit and miss.
      One person with time on their hands can now produce a pseudo news source like this blog with a regular audience and people in positions of power and influence who actually worry what's said here.
      When you look at how many things now are done differently compared to just a few years ago, it's amazing.
Facebook now has 1 billion active users, more than one-third in US get news there | Poynter.

Roll Call: NNY Race Leans Blue

       Roll Call now lists our House race as leaning Democrat and the same is true for the Syracuse seat.
        Multiple polls led the popular DC publication to conclude Rep. Bill Owens is in a better position than experts thought earlier in the year.
         Republican Matt Doheny's campaign sees it differently with a spokesmsn insisting the race is close and that the strong Romney performance in the debate will help down ballot Republicans.
Race Rating Changes: House Map Jells; Senate Still Fluid | At the Races

Romney: '47 percent' remarks 'wrong'

    There, that was easy...just admit what you said was a mistake...'completely wrong'....and just move on...So much for the 47% comment.
     Mitt Romney took to FOX tonight to make the apology after President Obama failed to raise the issue in last night's debate...Maybe the President didn't want to give Mr. Romney the chance to be contrite.
     The GOP candidate seems more willing to say what's on his much that the liberal MSM is shocked.
        Romney: '47 percent' remarks 'wrong' - Hadas Gold -

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Californians Watch, Think Romney Won Clash With Obama In 1st Debate « CBS San Francisco

   Even in California, polls say Mitt Romney won the debate with all demographics (except one) taking the side of the GOP candidate.
    It was fascinating to watch the "progressives"  in tears over the night...
Californians Watch, Think Romney Won Clash With Obama In 1st Debate « CBS San Francisco

Goofy Weather Channel Wants to Name Winter Storms

   This is so lame*...Naming winter storms like we do hurricanes ?  The Weather Channel should tell us the weather and stop making theater out of Mother Nature....It's only the weather....happens every day.

* Due to a request from a Syracuse television station I changed use of the word "gay" to the synonym "lame".  From
Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive . awkward, stupid, or bad; lame: This game is really gay.

WDT:Doheny eats a school lunch

   I am surprised a candidate for office was allowed to eat with students....But Matt Doheny did just that at General Brown Central today as he was trying to make hay over the new school lunch guildelines with their lower calorie counts.
    He should have taken Wendy Long to lunch. They could have grimaced together over the Obamasizing of portions.
    By the way, I am waiting for the Amaral piece on his visit to Caprice Island...He wasn't granted as extensive access as I got, but I hear he got his photo taken on the sumptuous leather sofa.
     Oh, by the way, Mr. Doheny is slated for the HOTLINE on October 17 for his grudge match with Middle Class Mike.
Watertown Daily Times | Doheny eats a school lunch

Wendy Stops By

    Republican US Senate candidate Wendy Long visited the HOTLINE today for the full hour and talked about her life...issues....and her view on various Constitutional issues stemming from her time as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.
   Ms. Long was bright and affable. The NYC mother of two is of course a lawyer and is running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.


Dorm Plans Unveiled

   Jefferson Community College officials this morning briefed local movers and shakers on plans for their $17.5M dormitory which will see a groundbreaking next spring.

     The four story structure will house 280 beds and be located where Rand Drive intersects the college entrance road.

Islands Dominate Congressional Race..More Polls....and Relief from Denver

    Northern New York voters are getting a geography lesson on islands...Matt Doheny made a lot of money working on Manhattan...Supposedly keeps the cash in the Caymen Islands and spent the money building Caprice Island into a Thousand Islands mansion....
     In the same spirit, the Doheny campaign is reminding voters of the Island of Formosa, the patch of land also known as Taiwan, where Representitive Bill Owens took a trip last year that raised ethical questions months ago. Mr. Owens also is raising money on Manhattan this week.

     When not talking about islands, the candidates are touting their own polls...Mr. Owens says he has one showing a 14 point lead. Mr. Doheny says it's more like five points and that's within the margin of error.....(other side of the margin is double digits).
      Mr. Doheny did host Times scribe Brian Amaral at Caprice Island yesterday....Can't wait to read all about it.
       The most tangible development of late is that Mr. Doheny's occupational soul mate turned in a boffo performance last night in Denver and that should lessen concerns the top of the ticket would hurt the down-ballot hopefuls.
Watertown Daily Times | New Doheny ad goes after Owens on Taiwan trip

WDT: Roxy Picks a Fight Over Raunchy Night Club Act at Fairgrounds

      OK, I'll say it before the anonymous commenters have to..She made a mistake last Fall. But she is right in her criticism of the classless "Dr. Dirty" performing this week on public property.
       Councilwoman Roxanne Burns will likely aid ticket sales by rapping aging comedian John Valby, but her point is that the Fairgrounds is not a seedy night club. It's a venue for activities anyone can feel comfortable with, such as the recent outdoor theater showing of the Lorax or sporting events like the upcoming Privateers season.

       I know last year the former city manager and I took a beating from the same promoters over our concerns over the band Godsmack playing at the Fairgrounds. The circumstances were different but I expect Ms. Burns will get the same treatment for speaking up against a vulgar, beer soaked event held in a public venue.           
Watertown Daily Times | Burns: “racist” comedian should not perform at county fair building

Romney Rebounds....Takes Debate and Makes It a Race

      Mitt Romney staunched the bleeding and got some big mo, while the President stumbled and mumbled through 90 minutes at the first Presidential Debate held in Denver.
     There were no zingers, but Mr. Romney was on point, aggressive and engaged...President Obama held back to the point of seeming annoyed at being on stage with the challenger some thought was destined for defeat....

      There is a lot of campaigning in the next five weeks but it is clear the pendulum has moved in the other direction, at least for now.  Next week the Vice Presidential candidates meet in Kentucky.
     Most of all for Mr. Romney, there is enthusiasm on his side and for other Republicans like Matt Doheny a sense of relief that the top of the ticket will at least be competitive.
Denver debate: Obama stumbled -

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Where's the UC....Don't Need No Sissy Beers on Breen Avenue

    For the first time since moving to Breen Avenue, draft beer is available at Pete's Restaurant.   A really fancy lighted tap for Stella Artois brand is now gracing the bar and other brands are coming soon.

       Stella is definately a brew for the afficionados...or those who fancy themselves as such....Let's see some good upstate products from Utica...Yeah...Like Utica Club...That would be outside the box....But raspberry wheats for the once a year drinkers.

Good Move....Tiger to Make History Tonight

   First of all, the debate over AL MVP is over if Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown...Which would be the first since Yaz in 1967....Some argue its old school to think that way and that the Angel's Mike Trout should get it....
  Cabrera is on a pennant winner and he is playing tonight and not playing it safe to win the crown.
   I hope he goes five for five and hits a pair of taters.

Ball Bill Would Raise Minimum Wage, Reduce Biz Taxes

   Here's your minimum wage hike strategy...A GOP Senator today came out for hiking it and cutting some unspecified business taxes...That will be the lipstick Republicans will put on the pig.
Ball Bill Would Raise Minimum Wage, Reduce Biz Taxes (Updated)

Calling a Spade a Spade Not Always The Thing to Do

          How far behind can the commercial with Mr. Owens pants on fire be ?  The Doheny campaign has opined that the Congressman is a liar for what is reported to be the fifth time this year.
          Calling someone a liar is to me like using perjoratives like 'pathetic' or ,juvenile.' It's a cut to the bone name, and you better be right.
          Just because someone calls themselves a 'moderate' and you disagree with that, doesn't make anyone a liar.
           Besides, I have seen a lot of 'conservatives' over the years who are anything but.
           One aside to the Congressional race...If Donald Hassig has the most guns, why didn't he get the NRA endorsement ?
            Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

WDT: Contrarian Politics...Campaigning for Higher Taxes

    In 1984, Walter Mondale said he would raise taxes....He lost 49 states.  Amy Tresidder is making her Senate bid (at least the SLC portion) a referendum on raising sales tax. It will be interesting to see how she fares.
Watertown Daily Times | Tresidder presses sales tax

Auto Surge Continues With FX Brands Leading the Charge

    A whopping 556 new cars were registered in Jefferson County last month, and number one was JEEP.  The total for all brands was the best since 2006 and continues a brand relalignment away from imports towards domestic vehicles.

    One exception is Volkswagen, where fifty of the cars were sold led by Class of '73 icon Walt Young. :: Jefferson County Clerk :: New Vehicle Registrations

Council and School Board Nix PILOT Request

    City Council and the School Board have both rejected a request for a PILOT deal for an apartment complex being sold.  Maple Courts had a 40 year tax break that expired last year, and prospective new owners wanted a deal for another 20 years as well as obviation of mortgage and sales taxes. I informed the developer of the decision this morning.
      In talking to the my collegues as well as school officials, the mood is changing among those elected to represent people.  It's not unusual. The same questions and concerns are surfacing across the state over such subsidies.
     The School Board was roughed up in a recent PILOT fight over housing on CR 202.
      City Council is considering ratification of a PILOT for the second phase of the Creekwood Project.  The details in all these are different, but the Maple Courts deal really fell flat as it was a project built 41 years ago, so the argument that bridging construction costs was not valid.

Long to Visit HOTLINE Thursday

   GOP Senate hopeful Wendy Long will be visiting the HOTLINE on Thursday. Obviously Senator Gillibrand is welcome as well.

    Ms. Long is beyond long shot in this deep blue state, but we appreciate her bringing issues to the fore and visiting the remote corners of the state.

Class welfare: Unemployed millionaires on the public dole -

      Despite tight times on occasion over the years, I have never felt it appropriate to even try and collect unemployment, although I acknowledge the insurance is there to help people over a bump in the road.
      However, where is it written that millionaires out of work get the freebie ? It happens more than you would think.
Class welfare: Unemployed millionaires on the public dole -

WDT: Gouverneur Needs a Lifesaver

      It's hard to say what will happen at the hospital in Gouverneur, although one assumes it will reopen. The sudden closure of E.J. Noble leaves delivery of medical care in the village in disarray.
      The viability of full service hospitals in small town America is the larger question, but since the hospital is the focal point for primary care and emergency care, no one wants to see it fold.
       Acting Mayor Ron McDougal has been trying to act as intermediary with state officials who had put the hammer down after continued problems with the hospital lab.
       Good thing the village changed mayors when it did.

Watertown Daily Times | Lawsuit contemplated by family of deceased man given wrong blood by E.J. Noble

School sends home bixsexual Queens student who wears 'I enjoy vagina' T-shirt - NY Daily News

    Here's another story of a parent sending the wrong message...15 year old wear inappropriate shirt and mother starts chanting 'it's her right'.   
     The girl is identified in the headline as a bisexual. Who is making that determination at that age.

     All of us acted up at some point but some level of fear of authority backed up by not wanting the parents involved mattered.
      This young lady needs a kick in the ass.
School sends home bixsexual Queens student who wears 'I enjoy vagina' T-shirt - NY Daily News

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Free Cash and Cars for the County Hits a Wall

   With at least six lawmakers opposed, an ill-advised local law allowing property and cash seizures for misdemeanors went no where tonight at the County Building. The measure went back to committee.
    Legislators Gray, Nabywaniec, Thomas, Drake and Astafan were among those supporting according to one opponent.
    Behling, Reed, Ferris, Doldo, Adsit, Peck were among the  opponents.
lawmakers Mull Tougher Drug & Gun Seizure Laws | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Was Doheny the Liz Rainmaker ?

    Was Matt Doheny responsible for bringing Liz Benjamin (and Bill Carey) to Watertown for a YNN debate on October 25 ?
     It is said he was by insisting the big finale of the debate season be held in Watertown and not Saratoga County as the GOP insists was wanted by the Bill Owens campaign.
     Now I am sure Liz would have preferred the more tony Saratoga Region to the distant and decidely non-urban Jefferson County.
     In the debate negotiations there was back and forth over locations and audiences. Obviously the Congressman preferred less rather than more as he is said to be leading by double digits.
      For a while I was a religious viewer of Capital Tonight when they had their "Charlie's Angels" trio back in 2010.... Not so much now as I have Albany pretty well figured out.......But I am still looking forward to the spectacle and if Mr. Doheny made it happen, good for him.

Op/Ed: Towns Are Stealing Our Money !

      This is an interesting read form St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair Sally Brothers who argues the core of the Big County's sales tax problem is that the towns are taking county money.
        All that assumes you buy the notion that the local share of sales tax is all meant for the level of government we know as counties....Now most people these days don't have an affinity to all these political subdivisions, but the insiders do.
       Towns get some of it because back in the 60s, enlisting the support of town supervisors (32 of them) was essential to making the sales tax politically OK for whomever was the State Senator and Assemblyman at the time.....Everyone was getting a piece of the pie so everyone was supporting it as the extra cash made it easier to maintain low or zero property tax.
        Same thing came down in Jefferson County.
        Distribution agreements can only be made between the two entities who have statutory claims on the money...That is counties and cities. That is why the agreement that gives money to our 22 towns results from the agreement between Jefferson County and the City of Watertown. Obviously, we took care of ourselves too.
        Chairwoman Brothers could advocate a deal like the recent one in Onondaga County where towns were given the heave-ho and the county and City of Syracuse take it all.
         Ms. Brothers clearly doesn't realize the need for 32 town highway superintendents...probably because she doesn't have a brother-in-law who is one.
          The real measure of whether the public wants higher sales tax is whether is affects Senator Ritchie's performance there...I suspect it won't....

Watertown Daily Times | Towns took sales tax meant to help county

HOTLINE Invites Candidates.....Doheny Invites MSM to Island

   The three candidates for Congress in NNY are invited to appear on the HOTLINE this month. Letters to Rep. Bill Owens, Matt Doheny and Donald Hassig went out today.
    The HOTLINE is a familiar venue for pols to connect with area voters as the show is the primary political gab fest in local radio.
      Mr. Doheny says he will appear and looks forward to fielding questions from Middle Class Mike, a frequent critic of the GOP hopeful.....Note to Matt...bone up on the Caymen Islands.
      Also I learned the Doheny campaign is taking a reporter to Caprice Island to get the lay of the land. Possibly other press will be invited as the island and its implied wealth has been made an issue by Mr. Owens.
       How long before Mr. Owens home gets a look see from satellite photos ?
       Seems its bound to happen.

        So no longer will I have the exclusive photos of the candidate's island digs....Since there is so little coverage of the race, the MSM has not really wanted to explore the class warfare subtext permeating the race.

Pa. court rules voters can cast regular ballots without ID

   In all the years I have voted I never had to show ID....And while voter fraud is always something to guard against, I am glad this GOP led effort at voter suppression is being tempered in the courts.
    Of course, when I go vote Rosemary and Katrina know me...and besides I am so upstanding....
      Like I said, I have known fraud like the person a few years back who voted twice in a school board race...Those elections are loosy goosy...but our regular elections are fine as is.
Pa. court rules voters can cast regular ballots without ID

Deputies: Watertown Man Arrested on 'Upskirting' Charge at Target

    A cynic might think this a case of the pot calling the kettle black....Nonetheless, the use of a cell phone to invade privacy is very wrong and too prevalent in today's camera ready world.
    Deputies: Watertown Man Arrested on 'Upskirting' Charge at Target

Colonel Mike Asks for Help Supporting 300 Platoons Leaving Soon

   The area's top advocate for soldiers is asking groups and companies to consider participating in the "Adopt a Platoon" program as some 300+ platoons will be leaving NNY in January for a nine month tour in Afghanistan.
   Mike Plummer has organized the effort for years as a means of sending care packages to men and women overseas.
   The good news is this will likely be the last such deployment for the Tenth Mountain Division as US involvement in Afghanistan is ending in 2014.
    For more information email Mr. Plummer at

Eric Cantor campaigns -- for himself - Jake Sherman -

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor may be coming to NNY on Monday to stump for Matt Doheny, but the 12 year House member has his own race for reelection to his VA seat.
      Last night, a guy named Wayne Powell jabbed at the leader during a debate and Mr. Cantor is opening the checkbook with direct mail and TV ads'

      It's assumed the incumbent wins, but Congress as an institution is not that popular and a hotly contested race is not out of the question for Mr. Cantor.
Eric Cantor campaigns -- for himself - Jake Sherman -

WDT: Seizure Law Rapped for What It Is....Wrong

    Times editor Perry White hits the nail on the head in his criticism of the County Legislature's ill-advised venture into expanded property seizure legislation as a knee-jerk response to the recent 'bath salts' issue....An issue officials now say has subsided after a crack down  performed under current law.
      Confiscation of property corrupts the system by placing a reward on enforcing certain laws.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

People....The Other White Meat ?

   Data suggests Americans are eating more pork.....and pork is fighting back.....On an Oregon farm, hogs ate a 70 year old farmer who apparently stumbled or had a health problem while in the hog pen with 700 lb porkers.
    It's kind of a gross story, but one that catches your eye.
Farmer, 70, eaten by hogs at his Oregon farm | Mail Online

Candidates Debate New Year's Tax Hike for NNY Workers

      On the Congressional front, Rep. Bill Owens says he might support a hike in payroll taxes that would cost the folks an average of a thousand dollars a year starting January first. Challenger Matt Doheny says he opposes raising the FICA payroll tax paid by workers from its current 4.2% to 6.2%, the rate it was for years until Congress slashed it as part of so-called stimulus.
       To an extent, Congress set itself up for this conundrum by cutting taxes with a vague promise of restoring the rates....Only problem is when you do with the so called Bush cuts....the reversion point becomes a defacto tax hike.....
         I ran into Mr. Doheny last night after a long day of campaigning across the district with his wife Mary. With more waves of TV ads on the way by both candidates, it's still a race few are focused on and what is for sure is that the national ticket needs to rally through the coming debates to give Doheny a boost.
          Mr. Doheny refused to take a position on starting Tim Tebow in place of Mark Sanchez next Monday against Houston. I'd really like to hear Mr. Owen's view on that and so I think I will invite them both on the HOTLINE.
Watertown Daily Times | Payroll tax cut could expire, sending up rates for middle class

City Council a Snoozer

   City Council was tonight a tedious and non-exemplary two and a half hours. Council again said no to a PILOT for the Maple Courts project on Ives Street....Council is split over a PILOT for Creekwood II...
    Council also avoided a vote on a proposal to change certain fees at the Fairgrounds Arena.
     By and large an uneventful meeting.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Believe Grid on This One

   This is teasing us......National Grid says our winter bills will be $21 less for comparable usage compared to last winter.....but think about it...last winter was the lightest touch in our lifetime....This coming winter is bound to cost more....
National Grid predicts lower costs for heating season |

Ross Perot: They Both Suck

    The man synonymous with deficit reduction says he is unimpressed with either candidate running for President and will make no endorsement.
    Two time indy candidate for president Ross Perot has an autobiography coming soon, so maybe he doesn't want to alienate book buyers, but he makes a good point that neither President Obama or Mitt Romney seems willing to say what is needed to balance the federal budget.
     Even the fairly mainstream Simpson-Bowles report went unheeded by the man who appointed the panel.
      The person who revives the Perot flip charts wins.
Ross Perot: No 2012 endorsement - Patrick Gavin -

Payroll Tax Cut Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year -

   A big tax hike is coming January 1, as the reduced FICA payroll tax expires and the rate goes back to 6.2% from the current 4.2%.  That's about a thousand dollars a year for a $50K earner.
    And the reason for enacting it was jobs, jobs, jobs.....It didn't work and estimates are the reinstatement will slow the economy.
Payroll Tax Cut Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year -

Campaigning NY Lawmakers Mum on the Real Matters to Surface in the Lame Duck Session

  Two matters likely to come up after those pesky elections are over ?  Minimum wage and legislative pay hikes. They are technically not related as lawmakers do not make minimum wage, but as the Governor says, legislating has a certain 'transactional'  quality.
    However, both topics are off limits in election dialogue....That's true, as I haven't heard or ready anything about these issues in the one local race for state office.
    Thank goodness, most of the races are unopposed, so we don't have to ask anyone to say what they will do.
     My guess is they hike the wage and get cold feet on their own salary...
Campaigning NY legislators mum about pay raises after election |

New York judge gives custody of daughter to adoptive mother, not birth mother, in breakup of lesbian couple -

   New York's same sex marriage law opens a whole new group of people up to the gristmill of Family Court as this case shows. A bitter custody dispute over a three year old has resulted in the child being handed over to the adoptive and not the birth mother after the breakup of a lesbian relationship.
     Court papers say the child was traumatized by the whole procedure. In that sense, same sex marriages have achieved parity with their traditional counterparts.
New York judge gives custody of daughter to adoptive mother, not birth mother, in breakup of lesbian couple -

Battleground Poll: Race still tight -

    There may just be too many polls and the reporting on them does affect the race...A new poll shows the Presidential race is back to being close again after days of media chatter over the President pulling away.
     I think it's all pointless now till Wednesday's debate. If Mitt Romney does well, it's a horserace till November. If not, it's over.  Most people think the former Governor will perform well.
Battleground Poll: Race still tight - James Hohmann -

WDT: County Lawmakers to Hear Public Comment on Ill-Advised Law

    Aside from the civil liberties issues swirling around property seizure, there is the false premise always used in government to justify something sketchy.
      In this case the county says the money will be used to finance law enforcement, thus making the bad guys, instead of the taxpayers, pay for that function of county government.
       That makes the potential for abuse even more likely as it will be rationalized in that manner.
       Fact is the monies used for police are appropriated by the Legislature, and that should not change because cops and DAs concentrate on seizing people's property.
       It's like the relationship between Lottery revenues and schools. There are revenues to government and if you want to appropriate more, that's a legislative decision.
        District 10 lawmaker Michael Behling is right on this one. My good friend Scott Gray is not, but I hope he feels better after getting whacked in the chin over the weekend in a racquetball tourney.
        Maybe the County could seize the car of the guy weilding the racquet.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County legislators set public hearing for property forfeiture law

WDT: New Hospice Home Finally to Open

   It's good to hear the Hospice facility on Gotham Street is finally opening tomorrow. It's been months since the ribbon cutting and the public got to see the $4.3million facility, but state regulators have finally issued a certificate of occupancy.
    It's a very nice complex and will be a comfort to many patients and families for years to come.
Watertown Daily Times | Hospice residence to accept referrals Monday, open Tuesday

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hey Rex.....You Signed Him...Now Take the Chance....It's Tebow Time

   Earlier this year Mark Sanchez dates Kate Upton...Now he is cougar hunting with Eva Longoria....Sanchez is enjoying the life of a Big Apple quarterback....Too bad he isn't winning.
    While in the AFC Championship Game a couple times, Sanchez can thank the defense for that. He is basicly a middle of the road, 7-9 or 8-8 QB. That's at best.......
     Then there is Tim Tebow, the athletic and talented backup who is seen as erratic and not ready for NFL prime time....
     Tebow is used for the occasional play, but that's no substitute for leading the team.
      Time for the newly slimmed down Rex to start Tebow next Monday against Houston.....The Texans are 4-0, but let's face it.....With Sanchez .500 is the best you can hope for.
     I'll take my chances with Tebow.
     PS.....When Channel 7 came over to interview me for the purpose of filling their Sunday news hole, I was wearing my JETS jersey and didn't feel like changing....By the time it hit the air, I am sure it caused quite the stir.....

Sanchez struggles, Jets turn it over four times in rout by 49ers -

Percentages Allow for Lots of Rhetorical Flourishes in Sales Tax Debate

   The sales tax debate depends on how you choose to sell it...
    Is it a penny hike ? That sounds acceptable...Or is it a 33% increase in the local sales tax ?  Actually, its a 14.3% increase in the total sales tax which includes the local and state shares.
     Then again, who gets the extra revenues. Remember when Jefferson County went up, the initial plan was the county would get all the extra...Enter yours truly who argued for distribution, which ensured a lot more local pols were suddenly backing it as their job in running their local government got a little easier.
      Some disagreement on St. Lawrence County sales tax

Couple Items Come Before Council

      Among the items up for grabs at City Council this week is a change in the fees for the Recreation Department which would end the cumbersome and contentious percentage of sales for food concessions in favor of a flat fee. The same simplification is proposed for parking with a ditching of the collection of a dollar, which slows traffice and takes up staff time, in favor of a flat fee to the user who can include the cost in their ticket price. In any event, the little secret in all these news stories about the issue is that venue fees are still small and amount to less than one percent of the ticket price.
    Council will also discuss that proposed PILOT for the prospective purchasers of Maple Courts Apartments. The buyers are shocked the Council is saying no as a passle of these PILOTS for housing have been issued in the last few decades. Revised terms have been proposed, but an informal poll of Council members shows continued opposition.

JETS Whipped by Niners

   Whoa...did the JETS every look terrible today as they fell to 2-2 after a thrashing by the San Francisco 49ers.
    Saddled by turnovers and ineffective quaterbacking by Mark Sanchez, the game was punctuated by an injury to Santonio Holmes.
     It's Tebow time.

Maffei Goes There On ‘Forcible Rape’ Bill

   Our little Congressional race is actually pretty mild compared to the Syracuse area food fight going on between Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and former Congressman and challenger Dan Maffei.
    The latest flash point is abortion and position on rape by Missouri Rep. Todd Akin. So far abortion has not been an issue up our way as I think everyone is more or less pro-choice.
     Maffei Goes There On ‘Forcible Rape’ Bill

Politico: Meet the New Map....Looks Like the Old Map

   With the first debate three days away, the latest electoral map pegs the President with a 347-191 edge in the Electoral College, with the President leading in all of the dwindling number of swing states. For Republican Mitt Romney the map is the same as 2008 except for Indiana which is thought to be back with the GOP.
    Romney  supporters say the many polls which lead to this analysis are wrong.
Swing-State Map, List & Polls -

WDT: Clamor to Raise Taxes the Issue in St. Lawrence County

    Sales tax is a bit of an issue in the State Senate district pitting Patty Ritchie against Democratic challenger Amy Tresidder. In the run-up to November, local officials in St. Lawrence County are beating the drum to allow them to raise the tax to 8%, like virtually every other county in the state.
     Ms. Tresidder wants state lawmakers to carry the necessary home rule legislation. Senator Ritchie says she is not going to be the cause of higher taxes.

Senator Ritchie Opens Her Fulton Campaign HQ Yesterday
      Raising the local share of sales tax would generate immediate cash for the county and likely would spread some more around to towns and villages. That is why the local electeds want it.
       In NYS, the state legislature and governor must approve any such increase and protocol dictates the legislators from the county in question sponsor the bill, effectively giving them veto power over the matter.
        It will be interesting to see if voters in SLC agree and if they do, will it affect support for their very popular Senator ?
        The other counties in the Senate district already have higher sales tax.
Watertown Daily Times | Sales tax discussion heats up