Saturday, October 20, 2012

the circus: Congressman Owens visits the Bay

   Sometimes, the tick tock of campaigns falls to the blogs...Today the Doheny team is on a door to door blitz in Watertown, while the Owens campaign got in his opponent's face a little by swooping into Alexandria Bay for a rally with teachers...
   The Bay is often touted as being Mr. Doheny's home town.
the circus: Congressman Owens visits the Bay

WP: NNY Race Still Among the Nation's Most Competitive

    Our Congressional district is on the list of 60 most important House races in terms of having a competitive race. However in a ranking of likelihood to change parties, the Washington Post ranks NY 21 number 45 out of the 60. The Post cites the Siena poll showing Rep. Bill Owens ahead, but the newspaper also says the race is expected to be much closer than that.
      Like every year, of the 435 House seats, only a few dozen are really in play. News that NY 21 is still among them is good news for challenger Matt Doheny who has struggled with poll stories.
      Mr. Doheny needs a strong close in terms of his paid media and needs a strong performance in this Thursday's YNN debate in Watertown.
      Some other DC pundits have rates the NNY race as leaning Democratic.

The Fix 60: The most important House races in the country

Friday, October 19, 2012

Candidates Vie for the Breakfast Vote

Congressman Bill Owens called the HOTLINE today to pledge he will work to get two International House of Pancakes restaurants in Watertown, after his opponent on Wednesday pledged to use his corporate contacts to get one here.
      Matt Doheny was responding to Raymond Lear, aka Crazy Ray, who texted in that he would vote for whoever would bring an IHOP to Watertown. Mr. Doheny said he would try as part of his pledge to be "salesman in chief" for the district. It was a little tongue in cheek but I bet Matt knows of someone in whatever conglomerate controls pancakes.

Rep. Bill Owens Meets With Veteran in Ogdensburg City Council Chambers

      Mr. Owens call could have been tongue in cheek...but maybe he was trying to outdo his opponent.  I was surprised and ask Mr. Owens if he will be coming on the HOTLINE. He said his staff is working on the schedule, which is a nice way of saying NO!
       I haven't eaten at an IHOP since attending the University of Missouri (Columbia) back in the 70s. 
      Come to think of it, I might just vote for someone who will serve me Belgian waffles smothered in strawberries and whipped cream.....

Liz: Hassig Goes After Mexicans

   Good thing for Liz and Public Radio or I never would have heard of this tid bit due to the MSM disdain for third party candidates.
   Green Party Congressional hopeful Donald Hassig going on a rant about Mexicans working on NNY farms and how he doesn't want them.....The Greens say its insensitive, so maybe Mr. Hassig should team up with Mike Long who probably would love the screed.
    A veteran pol sitting next to me at Pete's came to the same conclusion I did......
     It's OK because Mexico is no longer in the district.
Green Party Distances Itself From Hassig

MSNBC Host 'Lucky' to Get Paid Half as Much as Her Male Co-Host | The Weekly Standard

   Over at MSNBC they are talking a lot of "binders" full of women and equal pay for equal work....But you know, I don't think old Lily Ledbetter would be too happy that poor Mika Brzezinski is making only half of what Joe Scarborough makes.....

   All that and she has to pose as a sex object too......LEAN FORWARD !
MSNBC Host 'Lucky' to Get Paid Half as Much as Her Male Co-Host | The Weekly Standard

Candidates Take a Night Off from Bashing Each Other for a Laugh With the Cardinal

    It's been a tradition for Presidential candidates to show up at the Al Smith dinner since 1960. It's a great tradition to see the candidates lay down their arms for an evening late in the campaign to remember we are all Americans and humans at the same time.
    Romney and Obama yuk it up - Roger Simon -

Wait a Minute...That Deer is Friendly to Everyone

The deer seen being petted by Senator Patty Ritchie is a fixture in the Village of Pulaski named Bella and for over two years she has roamed the streets, interacting with residents and munching on their lawns with impunity.
It is very tame and allows anyone to pet it, so the Senator isn't quite the Dr. Doolittle moment it would seem.

Bella Greets a Local Back in 2010
    Of course, the DEC can't stand seeing this animal being taken in by the locals, but at this point may not want to swoop in and seize the beast which has become a resident of the Village who is now a friend of the Senator as well as the local Assemblyman who lives nearby.
Friendly deer lives charmed life in Pulaski |

Thursday, October 18, 2012

WDT: Forecaster: Owens 'likely' to win

   The political class in DC is predicting a Bill Owens win in the NNY race. The Cook Political Report now lists Mr.Owens as a "likely" win. Other prognosticators have said the same,except for the Daily Kos, which still lists the race as a toss-up. With outside money still flowing in, others clearly see the race as close as well.
    OK....We report it as such without really knowing what the mood is....

Rep. Bill Owens Campaigning in St. Lawrence County This Week
    I don't claim to know what the mood is across the vast NY 21 from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain....It's been an uphill race for challenger Matt Doheny...but given his hard work and perserverence, I think it's still a bit of an unknown who will win, although it's clear the Romney surge has to continue for Doheny to pull it out.
     It wouldnt surprise me if Mr. Owens won...but it wouldn't bowl me over if Mr. Doheny won either.....Bottom line is , I don't know.
Watertown Daily Times | Forecaster: Owens 'likely' to win

Talk of the town: Who's on 'The List' of alleged sex clients?-CNN

     Can you imagine if there was a Zumba scandal like this in Watertown ?   How would the Times or TV 7 cover it ?  In Kennebunk, ME one of the clients was a local TV celebrity.
     We have trouble with lists of tax scofflaws....can you imagine if someone had sex with a Zumba dancer ?   That's not news would crow the gatekeepers.....
     It would be a hoot, for sure.

Alexis Wright
Talk of the town: Who's on 'The List' of alleged sex clients? -

Campaign 2012: Polls Vary....So You Better Vote

    The impediment to a Romney win is in the heart land...Iowa and Wisconsin, there a new NBC/WSJ poll shows the President still well ahead...Assuming Mr Obama wins Ohio, these numbers bode ill for the GOP nominee....
    Now, on the other side of polling....A new Gallup tracking poll has Mr. Romney up by seven points , 52-45.....If that is true, the three aforementioned states go red along with a Michigan, NH, CO, NC, and FL.
     Pick your polls and wonder what will really happen....
Campaign 2012: Covering the 2012 Presidential Race - Burns & Haberman Blog -

Musings on a Stool at a Local Trattoria

     I was at Pete's tonight and ran into my old friends Brian and Anne from TV 7....We talked about a bunch of issues, but they declined to be pictured here....I don't mean to be solicitous, but Anne looked great......
    I guess their images are copyrighted.
    I found a tenant for the apartment I am renting, so that's a relief. Business was brisk tonight on Pearl Street and that's good...
    Tomorrow is flu shot day at City Hall.....Every year Councilman Butler votes against staff getting flu shots...I suspect he likes the flu.
     I am watching the Yankees wrap up their season and I see A Rod got a final at bat...Those two lovelies he was hitting on the other day are all over the news now getting their 15 minutes...Good for them.
     I am still waiting on my awning....They built the Pyramids faster than this awning is getting sewn...but that's OK...I enjoy the extra sun in the morning.
     There's no more Council meetings this month....That's a good thing, trust me.
      Time to order dinner.

Hillary Clinton trashes whiners -

      Uh oh...just days after she hopped under the bus for Bam, Hillary is off script on her party's signature issue for 2012...."the War on Women."
      Seems Hill is tired of whiners in a time when opportunities abound.
      That's not the Democratic narrative this year.
Hillary Clinton trashes whiners - Kevin Robillard -

WDT: Tresidder wants more debates...Won't Get Them

   With some TV spots and lawn signs there is more life to Amy Tresidder's senate campaign than was evident weeks ago.....But there will not be more debates...That's just a way to get free publicity and maybe start a kerfuffle...
   Why would any incumbent want to do that a week or two out....
    Senator Patty Ritchie is better off doing events and some door to door....maybe pet a deer on the way and try not to make news of any kind.
Watertown Daily Times | Tresidder wants more debates

A Turn of the Page for Newsweek

    Newsweek is dropping its print edition after 80 years, leaving it as an on-line publication.
     I remember when Newsweek, Time and US News and World Report were the big three on waiting room tables or coming to your home....But it was only a matter of time before they joined Look, Life and the Saturday Evening Post. Television did them in, and before that Pathe Newsreels faded away too.
     I used to read SI and the Sporting News, if for nothing else than the stats...But that's all on line or on TV.
     Even adult reading is replaced with on-line adult fare.
     Yesterday, someone was showing me a stack of recent National Geographics....I thought those went the way of the encyclopedia salesman...but I guess not...
    Of course we all know what's happening to newspapers.
     A lot's changed...Not all for the better, but much of it is....The Internet requires more discriminating reading but there's lot's there....    
A Turn of the Page for Newsweek - The Daily Beast

The 7-Eleven Presidency | The Weekly Standard

    So imagine your family income is $70,000 and you are up to your neck in debt....But you want to spend $110,000 this year to support your buy those four wheelers..take those vacations...go to just want to spend it...
   And you want to do this not for just a year....but in perpetuity....which is, as we know, a long, long time.
    Welcome to Washington and the Presidencies of George W. Bush and now Barack Obama.....
     The 7-Eleven Presidency | The Weekly Standard

WDT: Council Continues to Refine Fairgrounds Fees and Votes to Simplify Them.

   Approving a proposal for fees at the Fairgrounds was largely about standing behind the new management team there and about getting rid of two things that were cumbersome and ineffective...Those are a 10 percent fee on food sales which was hard to compute and less relevant now that the City operates its own concession stand....The other thing of the past is collecting a dollar for parking at large events where extra help has to be brought in to park people on lawns.
    Most events involve no parking issues or fees as there is no additional expense. A mechanism to recoup extra marginal costs that doesn't involve collecting from consumers is the goal.
     While further discussion and refinement of fees will no doubt happen, the Parks and Rec Department is making progress on collections and looks forward this month to hosting professional hockey and the many other events that will be there.
     While doing a back and forth in the media is grist for the mill, I would urge those with questions or concerns to sit down with the Parks Superintendent to get the facts and see what accomodations can be made.
Watertown Daily Times | City Council approves new fairground fees

Signs point to a costly divorce between Alex Rodriguez and Yankees -

       A-Rod's slump and the controversies surrounding his questionable professionalism certainly point to a trade for one of the games great home run hitters who has fallen on hard times with the Yankees.
      Meanwhile, while that drama continues, the Bombers face elimination this afternoon in Detroit...down 3-0 in the ALCS after a rainout last night.
       The aging Yanks have many questions to address in the off season...the fate of A-Rod is first and foremost.
Signs point to a costly divorce between Alex Rodriguez and Yankees -

WDT: DANC asking three counties to adopt uniform solid waste law

    The biggest change in trash disposal that consumers would like is to get rid of source separation for recyclables. Putting things in different bins and then collecting them that way is inefficient and a disincentive to recycling.
Watertown Daily Times | DANC asking three counties to adopt uniform solid waste law

Gillibrand and Long Spar in Debate on YNN

     With a forty to one advantage in cash and a forty point lead in the polls, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has little to worry about in her race against fellow blonde attorney Wendy Long of NYC.
     In a YNN debate last night the two argued  over hydrofracking, the controversial natural gas mining proposed for upstate but opposed by environmentalists.
     The debates staged and carried by YNN are a great service to New Yorkers and while Senator Gillibrand will continue in office, having to stand with your opponent and defend your record and views is still an important part of democracy.
      YNN hosts an important Congressional debate in Watertown next Thursday at JCC.
Gillibrand, Long differ on abortion, gas drilling in Senate debate - Times Union

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nearly 66 million watch Obama show up for second debate with Romney - The TV Column - The Washington Post

   About 66 million Americans watched this week's Presidential debate....That's about the same as the one two weeks ago and is about half the number of people who will vote on or before November 6.
    Nearly 66 million watch Obama show up for second debate with Romney - The TV Column - The Washington Post

Shuttle Pulled by Toyota Truck Through Crowded Streets

   Talk about excitement...Imagine the space shuttle Endeavour being pulled through your neighborhood...So it was in LA this week as the retired craft was taken from the airport to its permanent home at a local science museum.

    Wonder if we could do that in Watertown ?......Probably not.....Might slow traffice across Washington Street.
It felt a lot longer than three minutes! Incredible time-lapse footage shows Endeavour's three-day tour of Los Angeles in fast-forward | Mail Online

Maple Court Deal Could Go Through Without Property Tax Breaks | WWNY TV 7

   In what should be a lesson of sorts, purchasers of Maple Courts Apartments were apparently just kidding when they said they had to have a property tax break to preserve affordable housing at the site.
   The project is going ahead with a public hearing next week as the County IDA doles out other breaks, including elimination of mortgage tax and the sales tax on materials purchased.
    City Council and the School Board said no to a tax abatement and it turns out the details of the whole project were likely misrepresented to get the freebies.
     The freebies they are getting are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
       At some point we all need a 'come to Jesus moment' on this issue as renovating a forty year old complex is called maintenance and when small landlords do it, they go to Home Depot or their sheetrock, windows and toilets and pay the sales tax...and if any of us refinance our homes or businesses, we pay the mortgage taxes.
     Paying IDA's fees in exchange for issuing these exemptions is like the old days of the Catholic Church when you could gain absolution by merely purchasing indulgences.

Maple Court Deal Could Go Through Without Property Tax Breaks | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Obama’s New Firewall: Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada - By Jim Geraghty - The Campaign Spot - National Review Online

   With hope of a 2008 style win now a memory, Team Obama is protecting a shrinking salient in hopes of just hanging on to the White House.
    Four states...Ohio, Iowa, NH and Nevada are the new firewall with VA, NC and Florida now thought to be slipping from the President's reach.
     Continued firming of the Romney numbers would force such a last stand, and Mr. Obama will likely garrison his forces in those states where he still has enough of a lead to hold to 1600 Pennsylvania.
Obama’s New Firewall: Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada - By Jim Geraghty - The Campaign Spot - National Review Online

Entrepreneurs Still Exist....Even in the Era of Obama

   It's always exciting to visit a new business and see the enthusiasm of people who have been working for months on building something of their own...
   Today, I stopped in the Nautical Turtle, a new tavern opening as early as this weekend on Public Square....The Turtle is a well done renovation of what used to be Ollie's.....McGoo's for the really old among us.
    The new owners showed me their business today and it was very nice inside....
     Another soon to open business is the former Kicker's Tavern on Factory Street...
    It's good to see the desire for a local tavern continues in spite of times when society is against you and the corporate bars continue to grow.
    I will certainly make it a point to visit the "Turtle".

Zumba Madam: Records show police have 150 clients

    So now an entrepreneur faces jail time and 150 men face embarassment over what ?  Sex....consensual and discreet...
     The nation's latest madam....the Zumba in the news for her workout and whoopee service in the very staid and sober town of Kennebunk....Most well known as summer home for the Bushes.
       In the video, I saw a Maine State Police "Major Crimes Unit" van parked in front of Alexis Wrights Zumba studio.
       At least Alexis is promoting fitness...You'd think the First Lady would give her a citation.
Zumba Madam: Records show police have 150 clients | – Richmond News & Weather from WTVR Television CBS 6

Rom’s blow for leadership staggers Comeback Kid -

   There's a case to be made that Mitt Romney came out in good shape to win after last night's raucous debate in Hempstead.   Despite some testiness and mishandling the Libya question, Governor Romney was still way more on point in answering questions and talking about the economy.  Even Chris Matthews just conceded on Hardball that Mr. Obama offered no plan for the future...And that's from a guy with a tingle.
   A new Gallup tracking poll has Romney up 51-45....That seems bold, but its clearer and clearer this race will be very close and this week's high stakes debate pales compared to next Monday's final debate in Florida.
Rom’s blow for leadership staggers Comeback Kid -

Doheny Pushes Back on Richie Rich Moniker

    Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny pushed back against his "Plattsburgh millionaire lawyer" opponent today over the class warfare that is so much a part of the advertising for Rep. Bill Owens.
   Meanwhile insiders say more money is pouring into the NNY district for a late push in what the Doheny clan says is now a neck and neck race.
    Tax foe Grover Norquist's PAC is funding ads now as is Carl Rove's and who knows who else....Democrats are spending freely as well, perhaps an indication the double digit lead claims are not what they seem.
    On the HOTLINE, Mr Doheny talked deficits, trade with China and what he says is his ability to be the North Country's "salesman in chief" in search of outside investment
    One caller said he will vote for Mr. Doheny if he could get an IHOP here....Mr Doheny said he would try and the caller said that won his vote....
    On a more serious note, Mr. Doheny rapped the dysfunction in DC as the fault of both parties and pledged to work with anyone to promote his district's interests.
    Mr Owens and Green Party candidate Donald Hassig have also been invited to be on America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show.

Tresidder Makes Sales Tax Hike in SLC Centerpiece of TV Spot

       OMG....The Democrat has a commercial...That must be the response in Ritchie Nation as challenger Amy Tresidder unveiled a commercial calling for a hike in local sales tax in SLC and her desire to work with other local Democrats including Rep. Bill Owens (in a tight race),  Dan Maffei (attempting to win the Syracuse CD), and Assemblywoman Addie Russell who is unopposed.
        It's a decent spot, but as an underfunded candidate, Ms. Tresidder probably won't be airing it much.
       This could prompt the Patty Ritchie campaign to ramp up some spots so far not seen in the quiet race in SD48.
        Amy Tresidder

Media Keeps a Finger on the Scale

    Reporters cheered the President last night when he razzed Mitt Romney over his personal wealth. The press broke out in applause in the press room at Hofstra University when Mr. Obama chided Mr Romney about the size of his pension.
   Meanwhile, Candy Crowley,  the doyenne of CNN, did  a miserable job moderating, injecting herself into the debate....fact checking at one point....and thus denying many of the good people of Nassau County the chance to ask their question.
   The questions were very good and while the public has no means to follow up, Ms. Crowley appointed herself as their surrogate.....
    Afterwards the media declared the President to be on point and the winner.
    On to next week's dog and pony show in Boca Raton (site of the 47% speech...betcha we hear that).

Reporters applaud Obama's slam on Romney's wealth - Washington Times

Presidential Debate 2012: Obama goes for Mitt Romney's jugular in Hempstead, New York | Mail Online

       President Obama took a little shot of Joe Biden last night with a much more pointed and aggressive series of attacks on Mitt Romney.  Mr. Romney got testy at times and it showed, even though polls show Mr. Romney's answers on key economic questions were winners with debate watchers.

       It was the bumbling answer to the hanging curve ball sent his way over Libya that was the take-away moment. The Administration is dirty on this issue and Mr. Romney couldn't bring it the President.
       There was a real antipathy between the two men and it was shown in the snideness of the President and in Barack's face attitude of Mr. Romney.

        President Obama said nothing new and offered no "vision" for  a second term, but it was so obfuscated by theatrics one hardly noticed there was no beef in this burger.
Presidential Debate 2012: Obama goes for Mitt Romney's jugular in Hempstead, New York | Mail Online

WDT: Owens, Doheny square off in Plattsburgh debate

        The undercard...way debating last night was the second of three sessions between the principle candidates for Congress in the North Country......
         Played out in a closed conference center  in far away Plattsburgh, Rep. Bill Owens and challenger Matt Doheny sparred for an hour on live TV, with no apparent central issue rising to the least according to this WDT report.  The candidates were aggressive with each other.

          It's tough to argue these sessions move the needle much since unlike Presidential debates, there is no collective experience and no days of chatter and analysis afterward.
          Today, Mr. Doheny is on the HOTLINE show, and we will get his take on last night.
Watertown Daily Times | Owens, Doheny square off in Plattsburgh debate

Romney and President Battle....Testy Mitt Bobbles Benghazi

     President Obama was more likeable.. Governor Romney more the pair crossed swords in a sometimes testy debate on Long Island that has to be considered a draw, and that benefits Mr. Romney.
      Mr. Romney fumbled the Libya question but won it anyway as the facts don't favor the President.  Taxes and deficits were issues that favored Mr. Romney.
      Mr. Obama embraced platitudes and rambled while Governor Romney stuck with key talking points about a five point plan and his tax proposals.
       I think Mr. Romney held his own despite an improved stylistic approach by Mr. Obama compared to the first debate.
      A CNN poll gave the President the "win" by a 46% to 39% margin. The same survey gave Mr. Romney the edge on key issues.
     News from The Associated Press

WDT: On-Line Bill Paying Coming to City

       City Council has approved a contract for credit card processing, providing City residents and customers an on-line method of paying taxes, water bills, trash payments.
        I know many people had ask about this issue and the County government is also considering vendors for processing. An issue has been the processing fee, which will be added to bills when paid on line.       
Watertown Daily Times | City Council approves online credit card payments

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Local Debate Comes Off on Distant Station......

    The Doheny campaign says their candidate won the debate in Plattsburgh tonight, broadcast live on WPTZ.....I don't know who won, as I didn't watch the time I found the link, it was over.
    The key is whether anything newsworthy comes out of it....that drives the coverage people in the know may read about....
    We will get a first hand account on the HOTLINE tomorrow when Mr. Doheny visits.

JCC Adds 'Gender Neutral' Bathrooms

        Five bathrooms at JCC have been declared "gender neutral" because a trans-gender person complained....They are single user bathrooms so there will not be multiple people inside...
       It's not new...A few years back a similar arrangement was made at NY Air Brake to prevent awkward moments.
        At Fort Pearl, we still have traditional male and female rest rooms, and if you are unsure which one to use, just ask....
        After renovating the rest rooms last year without tax breaks, I just couldn't afford to add a third one.
Feedback: JCC Adds 'Gender Neutral' Bathrooms | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Polls raise presidential tie scenarios -

   Assuming neither candidate starts drooling on himself tonight at Hofstra, the contenders for the White House will leave Long Island locked in a close race.  Everybody is assigning swing states to produce different end results in the Electoral College....One plausible scenario has a 269-269 tie, forcing the race in the House of Representitives.
    Polls raise presidential tie scenarios -

New York’s Rising Jobless Rate Poses Test for Cuomo -

     Despite rising unemployment, New Yorkers are expected to be the strongest supporters of President Obama in three weeks....The Empire State jobless rate has been rising as the national rate had edged downward.
    New York is now at 9.1%...The national average is 7.8%......While it won't affect Governor Cuomo's grip on Albany, if it persists it could be a factor in his national ambitions.
New York’s Rising Jobless Rate Poses Test for Cuomo -

The Other Debate is Tonight Too

          While the nation's eyes are on the debate downstate at Hofstra, the eyes of NNY political cognescenti will be fixed on a secure studio in Plattsburgh where Congressional hopefuls Matt Doheny and Rep. Bill Owens will meet for a hour long live debate on WPTZ-TV, the NBC affiliate there.
         For Doheny, its one of a handful of chances to reach the public through means other than television commercials. For Mr. Owens its a perfunctory appearance in a campaign he clearly thinks he is winning but not taking any chances as he airs his 'four islands' commercial from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain and everywhere in between.
       Plattsburgh is Mr. Owens home turf and the hermetically sealed studio places the focus squarely on the candidates.
       For Mr. Owens, its a night to play it safe...The less coverage after the fact the better.
       Mr. Doheny needs to make some news without sounding frantic. His best bet is to dovetail on the improving status of the GOP national ticket. In other words, the race is not about personality, its about two different visions for the country and the need for some fiscal reality and acumen in our Nation's Capital.
      Ross Perot embraced that today in endorsing Mitt Romney and a lot of NNY residents recall voting for Ross in 1992.   It's a name worth raising as is Mr. Romney's. Three weeks ago that wasn't such a good idea.  
     On Wednesday, Mr. Doheny appears on the HOTLINE show in Watertown and both candidates do a live YNN debate in Watertown on October 25.
     A couple newspaper endorsements and more TV commercials are about all the rest that is left.

A-Rod hits on female fans during ALCS game against Tigers -

       While the Yankees were crashing and burning this past weekend against the Tigers, slumping and overpaid slugger Alexander Rodriguez was busy flirting with two pretty blondes in the stands at Yankee Stadium.  He had a ball boy deliver a ball with a request for phone numbers.

A-Rod hits on female fans during ALCS game against Tigers -

NY College Hosts a Real Debate This Time

   Maybe he will be taking notes on how to compete in a big time debate, but Governor Cuomo will be attending the site of his own gubernatorial debate tonight as he ventures to Hofstra University on Long Island for the Presidential showdown between President Obama and Governor Romney.
    It's a different scene than when Mr Cuomo took the stage as part of  a group of less than imposing opponents led  by Crazy Carl, the Madam, the Rents Too High guy and others whose names evade me.
     It's costing the university nearly five million dollars to host the event, but Hofstra hopes the publicity is worth it.
     The potential stars of tonights show are the residents of Nassau County chosen to be "undecided" voters who will ask questions in the town hall style debate.
Here And Now


      Senator Ritchie is pursuing her idea of relieving the expensive overcrowding in county jails by using excess capacity in state prisons. Ms. Ritchie met this week with Sen. Michael Nozzolio and the sheriffs of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties.
     Mr. Nozzolio heads the Senate committee dealing with prisons.
       Local jails thought to be large enough when built are overcrowded in part because of state regulations on how to run jails and a bunch of parole violators being held there. Often inmates are ferried all over the state for cell space and then back again for court appearances.
       It's an expensive system, and the Senator's suggestion has merit.


WDT: Campaign finance reports show Owens with big lead over Doheny

    If money is votes, Rep. Bill Owens is in good shape. Quarterly campaign finance reports show the incumbent with a big dollar lead over challenger Matt Doheny.
      Since Mr. Owens is raising money at a brisk rate, one wonders where the money comes from.  It's not from NNY folks who are not inclinded to play the game.
Watertown Daily Times | Campaign finance reports show Owens with big lead over Doheny

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hillary: 'I take responsibility' for Benghazi -

    In the tradition of loyalty to the party, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has "taken responsibility" for the Libya debacle that resulted in the death of four Americans including our ambassador.
    With the issue sure to surface in tomorrow's debate for President, Ms. Clinton decided to help out her boss, who is facing increasing criticism for the Benghazi incident which the Administration sought to portray as a street riot over a video no one saw....
    It's sad that the woman who should have been the Democratic nominee in 2008 has to grovel on behalf of The One.
Hillary: 'I take responsibility' for Benghazi -

George McGovern moved to hospice care - Associated Press

   One of the political giants of my generation is nearing the end as former Senator George McGovern has entered a hospice program in his native South Dakota...The 90 year old liberal icon had lost to Richard Nixon in 1972....losing every state but Massachusetts.
    Sometimes the losers in landslides are inspirations beyond their defeat as Barry Goldwater was after 1964.
      Senator McGovern was a World War II vet who in recent years has worked on issues of hunger.
      Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
George McGovern moved to hospice care - Associated Press -

Miner to Albany: We're not beggars

   Well Mayor, yes you are...But if you are begging for mandate relief and and other changes in state law, you are doing the Lord's work.....
    Syracuse's Stephanie Miner and the mayors of Rochester and Yonkers have responded to a Dicker piece in which they were called beggars. 
     miner to Albany: We're not beggars |

Divided Council Passes a Couple of Items of Interest

   City Council by matching 3-2 votes has approved a tax deal with the developers of Creekwood and a controversial ordinance on fees at the Fairgrounds.
    The tax deal is really an extension of one reached in 2007 when the Council sought annexation of the Creekwood land, but Councilmen Butler and Smith opposed it, largely because they could. Once Councilwoman Macaluso had arranged for some additional contribution from Norstar Development the three votes in favor were set.
     On the recreation fees, I frankly didn't think it would pass and will likely be the subject of calls for amendments, but once members Burns and Macaluso voted in the affirmative, I cast the deciding vote for passage. 
     Also at tonights meeting, I proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we honored Chamber of Commerce Czarina Lynn Petroski for her efforts in planning the recent Fireball Run.
     Council also approved the sale of a passle of properties that were the subject of a recent auction.  Lawmakers also approved on line credit card payments for bills owed the City.....

Does Renowned Watertown Born Doc Support Mitt ?

   Watertown native and health industry icon Dr. Toby Cosgrove may be casting his lot with Mitt Romney for President....Dr. Cosgrove's name appears as a $1,000 donor to Mr Romney's campaign last spring, although the doctor says his wife may have made the donation as he, as head of the renowned Cleveland Clinic, does not take sides.
     Backing of Dr. matter how a strong case against Obamacare which Mr. Romney has vowed to repeal and replace.
     Mitt Romney campaign records show Cleveland Clinic chief as a donor, but Clinic says he did not give |

Nice People Do Exist

    Forgot to mention one of those incidents that affirms your faith in humankind....Sunday I got back from Topp's Market in time to open the bar and realized I didn't have my phone....Now I am as bad as a teenager in being attached to my phone and I was in panic.
     After checking home and the car, I figured I had left it at the store....But where ?
     Just as I was readying to leave, a gentleman from Adams came into Fort Pearl with my phone.
     He had seen me (celebrity status helped here) near the produce rack picking through the limes and later saw a phone there ringing. He recognized when Fort Pearl came up on the screen and returned it to me.
      A hearty thanks to this good samaritan.

WDT: Council to Ponder Weighty Issues

        City Council tonight will likely approve the sale of several tax sale properties sold at auction. It takes a four fifths vote to approve each sale so there is only room for one councilman per vote to say no in order to preserve the record for whomever we preserve records for.
       Similarly, a majority is expected to support a proposed tax deal for Creekwood II that includes a compromised brokered by Councilwoman Macaluso to provide taxing jurisdictions addition money. That matter may be added to the agenda if final resolution wording is ready as expected by this evening.
       One thing we should all agree on is a proposal to hire a firm to facilitate credit card processing for payments to the City.  If approved the city will be only eight years behind Fort Pearl Tavern in offering the service. It is long overdue.

Watertown Daily Times | City Council will consider Fort Drum building, other bids on Monday night

WDT: On His Three Hour Tour, Scribe Looks for Mr. Howell

      Last summer when I blogged that a helicopter buzzed the Doheny wedding presumably getting video for a Bill Owens commercial, I inadvertantly offended Gawker and set off a kerfuffle with the Dohney inner circle...
    Turns out I was right about the chopper over the Doheny Archipelago (two islands and a spit).
     Times scribe Brian Amaral recently visited the St. Lawrence River home of the candidate for Congress and offers his impressions.

It's Not That Big a Secret....I Ran Pix Here Over a Year Ago
     Frankly, since all the broadcast media is airing the commercials about Doheny's islands, I don't know why they don't go and do a fact check and get some video of the Congressman's home....and while at it send Friot to Colton to check out Mr. Hassig's crib.
     Doheny says it's someone peeking in your window....
     I have often said all candidates for office should have  a tale-of-the-tape segment in the local paper including number of marriages, bankruptcies, judgments, DWIs, affirmation of when they inhaled, dalliances captured on cell phone, trips to countries paid for by others, and number of times visiting the Mayor's bar.  
      We should do the same for school superintendents, shadow government barons, and anyone else deemed in need of a public hectoring.
                               The Only Part About the Island I Didn't Like
Watertown Daily Times | A three-hour tour...

Romney Takes MGV Poll by Wide Margin

   With a day left before the second debate for President, Mitt Romney has easily won our straw poll conducted on this blog over the past week.
     While I realize such a survey is driven by the nature of my audience, in the past President Obama and other Democrats have fared well here, so I read the Romney win with an eye towards a possible migrations of sentiments in our corner of the blogosphere.
     Yes, I understand its not scientific...but like any poll its a snapshot in time, and is worth noting.

Gary Johnson Libertarian Candidate Worries Republicans -

      If you think politics is bean bag, tell it to Pennsylvania residents who signed nominating petitions for Libertarian Gary Johnson for President. A retired FBI agent flashing his retired badge was the a tactic used to visit the homes of signers and trying to scare them into thinking they were in trouble with the law for signing and seeking they recant and sign an affidavit to that effect.
       It failed in the Keystone State and Johnson won a court fight to stay on the ballot, as he is in 47 other states. Michigan and Oklahoma are the exceptions with a the fight in Lansing hinging on being three minutes late on filing.
        In this case, the GOP has been chasing down Johnson and certain other third party candidates in fear they would "steal" votes from Mitt Romney in swing states.
        It is unclear whether Johnson's views would steal any votes with his anti-war, anti-deficit, pro-pot views.
        In a non-swing state like NY, a third party candidate is 'making a statement' kind of vote, but  insiders always point to Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000 as their proof of what can happen.
        The two party system would rather not compete with third party candidates on November 6, but instead will go to great lengths to prevent the choice in the first place.

Gary Johnson Libertarian Candidate Worries Republicans -

Yonkers, Rochester and Syracuse among nearly bankrupt New York state cities asking again for a bailout -

  New York' big city mayors have been meeting with Governor Cuomo in a bid to avoid bankruptcy but its not as easy as Albany just stroking a check. Despite all the Governor's talk of pension reform, there are still issues that are driving up costs in places like Rochester and Syracuse. Democratic mayors likes Albany's Jerry Jennings wants laws favoring public employee unions changed, something that will make last year's modest fight over pensions look like child's play.
    Yonkers, Rochester and Syracuse among nearly bankrupt New York state cities asking again for a bailout -

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Yanks Down 0-2 and Haven't Faced the Ace Yet

       The New York Yankees have lost the first two at home in the ALCS and now must face a well rested Justin Verlander Tuesday night in Detroit.
       That doesn't look like a good scenario for the Bombers who lost today 3-0.

Neighborhood Bars the Place to Be as Weather Cools

       This is a great time of year in the tavern business...You don't have to run the A/C or heat....People are getting ready to indoor party season and the holidays are on the horizon.....
     Sunday afternoons are full of football and good people as I discovered when these young ladies stopped by.
      Be sure to find a good neighborhood bar this fall and winter....Meet friends and enjoy good times.
       A message from your friends in the neighborhood hospitality industry.

JETS Win....Look Ahead to Brady Bunch

    Mark Sanchez has pushed back talk of Tebow least for another week with the JETS 35-9 thrashing of the Colts in a game played in the Meadowlands.
     Sanchez kept to the ground with running back Shonn Greene piling up 161 yards and three TDs..
     The JETS are now 3-3 and play their arch rival Patriots in Foxboro next week.

Convicted drivers skirting the ignition interlock law - The Buffalo News

    Convicted drivers are not playing the game the way the interlock industry or the installers wanted when it comes to ignition interlocks...
    Instead of paying the thousands to support a cottage industry, they are just taking cars off the road for six months and not driving while they pay their debt to society for drinking and driving.
     Of course the real hard cores will do what they always have done and that is drive with no license.
      Perhaps the more sensible solution was not to impose technology on drivers....but instead just force them off the road for a period. Unless you have the contract to install the darn things....then this is a miscarriage of justice.
Convicted drivers skirting the ignition interlock law - City & Region - The Buffalo News

Kate Upton is dating Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander while Yankees date B-list celebs -

      Used to be who was dating A-Rod was news..but no so anymore as the aging Yanks are less interesting on the social front and the visiting Tigers from Detroit have the big score as ace pitcher Justin Verlander is dating SI swimsuit model Kate Upton.
     She would have been a Yankee staple in better days. Nowaday Alex Rodriguez is dating a 36 year old pro wrestler.
      Derek Jeter is out for the season with a fractured ankle suffered in the final inning of last nights 12 inning loss to Detroit in the first game of the ALCS.      
Kate Upton is dating Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander while Yankees date B-list celebs -

New Eaterie a Metaphor for How the Arcade is Succeeding

    Having opened the Paddock Club from scratch thirteen years ago, I am something of an expert in following the resurgence of the historic Paddock Arcade.....Through spits and stutters, private entrepreneurs have invested their time, effort and money into trying to build businesses there...All with an eye on preserving the historic nature of the nation's oldest covered shopping mall.
    Now a new eating spot called Vito's Gourmet readies to open. Anthony Tarzia joins fellow restaurant and nightclub owner Robert Dalton and the Bartlett family in operating eating establishments in the Arcade and they built them without all the usual assistance. They did it with hard work and just by being there day after day.
     The Arcade still needs work, but its restoration is a matter of increment with various people over the years trying and sometimes succeeding and sometimes not.
      Johnny D's restaurant is now licensed to sell cocktails and the Paddock Club has upgraded its menu. The former beauty shop now has new owners.
      The Arcade had fallen into disrepair by the late 90s and its now a viable part of downtown. It happened by people with drive building their businesses.

EXCLUSIVE: New York politicians caught collecting per diems for time in Albany on 'legislative business' during which they may not have been there -

    This is hardly a surprise...Per diems in Albany have always been considered the de facto salary hike routinely denied lawmakers anxious to prove their lack of worth.
     The Post has a list of lawmakers getting their per diem when not in the capital.
      I think paying lawmakers not to be in Albany in a good idea.
EXCLUSIVE: New York politicians caught collecting per diems for time in Albany on 'legislative business' during which they may not have been there -

IRS has 70K tax liens open against NY businesses -

   There are lots of people in business who haven't paid their taxes...In NY, 70,000 IRS liens exist against businesses in some cases owing tens of millions of dollars.
     A lot has been said of a local firm in the news for property tax deliquencies and it should be public. So should the names of everyone else who owes...Not that they are bad people or shouldn't be allowed to regroup...
    It's because public shaming has been a successful regulator of behavior for centuries...Less so now, perhaps, but still effective.
    Not paying bills is a predictor of character.
    Local media...get some lists.
IRS has 70K tax liens open against NY businesses -

Court order halts Hudson River Rafting during drowning investigation

     A drowning involving a 53 year old Ohio woman has led to the NYS  Attorney General going after the Hudson River Rafting Company for alleged repeated safety issues and use of unlicensed guides.  A judge has temporarily halted Hudson from operating in waterways in the eastern part of NNY.
     Rafting has become very popular in our area with several companies operating on the Black River without complaints or serious incidents. There are inherent risks for novices and those not in the best physical shape in rafting, but safety is paramount and so far in our area, the record indicates the operators do a good job.
Court order halts Hudson River Rafting during drowning investigation

WDT: Less Cash in NNY Races as Region's Exciting Races Fade and Region Returns to Normal

     After three festive and expensive State Senate races centering around Darrel Aubertine, the two parties have reverted to the old ways with the Republican dominant and the underfunded Democratic challenger unable to even get her own party's governor to endorse her.
     Spending numbers show Senator Patty Ritchie likely to spend little on the television carpet bombing that allowed Dems to bring the sleepy NNY GOP to its knees by taking away a Senate seat long considered its right. Without the charisma and appeal of Mr. Aubertine, it's just not a competitive seat anymore.
      The local Assembly races are also non-races this year after a stretch in which competitive candidates for both parties opened check books.
       Local media, especially television, was loving it and broadcast executives are carping this year asking 'where's the cash'.
        This is a return to the mean in NNY politics, except for the Congressional race, which will also return to the mean in 2014......Mr. Owens will have either fended off the challenge and there will be no one with means or energy to mount a real challenge....Or, if Mr. Doheny wins, he will have consolidated his position and have the incumbency and resources needed to stay in office.
        Watertown Daily Times | Less cash this year in state legislative races