Saturday, December 1, 2012

Radio Christmas Party Features Glamorous People

      It was another splendid dinner at what arguably is the best local restaurant...Employees of Community Broadcasting gathered at Cafe Mira in Adams for the Christmas Party hosted by owners Jim Leven and Bruce Mittman.
     Radio folks from the Watertown and Ogdensburg operations were there...I sat at the table with the Maple City contingent....We talked a lot of politics and everyone from Bill Nelson to Chuck Kelly was mentioned.
Radio Pretty People Kari Plumpton and Glenn Curry Preen for the Camera

    Johnny Spezzano was there as was Glenn Curry and Kari Plumpton, my fashion and style advisor. Mr. Mittman is still mourning the loss of his Bay State cohort Mitt Romney.
     Cafe Mira is owned by Lisa and Lori....Lisa worked on Pearl Street a couple of decades ago and is very successful in Adams....
     I heartily recommend Cafe Mira to any and all looking for fine dining !

Radio Glitterati Gathers to Toast the Holiday Season

    Much of the local radio world gathers tonight in Adams for the gala Community Broadcasters Christmas Party......
    Hosted by co-owners Jim Leven and Bruce Mittman, the employees from Wealtha Avenue and the distant outpost in the Maple City gather at the Cafe Mira in Adams where the food and ambiance is always great.
    I will keep a keen eye for anyone wearing a lampshade or kissing someone else's wife...  Full report later tonight.

Long Island Pols Ponder Drinking Age for Energy Drinks

    There was a time long long ago when Long Island was a conservative bastion outside the influences of the City of New York with all its nanny state liberalism...Increasingly, folks in Suffolk County have become the most nanny-like, now considering establishing a 19 year old drinking age for energy drinks.

     Concern over the caffeine boost is driving the call for a drinking age for high test soda pop.  Wonder how it will be enforced ?  Will there be a Suffolk County Sugary Drink Authority with all sorts of patronage jobs ?
     If this is going to happen, make it 21 like alcohol. Its easier to enforce. Whatever age it is teens will get their Red Bull.  I mean really, if an 18 year old standing outside the Nice n' Easy asks you to buy them a Monster, are you going to turn them down ? 
      You shouldn't, but once you are caught in a soda sting and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and have your name all over the Internet, you would think twice about buying it...and you certainly wouldn't allow your kids friends over for a sleepover and let them have a sugary drink. CPS would be a knockin' in no time.
      I'm glad I came of age in an era when there was a modicum of freedom left.

Teens blast proposal to enact minimum drinking age for energy drinks | Mail Online

WDT: The Ripple Effect of New School Lunches

   The City School District will no longer provide school lunches for the City's Catholic Schools.
    My first response to reading that is I didn't know they did. I guess it's because lunches have been part of an entitlement provided through the USDA.
    Now, because of declining student interest in what the school district is serving under new student lunch guidelines, Superintendent Terry Fralick is pulling the plug on packaging up lunches to send to two parochial schools.
     The Catholic schools don't have kitchens ready to pick up the slack, so brown bagging will be the order of the day, I presume.
      Actually this whole thing about healthier lunches has other spinoffs.
      I was over at the Wise distributor the other day picking up some chips (bars have no food guidelines....yet)  and they were telling me how their business with schools has changed dramatically, with some products banned entirely.
       Lunch is also more than just ingestion of food. It is a social break in the day. A chance to talk about this teacher or that class...a chance to flirt with the pretty girl in pigtails with the new tattoo....a chance for bullies to bully....or to plan what you are doing when school lets out.
       Nutrionally, lunch could be replaced with an energy bar, but the ripple effect of new food standards is sweeping indeed.  When the issue was raised in the recent Congressional race, there was really little debate on the far ranging effects of all this.

Watertown Daily Times | Watertown City School District to cut IHC lunches

A Signature Cocktail a Gold Mine for Crystal Restaurant

        The very popular Christmas-time drink called the "Tom and Jerry" is a nearly 200 year old concoction using a batter made from egg whites along with rum and hot water topped by nutmeg.
         It's very much a regional drink in northern climates and has no connection to the the cartoon characters popular in the past century.
The Tom and Jerry

          Watertown's Crystal Restaurant has become ground zero for Tom and Jerry's and many people consider a stop at the quaint downtown eaterie is a holiday must. Friday night the bar was crowded with Christmas enthusiasts seeking warmth in a decidely chilly night.  The drink is so popular, other downtown spots are trying to replicate it, but while the mixture in the cup may be the same, the unique ambiance of the Crystal is hard to match.
Tom and Jerry (mixed drink) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, November 30, 2012

Watertown Lights Its Tree !

    A festive crowd braved the chilly night air on Public Square today to participate in the annual Christmas Tree Lighting....an event witnessed by many across the state in a live broadcast on YNN !
City Christmas Tree Lit for Statewide Audience

     Several choral groups, Santa, and the folks at Johnny D's Restaurant combined with organizers and city staff to  make for a fun evening as Watertown plunges headlong into the holiday season.
    Tonights tree lighting features some 15,000 LED lights flashing to music at regular intervals....Many other holiday decorations festoon the city as well.
Santa and Mrs. Claus Greet Youngsters

    Tonights event also provided a chance for the Watertown Urban Mission to collect food stuffs for the needy in a collection organized by Councilwoman Roxanne Burns.
      A special shout out to our friends at YNN who carried the lighting live. It means a lot for Watertown to be on the big stage....

Space Age Tree Graces City Hall

     The classic 1960s aluminum Christmas tree that has graced my Pearl Street tavern for years is on display this season at City Hall for those who don't want to be mixing the Devil's Brew with the holidays.
     The shiny tree was decorated this morning by members of City Clerk Ann Saunders staff and visitors to the first floor of City Hall are welcome to stop in and see it,
     This particular tree came my way from a HOTLINE listener on Ives Street who heard me talking about how they were a part of my youth in the go-go 60s.
     The tree was bought at Weston's Shoppers City on Arsenal Street and originally had the colored light wheel featured with these trees. (Stringing lights on the tree is not allowed)
     Thank you to the Clerk for hosting the tree in a place where more can remember this period in American history. Already today one person stopped in to tell the story of her Grandma's silver tree !

Going Long...JETS Hope to Rally Late

    Even though I ordered it before Thursday's massacre in the Meadowlands, I am pleased with my new JETS  Nerf-football.  Even though footballs are not always a predictor of success, they make a nice momento.
    The 4-7 JETS take on Phoenix this Sunday at 1PM and while the season is a goner, there is still a modicum of dignity at stake.

Tight Senate race lands in court - Times Union

   It's a mini version of Florida 2000 for election law lawyers scrambling to win for their party the very close Senate race in newly created District 46 near Albany. Republican George Amedore leads Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk by 110 votes with over 800 ballots in limbo due to various challenges as the paper ballots were being opened.
   Most of the objections came from the Republican side, so its expected those votes, many in Democratic Ulster County, could flip the results from election day.
   Lawyers will argue over each ballot, in come cases looking for utility bills to demonstrate if the absentee voter in question really lives where they purport to live.
    If Dems win, they may be able to organize the Senate without renegade Sen-elect Simcha Felder of Brooklyn who has bolted his party in favor of siding with the GOP.
    Dems also have to sweet talk the four member Independent Democratic Caucus in order to have a 32-31 majority in the upper house.
     This will drag on for some time to come.

Tight Senate race lands in court - Times Union

Missouri lotto winner 'revealed as Mark Hill, 52' | Mail Online

    A convenience store in a tiny Missouri town is ground zero in the lottery world as a 52 year old father of four is though to be the co-winner in the $580M Powerball jackpot drawn Wednesday night. The other ticket was sold in AZ, but news accounts say the winner may be from Maryland.
    Excitement is huge at the TrexMart in Dearborn, MO where you can see in this photo, Show Me State residents also get to buy gas at $3.09 a gallon.
       The store gets a $50,000 bonus from the Missouri Lottery, although I believe in NY there is no such reward.  Of course, why should they get a dime extra for just doing their job ?
        Powerball jackpots will be fueled further next year as California joins the other 42 states participating in what has become a national lottery.


Missouri lotto winner 'revealed as Mark Hill, 52' | Mail Online

Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill

     Will the paper $1 fall under its own weight before plastic transactions wipe out currency and coin transactions all together ?
      Once again, the Congress has before it an easy way to cut some costs in getting rid of the paper $1 in favor of dollar coins which are already minted and last a lot longer.
      The public has resisted the metal $1 and for the most part refused to use it.
       These days even the smallest transactions are done with credit and debit cards which provide the ultimate in ability to track the public, something the government loves.
      However there is still a need for real money, and Congress should force the transition in order to save the modest amount in coming years.
       Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Romney Visits the White House - NYTimes.com

     Elections don't exactly make for blossoming friendships or "bro-mances."  However, its always good to see the moment of reconcilliation, such as today when President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney shared lunch and discussion at the White House.
     To an extent, its a courtesy and a closing of the loop. A realization that despite the differences, we all have much in common and share common goals.
      My first opponent was Jim Brett, who I had a productive relationship with for years and valued his support and advice. I have always maintained cordial relationships with all my one time foes..Jim Marshall, Mayor Butler, Paul Simmons, Tim LaBouf and currently Councilman Jeff Smith.
     Moving on is as much a part of winning as it is losing. 

Romney Visits the White House - NYTimes.com

Aluminum Tree Hits the Road

   Christmas trees are always special....and this year the City's most historic holiday tree will head to City Hall.
    The fifty year old aluminum tree bought at Weston's Shopper's City on Arsenal street a half century ago will be in a prominent spot for public view.
Classic Silver Tree in its Unassembled State

    Traditionally the tree has been here on Pearl Street, but this icon of a bygone era should have a wider audience.
    The exact location has yet to be determined.

Susan Rice is Wealthy....Not a Victim

   You gotta love Ambassador Susan Rice....Here she is being made a black Joan of Arc by the MSM and the Dem hierarchy and she and her Canadian husband are worth more than Matt Doheny.
      Ms. Rice has a bunch of cash in the Keystone Pipeline, which is especially delicious.
      You see these people are not of us...they are an elite...That's OK, but they really don't need the mantle of victimhood when they get into a political sticky wicket.
Worth a Bundle...Good for Her

       I think John McCain has been kind of over the top on Benghazi...It is what it is and let's move one....
       And I don't care if Ms. Rice is Secretary of State.
       She and I do share something in common...We both attended Stanford, albeit in different capacities...Her as a graduate of the college...me as a newborn at the University Medical Center in Palo Alto.
Rice connected to Keystone pipeline company - The Washington Post

Dearborn, Mo., abuzz after selling Powerball ticket to split $579.9 million jackpot - KansasCity.com

   There's buzz at the TrexMart Store in Dearborn, MO today as someone was a co-winner of the the massive $580M Powerball Lottery. The other ticket was sold in AZ.
    It will become apparent quickly to a small store clientele who is not hanging around to chatter and is at home huddled with whomever trying to figure out what to do next.
Dearborn, Mo., abuzz after selling Powerball ticket to split $579.9 million jackpot - KansasCity.com

Happy Holidays from the Boyfriend ?

   There don't seem to be as many decent men as their used to be. City police report two men, age 25 and 40, were arrested this week for punching out their girlfriend. Whacked 'em both pretty good from the reports.
    Maybe it's just the collateral damage of human interaction, but it seems you shouldn't be feelin' so good about yourself if you punched out a woman.
                                        Violence Against Women Still Prevalent
    Some people do, cause they keep on doin' it. 
     That's job security for cops, counselors and family court, but a very poor reflection on people who continue to think this kind of stuff is OK.
Newzjunky.com Police Blotter

And the Winners Are.....Not From New York

     The nearly six hundred million dollar Powerball jackpot will go to ticket holders in a pair of red states...Arizona and Missouri.
       So ends the frenzy and the easy to do news stories and live shots for local TV news and bloggers.

       For my $10 investment I got one number plus the powerball, an effort I expect will net me about $4.
2 winning tickets hit record Powerball jackpot

Microphone for Sale

    A collector of old microphones wants to sell his vintage RCA mike with a WATN microphone flag on it. Larry Myers says he wants $550 for the momento. It's not something in my price range, but if you are a true HOTLINE fan, you may want this for your coffee table.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Klein Wants To Have A ‘Major Role’ On Issues

   If Republicans control the State Senate with the help of the Independent Democratic Caucus, it will be a GOP Senate in name only.
   IDC leader, Sen. Jeff Klein, says he wants a major role in legislating and he wants to use his leverage to pass a wage hike, pass campaign finance reform and new legislation on reproductive rights.
   Dean Skelos may get to play majority leader on TV, but he will not control events, especially in a state where demographics suggest the GOP is listing to port.
Klein Wants To Have A ‘Major Role’ On Issues

Fort Drum To Get New Leader Next Monday

   That was quick...a change of command at Fort Drum was scheduled so quickly they didn't have time to send out the usual cards, but invites came by e-mail. 
     Anyway, best wishes to MG Milley, although I was troubled with his ties to Massachusetts sports teams.
Fort Drum To Get New Leader Next Monday | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

One nation under Powerball — now $550M

    In the eight states not part of the Powerball coalition, there much be a lot of scrambling to get to the state next door....
    Everyone is talking about the $550 M  jackpot and what they would do with the money.
Our old friend from radio Steve Behm chimed in.
"If I win the 550-million tonight, I'm headin' over to the Men's Warehouse first thing in the morning for the big two-for-one suit sale! Then, I'll pick up my shiny new Dodge Dart and head to Chili's for a celebratory dinner! I'll finally be able to live the kind of lifestyle others only dream about!...It'll be great to be me."
     I bought my tickets at JRs Discount Liquor...But as a pragmatist, I still plan on going to work tomorrow.

One nation under Powerball — now $550M

Cuomo: I Can Work With Anyone...But Does He Pay a Price for Being Chummy ?

   Governor Cuomo is still saying he can work with whomever controls the State Senate, and that's really ticking off Democratic loyalists and "progressives" who put party and ideology first.
    Some feel the Governor's refusal to go to bat and lean on wobbly Dem newly electeds in the Senate to side with John Sampson is tantamount to disloyalty and a disqualifier in a run for the White House...
    So far Mr. Cuomo has been able to set his own rules and had the force of will to overcome traditional political rules.
    Or does he ?
Cuomo: I Can Work With Anyone

Yo-Johnny Frozen Yogurt

   I don't think the business reporter for the WDT will be covering this grand opening..
Johnny Spezzano, who once dressed as  a woman for a hoax wedding photo, is opening a frozen yogurt shop in the Towne Center plaza outside the City.

     Best wishes to Johnny whose last business venture was a nightclub. This seems a healthier and more wholesome endeavor for the popular local radio personality.
(17) Yo-Johnny Frozen Yogurt

Can Anchors Make Enough to Afford Their Own Makeup in Small Markets ?

    Anchoring the news is still a heady and somewhat prestigious gig, but if money is your thing, in smaller markets you are better off being a cop, a teacher or even a waitress in a busy restaurant or bar.
     A survey of anchor salaries ranges from a low of $18,500 to Diane Sawyer's $12M at ABC. 
     Here in Watertown, based on what I know from my time in the biz long ago, I would say the senior anchors here make in the $50 to $ 60K range with the newbies  probably clocking in at $20K to $30K.
     As local news operations have shrunk, so have salaries..but regardless of the money you can't put a price on being recognized on the street...Or so the boss tells you.
      I recall a conversation years ago with I think it was Dennis Honeywell....he was carping about pay and the boss told him its a prestigious job...
      "I had a bowl of that prestige for breakfast and it wasn't very filling," said Dennis.....Or if he didn't say, he should have.

TV news salaries range from millions for Diane Sawyer and Matt Lauer to the low five figures  - NY Daily News

Senate Race Heads to the Courts

   Observers will get to see a Florida style dispute near Albany as both major parties jockey to win a State Senate race in the newly minted 46th SD where Republican George Amedore holds a thin 110 vote lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk.
   Absentee and affidavit ballots have been counted in Ulster County where the Democrat has closed the margin with townships like Woodstock where Ms. Tkaczyk garnered 80% of the vote.
     The fight now shifts to the courtroom where some 1,000 disputed ballots will be argued over. Democrats say they are confident these will go their way. I suspect many of the disputes center on whether the voter really lives in the district.
      The race is essentially a tie but when its that close there is a fight over every vote. It's about winning and the decisions of a judge will shape the result.
       With the Senate split down the middle,every seat is a battleground.
        The irony here is that the Senate GOP had expanded the size of the body in a bid to give themselves a free upstate seat....The 46th race was not as easy as they thought it would be.

"46th Senate District: The legal battle" by Capital Region Scene

The War on Christmas Seldom Visits Most of America, Including Us

     Every year about this time the War on Christmas flares up with skirmishes usually only catching the watchful eye of FOX News while the other secular humanist and atheist media focus on their wars like the one on women raging around Susan Rice.
     Each year there is always some minor flap over a nativity scene or some other perceived grievance.
       The War on Christmas isn't touching Watertown where this Friday we celebrate the holiday by calling it Christmas and lighting a tree called a Christmas tree.
       Back in the early 90s there was a brief flap over our Public Square nativity scene but it faded quickly.
Santa Monica City Council Bans Nativity, Religious Scenes in Parks | TheBlaze.com

WDT: Lewis County Lawmaker Floats Sales Tax Hike

   With Grover Norquist on the wane, everybody is hopping on the hike-your-taxes bandwagon.
   In Lewis County there is discussion about seeking a hike in the local sales tax from 3.75% to 4%. The rationale is the ballooning cost of fund the state retirement system where yesterday's chickens are coming home to roost.
    It will be tough to get state Albany lawmakers to carry the enabling legislation.
     Watertown Daily Times | Lewis legislator floating sales tax hike

Hudson River guide pleads guilty after client drowns | NCPR News

   A big black eye for the rafting business as a guide for one of the companies operating on the Black River in Watertown has pleaded guilty to being drunk while one of his passengers died in a rafting mishap in eastern NY.
     Hudson River Rafting employed the man and the firm has also caught the attention of the AG.
       It's a serious allegation as the sport has its potential dangers and those who sign up for a trip on the Hudson or the Black River often have no such skills and rely on the people in charge for their safety.
      Many people take these trips every year without incident, but the festive and social atmosphere of a trip doesn't mask the obligation of the guides to be professional and sober. 
Hudson River guide pleads guilty after client drowns | NCPR News

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Warehouse Bidder Fails to Close...Structure Likely to Head Back to Auction

   With today's passing of a deadline to close on the purchase of the former Fort Drum Storage warehouse on West Main Street, City Council will have to decide the building's fate and that likely will be a second auction sometime over the winter.

    Meanwhile the 10% down payment paid by Ruby Williams at the time of the original auction is forfeited..That's $12,500.
      When property is seized for overdue taxes as this one was, an auction is held and the high bidder puts 10% down and must close within 30 days. That didn't happen despite a ten day extension.
      The circumstances around this property were unusual, but sticking with the auction process is best. In the first auction the numbers got run up in a bidding frenzy and a competing bidder told me in a second go around he doesn't see bidding it up that high...Let's find out.
    

Sale On Hold For Old Fort Drum Storage | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Klein’s Group Favors Coalition With Senate Republicans - NYTimes.com

  A close Senate race appears headed to the courts for resolution...The Left is criticizing Governor Cuomo for not leaning on wayward Democrats threatening to effectively overturn the election results.
   Senator Jeffrey Klein is talking about his coalition of four "independent Democrats"  forming a coalition government with the  GOP...
    Following all this is difficult and that may be why no one in the local media is covering the struggle....
    Klein’s Group Favors Coalition With Senate Republicans - NYTimes.com

Cole: Join with Obama on quick deal - POLITICO.com

   Some Republicans like Oklahoma's Rep. Tom Cole are catching on...They lost the election but still have a decent base of power in the House and to keep arguing on behalf of the highest paid citizens is an argument going nowhere.
   Rep. Cole says the GOP should take the Obama proposal to keep current tax rates for 98% of Americans, then worry about the rest of the tax code later. It does nothing to cure the deficit, but holding fast to the Norquist pledge is increasingly not a position that carries the day.
    Let the Administration have their  way ?  Might be the best way to go as having no deal by January may not be the end of the World but it will happen in a loud media drumbeat....and the end result is the GOP will be seen as obstructionist.
Cole: Join with Obama on quick deal - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

Powerball jackpot raised to $500 million

      This is more than enough to run for Congress....I could run for statewide office, but a White House bid is out of the question. $500M is really about 350 cash and after taxes probably around $250M.
        With that you could pay your bills, have fun, help some people who matter, give some to charity, do some community projects, drop ten or fifteen million on a race for Congress and still have close to $200M.
         Can you imagine going into Watertown Savings Bank and depositing a check for $250 M ?  Lavarnway and Bellinger would be taking you out to lunch everyday, and you'd probably get your own designated teller.
        Powerball is a long shot, but throwing ten bucks at it is no harm to anyone. Do it today at the Mayor's Bar !
Powerball jackpot raised to $500 million

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

   Watertown's revived downtown is gearing up for the Holidays. Today City crews were putting up trees and stringing lights in advance of Friday's Tree Lighting to be held at 6PM.
     The smaller trees come from a farm in Central NY and will host a colorful display keyed to music that plays throughout the season.
     

St. Lawrence County Property Taxes To Jump 13.4% | WWNY TV 7

      Is an extra $109 a year for the average homeowner too big a price to keep the "Big County" chugging along ?  Not really.
       St. Lawrence County property taxes will go up 13.4% and some 50 positions will be eliminated as lawmakers there, like many in Congress, decided 'no new taxes' is not the mantra in an Obama second term.
      If you are a part of the system...if you have or a person close to you has a county job, the extra taxes are miniscule. For others, it's just a headline that no one really follows that closely.
       St. Lawrence County Property Taxes To Jump 13.4% | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

“Fireman Ed” says he will stop leading chants at New York Jets home games - NYPOST.com

        Chronic losing and the feeling of being a Charlie Brown with the football pulled away is a powerful emotion. I remember when my former radio collegue Joe Brosk was an avid Bills fan, but after the four in a row and unraveling of football in Western NY a few years back, Joe just gave up the sport and his team cold turkey. Enough of the emotional roller coaster..enough of investing Sunday after Sunday in cult like worship of false prophets.
        That's what the resignation of 'Fireman Ed' as JETS fan in chief reminds me of.
Ed Anzalone will no longer lead the chants or wear the funny hats. The losing is part of it, but the nastiness and coarseness of fandom has left the former NYC smoke-eater disillusioned and forelorn.
JETS Super Fan Fireman Ed Ends the Chant

        I am still dealing with the humiliation of the Thanksgiving thrashing at the hands of the rascals from Boston, and find it harder and harder to be upbeat.
        Is the forty-plus year chant of 'wait til next year' enough ?   I'll tell you after next Sunday's game against Phoenix.
        And to think I did my Christmas shopping at the JETS on-line store.
“Fireman Ed” says he will stop leading chants at New York Jets home games - NYPOST.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rice to meet with 3 Senate critics - POLITICO.com

    In a move that could heal the wound over Benghazi and grease the way to Foggy Bottom,  UN Ambassador Susan Rice is meeting this week with her three harshest critics....Senators McCain, Ayotte and Graham.
    Ms. Rice will try to explain why she delivered such clearly misleading accounts of the September 11 Benghazi raid. This weekend Senator John McCain backed off a bit, saying Ms. Rice was not to blame for the accounts and that the information she got had been massaged to alter the message.
    This is a good thing as a messy confirmation fight for a new Secretary of State is hardly needed and its unclear whether Ms Rice did wrong or was just a victim of the White House PR offensive during the campaign.
Rice to meet with 3 Senate critics - POLITICO.com

Council Hears Woolworth Building on Brink...But Hopeful Developers Make Their Case

    City Council heard promising and depressing news about the Woolworth Building from the new developers attempting to make a go of the project on hold for many years.
    First of all, the talk five or six years back of a luxury hotel was never a possibility, but the current plan for apartments and commercial space is in keeping with today's downtowns.
    The developers were in town to address the Council. Obviously this type of project only happens because its subsidized in some manner. The current state of the building is saveable but increasingly dire.
Back In The Day

      Developer David Gallo ask to use a parcel across the street for parking...formally abandoned an effort to relocate the bus station, and requested Council approve a soon to be made request for tax abatement.
      In other Council action, lawmakers committed to making Sunday hours at the Library continue. City staff was instructed to work with the Library Board of Directors following a pilot program deemed a success.
     Council discussed drinking water flouridation now deemed one of the "ten greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th Century."  That makes it hard to oppose, but the discussion was interesting as a couple local dentists and some public health poobahs watched.
    Council also learned it will likely have to readvertise and auction the warehouse taken for taxes on West Main Street.

The Slow Count Continues in the Remaining Close Senate Race

   Republicans added a Senate seat for this year's election figuring the upstate district would be a gimme for them...But it's a struggle..The new 46th near Albany is still up in the air although GOP candidate George Amedore clings to a lead as absentees are counted. Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk is hoping Ulster County, where more Democrats received absentees, will shift the outcome.
     It looks like Mr. Amedore has the edge, but it's clear the Senate will be a battleground as one newly elected Democrat from Brooklyn has pledged to sit with the GOP for organization and there are four Democrats claiming they will remain as an independent caucus, again suggesting Senator John Sampson does not have a clear path to being majority leader.
A Look At The Ulster County Absentees

Council to Hold Work Session Tonight


 Three items likely to come up at tonight's City Council work session include an update on the Woolworth Building from its new owner......a discussion of the ailing Thompson Park water tower and a chat on the recently raised issue of flouridated drinking water.....and the next step with the recently completed Sunday hours pilot program at the Flower Memorial Library.
    

Medical Pot Fans Tout Quick Cash to Albany as Rationale for Their Habit

    On the issue of marijuana, while two states have essentially made recreational use legal, there are 18 states allowing medical marijuana which is basicly a way for the camel to get its nose under tent in a different way.
    Lobbying is on in Albany for that to happen here, and while no North Country lawmaker would ever publicly support it, the issue may find a way to passage just like same sex marriage.
    The current rationale is that it would be a revenue stream, always a way to the heart of pols anxious to keep up spending while not having to raise more obvious taxes.
      Of course lots of things seen as sinful are allowed as long as the price is right.
       The largest recent example of that is gambling, where just about anything goes as long as Albany has a hand in the till.
Medical marijuana proponents in New York renew push for legalization - NY Daily News

Sunday, November 25, 2012

There Will Likely Be No "Storms of the Century" This Year

   An open letter to the main stream media...particularly the broadcast media

   Winter is almost here, but the winter-like weather is already here in parts of upstate.
We all know it will snow...it will blow....there will be icy conditions, and that we need to be aware of our surroundings.
    Caution is the order of the day and saving lives is paramount.
    However, in reporting the weather, can we keep it in perspective ? Can we not panic the public into staying locked in their homes, afraid of this week's 'storm of the century.' ?
    People talk about weather...News executives have caught on and that's why local news consists mostly of talking about the weather...The more hyberbole, the more viewer and listener interest...
   I get it...I am in radio.
Motorist in the Ditch Sunday in the Town of Parish

    However, throughout the winter months, time after time, the public is spooked by inflammatory weather forecasts. This is particularly true in an area with so many new residents.
   I know its true from my retail auto days, when so many people had been convinced you have to have a four wheel drive vehicle.
    There will be snowy days...but we also have an unparalleled ability to clear roads quickly...
     The recent cancellation of school over "superstorm Sandy" was an example of media hype at the expense of the public.
     Retailers lose a lot with all these OMG weather reports...Let's cool it..We all have to make a living.

Tough Winter-like WX Buffets CNY

     While flurries fell on Watertown's Christmas Parade, Central NYers are getting more of brush with Old Man Winter. A local florist travelling back from an SU game took time not to talk on the cell phone, but instead to take a picture through the windshield. We presume traffic had halted.

One of the Fun Times as Mayor...Walking in the Chirstmas Parade

    Your 'Mayor Who's There' was one of only two elected officials (Sheriff Burns was the other) to come to the Christmas Parade, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of two to three thousand revelers who did come out in brisk but pleasant weather to see Santa and the floats.
    The Privateers hockey team was out in force along with an antique pirate boat that shoots rings of smoke to the delight of kids. Team owner Nicole Kidman (oops that's Kirnan) had her team handing things out to kids and families to promote the team.
    The City also showed off its new snow plow, equipped with a sander instead of the block of concrete.

      The parade is a great way to start the Holiday season. Kudos to people like Stan Zaremba who sets it up every year.

Library Sunday Trial Ruled a Rousing Success

     Hate to say 'I told you so' but the completion of a trial program on Sunday hours at the Flower Library has been met with a tremendous response by Library users.
     The two temps hired to staff the desk are enthusiastic and helpful, with both hoping they can continue to work Sundays helping the public enjoy this treasure.

      Last year I began pushing the idea of Sunday hours after chatting with my Mom, who is an avid library user in NC where her local library sees Sunday's packed with families unable to get their during the week.
     The trial program came as a result of the Library Director offering to supervise while part timers were hired to wait on the public.
      Let's make it permanent.
     

Not Every Christmas Event Involves Shopping

     You would think the Christmas season is solely about storming a shopping mall to stand in line to get a cheap TV.
      There are actually non-competitive, traditional events suggesting Christmas is still Christmas.
    There is the parade today in Watertown. It's a simple, traditional gathering of marchers, homemade floats and local businesses ushering in the season.
     Up at the Thompson Park Zoo there are special weekend activities as the facility is decked out or the holidays.
      Next Friday the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is held on Public Square.
      Quietly in many venues and events, the season is celebrated while the MSM fixates on the commercialism and occasional bad behavior associated with "Black Friday", a name that suggests the celebration of the birth of Christ should somehow have a dark side.
      Enjoy the parade today.

Winter Wonderland Weekends Begin at Zoo | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

No Powerball winners; jackpot for next drawing at $425M - NYPOST.com

    I supposed you want to win the Powerball Lottery prior to the expiration of the "Bush Tax Cuts."
    With no winner last night, the multi-state lottery balloons to a $425M "jackpot", which is really a cash value prize of $278M. That number is then subject to taxes.
     So you might clear $175M.

     Let's see...pay off bills....help out my Mom and brother.....as well as a few friends...
Help out the Urban Mission and the Salvation Army.....Leverage some community projects I am interested in like the Library, the Arena, Woolworth Building, Sewall's Island...
     A sensible person could do a lot of good, live well, invest prudently and still have enough cash on hand to keep living well and doing good for years to come.
      But first you have to buy a ticket which are on sale at Fort Pearl Tavern on Pearl Street.

No Powerball winners; jackpot for next drawing at $425M - NYPOST.com