Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pearl Street Pub Arrives

    The new sign was installed today at the Pearl Street Pub, formerly known as Fort Pearl.  While still widely referred to as the 'Mayor's Bar', the new trade name is a return to the original marketing concept when Marty Kelly and I opened the bar in 1985 as the Pub on Pearl.
Sign Man Mike Fitzgerald Installs Panels
      The tavern has been a Pearl Street fixture since the 1940s, and has seen many improvements in recent years, including remodeled rest rooms.
      To celebrate the Pearl Street Pub is holding its own Christmas party this Friday and an all night New Year's Eve (tickets required, available now).
       As always the Pearl Street Pub is open every day of the year.
        Join Diana, Colin, Brianna and I soon.

Revealed: Killer Adam Lanza 'fought' with four teachers at elementary school the day before massacre - three are now dead, the fourth wasn't at school yesterday | Mail Online

   As with all these tragedies, some of the best coverage and photos comes from Mail On-Line, a British publication.
   This story suggests the shooter had fought with four teachers at the school the day before and came back and killed three of them. The fourth had the day off. Police later said they had no record of such an encounter.
     The state medical examiner also spoke today and said all those killed suffered multiple gunshot wounds primarily from the Bushmaster .223 rifle. All of the childrens bodies have been released to local funeral homes.
     Also, the first photos of the deceased are coming out, showing how bright and happy these youngsters were before the "loner", the "gamer",  the unemployed loser came into their lives.
Revealed: Killer Adam Lanza 'fought' with four teachers at elementary school the day before massacre - three are now dead, the fourth wasn't at school yesterday | Mail Online

Newzjunky: Stolen SUV Fished out of Black River

     A Jeep SUV was found in the turbulent waters of the Black River early today and while divers discovered no body, the question now is how did it get there and is there someone elsewhere in the river ? Sheriff John Burns says it was stolen.
     It doesn't look like terrain where you could accidentally have let it roll in.
     Divers Find No One Inside SUV in Black River Near Glen Park

Principal Had Planned NNY Retirement Before Fiend Snuffed Out Her Life

    Many dreams and aspirations were snuffed out in yesterday's school shooting in Connecticut, but for one educator the future meant retirement in NNY. Dawn Hochsprung,47,  and her husband had a home in the Adirondacks they some day hoped to retire to.

      Ms. Hochsprung was among six school employees killed by the gunman and for her family too, a bright future was lost.
Two Newtown Educators Went the Extra Mile for Students -

Council to Consider Support for Woolworth Building Project

    City Council is being asked to affirm its support for a series of initiatives to bolster the efforts at rehabilitating the  very much at-risk Woolworth Building downtown. In three separate resolutions, lawmakers are being asked to support a waiving of building permit fees, a tax abatement agreement and a transfer of property across the street to the developer for a parking lot.
      The last measure requires a four-fifths vote, and it is uncertain there is that margin to approve it.
      Council also will likely OK continued funding for Sunday hours at the Flower Library.

WDT: Storage Firm Continues to Market Despite Decidely Bad Press

   As commercials continue to air on cable TV, more and more is known about Fort Drum Vehicle Storage as one of those involved with the business was arrested on a Florida warrant and because of her 580 lb weight has to be carried to the bathroom at the jail and requires 24 hour medical care at taxpayer expense.
      The WDT has outlined the back tax issues and there is even a report that the make-up artist who worked on TV spot had to seek payment in small claims court.
      There is so much going on here, yet the TV spots continue to air as if nothing is amiss and soldiers deploying to Afghanistan who don't read the media might be inclined to entrust their vehicle to this firm.
     City Council on Monday will set January 8 as the date to re-auction the firms West Main Street warehouse seized for taxes earlier this year.
Firm Gets Bad Press But Still Advertises

      Where's the NY Attorney General who recently touted how he had recovered money for soldiers from a purportedly unscrupulous lender ?  Oh, he's looking into the legality of the GOP led Senate coalition instead to see if he can get the Democrats back in charge.
Watertown Daily Times | Fort Drum Vehicle Storage official needs medical care in jail

AP: Quest for Answers and Reasons Leads to Instant Analysis by Media

   With news travelling so fast, the media is often interviewing key people in a case before they even know whats happening. The grandmother of shooter Adam Lanza was reached at her Florida home by the AP and her crying on the phone to the wire service is described in this story.
    In a crime this big, the protocols about next of kin are gone as the appetite for information about the person doing something so heinous supercedes everything.
      We all want to know why.  They tell us Lanza had decent parents, lived in a nice town,but was smart and remote with a "personality disorder."  Press accounts say he was "dark and disturbed" and was "a ticking time bomb."
        He was a good shooter and speculation is he was a "gamer", someone who plays those shoot 'em up video games.
         The old stand-by term in these cases of course is used.  "He was a loner".
          He was thin and a goth, one who wears dark, foreboding clothing.
          In other words, he fit the profile.


News from The Associated Press

Obama’s Reaction to Connecticut Shooting Sets Stage for Gun Debate -

   The bodies are still in the classroom and we didn't know all the fact some details were misreported, but the calls came quickly from New York's soda-hating mayor for gun control.
    The President's remarks contained a cautious call for a dialogue on the issue and Second Amendment fans quickly went on the offensive as well.
Haunting Picture of Younger Adam Lanza

       The wrenching audacity of this particular shooting leaving a classroom of dead kindergartners has more impact than other shootings we have endured. There will be calls for this and that, so get ready for the 'fiscal cliff' to give way to gun control....for at least a few days.
       Obama’s Reaction to Connecticut Shooting Sets Stage for Gun Debate -

Newtown School Shootings: Media Misidentify Facebook Page as Suspect's (Updated) | The Wrap Media

      Get it right...even if you don't get it first.
        In the highly competitive world of news, some media quickly went on air to identify 24 year old Ryan Lanza as the shooter, even though it was his brother Adam who did the deed. Pictures of Ryan's Facebook page quickly were splashed on the screen.
       It all may have been the result of official confusion over the ID card the shooter was carrying, or it may have been a rush to judgment, but there are consequences to tagging the wrong person with a crime this infamous.
     Newtown School Shootings: Media Misidentify Facebook Page as Suspect's (Updated) | The Wrap Media

Friday, December 14, 2012

President Obama Says Marijuana Users Not High Priority in Drug War - ABC News

    If the War on Drugs includes a war on marijuana it appears that war is just about over although laws are still on the books and will still be enforced, albeit erratically and inconsistently.
    President Obama says the Feds will not go after potheads in WA and CO, where voters recently approved recreational use of the drug.  How can his Justice Department say federal laws only apply to 48 states ?
    A poll in NY shows a majority of citizens support legalization, meaning unlike murder, bank robbery and rape, there is no moral certainty in enforcing the current laws.
    You can't have an evil and only suppress it on occasion. After decades, America, for better or worse, has decided pot is OK.
     But that's OK...alcohol is legal and there's lots of people making a living off those who indulge too much. The counselors will be safe.
President Obama Says Marijuana Users Not High Priority in Drug War - ABC News#.UMtN92_AcaA

After Drake-Brown bar brawl, a fight over club's fate -

       If the stakes are high enough and you have enough money you can fight the state, or so hopes the owners of a Soho nightclub in Manhattan where rappers Chris Brown and Drake staged a brawl over pop singer Rihanna that injured many and destroyed the club.
Trashed Club That Left Many Injured

      That would be enough to put a NNY club under but in the City its different. The money spent by the glitterati is beyond belief. Like thousands in a night each.
      That's why despite efforts to close this club down, they are keeping it open through court fights...To those who can afford the courts, goes the justice.
      The rest of us would fold our tents long ago.
After Drake-Brown bar brawl, a fight over club's fate -

Sandy Hook elementary shooting: 29 dead including 22 children at Connecticut school | Mail Online

    The numbers have varied, but the death toll could be 29, 22 of them children, in a burst of mayhem thought to have been the work of 20 year old Adam Lanza. Details continue to be in flux but the nation was gripped today by the tragedy in a quiet suburban New England town.
Fiend Pictured in Orange Jacket
        It is thought the shootings all took place in one area of the Sandy Hook School and that the principal was killed. Lanza is thought to have slain members of a kindergarten class taught by his mother, who is presumed dead. Others. including his father may have been slain at other locations.
     President Obama ordered flags at half staff for the victims, and in remarks hinted he has had enought of a series of these type of shooting sprees during his first term.
Sandy Hook elementary shooting: 29 dead including 22 children at Connecticut school | Mail Online

CBS News: 27 Dead, Including 20 Children, In Elementary School Shooting « CBS Connecticut

     Another horrible tragedy in a school where a gunman has killed 26 people, including 18 children in a CT elementary school.
     As bad as all of these shootings are, the notion of inflicting death and mayhem in a school is not new. In 1927, a former school board member set off bombs in a Michigan school, killing 45.
Teacher Leading Kids to Safety
      Today's events are shocking and disheartening, and come on the heels of a mall shooting this week in Portland OR, and the theater shootings earlier this year in Aurora , CO.
      Updated reports say the shooter was a 24 year old Ryan Lanza, and that the shooter's parents were also killed in separate incidents in NJ and CT. There is a report of a missing girlfriend.  There was confusion over names with a 20 year old brother named Adam, who may be in custody, or according to some reports may himself be dead in New Jersey. There have been several conflicting reports.
       CBS News: 27 Dead, Including 18 Children, In Elementary School Shooting « CBS Connecticut

Hank Johnson forswears the word ‘midget’ - - The Washington Post

        You can't say "midget" anymore. Jot that down with the many other references no longer allowed, even if the reference is just metaphorical and not malicious.
        Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia used the work "midget" during debate on the House floor...The kind of debate no one watches anyway and his use of the word was benign.
        He was forced to apologize, as it was pointed out to him that "midget" is the new "N-word".
        Sounds like some mental midgets at play, but I know how quickly the media and the victim industry will jump you for an obscure reference.
Hank Johnson forswears the word ‘midget’ - In the Loop - The Washington Post

FDNY calendar hunk tears up while being aquitted of stragulation charges against pre-op transsexual gal pal -

    The former smoke-eater who was once Mr. March in the the NYFD fireman hunk calendar has been acquitted of the most serious charge against him in a bizarre media circus involving his former pre-op transsexual girlfriend and his current T/S gal pal.
Ex Fireman and Pin-Up Guy Taylor Murphy Is Acquitted

     It's the kind of lurid sensational story some media craves and other media turns up its nose at. The first trannie had even been kicked off America's Next Model upon discovery of his/her gender status.
     It is a slice of life in today's world.
FDNY calendar hunk tears up while being aquitted of stragulation charges against pre-op transsexual gal pal -

Money Wasted on TV Buys a Factor in Political Races - The Washington Post

     Amidst the hand wringing over the Mitt Romney loss is a discussion over execution of the respective campaigns and the revelation that the Obama team did a far better job in managing the most expensive part of the effort...television ads.
      Team Obama, through smart buys, got more ads to more key groups for less money.
Team Romney apparently got caught up in the old mantra that "being on TV" is where you need to be.
      That's what the operatives tell you. Of course they want to place ads on the large, expensive , old line local TV stations because its an easy way to land their 15% commission.  Just walk into any TV station and say "I think I should be on TV" and see what they charge you.
      That's what happened in the one high profile local race where ad venues like radio was spurned and dismissed by the "professionals" buying a ton of TV in markets where most viewers didn't even live in the district.
      The Romney campaign lost on message and organization. They certainly had the money to compete.
      Romney campaign’s TV ad strategies criticized in election postmortems - The Washington Post

In Final Tally, Vote for Gay Marriage Costs 3 Republicans -

       It may be coincidence, as elections are determined by many factors, but in incumbent-  friendly Albany,three of the four GOP senators who voted for same sex marriage last year are headed out of office.
      Only one, Senator Mark Grisanti from the Buffalo area got reelected.
While attitudes on SSM are changing, most pols are not looking to have to take a stand on what is a 50/50 issue. Usually they can stay inside the safety of the caucus where the leaders do all the talking and take the heat.
     This was one of those issues you couldn't do that on.
      As for Senator Grisanti, he took voters minds off SSM when he got involved in that brawl inside and Indian casino a year or so ago.
In Final Tally, Vote for Gay Marriage Costs 3 Republicans -

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Anne Hathaway wardrobe malfunction: 'It was devastating" - NY Daily News

     Actress Anne Hathaway is said to be devastated that photographers got an extra revealing look at her as she slipped out of an SUV and had a wardrobe malfunction.
Media Blacks Out Forbidden Fruit...Of Course They Could Just Not Run the Photo
     Gone are the days when a finely turned ankle would garner attention...Now there must be a flash of flesh to get the star struck media to te-he in a faux outrage over a few square inches of human flesh....
     Janet Jackson's breast...Anne's crotch....Nothing that in either case some underwear wouldn't have prevented.
     In fact everytime you see Anne Hathaway, you can't help but wonder if she is wearing underwear.
Anne Hathaway on panty-less wardrobe malfunction: 'It was devastating. They saw everything' - NY Daily News

Obama Solves His Susan Rice Problem -

   Susan Rice has walked the plank...She has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State in an orchestrated retreated for the Obama White House.
   Ambassador Rice was criticised for her misleading remarks about Benghazi, but it was other issues that sunk her..  Now we get Senator John Kerry as secretary.
    Susan Rice paid the price for being the Administration's designated liar on Benghazi...
Obama Solves His Susan Rice Problem -

Study: New York smokers don't pay taxes on one of every two packs they smoke |

   Yeah...we'll make the bastards pay...those smokers....we'll tax the bejeesus out of them and they'll pay for our health care and our teachers....yeah, we showed 'em....
    The rocket scientists that are state government would find it hard to imagine, the marketplace would take care of their money grab.
    People are getting their smokes elsewhere...from tax free environs...I can see it at Fort Pearl....our butt sales are down and we charge the same as the convenience stores.
    I don't care as it wasn't that much a part of the business plan, but I have to chuckle at the silly, giggling libs who thought they'd cash in....
    The market you didn't notice.

Study: New York smokers don't pay taxes on one of every two packs they smoke |

Boehner: President is willing to go over fiscal cliff

    Congress already solved this problem when they pass tax rate expiration and spending sequestration. No action is needed this month....There is no fiscal cliff....It's all hype.
     Meanwhile, the President and Mr. Boehner are meeting this evening at the White House to discuss the issue further.
Boehner: President is willing to go over fiscal cliff

Devil's Brew in the House of the Lord ? - Times Union

     There's a bit of blasphemy I suppose in using a vacant Catholic Church as home for a brewery and bar.
     That's what is being proposed for St. Joseph's Church in Albany as other efforts to rehabilitate the structure have failed. However, neighbors are carping about the Devil's brew coming to their neighborhood.
       Would you be expected to genuflect when approaching the bar ?
Church pub called a foul brew - Times Union

Sandra Lee storms out of BG restaurant after diner cracks joke about her ‘Semi-Homemade’ empire -

      The Governor's girlfriend overheard comments about her cooking show being made at a NYC restaurant and then told the joke teller "I have feelings too"  before storming out of the pricey BG Restaurant, according to the NY Post.
     Sandra Lee is a food network star who has been Andrew Cuomo's girlfriend for some time.
      Gotta have a thicker skin if a White House bid is in the future.
Sandra Lee storms out of BG restaurant after diner cracks joke about her ‘Semi-Homemade’ empire -

Court Upholds $28,000 Tab at NYC Men's Club

    A man who ran up a $28,000 bar tab at a Manhattan strip club has lost his bid to recover his cash.
    The guy claimed in court the Hustler Club served him too much and he didn't realize what he was spending. The judge rightly ruled it's not the court's role to alter the results stemming from the man's voluntary intoxication.
     People need to be responsible for their actions, and stop hiding behind claims of being drunk or duped. We've heard of these cases before.
     The question is did the man get what he paid for at the Club ? I presume he had a good time and is fortunate to have a credit card with that high a limit. (Or is it the fault of the bank for extending too high a line to a known lover of lap dances ?)
WHAT A BOOB! Manhattan man who didn't check out the oversized tab at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club has to fork over $28,000 - NY Daily News

Cuomo To Skelos: I Find Your Lack Of Support Disturbing (Updated)

      Governor Cuomo is making it clear he doesn't consider himself one to be messed with and he believes his agenda is the people's agenda. So he said in radion interviews this week in Albany.
     Mr. Cuomo is making it clear he only supports the Senator coalition if they do as he says on matters like the minimum wage, campaign finance reform and halting of NYC Police "stop and frisk" practices, an issue near and dear to Democratic core voters.
     It's clear Republicans like Dean Skelos will only keep their title as long as the GOP acts like Democrats when Mr. Cuomo tells them to.
     Cuomo To Skelos: I Find Your Lack Of Support Disturbing (Updated)

Gov. Cuomo delights in record high approval rating of 74% - NY Daily News

    Governor Cuomo is still riding high with a 74% approval rating as measured in a Q Poll out this week.
     The number is very high for a man in office two years. Usually initial high numbers have dropped by now. Handling of Hurricane Sandy may be a factor, but so is the Governor's shrewd avoidance of involvement in national politics, something tempting but harmful to new office holders.
      The Governor is a cinch for reelection in 2014, and that may be the end of the GOP in NY as their one plum, the Senate, is only nominally Republican as the party lost numerical control in the election and is clinging to a coalition given tacit approval by the Governor.
     In two years, in the run up to an expected national race, don't expect Mr. Cuomo to be so charitable.
Gov. Cuomo delights in record high approval rating of 74% - NY Daily News

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Pay to play' state comptroller Hevesi out of prison -

   Alan Hevesi is out of jail....Doesn't bother me and I don't feel threatened.
   Mr. Hevesi practiced politics...His mistake is he got caught.
'Pay to play' state comptroller Hevesi out of prison -

Al Sharpton Leads Rally Denouncing Power-Sharing Coalition in Albany -

    Race baiter and MSNBC rabble rouser Al Sharpton continues to insert himself into the State Senate debate, not realizing or not caring that he is the prime reason Democratic leaders fled the caucus once Dems won numerical control of the upper house.
    Rev. Sharpton insists minorities got shortchanged by the coalition between Republicans and the Independent Democratic Caucus...
   The sooner the Dems get rid of the Sharpton's and their ugly racial politics the better.....
Al Sharpton Leads Rally Denouncing Power-Sharing Coalition in Albany -

Young Lady Who Aided in Boogie Board Recovery Still on the Job at Brewery

   On the way back from North Carolina today I made a couple tourist stops...One at the Hershey Chocolate visitor center and gift shop...That's quite a complex although at this time of year not that crowded.
   I raided the gift shop which had lots of ways to package chocolate.
   Then I went to Pottsville and stopped at the Yuengling Brewery. I had stopped there in 2010 when I bought the famous boogie board that was stolen and recovered with the help of Newzjunky.
    The reason I was able to recover it was I had a photo of the young lady sales clerk at the brewery who had helped carry stuff to my car. She was holding the sign and was the only image I had to put heat on the thief.

    The same young lady was there today and I told her about the incident and her role in it. She was helpful today as well.....
     It's unusual to see service people offering to go the extra mile and this woman does the brewery proud.
     It's a nice trip to Pottsville, an old city in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. The hilly streets and frozen in time 50's ambiance of the city is amazing.....

Governor Acts to Protect New Yorkers From Those Impersonating Attorneys

    New legislation has been passed to protect faux lawyers from ripping off an unsuspecting public. That's great, but what about the real lawyers ?
    A good lawyer is a joy to behold especially if you did what they say you did.....Most of it is just filling out forms and the law secretaries do all the work.
    I didn't know there were fake ones roaming around.
Governor Acts to Protect New Yorkers From Those Impersonating Attorneys

Lots in the News, But My Duties as a Good Driver Mean Limited Blogging Till Evening

/    Lots going on today to comment on.....North Koreans fire a missile...More fiscal cliff talks as Speaker John Boehner attempts to negotiate against a President emboldened by an election win and a business community anxious to  court his favor.  Meanwhile, Mr. Boehner deals with a GOP caucus now mixed with many still strident against any tax hike while others are anxious to cave and hope to fight another day.
      Michigan is now a right to work state...Who would have thought ?
      But for me, its a busy day of driving, as I leave the Tar Heal State for the trip back to Watertown after an enjoyable visit with my Mom and brother Bruce who live here in the Cary, NC area.  Had a great time with nice weather and best Christmas present...being with family to celebrate.'
     Now, its back to the North Country for the rest of the holidays.
     While I will keep up with events by listening to radio on the way home, there's no way I can blog and drive at the same time.....Actually, I can by stopping at a McDonald's in Winchester, VA I updated at 9:45AM.  Straight shot on I-81 from here.
      With that said, have  a good Wednesday and I will check back in when home.
       All the best.
Michigan Governor Signs Laws Limiting Unions -

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A First Lady Doesn't Have to be Married to the President

    If Andy Cuomo beats the odds and makes it to the White House, his unmarried partner shouldn't be much of an issue....The template has been made in France where newly elected President Francois Hollande has his gal pal Valerie Trierweiler living with him in the official residence.
     France's new First Lady has a great story as the fifth of six kids in a family growing up in public housing. She is a twice divorced mother of three and is catching no heat for living with the President.
France's First Lady Valerie Trierweiler Interview - Valerie Trierweiler Twitter Reputation - ELLE

Sources: Yankees, Kevin Youkilis agree to one-year, 12 million deal - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

    Does anyone think A-Rod will be back after hip surgery ? I don't and by then fans may well have warmed to Kevin Youkilis the former Red Sox third sacker hired to fill in for the Yanks in 2013.
     Yankee fans are tired of A-Rod.
Sources: Yankees, Kevin Youkilis agree to one-year, 12 million deal - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Hiram Monserrate Gets Two Years In Prison | New York Daily News

   One of the key Democratic Senators when they took control last time is headed to jail...Hiram Montserrate was hounded out of office for beating up a girlfriend but has since been convicted of using a taxpayer funded not-for-profit to run his campaign.
    Do you think that's why many don't want the NYC crew running the Senate now ?
Hiram Monserrate Gets Two Years In Prison | New York Daily News

Republicans Send White House Fresh Offer on Fiscal Cliff -

     The GOP has put forth an offer on taxes and spending cuts and the White House is sure to reject it.
      What I want are tax rates without expiration dates or automatic reversions.  Just set 'em at some level.  If it's 38% for money over 500K, that's fine with me and those making that know how to contain their tax liability so all the talk of picking on them is BS.
      I'd like some limits on exemptions and cuts to entitlements..Oh and the FICA.....
      If you were unscrupulous you'd raise the employer side to 8.2 and leave the employee side at 4.2%.....That way you get the money for DC and still claim to help the middle class while making rich business owners pay....
     Just let me know if that's the plan so I can cancel pay raises for 2013.

Republicans Send White House Fresh Offer on Fiscal Cliff -

Yuuuup...Storage Wars is Fake Says Fired Star

    Does anyone think a storage locker auction could be this entertaining without being rigged ?   Viewers may have or they may have just enjoyed the theater, including fired star Dave Hester, whose "yuuuuuup" was iconic.
     Mr. Hester is sueing the show's producers claiming the auctions are rigged and the lockers are salted with valuables.
Storage War's Dave Hester
      Among the claims is that producers paid for augmentation surgery for one female star to make her more sexy....And this is a revelation ?

Storage Wars Sued By Its Star; Show Is Faked And Execs Were Confronted By Cast, Court Papers Charge | Radar Online

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki accused of 'racist' impersonation of Serena Williams by stuffing bra and pants | Mail Online

    A 22 year old Danish tennis star is in hot water over a courtside prank in which she stuffed towels in his shorts and bra to apparently simulate the figure of fellow court star Serena Williams.
    Caroline Wozniacki has now been accused of racism for making a caricature of the figure of a black woman.
     If so, what's that make Sir Mix-a-Lot ?
Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki accused of 'racist' impersonation of Serena Williams by stuffing bra and pants | Mail Online

Slow Count Continues in Last Major Undecided Race of 2012 in NY

   The slow count continues in the 46th Senate race as a judge has ordered some ballots opened on Wednesday but hundreds remain in legal limbo in Ulster County where Democrats hope to make up the 111 vote margin enjoyed by Republican George Amedore over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk.  Most observers say Ms. Tkaczyk will win.
    Meanwhile the same day the new GOP/IDC coalition will gather in the Capitol to get organized for the coming session despite the apparent 33-30 Democratic edge resulting from the last election.
Capitol Confidential » Judge: Open Amedore-Tkaczyk ballots Wednesday

WDT: Feds Ease Bread Restrictions in Schools

   The nanny state has relaxed for now some of the school lunch restrictions that had the educational community in turmoil and a candidate for Congress eating lunch in a local school to draw attention to the lack of chicken nuggets and submarine sandwiches on the menu.
     Calorie restrictions stay in place and its likely the loosening of content restrictions will do little to ease the fine whine coming from the schools.
Watertown Daily Times | Bread break: schools react to USDA policy

Google Revenues Sheltered in No-Tax Bermuda Soar to $10 Billion - Bloomberg

     As much as we think the rich and the corporations can be made to pay more in taxes, there is an equilibrium at which those with much will conclude they don't want to pay their "fair share", so they make greater use of tax avoidance, or in some cases tax evasion schemes.
     The Internet giants like Google, even though in many cases their CEO's supported left of center candidates, have gotten good at sheltering cash, and slashing their tax liability.
      That's why I suspect all the  current rhetoric on tax rates in the end means very little.
Google Revenues Sheltered in No-Tax Bermuda Soar to $10 Billion - Bloomberg

Monday, December 10, 2012

Powerful pair storm Albany

    What a well played game by two of Albany's power players who now sort of control the State Senate and enjoy each other's company.
    Senators Jeff Klein and Diane Savino have been an item for some time, but now that they have pulled off a power coup, their relationship is under more are there lives.
Albany Power Couple
    Apparently Mr. Klein has an illegal iguana as a pet ! OMG !
     One things for sure...while Senator Klein will share power with Senator Dean Skelos, he likely won't be sharing the attractive Senator from Staten Island with his GOP counterpart.
Powerful pair storm Albany | Crain's New York Business

Shopping in the Other America

    It's nice to go shopping somewhere else where they have stores like Nordstrom's, Renovation Hardware, Brooks Brother, etc.  Not that a Super Wal-Mart or Target is a bad thing....Just different.
    Since I don't have kids I did pick up some gifts for my loyal employees during a visit to Duke University in Durham.....Then I went to Southpoint Mall nearby where its a gorgeous mall inside and they have city streets built with other stores outside. All the commercial and residential buildings in these exurbs resemble older city buildings but are like movie sets popping out of the countryside.
    All this designer stuff....some people would do anything with a box with some woman named Kate Spade's name on it, or something in a Nordstrom bag.

Watertown Mayor Attends Grand Opening of Dog Park (North Carolina)

   With persistant calls for a municipal dog park going nowhere in Watertown, I had occasion today to visit a state of the art dog park just to get a better idea of what's being talked about.
    While visiting NC, my mom spotted a story in the News and Observer about a dog park opening today in Apex, NC about six miles away.
Apex, NC Dog Park in Background
    Since you don't check your mayor duties at the state line, we went to Apex, a well-to-do exurb of Raleigh. In NNY a town government is located in the "town barn." Here it's called a "town campus" and the facilities looked very nice.
    The new dog park is a beauty, nestled alongside the road into recreational facilities. The Carolina pines provide the perfect setting and this was set up nicely with a keycard access ($30 a year for townies, $60 for non-townies) and two separate areas, one for large dogs and one for small.
No Free Lunch at this Dog Park
    The fences were four feet high so it didn't seem prison-like and there were benches, gazebos and water troughs for the dogs. I talked to a couple of ladies using the park and they were enthused.
    It seemed very nice and very practical. Whether it fits the Watertown lifestyle and demographics is something City Council seems to have already decided. However, its nice to have some first hand knowledge.

NY teacher salaries rise slightly while jobs are cut | Press & Sun-Bulletin |

   Teacher salaries are up and that's OK as even though some jobs have been cut, they still have a job to do.....
NY teacher salaries rise slightly while jobs are cut | Press & Sun-Bulletin |

Christmas trees abundant, good quality, good prices this year |

    There are still some people buying real Christmas trees and the hot, dry summer doesn't seem to have hurt supplies in Central New York.
     Prices are about the same as last year.
Christmas trees abundant, good quality, good prices this year |

Some African-American leaders support Gov. Cuomo in Senate power struggle -

      Some back channel talk on the State Senate flap as Dicker says there are key black leaders in NY who are quietly against Democratic control of the Senate because of the mess they made of it in '09-10.
        This weekend, race came to the fore as one Senator acused Governor Cuomo of backing the GOP-IDC  coalition because he wants a white Democratic Party.  Rabblerouser and MSNBC entertainer Al Sharpton has also been stirring the pot since it appears Democratic candidates won a majority of the upper house but are unable to organize due to internal divides.
       Bronx Senator Jeffrey Klein is the key figure in the coalition and his relations with NYC pols are strained.
      Dicker insists Klein and Speaker Silver intensely dilike each other.
      That's a good sign.
      Meanwhile, it's a reminder how much race plays an issue in politics as this fight is being viewed through that prism.
Some African-American leaders support Gov. Cuomo in Senate power struggle -

WDT: Local Youth Honored at Rose Parade for Organ Donation

    Two parents who lost their 16 year old son two years ago in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident will be watching on New Year's Day as a floral image of Ryan Converse will be featured on a float at the Rose Parade honoring organ donors.
     Joseph and Vicki Converse lost their son, but feel he was able to live on through the donation made the night he died in the hospital emergency room.
     The Converse' are also avid HOTLINE listeners and our best wishes go out to them as they enjoy this chance to honor their son and his gift of life to others.
Watertown Daily Times | Ryan J. Converse to be remembered, featured in Rose Parade

Holiday Visit

        I had a nice visit Sunday with my mom, Doris Farrell, at her home Morrisville, NC. My brother Bruce took the picture while he and his wife Suzie were visiting.
It took a while to drive to a state carried by Romney, but here I am.  It was 36 degrees when I left Watertown and 68 when I got here.
        Councilwoman Roxanne Burns will be filling in on the HOTLINE today, so don't feel abandoned on America's favorite noontime talk show.
Leaning on the Breakfast Bar
    There is no City Council meeting this week due to the spirit of holiday comity sweeping the body.   I am updating here courtesy of WiFi at the nearby McDonald's and I have to head back to Mom's for breakfast and read the morning paper. (News and Observer).
     I did read on-line that Councilwoman Macaluso had a fender bender on Saturday.  So, you see I do keep on the hometown news.

New #1 Story for MGV

     A story posted last week about New Year's parties at local bars is now the most read story ever in MGV....The piece topped 11,200 hits early today placing it above the long standing story from a couple years back about controversy in Alexandria Bay between the mayor and local bikers.
     The current story is about all-night parties at three area bars, Fort Pearl, Clueless and Skiff's.
      While not a huge deal or particularly unusual, the hit count shows people are sometimes interested in things not normally considered news. Also, it shows how new media can be a tool for publicity, particularly if you have the street cred to get linked to a popular site like Newzjunky.
      For the three businesses , it's also advertising none could afford to pay for.
      Thirty years ago, a one inch ad on the "back page" was standard for restaurants and night clubs. Now you have to use social media, blogs, and the Internet creatively to make your point.

JETS Cling While Giants Roll

   Hope springs eternal, even in the wold of this year's hapless New York JETS.....Gang Green stumbled to a 17-10 win Sunday over Jacksonville, leaving the other NY team 6-7 and with a playoff chance still looming. Last week's QB here, Greg McElroy, was rewarded by being listed as inactive for this week, while Tim Tebow returned to his native state active but benched in favor of fan (un)favorite Mark Sanchez who only fumbled once on Sunday.
    Losses by Cinncinati and Pittsburgh left the JETS only a game out of the number six playoff spot, with three games left to play...all against losing teams..
    Meanwhile the crosstown rival Giants rolled up 52 points against the Saints as they try to hold off a surging Washington Redskin team.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reader Raps Beer Garden Girl

    Had a commenter write in claiming she saw two youngsters looking at the beer garden girl on the front door that is "dressed slutty"  and an inappropriate public image.
     Is this a bad image ?  If it is that Victoria's Secret show on TV 7 has to go to.
Front Door at Fort Pearl With Tammy Posing

Sampson Says He’ll Step Down If Dems Unite In Senate ...Racial Divide in Party Deepens

    Poor Senator John Sampson...not only did he wreck his state owned car this year, but he doesn't quite get why the Democrats don't get to organize the Senate.
    At a rally organized in part by Al Sharpton's National Action Network, the minority leader said he would step aside if Dems would unite and use their electoral majority to organize the upper house in Albany.
     The key word in the preceding paragraph Senator is "Sharpton".  Nobody wants half the Legislature to be a province of the Reverand and his posse from MSNBC who are leading the media charge to block the coalition of Republicans and independent Dems who are now in charge. Governor Cuomo sees that and that is why he quietly backed the coalition deal cut by Senators Jeffrey Klein and Dean Skelos.
      Some black senators say the coalition is a bid by the Governor to make the state's Democratic party a "white-led" party.
      Senator Sampson has been to the North Country, so he has seen our way of life...but as an attorney he also represented rapper Lil Kim. Politically, I think his view is limited by the NYC clubhouse politics he has thrived in.
      Racial politics have been rubbed raw by this affair, and its the type of politics Rev. Sharpton excels at. He has pledged protests at the offices of the three IDC members from the City of New York. One of the three, Senator Malcolm Smith is black.    
Sampson Says He’ll Step Down If Dems Unite In Senate (Updated)

Overturning DOMA Is More Than Love...It's Real Money

   Back in the 90's (apparently not the gay 90's as that was a previous century) the pols felt obliged to pass a law defending marriage. Appropriately it was called "the Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA.
     Now the aversion to same sex marriage has faded and the issue is politically tilting in favor (or at least not against) the union of gay and lesbian couples, henceforth known as couples.
     Through court order, referendum and legislative acts, nine states now sanction the unions and more are on the way.....The Supreme Court is getting involved in particular because the economic and tax advantages to marriage are barred in all fifty states by DOMA.
      Of course the evolving views on the topic could be reflected in a legislative decision to repeal DOMA but since its easier to have the courts be the heavy, that's what will happen.
     The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the matter next year.  Congress and the President could make the Justice's job easier by repealing DOMA.
For gay and lesbian couples, real money at stake