Saturday, December 22, 2012

Couple Named Customers of the Year

   When you visit a local neighborhood tavern, you know its like family among the regulars. People know each other...they care about each other.
    So when its time for the annual Christmas Party, it makes sense to acknowledge a customer (s) of the year.
    At the Pearl Street Pub, this years honors go to Sarah and Rob Martin, two Stuart Street residents who are popular members of the tavern family. Tonight we presented them with a custom neon for their home bar and thanked them and all the patrons for their support.
    The Martins work in property management.

Fort Stewart opens gun sales on post but with limits troops E-6 and below

      You can buy those Bushmasters at federal PX stores without sales tax...That's an event better deal than the private sector gun shops where Mrs. Lanza bought hers.
        This post says Fort Drum also sells the assault rifles at the PX that so many libs want banned. Fact is the President had the power to ban them in the stores he oversees.
       One point to remember....part of the proceeds from a gun purchase on a federal installation goes to support the morale, welfare and recreation of troops and their families. Kind of like Lottery tickets supporting education of the people who buy the tickets.
       Let's see if the Biden study group looks at the government's own gun sales before it stages more photo raids on gun shops like the one in CT that sold to Mrs. Lanza.
Fort Stewart opens gun sales on post but with limits troops E-6 and below

Senate Wants Newspaper to Stop Adult Ads...But Its the Backpage That is the New Home for Such Stuff

   The US Senate has voted to ask the Village Voice to remove its adult entertainment section.....Apparently the US Senate has little to do as they wait for the President and the Speaker to reach a resolution on the "fiscal cliff", event though a solution has already been reached.
     The Village Voice action is a bid to stop child sex trafficking....Actually a new site for such things called backpage.com had taken the place of what Craig's List used to do....
     Funny how we used to go the back page for local news...Now backpage is where you go for hookers.'
     Times have changed.

Senate resolution tells Village Voice to take down 'adult entertainment' section - The Hill's Floor Action

McDonald's Joins Others in Spurning Holiday "Blue Laws"

       McDonald's is urging its franchisees to open on Christmas as a decision to open on Thanksgiving proved profitable.
        While I have seen no coverage on what local McDonald's will do, its clear holidays are less and less sacrosanct. (I have since been told the Arsenal Street store is open)
        For those who want to work, it's an opportunity and for those who don't, it's likely still a day off as there will be those who volunteer to take the extra hours.
        Not everyone on holidays participates in the dinners and gift openings that are expected but not part of everyone's lives.
         Sometimes working is what people want to do.
McDonald's open on Christmas? Yes, burger chain tells owners. - CSMonitor.com

White Christmas ? Looks Like It

   With the first full day of winter comes the first real measurable snowfall for Watertown and the prospect of a White Christmas looms.
    It was just enough to break out the snowblower and realize I had forgot to fill the gas can on a day when the weather was nice. A couple months ago I gave the gas to a motorist who never said thank you.
     Thankfully I have no travel plans for the holiday week and can enjoy watching everyone else scurry about.
     

Obama Says Aloha to Speaker Boehner and Does What We Would All Like for Holiday

     While the media continues to insist there's a "fiscal cliff" and "no deal in sight", the President and the rest of Washington are headed out for the holidays knowing there is already deficit reduction policy in place to take effect on January 1, 2013.
    It's called new tax rates and sequestration.
     Maybe they will just let it happen and make that long overdue down payment on fiscal sanity.
      Establishing lower rates for 98% of Americans, or cancelling the sequestration cuts commits the nation to ever larger deficits and debt.
      If your household budget were teetering, what would you do ? I know what I have done in those situations is take another job and cut as many household and personal expenses till I could to ride out the storm.
     In my case it worked, so I have adopted this crazy notion it could work for a whole country.
      Some bromides for you.
       If you are short of cash to pay bills but refuse to work overtime or holidays, then you are not really short of cash.
      If you eat out every night and have a new four wheeler but are behind on your mortgage, then you made a choice.
     I just got a notice my county taxes are going up 7% and my cable bill by $15 a month. That means I won't be spending Christmas in Hawaii, but am glad I was able to take a few days last week to drive to see family in NC.
    Rationale people adjust their spending and income to meet reality. Washington never has had to.
With no deal, Obama heads to Hawaii

WDT: Lincoln Building's Prospects Rise With Local Ownership

     The restoration of downtown Watertown has proceeded steadily over the years, but there is always a challenge waiting in the wings.
       The list of restored properties and new businesses is long but remaining old and unused buildings stand out.
        There is hope for two of them. Obviously plans are afoot for the Woolworth Buildling, but the purchase of the Lincoln Building by local businessman Brian Murray is a very positive development.
       Mr. Murray is a local success story who has breathed life into several structures including the Agribultural Insurance Building..
     While plans for the Lincoln Building are in their infancy, its good to see the structure in the hands of someone committed to doing something positive with it.

Watertown Daily Times | Businessman aims to restore Public Square landmark

NRA’s LaPierre misses opportunity in anti-gun-control rant after Newtown massacre - NYPOST.com

        When I was watching the NRA presser on Friday, I thought the gun group's head man Wayne LaPierre was digging a deeper hole rather offering a defense of gun rights in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings.
Did NRA Misfire With Its Response to Newtown ?

         The NY Post describes the speech as a tone-deaf rant about the need for more guns at a time when the national mood has been affected by the outrageous events just a week before in Connecticut.
         It's not that all of what Mr. LaPierre said was not true...and he made very valid points about he coarsening of the culture and culpability of media in that.
         It was an in-your-face push back at the wrong time, by the wrong person.
         NRA’s LaPierre misses opportunity in anti-gun-control rant after Newtown massacre - NYPOST.com

Friday, December 21, 2012

Iowa high court says bosses can fire workers who they consider an ‘irresistible attraction’ - The Washington Post

   Of course you can fire someone because you find them irresistable and attractive and your spouse finds them a threat to your marriage.
   A dental assistant whom the dentist finds attractive is surely not a hit with the wife.
Put the Mask On ....You're Too Attractive !
    What's surprising is this even ends up in court as a discrimination case.
    At-will employees can be fired for any reason or no reason as long as its not for proscribed forms of discrimination in the law.
     Saving your marriage by ditching the cute hygienist is not discrimination.
Iowa high court says bosses can fire workers who they consider an ‘irresistible attraction’ - The Washington Post

NRA statement on Sandy Hook shooting: Wayne LaPierre's astonishing response calls for more guns | Mail Online

      The National Rifle Association is taking no prisoners in its response to Sandy Hook.  NRA chief Wayne LaPierre rejected gun control, embraced armed guards in all schools and blamed the media for a culture of violence that results in video games like one called Kindergarten Killers which he showed to reporters at a DC presser.
     Surely the NRA knows some kind of new law is coming down the pike. They are likely hoping for the best by focusing on the other aspects of culture and mental health that contributed to the shooting that took 26 lives at a school, including 20 small children.
NRA statement on Sandy Hook shooting: Wayne LaPierre's astonishing response calls for more guns | Mail Online

NRA statement on Sandy Hook shooting: Wayne LaPierre's astonishing response calls for more guns | Mail Online

      The National Rifle Association is taking no prisoners in its response to Sandy Hook.  NRA chief Wayne LaPierre rejected gun control, embraced armed guards in all schools and blamed the media for a culture of violence that results in video games like one called Kindergarten Killers which he showed to reporters at a DC presser.
     Surely the NRA knows some kind of new law is coming down the pike. They are likely hoping for the best by focusing on the other aspects of culture and mental health that contributed to the shooting that took 26 lives at a school, including 20 small children.
NRA statement on Sandy Hook shooting: Wayne LaPierre's astonishing response calls for more guns | Mail Online

Yes Virginia, There is a War on Christmas

    There was a little snow this morning, but its melted putting in doubt the prospects for a white Christmas. Still we are in the holiday spirit, although this morning I realized I may have subliminally become a soldier in the War on Christmas.
    I was in line at the bank chatting with an off duty trooper and as we left, I said, "have a good holiday"....He replied "Merry Christmas."
    There you have it. As a long time, politically correct, secular humanist politician, I reflexively said "holiday" instead of "Christmas".
    Bill O'Reilly is right !
   

Phew, we survived! Mayan Calendar Yields No Bad News...Now on to the Cliff

     The end of life as we know it didn't happen as the Mayan calendar deadline came and went.  Oh well...We still have the 'fiscal cliff' to fuss and fidget about....The Cliff is just as frivolous a media concoction, but it gives us something to talk about...
      I don't think people will gather at Stonehenge to ward off the hike in taxes or something called "sequestration."
       Phew, we survived! Deadline passes for Mayan apocalypse without raining fire or killer earthquakes (but it's tough luck for the chap who would have won £50,000 if we HAD all been wiped out) | Mail Online

WDT: There's Numbers and There's Albany Numbers....Be Aware of the Difference

   There is something that should be explained about all those Regional Council economic development dollars announced with considerable fanfare in Albany.
     While the  consolidated funding application process creates a more streamlined means to apply for free stuff, the dollar amounts in the media are not always quite what they apprear.
    A $5.4M listed for renovation of Maple Courts Apartments may appear to be a grant. It is not. It represents the authorization granted for selling industrial revenue bonds.  Since that was applied for the intended purchaser has backed out and another potential buyer is considering acquisition of the 92 unit subsidized complex on Ives Street.
    Most of the $90M in economic funds listed in this weeks news accounts are various grants and programs long given out through state agencies throughout the year. Things like grants for facade rehab on a library, or studying a sewer problem, or building a water line or renovating a building. Some of its cash, some are tax credits.
    It's now all packaged up in the CFA process for a big dollar announcement.
     That doesn't make it bad, but please realize what the process is now.
      Also while the regional councils do provide a forum for people from an entire region to work together and share ideas, some 80% of the scoring points on applications are still given out by the agencies doling out the benefit.
      That means all sorts of the usual factors go into the decisions including accomodating people who are well connected. Again, that's not bad, as that's why building relationships is important. It's just that what is going on is not all that different than what always has gone on. That's all good.
Watertown Daily Times | Another buyer may be interested in Maple Courts Apartments

NY Post: Jets will release or trade Tebow after season

    The great Tebow experiment, complete with all those secret plays promised during training last summer in Cortland, is ending now that the JETS high command has agreed to trade the Floridian after the season, or if that doesn't work, they will release him by spring.
    A customer who is an avid JETS fan too, says he thinks its a prelude to Sanchez being the starter in 2013, because they pay him too much....Its like those banks that were too big to fail in 2008.
Jets will release or trade Tebow after season: source

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New York Schools to Join in National Moment of Silence for Sandy Hook | Politics on the Hudson

   There's no harm in pausing to recognize the tragedy in Sandy Hook....In fact we did so at this week's City Council meeting and I am sure most Americans of all ages have already taken time to reflect and remember, perhaps during the President's remarks on Sunday or at church or while just thinking about what went down.
    Now state government is organizing the collective moment for tomorrow morning at 9:30. I've already reflected on what happened, so I am excusing myself from the Governor's group exercise.
     However, if you haven't reflected on the matter already, you may want to avail yourself of New York's organized mourning.
New York Schools to Join in National Moment of Silence for Sandy Hook | Politics on the Hudson

Separated Twins Introduced.

   Being apart for Christmas is the best gift of all for the Tucker twins of Adams, NY....The former conjoined siblings were introduced today at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA after successful separation surgery.
Thursday: Introducing...The Twins | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Cuomo Aims to Beat Biden in Passing New Gun Control Laws

   Governor Cuomo is going to be sure he has checked the box on gun control laws before Washington is able to pass something.
   Mr. Cuomo is said to be readying new laws in NY to be voted on in just days and not weeks as the President's new proposals will take.
    The flood of emotion following Sandy Hook will ensure easy passage of anything purporting to regulate "assault" rifles and along with SSM and higher minimum wages, its standard fare for anyone seeking the 2016 Democratic nomination.
     Now that the other New Yorker has a headache and a scandal to explain, Governor Cuomo looks for smoother waters in his bid for the White House.
Cuomo working on new set of tougher gun laws following Newtown massacre - NY Daily News

Miss Universe 2012: American Olivia Culpo beats out 88 women for Miss Universe crown | Mail Online

    It was America first at the Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas as Rhode Islander Olivia Culpo took the prize, beating out 88 contenstants in the Trump-run cattle call.

    As a two time judge in Miss Thousand Islands pageants, I know how daunting the selection process is.
Miss Universe 2012: American Olivia Culpo beats out 88 women for Miss Universe crown | Mail Online

WDT: Some Legislators Want to Use Excess Bed Tax as "Walking Around Money"

       There's nothing like an untouched pile of cash accumulating to catch the attention of lawmakers and so it is with the hotel occupancy tax money yet unused by Jefferson County.
        Some county legislators want to start using it for community projects, kind of like a local version of "member items" used in Albany. I am sure the Thousand Islands Council would like more and some in the hotel industry want money spent promoting their product.
        When you agree to have a government collect taxes, you accept the premise that the elected body in charge appropriates how it is spent.
        Since all of us in the City are facing a pretty big hike in our County tax bill, lets hope our legislators will realize that continuing to expand the pool of visiting shoppers will produce the sales tax revenue that can keep property taxes in check.
         However if they use the money to fund local pet projects, I can understand that too as people expect their electeds to be able to bring home some bacon now and again.

Watertown Daily Times | Bed tax

Tim Tebow, Camilla Belle split: report - NYPOST.com

.      Maybe she wanted to date a quarterback who gets to play and maybe he wanted to spend more time thinking about football, but a supposed couple made in Heaven has broken up as passed over JETS backup QB Tim Tebow and actress Camilla Belle have announced a split.
Actress Needs a QB Who Actually Takes a Snap

       Meanwhile, Tebow has reportedly told the JETS they need to play him or release him after Greg McElroy got the nod to replace Mark Sanchez. 
       Sanchez himself had a tough year in romance, being dumped by underage model Kate Upton and overage cougar Eva Longoria.
        For a team of dubious talent on the field, Gang Green are always  making headlines.
Tim Tebow, Camilla Belle split: report - NYPOST.com

Nixon's Revenge ? Sam Donaldson Arrested for DUI in Delaware

   One of the legendary DC reporters in the 70s and 80s has been put in his place by police in Delaware.....ABC's Sam Donaldson got a DWI.
Sam Donaldson Arrested for DUI in Delaware | TheWrap TV

Owner Of Head Shops Pleads In Drug Case | WWNY TV 7

      A one man scourage of synthetic drugs in several upstate cities, including Watertown, is out of the loop for some time.
      John Tebbetts had pleaded out in a federal court in Syracuse to various drug and money laundering charges related to the head shops he ran that sold so called "bath salt's".
       The phenomenon generated a lot of attention in a hurry and the Tebb's shops operated pretty audaciously with reports of whacked out customers hanging around on the curb in front of the shop on State Street in Watertown.
      Tebbetts never seemed to try and hide what he was up to as his business plan was built on the notion that there were no laws regulating his product and that he was in essence untouchable.
       That's why normally drug sales are done on the down low.....Doesn't seem the words "down" and "low" were in this fellow's vernacular.

Owner Of Head Shops Pleads In Drug Case | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mom left school gunman Adam Lanza alone for days before school massacre: report - NYPOST.com

   More and more is coming out about the life of the Lanza family and its an interesting read.  Nice house the lad and his mom lived in.
    It appears Adam Lanza spent a lot of time with "Call of Duty" type video games and mostly stayed in the basement of the $1.6M home where he and his mom lived.
    The mother had been out of town with friends for a couple of days before the shooting and that's when Adam hatched his sinister plot, according to investigators.
     A simmering pot of mental illness, and violent stimuli, but all DC cares about is gun control.
      It's a whole mish mash of things that led to the horrifying moments at Sandy Hook....
Mom left school gunman Adam Lanza alone for days before school massacre: report - NYPOST.com

With Amedore Up 37 Votes, Judge Certifies In SD-46

    Its off to court in the one remaining State Senate race deemed to close to call. A judge certified the results today giving the GOP candidate a 37 vote win. However, the result hinged on hundreds of paper ballots thrown out and Democrats are pledging a fight in court.
      May the candidate with the best lawyers win.
With Amedore Up 37 Votes, Judge Certifies In SD-46

Cuomo Announces Regional Council Funding for Projects

     The North Country was named a top performer in this year's award of monies to the Regional Economic Councils. NNY gets $90 in grant funds. 
    Governor Cuomo is leading the announcement in Albany this morning of awards of project funds for various local projects advanced through Mr. Cuomo's two year old system of regional economic councils.
         The event held at The Egg is hosted by CNBC business maven Maria Bartiromo.
Governor Cuomo said New York is turning the corner from being the butt of jokes in the nation's business community.

WDT: Tim Hortons opens with success in Ogdensburg

    With over 3000 locations in Canada, Tim Horton's has opened in Ogdensburg.
     The Maple City location was a popular spot on its opening day.

     We need more chains, as they are the tie that binds a society together. Maybe a Sonic or a Chick-fil-a in Watertown ?
Watertown Daily Times | Tim Hortons opens with success in Ogdensburg

Perkins Urges Cuomo To Stand Up To ‘Plantation Politics’

   "Plantation politics," "back of the bus politics."
   Those terms are still being floated by some State Senate Democrats in response to the GOP-IDC coalition that for now has overridden the results of the elections which placed people who ran as Democrats in numerical control of the upper house.
    Those who define politics in NY as a racial divide wanted control of the Senate to be in the hands of minority legislators from the City of NY, as there are no black pols elected statewide.
Sen. Bill Perkins Accuses Governor Cuomo of "Plantation Politics"

     Meanwhile the fracas was an opportunity for Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins who in the turmoil got elected Senate minority leader.
      Making comparisons to the antebellum South serve no purpose, just like those who compare lifes minor travails to Nazi Germany or use the word "Draconian" in a way that would make Draco angry.
      This was a political play in the Senate to keep the body in the mainstream and not in the hands of people who accuse the Governor of "plantation politics."

Perkins Urges Cuomo To Stand Up To ‘Plantation Politics’

WDT: Another Panel of Elites to Tell Us What We Need

       Governor Cuomo has named a commission to recommend changes to the state's tax system. Former Comptroller H. Carl McCall heads up the panel of the usual cast of characters.
       Making the system more "fair" is easier said than done.
       I doubt there is any representation by people in small business and certainly folks like Mr. McCall are smart people well marinated in the political culture of NY.
       Meanwhile a report was released today criticising state and local governments in NY, saying they have unsustainable structural budgets.
       With state government leaning more to the left as a result of the 2012 election, don't look for many changes to come out of this debating club.
Watertown Daily Times | N.Y. taxes

Cuomo vague on potential casino sites | NCPR News

   Governor Cuomo is plodding along with his plan to amend the state's constitution to allow construction of seven non-Indian casinos, but he won't say where he wants to put them until after the amendment is ratified.
    It will be a big business deal for already wealthy gambling interests and small businesses that populate many of the state's tourist areas will see no benefit. I also don't think you will see any of the seven up here as there is not enough population and there are at least three casinos within an hours drive of Watertown.     
Cuomo vague on potential casino sites | NCPR News

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Something for Honeywell to Do After Closing Time

   An update to the New Year's Eve story that was so popular. A fourth bar in Jefferson County has received permission to stay open all night.
   O'Brien's in Clayton joins Skiff's in the Bay and Clueless and Pearl Street Pub in Watertown as the all niters.

NRA ‘shocked, saddened,’ will hold news conference Friday

    With the rules changed as a result of the Newtown shootings, the National Rifle Association is breaking its silence Friday to announce what is says are contributions to the dialogue over finding ways to halt such shootings
    The NRA has wisely kept its pie hole shut in the initial days following the slaughter of 20 students and six adults.
     Let's see what they have to say.
NRA ‘shocked, saddened,’ will hold news conference Friday

Sanchez benched as McElroy named Jets starter over Tebow

   The season is lost and his coaching job may be following suit but Rex Ryan finally named former Alabama star Greg McElroy as starting QB for Sunday's game against San Diego in the Meadowlands.
     Mark Sanchez is effectively the former JETS QB.
Rex Names McElroy as Sunday QB....Good Thing...It Would Have Been Ugly Sunday

      McElroy saved the team a couple weeks back in a game against St. Louis but for unknown reasons, Ryan kept him inactive the past two weeks, perhaps in a bizarre show of support for Sanchez who only scores this year were dates with underage model Kate Upton and cougar Eva Longoria.
     I have talked to the one JETS fan at City Hall who was also upset over last nights game. It's important to comfort friends in times of grief.
Sanchez benched as McElroy named Jets starter over Tebow

46% Hike in Payroll Tax (FICA) Coming in Days.

    As we have been telling you...a tax hike for all of you is coming in just days...A big one.
     While the wealthy media and the wealthy pols argue over whether "rich" starts at $400K or $1M, a family with a $50K annual income will see an extra thousand dollars in taxes in January 1.
     That's when the Obama-era cut to the FICA payroll tax expires.  Just like when Bush-era tax rates expire, it has to be considered a hike in taxes on the middle class especially.
     CBS reports the President is not asking for a renewal of the 4.2% employee rate, which will revert back to 6.2%....That's a 46% increase in this tax alone.
    Wow !......so much for middle class families.

Will the 2% Social Security payroll tax cut expire? - CBS News

On-Line Booking Should Bring Us Up to Date on Parks and Rec

   A new set of software for the Parks and Recreation Department will allow users to book facilities on-line and pay for them there too. The system is being installed and was outlined to City Council last night.
    During the reorganization of the Parks and Rec recently, it was discovered a previously purchased software package that the City was paying licensing fees on had never been installed and bookings and payments were still being done manually.
     The Department is showing great strides and with facility improvements and service enhancements, the progress should continue.
     
      

Sanchez Leads JETS in Pathetic Loss-

    Monday night came with the JETS still with a playoff hope, facing a sluggish Tennessee team.  It should have been a win to bring Gang Green back to .500.
    Instead it was a shockingly embarassing 14-10 loss with quarterback Mark Sanchez just getting worse throwing five interceptions and fumbling away a wobbly snap to end a game loaded with chances to win.

    Two decent replacements were on the bench, but Rex Ryan continued to stick with Sanchez despite numbers suggesting he is just about the league's worst. Where did McElroy to after his rescue of the team two weeks ago ?
    Granted the team had other issues like the absence of Revis and Holmes, but last night was too tough to watch.
    Sanchez needs to go, and you know what, I am no longer sure about Ryan.

Police arrest 6 in brawl over parking space

      People brawling over a parking place. That says something, I am not sure what.
Police arrest 6 in brawl over parking space | Local News - WMUR Home

The Big County Lobbies for More Sales Tax

      St. Lawrence County is still trying to get a higher sales tax, this time by pledging an eight percent levy will lead to lower property taxes.
       Be careful. In a nearby county named after our third President, despite a healthy county fund balance, city residents will see their county tax bill rise by over seven percent this year, although the intracies of how such levies happen are seldom reported on.
         County governments have ballooning expenses because they are the administrators of state programs like welfare and Medicaid. They also face the pension mess all local governments face.
           St. Lawrence County residents will not get lower property taxes but for the next few years lawmakers will not have to vote to raise taxes or cut county jobs.
            The higher sales tax takes tough decisions out of local government.
             That's been my experience. I am not saying it to be mean or to pick on counties.
            
Watertown Daily Times | St. Lawrence County legislators work on sales tax proposal

Monday, December 17, 2012

Skelos Congratulates ‘Senator-elect Amedore’, Dems Will Appeal (Updated)

   Republicans are claiming victory in the tight-as-a-tick race in the 46th District, but Democrats say there are still unopened votes and they may continue a court challenge.
    When it's this close, its more about lawyering and who owns the judge than it is about the will of the people.
     Republican George Amedore is said to be ahead by 39 votes.
Skelos Congratulates ‘Senator-elect Amedore’, Dems Will Appeal (Updated)

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, 1924 - 2012 | New York Daily News

   An icon of the Senate has passed at age 88. Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii died today, ending a political career that's gone on as long as I can remember.
Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, 1924 - 2012 | New York Daily News

Council Gets a Candy Bar

   City Council talked a bit about flouride tonight....learned there are three baseball teams interested in leasing the Fairgrounds ball field next summer, and each member got a Hershey bar from my trip to PA last week.
    The MSM top story is approval of a series of measures to help prospective developers of the Woolworth Building, including a partial waiver of building permit fees, a PILOT as long as its "reasonable", and a gift of some land on the Woodruff site for parking. It's all designed to help gain approval for state support of the rehab of the aging building at the heart of downtown.
     Lawmakers approved a continuation of Sunday hours at the Library and wished each other Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as this was the last meeting of 2012.

Reports: Scott chosen for DeMint's Senate seat - SC Politics Today - TheState.com#.UM8zkm9ZXng#.UM8zkm9ZXng

    Rep. Tim Scott of Charleston, SC will be the Palmetto State's new Senator. Mr. Scott gets the nod today from Governor Nikki Haley who is appointing to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Sen. James DeMint who will head the Heritage Foundation.
Reports: Scott chosen for DeMint's Senate seat - SC Politics Today - TheState.com#.UM8zkm9ZXng#.UM8zkm9ZXng

Senate Dem Leadership Battle Brewing

    The battle over who gets to be the minority leader among State Senate Democrats is a little bit of a case of fighting over nothing.
    It's widely thought now that the GOP-IDC coalition struck to counter the voters choice of a Democratic majority will fall apart as the coalition will be asked to do the bidding of the progressives in exchange for their titles and perks.
    When that unravels, IDC leader Senator Jeffrey Klein will rejoin the Dems in exchange for him becoming Majority Leader. The only rub will be the insistence of some Dems that their caucus leader be of color, but the numbers just won't add up for that.
Senate Dem Leadership Battle Brewing

Urban Dictionary: Gangnam Style

   Now that this fellow named Psy has been validated by the President and is all over television, I had to look up what is meant by the phrase "Gangnam Style", which is used in media by not fully explained.
Controversial Performer Psy Performs at Sunday's Bills Game in Toronto

    It's a neologism (a word I also just added to the lexicon) for a stylish,trendy section of Seoul. A place where the cool people  hang, sort of like a Soho.
     The Internet makes keeping up with pop culture easier.
Urban Dictionary: Gangnam Style

WDT: Ex Scribe Calls Local Paper "Callow, Ill Conceived Journalism"

       A long time scribe for the WDT has taken a swipe at his former employer in the comment section of that paper. John Golden was criticizing the coverage of forcible touching allegations made against a teacher at South Lewis Central School.
         The defendant had already been tried in the callow and ill-considered journalism of the Johnson Newspapers. Mr. McCall was twice convicted, and his career and civic reputation with impunity destroyed, in the Watertown Daily Times and Lowville Journal & Republican. Those responsible dispensed high-priest justice while dispensing a tedious titillation to readers. Shame be upon them.
__John Golden, Watertown Daily Times staff writer, 1983-2007

         Mr. Golden is not one given to intemperate comments, so his remarks struck me as interesting.   A local wag once called John the "Hemingway of Watertown". Perhaps Mencken would have been more appropriate and less pretentious.
Watertown Daily Times | South Lewis teacher’s forcible touching charges adjourned with contemplation of dismissal

NYDN: Nancy Lanza feared son, Adam, was ‘getting worse’; told friend ‘he was burning himself with a lighter’ and that she was 'losing him' - NY Daily News

       President Obama says enough is enough with these mass killings he keeps having to attend services for. The question now becomes, just what do you do.
       Senator Dianne Feinstein had the ready-made answer on Meet the Press when she pledged to introduce a gun control bill promptly. However, so many questions are being asked, including the prison the shooters mother lived in trying to handle a now adult child who was out of control. Nancy Lanza took several rounds to the head to kick off the killing spree that lasted only minutes before police closed in.
Newtown is a Turning Point, But Turning Where ?

       Then there are the video games and the culture of violence we hear so much about.
        If I were President, I wouldn't want to do any more of these services either, but what to do about it ?  I don't know.
    EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Lanza feared son, Adam, was ‘getting worse’; told friend ‘he was burning himself with a lighter’ and that she was 'losing him' - NY Daily News

Sunday, December 16, 2012

JETS Cling to Slender Thread of Hope

   Some good news tonight as the Cowboys beat the Steelers...Not that I wish Shootie's team any ill will, but for the JETS to sneak into the playoffs, we need some losing by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
     The JETS face Tennessee tomorrow night in  Nashville.

Is There A New Queen of the Polar Bear Dip ?

      Is this woman named Jennifer Lynn going to be Alex Bay's new Brittnee ?  She is featured in an ad touting the February Polar Bear Dip that is the Bay's premier winter event.

     Don't know who she is, but it's hard to imagine Brit giving up the crown.
upper menu

Let's Just Jump and Get It Over With

    Tragedy has taken the "fiscal cliff" off the news, but the clock ticks on. So I looked up this summary piece on just what the cliff is.
     I say, let it happen. The tax hikes are what the left wants, they just want political cover with so called middle class rates. The right wants the spending cuts. And all these measures were approved by Congress and the President.
    It's a way to get serious about the deficit. What's wrong with that ?
The ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Explained - NYTimes.com

WDT: Stolen Jeep Needed to be Traded Anyway

    It was only a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was stolen and dumped into the Black River. Assuming a 100,000 miles on it, KBB says its worth at private sale a little over $4K and its real trade value might be more like $2K.
    Of course it cost more than that to retrieve it from the river and the water damage makes it worth even less.
    Time for the owner to go see Billy Caprara and get a new Grand Cherokee.
Watertown Daily Times | Police investigate theft of SUV found in Black River

Congressman: Wish Principal Had an M4 to Take His Head Off

   Now here's a stupid statement by a sitting Member of Congress just a day after a school principal was killed trying to stop a crazed gunman from killing her students.
   "I wish to God she had had an M4 in her office locked up and so when she heard gunshots … she takes his head off before he can hurt those kids," said Rep Louis Gohmert (R-TX)
     Principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, was among the first killed and reports suggest she tried to confront the gunman. Too many people have jumped the gun and are angling for TV face time calling for more gun control, and here's a case of the opposite view trying to counter by being insensitive and boorish.
     Didn't work.
Gohmert: Time for 'open-minded' conversation on guns - POLITICO.com

Gunman shot his way into school building, Connecticut governor says – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

   An assault weapons ban is already drafted and will be introduced in Congress in early January.
   The spokesman for the Newtown Police says he doesn't see how classes will ever be held again at the Sandy Hook building, but the local superintendent, who has been strangely absent from pressers, is said to be preparing a plan for resumption of school.
     CT State Police say they have had enough with erroneous information being transmitted over the Internet from those claiming to be in the know. Good luck in stopping all that.
     The Governor of Connecticut says the shooter killed himself only when he heard police entering the building.
     In communities everywhere, including here, sympathies are being expressed to the people of Newtown.
Gunman shot his way into school building, Connecticut governor says – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Noonan: Republicans Need to Talk - WSJ.com

     There is lots of advice from the GOP chattering class of which Peggy Noonan is a charter member. Ms. Noonan writes today about the need for the party to have a "conversation" with itself....Everybody wants conversations these days.
       There is a good point in Ms. Noonan's column about party orthodoxy enforced by talk show hosts and pledge makers. The lack of independence in the party that claims to have narrowly won independent voters in the lack election.
        We saw that locally and nationally. Mitt Romney was what he appeared to be as Governor of Massachusetts, a centrist tolerant on social issues. In the big campaign he felt obliged to conform to what he wasn't....The true believers didn't trust him and the intermittent believers were unenthusiastic and in many cases stayed home (turnout among GOP core groups was lower than expected).
       Locally, it was the same with Matt Doheny, the mini-me of Mitt in terms of occupation, and also one who lost by two to three points to a Democrat many were ambivalent about but more comfortable with because they thought he was more in the sensible center.
       Mr. Doheny had to tow the line with pledges on taxes and an insistance he is pro-life and anti-gay marriage. He is pro choice and fairly agnostic on marriage, according to my observations.  He was unable to claim a centrist mantle...His opponent did, plus Mr. Owens had the tail wind of a President who won the district by six points, something hard to overcome.   He is now out of politics, but hopefully will find other ways to help the community.
       I voted for Romney and Doheny because I was hoping they could address America's money problem.  I had to hold my nose at their purported position on other issues,  rationalizing my vote by figuring they didn't really mean what they were saying.
        The North Country Congressional seat is now Democratic and the GOP prospects for 2016 are clouded by a current cast of characters really not capable of winning nationally...Jindl,Christie,Rubio,Ryan ? No winners there. (not all is lost, the GOP lost PA to Mr. Obama but still holds 13 of 18 Congressional seats)
          Here in NY, its really a lost cause for the GOP....Senator Gillibrand set the new gold standard for the Democratic statewide candidates in 2014...And you know what ? Cuomo, Schneiderman and DiNapoli are all capable of matching her 72%.
Noonan: Republicans Need to Talk - WSJ.com

Family, friends remember the brave, caring legacy of Sandy Hook teacher Vicki Soto, 27 - NY Daily News

      Among the wrenching stories coming out about the Newtown, CT massacre is that of 27 year old teacher Victoria Soto, who lost her life shielding students from the gunman rampaging a pair of classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
     Ms. Soto was a well liked instructor of the first graders and died trying to save her wards.

      Meanwhile President Obama visits the small Connecticut town today to add his voice to the grief which is so palpable in the wake of this horrible tragedy.
       Yesterday a state medical examiner detailed how gruesome the shooting was and there's no point repeating that here. Photos of the victims tell the story of how terrible this was.
Family, friends remember the brave, caring legacy of Sandy Hook teacher Vicki Soto, 27 - NY Daily News

WDT: Area Superintendents Say the Sky is Falling

    Using words like 'insolvency' and 'bankruptcy' to describe local school districts is another case of the media being sucked in to the narrative being shopped by Big Education.
      School districts have the ability to continue operation as their revenue stream consists of a variable they have control over...namely the property tax levy. Granted, their is the porous tax cap, but if the will of the people as expressed through their elected school board is to spend a certain amount, that can happen.
     It's just easier if you get more state aid as then you don't have to make that decision or hear the griping.
No Significance to the Story, but I Just Haven't Used this Graphic in a While

     As CEO's the superintendents need to be proposing changing in the way things are done in order to sustain the level of service.
      With over 700 school district superintendents in the state, there should be enough brain power to get the job done.
Watertown Daily Times | Area superintendents see insolvency on the horizon

WDT: More than $7.7 million was spent in the 21st Congressional District race, FEC reports

      The amount of money spent on the local Congressional race was significant compared to the good old days of NNY politics but not a lot of money if you put it in perspective.
       The $7.7M laid out is less than what it costs to run the City Fire Department for a year, and its less than a third of what was spent in some districts.
Rep. Bill Owens
       Still, by local standards, its a lot of money and illustrates the high price of admission for anyone thinking of running for high office.
       The 50-48 win for Rep. Bill Owens was the Congressman's third election triumph in a spirited race in what used to be a GOP district.
       Since it takes a year of non-stop campaigning and at least $3M to challenge a sitting Congressman, the NNY incumbent is all set for the 2014 and beyond, as are the other major office holders from the region including Senator Patty Ritchie and Assembly members Blankenbush and Russell.
        The WDT also reports the House Ethics Committee is still reviewing Mr. Owen's much talked about trip to Taiwan. I don't know the point of all that as voters reviewed the trip and determined it is what it is and they still decided that overall they preferred Mr. Owens.
        Let's move on.
Watertown Daily Times | More than $7.7 million was spent in the 21st Congressional District race, FEC reports