Saturday, January 5, 2013

Free Car Chargers and Free Electricity for those with $40K Electric Cars

   It's free money and it's "green" so it would be bad manners to refuse the electric vehicle charging station being offered by National Grid, using public money they got in a grant.
    I will be anxious to hear more, as I didn't know there was a need for a public charging station with free electricity.
    I don't know anyone with an electric car. Even the people I know with solar panels and windmills who don't give up gas so easily.
     I am sure Council will approve this initiative, mainly because its free.
Feedback: Electric Cars & Chargers Could Come To Watertown | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Former Gouverneur mayor’s indictment dismissed amid prosecution ‘mishandling’

    To what county office do you go to get your reputation back ?
     A prosecutor in the St. Lawrence County DA's office has been found to have mishandled and misled grand jurors last year in getting an indictment that led to the push-him-out-the-door resignation of controversial Gouvereur Mayor Chris Miller.
     That mayor had been a disappointment to some and his own prior record was given little scrutiny by voters before his surprise election.
      Insiders wanted him out, and now the Mayor is former trustee Ron McDougall, the husband of former mayor and now high ranking state official Diedre Scozzafava.
      It's widely thought grand juries are just a rubber stamp for the DA, but in this case, someone challenged the system and won a victory of sorts.
      Watertown Daily Times | Former Gouverneur mayor’s indictment dismissed amid prosecution ‘mishandling’

Defiant county official refuses to hand over list of gun owners to newspaper | Fox News

     The lines are in the sand in Putnam County where the feisty county clerk is refusing to grant a newspaper request for the names and addresses of gun permit owners such was done in two neighboring counties.
      The publishing of what seemingly is in the public record has caused a furor with gun owners claiming their privacy is breached and such information may make them a target for crime.
     Local pols are pledging to "pass a law" to stop such releases.
     The Journal News is insisting they want the list and experts say they likely would prevail if they spend some lawyer time fighting it.
      With circulation dropping, will this just alienate potential readers or is a public interest served by bringing attention to permit holders ?
      There are all sorts of public record items newspapers routinely pass over...Things like bankruptcies, judgments, traffic tickets, divorces (they do a list but not the particulars), health violations, building code violations, police calls to a home....the list goes on and on.
     These things get mentioned if there is a nexus to a crime or sometimes if it's an elected official as they have diminished expectations of privacy.
       The Putnam clerk has become a here in FOX world although the story will likely get little play elsewhere. In fact, the clerk may be intentionally disregarding the law, and is that right ?
       For the paper, it may be a matter of journalistic hubris at this point.
       I know it's not a fight any NNY media would take on.
Defiant county official refuses to hand over list of gun owners to newspaper | Fox News

Friday, January 4, 2013

Richard Nixon’s dark side has obscured his greatness - Telegraph

   Richard Nixon dominated the years when I was first becoming aware of and interested in politics. I even read Six Crisis and attended a Nixon rally in '72 where VP Spiro Agnew spoke....I don't recall seeing MCM that day...
    This week President Nixon would have been one hundred years old.
     For the dark and brooding souls among us, its a day to reflect.
Richard Nixon’s dark side has obscured his greatness - Telegraph

Holy War On Public Square?- WWNY TV

   The Public Square as the marketplace of ideas...Couldn't be more American than that !
The very religious proselytizing on the Square got competition from those who don't make religion part of their life....
Holy War On Public Square? | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Does Rex Love Sanchez as Much as He Loves His Beautiful Bride ?

      A tattoo spotted on a sunbathing JETS coach Rex Ryan shows an image of the coach's wife wearing nothing but a JETS jersey with the number "6" on it....That's the number worn by widely disliked quarterback Mark Sanchez.
      Is it art imitating life and evidence of Ryan's obsession with Sanchez who will be starting next season despite a horrible year this season.
Sunbathing Rex Ryan spotted, tattoo of wife's likeness wearing only Mark Sanchez NY Jets jersey on display in Bahamas - NY Daily News
      Today started early with a 7:30 AM appearance on WTNY's Morning Show and a talk with Mr. Walts about city issues and what's ahead for 2013.
      A top challenge I have advanced to staff is managing the closure of the Mercy complex on Stone Street as this large and empty structure could pose all sorts of codes and security issues if the owners of record continue their current level of non-interest in the building.
     Also in 2013, we should see the dormitory project proceed at JCC and hopefully continued progress on downtown buildings.
     We hope to continue our partnership with professional hockey and complete the replacement of the Zoo Aviary with a new structure.
     After the radio interview I attended the opening of a Jefferson Leadership Institute session at City Hall, then had a meeting with the Paychex girl. This afternoon I will head to FX to get my oil changed and tires rotated.....While there I will be consulting with Crazy Ray on a variety of issues.

Dems NYC Pols Show Why Senate Takeover Didn't Happen

   Once again, we see why there was a reluctance to embrace a voter decision last fall to select more Democrats to the State Senate than Republicans. A coalition of GOP and IDC Democrats now control the body.
    This Post story about alleged fundraising and other issues surrounding would be majority leader, Senator John Sampson, shows the continuing cloud surrounding the Dems leadership base downstate.  Remember Espada and company ?
     Feds launch probe into former NY state Senate Majority Leader John Sampson -

Fracking proponents say leaked state report backs their position -

     Whether "fracking" is good or bad, its clear Albany will not act on allowing it as the Governor  is having trouble balancing business interests and the matter of upstate jobs with his core constituencies in the Democratic party necessary for his expected Presidential run.
      A state study on the natural gas recovery method reportedly says the state should allow it, but there is still intense opposition, so don't expect a decision soon.
Fracking proponents say leaked state report backs their position -

WDT: Mayor's Train Among Classics on Display at Historical Society

   A fun exhibit is open at the Jefferson County Historical Society on Washington Street. Model trains are set up including a 1933 toy train received by former Mayor Tom Walker when he was a child.
    Mayor Walker is to be lauded for saving the toys of his youth and I am sure his train and those of others make for a great display.
    The model trains exhibit is open until February 23.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County Historical Society model train exhibit on display through February

WDT: Owens foresees more intense partisan battles for federal lawmakers

    The fiscal cliff fuss is over but the nation has now hit its $16.4 trillion debt limit and that will lead to another round of intense debate in Congress over making spending cuts.
     Rep. Bill Owens is predicting a new round of "partisan bickering" but its really inevitable if the subject is to be cutting spending.  No one has shown much interest in doing so and the public last year voted for higher taxes and no spending cuts.
      For those in Congress, it will be more of the "protect our seniors", "fight for the middle class", "save our programs", and keep money flowing to our district to create "jobs, jobs, jobs."
      In doing that, there is no constituency for cutting much of anything, and the deficits will continue until and if there is a consequence.
Watertown Daily Times | Owens foresees more intense partisan battles for federal lawmakers

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Congressman Owens Casts Vote for Pelosi

    Party loyalty prevailed in DC today as enough old guard Republicans stuck with John Boehner for Speaker, electing him over Nancy Pelosi who was supported by most Democrats. A few members of both parties sat it out or voted for someone else.
     NNY Congressman Bill Owens voted for Ms. Pelosi. As a Democrat, he is supposed to.  
     Meanwhile the Congress endures record low approval ratings after the fiscal cliff episode. Seems the President will have the upper hand, at least for the time being.
Congressman Owens Casts Vote for Pelosi | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

That tattoo may look hot now -- but in 10 years?

         Even though Strange called it a "butt cap" when he gave it to you, the rest of the world calls it a "tramp stamp" and its not good optics in the job world.. Same true of corny lovey sayings written across your thigh or some kind of Tyson like blog coming up your neck.  Add some piercings and a slacker attitude and you are not too employable.
      Long after the novelty and statement wear off , your marked bod doesn't look so cool with its saggy tatts.  Not that some tattoos can't look good on the right people with the right dress and grooming...but for the most part, they look like crap and lower your income potential.
That tattoo may look hot now -- but in 10 years?

President to Be Elected Tomorrow as Electors Votes are Tallied

   With the Electoral College votes to be tallied tomorrow, the final compilation of votes shows President Obama's win was significant...a popular vote margin of five million in addition to his 332-206 margin in the College.
    Mr. Obama is the first President since Ike to win a pair of terms with at least 51%.....His margin was a little over four points...not what it was in 2008 but still strong.
    Over 129 million voted in November, down about two million from 2008.
    Final Tally Shows Obama First Since ’56 to Win 51% Twice - Bloomberg

Morning on Mullin Street

      Friday morning at 7:30 I will be the guest on the WTNY morning show....The stated goal to discuss the year ahead for the City. Be sure to listen Friday morning at 730 on AM 790.
      After that I am attending an opening session at City Hall for the Jefferson Leadership Institute, before doing my regular Friday activities.


Local Family Sells Signature Olive Oil

       Local restaurant owner and chef Geoff Puccia is putting his own family name on one of the staples of Italian cooking...olive oil.

      The new Puccia brand of oil comes from California and sells for $10 a bottle at the restaurant and select stores.  Geoff has 1700 bottles, so he would appreciate the sales.
      Mr. Puccia owns Pete's Trattoria on Breen Avenue in Watertown.

David Cameron must return Falklands to Argentina, Cristina Kirchner demands in open letter - Telegraph

   Sounds like a way to divert domestic attention from other problems as Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has openly demanded British Prime Minister David Cameron return the Falkland Islands to Argentine control.
    It's been a simmering dispute since 1833 and led to a war a couple of decades back when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dispatched the Royal Navy to push back the South Americans. The Brits won in a brief but fierce fight.
     It is a bit of a remnant of days gone by, this colonial outpost nearly 10,000 miles from London, but these things are like school district boundaries. Once in place, you don't go messing with them.
     By the way, Mr. Cameron has told Ms Kirchner to, he just refused the demand actually.
David Cameron must return Falklands to Argentina, Cristina Kirchner demands in open letter - Telegraph

WDT: Former Bay Mayor Dies...First Woman to Hold the Office

      A dedicated local public servant in Alexandria Bay has passed. Former Mayor Helethea Roy died at age 70. She was the village mayor through much of the 1990s and was the first woman mayor of the riverside village.
Watertown Daily Times | First female mayor of Alexandria Bay dies

Cleveland stripper falls from 15-foot balcony while giving lap dance, suffers severe head injury - NY Daily News

      An unknown stripper suffers an injury in a fall at work and it's big news....internationally reported and even making the roll at Newzjunky this morning.
It happened in Cleveland, involved no one famous and is basicly a workplace injury no more profound than an electrician falling off a ladder.
     Funny thing about stories like this...the out of town press grabs on for life getting the name and finding photos of the woman.
      I checked the Cleveland Plain Dealer website at the same time and it was treated more like a local paragraph with no name, photos or much of anything.
     Seems the gents getting the dance were seen fleeing the club. There's the news hook for folo up. Get their names...find a photo of them on Facebook and stake out their houses. Also interview some other strippers about occupational hazards and on Action News, you could keep it going for a week. Too bad sweeps week isn't till February, but a five part series on hazards of the sex trade is what the astute news director is surely considering.
        Let's hope for a recovery for the 22 year old lass.
        Cleveland stripper falls from 15-foot balcony while giving lap dance, suffers severe head injury - NY Daily News

Panel Recommends Major Changes to NYS Education

   Governor Cuomo's commission on education reform is shopping a longer school day and longer school year as prime recommendations along with a call for district consolidations and regional high schools.
    Mr. Cuomo's panel was formed to propose reforms to the state's system of public education.
    The commission also wants better links between high schools and colleges; more transparency (whatever that means) and facilitated teacher education.
    Longer school years ? Good luck.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pet Peeve Alert....It's My Industry and Non-Competitive Practices Irk Me

   On New Year's Eve, Shootie and I were discussing the hosing on-premise sellers of the Devil's brew get from distributors who spend too much of their day kissing the asses of convenience and grocery store owners.
    Today I got into heated discussions with a couple of beer salesmen over the topic as everytime I walk into a Nice 'n Easy and see them selling Labatts for three or four bucks a case less than I can buy it for, it ,well, it pisses me off.
    Of course, the culprit is New York's monopolistic system that forces purchase through a totally non-competitive system of distributors for beer and liquor.
     On-premise accounts used to be important spots for marketing product but now amount to less than 10% of sales. Now the distributors will tell you they won't sell you a 30-pack for fear of offending the convenience store owners.
     When a store is selling 20 packs of Bud Light for $9.99 and bars are charged $20.60 for a 24 count case....Well, somebody's getting the shaft.
     There...that felt good. Now , back to work.

From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill

    Help for for Hollywood....a rum tax to help distilleries in US territories, and subsidies for electric scooters....It's all a part of the fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes for us all...
 From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill

Putnam County Clerk Tells Newspaper to Go #%@& Themselves

      The newspaper that printed the names of gun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland Counties has gotten the cold shoulder from neighboring Putnam County where the county clerk told the paper to take a hike.
      The publishing of the permit roster has drawn fire from gun owners concerned over their privacy.
      Maybe our NNY media could do something less controversial like publishing the list of drivers with motorcycle endorsements or just who is a notary public.
       Then I could get all upset....
Journal News Hires Armed Guards After Outcry Over Map of Gun Permit Holders -

IHC Grad and Model Amy Hunt Takes New Job as Refuse Collector

      Amy Hunt has taken a job with a refuse hauling company in Florida, but I am thinking a homecoming for a career on our trucks may increase the City of Watertown's share of the local hauling market.
       Amy is the daughter of Tom and Sue Hunt of Watertown and is a great person.
(15) Amy Hunt

Boehner to Reid: Go #*@& Yourself !

    Hooray for Speaker John Boehner....He was in the impossible position of negotiating a sensible conclusion to the "fiscal curb" and he actually told the very annoying Senator Harry Reid to "go fuck himself"....And he did it right outside the Oval Office.
    In my book that saves Mr. Boehner's speakership.  The Ohio native grew up in a bar-owning family in Cincinnati, so that's a plus....
    Meanwhile, with all due respect, Senator Reid is a major league ---hole.....
At White House for fiscal-cliff talks, Speaker Boehner's choice of words with the Senate Democratic Leader included some of the four-letter variety - NY Daily News

WDT: Man With Stab Wound Doesn't Want to Be a Victim

    If a guy gets stabbed on New Year's Eve but won't tell police who did it, is he really a victim ?  I don't think so, but that's just my opinion.
    We have enough "victims" in our society without designating more among people who apparently don't want the designation.
     The guy with the wound may want to reconsider though...There are probably lots of programs he can take advantage of and maybe get some free money.
Watertown Daily Times | Sheriff: Stabbing victim won’t cooperate in investigation

Fiscal cliff deal: Republicans 'surrender' on tax cuts and Obama heads back to restart Hawaii vacation | Mail Online

   President Obama gave a victory wink, Republican pundits lamented a month's long retreat on taxes that ended in dozens of GOP Congressmen voting to approve what is called the largest tax hike in four decades.
    The fiscal cliff deal sets rates so we won't have to deal with expiration of "Bush Era" tax cuts.  The Bush Era rates are now the rates, except for the well-to-do's and the lah-de-dahs who will pay more...
     However, we all pay more as the FICA payroll tax balloons back to 6.2% and Hollywood gets a tax break on production of movies and so does NASCAR. As usual there are a lot of little arrangements tucked away in a bill most don't read till after the vote.
     On to the next cliff !

Fiscal cliff deal: Republicans 'surrender' on tax cuts and Obama heads back to restart Hawaii vacation | Mail Online

The Journal News is Armed

      Here's an irony...the newspaper that published the names of all those gun permit holders has had to hire armed guards for fear of reprisals at its Westchester County offices.
      Of course, gun foes would argue that's what's wrong with America's gun culture, but Second Amendment fans would say the paper is just using its right to defend itself against a perceived threat just as anyone can.
     Of course there's always the chance this is a stunt to make the gun crowd look dangerous and vindictive.
The Journal News is Armed and Dangerous | The Rockland County Times

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Champion Back on the Map As Winter Prompts Return of Its One Attraction

         It is arguably the only tourist attraction in the Town of Champion....The 36 foot tall snowman is back for the fifth year in front of the home of Vernon Scoville on NYS 126.  Mr. Scoville is a dairy farmer.
    How does my friend Supervisor Terry Buckley bring such things to his little town.

Ran Into Three Teachers Today.....and the Takeaway from the New Year's Gala on Pearl Street

       Middle Class Mike would have you believe teachers don't like me, but that's not true.  Today t wolong-time pedagogue friends visited me at the Pearl Street Pub and at Pete's just a moment ago, a teacher offered to share the pizza she is having with a local television luminary.
       Also today I put in a full day at the bar after last nights all-niter for New Year's....Looking forward to hitting the hay tonight.
       Highlights of the New Year's bash are leaking out as beautiful people from as far as Montreal found their way to Pearl Street. I even took an hour to visit Shootie and his lovely bride at their New Year's party.
Affection in the Air at the Pearl Street Pub
      Also attending was former bartender Emily who is pictured with her Mom before the Airman heads back to the Air Force at an undisclosed location.
     The Holidays are over and it's time to get to working on the many challenges of 2013 !

New Year's Eve Overdone in Some Places But Local Celebrations Not Too Wild- Mail Online

   New Year's Eve was a fun night on Pearl Street even if it was overdone in some places around the globe.
   Pearl Street Pub patrons enjoyed themselves without incident and welcomed the new year with enthusiasm. It was a busy night with many new customers.
    Many choose to welcome the year on New Year's Day with celebrations in many establishments.
         New Year celebrations turn ugly in cities across the country as country lives up to Binge Britain reputation | Mail Online

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cliff Deal Would Extend Tax Cuts , Do Little Else

    For those of you who believed the hype that the world as we know it would end at midnight...relief at last.
This Happy Pair Negotiated the Deal
    Looks like a compromise tax package and no commitment to spending cuts...A deficit-forever package, but one that makes permanent the tax rates for all but the highest incomes...
    But remember, your FICA tax goes back up and that's worth about a grand to most of you.
    While Congress might take a couple days to complete the voting, it looks like the deal is done for now...Until the next "cliff" in a month over the borrowing limit...
      Meanwhile, best wishes to all of your for a happy and safe holiday and a great 2013.
Cliff Deal Would Extend Tax Cuts For Households Up to $450,000 -

Money From a Red State Arrives

   I will say the State of North Carolina is prompt in issuing checks. The scratch off tickets I sent to Raleigh the day before Christmas resulted in a $26 dollar check in the mail today from the Tar Heel State.

      The tickets were in a Christmas card from my brother. The $20 winner in the bunch...I wonder if Bruce would have put that in the card had he known ?

Inside Albany: Governor plans overhaul of agency responsible for New York’s economic development -

    Governor Cuomo plans a complete makeover of the state's provider of corporate welfare after concluding the Empire State Development Corporation is inefficient and unfocused in its bid to "create jobs" in the NYS.
    This stands as a priority for the Governor in the new year, but also look for a new gun control law and a hike in minimum wage to be supported on Eagle Street.
Inside Albany: Governor plans overhaul of agency responsible for New York’s economic development -

WDT: We Choose Kim Over the Cliff for Tops in News

    I was looking over the WDT site this AM and low and behold the top story listed under "national news" was the announcement of Kim Kardashian's pregnancy, presumably due to the insemination by boyfriend and rapper Kanye West.
    The pregnancy by who will soon be America's famous for being famous unwed mother is catnip for a news industry infatuated by celebrity.
     Why is it again that Ms. Kardashian is famous ?
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Hillary Clinton hospitalized over blood clot discovered after concussion - The Washington Post

   Secretary of State and former Senator from NY Hillary Clinton is hospitalized in NYC today being treated for a blood clot possibly related to her recent concussion.
Hillary Clinton hospitalized over blood clot discovered after concussion - The Washington Post

A Democrat Willing to Reach Out to Republicans...Dead Ones

       We have a statue of a former Governor of NY and several buildings named after school superintendents, but no bronze statues of former Members of Congress from our area.
        Political tourist and ardent Democrat John Sullivan came across a statue of the late Congressman Sonny Bono during a visit to Palm Springs.
     John is a former Mayor of Oswego and a political operative who fancied himself running for Congress in 2009 during the special election that led to Rep. Bill Owens winning the former GOP seat.
      John currently travels the country posting photos of himself on Facebook.

WDT: Florist Says County Flush With No Cliffs in Sight

        County Legislator Scott Gray, who is always interviewed by the media on money matters, says Jefferson County is not in dire straights and has a healthy pot of money just hanging around.
       Mr. Gray was commenting on  NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's gloomy assessment of the fiscal health of the state's local governments.
An Oasis of Cash in a State of Dire Straights ?

       Tell that to city residents just smacked with a 7% hike in their county tax bill that officials blame on "equalization" rates.
        Mr. Gray says county government has been "stingy" in its spending but is plagued by "mandated" state costs.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County escapes Comptroller’s dark determination, for now

WDT: Housing allowances around Fort Drum increase for 2013

      The Army is raising the amount of money provided soldiers for housing in the Fort Drum area by from three to eight percent. The housing allowance numbers vary by rank and are the money the Army provides above salaries to compensate soldiers not provided government housing.
      The allowances and the public knowledge of them is blamed by some for what is seen as inflated rents in the Watertown area, particularly for those civilians not receiving the four figure allowances.  The most frequent complaint one hears in a market with few vacancies is that landlords set rents according to the BHA numbers and not the intrinsic value of what they are renting. This is particularly hard on those of more modest income for whom a $1200 rent is very high.
       The other argument is that the market determines rents and that with a vacancy rate of under two percent and a shortage of subsidized housing the housing crunch will persist.
       Several hundred units of housing are now under construction in the Watertown area.
        The new rates take effect tomorrow.
Watertown Daily Times | Housing allowances around Fort Drum increase for 2013

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Teen dies from sledding injuries - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    For this 16 year old, sledding at break neck speed was not a "right of passage" she could look back on...
Teen dies from sledding injuries - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NFL Bloodletting Begins in Philadelphia

        The first bloodletting of the post season came within hours of the Eagles thrashing at the hands of the Giants enroute to a 4-12 season. Long time coach Andy Reid walked the plank....
       Who's next.
        My JETS were embarassed again today, losing to the Bills 28-7 to mercifully end a disappointing season.  Does Rex walk the plank ?  I don't think so, and I think they keep Sanchez too because he is so expensive.
         I still like Rex, but Sanchez has to go.
Eagles fire Andy Reid; announcement expected Monday

Ailing George Bush Sr. Draws Torrent of Hate Tweets | Daily Download

     Are people more nasty these days or does the ease of getting an audience through technology just encourage the already rude and ignorant.
      Media critic Howard Kurtz writes about a "torrent" of vitreolic tweets about the illness of former President George H.W. Bush who is improving after a month long bout with bronchitis at a Houston hospital.
       For some social media is empowering, but in a very negative way.
Ailing George Bush Sr. Draws Torrent of Hate Tweets | Daily Download

Jets season finishes today, then the real action begins -

   New York football fans limp across the finish line today in week 17 with the Giants holding only a thin playoff hope dependent mostly on the actions of others. The Bills and JETS meet in their season finale in Buffalo in a game that means nothing.
    For the JETS, its a prelude to an off season when owner Woody Johnson may make some moves but likely fans will be saddled with another season of Mark Sanchez who, because of his salary, is too big to fail.
     Its a far from from opening day when Gang Green racked up a 48-28 win over Buffalo and the future was so bright, we all were wearing shades.
Jets season finishes today, then the real action begins -

Ford creates a 100 mpg Fusion...If You Like Spending More

      Going green continues to be expensive and without subsidy from the rest of us will not happen. The latest energy savings deal is a 100mpg Ford Fusion coming out. It will sell for about $40K, roughly twice what a gas powered Fusion costs.  Fuel savings over five years are estimated at about $6K, meaning its not worth buying unless you like the novelty.

      Then there's the matter of resale value and maintenance costs, which could be high for new, exotic technologies.
       Its like solar and wind...Neat technology if you have the rest of us paying for it.
Drive On: Ford creates a 100 mpg Fusion