Saturday, January 26, 2013

DAVOS, Switzerland: Topless Protesters Take on Elites

       Despite the strides made by women in some arenas there is still a feeling in some quarters that alls not equal. Ukranian feminist protestors have again braved the snow and cold to demonstrate at an international business forum in Davos, Switzerland.
DAVOS, Switzerland: Topless protesters take on elite Davos forum | Nation/World | The Sun Herald

City Council To Hold Adjourned Meeting Monday

     While at City Hall this AM to pick up my agenda for Monday's adjourned meeting, I see Council Chambers were full with people taking a civil service exam for fire chief. Exams are regularly given there to create valid lists for various positions should they become vacant.
       The agenda has four resolutions, including one that should be completed by Monday that hopefully resolved a concession issue at the Fairgrounds Arena. There is a resolution to  change a job title in the Comptroller's office, and a resolution in support of a grant application.
       I also learned that on-line paying of city bills started yesterday, as did the outdoor skating rink at Thompson Park which was prepared this week.
      Of course the forecast for next week is warm weather  but hopefully skaters can use the outdoor rink this winter.

WWNY: Defense Lawyer Says His Clients Would Have Liked the Same Deal

     Here's a story on TV 7 that cuts to the most common "at the water cooler" remarks about Deputy Red Stag and the special consideration he got when discovered by the roadside slumped over the wheel, and presumably intoxicated.
      Local defense lawyer Seth Buchman says that's not the way it's done these days and that his clients get a ride to the pokey and not a ride home.
      Funny you hear nothing in the way of criticism from the MADDs and SADDs, the Stop DWI coordinators, the Alcohol and Substance Abuse agencies. That's because they depend on a steady stream of arrests for their livelihood and don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.
      The actions in this case harken back to the old days when a cop would cut some slack and give you a ride home.
      That's not the world the DWI cottage industry has created and that's why people shake their head at the handling of this case.
Defense Lawyer Weighs In On Deputy & DWI | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

LeBron James tackles fan who hit halfcourt shot (VIDEO)

     Hoop legend LeBron James seemed to get more of a kick than Michael Drysch over the 50 year old's half court sky hook that made the basket and won Mr. Drysch $75,000.
LeBron James tackles fan who hit halfcourt shot (VIDEO)

Sarah Palin out at Fox News -

   The money was probably good, but Sarah Palin has declined a FOX News offer for a new contract as a commentator. 
    Ms. Palin says she wants to expand her grass rooms message of conservatism.
     She also may want to start working the banquet circuit in preparation for 2016.
Sarah Palin out at Fox News -

Friday, January 25, 2013

Letter to Editor: Burns doing a good job

     Harry Truman was fond of saying if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.....or in the case of Sheriff John Burns...if you want good things said about you in the paper, get someone to write a letter.
Watertown Daily Times | Burns doing a good job

Canada Dollar Falls to 6-Month Low

 Not being a currency expert, I won't attempt to read anything into this...but a slipping Loonie and a nearly deflationary Canadian economy must mean something. Hope its not a harbinger of declining cross-border traffic.
Canada Dollar Falls to 6-Month Low as CPI Drop Exceeds - Bloomberg

Feedback: Record Number Of Inmates Shipped From Jefferson County | WWNY TV 7

    If there really is a need for more jail space...and if more jail space is ever to be built, it's pretty clear it will have to wait until after the 2014 Sheriff election.
    Taking attention away from the Red Stag swigging deputy case, the Sheriff yesterday returned to sparring with the County Leg over expansion of the county jail.
   Sheriff John Burns says he is shipping too many inmates around the state because of inadequate space locally. County officials say housing inmates elsewhere is less expensive than the capital and operating costs of expansion the local jail.
     Meanwhile, insiders say the Legislators were split over what to do with recent issues within Burn's department, but they decided to seek an outside probe....
     One even ask me if I knew of anyone who could do the job.....I suggested the DA, since we are already paying them.
      There is no longer a NYS Commission on Investigations and lawmakers were searching about for the name of a public integrity commission they had heard about.
       I suspect they are looking for a free investigation, but I am not sure anyone will provide that. It's not that big a deal. Sheriff Burns has said he welcomes a probe and suggested the scope be expanded.
       Meanwhile the one legislator who recently got a DWI while parked by the side of the road has got to be scratching his head and wondering about recent events.       
Feedback: Record Number Of Inmates Shipped From Jefferson County | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Longtime Jefferson Legislator Gino Zando Dies | WWNY

    An old style local politician has died. Former County Legislator and Deferiet resident Gino Zando passed today.

A nice man for sure but always present for the meetings and the events. He was involved in his community.
    Sympathies to Gino's family and many friends in the Wilna area.
Longtime Jefferson Legislator Gino Zando Dies | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Gillibrand Promotes Weatherization and Moves On

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand swooped into Watertown Friday morning for a touting of the government sponsored home weatherization programs. The event at the CAPC office on Davidson Street couldn't have come at a better time as coldweather underscored the difficulties in paying for heat  in homes now decked out for the season.
    Unlike New York's other Senator, Ms. Gillibrand is a less frequent traveler around the state and quickly left the event which was one of three today.
     At the end of the event the Senator ask for questions from the local press and nobody ask any....She must have been surprised at the laid back approach of the NNY press corps.

Republicans in Virginia and Other States Hope to Changes the Rules in Bid for White House

     Changing the rules could change the end result, but proposed changes in some states to the method of selecting Presidential electors could favor the GOP, at least the way things are now.
     For as long as anyone can remember, 48 states have allocated electors on a winner take all system. Two states Nebraska and Maine have allocated by Congressional district.
     In fact in 2008, Barack Obama lost Nebraska by a considerable margin but still got one electoral vote because he narrowly carried the state's Second CD based in Omaha.
      An effort is afoot in Virginia and other state's to switch to that system, which in some cases could mean the candidate getting a majority of a state's popular vote would get a minority of the electoral vote.
       This is bringing cries of foul on MSNBC  where commentator Ed Schulz labed the effort, you guessed it, "racist".
        Who carries a given CD isn't necessarily significant to voters making their choice for national office. After all, most CD's are of such a shape, nobody identifies with the blob on a map.
         This move is clearly a gambit to better position the GOP for 2016, so if they lost say a VA or PA, they still get electoral votes. By cherry picking the states where it could help them (and ones where they could get it passed) Republicans could make the system more complicated nationally but more friendly to them.
       Of course they could just nominate a candidate capable of winning a few more states as well as the national popular vote which they lost this time 51-47.

Republicans in Virginia, other states seeking electoral college changes - The Washington Post

WDT: U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand to visit CAPC for weatherization support

     Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is in Watertown today to attend an event at the Community Action Planning Council in support of weatherization programs. Good topic on such a cold week.
      The Senator is not a frequent caller to upstate communities as is the states senior member of the Senate, Chuck Schumer.
       Ms. Gillibrand is still very popular, having won reelection last year with 72% of the vote.
      We welcome her as her support on a variety of issues is important. Clearly she will be in the Senate for some time to come.
      If she has national ambitions, there is a line already forming with two other prominent New Yorkers already in the queue.
Watertown Daily Times | U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand to visit CAPC for weatherization support

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Syracuse Police Ticketing Chilly Drivers

Callie and Caitlyn Can Watch My Car on a Cold Night
   I know you shouldn't leave a car running with the keys in it...That's common sense and probably doesn't need more ticket writing....But on nights like last night I left my car running at Pete's. I will stipulate to that if the DA wants me to....I just didn't want to get in a cold car.
   Hope nobody calls for the launching of probe or my resignation.
Syracuse police writing more tickets to cut down on vehicle theft |

Duffy Visits City Hall

       Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy paid a visit to City Hall this afternoon to visit one of the state's longest tenured mayors (that's me...I think Gerry Jennings and I are both five termers).
       Mr. Duffy, who is the former mayor of Rochester, met with City Manager Sharon Addison and I for about an hour.
Lieutenant Governor Duffy Pays a Visit to Mayor's Office

      We discussed a variety of issues ranging from Mercy Hospital, to gun control, to a proposal to even out pension contributions for municipalities.
       As a former Rochester area resident, LG Duffy and I had lots to talk about and his visit was productive.
      Earlier in the day, Mr. Duffy met with about one hundred people at the State Office Building to discuss the Governor's proposed state budget.
      We appreciate Mayor Duffy making time for us.

Reports suggest Tiger Woods might be dating Lindsey Vonn -

   Poor Mindy in Ogdensburg won't be able to keep up with this...Days after reports golfer Tiger Woods was seeking a reunion with his ex wife, comes a report in the Star that the golfer is dating Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn.
    Ms. Vonn recently completed a divorce and rumored last year to be dating Tim Tebow.
     Ms. Vonn would certainly be a trophy, probably better than winning a major, which he hasn't done of late.
Reports suggest Tiger Woods might be dating Lindsey Vonn -

WDT: Higher Wage an Opportunity for Workers, But May Force Bosses to Be More Picky

   North Country businesses are bracing for a 20% increase in the minimum wage which is sure to pass the Legislature and become effective July 1.
    One thing about the minimum wage is it attempts to regulate all jobs as if they are the same. Some jobs are entry level, some are income supplements later in life, some are summer jobs during college. No such jobs are held by those proposing, debating or advocating for it.
      Many jobs are not part of the minimum wage structure at all, as they are "under the table". Many people prefer such jobs, although a responsible employer is running a risk of getting caught and the employee loses things like Social Security credits and other benefits. 
      Minimum wage in many service jobs means little as the real money is in tips that add several dollars an hour of pay, which more often than not is tax free.
     There are some jobs for which a minimum wage of $8.75 is generous and some it may be stingy.
     The higher minimum wage will force employers to be smarter with scheduling and in a price sensitive environment, businesses may opt for fewer hours of labor in order to hold the line on prices.
      Advice to those seeking to earn a better living.  Show up...look ready to work...make yourself valuable to the more hours and offer to work when others don' a good reference that can follow you to better opportunities.
       A higher minimum wage will mean employers are less likely to "settle". The new law can be a boon to those who want to work and climb the ladder.
Watertown Daily Times | Workers, employers disagree on higher minimum wage

WDT: City sues owner of burned down High Street building for clean-up costs

    While refusing to pay the cost of demolition of a burned out building on High Street, the owner went on to purchase another building on Public Square that houses a popular local restaurant.
       That's an additional twist to this story.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown sues owner of burned down High Street building for clean-up costs

Mayors to state: Don't let us drown - Times Union

      Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy is in Watertown today as part of a tour explaining to local leaders the details of Governor Cuomo's proposed state budget.
       Like every year, there is a cacaphony from mayors and superintendents for more money and this year is no different. 
        One proposal locks in pension rate contributions at a fixed number for years to come. Of course the devil is always in the details.
        In any event, we welcome Mr. Duffy to Watertown today and are anxious to hear his message.
Mayors to state: Don't let us drown - Times Union

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Get Out of Bed and Go to Work.....period !

     It's cold outside...and this is statisically the coldest week of the year...But on a morning when the mercury is -10 or -15 and there is no cancelling school "the toughest decision a superintendent makes" ?
      No, it's not. Go to school....Go to work...and don't indulge the notion that we have to use 'em or lose 'em.
      Am I so out of date ? My mom made sure I was dressed.. Mittens..Hat...the full Monte of winter.
       Getting up and going to work is a virtue.....going to school is your job at that age..
        Ask any employer about the work ethic problem starts early in life. Get up. Meet your obligations...The world is run by those who show up.
       A cold morning is no reason to cancel school.

WDT: Report: Deputy threw away booze found in Hallett’s car

   Yikes...those reports released today on the drunken deputy case are pretty revealing despite the heavy use of a Sharpee in redacting the documents from the Sheriff and County Attorney.
     The cut-to-the-chase part is the bottle of Red Stag open on the patrol car console and picked up by the investigating deputy and thrown into a field. Out of sight, out of mind.
     Red Stag is a Jim Beam product.
      There's a suggestion of evidence tampering , but also revealing is that the intent was to hush up the whole affair except somebody was threatening to tell the media.
      These are not flattering documents, but I suspect they detail an incident that happens and if someone had not snitched, we never would have known, or cared.
       And what about the dog in the car. Maybe he was drinking the Red Stag ?
Watertown Daily Times | Report: Deputy threw away booze found in Hallett’s car

WDT: Privateers Face Dry Games Unless Snafu is Cleared Up Soon

   Everything is going so well with the Privateers at the Fairgrounds Arena.
    Good crowds, well run facility, a local business responsibly selling alcohol while the city ran the food concession, actually making some money on hockey nights to help keep the facility open at other times for various youth and family events.
    Now some faux controversy and the experts are scratching their heads (or whatever) and at the last minute Council is told the state wants solely the same entity selling booze and food....
    Now that's not the case at any other festival or fair or other event where the devil's brew is served.  Lots of laws are routinely winked at for the not-for-profits. Now a local business is struggling to meet a February 1 deadline.
     It's enough to make your head explode.
Watertown Daily Times | Privateers agreement with the city put on hold

NYC lawyers, beverage industry duel over drink-size limit set to go into effect on March 12 -

   You know we live in a country with more than enough lawyers when legions of them can square off in court over whether you and I can buy a jumbo soft drink in the city that never sleeps.
    With a March start date for the Mayor's ban on sugary drinks looming, the soft drink industry is in court arguing the measure is an infringement on consumer choice.
    It is...
NYC lawyers, beverage industry duel over drink-size limit set to go into effect on March 12 -

Topping the News: It's Winter and It's Cold

    Chilly temperatures prompted a closing of City schools today.....It's cold but not that bad out. Why, back in the day........

Lip service: Beyonce Faked Anthem.....But So Did the Marines !

       Nothing is real anymore. We expect Hollywood types to lip sync, but the Marine Corps Band ?
       How phony is it that Beyonce's stirring rendition of the National Anthem at the Inauguration was live on Memorex ?  Marines were told to fake playing their instruments.

        As one wag said, (event organizer) Chuck Schumer promised Beyonce and gave us Milli Vanili, referring to the infamous pop due caught lip syncing.
        Other pop stars, including Kelly Clarkson, did actually sing.
Lip service: Beyonce faked anthem at Obama inauguration -

WDT: Legislature Throws a Bone to Times

   A probe of the Sheriff's Department will be limited only to one incident involving a deputy thought to have been drinking in a patrol car, who was only belatedly charged with an open container violation. The County Legislature made that decision during a lengthy closed door session last night.
    Hard to say what that will accomplish, but lawmakers likely felt they had to be seen doing something.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County Board of Legislators calls for outside investigation of Sheriff’s Department

Higher Minimum Wage to Take Effect July 1

     The minimum wage will go to $8.75 on July 1 and counties will no longer have to grovel to Albany to renew their local sales tax rates if Governor Cuomo's budget proposals pass. The spending plan also closes two prisons (none up here) and increases aid to schools by 4.4%.
       The outline of spending seems to have little that will stall passage by April 1st, which is the beginning of New York's fiscal year.
Governor Cuomo Outlines 2013-2014 Executive Budget to Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Continue to Invest in Economic Growth | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Half a Century Passes Quickly These Days

   Sometimes, you note those milestones that make you feel old....Tuesday marked fifty years since my Dad passed when I was seven.   Wow, that half a century moved right along.
    And this year, I have a forty year WHS reunion. 
     I still enjoy going to work every day, so hopefully I am not done yet.


     City Council heard from the firm auditing city books, the fund balance is shrinking, not as a result of revenue issues, but the exploding pension costs which went from $1.7M in 2010 to over $3.1M in 2012.  The numbers combine with a sluggish fourth quarter in sales tax revenue to heighten concerns, including looking for ways to reduce spending by spring.
    Council also learned of another alcohol related issue at the Arena as the beer vendor for the Privateers games is having trouble getting their temporary permit extended beyond February 1st over a state insistence they sell food exclusively. It's too complicated to explain here, but would make your head explode.
    Council instructed staff to get it settled by next Monday.
    Bunch of other stuff done....but my dinner just arrived...

Cubicles for Singles the New Rage in Space Challenged NYC

     New York City is announcing winners today in a micro-apartment design contest for units of 250 to 370 square feet. The small abodes are for singles in crowded NYC.
      Small is OK in the Big Apple where there is so much to see and do.  I'd much rather have 300sq ft in Manhattan than a McMansion in Jersey.
City announcing winners of micro-apartment design contest -

Council To Huddle on Chilly Night

     City Council will be dealing with an extra issue tonight, and its an old familiar friend.  Alcohol concession issues.  In a state where the Governor wants to legalize marijuana, we never cease to have some issue concerning beer.
     Meanwhile the wind damage to the roof of the Arena at the Fairgrounds did not stop opening of the facility today and experts are hoping to get a look at damage this week.

     Council tonight will likely approve contracts with three sporting teams using City facilities. The Privateers, the Red & Black and the Rams (Wizards) will then be set for their next season.
     And Council will approve the sale of two tax sale parcels reauctioned after the initial bidder didn't close.  One property is the $80,000 sale of the warehouse on West Main Street to Knowlton Technologies, a prominent local firm.
       I hear a new gin mill is opening in Watertown later this week on State Street. That brings to three (four counting the reopening of Maggies) of  new bars in my neighborhood in the last few months.  A Renaissance for Demon Rum.   

Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni to dodge new French tax hike by moving to London and setting up £1billion fund | Mail Online

    Phil Mickelson leaving California....Nicolas Sarkozy fleeing France...All they say to avoid higher and higher taxes being ladled on the rich.
     Maybe they just need better accountants. There isn't a tax code written that can't be gotten around one way or the other.
      Except the wages of sin. They are taxed with certainty.
Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni to dodge new French tax hike by moving to London and setting up £1billion fund | Mail Online

The heat is on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ‘buck’ up  - NY Daily News

   Governor Cuomo proposes a budget today and little new is expected. Budgets are not the news item they used to be as they are so complex, it cannot be digested by the media and public doesn't care. Like most aspects of government from towns to cities to counties to school districts to Albany and to Washington, the budget process is just not something anyone cares about.  Congress hasn't passed a budget in years, yet life continues.
         In state budgets, there is always some kind of "deficit" looming...there will be no stated tax increases, but that's not always a true statement, and we will hear that education is getting more money and that Sandy-damaged houses will be bought out.
The heat is on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ‘buck’ up  - NY Daily News

WDT: Jefferson County Sheriff’s final report due tonight

      I am not sure how much clarity the public will find in tonight's closed door meeting of the Jefferson County Legislature concerning recent misconduct and miscues at the Sheriff' Department.
       When you are facing litigation, you just have to keep mum as everything you say is fodder for the plaintiff, and even if you know there is culpability, your first obligation is to protect the public treasury and minimize or prevent exposure. 

        Like all of you, I am just an observer and whatever I think or say is the result of what I can figure out from news accounts or what I hear through the grapevine.
         It's the confluence of incidents that's causing the stir.  Any one or two of these items would just be dismissed as personnel items, but this has legislators hearing complaints while on the Stairmaster at the Y, so they feel they have to do something.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County Sheriff’s final report due tonight

Inauguration 2013: Obama: On offense for liberalism -

   The mask is off and President Barack Obama is unashamed in advocating a progressive agenda and platform now that he is officially a lame duck.
   Most observers say Mr. Obama's inaugural address was unabashed liberalism and a statement of the President's plan not to be a deficit hawk.
   Inauguration 2013: Obama: On offense for liberalism -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration 2013: Ralph Nader sees 'political bulls----

      Not everyone is like the press looking for that "soaring" moment of rhetoric. Some grumpy people like Ralpy Nader have already concluded the President speech in front of the Capitol today will be just fluff.
      When you have watched politics as long as Ralph, it's easy to be cynical.
       I look at it as not that big a deal today as hearing a President give a "major" speech is not an occasional event we can all focus and fixate on.
       Today, Presidents are making "major" addresses all the time as they fly across the country and across the cable news screen all day, every day.
       Mr. Nader's choice of words is accurate and what is said will change no one's mind about anything, other than when the last word is spoken, Mr. Obama becomes a lame duck and the 2016 circus officially begins.

Inauguration 2013: Ralph Nader sees 'political bulls---' - Kevin Cirilli -

Cuomo seeking support for wage hike - Times Union

      Gun law passed...Now it's on to a minimum wage hike, publicly financed campaigns and looser pot laws as Governor Cuomo pushes his "progressive" agenda that he sees as New York's legacy to the nation.  
      With a rubber-stamp Legislature in place, the Governor should have no problem.
       This week Mr. Cuomo also releases a proposed budget he says will contain no tax hikes, but likely no other initiatives as well.
       There will be lots of rhetoric as the Governor tees up his 2016 ambitions, after a first two years of staying low key and building a record in office and record high poll numbers.
Cuomo seeking support for wage hike - Times Union

Inside Albany: Gun owners plan boycott of Cuomo laws -

    Gun rights advocates were not listening to music Sunday. They were in Albany protesting the new gun law, with Dicker reporting that many plan to ignore the requirement to register so called "assault" style weapons by 2014, or face seizure or a misdeameanor charge.
Get His Name....He Get's a Visit Next Year

     Since the location of these guns is not known now, licensing is an imprecise science, but all the talk of civil disobediance will fade.
      It's the law and most people will obey, and the political fallout for the Governor is minimal.
      If everybody who owns such a weapon put aside all other issues and bothered to register and vote for the GOP no-name likely to oppose Mr. Cuomo in 2014, it wouldn't do much and Mr. Cuomo might  rival the 72% received last year by Senator Gillibrand.

Inside Albany: Gun owners plan boycott of Cuomo laws -

WDT: Media Tries to Stir the Pot on Gun Law, But Nobody Hops in the Stew

     Sometimes the media agenda is on display.
      At the coverage of the Newtown benefit concert, a TV reporter interviewed me and tried to lure me into talking about the Cuomo gun law, but I didn't bite. That wasn't what the concert was about. It was just a display of grief for a sad event, not a political statement. For many it was just a party with lots of bands from the past forty or so years in NNY.

      Same was true of the print coverage this AM. Then when people weren't interested in making the event into a political statement, the story became that they wouldn't make it into one.
      For the brief time I was there at the beginning to open the event, what struck me is that seeing all those bands I had shared the club scene with, it was like a "This Is Your Life" episode.
Watertown Daily Times | In concert for Newtown, gun debate remains backstage

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ravens beat Patriots, setting up brother vs. brother Super Bowl -

   The NFL got the narrative it wanted for an interesting Super Bowl as two brothers will be coaching the rival teams...John and Jim Harbaugh as the Ravens and 49ers square off in two weeks after winning today's conference games.
Ravens beat Patriots, setting up brother vs. brother Super Bowl -

Obama, Biden sworn in for second term -

   Today's quiet ceremony was enough for me, as President Obama and Vice President Biden were sworn in for a second term. Inaugural festivities and speechifying is being held tomorrow due to the 20th falling on a Sunday.
    The most interesting part of the event was Mrs. Obama's new do, which looks good.
Obama, Biden sworn in for second term -

Musicians Rally Crowd for Newtown Victims

John Michael Band Among the Legendary Local Musicians at Newtown Event
    Some eighty local musicians over ten hours attracted a large crowd to the North Side Improvement League today as dollars were raised and prayers offered for the victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, CT.

    Legends of my life were playing like the John Michael Band, Paul Taylor, Marc Chauvette, and many,many others from the club scene of our generation.
    Organizers did a great job and I was glad to be a part, reading a proclamation expressing Watertown's solidarity with the people of Newtown.

Obama’s Second Term Promises More Debt and Golf

     President Barack Obama begins his second term today at noon, although the ceremonial hoopla is tomorrow (can't official Washington work on Sunday ?)
      Obama’s first four years reviewed as second term begins today -

WDT: Owens Would Have Voted No on Cuomo Gun Law

   North Country Congressman Bill Owens has broken ranks with this state's Democratic Governor and says he surely would have voted against the recent gun control bill passed in the dark of night in Albany.
Rep. Bill Owens
   Mr. Owens says the ban on so called assault weapons and the limits on magazines will do nothing to solve concerns over incidents like the killings at Sandy Hook.
   The three term Congressman from Plattsburgh has an "A" rating from the NRA and says he can support more universal background checks and that President Obama's recent speech is a start to a conversation about guns, but the Congressman reaffirmed his support of the Second Amendment in today's WDT interview.
Watertown Daily Times | Congressman Owens supportive of universal background checks, against assault-weapon ban

WDT: Threat letters to states led FBI to Unger shadowy past: Suspect in IRS fraud case invokes God, denies anti-government plot

    Here's a guy living near Ogdensburg who the government says didn't want to pay taxes and had a handgun under his mattress. Richard Allen Unger was in a federal court where prosecutors say he is a threat to society.
Watertown Daily Times | Threat letters to states led FBI to Unger shadowy past: Suspect in IRS fraud case invokes God, denies anti-government plot

Heart Your Senator

    Senator Patty Ritchie is hoping for political cupids on February 8 with a Valentine's political fundraiser at the Black River Valley Club.
    The Friday night soire tickets are $48, or $75 if you want to attend the cupid reception prior to the main event.

     The invite promises music, dancing and celebration, although is not more specific.
The staid and solid political class who go to fundraisers don't strike me as the type to attend a "bash", but who wouldn't want to be Patty's valentine ?