Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PA booms, NY suffers

The New York Post discovers that New York City's Upstate neighbors could benefit from increased economic activity.  What took them so long?
‘If it wasn’t for the gas business, none of these people would be working right now,” David Dalrymple said, pointing to one of his crews building a road in Athens Township, Pa.
By “gas business,” he meant drilling made possible by “fracking” -- a process for extracting natural gas that’s legal in Pennsylvania but not yet in New York.
The Post catches up with Upstate bloggers in getting to the heart of the matter.
Then there’s Jennifer Huntington, who operates a 1,000-acre dairy farm with 500 cows in Middlefield, NY.
She has a lease with a gas company for a vertical well on her farm. The well could produce enough gas to service the municipal buildings and hospital nearby -- and give her the much-needed capital to make improvements on the farm. Work there wouldn’t even require fracking.
But a movement led by academics and part-time residents -- people wealthy enough to enjoy the country life without worrying about making a living -- got the town to ban drilling altogether. She has sued the town to get the ban lifted.
The war against fracking is a class war.  Our elites don't want truck drivers, waitresses, building contractors, furniture salesmen, hair dressers, satellite TV installers, or any other of Upstate's non-anointed masses to be able to upset the status quo.  To the swells, their neighbors' financial struggles are nothing more than necessary collateral damage.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Protestors fight to keep Finger Lakes propane prices high

None of these folks use any fossil fuel

Overshadowed by the Finger Lakes elite's war against shale gas, those of us who heat our modest homes, or lakefront mansions, with costly propane, are also under attack.

Inergy Midstream, a Kansas City based gas distribution company, proposes to store the popular fuel in the former International Salt caverns, 2600 feet under under Seneca Lake  An existing propane terminal in the Town of Reading, north of Watkins Glen, would be expanded, serving both truck and rail transportation.  Of course, the prospect of increased economic activity, jobs, and lower heating bills for the common folk has drawn the attention of the "no fracking" crowd.

The usual suspects turned out by the Prius load to express their outrage at last night's DEC hearing on the project.  As is usually the case at these affairs, the only pro-storage speaker was from the energy company.  None the less, Inergy president Bill Moller made his case.
Bill Moller, president of Kansas City-based Inergy Midstream, the company proposing the project, was surrounded by project opponents and peppered with questions during an informational session before the hearing began.
“I don’t know when home heating became the enemy of this community,” he told them. “We’re providing a cheaper, reliable, cleaner-burning source of energy. That’s what we’re doing here....”
There’s a high demand for propane in the region, Moller said, and that’s because it’s currently shipped by truck from other parts of the U.S.

“New Yorkers are paying the highest propane prices in the country,” Moller said
Around 800 opponents, none of whom apparently heat their homes with propane, use a barbeque grill, or have ever visited a propane-powered winery, heard Moller explain:
...that propane has been stored in the town for about 50 years, and that from 1964 to 1984, about 4 million barrels were stored in the same salt caverns, and said propane accounts for 25 percent of Schuyler County's energy use.
"We're not storing fuel oil," Moller said. "We're not storing crude oil. We're not storing coal. We're storing clean energy. Clean fossil fuels."
Bold added.  Word on the street is that the anti-energy mob was rude, or downright hostile, to anyone who was not opposed to the project.  

After Moller spoke, however, the 800 or so energy opponents who made the trip to Watkins lined up to discard their smart phones and give up the keys to their cars, then walked home silently in the dark.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cheating death OK, sparklers still illegal

Too dangerous?

It wasn't that long ago that Finger Lakes citizens could celebrate Independence Day with sparklers purchased at their local grocery stores and gas stations.  Not the serious fireworks available just across the border in Pennsylvania, but a little low risk fun for the kids.

Now, New York's unstoppable nanny state prevents all forms of fireworks from being sold, including sparklers.  The Albany gang has decided that the colorful novelties are just too dangerous for simple minded New Yorkers to handle.  Safety is their number one priority, it would seem, regardless of what their subjects think.

None the less, a bill to re-allow sparklers made it's way to governor Andy Cuomo's desk this week.  Unwilling to allow even the slightest risk to his subject's life and limb, our second generation governor vetoed the attempt.

This one survived, 1876

Hence our surprise when, at the same time he was nixing sparklers, Cuomo gave his OK to a terrifying attempt by a wealthy show business celebrity to tiptoe across Niagara Falls on a high wire.  The Empire State says it is worth the risk to allow professional daredevil Nik Wallenda to attempt the stunt, despite his famous family's history of sudden death.
Nik Wallenda, the 7th generation of the famous Flying Wallendas, is making a lot of news lately. The Wallenda family, aerialists known for working without nets, have had their share of tragedy. In 1962, 2 members of the family - Richard Faughnan and Dieter Schepp - fell 70' to their deaths while attempting a 7-man pyramid in Detroit. In 1963, Rietta Wallenda (fell) to her death in Omaha while performing on the sway pole. In 1972, another relative, Richard "Chico" Guzman, was killed when he touched a live wire while on the metal rigging. And in 1978, patriarch Karl Wallenda, Nik's great-grandfather, fell to his death while performing (video here, difficult to watch but not gory). Last month, Nik and his mother Delilah Wallenda successfully completed the walk of a 300' long wire suspended 100' in the air between 2 towers of a seaside hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico - the same stunt that killed Karl.
New York's anti-business environment has left the city of Niagara Falls a hollow shadow of its former existence as a major tourist destination.  Approving Wallenda's stunt has been justified by pointing to the economic benefits the event might bring to the area.
The Wallenda bill passed both houses of the 212-member Legislature with only one no vote. A legislative memo accompanying the bill states simply that the walk will be good for tourism and economic development in Niagara Falls.
If the state really cares about reviving Niagara Falls, a less risky plan might be to stop collecting sales tax in the region, then stand back and watch the economy flourish on its own.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Soros cashing in on fracking...

San Leon drilling rig in Nebraska, USA
  ... in Poland.
San Leon Energy Plc, the natural- gas explorer backed by billionaire George Soros and Blackrock Inc., expects its Polish shale licenses to be more profitable than U.S. deposits, the company’s exploration director said.
San Leon, which became one of the leading shale gas explorers in Poland after buying Realm Energy International Corp. for $142 million last month, seeks to profit either through so-called farm-outs with a cash component or asset sales once it develops its fields and proves they can produce gas, John Buggenhagen said in an interview in Warsaw.
Its should be easy to understand that if billionaire financier George Soros is invested in natural gas in Poland, he can make more money by obstructing natural gas production in the US.  That would explain the George Soros/Sundance Festival/Josh Fox connection, might it not? 

San Leon Energy is just the kind of huge, multinational exploiter of the earth's resources that have New York's anti-energy true believers' panties in wad.   Rather that targeting Soros, however, these zombies would rather burn gasoline driving all over the Finger Lakes, fighting to raise the cost of their neighbor's heating fuel. The real class war is taking place right under our noses.

And don't forget that your tax dollars are being used to support the Polish fracking boom!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Solargate crooks lawyer up

"Crazy Joe"and Larry Gallo, gangsters,  refusing to testify in 1959

In a long gangland tradition, two senior managers at bankrupt, taxpayer subsidized solar panel peddler Solyndra, CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G "Bill" Stover, are planning to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution and refuse to testify before congressional investigators.

Brian Harrison, MBA,  also refuses to testify

Of course these gonifs have retained counsel, and like most smart mobsters, their attorneys are well connected
The law firms representing the executives are Orrick, Harrington and Sutcliffe, and Keker and Van Nest. Both are major contributors to Democrats and both have handsomely helped President Barack Obama’s political efforts, according to information retrieved from Center for Responsive Politics databanks.
Finger Lakes taxpayers were taken for half a billion bucks by these Obama henchmen.  It would not be crazy to suspect some of that missing cash will find its way, though those politically active law firms, into Obama's reelection war chest.  The so-called "green energy" movement is nothing more than the latest evolution of organized crime

Andy, they lawyered up!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SU leaves Big East

SU-Villanova, March 5, 2006

It looks like a done deal.  Syracuse University, founding member of the Big East Conference, will join legendary basketball programs like Duke and North Carolina in the ACC.  Bud Poliquin faces the inevitable facts:
Indeed, something is going on. Syracuse, nestled only a couple of hours from the Canadian border, is about to defect to a league filled with clubs from Florida and Georgia, from South Carolina and North Carolina, from Virginia and Maryland. That Massachusetts (Boston College) and, reportedly, Pennsylvania (fellow projected ACC newbie Pittsburgh) will also be represented merely softens, rather than removes, the geographical absurdity of the Orange heading south.
Orange basketball fans need to realize that the decision is all about football money.  SU Athletic Director Daryl Gross confirms to Poliquin:
And why? Because football, the perceived god of each aspiring athletic department, demands that all kneel before its massive altar. Because football, and the money it can command from all those networks with all those wheelbarrows filled with money, is as golden as a goose can get.
“This isn’t about good, bad or ugly,” Gross insisted. “It’s what’s necessary. TV has gotten complicated and sophisticated. The dollars have gotten really, really large. Everybody is trying to make sure they have the resources to run their programs.

Paul Harris at Seton Hall, March 6, 2008

Friday, September 16, 2011

Solargate: it's Huuuuge........

Way, way back in November 2010, we began pestering our readers about yet another failed solar energy conspiracy, Solyndra.  In subsequent posts, we've kept you up to date on the growing scandal, now involving corruption and bribery at the highest levels of government.

In less than a year, the scandal has grown to where, were our current president a Republican, he'd be waving goodbye as he boarded his last official helicopter flight on the White House lawn.  For an indication of how big this story has become, Professor Jacobson stayed up late and watched The Tonight Show.  Jay Leno is now doing Solyndra jokes!

And there's good news for us rubes here in the The Finger Lakes.  We are uniquely positioned to cash in on this one: Five Points!

Maximum security between the lakes

Last Crown Victoria rolls off the line

January Jones with Crown Victoria

Federal government fuel economy standards have succeed in killing off Ford's long running fleet workhorse.
The last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off a Canadian assembly line Thursday, marking the end of the big, heavy Ford cars that have been popular with taxi fleets and police departments for decades.

Since 1979, almost 10 million Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars -- so-called Panther Platform vehicles -- have been sold.
Crown Vics at work in NYC

The crude but rugged Crown Victoria, also sold as the Lincoln Town Car, has for years been widely used by fleet operators such as limo services, taxi companies, and police departments.  Fleet operators have not continued to purchased the Crown Vic because they're idiots who want to waste fuel.  These managers need to meet customer demands, pay their bills, and stay in business.  Balancing all the conflicting variables has resulted in rational a business decision to go with Ford's land yacht.
“The [ Lincoln ]  Town Car has traditionally been an easy-to-fix vehicle,“ said Tarek Mallah, general manager Dial 7 car service, a so-called “black car“ service in New York City. “It's got legroom. It was designed as a livery vehicle to start with. It's passenger-centric.“

Mallah said he still isn't sure what he'll use to eventually replace the Town Car.
Now that their betters have decided the Vic has got to go, here's what future taxi passengers will be twisting themselves into.  New York City's ruling elite has decided that all future cabs will be built by Nissan.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Todd Palin legal defense fund

You've probably heard about leftist stalker Joe McGinniss's new book about Sarah PalinProfessor Jacobson has read the New York Times' review of the pathetic screed, and even the Times is creeped out.  

The Other McCain is asking for your help to rectify the situation.
Joe McGinniss deserves The Mother of All Ass-Whuppings, and Todd Palin ought to give him exactly what he deserves.
So I’m asking readers to go make a $25 donation to SarahPAC to help defray Todd’s legal expenses when he shows up at McGinniss’s first book signing and pounds that scurvy worm into a bloody pulp.
Please give $25 to SarahPAC, so that we can bail Todd Palin out on that assault charge — and then fly him to the next Joe McGinniss book signing to deliver yet another brutal ass-whupping.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Obama supports new jobs...

WestStar's new, low cost work force

...in Costa Rica.

Barry will pitch his "jobs" plan at a high tech manufacturing facility in North Carolina today.

WestStar Precision employs skilled machinists, using sophisticated computer-controlled technology, to manufacture precision components for the medical, aircraft, and other industries.  Just the type of operation we're counting on to provide job growth when the US economy recovers, except for one complication - WestStar's new jobs are being created in sunny Costa Rica.
Our new office and manufacturing facility in San Jose, Costa Rica, also has approximately 10,000 sq. ft. with similar equipment as the main office. This facility is designed for high volume production to support our international and domestic clients.
WestStar could have added that capacity in the US, but instead chose our neighbor to the south, for good reason.
According to an April 2004 article in the Raleigh News & Observer, Portman moved the jobs overseas to “take advantage of low labor costs.”
Why, one might ask, did the administration's Ivy League smarties risk ridicule by choosing WestStar for Obama's speech about creating American jobs?
The owner of the company, Ervin Portman, is a local Democrat on the Wake County, N.C. Board of Commissioners. He donated $1,000 to Obama’s 2008 campaign. Portman and his wife together donated several thousand more to other Democratic candidates and the state Democratic party.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Should two percent appear too high, be thankful we don't hit the sky....

With apologies to George Harrison, Finger Lakes politicians appear to be in a frantic race to see who will be the first to bust New York governor Andy Cuomo's phony "tax cap."  

Next in line: the trendy Town of Ithaca, a Cornell University bedroom suburb ruled by lockstep leftists.
The town of Ithaca is joining other municipalities in considering an override to the state's new two percent property tax cap as it looks to formulate a 2012 budget.

The Town Board set a public hearing for next month on a local law to override the tax levy limit.

Supervisor Herb Engman believes it is essential the Town overrides the cap to keep key services intact and to take advantage of opportunities they have with bond interest rates historically low.
We predict the shattered "tax cap" will be quickly become a distant memory, not even mentioned by the sacrificial Republican unlucky enough to run against Cuomo in New York's next gubernatorial election.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

USS New York

USS New York (LPD 21), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.
What sets the USS New York apart? Its construction incorporates 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center which fell on September 11, 2001, the victim of terrorist attack. The steel was melted down and poured into a mold to form the bow stem of the USS New York.

WTC, 1977

Looking east from the WTC observation deck, June 1977.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Liberals for Palin

The busiest professor at Cornell University, and the are thousands of them, Bill Jacobson, analyses this morning's shocking Palin-positive commentary in the New York Times.
Pigs fly today.  Anand Giridharadas at The NY Times picks up on this theme, recognizing that in vilifying Palin liberals have closed their minds to Palin’s ideas, which are liberal (in the traditional sense, not the modern Democratic Party sense)...
The good Professor's take on this historic event matches our own.
This probably will not signal a sea change in media coverage of Palin, or among conservative pundits.  Liberals and conservatives alike have been played for fools by their media and their parties.
But hopefully it is a starting point of the recognition that Palin stands alone among major political figures in the United States seeking a transformation of the country consistent with its founding principles, not against them, principles which used to appeal to liberals.  Palin’s anti-statist anti-crony capitalism message has the power to reach across parties, which is why that message gets buried in Palin Derangement Syndrome.
Unless you're shoveling mud out of your living room today, we recommend you read the whole thing.

Former SU teamates to face off?

April 7, 2003

As the NBA lockout continues, NCAA championship winning teammates Carmelo Anthony and Hakim Warrick are looking to set up exhibition game.
"I was trying to do a Philly and Baltimore game a while ago," Warrick told ESPN. "Then when I saw Drew League vs. Goodman League and Team Melo vs. Goodman [last Tuesday night], I was like, 'Man, let me go ahead and set this up.'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Southern Tier flooding

I 86/NY 17 at Exit 66, Apalachin/Campville Bridge.  More pics here.

Photo by Laurie

Solyndra Scandal Spreads

As regular readers know, half a billion of our tax dollars, dished out to to risky solar scheme Solyndra, have vanished.  We were all shocked to learn that Solyndra's major backer happens to be a big Obama donor.

In what The Lonely Conservative suspects may be a government butt-covering exercise, today the FBI raided the failed solar panel peddlers' offices.  We hope they find our $500 mil, because our school taxes are due this month.

Further to our surprise, we now learn that Solyndra honchos made more than 20 visits to Obama's White House during the days leading up to the massive federal loan guarantee being awarded to the crony capitalists.  This could prove to be beneficial to the Finger Lakes' economy, however, as we have lots of prison capacity in our pristine, scenic region.

Update:  Let's call it "Solargate"!

Update:  Are the feds looking to make evidence disappear?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Janis Kelly releases video

Ultra-liberal Ithaca, NY's own nationally prominent conservative blogger, Professor Jacobson, looks forward to the shock waves that will result from Republican Janis Kelly's realistically possible victory in that city's upcoming mayoral election.
You have not seen anything like what will take place here if Janis Kelly, Republican and unabashed Tea Party supporter, is elected Mayor of Ithaca.  You can donate here.  Her website, which should be live any minute, is KellyForMayor.org.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Janis has just posted a You Tube video, provided above for your convenience.  Note her creative use of "fracking."

Yahoo fires Carol Bartz

Bartz in happier days

As Yahoo continues its swirl down the bowl of failed web ventures, they've just fired CEO Carol Bartz.  We realize Yahoo is desperate, but what on earth were they thinking when they hired Carol?

Bartz was known as a successful exec at Autodesk, a large software company that serves technically oriented businesses, but remains virtually unknown to the world's consumers, Yahoo's target market. From a Wall Street Journal article published in 1992:
Though the world's sixth largest PC software company, Autodesk is hardly a household name for a couple of reasons. One is that it dominates a niche: software that allows relatively inexpensive personal computers to produce powerful models for engineers, architects and other professional designers.
The other reason is Autodesk's founding genius, John Walker, a reclusive programmer who doesn't allow the company to distribute his picture or publish it in its annual report. In a rare interview granted for this article, a prickly Mr. Walker insisted that a reporter sit in front of a video camera, declared that Autodesk claimed a copyright on the ensuing discussion and debated the meaning of each question.
Bartz was brought in from Sun Microsystems as Walker was having a fit over how her predecessor, Alvar Green, was running things.
A year ago, Mr. Walker issued the ultimate in flame mail, a 44-page letter brutally attacking Mr. Green for allegedly trying to bolster short-term profits by neglecting investment in new products and marketing. Mr. Green later decided to resign, but stayed on until the selection of Ms. Bartz, 43, who formerly ran worldwide field operations for Sun Microsystems Inc.
Ironically, Bartz reports she was rudely dismissed from Yahoo with a phone call.

We give Carol full credit for positive results in Autodesk's difficult environment.  That environment, however,  couldn't have been more different than Yahoo's.  

Update:  Yahoo stock up on news of Bartz firing.

Update #2:  Yahoo has now been put up for sale.

Water/energy meeting tonight

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition (DSEC) is holding the second in its series of public education meetings on energy development (the first was a legal issues forum held in Binghamton on August 22nd). The second forum is on “Water and Energy Development,” and will be held on Wednesday, September 7th, 7:30 – 9:00 P.M., at the Dryden Fire Hall on Route 13 in the Village of Dryden.
 Moderated by Dave Vieser of WHCU-AM.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sharpton pal Schneiderman conflicted on fracking

Sharpton under arrest, 2008

Back in April, we questioned New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's connection to race hustler  Al Sharpton, and wondered if most New York taxpayers realized that a leftist radical had become our state's highest legal officer.

Now we find Schneiderman, who ran for office promising to prevent the use of hydrofracking to recover New York's vast shale gas reserves, in the position of having to defend the practice in court.
Whe n Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was on the campaign trail last year, he released an environmental agenda with seven major initiatives he intended to take up in office.In red type, the document listed his top priority when it comes to protecting New York's land, air and water: "Sue to Prohibit Hydrofracking."
"He will make sure that no drilling took place until it was deemed to be safe and regulated by the DEC and EPA," the document reads, citing his "proven record of fighting against this new and unproven technology."
Fast forward to 2011, and Schneiderman now will likely face the task of defending a set of regulations proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would allow for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, with a bevy of restrictions, to move forward in New York.
While it might appear that New York is slowly inching toward possibly allowing limited horizontal drilling at some point in the distant future, analysts should try applying logical analysis to to Schneiderman's official position:
But Schneiderman, the former Democratic state senator from Manhattan, said he'll be able to balance his concerns about natural gas drilling with his duty as the state's top lawyer. Legal challenges are widely expected at some point, and Schneiderman has said he'll represent the state, as the law requires him to do.
"I think we're going to end up with a set of regulations that are designed to ensure that fracking is only done safely, and that has partly to do with how you regulate the process and partly to do with the areas that you allow fracking," Schneiderman said in a recent interview with Gannett's Albany bureau.
"That's an ongoing process with the DEC. They are my client, and we're hopeful that we're going to come up with a good set of regulations."
So we have a radical leftist, openly influenced by Al Sharpton, as New York's designated defender of shale gas.  Don't hold your breath.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good advice

20 MPH faster than you

History used to be made in New York.  Not any more.  In case you, like us, were stuck behind a Prius and missed the news from Texas:
By tomorrow, September 1, 2011, the Texas Legislature will have upped the state's maximum speed limit to 85 miles per hour, faster than any other state in the nation.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Live Free

Stacy "The Other" McCain has arrived in New Hampshire to do some political reporting.  We recommend you read his stuff.  

In today's "Greetings from New Hampshire," McCain drops one sentence that should rivet the attention of all Empire State residents.
New Hampshire state legislators are paid just $100 a year, the legislature only meets part-time and there is no state income tax.
Bold added.  As New York's local governments compete to be the first to break Andy Cuomo's tax cap, read that sentence again, amigos.  

Time for a pay cut, Shelly?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scenes from late summer

If you live in the Finger Lakes, you've probably doing  this right now.  A high ladder, stinging insects, and dangerous chemicals are involved, so proceed with caution, have Benadryl and an EpiPen on hand, and good luck!