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)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Corzine files bankruptcy

Corzine consults with Upstate resident

Tough times for union-friendly billionaire Democrat Jon Corzine.  First he lost his New Jersey governor's seat to Republican Chris Christie, and now he's gone bankrupt.
It looks like Jon Corzine’s love of risk-taking is finally proving to bring him down after his securities fund today filed for bankruptcy protection.
Futures brokerage MF Global Holdings filed after a tentative deal with a buyer fell apart, marking a stunning failure for its 64-year-old CEO.

Dems: New Yorker for VP?

"200,000 jobs"

Speculation abounds that, desperate for victory in 2012, B. H. Obama will dump current VP and SU law grad "Slow Joe" Biden for a more attractive running mate.  According to ABC News, the leading contenders include two of our Upstate neighbors.
A plurality of Americans would strongly prefer Hillary Clinton to step in to assume the VP role, according to a new “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll.
Forty-three percent of adults said they favored Clinton as a Biden replacement when presented with a list of possible names by pollsters.
Billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, CIA director David Petraeus, Oprah Winfrey and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo all received single-digit support in the survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Upstate residents in bold, in case you didn't recognize the names.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maggie's is Orange

SU beats UConn, 2004

At Maggie's Farm, SU alumn Bulldog analyzes SU's Big East to ACC transition, including the traditional Keith Smart reference. 

Trumansburg school cleans house

Trumansburg Central School

After abusing district taxpayers by overtaxing their homes and businesses, two high level administrators in the Finger Lakes' Trumansburg Central School are heading for the exits amid rumors of possible criminal charges.
Trumansburg Central School District will lose two administrators -- one to retirement and one to termination.
Superintendent Paula Hurley will retire on Jan. 2 due to family needs. Former business manager Laura Bellis has been terminated. She has been on paid leave since September 2010, after a comptroller's audit was critical of how reserve funds were managed.
Hurley's husband Bill has already retired from his superintendent's gig at the nearby Newfield school district.  

What is this mismanagement costing struggling district taxpayers?  Paula Hurley's current salary, according to the New York State Teachers Retirement System, is $142,627.00.  

Median family income in the school district is $50,313.  As a percentage of home value, Tompkins County, NY, property taxes rank #32 out of the 3,141 counties in the US.  Time for consolidation?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Midnight in Harlem

Crossroads Guitar Festival, July 26, 2010.  Tedeschi Trucks Band is currently on tour - don't miss your chance!

Derek Trucks plays Gibson guitars.

Friday, October 21, 2011

For fracking before he was against it

RFK, Jr.'s modest Westchester cottage

Unlikely Hospitalist is calling for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to be kicked off New York governor Andy Cuomo's "High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel."  Seems the wealthy leftist lawyer appears to be an anti-fracking fanatic, based on Kennedy's recent post on the subject.  In the Hospitalist's view, such a zealot is incapable of making reasoned recommendations on shale gas regulation.
It is clear that he is incapable of putting politics aside and performing the task with any sort of professional integrity.
UH further points out Kennedy's bald-faced hypocrisy.  One might recall that only a few years ago, Bobby Jr. was calling for an immediate conversion of the country's electric generation to, yes, natural gas.  UH quotes RFK Jr.'s 2009 statement:
The giant advantage of a quick conversion from coal to gas is the quickest route for jumpstarting our economy and saving our planet.
The fact that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has flip-flopped on gas does not surprise us.  It's been clear for many years that Bobby, Jr. is an unbalanced crazy person, protected from the consequences of his actions by a famous name and an inherited fortune - Google the guy sometime.  What does shock us, however, is that such a lunatic was selected by our supposedly intelligent governor  for any position of responsibility.  Is the fix in?

Let us know if you'd like to see more on RFK, Jr. here.  Meanwhile, for a visual tour of Kennedy's spectacular 4 bedroom, 6 bath home on 12 acres, adjoining a private 30 acre lake in upscale Westchester County, click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burdett shooter apprehended, Rt. 79 reopened

NY Rt. 79 this afternoon, heading west into Burdett

Two Schuyler County sheriff's cars are sporting bullet holes after a Burdett resident began shooting at passing cars this afternoon.  Various sources have reported that the guilty party has been apprehended.

The perpetrator, one Joe Esposito, was described by his mother as "suicidal."   Details here and here.

Minoa gets out of ambulance business

The Syracuse area's Village of Minoa has turned over operation of it's municiapl ambulance service to another operator.  Facing a $300,000 operating deficit, trustees faced reality and made what was surely a tough decision.  The operation will now be run by nonprofit WAVES, a nearby service provider.

The change will mean an estimated eight village ambulance employees will be removed from the Village's payroll.  Most of those staff are expected to be hired by WAVES.

Using government to provide any service that could be handled otherwise always results in higher costs and lower efficiency.  Forced to pay taxes that are among the highest in the country, Finger Lakes residents must demand more of these changes from their elected officials, or replace them with representatives who understand the urgency of the problem.

Previous discussions of financial difficulties facing Central New York's municipal emergency services here and here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fly Central New York

Mink stole, no TSA:  how we flew in CNY, before Agony Airlines/US Air.     

Click for larger version.  Photo from Mike Haywood collection.    Lots more here.

"Butt out!"

Broome County state senator Thomas Libous, a proponent of shale gas development in his Southern Tier district, tells downstate politicians to frack off.
"Look, I respect that everyone has an opinion, but I don't go to New York City or western New York or Long Island and tell them how to legislate," Libous said. "They're elected by the people there and they do their thing. We seem to have so many experts all around the state telling the people of the Southern Tier what's good for us. And you know what? I'm getting a little tired of it."

First practice!

Mike Waters in the Post Standard:
It's unbelievable to watch a second unit that consists of Dion Waiters, Michael Carter-Williams, C.J. Fair, James Southerland and Baye Moussa Keita. Seriously! Those five plus Trevor Cooney and Mookie Jones could finish in the top of the half of the Big East.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NEMF exec weds musician

New England Motor Freight VP Nancy Shevell married British musician Paul McCartney in London, England, this past Saturday.  

Ms. Shevell, a Transportation graduate of Arizona State University, has worked in her family's freight business since 1983.  Mr. McCartney was a founding member of the British rock-and-roll band, "The Beatles."

NEMF is a New Jersey-based LTL and truckload carrier whose maroon and gray equipment is a familiar sight on Central New York highways.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Green corruption supports mob encampment

"Dave," Zuccotti Park, NYC

The beautiful state parks here in the Finger Lakes charge admission and close at sundown.  Ignore the rules and you'll get to meet the NYS Park Police.  So, many of us Upstaters are puzzled as to how the "Wall Street protestors" in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park have been allowed to remain in the park, and on the nightly TV news, for what by this time seems to have been years. 

Come to find out, Zuccotti park is actually private property.  The owners of that park are granting permission to the squatters to stay as long as they like.  And who are those forgiving real estate barons?  A well connected gang of Wall Street tycoons who call themselves Brookfield Asset Management.  Why would those top-hatted swells agree to let their exquisite urban refuge be overrun by unwashed anarchists who want them dead, one might wonder?  Robert Johnson solves the mystery.
Coming on the heels of the Solyndra debacle, the Obama administration has just approved a $168.9 million loan guarantee for the Granite Reliable wind farm project owned by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM).
Among its many holdings BAM owns Brookfield Renewable Power, which owns the Granite Reliable and it also owns Brookfield Office Properties, whose holdings include the now famous Zuccotti Park.
As to why New York City's Democrat-friendly mayor says the mob needn't fear arrest, Johnson also has scoop.
Mayor Bloomberg's announcement Monday that protesters could remain as long as they liked, also raised a few eyebrows and it turns out he has a personal connection to Brookfield as well. The mayor's longtime domestic partner Diana Taylor is on the Board of Directors at Brookfield Properties along with John E. Zuccotti himself.
Public Service Announcement:

If you're reading this on a mobile device in a New York State Park this afternoon, it's time to pack up and head out.

Dave's photo from New York Post.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Finger Lakes wineries' success due to global warming

Bill Wagner at the Winery, 1979

After passage of New York's "Farm Winery Act" back in 1976, a few hard working entrpeneurs and visionaries got started building what is now the Finger Lakes' booming wine industry.  Today, wine tourism is a rare success story in Central New York's otherwise depressed economic landscape.

Our readers may have been under the impression that the wineries' current good fortune is the result of decades of hard work.  We might recall our neighbors risking their life savings, freezing in the mud while they fought our notorious weather to plant and establish those fussy grape vines. 

Come to find out, we were wrong.  In this morning's USA Today, Elizabeth Weise explains the real reason for the region's climb to prominence - global warming.
Warming overall has meant that areas not generally associated with wine are becoming bigger players in the industry. Among them...
•The Finger Lakes wine country in Upstate New York, where the wine industry has taken off since the 1970s, says David Wolfe, a specialist in agricultural climate change at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
We'd like to invite Ms. Weise to visit our area this February.  That's the best time to don snowshoes, trudge out into the vineyards, and tell the bundled-up locals trimming and tying the vines how the credit for the FL wine industry taking off belongs, not to them, but to global warming.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Obama's finished!

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.
Bad news for America, but worse news for Obama.  Professor Jacobson explains:
Probably for the better in the drive to unseat Obama, but only because of the political corruption of the media and establishment Republicans, who have been relentless in their attacks on her.  It disgusts me that a candidate of such quality cannot run as a practical matter, and that we are left with second and third choices.  But reality is reality, and it would have been a tough road to overcome the past three years.
Bold added.   We'll now throw our support behind the sure winner:  "anyone but Obama." 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Solargate? What's that?

MSM's new, if aged, darlings

Here at South of 5 and 20, we're tried to keep you up to date on "Solargate," the Obama Administration's rapidly growing "green energy" scandal, since last year.  

This is the one where the federal Department of Energy helped one of Obama's big political contributors use a failed solar panel company called Solyndra to steal half a billion dollars of your money.  As we write this, the same gonifs, including Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law,  are absconding with billions more.

And yet, most of your associates, acquaintances and co-workers have never heard of Solyndra.   While Finger Lakes taxpayers are bombarded with "Wall Street protest" updates every hour, on the hour, the "mainstream" media appears uninterested in serious crime at the highest level of government.  Geoffery Dickens at NewsBusters has been watching TV news, and explains what's going on.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s admission, on Thursday, that he approved more taxpayer money to the financially strapped solar panel company Solyndra, after it defaulted on a $535 million loan from that agency. Big Three network coverage? Zero. This is just a continuing pattern of ABC, CBS and NBC barely touching the burgeoning scandal for the Obama administration.
What initially began as an embarrassing collapse of one of the green companies touted by Obama has turned into a story of coverup of still more stimulus money being wasted on the left’s pet cause of climate change. Yet, as a search of Nexis shows, the networks have glanced over the Solyndra story with the Big Three networks running a total of just 8 total full stories, two anchor briefs and a couple of mentions on their evening and morning news shows, since the company declared bankruptcy in August.
Bold added.  There's no longer any doubt that the big media companies have become nothing more than the propaganda wing of the Obama administration.  It's now up to us.  We need to help our neighbors understand what's really going on.  Yes, that assignment won't be easy, but election day 2012 is only 13 months away.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Last exit for the "Big Yellow Box?"

Rochester's Eastman Kodak may be all done, folks.
Eastman Kodak Co. (EK), the unprofitable 131-year-old camera maker, is weighing options including a bankruptcy filing because of concerns raised by possible buyers of its patent portfolio, said three people with direct knowledge of the process.

Sam Henry looks at a sad day for Rochester, Upstate New York, and everyone who ever captured images on film.
This is a company whose “campus”once  covered a large portion of this city and whose wealth enabled Rochester to print its own money or script during the Great Depression and to carry on fairly unscathed.  So many in the community were touched by Kodak that you heard it said “the big yellow box takes care of us.”  And it did.