This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lets just asked how we could pay for national healthcare

For starters, roll back the enormous tax cuts given to the wealthiest of Americans during the Reagan and Bush Administrations and increase the tax on unearned income from the present 15% to 25%. How about rescinding the provision in the Medicare Modernization & Improvement Act that prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies? That provision alone incurs countless billions of dollars in additional costs to Medicare. And why not plug up tax loopholes that allow American corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes through outsourcing? The resulting increase in revenue would leave enough money left over to investigate and prosecute all of the criminals responsible for the banking and mortgage meltdown. (courtesy of Paul Jaenert)

Ollie is gone

Chairman Sean Hennessey texted this afternoon that longtime Democrat activist and former Assembly candidate Attorney Oliver Wisner had passed. Ollie was a thoughtful progressive in a period that largely resented real liberalism here in Jefferson County. He was in his prime in a period that featured caricatures of Albany politicians. The Republican Assembly incumbent would rail that Sheldon Silver was actually evil incarnate and his flock would unbelievably buy into the comic book portrayal. Oliver was a lawyer who practiced pro bono publico, or doing the public's good without pay, his whole career. His area of practice was Real Estate, Estate Law, Probate, Wills, Taxation and Adoptions. He was a patent holding inventor. He was a multi language linguist. He suffered though cruel bouts with diabetes without complaint. He loved and was loved by his family. And he supported our Jefferson County Democratic Committee personally, financially and ideologically. Ollie is missed.
The Hill is a Washington DC newspaper for the players on Capitol Hill. A couple of days ago The Hill featured an article on just how worried Republicans are that they are going to lose the 23rd Congressional District. Click for it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mayor Jeff Graham has a poll up on his blog for the candidates in the 23rd.
Here it is. I voted for Owens. Now its your turn.

Tom Harkin, one of JD's favorites

Don't automatically buy the baloney that the 'public option' is DOA after the two
Senate Finance Committee votes of today. Senator Harkin has the reality position here.
The public wants it. the Doctors want it. The only major problem is the insurance companies that fund those Republican and Blue Dog campaign coffers. Lets get healthcare done and then target the campaign finance abusers.

It's official! The 23rd race is on for real. Here is the document that makes it official.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Just got back from four days in Washington and found this note from Chairman Sean in my email. Its kinda late notice due to my not paying attention for 4 days but here it is for all interested. I've cut and pasted.(tf)

Well some months ago the Jefferson County Dem Committee jefferson County Democratic Party Voted to allow for email notice of upcoming meetings. That being said this is the first of hopefully many notices we are sending out about a meeting that will be held on Wednesday Sep 30th 2009 @ 7pm. This meeting will be held at the new head Quarters of the Bill Owens Campaign on State Street just prior to Public Square. The shops address is 141 State and the office is just prior to the Fung Hing Chinese Restaurant. I would park across the street and walk across State St.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the direction of our Count Wide and Legislative Candidates. We have only 30 Days left and we would like to let you know how the campaigns are doing and discuss the various ways we would like to assist them.

We would also like to introduce you to the paid staff of the Bill Owens camp. We have a number of staff members at the new location and they would like to meet each of you and put a face with the name. They would also appreciate any furniture you might be able to lend the campaign. By furniture I mean tables, chairs, couch's,
file cabinets, phones etc. What they would really like is anything that can be used to hold up a phone. The office is very sparse and anything you can supply to help with increasing the comfort level would be much appreciated.

The staff would also appreciate any food you might be able to bring by between now and Nov 3rd. The
DCCC staffing the office are very young and they are mostly eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Any food you could bring be it a crock pot or baked pasta would be really appreciated. These are great kids and we owe them a great deal for coming here and doing what ever is necessary to get the win for us. The least we can do is drop off some items to keep them healthy.

I also wanted to let you know that we are planning a dinner for Oct 22nd at the North Side Improvement league. It looks like we'll have a cavalcade of dignitaries in the room so please lease mark your calendar for this historic event.

Other then that all is well. We were successful in securing the
Independence Party line in an opportunity to Ballot in Legislative District 11 for Paul Simmons as well as getting an endorsement from SEIU 1199 for all our Legislative Candidates. We're also in discussions with many of the local Labor groups in respect to endorsements and it appears they are going to follow suit. We're fighting hard and with some hard work we will be successful in not only keeping the seats we hold on the County Leg but also picking up seats as well.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions and I look forward to seeing you this Wednesday for our meeting.

Thank you
M Hennessey
Jefferson County
Democratic Party

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Check out the trailer for Michael Moore's new movie,

TRIPLE DEAD HEAT (ahh...that is right now--stay tuned)

Polls aren't the be all and end all of politics. Except for that last one. You know, the biggy on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
That having been said this poll put out by a conservative group today is interesting because it has all three candidates in a statistical dead heat.

New Poll Shows Statistical Three Way Tie in NY-23 Special Election

Washington - A poll released today by Club for Growth shows a statistical tie among the three candidates in the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.

The poll of 300 likely voters showed Republican Dede Scozzafava at 20%, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman at 17%, Democrat Bill Owens at 17% and 45% undecided, within the poll's margin of error of +/- 5.66%.

The poll also asked "Would you prefer your next member of Congress be a liberal Democrat, a liberal Republican, or a Conservative party candidate who would align himself with Republicans in Congress?" The Conservative Party candidate was selected by 36% of respondents, compared to 31% for the Democrat and 18% for the Republican.

The poll was conducted September 17. Questions from the poll are here(PDF).

Here is a message from your friendly PUBLIC OPTION

Hi, I'm the public health insurance option.

People have been saying all sorts of untrue things about me lately, so I decided it was time to stand up and set the record straight.

First off: the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I'm happy and healthy. And I'm proud to play a starring role in four of the five health reform bills currently on the table.

Second: I have a lot of friends. President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosisupport me—as do 77% of the American people. In fact, I'm feeling pretty popular.

But there is one area where I could use your help. Your senator, Charles Schumer, sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which is considering a "trigger" proposal that could kill me through indefinite delay.

Sen. Schumer is a strong supporter of the public health insurance option. Can you call to thank him and urge him to keep fighting against the "trigger" proposal?

Here's where to call:

Senator Charles Schumer
Phone: 202-224-6542

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sean, Gertrude and Mike

A supernice very neighborly gathering of some of the friends of Gertrude Karris assembled
at the Karris home this evening.

Do they never get it?

As Daily News Columnist Liz Benjamin pointed out the first candidate in the 23rd Congressional Race to go negative is Dede. Here is the little gem the congressional republicans produced. This is the same sort of crude crapola that backfired bigtime on Will Barclay and Dave Renzi. They really don't get it do they?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cruisin', cruisin', cruisin' on the river

Tonight was a glorious evening for a cruise on the Bonnie Belle. We Democrats (and some Republicans--and some Working Families Party members too) met, and laughed, and munched, quaffed and celebrated the magnificent Thousand Islands on the only 'real' paddle wheel powered craft out of Alexandria Bay.
Candidates on board included the buoyant personality of Gertrude Karris. She has some very strong ideas to improve service at the Department of
Motor vehicles.

Of course, Judge Kim Martusewicz
was ceremoniously piped on board. Kim is
the judge that handles the highest felony caseload in NY
and he really enjoyed the trip tonight. The Judge on the left is talking with Treasurer Nancy Brown's husband Ralph.
The speakers included our always 'on course' Assemblywoman Addie Russell who was
accompanied by son Aaron and daughter Cora. Aaron is the one who looks like he isn't too sure about this boat thing.

Looking tanned and ship-shape Senator Darrel Aubertine spoke to an appreciative crowd. He is seen here with wife Margaret and Brad and Marilyn Mintener.

Most of all, heavy duty credit for this unbelievably picturesque evening has to go our
Sean, the captain, Hennessey (seen here on the bridge with superwife Betsy).

And a good time was had by all.

Now lets sail on the victory!

Help Senator Snow decide

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe may be the deciding vote against the public health insurance option this week -- even though her constituents favor it 2 to 1.

We're raising $100,000 to air the below accountability ad in Maine and DC -- pressuring Olympia Snowe to represent her constituents. Can you chip in?

click it

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dani Baker is a Jefferson County Dem Committeeperson. She is also an expert, professional organic gardener and a tremendous award winning photographer. Check out this story
and enjoy some of her photos in Thousand Islands Life.

Hey Dems!

Here from the mothership somewhere at an undisclosed location, probably around State St. in Albany, here is the NYS Democratic Party news of the week

Friday, September 18, 2009

Press Release

Clerks Association question direction

Gertrude Karris offers answers while her opponent defends the past

On September 16, 2009 Gertrude Karris was invited to meet with the association of Town Clerks and Tax Collectors to discuss the past and future of the Jefferson County Clerks office. Gertrude said “I would like to thank all the Town Clerks that allowed me to outline my ideas to bring greater access to the County DMV while growing the revenue base. For far too long the County DMV has been a place where unhappy clients have been the norm and we must listen to our clients and move to make positive changes.”

After meeting with the Clerks Association it was clear that many of our Town Clerks are especially concerned about the direction of the Jefferson County DMV. Many questioned Gertrude’s opponent on what she planned to do to extend services to the greater Jefferson County Area. They were met with stock statements that changes could not be made because there was not enough money. Gertrude feels that our outlying Townships have been neglected. "When residents tell me that they would rather have a root canal than come to the Watertown DMV, or they drive to St. Lawrence County, Lewis County and Oswego County to avoid our own DMV, I think we better listen and find ways to improve customer service. Not every customer service improvement costs money."

The North Country has always been known for beautiful summers and harsh winters. Many seniors in towns such as Wilna, Evans Mills, Alexandria, Clayton, Ellisburg and Adams feel that services provided at the County DMV are simply too difficult to access and they feel isolated from services that they are entitled to. Gertrude feels that if we are able to grow our revenues to cover the additional resources needed for satellite offices, then we should share those surpluses with the very members of our community that have payed for them. “We need to reach out to our local clerks and work hand in hand to bring these needed services to our communities and keep the revenues in our County."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Should the DMV have an office on Fort Drum or next to it?

This evening I had the pleasure of being invited to a dinner meeting of the Jefferson County Town Clerks.

The two featured speakers were the candidates for County Clerk Republican Cheryl Lane and Democrat Gertrude Karris.

First up this writer truly felt that these are both very nice people. They are both caring individuals who sincerely want to do an excellent job for our citizens. But their viewpoint varied substantially on one major issue. That is the maintenance of the Department of Motor Vehicle Office on the post at Fort Drum. Their views were exactly opposite.

Mrs. Karris voiced the view that consideration should be given to moving the DMV location to an area adjacent to the Fort where it would be convenient for both civilians and the military. She also suggested that even a mobile operation might work. Mrs. Lane ardently defended the status quo saying it made the most financial sense to keep the DMV office right where it is on post. When asked directly how many civilians use the current office on the post she didn't have the numbers.

To this observer the content of the conversation seemed to be the 'same old, same old' from a three decade plus employee of the DMV vs. a dose of innovation from a brand new challenger.

This conversation about the DMV office on Fort Drum will undoubtedly become the ongoing centerpiece of the contest for Jefferson County Clerk this fall.

(Ted Ford)

Senator Darrel Aubertine and his talented staff arranged and promoted a blockbuster event today. The Senior Health Fair was instructive and constructive. Those Aubertine operatives
invited all sorts and conditions of private businesses, government agencies and non profit agencies to talk with senior citizens, distribute material and even take blood pressures and do eye screenings. Even wall to wall live music created the right atmosphere. The Watertown Municipal Arena at the fairgounds was filled. To his credit Darrel also reached out and invited his fellow legislators Assemblywomen Addie Russell and Dede Scozzafava to participate. A popular display was a couple of "plug-in" pure electric cars (not hybrids) that offered everyone a
chance to ride and drive.

The picture, courtesy of Newzjunky, shows Addie Russell talking with
one of the attendees.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Get this tee for under 13 bucks. Heres how

Meantime enjoy "We're #37"...featuring Paul Hipp

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Here is a special message sent to OFA members by our President asking the organization to
help create positive movement in getting the right healthcare plan passed. Want to know more about OFA? Click here.


The Jeff Democratic Party is cruisin' this fall. Monday 9/21 from 7 to 8:30 the Dems and friends will be pulling the anchor of the Bonnie Bell and venturing out into the St. Lawrence River. On board will be the probable Congressional Candidate Bill Owens, State Chair June O'Neill, the always dapper Darrel Aubertine and the Assemblywoman that represents the 'river district' where this boat floats, Addie Russell.
You can be on board too for just $25. Sean, our fearless leader, would like you to RSVP by Wednesday (Sept. 16th). Do it by email at or call HQ at 788-4590.
Just get to A-Bay and find the Bonnie Castle Resort and you'll be able to find the Bonnie Bell. This boat is an actual, real, honest to goodness paddlewheeler. That rotating thing on the back actually moves the craft. Its not just there for showbiz.

Gertrude Karris is the one with 'fresh' ideas

Our candidate for County Clerk is a fountain of new ideas. When Gert is Clerk it won't be same old, same old. For example, here is one of them.


The Jefferson County Department of Motor Vehicles has improved over the years but we are still unable to adequately serve our growing population.

Our population
size and density are comparable to nearby counties that have significantly more DMV offices and services.

Have you or a friend gone to Lowville or Pulaski just to avoid frustration with our own DMV?

Do you know about the DMV office on Fort Drum?

Many people I have spoken with do not know it exists or do not know how to gain access to the base. One idea I plan to look into is the possibility of moving the office just outside the base; keeping it close to the military population but more accessible to the general population.

In this day and age, there should be better communication and access: Printable forms, maps, directions, and detailed checklists, showing how to complete some of the more common DMV tasks, should be readily available on the internet.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scream Back!

I'm going to make this short and sweet. If you think Congressman Joe Wilson screaming, "You Lie!" to the President of the United States was a low moment in a town full of low moments, then there’s a great way to fight back... with an Iraq War Veteran.


Former Marine Rob Miller is taking on Wilson, after coming relatively close to beating him in this conservative district in 2008. To win it this time, and send Joe Wilson packing, it’s going to take money.

By clicking above, you can both donate to Rob Miller's campaign, and to VoteVets.orgPAC. It's important that you give to both – because without enough funds, PAC won’t be able to play in this race. We won’t be able to run ads. We won’t be able to keep Joe Wilson honest, or send mail to residents in the district.


So, if you were as appalled as we all were last night, then do something about it. Click on the link above, and help out Rob Miller and PAC! Thanks for your support.


Jon Soltz
Iraq War Veteran

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), who's looked at POTUS from both sides now, was just on the Bill Press radio show suggesting the South Carolina firebrand Joe Wilson be censured for his heckle heard round the world. Said the Republican-turned-Dem: "He apologized immediately afterward but I don't think that’s adequate... If an apology is the consequence of an outburst I think we can expect more – that’s not a sufficient penalty that’s not a sufficient price to pay.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The NYS Democratic Party Reports

Here is Sunday's newsletter from the mothership. We put it on our sister blog Political Good Guys. Click here

Welcome a new (old) player to the blogger game

Longtime friend Lewis County's own Bruce Krug steps in with his entry.
Remember Alberto Gonzales. He may not! Please enjoy the Gonzales Cantata.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Your weekly address

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good guy Senator Chuck Schumer goes to bat for our dairy farmers

Sen. Charles E. Schumer is asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to tap emergency powers to send money directly to dairy farmers struggling to make ends meet because of plummeting milk prices.

Schumer, D-N.Y., just wrapped up a phone call with Vilsack, in which he urged the agriculture secretary to tap funds from the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corporation to immediately give financial relief to dairy farmers. Under federal law, the agriculture secretary has the authority to use CCC funds to support the prices of agricultural commodities with direct payments to farmers.

Schumer said immediate financial help is sorely needed to keep struggling dairy farmers in business. The industry has been hit hard this year by falling milk prices and high feed costs.

“I have never seen our dairy farmers in more distress,” Schumer said, adding that the pain is being felt “from one end of the state to the other.”

“We’re going to have hundreds of dairy farmers go under in the next three or four months unless there (are) immediate, quick results from Washington,” Schumer said. “We need immediate relief.”

These increases will mean a big difference for New York’s Dairy Farmers. Here is how the increases would break down across the state:

· In the Capital Region, farmers would see an annual increase of $32,827,650
· In Western New York, farmers would see an annual increase of $72,357,000
· In the Rochester Finger Lakes Area, farmers would see an annual increase of $43,400,850
· In Central new York, farmers would see an annual increase of $58,766,700
· In the Southern Tier, farmers would see an annual increase of $41,278,200
· In the Hudson Valley, farmers would see an annual increase of $9,411,750
· In the North Country, farmers would see an annual increase of $72,650,700

Full Story

(Thanks Bill--we lifted this from the Oswego Democrat blog)

Challenging the myths about healthcare

Please read this by T.R. Reid in the Washington Post. Much of what we have been told about foreign healthcare is crapola.

As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we've overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they've found ways to cover everybody - and still spend far less than we do.

I've traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as "socialist," we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

1. It's all socialized medicine out there.

Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others - for instance, Canada and Taiwan - rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries - including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland - provide universal coverage using private doctors,private hospitals and private insurance plans.

In some ways, health care is less "socialized" overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet's purest examples of government-run health care.

2. Care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation's 200 private health insurance plans - a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn't like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

In France and Japan, you don't get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as "in-network" lists of doctors or "pre-authorization" for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment - and insurance has to pay.

Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.

As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for non-emergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations - Germany, Britain, Austria - outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don't bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. "Why don't you just drop by?" the receptionist said. That afternoon, I was in the surgeon's office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. "When could we do it?" I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, "Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?"

3. Foreign systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise - private-sector, for-profit health insurance - is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France's health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada's universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries. Any American who's had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a "pre-existing condition." They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer's "rescission department" digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.

Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can't cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. "Our customers love it," the group's chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really "foreign" to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we're Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we're Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we're Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we're Burundi or Burma: In the world's poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can't pay stay sick or die.

This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we've blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has "the finest health care" in the world. We don't. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the U.S. does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

Given our remarkable medical assets - the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research - the U.S. could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cheney was very much wrong then and frankly wrong now!

Working to restore New York

Northcounty legislators Darrel Aubertine and Addie Russell looked on proudly as the following Restore NY projects were announced by representatives of Governor Paterson today in downtown Watertown. They mean jobs, historic restoration and economic growth.

City of Watertown – Woolworth Hotel

Grant Total: $2,500,000

The historic Woolworth Building sits at the top of Public Square in downtown Watertown. The building will be rehabilitated to create a boutique hotel with 100 guest rooms on the 2nd through 6th floors, meeting rooms, restaurant and retail spaces on the ground floor and a new pool and fitness center in the basement and includes 72,850 square feet. This building, located in the center of downtown, has been abandoned for several years and is located in an Empire Zone. A multi-story parking garage will be built opposite the hotel on vacant property where deteriorated structures were recently demolished by the city.

Village of Malone – Flanagan Hotel

Grant Total: $2,164,751
The project includes the rehabilitation of the currently vacant Flanagan Hotel building located on Main Street in Downtown Malone into a 101 room hotel with street level commercial space. The building is located in an Empire Zone, is six stories tall and totals 93,100 square feet of space. The hotel first opened in 1914 in Downtown Malone, and since that time has served as an icon for the community. The Hotel suffered a fire in 1997 and has been vacant since that time. The community has identified downtown revitalization as a priority economic development strategy and the hotel’s high visibility and connection to local history make it a key component to the success of downtown.

Heuvelton – Pickens Hall Phase IV

Grant Total: $490,000
This project includes funding for the restoration of the third floor of Pickens Hall, the Opera House Auditorium, which will provide performance space and rooms for the Heuvelton Historical Association’s museum. This will complete the restoration of this historic jewel which serves as an anchor to the Heuvelton community.

City of Plattsburgh – Imperial Industrial Park—New Homes For Business

Grant Total: $2,500,000
The Imperial Park, site of the former Imperial Wallcoverings factory, which in the 1990’s employed about 600 workers, is located on 46 acres in the City of Plattsburgh’s Empire Zone. There is approximately 550,000 square feet of floor space under 10 acres of roof. The facility’s current tenant occupancy is 35.2 percent. The Restore NY Grant will be used to rehabilitate the existing site, including replacing and insulating an approximately 200,000 square foot roof; restoring two rail spurs to the facility, constructing demising walls and installing energy efficient lighting to create smaller, more efficient manufacturing and warehouse spaces for new tenants. There has been communication with several possible tenants, including vendors for Bombardier and Nova Bus, which are very interested in locating to the facility if their facility needs can be met. This will potentially add hundreds of new jobs to the Plattsburgh area. This project is “Shovel Ready.”

Keeseville – Ausable Horse Nail Co. Complex

Grant Total: $630,000
This project will revitalize the vacant but historic former Ausable Horse Nail Company complex along the Ausable River through an initiative by Adirondack Architectural heritage (AARCH), the private nonprofit historic preservation organization for the Adirondack region. The project will result in the creation of an architectural heritage center, rental office and apartment spaces, as well as four studio/living spaces for working artists. The revitalization of the mill has been a high priority community revitalization project in the village for the past decade.

Village of Carthage – Medical Office Complex

Grant Total: $579,136
This project includes construction on vacant land in the center of downtown Carthage, a 6,400 square foot two-story brick facade commercial medical office building for lease to Pediatrics and Family Primary Care Practices. The project will be constructed on, and adjacent to, the Carthage fire site (site of a five building fire in 2001). Two dilapidated buildings were demolished in February 2009 adjacent to the fire site to make room for this project. The project will result in the creation of 12 high paying jobs. The facility will generate more than 8,000 patient visits per year to downtown, which is critical to the sustainability of downtown businesses. The Carthage Area Hospital will be able to address expanded healthcare needs of the region associated with Fort Drum so that the area may remain economically competitive. This project will continue efforts recommended in the 2001 Carthage/West Carthage Downtown Revitalization Plan

Village of Cape Vincent – Roxy Hotel

Grant Total: $1,532,286
The Roxy Hotel (Roxy’s), built in 1894, is literally the cornerstone of the business district in the Village of Cape Vincent. Listed on the New York State Historic Register, Roxy’s is a three-story brick building located at the corners of Broadway (Main) and Market streets. The rear top two floors of the 15,000 square foot building overlook the beautiful St. Lawrence River, but are in the process of being condemned. The building is part of the downtown revitalization plan which was developed with the assistance of a 2006 New York State Strategic Planning Technical Assistance Grant and has been included for facade renovation in the New York State Main Street Grant which the Cape Vincent Improvement League and Cape Vincent LDC received in 2007. The rehabilitated building will be a mixed-use facility with the majority of space dedicated to commercial use. An attached motel unit will be demolished and replaced with 4-6 apartments.

Village of Harrisville – Riverside Neighborhood

Grant Total: $276,475
Dooley’s Drug Store on Main Street is located in the center of the downtown commercial district of Harrisville and is in the Lewis County Empire Zone and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Riverside Targeted Area. The vacant drug store was condemned by Lewis County Code Enforcement on February 20, 2009 (7,460 square feet) and will be restored to contain commercial space on the ground floor and two apartments on the second floor.

Village of Sackets – Historic Madison Barracks

Grant Total: $735,000
The subject of the Village of Sackets Harbor’s Restore NY grant application is the Historic Madison Barracks Rehabilitation Project. This project proposes to restore an architecturally and historically significant abandoned, dilapidated vacant building that is not currently on the tax roles. The former administration building is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is located in the
community’s locally targeted Madison Barracks Historic Planned Development District. The site will be rehabilitated into a hotel. The project will require new infrastructure which should stimulate further development in the area.

Village of Clayton – Riverwalk District Revitalization

Grant Total: $1,203,354
Building 1, located at 419 Riverside Drive, has been cleared and is now ready for development. Planned is a three story mixed used building including retail, office and living space. Building 2, located at 690 Riverside Drive, is an underused building that with renovations would result in office space and expanded marine repair facility. Both sites reach from the main street to the St. Lawrence River. Both sites are in the Riverwalk District and will encompass the intended Riverwalk and comply with the community’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. Both plans will result in job creation. Building 1 at 419 Riverside Dr. is the preferred project, should a reduction in the grant be necessary.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bye, Kentsboss--we'll miss you

The Godfather of Northcountry political blogs, NNY Follies, has decided to fade to black. Kentsboss has always written well and thoughtfully. Here is the last edition. We concur with his comments comment. Thats the major reason you can't vent your bile here. But you can always email if you choose. We'll read em and maybe repeat em if you really added to the premise presented.

Darrel pulls a fast one

Jimmy Vielkind at PolitickerNY picked up a Drew Mangione piece.
This is a mooooving story
Thank you to the 6 dozen, or so, of you each day that check in with Jefferson Democrat.
Here are the latest stats.
 Average per Day ................. 58                       
 Average page views per Visit .............. 1.2                         
 This Week ...................... 407             
These numbers aren't about to knock anybody's socks from their feet but
clearly they indicate
a small
community of well meaning, dedicated progressives reside out there
in Northcountry blogland.