Thursday, December 30, 2010

ORDA worker hurt following lift malfunction...

An employee of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority was injured following a lift malfunction at Whiteface Mountain this week.

ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin says an investigation into the incident is under way. He notes, however, that the malfunction was not caused by wind and the lift line and chairs were not in danger of falling to the ground.

The malfunction occurred on Lift I – the Freeway Lift – on Little Whiteface Mountain at 10:58 a.m. Wednesday. Lundin says 76 people were on the lift when the malfunction happened.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Comptroller finds Lake Placid government handing out taxpayers’ money...

Here's a report filed by Jon Alexander a few minutes ago:

French King Louis XIV built the gold and jewel-laden palace at Versailles, the Roman Emperor Caligula named himself a god and Lake Placid Village officials apparently get grossly overpaid for work they never did.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli blasted Lake Placid Village government Wednesday following the completion of an audit that found village employees were paid over $111,000 for unapproved leave accruals. One town officials received lumps of cash for leave time that was never even earned.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Beard shaving for Donegal contest is this Saturday...

John Warren at the Adirondack Almanack is reminding folks today that beard shaving for the third annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest is this Saturday:

Participants in the 3rd Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest are preparing to shave their facial hair New Year's Day in anticipation of growing their Donegal Beard for this year's contest. New beardsman are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sears owners look to sell building, parking lot...

Jon Alexander is reporting that Sears in Saranac Lake is up for sale:

The owners of Sears in Saranac Lake are seeking to sell their building, the business and the recently-barricaded Main Street parking lot that has roused non-stop controversy for months.

Adirondack Premier Properties owner Margie Philo told WNBZ Tuesday that the owners of Sears, Larry Mullen and Phil Vivlamore, are looking to shed the property because of the fallout surrounding the parking lot’s August closure.

“The owners feel that at this time – with the business climate in village and their difficult experience over the last 16 months – they just felt unwelcome,” she said. “So they decided to list it.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Police searching for missing TL woman

Police in Tupper Lake are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 79-year-old woman reported missing Thursday morning.

Tupper Lake Village Police Officer Justin Perryman told WNBZ that family members of Helen Reandeau reported her missing around 11 a.m.

Helen’s daughter-in-law, Diane, says she was last seen by her son and daughter at a residence on King Street in the village of Tupper Lake at approximately 7:15 a.m.
Diane says she arrived at the home at about 9:15 a.m., and soon after friends and family members filed a missing persons report.

Bridge update this morning...

The Associated Press reports that officials with the state Department of Transportation will provide an update on the Lake Champlain bridge project.

Here's the AP brief:

New York state transportation officials and the contractor building the new bridge across southern Lake Champlain will give the public an update on the $70 million project.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In TL, Cuomo issues stern warning

During a surprise visit to Tupper Lake Monday, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo issued a stern warning to state workers.

According to WWNY-TV, Cuomo was touring the Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office and campus when he issued the following statement:

“If I was a state worker and just a resident of the state, I would be afraid of what is coming ahead,” he said.

The WWNY report states that Cuomo has been touring state facilities since being elected. During his campaign, the Democrat promised to cut state spending and slash the state workforce.

While touring Sunmount, Cuomo said layoffs cause pain for families, but that difficult decisions will need to be made in order to bring New York out of its fiscal crisis.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rabideau on Trudeau's future...

I'm posting here, in its entirety, an editorial penned by Saranac Lake Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau regarding Trudeau Institute's future in Saranac Lake:

The Future of Trudeau and Saranac Lake
Guest Commentary by Clyde Rabideau

Trudeau Institute might leave us—an option affirmed by senior management---something most Saranac Lakers thought impossible until few weeks ago. After all, Trudeau Institute has been around for 126 years and was founded by the village’s first mayor, Edward L. Trudeau. Nothing could be more Saranac Lake than Trudeau Institute.

Game on...

I just returned from a news conference in Lake Placid, where officials announced that the winter Empire State Games will in fact be held in February 2011, despite reports this week that the state has pulled funding for the games.

You can read my earlier report here.

As of right now, barring any issues on the state's end, the games will proceed as planned, with the towns of Wilmington and North Elba, the village of Lake Placid, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), and the Olympic Regional Development Authority joining forces to keep the games alive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No takers for Camp Gabriels

Jon Alexander reports this afternoon that the state Office of General Services received no bids for the former Camp Gabriels minimum security prison.

Here's his story:

The state has been looking to sell the 91-acre parcel ever since its 2009 closure due to shrinking inmate populations and declining budget appropriations at the state Department of Correctional Services.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

GOP v. tea party Conservatives : Owens victory fallout

Republicans in New York's 23rd Congressional District are blaming Conservative Doug Hoffman -- and through the transative property UNYTEA -- for Matt Doheny's defeat at the Hands of the incumbent Democrat Bill Owens last night.

But Hoffman and UNYTEA's brass are firing back.

While not actively campaiging, Hoffman remained on the Conservative line and garnered 9,500 votes. Without counting the 9,000 abesentees cast in the district, Owens bested Doheny by 4,000 votes.

Big win for Dechene in Tupper Lake

The race to decide Tupper Lake’s next town highway superintendent wasn’t even close Tuesday.

Deputy Highway Superintendent Bill Dechene – running on the Republican and Maple Leaf lines – handily defeated Democrat and town Supervisor Roger Amell as well as former Tupper Lake Village Trustee Tim Larkin.

Unofficial numbers from the Franklin County Board of Elections show Dechene pulling 1,139 votse, with Amell and Larkin tallying at 372 and 65 votes, respectively.

The three men were running for the seat vacated last April by former Highway Superintendent Mark Lavigne.

Burpoe, Crossman win; GOP gains two seats

The two local incumbents facing challenges yesterday for their seats on the Franklin County Board of Legislators held on, and the Democrats retained a slim majority.

Democratic incumbent Timothy Burpoe fended off a strong challenge from Republican Betsy Nicastro in the race for the District 7 seat, winning that race 1,061 to 845.

Meanwhile, in District 3, incumbent Democrat Gordon Crossman also edged out his Republican challenger, Besser McKee Hanna, by a margin of 901 to 852.

The county’s GOP base did pick up two seats in the legislative body.

Some 767 absentee ballots remain to be counted in Franklin County.

Mulverhill edges out Reyome for Franklin County Sheriff

In the race for Franklin County’s top law enforcement position, Kevin Mulverhill beat Ronald Reyome by a 500-vote margin.

Mulverhill ran on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence party lines, garnering 5,749 votes to Reyome’s 5,218.

Reyome ran for the seat on the Democratic line.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cutting holds big lead in race for Essex County Sheriff

Richard Cutting --the virtual incumbent for Essex County Sheriff -- currently holds a commandding lead over independent challenger Micheal "Ike" Tyler.

With 33 of 42 districts reporting, Cutting has garnered a whopping 67 percent of the total vote and leads Tyler by nearly 3,000 votes.

Cutting is the protege of the recently deceased Sheriff Henrey Hommes and has run on a platform focused on his 30 years of experience and consistency of operations at the county department. He has been backed by county Republicans.

Tyler -- a retired corrections officer -- campaigned on a promise of cutting costs through increased programming that he argues would improve operational efficiency.

For elections, North Country press puts craft before competition

We in the press are accustomed to the intrinsic competition that comes with the information game. We are regularly massaging our sources and probing new angles in the hope of getting something new, unreported and fresh.

The driving paradigm in the news business is be out in front of something and make it yours.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gibson takes lead in NY-20

This from the Associated Press this morning:

A new poll shows Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy trailing Republican rival Chris Gibson by nine points in the Albany-area 20th Congressional district.

A Siena Research Institute survey of likely voters released Tuesday finds Gibson leading Murphy by a 51-42% margin.

It's a big shift from a Siena poll last month, which found Murphy leading by 17%age points.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Irish American Republicans endorse Doheny

Watertown banker and GOP candidate for New York's 23rd Congressional District Matt Doheny picked up another endorsement today.

His campaign spokesperson, Alison Power, called it "the best endorsement ever."

Here's the release:

The candidacy of Matt Doheny for New York's 23rd Congressional District seat has been endorsed by the Irish American Republicans, a coalition of Irish Americans founded in 1868 and dubbed by Sean Hannity "the GOP's Delta Force."

Monday, October 18, 2010

State sets minimum price for Camp Gabriels

The state Office of General Services announced Monday that it will conduct a sealed bid auction for the former Camp Gabriels Correctional Facility next month.

Carla Chiaro is acting commissioner of OGS. She says the state will auction the former minimum security prison – located off state Route 86 in the Franklin County town of Brighton – on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The state has set the minimum bid at $950,000 and bids are due to the Office of General Services no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candidates comment on Siena Poll

Okay, I just got comment from Congressman Bill Owens and his GOP challenger Matt Doheny regarding the Siena poll. For once, both men agree; polls aren't worth looking at.

Here they are.

“The campaign strategy remains the same – we’re out talking to people. Most importantly, we’re listening to them. They talk to me about jobs, the debt and deficit and milk prices,” he said. “Those are the themes that are there all of the time and they aren’t changing. It hasn’t changed since I started running last August. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

He continued,

“I voted against raising the debt ceiling twice. I have submitted my own bill – the war on debt – trying to get people focused on how we’re going to pay-down the debt,” he said. “I’ve been offering solutions to the problems. That’s what I think my role is. It’s to come up with solutions and put them on the table to discuss.”

And Doheny:
“Three days before the Republican primary they had Lazio and Paladino in a dead heat. Paladino won by 25 points in that race,” he said. “We understand where the polling is going and we feel very good that when people think about voting for Bill Owens and realize it’s a vote for Nancy Pelosi, we will be quite happy with the results.”

Take that statistics nerds. So much for your complicated reduction algorithms and z scores... Score one for the anti-bell curve crowd...... Snap!

Siena Poll: Owens leads Doheny, Hoffman still a major player

Even though he is no longer actively in the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional seat, Conservative Doug Hoffman remains a key player in the outcome, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Siena Research Institute.

The poll sampled 607 likely voters in the district and found that if voters are aware that Hoffman has suspended his campaign, Democratic incumbent Bill Owens clings to a slim 44 to 39 percent lead over Republican Matt Doheny – just one point from being within the standard error. But if voters aren’t told of Hoffman’s post-primary concession, the Democratic incumbent’s lead balloons to 11 percent.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Romney endorses Doheny...

Just days after receiving the endorsement of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Watertown banker gets another high-powered endorsement, this time from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Doheny is running against incumbent Democrat Bill Owens in New York's 23rd Congressional District.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reports: Hevesi to plead guilty

The Associated Press reports this morning that former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi will enter a guilty plea on charges of felony corruption.

Hevesi apparently turned himself in to law enforcement officials early this morning.

The former comptroller was replaced by Thomas DiNapoli after being accused of engaging in a pay-to-play scandal involving New York's pension fund. The Democrat resigned in 2006.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Doheny reacts to Hoffman's decision...

This is hot off the presses from Matt Doheny's campaign, sent to me by his campaign spokeswoman Alison Power:

"Doug Hoffman deserves a round of applause from everyone across the 23rd who want to see this Congressional seat back in conservative, Republican hands. And he deserves a round of applause from the voters across this nation who will bring fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C. by electing a Republican House majority in November.

"I thank Doug for carrying the conservative torch in the 23rd, and am deeply appreciative that today he has passed that torch to me. I welcome his support and will continue to work to gain the support of the many voters in the 23rd Congressional District who believed in Doug and his message.

Hoffman bows out...

Adirondack Daily Enterprise staff writer Nathan Brown reports this morning that Saranac Lake accountant Doug Hoffman is dropping his Conservative Party bid for New York's 23rd Congressional District.

Here's the official statement, posted at the Watertown Daily Times website:

“I entered the 23rd Congressional District race for the good of our nation and to represent the common sense beliefs and values of the voters of upstate New York. Our nation is at a crossroads and it is imperative that on Election Day we wrest control of Congress from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority.

Monday, September 27, 2010

AP: Lazio to bow out of race

Breaking news from the Associated Press:

Conservative candidate Rick Lazio says he's withdrawing from the race for New York's governor, avoiding a potential three-way race that would have seriously hurt the chances of the tea party Republican who beat Lazio in the primary.

Lazio tells The Associated Press Monday he wants to continue to influence the race and bring a workable job creation program into a contest he says has devolved into name-calling between Republican Carl Paladino and Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Barie: Hoffman has no chance

The Upstate New York Tea Party's leader, Mark Barie, is leaving little doubt as to where he stands on Doug Hoffman's decision to remain in the race as the Conservative candidate.

This from UNYTEA's website this morning:

"Doug Hoffman doesn’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell of winning this election. A vote for him is a vote for Bill Owens."

I'll be speaking with Mark shortly...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It’s official: Doheny wins Republican primary

The race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District seat got some much-needed clarity yesterday, with Watertown businessman Matt Doheny officially winning the Republican primary.

As of Thursday afternoon, Doheny held a 743-vote lead over Saranac Lake accountant Doug Hoffman with just 394 absentee ballots left to be counted.

Hoffman has officially conceded the GOP primary, congratulating Doheny on his victory. Hoffman says he’ll remain in the race on the Conservative line.
Doheny had the support of 11 county GOP committees and the endorsement of the Independence Party.

UNYTEA chair reacts to three-way race

The chairman of the Upstate New York Tea Party says he’s not pleased with Doug Hoffman’s decision to remain in the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District as a third party candidate.

Mark Barie told WNBZ Thursday that Matt Doheny is the clear winner following last week’s GOP primary. UNYTEA backed Hoffman throughout the primary campaign, but its support has wavered since last week’s vote.

“Matt Doheny deserves our congratulations,” he said. “It was a hard-fought campaign; some would say it got a little bit ugly at times. Clearly, the people have spoken and it’s beyond challenge.”

Hoffman concedes GOP primary, will remain in race

As reported by Jon Alexander:

The race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District is officially a three-way contest and the candidates on the right will have to overcome a fractured Republican-Conservative populace.

Doug Hoffman acknowledged Thursday that he had indeed been beaten by Matt Doheny in last week’s Republican primary – but he’s not going away without a fight.

The Hoffman camp confirmed that he will actively campaign and seek the congressional seat while solely appearing on the Conservative Party line.

Statement from Hoffman...

Hoffman's camp released this statement a few minutes ago:

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate for Congress (NY-23), today conceded defeat in the hotly contested GOP Primary for the 23rd Congressional District seat. He announced that he would "keep his word to the New York State Conservative Party and to all those who believe in conservative principles, honesty and integrity" by continuing his race for Congress on the Conservative Party line. In last year's special election Hoffman pulled over 69,500 votes running on the Conservative Party line. Under New York State Election Law Hoffman's name must appear on the November ballot.

Confirmed: Hoffman will stay in race

A spokesman for Doug Hoffman's congressional campaign has just confirmed reports that the Saranac Lake accountant will indeed remain in the race and actively campaign on the Conservative line.

As of today, Matt Doheny has officially defeated Hoffman for the Republican line. But the hopes of the Doheny camp that Hoffman would withdraw from the race and back the Watertown banker will remain unrealized.

Hoffman campaign spokesman Rob Ryan put the massive amount of speculation to bed only minutes ago.

"Yes, he will be actively running on the CP line," Ryan told WNBZ.

The revelation may prove to be a huge windfall for Congressman Bill Owens's reelection bid.

It's official: Hoffman staying in the race

Quick update:

Doug Hoffman's campaign spokesman, Rob Ryan, just told Jon Alexander that Hoffman is in fact staying in the race.

That means voters must choose between Democrat Bill Owens, Republican Matt Doheny, and Conservative Doug Hoffman.


Looks like a three-way dance...

This just in from the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Tea Party favorite Doug Hoffman will formally concede today to Matt Doheny in the tightly-contested Republican primary for the 23rd Congressional District seat, according to a source close to Hoffman's campaign.

Hoffman plans to stay in the race on the Conservative Party line for the November election, the source said, ignoring calls from Republican leaders to step aside.

What do you think about Hoffman's plans to stay in the race? Is it smooth sailing for Owens from here on out?

Read the rest of the Post-Standard article here.

Polls, polls, and more polls...

Looks like Quinnipiac University and the Siena Research Institute have some explaining to do.

Quinnipiac came out with a poll yesterday showing that tea party Republican Carl Paladino was making huge gains on Democrat Andrew Cuomo in New York's gubernatorial race.

The numbers showed Cuomo with a 49 to 43 percentage point lead over Paladino.

Then, today, Siena answered back with a poll showing a very different race.

Quick NY-23 update...

Watertown businessman Matt Doheny will host a press conference at 4:30 p.m. at his Clinton County campaign office -- which is located at 1 Broad Street, Plattsburgh.

Doheny is expected to discuss the results from last week's Republican primary. In other words, look for the congressional hopeful to declare victory and shift gears to the November general election.

Saranac Lake accountant Doug Hoffman is also expected to make a statement today. His campaign spokesperson, Rob Ryan, emailed my colleague Jon Alexander to confirm that Hoffman will address the primary results.

Will Hoffman remain in the race as the Conservative Party candidate? Or will he drop out and support Doheny?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WDT calls Doheny the winner

Earlier this week, it appeared as if Saranac Lake accountant Doug Hoffman was closing in on Watertown businessman Matt Doheny in the race for the Republican line in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

But with a final tally expected today, Doheny has actually widened his lead over Hoffman.

Jude Seymour of the Watertown Daily Times reports that Doheny now enjoys a 796-vote lead over Hoffman; 676 absentee votes still need to be counted.

Even if every absentee ballot goes in Hoffman’s favor, Doheny would still hold the majority.

Barring any major changes, Doheny will appear on both the Republican and Independence lines in this November’s election against Democratic incumbent Bill Owens.

Hoffman does have the Conservative line, but he’s yet to say whether he’ll stay in the race.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Owens secures funding for Plattsburgh airport...

The Democrat representing New York's 23rd Congressional District announced Monday that he's secured a significant chunk of change for a project aimed at enhancing security measures at the Plattsburgh International Airport.

Congressman Bill Owens says a grant totaling $583,000 was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration.

Owens is defending his House seat this November against either Watertown businessman Matt Doheny or Saranac Lake accountant Doug Hoffman -- or both.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Something stinks in Albany... and in your mailbox!

Say what you want about Carl Paladino (and people are saying a lot), but at least he's livening up an otherwise boring gubernatorial election in New York.

Democrat Andrew Cuomo is way out in front in almost every poll, but I don't think Paladino is too concerned.

After all, the pollsters said Tuesday's primary would be too close to call, and Paladino dispatched former Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio with relative ease.

Paterson to Paladino: You're not fit for public service

New York Gov. David Paterson apparently doesn't care much for GOP gubernatorial designee Carl Paladino.

Paterson told the Associated Press this morning that the tea party backed Paladino "isn't fit for public service."

Paladino will face Democrat Andrew Cuomo in November following his stunning upset of Rick Lazio in Tuesday's primary.

Barclay to Hoffman, Doheny: Take a deep breath

Here's an interesting release that was issued by a former 23rd Congressional District hopeful and current Republican Assemblyman Will Barclay of Oswego County.

Barclay tells Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny it's time to take a deep breath and unite in order to defeat incumbent Democrat Bill Owens in November:

With the Associated Press projecting Matt Doheny as the winner in yesterday's Republican primary for Congress in NY-23 - but with Doheny not declaring victory and Doug Hoffman not conceding defeat -- State Assemblyman Will Barclay of Oswego County (R-C-I), a man who only months ago was himself a contender for that nomination, is calling upon both Doheny and Hoffman and their supporters to "take a breather and start thinking about working together for their common objective of defeating liberal Democrat Congressman Bill Owens in November."

Enemies of smart development...

John Warren at the Adirondack Almanack authored a scathing piece this morning that takes aim at individuals he dubs "the cast of opposing smart development."

It's an interesting read and I urge our readers to take a look.

Among the notable figures Warren takes aim at are state Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, as well as Post Star projects editor Will Doolittle.

Gibson opens satellite office in Glens Falls

The Republican challenger to Democratic Representative Scott Murphy in New York's 20th Congressional District is opening a satellite office in Warren County.

This from Chris Gibson's campaign spokesman Dan Odescalchi:

The Chris Gibson for Congress Campaign is pleased to be opening a satellite office in Warren County at 20 Ridge Street in Glens Falls. The campaign would like to invite neighbors and friends in Glens Falls and neighboring towns to visit the office for information about Republican/Conservative Candidate Chris Gibson or to support his campaign for Congress. The office’s official opening will be tomorrow, September 16th.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It took a few hours, but...

... we've finally got a statement.

Here's what Hoffman's campaign released just a few minutes ago:

"Yesterday was the culmination of a long and hard fought primary. Matt Doheny ran a spirited race and should be commended for his efforts. I also want to thank my supporters for their effort and their resolute belief in the conservative principles I stand for.

"This is still a fluid race. Thousands of absentee and military ballots remain to be counted. There is no clear victor and I would be doing a disservice to my supporters, men and women in uniform and the voters if I did not wait for all votes to be properly counted."

Is silence golden?

It's a few minutes after noon, and still no word from Doug Hoffman's campaign regarding Matt Doheny's apparent victory last night.

The question on everyone's mind is simple:

Will Hoffman drop out of the race and ask his supporters to get behind Doheny?

Or will Hoffman remain in the race as the Conservative candidate, forcing a three-way race that will surely benefit incumbent Democrat Bill Owens?

We in the media are used to waiting for statements from politicians and candidates. But Hoffman's loyal supporters deserve to hear something from their candidate -- especially those who waited patiently into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

I'll keep you posted...

Schneiderman wants to debate Donovan

State Senator Eric Schneiderman, fresh off his Democratic primary victory for attorney general last night, is already calling for a debate against his opponent, Republican State Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Schneiderman wants the debate to focus on cracking down on Wall Street crimes.

This from the Associated Press:

Suggesting that Donovan has proposed relaxing the attorney general's oversight of financial markets, Schneiderman tells The Associated Press he will protect homeowners and consumers "from bad actors" on Wall Street.

He sent a letter to Donovan Wednesday asking for the debate.

Donovan spokeswoman Virginia Lam says they haven't received the letter yet. In campaign statements, Donovan says Wall Street is an important economic generator, and it's important to promote fair markets but not bring cases "simply to get headlines."

Gillibrand not one to waste time...

New York's junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, isn't wasting any time following last night's primary elections.

The Democrat, who was appointed to the seat by Gov. David Paterson after Hillary Clinton's rise to Secretary of State, will square-off with Republican Joe DioGuardi in November.

Gillibrand's campaign staff announced today it will immediately begin airing television ads in western New York.

The ads will hit airwaves this week in Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse. Gillibrand leads DioGuardi in fundraising and in the polls.

This from the Associated Press:

The ads promote Gillibrand as a reform-minded senator devoted to public transparency. In the ad, Gillibrand says she hasn't been in Washington long, but she has been there long enough to know that things are broken.

Barie none-too-happy with Hoffman campaign...

I present here, in its entirety, a release issued by Upstate New York Tea Party Chairman Mark Barie this morning. To sum it up, Barie isn't pleased with how Doug Hoffman ran his campaign:

Although the results of yesterday’s GOP primary are still unclear, the Upstate New York Tea (UNYTEA) party is moving quickly to organize for the November elections.

“There are less than seven weeks until the November election, and we intend to use that time to reorganize and to make the case to voters that Bill Owens has got to go”, said Mark L Barie, Chairman of UNYTEA.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Too close to call in 23rd CD

First off, check out Jude Seymour's election coverage at the Watertown Daily Times.

Second, my early morning radio bed time is going to keep me from finding out any results on the 23rd Congressional District race.

For now, it's way too close to call. At last check, Doheny was 99 votes behind Hoffman.

Stay tuned tomorrow morning...

Major upset in the works...

Despite polls showing a close race in the GOP gubernatorial primary, Carl Paladino is sitting very pretty with 33 percent of precincts reporting.

Paladino currently enjoys a commanding lead over former Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio. He has an eye-popping 68 to 32 percentage point lead as of 10:50 p.m.

It looks like tea party momentum will propel Paladino into a November general election against Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Another interesting wrinkle: Lazio might not win the Conservative primary against the little known Ralph Lorigo.

Rice holds lead in AG primary...

With 33 percent of precincts reporting, Kathleen Rice holds a fairly safe lead in the race for New York Attorney General.

Rice has 33 percent of the vote as of 10:45 p.m., followed by Eric Schneiderman with 27 percent.

Sean Coffey, Richard Brodsky, and Eric Dinallo have 21, 12 and 7 percent respectively.

This race looks like it's over, so barring dramatic changes Rice will take on Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan in November.

No returns... yet

Okay, I'm heading over to Hoffman's primary headquarters at the Red Fox.

As of 7:52 p.m. I haven't seen returns for any races. That's sure to change soon.

Polls close earlier in New Hampshire, however, and it looks like (tentatively speaking, anyway) the tea party express may gain its first victory of the evening there.

Only a few precincts are reporting, but tea party-backed candidate Ovide Lamontagne is holding a 53 to 30 percentage point lead over GOP and Sarah Palin-backed former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. Both are angling for the GOP line in this November's U.S. Senate race.

Murphy, Owens unhappy with failure to act on 1099

Here's a quickie that I just penned on the Senate's failure to address the 1099 requirement contained with President Obama's health care overhaul bill:

President Barack Obama gained a political victory this week following a crucial vote to clear the way for a bill aimed at creating a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

Two Republican senators – Ohio’s George Voinovich and Florida’s George LeMieux – joined Democrats to end a GOP filibuster of the bill.

But two North Country congressmen are unhappy that amendments to ease a requirement in the massive health care reform bill weren’t attached to the legislation.

Two hours and counting...

Hey all -- just checking in briefly with some election updates...

I'll be at the Red Fox in Saranac Lake this evening, hunkering down with Doug Hoffman's camp to await ballot returns. Jon Alexander is in Watertown with Matt Doheny's team.

We'll both report back to you as soon as we have results. You can listen for updates on AM 920 and 1240 WNBZ and ROCK105. Listen in after polls close at 9 p.m.

You can also listen live here.

Or, follow along on this blog for updates from both Jon and me.

If you haven't voted yet, get movin'.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Slow down...

Members of the media -- including Jon and myself at WNBZ -- have been acting like feverish sports writers this week following Doug Hoffman's revelation that he'll remain in the race for New York's 23rd Congressional District, even if he loses to Matt Doheny in a Sept. 14 GOP primary.

Here's what I mean:

When an athlete, perhaps a wide receiver for an NFL team, indicates he's upset about not getting enough touches, the sports media generally takes that to mean the wideout is ticked at his quarterback.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hoffman's strategy: childish or brilliant?

The question has finally been answered. If Doug Hoffman loses to Matt Doheny in the GOP primary later this month, he'll remain in the race on the Conservative line.

At last night's debate between the two would-be Republican challengers to Democratic incumbent Bill Owens, the Saranac Lake accountant finally answered the question that has been swirling for months.

“People think that I’m the spoiler because I’m not going to get out of the race. People that get the Conservative line, have to stay on the Conservative line once they take it,” Hoffman said. “The spoiler in this race is Matt Doheny because he is trying to get the Republican line, knowing very well that he can’t get the Conservative line.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1-- closing statements

"We agree on pretty much everything."
The choice is who can actually beat Bill Owens on November 2nd.
Clear choice. It's me.
Doug's a good man, but he can't win.
"Worst thing in the world on November 3 is getting up and realizing the house and Senate are still in Democratic hands.

"Matt's right. Do have a choice.
"Choice is, who do you want as next Congressman?"
I've been here for 40 years, working through problems and creating jobs.
"I'm the only real conservative in this race."
I stood up for conservative values last year when GOP picked someone who wasn't a real conservative.
Had 70,000 votes last year and they will turn out this year.

Smoke Break!!!!!!

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1

Q17: To Hoffman
Why not debate in Western portion of district? What are you afraid of?

Nothing. We are hear debating and another one next week.

Doug, didn't answer the question. "Yield my minute?"
"I will debate anytime, no scheduling conflict."
"I'll be in SL next week. Hopefully it's not in your back yard."
Big district. But only debate in one region. "Flat out outlandish."
"not fair to those people."

Q18: To Hoffman
How to retain young professionals?

have to boost economy.

Need infrastructure and right policies.
Have great universities. "Greatest resources, human beings."

Q19: To Hoffman
Will you stay in if lose the primary?

"I will win the primary." Way ahead, going to fight like I'm losing.
Doheny didn't get the Conservative line.
"People say I'm the spoiler, but it's known that once on the Conservative line, can't get off it."
"Matt's the spoiler, not me."

I supported the nominee last time. I lived up to my word.
Was the first called about the Conservative line last year. Turned it down.

Q20: To Hoffman
The poll you cite was done by your campaign. If you do not win the primary and remain on a third line, how do you justify pulling votes from the GOP and hand it to Bill Owens?

"My objective is to get Bill Owens out of office."
"The people have rallied around me."
"These are the same people doing my polls last year. They were right on last year and no reason not to think they are right on this year."
"I have been meeting with the people, not the party bosses. That's why I'm 32 percent ahead."

The only poll that matters is the voters. "Everything else is irrelevent, if not garbage."
I'm on a third party line too. Don't see me sitting here saying I won't support the GOP line.
He got the Conservative line from one single person who lives in Brooklyn.
"He is backed by the the true party boss."

Q21: To Doheny
How can we sure up the northern border?

"Drug trade has to be stopped."
"Need the resources. Trust the judgement of the professionals."
"But at the same time, the border provides commerce and economic opportunity. Can't kill the golden goose trying to protect ourselves."

"My son is a decorated trooper out of Tupper Lake."
"But Matt is also right. We can't hinder trade and movement of goods."
People being detained, citizens and residents.

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1

Q10: To Hoffman
Should unions take concessions? Congress take pay raises?

Private business can't compete. Unions destroyed Chrysler and Gen Motors.

Need to cut Congress's pay in half.
Term limits.
End Cadillac pension plans.
"I'm the only one who has signed a no ear mark, pork pledge."
"Create a whole different congress."

Q11: To MD
Say don't like ear marks. But also say would support funding of core issues. Define?

"I will have a voice during appropriation process. ear marks a the 11th hour are wrong and corrupts Congress."

My opponent has distorted my position.

I wouldn't
ADE quoted my opponent as saying he would take ear marks while everyone else does.

: To Doheny
Support of Bush tax cuts. How do your own taxes play in?

"Higher taxes right now, absolute worst thing."
"Has nothing to do with my own taxes."
Not only support Bush tax cuts, push for more.
Obama, et al, want to tax and sure the job creators.

"Exactly Matt."
"If tax cuts aren't extended, will collect $1 trillion more from Americans."
"Democrats just don't get it."
"If Bush tax cuts go away, we will kill the businesses in the North Country."

Q13: To Hoffman
Leaving Iraq the right thing? Time table for Afghanistan?

Still have 50,000 troops in Iraq. If gets worse, have to go back. Right now, looks good. Hopes to God it stays that way.
Need to stay in Afghanistan. Get job done.

Agree with Doug. Need to get job done.

Back to other issue.
I signed this no pork pledge.
Doug is lining his pockets with his campaign donations.

Q14: To Doheny
How would you rework social security?

SS needs to remain solvent. Right now, going to go bankrupt.
Must maintain the benefits for eveyone drawing now. But also stay solvent for future.

agree with Matt.

Back to last comments...
"You know damn well FEC requires this reporting."
Fast and loose with facts."
"People in glass boat houses shouldn't throw stones," "The way you treated those officers was unacceptable."

Q15: To Hoffman
One reason you would vote for your opponent?

"If I died."
"Matt's a great guy."
"But can't learn the district in just seven months."
"I'm the only conservative in this race."

"My answer, clearly much kinder than Mr. Hoffman's."
"Just like myself, he is an example of the American Dream."
"Why I lectured you before, don't be a class warfare person."
"I'm from the North Country for God sakes."
grew up here. "Doug can blow off what I've done over the last nine months. But will pay dividends."

Q16: To Doheny
Is the tea party good for America and this district.

Brought masses out of the doldrums.
"We hit rock bottom when Obama was sworn in."
"You guys will support whoever the GOP winnder is."

"The silent majority of America is waking up. We're fed up and going to fight back."
Out of control spending, taxes.
"We are America."

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1

Q5: To Doheny
2004, two BWIs, 2005 sued for rent evasion. Why should we trust you?

I brought it to the media, wanted it to be known.
The rent thing was a civil thing. "I assure you, I can pay my rent."
Life is about the sum total of one's record. Raised to work hard.


Not going to answer that question, but will take a shot.
"You can't learn the entire district in eight months."
"I have struggled with people, I have employed people."
"We all know our kids grow up and they're gone because there aren't jobs."
Community leader;
Olympic Committee, NCCC board, etc.

: To Hoffman
What can be done to help rural hospitals survive?

Blasts health care reform bill and reminds crowd Bill Owens supported it.
"Health care bill puts rural health care in jeopardy." Costs too much.

"I've visited every hospital. My opponent can sit idly by in Lake Placid or Saranac Lake and think that's the right decision."

Blasts "Obama-care." No incentive for rural doctors. Needs to be repealed.

Q7: To Doheny
Stem cell funding?

"Pres. Bush got it right. Keep working with exisiting lines, but don't use federal dollars."

"I am the only pro-life candidate for the 23rd district."
"Will fight anything that ends life and stem cell research does that."

Q8: To Hoffman
Why the campaign contribution drop off compared to last year? Why loan yourself money?

Had dozens of national conservative endorsements.
"We loaned $100,000 last year and this year."
I"m Main Street."
"I don't have friends on Wall Street who can give the max amount and expect favors from Washington."

"Doug, you got to stop criticizing people for being successful."
"I'm proud of you for being successful."
Why are people giving me money?," "Because I went out and worked. Went town to town, door to door and gained their support."
"They realize I'm the only candidate that can send Bill Owens back to practice law."

Q9: To Doheny
Same-sex marriage?

State issue.
"Dead set against gay marriage."
"This has been baked into our judeo-christian values and should stay that way."
"Should be dealt with by legislatures, not courts."

"Marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Back to last question....

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1

Q2:To Hoffman
What free market programs would solve the health care issue is reform bill was reformed. Would you eliminate Medicare and Medicaid?"

Would not repeal Medicaid and Medicare. Too important.
Need more insurance competition. Need to allow for competition across state borders. Need to align individual state requirements.

MD: Rebuttal

Would not eliminate Medicaid and Medicare.
Would come come down on fraud.. Around 10 percent of Medicaid/Medicare goes to fraud.

Need to promote competition across state lines.

"Key issue, cost and keeping and retaining doctors."

Q3: To Doheny
Key to attracting businesses in the easter region of the district.

The key is proximity to Montreal. Need a border that is safe but allows the free flow of commerce.

Two fundemental things. Have to have the basic infrastructure to bring people here. Need cell phone coverage and broadband.
"Tragedy waiting to happen in places where there isn't cell phone coverage."

"I'm sure there are people sitting in a corporate office in St. Louis who'd love to be in the Adirondacks. But you need the infrastructure."

"Agree with Matt."
"Only candidate that has acutally created jobs in the 23rd district. "I know what it takes to make a business successful in the district."
"Everything Matt says is right on, but we also need to get big government off our back. Less Taxes, less regulation."

Q4: To Hoffman
How would you help farmers?

"My wife's family ran a farm for over 100 years. They got squeezed out of the business."
Chicago commodity market can be manipulated, powdered milk from China, supply and demand.
"I'm a conservative, I believe in the free market system, but I also agree in fairness."
"Farmers aren't being treated fairly."

"Unlike my opponent, have been traveling the district."
"Need transparency in fluid milk pricing milk market. Only done weekly. Need to know what the supply and demand are."
Too much regulation.. They are land rich. Need to get rid of the death tax.

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1


Q 1: T Doheny
Stimulus bill. Unnecessary paving. What's your take???

"Projects like that are putting into debt. "Leaders are flat out bankrupting us."
"Dead set against it. Been a flat out failure."
Citing higher than anticipated unemployment and underemployment figures.
Need to keep Bush tax cuts. Need to end over regulation.

"I agree with Matt"
"Last month, passed a $34 billion supplemental stimulus."
"Schools already have budgets. Now extra money. What are they going to do with it?"

"Where are the jobs?"
Cut taxes and cut regulation... Creat jobs.

Hoffman v. Doheny Round 1

Mark Barie -- UNYTEA Chairman and event sponsor, "no applause please during the question and answer period.

And here come the two foes who are jockying for the GOP line.

Hoffman won the coin flip.

Hoffman opening statement:
Mic doesn't work..... holding pattern (7:09)

"Like most of you I'm fed up. Was fed up last year and we fought a great fight...."
"We know what the taxes and spending are going to do to us."
"We all have to fight back."
"I know what is going on in the North Country. I work everyday in solving problems in this district and, as Congressman, will solve them in Washington."

Doheny's opening statement:

"We need to send Bill Owens back into private practice."
"We are over-taxed and over regulated."
"Reality is that moms and dads don't believe their children will live their own American Dream."

"I'm the only conservative Republican on this stage that can actually win on November 2nd. I'm the only one who has been working his tail off and driving over 65,000 miles in my truck." he said. "My opponent tried last year and failed."
"Send a strong message to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama."

Doheny v. Hoffman Round 1

Room packed. Each of the 225 seats has been taken and we the press are pounding furiously at our keyboards trying to paint the picture.

Place is packed and it appears sweat is not an uncommon scene on the brows of the 200-plus spectators.

Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny have yet to take their seats.

Should be underway any minute.

Murphy the Centrist

For the most part, I view visits from representatives and senators with a certain pessimism.

In general, their handlers have them on such a tight schedule that press access is limited and question-and-answer periods are short and topic-driven.

Not that I blame them -- when you represent a district like New York's 23rd, you generally have a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time.

But that was not the case when New York's 20th Congressional District Representative Scott Murphy rolled into the Tri-Lakes region Tuesday.

Foresters predict magnificent fall

This from the Associated Press this morning:

Foresters say the hot, dry summer could mean an early fall with brighter than usual colors in the North Country.

Glens Falls meteorologist Brian Whitley says rainfall at the Warren County airport was nearly 5 inches below normal for the year. Forester Bruce Barnard of the Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook says areas that have had a dry summer could see peak colors a week or so earlier than those that got rain.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Police Chief: No right-hand lane on Bloomingdale Avenue

If you’re driving along Bloomingdale Avenue, make sure to stay out of the right-hand bike lane.

In an effort to clear up confusion surrounding the intersection of Bloomingdale Avenue and Church Street, WNBZ reached out to Saranac Lake Village Police Chief Bruce Nason Tuesday afternoon.

Nason says motorists who believe there are two lanes are simply wrong.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WNBZ is 'kinda' involved in this -- Doheny nails Hoffman for no debates in western region

The Matt Doheny campaign hammered Doug Hoffman Thursday for allegedly ducking requests to debate Doheny in the western portion of the district. Hoffman, who now lives in Saranac Lake, has agreed to two debates, one in Plattsburgh and another in Saranac Lake. Doheny resides in Watertown.

I have yet to call the Hoffman camp about this...

And the release -- a really fun one, too:

Statement from Alison Power, spokesperson, Doheny for Congress Campaign:

“On Monday August 24, the Young Republican clubs of Lewis and Jefferson Counties invited Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman to participate in a debate on August 31, at the Italian American Club in Watertown. We accepted. Doug Hoffman, through his campaign manager Patrick Gerhart, declined the invitation: ‘Unfortunately, Doug will not be able to make that date do (sic) to a previous commitment.‘

The clubs offered to change the date and/or the time and were told on Monday that the Hoffman campaign would “look into it.” It is our understanding that the Young Republicans have not to date heard anything more from the Hoffman camp.

Doheny gains more GOP support

Matt Doheny -- GOP Congressional challenger to Bill Owens -- got even more institutional backing this week. Doheny is currently spending as much time battling Conservative Doug Hoffman for the November GOP line as he is dealing with the incumbent.

Here's the release:

Watertown, NY – Three leaders in the national political arena – former Congressmen Bill Paxon, Tom Reynolds and Tom Davis – have endorsed the candidacy of Matt Doheny, Watertown, in the 23rd Congressional District of New York State.

“Matt is the kind of political newcomer we need in Washington today,” former Rep. Paxon (R-Buffalo,NY) said. “He’s a fiscal conservative who can apply both business and common sense to our nation’s current economic crisis. Matt can win the 23rd back for Republicans, and become a key vote against the failed policies of Obama and Pelosi.”

Longtime Democratic strategist backing Gibson

Here's a release from Chris Gibson's Congressional campaign.

Gibson -- a Republican -- is challenging incumbent Democrat Scott Murphy's reelection bid:

Kinderhook, NY – The Chris Gibson for Congress campaign announced the formation of Democrats for Gibson, a district-wide organization of members of the Democratic Party who support Chris Gibson as the next Congressman of New York’s 20th Congressional District.

“We are proud that people from all political persuasions are supporting our campaign,” said Chris Gibson. “We have reached out to those looking for a better way forward regardless of party affiliation and welcome the support of Democrats, Independents, Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party and other new voters. Growing up here and in a union household, most of my family were Democrats. I am glad to have the support of this distinguished group of long time Democrats who believe that the way forward must include reducing spending, borrowing and taxing. Our children do not deserve to inherit the unsustainable debt that we have amassed and I will reach across party lines and work with everyone to change course.”

SL man enters guilty plea in drug case

A 22-year-old Saranac Lake man pleaded guilty to a bevy of drug charges in Franklin County Court this week.

James T. Lacey was arrested in April after police observed him conducting a narcotics transaction. He was originally charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a prescription not in its original container.

At the time, Saranac Lake Village Police said Lacey was seen selling – quote – “10 narcotic preparation pills” to another individual.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Police find body of missing Lake Clear woman

Law enforcement officials located the body of a missing Lake Clear woman early Wednesday afternoon.

The discovery of 37-year-old Carrie Bailey’s body ends a two-day search that launched Monday after family members reported her missing.

Troopers Jim Butzer and Raymond Caldwell found Bailey’s body in the driver’s seat of her 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser at a camp down off Hull Road in Rainbow Lake in the town of Brighton.

Schumer to visit Adirondack Museum, talk tourism

New York’s senior U.S. Senator Charles Schumer will visit Blue Mountain Lake tomorrow.

The Democrat, who’s running for re-election this fall, will speak at the Adirondack Museum at 2:45 p.m. Friday.

According to a release issued by museum officials, Schumer will discuss the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act – known as the TRIP bill. The legislation aims to support and grow tourism and is being co-sponsored by Schumer.

Police searching for missing Lake Clear woman

The search is on for a woman who went missing over the weekend in Franklin County.

Ray Brook-based state police say 37-year-old Carrie L. Bailey of Lake Clear was last seen Saturday, Aug. 21 shortly after midnight at a friend’s camp in the town of Brighton, near Rainbow Lake.

Bailey is a white female, approximately 5’9’’ tall and weighing about 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue “Capri” style jeans, a white tank top, a brown long-sleeve sweatshirt and sandals.

NCCC ranked among America’s best community colleges

The good news continues to roll in for two local colleges.

Last week, Paul Smith’s College announced that it’s anticipating one of its largest classes in three decades. This week, officials at North Country Community College say the school has been included on a list of America’s 50 Best Community Colleges.

Washington Monthly magazine has NCCC ranked 22nd on its list for 2010. The rankings surveyed 650 community colleges across the nation, and NCCC received the highest ranking of any community college in New York.

The list is compiled using benchmarking data from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and four-year federal graduation rates.

Ranking categories include learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, support for learning, and four-year graduation ranks.

NCCC consistently ranked over 50 percent in every category.

“The schools on the list stand out in teaching and helping students earn degrees,” the Washington Monthly states. “When it comes to quality of instruction they outperform not only their two-year peers but also many elite four-year research universities.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UNYTEA anticipates large crowd for primary debate

The first of two debates between Republican Congressional hopefuls Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman is expected to draw a substantial crowd.

The debate is being hosted by the Upstate New York Tea Party and is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 at the West Side Ballroom on New York Road at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

Monday, August 23, 2010

State police investigating burglaries in Schroon Lake

Law enforcement officials are seeking the public’s help in solving a string of burglaries in Essex County.

State police say at least five businesses located on Main Street in the town of Schroon Lake have reported overnight break-ins in recent weeks. A statement issued Monday states that the incident occurred between August 20 and August 2.

The Morning Star Bistro, Crunch Time Bakery and Deli, Flannigan’s Pub, Timberwolf Pub and Pitkin’s Restaurant all reported money stolen.

Anyone with information pertaining to these crimes should contact Investigator Mashall Rocque at 873-2771.

Friday, August 20, 2010

UNYTEA reaches 1,000 members

Here's a release issued last week by Mark Barie, chairman of the Upstate New York Tea Party (UNYTEA):

The Upstate New York Tea (UNYTEA) party has reached its goal of one thousand members.

According to UNYTEA party Chairman, Mark L Barie, the grassroots organization surpassed its goal of one thousand members by September 1st, just this week. At an organizational meeting in Port Henry on Thursday an additional sixteen members were signed up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Malone teen in critical condition after falling asleep at the wheel

A young man from Franklin County is in critical condition today after apparently falling asleep at the wheel.

Malone-based state police say 19-year-old Jonathon Foster of Malone was driving his pickup truck along state Route 30 at approximately 6 p.m. in the town of Duane when he exited the roadway and crashed.

Troopers and emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene and found Foster trapped inside the truck. Police say he was barely conscious.

He was extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to the Fletcher Allen Healthcare Center in Burlington, Vermont, where he was listed in critical condition as of Wednesday morning.

Troopers say Foster sustained multiple serious injuries in the crash. It’s believed that he fell asleep behind the wheel and was traveling alone.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Gubernatorial election could be over before it starts

More from Jon:

Poll data released by the Siena College Research Institute Wednesday indicates the race for governor could be over before it even starts.

The poll also shows that the Republican U.S. Senate candidates are facing a significant public relations problem – no one knows who they are.

The survey of 788 registered New York voters found that 61 percent of total respondents hold a favorable opinion of Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Of that, 38 percent of Republicans polled hold Cuomo in high regard. Only 32 percent think favorably of GOP standard-bearer Rick Lazio, with Republicans polling at only 47 percent.

Gay Republicans back Sayward, Duprey

Here's a piece penned by my colleague Jon Alexander:

Republican Assemblywomen Teresa Sayward and Janet Duprey received the endorsement last week of the state Log Cabin Republicans – a GOP political action committee focused on equal rights for homosexuals.

Sayward and Duprey are two of only three Republican state lawmakers currently seeking reelection to receive the organization’s backing, according to its state Chairman Greg Angelo.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Palin endorsement for Hoffman?

Speaking during an appearance on Fox Business Channel, Congressional candidate Doug Hoffman said he expects to be endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

The Saranac Lake accountant has Conservative and Tea Party support ahead of the September 14 Republican primary. Hoffman received an endorsement from the former vice presidential candidate last fall before a special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District seat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Poll shows Hoffman with lead over Doheny

A poll conducted for Doug Hoffman’s campaign shows the Saranac Lake accountant with a commanding lead over his GOP opponent Matt Doheny.

The poll was released by McLaughlin & Associates and shows Hoffman with a 52 to 20 percent lead over Doheny, a Watertown businessman.

More than half of voters in the poll said they’d vote for the conservative Republican over the moderate Republican. 54 percent identified Hoffman as conservative.

Elizabethtown man charged with second-degree rape

A 22-year-old Elizabethtown man faces several felony charges following allegations that he engaged a minor in sexual acts.

Saranac Lake Village Police arrested Kendall T. Fenton at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday and charged him with second-degree rape, a class-D felony.

He’s also charged with second-degree criminal sexual act, a class-D felony; third-degree criminal sexual act, a class-E felony; and endangering the welfare of a child, a class-A misdemeanor.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Truth is stranger than fiction, or, "Lake Placid (the Movie)!"

It was more than a decade ago when I sauntered over to the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid to watch, well, Lake Placid.

I'm an admitted horror movie junkie. When I say junkie, I'm not being kitchy; if I go too long without seeing a good gore fest, I start shaking and sweating, a la Trainspotting.

Well, it looks like Lake Placid (the movie) is reenacting itself in upstate New York. This from the Associated Press:

"Two teenage brothers following a turtle in a drainage area near an upstate New York park came upon an even bigger reptile: a 2-foot-long alligator.

"Nineteen-year-old Cliff Bickham III and his 16-year-old brother Jared were riding their bicycles Wednesday afternoon when they spotted a turtle across the street from a park in Johnson City, near Binghamton.

"They were tracking the turtle in a drainage area under an overpass when they saw the gator in several inches of water. Cliff Bickham pictures of the gator with his cell phone and sent them to his parents.

"Their father caught the gator and taped its mouth shut before taking the reptile to the police station.

"Police turned the gator over to a former pet store owner who specialized in reptiles."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gillibrand on a fundraising tear

If there were any questions surrounding Kirsten Gillibrand's ability to raise funds, they've been answered loud and clear.

New York's junior Democratic senator pulled in $2 million in the second quarter of 2010. The Associated Press reports Gillibrand has more than $7.2 million in her campaign coffers as she prepares to run for her first full term this fall.

She was appointed to the seat last year by New York Governor David Paterson after Hillary Clinton was appointed U.S. secretary of state.

Three Republicans hopefuls will square off in a September primary. Barring any petitioning setbacks, those candidates will be Bruce Blakeman, Joseph DioGuardi and David Malpass; the deadline to file petitions was Thursday.

Malpass has $2.4 million on-hand; $1.7 million through campaign donations and $1.5 million of his own money. Numbers for Blakeman and DioGuardi weren't available Thursday.

Gillibrand will face a challenge in a September primary. New York City lawyer Gail Goode filed her petitions Thursday morning. She says New Yorkers deserve another option as they had to the polls.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Business is 'smoking' in Vermont

I've been lazy about posting updates on the blog lately -- I'll blame it on the beautiful weather we've been graced with over the last few weeks (really, who wants to blog when it's 90 degrees and sunny?).

I stumbled across this Associated Press report this morning:

"Vermont store owners near the New York border say they’re selling more cigarettes to Empire State residents seeking to avoid that state’s higher tobacco tax.

"Dana Franklin of the West Addison General Store says sales have gone up since July 1, when New York increased its cigarette tax by $1.60 per pack.

"People who buy cigarettes in New York now pay $4.35 a pack in taxes. In Vermont the tax is $2.24.

"Franklin tells the Burlington Free Press cigarette sales also increased several years ago after New York increased its tax, but they later fell back after Vermont’s tax increased.

"And convenience stores operators in border towns say they also benefit from increased gasoline sales because gas is less expensive in Vermont than New York."

A cynic could read that brief like this: New York is sending consumers across the border to Vermont to spend their dollars.

What do you think? Is it sound fiscal policy to be forcing smokers to spend their money elsewhere? It would be interesting to compare the tax revenue raised by New York to the dollars lost through the tax hike.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tornadoes in western New York

Last week, it was earthquakes -- this week, tornadoes.

This from the Associated Press:

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in the Mohawk Valley a day after a twister caused minor damage in several rural western New York communities.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Troopers investigating fatal golf cart accident

A young man from the Saranac Lake area is dead following an accident that occurred earlier this week.

Ray Brook-based state police say 19-year-old Casey McHugh of Lake Clear has succumbed to serious injuries sustained late Wednesday night following an accident in the town of Santa Clara.

Troopers received reports of a serious personal injury accident involving a golf cart and a skateboarder at approximately 10:25 Wednesday.

Local teen in critical condition following accident

A local teenager is listed in critical condition today following a bizarre accident in the town of Santa Clara.

Ray Brook-based state police say 19-year-old Casey McHugh of Lake Clear was riding his skateboard on his back east along Hoel Pond Road when he entered into the intersection of Floodwood Road and was struck by a golf cart.

The driver of the golf cart – 43-year-old Bernard Farley of Saranac Lake – fled before troopers and emergency personnel arrived at the scene.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earthquake update

The United States Geological Survey has posted the earthquake to its website.

The quake registered 5.5 on the Richter scale. It's centered 31 miles north of Cumberland, which is in eastern Ontario.

Reports have come in from all over the North Country, and people felt it as far south as Schenectady and Albany.

The earth is a movin'

The North Country experienced an earthquake at approximately 1:40 p.m. today.

We here at WNBZ don't have official confirmation from anyone at the USGS as of yet, but we feel pretty confident that an earthquake happened.

We've heard from folks in Champlain, Plattsburgh, Keene Valley, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Vermontville and everywhere in between. All reported the same thing:

The earth was shaking.

Working Families Party endorses Congressman Murphy

The Working Families Party endorsed Democrat Scott Murphy this week ahead of this fall’s election.

Murphy currently represents New York’s 20th Congressional District and will face off with Republican Chris Gibson this November.

Murphy won the seat last year in a special election to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to New York’s junior senator seat after President Barack Obama selected Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Man sentenced for involvement with Oak Street brawl

A local man arrested last year for his involvement in a brawl on Oak Street in the village of Tupper Lake was sentenced to probation last week in Franklin County Court.

Tupper Lake Village Police arrested 24-year-old Richard A. Jangro last October following a fight that Chief Tom Fee dubbed the “Melee on Oak.”

Numerous local residents were arrested following the incident – the fight also sparked a manhunt for a rape suspect. The fight began the evening of October 3 and continued into the early morning hours of October 4. One person who was not involved in the brawl was injured.

Jangro was originally charged with second-degree felony attempted assault, third-degree misdemeanor assault, and endangering the welfare of a child – in March, he pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault and endangering the welfare of child.

Last week, Franklin County Court Judge Penelope Clute sentenced Jangro to five years of probation and one-year conditional discharge.

Tupper Lake man gets four years in prison for rape

A 32-year-old Tupper Lake man was sentenced to four years in state prison last week for the rape of a teenage girl.

Travis K. Borden was taken into custody in May 2009 following accusations he raped his live-in girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter. He was originally charged with third-degree criminal sexual act, third-degree rape, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawfully dealing with a child.

Tupper Lake Village Police arrested Borden following a complaint from a family member of the victim.

In April, Borden pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of third-degree criminal sexual act. Last week, Franklin County Court Judge Penelope Clute sentenced him to four years in state prison with 10 years of post-release supervision.

Hoffman gets endorsements from FreedomWorks, Right to Life PACs

Matt Doheny isn’t the only candidate picking up endorsements in the race to unseat North Country Congressman Bill Owens.

This week and last week, public accountant Doug Hoffman picked up a pair of endorsements from two conservative political action committees – FreedomWorks and Right to Life.

In a prepared statement, Hoffman said he was proud to receive support from the FreedomWorks PAC, a group that supports fiscally conservative candidates.

Monday, June 21, 2010

SL named to Outdoor Life’s ‘Best Towns’ list for 2010

The Saranac Lake area is receiving some national attention as a top destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Outdoor Life magazine has released its 2010 list of the 200 best towns in America for hunters and anglers. Saranac Lake has been included on the list each of the past three years.

According to a statement on the magazine’s website, the rankings are based on – quote – “the performance of hundreds of towns in various socioeconomic and outdoors-related categories.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Independence Party endorses Murphy for Congress

The Independence Party of New York announced this week it will endorse Scott Murphy ahead of this fall’s 20th Congressional District election.

Murphy faces one challenger this November, retired U.S. Army Colonel Chris Gibson, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Frank MacKay is chairman of the Independence Party of New York. He says New York needs a leader with a strong, independent voice.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Famous ship coming to St. Lawrence Seaway

A famous ship used in a bevy of popular Hollywood films makes its way to the St. Lawrence Seaway this week.

The HMS Bounty is heading up the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes for the United Tall Ships Challenge; along the way, the ship will stop in Ogdensburg, where it will dock for several days and host tours for the public.

The famed ship has appeared in numerous blockbusters, including: Marlon Brando’s “Mutiny on the Bounty”; Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”; and “Treasure Island.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shots fired at Bloomingdale home; troopers looking for suspect

Someone fired two shots into a bedroom window at a home in the town of St. Armand early Saturday morning.

Ray Brook-based state police received a call at approximately 5:11 a.m. Saturday stating that an unknown person fire two shots into a residence located at 6 Prospect Street in Bloomingdale.

A subsequent investigation confirmed the reports, and troopers learned the suspect was observed leaving the scene wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Forest rangers, SARNAK conduct successful search and rescue

Forest rangers and emergency personnel rescued a 50-year-old man who went missing after becoming separated from his hiking group over the weekend.

According to officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook, dispatch received a call at approximately 7:45 p.m. Saturday about a missing hiker in the High Peaks Wilderness.

The caller stated that several hikers were descending Ampersand Mountain in the town of Harrietstown when they noticed Phil Torey of North Rose, New York was not with group.

DEC: Saranac River's lower lock closed Wednesday

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week it will close the Saranac River’s lower lock on Wednesday.

DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell told WNBZ the lock between Second Pond and Oseetah Lake will close so crews can conduct needed work.

Wincell says workers will undertake minor repairs and routine maintenance. He adds the lock will reopen no later than Thursday morning.

Friday, June 4, 2010

School bus carrying 35 children goes off road near Piercefield

A bus full of students on a field trip to Tupper Lake went off the road Friday morning.

Canton Central School District Superintendent William Gregory said the bus was heading to the Wild Center for a class field trip. The accident occurred in the Piercefield area, near the intersection of state Routes 3 and 56.

Gregory says a tire caught the side of the road causing the bus to go off the road and through a ravine. The bus came to rest perched up on a berm.

More GOP support for Doheny; Hoffman not worried

The Hamilton County Republican Committee voted Thursday to endorse Watertown businessman Matt Doheny ahead of this fall’s election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

Doheny has now locked up nine county GOP nominations in the 11-county district. Two county committees, Lewis and Franklin, have opted not to endorse a candidate.

That gives Doheny a clear advantage over North Country accountant Doug Hoffman, who he’ll face in a September primary. Both candidates are angling for Republican support in their bids to unseat Democratic Congressman Bill Owens.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blakeman, Valpass will faceoff in September primary

Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will have to wait until September to find out who her challenger will be in November.

This from the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) - Republican Senate candidates Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass have earned enough support to run in a September primary in New York.

Republicans meeting in Manhattan are choosing potential challengers to take on Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR'-sten JIL'-uh-brand).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paterson: Deal in place to keep parks open

Governor David Paterson says an agreement is in place to keep all state parks open for the Memorial Day weekend.

This from the Associated Press:

"The Paterson administration has listed 41 parks and 14 of the state's 35 historic sites for closing, along with service cuts at others, to help close the state's budget gap.

"Speaking on WOR radio 710's 'The John Gambling Show,' Paterson said negotiations that ended early Thursday morning would provide $11 million for full operations this year, offset by money from the Environmental Protection Fund, which would be cut by about $74 million.

"Lawmakers, who wanted smaller EPF cuts and balked at Paterson's proposal earlier in the week, are expected to vote on the plan later in the day."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More on John Brown Farm's 'endangered' status

Here's some more information regarding the status of the John Brown Farm as one of America's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places."

This is from a release issued just a few minutes ago:

The Preservation League of New York State, Parks & Trails New York, not-for-profit advocacy groups and members of the New York State Senate and Assembly joined officials from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in announcing that America's State Parks and State-Owned Historic Sites have been named to the Trust's annual list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

John Brown Farm among 11 endangered historic sites

Lake Placid is getting some national attention -- and for once it has nothing to do with the Olympics.

The Associated Press reports that the John Brown Farm historic site is featured on America's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" list.

Update on future status of the VICs (the Paul Smiths facility anyway)

It’s been about five months since Governor David Paterson’s executive budget called for the closure of two Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers.

Since then, numerous leaders and advocacy organizations have come together to discuss ways of keeping the popular destinations open in some form.

So far, the efforts have largely been headed up by the Adirondack Park Institute. At this week’s annual Conference on the Adirondacks, an event staged by the Adirondack Research Consortium, officials showcased a conceptual design for what’s being dubbed the Center for Outdoor Life, an extension of the VICs that focuses on outdoor recreation, research and education.

Meanwhile, officials from the APA and Paul Smith’s College are working on a memorandum of understanding that would result in the sale of state-owned VIC facilities to the college.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Voters approve LP school budget; Smith, Blair elected to board

The Lake Placid Central School District budget for 2010-11 passed yesterday by a vote of 572 to 269.

Voters approved the spending plan which totals just over $16 million – a 1.54 percent increase over the previous year’s budget. The tax levy will increase by 3.45 percent.

A proposition to lease a pair of 66-passenger school buses over a period of no more than five years also passed by a margin of 568 to 268. The cost for that item is no more than $39,000 per year.

TL school budget passed

Here's Jon Alexander's report on the Tupper Lake Central School District budget vote:

With the largest voter turnout in two decades, proponents of the 2010-11 Tupper Lake Central School District budget scored a bittersweet victory Tuesday night as the proposal passed 600 to 465.

District Superintendent Seth McGowan said he was relieved that voters supported the budget proposal that includes an 8 percent tax hike while eliminating 25 percent of the school’s instructional positions.

Valentino to replace Townsend on APA Board

Those of you who follow the Adirondack Park Agency will want to tune in for tomorrow's broadcast.

Jon Alexander has penned a story on the appointment of F. William Valentino to one of the out-of-park APA Board of Commissioners seats.

Valentino is the former president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

SL school budget passes; Rdzanek elected to board of education

Voters from the Saranac Lake Central School District spoke loud and clear in favor of the proposed 2010-11 budget yesterday.

This year’s budget passed easily, with 807 for and 293 against.

The budget carries a spending increase $283,789, bringing the total to about $27 million. The amount raised by taxes is $17.9 million, a three percent increase over last year.

Taxpayers also elected Susan Rdzanek to fill the board of education seat vacated by Joan Schaefer.

Rdzanek received 528 votes, enough to get by Lisa Paschke and Terrence Tubridy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Organization calls for more state prisons to close

An advocacy group that played a key role in repealing the Rockefeller drug laws staged rallies over the weekend calling for more state prison closures throughout New York.

Robert Gangi is executive director of the New York Correctional Association and lead organizer for “Drop the Rock.” He says declining crime rates and smaller inmate populations mean more correctional facilities should be shut down.

Gangi says his group is looking to Governor David Paterson and the legislature to exercise leadership by saving taxpayer dollars and closing prisons that aren’t running at full capacity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Essex County GOP endorses Matt Doheny

The Essex County Republican Committee has endorsed Watertown banker Matt Doheny to run against Congressman Bill Owens in this fall's election.

My pal Nathan Brown at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise has an in-depth look at all of the GOP's endorsements.

Gillibrand: Stop bank fees for paper statements

While the U.S. Senate continues to draft legislation aimed at protecting taxpayers from banks and lenders, New York’s junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to protect North Country families from bank fees.

In a statement released by Gillibrand’s office, the Democratic senator notes that many banks nationwide are introducing fees for customers who don’t switch to paperless, electronic billing.

Gillibrand says this punishes approximately two millions New York households that don’t have access to the internet.

Bill Owens to attend legislative breakfast

Just a quick reminder that Congressman Bill Owens will be in Saranac Lake Friday morning for a couple events.

Owens, who represents New York's 23rd Congressional District, will start his day at a "legislative breakfast" hosted by the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The event kicks-off at 7:30 a.m. at North Country Community College's Clermont Hall.

SLACC Executive Director Sylvie Nelson hosts these breakfasts from time-to-time to give chamber members a chance to discuss legislative issues with political leaders.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hannaford Supermarket coming to Lake Placid

Rumors and speculation can finally be put to rest – Lake Placid is getting a Hannaford supermarket.

Officials announced Wednesday the chain has signed a lease agreement for a Hannaford store at the former Tops Market site in the Cold Brook Plaza.

According to a release issued by Hannaford spokesman Michael Norton, the store is slated to open in the spring of 2011. He notes the store will feature a butcher shop, baker, deli, produce and seafood departments, and a full-service pharmacy.

Staudenraus to challenge Schumer for senate seat

A challenger to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has finally emerged.

Jim Staudenraus of Shelter Island formally announced his candidacy Wednesday.

The public advocate, author and businessman has been traveling throughout the state for more than a month drumming up support for his fledgling candidacy.

Staudenraus is angling for the Republican line in advance of this fall’s election.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Officials: Lift black bass ban

Fish farmers from northern New York are rounding up support for a new law that would lift a ban on the sale of farm-raised black bass in New York.

The proposed bill would lift the state Department of Environmental Conservation ban on the sale of farm-raised black bass to fish markets, retailers and restaurants.

Dean Norton is president of the New York Farm Bureau. He contends that passing the legislation will result in job creation for rural areas throughout the North Country.

Gillibrand: Gets trans-fats out of schools

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the removal of all artificial trans-fats from school meals.

The junior senator from New York wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week urging him to follow recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine.

The IOM report said trans-fats have no place in school breakfasts and lunches.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The New York Yankees! In spectacular 3-D!

I'm a fan of the New York Mets, but this is still pretty cool.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the nation's largest satellite television company, DirecTV, and the YES Network are planning to televise what they're calling the first ever Major League Baseball game in 3-D.

How do ya like them apples, James Cameron?

"The New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners games on July 10 and 11 will be aired in New York, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Montana and Idaho," reads the AP report.

The games air at 10 p.m. July 10 and 4 p.m. July 11. The games will be played in Seattle at Safeco Field.

Before you get too excited, you may want to check out the deals at Best Buy, because you're going to need a 3-D television set.

I for one am excited about this. I'm very interested to see what sports will look like in 3-D. I already can't go back to regular definition after watching the 2009-10 National Football League season on a high-def set (not my own, unfortunately).

Hoffman: Conservative endorsement not a given

Congressional hopeful Doug Hoffman says he does not view the Conservative Party endorsement as a given or something he is owed.

The Lake Placid public accountant who recently purchased a home in Saranac Lake is traveling the North Country, meeting with Republican, Conservative and Independent party leaders.

Hoffman is in a two-way race for the GOP nomination with Watertown banker Matt Doheny. He narrowly lost to Democratic Representative Bill Owens last fall in a special election to fill the 23rd Congressional District seat.

Owens seeking input from business community

In his continuing push to spur job creation in upstate New York, Congressman Bill Owens has launched an effort to get feedback from businesses across the North Country.

Owens, who represents New York’s 23rd Congressional District, sent questionnaires to business leaders in hopes of receiving feedback on what Congress can do to – quote – “more effectively create jobs for thousands of area New Yorkers looking for work.”

In a release issued Monday, Owens said job creation is the key to long-term economic recovery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Murphy votes to block Congressional pay raise

Congressman Scott Murphy, who represents New York's 20th Congressional District, voted in favor of a bipartisan bill today that stops the automatic pay raise of members of Congress.

In a press release, Murphy said his vote represents common sense.

"Instead of giving ourselves pay raises during these tough economic times, Congress should be focusing on creating jobs and helping the economy get back on its feet."

Race and Politics: see the video below

At yesterday's meeting of the state Senate Finance Committee Mark O'Luck -- an African American businessman -- was in attendence to take questions from senators about his pending nomination to the state Power Authority.

Republican Senator John DeFrancisco took huge exception with a 2009 blog post bearing O'Luck's name that suggests the dolling out of state contracts are bias towards businesses owned by well-connected whites.

After about 15 minutes of peppering O'Luck with questions more about policy than personal stances, DeFrancisco suggests that many whites are also not well connected and that O'Luck -- a friend of Governor David Paterson's -- is an example of blacks "making it" in New York State.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CSEA President calls Paterson's furlough plan 'nuts'

So Governor David Paterson released his furlough plan for state employees today.

Here are some of the details:

"Under the Governor's proposal, state agency commissioners will be given the discretion to schedule their employees' one furlough day per week, beginning the week of May 10. Employees will not come to work on their furlough day and will not be paid for their furlough day. Employees would not be allowed to charge their accruals to offset this salary reduction and agencies would not be able to use overtime to make up for loss of productivity."

A foot of snow... then 70 degrees and sunny?

I love the poster that shows a typical day in the Adirondacks.

It starts in the morning with snow, then shows mid-morning, mid-afternoon as hail and rain, and then ends in the afternoon with brilliant sunshine.

The caption reads: "Welcome to the Adirondacks. Don't like the weather? Just wait 15 minutes."

Police: Use off-street parking during storm

With a winter weather advisory in effect for the Adirondacks, the Saranac Lake Village Police Department is encouraging residents to utilize off-street parking.

Chief Bruce Nason said the request was made in order to facilitate snow removal efforts by area highway departments.

The municipal lot off Dorsey Street had been closed for cleaning, but is currently open. Nason said motorists should feel free to park their vehicles there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Village removes utility vehicles from parking lot

The village of Saranac Lake has taken action to remove several vehicles from a municipal lot.

According to officials, village police removed three large utility vehicles from the village’s parking lot at the intersection of Broadway and Bloomingdale Avenue.

The owners of the vehicles were fined $9,300 for accumulated parking violations.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Politics and pancakes

Republican Rick Lazio stopped in Saranac Lake Thursday morning to meet with constituents and discuss the upcoming gubernatorial elections.

The former Long Island Congressman munched on pancakes at the Blue Moon Café while addressing the problems he says are forcing New Yorkers to leave the state they love.

"People say they’re embarrassed to be from New York – I’m not embarrassed to say I’m from New York," Lazio said. "I’m proud to be a New Yorker; I love this state. This state has got great people, it’s got the hardest working people in America, it really does. I often say this: I think we’ve got the most entrepreneurial, hardest working, most dedicated, the greatest, most candid and toughest people in America, and the worst state government in the country."

Lazio’s platform focuses on addressing what he views as the state’s two biggest problems – its economic situation and corruption in Albany.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fire towers may stay put

The Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners met today at their headquarters in Ray Brook. I've posted below portions of the text from Jon Alexander's story regarding the fire towers on St. Regis and Hurricane mountains (the full story will air tomorrow and appear on the website, too):

Adirondack Park Agency commissioners directed agency staff Thursday to find a way to let the fire towers remain atop St. Regis and Hurricane mountains – provided that a non-taxpayer-based funding source for their upkeep can be found.

Located in a state-owned Primitive and Canoe areas, both towers are considered non-conforming structures under the current draft of the State Land Master Plan.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200

A former upstate congressman is behind bars today after turning himself in at the Saratoga County Jail earlier this week.

John Sweeney once represented New York's 20th Congressional District. Now, he's in prison to serve a 30-day sentence for driving while intoxicated.

Sweeney entered into a plea deal earlier this year. The agreement let him avoid a potential felony conviction and allows him to continue practicing law.

Lawyers convicted of felonies in New York face losing their license.

Once his 30 days are up, Sweeney must wear an alcohol detection ankle bracelet so his probation officer can monitor him from a computer. The device costs $4,000 annually, a price Sweeney is required to pay out of pocket.

Sweeney was arrested last April when troopers pulled him over for going 59 miles per hour in a 40 zone in Clifton Park. He refused a breathalyzer test.

He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DWI charges in 2007.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sheehan, Valesky do battle over Hornbeck

The battle to get Minerva boat-builder Peter Hornbeck seated on the Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners has gone public in central New York as Democratic state Senator David Valesky and Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan are trading jabs in the region’s press.

On Monday, Sheehan blasted Valesky in his own district’s largest newspaper, the Syracuse Post-Standard, for his role in stalling Hornbeck’s appointment.

Sheehan noted that the Democrat’s lack of support for Hornbeck’s nomination is at-least partially the result of the complaints of a member of the minority opposition party, Republican Senator Betty Little.

“What is New York State Sen. David Valesky thinking? At the request of a minority-party senator who doesn’t even live in the Adirondack Park, he is opposing the governor’s latest nominee to the Adirondack Park Agency,” Sheehan writes.

And he didn’t hesitate to take a shot at Little either.

Malpass to challenge Gillibrand

The Associated Press is reporting that GOP economist David R. Malpass will run against Gillibrand in next fall's election.

Malpass is a former adviser for 2008 presidential candidate Rudy Guliani. He also worked for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

GOP pundits see Gillibrand as vulnerable because she was appointed to the post by an unpopular governor -- plus, her approval ratings really haven't budged since she took over for now-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Former Governor George Pataki has been viewed as the strongest potential candidate, but he says he won't run.

Malpass faces primary challengers in former Long Island legislator Bruce Blakeman and former Westchester Congressman Joe DioGuardi.

Paladino causing quite a stir

Not everyone is going to like gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

In fact, a lot of people are going to really dislike the conservative Buffalo businessman.

Earlier this week, a western New York-based political website released emails forwarded by Paladino that contained racist material and bestiality. Some are calling it "politically incorrect" -- I call it really bad PR when you're planning a run for governor.

Paladino has pledged to run as a third party candidate, possibly representing the Tea Party line. Tea Party leaders are already tying to distance themselves from Paladino.

Then there's this from the Associated Press:

"Republican leaders say they've withdrawn their invitation to the Buffalo businessman to attend Friday's regional forum for statewide candidates. GOP officials said in a statement Tuesday that there was 'no chance' Paladino would receive the group's endorsement."

So here's my question: if Paladino is losing support from the GOP and from the Tea Party activists he claims to represent, what's the point of continuing his candidacy?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trustees to discuss village manager's future

The future of the current village manager in Saranac Lake will be up for discussion during a special meeting later this week.

The Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. in the offices on Main Street.

Mayor Clyde Rabideau said trustees will address three items during the meeting – but the main purpose is to discuss the future employment of Village Manager Marty Murphy.

Duprey, Sayward endorse Lazio

Rick Lazio announced today he's picked up endorsements from a pair of North Country Assembly members.

Janet Duprey and Teresa Sayward both pledged their support for the former Long Island Congressman in his bid for governor.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's flip flop season!

The weather is getting warmer, which means it's time to break out the sandals.

But GOPers across the country are talking about a different sort of flip-flop:

The Flip Flop Five.

No raises in Paterson's emergency spending plan

The Associated Press is reporting that Governor David Paterson will not include scheduled four percent raises for union employees in his emergency spending plan:

"A state official says Gov. David Paterson won't include scheduled 4-percent raises for unionized public employees in a new emergency spending bill.

The emergency spending would take effect next week if the Legislature and governor have no agreement on a budget, which has been overdue since April 1.

The administration official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the action hasn't yet been announced.

Union leaders have rejected Paterson's requests for concessions to save the state money as it faces a $9.2 billion deficit in the continuing fiscal crisis.

Paterson had included $250 million in union concessions in his proposed 2010-11 budget, but so far has secured none.

The raises could be restored in an adopted budget or in subsequent emergency spending."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maroun out, field narrowing

Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun won't seek the GOP nomination ahead of this falls 23rd Congressional District race.

Read Jon Alexander's story here.

That leaves Jefferson County banker Matt Doheny and Lake Placid accountant Doug Hoffman in the mix.

Both men aim to unseat newly-elected Democratic Representative Bill Owens.

Doheny issued the following statement following Maroun's announcement:

"Paul has become a good friend, and as a Franklin County Legislator, remains a great advocate for the people of the North Country. I wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeking his counsel in my bid for Congress."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gates not open yet on forest preserve roads

Outdoor enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer until the gates on all forest preserve access roads are opened.

David Winchell is spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 office in Ray Brook. He tells WNBZ the gates are presently closed for mud season and motorized vehicle traffic is prohibited.

"The gates will remain closed until conditions allow for motorized vehicle traffic without any damage to the roads," Winchell said.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Video of U.S. Military killing journalists in Iraq in 2007

After numerous unsuccessful press inquiries and Freedom of Information requests, has gotten its hands on a U.S. military video that shows an Army helicopter engaging and killing over a dozen people in Iraq, including 2 Reuters photographers, in 2007.

Before engaging, the Army helicopter crew misidentifies the photographers' cameras as weapons.

Internal U.S. Army investigations have found no wrongdoing by any military personnel involved in the attack.

Some of the Iraqis killed alongside the journalists can be clearly seen carrying weapons, but no aggressive posturing is visible in the footage. A van that arrives and attempts to remove the injured is also engaged by the Army Apache crew. Two children were wounded in the attack on the van.

When the children are discovered, the Apache gunner says, "It's their fault for bringing their kids into battle."

Immediately after the incident, U.S. military brass said American ground forces were engaging insurgents at the scene. Reuters is using the footage as evidence that this is not the case.

Reuters is calling for another investigation of the events surrounding the attack.

Wikileaks got its hands on the video through an anonymous source.

This 18 minute video is graphic in nature and includes strong language. It may not be appropriate for all viewers.

FYI, the Apache engages the crowd with a 30 millimeter cannon. For reference purposes, the average deer rifle is 7.62 mm.