Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maggie meet Ingrid

Nothing to rant, rave, or become an angry blogger about today.  Those of you who have followed this blog probably are aware that I love music.  Sunday is the day I put my mellow hat on.

Last weekend I was at the Top Of The Bay and enjoyed listening to Maggie Clifford.  Here is another video sample of her......

This afternoon while making my grocery list I was also listening to some music.  I heard this girl singing and her voice and indie style caught my attention.  Her name is Ingrid Michaelson and has gotten some exposure on the TV show Grey's Anatomy and commercials for Old Navy.

There are 2 songs in this you tube vid......Far Away and The Way I Am


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Am Happy That You Are Happy!

My response to a Letter To The Editor [TI Sun] written by Dr.Harriet Burris.....View On Blogs
She starts by sighting things that make her happy.......her favorite things.  I suspect that she may want her world to be like this song.

Our world, whether it be local or global, is NOT like a Rogers & Hammerstein movie.  Some think I am an angry, miserable blogger with nothing better to do with my time than to dissect what is going on with our local government.  Picking on local political characters and assassinating them is NOT what I do.  They commit political suicide in front of everyone by  their actions in public[photos], their comments made at meetings [audio].

Furthermore , I do have a life that is filled with hobbies and other interests.  May I share them with you? Thank You!
Things that make me happy [no particular order, stream of conscientiousness] : My family, kayaking, bicycling, boating, beer, gardening, home improvements, cooking, walking, music, Xbox live, cleaning, Limburger cheese, wine, movies, dining and cock-tailing at local establishments, talking with locals and tourists, the river, reading, and I could go on and on.

The Doc has asked a question twice, first time at the caucus, the second, in her letter to the editor.
Could we expect Jim the mayor to be different from Jim the blogger?  Here is my answer.......HATS! Like everyone, I wear lots of hats.  I wear my Grumpy hat that I got at Disney, when I blog.  I am not really grumpy or miserable,  I just feel the need to be a little edgy in the blog because our local paper is filled with happy, feel good news.  The only bad news are the obituaries.  I have a couple of river hats that I wear when kayaking or boating.  I have a Halo hat that I wear when I play that game on X-box live.  I have a cooking hat and a drinking hat.  Sometimes I wear bandannas while working in our gardens.  I leave all my hats at home when I go to church.  My point is this, I can be polite, cordial, stern, concerned, happy, sad, mad and bad.  It all depends on the situation or the task at hand.  So the answer to your question Doc,  if I were elected, it would be very easy for all of you to make the distinction between Jim the blogger and Jim the elected official.

One hat that you will never ever see me wear is one that says Mayor......our mayor really does own a hat that says mayor

One final thought.  I am not upset with Dr. Burris for writing her letter to the editor.  Nor am I frightened of her opinions of me or the blogs.  She has every right to state her concerns.  More importantly is that she did it publicly and had the decency to sign her name.  She and I may never be friends but I will always have a lot of respect for her.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VB Meeting 8.25.09

I will put the time line up later this evening.  Just as the Doc ordered, I am focusing my energy on our gardens...wink....wink!
 All were in attendance except Trustee Chaltain.
No correspondence, the Bills were paid, and the minutes from the last board meeting were approved. I would like to share a portion of the August 11th minutes with you.  According to the minutes, the VB returned to regular session after executive session [collective bargaining and personnel] and discussed one item.  The hiring of Village Treasurer S. Cullen to oversee the docks.  Trustee Sweet and the mayor thought that this would increase the revenue from the overnight boating fees.  If you recall, there were a number of boaters from previous weekends that did not pay this fee.  Good Idea!........But, shouldn't the hiring of any employee be part of the new or old business of the 8.25.09 VB meeting agenda.  For instance under new business of Tuesdays agenda is an item to hire a new dock attendant [35min:18sec].

Side note:  The Village beach will close on September 8th.......moving on.......

Trustee reports: Trustee Roy 2min:08sec,  Trustee Sweet 3min:50sec,  Trustee Jarvis 4min:21sec, mayor 7min:41sec.

Old Business:  Jane Rice of Environmental Design & Research [aka EDR] spoke to the board about 3 pending projects.  Riverwalk, Local Waterfront Revitalization Project [aka LWRP], and the James St. Green Infrastructure Projects.  This is the lengthiest part of the meeting, but, everyone should give this part of the audio their full attention.  It runs from 8min:14sec to about 32min00sec.  In addition, Jane Rice also commented on the Back Nine Walking Trail which could also be included under the LWRP [17min:50sec].  The walking trail is also part of a Inter Municipal Agreement [IMA] between the village and the town. 
I am going to skip into the new business portion of the meeting because it has to do with the Riverwalk project 38min:26sec.....It is at this point that the VB members start mumbling and referring to what they are cryptically speaking about as an issue with the right away.  Evidently somebody has altered the route of the Riverwalk to go down to the docks of the new condos [old fisherman's wharf].

New Business: 35min18sec
Hire a new dock attendant.
Request from Robert Lloyd 2010 Boat show re: vendor handmade light houses.  Request was tabled and as the mayor stated "lets send it off to the chamber and let them play with it for awhile" 38min:10sec

The VB went into Executive Session to do the first monthly evaluation on the Police Chief 51min:00

VB Meeting 8.25.09 from p guston on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Feedback

Since I gave the We think Jc is a Loser Club their own topic so everyone could see their opinions of moi.  I thought it was appropriate to let you see the other comments!  I have since received a couple of thoughtful, positive and grammatically correct comments.......

Anonymous said...
JC, Kudos for the effort. I find it interesting that those who criticize you offer nothing constructive, rather sounding like angry 12 year olds that have yet to master even the basics of the English language, and too cowardly to even sign their names. You are a voice, whether people agree with your point of view or not. If more residents of our community showed even a smidgen of the interest that you do, We could move in a much more progressive direction that we have up until now. Alexandria Bay has tremendous potential, but it must be nurtured, and guided in the right direction, but without leadership, where will that direction come from? The Village Government can't even figure out how to collect dockage fees or keep the streets clean! Ron Mowers
Anonymous said...
Good speech and on point. A very tough task to face the Good Old Boys "Club". I was a summer resident in the 60's and finally a full timer from the 70's on. I've seen the village initially from an outside perspective and things haven't changed much in 5 decades. The "Club" likes to think that the the Village is Mayberry when in fact it's a model for the Dukes of Hazzard. Corruption, high jinks and drama. A lot of talk about what we should do and no action or planning on how to fix things. Hands in the cookie jar and even when getting caught red handed, one person lies and the other swears to it. Jim, you may be able to do a better job at fixing these problems from outside of office. Information is power and maybe if more people can see what's going on behind their backs they'll quit the "Club" and support someone who can plan a brighter future for the Bay. We may have inherited this condition but it doesn't mean that we have to pass it along to our kids.

Monday, August 24, 2009

VB Meeting Tuesday 8.25.09

Not scared, not embarrassed, not upset.....

There is a VB meeting at 5:30 PM tomorrow night!  I will be sitting in the front row like I have been for almost 2 years.  I am not the town's problem now,  as some have gleefully mentioned.  Just a voice expressing his concern.  

This intersection is an accident waiting to happen!  The VB does not think that this intersection should be a four way STOP.  All sorts of vehicles blow through and miss the exit leading out of town via Church Street.  Cars and similar vehicles just need to turn around by the Upper James St dock.  Bus's encounter a different dilemma. They and delivery trucks have to back down James St. and across Church St.  which creates a hazard for ambulances, other emergency vehicles, and pedestrians.  How about a four way flashing light or a sign that says something like Turn Left to Exit Downtown 

See Ya 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Copy of My Speech Document

The audio has been posted with my permission on
 I realize that some of you may prefer to read it instead of listening.  Or maybe you would prefer to do both.  The 2 links below will take you to the documents that represent the speech I gave on Thursday night during the caucus.

Robb Administration  


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Place Your Comments Here

Here are the comments that were waiting for my approval this morning.  I thought I would share them with you.  They were scattered all over the place.  Be so kind as to just dump them under this topic.  Easier for the readers to view....thank you

Just one more thought, The comments below are all from the current mayors fan club.  I suspect they are all his closest friends and relatives.  These comments may become a poor reflection on him.  You guys and gals just keep commenting away.  It will make me as Happy as a Cricket.......

local boy said...
If the language and comments weren't so fouualll you might of had a chance in hell: NOT REALLY Just Kidding
Anonymous said...
can't take the heat JC get out of tha kitchen even mary's vote DNQ we'll roast your town nomination;NOBODY ELSE WANTED IT BUT YOU! how much can you loose by your about to find out once a looossseerr alwauys a loooserr
Anonymous said...
Jim you got to be kidding No Chance no luck no nothing. Who do you think your kidding carry on, we will watch close please post u imbasill no chance on the town level
Anonymous said...
I just had a clerk at a Fort Drum Dollar store tell me that Ben Timmerman would have been the best choice of chief of police of anybody,(by the way he scored the highest of anybody on the county snd state tests) I agree and I heard about his disertation of his feelings as a candidate for chief and he said no way; no thanks because of the blog stuff: Good job Jim You scared away the most qualified candidate. Yeah your the man
wanabee candidate said...
Mr. Cummings ;you only got 7 votes minus you and your weife and your nominee and his girl and chris and all the other Williams';s that means only 4 other votes Wow, that's pretty slim; VENDETTA NOT WORKING! Back off and let a ligitimate candidate try. There are some good qualified dems that are honest out there, give them a chance would you. ruin it.
Dear wanabee candidate
The counts were as follows
24 votes for the mayor
13 votes for me
2 people voted for themselves

Friday, August 21, 2009

Foul Language? Say What?

I am shocked at some of the foul language you can find on the INTERNET
Say What Doc?

Maggie Clifford At Top Of The Bay

Great music, and a pleasant presence.......a little like Nora Jones, a dash of Feist, a dab of Amy Macdonald, and a pinch of Suzanne Vega.

Speaking at the Caucus

I have been criticized over the past few years of hiding behind a foolish nick name in the Abay Forums or cowering behind this blog.  I have been called a bully, douche bag, character assassin, hypocrite, and phuck face.  Last night,  I stood in front of a crowd of about 50 town and village democrats. I gave a 5min and 40 second speech about what has gone wrong over the past 2 years and what I planned to do about the condition of our village. Last night I was neither hiding nor cowering.

Click here for the Audio of my Speech

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caucus Results

The Democrats have given their nod and it was not to me.  Before any of you cheer or cry.....Don't.  It was just not meant to be.  I do not know what the official final tally is.  And according to the Chairman of the Caucus only the Jefferson County Board Of Elections will know.  But I am guessing one of the 2 clerks that tallied the votes will be spreading the numbers around.  Thank you, to all of you that participated in tonight's Caucus.  We are privileged to live in a country that preserves all the freedoms that we enjoy.

To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi  "If you strike me down....."

I was however nominated by the Democratic Town Caucus for Town Councilman. I have humbly accepted.  Thank you, For this opportunity!

I Need Your Support At The Caucus

Tonight at 7:00 PM is the Village Caucus At Our Community Room 110 Walton St
Calling all Democrats living in the Village Of Alexandria Bay
Yes I Am Running For Mayor!
There is 2 Village Trustee seats open.

Town Caucus starts at 7:30 PM
Town Supervisor
2 Council Seats
Highway Superintendent
Town Clerk

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boaters Pay Station

I received this link from Hammonite.

Boaters Pay Station

How to use the Pay Station:
STEP 1: Touch button to select length of boat.
STEP 2: Enter number of days of moorage being paid. (5 day maximum stay in a 7 day period)
STEP 3: Insert credit/debit card, bills or coins.
STEP 4: Place receipt face up in a visible location on dash/window of boat.

Monday, August 17, 2009

DPW gets a Thumbs UP

A dramatic improvement with the trash management this weekend in the downtown area.  Notice I said management!  Nobody ever said the DPW workers were not doing their job the week before.......they were just being mismanaged by the powers that be......

I did make an observation over this past weekend.  The DPW had the removal of trash under control.  But I spotted one of the VB members pull up with his personal truck around 9:30 am on Sunday.  He proceeded to remove the trash in front of the upper James St docks and place it in his truck.  [I have a picture if anyone wants to see it].  It was not 15 minutes later that a DPW worker showed up to do this same task.  The DPW belongs to a UNION aka Collective Bargaining Unit.  You guys do not need the VB doing any of your work for you!  The next thing you know.....maybe one of you won't be needed anymore......Keep yourselves together on this fellas!  Remember when the VB wanted to have the trash removed by an independent hauler?  Remember what your Union guy said at a VB meeting.  I know you do.....because some of you were there!

Keep up the good work!

Over Night Boaters

Here is the scenario......Beautiful day and all you want to do is stay on the river as long as you can.  The sun starts to set and you pull up anchor and head back to the Bay.  Its about 9pm and you find a spot to tie up your boat at the Upper James St. dock.  It is dark out and your tired from all the Sun and Fun!  You want to get something to eat and have a few cocktails.  It is getting late......and it is time to crash.  You just had a wonderful day on the St. Lawrence River

You wake up on Sunday is gorgeous out.  It is going to be another beauty of a day.  You sit on the back of your boat, just taking in the sights and the sounds of the river.  Then you spot a small orange envelope.  Someone has come by about 6am and left you a You have violated the Over Night Docking Rules.......You are now FINED $50.00........isn't that just effffffiiin great......You spoke with  a security guy the night before and were told just pay the $25.00 [$1 per foot] to the dock attendant in the morning.  So you get up and start wandering the docks.  No attendants to be is 9 am and you want to talk with someone about this fine.  10:30 am and still nobody!  You want to get going on this beautiful day but you also want to resolve this fine.  You think the fine is unfair, feeling unjustly accused of not paying the $25.00.  Now it is almost noon and you have just pissed the better part of the day away waiting for an attendant.  Finally you say screw it and pay the $25.00 and say to yourself.......I am NEVER coming back to Alex Bay Again!

This is what was told to me yesterday......The guy was wandering up and down the dock.  He stopped me and asked if I was a local.........then he told me that story.  He was pissed and I do not blame him.  I spoke with 2 others that also received the $50.00 fines and they were equally pissed off.  Vowing never to return.

But there are some boaters that will go 2 or 3 days without paying the over night fee.  Get fined the $50.00 ignore it, move their boat, wait a couple days and then return......with no intention of paying anything.  Not even the donation.  So what is the plan to resolve that situation?  Or do you just target the boaters that will never return again?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

ar⋅ro⋅gant Defined

making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud: an arrogant public official.

It was supposed to be the Bill Johnston's Pirate Days Parade.  There is 1 main character in this theme and that is the Pirate Bill Johnston.  The mayor is a secondary support character.  Historically the mayor at the time is unknown and probably did not even exist.  Last weekend Captain Fat Bastard entertained us all by playing the role of Mayor.  And he did it well. 

This weekend is another story.  The mayor is desperate and needed to steal the show.  Sorry all you pirates but you will play second fiddle to the mayor.  It is all about him......don't ya know!  Not sure what he was thinking when he climbed up on that fire truck.  But he came across as an arrogant king or dictator. Below is a slide show.  Oh BTW mr mayor........President Obama walked during his inaugural must be more important than him.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Village is Losing Money At Docks

Even my unreliable sources are telling the same story as my reliable ones! The numbers are a little off at the Upper James St Docks.  Last weekend when the docks were full and boats were rafted out 2,3, and 4 wide there were approx. 66 boats spending the night.  Guess how many paid the over night fee?  Approx. 20 paid the over night fee...

So who is repsonsible for this blunder?  If the VB adopts their usual stance.......then the only people to blame are the dock attendants!  The attendants are young adults who have been given the impossible task of keeping track of who paid and who did not, how long has the boat been docked.......and so on.  There is no real system to keep track of all those boats on an extremely busy weekend.  The VB are the only ones at fault.  Our Board is notorious for only talking about what has been done and if it was not done, then who to blame.  The board should have had a tracking system in place for accurate accountability of duration of dockage.  It is not the Dock Attendants fault.  All you gave them to do the job was a T-Shirt and a few verbal instructions and some envelopes. The sign is not for the is the detailed job description that our VB gave to the attendants.  I am sure the attendants were told if you forget what to do, just read the sign.

VB it is your fault for not providing a system for the attendants to use.  Trustee Jarvis is the figure head in charge of the docks and the park.  He reports on the activities of these areas at every board meeting.  As of this week Sharon Cullen has taken charge of the docks.  At the begining of the summer DPW Sup. Millett took charge of the Life Guards at the beach.  Jarvis must be in charge of the Pavilion?

Here is a suggestion:

Number every cleat on the left side of the main dock as follows: A1, A2, A3, etc.  Number every cleat on the right side: B1, B2, B3 etc.  Repeat this till you reach the end of the dock.  Then number each slip on the finger docks with a similar code. A small boat may only use cleats B1 and B2, but a larger boat may use cleats B1 through B4 [see how that works?].  Generate some kind of form that can be used to track and tally the boat activity for the day using the coded cleat system. On the form you can include boat make, length, color, reg #  This way the attendants can be accountable for this activity and the proper fees can be collected.  Just a suggestion, and I am sure there are flaws in it.  But it is better than what you have now.....which is nothing!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VB Meeting 8.11.09

Public Concerns is the main focal point at tonight's meeting!


A representative from the Alexandria Historical Society asked for an additional 6 month moratorium.  The original delay of the sale of the Old Chamber Building was first requested 6 months ago.  That request was granted by the VB and was due to expire 8.26.09.  Tonight the VB granted an additional 6 month extension so the Historical Society can possibly obtain grants for the building.

This started out as a HO_HUM kind of a concern.  I really thought it was a NO Brain er!  I thought the VB would just say something like........."we recognize this problem and have taken every measure to make sure it does not happen again".  That did not happen!

It is all about Garbage Cans Downtown and the process of removing trash.  This is not a big deal  but the VB made it one this is just cause and effect.

From Garbage IN! But NOT OUT

Pirates week is a huge event for the village and it draws  tons of day tourists and overnight boaters.  The boaters started arriving on Wednesday.  By the weekend every slip was full and other fellow boaters started rafting outwards 2,3,4 wide.  WOW!  All overnight boaters are charged a dollar a foot, even the rafting boats!  By Friday morning there was almost no more room at the inn!  Taking into account the per foot revenue, not to mention all the money the boaters were spending at local business's .....this is cash flow at its finest.  Not to mention all the fun our guests[the tourists/boaters] were having!

With the huge influx of people in our village their was a proportionate increase in garbage.  Keep in mind the overnight boaters are paying a fee for dockage and with that goes an expectation of basic services like trash removal and clean bathrooms with TP [see the topic about let them drip dry].  On Saturday and Sunday trash removal was scheduled  to be picked up as needed between the hours of 6AM to 3PM.   HELLO MAC FLY the boaters do not stir till 10AM or so, if even that early!  Are you telling me that nobody was going to put garbage into the cans after 3PM on Saturday?  Take a look at the picture I took of an over flowing garbage can on Saturday at 7:01PM.  THAT IS DINNER HOUR!  CAN YOU SAY LOSS OF APPETITE?

If this happens again the mayor says he will volunteer to remove the garbage out of the cans with his own personal vehicle.  Good For is an election year! Read between the lines........the DPW Supervisor is being micromanaged and he does not even realize it.......or does not care!

The mayor thinks that one way to solve the garbage problem is to eliminate the rafting at the docks. Which according to him will get rid of 2/3 of the boats  Welllllllll .........IF the mayor wants to eliminate the garbage problem then maybe he might just want to get rid of ALL THE TOURISTS!  Remember the Poll about who said PHUCK The Tourists!!!!

8 min:38secs
Trustee Sweet says that we thought the dock revenue problem was more important than the garbage problem

VB Meeting 8.11.09 from p guston on Vimeo.

Cape Vincent and Open Meeting Laws

Cape Supervisor Wrong to Stop Video Taping

That is the title of a letter to the editor in today's WDT.  So tell me....... what rock do these guys crawl out from under?  Have they not heard of the Open Meeting Laws........The Sunshine Laws???? 

And This Is Just Unbelievable

Monday, August 10, 2009

next topic: TOILET PAPER

This is quirky funny, pathetic, embarrassing, shameful, and unfortunately the truth Pirates weekend and the main dock is busting at the seams with boaters. Boaters and tourists use the Public Restrooms.  The ladies rest room ran out of TP......not a big deal.....right?  After all it just needs to be replenished......right?  Here lies the problem....could the TP possibly be changed without one of our village workers making the following comment for all to hear????   

Let the women DRIP DRY
I wonder how many of our guests heard this!  And is the picture the message our village is sending to our guests?

In case your wondering, another village employee came to the rescue and restocked the TP.

Finger Pointing

This is the mentality of our Village Board:  We must point fingers and assess Blame.

Just like Houdini, the VB used the classic magicians trick......misdirection.  They all pulled up their sleeves because they wanted you to think they had nothing to hide.  And while some of you were focusing your attention on the rolled up sleeves.....Presto Chang o .....the VB reached into their back pockets to produce the COP candidate that they wanted!

Here is an interesting article in Today's Watertown Times

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Loud Minority equals Silent Majority

In response to today's TI Sun:
If the VB would clean the hardened ear wax out of their ears then they might have heard those voices.  In this case the Minority is the tip of the silent majority ice burg.

I am surprised this guy could not hear the silent majority >>>>>>>>>>>>

So tell me this mr is your opinion positive and everyone elses negative?  Does that mean if people do not agree with you then they are wrong?  Ya might want to loosen that mayors cap, it is skewing your judgment ........

What Next?

This just added:

 According to Vimeo support forums, the content of the video must have been reviewed and approved.  Afterall, all my videos were nothing more than recordings of public meetings and we all know about the sunshine / open meeting laws. Oh and transparency in government........almost forgot that one!

Somebody from the Village Board has complained to which is the site I upload the audio of the meetings.  You will notice that the audio[s] are no longer playable on this site.    I am guessing that the VB's next step will be to try and shut my blog down!  

Is it because of my topics about the COP interview process?  Or that I am running for mayor?  Or did the VB decide that I do not need the freedom of speech anymore......Or that you deserve the opportunity to hear what goes on at the VB meetings

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No References No Background Checks

.....for any of the COP candidates.  The VB based their choices on their "intstinks" instincts. Ya right!  I fear it was a done deal.......a deal that was packaged almost 2 years ago.......  Here is the audio from the first part of the meeting [prior to exec. session]:

Choosing a COP from p guston on Vimeo.

Bay Board BLAMES Blogs

In an article in todays WDT Village Trustees blast blogs in the blame game!

......."Mr. Robb said one of the appointees turned down the village's offer because there was "so much controversy" around the chief position.
"We've lost a very good candidate because of what happens on the local blogs," Mr. Robb said".......
During the whole process of selecting a candidate for the COP position,  The VB found fault with Jefferson County Civil service!  The mayor at one point commented " if we knew then what we know now".... That was  in response to what the board thought of civil service laws! I guess that the board felt that excuse was not working for them..........

VB you lost good candidates because of what you did during those interviews.......

You created the controversy.........The blogs exposed it and you.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chief of Police in Abay!

At tonight's special meeting ......the VB offered and Brian K. Mullaney accepted the position of Chief of Police

Special Village Board Meeting

I received a message from the mayor via voice mail! There will be a meeting tonight at 5:pm at the Village Community Room.  It is in regards to the COP candidates and possibly a choice will be made. I will be attending and recording this meeting. If any of you can attend that would be great!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Two Rolls Of Quarters

So this guy has come home to visit. He needs quarters for the meters and other vending machines.  He goes into a local bank and hands the teller a 20 and asks for 2 rolls of quarters.  The teller says: "sir, do you have an account with us"?  The guy replies No!  The teller goes on to say, sorry, but you have to have an account with us if you want quarters!  The guy leaves the bank with no quarters and goes into a local establishment and asks for 2 rolls of quarters.  The bartender says sure but it will cost you $22.