Sunday, February 28, 2010

NO Parking No T-Shirt Shop

VB Meeting February 23rd 2010:
Highlight of tonight's  meeting......Old Chamber Building NOT for Sale

Public Concerns:

Melinda Comstock suggests that the VB hire a Grant Writer... 1min:11secs
Bud Garlock expresses concern about a large grant from the Power Authority...2min:35secs
Trustee Roy "somewhere the ball got dropped" [grant writing]  3min:09secs
More Discussion about grants and grant writing .....and the mayors reasoning why the village can not afford to waste money on hiring a grant writer!  I do not think we can afford not to have one.  You have to listen to this dialogue to believe it 4mins37secs


American Red Cross Letter 8mins:12secs
Letter from Ed Gaffney, Senator Aubertine's Office.  The Village is reminded to submit a written formal request to the Senator for any monies for the Dock reconstruction 9mins:02secs

Motion To Pay the Bills and the Payroll

This has always confused me.  A couple of years ago I asked what the VB did in the "back" room before the official meeting began.  I was told that the VB signed bills and approved the payroll.  So tell me this....How can you actually sign the bills and the payroll before you make the motion to do so at the meeting.  It seems backwards to me......All that signing should be done in public.  That way there is no need for what seems to be a pre-meeting.......

Trustee Reports:

It seems that most of the departments are either painting something or working on the village dock.

Trustee Jury [11mins:07secs] reported on the Hearts For Youth meeting.  H4Y has requested help from the Village with the learn to swim program.  If Keewaydin pool is closed then the H4Y learn to swim is sunk!  The VB was quick to say that the H4Y could NOT be accommodated at the Village Beach .
Trustee[s] Jarvis 15min:06secs; Drake 16mins28secs; Roy 16mins:42secs; Mayor 17mins:45secs

Old Business:

Dock Status 18mins:27secs  Engineer Fees $60,000 26mins:35secs
Fire Truck sealed bid minimum [$2000] 1bid rec for $1000 29mins:36secs
Alexandria Township Historical Society 28 Market Street property [Old Chamber Building] The VB has taken this property off the market.  It has been determined by the ATHS that grants and other assistance  to develop this property into a historical benchmark along the Riverwalk will take some time.....  The VB made it clear that they do not want the building used for another T-shirt Shop [or a parking lot].  The decision to remove the Old C of C from the market was followed by applause and a few cheers.32mins:32secs.
Important Note.....please pay close attention to the audio [35mins:00secs] where Patricia Tague says that the ATHS hired a grant writer [at their own expense] and discovered all sorts of possible opportunities.  I guess you sometimes have to spend some money to save a lot!  Imagine that

New Business:
Starts at 38mins:17secs, Budget workshop, Riverwalk workshop and signing of the Flow Management Cert. Form

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who Do The Parks Belong To?

Canada Has The Answer......They belong to US, not Paterson
Please Sign The Petition

Comments About The Closing of Keewaydin

Below are some random comments that I grabbed from the Petition to Keep Keewaydin Open!
If you have not signed the petition....Please Do So


This is the plan for Northern New York? Close the parks, the hospitals, and the prisons, and cover the lake, the river, and waterfront areas with industrial wind turbines? This will create jobs? It makes me wonder if our politicians have our best interests at heart.

If you close Keewaydin not only will we lose the pool where many of our children learn to swim by taking swim lessons there, but also it will hurt the local restaurants. When you're in the business it is a well known fact that if it rains the campers flood the restaurants. Please reconsider!!!

state parks are one of the cheapest ways for families to go on vacation

Penny wise and pound foolish

short sited, prejudicial to upstate, NOT balance with downstate sacrifices
At a time when the economy is so bad and most families cannot afford vacations they can afford to camp and last year records were broken with camping families. Do Not take away the only form of vacation that so many families can only afford. We need our campgrounds and parks left open. If you do close them people will still use them and if someone gets hurt or killed they will probably sue the state for not maintaining and supplying safe areas.

The 1000 islands are Gods Heaven on earth ! don't close the parks

Instead of closing our parks which provides "real" jobs, eliminate the state money that goes to Foreign Wind developers and fund the parks.

Closings have to STOP, this area can't take anymore closings!

I own a restaurant / Ice Cream stand across from the entrance to Keewaydin State Park. This will affect our business drastically. What about all the sales tax the state will be giving up ? hope this closure won't affect our business as much as we think it will.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keewaydin $400,000 Bathroom Renovation

Online Petition

Article in today's WDT  Group Forms To Save Park

...Kevin A. Kieff, regional director of Parks and Recreation, said that the proposed partial closure of Keewaydin this year would be a temporary measure...

...the capital project is part of the state Parks Office's infrastructure improvement program, initiated in 2007, well before talks on closing state parks began....

As if the faltering economy just happened last week?  Don't kid yourselves, just like the River Hospital Board of Directors......these guys have been talking about this behind closed doors for months and months!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Back 9 Walking Trail

Several months ago the Village and the Town joined forces to blaze a walking trail  behind the Village Golf Course.  The Town and Village applied for and just recently received grant money for this project.  The trail is still a little rough but has a lot of potential.  I assume the grant money will be used to develop this trail starting sometime this spring.  I only hope that they do not go in and just start whacking down trees.  Some of the areas need to have brush and other crap removed that has been dumped there over the years.  I also hope that it might be designated for cross country, snow shoe, and foot traffic only.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crisis Management

We are faced with one crisis after another.  The Upper James St. Dock, the S.N.F. at the River Hospital and now the closing of 41 State Parks, several of which will greatly effect our community.  Assemblywoman Russell and Senator Aubertine have been visible and active in the Dock and SNF crisis'.  Now I am sure that they will be forced to focus their energy on the State Parks closures.  Oh, and do not forget the closure of  the Ogdensburg State Prison.  I would say that they and our Village and Town leaders have a heaping plate full.

As of last night, The Upper James St dock crisis has subsided.  The VB opened 3 sealed bids at yesterdays meeting.  The low bid of $241,700 was awarded to W.D. Bach.  The numbers for the other bids were $291,263 and $315,376.  The contractors were asked to submit bids that would complete the entire dock project.  Bach could start as early as Monday.

The closing of several State Parks will have an impact on our community.  Specifically the closing of Keewaydin, which is contributing the largest amount to the Debt Service for the Town of Alexandria Otter St. Water Project.  Maybe Keewaydin will remain in the water district, maybe it won't.

Is the closing of the State Parks political posturing and crisis management?  Maybe!  Here is a thought.....if we close the State Parks, what about the State Park Police?  What will they be doing without all the visitors and campers to keep them busy?  Why is there no mention of scaling them back.  Will they occupy their time by harassing the tourists?  I can see it is going to be one helluva summer.........

I suspect that there is another crisis lurking around the corner..........

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Key Word Is QUICK

Read this article in today's WDT Alex Bay requests bids for QUICK replacement of dock.

Quick makes me think of other words like hasty, sloppy, and EXPENSIVE.  The village is backed into a corner and all the contractors know it.....They only see the cash cow and they want to slaughter it....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shopping Locally Can Sometimes Be Painful

Striking resemblance to the cashier
Is it safe?  'Dr. Christian Szell   is the dentist from Marathon Man.  Remember that movie?  I am sure you recall the scene where Dr. Christian Szell [aka angel of death]  says to Dustin Hoffman ....."you know, you really should take better care of your teeth"  Then Dr Szell plunges  a metal probe deep into the exposed pulp of Hoffmans tooth....jeeeebus that must have hurt........

One or two of the cashiers at the local grocery store come across like Dr Szell.......trying to be all nice and hospitable ......but they  fall short just like that scene from the Marathon Man.......I try to support them,  but sometimes going into the Big M is like going to see Dr Szell for a root canal........NO NOVOCAINE

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Who Is This?

I sent a text message the other night.  The conversation was odd!  The little Disc Jockey in my mind thought of this song by The WHO

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Otter St Water District Meeting

Debt service [debt retirement] is almost $400 an EDU [Equivalent Dwelling Unit] per year for the next 38 years.  Your contribution to this......if you live long enough.... will be $15,200[ if you sell your house, then the remainder will be the responsibility of the new owner].  That is assuming that there is only one EDU per lot.  If you own a vacant lot then you will be charged 1/2 an EDU or approx. $200 annually.  Not to mention, what you will pay to the village for your water usage [$3.78 per 1000gal].  Keewaydin has 50 EDU's, so......there annual contribution to the debt service is $20,000 and of course the total after 38 years would be $760,000......if I am reading the tables correctly?  Kind of makes ya happy that you only have one or two EDU's!  But!  In the near future, the Town Board will be proposing a new sewer district that will include Otter St.  And yes, you will see the terms EDU and Debt Retirement again. Which means another annual contribution on top of what you will pay for the water district.  And you will have to pay a fee for the sewer based on usage.......

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Closing of Skilled Nursing Facility Meetings

Part 1 of the River Hospital presentation can be seen at  Parts 2 and 3 can be seen below

Many thanks to my friend Johnny Truesdell @ for letting me borrow his camcorder ,but more importantly for editing and uploading all the video.  As JT stated, a lot of work went into providing you with video of the meetings in their entirety , presenting both sides of the closing of the Facility.  I encourage comments, BUT if people are commenting and it becomes obvious they either did not attend the meetings or view the video, those comments will not be approved.  Name calling or character assassinations will not be tolerated.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

River Hospital

I video taped both meetings that were held tonight.  Each video is just over an hour.  It will take some time to convert and upload these videos.  I am hoping they will be available for you to view by Friday evening.
Until then....keep your thoughts positive

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

VB Meeting 2.09.10

Deputy Mayor Roy ran the VB meeting tonight in the mayors absence.

Public concerns: 33secs apparently the VB keeps track of when I brought up my last concern...this is funny, at least to me.....according to Trustee Roy it has been 3 meetings since I last spoke.....
Correspondence: 3min:00secs  TIRR letter
Trustee Reports start at 7min:43secs:  according to each of the trustee's departments everyone is working on the village docks
Old Business:
Bond Resolution for Dock reconstruction passed ...the preliminary dock estimates came in at $350,000 9min:26secs
LWRP final reimbursement 12min:13secs
Moratorium Old C of C tabled till next meeting....evidently nobody from the Historical Society could be contacted to determine the progress on the grants 13min:25secs  I contacted them for you...
New Business:
River Hospital Community Room use request 14min:33secs
Surplus 1986 Chevy Truck fire Dept 15min:28secs
License renewal OGS for floating docks 19min:28secs
Authorization to apply for assistance upper James St Dock 19min:57secs
More on the Surplus Chevy Truck 22min:37secs
Authorize funding applications 23min18secs
Latest Dock status 25min11secs

Monday, February 8, 2010

Closing of Skilled Nursing Unit Informational Meetings

The general public is invited to a meeting with River Hospital officials to be held this Thursday 2/11/10 5 pm at the Village Community Rooms.  A second meeting  with the River Hospital was scheduled at 6:30 pm at the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center, but has been canceled due to a conflict of schedules.

The conflict was with a previously scheduled meeting on the same evening at 6:30 pm at the Town Office.  This meeting is with the group Concerned Citizens.  Mrs. Nellie Taylor and other members of this group will be present to share information and  to rally support for the nursing home.

My plans are to attend both meetings and record them.  Then post the audios for those who can not make the meeting[s].  However, this is not your excuse to avoid going to either meeting.  To be truly informed, both meetings are equally important to attend.  

We all believe that it takes a community to raise our children. Is it not just as important for a community to care for the elderly?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Moratorium on Old Chamber Building

6 months ago the VB extended a moratorium on the Old Chamber Building, at the request of The Alexandria Township Historical Society.  The Historical Society requested the VB to suspend all efforts to sell the building till the ATHS had time to research the potential for grants that would keep the building from being sold and possibly turned into a parking lot.  That moratorium expires this month.  I fear that the VB will not extend the moratorium.  The board is under pressure to raise money for the reconstruction of the Upper James St Dock.  Maybe I am wrong, but I think it has been considered behind closed doors.  I hope that the people that originally rallied to obtain the moratorium 12 months ago, rise again to this worth while cause....

Dock Progress 2/6/10

I have no information to share with you regarding the status of "our" Village Dock.  There is a Village Board meeting this Tuesday, hopefully the board members will have good news on the status....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Big Ol' Johnson

We are almost through winter, the sun is shining and the days are getting longer.  Thoughts of spring and summer are buzzing around in my head.  Why OH WHY do I have an Evinrude??

Thanks to C.F.B.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm A Gamer

When I was a kid growing up in the 60's our neighborhood was a war zone.  We played war in the spring, summer and fall.  I had a hand grenade that you could put a cap in, pull the pin and toss the grenade and it would go pop!  Other weapons in my arsenal included  a pump shotgun that made what then seemed to be a loud blast, but now I realize it was more like a whimpering thwop sound.  We had battle helmets and cap pistols, water balloons even made it as a weapon of war.  You could also hear arguments start that went something like,  Your Dead, followed by No I am Not, followed by You Are Now!  Winter time came and we could not wait till we could build snow forts and stock pile them with pre-made snow balls [ice balls were not allowed according to our Geneva Convention].  Some poor kid always went home with a split lip and bloody nose.  War was fun and when we got sick playing war, we would play spies......  Even organized gym activities had a war theme......Dodge Ball became Doctor Ball, and then it was modified into a game called Vietnam that we played on Saturday mornings down at the YMCA.  If you got hit by a ball and killed, you could be rescued and brought back to life.....  War was Hell back then........but it was FUN!

I love X BOX.  Halo was the coolest thing I ever saw.  Then came Call Of Duty.  I would rather kill foreign bad guys than aliens any day.  Modern Warfare, World At War and my newest addiction is Modern War Fare 2.  I love first person shooter games, they are a way for me to relax after attending local board meetings.  I would have loved to have had the realism of these games when I was a kid.  But I guess I would not appreciate them now if we did not have all those plastic guns back then.  Basically the war games have the same rules of engagement, even capture the flag has found it's way into X BOX games.  Some of the terminology has changed.......Re-spawning is another way of saying brought back to life.  Which brings me to the point I want to make.......Ahhhh Yes.......every blogger has to make a point........just can't tell a story without some lesson hiding in all the words.

As I said earlier, I am a gamer, but I am also a blogger, washed up politician but more importantly I am a Parent.  Being a parent this past week has been HELL.  I have had knots in my stomach that rival any stressful situation that I have ever been in before.  I have talked to other parents who have had the same stress, heartache and disbelief that our children's friend and classmate is dead.  The days have passed, the calling hours and the funeral are over.  Steven is gone forever.  That is the reality of life outside of the fake world of being a gamer.  Life is not a game or a match that can be started over.  There is no button in the real world to re-spawn a life.............As adults we understand the difference between what is reality and what is not.  This needs to be stressed to the not so worldly gamers in our homes!