Friday, June 29, 2012

Banker * Beauty * Biker

Where else but in Alexandria Bay can you interact with Matt Doheny, Jennifer Stills, and a member of the Hells Angels. Personally I am ok with all of them, especially the beauty, Jennifer Stills, daughter of Stephen Stills.

Everyone Stays Cool in the Bay

Hot air temperature with a steady gust over the cool waters of the St. Lawrence River makes Alexandria Bay the largest naturally air conditioned place to be.  Everyone stays cool in the Bay! The footage in the video below was taken at Casino Island with a picnic area and public beach nearby.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

6th Annual Thousand Island River Run

Alexandria Bay:

Click to Enlarge
THOUSAND ISLAND RIVER RUN Promo. This video tells a story of the arrival of the bikers by showing a few entering the village  in the evening. Several more roll into the village in the early morning. Finally, a little later in the day,  100's are enjoying the biker camaraderie and all the events. Check out the poster on
the left for all the events for this weekend.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Riverwalk 2010 To Present

A historical reference to the Riverwalk Project.  Below are all my blog links including audio clips, documents, photos links to online articles and of course some of my opinions.  Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of your future if you study the past.  If you do not have the desire to go through all of these links, 01.22.11 News Release Notes is kind of interesting.

The reason for posting all these links?  I fear that this project will come under some heavy scrutiny [attacks] over the next few months or even weeks.  It simply might not survive.  There are historical facts in all these posts, all you have to do is weed through some of my opinions.  Knowledge is power.... used to make the best decision.

5.14.10   Last Nights Riverwalk Walk Through

8.19.10   The ORIGINAL Riverwalk Plan

8.25.10   River Hospital Supports Riverwalk Project

9.14.10   Village Board meets with B.O.D River Hospital

9.25.10   Riverwalk Project Ruined

9.26.10   More From the Riverwalk Meeting

10.06.10 Riverwalk Update

10.13.10 Riverwalk Status

11.05.10 Another Update

11.10.10 Riverwalk On The Water or On The Rocks

11.12.10 Bay May Abandon Riverwalk

11.13.10 117% Surcharge?

11.28.10 Riverwalk Is A GO Again

01.13.11 Walking Away From The River Grant

01.16.11 Riverwalk Discussion 1.11.11

01.17.11 Riverwalk 101

01.22.11 News Release Notes

02.10.11 Price Tag 1.4 Million

05.19.11 Another Riverwalk Update

11.27.11 Seawall Restoration River Hospital

06.13.12 Riverwalk Easements Turn Hostile 

06.22.12 Eminent Domain Explained

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Last Nights Bay House Artisans Grand Opening

Alexandria Bay:

Last night was the well attended Grand Opening of the Bay House Artisans. This place is like an oasis in the desert, adding a touch of culture to our community. Check out the video....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Riverwalk Eminent Domain Explanation Given

At a public hearing held on June 1st, River Hospital officials were up in arms because the amicable discussions of easements for the Riverwalk Project had suddenly changed to a hostile tone of eminent domain.  At the time of the hearing, the only clear explanation was the process of eminent domain as described by village attorney M. Gebo and R.K. Hite's Environmental Management Consultant Nancy Mullen. R.K. Hite is in charge of appraising and negotiating compensation for owners of properties that the Riverwalk will traverse.

Those in attendance left the hearing without any clear understanding of the shift from easements to eminent domain. During public concerns at the June 12th village board meeting, I took the opportunity to ask for an explanation. Village attorney M. Gebo explained why the process of eminent domain is needed for the Riverwalk project and can be listened to in the clip below.

I thought it was a simple and reasonable explanation. I just wonder why it was not given at the June 1st public hearing. It would have eased the tension.

Related Links:

Riverwalk Easement Turns Hostile

Audio from the Village Board Meeting 6.12.12

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A.U.S.A.- F.M.W.R. Riverfest 2012

Alexandria Bay:

According to the A.U.S.A Web page: The Riverfest is "Presented annually in late June by the NNY-Fort Drum AUSA [Asscociation of the United States Army]  and FMWR [Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation],  Riverfest is a day of relaxation and fun for Soldiers, their families, and friends of AUSA.  Participants spend the day in the beautiful Thousands Islands at Alexandria Bay, NY.  

The day is highlighted by boat tours of the Thousand Islands with a tour of historic Boldt Castle, games and food.  In 2011 there were over 5,000 participants".

For the first time, lunch is being cooked and served at the Village Pavilion.  In prior years families were served lunch at Boldt Castle. This way the group is split up, some eating lunch before the tour while others opt for eating lunch after the tour  From my observations the line for the boat cruise is shorter which makes boarding the cruise boat much quicker. Given today's temperatures, the families looked much happier.

One other change was made to this years Riverfest. Overflow parking is located at the Bay Drive-In, with shuttles transporting people into the village.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sing A Summer Song with Annie In The Water

Top Of The Bay Alexandria Bay:

One of my favorite bands, Annie In The Water will be performing live this Saturday night starting at 6pm at the Top Of The Bay.  If you have never heard them before, you have to come and listen.  If you have heard them then you know what to do.... come and celebrate the arrival of summer with Michael Lashomb and Brad Hester ....Annie In The Water.

Flip Flop Beats The Pop Top

I started summer vacation and needed a pair of flip flops. I purchased a really comfortable pair at the Local Ship Gift Shop. Little did I know, these flip flops came with a very handy or footy accessory.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brush Pick Up

Village Of Alexandria Bay:

The last day for brush pick up will be this Friday June 22nd.  This service will resume in October, unless we have a wind storm over the summer with downed limbs......

Beat The HEAT And Come To The Bay

The forecast for the next few days is Hot Hazy and Humid. Alex Bay has the worlds biggest air conditioner, The St. Lawrence River.  While in the Bay, you can cool down even more by taking a cruise on Uncle Sam Boat Tours. And after that cool cruise why not indulge yourself with the newest most refreshing drink at the Top Of The Bay. The Corona-Rita, or a.k.a. the Margarona.  The Bay still boasts the largest assortment of musical entertainment in the 1000 Islands.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

[Video] Divers Search Behind River Hospital

Alexandria Bay:

As originally reported by Newzjunky:  Divers Searching Behind River Hospital in Alexandria Bay

Record Crowd at Thunder In The Bay

Alexandria Bay:

Hundreds of spectators milled along the Upper James St. docks to check out all the power boats. It was standing room only and some power boats were rafted 3 out from the dock.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bay House Artisans Grand Opening

Alexandria Bay:

The former Thomson Museum located on the corner of James and Market streets has been brought back to life as the Bay House Artisans, a Gallery Shop offering fine hand-made art and craft products created by regional artists. Participating artisans are skilled producers working in a range of media including wood, fiber, metal, glass, clay, watercolor, jewelry, and more.

The Grand Opening will be held this Friday June 22nd from 6pm till 9 pm.  Entertainment by local youths and artisan demonstrations will be the focal point of the evening.  A wine tasting will be provided by local winery Venditti Vineyards.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A-Bay Poker Run Thunder In The Bay

Alexandria Bay:

This weekend at the Upper James St. Docks June 15th to the 16th sponsored by Aqua * Mania , Poker Runs America and Edgewood Resort.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Shriners Parade in the Bay

Every year the Shriners suddenly appear.  Then Poof they are gone!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Alex Bay Citizen of the Year

A Blog is a contraction of the two words Web Blog.  A Blog can sometimes be used like a diary, like the post below.

Dear Diary,

My family and I sat with some good people while attending the Alex Bay Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Dinner. Frank and Connie, Susie and Stevie, Sam and Tim, Jenifer, JQ and TQ, and Joel and Dawn.  Pretty diverse group with a wide range of conversations, ranging from politics and puppies to movies like Something About Mary.

Good company makes for a good meal. And when someone is being honored as Citizen of the Year, that ups the whole dining experience.  I was impressed with Robert "Bobby" Service and the way he   humbly  and graciously accepted the award. Redirecting the spot light from himself to his comrades in the volunteer fire department. It was nice to see his family sitting with Bobby and enjoying the evening.  As I listened to his brief acceptance speech, I could not help but think about his parents, Helen and Gareth.  Bobby reminds me so much of the them both and as I sat there, I found myself missing them again, as I often do. 

A couple of people tried to "roast" Bobby.  I wondered how drag racing contributed to being citizen of the year?  I guess that sometimes people think that what they have to say is somehow pertinent to the event.  The other roaster from across the pond made some good remarks.  Both were well intentioned, however neither were remarkable.  Bobby's  impressive accomplishments speak for themselves.

I did some video recording, although not as much as I recorded last year.  I made a 6 minute video of last years awards, did a story on it and newzjunky was kind enough to link to it.  The story was read by just over 2000 people and the video was viewed about 400 times.  I am not going to share any video that I shot this year.  Nothing against any of the award recipients, it is just that video takes a ton of time to process. And I just do not feel like it.

One of my favorite stores, River Living, owned by Cathy Garlock, was awarded the Folino Business of the Year Award.  Keep your eyes on Cathy, she and her family are going to be doing wonderful things with Bonnie Castle.

Last but not least is the recipient of the Hospitality and Tourism Award.  Which was presented to Tammy Cavallario Quinn.  As you all know Tammy operates the Chez Paris.  Home of one of the best breakfast and lunch menus in the 1000 Islands.

Good Night Diary.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bay Rotary Rejuvenates Restrooms

Alexandria Bay:

The local Rotarian's  have completed work on the public restrooms located at the Upper James St. Dock.  Some modifications were made to the restrooms making them more handicap accessible.  A wall was moved to increase space in the ladies restroom. Ceilings, walls and floors were given a fresh coat of paint.  The doors were all replaced, primed, then painted.  Several coats of paint were applied to the exterior shingles giving the building a brand new look.  This was a Rotary Community Project, with members donating their time.  Cost of the materials to the taxpayers..... zero dollars.  Check out the clip below for before and after video documentation.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Riverwalk Easements Turn Hostile

For several years, the Riverwalk Project has encountered setbacks and  modifications. Because of a "perceived" conflict with the River Hospital,  a few former village board members thought it was a good idea to alter the route of the project and at one point cancelled it all together. Cooler Heads prevailed and it seemed that the project was finally on the course to completion when talks between the Village Board and the River Hospital resumed last year. The Hospital promised to restore the decaying seawall that skirts it's property at the rivers edge. The seawall is an integral part of the Riverwalk project.  The Hospital made good on it's promise, by completing the $92,000 restoration project this past spring.

Everything seemed to be going well, until last Friday night when the amicable discussions of easements were replaced with talk of hostile take overs through the process of property acquisition by Eminent Domain.  Joe Russell, Chairman of the B.O.D. River Hospital said that Eminent Domain procedure by it's very nature is a hostile taking of private property by a government.  This typically occurs when the negotiations for the acquisition  of the property have failed.  The easement negotiations in the case of the River Hospital have not failed because they have not even commenced. 

Village board members were shocked and confused when they realized their amicable talks with the Hospital were severed.  It was clear to all that attended the public hearing that the board was completely blind sided by the process of property acquisition as described by  Nancy Mullen of R.K. Hite Inc. R.K. Hite is in charge of appraising and negotiating compensation for owners of properties that the Riverwalk will traverse. Ms. Mullen stated that just compensation will not be less than the highest appraised fair market value for the property.  In the case of the River Hospital, the appraisal may come in at $500,000, neither the hospital or the village can negotiate that amount down.

Ben Moore III C.E.O. of the River Hospital was also shocked by the sudden change in friendly negotiations. Moore stated that we would like to see this project go [forward], We have been working on this for a long time with the village.  Easement negotiations with the village have been in good faith. And in that good faith we committed $92,000 to restore the seawall and now we hear it is going to be seized. We think that is grossly unfair and inappropriate to happen.

Bloggers Note:  At the time of the meeting, I believe certain representatives of the River Hospital really believed that village board members knew all along about  what the eminent domain procedures entailed. The Village Board clearly did NOT! I also know that a small group of people tried to bully Mayor Jury with accusations and threats. Even going so far as to call the village board a bunch of idiots.  Officially I do not know who you are, but you do! The way you conducted yourselves was at the very least unprofessional.

Link to the audio of the legal preamble portion of the Hearing Eminent Domain

Link to the audio of the public comments portion of the Hearing Eminent Domain