Saturday, July 28, 2012

12th annual Paddle for Betterment

This annual event has represented all that Betterment hopes to achieve, as it brings together volunteers and participants of all ages while generating the spirit of philanthropy at a local level.  The annual river paddle also demonstrates Betterment’s efforts in supporting the Alexandria Bay community, as past recipients have included local organizations as well as individual community members.

Almost 70 paddlers participated in this years fund raiser


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here....Kitty Kitty

Alexandria Bay:

Walking the Upper James St. Dock, people encountered a beautiful big kitty kat:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

35th Annual Vintage Boat Show

Alexandria Bay:

The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc., 1000 Islands Chapter, is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a vintage boat show in Alexandria Bay! Proceeds from the event will benefit local charities.

The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. provides an organization wherein people with a common interest in and love of historic, antique and classic boats can come together with friends and colleagues in a spirit of fellowship and fun to share dreams, adventures, knowledge, history and experiences.

The Cygnus II a virtual tour:

Video of this years Vintage Boat Show:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Conversion Of HSBC

A simplified visualization of the complex conversion of bank accounts being moved to Community Bank. This is the almost new Community Branch in Alexandria Bay.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scenic View Concert In The Park Series

Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce:

Every Wednesday night from now through August is a free concert.  The concert starts at 7pm and continues for about an hour and a half.  The Scenic View Pavilion offers an open air stage for some great free musical entertainment.  Music lovers can have a seat at one of the many picnic tables under the pavilion or at one of those by the river's edge while sitting under the setting sun.  Some even bring their own chairs.  How about dinner and a concert?  Cooking your favorite meats on one of the many charcoal grills.  You can not beat the beautiful sunsets, the magnificent view of the St. Lawrence River and the majestic Boldt Castle  looming in the background.

Last night was Bluegrass Night featuring The Backroad Bluegrass band.  These guys and gals were excellent.  Watch the video to see what you missed.  Maybe you might be captured on video at next weeks concert with Fred & The Eds.  Click here for the complete concert series.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coin Messages On Military Headstones/Memorials

A retired Army Officer sent an email giving me some insight into what each coins mean.  I did a little research and found this explanation on


  • A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier's family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited. A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed. According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.


  • The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman empire. The custom has its roots in the ancient Greco-Roman belief that anyone who died would need money to pay Charon, the ferryman who would transport them across the River Styx to the underworld.

Read more: Why Are There Coins on Headstones in the Cemetery? |

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tokens Of Respect For A Fallen Hero

A post on Facebook from Glenn Sweet:

Jack Sweet Memorial
I'm not sure why it started but early this spring dimes started to show up at he base of Jacks monument at the village park. I can only guess that the dimes were representing the 10th Mtn Divison. As the season has progressed penny's,nickels and quarters have been left. On busy weekends ,Memorial day ,fourth of July and both biker weekends their would be as much as $20 to $30 dollars by Sunday afternoon. We almost daily go to the park and clean the monument , seagulls and spiders have taken nicely to it. we really had no idea what to do with the tokens of respect . My niece is doing a project for the girl scouts where she is having a fallen soldier monument placed in front of the legion in Alex Bay so we thought that that would be the perfect place for the money to go.The problem is that on Monday mornings when we go to the monument their may be a handful of change left , now I really don't care about the money aspect of it but the little pricks that seem to think they need the money for what ever really have hit a nerve. obviously their are a few of these youngsters that just don't get it so share this with your friends and maybe through the grapevine they will see this and have a little respect !

Related Blog PostGirl Scout Makes Commitment To Fallen Hero

                                The Meaning Behind The Coins 

Islanders Declare Village Boundaries UNFAIR

Town Of Alexandria:

Owners of Belle Island, the Pietrafesa Family, spoke during public comments at the Town Board 7.11.12 meeting.  This comment went on for 20 minutes.  I am still unclear as to what the island owners want.  It seems that they either want all the islands within the township to be included in the village or none of the islands to be within the village boundaries?

Obviously those few islands that are within the village get double taxed with Town and Village taxes. Just like the rest of us that live within the village.  But the islands that are out of the village boundaries but within the Town boundaries enjoy just a town tax, which of the two is much lower. Please refer to the map below.

I did find out that the Pietrafesa Family are trying to sell Belle Island for 1.5 million.  Found it on their website.

Click To Enlarge

Bloggers Note:
Since January, on every agenda after public comments there is a note to keep comments no longer than 3 minutes. The July agenda did not mention that time limit courtesy.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 - Year Of The H.O.G. Rally

Alexandria Bay:

Bonnie Castle Resort was the host to this years N.Y. State Harley Owners Group Rally.  Not really a rally like the previous one, but more like a convention. The H.O.G. Rally was originally presented to the village board back in December 2009 and was  going to be held in 2011 but another site was chosen and Alexandria Bay was chosen for the 2012 Uncharted Territory H.O.G. s at Bay.

Other resorts were considered but Bonnie Castle was chosen as the hub for registration, departure points for day trips and other activities.  Two nights of Music entertainment were held under the tent by the Upper James St. Dock. All in all it was an uneventful event.....which of course is the best kind of event.

Many thanks to Rally Coordinator Ken Kavanagh and the rest of the committee for coordinating the 1000+ participants.  I am sure everyone hopes to see The H.O.G. Rally return in the near future.  Below is some random footage including the ride in bike show that I took over the weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beam Me Up Scotty

Editors of the Oswego Health Newsletter, claim that they digitally removed  Oswego County Legislator Amy Tresidder because they could not identify her in a photo that was taken at a ribbon cutting ceremony that was held this past April.  But a staffer sent to represent  Patty Ritchie at the ceremony remains in the photo.  Nope, No Political Espionage Here! Are you expecting me to believe that nobody could identify Amy Tresidder?  GIVE ME A BREAK.

Oswego County Legislator Tresidder is also a member of the Oversight Committee for Health and Human Services which would include the Fulton Hospital where that photo was taken.   Click here for YNN story. Also go to the  Oswego County Today  and  search the archives using Tresidder.  Tons of hits, yet nobody knew who she was?  Hope the Ritchie camp is ready for my little lampoon on this...... enjoy the video.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Riveredge Resort Makes Donation For Village Park Swing Set

Alexandria Bay:

Riveredge Resort, General Manager Christine Penrose pleasantly surprised Alex Bay Village Board members as well as those of us in the audience during tonights meeting.  According to Ms. Penrose the Riveredge is doing a Campaign of a Year Of Giving and every month the Riveredge picks a different organization to make a monetary donation.  This month a percentage from the room revenues on the fourth of July were set aside to make a very generous $2,500.00 donation to the village for the purchase of a new children's swing set for the park.  Thank You Riveredge!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bonnie Castle Rises Like The Phoenix

WWNY just did a thorough story on the New Bonnie Castle.  Mayor Grahams Blog also linked to that story and offered his best wishes for a speedy recovery from dilapidation. Some really great pictures can be found at my friend Johnny Truesdell's blog

The steady decay of the property has been ongoing for several decades and reconstruction will take some time. As I wandered around at the grand opening I noticed progress all over the place.  Over grown trees have been scaled back to reveal the beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River and Boldt Castle.  There was a small wedding being conducted at the cleaned up gazebo. The restaurant and bar have been cleaned up and that old stale smell is now gone.

The owners were busy talking to all the well wishers that came to the opening.  There was a feeling of energy and excitement as I mingled with the crowd. It was good to see people complimenting the owners on what a nice job they have done since acquiring  the property on May 2nd.  This recognition will keep their momentum going as they keep chipping away at this huge reconstruction project.  You should go to the New Bonnie Castle and the newly christened and remodeled The Pointe [former rum runners]. It is really amazing, but beware the site is under major reconstruction and there are stacks of neatly piled debris here and there.  It is all part of the process.

I took some random video clips of some scenes that interested me. Trying not to duplicate what has already been video taped.  It is more of a visual diary than anything else.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Public Concerns Property Maintenance and Parking

Alexandria Bay:

The first audio clip from the 6.26.12 Village Board meeting is a concern about property maintenance. A few homes have grass that has grown to almost the height of a hay field.  Not a big safety problem but certainly a detraction to adjacent home owners that take pride in the appearance of their property.  According to local ordinances lawns must be maintained. A straight forward ordinance that seems difficult to enforce!  The second part of this clip is a concern about the condition of sidewalks throughout the village including residential and downtown. Sidewalks are to be maintained, repaired, or replaced,  if needed by the property owner.

The next audio clip is a concern about parking for downtown merchants

The last clip is the audio from the entire 6.26.12 meeting

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fireworks Over Boldt Castle

Alexandria Bay:

Tonight's Firework Display in the Bay

Related Stories:  A.C.S. Marching Band

A.C.S. Marching Band * Star Spangled Banner *

Alexandria Central School:

The A.C.S. Marching Band helped out with the Independence Day celebration by performing several patriotic songs for the Fourth Of July! ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

B.H.C. in the Bay

A recent performance by The Bad Husbands Club. Always good to see and listen to the boys in the band.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dumbing Down The Code Of Ethics

Town Of Alexandria Board Meeting June 13 2012.
Agenda Item number 5: Change in Teamsters Negotiation Committee

As you may recall, I posted audio from the May 9th Town Meeting, where Supervisor Hunneyman appoints Council Members Sweet and Durand to negotiate the Local Teamsters contract.  Town Clerk Peck alerted the board of a possible conflict of the code of ethics by appointing Durand because he has a brother and brother in law that belongs to that bargaining unit.  The concern was immediately dismissed by Town Attorney J. Russell by quipping "If you live in this town you've got relatives".

At the June 13th meeting.... the tone changed.  Attorney Russell stated that Durand was conflicted and can not be on the negotiating committee because his brother is a member of the Teamsters.

Let me make this very clear, this has nothing to do with Durand. This is what I find disturbing, how can the town attorney, who drafted the Code Of Ethics, the Supervisor and all the councilmen who all passed the code of ethics on 3.14.12 not know that there was a conflict by appointing Durand to the negotiating committee.  Was it actually written by the attorney or just copied and pasted.  Did anyone on the board read the new code of ethics.  Evidently NOT! 

At the June 13th meeting, I asked for clarification as to which relatives could cause an ethical conflict with a board member being on the negotiation committee.  I was told by the attorney that it was just Durands brother.  I asked about his brother in law and I was told by the attorney that the code of ethics did not cover brother-in-laws.  REALLY?

Code Of Ethics passed by the Town Board on 3.14.12, Section 3, page 2:

RELATIVE means spouse, parent, step-parent, sibling, step-sibling, sibling's spouse, child, step-child,
or household member of a municipal officer of employee, AND individuals having any of these relationships to the spouse of the officer or employee.

Dumbing down the legal advice to "If you live in this town you've got relatives" obviously did not work!

I did not ask for clarification because I did not understand the wording of the code of ethics.  I was curious to see  if anyone read,  understood, and followed this code of ethics.  I can only imagine how the laws and codes would be manipulated if the blogger and others were not at the meetings.  But then again, there is always the executive sessions to fret about. Enjoy the audio!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bikers Raise $1900 For Children's Miracle Network

Alexandria Bay:

Thousand Islands River Run [T.I.R.R.] held a "Wind Down" Poker Run today.... it was designed to refocus all the fun of the weekend events onto doing something great for the community. The very generous 95 bikers that participated in today's poker run raised $1900 which will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network. I wonder if anyone else might like to make a donation to this worthy cause.  Personally I am willing to write a check for $100 to make the donation a nice round $2000! I challenge Mr. Doheny to meet or beat me! In this case I will gladly take a beating........ Nice job T.I.R.R. organizers.