Friday, August 31, 2012

Porterhouse Steak - It's What's For Dinner

As Labor Day draws near, I am starting to make plans for the ceremonial end of the summer cookout.  The question always arises, hot dogs, burgers, chicken, or steaks?  Some opt for a little buffet of all those options.  Not Me, I rediscovered my dad's and granddad's favorite cut of beef.  The Porterhouse Steak! The Porterhouse is like a T-Bone but only larger and thicker. This is an amazing cut of beef, because it offers 2 of the best selections from the cow.  A NY Strip and a Tenderloin all in one cut.  Perfect for sharing or if you are really hungry, cut back on the potato or macaroni salads and hog the whole thing down.  Happy Labor Day weekend! Enjoy the video I made in honor of my butcher and that delicious cut of beef, The Porterhouse Steak....


Bloggers Note:  You might ask, what is it with the pinwheel?  As I was shooting this video, I noticed the little pinwheel spinning in our garden.  I seem to recall a windmill on a farm in one of the Beef It's What's For Dinner Commercials.  Since I do not have a windmill in my yard, I used the pinwheel instead.  And yes that is a cheeky slam on the BIG WIND people across the pond.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gusts Create Blues For The Tent People

Blues In The Bay:

In case you missed all the excitement on Johnny Truesdell's 1000 Islands Live Cams.  I caught it on video.  Enjoy the music from last years Blues in the Bay.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blues In The Bay

Alexandria Bay:

12th Annual Blues In The Bay August 30th - September 3rd.  This is a great music event that does not need any preamble from me. Click here for the band lineup.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ferguson, Taylor & Rogers Rockin' The Bay

Four bands played during this Classic Rock Event.  My favorite of all the bands was a local band that has been around for over 30 years.  With the addition of drummer D.J. Rogers, the duo has now become the trio it was many years ago.  The Ferguson, Taylor & Rogers Trio is a very talented group of musicians with a flare for comedy and dry wit!

Related Links : Bay Rotary 1st Annual Belly Flop Contest

1st Annual Bay Rotary Belly Flop Contest

Alexandria Bay:

Alex Bay Rotary sponsored this fund raiser during the Rockin' The Bay event this past Saturday.  17 floppers, some in outlandish costumes tried to wow the judges by slapping the water with their bellies. Before floppers could take the plunge, each had to raise a minimum of $100. 

Radio personality Johnny Spezzano was the  MC for the event and was the first to flop on the St. Lawrence River.  It did not take long for another jumper to steal the show..... Four legged Coco briefly worked the crowd before taking the plunge.......

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Homage To Neil Armstrong

I remember being "glued" to the black and white TV set watching as that step was made by Man for all Mankind!

I made this video several months ago. It features Phil "Crush" Dumond, David Knapp, D.J. Rogers, Pat Shanahan, and Brian Purwin performing Walking On The Moon by The Police.  When I heard that my childhood hero Neil Armstrong passed away, I re-edited the video.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scenic Park Is For Families

Alexandria Bay:

Trustee Henry was quoted in the 8.26.12 edition of the  T.I. Sun as being "displeased with the vendor displays which he felt were offensive rather than family orientated".   Businessman Ron Thomson stated "that park [Scenic Pavilion, beach, and Casino Island] is the single best thing we have here for families". The above comments were made at the 8.14.12 meeting regarding vendors in the pavilion  at the 6th annual Thousand Islands River Run, a motorcycle rally event that was held on 6.29 - 7.1.12.

It is my opinion as a taxpayer that  I can appreciate the village boards stance on vendors for any event at the pavilion,  but I also think the park has to be viewed as a family orientated facility as Mr Thomson suggested.  There was considerably more to this discussion than was reported in the Sun, which you can listen to in the audio clip below.

Family Orientated Facility

Over the years it had been the "practice" of previous village boards to "reserve" the pavilion or Casino Island for family or company picnics, reunions, and weddings  This current board does not follow that unwritten policy by not taking reservations for such events.  It is now, as it always should have been a first come first serve policy.  Nobody should ever feel that they need to avoid the park during certain time frames because either they feel it is inappropriate for their families, or they feel intimidated because a group exerts their ownership of the facility for their event.  The Scenic Park needs to be shared by all......

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Village Qualifies for $1.44 Million Grant

Alexandria Bay:

Gregor K. Smith from the Bernier Carr and Associates shared some good news with the Village Board at the 8.14.12 meeting. E.F.C.  [NYS Environmental Facility Corporation]  announced last week that the Village qualifies for a 1.44 million dollar "Debt Frogiveness" or grant for the Catherine Ave. Sewer Project. Listen to  the audio from that portion of the meeting

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

River Rockers

Alexandria Bay:

I strolled around downtown this morning sipping my coffee.  I thought I could hear a band playing, but it was only 11am or so.  I followed the sound and discovered a 3 girl band had set up stage in front of Jreck Subs.  

It takes a lot of courage for young musicians to play in public.  These 3 are no exception...... May I introduce Lyndsey, Michelle, and Kirsten...... The River Rockers.  Stay with it girls and you can keep the tradition going that the Bay IS a Musical Mecca!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Pirates Perspective "Invasion 2012"

Alexandria Bay:

The Jolly Blogger was ready to stow away on the pirate ship that was led by the nefarious Pirate Bill Johnston.  I pleaded with those pirates, that the landlubbers would love to see the invasion from a Pirates Perspective.  Pirates like Politicians, crave good press and video coverage, and I was eventually invited onto the ship rubbing elbows with some dangerous vermin.

The view of the invasion from the water was incredible and the action on the ship was riveting. A once in a lifetime experience. Thanks to the Pirates

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We kindle and char and in flame and ignite.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villians and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pirates and Politicians At Bill Johnston's Grand Parade

Alexandria Bay:

The Grand Parade ends the 9 day event of Bill Johnston Pirate Days.  Many pirates were in attendance along with a few politicians.  Matt Doheny joined the festivities along with political pal Jeff Graham......

Letter Of Appreciation

Alexandria Bay:

To often, village employees go unrecognized.  At the 8.14.12 Village Board Meeting Fern Fichthorn's exemplary attitude was recognized by some local crafts people who use the Pavilion.  Kudos to Fern.  The audio below is the letter that was read by Mayor Jury at that board meeting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Alex Bay "Still A Musical Mecca"

Alexandria Bay:

Last summer I described the Bay as a Musical Mecca and the same holds true for this summer.  On any given week night, it is likely to find at least 3 bands playing at different venues throughout the Bay. On the weekends, music lovers can enjoy a half a dozen or more performing.  Summer is not over yet and there is still plenty of time to catch your favorite local band.  

Two Chamber Of Commerce music weekends are coming up shortly.  August 23rd - 26th kicks off the Rockin' The Bay event which is all about  Classic Rock and Classic Cars.  This event is followed by the best Blues event in the North Country.  Blues In The Bay is celebrating its 11th year as the final act of the summer season.  The Blues In the Bay August 30th - September 3rd.

The videos below represent the new groups that have emerged during this summer.  These musicians play at various venues in the Bay, but can be enjoyed at various gigs across the North Country.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Frank Cavallario Celebrates 90th Birthday

Alexandria Bay:

Frank Cavallario celebrates his 90th Birthday today.  He has spent his entire life as a purveyor of vegetables and Fine Foods.  My wife, Mary and I spent some time recently with Frank and his wife Connie talking about the old days. The conversation starts with Frank growing up on the families vegetable farm located on the Sand Flats in Watertown and continues with the opening of the Chez Restaurant and later Cavallario's Steak House.  The video below is a summary of that conversation.  Happy Birthday Frank!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pirate Day Block Dance Still On For Tonight

Alexandria Bay:

Bill Johnston's Pirate Days event organizers were concerned about the weather forecast for tonight's block dance,  kicking off  the 9 day event.  Tonight's block dance band, Bad Husbands Club will perform as scheduled in front of the Upper James St Docks from 8pm till 10pm. The Chamber of Commerce has advised me that if mother nature does not cooperate then the block dance will be held at the same times but the venue will be the Scenic View Pavilion located just past the River Hospital.

Enjoy the video from last years block dance.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Pirates Aarrr Coming To A-Bay

Alexandria Bay:

Bill Johnston's Pirate Days start August 10th and continue till August 19th.

Alexandria Bay is the proud home of the FamousBill Johnston's Pirate Days.” There are 10 days filled with family fun and special events. Our sword-fighting group, known as the ‘Tales from Remikreh,’ will be performing throughout the Village streets....... Click here to read more about this event. Watch the promo video below:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tax Caps and Alternate Suppliers

Town Of Alexandria:

The town board has filed Local Law No. 2 of the year 2012.
This  local law will override the tax levy limit established in General Municipal Law $3-c.  The current limit for all local municipalities has a cap of 2%.  You can view the local law by clicking here.

According to board members the removal of the 2% tax levy cap has to be done to protect the tax payers. This years town of Alexandria budget went over the 2% cap, along with 7 other towns in the North Country. Our town board as well as the others thought they were within the cap.  Alexandria was within the cap until the board was hit with an unexpected workers compensation payment in the amount of $22,392.  Click here to read more on this story.

Some fear that municipal governing boards will become careless, reckless and frivolous with the tax payers money if the cap is removed......

I do not have the energy or the Ambition to discuss this next agenda item.  I will say this, it is sad that a few of the board members did not do their homework before speaking at the 7.11.12 meeting.  You really should know who you are purchasing from before you go looking for an alternate supplier.

One final note, NY State Local Government Management Guide Seeking Competition in Procurement is a good resource for those on the board that might be a little  fuzzy on procurement guidelines.  You can read the PDF version by clicking here.

I found this excerpt to be extremely interesting.

Generally, local governments and school districts are required to have a code of ethics that sets forth standards of conduct reasonably expected of its officers and employees.27 Although a code of ethics is an entity-wide document, it may be beneficial to include standards for procurement activities in your code. Procurement is a function where the public and private sectors meet to conduct business. Public procurement officials needto have a clear understanding of what business practices are permissible and what ones are not. It is also important that all local government and school district officers and employees maintain high ethical standards of conduct and avoid situations where there is even the appearance of impropriety.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Save The Dogs From Rt. 180

Lafargeville New York:

If anyone that is willing to join us in a PEACEFUL PROTEST, GRAB YOUR PICKET SIGNS AND MEET US AT PEWTER MUG THIS SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 at 10am. We will be heading to laFargeville to stand on the side of RT 180 in front of the trailer, hoping to get media coverage. THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN OUR BACKYARD. PLEASE STAND UP FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS. WE ARE THEIR VOICE. It is suppose to be above 90degrees, please bring PLENTY OF WATER. These pups are going to die a slow, horrible death in the heat of this trailer. PLEASE TAKE A STAND AND JOIN US.

An alleged puppy mill in laFargeville needs to be SHUT DOWN. Please take 2 minutes to call 1-877-MILL TIP. ALSO, call the NYS police at 315-366-6000 and make a complaint. Please help us!!
Address: 28483 NYS RTE 180

As you all are laying down in your comfy beds tonight, think about that trailer and those animals in pain and agony day in and day out, sitting in their own urine and feces, complete darkness at night, sweltering heat during the day, never touching the grass, never having a human hand touch them. If you are like me, you will shed a tear or two. I have ....every night since that report on the news.

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Original Story aired on Channel 7 July 28th.

Island Owners Ask For Equity In Taxes

Town of Alexandria and Village of Alexandria Bay:

As I blogged earlier, Islanders within the boundaries of the Village Of Alexandria Bay asked to be relieved from the Gerrymandering that was established 130+ years ago.  Gerrymandering is is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan or incumbent-protected districts.

I did not come up with the term gerrymandering, the group of 12 or so concerned island owners did.  I also do not profess to know or understand completely this term or the total concept of the P.I.L.O.T. [Payment In Lieu Of Taxes} that this group is requesting. I submit to you the Formula For Tax Equity that was submitted to the Village Board at the 7.24.12 meeting and the audio that supports the formula.

Formula For Tax Equity