Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Fools Warning

I Started A Joke, a Bee Gees  tune has been stuck in my head since the middle of February. The song is about someone who played a joke and how it went terribly wrong, resulting in alienation. The following story is about My alienation. 

I had good intentions, honestly I Did.  It all started with a birthday wish.  But my friend did not want anyone to know it was his birthday, and even asked me not to post it on Facebook.  But I posted it anyways, assuming that most people in the long run would not harbor any ill feelings. What I did does not really constitute a joke, it is more of a zinger, or a gotcha!  All good, or so I thought. 

My Friend one upped me, with a gotcha of his own.  Actually, the way he played it out was more like a quadruple gotcha.  I sent him a text.... no reply.  I waited a few more days and sent an reply.  A few anonymous pranksters who were watching from the sidelines put into motion their own prank, and I fell for it, hook line and sinker. At this point, I felt that my friends "gotcha" had gone to far and way to long.  I sent an email to a relative, later I regretted  that move.  But it did have one merit,  my friend finally opened up the communications.

As I found out 2 weeks later, my friend was mildly annoyed with my unwanted birthday wish on Facebook.  He was also extremely annoyed with  my reactions to the zinger he played on me.  My reactions were simply escalated because his zinger or gotcha was not revealed within what most would consider an acceptable amount of time.  Simply put, I was made to sweat it out [for 2 weeks] which in my opinion borderlines on cruelty.  Our friendship, if there ever was one, is now gone....

Do I believe in the forgiveness of sins?  That was one of the questions Fr. Comstock asked the congregation during today's Easter Mass.  And of course we all replied yes.  Something else that made me sit up and take notice was a line in the Our Father.   Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us....

I am not the best Christian.... I am also aware of my many faults.  One of them being to introspective.  So what do I expect from this post?  Nothing.... It is not about the other person, it is entirely about my perspective on what has happened over the past month.  Do I expect anything good to come from this post, like the mending of a friendship. Nope!  I simply expect nothing.

Dear Fr. Comstock, even though I found it difficult to hear you this morning,  I did use the time to do some soul searching.  Thank You!

Dear Readers, Today is Easter Sunday, and tomorrow is April 1st, April Fools Day..... before you play an innocent prank or a joke on someone....... think twice

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

River Hospital Progress Report 2013

Alexandria Bay:

Recently, Andrea Bates, Executive Director of Development at the River Hospital presented a "progress report" to the Village Board,  reviewing the accomplishments from 2012 and the new plans for 2013.  The audio below is from that portion of the meeting.  Give it a listen.....

This year has been the worst seasons for the flu and common cold. Just before Christmas I was knocked out by one of the nastiest bouts of influenza that I can remember. And as I reported back then, a trip to the River Hospital Convenient Care cured me of all those ailments.

Related Story via Newzjunky: Flu Makes Late Season Come Back 

Sick Again..... Hack Hack.... sniffle sniffle.... AAaachoo! For the past week, I have had this cough and now the sinus sniffles seem to have set up camp right behind my eyes. I knew that I waited to long and should have gotten the "jump" on it days ago, so today I made an appointment at the RH Convenient Care. LPN Marcia Graves welcomed me into the exam room. I told her what was ailing me and she gave me some practical advice about drinking more healthy fluids which would help loosen up that sticky paste [ewww] that has been rattling around my lungs and sinuses.

Doc Burris came in next, she made me feel at home and offered some more grass roots advice and then she wrote a script to help battle those pesky microbes. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, confident that I will be on the mend in less than a couple of days. Nice weather is right around the corner, so don't let a late season flu or cold keep you from going outside to enjoy the nice weather or ruin your vacation. If you feel something "coming on" nip that little bugger in the _ _ _ _

Monday, March 25, 2013

Town Board Meeting 3.4.13

Town Of Alexandria :

Here is the audio from the 3.4.13 Board meeting.  Noteworthy portions of this meeting are Extension of the Ice season [approx 11 minutes] and the Public Hearing on the removal of the 2013 2% tax cap [approx 13 minutes].   Keep in mind that the removal of the 2% tax cap is done to protect the tax payers if the board were to exceed the cap.... Remember last year?

Alexandria► 28% Increase In C.H.I.P.s Funding

Town of Alexandria:

According to Senator Patty Ritchie,  funding for local highways under the [Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program]  C.H.I.P.s program was approved by the Senate this past Sunday.  Jefferson County saw an increase of 23.7% [1.3 million]  The break down for Alexandria is:

12/13 CHIPS Total                     123,787.22

13/14 CHIPS Total                     158,592.83

13/14 CHIPS Change                  34,805.61

Percent Change                            28.12

The State wide C.H.I.P.s  2013 funding break down can be viewed here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

For Sale?

House and Blog For Sale
My wife have been tossing around the idea of moving.  Our son graduates in 2014, so there is not much keeping us here after that.  So I have an idea..... Since the "cliquey Bay group" despises me so much, why don't you get your finances together and buy us out?   It would be a win win situation for all of us.  One contingency..... We have to find another house first.  Maybe you would also be willing to hire a moving company and pay the closing costs too. Let me know...... just some wishful thinking on a sunday afternoon.  
Oh and the blog goes with the house too

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Macsherry Library User Questionnaire- Spring 2013

Macsherry Library
112 Walton St Alexandria Bay NY 13607
Phone: 315-482-2241
Fax: 315-482-2241

The Macsherry Library, located at 112 Walton Street, Alexandria Bay, NY announces the release of a Library User Questionnaire. Two graduate students have created this questionnaire to help the library improve its services to the community. The questionnaire will be available online and in paper form from March 27, 2013 through April 12, 2013.

Links to the survey can be found on the Macsherry Library FaceBook page and Web site ( The link can also be found on the Alexandria Central School Web page and the River Hospital Web page. Individuals who would like to complete the survey in paper form can find them at the Macsherry Library front desk. You may also use the Library computers to access the link if you do not have access to the internet at home.

Participation in the questionnaire is voluntary, completely confidential and anonymous. Everyone who participates in the questionnaire may enter a drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate to Riveredge Resort for a Dinner for Two!

Questions, comments or concerns may be directed to Meg Demers at, Laurie Gleason at or Ceil Cunningham at The Macsherry Library thanks you in advance for your feedback.  

Click This Link To Be Taken To The Online Survey

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Oculauditory Impact

I received this email several days ago, and I thought I would share it with you.  I am not anti-wind but I am for wind farms being placed in a location with the least oculauditory impact. 
Oculauditory [\¦äkyə¦lȯˌtōrē\]..... is a pretty cool word, it is the combination of the senses of Sight and Sound.  Please take a few minutes to read this and then take  a few more minutes to consider what the author is sharing....
Let me explain the recent absence of crohmails. After 4 1/2 years, I decided to give everyone a break from the constant barrage of wind related information, knowing full well the industrial wind scam continues to impact us but wanting to change my former routine. When you now receive a crohmail, you will know it is being sent because I feel there is something you should know or there is something I need help with.

First...let me start with something you should know. We applaud the efforts of Supervisor Ron Bertram who is currently leading an effort that includes towns and villages along the water,from Cape Vincent to Morristown, who are interested in having the 1000 Islands-St. Lawrence River region recognized as a top scenic area in the state, a designation it has long deserved but never received. Most people are not aware such a distinction exists as the Hudson River Valley and the East Hampton are the only two areas in the state currently designated Scenic Areas of Statewide Significance (SASS). The increased recognition of this area by the rest of the world will do nothing but help the economic viability of the region.

Secondly... let me talk about what I need help with. As many of you know, as of last week all that remains of Iberdrola's largest wind measurement tower in Hammond are the tracks of the trucks that carried it away. The remaining two small test towers will come down soon, making this foreign corporate scammer's presence a thing of the past. Their exit brings to an end an era of turmoil and divisiveness among community residents and gives us hope there is a chance we can now move on to explore real possibilities for growth in the Hammond and Chippewa areas.

While the exit of Iberdrola is a welcome move for Hammond, we must not forget our neighbors upriver in Cape Vincent and Lyme. We must remain committed to keeping the 1000 Islands free from the devastation and destruction industrial wind would bring to the region. The town boards along with the planning and zone boards of the these towns are doing an amazing job of informing themselves of the multiple details of the Article 10 process and are challenging the inappropriate behaviors of the foreign corporate invader British Petroleum (BP) who is threatening to forever change the Cape Vincent and Lyme landscape. (That would be the same company that continues to pay billions of dollars for the death and destruction it caused in the Gulf.) We cannot let that happen. WE MUST PROTECT THE 1000 ISLANDS AT ALL COSTS! 
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO AFFECT THE ARTICLE 10 PROCESS and IT ONLY TAKES MINUTES TO DO SO. The NYS Public Service Commission Article 10 Siting Board is listening and wants to know how you feel about this type of industrial development. They encourage anyone who has comments to make about the proposed Cape Vincent/Lymeindustrial wind project to EMAIL THEIR WEBSITE (see flyer below for address). So far they have heard from almost 230 people with the vast majority of those comments voicingsupport for Protecting the 1000 Islands. 230 responses is good, but there are 1000's of people who live here or visit this area and could make their feelings known and have their voices heard. All of these comments will become part of the record that will be used by the Article 10 Siting board to decide whether or not to site a wind project in this area. All an industrial winddeveloper needs is one project in this region... one foot in the door... and they will not stopuntil they have blanketed the area with "500' towers of destruction".

THIS IS WHERE YOUR HELP IS NEEDED... It's important to reach as many people as possible. 
Two things you can do after reading the flyer below that includes an email address to post comments: 
1) If you have not posted a comment, we urge you to do so TODAY (before something else comes up and you forget to do it). Remember, if you don't like to write, it only has to be a paragraph expressing your feelings about Preserving and Protecting the 1000 Islands and its scenic beauty.
2) If you have posted a comment, please pass this email along to friends and family who are not yet aware or who have not posted comments. Then follow up with a phone call to make sure they understand what you're asking them to do. Let them know you are anxious to have them join in the "Movement to Protect the 1000 Islands". Visit the website listed on the flyer to see all posted comments.
Many of you have expressed appreciation for the time and effort put forth by the Concerned Residents over the last several years during the industrial wind struggle in Hammond. You canshow your appreciation by helping make this movement successful in its goal to PROTECTthe "Greatest Place on Earth". 

THANK YOU once more for all your past support. Please consider throwing your support behind this endeavor.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Doc Sturtz

Old Doc knew everyone and it seemed that everyone knew him..... no matter where you went!

I vaguely remembered Doc Sturtz from my childhood, after all he was my pediatrician.  Years later I got a chance to get reacquainted with him as I introduced myself to him at a party.  Doc came up to me and said who are you?  You look familiar!  I told him my name, and for one split second his eyes seemed to focus on something beyond me.  He immediately snapped back and said, You are Charlie and Sally's boy.  He told me a quick story about my mom when she was younger and then he was off talking to someone else.  Conversations with Doc started abruptly and ended the same.... with everyone.... no matter who you were or who you thought you were.  He was funny like that and I admired his brassiness. 

That was our first meeting and over the years we had many more.  Time would slip by and I would not see Doc for a couple of months or maybe a year.  When I would run into him after a lengthy absence  he would say "As I Live and Breath.... if it isn't Jimmy Cummings". A big smile would spread across his face, a pipe would  appear out of nowhere, then the sound of a match being struck.... puff puff puff.  He would start a conversation with  Say Jimmy.... I remember when your Uncle Walt... or your Aunt Mary did this or that.  I learned more from Doc about my mom, dad, and relatives than I did from them or anyone else.  This story telling went on over the years and I am thankful for all of the family "biographies".

Doc was a hero!  During the war and throughout  his many years of being a Doctor.  Doc had retired from  pediatrics and was practicing family health care.  I called him in a panic early one Saturday morning.  My wife and I had spent a sleepless night worrying over an observation that our infant son's pediatrician had made.  A spike in the measurement curve of the growth of our babies head.  This is one of those many parental nightmares.  I explained this to Doc, and he said meet me in my office in 15 minutes!  Doc took the time to explain how the  developmental measurements of a babies head are taken.  He showed us that if the tape measure is not placed in the same spot each time, it could look like an abnormal growth spike.  He calmed our fears but strongly advised us to follow through with the MRI that our babies pediatrician had recommended. Whew.... big sigh of relief.  His last words of solace to us..... Your Doctor's mother only carried him for 9 months but I carried him for 9 long years..... out came the pipe, then the sound of the match being struck..... puff puff puff..... If Doc liked you, then you loved him......

I am going to miss you Dr. George Sturtz

Musicians Notes

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week 3 Slip, Slide & Skate

The third video installment of Kendall's progress on the ice.  She is moving right along thanks to this learn to skate program offered at the Watertown Municipal Ice Arena.

Friday, March 15, 2013

BEWARE The Ides Of March

Today is the Ides of March... Remember this? Julius Caesar is warned to beware of this 15th day Of March. JC ignores the warning and finds that his friend Brutus and cohorts betray him by stabbing and murdering him. There are some parallels to this story that apply to all of us..... after all we all have a Brutus as a "friend"  Et Tu Brute....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Good Ole Boyz

Town Of Alexandria:

Another portion of the 3.4.13 Town Board meeting that never made it to the local paper. CHOP! This audio clip is from the public comments portion of this meeting.  This speech is delivered by Sampie Sutton with a few rebuttals from the local Republican Committee.  My impression is that Sutton intended to list all the accomplishments of this group of politicians.  However, there have been some anonymous electronic murmurings criticizing this group of Good Ole Boyz.

Most people have a negative connotation when they hear the phrase Good Ole Boyz...... thinking of nepotism and cronyism!  Maybe next time, it might have a more positive tone to refer to the boyz  as the Bay's Benevolent Brotherhood.  On second thought, brotherhood is gender biased..... maybe the future holds some changes...... Suffragette  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learn To Fly!

Aubrey's Inn Cape Vincent NY:

This is nothing spectacular.... It has been done since Claude Raines did the Invisible Man, but it is a first for me.  Hope you enjoy it.... LEARN TO FLY.... Keep an eye on the birdie....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing [Vacant Seat]

Town Of Alexandria:

There is a certain pattern to meetings. There are a few "regulars" that attend meetings and then there are the ones that seem to come out of "left field".  I always look at the agenda as people take a seat.  Wondering.... what agenda item are they here for?  Sometimes it is obvious, but tonight was different!

A Curious grouping of people gathered at the 3.4.13 Town of Alexandria Board Meeting.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for their attendance..... so I shrugged it off and chalked it up to "just interested citizens". However,  this grouping became very apparent towards the end of the meeting, when Town Supervisor Hunneyman read a correspondence from the Town Republican  Chairman, J. Parker.  The letter stated that the Republican Committee met on 3.2.13 for the purpose of reaffirming their nomination of Fairman Sutton  be appointed to fill the vacant council seat.

Bingo.... now it makes sense! Kind of...... That curious grouping of people at tonight's  meeting are members of the local Republican committee.  After the letter was read, a roll call of sorts was taken.... each one of the members stated that they were not at the 3.2.13 meeting, nor did they know anything about it.  The members seemed bewildered..... and one quipped that maybe the chairman met by himself...

Not Newsworthy, so this part of the town meeting never made it into the local paper. Sections of a meeting that stop at the editors  chopping block always interest me.  Although, I must admit that none of this makes any sense to me.  The committee members claim no knowledge of the Saturday meeting of local Republicans, yet they were present two days later at the town board meeting.  ODD!  Odder still.... I asked Mr Hunneyman how that letter was delivered to him..... his reply..... "Sampie gave it to me".  Another unrelated oddity..... Ron Thomson video taped the whole meeting.... as he was setting up his camcorder, he said something to the effect.... just in case you [me] miss something.  I guess he and I are now a media team..... One more twist.... another version of this story..... the Town Republican meeting did take place but it was conducted over the phone.  Perplexing to say the least....

Audio clip from that portion of the meeting:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Slip, Slide & Skate ►Week #2

Watertown, NY:

This is the second week of Kendall's learning to skate.  If you watched the video I made last week, you can not help but notice that she is now skating without her "walker".  Stay tuned for more updates on Kendall's progress over the next few weeks.  Slip, Slide & Skate is a learn to skate program that is  offered at the Watertown "Fairgrounds" Ice Arena.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sometimes Ya Just Have To Eat CROW!

Town Of Alexandria:

A few days ago I posted a story titled "Notice Of Public Meeting".  So tonight I went to the meeting that I was sure to be a meeting that did not follow the Open Meeting Laws.  After the meeting was over, Councilman Sweet beckoned me to approach the boards table.  He had an  enlarged photo copy of a classified ad from that "big city" paper with a small section high lighted in yellow that had tonight's meeting date and time.  This ad was published in the February 22nd edition, which would put tonight's meeting more than one week in advance notice as outlined in the Open meeting Laws.

Mr. Sweet seemed quite pleased with himself as he now has discredited me, the blogger.  What he failed to realize is that I would share this with all of you.   Yes, I am capable of making mistakes, and this is one of them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My World Is The Stage And You Are Not Part Of It

I have a couple of degree's, one of them is in painting and drawing.  I have always "pictured" myself, retired, doing nothing but painting and drawing.  But now, I have a new medium.... I love making videos!  I also love music, so it should be no surprise that I have become a groupie of sorts, following bands around and video taping them.

"It" Happens:  sometimes while reviewing the video I just shot, I discover that a band was off key, or the harmonies were way out of whack, or the crowd is too loud. Making the decision to either scrap the whole clip or isolate the sections that are good can be a tough one.  The band is my focal point, but what good is a video if it looks like the band is playing to an empty room?

Audience Participation:  Taking short pan shots of people dancing or applauding can sometimes add to the video.  I tend to keep my eye on the band and pan the camera across the crowd, this way I don't miss a cue for something that is going to happen on stage, like a solo. That is a little trick I discovered after bringing the camera focus back to the stage a little to late.

Camera Flirting:  Lets face it, nobody really wants to watch a guy dancing the funky chicken.  But, on some occasions  I have spotted some  ladies  that want to perform for the camera.  They are easy to identify, as they are the ones that suddenly turn around and stare into the lens and start dancing for the cameraman.  Sometimes they get a couple of extra seconds in the video, and sometimes their performance ends up on the "editing room floor".

All About The Band: That is what I am about.  I look at it this way, the band is on stage, so they are not concerned with privacy.  Not that there are any rights to privacy for those that go out to a bar or other music venue to listen to music.  But I tend to "shy away"  from anything but the band.  I had one bad experience, while video taping a musician at a local bar.  I was recording, when a group of about 8 ladies stormed the bar and walked in front of my camera and started dancing.  I kept the video rolling until "the lawyer" of the group threatened me with an invasion of privacy law suit if I did not stop recording.  Lets just say that I never got sued.....

Not About You:  So now I come to my point! Unless you are up on stage: plucking, strumming, banging, blowing, tooting, tickling, picking, an instrument or belting out a song,  I am not interested in you or your dirty dancing [Gross]. Don't bother flipping me the bird because......

My World Is The Stage And You Are Not A Part Of It! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Notice Of Public Meeting

Town Of Alexandria:

In the Wednesday February 27th 2013 TI Sun, a Notice of a change of meeting date was published by the order of the Town Board of Alexandria.  The meeting date was changed  to March 4th. This is only 6 days notice.  The change is not an emergency, it is merely an accommodation for a board member who would have missed the regular March 13th meeting.

On January 3rd 2013, the Alexandria Town Board violated the Open Meeting Laws by holding an unannounced  meeting with 3 board members [a quorum] and they also neglected to take minutes at this meeting.  This was brought to the boards attention and Town Supervisor Hunneyman took full responsibility for that illegal meeting.

I was assuming that this board would not make the same mistake twice.  I also assumed that this board would err on the side of caution when scheduling or rescheduling public meeting.  I make my final assumption that this board will reschedule the March 4th meeting to another date that follows the §104. Public notice as noted below

§104. Public notice. 
1. Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled at least one week prior thereto shall be given to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at least seventy-two hours before such meeting