Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mayor's Graham's View reports some disturbing news about Cape Vincent votes.

 This is what Mayor Jeff Graham of Watertown, NY, Jefferson county said earlier today:

Clearly, the lesson of the Cape this year is that if your ballot is absentee and not in person on Election Day, there is a chance you may lose your vote. Not that they wouldn't like to get at your vote on the machine, but its not possible to track it down and examine it like the absentees which are separate items in a envelope with your name on it.

    These letter writers are among those who voted absentee as they say they thought they might not be able to make it to the polls on November 4. They are now among the challenged and a judge will decide whether their votes count.

Cape Vincent couple wants to know.

Why were some ballots challenged in Cape?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cape Vincent Town Board approves funding of live Christmas tree that will be decorated Saturday November 29, 11:00 AM on the Village Green.

Town of Cape Vincent Board Meeting Report, Thursday, November 22.

Privilege of the floor:

Robert Brown, President of the Board of Directors of the Cape Vincent Community Food Pantry told the members of the board that there has been an increased need for the services they provide. He said the community has been very generous in the past and the pantry continues to welcome assistance.

Town Judge Colleen Knuth expressed concern that incorrect information about the judges' 2015 salary increases was provided to the media by the town office. The judges were given a $500. raise. However, someone at the town office told the media that raise was $2500. Judge Knuth confirmed her concern with the reporters who assured her that they correctly printed what they were provided by their contact in the office.

Town Board Member Michelle Oswald asked for privilege of the floor. She expressed concern for a community divided and said efforts must be made to rectify damaging differences between two factions.   Earlier, she had met with her election opponent, Marty Mason. He agreed to join her in front of the citizens. They invited people attending the meeting to join them after at the BIN restaurant. Approximately 15 of us who were at the town meeting accepted their offer and joined them and other town officials and community members for a few hours of community friendship while leaving politics behind. Member Oswald turned her privilege of the floor over to Marty Mason who explained their immediate plans for a  living evergreen tree that will be planted on the Village Green. The tree will become a perpetual Christmas tree to be decorated by the community for years to come.  Member Oswald made a motion to fund the tree and it passed.


Councilman and Vice-Supervisor Brooks Bragdon gave an extensive financial update. The town finances are secure and he did not express any immediate concerns.

Councilman Paul Aubertine reported that the last School Board meeting had been cancelled because of weather.  He also reported that he was not able to get information from the Youth Commission about when and if they were meeting. 

Superintendent of Highways Danny Hubbard asked for funding of a new pressure washer and requested $4000 for immediate repairs of equipment. Both requests were moved on in separate motions and both were approved.

Other Business:

Council Member Michelle Oswald asked that the Board review the concept and procedures that allow citizens to speak during public hearings held by Town Board, Planning Board and ZBA and ensure they be consistent. Attorney Mark Gebo told the board that as long as a person's public hearing address is appropriate to the topic and does not distract or extend the proceedings by filibustering, any citizen can speak to the topic, including those who do not live in the town. In cases where the attendance is high the town can limit the time allotted, can set a date to continue and can always accept comments in writing. Supervisor Urban Hirschey gave his assurance that the  board will continue to provide information about the public hearing topics  and written comments will be made available to the board members and will be reviewed at special meetings.

The village and town have still not completed the joint water agreement. Supervisor Urban Hirschey reported problems with getting the village board to set a date and time for a meeting.

Town Attorney Mark Gebo reported progress in the eminent domain proceedings being taken by the town in the matter of a Water District #6 member who refuses to allow the town a right-of-way for the waterline through his property. An appraisal is being made regarding value of the affected portion of the property and if the landowner does not accept and still refuses to grant permission,  the town will proceed with the eminent domain seizure. 

Attorney Gebo was given permission from the board to finalize the tax settlement in the case of Millen's Bay Marina. The Board has been dealing with the matter during previous executive session and they have worked out a proposed settlement.

Supervisor Urban Hirschey told the board that the person who was considered for hire by the town and village as a grant writer for proposed local development projects had accepted another job. A suggestion was made that the LDC board might be able to contract grant writing services, as needed,  from local firms such as Fourth Coast or Bernier, Carr Associates. 


The Town passed resolution #56 setting the date of Dec. 4 for a public hearing on subdivision and lot-line adjustment laws.

The Town passed resolution #57 allowing the Supervisor to sign the New York State snow and ice agreement as well as its extension.

Resolution #58 appointing Karen M. Wiley to the Local Development Board, replacing Glen Kennedy was approved. 

"Numerous studies in the United kingdom, Canada, Australia, Texas, Wisconsin, Vermont and even here in Northern New York at Cape Vincent found property to be devalued near industrial wind turbines."

Wind farm or boondoggle?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The blog, Mayor Graham's View asks for confirmation of a rumor that I don't believe is true.

I just visited the Watertown blogger, Mayor Graham's View and this post caught my eye:

For the last few days I have been out and about testing my new hip. I visited with many around the village. I learned that almost all Cape Vincent residents who were following the "War on the Seasonal Voters" were getting their news from Mayor Graham's View, and his readers.
I don't believe there is any truth in the rumor.

During the absentee count at the Jefferson County Board of elections, JLL was in communication with more than one observer in the room, standing and sitting at the tables. I was informed that both parties were making challenges. I was also informed that former Senator Aubertine's vote was pulled. No reason was given by any of the observers that were keeping me informed.  Certainly,  the keen-eyed legal teams may have spotted something. Our Jefferson County votes don't have chads or anything that dangles, so eliminate that. 

With several observers passing the word, it is likely that I would have heard if forgetting to sign the ballot was the reason for a possible Aubertine challenge. So, I doubt the rumor is true. And, to add to the mystery, I was told that the final challenge list did not even include him and his may not even be a vote that went to the court.

There are many reasons why a challenge might be made. And a few votes might get tossed by the courts perhaps for forgetting to sign the ballot envelope. But, I have faith that just because a voter has been labeled by ignorant bigots as a seasonal is not going to be one of them. Judges follow laws, they don't make them up.

Lost in the News - - Governor Cuomo did not do very well...

North of the Harlem River in the no-man's land that is known as "Upstate New York" Governor Andrew Cuomo was beaten in 37 of the  counties out of 42.
The Big Apple came through for Cuomo by delivering  the majority needed to keep his job.
Again, in 2014 Rob, "Soup is Good" Astorino won 42 upstate communities. In 2010 Andrew, "Mr. Ethics" Cuomo won 37 upstate counties.
It was close, but the Democrat's days of "A chicken in every pot" are over. But, it does appear that "A crook in every cabinet" will  still get you the job.

Supreme Court Judge Honorable James McClusky will decide the outcome of the John Byrne - Addie Russell race for the 116th. "River District".

The Boards of Elections in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties are done with their work and candidate Byrne reports that 317 ballots will go to Judge McClusky who will determine the outcome.  His deliberation on their validity is expected to begin on Dec. 1. 

The reasons given for protesting ballots include whether the ballot was received on time, if the signatures appear to match the registration, and in the case of the Addie Russell legal team and her Cape Vincent supporters, whether or not Cape Vincent voters, targeted as seasonal residents, have the right to vote at the residence of their choice.

Candidate Byrne verified that approximately two-thirds of the uncounted votes were challenged by Russell. Considering Russell's 95 vote lead, Byrne would need nearly 200 of those left  in order to win.

Easy math and a little political savvy tells us that this will be very close.

It appears that Addie Russell and her lawyer, with years of help from her Cape Vincent Democrat-CFG  friends, have determined by court of public opinion that Cape residents, who by their definition are "seasonal", do not have the right to vote in Cape Vincent. Around  the Cape, "fraud" is the term used most frequently in communications, methods and on the campaign trail.

Whatever the outcome of this election, I pray that the Honorable Judge McClusky will find room in his opinion for confirmation of election laws that clearly state that a legally registered voter has the right to vote at the residence of their choice provided they live at the residence for 30 days. 

The New York 116th. Assembly District is also known at the River District. River District means seasonal residents, the taxes they pay and their economic and social contributions.

Judge McClusky is in the position to, once and for all, put to rest the seasonal voter issue and the harassment, intimidation and blatant attempts at disenfranchisement that have continued to percolate and divide Cape Vincent. And, he has a chance to do so before the entire River District and its seasonal communities become infested.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

River District Ballot counting complete. 317 challenged absentee ballots, including those from Cape Vincent, NY will be decided by the court. Russell campaign makes an issue out of the right to vote by taxpayers who own more than one residence.

Uncontested votes all counted in state Assembly race; judge will decide outcome

A Jefferson County worker wants to know what kind of bird this is.

This bird is hanging out, alive in a building.
They want to know what it is.

Update: The most popular identification being emailed to
JLL is "American Coot" and expert birders have agreed.

Shuffling off to Buffalo...

Taken yesterday from the dashboard of a New York State Trooper.
(Thanks to a JLL reader for submitting the photo.)

Watertown Daily Times editorial staff weighs in on Cape Vincent seasonal voters' rights.

"To challenge an absentee ballot merely because the voter is a seasonal resident of a community is outrageous...."

Seasonal voters count: Russell’s attorneys need valid reason to toss absentee ballots

Cape Vincent voters and taxpayer are seeking resolution and community understanding of voting rights.

Concerned citizens who live, vote and pay taxes in Cape Vincent have become increasingly concerned about methods that have been devised and put into place by other Cape Vincent residents who do not believe some have the same voice and voting rights in the community as they.

From talking with dozens of Cape residents it appears that the concerns are nothing new and have been developing since a summer 2011 town meeting when the voting of some citizens was defined as immoral, unethical and bordering on illegal. The methods that have been applied and directed toward "seasonal voters" since the same 2011 town meeting, when an illegal voter ID resolution aimed at "seasonal voters" was passed, have only intensified. 

One Concerned citizen wrote, "It is as simple as ABC; Absentee Votes Count." 

Any voter may have good reason to vote absentee and should not be singled out.  "To take all this a step further with intimidation and a campaign to make people afraid to vote is a bit much.", explained another Cape Vincent resident who lives in the Cape year round and has not voted absentee. "We have lost our patience  and we now feel we must seek a resolution and understanding among all the members of the community."

In an effort to reach a "Community Understanding", a source explained to JLL that funds have been pledged, communication has been increased and more information is being developed regarding the defense of everyone's right to  register and vote in Cape Vincent without fear of intimidation, harassment or disenfranchisement. 

Any citizen can voice concerns:

Special Agent Mark Park
250 Clinton Street
Suite 330
Syracuse, NY   13202

315-424 2400

Big Industrial Wind may suffer big blow by reduction in wind welfare.


Wind Tax Credit Attacked as U.S. Debates Lapsed Breaks
By Richard Rubin
Nov 17, 2014 5:00 AM ET

The new era in Congress may mean trouble for some old tax breaks.

The wind energy tax credit, championed by environmentalists, Democrats, a few Republicans and companies including General Electric Co. (GE) and Siemens AG, may be imperiled as its most important backers in Congress lose clout. 
The industry’s tax break expired at the end of 2013, and lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden will have less influence starting in January with Republicans in control of both chambers. 
Some Republicans are eyeing the break as a potential target now, as a way to take a stand against President Barack Obama’s climate policies and a few tax breaks. They’ll get their first chance in the coming weeks as lawmakers negotiate the fate of dozens of expired tax provisions and try to reach a deal before this Congress adjourns in mid-December. 
Now and perhaps again in January, the wind credit will be a test case for how targeted tax breaks -- particularly those championed by Obama -- will fare when Republicans run both chambers of Congress.
“Let’s just leave this one out,” Representative Mike Pompeo, a Kansas Republican, said in an interview about the wind energy credit. “It seems hard for me to imagine that Senator Reid would hold up an important package of tax provisions in order to do a small favor for some of his friends in the wind industry.”
The wind tax credit, which would cost $13.3 billion to extend through 2015, is one piece of a multifaceted negotiation over the breaks known as tax extenders in the post-election session of Congress.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Who needs the Farmer's Almanac when you have tickets for shows in Syracuse.

I was once accused of being a thespian. I have never denied it. I don't sing and dance anymore, but I do purchase tickets so I can watch others. Last winter, I had tickets for shows in Syracuse. Each ticket was wasted because of impossible travel on show night. Tonight, I have tickets for a show in Syracuse. If you want to know when the next major lake effect will occur, give me a shout and I will check my tickets for the next performance.

The 116th. New York State Assembly Race will be going to court.

Special to JLL, developing.

The race for the 116th. will be going to court to count Cape Vincent votes.

Cape Vincent voters will become an important issue. Case history determines that seasonal votes must be challenged at the time of registration, not after the ballot is cast. The courts have been very liberal with citizen choice of voter residence.
Where you live and where you have been allowed to vote should not be a reason for intimidation. Voting by part-time residents is not immoral and unethical nor does it border on illegal.

Candidate, John Byrne, "We will definitely need our seasonal voters". "The meter is running as they are writing briefs in Albany, 
as we speak"

Cape Vincent seasonal voters have initiated actions, funds have been pledged and they will defend and secure their right to vote and be counted at their Cape Vincent residence without intimidation or attempts at disenfranchisement.

All seasonal residents in the 116th. River District have reason to be concerned.

617 votes left to be counted in St. Lawrence.

Pundits predict a less that 50 vote spread at the end.

Even a tie is possible.

People hoping to get back to Canton, NY this morning have to deal with a dangerous snow event.

In the Town and Village of Cape Vincent, it appears that  Dem-CFG  methods used to protect  a small group of "Rounders" from seasonal voters,  such as the "Had Enough, Yet" sign campaign, may have been influenced and encouraged with help from Albany Democrats and top New York State political operatives. 

1:14 PM, Addie Russell now leads by 30 votes. 

At 2:50 PM, John Byrne is headed home. Addie's present lead is now enough that a Cape Vincent Count is absolutely necessary. Mr. Bryne is traveling along the river route in hopes of getting home safely.

When Mr. Byrne left the counting house, Addie Russell had a 69 vote lead with Potsdam completed and Waddington and Ogdensburg left to go.

Challenged votes including a possible Byrne gain of 79 votes in Cape Vincent will make for a very close race that may be decided in the courts. 

At the end of the day the count now shows a 110 Russell lead.