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Archived stories from Friday, August 7, 2009 through Tuesday, October 6, 2009
8/28: Note this picture... taken in an area with one main road and only a few houses, 2 miles east of Little Valley... it's a stop light, with crosswalk (the kind with the push button and the countdown timer)... coming out of a driveway... in what's effectively the middle of nowhere...

Your stimulus dollars at work.

8/19: I'm not sure yet, but the news of the sheriff's death has driven quite a few people to the newslog, the most since Andrea passed away (and possibly more).

8/7: It's Fullervision's 6th anniversary! Six years ago today, I launched the Fullervision news service. It hasn't exactly grown, but people in the know do read it, I know that much. It's the 7th of an even-numbered month, so that also means "roll over day." A few link changes... most notably, the link to WorldNetDaily is gone. Joseph Farah's public offering of a reward for the illegal leaking of somebody's sealed birth certificate is a criminal act, for which he should be arrested. The man is delusional and will never be satisfied on the issue, and I will in no way be a part of it.
New Jersey vs. the Senecas: Seneca retailer fined $760K for offering tax-free cigarettes of "unapproved brands" to New Jersey customers (AP)... now wait just a moment... that retailer is based in the state of New York (Salamanca to be exact)... doesn't interstate commerce apply here? 10/5

IT'S THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER, AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS (OK, well, maybe not, unless you've followed the site for years)... it's time for the launch of our annual Thanksgiving Page! By the way, sorry for it being a day late-- yes, I honestly forgot (Thanksgiving Fullervision Style)... 10/2

Fall Foliage Report: Week of October 1
Fall colors continue to progress very nicely across the state. Here in Little Valley and vicinity, foliage varies from hill to hill, with the one outside our house having the most visible change, a little past midpoint. That hill is pointed away from the sun. Other trees in the area have less change. There are  a lot of browns, oranges and reds in the trees in the area, along with plenty of green for a nice accent effect. Not a lot of bright yellow this year.
Most of the rest of the state is at around midpoint. The Adirondack Mountains are at peak foliage throughout. The Catskills are at near peak. The Finger Lakes and the I-90 Corridor are still listed in the “Just Changing” category (10-25% change). The Hudson Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier (including us) are listed at midpoint (30-60% change).
The Pennsylvania foliage bureau is reporting 25% color change in the Northern Tier. They also note that the maples are showing the most foliage right now, while oaks have yet to change. (New York doesn’t usually go into that much species-by-species detail, which I think is a little disappointing.)

Good news: thanks to a very warm, dry late August and early September, the apple crop turned out to be delicious, according to cider makers (AP)... 10/1

He's not even party chairman yet and already he's screwing things up: Ed Cox is expected to kick Pataki to the curb, push Giuliani out of a potential gubernatorial race and have him run for Senate! Aargh... (NYT) 9/29

So Carolyn Maloney, a liberal New York City Democrat, very briefly toyed with the prospect of running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a few months back, even though the Obama machine was forcing out any primary competitors. Now, her husband mysteriously turns up dead in the Himalayas (AP)... connection? Nah, that's just conspiracy theory. 9/28

How does one manage to get a DUI-- on a BICYCLE??? (WESB)... 9/28

Another dead body shows up in Cattaraugus County, not sure whose it is (Gary Nease, WPIG)... 9/28

Cattaraugus County Democratic Party Chairman Daniel McCandless has pled guilty to charges of forging petition signatures... Ed Sharkey, whose petitions for reelection contained several of the fraudulent signatures, has denied any wrongdoing and did not prosecute the case (instead passing it off to Erie County's Frank Sedita)...the case was handled by Larry Himelein... McCandless faces up to three years in jail. (Credit: Joseph Illuzzi, politicsny.net) 9/24

New York's high court has ruled Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch legal, basically saying that the constitution doesn't say you can't... JUDGE WAS APPOINTED BY PATERSON HIMSELF... no word on whether the GOP will attempt an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court... rampant speculation abounds that this will provide Paterson with an exit strategy, something Paterson so far denies. As I said before, I don't have a problem with an appointment, it just has to follow the standards of other interim appointments to statewide elected offices; i.e. legislative approval. This did not. 9/23

Rick Lazio has made it official: he's in the race for governor in 2010... let me put it this way: Lazio, who hasn't held an elective office since 2000, who couldn't beat a lousy carpetbagger for U.S. Senate in 2000, who's spent his time since then in the investment banking industry, is trailing Paterson in the polls, and that's no small feat. Please tell me this isn't the best the GOP has to offer. There've been rumblings about Giuliani maybe-kinda-might consider running, but I'm not holding my breath and honestly I believe he won't try it. Honestly, I think the best shot the state has is in Chris Collins. But that's just me... 9/23


It's that time of year again... Pumpkinville opens today! 9/19

Oneidas buying a cigarette manufacturer in the Senecas' backyard (AP)... 9/17

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 17
Fall colors have begun to progress a little more rapidly in the past week. Despite fairly warm temperatures and sunny skies, the first signs of widespread color change have begun to creep over the hillsides with hints of fairly bright hues such as orange, red and yellow down here in Little Valley. According to the state, change has also begun in Binghamton, in-between the Finger Lakes, Albany, portions of the North Country, the Leatherstocking region, and throughout the Catskills and Adirondacks. Last week's early-changers in the central Adirondacks are now close to mid-point. No noticeable changes yet in the I-90 corridor cities of Buffalo, Rochester or Syracuse.

All right, folks, major league vent time... it absolutely sickens me to see what's going on in Buffalo right now. Let me sum it up: yesterday was the statewide primary election for local offices. The primary elections, as people SHOULD know, are the way people choose candidates for the general election in November. This is where Buffalo comes in. Byron Brown, a black man (this is important), and Mickey Kearns, a white man, were running for the Democratic Party line on the November ballot. Keep in mind: Kearns had no ballot lines. Brown, on the other hand, had automatic lines from the Independence Party (platform: we protect incumbents), Working Families Party ("Working," remember, is the code word for socialist and/or communist), and a corrupt Conservative Party. In other words, Byron Brown didn't even need that Democratic line, and Kearns did. Now, throw on top of this the extra-legal multitude of favors the Brown administration was throwing to one Leonard Stokes. This was a wonderful opportunity to give voters a choice in November. The polls showed this race competitive, with the candidates at one point statistically tied. Here's where things get into trouble: Kearns led overwhelmingly among whites. Brown, on the other hand, had a 6-to-1 lead among black people. Now, keep in mind, this race is simply for the right for Mickey Kearns to have a slot on the ballot in November. No dice. Last night, by a 5-to-3 margin, Buffalo Democrats declared that unopposed elections are OK. Byron Brown now has no opposition in November. If you believe Carl Paladino, there was some funny business with the turnouts in Buffalo's majority-black districts (WIVB, WBEN). Regardless of the racial implications of this, which are very significant nonetheless, this travesty (and to a lesser extent the Salamanca vote as well, below) prove that we have a broken primary system. My proposal is this: if a candidate is opposed in a major party primary (Democratic or Republican), would otherwise be unopposed in the general election, and accepts the automatic-ballot endorsement of two or more minor parties, said candidate forfeits his right to run in the major primary. For races such as Salamanca, where the race was redundant, I propose that if the two major parties have two identical candidates running for the same slots, then the primary is foregone and both candidates end up on the general ballot in November. It'll save money on redundant elections and lead to more options when the real elections come in November. But that's just my opinion. ~Jerry

In more local primary news... Salamanca's incumbent mayor Jeffrey Pond won both the Democratic and Republican lines over perennial candidate Carmen Vecchiarella... Lori Rieman got 33 votes in a write-in for the Independence Party line but still wasn't able to take Ed Sharkey off the line, as Sharkey got 63 votes... the Olean mayoral race has one less candidate, as Bill Aiello loses the Republican primary to incumbent David Carucci.

Paterson summons the Three Men in a Room... but other than him and Sheldon Silver, who will represent the Senate? (Jimmy Vielkind)... 9/14

Paterson goes with the bandwagon argument??? His reasoning for appointing a lieutenant governor is that other states are allowed to do it, so New York should as well! Never mind that little thing called state law... how did this guy pass the bar? (AP)... 9/12

"Arson, robbery and the murder of a rival cigarette vendor" -- all organized by an Indian smoke shop owner (AP)... 9/12

Disappointing news: Henry Wojtaszek, the Niagara County Republican Party chairman who was in the running to head the state party committee, has ended his bid for that post (New York Post). Why am I disappointed? Well, Wojtaszek was far more qualified for that position than the man who is going to win it, New York City attorney Edward F. Cox. For one, Wojtaszek has actually run a political party organization; Cox hasn't. Wojtaszek ran the county Republican Party well, too, and was able to elect solid Republicans in his territory. He's also from the party's upstate power base, and was technically next in line for the chairmanship behind outgoing president Joseph Mondello. Cox, on the other hand, is from New York City. His lone political experience is that he married into the family of Richard Nixon, and that he briefly pursued Hillary Clinton's senate seat in 2006, not even lasting until the primary. Cox's supporters tried to tie Wojtaszek to Rudy Giuliani, who was one of his big supporters, and to the senate problems earlier this summer (never mind the fact that the real mastermind, Dean Skelos, who had been trying to get that thing working since he lost the majority, backed Cox). In short, even the state Republican Party is leaving upstate in the cold-- again-- and with the Democrats already ball-and-chained to New York City, and the third parties reduced to a joke, where does that leave us? This is part of the reason I'm not a registered Republican. 9/11

NEVER FORGET... 9/11/01

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 10
The start of the fall foliage season is turning out quite predictably, though perhaps a little behind schedule. The state’s foliage division is kind of stretching to put any sort of indication of fall color on the map right now. In the Adirondacks, traditionally the first to change, there are a few spots where “tinges of pale rust and mauve” have begun to show prominence. (Portions of the Adirondacks experienced a light frost last week, which has a tendency to bring out fall colors.) There’s also some marginal color change in the Catskills. (Let me put it this way, as far as stretching goes: none of the independent foliage spotters out there have started filing reports yet... but... New York said they'd issue one on September 9, however little there is to report.)
It will still be a few weeks before significant color change reaches other areas of the state. Hillier terrains such as the Southern Tier and portions of the Syracuse area will likely see changes first, followed by the lowland plains around the Great Lakes. Normally I’d say we could start to see significant changes next week, but like I said, it looks like things are behind schedule a bit, so it may be another two weeks before the ball gets rolling on that sort of thing.

AP speculation: bottle bill will be expanded to water "this fall," no date given... gee, great news, don't even give any warning! We can always make major changes like this with a snap of the fingers! Yeah, that's the ticket (AP)... 9/9

Traffic at Allegany State Park is up this summer, despite the rain, the recession and the emerald ash borer (Olean Times Herald)... 9/7

Paterson circumvents the crooks, goes straight to the real leaders of the Indian tribes (Albany Times-Union)... 9/5

Corruption at its finest: after he and Moe John were fired from the Seneca Gaming board, Snyder trumps them, uses his power as president of the Seneca Nation to fire the people who fired him, and is looking to install his own puppets (Buffalo News)... 9/4

Take the munchies and run (WESB)... 9/4

A desperate Paterson returns fire on those who targeted AIG bonuses (e.g. Obama, Andrew Cuomo): "they’re killing our tax money" (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)... eventually this guy is going to have to realize he's toast. 9/3

This story is pretty sickening as far as when it comes to the upstate-downstate debate... no respect whatsoever... actual quote here: "The fellow from Niagara is a very nice fellow, but who's going to follow anybody from Niagara," (YNN)... 9/3

Read this story and prepare to get slackjaw... let me put it this way... even Richard Brodsky, one of the biggest liberals in the state legislature, agrees something needs to be done about the estimated $140 BILLION in authorities debt, more than the entire general budget of the state (AP)... 9/3

So one half-bit Jewish congressman who's engaged to Hillary Clinton's companion woman demands that the Yankees and Red Sox move their game from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon, the same time both the Giants AND the Jets are playing, because of Yom Kippur... and they comply... I'd've told Mr. Weiner to go fly a kite in less diplomatic terms (AP)... 9/1

A geopolitical schism is brewing in Chautauqua County, as the North County (Dunkirk et al.) feels it's not getting a fair shake compared to the South County (Jamestown et al.) (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 8/30

Indians selling counterfeit cigarettes... with all the rumors about watered-down gasoline that are all but commonplace around here, this doesn't surprise me in the least (AP)... 8/28

Post-Sheriff update: Republicans and Democrats have both nominated Tim Whitcomb to the sheriff position, even though Whitcomb had already announced his intentions to retire... Whitcomb so far has not accepted either nomination... 8/26


There will be those who say the Buffalo News has an agenda... this piece against Route 219 is certainly indicative of one of them (Buffalo News)... 8/25

Up, up and away... the state's spending, that is (Buffalo News)... 8/24

The New York City liberals are getting brazen: voting in their summer homes solely to disenfranchise resident upstaters??? It's criminal-- but it's real (Newsday)... 8/24

Our illustrious governor plays the race card, saying that the media is treating him unfairly because he's black, and the entire state of New York collectively snickered (summary, with link to audio)... 8/24

Market forces at work: As the thruway increases tolls annually, it sees its traffic plummet dramatically... but of course, we can always blame the recession (WIVB)... 8/21

Governor Paterson refuses to push for collecting taxes from Indian tax evaders-- and the Senate wants to investigate (Albany Times-Union)... 8/21

The battle is on for the state GOP chairmanship, and it's upstater Henry Wojtasek against downstater Ed Cox (Jimmy Vielkind)... 8/21

Plans to dissolve the village of Limestone continue to move forward (Bradford Era)... 8/20

SHOCK: CATTARAUGUS COUNTY SHERIFF DENNIS JOHN IS DEAD... WHAT I KNOW SO FAR: He was found dead Tuesday morning, circa 9:30 a.m., on Sunfish Run Road, a dead-end road on the Seneca reservation in Cold Spring, the result of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head as per the Post-Journal. No suicide note was found; the vehicle he apparently used to get there, a county-owned Chevy Lumina, was still with the body when they found him. At the time of his death, John didn't live in Cold Spring; he lived just outside the village of Little Valley, but he supposedly owned a campsite in the area (as per WKBW and the Times Herald). He is a Seneca Indian. John was to run unopposed for re-election this November; with John's death, Timothy Whitcomb becomes sheriff until 1) Governor Paterson appoints a permanent replacement, or 2) November, if the political parties put forth new candidates. The state police are investigating. The question is now this: what did Dennis John know, and when did he know it?? UPDATE 2 PM: WIVB has published a statement from Barry Snyder, head of the Seneca Nation, stating: "He was committed to his profession as a law enforcement professional both for the Nation and Cattaraugus County." The problem is, according to his official biography, he hadn't publicly worked directly for the nation since the 1970s. UPDATE 5 PM: from the Buffalo News, Tim Whitcomb received a text message from John at 9 a.m., just prior to the incident, indicating his location and a request to "take care of [his] wife"... WGRZ and WKBW have Whitcomb saying "he sounded like he was in trouble" (how he can "sound" like something in a text message, I have no idea)... by the time Whitcomb, Bob Buchhardt and Bill Nichols (the responding team) got to the scene at 9:30, John was dead... the plot thickens... Cathy Young has issued a statement, the typical "he was a good friend, condolences to the family" thing, not much to add to the conversation... Tim Howard, Erie County Sheriff, noted that he had just seen the sheriff a week before, and noticed nothing wrong (Whitcomb also did not notice anything off the day before)... Cochise Redeye, new head of the Seneca Gaming Corporation and one of John's colleagues, also released a statement...  UPDATE WED AM: Now the report is that he shot himself in the chest, not the head, as per Buffalo News report, and WNED is saying he was found inside a home, not outside... the contradictions are starting to add up... UPDATE WED PM: Coroner's report, via Olean Times Herald, states that it was a shot to the head again... and that he was inside the car, not outside it... also, the Times Herald says he made the text message at 9:20, later than the 9:00 original given time, which means that either they arrived at Sunfish later than 9:30 or they got from Little Valley to Sunfish Run in 10 minutes (knowing the roads in this county, the former is far more plausible)... everyone so far is still saying it was apparent suicide, about the only consistent information being given out at this time... Times-Herald says several have pointed to the disappearance of his nephew in Chautauqua Lake a few months back as a possible reason for the suicide, but that at this point is pure speculation... funeral will be held at the St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Olean, Saturday at 11am, with viewings at the Mentley-O'Rourke in Little Valley Thursday and Friday 2-4 and 7-9... UPDATE THU PM: Not much new news today, except that the Times Herald points out that Whitcomb is likely not interested in running for the permanent position in November, as he has plans to head up security at St. Bonaventure (where he'll also become a teacher)... all four parties will nominate potential replacements next week (how they can legally do that when petitions were due in July, I don't know, but that's the way the Olean paper wrote it)... UPDATE SAT: WIVB has funeral highlights... let make something clear here; I do not know anything further beyond this at this point, and you can take what you want from what I have stated and sourced here. I strongly suspect there is more to come in this saga. Still developing... 8/18


Report: requiring a master's degree in education to be a teacher isn't worth it (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 8/16

Wonderful little story here: the state of New York decided to mix 5 parts federal stimulus cash, 1 part George Soros's money (literally, this is not a joke, George Soros personally and directly bankrolled part of this scheme), and give out $200 free money to people using food-stamp cards... supposedly for school supplies... but right after it happened, the ATMs started running out of money and there were reportedly runs on electronics and some obviously non-school-related items. That, however, is just an anecdote, says our illustrious governor (Gannett)... even the teachers think this is stupid, even though it's just because they'd rather see that money themselves. 8/15

Swain Ski Resort bought by Ski Denton of Coudersport (Buffalo Business First)... 8/13

Radio update: "Classic Hits" (the more hip name for oldies) is back on 104.1 WHTT in Buffalo... 8/12

GOWANDA UNDERWATER AS RAINS TARGET CATTARAUGUS CREEK... Routes 62, 5, 39, 75, 391, and Zoar Valley Road north of North Otto are closed... Route 353 north of Cattaraugus is a dead end... travel bans in Gowanda, Dayton, East Otto, Persia, Perrysburg, Yorkshire... governor has declared the region a disaster area... 8/10 (note: as of 8/11 things appear to have begun to settle down. Weather's supposed to be dry for the forseeable future, so that's good news for the recovery efforts. The National Guard has been called in to help rebuild, and the Gowanda Reservoir sustained $3,000,000 in damage.) 8/14 update: Got an e-mail from a guy on Hammond Hill (north of East Otto) this morning, who says that buildings (and much of the contents therein) were destroyed by the mud and the septic systems were flooded in the flood. Quite the phenomenon.

Chronic tax evader Maurice John... honored by Catharine Young??? (WESB)... 8/10 Update 8/11: Speaking of Mr. John... he just got suspended from his position as the Seneca Gaming treasurer for embezzlement (Buffalo Business First)!

The November ballot is set (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 8/8

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