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Archived stories from Saturday, August 7, 2010 through Wednesday, October 6, 2010
8/18: Wow, I am slipping. Missed a week of news, for crying out loud. Senecas demanding resignation of a mayor that doesn't even come within 400 miles of their territory for opposing their tax schemes... now suing the state and the state police to try and stop it (again)... plus I also missed the goings-on in Little Valley this past Saturday, with the car show and the street fair...

8/9: Where are the Arbitrons? Arbitron is the company responsible for measuring how many people are listening to the radio stations in this area. They do measure for the Olean market (which includes Cattaraugus, Allegany, McKean and Potter Counties) every six months. They stopped posting their summary data after spring 2005, and didn't post any for four years. Then, in 2009, they started posting the results again. I was hoping they were going to continue posting them through spring 2010, which was supposed to come out July 28. Alas, nothing. Apparently somebody wanted those numbers suppressed. I hear ads on WPIG claiming they're still "by far #1," but where's the beef? Where does seemingly popular upstart WGWE stand in the ratings? Shortly before 7/28 WPIG had backed off their claim as #1 station in the Twin Tiers and WGWE was running ads claiming that they were the new favorite radio station. What's going on here, and where is the truth???

8/7: Rollover day-- and anniversary day too! Unfortunately, due to work, the annual retrospective will likely have to wait.

Mamma mia... that's a big pumpkin-- over 1500 pounds (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 10/4

Debates set for the NY-29 race
(Hornell Evening Tribune)... 10/3

Your taxes just went up-- on clothing
(AP)... 10/3

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 30
Near peak foliage is beginning to show up in much of the area this week. Both the New York state tourism agency and the Pennsylvania state agency is predicting near peak or peak foliage this weekend, just in time for the Falling Leaves Festival in Salamanca. As of last Sunday, I checked and found that the leaves were indeed not as far along as the ones on the hill outside my house, which are at, and possibly a bit past, peak. As for the rest of the state, somewhat surprisingly, we're right on pace with the Adirondacks, Taconics/Berkshires, and Catskills as far as colors go, as both are firmly at peak, as early adopter Tupper Lake has now past its peak. Buffalo and the Finger Lakes are listed as "just changing" while the rest of upstate sits at midpoint.


Some prime real estate up for auction next month:
in Franklinville, there's a strip of land, nearly 200 feet long... and only five feet wide... which drops into a ravine 80 feet deep. Yes, indeed, you can own your very own cliff! (Note: unlike the spring auction, which was held in Little Valley, in the fall property auction you have to show up at the site to bid.)

Word of advice for bicyclists:
if you're looking to head from Little Valley to Salamanca, avoid the Pat McGee Trail on the east side of Little Valley. The trail has been covered with gravel, making the ride a very difficult one. Trust me, I learned that from experience on Sunday. 9/28

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 23

Apparently the state tourism agency and I are beginning to diverge widely. The state is reporting that a spotter in Little Valley is saying 20 to 25 percent color change. Well, apparently they're not looking at the same Little Valley hills that I am. The color change has progressed at an unusually rapid pace this year. The hill just to the south of Little Valley has progressed unusually far for late September and I would almost put it at near peak, with numerous yellows and oranges and a diminishing number of greens. I am considering a trip down to Salamanca this weekend to see what their hills look like. The hills to the north appear to have significant changes, and although not quite at midpoint, they will be soon. Bright oranges and yellows have shown early this year, despite the lack of a frost. Moving on to the rest of the state... the state tourism agency has now put all of upstate New York into the "just changing" category or higher. Most of the Adirondacks and Catskills, as well as a small piece of the Berkshires in New York, are at midpoint, while traditional early changer Tupper Lake is already near peak.

Apple cider has arrived at Brooks Market, the leaves have begun to change color, and now Pumpkinville is open for the season! Who needs the equinox? Fall is already here!

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 16
The progression of fall colors continues this week at their typical pace. The state tourism agency reports that the entire Adirondacks region and part of the North Country is now in the “just changing” (10-30%) category, as are the Catskills, the Berkshires and the Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse and Buffalo metro areas. Tupper Lake has peak foliage this week, with 35% color change, with Saugerties not far behind at 25-30%.
The rest of the state is at less than 10% color change; in Little Valley, the bright greens on the north-facing hillsides have begun to fade to a paler, yellowish green, in anticipation of the full change that will take place over the course of the next month or so. Overall amount of change right now is from 2 to 5% in the region. Update: As of 9/18, the south-facing trees are showing definite signs of color change and are showing yellows fairly consistenly. The sunward slopes, on the other hand, are showing scattered signs of change.

And all because the Seneca Nation refuses to pay a cut of casino revenue:
city of Salamanca to lay off nearly 50 workers (WGRZ)... 9/16

Fullervision 2010 New York Primary Election Results/Projections:

New York Governor (Republican): Carl P. Paladino defeats Rick Lazio
New York Governor (Conservative): Rick Lazio leads Ralph Lorigo
Lieutenant Governor (Republican): Edwards narrowly leads Ognibene
New York Attorney General (Democratic): Schneiderman wins
U.S. Senate, special election (Republican): Joseph J. DioGuardi narrowly leads David Malpass
U.S. Senate, general election (Republican): Jay Townsend defeats Gary Berntsen
U.S. House, District 29, general election (Republican): Thomas W. Reed is unopposed

Scott Douglas of WESB/WBRR informed me last night that his former station, WQRS (98.3) in Salamanca, has switched to an all-satellite country music format, dropping its longtime classic rock format after rock-leaning classic hits WGWE/Little Valley signed on... the station now becomes the third country outlet in Cattaraugus County, behind market leader WPIG/Olean and younger-leaning WBYB/Portville... WQRS has had signal problems as of late and what used to come in clearly in Little Valley now gets drowned out by an adjacent-channel WKSE (98.5) all the way from Niagara Falls... 9/15

Senator Schumer claims price gouging by the coffee industry overseas (Syracuse Post-Standard)... 9/14

Fall Foliage Report: Week of September 9

Yes, indeed, it's time once again for the annual fall foliage reports. The state tourism agency is reporting the first hints of significant color in the state in their traditional locations, the Catskills and the Adirondacks. Tupper Lake, a frequent early changer, is currently in the lead with 25% change. The rest of the state has only minimal change; there have been a few spotty trees around the area that have seen a little bit of change in the leaves but I'd put that number at 1% or less at this point, and the hills remain predominantly green. I am quite excited about this year.

Shock: union rate in New York State double the national average! 70% of our government is unionized, compared to half that in other state governments
(New York Times)... 9/8

Proof that New York state restrictions on cigarettes are all about money:
in the past six years, a period where smoking cigarettes has become more and more restricted (can't even smoke in a bar for crying out loud) and taxed more and more heavily, the proponents would have you believe it's to lower smoking rates, but they'd be wrong-- it's failed to make any difference (WGRZ)... 9/8

State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, just after warning that he's going to force municipalities to kick in more for pensions, is caught encouraging state workers to pad their pensions (Gannett)... 9/3

Convenience store lobby demands:
If you don't collect taxes on the Indians, we want the taxes cut so we can compete (press release)... 9/2

Village of Cattaraugus chief of police accused of harassing a local minister by phone (WIVB)... 8/30

THE SENECAS ARE THREATENING US... 8/25 UPDATE 8/30: Reports flying-- "rally" scheduled for the state thruway at the 438 interchange tomorrow at 2:30, no tire fires reported yet... per WGRZ...

Report: major seizure of marijuana in Dayton... developing... 8/20

I was wondering what she was up to: my former neighbor, Brandi Bartlow, arrested a few days for stealing a car last year (WESB)... 8/20

Volk off the ballot officially-- fails to get enough signatures to qualify as a third party... it's Zeller vs. Reed this fall (Hornell Evening Tribune)... 8/18


Convenience store lobby claims: areas around reservations, near PA border lose half of their cigarette business due to tax increases this past July, while across the borders and on the rez, business has as much as quadrupled (Business First)... 8/11

IRS threatens several area nonprofits with revocation of tax-exempt status (WGRZ)... 8/11

State of New York intercepts shipment of untaxed cigarettes being shuttled by one of the litigants in the Senecas' lawsuit against the PACT Act (WGRZ) (WIVB)... 8/10 Update 8/11: Never mind, BN says the shipment will be returned....

Seneca gambling enterprises return to profit (Business First)... 8/8

Young comes out against the prisoner reallocation, calling it unconstitutional (Jamestown Post-Journal)... 8/8

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