My Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling

Thanks to “Mayor” Sheehan for yanking me off the injured reserve bench to weigh in on her recent “alcohol” ban for Albany St. Paddy’s Day parade. I had requested that a local elected attend this meeting but most are so disgusted with the current administration, they considered attending the meeting a frustrating waste of time. So, I’m pleased that the TU provided an article illustrating the chaos typical of any decision coming out of the “Mayor’s” office.

Finally, the TU illuminates the disorganization of Albany’s current administration from the same perspective that I’ve seen it! Thank you TU for peeking behind that prog curtain.

When the budget was first released, it was whispered to me that the St. Paddy’s parade was not in the budget. For month’s I’ve anticipated the chaos when the freshman administration of “know-it-alls” attempts to eliminate the annual parade. Here’s the fun part…all the local politicos, along with their a-teams,  attend 9AM mass at Blessed Sacrament  Church.

Read more: My Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling

State Adopts Emergency Building and Codes Orders to Remedy

From the Department of Building and Codes:


Compliance with Orders to Remedy

New Section 19 NYCRR 1203.5

Effective January 12, 2015

On Monday January 12, 2015, the Department of State adopted a regulation that fixes the time within which a person served with an Order to Remedy violation(s) of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) must comply with that Order. Specifically, the regulation provides that a person served with an Order to Remedy must fully comply with the Order within 30 days after the date of the Order.

New section 1203.5 in 19 NYCRR Part 1203 is part of the minimum standards for administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code. All cities, towns, villages, counties, and State agencies that are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code are required to comply with this new regulation


Because this rule adopting this regulation was filed as an emergency rule, it became effective immediately upon filing.


The Division of Building Standards and Codes (DBSC) and the Office of Councel have developed a Technical Bulletin containing information and special instructions to guide cities, towns, villages, counties and State agencies that enforce the Uniform Code on the implementation of this new regulation. The Technical Bulletin can be found on the DBSC website at the following webpage.



Southern Tier Casino May Get Do-Over

From the Gaming Commission:



My fellow Commissioners and I have reviewed the Governor’s December 26, 2014 letter asking the Gaming Commission and the Gaming Facility Location Board to consider issuing a new Request for Application for the fourth and remaining gaming facility license in the Southern Tier.


We are grateful for the diligence and professionalism of the Gaming Facility Location Board and their impressive commitment to public service.


The intent of the gaming statute was to benefit economically distressed Upstate areas experiencing high levels of unemployment. Clearly, the Southern Tier meets this criterion. A process to generate new proposals focused on the Southern Tier may create an additional opportunity to identify an appropriately structured and capitalized gaming facility that could bring the region important economic development and employment.


I have spoken with Gaming Facility Location Board Chairman Kevin Law and told him the Commission looks forward to working with the Board on this matter.


Read more: Southern Tier Casino May Get Do-Over

Retired Principal Wins Lotto Millions

From the Gaming Commission:


Mega Jackpot is largest ever claimed in New York Lottery History

MIDDLETOWN, NY – The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega today presented a Mega-sized ceremonial prize check to Harold Diamond, 80, of Wurtsboro, Sullivan County. The retired Elementary School Principal was the sole winner of a $326 millionMega Millions jackpot drawn on November 4, 2014. Vega introduced the soft-spoken winner at the Valero on Route 302 in Middletown where he purchased his life-changing ticket.


“My wife and I were driving to Middletown for dinner after voting on Election Day but the weather made us rethink our plans,” said the 39-year veteran of the Monticello School District who served as Principal at George L. Cook Elementary in Monticello before retiring in 1995. “My wife insisted we stop here to eat and wait for the weather to clear, and I reluctantly agreed.”


Diamond noticed the Mega Millions jackpot flashing on the Lottery terminal as he ate at the Subway shop located within the Valero and decided to spend $10 for 10 sets of Quick Pick numbers for that evening’s drawing.


“I put the ticket in my wallet and forgot about it,” he said matter-of-factly. “I went to play golf the next day and the guys in the clubhouse were talking about the jackpot-winning ticket someone bought at a Valero on Route 302 and I thought, wait a minute – I bought a ticket there last night!”


Diamond said he dashed home to catch the winning numbers on the evening news and saw the six numbers drawn matched the second set of Quick Pick numbers printed on his ticket making him the sole winner of the largest jackpot ever claimed in New York.


“I was in a dither; a real daze” he recalled.


The winning numbers for the November 4, 2014Mega Millions drawing worth $326 million were 09 15 24 39 41 and Mega Ball 01.


Diamond said he owes his new fortune to his wife Carol, a 36-year veteran of the Goshen school district where she taught math at Goshen High School before retiring in 1994.


“I have to thank her with both barrels because if it weren’t for her insistence, we would not be here today,” he said.


Diamond said he has been working with a financial advisor to plan for what comes next, but concedes it’s an awesome task.


“I simply can’t envision that kind of money,” he laughed, shaking his head. “It’s very hard to fathom. We feel very blessed.”


Diamond opted to take the cash value of the annuitized prize, earning him a single lump sum payment totaling $197,456,087. His net check will total $130,676,438 after required withholdings. Preliminary plans for the money include helping family and “giving back to the local community.”


Diamond’s win on the November 4 Mega Millions jackpot marks the 29th time a New Yorker has won the top prize on the multi-state mega jackpot game, which launched in 2002. Other recent New YorkMega Millions jackpot winners include:


“The Albany 7” (a group of State employees from the Capital Region) who split

$319 million in 2011;


David Bruckner of California who claimed a $206 million jackpot on a ticket he

purchased while visiting family on Long Island in 2011;


Richard and Mary Morrison of Miller Place who split a $162 million jackpot in

2009; and


Aubrey Boyce of Kew Gardens who set up the Archibald Trust to accept a

$133 million jackpot in 2009.

Blood is on Their Hands

A few years ago, I was contacted by the then-NYC Public Advocate’s office of a freshly elected Bill DiBlasio. The woman from his office was tasked with contacting influential bloggers to reach the audience DiBlasio believed were more apt to pick up an iPad instead of a newspaper.

I reminded the woman that I was in Albany, no New York City and she continued to push for support from my blog. I asked some friends, mutual to myself and DiBlasio, what his story was and why should I join his project and all spoke very highly of him.

I began my own minimal research on this politician I had barely heard of and then gave the DiBlasio office a call. “Have you ever read my blog?” I asked? “Well, no, but that doesn’t matter, you are a trusted source on the Internet.” I suggested the woman give my blog a good read and get back to me if she still thought I would be helpful to Mr. DiBlasio.

I never heard from DiBlasio’s office again.

Read more: Blood is on Their Hands

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