Link Update

The Organizational Meeting minutes is updated and a link for it can be found on the right of this page. Salary Addendum is attached.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Numbers and a little football by Michael Cristo

I have no idea what happened to the number for the postings.  When I originally put them on it was it was a major undertaking for me because it dealt with computer coding and cutting and pasting lines of commuter text into HTML, blah blah blah that I had no idea what I was doing, have no idea how I did it and I don't not have the time to try and figure it out again right now.  I'm kind of hoping it returns as magically as they disappeared, so I apologize for the change.  It's nothing we did, I guess the blogs have a mind of their own at times.   If I can figure it out, I will get them back.  Right now, I need to go out and stock up on Twinkies and Ho Ho's!  Given their shelf lives, I should be able to buy a lifetime supply!

Out of curiosity, are there any bets on the playoffs this weekend?  Gotta be honest, I'm torn on the Green Bay/Giants game.  I was a Green Bay fan back when they were real bad during college, but find it difficult to stay a fan, (I'm an underdog man).  These days, I'm a Giant's fan.

That notwithstanding, pure talent implores routing for the Saints.  I watched Drew Brees when he broke the record and the team is simply fluid and complete.  Brees was just impressive and I don't see anyone beating them, but i understand that the 49ers has a hell of a defense, so it should be a couple of great games.

On the other side... I join a good many people in not being a Brady fan and i'd like to see the Broncos take them down.  Little too much Tebow hype for my liking, but would still like to them win.

For my money, I think a Green Bay/ Saints match up would be a better game than the Super Bowl and I'd like to see it.  Have my doubts on the Giants being able to beat the Saints, so I guess I'm pulling for the Giants, but won't be disappointed or surprised if the don't pull it off.

Other than that, don't really care about the other games.  if the Broncos beat the Pats, I'm guessing the Ravens would advance, but I really have no idea what I'm talking about.

Off to get my twinkles... never like the sno-balls.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twinkies Falls Victim to Pension & Health Benefits.....by Ann Taylor

Check it out!!!!!  Glenn Beck agrees with me----he loves Twinkies!!!!
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/twinkies-maker-hostess-seeks-bankruptcy-132215604.html

It's sad!  It's just really, really sad!  Even TWINKIES can't escape the unrelenting rising costs of the union's pension and health care.  Per the above reference:

"In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Hostess disclosed that its biggest unsecured creditor is the Bakery & Confectionary Union & Industry International Pension Fund, which it owes approximately $944.2 million.
Its second-largest unsecured creditor, Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan is owed far less, about $11.8 million."

When Twinkies can't survive the costs (keep in mind obesity is on the rise in the United States) what are the rest of us suppose to do?  They also stated increased competition is hurting them.  They employ 19,000 and operate in 49 states.  
It's a very sad day when 19,000 people will fall prey to the union's rising pension costs and health care costs.  Sometimes there needs to be ALOT of give and take in order to save ALOT of people.  
Today---go have some Twinkies!  It's a little "bite" of Americana that we may lose due to the economy!  Enjoy it while you can.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Politics and Chimps---Have we REALLY evolved.......by Ann Taylor

I was watching a show on NatGeo last January (January 23rd to be exact).  I recalled an email discussion I had with some friends regarding the topic discussed and decided to troll through my email archive to find it.  I did and would like to share it with all of you now; the topic and discussion are as timely as ever!  The show was called Mutant Planet.  True title, real show check your cable listings if you don't believe me.  Anyways, I watched the show.  It discussed certain traits that some species have adapted to insure survival of the species.  This episode focused on The Great Rift in Africa. 
One of the species they studied was the chimpanzee.  If you know me at all you know I am all about chimpanzees; LOVE them!  So the show pulled me in further because of the chimps.  Chimpanzees have a diet similar to humans, they eat both plant and animal life.  Here is the funny part--they don't need the "animal" life to survive.  They can easily survive on plant life and be strictly herbivores.  So why do they hunt and kill some animals and eat the meat????  POLITICS!  No lie!  POLITICS!  The narrator used the word POLITICS!  When the "alpha" male hunts and kills he shares the meat with the other males that he is "friends" with to insure their support down the road!  So I ask you...have we REALLY evolved!  The most powerful chimps catch the meat and then divide it out to their friends--similar to what we do with appointed jobs isn't it????? And for me...that kind of said it all.....how involved do I truly want to be in politics if this is based on CHIMP society.  I mean, I love chimpanzees but I would like to think I am a tad more advanced than they are. 
And by the way, the other reason they hunt and kill for meat, that they really don't need--for SEX!  Yup!  After they share the meat with the males of their choice they share what is left over with females--the females remember the male shared the meat and provide "favors" later. 
Yeah-----we really advanced from our distant cousins!  
 
Enjoy your day and hopefully we each do something today that places us MUCH higher on the food chain (or at least on the brain train)!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Food or Alarm...by Ann Taylor

A few funny things happened Saturday.  Actually it wasn't a funny thing that occurred, it was everyone's reaction to it that was funny.  I will explain.

I was having lunch at Panera.  They were serving a big crowd and doing a great job.  Everyone was friendly and the food was great.  While I was sitting and enjoying my meal, an alarm sounded...and sounded....and sounded....and sounded.  The employees in the food preparation area all looked at one another and each said they didn't do it.  Mind you, this alarm is sounding loudly enough so people on the other side of the Hudson can hear it....yet not one person interrupted their meal to get up and leave, including me.  I assume everyone believed it was a false alarm but for me....well....it takes a WHOLE LOT of distraction for me to leave my meal...not even an ear piercing alarm could pry me from my food.  Then the manager began walking around and instructing customers they had to leave.  Guess what everyone's next move was----each one of us picked up our food and took it with us.  Not one of us was willing to leave our food---we simply took it and ate it out in the parking lot!  This was not a decision made collectively at a meeting or even by taking a vote.  None of us spoke, we simply reacted and we all decided the food was just way too important to leave behind.  As I left Panera (food in hand) I could not stop laughing and thought, "In many ways all people are alike!  Food comes first!"

Food or Alarm???  Guess many of us would choose food.  What's your favorite meal?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year by Michael Cristo

I was thinking about how difficult the past couple of years have been politically, not just here in East Greenbush, but nationally and wondering where we go from here... again nationally.

It's easy to get caught up in our own firestorm of politics here, but when you read financial papers, national headlines and look at the economy from different perspectives around the country, it seems almost everywhere, except maybe north Dakota, things are not improving much.

Here in the Albany area and in limited spots around the country, there is an appearance of things moving pretty well; however, that seems to be larger projects where major capital is being invested and benefiting a relatively small segment of the population.  If you belong to one of the state unions, you felt the pain a little more this year than ever before and things are changing as we are getting to a point where we are at a breaking point with raising taxes and everyone is being forced to give a little bit.

I just watched a report that said that movie ticket sales were way down last year because the prices are too high and there are enough alternatives to seeing a movie and the public is expecting MORE out of their movie experience, meaning it has to be REALLY good to merit going to the theater.

Man, when hollywood is taking a hit we are in real trouble because it doesn't seem we produce too much else these days.  I'm not sure what 2012 has in store, but it seems that if things on a national scale don't improve soon, we are going to continue to feel the pain in our own back yard.

I'm not sure what projects are on the boards for East Greenbush, but it seems that despite all of the projects we have approved over the years, our taxes don't change much.  While I have the highest hopes for an improving economic condition, it appears that we may not have seen the worst of this economy yet.  Banks still aren't lending, people aren't spending, (and when I say people, there is a lot of BIG money still sitting on the sidelines.  Not sure what they are waiting for, but they are re-entering the market with great trepidation.)

Maybe we are truly at a point where both sides need to put the needs of the public ahead of their own personal ambition and the needs and wants of their party.  The over spending needs to stop, the excess needs to stop and at some point we need to have a greater vision for tomorrow.  The fingers crossed approach hasn't yielded much in the way of progress.  We need to be more proactive and as we have seen in East Greenbush, we the public, need to be more involved.

Government will only do what public opinion pushes them to do.  Given the opportunity you pander to special interest, they will every time, unless doing so will impact their ability to get re-elected.

Whatever the New Year has ahead, I hope it brings, good health, prosperity and good fortune to all... we sure could use it!
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