Archive for February, 2007

The Blog: if you don’t like it, you can get out!

Monday, February 26th, 2007
Jessica Lewis

There’s nothing more fun then a good and healthy debate. It can be enjoyable and even help relieve a little stress when you’re really able to argue your opinions. Even though I’ve always been pretty non-confrontational, I still thoroughly enjoy the occasional debate.

What I don’t enjoy so much is the constant third grade mentality that accompanies most of the debates I’ve heard recently. The relentless and very overstated phrase, “if you don’t like it, you can move,” has been grating on my nerves for months and months, and finally, I cannot take it anymore. I know, I know. If I don’t like it, I can leave. Right?

This logic, or lack there of, is stated constantly, especially when issues of politics are being addressed. What? You’re against the war in Iraq? Well, if you don’t like it, you can move to Canada. Oh and you, you disagree with certain political figures? I guess you better be on your way too.

Does anyone see a problem with this reasoning? Imagine what the country would be like today if instead of standing up against things you thought were wrong, you just left. There probably wouldn’t be anyone left in the United States. I don’t like slavery and I think women should be able to vote, but instead of working to change that, I’m just gonna go leave the country.

I know that as long as we have politicians, we are going to have differing opinions on who is right and what policies are valid, but the take it or leave it mentality makes no sense. It reminds me of a particularly brilliant episode of South Park, where the pro-war and anti-war residents were feuding. Of course in the cartoon world, everything was solved with a moving musical number at the end, but the point was if we didn’t have both sides, conservatices and liberals, things would be out of control.

Our government is made for the people, by the people, and that means that all opinions, whether you agree with them or not, should be heard, and if you don’t agree with that, maybe you should get out.

In the eye of the beholder

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Tyler Murphy

What is it about sex that makes some people take up arms? Is the subject so taboo? Many local people seem to think so and have expressed many opinions lately about Lovejoy’s Boutique opening up in Norwich.

I don’t get it, I can’t walk from my office to the cafe for a cup of coffee without having 10 different sexually enticing advertisements that objectify woman or men, flung at me( and if you’ve ever seen a commercial you know what I’m talking about.) Let me offer an example; remember the action figures when we were a kid, GI Joe and the gang? Ever compared a toy from 10 years ago to a toy today? Joe must have taken more drugs than a baseball player to get that jacked and it goes the same for nearly everything else. Someone somewhere figured out sex sells and a lot of sex sells more. The problem is most people don’t want to know about it.

Magazines, video, novelty gifts were all available before in our county. Between the Internet, TV and the back rooms of a few local businesses, we had just about everything even before the adult store moved in. Believe me I’m sure the people who crave such things knew were to get them. (Those people, you hate to hear it, are most normal people).

The new boutique however sits in large sight for all to see, and that’s the real issue isn’t it? Just like the power lines those corporate warlords from NYRI are trying to shove down our throats, the main concern for many is how it will look. How we look is who we will become in the eyes of a stranger. For instance new business owners, families looking for a nice place to raise children, even folks passing by that might be looking for a night’s rest. The greatest set of strange eyes to capture our home scene will be our children. Any influences such things may have will affect them the most. People who say “this isn’t a big deal get over it, it’s just porn, were all adults.” … well maybe you’re right but what’s the harm in considering the negative possibilities?

That all being said, I personally find little harm in this new outlet. Unlike the power lines, this shop will appear as it is perceived. Different people will see it differently based on their own personal choices and beliefs. The owner of the business made a good point to me that still creeps me out. There is more scrutiny at an adult shop than the alternative venues in Chenango. You’ll need an ID and you need to show up in person. Internet exposures only take a click and a jump. TV and phone services take maybe a credit card and any name over 18, the callers or not.

Most importantly we all as adults have the right to become sex-crazed porn addicts or worse if we want to, but we also have the responsibility to insulate our choices from those not capable of handling them. Given the alternative options of acquiring such material and taking into account the convenience to consenting adults of having a store, I see no evil in it and just maybe a little bit of fun.

Carts of the world, unite!

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
Michael McGuire

Shopping cart abandonment in the City of Norwich is not a problem, officials from P&C headquarters say.

That’s like saying “my coffee breath pleases not only myself, but others as well.”

Instead, P&C says they’re being “good corporate citizens” by allowing their shopping carts to be taken from their place of origin, only to be displaced and abused. It seems to them, the theft of a cart isn’t equal to the theft of a candybar, or a loaf of bread, which would put you in local slam for a night.

It’s this unequal treatment that’s got me so confused, and upset.

Why would P&C, who prosecutes shop lifters, not care about $100 dollars of their property walking out (rolling out, in this case) of the store without being paid for?

I know.

It’s because they hate carts. Yes, they hate them, and they are glad to see them go.

But I say we put an end to “Acartheid” (the legalized separation of shopping carts from P&C, their native land).

I say we break down these barriers and force P&C to see carts as equals in the land of retail grocery.

I say we round up all our squeaky comrades and bring them from the far corners of exile and take them home.

Why do I care?

Fair question.

I want to take on this problem because; a. it annoys me; and b. I think it’s so unimportant that I’ll be able to fix it.

I want to be Moses, Nelson Mandella, or Snoop Dog (who piloted the “Soulplane”), and wheel my people back to the promised land – for good.

And with your help we can do it together.

Join CARTOON (Carts of Our Nation) today.

email me at mmcguire@evesun.com if you want to get involved.

Half our lives spent in winter

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
Tyler Murphy

Well I guess we deserved it. Coasting through fall and early winter as if our State suddenly migrated 300 miles south. Winter has finally made it’s late appearance but what an entrance the old man has made this year.

I was beginning to wonder if those winters were snow drifts flanking my parent’s driveway, so high you couldn’t see a thing pulling out from between them, were over. I remember climbing a few drifts that seemed like mountains when I was a kid. Until today I had forgotten about most of that.

Winter and snow are finally here for us and I wonder how many more lie ahead, it seems every year these blizzards become less severe and more of a rarity. My Grandparents used to rant on about how when they were a kid winters used to be an arctic ordeal and after so many “in my day” conversations I just let the remarks ricochet off my mind. (Sorry grandma and grandpa but I think you were right.) With all this talk about global warming has made me wonder if things really are changing forever. The hottest years on record keep racing for first place and last year 2006 took the title, will 2007 trump that performance?

Will our winter disappear? If they do I can’t honestly say I’d be totally innocent. I’ve cursed the damn winter weather at least a thousand times. All that freezing weather make any out door chore a dreaded obligation. When I think about losing it though I feel it would be missed. Then I remember the snow days which are key to any childhood memories. I remember sledding and snow ball fights. I love the idea of being able to chuck things at my siblings without worrying about getting in too much trouble.

All of us from the area have spent nearly half our lives with our feet in the snow but our children most likely will not. We all have at least half of all our memories set against a stage of white background and cold air.

I’m glad that today an old friend showed up to remind me of our memories together. Some are bad, some are good, but none the less we had them together and there is a comfort to be found in that. We’ve all taken winter for granted at one time or another hoping for summer to last forever but as the old saying goes be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

In a Norwich minute

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Michael McGuire

According to fellow Evening Sun reporter Melissa deCordova, in three months the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad will be officially and fully abandoning the broken stretch of railroad between Sherburne and Greene. Look for the full story in tomorrow’s edition.

It probably won’t effect NYRI much. They’ll most likely still have a deal with the NYS&W to build the power line there, even if the patch is no longer a right of way. They might even be able to purchase the land outright.

At the Chamber of Commerce economic forecast breakfast Friday, political analyst David Shaffer said Albany can’t save Chenango County, even though it had a hand in its downturn. This is the second Chamber event I’ve seen Shaffer speak at – he’s pretty funny and seems sharp. His message is simple; we have to save ourselves, and we should be able too. Easier said than done, but definitely true. However, it shouldn’t take an expert to point out the obvious.

There were 5 shopping carts on Cortland street as of 5 p.m. Tuesday night.

Spitzer’s budget plans could put hospitals like Chenango Memorial in a tight squeeze, officials with CMH and the Healthcare Association of New York say. Spitzer’s budget would take away $645,000 dollars from CMH in 2007-2008, which is more than 2/3 of the hospital’s projected profit for the next fiscal year. HANY contends that the budget proposal will cost CMH over $5 million in the next five years. The new cuts would create a large problem for the hospital, one CHM official said, considering that decreased Medicare and insurance reimbursements are already putting the pressure on health care providers to float the costs.

Norwich residents Josh Morris and Steve Squires and Oxford resident Lisa Brooker (along with 13 other friends and family from the area) are going to jump into Goodyear Lake in Oneonta this Saturday to help raise money for four local children with life threatening illnesses. The Polar Bear Jump was created 12 years ago by a couple from Milford to help raise money for local kids and organizations in the area. Morris’ 3-year-old nephew Quinton, the son of Squires’ girlfriend, has Joubert Syndrome and is one of the children who’s sponsored in this year’s event. Go to www.pbjump.com if you want to make donations or get more information.

The Chenango County Historical Society is having it’s capital campaign fundraising dinner on February 22. It’s open to the public, call the society at 334-9227 for more information on the dinner. The goal is to expand the CCHS Museum on Rexford Street. I respect any initiative that tries to get people interested in their own community – especially because it’s like pulling teeth.

Snow, snow go away

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Jessica Lewis

Okay, no fair. So the snow is finally supposed to be coming, tonight of all nights. Happy The forecast is calling for a total of…well, it’s a whole lot of snow, and I am really not looking forward to it.

I’m not the type of person that shrinks away from physical tasks. In fact, a lot of times I enjoy them. After I’ve helped put up the fence around my yard or moved all the furniture in my house 18 times until it’s in just the right spot (only inches away from where it was in the first place) I feel a certain sense of accomplishment, even if I am covered in bruises from tripping over various objects and falling down non-stop. Remember, I’m graceful.

The problem is, I don’t do very well in the cold. If you ask anyone in the office, they’ll tell you it’s true. As soon as the thermostat hits 68.9, I’m shivering and my teeth are chattering. The general opinion in the office is that if I ate a “freaking hamburger” I wouldn’t be so cold, however, I’ve found no scientific data to back this up, so I’m going to continue my non-meat eating practices. It’s also been stated that eating a hamburger would minimize the effect that alcohol has on me, make me less likely to bruise so easily and perhaps make me fly. I can’t quite remember if that was said out loud or not, but I’m sure if I ate a hamburger my memory would be better too.

Anyway, back to the point at hand. I’m dreading the insane amount of snow we’re said to be receiving tonight, because I have no idea how long it will take to shovel out of the mess, but I’m sure it will take an amount of time significant enough to make me freeze my buns off. I’m equally sure that tomorrow morning, I will be waking up much earlier than usual to make sure the shoveling is done before I leave for work. The real problem is with the high probability of ice and the even higher probability that it will cause me to fall and possibly decapitate myself with the shovel. Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like that.

“30 Seconds II: The Wrath of Ed.”

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
Jeff Genung

Of everything I’ve done in my celebrated 16-year career here at The Evening Sun, nothing has garnered me more fame and glory than the comments that I occasionally intersperse in ‘30 Seconds.’

Sad, but true.

Very early on in the cultural phenomenon which is ‘30 Seconds,’ I decided that while the whole idea for it was to be a reader response line, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. So, when the sheer stupidity of a certain call moved me to break my silence, I’d chime in with a comment of my own – in bold italics, and signed with a simple “Ed.”

It wasn’t long, of course, before Ed.’s pithy retorts became an integral, and anticipated, part of ‘30 Seconds’ lore. Pretty much every time I shot back in print, level-headed people would encourage me to do more of it. Well, those people who recognized that “Ed.” and I were one and the same … I have a feeling that most ‘30 Seconds’ readers think there’s some guy here named Ed making fun of them.

Either way, it works for me.

When “30 Seconds” spread via this site to the rest of the universe, it took on a new life of its own, another permutation of the virus. But something was missing – the fetid ramblings were unchecked by Ed.’s rapier-sharp wit.

So, this week, Ed. makes his debut in the online version of “30 Seconds.” And the fun never ends here at evesun.com ….

It’s up to you

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
Michael McGuire

Relying on sure things should be the emphasis from here on out in the [tag]NYRI[/tag] fight.

Sure thing=citizens.

From what we’ve seen, I don’t think there will be a piece of legislation that could legally and completely [tag]stop NYRI[/tag], or companies like it. Let’s put it this way, if politicians could or wanted to craft such a bill, they would have done it already.

But honestly, the constitution and the law books shouldn’t have to be re-written to fit our needs every time something happens that we don’t like.

For example: Let’s say you’re in a bar and somebody bought your girlfriend/boyfriend a drink while you were over at the jukebox – selecting $20 dollars worth of Meatloaf tunes. You wouldn’t ask your congressman to make hitting on people in a bar illegal – you’d ask the weasel who tried to move-in on your old lady/old man if they would care to step outside and partake in a loser-leaves-town street fight.

We have to take NYRI head-on – and the loser will literally leave town. We have to prove that 16 people do not know what is best for us. We have to prove that we know what’s best for us. No matter how much we’d like to, we can’t railroad NYRI by changing the rules as we go along – not only giving them something to cry about later, but giving them ammunition to say we can’t, and won’t, take care of ourselves.

Political opposition keeps the project in the news – but organization, research, testimony, and information are what is going to beat NYRI. As Sherburne’s NYRI opposition Attorney Dan Duthie says, “We have to offer a proposal that is superior to theirs.”

All the upstaters I’ve ever known have only wanted a level playing field – whether it’s for us or our enemies. Winning a fair fight feels a lot better than winning a rigged one – unless your a real POS (pardon my Quebec).

So I say bring on the PSC. We’ve got the rules, we’ve got a place to play, all we need is the equipment, the players, and a bad attitude.

I say let the politicians raise the funding – and let the [tag]citizens do the fighting[/tag].

Stupid Bowl part II

Monday, February 5th, 2007
Jessica Lewis

OK fine, I’m a hypocrite. I know I complained about the[tag]SuperBowl[/tag] only a week ago, but I did watch about half of it last night. I didn’t intend to. My shopping trip ended early. Who knew that you could take five women and a baby to a bridal store, try on your bridesmaid’s dresses and get out in under an hour?

I repeated my [tag]anti-football[/tag] stance multiple times throughout the day, resulting in my best friend disowning me and my baby puking on my shoes. (Well, that may not have been a result of the football comment, but I could see the resentment in his eyes.)

I arrived home with plenty of time to spare before the big game and began doing laundry. It was during this particular event that I found a sweatshirt with an old and faded Chicago logo on it. Interesting, I thought, but it wasn’t enough to convince me to watch the game. There was after all a [tag]Monk Marathon[/tag] on USA (I love Monk) and a puppy bowl on Animal Planet, besides, I had plenty of things to do around the house, and not enough time to do them in.

I attempted to continue my laundry, painting, mopping and shoveling projects, but a certain baby was in no mood to allow me to set him down, so after a few hours of pacing and bouncing, not the best idea, we sat down and turned on the television. As it turns out, the puppy bowl isn’t as exciting as it sounds and, thanks to the last eight weeks of weekend Monk marathons, I’ve seen every episode ever made, so I took out my football sweater and decided to root for Chicago.

Now you understand why I don’t watch football, the team I was cheering for lost and my baby has some strange ailment where he gets sick every time a touchdown is scored. (At least that’s what it seemed like.) We turned the game off after way before the end and settle in for a long night of over tired crying and grumpiness, and the baby was no picnic, either.

After all that, I’ve decided that my original assumption was right. Football is not for me. I’ve also decided that there are way too many Monk marathons, but that’s a topic for another day.