Thursday, September 6, 2007


On the fly:

*The successful completion of negotiations between a variety of parties means Dean Gitter's Belleayre Resort project finally will get off the ground. Lots of compromises, plenty of goodwill, most people walking away with smiles. That's the good news. But, boy, it took nearly a decade from the time the original plan was proposed to reach this stage. And, even if it's only a formality now, the formal approval process still must take place. So don't look for shovels in the ground anytime soon. Which is to say, a developer shouldn't have to go through the time and expense to get something done in this state. Many don't have the patience and/or resources to stick it out. Put another way, if you wanted to do a deal, would you come to New York?

*You're a tennis fan. You spend more than a few bucks to buy tickets for an evening session at the U.S. Open. Two quarterfinal matches are scheduled, the first starting at 7 p.m. You arrive in plenty of time only to discover that the last of the afternoon matches is still going on. So you wait with thousands of others, crowded into the plaza outside the stadium. A little over an hour later, you're inside and the women's match begins. Nearly two hours after that, it's the men's turn. Yes, now we're talking about after 10 p.m. on a weeknight for the start of the match. Good chance you have to go to work in the morning, but you hang in there beyond 11 p.m., then midnight. It's a good match, so you stifle a yawn and let your tennis fanaticism outweigh your common sense. You stay for the whole thing. It ends at nearly 2:30 in the morning. That's insane! What a way to treat paying customers. Watching at home on TV? Also, no respect for the armchair fans. The U.S. Open is one of the few major sporting events in the metropolitan area I've never attended. If I ever think about going, remind me to buy tickets for a weekend afternoon session.

*After the governor attended the big Belleayre Resort press conference in Kingston Wednesday, he was off to Binghamton for an event tied into the first day of school. It was in the suburb of Vestal where he encountered a TV reporter who questioned him about the Troopergate affair in Albany. According to The Associated Press, Gov. Spitzer answered the reporter's first question, then a second. The third was too much for him and he admonished the reporter by saying, "Get a life buddy." Governor, come back to us. You want to change the subject? That's your right. You want to ignore the reporter? Several presidents were masters of it. But no need to let your temper get the best of you, at least not in public. The reporter was only doing his job.
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