As if we need another sign that summer is over, PJ's Barbecue is closing for the season this Sunday 9/14. If you want to get good barbecue before April of 2009, you only have three more days to get there. It amazes me how many local people have never been there - it's such a fun place to go and the food is great. Well maybe I'll see you there over the weekend.
I like the fact that, as Tim Holmes of Wheatfields explained, Saratoga business owners aren't going to take success for granted and they are going to work even harder for customers. This impressive effort is certainly evidence of that prudent philosophy, and I commend the business owners for their initiative and leadership. We've heard a number of concerns about the commercial fortunes of downtown, but those concerns have often centered around too many people, too high of rents, too many chains trying to come in to the city. I'm not saying these aren't valid topics for discussion, but most other cities would kill to have our problems. They should also envy our local business leadership because there are reasons to be impressed. I linked a couple of articles below about this initiative.
I am in Buffalo tonight and I was on the internet trying to get election results for local elections, especially the primaries in the 43rd Senate District. I was having a lot of trouble getting accurate and up-to-date results, and I was quite surprised that with the internet at my disposal I couldn't come up with up to the minute information. Here is how my search went via Capital Region media web sites - from best to worst:
WRGB - CBS 6 - the best by far. Complete, accurate, and well laid out - reporting 100% of results in all counties. I was surprised that a TV station would be the best - congratulations to them.
Schenectady Daily Gazette - I checked their site late and they did have a good PDF file link from one of their articles. It was very good and complete but not posted until late and I still like CBS 6 better because they broke multi county races down by county, the Gazette did not. Still a good effort and worthy of accolades.
Albany Times Union - A disappointing third best. I went to them first thinking I would not have to go anywhere else, but I could only find partial information and their "election section" did not have any results as of midnight. They did have some recent election articles on the home page, but these were only partial results from some counties. For instance: It still does not have the final results from the 43rd Senate seat Democratic race (it's midnight) - they only gave incomplete results from Rensselaer County, and absolutely no results from Saratoga County. Again Channel 6 had all of this information (100% reporting) from both counties up on their site before 11pm.
WTEN, WNYT, and Capital News 9 just didn't have comprehensive information. WTEN's was not laid out well at all and it was partially inaccurate. It left me wondering. Capital News 9 was accurate but only covered a few races. ADDED NOTE: WNYT MADE SOME ADDITIONS AFTER MIDNIGHT THAT IMPROVED THEIR COVERAGE.
Fox 23 only had one election results link - and that was simply a copy of Phil Steck's concession speech in the 21st Congressional Seat race. They didn't even identify it as the 21st Congressional Seat - they just reprinted Steck's release.
I really have to give accolades again to CBS6 - they've actually updated their already updated information again since I started this post. I did not intend to measure election coverage by the local media outlets but it was easy to write about because it was simply a recap of my attempts to find out what happened back home in the elections. Glad I could share my little election results internet journey with you.
So many of us have been saying this: Where did the summer go? And... Where did track season go? Let's just get it over with - Merry Christmas.
I'm not telling you anything you don't know when I talk about how the first half of the track was like a 3 week monsoon, followed up by 3 weeks of decent weather. What may be a surprise is that I actually am feeling bad for NYRA and, furthermore, I am starting to simply accept them as the devil you know. The alternative is 24 more years of being miserable and I don't want to live that. I will hold their feet to the fire, as I have done before (they did eventually send me my refund check), but at this point I have a certain appreciation for them and, like I said, a feeling of empathy for what they had to endure weather (and economy) wise.
I mentioned my "appreciation" for NYRA, and that stems from the fact that their lack of business proficiency is as much of an asset to the fans as not. If a private entity took it over, they would answer to the shareholders of the company. That means they would eke every last dime out of the place, at the expense of fans and families. I am from Buffalo and yesterday I went to Ralph Wilson Stadium and watched the Buffalo Bills beat up on the Seattle Seahawks. As a lifelong Bills and Buffalo Sabres Fan (yes, I'm cursed) I have seen how sports venues try to take every step to separate you from your dollar. NYRA doesn't do that, at least not to the degree that other sports entities do. For that I will give them credit.
One thing that was a home run on their part was Restaurant Row - I went to it a few times and I was like "Where has this been all my life?" It had some tasty and healthy choices, and it was a great alternative to what seems like an endless supply of hot dog and barbecue stands. My suggestion: Keep it and perhaps even replace a few more of those hot dog and beer stands with even more local fare so we can get that much more flavor and health. OK that's it for now on NYRA and the track.