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Election 13: A vote about Ithaca?
Finger Lakes Times ^ | Friday, November 8, 2013 10:29 am | By MICHAEL FITZGERALD: Michael.Fitzgeraldfltcolumnist@gmail.com

Posted on 11/10/2013 10:38:14 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines

In Schuyler and Seneca counties, some candidates ran against the city of Ithaca, rather than living, breathing opponents. They were running against what unsuccessful Schuyler County legislative GOP candidate John White called “the Ithaca mindset.”

As puzzling as that vague description might seem, his comment pales compared to a campaign postcard circulated widely in the town of Covert. The postcard prominently featured a 1960s peace symbol and a floral decorated Volkswagen bug, all meant to alert voters that “Ithaca Liberals Are Coming To Covert.”

The postcard also gravely warned: “They’re trying to take over the town board and bring Ithaca-politics to our town.”

The three anti-hydrofracking candidates who were the targets of the flyer lost their bids for office.

This anti-Ithaca attitude has puzzled me for several years since the first time I encountered it at a meeting in Watkins Glen about the proposed Inergy LP propane storage project. A very civilized public question-and-answer discussion with the Watkins Glen Village Board was going along quite smoothly, I thought, until an audience member — and employee of Inergy — admonished the trustees to stop listening to any more audience comments.

“You would be wise not to be sucked into this Ithaca-based fanaticism,” he said.

Fanaticism?

Most of the audience was asking questions about how safe it was to store 88 million gallons of liquid propane gas in salt caverns. A few wondered if there was sufficient fire protection in case of major catastrophe. Others asked about the impacts of more tractor-trailer rig traffic on already very congested village streets.

Concerned about their community? Yes. Fanaticism? It’s embarrassing to even ask that rhetorically.

Since that time I’ve been a spectator and/or journalist at many meetings in Watkins Glen and the towns of Hector and Reading. I have observed some of the characteristics attributed to the citizens of our municipal neighbor to the east — and like-minded thinkers — that would strike such a fear.

The first is these folks have a penchant for asking often-uncomfortable questions of public officials in public meetings. If the incumbent members of these boards were British, they might call their questioners “quite cheeky.”

From a journalist’s standpoint, I would call them quite good questioners. A second characteristic is these cheeky people want to participate in the governing process by having their opinions heard and actually considered. They are not content to have town and village board members (or county legislators) simply order them to be mute bystanders while the governing body makes its decisions as if the citizen-audience members were behind a glass wall with duct tape over their mouths.

But I believe the characteristic that really stoked the blaze of anti-Ithaca sentiment this fall is that these cheeky people — faced with uncommunicative, uncooperative and sometimes even openly hostile elected representatives — decided to use the democratic process to grab the levers of power and take back control of their communities. Now that’s cheeky.

While the Covert crew lost their bids for office, a staunch anti-hydrofracking candidate in the town of Hector did win a two-year term. And the Schuyler County Legislature will now have a Democrat at the table who vowed to open up the county government to the people if he was elected.

That seems so cheeky, so Ithaca.

And so refreshing.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: cityofevil; fitzgerald; ithaca; michael
This anti-Ithaca attitude has puzzled me for several years since the first time I encountered it

Not hard to understand for anyone isn't--like the author--a far left environmental activist posing a journalist.

In short, Ithaca is the City of Evil.


1 posted on 11/10/2013 10:38:15 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Hieronymus; VampireStateNY; governsleastgovernsbest; gaspar; NativeNewYorker; drjimmy; Atticus; ...

City of Evil bump


2 posted on 11/10/2013 10:39:12 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

The city of mischief maybe... for real evil you have to look to Washington DC


3 posted on 11/10/2013 10:52:07 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
White lost by 29 votes... hardly a landslide
4 posted on 11/10/2013 11:08:15 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode
White lost by 29 votes... hardly a landslide

Meanwhile, the anti-Ithaca/pro-fracking candidates in Covert each won with over 60% of their vote. But you'll notice the author conveniently ignores this.

5 posted on 11/10/2013 11:31:57 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
selective reporting at it's finest...
6 posted on 11/10/2013 11:34:22 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Chode
I've lived either in or nearby the "Ithaca mindset" for 34 years. It's quite real.

It's a tacit assumption made by the liberal majority that OF COURSE you agree with their values, goals, agenda, etc.

OF COURSE you go to see the approved speakers when they come to town.

OF COURSE you support the approved demonstrations and protest against the disapproved ones.

OF COURSE you support the approved causes, and even if you don't have a circle-slash NO FRACKING sign in your front lawn, you are assumed to be against fracking.

OF COURSE you vote for the approved candidates for office.

OF COURSE.

"Mindset"? Yeah, set in concrete.

Protective coloration is advised for venturing into town, unless you look forward to being besieged.

7 posted on 11/10/2013 2:11:14 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
> The city of mischief maybe... for real evil you have to look to Washington DC

Mischief.... more like ersatz evil.

8 posted on 11/10/2013 2:13:51 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

The author is clueless I guess


9 posted on 11/10/2013 2:43:25 PM PST by GeronL
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To: dayglored

The author also conveniently ignores the “Ithaca types” who took out an ad in the local Pennysaver and accused the Covert republicans of being like (actual quote) “Nazi collaborators” for not opposing fracking.


10 posted on 11/10/2013 3:18:01 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: dayglored
100%!!! i go into ithaca 3-4 times a year and only to have maintenance done on the car... then goto Five-Guys when i pick up the car

gone are the days of the Salty Dog, the "OLD" Haunt and the Derby, it's now simply one more place to avoid at all costs

11 posted on 11/10/2013 3:32:24 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode
>gone are the days of the Salty Dog, the "OLD" Haunt and the Derby,...

Let's see, Salty Dog -> Captain Joe's Reef -> Max's -> KeyWest -> Castaways (did I forget one?)

Castaways closed down over a year ago and the building is either razed or due for it. The whole frickin' West End is getting "gentrified" out of existence. My band played at the three last incarnations... *SIGH*

The old Haunt is now a D.P. Dough calzone place. Decent calzones, given that they're quick-n-dirty. But not very musical. We played the old Haunt a number of times, too..... *SIGH*

The new Haunt is kinda upper-crusty now, even though it's more metal. I assume you probably experienced "Fetish Night" there. It's not for the faint of heart, but you strike me as a pretty robust character... ya never know.... :)

12 posted on 11/10/2013 3:53:43 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: dayglored; Chode
Castaways closed down over a year ago and the building is either razed or due for it

I heard a rumor that a new bar was opening there soon, for what it's worth.

The new Haunt is kinda upper-crusty now, even though it's more metal.

Actually, I'm kind of liking some of the music at the Haunt these days, now that Dan Smalls is bringing some national acts there: the Old97s, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Straitjackets and Joan Osborne have all played there recently, for example.

13 posted on 11/10/2013 4:08:59 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: dayglored
yeah, we both forgot Night Court!
14 posted on 11/10/2013 4:18:34 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
i must be gettin old as i never heard of any of them...
15 posted on 11/10/2013 4:20:44 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Chode
> I heard a rumor that a new bar was opening there soon, for what it's worth.

Hopefully more a clone of the old roadhouse, less a clone of, say, Kelly's Dockside. And hopefully they'll have live music.

> Actually, I'm kind of liking some of the music at the Haunt these days, now that Dan Smalls is bringing some national acts there: the Old97s, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Straitjackets and Joan Osborne have all played there recently, for example.

I should start paying more attention, I guess. I'm living 20 miles east of town now up in the hills, so it's not as convenient to step out on a Fri/Sat night... but it might yet be worth it. Thanks for the tip!

16 posted on 11/10/2013 4:21:08 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: Chode
> yeah, we both forgot Night Court!

Oh geez... I must be the one getting old... I recognize that name but can't place it -- was that at the West End location that hosted the string of names I gave earlier? Or elsewhere in town?

I remember the Arcade on Aurora St between Seneca and Buffalo, and the Unicorn above Mayers/TGMillers on East State St., and the Ithaca Music Hall (short-lived) on West State next to the VFW and across from the State Diner....

(Dusting off the ol' synapses...)

17 posted on 11/10/2013 4:28:03 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: dayglored
iirc Night Court became the Arcade, i kinda remember the Unicorn but not the Music Hall, we used to play all those places too...
18 posted on 11/10/2013 4:46:03 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode
i must be gettin old as i never heard of any of them…

Come on, you have to know at least one Joan Osborne song.

Most of her output is actually blues and soul and she's quite good.

19 posted on 11/10/2013 4:55:32 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Chode; dayglored

Man, the Arcade…that place closed in, what, 1982? I’m getting old too.


20 posted on 11/10/2013 4:58:29 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
yup... head the song alright, but never knew who sang it, thx
21 posted on 11/10/2013 5:10:12 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: dayglored

Heh heh I like the new spin on your tag. I think the mysterious lady is better than our dumbed down electorate!


22 posted on 11/10/2013 5:47:28 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
> Heh heh I like the new spin on your tag. I think the mysterious lady is better than our dumbed down electorate!

Yep! Hard to imagine how a damsel clad in shimmering samite could do any worse than what we are suffering with now!

23 posted on 11/10/2013 7:11:53 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: dayglored

And anyhow, samite can be made waterproof now with the modern synthetics. She can lie there and wait till someone has the sense to take the silly sword....


24 posted on 11/10/2013 9:30:32 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: dayglored

In modern days would she be holding up a M-16 instead???


25 posted on 11/10/2013 9:32:04 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
> In modern days would she be holding up a M-16 instead???

Well, you know the image that I have on my FR Profile Page:

Perhaps someone more talented with Photoshop than I can do the honors with your excellent idea!!

26 posted on 11/10/2013 9:42:46 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
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To: dayglored

Kind of silly to hold it by the blade anyhow, unless she’s supposed to be cutproof.


27 posted on 11/10/2013 10:23:01 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar again if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: dayglored

I worked at Cayuga Medical center in Ithaca from 1996 to 2001; I’d come in from Candor to work there. Now I live in Virginia and I’m never going back!


28 posted on 11/11/2013 1:19:15 AM PST by mdmathis6
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Back in the ‘60s, my Dad almost moved us from Rochester to Ithaca to take a job in the gun industry because he was a true gun fan. I’m not sure what changed his mind - possibly the restructure by the Ithaca folks that was going on, but am grateful we never hit that evil city.


29 posted on 11/11/2013 4:02:41 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

I went to the Old 97’s show last week at The Haunt and they smoked. Saw James McMurtry and Patterson Hood there earlier this year. May go to Lucero on Wednesday. You should check out the Blind Spots on Saturday; I’ve got a bud who is in the band.

The Arcade was where I first hung out when I moved to Ithaca if I wanted to check out the townie girls, and it was the North Forty for the college girls. Those were the days, my friend...


30 posted on 11/11/2013 11:01:03 AM PST by drjimmy
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To: drjimmy

I caught McMurtry and enjoyed. I saw the old97s about a year ago in LA while on vacation so I skipped this one. I am tempted by Lucero but some weeks are harder to go out on a school night than others.


31 posted on 11/11/2013 12:30:58 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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