Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do you have a hurricane story?

Linda took this cell-phone photo of some of the trucks heading east on the Thruway Saturday.

My lovely wife, Linda, and I just got back from taking our son, George, off to college at Stony Brook University.
We moved up his move-in by a couple of days to get ourselves off the island well before Hurricane Irene was due to hit. At this writing (about 3 p.m. Saturday), Irene was expected in Long Island about 3 a.m.
The college has stout buildings and I'm told it occupies the highest ground on Long Island, so I'm sure George will be safe. I also suspect, though, that he's in for quite an adventure, because the computer models show the storm hitting Long Island with quite a wallop.
We got into the hurricane zone and got out ASAP. Nevertheless, we did come away with a few observations that were interesting to us:
• Everybody in Long Island and Connecticut seemed to want to gas up at the same time. Some stations were dry except for high-test all had long lines and suspiciously high prices . We had a half-tank, but nevertheless we filled up.
• Traffic was heavy, but nothing like the photos we've all seen of evacuations down south. I suspect it may pick up as the day progresses. Curiously, it was heavy in both directions.
• As we traveled on the New York Thruway, we saw well over 100 utility trucks (cherry pickers and trucks with big pole drills, mostly Verizon) headed in the opposite direction. It was a sight to see.
Anyway, I'd love to hear about your experiences. I'm sure there are more exciting tales than mine.
Please comment below or send them to

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New videos on mayoral race page

We posted two new videos on the mayoral race page Tuesday.
That can be seen at:
This time we ask incumbent Leo Matzke and challenger Don Hudson, what they would do to fight the drug problem in Oneida.
The answers were recorded a week or so before the latest meth lab bust, but certainly are timely.
If you want to contribute a question for upcoming videos, click on:
Submit a question for the mayoral candidates, which appears below the videos or email reporter Caitlin Traynor at:

Ready's presentation was great

Retired Maj. John Ready drew a small group to The Dispatch Media Lab Saturday.
There were lots of questions and lots of interesting stories.
I thought it was going to be a slow day, but as it turns out there was a major fire and a meth lab bust in Oneidfa that day.
Read Caitlin Traynor's story about Ready's presentation:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everyone welcome at Dispatch event Saturday

We're fortunate retired Army Maj. John Ready has agreed to conduct a session this Saturday in our new Community Media Lab.
You may have seen Ready in the pages of The Dispatch discussing his new project Veteran Images, in which he's attempting to documet the experiences of as many local veterans as he can.
It's a worthwhile project, in the same vein, but much more extensive of our own long-running "War Stories" series.

But that's not all Ready's prepared to talk about. He also plans to talk about his experiences in Iraq, where they called him "Uncle Sugar," because of his Army job: handing out cash (mostly hundred-dollar bills seized from Saddam) to Iraqi contractors doing work helping rebuild the country.

We hold these events at 11 a.m. and run until noon or so. The theory is that we won't take up people's whole day. Come and learn something. It's free and we'll also have free coffee, tea and doughnuts.

Maj. John Ready (Ret.)
11 a.m. - Noon Saturday Aug. 20

Visit Ready's blog:
Read Mike Jaquays' story about Ready's project at: