JEERS - To a high bid. You just can't make this up. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles tentatively awarded an $88.5 million contract to a Canadian company. A story by The Associated Press summed up the situation: "Cash-strapped New York has tentatively chosen the highest bidder to produce driver's licenses under a disputed contract that would provide only black-and-white photos and end up costing the state nearly $38 million more than the current contract if it's approved." Some elected legislators are calling for the DMV to explain why it awarded this contract at the higher cost. The explanation from a top aide of the governor says it's all a matter of the proper security to safeguard people against terrorists and identity thieves. Spending $38 million more for a Canadian company probably won't be featured in the governor's ads highlighting New York's business friendliness.
CHEERS - To Phase II. After buying the Schine Memorial Hall in downtown Gloversville only a year ago, those who make up the Schine Memorial Hall LLC have completed their first phase, which focused on renovations. The work included painting the facade, which can't be missed as you drive up or down Main Street, and a major renovation the eye can't see - repairs to the building's roof. Ron Zimmerman, project manager (a nice title for a volunteer), announced Phase II will involve the second floor of this historic building and include renovations for office space. This project has been a tremendous success, thanks to many individuals. One investor, Jim Strickland, expressed his feelings last February, stating, "It's good to drive down Main Street and see the building is finding its place again." We agree.
JEERS - To a despicable theft. An 18-year-old Amsterdam man was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly stealing donations for domestic-violence victims stored in a shed at 3 Henrietta St. in Amsterdam. Items taken ranged from toys to bedding and even appliances. Also appalling was the report the items that weren't taken were defecated on and burned. When investigators came to the apartment of the accused, Carlos Figueroa, items that were reported stolen were in plain sight, police said. The investigation is continuing. The crime, whether perpetrated by one person or multiple people, is despicable.