Warren Can Win!

Elizabeth Warren’s memoir begins with the story of a family in collapse. She was 12 years old when her father had a heart attack.

His recovery was slow. Unable to work, the family’s finances tanked. The Studebaker was repossessed. When he was able to return to work, Montgomery Ward took away his job selling carpeting and gave him a job selling lawn mowers on commission. Warren asked her mother why the old job was gone. “In her view, his company had robbed him of something he’d worked for. And now, she said, ‘They think he’s going to die.’ ”
The financial spiral had the predictable effect on the family’s emotional life. “Sometimes that spring I would overhear my parents arguing,” Warren remembers, “I guess I shouldn’t describe it as arguing; my father never said much of anything, while my mother yelled louder. They drank more, a lot more. . . . I knew that my mother blamed my daddy for not doing ‘what a man is supposed to do’ and taking care of us.”
Her mother ended up getting a job at Sears, her father got a job as a maintenance man and the family finances stabilized — at a low level. Warren concluded the episode this way: “My mother never had it easy. She fought for everything she and my daddy ever had.”

The memoir is called “A Fighting Chance.” The words “fight” or “fighting” appear in the book 224 times. In high school, Warren writes, she couldn’t play a musical instrument or a sport, “but I did have one talent. I could fight — not with my fists, but with my words. I was the anchor on the debate team.” Of her tennis game she writes, “Once I had a weapon in my hand, I gave it everything I had.”
With relish, she describes a fight she later had with a judge on a panel discussion over bankruptcy law. “The judge probably had a hundred pounds on me, and he started shifting himself closer to the microphone and edging me out of his way. I grabbed the table for leverage and pushed my way to the microphone, going shoulder to shoulder with the judge as I hit back with arguments. . . . I glanced over and noticed with satisfaction that the veins in his neck were throbbing and his face was red and sweating. I wondered briefly whether he might have a stroke right there on the small stage.”

Her biggest adult fight has been against the banks, against what she saw as their rapacious exploitation of the poor and vulnerable. The crucial distinction Warren makes is this one: It’s not just social conditions like globalization and technological change that threaten the middle class. It’s an active conspiracy by the rich and powerful. The game is rigged. The proper response is not just policy-making; it’s indignation and combat.
The political class has been wondering if Warren, a United States senator from Massachusetts, will take on Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. This speculation is usually based on the premise that Warren couldn’t actually win, but that she could move the party in her direction. But, today, even for those of us who disagree with Warren fundamentally, it seems clear that she does have a significant and growing chance of being nominated.

Her chances are rising because of that word “fight.” The emotional register of the Democratic Party is growing more combative. There’s an underlying and sometimes vituperative sense of frustration toward President Obama, and especially his supposed inability to go to the mat.

Events like the Brown case in Ferguson and the Garner case in New York have raised indignation levels across the progressive spectrum. Judging by recent polls, the midterm defeat has not scared Democrats into supporting the safe option; it’s made them angrier about the whole system. As the party slips more into opposition status, with the next Congress, this aggressive outsider spirit will only grow.

In this era of bad feelings, parties are organized more around what they oppose rather than what they are for.

   Republicans are against government. Democrats are coalescing around opposition to Wall Street and corporate power. In 2001, 51 percent of Democrats were dissatisfied with the rise of corporate power, according to Gallup surveys. By 2011, 79 percent of Democrats were. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month, 58 percent of Democrats said they believed that the economic and political systems were stacked against them.

Clinton is obviously tough, but she just can’t speak with a clear voice against Wall Street and Washington insiders. Warren’s wing shows increasing passion and strength, both in opposing certain Obama nominees and in last week’s budget fight.
The history of populist candidates is that they never actually get the nomination. The establishment wins. That’s still likely. But there is something in the air. The fundamental truth is that every structural and historical advantage favors Clinton, but every day more Democrats embrace the emotion and view defined by Warren.

Written by David Brooks
Photo credit  Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

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Utica Comets 6 Over Lake Erie Monsters 3

Brandon DeFazio scored a hat trick on three-straight goals to lead the Utica Comets to their seventh win in 10 games after a 6-3 American Hockey League victory over Lake Erie Saturday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
It was the first professional hat trick for DeFazio, who is the Comets’ leading goal scorer with 12.
“It feels good,” DeFazio said. “It’s one of those things. Obviously, personally it’s great but at the end of the day as long as we win and it’s helping the team win that’s what’s most important.”
Utica (21-5-5-0) gave up three goals in the third period – after scoring three in the second – to wrap up the 2014 side of its schedule with the best record in the Western Conference. The team clinched that spot on Friday night in a win over Adirondack at the Aud.
The Comets return to the ice against San Antonio for a New Year’s Day matinee at the Aud. The game starts at 3 p.m.
DeFazio was the star Saturday against Lake Erie (13-12-2-3), and his effort helped Utica match a season high goal total. The Comets previously scored five goals in four other wins this year.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141227/Sports/141229612#ixzz3NAk7NSxj

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Utica Comets 2 over Adirondack Flames 1 at the AUD

The Comets continue to haunt the Adirondack Flames after Friday night’s 2-1 victory at The Utica Memorial Auditorium. Tonight marks the fifth consecutive win against the Flames for the Vancouver Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Frank Corrado (1-1-2), and Hunter Shinkaruk (1-0-1) (picture above= showed up for the after Christmas special in Friday night’s win over their North division rivals. Out of Shinkaruk’s five goals on the season, four of them have been game-winning goals including tonight’s third period goal. Jacob Markstrom stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced in his second consecutive game and improved his overall season record to a 9-1-1-0 and his goals-against average to a remarkable 1.63.
Jacob Markstrom
Jacob Markstrom
It took an opening face-off fight and most of the entire first period for the Comets to find the net, but they were able to bury one past Joni Ortio with only 63 seconds left in the opening period. After O’Reilly played keep-away near the blue line, the Comets captain dished it over to Corrado. After a quick release, Corrado slipped one through Ortio’s left arm for the 1-0 lead and his fourth goal of the season. Kane Lafranchise received the secondary assist on the play for his seventh on the season.
Frank Corrado
Frank Corrado
Just 10 seconds into the second stanza, the Flames tied the game back up. After a quick entry into the Comets zone, Tyler Wotherspoon took a straight shot towards Markstrom’s net from the point. Bryce Van Brabant met the puck halfway to the net and deflected it past an un-expecting Markstrom for the equalizer. Michael Ferland was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
The Comets finally found the go-ahead goal almost halfway through the third period at 7:27. Corrado received the puck from Ronalds Kenins at the blue line and delivered the puck directly to the front of the net. The bouncing puck was uncontrollable for Ortio as Shinkaruk met him on the doorstep. The rookie forward popped it past the right side of the Finnish goaltender for the 2-1 game-winning goal and his fifth of the season.
Even with the security of the one goal lead, the Comets almost slipped into yet another overtime game. In the remaining seconds of the third period, things almost came crumbling down for the league leading Comets as the puck popped through Markstrom’s pads and almost crossed the line before the buzzer. After video review it was determined that the puck had never crossed the line before the time expired.
The heart attack that was Friday night’s Comets game has kept Utica in first place among the entire league with a total of 45 points and also has secured Comets Head Coach Travis Green with a Head Coaching spot on the bench for the AHL 2015 All-Star Classic that takes place Jan. 25-26, 2015 in Utica, N.Y.
In less than 24 hours the Comets will be right back at The AUD on Saturday night to face the Lake Erie Monsters for the second time this season at 7 p.m. During their first meeting on Nov. 7, the Monsters were defeated by the Comets and Joacim Eriksson for a 4-1 final decision.

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Let’s Talk About Florida East Coast Railway and the Obama Cuba Policy

The new U.S. policy that may open up trade opportunities with Cuba would make FEC a very attractive stock, because the 351-mile railroad that starts in Jacksonville is the only rail line that connects to the port of Miami. Actually, it makes FEC attractive as a buyout candidate even if it doesn’t go public.
Back when Florida East Coast Industries Inc. was a public company, its stock was always sensitive to hints that trade may be opening up with Cuba. Of course, that never panned out.
Port of Miami
Port of Miami
One investment manager who constantly talked up FEC was Thomas Herzfeld of Miami Beach, who runs a mutual fund called the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund.
The Herzfeld fund invests in companies with economic ties throughout the Caribbean, but its particular focus is Cuba. The fund’s ticker symbol is “CUBA.”
Herzfeld began buying shares of FEC in the early 1990s and its investment in the railroad company represented about 20 percent of the fund’s assets before FEC was bought out by Fortress.
The Herzfeld fund was invested in one other Jacksonville-based company, Trailer Bridge Inc., before the marine freight company filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2011. Trailer Bridge was also looking to provide freight service to Cuba if trade ever opened up.
Shares of the Herzfeld fund jumped as much as 47 percent Wednesday after President Barack Obama announced his new Cuba policy.
Herzfeld probably still has FEC on his mind because one of the fund’s current holdings is Norfolk Southern Corp., one of two major railroads that connect to FEC in Jacksonville. It does not own shares of the other railroad, Jacksonville-based CSX Corp.
The fund also owns shares of Fort Lauderdale-based Seacor Holdings Inc., which acquired 47 percent of Trailer Bridge in the bankruptcy reorganization.
The only other company in Herzfeld’s current portfolio with ties to Jacksonville is Vulcan Materials Co. Trade with Cuba could include building materials produced in Florida by Vulcan.
Herzfeld’s largest current holding, in terms of market value, is Panama-based Copa Holdings, which owns airlines that provide flights to Cuba and other Caribbean destinations.
However, if you want to speculate on what Jacksonville-based company could generate the most interest as Cuba opens up, FEC is a likely candidate.
Fortress, like other private equity firms, usually buys out publicly traded companies with the intention of cashing out by taking them public again a few years later or finding a private buyer for the business.
Fortress did that with another Jacksonville-based railroad operator, RailAmerica Inc.
Fortress acquired RailAmerica in 2007 and then took the short-line railroad operator public again in 2009. Fortress retained 60 percent of RailAmerica’s stock after the IPO but three years later, the entire company was sold to Genesee and Wyoming Inc.
Fortress will almost certainly at some point seek to cash out its investment in the historic Florida East Coast Railway, which was built by Henry Flagler more than a century ago. The opening of Cuba could be the catalyst to a deal.


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New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 3)

The highly anticipated Second Avenue Subway has hit another key milestone.The cavern for the 86th Street station was completed on time, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday.

Work on the $332 million station began back in 2011 and required extensive excavation as well as the creation of a huge concrete shell to encompass the station.“We have now completed 76% of the work needed to build Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway. This project will benefit residents of the Upper East Side in so many ways,” said Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA Capital Construction.There’s still work to be done on the stations air supply, elevator and escalators, among other things.Phase I of the Second Avenue subway project, which includes stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets is expected to serve 200,000 riders a day, relieving congestion on the Lexington Avenue line. It is expected to be completed in December 2016. It will function as an extension of the Q train.

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New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 1)

New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 2)

Utica Comets Over Adirondack Flames 4-1, Lead AHL by 43 Points

For the fourth time this season, the Utica Comets shutdown the Adirondack Flames, this time with a final score of 4-1 at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday evening.
Jacob Markstrom didn’t disappoint in his first game back with the Comets since Nov. 21, saving 19 out of 20 shots taken by the Flames all while improving his goals-against average to a remarkable 1.69. Four different Comets players scored goals in the victory, including Brendan Gaunce, who scored his second goal in as many nights.
The Comets started with a bang in the opening minutes of the first period after quite the individual effort by Gaunce, the Comets rookie left-winger. After breaking up a pass at the blue line, Gaunce rushed down the boards and lifted a shot right over the glove side of Joni Ortio to net his third of the season for the 1-0 lead at 2:13.
 Just 18 seconds later, Hunter Shinkaruk received a stretch pass from one blue line to the next from Henrik Tommernes. Shinkaruk made his way all the way to the left dot before he released a shot towards Ortio. The Finish goaltender made the initial save, however Wacey Hamilton was on the doorstep to promptly backhand in the Comets second goal of the game and his third of the season to make it 2-0.


After Saturday night’s win against the Calgary Flames affiliate, the Utica Comets have gone eight games without losing in regulation and have secured a total of 43 points to keep them a top the American Hockey League standings.
After taking a little break to enjoy the holidays, the Comets will return to The Utica Memorial Auditorium one day after Christmas on Friday, Dec. 26 to once again take on the Adirondack Flames for a 7 p.m. re-match. This will be their fifth meeting of the season.


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Utica Comets 3 Over Texas Stars2 in Overtime

After trailing the Texas Stars 2-0, the Utica Comets scored three unanswered goals to win 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at The Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Bobby Sanguinetti (1-0-1) (pictured above) , Brendan Gaunce (1-0-1), and Dustin Jeffrey (1-0-1) were the goal-scorers for the Comets in front of the sold-out Utica Memorial Auditorium. Along with being credited with the first star of the game, Sanguinetti now has eight goals on the season and leads the rest of the defensemen on the team in goals, assists and points. Joacim Eriksson received the third star of the game after stopping 23 of the 25 shots on net he faces from the Stars.
 Brendan Gaunce
Brendan Gaunce


Dustin Jeffrey
Dustin Jeffrey


Joacim Eriksson
Joacim Eriksson
The Comets started biting back roughly three minutes into the second period after a couple of passes exchanged between Frank Corrado and Brandon DeFazio above the right dot. After some great puck handling to confuse a Texas defender, DeFazio saw Jeffrey waiting to the left of Jussi Rynnas’ blocker side. With a quick cross-ice pass, Jeffrey received and delivered for his seventh goal of the season, which brought the Comets within one.
After entering the third period, the Comets continued to search for the equalizer and that’s exactly what they got at 6:39. Andrey Pedan followed through with the give-and-go play and entered the attacking zone with Wacey Hamilton and Gaunce. With little hesitation, back-to-back passes dropped the puck into Gaunce’s possession and with a flick of the stick, the rookie netted his second of the year to tie the game and dismantle the Stars lead.
Just over one minute into the overtime period, the Comets put an end to the night after a quick rush down the right side by two defensemen. Kane Lafranchise popped up on the scorer’s sheet one again after promptly popping the puck up to Sanguinetti on the right wing. What looked like a harmless wrist shot from Sanguinetti, was exactly the opposite for Rynnas who was unable to stop the shot which went clear over his shoulder for the game-winner and overtime goal.
The Comets play at the Adirondack Flames tonight, then are off until next Friday when the Flames visit the Aud. The Flames lost 3-2 to Rochester Friday when former Comet Zac Dalpe scored the only goal of an eight-round shootout. Adirondack is 18-10-1-1 for 38 points, just behind the Comets in the North Division and third overall in the Western Conference.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141219/News/141219395#ixzz3MQ9wPN8X

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Newest Business Term is “UBERIZED”

Ride service UBER and its little buddy Lyft, had yet another encounter about rules in Boston. Nothing happened.

According to the account in BostInno,

“Even with questionable ethics, Uber and Lyft aren’t merely winning the war against Boston taxis — Uber and Lyft have already won.”
It isn’t surprising that Uber, like other disruptors that have successfully offered an alternative to the status quo (e.g., Netflix, the cloud, the iPhone), is experiencing pushback. The ridesharing service seems to be rapidly cycling through the four stages of disruption recently described by former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, starting with upsetting the applecart — or, as he puts it, “disruption of the incumbent” — and ending with “complete reimagination.” Who isn’t going to fight being completely reimagined?
I Phone
I Phone
In its protest of Uber practices, the taxi industry is also following the script to the T: According to Sinofsky, now a board partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, the threatened industry judges the disruptor “by using the existing criteria established by the incumbent.” At the same time, the incumbent (pathetically) tries to compete by copying the disruptors. In the Boston case, the incumbent’s criteria are based on livery rules established in the 1920s, and the attempt at competition comes in the form of taxi-hailing apps, such as Hailo. The attempt to compete, however, just validates the disruptors, Sinofsky argues. Cue the vicious cycle here in America’s college town, where there is no shortage of mobile app users.

So what does this pattern of disruption mean for enterprise CIOs who want to drive innovation, but are unsure of how to balance that disruption with their legacy systems and don’t know if it will even benefit the bottom line?

Some of Sinofsky’s advice to incumbents could just as well pertain to CIOs: “Your key decision is to choose carefully what you view as disruptive or not,” he said. This requires a clear understanding of the possible ways new offerings can provide value to your customers and business partners — a balancing act that is easier said than done, he cautions: “Creating this sort of chaos is something that causes untold consternation in a large organization.”

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Job Seeker: How Much Abuse Will You Take?

I’m not a job seeker. I love writing and consulting. Been there and done it with the hiring process. Which means I know a lot about the hiring process too. Was hired to select a location for a New York office for a start up “social website”, as well as discover what else would be required to staff it and open it. That, to me, meant concise hiring requirements (for others to execute).
The office part was easy. I like “art deco” buildings, so I found one. I had a huge concern that a stupid employee application form or a flawed hiring process would give the company a “black eye” all over the “Web”. First decision was easy: only two individuals from the company will be involved; the hiring manager and the hiring manager’s manager.

nferencing all over the World already. A simple policy guide for man

Found a great article on LinkedIn by Liz Ryan that surfaced a lot of things not to do and to watch out for.

For years we had been hearing about slooooow interview processes. We had been hearing about endless delays and interruptions in what should be a straightforward hiring exercise”. While a lot of the technical positions are outsourced, many Supply Chain Management positions are not. Most of the positions we will be hiring for are already defined such as an EDI analyst or a supply chain planner. There is little to no room to question or change these job specifications. There should be no obstacles like additional forms to fill out …. that should have been covered on the single employee application (if that is designed correctly). 

My policy: a “no excuses” three day time limit from first interview to hiring decision. Company has video coagers will set the hiring process in concrete and caution about delays, changing the process at the last minute and other “tactics”.

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New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 2)

Thank you dear readers for your appreciation of our first article on New York City’s  Second Avenue Subway. Because of YOUR response, we will be running more series of articles like our All board Florida / Florida East Coast.And then, of course our beloved  Utica Comets.

Let’s start with the late William Ronan. Stretching back to 1965 when he was appointed chairman of the then-Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Ronan headed numerous landmark projects, such as the purchase of the Long Island Rail Road, the takeover of multiple commuter lines to create Metro-North, and the beginning of construction on the Second Avenue Subway (still, obviously, ongoing). He went on to head the Port Authority, and later served as a dean at NYU.

Next a video progress report on the Second Avenue Subway. Now rounding out its umpteenth year in the works, the Second Avenue Subway is plodding towards the completion of its first phase, a stretch between 63rd and 96th streets which also includes the extension of the Q train. This video proves that indeed progress is being made (blastporn included), but a walk above ground on the uptown corridor may suggest otherwise. Barriers and re-routed sidewalks have become seemingly permanent fixtures, and are at the very least a prophetic warning as to how the avenue will change with the completion of the subway. This New York Times video explains in reasonable depth. The first portion of the subway is expected to be complete in December of 2016.
· Promise of New Subways Has West Siders Excited and East Siders Skeptical [NYT]

Details have emerged of the MTA’s floated 2015 to 2019 capital plan The plan allots $1.5 billion for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue subway, which includes the extension of the Q line from 96th Street to 125th Street where it will adjoin MetroNorth. The plan also includes $20 billion for subway maintenance, and $2 to $5 billion for rider enhancements like swipeless entry and countdown clocks. The major snag in the plan? It’s built on hypothetical money. The capital plan has yet to be approved by the MTA or the Capital Program Review Board in Albany.

2ndAveUnderground12122014Every once in awhile, the MTA likes to release some photos of the Second Avenue Subway construction, as if to say, “Hey world, we promise that this is a thing that is still going on.” Well, another batch has just surfaced, via the agency’s surprisingly active Flickr account, revealing updated glimpses of tunnels, scaffolding, tarps, and more in the sections that will become the 86th Street and 96th Street stations. Progress is, in fact, being made?even rails have arrived!?and the work is apparently on schedule.


Say goodbye to Second Avenue’s “muck houses,” the bulky white temporary structures at 69th and 72nd streets that have occupied half the roadway while the initial stages of blasting and station construction proceed underground. The WSJ reports that even though the first phase of the T line won’t open to the public till 2016, the unsightly boxes?bemoaned by residents, ground-floor shops, and haters of truck traffic (a.k.a. everyone)?are nonethless being removed.

The Loss of Rapid Transit on New York’s Second Avenue

The First Avenue Association letterhead from 1940 listed the group’s Directors. Of the thirty-two directors, a few were simply elite professionals — lawyers, judges, business managers — with no obvious vested interest in the demolition of the el. Twelve of the directors, however, clearly held high positions at real estate firms. Seven others held positions at private firms, whose business was not listed, that may also have been involved in real estate. One director, an architect, also would be involved in real estate development. Two directors were bankers, and three, treasurers of major institutions — representing, therefore, large investors.

Realtors, investors, and architects all would profit from the property development that would accompany the transformation of Second Avenue into a higher-class neighborhood. One director, the Chairman of the Board of Bloomingdales, also would benefit from the gentrification of the neighborhood near his expensive East Side department store. The director with the most vested interest in the el demolition, however, was the Secretary-Treasurer of the East Side Omnibus Corp. With the el demolished, and no subway along the route to replace it, many passengers would rely on buses along Second Avenue for transportation — buses that the East Side Omnibus Corp. could operate. There is no other indication that the First Avenue Association was party to an anti-rail transit conspiracy, however. The vast majority of the association’s directors were involved in real estate. They simply hoped to increase in property values along the corridor.

The First Avenue Association agreed that the el was a traffic obstruction. The association did not believe that the el should be replaced with a subway, and then torn down.

Rather, it argued that the el should be torn down immediately, to improve automobile access. The real aim of the association was not to improve accessibility to Second Avenue, but to reduce traffic on First Avenue.

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New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 1)

New York City’s SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY (Part 3)