GOOD

Turn out for statue unveiling today

Baltimore has Johnny Unitas. St. Louis has Stan Musial. Chicago has Michael Jordan.

Now Utica will have the Clinton Comets.

At 4 p.m. today, a life-size bronze statue of four Clinton Comets stalwarts - Dave Armstrong, Jack Kane, Pierre Prevost and Borden Smith - will be unveiled on the plaza outside of the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium. The four have remained in the Utica area since their playing days and have helped grow hockey in the Mohawk Valley.

The statue will also feature a plaque remembering another Comets player, Ian Anderson, who passed away in November 2013.

“The Clinton Comets truly represent what the makeup of a hockey player, both on and off the ice, should be,” said Rob Esche, who is president of the Comets as well as Mohawk Valley Garden, Inc., the group that oversees the American Hockey League team. “Personally, I have been molded by these guys since I was a little kid, and it means the world to be able to create something so special for them that will live at the Adirondack Bank Center forever.”

Make it an extra-special event. Turn out today for the unveiling and witness another milestone in the region's hockey history.

 

GOOD

Another good reason to visit the Aud

Last Sunday's kickoff of the Utica City Football Club got off on the right foot.

The club opened its doors to the community with an intrasquad scrimmage and drew a pretty decent crowd to the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The event — called the “Blue and Black” game after the team’s primary color scheme — was free and open to the public. It gave fans an opportunity to see the players as well as the newly designed blue turf and arena soccer amenities, including a field-side section with concessions.

The football club relocated to Utica from Syracuse in June and will play its home games at the Aud.

Longtime fan and soccer coach Anel Pajazetovic, who followed the team in Syracuse, said he hoped that Utica would embrace the soccer team like it did with the Utica Comets.

We hope so, too. The Comets have helped reinvigorate the city, and with soccer's growing popularity, there's reason to believe the Utica City FC will do likewise.

Utica plays its first home game Sunday, Dec. 2 against Baltimore. Eleven of the team’s 12 home games are on Sundays. One other is on a Saturday evening.

 

BAD

Just another sign of the times

What a waste.

About 400 "I Love NY" tourism signs have been removed from the Thruway system and other New York highways under an agreement with the federal government.

The blue-and-white signs were installed by the Cuomo administration in 2013 despite a federal order not to do it. The feds said the signs were non-compliant with federal regulations. Take them down, the Federal Highway Administration said, or lose $14.1 million in federal highway funding.

Cuomo left them up and the feds withheld the $14.1 million.

So, let's see, the state spent $8.1 million installing them and who knows how much taking them down and relocating them to other spots. (The agreement allows the first sign in the five-sign groupings to remain in place with modifications. The four follow-up signs in each group are being repositioned at welcome centers, rest areas and travel plazas.) It'll get back the $14.1 million, for a net gain of $6.1 million - less whatever it cost to comply.

Gee, you can have a lot of fun playing with other peoples' money. Too bad that money is ours. Ya gotta Love NY.