Category Archives: Other News

State Senate Report from state Sen. Patty Ritchie

It’s often said the one of the most important responsibilities we have in a democracy is to vote.

On Nov. 5, people across the country will head to the polls to exercise this right.  Here in New York state, people won’t just be casting their votes for candidates on Election Day — they will also be making decisions on amendments to the New York State Constitution.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot concerning the authorization of expanded casino gaming in New York state.

This proposal would amend the state Constitution to allow construction of up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos in designated regions across the state, with the first four to be built Upstate.

You should also know that there are five other resolutions that are up for a vote from the public.  This year’s ballot contains the largest number of such proposals in a number of years and several could have a significant impact on the economic health of communities right here in our backyard.

Here’s a look at measures you’ll be asked to weigh in on:

** Additional Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities Certified Post- Appointment: This proposed amendment would grant additional civil service credit to veterans who are certified as disabled after they have been appointed or promoted to a civil service position.

** Exclusion of Indebtedness Contracted for Sewage Facilities: This proposed amendment would extend until Jan. 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits, indebtedness contracted  from the construction and reconstruction of facilities utilized for the treatment and disposal of sewage.

** Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve:  Under the State Constitution, it is typically prohibited to sell, exchange or take any forest preserve land. This proposed amendment would allow the Legislature to settle century-old disputes between the state and private parties over ownership of certain parcels of land in the forest preserve by giving up the state’s claim to disputed parcels.

In exchange, the state would get land to be incorporated into the forest preserve.  The land exchange would occur only if the Legislature determines the land to be conveyed to New York state would benefit the forest preserve more than the disputed parcels do.

** In Relation to a Land Exchange in the State Forest Preserve with NYCO Minerals:  This amendment would allow NYCO Minerals, Inc., a private company, to continue its mining operations in Essex County.  The proposal would allow the state to convey roughly 200 forest preserve acres to the company for mining and in exchange, the company would give the state at least the same amount of land of at least the same value, with that land being added to the forest preserve.

Under this proposal, when NYCO Minerals finishes its mining, the company would restore the condition of the land it received in exchange and return it to the forest preserve.

** Increasing Age Until Which Certain State Judges Can Serve: This amendment increases to age 80 the age Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals may serve, in certain instances.  In addition, the proposed amendment would also prohibit the appointment of any person over the age of 70 to the Court of Appeals.

Our vote is our voice and the six referendums that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot represent democracy in its purest form.

I hope you’ll take the time to learn more about these amendments before you head to the polls and exercise your right to vote on Election Day.

Granby Elementary students learn about rockets

Granby Elementary School sixth-graders learned all about Isaac Newton’s laws of motion with a special project involving rockets.

Granby’s students launched their kit-built rockets into the beautiful blue sky over their school recently.

Building and launching model rockets has become a standing tradition at Granby Elementary, in the Fulton school district, and this year’s event was kicked off with three launches by sixth-grade science teacher Joe McNamara.

Each student was given an opportunity to launch his or her her rocket in an official NASA-like countdown while using a specially designed launch pad and battery control system.

Taking into consideration the weather conditions, the students were asked to make some predictions about the flight pattern that their rocket will take including whether they believe that their rocket’s parachute will deploy as intended.

These predictions as well as actual findings were included in a final report that each student was required to write about the rocket project.

Granby sixth-grade teachers coordinate the rocket project each year in conjunction with the study of Newton’s laws of motion, gravity and propulsion.

The laws of motion are:

1) An object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it and conversely, an object in motion will stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it.

2) Force is equal to mass times acceleration of an object.

3) For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The students build the rockets using kits from the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES Science Center. The experience introduces the students to the forces of motion and gives them an opportunity to learn about electricity and aerodynamics.

Weekly poem by Jim Farfaglia

Before they Fade

By Jim Farfaglia

 

The colors of autumn are a brief delight;

here a few days, then gone like the night.

 

Oh, how they shine, but never too long;

something remembered, like an old favorite song.

 

They’re moments in time, gone too fast;

the best of life, a thing of the past.

 

Perhaps this is why we rake them in piles:

to savor their gift, to hold beauty awhile.

Fulton CROP Walk set for Oct. 6

The Greater Fulton area community joins together Sunday, Oct. 6 for the Fulton CROP Hunger Walk.

The event takes place rain or shine.  Participants will meet at the Fulton Municipal Building  for registration at 1 p.m. and will walk either a Golden Mile or a 5-kilometer route.

Church World Service is the ecumenical organization which sponsors CROP hunger walks.  The Greater Fulton Area Council of Christian Churches has been the walk local host for more than 25 years.

Interested individuals or families  should contact their local church recruiters for envelopes and information on raising money for their walk.  A total of 25 percent of the money raised by the walkers returns to the

Fulton area to support SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and four local food pantries. The food pantries include Oswego County Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army Oswego County Corps, Believer’s Chapel and Dexterville Community Services.

Last year, the Fulton CROP Walk raised more than $8,000 — more than $2,000 came back to the Fulton area.

Church World Service  is an international relief, development, and refugee settlement  agency working to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world.

Recently it has been present in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy and the flooding in Oneida County and Southern Tier areas in New York state.

The slogan for the CROP Walks is “Ending Hunger One Step at a Time” and the community can participate as walkers or support walkers with their donations.

For further information contact your local church or Fulton CROP Walk committee member Lois Mirabito at 593-2731.

Oswego residents search for their Time Warner public access channels

Some Oswego residents have been calling the office of Mayor Thomas Gillen lately complaining they cannot find the Oswego Common Council meetings on Channel 96, the public access channel.

Gillen said city officials have called the local Time Warner Cable office and were told that as of July 23, Time Warner switched to a digital-only carriage of the Public, Educational and Government (“PEG”) access channels.

Those channels include both channel 16 and channel 96. In order to view these channels now, customers must have their televisions outfitted with certain digital equipment (i.e. a supplied digital converter, a digital adapter, a CableCARD equipped device, or a digital television with a QAM tuner).

All Time Warner customers may pick up the necessary digital equipment at your local Time Warner Office, 335 W. First St., free of charge.

If you have questions regarding the Public, Educational and Governmental access channels, call the local Time Warner Office at 343-1208.

Ritchie: Keep our pets — and ourselves — safe from rabies

If your household is anything like mine, the “family pet” is in fact just that — part of the family.

From buying them treats to trips to the groomers, as pet owners, we do all we can to care for our animals. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your pet stays healthy is to make sure it has its up-to-date rabies vaccination.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is transmitted through the saliva of animals. Anyone can contract the virus if they handle or get bitten by the animal that has the disease. More than 90 percent of all rabid animals reported to the CDC each year occur in wildlife.

The main animals that get rabies include raccoon, skunks, foxes and bats. However, most people are exposed to rabies due to close contact with domestic animals such as cats and dogs.

In an effort to prevent the spread of rabies — and keep our pets healthy — I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting free rabies vaccination clinics throughout the months of September and October.

For a full listing of clinics, visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.   Please note that all pets receiving a vaccine must be leashed or in a carrier. If available, please bring a copy of your pet’s last certificate of vaccination.

To protect yourself from rabies, health officials encourage individuals to take the following steps:

** Make sure your animal has received its rabies vaccination.  Vaccines for dogs, cats and ferrets after three months of age are effective for a one-year period.  Re-vaccinations are effective for up to three years and pets that are too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors.

** Stay away from wild animals, especially when they are behaving strangely—and keep your pets away too.

** Teach your children about rabies, so they understand the risks.  It’s a good idea to encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten by an animal, and stress that they should not touch any animal they do not know.

** Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard.  You can do so by keeping your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that might attract wild animals.  It’s also a good idea to tightly cap or put away garbage cans, board up openings in your attic, basement, porch or garage and cap your chimney with screens.

** If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away.  Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside.  Contact a local nuisance wildlife control officer who can remove the animal.

** Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your local health department.

Our pets give us unconditional love, and it’s only right that we take steps—like ensuring they get proper vaccinations—that keep our furry friends healthy.  If your pet needs to be vaccinated, I encourage you to visit one of my clinics this Fall to keep your pet a part of the family for years to come.

Williamstown project gains state funding

A total of $960,000 in funding has been obtained for a key project that will create jobs in Oswego County and support the region’s outdoor recreation industry, state Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said Friday.

The project is slated to include the removal of an abandoned New York Central Railroad bridge on Route 13 and maintenance of the snowmobile trail in the town of Williamstown.

“Putting people back to work by investing in our roads and transportation system is critical to our long term economic development efforts to revive Central New York’s economy,” Ritchie said. “By moving these long-delayed projects onto the fast track our region can improve safety and help improve our important transportation corridors.”

“A recent economic study by researchers at SUNY Potsdam showed the snowmobiling industry contributes about $700 million to our state’s economy,” Ritchie said. “By maintaining our extensive trail system we keep Oswego County as a world class tourism destination that means jobs and economic growth to our stores, restaurants and hotels.”

The investment will be funded through the New York Works State Highway and Bridge Project Acceleration Program, which was approved as part of this year’s enacted state budget. 

 

 

STAR tax exemption re-registration event Sept. 23 in Oswego

Oswego County residents who need to re-register for the STAR tax exemption can do so at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the legislature chambers in the county office building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego.

The state Tax Department will register homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption. The STAR Registration program impacts 24,680 Basic STAR recipients in Oswego County, and 2.6 million homeowners statewide.

Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption do not have to re-register.

The registration is being done to protect New Yorkers from fraud and waste in the STAR Program. The average homeowner saves $700 off their school taxes as a result of the Basic STAR exemption, which is available on the primary residence of homeowners with incomes under $500,000.

Residents must re-register by Dec. 31 to continue receiving the STAR tax exemption. re-registration also can be done online by going to www.tax.ny.gov. It take about four minutes to complete the registration.

The state is conducting a number of these local help sessions across the state. State officials also re-registered hundreds of people at the New York State Fair.