State Senate Report

By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

From camping and hiking to picnics and water sports, New York state parks provide the perfect venue for almost any outdoor activity.

Because our parks are such important natural resources, it’s so important that we protect them and keep them pristine.

That’s the goal of the third annual  “I Love My Park Day,” a statewide event taking place on May 3rd that aims to improve and enhance New York’s state parks and historic sites.

Through I Love My Park Day, thousands of volunteers from across the state will head out to beautify participating parks and historic sites by doing things such as cleaning up lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habits and working on other improvement projects.

There are more than 80 I Love my Park Day events taking place across New York State this year. To register to volunteer at a park or historic site near you, visit the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s website at www.nysparks.com.

If you’re someone who enjoys the outdoors and frequents our state’s many parks and historic sites, you’ll be pleased to know that the new state budget makes key investments that will help to protect and enhance New York’s natural resources as well as support important environmental initiatives that create jobs, boost tourism and benefit communities across our state.

Contained in the new spending plan is a $9 million increase to the Environmental Protection Fund, bringing the total funding to $162 million which will help to protect open spaces, restore historic sites, control invasive species, create and enhance parks as well as support numerous other projects related to the environment.

In addition, the new state budget also includes an additional $132.5 million in NY Works funding for improvements to parks and historic sites and environmental resiliency efforts.

While the state budget goes a long way to support our state’s parks and historic sites, there’s a lot more that can be done — and you can lend a hand. By volunteering at I Love My Park Day, you can help to preserve and beautify these important resources for future generations.

Editor’s Note: One of the clean-up events will be at Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego. See story below.

View from the Assembly

By state Assemblyman Will Barclay

New York state has the unfortunate distinction of being a high cost-of-living state, and when it comes to auto insurance, New York lives up to its reputation.

Our auto insurance rates are among the highest in the nation. Although there are several reasons for our high rates, fraud plays a large part.

According to the state Department of Financial Services, the agency that oversees insurance in our state, about 36 percent of all auto insurance claims contain some element of fraud, resulting in higher e premiums for everyone.

New York state requires motorists carry a minimum of auto insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage and provides for no-fault coverage.

Because this insurance is mandatory, I believe the state has a special interest in ensuring state motorists’ rates accurately reflect an insurance company’s underlying costs.

When fraud is added into the formula however, it perverts this calculation and creates higher insurance costs for all motorists.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, no-fault fraud and abuse in New York state cost consumers and insurers about $229 million in 2009. The Institute further reports that when this extra cost of fraud is calculated on a per claim basis, it adds $1,644 per claim, or 22.4 percent of the cost.

According to the state Department of Financial Services, no-fault insurance fraud takes many forms. It occurs when (i) a driver and a body shop worker agree to inflate the auto damage claim and share the “profit,” (ii) a doctor bills an insurer for services that were not provided, or (iii) a driver stages a fake accident, and unscrupulous doctors and lawyers help “handle” the medical claims and lawsuits.

To combat this fraud and, hopefully as a result, reduce auto insurance premiums for policyholders, I have introduced the New York Automobile Insurance Fraud and Premium Reduction Act.

This legislation provides a comprehensive solution to no-fault auto fraud by addressing the issue from all sides. While there are many facets of this legislation, four of the legislation’s major provisions are as follows.

First, in effort to combat fictitious or unnecessary medical treatment usually emanating from a staged accident, my legislation would direct the establishment of medical guidelines to be employed in the evaluation and treatment of injuries sustained in any auto accident. It also requires pre-certification for certain treatments and equipment to curb fraudulent over-utilization of medical treatments.

Second, the legislation creates a monetary incentive of between 15 percent and 25 percent of an amount recovered (up to $25,000) for persons who report suspected insurance fraud to law enforcement authorities.

Third, to make people think twice before committing no-fault fraud, my legislation expands the definition of insurance fraud and increases penalties for insurance fraud violations.

Finally, to ensure that whatever reduced costs insurers receive as a result of the enactment of this legislation are passed on to the policyholders, my legislation requires the Superintendent of Insurance to recommend an appropriate one-time no-fault premium reduction for every insurer, by rating territory, equivalent to the insurers’ cost savings. This recommendation would be binding on insurers unless the insurer can show that such a reduction would result in an underwriting loss.

I recently participated in an Assembly Insurance Committee hearing in Albany regarding auto insurance in New York. Many who testified, including those from the insurance industry and from consumer groups, complained about the high costs of auto insurance.

It is my hope they will get on board with my legislation and together we can work to get it passed so New Yorkers can at last begin to see a decrease in their auto insurance premiums.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling 598-5185.

SUNY Oswego students raise money for CAC

Denvol Haye, president of Delta Kappa Kappa, left, and Eli Kim Swallow, a member of the SUNY Oswego men’s ice hockey team, right, present Melanie Proper, mental health counselor with the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County with the proceeds from the ‘For the Kids’ fundraiser.
Denvol Haye, president of Delta Kappa Kappa, left, and Eli Kim Swallow, a member of the SUNY Oswego men’s ice hockey team, right, present Melanie Proper, mental health counselor with the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County with the proceeds from the ‘For the Kids’ fundraiser.

Hundreds of SUNY Oswego students filled The Shed recently to show their support for the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Oswego County, based in Fulton.

Hosted by Delta Kappa Kappa Inc. (DKK), in collaboration with SUNY Oswego’s men’s varsity ice hockey team, the ‘For the Kids’ fundraiser was the culmination of a campaign created by SUNY Oswego students Denvol Haye, president of DKK, and Eli Kim Swallow, a forward on the SUNY Oswego men’s ice hockey team, to raise money for the CAC and to help raise awareness of child abuse in Oswego County.

The ‘For the Kids’ fundraiser, which was held April 12 at The Shed, 1 Washington Blvd. in Oswego, began in the afternoon and continued into the evening.

The ‘For the Kids’ fundraiser, which featured a barbecue, both a silent and chinese auction, music provided courtesy of WNYO, and a live performance from Zeta band, raised more than $2,500.

In addition to the event at The Shed, Haye and Swallow created an online donation page at indiegogo.com that received more than $1,000 in donations.

“We’re very pleased with the results of our ‘For the Kids’ campaign,” said Haye.  “In addition to SUNY students we had several groups of parents and families that joined us in the afternoon.  It was a great success.”

With more than $3,600 raised in support of the CAC, Haye said they are looking forward to planning next year’s ‘For the Kids’ campaign and are hoping it becomes an annual event.

“It was encouraging to see the support we received, from not only our fellow students, but from the community as well.  From the families that attended the event to the many businesses who donated items for our auctions, the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive,” said Haye.

Delta Kappa Kappa, a social fraternity whose general purpose is to foster the development of fellowship, scholarship, and leadership in young men, and the SUNY Oswego men’s ice hockey team, each have a history of supporting nonprofit organizations in and around Oswego.

“We have a lot of respect for what the CAC does,” said Swallow. “With April being National Child Abuse Awareness Month, we felt it was a perfect time to help the CAC raise awareness of child abuse in our community and the many services that the CAC provides for children and their families who have suffered child abuse.”

Located at 301 Beech St., Fulton, with a satellite office at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski, the CAC of Oswego County is a nonprofit charitable organization that works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, probation, medical providers, therapy providers, and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County to protect and serve children that are victims of sexual and physical abuse.

For more information on the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, call  592-4453.

Elks annual May Day celebration this weekend

Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr., center, presents a proclamation for May Day to Elks Exalted Ruler Ted Stoughtenger, left, and leading knight Debbie Caprin, right. The Fulton Elks are having their 63rd annual May Day Celebration and Bicycle Giveaway May 2 and 3 at the Elks Club, 57 Pierce Drive, Fulton, behind Cayuga Community College. The two-day event will include band entertainment both days. On Friday, there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, fried dough and pizza with midway rides beginning at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be the crowning of the May Day king and queen at 11:30 a.m., a chicken barbecue, midway rides, concessions, games, dancing, food, entertainment and displays by the Drug Awareness Program, Fire Department, LoveMyParrots and more. There also will be  bicycle drawings every 45 minutes for children beginning at 1 p.m. Those registered must be present to win.
Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr., center, presents a proclamation for May Day to Elks Exalted Ruler Ted Stoughtenger, left, and leading knight Debbie Caprin, right. The Fulton Elks are having their 63rd annual May Day Celebration and Bicycle Giveaway May 2 and 3 at the Elks Club, 57 Pierce Drive, Fulton, behind Cayuga Community College. The two-day event will include band entertainment both days. On Friday, there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, fried dough and pizza with midway rides beginning at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be the crowning of the May Day king and queen at 11:30 a.m., a chicken barbecue, midway rides, concessions, games, dancing, food, entertainment and displays by the Drug Awareness Program, Fire Department, LoveMyParrots and more. There also will be bicycle drawings every 45 minutes for children beginning at 1 p.m. Those registered must be present to win.

Police Report

From the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office:

Laurie J. Wakeman, 51, of 311 Lehigh Road, Pulaski, charged with grand larceny and welfare fraud, both felonies, following an investigation conducted by the Oswego County Department of Social Services in which she allegedly obtained services in the form of Medicaid with a value of over $1,000 due to not disclosing incomes received.

Wakeman was arraigned in Mexico town court and released on her own recognizance.

A 13-year-old Syracuse male, a 13-year-old Baldwinsville male and a 14-year-old Liverpool male are charged with Juvenile Delinquency for acts, if committed by an adult would constitute the charges of petit larceny, a misdemeanor and burglary, a felony.

Deputies said the youths entered the Scriba Town Park and illegally gaining entry to a building and ransacking it along with stealing a package of bracelets.

Michael J. Proud, 25, of 1168 County Route 20, Oswego, was charged with felony DWI (previous conviction in 10 years), and numerous traffic infractions following a traffic stop on State Route 481 in the town of Volney.

He was arraigned before Volney Town Justice James Aluzzi and will be back in court May 26.

Fulton Police Department:

Earl C. Dedeaux, 41, of West Second Street, Fulton, charged with assault second degree, a felony; strangulation second degree, a felony; attempt to commit rape first degree, a felony; and unlawful imprisonment first degree, a felony.

Police said on April 6 between the hours of 10 and 10:30 p.m. At 213 W. Second St., he attempted to forcibly engage in sexual intercourse with the victim. Police said while doing this, he grabbed and squeezed the victim’s throat causing her breathing to become restricted. Police said Dedeaux also slapped the victim across the face to prevent her from calling out for help.

Albert R. Mendez, 24, of East Broadway, Fulton, is charged with criminal contempt, a felony, and criminal mischief, a felony.

Police say on March 12, he broke a cell phone during a domestic dispute. Being with this victim also violated an order of protection signed by a state Supreme Court justice stating he should refrain from criminal mischief or any offenses against the victim.

Travis D.C. Hoskins, 18, of Emery Street and South 11th Street, Fulton, charged with a felony counts of burglary and criminal mischief.

Police say he intentionally damaged a residential steel door and casing by kicking it, resulting in about $400 of damage. Police say he also entered the residence and stayed inside.

Children celebrate Earth Day

Children from Noah’s Christian Nursery School took time out to learn about Earth Day. They celebrated Earth day with a visit to the library to learn more way they could honor, celebrate and protect their world. In their classrooms, the children planted grass and flowers. After visiting the library, the children walked to Veterans Park on South First Street to collect litter. Pictured are Addison Holden and Henry Jerred who found a large discarded box leaning against a utility pole. After cleaning up the litter, the children were treated with a trip to Burger King. Noah’s Christian Nursery School is a non-denominational preschool program located within the Fulton First United Methodist church (State Route 176). They are accepting fall registrations and have an open house scheduled for 6 to 7:45 p.m. May 1. For more information about the preschool, call the main office at 592-7347.
Children from Noah’s Christian Nursery School took time out to learn about Earth Day. They celebrated Earth day with a visit to the library to learn more way they could honor, celebrate and protect their world. In their classrooms, the children planted grass and flowers. After visiting the library, the children walked to Veterans Park on South First Street to collect litter. Pictured are Addison Holden and Henry Jerred who found a large discarded box leaning against a utility pole. After cleaning up the litter, the children were treated with a trip to Burger King. Noah’s Christian Nursery School is a non-denominational preschool program located within the Fulton First United Methodist church (State Route 176). They are accepting fall registrations and have an open house scheduled for 6 to 7:45 p.m. May 1. For more information about the preschool, call the main office at 592-7347.

Vendors sought for Arts Fest

CNY Arts Center is seeking vendors for the fourth annual Arts Fest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14 in the Fulton Community Center Ice Rink on Broadway.

Registrations for vendor spots are open now. Vendors can register for a 10×10 spot with electricity at the festival. Food vendors are also actively sought.

The event brings artists and crafters together with handmade original art on display for sale along with food vendors, and hands on art.

New at this year’s event will be art demonstrations and sample art classes for all ages along with new outdoor entertainment. The annual CNY Arts Center community mural will also be completed at this year’s Arts Fest.

Previous murals have been created during Harborfest. The 2014 mural will use recycled bottle caps to create an Alice in Wonderland theme and festival attendees will help create the mural to be framed and displayed in a prominent Fulton location.

For online registration and more information  visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

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