View from the Assembly, by Assemblyman Will Barclay

The governor recently signed a number of bills into law.

I wanted to take some time this week to make you aware of a few new ones that will or have recently become effective.

Military Tax Exemption

A6223 exempts members of the military upon returning to New York from having to pay New York sales tax on vehicles that they purchased while stationed in another state — provided they paid sales tax in the other state. The law became effective immediately. I was pleased to co-sponsor this measure in the Assembly.

New York residents who purchase a vehicle outside of New York state are required to pay sales tax upon registering the vehicle. For those who served in the military, this proved problematic.

Military service members often keep their residency and driver’s license in their home state while serving because they intend to someday return to their home state.

Unfortunately, in doing so, if a service member kept their New York residency and purchased a vehicle while stationed in another state, they would be obligated to pay New York’s sales tax on that vehicle upon their return to New York – even if they paid sales tax in another state.

This meant a veteran returning to New York State may have had to pay sales tax on their vehicle twice. The new law prevents this.

NY Farm Produce at State-run Facilities

I was pleased to support A5102 in the Assembly, which supports local agriculture.

This law requires hospitals, prisons and other state agencies to buy more local produce. It requires the state to put in place better purchasing and tracking systems to make this possible.

The law already favored that state agencies purchase locally produced food, but this new law gets more specific in terms of purchasing systems and reporting those purchases.

It authorizes the commissioners of general services and agriculture and markets to develop regulations to “establish guidelines to increase purchases of New York food products; publish the guidelines on the Office of General Services website; and provide for monitoring and implementation…”

It also requires annual reports be made to the legislature and the governor so the public can better track these purchases.

Food Establishment Inspection

Results to be Posted Online

A2116-C requires the state Department of Health to make available on its website all public food service establishment inspection results for the most recent three years.

The law also requires local health departments that maintain a website to post a link to the state Department of Health website where inspection results are available. This will become effective next year.

Animal Cruelty

A5113-A gives district attorneys the ability to seek a reasonable cost for the care of seized animals from individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty crimes on behalf of impounding organizations.

According to the law, “animal cruelty and animal fighting are serious crimes in New York state.

“Because crimes against animals often involve the seizure of the victimized animals, these cases … involve arranging for the housing and care of the animals while the criminal case is pending.

Private organizations, such as shelters, humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals have traditionally assisted law enforcement agencies by providing care for these animals with little or no reimbursement.”

I was pleased to support this in the Assembly.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to be added to my mailing list, send a letter to 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York 13069, or an e-mail to barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or call 598-5185.

You can also friend me, Assembly Barclay, on Facebook.

Light in the Darkness

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

This may be one of the best know verses in all of scripture and probably the most quoted.

It speaks of the wonderful gift the Father has given to mankind. It is the gift that makes the difference between eternal life with God and eternal separation from Him.

Jesus bore our sin and its penalty, opening the way for forgiveness and restored relationship with our loving Creator. As such, it is an incomparable gift.

There never has been nor can there ever be another like it.

However, dearly beloved, have you ever considered the meaning of Jesus’ words in John 17 where He says, ““Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” (v. 24).

Though I  touched on this in my last column, I would like to take time to consider more carefully what it means to those of us who believe.

Think of this for a moment, especially during this season of gift giving and receiving.

Even as the Son was a gift from the Father to mankind, you, beloved believer, are a gift from the Father to the Son.

Jesus proclaimed this in another place, also, as He prayed something remarkable.  As He speaks to the Father, He says of us,  “They were always yours. You gave them to me.” ( John 17:6).

I don’t know if you ever thought of yourself as a gift given by the Father to the Son, but you are. Can any thought be more wonderful?

Now there are some who think that God redeemed us because He was lonely or simply wanted a big family, but I don’t think that this is true. God did not do this because of some need He had, but because of the need we have.

Dr. John Piper writes,  “It expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness. Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. We, not he, are starving for something.”

God has done all that He has because we, not He, had a need we could never do anything about. We were in a dilemma and He loved us enough to meet that need. First by giving His Son for us and then by giving us to His Son.

Pastor David M. Grey      

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church      

Volney councilman retires

Town of Volney Councilman Carl Rusaw retired from public service Dec. 31.

Rusaw has a long career as a six-year Oswego County legislator, six-year Town of Volney Planning Board member and five-year member of the Volney Town Board. Proclamations from the offices of Sen. Patricia Ritchie, Assemblyman Will Barclay and the Oswego County Legislature were read at Volney’s December town board meeting.

Supervisor Dennis Lockwood presented a plaque to Rusaw from the town of Volney. Rusaw plans to spend his winters  in Florida and summers in Fulton.

OCO to receive grants to improve agency

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. is one of six Central New York nonprofits selected to participate in the Gifford Foundation’s fourth round of a major capacity building initiative.

ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Value and Assets of Nonprofits in Syracuse, was started by the Gifford Foundation in 2007. ADVANS 4 will include more than $500,000 committed to six nonprofits — including OCO – from Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga Counties.

OCO is Oswego County’s Community Action Agency. Founded in 1996, OCO serves about 30,000 people each year through more than 50 programs.

These programs provide assistance for the homeless, education services for preschoolers, literacy services, reproductive health, independence for the disabled, meals for the elderly, disabled and youth, safety for the abused, case management services, crisis services, support for youth and transportation.

Between December 2013 and December 2015, OCO will undertake an intensive assessment and capacity planning process and will receive roughly $70,000 in grants and consulting services.

ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book “Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity.”

The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

“We anticipate many positive improvements that will benefit OCO and the consumers we serve,” said Diane Cooper-Currier, OCO’s executive director.

Cover photo dates for The Valley News available

UPDATE, UPDATE — Feb. 26, March 5 and March 19 are taken.

 

Hello and Happy New Year to all organizations, nonprofits and groups in the Fulton-Oswego-Hannibal-Phoenix area.

Now that the holidays are concluded, I hope you all are looking at your calendars to see when you have special events or even annual events coming up in 2014.

As you all probably know, The Valley News runs half page photographs on its Wednesday edition covers to highlight events coming up in the community. Some organizations already have stepped forward to reserve covers for 2014.

But many dates are still available, including the following that are coming up soon: Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 26, March 5, March 12 and March 19.

Many other dates also are available, especially in July and August.

So check over your calendars, see what’s coming up and give me a call to book a cover photo. The only criteria is your event should be a few days to a couple weeks after the edition that your cover appears. For example, if you had the March 5 cover your event would be somewhere between March 6 and say March 20 or so.

My phone number is 598-6397, ext. 31 or just ask for me, Debbie Groom.

I hope these dates fill up soon and fast.

 

Interstate 81 closed from Brewerton to Watertown due to storm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today (Jan. 6) declared a state of emergency for numerous counties including Oswego County as a major winter storm has moved from the Midwest into Western New York and the Tug Hill Plateau region of the state.

The State of Emergency covers the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne and Wyoming.

He also said Interstate 81 between Exits 31-45 (Brewerton to Arsenal Street-Watertown-Sackets Harbor) will be closed to all traffic tonight at 8 p.m.

Oswego County Emergency Management issues safety guidelines for winter storm

From Oswego County Emergency Management:

With the impending lake effect snowstorm forecast for the Tug Hill region in Oswego County Monday afternoon through Wednesday, Oswego County Director of Emergency Management Dale A. Currier reminds local residents to use extreme caution while traveling in inclement weather.

Emergency response agencies including fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement and highway are gearing up as the National Weather Service-Buffalo Forecast Office forecast indicates for heavy lake effect snow for the northern section of the county along with extreme cold and a wind chill warning. The National Weather Service indicates this is a potentially dangerous situation with up to 4 inches of snow falling an hour in the most persistent bands, compounded by winds of 20 to 30 hours an hour.

“There will be zero visibility due to the blowing snow and dangerously cold wind chills of -20 degrees F,” Currier said.

“People should be very aware of their surroundings and avoid travel in heavy snow whenever possible,” Currier continued. “The NWS is forecasting frequent whiteout conditions due to heavy lake effect snow and considerable blowing and drifting snow. If you must travel, tell someone when you’re going and when you expect to reach your destination. Carry a cellular phone. Clear your vehicle completely of snow and ice, and always match your speed to road conditions.”

People should carry a car kit in their vehicle at all times, Currier said. The kit should include blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag. “Make sure your gas tank is full to prevent gasoline freeze-up,” Currier said.

“Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before going out,” Currier stressed. “In lake effect snow the weather can vary from locally heavy snow in narrow bands to clear skies just a few miles away. Be prepared for rapid changes in road and visibility conditions.”

For anyone who must go outside in extreme winter conditions, Currier said, tips to follow include dressing for the cold and slowing down when working outside.

“Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers,” he said. “Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded. Always wear a hat and gloves or mittens, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. With the wind chills forecast over the next couple of days, frostbite can occur to exposed skin within minutes.”

Cold temperatures can put extra strain on the heart when doing heavy tasks such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car. “Stay warm, dress warm, and slow down when working outside,” Currier said. “Take frequent rests to avoid overexertion. If you feel chest pain, stop and seek help immediately.”

People should also follow common sense when operating a snow blower. “Never leave your snow blower running and unattended, and never put your hands into the discharge chute or augers to clear stuck snow and ice,” Currier stressed. “Never add fuel when the engine is running and hot. Make sure you know how to turn the machine off quickly.

“Lake effect snow and extreme cold are nothing new to Oswego County residents,” Currier said. “If people follow common sense safety precautions, they can minimize the impact on their lives.”

More information is available by visiting the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo. Oswego County is a NWS StormReady Community and has multiple methods of receiving and disseminating hazardous weather information.

Your hometown. Your news.