Saturday, October 31, 2009
State police say a Jeep Cherokee driven by 42-year-old David Bayline of Port Allegany crossed the centerline and hit a pickup truck head-on.
Bayline and his passenger, 48-year-old Theresa Bayline, were pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Bob Hartle.
The other driver, 58-year-old Helen Bigley of Eldred, was flown by Stat MedEvac helicopter to Altoona Hospital for treatment of major injuries.
fax from PSP Kane
This original melodrama fundraiser titled "Murder? Music! and Mayhem...Oh My!" has an old-fashioned Showboat theme and the student heroes, villains, and comedians will make you laugh with cornball humor, singing and dancing.
The show will be presented in three performances on the Oswayo Valley Elementary School stage on Friday evening at 7pm and two shows on Saturday - with the matinee at 2pm and the final show at 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased from any Senior class member, at the Oswayo Valley High School, at Sprout's Drugstore and also Northwest Savings Bank.
Please come out and support this wonderfully entertaining Senior class fundraiser!
e-mail from Cheri Thomas
These vaccines are jointly offered by the Center for Diabetes, a department of Bradford Regional Medical Center, and Pennsylvania’s Department of Health.
Seasonal flu vaccines by appointment only are offered at the Center for Diabetes on Monday, Nov. 2, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For an appointment, call the Center for Diabetes at 814-362-8717. Additional clinics will be added if necessary.
“Anybody with a chronic disease such as diabetes is recommended to get a seasonal flu vaccine,” says Stacia Nolder, RN, CE, CPT, the program director for the Center for Diabetes. “For those with diabetes, getting a vaccine can reduce the occurrence of seasonal flu complications and also hospitalization.”
The Diabetes Center previously held four clinics in October in which 125 seasonal flu vaccines were given to individuals.
The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death, Mrs. Nolder says.
On average in the U.S., more than 200,000 people are hospitalized every year because of the flu and 36,000 people die, according to officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Complications from seasonal flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma and diabetes.
e-mail from George
The $1.4 million in savings started at the end of February 2007 and was tracked through October 1, 2009. The program is still in effect, so more savings are anticipated.
The goal of the Medicaid Demonstration Project is to find County veterans who were eligible for Veterans Administration benefits they have earned by their service to our Nation and assist them in getting the benefits. Often that can reduce Medicaid expenses. Edwards said they discovered that the best way to save money was to find Medicaid eligible veterans and their family members before they applied for Medicaid.
"VA benefits can help avoid Medicaid expenses in several ways, from using the VA as a primary care provider instead of Medicaid to using VA benefits to reduce the costs of funerals," Edwards said.
The biggest way VA benefits save Medicaid money is through VA Pension for residents of skilled nursing and assisted living. VA Pension is a need-based program that applies to wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. Veterans and/or surviving spouses approved for VA Pension (and not on long-term care Medicaid) may be eligible to receive up to $1,949 per month. VA Pension helps to delay or eliminate the need to apply for Medicaid by extending a claimant's assets and paying medical bills.
Rauh said he started the Medicaid Demonstration Project by visiting long-term care facilities all over the county and talking to social workers and administrators about VA benefits. In addition, he met with vets and surviving spouses at their homes and at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Rauh said, "Many senior citizens miss out on VA benefits because they cannot come into an office."
"The Medicaid Demonstration Project was built from the ground up. The more claims that were done, the more nursing homes sent referrals to us. Successful claims lead to word-of-mouth referrals. It started off slowly, but it has grown exponentially," Rauh concluded.
Edwards said that this is yet another example of a program that is already in place in Chautauqua County that has led to a substantial increase in savings.
e-mail from Joel Keefer
Pheasants Forever Chapter 630 is pleased to announce that our Eighth Annual 2009 Youth Hunt, held on October 10, 2009, was another huge success. Two lucky kids won shotguns donated by our club. The winners for the Remington 870 20 gauge shotguns were Josh Zylinski, and Emily Pollino.
This event gets bigger and better each year due to help and donations from our partners, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Fox Township Sportsmen, Pepsi of St. Marys, WalMart of St. Marys, BiLo Foods of St. Marys and Sheetz. Al and Bonnie Dempsey donated and served a nice lunch to all involved. An anonymous donor paid for all of the chukar birds that were hunted on property owned by Jason Swanson of Kersey.
Each of these 43 youth participated in the Fox Township Sportsmen Safety Day. They heard lectures on hunting ethics and safety as well as a demonstration of pointing and flushing hunting dogs. Fox Township Sportsmen have many great opportunities for kids. The lucky youth were Jarrod Lipsey, Thomas Shields, Holly Ann Shields, Zachary Schatz, Tim Mosebarger, Raymond Dent Jr., Benjamin Cheatle, Scott Richard, Melissa Wehler, Hunter Fantechi, Dalton Fantechi, Colby Lenox, Kyler Lenox, Josh Zylinski, Eric Sidelinger, Brandon Schlimm, Justin Drabant, Troy Caskey, Colby McCandless, Jacob Herbstritt, Ben Herbstritt, Shelby Zomcik, Mary Rosman, Evan Smith, Dylan Smith, Kyle Richard, Nicholas Quagliani, Shane Gradl, Nick Trunzo, Riley Robertson, Corry Huff, Wade Bille, Ben Harlan, Justin Krichart, Quinn Cunningham, Shaun Chiesa, Derek Smith, George Urmann, Tim Carr, Drew Woodrow, Evan Baughman, Austin Minard, and Emily Pollino,
This was the first year the youth hunt was held at the new PA State Game Lands on Kyler Road near Dagus Mines. The extra space helped make the hunting safer. Everyone put on a few miles on their boots. The cool, fall hunting Saturday was perfect for the hunting dogs. The youth harvested a total of 54 pheasants and 10 chukars.
The biggest thanks of the day go to the dogs and dog handlers. Many are repeat dog handlers from the past that come back each year because this event is so much fun for everyone. Our special thanks to following dog handlers and their dogs; Leon Blashock, Gary Dauber, Jon Benton, Jim Olzak, Bill Zore Sr., Bill Zore Jr., Tim Rowan, Dave Nesbitt, Jared Kuleck, Chris Yeager, Travis Wienzierl, Rich Wilson, Wally Wilson, Tom Launer, Ed Gigliotti, Joe Wienzierl, Dale Keppel, John Billetdeau, Mike Wienzierl, Bob Esch, Mike Damore, Mike Porter, Don Doksa, Jim Dippold and Rob Matson. Years of breeding, training and experience teaches these dogs to love tracking and retrieving birds and we thank them all.
Very special thanks to Leon Blashock and Jim Degler who spent countless hours coordinating this event. Since the beginning of this annual event, Pheasants Forever Chapter 630 has mentored 350 kids, boys and girls alike in this hunting experience.
Isn’t it about time you got involved? Our next meeting is, Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Capital City fire hall on Front Street in Ridgway, PA. Visit our web site at http://www.northcentralpa.pheasantsforever.org/. For more information, call Jane at 814-772-4604.
It will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in BRMC’s Ground Floor Assembly Room.
November is National Family Caregivers Month and has been celebrated for the past 13 years. It is designed to be a time to thank, support and educate those who provide care to loved ones in the home. The upcoming teleconference is sponsored by the National Family Caregivers Association.
“This program is for those who are caring for a loved one who is elderly, taking multiple medications, sees more than one doctor, or suffers from multiple illnesses,” says Kathy Pascarella, director of McKean County VNA & Hospice.
Answers will be provided on: when medication problems are most likely to occur; what can be done to minimize risks associated with medications; how to help a loved one be more adherent to medication regimens; preventing medication problems at the hospital and the doctor’s office; and how to use the community pharmacist as a resource.
“The teleconference is designed to improve the ability of family caregivers to manage medications, prevent medical errors and minimize risks associated with medication use,” says Mrs. Pascarella.
“Improved medication management between patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals can improve clinical outcomes and patient safety,” she notes.
No registration is required to attend the teleconference at BRMC.
According to the National Family Caregivers Association, “Bad reactions to medications result in 100,000 deaths a year.”
Family caregivers also can listen to the teleconference in the convenience of their own home. In order to listen on the phone or the Web, contact the National Family Caregivers Association by e-mail at email@example.com , call 1-800-896-3650 or register online at www.thefamilycaregiver.org.
e-mail from George
In a letter received October 29th, the Department of Treasury informed Chautauqua County that it had been awarded an allocation of authority to issue $2 million in New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to fund the County's Methane to Electric Generation Plant. The plant is located at the Chautauqua County landfill, and utilizes methane, a waste product, to produce electricity.
"A CREB is a special type of bond known as a "Tax Credit Bond," that offers Chautauqua County the equivalent of an interest free loan for the Methane to Electric project," Edwards said. "The CREBS award from the Department of Treasury will save County taxpayers approximately $60,000 a year."
Chautauqua County has been working with the Department of Treasury over the last 24 months to secure the Clean Renewable Energy Bond allocation. It's part of the overall effort to spur renewable energy production.
"We were disappointed 2 years ago when we didn't originally receive this funding, but we never gave up," Edwards proclaimed. "While other Counties across New York State are raising taxes, we are lowering the property tax burden for our residents by fighting for innovative funding sources like these."
Funded by the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), CREBs help government agencies, public power providers, and cooperative electric companies obtain lower cost financing for clean energy development projects.
e-mail from Joel Keefer
Streaming online this morning:
8:30 -- Around the Home with Bob Harris
9:00 -- CNN News followed by local news and sports with Kevin Clark; and Lindsay's weather
9:15 -- Weekend Wrap -- Congressman Joe Sestak talks about the "public option"
9:30 -- AdLine
Friday, October 30, 2009
60-year-old Kenneth Shaffer of Johnsonburg, 53-year-old Steven Smith of Dagus Mines and 34-year-old John Stumpf Jr. of Johnsonburg are charged in connection with issuing certificates of inspection.
Police say the charges were filed as a result of an investigation into activities at Wally's Super Service on Old State Route in Ridgway Township relating to motor vehicle safety inspections.
fax from Ridgway PSP
28-year-old Kimberly Blasdell of Little Valley was allegedly involved in an altercation at the hotel, according to Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies.
She was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree menacing. She'll appear in court at a later date.
fax from Catt County SO
Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say they responded to a report of a possible car-pedestrian accident but, upon further investigation, found that the victim had been on the hood of a car driven by 22-year-old Vittoria Knisley and fell off.
The victim, who was not identified, was treated for minor injuries at WCA Hospital then released.
After the incident, Knisley fled on foot but was found a short time later and charged with driving without a license and driving while intoxicated.
e-mail from CCSO
Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 36-year-old Kimberly Snow told them she swerved to miss a deer and her vehicle went out of control. It then left the road, hit a fence and stopped short of hitting a house.
Deputies say Snow was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown for treatment of minor injuries, and was later found to be driving while intoxicated.
e-mail from CCSO
State police say someone tampered with the well on the property of 70-year-old Robert Perry of Mount Jewett at various times between January 24 and October 16.
They say damage to the well resulted in a reduction in the gas flow and elimination of Perry's access to gas as an energy and heating source.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Kane-based state police.
fax from PSP Kane
Harry Halloran, far right, watches on at ARG’s annual Halloween party for employees' children and grandchildren. More than 55 children attended. Below are more pictures provided by Kristina Luzzi. (And I believe that's Preston Weinberg, middle left, in the next picture.)
The children and their families decorated pumpkins and cookies, and participated in arts and craft projects, and face painting. Pizza and wings, punch and juice boxes, and definitely candy, were on the menu. Also, each child received a special Halloween Trick or Treat bag filled with goodies.
Thanks again to Kristina for sending the pictures!
“The commission’s persistent effort to place tolls on I-80-- after being turned down twice by the FHA-- is a continued source of frustration and disappointment for many reasons,” said Gabler. “Obviously, the biggest is its failure to recognize the negative impact such a move would have on residents of and businesses in the I-80 corridor.”
Gabler continues to receive testimony as to the potential harm tolling would do to businesses adjacent to the interstate.
“I recently toured the Domtar Paper Plant in DuBois and the subject of I-80 tolling came up in conversation with Plant Manager Kip Jones,” Gabler stated. “He estimates the imposition of tolls as adding approximately $880,000 to freight costs, as well as increasing the costs associated with inbound materials to the facilities in DuBois and Johnsonburg. Kip also cited the financial challenge tolls would present to his many employees who use the interstate on a regular basis.”
Gabler also suggested the commission look to clean up its own house before taking on any other ventures.
“Its first charge should be getting out from under the dark cloud hanging over them,” commented Gabler. “The commission is being investigated by the FBI, and a statewide grand jury has been impaneled to investigate patronage and ‘pay-to-play’ contracts. The last thing we should be doing is trusting what appears to be a poorly managed, suspect organization like the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
“The allegations its officials are facing already call into question their ability to manage Interstates 70, 76 and 476. Adding I-80 to that list is out of the question.”
e-mail from House Republican Public Relations
Act 44 tasks the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission with providing annual lease payments to PennDOT in exchange for operating I-80 as a toll road. This new application attempts to alleviate concerns addressed by FHWA in a September 2008 memo, which blocked the joint application from moving forward.
“Act 44 has been a dice roll from the beginning. The Governor knew this, the Legislature knew this, and the Turnpike Commission knew this. All were complacent, as they sat back and allowed the Turnpike to borrow and spend almost $2 billion since July 2007, without any guarantee of repayment.
“After an initial review of the financial analysis, it expressly states that I-80 traffic patterns have uncertainty to them once tolls are placed on the Interstate. Any diversion, which is not addressed in this application, will have an effect on revenues and will jeopardize future highway and bridge funding,” Thompson said.
Thompson has said for some time that tolls on existing interstates are a double tax. Pennsylvania already has the highest state imposed diesel fuel tax nationally at 38 cents per gallon and the second highest state imposed gasoline tax at 31 cents per gallon. For every $1.00 in fuels taxes sent to Washington, the Commonwealth receives $1.15 back.
Additionally, and perhaps most egregiously, Act 44 does nothing more than double the size and scope of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “This is the same Turnpike Commission that has been the backdrop for several scandals and a slew of indictments. Act 44 is a cover-up of years of mismanagement of taxpayer funds and the perpetuation of an antiquated and corrupt Turnpike Commission,” added Thompson.
“This is not fair to the taxpayers in Pennsylvania—not just along the I-80 corridor, but in the Commonwealth as a whole,” said Thompson. “This is about good government, not politics as usual in Harrisburg, the taxpayers in Pennsylvania deserve better. I have been in close contact with the Federal Highway Administration and plan to meet with them to voice my opposition. I look forward to working with my colleagues here in the House, who recognize the multiple flaws in this plan and remain committed to keeping I-80 toll free.”
You can read the supplemental information to the application here. PDF
e-mail from Thompson's office
Bolivar Drive will not be closed for bridge painting next week.
That means there are no changes to the current restrictions and advisories.
e-mail and fax from PennDOT
Police say Porter's vehicle went out of control and hit a culvert and a tree. He was trapped inside the vehicle when emergency crews arrived on the scene.
Porter was first taken to Bradford Regional Medical Center then flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh.
The company says the annual bill for a typical customer would increase from $1,004 to $1,020.
The amount is directly related to the actual market price of natural gas during the past three months as well as the projected price of gas that the Company will be purchasing for its customers from now through July 2010.
The next opportunity to adjust Gas Supply Charges is February 1.
e-mail and fax from National Fuel
“I was amazed,” said Kathy Woughter, vice president of Student Affairs, about the response from faculty, staff, other students and community residents.
For the story, go to Alfred's Web site.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Dr. Kurt Laemmer, a dentist at 197 Interstate Parkway in Bradford, will doing a candy buy back from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday. He pays the kids for their candy, then sends the candy to the troops overseas.
35-year-old Shawn Howard was convicted of third-degree grand larceny.
District Attorney Terrance Parker says Howard stole $4,004 worth of merchandise from Fassett Lane Building and Home Center by paying for items with checks from a closed account.
Buchanan was appointed in September 2001 after 13 years as an assistant U.S. attorney.
Buchanan says she focused on combating terrorism, drug and gun violence, corporate fraud, civil rights and sexual predators of children.
She didn't say what she'll do after she leaves the US attorney's office.
The executive order means that more health care workers, including dentists, will be permitted to administer vaccines with only brief training. The order is needed to suspend provisions of state law.
State officials also say the federal government is allowing them to order twice as many doses of the vaccine than they ordered a week ago.
At least 75 deaths in the state have been attributed to the swine flu.
DEP cited United for frequently violating its permit emission limits, the most significant of these being the limit for sulfur dioxide. Continuous emission monitors at the facility indicated that United also exceeded emission limits for hydrogen sulfide and opacity from various sources.
The violations date back to May 2007, but United has since taken corrective actions.
DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch says, “In response to numerous emission violations, United has installed new equipment and software to improve its day-to-day emissions monitoring."
The $495,000 penalty will be paid into the state’s Clean Air Fund, which supports projects designed to improve air quality throughout the state.
Police say although the people may know each other they are not part of a drug ring.
Besides crack cocaine, some of the people are also accused of selling heroin and prescription drugs. No drugs or paraphernalia were picked up in the raids, however.
The following people, all from Olean, were all charged with various degrees of possession of and sale of a controlled substance:
20-year-old Derek Brantley; 26-year-old Frank Cole; 51-year-old Anna Galmer; 27-year-old Gary Holland; 28-year-old Buddy Langdon; 51-year-old Jeffrey Mayfield; 23-year-old Obidah Ramadhan; 25-year-old Randy Shaffer; 30-year-old Intisar Ramadhan Spencer; 20-year-old Stacy Spencer; and 23-year-old Clifford Thompson.
The Olean Police Department, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department, State Police and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force made the arrests.
Pavilion Administrator Bonnie Himes said some changes to the program are being undertaken this year due to flu precautions.
In previous years, residents handed candy to the children. This year, Mrs. Himes said, candy will already be in special bags and the treats will be given to children by staff.
Residents of The Pavilion will be in the lobby as in previous years to see the children in their costumes.
Mrs. Himes said children and their escorts should come in the main Pavilion entrance at 200 Pleasant St.
Byrd, a second-round draft pick out of Oregon, is the first rookie with five interceptions in a month since Chicago Bears safety Mark Carrier in 1990. Byrd also is the first rookie with two interceptions in back-to-back games since Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls in 1981.
Byrd's five interceptions lead all rookies and are second in the NFL behind New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper, who has six.
18-year-old Vincent Jimerson is accused of firing several rounds from a small rifle. Police say the alleged incident happened after an earlier altercation involving Jimerson.
Several people, including small children, were inside the house at the time of the shooting.
Jimerson was charged with reckless endangerment and sent to jail without bail.
The hearing will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. November 10 at the State Capitol building in Albany.
“We must sensibly examine the issues surrounding gas drilling in Marcellus Shale and the impact that it might have on New York’s economy and environment before making a determination. This roundtable will identify ways of accomplishing these tasks,” Thompson said in a news release announcing the roundtable..
The roundtable is open to the public to both attend and participate. Depending on the number of people wishing to participate, some may be asked to provide written testimony, rather than participate in person.
Those wishing to participate are asked to contact Rashied McDuffie, Director of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee at (518) 455-3371 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The fire started at about 6:30 at the corner of North Main and University streets.
The building at 3 North Main was a three-story wood and brick structure owned by Phil Curran, who has operated the Alfred Sports Center there for more than 40 years.
The upper floors of the building collapsed during the blaze.
The displaced students were taken to the university's Powell Campus Center for counseling, clothing and food.
Alfred, Alfred Station, Almond, Andover, Wellsville, and Belfast firefighters responded to the scene.
The fire broke out at about 6:30 this morning on Main and University streets, in Alfred's historic business district.
Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs, said the eight students who were living in second-floor apartments above West Side Liquor, located on the corner of Main and West University streets, are “safe and accounted for,” but they escaped without any of their possessions.
For more information, you can go to Alfred's Web site.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
They didn't get it.
Earlier this month Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants were awarded to dozens of fire departments across the country, and Bradford wasn't one of them.
The fire department wanted to the new building because they say the current station is beyond renovation.
“What we’re just as pleased with, aside from the number of businesses which chose to contribute, were the number of new donors we had,” said Executive Director Kelly Case. “At the end of the day, we have five new donors, which is great.”
The day targeted the area’s businesses, giving them the opportunity to confirm their planned contributions to the 2009 appeal, “Back To Basics”.
“We will obviously accept pledges until the end of the campaign,” says Assistant Director Mandi Davis, “so if you own a business and were unable to take part in the blitz day, feel free to send your pledge in to our office.”
Aside from the success of the business blitz, the staff is announcing that they are currently at 26% of the campaign goal, which this year is set at $325,000.
“We’re glad we can update the thermometers,” says Case, “especially given that we just made an announcement recently. We hope the community is seeing the benefit of its generosity.”
The 2009 appeal continues through December 15th. Staff and volunteers remain busy with employee presentations in the local organizations, as well as planning for this weekend’s Hair-Raising Hoopla.
For more information on the United Way of the Bradford Area or its funded agencies, feel free to contact the office or visit its website http://www.uwbanews.org
“Essentially, if there is no money, there will be no mandate,” Rohrer said. “Local authorities would be given the option to opt out of expensive unfunded mandates. This is the fastest and most direct way that we can help school districts, local governments and the taxpayers who must fund them.”
Under Rohrer’s measure, if the state mandates a program but then fails to provide adequate funding to implement it, counties, municipalities and school boards would be able to temporarily opt out of the spending initiative.
Rohrer was joined today by representatives from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, who all lent their support to Rohrer’s legislation.
According to the Pennsylvania Economy League, 45 of the 53 “third-class cities” in Pennsylvania can be categorized as “financially distressed.” CCAP reports that an average of 60 percent of a county’s budget is made up of directives from outside entities.
“The burden of unfunded mandates is real and it is something that must be addressed,” Rohrer said. “The old ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach is no longer an option. The governor and state Legislature cannot sit by and watch as more and more local governments and school boards are pushed over the cliff of financial distress. The problem is unfunded mandates and the solution is the Emergency Mandate Suspension Act.”
Rohrer’s legislation would empower local authorities to temporarily – for a period of up to five years – opt out of unfunded state mandates. The local authority would be permitted to suspend local payments for the qualifying programs.
In addition, the bill provides for a similar temporary suspension of reimbursable mandates. If the state fails to reimburse local authorities for a mandated program, the local authority could suspend local payments for it. This would apply to programs for which the state ordinarily provides adequate funding to cover costs but, for whatever reason, has failed to provide that funding. This provision would apply if the Commonwealth missed two consecutive payments – as happened recently in many instances due to the state budget stalemate.
“Too often, leaders in Harrisburg have adopted a law and passed the costs on to local leaders,” Rohrer said. “They take credit for the idea but pass responsibility for funding it on to our local governments and school boards. It is time for elected leaders at all levels of government to acknowledge the economic consequences facing taxpayers. This bill does more than talk about the problem. It identifies and proposes a solution. Now, it’s time for lawmakers in Harrisburg to roll up our sleeves to make this policy a reality.”
WESB/WBRR News Director
Former Congressman and current US Senate candidate Pat Toomey is making a swing through McKean County today.
"I want to learn as much as I can about the county – what's important here and what's important to the future of northern Pennsylvania and northwestern Pennsylvania," said the Republican from Zionsville.
Toomey spent some time at Zippo Manufacturing Company in Bradford and the McKean County Courthouse in Smethport.
Earlier this year, speculation was running rampant on whether Toomey would challenge Senator Arlen Specter for his Senate seat.
Now that Specter has switched from the Republican to the Democratic party, Toomey's challenger in the primary will be Peg Luksik of Johnstown. Congressman Joe Sestak is challenging Specter.
Toomey said he made the final decision to run because of the direction the government in Washington began to take.
"They're doing things that are not good for Pennsylvania, not good for our economy, not good for our future," he said.
He mentioned bailouts of failing companies, a staggering amount of government spending, an unsustainable amount of debt and "an effort for the government to take over health care."
He said he believes he can be "a voice of reason and balance in Washington – to remind the Senate and the government that jobs and growth and a better standard of living comes from free enterprise. It comes from people who get up everyday and go to work and actually make things and provide services that we need."
"It doesn't come from government just growing and borrowing and spending to oblivion," he said.
As for the current senator, Toomey said he was "shocked when Senator Specter switched parties, because he had just finished spending several months crisscrossing Pennsylvania saying he never would."
He said Specter was very specific on how important it was to keep 41 Republican senators in Washington so the GOP could "keep a seat at the table."
"Then he took one look at a poll that showed he couldn't win a Republican primary and couldn't be one of those 41 Republican senators anymore, so he switched and joined the other side," Toomey said.
Toomey said Specter's switch should have voters asking "Does this man stand for anything other than his own personal political fortunes?"
Toomey said he will be back in McKean County "before too long."
Pat Toomey at WESB/WBRR
I interviewed Sestak in August.
The clinic will be rescheduled as soon as a shipment of seasonal flu vaccine is received.
Attorneys for the estate of 80-year-old Atwilda Brown filed suit in U.S. District Court in Hartford claiming wrongful death and product liability. The lawsuit seeks $30 million.
Brown was severely burned on February 12, 2005, when her robe caught on fire as she made tea in her home. She died two weeks later.
Federal authorities say the robes are linked to nine deaths. Blair recently expanded its recall of more than 300,000 chenille products it imported from a Pakistani manufacturer.
Senator David Argall’s proposal would eliminate 10 House seats each decade through 2053. It would also eliminate five Senate seats. The legislation would ultimately trim the size of the Senate from 50 members to 45 and the House of Representatives from 203 members to 153.
"It is important to explore every option to save taxpayer dollars, and this is one way that we can reduce costs without reducing services to the people of Pennsylvania," Argall said. "I am confident that this proposal will help to save money without having a negative effect on the level of constituent service available to state residents."
Argall says this is not the solution to all of the state's problems, but he says it's not right for legislators to demand cuts in other areas of government without cutting costs in the legislature.
Argall's proposal would require an amendment to the state Constitution. To become law, the proposal would have to pass in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and be approved by the voters through a referendum.
32-year-old Assiac Robles turned himself in Monday, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Robles was in New Jersey on Thursday when investigators arrested the other suspects accused of being involved in a $5 million cocaine and marijuana trafficking operation.
The arrests of the 41 suspects culminated a two-year investigation led by agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, known as Operation Diamond Drop.
Ridgway Police charged her with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and theft by failing to make required disposition of funds while she was employed between March 2007 and May 2009.
Kilhoffer was arraigned by District Judge Tony King and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for November 4.
55-year-old Donald Saden killed Robert Stiffler of Fredonia. Stiffler, who was 25 at the time, was found in a field in Arkwright on January 5, 1971
Saden was 17 years old and a resident of Fredonia at the time of the murder. He was arrested at his home in Texas in August of 2008 and was brought back to Chautauqua County.
See our previous stories:
Under the wager, the state with the losing team will offer a weekend vacation to a resident of the state with the winning team. Accommodations, meals and tickets for the vacation package will be donated by the respective companies, organizations and venues hosting the trip. The losing city will host the all-expenses paid weekend getaway.
“I hear the City of Philadelphia is beautiful this time of year, and I expect that after six games, a lucky winner in New York will get to tour that historic American city. But we’ll make sure they’re back in time for the ticker-tape parade on Broadway,” Governor Paterson said. “In the unlikely event that the Bronx Bombers drop the series to Philly, we may not convert the lucky winners into Yankee fans, but once they visit this great State, they will become fans of New York.”
“This should be a great World Series between two of baseball’s oldest franchises. It pits our defending champion Phillies against one of the most historically successful teams in the game. Philadelphia is looking forward to bringing home another title, and to avenging the Yankees’ sweep of the Phillies in the 1950 World Series,” Governor Rendell said.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this ice cream. For those who do not suffer from a peanut allergy or sensitivity, this product is safe to eat.
Dove Caramel Pecan Perfection is sold in a brown and gold 15.10 fl. oz. pint container and pictures a ribbon of caramel, pecans and a square of Dove Brand Chocolate on the front.
This recall is limited to one specific lot number:
Customers should check their homes for this product and may discard them, or may return the product(s) to the store for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the Mars Snackfood US toll-free number: 1-800-551-0895 between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Monday – Friday.
e-mail from Tops
State police say they tried to stop a car for speeding on Route 6 Sunday evening, but the car driven by 19-year-old Andrew Blakeslee attempted to elude them by pulling into the parking lot of the Pine Creek Inn.
Blakeslee fled on foot, but police eventually found him.
Police say they will be filing charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police.
faxed from PSP Coudersport
WESB/WBRR News Director
The city is looking into the state's Early Intervention and Distressed Cities programs because of the current financial situation.
During Tuesday's Bradford City Council meeting, Mayor Tom Riel said they are exploring the possibility of receiving some assistance from the state.
He said both he and city controller Ron Orris feel "it would be beneficial and would alleviate a lot of the problems that the city has faced repeatedly over the last number of decades, especially the budgetary problems at the end of each year."
"All the early intervention program does is – they come in here and give us advice," Orris said, "and I think that's what we need."
"They don't take control of our city," he added
Riel added that financial help is also available in the Early Intervention program.
"The city doesn't have a long-term plan in place," Riel said. "We've been struggling to get by from year to year. We keep having these budgetary problems that are getting worse – last year, this year. We're looking at problems for next year."
"They come in here with professional people who have done this in other communities and helped them to establish a long-term financial plan to get them back on their feet so they're not getting upside down like we're getting," Riel said.
OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews said she spoke briefly Tuesday with a member of the Governor's Center for Local Government Services on the issue.
She said Phil Scrimenti has worked with the Early Intervention and Distressed City programs.
"I think that the Early Intervention is something that he probably would recommend because of how they bring the professionals in and make recommendations and help the community to not get to that level (of a distressed city)," Andrews aid.
Scrimenti was in Bradford to meet with the Main Street and Elm Street mangers, and not concerning the Early Intervention or Distressed City programs.
Bradford businesswoman Diane Thompson said if it's about advice, and not someone else taking control of the city, she's not against it.
"I think one of the major problems in this city is that there's so much ego in different departments that people can't work together for the betterment of the city," she said.
"You don't want to give up this because it's yours," she said. "You don't want to give up any bit of it so that everybody can get a little bit better."
She also said she understands that money is tight but she's strongly opposed to not having the police station manned 24 hours a day.
"It's a nice feeling to know that when you call over there and you need them, someone's going to answer that phone," she said.
"I've had my problems; they've had their problems with me," she said. "But they're always there with no attitude no matter what was going on, all these years, to help me and to help my employees."
"I think it's a sad day when, as a small community, you can't call the police when you need them and have someone in your community answer that phone," Thompson said.
She also addressed the issue of a paid versus volunteer fire department.
"We're here talking about Bradford being in a distressed situation – (the fire department) is a huge amount of money," she said. "A huge amount of money. I'm not saying that we don't appreciate our firemen. Even if you went part time volunteer and part time paid it's a compromise and it would save a tremendous amount of money."
"We have a lot bigger problem with crime than we do with fires in this town," she said.
At the end of the discussion Riel reiterated that council is just looking at the possibilities.
"Nobody's made a decision to go any direction," he said. "The question is 'What would most benefit Bradford long-term?'"
from sitting in city council chambers, listening, recording, and taking notes
WESB/WBRR News Director
The Bradford City Police station will be manned 24/7 for at least another couple of weeks.
City Council took no action on the matter during its regular meeting Tuesday night. A resolution to turn dispatch duties over to the McKean County 911 Center was the last item on some of the agendas passed out to the public, but Mayor Tom Riel explained that inclusion of the item was a mistake.
Before the meeting, council held a brief work session to discuss alternatives to transferring the dispatch duties.
Police Officer Chris Lucco said members of the department met and discussed several possible options to having a sworn officer perform desk duties.
They decided that "any of the possible options would not meet your (Riel's) exceptions of a cost savings," Lucco said.
He said they remain opposed to "anything other than having a police officer man the station for many reasons, but most importantly for the safety of the public and our officers."
Lucco added that council should look at who should be making the decisions concerning implementation of the transition. He said he hopes council will talk to Chief Mike Close and other officers because he believes there are some aspects of the transition council is overlooking.
"You put your trust in Chief Close to run the department," Lucco said. "Certainly with a transition of this magnitude it is time to go to him and use his expertise so that all the areas will be covered."
Members of the department also prepared folders of information for Riel and the council members to look over before making the decision.
Among the items included are information on the officers' need for cell phones if the duties are transferred to Smethport, and information about a different option for weapon storage.
Lt. Roger Sager also asked that council review the information.
"Short of suggesting throwing somebody under the bus – other city employees – which, I will speak for myself, I would not do," Sager said. "We just want you to please take the time before your meeting and read what we've presented to you."
No other police officers spoke on the issue. Council ended the work session to review the information.
from sitting in city council chambers, listening, recording, and taking notes
Testimony also touched on the Seneca's casinos, which the nation says is one of the only bright spots in New York's economy. Seneca Senior Policy Advisor Rob Odawi Porter alluded to a report by the Empire Center for New York that says New York has suffered the largest loss of residents of any state in the nation. 1.5 million people moved out of New from 2000 to 2008.
"The Seneca Nation is not going anywhere," Porter said "We've been in our territory for a thousand years and we're going to be there for another thousand. And yet when thousands of non-natives leave Western New York every year to go elsewhere, it hurts us. It hurts our neighborhoods, it hurts our communities, it hurts our businesses, it hurts everything. And this is something that is not unknown to you."
Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn argued that the Senecas should want to pay taxes to help out the state.
"You and all (tribes) should be able to pick up and be responsible enough to be able to share across this great state – its 19 and a half million people – when it comes to taxes," Golden said.
Senator Eric Adams, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, said the injustice is not the Senecas not paying taxes.
"The major injustice is what's happened to the indigenous people of this country," Adams said. "That's the major injustice. You have the right to defend your land. You have the right to defend your families. You have the right to defend your people. And the only way we're going to resolve this issue is when this country (observes) and respects your rights."
"I admire you," Adams continued as applause started and continued to grow. "Fight for your land. Protect your families."
The hearing is still going on as of 4:15 p.m.
from watching the hearing
$90,000 is going to the 12-county region that includes McKean, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, Potter, Tioga and Warren counties.
As for Tourism Promotion Assistance grants, the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau will receive nearly $14,000; the Potter County Visitors Association, nearly $5,000; and the Warren County Visitors Bureau, a little over $7,000.
“Even in a challenging economy, Pennsylvania recognizes the need to invest in our tourism industry because it generates more than $28 billion in economic impact – an amount greater than the recently enacted state budget,” Governor Ed Rendell said.
Pennsylvania is the fifth-most visited state, attracting more than 140 million visitors a year. More than 600,000 Pennsylvanians work in the tourism industry, drawing paychecks totaling $18 billion.
governor's web site
“Some communities hold trick-or-treat during evening rush hours, so we are asking all motorists to exercise increased caution,” Biehler said. “Watch your speed, avoid distractions and ‘expect the unexpected’ since children can be unpredictable.”
Motorists should be especially vigilant on neighborhood streets as children may dart out between parked vehicles or walk on the side of the road.
Parents and guardians can enhance the safety and visibility of children by following a few simple tips:
· Buy or make brightly-colored, highly-visible costumes that do not interfere with a child’s ability to see, hear or walk;
· Consider adding strips of reflective tape to darker-colored costumes or trick-or-treat bags;
· Encourage children to carry a flashlight or glow stick;
· Accompany young children while they are trick-or-treating;
· Remind children to pay attention to their surroundings and to look both ways before crossing a street; and
· Tell children to walk instead of run and to remain on sidewalks whenever possible.
PennDOT recognizes that Halloween is enjoyed by adult partygoers, too. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe ride home and avoid impaired driving. Last year there were 412 crashes and five fatalities on Halloween. Forty-five of those crashes involved alcohol.
e-mail from PennDOT
Ricky and Beth Kish of Perry are accused of telling sheriff's deputies their mobile home was damaged by fire. They attempted to make an insurance claim of more than $50,000 when the home had been sold.
The alleged crimes happened between August 6 and September 24.
from the DA's office
41-year-old Roy Westover Jr. died early Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack while responding to a fire at an abandoned building.
The fire is one of many suspicious blazes Clearfield County authorities are investigating.
Westover had been a member of the fire department for more than 20 years.
(Photo courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)
The first of the clincis is for pregnant women and anyone from 6 months to 24 years of age; and those ages 25 to 64 who have health conditions, such as chronic lung, kidney, liver and blood disorders.
The first clinic is November 6th at the Machias Health Department and the second is from 1 to 4pm at the Salamanca Health Department. The third clinic is November 10 from 4 to 7pm at the Olean Health Department.
The clinic is strictly for those who are age 6 months to 24 years old, and also pregnant women. Parents who take their children to BRMC’s Pediatric Associates for healthcare and checkups will not need to obtain their child’s immunization records for the H1N1 flu clinic. Pediatric Associates will provide those immunization records. However, parents who take their children elsewhere for regular healthcare and checkups must bring immunization records in order for their child to receive the H1N1 immunization.
Additional clinics will be held in the coming weeks for other target groups.
dismantling the constitution and the liberties it was intended to protect. The answer, he says, is to get rid of most of the politicians in Harrisburg and Washington. He did say that, so far, Congressman Glenn Thompson and state representatives Marty Causer and Matt Gabler are doing a good job.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The hearing will center on the state's inability to collect taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian retailers to non-Indians.
Committee Chairman Senator Craig Johnson says years after the courts affirmed a state's right to collect taxes generated by the sale of cigarettes by Native Americans to non-Native Americans at licensed smokeshops and over the Internet, the state Department of Taxation and Finance has been stymied in its tax collection efforts.
Also scheduled to appear in front of the committee are representatives from New York City, local governments and the tobacco and convenience store industry.
e-mail from Johnson's office
(Photo courtesy of Charles Cole Memorial Hospital)
Samantha Miller of Salamanca attempted to sell crack cocaine on January 8, 2008, in Salamanca.
Autumn Wheeler of Salamanca attempted to sell crack cocaine on January 24, 2008, in Salamanca.
Traivel Daniels possessed cocaine with the intent to sell it on March 27, in Olean.
Miller and Wheeler are scheduled for sentencing on January 11. Daniels is scheduled for sentencing on January 25.
from the DA's office
While working as a teller at Community Bank in Olean on March 2, Nadine Nudd of Cuba, New York, created a bank statement that she said was from Five Star Bank and used it to steal money from a cash deposit.
Nudd must also perform 200 hours of community service.
From the Cattaraugus County DA's office.
17-year-old Raymond Neville was one of 14 youths who ran away from the home on May 31. When they were rounded up and taken back to the home they engaged in "tumultuous and violent conduct," according to District Attorney Ed Sharkey.
One person was injured and there was substantial property damage, according to court records.
Neville will be sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court on January 11.
from the DA's office
Paterson has proposed cutting nearly $5 billion from the state budget over the next two years.
The governor will hold a public meeting with legislative leaders on Thursday in New York City and wants to address a joint session of the Assembly and Senate November 9 in Albany to outline the budget cuts he says must be made.
from the governor's Web site
McCutchen hit .286 with 12 homers, 54 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 108 games. He led National League rookies with 47 extra-base hits.
Pirates rookie first baseman Garrett Jones was named to Baseball America's all-rookie team. Jones hit .293 with 21 homers and 44 RBI. He led all rookies in home runs and slugging percentage.
In other Pirates news, the club has requested outright waivers on right-handed pitcher Tyler Yates and he has elected free agency today.
The Pirates roster is at 38, plus pitchers Evan Meek and Jose Ascanio, who are on the 60-day disabled list.
2 e-mails from Jim Trdinich, Pittsburgh Pirates
From Brad Christman: (This is a )new investigation of the strange and unexplained in the Keystone State. This year, we examine a creepy and abandoned building in western Pennsylvania that served as a poor house and a nursing home from 1925 to 2004. Hillview Manor has a long and deadly history that includes suicides, scandals and countless natural cause deaths on the premises. In fact, it’s the first subject of our documentary series that comes complete with its own morgue!
“Eerie, Pennsylvania: Hillview Manor” is a one-hour special that explores the rich history of the Lawrence County property and investigates claims of paranormal activity there. You’ll hear chilling stories from current caretakers & past employees and we’ll conduct our own investigation of things that go bump in the night.
24-year-old Jeremy Smathers is charged with kidnapping after allegedly grabbing a 21-year-old woman as she was walking to work. He allegedly held her arm and kept a gun pointed at her side for about 15 minutes while taking her in different directions.
When the woman saw a police car she ran toward it screaming for help and saying the man had a gun.
Jamestown police, along with Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti police, state troopers and sheriff's deputies secured a perimeter in the wooded area between West Second and West Third Streets.
They found Smathers about 10 minutes later and took him to the city jail.
Dr. Prince, who specializes in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), sees pediatric and adult patients at the hospital’s Irwin Medical Arts Center in Coudersport. Patients should be referred by their primary care provider. For more information, call 274-5243.
Most recently, Dr. Prince maintained a private practice in Warsaw, NY, and also was a member of the surgical staff at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.
She earned a medical degree at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, completed a general surgery internship and residency at Kings County Hospital and Beekman Downtown Hospital, respectively, and completed additional ENT and fellowship training at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital and the Ambulatory Cosmetic Surgery Center, all in the New York City area. She is an American Board of Otolaryngology diplomate and an American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and American College of Surgeons fellow.
Dr. Prince, who recently relocated to Coudersport, will offer an expanded level of ENT services to the Charles Cole service area, such as head and neck reconstructive and plastic surgery.
Nimish Patel, MD, has joined Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s hospitalist team of Dr. Brenda Wahlers, medical director, and physician assistants Victor Jackson, Melissa Juliano, and Emily Lynch.
Dr. Patel comes to Charles Cole after earning a medical degree at George Washington University and completing a residency at Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital where he served as a clinical educator and chief resident.
He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
2 e-mails from Janene Dunn, CCMH
When: October 30, 2009
Time: 4-7 pm
Price: $4 for 10 tickets; $.25 per ticket after that
Who: Grades K - 5
Put on by the Hospitality Club of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
~~ Pumpkin Painting!
~~ Cookie decorating!
~~ Halloween safety tips!
~~ And many other fun Halloween games!
e-mail from Heather Jordan
Capturing gold medals were Jay Furman, Charles Bradt, Nick Battles, Jon Palmquist, Rebecca Buccolini, Tracy Carson, Kim Langworthy, Jackie Wolfe, Peg Sitarchuk, Bob Clawson, Henry Keller, Sheridan Phillips, Jim Carlson, Dexter Rankin, Mike Walter, Matt Scott, Charlie Barr, Jon Seitz, Kim Daniels, Jalisa Daniels, Mike Frost, Roger Jacoby, Joe Sostakowski, Glenn Lee, Roger Austin, Gary Stewart, Fred Stewart, Glenn Carr, Lenny Hummel, George Weeks, Ashley Peterson, Janet Pressler, Anna Smith, Joe Lee, David Rose and Joe Torrey.
Silver medal winners were Margot Abbott, Margie Laubham, Milo Cline, Carol Bryan, David Winters, Mike Monti, Marty Cline, Rocco Vavalo, John Currie, Tom Day, Lisa Williams, David Wolford, Margie Kibby, Amber Mays, George Burton, Julie Boyle, Jon Farnham, Bill Whitney, Lenny Kribbs, Chris Lathrop, Eric Baxter, Dan Graves, Roger Matey, Matt Latshaw, Andrew Wilson, Steve McQuone and Kathy McGuire.
Bronze medal winners were Kevin Lewandowski, Coreen Hoyt, Dan Walker, Donna Dallary, Debbie Taft, Robert Tubbs, Randy Johnson, Jeff Vanscoter, Jim Oehler, Janice Lipps, Sharon Petitt, Tina Whitford, Jean Zumstein, Patty Price, Renee Chittester, Kari Johnston, Stephanie Schlopy, Stephanie Heffner, Robert Starr, Gary Brown, Rodney Meyer and Aaron Briggs.
Eight bowlers, whose names will be announced soon, will qualify to advance to the western regional Special Olympics competition to be held in Pittsburgh in March.
McKean County Special Olympics is a year-round program of sports training and competition for over 370 mentally and physically challenged athletes. In addition to bowling, programs are offered in swimming, track and field, golf, basketball, bocce, skiing and softball.
e-mail from Pat Ryan
“It’s becoming increasingly important for all of us to have a global perspective, especially in business,” said Dr. Steven E. Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs.
The new minor will require students to complete courses in World Regional Geography, International management, Global Economic Systems, International Finance and International Marketing as well as exhibit basic proficiency in a foreign language and study abroad for at least four weeks.
Pitt-Bradford offers French and Spanish on campus, but will also accept prior fluency in another language or independent study using language-learning software.
Study-abroad opportunities will be coordinated by Pitt-Bradford’s director of international studies Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology.
Of the study-abroad requirement, Lizbeth Matz, chairwoman of the division of management and education, said, “There’s nothing like leaving the country to understand different cultures.” She also noted that some scholarships are available for the study-abroad programs. In arranging for study-abroad opportunities, Pitt-Bradford can also take advantage of resources made available through the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Studies.
The new minor builds on a previously available concentration in the business management major. The creation of a minor, however, encourages students to study language and study abroad, allows them to show the specialization on their transcript and makes the program available to students in more majors, Matz said.
Because most of the courses required are upper-level courses that require prerequisites, she said most of the students who choose the international business minor will likely be majors in business management, accounting, entrepreneurship, hospitality management, or sport and recreation management.
e-mail from Kimberly Weinberg, Pitt-Bradford
Albany continues to jam the accelerator to the floor, driving jobs and people out of the state with its suffocating taxes and out-of-control spending. Now, Governor Paterson has proposed a deficit reduction plan that would hike local property taxes. . . again.
There is a better way.
Last Spring, Governor Paterson and New York City-controlled Senate and Assembly Democrats muscled through the worst budget in our state’s history. It was crafted in secret behind closed doors without any opportunity for Senate and Assembly Republicans to contribute alternatives and solutions. In the Senate, we Republicans offered 18 amendments that would have eliminated all the new taxes and fees and wisely allocated federal stimulus dollars – unfortunately, all of our amendments fell short by only one vote.
Worse yet, the public were excluded from the process.
The state budget impacts the daily lives of everyone who lives here, whether you drive on roads or bridges, work at a small business, need hospital care, send your children to school, or pay your taxes. The public has the right to know what their government officials are up to. Unfortunately, the budget reform laws passed in 2007 that require openness and accountability were ignored.
Of course, when you have a terrible process, you end up with a terrible product. Taxes spiraled upward by another $8.5 billion – the hugest increase ever. Utilities, health insurance premiums, property taxes, car registrations, fishing licenses – the list totals over 100 new taxes and fees – have gone up, hurting families that already suffering from the recession. The newly-imposed highest personal income tax rate in the nation has exacerbated the problem, with New York’s highly mobile wealthiest citizens saying enough is enough, leaving for more business-friendly states.
Spending reached an all time high at about $132 billion -- $13 billion over last year’s amount – which is seven times the rate of inflation.
Now, “leaders” in Albany are scratching their heads, wondering why we have a multi-billion dollar shortfall mid-year.
You could see that car wreck coming from a mile away.
At least Governor Paterson has offered a plan to make mid-year budget adjustments, even though his proposals need to be adjusted so they don’t make the situation worse.
Unfortunately, the Senate and Assembly Democrats have failed to put any proposals on the table, and are dragging their feet to take any action. The longer the fiscal crisis is ignored, the more it will compound.
Senate Republicans have come up with a list of solutions that would cut spending, and not raise taxes or create chaos in school district. We would review the $2.2 billion in general fund spending that was added to the budget; cut agency non-personal services by 10 percent to save $480 million; freeze state purchases of recreational land to save $78 million; reinstate welfare and Medicaid fraud protections to save $34 million; and cut state agency contract balances by five percent to save $300 million.
The bottom line is that you can’t tax or spend your way out of a recession – you have to grow your way out of it. We need to have good-paying jobs for our families and career opportunities for our young people so they don’t have to leave.
Small businesses have led the way out of every modern day recession. We must make it easier, not harder, for small businesses to thrive. In our region, small businesses are the backbone that helps drive our economy. A recent study showed that 94 percent of all jobs in New York are created by small businesses. We must also focus on boosting agriculture and manufacturing.
We once were the Empire State because we had it all – a huge water supply, infrastructure, an industrious workforce, power sources like Niagara Falls – but these assets have been diminished because of our heavy tax burden and cumbersome red tape.
People and jobs continue to flee the state.
But we can get our economy humming again by restructuring our tax system so that it is more in line with other states that have become successful – Texas, North Carolina and Florida.
In fact, Chief Executive magazine ranked those states as the best states for job and business growth in 2009. Predictably, California was the worst, with New York not far behind and Michigan coming in third. A total of 543 CEOs nationwide evaluated each state on a variety of criteria, including taxes and regulation. It was no coincidence that the worst-ranked states also have the highest unemployment rates. Currently, New York’s jobless figures stand at about 9 percent.
Every day, I hear impassioned pleas from people in my district who are having a tough time making ends meet. Some have lost their jobs, and can’t take care of their families’ basic needs. They are cutting costs, eliminating everything non-essential, and reducing their spending. They can’t afford the heavy tax burdens that Albany has placed on them.
We need to change the direction of the state for their sake, and for the sake of our future. Right now, I am fighting to reform the Senate, grow the economy, roll back destructive tax hikes, pass a Constitutional spending cap, and restore balance to state government so that Upstate New York has a voice.
It is a fight worth waging. I fervently believe in our people and our communities, and that we can have a bright future if the right policies are put into place. Let’s bring back the Empire State.
e-mail from Senator Young's office
But now they're on different teams – not inside the Capitol – but on the baseball diamond.
If the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series, Specter and Casey will get cheesecakes from Junior's. If the New York Yankees win, Schumer and Gillibrand get Philly cheesesteaks.
“I give Senators Specter and Casey credit for sticking with their team but I can already taste those delicious Philly cheesesteaks,” Schumer said. “And even though the Phillies won the World Series last year, there’s no comparing the Yankees’ 26 World Series victories to the Phillies two. When the dust settles, I am confident that the Yankees will be victorious and Senator Gillibrand and I will be enjoying our Philly cheesesteaks.”
“It’s great to see the Bronx Bombers back in the World Series with so many familiar faces from their storied run in the 1990’s,” Specter said. “Unfortunately for the Yankees, tradition alone will do them little good against Charlie Manuel’s fearsome lineup. I look forward to enjoying the New York cheesecakes, although nothing will be as sweet as the Phillies’ back-to-back titles.”
"After impressive performances in both the National League Division and Championship series, I am confident that the Phillies are well on their way to becoming back-to-back World Series Champions,” said Senator Casey. “If the Phillies keep up their extraordinary efforts at the plate, on the mound and in the field, it is only a matter of time until Senator Specter and I are able to enjoy some delicious cheesecake.”
“I look forward to a great World Series and enjoying a cheese steak to celebrate the Yankee victory with my friends Senators Casey and Specter,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It should be a terrific matchup between two great organizations, but I give the edge to the Bronx Bombers. The last team to win back-to-back World Series championships was our Yankees – that record will hold strong this year. Their lineup and pitching is superb and New York does have the best fans in the world. Go Yankees!”
But there's more on the line than food for the senators.
If the Yankees lose, New York City's Hunts Point Terminal Market will donate a truckload of local produce to a Philadelphia food bank. If the Phillies lose, the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market will send food to a New York City food bank.
The teams start their battle in the World Series Wednesday in New York.
from Senator Specter's office
Pediatric Associates will be providing those immunization records. However, parents who take their children elsewhere for regular healthcare and checkups must bring immunization records in order for their child to receive the H1N1 immunization.
e-mail and phone call from George Nianiatus, BRMC