David J. Valesky's Blog

Farm Cideries Soon to be Open for Business

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On October 16, I hosted a Senior Information Fair at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida. More than 150 senior citizens attended this free event and spoke with experts from local businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. People were able to ask their questions and get answers about the STAR program, EPIC, New York’s new health insurance exchange, energy savings, housing, health care, fitness, medical supplies, and more. The fair also featured flu shots from Kinney Drugs, health screenings from Oneida Health Support & Lifeline, a constituent services table, and refreshments from Tim Horton’s.

Farm Cideries Bill Allows Growth of New Industry

This session, I sponsored a Farm Cideries Bill that would  further leverage New York State's extraordinary agricultural assets. New York State apples are high quality and delicious, and expanding the market through cideries is win for everyone.

This week, the bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The legislation establishes a new license for farm cideries similar to the licenses already available to farm wineries, breweries and distilleries.

Farm cideries will be allowed to offer tastings of and sell not only cider, but also beer, wine, and spirits made from New York products. In addition, because farm cideries may also sell products such as mustards, sauces, jams, jellies, souvenirs, artwork, crafts and other gift items, these businesses, much like farm wineries, will become destination locations that will promote tourism within their communities. Also, the need for apples in the manufacture of New York State labeled cider would create a sustained demand for products from New York’s farmers.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is sponsoring the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign. According to the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

The office offers a toolkit with many resources that are available for free download. Please take a look at the suggested ways you can go purple and help raise awareness of the domestic violence issue.

In addition, Vera House in Central New York will be presenting its 24th Annual Report to the Community October 30 at 12:15 p.m. in the Curtin Auditorium in the Onondaga Public Libraries at the Gallery, 447 South Salina St. in Syracuse. The report will highlight services offered to the community, future priorities and survivor stories.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are many services available. Vera House has a 24-hour crisis and support line: (315) 468-3260.

Prescription Drug Collections Planned

October is also National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Prescription drugs are abused by one out of five young adults in the United States and can lead to the abuse of other prescription and illicit drugs as well as alcohol.

In an effort to help raise awareness about National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and combat the availability of these drugs, Kinney Drugs and I are hosting a Prescription Drug Collection event on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the various Kinney Drug store locations listed below. Controlled and non-controlled substances will be accepted at this event, along with over-the-counter medicines, ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, medication vials, and pet medicines. Illegal drugs, bio-hazardous materials, needles, personal care products, and household hazardous wastes such as paint and pesticides will not be accepted. For more information, please contact my district office at (315) 478-8745

Participating Kinney Drugs locations:

21 E. Genesee St., Baldwinsville                        

9543 Brewerton Rd., Brewerton                         

7998 Rt. 31, Bridgeport     

4202 W. Genesee St., Camillus                           

8150 Thompson Rd., Cicero                               

7065 Manlius Center Rd., East Syracuse            

1057 Rt. 5 E., Elbridge      

437 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool                       

7608 Oswego Rd., Liverpool                              

5221 W. Taft Rd., North Syracuse                     

23 Fennell St., Skaneateles 

104 Lafayette Rd., Syracuse                               

2912 James St., Syracuse   

307 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse                           

596 Rt. 11, Tully