David J. Valesky's Blog

Health and Civic Engagement Fair, Jobs Express, Wildlife Areas Open

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On Friday, I joined Mayor Miner and City Parks Commissioner Baye Mohammed to officially open the Baker Playlot. I was glad to help provide state funding for this project to give kids in the neighborhood a safe and fun place to play. After the opening, I headed over to Kirk Park where my staff and I, with enthusiastic help from the neighborhood kids, picked up litter and tidied up the field and play areas.

Save the Date – Health and Civic Engagement Fair on Aug. 22

I will be hosting a Health and Civic Engagement Fair at the Southwest Community Center, 401 South Ave., Syracuse, on Friday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I anticipate several hundred people of all ages to attend, where they will be able to speak with representatives from all levels of government and nonprofit agencies. If you would like to have a table at the fair to share information about your organization or agency’s services, please call my office at 478-8745 or send an email to Tracy Carman at carman@nysenate.gov. If you would like to just come and enjoy the fair, I encourage you to do so. There is no charge to exhibitors or attendees for this event.

Jobs Express Website Lists More Than 100,000 Available Positions

The state’s Jobs Express website now lists more than 100,000 open positions. The site sorts jobs by region and occupation, and also allows users to search jobs based on zip code and travel distance. New businesses and job listings are added to the Jobs Express site every day. In May, there was a 17% increase in total job listings with more than 7,100 businesses posting a new job order. Businesses using the site fulfilled more than 62,000 job orders in the same month.

The occupational categories with the most jobs listed in May included sales, clerical, management, computer/mathematical, and business/financial operations. As of July 29, the site listed 5,300 positions open here in Central New York. Job seekers can find their nearest Career Center at www.labor.ny.gov/career-center-locator. Employers interested in listing their jobs should visit www.labor.ny.gov/hire.

DEC Seeks Participants for 2014 Summer Game Bird Survey

New Yorkers are encouraged to participate in a wild turkey sighting survey to help the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Various conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can affect turkey populations, and the survey helps the DEC to predict the number of wild turkeys come fall.

During the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. Those interested in participating can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form along with instructions and the data sheet directly at the DEC website. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting a regional DEC office, calling (518) 402-8886, or by e-mailing fw.wildlife@dec.ny.gov (type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line).

Restricted Wildlife Areas to be Open to Public

The public will have a special opportunity to visit restricted portions of three Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties starting Saturday, Aug. 16 and continuing through Friday, Aug. 29.

During the 14-day period, Perch River WMA in Jefferson County and Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including their wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors. For most of the year, these wetlands are off limits to the public to provide feeding and resting areas for migratory waterfowl.

For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DECs Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the DEC web page.

OCRRA Accepts Toxic Items

Do you have hazardous household items such as pool chemicals, driveway sealers, or garden pesticides that you want to clear out of your house? Make an appointment for OCRRA's convenient toxics drop-off, Monday - Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at Environmental Products and Services of Vermont, 532 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse. There is no fee for this service. Make an appointment online or call 453-2866. Only toxic items from households are accepted. See what is accepted here.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunization across the lifespan, from newborns to adults, protects your health against infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information on how to help increase awareness and education and on the value of immunization.