Industry, labor, environmentalists, small business and public health advocates join Senator Bill Perkins at City Hall to praise legislation signed by Governor Paterson that will dramatically reduce the deadly pollution that comes from burning home heating oil. The legislation sponsored by Senator Perkins', S.1145-C, sharply reduces the amount of sulfur allowed in home heating oil from over 2,000 parts per million to just 15 parts per million. This will reduce the air pollution that adversely affects the health of millions of New Yorkers..
Community leaders, public health and small business advocates, industry and labor joined Senator Bill Perkins to praise legislation signed by Governor Paterson that will dramatically reduce the deadly pollution that comes from burning home heating oil. Senator Perkins’ legislation, S1145C sharply reduces the amount of sulfur allowed in home heating oil from over 2,000 parts per million to just 15 parts per million (ppm). Sulfur contributes to air pollution that adversely affects the health of millions of New Yorkers.
In an effort to cut down on waste, increase productivity within state offices and to save trees and the environment, ARRC in association with the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform and the Department of State have collaborated on a green initiative to electronically distribute proposed agency regulations.
Gas exploration companies have set their sights on the Marcellus Shale region of New York State for purposes of obtaining millions of cubic feet of natural gas. New York City officials and residents are concerned the process of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale will pollute the New York City watershed which is located nearby. Senator John L. Sampson instructed staff at the Administrative Regulations Review Commission to review the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) efforts to promulgate new regulations dealing with Marcellus Shale drilling.
New York's budget crisis is forcing government at all levels to re-evaluate how it allocates increasingly rare public dollars. As officials seek to identify and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending, they will find some of the waste is hiding in plain sight.
Travel to downtown Buffalo or to many of the state's older suburbs and you'll find decaying sidewalks, half-empty shopping centers, vacant lots and abandoned homes. Then travel a few more miles into what was until recently open countryside, and you'll find big new homes sprouting from former farm fields. Meanwhile, the population of many counties and the state continues to decline.
As families and individuals look for ways to enjoy the wonderful summer weather, people need to look no further than our local state parks. July is Park and Recreation Month across the nation and here in New York we have many great reasons to celebrate.
Our public parks and state lands are among our greatest resources, particularly in upstate, and they fulfill a number of roles. They are a strong source of tourist dollars, drawing people from other parts of New York, neighboring states, and across the nation. Along with generating money for the state, our parks also help support many other businesses, from small grocery stores, to souvenir shops selling locally produced keepsakes, to farm stands offering homegrown fruits and vegetables.
Since late last year, residents across Westchester County have witnessed, with disbelief, the disappearance of the natural landscape that has shielded homes and properties from exposure for decades. In the days following the removal of broad swaths of vegetation with chainsaws, the lush greenery that had always been there was gone and left behind were areas littered with debris and the stumps of trees.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) are pleased to announce that their bill imposing significantly higher penalties for violations of New York’s Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations was approved by the NYS Legislature this week (S.7753/A.10888).
With temperatures forecasted to be in the 90s over the next several days coupled with high humidity, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and County Health Director Dr. Andrew Doniger are cautioning residents to be alert for symptoms of heat-related illness and to take common sense measures. Particularly at-risk from very hot weather are infants, young children and older people.
“ Parks are an economic engine and promote tourism throughout the state. 55 Million people visit our state’s parks every year resulting in 1.9 billion in revenue. With the unemployment rate at an all-time high New Yorkers can take relief in knowing that over 20,000 jobs will now be created. With Memorial Day approaching I am certain that the residents of my district as well as New Yorkers throughout the state are eager to utilize our state’s great Parks. ”
Recreational opportunities at the region's 17 parks abound for visitors of all ages and interests. From lakeside camping at Four Mile Creek to the Visual and Preforming Arts focus of Knox Farm State Park to Niagara Falls State Park, the gem of the Niagara Region and the oldest state park in the country, there is something for every member of the family in the Niagara region.
From the world-famous Jones Beach to the great golfing opportunities at Bethpage State Park, Long Island is gifted with some of the best parks and recreational facilities in the country. Long Island's 20 state parks and historic sites attract nearly 20 million visitors annually.
Encompassing one-third of the total land area of New York State, the Adirondack Park is unique in the United States. Within its boundaries are vast forests and rolling farmlands, towns and villages, mountains and valleys, lakes, ponds and free-flowing rivers, private lands and public forest.
With its mineral baths, effervescent waters, performing arts center, and outstanding golfing facilities, Saratoga Spa State Park is one of New York State's best. The Peerless Pool Complex, the only pool complex at a state park with a waterslide, adds even more to its already beautiful facilities.
Stretching from Lake Ontario north along the St. Lawrence River to Lake Champlain, the Thousand Islands Region -- which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1997 -- includes 30 state parks, 1 historic site and 6 boat launches, as well as thousands of great campsites.
While New York City is famous for its people, Broadway shows, sports and tourist sites, it has also become home to several outstanding state parks including the Riverbank State Park located in Manhattan and the Roberto Clemente State Park located along the Harlem River in the Bronx.
Bear Mountain State Park offers miles of biking and hiking trails as well as great views. At Harriman State Park, visitors can seek solitude along 300 miles of trails including the first segment of the Appalachian Trail. At Minnewaska State Park Preserve, one of the 75 great places in the Western Hemisphere, 50 miles of carriageways invite exploration of nature.
Stately mansions, scenic vistas, woodland trails and recreation areas lie just a short drive from New York City on the eastern side of the Hudson. State historic sites within the region include Olana, a Moorish-style mansion atop a hill with panoramic views of the Hudson, and Philipse Manor Hall, a beautiful Georgian structure offering exhibits on history, arts and architecture.
New York's Catskill Mountains include one of the largest and most complex natural areas in the East - on par with the West's Yellowstone National Park. Round, forested mountains; narrow, winding valleys; rushing streams and rivers are features that attract many to the 600,000 acres of the Catskill Park.
As one of the largest regions within the state parks system, the Central Region encompasses a 9,000-square-mile area, from the shores of Lake Ontario in the north, to the Pennsylvania state line in the south. The physical beauty of the glacially carved lakes, valleys, waterfalls, and mountains is stunning.
Like giant fingerprints of Ice Age glaciers, the Finger Lakes span across Central New York. Water and its works are the attractions and State Parks are jewels on the fingers. Eleven parks front on lakes, while six feature gorges with waterfalls. One of the highest waterfalls in the east, Taughannock plunges into a canyon that opens to Cayuga Lake, the longest Finger Lake.
Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," Letchworth State Park offers 14,350 acres of scenic magnificance as well as a multitude of year-round recreational opportunities. A 17 mile gorge, carved by the Genesee River as it meanders through the park, provides spectacular views at every turn. Letchworth's 270 campsites and 82 cabins, many winterized, are popular with campers.
Information about New York State Parks is maintained by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic and is divided into eleven regions. Click on a region to view more information about it. Camping reservations for all New York State campgrounds can be made by visiting www.newyorkstateparks.com or by calling 1-800-456-CAMP.
Take a New York "Staycation!"
Fulfilling their promise to keep parks open for New York’s families, the Senate Majority reached an agreement for full restoration of parks funding to keep parks and historic sites open throughout the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Over three months ago, the Senate Majority passed a budget resolution restoring $11 million for parks operations to prevent the closure of 57 State Parks and reduced operations at an additional 22 State Parks. Last month, a three-way agreement was reached with the Executive and Assembly on legislation to approve restorations called for by the Senate Majority. Restorations were also approved to Zoos, Botanic Gardens, Aquaria, and DEC campgrounds.
On May 28th, the Senate Majority passed a bill funding these State Parks all over New York. Because of this package, New York Families can enjoy a "Staycation" right here in the Empire State. The Senate Majority knows that not only do these parks provide places for New York's families to enjoy themselves, but they also create jobs and strengthen our communities.
State budget shortfalls threatened many of our state parks with closure, but the Senate acted quickly to keep our parks open for the millions of New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors who will be visiting them this summer. Had we allowed our parks to be shut, the people of our state would have been deprived of one of our greatest natural resources, and the state would have lost significant revenue. The entire New York metropolitan area would have suffered as a result.
The use of parks for recreational activities generates $1.9 billion in revenue, five times the agency’s total budget. Park closures would have a devastating effect on small businesses, restaurants, and other economic engines in communities dependent on tourism revenue generated by state parks.
Economic impact of our State Parks:
Allegany Region – 1.9 million visitors, 860 jobs created and $62 million in related sales and output generated by Allegany, Lake Erie, Long Point and Midway state parks.
Capital/Saratoga Region – 3.3 million visitors, 2,929 jobs created and $249 million in related sales and output generated at Saratoga Spa, Thatcher, Grafton Lakes and Moreau Lake state parks, to name just a few.
Central Region – 2.3 million visitors, 1,620 jobs created and $134 million in related sales and output generated by Glimmerglass, Green Lakes, Verona Beach, and Chenango Valley state parks, to name just a few.
Finger Lakes Region – 3 million visitors, 1,776 jobs created and $141 million in related sales and output generated by Buttermilk Falls, Watkins Glen, Seneca Lake and Keuka Lake state parks, to name just a few.
Genesee Region – 1.2 million visitors, 675 jobs created and $58 million in related sales and output generated by Letchworth, Darien Lakes, Silver Lake and Hamlin Beach state parks, to name just a few.
Long Island Region – 19.9 million visitors, 3,992 jobs created and $410 million in related sales and output generated by Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Montauk Point and Caleb Smith state parks, to name just a few.
New York City – 4.5 million visitors, 716 jobs created and $61 million in related sales and output generated by Roberto Clemente, Riverbank and Gantry Plaza state parks, to name just a few.
Niagara Frontier Region - 10.3 million visitors, 4,701 jobs created and $569 million related sales and output generated by Niagara Falls, Evangola, Woodlawn Beach and Four Mile Creek state parks, to name just a few.
Palisades Region – 4.4 million visitors, 1,052 jobs created and $94 million in related sales and output generated by Harriman, Minnewaska, Bear Mountain, and Rockland Lake state parks.
Taconic Region – 3.1 million visitors, 957 jobs created and $102 million in related sales and output generated by Fahnestock, Hudson Highlands, Taconic and James Baird state parks, to name just a few.
Thousand Islands Region – 1.7 million visitors, 882 jobs created and $63 million in related sales and output generated by Cumberland Bay, St. Lawrence, Wellesley Island and Westcott Beach state parks, to name just a few.
Legislation combats sprawl and promotes environmentally sound infrastructure development
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce passage of her bill, the State Smart Growth and Infrastructure Policy Act (S.5560B/A.8011B), which will combat modern development practices that have contributed to urban and suburban sprawl. The legislation passed both houses of the legislature last week and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.
Senate Passes Small Business Energy Assistance & Advocacy Services Program
Legislation to reduce energy costs on small businesses in New York State, introduced by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill is part of a Senate Democratic Majority legislative package that will significantly reduce the costs of energy for homeowners and businesses statewide, putting money back into the pockets of families and making businesses more competitive.