Issues: Recreation and Tourism

Wallenda visits Niagara Falls to discuss high wire walk

Productive discussions between famed high wire performer Nik Wallenda and state and local officials in New York continued today during a meeting held at the Top of the Falls Restaurant located within Niagara Falls State Park.  Wallenda and a team of his advisors laid out plans and answered questions from American officials about how a high wire walk above Niagara Falls could be accomplished logistically.  Earlier this

August 3, 2011
July 20, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sen. Espaillat, Environmental Activists Demonstrate Against Dumping of Untreated Sewage into Hudson River and Call for Better Notification System to Protect the Public

State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) called for an end to the disturbing practice of dumping untreated sewage waste, even in extenuating circumstances. Sen. Espaillat, joined by environmental activists following a major accident at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant and the ensuing dumping of millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the Hudson River, also called for better notification systems to alert the public in emergency cases where the quality of New York waterways has been compromised.

July 27, 2011


Visit Senator's Website, Cast Your Vote, Help Build Awareness

State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting Central and Northern New York residents to nominate the region’s top State Parks.

The Senator has created a survey on her website —— that asks residents to select from nearly two dozen State Parks in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, in an effort to build awareness of tourism and recreational treasures in our own backyard.

July 26, 2011


Thanks Senator Ritchie for “leadership” for New Yorkers looking for relief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered State Parks, beaches and pools in Central and Northern New York to offer extended hours this weekend to help New Yorkers beat the heat, and he praised Senator Ritchie for staying on top of the issue.

The Governor ordered Parks in the region, including Green Lakes, Verona Beach, Delta Lake and Sandy Island Beach State Parks in the Central Region, and Westcott Beach, Southwick Beach, Pt. au Roche, and Robert Moses, as well as the pool at Keewaydin all to remain open until 8 PM tonight and Saturday.

“Keeping these beaches and pools open for extra hours will mean more New Yorkers will get to enjoy some relief from the sweltering heat at some of the most beautiful spots in the country,” said Senator Ritchie. “I want to thank Gov. Cuomo for his responsiveness and concern for New Yorkers who are all suffering through this heat, and looking forward to a break soon.”

July 22, 2011

Opening of the Pool at Roberto Clemente State Park

Today, Senator Serrano attended the re-opening of the Roberto Clemente State Park pool. The renovated facility includes an Olympic size pool, a sprinkler park for children, a wading pool, a diving tank, and a new indoor basketball court with locker rooms. “With the sky high temperatures that are sweeping the Northeast coast, the re-opening of the pool could not have come at a better time,” said Senator Serrano. “Fortunately, our residents now have a way to combat the heat by taking advantage of this much needed facility. I’m extremely proud to have supported such a fantastic project, which will provide access to recreation for countless families in the Bronx for years to come.”

July 22, 2011

Public Swimming Hours at Ontario Beack Park Extended

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks today announced that the hours for public swimming at Ontario Beach Park will be extended on Wednesday, July 20th, Thursday, July 21st and Friday, July 22nd, due to forecasted high temperatures.   On Wednesday, July 20th, Thursday, July 21st and Friday, July 22nd, Monroe County lifeguards will remain on duty and public swimming will be allowed to continue at Ontario Beach Park for one extra hour, until 8:00 p.m., so long as conditions and water quality are favorable. Normal hours of public swimming are from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., daily through Labor Day. Swimming is only allowed at Ontario Beach Park when lifeguards are on duty.   

July 20, 2011

Annual Tour De Queens

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' participation in the Tour de Queens.

A record number of people biked through Eastern and Southern Queens on July 10 as part of the Fourth Annual Tour de Queens. Around 2,000 bicyclists were joined by New York Mets mascot Mr. Met, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson for the event.

“Bicycling is truly a fiveborough phenomenon,” Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Paul Steely White said. “Thousands of people proved that in Queens yesterday as they rolled through 20 miles of New York’s largest borough for the fourth year in a row.”

July 13, 2011


Gov Jumps Into Fray Following Senator’s Request

State Sen. Patty Ritchie today asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene in the dispute over Canada's new border rules that threaten to cripple Central and Northern New York's $150 million-a-year boating and sport fishing industry.

Senator Ritchie met with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Mitch Franz of the Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition, Henderson Town Supervisor Ray Walker, and representatives of US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.

At the meeting, she gave the Lieutenant Governor a letter to deliver to Gov. Cuomo that details Canada's surprise crackdown on US boaters in the eastern Lake Ontario basin and St. Lawrence River, and asks for his help.

July 8, 2011

Senator Gianaris greets people attending the 2011 Astoria Independence Celebration.

This event took place on Thursday, June 30 at the Astoria Park Lawn.

July 1, 2011

Support growing for Wallenda walk over Niagara River Gorge

The Mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, has endorsed the plan to invite Nik Wallenda to perform a high-wire walk across the Niagara River above Niagara Falls.  Such a feat has not been accomplished legally in more than a century.  In a letter he recently sent to State Senator George Maziarz, Mayor James Diodati acknowledged the great potential for the act to put Niagara Falls in the world’s spotlight.

June 28, 2011

Senator Maziarz helps open new Splash Park in Olcott

Senator George Maziarz joined local officials today to mark the opening of a new Splash Park and Fitness Trail at Krull Park in Olcott.  The amenities were constructed by Niagara County through grant monies from the New York Office of State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.  This morning, the ribbon was cut and the water was turned on for the first time.  A group of children were already waiting to get wet and cool off!

June 28, 2011


Agreement on property tax relief ‘caps’ year when Albany started working again

The 2011 legislative session, my first as the State Senator representing Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, will be remembered as the year Albany started working again.

Partnering with our new Governor, Andrew Cuomo, we kept our promise to reduce taxes and spending, and took the first steps toward putting New York on a new path to better jobs and a stronger economy.

We passed an on-time budget and historic ethics reform to rebuild New Yorkers’ trust and confidence in their government and elected officials.

We “capped” it all off with a two-percent property tax cap that provides certainty and relief to homeowners and businesses, and will stop the flow of families, businesses and jobs out of New York.

June 27, 2011

Strip club tries again for liquor license as Long Island City community voices opposition

The Daily News asked Senator Gianaris for his input on the attempted renewal of a liquor license for  a strip club located in Long Island City. The Senator vigorously opposes this application.

The owners of a planned Long Island City strip club are making their second bid for a liquor license, just months after their previous application was overwhelmingly rejected by local and state officials.

The firm, 21 Group Inc., plans to open a gentlemen's club called Gypsy Rose at 42-50 21st St. They will outline their plans tonight to members of Community Board 2, which will then vote on whether to support their application to the State Liquor Authority.

June 23, 2011

Legislature Gives Approval for Niagara Falls Tightrope Walk

You might have seen this story on NBC's Today Show Wednesday morning, June 22nd regarding Nik Wallenda and his attempt to tightrope walk across the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls. The Legislature gave final approval earlier this afternoon.

New York lawmakers have voted to allow a member of the daredevil Wallenda family to attempt a tightrope walk across the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls.

The state Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill directing parks officials to write regulations allowing Nik Wallenda to traverse the gorge. The Senate already approved the measure.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't said yet whether he'll sign it.

June 22, 2011

Seward Bill Protects Sportsmen's Rights

ALBANY, 06/21/11 – The New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S.2382-A) that for the first time in state history would protect the right to hunt, trap and fish in New York.  The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), calls for a state constitutional amendment protecting the long-standing outdoor traditions.

“New York’s outdoor sporting traditions have deep roots,” stated Senator Seward.  “Protecting the fundamental rights to hunt, trap and fish through a state constitutional amendment would ensure their continuation for generations to come.”

June 21, 2011

Olcott Beach land transfer OK'd by Legislature

Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) and Assemblyman John Ceretto (R-I, Lewiston) are pleased to announce that the State Legislature approved a bill (S.4253-B/A.6855-B) to allow the ownership of the beachfront and terraced recreational area at Olcott Beach to be conveyed from Niagara County to the Town of Newfane.  Both local governments are seeking state approval for the transfer to ensure the summer operation and maintenance of Olcott Beach for the enjoyment of local residents.

June 21, 2011


Canadian Senator Says Treatment Of U.S. Fisherman 'Outrageous'

State Senator Patty Ritchie and Ontario Senator Robert Runciman are asking Canadian officials to investigate the treatment of a U.S. fisherman who had his boat seized for straying into Canadian waters near Gananoque.

"When I heard about this incident, I immediately contacted Senator Runciman, who has been working with me on border issues. I knew he would work with me to make sure Canada's top officials were aware and took appropriate action," Senator Ritchie said. "We need to continue to work together to encourage residents on both sides of the border to enjoy what both of our nations have to offer."

June 17, 2011

Gianaris Applauds Increase In Film Production

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' prase for the increase in film productions planned for New York this year.

A record number of new television series are being scheduled to film in New York state this year due to the state Film Production Credit championed by state Senator Michael Gianaris. Eight new television series will be filmed in the state in 2011, creating more than 4,700 industry related jobs.

The Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development announced that the film tax credit lured 70 new projects to New York since January. These projects are expected to spend a total of more than $1 billion.

June 15, 2011


Measure Eases Rules On Family Friendly Rec Vehicles

State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill to make regulations on all terrain vehicles more friendly to families passed the Senate Monday.

The bill, S.3318, increases the acceptable weight limits on ATV's from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds, allowing New Yorkers to register their UTV's. That will generate more state revenue through registrations, as many riders are currently registering the increasingly popular vehicles in other states.

"Upstate New York offers thousands of miles of ATV trails. This legislation will help attract riders to come to New York to experience what we have to offer, expanding our tourism industry and providing more reasons to visit our rural areas," Senator Ritchie said. "If we want to revitalize our economy and help create more jobs in our rural areas, we need to modernize our regulations."

June 13, 2011
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