On Saturday, May 2, Parks and Trails New York will be hosting their fourth annual “I Love My Park Day.” This exciting statewide event enhances the visibility of New York’s parks system and historic sites. Last year, more than 6,000 volunteers across the state pitched in to cleanup, beautify and improve our parks and historic sites.
Our local state parks provide us year-round natural beauty and recreation activities. Whether it’s fishing, hiking, biking, snowshoeing or one of the other hundreds of activities residents and visitors use our parks for, we all have something that keeps brining us back to our favorite park. Now, each of us has the chance to give back to these sites and help preserve them as a place where future generations can learn from and enjoy.
Thankfully, Spring finally is here but it also means that ticks are hatching. Recently several area people visited me to share their personal stories about battling Lyme disease. As a member of the Senate's Lyme disease task force, I want everyone to be safe, healthy and aware of how to protect themselves and their families.
It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be having fun in Western New York. While it’s chilly outside, you can keep warm by burning down the slopes at some of our great local ski resorts.
The I Ski NY program is a great initiative that encourages residents and visitors alike to take advantage of New York’s incredible outdoor adventures. By visiting the I Ski NY website you can learn about special lift ticket deals, the “ISKINY Free for Kids Passport Program,” and ski-and-stay deals for local resorts and destinations across the state. You can even get real-time reports on conditions at the resorts by visiting https://www.iskiny.com/snow-reports/.
With the start of the New Year upon us, a number of new initiatives and program aimed at boosting New York’s economy and establishing greater protections for residents are taking effect.
Among the new initiatives that have already taken effect are efforts to boost employment for members of the disabled community, provide assistance for local veterans, and a program to protect minors from identity theft.
The Workers with Disabilities Tax Credit Program will be available to business owners who employ individuals with developmental disabilities. The credit equals 15 percent of the wages for qualified full-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week, and 10 percent for qualified part-time employees who work at least eight hours per week.
As we gather with friends and family during the holiday season, it is important to remember those less fortunate in our communities. Many of our neighbors remain in difficult circumstances and rely upon the generosity and charity of others during financially trying times of the year. Fortunately, our region is blessed with a number of upstanding charitable organizations and individuals who work hard each day to assist community members in need.
As temperatures drop this winter, many local residents may need heating assistance to stay warm during the cold months, especially seniors on fixed incomes.
You may know someone in need so I am hoping you can pass this information along.
Our communities are made strong by our many caring and devoted neighbors who look out for one another. With many of our family, friends, and neighbors working hard but still struggling to afford their utility bills, or retired and on a fixed income, it is important that they know help is available to meet this most basic need.
Seniors on fixed incomes whose finances are already stretched thin are among those most in need who may not be aware of their options.
The Blue Star Mothers’ Christmas Care Package Drive is collecting items for our devoted servicemen and women who are away from home and separated from family during the Christmas season.
All donations will go directly to active duty military men and women. Over the last year, the local Lake Erie Blue Star Mothers chapter has sent over 785 care packages to our courageous military personnel. The goal for this Christmas season alone is 600 care packages.
Here are some of the drop-off locations across Chautauqua County through December 2:
This Veterans Day, let us remember our heroic servicemen and women who deserve our deepest respect, gratitude, and all of our support.
As your State Senator, standing up for our veterans is one of my greatest responsibilities and highest priorities.
One of my most important missions this year was addressing the disproportionately high unemployment rate for veterans. Our veterans are the most underutilized workforce in the country. Recent figures reveal that unemployment rates among post-9/11 disabled veterans are at about ten percent, significantly higher than the national average.
As we approach Veterans Day, I urge you to take time to honor our nation’s heroes who have so valiantly served.
Our area is blessed to be home to some incredible men and women who have served our country with honor and distinction.
It is particularly important that we express our sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude to our World War II and Korean War veterans. Sadly, their ranks grow smaller with each passing year, which is why it’s so important that we thank them now.
On Senate TV earlier this year, I spoke about the many hometown heroes who served our country so honorably and talked about issues important to our veterans.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a good time for women to take the opportunity to be screened for breast, as well as ovarian and colorectal, cancer. Because early detection can save lives, I encourage women to consult with their physician, learn more about the risks of cancer, and develop a plan for getting screened regularly.
Great strides have been made in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer in recent years. Today, many diagnosed women are living longer, healthier lives. But the fight against this deadly disease is far from over.
This Sunday marks a very special day – Gold Star Mothers Day.
As part of our commitment to never forget the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedoms, please remember to join our nation on Sunday in remembering the strength and sacrifice of its Gold Star Mothers.
Heroin and opioid abuse has been a terrible scourge in our communities.
We took action in the State Senate this year to tackle the problem, forming an active task force, holding 18 heavily productive forums across the state, and passing a comprehensive package of legislation to protect our communities and families.
Today, we remember all of those who perished 13 years ago in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. Our thoughts especially turn to those who lost loved ones on that tragic morning and continue to live with the loss every day.
As we commemorate the lives of those lost and honor their memory, we continue to be inspired by the many amazing stories of sacrifice and love showed that day. So many brave individuals found themselves in the midst of the attacks and chose to put their own safety and well-being to the side in order to help others.
Black bears are an important and natural part of our environment, and their population in New York is growing. As the number of bears increases, sightings in our area are becoming increasingly common and the likelihood of interaction with people inevitably rises.
Recent sightings of bears in the town of Stockton in Chautauqua County was just reported here.
With an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 bears in New York's woods and forests, it is important to know how to avoid bears and how to react if you come in contact with a bear.
Black bear attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, damage to property is much more common.
Millions of women across New York State are on the verge of winning an historic victory at the State Capitol, but we need YOUR help!
The State Senate recently approved approved a landmark new "Women's Equality Package," which includes a key reform to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
I was proud to vote for this package in the Senate, but our job isn't done yet. That's why I'm launching a new petition drive designed to encourage the State Assembly to take final action on these bills without delay.