Please drop off your old, unused electronics at my e-recycling event tomorrow, Sept. 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the DMV parking lot, 5801 E. Taft Rd., North Syracuse. Area residents can drop off electronics at no charge, and there is no limit to the number of items that may be dropped off.
Sunnking Electronics Recycling will be accepting computers (desktops and laptops), printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines, televisions (CRT, LCD, LED, plasma), cell phones, IT and networking equipment, monitors (CRT, LCD, LED), MP3 players, PDAs, tablets, and ink and toner cartridges. Visit Sunnking.com for a full list of acceptable items.
The New York State Fair opens today, with plenty of new attractions, concerts, and events. I attended a preview of the Fair on Wednesday, where I met this year’s Fair mascots, Candy and Pop. They each represent an important New York agricultural product. They’ll be appearing around the Fairgrounds and will pose for pictures. Some of the attractions include:
Senator Valesky is hosting a Health and Civic Engagement Fair at the Southwest Community Center on Friday, August 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This free event is open to all area residents. The nonprofit and government agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care, free smoke detectors, healthy living, long-term elder care, job hunting, prescription payment assistance, and more, as well as offer giveaways. Flu shots will be available (bring insurance card, cash, or check), along with other health screenings. For more information, call the district office at 478-8745.
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
My deepest condolences to the families of Kimberly Hilliard, Paris Newman, Virginia Warner, and Arnie Allen, who died in the tornado that hit Smithfield on July 8.
As the area recovers from the devastating storms and tornado, Disaster Action Teams from the American Red Cross of Central New York are offering assistance to those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged.
The New York Insurance Association also has tips for filing insurance claims related to storm and tornado damage:
Warm, sunny weather is predicted for this weekend, perfect to get out and enjoy some free fishing. All New York residents and visitors may fish for free without a fishing license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds or 50,000 miles of rivers and streams during the weekend of June 28-29. Saltwater anglers may also fish in marine waters or for migratory marine fish species without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry for the same two days.
The 2014 Legislative Session has ended and much was accomplished, including an agreement to legalize medical marijuana in New York State. I supported this legislation because I believe it is about compassionate care and will provide comfort and relief to people with serious medical conditions. I am satisfied that the program will be highly regulated to ensure the drug goes only to those who need it. The legislation includes provisions to ensure medical marijuana is reserved only for patients with serious conditions and is dispensed and administered in a manner that protects public health and safety.
Today I joined with a coalition of advocates from the Syracuse Area Domestic & Sexual Violence Coalition's Elder Abuse & Justice Committees to draw attention to the serious issue of elder financial abuse and to invite the community to a special presentation, “Physical & Financial Fitness,” in recognition of the 9th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
As we’ve been hearing in the news lately, heroin abuse is on the rise here in Central New York. In order to combat this growing problem, I and the other members of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction released a report this week summarizing the findings of statewide forums held to examine the issues surrounding the increase in drug abuse, addiction, and drug-related crimes in New York. The report includes a comprehensive package of bills recommended for action this legislative session. They target the prevention, treatment, and enforcement issues raised during testimony from dozens of experts, parents, and concerned New Yorkers.
This week, it was my honor to induct Lieutenant Colonel Robert McLean (USMC Ret.) into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in honor of his service to the nation and his work on behalf of veterans after leaving active service.
I had the honor this week of inducting Judy O’Rourke, director of undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, as the 53rd Senate District’s 2014 Woman of Distinction. Judy was recognized for her work in developing the Pan Am 103 Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars programs at SU, which honor the memory of the 35 students lost in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. As part of those programs, she mentors students who return to Scotland to become leaders and advocates for preventing terrorism. More information about Judy’s accomplishments is available on my website.
This week, I released a report that exposes the high level of elderly abuse and shows financial abuse amongst New York's seniors to be more prevalent than initially thought. The number of incidents involving elder abuse correlate with statistics that show a significant increase in New York's senior population. Unfortunately, these incidents often times go unreported due to the startling fact that the abuser is someone that the victim either trusts, is a caregiver, or more often than not, is a family relative.
The Senate passed two important pieces of legislation this week, both of which I co-sponsored, aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and at strengthening the penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine. “Erin Merryn’s Law” (S.2367) would require schools to add child sex abuse prevention to existing curriculum for child abduction. In addition to prevention, this change would give critically important information to victims–many of whom do not know there is a way out of their horrific situation.
If you didn't get a chance to watch my interview with Dan Cummings on Newsmakers this weekend, you can see it online. We talked about the Independent Democratic Conference, the state budget process, and more.
This week marked the passage of the state’s fourth consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years. This budget holds spending growth below 2% and addresses your priorities—among them increased school aid, property tax relief, health care, and growing the economy.
Although much of the focus in Albany this week is on the state budget, legislation is also being considered and brought to the Senate floor. Today the Senate unanimously passed legislation I sponsored (S.5064) that will help consumers find garden centers, nurseries, Christmas tree farms and other horticulture dealers that sell New York state products. The Grow: Pride of New York program creates a designation for such businesses and allows them to use marketing materials that promote their locally sourced products.
In addition, I supported several bills that passed the Senate this week:
As we proceed through budget negotiations and the Legislative Session, I am interested to know your opinion on a number of issues that are being discussed. I recently mailed a survey to my constituents asking about full-day pre-kindergarten, medical marijuana, the estate tax, campaign finance reform, and more. If you have already returned the survey, I appreciate your feedback. If not, please mail it back at your earliest convenience, or fill out the survey on my website. Thank you.
As we proceed through the 2014 Legislative session, I’d like your feedback on issues that may be considered, such as medical marijuana, universal full-day pre-kindergarten, and campaign finance reform. I want to know what your priorities are. What concerns you the most? Please share your thoughts by filling out this survey.