David J. Valesky's News items

Why Syracuse should care about who controls the New York Senate

By Teri Weaver on October 20, 2014 at 6:50 AM, updated October 20, 2014 at 6:56 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The state's Republican Party is in a fight for its life to keep control of its last source of power in state government: The New York State Senate.

Central New York voters will have no say in the matter. The region's six senators are all unopposed.

That means voters in a handful of districts near Buffalo and Albany and across the Hudson Valley likely will decide whether the Republicans retain control of the Senate - or whether two Democratic factions will join forces to control the chamber and put the entire New York State Legislature into the party's hands.

October 20, 2014
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Oneida: Senior Fair attracts more visitors in year 2

By Nick Will, Oneida Dispatch, POSTED: 10/16/14, 3:03 PM EDT 

ONEIDA>> State Sen. David Valesky, D-53, held his second-annual Senior Information Fair at the Kallet Civic Center, an event he hopes will keep area senior citizens better informed.

“I have found and continue to find so many projects and resources available to our seniors, that, they may not be aware of,” Valesky said. “There are more than 30 different groups that have volunteered their time to get information out to he people who can benefit from it. As of 12 p.m., we’ve already exceeded last year’s number of visitors.”

October 20, 2014
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Albany Times-Union Op-Ed: Pathway through state's current job crisis

New York is in the midst of a middle-skills job crisis.

When you look at help-wanted listings across our state, the positions being advertised are for computer network specialists, electricians, machinists, welders and high-tech manufacturing workers. We often hear from employers who say many job applicants for skilled labor or high-tech positions lack the necessary skills to do the job. Additionally, we have a significant number of students who do not finish school, or who graduate without the skills to do well in college or the job market.

Providing a Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway to high school graduation helps solve this problem, but time to act is ticking.

September 26, 2014
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Miner, Maffei call for more broadband access for Syracuse

by Eric Reinhardt

Date: 5/16/2014 at 15:56:2

SYRACUSE — A new local coalition will advocate for more broadband-Internet access for Syracuse.

The coalition, the Alliance for Reliable, Competitive High speed Internet (ARCH), will include community members, elected leaders, and business owners.

That’s according to a joint news release from the offices of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and U.S. Representative Daniel Maffei (D–DeWitt).

Miner, Maffei, New York State Senator David Valesky (D–Oneida) made the announcement this morning at Syracuse City Hall.

May 22, 2014
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Canastota plans 2.97 percent hike in school tax levy

By Michael Yeoman, Dispatch Correspondent

POSTED: 05/14/14, 3:16 PM EDT

CANASTOTA >> The Canastota Central School Distinct held its public hearing Tuesday night on the proposed 2014-15 school budget that will be decided by district voters May 20.

Although there were approximately 100 people in attendance, there was little public comment and no opposition to the budget expressed.

Canastota resident Brenda Conover said she attended the hearing to better educate herself on the entire budget process. “I feel that the district has done a very good job in looking out not only for the taxpayers, but most importantly, the children,” she said.

May 22, 2014
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Protecting Seniors from Elder Abuse

There a major push in Albany to protect the elderly from financial abuse. According to state officials, more than ever before, elderly residents of New York State are now the target of scams and thefts. To protect consumers, State Senators Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) and David Valesky (D-Oneida) are pitching new legislation. The series of bills would amend state law to toughen penalties for offenders and give banks the authority to reject financial transactions that appear to exploit the elderly. "Our goal shouldn't be to just reduce elder abuse, it should be to eliminate it," says Gallivan.

May 22, 2014
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After Sterling, NY lawmakers stand with Oneida Indian Nation call to ban R-word from NFL

By Michelle Breidenbach on May 05, 2014 at 5:20 PM, updated May 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM

UPDATE: Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, has added his name to the list of New York state lawmakers who stand with the Oneida Indian Nation against the Washington Redskins.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Albany lawmakers will join Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter tomorrow to call on professional sports teams to stop using dictionary-defined racial slurs as mascots, according to a press release from the Oneida Nation.

May 22, 2014
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Drive for Five still accepting donations to fund new library construction in Oneida

By Jolene Cleaver, The Oneida Daily Dispatch

POSTED: 04/30/14, 2:11 PM EDT | UPDATED: 4 DAYS AGO

ONEIDA >> The Oneida Public Library’s 90th anniversary decorations are put away, and the Drive for 5 fundraiser over, but there’s still plenty to celebrate, say event organizers.

“The Drive for 5 was a great success,” said Carol Butler, spokesperson for the library capital campaign. “We are still taking in contributions, as well as counting bottles and cans.”

May 22, 2014
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NY Senate approves bill to teach children how to talk about sexual abuse

By Teri Weaver on April 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM, updated April 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Schools would teach children about recognizing and reporting sexual abuse under a bill passed by the New York State Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, known as Erin Merryn's Law, would require schools to establish curriculum to help sexual abuse victims ask for help. This is the second year the Senate has passed the law. Last year, the legislation died in the New York State Assembly.

The legislation is named after Erin Merryn, an Illinois resident who as a child was abused by both a neighbor and a family member.

May 22, 2014
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Valesky believes IDC-GOP coalition will stay together

By Ellen Abbott

State Sen. Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference believes a recent Siena College poll  gives credence to the coalition between the IDC and Senate Republicans.

The poll shows that 58 percent of New Yorkers like the way the coalition is running the New York State Senate. The Senate is controlled by minority Republicans and the IDC -- a system created a few sessions back, after a problem-filled term when Democrats controlled the Senate.

April 30, 2014
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Madison County Democratic Committee Endorses Valesky and Hennessy

(Hamilton, NY – April 2014) At an April 16 meeting of the Madison County Democratic Committee in the Rathskellar at Hamilton’s Colgate Inn, candidates for election to the NY State Legislature were heard and endorsements were decided.

After being questioned about issues in the state as well as the role of the Independent Democratic Conference, incumbent David Valesky was endorsed by acclamation in his campaign for a sixth term in the NY State Senate representing the 53rd Senate district.

April 30, 2014
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Five interesting things from Siena's poll, starting with this: NYers like the IDC-GOP Senate

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on April 22, 2014 at 7:35 AM, updated April 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The April poll from Siena College covered a range of political topics, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's job performance to his decision to dismantle an anti-corruption investigatory panel.

Here's a look at five more things voters said in the poll:

GOP+IDC = So far, so good

A large majority of voters wants to see a coalition of Democrats and Republicans continue to control the New York State Senate next year, according to a poll of registered voters out this morning.

April 30, 2014
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Madison County Offering Earth Day Electronics Recycling Events

(Madison County, NY – April 20, 2014) Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) will join Madison County officials on Earth Day, April 22 at 11 a.m. at the Village of Hamilton DPW, 18 Milford St., to kick-off a series of six e-recycling collection events. The events are designed to bring attention to the New York State Electronics Recycling & Reuse Act by encouraging residents to properly dispose of their unwanted TVs and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes (CRTs).

April 30, 2014
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Boys and Girls State to receive state funding

By The Dispatch Staff, newsroom@oneidadispatch.com, @OneidaDispatch on Twitter

POSTED: 04/17/14, 12:37 PM EDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO

Boys and Girls State programs will receive New York state funding this year.

The state budget includes both organization, runs by the American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary, respectively.

April 30, 2014
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State senators seek answers for heroin epidemic

By Kristin Clark, Oneida Dispatch/Rome Observer

POSTED: 04/16/14, 3:29 PM EDT 

UTICA>> Heroin and other opioid addiction is on the rise in New York. On Tuesday, the Senate Joint Task Force held a forum at the State Office Building in Utica.

The panel was led by Senator Joe Griffo and Senator Phil Boyle, who is also the chairman of the task force and Senator Dave Valesky. This was the third of 12 sessions throughout the state, which is designed to brainstorm ideas for legislation that they can take to Albany before the current session ends in June.

April 30, 2014
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Syracuse mayor leaves event before Gov. Andrew Cuomo speech begins

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on April 14, 2014 at 3:34 PM, updated April 14, 2014 at 4:36 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Mayor Stephanie Miner dropped by the CenterState CEO annual luncheon today, a collection of nearly 1,000 business leaders from Central New York gathered to talk economic development.

But by the time Gov. Andrew Cuomo began speaking shortly after the lights dimmed and people dug into their grilled chicken salad, Miner had left the building.

"The mayor is very busy," said her spokesman Alexander Marion. "She had other things to do back at the office."

April 30, 2014
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'Panhandling' Albany, Washington isn't a solution to Syracuse's financial distress (Your letters)

By Your Letters

on April 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM, updated April 14, 2014 at 10:56 AM

To the Editor:

April 30, 2014
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Fallen DEC officer honored

Ashley M. Casey / APR 13, 2014

The state Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Law Enforcement this week hosted a graveside memorial ceremony in honor of Samuel S. Taylor, the first environmental officer killed in the line of duty in New York state.

Taylor, a game protector (now called environmental conservation officers), was fatally shot at the age of 38 on April 5, 1914, after attempting to apprehend a duck hunter while patrolling the banks of the Mohawk River.

April 17, 2014
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Lawmakers push for ‘kill switch’ to deter smartphone thefts

04/11/2014 09:33 PM04/11/2014 09:40 PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Local lawmakers are backing a Federal bill to deter thieves from targeting people with smartphones.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Syracuse Congressman Dan Maffei, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Senator David Valesky and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler were at Syracuse City Hall on Friday to announce Maffei’s co-sponsorship of a bill recently proposed in the United States House of Representatives that would require a kill switch on smartphones.

Schneiderman began the Secure Our Smartphones initiative to help combat “Apple Picking,” which is when thieves target popular devices such as smartphones and tablets.

April 17, 2014
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Ethics, campaign finance oversight just got weaker in Albany, say observers

Published: April 8, 2014 8:58 PM

By MICHAEL GORMLEY  michael.gormley@newsday.com

ALBANY -- The morning after the legislature passed the fourth straight on-time state budget, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders grinned in front of news cameras, gripped a white ash Adirondack baseball bat, and declared they hit a grand slam.

But some lawmakers and political observers said that leaders' most potent weapon in this budget adopted late Monday night was their curve ball.

April 17, 2014
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