It was an exciting day at the Gates Public Library yesterday as we cut the ribbon on the new Early Learning Center. I was proud to secure a $15,000 grant to help transform this unoccupied space in the library into a fun area for children to learn and play. I am certain this will be a popular addition to the Gates Public Library!
I was honored to join my colleagues in government to help plant a tree on the Greece Town Campus in memory of Jerry Helfer. I was fortunate to work with Jerry in his roles at Monroe County and the Town of Greece, he truly embodied the meaning public employee and was always attentative to the needs of his constituents. This was a wonderful tribute Jerry and his family.
I was excited to help break ground on the new Local History Room addition to the Seymour Library in Brockport. The addition was made possible through funding from the State Education Department, which I was pleased to support. I can't wait to go back for the ribbon cutting in November!
I was pleased to join U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at RIT as she announced new federal legislation that would designate "manufacturing universities" to help strengthen engineering programs and bolster manufacturing in America. Our region, with our skilled workforce, and RIT could benefit from the passage of this legislation.
I joined the Monroe County/City of Rochester Coalition for Crime Victims to help kickoff National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which will take place from April 19 - April 25. National Crime Victims' Rights Week highlights the support crime victims need in their road to recovery. Many thanks to all of the local law enforcement officials and advocacy agencies in our community that help crime victims every day.
Congratulations to the Scott Spino Foundation for receiving the Friends of Education Award from the School Administrators Association of New York State. Geri and Jerry Spino have dedicated their lives to remembering their son Scott, a popular RCSD teacher who was tragically killed by a drunk driver, by raising money and donating books to local schools. I had the privilege of awarding Geri with the New York State Senate's Woman of Distinction Award in 2014. Once again congratulations to Geri, Jerry and everyone involved with the Scott Spino Foundation, it certainly is a well deserved recognition.
I was honored to join the hard working men and women of General Motors as they presented checks of $10,000 to the United Way and $5,000 to Holy Childhood on behalf of the GM Foundation. It's always great to see our corporate partners give back to local charities and non-profit organizations that make a huge impact in the lives of people in our community. Many thanks to the GM Foundation, the members of the UAW and all of the hard working employees of the Lexington Road plant for their generosity!
The Rochester Lyric Opera announced today that they will be tranforming the former First Church of Christ, Scientist into its new home for performances. Lyric Hall, as it will be called, will seat 900 people in its main hall and will have a smaller, 150 person cabaret-style theater in the rear. This venue will also feature other performances, including the Rochester International Jazz Festival later this year. Congratulations, I can't wait to see the finished product!
I was pleased to recently help welcome Cinelli's Pizza Kitchen to the Town of Greece. Located in Stoney Creek Plaza on Long Pond Road, Cinelli's offers great food, service and a welcoming atmosphere. Congratulations and welcome to Greece!
It was a beautiful morning for some fishing! I joined residents young and old from throughout Monroe County at Powder Mills Park for the annual Intergenerational Fishing Derby. Thanks to Monroe County for planning this great day and ordering this beautiful weather! I hope everyone had a fun and successful day at Powder Mills Park.
Today, I joined kinship caregivers and kinship advocates in announcing that September 2015 will be Kinship Care Month in New York. We are fortunate to live in a state that is among the leaders nationwide in recognizing kinship caregivers for stepping up to raise at-risk youth. I applaud all those who take the time to give New York's children the care, attention and love they need to become healthy adults.
I was honored to receive the 2015 YMCA Champion Award at the YMCA Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. The YMCA provides a safe, nurturing environment for children, seniors and families, and helps promote friendship, comradery and so much more. Thank you to the YMCAs of New York for this honor, I am truly humbled and proud to support this great organization.
World Gym recently opened its newest location in the Mall at Greece Ridge Center. This state of the art fitness center offers everything from free weights and cardio machines, to group fitness classes, child care and tanning. Congratulations to everyone at World Gym Greece, and welcome to the Greece Community!
Local Roads Matter! As Senate Transportation Chairman, I am proud to fight for increased funding in this year's State Budget to repair roads and bridges throughout Upstate New York. If there's a commitment for a billion dollars for the Tappan Zee Bridge, then there should be a commitment for a matching billion dollars for Upstate roads and bridges!
Today, I had the opportunity to co-sponsor Build a Better New York Day at the State Capitol, joining hard working men and women from across the state to call for an investment in our aging infrastructure.
Many thanks to the Veterans Outreach Center and Executive Director Todd Baxter for inviting me to give an overview of programs and initiatives that the State Legislature has passed or proposed to assist New York veterans. The Veterans Outreach Center is a great resource for area veterans and their families, thanks for all you do!
I had the opportunity to help welcome Pedro Martinez to the State Capitol as part of our Dominican Heritage Month celebration. Martinez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer after a long and dominate career with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and my New York Mets, among others. He's a three time Cy Young Award winner, 8 time All Star and member of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. It was great meeting this baseball legend, despite my dislike for the Red Sox!
Joined my colleagues in government at the annual Gates Chili Chamber of Commerce State of the Towns update by Gates Supervisor Mark Assini and Chili Supervisor David Dunning. Exciting things happening in these two great communities, I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store!
I joined my colleagues in the Senate Republican Majority yesterday to call to end the GEA, which has hurt our local schools since it implemented a few years ago. By eliminating the GEA, we can restore critical funding to our schools and ensure that every student receives an outstanding education. I am proud to continue to fight for Upstate equality in school funding, especially for Rochester and Monroe County.