Everybody’s Column – The Buffalo News – August 31, 2011
Nice to see politicians involved in good cause
I attended the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis walk in Delaware Park on Aug. 6, and I must say it was a great turnout for a great cause. However, one thing that stood out to me was the lack of local elected officials. The only representative I did see there was Sen. Mark Grisanti from Buffalo. He was walking with his family to support ALS. I even had a chance to meet and talk with him and I could grasp from our conversation that he was very interested in charitable work and has genuine concern for the people.
The USA Niagara Development District has expanded by more than 21 acres north of Main Street to include the Aquarium of Niagara and the city’s proposed Cultural District — a move that comes as the aquarium plans to double in size during the next five years.
The board of directors for USA Niagara Development Corp., the local arm of the state’s economic-development agency, voted unanimously Tuesday to expand the boundary at the urging of Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, and State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, D-Buffalo.
NIAGARA FALLS - The Aquarium of Niagara and roughly 22 acres of property surrounding it off north Main Street are now officially eligible to receive assistance from a state-run agency charged with overseeing development in the downtown area.During a meeting Tuesday, the board of directors for the USA Niagara Development Corp.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced a new $3 million rebate program specifically for the purchase of high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and clothes washers. The program begins Sept. 2, 2011.www.cee1.org for more detail about super-efficient refrigerators and clothes washers.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today added Orange County to its eastern state quarantine area (Ulster and Greene Counties) to prevent the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a tree-killing beetle. The Emergency Quarantine Order encompasses all of Orange County and restricts the movement of ash trees, ash products, and firewood from all wood species in order to limit the potential introduction of EAB to other areas of the state.
A bi-partisan group from Western New York's state legislature delegation is urging their colleagues to pass the final provision of a bill designed to protect the developmentally disabled. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed provisions of "Laura Cummings Law" into effect that allow agencies to share information about prior abuse reports and to get a court order to access a home. However, State Senator George Maziarz says the law still lacks criminal sanctions. Maziarz says the Assembly is holding up the final provision of the bill. "What we're saying is, if you deny access to the authorities of an individual that is developmentally disabled, that is being abused, you're going to pay a criminal penalty.
State legislators from Western New York are pushing for legislation to help prevent a local tragedy from happening again. Laura Cummings' Law was created in honor of the developmentally disabled young woman from North Collins who was killed after years of mistreatment. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us more about the legislation and why legislators are calling on their colleagues to help it move forward.
"The fact that Laura Cummings suffered abuse at the hands of her own family and ultimately was killed at the hands of her own family is unconscionable. The fact that it was preventable is even more so," said State Senator Tim Kennedy (D).
There are few better ways to spend Niagara River Greenway money than development of the LaSalle Waterfront Park in Niagara Falls.
Mayor Paul A. Dyster and Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and other local and state officials recently broke ground on the park, the satisfying end to a long road.
And while elected officials, especially Dyster, deserve credit for the rebirth of a park that had fallen into disrepair, its development into a community asset belongs first and foremost to its members. In particular, resident John J.Mikula, who spearheaded the revival and to whom Dyster gives much credit.
Senator Grisanti supports the concept of Black Rock Canal Park to help remedy the many deficiencies in the current designs of the Ontario Street Boat Launch as well as the south end of the park.
Phase I work represents a collaboration of community, city, county, state and federal entities working together to improve the waterfront and create a regional asset.
A formal announcement and celebration was recently held at the Ontario Street Boat Launch. The press conference occurred during the second annual Ride Along the Waterfront, a yearly event that encourages people to come out and enjoy the Niagara River with a bike ride, kayak paddle and Wellness Fair.
New York State added 14,100 private sector jobs to its economy last month, according to the latest figures from the State Labor Department. That job growth amounted to .2 percent and was not enough to budge the state’s overall unemployment rate.
New York’s unemployment rate held steady at eight percent in July. The national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent for the same period. The number of unemployed New Yorkers looking for work did go down from 759,900 in June to 756,600 last month, according to the State Labor Department.
Dozens of groups across New York want more time to review the state’s proposed “fracking” rules.
76 organizations representing thousands of residents signed a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation urging them to extend the public comment period.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is supporting groups request, including State Senator Mark Grisanti.
“The public itself doesn’t have time to review it,” Grisanti told WNED News.
The DEC’s draft regulations for the controversial natural gas drilling process weigh in at more than a thousand pages and the public, right now, will get 60 days to review the complex document and respond.
Grisanti is Chair of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.
LaSalle makes up a distinct part of the city’s fabric. Home to the city’s only branch library, a community organization and proud, vocal residents, the neighborhood has been missing one key component:
A park where residents will finally have access to the undeveloped shoreline of the Niagara River.
“The LaSalle neighborhood has rediscovered itself,” Mayor Paul A. Dyster said today in LaSalle Waterfront Park. “It’s rediscovered its history, which is a history that is closely linked with the waterfront.”
Dyster joined Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and other local and state officials today to officially break ground on the park, though chainsaws and chippers have already been blaring.
Richard Raines wasn’t looking to become a community activist. But a series of car break-ins, burglaries, and muggings that plagued North Buffalo last fall motivated the Wellington Road homeowner to reach out to leaders of several neighborhood organizations and eventually establish the North Buffalo Coalition (NBC).
New York State Senator Mark Grisanti recently announced the passage of legislation that he sponsored that prohibits the sale of products aimed at children under the age of three containing the flame retardant chemical TRIS 2-chloroethyl phosphate.
This measure, which was also sponsored byNew York State Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, is the first of its kind nationwide.