We’ve all read and heard a lot about the importance of “eating local.”
Food that’s grown and raised in our backyards can often be fresher, more appealing to the eye and palate, and more nutritious than products that are shipped from hundreds—and maybe thousands of miles away.
When Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State message this week, it was clear to me that he recognizes that we have a lot more work to do to get our Empire State back on track to create more jobs for New Yorkers.
What does New York need to continue our recovery, build a stronger economy and create jobs?
Over the past 12 months, we reached across party lines to cut taxes—including the new Middle Class Tax Cut that takes effect New Year’s Day—reduce spending, and reform Albany to make state government work again.
When I saw the look on Ethel Barnes face last June when I returned her “Gold Star Mother” license plates, I was reminded why I originally went into public service.
State officials had repeatedly told the Central New York woman that the license plates that had served as our state’s tribute to her only son, Robert, who had died for his country in Vietnam in 1967, were gone and could not be replaced.
Whether you talk to farmers from Long Island, Western New York or Northern New York, they all ask whether it really makes sense for more than 22 different state and federal agencies to have a hand in regulating family farms.
Take pesticide regulations.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency currently regulates chemical companies which produce pesticides for the nation’s farms. Before a company can sell a pesticide in the U.S., the manufacturer has to meet a battery of national scientific standards and tests to prove the chemical combination will not harm human or animal health or pollute the environment.
With the nights turning a little cooler, you may be planning to enjoy an evening curled up in front of your fireplace or wood-stove. It’s one of the more enjoyable ways to spend a fall or winter night in Central and Northern New York.
Just keep in mind, between 2006 and 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 27,000 fires a year were traced to fireplaces and chimneys.
Local volunteers are using “Fire Prevention Week” to remind families to stay safe this winter, by inspecting your chimney or flue for leakage and blockage from creosote or other debris.
If you have ever taken a boat ride along the shores of Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence River’s Thousand Islands section this time of year, you understand why people from around the world travel to upstate New York to see the grand show that Mother Nature offers each fall.
While the Adirondack Mountains get the lion's share of attention as the place to watch fall foliage, our own region’s Tug Hill Plateau and our majestic river and lake offer a lesser known, but just as majestic view of the changing of the seasons.
A few weeks ago I saw firsthand what a disaster can do when it strikes rural New York.
I saw families forced from their homes, gathered at emergency shelters, waiting for relief supplies.
I met farmers who had spent months raising their crops only to see them washed away in a single day.
I spoke to people with nowhere to go after their homes were devastated by the rising waters in the wake of the Hurricane rains that swept parts of our state.
I toured Schoharie County in the Mohawk Valley in my role as the chair of the Senate's Agriculture Committee to see firsthand the extent of the flood's damage to the rural farms that fill the Mohawk Valley.
It was heart breaking seeing what a sudden flood can do to families.
A major accomplishment this year as your State Senator was the historic two percent property tax cap Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature passed this year.
After 40 years of talking about holding the line on property taxes, legislators from both sides of the aisle worked with the governor to provide taxpayers with some degree of relief from one of the biggest problems facing New York State’s economic recovery.
This week, the Senate appointed me to serve on a new bipartisan task force on government efficiency that will help investigate and identify wasteful spending in state government.
Record Crowd for Senator's First Senior Wellness Event
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s first Senior Health and Wellness Expo drew almost 1,500 people to the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown—considered a record for similar events held in earlier years.
Cosponsored by the Jefferson County Office for the Aging and Froggy 97, the event offered more than 50 exhibitors who offered seniors flu shots, free health screenings and information about a variety of services offered by area health care agencies.
Ever daydreamed about taking that hobby or interest you enjoy and turning it into a part-time or full-time venture.
Someone once said that if you find a job you love, you’ll never feel like you’re working. That’s one of the reasons I developed a guide called “Hire Yourself” that provides detailed information for existing companies that want to expand and advice for people who want to turn their passion into their own business.
Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy. In 1995, 78 percent of America’s 5 million companies had fewer than 10 employees.
Our nation discovered that the end of the cold war had not left us without enemies plotting our destruction.
But as we watched in horror as the twin towers fell and thousands of our countrymen were murdered on national television, we also witnessed our nation come together in a way that had not occurred since the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in the 1940s.
People of all religions, colors, ethnic origins and ways of life came together to vow they would work to insure that the sacrifices of those who died in that tragedy would not be in vain.
With the chill in the air at night, you can tell that the end of summer is upon us. It's a reminder for parents it’s time families begin getting their children ready to go back to school.
I’d like to take this opportunity to salute our hard working teaching professionals and school staffs who returned to school this week to begin preparations for the new school year.
Too often we forget the endless preparation that goes into gearing up for a new school year. Thanks to their efforts, our schools are able to help our children learn the important skills they’ll need to compete in our increasingly technological society.
The next time the state looks at rebuilding a road in Central or Northern New York, planners will have to consider whether it makes sense to widen it to allow for a bike path, a pedestrian walk way or even sidewalks.
With many of our roads in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties originally designed at the turn of the century when carriages, wagons and stage coaches were the primary means of transportation, all of us have worried how hikers and bicyclists manage to safely travel some of our narrower byways.
That’s why I supported a new law that the governor signed last week called the “Complete Streets”
bill (S 5411) that requires transportation planners to consider the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when they design new roads or rebuild old ones.