It’s hard to believe that students are gearing up for the start of another school year full of fun and new challenges. Just like students who will be studying hard, I’m working hard to ensure our children are getting the quality education they deserve and that parents and taxpayers receive the value they expect.
A big part of working to improve educational opportunities is listening to your opinions and ideas when it comes to our schools. Recently, nearly 2,100 parents, students and taxpayers weighed in on the state of education in our region through my 2013 School Survey, which covered everything from curriculum to school safety. Through the survey, most participants—84 percent—said that our schools are doing a great job educating future leaders, rating our schools as “excellent” or “good.” You can check out the full results here.
As students in Central and Northern New York prepare to head back to the classroom, State Senator Patty Ritchie is releasing the results of her 2013 School Survey, which shows that most people give high ratings to area schools, but have concerns about more rigid standards under the state’s new Common Core as well as bullying in schools.
First Event to Take Place September 11th at Watertown Fairgrounds Arena
State Senator Patty Ritchie will offer area seniors tips for living healthy, active lifestyles at her annual Jefferson County Senior Health and Wellness Fair, taking place at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena on September 11, 2013.
The free event—which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.—will feature dozens of local organizations as well as lunch and entertainment by the Country Stompers, both sponsored by Senator Ritchie.
“I am thrilled to once again be able to host this annual event, which is something that area seniors truly look forward to,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Whether you want to check your blood pressure, find new ways to improve your diet, get a flu shot or learn about local organizations that can help improve your well-being, this event is a one stop shop for learning how to get and stay healthy.”
Last year, nearly 2,000 seniors attended Senator Ritchie’s Health and Wellness Fairs held in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
Central New York residents disposed of more than 2,000 tires at free recycling events, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The events—which were funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—allowed Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.
“With one tire acting as a breeding ground for an estimated one million mosquitoes, the more than 2,000 tires we were able to dispose of represent a big step in this year’s fight against insects and the diseases they carry,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am thrilled to have been able to host these events, and the turn out really speaks volumes to the necessity of providing people with ways to protect themselves—and their loved ones—from mosquitoes, especially during the summer months.”
Brings Total to Over $160,000 in Aid for Libraries in
Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured a second round of special funding, bringing the total of aid she delivered to libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties to more than $160,000.
The most recent round of $76,000 in special funding will be split between 24 area libraries and builds upon an additional $85,000 in aid announced by Senator Ritchie in June, as well as a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.
“As summer draws to a close and students return to the classroom, many turn their focus towards getting back to the books,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves on the recently re-formed State Senate Select Committee on Libraries.
“Our area’s libraries are an outstanding educational resource, not only for students but adults as well. I am thrilled to be able to provide this funding, which will go a long way towards increasing access to educational opportunities, entertainment, job-search tools and so much more at the many libraries throughout our region.”
Events Come in the Wake of Discovery of EEE, West Nile Virus
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding people in Oswego County that she will be hosting free tire disposal events on Saturday August 24th to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The events—which are being funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—will allow Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived. Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored the late US Army Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan in Henderson Harbor Thursday, presenting the bill naming the I-81 Ft. Drum Connector in his honor to the Cerjan Family.
Senator Ritchie proposed legislation to name the roadway in General Cerjan’s honor, and it was signed into law by Governor Cuomo last year.
“General Cerjan played a key role in the transformation of Fort Drum and because of him, the post went from becoming a small reserve training center to a world-class military installation,” said Senator Ritchie.
“It’s fitting that we named this roadway in his honor; because it’s goal—making things safer, and easier for 10th Mountain Division soldiers, their families and others visiting Ft. Drum—is much like the goals that General Cerjan had.”
Announcement Comes in the Wake of Discovery of EEE, West Nile Virus
In the wake of the discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and the West Nile virus in Oswego County, State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced “Tire Amnesty Day,” a free event that will be held on Saturday, August 24 to help people dispose of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The event—which is being funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—will allow Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived. Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces.
State Senator Patty Ritchie helped wrap up the Bassmaster Elite Tournament on Sunday in Waddington, as the four day fishing extravaganza drew to a close.
The “Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown at St. Lawrence River,” tournament attracted the country’s top anglers and thousands of fishing enthusiasts to St. Lawrence County, with Idaho native Brandon Palaniuk taking home the weekend’s top prize and earning a spot in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Funding Will Benefit PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program
for Veterans, River Community Wellness Program
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $185,000 in special funding to help veterans in Jefferson County who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related illnesses.
The funding will be split evenly between two local support programs offering peer-to-peer support activities; the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans—which was established in part through a grant secured by Senator Ritchie last year—and the recently founded River Community Wellness Program.
“The brave men and women who serve our country are such a huge part of our community here in the North Country, and that’s why it’s so critical that we have resources available to them to help them cope with the transition when they return home from serving overseas,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Programs like PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans and the River Community Wellness Program give our troops the opportunity to interact with fellow soldiers, who may be experiencing the same emotions and challenges related to serving ones country. I am pleased to be able to offer this funding, which will go a long way towards making sure these solders—who have sacrificed so much—get the care they need.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie toured Goose Bay in Jefferson County today and announced she has secured a $25,000 grant to help the shoreline community address its Eurasian Milfoyle problem.
Senator Ritchie has been working with the Goose Bay Reclamation Corporation, a not-for-profit group composed of local residents, the Nature Conservancy, Jefferson County Legislator Phil Reed, Town of Alexandria Supervisor Dale Hunneyman and the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District to help residents.
“Goose Bay is one of the St. Lawrence River’s great scenic and natural resources,” said Senator Ritchie. “When residents came to me asking for my help, I felt it was imperative that we work together to begin addressing this problem that threatens a major St. Lawrence River ecosystem that includes the mouth of Cranberry Creek, one of the St. Lawrence River’s historic spawning areas.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie visited Sandy Pond recently, where dredging is taking place on a channel that, throughout the years, has been made nearly impassable for many boats, and made navigation hazardous for those that could traverse the channel.
Earlier this year, the Sandy Pond Channel Maintenance Association called on Senator Ritchie to help secure funding and also to support their request to make changes to an existing permit that would allow for mechanical dredging to be done.
Senator Ritchie was successful in securing $75,000 in state funding for the project, as well as the permit, which allowed for improved dredging, as well as excess sand to be used for dune restoration and beach nourishment.
State Senator Patty Ritchie joined community members, as well as her fellow members of the Save the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force recently, to march in Ogdensburg's annual Seaway Festival Parade.
Funding Will Aid Centers in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 in special funding to aid victims of domestic violence in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.
“Across our communities, our state and our nation, domestic violence continues to be a major problem that has devastating physical and psychological effects on its victims and tears families apart” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am truly pleased to have the opportunity to assist the organizations in Central and Northern New York that play a key role in our communities, protecting and helping victims.”