State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced final passage of legislation aimed tapping into the potential of the state’s many walnut and birch trees, which are seen by researchers as a way for producers of maple syrup to expand their markets.
According to researchers, there are 22 types of trees that can be tapped for syrup, with the most common in New York State being black walnut and birch. In recent years, Cornell University has been working to help maple producers explore the use of these trees to expand and add value to their businesses, and extend the season for “sugar makers,” as birch and walnut saps typically run after maple stops flowing.
“We’ve seen the popularity of maple products explode in recent years and while there’s still room for the industry to grow, there’s also untapped resources contained in the millions of other trees throughout our state, namely birch and walnut trees,” said Senator Ritchie.
Bill Seeks to Close Gaps in State Law So Abusers Can’t Go Free
Inspired by the case of the St. Lawrence County sisters who were abducted from their family’s Amish roadside stand, Senator Patty Ritchie has written and introduced legislation that proposes to toughen New York’s laws against the sexual abuse of children, with longer prison terms and new restrictions to prevent offenders from hiding their crimes in their future.
Senator Ritchie’s bill, S.5560, creates the specific crime of “Sexual Exploitation of a Child,” a Class B felony, defined as participating, arranging or assisting in creation of child pornography, including enticing or transporting the victims to be used in such a production. Abusers would face up to 25 years in prison for each offense. Under current law, promotion or possession of child pornography can result in a sentence of as little as seven years in prison, or even probation.
Senator Ritchie’s Effort is Cleaning Up Roadsides, Protecting Public
More than 10,000 waste tires were removed from area backyards and roadsides during last weekend’s free disposal events sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie in Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
It’s the most ever collected during the one-day events, made possible through special State Budget funding secured by Senator Ritchie. Over three years, Senator Ritchie’s efforts have resulted in the removal of more than 30,000 waste tires from area communities.
“Waste tires along roadsides and in backyards are not only unsightly, they can be a cause for spreading disease because mosquitoes love to breed in the standing water that collects inside them,” Senator Richie said. “With proper disposal, we are cleaning up our roadsides and communities, protecting the environment and preventing disease.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is encouraging those looking for work, or seeking a career change to attend her 2015 St. Lawrence County Job Fair, which will take place in Ogdensburg on May 21st.
“From jobs in the medical field to positions with local nonprofits, for the past couple months I’ve been working to recruit employers that are looking for talented individuals who are ready to get to work right away,” said Senator Ritchie.
“The goal of my annual Job Fair is not only to help people throughout our region find jobs, but also to give people opportunities to meet face to face with employers, which will help them to better hone their interview skills and make landing their next job that much easier.”
As the nation continues to celebrate National Military Appreciation Month, State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 16 veterans from throughout Central and Northern New York Thursday, at her annual “Veterans Hall of Fame” ceremony, which took place at the U.S. Army Reserve Center near Fort Drum.
“There are people we paid tribute to today, who fought in some of history’s most dangerous battles, including, the Invasion of Normandy, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge, as well as more recent conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Senator Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie will honor 16 veterans from throughout Central and Northern New York at her annual “Veterans Hall of Fame” ceremony, taking place Thursday May 14 at 1:00 p.m. at the U.S. Army Reserve Center, located on Colyer Drive, just outside the gates of Fort Drum.
Veterans were nominated for induction into the Veterans Hall of Fame by family, friends, co-workers and comrades-in-arms for their military service to our nation, and their continuing work and involvement in causes that benefit and improve our local communities.
“For the past several years, I’ve been extremely humbled to have the opportunity to honor such courageous men and women through my Veterans Hall of Fame program,” said Senator Ritchie.
Students and Families Recruited in Latest Effort to Raise Awareness and Stop EEE
State Senator Patty Ritchie is once again teaming with Oswego County health officials and educators to raise awareness and help fight the deadly mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.
This week, Senator Ritchie distributed more than 20,000 EEE educational flyers to all nine Oswego County school districts. The flyers contain information about EEE and ways that residents can protect themselves, and was created in cooperation with Oswego County’s Health Department and the family of Maggie Sue Wilcox, the little New Haven girl who died in 2011 after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Did you know that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than those traveling by car to die in a crash? According to the most recent numbers available from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2013, there were more than 5,100 motorcycle crashes statewide. Those crashes resulted in 171 deaths and more than 5,000 injuries.
This month, we make an extra effort to increase the safety of our roadways through “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” a time when those who travel our roadways are encouraged not only to be extra alert, but also to make an extra effort to learn how to more safely share the road with others. If you travel on four wheels, here are some safety tips for staying safe:
Community Sprang Into Action to Avert Possible Rabies Outbreak
State Senator Patty Ritchie today honored eight St. Lawrence County residents with the prestigious New York State Senate Liberty Medal for their work to stop a major health emergency, after a farmer and other members of the local Amish community were exposed to a rabid horse.
The eight, including a veterinarian, several county public health workers, concerned community volunteers, and employees of a regional farmer cooperative with deep ties to area Amish, all played key and potentially lifesaving roles in identifying and locating individuals in the normally isolated community who could have been exposed to rabies, and required preventive treatment.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding residents of St. Lawrence and Oswego Counties that she will be hosting a second round of free waste tire disposal events on Saturday, May 9th from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
The events are part of an ongoing effort by Senator Ritchie and local community leaders to clean up our region, eliminate breeding ground for mosquitoes that could spread diseases—like Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE—and protect the environment. The disposal events are funded through special grants that Senator Ritchie secured in the State Budget to help “Fight the Bite” and prevent EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Senator to Present New York State Senate Liberty Medals at Friday Ceremony
State Senator Patty Ritchie will honor several individuals with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal on Friday, for their role in helping to prevent what could have been a major public health tragedy for the region’s Amish population.
Last winter, St. Lawrence County Public Health officials discovered a horse owned by a local Amish family had contracted rabies, with their investigation indicating that the animal had come into contact with several people and other horses.
Effort Seen As a Way to Help Women Succeed, Inspire Future Leaders
Rep. Elise Stefanik, State Senator Patty Ritchie and Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert, joined by other local leaders, today announced formation of the “Upstate Women’s Leadership Council.”
The nonpartisan, non-political group is aimed at increasing opportunities for women’s personal and professional advancement and inspiring a next generation of leaders across Northern and Central New York.
“Today, more and more women are stepping up to the plate, in academics, business, medicine and public service,” said Senator Ritchie. “The Upstate Women’s Leadership Council’s aim is to help these women and others find success in their chosen fields, and inspire women of every age—but especially young women—to reach for higher goals and become our next generation’s leaders,” Senator Ritchie said.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced passage of legislation she cosponsored to honor Lieutenant Colonel Todd Clark, a 17-year Army veteran and member of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion Combat Team, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2013.
The measure passed Wednesday would name a portion of the state highway system, near Lt. Col. Clark’s hometown of Albany, the "Lieutenant Colonel Todd J. Clark Memorial Highway.”
“While Lt. Col. Clark was a native of Albany, I was proud to represent him when he was stationed at Fort Drum,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding to Support Library Addition, Heating for Arena
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the Town of Clayton with costs associated with upgrades being made at the Depauville Free Library and Cerow Recreation Park arena.
A portion of the capital funding will be aimed at assisting the Depauville Free Library with the building of an addition that will include a children’s room and improvements to make the library more handicapped accessible. The remainder of the funding will be used to construct a radiant heating system in the mezzanine—which currently isn’t heated—of the Cerow Recreation Park Arena.
State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed Zakiya Saunders, a graduate of Carthage High School and member of the UAlbany women's basketball team to the State Capitol Monday, as the squad was recognized for their play in the 2015 NCAA tournament.