In an effort to recognize local artistic talent in Central and Northern New York, State Senator Patty Ritchie, along with the North Country Arts Council hosted a celebration of the arts Thursday evening in Watertown.
At the event those who have participated in the “Senator Ritchie Celebrates Local Artists” program were recognized. Through the effort, two dozen artists have had their work featured in Senator Ritchie’s Albany, Ogdensburg, Oswego and Watertown offices. The work of past featured artists can be viewed at Downtown Watertown’s Franklin Building or by clicking here.
In addition, at the event, high school students from the Central and Northern New York region were inducted into Senator Ritchie’s local artists program, and in the weeks to come, will have their artwork featured in her offices. Several high school students were also invited to perform in the areas of song and dance.
State Senator Patty Ritchie met with North Country lawmakers Wednesday in Albany to discuss her plan to return unused land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center back to the community to be used for economic development and job creation.
From the Senate, attendees included Senator Betty Little and a representative for Senator Joe Griffo. From the Assembly, attending the meeting were Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, Assemblyman Marc Butler, Assemblywoman Addie Russell and a representative for Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.
Local, State Leaders Getting on Board to Return Unused Parcels to Help Create Jobs
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced growing support for her proposal to return 160 acres of unused land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center back to the community to be used for economic development and to create jobs.
The Senator’s bill, S.6661, was formally introduced in the Legislature today. All three Senators representing St. Lawrence County, including Senator Ritchie, Senator Joe Griffo and Senator Betty Little have signed on as cosponsors.
On Monday night, Senator Ritchie’s plan, which was developed collaboratively with Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson, as well as Ogdensburg’s City manager and City Planner, was officially endorsed by a unanimous City Council.
Members of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators also unanimously voiced their support during a meeting of that body’s Finance Committee Monday.
Senator Ritchie’s Weekly ColumnFrom sowing crops by hand and working the land with simple wooden plows to employing new and advanced technologies to grow better—and more—crops, agriculture has come a long way since it first took root in the United States.Illustrating these changes is the newly-released USDA 2012 “Census of Agriculture” (read the full report here). The survey, which is taken every five years, not only indicates that agriculture continues to be a strong and major driver of our state and local economies, it also shows that there are tremendous opportunities for further growth in the industry. According to the report, the market values of livestock, crops and total products grown and produced by those in the industry are at an all time high, as farms in the United S
'Land Transfer' Bill Aims to Get Unused Land Back on the Tax Rolls, Help Community Grow
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced she will be introducing legislation next week to transfer 160 vacant acres of surplus land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to the City of Ogdensburg as part of a long-term comprehensive program to redevelop the campus.
Senator Ritchie has been working with Ogdensburg Mayor William Nelson and City Manager John Pinkerton over the past two months to develop a plan to transform blighted properties at the 125-year-old Psychiatric Center into economic development assets to create opportunities for new jobs and growth.
The proposal was endorsed by the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force on Thursday. The Ogdensburg City Council will consider a proposal to endorse the plan Monday.
Senator Ritchie will present the legislation to members of State Assembly and State Senate delegation representing St. Lawrence County in the state legislature on Wednesday to seek their support. Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell has announced her support for the plan.
As a mother and a grandmother, I know there’s nothing better than a newborn baby. I also know that along with the excitement, comes the feeling of wanting to make sure your little one is as healthy as he or she can be.
Here in Upstate New York, we know what it means to be part of a “close knit” community. It means collaborating to better our region. It means sharing in experiences that bring us closer together. And above all else, it means working alongside one another to help those in need.
When a fierce lake effect snowstorm hit Jefferson County last month, we saw shining examples of what it means to be “close knit.” We saw people opening their homes to stranded strangers. We saw emergency volunteers setting up shelters. We saw local businesses donating food to make sure no one went hungry and we saw countless other examples of extreme generosity.
State Senator Patty Ritchie recognized more than 50 individuals Saturday at “People Helping People: A Celebration of Adams, NY,” an event held to honor those who lent a helping hand during last month’s extreme lake effect snowstorm. CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO ALBUM OF THE EVENT“Here in the North Country, we know about tough winters, but the people of Adams showed us that the worst can bring out the best—and that’s something worth celebrating” said Senator Ritchie.
Asks Governor for Oversight of Freight Trains Speeding Through Rural Communities
Senator Patty Ritchie wants the state to boost its oversight of freight trains coursing through Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties in the wake of moves by national rail companies for higher speeds on the local lines, and growing concerns about transport of hazardous materials through populated communities.
The Senator has written a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to expand a new rail safety review he’s ordered into rail transport of crude oil on downstate lines to also include potentially hazardous freight being moved through other communities. The letter is available here.
“Community leaders have expressed concern that these higher speed trains could be causing unnecessary risks to neighboring communities and schools, local populations and our environment, should a serious accident occur,” Senator Ritchie said in her letter to the Governor, copies of which she has sent to emergency response officials in the three local counties.
This week’s “Pet of the Week,” is Bubba Chubba, who has called the Potsdam Humane Society “home” since May of 2013. He’s described as courageous, loyal, friendly and a ball of energy. If you’d like more information on Bubba Chubba, please call the Potsdam Humane Society at (315) 265-3199.
Online Petition Aims to Stop Welfare Use in Liquor Stores, Bars and Casinos
State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging the public to join her fight against welfare abuse by signing an online petition to stop the use of EBT benefit cards in liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment businesses.
Her call comes as the State Senate passed a bill—for the third time in as many years—that makes those businesses off-limits for using welfare cards. Senator Ritchie is a cosponsor of that bill (S.966).
“Welfare benefits are intended to help those who have fallen on hard times, to feed their families and make ends meet, and taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to buy booze, cigarettes and lottery tickets,” Senator Ritchie said.
The Senator’s “Public Assistance Integrity Act” would prohibit the use of welfare benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets, and bars the use of EBT benefit cards in liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment businesses.
AT “PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: A CELEBRATION OF ADAMS, NY”
Free Event to be Held on February 8th
State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking those who experienced the recent fierce lake effect snowstorm last month to share their “snowstorm stories.”
The pictures and stories will be part of an event being held to recognize those who lent a helping hand during the recent storm. The free event—“People Helping People: A Celebration of Adams, NY”—will take place on Saturday, February 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Adams firehouse, located at 63 N. Main St.
“From the hundreds of people taking refuge in the Adams firehouse, to the people who opened their homes to stranded motorists, there are so many stories of generosity and community that have come out of this recent storm,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I’m calling on those who experienced the weather event—whether they were helped or lent a hand to someone in need—to share their stories to be featured at this special event being held to recognize the Adams community.”
Call on Governor to Join in Supporting Vehicles Popular with Outdoorsmen
State Senator Patty Ritchie is leading a bipartisan group of more than a dozen state lawmakers in calling on Governor Cuomo to join in supporting the use of Side-by-Side recreational vehicles, or “UTVs.”
The group of lawmakers have written to the Governor urging him to amend his state budget proposal to allow UTVs, which are increasingly popular among outdoorsmen—particularly elderly couples and families. New York is losing out on tens of thousands of dollars in state revenue through registration fees, and taxes from retail sales of UTVs, as well as countless tourism-related jobs by prohibiting UTVs which, because they are slightly larger than standard four-wheelers, can exceed outdated weight limits in current law.
The letter is signed by Senator Ritchie (R-Heuvelton), Senator Joe Griffo (R-Oneida County) and Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Madison County), who are sponsors of legislation to allow UTV use. Both of those bills have passed the Senate in prior years.
The letter also is signed by Senator Bill Larkin (R-Orange County), George Maziarz (R-Niagara County), Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Erie County) and Jim Seward (R-Otsego County); as well as Assembly Members Will Barclay (R-Pulaski), Ken Blankenbush (R-Black River), Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), Clifford Crouch (R-Chenango County), Aileen Gunther (D-Orange County), Steve Hawley (R-Genesee County) and Claudia Tenney (R-Oneida County).
“UTVs are increasingly popular with senior riders, couples and family members who may want to bring a child with them while enjoying our great outdoors,” the letter says. “Every year, New York State loses sales tax and motor vehicle registrations because of our outmoded definition of all-terrain vehicles in Transportation Law.”
This week’s pet of the week comes to us from the Oswego County Humane Society. “Cookie” is described as a lovable pet that always likes to be by his owner’s side. To adopt Cookie, please call the Oswego County Humane Society at (315) 343-2959.
We all know that one of the keys to a booming economy is creating jobs. But what’s the driving force behind allowing businesses to expand and grow employment opportunities? Cutting red tape. For years, New York has been known for its high taxes and regulations. As state senator, it’s a top priority for me to not only cut taxes, but also to do away with burdensome regulations that hinder the growth of businesses in the Central and Northern New York region.
Recently, I was pleased to be part of an effort to collect ideas from small businesses, farmers, manufacturers and other employers on ways to cut red tape. That effort identified 2,219 specific rules, regulations and practices that employers believe puts New York at a competitive disadvantage for attracting and creating jobs.
Part of this initiative included industry-specific public forums that took place throughout New York State. I hosted one of the first of these sessions in Watertown, focusing on agriculture.
State Senator Patty Ritchie "got schooled" at the annual "Maple School" hosted by the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers Association and the local FFA.
The event, held Saturday at Gouverneur Central School, drew nearly 100 current and aspriring maple producers from across the North Country to learn from experts and fellow farmers about the age-old springtime tradition of sugaring, as well as new techniques to improve production and quality.
“People Helping People: A Celebration of Adams, NY” to take place February 8th State Senator Patty Ritchie will recognize those who lent a helping hand during the fierce lake effect snowstorm that hit the North Country earlier this month at “People Helping People: A Celebration of Adams, NY,” a special event that will take place on February 8th. “Here in the North Country, we are used to tough winters but when a major snowstorm hit earlier this month, people in the community of Adams truly went above and beyond to help those in need,” said Senator Ritchie.“Whether they opened their homes to motorists who couldn’t travel on I-81 or simply checked on an elderly neighbor, their actions are a true examples of what makes the North Country such a special place to live and this event is a sm
This week’s pet of the week is Fred, a short haired domestic male who is just over a year old. According to the Jefferson County SPCA, he’s a big cat with a big heart. For more information on Fred, visit the Jefferson County SPCA's website at www.jeffersoncountyspca.org or call (315) 782-3260.