Patty Ritchie's Press releases

RITCHIE MEETS WITH SUNY POTSDAM INTERIM PRESIDENT, STUDENTS AND STAFF

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with SUNY Potsdam Interim President Dr. Dennis Hefner as well as students and staff from the college recently in Albany. 

A member of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee and a SUNY Potsdam graduate herself, Senator Ritchie has been a strong advocate for the state’s public education system, including the four colleges located in the district she represents.

 

March 14, 2014
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SENATOR RITCHIE VOTES TO REPLACE REGENTS

Votes NO on Nominees; Backs Reforms in Wake of Flawed ‘Common Core’ Rollout

State Senator Patty Ritchie today voted to oust members of the Board of Regents, citing the flawed rollout of the state’s new Common Core educational standards, and announced support for legislation to increase accountability of the education policy-setting board to students, parents and taxpayers. Senator Ritchie voted to reject the reappointments of three current Regents, James Cottrell of Brooklyn, Wade Norwood of Rochester, and Christine Cea of Staten Island. A fourth Regent, James Jackson of Albany, who served on the board since 2011, abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. “The flawed roll-out of Common Core has created anxiety for students, parents and teachers from every corner of New York, and a resulting outpouring of protest from all across Central and Northern New York,” Senator Ritchie said. “Every single parent, student and educator who has contacted me about Common Core has demanded change from the Board of Regents, and with my vote today I am joining my voice with theirs in calling for increased accountability and reform.”

March 11, 2014
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WHAT IF THERE WERE NO FARMERS?

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column From the food we eat to the products we use, not a day goes by that we don’t have a farmer to thank for helping to provide life’s necessities.  But, what if there weren’t any farmers?  As recent research suggests, that’s a question we should be considering.  Farming is our state’s most important industry, it’s also a way of life handed down from generation to generation. But as the recent USDA Census of Agriculture depicted, the average New York farmer is changing. According to the report, the average age of New York farmers is 57.1 years, with two farmers aged 65 and older for each one under 35.  In addition, the survey also pointed to the fact that roughly 50,000 acres of farmland were lost in New York in each of the past five years.

March 10, 2014
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RITCHIE GETS A “TASTE OF NY” AT AGRICULTURE EVENT

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently attended the New York Farm Bureau’s “Taste of New York Reception and Issues Forum.”

The event—which was held at the Capitol—featured locally produced food and drink. 

As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Ritchie has been working to support farmers and recently, unveiled her “Young Farmers NY” plan to encourage more young people to pursue careers agriculture.

March 7, 2014
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS

State Senator Patty Ritchie met this week with superintendents from the Canton and Potsdam Central School Districts to discuss funding for schools in Northern New York. 

Senator Ritchie has successfully pushed in prior years for additional funding for rural schools and is working to improve the Governor’s school aid plan in the new State Budget, due April 1st. 

March 7, 2014
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH LIBRARY GROUP

State Senator Patty Ritchie met recently with representatives from libraries and library networks in Central and Northern New York.  At the meeting, the group thanked the Senator for her support and discussed State Budget funding for libraries. 

Last year, Senator Ritchie—who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries— was able to deliver $161,000 in special funding to 49 area libraries and 2 library networks in the region she represents.  The funding was in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries across New York State.

March 7, 2014
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RITCHIE SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 “WOMEN OF DISTINCTION”

Nominees to be Honored at Event on May 1st

State Senator Patty Ritchie is now accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s 2014 “Women of Distinction” program. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A NOMINATION FORM

The program honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders and everyday citizens from the present who are making a difference.

“Each and every day, women in our region are doing amazing things and throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to recognize dozens of them through the New York State Senate’s ‘Women of Distinction’ program,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m truly excited to once again honor the women of our region who are making a difference.” 

Women living in the 48th Senate District, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties are eligible for nomination. All nominees will be invited to a local recognition ceremony to be held on May 1st.  One individual from each State Senate district will be selected to travel to the Capitol to be honored at a special reception on May 13th.  

March 6, 2014
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RITCHIE UNVEILS PLAN TO SECURE THE FUTURE OF FAMILY FARMING

“Young Farmers NY” Encourages New Generation of Farmers, Strengthens NY’s Leading IndustrySenator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today unveiled her “Young Farmers NY” plan to address issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and to preserve the future of family farming.  The initiative will support and encourage a new generation of farmers and help strengthen the state’s leading industry for decades to come.CLICK HERE TO SEE DETAILS OF THE PLANWATCH VIDEO OF THE STATE CAPITOL PRESS CONFERENCE“Young Farmers NY,” which was announced today at a Capitol news conference, is a series of proposals to smooth the transfer of farmland to the next generation, preserve existing farmland, and help young farmers overcome obstacles to give them a grea

March 4, 2014
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JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST WELFARE ABUSE

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

It’s frustrating to know that someone would abuse a program designed to help children and families in need and let people get back on their feet.  That’s why reports that some people are using their taxpayer-paid welfare benefits to pay for tobacco, alcohol—even trips to nightclubs—really touch a nerve.

March 3, 2014
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RITCHIE, NORTH COUNTRY ARTS COUNCIL TEAM UP TO “CELEBRATE LOCAL ARTISTS”

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.

February 28, 2014
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH NORTH COUNTRY LAWMAKERS ON PSYCH CENTER LANDS, ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY WINE TRAIL

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.

February 27, 2014
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SUPPORT GROWS FOR RITCHIE PLAN TO RENEW ABANDONED PSYCH CENTER LANDS

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.

February 25, 2014
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ROOM TO GROW IN NY’S BIGGEST INDUSTRY

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

February 24, 2014
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RITCHIE, CITY HALL UNVEIL PLAN TO CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITY AT PSYCH CENTER CAMPUS

'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.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ON THE SLPC CAMPUS PLAN

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.

February 21, 2014
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A MINUTE TO SAVE A LIFE

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

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. 

February 18, 2014
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COLD WEATHER, WARM HEARTS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

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. 

February 10, 2014
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RITCHIE THANKS MORE THAN 50 “SNOW ANGELS” AT ADAMS EVENT

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.

February 8, 2014
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RITCHIE WANTS STATE REVIEW OF LOCAL RAIL SAFETY

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.

February 7, 2014
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A "FRIENDLY, BALL OF ENERGY": MEET BUBBA CHUBBA!

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.  

February 5, 2014
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RITCHIE URGES PUBLIC TO JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST WELFARE ABUSE

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).

***CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION***

“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.

February 4, 2014
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