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.”
Traveling Exhibit Recognizes Local Medal of Honor Recipients
State Senator Patty Ritchie is recognizing local Medal of Honor recipients through a traveling display that will be featured at museums, libraries and other locations throughout Central and Northern New York throughout the coming months.
The display features several St. Lawrence and Oswego County Civil War heroes, a group of little known Jefferson County Medal of Honor recipients who served at Madison Barracks at the turn of the century, and a former member of the 10th Mountain Division from WWII.
“So many brave men and women have put their lives on the line for their country, and the Medal of Honor is the ultimate honor for that service,” said Senator Ritchie. “What many people don’t realize is that our region is home to 45 of New York State’s Medal of Honor recipients. I would like to thank the organizations who will be hosting this exhibit and introducing people in our communities to the heroes who have called our area “home.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging those looking to enter the law enforcement field to mark their calendars for the NY State Police Exam; which will be offered this Fall for the first time in five years.
“Since its establishment in 1917, members of the New York State Police have been known for facing any challenge—big or small—with courage, integrity and efficiency,” said Senator Ritchie.
“This exam represents a great opportunity for brave men and women who are not only looking for work, but also looking to make a difference.”
The exam will be offered in a total of 19 cities and communities including the following:
Funding Will Help Canton, Potsdam Explore Options for Increased Efficiency
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $25,000 in special funding to help the Canton Central School district cover the cost of a joint merger study with the Potsdam Central School District.
“It’s so critical that students here in the North Country are provided the best educational opportunities possible,” said Senator Ritchie. “That’s why I’ve been working hard to secure increased funding and create a more equitable financial aid formula that benefits our local schools that are looking to be creative in finding ways to stretch every dollar.”
The $25,000 in special funding represents Senator Ritchie’s most recent effort on behalf of the Canton Central School District. Last year, Canton received a total of $125,000 in unrestricted funding on top of the $1.752 million in additional school aid Senator Ritchie helped secure for the district over the past two years.
State Senator Patty Ritchie joined senior citizens in St. Lawrence County recently, waiting on tables and visiting with community members at the annual Senior Picnic, held at the Madrid Community Park.
The event—which featured games, music and food—was sponsored by the Council of Senior Citizens and Office for the Aging.
Action came in response to request from Senator Ritchie to let area
residents and businesses weigh in on plan
Senator Patty Ritchie announced that the state Public Service Commission has agreed to her request for hearings on its plan to create a new area code for Northern and Central New York communities now served by the 315 area code.
The hearings--including two that will be held in Watertown on August 6th--are being hosted in response to a recent letter Senator Ritchie sent to state regulators, urging them to put the brakes on proposals to split the region in two, or create a confusing “overlay” code. In her letter, Senator Ritchie also requested the PSC hold a new round of public hearings, as the PSC last held hearings on the 315 area code issue in 2008. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
With the recent warm weather and sunny skies, many people in the Central and Northern New York region have been spending the bulk of their summer days—and nights—outside. While there’s nothing like enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to protect yourself from mosquitoes looking to take a bite out of your summer fun.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis, commonly known as EEE, is a rate but serious viral disease spread by mosquitoes. There are typically 5-10 human cases in the United State annually; with people over the age of 50 and under the age of 15 at the greatest risk of serious infection. EEE is much more common in horses and has resulted in deaths of dozens of horses in our region in recent years.
This year—for the second year in a row—I was able to secure special funding in the State Budget for an “Eastern Equine Encephalitis Program,” aimed at paying costs of aerial spraying to control mosquitoes, funding a low-cost horse vaccination program and supporting educational outreach to communities affected by the disease.
State Senator Patty Ritchie presented an official Senate Resolution to the Sandy Creek Central School District this week, congratulating the district on being named being named one of the top five “Energy STAR” schools in Central New York.
The Sandy Creek Central School District was named an “Energy STAR” school for improving its energy performance, managing energy strategically across the district and making cost-effective, energy-saving improvements.
State Senator Patty Ritchie visited Phoenix Public Library Wednesday, to announce a special $3,000 grant she secured for the library.
Phoenix Public Library was one of 25 libraries and 2 library networks in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties to share $85,000 in special funding. The funding was in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.
In addition to the Phoenix Public Library, in Oswego County, Parish Public Library, Pulaski Public Library and Williamstown Library will also receive special funding.
The no-layoff plan unveiled by the Office of Mental Health assures a continued role for the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in the delivery of mental health services to the North County community, and protects hundreds of jobs that are vital to the economy of this region. That much is known.
Senator Asks the Public to Weigh in Through 2013 School Survey
State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking the public to weigh in on schools in the Central and Northern New York region through her 2013 School Survey, which was launched this week.
The survey—which covers topics ranging from school safety to curriculum—is available here, and is designed to gather public opinion and ideas for use in the next legislative session, as Senator Ritchie continues to advocate for local education.
“Here in the Central and Northern New York region, our schools are among the very best. While our schools are excellent, as with anything, there are always opportunities for change and improvement, and that’s what this survey is about,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I plan on taking the feedback from this survey and using it to build upon work we have done to improve our state aid formula and ensure our rural and Upstate schools get the resources they need to provide top notch educational opportunities for our region’s students.”