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MAKING READING A FAMILY AFFAIR

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

November 10, 2014
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RITCHIE HELPS HONOR VETERANS AT FORT DRUM CEREMONY

State Senator Patty Ritchie visited Fort Drum recently, taking part in a Veterans Day ceremony held at the post’s Memorial Park. 

At the service, those who have served were honored with a ceremonial placing of the wreath as well as remarks from those who spoke about the sacrifices made by members of our military.

November 7, 2014
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BRACING YOURSELF—AND YOUR HOME—FOR OLD MAN WINTER

It’s hard to believe that winter is just around the corner.  If last year is any indication of what the coming months hold, it’s a good idea to take steps now to protect your home from the cold temperatures, whipping winds and mountains of snow.  Here are some of the most beneficial steps you can take to safeguard your home and save on heating costs at the same time in the coming season:

November 7, 2014
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THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, REMEMBER OUR TROOPS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

 

November 3, 2014
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RITCHIE: HELP ME SEND HOLIDAY GREETINGS TO TROOPS

Offices to Feature Drop Boxes for “Holiday Mail for Heroes” Program

State Senator Patty Ritchie is once again calling on Central and Northern New Yorkers to join her in sending warm wishes to troops through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. 

An initiative sponsored by the American Red Cross, Holiday Mail for Heroes collects holiday cards, personally signed by donors, to distribute to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines at military bases, veterans’ hospitals and other locations to let them know they are remembered and appreciated back home. Last year, along with help from local residents, schools and other organizations, Senator Ritchie was able to deliver nearly 8,000 cards to the Red Cross. 

“When someone thinks of the holiday season, spending time with family and friends are two of the top things that typically come to mind,” said Senator Ritchie.  “In addition to putting their lives on the line to serve our country, members of the military make another big sacrifice—being away from their loved ones at this special time of year. To send a “touch of home” to our troops, I’m hoping that Central and Northern New Yorkers once again take the time to participate in this very important program.”

October 27, 2014
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RITCHIE ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR CRISIS INTERVENTION

Aid Will be Used to Train Law Enforcement To Handle Incidents  Involving Persons With Mental Illness

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced today that she has secured state funds for specialized training of  law enforcement officers in the City of Ogdensburg to help them more safely and effectively respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The state assistance will support the establishment of a local Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which will be comprised of  mental health providers and advocates, law enforcement officers, emergency services directors, and families of people with mental illness. The team will develop a curriculum and provide specialized training to help resolve potentially adverse situations involving people with mental illness and law enforcement.

 “Many communities across the country are establishing Crisis Intervention Teams to train law enforcement officers to recognize different types of mental illness, to intervene appropriately and get the person the help they need,” Senator Ritchie said.  “I’m pleased that this successful model is being brought to Ogdensburg so our local police can develop this expertise as well as create a safer environment for those with a mental illness as well as the entire community. 

October 27, 2014
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REMINDER: RITCHIE TO HOST NO-COST RABIES CLINIC WEDNESDAY

Event to Take Place 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Alexandria Bay 

State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding pet owners that she will be hosting a no-cost rabies clinic in conjunction with Jefferson County Public Health Service on Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Alexandria Bay Fire Hall, located on Walton Street. 

“One of the biggest parts of being a responsible pet owner is making sure that your pets have the vaccinations necessary to stay healthy,” said Senator Ritchie.  “Rabies is almost always fatal, and I encourage any pet owner who hasn’t had their animal receive its vaccination yet to attend Wednesday’s no-cost clinic.”

October 27, 2014
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TEACHING SKILLS THAT SAVE LIVES

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

October 27, 2014
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RITCHIE TO HOST NO-COST RABIES CLINIC WEDNESDAY

Event to Take Place 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Alexandria Bay 

In an effort to protect pets and stop the spread of rabies, State Senator Patty Ritchie will host a no-cost rabies clinic in conjunction with Jefferson County Public Health Service from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29th at the Alexandria Bay Fire Hall, located on Walton Street. 

The clinic—which is the final for the season in a series of more than a dozen in the region—is being made possible through $25,000 in special funding secured by Senator Ritchie. 

“Our pets are part of the family, that’s why it’s so important to protect them from dangers like rabies,” said Senator Ritchie.  “These no-cost clinics have been extremely successfully in providing animals with the protection they need to stay healthy and I'm hopeful that owners who haven't had their pets vaccinated yet will take advantage of this great opportunity.”

October 23, 2014
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NEW INCENTIVES FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF FARMERS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

October 20, 2014
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RITCHIE THANKS “CHEFS-IN-TRAINING” FROM ST. LAWRENCE-LEWIS BOCES NORTHWEST TECH CENTER

State Senator Patty Ritchie thanked culinary students from St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Northwest Tech Center for preparing lunches for her recent St. Lawrence County Senior Health and Wellness Fair.

October 17, 2014
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RITCHIE CALLS ON GOVERNOR TO RE-OPEN HASTINGS REST AREA, ADD “TASTE NY” STORE

Request Comes As Governor Proposes Expansion of “Taste NY” Initiative 

As Governor Cuomo works to expand “Taste NY”—a program designed to highlight locally grown and produced food and products—Senator Ritchie is urging the placement of a Taste NY retail store at the now-closed Hastings rest area on I-81.

The request comes after the Governor this week proposed an expansion of Taste NY, setting goals to add Taste NY retail stores in strategic locations and triple gross sales of participating vendors in the coming year.  In her letter to Governor Cuomo, Senator Ritchie suggests reopening the rest area between exits 32 and 31, which has sat vacant since 2010 and adding a Taste NY retail location in an effort to welcome visitors and highlight local products. 

“Heavily traveled by local residents as well as a significant number of Canadian shoppers going to and from Syracuse, I-81 would be a great location for featuring items grown and produced locally including wine, craft beer, maple syrup, fresh produce such as apples and onions, dairy products and so much more,” said Senator Ritchie in her letter. 

October 16, 2014
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RITCHIE RECOGNIZES “THE STARLIGHTERS” WITH SENIOR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD

State Senator Patty Ritchie presented members of the St. Lawrence County Band “The Starlighters” with her “Senior Volunteer of the Year Award” Wednesday in recognition of their donating their time to play at community events throughout the north country.

The award was presented at Senator Ritchie’s St. Lawrence County Senior Health and Wellness Fair, which took place at Ogdensburg’s Odd Fellows Hall.  More than 300 people attended the event, which featured nearly 50 organizations offering health checks and wellness tips, a free lunch prepared by culinary students from the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Northwest Tech Center, entertainment by The Starlighters and more.

“I was pleased to welcome more seniors and organizations than ever before to Wednesday’s Health and Wellness Fair,” said Senator Ritchie. 

October 16, 2014
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RITCHIE SECURES NEARLY $70,000 TO IMPROVE SAFETY AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

In an effort to improve safety and security at local schools, State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced nearly $70,000 in special funding to be distributed to  districts throughout Central and Northern New York.

“When children are in the classroom and when teachers are leading lessons, the focus should be on learning—not whether or not they are safe and out of harm’s way,” said Senator Ritchie.

“All you need to do is pick up a newspaper to see that schools have been faced with a wide variety of incidents threatening their safety.  The need for security upgrades has been one of the top priorities expressed by local educators, and I’m pleased to provide this funding which will help to ensure that learning remains at the forefront of the minds of students, educators and parents.”

October 14, 2014
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STATE LAUNCHES COMPONENTS OF RITCHIE’S “YOUNG FARMERS NY” PROGRAM

Includes Initiatives to Encourage Young People to Pursue Agriculture Careers 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced components of her “Young Farmers NY” program—a plan aimed at addressing issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and preserving the future of family farming—are being made available today.

Parts of the program launched today include more than $600,000 in grants as well as a loan forgiveness program, both aimed at helping young farmers overcome obstacles and giving them a greater opportunity for a successful career in agriculture.

“It’s hard to imagine a world without farmers,” said Senate Agriculture Chair State Senator Patty Ritchie.  “But it’s something that could become a reality if we don’t take proactive steps towards addressing the issue of our state’s aging farmer population.”

“The components of my Young Farmers NY program rolled out today will give those who are just starting out a real incentive for joining the ranks of our state’s hardworking farmers and more importantly, will serve to protect our state’s biggest industry for many years to come.”

October 10, 2014
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REMINDER: RITCHIE TO HOST SENIOR FAIR OCTOBER 15TH

Event to Feature New Organizations, Bus Transportation, Free Lunch and Entertainment

State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding St. Lawrence County residents that her annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair will take place on Wednesday, October 15th in Ogdensburg.

The free event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall, located on the corner of Route 37 and Linden Street.  Highlights include nearly 50 local businesses and organizations offering health checks and wellness tips, a free lunch prepared by “chefs in training” from St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES , entertainment, bus transportation provided by St. Lawrence County NYSARC and more. Flu shots will also be provided and seniors looking to receive a shot are reminded to bring their insurance information with them.

October 9, 2014
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RITCHIE: CANAL CORP LAYS OUT PLANS FOR REBUILDING OF BREWERTON PIER

Construction Plans Detailed in New Sign Adjacent to Pier 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the New York State Canal Corporation has laid out its plans for the reconstruction of Brewerton Pier; a plan that once completed, will help to increase tourism, grow jobs and create new recreational opportunities in the central New York area. 

Reconstruction of the pier—which was deemed unsafe for use by the state and closed following its collapse into the Oneida River in 2009—has been in the planning stage for several years.  Now, as a result of the advocacy of Senator Ritchie and other local leaders, plans are being put into motion for its rebuilding.  This week, at the request of Senator Ritchie, a sign detailing the reconstruction timeline was installed in the Town of Hastings. 

“In the years since the Brewerton Pier has been closed, the central New York region has missed out on recreational opportunities and the tourism dollars that come along with them,” said Senator Ritchie. 

“Once the pier is made usable again, central New York will see the benefits of improved recreational opportunities, increased tourism and new jobs.  I would like to thank the Canal Corporation for turning its focus to the rebuilding of the pier, as well as the local leaders and community members who advocated for its reconstruction.”

October 9, 2014
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THIS MONTH, CHOOSE TO BE KIND

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

Did you know that every day, 160,000 teens reportedly skip school because they are bullied? In addition, a recent survey indicated that 18 percent of New York high school students had been bullied on school property and 16 percent had experienced cyberbullying in the past year. 

October 9, 2014
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TAKING STRIDES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER

Senator Ritchie's Weekly Column

This month, our nation “goes pink” in honor of those who are fighting breast cancer and those who have lost their lives to the disease as well as to raise awareness among women about steps that can be taken to stay healthy.

October 2, 2014
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MORE THAN 1,000 TAKE PART IN RITCHIE’S “SENIOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR”

More than 1,000 packed the Bruce Wright Memorial Conference Center in Watertown Wednesday to take part in State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Senior Health and Wellness Fair. 

The event—which was hosted in conjunction with the Jefferson County Office for the Aging—offered free health checks, tips and tools to help seniors improve their well-being from nearly 80 local businesses and organizations.  It also featured lunch prepared by “chefs-in-training” from  Oswego County CiTi and entertainment from “The Country Stompers.”

“This is an event that people look forward to each and every year and I couldn’t be more pleased that so many seniors were able to join me today; accessing information that can help them to stay healthy and live their lives to the fullest potential,” said Senator Ritchie.

October 1, 2014
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