Agriculture leaders from throughout New York State will share insights on regulations and mandates affecting their industry at a public forum being held Thursday in Watertown.
The event is one of a series of industry-specific public forums on regulatory reform, being held in a bipartisan effort to identify and eliminate costly government regulations.
Those in attendance will share their opinions with Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, as well as Senator Patrick Gallivan, Senator David Valesky and Senator Kathleen Marchione.
6 Free Clinics to be Held in Jefferson, St. Lawrence Counties
In an effort to prevent the spread of rabies, State Senator Patty Ritchie will host free rabies vaccination clinics in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.
The clinics—which are made possible through a special grant secured by Senator Ritchie—will take place throughout the months of September and October. So far this year, St. Lawrence County has had 23 confirmed cases of rabies and Jefferson County has had five confirmed cases.
“With State health officials having found dozens of cases of wildlife rabies in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties in the past two years, there’s even more of a reason to protect our pets from this fatal disease” said Senator Ritchie
“For many people, pets are part of the family and I encourage all pet owners to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to safeguard their animals and stop the spread of rabies.”
More than 100 concerned citizens packed Ogdensburg’s City Council chambers Tuesday to oppose Albany’s plan to shift inpatient mental health care services from the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to other facilities hundreds of miles from the North Country.
They were participating in a joint public hearing by the State Senate’s Mental Health and Health Committees, and the Assembly Mental Health Committee.
Senator Patty Ritchie joined Senate Mental Health Committee Chair David Carlucci and other legislative colleagues at the hearing. Senator Ritchie has been a strong supporter of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, serving as a member of the local Psych Center Task Force, and leading an online petition drive that amassed 2,200 signatures of supporters, and a separate postcard campaign that delivered more than 5,000 “Don’t Shut the Lights Out on the North Country” messages to Albany officials in support of the Psych Center.
The following are remarks delivered by Senator Ritchie at the opening of today’s legislative hearing in Ogdensburg:
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding people that a joint hearing hosted by members of the Senate Mental Health and Health Committees and Assembly Mental Health Committee will take place Tuesday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall in Ogdensburg.
The hearing takes place in the wake of the state Office of Mental Health’s announcement of a plan to change the way mental health care is delivered in New York State; creating what they call “Centers of Excellence.”
“Like many other people, I still have a great deal of concerns about this plan and what it will do to the availability of mental health care as well as employment opportunities here in the North Country,” said Senator Ritchie.
Building Ties with our Neighbor as a Way to Create Jobs Back Home
State Senator Patty Ritchie took her International Border Legislative Caucus initiative on the road Friday, and travelled to Brockville, Ontario, to discuss tourism, economic development and cultural opportunities with Canada’s leaders.
Senator Ritchie met with Canadian federal and provincial representatives who are members of the Caucus she co-founded in 2011 with Senator Joe Griffo, at the shorefront Bud’s on the Bay restaurant in downtown Brockville, for a far-ranging discussion that included topics like promoting locally produced wines and agricultural products, fishing and outdoor opportunities, and finding solutions to extended wait times at border check points.
In addition to Senator Ritchie, participants at the meeting included Canadian Senator Robert Runciman, who is the Canadian co-chair of the Caucus; Gordon Brown, a member of Canada’s Parliament, from Brockville, Steve Clark, a member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament, representing Leeds-Grenville, Clayton Supervisor Justin Taylor, Ogdensburg City Manager John Pinkerton and St. Lawrence County Legislator Joseph Lightfoot.
More than 1,000 people attended State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair, held this week at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena.
The free event featured more than 65 local organizations offering health screenings, flu shots and other tips for living a healthy lifestyle. Lunch and entertainment by the Country Stompers—both sponsored by Senator Ritchie—were also provided.
More than 50 Employers to be Featured at September 18th Event
Those looking for employment opportunities or seeking a career change are encouraged to attend State Senator Patty Ritchie’s St. Lawrence County Job Fair, an event being held Wednesday September 18th from 1 to 4 p.m.
The free event will take place at the Ogdensburg Oddfellows Hall, located at 1111 Linden St. (corner of Route 37) and will feature more than 50 employers looking to hire. To view a full list of participating employers, click here.
“It’s often said that looking for a new job is just as much work as actually having a job,” said Senator Ritchie. “That’s why it’s so important to have the connections, skills and tools to make that search not only easier but also more successful.”
Teams With Colleges, Health, Highway Officials, Law Enforcement
to Boost Traffic Safety, Prevent Car-Buggy Crashes
State Senator Patty Ritchie is teaming with area colleges, local agencies and officials to launch a new highway safety initiative to help raise awareness of the region’s growing Amish population, and prevent vehicle-buggy crashes like those that claimed the lives of an Amish child last year, and caused tens of thousands of dollars in property damage.
The initiative targets new drivers and college students, in particular, and includes special state budget funding secured by Senator Ritchie to install as many as 100 new, reflective road hazard signs, and a new informational brochure prepared with the help of highway safety experts to remind drivers to “Share the Road” with slow-moving Amish buggies.
Participants in the effort include Senator Ritchie, all four colleges located in St. Lawrence County, County Sheriff Kevin Wells, County Clerk Mary Lou Rupp, the St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety Council, and Jefferson County’s Public Health Service.
It’s hard to believe that students are gearing up for the start of another school year full of fun and new challenges. Just like students who will be studying hard, I’m working hard to ensure our children are getting the quality education they deserve and that parents and taxpayers receive the value they expect.
A big part of working to improve educational opportunities is listening to your opinions and ideas when it comes to our schools. Recently, nearly 2,100 parents, students and taxpayers weighed in on the state of education in our region through my 2013 School Survey, which covered everything from curriculum to school safety. Through the survey, most participants—84 percent—said that our schools are doing a great job educating future leaders, rating our schools as “excellent” or “good.” You can check out the full results here.
As students in Central and Northern New York prepare to head back to the classroom, State Senator Patty Ritchie is releasing the results of her 2013 School Survey, which shows that most people give high ratings to area schools, but have concerns about more rigid standards under the state’s new Common Core as well as bullying in schools.
First Event to Take Place September 11th at Watertown Fairgrounds Arena
State Senator Patty Ritchie will offer area seniors tips for living healthy, active lifestyles at her annual Jefferson County Senior Health and Wellness Fair, taking place at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena on September 11, 2013.
The free event—which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.—will feature dozens of local organizations as well as lunch and entertainment by the Country Stompers, both sponsored by Senator Ritchie.
“I am thrilled to once again be able to host this annual event, which is something that area seniors truly look forward to,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Whether you want to check your blood pressure, find new ways to improve your diet, get a flu shot or learn about local organizations that can help improve your well-being, this event is a one stop shop for learning how to get and stay healthy.”
Last year, nearly 2,000 seniors attended Senator Ritchie’s Health and Wellness Fairs held in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
Central New York residents disposed of more than 2,000 tires at free recycling events, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The events—which were funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—allowed Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.
“With one tire acting as a breeding ground for an estimated one million mosquitoes, the more than 2,000 tires we were able to dispose of represent a big step in this year’s fight against insects and the diseases they carry,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am thrilled to have been able to host these events, and the turn out really speaks volumes to the necessity of providing people with ways to protect themselves—and their loved ones—from mosquitoes, especially during the summer months.”
Brings Total to Over $160,000 in Aid for Libraries in
Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured a second round of special funding, bringing the total of aid she delivered to libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties to more than $160,000.
The most recent round of $76,000 in special funding will be split between 24 area libraries and builds upon an additional $85,000 in aid announced by Senator Ritchie in June, as well as a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.
“As summer draws to a close and students return to the classroom, many turn their focus towards getting back to the books,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves on the recently re-formed State Senate Select Committee on Libraries.
“Our area’s libraries are an outstanding educational resource, not only for students but adults as well. I am thrilled to be able to provide this funding, which will go a long way towards increasing access to educational opportunities, entertainment, job-search tools and so much more at the many libraries throughout our region.”
Events Come in the Wake of Discovery of EEE, West Nile Virus
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding people in Oswego County that she will be hosting free tire disposal events on Saturday August 24th to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The events—which are being funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—will allow Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived. Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces.