Newsroom

SENATOR RITCHIE CALLS ON ALBANY TO REVERSE CHANGES TO TEST SCHEDULES

11th Hour Changes Wreak Havoc on School, Family Calendars

Senator Patty Ritchie is calling on the state’s Education Commissioner and Board of Regents to reverse an 11th hour change to school testing dates that’s wreaking havoc on school and family calendars.

In a letter to state Education Commissioner John King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Senator Ritchie admits she was flabbergasted that the state would change the test schedules so close to the start of the school year, when districts had already set—and in many cases, mailed—their school year calendars to parents and teachers.

The new schedule places a key test smack in the middle of spring breaks scheduled by a majority of Central and Northern New York schools.

August 30, 2011
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SEN. RITCHIE TO HOST JOB FAIR IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY SEPT. 27

CALLING ALL EMPLOYERS, JOB HUNTERS-- REGISTER TODAY

August 29, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE PLANS SENIOR HEALTH, WELLNESS EXPO

Sept. 14 At Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds In Watertown

State Senator Patty Ritchie along with the Jefferson County Office for the Aging invites the community to her 2011 Senior Health and Wellness Expo on Sept. 14 at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds on Coffeen Street in Watertown.

“The Senior Health and Wellness Expo will provide a one stop experience for people who want to meet and talk to health care professionals,” Senator Ritchie said. “Whether you want to check your blood pressure, get tips on how to keep fit, or get free health screenings, this event will help you preserve your health.”

August 24, 2011
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SAFE STREETS: MAKING IT EASIER FOR VISITORS TO ENJOY OUR REGION

The next time the state looks at rebuilding a road in Central or Northern New York, planners will have to consider whether it makes sense to widen it to allow for a bike path, a pedestrian walk way or even sidewalks.

With many of our roads in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties originally designed at the turn of the century when carriages, wagons and stage coaches were the primary means of transportation, all of us have worried how hikers and bicyclists manage to safely travel some of our narrower byways.

That’s why I supported a new law that the governor signed last week called the “Complete Streets”

bill (S 5411) that requires transportation planners to consider the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when they design new roads or rebuild old ones.

August 23, 2011
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STATE AGREES TO PUT N.Y. MILK IN EMPLOYEE LUNCHROOMS

At Senator’s Request, State Will Also Look at Boosting Sales of Other NY-Grown Foods

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that the state has agreed to put New York milk back in its employee lunchrooms, which serve tens of thousands of state workers and visitors every day, and also look to boost the sales of other New York-grown products.

Senator Ritchie, who made the announcement as she prepared to embark on a tour of a Madrid dairy farm Friday, said the move will open a broad new market for New York farmers, and also help showcase quality dairy and other farm products that are produced by New York farmers.

August 19, 2011
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STATE AGREES TO PUT N.Y. MILK IN EMPLOYEE LUNCHROOMS

At Senator’s Request, State Will Also Look at Boosting Sales of Other NY-Grown Foods

August 19, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE, ASSEMBLYMAN BARCLAY PRAISE SPRAYING DECISION

Oswego County Ground Zero In Public Health Threat

State Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Will Barclay are praising Oswego County Health officials for their decision to conduct aerial spraying to reduce the chance of another tragedy from Eastern Equine Encephalitis infected mosquitoes.

“The families and children of Oswego County need to be protected from this deadly disease that has already cost one family their four-year-old child,” Senator Ritchie said. “Since the disease first appeared in New York State 40 years ago, it’s been clear that Central New York is ground zero in the state’s battle to protect public health. That's why Assemblyman Barclay and I have been urging the county to launch a spraying program.”

August 17, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE QUESTIONS WALMART AMMO POLICY

Asks Why Company Requires Buyers To Produce Gun Permits

State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking Walmart why the company is requiring customers to present a pistol permit when they want to buy ammunition. While New York State and the federal government impose age requirements, neither requires customers to show their pistol permit.

Senator Ritchie asked the company whether it is collecting personal information from gun owners that could jeopardize the privacy and safety of gun owners if it were to fall into the hands of unscrupulous individuals.

August 16, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE VISITS OSWEGO COUNTY FARM

State Senator Patty Ritchie, the chair of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, visited the Strano farm in Oswego County to discuss agricultural issues with Oswego Farm Bureau and the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. Shown are Nancy Weber (President of Oswego Farm Bureau), Senator Ritchie, Freddy Strano and John DeHollander (District Manager, Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District). Oswego County is one of New York state's leading agricultural counties. Senator Ritchie recently met with onion and vegetable growers to discuss drainage issues affecting some Oswego County farms after last spring's extensive rainy season.

 

August 16, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE MEETS WITH RVRDA

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently met with Robert O. McNeil of Lisbon and Russell B. Strait of Waddington to discuss the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency (RVRDA) and the county's economic development efforts to attract new jobs and businesses to the North Country. McNeil chairs the economic development panel and Strait represents Waddington on its board of directors

August 15, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE SEEKS OPINIONS ON CASINO GAMBLING

CLICK HERE to take the poll: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dE9pZjh6ZzluVXZhcUx2YjYzYkUxR3c6MQ

State Senator Patty is asking her constituents what they think about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s suggestion that New York should take a look at legalizing Las Vegas-style casino gambling.

“Advocates of legalized casino gambling, including a group that wants to build a casino in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands, say casinos will bring more tourists and create jobs,” Senator Ritchie said. “Opponents worry about issues of problem gambling and its impact on families and communities.”

“That’s why I have created an on-line poll on my Senate website to give the people of Northern and Central New York an opportunity to advise me on what they think I should do when the Senate considers this idea,” Senator Ritchie said. “Governor Cuomo wants to start a statewide discussion about how our state should regulate casino gambling and where we should allow it, if we allow it outside Native American reservations.”

August 15, 2011
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ONE SIZE WON’T FIT ALL

I ran into an Amish carpenter recently who told me he'd been receiving a series of letters from angry state bureaucrats who were upset with him because he had not filed his taxes electronically.

His problem was pretty simple.

He's Amish so he does not own a computer or even know how to operate one. His religion forbids him from using one even if he had access to one.

He also doesn't have broadband or even a dial up telephone.

August 15, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE CONCERNED OVER FUTURE OF SUNY

Wants Consultation With North Country On Plan

State Senator Patty Ritchie is calling on the chancellor and the State University of New York to commit to a transparent and open process of consultation with the North Country as it develops a plan to share services between SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam.

"SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton are two very distinct institutions that serve very different groups of students," Senator Ritchie said. "It is very important that SUNY works together to insure that it preserves the separate identity of these colleges so they can continue to serve our region."

August 11, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE MEETS WITH NYSCOPBA OFFICERS

Discusses Impact Of Prison Closures

The NYSCOPBA officials spoke to Senator Ritchie about her successful efforts to keep the North Country prisons she represents open and her recent tour of the facilities.

They discussed security and staffing issues at the five prisons in her district and the 1,500 jobs the facilities provide in the region.

August 11, 2011
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BRINGING HELP WITH STATE GOVERNMENT TO YOU

Last Thursday, I met Lexi, a therapy dog at The Chatty K-9, a combination pet store, dog grooming and dog training business in the village of Central Square.

I was spending the day in Central Square as part of my second mobile district office program that I started last month to help make it easier for the residents of Central and Northern New York to get help from their state government.

Since January, I have opened full-time offices in Oswego County, Jefferson County and St. Lawrence County where my staff is available five days a week to help with state or other government offices.

August 9, 2011
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RITCHIE IS TOPS WITH STATE’S SNOWMOBILERS

Named Legislator Of The Year

State Senator Patty Ritchie, an avid snowmobiler and outdoors person who has championed the sport both in her previous role as County Clerk and now as State Senator, was named “Legislator of the Year” by the state’s leading sled riders’ group.

The New York State Snowmobile Association presented its coveted “Bill Sears Appreciation Award” to Senator Ritchie at the group’s annual meeting Saturday in Cicero, Onondaga County.

Sen. Ritchie, who has been riding for over 40 years, owns several sleds and regularly rides trails throughout St. Lawrence County, is the first freshman lawmaker to receive the honor, named for the former State Senator from Central New York who was an early advocate for snowmobiling, and who helped create a statewide trail system that today spans more than 11,000 miles and is a boon to the wintertime economies of many Upstate communities.

August 9, 2011
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Everyone has something to say...

It seems everyone has something to say these days about the new direction of our state. Right, Kirt?

August 5, 2011
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