Newsroom

RITCHIE URGES: CHECK NEIGHBORS AND PETS IN EXTREME HEAT

State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging Central and Northern New Yorkers to check frequently on the elderly and those who live alone, as well as to take extra care with family pets, to protect them from soaring temperatures in what is already being called one of the worst heat waves in years.

The National Weather Service has issued Excessive Heat Watch alerts for Oswego and Jefferson Counties through Thursday, as temperatures soar and remain in the 90s. Heat is the number one, weather-related cause of death in the US, claiming more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined, they said.

“While we are all doing what we can to find relief for ourselves from the current heat wave, I am urging residents also to think about elderly neighbors, those who live alone, people with special needs, and helpless pets who are also suffering from heat and, in many cases, may be even more vulnerable to its effects,” Senator Ritchie said.

July 20, 2011
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JOBS, BUSINESSES DEPEND ON HEALTH OF FISHING INDUSTRY

Last weekend, the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association, a group of about 150 unsung heroes, spent Saturday collecting fingerlings they’ve spent months raising in a hatchery they constructed themselves to help restore the walleye population in the St. Lawrence River.

With pollution, invasive species and habitat destruction threatening the fishing resources of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, the efforts of our volunteer sportsmen's groups has become crucial to our region's efforts to protect this critical part of our economy.

Fishing is more than just a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. Fishing charters, bait stores, marinas, motels and other businesses connected to the region’s tourism industry represent a $140 million sector of Central and Northern New York’s economy.

July 19, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE TOURS ST. LAWRENCE PSYCHIATRIC CENTER

Visits With Staff, Patients, Board of Visitors While Touring Trinity Building

State Senator Patty Ritchie toured the Trinity building at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center recently to discuss the state’s mental health services to Northern New York communities.

Over the course of the morning, she met with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center's Board of Visitors, spoke to top staff and administrators, visited wards, program areas and recreational facilities.

July 18, 2011
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‘Let’s get back to the table’

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,-Pulaski), Ken Blankenbush (R,C,-Black River), Bob Oaks (R,C,-Macedon) and State Senator Patty Ritchie (R,C, - Heuvelton) urged Constellation and its Union leadership to return to the negotiating table.

“I think we all would like to see resolution to the situation so that people get back to work. The only way this can happen is by bringing the parties back to the bargaining table and work on a compromise,” said Assemblyman Barclay. “I have expressed this both to Constellation and to Union Leadership during talks this week. It is my hope that this meeting will take place soon.”

July 18, 2011
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RITCHIE JOINS GOV. CUOMO TO STOP 'TXTG N DRVNG'

State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R,C-Heuvelton) joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he visited Northern New York to sign a new, tougher law to stop texting while driving.

The new law, which passed the Legislature unanimously and takes effect immediately, includes fines up to $150 and up to three violation points. The Governor signed the bill during a stop in Watertown Thursday.

July 18, 2011
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Getting in the trenches to cut the red tape and help you

Last week, Albany backed down from a plan to ban the age-old practice of selling hand-cut cheese at Farmers Markets. The issue arose when bureaucrats decided to reinterpret a 40-year-old rule that had never before been applied in this way.

As soon as I heard about the change, I started drafting legislation to exempt Farmers Markets from the rule. Like the practice of cutting fresh cheese, Farmers Markets have been around for years, but they are becoming increasingly popular, as consumers are looking for ways to buy more locally produced foods.

July 12, 2011
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RITCHIE RECRUITS GOV. CUOMO IN BORDER BOATER DISPUTE

Gov Jumps Into Fray Following Senator’s Request

State Sen. Patty Ritchie today asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene in the dispute over Canada's new border rules that threaten to cripple Central and Northern New York's $150 million-a-year boating and sport fishing industry.

Senator Ritchie met with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Mitch Franz of the Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition, Henderson Town Supervisor Ray Walker, and representatives of US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.

At the meeting, she gave the Lieutenant Governor a letter to deliver to Gov. Cuomo that details Canada's surprise crackdown on US boaters in the eastern Lake Ontario basin and St. Lawrence River, and asks for his help.

July 8, 2011
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PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT

Just over six months ago, I arrived in Albany as New York State faced an historic crisis. The tax and spend mentality that dominated thinking in the legislature for too many years had led to a $10 billion deficit and projections of a $15 billion budget gap next year, record unemployment levels, record job losses, record business closings, and economic stagnation.

Public confidence and trust in our scandal plagued state government was at an all time low. Some were suggesting that the solution was to raise taxes and increase spending. They didn’t recognize that raising taxes and spending had led our once great state to this historic crisis. They didn’t seem to understand that the old way of thinking had cost our state jobs, businesses, population and too many of our young people and families.

I could see I had my work cut out for me.

I knew I couldn’t change New York’s problems by myself. That’s why I asked you and the rest of the residents of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties for your thoughts and suggestions on how we could get New York moving again and reverse the decline that had cost our state its reputation as an economic leader.

Thanks to your help and advice through letters, e-mails, on-line messages and phone calls, we have begun to achieve the historic changes to transform New York and return it to its former greatness.

Over the past six months, New York has begun to emerge from the crisis. I can now report to you that the promises I made to you are promises I have kept.

By working on a bipartisan basis with Governor Andrew Cuomo, I helped to adopt an historic on-time budget that erased the deficit our state was facing. I rejected the calls for new taxes and new spending. I insisted the legislature do what you and your family does every week across the kitchen table. The budget we adopted actually restored the state to fiscal sanity by rejecting gimmicks, rejecting borrowing and holding the line on spending. For the first time in a long time, it balances revenues and expenses, the same way millions of New York families make ends meet.

The other day, I had the opportunity to stand next to Governor Andrew Cuomo as he signed the historic legislation I cosponsored in the Senate to cap property taxes. Together, we passed a mandate relief bill that will serve as a necessary first step to helping local governments and school districts return to fiscal sanity.

I recognize a lot more still needs to be done. I also understand that government at all levels faces more hard choices and tough decisions. But by insisting on fiscal discipline to restore our financial health and ethical reforms to restore the public’s faith in our government and its leaders, I believe we have put New York back on the path to prosperity.

By making the hard choices to fundamentally change the way our state does business, we have begun to reform Medicaid, consolidated government programs and reduced unnecessary agencies and government bureaucracies.

July 7, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE THANKS GOVERNOR FOR SAVING OUR PRISONS

SENATOR RITCHIE THANKS GOVERNOR FOR SAVING OUR PRISONS

State Senator Patty Ritchie today personally thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his decision to spare five state prisons in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties from further budget cuts.

Sen. Ritchie was with the Governor in suburban Syracuse for a bill signing event for New York’s new Property Tax Cap law, a measure designed to end runaway state property taxes and get the state back on track to creating jobs.

Following the formal ceremony, Senator Ritchie spoke with the Governor about the prisons in Northern New York.

July 6, 2011
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RITCHIE JOINS GOV. CUOMO FOR TAX CAP SIGNING

Bipartisan Bill Protects Home Owners, Businesses

Senator Patty Ritchie joined Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday at a bill signing ceremony to mark the enactment of New York’s new “Property Tax Cap,” an historic measure that will protect homeowners and businesses from runaway tax hikes, help strengthen the state’s economy and create jobs.

“I promised the hardworking taxpayers of Central and Northern New York that we would get taxes under control and, thanks to Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, we now have the toughest Tax Cap in the nation, finally bringing relief from skyrocketing property taxes that have crippled our economy, hurt families and cost us jobs,” Senator Ritchie said.

“Everywhere I go, taxpayers and business owners tell me that rising taxes are a top concern, and a key reason why so many people and jobs have left our state,” Senator Ritchie said. “That’s why I was proud to join Gov. Cuomo in his campaign to deliver relief to the hardworking taxpayers of New York who for too long have been burdened by out-of-control property taxes.”

July 6, 2011
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State Senator Patty Ritchie Presenation To Rick Carlisle

State Senator Patty Ritchie presents a copy of the resolution she introduced and passed in the New York State Senate honoring Lisbon and North Country native Rick Carlisle, coach of the Dallas Mavericks, after he led his team to victory in the NBA championship. Shown are Rick's father, Ogdensburg attorney Preston Carlisle,  Senator Patty Ritchie, Rick Carlisle and Rick's mother Joan.   Rick's daughter, Abby, is shown holding a framed copy of the resolution.

July 6, 2011
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Senator Patty Ritchie with Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle and his father Ogdensburg attorney Preston Carlisle and Senator Patty Ritchie

July 6, 2011
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Senator Patty Ritchie visits with Con Elliott

Senator Patty Ritchie visits with North Country sports legend Con Elliott at Rick Carlisle Day in Ogdensburg.

July 6, 2011
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July 5, 2011
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OSWEGO COUNTY FAIR PARADE

I marched in the Oswego County Fair parade on Independence weekend. Great to see the folks!

 

July 5, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE REACTS TO NEW CHEESE RULE: ‘IT STINKS’

State Senator Patty Ritchie today said that New York consumers who care about fresh, local food should be holding their noses at a move by state bureaucrats to require many farmers markets to sell only plastic-wrapped cheese.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets is banning the age-old practice by cheese mongers of selling fresh sliced cheese, unless they take costly steps like installing specialized sinks with hot water at outdoor farmers markets.

July 1, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE RETURNS ‘GOLD STAR’ PLATES

DMV had denied mother’s tribute to her fallen son

State Senator Patty Ritchie today returned two “Gold Star Mother” license plates to an elderly Central New York woman who was forced to surrender them to Motor Vehicles officials who said she couldn’t keep them as a tribute to her only son, killed in Vietnam.

Ethel Barnes proudly displayed the plates, bearing the distinctive number “46,” to honor and remember her only son, Robert, who died in 1967. DMV required her to turn in the plates when she said she would no longer be driving, denying her request to keep one as part of a family memorial she had planned for her son.

June 30, 2011
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