Newsroom

NYS Senate Forum on Regulatory Relief--Agriculture

Video of the 9/18 bipartisan public hearing on regulatory reform, with a special emphasis on agriculture, that was hosted by Senate Agriculture Chair Patty Ritchie, at the State Office Building in Watertown.

September 23, 2013
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RITCHIE ANNOUNCES NEARLY $1,000,000 IN FUNDING TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK, PROMOTE OUTDOOR RECREATION IN OSWEGO COUNTY

$960,000 Project Includes Removing Abandoned Railroad Bridge, Maintaining Snowmobile Trail

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has obtained $960,000 in funding for a key project that will create jobs in Oswego County and support the region’s outdoor recreation industry. 

The project is slated to include the removal of an abandoned New York Central Railroad bridge on Rt. 13 and maintenance of the snowmobile trail in the town of Williamstown.

“Putting people back to work by investing in our roads and transportation system is critical to our long term economic development efforts to revive Central New York’s economy,” said Senator Ritchie. “By moving these long-delayed projects onto the fast track our region can improve safety and help improve our important transportation corridors.”

“A recent economic study by researchers at SUNY Potsdam showed the snowmobiling industry contributes about $700 million to our state’s economy,” Senator Ritchie said. “By maintaining our extensive trail system we keep Oswego County as a world class tourism destination that means jobs and economic growth to our stores, restaurants and hotels.”

September 20, 2013
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MORE THAN 5 DOZEN PETS PROTECTED THROUGH RITCHIE RABIES CLINIC

More than 5 dozen pets were protected from the deadly rabies virus through a free clinic hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie Thursday in Heuvelton. 

The clinic, which was the first of 6 being hosted in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties, was made possible through a special grant secured by Senator Ritchie.  So far this year, St. Lawrence County has had 23 confirmed cases of rabies and Jefferson County has had five confirmed cases.

September 20, 2013
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RITCHIE JOINS LOCAL FAMILY TO HONOR KOREAN WAR VETERANS

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently honored Korean War veterans at the “Heroes Remembered Dinner,” an event hosted by Dr. Nak Shim and his family at Association Island in Henderson. 

At the event, Senator Ritchie recognized Dr. Shim with a proclamation, honoring him for his work to recognize veterans.

September 19, 2013
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RITCHIE HOSTS AG LEADERS AT REGULATORY REFORM FORUM

Second of 10 Events Aimed at Eliminating 1,000 Regulations Hurting Businesses Statewide

Agriculture leaders from across New York State shared their thoughts on how to cut red tape and expand their industry at a forum hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie and her Senate colleagues Thursday in Watertown. 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO OF THE HEARING (02 HRS, 40 MINS)

The event—which also included Senator Patrick Gallivan, Senator David Valesky and Senator Kathleen Marchione—was the second in a series of industry-specific public forums on regulatory reform organized as part of the Senate Majority Coalition’s bipartisan effort to identify and eliminate at least 1,000 of the most costly government regulations that strangle business and job growth and drive up local taxes. 

September 19, 2013
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NEARLY 200 ATTEND RITCHIE’S ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY JOB FAIR

Nearly 200 job-seekers visited Ogdensburg’s Oddfellows Hall Wednesday for State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual St. Lawrence County Job Fair. 

The event included nearly 60 employers offering opportunities for networking, resume-writing tips, job searching tools and more to people looking for work or seeking a career change. 

“Along with creating jobs, events like this that help put people back to work are a critical component when it comes to revitalizing our economy in Upstate New York,” said Senator Ritchie. 

“This Job Fair is truly a one stop shop for people who are looking for employment here in the North Country and I’m confident that through today’s event, people will have made the connections they need to reenter the workforce and utilize their talents in ways that benefit our region.”

September 18, 2013
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RITCHIE TO HOST AG INDUSTRY LEADERS AT PUBLIC FORUM THURSDAY

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.

September 18, 2013
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VIDEO: SLPC = EXCELLENCE!

Senator Patty Ritchie's remarks to the joint legislative hearing on the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.

September 18, 2013
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RITCHIE TO HOST NO-COST RABIES CLINICS

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.”

September 17, 2013
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STANDING ROOM CROWD SENDS A CLEAR MESSAGE TO ALBANY: SAVE ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER

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.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SENATOR RITCHIE'S REMARKS ON SLPC

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL PUBLIC HEARING (07h, 30m)

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:

September 17, 2013
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LEGISLATURE TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING ON ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER TUESDAY

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. 

September 16, 2013
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RITCHIE CROSSES THE BORDER TO FIND WAYS TO STRENGTHEN TIES AND GROW NORTH COUNTRY ECONOMY

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.

September 13, 2013
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RITCHIE TOURS CLAXTON-HEPBURN MEDICAL CENTER

State Senator Patty Ritchie visited Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center recently, meeting with staff and touring the facility.

September 13, 2013
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MORE THAN 1,000 ATTEND RITCHIE SENIOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR

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.

September 13, 2013
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RITCHIE HONORS LONGTIME LIBRARY VOLUNTEER

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently visited the Pulaski Public Library, where she presented longtime library volunteer Edith Marie Switzer Cox with a proclamation for her service to the community.

Edith is 93 years old and has volunteered at the Pulaski Public Library for 50 years; working behind the scenes two days every week to help the library become an educational and cultural center.  

September 13, 2013
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RITCHIE ANNOUNCES ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY JOB FAIR

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.”

September 13, 2013
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RITCHIE URGES DRIVERS TO ‘SHARE THE ROAD’ WITH NORTH COUNTRY AMISH

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.

September 12, 2013
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SO LONG SUMMER, HELLO SCHOOL YEAR!

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

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

August 29, 2013
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