Lars Schonander of Iona Grammar Wins Oppenheimer's Second Annual Geography Bee
On April 16, 2012, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) hosted her second annual Geography Bee for local middle school students at Iona Grammar School in New Rochelle. Eighth grade students from four area middle schools – Blind Brook Middle School in Rye Brook, Iona Grammar School in New Rochelle, and both the Rye County Day School and Rye Middle School in Rye – participated in this year’s competition.
Lars Schonander of Iona Grammar emerged victorious in the geography bee, surviving stiff competition from fellow Iona classmates Thibault Forgeas and Stefan Lindblom, Rye Brook’s Sam Zarkower, Rye Country Day’s Daniel Kozek and Rye Middle School eighth grader, Mihir Bala. Everyone present was impressed by the depth of knowledge that each student demonstrated.
My sincere thanks to all of the students who contributed to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest. This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 37th Senatorial District.
Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of every participant and encourage them all to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.
I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is:
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer was recentinly honored by the Westchester Library System for her advocacy and leadership on behalf of the state's public libraries. Dave Donelson, of the WLS Board of Trustees and Terry Kirchner, Executive Director of WLS, present the award to Oppenheimer at an event on April 12, 2012.
Responding to a conversation with Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) addressing her concerns, New York’s Secretary of State, Cesar Perales, has confirmed that his Department will not issue new interpretations of the NYS Residential Code (RCNYS or the Code), which local officials had feared would require onerous and expensive repairs to homes in flood prone areas.
Senate and Assembly Budget Proposals Would Reallocate Funds from Competitive Education Grants
The New York State Senate voted earlier this week to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget Resolution, which will form the basis for further negotiations with the Assembly and the Executive Branch on the final FY 2012-23 budget.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), the Ranking Member of the Senate Education Committee, fought for several changes in the proposed Education budget that were included in the Senate Resolution. Chief among them was the proposal to reallocate $200 million from the Governor’s competitive performance grant program to increase State Aid to education.
This informational forum on securing grants through the NYS funding process is co-sponsored by the Business Council of Westchester and the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, with support from Pattern for Progress.
Community Health Advocates (CHA), an initiative of the Community Service Society (CSS), is New York’s nationally-acclaimed health consumer assistance project. CSS has been at the forefront of public policy innovations supporting low-and moderate-income New Yorkers for more than 160 years.
CHA’s Request For Proposals invites mission-driven business service organizations throughout New York State to apply for grants of $20,000 to $60,000 to provide outreach and assistance to small businesses in their communities about health insurance coverage, health reform and small business health insurance tax credits. CHA seeks to establish a small business assistance program (“SBAP”) to educate small businesses about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provide assistance to small businesses about health insurance and help inform the design and development of the State’s SHOP Exchange.
Senator Oppenheimer pays tribute to generations of women who have pioneered equal rights and opportunities for women
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today marked Women’s History Month by reflecting on how women have shaped our society, government, culture and all aspects of our lives. But despite the accomplishments of the past century, inequalities remain, such as the absence of equal pay for equal work and restrictions on a woman’s reproductive rights.
Seizing the opportunity at a recent Joint Legislative Budget hearing on Environmental Conservation, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) asked New York’s top energy official about the availability of adequate and affordable alternative energy sources should the Indian Point nuclear plant be closed.
“We know that the Governor is very interested in closing down the nuclear power plant, Indian Point, which supplies energy to Westchester and New York City,” said the Senator. “What would be your best guess for what will take the place of Indian Point if it does get closed?” asked Oppenheimer of NYS Energy Research Development Authority President and CEO, Francis J. Murray.
Murray, who served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee specifically formed to address this question, replied:
“We were not asked to opine whether Indian Point should or should not operate. We were given the assumption that Indian Point is closing. Can we in fact assure adequate power, energy and ancillary services? And the resounding answer to that question is ‘yes.’ There are many options available that will ensure that energy will continue to flow into the metropolitan New York City area.”
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced today that she will not seek re-election this November. The Senator made her decision upon recently learning that she will have to undergo major shoulder replacement surgery in 2012.
“It had always been my plan to seek re-election in November and continue to serve the people of this district. When considering my responsibilities as Senator, the extensive effort that will go into rehabilitation and physical therapy following my surgery, and the added work of the hard fought campaigns I always wage, it became clear to me that I could do only two of those three important tasks.
Senator stands ready to work with Governor on ambitious agenda to create jobs and restore aging infrastructure
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) offered her strong support for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious agenda to build a “new” New York in 2012. “Last year, we charted a new course in Albany, tackling tough issues and rebuilding public trust,” said Oppenheimer, “and I am anxious to continue that progress.”
The Senator applauded the Governor’s economic blueprint to grow New York’s economy and spur job creation. She noted that plans to accelerate capital investment in a rebuilt Tappan Zee Bridge and a new, state-of-the-art New York City convention center will create thousands of jobs in our greater metropolitan area. The Governor also pledged to speed the rebuilding of New York’s aging bridges, roads and parks, a move that will produce jobs while ensuring that the state remains competitive and safe. “His private/public sector approach to economic development will allow the State to leverage its limited public infrastructure dollars to maximum benefit,” said Oppenheimer.
Senator Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today applauded the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for releasing more than $845 million in additional funding for states to help low-income residents with home heating and energy costs.
The low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funding initiative administered locally by the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS). The program assists low-income households, including families with children and seniors, with their home energy needs such as heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. HEAP also assists with weatherization costs to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient.
The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale is planning to select a student to participate in this year's Students Inside Albany conference, which will be held on March 25-28, 2012.
Students Inside Albany is an intensive 4-day conference designed to immerse students in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in New York State and to educate them on how they can influence and affect this process. Students are afforded the opportunity to observe Assembly and Senate sessions and to shadow one of their state legislators.
A downloadable application and additional information may be found on the League website, www.lwvs.org, or by emailing the League at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due on January 11, 2012.
Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration. In our first year, we received outstanding poems, essays, and artwork that exemplify the creativity of New York State’s young people.
The submissions received are remarkable in what they represent – showing gratitude and respect for family, friends, our troops fighting overseas, and many other important subjects and activities. I am humbled and honored to see such inspiring contributions in response to what is a deceptively difficult question: “What are you thankful for?”
On behalf of the New York State Senate, I would like to offer my wholehearted congratulations to all of the participants in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer joins Governor Andrew Cuomo at the bill signing ceremony for recently enacted legislation that reduces, or in many cases eliminates, the MTA payroll tax obligation on small businesses, schools and self-employed individuals. Oppenheimer applauded the bill as an important first step towards the eventual elimination of the MTA payroll tax for suburban counties.
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today applauded Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive Job Creation package, which includes significant reductions in the MTA Payroll Tax and state flood relief assistance for individuals, small businesses, and local governments hard hit by recent flood disasters.
Senator Oppenheimer stated, “The MTA Payroll Tax needs to be eliminated for suburban counties. The $250 million cut in the payroll tax, which is targeted to small businesses, self-employed individuals and private and parochial schools, will be of special benefit to Westchester.”
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today commended the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for its decision to extend the public comment period on the DEC’s proposed rules on the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas. The extension – to January 11, 2012 – was announced this week at a public hearing in New York City that attracted nearly 6,000 people and generated more than 1,250 comments into the public record.
“The unprecedented attendance at this week’s public hearing underscores the enormous public interest in this important environmental and public safety issue,” said Oppenheimer. “I am pleased by the DEC’s willingness to afford all interested citizens ample opportunity to study the draft regulations and provide substantive feedback to the Department.”
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) urges consumers to support small businesses as they head to the stores this holiday season. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the engine of job creation in New York,” said Oppenheimer. Noting that Saturday, November 26th has been designated the second annual Small Business Saturday®, Oppenheimer hopes that shoppers will support their neighborhood stores on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
Crawford Park in Rye Brook was particularly hard hit by the devastating snow storm in March 2010. Numerous trees were lost or badly damaged. In consultation with the Town of Rye, Senator Oppenheimer arranged for a $5,000 grant for the Town of Rye and the Friends of Crawford Park, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and beautification of the Crawford estate.