The Rural Patriot

August 13, 2006

Weekly News Roundup – 8/13

Filed under: Weekly News Roundup — theruralpatriot @ 8:45 am

In case you may have missed any of these articles!  Covering mainly Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, but WNY regional, state, and national topics of interest are also added.

LOCAL

Spitzer’s wife tours Wellsville; Programs for children highlighted
WELLSVILLE – Silda Wall Spitzer, wife of gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer, came to town Thursday to gather information and ended up giving some advice.

Consultants outline Ag and Farmland Protection Plan
PERRYSBURG – In Cattaraugus County, agriculture employs more than 2,000 people and generates more than $100 million a year – including logging.
The more than 1,100 farming enterprises are the sixth-largest employer in the county behind the tourism, manufacturing, healthcare, administrative services and retail industries.

Need for full-time mayor to be studied
OLEAN — Charter Review Committee members began talking about the future of Olean’s chief executive officer during their second meeting Monday.
Spurred by a comment from Dr. Rodrick Hughes, the committee is wondering if the full-time mayor’s position is working out. Committee Chairwoman Linda Edstrom stressed no one on the committee has reached a conclusion yet.

State Supreme Court to hear arguments in redistricing lawsuit
LITTLE VALLEY – The legality of a Cattaraugus County Legislature reapportionment plan is expected to be argued later this month in New York State Supreme Court in Little Valley.

Redeye, longtime SNI councillor, youth mentor, succumbs at 68
JIMERSONTOWN – With the passing of Stewart “Jo-Jo” Redeye, a nine-term tribal Councillor, the Seneca Nation of Indians has lost a citizen some credit with helping to lay the groundwork for tribal government.
“He was directly involved in many decisions that lead us to where we are now. The decisions made by our past leaders, including Jo-Jo, is reflected in how our leaders manage our affairs today,” said past Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr.

SCCS ad hoc panel considering 3 project options
SALAMANCA – With an anticipated December vote on a proposed capital project second phase, Salamanca City Central School District Ad Hoc Committee members are looking at three possible scenarios.

Farmland protection plan meetings set to draw local input
ELLICOTTVILLE – Local farmers will have the chance this week and in September to learn more about the contents of a farmland protection plan. The Cattaraugus County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board and consultants have been working on a draft of the plan.

Turnout for forums on agriculture draws praise
ELLICOTTVILLE – About halfway through a series of public forums, agricultural land-use and business planners are excited about the number and diversity of people who are turning out to learn about Cattaraugus County’s draft plan to support the growth and development of agriculture.

City in running for $3 million airport improvement grant
OLEAN — Thanks to a tip from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, the city of Olean is in the running for a $3 million airport improvement grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Annual Senior Forum set for Ellicottville
ELLICOTTVILLE – The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging will hold its 12th annual Senior Forum and Public Hearing for county residents older than 60 next Thursday

STATE

Paying benefits by card
The state Labor Department will stop mailing unemployment benefit checks next month.
Instead, workers receiving unemployment benefits will be issued a debit card to access their payments at ATMs, banks and businesses throughout the state, the department announced Thursday.

Treats on way in rebate checks
State’s homeowners to get some money back by Halloween, but critics see election year ploy that won’t ease property taxes

Confusion continues over Indian cigarette sales
BUFFALO — Tobacco wholesalers frustrated by mixed messages from the state over whether they are still allowed to supply Indian retailers with untaxed, unstamped cigarettes are ready to ask a court to intervene.

At issue is a law that went on the books March 1 that bars wholesalers from selling cigarettes to reservation retailers who sell them tax-free. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says the law is in effect; the state Department of Taxation and Finance says it is not yet being enforced.

Cuomo: Lift veil from pork
Attorney general primary candidate Andrew Cuomo says he would find it personally difficult to defend the Legislature for hiding member-item spending.

Public retirees’ health perks total $47 billion
ALBANY (AP) – The state has reported for the first time how much it will cost taxpayers to provide health benefits to government retirees: at least $47 billion over the next three decades, according to Gov. George E. Pataki’s Budget Office.

Law raises penalties for boating while intoxicated
Under the new law that went into effect Sunday, a first conviction for boating while intoxicated would be a misdemeanor with a sentence of up to a year in jail, instead of 90 days as in years past. The fine would also increase to a maximum of $1,000 from $500.

A second conviction in 10 years would be a Class E felony, carrying up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. A third conviction in 10 years would be a Class D felony with a sentence of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Pataki signs FOIL bill; another waits
ALBANY — A new law should make it faster and cheaper for New Yorkers to gain government records, and Gov. George Pataki is considering another bill that could strengthen the Freedom of Information Law.

Power plan hit by office seekers
Faso, Suozzi, Spitzer cast doubt proposal to use upstate land for wires that would feed NYC

Club members to get snowmobile discount
Starting this month, every snowmobile registration will cost $100 per season, with discounts of more than 50 percent for members of any New York State-affiliated snowmobile club.

NATIONAL

Study: Katrina recovery is a mixed bag
NEW ORLEANS — The city is showing signs of rebirth nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina, but a lack of health care and other services and a dearth of affordable housing could stymie a full recovery, according to a study released Wednesday.

Retroactive war crime protection proposed
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal.
(snip)
“I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That’s why it’s so dangerous,” said a third attorney, Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice.
(snip)
Interrogation practices “follow from policies that were formed at the highest levels of the administration,” said a fourth attorney, Scott Horton, who has followed detainee issues closely. “The administration is trying to insulate policymakers under the War Crimes Act.”

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