The Rural Patriot

October 29, 2006

Weekly News Roundup – 10/29/06

Filed under: Weekly News Roundup — theruralpatriot @ 11:16 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

Massa says Kuhl taking the low road in race
With the 29th Congressional District race entering its final 10 days, negative advertising and charges and countercharges are mounting.
Democratic challenger Eric Massa charged U.S. Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl Jr. with violating an agreement to refrain from negative ads, and called him “a liar” for misrepresenting his position on Social Security in his latest television ads and mailings.

Health Department ‘frustrated’ by delay in flu vaccine supply
OLEAN – Cattaraugus County Health Department Community Supervising Health Nurse Mary Anne Power said she is frustrated by the delay in delivery of the department’s remaining influenza vaccine supply.

CLVCS awaiting project tax impact projections
CATTARAUGUS – Taxpayers in the Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School District may learn, within the next several days, how the proposed capital project will affect their taxes over a 30-year period.

New county court security measures pushed back to December
LITTLE VALLEY – A court security plan for Cattaraugus County buildings in Olean and Little Valley will not be implemented until December, county officials say.

Tompkins says the time for debate has passed in Sheriff’s race
BELMONT — Plans to have the two Allegany County sheriff candidates debate before the Nov. 7 election appear to be off the table.

With price tag in hand, county looking for courthouse funds
BELMONT — The Allegany County Legislature now knows that bringing the County Courthouse up to state code will cost millions.

City wins $700,000 grant for Manufacturer’s Hanover bank rehab
OLEAN — The city has won a $700,000 grant from New York State to help renovate the former Manufacturer’s Hanover Bank building on the corner of State and Union streets.

Grant to help senior citizens receive needed care at home
OLEAN — A $500,000 federal grant will give more senior citizens in the Southern Tier the choice to remain living in their homes and receive needed services rather than having to move to a nursing facility.

Residents say mayor putting money first
OLEAN — Following a heated public hearing Tuesday during which residents accused Mayor David Carucci of putting money ahead of children’s safety, the mayor said he doesn’t plan to cut all 13 city school crossing guards, but that some of them will have to go.

Village investigating Castle Wells loan; Hayden: I feel this was a failure
WELLSVILLE – While planning to review its revolving loan fund procedures, the village of Wellsville is waiting for a list from National City Bank to determine if property sold in a recent auction of Sterling China USA LLC property was used as collateral for a $150,000 loan to Castle Wells Management.

Eight crossing guards losing jobs
OLEAN – Eight of Olean’s 12 crossing guards received two weeks’ termination notices Thursday from Police Chief Terry Schnell after he and Mayor David Carucci announced only four intersections will remain staffed after Nov. 3.

Mailed ballot bids need postmarks by Oct. 31
LITTLE VALLEY – The absentee ballot application deadline for previously registered voters is Nov. 6, but mailed applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 31, according to an announcement by the central Cattaraugus County Board of Elections office in Little Valley.

STATE

Web is a force in Election ’06
Eliot L. Spitzer officially announced his candidacy for governor of New York on his campaign Web site.
On her blog, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter writes that she is “mad as a wet hen” over the Mark Foley page scandal, calling one Republican bill “the very embodiment of arrogant hypocrisy.”

Nursing homes lose fight on Medicaid rates
Sixty-two Western New York nursing homes have lost a court fight to try to force the state to revise their Medicaid rates to more closely match current operating costs.
The State Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a State Supreme Court decision that denied the nursing homes’ request.

Powder sent to Clinton was nontoxic, tests find
NEW YORK (AP) – Police and Secret Service agents determined Friday that a suspicious white powdery substance in a package delivered to former President Bill Clinton’s Manhattan office was not toxic.

Spitzer withdraws endorsement of Hevesi
ALBANY – Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer on Thursday withdrew his endorsement of embattled State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, a fellow Democrat, and raised the possibility that the state’s chief fiscal watchdog could be removed from office.

Suspected botulism kills hundreds of birds
ROCHESTER (AP) – Hundreds of dead loons were washed ashore along Lake Ontario this week from Rochester to Oswego.

Police groups back Cuomo over Pirro
ALBANY (AP) – More than 50 law enforcement organizations in former Westchester County prosecutor Jeanine Pirro’s backyard have endorsed Andrew Cuomo, her Democratic opponent, for state attorney general.

Washington Bridge marks 75th year
NEW YORK (AP) – The George Washington Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1931, turned 75 Wednesday.

Swift WTC cleanup defended by mayor
NEW YORK – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg acknowledged Tuesday that the city pushed for a swift cleanup at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks but said the fast pace was an effort to return remains to victims’ families quickly.

Times boosts Spitzer, gives Cuomo mild OK
ALBANY (AP) – The editorial board of the New York Times on Sunday endorsed Democrat Eliot Spitzer for governor, calling the state attorney general “fearless and dogged in his pursuit of justice.”

100 questions
The Associated Press has asked the two major candidates for governor — Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso — 100 questions on top state and national issues, and some that touch on their values, their life, and how they spend their time. The series will continue every Monday until Election Day.

Groups decry donor excess
ALBANY — A coalition of government reform and environmental groups cried foul on Monday, pointing out that at least six powerful PACS, or political action committees, appeared to have exceeded campaign donation limits over the past six years.

Court: Lift shroud on pork
A state judge ordered Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Tuesday to turn over to the Times Union the names of lawmakers who sponsored member items — known as pork barrel grants and projects.

Faso, Spitzer both support spending reform
ALBANY — Both major party gubernatorial candidates have pledged to change the way public funds are doled out for lawmakers’ pet projects, saying they would end lump-sum budget allocations that legislative leaders and the governor can carve up at will.

Clinton rival’s remarks draw ire
ALBANY — Women supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton went on the attack Tuesday against her Republican challenger who was quoted a day earlier as saying she wasn’t very attractive when she was younger and has probably had “millions of dollars” worth of work to improve her looks.

Bruno cites his reforms after loss
ALBANY — Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno proclaimed himself on Wednesday the state’s top reformer and lashed out at the Times Union for its successful lawsuit seeking the names of legislators who sponsor pork-barrel projects, calling it a “fool’s errand.”

Private aircraft shuttled Pataki
ALBANY — After Gov. George Pataki missed a month of his usual state duties this spring following two abdominal surgeries, the 60-year-old returned to Albany in the midst of budget negotiations and continued to explore a 2008 presidential run.

Health care access with a hall pass
… School-based clinics, like this one in rural upstate New York, are capturing attention as one way to reach the nation’s 8.4 million uninsured children, especially in areas where access to health care is limited.

State to study Hevesi removal
NEW YORK — Gov. George Pataki on Friday took the first step to what could be an unprecedented Senate proceeding to remove Comptroller Alan Hevesi. A new poll suggested the race for Hevesi’s seat continues to narrow.

Bruno to surrender pork names
ALBANY State Senate Ma jority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said Friday he will comply with a state judge’s order this week that he give the Times Union documents showing the names of all state senators and the so-called member item projects they ar ranged in recent years.

NATIONAL

Ex-Bush official gets jail in Abramoff scandal
WASHINGTON – A federal judge sentenced a former Bush administration official to 18 months in prison in the Jack Abramoff lobbying case Friday – after delivering a 30-minute eulogy for good government in Washington.

Bush insists U.S. doesn’t condone torture
WASHINGTON – President Bush said Friday the United States does not torture prisoners, commenting after Vice President Cheney embraced the suggestion that a dunk in water might be useful to get terrorist suspects to talk.
Human rights groups said Cheney’s words amounted to an endorsement of a torture technique known as “water boarding,” in which the victim believes he is about to drown.

Cheney calls dunking a ‘no-brainer’
WASHINGTON – Vice President Cheney said this week that dunking terrorist suspects in water during questioning was a “no-brainer,” prompting complaints from human rights advocates that he was endorsing the use of a controversial technique known as waterboarding on prisoners held by the United States.

‘Back off,’ Rumsfeld says on Iraq timeline
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that anyone demanding deadlines for progress in Iraq should “just back off,” because it is too difficult to predict when Iraqis will resume control of their country.

Bush sees U.S. win in Iraq
WASHINGTON – Acknowledging painful losses in Iraq, President Bush said Wednesday he is not satisfied with the progress of the long and unpopular war, but he still insisted the United States was winning and should not think about withdrawing.

New Jersey backs gay couple rights
NEWARK, N.J. – New Jersey’s highest court ruled Wednesday that same-sex couples deserve the same rights as married people, but stopped short of calling their partnerships “marriage,” saying that decision belongs to the State Legislature.

Health care costs magnify voter unease on economy
WASHINGTON – Frustration with the rising costs of health insurance surged sharply this year, helping to explain why many voters remain uneasy about the economy despite falling gasoline prices, low unemployment and a soaring stock market.

Protesting miners seek better safety measures
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Dozens of West Virginia and Pennsylvania coal miners protested at a federal mine safety office Tuesday, demanding stronger safety measures and better enforcement in the nation’s coal mines.

Iraq poll sees U.S. pullout as calming factor
WASHINGTON – Majorities of Iraqi youth in Sunni Arab regions of the country believe that security would improve and violence decrease if the U.S.-led forces left immediately, according to a State Department poll that provides a window into the grim warnings provided to policymakers.

Democrats lead in key races as GOP regains ground
WASHINGTON – Democrats hold solid leads for four of the six Republican seats they need to capture the Senate and about 10 of 15 required to win the House, according to officials in both parties. Other races remain highly competitive.

Ramadan ends in violence
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Militants targeted police recruits and shoppers rounding up last-minute sweets and delicacies Sunday for a feast to mark the end of the Ramadan holy month, the highlight of the Muslim year. At least 44 Iraqis were reported killed across the country.

Bush alters course on ‘stay the course’
WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday officially discarded “stay the course” as U.S. policy in Iraq.

Democrats vow big changes if Congress swings their way
WASHINGTON — Democrats say they will burst out of a 12-year exile with a bang if they win control of Congress in two weeks. They promise to quickly pass a minimum wage increase at home and to reduce the U.S. war role in Iraq.

Army skills erode amid Iraq fighting
WASHINGTON — Pressed by the demands of fighting insurgents and terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army has been unable to maintain its proficiency at the kind of high-intensity mechanized warfare that toppled Saddam Hussein and would be needed again were the Army called on to fight on the Korean peninsula or in other crises, senior Army officers acknowledge.

Petition seeks withdrawal
About 118 members of the U.S. military plan to petition Congress asking that U.S. forces be withdrawn from Iraq and brought home, according to attorney J.E. McNeil.

Iraq toll bloodiest in a year
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Five American troops were killed during fighting in Al Anbar province, the U.S. military said Thursday, bringing to at least 96 the number slain this month — the bloodiest since October 2005.

Middle class key for Democrats
WASHINGTON — Middle-class voters who deserted the Democratic Party a dozen years ago are now giving the party its best chance to reclaim the House since the GOP swept Democrats from power in 1994.

Iraqi official blasts policy
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Iraqi prime minister sharply criticized U.S. policy Friday during a private meeting with the U.S. ambassador, pointing to America’s failure to either reduce violence or give his government authority over security matters.

Business hedges its bets with Democrats
WASHINGTON — “Some people have discovered virtues in me that they had previously over looked,” Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who stands to become chairman of the Financial Services Committee in a Demo cratic-controlled House, mused recently. “The prospect of the chair manship seems to have been a very good introduction.”

Firms rush to end reform
WASHINGTON — Frustrated with laws and regulations that have made companies and accounting firms more open to lawsuits from investors and the government, corporate America — with the encouragement of the Bush administration — is preparing to fight back.

Halliburton subsidiary abuses system, report says
WASHINGTON — A Halliburton Co. subsidiary is abusing federal regulations by marking nearly all information it gives to the government about its operations in Iraq “proprietary,” a practice that promotes unnecessary secrecy and could hurt competition, according to a report released Friday by U.S. auditors.

Clinton aids party coffers
NEW YORK — As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns around the country for other Democrats in the Nov. 7 election, she is targeting women voters — and building a network of friends who could donate time and money if she runs for president in 2008.

Democrats try to match GOP effort
VINITA PARK, Mo. — Democrats are pushing a sharply expanded campaign to get their voters to the polls, even as some party leaders are expressing anxiety that Republicans may once again out-organize them in the 20 House and three Senate races that both sides agree will determine the outcome of the fight to control Congress.

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