The Rural Patriot

November 12, 2006

Weekly News Roundup – 11/12/06

Filed under: Weekly News Roundup — theruralpatriot @ 2:21 pm

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

John, Seneca Party sweep SNI elections
SALAMANCA – The Seneca Party will retain control of the Seneca Nation of Indians’ government Tuesday, Nov. 14, with Maurice A. John, Sr. as president. The party won a straight ticket, taking a little more than 61 percent of the total votes cast in Tuesday’s election.

Couture to continue as Dist. 5 legislator
LITTLE VALLEY – Charles Couture of West Valley, Republican, Independence and Conservative parties candidate for District 5 county legislator will continue serving in that post thanks to Tuesday night’s election victory.

Council hears process for feasibility studies on developing BPU, former Valent properties
SALAMANCA – City leaders heard a former resident’s plan for determining how former Valent farm property and the Board of Public Works watershed site could be developed in the future.

County earns $1M in interest on investments
LITTLE VALLEY – Cattaraugus County earned almost twice as much interest on its investments as projected through the first nine months of the year

County tax rate could rise for city
LITTLE VALLEY – City of Salamanca taxpayers may see a 3.75-percent increase in their county taxes if Cattaraugus County’s 2007 tentative budget is adopted as is. However, rates in five towns would drop 1.18 percent.

County lawmakers to consider $188M tentative budget
LITTLE VALLEY – Cattaraugus County lawmakers will be discussing a tentative 2007 budget of $188,032,974 when committee meetings are held next week. Total revenues are listed at $146,507,000.

County to extend bed tax
LITTLE VALLEY – County lawmakers have approved holding a public hearing at 3:01 p.m. Nov. 21 on a local law extending the 5 percent bed tax on overnight stays at county lodging places. A public hearing on the 2007 tentative budget is set to be held the same day.

Taxes and tourism concern residents
BELMONT — Rising taxes and changes in Allegany County funding for tourism and special education raised the concern of some residents as the County Legislature held a public hearing Thursday for its tentative 2007 budget.

Task force hears others’ insights
OLEAN — The Olean Elementary Task Force held a forum Wednesday with school administrators and officials from schools in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties who talked about various building and renovation projects in which they have been involved.

Wellsville working on town budget
WELLSVILLE – With a 3.1 percent increase in the Town of Wellsville tax levy, town residents outside the village will see a 25-cent increase per each $1,000 of property value, and town residents living inside the village will see a six-cent decrease per each $1,000.

County not going to re-hire Case; job could move to part-time in historian office, public not happy with decision
BELMONT – The Allegany County Tourism Department could have a new look in 2007.
According to County Administrator John Margeson, the position is contractual and has never been full-time. He said the county could still continue contracting the tourism director, but at lesser compensation per month.

Belmont was never in favor of new jail; Plans in place to save county $500,000 a year, continues on-the-job training
BELMONT – Sheriff Randal Belmont says his experience makes him the right man for the job.
Belmont took the office of Allegany County Sheriff Jan. 1, 1999, and has more than 34 years of law enforcement service in this county. Belmont called the job of sheriff a “professional job” that requires a “large knowledge base.”

Wellsville working on town budget
WELLSVILLE – With a 3.1 percent increase in the Town of Wellsville tax levy, town residents outside the village will see a 25-cent increase per each $1,000 of property value, and town residents living inside the village will see a six-cent decrease per each $1,000.

Veterans service chief to explain benefits
OLEAN – Cattaraugus County Veterans Services Director John B. Sampson will meet with veterans from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Franklinville town clerk’s office to discuss benefits, health care or other topics.

STATE

Spitzer pledges to stay open to all new ideas
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – New York Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer pledged to create an administration open to views from politicians from all parties, saying Saturday that Americans want conciliation and leaders who can work together to resolve issues.

Party tidal wave boosted Hevesi, observers say
NEW YORK – A well-crafted media campaign, money and a Democratic tidal wave across the state helped Comptroller Alan Hevesi win a second four-year term Tuesday despite a scandal that could still threaten his tenure in office, political observers said Wednesday.

9/11 museum opening delayed
NEW YORK – A plan aimed at speeding construction of office towers at the World Trade Center site will push back the opening of a Sept. 11 museum and visitors’ center by one year, officials said Tuesday.

WNY voters return incumbents to State Legislature
Assemblyman Michael W. Cole, R-Alden, retained his legislative seat Tuesday in Election Day races that also saw James P. Hayes and Francine DelMonte hold off strong challenges.

Hospitals rush to stave off closure
A state commission is preparing to recommend which hospitals to close or reorganize in New York State, and a mad scramble is under way to sway the decisions.

New seats on board could be cushy
State officials have been privately discussing a proposal to expand the Public Service Commission to seven commissioners — two more than the traditional five — in a move that insiders say would open a pair of nice paying jobs to Republicans.

Railway security tested in Buffalo
BUFFALO — Rail passengers in Buffalo will undergo explosives screening as part of a program being tested by the Transportation Security Administration.

Now, Spitzer faces real challenge
NEW YORK — Following his long-expected landslide win Tuesday, Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer promised to make good on his lofty campaign pledge to reform Albany by doing away with its entrenched culture of gridlock, finger-pointing and petty partisanship.

Power balance stays intact
NEW YORK — Republicans were beating back Democratic challenges in key races Tuesday and appeared poised to retain control of the state Senate.

Democrats gain in tight House races
NEW YORK — Democrats picked up three congressional seats in New York on Tuesday night, winning in conservative areas long dominated by the GOP and helping put the party in control of the House.

Bruno set to exploit new reality in Albany
ALBANY — Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno emerged from the state and national GOP bloodbath with more power than ever over politics and state government, according to several political strategists.

Spitzer picks transition advisers
NEW YORK — The six co-chairs of Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer’s transition team include his longtime friend and tennis partner, a Republican captain of industry and an upstate university’s professor emeritus, but not a single elected official or lobbyist.

State questions NYRA filing
ALBANY — The state plans to ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to throw out the Chapter 11 filing of the New York Racing Association, contending the private, nonprofit organization has no right to be shielded from $309 million in creditors.

Political maverick hits final appeal
He’s part Don Quixote, part Susan B. Anthony, and he’s been trying to clear his name for a decade. Now, time is running short for John Kennedy O’Hara, whose 1997 conviction for illegal voting has become a cause celebre.

NATIONAL

By Rove’s math, loss by GOP adds up to some marginal factors
WASHINGTON – For a man still climbing out of the rubble, Karl Rove seemed in his usual unflappable mood. He roamed his windowless West Wing office decorated with four Abraham Lincoln portraits, joking with his staff, stuffing copies of the Iliad and the Odyssey into his bag and signing the last paperwork of the day.

Guard units may face new tours in Iraq, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – The nation’s citizen soldiers, already strained by long tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be tapped again under new plans being developed by the Pentagon.

Iran-contra resurfaces with Gates nomination
WASHINGTON – Robert M. Gates successfully navigated the legal and political perils of the Iran-contra scandal. He emerged as CIA director and survived an ordeal that took a heavy toll on the first President Bush, the man perhaps most responsible for Gates’ success.

Bush to meet panel on new Iraq course
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush and his national security team will meet Monday with members of a blue-ribbon commission trying to devise a new course for the unpopular war in Iraq.

Ford close to becoming oldest U.S. president
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gerald R. Ford is closing in on a record held by Ronald Reagan – living longer than any other U.S. president.

Bush meets Senate Democrats
WASHINGTON – President Bush met Friday with the Senate’s top two Democrats at the White House and repeated his pledge to search for bipartisan cooperation as he sought to adjust his governing style to the new balance of power.

McCain seen girding for run for White House
WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain, considered the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, intends to launch an exploratory committee next week, GOP officials said Friday.

Tillman’s death has left many questions
WASHINGTON – In what is now the stuff of American legend, Pat Tillman, a San Jose, Calif., native, turned down a multimillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the elite Army Rangers.

Democrats celebrate Senate win
WASHINGTON – Democrats cheered their takeover of the Senate on Thursday after Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia conceded that Democrat James Webb’s 7,200-vote lead was too large to overcome in a recount.

Vote ’06 stripped Reynolds of clout
WASHINGTON – One conspicuous name that of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds was missing as several ambitious Republicans announced their candidacies for House leadership positions in the wake of this week’s elections.

Bolton job at U.N. is imperiled
WASHINGTON – John R. Bolton’s prospects for winning Senate approval to stay on as U.N. ambassador essentially died Thursday as Democrats and a pivotal Republican said they would continue to oppose his nomination.

Vilsack announces presidential run
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a centrist Democrat seeking an early edge in a presidential field that’s all but certain to be crowded, launched a long-shot bid for the White House on Thursday.

Losses on initiatives jolt conservatives
From the country’s heartland, voters defended abortion rights in South Dakota, endorsed stem cell research in Missouri and, in a national first, rejected a same-sex marriage ban in Arizona.

Report faults FBI in terror probes
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department increasingly has refused to prosecute FBI cases targeting suspected terrorists over the past five years, according to private researchers who reviewed department records.

Rangel promises to work with foes
NEW YORK — Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of a powerful House tax committee after the Democrats’ election wins, vowed Wednesday to work with past GOP foes even as he aimed to take key office space away from his old nemesis, Vice President Dick Cheney.

Clinton upbeat on new Congress
COLONIE — U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed joy Friday over her party’s takeover of the House and Senate this week, but said Democrats now have “a big responsibility to produce results.”

Wealth gap in U.S. widens
WASHINGTON — Over the past quarter-century, and especially in the last 10 years, America’s very rich have grown much richer. No one else fared as well.
In 2004, the richest 1 percent of households — 719,910 of them, with an average annual income of $326,720 — had 19.8 percent of the entire nation’s pretax income. That’s up from 17.8 percent a year earlier, according to a study by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez.

Exit polls show Iraq war, scandals took a toll on Republicans
WASHINGTON — Democratic House candidates picked up significant support among voters who inhabit the political center Tuesday, and a majority of all voters told pollsters they disapproved of the war in Iraq and the president’s job performance and few said they were getting ahead financially

In sea change, Democrats seize majority of gubernatorial races
Democrats reclaimed governors’ offices Tuesday from the Northeast to the Rockies and even in the South, giving them control of the top political job in a majority of states for the first time in 12 years and an edge in places critical to the 2008 White House race.

Party’s defeat pushes Rumsfeld from post
WASHINGTON — On the morning after his party suffered what he called a “thumpin,”‘ President Bush drew Democratic praise Wednesday by accepting the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, the embattled defense secretary who Bush recently said he wanted on the job through the end of his administration.

Iraq struggles to curb violence
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Beset by rampant sectarian violence, Iraq’s Parliament voted Wednesday to extend the country’s state of emergency for 30 more days, as at least 66 more Iraqis were killed or found dead.

A new team faces Iraq
WASHINGTON — President Bush selected Robert M. Gates as his new defense secretary in part to close a long-running rift between the Defense Department and the State Department, which has hobbled progress on Iraq, keeping the two agencies at odds on issues ranging from reconstruction to detaining terror suspects, according to White House officials and members of Gates’ inner circle.

That’s your bag…no…wait
ATLANTA — Since Aug. 10, when a ban on most carry-on liquids sent the amount of checked luggage soaring, airlines have been misplacing many more bags, and the fumbling could well escalate during the busy holiday travel season.

Adding Web intelligence
SAN FRANCISCO — From the billions of documents that form the World Wide Web and the links that weave them together, computer scientists and a growing collection of startup companies are finding new ways to mine human intelligence.

Sectarian violence rages
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Sunni gunmen ambushed a convoy of minibuses Saturday night at a fake checkpoint on the dangerous highway south of Baghdad, killing 10 Shiite passengers and kidnapping about 50.

End to partisanship, gridlock
WASHINGTON — The newly elected Democratic congressional class of 2006, which is set to descend on the Capitol next week, will hardly be the first freshmen to arrive in Washington promising to make a difference

Judicial choices test Bush
WASHINGTON — The impending Democratic takeover of the Senate, lawmakers and administration officials agree, will produce a vast change in an area that has produced some of the sharpest partisan battles in recent years: President Bush’s effort to shape the federal bench with conservative judicial nominees.

Minimum wage likely to go up
WASHINGTON — One group likely to gain from last week’s congressional elections is workers currently earning the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.
Democrats have made a top priority to boosting the federal minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade — and President Bush has signaled he will go along.

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