More Ecomomic Development And Help For Rural Areas Urged By Hochul

Discusses District Projects With Under Secretary for Rural Development

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26) hosted a call with Dallas Tonsager, the Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss major upcoming projects in rural communities across the 26th District.

“It is vital that Western New York receive the support necessary to continue the agricultural and rural development that helps keep us healthy and competitive,” said Hochul. “USDA Rural Development recognizes the importance of investing in our region, and they see the assets of our rural communities. I spoke with Under Secretary Tonsager today to encourage further investments, such as the urgent need for rural broadband access for our small towns and farmers. I am confident the USDA will continue to direct resources into our local communities,” Congresswoman Hochul said.

“This is an exciting time for rural America and USDA Rural Development is assisting communities across the country,” said Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager. “We look forward to continuing our work with Congresswoman Hochul to create jobs and economic development for the people of Western New York.”

Dallas Tonsager was appointed as Under Secretary for Rural Development and sworn into office in May of 2009. Tonsager has over 35 years of agricultural, business, cooperative, and financial experience through his work as a farmer, businessman, and community, state and national leader.

Since Congresswoman Hochul has been in office, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $12 million in grants and loans in the 26th District.

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Statewide Support for Governor’s Plan to Protect NYers with Special Needs

Last week, Governor Cuomo, joined by nearly 700 New Yorkers including families of people with special needs, announced the first-in-the-nation Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. By the end of the week, more than 100 advocacy groups from across the state had already signed on to support the Governor’s proposed legislation.

For the Governor, this issue is about basic human dignity and a fundamental obligation we have as a state to protect the rights of these individuals.

And the swell of public support is a clear indication that this issue has resonated with individuals, advocates, law officials and local leaders throughout the state. In addition, newspapers statewide have published editorials in support of the Governor’s plan.

Some excerpts include:

  • “It’s beyond argument that one of [government’s] core responsibilities is the protection of the most vulnerable,” Newsday writes, calling the Governor’s plan, “a sweeping and smart new way to get this vital job done.” Click here to read the full editorial. 

  • The New York Daily News calls it a “critically necessary reform effort.” Click here to read the full editorial.
  • “The [Governor’s] legislation offers a practical, reasonable response to an unacceptable situation,” the Syracuse Post-Standard writes. Put simple, the paper says, “Our most vulnerable citizens deserve no less.Click here to read the full editorial. 

  • The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle writes:“The state Legislature should get behind Cuomo and adopt his proposals before adjourning next month.” 

  • The New York Times calls the Governor’s legislative package a sensible, straightforward proposal that legislators and unions should support.” Click here to read the full editorial.

By working together, we’re giving more than one million New Yorkers with disabilities and special needs the protection and justice they deserve.

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Hochul floor speech on NDAA and the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

Congresswoman Hochul gave a speech on the floor of the House about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the amendment she cosponsored to prevent cuts to the Air National Guard and protect installations like the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS). The NDAA is annual legislation that authorizes funding for the nation’s military.

The House is expected to vote for final passage this afternoon.

Click here for the web video. The complete transcript of the speech is below:

Thank you Mr. Speaker. As we begin voting on the National Defense Authorization Act earlier today. I want to remind people earlier this year the Air Force proposed cutting 5,100 Air National Guard positions from out military. Part of this plan eliminates C-130s and 800 jobs from the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in my own district. Transparency in government is important to all of us. Yet, in this decision no information was provided to us as to how the decisions were made to cut that many across the country. It’s clear that we need to reduce our spending, but we need to do it in a transparent and open way. Last week, I was proud to join Republicans and Democrats on the Armed Services Committee in offering an amendment to restore these positions. When our citizens need help whether it’s fighting terrorism in Afghanistan or being rescued from floods in Upstate New York, I say who are you going to call? I want to make sure the Air National Guard is prepared to protect us and therefore today we need to protect them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back the balance of my time.

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Greece No Longer a Nation; Announces Plan to Become Social Network

IPO Imminent for FetaBook

ATHENS (The Borowitz Report) – After struggling for months with an intractable financial crisis, Greece announced today that it would cease to exist as a sovereign nation and would instead reboot itself as a social network.

The new entity, FetaBook, is expected to raise much-needed billions in an upcoming IPO.

The social network formerly known as Greece announced that it would cancel its upcoming elections and instead install a CEO, a 24-year-old hacker from suburban Athens named Ciro Mavromatidis.

Speaking from the newly opened offices of FetaBook, Mr. Mavromatidis explained how the social network would be attractive to the investment community in ways that Greece was not.

“We’re keeping all the aspects of Greece that made it a cool brand – the ruins, the Olympics, the olives,” he said. “We’re just losing the things that were a drag on the Greek economy: namely, the Greeks.”

He said under the new plan, all Greeks would cease to be citizens of Greece and would instead become friends of FetaBook: “They won’t receive any government benefits anymore, but they’ll be able to grow all the imaginary food they want.”

Mr. Mavromatidis said that by converting from a nation to a social network, FetaBook will enjoy other cost savings as well.

“We Greeks waste billions of dollars a year smashing plates after meals,” he said. “Now that’s going to be done by an app.”

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Study Finds Java Drinkers Live Longer

One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter.

The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm.
Read more…

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Hochul Available To Discuss The National Defense Authorization Act And Impact On The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

EVENT: Congresswoman Hochul to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act and impact on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

DATE: Friday, May 18, 2012
TIME: 3PM-4PM
WHERE: Washington DC

Tomorrow, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26) will hold a press availability to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its impact on the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS).

The NDAA is annual legislation that authorizes funding for the nation’s military. Last week during the House Armed Services Committee markup, Congresswoman Hochul cosponsored an amendment to the NDAA to prevent cuts to the Air National Guard and protect installations like the 107th Airlift Wing at NFARS. The amendment was adopted with bipartisan support and is included in the bill that the House will vote on tomorrow.

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A New County Wide Land Bank Is Among The First In State

MAYORS BROWN, SZYMANSKI AND PILOZZI AND ERIE COUNTY EXECUTIVE POLONCARZ APPLAUD CREATION OF A NEW COUNTY WIDE LAND BANK TO DEAL WITH STRESSED AND ABANDONED PROPERTIES

BUFFALO– Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown was joined by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Empire State Development Corp. for approving a recently filed joint application to form one of the first land banks in New York State.

“With the announcement today, the Governor has added a significant weapon to Buffalo’s arsenal for ridding the City of vacant and abandoned property,” said Mayor Brown. “Further, the City of Buffalo looks forward to working with Erie County, the cities of Lackawanna and Tonawanda as well as all of the other towns and villages on an issue facing the entire region.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo signed a state law allowing municipalities to form nonprofit corporations to create land banks as an economic development tool. Buffalo, Lackawanna and Tonawanda joined the County in filing a joint application earlier this year with the Empire State Development Corporation.

“Municipalities all across Erie County have been dealing with a growing problem of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties. Now, thanks to Governor Cuomo and the Empire State Development Corp., Erie County will be one of the first counties in New York State to apply a land banking solution to this problem,” said County Executive Poloncarz. “I look forward to working with partners in the cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Tonawanda, as well as other municipalities, to apply a regional approach to the problem.”

Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski stated, “Land banking is going to transform the Lackawanna landscape by letting us ‘fight blight’ on two fronts. We will now be able to catch properties going through foreclosure before they become dilapidated, and also stop the spread of blight by addressing those properties that are too far gone to save.”

This new land bank, called the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation, will soon create a one-stop-shop for dealing with distressed properties. It will help speed up the process for converting vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties. It will also provide maintenance services for vacant lots, and pay for demolition of some structures.

In Erie County, there’s an excess of 73,000 tax liens, which have a value of $53 million in taxes owed. The land bank could help recoup those losses.While the City of Buffalo is often the focal point of the issue of abandoned properties, it is not the only community in the County that is suffering from the blight and disinvestment in real property. For instance, although the City is the location of approximately 64% of the tax delinquent properties (46,883 out of 73,360), the City has only 11% of the assessed value of all liens (approximately $6 million).”

Mayor Brown added, “This land bank will be one of the most important and effective tools in combating the abandoned property program, while improving the quality of life in city neighborhoods and creating new opportunities for business investment.”

As per the agreement, the land bank will have an 11-member board, consisting of five city representatives, three county representatives and one each from Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency.

With the agreement, in addition to the 3 cities, the land bank will be able to address properties in the County’s 25 towns and 16 villages.

Additional Quotes of Support:

Village of Angola Mayor Howard “Hub” Frawley: “It is our hope that by redeveloping vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties, we will revitalize communities across Erie County and transform our neighborhoods through economic development.”

Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz: “With the strong leadership of County Executive Poloncarz, we are finally able to take this very important step. Approval of this landbank initiative will provide a clear plan for the management and reuse of vacant and abandoned properties.”

Joe Maciejewski, Erie County Director of Real Property Tax Services: “The awarding of one of the first land banks in New York state is testament to the theory that united we stand, divided we fall. In a matter of a few short months, the County, Cities, Towns and Villages came together to prepare a first-class application. As the County of Erie’s Tax Enforcement Officer and now member of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation Board of Directors, I am excited to add another “tool” to assist officials in the fight against blight.”

Michael Clarke, Executive Director Buffalo LISC: “We are very pleased that Empire State Development approved the Erie County application for the formation of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation. With County Executive Poloncarz’s leadership and the strong support of Mayors Brown, Pilozzi, and Szymanski, our community demonstrated the kind of regional cooperation that will serve to make the land bank a success, and it’s an effort that is being justly rewarded by New York State.”

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A Letter from Mark Zuckerberg About Facebook’s IPO

MENLO PARK, CA (The Borowitz Report) – On the eve of Facebook’s IPO, Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published the following letter to potential investors:

Dear Potential Investor:

For years, you’ve wasted your time on Facebook. Now here’s your chance to waste your money on it, too.

Tomorrow is Facebook’s IPO, and I know what some of you are thinking. How will Facebook be any different from the dot-com bubble of the early 2000’s?

For one thing, those bad dot-com stocks were all speculation and hype, and weren’t based on real businesses. Facebook, on the other hand, is based on a solid foundation of angry birds and imaginary sheep.

Second, Facebook is the most successful social network in the world, enabling millions to share information of no interest with people they barely know.

Third, every time someone clicks on a Facebook ad, Facebook makes money. And while no one has ever done this on purpose, millions have done it by mistake while drunk. We totally stole this idea from iTunes.

Finally, if you invest in Facebook, you’ll be far from alone. As a result of using Facebook for the past few years, over 900 million people in the world have suffered mild to moderate brain damage, impairing their ability to make reasoned judgments. These will be your fellow Facebook investors.

With your help, if all goes as planned tomorrow, Facebook’s IPO will net $100 billion. To put that number in context, it would take JP Morgan four or five trades to lose that much money.

One last thing: what will, I, Mark Zuckerberg, do with the $18 billion I’m expected to earn from Facebook’s IPO? Well, I’m considering buying Greece, but that would still leave me with $18 billion. LOL.

Friend me,

Mark

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Editorial: Buffalo’s Killing Fields Must Be Stopped

Drugs are the trigger which kills many people walking on the streets, attending family backyard parties, or gathering in a public park. These are all activities people enjoy when the warm weather comes to our area but instead the people who live in certain areas of Buffalo have to live in fear for their children and themselves being killed by black gang members.

Almost every night you can read stories in the newspaper about a black person being beaten up or shot, or about black women being ripped off the street, raped and held hostage for a period time to be abused.  These women will never be able to live a normal life but the men who use them will tell stories about degrading these young ladies.  Drugs make torturing these women seem pleasurable. One in 4 black females is rapped by age 12!

Street pushers can get their highs and do heinous things to innocent people; sickening, violent and deadly things.  They hold no regard for innocent people as well as members of different street gangs.

Drugs and street control are the goals of the black gang leaders and their followers. They feel there is not much life has to offer them.  If you don’t have a job or education there really isn’t any door to an honest future.

Politicians can do so much more to help the black community, but instead the police arrest the shooter and that’s as far as it goes.  

Politicians need the black vote to win elections but they give these people nothing back like massive job training and doling out much stiffer sentences to the white and black drugs leaders.

Every town, city, village, etc. has corruption that involves money.  Some of the corruption money in Buffalo should be used to break up the gangs and provide more street protection in the gang areas.

written by James Tricoli,Editor  and owner of the Amhersttimes.com

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FBI Chief Robert Mueller Tells Senate He Didn’t Bother To Contact NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly About Terror Threat

 	NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announce the arrest of 14 individuals who operated an international luxury-vehicle theft ring that stole dozens of vehicles vlaued at more than $1 million in New York City and surrounding areas.
Ray Kelly can just call FBI chief Robert Mueller if he wants to learn about the latest terror probe, Mueller testified on Wednesday.

Considering the after affects of 9/11, and the fact that NYC remains the nation’s No. 1 terror target, one might expect that the FBI and the NYPD would work in close harmony.  Not so. 

For a guy whose job is all about intelligence, FBI chief Robert Mueller showed a stunning lack of it Wednesday when he blithely told a Senate panel that he still hasn’t bothered calling NYPD’s top cop about the latest terror threat.

If Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wanted to know more about the foiled Yemeni underwear bomb plot, he could have picked up the phone and called, Mueller sniffed.

“As I told Ray, he’s always welcome to call,” he said, repeatedly referring to the commissioner as “Ray.”

Chuck Schumer said, “Just a suggestion for the continued good operation, give him a call on this.  He didn’t ask me to ask you to, I am. Do that. Thanks.”

Mueller said he’d be happy to take Kelly’s call.

“I know,” Schumer quickly replied. “Let’s not get into who calls whom. I am asking you to call.”

Finally, a light bulb went on. “I’m happy to do it,” Mueller replied.
Read more…

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