In Letter To Agencies, Hochul Urges Consideration Of Consequences For Middleport Cleanup

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) urging them to listen to village residents and carefully consider how proposed cleanup actions near the FMC Corporation facility in the Village of Middleport may adversely affect the Village and its residents.

 “Many of my constituents are concerned about the effects a cleanup may have on their community, and I will work with all agencies to ensure the best outcome for homeowners in the Village,” said Rep. Hochul. “It is critical that we make certain the health and well-being of the community are protected.”

 For several years, these agencies have reviewed cleanup options designed to remediate arsenic present in the soil of over 180 properties near the FMC Corporation facility in the Village. According to NYSDOH, these areas contain elevated levels of arsenic resulting from the production of agricultural chemicals at the plant which could present a health risk to Village residents.

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Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette Recommends “I Love My Park Because”…

As Liaison to the Amherst State Park, Guy R. Marlette, Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Amherst, advises that something exciting is happening!    

 Guy Marlette states:  “this summer Parks & Trails New York, the state’s leading advocate for state parks and trails, is sponsoring an “I Love My Park Because” photo contest that will run through August 31, 2012.”  He is encouraging all Amherst Residents to get outside, enjoy the many beautiful parks that New York and Amherst have to offer, and take a photo of yourselves in any public park in New York State holding a sign describing why you love the park! 

 Mr. Marlette continues:  “this is a super outreach opportunity for people of all ages in the community to get outside and enjoy the summer!”  There are great prizes too!

 Complete information on the contest rules and prizes along with examples of photos are available at http://www.ptny.org/showparkslove.

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Old Home Days Winding Down

Old Home Days has been going on all week in Island Park behind Amherst Town Hall in Williamsville.  Those of you who have been here for a while know the drill.  The celebration kicks off on Tuesday with a parade and shuts down on Friday night with almost everyone hanging out in the beer tent at the back of the park.

On Friday there will be a chicken BBQ dinner served up in the pavilion.   The dinner is provided by BW’s Smokin’ BBQ and served by the United Church Home to benefit Plymouth Crossroads Inc.  Come any time after 4:00 p.m.  Dinners will be served from 4 – 9 or until they run out!

Dinner includes a half chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, a roll and butter for $9.  Children’s dinners are $6 and come with a 1/4 chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, roll and butter.  For $1 more you may have your choice of drinks.

Come out to enjoy the park, the rides and games, the music, lights and the chicken dinner.  Support a worthy cause.

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Higgins Hails Passage of New York’s I-STOP Law on House Floor

Encourages Other States to Adopt Similar Programs

Congressman Brian Higgins spoke from the Floor of the House of Representatives today to celebrate the passage of New York’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) law. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in Western New York yesterday to discuss the benefits of this new program. 

To access video click HERE  

I-STOP is a state-led program that uses online databases to help doctors and pharmacists track the prescribing and dispensing of frequently abused prescription drugs. Adoption of this law brings New York into the ranks of a number of other states that have already modernized their approach to stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

In January of this year, Congressman Higgins and his colleague, Congressman Grimm, led a bipartisan state delegation letter to New York State legislators urging the passage of I-STOP.

In May, Congressman Higgins convened a meeting with Avi and Julie Israel, Western New York-based prescription drug abuse advocates, and key leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to discuss the federal government’s role in tackling prescription drug abuse.

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“Amodeo Submits 3,453 Signatures to Qualify for Primary”

Endorsed Democrat’s Campaign Continues to Gain Momentum

Buffalo, NY – July 12, 2012 – Today the endorsed Democratic candidate for the 60th New York State Senate District Mike Amodeo submitted 3,453 signatures to the Erie County Board of Elections to qualify for ballot placement for the September 13th Democratic Primary.

“I am humbled by the outpour of support from the residents of New York’s 60th Senate District,” said Amodeo.  “It is clear voters are eager for new leadership and fresh ideas in Albany. Residents deserve a true progressive leader who will stand up for progressive values.” 

The 3,453 signatures submitted is more than 3 times the 1,000 signatures required by state election law. 

“I am grateful to the 3,453 Democrats who showed their support for my candidacy by signing my petition and the tireless effort of the 251 volunteers who carried those petitions through their neighborhoods collecting the signatures,” continued Amodeo. “Over the next few months we will continue to build on this grassroots effort to bring real, progressive change to Albany.”   

Mike Amodeo lives in the Town of Hamburg with his wife, son and newborn daughter.  He is a graduate of Hobart College and the University at Buffalo School of Law, and is employed as an attorney at Damon Morey, LLP, in downtown Buffalo.  Mike has never before held elected office.

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In Preventing Alzheimer’s, Mutation May Aid Drug Quest


DeCode Genetics stored blood samples from its research on genomes and Alzheimer’s disease
.

A study of a rare gene mutation that protects people against Alzheimer’s disease provides the strongest evidence yet that excessive levels of a normal brain substance, beta amyloid, are a driving force in the disease — bolstering hopes that anti-amyloid drugs already under development might alter the disease’s course or even prevent it.

So far, the drugs have not succeeded. But scientists not connected with the new study said it suggested that the drug companies’ big bets on anti-amyloid treatments could yet pay off.The implication for drug development “is hugely important,” said Dr. David Altshuler, a genomics expert at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T.

And Dr. Samuel Gandy, an Alzheimer’s researcher who directs the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health, called the finding the most significant in the field in two decades, since researchers first reported a mutation that leads to the disease.
Read more…

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Arlington Diocese Parishioners Question Need For Fidelity Oath


Kathleen Riley, left, and Alison Carroll resigned as teachers at St. Ann’s Sunday School.

The Arlington Diocese, which includes nearly a half-million Catholics across northern and eastern Virginia, is one of a small but growing number that are starting to demand fidelity oaths. The oaths reflect a churchwide push in recent years to revive orthodoxy that has sharply divided Catholics.

Such oaths are not new for priests or nuns but extend now in some places to people like volunteer Sunday school teachers as well as workers at Catholic hospitals and parish offices.

One in Baker, Ore., reiterates the sinfulness of abortion and says, “I do not recognize the legitimacy of anyone’s claim to a moral right to form their own conscience in this matter.” One in Oakland, Calif., requires leaders of a group doing outreach to gay and lesbian Catholics to say they “affirm and believe” official church teaching on marriage, hell and chastity.

The Arlington “profession of faith” asks teachers to commit to “believe everything” the bishops characterize as divinely revealed, and Arlington’s top doctrine official said it would include things like the bishops’ recent campaign against a White House mandate that most employers offer contraception coverage. Critics consider the mandate a violation of religious freedom.

The Arlington Diocese is considered among the most conservative in the country and was the next to last in the nation to say girls could serve at the altar. Teachers must give the new oath in front of a priest.
read more…

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Parent Member Training workshop in Buffalo on August 2

Parent Member Training

Date:  Thursday, August 2, 2012
Time:  9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location:  Parent Network of WNY 
                      1000 Main Street
                      Buffalo, NY 14202

This New York State Education Department (NYSED) training is intended to provide Parent Members who sit on the Committees on Preschool and School Age Special Education (CPSE/CSE) with understanding of their role, requirements and the Special Education Process. Participants will learn techniques and strategies to fulfill the Parent Member role in a meeting.  For more information or to register, call (716) 332-4170 or 1-866-277-4762 toll free or go online: http://www.parentnetworkwny.org/Workshops/WorkshopRegistration

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Western New York Olympians Recognized On House Floor

Rep. Hochul Salutes Athletes en Route to London Olympic Games

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) spoke on the House floor this morning to congratulate five athletes with ties to Western New York on qualifying for this year’s Summer Olympics and wish them luck as they prepare for the games in London.

“Two weeks from tomorrow, Olympic athletes from all over the world will parade into the Olympic Stadium in London … I am so proud to say that five of them will be representing Western New York,” said Rep. Hochul. “Throughout their lifetimes of training, hard work, and sacrifices, these athletes embody what it means to be an American. They carry with them to London the pride of Western New York and the entire nation. We wish them and the entire team good luck. My wish is that the sense of common purpose that joins all of us as Americans during that Olympic period will join us on this floor of Congress as we seek to form a more perfect Union.”

Local athletes competing in the upcoming Olympic Games are volleyball player Matt Anderson, born in Buffalo; archer Jake Kaminski, an Elma resident; swimmer Ryan Lochte, born in Rochester; current number one ranked women’s pole vaulter Jenn Suhr of Churchville; and two time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Abby Wambach of Rochester.

Click here for video of Rep. Hochul’s remarks on the House floor.

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Burstein Issues Alert On New Water Pollution

Dr. Gale Burstein

Commissioner Raises Concern on Water Pollution, Tells Public “Don’t Flush Your PPCP’s”

ERIE COUNTY, NY— PPCP’s (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) represent a new form of water pollution. Each day, antibiotics, vitamins, pain medications, hormonal supplements, over-the-counter and prescription medications are finding their way into the environment, including the waters of the Great Lakes region. PPCP’s can cause harm if disposed of improperly when no longer needed or expired.

“You should talk with your doctor to avoid accumulating unwanted or unused medicines that will require disposal. Finish an entire prescription as prescribed. Take unwanted/expired medicines to local “drop-off” events or other take-back programs. If one is not available in your area you can dispose of unwanted PPCP’s by mixing unwanted medicines with kitty litter, fireplace ashes, or coffee grounds in a sturdy container”,said Burstein. “Never flush medicines down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless the label specifically advises you to do so.”

Bioactive chemical substances in PPCP’s affect the living tissues of the body and enter the environment in several ways. PPCP’s can be excreted as waste with compounds not completely metabolized by the body. They are also flushed down the toilet by people thinking they are properly disposing of unused/unwanted medicines. Many bioactive chemicals are not removed by standard wastewater plant treatment operations, and enter the environment through wastewater sludge, fertilizer/soil supplement, and improperly built landfills. These toxins can be deemed as wastewater effluent. This seepage can enter our environment from animal waste from feedlots and aquaculture facilities near streams, creeks, and other water bodies.

The Great Lakes are a source of drinking water for 42 million people in the U.S. and Canada. In the last 100 years, we have added tons of toxins to our freshwater system. This supply continuously cycles through our air, soils, and waters. Alterations caused by antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals on bacteria at the base of our aquatic food webs will be felt well up the food chain as fish and other organisms consume the various levels of food sources. Pharmaceutical-based changes in behavior and reproduction have already been documented in frogs, mussels, and other freshwater organisms.

“If we all learn to properly dispose of unwanted or unused medicines, we will be reducing an environmental threat and its potential impacts on our vital Great Lakes aquatic ecosystem,” Burstein added. “When PPCP’s are properly disposed, children and pets are less likely to be poisoned. Also, illegal drug use and identity theft from personal information found on prescription containers are diminished as well.”

For more information on PPCP disposal, visit www.unwantedmeds.org

For more information on the Erie County Health Department, visit:  http://www.2erie.gov/health/

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