Sunday, May 28, 2006
Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi who is currently seeking the democratic nomination for Governor will appear on Late Night w/Jeremy Blaber. The Nassau County Executive will be in the Kingston area next week and has agreed to do a tapping for Blaber's June 13th show. " I am honored to have this opportunity said Blaber."
I plan to discuss why Mr.Suozzi is running and what his plans are for the state and specifically for upstate NY said Blaber. There are a lot of issues that are on our minds as New Yorkers, the rising cost of health care for our seniors, our children's education and the tax rate in NY state, the people will want to know his positions said Blaber.
* In an effort to remain impartial Jeremy Blaber and Blaber News and Commentary have NOT endorsed any candidate for the NYS Governor's race, and has given an invitation to all candidates to come on his weekly show.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Mayor Jim Sottile who has worked hard to keep the city's bond rating at a satisfactory level is seeing his hard work pay off, The city has maintained its credit rating by Moody's Investor Services for the second consecutive year, the service put Kingston's credit rating at Baa1, the same as in 2005, after sharply downgrading it three years ago. In 2003, Moody's gave the city a Baa2 standing, a three-point drop from its previous rating of A2.
Moody's said that the latest rating "reflects the city's improved financial position that reversed a trend of deficit operations, a slowly growing tax base that expects an accelerated rate of growth going forward. "
Mayor Sottile pointed out that the credit rating service sees the city on the right track, "The comments by Moody's is (affirming) the polices that I have put in place and that we are moving in the right direction and have a positive outlook," Sottile said.
This is more great news said Blaber, Mayor Sottile is doing an excellent job at doing what is best for the tax-payers of this community. Blaber also pointed out that Sottile's work enables the city to save money, " when we have to borrow money, we are now able to do so at a lower interest rate.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Ulster County Legislator Peter Kraft will join Late Night W/ Jeremy Blaber this Monday at 10pm. Peter Kraft represents district 3 in the Ulster County Legislator which includes The Towns of Hurley, Marbletown and Olive.
Legislator Kraft also Chairs the Human Development Committee.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Blaber News is pleased to have Congressman Maurice Hinchey as this weeks person of the week. Congressman Hinchey represents the 22nd district of New York. "I always say we are spoiled to have Hinchey as our congressman, we have such great representation here in Ulster County because of Maurice," said Blaber.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey has a proven record of getting results for the communities he represents. Since 1995, he has delivered nearly $3 billion for the 22nd Congressional District, including $220 million for Ulster County. In the last two years, Hinchey has secured more than $18 million for projects in Ulster County.
These federal investments in our region have created jobs, helped communities provide the infrastructure for economic growth, have made low-cost capital available for business startups and expansion, strengthened our schools and health care systems, promoted our tourism industry and lured new businesses to the area.
Highlights from the 108th Congress include:
Kingston: $499,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Physical Education Program to the Kingston City School District, allowing the district to improve and expand its physical education programs.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $150,000 for the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club to help finance renovations to its new headquarters.
Environmental & Historic Protection
Countywide: For the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years, Hinchey secured $1.15 million for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to fund its grant program for communities and non-profit organizations to preserve significant sites in the Hudson Valley, perform public outreach and education, and promote tourism and community-based economic development. An additional earmark of $500,000 was included in the House-passed version of the Interior Appropriations spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year.
Cragsmoor: Hinchey successfully earmarked $750,000 for the Sam's Point Preserve Visitors' Center in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to construct a visitors' center and improve entrance to the 4700-acre wilderness area on the Shawangunk Ridge.
East Kingston: $532,000 low-interest loan and $562,000 grant to the town of Ulster from the U.S.D.A. for the development of the East Kingston Water District, serving 64 users.
Glenerie: $162,900 low-interest loan from the USDA's Rural Development Administration for the completion of the Glenerie Water District in the Town of Ulster.
Highmount: $475,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for renovations at Belleayre Ski Resort.
Kingston: Hinchey successfully earmarked $1.6 million for Kingston's waterfront restoration in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to enhance the waterfront promenade by constructing a landscaped trail from the proposed Noah Hotel to Kingston Point.
Kingston: In the 2004 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $100,000 for historic preservation of the Old Dutch Church, which will fund emergency repairs to its exterior.
Marlborough: $150,000 grant to the Town of Marlborough for improvements to Cluett-Schantz Memorial Park, including the addition of two multi-purpose athletic fields and new tennis courts. The grant was awarded through the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund.
New Paltz: $250,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to the Town of New Paltz for the construction of a 78-acre sports and recreation park.
New Paltz: $250,000 Save America's Treasures grant for the stabilization and repair of the Jean Hasbrouck House, one of the few surviving examples of the late 17th century dwellings build by French Huguenots who founded New Paltz.
Shandaken: Hinchey submitted testimony to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging that it give the most rigorous scrutiny to the proposed Crossroads Ventures, LLC development. Subsequently, he filed public comments strongly opposing the proposal, which threatened the New York City Watershed and Catskill Park.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $350,000 earmark for Benedictine Hospital to help construct and equip an on-campus Comprehensive Oncology Center to fill the critical need for cancer treatment in the area.
Countywide: $52,800 grant for housing counseling to the Rural Ulster Preservation Company. The HUD program helps families understand the home buying process, get credit problems fixed and helps them avoid predatory lending practices.
Ellenville: $400,000 Youthbuild grant from HUD to Ulster BOCES to expand its program to the Village of Ellenville. Twenty young people will be trained in housing construction as they renovate a house located in the village.
Kingston: $350,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York's Affordable Housing Program to the Kingston Housing Authority. KHA will create Birchwood Village, an 80-unit rental housing complex for single-parent households and homeless families.
Kingston: $1 million commitment over five years to Family of Woodstock from HUD's Transitional Living Program for Runaway and Homeless Youth to assist homeless youth and help them make the transition to independence.
Jobs & Economic Development
Kingston: $465,000 Small Business Administration loan for the purchase and rehabilitation of the Skytop Motel and Restaurant. The loan allows the property's new owners to reopen the hotel, create seven jobs and eventually reopen the restaurant.
Kingston: $1.91 million Section 108 loan guarantee from HUD to the City of Kingston for the Noah Hotel project on Kingston's waterfront. The loan guarantee brings to $10.2 million the total federal funding Hinchey has secured for the project, which includes the construction of a 57-room hotel, conference center and 16-boat slip on the Rondout Creek.
Kingston: Announced that the City of Kingston had qualified as a HUD entitlement community, entitling the city to guaranteed annual funding through the Community Development Block Grant program instead of competing for funding for CDBG grants with other small cities around the state. CDBG grants are used for small business development and community revitalization.
Kingston: Hinchey successfully earmarked $594,000 for streetscape improvements in historic uptown Kingston in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. The upgrades to sidewalks and pedestrian crossings will make uptown Kingston businesses more accessible and attractive to shoppers.
Kingston: In the 2003 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $1 million to Ulster County for the construction of a visitors' center, drawing new tourism business to the county.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $400,000 earmark for the Kingston-Newburgh Enterprise Community, to continue KNEC's efforts to promote urban renewal and economic development through job training initiatives. The funds would enable KNEC to continue to offer training programs for local community college students to transition into the local workforce, sponsor job fairs and establish counseling and referral programs.
Lake Katrine: $173,000 Small Business Administration Loan to Excel Auto Glass, allowing the company to purchase new, larger headquarters.Milton: $1.5 million low-interest loan guarantee to Hudson Valley Domicile, LLC. Hudson Valley Domicile is constructing a more than 87,000-square-foot air-supported dome in Milton. It will contain four artificial turf fields suitable for indoor soccer, lacrosse, flag football and field hockey. The facility will also include an indoor golf driving range and batting cages. The project will create nine full-time jobs and 15 part-time jobs.
Saugerties: Hinchey brokered a deal between the Army Corps of Engineers and Horseshows in the Sun (HITS) proprietor Tom Struzzieri that allowed HITS to build a state-of-the-art equestrian facility in Saugerties. The ACOE had raised concerns about wetlands areas on the HITS property. In exchange for permission to move forward with its plans, HITS contributed $250,000 toward the acquisition of 125 acres of property adjacent to the Esopus Creek in the Village of Saugerties. This acquisition by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and the Esopus Creek Conservancy will mitigate three acres of wetlands impacted by the HITS development. HITS is expected to annually generate $30 million of economic activity for Saugerties and the surrounding area.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $1 million for street upgrades in the Village of Saugerties in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. He also earmarked $125,000 in appropriations legislation for the project. Funding will be used for the village's nine-point beautification plan, which includes such projects as improved street lighting, Main Street cleanup and tree revitalization.
Countywide: The Ulster Regional Drug Court received a $16,750 grant as part of a $3.4 million earmark that Hinchey secured for New York State to expand its drug treatment court system. Treatment courts provide supervised drug treatment, testing and monitoring for non-violent offenders.
Claryville: $198,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for the purchase of a new fire engine.
High Falls: $109,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the High Falls Fire Department.
Kingston: $132,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the Kingston City Fire Department.
Pine Hill: $15,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs of the Pine Hill Fire Company.
Plattekill: $76,400 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs.
Ruby: $48,700 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to support firefighter safety programs.
Countywide: Hinchey earmarked $50,000 for improved bus service in Ulster County through the Jobs Access and Reserve Commute (JARC) program, which connects low-income workers to available jobs.
Countywide: In the 2004 fiscal year, Hinchey earmarked $40,000 for Ulster County Area Transit for the purchase of a new transit support vehicle. The vehicle will be used to respond to safety-related bus failures on the road, greatly reducing the need to tow buses at significant costs to the county.
Countywide: Hinchey earmarked $900,000 for Ulster County Rural Transportation for the construction of a bus garage.
Kingston: Hinchey secured a $240,000 earmark for the City of Kingston to upgrade its buses and purchase new buses.
Saugerties: Hinchey successfully earmarked $500,000 for the relocation of Tissal Road in the House-passed version of highway reauthorization legislation, which is still awaiting final approval. Funding will be used to reroute traffic at the intersection of Tissal Road, Old Kingston Highway and the CSX rail line at the entrance to the Northeast Solite plant.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
About two months ago Alderman Bill Reynolds proposed Kingston begin examining the concept of providing free wireless broadband Internet access to its businesses and citizens, earlier this month the council voted 8-1 for a memorializing resolution to support in Mayor Sottile seeking requests for proposals. Now Leg. Brian Cahill and Leg. Rob Parete are looking at expanding Reynold's idea throughout Ulster county.
An Ulster County legislative committee is requesting information from wireless Internet services as part of an effort to connect the entire county to a WiFi network, including rural areas that do not have access. Ulster County legislators Brian Cahill, D-Ulster, and Robert Parete, D-Boiceville, said Wednesday that the Legislature's Administrative Services Committee has agreed to seek requests for information from wireless providers.
I think this is great, we are looking at putting this county into the 21st century and making it a desirable place to live and a good way to bring business into the county said Blaber.
Andrew Halpern of Tivoli, president of the company American WiFi, who made his pitch to the Kingston Common Council said he would be willing to present his plan to the Ulster County Legislature, on Wednesday.
Still not everyone wants to see Kingston and Ulster County move forward, Alderman Richard Cahill (r-ward6) has stated he is not in favor of the city nor the county providing free service to the people, Cahill said the city and the county should be "more concerned" about the rising taxes then "the internet."
It is a shame that even bipartisan efforts to better the residents of the city and the county somehow have to be made political said Blaber
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Congratulation to the School Board Winners!
Chris Farrell 3161
David Fletcher 2976
Jim Shaughnessy 2850
I am glad the voters were able to sift through the lies and deception and vote for the candidates that will do what is best for the children in our district and provide them with the best education experience possible.
I also would like to thank Matt McCoy who ran respectfully in a very competitive race, I am sure next time around he will be on the board and will do a fine job.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Chris Farrell- Chris Farrell is currently a sitting member of the Kingston School board and is seeking re-election to another three year term, under Mr. Farrell's tenure as a school board trustee a lot has been accomplished, he has prioritized facility repairs and addressed them on a yearly basis, implemented full-day Kindergarten throughout the district, and has supported sound fiscal policies, we need proven leadership and Mr.Farrell has that leadership.
Jim Shaughnessy- Jim Shaughnessy decided to run for school board after he heard that the "shadow board" was running, Mr. Shaughnessy remembers what a disaster Gordon Webb and John Lee made the school district ten years ago. " Now that I have a nine year old daughter in the district, I have a stake in the system, I do not want to deal with a repeat of the shadow board experience. Mr.Shaughnessy founded Ives & Shaughnessy Web Information Services, one of the first web development companies in Ulster County. Mr. Shaughnessy is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former junior high school teacher.
Matt McCoy- Matt McCoy decided to run for school board to improve the communication between the school board and the community, Mr. McCoy has been involved in the community his whole life coaching the boy's modified soccer team, coaching the girls under-14 team for the Port Ewen Athletic Association, asst. coach Kingston Girls Varsity softball under his father Coach Fred McCoy Sr., volunteer Fireman for the St. Remey Fire dept. and is a member of the ancient Order of Hibernians. Mr.McCoy is a graduate of Suny Ulster and employed at Begnal motors in Kingston.
* All three candidates have made it a priority to restore the Carnegie Library, which has sat dormant for over thirty years.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Blaber News has acquired the tires of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Jeremy Blaber bought the tires at an auction held by the friends of Kevin Cahill " I am not sure what I am going to do with the set of tires, but the one that was signed (by Kevin Cahill) proudly sits in my office" said Blaber. The cost for the set of tires a whopping 25 dollars.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Jeremy Blaber has been chosen to be the New President for the Ulster County chapter of the New York State Young Democratic Committee, " I am honored to be given this opportunity, I love democrats and I love the political system, it's just in my blood" said Blaber.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done, Jay Dailey and Legislator Rodriguez have done a lot of work but more needs to be done, they both have hectic schedules and need someone who can dedicate more time. Jeremy Blaber's plans are to be more consistent with meetings and have the Ulster chapter work with political campaigns and be involved with local community issues.
There are 3 major campaigns going on and I would like the young dems to get involved with them and gain experience, Spitzer's campaign alone is a great opportunity for young adults to get out there and meet new and interesting people in local government. On a local level we have SGT. Paul VanBlarcum who is running for sheriff and it is a great feeling knowing that there time and energy was responsible in get him elected.
Jeremy Blaber also said that he is going to be more involved with other chapters and see what they are doing, "I am going to the convention in Buffalo later this month to learn a little bit about how other chapters work and see what measures they have used to make there chapter a success." I also am going to put together a NYSYD website for the Ulster County chapter which will have information on our progress within the chapter, our members and how to join the chapter.
The NYSYD main page is: http://www.youngdemsny.org/
The tentative contract includes retroactive pay increases of 50 cents per hour for 2005 and 75 cents per hour for 2006. It calls for wage increases of 3 percent in 2007, 3.5 percent in 2008, and 4 percent in 2009.
Supervisor Nick Woerner said it was important to have the contract completed so that employees can focus on their jobs instead of negotiations.
Also added to the contract is a provision that allows employees with five years of service to be paid for five days if they have accrued more than 30 sick days and paid for 10 days if they have accrued more than 60 sick days. There would also be an increase sick leave pay from 120 days to 160 days at retirement.
I am please that this is taken care of, it just shows that Nick is a supervisor that cares about the town workers and it also shows Mr.Woerner is a man of great integrity said Blaber pointing out that settling this contract was something Nick promised while running for the towns top position. He is living up to his word and for that I applaud him.