From the Office of state Senator Betty Little
The New York State Senate will act today on the “Public Assistance
Integrity Act,” sponsored by Senator Tom Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton) and
cosponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury) that would help
cut down on the flagrant abuse of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards
by prohibiting welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase
tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or to gamble. Read more »
The State Education Department (SED) today released high school graduation rates for the 2007 cohort (students who entered 9th grade in 2007). These data show that New York’s overall graduation rate continues to rise slowly over time. SED also released outcome data for the same cohort based on aspirational performance measures, which are designed to measure how students are progressing toward college and career readiness. Outcomes on the aspirational performance measures are significantly lower than the cohort graduation rates. The data also show that in both the graduation rate and the aspirational performance measures, the achievement gap between white students and students of color remains.
“New York’s overall graduation rate has improved, but nearly a quarter of our students still don’t graduate after four years,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. ”And too many of those students who do graduate aren’t ready for college and careers. Read more »
The use of tile drainage has been a critical best management practice on American farms since 1835. In the early 1900s, William H. Miner, for whom the agricultural research institute in Chazy, NY, is named, championed the use of patterned tile drainage to dramatically improve drainage efficiency and crop production potential on poorly-drained North Country soils.
The farmer-driven NNYADP has identified the need for research to better understand how the use of tile drainage interacts with the soil, crop production and the environment in the Lake Champlain Basin region of Northern New York, where agriculture is considered a major nonpoint source of phosphorus to the lake. Read more »
CFA serves as single entry point for applicants to access to up to $760 in economic development funding
Douglas Osborne of Peru Named to the University of New Hampshire’s Dean’s List for the 2013 Spring Semester
DURHAM, NH (06/14/2013)(readMedia)– Douglas Osborne of Peru has earned High Honors for the spring semester of the 2012-2013 academic year at the University of New Hampshire.
Students named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire are students who have earned recognition through their superior scholastic performance. Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.85 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.65 to 3.84 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.5 through 3.64 are awarded honors.
By John T. Ryan
Ralph Santor has always associated with people just a little older than himself. He was one of the youngest members of Peru High School’s class of 1944. He was also one of the youngest at his U.S. Navy seaman’s training and as a member of the crew of the USS Arkab.
Last Saturday, at age 86, Ralph Santor was once again the youngster in the group. He was the youngest veteran to participate in the North Country Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Both Ralph and his son Butch, who accompanied him on the trip, had a great day. Ralph said, “Seeing the World War II Memorial, The Iwo Jima Monument and Arlington Cemetery was a great experience.” Butch enjoyed the trip because he was able to assist his father and some of the other veterans, especially in getting on and off the bus.
Seaman Ralph Santor has many memories of his World War II service. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on the first day he was eligible – May 1, 1944, the day he turned 18. He served on the USS Arkab, a 441-foot long ship with a 206 member crew. The USS Arkab transported cargo and over 1,200 passengers to bases in the Pacific, steaming some 60,000 miles by December 1945. Ports of call included Pearl Harbor, Manus Island, and the Admiralty Islands.
On one of those islands Santor met the pilot of the Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 bomber that dropped the hydrogen bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Colonel Paul Tibbets told Santor, “If you would have gotten here a week ago I would have taken you for a ride.” Santor responded, “The hell you would have.”
Sailors are famous for enjoying their onshore liberty and Santor is no exception. One planned two-day liberty in Hawaii was extended to two weeks after the captain met an “old friend” on shore. Santor had already emptied his wallet thinking he had only two days of liberty. He managed to borrow $7 from two buddies and enjoyed at least one more night away from the ship.
Discharged from the Navy in July of 1946, Ralph returned to the North Country where he went to work for Truman Davis driving a tractor-trailer filled with Peru apples to buyers throughout the northeast. In the early 1950’s, he began working for Fort Edward Express driving a tank truck over 2 million accident-free miles during his career. Santor smiled broadly when he talked about representing Fort Edward Express at a truck driver rodeo in Syracuse. He said simply, “I was a good driver and I loved it.”
Santor’s family has been the center of his life. In 1949, he married his childhood neighbor, Marilyn St. Louis. They had two children, Ralph (Butch) and Sandra Lynn (Sandy). Sandy Santor passed away in 1999 and Marilyn Santor passed away in February of 2012. Ralph still resides in his home at the corner of the Military Turnpike and the Irish Settlement Road.
Our latest garden talk Planting Day was held on Thursday, May 16th. Led by a Master Gardener our group learned all about when to plant our vegetables and a closing open forum was full of helpful gardening tips. Our next talk is at 6:00pm on June 20″‘ and will be on tomatoes.
Free and open to the public.
Most of our garden has been planted: beans and peas, lettuces, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and melons. But, there is still some remaining space if anyone would like to use it.
Summer Family Programs
Our summer programming will begin on Tuesday, July 9 and will run on consecutive Tuesdays through the month of July. We will present magicians, and storytellers and musicians and a live theater production of The Secret Garden- all tying in with our summer reading theme “Dig into Reading”.
Programs are on Tuesdays in July at 2:30 pm and are free.
Children’s Art Classes
Art teacher Greg Badger will hold art classes for children here at the library as part of our summer programming. Structured art classes will be held during July and into August. Morning and afternoon classes will be offered. There will be no fee but children must be registered.
Safe water, natural gas availability, speed limits, the historic register and assessor reappointment highlight meeting
By John T. Ryan
Important decisions having to do with water quality improvement project costs, natural gas availability and speed limits highlighted the Monday, June 10, 2013 Town Board meeting. Counselors approved two resolutions that could add from $25, 000 to $50,000 to the cost of the water quality improvement project. Bringing natural gas to more town residents will be more difficult than the board had been led to believe and Lyons Road residents were present to request lowering the speed limit on that highway.
Following a recommendation by the town’s project engineer, the counselors authorized the expenditure of not more that $15,000 to pay a “Resident Project Representative” to monitor the last phase of the $3.2 million water quality improvement project. The delayed filtration media has arrived and the redesigned control values are scheduled to arrive at the contractor J. Hogan Refrigeration and Mechanical on June 13th. AES Northeast engineer Todd Hodgson said the project representative would ensure that the project would be completed in conformance with specifications.
Hodgson also recommended a change order estimated to cost in excess of $20,000. The change will allow the filters to be separately cleaned (backwashed) thereby maintaining filtration media efficiency. The town may be required to solicit bids for the change order. Town Attorney Donald Biggs will research the legal requirements. Advertising for bids would delay the project by a few days. The board will schedule a Special Meeting if necessary.
In response to a question from this reporter, Counselor Brandy McDonald stated any Peru resident desiring natural gas service must call the NYSEG’s 800 number (800-572-1111) and request an application. McDonald said a letter NYSEG sent to Peru residents a few weeks ago was “misleading.” At the April 22, 2013 board meeting McDonald stated that a NYSEG representative told him that if 10% of residents responding to the letter indicated an interest in installing natural gas service, there would be a good chance that service would be extended to many parts of the community.
Lyons Road residents Cindy Arnold and Lee Meyer asked the board for a lower speed limit on the Lyons Road. Arnold said, “There is no posted speed limit, making the limit 55 miles per hour. There’s a daycare and disabled people along the road. There have been several accidents and close calls. We need help with speeders from the South Junction Road to the Rock Road.” As they have done with similar requests the board passed a resolution requesting that the NYS Department of Transportation consider lowering the speed limit. Counselor Brandy McDonald stated that a petition signed by Lyons Road residents could help bring a more favorable resolution. He stated, “The community has more say on speed limits than we do.”
In other actions/news:
Peru Central Physical Education teacher Tracy Posada described the “Adventure Challenge Program” to the board. The program is intended to promote physical fitness, especially among young children. It will be conducted on Saturday, June 29th at the Laphams Mills Park. There will be obstacles with water, mud, climbing, crawling and jogging. This year’s kindergarten through 6th grade children are encouraged to participate. The cost will be $10 per child up to a maximum of $25 per family. Click here for YouthAdventureChallenge Pre-Registration Form.
The board reappointed Tim Surpitski to a 6-year term as Town of Peru Assessor. Surpitski’s current term of office expires on September 30, 2013.
The Lyon Street School was added to the National Register of Historic places on May 22, 2013. The designation makes it feasible for the town to apply for grants to restore the building. (See earlier story & photo)
The agricultural overlay to the proposed new zoning law is being amended. Several local dairy farmers and apple growers objected to their land being restricted to agricultural use. If the profitability of the dairy or apple industry changes, they want the ability to use or sell their land for other than agriculture purposes. The proposed law would have restricted the future use of the land to only agricultural purposes.
From the Office of State Senator Betty Little
A proposed state constitutional amendment that would allow for a land exchange between New York State and NYCO Minerals, Inc. located in Essex County won second passage today in the Senate according to its sponsor, Senator Betty Little. The exchange would enable NYCO to continue its wollastonite mining operations in the Town of Lewis while adding valuable land to the state Forest Preserve. The Adirondack Council today added their support for the amendment.
Senator Little commented, Read more »
The Buffalo News: Albany remains a cesspool of corruption. Every year, it seems, elected officials, including members of the Assembly and Senate, are unmasked as thieves, cheats or manipulators gaming the system for their own benefit. They extend from the rank and file to the leaders of each chamber to independently elected officeholders such as former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi.//It has become so predictable and so bad that Albany needs to revamp its entire system of financing elections, providing for a public match of funds that will give potential candidates without deep pockets a chance to run against entrenched and financially flush incumbents.//Other reforms need to take place, as well, including a ban on campaign consultants cashing in on their success by suddenly turning corporate lobbyist. It’s a scam, and the public pays. (BN)
Please read the audit findings of NYS Comptroller Thomas DeNapoli. These are the best results the Peru Gazette has ever seen!
By John T. Ryan
June 9 – Generations of Peru Central School students remember Bill Ston as their high school chemistry teacher. Yesterday another important part of Bill’s life was recalled as he joined fifteen other World War II veterans on the North Country Honor Flight to Washington DC. The veterans toured the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Monument and Arlington Cemetery.
Commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on January 20, 1944, following his graduation from St. Lawrence University and the V-12 Officer Training Program at Notre Dame University, Bill Ston was on active duty from January 1944 to January 1946. Assigned to the attack transport the USS Baxter, he commanded boats as they landed men and equipment on the Philippine Islands of Leyte and Luzon and the Japanese islands of Okinawa. The Leyte invasion took place in October and November 1944; Luzon in January 1945; and Okinawa in April 1945.
Ston described his duties, “I was in charge of a number of boats. It was my responsibility to see everyone got to the beach. My boat was in the middle of what we called an assault wave.” He witnessed Japanese kamikaze attacks at both Leyte and Okinawa. He said, “At Leyte a kamikaze aircraft attacked a distant ship and a nearby ship. Instead of coming after us, it turned and smashed into the side of the other ship. It looked like he was going to come right towards us. It scared the hell out of me.”
While the USS Baxter didn’t encounter active opposition at Okinawa, landing troops and equipment in unknown waters was difficult. Ston explained, “The landing boats always leaked water. Something plugged the pumps on my boat and we were low in the water. I sent signals to the other boats to continue.”
Fortunately, a repair crew rapidly came to Ston’s assistance and he was able to off-load about 30 U.S. Army troops and equipment. Unfortunately, when the small Army vehicle descended the ramp into what appeared to be shallow water, it disappeared into the Pacific waters. Ston believes that it drove off the edge of a coral reef.
Bill Ston taught high school science in Peru from 1949 to 1977. He is 92 years of age and resides on the Barney Downs Road in Peru. Anyone who attends a local community dinner is likely to see Bill in attendance accompanied by either his daughter Julie Liberty and her husband Gary or his son Joe Ston and his wife Susan.
By John T. Ryan
June 9 – Many people know Doug Brown as the man who operated Peru Hardware for 40 years (1946-1985). Like most World War II veterans, Doug didn’t talked to many people about his war experiences and like most of those veterans he had never visited the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. Yesterday, thanks to the Honor Flight Program, Doug Brown and fifteen other local World War II veterans flew to our nation’s capital to view the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Monument and Arlington Cemetery. Doug’s daughter Gail Moore accompanied him on the trip.
Brown entered military service in 1942. He served in the 33rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron attached to the 9th Air Force. He was a corporal in the engineering unit, working on the P-38 aircraft. The planes were unarmed and flew missions to take photos before and after bombing missions. The 33rd Photo Recon Squadron carried out the biggest photo recon mission of the 9th Air Force in World War II. The unit was always on the move, following the changing positions on the front line. Brown served in England, France, Belgium and Germany. He was discharged in 1945.
Brown vividly recalls his military service. He said, “I enjoyed working on airplanes, but I’ll never forget how cold it was sleeping in a tent in the wintertime in Belgium.” While his squadron usually set operations at a captured base a few miles behind the front lines, things could get dangerous. Brown recalled, “One day a German jet flew over us. It was so low we could easily see a swastika painted on the side.” Brown’s unit followed the Allied troops into Paris and he vividly recalls visiting the Buchenwald concentrate camp in Germany about a week after it was liberated.
Doug Brown and his wife Helen reside on the River Road in Peru. He’s 92 years age now, but still maintains his home and mows its big lawn. Last week he rejoined his golfing friends for another summer of league play.
Hundreds of people came to the Base Oval and the Clinton County Airport this morning to give sixteen World War II veterans a wonderful “North Country Honor Flight” send-off. This afternoon the veterans and their escorts will visit the World War Ii Memorial, the Iwo Jima Monument and Arlington Cemetery. They’ll arrive back home about 11 tonight. Please watch the slideshow. I think you’ll find it to be an emotional experience. Click here to view slideshow. Turn up your sound!
By John T. Ryan
June 6 – Only a few days ago the Peru Lions Club helped the “Safe Kids Adirondack Program” distribute bike helmets to Peru Central 2nd graders. This week Lions Club members were conducting a “Screening Eyes Early” program at the Peru Primary School. The vision screening program was offered free of charge to children being registered for this fall’s kindergarten class. The program’s goal is to decrease childhood blindness through the early detection and treatment of the most common vision disorders that cause amblyopia – the leading cause of monocular blindness (blindness in one eye). The local program is conducted in collaboration with the Lions SEE Program at the Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo.
Specially trained Lions Club volunteers take digital readings of children whose parents have agreed to participate. The readings are read and evaluated by professionals at the Ross Eye Institute and parents will be informed if problems have been detected. The volunteers do not see the children’s screening results. Confidentially laws and regulations are strictly adhered to.
Peru Lions Club member Ed Eisele explained, “Our club has been screening children at pre-school and daycare centers for the past three years. This is the first year we’ve screened children in public schools.”
Eisele was the first local volunteer to be trained in the eye screening procedure and he has trained several other volunteers. He emphasized, “Children’s eyes begin to change at age 6. If the child is too old, some eyes issues may not be able to be corrected. As many as one in ten children may have an issue.” Eisele recalled screening children at a local daycare where two of the four children who were screened had an issue which required follow-up by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Longtime Lions Club leader Jim McCarty, who was assisting at the Peru Primary program, commented, “I’m happy it’s being accepted by parents. It’s helping out a lot of kids.”
Three weeks ago the Lions screened 42 children at the Keeseville Elementary School. Sixty-two pre-kindergarteners were screened this week in Peru with more Peru Primary sessions scheduled for July 16th and August 20th.
Parents in other local communities are taking advantage of screening offered by the Plattsburgh and Chazy Lions Clubs.
OSWEGO, NY (06/05/2013)(readMedia)– Alyssa Estus of Peru, a senior history major, has been named to the President’s List for the spring semester at SUNY Oswego.
Students who achieve grade averages of 3.80 and above on the 4.00 scale are named to the President’s List, the top 8.3 percent of Oswego students.
Admission to SUNY Oswego is competitive. U.S. News Media Group counts SUNY Oswego among the top public regional universities in the North for 2013, and the Princeton Review includes Oswego in its 2013 college guidebook “The Best Northeastern Colleges,” as well as its 2013 list of “best value” colleges and universities nationally.
A 152-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, Oswego enrolls about 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education.
Visit oswego.edu for more information.
From the office of Representative Bill Owens
Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Bill Owens introduced legislation, the “Spending Reduction Act” (H.R. 2250), in support of federal spending cuts outlined in a series of reports by the General Accountability Office (GAO). Specifically, the Congressman’s legislation would require executive agencies to put into place the efficiencies identified by the GAO after reporting to Congress and the President on how they would enact the recommendations. Congressman Owens issued the following statement on the bill: “The GAO identified $100 billion or more in savings the federal government can achieve without reducing services or endangering federal programs, but now we must fully implement these cuts,” said Owens. “As sequestration takes its toll across the country and deficits remain at dangerous levels, we cannot wait any longer to responsibly address America’s spending crisis. Wherever there are reasonable, common-sense options to reduce federal spending, it is incumbent upon Congress and the Administration to take action.”
In addition to requiring implementation of the GAO’s report, the “Spending Reduction Act” would provide a road map to achieve savings outlined by the GAO. Read more »
Empire State Development announces Round III Guidelines; Up to $760 million in economic development resources available in 2013
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the competition guidelines and resources available for Round III of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. Together with funding from twelve additional New York State agencies, up to $750 million in economic development resources will be available to applicants through the 2013 REDC process.
The 2013 Available CFA Resources Manual, which outlines the funds available from 29 state agency programs, and the 2013 REDC Guidebook, which provides the competitive guidelines for this year , are both available at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, it is clear that New York State is on the path to building an economy made for the 21st Century. The past two rounds of the Regional Economic Development Councils have shown what a difference we can make to local economies by listening to regional business and community leaders,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils. “This year we’re looking for even stronger projects – from businesses and applicants of all sizes – that will create new jobs for New Yorkers and ensure the Empire State remains a leader in the global economy.”
The 2013 Guidebook indicates the priorities regions should strive towards this year, which include: Read more »