From the Office of Representative Bill Owens
WASHINGTON—Today, Representative Bill Owens announced the formation of a Women’s Advisory Committee. The committee comprises nearly 80 women from communities across New York’s 16,000 square-mile 21st Congressional District. Members will advise Representative Owens on legislation before Congress and women’s issues in New York.
The committee launched earlier this month with an inaugural conference call to discuss Representative Carolyn Maloney’s (NY-12) proposal for an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act. The group discussed these initiatives in the context of job creation and the link between opportunities for women and broader economic growth.
“Through this committee, I am able to gain valuable perspectives from women who are leaders in their communities,” Congressman Bill Owens said. “Clearly, supporting women is critical to economic growth in the 21st Congressional District. I look forward to regularly receiving local feedback on a broad range of issues and appreciate the committee members’ willingness to contribute their time and ideas to the discussion.”
After discussing Rep. Maloney’s Equal Rights Amendment over the phone, Representative Owens asked the advisory committee members to review the legislation and recommend whether or not he should endorse it as a cosponsor. A large majority of the group recommended Representative Owens co-sponsor the legislation.
Representative Owens modeled the committee after the Agricultural Advisory Committee he formed in May as the House debated the Farm Bill. Both committees will continue adding members and regularly advise Owens on relevant policy issues.
An initial list of members of the Women’s Advisory Committee is below: Read more »
Come one, come all to Peru Jr./Sr. High school on December 6th and 7th at 7:30p.m. The Peru Drama Club proudly presents Up the Down Staircase written by Christopher Sergel from the book by Bel Kaufman. Tickets can be purchased for just $5.00 per person.
Sylvia Barrett, a young English teacher is offered a position at Calvin Coolidge High School. Between the overcrowded classroom, the obnoxious requests from the school, and barely being able to take attendance the first day, she knows this will be difficult. Fortunately, she gets support from her co-workers and best friend. Throughout teaching here, she learns that these students are more complex than she could ever imagine. This makes her question the definition of teaching, and what it is all about. Through her struggles, she gets in trouble with administration, and helps the students with any struggles, and helps them to become the best they can be.
Will Sylvia inspire her students? Will Alice ever confess her love to her crush? Will Joe Ferone become a drop out? Will he ever be able to go up the up staircase? Come to the show to find out!
The Cast: Read more »
As a special holiday greeting to its members and the community, the North Country Chamber of Commerce is once again sponsoring the broadcast of “The Story of the Little Reinbear”, an original Christmas story authored by Chamber President Garry Douglas.
The story will be presented on WIRY/Hometown Radio (1340 AM) on the following schedule:
* Saturday, December 7th, 5:15 – 5:30p.m.
* Monday, December 9th, 5:00 – 5:15p.m.
* Friday, December 13th, 5:00 – 5:15p.m.
* Wednesday, December 18th, 5:00 – 5:15p.m.
* Tuesday, December 24th, 3:45 – 4:00p.m.
PLATTSBURGH, NY (11/24/2013)(readMedia)– Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York & the Alpha lota Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. will present “The Art of Public Speaking” on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 1pm-3pm at SUNY Plattsburgh, Sibley Hall 100. The event is FREE and is open to all girls through grade 12 – girls do not have to be a currently registered Girl Scout to participate. Fun activities and healthy snacks will be included in the program. Sharpening communication abilities helps young women succeed in a world that demands confidence, articulation and the ability to clearly communicate ideas. By building superior speaking skills, young women will prepare to excel in school, attain their dream jobs, defend their beliefs and values, and become leaders in their schools and communities. Please RSVP by Monday, December 2, 2013 to Northernregion@gsneny.org. Questions? Call (518) 563-1560.
About Girl Scouts: Read more »
The Keeseville-Peru Ecumenical Choir will be performing two concerts. The first concert will be Saturday, December 14, 2013, at St. John the Baptist Church in Keeseville at 7:30pm. The second concert will be Sunday, December 15, 2013, at St. Augustine’s Church in Peru at 7:30pm. The choir is directed by Jeanette Woodruff and accompanied by Carol Bachand. The 65 member choir will be performing a variety of sacred and secular Christmas music. Admission is free.
ST. AUGUSTINE’S PARISH CENTER, 3030 MAIN ST., PERU
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 10 am – 3 pm
COME JOIN US TO SHOP WITH OVER 30 VENDORS – SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST!
BROWSE CRATE & CHRISTMAS ST. VINCENT’S THRIFT
FATHER ALAN’S THRIFT SHOP WILL BE STORE WILL BE OPEN
CHRISTMAS SHOP OPEN (Misc. Treasures) (slightly used clothing)
SCRATCH-OFF LOTTERY TREE RAFFLE
HOT LUNCH FOR SALE – SPONSORED BY THE CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS
(Chicken Soup, Split Pea Soup; Egg, Tuna, Ham Salad Sandwiches; Sausage and Peppers; Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, Soda, & Water)
GET YOUR DECADENT DESSERT FROM THE BAKE SALE - ALSO SPONSORED BY THE CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS.
SANTA WILL BE AT THE PARISH CENTER FROM 11 AM – 1 PM
ENJOY THE SWEET ADELINES BETWEEN 1 PM AND 2 PM AS THEY ENTERTAIN US WITH HOLIDAY SONG
HEARING SCREENINGS CONDUCTED BY PLATTSBURGH STATE UNIVERSITY SPEECH & HEARING PROGRAM GRADUATE STUDENTS
I represent the United Way Campaign Team for the Adirondack Region. United Way funds 40 different agencies in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties. I co-lead one of these agencies: The Champlain Valley Chapter of The Compassionate Friends. This is a self help bereavement support group for families who have had children, grandchildren or a sibling die. This is run by volunteers only. With the funds from United Way we can send out newsletters, run meetings, host a memorial walk and candle lighting ceremony, and also do other fun events for our members.
The United Way Campaign is in full swing this Holiday Season and with everyone hustling around to make sure we check everyone off our Holiday lists, I would like for you to consider giving a gift in honor or memory of a loved one to this year’s United Way Campaign. Holiday shopping is exhausting, so why not save some time and drop off a donation to The United Way Office on the Tom Miller Road in Plattsburgh. There are always gifts to purchase for those hard to buy for people on our lists. Why not give a gift that will keep on giving. One gift will help 40 partner agencies.
If you have already done your shopping for this season, think about other times of the year when you are invited to anniversary and birthday parties, retirement parties and you just don’t know what to get. A gift to the United Way will take the guessing out of what to get them. Imagine how proud the honoree would feel opening a card with a message inside saying where the gift went in their name. Times are challenging in our world today. Please help our neighbors and together we will reach our goal. Last year alone, our 40 partner agencies helped over 80,000 individuals collectively.
West Chazy, NY
ALBANY, NY (11/21/2013)(readMedia)– Recognizing the legal challenges often faced by our nation’s military veterans, the New York State Bar Association has established a special panel of attorneys to provide free phone consultations and discounted legal services to veterans statewide.
More than 155 attorneys from around the state, including representatives from two local bar associations, have agreed to participate in the new Veteran Referral Panel, which will continue through Memorial Day 2014. The State Bar will continue to recruit attorneys and local bar associations to participate in this program in an effort to meet the demand for these legal services.
“Veterans are often forced to deal with a variety of issues relating to employment, family matters, healthcare, housing, disability, pensions and finances,” said State Bar President David M. Schraver of Rochester (Nixon Peabody), who served in the U.S. Navy as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
“With this pilot program, the State Bar Association continues its commitment to those who have served our country and who now need our help,” he said.
Under the program, participating attorneys have agreed to provide free phone consultations and offer a 25 percent discount on their regular fees. The program is available to veterans in need of various legal services, not just those services related to obtaining veterans benefits. Read more »
It appears that the North Country business community has recognized that the Bear Swamp Road is a great place to do business. Livingood’s Restaurant is scheduled to open in a few days; Allen Turner’s four new apartments behind McDonald’s are being rapidly occupied and tonight the Zoning Board gave its approval to the CFA Insurance Agency’s application to expand its presence on the road. The insurance agency plans to relocate its business from 704 Bear Swamp Road to the former Beaumont Medical Building at 686 Bear Swamp Road and hopes to be operational at the new location sometime in January.
CFA Insurance Agency Owner Clark Forster said, “We’ve been located in Peru for twelve years. It’s a great place to do business. People are attracted to this community and our business is steadily growing. We need more space.” CFA has six employees and plans to increase the number of employees as its business grows. It specializes in property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans and estate planning including life and long-term care insurance.
At 4,800 square feet, the new building, which was constructed in 1974, is almost three times as large as CFA’s current location. Forster explained, “I hope to rent space to other business services and professional companies.” The accounting firm, Chauvin Business Systems, rents offices at Forster’s current location and will be moving to the new building.
Town of Peru Zoning Attorney Thomas Murnane informed Forster that the Planning Board should conduct a Site Plan Review of his plans, but that should not hold up Forster’s purchase of the property.
Posted: November 20th, 2013 under Business News, General News, Northern NY News, Peru News, Peru resident news/accomplishments, Peru/Regional History, Planning Board News, Town Board News, Zoning Board News.
By John T. Ryan
The absentee votes have been counted and according to the unofficial vote count Donald McBrayer will become a member of the Peru Town Council on January 1, 2014. On Election Day McBrayer led Lana Knight by 12 votes. After counting absentee ballots, he led by 15 votes.
Two Town Council seats were up for election. According to Greg Campbell, Republican Commissioner of the Board of Elections, Jim Douglass received a total of 1,037 votes, Donald McBrayer received 781 and Lana Knight received 766. Based on The Peru Gazette’s Election Day report Douglass received 50 absentee ballots, McBrayer 52 and Lana Knight 49. Lana Knight told the Peru Gazette that she already called McBrayer to offer congratulations and that she had no plans to challenge the vote count. Both McBrayer and Knight have said that was a clean campaign and that the voters had a choice of three good candidates.
Posted: November 20th, 2013 under Business News, General News, Northern NY News, Peru News, Peru resident news/accomplishments, Peru/Regional History, Political News, Town Board News, Zoning Board News.
From the Office fo State Senator Betty Little
In advance of the 2014 Legislative Session set to begin in January, State Senator Betty Little and her Republican colleagues today announced a report outlining numerous proposals to simplify New York’s tax code and reduce taxes. The report was developed based on testimony collected through a series of statewide hearings this fall.
“Helping small businesses by simplifying the tax code and providing broad-based tax relief is what’s needed to spur our economy in the North Country,” said Senator Betty Little. “Everyone agrees that our economy needs help. The most effective way to do that is by helping those that generate revenue and create jobs.”
Highlights of the recommendations made in the preliminary Senate report include, among other things: enact a permanent two-percent cap on
state spending growth and dedicate every dollar of surplus savings to tax reduction; create an optional simple personal income tax calculation; eliminate the Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT); and reduce property taxes.
The plan also proposes to eliminate unfair tax treatment by making all retirement income tax-free, thus encouraging seniors to remain in New York. Currently only Federal, State, and local pension income is completely tax-free. The Senate Republican proposal would amend New York’s Estate Tax by conforming it with the Federal Job Creation Act and the American Taxpayer Relief Act to protect family farms and small businesses and eliminate the incentive to transfer wealth from New York to other states.
The report also highlights the need to review New York’s current, piecemeal-style approach to tax relief – which involves providing tax credits to specific industries – in favor of a simplified system that produces a lower tax structure for all businesses. Senator Little has proposed her own “circuit-breaker” tax relief proposal to direct property tax relief to those based on income and financial need.
By Adele Douglas
The well-attended November 12, 2013 Board of Education meeting had a full agenda. These are the highlights of the evening.
Renaming the reorganized Peru Central School was decided. Grades K to 6 will be called Peru Elementary School and grades 7 to 12 will be called Peru Junior/Senior High School as selected via the survey the school conducted last year.
Genie Denton took the School Board Member Oath of Office. She replaces Jon Ruff, who recently moved out of the district and therefore had to resign. The Board selected Genie from several interested individuals. Her term ends May 21, 2014.
Jacquelin Hall was present as the Board recognized her husband David for his 30 years of public service as a school board member, 15 of those years on the Peru School Board. Hall passed away on October 18th, 2013.
Board members observed student learning when costumed fourth grade students told the Board about their field trip to the 1812 Homestead in Willsboro and first grade students honored military veterans with a very moving presentation.
During the public comment period two issues were raised related to new policies the Board is considering. Michele LaPoint asked that the Zumba classes be allowed back into the school. She spoke of the value of these classes to individuals and the community. After much discussion it was determined that since no new policy was yet in place the old policy that allowed the Zumba classes to use the Crackerbox gym was still in effect. The Board will continue to discuss the new “Public Use of School Facilities” policy.
Michelle Bechard spoke about the proposed policy that would prohibit homemade treats from being sent in for special events, thus ending the tradition of sending in homemade cupcakes for birthday parties in the Elementary School. While she understood that the State is concerned about food safety, she pointed out a number of reasons that this policy was a bad idea including the cost to parents of having to buy cupcakes. She asked the Board to reconsider the policy. Later in the meeting the Board discussed the issue and seemed to agree with Ms. Bechard’s concerns.
The Board also authorized the creation of three additional bus runs at an estimated cost of $10,500. The buses will be for those secondary students who stay for tenth period. To date they’ve been riding home with the elementary students. Separate buses will avoid a wide mix of ages on the buses as well as make sure the buses that bring older students back from CVTEC, CVPH and Seton Central don’t keep the elementary school buses waiting.
The Board authorized the Business Administrator to fund extra-curricular activities for the 2013-2014 school year. Overnight accommodations for clubs and activities will be funded at the discretion of the District. Funded travel will continue to include sports at state level competitions and will be extended to include Model UN and high-level music and math competitions.
This was the scene at the Clinton County Board of Elections at 3:45 this afternoon as officials counted absentee ballots. The Peru Town Council seat sought by Republican Donald McBrayer and Democrat Lana Knight is undecided with McBrayer leading by only twelve votes on Election Day. Absentee voters will decide the election.
Nassau DA Rice got $1M in gifts through a loophole being investigated by the anti-corruption panel she runs – NY Daily News
By John T. Ryan
Peru’s Town leaders have managed to limit the town’s 2014 tax levy increase to 1.5%; nevertheless, there will be an 8.8% tax rate increase in both Town General and Town Highway taxes. The General Fund Tax Rate will increase from $1.93 to $2.10 per thousand while the Highway Fund Tax Rate will increase from $2.37 to $2.58. A home with a taxable value of $150,000 will see an increase from $645 to $702 or $57.
General Fund spending is budgeted to increase by $11,555 to $808,305 while Highway Fund spending will increase by $14,611 to $992,043. The Town’s total budget including general, highway, water and sewer services totals $4,093,069. Salaries will increase by 1.66%, coinciding with the New York State tax cap limit.
Town Supervisor Peter Glushko explained that declining assessed values and a declining fund balance are the primary reasons for the tax increases. Since 2011, the Town’s total assessed value has declined by over $2.3 million. Glushko did note that twenty newly constructed housing units should be on the tax rolls next year. The Town projects that its will enter 2014 with an Unappropriated Fund Balance of $389,493, down from $568,308 in 2012.
Tax exemptions also play a role in tax rates, deceasing taxable property value by 13.07% or $62,064,185. When a person, institution or business receives an exemption, another party assumes the cost.
The Town Council has controlled health insurance costs over the past several years; they will decline by $2,000 in 2014. Still, the Town’s 2014 total health insurance costs total $252,850. Retirement costs have exploded, increasing 78% since 2011; $210,672 has been budgeted for 2014.
Residents in the Peru Water District will see a minor tax decrease with the tax rate falling from $3.10 per thousand to $3.03. The Water Budget totals $824,019 including $425,064 in debt service.
The Peru Gazette summarized the Town of Peru’s 2014 budget by consolidating major accounts. The abbreviation “P.S.” refers to personnel services.
By John T. Ryan
Since 2009, Knights of Columbus Councils in the United States and Canada have distributed more than 115,000 new winter jackets to needy children through the organization’s Coats for Kids Program. On November 6th, St. Augustine’s Council 7273 Grand Knight Anthony Andrews presented twenty-four jackets to Peru Elementary School Guidance Counselor Susan Rabideau who accepted the jackets on behalf of the Peru Elementary School and the Peru Association of Teachers,which organizes the school’s coat distribution program. Some of the Coats for Kids jackets were to be distributed during teacher conference week and others will be available as the need arises. One jacket was given to a student less than 15-minutes after the presentation.
By John T. Ryan
The program handed out at today’s VFW Post 309 Veterans Day Service included these words:
What is a Veteran?
“A Veteran whether active duty, retired or reserve is someone who at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to, and including his or her life. That is an honor. And there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand this fact.”
Post Commander Gaylon LeCuyer welcomed everyone including the speakers of the day James Langley, Chairman of the Clinton County Board of Legislators, and Kathy Flynn, Town of Peru Town Clerk/Tax Collector. Langley told the group assembled, “Americans are gathering across the country to honor veterans. Veterans are people who step forward and say I’m willing to serve.” Flynn recalled our nation’s freedoms and expressed thanks to all veterans for preserving these freedoms and for their service to our nation and town.
The Service began with the Posting of Colors by the Civil Air Patrol Color Corps. Reverend Alan Shnob, Pastor of the Catholic Community of St. Augustine and St. Patrick led opening and closing prayers. Members of the New York Guard, 2nd Engineering Response Battalion, conducted a Rifle Salute. Lynn Wilke sounded Taps. Wilke is a member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Chapter 154, in Albany.
VFW Post 309 members Reginald Besaw – U. S. Army, Rick Cormish – U.S. Air Force, Joe Stafford – U.S. Air Force, Gaylon LeCuyer – U.S. Army, John Mashtare – U.S. Marine Corps, Tom Fusco – U.S. Air Force, Jason Amoriell – U.S. Air Force.
One good way to celebrate Veterans Day is to attend the Memorial Day Service at Peru VFW Post 309, 710 Route 22B. The Service begins at 11 AM. It usually lasts about 30 minutes. It will be followed by a light luncheon in the VFW Post. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
By John T. Ryan
The Peru Town Board got a surprise at its November 4, 2013 meeting. Board members learned that the zoning law that they thought they passed on October 28, 2013 might have to be voted on a second time. Town Attorney Donald Biggs told the Board, “There are things that have to be done before you pass it.” Biggs went on to say he was unsure if all the legal requirements had been satisfied. The Board caught Biggs by surprise when it passed the law at its last meeting; a discussion rather than a resolution was on the meeting agenda.
Biggs told the Board that an environmental statement, reviews by surrounding communities and the approval of Clinton County Planning Board have to accomplished prior to submitting the law to the New York Department of State. None of the councilpersons could assure him that those actions had been taken. Biggs said that after all the hard work that has gone in to updating the law he did not want to see it challenged on the grounds that is wasn’t passed correctly.
The Board also learned that the Fuller Road culvert repairs would be delayed pending U.S. Corps of Army Engineers approval. Town officials met Corps officials who spoke about the need for fish ladders and bat protection. Town officials hope to meet a second time with the Corps within the next few days.
In response to resident petitions the New York State Highway Department has approved a 50-mile per hour Brand Hollow Road speed limit between the Military Turnpike and Route 22 and a 30-mile per hour speed limit on Henry Senior Drive. The State denied petitions to reduce speed limits on the Lyons Road and Rock Road.
In other actions/news:
- Board members expressed the view that the Town has done all it can do to resolve complaints from Sharon Hemingway and David Thomas regarding involving surface water drainage. Hemmingway resides at 870 Fuller Road and Thomas owns the property, which is a few hundred feet north of the Bear Swamp Road. At the August 26, 2013 Town Board meeting Thomas told the Board that water overflowing from a town ditch on the west side of the highway was flooding his property on the opposite side of the highway. He said the flooding had never occurred prior to a 2010 Town paving project. Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell responded telling the Board that Thomas’ property is at the lowest point on the highway, water could not flow uphill and that the water had to flow somewhere. Farrell contended that clearing a blocked ditch adjacent to Thomas’ property would solve the problem and that the Town could not legally do work on private property. Farrell has tried to resolve the problem through ditching and spreading shock rock on the west side the highway; however, Thomas contends that Farrell’s work worsened the situation.
- Representatives from a company named Hudson Energy spoke to the Board and offered the town electricity at a five-year contract electric price of 6.6 cents per kilowatt. The Town currently purchases electricity at a variable rate from NYSEG Solutions. The Hudson Energy representative said his analysis revealed that the Town’s rates have ranged from 6 cents to 14 cents during the past year. Led by Brandy McDonald and Jim Douglass, the Board resisted pressure to immediately sign a contract. McDonald will call the few regional Hudson Energy customers and NYSEG Solutions.
- The Board approved an inter-fund loan from the General Fund to the Highway Fund in the amount of $174,300 to be repaid in December when New York State monies are received. The Highway Department has faced budget pressures since performing Hurricane Irene related road and drainage repairs. FEMA reimbursement was $260,000 less than the cost incurred.
The Peru Lions Club will be hosting its 36th annual John P. Adams Memorial Turkey Trot on November 28nd, 2013 (Thanksgiving Day). Pre-register by going to perulionsclubnewyork.org Click “Register for Events”. Select Turkey Trot and chose one of the registration/payment options. Same day registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Peru Intermediate School gym. To ensure a 9:00 start, registration will end at 8:15, sharp. The 1-mile fun run/walk begins at 8:45 a.m. and the 5 & 10K races shortly afterward. Entry fee for 5 & 10K events is $15 if pre-registered online before Monday 11/25 at 10 a.m. Bib pick-up and last minute pre-registration can be done at the Peru Intermediate gym on Wednesday the 27th from 4-7 p.m. On the day of the event, the fee is $20. The 1-mile fun run/walk fee is $5. Trophies are awarded to male and female winners of the 5 & 10K races. For more information contact: Lois Roberts @ 643-2213 or Jen Boyer @ 562-0528.