The state budget for the fiscal year 2009-2010 kept the promise to fund a sound basic education from Pre-K through high school graduation. The crisis that plagues our economy today will have an impact on New York State’s revenues and expenditures. It will not however weaken my resolve to champion education. It will take all of us working together to see our schools through difficult times. The Legislature is back in Albany to try and resolve these issues.
As the year draws to a close, I will continue to work with our local elected officials, local civic groups, and community boards to ensure that our neighborhoods remain good places to call home. My district offices have assisted many of our neighbors with their problems and we are eager to do more to help the area. The district offices are here to serve you; please do not hesitate to call upon us.
I wish you, your family, and friends a very happy, healthy New Year and I look forward to continuing our work together in the coming months.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan hosted an Open House this fall to honor local community leaders for all of the hard work they have done in Queens. Those honored included Jimmy Van Bramer- Queens Library External Affairs Director, Roberta Winfield- Co-founder of Hallet Cove Child Development Center, Joseph Conley- Community Board 2 President, Rev. Bobby Moore- Senior Pastor of Astoria Baptist Church, George L. Stamatiades- Trustee, of the Queens Public Library, Edwin Cadiz- former Executive Director of Ravenswood Senior Center , Linda Henley- former Director of Development & External Affairs of the Child Care Center of New York, Dorothy Moorehead- founder and board member of A.R.R.O.W and President of the Sunnyside Foundation; and Ira Greenberg- Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce President and MTA Board member.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President and founder of the Alliance for Climate Protection Al Gore at the Long Island City YMCA to help kick off the NYC Cool Roofs program. This initiative works with building owners to help reduce cooling costs, energy usage and greenhouse emissions by painting city roof tops white.
“I join my fellow Queens colleagues City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, newly elected Assemblymember Mike Miller, and State Senator Joseph Addabbo in support of transforming the Long Island Rail Road property on Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road from an eye-sore to a green space. This space has become a center of crime, graffiti and traffic in Ridgewood. As a community, we can transform this space into a safe, green space to help welcome residents and visitors into Ridgewood,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.
Our community lost a true hero with the passing of Buster Sabba, publisher of the Woodside Herald earlier this year. His memory will long endure for his service to our community.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Ridgewood resident and community leader Paul Kerzner were recognized for their dedication to helping to preserve the Vander Eden-Onderdonk House at their Anniversary celebration and fund-raiser.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) announced legislation the Assembly has approved with unanimous, bipartisan support earlier this year authorizing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create and administer the “green jobs, green New York” program has been signed into law (A.8901). The program provides financing to communities, homes, small businesses and not-for-profits to help revitalize the economy in an energy-independent and environmentally responsible way.
“This program will simultaneously help revive New York’s struggling economy and protect our environment,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “We’ll be tackling our economic and environmental problems head-on by investing in green energy resources, while creating the jobs to support this new industry.”
Assemblywoman Nolan said the program would create workforce development opportunities for underemployed communities, and require a comprehensive report back to the governor and Legislature after 18 months. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and New York Power Authority will be authorized, along with the municipal systems they serve, to participate in the project.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will provide $112 million in funding for residential and small business energy efficiency projects. RGGI is a cooperative effort by 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states – including New York – to limit greenhouse gas emissions. A revolving loan fund will help commit resources – with no less than 50 percent of the capital going to “retrofit” residential homes with green technology. The program will enable property owners to afford energy efficient retrofits. Although property owners will repay the full cost over time, their total energy usage will be reduced by 30-40 percent, and the loan payment on their energy bill will be less than what they saved. Assemblywoman Nolan said this program also includes some multi-family housing.
“There are many ways that homes can be retrofitted, which will actually save people money,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “These include switching to more energy-efficient lighting, installing programmable thermostats, plugging air leaks, tuning up heating and cooling systems, using ENERGY STAR fixtures such as furnaces and water heaters, reducing water use and switching to thermal and solar water-heating systems.”
The law directs up to $4 million to establish green jobs training programs throughout the state and requires NYSERDA and the state Labor Department to develop additional sources of job-training funds, Assemblywoman Nolan said.
“Protecting the environment can go hand-in-hand with employing New Yorkers with good jobs that help promote a healthy energy future,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “This law is in step with President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking $150 billion, decade-long plan to further develop clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar and to promote conservation. Like the president’s plan, our goal is to create scores of new jobs in the green-energy sector and make the important energy-efficiency changes that will get our economy – and our environment – back on track.”
“It’s time for New York to become more energy and cost efficient,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “Green jobs, green New York has the potential to improve our economy by helping businesses thrive while saving the consumer money in energy costs.”
Queens residents will be able to receive free automatic e-mail updates about the presence of Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders in their community beginning next March (Ch. 478 of 2009). This legislation is an important tool for families to help keep their children safe.
In the past, concerned residents, if not otherwise specifically notified, would have to check the sex offender registry for updates themselves. This law, which I co-sponsored, allows any New York State resident who signs up with the Division of Criminal Justice Services to receive automatic e-mail notifications when a registered sex offender moves into the neighborhood. This initiative will help protect our communities through increased awareness.
The law provides residents with an additional means to acquire information about registered Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders who reside in their communities. Residents will be able to request e-mail updates for up to three counties or ZIP codes, and the service will be free of charge.
E-mail notifications allow families to keep tabs on sex offenders who live in Queens in a convenient and hassle-free way. Giving families more information about sex offenders in their community helps keep their children safe.
The law builds on the Assembly’s record of keeping New York’s families safe. I will continue fighting for new ways to protect children from sexual predators.
This year for the first day of school, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and School Chancellor Joel Klein joined Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan at PS 111 in Western Queens to welcome back students, teachers, and staff. “As a parent of a middle school student, I know it’s important that students start off the year on the right note,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “It was exciting to welcome the PS 111 school community back to school this year and I wish them and all the other Queens students a great and successful school year. As Chair of the Education Committee, I will keep the pressure on the Mayor and Chancellor to do right by the community. Congratulations to Principal Randy Seabrook, teachers, and students for a job well done.”
New York State is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address possible cases of H1N1 in New York. H1N1 is different from a seasonal flu, although some symptoms are similar, including fever, cough, sore throat, chills and fatigue. H1N1 can be treated, so there is no need to panic.
If you have questions or concerns about H1N1, the state has set up a 24 hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-808-1987. New York City residents should call 311. The H1N1 vaccine was made available in mid-October. Up-to-date information regarding H1N1, travel warnings and alerts can be found at the CDC Web site, www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or the NYS Department of Health Web site, www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/h1n1/.
You can help stop the flu. The flu is spread from person-to-person and, occasionally, by touching something with the virus on its surface. Precautionary measures for both seasonal flu and swine flu include: