Local News Crisis, Federal Emissions Standards, Enviro Score Cards Out

August 14, 2018

Local news coverage is critical connection for people to their communities. Working to report a basic set of facts for public discourse, holding public officials accountable and giving a voice to the working class makes local news indispensable. This must-read Washington Post article highlights the very real dangers of the shrinking of America’s newsrooms. I hope you’ll join me in subscribing to one of our region’s outstanding local papers.

Conservation Voters Release Score Card. Challenges with our environment are some of the largest challenges New York will face in the coming year, a fact highlighted by the recent flooding in Central New York. I’m proud to share that I have received a score of 100% on my environmental record from the New York League of Conservation Voters. I’m more committed than ever to make progress on reversing climate change, reducing plastic pollution and fixing our outdated eater and sewer infrastructure.

Emissions Standards. I’m deeply concerned about a proposed Trump administration plan to curb emission standards for vehicles. The proposed plan would eliminate New York’s ability to enforce its own stringent emissions standards, at a major detriment to the state and the planet. I’ll be closely monitoring the progress of this plan.

NRA Insurance Scheme Targeted by New York. I’ve been encouraged in recent weeks by the news of financial trouble at the NRA due to trouble with their “Carry Guard” insurance product. New York State was right to take action against what is essentially insurance for those committing a crime. I’m hopeful that this development will lead to the adoption of stronger gun safety protection in the near future.

Guilderland Announces New Grants for Parks and Sidewalks. The Town of Guilderland announced several awards secured by myself and Senator Amedore for local infrastructure improvements. One grant for $700,000 that was secured for the Town of Guilderland through the State Municipalities program will make much needed improvements to Tawasentha Park. Additionally, the Department of Transportation is planning to do some road improvements at the corner of Route 146 (Carman Rd.) and Lydius. I am very pleased to have helped secure $250,000 to bring sidewalks along Carman Road with the goal of getting sidewalks to the Pinebush Elementary School and will continue to work with the town to secure additional funds with the Department of Transportation.

Community Updates

Albany Facade Improvement Program. Following the success of the Small Business Facade Improvement Program’s Round 2, up to $100,000 in matching grants will be available as part of the program’s third round – applications will be made available September 4th.

Previous rounds of this small business program have been tremendously successful. To date the program has leveraged more than $500,000 in new investment. Administered by Capitalize Albany Corporation, the City of Albany Small Business Facade Improvement Program is made possible by funding from the Albany Community Development Agency and the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation. The program can provide matching grants to small businesses and/or commercial property owners for exterior renovations. Updated program guidelines will be made available as soon as feasible and applications will be accepted starting September 4th. If you have questions regarding the program, please contact staff at Development@CapitalizeAlbany.com.

Fossil Dig at Thacher State Park Friday Afternoon. Brachiopods, Crinoids, and Bryozoans, oh my! Learn about these creatures and why their fossils can be found in Thacher Park. Instructors will meet at the Visitor Center and take a walk to look for fossils both on and off trail. They will be observing only and not removing anything, as collecting is not allowed in the park. Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Call 518-872-1237 to register. Park entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.

Featured Funding Opportunities and Grant Assistance Workshop. Congressman Paul Tonko’s office will be hosting a Grants.gov Basics and Using Census Data in Grant Applications Workshop on Wednesday, August 22. Check in begins at 9:30 AM and the workshop will take place from 10:00 AM to 12:00 at HVCC’s Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium on 80 Vandenburgh Avenue in Troy.

Judy Ceresa, Senior Program Advisor in the Grants.gov Program Management Office will focus on the registration, find and apply process. Attendees will learn to navigate Grants.gov and the various available support tools.

David Kraiker, Data Dissemination and GIS Specialist with the US Census Bureau will explain the differences between the 10-year Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Attendees will learn how to hunt and find ACS data in the Census Bureau's data portal, and how to create tables and maps from the data. The ACS includes demographic, social and housing statistics that are available to small levels of geography.

Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, tablet or other wi-fi enabled mobile device for maximum involvement.

City of Albany “Allympics”. The City of Albany Department of Recreation will be holding their 5th annual “Allympics” Family Fun Day on Saturday August 18th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Hoffman Park on 7 Hoffman Avenue in Albany. This fun family-friendly event will have free food, raffles and a school supplies giveaway.

Park Playhouse Presents “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. The Park Playhouse summer season in in full swing as this wonderful Albany institution continues to be a great summer tradition. The playhouse will be presenting the classic “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” through August 18th, Tuesday through Saturday starting at 7:30 PM at the Washington Park Amphitheatre!

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook, on Twitter, or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note, or give us a call at (518) 455-4178.