• The Town of Van Buren is making improvements to its town hall and parks office, thanks to a $50,000 grant secured by Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli.
"I am glad that the funds will be put to use to make the Van Buren Town Hall and Parks and Recreation Department Office more accessible to all residents," said Assemblyman Magnarelli. "At a time when the area is enduring a financial recession, it is important to maintain and improve on the wonderful resources we already have."
The funding will be used to buy and install a 35 kilowatt natural gas fired auxiliary generator for the Town Hall, which is designated an emergency Red Cross Shelter in case of a disaster.
The funding will also be used to bring the Parks and Recreation Department Office into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by adding a 40-foot sidewalk and ramp and compliant doors.
"We are grateful for the grant which has allowed us to purchase these items without charging the town’s property tax payers," said Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes. "It is also a wonderful opportunity to make the Parks and Recreation Department Office easier for all residents to access."
"It’s great to see this brand new building open," said Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli. "The Syracuse Center of Excellence exemplifies the potential we can achieve upon having our higher education institutions partner with private industry. This is truly a great day."
The 55,000-square-foot building represents a partnership with more than 200 companies and institutions to address global challenges in clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources.
The new state-of-the-art building has:
- South-facing windows to capture the heat of the sun
- Sedum on the roof to absorb rainwater and snowmelt
- Rainwater is used to flush toilets
- A Geothermal heating and cooling system
- Underfloor heating
The research and design at the headquarters will focus on the power of communities working together to create and innovate clean technologies and thus realize sustainable economic growth. The collaborative research and demonstration projects will primarily be in the areas of indoor environmental quality, clean energy, and energy efficiency.
Since 1998, the goal has been to put the Syracuse Center of Excellence at the center of state, nationwide and international discussions about clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources. In June 2005, a groundbreaking on the building was held. The Center of Excellence is seeking the highest rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standard.
• Assemblyman Magnarelli was recently named chair of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
"I’m very delighted that the speaker saw fit to give me this appointment," said Assemblyman Magnarelli. "I feel it is my duty to remember veterans, their needs and issues, and to remind my fellow colleagues how important veterans are to our way of life. Having served on the committee since I was first elected in 1999, and having served in the military, this is a topic important to me."
The appointment will allow him to draft more legislation and work with veterans across the state.
Assemblyman Magnarelli previously served as chairman of the Assembly Ethics and Guidance committee. He is also a member of the Committees on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Oversight, Analysis and Investigation; Education; and Health.
• China’s currency practices were the topic of discussion during U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s recent visit to Syracuse. Assemblyman Magnarelli, labor union and business officials and local legislators attended the event at which Schumer unveiled a bill intended to fix China’s manipulation of its currency. By undervaluing its currency, China is unfairly taking manufacturing jobs from Central New York and across our country. China is the only country to break trade regulations by not allowing its currency to float thereby exporting manufactured products more cheaply.
"Manufacturing is a vital part of the economy," Assemblyman Magnarelli said. "It’s about protecting jobs and manufacturing in Central New York."
• Gold Alert (A5220)
This legislation, which Assemblyman Magnarelli sponsored, establishes an alert system for missing vulnerable adults. The bill recently passed the Assembly.
When enacted, the Gold Alert, similar to the Amber Alert, would use federal, state, and local resources to assist families in searching for adults who have cognitive impairments. Alerts would be sent out through the media, transportation outlets and to law enforcement officials in neighboring areas. In addition, the legislation requires law enforcement agencies to conduct training and education for all personnel regarding the recognition and management of missing vulnerable adults.
"Many of our loved ones are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive impairments and mental disabilities - which may cause adult individuals to become confused and disorientated, often leaving them susceptible to wandering," Assemblyman Magnarelli said about the bill he sponsored. "This legislation provides the families of missing at-risk adults with a valuable resource and support system in their time of need."
The bill unanimously passed the Assembly last year.
Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida, Syracuse) is sponsoring the bill in the NYS Senate.
"I hope that the Senate passes this bill soon, so that we can give it to the Governor and have the alert system up and running as quickly as possible," Magnarelli said. "This bill has the potential to save lives when put into place."
Two years ago, a Syracuse woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease left her home in the middle of the night and, through the help of several good Samaritans, traveled to her former home in New Haven, Conn. Medical Authorities were only alerted after the woman discovered someone living in her former home and became disorientated, Magnarelli said.
If signed into law, New York would join several other states, including Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina and Texas, in taking steps to assist families of vulnerable adults with locating their missing loved ones.
• Assemblyman Magnarelli recently introduced a special screening by Time Warner Cable and HBO of the Tom Hanks/Steve Spielberg miniseries The Pacific at the Carrier Theatre at John H. Mulroy Civic Center. About 200 people, including active military, veterans and even some World War II veterans, attended the screening of the follow-up to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. As Chairman of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Committee, Assemblyman Magnarelli thanked local veterans and reminded Central New Yorkers of the sacrifices veterans have made for our freedoms.