E-Mail Newsletter – August 7, 2014

Summer is in full swing with numerous activities and events, which may be of interest to residents in the 109th District. This week has ended on a sad note with the tragic death of General Harold Green of Guilderland, the highest ranking military serviceman to be killed since the Vietnam War.

Bethlehem Easement Bill: A bill I sponsored earlier this year to allow for property tax exemptions for landowners in the Town of Bethlehem who agree to conserve open space on their properties has been submitted to Governor Cuomo for signature. This bill will provide an important step forward in preventing sprawl as well as reducing development pressure on landowners.

Army Reserve Center Closing: A truly moving ceremony was held to commemorate the official closing of the Army Reserve Center in Albany. The center was named after Major James J. O’Donovan, a former World War II Prisoner of War who survived the infamous 60 mile Bataan Death march in the Philippines. I attended the closing ceremony along with other elected and military officials to pay homage to this man’s bravery and devotion to his country and his family.

World War I Anniversary: The First World War was catastrophic with long-lasting consequences that often seem to be forgotten or passed over by modern history. I was honored to attend an event in Albany commemorating the recent hundred-year anniversary of the war. Food, films, and performances from a barbershop quartet gave a somber yet festive tribute to the “war to end all wars.”

Healthy School Network Press Conference on oil trains: I joined Assemblyman John McDonald, representatives from the Healthy schools Network and others to bring attention to the danger of crude oil trains running in close proximity to upwards of seventy-five schools in eastern New York. The conference included a map of these schools to help raise awareness of these rail lines among families in an effort to prioritize the need for increased safety measures.

Altamont Library Storytime: I was delighted to read to children recently at the Altamont Free Library’s Story Time. These summertime learning opportunities held by libraries throughout the 109th District provide a fun, free, and interactive way for our youth to retain knowledge often lost during the summer. Studies show how summer reading can prevent deterioration of reading skills.

Delmar Farmer’s Market: As summer begins to wind down, don't forget to visit our fabulous farmer markets, including the expansive one held in Delmar every Saturday morning throughout the summer at the Bethlehem Middle School, which features terrific music by talented area musicians and a wide variety of locally produced fresh foods, baked goods and fruit ciders as well as hand-crafted jewelry.

National Night Out: National Night Out is held annually and is a terrific opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors, in an effort to reduce crime. Celebrations were scheduled throughout the 109th district but unfortunately some were cut short by a heavy storm causing a great deal of damage. I attended the one in Tawasentha Park in Guilderland, which may have been the driest place in the area and was a great success.

Events in and around the 109th:

+ Shakespeare in the Park. Steamer No.10 Theatre will host Albany’s Shakespeare in the Park, taking place in Lincoln Park. Shows will be performed on a newly created stage on the East lawn of the Sunshine School (116 Delaware Avenue, Albany.) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged and revised) will be performed on August 8 at 6 p.m. and August 9 at 1 p.m., with performances using natural light. Admission is free. For more information, visit Steamer No. 10's Web site.

+ City of Albany Bike Share Kickoff- Bike sharing week in Washington Park, Albany, on Saturday, August 9

+ Altamont Book Signing and Reception for Release of Keith Lee’s book “Altamont” – featuring more than 200 historic images of Altamont. Sunday, August 10 from 3-5 pm – Altamont Village Hall

+ Upper Madison Concert Series featuring “The Jazz Connection” - Elks Club Lawn, 25 S. Allen Street, Albany – concert on Monday, August 11, 7pm

+ Dana Park Concert Series featuring “The Nellies” - intersection of Lark Street, Madison Avenue and Delaware Avenue in Albany, NY., Monday August 11, 7pm

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit jobs.ny.gov for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest about my office’s happenings 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.

Sincerely ---