Dear e-News Reader:
It’s hard to believe that August is over and Fall is right around the corner. The Summer had it’s challenges, but there were also many bright spots. I’m glad to live in a community where people stayed safe while attending the many outdoor events, farmers markets and other activities that were available.
I also wanted to provide you with updated Covid-19 statistics. As of August 30th, there were 577 active cases and 26 hospitalizations. We are seeing large increases in both so it is important to get vaccinated if you have not already, and follow CDC-recommended guidelines.
Major Changes at the State Capitol
At midnight on August 24th, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul became the 57th Governor, and the first woman to serve in this position. A native of Buffalo, she is highly qualified with experience in local, state and federal government. Gov. Hochul is the first governor in over 100 years to have local government experience, having been Erie County Clerk and a Hamburg Town Council member. She also served as a member of Congress. I’ve known the Governor for many years and consider her a friend. She has also visited our area on numerous occasions.
As you know, the former Governor resigned after Attorney General James released a 165 page report outlining disturbing allegations of inappropriate behavior. After reading the report, it was clear that the Governor was no longer able to effectively serve. The Assembly is wrapping up its own investigation and will be providing a public report, along with sharing evidence with multiple law enforcement agencies who are conducting their own criminal investigations. It was determined that the NYS Constitution would not allow us to impeach and convict a Governor who had already left office.
Census Info Tells Local Story
Last week, the United States Census Bureau released the highly anticipated data from the 2020 Census. Since 2010, Broome County lost 1,916 residents, with a current population of 198,683. However, parts of Broome saw increases which is positive news.
According to the Census, the City of Binghamton had a 1.3% increase, for a population of 47,969. Johnson City gained 1.1%, for a total of 15,343, and Endicott had an increase of 2.1% for a total of 13,667. Vestal saw the largest growth, with an increase of 4.5% for a current population of 29,313. Other notable takeaways included large increases in racial and cultural diversity in our community. This information will be used in redistricting efforts for federal, state and local legislative districts for elections in 2022.
The NYS Fair is Underway
After a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, the NYS Fair is back! The Fair runs from August 20th to September 6th with concerts, agriculture exhibits, rides, and more! If you attend the Fair, stop by the NYS Assembly booth in the Center for Progress building. Members of Assembly and their staff will be there everyday meeting New Yorkers, handing out souvenirs, and providing information. Due to COVID-19 regulations, masks will be required indoors by all in attendance regardless of vaccination status.
LUMA Returns September 10th & 11th
LUMA is returning to its in-person format September 10 & 11 with projections throughout downtown Binghamton, including SUNY Broome’s Culinary Arts School (former Carnegie Library) and the Metrocenter. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend this family friendly event, it is well worth the time. It not only highlights the beauty of downtown’s buildings, but is considered one of the premiere projection mapping events in the world.
Attracting thousands of visitors, LUMA provides an economic boost to the entire area. In order to allow for social distancing, free tickets will be required for specific reservation times. There will be six 1.5-hour time slots spread out between the two festival days. You can get your free tickets at www.lumafestival.com.
West Endicott Fire Company Celebrates 100th Anniversary
In 1921, the H. Wendell Endicott Hose Company was formed, eventually becoming the West Endicott Hose Company in 1932. They currently serve over 1,000 homes in West Endicott and the Town of Union. We presented a Joint Resolution that the Legislature passed commemorating their 100 years of service to West Endicott. A few years ago, I was able to secure a grant for the fire company to assist with repairs to the station which is a historical landmark. It used to be home to a bowling alley and dance hall which hosted numerous events, including those for soldiers on leave during WWII.