eNews: December 2021

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Dear e-News Reader:

I hope you were able to enjoy the holidays; I’m still looking forward to getting back to the way things used to be where I can see more family and friends. Here’s hoping for a happy and healthy new year. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but I’m convinced that the more we work together the faster we’ll get through this.

Best wishes to all,

Endicott Wins $10M Downtown Revitalization Grant

I have worked with the Village of Endicott for many years on their efforts to revitalize Downtown Endicott. Their persistence, along with their vision for Washington Ave in particular, has finally paid off. Governor Hochul recently announced that the Village was a winner of this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, where they will receive $10M. The funding will help support plans for the Advanced Manufacturing I-district, new food and entertainment opportunities along with commercial and residential spaces. Endicott has reached an important turning point with new businesses bringing new energy to this once thriving hub.

Air Ambulance Bill Signed Into Law

Governor Hochul recently signed a bill I co-sponsored that will allow New York air ambulances to carry blood products. The issue came to my attention earlier this year after Travis Flanagan of Binghamton was severely injured in a farming accident.  He was airlifted from Greene to Syracuse by an air ambulance service that was fortunately based out of Pennsylvania. While being transported, he was given blood transfusions that helped save his life. New York is the last state in the country to allow air ambulances to carry blood products. I am grateful to Travis and his family for sharing their story.  Their advocacy helped us to pass this vital piece of legislation.

Holiday Giving Box Exceeds Goal

With overwhelming support from the community, our Holiday Giving Boxes helped feed 183 local families this holiday season. Due to the generous support from over 4 dozen donors, we were able to expand our giving from an initial goal of 150 families. Each box included a turkey, side dishes, locally grown potatoes, carrots, onions, and squash, as well as a pie purchased from local vendors. A heartfelt thank you to CHOW, Broome-Tioga BOCES, CCE and The Agency for their help with this effort, and to all who donated. Being able to prepare a healthy holiday meal for one’s family is something many take for granted. We hope these boxes brought some needed cheer to many families this year.

Assembly Grant Improves Sound System

The next time you visit the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena, things might sound a little better! I was able to provide a $375,000 Assembly grant to help upgrade the Arena’s sound system. The County was able to purchase state of the art speakers to ensure that every seat receives high quality sound during events. In order to stay competitive, Visions Veterans Memorial Arena needs the type of technology to meet modern performance requirements and expectations. With thousands attending events at the Arena, these upgrades were essential.

Soil Health Bill Signed into Law

Governor Hochul signed into law the Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Act; a bill I sponsored along with my fellow Agriculture Chair, Senator Michele Hinchey. The legislation recognizes the important role agriculture can play in helping the state achieve its climate goals. Healthy soil produces healthier foods, mitigates climate change through carbon sequestration, and protects our natural resources. Sometimes referred to as regenerative agriculture, this bill will provide New York farmers with the tools and resources to protect NY’s agricultural soil. As always, Cornell Cooperative Extension was a big supporter of this initiative. I was also honored at their annual meeting with the “Friend of Extension” award, and I look forward to our continued partnership.