Monday, March 02, 2015

Bazzomanifesto Update 03/02/15: 4 Topics In Today's blog

THIS BLOGS TOPICS:

1) NEWS: Lowey and Maloney Urge Congress to Pass Key Rail Legislation Following Recent Commuter Rail Accidents

2) Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl Launches

3) PRESS RELEASE] CSEA endorses Greg Bernard and Tom Diana for Yorktown Town Board

4) [PRESS RELEASE] Public Serve Commission walks back solar-killing regs with help from Senators

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2015
Contact:
Matt Wojtkun (Lowey): 202-225-6506
Stephanie Formas (Maloney): 202-225-0415
 
Lowey and Maloney Urge Congress to Pass Key Rail Legislation Following Recent Commuter Rail Accidents
 
Bill Includes Significant Investments to Prevent Grade Crossing Accidents
 
CHAPPAQUA, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-17), Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), and Hudson Valley elected officials today at a press conference at a Metro-North railroad crossing site in Chappaqua urged Congress to pass a passenger rail bill that includes significant investments in rail crossing improvements.
 
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act (PRRIA), which includes Maloney and Lowey’s legislation H.R. 705, the Rail Crossings Safety Improvement Act, which invests in state and local governments' efforts to build bridges, tunnels or otherwise relocate roads in order to improve the safety of grade crossings for passengers, motorists and pedestrians. In addition, Lowey announced she proposed an amendment to PRRIA that would set aside $10 million to build upon existing efforts like Operation Lifesaver for a national high-visibility enforcement and education campaign.
 
“The Valhalla Metro-North collision never should have occurred, but incidents at grade crossings are all too common,” said Lowey. “The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act is expected to be considered in the House this week, and I have proposed an amendment that would set aside $10 million for a national high-visibility enforcement and education campaign. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work with Congressman Maloney and my colleagues in Congress to employ every tool at our disposal to take on this challenge of improving grade crossing safety.”
 
“By working across the aisle, we’re making significant investments that will save lives with positive train control technology and safer rail crossings,” said Maloney. “Unfortunately preventable and deadly incidents at rail crossings continue occurring across New York, and this investment for our local and state governments will ensure the resources are available to improve safety at dangerous, high-hazard crossings.”
 
“Every motorist and train passenger should expect that every possible measure is in place to provide for their safety,” said Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz. “I am happy to work with our representatives in Congress to makes sure we are doing all we can to make sure we never see another tragedy at one of these crossings.”
 
“Every day, members of our community leave their homes to embark on what should always be a safe commute to work along with an uneventful return home,” said Town of New Castle Supervisor Robert J. Greenstein. “Unfortunately, on February 3, 2015, two members of our community did not return home.  In the aftermath of the tragic Metro-North accident, the need to  eliminate dangerous train crossings became clear. However, when the railroad grade crossing is located within half a mile of a high school with a large percentage of young and relatively inexperienced drivers, the need becomes urgent. We thank Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney for their leadership on this critical public safety initiative. We must prevent another tragedy.”
 
Notably, PRRIA reauthorizes a program that expired in 2009, the Rail Line Relocation and Improvement Capital Grant Program (RLR). As part of an annual $300 million reauthorization with the Intercity Passenger Rail Service Program, the RLR program allows state and local communities to invest in local rail line relocation and improvement projects at grade crossings. In the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request, the Department of Transportation listed railroad intersections as one of the “three most pressing rail safety issues.”  In the past, the RLR program allowed states and local governments to make lateral and vertical relocation of rail lines in order to improve the safety of grade crossings for train passengers, motorists and pedestrians.
 
Lowey’s amendment to PRRIA would set aside $10 million for a national high-visibility enforcement and education campaign. The amendment is modeled after the successful “Click it or Ticket” campaign for seatbelts and the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign for impaired driving.  These campaigns represent an important partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and local law enforcement officials to address critical safety risks.
Ninety-five percent of deaths involving trains happen at highway-rail crossings. While deaths and accidents have declined steadily nationwide, accidents continue to happen in New York, the home of 5,304 grade crossings. From 2012-2014, there were 81 accidents, 15 deaths and 23 injuries at grade crossings, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
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NEWS
RELEASE

 
Ned
McCormack, Communications Director (914)
995-2932

 
Elena
Rogliano, (914) 995-2933


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2015


 

WESTCHESTER
SMART: NEW YORK'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST

KICK-OFF
THE FIRST WESTCHESTER MOBILE "APP" DEVELOPMENT BOWL

Mobile
"apps" will be developed to help manage symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and
dementia patients


 

Tech
savvy students from top high schools and universities across the metropolitan
region converged at the Westchester County Center in White Plains on Friday to
launch the first
Westchester
Smart

Mobile "App" Development Bowl
.

 

Sponsored
by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, Pace University's Seidenberg
School of Computer Science and Information Systems and The David and Minnie Berk
Foundation, the competition challenges young, up-and-coming tech visionaries to
develop mobile applications ("apps") over the next two months that will make
life better for people in need.  The 2015 competition will focus on the
development of mobile apps to help manage the effects of Alzheimer's disease and
Dementia.

 

"The Westchester
Smart

Mobile 'App' Development Competition seeks to harness the extraordinary talents
of our region's young brain trust," Astorino said. "Our goal is twofold:
Challenge high school and college students to push the boundaries of their
potential and improve the lives of people suffering from these debilitating
diseases.  I am enormously grateful to Pace University for its work in making
the competition a reality."

Westchester,
which is often called the Intellectual Capital of New York, boasts the best
educated workforce of any county in the 50 states, based on the percentage of
the population holding bachelor's and advanced degrees. Its public high schools
routinely rank among the best in the nation. Schools represented in the Bowl
include more than two dozen Westchester, New York City, and Connecticut high
schools; Pace University; Fordham University; NYU and NYU Polytechnic School of
Engineering; SUNY, Monroe College, Suffolk Community College and Manhattanville
College.

 

"The
Westchester Smart Mobile 'App' Development Bowl is an opportunity for students
to highlight their potential and get rewarded for their achievements while at
the same time learning the importance of giving back to the community," said
William J. McGrath, Senior Vice President and COO of Pace University's
Westchester campus
.
"The Seidenberg School at Pace University is proud to be working with students
in the development of free mobile apps for Alzheimer's and dementia
patients."

Contest
co-sponsors include: IBM, Burke Rehabilitation and Research, The Bristal
Assisted Living, Liberty Lines and Caregiver Collaborative. Contest winners will
receive cash prizes and paid internships with Westchester County and local
businesses.

Friday's
contest launch came with suitable fanfare: The Westchester Knicks Dancers,
Marching Cobras of Westchester, recently scene in
Birdman
- this year's Oscar-winning best picture, and mascots from many of the schools
were present to cheer on contestants at the pep-rally style kick-off.


 
Contest
winners will be announced by a panel of expert judges on April 17, 2015. The
following schools are participating:


 

High
Schools (28)

Ardsley
High School

Blind
Brook High School

Byram
Hills High School

Fox
Lane High School

Greenwich
High School

Ridgefield
High School

Hendrick
Hudson High School

Horace
Greeley High School

Lakeland
High School

Lincoln
High School

Mamaroneck
High School

Mount
Vernon High School

Nellie
A. Thornton High School

New
Rochelle High School

Ossining
High School

Peekskill
High School

Pelham
Memorial High School

Pleasantville
High School

Rye
High School

St
Francis Preparatory School

Scarsdale
High School

Solomon
Schechter School of Westchester

Soundview
Preparatory School

Suffern
High School

Tappan
Zee High School

Walter
Panas High School

Westlake
High School

YWCA
White Plains & Central Westchester


 

Colleges
and Universities (8)

Fordham
University

Manhattanville
College

Monroe
College

NYU
Polytechnic School of Engineering

Pace
University

SUNY
Suffolk County Community College

The
College of Westchester

Westchester
Community College


 

###

Additional
news available at
www.westchestergov.com

Connect
with us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/WestchesterGov

Follow
us on Twitter:
@WestchesterGov


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On Friday, February 27, 2015 4:47 PM, Chairwoman Serafina Mastro wrote:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27th, 2015
CONTACT: 914-455-1060
***PRESS RELEASE***
 
 
CSEA Announces Town of Yorktown
Candidate Endorsements
 
Yorktown GOP slate of Bernard & Diana get the nod
YORKTOWN, NY - Leaders of CSEA, New York's Leading Union, have announced the union's endorsement of  Greg Bernard and Tom Diana for Yorktown Town Council. The endorsements come from the union's Southern Region Political Action Committee.

"Greg Bernard and Tom Diana have the experience needed to move Yorktown forward while preserving the vital services that make Yorktown a great place to live," said CSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo. "In these challenging times, it is crucial we elect candidates who can hit the ground running and use their experience in public service to make a stronger Yorktown."

"We are pleased to endorse two terrific candidates who have a real grasp on the issues currently facing Yorktown, along with the understanding that a strong working relationship with the town workforce benefits everyone," said CSEA Westchester County Local President John Staino. "With Bernard's prior experience on the Town Council and Diana's years as a local police officer, both men bring with them the skills and stability Yorktown needs."

CSEA represents nearly 40,000 workers across the Hudson Valley, including many municipal workers working for the Town of Yorktown.

The two candidates will be on the ballot for the important special election on March 10th.

-30-
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On Friday, February 27, 2015 4:58 PM, Senator Terrence Murphy wrote:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27th, 2015
CONTACT: Matthew Slater, 518-455-3111
ARRC SCORES VICTORY FOR SOLAR ENERGY, 
PSC KILLS JOB-KILLING REGS AT MURPHY'S REQUEST 
ALBANY, NY - The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) today issued a stay on new regulations it approved back in December which had lawmakers and clean energy advocates up in arms over new requirements which denied net metering credits to solar development projects currently underway.

State Senator Terrence Murphy and his colleagues, Senators Joseph Griffo and George Amedore, recognizing the importance of large-scale solar projects, had sent a letter of opposition to the PSC regarding that provision of the PSC's order to raise net metering minimum caps and revision tariffs.

"As you know, [the] policy change could significantly jeopardize many projects already in progress throughout the state," they wrote. "We are concerned that [this] significant change in the rules will impact upstate economies of net metering."

According to the Albany Times-Union article 'NY pulls back solar regulations that caused outrage' solar groups and companies argued these requirements would have severely restricted solar development projects already under construction.

As Chairman of the State's Administrative Regulatory Review Commission, Senator Murphy, charged with all proposed agency rule changes and new regulations, stepped in on their behalf. After urging the PSC to balance the interest of rate payers and solar developers, the agency acquiesced in a recent decision and has now grandfathered in hundreds of projects that would have been outlawed under their original proposal.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits customers who produce their own renewable energy, including solar power. They are only billed for their electricity use which exceeds the amount of electricity they self-generate.

"By increasing the amount of time needed to effectuate this new policy and more actively manage the transition toward a more equitable payment system, we will safeguard consumers from having to pay more for solar energy in the net metering process," PSC chairman Audrey Zibelman said in a statement. "The Commission's decision will give parties more time to ensure a smooth transition in the modification of the utilites' net-metering rules."

-30-

Editor's note: Attached please find a copy of Senator Murphy's letter to the PSC, as well as a copy of the PSC's recent decision to roll-back the regulation Murphy had opposed.


Bazzo 03/02/15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

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