Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bazzomanifesto Update 06/10/15: 11 Topics In Today's blog


1) Northern Westchester Examiner: Peekskill Mayor Launches Reelection Bid with Diverse Ticket
2) Lewisboro Daily Voice: State Senate OKs Bill To Double Term Lengths3) PRESS RELEASE] Rockefeller Endowment earnings would increase by 3200% this year under Murphy bill

4) Yorktown Planning Board schedules special Costco meeting 06/08/15

5) Lincoln Depot Museum:  Join us on Flag Day 06/14/15

6) Lalor: Pass the Education Tax Credit and Empower Parents

7) The Westchester Board of Legislators Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month - Monday, June 15th


9) PRESS RELEASE] Murphy bill ups animal cruelty reoffense to felony


11) PRESS RELEASE] Heroin dealers could be charged with murder after Senate bill passes

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Northern Westchester Examiner: Peekskill Mayor Launches Reelection Bid with Diverse Ticket

Lewisboro Daily Voice: State Senate OKs Bill To Double Term Lengths
CONTACT: Matt Slater, 914-582-2361
ALBANY, NY - In 1983, the John D. Rockefeller III Fund made a gift of three million dollars to New York State, to create a permanent endowment to be used for the care and maintenance of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pocantico Hills.

State Senator Terrence Murphy today announced passage of legislation he authored which would transfer custodianship of the Endowment from the State Comptroller to the Natural Heritage Trust, which will allow the funds to be invested and grow more aggressively.

"Over the years the Rockefeller family has donated so much to ensure that this beautiful Preserve can be enjoyed by all New Yorkers, and for that we are eternally grateful," Senator Murphy said. "Today, we have worked to support their legacy and the Endowment in a way that shall increase investment opportunities and income generation for the Endowment and provide much needed revenue for the maintenance and care of the Preserve, so future generations can enjoy the same magnificent Preserve we love today."

The Preserve is under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The original donation put its Endowment under the custody and management of the State Comptroller's office, who, by law, was required to invest the Endowment in a very conservative manner.

As a result of the decline in interest rates on bonds and investment securities over the past decade, the income generated from the Endowment decreased over the years from a high of $161,139 in 2006-07, to $4,555 in 2013-14.

Senator Murphy said he looked to reverse this trend, and with the help of the Rockefeller family and the Friends of the Rockefeller Park Preserve, crafted legislation to transfer the Endowment to the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), a State public benefit corporation that manages more than $25 million worth of assets, including a number of endowments that benefit state parks.

Funds held in trust by the NHT are invested using a traditional approach commonly used by universities, hospitals, community foundations and nonprofit organizations, generating significantly higher returns than those previously experienced by the Endowment, Murphy said.

With passage of Murphy's legislation, it is expected that the Endowment for the Preserve will generate approximately 5 percent annually, or $150,000 in the first year, in comparison to the $4,555 generated in 2013-14 under the State Comptroller's conservative investment requirements, he said. The bill now heads to the State Assembly, where it is carried by Assemblyman Tom Abinanti.

Senator Muphy recently joined the NHT in announcing that David Rockefeller had donated an additional $4 million to establish a seperate operating endowment for the Preserve, one of the largest-ever private donations in the history of the state park system. Mr. Rockefeller also plans to donate approximately 500 additional acres of pastures, hayfields and forest to the Preserve in the future.

Under the control of NHT both Endowments will help maintain the park's signature historic carriage roads and stone arch bridges, which were built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Designed to complement the landscape, the carriage roads allow visitors to experience the natural wonders of the area as they traverse through wood and stone bridges, wind through meadows and woodlands, and travel past streams, rivers and lakes.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve is comprised of a significant portion of the Rockefeller family's fabled Pocantico Hills estate. The family has donated 1,400 acres of land, spanning from the Hudson River to the Saw Mill Valley, to New York State since 1983.
Citizens for an Informed Yorktown

Planning Board
June 8, 2015
Meeting highlights. For more details, check

1. Taconic Veterinary Clinic & Canine Kindergarten
The Public Informational Hearing was rescheduled for July 13, 2015.

2. Costco Special Meeting
There will be a special meeting of the Planning Board Monday, June 15, 2015 at 7:00pm in the YCCC to review the changes made to the Costco site plan in response to comments collected in the SEQR process.

3. Envirogreen Demolition Permit
The building in question formerly housed the Dana Cole Hair Salon on East Main Street in Mohegan Lake.

4. Northern Westchester Restorative Care
The Planning Board will be reviewing the applicant’s stormwater plan.
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PO Box 193
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
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On Tuesday, June 9, 2015 9:52 AM, Chris Covucci wrote:

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Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor 
For Immediate ReleaseJune 9, 2015
Contact: Chris Covucci - (845) 309-2654
Pass the Education Tax Credit and Empower Parents

Statement on the Education Investment Tax Credit from Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I - East Fishkill)
"Parents are in the position to make the best education decisions for their children. That's why I support the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC). It will empower parents to pick the right schools to fit their children's needs. It will encourage private donations to support a wide range of school options from traditional public schools, to charter schools, to parochial schools and yeshivas. That's a great thing for parents and kids. This bill is a boost to all schools.”

"It is unfortunate that special interest groups have mislead New Yorkers by claiming the EITC is a giveaway to the rich when in fact, it will help working-class children. Special interest groups that oppose this are rejecting additional support for public schools because they are reflexively against support for non-public schools. They are blatantly putting politics first and kids and families last. Some lawmakers are also putting politics before education. The EITC once had over 90 co-sponsors in the Assembly when only 76 votes are necessary to pass a bill. Shockingly, special interests have bullied lawmakers into dropping their sponsorship of the bill."

"The EITC incentivizes private contributions to every school through a tax credit. Your neighborhood public school can raise funds to support extra-curricular activities that might have gone underserved otherwise. The charter schools that are giving kids new opportunities will have the chance to add to their programs. The EITC can and will help every school."

"Giving parents more choices in education is the right policy. We all know families who, for example, started in Catholic school and found that public school was a better fit for their children. Likewise, some families start in public school and find the best option for their children is a parochial school. We all know private school teachers who send their kids to public school and public school teachers who send their kids to private school. Children are unique and one-size-fits-all does them a disservice."

"The EITC provides increased funding for all schools. Diverse education options will provide our kids with the best chance to succeed."
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..


On Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:08 PM, Catherine Borgia wrote:

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On Tuesday, June 9, 2015 4:07 PM, Michael Mulraney wrote:

Contact: Tara Keegan, 845-628-3781 ,
            Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C-Yorktown) is calling on the Assembly Majority Conference to pass the previously agreed-upon pension forfeiture legislation instead of the watered-down version currently making its way through the Assembly. The Senate and Assembly majorities and the governor agreed to a pension forfeiture amendment as part of the budget, but the Assembly pulled its version at the 11th hour. 
            “We had a real chance to reform Albany for the better, and the Assembly Majority squandered it,” Katz said. “It is shameful that, after everything that happened in this chamber between Sheldon Silver and William Scarborough, that this is the best we can come up with. The Majority Conference here in the Assembly pulled back the amendment and kept this watered-down version until the penultimate week of session when there is very little chance of reaching an agreement between the two versions. The people of New York State deserve better than this.”


On Tuesday, June 9, 2015 5:43 PM, Matt Slater wrote:

CONTACT: Matt Slater, 914-582-2361
ALBANY, NY - With numerous recent and disturbing reports of animal cruelty on the rise in New York State, one member of the State Senate says it must stop. Senator Terrence Murphy today said he passed a bill crafted to prevent those who abuse animals from committing similar acts in the future in the Senate.

"Animal cruelty is a key indicator of future violence toward human victims, and yet under current law repeat offenders only face misdemeanor charges," Murphy said. "Treating animal cruelty as a felony will create more of a deterrent apropos of these heinous and profane acts against helpless animals. Whether it is direct violence or neglect, animal cruelty is wrong in all forms."

The new law authored by Murphy would increase the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing, killing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal to a felony, if convicted within five years from the date of a prior conviction. It now faces passage in the State Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.

Raising the penalty to a felony for subsequent acts of cruelty will help law enforcement curb such activities and allow for the imposition of lengthier periods of court supervision or imprisonment, Murphy said. "Treating repeat offenses of animal cruelty as felonies is consonant with the goal of preventing future violence toward human and animal victims," he said.

On Tuesday, June 9, 2015 6:44 PM, Michael Mulraney wrote:

Contact: Tara Keegan, 845-628-3781 ,
A statement by Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C-Yorktown)
            Today, we won a significant legislative victory for those who are in pain now and can’t wait another second for the relief medical marijuana is proven to bring. Many of those suffering cannot wait for full implementation on the government schedule. They need relief now. They need their government to act, and do everything we can to expedite the process of recovery. We must urge the Senate to take action and help those in pain. I am proud to have been a sponsor of this legislation and to have played a small part in helping those suffering from unimaginable pain.

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015 11:34 AM, Matt Slater wrote:

CONTACT: Matt Slater, 914-582-2361
ALBANY, NY - State Senator Terrence Murphy, co-chairman of the New York STate Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, today announced passage of a package of bills to help decrease heroin deaths and put more drug dealers behind bars for peddling dangerous opioids. The measures are being put forth by the Task Force as part of its continuing examination of the issues created by increased heroin abuse that is causing
hundreds of deaths in communities across the state.

"The first round of hearings provided valuable insight as to the obstacles we as a state must overcome to win the war on heroin and opioid addiction," Senator Murphy said. "This legislative package will advance important legislation from last year's Task Force as well as address new issues which have been identified as a result of the most recent hearings. Ultimately, we must continue our fight every day to curb the scourge of this epidemic by holding drug dealers accountable and by providing realistic options for prevention and those in recovery."

Over the past several weeks, the Task Force has held forums in Yorktown, Rochester, Lewiston, and Albany. Additional forums will be planned for more New York communities in the fall. The Task Force will then issue a report with recommendations for further legislative action to address concerns raised by law enforcement, health and mental health experts, victims' advocates, and other stakeholders who participated in the forums.

The preliminary package of 13 bills builds on the 2015-16 State Budget, which provided significant funding for programs targeting the heroin crisis, including: $7.8 million in funding for statewide prevention, treatment and recovery services; $450,000 to purchase Narcan kits given out for free to individuals who participate in a Narcan training class; and $140,000 to finance the cost of Narcan kits for staff and nurses authorized to administer Narcan in the event of a heroin or opioid overdose at school.

The legislation passed this week includes: 
  • Establishing the crime of homicide by sale of an opioid controlled substance, also known as "Laree's Law" (S4163), sponsored by Senator George Amedore: Allows law enforcement to charge a drug dealer with homicide if a person dies from an opiate controlled substance sold by that dealer. The law specifically targets those who seek to profit from heroin and other opioid sales - not a witness or other person who may have been doing drugs (i.e. a "co-user") with the victim at the time of the accidental overdose. In 2011, New York adopted a "Good Samaritan" law that shields individuals from charges related to an accidental overdose if they try to help the victim by timely reporting the incident.
  • Expanding the crime of operating as a major trafficker (S4177), sponsored by Senator Murphy: Helps strengthen the laws relating to major drug traffickers to more accurately reflect the nature of their criminal enterprises and increase successful prosecutions. The bill changes the number of persons needing to be involved and charged as part of a drug organization from four to three. Also, to reflect the low street prices of heroin, the bill lowers the minimum required proceeds from the sale of controlled substances during a 12 month period from $75,000 to $25,000.
  • Facilitating the conviction of drug dealers (S100), sponsored by Senator Phil Boyle: Allows someone to be charged with the crime of intent to sell if they possessed 50 or more packages of a Schedule I opium derivative, or possessed $300 or more worth of such drugs. Because of the physical nature of heroin, dealers can carry large quantities of the drug before triggering a felony charge of possession. Conversely, due to the nature of heroin use and addiction, most heroin users do not possess more heroin than they intend to use at that time, as someone high on heroin has no impulse control and will continue to consume all heroin available until it is gone.
  • Improving safety at judicial diversion programs (S1901), sponsored by Senator John Bonacic: Requires a court, in determining a defendant's eligibility for a judicial diversion program for alcohol or substance abuse treatment, to consider the underlying charges and the defendant's propensity for violent conduct. The bill also requires the facility treating a defendant under this diversion program to notify the local law enforcement of the defendant's placement and arrest record, and to submit a security plan to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to provide for the safety of staff residents and the community. Finally, this bill allows a defendant to appear via video conference, and makes unauthorized departure from a rehabilitation facility a class D felony.
  • Preventing the sale of synthetic opioids (S1640), sponsored by Senator Jeffrey D. Klein: Expands the list of controlled substances in schedules I, II, III, IV, and V to include any controlled substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to, or is represented as being similar to heroin, opium, or other opioid-based narcotic. This would help combat the quickly-moving world of designer drugs.
  • Expanding treatment options for individuals in judicial diversion programs for opioid abuse or dependence (S4239B), sponsored by Senator Murphy: Provides that under no circumstances shall a defendant who requires treatment for opioid abuse or dependence be deemed to have violated the release conditions on the basis of his or her participation in medically prescribed drug treatments while under the care of a qualified and licensed physician acting within the scope of his or her lawful practice.
  • Establishing assisted outpatient treatment for substance use disorders (S631), sponsored by Senator David Carlucci: Enables a court to order assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) for an individual with a substance use disorder who, due to his or her addiction, poses a threat to him, herself, or others.
  • Creating a Prescription Pain Medication Awareness Program (S4348), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon: Creates a continuing medical education program for practitioners with prescribing privileges. The Department of Health (DOH) and the State Education Department (SED) would establish standards for three hours of biennial instruction on topics including I-STOP requirements, pain management, appropriate prescribing, acute pain management, palliative medicine, addiction screening and treatment, and end-of-life care. Additionally, it allows for the consideration of existing curricula, and establishes exemptions for practitioners who would not require such training due to the nature, area, or specialty of his or her practice.
  • Creating Drug-Free Zones upon the grounds of drug or alcohol treatment centers (S4023), sponsored by Senator Dean Skelos: Creates "drug-free zones" prohibiting the criminal sale of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a drug or alcohol treatment center and methadone clinic, similar to "drug-free zones" for schools.
  • Making Kendra's Law permanent (S4722), sponsored by Senator Cathy Young: Improves care for people with serious mental illness and protects the safety of patients and the public by streamlining and improving New York's AOT program (Kendra's Law), along with making it permanent. The experience of thousands of patients, treatment providers, and families who have utilized Kendra's Law since 1999 point to several areas where the law could be improved to achieve costs savings, promote smoother functioning of the AOT program, and provide easier access to those who stand to benefit from it.
  • Criminalizing the illegal transport of opiate controlled substances (S608), sponsored by Senator Boyle: Further criminalizes the illegal transport of an opiate controlled substance when it is transported any distance greater than five miles within the state, or from one county to another county within the state. Under current law, both sale and possession are criminal offenses. By criminalizing the unlawful transport of these dangerous and addictive substances, law enforcement will have an additional tool to prosecute dealers, especially those who travel far distances to increase their profits.
  • Establishes the option for a youth, suffering from a substance use disorder, to be adjudicated as a Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) (S3237), sponsored by Senator Jack Martins: Provides parents with the ability to file a PINS petition in family court for the potential placement of one's child who is suffering from a substance use disorder into a substance use treatment program. Any detention of the youth in such a program would be for up to 60 days, with the potential for an extension of an additional 90 days.
  • Increasing the effectiveness of abuse prevention (S2847), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza: Requires the Department of Health to assign at least one investigator from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement to each county within New York City.
The bills have been sent to the Assembly.
Bazzo 06/10/15

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