Over the past year we have been telling Talk of the Sound readers about the "camel's nose under the tent" approach to establishing requiring BMI data collection for every child in the United States. What began as a voluntary program may now soon become the law of the land with parents compelled to allow government officials to measure and weigh their children to "fight obesity". How does measuring and weighing children "fight" obesity? It doesn't. The first step in these sorts of "do goody/big brother" initiatives is to create voluntary programs and take measurements to establish baselines.Read more
In one of the races that will determine whether or not the GOP retakes control of the New York State Senate this November, Scarsdale resident Bob Cohen, 55, has been chosen by the GOP to challenge 25 year Democratic veteran State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer to represent the 37th district. On Monday May 3rd, the Westchester County Republican Committee nominated Cohen to take on 25-year veteran Suzi Oppenheimer. A primary for the GOP nomination appears unlikely.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) held a press conference in Albany this week to announce the Smart Growth Agenda for New York State. Joining with colleagues Senators Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), along with numerous coalition groups, the Senator outlined her vision for more sustainable environmentally sound planning.
“There is growing concern that modern development practices have led to urban and suburban sprawl that is not serving the state’s long-term interests,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Development without regard to the environment or to a particular community’s needs and desires makes no sense.”
“As a lifelong environmentalist, I believe strongly in smart growth principles. That’s why I am the lead sponsor of the smart growth policy bill, which establishes smart growth infrastructure criteria and obligates state agencies to fund public infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with those guidelines (S. 5560). It would also require the relevant agencies to consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.”Read more
Senate Committee Approves Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that groundbreaking reform legislation to create an independent redistricting commission has been approved by the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee and will be brought to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. Senator Oppenheimer co-sponsors this bill, S. 1614A, as well as other pieces of reform legislation. She has long been a proponent of independent redistricting.
“At long last, we are poised to end the offensive practice of partisan gerrymandering and create Congressional and state legislative districts that are cohesive and honestly drawn,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “New Yorkers have a right to a fair and nonpartisan reapportionment process.”
The bill would establish a nonpartisan citizen apportionment commission that would draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries and submit those boundaries to the legislature for approval, in accordance with the State Constitution. Redistricting occurs every ten years following the U.S. Census and allows boundaries to be redrawn to account for changes in a state’s population and to bring districts back to equal numbers of residents.Read more
Senator Klein meets with leaders across Westchester County to combat United Water New Rochelle rate increases
NEW YORK, NY- State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) has joined in the fight against proposed United Water New Rochelle (UWNR) rate hikes. Klein met with leaders from Bronxville, Eastchester, Pelham Manor, Village of Pelham and New Rochelle on Thursday, April 29th to discuss how the increases are expected to affect municipalities.
The leaders are part of a newly created consortium representing nine municipalities, seven in the 34th Senate District, that stand in opposition to the increases.
“Westchester residents are already hammered with sky-rocketing property taxes and widespread lay-offs, it is disheartening to see a water company trying to suck more money out of people’s pockets. I strongly urge United Water New Rochelle to reconsider these proposed rate hikes,” said Senator Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).
In November 2009, UWNR filed a one-year rate case with the Public Service Commission (PSC), seeking a 55% water rate increase to municipalities. The hike would affect residents in New Rochelle, Ardsley, Bronxville, Eastchester, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Pelham, Pelham Manor and Tuckahoe and increase water bills by nearly two-hundred-fifty dollars. UWNR also proposed increasing fire hydrant maintenance rates from $672 to $1,308.Read more
Deputy Majority Leader Senator Jeff Klein
From the Desk of State Senator Jeff Klein…
Fighting for Responsible Spending of Your Tax Dollars
Throughout this state budget season and beyond, my goal is clear - to protect your money. In an effort to ensure your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely, my office has spent the past several months investigating the issue of government waste. We started by focusing on areas we suspected to be major culprits of inefficiency at state agencies - notably, overtime pay and excessive or duplicative administrative costs. What we found was the appearance of shocking mismanagement and wasteful spending practices at two of our state's largest entities - the state university system (SUNY), and the NYS Department of Correctional Services (DOCS).Read more
Discounted Defensive Driving Courses to be held in the Bronx and Westchester
NEW YORK, NY - State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced a partnership with AAA New York on Friday to offer discounted Defensive Driving Courses across the 34th Senate District this spring.
Approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the six-hour, classroom-style course teaches drivers how to sharpen their skills behind the wheel and prevent collisions. Participants will also receive a 10% insurance discount on collision and liability for the principal driver of a vehicle and a reduction of up to four points on their license for violations occurring within the past 18 months.
AAA typically charges drivers $39.00-$49.00 to participate in the course but per Senator Klein’s request, residents of the 34th Senate District can now take the course for just $30.00.
“Driving in New York comes with its own set of unique challenges. Both drivers and pedestrians benefit when more people behind the wheel sharpen their driving skills and learn new techniques on how to avoid accidents and collisions,” said Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).Read more
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION EXPANDS MEDIC-ALERT + SAFE RETURN PROGRAM
Senator Klein presents $25,000 grant to Alzheimer’s Association - Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter
NEW YORK, NY - State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) presented a $25,000 grant to the Alzheimer’s Association - Hudson/Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter on Thursday at Sunrise Senior Living of Fleetwood.
The money will be used to expand the Alzheimer’s Association MedicAlert® + Safe Return® program, a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia who wander or have a medical emergency.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester Chapter approximately 40,000 residents in the chapter territory currently suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, with 22,000 individuals residing in Westchester alone. Estimates are that nearly sixty percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia will wander at some point and if not found within 24 hours have a 50% chance of being seriously injured or never located.