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Thursday headlines

May 19, 2011 1:17 am
Fiske declared winner of 3rd open board seat
Jim Planck in The Daily Mail reports that William Fiske was indeed elected to the Catskill School Board Tuesday. Fiske was leading Ward Osborn by six votes at the end of election night, with 14 affidavit ballots (the voter was not on the district’s voter registration roll, but cast a provisional ballot) left for the Greene County Board of Elections to sort out. Wed. May 18, they ruled eight valid, and counted those with these results: Karen Haas, went from 578 votes to 582, Michael Maloney increased five from 511 votes to 516, Fiske went from 490 to 494, and Osborn also added five votes from 484 to 489. So Fiske remains the winner. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Cool, wet Spring raises potential for late blight in tomatoes, potatoes
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine warned gardeners and growers Wed. May 18 that the never-ending rain this Spring makes conditions ripe for late blight. Late blight is a plant disease that spreads rapidly from plant to plant in wet, cool weather and causes tomato and potato plants, primarily, to wilt and die. "The exceptionally cool, damp spring we are experiencing throughout New York State this year heightens our concern for late blight," Aubertine said in a press release. "We saw the devastation it can do to a tomato crop in 2009, and we have already received reports of early late blight detection in neighboring states. Therefore, we want to remind our growers of this possible plant disease and alert them of the precautions they can take and how we, as a regulatory agency, are working to protect our plants." More than 150,000 tomato plants have been inspected in New York this year with no signs of late blight detected, according to Aubertine's press release.

Columbia County DA confirms candidacy for County Judge
WNYT reports District Attorney Beth Cozzolino confirms she is running for Columbia County Judge, which fellow Republican Paul Czajka vacated last week. He announced he was running for Cozzolino's job; a job he held for seven years before being elected judge in 1994. Cozzolino became DA in 1995.

Farm bill update
On Wed. May 18, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced updates on his series of Farm Bill work groups and changes to two previously announced sessions – the commodities and nutrition titles. Since late April, the Commissioner has been hosting a number of discussions with stakeholders to help identify and prioritize New York's areas of concern and interest with the upcoming 2012 Federal Farm Bill. The Federal Farm Bill is negotiated every six years and sets the parameters for America's agriculture, nutrition, forestry and conservation policies and affects New York's 36,000 farm families in the dairy, apple, vegetable, and wine industries.
Friday, May 20, 2011 - Commodities Title (including Milk Pricing)
This session will meet from 10 a.m. to noon. During that time, invited stakeholders will have an opportunity to present, which will then be openly discussed with a panel of subject-matter experts. Members of the public may also participate and may submit written questions during the session in the Bistro of the Arts and Home Building at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Friday, May 27, 2011 - Nutrition Title
There will be two sessions to cover the wide range of nutrition provisions included in the Farm Bill. Panel member and invited stakeholder discussions will address, but are not limited to, the following topics. Members of the public may also participate and may submit written questions during the sessions in the Bistro of the Arts and Home Building at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
• Morning Session – 10 a.m. to noon - food stamps and food distribution program issues, community food security grants
• Afternoon Session – 1 to 3 p.m. - fruit and vegetable promotion, farmers' markets and community programs, school meal issues
Sessions are open to the public, RSVP by calling 518-457-8876. The information gathered at the sessions will be compiled into a working document that the Commissioner will use to communicate New York's positions on federal agriculture policy.
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