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Thursday headlines

Jun 23, 2011 1:56 am

Cuomo says SSM, big ugly, will wait
Capitol Confidential links to the video above from Kyle Hughes of NYSNYS of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press conference Wednesday, June 22, explaining what progress has been made at the end of the legislative session, and where the New York State Senate is with the proposed same-sex marriage bill. The other video above is also from Capitol Confidential links to the video above from Kyle Hughes of NYSNYS with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaking to the media after emerging from a 90-minute meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Legislators will attempt today to wrap up the session, finalizing rent control, the property tax cap, and other outstanding measures. No one is positive if Senate Republicans will allow the same-sex marriage bill to reach the floor for a vote. If so, several news organizations are reporting there may be at least one other Republican State Senator willing to vote for the measure, which would give it the needed 32 votes to pass. It is sure to be a busy day in the capitol, with the continuing singing contest between the pro- and anti- same-sex marriage forces, and a planned 2 p.m. protest by groups against natural gas hydraulic fracturing extraction, disappointed by the lack on their bills that would stop the practice in New York.

State's new deer plan aims to recruit young hunters, protect young bucks
Julia Reischel in The Watershed Post reports that last week New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation released its new Deer Management plan. The new hunting guidelines for deer make several changes:
* Include an index of deer impact on forests when setting deer population objectives;
* Establish deer management focus areas with liberalized antlerless harvest rules in areas with overabundant deer;
* Establish a special youth deer hunting weekend in early October for junior hunters to aid in the recruitment of new deer hunters;
* Open the bowhunting season in the Southern Zone on October 1, rather than the current opening in mid-October; and
* Continue the mandatory antler restriction program in wildlife management units (WMUs) 3C, 3H, 3J, and 3K, and expand antler restrictions to seven additional wildlife management units (WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W) in southeastern New York.

Some hunters, according to the Daily Mail, oppose the new regulations:
Chuck Parker, a retiree from northern New York who hunts in the Tug Hill region, said the big game youth hunting license is a great idea but a special youth weekend is unnecessary and would cut into field time for small game and waterfowl hunters because landowners commonly deny them access during the deer season. Parker, who is first vice president of the New York State Conservation Council, also opposes the DEC’s proposal to open the bow hunting season in the southern zone on Oct. 1 rather than the current opening in mid-October. “Generally, bow hunters already enjoy a high-quality hunting time to be in the woods,” said Parker, who’s from Mexico, in Oswego County. “Giving them additional time will only lessen the opportunity of success for those that hunt during the regular gun season.”
The DEC is accepting public comments on the draft Deer Management plan until July 28. Read the full story in The Watershed Post.

Meeting erupts as school board appoints Garland to vacant seat
Melanie Lekocevic in The Daily Mail reports that at the Tuesday, June 21 meeting of the Coxsackie Board of Education outgoing President Joseph “Seph” Garland was appointed back on the board to the seat vacated by Vice President Mark Gerrain, after he lost his seat in May elections, which caused board member Stephen Oliveira to throw down his papers, resign, and storm out of the room. Gerrain resigned because professional commitments required him to be out of town often over the next couple of years Outgoing president Garland then said, “The board has three options - leave the slot unfilled until the next election in May, hold a special election, or appoint a person to fill that spot,” Lekocevic quotes him at the meeting. Board member Carroll Mercer then suggested they appoint the person with the next highest number of votes from the recent board elections, which would be Garland. “My feeling is that I am uncomfortable with an eight-member board. I recommend we appoint someone for a one-year term, and we take the person with the next highest number of votes in the last election,” Mercer, and board member Maureen Hanse agreed. “You are going against what the people voted for. You should wait to hear what the people have to say. We need a special election,” Oliveira said as some in the audience applauded. “You are saying, ‘Let’s not listen to what the people said.’ I think this is totally wrong.” He noted that voters rejected three incumbents for three newcomers, saying they wanted different voices on the board. But he was the only vote against bringing Garland back on board. “I resign,” Oliveira said. “You people are not doing this correctly. I am not doing this anymore.” Lekocevic writes that, "the board decided not to accept Oliveira’s resignation, saying it was done in anger and was not in writing. It remains to be seen if he will return." Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Wurster pushes for permit fee hikes
Jamie Larson in the Register Star reports that Hudson Code Enforcement Officer Peter Wurster wants to raise the cost of fees and permits issued by his departments. Before the city Finance Committee Tuesday, June 21, Wurster suggested building permits go from $35 to $50, plumbing permits raised to $50 for the first four fixtures, annual plumbing permits increased from $100 to $150, and non-residential permits lowered to one $300 permit rather than two that currently cost $350. Wurster guessed the department takes in about $35,000 in fees and $35,000 in fines annually, but that the city does not keep specific records of that income. “Regardless of what people are thinking, Hudson has maintained a high level of activity,” Wurster said in the story, “All those young entrepreneurs coming in, it’s a good thing.” Read the entire story in the Register-Star.

Coach Friedman to retire after 25 years
Billy Shannon in The Daily Mail writes that Hunter-Tannersville Wildcats varsity baseball coach Jeff Friedman will retire from coaching, after 25 years at the school. "Beginning as an assistant coach of the varsity baseball team in 1986 and taking over as head coach in 1990, Friedman also coached girls varsity basketball from 2004-11, girls modified soccer from 2003-05 and boys modified soccer in 2006-07," Shannon writes in the newspaper. “My kids are all graduated now,” Friedman told the reporter. “And (with my contracting business) it was just starting to get very difficult to put in the proper time to do a good job at coaching.” Read the entire story in The Daily Mail.
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