Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day...

Each year, we deem the second Sunday of May, 'Mother's Day'. This day becomes a time to put the spotlight on our mothers and remember all of the wonderful things that they have done for us over the years, and appreciate the unconditional love that a mother provides. The reality is, and this phrase is used often, every day should be a version of Mother's Day. Our parents are more vital and instrumental in our lives than we could ever know. Unfortunately for some, by the time they are old enough to realize the value of their parents, it's too late. I could tell story after story of the things that I have personally witnessed mothers doing in the past 6 months and this blog would be an anthology. More than just the matriarch of a family structure, moms in today's society have become the most instrumental figure for the success of all of us. In many instances, going unnoticed or unrecognized for the sacrifices that they make for their families. Whether it be working 2-3 jobs to provide for their children or turning their vehicle into a charter bus for athletic weekends; we would not survive in this world without our mothers. One the greatest lessons that I learned from my mother, which was recently reinforced by my grandmother several years after her passing, is the importance of being happy in life. Life is tough and it rarely gets easier (at least until retirement and then hopefully it's easier). I have always tried to live life by the mantra that being happy is most important, because being happy leads to a healthier life. A few weeks ago during a conversation with my mother, we were remembering my grandmother and I inquired about how she always seemed so happy. My mother shared a tale with me about when my grandfather passed away, my grandmother had a choice to make, and not an easy one. She could be continuously depressed and sad, or she could find happiness. Her exact words were, "No one wants to be around someone who is miserable all the time, so if I want to keep spending time with my friends, then I need to be happy." Reflecting on my grandmother's message and thinking about how my mother now lives life, I can understand how both of these amazing women always laugh and smile. Life wasn't easy for my grandmother and certainly not easy for my mother having to raise me, but both have found a way to be happy and always smile; which has reflected on everyone around them. Regardless of the situation and stress, finding happiness is important my friends. Life is too short to dwell on negativity, and most don't want to be around it. Take some time to find happiness today, and most importantly, take time to celebrate your mother. Our moms are more instrumental in our lives than we know, the least we can do is make sure they know that we care before it's too late. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. I hope you have an amazing day!! 

Annual Budget Vote

The school district 2018-2019 budget and Board of Education member elections will be held this week on Tuesday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. More information regarding the proposed budget can be found here: SCHOOL BUDGET DETAILS
Voting locations are as follows:
First Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Second Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Third Ward: Lobby at City Hall – 198 N. Washington St.
Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School–  758 W. Liberty St.
Fifth Ward: Denti Elementary School - 1001 Ruby Street
Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church - 1807 Bedford St.
Seventh Ward: The Ava Dorfman Senior Center - 305 E. Locust St.
Eighth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Ninth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Tenth Ward: Westernville Library – 9172 Main St, Westernville.

Energy Performance Contract

On the May 15, 2018 budget vote ticket, you will find a proposition to approve an Energy Performance Contract for RFA and Staley Elementary. Unlike a referendum project, the community is not voting on whether or not to conduct the project; rather the community is voting to require additional funding from the State Education Department. The project does not need approval from the community because it is meant to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility cost through improved infrastructure. During the summer of 2019, we are planning to replace the lighting fixtures to LED lighting and improve the mechanical systems at both schools. This would mean replacing boilers at both schools and at RFA fixing the chiller system that has functioned poorly for about a decade. The important part is the vote. If the community supports the project, the State pays for 93% of the project. If the community does not support it, the State pays for 83%. For more information about the Energy Project, please visit the website at

Retirement of Flags

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Office of General Services will collect worn and tattered flags at locations statewide so that they can be properly retired. The collected flags will be disposed of as part of the Memorial Watchfire hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 103, on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 at the New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY. Information on the Watchfire can be found here.  "American flags should be retired with respect and honor and this collection program provides New Yorkers with a simple way to accomplish this," Governor Cuomo said. "The Watchfire offers a valuable community service and brings people together to observe the Memorial Day holiday." The Office of General Services has set up drop-off locations across the state for businesses and individuals to bring their flags. All flags collected will be properly folded prior to disposal. The drop-off locations will be collecting donations from Tuesday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 23.

The drop-off locations are as follows:
  • Alfred E. Smith Building, 80 South Swan St., Albany
  • New York State Capitol, Washington Avenue, Albany
  • Empire State Plaza Main Concourse, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Agency Buildings 1,2,3,4 - Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Legislative Office Building Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Swan Street Building, Core 2 and Core 3, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Harriman Campus Buildings 5, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 12 Harriman Campus, 1220 Washington Ave., Albany
  • Ten Eyck Building, 40 North Pearl St., Albany
  • 50 Wolf Road, Albany
  • 625 Broadway, Albany
  • Hampton Plaza, 38-40 State St., Albany
  • 44 Holland Ave., Albany
  • 328 State St., Schenectady
  • Senator John J. Hughes State Office Building, 333 E. Washington St., Syracuse
  • New York State Fairgrounds (Gate 2 Security Station), 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse
  • Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., Watertown
  • Utica State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica
  • Homer Folks Facility, 28 Hill Street, Suite 327, Oneonta
  • Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building, 4 Burnett Blvd., Poughkeepsie
  • Henderson-Smith State Office Building, 107 Broadway, Hornell
  • Binghamton State Office Building, 44 Hawley St., Binghamton
  • NYSP Troop E Zone 1 Station, 1155 Scottsville Road, Rochester
  • Senator Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building, 65 Court St., Buffalo
  • Perry B. Duryea State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge
  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, 163 West 125th St., New York City
  • Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building, 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn