Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Empire State is Open for Buisness

Governor Cuomo
Makes Major Announcement
Technology Investment seen as Big Win for New York

New York really is Open for Business. Today, Governor Cuomo announced that five major technology companies would be investing $4.4 billion dollars across the state of New York over the next five years.

This investment is powerful recognition of the resurgence of our state under Governor Cuomo's leadership. As a result of the Governor's achievements, businesses are seeing New York as an increasingly great place to do business.

In announcing this important achievement, Governor Cuomo said: "This unprecedented private investment in New York's economy will create thousands of jobs and make the state the epicenter for the next generation of computer chip technology".

This investment was granted to New York over competing sites in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. So it truly is a victory of global proportions.

Today is a great day for New York. Because nothing is more important than putting more New Yorkers back to work.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

North Country Pulls Out Win at JD Convention

Rural Counties Unite to
Protect Judicial Seats

Pictured are (L/R)
Ron Cole, Sandra Cole, Patrick Young,
Ted Ford, Ed Gaffney, Jackie Schell,
Doris McLallen,
Jefferson County Chair Sean Hennessey
and Onondaga County Chair
Vita DeMarchi

Today delegates from Rural Counties in the 5th Judical District converged on the Onondaga County Democratic Committee Headquarters for the holding of the Democratic nomination of Supreme Court Judges.  

In the room were delegates from Herkimer, Onieda, Lewis, Jefferson, Oswego and Onondaga.  All of which had traveled to Syracuse to voice support for a unified ticket moving into Novembers election.

(L-R) Sandra Cole- Alternate,
Ron Cole - Delegate/Legislative Candidate
and Ted Ford - Delegate.

First and formost on the minds of North Country Delegates was push to forge a united front in efforts to ensure that those Candidates from with open judicial seats be given every oportunity to retain those seats.  Once we entered the Convention, it was clear that this was a concern that was held by all in attendance.
 It took a good few hours to work out the specifics but at the end of the day the delegates agreed to list Charlie Merrell (Lewis) and Patrick McRae (Oneida) the first and second position on the ballot.  This will give those candidates first crack at voters on November 8th. 

Judge Charlie Merrell (Lewis County)
thanks the Delegates for their support
A great debt of gratitude is owed to judicial candidates David Magnarelli and Tom Buckle.  Both candidates went above and beyond today to ensure that Lewis and Oneida have the best possible positition on the ballot come election day.  Residents of the 5th Judicial district also owe a big thank you to Watertown NY attorney Mike Schell.  Mike was a main organizer of the home rule push and was a true leader in the protection of those open seats.

Today was a proud day for members of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee.  From the begining, the JCDC has been on the front line of the fight for home rule and with the results of todays convention our efforts will be felt for generations to come. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Judge Merrell is having a party and you're invited!

The Honorable Lee Clary,
Catherine Burns Quencer, Esq.
Michael W. Schell, Esq.
Assemblymember Addie J. Russell
Invite you to join them
for an evening wine tasting reception in support of
for Supreme Court Justice
When: Thursday, September 22nd
From: 6:30pm-8pm
Where: Coyote Moon Vineyards
             17371 County Road 3
               Clayton, NY 13624
Suggested: Individual $30
Donation   Couple $50
                  Friends $100

Judge Merrell is the only candidate for Supreme Court in the 5th Judicial District rated

‘Highly Qualified’ by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Committee.

He is also the only candidate for Supreme Court with full-time judicial experience.

Your contribution today will ensure our Judicial District has an immensely qualified, experienced and dedicated Judge on the bench. Thank you for your support.

Please make contributions payable to:

Friends of Judge Merrell for Supreme Court
P.O. Box 376
Lowville, New York 13367
Or via online donation at www.ElectMerrell.com

RSVP: ElectMerrell@gmail.com

Governor Cuomo Directs Flags To Half-Staff

Fallen Soldiers Honored by Governor

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 20 in honor of two Fort Drum soldiers who died on September 8.

Army Specialist Koran P. Contreras and Private 1st Class Douglas J. Jeffries, Jr. died of wounds suffered when their unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, stationed at Fort Drum. Specialist Contreras was from Lawndale, California, and Private 1st Class Jeffries, Jr. was from Springville, California.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Specialist Contreras and Private First Class Jeffries," Governor Cuomo said. "We will mourn these Fort Drum soldiers and we will honor their sacrifice.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state's service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

God Bless Those Who Have Fallen

On this special day please take a moment to remember those who fell, those who will fall and those who are left behind in our name.  God bless and keep them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eat at Maggie's and Help Out North Country Families

Maggies on the River
Raises funds for
Urban Mission

Show your support for the Watertown Urban Mission this month by eating at Maggies on the River, 500 Newell Street, Watertown. After all, if you’re going to eat out, might as well have some of that bill go to your favorite nonprofit. 

Just order up your favorite dish and tell them you’re eating for the Watertown Urban Mission. It’s that easy and 10 percent of your food bill will come back to the Mission. It’s all part of the restaurant’s charitable September promotion. They’re going to have a leader board and everything, so as an added bonus, help raise awareness of your Watertown Urban Mission by pushing us up that leader board.

So if you stop by with friends for any food, be it some Thai spring rolls or fried calamari to start and get maybe a Grilled Cheeseburger—that's a burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches—or the Lobster Ravioli pasta dinner. So to review, just tell them that you are dining for the Watertown Urban Mission so 10 percent of your bill will come back to us no matter if we're number 1 or number 20. That sounds like a great deal for everyone.

For more information search Maggies Charitable September in Facebook, and to see a menu go to http://www.makeitmaggies.com/. This event is also sponsored by My ABC 50, the Border 106.7, and the CW 14/22.

Judge Merrell Endorsed by Labor Unions

Judge Charlie Merrell
Backed by Blue Collar

Judge Charles Merrell from Lowville, NY, a candidate for Supreme Court Justice in the 5th Judicial District, recently received the endorsement of the three major labor councils in the district.
The Central and Northern New York Building and Construction Trades Council; the Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties Central Trades and Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the AFL-CIO Central New York Labor Council all unanimously endorsed Judge Merrell. These three labor councils and their numerous affiliates and local unions, represent thousands of working men and women throughout Central and Northern New York.

"To receive the endorsement from the three major labor councils that cover the 5th Judicial District is an honor and a privilege,” Judge Merrell said.  “For over twelve years I’ve worked very hard as a judge, including acting Supreme Court Justice since 2007. It’s nice to know that hard work and experience is appreciated by the labor organizations that represent thousands of working men and women in the district.”

On top of being endorsed by labor councils throughout the district, Judge Charles Merrell was the only candidate to receive the highest rating given by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission (“IJEQC”).  Out of seven Supreme Court candidates in the 5th Judicial District rated by the IJEQC, Judge Merrell was the only candidate rated “highly qualified”.

In a letter addressed to the Honorable Charles C. Merrell, the IJEQC stated, “after due consideration of your background and qualifications, the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Fifth Judicial District has found that you are highly qualified for election as New York State Supreme Court Justice.”

To see the IJEQC ratings for the 2011 Supreme Court candidates in the 5th Judicial District, visit
To find out more about Judge Charles Merrell and his campaign for State Supreme Court, visit http://www.electmerrell.com/ or www.facebook.com/electmerrell .

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Let us Not Forget
Those Who Gave

First let us wish you a very Happy Labor Day. As we take the time with our families and enjoy those last few days of Summer it's so important to remember those in the labor movement who have given so much to make this country better for everyone regardless of their relationship to labor.

Labors original purpose was to simply allow for a safe working enviorment for all.  Since those early days labor has broadened its scope to succesfully lobby for every important issue facing the working class.  Some of these things which can so easily be taken for granted are:  

  • The 5 day work week
  • Employer Based Health Coverage
  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Overtime Pay
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Paid Vacation, Maternity leave
  • Pension Programs
  • Workers Compensation
  • Medicare
  • Occupational Health and Safety and so much more. 
These are things that we think of as a given and yet without a unified voice none would be a reality.

The next time someone expresses their opinions that our country would be better without Unions ask them if they would like to live in a Country without them.  Its clear what their answer would be.

Below is a listing that thinkprogress.org noted as their top 5 programs that Labor has done for each of us.  It's good way to gauge the effect that Organized Labor has had on the working class. 

1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.

 2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income. It is also true that at the time when most Americans belonged to a union — a period of time between the 1940′s and 1950′s — income inequality in the U.S. was at its lowest point in the history of the country.

3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.

4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”

5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Disalvatore Castigates SUNY Canton Plan

Disalvatore Calls SUNY Cost Cutting Plans;
Short Sighted and Ineffective
Joe Kennedy is the Leader that SUNY needs to follow

Carl Disalvatore, Candidate for Jefferson County legislature and instructor at SUNY Canton, believes that the growth of SUNY Canton can be directly attributed to the leadership and vision of its leader Joe Kennedy. In a press release Disalvatore stated:

I have been teaching both part and full-time at SUNY Canton since 2006 when the new Legal Studies program was under development. This program is a good example of Dr. Kennedy’s leadership. The Business Department found that there were about 13 or more 2 year degree producing programs in the SUNY system, but no 4 year bachelor’s degree program in legal studies.

The U.S. Department of Labor identified paralegals as a fast growing job category with an employer preference for individuals with a four year degree who had more developed analytical and writing skills. Under Dr. Kennedy’s direction the program was developed and approved by SUNY and there are now over 100 students. Since the time I began working at SUNY Canton at least 6 more bachelor degrees programs have been approved and each year set new enrollment records.

Again drawing on my personal experiences I was asked to learn to instruct online as well as develop online courses. Well, I’m an over 50 year old “old dog” and I expressed considerable reluctance to try this. However, under the encouragement and tutoring of the exceptional people recruited by Dr. Kennedy to run the online learning department. I find this meets the need of a large number of single mothers as well as working parents who can complete the assignments on their time. Drawing these students from all over the state into these SUNY Canton programs helps them increase their earning potential as well as enriches the classes for all the students who participate.

I’ve told Dr. Kennedy he gives Ph.D.’s a bad name, as he breaks the mold of the stereotypical Ph.D “egghead” with his energy, enthusiasm, astute business sense, as well as his dedication not only to the college, but to the people of the State of New York.

About 5 years ago in a social setting I broached the subject of SUNY consolidations as to an outsider like me it looked like a logical cost cutting step. His response was very insightful, as he told me that the minimal savings in salaries will be more than offset by the loss of identity of the schools and the resultant loss of the support of alumni, both financial and moral. As I learned over the years, this is in fact true, and this loss of identity and support is now being played out. Those years ago he said, just give me a budget cut goal and I’ll meet it, but there is no advantage to consolidation. I came to realize the accuracy of his response to me.

Dr. Kennedy’s insight and leadership is needed now more than ever in the SUNY system.

Carl Disalvatore