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kathy hochul

February 6, 2012 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kathy hochul.

Press release:

During a visit to Zuber Farms in Churchville today to discuss her opposition to burdensome government regulations for farmers --like the recently lifted ban on the wintertime application of manure -- Congresswoman Kathy Hochul announced she has joined the bipartisan House Dairy Caucus to better represent the farmers in New York’s 26th Congressional District.

“Dairy farms play an important role to the New York State economy, making up nearly half of our state’s $4.5 billion agriculture industry and yielding more than 12 billion pounds of milk annually,” said Congresswoman Hochul.

“Fighting against burdensome regulations, like the ban on the wintertime application of manure, and fighting to give them the workforce they need by supporting an expansion of a temporary guest worker program, are some of the reasons why I joined the House Dairy Caucus.

"We must continue to support commonsense initiatives that provide our farmers with the proper resources and right opportunities to grow and continue to be driving factors in the Western New York economy.”

With nearly 35,000 farms, most family owned, New York’s agriculture industry is one of the state’s largest small-business industries. New York currently ranks fourth in the nation in milk production and Wyoming County, in the middle of New York’s 26th District, leads the state with almost 200 dairy operations.

Congresswoman Hochul, along with Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-21) and Richard Hanna (NY-24), today sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack commending him for removing the ban of the wintertime application of manure.

In October, representatives Hochul and Hanna introduced a bill that would allow dairy farmers to bring in temporary guest workers through the H-2A visa program to address their labor shortages. Currently, dairy farmers are unable to apply for H-2A visas due to the year-round production of dairy. 

Joining Congresswoman Hochul on the tour today at Zuber Farms were Kim and Eric Zuber, co-managers of Zuber Farms, Scott Page, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau, and seven other local dairy farmers from throughout Western New York.

Kim is also the former president for the Monroe County Farm Bureau and a member of the Executive Committee for the New York Farm Bureau's Western New York Regional Advisory Committee. Eric is currently a member of the New York Farm Bureau.

Zuber Farms is a dairy in Monroe County, home to 1,000 head of young stock. The 10 farmers present today represented more than 10,000 head of cattle.

February 4, 2012 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, kathy hochul, Lehigh Derailment Site.

After the press conference and meeting in Le Roy this morning, I decided to swing by the Lehigh Derailment Site on Gulf Road.

When I arrived, a group of workers were leaving, helped by a staff member in a hazardous waste suit (bottom photo).

A local resident came by and we chatted for awhile, and then a deputy stopped and we said hello, and about the time I was ready to leave, Rep. Kathy Hochul showed up with local officials.

All of that to say -- I didn't know Hochul would be there and she didn't know I would be there. This wasn't an arranged media event, and Hochul expressed some sensitivity to leaving that impression.

Hochul said she was passing through Le Roy, had stopped at D&R Depot for a meal, and decided she should visit the Superfund site.

"I'm committed to working with local officials and seeing what we can do to help," Hochul said. "I want them to know they have a partner and come to us when they want answers."

Without naming either Erie or Niagara counties, Hochul said any speculation about where the drums of material stored at the site are to be relocated is "premature."

"The EPA hasn't made that decision yet," Hochul said.

Evidence of stepped-up work at the site: In the top photo, there is a red Dumpster inside the fenced area on the left that wasn't there a week ago. There are three new drums at the front of the fenced-in area. In the bottom picture, there is a trailer for heavy equipment on the left side frame that wasn't there a week ago.

Officials continue to keep members of the media as far from the site as possible.

A story is coming about this morning's meeting in Le Roy.

January 24, 2012 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barack Obama, politics, kathy hochul.

Press release:

“Tonight, President Obama reported on the state of the nation and laid out his plan to move our economy forward. While we’ve seen some progress, we need to continue to invest in America, ensuring Americans have good jobs to go to every day.

“The President’s proposal to revitalize our manufacturing community, invest in American infrastructure, and focus on job training at community colleges, like ECC, NCCC, GCC, and MCC, will keep America competitive and bring jobs back to the United States. It’s time we stop rewarding those companies that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

“I, however, would have liked to hear more about the President’s plan to cut the deficit and reduce our national debt. This is why I supported the Balanced Budget Amendment that requires Congress to balance its finances in the same way Western New York families do every day; and why I support efforts to streamline government, eliminate waste, and be more responsive to the needs of American businesses.

“Right now is the time for us to come together and work with one another to strengthen our nation and give Americans the chance to get back to work. We have the best ideas, the finest universities, and the hardest working people in the world – now we must create an economy that benefits the working families of America.

“Like the President said, every American just wants a fair shot at achieving the basic American promise; having a good paying job, buying a home, and raising a family. Our country is strongest when every American is contributing their fair share, but this can only happen when we’re all given that fair shot.”

January 16, 2012 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul.

Press release:

In an effort to streamline services for local businesses, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner pushing him to develop and execute a plan to consolidate duplicative economic development agencies and programs in the federal government.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve met with over 50 businesses and Chambers of Commerce, and all of them agree that we must cut the red tape in our federal government, eliminate the redundancy, and make it easier for our businesses to get the support they need,” said Congresswoman Hochul. “Today, I sent a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to work with the President and Congress, in an effort to eliminate waste and provide more efficient services to the businesses that drive our economy.

Last week, President Obama identified an opportunity to innovate government and eliminate waste by combining six trade and commerce agencies – the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency – into one new agency.

At a press conference today at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Representative Hochul and Chamber President Colleen DiPirro called for a reduction in government agencies that overlap and cause a confusing maze of federal bureaucracy for business owners.

“I’ve been dealing with businesses, small and large, for 32 years and the challenge that they face day-in and day-out is getting through government regulations,” said DiPirro. “Having one-stop for business will not only save them money, but it will also save them a great deal of time. And as we all know, in business, time is money.”

Hochul added, “Just like businesses must cut wasteful spending, innovate and streamline services to better serve their customers, the federal government must do the same.”

December 23, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in kathy hochul, congress on your corners.

Press release:

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today announced she will host four “Congress On Your Corners” in January, where she will meet with constituents to discuss issues that affect New York’s 26th Congressional District. One will be held in Genesee County, as follows:

Corfu
Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Pembroke Community Center
116 E. Main St. (Route 33)

“These forums give me and my staff the opportunity to hear directly from my constituents and hear their concerns,” Hochul said. “Meeting with Western New Yorkers allows me to take their views back to Washington and find solutions to the problems facing our region.”

At each of these “Congress On Your Corner” events, constituents will have the opportunity to talk with Congresswoman Hochul and her staff about a wide array of federal matters, as well as any constituent's casework, including Medicare, Social Security, veterans' benefits, and other issues.

 

November 26, 2011 - 6:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Le Roy, kathy hochul.

When Rep. Kathy Hochul stopped into Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles this afternoon, a constituent asked her what could be done to create more jobs. "Shop in local stores so they can expand and hire more people," Hochul said.

That was the theme of Hochul's visit to Batavia and Le Roy on Saturday.

While Saturday was dubbed as a "shop local" day by a group of national conglomerates, Hochul said it didn't really matter who was behind the push. The important thing was that this holiday season it's important for consumers to remember to spend at least some of their gift-giving dollars in locally owned stores, which provides more benefit to local communities than big box retailers.

Hochul stopped in at Adam Miller, Charles Men's Shop and the Enchanted Florist in Batavia, and then went out to Le Roy where she did some Christmas shopping at Vintage and Vogue and then visted the Jello Museum, where she also found a couple of gifts.

November 24, 2011 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, kathy hochul.

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul will be in Genesee County on Saturday as part of "Small Business Saturday," a national effort to encourage consumers to shop locally this holiday season.

Small businesses are the backbone of any community and Hochul made supporting locally owned businesses part of her campaign platform.

On Saturday, Hochul will be at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles on Center Street at 1:15 p.m. Hochul will also stop at Vintage and Vogue in Le Roy at 2:15 p.m.

October 24, 2011 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

After a report stating nearly 1,100 bridges in New York State were deemed "fracture-critical," a high percentage of which exist in New York’s 26th Congressional District, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today called on Congress to immediately pass the American Jobs Act.

"Let's finally pass a comprehensive jobs bill that will not only get Americans back to work, but fix the bridges millions of commuters rely on each year," Congresswoman Hochul said. "These 'fracture-critical' bridges are a threat to the safety of New York residents, especially the residents of New York's 26th District, which had scores of bridges on the list. This report only underscores the need for quick passage of the Job Act.”

New York State currently has double the number of fracture-critical bridges on the list than reported nationwide, while Orleans County, in the center of the 26th District, was reported to have nearly seven times the national average. Over 20 percent of Orleans County's 138 bridges were found to be fracture-critical. Bridges from all other six counties in the 26th District – Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, and Wyoming counties – were also on the list.

Fracture-critical bridges lack redundant supporting elements, which means if one key support function of the bridge fails, the safety and use of the entire bridge could fail, potentially causing a collapse.

Hochul added, "While structurally sound under normal circumstances, there is no reason why these bridges cannot get the necessary repairs to ensure the safety of the driving public. As the former county clerk responsible for putting vehicles on the road, I feel compelled to fight for the money we need from Washington to bring our bridges and roads up to par. Once again, I call for the House leadership to bring forward the American Jobs Act and allow us to vote on infrastructure funding for our districts, while creating much needed job opportunities for our workers."

All seven of the counties Representative Hochul represents have vulnerable bridges that could benefit from passage of the American Jobs Act.

October 11, 2011 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in free trade, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today spoke on the House Floor against the U.S.-Panama, U.S.-Colombia, and U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreements.

In her speech, Representative Hochul referenced a worker at the Buffalo Airport who had lost her job at a textile factory.

Below are Congresswoman Hochul’s prepared remarks:

“I’m here to stand up for the working men and women of the 26th District of New York. People like the woman at the Buffalo Airport who made my energy drink this morning. She told me she works there now after she lost her job of 23 years at a textile factory in downtown Buffalo. First, the jobs went South…and then overseas. As I left for my flight, she called after me, ‘keep fighting for our jobs…don’t forget us.’ Well, I won't forget her.

“If I thought any of these Free Trade Agreements would help people like the woman at the airport, I would be all in favor. But in Western New York, we know better. We were promised prosperity with earlier trade agreements; and while companies became more prosperous, the jobs were sucked away from our community, gone forever…to foreign shores.

“As they say in the immortal song made famous by The Who, we ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’

“I urge my colleagues to oppose these trade agreements.

“Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.”

September 15, 2011 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, free trade, kathy hochul.

Rep. Kathy Hochul will tour I Squared R Element in Akron at 11 a.m., tomorrow and meet with Jack Davis, the Tea Party candidate she defeated in May's special election to fill the NY-26 seat.

After the tour, according to a press release from Hochul's office, Hochul and Davis will "discuss America’s manufacturing strategy and the need to stop supporting companies that ship jobs overseas, as well as how to replicate Davis’s American success story throughout Western New York."

August 31, 2011 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release: 

STATEMENT FROM CONGRESSWOMAN KATHY HOCHUL ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMENTS ON JOB CREATION 

“The message I have heard, loud and clear, during my seven ‘Congress On Your Corner’ meetings this month, is that our constituents expect us to work towards real job proposals that will help get our people back to work. I was sent to Washington to work with anybody and everybody willing to help create opportunities in Western New York. 

“Now is the time for us to come up with a critical infrastructure plan that will not only help our local governments build roads, bridges and airports, but also get our economy moving once again.

“When we return to Washington next week, our top priority must be cutting the exorbitantly high unemployment rate and revitalizing our economy. I intend to work quickly to renew the FAA Reauthorization and Surface Transportation Bill and ensure we don’t leave nearly one million workers on the sidelines, as was done to 4,000 FAA employees earlier this summer. As these pieces of legislation progress, I plan to work with my local municipalities to ensure they can apply for their proper funds.

“Congress cannot continue to act in the same hyper-partisan manner it did throughout the summer with the FAA Reauthorization and debt-ceiling negotiations, which is why I plan to continue to work with President Obama, as well as all Republicans, Democrats and anyone else willing to ensure we are creating opportunities for hard-working, middle-class families.”

July 29, 2011 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul offered the Democrats’ final argument against Speaker John Boehner’s plan that only aims to postpone a U.S. default by six months, while drastically cutting discretionary spending.

“Never in our history has there been an intentional disaster, perpetrated by the very people who were elected to be the caretakers of this country,” said Congresswoman Hochul.  “That is exactly what will happen if we refuse to take action to prevent default and pay our nation’s bills now."

Congresswoman Hochul introduced her own amendment that would prioritize where spending cuts come from: cutting subsidies to Big Oil and corporate jets owners, before cutting education funding.

“Tell me why at a time when we all agree that the deficit must be reduced, we don’t ask Big Oil and companies with corporate jets to help out the country that helped them.

“Seaman’s Hardware Store in Genesee County pays more in federal taxes than many companies that are enjoying off the chart profits, while some of my constituents can barely afford to fill a gas tank so they can get to their minimum wage jobs at the dollar discount store.

[PART OF PREPARED REMARKS]

“There is one value we all share and that is fairness. Two things that are fundamentally unfair about this plan: It is unfair to put this country through this disgraceful, political gamesmanship again in another 6 months. 

“It is also unfair to cut money from education.  Education is the one chance for economic equality among our young people, and the one shot for them to reach their full potential.

“By making tax loopholes and tax breaks for Big Oil and corporate jets a priority over education, we are harming the economic engines across the country, and particularly in my district: our colleges and universities.  University at Buffalo, Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, Erie and Genesee Community Colleges – each is critical to our local economy and to the future of our students.”

July 28, 2011 - 7:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for the duration of the 112th Congress. 

“I am honored to join the House Armed Services Committee and work to help the brave men and women of our Armed Forces,” Congresswoman Hochul said. “The thousands of valiant Americans who serve our country every day deserve Representatives that will fight to give them the proper resources needed to do their jobs accurately, but more importantly, safely.  I also look forward to reaching out and helping all of our veterans, who have done so much to help our great nation.”

“As a Member of Congress from a region with thousands and thousands of Armed Service men and women, Congresswoman Hochul will bring a perspective that fits well with the House Armed Services Committee,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “I know Kathy will be a strong advocate for all of our men and women in uniform and will ensure that each of them have the tools and resources needed to ensure America’s safety and security. I look forward to working with her.”

Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region have seen over $1 billion of direct investments into our country from defense contracts; creating thousands of jobs and spurring the Upstate economy. 

Hochul added, “At just the Niagara Falls Airforce Reserve and National Guard, we have 2,800 men and women stationed, not only looking out for our security and well being, but investing in local businesses. Those jobs help spur our economy and help our businesses create even more spill-over jobs.”

Congresswoman Hochul already serves as a Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where in the last two months she has met with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, offered an amendment in Committee, which passed with near unanimous consent, and sponsored legislation that would ensure the safety of Americans at our borders and airports.

July 21, 2011 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in kathy hochul.

Press release:

Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul announced she will be opening the first phase of 26th District satellite offices early next month to provide residents with convenient and direct access to Congressional staff for assistance resolving problems.

“I promised direct access for constituents and I am very pleased to begin these operations in the first week in August,” Congresswoman Hochul said. “We will be expanding our outreach in the weeks and months ahead, as well as adding a permanent office in Monroe County, where we hope to serve even more constituents.”

The first four satellite operations will be located in Batavia (Genesee County), Lancaster (Erie County), Lockport (Niagara County), and Warsaw (Wyoming County). Thereafter, the Monroe County office will staff upcoming outreach in Livingston and Orleans Counties as well.

Batavia (Genesee County)
One Batavia City Centre
Conference Room
Batavia, New York 14020
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting Aug. 2.

Lancaster (Erie County)
Lancaster Municipal Building
5423 Broadway
Library/Conference Room
Lancaster, NY 14086
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting Aug. 3.

Lockport (Niagara County)
Lockport Municipal Building
6560 Dysinger Road
Snyder Room
Lockport, NY 14094
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 2 to 4:30 p.m., starting Aug. 3.
 
Warsaw (Wyoming County)
Wyoming County Building
143 N. Main St.
Room 202, 2nd Floor
Warsaw, NY  14569
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 2 to 4:30 p.m., starting Aug. 2.
 
Residents are encouraged to visit the offices during open hours to speak with a representative from Congresswoman Hochul’s office. All residents can still continue to receive assistance from the Williamsville office any day by calling (716) 634-2324 or by visiting the office at 325 Essjay Road, Suite #405, Williamsville, NY 14221.

July 16, 2011 - 10:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Torrey Farms, kathy hochul.

Genesee County's farms are facing some of the same difficulties hitting farmers across the nation -- a combination of increased use of E-verify, bureaucratic difficulties with H-2A visas, a dwindling supply of immigrant labor and few U.S. citizens willing to do the work, making it difficult to bring crops in on time.

The confluence of events led to an unusual meeting in Washington, D.C., this past week, organized for Rep. Lois Slaughter (D-Fairport), with participation from Rep. Kathy Hochul and one of Genesee County's farmers, Maureen Torrey.

Torrey, owner of Torrey Farms, said the meeting was the first time high-level representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor, congressional representatives and famers have been able to sit down and discuss immigration issues.

The meeting lasted longer than planned, going two hours.

"Some of the old-timers there were surprised at some of the responses that we got," Torrey said. "We do think maybe there might be some improvement."

Hochul also said the meeting was productive and a unique opportunity to bring together two sides -- the DOL and farmers -- who are historically adversarial. 

"There is so much bureaucratic red tape it that it becomes a challenge for the farmers to get the workers they need," Hochul said. "These are people who are playing by the rules and they deserve all the help they can get from the government."

Torrey said the way the H-2A visa program is handled can really jeopardize the ability of farmers to harvest crops at the right time.

For example, she said, apples need to be picked on just the right day and pickers need to be experienced at recognizing the right color and firmness to pick apples at the right time, as well as be able to handle them properly to avoid damaging the fruit.

U.S. citizens, Torrey said, typically don't want the jobs and they lack the experience and training necessary to do the job properly.

Farmers want to be able bring back the same workers year after year to ensure they have the best labor force.

H-2A visas can be held up for a variety of reasons -- mistakes in the multiple pages of paperwork, a barely missed deadline, or a bureaucrat snafu can delay approval past harvest time.

Torrey said that a farmer might submit a batch of applications, have one disapproved and then face getting the entire batch rejected if she appeals just the one disapproval.

Hochul said the situation is just unacceptable.

"Some of the fields can’t be brought to market in time because they don't have enough popele to harvest the crops," Hochul said.

While the H-2A program requires that farmers first seek qualified labor among U.S. citizens, Torrey said few American ever respond to the required job listings.

In states such as Georgia, Florida and Alabama, where state legislatures have mandated use of a program called E-verify to check the legal status of workers, crops have been left to rot in the fields because there's been no workers available.

Torrey said even the DOL admits there are only about 50,000 qualified legal agricultural workers in the United States, but the annual demand is for 900,000 to one million workers.

Torrey said even Darien Lake Theme Park has trouble filling all of its season worker positions with citizen workers. The park hires about 300 foreign students  on J-1 visas.

"If Darien Lake needs 300 people on J-1 visas, it just shows you there are not enough people to take these jobs," Torrey said. "And that's fun work compared to working in a field."

Until there is a sustainable guest worker program, Torrey said, farmers are going to struggle to fill positions at harvest time.

A guest worker program has been under negotiation for 16 years, Torrey said, and while it wasn't the topic of the meeting organized by Slaughter, Torrey did attend a meeting on the subject while in D.C.

Meanwhile, according to a recent story in  The New York Times, the immigrant labor pool from Mexico is drying up. As economic and educational opportunities improve in Mexico, and the Baby Boom population that fueled the big illegal immigration moves in previous decades is getting older, there are fewer workers willing to take the risk of coming to America for work.

It's all of these forces pushing down the labor pool that made the meetings in Washington so important, Torrey said, and why she's glad they seemed so productive.

"It was really positive," Torrey said. "It is not only going to help Genesee County, but it's going to help farmers all across the country who are having the same issues, so our peers were really happy these meetings took place."

July 12, 2011 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in free trade, kathy hochul.

The Obama Administration is stepping up pressure on Congress to pass new free trade agreements, but Rep. Kathy Hochul (NY-26), elected to represent WNY in a special election a month ago, says she will stand by her campaign promise to vote against the proposed treaties.

In response to a question from The Batavian, her congressional spokesman, Fabien Levy, sent the follow message:

She still remains very opposed to all of the free trade agreements. I remember that during the campaign she went beyond your question on one free trade deal and answered it on all the free trade deals.  

Here's the question and answer Levy mentions:

Q: The next representative of the NY-26 is likely going to be asked on vote on the South Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement. If elected, will you vote “Yes” or “No.” After offering a straight up or down answer, please explain your yes or no vote.

A: No, I do not support the U.S./South Korea Free Trade Agreement. I also do not support the U.S./Panama or the U.S./Colombia Free Trade Agreements.

Millions of hard-working Americans have lost their jobs due to unfair trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA and entering into additional free trade agreements will only further harm our economy. Instead of expanding trade policies that have resulted in thousands of good paying Western New York jobs being sent overseas, we need to focus on creating an environment that gives smalls businesses the opportunity to innovate and grow, right here in the 26th District.

Hochul's opponent, Jane Corwin, took a far less solid stand on trade issues, but did say during a campaign appearance in Batavia that she supported "fair trade" and wasn't a "protectionist."

Trade arguably played an important role in Hochul winning the election. Polls seem to indicate that voters switched support for the outspoken anti-free trade candidate Jack Davis to Hochul, rather than Corwin, in the final week of the election.

Related to Hochul's position on free trade last week, the newly minted representative supported measures to crack down on currency manipulation by China.

(Photo: file photo)

A full press release from Hochul's office on that issue after the jump.

July 12, 2011 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, kathy hochul.

Upon a request from The Batavian, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul provided this statement on proposed legislation to increase federal oversign of rides at theme parks.

“The accident at Darien Lake was not only a tragedy because we lost a war hero, but because it reminded us that current loopholes in our laws can jeopardize the safety of patrons at fixed site amusement parks. Permanent theme parks should not be exempt from federal safety oversight, which is why I plan to work with Congressman Ed Markey (MA-7) to co-sponsor legislation that will ensure the Consumer Product Safety Commission has the ability to oversee amusement park rides.”

Rep. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who pushing such legislation prior to the accident, has revived his proposal following the death Friday of disabled Iraq War James Hackemer on a rollercoaster at Darien Lake Theme Park.

July 7, 2011 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, NY-26, kathy hochul, pakistan, foreign affairs.

When Kathy Hochul made a campaign appearance in Batavia at the YWCA, I asked her about Genesee County's deteriorating infrastructure and what could be done about it at a federal level.

Hochul started by expressing concern about a problem that she sees across Western New York, with pot-holed roads and rusting bridges. As she spoke, it was almost as if the thought occurred to her on the fly -- why are we spending billions building roads in Pakistan when we have so needs here at home.

She picked up the theme in subsequent debates and appearances.

Today, Hochul's congressional office announced that she's kept her campaign promise, voting to reduce aid to Pakistan.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul voted in favor of Republican Congressman Ted Poe’s (TX-2) amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which would cut funding to Pakistan by $1 billion. 

“Today’s votes were about priorities,” said Congresswoman Hochul.  “Would we rather spend a billion dollars in Pakistan or spend that money right here at home? I know the people of the 26th District would much rather have that money invested in infrastructure, education, and job creation right here in the United States, rather than in the country that hid Osama bin Laden.”

Since being sworn in last month, one of Congresswoman Hochul’s top priorities has been cutting spending and reducing our deficit. In addition to cutting funding to Pakistan, Congresswoman Hochul today voted to cut $675 million from infrastructure in Afghanistan, citing the need to improve infrastructure in our own communities.

June 29, 2011 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul.

On June 19, newly minted NY-26 Rep. Kathy Hochul attended the Batavia Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium. It's the kind of thing that I'd normally cover with a picture, but it was Father's Day and my birthday so I took my Dad to the game. I didn't take my camera. It was time off. Still, it was nice chatting with Kathy and Bill Hochul. Kathy went to the game to get herself mentally ready to play on the Women's Congressional Softball Team in a match against an inside-the-Beltway media team in a charity game. I asked her press aide Fabien Levy to send along a picture from the game.  

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