Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing another "Buffalo Billion" program... but, this one would be designed to help not just Buffalo -- but, the entire Western New York region. Cuomo delivered his "Western New York" regional State of the State Message Monday afternoon at the University of Buffalo. Mayor Sam Teresi was on hand as the governor spoke about the need to use another 500-million dollar boost the regional economy... and, Cuomo first proposed a major infusion of money for the new National Comedy Center. Cuomo says he decided to call this second-part of the "Buffalo Billion..." the Buffalo Billion-Squared. He says another measure to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid, economic footing... would also be part of the proposal. That would provide the city with 2.5-million dollars to help deal with a structural deficit. Also in his proposal.... he's proposing a new Middle Class Recovery Act that focuses on three parts. The first is jobs and infrastructure... improve education... and, lower taxes. Cuomo's proposed free public college tuition for 2 and 4-year schools is part of that program. He included proposals for the city of Niagara Falls in the plan as well.
Jamestown's top-elected official says he was very pleased to hear Governor Cuomo "call-out" Jamestown for two-areas of funding in the coming year. Mayor Sam Teresi was among the local leaders on hand for the governor's State of the State Address in Buffalo Monday. Teresi says the 5-million dollars in "gap funding" for the National Comedy Center means it should have all the funding in place to the project to go full-speed ahead.
Teresi adds that it's also important because there will be additional money freed up in other areas for economic development. He says the Comedy Center was looking at receiving 2-million dollars in "gap funding" from the city's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. Teresi says the 2.5-million dollars to help get the city back on "solid" financial footing will help deal with it's structural budget issues. He says it will likely be used to help implement the city's proposals to cuts costs, and make further consolidations of services. While nothing is guaranteed once the governor's budget is proposed... and, then is adopted by the legislature... Teresi says it's "good that we are on the governor's radar screen."
Earlier... Governor Cuomo said New York state can be an alternative to Republican President-elect Donald Trump by showing how government can expand opportunities while respecting diversity. In his State of the State Speech at the World Trade Center... Cuomo said investments in education, government support for high-tech industries and progressive policies like a higher minimum wage can create an economy that works for all. The governor has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2020, but he has said he's focused on running for re-election next year. However, his speech appeared to be crafted for a national audience. He spoke of the anger of a middle class that feels squeezed economically and forgotten by political elites.
The city of Jamestown is looking at another emergency demolition to bring down a vacant, dilapitated building in the downtown area... and, has already closed the sidewalk in front of the structure. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says a building inspector notices a "shift" in the facade at the Stearn's Building at 34 North Main Street. That's just one building north of the former CONRAIL Viaduct, and railroad tracks. DeJoy says the Stearns Building is basically wedged between two other structures. DeJoy says they have been monitoring the building's status for the past few years... and, says the inspector noticed the instability last week. He says an emergency demolition has been ordered... but, adds it's not likely going to be a case of just "tearing it down." DeJoy says it may require a lot of "manual deconstructing" to bring it down. He says they are working with various contractors, and, the owner -- Prideful Properties -- on the best way to bring down the structure as soon as possible. He says Prideful acquired the building through the county's Tax Foreclosure process last year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to strengthen state laws against computer hacking, identity theft and other cybercrimes. The Democratic governor also called for the creation of a new "cyber incident response team" to help state agencies prevent and respond to cyberattacks. The recommendations would enhance the criminal penalties for tampering with a computer or using a computer to steal the identities of large groups of individuals. The proposals are part of Cuomo's larger agenda for the year, which he plans to detail in a series of speeches around the state beginning Monday. Cuomo says computer hacking and cybercriminals represent an "ever-increasing threat" to New York and to the privacy and financial health of citizens.
With only 10-days to go before the new Trump Administration takes office... the President-elect's transition team is hard at work... working to make recommendations on three-thousand plus appointments. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a member of the Trump Transition team. Reed says they were given their directive by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence... who heads up the transition... to recommend the best people for those positions. Reed says some of those positions are in individual departments... and, others are in the judiciary. However... he says once Attorney General-appointee Jeff Sessions is confirmed... Sessions will handle filling those positions. Reed says the committee will mainly deal with under-secretaries... and, ambassadors. Otherwise... Reed says -- from his perspective -- the transition process has been hectic... but, has gone well. He says one of his biggest tasks will be helping to design and drive reform of the nation's tax code in the House Ways and Means Committee. Reed made his comments during his weekly media conference call.
A portion of Falconer and the Levant-area were impacted for about an hour yesterday morning when a power outage affected about 230 customers. Board of Public Utilities' Spokewoman Becky Robbins says the outage occured when part of a circuit opened in error about 9:35 AM. Robbins says the area affected ran from Fancher Chair to the Gerry-Levant Road. Power was restored about 10:45 Monday morning.