Two "significant" mosquito-borne diseases have been confirmed in Chautauqua County... and, the state's Health Commissioner has declared an "imminent threat" to public health. That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says Dr. Nirav Shah reports that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus has been found in several mosquito pools in the county. Schuyler says the declaration enables a local health department to undertake public health activities to control mosquito populations... in accordance with New York State regulations. She says they're efforts "are focused on reducing the risk of any human cases of mosquito-borne disease."
The Jamestown Planning Commission has approved a revised site plan for changes to the West Eighth Street location of Ben Weitzman Company. Company officials met first with city planners to address issues raised by residents in that area regarding dust... and, traffic congestion during business hours. Principle Planner Bill Rice says they suggested some modifications... including paving the entire lot inside the fences of the scrap metal recycler. Rice says there's been an issue of dust getting in the air... and, getting on vehicles at a nearby car lot... and, that neighbors breath. The traffic that has tended to kick-up that dust is also being addressed. Rice says trucks and other vehicles hauling metal will be directed away from Eighth Street. He says they'll use signage off-site... and, someone will be directing traffic where to go. Rice says there's also a need to bring the fence back... away from Eighth Street... and, creating space for the Chadakoin Riverwalk project. He says with the Planning Commission's approval... city council needs to sign off on a building permit... and, for landscaping planned for a right-of-way.
Local Congressman Tom Reed discussed the need to move low-income populations from dependency to self sufficiency when he held a mid-week Social Welfare Roundtable meeting during a visit to Chautauqua County. The Republican from Corning spoke about the meeting held Tuesday in Mayville when he appeared in Dunkirk with County Executive Candidate Vince Horrigan. Officials with Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated... and, the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County were among the agencies involved. Reed promoted his proposed legislation called the PATH... or "Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help Act." He says the focus is on getting people back to work... and, off the "cycle of dependency." Reed adds it's about empowering people to control their own destiny. He is expected to introduced the measure when House members return to Washington in September.
President Obama's trip to central and western New York is expected to cause some traffic tie-ups on the Thruway. The state Thruway Authority says drivers should be prepared for temporary road closures and slow or stopped traffic on the Thruway today and Friday. He'll be at the University at Buffalo and Henninger High School in Syracuse TODAY. On Friday, he'll participate in a town hall event at Binghamton University.
The man in charge of innovation for Medicare and Medicaid the last three years believes the Affordable Care Act is a strong step forward for healthcare in the US... and most people in medicine would agree. Dr. Richard Gilfillan was Wednesday featured lecturer during Health Care week at Chautauqua. Dr. Gilfillan was director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid innovation from 2010 through July of this year. He says the government and others who pay for healthcare have to come to terms with a 'bias in the system to do more, more, more.' He found a metaphor from Chautauqua... saying imagine inviting food vendors to come in -- and, someone putting as much food on the trays as they could -- and, they weren't charged. But... then you tallied it up at the end, and sent someone ELSE a bill. Gilfillan says imagine what that bill would be like. As for fraud and abuse... Gilfillan says with total expenses of nearly 3-trillion dollars in the U-S each year... it's inevitable some people will try to scam the system. He believes that number is relatively small.
The latest proposal to purchase the Chautauqua County Home has been scuttled after the prospective buyer failed to make the required purchase deposit. County Executive Greg Edwards says he had no choice but to terminate the agreement after Richard Platschek (Plah-SHICK) did not make the required purchase deposit of 1.65-million dollars. Edwards, who announced Platschek's 16.5-million dollar offer about two weeks ago, says he's not sure why the Long Island businessman failed to make the deposit. However... he said it was a major component of the 16.5-million dollar purchase deal for him. Edwards says he's disappointed... but, adds he will continue efforts to find a buyer for the County Home. With this development... tonight's special County Legislature meeting has been cancelled.
Gas prices remained at about the same this week as last week in the Jamestown-area. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded remains around the 3-dollar-79 cent mark to about 3--80. The national average price this week is also the same as last week... about 3-dollars-54 cents per gallon. The Triple-A says drivers across the country continue to enjoy discounted pump prices -- compared to a year ago. That's despite continuing violence in Egypt, Libya and Syria in the Middle East.
A problem with the Buffalo Street pump station will likely cause discolored water on Jamestown's northside through Noon today. That from Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says the problem occured about mid-afternoon Wednesday.