Chautauqua County legislators will hold a special meeting a week from today to hear from representatives of VestraCare about their proposal to purchase the County Home in Dunkirk. Legislature Chairman Jay Gould has scheduled the session for next Wednesday, October 9th at 6:30 PM. Gould says there will be a further presentation and question and answer session. Principles of the group gave a brief presentation at a meeting of the Legislature on August 28th. County Executive Greg Edwards says a proposed contract has been finalized for the purchase of the home and a deposit has been wired. Gould says the public will be able to attend the October 9th meeting... but, will not be able to speak. He says there be an opportunity for public comment when the Legislature holds another special session later in the month... possibly on October 30th... when a vote on selling the County Home could take place.
Neither side is willing to accept blame for the partial government shutdown that went into effect Tuesday. House Republican leader Eric Cantor says it's the fault of stubborn Democratic senators who refuse to consider the House's proposals for delaying the new health care law. But... Democrats say the GOP is putting the economic recovery at risk as part of an ``ideological crusade'' against the health care overhaul. With the shut-down... local Congressman Tom Reed says you'll likely see slower processing of paperwork. The Corning Republican was among the majority in both the House and Senate that voted to back active U-S military personnel and seniors. However... Reed says he remains behind the shut-down unless the Senate agrees to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act... or Obamacare. Reed introduced a measure... which was also rejected... that would elminate the government subsidy for members of Congress and the Senate to help pay for federal lawmakers health insurance under Obamacare.
Congressman Reed's expected opponent in next year's election accuses him of trying to run away from the 'Tea Party' label he's had lately. But... Democrat Martha Robertson adds that he's now showing his "true colors with his full-throated support of the government shutdown." She says "four out of the six New York GOP members of Congress are openly critical of this extremist strategy." Even worse... she says Reed advocates a default on the debt ceiling in a few weeks, which would cause major damage to the economy. Robertson adds it also threatens the delivery of Social Security checks..., Medicare payments and Veterans benefits. She concluded that "just like Tom Reed not paying his property taxes on time, he thinks it's OK for the Congress not to pay its bills either."
While uniformed members of the military will continue to be paid... hundreds of non-uniformed military employees in New York face furloughs because of the federal government shutdown. While military troops continue to work, the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs is sending about 1,500 workers out on furloughs Tuesday afternoon, including maintenance technicians and clerks. Also, there will be no training for part-time Army and Air National Guard members during the shutdown. At Fort Drum in northern New York... 250 of the roughly 790 civilian employees at the garrison were informed Tuesday morning that they'll be furloughed. A spokeswoman says that includes a wide range of employees, such as those involved in public affairs and some electricians.
Visitors to the Statue of Liberty are upset the popular tourist destination is among the places hit hard by a federal government shutdown. The statue is run by the National Parks Service, a federal agency. With the partial government shut-down... national parks like Liberty Island are off-limits to the public. On Monday, several visitors made their dismay clear. Emily Enfinger, visiting from Florida, says she's ``discouraged'' and that elected officials aren't ``doing their job.'' Larry Juhl, visiting from Minnesota, says ``it's unfortunate we can't get this worked out.''
After receiving devastating frosts in the Spring of 2012... area vineyards have rebounded this year... and, local grape growers are being rewarded with a healthy harvest. Luke Haggerty, a viticulture extension specialist with Cornell's Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, says last year's frosts actually helped this year's crop. Haggerty says many growers used crop thinning... which ensures the health of grapes and vines and helped produce a sizeable crop. Haggerty says by thinning the crop... the grapes will meet the appropriate sugar levels and the vines will maintain good health. He adds they should also put on another good crop next year.