We may see the biggest snowfall to date from the latest storm that moved into the the Jamestown-area early last evening. It's not the first wintry blast of the pre-Winter season... but, some areas may see upwards of a foot-and-a-half of snow by the time the Lake Effect Snow tapers off early Thursday. That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service... who says we remain under a Lake Effect Snow Warning through 4 AM Thursday. Reynolds say we'll see another 4 to 7 inches during the day today in the more persistant snow areas. He adds we could also see another 4-to-7 inches tonight... with even colder temperatures than last night. Some inland valleys could see the mercury fall to 10-degrees -- or lower. Reynolds says strong winds will also cause some problems with blowing and drifting snow. He says the lake effect machine will not only be producing heavy snow off Lake Erie... but, the storm will also produce some impressive accumulations near Lake Ontario.
The head man for the Jamestown School District says they are not doing any more testing this year than it has in the past several years. School Superintendent Tim Mains responded last night to comments by teachers and school advocates who complained there has been more testing under the Common Core standards. Following Tuesday's school board meeting... Mains addressed the concerns raised on Monday's "Day of Action..." adding that the tests are more difficult. While Jamestown hasn't added any tests as part of APPR -- or the evaluation process -- Mains says some other districts have. The other problem raised by an official with the Jamestown Teachers Assocation was over errors in the modules that have been used to support teaching the Common Core curriculum. Mains, and other district officials, acknowledge there were some errors in those modules... but, he adds they have worked hard to correct them. At last night's board meeting... Mains told board members that Jamestown received a "very positive" response from state Education Commission John King, Junior's office about his visit last week. King and Board of Regents Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett both visited three classrooms, and took part in a public forum on the Common Core. More on that later.
A JHS Sophomore spoke out about the Common Core during Monday's "Day of Action" rally in Jamestown... but, didn't say he was having any problems. But... Cameron Hurst did talk about problems others were having. Hurst says it's his parents and teachers who have made him the person he is today... adding that he learned his love for music in elementary school... and, he called learning a "life-long" process. He feels implementation was rushed... and, it needs to addressed. Hurst also says that... since the Common Core and new standards have been brought in... he's noticed much more stress among his teachers. Due to that... he doesn't believe there will be any improvement to student learning. Hurst says learning needs to be made fun again... without so much emphasis on testing. As for himself... Hurst says he'll be fine... and, will graduate on time. What he's concerned about is the students who follow him.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's tax commission wants a two-year freeze on property taxes. The state would subsidize the costs, so taxpayers wouldn't see increases. The second-year of a freeze would include provisions to force local action and cuts to yield permanent tax relief. In a report issued Tuesday... the commission also proposes a tax credit for homeowners who spend a large portion of their income on property taxes. Other recommendations would merge and simplify taxes for employers and reduce the estate tax. Cuomo called the report impressive. The report could help shape the tax cut Cuomo is promising for 2014. He supports a state-subsidized cut in property taxes that could be tied to household income so poorer and middle class families would see more of a break than the wealthier.
A joint House-Senate Conference Committee is nearing final agreement what local Congressman Tom Reed hopes is a 5-year Farm Bill that will include a number of reforms. However... Reed has maintained for some time that he wants to have a 5-year measure. During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier media... the Corning Republican said there were a couple of "positive" programs being put into the final measure that will help local farmers... and, other agri-businesses. There also appears to be movement on the most contentious part of the Farm Bill... and, that's the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program -- otherwise known as SNAP. Reed says the big reform there is a component that teaches able-bodied people with no children "how to fish... not just give them one...." Reed says -- once fully-implemented... that provision will save about 20-billion dollars. He also thanked residents -- namely farmers -- for their input. Reed says getting that imput from real people who are impacted by Washington's policies is "invaluable" to him in working towards good policy.