06/20/14 12:00pm
06/20/2014 12:00 PM
An adult deer tick, which are known to carry pathogens causing Lyme disease, babesiosis or anaplasmosis. (Credit: Daniel Gilrein Courtesy Photo)

An adult deer tick, which are known to carry pathogens causing Lyme disease, babesiosis or anaplasmosis. (Credit: Daniel Gilrein Courtesy Photo)

New data outlining the extent of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in New York State was released Thursday by a state Senate group that also came up with an action plan for combating the spread of such diseases.

Known as the Senate Majority Coalition Task Force on Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases, the task force was organized in October amid rising concerns regarding the spread of such diseases statewide.


07/04/13 1:30pm
07/04/2013 1:30 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | State lawmakers have approved a boat safety bill of their own.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | State lawmakers have approved a boat safety bill of their own.

A state boating safety bill awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature would supercede the Suffolk County legislation set to take effect in the fall.

First District State Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who supported the measure, said he anticipates the governor’s approval.

“When you have counties involved already on a very high profile matter that’s got peoples’ attention, I’d expect the governor to sign it,” the senator said. “You don’t throw a person the keys to a car without lessons. Educating people on boating safety makes good sense.

The bill says that six months after its approval all boat operators younger than 18 must take boating safety classes and obtain a safety certificate.

Within a year anyone over 18 who is not a registered boat owner must secure a safety certificate before operating a vessell. After two years all boaters must be certified. Penalties for first offenders would range from $100 to $250.

The Suffolk County bill requires resident boaters to attend safety classes and pass a test before obtaining a required boating safety certificate. Non-county residents would not need a certificate before taking to the water.

Mr. LaValle said it is not clear if the courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary in anticipation of the county law taking effect would satisfy the state requirement.

03/02/13 8:00am
03/02/2013 8:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Miss Nancy fishing boat moves through Greenport Harbor.

Life could get just a little easier for East End commercial fishermen if a bill Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-Port Jefferson) ushered through the New York State Senate has the same support in the Assembly.

The bill that passed the Senate with only a single negative vote would allow commercial fishermen to aggregate their daily catch limits over a seven-day period. A fisherman could, for example, catch three times his daily quota on Monday and two times the limit on Wednesday and then stay off the water until the following Monday, thereby conserving fuel. The bill that passed the Senate would also allow individuals, each of whom had a fishing license, to go out together in the same boat with each able to take a daily or aggregate limit.

“Fuel for running a fishing boat is extremely costly,” Mr. LaValle said, noting that it “significantly cuts into the already slim profits” fishermen get.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who is shepherding the bill through the Assembly, said he and Mr. LaValle drafted the bill together in consultation with local fishermen.

While the Assembly is focused on getting a budget passed by the April 1 deadline, Mr. Thiele said as soon as that’s accomplished, the fishing bill would move ahead.

“It’s a bill that is high on my list,” Mr. Thiele said.

Assuming the Assembly gives the legislation the go-ahead, it would go to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

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01/22/13 11:17am
01/22/2013 11:17 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | State Senator Ken LaValle has proposed creating a regional high school that focuses on STEM curriculum.

State Senator Ken LaValle has proposed legislation to create a new regional high school that will focus on the science, technology, engineering and math program known as STEM.

According to a press release issued by Mr. LaValle’s office Tuesday, the Suffolk School of Math, Science & Engineering Regional Technology Institute will provide STEM instruction to students in grades 9th through 12th at both Eastern and Western Suffolk BOCES facilities.

Mr. LaValle said in statement that the goal of the new school is to “expand learning opportunities for students and foster the development and advancement of emerging technologies.”

“I want to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science by introducing them to these subject areas in ways they may not otherwise be exposed to,” Mr. LaValle said. “I believe science, technology, engineering and math are the foundation for future economic growth and job creation.”

The senator first proposed the legislation Jan. 9. The Higher Education Committee, which Mr. LaValle is the chairman, is currently reviewing the bill.

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12/20/12 1:42pm
12/20/2012 1:42 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Greenport Village will receive a half-million dollars in state grants, Senator Ken LaValle said.

The Village of Greenport will receive close to a half-million dollars in state grants for various projects under a program aimed at spurring job creation, State Senator Kenneth LaValle said this week.

Satur Farm in Cutchogue will receive $120,000 to purchase machinery and equipment to expand its vegetable processing and packing line, and the Town of Southold is to get $67,910 to complete its stormwater infrastructure mapping project.

The East End Tourism Alliance is in line for a $335,000 grant to add information on locally grown food in its marketing program.

The largest of Greenport’s grants, for $287,801, will go toward rebuilding the ends of Fifth Street and Manor Place to add porous pavement and a natural retention area to trap storm runoff, which can be laden with contaminants, before it reaches the water.

The village also received funding for sewer district expansion feasibility studies and studies on whether an improvement of tourism facilities has increased tourism and if ships events have a positive economic impact.

A separate grant will go toward a study to determine the best options for replacing deteriorated bulkheading at Mitchell Park.

“This is great,” said Mayor David Nyce. “We would not be able to complete this work on our own. We’re a small community with a small tax base and I don’t like the idea of major borrowing.”

The grants are part of the $738 million awarded state-wide through state Regional Economic Development Councils for 725 projects. The money comes through the state’s New York Main Street program.

Scroll down to read the complete report.

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Regional Economic Development Council Awards

10/04/12 2:16pm
10/04/2012 2:16 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Senator LaValle (left) accepts the San Simeon award from Arthur Zielenski as Amy Schnauber of Leading Age of NY records the event.

The San Simeon by the Sound nursing home presented State Senator Kenneth LaValle with its Partners in Excellence Award this week, citing his commitment to older citizens.

The Oct. 3 awards ceremony coincided with San Simeon’s announcement that it has reached an agreement with the federal Veterans Administration to serve area veterans.

The senator received the award from San Simeon resident Arthur Zielinski, a veteran. The award is sponsored by Leading Age of NY, formerly the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Mr. LaValle, a Republican from Port Jefferson, has been in office since 1977. He’s running for reelection against Southampton Democratic Councilwoman Bridget Fleming of Sag Harbor.