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Archive for April, 2011

Letter to Gov. Cuomo

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Legislature

Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York State Capitol Building
Albany NY 12224
February 15, 2011

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am sure you are extremely busy so I will make this brief. First, let me congratulate you and wish you success in your endeavors. As a recent attendee to the New York State Conservative Party Political Action Conference, I can tell you there is enormous support for your efforts to reduce government spending and recreate a “Business Friendly” atmosphere for New York State. I have reported this position of support to area Republican and Conservative Town and County Parties. I have further provided this information to numerous local, regional and State Tea Party organizations. We truly want you to prevail in your efforts to reform New York State so that we may regain our Empire and Excelsior status.
I have enclosed two letters and one response regarding a request for assistance in reviewing the operation of the Renaissance Project in Ellenville, NY. The facility, a New York State Alternate to Incarceration Treatment Center, was the site of a brutal homicide and assault. My request is self explanatory. I believe there should be an investigation conducted to ascertain if court and treatment center protocol was proper and being followed in this incident. To date, I have no indication that such an investigation is under way. If this is in fact the case, I will have to impanel an investigative hearing on the county level. My preference is to have a State investigation.
I owe the families of this incident an assurance that this will never happen again. I am confident you will assist us in this review and the implementation of any needed changes to protect the people of Ulster County.

Respectfully,

Jack Hayes

PS: Please accept my sincere Thanks for the outstanding efforts of the NYS Homeland Security group, in the persons of John Gibb, Andrew Sweeney and Greg Bruenelle, in securing the FEMA Technical Assistance Request in the NYC Delaware Aqueduct, West Branch Tunnel leak. Hopefully this will bring us closer to justice for the people of Wawarsing , NY.

cc. LEPS, Bonacic

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Categories: Commitees, NEWS

Renaissance Project in Ulster Heights NY

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Legislature

Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo
NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
1450 Western Ave.
Albany, NY 12203-3526
December 31, 2010

Dear Commissioner Palumbo
I wish you warm holiday and New Year greetings. I am writing in regard to the recent incident at the Renaissance Project in Ulster Heights NY at which Lee Wood was killed and Keri Reynolds was seriously attacked and injured. I am interested in knowing whether your office or any State office is conducting an investigation of this matter (other than the NYS Police criminal investigation).
Ms. Keri Reynolds and other area residents have expressed concern about the operation of the facility. There is also a question of whether Giga qualified to be placed at this facility. The Ulster County Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee created a sub-committee to review Alternate to Incarceration Facilities in Ulster County and will be conducting meetings and interviews on this subject.
Would you please provide the committee with a list of facilities in Ulster County that your Office contracts with? Would you further indicate if any of these facilities are in the category of accepting Alternate to Incarceration clients?
I am enclosing an interview with an alleged (the person did not want his identify released at the time) former resident of the Renaissance Project facility. The content is troubling to me. If the activities the former resident describes are accurate there seems to deficiencies in operation and security standards. There also seems to be an emphasis on the number of resident beds filled as opposed to level of treatment administered.
I would appreciate the cooperation of your office in assisting the subcommittee in ascertaining whether appropriate levels of security and client services are being offered at these State sponsored facilities.

Respectfully,

Jack Hayes

Categories: NEWS

OSHA cites The Renaissance Project in Ellenville

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment
From: Fitzgerald, Edmund - OPA [mailto:fitzgerald.edmund@DOL.GOV] 
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:47 AM
To: news@statewidenews.com
Subject: US Labor Department's OSHA cites The Renaissance Project in
Ellenville, NY, for inadequate workplace violence safeguards following
worker's death

News Release    Connect with DOL at http://social.dol.gov!

U.S. Department of Labor        For Immediate Release           April 7,
2011 
Office of Public Affairs
Contact:  Ted Fitzgerald 
Boston, Mass.                                                   Phone:
617-565-2074 
Release Number: 11-468-NEW/BOS 2011-126                 E-mail:
fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov 

 

US Labor Department's OSHA cites The Renaissance Project in Ellenville, NY,
for inadequate workplace violence safeguards following worker's death

Treatment facility also cited for record-keeping and bloodborne hazards

ALBANY, N.Y.  - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and
Health Administration has cited The Renaissance Project Inc. in Ellenville
for failing to provide its employees with adequate safeguards against
workplace violence as well as other alleged hazards. OSHA initiated an
investigation in October 2010 following the death of one employee and the
wounding of another, allegedly committed by a client at the addiction
treatment facility.

OSHA's investigation found that the employer had not developed or
implemented adequate measures to protect its staff from physical assaults
nor had it provided training to staff to advise them on how to respond in
the event of an actual or threatened physical assault.

As a result, OSHA has cited the facility with a serious violation of the
agency's general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from
recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious injury. A serious
violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious
physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or
should have known.

"This citation points to the clear and pressing need for The Renaissance
Project and similar facilities to develop a comprehensive program that will
proactively address workplace violence situations that imperil the safety
and health of their workers," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in
Albany.  

This serious citation includes a number of suggested means of abatement that
the facility can pursue to address the workplace violence issue. These
include:

*        Conduct an annual, site-specific workplace violence hazard analysis
to identify hazards, conditions, operations and situations that could lead
to violence, and address and correct any identified deficiencies.
*        Evaluate the staff communication log to identify clients that
exhibit violent behavior and incorporate measures that reduce the likelihood
of clients committing violence in the workplace.
*        Develop and train employees in an emergency communication program.
*        Develop and implement engineering and administrative controls to
reduce workplace violence hazards.
*        Ensure that a sufficient security presence and/or personnel are on
facility floors at all times. 
*        Establish open communication between security and other employees to
help identify problematic clients and situations that could result in an
incident.
*         Train security personnel in crisis intervention, and workplace
violence prevention policies and programs.

 

OSHA also has issued four additional serious citations to The Renaissance
Project for the lack of a written exposure control plan and training for
employees with occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens; failing to
offer the Hepatitis B vaccine to such employees; and for not having a
written hazard communication program.

Additionally, the facility has been issued two other-than-serious citations
for not maintaining illness and injury logs for 2010, and not notifying OSHA
of the worker fatality within eight hours.  An other-than-serious violation
is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably
would not cause death or serious physical harm. The Renaissance Project
faces a total of $28,000 in proposed fines.

The Renaissance Project has 15 business days from receipt of its citations
and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest
the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review
Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Albany Area Office;
telephone 518-464-4338. 

OSHA's "Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care &
Social Service Workers" is available online at
http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3148/osha3148.html.  Additional
information on workplace violence is available at
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.

To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent
danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are
responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and
women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education
and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.


# # #





U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at
<http://www.dol.gov> http://www.dol.gov.  The information above is available
in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon
request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.  

Categories: Uncategorized

PRESS RELEASE: improved communication systems for Emergency Responders

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Legislature

PRESS RELEASE

April 5, 2011

Jack Hayes, Chairman of the Ulster County Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee announced historic multi-county legislation was approved in committee and will be brought to the entire Ulster County Legislature this month. A resolution to create a Hudson Valley Emergency Communication Consortium will mark the first time counties of the lower Hudson Valley have joined in a collaborative effort to improve communication systems for Emergency Responders. The resolution is the culmination of a parallel effort on the part of County Executives and County Legislatures to improve Public Safety Communications.
Hayes said the combined efforts of Ulster County Executive Michael Hine and Emergency Manager Art Snyder moved this agreement from concept to reality. The Regional Approach to emergency communication will enhance interoperability among jurisdictions and disciplines. The creation of the Consortium also enables the region to qualify for grant assistance from New York State and the federal government. Hayes said “This legislation embodies the essence of Strategic Planning and inter and intra governmental cooperation”. It also opens the door to improvements for civilian wireless service in underserved areas under auspices of public safety.

Categories: Commitees, NEWS

Ulster County executive news release

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment
----- Forwarded by Karen L Binder/Legislature/Ulster County on 04/07/2011 
10:12 AM -----

James J Hanson/County Executive/Ulster County 
04/06/2011 05:08 PM

To

cc

Subject
ulster county executive news release






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               
April 6, 2011  
Contact: James J. Hanson 
845.802.3138  

COUNTY EXECUTIVE MIKE HEIN ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR OF THE ULSTER COUNTY 
VETERANS’ SERVICE AGENCY.

County Executive Appoints Naval Commander Steven Massee to lead Agency
 
Kingston, NY –County Executive Mike Hein has selected Naval Commander and 
Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Steven Massee to head the Ulster County 
Veterans’ Service Agency.    Commander Massee has extensive military and 
private sector experience.  He achieved the rank of Commander in the 
United States Navy in June 2004.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Commander Massee,” said 
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.  “During his impressive career in the 
private sector and with the United States Navy, Commander Massee has 
demonstrated the management skills that will serve the veterans of Ulster 
County well.   I am confident that he will be an asset to Ulster County 
and a valuable resource for our veterans.”

“I want to thank County Executive Mike Hein for the opportunity to serve 
the veterans of Ulster County,” said Commander Massee.  “I look forward to 
helping all veterans, past, present and future to access the many 
veterans’ services they have earned through their hard work and dedication 
in defending our nation.” 
 
Commander Massee was born at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and grew up 
in Enfield, Connecticut.  He earned a bachelors degree from the University 
of Connecticut and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from 
Western New England College. 

While serving in the United States Navy, Commander Massee was awarded the 
Bronze Star, Navy Commendation Medal (4th award), Joint Service 
Achievement Award, Navy Achievement Medal (3rd award), Joint Military Unit 
Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2nd award), Global War 
on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, National 
Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the Sea Service 
Deployment ribbon.

In addition to his exceptional military record, Commander Massee has 
extensive managerial and oversight experience from several large 
corporations including United Technologies, National Micronetics, General 
Datacomm, Follett and his most recent position with Alcoa.

Commander Massee’s community involvement includes serving as a past 
president of the Board of Directors of the Rip Van Winkle Council of Boy 
Scouts.  He resides in West Hurley with his wife and has two adult 
children. 

###
Categories: NEWS, VETERANS

Morning Bell: Funding the Right Force to Protect America

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Morning Bell: Funding the Right Force to Protect America

Posted By Mike Brownfield On 04/07/2011 @ 09:26 am in Protect
America | 0 Comment(s)

A battle continues to rage in Washington over the 2011 federal
budget, and a long-term war on how to cut the $14.3 trillion
dollar deficit is about to begin. But as political opponents spar
over spending, the United States military is waging a real war in
Afghanistan, helping to stabilize Iraq, conducting operations
across the globe from Libya to Yemen, Haiti to Somalia, and
providing assistance to Japan following its natural disaster.
With the prospect of a government shutdown looming, some in
Congress have rightly devoted special attention to ensuring our
military remains fully funded in the short term. But as the
debate begins over the 2012 budget and beyond, both Congress and
the White House must field the right military force to protect
America today and into the future.

From welfare to Social Security, stimulus spending to Obamacare,
big government politicians have charted a course of bigger
spending, all on the American taxpayer's dime. Some of these
actions are unquestionably unconstitutional and are putting the
squeeze on other national priorities. Chief among those
priorities is the federal government's obligation, set forth in
the U.S. Constitution, to keep America safe. You don't have to
look any further than the Preamble to see that the purpose of the
government is to "provide for the common defense." It is a duty
that stands apart from all others and that is superior to any
other it has. Yet some politicians put our military on the
chopping block as they look to cut spending, regardless of the
force requirements that must be met in order to protect America.
That's no way to fulfill a constitutional obligation to defend a
nation.

Defending the country is not simply about dollars and cents. It's
about having the forces the military needs to confront the
challenges the United States faces around the world. A new
report by The Heritage Foundation outlines the dangers U.S.
military forces must confront in our homeland, Asia, Europe, the
Middle East and space, describes what forces are required and how
much they will cost – averaging $720 billion per year from FY
2012-2016. To put that in perspective, despite our military's
global obligations, defense spending ranks fourth in overall
government spending priorities, falling behind the combined cost
of Social Security and Medicare, public education and
means-tested welfare. It's less than one-fifth of federal
spending and falling.

Given the state of our military, that's a dangerous prospect. Two
decades of neglect have left us with rapidly aging ships, planes
and vehicles; we have the smallest Navy since 1916, and many of
today's tanker and bomber pilots are flying in airplanes first
used by their grandfathers in Vietnam. Heritage's Mackenzie
Eaglen writes:
A decade of combat operations and two decades of underinvestment
have left the U.S. military too small and inadequately equipped
to meet all of the growing demands placed upon men and women in
uniform.

Last summer, a bipartisan commission warned of a coming "train
wreck" if Congress does not act quickly to rebuild and modernize
the U.S. military. To meet tomorrow’s needs, the tools of
national security must be strengthened quickly for the U.S. to
help to stabilize the international environment and keep U.S.
citizens safe and free while ensuring that America’s economy
can prosper and grow.
A fully funded, modern military is necessary to manage complex
and far-ranging regional threats. Heritage's study highlights hot
spots where U.S. interests are threatened. In Asia, China's
military buildup and advanced technology jeopardize America's
ability to project power in the western Pacific. U.S. operations
continue in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but al-Qaeda is attempting
to move into Yemen and beyond. With North Korea and Iran
continuing to pursue ballistic missile and nuclear programs, they
too are significant threats, and Europe faces risks on its
eastern borders, all while Turkey drifts toward a more Islamic
foreign policy.

Our homeland depends on a strong military, as well. Natural
disasters, like the earthquake that struck Japan, would require
military resources as would man-made catastrophes, terrorist
attacks, cyber security, border security and transnational
criminal cartels. With our military's current obligations abroad,
it's questionable whether it could adequately respond to a
catastrophe at home.

Heritage's James Carafano, Mackenzie Eaglen and Baker Spring
warn:
Reducing U.S. forces below strategic requirements also presents
grave risks to U.S. prosperity and economic growth. The
military's reliability has reassured allies and deterred
potential adversaries from aggression. If the U.S. lacks the
capacity to protect its vital interests, both the security and
economy of the nation will suffer in the long term.
As commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama should know better
than anyone that our military is of primary importance to
securing America's interests at home and abroad. But in his 2012
budget request, he fails to adequately fund our military and its
mission. With the battle over this year's budget hopefully coming
to a close and the war over long-term spending about to begin,
the president and Congress would be wise to remember that the
government over which they preside has a fundamental obligation
to the people they represent: providing for the common defense.
It's time they make it a priority to get that job done.

Quick Hits:

* The stalemate over the budget continues after President Obama,
Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid failed last night
to reach an agreement to fund the government through the end of
FY 2011.
* As rain falls in South Korea, dozens of schools there closed
Thursday over fears of radioactive fallout from Japan's nuclear
disaster. Meanwhile, Japan is considering a wider nuclear
evacuation zone.
* Libyan rebels claim that NATO air strikes near the oil port of
Brega hit their forces. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Clintonmet
with Italy's Franco Frattini yesterday to discuss how to "do
more to help the opposition make very fast progress."
* Oil prices have neared $109 a barrel amid the fighting in Libya
and unrest in the Middle East. Regular unleaded gasoline in the
United States is up 23 percent from one year ago.
* The European Central Bank raised interest rates for the first
time since 2008 in order to stem the tide of rising energy and
food prices.

Article printed from The Foundry: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article:
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/04/07/morning-bell-funding-the-right-force-to-protect-america/

URLs in this post:

\r\n[1] ensuring our military remains fully funded:
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/154281-government-shutdown-would-affect-broad-swath-of-federal-functions\r\n[2]
A new report:
http://heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/04/A-Strong-National-Defense-The-Armed-Forces-America-Needs-and-What-They-Will-Cost\r\n[3]
writes:
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/04/preserving-the-peace-modernize-now-save-later/\r\n[4]
bipartisan commission:
http://www.usip.org/quadrennial-defense-review-independent-panel-/view-the-report\r\n[5]
warn:
http://heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/03/How-to-Field-the-Right-Military-Force-to-Protect-America\r\n[6]
he fails to adequately fund:
http://heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/04/The-FY-2012-Defense-Budget-Proposal-Looking-for-Cuts-in-All-the-Wrong-Places\r\n[7]
stalemate over the budget continues:
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/154499-obama-still-no-deal-after-reid-boehner-meet-at-white-house\r\n[8]
wider nuclear evacuation zone:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jUCjLnctDX2Qz5Do0vtt8Hr651YA?docId=CNG.285b5f9b8539f4a92d911152e3a6184e.131\r\n[9]
claim:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-07/libyan-rebels-say-their-forces-were-hit-by-nato-air-strikes-near-oil-port.html\r\n[10]
met with Italy's Franco Frattini:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-07/libyan-rebels-say-their-forces-were-hit-by-nato-air-strikes-near-oil-port.html\r\n[11]
neared $109 a barrel:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hct6Zm8VAwAUGUr6RU8x_IflZm-Q?docId=63f5e5c0818a43e580ce0161623d77ee\r\n[12]
raised interest rates for the first time since 2008:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/07/news/international/ecb_interest_rate/?section=money_latest

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Categories: Uncategorized