This week Joe Robach and office urged all residents to take precautions as high temperatures and humidity are being predicted throughout New York State this week. Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees over the next few days in communities across the state.

“Temperatures are expected to climb significantly across the state this week, and combined with high humidity, it is important for residents take appropriate precautions,” Joe Robach said in a press released issued by his office. “I encourage everyone to stay indoors when possible, stay hydrated, and check on any neighbors who may need assistance.”

Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat causes more than 650 preventable deaths in the United States each year. In most years, excessive heat causes more deaths than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service statistics, there have been more than 80 deaths directly attributable to heat in New York State since 2006.

The expected high temperatures are prompting the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to offer New Yorkers tips to help them stay safe.

To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat, DOH and DHSES offer this advice:

  • Minimize, if possible, strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Exercise during early morning hours or in the evening, when the temperatures tend to be lower.
  • Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine. · If possible, stay out of the sun and seek air-conditioned settings. The sun heats the inner core of your body, which may result in dehydration. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a building with air conditioning (such as libraries, malls, supermarkets, or friends’homes).
  • If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor (SPF) rating of at least 15 and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
  • Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or other vehicles during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
  • Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially the elderly, infants and young children, or others with special needs.
  • Make sure there is enough water and food for pets and limit their exercise during periods of extreme temperatures.

Individuals who are often at greatest risk during periods of excessive heat include:

  • Elderly persons, infants and small children
  • Persons with weight or alcohol problems
  • Persons on certain medications or drugs


Heat Stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if the individual is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. A cold bath or sponge can provide relief and lower body temperature.

Heat Exhaustion: While less dangerous than heat stroke, heat exhaustion poses health concerns and it most often occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, move the victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.

Sunburn: Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Signals include redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches can occur. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases. To protect yourself, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (SPF) of at least 15. Always re-apply sunscreen after periods of heavy sweating or swimming.

Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms are often caused by heavy exertion. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping. Remember to hydrate often while exercising or working outdoors.

Heat Rash: Skin irritation that looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. Try to move the person to a cool place, keep the affected area dry, and have the person use talcum powder to increase comfort.


  • Power outages are more likely to occur during warm weather, when utility usage is at its peak. To avoid putting a strain on the power grid, conserve energy to help prevent power disruptions.
  • Set your air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • Only use the air conditioner when you are home.
  • Turn non-essential appliances off. Only use appliances that have heavy electrical loads early in the morning or very late at night.

For more information, the office of Joe Robach suggests residents visit:,


This week the office of Joe Robach announced the approval of a bold new community initiative enabling millions of New Yorkers to access clean and affordable energy for the first time. Shared Renewables provides opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools and businesses to join together to set up shared renewable energy projects resulting in healthier and stronger communities.

The Shared Renewables initiative will help people and communities across the state save money on local clean energy projects. “This program sets out to protect the environment and ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of their zip code or income, have the opportunity to access clean and affordable power.” Said Joe Robach in a press release issued by his office.

Renewable resources are already providing massive economic and environmental benefits across the state, with installed solar capacity having grown 300% between 2011 and 2014. Yet, many New Yorkers are still unable to participate because they rent their home, live in an apartment building, or own properties unsuitable for installing solar panels or other clean energy technologies.

Under the Shared Renewables initiative (also referred to as community distributed generation), customers can join together to share in the benefits of local solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. Each individual member’s production would appear as a credit on their monthly utility bill. The first phase of Shared Renewables will focus on promoting low-income customer participation and installations in areas of the power grid that can benefit most from local power production.

This initiative takes a proactive approach to meet the challenges facing today’s power sector by building a regulatory framework to modernize the utility industry to create greater value for customers and support new investment in clean energy.

During the first phase of Shared Renewables from October 19, 2015 through April 30, 2016, projects will be limited to those that advance one of two specific REV goals: siting distributed generation in areas where it can provide the greatest locational benefits to the larger power grid, or supporting economically distressed communities by ensuring at least 20 percent of the participants are low- and moderate-income customers.

Beginning May 1, 2016, a second phase will make shared renewable projects available throughout entire utility service territories.

Customers interested in the Shared Renewables initiative can participate in a number of ways. For instance, the residents of a condominium may want to join together for a shared solar project. They would need to find a “sponsor” who will be responsible for organizing the project on behalf of the residents. A sponsor could be a developer or even the residents of the building banding together to form a legal entity such as a limited liability corporation, or LLC. To learn more about how you can participate in shared renewables as a customer, community, or project sponsor, please visit and sign up to receive assistance and resources to help you take advantage of local clean energy projects.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

According to Joe Robach’s office, Under Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), New York State is spurring clean energy innovation and attracting new investment to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV encompasses groundbreaking regulatory reform to integrate clean energy into the core of our power grid, redesigned programs and strategies to unlock private capital, and active leadership in deploying innovative energy solutions across the State’s own public facilities and operations. REV will enable a dynamic, clean energy economy operating at a scale that will stimulate opportunities for communities across the state to create jobs and drive local economic growth, while protecting our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.


Joe Robach office announces that New York State is taking new measures to combat Lyme disease and other tick-born diseases.

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the Borrelia type. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness, known as erythema migrans, that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful. About 25% of people do not develop a rash. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache, and feeling tired. If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur. Occasionally, people develop shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs. Despite appropriate treatment, about 10 to 20% of people also develop joint pains, have problems with memory, and feel tired much of the time. This potentially debilitating and life-threatening illness is spreading rapidly across New York. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York has the third highest number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the nation. The disease has been reported in every region of the state.

In an effort to combat the spread of this epidemic, Joe Robach office legislation that would promote strategies for prevention, identification and response.

The legislation would:
– Provide reliable information to homeowners to protect their property from ticks;
– Develop a program for early education and prevention;
– Bring the Department of Education and Department of Health together to provide resources for children; and
– Require the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop annual guidelines for treating residential properties.

Bills like this one is a part of the Senate’s continuing efforts to combat Lyme and tick-born disease. In this year’s budget, Joe Robach office explained that additional funding was approved to help support research, education and prevention efforts.

The Senate also created a Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Born Diseases that is taking a comprehensive approach to develop detection and prevention initiatives across the state.

These are major steps in the fight against this epidemic that has impacted families in every region of New York. For more information on this legislative package or the Task Force, Joe Robach office asks residents check his website.


This week Joe Robach office announced details of a final agreement on a number of major priorities for the end of the 2015-16 legislative session.

According to a press release issued by the office of Joe Robach, an agreement was reached on robust, comprehensive reforms that put the people of New York first. It strengthens rent laws and extending them for four years in the New York City area to protect more than two million tenants. It also extends the property tax cap and creating a $1.3 billion property tax rebate program to provide significant relief to homeowners across the state and providing $250 million to support the education of roughly 400,000 students in the state’s non-public schools. It was noted that these are the kinds of reforms that keep New York moving forward, creating a better life and livelihood for people in virtually every corner of the state.

The legislation introduced today contains a variety of significant reforms and actions, including:

Extending the Property Tax Cap and Cutting Taxes for Homeowners

The legislation extends the property tax cap for an additional four years. Since its enactment in 2011, the real property tax cap has dramatically reduced the growth in local property taxes. Through the first three years of the Cap, the typical property taxpayer has saved more than $800, compared to if taxes had continued to grow at the previous growth rate. If the trend continues, by 2017, the typical taxpayer will have saved more than $2,100 in local property taxes as a result of the Cap.

Building on the success of the property tax cap, the legislation includes a new Property Tax Credit that will provide more than $3.1 billion over four years in direct relief to struggling New York taxpayers. The program is progressively structured so that taxpayers with lower incomes receive a higher benefit.

In the first year, 2016, the program will be coupled with the existing Property Tax Freeze credit to provide a total average credit of $350. Beginning in 2017, the program will provide property tax relief based on a percentage of a homeowner’s STAR benefit, with lower incomes receiving a larger percentage. All homeowners with incomes below $275,000 who live in school districts that comply with the property tax cap will be eligible to receive the credit. This year, 98 percent of school districts complied with the cap. When the program is fully phased-in for benefits provided in 2019, it will provide $1.3 billion of property tax relief and an average credit of $530.

Additionally, this agreement creates a program that will help communities that face decreased property tax revenue as a result of the loss or reduction in tax payments from power plants and other facilities that close in their community.

For New York City residents, the legislation extends by four years the $85 million, progressively structured “Circuit Breaker” tax relief program. Qualifying homeowners and renters with incomes below $200,000 are eligible to receive a refundable tax credit against the personal income tax when their property taxes or rent exceeds a certain percentage of their income.

Extending and Reforming 421-a

The legislation extends the 421-a program for six months, with a provision that allows representatives of labor and industry groups to reach a memorandum of understanding regarding wage protections for construction workers. If such an agreement is reached, the program will automatically be extended for four years.

Investing in Education

The legislation also includes major advancements in education policy and assistance for nonpublic schools in New York State. These include:

· Increased funding of $250 million to reimburse private schools for the costs of performing State-mandated services.

· The Parental Empowerment Act which requires additional disclosure of state exam questions and answers, the creation of a test content review committee by the State Education Department, and clarification of required components of the student growth model for teacher evaluations.

· A one-year extension of mayoral control of the New York City school system.

· An increase in the number of charter schools available to be issued in New York City to 50 and enhanced flexibility in teacher certification rules.

· $25 million to help resolve the acute financial challenges currently being faced by the Yonkers School District and $6 million to support programs to combat child poverty in the City of Rochester.

Finally, the legislation also amends current law to allow the sitting governor, or former governors, to officiate marriages in the State of New York. Previously, Governors could only solemnize marriages ceremonially, unless they were also ordained ministers.

Building on Progress

Joe Robach Office also noted that state lawmakers also recently reached agreements on two other significant packages of legislation – the first ensuring that private colleges in the state establish a uniform and comprehensive set of policies to protect students from sexual violence, and the second giving the state the authority to crack down on bad actors in the nail salon industry, while also establishing a new licensing program to help workers acquire new skills. Additionally, an agreement was reached last week on a bill to codify comprehensive reforms to overhaul the port authority of New York and New Jersey.

These reforms also build on the earlier accomplishments secured during the first half of the legislative session, including:

· Landmark education reforms and a $1.3 billion increase in state education aid, bringing total state funding to $23.5 billion – the highest in New York’s history;

· New ethics laws to deter, detect and punish breaches of the public trust, including the nation’s strongest disclosure requirements for outside income;

· $5.4 billion investment in programs and initiatives to grow New York’s economy (such as the $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative, a $1.3 billion investment in the New York State Thruway, and $500 million to establish the New NY Broadband Program and ensure statewide high-speed broadband access by the end of 2018); and

· An economic mobility agenda that includes investments in affordable housing, student loan relief, MWBE support, and homeless and hunger assistance programs.


This week the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 26 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Joe Robach office noted that the nominations reflect the breadth of New York’s history, ranging from one of the last amusement park rides left at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair in Queens, to the site of a 1943 school segregation fight in Rockland County.

State and National Register listing can assist property owners in revitalizing buildings, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Spurred by the state and federal historic rehabilitation commercial tax credits administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, Joe Robach office noted that developers invested $500 million statewide in 2014 to revitalize properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Homeowners using the state historic homeowner rehabilitation tax credit invested more than $9.8 million statewide on home improvements to help revitalize historic neighborhoods.

The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.

Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register. More information and photos of the nominations is available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website. According to the office of Joe Robach some of the properties, surrounding the Rochester region, include:

Erie County

East Hill Historic District, Springville – Beginning with the construction a Greek
Revival house at 154 East Main Street around 1835, the district’s residential architecture reflects nearly 100 years of the village’s growth.

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Buffalo – Designed in 1932 in the Byzantine Revival style, the church was built after the Bolshevik Revolution swelled the number of immigrants fleeing Russia to practice their religion freely in the United States, precipitating the need for a larger worship space in Buffalo.

American Radiator Company Factory Complex, Buffalo – Developed between 1891 and 1939, the manufacturing and research facility led the way in advancing steam-heating technology as part of a movement towards better health and safe, more cost-effective alternatives to coal.

Monroe County

Park-State Historic District, Brockport – the district reflects the architectural and social development of the village from 1820-1930, starting in the era when Brockport was a growing village, home to thriving industrial and commercial enterprises, encompassing the railroad era, and finally the village’s shift in orientation from commerce and industry to education.

Chili-West Historic District, Rochester – Creation of the intact residential district was sparked by a series of building booms, and by 1935 it was fully built out and had attained the characteristics of an outlying urban neighborhood accessible by street car and automobile.

Sibley 19th Ward Historic District, Rochester – The significance of the Sibley
Historic District is largely due to its extant historic housing stock of homes in the Colonial Revival, American Foursquare, Craftsman and Tudor Revival styles, making the area a virtual snapshot of the development of the city’s Nineteenth Ward in the early 20th century.

Ontario County

St. Francis De Sales Church Complex, Geneva – The complex includes four historic buildings, beginning with its church, dated to 1864, and including the 1868 rectory, 1874 school (expanded 1909) and 1874 convent and reflects the rapid and extensive growth of the Roman Catholic community in Geneva.

Orleans County

Holley Village Historic District, Holley – The district’s 37 properties make up the commercial and institutional core of the village as it developed from 1822 to 1931; it was built along a distinctive street plan that was oriented to the Erie Canal’s irregular alignment as it spanned Sandy Creek.

Wyoming County

Barna C. Roup House, Perry – Built in 1898, the Queen Anne-style house was constructed during the village’s period of major growth and was owned by Barna C. Roup, a notable local attorney.


This week the office of Joe Robach announced that New York State will begin a statewide multi-media campaign using billboards, radio, television and social media to remind motorists about the deadly impacts of impaired driving. The campaign, funded by a Traffic Safety Committee, builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to combat impaired driving and reduce the number of traffic fatalities.

Drinking and driving has no place on New York roadways and Joe Robach and other state offices have made it a priority to crack down on this irresponsible and dangerous behavior. There were a record low number of DWI-related deaths last year and with this campaign seeks to build on this success, prevent more impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel, and further avoid preventable tragedies.

Preliminary data shows that New York State recorded 1,037 traffic fatalities in 2014, which was the lowest number of traffic fatalities since the state began keeping records in 1925. In 2013, 1,199 individuals died in motor vehicle crashes. The public service announcement will soon air on cable and network television and radio stations statewide and will be supported by GTSC, DMV and other state agencies through their social media channels. Over the past several years, New York State has implemented an aggressive approach to combating impaired driving. By leveraging the state’s network of county STOP-DWI programs, GTSC uses statewide enforcement mobilizations during holiday periods and in conjunction with national crackdowns to vigorously crack down on impaired driving. In 2014, the STOP-DWI Foundation launched the ‘Have a Plan’ mobile app to reduce impaired driving and encourage motorists to find a safe way home instead of driving.

Joe Robach office also noted that the state also took steps to strengthen its impaired driving laws last year. Effective November 1, 2014, drivers convicted of DWI or DWAI three or more times in 15 years face a Class D felony charge, up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.


This week Joe Robach highlighted safety tips for visitors taking advantage of New York’s outdoor recreation opportunities this summer. New York State and specifically the Monroe County region offers a wide variety of activities for visitors of all ages and abilities, and taking basic precautions can make for a safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience for all.

In a press release issued by his office, Joe Robach said “New York is home to some of the top outdoor destinations in the world. I encourage residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of our region and its beautiful natural resources safely by making sure they plan and prepare for unpredictable weather conditions or emergencies” Joe Robach urged residents and visitors to take a few simple steps to protect their safety.

Each year, state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers respond to calls to assist people who are lost or disoriented in outdoor areas, suffering from injuries or in need of help from professionals. Over the past five years, rangers performed an average of 255 search-and-rescue missions annually throughout New York State.

These incidents included lost or disoriented hikers, medical emergencies, and searches for individuals who did not return from their trip, or failed to contact family members. To date in 2015, forest rangers have responded to 96 such incidents, including nine searches and six rescues over Memorial Day weekend.

Proper planning is critical for people of all ages and skill levels, including those going on day-trip hikes, paddling excursions or backpacking, as well as multi-day adventures in wilderness areas. People who are trying an activity for the first time, or are not familiar with the area where the activity will occur, should consider hiring a guide. An experienced guide will ensure people are properly prepared, prevent them from getting lost and help make the trip safe and enjoyable.

Tips to prepare for an outdoor adventure include: developing trip itineraries; carrying appropriate equipment, including guides, maps and a compass; bring sufficient food and water; dressing in proper clothing; carrying emergency contact numbers; and preparing for access to shelter, such as tents, cabins or lean-tos.


Pre-trip planning should reflect your physical abilities and experience – don’t overexert yourself or embark on an adventure that is beyond your physical capabilities or outdoor skills. Also, make sure you have equipment in case you become lost, stranded or injured. Bring a charged mobile phone, with extra batteries, in case you need to call for assistance. 9-1-1 dispatchers can often track your location and send help if needed. Carry warm clothing and supplies such as water and light food or energy bars, a flashlight or headlamp, rain gear, sunscreen and matches.

Travel in groups or with another person whenever possible. Always be on the lookout for challenges you may encounter in the outdoors, such as wildfires, sudden storms, muddy trail conditions and fast moving waters. Wear light-colored clothing and long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect against ticks that carry Lyme disease and other biting insects. Check for ticks every two to three hours while outdoors, and brush off any ticks before they attach. Performing a full body check multiple times during the day and at the end of the day will also ensure that no ticks are attached.

Boating and paddling:

All people are strongly encouraged to wear a personal floatation device whenever they are on the water. State law requires that children under age 12 wear a personal flotation device while on a watercraft. Also, check the weather forecast before heading out on the water to learn about potential storms and seek immediate shelter on shore if you hear thunder.

Know your abilities and take precautions when there are high or steady winds creating large waves, or when you are in strong currents. If you are paddling in waters where there are motorboats, keep close to shorelines and out of main channels. Also, boaters and paddlers should clean, drain and dry watercraft to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.


Before embarking on a camping or day trip, check weather forecasts to learn about area conditions. Keep fires small (no more than 3 ft. high, 4 ft. diameter) and use existing campfire rings when available. Don’t leave any fire unattended and completely extinguish the campfire by dousing it with water, stirring the embers and dousing it a second time.

For additional information, Joe Robach urges residents and those who are looking to visit the area to contact their local park office or his district office with questions.


This week the office of Joe Robach announced that New York State has extended the ban on residential brush burning until May 21 due to continued dry conditions across the state. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in the state.

State officials have been working hand-in-hand with local firefighters to help contain a rash of wildfires that have broken out across New York in recent week. As dry weather conditions persist, the burning ban has been extended to better protect the health and well-being of New Yorkers who may find themselves and their property in harm’s way. The office of Joe Robach urges everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their neighbors and the first responders.

The eastern, central, southern and far northern regions of the state are rated as having a high risk of fire danger, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Southern Tier, Lake Ontario, and Adirondack regions are rated as having a moderate risk of fire danger. Additionally, the red flag warning is a short-term, temporary warning, indicating the presence of a dangerous combination of temperature, wind, relative humidity, fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires. This year, 110 fires have burned nearly 3,600 acres.

Joe Robach noted that while all wildfires in New York are now contained, numerous state offices have deployed resources over the past two weeks to help battle wildfires in the eastern New York.

Since 2009, New York State has enforced a residential brush burning ban for towns with less than 20,000 residents from March 16 through May 14, the period when most wildfires occur. Some towns, primarily in and around the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park, are designated “fire towns,” and open burning is prohibited year-round in these municipalities unless an individual or group has a written permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Burning garbage is prohibited year-round. Violators of the open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.

Campfires using charcoal or untreated wood are allowed except in the Catskill Forest Preserve. All campfires in the Catskill Forest Preserve continue to be banned through May 21 due to the continued high fire danger as a result of the dry weather conditions. Campfires should never be left unattended and must be extinguished.

Since the ban was enacted, the average number of spring fires per year has decreased from 3,297 to 1,425 or 43.2 percent. To view an updated map of fire danger ratings in New York, Joe Robach office suggests residents visit


This week the office of Joe Robach announced that state officials honored 27 fallen law enforcement officers from agencies across New York State, including officers who died last year from injuries sustained in the line of duty, officers who died from Ground Zero-related illnesses, and historical deaths.

The names of the 27 officers honored today have been inscribed on the Police Officers’ Memorial located on the Empire State Plaza in Albany. They join 1,360 others represented on the memorial from 141 police agencies across the state and five federal law enforcement agencies.

The officers honored paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities and their state. In press released by his office, Joe Robach said “These individuals personified bravery and selflessness, putting the safety of their communities before their own lives.”

The fallen heroes were remembered Tuesday at a remembrance ceremony where state officials joined more than 400 guests, including local, state and federal law enforcement professionals, other elected officials, and family members, colleagues and friends of the officers.

The names of fallen officers are placed randomly and without rank on the memorial’s walls to signify that every officer’s sacrifice is the same. This concept was suggested by Colleen Dillon Bergman, the daughter of Trooper Emerson J. Dillon, Jr., who was killed in the line of duty in 1974 after more than 16 years of service. Following her father’s death, Ms. Bergman wrote a letter to the Police Officers’ Memorial Advisory Committee, which oversees the memorial, writing, “It doesn’t matter from which department they came, the feeling of loss is experienced the same.” That sentence is now etched on the memorial’s nameplate, which was dedicated in 1991.

2014 Line of Duty Deaths
Eight officers died last year from injuries they incurred while in the line of duty:

• Detective Dennis E. Guerra of the New York City Police Department died from complications from smoke inhalation after responding to a fire in a Coney Island public housing development (April 9).
• Detective WenJian Liu and Detective Rafael Ramos of the New York City Police Department died after being shot without warning or provocation while they sat in their marked Critical Response Vehicle in a Brooklyn neighborhood (Dec. 20).
• Detective Douglas H. Mayville of the Albany Police Department died from Wegener’s Granulomatosis developed after inhaling toxic chemicals and materials while performing his duties at the Forensic Investigations Unit from 1982 through 1997 (April 9).
• Police Officer Daryl Pierson of the Rochester Police Department died after being shot and killed by a suspect he was pursuing on foot (Sept. 3).
• Trooper Christopher Skinner of the New York State Police (Troop C) was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while conducting a traffic stop on I-81 in Broome County (May 29).
• Police Officer David W. Smith of the Johnson City Police Department died after being ambushed and shot responding to a disturbance call at a local business (March 31).
• Police Officer Michael C. Williams of the New York City Police Department died of injuries suffered from a motor vehicle accident involving a marked department van that crashed into a highway divider while on patrol in the Bronx (Sept. 21).

Ground Zero-Related Illness
Officers who died from illnesses resulting from search and recovery efforts in the wake of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack in New York City have been honored on the memorial since 2008. The names on the memorial now total 85, including the 14 added today:

• Detective Angel A. Creagh, New York City Police Department (Jan. 14, 2014)
• Police Officer Anthony DeJesus, New York City Police Department (May 24, 2013)
• Sergeant Paul M. Ferrara, New York City Police Department (Aug. 28, 2014)
• Police Officer Nicholas G. Finelli, New York City Police Department (June 8, 2013)
• Detective Michael R. Henry, New York City Police Department (Nov. 28, 2013)
• Detective Steven Hom, New York City Police Department (Oct. 19, 2013)
• Detective John J. Marshall, New York City Police Department (April 6, 2014)
• Detective Robert A. Montanez, New York City Police Department (March 16, 2014)
• Sergeant Donald J. O’Leary Jr., New York City Police Department (March 26, 2014)
• Police Officer Allison M. Palmer, New York City Police Department (July 28, 2008)
• Captain Ronald G. Peifer Sr., New York City Police Department (March 5, 2014)
• Detective Christopher Strucker, New York City Police Department (Jan. 3, 2014)
• Detective William B. Titus Jr., New York City Police Department (Aug. 24, 2003)
• Police Officer Perry T. Villani, New York City Police Department (Jan. 21, 2014)

The office of Joe Robach noted that to be included on the memorial, an individual must have held the position of police officer as defined in the state’s Criminal Procedure Law or have held the position of federal law enforcement officer and performed the same or similar duties as those performed by a police officer as defined in that section.


This week the office of Joe Robach announced two major economic development programs – the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and Round V of the Regional Economic Development Councils – officially kicking off the 2015 competitions for $1.5 billion and up to $750 million in state economic development resources, respectfully.

New York’s Regional Councils have transformed the state’s economy over the past four years. The progress will continue with the largest single investment in the program and an unprecedented focus on revitalizing Upstate. Between the fifth round of the Regional Economic Development Council competition and the new $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative, communities across the state will be able to invest in their many unique assets and expand opportunities for growth from the ground up. Joe Robach office said that every region is encouraged to come together and put their best plans forward as we continue to create a brighter and more prosperous future for New York State.

This year, the 10 Regional Councils will once again compete for awards from up to $750 million in state economic development resources through Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, through the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), seven regions – Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson – are eligible to compete for three $500 million awards, which will be disbursed at a rate of $100 million per year for five years.

The three Upstate winners of the URI will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn “Top Performer” distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition – which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior year. The office of Joe Robach noted that this approach ensures that no region is a loser, while also maintaining the competitive nature that has worked so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions.

The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) will open to applicants on May 1 with a deadline of July 31 at 4:00pm, allotting more time than past years for the Regional Councils to solicit and identify projects in their areas. This extended period also provides additional time for businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to apply for assistance from dozens of state funding programs for job creation and community development projects.

Upstate Revitalization Initiative

For the seven Upstate regions eligible for the $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Initiative, the regions will submit a “Revitalization Plan” as an addendum to their progress report. In addition to the priorities outlined in the 2015 Progress Report update, the Upstate Revitalization Plan should provide a more detailed analysis of the region and develop ideas and strategies to transform the regional economy.

The purpose of each region’s Revitalization Plan will be to 1) provide a well-researched and credible argument that the region is ready for revitalization; and 2) to describe the transformation that will happen in the region if granted those funds. Each REDC should address in their plan concepts such as job creation, increasing net wealth in the region, private sector investment, and other key indicators.

URI designated regions will receive a total allocation of $500 million, at a rate of $100 million per year for five years. As part of the Revitalization Plan, each region will submit a list of initial projects they recommend for funding should they be selected a “Best Plan Awardee” of the competition. Each URI region will be required to identify potential projects seeking URI funds and may continue to do so after the CFA closes.

Examples of the types of projects or how funds will be used include:
•Infrastructure targeted to job creation and economic growth;
•Acquisition and development of sites for industrial growth;
•Job training and employment readiness, particularly when focused on key local economic sectors;
•Encouragement of and support to start-up companies and their founders;
•Creation of venture capital funds;
•Direct support of companies in sectors targeted by REDC;
•Support innovation, particularly college and university based;
•Targeted support to companies to assist them in keeping up with technological advances; and
•Creation of opportunities for hard to place workers, including veterans, ex-offenders, low income, under educated, refugees, immigrants and persons with special needs.

Joe Robach added that the URI Revitalization Plans will be due to the State on October 5, 2015.