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NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY (October 25, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie have announced additional screening protocols for 17868658 Ebola at both JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports:

    · There will be real-time access to on-the-ground screening at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports by New York and New Jersey Departments of Health staff;
    · Each State Department of Health at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports will, as permitted under applicable law, make its own determination as to hospitalization, quarantine, and other public health interventions for up to 21 days. There will also be a mandatory quarantine for any individual who had direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus while in one of the three West African nations (Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea), including any medical personnel having performed medical services to individuals infected with the Ebola virus. Additionally, all individuals with travel history to the affected regions of West Africa, with no direct contact with an infected person, will be actively monitored by public health officials and, if necessary, quarantined, depending on the facts and circumstances of their particular situation.
    · New York and New Jersey are establishing enhanced communication protocols between their respective state health departments to coordinate on matters pertaining to New York and New Jersey resident travelers who fly into Newark and JFK;
    · The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Customs Border Patrol (CBP) will provide information to New York and New Jersey’s respective State Departments of Health on all screening on a real-time basis and provide a daily recap as to the status of that day’s screening and CDC determinations

"Since taking office, I have erred on the side of caution when it comes to the safety and protection of New Yorkers, and the current situation regarding Ebola will be no different,” said Governor Cuomo. “The steps New York and New Jersey are taking today will strengthen our safeguards to protect our residents against this disease and help ensure those that may be infected by Ebola are treated with the highest precautions. I want to thank Governor Christie and his team for their spirit of partnership. This is an evolving situation but one that tests the ability of government to perform and as we have done in the past when facing similar challenges, we will do whatever is needed to put the health and safety of the people first."

“I have been clear that we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the public health of the people of New Jersey which is exactly what these joint efforts with Governor Cuomo will do with additional screening and heightened standards for quarantine,” said Governor Christie. “By demanding these enhance measures, we are ensuring that any suspected cases are identified quickly and effectively, and that proper safeguards are executed.”

Governor Cuomo also announced the launch of a new State information line to answer public health questions from New Yorkers about Ebola. The info line is free and trained operators are available to answer the public’s questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number of the info line is 1-800-861-2280. It is important to note that this line is set up for public health information purposes only. If an individual requires medical attention, they should call their health care provider or 9-1-1 immediately.

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NEW YORK STATE (October 23, 2014) – (Editor’s note: the Governor’s address was made earlier today, before the announcement that a doctor who had contracted Ebola was a patient in New York City.

Governor Cuomo at the 10/23/14 education session:

“And when we first learned about Ebola we had to come together and inform ourselves. Well that’s what today is all about. This is a training. This is a session to inform you, to educate you. What’s going to kill this disease is knowledge and training and preparation. Having the right protocols, having the right knowledge, having the right equipment, and doing it right and making sure we make no mistakes. In truth, unfortunately, we have an advantage from watching what happened in Dallas. Because Dallas didn’t have a chance to prepare the way we have a chance to prepare. And Dallas didn’t have the time to work through all these issues. Dallas didn’t have the opportunity to come together like we’re coming together today to learn to be trained in how to deal with it.

“We have been spending weeks getting ready for today. I’ve been Governor for four years – this has been the most coordinated, most serious effort that we have undertaken of its kind. We’re working with every city in the State. We’re working with the federal government. We’re working with Secretary Jeh Johnson, we’re working with the CDC – everybody has been comparing notes. Coordinated on every level, from transportation workers in the MTA to airport workers at JFK and La Guardia to the healthcare system which is where we are today.

“We’re taking this as seriously as we are taking anything because it is a matter of protecting people’s health and protecting people’s health on the front lines.”

NEW YORK STATE (October 22, 2014) U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced the release of $343 million in heating and home energy assistance funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The two Senators had joined a bipartisan group of 46 Senators in urging HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to release Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding as quickly as possible, to ensure more families can access the resources they need to heat their homes this winter.

Without these federal resources, households nationwide may have been subject to cuts in federal heating aid during this year’s winter months. Now, New York State is set to receive over $343 million as part of initial LIHEAP funding provided under the Continuing Appropriations Resolution of 2015. New York State has received over $300 million in LIHEAP funding each fiscal year for the last seven years.

“No one should ever have to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes. With winter’s cold and high energy prices right around the corner, families and seniors across Upstate New York need help paying their heating costs,” said Senator Schumer. “This massive infusion of federal funding right to the pockets of New Yorkers who need it most will provide critical relief to those residents facing the tough choice between food and heat this winter season. This funding will help keep more than a million New Yorkers out of the freezing cold this winter, and I will always fight for as much support as possible for this vital program.”

“This necessary funding will help keep more than a million New Yorkers warm this winter,” said Senator Gillibrand. “No family in our state should ever be left behind and literally in the cold in their home. I commend Secretary Burwell for responding quickly and making this funding a top priority.”
LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing vital assistance during both the cold winter and hot summer months. Even though the number of households eligible for the program continues to exceed those receiving assistance, this funding has been a lifeline during the economic downturn and rising energy costs, helping to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine. New York State is the largest beneficiary of LIHEAP funds in the nation and more than 1 million New Yorkers rely on LIHEAP to heat their homes during the winter.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (October 20, 2014) – Hours of community input are coming to fruition as the next phase of the Sullivan County River Access Plan, an initiative which has engaged and activated the community, is now being initiated.

As Sue Currier, Executive Director for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, explains, “The Conservancy is honored to be helping to implement a plan that Sullivan County and the community developed to revitalize river communities, enhance our economic vitality, and develop a coordinated, cohesive approach to branding the county’s river accesses. As a result, we’re coordinating a fundraising campaign to make this next phase happen, beginning with the Long Eddy river access.”

The purpose of the fundraising campaign is to purchase, protect, and improve the fishing and boat access site to the Delaware River located in Long Eddy, Sullivan County, NY.

At present, the Long Eddy access is popular with river guides and recreational users, but does not have a ramp or sufficient parking. The resulting crowded conditions reduce use by all but the most determined, and create conflicts over inappropriate parking with the nearby residents and businesses. The recently completed Sullivan County River Access Plan has identified the need to enhance access to the Delaware River for recreational enthusiasts and provide additional economic lift to our river towns, such as Long Eddy.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy has signed a contract to acquire a piece of private property located along the Delaware River, adjacent to the existing road used as the boat launch. It will be conveyed to the NYS DEC, who will in turn improve the boat launch for all river users.

The purchase, holding, and subsequent transfer of the property will cost approximately $20,000, and the Conservancy is hosting a fundraising campaign to cover these costs. The campaign may be accessed via Indiegogo at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/improve-the-long-eddy-river-access/x/8658204 or more information is available on the Conservancy’s website athttp://www.DelawareHighlands.org. Every dollar donated goes directly to the project and, in turn, benefits the local community, its businesses, and all river users.

As Jeff Graff, an avid fly fisherman, explains, "The Delaware River is a truly amazing natural resource and a fly fisherman’s dream.  It’s clear, clean waters flow over cobble bottom long eddies and riffles that meander through the ancient, dark hills and hardwood forests of southern New York and northeastern Pennsylvania and hold abundant populations of healthy, wild rainbow and brown trout. Its prolific aquatic insect hatches of mayflies, caddis flies and stoneflies provide some of the best and most challenging fly fishing opportunities for fishermen in the United States.”

He continues, “Creating and maintaining access to the river is essential, not only to fishermen interested in ensuring that the fishery remains vital and accessible to drift boats and wade fishermen, but also to other recreational users of the river such as canoeists and kayakers."

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy works with landowners and communities to protect the healthy lands, clean waters, eagles and other wildlife, and sustainable economies of the Upper Delaware River region.  For more information, send an email to info@delawarehighlands.org or call 845-583-1010.

NEW YORK STATE (October 16, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the formation of a Task Force that will work to implement the plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York.

File:Red Ribbon.svgThe Task Force – whose work will be supplemented by two advisory groups in the near future – will support the effort to reduce the number of new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020. Together, all three groups will consist of experts and community advocates from across New York and will perform public outreach and awareness campaigns in line with the Governor’s plan.

“HIV/AIDS has plagued families across this State for too long, and together we are going to put an end to this epidemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “This disease can impact people from all walks of life, and the sooner society realizes that, the sooner we can end the stigma that keeps too many people from getting tested and treated. I want to thank all who have joined us to implement this plan so far – their contributions are helping to save lives in virtually every corner of our State.”

The three key groups charged with ending the epidemic are:

    1. A Task Force, which has been established in support of Governor Cuomo’s three-point plan and will develop and issue recommendations as well as draft New York’s blueprint to end the epidemic. Four subcommittees will focus specifically on prevention, care, data, and housing and supportive services (members are listed below);
    2. The Public Official Advisory Group, which will be made up of state and local public officials with significant interest and experience in HIV and AIDS who will be given the opportunity to provide feedback to the task force; and
    3. The Public Awareness Ambassadors will be active LGBT and AIDS awareness advocates that will help raise awareness, promote the Governor’s plan, and reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

Members of the Public Official Advisory Group and the Public Awareness Ambassadors will be announced at a later date.

The end of the AIDS epidemic in New York will occur when the total number of new HIV infections has fallen below the number of HIV-related deaths. In June, Governor Cuomo announced a three-point plan to decrease new HIV infections to the point where the number of people living with HIV in New York State is reduced for the first time by:

    1. Identifying people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to health care;
    2. Linking and retaining people diagnosed with HIV to health care and getting them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission; and
    3. Providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk people to keep them HIV negative.

“These efforts will maximize the availability of life-saving, transmission-interrupting treatment for HIV, saving lives and improving the health of New Yorkers,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D. “They will move us from a history of having the worst HIV epidemic in the country to one where new infections will be rare and those living with the disease will have normal lifespans with few complications.”

While the nation as a whole has seen no decrease in the number of HIV diagnoses, over the last decade, New York State has achieved a 40 percent reduction in new HIV cases and significant decreases in HIV incidence across almost all categories of race, ethnicity, gender, age and risk. Although the number of new HIV infections has been declining for a number of years, the total number of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS has continued to increase. This is because people with HIV can now live a normal life span and the number of HIV/AIDS deaths is also decreasing.

The Governor’s task force will meet on five occasions. All meetings will be made public and viewable via webcast on the governor’s website at http://www.governor.ny.gov/. The first meeting was held from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn; subsequent meetings will alternate between the Capital Region and New York City.

Sir Elton John, Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation said, "Governor Cuomo understands that HIV/AIDS is an issue of justice and equality, and to end AIDS we need to end the stigma. With the establishment of this task force, Governor Cuomo continues to lead the way towards an end of AIDS, and position the State of New York as a global leader in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment."

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (October 15, 2014) – Members of the Sullivan County Visitors Association are encouraged to reserve their ad space in the 2014-side-travelGuide 2015 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide as soon as possible.

The Travel Guide is placed in information centers inside and outside the county and state, and is made available (ads included) in a digital format via www.SCVA.net.

The website enjoys more than 300,000 page views each year, or more than 25,000 page views per month. The SCVA Travel Guides are also sent overseas to whet the appetites of international travelers.

“The guide has been enormously popular, and we expect 2015 to be no different,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “It has proved to be an invaluable promotional tool for our member businesses and our entire region each year.”

Member businesses interested in placing an advertisement inside the Travel Guide will receive an additional 10% off their ad cost if paid in full by the Oct. 30 deadline. Member advertisers will also receive an enhanced listing banner ad ($100 value) on www.SCVA.net.

For more information about advertising, please contact Phyllis Andrews by calling 845.747.4449 or emailing pla@scva.net.

Non-member businesses who are interested in advertising within the Travel Guide are asked to become an SCVA member before gaining access to members-only advantages.

The 2014 Travel Guide, designed by FisherMears Associates of Liberty, NY, is still available. To explore the current guidebook online, visit www.SCVA.net/guidebooks/2014_TravelGuide. To receive a copy, visit www.SCVA.net/brochure, call the SCVA at 800-882-2287, or visit the SCVA office at 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2 in Ferndale, NY

SULLIVAN COUNTY AND SURROUNDING AREAS (October 15, 2014) – Issued By: NWS Binghamton (South Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania)

Affected Jurisdictions:  Delaware, Sullivan Counties

The National Weather Service In Binghamton Has Issued An Urban And Small Stream Flood Advisory For…Delaware County…Northern Sullivan County…Northern Wayne County…* Until 130 AM EDT.*

At 734 PM EDT…Doppler Radar Showed Heavy Rain Moving Into Delaware And Northern Sullivan Counties In New York And Northern Wayne County In Pennsylvania Area.

2 To 3 Inches Of Rain is Expected To Fall For The Remainder Of The Evening Into The overnight Hours. Expect Flooding To Begin Shortly After The Rain begins.*

Locations In The Advisory Include But Are Not Limited To Delhi…Walton And Liberty.

Rain Heavy At Times Will Spread Across All Of Delaware And Northern Sullivan Counties In New York And Northern Wayne County In Pennsylvania.

This Rainfall Will Cause Urban And Poor Drainage, flooding And Road Washouts.

Excessive Runoff From Heavy Rainfall Will Cause Elevated Levels On small Creeks And Streams…And Ponding Of Water In Urban Areas…Highways…Streets And Underpasses As Well As Other Poor Drainage areas And Low Lying Spots.

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