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FULTON COUNTY & BEYOND
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FOR MOHAWK VALLEY LOCAL NEWS & AFAR!

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 “Child Confiscation”
  By Klaire Butler, Central NY reporting
At the end of 2013, Senator Tim Kennedy took a stand.  A stand that took a lot of courage and a lot of respect for the people of his Erie County district. He and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples- Stokes have joined forces to contest the laws of OCFS.   Change is needed of course,although I have to say, this Advocate for Family Rights has to disagree with the term “Child Confiscation”.
I feel that this term is far too light a definition of the actions taken by any Department of Social Services with our children which is nothing less than brute force kidnapping with a permission slip from the judge to call it legal. CPS1
I have a feeling this year is going to be a metaphorical kick off for families in our favor as citizens.  Among the Changes that are looking to be made are the requirements of being a social worker. Associates Degrees will no longer be suitable for social work. The end zone is about to get a little further away and some of their cheerleaders aren’t so big on the idea of cheering them on for morale. Also in discussion to change is their capability to operate without licensing and bonding. I  can honestly say that I know I am not alone when I say, Thank you to both politicians named herein for taking a stand. Its been a long time coming.
Senator Kennedy began this movement with a letter written to state OCFS commisioner Gladys Carrion. In this letter he enters his feelings of disdain in regard to 4 children in his district that lay slain due to CPS mishandling.  He writes in his September 20, 2012 letter, “10 year old Abdifatah Mohamaud, 3 year old Gage Seneca, 1 year old Austin Smith and now Eain Clayton Brooks were brutally beaten by individuals entrusted with their care. The circumstances surrounding their deaths are different, but together, the loss of these children call into question whether or not our state and county are meeting their obligations in protecting our children”.  Very good question Senator. The very same question we have been asking as citizens for a long time.  He continues to state that a “comprehensive investigation” of the ocfs offices state wide is neccesary.  Read the full article here: http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/state-answers-senator-kennedys-call-investigation-erie-county-child-protective-service
During this time, assembly men and women as well as senators are looking for more public meetings to get a better grasp on what needs to be changed and how. Call your senator and assembly members today and request open public meeting in your area.
During this time, assembly men and women as well as senators are looking for more public meetings to get a better grasp on what needs to be changed and how. The first public meeting was held in Erie County.
Contact for Senators: http://www.nysenate.gov/senators
Contact for Assembly: http://assembly.state.ny.us
pic (2)Klaire Butler is an Advocate for Families in the Central NY area close to Syracuse, is currently a student in Sociology and Criminal Justice and is a regular contributor to The Heritage Voice.
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AYRES MEMORIAL ANIMAL SHELTER SEEKS QUALITY OF LIFE SUPPORT

The Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter , a nonprofit entity located at #133 Hilltop Road in Sprakers, New York Ayresis open to all donations and gifts which are used to insure “quality of life” for the cats and dogs that are at its facility. During a recent meeting with the news crew from VOP-FreedomMedia and PopsMediaPro, shelter board members Ann Aksztulewicz (Pres.) and Carolee Start (Treasurer), gave a tour of the facility which included reviewing a “wish list” of needs the shelter seeks to fulfill in order to provide a wholesome environment and care for the animals.  “At Ayres we do not put down animals simply to make room but instead create a quality of life atmosphere in which the animals may live comfortably and healthy to their final days if need be” , said Ann Aksztulewicz.

Funds are urgently needed to complete the building of a surgery room and necessary operation equipment for emergencies as well as for spay and neuter clinics. There is also the need to purchase additional land adjacent to the property for a special animal walk park with further plans in development. The public may donate food items and gifts for the animals at the shelter.

Assisting in the news tour and interviews was Curtis, a neutered male hound mix who is so rambunctious and loving that he will certainly make any one or family happy and proud to adopt him.Curtis

 The shelter takes in approximately 750 dogs and cats per year and offers adoption services and spay and neuter clinics for the public. To adopt or learn more visit: AyersAnimalShelter.com

A fundraiser PSA and short media presentation sponsored by International Services,Inc. and INFACTOBIZ.COM will be released to local media sources as a way to assist the shelter in reaching the public for financial support.

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READ EXCLUSIVE FROM NY DAILY NEWS

NYPD says down with officers, up with police dogs

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FIRST-CLASS STAMPS TO COST 49 CENTS AS OF JAN. 26

BY BRADLEY KLAPPER 
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.

Regulators on Tuesday approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter in an effort to help the Postal Service recover from severe mail decreases brought on by the 2008 economic downturn.

Many consumers won’t feel the price increase immediately. Forever stamps, good for first-class postage whatever the future rate, can be purchased at the lower price until the new rate is effective Jan. 26.

To read more on the story: FIRST-CLASS STAMPS

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RAMAPOUGH TRIBE SUES FILMAKERS
by Hank McGrath      

RamaposThe Ramapough Mountain Indian Tribe, who originate from the New York and New Jersey borders, find serious offense to the negative stereotype and  falsities depicted in the new movie “Out of the Furnace”, starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Woody Harrelson. They are suing the filmakers, Relativity Media, in federal court for $50 million dollars.

The civil lawsuit alleges defamation because the movie sets scenes “in the Ramapough Mountains of New Jersey, by referring to the criminal gang and/or community as Jackson Whites and by using the DeGroat and Van Dunk surnames for the principal villains, all of which make for a ready association between these plaintiffs and the movie,” Lydia B. Cotz, the attorney for the 17 Ramapoughs, said in the court filing.

The tribe has already begun to experience a negative backlash as a direct result of the movies release with people in communities treating their tribal members disrespectfully and publicly calling them names – because the movie depicts the tribe as lawless and ignorant – Once again, they now suffer from old stereotypes.

As well, names used in the movie like DeGroat or Van Dunk are actual names of Ramapough tribal members today who must bear the brunt of discrimination and profiling that will arise as a direct result of this fictional movie that attempts to base its story upon alleged factual backdrops. The only fact in the story is that the movie IS fictional which was well explained by Ben McGrath in The New Yorker article, “Fiction in the Ramapos”.

NYS NEEDS CONSUMER ADVOCACY COMMISSION

A bill before the NYS legislature seeking an independent consumer advocacy commission to represent customers may be a positive first step in getting a handle on utility company monopolies, ever rising rates and mysterious charges and fees suffered by consumers today.

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The bill,  seeking to increase power of the Public Utilities Commission and to have Governor Cuomo appoint an independent commission to better represent the consumer, is supported by the Public Utility Project, AARP and a number of others on behalf of New York State residents.

You can become involved in support NOW by visiting the AARP site and sending an email to Governor Cuomo’s office in support of the bill.

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