Here are the state leaders we are urging residents to reach out to - through phone calls or e-mails - to support legislation that will keep the NRG station in Dunkirk operating in the future. They include:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Call (518) 474-8390 or e-mail at www.governor.ny.gov/contact
Hon. Sheldon Silver, Assembly Speaker. Call (518) 455-3791 or email@example.com
Highs and lows: Some of the best, worst of the week
Here are some other best - and worst - of the week:
PENSION AGREEMENT - Something needed to change with state pensions. It's bankrupting schools and municipalities alike. Now retirement has gone up from 62 to 63 years of age, employee contributions range from 3 to 6 percent (depending on the person's annual salary) sick days are more limited, and a 401(k)-style option is available for non-union employees. Is it perfect? No. Could more sacrifices be made? Perhaps. The gap between private and public sector employees has been too large for years. But it's a start.
MAPLE WEEKEND - This and next weekend are officially Maple Weekend. Although it's been quite warm and the maple syrup has been flowing for weeks now, it's still a great time to celebrate maple syrup made in our region. Go to www.mapleweekend.com to see a list of area syrup producers involved. Pancakes never taste so good!
WILLIAMS SIGNING - Is any sports star worth $100 million? Well that's a debate in itself, but here's hoping that the Buffalo Bills become a relevant football team with the signing of Mario Williams, the former Houston Texans defensive end. Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since their training camp left SUNY?Fredonia. Maybe this will end their drought. Or maybe what the Bills need to do is come back to our area in July. And we're sure it wouldn't be anywhere near $100 million. Just an idea!
IRVING BRIDGE - The bridge that connects Chautauqua and Erie counties on Routes 5 & 20 is vital. Yet, the bridge replacement has been delayed until fall. The concern is that at some point the bridge could become too dangerous to travel on and all of a sudden the state could be forced to shut it down, which would make travel extremely difficult between the two counties. We don't want to see a repeat of what Springville is going through with its bridge replacement. Their bridge on 219 was suddenly deemed unsafe and the bridge was closed, which affected many Springville businesses. County Legislator George Borrello is trying to rally support to get the bridge replaced sooner. The sooner work begins, the better. Otherwise things could get very difficult for residents and travelers alike.