Stories you may have missed last week
HUDSON VALLEY AND CATSKILLS, NY — In response to the question of whether seasonal camps will be able to open this year, State Sen. Jen Metzger has reached out to Gov Andrew Cuomo.
“My team and I are doing all that we can to get through to the governor, requesting that he provide more clarity as it relates to seasonal camps and colonies, which should certainly be shut down during this pandemic as it will be difficult for them to comply with important social distancing measures.
“While the precautions New York has taken to date are beginning to have a positive impact, to open summer camps and bungalow colonies risks undoing the progress made to date in controlling transmission of the virus and prolonging the economic slowdown, which we do not want.
“As you may know, if a resident owns a second home they do have a right to access their property as private residences cannot be regulated by the county; however, I will continue to advocate that folks remain in their primary homes.”
ALBANY, NY— The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Health provided additional details on the distribution of the $25 million Nourish New York initiative, as announced on May 1 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Funding will be allocated regionally and based on need, from the state’s special public health emergency fund, for food banks and emergency food providers across the state. The Nourish New York initiative is working to reroute New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through New York’s network of food banks.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Nourish New York will be a lifeline for our families and our farmers who have been struggling with changes brought on by COVID-19. The agricultural industry has continued to give back to New York communities during this time; however, they have seen devastating losses financially as a result of lost markets, such as schools and restaurants. I am grateful to the governor and to the entire Nourish New York team for launching this critical program that will help people who are food insecure to access the nourishment that they need while providing much-needed relief for our farmers.”
TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA —The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking for information related to the deaths of three bald eagles that were discovered in the same general area of Wayne County. Each of the eagles was found in the vicinity of the Texas-Palmyra Highway and State Route 652, near Honesdale, in Texas Township.
The first eagle, discovered on February 28, was alive but in poor condition and did not survive. The second bird was found dead on March 16 and the third was found dead on April 4. The three eagles were found within three-tenths of a mile of each other and were reported by separate individuals.
Necropsies of the eagles showed no signs of trauma. However, toxicological screenings performed on two of the eagles revealed traces of a controlled drug commonly used to euthanize domestic animals and livestock. The PA Game Commission is working in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct the investigation.
Anyone with information related to these incidents is asked to call the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northeast region office at 570/675-1143 or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 888-PGC-8001 or online at www.bit.ly/pgchunttrap. All information is kept confidential.
HARRISBURG, PA — Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced on May 1 that he will audit how the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has managed the waiver process for businesses that appealed Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 shutdown order.
“Some business owners complained that the department’s waiver process was too slow and not transparent enough,” DePasquale said. “My audit is intended to help make sure that the waiver process is managed more smoothly should it be necessary to use it again in the future.”
On March 19, Wolf ordered that businesses that were not categorized as “life-sustaining” must close their physical locations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, which has so far claimed the lives of nearly 2,200 Pennsylvanians and rising.
More than 40,000 businesses sought a waiver from the governor’s closure order through a process managed by DCED. The waiver application period ended April 3.