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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Legislature should decide on education proposals outside of budget

Last year, the state spent $22.3 billion on education. In 2012, combined with the local and federal share of education, New Yorkers spent $58.4 billion on public education. This is a 56 percent increase over what was spent on a combined basis in 2002.

LIBRARY FOCUS: BPL ventures into the world of Minecraft

The library has just purchased licenses for Minecraft.edu and loaded it onto our laptops. We are now looking at ways to make them available for regular gaming at the library. As part of our efforts we will be holding our first official Minecraft Shakedown cruise at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Danger of EEE returns

As we endure one of the harshest winters in memory and prepare for possibly more snow, it seems strange that I am writing about the mosquito-borne virus, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).  But with March 20, the beginning of spring, just a few weeks away, this important topic is indeed timely.

Volunteer Center seeking Man, Woman of the Year

The Baldwinsville Volunteer Center is looking for nominations for its Annual Man and Woman Volunteer of the Year Awards. Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 27.

Not just KBR anymore: Baker revamps PTSA

The Baker High School PTSA would like to inform you of its shift in focus — in an attempt for continuous growth, we are proud to announce we’re no longer just KBR anymore.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Vaccines vital to public health

In the Central New York area, there have been two suspected cases of mumps in local schools this winter. These reports have understandably spurred discussions and concerns and accordingly it is important to know about New York’s vaccination requirements, childhood safety, and ways you can help protect your families from diseases that were once thought to be eradicated.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Come in from the cold at the Baldwinsville Public Library

There’s a lot to do right here in the library including a rescheduled talk on Central New York’s brewing heritage at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, and Morning Coffee with elected officials, a new program scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5. Come on down and see what’s happening.

FROM THE LEGISLATURE: County government heading in the right direction

While opening the receipt for my county property tax bill this week, my mind flashed over every controversial issue that confronted the legislature in 2014. To say the least, the year was full of highs and lows. However, when I looked at the bottom line of that tax bill, I knew we got the most important thing right.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New health tax included in budget; ethics debate ethics must be had

We have heard a lot from the governor’s office about the success of New York’s health exchange. The exchange was set up pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all Americans obtain health insurance. The exchanges, which are either set up by individual states or by the federal government (when a state decides not to opt into the program), are, in theory, supposed to provide a market for people to purchase health insurance. New York, pursuant to an executive order of the governor, set up its own exchange. Compared to other states and to the federal government’s system, New York’s exchange has had fewer reported problems.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Coming up at BPL

Well, it looks like we survived Valentine’s weekend, but the library love doesn’t stop there. We’re here to make break week bearable and help you all year round. Visit soon and discover that libraries are about a lot more than books.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Tax credits available to help you save money

Too often, hardworking families miss the opportunity to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in federal and state tax credits. These tax credits are in place to help families make their hard-earned dollars stretch just a little farther.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: With new speaker comes opportunity for meaningful reform

It is a tumultuous time in the New York Assembly. Long-time serving Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver has been arrested for public corruption.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Art on the agenda for ‘Love Your Library’ month

Art, practical and otherwise, is on the agenda this Love Your Library month. Our art gallery will be showing works by Baker High Students and our shelving carts will be decorated to fit the Love Your Library theme. Come on down and enjoy.

LETTER: Lysander councilor to host town hall meeting

As an elected councilor in the town of Lysander, I would like to personally invite every resident that has any questions or concerns with their town government to attend my first town hall meeting scheduled for March 5.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Governor’s budget provides starting point for negotiations; overshadowed by Albany controversy

Last week, the governor presented his State of the State address. This annual tradition, much like the president’s State of Union address, is an opportunity for the governor to set forth his priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. The State of the State address is usually in the beginning of January but this year it was appropriately delayed due to the passing of the governor’s father.

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