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News stories tagged with "government"

Anneke Larrance with her two young chickens, in the village of Canton.
Anneke Larrance with her two young chickens, in the village of Canton.

Zoning 101: Who gets to have chickens?

Here in the North Country, we live in communities that are divided up into different zones: Town or village, residential or agricultural. But is a village also part of a town? Is a town more rural than a village? Different zones have different rules. How do those rules get written? What if people disagree? What if the rules conflict? Or overlap? It can get complicated.

Take Canton. And take chickens.

A couple of weeks ago, after a year-long debate, the Town of Canton decided to allow people to have chickens, with some big caveats. You have to submit a plan to the planning board, pay $40, you can have a maximum of six chickens. But the ironic thing is that the Village of Canton already allows chickens.  Go to full article
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Photo: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_York_State_Comptroller_Thomas_P._DiNapoli.jpg">Awhill34</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Photo: Awhill34, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Altona bookkeeper accused of stealing public money

State officials say a former town book-keeper in Altona in Clinton County embezzled $23,500 of taxpayer money. The alleged wrong-doing was found in an audit released yesterday by the New York State Comptroller's office.  Go to full article

GOP Attorney General candidate is Pataki law partner

Republicans have chosen their candidate for Attorney General. John Cahill is a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki. Cahill has been in private practice with former Gov. Pataki for the past seven years. Cahill says he's running because he misses public service, and because he believes the current Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has not been effective.  Go to full article
Howie Hawkins. Photo via <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=731754113516487&set=a.153413614683876.33158.123926960965875&type=1&theater">Howie Hawkins for Governor on Facebook</a>

Green Party's Hawkins begins bid for NY governor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is kicking off his campaign for New York governor, vowing to build on his third-place finish four years ago.

Hawkins announced his campaign Wednesday. He says that if elected he would
support raising the minimum wage, more investments in renewable energy and public transportation, a ban on hydraulic fracturing and higher taxes on wealthy earners.  Go to full article
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Why more Amish aren't registering for the STAR exemption, and how it's getting fixed

New York state is urging people to re-register for their STAR property tax exemption before the deadline of December 31. Even if you've done it before, you need to sign up again - it's part of an effort by the state to curb fraud.

You can register online or by phone (here's how), but what if you don't have a computer or a phone? What if, say, you're Amish?  Go to full article
Mary Ann Ashley. Photo: Sarah Harris.
Mary Ann Ashley. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Meet Mary Ann Ashley, Canton's new mayor

Canton has a new mayor: Republican Mary Ann Ashley. Ashley ran as a Democrat in order to challenge Republican incumbent mayor Dave Curry. She won with 68% of the votes - a decisive victory that was coupled with new blood on the village board.  Go to full article
New York State Capitol. Photo: Jason Paris, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York State Capitol. Photo: Jason Paris, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

State comptroller warns of shut-down consequences for NY

The state's Comptroller is warning that a prolonged government shut down could depress the state's already struggling economy.  Go to full article
A bill that passed the legislature this session would allow NYCO to expand its wollastonite mine onto land that is now part of the Adirondack forest preserve. Photo: NYCO Minerals
A bill that passed the legislature this session would allow NYCO to expand its wollastonite mine onto land that is now part of the Adirondack forest preserve. Photo: NYCO Minerals

What the legislature got done in the Adirondacks; why it's controversial

The state legislature left a lot of unfinished business when it wrapped up its session in Albany. But lawmakers also got a lot of things done, including a series of big measures affecting the Adirondack Park.

Martha Foley spoke with Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann about those measures and what they mean.  Go to full article
Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Dairy cows at Greenwood Dairy, in Canton, NY. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Updated: Senate passes limited Farm Bill extension

Updated 3:25pm: The Senate passed a limited nine-month extension of the 2008-2012 farm bill. It avoids the "dairy cliff" (see below) and preserves the older MILC dairy price support program. But it cuts many popular programs, including disaster insurance, conservation, and organic certification support.

Read this blog post at our new farm and food blog, The Dirt, for the latest:

http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/thedirt/2013/01/01/farm-bill-update-many-disappointed-farmers/

The US Congress failed to pass a new Farm Bill by the end of the year. But that doesn't mean milk prices are going to double immediately, as some had feared.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees had a deal in place Monday to extend the 2008 farm bill for another nine months. But the agreement never came to the House floor for a vote. House leaders balked at a new safety net for dairy farmers that would restrict the milk supply if prices fell below a certain level.  Go to full article
Students during Feburary lobbying effort in Albany.  (Photo: Carol Pynchon)
Students during Feburary lobbying effort in Albany. (Photo: Carol Pynchon)

Canton students reflect on advocacy effort, as they prepare to graduate

High school seniors are getting ready to graduate. For students in the A-P Government class at Canton Central, it's been a year of learning firsthand how government works. They got riled up when they learned that their school might need to eliminate things like sports and theatre, as well as jobs because of decisions in the state budget. So, they took action.

Along with a few hundred parents and school officials, they took a bus trip to Albany in February to lobby lawmakers. In the end, the state restored some money to Canton Central and other rural schools. However, the district still plans to cut programs, and more than 24 jobs.

Now that it's graduation time, the seniors have had a few months to reflect on their lobbying effort. We spoke with Susannah Sudborough and Pat McGaw who were both touched by the experience but came away with opposite conclusions about what it will mean for their own futures.

Our story was produced by Julie Grant and Natasha Haverty.  Go to full article

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