Monday, April 25, 2011

A busy week ahead in Troy

Three items on the agenda for this week are geared to support three distinct and worthy causes happening around the Collar City.

On Thursday, April 28th the Troy Flag Day Parade Committee will be holding a fundraiser for this year’s 44th Annual Parade. Due to major cut backs at the state level the parade committee has publically stated that they may be short on funds to put this year’s parade on. I personally can relate to this as a member of the Uncle Sam Parade Committee we have been finding it tougher to raise funds to host our parade. Costs continue to increase while a constricting economy causes our donors to make tough decisions.

If you are interested, to aid in the effort to raise the money for the parade, the committee is planning a fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. April 28 at Revolution Hall at Brown’s Brewing Co. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and music by John & Terry of Sound Spectrum. The fee for the event is $20 per person. The 44th annual Flag Day Parade, the largest tribute to our nation’s flag, is set for Sunday June 12.

On Troy Night Out! Friday, April 29th the Troy September 11th Memorial Committee will host a fundraiser in support of their efforts in constructing a memorial in Troy. “The World Trade Center lecture “9-11-01 Was 10 Years Ago” presented by Lester J. Millman. The Record Community Lab located at 501 Broadway, will host the event. Light refreshments will be served. The committee is asking for a $20.00 Suggested Donation (proceeds will benefit the Troy September 11th Memorial). Space is limited so if you are interested please RSVP to me Jim Gordon at 365-2270.

The World Trade Center lecture “9-11-01 Was 10 Years Ago,” by Lester J. Millman with photographs taken by Mr. Millman from the first night of 9-11-01 through the first few days of the disaster. These images are quite exclusive as they have rarely been shown before and no other photojournalists were permitted into the area. Ground Zero site was a crime scene and thus closed by the NYPD to the press.

Mr. Millman was the official photographer to Governor George E. Pataki from 1997 to the end of his term 2006. The images are public domain but not widely available. And, each image in the program was made by Lester Millman.

A lifelong photojournalist Mr. Millman has covered 3 wars, 7 U. S. Presidents over 50 terrorist attacks and countless stories of everyday life. From 1973-80 he worked in Israel for Time, Newsweek (cover), the Jerusalem Post and most major American and European publications. He has won awards from the POY in Missouri and the World Press Photo Contest, Netherlands.

Then on Saturday, April 30th the city of Troy will celebrate the citywide Earth Day celebration. Dozens of community groups and hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets of their neighborhoods cleaning up and performing a number of beautification projects. For a complete list of the citywide projects CLICK HERE.

Our group, the North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch will be focusing on two projects. The first is an exterior painting project at the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club and the second is a beautification project at the Historic Lansingburgh Village Cemetery. We will begin our projects at 9am, if you are interested in lending a hand please contact me at 365-2270.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lotto's subsidies for education

Many people, including myself, have always wondered what the financial relationship between the New York State Lottery and education is. Recently, WNYT issued a report with some interesting figures. In 2010, lottery sales totaled more than $7.8 billion! $2.6 billion of this went to fund education in NYS.

Here's how it breaks down:

For every $1 spent on the lottery, $.34 goes to education, $.58 ends up in the pockets of the lucky winners and $.06 is allocated to retail commissions.

Local District Allocations:
  • Troy $7,324,914.37 
  • Albany $12,171,940.24
  • Schenectady $16,657,100.67
  • Shenendehowa $9,977,686.19
  • Bethlehem $5,473,766.79
  • Niskayuna $4,617,544.85 
I reached out to WNYT for a more detailed break down of the Troy allocation, whether or not this was combined for both districts or just the Troy district. A quick look at the both districts budgets didn't simply answer the question, therefore, lets assume its combined. A little over seven million dollars is granted to our two local school districts. To put this in perspective the Troy School District's budget is approx $95 million while Lansingburgh's is approx $38 million. The local benefit is just under $150 per Troy resident, utilizing the new 2010 census number 50,129. The lottery subsidies serve its purpose but it's not the windfall that some believe it to be in "funding education."