Friday, January 28, 2011

Oneonta World of Learning Open House February 2nd

Oneonta World of Learning (OWL) is an emerging children’s museum. OWL is chartered as a museum with the New York State of Regents and has recently obtained 501c3 status. OWL’s ultimate goal is to have a physical space, open to the public 7 days a week. As we build to that goal, we have committed to partnering with other local organizations and using other public spaces to bring regular events to children and their families.

OWL will offer an Open House on Wednesday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm at the Main View Gallery on Main Street in Oneonta
OWL invites people to come learn more about their nonprofit and activities, as well as how they can get more involved. People can also contact them at or call 431-8543 for additional info.

OWL also would like to invite anyone interested in joining the organization's board.

Questions perspective board members may ask…

1. What is the mission? Our Mission is to become a community resource providing a place for interactive learning through play for children and their grownups.

2. What is the culture of the board? We are a passionate and committed board comprised mostly of educators who struggle with the business aspects of creating a museum. We are creating this museum from the ground up.

3. Why are you interested in having me as a member? We are looking to expand our board with skills and talents that compliment our needs.

4. How often does the board meet? Board meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7:30. Meetings tend to be 2 hours plus as we are a working board. In addition to running the operation, we are creating documents and policies required to establish a museum, and part of each meeting is devoted to this.

5. Does the museum have a strategic plan? Yes. It is scheduled for an update in March during a board retreat TBA.

6. Do board members receive written material ahead of time? Yes

7. How is the budget developed and who develops it? This is a joint effort between the development and finance committees. This is an area in need of improvement and guidance.

8. Is it a fundraising board? Whereas fundraising has not been a requirement of board members up to this point, now that we have our not for profit status it is our responsibility as a board to ensure that we have the financial capability to achieve our mission. We have 100% contribution by our board members.

9. Are board members expected to serve on committees? Yes. All members are expected to serve on 1 committee and it is suggested that you severe on more as you are able. The committees meet monthly but not all committees are active at this time.

10. Do you have directors and officers liability insurance? This is pending and we expect to be fully covered by March 2011.

11. Who are the key staff? OWL is an all volunteer organization and we are a working board. We have no staff members at this time.

The OWL board has always been financially responsible because we know that we are liable for our decisions. We believe that we are now comfortable in our position to move forward.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Board calls for closing St. Mary's School

The Daily Star reported that the board of St. Mary's School has decided to close the 87-year-old school, but some parents are rallying to keep the doors open.

The Catholic school's board decided to recommend closing the school at the end of June because of declining enrollment, officials said, and it shared the decision with 25 to 30 parents Monday night. A recommendation may be considered by the governing Albany Diocesan School Board next month.

Parents were upset about the news, said Tifanne Wells, director of marketing for the school. On Tuesday, some parents started seeking commitments for enrollment, said Wells, an advertising sales executive at The Daily Star, and a meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. today to consider strategies to keep the school open.

Board member William Moon said the enrollment commitment needs to be 75 to 80 students. The future of the school rests with the parents, who will be supported by the board, he said.

"Struggling with enrollment and reaching a point were enrollment is not financially sustainable is the issue," Moon said Tuesday. The board decision was a matter of "resigned acceptance."

"It's a very emotional issue," Moon said.

St. Mary's School, founded in 1924, has about 50 students in kindergarten through sixth grade and about 50 children in preschool and the program for 3-year-olds, officials said, and non-Catholic children are enrolled.

Read more at the Daily

Nonprofit Awards 2011

Celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the leaders driving the area’s nonprofit organizations (NPOs) by nominating someone you know for one of our Nonprofit Awards. BizEventz and the Central New York Business Journal believe that these leaders deserve to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments on behalf of their organizations. With the support of M&T Bank, on March 28th, we’ve planned The Nonprofit Awards Luncheon. Award recipients will be honored for excellence, leadership, fiduciary responsibility, management practices, creativity, impact, and business acumen.

Nominations are due February 10, 2011. Click here to nominate.

Executive of the Year: Submit nominations for nonprofit executives (president, CEO, executive director) who exhibit leadership, planning skills, strong staff growth, board development, solid fiscal management, and increased fund-raising.

Board Leadership: Nominee is a lay leader of the board of directors. He/she may be a present or past president of the board, long-term board member, and/or major contributor. Cite how the nominee strengthened the organization, implemented the corporate mission or vision, and enhanced the strategic plan.

Board Development: Nonimee is a lay leader of the board of directors, who "grew" the organization through fund-raising or through dynamic ideas, which improved operations. Nominee's efforts enhanced the board through a higher level of participation.

Impact Award: Nominee may be an employee of the NPO, a board member, or a volunteer, who created and/or implemented a new or exisiting program that not only changes the organization but also the community.

Career Achievement: Nominee is a lay leader who makes a lifetime commitment to the community by advocating for NPOs and by dedicating his/her time and resources for the betterment of the commonweal.

Luncheon Information
Date: March 28, 2011
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Location: Double Tree Hotel, Syracuse NY

This event is made possible by M&T Bank, Business Journal, Classic Hits Sunny 102, YNN, and Wells Fargo Advisors

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

City arts task force starts to take shape

The Daily Star reported that about a dozen people have volunteered to be on a task force that will consider possible roles for the arts, Mayor Dick Miller said Monday, and others interested may raise their hands.

Forming a task force is a next step that follows the Mayor's Summit on Arts and Entertainment at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta on Saturday, Miller said. The task force may meet within 10 days, he said, and another general meeting could be in three or four weeks.

About 85 people attended the summit Saturday, more than twice the number who signed up, organizers said.

Interest was strong Saturday in forming an arts coalition or organization, but many questions remain about the composition of the group and whether it would have ties to government, Miller said. The task force goal is to be a sounding board for ideas about the type of organization and further steps to take, he said.

"The next steps have to be pretty carefully thought through," Miller said. "We have to move forward with something that we can do."

Read more at the

Mayor suggests Oneonta arts be organized, promoted

The Daily Star reported that Mayor Dick Miller challenged the arts community Saturday to get organized to help themselves and the community.

At the Mayor's Summit on Arts and Entertainment, Miller offered help from City Hall. He also asked for volunteers to form a task force to consider options, such as forming a consortium and hiring a coordinator.

A plan needs to be developed that not only supports an arts and entertainment sector, Miller said, but also makes it part of the economic engine that benefits the entire community.

"I'm not prepared to let this opportunity get by," Miller said.

Discussions and studies during the past two decades have referred to Oneonta's development as a hub for arts and entertainment, Miller told about 85 people attending the summit at Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center.

"For 20 years, no one has held this meeting," Miller said. "That has sub-optimized your organizations."

Read more at the Daily

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Job Opening: County Executive Director, Middletown NY

This position is based in Middletown and is responsible for administering
programs dealing with commodities, conservation, disaster assistance and
commodity and facility loans. The position will oversee the 3-4 person
staff as well.

The ideal candidate would have a few years of proven management experience

and a strong background in agriculture.

We will tailor a training program suited to the individual based on his/her

experience. The training program will involve some travel.

Salary will depend on experience. The starting salary range would typically

be from $43,738 to $77,585. I know that is a wide range, but it is a
multi-graded position. The salary potential is currently $100,859. Salary
increases are based on time in grade along with a little cost of living
increase in January (except for the 2012 calendar year).

The vacancy announcement can also be found on the USA Jobs website at . Enter "County Executive Director" under Job Search and
"New York State" for the location

For more information on this position feel free to contact or FSA's

executive Officer Mark Dennis at 315.477.6304.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Up to half in U.S. have pre-existing conditions reported on a study that as many 129 million Americans at risk of being rejected for insurance coverage or having to pay more.

As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems putting them at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or having to pay more for coverage, according to a U.S. government study reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services is scheduled to release the study on Tuesday, the Post said, the same day the House of Representatives is expected to begin considering a Republican bill to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare overall.

Health highlights Online diet pills often contain dangerous ingredients
More and more, weight loss products are being "adulterated" with potentially dangerous ingredients by their manufacturers.

.Bummed out? 'Blue Monday' is here. (Or is it?)
Updated 117 minutes ago 1/18/2011 1:54:52 PM +00:00 Giffords doing well after two surgeries over weekend
Bullet to the head can be overcome, survivors say
Don't choke! Students write off test anxiety
..The report is part of the Obama administration's effort to convince the public of the advantages of the law, which contains insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

"Americans living with pre-existing conditions are being freed from discrimination in order to get the health coverage they need," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement to be released Tuesday, the Post reported.

The study found that one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly people in the United States have conditions that trigger rejection or higher prices in the individual insurance market, the Post said. They range from cancer to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure.

A Republican House aide, speaking on condition of anonymity because the report was not yet public, told the Post: "When a new analysis is released on the eve of a vote in Congress, it's hard to view it as anything but politics and public relations."

The repeal vote would fulfil a campaign promise of Republicans who won control of the House in November elections. But the measure will likely die in the Senate, where Democrats held on to their majority.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's New and What's Next in Employment Law for 2011 WEBINAR


I thought this webcast from the Manpower Inc.'s Webinar Series may interest you - "What's New and What's Next in Employment Law for 2011". The Webcast will be held on Feb 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm. The Link for registering for the webcast are below.

Also, please review the NYS Dept. of Labor website,, for updates in NYS Labor Law. Just search for "labor standards" on the website or select Wage & Hours on the left side of the Homepage. Currently there are new minimum wage rates for the Hospitality Industry.

Alan Sessions


Manpower Webinar Series
Webcast: Feb 23 2011 12:00 pm What's New and What's Next in Employment Law for 2011


Subscribe to additional channels that interest you:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Community Forum around the Arts Set for January 22nd in Oneonta


DATE: December 27, 2010

TO: The Visual and Performing Arts, Music and Entertainment Community

FROM: Mayor Richard P. Miller, Jr.

SUBJECT: Community Forum

The broadly defined arts and entertainment community in the Oneonta area is rich and vibrant. It is also fragmented with an opportunity presenting itself to have individuals and organizations work together to capitalize on collective resources. As I understand it, in the late 1990’s, “arts” were to be the theme which Oneonta would promote to bring visitors to our community. That possibility continues to exist and with the addition of the Oneonta Theatre and Foothills Performance venues, the opportunity is greater than ever. Combined with a downtown hotel and improved retail and dining opportunities in the center City, promoting Oneonta as a day or overnight destination for people interested in the arts and should be addressed.

As Mayor, I would like to invite all interested individuals and organizations to participate in a community forum on this subject which will be held Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. until noon in the atrium at the Foothills Performing Arts Center. A continental breakfast will be served. Break out groups will discuss and present ideas on a list of topics which would include, but not be limited to:

∙ creating and promoting a calendar of activities
∙ collaborating to raise financial support
∙ barriers to collaboration that need to be addressed and removed
∙ needs of the arts and entertainment communities of Oneonta
∙ a cooperative housing and studio art facility

I hope we can leave the above described session with three (3) to five (5) activities upon which we can agree to move the effort forward. Please call or email my office letting me know if you can attend so that we can plan on the appropriate size group.

Thanks for your consideration.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Statement of Mental Health America on the Tragedy in Arizona

Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 10, 2011)—Mental Health America joins Americans in mourning the loss of those killed in Saturday’s tragic and senseless attack and expressing our wishes for the full recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and fellow citizens who were injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives and everyone who is affected by these horrific events. And we join in applauding the brave actions of individuals who prevented greater harm.

It will likely take many days to understand the reasons and motivations behind this national tragedy. Many have pointed to mental health as an issue.

It must first be emphasized that people with mental health conditions are no more likely to be violent than the rest of the population. And we have science-based methods to successfully treat persons with even the most severe mental illnesses. A very small group of individuals with a specific type of mental health symptoms are at greater risk for violence if their symptoms are untreated.

At the same time, we must recognize that the nation’s mental health system is drastically under-funded and fails to provide Americans living with mental health conditions with the effective community-based mental health services they need. Sadly, in the current environment of strained state budgets, mental health services have been cut drastically just as demand for these critical services has risen dramatically.

It is also important that, as a community, we assist persons with signs and symptoms of mental illnesses to seek treatment. Although rare, when a person becomes so ill that he/she is a danger to themselves or others state laws provide a way to get them help even if they don’t believe that they need it. The best strategy, however, is to have an accessible system of care that is easy to use.

Science has not developed tools to predict reliably individuals at risk for violence. But we can reduce the small risk of violence in those with certain mental health conditions by investing in proven intensive, coordinated community-based mental health services and making certain that they can access these services.

We do not know if the mental health system failed in this situation or if there were missed opportunities or if effective treatment might have averted this tragedy.

We do hope that we can find answers and create solutions that prevent this from ever happening again.

Mental Health America ( is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our century of service to America and our more than 300 affiliates nationwide, we represent a national movement that promotes mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation— everyday and in times of crisis.

Web Site Seeks Suggestions from the Public and Stakeholders to Reform the Medicaid System and Save Taxpayers Money

News from New York State Office of the Governor
For more information contact: Press Office,, 518-474-8418
Governor Cuomo Announces Medicaid Redesign Web Site to Track Progress and Invite Public Participation

Web Site Seeks Suggestions from the Public and Stakeholders to Reform the Medicaid System and Save Taxpayers Money

ALBANY, NY (01/10/2011)-- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the State's new Medicaid Redesign Web site to track the progress of reforming New York's costly Medicaid system, and to invite the public's participation in the process.

The Web site,, includes electronic forms for Medicaid stakeholders and the public to suggest reforms to the system. The Web site will be an integral component to the reform process, which includes the Medicaid Redesign Team, created last week through Executive Order by Governor Cuomo. The Web site will also include listings of the Team's public hearings and prepared reports.

"It is imperative for the public, as well as stakeholders and government officials, to be part of the process of reforming the State's Medicaid system, and this Web site will help make that happen," Governor Cuomo said. "The Web site will be a component to developing our plan to reign in Medicaid costs without compromising care."

The Medicaid Redesign Team has been tasked by Governor Cuomo to find ways to reduce costs and increase quality and efficiency in the Medicaid program for the upcoming 2011-12 Fiscal Year. As part of its work, the Team is seeking ideas from the public at large, the health care workforce, and experts in health care delivery and insurance, economics, business, consumer rights and other relevant areas.

The Medicaid Redesign Team will undertake the most comprehensive examination of New York's Medicaid system since its inception, and it must submit its first report with findings and recommendations to the Governor by March 1, for consideration in the budget process. It will also submit quarterly reports thereafter until the end of 2011-12 fiscal year, when it will disband.

The Team will consider reform ideas from health care professionals, administrators, stakeholders, and the general public through regional public hearings and the online survey forms.

More than $53 billion is spent annually on New York's Medicaid program to provide health care to more than 4.7 million people in need. The program is funded through state, county and federal taxes. In effect, Medicaid is the largest health insurance program in New York State.

In a majority of the State's counties, Medicaid costs alone account for more than half of the entire county tax levy. New York spends more than twice the national average on Medicaid on a per capita basis, and spending per enrollee is the second highest in the nation. At the same time, New York ranks 21st out of all states for overall health system quality and ranks last among all states for avoidable hospital use and costs.

New York State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson will serve as the Team's executive director, and the State Budget Director will serve as a non-voting member.

The members of the team are as follows:
• Michael Dowling, President and CEO of North Shore LIJ Health system.
• Dennis Rivera is the former Chair of SEIU Healthcare and is currently the Senior Advisor to the International President of SEIU.
• Kenneth E. Raske is the President of the Greater New York Hospital Association.
• George Gresham is the President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
• Dan Sisto is the President of the Healthcare Association of New York State.
• Frank Branchini is the President and COO of EmblemHealth.
• Eli Feldman is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Jewish Health System as well as the Chairman of the Continuing Care Leadership Coalition.
• Carol Raphael is the President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
• Linda Gibbs is the Deputy Mayor of New York City for Health and Human Services.
• Ed Matthews is the CEO of the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City as well as the President of the Interagency Council.
• Dr. Nirav Shah is the newly nominated Commissioner of Health.
• Mike Hogan is the Commissioner for the Office of Mental Health.
• James Introne is the Deputy Secretary for Health and the Director of Healthcare Redesign.
• Max Chmura is the Acting Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
• Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez is the newly nominated Commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
• Lara Kassel is a Coordinator at Medicaid Matters New York.
• Karen A. Ballard is the President of the New York State Nurses Association.
• Stephen J. Acquario serves as the Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties.
• Dr. Jeffrey A. Sachs is the Co-Chair of the JFK Jr. Institute for Work Education at City University of New York.
• Ann F. Monroe is the President of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.
• Steve Berger is the former Chairman for the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century and a board member for the Partnership for New York City.
• Dr. William Streck is the Chair of the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council.
• Elizabeth Swain is the CEO of the Community Health Care Association of New York State.
• Senator Kemp Hannon is the former Chairman of the Senate Committees on Health and Housing. Senator Hannon was recommended by the Majority Leader of the Senate.
• Senator Tom Duane is the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, 2009-2010. Senator Duane was recommended by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
• Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried serves as the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Health. Assemblyman Gottfried was recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly.
• Assemblyman Joe Giglio of the 149th Assembly District currently sits on the Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force. Assemblyman Giglio was recommended by the Minority Leader of the Assembly.


Additional news available at High resolution images available at password: cuomo New York State Executive Chamber 518.474.8418