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Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m responding to Mr. Elmer Bertsch’s Feb. 10 letter to the Daily Gazette concerning The Daily Gazette’s coverage of the fact that some economic development agencies in New York state were cited for late or missing reports. Instead of acknowledging the fact that all Schenectady County agencies complied with the reporting requirements and that Schenectady County agencies have never been cited for late or missing reports, Mr. Bertsch writes that Metroplex missed a local reporting deadline in March 2017. This isn’t true. The Capital Projects report that Mr. Bertsch refers to was reviewed by the Metroplex Governance Committee last Feb. 7. A legal notice ran in The Daily Gazette as required and a public hearing was held on Feb. 28, 2017. The report was adopted by the Metroplex Board on March 8, 2017. It was then presented to the Schenectady County Legislature as required. Mr. Bertsch also referenced a report issued each year on Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreements. This isn’t a required report, but is issued each January by Metroplex. It lists all economic development projects throughout Schenectady County that we have been involved with and the total amount of local property taxes paid. Fifty-four of the 61 projects paid $0 or nominal taxes prior to the economic development project taking place, so we are proud of the fact that these properties now produce almost $16 million in revenue for local governments and school districts in Schenectady County. Jayme B. LahutSchenectadyThe writer is executive director of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.More from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
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Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf BLOG: State Parks System Grows Stronger in 2015 January 26, 2016 By: Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Environment, The Blog, Year in Review Some of the country’s biggest cities, like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania’s small towns like Confluence in the southwest, Ridgway in the Pennsylvania Wilds and Jim Thorpe in the Poconos, have recognized the value of their rivers, trails and parks as amenities that spur business development and draw people to downtowns.Our special places, wildlife and landscapes are important to our well-being, our identity and help us attract tourists for outdoor adventures and to keep our communities vibrant.As Pennsylvania’s largest land manager, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is leading outdoor recreation initiatives to invigorate citizens and communities, encourage healthy lifestyles, create jobs that pay and promote environmental stewardship. It’s been a productive year.ConservationConserving our natural places, providing citizens and visitors with opportunities for outdoor experiences, and harnessing our natural resources responsibly improve our economy and quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. One of the first actions Governor Wolf took was to sign an executive order reinstating a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development on state park and forest lands. With the moratorium in place, DCNR continues to monitor current activity and adapt management practices.Our state parks host 38 million visitors annually, support more 13,000 jobs, and provide $1.2 billion in economic activity in nearby communities. In 2015, DCNR added more than 25,000 acres of land to our state park and forest system. We also collected more than 4,000 comments to inform a plan to manage our state forests to make sure they are healthy and productive for many years.Outdoor RecreationCreating healthy and livable communities that support jobs that pay includes successfully serving the recreation needs of those who live, work and play in them. DCNR in 2015 rolled out a 5-year plan with 83 action steps to improve our opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventures all across the commonwealth.The plan tells us Pennsylvanians love to walk trails, especially close to home; watch wildlife; and are increasingly interested in kayaking and winter activities. Pennsylvania has them all! It provides a road map for the next several years to make communities more desirable places to live, provide children safe places to play, and protect the natural environment. To help citizens find a place to play outdoors that’s close to home, DCNR launched a new web page of 5,600 local parks that is searchable by name, region and location.SustainabilityDCNR is looking for opportunities to grow our recreational and tourism economy through a revitalized park and forest system that ensures we are conserving our natural resources and protecting our people and the environment. Three buildings on DCNR lands, including a new visitor center at Ohiopyle State Park, received top certifications for being green and sustainable in 2015. The department also treated thousands of trees for invasive pests like hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer, and planted 1.8 million tree seedlings.A government that works protects our natural heritage and secures its future for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians. DCNR made good on that promise in 2015. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Press Association Douvan and Tell Us More, two more leading Cheltenham Festival fancies, are among Mullins’ other entries in that race, but they could go elsewhere in the near future. “I’d like to keep Douvan and Tell Us More separate, so I’ll chat to the owners and see what they want to do,” he said. “That might mean waiting a week or two, but there’s races in Ireland and the Challow Hurdle at Newbury and the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.” Briar Hill has not been seen since suffering a nasty fall when favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, but is set for an imminent return in December 28’s Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle. Mullins said: ” Briar Hill hasn’t fired since fracturing his cheekbone at Cheltenham, but he will run in three-miler at Leopardstown (Christmas Hurdle). In his defence, he never does fire at home, so we’ll probably let him run and see what he does.” Drinmore Novice Chase winner Valseur Lido has Christmas entries, but Mullins said: “I’d prefer to give him a longer break, although he is still in and could run.” The trainer also gave updates on a few of his other stable stars, including Pont Alexandre, who has been out of action since finishing third to The New One in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 2013. “Pont Alexandre is back doing fast work and apart from being sluggish in his work, he’s doing well and should around February 1,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to him as he was very good and still is very good, I hope. “Back In Focus (off since April 2013) might be back at the end of January or early February. “Vroum Vroum Mag will probably go for a mares race at Thurles (mid January) that’s worth 50,000 euro.” One horse still out of action is 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs. The eight-year-old missed the blue riband last season through injury and will not be back for this year’s renewal after suffering another setback. Mullins said: ” Sir Des Champs has had a separate injury now. He hurt his pastern and needs a month’s box rest. If we aim for Punchestown (Festival), we might make that. If not, we’ll put him away for the year.” Fellow Andrea and Graham Wylie-owned chaser On His Own, so narrowly denied in a controversial finish to last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, has failed to replicate that form since at either Punchestown in April or Down Royal in November. “Boston Bob and On His Own will hopefully be fine for the Lexus,” said Mullins. The pair look set to feature in a typically strong Mullins party heading for Leopardstown’s four-day feast. Hugely impressive Fairyhouse winner Kalkir, a leading fancy for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, will line up in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle on Boxing Day. Mullins has a numerically strong hand in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle the following day with nine of the 17 horses still in contention following the latest forfeit stage. Royal Bond Novice Hurdle winner Nichols Canyon is set to head the team as he goes in search of successive Grade One victory. “Nichols Canyon will run in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle, but we still have a few in that and we’ll see what goes with him,” said the trainer. “I imagine Shaneshill will miss Christmas, having run the other day (at Navan).” The three-mile highlight on December 28 is of of the few big races so have so far eluded the master of Closutton on his native soil and he is this year set to launch a formidable twin assault. Boston Bob, a winner at Aintree and Punchestown last spring, disappointed on his return to action at Down Royal, but fared better when runner-up to Don Cossack in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase. Boston Bob and On His Own are both in line to represent Willie Mullins in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown as the champion trainer bids to win one of the Festive period’s biggest prizes for the first time.
After two weeks of spring practice, USC’s offensive-line still looks more like five strangers at a Big & Tall than a cohesive, synchronized unit. While the big men pushed around the scout team with relative ease at Tuesday’s practice, first team drills made it clear that the starting five still have some getting acquainted to do.Catching up · The USC offensive line, in white here, is not yet up to speed in practice this spring. The Trojans practiced with only six available linemen Tuesday because of a variety of injuries that have sidelined members of the line. – Carlo Acenas | Daily Trojan “We’re just starting to mesh as a unit,” redshirt junior tackle Matt Kalil said. “We’re still getting all of our plays down, but I think we’re a lot better than we were on day one.”Kalil and company’s coordination problems became most evident in zone running drills. Zone blocking requires the line to move up the field at an angle as a unit. The synchronized push forward and to the side should stretch the defense and create seams between defenders. If the line moves together, you should see tailbacks C.J. Gable or Allen Bradford sauntering across Howard Jones Field. If the line breaks, you will likely see junior defensive end Armond Armstead in the backfield chewing on ball carriers like Pac-Man.Fortunately for the line, coach Lane Kiffin runs a familiar offensive system. The Trojans’ new head coach worked with the USC offense for six seasons (2001-2006) under Pete Carroll, including a stint as offensive coordinator in 2005 and 2006. Trojan fans can expect more of the same pro-style attack in 2010.“The plays are mostly the same,” junior tackle Tyron Smith said. “It’s just the names that are different. We have to switch those up in our heads, but otherwise it’s not too bad.”—Despite some setbacks in the running game, coach Kiffin was excited about the line’s progress Tuesday. The unit has continued to improve, and even impress, considering its dwindling numbers.“It was a pretty decent practice,” said Kiffin. “I was really impressed with the offensive line. We only had six offensive linemen today and they did well.”Persistent injuries have limited the offensive and tested the Trojans depth in the trenches all spring. Senior center Kris O’Dowd sat out with a two-week-old knee injury, and tight ends David Ausberry, Jordan Cameron and Rhett Ellison are still questionable.“We don’t have a lot of guys,” Kalil admitted. “There’s not a lot of depth right now, but the guys who are out here are all getting better.”—If injuries or inexperience aren’t the offensive line’s biggest problem, the defensive line might be. Barkley was tagged by Armstead and senior defensive tackle Christian Tupou four times in a first team offense vs. first team defense two-minute drill, and forced senior quarterback Mitch Mustain to throw an interception with seconds left.“The defensive line looks really good,” said Kalil. “[Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron] got them straightened out; they’re going to be the best defensive line in the nation. They’re just making us better as an o-line.” Orgeron was USC’s defensive line coach from 1998 to 2004, before taking over as head coach at Mississippi for three years (2005-2007), where he went 10-25.—The Trojans took a page out of Oregon’s playbook during the two-minute drill and mixed in some Wildcat formation, as well. Freshman tailback Dillon Baxter, took a few snaps at quarterback.“It’s something I’ve done at the last two places I coached (Oakland Raiders and the University of Tennessee), and so I wanted to try it here,” said Kiffin. “It’s just an experiment. Maybe we’ll bring it out again some time.” Kiffin may have to save his experiment for a passing situation. Baxter managed only a few yards on the ground but did toss a 40-yard bomb out of the formation that left Barkley shaking his head.