Talking with Our Graduates at John A. Coleman Catholic High School
Graduation season is upon us. Moms and dads are watching their children take the important next step into adulthood and independence. This week I was honored to provide the commencement address to the 2017 graduating class of John A. Coleman Catholic High School in Ulster County. I am confident that these young men and women will go on to achieve their dreams and make our 19th District proud.
Congressional Art Competition Winners Announced
Our 2017 Congressional Art Competition winner for the 19th District is official! Congratulations to Tadgh O’Halloran on his first-place-winning entry, “Statue of Liberty.” The FDR High School (Staatsburg, Dutchess County) junior’s artwork was selected by a panel of local judges. “Statue of Liberty” and other first-place Congressional Art Competition selections will be displayed in the US Capitol for one year. Our runner-up selection went to “Will Smith,” by Otsego County’s Milford Central School sophomore Andrew Brown. Congratulations, Tadgh and Andrew!
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.
National Dairy Month
June is National Dairy Month. The 19th District is home to more than 5,000 farms and nearly 960,000 acres of farmland. Sales from dairy alone are valued at more than $167 million annually. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’m meeting with my Agriculture Advisory Committee back home in the district, and listening to our dairy farmers and farming families as Congress prepares the new Farm Bill.
Lyme Disease Discussion at the Cary Institute
In early May I voted for continued funding to the National Institutes of Health as well as support for expanded Lyme disease research and the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group contained in the 21st Century Cures Act. Our district is at the center of the national Lyme disease public health crisis. More than 10 percent of people living in Columbia County have been diagnosed with Lyme disease since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a member of the Lyme Disease Caucus, I provided remarks to the staff of Millbrook’s Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies this week focused on efforts conducted at the federal level to expand research and prevention tools. Afterwards I participated in the Institute’s science roundtable, featuring President Dr. Joshua Ginsberg; Dr. Richard Ostfeld, Cary Senior Scientist and Lyme expert; Dr. Gary Lovett, Cary Senior Scientist and forest health expert; Dr. Christopher Solomon, Cary Scientist and freshwater expert; Holly Talbot, Cary Director of Administration; and Lori Quillen, Cary Director of Communications.
Meeting with Local AARP Representatives
A challenging long-term budget picture for the United States means that Congress must work harder to keep its promises to our seniors. I was encouraged by the productive meeting I had this week with state and federal AARP representatives in which we discussed Social Security, the caregiver tax credit, healthcare, cost of living for seniors and more. Thanks to Beth Finkel, AARP NYS Director; Leo Asen, AARP NYS President; David Certner, AARP Legislative Counsel (not pictured); and David McNally, AARP NYS Director of Government Affairs, for visiting our office.
73rd D-Day Anniversary
As President Ronald Reagan spoke of Europe on the 40th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, we mark the D-Day remembrance as a “day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty.” Thirty-three years later, we continue to recognize the tremendous courage exhibited by those who fought and died to save a continent from Nazi totalitarianism.