We're in for a "prolonged period" of Lake Effect Snow in Chautauqua County from early this evening through at least early Thursday. That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Late Monday afternoon... the Weather Service upgraded our Lake Effect Snow Watch into a Warning -- beginning at 6 PM tonight -- because of the "certainty of snow." Hibbert says a cold front went through the area late Monday... and, he says that's allowed some light, lake effect to begin across the Western Southern Tier. Hibbert says temperatures will just barely get over 20 today. He adds the winds will also pick up out of the Southwest. Hibbert says... with Lake Erie still about 10 degrees above freezing... this system will pick-up plenty of moisture. However... he says the worst of the Lake Effect will be between tonight... and, late Wednesday. As for the blustery wind conditions... Hibbert says that will still be around for a while after that. Our Lake Effect Snow Warning runs from 6 tonight until 4 AM Thursday. Hibbert says the more persistant lake band areas will see 3 to 5 inches of snow tonight... and, more heavy snow Wednesday. The complete forecast is coming up.
Teachers, parents, and students around Chautauqua County wore blue today as a symbol that action needs to be taken on some key issues facing public education. It was all part of the national "Day of Action..." That's Jamestown Teacher's Association Vice-President Tara Hall... who says their theme was to "reclaim the promise of public education." During a press conference at Jamestown High School this (yesterday) afternoon... Hall urged people to write the state Education Department to stop over-emphasizing testing... and, put the proper resources in place to allow teachers to teach... and, students to learn. Joanne Dean... who calls herself a "parent advocate..." has a first and fifth-grader still in the Jamestown Public School system.... as well as a sophmore in college. Dean says the 'Common Core' of higher standards is NOT the problem... but, the teaching modules the teachers have to use are. Jamestown administrators have acknowledged there are some problems with the modules... which Dean says teachers have told her contain errors. A retired Dunkirk Teacher... who is still with the Dunkirk Teacher's Assocation... says inequity in funding also remains a major problem for his district, and Jamestown's.
If you've received the Basic, School Tax Relief program exemption in the past... and, you haven't re-registerd for it... time's running out. That from Chautauqua County Real Property Taxation Office Director Jim Caflisch... who says 22 to 23-percent of county residents eligible have NOT yet registered. The deadline to register is December 31st. Caflisch says many of the 6-thousand county properties eligible that haven't been registered are among those who need to be re-registered. Caflisch says... if you're under the age of 65... you are eligible for the Basic exemption. He says you can go on-line to www-dot-Tax-dot-NY-dot-GOV... and, find the tab for registering for the program. Caflisch says you must re-register after the State Comptroller's office found a lot of property owners were claiming more than one Primary Property as being STAR eligible. He says you can only have ONE primary residence that's claimed for the rebate. Caflisch also reminds residents who have Enhanced STAR that they do NOT have to re-register.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to delay a ``sudden mandate'' that would force municipalities to replace fire hydrants after January 4th. The senator is taking issue with the EPA's interpretation of a 2011 law. He says Congress didn't intend for hydrants to be included in the new reduced-lead drinking water standards. Schumer says New York City would have to purchase a new stock of hydrants and hydrant parts to comply with the standards. He says replacing all the fire hydrants will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
About 300 people braved bitterly cold temperatures last Saturday to rally in support of the NRG Re-powering Project in Dunkirk. Now... organizers of the effort hope to keep the momentum going by sending several buses to Albany on December 19th when the state Public Service Commission holds it's next meeting. It's believed the project to convert the NRG plant from coal to natural gas will be taken up. But... even if it's not on the agenda... State Senator Cathy Young says it's worth the trip. Young adds there's also strength in numbers. She says Chautauqua County constantly surprises the people in Albany... because the P-S-C never expected 22-hundred people to be at the hearing held at the SUNY College at Fredonia last July. The vast majority spoke resoundingly in favor of the half-a-billion dollar project. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is organizing the bus trip... and, those interesting in going can sign up on-line at Chautauqua chamber-dot-ORG.