News in Brief
Kang is a no-show at closing
NARROWSBURG, NY — Developer Ilwon Kang was supposed to have closed on a $70,000 deal to purchase the 14-acre sports field on Kirk Road in Narrowsburg before July 4, so that he could have a beer tent at the holiday festivities he planned for the space.
The closing did not occur, and was then scheduled to take place on July 6. According to Dr. Kenneth Hilton, superintendent of the Sullivan West school district that owns the property, Kang did not appear for the closing, and did not send word about why he could not attend. No money had changed hands, and as of July 12 the district still owned the parcel.
It is not yet clear if this development will have any impact on Kang’s offer to buy the school buildings in Narrowsburg and Callicoon for $3 million. The closing on that deal had been scheduled for about July 1, but because the town is in the process of re-writing its zoning code and it is as yet unclear if the new zoning will allow Kang to use the Narrowsburg School as planned for a hotel, the school board agreed to extend the closing deadline through October.
SERVE Act would boost firefighter recruitment
WASHINGTON, DC — A new act introduced by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), the Supporting Emergency Responders Volunteer Efforts (SERVE) Act, would provide a $1,000 annual tax credit to help promote recruitment of volunteer firefighters and paramedics and to honor them for their service.
“Small communities in New York and throughout the country rely on volunteer firefighters to respond in emergencies,” said Hinchey. “These brave volunteers in many cases serve the same function as professional firefighters, but they do it on their own time and without compensation. The SERVE Act would provide volunteer firefighters and emergency service personnel with a $1,000 annual tax credit. The brave volunteers who risk their own lives to save the lives of others deserve our support,” said Hinchey.
To qualify for the refundable tax credit, firefighters and paramedics must serve at least 40 hours over the course of six months of the year. The SERVE Act would promote staffing at these emergency organizations to maintain the proper services needed to protect New York’s communities.
Confidence shown rising in Mid Hudson
REGION — A recent survey of consumer confidence in New York State showed that the Mid Hudson region, which includes Sullivan County, was one of only three in which confidence rose and the only one in which the index rose substantially from the second quarter of 2010 to the same period in 2011.
The Mid Hudson index increased from 59.1 last year to 65.5 in the second quarter or 2011, an increase of close to 6 points or 10%. The Rochester and Syracuse areas also saw confidence increase, but marginally; elsewhere in the state, confidence declined.
In terms of levels, Binghamton had the lowest absolute level, at 55. The Mid Hudson level of 82 put it at number three in the state.
The intent of the Consumer Confidence Index is to measure peoples’ willingness to spend, as opposed to their ability to spend.
Hinchey pushes to reinstate Glass-Steagall
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has introduced a bill that would reinstate the Banking Act of 1933, better known as the Glass-Steagall Act, in order to separate investment banking from commercial banking.
The congressman, who introduced the Glass-Steagall Restoration Act with Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and John Conyers (D-PA), said he intends for the measure to break up oversized banks, restore consumer protections and avoid future financial collapses like the one that began in 2008.
“Following the Great Depression, Congress wisely separated investment banking from commercial banking to prevent big banks from using depositors’ money for risky trades,” said Hinchey. “Unfortunately, Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and the American people are still paying the price after the financial market meltdown that occurred in 2008. We have made some progress in addressing this with the Wall Street Reform bill that was passed last year.
"Even so, the commingling of investment and commercial banking has persisted, and as a result, our economy is still at risk. This legislation would reinstate the basic rule that preserved the security of our financial markets for nearly 70 years and would help prevent another bailout.”