Charles Schumer

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Sen. Charles Schumer says lifting a ban on the U.S. Postal Service shipping alcohol will help both the struggling postal carrier and New York’s growing beer and wine industry.

Private carriers like UPS and Fed-Ex can deliver mail-order alcohol. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, is pushing for the USPS to be able to do the same. The ban against it transporting alcohol dates back to Prohibition.

"It will be a way for consumers far and wide to order their favorite New York beers and wines and get hold of them." Schumer said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is firing another salvo in the war against prescription drug abuse. He's proposing that the Drug Enforcement Administration ease restrictions that make it harder for pharmacies to let people bring in controlled substances for disposal.

It's a problem that's getting worse in upstate New York, according to Michelle Caliva, director of the Upstate Poison Control Center. She's looked at the number of calls involving abuse of prescription pain killers over the last decade.

Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO

Sen. Charles Schumer and a group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing a bill that would lower the federal tax on hard apple cider. New York is the second largest apple grower in the nation, and the idea behind the bill is to give another source of income for small apple growers.

At LynOaken Farms in Medina, General Manager Darrell Oakes explains there are roughly 300 varieties of apples in the self-harvest section.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for more coordination between police and Veterans Affairs medical centers to treat veterans with mental health problems.

Schumer, a Democrat from New York, wants the VA to investigate its handling of mentally ill veterans in the wake of a veteran’s shooting spree. Police say Navy veteran Aaron Alexis killed 12 people on a base in Washington D.C. last week.

Schumer says ineffective communication between police and military allowed Alexis to not be treated.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer called yesterday's shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. "tragic." He also touched on a common theme of the recent gun control debate- mental health.

"So I think we have to look at that very carefully, without pre-judging what happened in D.C.," Schumer said. "But certainly, it needs a careful look. These things are occurring much too frequently."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, has formally joined the lobbying effort to see that upstate New York becomes a federally designated drone testing site.

As Congress begins to debate a resolution to authorize United States military action in Syria, members of the New York congressional delegation are expressing their opinion publicly about what should be done.

Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents parts of the Finger Lakes and Souther Tier regions, has been conducting a listening tour in his district to gather opinions from his constituents.

Obama to make a stop in Syracuse

Aug 14, 2013
whitehouse.gov

The White House has confirmed that President Barack Obama will travel to Syracuse next week as part of a two-day bus tour to lay out his plan for reducing college costs.The president will also stop in Buffalo, Binghamton and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Department of Transportation to retrofit or phase out a specific type of railway car that carries crude oil and ethanol. The DOT-111 is the same kind of tank car as those that derailed and exploded in July in a small town in Quebec, killing 47 people and destroying 40 buildings.

Schumer spoke in front of a rail bridge near Armory Square in downtown Syracuse on Tuesday, where he says around 200 cars of oil and 100 cars of ethanol pass by everyday due to an increase in domestic energy production in the U.S.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Score one for the self-proclaimed clout of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. Thanks largely to recent efforts of the senator, a former gas station on Syracuse's south side will be redeveloped.

The intersection of East Brighton Avenue and Seneca Turnpike is home to three vacant properties: two former gas stations and an old car wash. Two of them are owned by gas station chain Sunoco.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's senior U.S. senator says the compromise on student loans Congress is scheduled to take up on Tuesday is a good one, even if it's not exactly what he wanted.

Interest rates on government issued subsidized student loans doubled on July 1, after Congress failed to renew the program. But late last week, several lawmakers announced a compromise that will bring rates back down, at least for now.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse economic development officials and representatives from Sen. Charles Schumer's office will meet with executives from the Sunoco gas station chain next week. They will discuss the future of three vacant, former gas stations on the city's South Side.

Syracuse says the properties are an eyesore and accuses Sunoco of blocking their redevelopment in order to preserve the competitive advantage of its newer fueling hub nearby.

While parts of central and northern New York continue to rebuild following last month's massive flooding, Sen. Charles Schumer says there may be a reason the region is still waiting for federal disaster aid approval.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was not overly optimistic that Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, Funds will come through. Schumer said the amount of damage in the state is still being tallied.

Flooding came quickly, but the cleanup will be slower

Jul 4, 2013
New York National Guard / via Flickr

The rains that caused severe flooding and damage in central and northern New York last week came quickly, but the cleanup will be much slower.

“I’m just plugging away, day by day and getting a little bit further each day, you know,” said Steven Loucks. His Oneida home was flooded with several feet of water last week.

“My basement was completely flooded. It did not hit my first floor though, which is a good deal. But my basement, my furnace, my hot water heaters; I just got two new hot water heaters,” he said.

Severe weather strikes central, northern New York

Jun 28, 2013
New York National Guard / via Flickr

As heavy rains continue to fall across much of New York, portions of the state have experienced flash flooding and rapidly rising rivers. Towns throughout central and northern New York are reporting rainfall ranging from a few to several inches. The village of Earlville, which straddles the Madison and Chenango County borders, reported receiving more than six inches by mid-morning.

According to Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the rain is showing little sign of letting up.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Older Canadians will be able to spend more time in the United States under a proposal floated by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.

Right now, Canadians can stay in the U.S. up to six months. Many retired Canadians use up that time at winter homes in the Southwest or Florida.

By creating a retiree visa that would allow for eight months spent south of the border, Schumer is hopeful it will translate into more short trips to places closer to the Canadian border, like the Finger Lakes region.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse officials are accusing the ownership of three vacant gas stations at a southern entrance to the city of blocking the properties' sale in the name of competition.

On Monday, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner brought in Sen. Charles Schumer to call on Sunoco to allow the sale and redevelopment of the stations near the intersection of Seneca Turnpike and East Brighton Ave.

One of the properties has been vacant more than 15 years.

Entering the city and driving past the rundown properties sets "a bad tone" for the area, Schumer said.

Sen. Charles Schumer called on New York state education officials to curb the abuse of stimulative drugs used to help get students through all-night study sessions.

Schumer asked SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Committee on Independent Colleges and University President Laura Anglin to take steps to stop abuse of drugs he calls addictive and dangerous.

Kate O'Connell

Upstate New York’s newest Greek yogurt factory opened its doors in Batavia, Monday. The factory is a joint venture between Pepsi and German dairy giant, the Theo Muller Group. The Muller Quaker Dairy Plant is touted as a shot in the arm for the dairy industry in western New York.

The 350,000 square foot facility will produce several yogurt products, including the fast growing Greek yogurt varieties. The plant will initially operate three lines, producing more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour.

G.E. file photo

It was January 2012 when Democratic U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer stood in front of an empty building at the old General Electric site in Liverpool and said California-based chip maker APIC Corp. landing a Navy contract and then opening up a fabricator in the building was “all but a done deal."

But this week the senator admitted the contract was dead.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Long time central New York furniture maker Stickley says it is owed a couple million dollars from the federal government in uncollected tariff fees on international competition.

The company alleges Chinese furniture makers are partaking in a practice called "dumping" -- flooding the market with cheaper products sold at a loss – which drives out competition.

A tariff on Chinese furniture was enacted in 2005. During that time, Stickely earned about $8 million from the fees collected on Chinese products sold in the U.S.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

As lawmakers in the Senate's Judiciary Committee debate the immigration reform bill released last month, farmers in New York State are hoping to find enough workers to fully staff their operations. It's a yearly struggle in New York and nationwide and according to a report by Farm Credit East, more than 1000 farms in New York could close or shrink by two-thirds if immigration laws were fully enforced.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is introducing legislation with other lawmakers Thursday that would change how the military handles sexual assault cases. The proposal would let military prosecutors — rather than commanders — decide whether to bring serious military crimes to trial.

It's the latest high-publicity move for a senator who was virtually unknown four years ago when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Now, she's on some lists for possible candidates for vice president — even president.

Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

Dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont have faced a major labor shortage, which means that migrant laborers from Mexico and Guatemala are now milking many of the region's cows. But farm country here is not an easy place to be a migrant worker: It's rural, hard to get around, and there's not a big Latino population. But a new law means that migrant workers in Vermont will soon be able to drive legally.

While universal background checks for gun buyers proved to be a death knell in the latest attempt to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Charles Schumer is hoping a tightening up of current background checks is on the horizon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his assault on the misuse of prescription drugs with a proposal to tighten control over the painkiller hydrocodone.

Destiny USA

Business leaders are joining with several New York members of Congress who oppose the idea of introducing a fee for visitors crossing the border into the U.S., citing the importance of Canadians to upstate New York’s economy.

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Small businesses from around the state took their concerns to legislators in Albany Wednesday. The message from leaders in the agricultural industry particularly highlighted the need for reforms to support small farms, and boost local economies upstate.

As spring rain showers fall, Sen. Charles Schumer is warning that more dams in the state should be inspected and have emergency action plans drawn up. 

courtesy / MEADS-AMD

Money for a defense contract that supports several hundred jobs at a plant in central New York has found its way back into a federal spending plan.

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