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Cuomo releases: Italy earthquake, Taste NY at PGA event, pedestrian safety enforcement, Mohawk Valley addiction clubhouse.
Text of press releases.

For Immediate Release: 8/24/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to the men, women and children who lost their lives from the earthquake that devastated Italy earlier today. The people of Italy have shown courage and resilience throughout this tragedy and tonight, we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

"While we are still trying to understand the extent of the damage, we are closely monitoring the situation. New York stands ready to lend our support in the weeks and months to come – just as Italy did for New Yorkers in our time of need."


For Immediate Release: 8/25/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Spire to be Lit in Green, White and Red Tonight

This evening, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed the lights of One World Trade Center's 408-foot spire to be displayed in the green, white and red colors of the Italian flag to honor victims of the earthquake in Italy.

Italy’s influence touches every community across New York – from its vibrant culture to the more than 2.7 million Italian Americans who call the Empire State their home. New York and Italy are more than allies. We are family.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to the men, women and children who lost their lives from the earthquake that devastated Italy," Governor Cuomo said. "The people of Italy have shown courage and resilience throughout this natural disaster, and New Yorkers continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. While the true extent of the damage is still to be determined, we are closely monitoring the situation. New York stands ready to lend our support in the weeks and months to come – just as Italy did for New Yorkers in our time of need."


For Immediate Release: 8/25/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Taste NY Café Showcases the Very Best of New York’s Food Producers

Complements New York State’s $3.8 Million Commitment to Maintain Bethpage State Park as Top International Golf Destination

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new pop-up Taste NY Café at the site of the Barclay’s Golf Tournament at Bethpage State Park that will promote dozens of New York farms and producers.

This eatery, the first ever pop up Taste NY café to be featured at an event of this scale, will sell gourmet dishes showcasing Long Island seafood, meats, locally grown produce and bakery items from across the New York to PGA TOUR fans.

“This year’s Barclays Tournament will showcase the best New York products, as well as provide a boost to Long Island’s economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “With a Taste NY Café featured prominently at the event, New York’s world class food, beverages and products will be front and center at one of the top tournaments in the country that attracts thousands of attendees from around the globe.”

Last year, the Governor announced that Taste NY had tripled the gross sales of participating producers from approximately $1.5 million in 2014 to more than $4.5 million in 2015. This year, Governor Cuomo set a goal to double the gross revenue to $9 million by the end of 2016 through the addition of four new stores, the launch of new partnerships at sports and entertainment venues, and the opening of new locations within the New York State Park system, funded by the 2016-2017 State Budget.

The PGA TOUR returns to Bethpage State Park for The Barclays for the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs, featuring the top 125 players on the PGA TOUR. The Taste NY Café is situated at a prime location, near the first and 18th holes on the course. Photos of the café are available here and here. The cafe features New York State products and beverages on a gourmet concession menu, available here.

Producers participating in the Taste NY Café include:

Blue Point Brewing Co. – Patchogue, Long Island
Catapano Dairy Farm – Peconic, Long Island
Ed Zilnicki Farms – Riverhead South, Long Island
Fox Hollow Farm – Huntington, Long Island
Gosman's Dock – Montauk, Long Island
Lenny Bruno Farms – Manorville, Long Island
Satur Farms – Cutchogue, Long Island
Schmitt Farms – Riverhead, Long Island
Wickham Fruit Farm – Cutchogue, Long Island
Gianelli Sausage – Syracuse, Central New York
Adirondack Black Wax Cheddar – Barneveld, Mohawk Valley
Cooperstown Cheese Co. – Milford, Mohawk Valley
Wrighteous Organics – Schoharie, Mohawk Valley
Red Jacket Orchard – Geneva, Finger Lakes
A. Gurda Produce – Pine Island, Hudson Valley
Porpiglia Farms – Marlboro, Hudson Valley
Hepworth Farm – Milton, Hudson Valley
Ronnybrook Farm Dairy – Ancramdale, Hudson Valley
Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. – Chatham, Capital Region
Aladdin Bakery – Brooklyn, New York City

The Barclays Executive Director Peter Mele said, “We pride ourselves on offering the very best fan experience in golf. Part of that experience, of course, is the food fans are able to enjoy while watching the PGA TOUR’s greatest players compete. We’re thrilled that our fans will have dining options that celebrate local producers who are the best at what they do, as well.”

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has secured more than half a dozen significant professional golf tournaments to be held at state-owned courses. In 2012, Bethpage Black hosted 100,000 spectators to watch Nick Watney win The Barclays, and beyond the competition this week, the organization is already scheduled to return in 2021 and 2027. Additionally, Governor Cuomo last year announced an agreement with The PGA of America to bring the 2019 PGA Championship and 2024 Ryder Cup to the famously challenging course.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are thrilled to partner with the PGA TOUR to bring a Taste NY Café to The Barclays and put the excellence of New York agriculture on display. This golf tournament draws fans from across the globe and it a fantastic opportunity to show the world how diverse and delicious New York agriculture truly is. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s commitment, the Taste NY program has grown tremendously in just three years. Now more than ever, agri-businesses from every corner of New York State can expand their customer base and grow their businesses.”

Governor Cuomo has committed more than $3.8 million to Bethpage State Park through the NY Parks 2020 program, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. Work has included rebuilding several greens, completing irrigation and drainage improvements and rehabilitating bunker complexes to maintain a championship level of play on the Black Course, as well as renovations to the historic 1935 clubhouse.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “I welcome the PGA TOUR players and fans to Bethpage State Park and applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to maintaining this world-class golf course as well as all New York State Park golf courses. Bethpage State Park and its dedicated staff have the Black Course in exceptional shape, and we look forward to hosting a great event and showing off our national caliber New York State park system.”

Robert Carpenter, Long Island Farm Bureau said, “With its unmatched quality and diversity, Long Island’s agricultural community continues to be one of the best in the state and nation. We are pleased that our farmers’ local products will be featured in the Taste NY Café to highlight the quality and availability of what we produce right in the PGA TOUR tournament’s own back yard. This will give our residents and visitors an opportunity to taste and learn about what is available to them all season long and encourage them to come out to the farms and buy truly locally grown.”

Karen Catapano, owner of Catapano Dairy Farm, said, “I am so proud that our cheese was selected to be served at such a prestigious event. My husband and I have been creating artisanal goat cheese since 2003 and have loved the wonderful response it has brought from not only the American Cheese Society but from many local markets, farm stands, restaurants and cheese shops throughout New York. The continued support of our products from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the showcasing of our cheese is both exciting and extremely gratifying.”

Sharon Tomaselli, owner of Cooperstown Cheese Company said, “Cooperstown Cheese Company is very excited and proud to be part of the PGA TOUR and we sure hope the golfers and golf fans like our cheeses. We appreciate Taste NY and our partners at Baldor Specialty Foods for giving us the opportunity to showcase our cheeses at this prestigious event. We want avid golf fans to become avid cheese fans, if they aren't already. Cheese is a very important part of the upstate dairy and agricultural economy and Taste NY is one way to support the region.”

Joel Panagakos, Executive Vice President of J Kings Foodservice said, “We have been servicing Long Island and the surrounding hundred and fifty mile area with very lovely produce from local Long Island farms for the last 23 years. I'm very happy that we are involved in The Barclays tournament and Taste NY Café and that they are utilizing some of this produce. I hope it's a great success!”

Benjamin Walker, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Baldor Specialty Foods said, “We are thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to work with Taste NY and the PGA TOUR to bring local farms and artisans to the hands of thousands of fans at The Barclays at Bethpage State Park.”

The tournament will take place at a golf complex employing the latest in sustainability practices. The Black is certified by the Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, which ensures native bird-friendly habitats are protected around the course, including native plants and nest boxes on the golf course, shoreline vegetation around water features. In addition, Bethpage State Park continues its longstanding partnership with Cornell University’s New York State Integrated Pest Management Program to adopt ‘greener’ pest control techniques to the facility. IPM techniques employ detailed surveillance and proactive steps such as eliminating weeds by hand or mechanical treatments; using ultra-sonic repellents and snap traps; and early detection of insect nests and hives, while minimizing the use of chemicals.

About The Barclays
The Barclays has been a part of the PGA TOUR schedule since 1967 when Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural event at Westchester Country Club. Since that time, some of the greatest players in the game have earned the title including World Golf Hall of Famers Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Raymond Floyd, Seve Ballesteros, Hale Irwin and Curtis Strange. Many of the world’s current top players have won the event as well, including two-time champions Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia; four-time champion Vijay Singh; and 2015 champion Jason Day. As the first of four playoff events, The Barclays plays a leading role in the FedExCup, the season-long competition that is the centerpiece of the PGA TOUR season. For more information about The Barclays, visit Ticket options for The Barclays are available at the website and at 844-868-7465. Follow the events at @thebarclaysgolf on Twitter and Instagram and

The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than one billion households in 227 countries and territories in 30 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2015, tournaments across all Tours generated a record $160 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.3 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

About Taste NY
Taste NY is an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair. The program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops along the state’s highways and in transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. Approximately 1,100 local companies have participated in these opportunities, further linking their products and the state’s growing food and beverage market to consumers from across the globe. For more information about Taste NY, please visit

About Bethpage State Park
Bethpage State Park is best known for its five world-class golf courses, including the world-renowned Black Course which was the site of the U.S. Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club and other adjacent properties to build what is now known as Bethpage State Park. Famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast was hired to design and oversee construction of three new golf courses (Black, Red and Blue) as well as modify the Lenox Hills Course which became the Green Course. Golf Digest ranked Bethpage Black fifth on its 2012 list of “America’s 75 Toughest Golf Courses” and eighth on its 2013-14 list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses”


For Immediate Release: 8/25/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Police Agencies Across the State Hand Out 1,285 Tickets and 1,416 Warnings

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that police agencies across New York State issued 1,285 tickets and 1,416 warnings to drivers and pedestrians as the result of a pedestrian safety enforcement campaign. The enforcement period ran from June 20 through July 3 as part of a $110 million comprehensive pedestrian safety initiative.

“This multi-pronged effort is setting new standards that will help make our roadways safer for motorists and pedestrians alike,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend the law enforcement agencies in these 26 counties for partnering with us in this important initiative, and for their continued vigilance and tireless work to protect all New Yorkers.”

During the two-week campaign, which was funded by grants from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, local police agencies in 26 communities across Upstate New York and Long Island patrolled busy pedestrian corridors, handing out warning notices, tickets and informative tip cards to both motorists and pedestrians found violating the law.

Police issued 1,416 warnings to both pedestrians and motorists and issued 520 tickets for pedestrian safety related offenses and 765 tickets for other offenses. Police also provided information to pedestrians and motorists, with the Suffolk County Police Department handing out 3,000 pieces of pedestrian safety information and the Buffalo Police Department handing out 1,500 pieces during the two-week blitz.

The safety education campaign emphasizes the “See! Be Seen!” message for driver and pedestrian awareness.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “We are committed to doing all we can to improve road safety – especially for pedestrians, our most vulnerable users – but we cannot do it alone. By leading the effort to enforce pedestrian safety laws, Governor Cuomo is helping transform our neighborhoods into more walkable communities and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

The enforcement blitz is one part of a campaign to proactively address widespread safety issues through the Three E’s – engineering, enforcement and education. The initiative, being implemented cooperatively by the State Department of Transportation, Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and State Department of Health, includes the creation of an in-depth Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Data analysis found that approximately 300 pedestrians are killed and 15,000 are injured by motor vehicles each year in New York State.

The multi-agency approach to improving pedestrian safety calls for the following:
· DOT will work to minimize the potential for pedestrian crashes by implementing low-cost countermeasures at 2,000 crosswalks without traffic signals and 2,400 signalized intersections.
· GTSC will provide education for law enforcement and organize annual pedestrian safety law enforcement blitzes.
· DOH will develop public service announcements, engage local traffic safety boards, schools and others in public outreach, and provide training for safety organizations.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair Terri Egan said, “Pedestrians and motorists need to work together to mitigate risks and reduce crashes on New York’s roadways, which is why this enforcement campaign launched by Governor Cuomo is so vital to our traffic safety efforts. Working together, we are raising awareness of the dangers to pedestrians while promoting sound engineering, education and enforcement practices. We urge all users of our roadways to share the road with courtesy and safety in mind.”

New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said, “The Department of Health has always encouraged New Yorkers to walk more as a way to improve their health and prevent chronic disease. But if we want that habit to continue, it’s absolutely essential that we protect our pedestrians from reckless behaviors on the roads. We want our roads to be safe for all users.”

For more information, visit Governor Cuomo’s new pedestrian safety web site at: It provides an overview of the pedestrian safety plan, examples of highway safety improvements that can enhance pedestrian safety and tips for safely navigating roadways as a pedestrian.

Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at


For Immediate Release: 8/25/2016
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


First-of-its-Kind Treatment Facility Promotes Wellness and Peer-Support For Young Adults in Recovery

Advances Governor’s Comprehensive Approach to Combating Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorder

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of Creative Connections Clubhouse, a first-of-its-kind recovery center for teens and young adults in Montgomery County. The clubhouse, located in Amsterdam, provides a safe, welcoming space for teens and young adults who are in recovery or are at risk for substance use disorders to develop social skills that promote long-term health, wellness, recovery and a drug-free lifestyle. In January, as part of his multi-pronged approach to combating addiction, Governor Cuomo awarded HFM Prevention, a Mohawk Valley substance use prevention provider, a $250,000 annual grant to support the clubhouse’s long- term viability, recovery and prevention services.

“New York is leading the fight against addiction by providing critical life-saving resources to those battling substance abuse,” Governor Cuomo said. “Young people struggling with addiction often don’t know where to turn for help, but this new clubhouse will provide more youth in the Mohawk Valley with the relief and long-term support they need while on the path to recovery.”

The clubhouse – one of seven in regions across the state – provides a community-based, non-clinical setting that promotes prevention, peer-driven supports and recovery services. HFM Prevention Council will deliver a variety of services and activities, including homework help and tutoring, college and job preparation, community service opportunities, sports and fitness activities, group entertainment activities, and peer mentoring. Youth and family advisory board members at each clubhouse will help shape activities and programming.

Representative Paul Tonko said, “Addiction is something that touches all of our lives at some point, whether personally or through family and friends, and it's time to rethink our approach to providing assistance to those struggling through some of the most challenging times imaginable. Creative Connections represents a new way to help those most in need and is another program in the long line of innovative thinking from OASAS. I thank our local leaders that made this a reality, and I look forward to continuing my work in Congress as the Vice Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus to ensure we have the tools to boost the success of those battling substance abuse.”

Senator George Amedore, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, said, “A critical piece of addressing the heroin epidemic and addiction issues that plague our communities is providing strong support services for those who have struggled to overcome addiction. Creative Connections Clubhouse will be an important resource for the City of Amsterdam, and the entire Mohawk Valley, to keep our young people on the road to recovery. I want to thank OASAS for their continued partnership and support to make sure we have the proper treatment and recovery options available in our communities.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “For too long, families across New York State and the entire nation have been torn apart by addiction and substance abuse, and our families in Upstate New York have not been immune. It’s heartbreaking to see our families lose loved ones to addiction, and we must do everything possible to protect our children from this epidemic. The opening of the Creative Connections Clubhouse in Amsterdam marks an important step forward in this fight by providing our youth with a safe place to develop social skills that promote long-term health, wellness, recovery and a drug-free lifestyle."

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “Support must be there for adolescents and young adults in order to successfully maintain their recovery. This clubhouse offers young New Yorkers a community-based environment that supports sobriety and gives our young people a place to engage with peers away from the influences that may have contributed to their substance use.”

Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said, “The opening of the Creative Connections Clubhouse is a great step forward in providing our youth with a facility that features a secure atmosphere which promotes health and wellness. I want to thank the Governor for recognizing a need to provide our children with a safe environment to receive these critical services and allocating annual funding for one of seven community-based clubhouses being created across the state. I also would like to thank HFM Prevention Council Executive Director Ann Rhodes for locating this facility in the east end of Amsterdam and wish newly named director T.J. Czeski good luck in operating this innovative model for providing addiction services.”

Amsterdam Mayor Michael J. Villa said, “The Clubhouse coming to Amsterdam gives us another tool in the fight against substance abuse. Our most vulnerable youth and young adults will now have a safe place, one that is non-clinical, and provides peer-driven support that they can relate to the problems and peer pressure they face. Thank you to all the staff that have worked so very hard in transforming this center and to Governor Cuomo and OASAS for awarding the funding to the HFM Prevention Council for the start-up of this program.”

The new facility is the latest initiative to advance the Governor’s multi-pronged approach to fighting the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic, which includes the implementation of changes to insurance laws and regulations to ensure broader coverage of substance use disorder treatment, increasing access to treatment, adding medication-assisted treatment capacity in regions across the state, expanding opioid overdose medication trainings, and broadening public awareness efforts about addiction.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the state’sTalk2Prevent website.

Visit www.combatheroin.ny.govfor more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help. Addiction treatment providers can be located on the NYS OASAS Find Help webpage or on the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard.