Sen. Ortt highlights recent successes, urges reflection on Memorial Day

Posted 22 May 2015 at 12:00 am


The last few days have been busy both in my district and in Albany. Let me fill you in on just some of the things I’ve been up to recently.

I spent some time in Monroe County last week, discussing concerns with the county’s School Board Association and then meeting a special little girl whose Earth Day poster won in this year’s contest. Caitlin Seely, a third grade student at Terry Taylor Elementary School, sat in front of all her classmates as I presented her with an award for her creativity and concern for our environment.

I also took time to visit with senior citizens at the HANCI organization in Niagara Falls. The Health Association of Niagara County offers numerous programs and services for the aging community that provides them a better quality of life. I saw it firsthand as I toured HANCI’s Complete Senior Care Center. The seniors there seemed like they had a new lease on life; they seemed happy, healthy and well taken care of by the amazing staff.

Another organization that works hard to make sure individuals have everything they need – the Boys and Girls Club. I had the chance to meet with many of the hard workers behind the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club during its annual auction and fundraising event.

And, from the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns, I had the chance to meet this year’s Youth of the Year winner Olivia Meixing Keller.

The Boys and Girls Clubs provide unique opportunities for children that they might not have otherwise. It’s for that reason that I will continue to be a strong supporter of these organizations and the kids they serve.

Our children and guardians of our children deserve to be looked after with utmost care and protection. That’s why this week the Senate passed “The Domestic Violence Protection Act,” or “Brittany’s Law.”

Similar to a sex offender registry, this bill would create a violent felony offender registry, allowing the state, local law enforcement and public to track the whereabouts of convicted violent felons. This way, our communities have the tools and information they need to keep others safe.

Veterans know all about this duty – putting others before themselves. During a ceremony at the State Capital this week, I had the honor of recognizing a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Lance Corporal Tim Serwinowski of North Tonawanda was posthumously inducted into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame. Though it was a proud moment for Tim’s family, it was also a somber moment. Lance Corporal Serwinowski’s sacrifice, legacy, and heroism will never be forgotten.

Finally, as we approach this Memorial Day weekend, enjoy time with family and friends and the beginning of the summer season. I hope you will also take time to pay tribute to all the military men and women who serve and have served our nation.

State Sen. Robert Ortt
North Tonawanda