Capitol gathering marks massacre of Armenians

The Times Union (Albany, NY)
April 27, 2004 Tuesday THREE STAR EDITION

Capitol gathering marks massacre of Armenians

Two dozen people gathered at the steps of the state Capitol Monday to
recognize the 89th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian massacre in
Turkey.

Local politicians including U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park,
and Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, paid tribute to the 1.5
million Armenians massacred by the former Ottoman Empire.

“It is critically important, not just as Armenians but as Americans,
to remind people of this massacre,” said Sweeney, whose grandfather
was from Armenia.

The official anniversary was Saturday, which Gov. George Pataki
designated as Armenian Remembrance Day in a proclamation.

— Erin Duggan

ASHCROFT HONORS MOM WHO ADVOCATES JOAN’S LAW

While she waits for New York state to enact a law named after her
murdered daughter, Rosemarie D’Alessandro was honored by U.S.
Attorney General John Ashcroft with a “Special Courage” award as part
of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The recognition last week came 31 years after the body of her
7-year-old daughter, Joan, was found in Harriman State Park, Rockland
County. She had been raped and murdered by a neighbor while selling
Girl Scout cookies.

The killer is eligible for parole, but has been repeatedly denied
release. D’Alessandro has been fighting for Joan’s Law, already
passed in New Jersey and at the federal level, to mandate life in
prison without parole for people who molest and kill a child under
14.

The bill failed to pass in the Legislature in 2001 or 2002, but again
has majority sponsorship and appears headed for a vote in the Senate,
where is it sponsored by Thomas Morahan, R-Nanuet. It remains in the
Codes Committee in the Assembly, where it is sponsored by David Koon,
D-Fairport.

— Staff report

BLOOMBERG BUDGET REFLECTS IMPROVED FISCAL HEALTH

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $46.9 billion budget
Monday that offers pay raises to city workers, property tax rebates
to homeowners and extra funds for lead paint abatement as the city’s
fiscal health continues to improve.

The centerpiece of the mayor’s plan is a $400 property tax rebate —
proposed almost 18 months after Bloomberg pushed through an 18.5
percent property tax increase in December 2002.

The program will cost the city $250 million. About 600,000
owner-occupants of one-, two- and three-family homes, co-ops and
condos will receive the rebate.

The mayor estimated the budget surplus for fiscal year 2004, which
ends June 30, will be $1.3 billion. The plan, which must be approved
by the City Council, sets aside $104 million for the city’s new lead
paint abatement law and $533 million to pay for municipal labor
contracts.

— Associated Press

STOPGAP SPENDING OK’D AS BUDGET TALKS STAY STALLED

ALBANY — State legislators approved another emergency spending bill
Monday while their leaders reported no progress in talks with Gov.
George Pataki over a new budget for the fiscal year that began April
1.

The stopgap spending bill was worth $2.04 billion. Counting others
approved by legislators on March 31 and April 20, lawmakers have
authorized the spending of just under $14.5 billion so far in the new
fiscal year. A permanent budget, when adopted, is expected to total
about $100 billion.

Pataki and legislative leaders said they remained at odds over
complying with a court mandate to improve education aid distribution
to aid New York City school children.

“We’re just not making the progress that we have to make and should
be making to be able to reach an agreement,” Pataki said.–

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS