Event to provide input for outdoors initiative

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:26

    Poughkeepsie — A public listening session on President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative will be held Friday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Marist College Student Center in Poughkeepsie. The session and discussion are an opportunity for leaders of the initiative to hear from voices in the Hudson Valley about solutions for building a 21st-century conservation and recreation agenda and for reconnecting people with the outdoors. Senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies will be present. This event is free and open to the public. For planning purposes it would be helpful to register. Pre-register by Tuesday, Aug. 3 by sending an email to joseph.heller@ny.usda.gov. In the event you are unable to participate in person, submit your comments and stories via http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/. If you have questions, call Heller at 883-7162, ext. 104. Tax cap, sugar tax on special session agenda ALBANY — Gov. David Paterson is forcing the Legislature to reconsider some of his ideas that have already been rejected. Paterson announced the agenda for the session he called for July 28 to finally close the state budget that was due April 1. Items on the agenda include his proposed cap on local property taxes, a plan to allow the public universities to set higher tuition without legislative approval, a tax on sugar products and authorization to sell wine in grocery stores. The Democrat-led Senate needs to approve a single revenue bill to complete the budget. Paterson added the additional items. When a governor calls an extraordinary session compelling the Legislature back into session the governor sets the agenda. New York mulls indoor tanning rules, cites cancer risk ALBANY — New York health officials are ramping up their regulation of more than 2,000 tanning salons and gyms offering indoor ultraviolet rays even as health advocates push for a law banning exposure by anyone under 18. “We’re not claiming that people get addicted to tanning the same way you do nicotine, but it clearly is a habit you develop as a teenager,” said Peter Slocum, vice president for advocacy at the American Cancer Society in Albany. “That’s when most people start frequenting the cancer chambers.” Last year, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning as a definite human carcinogen, putting it in the same category as smoking. New York law currently bans commercial indoor tanning for children under 14 and requires written parental consent for those from 14 up to 18. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states regulate tanning by minors. Society spokeswoman Angela Pause-Smith said legislation to outlaw it has been introduced in about 20 states. According to the Cancer Society, the tanning reclassification was based on a 2006 analysis concluding individuals who tanned indoors before age 30 increased their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. Another study showed teen use of tanning beds rose from 1 percent in 1998 to 27 percent a decade later. The ACS estimates more than one million cases of basal and squamous skin cancers and 68,720 cases of melanoma this year. Its data also project 11,600 deaths from skin cancers, more than two-thirds from melanoma. The incidence of melanoma has been rising for 30 years, faster among young white women and older men, as a result of exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. The legislation cleared Senate and Assembly committees but didn’t reach the floor in either chamber before lawmakers adjourned two weeks ago.