Friday, September 30, 2011

Find Government Forms Online

You can quickly find the federal form you need by searching or browsing by name, type, or agency. Find tax forms, postal service forms, and more.

Find government forms now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NYLA Disaster Relief Fund - Update

NYLA has created a page on its website which lists libraries impacted by flooding as well as more detailed information about who to contact at those libraries if you are interested in donating books, materials, or your time volunteering with cleanup activities.

So far NYLA has collected $4,400 in its Disaster Relief Fund to distribute to libraries who request financial assistance.

Barrett (WI)'s city budget proposal for 2012 would roll back library cuts

Here's a hopefully positive story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the mayor of the city and his proposals for the next budget regarding public libraries.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Capital Region's Cultural Heritage

New York State Assemblyman Jack McEneny will speak at a lunchtime program sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library on September 29, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. The program will take place in the Huxley Theater on the 1st Floor of the Cultural Education Center, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany.

Assemblyman McEneny received his B.A. in history from Siena and was Albany County Historian. Widely known as an expert teacher and speaker on local history, and author of the illustrated book “Albany: Capital City on the Hudson,” he is a wealth of knowledge on the subject of cultural heritage in Albany and its environs.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information send a message to or call 518-474-5957.

A fundraiser luncheon for the Friends will be held at 12 noon before the talk. If you would like to attend, please register by September 22 using the above contact information. The cost of the lunch is $10.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't X Out Public Transit

Congressman John Mica Transportation Committee Chair is proposing a 35% cut in Federal funds to Mass Transportation, highway and bridges, So tomorrow there will be a press conference called Don't X Out Public Transit. CDTA and ATU 1321 invite you to join them in support American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Don’t X Out Public Transit Day to fight against transit cuts being proposed in Washington. Details as follows.

Don’t X Out Public Transit press event
Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 2:00PM
CDTA Offices (Albany)
110 Watervliet Avenue
Albany, NY 12206

For more information regarding Don’t X Out Public Transit campaign, please visit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

OPWDD and CDTA Renew Partnership to Aid Local Homeowners with Disabilities

Program provides 24 months of free bus service to Capital Region residents

ALBANY, NY – Continuing their commitment to help individuals with disabilities live independently, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) have announced 24 months of free unlimited bus passes to Capitol Region residents with disabilities who purchase a home through OPWDD’s Home of Your Own Program (HOYO).

The program is also open to income-qualified parents or legal guardians of people with developmental disabilities or mental illness, and to direct support professionals who provide care.

OPWDD Commissioner Courtney Burke said, “We are committed to giving individuals with disabilities the support and resources they want and need to be successful in their day-to-day lives. Owning a home is not for everyone, but for those who make that decision, having ready access to reliable public transportation opens up new opportunities. I thank CDTA for their partnership and commitment to help people with disabilities to fulfill their dreams of owning a home.”

CDTA Chairwoman Denise Figueroa said, “ ‘Our ‘Homeowner’s Transit Use Incentive Program’ helps individuals with disabilities to maintain their independence by offering easy and reliable access to employment, shopping centers and health institutions to conduct their daily routines and improve their quality of life. To help transition people to public transportation, our Travel Trainers are available through appointment to teach new customers how to ride the bus and plan a trip itinerary.”

CDTA has issued passes to about 100 homebuyers through “Transit Use Incentive Program” partnerships, since the programs began in 2005, and has distributed almost 5,000 passes to new homeowners 64 percent of whom say they will continue to ride CDTA after the free pass program expired.

The agreement, dubbed the “Homeowner’s Transit Use Incentive Program,” will provide free, unlimited access CDTA transit passes, as well as travel training assistance. CDTA “Travel trainers” assist people or groups to learn how to take a bus – specifically, helping them to plan their trip, reading and understanding route maps and schedules, getting on and off a bus properly, paying fares and purchasing passes, transferring to other buses, riding specific routes, and traveling independently and comfortably when riding a bus.

Through the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)/Housing Finance Agency (HFA), first-time homebuyers with developmental disabilities or mental illnesses and their income-eligible parents or legal guardians can get a 30- or 40-year fixed rate mortgage at a low 4 percent interest rate, with100 percent LTV financing and down payment and/or closing cost assistance.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older, be a first- time homebuyer, have an income and be credit worthy. OPWDD and the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) are the only agencies determining eligibility for participation in the HOYO program. All eligible borrowers are referred to M&T Bank, which oversees a mortgage product specifically designed to meet the needs of these target populations.

hrough a HOME grant from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), OPWDD assists first-time homebuyers with developmental disabilities or mental illness and their income-eligible parents or legal guardians with a variety of expenses, including down payments, closing costs or minor household repairs. Additionally, OPWDD is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a housing counseling agency and HOYO representatives are certified by NeighborWorks America to provide pre- and post-homeownership counseling, financial education, credit counseling, foreclosure prevention, identity theft and predatory lending.

For more information about HOYO, people are encouraged to contact OPWDD at 1-866-946-9733.
For more information about CDTA services, visit

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Woman’s Home Had 2,000 Stolen Library Books ‘Everywhere’

Authorities searched the Vista, CA home of Maria Natar, 44, and found an estimated 2,000 books from Carlsbad and San Diego County libraries — most of which were about cooking, crafts, and animals.

“They were just everywhere, on shelves, in bins, stacks on the floor, just pretty much everywhere,” said police spokeswoman Jodee Sasway.

More HERE.

Flood Damaged Libraries - Contributions Needed

Below is list of libraries damaged by Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding. Donations are desperately needed. Visit to make a donation to NYLA’s Disaster Relief Fund, the proceeds will be distributed to affected libraries. The more donations we receive the more we can distribute to impacted libraries.
Moffat Library
Windham Public Library
Desmond-Fish Library
Sarah Hull Hallock Free Library
Starr Memorial Library
Phoenicia Library
Rye Free Reading Room
Schoharie Free Association Library
Middleburgh Public Library
Wells Memorial Library
Goshen Public Library
Wallkill Public Library

In addition, NYLA's online fundraising partner, CauseVox has agreed to create for free a fundraising website for one of the damaged libraries, it would look like this. So please contact Michael J. Borges (518-432-6952, ext. 101 or if you are one of the libraries on this list.

Plus every library should consider establishing an online fundraising presence and CauseVox is easy to use at very minimal cost. For more info , visit HERE.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Remembering 9/11 and How to Be Part of National Day of Service

"You can find – or create – local opportunities to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 at At that site, you’ll find everything from food drives and neighborhood cleanups, to activities that help honor our military, our veterans, and our first responders."

September Is National Preparedness Month’s Emergency Preparedness section has quite a few tools and resources that can help people with disabilities and others prepare for, and recover from, emergency situations and disasters. You'll also find information about the importance of including people with disabilities in emergency preparedness efforts - including planning for, responding to and recovering from a disaster or emergency.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Announcement Regarding Hurricane Irene from the state tax department

President Barack H. Obama has declared certain counties in New York State to be disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Irene. As a result of this declaration, Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox has postponed certain tax filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers in these counties who were directly affected by the storm.
The relief provided for in this notice applies to taxpayers directly affected by the storm in the counties of Albany, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, and Westchester. This includes taxpayers residing in or having their principal place of business in these counties. In addition, the relief will also apply to taxpayers directly affected by the storm located in any additional counties in New York State that are declared disaster areas and eligible for federal tax relief after this notice is issued. The relief will also apply to taxpayers directly affected by the storm in counties in other states that are declared disaster areas and eligible for federal tax relief.

See details HERE [PDF].

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

"It's a brave new world at the library" by Mark Sommer

From the Buffalo News, Sunday September 4, 2011, p A1, A9

Libraries locally and across the country are facing enormous challenges from the rapid advance of technology, changing community needs and increased use.

Yet, while they're being asked to do more during these economically hard times, their budgets and staffing have been slashed.

That's the case with the 37-branch Buffalo & Erie County Public Library system, which is struggling to serve its patrons and keep abreast of technological changes while coping with austerity measures.

'While usage has increased and the sophistication of the technology has increased, and the demand for assistance from library staff has increased, libraries have had to cut back on staffing, hours of opening, collections and technology because their budgets have been radically cut,' said Susan Kent, who consults with library systems nationally and internationally, including in Buffalo, where she is helping lead its Reimagine Campaign."

Another excerpt:

"The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library system had 3.9 million patron visits in 2010, a 10-year high that continued a five-year trend.

At the same time, it has had its budget reduced by the state and, more dramatically, the county in recent years, resulting in 6.7 fewer weekly hours per branch, 45 fewer full-time staff and fewer acquisitions in 2011.
Full-time staff, which stood at 398 in 1995, is now 179.

'What concerns us is what is lost along the way,' said Tim Galvin, president of the librarians union. 'The quality of service we provide has been diminished, including the level of human interaction people are used to.'"

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

NYLA Collecting Donations for Flood Damaged Libraries in NYS

The New York Library Asoociation created a Disaster Relief fund several years ago (the last time there was major flooding) to collect donations from the library community and beyond to assist libraries damaged by floods and other natural disasters. So far NYLA knows of potentially two libraries that have been damaged by Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding – Keene and Wells Memorial Libraries. If you know of any other libraries, please let Michael Borges know.

NYLA can serve as collection point for donations and then distribute proceeds to affected libraries. To make a donation to NYLA’s Disaster Relief Fund visit HERE.

Labor for Your Neighbor

Governor Cuomo began a new program this weekend called "Labor for Your Neighbor," which encourages citizens to pitch in and help their fellow New Yorkers hit the hardest by Hurricane Irene.
The "Labor for Your Neighbor" program was created to build on the outpouring of support already expressed by New Yorkers and to stimulate even more neighbor-to-neighbor help on this long holiday weekend.
Through this program, individual New Yorkers can join Governor Cuomo and roll up their sleeves to help their neighbors take small steps toward recovery.
Click here for more information about the "Labor for Your Neighbor" program.
Volunteers will be shuttled into villages needing assistance and provided with appropriate equipment and supervision. New Yorkers who want to help by making a financial contribution to recovery efforts can do so by clicking the link above and donating through a centralized effort coordinated by the United Way of New York State.
Together, we will rebuild better and stronger than ever before.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Good News for Taxpayers in Arrears

From one of those nifty tax digests I receive regularly:

Individuals seeking a fresh start from overwhelming tax debts may now be eligible for relief under a new hardship provision in the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance's Offer in Compromise Program.

The new provision enables them to accept offers where collection in full
would cause undue economic hardship. Previously, the program was only
available in cases of insolvency or bankruptcy.

For more information, see the Offer in Compromise Reform web page and this PDF document.