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ARC of Delaware County: ClosedAcademy at Rensselaer Education Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements & Kids Express Mplwood: Delayed 2 Hrs, no before careAchievements St Kateri Tekakwitha: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements and Kids Express TBGC: Delayed 2 HrsAesthetic Science Institute: Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes will begin at 11 amAlbany Law School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All classes starting before 11 am are cancelled Staff report at 10:30 amAlbany Leadership Charter High: Delayed 2 HrsAlbany Pine Bush Discovery Center: Delayed 1 Hr, No AM Pre-K, Classes will still run, The Discovery Center will open at 10 am to the public. Morning classes scheduled to start at 10 will still start at 10.Albany Public Library: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All locations open at noonAmbleside School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All School Luncheon remains on scheduleAmsterdam City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastAmsterdam Head Start: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportAn Nur Islamic School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Building opens at 8:30.Andes CSD: Delayed 3 HrsArlington SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Delay 2 Hours ALL JISP CANCELLEDBArT Charter Public School: Closed, Full-year staff reportBallston Spa CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBattenkill Community Services: ClosedBennington College: Delayed Until 10a, Essential staff report as normalBerkshire County Head Start@Conte: Closed, No AM Head StartBerkshire Hills Regional SD: Delayed 2 HrsBerne-Knox-Westerlo CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastBethlehem CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESBlessed Sacrament School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No After School Events, Regular DismissalBoght Montessori: Delayed 2 HrsBrite Beginnings Day Care & Dev Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsBrown School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Morning PLUS ProgramBrunswick Center Services: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesBrunswick Community Library: ClosedBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, 2-hr delay (Final) HS students check email for exam scheduleBurr & Burton Academy: Delayed 2 HrsButterfly Dreams Daycare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Daycare will open at 9;30amCEO Head Start (Rensselaer County): Delayed, All CEO programs and sites delayed until 10:00amCOARC Adult Transportation: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransCapital Milestones Child Care: Delayed 2 HrsCapital Reg Career & Tech (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No AM BOCES, No AM classesCatholic Schools Office: Delayed 2 Hrs, Principals Meeting at 10:30Childhood Friends Inc.: Delayed 2 Hrs, We will open at 9amChrist the King Church: Closed, No morning Daily Mass. Parish Office opens at 11 a.m.Christ the King Early Childhood Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsCircle Of Friends (Delmar): Delayed 2 Hrs, Wrap around two hour delayClifton Park Nursery School: Delayed 1 HrCobleskill-Richmondville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESCohoes City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, CDTA buses running on Delay schedule - 9:30 amCohoes Community Center, Inc.: Delayed Until 9a, /Day Care delayed until 9am /No AM care at elem schoolsColonie Youth Centers: Open, No AM ProgramColumbia Co Nutrition Pg (Philmont): Closed, Staff ReportColumbia-Greene Comm College: Delayed, No Day Classes, The College will open at 4:00 pm.Columbia-Greene FCU: Delayed 3 Hrs, Opening at NoonCongregation Gates of Heaven: Open, Senior Moments Cancelled Rescheduled for Jan. 24Corinth CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCrossFit Schenectady: Delayed, No morning classesCrossroads Center for Children: Delayed 2 HrsDiscovery Place Learning Center: ClosedDoane Stuart School: Closed, NO Snow CampDoors of Hope: ClosedDuanesburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESDutchess Community College: Delayed Until 5p, No Day Classes, Opening at 5 pm for evening classes. Student Services offices open 5 - 7 pm.EOC (Capital District): Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 a.m. staff/sudents report at 10Early Childhood Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsEast Greenbush Community Library: Delayed Until 11a, Storytimes cancelledEco Baby Daycare & Preschool: Delayed Until 9aEddy Senior Care: Open, Schenectady Center is open Buses may be lateEmma Willard School: Delayed 2 HrsExcelsior College: Delayed 1 HrFirst Friends Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Program, Enrichment program begins at 11:30amGalway CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastGateway Community Industries: Open, No Transportation, GCI open,trans cancelled SNP meals/cong.sites cancel PROS cancelled,Staff report, GCI is open but transportation is cancelled. Staff report., The Ulster County Office of the aging home delivered meals service and congregated sites are cancelled for today. , PROS is cancelled. Staff report. , Germantown CSD: Closed, Office staff report at noonGood Ground Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:30Grace Chapel of Clifton Park: Open, All groups cancelled.Green Island UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, School opens at 9:40Green Tech High Charter School: Delayed 2 HrsGreene County Nutrition Program: Closed, No TransportationGreene County Transit: Closed, No Transportation, all buses cancelledGreenwich CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESGuilderland CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESHVCC: Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 am. staff and students report at 10 amHead Start - Adams: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start - Lee: Delayed 2 Hrs, No TransHead Start @ Becket/Washington: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start @ Johnson - North Adams: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Meadow Lane Pittsfield: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Muddy Brook - GB: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHebrew Academy - Capital District: Delayed 2 HrsHelping Hands Pre-School: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolHenry Johnson Charter School: Open, No Aft-Sch PgmHoosic Valley CSD: Delayed 2 HrsHope 7 Community Center: Open, for after school, Food Pantry Open 9:30-11:45aHopeClub: Delayed 3 Hrs, No Morning Classes, Opening at noon, Opens at noon. Hudson City SD: Closed, Offices now cosed Board Meeting as scheduledHunter-Tannersville CSD: Closed, No AM BOCESJefferson CSD: Delayed 2 HrsJohn Paolo's-Ballston Spa: ClosedKid Kampus: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 8:30AMKiddie Academy II: Delayed 2 HrsKiddie Academy of Albany: Delayed 2 HrsKidsFirst Childcare Center: Delayed 2 HrsKinderhook Memorial Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at noon.Latham Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KLee Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLenox Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLife Kids Before/ After School: Open, No AM ProgramLifeSong Inc (Saratoga): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc (Schenectady): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Rensselaer): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLil Peeps Preschool: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationLil' Lambs Christian Daycare Inc.: Delayed 2 HrsLiving Res DCOP (Rensselaer): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Saratoga): Delayed 1 HrLong Trail School: Delayed 2 HrsLoudonville Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsMacedonia Baptist Church (Albany): Closed, No Adult Education, Bible Study is CanceledMalta Montessori School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No toddler programMargaretville CSD: Delayed 3 HrsMass. College of Liberal Arts: Delayed Until 10aMechanicville City SD: Delayed 2 HrsMekeel Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolMenands UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastMetropolitan NTM Baptist Church: Closed, All activities cancelled.Mid-America Baptist Seminary: Delayed 2 HrsMiddleburgh CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, One Hour Early DismissalMilford CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMohonasen CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESMontessori School (Schenectady): Delayed, No AM Program, Early care open at 11.Morning Star Baptist Church: Closed, 6pm Bible Study is cancelledMother Teresa Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, No morning care Doors open at 9:45Mrs. Puddle Duck's Childcare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:00 amMyers Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsNassau Free Library: Delayed Until 2p, No AM Pgm, No Morning Classes, No Story TimeNewmeadow at Clifton Park: Delayed 2 HrsNewmeadow at Fort Edward: Open, Upstate Trans delayed 2 hrsNiskayuna CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESNorth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Check website/email for SHS exam scheduleNortheast Parent & Child Society: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransNortheastern Baptist College: ClosedNorthern Berkshire Voc SD: Closed, No After Sch EventsNotre Dame-Bishop Gibbons: Delayed 2 HrsOak Hill School: Delayed 2 HrsOakwood Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsOhav Shalom Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Pre-School, No AM Program, opening at 9:30 all staff report at 9:00One Love Preschool: Delayed 2 HrsOrlo School of Hair Design: ClosedOtego-Unadilla CSD: Delayed 2 HrsOur Savior's Lutheran School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-School, No LaunchpadOur World Montessori: Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 10:45 a.m.Parsons Early Head Start Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff report by 9Parsons Early Learning Center: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff in by 9Pine Cobble School: Delayed 2 HrsPineview Comm Church Pre-School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, opening at 9:30Pumpkin Patch (Albany): Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III BOCES - Sarah's Sisters: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Columbia-Green Ed Ctr: Closed, New Visions open house will be rescheduled to tomorrow night, Thursday, 1/18.Questar III Rensselaer Academy: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Rensselaer Edu Ctr: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, Q3 New Vision is closedReadsboro Central School: Delayed 2 HrsRedemption Christian Academy: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer City SD: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer Public Library: Delayed 1 HrRichmond Consolidated: Delayed 2 HrsRiverside Enterprises: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesRoeliff Jansen Community Library: ClosedRoots and Wings Montessori: Delayed 1-1/2 Hrs, Open at 9am no before careRosa Venerini Early Childhood Cente: Delayed 2 Hrs, Before Care Cancelled Doors Open at 9Roxbury CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSUNY New Paltz: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 10:45, Offices will open at 10:45 a.m.SW Vermont Career Dev Ctr: ClosedSage Colleges (Troy & Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes begin at 11 amSaratoga Central Catholic HS: Delayed 2 HrsSaratoga County Senior Meals: ClosedSaratoga Independent School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Before Care or AM Pre-KSaratoga Springs City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSchalmont CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastSchenectady City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSchenectady County ARC: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesSchenectady InnerCtyMin Food Pantry: Closed, Staff Report, Food Pantry is closed. Will reopen Thurs, Jan 18.Schenectady Jewish CC: Delayed, Early Childhood Education will open at 8:30 amSchoharie CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Career and Technical Scho: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSchoharie County Com. Action Prg.: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 10:00 AM.Schoharie Cty Child Dvp Cobleskill: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Cty HeadStart (Schoharie): Delayed 2 HrsSchool's Out, Inc.: Closed, No AM ProgramSchools Out Childrens Center LLC: Open, 6am - 2pm no transportationSchuylerville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastScotia-Glenville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShaftsbury Early Childhood Center: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationSharon Springs CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShenendehowa CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCESShooting Stars Nursery & After Sch.: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolSkidmore Early Childhood Center: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolSouth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Closed, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School EventsSouthern Vermont College: ClosedSouthwest Vermont SU: ClosedSpa Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-SchoolSpotted Zebra Learning Center: Delayed 2 HrsSt Ambrose School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM PgmSt Catherine's May School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastSt Clement's Regional Catholic Sch: Delayed 2 HrsSt Edward's Church: Closed, No 9am Mass No daytime eventsSt George's School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, AEP begins at 11:30 amSt Kateri Tekakwitha School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, No Before Care. School doors open at 10:00 am.St Madeleine Sophie Pre-School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Madeleine Sophie School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Mary's Institute ES (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No BreakfastSt Mary's School (Ballston Spa): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, Before Care Opens at 8:00amSt Pius X School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KSt Stephen's Pre-K Acad (Delmar): Closed, No AM Pre-K, No AM Pre-K; Enrichments still on in the afternoonSt Thomas the Apostle School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KStepping Stone Pre & DCC (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 9:00Stillwater CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, FinalSunnyside Center Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Day Care open at 9am. All staff report at 9am.Sunshine Kids Corner: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9 amSusan Odell Taylor School: Delayed 2 HrsTech Valley High School: Delayed 2 HrsThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): Closed, Check web later for athleticsThe Beagle School: Delayed, No AM Program, PM Class OpenThe Children's Museum at Saratoga: Delayed 2 HrsTown of Ballston Community Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at 12pm; Morning programs canceledTroy City SD: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Prep: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Public Library: Delayed 3 Hrs, The library will open at 12:00 pm today. Twin County Recovery Services, Inc.: Closed, No groups or appointmentsTwin Valley Elementary School: Delayed 2 HrsTwin Valley Middle High School: Delayed 2 HrsUlster County Community College: Delayed 2 Hrs, Employee code orangeUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No Transportation, transportation cancelledUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, All Classes Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Cancelled Training Center Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Canceled., Rosendale Training Center classes Cancelled. , , Unity Sunshine Program: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, Day Care Open, Special Ed delayed 2 hours. UPK delayed 2 hours. at A Child's PlaceUpstate Transit: Delayed 2 Hrs, School DivisionVillage Of Colonie Senior Center: ClosedVoorheesville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES No BreakfastWWAARC—Albany & Queensbury: Open, Albany Location on Snow Routes; Queensbury Location normal routineWaldorf School (Saratoga Springs): Delayed 2 Hrs, 2 Day PreK begins at 10:30Warrensburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No AM Head Start, No BrkfstWashington County EOC: Open, Cambridge HeadStart delayed 2 hours, No AM transportWaterford-Halfmoon UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastWatervliet City SD: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines (Cobleskill): Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines - Schoharie UPK: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines Pre Sc (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No morning Toddler Program No morning wrap aroundWhispering Pines Pre-sch (Delanson): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No Toddler ProgramWilton Baptist Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KYMCA (Bethlehem): Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA (East Greenbush): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, Child watch Opens at 9am, Snow Day Program opens at 8amYMCA (Greater Glenville): Open, No programs until noon. No AM Childwatch.YMCA (Guilderland): Open, No AM Pre-School, No Morning Classes, No AM branch childwatchYMCA (Schenectady): Open, No Morning Classes, Child Watch Closed for AM Classes Cancelled til NoonYMCA (Troy): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, No Child WatchYMCA Duanesburg: Open, No Morning Classes, No morning child watchYMCA Greene County Branch: Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA Southern Saratoga: Open, No Morning Classes

Parks office’s program cut symbolic of job woes for seniors

Parks office’s program cut symbolic of job woes for seniors

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation last month canceled its annual contr

Hikes around Shaver Pond used to be messy affairs.

Then Paul Mudar spent last spring and summer working part-time at Grafton Lakes State Park. There he cleared brush and put down stone along muddy sections of nature trails, such as the one that runs around Shaver Pond.

Pushing 70, Mudar worked three days a week at the park and earned minimum wage from April to October. He often came home muddied up, but he enjoyed the hard work. However, in spring, Mudar will not be able to continue that work at the park in Rensselaer County, which has over 25 miles of trails.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation last month canceled its annual contract with Green Thumb Environmental Beautification, the Albany nonprofit organization that employed Mudar. The state is facing budget shortfalls, and the contract was worth $1 million. The move put 150 New York senior citizens out of work.

“I’m out there busting my butt, and they say we don’t need you,” said Mudar.

For many seniors, the Green Thumb work provided them income that supplemented their Social Security checks. Parks’ contract termination is just one example of how job prospects for seniors are rapidly disappearing amid the recession, as government programs lose funding and retailers once friendly to the over-50 crowd struggle to stay afloat.

“All the stories are the same: They’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do. Are we going to go on welfare?” said Rocco Crescenzi, a Green Thumb field representative in Watertown.

As the nation’s labor force rapidly ages — with almost one in three workers expected to be at least 50 years old by 2010 — the recession is diminishing the supply of part-time work at a time when demand is increasing among seniors. The recession that started in December 2007 is also creating more demand for such part-time work by wiping out 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts.

Helping seniors

Recognizing the growing demand, organizations such as the AARP and National Council on Aging in recent years beefed up their employment services for seniors looking for part-time work.

In 2006, the AARP created its National Employer Team, initially a group of 13 national employers that pledged to help Americans aged 50 years and older remain in the work force. The program has grown to include 39 members and two more employers are expected to join it in the coming weeks, including the La Quinta Inn hotel chain.

While many of the Employer Team members say they remain committed to employing seniors, the economic downturn is severely crimping their hiring abilities. Home Depot — the premier member of the program — on Monday announced plans to close 34 upscale Expo and other home specialty stores and lay off 7,000 workers. Other team members, such as AT&T and Pitney Bowes, have also switched into mass layoff mode as the recession deepens.

“It’s not like it was six months or a year ago, when it was clear who was hiring. Now you have to be very aggressive and have a very strategic job search,” said Edwin Redfern Jr., the national program consultant for the AARP Workforce Issues Team.

Mirroring demographics

Redfern said the Internal Revenue Service and Staples are examples of Employer Team members who are currently hiring senior workers. He said the senior hiring prospects are best in the health care and education sectors.

CVS Caremark continues to hire seniors, attempting to help its employee demographics mirror its customer demographics. From the 1990s to today, the pharmacy chain has seen its percentage of employees aged at least 50 years old rise from 7 percent to 18 percent.

“We still continue to hire mature workers. We want to have the right demographic in our stores,” said CVS Director of Workforce Initiatives Stephen Wing.

However, Redfern said the pace of hiring is slowing at a time when Wall Street’s woes are driving many retirees back into the work force. Wing said some hiring firms that work with CVS are seeing an increase in job applications from seniors who are “just worried about the economy and wanting to make sure they can take care of themselves.”

Since the stock market peaked in October 2007, Americans’ retirement plans have lost trillions of dollars. For example, the 1,793 retirement plans in the Wilshire Cooperative Universe saw their median return plunge 23 percent during the 12-month period ending Dec. 31. Those plans reflect a combined $760 billion in assets, according to Wilshire Associates, a Santa Monica Calif. independent investment advisory and services firm.

“It’s forcing people to look at their income and go back to work,” said Redfern.

Reflecting seniors’ growing concerns about retirement security, the AARP in December launched its “Real Relief” Web site, which offers tips on protecting investments, cutting expenses and job search strategies.

Local picture

Greater Capital Region employment experts said the area’s senior work force is not getting hit any harder by the flagging economy than any other demographic. The region’s unemployment rate in December jumped to 5.9 percent — the highest for the month since 1991. And for the first time since 1992, the area experienced a fourth-quarter job loss, according to statistics released last month by the state Department of Labor.

“No one is saying seniors are being hit harder than any other group,” said Dan Gentile, the executive director of the Capital District Workforce Investment Board, a quasi-state and federal agency in Albany that assists unemployed workers.

In December, the unemployment rate hit 9 percent in Fulton County and 8.7 percent in both Schoharie and Montgomery counties. At the three WIB employment assistance centers in the Mohawk Valley, walk-in traffic was up 40 percent for the six-month period ending Jan. 1, compared with the same period in 2007.

“A lot of those are going to be older as well, but I can’t give you a percentage,” said Gail Breen, the executive director of the WIB for Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties.

Will be some hiring

Crescenzi, the Green Thumb field representative, said some regional state Parks directors have indicated they will hire some seniors previously employed by the nonprofit when the agency does its regular seasonal hiring this spring and summer. But as state Parks employees, they will lack Green Thumb’s labor protections, which prohibited park administrators from forcing seniors to work in inclement weather or climb up high ladders.

A third of the 150 Green Thumb workers affected by the contract termination worked year-round. The other workers mostly collected unemployment insurance benefits during the off season. Green Thumb’s labor arrangement dates back to 1974.

State Parks pulled the plug on the labor agreement after Gov. David Paterson’s executive budget called for a $16.9 million cut in the agency’s 2009-2010 budget. To meet that budget target, state Parks also reduced services at about 75 sites statewide for the winter. More reductions are expected for this spring and summer, said state Parks spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee.

The agency, which has 178 parks and 35 historic sites statewide, also reduced its state park police training program and increased rates on everything from campsite fees and Empire Passport costs.

Green Thumb recently launched a letter-writing campaign in which affected workers and upstate lawmakers have encouraged Paterson to restore funding for the park labor program. Crescenzi said he understands state Parks’ need to balance its budget, but, “They’re balancing the budget on the senior citizens’ backs.”

One letter to Paterson came from a Robert Elmer, a nine-year Green Thumb employee who had worked at the Fort Ontario historic site in Oswego. He said he receives $515 each month from Social Security “and really needs this part-time job as I am also partially disabled.”

“Now, at 70 years old, who is going to hire me,” Elmer wrote.

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