Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Passport Rules for Canadian Travel Coming Soon

OVID, NY--Attorney Steven Getman is reminding upstate New York residents that new federal laws regarding travel to Canada will take effect in slightly over a month.

Beginning June 1, all U.S. citizens ages 16 and older will need to show either a U.S. passport book, a passport card or an enhanced driver's license when traveling to and from Canada.

The changes are part of the Department of Homeland Security's 2008 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Getman explained.

Passports, which are valid for 10 years, cost $100 for those 16 and older and $85 for those younger than 16.

Passport cards cost $45 and are valid for 10 years, while an enhanced driver's license costs $30 on top of a normal driver's license fee, and is good for eight years.

For more information click here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seneca County SPCA Zoning Defended

Excerpt from the Finger Lakes Times:
FAYETTE — For six years, Jenny McWhorter and Stephen Webb have operated the Seneca County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on their property at 4438 County Road 121.

And all that while, they thought they were in compliance with local zoning laws.

But the Town Board adopted a new land use plan in 2008.

McWhorter said Fayette Planning Board chairman and Town Highway Superintendent Roswell Parks told her in November that the shelter was not only in violation of the new zoning law but hadn’t been in compliance with the old codes, either.

According to McWhorter, Parks told her the Planning Board would most likely deny the SPCA a permit or variance if it requested one.


Then, on March 12, McWhorter was served with a violation notice by the Seneca County Building and Code Enforcement Office.

It claimed the not-for-profit shelter was in violation of the new Fayette land use plan as a commercial kennel.

McWhorter, though, said she believed her operation was “grandfathered” and legal.

“We have not had any complaints from our neighbors or incidents with our dogs from 2003 to the present time,” McWhorter said. “We take extreme measures to assure we do not bother anyone, and [we] keep dog waste picked up and disposed of properly daily.”

Former County Attorney Steven Getman of Ovid has agreed to assist the SCPA.