Senator Tedisco: Before we actually start the official program, there’s a very sad irony on this particular day, on this beautiful day. And that is when we bring in law enforcement officials to join our elected officials and our small businesses, and our elected officials and our kids, we think about our law enforcement officials not only keeping kids safe, but keeping us all safe. And today, the sad irony about them being here to help support the Safe Summer program is that we’ve lost two of the best and brightest. We lost Officer Johnson over the weekend in Northville in Fulton County on a tragic accident. An accident that took place with a vehicle, but he was in the street trying to help an animal. And then Officer Familia from the Bronx who was tragically gunned down as you know yesterday while she was sitting in her police vehicle.
So if we could, before we start the program, I’d like to have a moment of silence. Because I know they protect us. I don’t know who protects them. And we better start thinking about that. So I hope you will join me in a moment of silence for those two tragic situations. Twentieth Anniversary. Hit it, Sheriff Zurlo. Nobody did anything wrong, did they? I think the Sheriff is coming. Oh, boy. Hands up. Is that for me? No, I’m okay.
Sheriff Zulo: Hi, guys.
Senator Tedisco: Sheriff Zurlo, welcome.
Sheriff Zulo: How’s everybody? Good.
Senator Tedisco: We got some kids here.
Sheriff Zulo: You guys all have your helmets on here?
Senator Tedisco: I’m gonna get a ticket, I guess.
Sheriff Zulo: For wearing a helmet, that’s what you get. We’re gonna be out checking all the kids this year. On bicycle patrol, my two deputies. They’ll be in the neighborhoods. Theyr’e gonna be out making sure everybody wears their helmet, right? Yes? If they see you’re wearing your helmet, they’re gonna have these coupons, and they’re gonna give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone. So make sure to wear your helmet, safety first. Good job. There you go, good job.
Senator Tedisco: Congratulations. How about a round of applause for the guys who got a good ticket?
Sheriff Zulo: Good job, guys.
Senator Tedisco: Thank you, Sheriff. Come on in. Thank you for doing your duty.
Sheriff Zulo: Thank you.
Senator Tedisco: And all our law enforcement officials for doing their duty. Well, let me welcome, everybody, this is the 20th anniversary of the Safe Summer Program. And of course, as you can see here, it takes a team to do a program like this over the many years with 16 different law enforcement agencies across not only Saratoga County and Schenectady County, and I think we’ve reached out to Albany and dealed with them, but now in the 49th Senatorial District, we’re out in Herkimer County, we’re out in Hamilton County, and we’re out in Fulton County. So we have law enforcement officials keeping everybody safe during the summer.
And I don’t know if I have to talk about the statistics; I’ve talked about them in the past. Twenty thousand emergency room visits because of falls and head injuries in inline, in rollerblading, and bicycling during the summer. We’re gonna have beautiful days like this. The kids are gonna be out. Stewart’s is gonna be providing free ice cream cones today, even. And by the way, in Malta here, there are five Stewart’s, I believe, and your main headquarters is in Malta, is that right? So they’re contributing a lot to the success of this program.
But I also want to mention in this, you’ll be getting a free ice cream cone, kids, for Stewart’s, for Friendly’s, for Hayner’s Ice Cream. And I get a free one when I go there anyway sometimes, and Ben & Jerry’s. And one thing we didn’t mention yet is that…and I don’t want to say this too loud because these kids are all right. If they’re not wearing a helmet on the back of this, we’ve got Danny Dagostino from Martin Harding & Mazzotti here who’s given over 2,000 helmets over the course of your efforts with Martin Harding & Mazzotti. And they will be giving…the law enforcement officials will stop. And if the young man or young woman doesn’t have a helmet on, this also…you might have to take the ice cream cone off, but probably they won’t. But they’ll have an opportunity to take this to their law enforcement facility there and get a free helmet because Martin Harding and Masadi will be dropping those off at all the headquarters of the law enforcement agencies and the police and Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs, who will be providing these tickets.
It costs $20 for a helmet. And that’s difficult for some parts of the 49th Senatorial District for families and kids to come up with. So there’s an opportunity for those kids to get those free helmets also when they’re out bike riding. But also, it costs $23,000, on average, for a brain injury treatment for a fall, an inline, rollerblading, or riding a bicycle. So it’s not only about public safety, it’s about the cost to the municipalities, to our insurance that spreads across all boundaries. But most importantly, it is about safety for our kids. They’re our future. And of course, keeping them healthy and well is a big part of their future.
So it also wouldn’t work unless we had the support of our local elected officials. And I want to thank Malta Town Supervisor Vince DeLucia…where’s Vince here? And let him come up and say a few words about his beautiful town, and the fact that he’s in the good thing where all good things emanate from, the 49th Senatorial District.
Senator Tedisco: Come on up and say a few words.
Vince: Thank you very much, Senator Tedisco. And thank you on behalf of all the parents and certainly all the children. We’re very proud now that you’ve selected Malta to allow us to have you here and hosted this event. And thank you and your staff for all the work that you’ve done to prevent the head injuries of children.
I had a personal experience having known a young lady through high school whose son many years ago had a severe fall and brain damage, and to this day is a young adult who actually…I’d like to say “young adult” because I knew them when I was young, but closer to my age, who is still having serious repercussions from that head injury, and that was before [inaudible 00:06:59].
So thank you very much. Thank you for the help with everyone here and certainly the Sheriff and Sergeant [inaudible 00:07:07] and all the other folks who were here. But the youngsters, especially remember to wear those helmets. And 20,000 injuries, that’s 19,999 far too many; even one is too many. So again, thank you very much. We’re proud to host this.
Senator Tedisco: Thank you for hosting us. And the other thing I didn’t mention yet, public safety, helping the kids have a good summer. You saw a pretty positive interaction between a law enforcement official with the Sheriff and young people. That’s the type of interaction we’d like to see more of. In many instances when they have to stop a young person, it’s for a problem. Something’s happened. They weren’t acting appropriately. We need some of those positive interactions and they try to do that as many times as they can and they do that often.
I’ve seen kids…and they’ve given me anecdotal information about kids riding down the road when a police officer is driving by or a Deputy Sheriff. They’re pointing like this to their helmet on their heads. And that’s a good sign that they want to interact with law enforcement officials, and we need more of that. I’d like to introduce Sheriff Zurlo to say a few words and we appreciate all the things you do for us as a leader out here in Saratoga County.
Sheriff Zulo: Thank you, Senator. First and foremost, thanks to Senator Tedisco for promoting this event on a daily basis. This is my fourth year. So kudos to you. To all our sponsors that are on the certificates, thank you for the helmets. It’s about safety first like I said when I pulled up. Kids need to wear their helmets. Our patrols will be out throughout the neighborhoods and all the developments this year, and throughout the summer especially when the kids are home from school, we’ll be making sure that these kids and adults have their helmets on.
So my two bicycle patrol officers, Deputy Margin [SP], Deputy Brown. We started this program last year. They’re out in the neighborhoods, they’re on our trails throughout the county to make sure the trails are kept in a safe environment. Lieutenant Mazawick [SP] and Sergeant Dupris [SP] also part of my team.
So again, thank you to everybody. Kids, you have to wear your helmets. And you wear a helmet, you’ll get an ice cream cone. If you can’t afford a helmet, there’s a certificate also. Just bring it to our office and we’ll make sure the child has a helmet to wear this summer. Again, thanks, Senator. Thank you for everything.
Senator Tedisco: Thank you for your service. We have a great County Clerk in Saratoga County. He’s also a small businessman, has a great ice cream store, Hayner’s, so he does double duty. Not only services us at the county, but also provides us those great ice cream cones during the summer for weeks and days and months. I want to thank you for your service. County Clerk Hayner, I’d love to have you come up and just say a few words. And we’ll be handing out those good ice cream cones.
Craig: Thank you.
Senator Tedisco: New flavors, coffee…
Craig: We always get a couple new flavors.
Senator Tedisco: Oh, good.
Craig: Thank you, Senator Tedisco. It is so great to be here in this beautiful town of Malta. I think everybody knows or at least maybe have seen a paper that Saratoga County was rated the healthiest in New York state, and there’s a big reason why. It’s communities like this, like Malta, who has invested in their parks and trails, who has invested in both passive and active recreation. And that takes leadership. So I want to just point out, Mr. DeLucia, thank you for you and your board and your planning board, everybody who has been involved in making this such a great community and making us healthy.
And the Sheriff’s office, they are just phenomenal. It’s been a pleasure the last four years to work with all of you and your staff, and we’re very fortunate in so many ways. There’s lots of reasons why we are the healthiest.
You know, I just want to take a moment just to remind people that this, as you see the kids that are out on bikes, adults are out on bikes, more people are walking this time of year. As head of the DMV in Saratoga County, it’s a good time to remind people to slow down if you’re going through neighborhoods, everything. Just keep in mind that there’s somebody that could dart out, there’s a ball that could go out in the road. Kids are playing. Let’s just make sure that we can slow it down. Distracted driving is a big issue right now, so let’s also keep in mind that there’s little ones playing out there; we’ve got to keep track of them.
And this is our fourth year of participating this not only as a County Clerk, but as an ice cream shop, too. And I want to say thanks to Senator Tedisco for the 20 years that you’ve been doing this. And there’s no doubt you’ve made a difference in people’s lives, and I just want to thank you for all the work you’ve done. And I appreciate you allowing us to be part of that.
Senator Tedisco: Thank you. Appreciate it very much. I started when I was 14, so I was just old enough [inaudible 00:11:54]. You know, something, a byproduct of this…because I’ve had a lot of parents come up to me and say, “My kid came home and he said, ‘I need a helmet, Dad because…'” and I started to think about that. The helmet law is 14 and under. But everybody that rides a bike should wear a helmet. Let me just reinforce that: everybody who rides a bike. Because you don’t have to make the mistake. Somebody else may make a mistake. A driver may make a mistake. And it may save your life if you have that helmet on. You may run into another bike going in another direction that hit a bad spot. So this is to send a message out, and through our young people, through our law enforcement officials, through our business sector, we’ve been able to get that message out not only to the young kids, but they go out and permeate that in a positive way.
Look, there’s not gonna be any law enforcement officials that are gonna stop a kid and say, “You’re under arrest,” put him in handcuffs, put him in the car, or follow the law and go home and charge the parents $50. But the law says you can fine the parents $50. That’s probably not gonna work.
This is positive reinforcement in so many ways. Giving them an incentive in those summer months to wear that particular helmet, and a positive reinforcement with interaction with law enforcement oficials. And what would we do without the business sector who provides so much for us? We mentioned Hayner’s. But also…we have Stewart’s. They do a tremendous job. And I’d like to have Maria just come up and say a few words on behalf of Stewart’s. Because they’re tremendous citizens and just contribute in so many ways to our community. So thank you so much for being here…
Maria: Thank you.
Senator Tedisco: …in over the 20 years for providing so much for us, so much hope. Thank you.
Maria: It really wouldn’t be summer without ice cream. And I can’t picture now a summer that we haven’t partnered, as you said, year after year after year with this important program to get the word out about wearing helmets. And yeah, sure, free ice cream has a ring to it; I think that gets a lot of people’s attention. But we’re certainly hoping to get the attention of all the parents and the families and the kids out there about the importance of wearing a helmet.
And we are proud; Stewart’s is proud to participate. It’s a great partnership with the Senator, with our communities and all our leaders here. And we certainly look forward to an exciting summer… to keep the helmets on.
Senator Tedisco: They get more exciting every day. Every second.
Vince: Another good reason to wear a helmet.
Maria: You never know where the danger lies. But we really, truly look forward to this year after year, and the importance of getting the word out. And we really want to keep those smiles on kids’ faces, both with their favorite flavor of ice cream and by keeping them safe. So thank you.
Senator Tedisco: Thank you so much for everything. And of course, 2,000 helmets is nothing to sneeze about. Martin Harding & Mazzotti have been there to help kids and they also had that first night when you were out there giving people rides when they were not capable, and that’s keeping us safe. So you’ve provided a lot of help. And my neighbor…or ex-neighbor because he moved out of the neighborhood, his reputation was threatened because he lived next to me. But Danny Dagostino…
Danny: I don’t want to say that.
Senator Tedisco: …thank you for representing Martin Harding & Mazzotti, and say a few words if you would.
Danny: First of all, thank you so much for allowing us to partner with you and the program, and all of the other great businesses, and of course, in law enforcement. With what we do every day, we see the devastating effects that could happen of people who aren’t wearing a helmet. Not only to them, but their families, their communities as a whole. Kids are precious; we have to take care of them as such. So when we were presented with the opportunity to partner, we couldn’t pass it up. We want to make sure every kid has a helmet, we want to make sure everyone is safe, and we want to make sure that we…the positive reinforcement like Senator Tedisco is saying happens and continues to happen.
Growing up, I remember as a little kid when I used to see police officers, you would run to them, they were your friends. They were the ones who would help you and protect you and they still are. But I think programs like this will help the younger generation realize the importance of law enforcement and the important role that they play in our life. So there’s so many positive things that the Senator has put together here, and we’re just blessed to be a part of it. So thank you.
Senator Tedisco: Thanks, Danny. I want to thank the camp counselors for the great job they’re doing with the kids. [inaudible 00:16:35]. And the leader here in Malta…Barbara Mazurak. Is she out here? There’s Barbara.
Barbara: I’m right here. I’m on the phone.
Senator Tedisco: Oh, okay. Is my wife calling? I forget the milk and the bread probably. I feel compelled just to mention the law enforcement agencies very quickly. For those that are gonna be covering this, I put it in the release. Saratoga County Sheriff, Schenectady County Sheriff, Fulton County Sheriff, Hamilton County Sheriff, Herkimer County Sheriff, Glenville Police, Clifton Park Town Security, Saratoga Springs Police, Ballston Spa Police, Scotia Police, Galway Police, City of Schenectady Police, Niskayuna Police, Rotterdam Police, Gloversville Police, and Johnstown Police Agencies. All are out there protecting all of us, adults as well as children, and promoting a positive relationship with our kids this summer.
The last thing I want to do before we all go over to get our bikes…and I lead the way for this slow challenge; it’s not gonna be a race. We’re gonna go in and out of those cones. And you won’t want to touch one of them. But if we could spread everybody out. What I want to do is just make sure everybody understands it’s not only important to wear a helmet. Look at those law enforcement officials, how they have that straight, flat on their heads. Let me show you what you’re supposed to do. Not frontwards, not backwards; that’s not fully protected. Bound flat on your head.
Woman: Put them on your heads if you have it.
Senator Tedisco: Yep. And then…
Woman: Put your helmets on.
Senator Tedisco: When you put it on underneath, about two fingers. You’re gonna fit…don’t make it really loose under there. Because you want to…not too tight. About two fingers there. Flat on your head. Not tilted forward, not tilted back. So that’s a good, tight helmet. You don’t look that bad in it. You’re gonna feel a lot better if we happen to have a little trip to the ground.
So now, can we get everybody, all the kids…
Three through six.
Woman: Grades three through six.
Senator Tedisco: One of you guys over here, one of you guys over on the other side.
Man: Jimmy, are you gonna go around?
Senator Tedisco: We’re gonna go up, then we’re gonna come back.
Man: All right, so you’re gonna come back this way?
Senator Tedisco: Yep.
Man: All right.
Senator Tedisco: Now, we’re not gonna race. Because if you speed, go past the speed limit, that’s a different ticket for speed.
We got everybody? Now remember, we’ve got to go kind of slow because you’re gonna try to go through those…I don’t know how that’s gonna work.
Woman: This is not a race.
Senator Tedisco: Very slow.
Woman: Slow. And we’re gonna line up…
Senator Tedisco: Because we’re gonna bunch up when we get to the end.
Woman: You’re gonna bunch…we’re gonna line up. What we’ll do is start down there.
Senator Tedisco: Is everybody ready?
Woman: It’s not a race. It’s one after the other.
Senator Tedisco: Do not run into anybody if you can help it.
Girl: Wait, what are we doing?
Senator Tedisco: We’re gonna go around each one of those cones if you can, slowly.
Woman: Okay, starting at ten.
Senator Tedisco: You can just ride if you want.
Boy: Starting on this side.
Woman: Do not make those bikes…
Senator Tedisco: Are we ready? On the count of three. Three, two, one.
Woman: First bike, first, second. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go.