WASHINGTON — Here in the nation's capitol, we call it "recess," but that doesn't mean our local members of Congress are out playing. Well, we hope not, anyway.
Actually, in all seriousness, recess is a time for federal lawmakers to go home and meet with constituents and other local leaders. And that's pretty much what our four House members and two New York senators did last week.
There's one sad exception: Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, broke her leg in a fall at an event for women leaders in New York City last week and didn't return to the Rochester area till the weekend.
Among our other members:
* Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst, announced an $11.7 million federal grant to rebuild the runway at Niagara Falls International Airport on Thursday. Earlier in the week she met with seniors at the Blocher Homes adult care facility in Williamsville and made several stops in Livingston County, visiting a dairy farm, meeting with the president of Geneseo State College and touring American Rock Salt, the nation's largest salt mine.
* Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, visited the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to check on waterfront work planned for the summer. Higgins also appeared with Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he announced a major commitment of state funds to local infrastructure projects, and met with the top local official at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
* Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, spent most of his week meeting constituents, including doctors and home-builders in his district. In addition, Reed held a meeting of his Veterans Advisory Board and an event in Corning promoting the Internal Revenue Service's free tax filing option.
* Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., held several events in Orange and Dutchess counties. He also visited a hydroelectric plant in Columbia County and was on hand for the grand opening of BAE Systems' new facility in Binghamton. The defense contractor's previous facility had experienced severe flood damage.
* Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., held a mentoring event with the Partnership for New York City. In addition, she met with New York City ministers and the editor of the New York Daily News.
— Jerry Zremski