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posticon Town Ponders Large Solar Array Issues

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Farm Land

While the Town of Lansing continues to craft its local law to amend the Land Use Ordinance relating to solar and wind energy systems, the main issues that have arisen are protection of Lansing's prime farm land, and how tax exemptions or PILOTs (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) might impact revenues to the town and other local taxing authorities.  Tompkins County Director of Assessment Jay Franklin was at last week's Town Board meeting to address tax exemptions, and Lansing Agriculture Committee Chair Connie Wilcox spoke to the impact on local farmers.

"I can't stress enough that people need to understand that the food doesn't appear on your table from waiting in the checkout line," Wilcox said.  "Even for vegetarians and vegans the food has to come from someplace. And your farmers are the ones that are providing it.  We're getting fewer and fewer farms in New York State all the time. So we have to be very judicious with how we treat that land and what we do."

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posticon Village Solars To Get Waiver Waived

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Village Solars

After approaching the Lansing Town Board last week, Rocco and Steve Lucente asked the Planning Board Monday for a waiver to their Planned Development Area (PDA) that will allow them to build a new residential building at the same time as a community center at their Village Solars project.  The waiver returns the project to its original schedule that was in place prior to a waiver granted in August to delay the community center to allow time to see if they could make a deal that would expand the whole project, which would have meant a much larger community center.  Since that deal did not come to pass, the Lucentes asked to be able to construct a residential building at the same time the smaller community center is under construction.

"This would bring us back to our original plan," Rocco Lucente said. "It would bring us back to the schedule that we had been planning on uh, prior to our last waiver. And the reasoning for it is that we need to be able to construct two buildings at a time in order to keep our work crews going full year 'round. We have about 50 full time equivalent (FTE) employees working on the site. And in order to get the kind of scale that that we need in order to get them the kind of work that they need, we need to do two buildings a year."

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posticon Sheriff Seeks Help Finding Agava Stabbing Suspect

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Ashley Rackl, Executive Assistant to the Sheriff Print
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sheriff agava suspectSecurity camera photograph of the suspect and baseball hat
On 02/26/2020 at 11:50 PM Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Agava Restaurant located on Pine Tree Road in the Town of Ithaca for a reported stabbing. Upon arrival, deputies learned that two people were stabbed during an altercation.

Preliminary investigations indicate that during the altercation, a bystander, 21 year old Cornell student Nick Hudson, attempted to intervene and was subsequently stabbed. The altercation continued and another subject, 26 year old Daquan Graves, was stabbed before the suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction. A prior statement from the Cornell University Police indicated that a suspect vehicle, a white Nissan Altima, was later located unattended in Lansing. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office does not have any information to substantiate this report.

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posticon Myrick Endorses Murtagh for Assembly

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Seph Murtagh, Svante MyrickSeph Murtagh (left), Svante Myrick

On a snowy morning Thursday, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick held a press conference to endorse City of Ithaca Common Councilman Seph Murtagh (D) for the 125th New York Assembly District seat.  Myrick noted he has worked with Murtagh for over a decade in the city government.  Myrick said Murtagh is smart and engaged with a strong work ethic who would take up many of the same issues as Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, who announced last month that she would not be running for another term, has advocated for.

"The district's been represented extremely well by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton for the better part of two decades," Myrick said. "She's been a leader on education and the environment especially, it's been a true friend to our city delivering on infrastructure projects and cultural projects supporting the arts, and the quality of life here in the Ithaca.  So the race to replace her is very important to us. It matters very much who represents our interests in Albany. We need somebody who's progressive, somebody who's going to champion the environment, somebody who's going to fight for more affordable housing and lower taxes. Somebody who works hard, who has a work ethic that just radiates off of them. Who takes every constituent email seriously. Somebody who's looked up to by their peers, respected by their colleagues. We need city Councilman Seph Murtagh to represent us in 125th Assembly District."

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posticon Still No Confirmed Cases of Novel Coronavirus in New York State

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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health doctorpatient
A $40 million appropriation for the New York State Department of Health will be used to hire additional staff, procure equipment and any other resources necessary to respond to the potential novel coronavirus pandemic. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said he will also propose legislation to grant authority to DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to ensure local health departments and public and private hospitals statewide take certain actions and measures in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak as needed. DOH will convene local health departments and hospitals statewide to review protocols, best practices and procedures to help ensure they are prepared to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Governor is also calling on the federal government to authorize the Wadsworth Center and NYC Public Health Lab to test for the virus, allowing for expanded testing capacity and expedited test results. New York State has independently worked to develop and validate a test using the CDC protocol. Upon FDA approval, Wadsworth can immediately begin testing to support New York State and other states in the northeast region if necessary.

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posticon Sheriff Negotiates Inmate Phone Fees

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Ashley Rackl Print
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tc publicsafetybldg600
On 02/20/20, Sheriff Osborne successfully renegotiated a long standing contract with the Global Tel Link Corportation (GTL), the service provider for inmate phone calls.  This was seen as a long standing issue for inmates who (along with their families) were charged exorbitant rates to keep in contact with loved ones.

Calls that previously cost .32 cents per minute, coupled with high surcharges have been reduced by over 50% to .15 cents per minute and does away with all surcharges.

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posticon Dryden Joins Community Housing Development Fund

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Geoff Dunn Print
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dryden chf (l.-r.): Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Supervisor, Martha Robertson, County Legislator and Program Oversight Chair of the CHDF, Tompkins-Cortland Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Shannon MacCarrick and President Marianne Pelletier, and future homeowners Paula and Dameon Allen.
Community Housing Development Fund (CHDF) partners, Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and Cornell University, gathered today to welcome the Town of Dryden as the Fund's first Associate Member.

Martha Robertson, Tompkins County Legislator (D-Dryden) and Chair of the Program Oversight Committee of the Community Housing Development Fund said, "We are pleased to welcome the Town of Dryden as the first Associate Member of the CHDF, with its commitment of $50,000 to support a future project within the town."

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posticon NYS Healthcare Networks Impacted By Trump's $8 Billion In Cuts

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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albany1 600Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released a list of healthcare networks Tuesday that will be impacted by the federal government's $8 billion cut to New York's healthcare system. Yesterday, the Governor delivered remarks addressing these planned cuts for New York State - the Trump Administration's latest assault on the state.

"This past Friday we learned of the Trump administration's latest assault on the state of New York - $8 billion in cuts to our healthcare system. Healthcare should be beyond politics and it is unconscionable that the federal administration is politicizing the lives of New Yorkers - primarily senior citizens," Governor Cuomo said. "The healthcare networks on this list will bear the brunt of these short-sighted cuts, and as a result some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers will suffer. Make no mistake: New York will marshal all our allies, including our congressional delegation, to fight these cuts tooth and nail until New York receives the full funding we deserve."

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posticon More Than $1 Million In Housing Grants For Ithaca

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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commons night ghostship
Congressman Tom Reed announced more than $1 million in housing grants Tuesday for the City of Ithaca. The city will receive $682,732 in Community Development Block Grants and $335,173 in HOME grants this year.

The Community Development Block (CDBG) Grants program provides annual grants to States and local units of government to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

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posticon $20 Million Available For Airport Modernization And Safety Enhancement

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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airport entryway
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday that $20 million in new State funding is available for airports across New York State to support safety improvements, modernize operations and increase general and business-related aviation capacity. The Airport Capital Grant Program, which is 100 percent State-funded, is part of the State's $275 billion infrastructure program, the largest building program of its kind in the nation. Tuesday's announcement also comes on the heels of the recent completion of the modernization and expansion of the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport in December.

"There is no second chance to make a first impression, and airports often serve as the gateway welcoming visitors to communities across New York," Cuomo said. "Investing in the modernization of our airports sends a strong message across the world that the Empire State is a premier destination for travelers and a great place to do business."

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posticon Schumer Urges Agent Orange Conditions to Vet Care

News | Friday, February 28, 2020 | By Senator Charles E. Schumer's Office Print
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schumer 600
On February 20th Senator Charles E. Schumer stood with Vietnam veterans at the Tompkins County Department of Veteran Services in Ithaca, NY to call on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to stop playing games with the health of Upstate New York veterans, and add new conditions shown to be linked to service and Agent Orange, like bladder cancer and hypothyroidism, to the presumptive conditions list.

Schumer said veterans should not have to wage their own war to gather the scientific facts and medical opinions in order to receive the care and benefits needed to treat the illnesses they contracted because they served our nation. Schumer said that is absolutely crucial that the roughly 240,000 Vietnam-era veterans in New York State receive the healthcare benefits they need and deserve.

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