News

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County lawmakers are asking Amazon to consider a site in the town of Clay for its next headquarters. But some Democrats spoke out against the resolution at a meeting last week.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

In a changing climate, people living on Lake Ontario may be more at risk for flooding and extreme weather, so what compels them to stay?

Carol Rodas has being living on the south Shore of Lake Ontario for 55 years.

"It's hypnotic," she said about the waterfront. "I joke with people, I tell them they’re going to have to carry me out feet first."

Like a lot of people along the south shore, Rodas experienced flooding in 2017 that dumped water into her home, compromised the sewage system, and damaged her property.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Hearings are underway in Syracuse that could lead to more charter schools in the city. There are four charter schools in Syracuse right now, and New York State is considering proposals for two more.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some drug users in central and northern New York are using tiny test strips to determine if the heroin or cocaine they are about to shoot up contains fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is often mixed in with street drugs. 

Fentanyl is responsible for an uptick in drug overdoses and deaths in recent years. ACR Health in Syracuse is distributing the strips as part of its syringe exchange and overdose prevention programs in a nine-county area. Roberto Gonzalez, director of ACR Health's syringe exchange program, said it’s been well received so far. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With just a little over two weeks to go before the state budget is due, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top budget officials say they have to revise their spending proposal, now that President Donald Trump has released a budget plan that they say could devastate New York’s health care system.

They’re pressuring the Legislature to rein in their spending proposals as well.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Budget talks are intensifying in Albany as the deadline nears, and they are revealing tensions and divides between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the all-Democratic State Legislature.

Cuomo began the week with a list of items that he said he needs in the state budget in order for him to agree to it.

They include a property tax cap, criminal justice reforms and a congestion pricing plan for parts of Manhattan to help pay for fixing public transit.

Onondaga County Legislature

A resolution to form an independent commission to make recommendations on how to redraw the Onondaga County Legislature districts, was defeated last week. But there may be other plans to open up the process.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr (File Photo)

New York Attorney General Tish James said she’s reached an agreement with the state legislature to amend the state’s double jeopardy laws to make it easier to go after people accused of crimes in New York, even if a president pardons them.

The measure is aimed at holding associates of President Donald Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, accountable for crimes they may have committed within New York’s boundaries, even if the president pardons them of federal crimes that they have been convicted of.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County Democratic Committee selected Tony Malavenda as its candidate to run for county executive this year. Malavenda is a businessman, born and raised in central New York. 

FINGER LAKES PERFORMING PROVIDER SYSTEM

The number of people without health insurance in Steuben County has been cut in half since 2014. That should mean more people have access to the health care system. But that’s not always the case, according to Erin Bankey, who manages funds from a state program aimed at reducing hospital visits in the Finger Lakes.

"The story starts there, with trying to get people insurance, but then we found even people who have insurance don’t necessarily have the relationship with a primary care provider, or transportation, or healthy food,” Bankey said.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

 

With three weeks to go until the April 1 budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is drawing some lines in the sand on items that he said must be in the spending plan, like a permanent property tax cap.

But Cuomo said a proposal to legalize the adult use of marijuana likely will not be finished in time.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

The state Senate and Assembly are due to release their own versions of the state budget this week. They come as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is demanding that a number of unrelated provisions be included in the spending plan. Without them, he threatens, the budget could be late.

The governor’s budget director, Robert Mujica, listed in a statement the items that he said must be in the budget in order for Cuomo to agree to it. They include a congestion pricing plan in Manhattan to help pay to fix the subway system, and making the temporary property tax cap permanent.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is setting a moderate tone as he settles into his first year in Congress, joining a coalition of fellow Democrats called the Blue Dogs. He is one of the co-chairs of the group that describes itself as fiscally conservative while supporting a strong national defense and bipartisanship.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A number of former refugees are running for office in Syracuse this year. One of them looks to challenge the city’s only Republican councilor.

Jay Subedi was born in Bhutan and became a refugee at the age of 12. Before coming to Syracuse in 2008, he spent 17 years at a refugee camp in Nepal.

“But that taught me so much,” Subedi said. “I’m here today to give back. My experience as a person who live in a refugee camp, very under poverty, where there is no better education, no good sleeping nights, no good water to drink every day.”

WRVO Public Media

The midterm elections in November produced a record number of women in Congress, and a record number of women have come forward as candidates for president. How important are these changes for our democracy, and what's driving them? Is it a reaction to President Trump, or something more lasting? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Susan Carroll, a senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Students in the public university systems rallied this week at the State Capitol to end what they say is a built-in flaw in the state’s student aid policies.

They say it’s costing the State and City University systems nearly $150 million a year. But their requests for more money come at a time when the state’s finances are tightening. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

The city of Syracuse could be expanding a program that provides body cameras to all uniformed police officers. The pilot program ends in July, and the city will have to pay for it going forward.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Legislature is asking New York State to approve a school for Onondaga County, focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). It would be a partnership between the county, the state, the city of Syracuse, the city school district and OCM Boces.

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

The state comptroller has come out with revenue projections that will limit the ability to spend more money in the state budget. Under law, the governor and Legislature have to abide by those numbers — but that hasn’t stopped interest groups and some lawmakers from saying that they will increase spending.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

There were some emotional moments Tuesday as lawmakers and supporters of a school funding measure rallied at the state Capitol in Albany to advocate for $4 billion they say has long been owed to them under an order by the state’s highest court.

Miriam Aristy-Farer began helping hold fundraisers for the elementary school in her Washington Heights neighborhood when her son was small, and she saw that the district lacked art and music teachers, and special assistance for children with autism.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

A number of federal lawmakers are concerned that high water levels on Lake Ontario will result in a repeat of the flooding seen along the lake shore in 2017. 

Right now the levels are more than a foot higher than average for this time of year, and residents on the shore of the lake fear another disastrous flood is imminent come spring.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A voting, campaign finance and ethics reform bill known as the For the People Act or H.R. 1, is scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives this week. Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said he supports many parts of the bill, with one big exception.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic colleagues in the legislature are at odds over agreement on the amount of revenues New York has to spend on health care, education, and other items in the state budget, which is due in less than a month. The State Comptroller may have to step in and decide if there’s no agreement by the end of the day Tuesday.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A program that trains entrepreneurs how to improve their small businesses in central and northern New York, is looking for its next class. So far, 130 businesses in the region have participated in the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

As advocacy groups continue to pressure Albany on various causes ahead of this year's state budget, a statewide educational equity tour made a stop in Syracuse, last week. A collection of local officials and other advocates said New York’s schools are underfunded by $4 billion.

WRVO Public Media

A little over a year ago, Ben Walsh rewrote Syracuse history, assembling a diverse bipartisan coalition, and winning the 2017 race for mayor as an independent for the first time in over a century. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Walsh about his first year in office, and what's to come in the next three, including his notion of a coming 'Syracuse Surge.'

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Economists and financial forecasters, speaking at the state Capitol Thursday as part of an annual consensus forecast meeting on the state budget, are warning of an impending recession in New York and the nation. The state is already experiencing some warning signs, with the governor’s budget office predicting a $2.6 billion deficit.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Next week, the Onondaga County Legislature will vote on requesting Amazon to consider a location in the town of Clay for its new headquarters, after the company pulled out of its project in Long Island City. But a meeting took a political turn as legislators debated the merits of such a request.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

It’s a busy time at the state Capitol, with just over one month to go until the state budget is due. Groups are bringing advocates by the hundreds to try to get their favored items placed into the spending plan. Meanwhile, there are lingering recriminations over the failed Amazon deal.   

Among the groups vying for attention at a crowded state Capitol, are advocates for public campaign financing.

Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell for Syracuse 3rd District Councilor Facebook

The Syracuse Common Council appointed Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell this week to replace Councilor Susan Boyle, after Boyle stepped down to work for Onondaga County. But the council’s only Republican continues to take issue with the process leading to Lovejoy-Grinnell’s appointment.

Councilor Joe Carni said it’s not a question of Lovejoy-Grinnell’s character, as to why he voted against her appointment.

“I did not agree with the process,” Carni said. “I think it became overly political and did not allow for members of other parties to participate in the process.”

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