WSKG Arts is proud to partner with students from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in a series of short features. This piece looks at Cornell University’s world-renowned Bhangra dance team. Founded in 1997, Cornell Bhangra’s goal is to promote awareness of Punjabi dance and culture in the community and across the nation. Bhangra is a folk dance originating in the state of Punjab in Northern India and Pakistan that celebrates the arrival of spring and everyday culture/life in Punjab. Over the past 18 years, Cornell Bhangra has grown to become among the most well-known bhangra teams in North America and the group has captured many national awards over the years.
Construction is underway on a new housing development in Ithaca’s Collegetown neighborhood. On a recent afternoon, a crew filled in the foundation for the future Collegetown Crossing. The building is set to open next summer with just under 50 apartments. It’s down the street from Cornell University, in a bustling area with several other student developments. Even more housing is needed in Ithaca, though.
Federal regulators held a public hearing last night on a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through several upstate New York counties. Energy company Kinder Morgan wants to build the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline to funnel gas from Pennsylvania to the East Coast. There are four compressor stations proposed for New York State along the pipeline route. Over a hundred people attended the hearing in Oneonta and several gave passionate statements. “It’s unconscionable that we have to beg not to have our air poisoned or our water contaminated or our forests destroyed,” said Lottie Marsh, attendee.
Some early picnickers enjoy a meal near Lily Lake in what would become Chenango Valley State Park. The state park was created in the 1930’s and many of the park’s trails and amenities were built by workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal program. Today, the park is still a great place to enjoy a picnic. Learn more about Chenango Valley State Park in our Uniquely New York video series:
Gun rights advocates are divided over a recent memorandum of understanding on the SAFE Act – New York’s controversial gun law. The memo came out late last week. It suspended the creation of a database of ammunition buyers until the technology and money are available to build it. Some gun rights supporters say the suspension doesn’t change anything, since little progress had been made on the database. They want more givebacks from the Cuomo Administration on the law.
After nine years and 3 billion miles, PBS NOVA will finally get a close look at Pluto, but only if the New Horizons spacecraft can survive the final, treacherous leg of its journey through a dangerous field of debris. If it does, New Horizons is poised to make dramatic new discoveries, not just about Pluto, but about the vast realm of icy bodies lurking beyond Neptune, relics of the earliest days of the solar systems formation. Back on Earth, the planetary scientists who have spent decades working on this mission anxiously await a signal from their spacecraft. If all goes well, well see Plutos mysterious surface in unprecedented detail and learn new secrets about other alien worlds at the far limits of our solar system. Tune into the latest posts from NASA’s New Horizons control room.
WSKG Arts is proud to travel to the Auburn Correctional Facility to present a short feature on the inspirational Phoenix Players Theatre Group. PPTG is an inmate run organization, that with the help of Cornell University, meets every Friday night. The inmates practice monologues, skits and other theatre inspired exercises while also learning about themselves. This feature goes inside the the maximum security facility to eavesdrop on a Friday night meeting. We see the group perform and also interview a few of the members as they discuss what it means to them to be a part of this important group.
Testing giant Pearson will no longer develop New York’s standardized tests for elementary and middle school students. The state is turning instead to Questar Assessment. That could signal a broader shift on education after heated controversy. Pearson took a beating for its role in New York’s transition to the Common Core. The company developed new tests that some said were age-inappropriate, and outrage sparked a test boycott. Now Questar is slated to take over development of those tests, but Robin Jacobowitz at SUNY New Paltz says getting rid of Pearson won’t address all the criticism.
Winners of New York’s five medical marijuana licenses could emerge any day now. The state Department of Health says it will announce the picks in mid-July. One bidder, Salus Scientific, aims to start growing in Johnson City. If the company wins a license, it will have to get right down to business. Co-founder Michael Falcone says he plans to refurbish a former grocery warehouse in the city to use for cultivation.
Built between 1871 and 1873, the Tioga County Courthouse is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in New York State and today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about this picturesque location from our Uniquely New York video series:
Photograph courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.