The LUMA Projection Arts Festival Expands


New events have been added to the LUMA Projection Arts Festival in downtown Binghamton for September’s First Friday. The art galleries will open at 6. The light festival begins at 9 and continues until midnight.  Operations Director Joshua Bernard Ludzki and Conrad Taylor talk about the expansion of the festival throughout downtown Binghamton, and give suggestions on where to park.


Photo credit: Van Zandbergen Photography


New York Reps Voice Support For Harvey Aid Package

New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) expect that Congress will support a financial aid package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey when they return to Washington, D.C. next month. Reed says it’s too early to determine how much money will be needed to assist the nation’s fourth-largest city, where the storm has devastated the area. But he says it could be a significant amount since Congress appropriated tens of billions of dollars after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the northeast. “As we stood with the Sandy aid victims, we are going to stand with the families and individuals of Texas and make sure we come up with a package of what is clearly a need that our fellow American citizens need in this time of devastation,” Reed said.


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NY State Money Announced For “Open Access” Centers To Connect People To Treatment


New York State is putting up $450,000 each to fund nine “Open Access Centers.” According to the governor’s office, it’s a way to get people connected to addiction recovery services quickly. The sites will be 24-7. The governor’s office said the centers would immediately assess people who suffer from substance abuse, and refer them to appropriate treatment. Nine regions of the state will each get an Open Access center, including the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Central New York already has one planned, through Syracuse Behavioral Health.


NY Senators Question State’s Efforts To Fight Tick-Borne Illnesses


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner received a grilling from state senators at a hearing this week on whether New York is doing enough to combat tick-borne illnesses. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told the senators that this year, there are fewer deer ticks and fewer reported cases of Lyme disease in the state. But, he said, the number of Lone Star ticks is up. They can carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and even cause someone to become allergic to eating red meat. The health department also reported that they’ve found cases of the Powassan virus in ticks further upstate, this time in Saratoga County.


Yet Another Task For Congress In September: Renew Rural Doctor Training Program


Rural areas of the country need more doctors, and there’s a federal program that seems to have made progress on that. But with the mountain of work that Congress has to do in September, it may fall by the wayside. Training at a Teaching Health Center After medical school, newly-minted doctors do a residency, where they train under established docs. Alexandre Le did his residency at the Wright Center, a primary care clinic northeast of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Wright Center, a non-profit, and has over 150 residents doing primary care. It’s one of almost 60 Teaching Health Centers (THCs) around the country.

Summermusic Concerts Return to Gilbertsville


Burton Kaplan’s Magic Mountain Music Farm of Morris, NY presents the 25th anniversary of Labor Day weekend concerts at the First Presbyterian Church on Rt. 51 in Gilbertsville. The two free concerts feature music by Beethoven, Brahms, Gliere, Mozart, Prokofiev, Schubert, and Strauss. Cellist Adele O’Dwyer traveled all the way from Ireland for the third time and violinist Marvin Suson from Milwaukee for the nineteenth time to study with Burton Kaplan. They talk about the concert and what brings them back year after year.


Tompkins County To Consider Joining Opioid Lawsuits


According to two Tompkins County officials, the County’s been approached to join a lawsuit against the drug companies Purdue, Teva, Janssen and Endo Pharmaceuticals. A number of New York counties, including Broome, are suing pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. They want firms to pay millions of dollars for downplaying the addictive qualities of prescription opioids — qualities that have led to the addiction crisis. Michael Lane is chair of the Tompkins County Legislature. He said any decision on whether to join in would have to go to a committee first.


New Survey Will Ask NYers Exposed To PFOA About Potential Diseases


A former EPA administrator and a former New York state health department official have teamed up with a Vermont college to conduct a health survey of people potentially affected by polluted water in the villages of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, and in Bennington, Vermont.  Judith Enck was the EPA regional administrator during the Obama administration who first warned Hoosick Falls residents in the fall of 2015 not to drink the water in their village because it was contaminated with PFOA, a chemical used in plastics manufacturing for decades in the area. Enck, who left the EPA during the first days of the Trump administration, is working with scientists and academics at nearby Bennington College, which is conducting the study. “The goal of this community questionnaire is to determine, are there health trends in these communities among the residents who consumed contaminated water?” Enck said. A few months after the EPA got involved, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration declared Hoosick Falls a state Superfund site. But Cuomo and his aides were criticized at the time by village residents for not acting quickly enough and for initially downplaying the crisis.

Fenton Pushes Forward After Transfer Station Ruling


The Town of Fenton is prepared to start over with a new process to approve a natural gas transfer station. A Broome County Supreme Court Judge halted the project this week. The judge said the town didn’t follow the proper safety and environmental procedures when it approved the application from NG Advantage, a natural gas delivery company. But he did open the door for the company to reapply. NG indicates it plans to do so.