It was standing room only at Wednesday's Romulus Town Board meeting. Most in attendance were there for the public hearing about two proposed moratoria. The Town Board of Romulus passed a moratorium on all waste to energy projects for six months. The action was taken in the wake of a proposal for the largest trash incinerator in the state to be placed on the former Seneca Army Depot. The Rochester company making the proposal withdrew its application for a special town zoning permit and is now seeking a state approval through the Public Service Commission.
People packed the gym of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in downtown Ithaca to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They also were there to further his vision of a Poor People’s Campaign.
It was a movement to “revolutionize” the country’s attitude toward the poor and rally them to advocate for better living conditions. After a buffet lunch and brief presentations, those attending the celebration divided into smaller groups to discuss issues and solutions to current societal problems.
Fabina Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event, said it was important to spend time talking to each other about problems the community faces today. "If we want different solutions we must create different processes. That is, looking at some of the work that the Poor People’s Campaign is doing and being in alignment with that," said Fabina Benitez Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event. Nationwide, organizers are trying to bring about a revival of the Poor People's Campaign with an emphasis on systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation.
A new company from Rochester wants to build the largest trash incinerator in the state in the small town of Romulus in the Finger Lakes. Many in the area don’t like the idea. About 4,300 people live in the town of Romulus between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. People packed the Town Planning Board meeting Monday night to hear from Circular enerG, which wants to build the 200,000 square foot incinerator at the former Seneca Army Depot. Some, like Michael Davis, support the project. He's the president of Finger Lakes Building Trades and the Business Manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 840.
Davis and several of his fellow union members sat up front.
One of Governor Cuomo’s State of the State proposals would protect Cayuga Lake from toxic algal blooms.
Governor Cuomo’s proposal targets the 12 lakes that have the biggest algal bloom problems in the state. He said, "In the beautiful lakes of upstate New York we now have toxic algal that is spreading it is literally endangering the drinking water. No more procrastination, Let’s resolve these issues and let’s do it this year." It’s a $65 million plan he wants begun in February, finished in May and enacted this summer. After years of inaction, Greg Boyer, professor of biochemistry at SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, thinks the “aggressive timeline."
New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance requires counties to collect fees from homeless people staying in shelters. Some counties are pushing back. The regulation was first enacted in the mid 1990s but in 2015 it was updated. Under the existing regulation, a person who is homeless could be required to pay up to $70.54 per night depending on a state formula based on all of their income, earned and unearned. Tompkins County has not been collecting the fees.
New York state has already had bitterly cold temperatures this week. That includes the Southern Tier and the lates forecast say that will continue. This weekend will bring us more than a New Year. For those traveling, David Morford, Senior Forecaster for the National Weather Service in Binghamton, has advice about road conditions. He says temperatures during the day could be in the single digits or low teens and drop below zero at night. With the windchill, people should use extra caution.
The Finger Lakes is leading New York state with the most craft beverage manufacturers. Some distillers, farmers and cider makers credit the growth to the passage of a 2014 law. The Craft New York Act lowered some taxes, provided grant funding, and eased some regulations. It had strong bipartisan support, in part, because of its benefits to the upstate agricultural economy. The number of new craft businesses has grown significantly in every region of the state.