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Low-Interest Energy Upgrades Now Available For Tompkins Businesses

 

Tompkins County commercial property owners can learn tonight about a low-cost way to improve their energy efficiency. The Energize New York program has an information session at 5:30 p.m. in The Space at Ithaca’s GreenStar Market. Energize New York has been operational since 2014, but upstate counties are just now getting on board. The program offers low-interest loans to building owners who want to make efficiency upgrades or install renewable energy technology. Executive Director Mark Thielking says the funding is comparable to a public utility, but the benefits it provides come over a longer timeframe.

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Area Shelters: Homelessness Executive Order Is Nothing New

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is ordering local governments to move people who are homeless to shelter during cold weather. The executive order reinforces existing law that requires authorities to take people in for psychiatric evaluation, or hospitalization. Despite the announcement, local experts say it won’t have much effect in the Southern Tier. Binghamton YWCA director Carole Coppens says the region already provides room for everyone who seeks it in the winter. This “no freeze” policy from the Coalition for the Homeless of the Southern Tier runs on private donations.

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Here’s How To Qualify For NY’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Recent college grads in New York can now get some help paying off their loans with the state’s new student loan forgiveness program. There are quite a few boxes you have to check to be part of the program. You have to be a year or less out of school, with a degree from a New York institution. Resident of New York, with an in-state high school diploma. The loan has to use one of the federal government’s income-based repayment plans.

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Binghamton Urges Job Seekers: ‘Come Home’

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce wants people to come home for the holidays – and stay home. The Chamber held its annual Project Homecoming career fair Tuesday. The fair aims to encourage vacationing students and out-of-town relatives to find work and relocate back to Binghamton. Fifty employers came to the fair looking to hire. The Chamber’s Amy Shaw says that disproves a common view of the Southern Tier as economically stagnant.

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Three Things To Know About NY Education Changes

It’s a time of educational upheaval in New York. Changes are piling up fast: the state Board of Regents delayed state tests’ impact on teacher evaluations, and Governor Cuomo’s task force called for nearly two dozen changes to learning standards. In the midst of it all, here are three things you need to know. One: Remember what’s not changing – the bulk of the Common Core standards themselves. The standards are expectations for students, what we say students should be able to do when they finish a grade.

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NY Must Pay For Child Care Mandates, Lupardo Says

New York is getting ready for big changes to child care regulations. New federal rules say child care centers have to start fingerprinting employees and increase requirements for background checks, training, and annual inspections, among other changes. State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo expects the rules to take effect next year. She says they’re welcome but have a high price tag. “That’s something we’ve been wanting for a very long time, and we appreciate the federal government stepping in and basically saying, ‘You have to do this,’” she says. “The $90 million impact, however, is what’s a concern to us.”

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High Schoolers Take On The Headlines With ‘Theory Of Knowledge’

The run-up to elections can be a tricky time for schools. Rhetoric heightens, and teachers often struggle with how much of it to address in class. For one class at Binghamton High School, the key is a focus on questions. On a late September afternoon, senior Christiana Joseph sits at a computer in search of some solid research. The Syrian refugee crisis is all over the headlines, with harrowing photographs and fearful rhetoric from countries like Hungary, which will close one of its borders in just a few weeks.

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Upstate Republicans Back Visa Waiver Overhaul

Republican Congressman Tom Reed of Corning says new House reforms to the U.S.’s visa waiver program are a much-needed update. “It closes a potential risk that is legitimately there in regards to terrorists being able to come to those 38 countries [and] into America,” Reed says. Reed voted “yes” on the bill Tuesday, as did Republican Richard Hanna of Utica and Albany-area Republican Christopher Gibson. The House passed the bill 407-19. The visa waiver program allows travelers from 38 countries to enter the United States and stay up to 90 days without a visa.

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SUNY Oneonta Boosts Adjunct Pay

SUNY Oneonta is giving its adjunct professors a raise, to a starting salary of $3,000 per course. Adjuncts nationwide work under short-term contracts and make notoriously low salaries. Oneonta’s move comes after its adjuncts petitioned the administration earlier this year. Before today, Oneonta adjuncts were close to the bottom in terms of salary, compared to area colleges. A WSKG analysis last summer found their $2,500 per-course minimum below that at community colleges like SUNY Broome and Tompkins Cortland.

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Reed: Trump Wrong, But Better Than A Democrat

U.S. Representative Tom Reed of Corning has joined the throngs of Republicans rejecting Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims.

Trump declared yesterday that Muslims should be barred from entering the U.S. Reed says that violates Republican party values. However, Reed also says he’d support Trump if he won the presidential nomination. “Obviously if I have to choose between our Republican nominee and a continuation of the Obama policies going forward, I would clearly have to err on the side of the Republican nominee,” Reed explained. Reed added that he thinks Republican policies would be better for the country. He does say it’s unlikely Trump will make it that far and has endorsed former Florida governor Jeb Bush for the nomination.