News

Hospice program comforts dying veterans

May 2, 2015
Michelle Faust / WXXI

“I started out in Southern France and ended up in Belgium," is how Palmer Gaetano describes his army service in World War II. The 92-year old lives in a hospice facility in the Rochester-area village of Spencerport, near his daughter and her family.

Gaetano is one of more than 9 million American military veterans over the age of 65, according to 2013 census bureau figures.  With an aging population that includes vets from Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, there are 1,800 veteran deaths each day. One program strived to meet their increased need for end-of-life care.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some much needed affordable rental units will be coming to the Salina Street corridor in Syracuse, as part of the Salina Crossing project. Ground has been broken on the biggest site, a new mixed-use building on property that once was home to the crumbling Otisca Building on the city’s north side.  

Ben Lockwood, vice president of Housing Visions, the developer, says there is a big need for this kind of housing.

Mothers of 20-somethings have to negotiate a new relationship with a child who's not a child anymore. But may still expect mom to "take care of things" in a crisis situation. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with psychologist and author Harriet Lerner. They began by asking her whether mothers should feel responsible for how independent -- or dependent -- their adult children are.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Manufacturing is far from dead in central New York.  But it can sometimes be a challenge for manufacturing companies to find qualified workers. A new pre-apprenticeship program has been designed to train more workers for these jobs.

Darco Manufacturing in Mattydale employs 36 people in the production machining business. They’ve hired eight people in the last eight months according to general manager Laura Miller, and only one had manufacturing experience.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council began to gather public input Thursday night on what should be included in its submission to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The program is a competition for $1.5 billion in economic aid that will be distributed to three out of seven regions in upstate New York.

Rob Simpson, president of Centerstate CEO is also is a co-chairman of the council, said some themes are already developing from the public’s input.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The annual state report on lobbying is out, and it finds that $226 million was spent on influencing government leaders, with the largest amount from education groups.

It’s not a surprise that education entities spent the most money on lobbying than any other group in 2014, just as controversy over the new Common Core standards and the related standardized tests reached a peak.

Sean MacEntee / Flicr

 

A bill introduced this week in Congress tackles student privacy online. It would limit how educational technology companies can use the data they collect. In New York, similar rules are already in place, and they’re at work every day at one upstate school where technology is everywhere.

Sarah Latimer directs technology at Chenango Valley schools, and she thinks about privacy a lot.

“We’ve kind of had that conversation ongoing in New York for a little while now,” she says. “It’s been a very hot topic.”

Worker Center of Central New York

Farm workers and activists are planning a protest this morning at a dairy farm in Lowville. They want to draw attention to the alleged abuse of a worker at the hands of a farm supervisor.  Rally organizers say many undocumented Hispanic workers face physical abuse, substandard housing and wage theft on dairy farms across the state.

SUNY ESF

Some SUNY ESF students are hoping neighbors in the eastern portion of Cortland County can help them find a balloon that was part of a science experiment that went awry. 

Students launched a high altitude balloon for a nationwide contest on Wednesday.

Alyssa Endres, a student in the Environmental Resource Engineering Department, said it was supposed to explode when it got high enough.

Matt Churchill / Flickr

Earlier this month, the 114th Congress passed its first 100 days of Republican rule in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Rep. John Katko, the freshman Republican from central New York’s 24th Congressional District, admits things didn’t get off to a good start, with GOP leadership missteps on votes involving abortion and immigration.

"There were some bumps in the road starting out, but I think we’re starting to find our groove a bit,” Katko says.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a blue print for ending the AIDs epidemic in New York by 2020.

Speaking before an enthusiastic audience outside  the LGBT Community Center in Greenwich Village , Cuomo says it’s possible to make AIDS, which has killed an estimated 153,000 New Yorkers,  a disease of the past.

“Like tuberculosis, and measles and polio,” Cuomo said, to applause.

The recommendations include better testing and screening and wider distribution of drug treatments.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The New York State legislature’s Black, Hispanic and Asians Caucus is reacting to events in Baltimore and is calling for swift action on a package of criminal justice reforms that have been stalled in the state Senate.

The caucus members say they’ve grown weary of  incidents where African Americans die after encounters with police.  Assemblyman Michaela Blake represents portions of the Bronx.

“Baltimore is happening in the Bronx, “ Blake said. “It can happen anywhere.”

Blake says the young people involved in the riots are not thugs or criminals.

www.urmc.rochester.edu

Without additional state funding, New York medical school officials say they won’t be able to attract or keep world class researchers. Albany lawmakers have rejected their $50 million request to fund recruitment and retention efforts. 

New York’s medical research institutions say they can’t compete with the funds out-of-state universities are using to lure the nation’s top research talent.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO News

New signs along the Onondaga Creekwalk in Syracuse offer a glimpse into central New York’s history to walkers, bikers and joggers as they pass by. 

Onondaga Historical Association curator Dennis Connors helped pull together the stories that are told through the signage and videos that can be accessed through a QR code.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News file photo

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Assemblyman William Scarborough’s expected decision to plead guilty to illegally claiming over $40,000 in travel expenses is “the right thing to do.”   Schneiderman’s office, along with the New York State Comptroller, originally launched the investigation that led to the charges by the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Northern district.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The families of people killed in encounters with police met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday. They say the governor promised them he would issue an executive order to name a special prosecutor to investigate the deaths of their relatives, but only if the legislature does not approve Cuomo’s plan to create an independent monitor to look at such incidents.

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died after police on Staten Island put him in a chokehold, says Cuomo gave them time to speak.

Michael / via Flickr

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration’s plan to add extra charges on some homeowner’s tax bills for ornamental streetlights in the city of Syracuse has been put on hold.

The idea for these charges is to let people who in what's called "special lighting districts" to cover more of the $1.9 million bill National Grid sends every year to the city. Presently, Syracuse collects $220,000 from homeowners in the special lighting districts, and the rest comes out of the general fund.

New York rolls out pocket-size English lessons

Apr 29, 2015
Kenneth Buker / Flickr

Learning a new language is tough. And for immigrant farmworkers, long work days and lack of transportation can pose extra barriers. New York state has an idea to change that. It’s a language lesson that fits in your pocket. Just dial up the state’s new "English on the Go" line from your cell phone. The free lessons are interactive, with audio and text messages.

timlewisnm / Flickr

There’s growing support in the state legislature to address controversial aspects of the state’s Common Core learning standards and related testing.

More students across New York opted out of the state’s math tests -- over 150,000 students -- according to an anti-Common Core group that’s encouraged students to skip. It follows the boycott by tens of thousands of students of the third through eighth grade English tests earlier in April.  

oliver_hine / via Flickr

Will the Syracuse region’s infrastructure include more bike lanes or bridges in thirty years? The city’s transportation planning agency is trying to map out some of those questions in a new vision document.

America’s recent shift toward urban living would lend itself to a desire for more bike lanes and public transportation, but that won’t eliminate the need for interstates and quality roadways.

Wine producers question Canadian duty fees

Apr 28, 2015
Dan Klimke / Flickr

Wine sales made to Canadian citizens have upstate New York wine producers worried. They said they are losing business because Canada makes it too expensive for their citizens to buy New York state wines while visiting and then bring it home to Canada.

Canadians are subject to duty in excess of 100 percent on wines sold here. This duty is what wine producers said puts them at a costly disadvantage.

One local wine seller suggested imposing similar duties on Canadian wines brought into the U.S. might bring Canadian officials into discussions to work out more fair trade.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Television and movie actor Ron Perlman is bringing his movie production company to central New York. He’ll start making films at the sound stage, being built at the new Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Democrats in the New York State Senate are attempting to close a loophole in the state’s campaign finance laws, while a new poll finds New Yorkers want lawmakers to take more steps to quell corruption.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

Hydraulic fracturing is currently not allowed in New York state. But a group of medical professionals, advocates and residents are warning that the industry still poses a grave risk to the empire state.

It’s not fracking that’s causing worry. It’s the industry infrastructure that has a large footprint in the state, despite the fact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced late last year that fracking would not be permitted in New York.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A new Siena College poll finds that half of New Yorkers support a growing movement for parents to opt their children out of state standardized tests. As many as 20 percent boycotted the third through eighth grade math and English exams given earlier in April.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

We all know that every time we buy something in a store we pay a percentage of the cost of that item in tax. That sales tax goes toward helping the county pay for anything from road repairs to staffing the local police departments. For the past two years, the money that Jefferson County earns through sales tax has been in a slow decline. County legislators are getting worried after seeing an even bigger drop at the beginning of the year.

As a broadcast journalist working for CBS and CNN, Kristina Borjesson experienced first-hand corporate push-back and retaliation for her investigative work on the crash of TWA Flight 800.  But she channeled that experience into two books, which draw out other prominent media figures to share their own experiences of corporate and government censorship.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher engages Borjesson in a provocative discussion of the books and the issues they raise.

via Wikimedia Commons

Today is Cornell University’s 150th anniversary. Its charter was signed in Albany in 1865. One of the school’s founders, Ezra Cornell, was a farmer and made veterinary science a priority. This is the story of the career of the first doctor of veterinary medicine to graduate from Cornell.

Smart glasses app helps tame the fear of public speaking

Apr 27, 2015
Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

 

Public speaking, for many, can make palms sweat and hearts race. Now, researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Rochester have developed a new real-time feedback system using Google’s smart glasses, to help guide your performance as you speak in front of an audience.

The system, called Rhema, was developed last month and designed for people who need a bit of help addressing crowds.

10 interesting figures from Syracuse's annual budget

Apr 27, 2015
Daniel Lobo / via Flickr

A city budget is typically pretty cut and dry, but Syracuse’s annual spending plan can also offer some context for just how big the city is. And so like a budget, this story is all about numbers.

Here are some interesting figures pulled from Syracuse's proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

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