News

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As she prepares to step down at the end of the year, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will give her state of the city speech on Thursday outlining her priorities for 2017. While the field is wide open for who will be the next mayor, some Syracuse Common Councilors are weighing in on what they would like Miner to focus on in the meantime.

Councilor Helen Hudson made her thoughts clear about running for mayor.

“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Hudson said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some central New Yorkers are urging Congress to reject some of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. They brought their message to the Federal Building during a protest in Syracuse Monday. 

Syracuse physician Marianna Kaufman is part of the newly formed CNY Solidarity coalition. She says that group is particularly against four Trump nominees they call climate change deniers.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brings his State of the State speech across the state this week, with a scheduled stop in Syracuse on Wednesday. He’s expected to use these speeches to outline his agenda for the year, as well as announce local programs and initiatives. But while Cuomo is promoting his agenda, one Senate Republican has ideas of his own.

File Photo
governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing something different with the State of the State this year. Instead of delivering a speech in Albany to lawmakers who will have to approve his proposals, he’s giving six mini speeches in three days all around the state. Legislative leaders will not be attending.

Syracuse Fire Department

The Syracuse Fire Department said it is in desperate need of two new fire trucks after two trucks reached the end of their useful life last year. The trucks will cost $1 million each and take one year to be built. Fire Chief Paul Linnertz said there are parts from the old trucks in great shape that can be reused on the new trucks. That could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse’s burgeoning refugee population has prompted one local hospital to invest in new technology that will allow access to a translator in less than 60 seconds.

You’ll find these rolling translators  in several departments at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse; they are basically an iPad, wired to a small gray speaker, attached to a cart on wheels. One touch to the iPad, and you hear something like:

"Thank you for calling LanguageLine Solutions, this is Alton, ID number 249063. I’ll be your Spanish interpreter today.”

Culture, contagions & epic epidemics

Jan 7, 2017

Recent epidemics like Ebola and the Zika virus worried health officials and ordinary citizens alike. But they paled in comparison to some historical outbreaks like the bubonic plague and the Spanish flu. Outbreaks of disease fascinate and scare us, but more importantly, inform us about how to cope with the next fast-spreading contagion that comes along.

This week on “Take Care,” the author of a new book explores the history-making epidemics and what can be learned from them. Beth Skwarecki is a science writer for publications including Public Health Perspectives, Lifehacker, Science Magazine, and Scientific American. Her new book is "Outbreak!: 50 Tales of Epidemics That Terrorized the World."

Why finding a gym is 'kind of like a relationship'

Jan 7, 2017
Mike_fleming / Flickr

Gyms can run the gamut. On one end, an upscale gym can supply fresh towels, personal training, a sauna, racquet ball courts and a full schedule of the best new exercise classes. On the other, you may find yourself waiting in line for a treadmill, wondering when the weights were last cleaned and avoiding the changing rooms altogether.

Joining us this week on “Take Care,” is Anna Medaris Miller, who is a health and wellness reporter at U.S. News & World Report. Miller shares advice on finding the right gym for you.

Maxwell School at Syracuse University

For many voters, one of the most eagerly anticipated changes from the new Trump administration is a significant tax cut.  What are the contours of the likely cuts, and how will they will affect the politics of other significant social policies, like Medicare and Social Security?  Could the cuts stimulate enough economic growth to pay for themselves?  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher is joined by a leading expert on tax policy, Len Burman, the director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban and Brookings Institutes.

What epidemics tell us about society

Jan 6, 2017

The Zika and Ebola epidemics have caused concern around the world about how to fight the spread of these diseases. But the way experts approached these health crises was influenced by past experience. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Beth Skwarecki, science writer and author of the book "Outbreak!: 50 Tales of Epidemics that Terrorized the World" about the history of epidemics, how societies deal with them, and why we find them so interesting.

New York State Senate

The new year for the state legislature has begun in discord, with an absent governor and Republicans in the Senate vowing to take a harder line against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The year began without Cuomo, who abandoned the tradition of conducting a State of the State speech on the first day of the session in favor of giving a presentation on airport renovations to a group of business leaders in New York City. He’ll do speeches across the state later. 

Consensus CNY

It’s been almost a year since the Consensus CNY creleased more than 50 recommendations for modernizing government in Onondaga County. After months of meetings and public forums early last year, the volunteer group has yet to release a final report, and one local legislative leader says whenever it finally comes out, central New Yorkers won’t see big changes anytime soon.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As Oswego city lawmakers prepare for the second year of their term, a power struggle seems to be emerging between the common council and the mayor.

In a close vote this week, the Oswego Common Council removed the president and vice president of the council from their leadership roles. Those positions are now filled by councilors who went to battle with Mayor Billy Barlow and City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli last month over a sewer contract with the town of Oswego.

Newly installed council President Eric VanBuren says that fight was a catalyst for the change in leadership. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse had a record high number of homicides in 2016. That compares to a record low number of violent and overall crimes in 2015. Syracuse officials say while homicides are tougher to control, police do have the power to curb other crimes.

Jo Naylor / Flickr

Susan Rahn's doctors first discovered cancer in her back a few years ago. They traced its to her breast, and she's now at Stage 4 -- a terminal diagnosis. Rahn changes her medication every three months to fight the pain.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is being considered for a job in the Trump administration. The Republican says he was approached by members of the Trump transition team to consider a job as the U.S. attorney for New York’s Northern District.

It’s a job in the past that generally goes to someone with experience as a prosecutor. Antonacci is a civil attorney, but says it’s more than the experience in the courtroom that counts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse Police Department is holding a civilian police academy to expose the public to the challenges of being a police officer. It comes after a tense year for police officers and communities in Syracuse and across the country.

Several Black Lives Matter protests were held in Syracuse in 2016 demanding more independent oversight, accountability and demilitarization of police.

Syracuse Police Department Detective Mark Rusin said the civilian police academy is meant to start an open dialogue, to clear up misunderstandings and to give people a glimpse at policing.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Over the past several years, many central New York residents have debated passionately about what they think should happen to the Interstate-81 project through downtown Syracuse. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) wants free college tuition for students in families making less than $125,000 a year. At an estimated cost of $163 million a year, the program would triple state funding for higher education. But the plan may not reach as many students as the governor claims.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One of the goals of the Onondaga County Legislature in 2017 will be updating of the county’s comprehensive plan that guides planning and economic development. Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon will be appointing a special committee that will look through all the comprehensive development plans that have been drafted by various groups and governments in recent years across central New York. McMahon says the idea is to review these plans and the options they present, then move on legislation to deal with future development.

-JvL- / Flickr

New York lawmakers are returning to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017. This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize the state's voting rules, address government corruption and permit the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.

Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to take his yearly State of the State address on the road this year, instead of delivering the speech to lawmakers in Albany. That is not sitting well with Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).

DeFrancisco says traditionally the message is supposed to be given the first full day of the legislative session, which this year would be January 4. Cuomo, though, won’t be offering his view of how New York State is faring to lawmakers that day. Instead he’s taking the legislative message to six regions across the state, starting Jan. 9.

Tinted car windows now must pass NY state inspection

Jan 3, 2017
brandon rivera / Flickr

A new state law has now gone into effect that will require annual vehicle inspections to test car windows and how much they are tinted. Critics say the law will be burdensome to drivers and auto shops.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A new book from a central New York author details the legacy of a group called the the Oswego County Pioneers, the first organized volunteer search and rescue team created in the state.

Volunteer search and rescue teams may be ubiquitous today, but local historian Jim Farfaglia says that wasn't the case in New York 50 years ago. He says the effort to find missing persons was chaotic.

Great Lakes pollutant lurks in your laundry

Jan 2, 2017
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The United States and Canada are moving to ban microbeads -- the tiny plastic bits in toothpaste and facewash that are big water polluters. Now scientists are focusing on a similar problem -- and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper.

When you do laundry, take a look at the tags on your clothes. You’ll find that most shirts and pants have some synthetic material -- like polyester, nylon or spandex. Every time you wash them, tiny plastic fibers go down the drain.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

When Sen. Charles Schumer becomes Senate minority leader January 3, he will be one of the most powerful Democrats in the nation, at a time when the party is the weakest it’s been since the Great Depression. But the New Yorker says he has a plan to pull the party back into power.

Schumer doesn’t mince any words when it comes to rehashing Democratic losses on Election Day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Politically, central New York will have something new when it comes to Congressional representation this year. For the first time in a decade, the 24th District, which represents Syracuse and surrounding areas, will have someone other than a freshman member of Congress representing it.

TaxCredits.net

A wide range of organizations across New York state are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for a state-administered workplace retirement savings option, as part of his 2017-2018 state budget proposal next month.

Two-thirds of New York’s small businesses want the state to set up a privately managed retirement savings plan for their employees, according to a study by AARP New York, since many of the companies said they can not afford to offer a plan on their own.

Michael Davis

Columnist and writer Sean Kirst spent 25 years telling the stories of central New Yorkers for the Syracuse Post-Standard and syracuse.com. Now, he has gathered together a collection of those columns in a book titled, "The Soul of Central New York."

Telling true stories about the people of the region through the craft of journalism is Kirst's life work. WRVO news director Catherine Loper recently interviewed Kirst and asked him about the state of journalism today.

Matt Ryan / New York Now

A state lawmaker from the Capital Region has pledged to introduce a bill to require Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stay in Albany when he delivers his State of the State message next month. Earlier this weeek, the governor announced that he plans to bring his annual address on the road.

Under the state constitution, the governor must address the legislature once a year. It’s typically served up as a State of the State speech at the beginning of the session to inform lawmakers of the governor’s agenda.

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