News

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Some lawmakers are pressing the state’s comptroller to divest the state’s pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. But Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said he believes he can be more effective in changing the companies’ behavior by acting from the inside.

Tom Magnarelli

The Syracuse Common Council has passed a budget that includes some controversial changes to what Mayor Stephanie Miner had proposed. Miner said she will veto the changes.

The council has cut overtime from Syracuse’s fire and police departments by $1 million each. But Councilor Steven Thompson said the money cut for police overtime has been shifted to hire new officers.

Mountain Lake PBS live online

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) took a number of questions regarding healthcare at a community forum hosted by Mountain Lake PBS Monday night. Stefanik recently voted for the GOP healthcare plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives. The North Country Republican defended the bill, but admits there are ways to improve it.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The continued swelling of Lake Ontario is offering little relief to shoreline residents in central New York. Water levels on Lake Ontario have risen more than 9 inches since May 1, and are at the highest level since the 1950s, before water levels started being regulated.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Cayuga County officials want to prevent the spread an invasive species in Cayuga Lake, before it becomes impossible to contain.

Cayuga County Legislature Chair Keith Batman calls it a “devil weed.” He’s talking about hydrilla, one of the most invasive aquatic species in the world. It’s plagued Cayuga Lake for six years now, and measures to eradicate hydrilla in the Cayuga Inlet near Ithaca using herbicides have been successful. But last year, it was spotted further north in the lake.

Mark Lavonier

A piece of Oswego history is being showcased on stage that tells the story of a famous author's connection to Fort Ontario and his time there during World War I. Ludwig Bemelmans is more famously known for being the author of the Madeline children's books. His book "My War with the United States" has been adapted into a play by Oswego Players president Rick Sivers. WRVO's Mark Lavonier visited a rehearsal and spoke with Sivers about the author and production.

How the GOP health care bill could unfold in New York

May 8, 2017
www.bbb.org

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act law, the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. This came after several changes to the AHCA, including to the policy on coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

The update would allow insurance companies to charge sicker consumers more and healthier consumers less. The bill would offset the cost of sicker people with special funding -- $8 billion over five years. But what exactly this change would mean for individual consumers largely depends on which state they live in.

Provided photos.

Two Democratic mayoral candidates in Syracuse have different perspectives when it comes to tackling the city's problems. One comes from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, the other has built an organization that helps network more than 400 local, small businesses.

Iain Watson / Flickr

Often when we think of therapy, we imagine an office complete with a desk, a chaise lounge, and a clinician with a clipboard. But as technology continues to transform the way we live, changes in therapy are yet another sign of the times. Different from traditional, in-person therapy, online therapy has its own criteria and benefits, and is becoming an increasingly popular option for individuals seeking mental health treatment.

To find out more about online therapy, “Take Care” spoke with associate executive director of practice research and policy for the American Psychological Association, Dr. Lynn Bufka.

Combating arthritis: The word on knee injections

May 6, 2017
Penn State / Flickr

Characterized by painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints, arthritis is an affliction that ails many. As weight-bearing joints, the knees are particularly prone to the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. In an effort to find relief, some may consider surgery and medication. For others, corticosteroid injections in the knee have become an effective means to combat their osteoarthritis.

To find out more about these knee injections and their effectiveness, “Take Care” spoke with Dr. Robert Shmerling, associate physician and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Going online for talk therapy

May 5, 2017

Technology is transforming many aspects of medicine -- including psychotherapy. Online talk therapy is a growing business. But is it as effective as traditional therapy? And does talking about your personal issues over the internet with a therapist remain private and secure?

This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Lynn Bufka, associate executive director of practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association, about what to consider before choosing online talk therapy.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Green Party’s Howie Hawkins is officially in the race for mayor of Syracuse. 

Hawkins last ran for the office 12 years ago, on a “Sustainable Syracuse” platform. He’s retrofitting that same slogan for 2017. 

“What I’m talking with sustainability -- and this is the vision we want to go in the next four to eight years -- is a city that has a sustainable prosperity," Hawkins said. "Sustainable fiscally, economically and ecologically.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Some of New York’s Democratic leaders are expressing outrage over the Republican House of Representatives vote to undo the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned for months that the proposed repeal of the ACA would blow a multi-billion-dollar hole in the state budget and potentially cost state and local governments and New York’s hospitals $4.5 billion.

Those who get their health care through the New York Exchange, set up under Obamacare, could lose $400 million in tax credits. And 1 million New Yorkers could lose their health care. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A demonstration of what a supervised injection facility for heroin users would look like has been making its way across cities in New York state. The sites would allow someone to use the drug under medical supervision. To make it a reality, the state would need a new law.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Due to heavy rains, Lake Ontario is overflowing its banks. Some New Yorkers want to lower the lake level by releasing water from a dam downstream. But the International Joint Commission, which controls the dam, says that will bring more flooding to Montreal. And the city is already reeling.

According to Jacob Bruxer at the IJC, Quebec is in for an historic weekend. The region has already been dealing with high water levels and flash flooding due to heavy rains over the last week and now it's projected to get worse.

Old Fort Niagara pummeled by Lake Ontario flood waters

May 4, 2017
Old Fort Niagara / French Castle

Concerns are growing that the historic structures at Old Fort Niagara could be at risk of damage from Lake Ontario's flood waters. The fort is located at the mouth of the Niagara River, where it meets the lake.

This week, the staff at Fort Niagara noticed several trees were missing from the bank, just east of the fort. On closer investigation, they determined that rising waters and winds caused a portion of the embankment to collapse into the lake, taking the trees with it.

Safe injection advocates tour New York State

May 4, 2017
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

 

Safe or supervised consumption sites are places where people addicted to drugs can use drugs under the supervision of medical staff - and without fear of arrest. They're illegal in New York, but Ithaca gained national attention last year when it proposed one.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Democrats in the state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made Wednesday in New York City.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she expects the seat of former Sen. Bill Perkins, a Harlem Democrat who won a city council post, to be filled by another mainstream Democrat when a special election is held on May 23.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

The future of the much maligned gondola proposed for the New York State Fair is in flux. It’s a matter of money.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said it all comes down to priorities. Building an Expo Center that would attract events, especially horse shows, is the most important project stemming from a task force deciding how to spend $70 million in state dollars earmarked for state fair renovations. And Mahoney said initial plans for an 80,000-square-foot facility, were apparently not big enough.

Payne Horning / WRVO

State and local officials hope a new emergency declaration from the governor will improve their response to flooding along Lake Ontario, but the lake is already taking a toll.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner closed the book on Trump Tuesdays in Syracuse, a series of weekly outdoor meetings to highlight the issues they are concerned about in a Trump’s presidency. But the mayor declared the effort far from over.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards.

Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia’s report came on a day when large numbers of students in some parts of the state were expected to once again boycott the required third- through eighth-grade math tests.

Elia said the timing was pure coincidence.

“This is about standards,” said Elia. “This is not about opt-out.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Powerful winds and thunderstorms are mixing with the high water levels in Lake Ontario to wreak havoc on homeowners along the shoreline. It's prompting New York state to declare a state of emergency for Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and other counties along Lake Ontario.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District is asking for $10 million less than what it initially requested for the next fiscal year. This comes after New York state decided which additional aid requests it would grant and which ones it would reject from the district.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Lake Ontario is 20 inches higher than normal, and New York towns along the south shore are filling sandbags and making other flood preparations.

David Sommerstein / NCPR file photo

Assembly Democrats grilled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours Monday about a plan executed by the Public Service Commission and a major energy company that will keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for the next 12 years.

Utility ratepayers, mostly from downstate, will pay for the deal through a surcharge on their bills.

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, chairman of the Environmental Committee, said he’s “very disappointed” in what he said was an opaque process hastily decided last summer that ratepayers ultimately will have to finance.

New York State Senate

Bills to improve voter access advanced in a New York State Senate committee, but their ultimate passage is uncertain.

The measures, which would allow same-day voter registration and early voting, were approved in the Senate Elections Committee and moved to a second committee.

Last year, the second committee, on local government, never met before the session ended, but advocates hope that 2017 is different.

Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan cast doubt on the measures, saying he has concerns about potential costs.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A May Day rally in Syracuse Monday focused on immigrants, like many others around the country.

May Day, also called International Workers’ Day, has been around for more than a century, started by laborers in Chicago who marched for an eight-hour workday at the end of the 19th century. And Nikeeta Slade of the Worker’s Center of Central New York wanted that history front and center at the Syracuse rally.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Tompkins County Legislature is scheduled to vote on raising the legal age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 years old on Tuesday. The legislature and public opinion remains divided on the issue.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr

President Donald Trump’s tax cut plan is so far just a one-page outline, but it’s already raising some red flags for New York’s political leaders.

The plan would slash corporate taxes and nearly double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000.

But the proposal also would eliminate the practice of deducting state income taxes and local property taxes from federal income taxes, and that could harm taxpayers in states with high local taxes, like New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been worried about the potential change for a while.

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