News

Minor program adjustments at WRVO

Nov 16, 2014
Matteo Ianeselli/Wikimedia Commons

Thought you heard something just a little different on WRVO? Good for you…that means you’re paying attention. NPR has made some minor changes to some of its programs – most notably Morning Edition and All Things Considered – which require us to make a few adjustments of our own. You may hear a newscast where you didn’t hear one before, or a feature you’re used to hearing at a certain time may be heard a little earlier or later.

Poverty has long been understood to be a root cause of crime.  What's less well understood is how crime--and the criminal justice system--contribute to poverty.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher explores that dynamic with Marsha Weissman, the executive director of the Center for Community Alternatives, an organization dedicated to finding alternatives to incarceration and supporting people in the criminal justice system.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The city of Oswego is putting the brakes on SUNY Oswego's construction of several signs on city property designed to improve the entrance to the college.

The Common Council voted down the university's plan to erect an entrance sign and two other signs on city property. The city stopped the construction project last month, saying the college did not get approval first.

Councilor Michael Todd voted against the project and urged other council members to do the same.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he’s not going away now that elections are over. He says he intends to continue drawing attention to issues like raising the minimum wage and building his party, instead.

Hawkins says the Greens, who were the only party to gain voters in the elections, intends to build their membership in the coming months. Hawkins says 70 percent of voters did not bother coming to the polls, and he sees potential in the disaffected electorate.

“Those are the future Green voters,” Hawkins said. “That’s the way we’re looking at it.”

James F Clay / Flickr

The New York State Educational Conference Board says now that the economy is improving and the state has a multi-billion dollar surplus, it’s time to end years of what they say is underspending on New York’s schools.

The board is made up of the state’s teachers, school boards, superintendents and the PTA, among others. They agree school spending must increase significantly in the new year. Chairman John Yagielski says the groups want an additional $1.9 billion for the 2015-16 school year.

Woolworth Building now accepting applications

Nov 14, 2014
Julia Botero

The historic Woolworth Building in downtown Watertown is accepting applications for tenants. After years of talks and renovations, work to transform this architectural landmark from an eyesore to an asset is coming to a close. The apartment building will be ready for tenants to move in by mid-January. 

The Woolworth Building apartments will fill a deep need in the Watertown community - affordable housing for people who need it most. The apartments are spacious, clean and for those moving in this winter, totally new.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period begins Saturday. One Syracuse agency is getting ready to help people who want to sign up or make a change in their health insurance policies.

In the first year of the Affordable Care Act, ACR Health in Syracuse signed up 8,000 central New Yorkers through the New York State of Health website, and about 6,000 of those people completed their health insurance enrollment. Now it’s time for the agency to get back to work during the next open enrollment period.

How to prepare for a natural disaster

Nov 14, 2014
Canadian Pacific / via Flickr

Living in upstate New York brings with it a variety of weather -- and natural disasters, like blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes or flooding. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen have part two of their conversation with Commisioner Jerome Hauer of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, who outlines what residents can do to prepare themselves for a weather emergency.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse University's chancellor says he's issued "the final word" to a large group of student protestors and it's time to move forward, but the students have no intention of moving out the school's administrative building, which they've called home for nearly two weeks.

In a letter to the campus, chancellor Kent Syverud this week gave the student protestors something they've wanted for awhile: a formal apology for the way the university closed a sexual assault advocacy center over the summer.

Julia Botero / WRVO

Local politicians, environmentalists and business owners gathered in Clayton Wednesday to urge Washington, D.C. to adopt a new plan to manage water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

The current plan is 55 years old. This new one promises to restore wetlands and wildlife to the waterways while also extending the boating season. But the issue has been debated for over a decade.

jpellgen / via Flickr

The University Hill section of Syracuse is home to two colleges, three hospitals and several businesses that support them. It’s also a quarter of Syracuse’s economy.

There's $650 million worth of investment underway on the hill, according to Dave Mankiewitz, president of the University Hill Corporation.

The University Hill Corporation has been advised that Interstate 81 needs to be removed for the neighborhood to thrive. But the group is waiting to weigh in on the project.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state will begin 2015 with the largest one-time windfall budget surplus since the end of World War II, due to settlements with major banks after the financial crisis. Fiscal watchdog groups are warning lawmakers not to go crazy with ideas for how to spend it.

The settlements from Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers and other financial institutions have netted the state $5.1 billion in settlements over alleged misconduct during the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Triple-digit layoffs have again hit the century-old firearm maker Remington Arms, which employs over a thousand people in the Mohawk Valley.

State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney confirmed 126 layoffs at the plant yesterday on her Twitter feed. The news was first reported by WKTV in Utica. Calls to the company and a union representative from WRVO were not returned.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Homeowners living in Oswego can breathe a little easier knowing that this year's budget does not include anything close to last year's 43 percent property tax increase.

Mayor Tom Gillen's budget presentation at this week's common council meeting lasted only a few minutes, but spoke volumes. The mayor proposed a $43.3 million budget that includes a property tax increase of 1.4 percent. That translates to about $14 extra for the average $70,000 dollar home.

Democrat Councilor Fran Enwright says this year's budget comes as a big relief for taxpayers.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse-area Congressman-elect John Katko is heading to Washington, D.C. today to begin a week-long orientation session for freshman lawmakers.

The Republican has named a 12-member transition team, which includes former GOP Rep. Jim Walsh.

The team will hire staff and create an agenda for Katko’s first 100 days in office. The transition committee draws from the public and private sector, including Ryan McMahon, chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, former House of Representatives staff members and a personnel recruiter.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Twenty-five years ago last weekend, the Berlin Wall came crashing down, a key event that led to the end of the Cold War. The anniversary is also shining a light on a piece of the historic wall that ended up in Syracuse, a fact many central New Yorkers aren’t aware of.

Joe Marino

The city of Utica is showing its appreciation to the nation's veterans, not only on Veterans Day, but every day of the year. The city recently unveiled specially designated parking spaces near the disabled parking spots for veterans and their widowed spouses.
 

Fourth Ward Councilman Joe Marino says he came up with the idea while he was talking with his brother-in-law, who had returned from serving overseas a couple years ago. Since then, Marino says the city has rallied behind the plan.

provided photo

Andrew Miller served two tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. He's since returned and is studying writing at Syracuse University. Miller struggled with the praise he received when he finished active duty and has sought ways to sort out the memories

Coming home from war should be a more solemn experience than it often is, he told WRVO recently. It's about more than "blind flag waving and yellow ribbon hysteria," said Miller.

Here's an excerpt from him:

Dave Chanatry / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

On this Veterans’ Day, a reminder that recovery from war is often a long and difficult process. Some veterans have found help in the simple acts of tying a fly and dropping a hook.

This is a story that starts a long way from home.

"Stationed out in the central highlands, this is Vietnam, LZ center..."

"I was on a Medevac helicopter; I was a door gunner..."

"10th Mountain, 187th Infantry, at the beginning of the Afghan war."

Those are the stories of Charlie Chapman, Mike Martin and Dan Young.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A rooftop garden at the top of the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center's new spinal injury wing does more than provide a nice view for visitors. It’s the site of a horticulture therapy program that the VA is hoping could spread to other hospitals in the system.

Bruce Nowakowski, 66, of Pennelville, has been in the residential unit of the VA for about a year now. He says he's got a dream.  
 

"Right now I’m trying to work on growing a giant pumpkin,” Nowakoski said.

He knows where he’s going to get the seeds, and expects to plant them in January.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Before returning  to Washington for the next session of Congress, Sen. Kirsten Gllibrand (D-NY) made a stop yesterday in Utica to talk about cybersecurity.

Gillibrand came to Utica College to tour the Northeast Cyber Forensic Center. She said the region has long been fundamental to the nation’s national security.

"Utica and Rome nearby have been at the heart of our national defense, particularly in areas concerning cyber," Gillibrand explained. "So we almost have a corridor of expertise in this region which is very powerful."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York’s senior senator wants members of the military screened for mental health problems more often in an effort to stem the military’s high suicide rate.

Right now, members of the armed services are screened for mental health problems before and immediately after deployment to combat zones.

"The screenings are better than nothing and they’re an important component in the military’s efforts to lower the suicide rate," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "But it’s not enough, and it fails to address some of the mental health issues in a large group of members."

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

About 10 million bushels of grain come through the Port of Oswego each year, but the port cannot export that grain to other countries by ship because it doesn't have the necessary designation from the USDA.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he is going to try to change that. Schumer says he believes the port could qualify for the USDA designation, with some help from SUNY Oswego.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego city voters overwhelmingly approved a five percent tax cap on Election Day, and some lawmakers say they are on board with the new law, which they hope will bring more accountability and efficiency to the annual budget process.

Republican Fifth Ward Councilor Billy Barlow says he's excited to see the city's new five percent tax cap in place. But it isn't just about the city's taxpayers drawing a metaphorical line in the sand regarding the city's budget.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The city of Syracuse is ready to jump into a competition for more state funds meant to spark the upstate economy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to announce a competition based on the model of the Buffalo Billion.

Cuomo, during an political stop in Syracuse last month, said he’ll start talking up the program in his State of the State speech in January.

“We’re going to ask for a billion and a half dollars to bring the Buffalo Billion type program to other cities across upstate New York," Cuomo said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Now that elections are over, supporters and opponents of hydrofracking are wondering what will be Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s next move on the long-stalled gas drilling process in New York state.

New York has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for several years. Most recently, Cuomo has said he’s awaiting results of an over two-year long health review being conducted by his administration.

During a debate in October, Cuomo said the review would finally be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

From the Habib family’s front door in their Strathmore neighborhood home, they can see Roberts Elementary School. But instead of crossing the street to school on this drizzly fall morning, six-year-old Jackson and his mom, Mary, are standing on the corner waiting for the bus.

While waiting, Mary prods Jackson to shows off the Spanish he’s learning so far in the school he chose to go to, instead of Roberts. He counts to seven, but then admits gym is actually his favorite subject.

How New York state prepares for the worst

Nov 9, 2014
www.cwcs.co.uk / Flickr

When disaster strikes, it generally is a surprise. But whether it's a natural disaster or a human-caused one, government entities can prepare for how to deal with them when they arise.

This week on “Take Care,” Commissioner Jerome Hauer of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services discusses what New York state has done to prepare for emergencies. 

Can a dog's nose detect ovarian cancer?

Nov 9, 2014
Conrad Olson

Dogs are known for their ability to smell things from a mile away. Now researchers are trying to put that talent to good use, training dogs to detect ovarian cancer in women with just their noses.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Cindy Otto discusses how dogs’ sense of smell is leading researchers to catch ovarian cancer. Otto is the founder and executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine.

How is the problem of Latin American immigration and the recent wave of immigrant children seen by two spokespersons for the region?  On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher speaks with Francisco Altschul, El Salvador's Ambassador to the United States, and Julio Ligorria, Guatemala's Ambassador.  Together they encourage American listeners to understand and appreciate the historical context for the current problem, and press for the idea of shared responsibility--for the past, and for addressing the problem in the future.

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