Ryan Delaney

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Central New York

Ryan Delaney works on the Innovation Trail project - covering technology, economic development, startups and other issues relating to New York's innovation economy.

Ryan began his public radio career working for WAER in Syracuse while still in college, where his work was honored by the Syracuse Press Club. He then returned to Syracuse, N.Y. from Albany where he worked at WAMC. Prior to that, Ryan filed stories for The Allegheny Front in Pittsburgh.

His reporting has also been heard on NPR, Vermont Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.

Ryan grew up in Burlington, Vt. He has a degree in broadcast journalism and international relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Ways To Connect

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.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upset with what they say is a lack of transparency from university officials, Syracuse University students are vowing to continue a sit-in at the school's administrative building that's been underway since Monday afternoon.

Monday was when a boisterous group of students renewed protests over a closure of a sexual assault victim resource center, reduction in minority scholarships and proposed changes to the university's mission statement. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It became clear early on election night that Dan Maffei was going to lose his re-election effort to Congress, but the scope of the loss left many surprised.

“Stunning” is a word more than one political analyst used Wednesday morning to describe Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei’s nearly 20 point loss to Republican John Katko. Not in that he lost, but by how much.

Phil Roeder / via Flickr

Political polls were a crucial way of predicting the outcome of Tuesday’s elections. Polls in central New York's seat for Congress saw an 18 point swing in the campaign's final weeks. But how political polling is conducted – over the telephone – faces an uncertain future.

Pollsters have long used landline telephones to reach into people’s homes and ask them about issues and candidates. It’s far from an exact science, but it’s been the best we’ve got.

But the problem nowadays is that most people under the age of 35 don’t have landline telephones in their home.

-JvL- / Flickr

The New York state Senate got swept up in this year's Republican election wave, with 33 districts in their corner after the votes were counted.

The dean of central New York’s Senate delegation, state Sen. John DeFrancisco, said that’s good news.

On the flip side, it means difficulty for central New York's Democratic Assembly members to push through key agenda items, and reduces the influence of Sen. Dave Valesky, who DeFrancisco shares representation of Syracuse with.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A year ago, John Katko of Camillus was a federal prosecutor, putting criminals behind bars. Today he is congressman-elect for central New York’s 24th Congressional District.

The Republican's first foray into politics has led to a stunning victory over two-term Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat.      

“Anybody want to know why I’m wearing a purple tie?" Katko asked, opening his victory speech. "It’s a combination of red and blue because we all got to get together." 

He vowed to keep the promise he made on the campaign trail to work with Democrats in Washington.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The candidates for central New York’s hotly contested seat in Congress spent their final day of the campaign rallying voter turnout.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has a slight edge in registered Democrats over Republicans in the 24th Congressional District, but he’s struggled to get them to the polls in midterm elections during his previous campaigns. So Monday afternoon he visited his campaign phone bank.

"Now it’s all up to the grassroots and getting out the vote," he said. "That is going to deliver this race; that’s going to deliver a lot more races nationwide." 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins is joining the growing criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a comment Cuomo made about teachers. The governor said the public education system is a monopoly.

Earlier this week, Cuomo told the New York Daily News the state’s public education system is the last great public monopoly. He says he’ll try to push for a new round of teacher evaluations if reelected.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

West side of Syracuse residents are again fighting to keep a halfway house for felons re-entering the community out of their neighborhood, saying the current facility is just fine where it is, far away.

The federal Bureau of Prisons' contract with non-profit Firetree, LTD. to operate a re-entry facility on the eastern edge of downtown Syracuse is up. Firetree, which is from Pennsylvania, has submitted a bid to have the contact to run the three-dozen bed facility renewed.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

As WRVO profiles congressional races in central and northern New York this week, we turn to the 24th Congressional District. It features a well-known Democrat who has struggled to hold onto the office, and a political neophyte. We begin first with our profile of the incumbent, Rep. Dan Maffei.

Maffei has spent the better part of the last decade running for Congress. He’s lost, won, lost, won and now, at 46 years old, he’s running for re-election.

Sarah Jean Condon / The Citizen

A week busy with debates for the 24th Congressional District candidates continued last night with their first live televised debate.

The Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger fielded questions on infrastructure, and cuts to carbon emissions, taxes and the Affordable Care Act.

Gas tax

In the Syracuse Media Group/WCNY debate aired live, neither Rep. Dan Maffei nor Republican challenger John Katko supported raising the gas tax, which the federal government uses to fund bridge and road repair.

Ken Hawkins / Flickr

Syracuse city councilors are hoping to convince state-level lawmakers to change a law that allows police, firefighters and sanitation workers to live outside the cities they work in.

A non-binding resolution issued by the council comes after they learned only about three dozen of the city’s roughly 450 police officers actually live in the city. Firefighters and sanitation workers are also exempt, though a higher percentage of those employees live in the city.

That results in tens of millions of dollars in city salaries leaving the city, the council estimates.

NIAID / Flickr

Federal lawmakers from New York are somewhat split on how to handle people traveling to the state from Ebola-stricken West African nations.

NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Syracuse lawmakers want to make the state’s redistricting process less political. City councilors are calling for the defeat of a statewide proposition on the ballot next week.

Proposition One, which voters will decide on next Tuesday, would amend the state constitution for how congressional, state Senate and Assembly districts are drawn.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Andrew Miller had finished his second tour in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army, but he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it before being thrown back into the world, now labeled a veteran.

"Nobody gave us the time or the room to figure out what it meant to us," he said. "We caught planes, hipped and hopped and skipped and jumped. And the next thing we do, we were having a parade shoved down our throat."

Miller had a bad experience being asked to headline a Veterans Day parade he didn’t feel he earned for the right reasons.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

An old television sitting on a curb in Syracuse has been there so long weeds are starting to grow through it. Trash scrappers already came and smashed it in two to remove the valuable items inside, like copper wiring. All that’s left is the plastic frame and glass screen. 

"TVs are not supposed to be out on the curb anymore," said Syracuse Public Works Commissioner Pete O'Connor. "However, the dilemma we have in the city of Syracuse is, we all know they’re out there."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Members of the Syracuse faith community and the city’s police department want to be “proactive” in improving the relationship between the community and police department.

African-African faith leaders will hold a series of monthly community meetings at different churches in the city beginning next month with the goal of facilitating a dialog between the police department and community members.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO & Zack Seward/WXXI

The four candidates for governor of New York met on a stage together in Buffalo Wednesday night for likely the only time this fall.

The debate began with questions of economic development, hydrofracking and political corruption. It soon turned into a series of no longer on-topic jabs between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the executive of Westchester County.

Cuomo is seeking his second term as governor.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Some powerful Washington politicians are visiting central New York, stumping for their chosen candidates for the 24th Congressional District, in the final weeks of the campaign season.

It was Republican John Katko's turn first. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) headlined a $75-a-plate fundraising brunch in Auburn Sunday in support of Katko. McCarthy and Katko then toured the Seward House, once home to Abraham Lincoln's secretary of state William Seward.

Zixi Wu / via Flickr

Updated, 4:19 p.m. with statement Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham:

An award-winning Washington Post photographer who has covered the Ebola virus in West Africa says Syracuse University is caving to the "hysteria" of the virus by canceling his visit to campus this weekend.

The photojournalist, Michel du Cille, was supposed to be on campus this weekend as part of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication's Fall Workshop, a tent post weekend for masters students at the communications school.

Duke Energy / via Flickr

New Yorkers could see health benefits from proposed standards for coal power plants, new research has found.

A vast majority of New York’s energy production comes from nuclear, hydro and natural gas, but the state is downwind from states that do burn a lot of coal, like Ohio, so that means the soot blows this way.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko is trying to hold Rep. Dan Maffei to a clean campaign pledge the congressman proposed early in the campaign.

To flash back to April, Congressman Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) called on Katko, the former federal prosecutor trying to unseat him in the 24th Congressional District, to run a straight forward, issued-based campaign.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The candidates for a central New York congressional seat are talking about their environmental platforms, but as with much of the campaign recently, it’s come in the form of barbs.

Rep. Dan Maffei, the Democrat trying to hold onto the 24th Congressional District against Republican John Katko, says Katko has environmental views that are dangerous for central New York. Maffei charges Katko doesn’t believe in climate change.

"He’s putting politics and this campaign ahead of public safety," Maffei said at press event in Syracuse's Thorndon Park Tuesday.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, doesn’t just want to do away with the Common Core education curriculum, but as much standardized testing as possible.

That dislike for Common Core is one of the few things Hawkins and Republicans can agree on. Both he and the GOP candidate for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, want to see the national benchmarks for English and math learning be revoked.

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins says the natural gas industry’s short-sighted attitude is not what New York needs. 

Hawkins recently visited a northern Pennsylvania region that’s experienced an energy rush using the drilling method known as fracking. Part of New York state sits on the same shale formation, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been hesitant to open the state up to extraction, over pressure from environmental advocates.

Rob Astorino, the Republican running for governor, says fracking would bring a major economic boom to the struggling Southern Tier.

ECC.edu

When do students fall in love with science and technology? Turns out, it’s at a pretty young age.

"Most people who turn out to be scientists or engineers or mathematicians, originally got interested in elementary school; somewhere between grades K through 6," said Dr. Philip Sadler.

Sadler studies students’ interests in the field known as STEM - science, technology, engineering and math – for his work at Harvard University.

Ars Electronica / via Flickr

There have been 1,020 small unmanned aerial vehicle flights -- what most people call drones -- in Canada this year, according to the Canadian transportation officials.

That's up from 945 in 2013 and 347 in 2012, Transport Canada reported.

"In Canada, as globally, UAV is exploding," said Joe Barnsley, an aviation attorney in Winnipeg, Canada. "It’s a huge growth area."

Meanwhile, the U.S. drone industry is simmering more than exploding. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

When Howie Hawkins began his second run for governor as a member of the Green Party, he says he found education to be a key issue, so that’s where he looked for a running mate.

"We had a checklist of items that would make the ideal candidate," he said. "And my running mate, Brian Jones, he added to the list. He checked every box."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins wants the minimum wage for New York workers to be nearly doubled.

Hawkins, the perennial political activist and UPS worker, is calling for the state’s minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

It’s $8 right now and on track to rise to $9 by the end of next year. Hawkins says that should also go for tipped workers, who right now make a base salary of just $5 an hour, something the state is considering.

An increase in the minimum wage reduces poverty and takes a burden off of welfare programs, he argues.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Most New Yorkers earning the minimum wage are seeing their pay increase slightly, but that doesn't go for those in the service industry who receive tips.

The state's minimum wage will be $9 an hour at the end of next year. It will stay flat for servers and other tipped workers at $5 an hour, plus those tips.

Now the state labor department is considering raising the tipped minimum wage, but restaurant owners are worried it will have a negative ripple effect.

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