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.

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9:05am

Thu July 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

Veterans Job Corp. would employ vets for one year

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) stumps for veterans' employment programs during a trip to Syracuse in May.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

As veteran unemployment hovers above the national average, some lawmakers are pushing for the creation of a Veterans Job Corp.

Democrat Senator Charles Schumer from New York says the veteran corp. would be similar to the already established AmeriCorp program.

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3:44pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse shaking as much out of Destiny USA megamall as it can

Inside the expansion of the Destiny USA mall, set to officially open Aug. 2.
Destiny USA

Syracuse's threat of legal action against the Destiny USA mega-mall has prompted a matching threat from the mall's developer.

The dispute involves whether the developer owes the city a $2.2 million dollar payment because of delays in the of the construction of the mall.

In 2002, Destiny USA struck a deal with the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA). The arrangement allows the mall developer to make 30 years worth of payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT).

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10:39am

Wed July 25, 2012
Politics

Parties shy away from challenging incumbent lawmakers

It can be tough to unseat an incumbent lawmaker in New York.

That's why both parties are having a tough time this year finding people to run for the state Legislature.

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4:20pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Education

Senator Gillibrand backs uniform paperwork for college applicants

As the rising debt of recent college graduates becomes a focus of families across the country, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is trying to clarify the cost of higher education.

Gillibrand announced today that she is supporting new uniformed financial aid forms released by the Department of Education. She says a greater understanding of costs will help families plan better for college.

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3:16pm

Mon July 23, 2012
Politics and Government

Republican John Sharon will run again for state Assembly

Republican John Sharon will challenge democratic Assemblyman Sam Roberts for the 128th district.
Ryan Delaney WRVO
  • Republican John Sharon will run again for state Assembly

John Sharon thinks a one-on-one race will give him a better shot at winning a seat in the New York State Assembly.

Two years ago, Sharon was one of four candidates vying for the 119th Assembly District. Democrat Sam Roberts emerged the winner.

But this year Sharon, a Republican, will try again -- though in a slightly different district. After redistricting, the 119th has become the 128th, but still encompasses the eastern part of Syracuse and its eastern suburbs. That includes Dewitt, where Sharon lives.

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3:46pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse gets money to revitalize old industrial zones

New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales discusses Syracuse's brownfields as Mayor Stephanie Miner looks on.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse will use money from a state program to take another step in the long process of redeveloping former industrial sites.

Syracuse is getting a $500,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant for work on 113 acres just south of downtown and a 478 acre strip through the east side of the city. 

The grant is for the development of a revitalization strategy, the second of three phases of the BOA program, according to Owen Kerney, the city's deputy director for planning and sustainability.

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8:54am

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Miner hosts meeting to discuss upstate cities' financial woes

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Some of upstate New York's mayors are putting their brains together to deal with looming fiscal nightmares.

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10:30am

Tue July 17, 2012
Business

Syracuse IT firm gets state grant for training

IV4's Ben Wilcox tinkers on a computer at the company's Syracuse headquarters.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A Syracuse IT firm says a state grant will help it train and add new employees.

Former Syracuse mayor Matt Driscoll visited IV4 in downtown Syracuse Monday to announce the grant. Driscoll is now the director of the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation.

The $50,000 grant is part of the money the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council secured late last year.

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7:45am

Tue July 17, 2012
Startups

Drawing up their business was harder than they thought

GraFighters co-founder Eric Cleckner, right, shares a laugh with fellow entrepreneur and BrandYourself co-founder Patrick Ambron, left.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Four years ago, Erick Cleckner was sitting next to his friend, Dave Chenell, in a class at Syracuse University. But they weren't exactly paying attention.

"[We were] just drawing in our notebooks instead of taking notes," remembers Cleckner. "And we were arguing about whose drawing would win a fight."

Their debate about whose character would triumph didn't end when class was dismissed. Cleckner and Chenell started working on a digital battlefield where their sketches could actually engage in battle.

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3:39pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Politics and Government

Wendy Long challenges Sen. Gillibrand's fiscal record

Wendy Long, the republican candidate for U.S. Senate, stands next to State Senator John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) during a press conference Monday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long is challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) fiscal record.

Long stopped in Syracuse this afternoon on an upstate New York campaign swing.

Taxpayers in New York are sending too much money to Washington, Long contends.

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4:27pm

Tue July 10, 2012
Regional Coverage

Backhoe clears way for downtown Syracuse's Pike Block project

A backhoe demolishes the back of the Bond Building in downtown Syracuse for part of the Pike Block project.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With the shove of a backhoe, work on a large downtown Syracuse renovation project took a step forward.

Construction crews yesterday began demolition work on part of the Bond Building on South Salina Street. The Bond Building is one of four being renovated by V.I.P. Structures for a project now being called the Pike Block, which encompasses the southwest corner of South Salina and Fayette Streets.

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8:06am

Tue July 10, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse OK's 30-year tax break for university bookstore

The Syracuse Common Council approved a 30-year tax break for a new bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.
Cameron Group, LLC.

Those for it say it has little resemblance to Destiny USA other than the length of the tax break. But those in opposition disagree strongly.

Months of debate about Syracuse's development strategy and negotiations culminated Monday with the city granting just its second-ever 30-year property tax exemption.

The recipient is a developer who will build a mixed-use off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University. The property in question is a long sliver of land currently owned by the nonprofit university, so it's not taxable.

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9:26am

Mon July 9, 2012
Politics and Government

Syracuse poised to award second 30-year tax break

The Syracuse Common Council will vote on a proposed tax break for a new bookstore and fitness center this afternoon.
Cameron Group, LLC

Syracuse appears ready to give out its second 30-year tax exemption after months of debate. The decision comes at a time when many in the city are skeptical of public backing for development.

The Common Council has called a special session for later today to vote on the property tax exemption for a developer planning to build a Syracuse University bookstore and fitness center in the University Hill neighborhood.

The vote was supposed to happen back in March, but it was pulled at the last minute because it faced certain defeat. In the months since, councilors have negotiated with the developer and university.

On Friday, councilors confirmed the deal will finally proceed because it has gained the needed five votes.

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8:27am

Mon July 9, 2012
Business

Local labor unions rally to bring jobs back home

Richard Knowles of the United Steel Workers talks to a rally of local labor supporters.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Local labor unions are calling for politicians to do more to stop jobs from going overseas and encourage companies to bring jobs home.

Local chapters of the United Steelworkers (USW) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organized a rally Friday afternoon outside the shuttered M&K Candle factory on Syracuse's Northside.

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7:10am

Fri July 6, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Did Destiny USA ruin it for other developers in Syracuse?

Syracuse's Destiny USA shopping mall will remain just a mall.
Destiny USA

There's an old promotional video the developer behind the Destiny USA megamall released several years ago. It includes images of glass-enclosed golf courses, huge hotels and helicopter tours of upstate taking off from Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Despite ending by promising "grand opening, summer 2004," you won't see any of that on the shores of Onondaga Lake today.

All you'll see is an even bigger mall - despite developer Robert Congel winning a 30-year property tax break worth about $600 million as an incentive from the city to build the Disney Land-like attraction.

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10:52am

Thu July 5, 2012
Health

Welch Allyn preparing for new tax on medical equipment

Starting next year, there will be a 2.3% excise tax on medical equipment, like this barcode scanner.
Connectologist via Flickr

Despite months of preparation, the CEO of Welch Allyn says a new excise tax on medical supplies will hurt his company's bottom line.

As part of the Affordable Care Act upheld last week by the Supreme Court, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices sold in the United States will go into effect January 1. The tax is supposed to help pay for the expanded health care coverage.

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5:09pm

Thu June 28, 2012
Regional Coverage

More improvement predicted for downtown Syracuse

A view from inside the Pike Block project on South Salina Street in Syracuse. The Downtown Committee highlighted it as one of several projects underway downtown.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Downtown Syracuse is benefiting from an increase in investments and an uptick in young people wanting to live in urban settings, according to the Downtown Committee.

The Downtown Committee, a booster organization for the city's urban core, held its annual meeting Thursday to highlight several recent and about-to-begin projects in the city.

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8:03am

Tue June 26, 2012
The Upstate Economy

New York's craft breweries bubble on thanks to tax credit deal

The F.X. Matt Brewery makes several types of beers, including Saranac ales and lagers, at its Utica, N.Y. brew house.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Nick Matt ducks into side doors and up staircases while rattling off the history of the F.X. Matt Brewery in Utica.

The brew house is like a second home to Matt because it was his grandfather, F.X., who first opened the brewery 124 years ago.

If you're racking your brain to see if you've ever heard of F.X. Matt Brewery, try this: they make Saranac ales and lagers. For the older generations, does Utica Club ring a bell?

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8:54am

Tue June 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse cautiously approves Inner Harbor plans

COR Development has been awarded the contract to rebuild Syracuse's Inner Harbor.
scottwdw via Flickr

For COR Development President Steve Aiello, Monday's vote by the Syracuse Common Council was a long time coming.

Aiello's firm was selected earlier this year to redevelop the city's Inner Harbor. Then it was granted a memorandum of understanding from the council in February.

But it wasn't until yesterday that the council officially voted in favor of Aiello's $350 million proposal.

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4:06pm

Mon June 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Destiny USA's expansion will net Syracuse just $210,000 a year

Syracuse will collect just $210,000 more per year on the expansion of Destiny USA.
Destiny USA

Syracuse will be getting just a $210,000 increase in annual tax break payments from the expanded Destiny USA mega-mall.

That compares to several million dollars the mall would pay in property taxes if it didn't have a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) deal.

Syracuse common councilors learned the payment amount when they pressed the chairman of the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) Bill Ryan along with an attorney for SIDA this morning.

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9:23am

Mon June 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

How the maker of Saranac beer is turning wastewater into energy

Matt Brewing CEO Nick Matt, in blue blazer, discusses the brewery's addition of an anaerobic digester.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Five big new tanks have arrived at the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in Utica. But they won't be used to make the brewery's signature Saranac brand craft beer.

Instead, the tanks will act as anaerobic digesters for the brewery's wastewater.

Special bacteria will munch on the yeast and grains left floating around. The process will get the water about 85 percent cleaner before it's discharged into the sewer system, according to CEO Nick Matt.

But the digestion process also gives off methane gas and carbon dioxide.

That methane will be used to power a generator. CEO Matt says the new system will cover up to 40 percent of the brewery's electricity needs.

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10:16am

Thu June 14, 2012
Development

After Destiny USA debacle, Inner Harbor plans face a wary council

COR Development has proposed a $350 million project for the Inner Harbor that includes a hotel.
QPK Design via COR Development

(CORRECTION June 18th, 2 p.m.: The original version of this story incorrectly stated the estimated cost of environmental cleanup. That amount is roughly $12 million.)

The topic was the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor, but it didn't take long for a councilor to bring up the elephant in the chamber: the failed expansion of Destiny USA.

But Steven Aiello, president of COR Development, didn't have much choice on the timing of his meeting with the Syracuse Common Council.

It was just last week that grand plans by the developer of Destiny USA were finally laid to rest.

Aiello isn't looking to build a mall, but councilors couldn't help but raise concerns. The proposed project is just down the road from what was once going to be Syracuse's Disney World.

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2:49pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Entrepreneurship

Young entrepreneurs: Out of the dorm room and into the incubator

Ariel Norling, the 20-year-old CEO of YouShouldDate.me, talks over ideas for her new online dating site.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Ariel Norling, 20, is from San Antonio, Texas. She has a lip ring and a spunky attitude to match. She majored in policy studies at Syracuse University.

Oh, and she's the CEO of her own online dating site called YouShouldDate.me. Tagline: "Online dating sucks, but it doesn't have to."

"We're trying to find the middle ground between 'casual whatever,' which generally just means people hooking up, and marriage," says Norling, describing her site.

She says she didn't really expect to become an entrepreneur - hence the social sciences degree. But last fall, after some convincing by a friend, Norling decided to pitch her idea at a local startup weekend.

The pitch worked. Folks liked it. And now she's spending the summer in Syracuse along with her two business partners in a startup incubator called the Student Sandbox.

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10:34am

Fri June 8, 2012
Politics and Government

The Green Party's 'New Deal:' Rozum calls for public works program

Ursula Rozum sharing the details of her public works program in downtown Syracuse on Thursday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Green Party candidate for congress in central New York says a massive public works program can create jobs and improve the environment.

Ursula Rozum called for a “New-Deal”-like $10 trillion, 10-year program to fund clean building, energy and transportation programs.

She says it would create needed jobs.

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4:41pm

Wed June 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Senator Charles Schumer backs farmers after spring frost

Ian Lamont Flickr

Senator Charles Schumer is backing changes to this year’s farm bill that he says would better protect local farmers in the future from damages like those caused by this spring’s frost.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today declared many upstate New York farms are now eligible for federal aid from those frosts.

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2:15pm

Tue June 5, 2012
Startups

Student entrepreneurs spending summer in Syracuse "Sandbox"

Entrepreneur-in-Residence John Liddy, right, meets with one of the teams participating in the Syracuse Student Sandbox.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Instead of painting houses or mowing lawns, a group of college students in Syracuse is spending the summer launching companies.

The Student Sandbox incubator just got underway at the Syracuse Tech Garden. And participation is ballooning.

When the program started four years ago, just five teams took part. This year, there are 34 teams. The Tech Garden had to find overflow space to fit everybody.

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2:31pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Environment

Lofty goals for Syracuse's first sustainability plan

Syracuse wants to live up to its nickname.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The city of Syracuse wants to get half its power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

That's just one of the targets laid out in a draft version of Syracuse's first sustainability plan [PDF].

It still has a ways to go, however: about 24 percent of New York's power currently comes from renewable sources - with hydropower accounting for the vast majority of that number, according to the New York Independent System Operator [PDF].

Syracuse is also hoping to reduce its energy consumption, advance education about environmental stewardship and increase urban agriculture and tree cover.

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4:48pm

Wed May 30, 2012
Education

High Marks for Say Yes to Education in Syracuse

Say Yes to Education founder George Weiss signs a copy of a book written by students in the Say Yes program.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The thunderstorms that rolled through upstate New York Tuesday afternoon kept George Weiss' plane grounded in New York City.

So Weiss, the philanthropist and founder of Say Yes to Education, decided to drive up to Syracuse in order to make it to a student event Tuesday evening.

He told a crowd at McKinley-Brighton Elementary School Wednesday morning that the long drive was worth it when a student came up to him teary-eyed.

She told Weiss that he had given her a hug two years earlier when she graduated high school. Now, after graduating from a community college with the cost covered by Say Yes, she wanted another hug.

"Any time you see the smile on these kids' faces and the hope," Weiss said. "This is what it's all about, the hope."

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3:36pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Bill Owens reaches out to Canadian companies

Representative Bill Owens is working to increase economic ties between the North Country and Canadian businesses.

The Democrat held a series of meetings in Canada this week in an effort to entice more Canadian companies to look to Northern New York for expansion.

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5:25pm

Thu May 24, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse candle maker rekindles old flame

Light 4 Life devotional candles roll through the company's new assembly line.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Candles are again being made at a Syracuse factory that had made them for almost 100 years.

Three years after Will & Baumer closed up shop and moved its candle-making operation to Tennessee, a new manufacturer of devotional candles has taken over the old plant.

The new company - Light 4 Life Candles - is headed up by former Will & Baumer president Marshall Ciccone.

Ciccone and other company officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.

"It's just very, very heartening to see kind of a new start," Ciccone said after the ceremony. "A new company, but doing the same kind of thing."

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