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

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.

The federal agency that oversees public housing and urban renewal says there was simply too much demand from local governments to give them all money to inspect homes and remove lead paint, including Syracuse.

Syracuse officials announced Thursday the city didn't win a grant - it asked for $3 million - from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the lead removal program for the first time in two decades.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is one of the most influential Democrats in central New York, serving for a time as co-chair of the party's statewide operations. She's also one of the most outspoken. 

Miner sat down with WRVO Wednesday afternoon to discuss the city's loss of $3 million in federal funding for lead remediation from its aging homes. She discussed a number of other topics, including the increasing negativity of the race to represent the region in Congress. 

Wayne Marshall / via Flickr

Syracuse has lost out on federal funding for lead removal in city homes for the first time in two decades and will have to now rely on the county’s program.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, didn’t give any reason why Syracuse's application for $3 million was denied, the city said today.

"Our program funding will run out at the end of this year," said Mayor Stephanie Miner. "And then the program will be over."

HUD has given the city millions of dollars to inspect homes and remove lead every year since 1993.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei is again hitting his opponent Republican John Katko for things that happened when Katko was a federal prosecutor.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, says while Katko worked for the Justice Department, he let former Oswego mayor John Gosek off easy because he was a fellow Republican.

Gosek was arrested by the FBI in 2005 for soliciting sex from underage girls. In a plea deal, he served 33 months in prison, below the mandatory minimum for the crime, and was listed as a sex offender.

David Rodriguez Martin / via Flickr

The commercial drone industry says privacy advocates are unfairly targeting it when it comes to privacy and surveillance concerns.

The unmanned aerial systems industry wasn’t even expecting to have to fight over privacy when it came to the integration of drones into the national airspace.

"When the FAA bill passed, we had no idea privacy was going to be the issue de jour, of the day, for the next years to come," said Mario Mairena, who handles government relations for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a leading industry trade group.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Parental pressure was a major part of Walter Broadnax staying in school – and then doing well. He went on to serve as a policy expert for two different presidential administrations.

Success in education is the responsibility of more than just the student, he says now.

His father was the one that was strict about him staying in school, while his mother also usually had some sharp advice.

He recently spoke to a group of Fowler High School students in Syracuse as part of a national effort for African American leaders to give back to schools.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Two recent surveys have solidified a suburban-city divide over the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse, with people living outside the city want to see the elevated roadway stay. 

A Siena College/Syracuse Media Group poll released over the weekend found that people living outside of Syracuse’s borders want to see the highway’s path through downtown preserved, compared to an urban boulevard replacing the aged roadway.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Republican John Cahill is asking the state’s top prosecutor to debate him multiple times, but so far, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hasn’t agreed to anything.

Cahill wants to take on Schneiderman, a Democrat, in every region of the state.

"It’s a long process to convince voters and to talk to voters about the issues that they face, the roll of the attorney general," he said in an interview.

Cahill wants ten regional debates and one statewide.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, has about six weeks left to get his state-wide support up to levels where it is in Syracuse.

Hawkins, a Syracuse resident, has won over a quarter of voters in the city, according to a recent poll. Hawkins says he would earn even more support if voters considered just the issues.

Onondaga County

A concert venue along Onondaga Lake is not the economic development project the state should be investing in, according to Rob Astorino, the Republican running for governor of New York.

Astorino, the Westchester county executive, said Monday a proposed 17,000 seat concert amphitheater for the west side of Onondaga Lake will be a hollow space.

Talk Radio News Service / via Flickr

The nation's most powerful Republican will be in central New York this evening to campaign for the man challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei.

It could be a welcomed boost for John Katko, who needs to make up ground against Maffei with just over six weeks before Election Day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

People who use food stamps to purchase groceries should get their shopping done early this weekend, as the system will be down Sunday morning to go through an upgrade.

The state is switching providers for its public assistance program, now known as SNAP benefits. To do so, benefit recipients debit like cards won’t work from midnight Saturday until noon Sunday.

So the state’s benefit provider office is encouraging people to do their shopping beforehand.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center got an invited earful from veterans about their care. The hospital hosted a town hall on Thursday.

The first question at a town hall-style meeting in the basement of the V.A. came from Navy veteran Bob Stewart. It was not in high praise of the V.A.

Stewart was denied coverage for surgery on his knee, so he had to pay out of pocket at a private hospital.

"I could afford to do that. There are so many veterans out there that can’t afford to do things like that. And something needs to be done about it," he said.

Syracuse city officials are trying to learn more about their city’s homeless population. The city council held a hearing on the issue Wednesday evening.

One night this week, 527 people slept in a handful of homeless shelters – or in overflow hotel rooms – in the city of Syracuse. Charities that work with the homeless estimate another two dozen chose to sleep outside.

The city is on track to have one of its highest homeless populations in years.

vadikunk / via Flickr

The public legal defense system in Onondaga County is being highlighted by a civil liberties group on the eve of a lawsuit against the state to change it.

A third of alleged criminals in Onondaga County using public defenders never met with their lawyers outside of the courtroom, a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union has found.

Onondaga County was one of five in the state singled out in the report.

Keith Allison / Flickr

The Oneida Indian Nation and the Change the Mascot campaign have spent more than a year putting public pressure on the Washington D.C. football franchise to drop its nickname, the Redskins. They say it’s offensive.

Change the Mascot is continuing its push on Washington’s pro football team to change its name by reaching out to owners of all the NFL teams and taking action in Congress.

Half the U.S. Senate and a growing chorus of newspapers and public officials have chimed in too, but so far the team itself has refused to budge.

Ben Nolan

The New York State Health Department has confirmed enterovirus 68 came to New York state last week, with more than a dozen children diagnosed with the illness in the Capitol Region and central New York. Health experts are telling parents the best defense against the virus is to make sure kids practice good hygiene.

Three children with asthma contracted the highly contagious respiratory virus and were admitted to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. The virus made it very difficult for them to breath.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There are three confirmed cases in central New York of a highly contagious respiratory virus that health officials said was only a matter of time before it struck children here.

Two school-aged children from Onondaga County and one from a neighboring county were admitted this week to Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse with the Enterovirus 68, according to county health officials and the hospital.

courtesy / Syracuse University

Syracuse University law students are settling in for many long nights of studying in a new space. 

The university's college of law christened its new home, Dineen Hall, Friday. It's named for two alumni, Robert and Carolyn Dineen. 

The Dineens both put themselves through Syracuse law and became prominent attorneys in both the city and New York state. Their children donated $15 million for the new hall.

One daughter is the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, a judge on the federal fifth circuit, based in New Orleans.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican, is backing the president’s plan to try to root out an Islamic extremist group in the Middle East.

"I think there are some things in life you don’t have a choice," he said. "These people have declared what they mean, what they intend to do, through many different type of media and I think we have to take it very seriously."

Hanna, a moderate conservative from the Utica area, says the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, should be taken to them, before it comes here.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse public school district has released new guidelines for disciplining its students. It’s getting positive marks from district teachers and principals.

A student pulling the fire alarm has become a well-discussed example as the district spent seven months reworking its code of conduct.

The district has put more emphasis on restorative over punitive discipline. That means considering the situation in which a student pulled an alarm.

A 50-member task force has broken discipline into three-tiers, with more focus on discussion and keeping students in school.

Columbia City Blog / Flickr

A central New York board of elections commissioner says switching to a vote-by-mail system would both increase turnout and save money.

Bob Howe, the Republican commissioner for elections in Cortland County, readily admits he may be the oddball with this thinking.

But with voting machines costing more than $11,000 each and the need to pay observers to staff polling places, Howe argues mail ballots would be much cheaper.

.brsolo. / via Flickr

The level of adult illiteracy in Onondaga County has held steady at just above the national average for the past several years. Nearly 1-in-5 adults in central New York can’t read and write beyond an elementary school level.

But it’s not all immigrants taking up English as a second language. There are just has many adults who graduated high school but could never read as well as they should.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

By goldfish standards, a massive rescue mission was carried out once the midway lights went dark on the 2013 run of the New York State Fair.

Well after midnight, Janice Wilson and others rounded up a few hundred of the goldfish that hadn’t been won over the previous two weeks.

"Transporting was very difficult," she said. "Even getting containers that we could travel in because they are very sensitive to motion and a lot of them we knew would not even make the transfer."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Big yellow buses are hitting the roads across the state today as school begins again and police departments in the region are asking drivers to look out for them.

Law enforcement officials are pleading with commuters to drive slow and be careful around schools and busses. After the long summer break, it’s a habit drivers may not be used to on their commutes.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Some Syracuse public school students started the new school year this week in an entirely new schools aimed at turning around struggling academic buildings.

In the basement of Hughes Elementary School, Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras greeted students at the new Syracuse Latin magnet school. Its liberal arts heavy curriculum is being phased in first at the kindergarten and first grade levels.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The 2014 edition of the New York State Fair is in the books – and in the record books.

Attendance at this year’s fair beat the previous run. Including two all-time single day records set on the final weekend. That’s a good bounce back after a 20-year low in 2012.

This year saw also a new midway company for the first time in six decades and the first ever “Dollar Day” to mark the end of the fair on Labor Day.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It’s Labor Day, which marks both the unofficial end to summer as well as a day to celebrate the American workforce.

But there are half as many Americans in a labor union today as there were 30 years ago. It’s down to about one in 10 workers.

"We got to do everything we can to try and gain back that number and that’s important. We got to have the middle class again," said steelworker Brian Hoige. "It’s either the rich or the poor, there’s not really any middle class left to speak of anymore."

Brett Levin / Flickr

Marijuana has been approved in New York for medicinal uses for people with certain ailments, but that doesn’t mean using it will be simple.

It’s a bit of a going-nowhere-fast loop when it comes to health insurance providers offering coverage for medicinal marijuana.

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