City of Syracuse

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Syracuse lawmakers  voted unanimously Monday to protect animals left outside in extreme temperatures. The legislation, called Adrian’s Law, passed at the city level, after Onondaga County lawmakers rejected it earlier this year.

Common Councilors unanimously approved the legislation, named after a pit bull that died after being tied up outside in below freezing temperatures in January.  

Jason Driscoll is the dog control officer who found him.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have been operating in Syracuse for less than a year, but the local taxi business has lost substantial business. Now, local taxi drivers are going to city hall with the hopes of leveling the playing field with the ride sharing giants.

Ramona Bellavia of Bellavia Transportation has been working in Syracuse’s taxi industry for almost 30 years.

“I loved going out on weekends and having the university kids and the younger crowed," Bellavia said. "But now, they live with technology."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New York is taking the next step in the fight against climate change with something called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA.  It’s going to be one of the major topics at a regional Climate Solutions Summit in Syracuse this weekend, as the city hopes to take the lead on an energy supply model that uses renewable energy.

Common Councilor Joe Driscoll said it’s a fairly simple solution. Because of its population, the city uses its buying clout to purchase renewable energy like solar or wind power, and provides it to residents at a lower cost.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Monday is the last chance for Syracuse residents to attend a public meeting where they can offer their input on what criteria they want for a new chief of police. Some at the meetings said they hope the next chief will bring change to the department.

A group of women sit around a table at the Southwest Community Center in Syracuse. There are surveys with questions asking what experiences and qualifications should a new police chief have in order to be successful. Anna Morris said she wants to know the person’s character.

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New York's new budget sets aside money to combat harmful algal blooms that have closed some of the state's lakes and threatened the municipalities that use them for drinking water. The funding would be a welcome relief for several communities in central New York that have been battling the blooms for years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Hawley Markets on Syracuse’s northside gets a lot of business from a nearby elementary school, as well as neighborhood folks who don’t have access to cars so they have to do food shopping at cramped corner stores. It’s been six months since co-owner Rita Algattas started offering more healthy options than the candy bars and chips that crowd many corner store shelves.

"Having fresh fruit and vegetables, having it all the time visible on the counter," Algattas said. "Trying to have healthy choices."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilors began budget hearings this week over Mayor Ben Walsh’s proposed $245 million spending plan, and anyone can watch. It marks the start of live streaming of council activities, offering residents the chance to watch what happens on the city website, or YouTube channel.

Council President Helen Hudson says it’s about time it's easier for residents to watch government in action.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s first proposed budget asks lawmakers to use $11 million from the city’s savings account to cover a budget gap. It’s a deficit Walsh says is less than originally anticipated, after asking individual city departments to change their budget requests.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Syracuse this week to talk with community leaders about their concerns in a closed-door session.

Nixon, a Democrat hoping to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a primary this fall, called the 15 or so attendees of a private roundtable in Syracuse local heroes. Afterward, she told reporters the issues brought up by these community leaders are the same she’s hearing from others across the state - like more funding for education.

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The city of Atlanta is starting to get some online services back up after a massive cyberattack last week. It’s an attack that has the city of Syracuse paying close attention.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco has been found guilty on three counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan today.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

By next winter, residents of the city of Syracuse could log on to the internet and find a map with brightly colored lines, telling them the last time a snow plow visited their street. It’s one potential application of ideas springing from the city’s latest hackathon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Fees could be rising for some programs run by the city of Syracuse Parks Department. The last time the City of Syracuse increased fees for Recreation Department programs, George W. Bush was president.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Residents in the city of Syracuse recently weighed in on what they want the city to do about snow covered sidewalks. Now the city has outlined options to address the problem.

Corey Driscoll Dunham, Syracuse’s director of operations, said the feedback from the city’s snow safety summit shows people want the city to take a more active role in sidewalk snow removal and they said they are willing to pay a fee for it. Dunham said the city has three options: citywide municipal sidewalk snow removal, priority area snow removal, or an enhanced ordinance and city approved contractors.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Legislation that would require interior inspections of rental properties in the city of Syracuse is being held. Some on the Syracuse Common Council are divided on the issue.

Councilor Khalid Bey said Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration asked him to hold the legislation so the new corporation counsel could become versed on it over the next two weeks.

“The next agenda, we’ll be right back talking about it," Bey said. "We’ll gage where the administration is. By then, I would think that they will have determined if they need three months, six months to prepare.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Sidewalk snow removal was a top concern among Syracuse residents who attended the city’s recent Snow Safety Summit. The city asked residents to weigh in on solutions to snow removal problems. 

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New York state has released a concept plan that closes the gap in the Erie Canalway Trail System between Camillus and DeWitt. It would extend the recreation trail through an urban area.

From the start, bridging the 14-mile gap has been the most challenging part of creating a seamless trail that closely follows the path of the Erie Canal.

"This segment of the trail goes through the most heavily urbanized areas of Onondaga County," said Town of DeWitt planner Sam Gordon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is opening up data it collects about snow removal to the public and is hoping it can lead to smarter ways to clear city streets after a snowstorm. 

The city is partnering with AT&T and Syracuse University’s iSchool for a hackathon called Plowing Through the Data.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney have voiced that collaboration between city and county governments is close at hand.

After being in office just over a month, Walsh said cooperation between governments is one of the key elements of his Syracuse Rising agenda.  In his state of the city speech, he said work has already started finding ways the city can collaborate with Onondaga County.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Officials in the city of Syracuse said snowplows will be out Wednesday and Wednesday night, keeping roads safe as heavy snow is expected to fall in much of central New York. Six to ten inches of snow is possible in some parts of the Syracuse area by Wednesday night.

A relic from the Matt Driscoll mayoral administration in Syracuse is going by the wayside as Mayor Ben Walsh institutes new ways of making government more accountable.

The city of Syracuse started using SyraStat in 2002. At the time, the program was meant to analyze performance of city departments by the numbers and find savings. There is even a SyraStat room near the mayor’s office.

City of Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh placed the future of the Interstate 81 viaduct at the center of his first State of the City speech Wednesday night.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As thousands took part in Women's marches all over the country Saturday, there was another March that brought big crowds. 

A large anti-abortion crowd marched through downtown Syracuse Saturday. The rally marked 45 years since the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, legalized abortions. Christina Fadden Fitch is the president of Syracuse Right to Life and one of the organizers of the march. She said she is encouraged by congressional bills that impose restrictions on abortions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse job market has been mixed recently, with some companies adding and others eliminating jobs in the area. While the national economy is booming, some experts say the outlook is not as good for upstate.

What role does the arts play in economic development? is it a second priority behind tech and brick and mortar, or does it need to be a first priority? How can art help bring different communities together and lift economically depressed areas? This week on the Campbell Conversations, we talk with two Syracuse-area arts advocates, Steve Butler and Rita Paniagua, about those questions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York economic development boosters are hoping some positive trends from 2017 continue this year. One that CenterState CEO director Rob Simpson expects to hold course in 2018 is a change in something that’s plagued the area for years: brain drain.

"We have seen the latest census department estimates that the population 18-25 in central New York is actually growing at a more rapid rate than we’ve seen in recent memory," Simpson said. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilors are getting behind a statewide initiative meant to raise awareness about local substance abuse services. The idea behind “United to Fight It: Preventing Substance Abuse” is to get community leaders together with substance abuse coalitions and plaster the community with the information that can help anyone in the midst of addiction get well.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Today is the first official day at the office for Syracuse’s new mayor Ben Walsh. He has much of his staff in place - a mix of newcomers from outside government, and many city hall holdovers from the Miner Administration.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

In January, Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh will become the first mayor of Syracuse not affiliated with any political party. When it comes to governing, that lack of a party label shouldn’t make it more difficult for Walsh to navigate City Hall.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A week after being elected Syracuse’s first independent mayor in 100 years, Ben Walsh is getting to work. Walsh met this week with the outgoing Miner Administration, as he begins crafting the first mayoral administration without the backing of a political party.

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