Syracuse

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of Central New Yorkers gathered on the lawn in front of the East Genesee Street offices of Planned Parenthood in Syracuse Tuesday, saying they were spurred into action by undercover videos of the agency's executives apparently talking about the sale of body parts culled from aborted fetuses for medical research. 

"When somebody’s looking to find money to buy a Lamborghini, and is looking to sell body parts to do that, it’s a new low,” said one protester at Tuesday's rally.

Others at the rally shared the same sentiment.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Solarize CNY is helping people across the region add solar energy installations to their homes and businesses. The volunteer initiative will be hosting public workshops and free site assessments throughout central New York during the summer and fall.

 

Chris Carrick is the energy program manager for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board which is organizing Solarize CNY with the Alliance for a Green Economy.

 

The Syracuse Nationals, billed as the biggest car show in the northeast, officially starts today. The Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau figures the Syracuse Nationals will bring between $10-13 million into Central New York. While that's a big economic impact for a weekend event, organizer Bob O'Connor says people tend to come early and stay longer.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

The Tech Garden is an incubator for new technology-related businesses and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in Syracuse. The Tech Garden offers space for start-up companies to lease, as well as professional mentoring and investment capital.

 

Leane Eckelberg is the CEO of HoverStat which does drone roof inspections for solar panel installations. She went on a call with a solar technician and when they got to the house, it started to rain.

 

Mike Saechang / Flickr

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D- N.Y.) is hoping to stop illegal gun trafficking, in an attempt to prevent gun violence.  She has introduced bipartisan legislation that would make gun trafficking a federal crime and give law enforcement more power to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers and their entire criminal network. 

“We’re talking about the easy access that a criminal has who can’t get a weapon if they go into a regular licensed gun dealer,” said Gillibrand.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new park in the city of Syracuse. The new green space is part of a long term plan to revitalize the major corridor on the city’s south side.

The Sankofa Park on South Salina Street replaces an abandoned parking lot with greenery, benches, a sandbox, and a stage. Sankofa is a word that comes from the Akan language of Ghana, which means “reach back and get it.”

City of Syracuse

The president of Syracuse’s Police Benevolent Association is calling for more cops on the street, in the wake of a violent stretch in the city. Over the 4th of July weekend, 10 people were shot in a 24-hour span.

In a letter to the editor on Syracuse.com, PBA president Jeff Piedmonte suggests residents contact Mayor Stephanie Miner, urging her to hire 50 more police officers. Piedmonte says there are currently 417 police officers on the streets, the lowest number since the 1970s. He says that’s dangerously low, especially at a time of an uptick in crime.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The parking landscape is changing in the city of Syracuse. Part of it is due to technology, and part of it due to the resurgence of downtown as a destination.

On-street parking in downtown Syracuse has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the standalone silver parking meters waiting for change. Instead, visitors are now accustomed to the big brown pay stations that take cash or credit cards and spit out a receipt for the dashboard.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

More than 100 men, women and children marched through an Eastside Syracuse neighborhood Monday night, determined to take back their community from a rash of violence that has marked this summer.  

Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, there were 10 shootings in less than 24 hours. In addition, two people were killed, including a teenager.  

As an entertainment franchise, the Syracuse Chiefs, Syracuse’s Triple-A professional baseball team, are in a challenging situation—trying to generate attendance and fan loyalty when the performance of the team is a byproduct of the decisions made by its parent organization, the Washington Nationals.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol about dealing with that challenge, and others, including finances.  We also learn what a cowboy monkey is. 

Tom Magnarelli

The Covey Theatre Company will perform the 1960's musical “Hair” at the Bevard Studio at the Oncenter in Syracuse. The show marks the end of the mainstage performances for the theatre company.

 

 

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A Syracuse man, who was being a good Samaritan, is believed to have drowned after a freak accident during Tuesday night’s torrential rains.

Authorities believe 28-year old Brandon Closure was swept away into the city’s storm sewer system, after he accidentally stepped into an open manhole blown open by surging rain water. He was trying to help a disabled motorist at the corner of Croly and East Fayette Streets on Syracuse’s eastside.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds of immigrants from around the world, now living in Syracuse, came out to Schiller Park on the city's north side last Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day. 

 

Drummers from the African country of Burundi kicked off some of the cultural performances at World Refugee Day. The morning started with a soccer and volleyball tournament.

 

  A group of young girls take a break from watching. They're wearing brightly colored head scarves of pink, blue and purple. Dahabo Layli used to live in Somalia.

 

As summer approaches, the city of Syracuse is again cracking down on a sector that's caused trouble in low-income neighborhoods in the past, corner stores.

City hall’s crackdown on corner stores is meant to curb what Mayor Stephanie Miner has in the past called a scourge in many neighborhoods -- corner stores that have health and safety issues, leading to neighborhood complaints.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

  A program that started a couple of years ago in Syracuse, continues to try to get more central New Yorkers out for a walk.  

Jennifer Pagan and Barb Procopio of Syracuse love to walk.

"I walk indoors in the winter, but outdoors just to be in the fresh air and the beautiful parks.  And After that miserable winter that we had, it’s nice to be outside," agreed Pagan and Procopio. "Walking is so good for everything."

SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego is expanding to Syracuse.

The state university has had an extension site on Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse for a little over six years. Now the New York State Board of Regents just approved designating SUNY Oswego's Metro Center a "branch campus." That means starting in fall 2016, SUNY Oswego student will now be able to complete degree and certificate programs in Syracuse. Currently, students are required to take a course at the main campus.

ExperienceSymphoria.org

Symphoria, a cooperative orchestra in central New York where the musicians are the owners, announced its new 2015-16 season. And, with the upcoming season, Symphoria's new music director is focused on making the orchestra more accessible to the public.

As orchestras in major cities across the country experience declining ticket sales, Syracuse's Symphoria is ahead of track on their subscription sales for next season. Larry Loh, who will officially begin as the music director of Symphoria this fall, admits growing an audience for the orchestra is challenging.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new program starts in Syracuse this weekend that’s meant to help people overcome one of the biggest impediments to finding work in central New York: transportation. 

It often isn’t so easy getting a job in central New York if you don’t have a car or access to public transportation. Providence Services of Syracuse President Deborah Hundley says the problems come at workplaces that are beyond the bus line, or shifts that begin or end when buses aren’t running.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse's Upstate Medical University is taking a research project into the community, which will focus on older, frail adults.

Dr. Sharon Brangman, chief of geriatric medicine, says usually researchers start out with a thesis and then try to prove it. Armed with a $15,000 federal grant, they’ll work the other way around on this.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Fair began public meetings on Wednesday to discuss how it will spend $50 million in state funds to renovate the fairgrounds. So far, proposals for the renovations would require tearing down a piece of Syracuse history.

At stake is about 70 acres of land where the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds currently sits.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney unveiled a plan back in March to replace the Grandstand and the oval-shaped Moody Mile dirt race track that surrounds it with an equestrian park, multi-use indoor ice complex and new RV park.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some much needed affordable rental units will be coming to the Salina Street corridor in Syracuse, as part of the Salina Crossing project. Ground has been broken on the biggest site, a new mixed-use building on property that once was home to the crumbling Otisca Building on the city’s north side.  

Ben Lockwood, vice president of Housing Visions, the developer, says there is a big need for this kind of housing.

Michael / via Flickr

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration’s plan to add extra charges on some homeowner’s tax bills for ornamental streetlights in the city of Syracuse has been put on hold.

The idea for these charges is to let people who in what's called "special lighting districts" to cover more of the $1.9 million bill National Grid sends every year to the city. Presently, Syracuse collects $220,000 from homeowners in the special lighting districts, and the rest comes out of the general fund.

10 interesting figures from Syracuse's annual budget

Apr 27, 2015
Daniel Lobo / via Flickr

A city budget is typically pretty cut and dry, but Syracuse’s annual spending plan can also offer some context for just how big the city is. And so like a budget, this story is all about numbers.

Here are some interesting figures pulled from Syracuse's proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

A Tiny Home for Good

Some very small homes are coming soon to Syracuse’s South Side.

These homes will be small, just a few hundred square feet. Three of them will be able to fit onto a single property lot. But it’s not a way to cope with urban congestion like in some bigger cities, Syracuse doesn’t have that problem. But it does face a shortage of affordable housing.

A Tiny Home for Good and local housing charity Operation Northern Comfort are getting ready to break ground on their first three tiny homes this spring.

The quiet councilor: Chad Ryan's style in city hall

Apr 15, 2015
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse city councilor Chad Ryan has served in the chamber for a fraction of the time as some of peers but he’s also asked a fraction of the questions, in public at least.

Councilor Chad Ryan sits at the end of the table during council study sessions or committee meetings, he’ll often wave off his chance to ask a question. It’s not shyness, he says in an interview, but maybe a little humility.

"I guess I wouldn’t say I’m shy," he said. "Certainly tentative about what you say in the chambers."

Jake Gamage / WRVO

There were nearly 50 accidents involving Syracuse public works vehicles this past winter, mostly for minor mishaps.

Despite the difficult weather conditions for much of this winter, the number of accidents for public works crews in the city of Syracuse declined from the winter before.

Michael / via Flickr

Syracuse residents say the way the city is proposing to update billing for ornamental street lights goes way beyond just nickel and diming taxpayers.

After decades of not collecting fees or updating billing on more than a hundred special lighting districts, Syracuse is trying to update its regulation of ornamental street lights, but it means bills for thousands of city resident could skyrocket.

Ellen Abbott

Bicycle commuters in Syracuse are hoping that the next roadway that’s revamped with bike infrastructure is Euclid Avenue.

Michael / via Flickr

The ornate metal street lamps that line downtown or some Syracuse city streets aren’t free to keep on. Property owners are supposed to pay the electric bill, but for decades the city has been. Now, city hall wants to change that.

Business districts and neighborhoods in Syracuse that have upgraded or ornamental street lights are in what the city calls "special lighting districts." Problem is, many of them were put in place decades ago and the city either hasn’t been fully collecting those fees, or hasn’t increased them in decades either.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named former Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll as New York’s next commissioner of the Department of Transportation.

This announcement comes as the DOT is trying to narrow down possible options to replace the aging viaduct portion of Interstate-81 that goes through downtown Syracuse.

The decision over whether to keep the route through downtown or to divert traffic around Syracuse has been controversial.

Current Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said it's always helpful to know people in positions of authority when decisions like this are being made.

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