Sat July 6, 2013

Syracuse sister city relationship celebrated in exhibit

Photographer Jason DeBose greets visitors to his exhibit at The Tech Garden
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

A photography exhibition at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Finnish migration to the United States.  And one of the goals is to reestablish a connection between Syracuse and its sister city in Finland, which began more than 20 years ago.

The pictures of people and architecture that line the halls of The Gallery at The Tech Garden look like they’re from the same place. But half were taken in Finland and the other half in America where Finnish people settled, mainly in the Great Lakes region.

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Wed July 3, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse heavily dependent on health care for economic recovery

St. Joseph's Hospital on Syracuse's north side is one of the hospitals driving the city's job growth.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than a third of the post-recession jobs Syracuse has gained have come in the health care sector. That's a percentage that puts it near the top of cities dependent on the industry for economic growth.

According to numbers tabulated by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Institute, 35.9 percent of Syracuse's recently added jobs have been in health care. Only three other metro areas in the country had a higher percentage.

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Mon July 1, 2013

Upstate University Hospital home to new toxicology staff

Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Starting Monday, the emergency room at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse will have the services of medical toxicologists on a 24-hour basis to help diagnose drug overdoses and poisonings. Toxicologist Dr. Ross Sullivan says toxicologists use a number of methods to evaluate a possible overdose or poisoning.

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Fri June 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Minority trades training program comes to Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner poses for pictures with participants in a construction and trade training program.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new job training program is hoping to boost minority employment in construction and trades in the Syracuse area.

The city of Syracuse is putting its backing behind the workforce training program run by the National Association of Minority Contractors.

Otis Jennings, president of the local chapter of the association, brought the program to Syracuse. He says the best part of the program is the training is standardized and participants can take the certificate anywhere.

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Wed June 26, 2013

Upstate University Hospital offers seniors calmer ER experience

The new Gem Care emergency room at Upstate University Hospital's Community Campus will cater to seniors.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Upstate University Hospital's Community Campus will be opening up a new emergency room next week that caters to seniors. The goal behind the new E.R. at Upstate's Community General Campus, is to make sure an emergency room visit doesn't turn into an admission to the hospital.

Emergency Medicine Director Jamie Ciaccio says the new eight-bed unit, called Gem Care, will feature safety measures and aesthetics aimed at seniors, as well as a staff trained in geriatrics. Other healthcare professionals will also be available to assist elderly patients.

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Tue June 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Councilor accuses mayor of misleading about planning merger

Syracuse Common Councilor Lance Denno questions Andrew Maxwell, head of planning for Syracuse, about his department's merger with the county.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An increasingly disgruntled Syracuse common councilor accused the mayor's office of misleading taxpayers about the city and Onondaga County's merger of their planning departments.

Just as Monday's routine pre-meeting study session was wrapping up, councilor Lance Denno called the mayor's press secretary, Alexander Marion, before them.

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Mon June 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Environmental review of Inner Harbor project underway

Inner Harbor development site.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse City Hall is taking the next step in the development of the Inner Harbor. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has started the environmental review portion of the project, that would bring residential and commercial traffic to Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

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Thu June 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Planning departments merger could spur more government consolidation

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney signing an agreement to merge the city and county planning agencies.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County planning departments have officially merged. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney signed an inter-municipal agreement Thursday that brings the planning agencies of both governments under one roof.

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Wed June 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse agency hopes change in rules means more business for regional contractors

The Inner Harbor development is one the local projects SIDA is currently supporting.
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Local contractors and suppliers will get a boost from a new policy in the city of Syracuse.   

The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has adopted new rules when it comes to developers who are supported by the agency. They have to buy local, so to speak, says SIDA executive director Ben Walsh.

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Mon June 17, 2013

Syracuse begs Sunoco to allow the sale of three vacant gas stations

One of three vacant gas stations near the intersection of Seneca Turnpike and East Brighton Ave. city officials want redeveloped.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse officials are accusing the ownership of three vacant gas stations at a southern entrance to the city of blocking the properties' sale in the name of competition.

On Monday, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner brought in Sen. Charles Schumer to call on Sunoco to allow the sale and redevelopment of the stations near the intersection of Seneca Turnpike and East Brighton Ave.

One of the properties has been vacant more than 15 years.

Entering the city and driving past the rundown properties sets "a bad tone" for the area, Schumer said.

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Thu June 6, 2013
Regional Coverage

Westside neighborhood looks for comeback

New homes have been built on Syracuse's Westside, selling for about $90,000 each.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A neighborhood in Syracuse's Westside is trying to make a comeback. One of the first steps is constructing three new homes that are replacing burned out apartment buildings that had been owned by absentee landlords.

Park Avenue is situated a block away from West Genesee Street on the city's west side. The three new homes in the 800 block are across the street from a city park and Frazer Middle School is down the street. First time home buyer Jean Claude Ndizeye and his family of five have been dreaming of this day for a while.

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Wed June 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

More space to get up close with the elephants at the zoo

Children pet Siri, one of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo's Asian elephants, at the opening of a new animal encounter.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Visitors to the zoo in Syracuse will be able to enjoy better views of the elephants and other animals now that a new animal encounter is officially open.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo on the city's west side dedicated the Northwest Mutual Animal Encounter on Wednesday.

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Wed June 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse & Onondaga County combine planning offices

Onondaga County lawmakers have taken the first step towards creating a new joint city of Syracuse-county planning agency. Current city and county offices that both have planning duties will be combined into one.

Legislator Kathleen Rapp says the consolidation of the two planning departments will streamline the current planning process, easing the regulatory burden for businesses that deal with zoning issues.

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Tue June 4, 2013

Will the GOP have a candidate for Syracuse mayor?

While a Democratic primary in the race for mayor of Syracuse features a full field, Republicans in the city have yet to come up with a candidate. So they're buying themselves a little more time to find someone to run against the winner of the Democratic primary.

Well-known republicans like State Senator John DeFransisco and Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon have turned down requests to run, retired firefighter Tom Sexton is considering it, and Onondaga County Republican Party Chairman Tom Dadey says he continues talking to prospective candidates, whose names he says he is not at liberty to share at this time.

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Fri May 31, 2013

Maffei wants more creative options for I-81's future in Syracuse

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, is calling for more creative options for I-81 future through downtown Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei has weighed in on the future of Interstate 81 through the city’s downtown. The Democrat, from suburban DeWitt, is calling for more creative options than the ones currently on the table.

Transportation planners last week unveiled the two options (whittled down from five) they’ve deemed most feasible for the aging Interstate 81: rebuilding the elevated highway, or rerouting it and putting an urban boulevard in its place.

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Wed May 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

Computer programs help refugees resettle

Arnie Poltenson, of Manlius, helps a refugee improve his English, using a computer program
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A new community resource room, filled with 18 computers, is up and running as part of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program in Syracuse.  Much of it involves literacy, key for refugees as they take steps to become a citizens of the United State.

Arnie Poltenson from Manlius is helping teach English to a refugee with limited knowledge of the English language, who has come to the new community resource room at the Catholic Youth Organization building on Syracuse's Northside.  

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Tue May 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Centralized information might help newly arrived refugees

Map shows where refugees arriving in Syracuse. are from
Onondaga Citizens League

A new study finds that agencies in central New York do a good job of taking care of the 700-800 refugees who come to Syracuse every year. One community group is suggesting creating a one-stop shop for these newly-arrived residents.

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Fri May 24, 2013

Looking for healthy food choices at farmers markets

As more and more people become interested in trying to eat locally produced foods, New York state's farmers markets are also becoming more popular. But how can you make sure what you buy at the farmers market is really healthier than what you might get at the supermarket? Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp, hosts of WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care" asked Ben Vitale, who oversees the Central New York Regional Market Authority, a year-round farmers market in Syracuse. Vitale is also a farmer himself.

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Wed May 22, 2013

Options narrow, opinions widen on I-81's future through Syracuse

Interstate 81 is elevated for 1.4 miles through downtown Syracuse.
Zack Seward WXXI

Transportation planners have narrowed the future of Interstate 81’s path through downtown Syracuse down to two likely options: rebuild, or re-route.

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Tue May 21, 2013

Proposed line would move natural gas from Binghamton to Syracuse

Credit Screenshot / Millennium Pipeline Company

An energy company is looking into building a natural gas pipeline from near Binghamton to the Syracuse area. Millennium Pipeline Company is currently soliciting feedback from natural gas suppliers about their proposal to connect three supply lines running east-west across upstate New York, with a north-south line.

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Wed May 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo details local government bailout plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his proposal for a new local government restructuring board to help financially distressed communities deal with long term budget problems.

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Mon May 13, 2013
Regional Coverage

City plans to take over Hotel Syracuse on hold for now

For the second time in less than two years, back taxes have been paid on the Hotel Syracuse, effectively scuttling plans for the city of Syracuse to take control of the property, and sell it to a developer. So, city officials are now looking at a "Plan B."

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Fri May 3, 2013

Assertive attitude key to dealing with bullies

"Aggression begets aggression" when it comes to handling bullies, says Barabara Coloroso.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Educators and parents can always use advice on how to deal with bullies. A conference on bullying in Syracuse this week brought in a national expert on the issue, Barb Colorosa, who offered some clear strategies on how to identify bullying, as well as how to deal with it.

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Mon April 29, 2013

New arts festival coming to Syracuse

Artists in central New York will try to bring their craft to the masses during a new art festival and conference slated for late September.

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Mon April 22, 2013

Homeowners push for student zoning to fight rental properties

A rental property on Euclid Ave., in the University Area neighborhood of Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Southeast University Neighborhood Association has been fighting back against an invasion for decades.

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Tue April 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Proposed Syracuse budget includes cuts, consolidations

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed election year budget includes no increases in taxes or fees; there are also no proposed layoffs. But despite spending cuts and consolidations, the city's fund balance takes a big hit, in order to fill a multi-million dollar budget hole.

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Mon April 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Upstate economic group calls for constant reinvention

Upstate New York's economy will need to be in a near-constant state of reinvention if it wants to survive in the current environment, according to CenterState CEO, an economic booster organization based in Syracuse.

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Fri April 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Local and state groups work to end sex trafficking

New York state Sen. Andrew Lanza is sponsoring anti-trafficking legislation.
Credit office of Sen. Lanza

It may sound like the stuff of Hollywood, but the sex trafficking trade is alive and well in the United States, and that includes central New York. Forcing young women and men into a life of prostitution is a very lucrative business, but there is a move afoot to end it in New York state.

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Tue April 2, 2013

Destiny USA and Syracuse reach deal to avoid legal battles

The Destiny USA shopping mall in Syracuse, N.Y.
Destiny USA

For the first time in Bill Ryan's 10 years of public service, Syracuse and the owner of the Destiny USA mega-sized shopping mall are not facing legal action. Ryan is a former common councilor and now chief of staff for the mayor and chairman of Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA), the city's development arm.

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Mon April 1, 2013

Syracuse council approves "booting," wants more fiscal input

Syracuse will contract out some parking enforcement to crack down on drivers with several unpaid tickets.
quinn.anya via Flickr

Syracuse will begin going after the roughly 19,000 drivers with multiple unpaid parking tickets in a few months thanks to a new deal to ramp up "booting."

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