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Insight

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Emmy Award-winning Insight is a weekly public affairs show co-hosted by veteran journalists Susan Arbetter, WCNY’s news and public affairs director and host of The Capitol Pressroom, and Jim Aroune, WCNY’s vice president of TV and radio. Arbetter and Aroune tell stories that provide insight into the most pressing issues facing viewers in WCNY’s 19-county viewing area.

 

Susan Arbetter is an award-winning broadcast journalist who brings more than 15 years of experience as an Albany correspondent. In 2013, she was honored by “City & State” for journalism in the news magazine’s “Above and Beyond” awards.

Jim Aroune is WCNY’s vice president of radio and television operations and has worked in the field for 28 years. Prior to joining WCNY, Aroune worked as a television news anchor and manager for Time Warner Cable’s news division in Rochester and Buffalo for 20 years. Aroune has earned Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, Associated Press, NYS Broadcasters, Telly and Syracuse Press Club awards for his work in television.

Airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on WCNY(24.1) and re-airs Sundays at noon on World (24.3).

All TV schedules

[toggle title="Bankrupt cities: Is Syracuse Next?"]

It’s one thing for an individual to file for bankruptcy, but a municipality? Yet cities across the country have been doing just that, with others, like Syracuse, predicting they may be next. But a recent decision by a federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit may make it easier for cities to avoid that step. The judicial decision casts doubt on the long-held belief that state public pension funds cannot be reduced. If the decision is upheld, it may mean that communities will be able to factor pension reductions into cost-saving strategies. For background and more information on the issue, explore the online resources below.

A judge has given Detroit the right to reduce pensions as a way to get the “Motor City” out of bankruptcy.

Syracuse’s Mayor Stephanie Miner is quoted in this news article that examines implications from the Detroit pension ruling for New York State State employee pensions.

As more and more communities discuss looming bankruptcy fears, this article provides a look at one community and the issues surrounding bankruptcy and pension funds, prior to the recent Detroit, Michigan pension fund ruling.

Even before the recent Detroit decision, some communities were talking about possessing the ability to reduce pension costs, as this article illustrates.

This article discusses one of Governor Cuomo’s ways of dealing with communities in New York State nearing bankruptcy: financial restructuring boards.

 

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Flooding in Upstate New York"]

The recent flooding in the Mohawk Valley and other upstate New York counties as well as coastal flooding during last year’s Hurricane Sandy are examples of how quickly natural disasters can occur. How to prepare for floods, questions and answers about flood insurance in New York State, and details about the NYS Flood Recovery Program including an application form, are just some of the topics explored in the web resources below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2013/07/18/299041.htm

FEMA’s decision not to provide assistance to New York’s recent flood-ravaged counties has triggered $16 million in aid from NYS to the five counties hardest hit by the floodwaters.

http://www.waynepost.com/feature/x1808708086/The-Schooner-Lois-McClure-returns-to-Palmyra-on-July-2

Floodwaters affect people’s lives and the economy, including tourism. This is a reminder of the Erie Canal’s continuing role as a waterway and the impact of flooding on the system.

http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2013/07/17/flood_recovery/

An overview of the NYS Flood Recovery Program. Over 500 homes, 150 businesses, and a number of farms were affected by recent flooding in the Mohawk Valley and elsewhere.

http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood/

Link to the necessary form to apply for flood aid.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/40564.html

Information about flood insurance in New York State.

http://www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy/Flood_Fact_Sheet.pdf

This fact sheet from the U.S. Army offers practical advice for preparing for and dealing with floods.

http://www.nrdc.org/health/climate/ny.asp#ap_floods

This website connects climate change to flooding and health concerns. This page deals specifically with New York State’s plans to deal with these issues.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Cyber Security"]

The U.S. government spying on U.S. citizens? Or is it necessary surveillance, as some would argue, to protect us from terrorist attacks? Drones are being flown over foreign soil by pilots based in Syracuse. Concerns have been raised about drones, including their possible use for spying on U.S. citizens. Technology and terrorism have, no doubt, changed how and why and for what purpose the information about U.S. citizens is being collected and used by the government. Listed below is just a sampling of web information and opinions about this topic, made all the more timely by the actions of former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/us/poll-shows-complexity-of-debate-on-trade-offs-in-government-spying-programs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Results of a new poll trying to assess public opinion regarding whether Snowden is a traitor or a whistleblower and about government surveillance in general.  The article asserts that the Snowden case has prompted a debate about security, surveillance and spying.

 http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/Ken-Walshs-Washington/2013/06/07/nsa-spying-revelations-will-hurt-americans-faith-in-government

This report examines possible public reaction to the NSA spying revelations.

http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/6/7/4406416/president-obama-on-nsa-spying-congress-has-known-about-it-and

This article from June, 2013 details President Obama’s comments about NSA spying allegations, claims that safeguards have been established, and his assertion that Congress has been aware of any surveillance.  There is also a 15 minute audio clip of the President’s comments including some Q & A.

http://www.aclu.org/spy-files

According to the ACLU many different government agencies are collecting personal information on U.S. citizens and a number of them as well as some of the organizations utilizing that information, are outlined on this webpage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/07/european-outrage-about-the-nsa-could-force-us-to-rethink-our-surveillance-laws/

This Washington Post blog takes a more global look at government surveillance and why the Internet has changed the landscape in reference to domestic versus foreign surveillance.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/what-we-dont-know-about-spying-on-citizens-scarier-than-what-we-know/276607/

This article outlines some of the ways the U.S. government is collecting information on citizens without their knowledge and builds a case for the importance of whistleblowers.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/174704/congress-white-house-nsa-spying-nothing-see-here#

A look at how the Patriot Act has been interpreted in terms of information collection on U.S. citizens by the government.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/19/fbi-drones-domestic-surveillance

Speaking of surveillance, what about drones and their use by the government on U.S. soil?

http://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/domestic-drones

The ACLU’s suggested safeguards regarding use of drones as well as link to its full report on domestic drone deployment.

http://upstatedroneaction.org/

The webpage of an upstate New York grassroots activist group, which is seeking to “ground the drones.”

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/should_syracuse_be_a_drone-fre.html

The Syracuse Common Council considers making Syracuse a drone-free zone.

http://hir.harvard.edu/a-defense-of-drones

A defense of drones in the Harvard International Review.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Minor League Sports"]

Many people believe that in American culture sports is big business. But is it good business? What are the economic benefits of sports teams to a community? What about the impact of local sports team on the quality of life? The resources below reflect some of the benefits and challenges associated with stadiums and sports teams in a community.

http://journalistsresource.org/studies/economics/business/impact-stadiums-teams-case-minor-league-baseball

A look at the economic impact of minor league stadiums and teams in a community.

http://www.ocala.com/article/20121209/ARTICLES/121209753

A look at whether or not there are “major league benefits” from minor league sports teams.

http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2013/04/david_rubin_syracuse_chiefs_ca.html

A look at the financial challenges of the Syracuse Chiefs.

http://www2.cortland.edu/news/detail.dot?id=2ddd1f0e-bb26-480d-b1da-ec6eb7b048b5

Although the NY Jets are a major football team, this article details the benefits to SUNY Cortland hosting their summer training camp.

http://www2.cortland.edu/dotAsset/842075ce-231f-4307-9ab1-83d27379cf3b.pdf

This analysis, undertaken by SUNY Cortland, of the benefits to the Cortland community of hosting the NY Jets training camp.

http://auburnpub.com/news/local/fans-at-falcon-park-watch-doubledays-take-next-steps-in/article_5615c2c7-6ff2-5393-8a79-95f300fcbcbc.html

The Auburn Doubledays baseball team benefits from a strong fan base.

http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/bitstream/123456789/196018/1/PlourdeH_2012-2_BODY.pdf

This is a lengthy college research paper with some very interesting information about sports teams and urban development.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="The Adirondack Park "]

The Adirondack Park was created by New York State in 1892. It is the largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the United States. The park encompasses over 6 million acres making it larger in size than the National Parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains combined.  Few people realize it is also a National Historic Landmark.  The Park contains both public and private lands. How to conserve the Adirondack Park’s natural environment while also fostering economic development for the communities of the Adirondacks has and continues to be a topic of conversation.

http://visitadirondacks.com/about/adirondack-park

This website aimed at visitors to the Adirondack area provides a concise and interesting history of the Adirondack Park.

http://apa.ny.gov/

The website for the New York State Adirondack Park Agency which is charged with oversight of long-range plans for land use within the Park.

http://apa.ny.gov/Economy/Draft-LGD-FactSheet.pdf

This document from the Adirondack Park Agency’s website, provides an overview of the Park and its economy.

http://gotham-magazine.com/personalities/articles/rediscovering-adirondack-park-with-governor-cuomo

An article that focuses on Governor Cuomo’s interest in the Adirondack Park.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/04232013-finch-land-acquisition

A press release from Governor Cuomo’s office regarding new lands acquired by the State for public use and a half-million dollars from The Nature Conservancy  to NYS to promote economic development and tourism  in Adirondack communities.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49210.html

The New York State Department of Conservation is responsible for the management of the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve – 2.6 million acres of forested state land within the Adirondack Park.  This page from the DEC’s website describes its support for Smart Growth Program initiatives and grants.

http://www.adirondackexpress.com/Viewpoints/edc_07132010_P04

One “insider’s” views about future Adirondack Park economic development and what is needed to make it happen within the articulated mission of the Park.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/blogs.detail/display/1866/An-Adirondack-Park-Economic-Council-.html

A blog about what and how of managing an economic development strategy for the Adirondack Park.

http://adkfutures.org/about-the-project/

This grassroots group is strategizing about the future of the Adirondack Park.

http://offices.colgate.edu/bselleck/Readings/Do%20public%20lands%20limit%20economy%20in%20the%20Adirondacks.pdf

A Colgate University analysis of the impact of public lands on the economy of the Adirondacks.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Syracuse Democratic Mayoral Primary"]

On Sept. 10, 2013 there will be a Democratic primary to determine the party’s candidates for several positions, including mayor.  There are at two challengers to Mayor Miner from her own party, yet the Republican Party is having trouble finding a candidate to run against her.  The websites below provide background on the primary race, the candidates themselves and some of the potential campaign issues.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/07/democratic_challengers_file_petitions_to_run_against_syracuse_mayor_stephanie_mi.html

Democratic challengers to Syracuse Mayor Miner file their petitions to run against her in the September Democratic primary.

http://democracywise.syr.edu/?candidates=miner-stephanie

This website, with content provided by student political reporters in SU’s Newhouse School program, provides profiles of candidates wishing to be elected mayor of Syracuse in 2013.

http://www.cnyvision.com/fullstory/fullstory.php?id=1041

This story about the Syracuse mayoral campaign is from a publication that strives to provide information, including local news, relevant to the African-American community.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/for_2013_a_head_start_in_polit.html

Mayor Miner announces a run for a second term and in this article, some of the issues facing the city are detailed.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Tourism in New York State"]

Tourism is big business in New York State, rated one of the state’s top industries.  Counties, communities, designated tourism regions, parks and attractions all offer brochures, guides and usually websites aimed at providing information to prospective visitors. The websites below are more statewide in nature and are an excellent departure point for planning trips to and around the Empire State.

http://iloveny.com/

This is New York State’s official tourism site. Travel guides can be ordered or downloaded from here.

http://www.canals.ny.gov/

This site provides information on the canals of New York State, including information about the

Waterways themselves but also the canal communities along them and some of their events and

attractions.

http://paththroughhistory.ny.gov/

This new website focuses on “heritage tourism” providing information about the state’s historic

attractions and sites.

http://www.ptny.org/

This site focuses on the trails available for enjoyment in New York State.

http://visitadirondacks.com/

New York’s Adirondack Mountains are world famous and this site provides visitors

with information about the Adirondack region.

http://www.511ny.org/

This site, operated by the New York State Department of Transportation, is designed to help travelers

plan travel routes around road construction and also features a number of travel links.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="March on Washington"]

On August 28, 1963, what has been called the largest and most important civil rights demonstration in American history occurred in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators at this March on Washington convened to demand jobs and freedom, including the request for creation and passage of a civil rights bill. It was here that Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech, words that were not planned but added. To learn more about this historic event, visit the websites below.

http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=96

This is the official program for the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

http://www.core-online.org/History/washington_march.htm

One of the major civil rights organizations of the period was the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), whose website includes this March on Washington web page.  The speech prepared by CORE President James Farmer, was read for him as he was imprisoned in Louisiana.

http://life.time.com/history/the-march-on-washington-1963-photos-of-the-epic-civil-rights-event/#1

A gallery of photos from the 1963 event from Life Magazine.

http://www.npr.org/news/specials/march40th/

This NPR webpage marked the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington and features a number of articles and special reports.

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2013/06/20130619276731.html#axzz2cM9133YX

This is a copy of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/12/march-on-washington-king-speech/2641841/

A fascinating article about the myths and misconceptions surrounding Dr. King’s “I Had a Dream” speech.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/15/king-speech-i-have-a-dream-march/2652303/

A interesting claim regarding possession of the original copy of Dr. King’s speech.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Democratic Primary"]

On Sept. 10, 2013 there will be a Democratic primary to determine the party’s candidates for several positions, including mayor.  There are at two challengers to Mayor Miner from her own party, yet the Republican Party is having trouble finding a candidate to run against her.  The websites below provide background on the primary race, the candidates themselves and some of the potential campaign issues.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/07/democratic_challengers_file_petitions_to_run_against_syracuse_mayor_stephanie_mi.html

Democratic challengers to Syracuse Mayor Miner file their petitions to run against her in the September Democratic primary.

http://democracywise.syr.edu/?candidates=miner-stephanie

This website, with content provided by student political reporters in SU’s Newhouse School program, provides profiles of candidates wishing to be elected mayor of Syracuse in 2013.

http://www.cnyvision.com/fullstory/fullstory.php?id=1041

This story about the Syracuse mayoral campaign is from a publication that strives to provide information, including local news, relevant to the African-American community.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/for_2013_a_head_start_in_polit.html

Mayor Miner announces a run for a second term and in this article, some of the issues facing the city are detailed.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Common Core"]

The Common Core.  Just about everyone has heard these words referring to new educational standards, standards adopted by all but a few states.  But reaction to them vary…“the new standards mean less breadth but more depth”; “the government is trying to nationalize education”; or “we’re trying to teach lifelong skills, not just easily-forgotten facts”.  Some parents have had their children opt out of testing associated with the Common Core Learning Standards.  Lawsuits have been filed questioning new teacher assessments associated with the Common Core.  No matter what one thinks about these learning standards, the facts are that our children, in increasing numbers, are not ready for either college or careers, that at least 50% or more of students enrolled in colleges must take remediation classes as they are not prepared for college work, and high school graduation rates are falling.  New York State has adopted the Common Core Learning Standards as part of its reform of the state’s educational system.

http://www.engageny.org/

This NYS Education Department site is the official web site for current materials and resources related to the Regents Reform Agenda including the implementation of the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards.  The site offers resources to teachers as well as parents.

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/common_core_standards/

Links to documents related to Common Core standards in the Curriculum and Instruction section of the NYS Education website.  In addition, there is a link to a webinar and supporting materials featuring a presentation by one of the architects of the Common Core.

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/common_core_standards/

This Washington Post article explores some of the backlash among Republicans and some Democrats regarding the Common Core. Links within the article examine issues such as the concerns over the development of assessment tests associated with the Common Core and eight problems with the Common Core, including failure to address poverty, a significant underlying issue affecting education.

http://www.corestandards.org/

This is the home page for the Common Core Standards Initiative.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/forum_brings_60_to_westhill_hi.html

In some communities, including Syracuse, parents are gathering to discuss concerns about the amount, source, and quality of tests their children area being aside to take.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/blow-the-common-core-and-the-common-good.html?_r=0

A look at how American students compare to their counterparts across the globe and American reaction to the new Common Core standards.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/08/as_predicted_scores_plunge_on_tough_new_state_english_and_math_tests.html

Grades 3-8 test scores based on Common Core standards are revealed.

http://www.engageny.org/resource/new-york-state-common-core-sample-questions

From this Engageny.org web page you can find some of this year’s Common Core English Language Arts and math test questions, with answers explained, so parents and the public can judge for themselves the difficulty of what is being asked on the tests.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="College and Career Success"]

A lot of attention is being given these days to preparing students for college and career success. With 45 states having adopted the Common Core education standards that emphasize the importance of readying students to succeed in school and in jobs, coupled with President Obama’s educational initiatives at the national level, the pressure to do something about falling high school graduation rates, the increasing number of students needing remedial education before attempting college work, and the fear that it will become more difficult for America to compete globally without a higher-skilled workforce, is growing. Here in New York State, the state’s education department has developed an education agenda that it hopes will reverse these trends.

http://www.ed.gov/highschool

This U.S. government website focuses on the importance of preparing high school students with college and career readiness skills.

http://www.betterhighschools.org/CCR/overview.asp

An overview of some of the challenges facing schools in terms of preparing students for their future.

http://www.nyctecenter.org/spn/media/files/articles/files/10151/College%20and%20Career%20Ready%20WP%20April%202.pdf

This article by the Career and Technical Education Technical Assistance Center for New York provides an explanation of what it means to be college and career ready.

http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/GradRates.2013.StatewideHSGradRateStaysAt74PercentDespiteHigherGradStandards.html

A look at high school graduation statistics statewide.

http://www.americaspromise.org/~/media/Files/Resources/CityYear_OvercomingPoverty_StudentSupports.ashx

This looks at the supports needed to aid low-income students in achieving career and college readiness.

http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/CatchingUpToCCR.pdf

This report is a discussion about the difficulties in achieving college and career readiness goals.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Latino American of Central New York Awards"]

To learn more about the Latino American of Central New York Award honorees click here.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Wood Boilers in New York State"]

Concerns and conversations about the use of outdoor wood boilers in New York State are growing; so too are the regulations governing their use. Proponents are eager to use these to save money on heating costs and say that individuals should have the right and freedom to do what they want on their private properties. Opponents cite environmental and emissions issues as well as the universal right to clean air. Listed below is information about what these boilers or furnaces are, how they operate, current NYS regulations governing their use and more.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51986.html

Rules and regulations about the use of outdoor wood boilers in New York State as well as links to other information sources.

http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/woodboilers.html

This site from the federal Environmental Protecting Agency includes a good description of how outdoor wood boilers work.

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/owb/heating_with_firewood.htm

This New York State Health Department page focuses on heating with wood in general, including information about outdoor wood boilers.

http://ccetompkins.org/energy/heating-wood/health-and-emissions

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County has created a website focusing on heating with wood that includes this page about emissions from products including outdoor wood boilers.

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2011/state-s-delay-of-rules-for-dirty-outdoor-wood-boilers-challenged-by-new-york-groups

This press release about wood heating summarizes some of the concerns by health organizations, like the American Lung Association about outdoor wood boilers.

http://www.4cleanair.org/OWB-NESCAUM-Report_March2006.pdf

This 2006 report was undertaken by NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air

Use Management) to provide policymakers with an assessment of concerns relating to the

growing use of outdoor wood-fired boilers (OWB), also known as outdoor wood-fired

hydronic heaters or outdoor wood-fired furnaces.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/522097/Stricter-outdoor-wood-boiler-regs-approved.html?nav=5046

An easy-to-understand look at responses to DEC regulations (when in the proposed state) about outdoor wood-fired boilers.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Concussions and Head Injuries"]

There has been a great deal of attention focused on concussions and brain injuries in young people playing on sports teams. Here in Central New York we have had examples of this, some, tragically, involving deaths. But what are the facts about concussions? As much as the focus of recent news stories has been on sports injuries, statistics show that the majority of concussions in young people under 19 years of age are incurred while they are involved in non-sports-related activities. But due to the level of physical contact in their particular games, football, soccer and even lacrosse have come under scrutiny in terms of concussions suffered by students playing these sports. There are new ways to diagnose and treat concussions as well as new equipment designs with protection of the head the primary focus. Nearly 40 states now have some form of legislation aimed at instituting procedures and policies for the prevention as well as management of concussions incurred on the sports field. The websites below touch on some of these concerns as well as offer information to help the public better understand this issue.

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=S03953&term=&Summary=Y&Text=Y

Summary of Governor Cuomo’s youth concussion legislation (NYS Concussion Management and Awareness Act) passed by the NYS Legislature, making NYS the 33rd state to pass such legislation. Went into effect July 1, 2012.

http://www.nyssba.org/index.php?src=news&submenu=on_board&srctype=detail&category=On%20Board%20Online%20February%2027%202012&refno=2067

This NYS School Boards Association overview of the NYS Concussion Management and Awareness Act and its implications for school districts.

http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/children/fact_sheets/birth-19_years/traumatic_brain_injury_prevention_birth-19_years.htm

This NYS Department of Health webpage defines and describes symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and provides statistics about these injuries, which include concussions, experienced by children up to 19 years of age. The statistics show that the majority of such injuries occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, use of recreational motorized vehicles, and skiing/snowboarding.

http://www.bianys.org/

The NYS Brain Injury Association website offers information, resources, support group links and much more in reference to brain injuries. The site also includes information on the NYS Concussion Management and Awareness Act.

http://www.uslacrosse.org/concussionawareness

Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, can happen in the playing of many different sports, including lacrosse. The site offers information, resources, fact sheets, and links to videos. There also a link to a data sheet regarding trends in high school concussions between is an interesting study of sports injuries in 25 school districts in Fairfax, VA over a period of 11 years which showed that football had the highest concussion rate followed by girls soccer.

http://www.sportsconcussions.org/ibaseline/

The non-profit Sports Concussions.org is dedicated to educating the public about sports-related concussions including the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment. The group has advocated for the passage of concussion legislation in all 50 states, shares breakthroughs in treatment, and examines research including a recent study whose data shows that new football helmet technology does not appear to be more protective against concussion.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Human Trafficking"]

Human trafficking – often viewed as a form of modern-day slavery involving the  – is a global issue. Resources dealing from both a worldwide and statewide perspective are outlined below. New York State, ranks fourth in the nation in human trafficking cases, had proposed legislation this year to create stiffer penalty and a new category of crime, but the legislation did not pass.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking

This page on the FBI website provides information on human trafficking in the United States and links to other governmental online sources for statistics and information.

http://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking/

This webpage created by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provides  information about human trafficking indicators, public awareness and videos on the subject of human trafficking.

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html

The United Nations has information about human trafficking from a more global perspective on this website, illustrating it is truly a global issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/nyregion/special-courts-for-human-trafficking-and-prostitution-cases-are-planned-in-new-york.html?_r=0

This New York Times article focuses on the creation of Human Trafficking Intervention Courts across the state.

http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2013/08/post_191.html

A look at the New York State Legislature’s failure to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act.

http://www.humantraffickinged.com/

This website points out that medical institutions are often the front line for victims of this crime. The site has a wealth of information.

http://www.handsacrosstheworldmn.org/resources/Human+Trafficking+Statistics.pdf

A compilation of statistics in reference to human trafficking

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/11/20/human-trafficking-victims-up-in-new-york-state/

A 2011 news story that details information about human trafficking in New York State.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Agritourism"]

The development of agritourism is a relatively new phenomenon.  For some farmers, it’s a way to diversify and create a supplemental revenue source.  Others, for example “pick your own” businesses, have been bringing people to their farms for years but are choosing to expand their operations to meet the growing interest in agricultural ventures. To learn more about agritourism, especially as it applies to our region and New York State, visit the sites below.

http://www.nysagritourism.com/

Get an overview of what agritourism is and what it means in New York State.

http://www.uticaod.com/news/x1785616377/Agritourism-sprouting-throughout-the-state

This Utica newspaper story looks at the growing agritourism movement in New  York State.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/business/10tourism.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The New York Times examines the business side of agritourism for farmers across the nation.

http://www.visitbinghamton.org/things-to-do/agritourism/

An example of agritourism promotion in New York State.

http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/Rural/20060906/

This is the link to state legislation involving agritourism.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Healthcare Exchanges"]

America’s health care system continues to evolve and one of the most significant changes on the horizon is the enactment of health insurance exchanges or marketplaces.  Each state, including New York, established a plan for the creation of a health insurance exchange, as required by the federal Patient Protection and Afford Care Act. This episode of Insight introduces you to New York State’s plan, with the web resources below providing some general information about health insurance exchanges and historical context regarding their creation.

http://www.healthinsurance.org/new_york-state-health-insurance-exchange/

This link takes you to New York’s health insurance exchange web page, which launched on October 1 and has been visited by over 2 million people.

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/regulations/guidance-to-states-on-exchanges.html

This webpage provides an overview of what states are supposed to do to establish their health insurance exchanges, instituted as part of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

http://healthreform.dc.gov/DC/Health+Reform/Insurance+Coverage+Options/Health+Insurance+Exchange

This District of Columbia webpage offers a very easy to understand definition and overview of health insurance exchanges.

http://www.healthinsurance.org/new_york-state-health-insurance-exchange

This site explains Governor Cuomo’s executive order regarding the creation of a health exchange as well as provides links to other sites, news articles and more about the topic.

http://www.healthinsurance.org/new_york-state-health-insurance-exchange

This Kaiser Foundation website provides a comprehensive but still easy-to-understand overview of how New York State is enacting its health insurance marketplace (exchange) program.

http://www.theihcc.com/en/communities/policy_legislation/state-insurance-exchanges-the-case-against-impleme_gmxynhyr.html

A policy brief from the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism that summarizes why health care exchanges – and the Affordable Health Care Act  – are bad for America.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Veterans Resources"]

Veterans of American military services are entitled to benefits as a result of their service. They also face a myriad of issues including employment and healthcare. Listed below are examples of resources veterans may find in their own communities, in addition to state services.  One web resource even tracks the origin of Veterans Day.

http://www.syracuse.va.gov/

This is a link to Syracuse’s VA Center and its services.

http://www.veterans.ny.gov/

New York State’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs provides free advocacy services and more, as detailed on this website.

http://www.ongov.net/veterans/

Many counties, like Onondaga County, have a veterans’ agency or department to offer assistance to resident veterans.

http://vets.syr.edu/new-york-state-to-receive-record-24-million-in-funding-from-department-of-veterans-affairs-cites-ivmf-technical-assistance-efforts-as-the-key/

Announcement of a collaboration resulting in increased funding for veterans  programs in New York State.

http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/services/veterans/

This page at Senator Gillibrand’s website includes a map where veterans and their families can click on the county in which they live to find a list of resources available to them.

http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/new-york-state-veterans-benefits.html

This site provides a list of New York State-specific benefits for veterans.

http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/holidays/vetsday/vetshist.html

This history of the evolution of Veterans Day was written by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Family Caregiver Resources"]

It is estimated that there are more than 60 million Americans serving as family caregivers.  In 2009, the last year with complete statistics, unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated $450 billion in free services, but at what personal price? Healthcare costs are rising and the demands on these family caregivers continue to grow. The following links provide additional information and organizations to contact for caregiver support.

http://nfca.typepad.com/nfc_month_2013/presidential-proclamation-2013-national-family-caregivers-month.html

November is National Caregiver Month and this link, on the Caregiver Action Network, takes you to this year’s presidential proclamation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181916/

Although more technical in nature, this article that focuses on caregivers of family members with dementia, illustrates the point that family caregiver issues are real and have and continue to be the subject of research with the hope of developing strategies for relieving stress on these individuals.

http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=2313

Founded in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home.  The site offers tip sheets, like this one, and a wide range of advice and suggested resources.

http://www.ongov.net/ay/icare/index.html

Many counties throughout New York State, often through local offices for aging, offer caregiver resources and support.  Onondaga County offers an Institute for Caregivers, with classes available to assist caregivers with the myriad of issues they face.

http://www.caregiving.org/

This national non-profit coalition’s website provides research about the impact of caregiving on individuals as well as resources.

http://www.aging.ny.gov/Caregivers/Index.cfm

The New York State Office on Aging addresses family caregiving issues although its website can be challenging to navigate and telephone contact information is limited.

http://states.aarp.org/ny-caregiving-crisis-61-of-50-new-yorkers-worried-about-staying-in-home-as-they-get-older/

AARP recently completed a listening tour and a survey regarding caregivers in New York State, which this article summarizes.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Homelessness and Hunger"]

In parts of New York State, including Central New York, homelessness and hunger are growing.  The following resources look at statistics for the nation as a whole as well as for parts of Central New York.

http://www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/the-state-of-homelessness-2013

This data-driven report examines the state of homelessness in America between 2011 and 2012.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/the-astonishing-decline-of-homelessness-in-america/279050/

This article examines the decline in homelessness, the nation’s attitude towards homelessness, reasons why homelessness has dropped despite challenges in the nation’s economy, and the belief that homelessness may increase in the coming years.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/21/246589487/number-of-homeless-declines-again-but-gains-arent-universal

The annual homelessness report to Congress by the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that homelessness has dropped but in 23 states, especially New York that had the largest increase, homelessness has grown.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/coalition_unveils_10-year_plan.html

This article reveals that homelessness in Onondaga County has grown at an alarming rate and outlines a plan to do something about it.

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx

A succinct compilation of hunger in America statistics.

http://www.foodbankcny.org/about-us/who-we-help/

In America, it is estimated that 1 in 8 people rely on some form of food assistance.  This CNY Food Bank page provides a quick look at hunger in Central and Northern New York.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Fair School Funding"]

School districts are holding meetings about inequities in school aid, meetings that are drawing large crowds, including a recent one in the Hudson Valley that actually tied up traffic. New York spends over $17,000 per student annually but the question arises about how dollars are allocated to schools. In some cases, it appears that some school districts are not receiving the dollars that the aid formula says they should receive. Case in point: the Schenectady School District, which believes it has received just over half of the funding the state aid formula says it is entitled to receiving. Some school districts cite severe budget woes due, in part, to what they believe is the unfair allocation of education dollars. The resources below will help you to explore the issue in greater depth.

http://www.educationjustice.org/news/july-9-2012-new-york-school-funding-among-nations-most-unfair.html

Based on the 2012 release of a national report, this looks at why New York State’s school funding is unfair.

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Too-tough-an-equation-4343809.php#ixzz2NFHPDzv6

This article states that the state funding formula for school aid is understood by few, including the legislators that approve education funding.

http://www.schenectady.k12.ny.us/2013-2014Budget/State_Aid_Inequities/index.htm

Not only does this site explain the Civil Rights complaint the Schenectady School District is filing based on its claim of unfair school funding. The site also features several links related to the topic.

http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/jyinger/classes/PAI735/studentpapers/2013/Abbott_Hodgens_Wenzel.pdf

This paper offers suggestions for creating more equitable funding of New York’s schools.

http://www.statewideonline.org/wordpress/

This organization is dedicated to securing equitable funding for New York State’s public schools.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2013/03/equitable_funding_the_money_doesnt_add_up.html

This Education Week blog explains the key points of the debate over fair funding of New York State’s public schools.

http://www.nyspta.org/pdf/Advocacy/Equity_and_%20Predictability_of_School_%20Funding_Issue%20Brief.pdf

Recommendations about school funding by New York State as outlined by the NYS PTA (parent teacher association).

https://stateaid.nysed.gov/

This is the website for the NYS Education Department Office of State Aid.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Rural Bus Service Funding"]

Major funding sources for bus transportation, especially Medicaid (authorized, in part, through the Section 5311 program) have been reduced or altogether eliminated.  In this economy of limited resources, mass transit services, especially in rural areas, are in crisis. For more information, visit the online resources below.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/publications/rural_areas_planning/page03.cfm

This document from the Federal Highway Transportation provides information on issues regarding transportation in rural communities.

http://gettingaroundcortland.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/whats-happening-with-public-transit-in-cortland-county/

An overview of the issues and challenges facing mass transit in Cortland.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/madison_countys_proposed_2013.html

Madison County public transportation struggles.

https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/planning/transportation

Madison County public transportation remains in business but limited.

http://www.empirestatefuture.org/geography/state/empire_state_future_and_nystea_travel_to_cortland_to_support_sustainable_transportation/

This is an example of discussions around sustainable transportation, especially in rural areas.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/08152013Medical-Answering-Services-Expanding

A press release about the expansion of Medical Answering Services, contracted with NYS to oversee Medicaid transportation services for 24 counties in NYS.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/thinking-outside-the-bus/

Information on how some communities are providing – and improving – bus service in smaller communities and rural areas and the populations in need of that service.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Casinos in New York state"]

Casino gambling has long been a topic of discussion in New York State, especially in the past few years when it became entwined in Native American land rights.  With New York State voters approving a referendum to expand casino gambling, attention turns to the details of how to do that and the decisions involved, including the choice of communities for the casinos.  Long-time concerns about casino gambling – from addiction to increased crime – are being raised yet again. The online resources below, provide both background and concerns for the future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/nyregion/referendum-to-expand-casino-gambling-in-new-york-is-approved.html?_r=0

This November, 2013 NY Times article looks at why NYS residents voted to expand casino gambling.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pro-casino_group_spent_nearly_4_million_toward_expanding_gambling_in_new_york.html

Casinos are big money, as evidenced by the millions spent by a pro-casino group prior to the November referendum in front of voters regarding expanding casino gambling.

http://500nations.com/New_York_Casinos.asp

This is the “super site” for Native American casinos in New York State.

http://cagnyinf.org/

The Coalition against Gambling in New York blog site includes information about the social cost of gambling, especially due to “problem gambling”.

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/casino7.htm

Very succinctly, this article spells out the dark side of casinos.

http://www.ncpgambling.org/i4a/headlines/headlinedetails.cfm?id=839

This article claims, more casinos, more problem gamblers.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Teacher Abuse by Students"]

Teachers, in increasing numbers, are feeling threatened in their own classrooms.  In 2007-2008 four percent of K-12 public school teachers were physically attacked by students, while seven percent more were threatened with violence by their students.  In Central New York teachers have written letters to local newspapers explaining how they feel afraid in their classrooms while others have shared their stories of abuse at the hands of students and although not a teacher, a Rochester bus aid’s story of abuse she suffered from students drew national attention.  On the increase is bullying of teachers by students – in person or online – as well as violence, including even murder, as illustrated by a recent case.  The links below provide an overview to the issue as well as specific examples of abuse of teachers.

http://www.nea.org/home/42238.htm

This story on the National Education Association’s website provides an overview to the issue of abuse and violence of teachers by students.

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/01/teachers-tired-of-being-bullied-to.html

This story sheds light on the pressures teachers face including harassment or worse from students.

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/laveen/bullying-has-become-problem-for-teachers-too

This feature looks at the bullying of teachers by students.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/syracuse_teacher_injured_by_student_pushes_for_counseling_for_assailant.html

This is a story about a Syracuse teacher seriously injured by a student.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/syracuse_teacher_to_school_board_teachers_cannot_function_in_dysfunction.html

Educators in Syracuse speak out about the violence and dangers they face in their classrooms.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/11/21/philip-chism-accused-raping-murdering-danvers-high-teacher-colleen-ritzer/jGdMVl1PumhF39uZ7lrbIN/story.html

This story recounts the recent murder of a Massachusetts high school teacher.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="New York State Bridges"]

Bridges…we cross their spans, often with little thought. They get us to work, connect islands to mainlands and carry rail cars. We drive over them, walk them and even fish from them.  But are the bridges in our communities safe? Who is responsible for monitoring their safety? The online resources below provide some answers.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/main/bridgedata

This is an overview of the NYS Department of Transportation Highway Bridge Program.  The DOT ultimately inspects nearly 95% of all highway bridges in the state.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/09/15/bridges-across-new-york-connecticut-deemed-structurally-deficient/

New York State leads the nation with the number of “structurally deficient” bridges.

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/snapshot/0110snapshot.pdf

Although this dates to 2010, this report from the NYS Comptroller’s office , using the closure of the Lake Champlain as a springboard, provides interesting information about some of New York’s bridges, including some of the more travelled ones.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/safety_of_ny_railroad_bridges_underclear_because_of_gaps_in_state_dot_records_co.html

Although this focuses on railroad bridges, recent train accidents have focused renewed attention on their maintenance and safety.

http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/overview

This American Society of Civil Engineering 2013 report on America’s infrastructure includes a C+ for the nation’s bridges and a D- for inland waterways!

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Losing Ground: The Race to Preserve War of 1812 Battlefields in New York State"]

To learn more about the War of 1812 and view a series of War of 1812 minutes produced by WCNY in 2013, visit: www.wcny.org/education/war-of-1812/

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Cape Vincent Wind Farms"]

It’s a long story with an ending not yet written.  It’s a story of two proposed wind farms, now apparently down to one possible farm. It’s a discussion with opposing factions, with the debate carried out in view of a Canadian wind farm with over 80 working turbines on Wolfe Island.  The  years pass by with nothing built and no clear timetables for construction, much less a decision on whether or not the wind farm project will get off the ground.  Below are some resources to show which way the wind is blowing in the Thousand Islands community of Cape Vincent.

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9024940&contentId=7046497

General information about wind power by BP that features a link to a specific description of the project in Cape Vincent, NY.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/windmills_stir_up_a_storm_in_c.html

Although this dates to 2010, this news story outlines the opposing positions on the wind farm and offers a historic overview of the wind farm project and issues surrounding it.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20131210/NEWS03/712109819

This article describes some of the concerns around the sale of the BP Wind Energy Cape Vincent Wind Farm Project.

http://cvcat.blogspot.com/

This is a blog site by a group against the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Casinos in New York state"]

Casino gambling has long been a topic of discussion in New York State, especially in the past few years when it became entwined in Native American land rights.  With New York State voters approving a referendum to expand casino gambling, attention turns to the details of how to do that and the decisions involved, including the choice of communities for the casinos.  Long-time concerns about casino gambling – from addiction to increased crime – are being raised yet again. The online resources below, provide both background and concerns for the future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/nyregion/referendum-to-expand-casino-gambling-in-new-york-is-approved.html?_r=0

This November, 2013 NY Times article looks at why NYS residents voted to expand casino gambling.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pro-casino_group_spent_nearly_4_million_toward_expanding_gambling_in_new_york.html

Casinos are big money, as evidenced by the millions spent by a pro-casino group prior to the November referendum in front of voters regarding expanding casino gambling.

http://500nations.com/New_York_Casinos.asp

This is the “super site” for Native American casinos in New York State.

http://cagnyinf.org/

The Coalition against Gambling in New York blog site includes information about the social cost of gambling, especially due to “problem gambling”.

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/casino7.htm

Very succinctly, this article spells out the dark side of casinos.

http://www.ncpgambling.org/i4a/headlines/headlinedetails.cfm?id=839

This article claims, more casinos, more problem gamblers.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Wood Boilers in New York state"]

Concerns and conversations about the use of outdoor and indoor wood boilers in New York State are growing; so too are the regulations governing their use. Proponents are eager to use these to save money on heating costs and say that individuals should have the right and freedom to do what they want on their private properties. Opponents cite environmental and emissions issues as well as the universal right to clean air. Listed below is information about what these boilers or furnaces are, how they operate, emission standards, current regulations governing their use and more.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/539352.html

in the fall of 2013, New  York State joined six other states in a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency to try to get the EPA to update emission standards for wood boilers.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51986.html

Rules and regulations about the use of outdoor wood boilers in New York State as well as links to other information sources.

http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/woodboilers.html

This site from the federal Environmental Protecting Agency includes a good description of how outdoor wood boilers work.

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/owb/heating_with_firewood.htm

This New York State Health Department page focuses on heating with wood in general, including information about outdoor wood boilers.

http://ccetompkins.org/energy/heating-wood/health-and-emissions

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County has created a website focusing on heating with wood that includes this page about emissions from products including outdoor wood boilers.

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2011/state-s-delay-of-rules-for-dirty-outdoor-wood-boilers-challenged-by-new-york-groups

This press release about wood heating summarizes some of the concerns by health organizations, like the American Lung Association about outdoor wood boilers.

http://www.4cleanair.org/OWB-NESCAUM-Report_March2006.pdf

This 2006 report was undertaken by NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air

Use Management) to provide policymakers with an assessment of concerns relating to the

growing use of outdoor wood-fired boilers (OWB), also known as outdoor wood-fired

hydronic heaters or outdoor wood-fired furnaces.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/522097/Stricter-outdoor-wood-boiler-regs-approved.html?nav=5046

An easy-to-understand look at responses to DEC regulations (when in the proposed state) about outdoor wood-fired boilers.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Farm Bill"]

More often than not, legislation – whether at the local, state or federal levels – has its proponents and opponents. The 2014 Federal Farm Bill, signed into law in Michigan earlier this year, is no exception. The affects more than farm programs, however, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which administrates food stamps. Some hail the reforms it puts into place, including the elimination of direct payments to farmers while others, including some of those who work with SNAP recipients and food banks, advocated for its defeat. More specific information about the 2014 Federal Farm Bill and the SNAP program can be found via the online resources below.

Some interesting information that surfaced during the lengthy road to the eventual passage of the Farm Bill included a reminder of the goal of farm programs: to provide a safe, secure and affordable American food supply, produced by farmers who make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population.  Just how affordable is our food?  Depending on the source, the percentages can vary a bit, but on average, Americans spend less than 7 percent of their income on food, less than any other country in the world.  In comparison, residents of the United Kingdom spend nearly 9%, Argentineans spend over 20 percent and the Chinese spend about 34 percent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/politics/farm-bill.html?_r=0

President Obama signed 2014 Farm Bill in Michigan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/us/politics/senate-passes-long-stalled-farm-bill.html

An analysis of the 2014 Farm Bill.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/04/news/economy/food-stamps-farm-bill/

This article spells out some of the implications of the 2014 Farm Bill.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

The US Department of Agriculture works with state agencies to operate the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). This website explain dimensions of the program.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/2014/01/29/farm-bill-would-boost-ny-dairy-industry/5031619/

This Rochester, New York explores the help the Farm Bill would offer to dairy farmers, cuts to SNAP recepients and why some of New York’s politicians voted as they did.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/02252014-snap-benefits

This press release from Governor Cuomo’s office explains how the Governor is dealing with the cuts to SNAP benefits.

http://news.yahoo.com/snap-cuts-snap-cuts-governors-gaming-farm-bill-165744234.html

Concise explanation of the effect of  the Farm Bill’s “closing of a SNAP loophole” on New York SNAP recipients and Governor Cuomo’s response to it.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="Henrietta Casino Opposition"]

Casinos in New York State are back in the news. This time, the focus is on the possible development of a new casino in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta. The Senecas have purchased about 32 acres of land, fueling casino development speculation. Gov. Cuomo has indicated there hasn’t been any discussion with the Senecas about opening a casino. Groups, including the Henrietta Town Board and regional politicians are already lining up anyway to try to prevent a casino in the area.

http://www.indianz.com/IndianGaming/2014/027425.asp

It’s not clear who is talking to whom about another casino in Seneca territory.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/03/19/henrietta-town-board-vote-casino/6600429/

Henrietta Town Board votes unanimously against a casino in the town.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10687359

Wayne County opposes another casino by Senecas.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/2014/03/03/senecas-land-casino-clay-road-henrietta/5976147/

The Senecas purchase land in Henrietta for a possible casino.

https://www.facebook.com/nomorecasinos

This is the Facebook site for the No More Casinos Coalition, which is opposed to having a new casino, operated by the Seneca Nation, open near Rochester.

http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_27df693e-b30e-11e3-81e7-0019bb2963f4.html

Politicians are lining up in opposition of a proposed new casino in Henrietta, NY.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="New York State Budget"]

It was a race to finish as Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders worked to pass the proposed NYS Executive Budget proposal for 2014-2015. before midnight on April 1. With less than hour to deadline, the legislature voted to approve, delivering an on-time budget for the fourth consecutive year.  The online resources below provide information about key aspects of the budget.

http://www.budget.ny.gov/pubs/press/2014/pressRelease14_enactedBudgetReleased.html

Announcement of the passage of the 2014-2015 New York State budget that occurred less than hour before the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

http://publications.budget.ny.gov/eBudget1415/fy1415littlebook/BriefingBook.pdf

This is the briefing book that provided the details of the proposed  NYS budget.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/budget2014/home

Information from the Governor’s office regarding the budget for 2014-2015.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/03/ny_budget_details_property_tax_freeze_30_million_for_onondaga_lake.html

A look at some of the details of the 2014-2015 budget package prior to the legislative voting on March 31.

http://www.nysenate.gov/GetTheBudgetFacts

Links to a number of documents related to Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget for 2014-2015.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/29/us-usa-newyork-budget-idUSBREA2S0KP20140329

A brief overview of the Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget including references to stiffer fines for driving while texting and the creation of a Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice to examine way to raise the age for juvenile trials.

[/toggle]

[toggle title="The Story of the Jews"]

The recent five-part PBS series, The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama, offered viewers a look at Jewish history and how it has impacted the world. Central New York has its own Jewish history and stories, some little known, to share.  The links below introduce you to a sampling of Jewish culture and history as well as the story of America’s only World War II refugee camp located in Oswego, New York.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/NewYork.html

A brief historical overview of the settlement of Jews in New York State, including Central New York.

http://www.prlog.org/11729646-new-book-explores-syracuses-jewish-heritage.html

A description of the book by Davis and Rabin exploring Syracuse’s Jewish heritage.

http://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2011/09/usa-syracuse-ny-temple-concord.html

This blog entry from a few years ago offers insight into Onondaga County Jewish architecture and art.

http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/syracuse/Synagogues.html

A list of Jewish synagogues, past and present, in Onondaga County.

http://www.safehavenmuseum.com/index.html

This is the website for Oswego’s Safe Haven Museum.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/21/nyregion/59-years-ago-they-fled-to-an-internment-camp.html

Some of the memories of those involved with the World War II refugee camp at Oswego.

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