Planning Board Recommends Soccer Tournament One-Time

Jul032015
soccer1The Lansing Town Planning Board voted last week to recommend a temporary rule change that would allow the Gorges Classic Soccer Tournament to use soccer fields next to the RINK over Labor Day weekend.  One of the conditions under which the fields were allowed restricts commercial use and caps players' age at 18 years old. Tournament organizer Ibe Jonah asked last month that the age restriction be lifted for a weekend to enable his event, which includes player over 30, 40 and 50 years old, to use the fields.  But Dennis Read, who lives next to the fields, expressed concerns about changing the conditions and about accountability when outside groups use the fields.

"With somebody coming in and using it on a one or two day basis I feel there is nobody to turn to for that," he said.  "I am not opposed to the idea of there being a soccer tournament (there)." he said.  I am more concerned that people think that restrictioon doesn't make much sense, so let's find a way around it.  And I'm afraid people will say, 'a lot of people came to this tournament so let's put some bleachers in.'  Then the next year it will be, 'OK let's put a scoreboard up.'"

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Fireworks Parking May Be Restricted

Jul032015

Fireworks Parking May Be Restricted

 

Fireworks Parking May Be Restricted Flooding at Myers ParkLansing Park Superintendent Steve Colt says that parking at tonight's fireworks in Myers Park may be more restricted than usual.  In past years swarths of lawn have been reserved for fireworks parking.  But because of unusually heavy rain, Colt says the grass is likely to be too wet to handle parking without causeing major damage to the park.  Parking is always available at the Lansing schools, and free shuttle buses will run continuously to get people to the park.

"I hear it's going to be beautiful on Friday," Colt says.  "Even if it is we're probably going to super-restrict traffic down there.  Everybody's yards at home will probably be dry.  The pavement will be dry.  The sun will be out and the sky will be blue, but the grass at Myers Park is wet."

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Lifton Comments On Community Transition Funding

Jul032015

Lifton Comments On Community Transition Funding

 

albanycapital120Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP – 125th) commented Tuesday on the end-of-session agreement between the Assembly, Senate and the Governor, establishing an unprecedented $19 million fund to aid municipalities and schools that lose 20% or more of their payment-in-lieu-of-taxes revenue from the closure of a fossil fuel based electricity generation facility. From text of the bill:

"Contingent  upon  available  funding, …..  moneys from the  urban  development  corporation  shall  be available for a municipal corporation or school district, as determined by the urban development corporation, where (i) a fossil  fuel  electric  generating  facility located within such municipal corporation or school  district has permanently ceased operations, and (ii) the closing of such facility has caused a reduction in the tax collections and receipts from payments in lieu of taxes of at least 20%..."

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AEDs Placed In All County Buildings

Jul032015

AEDs Placed In All County Buildings

 

defib AEDunitAs part of its ongoing commitment to community health and safety, Tompkins County government has launched its new Public Access Defibrillator program, installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all County facilities, and training more than 100 County staff to operate the devices and perform CPR for those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.  AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.  When that happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.  According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 people in the US suffer sudden and unpredictable cardiac arrest each year, and fewer than 10% survive; however, immediate CPR and early defibrillation with an AED can more than double a victim's chance of survival.  Communities with comprehensive AED programs that include CPR and AED training for rescuers have achieved survival rates of nearly 40% for cardiac arrest victims.

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Audits Find $70 Million In Dubious Medicaid Claims

Jul032015

Audits Find $70 Million In Dubious Medicaid Claims

 

doctorNew York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released two audits Monday revealing more than $70 million in questionable Medicaid claims and payments. DiNapoli’s auditors found the state reimbursed providers for excessive services, including 41 dental exams for one patient over three years and identified about a dozen providers that should have been kicked out of the system for wrongdoing.

“New York’s Medicaid billing system is failing to catch waste, fraud, errors and abuse. Millions are pouring out the door for double billings, questionable procedures and to crooked providers,” DiNapoli said. “While the state is attempting to control costs, it needs to take a hard look at the failures of its billing system. State Health Department officials need to address system shortfalls immediately and recover any overpayments as soon as possible.”

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Reed Aims Bill At Flood Relief Assistance

Jul032015

Reed Aims Bill At Flood Relief Assistance

 

capitalbuilding 120This week, Tom Reed announced his legislation to assist victims of natural disasters. The bill, known as the National Disaster Relief Tax Act, is aimed at offering assistance to the victims of federally declared disaster areas, in order to rebuild homes, communities and lives.

"We are fighting everyday for neighbors impacted by floods and natural disasters," said Reed.

This bill makes it easier for individuals to recover financially after catastrophic losses. Under the bill, individuals will be able to to deduct losses to their property that are often not covered by insurance, and ensures that state and county disaster payments are not taxable.

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Fewer Counties Exceeding Tax Cap

Jul032015

Fewer Counties Exceeding Tax Cap

 

albany2 120The number of counties overriding New York's property tax cap has declined by more than half over the past four fiscal years, dropping from 15 in 2012 to only six in 2015, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The report also noted that the counties' average tax levy increase has remained at or below 2 percent in each of the past four years.

"Counties are holding the line on property taxes," said DiNapoli. "If inflation continues its downward trend, however, counties will need to tighten their budgets even more to stay within the tax cap and deliver services that homeowners expect. I believe the financial decisions for county leaders next year will be especially difficult."

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Lifton Responds to End-of-Session Agreement on Education

Jul032015

Lifton Responds to End-of-Session Agreement on Education

 

albany3 120Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-125AD, Tompkins/Cortland) reacted Monday to the Education component of the end-of session agreement in Albany, saying she is pleased that there are improvements in the evaluation issue for school districts and teachers, but some important parts of the Nolan bill passed in May by the Assembly fell off the table during negotiations with the Governor and Senate.  She vowed to keep fighting to support public schools and the children they educate.

"I am pleased with the progress made with teacher evaluations which will be taking into account factors such as poverty, disability, and language barriers in assessing a student's performance.  Other improvements include more than $8 million in new funding to the State Education Department which will allow for more exam questions and answers to be released, and teachers will now be allowed to discuss the exams with their colleagues. Additionally, the legislation creates a committee to review Common Core exams to ensure these tests are fair, accurate and appropriate for each grade level," said Lifton.

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