Deer Still Winning Against Village Population Control Program

deer snowblue120With new forest growth decimated, about 35 annual auto accidents caused by deer and gardens eaten to nubs, the Village of Lansing initiated a deer population management program in 2007.  Last week Village Trustees learned that while the program has been moderately successful, the deer are still winning.  Seven years later Cornell University Department of Natural Resources' Dr. Bernd Blossey, who coordinates the program, said that the population is well above sustainable levels.  He noted that only 15 deer had been taken so far, down from prior years at this time in the hunt.  And he said that deer in the Village may pose a health threat on top of the damage they continue to wreak on village property owners.

"The deer are not dumb," Blossey said.  "The ones that have survived are the smart ones that know where to hang out and not encounter hunters.  All of the deer shot in the Village of Lansing so far have had ticks.  None of the deer in Trumansburg have had ticks.  It is an interesting perspective.  We don't know the reason."

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Cuomo Announces $70 Million For Bicycle And Pedestrian Projects

bicycle1Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday approximately $70 million in awards to fund 68 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation projects in New York. The projects, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and which leverage a total investment of $103.7 million, will promote walking and biking, and boost tourism and economic development opportunities in dozens of communities across the state.

"These projects will help communities become more walkable and bicycle friendly, as well as show off the natural beauty that exists in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "I thank the Federal Highway Administration and our representatives for helping the state secure this funding so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy New York like never before."

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Working Group On Truck Safety Sets Schedule

Oct312014
commons simeons120Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and New York State DOT, Region 3 in Syracuse, who together formed a Working Group on Truck Safety, have announced the next steps in their work in reviewing truck safety issues in Ithaca and implementing any and all feasible improvements to try to prevent tragic accidents such as the one on June 20th of this year that took the life of a 27-year old employee of Simeon's Restaurant on the Ithaca Commons.

After a lengthy general discussion of a number of some of the more drastic or high-tech ideas that have been suggested by the public or by city or state engineers, the group agreed to continue to compile all the ideas, large and small, and to more-thoroughly research and consider the options.  While many in the public have emailed their ideas to either the Assemblywoman or the Mayor (such as totally shutting down Route 79 in the city to truck traffic, more truck brake-testing areas, more signage, or sensors to detect and stop problem trucks, among others), all are welcome to forward any other ideas to either local office to be added to the list of things to consider.

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Committee Receives Living Wage Update

Oct312014

Committee Receives Living Wage Update

 

tc court120hIn an update report presented to the Legislature’s Government Operations Committee today, County Administrator Joe Mareane reported that the County is very close to attaining its living wage goals for County contracts—reporting that more than 90% of all covered contract employees are paid at or above the AFCU Living Wage, with nearly 80% of the contracts paying all covered employees at least the AFCU wage level.

But Administrator Mareane also cautioned that the County is reaching the point at which future progress will be limited by structural constraints faced by those few agencies that do not pay all covered employees the living wage—nearly all of which are mental health or elder care providers.  “Our contractors have estimated that the cost to bring the last 10% of contract employees to the living wage would exceed $2 million, and could cause complications so severe that some smaller agencies may simply choose not to participate in County work,” he said.

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State Tax Collections Exceed Projections

Oct312014
albany2 120State tax collections of $34.2 billion through the first half of the fiscal year were nearly $610 million higher than projected and the state collected nearly $3.5 billion from financial settlements through September, according to the state monthly cash report and a mid-year report on revenue trends, released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. In spite of higher than anticipated spending, the General Fund ended the first half of the year $515.8 million above updated projections.

"Midway through the fiscal year, New York’s cash position continues to improve,” DiNapoli said. “Tax collections are outpacing projections and settlement revenue is boosting state coffers. In the short term the state’s fiscal outlook is positive.”

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The Town of Lansing formed in 1817 when Tompkins County was formed

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