You would think that fixing chronically flooding areas would be simple: hire an engineer to come up with a plan and implement it. But Highway Department officials met resistance from residents this week, even to the extreme of Deputy Sheriffs appearing at Lansing Highway Superintendent Jack French's and Deputy Superintendent Charlie Purcell's homes to arrest them for trespassing on a property in the Autumn Ridge neighborhood. Email sent to French by homeowners revealed a contentious neighborhood, half of whom want flood mitigation, and the other half opposing it.
"They don't have water in their basement and they don't care about their neighbors," French told the Board. "One complained his trees wouldn't get water in his back yard. He sent legal notice by UPS that if his trees die and one falls on his house he will sue the Town. Another woman sent the Sheriff to my house and my deputy's house to have us and everybody else who was there that night arrested for walking on her property."
Flooding continued to be bad yesterday at the intersection of East Shore Drive and 34B (photo by Karen Veaner)
Village of Lansing Trustees set a public hearing for September 15th for the public to weigh in on adjustments to its firearms and bow safety law. The Village has held a deer population control hunt each year since 2007. If passed the law will make it easier to manage the official hunt. Mayor Donald Hartill said the law will also bring Village code in line with changes in State hunting law.
"That avoids the drama we periodically have trying to get everybody on board," Hartill said. "This is a way of easing that. It also takes considerable load off of (Village hunt organizer Bernd Blossey)."
After a storm that left 3,508 Town of Lansing and 626 Village of Lansing NYSEG customers in the dark last month, Highway Superintendent Jack French told the Town Board that Lansing was not prepared for disasters, and was lucky that the absence of a disaster preparedness plan did not result in more property damage, or in injuries or death. French said that a power outage at the Highway Department meant that gasoline for emergency vehicles including fire and EMT vehicles could not be pumped, electric doors could not be operated, Highway Department radios were ineffective for eight to ten hours. Wednesday the Board approved the purchase of a generator and four hand-held emergency radios Wednesday.
"The generator will kick on automatically as soon as the electric service goes out," French says. "The natural gas will kick the generator on automatically within ten seconds of the electric going out. It allows us to keep pumping gas and to get our doors open."
Deborah Griffith Palermo Appointed County Personnel Commissioner
Deborah Griffith Palermo, SPHR, has been appointed Tompkins County Commissioner of Personnel, following a national search. County Administrator Joe Mareane’s appointment of Ms. Palermo was confirmed by the Tompkins County Legislature by unanimous vote (Legislature Kathy Luz Herrera was excused). The appointment is for an initial six-year term, as required under the provisions of New York State law.
Ms. Palermo brings to this key County leadership position 28 years of high-level professional experience in Human Resources administration in both public and private sectors. She most recently served as Vice President of Human Resources at Monro Muffler Brake, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, NY— an $800 million publicly traded chain of 937 auto care stores with over 5,000 employees throughout the United States, where she was responsible for all aspects of human resources and employee relations.
Martha Robertson, candidate for Congress in New York's 23rd District, and her supporters opened a New York State Democratic Committee Field Office in Dunkirk Saturday. Martha Robertson is challenging the Republican incumbent, Congressman Tom Reed.
“I have been overwhelmed by the supporters I have met across Chautauqua County,” said Martha. “The working people I meet every day are tuning in to our message – keeping middle class taxes low, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and closing tax loopholes that corporations use to ship jobs overseas. It’s time to work across the aisle and get things done for the people of the 23rd Congressional District.”
The New York State Archives, a unit of the State Education Department, has awarded Tompkins County a nearly $150,000 Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant to further extend the County’s digital records management program.
The $149,972 grant, awarded in what Archives officials describe as a “highly competitive” year, will expand the program to share services with the county’s six villages (Cayuga Heights, Groton, Lansing, Dryden, Freeville, and Trumansburg) and the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District. The successful grant application was filed by the Tompkins County Clerk’s Office.
Tom Reed spent Thursday in Ithaca at Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County promoting local hospice care. After a tour of the facility and a chance to meet with employees and hospice providers from the area, Reed announced a new bill he recently introduced to strengthen and improve access to quality hospice care. Reed’s bipartisan HOSPICE Act – Hospice Opportunities for Supporting Patients with Integrity and Care Evaluations – was drafted with input from local hospice caregivers and is supported by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“Our bill is designed to help hospice and palliative caregivers, like Hospicare in Ithaca, do their jobs more effectively and provide higher quality care,” Tom Reed said. “From my family’s personal experience, I’m a firm believer in the quality care and support hospice gives to patients and their families. That’s why we’re committed to putting the fair accountability and transparency measures in our bill in place – so that families in rural areas like our own have access to the hospice care of their choice.”
After months of consideration the Watkins Glen Village Board voted 3-0 Monday in opposition to a gas storage facility proposed by Texas-based Crestwood Midstream near Seneca Lake. Board members expressed concerns about negative economic impacts the facility would have on tourism and increased truck traffic. In the wake of major protests against the project, including one only a few hours earlier the Board concluded that the community is opposed to the project.
"We applaud the Watkins Glen Village Board for courageously taking a stand against Crestwood's dangerous and reckless proposal to turn our precious homes and Finger Lakes economy into an unsafe heavy industrial zone," said Gas Free Seneca co-founder Yvonne Taylor. "Residents, winery owners, other local businesses, health experts and many towns including Geneva and now Watkins Glen have overwhelmingly united in telling Crestwood that they are not welcome here."