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posticon Steve Colt Stepping Down From Lansing Parks and Rec

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Among the jewels of the Town of Lansing are its parks and its recreation department.  Steve Colt has been Lansing's Recreation Director for about 30 years, and Park Superintendent for almost that long.  The parks are gorgeous and used by thousands of people for all kinds of activities.  The vast scope of recreation programs should, in any sensible world, be impossible for a department that only has three full time employees.  Colt will leave some very big shoes to fill when he steps down from the Park and Recreation Department on July 31st.

"I commend Steve Colt for doing such a great job," says Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne. "People don't realize when they first started the Rec Department was located in the Highway Barn on a gravel floor.  Lansing has come a long way, and Steve leaves it in very good shape."

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posticon Town Considers Creating Department of Public Works

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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In anticipation of Steve Colt's pending retirement from the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department at the end of this month, Town Board members discussed changes Monday to the department structure that could lead to a new Department of Public Works (DPW).  The new structure would create a DPW that would become an umbrella department that would manage water, sewer, highway, parks, and building and grounds maintenance.  Officials noted that cross-training employees from existing departments has been a first step in what would eventually be a single consolidated department.

"That consolidation has already started to happen," said Town Attorney Guy Krogh. "Working in cross-purposes, having people being cross-trained, and sharing services across departments has always been part of this town's avenue of success.  There have been three prior plans for DPWs.  They've all been loosely sketched.  Pretty much all of them foresaw consolidating all of the public works into a Public Works Department.  You create a DPW by local law.  It has an organizational structure that would consolidate multiple disparate functions into a single department.  For it's size Lansing is probably one of the few municipalities in this area that doesn't have one."

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posticon Lansing Graduation Awards May Move Out of Commencement Ceremony

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Tweaks continue to be made to the Lansing High School graduation. Two years ago a parent complained to the Board of Education that the awards section of the ceremony was too long, taking the focus away from the 'taking away from the joy of the achievement of graduating from high school, especially for those graduates who did not receive awards'. This year a change was made to the awards section, with the people granting the awards still making their presentations, but without actually presenting checks to graduates.

"We had our scholarships awarded at the ceremony itself, but the students receiving the scholarships stood and sat down," Superintendent of Schools Chris Pettograsso told the Board of Education Monday. "It still took a significant chunk of time -- it was about an hour. Because of the rain our Principal wasn't able to give a speech, so it became solely about scholarships."

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posticon American Airlines to Offer Ithaca-to-Charlotte Air Service

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Geoff Dunn Print
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American Airlines has announced that it will offer a direct flight from the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) to American's hub at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT).  The new service is slated to begin Saturday, December 22nd, according to Airport Director Mike Hall.

"It's important to note the new service will start with just one Saturday flight a week, and current service through Philadelphia will not change," said Hall. "Further Charlotte service could be considered in the future if the new flight demonstrates sufficient passenger demand."

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posticon County Continues Ride-Hailing Services Review

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Legislature's special Transportation Committee heard comments from the ride-hailing service Lyft, as it continued its review of ride-hailing services in Tompkins County, one year after New York State authorized upstate operation of such ride-hailing services. The committee heard from local taxi cab operators last month.

Expanding upon a statement from its Director of Public Policy, Lyft representative Jennifer Tuttle told the committee that hundreds of people locally drive part-time as independent contractors with Lyft, 93% of them driving fewer than 20 hours per week. Calling the service "an invaluable transportation option for Tompkins County passengers," Tuttle identified Lyft's five top local passenger destinations as Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Sage Hall, Ithaca College, Cornell's Statler Hotel, and the Ithaca Marriott Downtown, with over 82% of those local Lyft rides arriving in less than ten minutes.

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posticon DEC Halts Controversial Seneca Lake Gas Storage Project

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Kenneth Londono Print
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senecalakesouthendAlbany, NY - A controversial liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage project proposed for Seneca Lake will not go forward as planned. Citing concerns about community character of the Finger Lakes, cavern stability, and risks to the agri-tourism economy, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied a draft permit for the project, presenting a likely insurmountable hurdle for proponents.

Citing threats to public safety and the growing local tourism economy, opponents of the project have pressed state leaders to deny the permit to Finger Lakes LPG, which had sought to store 88.2 million gallons of LPG in abandoned salt caverns alongside Seneca Lake.

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posticon Transformational Cortland Projects Part Of $10 Million Award

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced 10 transformational projects for Cortland as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. The strategic investments in downtown Cortland will reimagine the city's infrastructure and main street while harnessing technology and talent to improve the city's quality of life. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities for Central New York.

"As a gateway to the heart of the state, Cortland is strategically located to benefit from a talented workforce driven by the nearby hub of higher education institutions," Governor Cuomo said. "These targeted investments will help to make downtown Cortland a sought-after destination for young talent seeking a community where they can work, enjoy the arts, and gather with family and friends all in one neighborhood."

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posticon State Missing Nearly $2.4 Million In Uncollected Tolls

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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The amount of unpaid tolls has risen since the expansion of cashless tolling by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) and it is likely to increase. Even when uncollected tolls can be billed, law firms hired to collect outstanding tolls and fees have not been effective, an auditreleased today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found.

"More needs to be done to ensure that those using our bridges and tunnels are paying the required tolls and that the TBTA is collecting the money it is owed, especially by the worst offenders, who persistently refuse to pay," said DiNapoli. "This audit identifies several ways to improve the collection of unpaid tolls, which is needed to help maintain and repair New York City's bridges, tunnels and transit system."

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posticon Reed Says Deregulation Creates Jobs

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Washington - Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) highlighted efforts Wednesday to spur economic growth through deregulation.

"I care about those struggling with over burdensome and unfair regulations placed upon them by out of touch Washington bureaucrats," said Rep. Reed. "From the lack of new infrastructure due to ridiculous permitting review times, to not being able to get a loan for your small business, these unreasonable regulations affect all of us in one way or another.  We recognize the importance of reasonable regulations such as worker protections, clean air, and water. Those should remain. However, it is important to eliminate the ever-growing web of unreasonable regulations, rules, restrictions that have hurt our jobs, pocketbooks and people."

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posticon Cuomo Directs DFS To Protect Access To Affordable Health Care

News | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services Monday to review the impact and implement an affordable health access action plan in light of the Trump Administration's suspension of the Affordable Care Act's Risk Adjustment Program. The Risk Adjustment Program is designed to stabilize insurance markets by inhibiting the ability of health plans to seek out only the healthiest members, thereby increasing the cost of insurance for those who need it the most. As a result of the Trump Administration's misguided actions, millions of Americans' could face significant increases in cost in their health insurance.

As part of the Affordable Health Access Action Plan, Cuomo directed DFS to review all options and prepare to implement an expanded State Risk Adjustment Program that controls health cost increases as much as possible in case the federal program is not reinstated to ensure access to affordable care for all New Yorkers in the long-term.

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