|July 18, 2014 Issue||
Volume 10, Issue 27
The Lansing Highway Department is still cleaning up after last week's storm that knocked out electricity in 3,508 homes in the Town of Lansing and another 626 in the Village of Lansing, some of whom were without power for three days. Highway Superintendent Jack French told the Town Board Wednesday that the northern parts of the town were the hardest hit by two storms over the past three weeks. French said that Lansing is not prepared for disasters and admonished the board to develop a disaster preparedness plan.
"The Town does not have disaster preparedness," French said. "We've talked about it for eight years that I know of. About four years ago a town board member asked whether I would be on a committee to get it going and that was the last I heard of it. The Town of Lansing really needs to step to the plate and get a plan together. Because we're not prepared."
Around 40 people came to the Lansing Town Hall Wednesday to challenge proposed subdivision and land use laws. But Deputy Supervisor Sharon Bowman said the public hearings and final votes on the laws had been tabled because it had been determined there is more work to be done on them. Residents couldn't have agreed more.
"Opening up neighborhoods that were previously closed to higher density growth is not what the Town said they wanted when polled," said Sarah Thompson, a member of the Town of Lansing Comprehensive Plan Update Committee. "In fact it is just what they did not want. The survey clearly showed that residents want a controlled, planned growth pattern that reflects the agricultural nature and history of Lansing. A high priority was given to curbing sprawl in Lansing the way it is occurring elsewhere in Tompkins County. It is not responsible or fair to those who chose to live in low density residential neighborhoods. It's poor planning."
Following the recommendation of two of its committees, the Legislature, after two hours of thoughtful discussion, approved a new process for consideration potential development of the remaining County-owned portion of the Biggs property on Harris B. Dates Drive. The Legislature first repealed two resolutions related to the project passed last November, then authorized prospective developer NRP Properties, LLC, working in partnership with Better Housing for Tompkins County, to apply to the Town of Ithaca for a project on the 25-acre site.
The new authorization will allow State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) to be completed by the Town, with the County an involved agency. The Legislature made it clear that the County is not committed to any further action regarding the property, that tonight's action is not a decision to sell the property, and that any future decision regarding sale of the property will only be considered upon completion of the coordinated SEQR process.
Lansing Recreation Director Steve Colt told the Town Board Wednesday that the regional league has decided to mandate a nation-wide program of USA Football called 'Heads Up Football'. The program seeks to certify youth football coaches in safety protocols applied in all aspects of the game so they can teach kids proper techniques so that kids can have fun playing with less chance of getting hurt.
"It's another item we can add to our youth football package to increase safety and show parents that this is the safest level of football you can play," Colt said.
An a reception with photographer Martin R. Miller highlighted an exhibition of his landscapes Tuesday at the Lansing Community Library. The show, 'Why Go Out?', seeks to answer that question with a series of stunning photos of the Finger Lakes, New York City, Viet Nam and Thailand, among other locations. Miller says that is what pulls him away from the addictive lure of the computer.
"Photography gets me away from the computer and that distraction," Miller says. "Being outside is, to me, much more calming, much more peaceful. Even if it is in New York City or a busy urban scene I still feel like there is a singular focus and I can isolate what I want to see. That's what the camera does for me."