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posticon Last Gasp For School Solar Project

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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School Solar Tries Again

The Lansing School District has been trying to save energy dollars by contracting with a developer to generate solar energy since 2013.  At first it appeared the District could save $1,055,067 over the course of a 20 year contract.  But over time the attempt has hit many speed bumps, including a change to the contract that would have halved the savings and raised the time frame to 25 years.  Consultant Chris Chris Santospirito told the Board of Education Monday that she had planned to tell them why the project was dead.  But a last minute offer from the developer may breathe life into the project.

"We were going to say we're done!  We're walking away.  And then they came back and said 'we can tweak this a little bit more.  We think we can make this work a little bit better.'  This bumps up the savings to about $550,000.  Instead of $17,000 savings a year it's more like $20,000 to $26,000 depending on the year you're in."

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posticon Lansing Reps Say Extend Natural Gas Moratorium County-Wide

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Natural gas Moratorium In Lansing

Responding to an announcement by the Tompkins County Energy and Economic Development Task Force (EEDTF) last week that NYSEG has requested a solution to the natural gas shortage in Lansing that will make a moratorium on new customers permanent, Lansing representatives said Wednesday the moratorium should be spread county-wide before any further decisions are made.  With close to 900 new building projects currently approved or undergoing the approval process in the Town, Lansing officials said that it's not fair that communities that have access to natural gas have come up with a plan that will deny it to Lansing.

"It's definitely not putting us on the right playing field," said Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler (Lansing).  "The gas moratorium is obviously something that's going to have an enormous impact on our town."

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posticon New York's Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Fixing

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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water2 120New York's water systems may require nearly $40 billion in repairs and improvements over the next two decades, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"Many drinking water systems in New York are over 100 years old and operating far beyond their useful life," DiNapoli said. "Too many places are dealing with water main breaks, leaks, contaminated drinking water and other problems that can result in public health threats, property damage or inconvenience for residents and businesses. New York needs to significantly invest in this area, or we're going to suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, paying for these solutions presents a considerable challenge."

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posticon IC Contingent Faculty Vote to Authorize Strike

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By Chris Machanoff, Faculty Forward Print
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icAfter two days of voting, part-time lecturers and full-time contingent faculty members at Ithaca College (IC) voted to authorize the IC Contingent Faculty Union/Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200United Bargaining Committee to call for any action up to a strike. The authorization vote comes after 18 months of bargaining between the union and the IC administration.

Tom Schneller, bargaining committee member and Part-Time Lecturer in the School of Music, said: "We are energized and excited by the outcome of the vote, which demonstrates that contingent professors at IC are fed up with the status quo and willing to stand up and fight for job security and fair pay. We are fed up with being exploited as cheap disposable labor, to be hired and fired at will. We reject the Walmart model of higher education that is espoused by the administration. It is immoral and unsustainable that our top administrators are raking in massive salaries while many of the professors who provide the education our students struggle to afford are living in poverty. Our proposals are reasonable and achievable: for part-time faculty to attain pay parity at IC would make up 0.3% of IC's current budget. Doing the right thing at minimal cost to the college should not be a difficult decision. It is time for the IC administration to stop stonewalling and do what's in the best interest of faculty and students at Ithaca College, rather than their own financial priorities."

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posticon Helming Joins Bi-Partisan Coalition To 'Step Up For Seniors'

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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helming seniors Senator Helming (left of podium), aging advocates and other State Lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly recently rallied to call on legislative leaders to prioritize senior funding in the State Budget

NYS Senator Pam Helming (R,C,I-54th District) joined aging advocates representing thousands of seniors from across New York State and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly to call on legislative leaders to make New York's seniors a priority in this year's state budget.

"With a rapidly growing senior population statewide, we need to work to ensure that there are adequate services in place so people can remain in their homes and in New York," said Senator Helming. "We cannot go down the road of underfunding critically important resources that millions of New Yorkers depend on every year. Making the growing population of seniors a priority in this year's budget is good for our families, it is good for our communities and it will play an important role in keeping New York as a leader in senior care for years to come."

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posticon Reed on Energy Security, Health Care Committees

News | Friday, February 17, 2017 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Congressman Tom Reed is leading a bipartisan effort to enhance job creation and encourage U.S. energy security. The bipartisan bill would extend tax provisions that make it easier for companies to develop energy technologies, such as fuel cells, geothermal combined heat and power systems and wind turbines.

"We care about ensuring that we can produce reliable, clean and affordable energy that our nation needs right here at home. By implementing common sense policies like this one, we can ensure that this can be accomplished," said Reed. "As we move forward with tax reform, having a structure that encourages this kind of development creates the quality, family-sustaining jobs that people throughout our country deserve, all while helping meet the energy demands of today and tomorrow. It's a win-win."

The Technologies for Energy Securities Act will phase out the tax credit to bring new technologies to market.

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