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posticon Unsafe Bridges Impact Lansing Emergency Response

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Ludlowville Road BridgeLudlowville Road BridgeThe weight limit on the (behind the bus) was reduced to 12 tons

Deteriorating bridges in the Town of Lansing are causing not only inconvenience for residents of Ludlowville and the Lansing School District, but safety reductions in their allowed weight limits have raised red flags for Lansing Fire Chief Scott Purcell, who wrote a letter to the Lansing Town Board to explain that response times to areas in the town are up to three times longer due to detours caused by the rickety bridges.

"I bring you these concerns to make you aware of the issues Lansing Fire Department is having," Purcell wrote. "I am aware that the Town does not oversee or maintain any of the bridges in Lansing.  If that were the case we would not be having this conversation because the problems would have been addressed a long time ago and would have been taken care of.  What I am asking is that the Town Board use whatever power it has to reach out to other government officials such as members of the State Assembly and State Senate to find the funding to fix these bridges and make them capable of supporting large fire apparatus again.  I know there will not be an overnight solution to the problem, but it needs to be addressed and a plan put in motion to fix this problem before there is a large loss of property, or, even worse, the loss of human life."

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posticon Burglaries Prompt Security Cameras in Myers Park and Highway Department

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Myers Park Shop

After a number of incidents at the Lansing Highway Department and Myers Park, including a burglary Tuesday night at the park workshop, Parks & Recreation Supervisor Patrick Tyrrell asked the Town Board to make funding security cameras a priority.  The cameras were on a list of projects the Town has been considering, but Tyrrell said that the burglary Tuesday underscored the importance of moving the security cameras to the top of the list. The board authorized up to $30,000 for for 18 cameras for the two locations, plus wifi upgrades in the park that are necessary for the cameras to cover the required areas.  Tyrrell said that Tuesday's incident was minor, but other incidents have been more serious.

"The only thing we lost was an older reciprocating saw, he said.  "The day before the guys took all of our ower tools and everything out of the shop, so we got really lucky."

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posticon Equipment Problem Causes Temporary Jail Evacuation

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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An equipment malfunction Wednesday morning prompted a temporary evacuation at the County’s Public Safety Building.

At approximately 10 a.m. a jammed outside gate was discovered, which caused a component of the control panel inside the facility to fail, creating a small amount of smoke. As a precaution the Public Safety Building was evacuated and the fire department alerted for response.

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posticon County Adopts $.05 Fee on Paper Bags

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Legislature passed a local law Tuesday that will impose a $.05 fee on paper carryout bags beginning March 1st, 2020. The local law will act in conjunction with New York State's Bag Waste Reduction Act, which bans the distribution of certain types of single-use plastic bags from retail establishments. The adoption vote, following a public hearing, was unanimous (Legislators Dan Klein and Glenn Morey were excused.)

According to the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force report from 2017, the use of paper carryout bags often increases in jurisdictions that have enacted a plastic bag ban. However, the best environmental outcomes are achieved when consumers switch to durable, reusable bags which they then use repeatedly. The $.05 fee is intended to incentivize the use of reusable bags over single-use paper carryout bags.

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posticon Helming and Local Enforcement: Halt New 'Criminal Justice Reforms'

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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helming victims of justice agenda
Senator Pam Helming stood shoulder to shoulder with local law enforcement leaders today to call for the halt of dramatic changes to the state's current criminal justice system that are set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. Cash bail and pre-trial detention will now be eliminated for nearly all misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses. These catch and release laws will put violent offenders back on our streets and a vast majority of offenders will no longer qualify for bail.

"These 'reforms' were rushed by New York State with virtually no input from law enforcement agencies or crime victims advocates. Already, there are numerous examples across the state of suspects who would be detained under current law, but by January 1, 2020, will be free to go. This creates serious safety concerns for our law abiding citizens and simply put, is a public safety nightmare. It is now more important than ever that we speak out and work together to halt the implementation of these so-called reforms. We must push for real measures that protect crime victims and hold criminals responsible for their actions," Helming said.

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posticon SPCA Asking For Rodent Dump Information

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Tompkins County SPCA Print
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The Tompkins County SPCA is asking anyone with knowledge of two separate (but likely related) incidents in which a large number of rodents were dumped roadside at two different locations in Tompkins County (likely at some point late Saturday 11/16 evening/early Sunday 11/17) to contact the SPCA's Humane officers at 607-592-6773 or by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In total, more than 300 guinea pigs, rats, mice and gerbils were recovered at the two locations: Michigan Hollow road in the Town of Danby and Caswell Road in the Town of Dryden.

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posticon County May Merge Public Health/Mental Health Departments

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee has received a report from the Task Force that, for the past six months, has conducted a comprehensive examination of the current shared-leadership structure of the County's Public Health and Mental Health Departments, an interim arrangement in place since 2016.

The Task Force (composed of three members each of the County Board of Health and the Community Mental Health Services Board; and the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, with support from County Administration) is unanimous in calling for full merger of the two departments, recommending that "the Tompkins County Mental Health Department and Public Health Department begin the process to become one integrated/merged department, creating a system of collaborative services under a single umbrella."

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posticon County Legislature Highlights

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Legislators Review Draft 2019 County Shared Services Plan
'County Administrator Jason Molino presented for Legislature review the draft Tompkins County 2019 Shared Services Plan, as prepared by the County’s Shared Services Panel and County Administration. After receiving feedback from the Legislature, the plan will be returned to the Shared Services Panel for review and approval, prior to submission to the NYS Department of State by the end of the year.

Added to the draft plan is the new position of Flood Resiliency and Climate Conservation Engineer with the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, funded by Tompkins County as part of the 2020 County Budget—a position estimated to produce $130,000 in first-year savings, since municipalities would not have to individually contract for required engineering services for local soil and water conservation projects. Other elements included in the plan are study of a back-up Dispatch Center with Cortland County (estimated $75,000 in savings); shared town/village recreation services (Town of Ulysses and Village of Trumansburg - $23,720 in savings); expansion of the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium by at least two municipal members - $50,000 in savings); and a County-funded short-term rental data partnership: subscription to private data on short-term rentals, for the shared benefit of municipalities the County’s Finance Department and Department of Planning and Sustainability, and the Strategic Tourism Planning Board – $35,200 in estimated first-year savings and $7,000 in estimated savings for bulk purchase of the data.

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posticon County Awarded Age-Friendly Center of Excellence Grant

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Tompkins County, through its Office for the Aging, is one of three New York counties to be awarded grants of $100,000 each by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York to support the development of Age-Friendly Centers of Excellence. Each county will partner with local community organizations to fulfill the program's goals. Erie County and Oneida County are also recipients of Age-Friendly Center of Excellence Awards.

The Tompkins County Office for Aging will collaborate with several local organizations to continue implementing age-friendly initiatives in their community. These collaborators include the Finger Lakes Independence Center, Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, Ithaca College, Wonderful Wheelchairs, and Esther Greenhouse, an expert in universal design and aging in place.

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posticon SED Makes Progress On Dignity For All Students Act

News | Friday, November 22, 2019 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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The State Education Department (SED) made progress in ensuring school districts across New York are protecting students from harassment and discrimination, according to a follow-up report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"Bullying is a widespread problem that can cause lasting damage to a child's health and well-being. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to stop it from happening," DiNapoli said. "I commend the State Education Department for acting on my audit and strengthening its efforts to enforce the Dignity for All Students Act."

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