Politics & Government

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  After years of studies, moratoriums, and intense lobbying on both sides, top state health and environmental officials today recommended against hydraulic fracturing in New York state.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Elected officials from Central New York and statewide are calling for an extended moratorium on hydraulic fracturing after they say mounting scientific evidence shows additional risks and harms of the controversial gas drilling technique.    About 140 members of the group Elected officials to Protect New York signed and sent a letter to Governor Cuomo after he announced a clear decision on fracking could come by the end of the month.   The group would like to see a three to five year extension of the moratorium.  Julie Huntsman is co-coordinator of the group and Town of Otsego council member.  She says they’re grateful for the governor’s restraint thus far…

 About 50 medical students of all backgrounds at Upstate Medical University Friday held a silent demonstration to call attention police brutality and judicial injustices that target black Americans.  The students wore their white coats and held signs saying “We can’t breath” and “white coats for black lives”.

Group Partners With Local Officials to Urge NY to Rebuild Infrastructure

Dec 9, 2014
John Smith / WAER News

Local elected officials are lobbying for a significant proportion of the State's $5 billion surplus  to go towards crumbling infrastructure in Central New York.  Mayor Stephanie Miner, along with others, are working with the coalition Rebuild NY Now to improve aging roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines across the state. Miner says the challenge for local leaders is to build a lasting solution that revolutionizes the older model.

Some people laid some pretty personal stories on the Syracuse Common Council today trying to get them to eliminate the part of job applications that makes someone disclose a felony conviction. The Syracuse Anti-Discrimination and Fair Employment Act also known as Ban the Box is a step forward against employment discrimination.

Scott willis / WAER News

A Syracuse-based immigration attorney says President Obama’s executive order to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation is a good first step…but could have gone farther. Jose Perez says even though the action is based on family unity, it doesn’t help everyone.  

Under the president’s executive order, undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and have children born in the U.S. would get a reprieve from deportation and be eligible to apply for work permits.  Perez says he’s already getting calls from clients asking if they qualify.  

Immigrant farmworkers are among those who say they appreciate the president's efforts, but the executive order won't help many of them.  

Naturally, republicans in congress are furious, and say the president’s action all but kills any future chances for comprehensive immigration reform.  Immigration attorney Jose Perez wonders wants to ask them why.

Syracuse University Demonstrators Address Chancellor's "Final Written Response"

Nov 13, 2014
(c) Scott Willis, WAER.

A group of Syracuse University student organizations says progress has been made but is still insisting the administration can do more to meet their demands. Kent Syverud, Chancellor of the university, released what he called the administrations final response to THE General Body Wednesday night.

THE General Body has been holding a sit-in at Crouse-Hinds Hall for the past ten days. Colton Jones, a member of THE General Body, says that specific problems, such as the closing of the advocacy center, have yet to be addressed by the current administration.

www.ganondagan.org / Ganondagan

Leaders and citizens of the Onondaga Nation were among members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in Canandaigua Tuesday to commemorate the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Canandaigua Treaty. The pact, signed in 1794, brought peace between the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations and the United States. It also recognized the sovereignty of the six nations to govern and set their own laws. But Onondaga Nation Counsel Joe Heath says over the centuries, it’s been ignored by state and federal governments with the taking of nation lands and other injustices.

Scott Willis / WAER News

It’s Veteran’s Day, and Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing a bill that would support military veterans with expanded mental health services in an effort to stem the growing suicide rate.  At a stop in Syracuse Monday, Schumer said 1,500 veterans in New York State have committed suicide in the past 10 years.  He says the measure is geared toward “state side” veterans…those who are not deployed and not eligible for some psychological support benefits.

Schumer also says the trauma suffered by veteran who are not deployed should not be underestimated.

CSEA Central Region 5

A spokesman for a labor union that spans New York State says the state did not see the same political polarization that Washington did after the outcomes on Election Day. However, there is still work to be done.  Steven Madarasz, a representative of the Civil Service Employees Association, says the union endorsed candidates whose record they were familiar with, and the union had personal experience with.

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