Politics & Government

Smoking Ban for Parks, Playgrounds
10:34 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Syracuse Further Restricts Smoking in Parks, Public Spaces amid Concerns Over Festival Goers

Smoking in Syracuse City Parks and Playgrounds will draw a $50.00 fine starting in October.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Children’s and Families’ health was the focus of a new Syracuse city proposal to restrict smoking in public places.  The measure passed, but not without concerns over who it might turn off of Syracuse’s festivals and events. 

Read more
ECONOMY
5:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Syracuse-area Groups Join Effort to Raise the Minimum Wage

Activists gather in front of a Burger King on Erie Blvd. E. to call for a hike in the minimum wage.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

A Syracuse coalition of community advocates, elected officials, and labor groups have joined a statewide campaign to raise the minimum wage as the legislative session begins to wind down.  

They gathered in front of a fast food restaurant on Erie Boulevard Thursday to kick off their effort, which also includes empowering local governments to enact their own higher wages.  Citizen Action Organizing Director Rosemary Rivera says Governor Cuomo has said he supports a statewide minimum of $10.10 an hour, up from the current $8.00.

Read more
2014 NY GUBERNATORIAL RACE
3:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Howie Hawkins Hopes to Capture Former Cuomo Supporters

Green Party Candidate for Governor Howie Hawkins speaks to the media Tuesday.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Green Party candidate for Governor Howie Hawkins of Syracuse says many disenfranchised Working Families Party members might see him as the only progressive option after party leaders endorsed democrat Andrew Cuomo.  

Hawkins says progressive voters feel Cuomo can't be trusted after flip-flopping on positions and walking back on promises made to the WFP.  He says the WFP and the Greens actually aren't that far apart on the issues.

Hawkins says if he starts drawing votes, that will strengthen the WFP on the inside, and may move Cuomo to fulfill some of his promises.   He says WFP voters on social media are very unhappy with the governor, and many of them are turning to the Green Party.  Hawkins says the same feeling might also apply to some unions and other groups, and says he'll be seeking their endorsements, as well.  Meanwhile, he says he'll continue campaigning and explain Cuomo's real record.  

  Hawkins says Cuomo did manage to break the gridlock in Albany and pass a few progressive measures.  But he worries that’s the extent of what most people know.

Read more
RAIL SAFETY
11:32 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Onondaga County: We're Prepared in the Event of an Oil Train Incident

A DOT 111A tank car sits on the edge of Lac Megantic's destroyed downtown last summer in Quebec.
Credit Brian Mann / North Country Public Radio (NCPR)

Onondaga County Emergency Management officials say there has been an increased focus on how to respond to any potential incident involving a train carrying crude oil.  The volume of shipments of volatile crude from North Dakota on what critics have called flawed, outdated tank cars has skyrocketed through the county on its way to the Port of Albany.  

  That’s raised concerns from federal, state, and city officials about the danger and ability to respond. 

Wisely says he's also been on conference calls with state officials, and Gov. Cuomo has commissioned a task force to review incident prevention response capacity specific to crude oil.  He says the state is also working with the Federal Railroad Agency to inspect rails.  

Read more
PARKING
1:53 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Syracuse Parking Ticket Fines to Increase in July

A no stopping zone and fire hydrant along Ostrom Avenue.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Those caught parking in front of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane in Syracuse will have to shell out twice as much in fines starting July 1st.    The hefty $40  penalties are among nearly three dozen increases in parking fines approved by common councilors Tuesday.   Parking in a handicap parking spot without a permit will get you a $75 ticket, up from $50.  However, nearly all of the other fines increased by only $5.  Councilor Nader Maroun says they haven’t changed since 1997.

Read more

Pages