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New Yorkers have a right to clean water, clean air and a safe climate. That’s the message of a new ad campaign launched this week. The groups Environmental Advocates of New York and Effective N-Y want to amend the state Constitution to include a New York State Environmental Bill of Rights.

An Associate Political Science Professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School says Wednesday’s speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about ways to establish peace in the Middle East was really an admission he wasn’t able to broker a deal.  Last week, the United States abstained from voting against a U.N. Security Council resolution which found fault with Jewish settlements in Israeli occupied territories situated along the West Bank. Miriam Elman thinks Kerry’s speech and the recent U.N. Security Council resolution doesn’t match-up.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

When Chris Arnold and Ellen Yeomans handed a donation to the Golisano Children’s Hospital Wednesday,  it marked the 20th year of supporting child cancer treatment.  Paige’s Butterfly Run and the proceeds are also a way to remember their daughter who died of cancer.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A newly formed Jewish peace group is using one night of Chanukah to speak out against Islamophobia and racism.  Central New York residents recently started a chapter of ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’.  The national group is rooted in mid-east peace issues.  But organizer Julie Gozan says sentiments since the election are reason for the Wednesday Night protest.

www.cnyspca.org/

You might be the kind of family that had a gift under the tree for the family dog – or dogs – or the cats, birds, ferrets or whatever your pets.  Well another way to honor animals might be to consider their welfare and their value in your holiday or year-end charitable giving.  The Central New York S-P-C-A uses donations and bequests to provide medical care for animals and a safe haven for those abandoned or mistreated.  The agency also does

http://upstate.edu/gch/

If charitable giving is on your list during the holiday season, here are some agencies focused on helping children.  The medical needs of children at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse vary greatly and some families have extended stays of 100 days or more.  Coordinator of Pediatric Programs, Jenny Dickinson says giving directly to the hospital is an option to assist families.

Jason Chen/WAER News

Kelli Maher has never thought she would able to do this while she’s alive.

On the Friday before Christmas at the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, she met with a eight-year-old girl who’s survived because of her help.

Maher donated her kidney to Cecilia Brown, who was diagnosed with Stage III renal failure at the age of five.

“The power to save somebody’s life is incredible,” Maher said with tears in her eyes. “It’s the true meaning of Christmas right here.”

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page / AG Schneiderman's flickr page

An ethics reform proposal quietly circulated between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders for a possible special session that could also include a pay raise is getting blasted by the State’s Attorney General as possibly unconstitutional.

Jason Chen/WAER News

Children at Syracuse’s Delaware elementary school got into the holiday spirit Thursday afternoon.

Music director Vanessa Ryder said it was the first time staff members at the school joined children to create the sense of Delaware family through music. As a music teacher, she wants kids to love music and make it into a life skill.

Scott Willis / WAER News

An attorney with Legal Services of Central New York says the Onondaga County Justice Center continues to place 16 and 17-year olds in solitary confinement three months after they filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the practice.  So, legal services staff attorney and case co-lead counsel Josh Cotter says they’ve requested an expedited order in district court to stop the justice center from isolating teens. 

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