John Smith/WAER News

  Just days before a public meeting about the replacement of I-81 through Syracuse, a closed door meeting was held today with local and State DOT Officials.  Senator John DeFrancisco brought in engineering plans provided by his constituents.  It calls for building a 1.2 mile tunnel with an overlapping boulevard. 

  The parking lot was crowded, and hundreds of people milled about the street in Cicero, strolling between the dozen brand new houses on this gorgeous first day of summer.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Peace Activists set up a phone booth in downtown Syracuse today to allow people to call their congress members to keep the U.S. completely out of Iraq.  They oppose any military intervention there – even the limited involvement proposed by President Obama in response to the advances of Islamic militant groups.  Syracuse Peace Council Staff Organizer Amelia Lefevre continues to see a hunger for militarism in government leadership.

John Smith/WAER News

  U.S. Represenative Dan Maffei says Central New York has the potential to transform into a bustling hub for global commerce… but that’s reliant upon one thing, a revamped infrastructure.  Maffei discussed his ideas to revitalize and invest in infrastructure projects across the region Monday.  He was joined by local elected officials from cities and counties in the region.

  A project by a private developer that was going to house a new Syracuse University bookstore and Fitness Center has to be put on hold after several financial problems couldn't get resolved.  Cameron Group was gong to build the center on University Ave., adjacent to an existing parking garage.  The University was then going to lease back most of the space to house its primary bookstore, while the developer would rent space to other retailers.

Americanprogress.org

  The enthusiasm to expand universal Pre-Kindergarten education across the state is fizzling over money issues…even though the Governor promised a blank check to districts earlier this year.  Now education advocates are saying the effort to get more four-year-olds into full-day preschool might need some retooling.

  It was just this past March during budget talks when expanding Universal Pre-K to all new York families who wanted it was a hot topic.

Vocalist Little Jimmy Scott was an NEA Jazz Master yet he never quite got the recognition he deserved in the jazz world despite having one of the most unique voices in American musical history.  Jimmy Scott passed away on June 12th at the age of 88 and on this edition of Jazz Journeys we look back at the life and legacy of an amazing singer.

taking the tarp off a wooden parks sign
John Smith / WAER News

It’s been a long time coming, but Heath Park in Syracuse now has another entrance.  SUNY Environmental College of Science and Forestry has officially given two acres of land that borders a residential neighborhood to the city parks department.  

Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo and the legislature have agreed to a limited medical marijuana program for patients with cancer, AIDS, and childhood seizure disorders.  It will not allow the drug to be smoked.  Cuomo, who  had expressed reservations about allowing medical marijuana, says the bill will grant sick people access to the drug, while imposing limits that will prevent abuse of marijuana.

Scott Willis / WAER News

An observer of population trends and urban issues says Syracuse appears to be on the right path toward making its downtown a more thriving place.

Matt Carmichael is editor of livability.com, and was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Downtown Committee. 

Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier says downtown's growth seems to be spreading or strenghening nearby neighborhoods previously disconnected from the city's core, like the Inner Harbor and Franklin Square. 

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