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. 

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KAREN DECROW DEAD AT 76
11:57 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Karen DeCrow Remembered as a Fearless Pioneer for Women's Rights

Karen DeCrow
Credit lw4sp.org

One of Karen DeCrow's long-time friends is remembering her as a sweet, kind, loving, and funny trailblazer for gender equality.  DeCrow passed away Friday morning at her home in Jamesville after long battle with melanoma.  She was 76.  

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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.

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HOCKEY / SKATING RINK TO STAY OPEN YEAR-ROUND
2:28 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Meachem Rink to Reopen with New Refrigeration Technology. Price Tag: 460K in State Capital Dollars

From left to right: Common Councilor Bob Dougherty, Senator Dave Valesky, City of Syracuse Parks and Rec Commissioner Baye Muhammad, Mayor Stephanie Miner, and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (partially obstructed).
Credit John Smith/WAER News

The City of Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department had to put the Meachem Rink operations ‘on ice’ in April when the cooling system broke down.  Thanks to State Grants and the research for a less expensive solution, the rink will reopen in the fall.  Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli and Senator Dave Valesky helped to secure about $460,000 dollars in capital support.  Valesky says the timing was right after recently finalizing the State Budget.

Listen to John Smith's interview with Senator Dave Valesky and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner concerning the upgrades that will be made to Meachem Ice Rink in the Valley Section of Syracuse.

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LAWRENCE J. HACKETT, JR. IS BEING HONORED
5:27 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Proposed Agent Orange Fairness Act Named After Syracuse Native

Judge Joseph Fahey speaks about his friend Lawrence J. Hackett, Jr.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

A Central New York Vietnam Veteran who likely died of cancer from Agent Orange exposure now has his name on proposed legislation to support other veterans and families.  The Lawrence J. Hackett, Jr. Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Fairness Act unveiled today would ensure that veterans and their families would get the necessary healthcare and compensation to cover them.  A longtime friend of Hackett’s, Judge Joseph Fahey says his friend’s story is similar to others.

Listen to Congressmember Dan Maffei talk about Agent Orange and what Veterans are covered for health insurance.

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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.

Howie Hawkins says he was ignored by the leadership of the Working Families Party when he suggested they endorse him instead of Andrew Cuomo. He says he's still reaching out.

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.  

Howie Hawkins details the differences between himself and the major party candidates, and why he holds an advantage.

  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.

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Summer Slide & Achievement Gap
1:09 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

100-k Books Donated to Syracuse Schools to Spur Summer Reading

First Graders at Salem Hyde Elementary School get books for summer reading
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Syracuse School District Officials announced the district received a donation of 100-thousand books to get kids to read over the summer.  There are documented reasons to keep young minds active when school’s out.

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Arts & Culture
8:45 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Outdoor Live Music Scene Starts People Watching Season, Too

Coleman's Block Party 2014 Edition
Credit Mark Bialczak

  We started our outdoor music season Saturday night with a trip to the pavilion they put up on the parking lot next to Coleman's Authentic Irish Pub over there on Tipperary Hill.

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EXPERT WORRIES ABOUT SAFETY OF US FORCES
12:39 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

National Security Expert at SU Feels Swap to Bring Sgt. Bergdahl Home was 'the Right Thing to do'

Director of National Security Studies at SU's Maxwell School, Bill Smullen.
Credit Maxwell School website.

The Director of National Security Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School is relieved that a US soldier has been returned but, he's also concerned about the release of five high level Taliban operatives.  Bill Smullen has been keeping a close watch on developments.  He says the released detainees are dangerous planners and thinkers.

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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. 

Onondaga County Commissioner of Emergency Management Kevin Wisely explains how they're working with CSX railroad to prepare for any incident that may occur, including derailment of oil tank cars.

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.  

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