local news

John Smith/WAER News

An end-of-year gift to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital today will support pediatric cancer research and specialized support to kids and families struggling with the disease.  Paige’s Butterfly Run is held every June and the organization presented $210,000. 

Paige was diagnosed with cancer while completing the end of first grade in 1993 and lost her fight one year later.  Her father Chris Arnold wants to make patients and families going through the same tragedy  as comfortable as possible.

landmarktheatre.org

Syracuse’s historic Landmark Theatre didn’t have to go far to hire its new executive director.  The board of trustees promoted general manager Mike Intaglietta after nearly three years without someone in the top post.   He's largely been running the theater for the past two years, and they’re coming off one of the busiest seasons in years.

"Things are going really well.  2017 was a standout year.  We had over 143,000 guests walk through our doors."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Governor Cuomo is proposing early voting in New York as part of his State of the State message, due out January 3rd.  But a top aide to the governor says it might be awhile before the proposals could become law and take effect.

The proposal would require each county to set up at least one early voting poll site during the 12 days leading up to Election Day. The sites would be open for five hours a day on the two weekends leading up to elections, as well as eight hours a day on week days.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Twenty-nine years ago, Central New Yorkers were struggling to come to grips with the news that Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie Scotland, killing 35 Syracuse University students.  SU continued a tradition Thursday of holding an annual remembrance service and ceremony at 2:03 p.m., the time the plane and all 270 people on board were lost.

"On that day, it seemed the future was stolen.  Here at Syracuse University, we lost a generation.  Thirty-five young lives taken.  Taken before their potential and possibility could be realized."

Governor Cuomo's flickr page

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who’s vowed to lead a campaign against the state’s Republican Congressional representatives in the 2018 elections, has spent the final weeks of 2017 feuding with them over their votes on the federal tax overhaul bill.

Cuomo has been saying for weeks that the overhaul would be “devastating” to New York’s finances, and to many of its taxpayers, and he’s called Republican house members who support the plan “traitors” and “Benedict Arnolds”.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse-area congressmember John Katko says he’s very happy with the 10-year, $1.5 trillion dollar tax reform bill approved by Congress, especially with what he was able to persuade leadership to restore. 

"For example, the private activity bonds, which are key to hospitals and others; the historic preservation tax credit; and of course, all the things they were trying to do to tax students, which was crazy to me."

irs.gov

A Cornell University Professor Law who specializes in financial and monetary law and economics is not impressed by the G-O-P’s $1.5-Trillion federal tax cut bill.  Robert Hockett feels that the Republican majority had a lack-luster year of getting things done and this was its last chance.  He calls the plan, which places a cap on state and local tax deductions - a Civil War Tax Bill.

twitter.com/syracusezoo

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is starting the process of designing a $7 million animal hospital to replace its aging and undersized clinic and quarantine space.  Zoo director Ted Fox says it’s one of the first priorities in their master strategic plan to meet the needs of their growing collection, and to maintain accreditation.

file photo / WAER News

Former Green Party common council candidate Frank Cetera continues to pressure sitting council members for a more public process to consider candidates to fill an at-large seat in January.  But it appears councilors aren’t willing to change their appointment practice this time around.

The seat will open up once Helen Hudson takes the oath as the council’s new President.  City charter grants sitting councilors at the time of the vacancy the authority to make the appointment.  But Cetera feels there’s room for more public input..without changing the charter..yet.

State Budget Outlook is Grim for 2018

Dec 18, 2017
budget.ny.gov

With a projected multi billion dollar deficit and looming federal changes that could cost the state billions more, The biggest obstacle in the upcoming 2018 legislative session will be balancing the state budget.

The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, John DeFrancisco, says the budget will be “horrible”, and the worst in at least seven years..

I think it’s going to be very, very difficult,” DeFrancisco said. “Probably the most difficult budget year the governor has had since he’s been governor.”

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