Cathy Goodnaugh

Environmental Damage From Lake Ontario Flooding Could Be Permanent

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Lake Ontario is now 33 inches above its long-term average and it's not yet at its peak. That sustained flooding is threatening residents along the shorelines and scientists say it is also taking a toll on the environment.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo,in his third State of the State message Wednesday asked lawmakers to help him “stop the madness”, and pass tough new anti-gun legislation. Cuomo also focused on changes to better prepare for future  superstorms and to approve a new women’s equality act.

Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered one of the longest State of the State speeches in New York state history on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. The address covered the Governor's proposals on gun control, minimum wage, the expansion of gambling in New York, and equality for women.

Read the full text of the 2013 State of the State address here.

The public comment period on New York's revised hydrofracking regulations ends Friday and  a group of the state's elected officials is calling for an extension of that deadline.

The group is called Elected Officials to Protect New York. One of its members is Martha Robertson, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature.

Robertson says the group includes 565 officials, at least one from each county, and the 30-day comment period has shut them out of this stage in the process

Binghamton mayor calls for gun control reform

Jan 8, 2013

Binghamton city and Broome County officials hosted a press conference today marking the second anniversary of the Tucson, Arizona. The purpose of the event was to express support for actions proposed by the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan is a member of the organization, which is co-chaired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He said, in light of events in recent years, including the shootings at the Binghamton American Civic Association in 2009 and in Newtown, Connecticut last month, the time for reform is now.

The Governor’s 2013 State of the State speech will spend some time on what was perhaps the biggest event of 2012, Superstorm Sandy. Cuomo, in the days leading up to his speech, has heard reports from three post-storm related commissions that he appointed.  He says he’ll incorporate some of their ideas, like better standardized training for emergency response workers, privatizing the Long Island Power Authority, which had a poor track record restoring power after the storm, and stricter regulation of the other electric utilities.

Governor Cuomo and Republicans in the Senate remain at an impasse over gun control legislation - just two days before the State of the State.

Meanwhile, the State Comptroller says he’s thinking of  divesting the state’s pension fund from investments in gun manufacturers.

Governor Cuomo has been negotiating  with the legislature to try to come up with a package of gun control measures to be put into law this month. But in recent days, Cuomo and Senate Republicans have been trading press releases that reveal the depth of the impasse.

Governor Cuomo says he intends to propose in his State of the State message several recommendations from a disaster preparedness commission, to help the state better cope with major storms in the future.

Governor Cuomo, who has had to cope with the aftermath of two major storms in his two years in office, Irene in 2011, and now Sandy, says the state could be better prepared for climate change that the governor believes could be the new normal.

Governor Cuomo's education commission has recommendations for some education reforms. Commission chair and former Citigroup executive Dick Parsons says school days and the school year should be longer, and children from disadvantaged backgrounds should begin their education with all day pre-kindergarten.

Parson summed up the report’s underlying premise as: “Get them sooner, keep them longer and do more with them when you’ve got them”.

Governor Cuomo says the ideas are “bold” and “exciting”, but he cautions that there might not be enough money right now.

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.

The survey finds the 560 food pantries and soup kitchens in New York are being squeezed by growing demand, dwindling donations, and even an aging out of available volunteers to distribute the food.


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