August 1, 2012

Broadband duopoly heading toward monopoly

Because having Time-Warner and Verizon selling each other's services is a great way to make sure no more broadband infrastructure gets built. Fortunately, in Dryden we've taken steps to add some much more local competition, and it sounds like it's...

Posted by simon at 5:03 PM

Cortland County "dangerously close to exceeding their constitutional tax limit"

These have been difficult years for local governments, but I didn't realize the challenges were hitting this close to home: Eight local governments are dangerously close to exceeding their constitutional tax limit -- Cortland County, Binghamton, Gloversville, Jamestown, Lackawanna, New...

Posted by simon at 11:30 AM

July 31, 2012

Gas companies push legal lunacy further

It's bad enough that the gas industry can't seem to accept that two judges have already thrown out their claims about state energy law pre-empting local zoning, but really? Lenape is threatening to sue the state because localities - in...

Posted by simon at 2:39 PM

July 24, 2012

Why does New York State lean so Democratic?

Sure, part of it is New York City, but even if you take out the four boroughs of NYC where Obama demolished McCain 82-18 (leaving in Staten Island), Obama still carried the rest of the state by nearly ten points....

Posted by simon at 5:49 AM

July 12, 2012

Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County

Update: Thanks to Kris Altucher in comments, it's clear that "central Tompkins County" includes the Town of Dryden roughly south and west of the Ringwood Road intersection with Route 13. It looks like there's an extra January season "for taking...

Posted by simon at 10:03 PM

July 7, 2012

Economic development by paying down (individual) debt

Long long ago I won an Empire State Scholarship, but couldn't accept the money that came with it because I went to college in another state - Pennsylvania. In the long run I did something more important to New York...

Posted by simon at 12:03 PM

April 27, 2012

Key quote on fracking from DEC's Martens

I noted earlier that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was leaning toward fracking first in places where it's wanted, but that was all pretty vague. Would the DEC actually recognize local laws banning fracking? Today there's a...

Posted by simon at 1:18 PM

January 2, 2012

Inadequate geology in the dSGEIS

It took a month, but I've finally finished my comments on the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (September 2011) - Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus...

Posted by simon at 12:01 AM

December 24, 2011

Make-A-Wish causes unemployment issue

Back in October, the Ithaca Journal was reporting on a happy gift to a Freeville 5-year-old. Today, it seems that the trip to Disney World is causing his father painful problems with unemployment benefits. It seems that the eligibility maze...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

October 29, 2011

Nineveh makes me tyred

All I can say is wow! (Other) Dryden bloggers have been on fire the last few days. The latest fantastic piece, Nineveh Makes Me Tyred, comes from Dryden Daily KAZ. From its opening reflections on Buffalo through its looks at...

Posted by simon at 9:47 PM

August 26, 2011

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council

After decades of New York State economic development boondoggles, I'm not entirely convinced that the new Regional Economic Development Councils are going to be a dramatic improvement. Nor is it clear to me - despite growing up in and loving...

Posted by simon at 6:44 AM

July 11, 2011

Honoring veterans with highway signs

Back in 2009, New York State designated Route 38 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor, with signs at the ends in Owego and Sterling. At a tribute ride that October, I asked Village of Dryden Mayor Randy Sterling whether...

Posted by simon at 12:10 PM

July 5, 2011

A few more notes on hydrofracking

The Ithaca Independent takes a look at revisions to the county's proposed road-protection law, which has been made easier on haulers, and now includes options for companies to pay for road damage instead of going through the permit process. The...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

July 2, 2011

Hydrofracking SGEIS released

The DEC released a draft SGEIS to the press last night, holding the actual public release until July 8th, but that seems to be have been kind of a silly idea. The Journal's posted the 736-page Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental...

Posted by simon at 10:26 AM

June 30, 2011

Fracking soon

Update: Confirmed: "...From "baseless speculation and premature" to complete truth in under four hours. Amazing." And here's the Ithaca Journal. Now on the DEC press release site too, and this Capitol Confidential post has the full text. It sounds like...

Posted by simon at 3:23 PM

April 26, 2011

But the state thinks we have broadband!

Bad maps often explain bad decision-making, but maybe we can stop that early. Dryden Daily KAZ looks at New York State's rose-colored take on broadband availability. I seem to get about a quarter of what the state thinks Time-Warner provides...

Posted by simon at 8:00 AM

March 18, 2011

"June" might mean "this summer"

Delays on government reports, especially complex and controversial ones, aren't entirely surprising. The Albany Times-Union reports that the New York State study on hydrofracking may not come out precisely on time: "We're going to do a very thorough job...I'm confident...

Posted by simon at 2:55 PM

December 29, 2010

Dryden Aquatic Racing Team returns

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk reports on the return of "Dryden Aquatic Racing Team, known as DART... a parent-run, not-for-profit developmental swim program for children in grades K-12". She also looks forward to the opening of the Southworth Library's new...

Posted by simon at 12:16 PM

June 18, 2010

Lime Hollow bats no match for Dryden Eagle Scout who helps them

The Ithaca Journal reports that Dryden High Eagle Scout Ajax Hayes's project coordinated 20 people to build new houses for bats at the Lime Hollow Nature Center, supporting these useful bug eaters while encouraging them to stay out of the...

Posted by simon at 7:28 AM

January 16, 2010

Town Board meeting notes - drilling, speed

I finally got back to a Town Board meeting Wednesday night. Most of it was reasonably routine, but there were a few pieces that stood out: A number of people were there about gas drilling. Some of it was about...

Posted by simon at 1:53 PM

December 31, 2009

My comment on the gas drilling dSGEIS

It's the last minute, yes, but you can still submit comments today on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement On The Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, also known as the Hydrofracking dSGEIS. Here's what I sent. Reading...

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

February 23, 2009

To consolidate, or not?

Every now and then I get to argue with people who think we should abolish villages and just have towns, cities, and counties. Or abolish towns and villages, leaving cities and counties - or just have counties. Personally, I think...

Posted by simon at 7:55 PM

December 15, 2008

Pheasants from Farm to Food Banks

The colorful pheasants of Game Farm Road will be no more - Governor Paterson announced the closing of the Reynolds Game Farm to "save up to $750,000 in annual operation costs". Pheasants pondering at Reynolds Game Farm And the 8,000...

Posted by simon at 3:49 PM

June 5, 2008

Don't move that firewood!

I don't see this in the Journal, but Newsday reports that New York State is banning moves of untreated firewood that go beyond fifty miles or bring firewood in across state lines. Why? Bugs taking a ride, and then causing...

Posted by simon at 12:45 PM

February 27, 2008

State liable for falsified evidence

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a story on the continuing echoes of one of the darker stories of Dryden's past, the Harris family murders of 1989. The New York State Court of Claims - which pretty much decides which lawsuits...

Posted by simon at 12:20 PM

January 17, 2008

One New York

I'd been wondering what Governor Spitzer was going to do in his State of Upstate speech, and I'm still not sure what I think of the details. I do, however, think the conclusion is something that everyone in New York...

Posted by simon at 6:18 PM

September 8, 2007

A great New York separation?

I guess that talking about the Upstate-Downstate relationship inevitably leads to talk of possible separation, of ways to fragment the state. NYCO points to another discussion on separation, with both Upstate and Downstate voices. I don't think we're headed for...

Posted by simon at 7:48 AM

September 3, 2007

Finding a Path for Upstate New York

Upstate New York is trapped by its past and offers a glimpse of the rest of the country's future. Its past was one of wealth and innovation, providing a place where the ideas and commerce of New York City melded...

Posted by simon at 1:45 PM

Upstate not dead

Gannett's Jay Gallagher must be spinning a bit. He wrote late last week about the failure of Upstate New York, presenting the Business Council's perspective, and today he writes about the Fiscal Policy Institute's rather different take on the economic...

Posted by simon at 12:51 PM

August 31, 2007

A growth shortage?

This morning's Journal reports that the Business Council of New York State's Public Policy Institute gave Tompkins County an "F" for not growing fast enough. We didn't beat the national averages in growth in the total number of jobs, average...

Posted by simon at 5:09 PM

January 10, 2007

The Albany Project

Thanks to NYCO, I've found The Albany Project, which appears to be busily asking the hard questions about New York State government I've been wondering for a long time. They also have TAPopedia, a developing encyclopedia of information on New...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

November 28, 2006

Have ideas for New York?

Governor-elect Spitzer's transition web site is collecting ideas from New Yorkers on how best to improve the state. Have an idea? Let them know....

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

November 27, 2006

Upstate's health

While I've been taking a Thanksgiving break, NYCO has been taking a hard look at upstate New York's past, present, and future and how it relates - and doesn't - to downstate and the rest of the country. I heartily...

Posted by simon at 12:16 PM

October 23, 2006

New York gets a B-

New York State government as a whole gets a B- from the Government Performance Project, which rates all 50 state governments. That's not as good as Utah or Virginia with their A- grades, but better than California with its C-....

Posted by simon at 8:41 PM

June 26, 2006

Reform NY blog

I hadn't noticed until just now, but sometime last month the Brennan Center for Justice started a blog on the need to reform New York State government. Excellent reading, highly recommended. Sorry - comments turned off because of spam....

Posted by simon at 5:01 PM

June 22, 2006

More on the (de)population of upstate New York

NYCO has, yet again, found a conversation on upstate's prospects that raises questions, not least about the people hawking solutions. (Update: NYCO actually found it through CNY Underground.) I've heard Richard Florida's "Creative Class" theories posed repeatedly as a way,...

Posted by simon at 12:37 PM

June 20, 2006

Unsettling Upstate - but not here

The Sunday New York Times had an editorial about the 'unsettling' of upstate New York (registration required): During the last decade the population of upstate New York grew more slowly than that of any state except North Dakota and West...

Posted by simon at 7:39 PM

May 6, 2006

Methodists send laurel for bone marrow help

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

January 6, 2006

Crime and the cost of punishment

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that yet another Dryden resident has been accused of rape, this time in Caroline. I believe that's the fourth incident in just a few months, and have no idea what could explain this strange surge...

Posted by simon at 6:46 PM

January 5, 2006

Regionalism and upstate New York

There was a burst of discussion last month about the possibilities of regionalism in a number of upstate blogs. York Staters, over in Binghamton, got things going with a post on regionalism: As we attempt to solve Upstate New York’s...

Posted by simon at 8:33 PM

November 4, 2005

Vote No on Proposition 1

The Journal may not be making endorsements today, but I will. I'll start with an item that's going to be in small print at the top of the ballot, Proposition 1, a proposed amendment to the New York State Constitution:...

Posted by simon at 9:15 AM

August 14, 2005

Looking hard at Upstate NY's future

NYCO, as she frequently does, has some thoughts on upstate's future well worth examining. They may not be to everyone's taste, but she presents a perspective that deserves consideration....

Posted by simon at 9:36 PM

Encyclopedia of New York

While I understand I probably have a little more interest in New York State history than most people think reasonable (must have been that year in Yorkers), I found a book recently that I think anyone with an interest in...

Posted by simon at 9:35 PM

July 20, 2005

Exposing fraud yields quick response

How do you get state government to respond to a problem quickly? Apparently articles in the New York Times can work. After the embarrassing revelations in Monday and Tuesday's papers, Governor Pataki has ordered changes: Gov. George E. Pataki yesterday...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

May 4, 2005

Play; Saltonstall building; ATVs

Normally, even when there's lots of Dryden news, I can come up with a single clear headline. Today, there's just too much on too many different subjects. There's a profile of TC3 adjunct professor Paul McCabe, whose play "Get Off"...

Posted by simon at 7:51 AM

April 25, 2005

Canoes tip in Fall Creek

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a frightening canoe trip down Fall Creek that left four people with hypothermia. The Varna and Dryden fire departments as well as New York State Troopers and Cornell's Environmental Health and Safety Office responded...

Posted by simon at 8:41 AM

April 13, 2005

McLean afterschool; TC3 tech award

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the evening youth programs at Cassavant Elementary in McLean held each Tuesday and Thursday night. Tutoring and time in the gym give kids academic help, exercise, and social times. There's also a picture of...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

April 6, 2005

State legislators reach for NYSERDA piggybank?

I've been fond of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a while now. I first heard about them when I had work done on my house and received a rebate, but they also audited that work...

Posted by simon at 4:24 PM

March 31, 2005

Ithaca schools budget; freedom of information

This morning's Journal is light on news specifically about Dryden. Dryden residents who live in the Ithaca school district will probably be interested in an article on the ICSD budget's growth. There's also an article on proposed legislation to strengthen...

Posted by simon at 8:31 AM

March 26, 2005

Golf course sale raises conflict of interest, other questions

This week's Dryden Courier has a must-read article on the March 11th auction of the Lakeview Golf Course, where it was purchased by its current owner, George Szlasa. It's definitely worth getting up now and going out to buy the...

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

March 18, 2005

Freedom of Information in Dryden

This morning's Ithaca Journal devotes its entire editorial page to New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which gives citizens access to government documents at the state and local levels, complementing the federal government's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They...

Posted by simon at 8:12 AM

March 11, 2005

Is Dryden in an Onondaga land claim?

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that the Onondaga nation: will claim ownership of a 40-mile-wide swath of land stretching from the Thousand Islands to Pennsylvania in a historic lawsuit it will file today against New York, Onondaga County and Syracuse. The...

Posted by simon at 11:47 AM

March 10, 2005

Thoughts on upstate culture

It's not specifically about Dryden, and it starts out as ruminations about the 2006 New York governor's race, but NYCO has some powerful thoughts on upstate New York's past, present, and future which are well worth thinking about, even (maybe...

Posted by simon at 11:44 AM

February 23, 2005

Why would anyone want to be involved in NYS government?

I attended Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's Town Hall meeting last night, and I'll have more about what she had to say soon, but what struck me most last night and what's still echoing through my head is attendance. Not counting Lifton...

Posted by simon at 12:58 PM

February 14, 2005

Child seat help at State Trooper barracks

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that New York State Police are offering inspection and help with child restraint seats at their barracks on Route 13 in Dryden tomorrow from 3:30pm to 6:00pm. State law will be changing March 27th: The...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

January 19, 2005

An hour at the State Capitol

I had to give a presentation yesterday outside of Albany, and drove there in the afternoon. I usually budget an extra hour if I'm driving someplace I'm speaking, and because of the weather, I budgeted two hours. Everything went smoothly,...

Posted by simon at 1:47 PM

January 12, 2005

Events, ICSD special education

Today's Ithaca Journal Our Towns section mostly focuses on the other towns that share Wednesday, but the Briefly in Dryden section mentions two upcoming events: TC3 will be holding Alumni Fun Day on February 5th, and free tickets are available...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

December 29, 2004

Pay raises, energy choices

In this morning's Ithaca Journal, Dryden County Legislator Mike Lane argues for lower pay raises than those supported in a competing plan: "Legislators work hard," Lane said. "You can't expect them to work for nothing. On the other hand, we...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

December 8, 2004

Victorian Festival; physical therapy; jail voted down

Cathy Wakeman's describes last Friday's Victorian Winter Festival and provides a list of holiday events yet to come in today's Ithaca Journal. There's also a profile of Freeville physical therapist Richard Weiner, looking at a class he taught in Ithaca...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

December 4, 2004

Drug busts, wood stove safety, jail

The Monitor reports on two cocaine busts in Dryden, one tied to an arrest earlier this week, and one marijuana arrest. The Journal has an article on the fatal fire in Slaterville this past week, exploring safety measures needed to...

Posted by simon at 9:34 AM

October 19, 2004

Where the slush goes, and some of why

The Syracuse Post-Standard continues its series of articles on the Governor's, Senate's, and Assembly's borrowed slush fund money, concluding with a list of 1720 recipients since 1997. Highlights include: Play Ball or Else, a piece on how the funds process...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

October 17, 2004

New York State slush funds move Dryden graves

The Syracuse Post-Standard has a special report on New York State slush funds, including a story that mentions moving 47 graves in a cemetery in Dryden. I suspect I'm happier about that than air-conditioning for a golf dome in Tonawanda,...

Posted by simon at 7:37 PM

August 10, 2004

Smoking, ATVs, Recreation Partnership

This morning's Ithaca Journal doesn't have a lot of news specifically about Dryden, but there's a fair amount that applies to Dryden. County Legislator Mike Lane is quoted asking "How do you weigh the employee health risks vs. the economic...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

August 7, 2004

School funding uncertainty

Thanks to New York's protracted budget delay, local schools are still wondering what aid they'll be getting as they prepare to set their tax rates. Dryden School Board President Rachel Dickinson and Business Administrator Teresa Carnrike are both quoted in...

Posted by simon at 7:52 AM

July 30, 2004

4-H fair; assault at George Jr.

Today's Ithaca Journal has pictures of the 4-H Fair in progress on Lower Creek Road. The Monitor includes news of an assault on a George Jr. Republic employee as well as a DWI. There's also a notice of a poker...

Posted by simon at 11:59 AM

July 27, 2004

And another quiet day in the Journal

Either Dryden is very peaceful lately, or the Journal is saving up time-insensitive Dryden news for tomorrow's Our Towns section. In county news, there's a piece on the new 911 center by the airport in Dryden. The editorial looks at...

Posted by simon at 5:44 AM

June 28, 2004

Dryden graduation, state legislation (or not)

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on Saturday's Dryden High School graduation ceremony, highlighting speeches by 1970 graduate Tim Tyson, valedictorian Emily Rivest, and salutatorian Daniel Perkins, as well as a farewell from retiring Superintendent Patricia Archambault. The editorial page is...

Posted by simon at 7:51 AM

June 26, 2004

Hanshaw Road accident, Freeville barbecue

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports a rollover on Hanshaw Road north of Neimi Road that injured two women while two children avoided injury. There is also a chicken barbecue today at the Freeville United Methodist Church (map). Police arrested a...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

June 23, 2004

Revised Dryden budget passes 3-2

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the revised Dryden Central School District budget was approved by a 1287-860 vote, avoiding a contingency vote. The original budget failed on a 718-718 tie. On a related note, the Our Towns section focuses...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

June 22, 2004

Counties lobby state on Medicaid

Over in the Corning Leader, I found an article on county leaders lobbying in Albany and meeting with school officials. It looks like a bipartisan effort, including Republicans like Chemung County's Tom Santulli as well as Democrats like Tompkins County's...

Posted by simon at 8:40 AM

April 5, 2004

Race for Congress heats up, deer

Today's Ithaca Journal reports on growing activity in the Democratic primary for the 24th Congressional District, which includes Dryden. Brian Goodell of Lansing is running against Jeff Miller of New Hartford, near Utica. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, who currently holds the...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

March 30, 2004

300 attend Dryden School Board meeting

Difficult issues seem to bring people to meetings, and the Dryden school budget has certainly been difficult. This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at last night's meeting, the attendees seeking mostly to save programs, and the options facing the board. The...

Posted by simon at 7:15 AM

March 26, 2004

Jobs and lifestyles big issues at Lifton forum

New York State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton held a public forum last night at Dryden Town Hall, and the audience brought issues very different from the ones I've seen at the Town Board and Planning Board meetings in that same room....

Posted by simon at 12:40 PM

March 23, 2004

Marriage, jails, economy

Today's Ithaca Journal, like yesterday's, is very quiet on Dryden, though it covers some county and state issues that have an effect. Today's paper includes: a letter from Pat Ober of Dryden opposing gay marriage, discussion of the county jail...

Posted by simon at 6:20 AM

January 28, 2004

Auditing the results of my energy audit

I wrote earlier about how we'd had an energy audit followed by major energy improvements to our house last year. Monday night, I got a call from the Energy Star folks saying that they wanted to take a look at...

Posted by simon at 3:21 PM

Road condition information on the Web

Both the Ithaca Journal and the New York State Department of Transportation now offer road condition warnings on their web sites. When there are warnings (as there were yesterday), the Journal's reports are on their main site and at least...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

January 21, 2004

Dryden appoints middle school principal

Last night, the Dryden school board appointed Roger Fedele as middle school principal, hired Vincent Coppola as a consultant to find a new superintendent, and contemplated replacing modular music and science classrooms with new construction. Also in the Dryden schools,...

Posted by simon at 8:21 AM

January 20, 2004

Who plows which roads?

The Ithaca Journal has a piece on the challenges of keeping roads clear in winter, which has been especially difficult with recent cold temperatures and blowing snow. There aren't many Dryden-specific details to the story, but there is a list...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

January 19, 2004

Local school districts, state budget

While it'll undoubtedly be months before the state budget is settled, local school districts don't seem to be looking forward to Governor Pataki's budget, to be released tomorrow. The Newfield and Groton Superintendents hold out some hope for better education...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

January 18, 2004

Home Energy Assistance Program

As the weather doesn't show much sign of warming up, it's a good time to note that the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available. The criteria for HEAP funding are on their web site, noting: New York's benefit program...

Posted by simon at 10:46 AM

January 15, 2004

Counties and Medicaid

There doesn't appear to be much news focused on Dryden this morning, although I suspect the US Airways plane which had trouble lowering its landing gear (but landed safely) flew overhead at some point. There should be news tomorrow, as...

Posted by simon at 8:45 AM

January 8, 2004

State of the State

After Tuesday's county press conferences to pressure the state on Medicaid, I was hoping that Pataki might reply to these problems in the State of the State. As the Ithaca Journal's editorial page notes, he mentioned these problems, but didn't...

Posted by simon at 5:00 PM

January 7, 2004

County pushing back on Medicaid

The Elmira Star-Gazette has an article on a press conference in Elmira yesterday including leaders of Tompkins, Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Broome, Tioga, and "several other" counties. The press conference comes in advance of Governor Pataki's "State of the State" speech,...

Posted by simon at 11:26 AM

January 4, 2004

Energy efficiency in our old house

Thanks in part to New York State, my 74-year-old house finally has substantial insulation and a new furnace. When we bought the house, it had been a rental property for years. The owners had lived in it briefly at some...

Posted by simon at 10:37 AM