October 1, 2012

Potentially massive hydrofracking delays

The tone of the hydrofracking regulatory conversation has changed pretty drastically over the last week or so. Solid Shale has a long list of details you absolutely should read, but the two key ones I see (from a Dryden perspective)...

Posted by simon at 7:02 AM

September 13, 2012

Another Republican-only voting day

Update: Seward wins. In Tompkins County, Seward had 507 votes to Blake's 125. There's a Republican primary today, Thursday, September 13th, for the New York State Senate seat. Incumbent Jim Seward is facing off against challenger Jim Blake. Polls will...

Posted by simon at 12:44 AM

September 10, 2012

Fracking decision delayed

I'm not really sure what this means for the long term, but the DEC seems to have put the brakes on their prior plans to release a new DSGEIS and regulations in August or September....

Posted by simon at 8:11 PM

August 27, 2012

Protesting fracking - in Albany

There were at least a dozen Dryden residents in Albany today, including two families, joining the Don't Frack New York! rally and march. Sungiva settles into the crowd. One of my favorite protest signs was completely simple: the New York...

Posted by simon at 11:13 PM

August 16, 2012

Town of Dryden Industrial Development Agency to vanish

I had thought it was gone a while ago, but apparently Governor Cuomo signed legislation today ending the Dryden IDA (and 122 other local agencies and authorities)....

Posted by simon at 2:19 PM

August 10, 2012

Seward's opponents on ballot

State Senator Jim Seward now formally has two opponents after the state Board of Elections certified their petitions. Seward will now have a Republican opponent, Jim Blake, in the primary and a Democratic opponent, Howard Leib, in the general. Seward...

Posted by simon at 10:30 AM

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 14, 2012

Greek Peak in trouble; Seward to face primary opponent

It looks like Greek Peak's debts to a failed bank may be causing it major headaches. Let's hope they stay open - they're in Virgil, but despite the distance they still create business and definitely recreation for Dryden. (Update: More...

Posted by simon at 9:36 AM

July 3, 2012

"No part of my district, no part of my state, is expendable."

That sounds like an incumbent speaking, but it's challenger Howard Leib taking on State Senator Jim Seward over fracking....

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

July 2, 2012

Legislators voting with their leadership

Via Capitol Tonight, I saw that NYPIRG had crunched the numbers on how often New York State legislators voted with the leadership (1.3MB PDF). Our local legislators were pretty much in lock-step, though the details are different: Democratic Assemblywoman Barbara...

Posted by simon at 11:01 PM

So that's why the cheers for the DEC

I'd been wondering for a long time why local supporters of gas drilling had turned into such great fans of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. Over the years I'd heard plenty of complaints about how the DEC was another...

Posted by simon at 10:18 PM

June 22, 2012

"Will be done shortly"

Perhaps not long now until we find out what the Department of Environmental Conservation will do with their flawed SGEIS: "We don't have a hard date, but it will be done shortly," Cuomo said on Albany's 1300-AM (WGDJ).... "I think...

Posted by simon at 2:17 PM

June 19, 2012

Dryden resident challenging Seward

I noted a while ago that State Senator Jim Seward had a Republican primary opponent, Jim Blake. I'm delighted to report that I just met the Democrat in the race, Howard Leib. He's a Dryden resident willing to take on...

Posted by simon at 5:13 PM

June 15, 2012

Is Home Rule a good idea for gas drilling?

My use of the phrase "classic Albany compromise" in my earlier post on the leaks about a proposal to allow hydrofracking in places that seem to want it has created some confusion, online and off. As I wrote elsewhere: I...

Posted by simon at 12:15 PM

May 23, 2012

The pros and cons of unmasking commenters

I see that the New York State Legislature, or at least a few members, are proposing a ban on anonymous comments on blogs, newspaper comments, and similar things. As this site runs out of my house with a server in...

Posted by simon at 11:27 AM

May 9, 2012

Republicans revolt against their own

Via One of Nine, I see that Congressman Richard Hanna, who currently represents Dryden but whose district drops us in January, has a challenger, Mike Kicinski, who claims to be "The Real Republican and Conservative." Similarly, and more practically for...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

May 8, 2012

Learn from Roscoe

I posted this yesterday at The Albany Project, thinking that it was mainly about state and maybe national issues. There isn't, even in the wildest extremist fever dreams, a political machine in these parts that can compare with the O'Connell/Corning...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

April 21, 2012

"Supportive communities" to get fracked first?

I hadn't realized it was possible for the DEC to do this, but apparently there's discussion of allowing hydrofracking in places "that want it". (You can also see that article in Binghamton, where it doesn't repeat every paragraph.) In particular,...

Posted by simon at 7:39 AM

April 20, 2012

Dryden schools offer budget, lack candidates

Well, a 2.86% tax levy increase is lower than I would have expected, given the challenges of the past few years. Somehow, though, only three candidates have signed up to run for four school board seats. Dryden High School will...

Posted by simon at 6:35 AM

April 12, 2012

Examining the redistricting debacle

Well, they called it something nicer, but... Redistricting Discussion Scheduled Do you know the new boundaries of your assembly district? In what congressional district will you vote this November? Are the new districts fair and balanced, or are they manipulated...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

March 20, 2012

Something I don't understand

I always try to make sure I keep track of the opposing side of any argument I'm making. In the hydrofracking conversation, that means following the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition and Energy in Depth - Northeast Marcellus Initiative. Reading those...

Posted by simon at 12:14 PM

March 8, 2012

Special Master's maps

Sorry for the delay on these. They came out Tuesday (much earlier than expected!) and I've been sick. At least Upstate, the special master's proposals look more coherent to me than the various proposals from the legislature. Special Master's Congressional...

Posted by simon at 6:32 AM

March 2, 2012

Judge ignores incumbent addresses

One of my least favorite things in yesterday's redistricting mess was the Senate Republican memo outlining "why incumbency protection is an appropriate factor for the Court to consider in drawing redistricting maps.". I was very happy to find this between...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

March 1, 2012

Trapped in the sausage-making redistricting machine

The Federal Courts have had enough of Albany's delay on Congressional lines, and ordered the legislature to hand over the maps. You can see the docket for the case (missing the Assembly maps?) and a complete set of maps submitted....

Posted by simon at 7:06 AM

February 27, 2012

"We need voters in charge, not political patroons."

Somehow the Ithaca Journal managed to publish a letter from me last week without my noticing its appearance: In a representative democracy, voters are supposed to choose their legislators. In New York, the legislators instead choose who gets to vote...

Posted by simon at 12:20 PM

February 21, 2012

Three men in a room is bad enough - why go to one?

The New York State Legislature is terrible on many levels. I could probably set up a blog just to catalog their many screwups and corruptions. At the same time I despair of their awfulness, though, I'd rather see that legislature...

Posted by simon at 6:06 AM

February 18, 2012

After the boom

This morning's Ithaca Journal asks Has New York missed the hydrofracking boom? and concludes sort of maybe. Over two years ago, I suggested that there were good economic reasons for drilling to come later if it came at all, and...

Posted by simon at 6:31 AM

February 7, 2012

Where's that fairway again?

Now I'm starting to wonder if anything at all in the Geology chapter (4.2MB PDF) of the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program can be trusted. I posted a while ago about the 'fairway'...

Posted by simon at 7:08 AM

February 6, 2012

Republicans target Seward for 'folly' and 'tyranny'

Now that's a headline I never thought I'd write. It's Dryden Republicans, too. First came Henry Kramer's blast at One of Nine, Liberty or Tyranny, arguing that "Home Rule is Undemocratic", but not mentioning Senator Seward by name. Then came...

Posted by simon at 7:14 PM

Reviving farming in Dryden (and New York State)

George Frantz, once the consultant on the Dryden Comprehensive Plan, sent the Sustainable Tompkins list a note last week about the American Farmland Trust's No Farms, No Food rally day, coming on February 15th. He included their agenda for lobbying...

Posted by simon at 12:11 PM

January 27, 2012

Because redistricting wasn't complicated enough

U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe has ordered that New York State have a June 26th primary. Since we still don't even have congressional district maps, this will be complicated. (I think a June primary is a good idea generally,...

Posted by simon at 4:53 PM

'Puking Man in Headdress'

I, uh, liked "Abraham Lincoln riding a vacuum cleaner" better than "Puking Man in Headdress", but yes, I have to agree that the proposed version of Dryden's Senate district: looks like a man wearing an elaborate, feathered headdress while projectile...

Posted by simon at 9:12 AM

January 26, 2012

Redistricting a trainwreck as usual

I can't begin to say anything nice about this. Proposed NYS Senate and Assembly maps. Dryden seems to be in the same gerrymandered Senate and Assembly districts as before. (Abe Lincoln loses his hat, but that's about it. It looks...

Posted by simon at 2:55 PM

January 24, 2012

Bringing the Dryden ban conversation to Albany

It's good to see that DRAC got up to Albany: A Dryden banner visiting the legislature. (Provided by Judith Pierpont.) The Ithaca Journal has more on the lobbying day....

Posted by simon at 12:49 PM

January 21, 2012

Public finance fine print

I haven't spent that much time looking at the intricacies of school budgets over the past few years. Dryden Daily KAZ has, and tells a painful story of rising expenses New York State only shifts around instead of addressing....

Posted by simon at 2:43 PM

January 17, 2012

What's going on with New York State redistricting?

Tompkins County may be about done with its independent redistricting process, but New York State lumbers on slowly toward new districts for the State Senate, Assembly, and Congressional seats. Basically, no one has a good idea what the final lines...

Posted by simon at 5:30 AM

Polite jousting over legislative Chair

While redistricting seems unlikely to make a drastic difference in Dryden, two Dryden County Legislators are making competing cases about how the Legislature should run and came to a deadlock at the beginning of the year. This morning's Ithaca Journal...

Posted by simon at 5:04 AM

January 16, 2012

Senator Jim Seward on a conservative approach

I was delighted to see State Senator Jim Seward's recent guest column, Home rule laws aren't a radical idea. I agree with him: they're deeply conservative: Home rule is a conservative position that democratically elected local governments, closest to the...

Posted by simon at 10:45 AM

January 12, 2012

Upstate Republican State Senators, busy and not

Dryden Daily KAZ points out a great letter from many Upstate Republican State Senators, outlining their plans to "continue fighting during the upcoming State budget negotiations to ensure a fair and equal distribution of aid to all regions of the...

Posted by simon at 5:04 PM

January 6, 2012

New York State energy policy (and home rule)

[repurposing a long email message. Update: this New York Times article tells a similar story with a lot less background.] New York State energy policy is a game that's largely about territory and players and not so much about principles....

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

December 24, 2011

Closed caucuses aren't open government

I've made this point before at the state level, and have to agree with it at the county level: The Democrats' caucus meeting is legal, thanks to a mischievous change approved by the New York state Legislature in 1985. Caucuses...

Posted by simon at 9:45 AM

November 23, 2011

Thankful for Dryden, and a few things left to work on

Successful Dryden Town Board candidate Linda Lavine wrote a thank-you letter in today's Ithaca Journal: Every workday, as I drive 12 miles through the back roads of Dryden, I give thanks for the beauty of this land. I pass homes,...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

What the DEC doesn't want you to know about injection and earthquakes

I'm not especially impressed with the Marcellus Shale SGEIS, but the DEC seems to go out of its way to fuel my suspicions that the document is pretty much a sham: That passage [of the SGEIS] cites as a reference...

Posted by simon at 10:31 AM

November 14, 2011

Economic development done wrong

Tracy Marisa of the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition (and of the One of Nine blog) has a Guest Viewpoint on how New York's Regional Economic Councils are heading the wrong way. Most of it strikes me as the usual Republican...

Posted by simon at 7:55 PM

November 11, 2011

Seward blasts DEC at fracking hearing

Now that's a hard headline to improve upon! It comes straight from this article. I've noted Republican State Senator Jim Seward's work on this front before, but this seems like a stronger statement: "I resent the fact that the water...

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

November 2, 2011

Seward still pushing for home rule, supporting bans

I was a little worried that State Senator Jim Seward had gone quiet on his earlier support for clarifying that municipalities can zone out gas drilling. Fortunately, WBNG-TV reports that he's still interested in a piece on the Middlefield lawsuit:...

Posted by simon at 10:21 PM

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

October 5, 2011

Shout out to a couple of Republicans

I'm pretty completely buried in work right now, and it'll be a little while before I manage to write something coherent here. In the meantime, though, I'm glad to see some sane responses on tax cap and economic development issues...

Posted by simon at 12:37 PM

September 14, 2011

Anschutz announces lawsuit

They haven't actually filed it yet, so I'm guessing they bravely led with a press release, but apparently a gas company is stepping up to sue over Dryden's ban on gas drilling (Update: expanded article): Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to...

Posted by simon at 7:04 PM

August 29, 2011

Hydrofracking politics, local and state

While they may have tried to present themselves as the middle ground in that strange Ithaca Journal article a month ago, the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition is stepping up its industry affiliations and its rhetoric: about sixty leaders came together...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

August 22, 2011

Mike Lane testifies on redistricting

Long-time readers of this site know that one of my least favorite features of New York State is the New York State Legislature, which all too frequently runs for the benefit of New York State legislators. One of the foundations...

Posted by simon at 5:09 PM

June 21, 2011

Last-minute legislative hydrofracking maneuvers?

I noted earlier that New York State Senator Jim Seward had co-sponsored a Senate bill clarifying town's rights to regulate drilling through zoning, but Solid Shale reports that he's introduced his own bill. Yesterday, the Assembly passed a "same as"...

Posted by simon at 4:06 PM

June 11, 2011

Solid Shale - info on hydrofracking legislation

If you want to keep up with the Albany side of the hydrofracking story, I strongly recommend Solid Shale. It's "Solid info for NYS citizens who want their grandkids to be able to walk on unpolluted ground", which I like,...

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

May 31, 2011

Speculating on a hydrofracking compromise

[I do not have any insider knowledge of conversations in Albany and Washington.] Over the last few months, I've concluded that our federal and state governments don't seem especially inclined to regulate fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in drilling for oil and...

Posted by simon at 6:43 AM

May 25, 2011

Seward signs on for local zoning of gas drilling

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

May 23, 2011

TC3 commencement Thursday

Tompkins-Cortland Community College will be celebrating commencement this Thursday at 6:00pm: According to the college, 291 of the graduates are residents of Tompkins County, 152 are residents of Cortland County and 48 are residents of Tioga County. In the Journal's...

Posted by simon at 6:08 AM

March 23, 2011

Spring activities blossoming; American "in-fracktion"

Yes, there's plenty of snow coming today, but Cathy Wakeman is also right that the pulse of Dryden activities is picking up. She notes not only flowers, but a craft fair, lasagna dinner, roast beef dinner, jazz desert night, youth...

Posted by simon at 6:36 AM

March 12, 2011

Schickel on prevailing wage laws

Builder Bruno Schickel found some time away from Dryden zoning to write a piece on New York State's prevailing wage laws for municipal construction. I was a little surprised by the comments, expecting the usual conservative cheering commenting squad, but...

Posted by simon at 6:12 AM

March 3, 2011

Redistricting bill mystery

Updated again: Her name is now on the bill, though I never did hear back. Update: Still no word back from Lifton's office and her name isn't yet on the bill. I guess it's time to write a letter. I've...

Posted by simon at 12:07 PM

How long for our local power plant?

When NYSEG upgraded the power lines between Cortland County and the Etna substation, I heard rumors that it was to strengthen Tompkins County's connections to the grid so that AES Cayuga (formerly NYSEG's Milliken Station) could shut down without major...

Posted by simon at 8:44 AM

March 1, 2011

Seward votes "Yes without Recommendation" against LIFO

Update: The Senate was moving fast on that one. The bill passed the same day it came out of committee, 33-27, with Seward voting yes. I was a little surprised today to hear that State Senator James Seward voted a...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

Dryden legislator signs letter opposing Cuomo cuts

The Ithaca Journal site has an AP story about 40 Democratic municipal officials who joined in a letter opposing budget cuts proposed by the Governor, but didn't note who signed it. The Albany Times-Union has the letter and further discussion,...

Posted by simon at 12:13 PM

Ag cuts look counterproductive

This probably affects Dryden more than many places because of Cornell's importance to the local economy, but state cuts in agriculture look pretty dire. I have no idea what genius in the Paterson administration thought abolishing the Integrated Pest Management...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

February 12, 2011

Lifton town meetings

According to a mailing I got yesterday, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton will be having town meetings across Tompkins and Cortland counties, though not one in Dryden. They include: 2/22, Newfield Town Hall, 3:00pm to 5:00pm 2/22, Ithaca Town Hall, 7:00pm to...

Posted by simon at 7:02 AM

February 11, 2011

The uneven effect of cuts and caps

I still need to sit down and look at what Governor Cuomo has proposed in his budget - though it will help when all the pieces are there. In general, I think New York State has substantial duplication and waste...

Posted by simon at 5:43 PM

January 28, 2011

Route 13 needs and dangers

I have about fifteen Living in Dryden stories bouncing in my head wanting to come out, and no time to write them. For now, here's a quick catch-up with the Ithaca Journal. Can you help a veteran? The new VA...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

January 20, 2011

Tell the Governor

Dryden Daily KAZ reports on how to suggest state mandates to cut to newly elected Governor Cuomo. The list she starts with focuses on schools, but I think counties doubtless have their own long list. Towns and villages likely have...

Posted by simon at 4:25 PM

January 10, 2011

TC3 older students scholarship available

The Ithaca Journal reports that applications are due March 1st for a $5000 scholarship at TC3 available to students over 25 years old. Need something to do in the cold? The Varna United Methodist Church can warm you up Tuesday...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

October 29, 2010

More than just Republican signs at Clark's Food Mart

Republican Congressional candidate Richard Hanna and Assembly candidate Tom Reynolds were at Clark's yesterday too, the Journal reports....

Posted by simon at 6:12 AM

October 21, 2010

Do we want counties to be the local office of state government?

I don't, but the Governor seems to want it that way over in Greene County. This is an awful precedent, and I hope it doesn't stand. No, it's not exactly a Dryden story, but it's not too hard to imagine...

Posted by simon at 5:58 AM

October 12, 2010

Dryden Fire Hall to host political events

It'll be a busy couple of weeks at 26 North Street, Dryden, though I can't make either of these events: The 912 Taxed Enough Already of Cortland and Tompkins County group will be sponsoring a ReValue America event Wednesday October...

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

September 23, 2010

"Non-partisan" ain't neutral

Regular readers of this blog are likely aware that I'm not a fan of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton for many reasons. I've voted against her endorsement by the Tompkins County Democratic Committee, criticized her on a variety of issues, and been,...

Posted by simon at 1:03 PM

September 15, 2010

Primary voting results

Incumbent County Sheriff Peter Meskill defeated challenger Ken Lansing in yesterday's primary, doing a little better in Dryden (55%) than around the county (53.5%). At the state level, the big news was in the Republican Governor's race, where Carl Paladino...

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

September 14, 2010

Primary voting today

Democrats, Republicans, and Conservatives all have primary elections today. Polls will be open today from noon to 9:00pm. Remember that you can't campaign inside of the polling places, and that this includes things like T-shirts, signs, and buttons. Everyone is...

Posted by simon at 11:51 AM

August 25, 2010

Reflections on the Republican Governor primary

A Dryden resident suggested I post a link to this discussion of the Republican primary for Governor. Republicans seem to have a lot more primaries this year at the state level than Democrats, and I have to admit I've not...

Posted by simon at 5:09 PM

August 20, 2010

Lots of small Ithaca Journal pieces

The Ithaca Journal's news coverage keeps shrinking, and the paper is looking more and more like a general Upstate paper with stories of local interest. There are still lots of interesting bits, but overall I find it less compelling every...

Posted by simon at 7:26 AM

July 26, 2010

Ten years organic at Jerry Dell Farm

This morning's Ithaca Journal Jerry Dell Farm, which seems happy ten years after converting from conventional dairy to organic: "In the conventional world, it's all about volume and efficiency," he said. "Organics is more about taking care of the farmland...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

June 24, 2010

Earthquake, lots of fun, tax caps

I was in the car when the area felt an earthquake, so I probably figured it was just a bumpy road. I still can't see earthquakes as a likely major disaster here. Cathy Wakeman reports on all kinds of upcoming...

Posted by simon at 5:13 PM

June 21, 2010

Dryden Lake Festival, gas drilling, TC3 tuition, county redistricting

That's a very messy headline, but there are lots of Ithaca Journal updates in and around Dryden: The Dryden Lake Festival is starting to recruit for races. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton wants gas drilling regulated everywhere as tightly as it is...

Posted by simon at 6:15 PM

June 14, 2010

Dairy Day Success; Reminder of Veterans' Highway

Dryden Dairy Day was definitely a hit this year - reasonable weather, large crowds, a busy parade and lots happening in Montgomery Park. Ralph, a standard poodle, will be honorary Mayor of Dryden until next year, when Kiwanis holds their...

Posted by simon at 7:32 AM

June 11, 2010

How the NYS Department of Transportation might (mostly) shut down

I'm very very glad that the Dryden Democrats didn't schedule a highway clean-up this weekend. Pickup on those orange bags might take a while, and they don't improve sitting in the sun and rain....

Posted by simon at 5:18 PM

June 2, 2010

County Legislature prefers only fake transparency

Or, to put it another way, the County Legislature voted 8-7 to oppose a law that would have required citizens to have a grand 24 hours of access to information before their government took action on it. I mean, you...

Posted by simon at 7:31 AM

May 6, 2010

Lots of little bits

I don't have time to write as much as I'd like, but you should know: Freeville has a diner again - Casey's Diner is now open where Toad's Diner was, on 38. When I ran for Town Board last year,...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

April 28, 2010

Dog license change complications

Yesterday's Journal noted that Governor Paterson wants to shift dog license manufacture and tracking to the counties to save a grand total of $157,000. I haven't seen what it would cost counties - though I'm sure license vendors are excited...

Posted by simon at 6:48 AM

March 29, 2010

Upstate needs responsibility

(Cross-posted at The Albany Project, and there are lots of comments there.) [I've been working on this for a long while, but NYCO's brilliant Why there will always be an Upstate provoked me into finally posting it.] When Republican lawmakers...

Posted by simon at 12:09 PM

February 28, 2009

Member item power play reaches Dryden

Sometimes Democrats screw up just as badly as Republicans. Member items, basically money handed to municipalities and organizations on the say-so of legislators, have been an ugly spot in New York State for a long long time. We've seen the...

Posted by simon at 9:51 AM

February 12, 2009

Your state tax dollars supported...

Whoa. It's been clear for years that the Republicans in the State Senate used state money to keep their operations afloat, but on this scale? That's an amazing patronage and PR infrastructure. We need more transparency, period. The only reason...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

February 7, 2009

More caucusing

It seems that the County Legislature has finally sorted out who's in charge and appointed committee heads. The bigger problem, though, isn't just who's in control, but the total process botch that made it clear that key legislative conversations happen...

Posted by simon at 11:52 AM

January 17, 2009

Pheasants reprieved

It looks like the state will let Reynolds Game Farm stay open, after protest from hunters. Maybe even some local residents had an effect....

Posted by simon at 10:48 AM

January 15, 2009

The dangers of private meetings on public matters

Politics, as most people think about it, is about the public: public service, public good. There is a private component to politics, certainly - things like campaign strategy and other aspects related to competition. When politics goes private, or "secret",...

Posted by simon at 9:22 PM

November 5, 2008

3-2 or better, mostly, for Democrats so far

Last night's election results were astounding, though absentee ballots still will affect the final results. I seem to be too tired to do real math, but these are worth sharing. For President, Barack Obama received 3737 votes to John McCain's...

Posted by simon at 4:05 PM

November 3, 2008

Arcuri, Barber visit Dryden on last day of race

Congressman Michael Arcuri and State Senate candidate Don Barber both swung through Dryden on this final day before voting. Barber supporters held a rally at Time Square at Dryden's Four Corners intersection, while Arcuri visited Tompkins-Cortland Community College and the...

Posted by simon at 9:21 PM

June 16, 2008

Things I've missed

Here's a quick listing of things in the Journal I normally would have written about in more detail, but didn't get to. Some of them are still on my list of things to write about. One of my neighbors,...

Posted by simon at 12:45 PM

Garbage truck saga moves toward conclusion

One of the many stories I'm behind on is the update on plans for re-routing garbage trucks off of local highways and back on to the interstate system. (Okay, I really think it would be smarter for them to use...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

June 5, 2008

Strengthening Freedom of Information

It looks like the New York State Senate and Assembly have returned to Freedom of Information Law strengthening that was vetoed back under Pataki: The Senate on Tuesday passed the proposal to strengthen Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws...

Posted by simon at 8:48 AM

May 30, 2008

Tompkins County Dems state committee endorsements, more

The Tompkins County Democratic Committee met last night for endorsements. Committee members unanimously endorsed Congressmen Mike Arcuri and Maurice Hinchey for re-election. The rest of the meeting was much more complicated. In particular, the committee also had endorsements for the...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

May 13, 2008

Ethics guidelines

I never got to last week's opinion pages, where there was a lot of Dryden opinion. One piece that's kept me thinking is Mike Lane's letter on the need for a county code of ethics. I've spent a lot of...

Posted by simon at 8:55 AM

Budgets, assessments, garbage trucks, decisions

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet on Dryden but has lots of regional and county news. In county budget news, the County took a step away from administering the WIC program directly with a committee vote. (The headline is misleading,...

Posted by simon at 8:37 AM

May 12, 2008

Caroline playground build

Wow am I behind here. I still need to catch up to last week's opinion pages... In this morning's Ithaca Journal, there's a report on Saturday's volunteer day building the playground at Caroline Elementary School, where most young Dryden students...

Posted by simon at 11:04 PM

May 8, 2008

Recreation meeting tonight

It's been a busy few days. If you have the chance, please go to the Recreation master plan discussion tonight. Recreation's been a key topic in Dryden for years, and an area that the Town has pushed hard to improve...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

May 5, 2008

Varna to get $20K for generator

Update: Wow, the overall state data is a snarl. The Journal's Saturday article used old data, making the discussion below into an incredible tangle. Start with the latest article on it, then jump down to Varna. Saturday's Journal also noted...

Posted by simon at 8:22 AM

April 29, 2008

Trucks rerouted through Dryden

The biggest Dryden story in this morning's Ithaca Journal doesn't mention Dryden. Route 79 in Ithaca is getting resurfaced between Mitchell Street and Bridge Street, closed to all through traffic. (This closes 79 above the intersection with 366.) Trucks are...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

April 25, 2008

Lifton digs deeper

I wrote about Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's garbage truck trainwreck earlier, and of her fellow Democrats who undermined her case completely in their quest to get things done. There's a strange thing about a trainwreck, though. In movies, where there's a...

Posted by simon at 8:23 AM

April 23, 2008

Moving forward on truck re-routing

The Journal has the latest on garbage truck routing this morning. I'm not sure if the Journal was unkind in its selection of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's quotes, or if she really was as unfocused as they make her seem. Yesterday's...

Posted by simon at 8:13 AM

Red Cross coming to Dryden tonight

There's an article in today's Ithaca Journal on the Tompkins County Red Cross's new director, Jennifer Yarbrough. The first few paragraphs have some interesting bits about the organization's reaching out geographically: This vision and past vistas will be on display...

Posted by simon at 8:04 AM

April 22, 2008

Governor Paterson: Let's fix the garbage truck problem

When the Syracuse Post-Standard last looked at the garbage truck question, the conclusion was: Lifton said after the meeting that she is not going to back down and needs to do this the right way. When asked if she would...

Posted by simon at 6:21 PM

April 21, 2008

Garbage truck trainwreck continues

"Clearly, people don't understand how state law is made." Hmmm.... Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton seems to have put herself in a tight spot after last week's meeting on garbage truck traffic on two-lane highways. Maybe headlines as far away as Syracuse...

Posted by simon at 7:13 AM

April 19, 2008

Varna firefighter honored; truck route controversy

The County Legislature honored Will Hine of Varna as the county's Distinguished Youth for April. Hine, 19, responded to more than half, nearly 200, of the company's calls. (The Journal's Wednesday editorial also supported a federal tax break for volunteer...

Posted by simon at 7:15 AM

April 9, 2008

Nedyrd in Dryden

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk column today is a directory of different things going on in the Town: She reports on the presentation Margaret Lorenzen will lead on the Nedyrd Food Cooperative, at 7:00pm on April 23rd at the Dryden...

Posted by simon at 9:03 PM

April 5, 2008

Freeville resident reflects on Tibet

Finally catching up with a week or so of the Ithaca Journal - Freeville resident Rachel Dickinson reflects on her visit to Tibet in July 2006 in the light of recent riots, concluding sadly: It makes me so sad to...

Posted by simon at 1:56 PM

A couple of quotes worth remembering

This week's news has been fairly quiet, though I need to do a more formal run down. This morning, while Sungiva's sleeping, I just want to make sure I get two quotes recorded here. The first, hopeful, quote is from...

Posted by simon at 10:02 AM

March 13, 2008

Spitzer resigns; 25 to life for Manos

Governor Spitzer announced his resignation; Lieutenant Governor David Paterson will be sworn in as Governor on Monday at noon. The Journal looks at the likely minimal local impact, and lets State Senator Jim Seward kick around the Upstate-Downstate theme that...

Posted by simon at 7:07 PM

March 11, 2008

Trust, power, trainwreck

I had felt optimistic about New York State politics Sunday night. I'd been feeling down about the state's leadership for a while, including the Governor I'd heartily supported. Citizens, though, seemed to be awakening, as "Yes, we can" was coming...

Posted by simon at 9:45 AM

March 10, 2008

Please resign, Governor Spitzer

It seems clear that Eliot Spitzer's career has come to a sudden crash. I've been concerned with Spitzer's performance on the reform issues he'd championed, as anyone following my posts at The Albany Project might have seen, but I still...

Posted by simon at 9:44 PM

March 5, 2008

Messy weather

March seems to have come in as an indecisive lion, one who can't decide if it prefers rain or snow. We've had an interesting few days of precipitation, and the Journal has a photo of it from the Express Mart...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

February 28, 2008

Seward concerned, but won't push

I'm a little annoyed tonight at what Downstate legislators are proposing for Downstate, but I'm completely baffled by our own State Senator, Jim Seward. The Oneonta Daily Star's editorial for today concludes: Joyce Boyd, Otsego County's acting Social Services Commissioner,...

Posted by simon at 5:31 PM

February 26, 2008

Jim Seward could fall

Lake Ontario's shores aren't exactly downtown Dryden, but they saw an election today that I think has a lot to say to Dryden's current State Senator, Jim Seward. For years, he's seemed impregnable in a district where registration was overwhelmingly...

Posted by simon at 10:14 PM

February 25, 2008

A calmer take on reptiles

This morning's Journal goes for cute photos of reptiles with children at Saturday's Varna event rather than my scaremongering "lizard that ate Varna." Oh well - they're a bit more accurate. There's also a piece on water quality in the...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

February 22, 2008

Short on salt

Dryden Highway Superintendent Jack Bush is quoted in an article this morning about a shortage of road salt from Cargill's Lansing mine: With 1-3 inches of snow being predicted for today by the Cornell Northeast Regional Climate Center, Dryden highway...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

February 21, 2008

West Dryden boy doing better

The Journal has an update on Robbie Busby, reporting that his cancer is in remission. He'll be heading back to Freeville Elementary School after fighting off Burkitt's lymphoma and getting support from the community through a benefit concert earlier this...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

February 16, 2008

Attempted entry at Dryden Elementary

Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's something, but a man who tried to convince third-graders to let him in to Dryden Elementary is raising concerns. The third-graders did as they were supposed to, and didn't let him in through the locked...

Posted by simon at 9:59 AM

February 9, 2008

"Democracy broke out"

I have to love this AP story on the New York Primary: First there's the title: "Analysis: Despite bosses' plans, voters won in NY primary". Then, in the details, we get to remember why the primary moved up, and what...

Posted by simon at 1:30 PM

Housing costs and transportation costs

This morning's Journal continues their Touched by Poverty series, looking at the cost of housing. I'm happy to see that they recognize the cost of transportation as a critical related factor: "Students of housing policy would point out that housing...

Posted by simon at 9:16 AM

January 25, 2008

TC3 Commons; sewer agreement approved

This morning's Journal has a picture of the new TC3 Commons on the front of the Local section. (Update: Whoops - that was the athletic facility.) As Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner noted in comments here, the Town and Village...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

January 24, 2008

Dryden input on organics

The New York State Organic Advisory Task Force will have at least one participant from Dryden, Vaughn Sherman of Jerry Dell Farm. This morning's Journal also has an article comparing Governor Spitzer's plan for Upstate with the State Senate's plan....

Posted by simon at 12:51 PM

January 21, 2008

A reason to worry about New York City

As financial institutions keep reporting staggering losses, the strongest financial engine of the state is looking pretty wobbly: Now, economists and city and state officials are acknowledging that 2008 could turn out to be far worse than their already dampened...

Posted by simon at 3:26 PM

Challenging Seward; thanks from DYOF

This morning's Journal has an article on Caroline Supervisor Don Barber gearing up to challenge State Senator Jim Seward. On the opinion page, the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund sends a Laurel to supporters of its Honor Tree in Times Square....

Posted by simon at 2:19 PM

January 17, 2008

Superintendent search, Senate race

Looking back through the past few days of the Cortland Standard, they report on the Dryden Schools' Superintendent search, which hopes to have interviews in March. They also report on Caroline Supervisor Don Barber's raising $125,000 toward a State Senate...

Posted by simon at 8:34 PM

January 15, 2008

Dangers on the road

Today's Dryden news in the Journal is mostly road-related. There's a one-car accident at Mott and North roads, a DWI arrest for a Freeville man, and a letter from Nari Mistry of Dryden urging TCAT buses to drive more carefully....

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

January 11, 2008

Examining municipal power

I probably shouldn't admit this on a Dryden blog, but there are lots of times I'm jealous of Groton. Their downtown seems to be doing better than Dryden's at this point, the state highways that connect the Village to the...

Posted by simon at 8:39 AM

January 8, 2008

64 on Game Farm Road

This morning's Journal reports unseasonable temperatures, a January spring. It peaked at 62 at the airport yesterday and 64 on Game Farm Road, and we'll see similar temperatures today. There was a closed hearing in the Manos murder case yesterday,...

Posted by simon at 8:50 AM

December 14, 2007

Really wants a raise - shouldn't get one

I wrote earlier about the state legislature's hunt for a raise to their mere $79,500 part-time salary. Phillip Anderson has more (with video) on a way out there speech by a (Democratic) State Senator calling for a lot more money....

Posted by simon at 8:38 PM

December 10, 2007

$79,500 for a part-time job

I wish this was a job posting - I know a lot of people would like to have $79,500 for a job that still lets them pursue other potentially lucrative possibilities, or simply relax more. Unfortunately, though, it's more about...

Posted by simon at 6:06 PM

December 6, 2007

Lots of elections

Today's Ithaca Journal editorial questions New York State's habit of letting elections fall all over the calendar, with elections in March, May, November, and whenever. It's definitely a strange problem to have to convince people that there's an election going...

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

December 5, 2007

Lake Huron sends us snow

Every now and then I get into a conversation about lake-effect snow, and I usually talk about how Lake Erie sends snow to the Buffalo area while Ontario sends snow to the south and east. Somehow, yesterday, Lake Huron got...

Posted by simon at 9:31 AM

November 16, 2007

Freeville man injured in Genoa blast

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a propane explosion in Genoa that severely burned a Freeville man and injured a Moravia man. The two were removing a valve from a thousand-gallon propane tank when it exploded. Inside, there's news that...

Posted by simon at 7:40 AM

November 15, 2007

Licenses, unions, turbines

County Legislator Mike Hattery leaped on Governor Spitzer's pulling back on his drivers' license plan to send a press release complaining about "actions that undermine citizenship". On the opinion page, Louise Edelman of Dryden writes to support the International Association...

Posted by simon at 12:24 PM

November 5, 2007

Help Raquette Lake

While everyone thinks we're going to the polls tomorrow to vote for local candidates, the citizens of Raquette Lake are hoping that the rest of the state will give them permission to fix their water supply. They're in the Adirondack...

Posted by simon at 8:17 AM

October 11, 2007

Redistricting; silent auction tomorrow

The Ithaca Journal reports on yesterday's redistricting forum. I'll have a lot more to say on this when I find a moment, but mostly I have to say that I found Assemblyman William Parment interesting but utterly unconvincing in his...

Posted by simon at 8:41 AM

October 9, 2007

Former Binghamton superintendent to lead Dryden

This morning's Journal reports - catching up to an announcement last Thursday - that retired Binghamton superintendent James Lee will manage the Dryden schools until the school board finds a replacement for departing superintendent Mark Crawford. Briefly in Tompkins a...

Posted by simon at 9:38 PM

October 1, 2007

Lane to participate in redistricting roundtable

This morning's Briefly in Tompkins makes two mentions of Dryden. Former Dryden County Legislator Mike Lane will participate in a panel on redistricting in New York, something that I fear is desperately needed. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton is sponsoring the event,...

Posted by simon at 6:26 PM

September 29, 2007

Lane presses Winner on redistricting

I missed Mike Lane's comments in yesterday's article about a Town Hall held by neighboring State Senator George Winner. Lane asked hard questions about redistricting in New York State, and Winner basically ducked with the lame excuse that "the district...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

September 15, 2007

Seward, Citizenship Day

Most of the Dryden news in today's Journal is in Briefly in Tompkins. Dryden Middle School will be celebrating Citizenship Day this Monday morning: The entire middle school will gathers to say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the national anthem...

Posted by simon at 9:43 AM

September 6, 2007

Dealing with the Disconnect

Every now and then I get to enjoy the results of a conversation I started, and it's been a good week for hearing other people state really clearly what's on my mind. I posted a piece about Upstate's past and...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

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 6, 2007

Brief window of opportunity coming... soonish

I was a bit worried that my latest piece on New York State politics was too abstract, but NYCO nicely rescues it with an excellent piece on a strategy that might give New York State participatory politics again. Her idea,...

Posted by simon at 5:43 PM

August 3, 2007

New York State power and authority

I know there's a New York Power Authority, but this isn't about electrical energy - it's about the concentrations of political power that New Yorkers take for granted. New York's "Three Men in a Room" style of governance concentrates power...

Posted by simon at 6:45 PM

July 13, 2007

SPCA loaded with cats

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Tompkins County SPCA has 900 cats in their care right now, 300 more than last year. They're looking for people to adopt or foster cats. (I've also heard complaints from someone who tried...

Posted by simon at 9:01 AM

July 7, 2007

Gracie Manos benefit today

Briefly in Tompkins lists a benefit for the family of Gracie Manos at the Dryden VFW this afternoon from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 at the door. Jen Dube, Dryden's departing Recreation Coordinator, gets a laurel from Dryden Kiwanis...

Posted by simon at 11:40 AM

June 30, 2007

Car chase, accidents, summer challenges

A car chase that started in Cortland ended in Dryden yesterday as a woman fled from a court order. Cortland City Police and Sheriff's cars were damaged by ramming, and Dryden Police, Dryden Ambulance, the New York State Police, and...

Posted by simon at 7:21 PM

Energy nominee withdraws

I don't know if anyone else was interested in Angela Sparks-Beddoe's nomination to chair the Public Service Commission. I didn't think it was a great idea to appoint a lobbyist for Energy East to that position, but she never got...

Posted by simon at 2:30 PM

June 27, 2007

Indictment in Manos case

Coming back from California has left me even more exhausted than usual, so updates are slow. Sorry about that! The regular flow of stories should resume shortly. The biggest (though certainly not brightest) Dryden news of the day comes as...

Posted by simon at 5:14 PM

June 23, 2007


This morning's Journal features the Dryden High School graduation, complete with James Bond, a student cutting a teacher's hair, squirreliness, and rocks. There are also college graduates, college news, and Dean's List reports. A couple separated for decades will be...

Posted by simon at 10:01 AM

June 22, 2007

School, legislative sessions come to an end

For some reason, New York State's legislature comes to an end just as schools are getting out. Students finish with finals and a wave of celebrations; the legislature ends with negotiations and last-minute votes. The Journal reports on the achievements...

Posted by simon at 10:05 AM

May 14, 2007

Thoughts on campus safety

The Ithaca Journal opinion page has a letter from Thomas Pirko of Dryden about the challenges of notifying students in case of emergency. Also, on the opinion page, Jay Gallagher provides a cynical glossary of Albany vocabulary....

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

May 9, 2007

Honoring Cam Viall

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk reports on the Dryden Grange's giving Cam Viall their Grange Community Service Award. The mother of 10 children, Viall helped run a variety store, has been active in the American Legion Auxiliary, and worked as...

Posted by simon at 12:21 PM

May 3, 2007

Freeville heads right

This morning's Ithaca Journal brings two letters to the editor from the conservative side of the political spectrum. Edgar Seymour of Freeville calls for the prosecution of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her recent trip to Syria, while...

Posted by simon at 8:44 AM

April 30, 2007

State energy issues

Dryden news is quiet for the weekend, but there's an update on New York energy issues, including tangled questions about the nomination of Angela Sparks-Beddoe to lead the Public Service Commission. And while none of these hospitals are in Dryden,...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

April 25, 2007

Abe Lincoln and the Vacuum Cleaner

I wrote earlier about how the shape of the 51st State Senate District, which includes Dryden, looks like "Abraham Lincoln riding on a vacuum cleaner." Someone took that quote and ran with it all the way to Albany, showing up...

Posted by simon at 12:11 PM

April 24, 2007

More on Carter sentencing

There's a lot more in today's Journal about Jacob Carter's sentencing for assault, sexual assault, and abuse in attacks on two children in October and January. District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson asked for 43 years to life, and Judge John Rowley...

Posted by simon at 8:12 AM

April 23, 2007

Sparks-Beddoe nomination to move forward

I may be the only person (apart from State Senator Thomas Libous) who's still interested in this, but the State Senate seems ready to hold confirmation hearings for Angela Sparks-Beddoe, Governor Spitzer's choice to lead the Public Service Commission. If...

Posted by simon at 6:22 PM

April 20, 2007

Borrowed car leads to firearms arrest

This morning's Ithaca Journal has an odd report in The Monitor. An Ithaca woman complained that her car had been borrowed for too long and not returned. Next: The woman also said Cannady was armed with a handgun. Deputies located...

Posted by simon at 12:31 PM

April 12, 2007

"Abraham Lincoln riding on a vacuum cleaner"

There should probably be a contest to describe the shape of the New York State Senate district that includes Dryden, presently represented by State Senator Jim Seward. Right now, my vote goes to "Abraham Lincoln riding on a vacuum cleaner",...

Posted by simon at 11:52 PM

April 11, 2007

Political advertisement, 1933

I'd asked Mike Lane a while back about E. R. Sweetland, apparently Dryden's only Democratic Town Supervisor in the first half of the 20th century. (If I remember right, according to the portrait in Town Hall, he served from 1938...

Posted by simon at 12:40 PM

April 9, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Easter

I'm a little surprised that the Journal doesn't mention yesterday's surprising Easter weather, except in an article from Atlanta. We went for a walk on the Jim Schug trail and found it covered in white snow, and there are still...

Posted by simon at 12:51 PM

April 7, 2007

Dryden children sing in Albany

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the Dryden Elementary School Chorus's trip to Albany last Friday, where they sang for "several important people" and then toured the city. How They Voted in the Tompkins County Legislature has more details on...

Posted by simon at 9:10 AM

April 6, 2007

The problem with paying attention

I'm happy to report that this weblog is succeeding in many of the ways I'd hoped it would when I first started. Those successes are generally modest - people hear of things they wouldn't have heard of otherwise, and sometimes...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

Budget and band-aids

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet about Dryden, but has some broader news that affects us. There's a rundown of the $810K of member items coming to Tompkins County, and the print edition's editorial runs down - maybe runs over...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

April 2, 2007

A quiet weekend, except for the budget

It's been a quiet few days for Dryden in the Ithaca Journal. I hope that's because we're all enjoying the recent warmth, though we'll no doubt have a few more ups and downs before it stays warm. Most of the...

Posted by simon at 6:12 PM

March 30, 2007

Do you know how your legislator voted today?

It's possible that I'm missing something, but I've looked and asked and not found any sign that roll calls for votes on bills are available online for either the New York State Assembly or the New York State Senate. It's...

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

March 29, 2007

Civics lesson comes true in budget

I proposed this as a civics lesson for students studying New York State government: Legislators provide a public face for the leadership in their district, explaining to the district why what the leadership has decided to do must be right...

Posted by simon at 8:44 PM

March 27, 2007

Freeville house fire

An old house I'd always really liked burned yesteday in Freeville. The Freeville, Dryden, Varna, Etna, Groton, McLean and Cayuga Heights fire departments all responded, as did Dryden Ambulance, NYSEG, and the New York State Department of Transportation. There were...

Posted by simon at 8:38 AM

March 26, 2007


Yes, it's been kind of quiet around here. I have a cold (flu?) that just won't let go, and can only concentrate for a little while at a time. It's better in the evening than during the day, but still......

Posted by simon at 12:05 PM

March 19, 2007

Dryden residents march for peace

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on Saturday's march for peace. I joined about thirty people marching from Belle Sherman down to the Commons, many of whom had carpooled from the Village of Dryden or walked in from Snyder Hill and...

Posted by simon at 12:35 PM

March 17, 2007

Poverty in Tompkins County

This morning's Ithaca Journal leads with a huge story on poverty in Tompkins County. County Legislator Martha Robertson is quoted on the challenges facing the county government's efforts to deal with poverty: "The money we spend doesn't begin to meet...

Posted by simon at 9:35 AM

March 7, 2007

It's not just Lifton

I've been frustrated with Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's lack of a notion that there might be something wrong with how the state legislature functions before, both in her public presentations and in her writing. It's not just her, though. It seems...

Posted by simon at 12:36 PM

March 5, 2007

Fire on Hickory Circle

A house on Hickory Circle burned early Sunday morning, sending seven people to the hospital. The Varna Volunteer Fire Company responded to a call about smoke, finding the house catching fire shortly after their arrival. Lack of water meant that...

Posted by simon at 8:02 PM

March 2, 2007

Lifton community forum in Cortlandville

I worry that I may be a werewolf. Or something similar. There's no fur, there aren't any extra fangs or even howling, but listening to state legislators argue that New York State government - or at least their house of...

Posted by simon at 5:05 PM

February 27, 2007

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Thursday and Friday

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton won't be visiting Dryden this year with her community meetings, but she will be in Ithaca and Cortlandville. On Thursday, March 1, she'll be at Ithaca Town Hall (215 North Tioga Street, Ithaca) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm....

Posted by simon at 10:57 AM

February 19, 2007

Congressman Arcuri in the neighborhood

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a brief piece on Congressman Michael Arcuri's visit to Lansing to lead a panel discussion on energy issues. (Unfortunately, I didn't get to go, having scheduled time as a docent at the History House a...

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

February 17, 2007

Arcuri speaking in Lansing this morning

This morning's Ithaca Journal notes that Congressman Michael Arcuri will be speaking on energy issues in Lansing this morning. (I can't make it, unfortunately - I'd agreed to be at the History House as a docent this morning.) There's more...

Posted by simon at 9:15 AM

February 15, 2007

"Fervent consumer advocate"

I hadn't heard much lately about Angela Sparks-Beddoe, Governor Spitzer's controversial appointee to chair the Public Service Commission, but this turned up in the Elmira Star-Gazette: Angela Sparks-Beddoe, his controversial pick to head the state Public Service Commission, will be...

Posted by simon at 3:16 PM

February 13, 2007

More on state politics

My concerns about the state of New York State politics have me writing about things that don't really fit on this site. I'll keep posting some of it here, especially as it relates to those who represent Dryden, but it's...

Posted by simon at 7:42 PM

Snow on the way

It's not the eleven feet of snow further north, but a real storm looks likely to hit Tompkins County tonight and tomorrow. Heavy snow, freezing temperatures, and plenty of wind are on their way. Beyond the Lifton explanation of her...

Posted by simon at 8:43 AM

Assemblywoman Lifton ducks, dodges

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton has a guest column on the comptroller's appointment in this morning's Ithaca Journal. Unfortunately, the most interesting part of the letter is what it doesn't contain: any discussion of the process the legislature, and especially the Assembly...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

February 12, 2007

More on state intrigues

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet on Dryden, though maybe we wouldn't want a story about eleven feet of snow. There are two pieces on the current situation in New York State politics. Yancey Roy tells the general story of...

Posted by simon at 12:34 PM

February 10, 2007

Reforming state government

I published this over at The Albany Project, but it's a pretty tight explanation of how I'd like to see change, so it seems worth putting here too. This week cast the machinations of the state legislature into sharp relief....

Posted by simon at 4:01 PM

February 8, 2007

Spitzer opens fire

Wow. Spitzer's serious: During a swing through Syracuse that was originally scheduled for the governor to promote his budget priorities, Mr. Spitzer denounced a local assemblyman, William B. Magnarelli, for reneging on the agreement that the Legislature had made to...

Posted by simon at 10:46 PM

Three cheers for Assemblyman Ball

Alas, this isn't a Dryden story. I wish we had representatives, in either house of the state legislature, in either party, who showed the strength Assemblyman Greg Ball demonstrated yesterday during the comptroller vote: The scene: The state Assembly chamber,...

Posted by simon at 5:44 PM

Abolish Dryden?

I've been enjoying The Albany Project for the last few days. It's good to find a community of people who also think that the state government, especially the legislature, needs major reform. At the same time, though, asking what a...

Posted by simon at 5:10 PM

February 7, 2007

Comptroller chosen behind closed doors

I haven't had strong opinions about the New York State comptroller's race until now, but this is clearly the wrong way to choose the state's top financial inspector: Instead of a popular vote, or the open process that the Legislature...

Posted by simon at 2:34 PM

February 5, 2007

State budget, more lottery

This morning's Journal doesn't have much to say about Dryden, but has a few stories on things that affect us directly. There's a report on a meeting of state legislators with area school representatives. Dryden school board member Brian June...

Posted by simon at 12:25 PM

January 30, 2007

PSC appointment chips Spitzer's paint

I was starting to wonder if I was the only one surprised by Governor Spitzer's appointment of NYSEG/Energy East lobbyist Angela Sparks-Beddoe to lead the Public Service Commission, the regulatory agency NYSEG fought pitched battles against. (See here and here.)...

Posted by simon at 8:15 AM

January 27, 2007

"In need of improvement"?

Dryden Schools Superintendent Mark Crawford has a letter in today's Journal questioning the state's placing Freeville Elementary School and Dryden High School on their "in need of improvement" list, citing problems in the data collection and interpretation process which had...

Posted by simon at 11:32 AM

January 25, 2007

Fox, meet henhouse

In light of the recent questioning of NYSEG's ethics toward customers, employees, and regulators, why exactly is Governor Spitzer appointing the president of Energy East Management Corporation, former director of government affairs at NYSEG, to be chairwoman of the state...

Posted by simon at 4:03 PM

January 24, 2007

Jim Seward now second to Joe Bruno in Senate

Update - Or not: see the comments. This evening's Cortland Standard reports that State Senator Jim Seward, who represents a strangely-shaped district stretching from Dryden to the Hudson River and up to Old Forge, "has been elevated to the No....

Posted by simon at 6:14 PM

Lane challenges state representatives on gerrymander

Today's Ithaca Journal includes a letter by former County Legislator Mike Lane that asks a hard question of our state representatives, all of whom enjoy districts gerrymandered severely in favor of their continued incumbency: [Spitzer] also said he will submit...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

January 22, 2007

Slushpork democracy

Every now and then I realize that I'm not nearly cynical enough about New York State politics. State Senator Dale Volker tells the New York Times that: I personally believe it is the biggest democratization of the Legislature in all...

Posted by simon at 5:25 PM

January 17, 2007

Girl scouts singing

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk column, in which she reports on Girl Scout Troop 869, which meets at the Freeville Methodist Church. The troop has performed a lot of service in the past few years:...

Posted by simon at 7:54 AM

January 11, 2007

Dryden students at mock trial

The Local section of today's Ithaca Journal has photos of the Cornell Law School's mock trials. The online version lacks captions and the accompanying story, but the top photo there is Tompkins County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Bonavia, while the...

Posted by simon at 8:04 AM

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

December 20, 2006

Life with cancer

There's actually so much Dryden news today that picking a headline was hard, but a new column on the front page gets it: Dryden resident Barbara Lang writes about her experiences with colon cancer, in what will be a monthly...

Posted by simon at 12:46 PM

December 18, 2006

Electrical choices

Saturday's Journal was quiet on Dryden, but did address the mysterious, complicated, and generally useless results of one of the dumber ideas the state has had in a long time: letting customers choose their own power supplier. This isn't a...

Posted by simon at 7:05 AM

December 13, 2006

Dryden's jewels on Emerald Necklace

This morning's Ithaca Journal highlighted the Yellow Barn State Forest and Hammond Hill State Forest in an article on conservation efforts along the Finger Lakes Trail, as the County Legislature brings in a planner to help protect public land from...

Posted by simon at 5:17 PM

December 8, 2006

Memorial dedicated at former mansion

This morning's Journal reports on the dedication of a monument to three Ithaca firefighters who lost their lives in 1906 fighting a fire at Chi Psi fraternity. Why am I noting this Ithaca event, however worthy? Because the building where...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

November 28, 2006

Chimney fire on Ringwood

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a chimney fire Sunday on Ringwood Road. Varna Fire Chief Natan Huffman advises readers to have their chimneys swept regularly to avoid the creosote buildup that caused this fire. The fire was put out...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

November 27, 2006

Melting slush

It looks like the keepers of the slushpork - borrowed money sent to state legislators' districts with minimal oversight or coherence - have finally surrendered to demands that they reveal what they're up to: The disclosures will shed fuller light...

Posted by simon at 2:25 PM

November 13, 2006

RPM revs up

This morning's Journal notes that RPM Ecosystems' Dryden facility is on its way. Infrastructure is nearly complete, and the greenhouses - for rapidly growing trees - will be operational in March 2007: the company is expected to create as many...

Posted by simon at 8:35 AM

November 6, 2006

Candidate perspectives

The Dryden Courier has always done a great job of giving candidates for local office space to explain who they are and what they're hoping to accomplish, and I strongly recommend finding a copy if you haven't yet decided. The...

Posted by simon at 7:20 AM

Shopping spree, candidates

I never got to cover Friday's Ithaca Journal, which included a heartwarming story of a Cortland man's shopping spree for the Dryden Kitchen Cupboard. Dennis Wright won the spree - at Clark's Food Mart - from Dryden Rotary. Kitchen Cupboard...

Posted by simon at 7:00 AM

November 2, 2006

More letters

This morning the Ithaca Journal has a two-page opinion section but still felt the need to list letters and publish them online. Unfortunately, all the letters for Town Board wound up in the online pile. Dawn Potter - a Bethel...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

October 21, 2006

State politics, rain

This morning's Journal has an overview article on the Assembly race, talking with incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and Republican challenger Jim Rohan. There's also an article on New York's rainy summer. Ithaca has had 34.54 inches of precipitation this...

Posted by simon at 9:07 AM

October 19, 2006

Robo-polling Dryden?

This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at automated polling techniques being used in the Congressional race and questions about the validity of data collected by touch-tone keypad. In the print edition, Frank Row of Dryden is pictured at the top of...

Posted by simon at 12:09 PM

October 18, 2006

State bribe arrives

The "let's send property owners money right before the election" check for $170.55 just arrived at my house. I guess I'll cash the silly thing, but it's an annoying reminder of just how broken Albany has become. They drop program...

Posted by simon at 12:38 PM

October 13, 2006

Some math scores fall

Yesterday's Ithaca Journal had lots of articles with Dryden connections. An article on declining math test scores in higher grades shows the Dryden and Ithaca schools with a similar pattern of better performance in lower grades, with Dryden being a...

Posted by simon at 12:46 PM

September 15, 2006

Alternative energy law introduced

This morning's Journal sort of suggests that the Town Board passed an alternative energy law last night, though it was only introduced: Residents of the Town of Dryden moved one step closer to generating their own sustainable energy Thursday night,...

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

August 14, 2006

TC3 surveying transfer graduates

This morning's Journal reports that TC3 professor Joe Cambridge is looking for TC3 alumni to survey about their experiences moving from TC3 to four-year colleges. The article talks with a 2006 TC3 grad on her way to a four-year school:...

Posted by simon at 7:33 AM

August 4, 2006

New York campaign finance laws have enormous gap

Now here's a gigantic hole in the campaign finance dam: As a candidate for governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer is barred from taking more than $50,100 from any single donor. But that has not stopped wealthy donors from legally...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

August 2, 2006

Upstate resources

Anyone interested in the relations between upstate and downstate NY - and possibly upstate and the rest of the country, when it comes to water - should take a look at this piece from NYCO exploring energy and water. (And...

Posted by simon at 5:00 PM

July 28, 2006

Suozzi comes to Tompkins County

It's not all Eliot Spitzer for Governor, however much the press calls that a foregone conclusion. He has plenty of opposition in his race for Governor of New York. His Democratic primary opponent, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, opened an...

Posted by simon at 1:32 PM

July 24, 2006

State budget summary

I think the New York Times offered the best summary I've seen yet of the state of New York's budget: this year the biggest surprise turns out [to be] the total cost of the big final hairball of interconnected supplemental...

Posted by simon at 12:05 PM

July 10, 2006

Green New York?

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports a quiet weekend for Dryden. (Actually, it doesn't report anything on Dryden at all, which I hope means a quiet weekend.) It does, however, include a piece by Jay Gallagher on New York State and...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

July 8, 2006

Fast trees by RPM

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports in depth on a project I'd heard bits and pieces about: the large-scale tree nursery planned by RPM on Route 13. They're negotiating tax abatements and sorting out permits, but if all goes well they...

Posted by simon at 10:49 AM

June 30, 2006

Helping flooded areas

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes a report on ways Tompkins County is helping out flooded areas to our east, as firefighters, the Red Cross, stores, and others helped out. Dryden sent a fire truck and ambulances. It looks like there...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

June 24, 2006

Dryden High graduates

Posted by simon at 11:18 AM

June 22, 2006

Summer solstice celebration

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits the Foundation of Light for yesterday's summer solstice celebration at the stone circle, talking about how their "own little Stonehenge" works, It also looks like Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton will have a challenger this year, Republican...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

June 19, 2006

Berry season in Freeville

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Freeville's Brookside Berry Farm, which just opened for the season a few minutes ago,in an article on U-Pick Strawberries. There's another article about the disaster training at Holy Cross Church that was held this past...

Posted by simon at 8:10 AM

June 15, 2006

Dryden schools: higher taxes and less spending per student?

NYCO's Blog highlighted a map showing which school districts face the ugly combination of above average tax rates and lower spending per student. The map comes from the Midstate School Finance Consortium, which is pushing the state for fairer and...

Posted by simon at 12:44 PM

June 13, 2006

Motorcycle efficiency - gasoline and fun

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a letter from Greg Kimbell of Dryden, extolling the virtues of motorcycles both for miles per gallon (78mpg available!) and fun per gallon. There's also an article on the state legislature's latest attempt to buy...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

June 6, 2006

New York still weak on Medicaid fraud

I noted a few articles last year on New York State's apparent lack of interest in policing Medicaid fraud, as well as some response by the governor to beef up enforcement. Apparently the problems are quite real, and the response...

Posted by simon at 8:20 AM

June 1, 2006

Contra dancing at Bethel Grove

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes photos taken at Bethel Grove Community Center in an article on contra dancing, which also notes that contra dances are held at 8:00pm every Friday for $5 at the Community Center. The Monitor reports that...

Posted by simon at 12:10 PM

May 30, 2006

State politics blogging from the New York Times

I've always wished the New York Times would devote more of its reporting resources to Albany, and I seem to have gotten part of my wish. They now have Empire Zone, a weblog devoted to politics in the Empire State....

Posted by simon at 6:40 PM

No trash-burning citations issued

It's been a quiet Memorial Day weekend for Dryden in the Ithaca Journal. At the county level, the news is also quiet: no citations issued for trash burning since the new rules banning most burning went into effect. On the...

Posted by simon at 8:02 AM

May 2, 2006

Dryden school budget up 7.39%

The print edition of today's Ithaca Journal has a summary of the Dryden Central Schools budget. It's a little strange - the subhead says "Faculty Cuts Keep Levy Under Target" - but the box doesn't actually list the tax levy...

Posted by simon at 8:36 AM

April 26, 2006

Jazz night, skate park demo Saturday

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk talks about events this coming Saturday. The Dryden Music Boosters will be having their biggest fundraiser of the year, Jazz Night, at 7:00pm Saturday in the Dryden High gym. It combines student music with food...

Posted by simon at 9:37 AM

April 24, 2006

Helping the Red Cross

The print edition of this morning's Ithaca Journal has a full-page ad sponsored by Dryden Mutual Insurance, which recognizes "Heroes" whose donations are at work for the American Red Cross of Tompkins County. In Dryden, the William George Agency, Amazing...

Posted by simon at 7:06 PM

April 17, 2006

Congressional candidate Les Roberts; state darkness

This morning's Ithaca Journal doesn't have much on Dryden, but it does cover congressional candiate Les Roberts, who seeks to represent Dryden and the 24th district, with an article on his perspective on the state of America and what needs...

Posted by simon at 8:22 AM

April 13, 2006

Coral grows in Dryden

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Reef Encounters, exploring the colorful world of coral growing in a Freeville basement. Owner Steve Lowes talks about what's involved in growing coral, the difficulties facing coral reefs in their natural habitat, and the powerful...

Posted by simon at 6:52 AM

April 12, 2006

Camp Farthest Out

This week's Dryden Town Talk seems to be the Easter Week edition, as Cathy Wakeman focuses on church activities. She reports on the Camp Farthest Out activities that will be at the Reach Out for Christ church on April 21st...

Posted by simon at 8:36 AM

April 7, 2006

State of the nation, state

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet on Dryden news, but there's a letter from Marcy Tino of Freeville expresses her concern about the growing connections between government and business, and the dangers that creates: In fact, it was the fascists...

Posted by simon at 8:34 AM

April 5, 2006

Salamanders south of Dryden

They're slimy, and crawling along the roads, moving at night. They're on the section of Thomas Road in Caroline, not the Dryden portion, but apparently they're also in Dryden along Ringwood Road. IC Professor John Confer is working to make...

Posted by simon at 8:17 AM

April 3, 2006

Rebate checks to arrive in fall

I'm normally happy to receive unexpected checks. There's one large exception, however: those checks that come with a larger cost later. Sometimes those are the 'credit protection' plans, where credit card companies give you $2.50 now in exchange for a...

Posted by simon at 5:55 PM

April 1, 2006

School aid increased in state budget

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the legislature's state budget. It's not a final budget for the state - the governor and his line-item veto are yet to come. It looks like among the winners and losers, Dryden schools came...

Posted by simon at 10:11 AM

March 31, 2006

Dryden senior in state speaking contest

Dryden High School senior Simon Horrocks will be speaking at an FFA state competition in May, having placed first in the regional Extemporaneous Public Speaking competition, second while delivering a prepared speech, and second in a Job Interview contest. Dryden...

Posted by simon at 12:20 PM

March 30, 2006

Recycle plastics - except #4

The front page of this morning's Ithaca Journal is dominated by an article on the county's expansion of the plastics it will accept for recycling, shifting from plastics coded 1 and 2 to everything from 1 to 7 except 4....

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

March 27, 2006

State budget, Appalachia question

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet on Dryden, but has two articles on state news relevant to our future. There's an article on the state legislature's effort to finish its version of the budget today, and a piece by Jay...

Posted by simon at 9:05 AM

March 25, 2006

TC3 growing honors program with scholarships

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a new effort to expand the TC3 honors program by giving 15 full scholarships to Tompkins and Cortland County students who enroll in at least 30% honors classes, and are either in the top...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

March 22, 2006

Village elections, cowboy lifestyle

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on yesterday's village elections, in which incumbents won their races across Dryden and Freeville. In Freeville, 24 people voted, and Mayor Lotte Carpenter, Trustees Diana Radford and Penny Beebe, and Village Justice Arthur Marchese were...

Posted by simon at 7:56 AM

March 18, 2006

Seward to run for re-election as State Senator

I'd heard lots of rumors that State Senator Jim Seward would run for Congressman Boehlert's seat when he retired. However, after yesterday's retirement announcement, WHCU reports that Seward will run for re-election instead: SEWARD WAS RUMORED TO BE EYING BOEHLERT’S...

Posted by simon at 8:21 AM

March 17, 2006

Empty Dryden storefront in Spitzer campaign commercial

I've been depressed enough driving past the empty storefronts on West Main Street, but apparently I'm not the only one who sees them as a sign that we need change around here. The Spitzer campaign's first commercial includes Charlie's Diner...

Posted by simon at 12:15 PM

March 8, 2006

Rummage and craft sale Saturday

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes Briefly in Dryden, which announces the Dryden National Junior Honor Society's rummage and craft sale, which will be held this Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm in the Dryden Middle School cafeteria. Briefly in Dryden also...

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

March 2, 2006

Voting machine lawsuit

There isn't much in this morning's Ithaca Journal about Dryden, but there is a piece about the federal government suing New York State for its delays in overhauling our voting system. We'll be voting on the classic lever-based machines in...

Posted by simon at 12:50 PM

February 15, 2006

Transportation study; lobbyist boils

There isn't much on Dryden specifically in this morning's Ithaca Journal, but there's an article on setting the scope for a joint Town of Ithaca-Cornell transportation study, which I believe the Town of Dryden will also be participating in. Meanwhile,...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

January 30, 2006

Gift-giving in Albany

I haven't been paying enough attention to what happens in Albany lately, but an article in today's New York Times (registration required) raises issues about lobbyist gift-giving and how legislators spend their campaign funds. A few tidbits: One day last...

Posted by simon at 5:56 PM

January 24, 2006

Lots of lobbyists in Albany

I just stumbled on this stunning bit of data in a New York Times article about new lobbying restrictions states are imposing: In most capitals, lobbyists outnumber lawmakers by an average of five to one, the Center for Public Integrity...

Posted by simon at 11:33 PM

December 27, 2005

Watching creek salt levels

This morning's Ithaca Journal mentions the Fall Creek and Six Mile Creek watershed monitoring projects (a training session for which I visited last year) in an article about concerns over salt levels in freshwater streams. Road salt is the primary...

Posted by simon at 6:41 PM

December 21, 2005

Christmas villages in the Village of Freeville

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Nancy Carver and Lorraine Buonviri's Christmas spectacular in their home in Freeville. Fifty Santas on a piano? Is that enough? Perhaps not. It takes three days to set up the decorations, starting the day after...

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

December 8, 2005

Brooktondale fire truck gone missing

This morning Ithaca Journal reports that the Brooktondale Fire District is facing some hard questions about where money for a truck went, after purchasing a truck through a now-deceased broker in Albany who may have defrauded other departments. (The Town...

Posted by simon at 7:17 AM

November 25, 2005

A Freeville Thanksgiving

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits the Freeville United Methodist Church Thanksgiving meal, talking both with guests and those serving the food. Yesterday's article on Thanksgiving traditions noted that the The Antlers restaurant was open for a Thanksgiving dinner as well....

Posted by simon at 8:59 AM

November 9, 2005

Election day happenings

Today's Journal notices the November 8th election. The "Wilkinson wins DA race" across the top is hard to miss, as is the picture of County Legislator Martha Robertson congratulating Gwen Wilkinson, who defeated incumbent District Attorney George Dentes by a...

Posted by simon at 11:47 AM

November 5, 2005

Vote No on Proposition 2

I know I shouldn't start my endorsements with a round of negativity, but it's best to get that out of the way. Proposition 2, the generously named "REBUILD AND RENEW NEW YORK TRANSPORTATION BOND ACT OF 2005", looks like: PROPOSAL...

Posted by simon at 11:37 AM

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

October 13, 2005

Lifton, Lane find firefighters $50,000 in state funds

I was late getting there, unfortunately, but Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and County Legislator Mike Lane held a press conference today announcing $50,000 in state funds for equipment for Freeville's W.B. Strong and Dryden's Neptune Hose Company fire departments. Assemblywoman Barbara...

Posted by simon at 9:53 PM

August 5, 2005

More happenin' in the hamlet

It must be a light news day, but we get some extra pictures in the Ithaca Journal from McLean's Happenin' in the Hamlet last Saturday. There's a big question to be answered about who pays for new equipment to connect...

Posted by simon at 9:30 AM

July 28, 2005

4-H Fair kicks off

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the 4-H Fair running through Saturday, to be held at 4-H Acres (map). The schedule looks packed, with animal shows, all kinds of contests, and plenty of food including a pancake breakfast and barbecue....

Posted by simon at 9:57 AM

July 27, 2005

Fire in Freeville

A four-apartment building at 12 Railroad Street in Freeville caught fire last night. Firefighters from the Dryden, Freeville, Etna, Groton, McLean and Cayuga Heights fire departments responded at 6:30pm, and had the blaze out by 7:15pm. No one was injured,...

Posted by simon at 7:04 AM

July 25, 2005

114,000 gallons of water to put out barn fire

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that a barn fire on Lake Road took seven hours and 114,000 gallons of water to extinguish. Dryden firefighters were called at 7:35, and Freeville, Etna, McLean, Slaterville, Groton, Cortlandville, Harford, and Virgil departments provided...

Posted by simon at 7:49 AM

July 20, 2005

Drydenettes, Corvettes

Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk looks at schoolgirls of yesteryear, the Drydenettes, a group of female Dryden High School alumnae who will be having a reunion July 30th. (If female alums would like to make a reservation to join the...

Posted by simon at 8:45 AM

July 19, 2005

Doing very little about large-scale Medicaid fraud

I try hard to stay focused on Dryden, but sometimes things at other levels get so rotten that it's hard to avoid the stench. The New York Times seems to be doing some basic research on Medicaid that the New...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

July 18, 2005

County races, state legislative reform

I was annoyed with the Journal last week for publishing a list of candidates without noticing that there are caucuses yet to come, and they seem to have realized that in time for an editorial overview of races that wishes...

Posted by simon at 8:45 AM

July 13, 2005

McLean author, fundraising

This morning's Ithaca Journal doesn't say much specifically about Dryden, but there are bits and pieces. The McLean Fire Department, which covers the northeast corner of Dryden, is raising funds for EMS equipment, and there's an article on Diane Martineau...

Posted by simon at 7:41 AM

July 10, 2005

Creating a place for kids

This week's Dryden Courier leads with articles on improving life for Dryden children. There's an article on Opportunity, Understanding, Respect, and Success (OURS), a group providing activities in Conger's Mobile Home Park started by Jessica Houle, a Cornell student who...

Posted by simon at 10:20 AM

July 4, 2005

Graduation, trails

This week's Dryden Courier leads with the Dryden High School graduation, as well as congratulations given to the Dryden school board and superintendent. Inside the paper, there are articles on the plans for a Freeville-to-Dryden trail and one on the...

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

June 30, 2005

Dryden school repairs, much more

Since it's all going to vanish in a week, it's probably a good idea to report what's been in the Ithaca Journal for the past few days. The most Dryden-specific story is one on the renovations in progress at the...

Posted by simon at 12:39 PM

June 20, 2005

Bringing Lakeview Golf Course back to life

This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at a group of volunteers - and donors - who have worked together to reopen Lakeview Golf Course, repairing it, running it, and paying its taxes while its long-term future remains a question. The pictures...

Posted by simon at 8:50 AM

June 6, 2005

Living at the Living Wage

Following up on last Friday's announcement of a $9.18 living wage in Tompkins County, today's Ithaca Journal looks at three people's efforts to get by on wages at or close to the living wage, including two Freeville residents. At the...

Posted by simon at 8:03 AM

May 11, 2005

Jail, probation for Freeville DWI

The Ithaca Journal reports this morning that Jason Kelly was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation for a DWI last June that cost the lives of two friends riding in the car. Dryden Town Talk reports...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

May 9, 2005

County Empire Zone to take time

This morning's Ithaca Journal doesn't mention Dryden, but there's some county news worth watching. While Tompkins County will have one eventually, final approval for an Empire Zone may not come for another four years. Why? Each of the zones will...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

April 15, 2005

Righting the legislative ship

Freeville resident David Branagan writes that "I have tried and I have tried and I have tried, but I can't get over the commentary of Assemblywoman (Barbara) Lifton in The Journal of Feb. 28," and concludes that: It is inconceivable...

Posted by simon at 8:26 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

April 1, 2005

WHCU Director of Operations retiring

This morning's Ithaca Journal pays a visit to WHCU 870's Hanshaw Road offices for a story profiling retiring Director of Operations Tom Joseph. The Ithaca school district is reviewing its budget in preparation for a board vote April 12th and...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

March 15, 2005

Village elections today

This morning's Journal reports that there are elections today in the Villages of Dryden and Freeville. Polls will be open from noon to 9:00pm at the the Dryden Village Hall (map) and the the Freeville Village Hall (map). Freeville's election...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

March 1, 2005

New York State debt, 1990 to 2005 and beyond

I mentioned New York's debt and opaque process in a piece last week about the challenges New York is facing, spurred on by low attendance at Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's Town Hall in Dryden. The New York Times reinforces some of...

Posted by simon at 8:50 AM

February 28, 2005

Chicks Ride over Dryden

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

February 27, 2005

Lifton's Town Hall meeting

Now that I've vented my general concerns about New York State politics, it would probably be wise to report on what Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton actually had to say. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton talks at Dryden Town Hall. A lot of what...

Posted by simon at 8:00 PM

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 18, 2005

Hearing on Comprehensive Plan

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's hearing on the revised Draft Comprehensive Plan. Residents expressed concern, and some hope, about changes that would eventually come to their neighborhood, and as the article notes, the Dryden Lake area was...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

February 16, 2005

Welsh ponies, free tax prep

In this morning's Ithaca Journal, Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk takes a look at Welsh pony trainer Amy Schwartz and rider Junelle King, National Grand Champion of the United States Equestrian Foundation Welsh Pony Division. Schwartz is raising 30 ponies...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

Assemblywoman Lifton hosting Town Hall meeting Tuesday

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton will be hosting a Town Meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd, at 7:00pm at the Dryden Town Hall (map). The poster invites attendees to "Voice Your Concerns." Lifton held a similar forum last year, and there was as...

Posted by simon at 8:05 AM

February 13, 2005

Courier will accept local political letters

The Dryden Courier's editorial this week reverses a policy it had set after the last round of local elections, when it decided "to no longer print letters supporting local candidates." They've changed their minds because: Local elections hit closer to...

Posted by simon at 1:56 PM

February 9, 2005

Annexation possibilities

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's public meeting to discuss the possible annexation of an area north of Dryden to the Village. Dryden Mutual Insurance has applied to be annexed to the Village, and there are large questions...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

January 29, 2005

Boehlert on Main Street Partnership

I just noted that Brad Jones, a more conservative Republican, is preparing to challenge Congressman Sherwood Boehlert. Boehlert has long had conservative challengers in Republican primaries, and his recent stand on Social Security probably encourages them. NYCO mentions a piece...

Posted by simon at 10:52 AM

January 25, 2005

Senator Seward backs legislative reform, sort of

Only two months after bluntly defending the practice of empty-seat voting, State Senator James Seward is trumpeting its purported elimination on his web site. No one other than the Senate's Republican Majority seems terribly impressed with the reforms passed yesterday....

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

Beyond Measure on "Best of High School A Cappella 2005"

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden High School a cappella ensemble Beyond Measure has a song, "Fever," on a collection CD, "Best of High School A Cappella 2005." The CD is not yet available, bit should be out...

Posted by simon at 8:48 AM

January 21, 2005

Letters from Dryden

Most of the Dryden-specific activity in today's Ithaca Journal is on the opinion page, so I'll start there for the first time in a while. Henry Kramer of Dryden writes to argue that New York (population 19.2 million) follow Connecticut's...

Posted by simon at 7:39 AM

January 19, 2005

Coral reefs in Dryden; Foundation of Light

In this morning's Journal, Cathy Wakeman's Town Talk column visits a local business that grows coral, Reef Encounters. As Wakeman notes, their photo section is especially stunning, especially on a cold January day. Wakeman also mentions a a 4-H spaghetti...

Posted by simon at 8:45 AM

January 15, 2005

Gay marriage suit, prescription cards

Freeville residents Terri Niedzialek and Nancy Chapman attended a State Supreme Court hearing on the suit by 25 same-sex couples that seeks to remove New York State's limitation of marriage to a man and a woman. Hospital issues motivated them:...

Posted by simon at 9:59 AM

January 11, 2005

Cynical optimism

I wasn't sure how seriously to take recent state Assembly reform, but this quote from NYCO gives me some hope: Publicly pretending to reform is a big first step toward actual reform. So even the most cynical person has to...

Posted by simon at 7:15 PM

ICSD Special education, state issues

There isn't much specific to Dryden in today's Ithaca Journal, but there is plenty of new that affects Dryden or some part of it. The Ithaca City School District will be reviewing a report on its special education programs tonight....

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

January 7, 2005

Etna fire coverage, schools out yesterday

Today's Ithaca Journal provides more information on the Etna fire coverage agreement that was discussed at Tuesday's Town Board meeting. The article looks at the agreement between the four Dryden fire departments as well as the new Mobile Response Vehicle...

Posted by simon at 7:53 AM

January 6, 2005

Weather, State of the State

I was hoping to be in Albany today for a rally on reform, but the weather kept me home, so the Ithaca Journal's focus on the weather and Governor Pataki's State of the State address will have to do. The...

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

December 31, 2004

Catching up on library cuts, gains

Earlier this year, Governor Pataki vetoed funding for libraries and stymied an override attempt in the Assembly. Then, the Governor used discretionary funding to restore the cuts in Republican Assembly districts. Dryden is in a Democratic Assembly district, so the...

Posted by simon at 2:18 PM

December 29, 2004

Lifton replies on empty-seat voting

Assemblywoman Lifton wrote back to my earlier letter on empty-seat voting. I find her reply much more promising than Senator Seward's reply - she doesn't try to defend the practice, and suggests that she's actually taking steps to reduce it:...

Posted by simon at 12:38 PM

December 25, 2004

Visiting Michelle Griffin

This morning's Journal visits Michelle Griffin, widow of Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrick Griffin, who was killed in the invasion of Iraq last year. Michelle, a Dryden native, may return here from Florida eventually: Someday, she may move back to...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

December 23, 2004

Pipe leak damages Dryden Hotel

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden Hotel, rebuilt after a 1995 fire, suffered significant damage when a sprinkler pipe froze and leaked. The sprinkler system's apparent evacuation called Dryden firefighters, who turned off the sprinkler system and evacuated...

Posted by simon at 9:50 AM

December 13, 2004

Helicopter inspections

There's very little specific to Dryden in today's Ithaca Journal, but Briefly in Tompkins notes that NYSEG will be conducting helicopter-based inspections of their high-power lines (and we have many of those) on Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday. On the...

Posted by simon at 8:25 AM

December 10, 2004

Etna Fire Department discussion

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the decision last night not to send the Etna Fire Department its 2004 contract yet. Fire issues were a large part of last night's town meeting, and I'll be reporting more on that part...

Posted by simon at 8:42 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 7, 2004

New York raises minimum wage; Seward dissents

It didn't make the Ithaca Journal, but the New York State Senate voted 50-8 yesterday to override Governor Pataki's veto and raise the minimum wage in New York. According to the Elmira Star-Gazette: Under the measure, minimum wage increases from...

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

December 2, 2004

Education money questions

The announcement earlier this week that a court-appointed panel would require the state spend $23 billion more on New York City schools has created all kinds of questions, including where the money will come from and whether poor rural districts...

Posted by simon at 7:42 AM

December 1, 2004

Democrats and Reform

I've written a piece on why I think the Democratic Party should take reform as a core issue, including the need to reform places where we have control. The article isn't specific to Dryden, so I've posted it on my...

Posted by simon at 7:47 PM

Senator Seward replies on empty-seat voting

Senator Seward's office was certainly speedy in getting back to my letter about empty-seat voting, though I can't say his response gives me much sense that he's interested in changing the process at all. The senator writes: Most of the...

Posted by simon at 2:32 PM

November 29, 2004

FEMA restores funding

The Ithaca Journal reports this morning (as I reported Thursday) that FEMA has decided to restore the $170,000 in funding they had removed because they claimed the project had changed since it was authorized. The McLean Fire Department has purchased...

Posted by simon at 8:55 AM

November 27, 2004

State budget and TC3

Today's Journal reports on Governor Pataki's apparently sustained veto of $325,000 in aid to TC3. The article left me wondering if the college aid was included in a list of vetoes the Senate couldn't override because the Assembly hadn't overridden...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

November 24, 2004

"Empty seat voting"

Since I wrote Congressman Boehlert this morning, I figured it might be nice to continue my letter-writing to some of Dryden's other representatives on my lunch. I've written before about Assemblywoman Lifton's response to my letter and the preliminary report...

Posted by simon at 12:45 PM

November 23, 2004

Suspect returned to Dryden

There's lots of news about Dryden in today's Journal. As they alluded on Saturday, the Journal reports that robbery suspect Mao Sheng Lin has been returned from Houston to Ithaca to face trial for a November 2003 robbery at the...

Posted by simon at 8:38 AM

November 22, 2004

Boxes of Joy

Today's Ithaca Journal has a picture of children packing gifts at the Bethel Grove Bible Church for the Operation Christmas Child program of Samaritan's Purse. An Etna resident, Susan Morse, and her dogs Kiss and Whisper, are noted in K-9...

Posted by simon at 7:53 AM

November 21, 2004

Senate reform report even less than expected

I didn't expect very much when I wrote earlier about the Senate Majority Task Force on Reform's "Making Government Work: A Preliminary Report of the Senate Task Force on Government Reform" (65KB PDF), but I'm afraid that actually reading the...

Posted by simon at 6:11 PM

November 19, 2004

State Senate report congratulates self for reform

I ran across this while looking to find out what the New York State Senate had accomplished at its press conference yesterday, and to see how much progress New York State Senator Jim Seward had made in the Senate Majority...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

Dryden quiet, county busy

There's not much directly about Dryden in today's Ithaca Journal, but there's plenty about issues that affect Dryden. They've published a list of TC3 students receiving scholarships, including several from Freeville and Dryden. Negotiations between TCAT and its unions, required...

Posted by simon at 8:32 AM

November 18, 2004

Cortland accident, county jail, state reform

While I'm grateful that there haven't been many accidents inside Dryden lately, there seem to be more and more nearby. Yesterday, Dryden rescue workers were among those responding to tractor-trailer crash on Route 13 in Cortland that left one of...

Posted by simon at 9:51 AM

November 15, 2004

Quiet weekend on Dryden

The only mention I can find of Dryden in today's Ithaca Journal comes in an editorial congratulating the Dryden boys' soccer team for winning a sectional championship November 6th. There's also a piece from Ithaca City School District Superintendent Judith...

Posted by simon at 7:42 AM

November 11, 2004

Democrats gather at Town Hall

Democrats and sympathetic independents met last night at the Dryden Town Hall to discuss the 2004 election, looking over how well we'd done locally while contemplating the growing divide among Americans and talking about how to communicate with people on...

Posted by simon at 10:24 AM

November 10, 2004

Visiting the Crackerman of Etna

Today's Ithaca Journal Our Towns section visits the Crackerman of Etna, a baking business run by John and Beverly Bender of Etna. They've revived old-style crackers, and bake them in their house, a real cottage industry. If you want to...

Posted by simon at 8:30 AM

November 9, 2004

Dryden school audit clean

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that Dryden Central School District got good marks in an audit, and that the board is looking at academic intervention support and energy management. The Journal also takes a look at TC3's alcohol awareness programs...

Posted by simon at 8:25 AM

November 8, 2004

Dryden Democratic gathering Wednesday night

The Dryden Democrats will be hosting a gathering this Wednesday night, November 10th, at 7:30pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 65 East Main Street, Dryden (map). Democrats and independents are welcome. We'll be taking a look at what worked for...

Posted by simon at 12:21 PM

November 5, 2004


I found another Upstate-focused blog that I think is worth mentioning, though I find its obsession with taxes and business-friendliness painfully narrow. Upstateblog.net is a project of the Public Policy Institute of New York, which is itself affiliated with The...

Posted by simon at 9:56 AM

Flu shots at the Armory

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the county will be distributing flu shots at the National Guard Armory on Hanshaw Road (map). The county will be screening people to make sure they live in Tompkins County, for medical reasons not...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

November 3, 2004

73% turnout in Dryden

73% of registered voters turned out across Dryden yesterday, with 10 of 11 polls reporting 69% or greater turnout. In Dryden, John Kerry won 3398-2597, while congressional challenger Jeff Miller defeated incumbent Sherwood Boehlert 2556-2444. Neither of those results seem...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

November 2, 2004

Where do I vote in the Town of Dryden?

From the Board of Elections listing, polling places for each of the districts are: Etna Fire Station - 26 Wood Road, Etna (map). Freeville Fire Station - 21 Union Street, Freeville (map). Dryden Fire Station - 26 North Street, Dryden...

Posted by simon at 5:30 AM

November 1, 2004

Election day polls, dinners

While the Ithaca Journal seems to have finished with local opinion about the election on Saturday, there's still a lot of detail about election mechanics in today's paper. The number of absentee ballots, military ballots, and ballots for citizens living...

Posted by simon at 7:20 AM

October 24, 2004

Responses to Slush Funds

Today's Syracuse Post-Standard runs a followup article to the series on New York Slush Funds they ran earlier this week. Much to my surprise, I wound up quoted on the front page: Down in Dryden, Simon St. Laurent writes a...

Posted by simon at 10:21 AM

October 20, 2004

The SlushMap

NYCO's Blog now has an amazing map of New York showing how much state slush fund money counties received, building on data from the recent Post-Standard series. As she points out in the article about it, it's kind of odd...

Posted by simon at 7:17 PM

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

Sample ballot, and other politics

Today's Ithaca Journal notes that sample ballots are available from the Tompkins County Board of Elections. The Dryden ballot can be viewed online here (46KB PDF). There's an article on a variety of web sites pushing reform of New York...

Posted by simon at 8:32 AM

October 18, 2004

More on NYS slush

The Syracuse Post-Standard continues its series on the slush funds of the governor, Senate, and Assembly by looking at the "give and take" of political contributions and money rolling out of Albany. Our State Senator Seward gets mentioned for steering...

Posted by simon at 7:10 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

October 10, 2004

Seward Town Hall in Dryden

New York State Senator James Seward held a Town Hall meeting in the Dryden Village Hall on Thursday night, addressing an audience of about twenty people, taking public questions, and then having private sessions afterward. (I've tried to be as...

Posted by simon at 12:14 PM

October 6, 2004

A missing article, and Seward tomorrow

It just occurred to me that there's an article I'd really like to see the Ithaca Journal, Dryden Courier, Ithaca Times, or anyone else local publish: interviews with our Assemblywoman and local State Senators on their feelings about reform of...

Posted by simon at 8:56 AM

September 29, 2004

Eagle Scout project success; county budget hike

In today's Dryden Town Talk, Cathy Wakeman reports that Adam Pamel's Eagle Scout project, raising money for school supplies for 33 children, was a success. Pamel set up collection boxes, held a car wash, and was noticed by Cayuga's Helping...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

September 28, 2004

Meet Dryden Superintendent Mark Crawford tonight

This morning's Journal looks at last night's Dryden School Board meeting. The Board appointed Amanda Kittelberger to the seat Tricia Edgecomb resigned, and worked on annual goals, the strategic planning committee, and the public relations committee. Following state mandates, they...

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

September 21, 2004

Meet State Senator Seward October 7th

New York State Senator James Seward will be having a Town Hall on Thursday, October 7th at 7:00pm. According to the mailing I just received: State Senator James L. Seward will address the audience in a town hall style meeting...

Posted by simon at 12:40 PM

Jail choice tonight

Dryden news is mostly quiet today, but the county is poised to make a $19.96 million (or $2.13 million) decision tonight: what to do about the county jail. The more expensive option will expand the jail to 136 beds, while...

Posted by simon at 8:48 AM

September 15, 2004

Boehlert wins Republican primary

Today's Ithaca Journal reports that Sherwood Boehlert defeated David Walrath by 20,365 to 14,741. In Tompkins County, the vote was 919 for Boehlert to 613 for Walrath. In the general election, Boehlert will face Walrath, who has the Conservative line,...

Posted by simon at 4:48 PM

September 14, 2004

Republican primary today

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on today's Congressional primary between Sherwood Boehlert and David Walrath. Polls are open today from noon to 9pm. You must be a registered Republican to participate in the primary. On the opinion page, Lily Parsons...

Posted by simon at 9:24 AM

September 1, 2004

School renovation costs rise; festivals coming

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that 10 to 15% increases in the cost of materials may force changes in plans for elementary school renovation. The Dryden Central School Board will have to look at a list of options and choose...

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

August 30, 2004

Dryden Veterans Memorial Home robbed

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden Veterans Memorial Home was robbed last weekend. Thieves broke into a video lottery machine and an empty safe, and cut phone lines. Farm disaster aid is available for farmers whose crops were...

Posted by simon at 8:37 AM

August 26, 2004

Artists' haven; college veto frustrations

The Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, on Ellis Hollow Road, gets an Ithaca Journal article about its Artist Colony program today. Five artists at a time spend a month at the colony working on projects. There's more discussion of...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

August 25, 2004

Teachers' agreement, water issue

This week's Dryden Courier explores the happier feelings coming out of the Dryden Central School District's negotiations with the Dryden Faculty Association. If all goes well as seems possible in the September 2nd vote, teachers should have a contract in...

Posted by simon at 6:43 PM

August 21, 2004

Pataki vetoes TC3 expansion funding

Governor Pataki's budget vetoes struck TC3 and Cornell yesterday, as the governor vetoed all capital funds for higher education, including $10.6 million for TC3's expansion and $12 million for Cornell renovations. A legislative override seem uncertain, though there's definitely some...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

August 19, 2004

Volunteers needed, budget, TCAT

The most Dryden-specific news in this morning's Ithaca Journal is a notice calling for volunteers to help Project CARE, a volunteer program of the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. There are two opportunities to help people in Freeville and...

Posted by simon at 8:02 AM

August 17, 2004

Community yard sale in Varna, upstate taxes

This morning's Ithaca Journal notes a community yard sale that will be held in Varna on Saturday, August 21st. There will be tables at the Varna Community Center (map) and maps for other local yard sales will be available. There's...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

August 14, 2004

Looking forward to TC3 expansion

The state legislature has approved $10.6 million for TC3 to build a new athletic facility, though Governor Pataki's veto remains a possibility for now. The project overall will cost $23 million, with Tompkins and Cortland counties providing a local share,...

Posted by simon at 9:12 AM

August 12, 2004

No Dryden headlines, much Dryden news

There aren't any headlines that mention Dryden in today's Ithaca Journal, but there's lots of news relating to Dryden. There's an article on state aid to local schools that cites Dryden Central School Board President Rachel Dickinson: "Dryden's tax rate...

Posted by simon at 8:39 AM

August 11, 2004

School numbers arrive, jail numbers don't

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the New York State Legislature has finally passed an education bill, so schools will know their aid levels before they send out tax bills. Dryden will be getting $12.85 million this coming year as...

Posted by simon at 8:47 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

August 4, 2004

Political categories

The "politics" category had accumulated enough stories that it was getting hard to see from the archives quite what was going on here. I've now split it into three categories. There's now a politics (local) category that focuses on town,...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

July 23, 2004

Is New York State a democracy?

I know we have an elected government, but its connection to actual voters seems more and more tenuous every year, as power in the state concentrates in three officials, only one of whom is elected directly. It's not specific to...

Posted by simon at 11:25 PM

July 20, 2004

TC3 advocate dies, county and state issues

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the sudden death of Rere Hassett, a professor at TC3 and head of the Public Assistance Comprehensive Employment (PACE) program there. They also report that senior coupon booklets for the Farmers' Market will be...

Posted by simon at 8:20 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

May 4, 2004

Living wage, minimum wage discussion

A small group of Dryden residents met with Carl Feuer and Pete Meyers of the Tompkins County Living Wage Coalition at Martha Ferger's home in the Village of Dryden Tuesday night. The main topic of conversation was movement on living...

Posted by simon at 9:52 PM

April 29, 2004

Living wage discussion in Dryden Tuesday night

Martha Ferger writes (and the Dryden Courier also reports): Town of Dryden residents who support a higher minimum wage for New York State are invited to meet on Tuesday, May 4 at 7:30 pm at the home of Martha and...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

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 22, 2004

Reactions to Pataki's budget

I ran out of time yesterday to cover most of the local reactions to Governor Pataki's budget. (I had to drive to Albany and back.) The state budget at this point seems to be the largest determining factor for local...

Posted by simon at 1:21 PM

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