March 14, 2012

Something I didn't expect to hear

While sitting in Newark Airport last night waiting for a flight back home, a few people from Syracuse were talking about how they were flying into Ithaca rather than Syracuse to save "a few hundred dollars". That comparison used to...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

December 7, 2011

County takes its own stand on gas drilling

Tompkins County has no land use authority, so it can't do much to regulate gas drilling except, I think, manage truck permits and decide whether or not to lease its own land. Despite that, this was encouraging, especially given that...

Posted by simon at 6:18 PM

July 30, 2011

County budget discussion Monday night in Varna

Last year's edition of this was already a painful exercise in figuring out what the county is actually allowed by the state to cut, and it sounds like this year will be even darker. I'm sure the "slash government" crowd...

Posted by simon at 5:20 PM

January 22, 2011

Dryden man indicted for child pornography

The Ithaca Journal reports that the Tompkins County grand jury has indicted a 45-year-old Dryden man with possessing and promoting child pornography. There's an article about property taxes going up across the county that never actually gets to Dryden, so...

Posted by simon at 7:18 AM

January 6, 2010

Dryden legislator becomes Chair

The County Legislature elected Martha Robertson as its Chair last night by a 13-2 vote. The Journal doesn't report much about her plans, but what they do say is: "I'm excited about the challenges and eager to really build a...

Posted by simon at 6:02 PM

January 2, 2010

Antiwar opponent for Arcuri?

It looks like Congressman Mike Arcuri may have an antiwar opponent. The surprise in that, though, is that Logan Bell would run as a Republican, although he's apparently a Constitution Party member. (Update: More here.) He's not merely against the...

Posted by simon at 8:17 PM

February 7, 2007

Tompkins doing all right, sort of

Ithaca College Professor Elia Kacapyr forecast an economic 2007 much like 2006 for Tompkins County yesterday. His economic activity index showed a decline of 0.1% last year, mostly because of the small number of jobs he saw created in the...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

October 5, 2006

Hattery on Empire Zone board

Tompkins County Legislator Michael Hattery was appointed to the Tompkins County Empire Zone board Tuesday night. The zone includes a few Dryden parcels at the 13/366 intersection and north of the Village of Dryden. (One thing that frustrates me is...

Posted by simon at 8:31 AM

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

June 13, 2006

Tompkins County adds younger residents

This morning's New York Times (registration required) has an article on the graying of upstate, noting that: Upstate New York is staggering from an accelerating exodus of young adults, new census results show. The migration is turning many communities grayer,...

Posted by simon at 7:36 AM

May 25, 2006

County presents on Natural Features Focus Areas

On Tuesday night, the Tompkins County Planning Department gave a presentation on their Natural Features Focus Areas project at the McLean Fire Hall. I'd guess thirty people were there. The session examined eight of the fifteen focus areas, mostly wetlands...

Posted by simon at 6:48 AM

April 18, 2006

Housing and immigation issues

This morning's Ithaca Journal examines the county's affordable housing problems in much greater depth than a confusing earlier article. The basic problem is simple: The study found that the median price of a single-family home rose from $92,000 in 1998...

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM

January 20, 2006

Dryden legislators on Industrial Development Agency

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the appointments of Dryden County Legislators Mike Hattery and Martha Robertson to the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency, and includes a fair amount from them on what they hope to accomplish. For Hattery, it...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

January 6, 2006

Crime and the cost of punishment

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

Posted by simon at 6:46 PM

November 30, 2005

Moving into the barn

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Karel Westerling's barn-to-house conversion in progress. Westerling has moved a barn 75 feet, and is working to create two four-bedroom homes inside of the space. The Saltonstall Arts Colony is looking for resident artists in...

Posted by simon at 12:18 PM

June 8, 2005

Dairy Day this Saturday

This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at Saturday's upcoming Dairy Day, with a schedule of events and a photo from one of last year's floats. Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk column visits the Dryden Disaster Partnership Group, "future visionaries...

Posted by simon at 7:34 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 8, 2005

Dryden Red Hats photo; emergency services communication

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a picture of Dryden Dollies Red Hat Society member Sue Caldwell holding a newborn lamb at the Cornell Sheep Program. In county news, the Public Safety Committee approved a conceptual plan for the emergency services...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

March 30, 2005

Helping education through recipes in memory

Cathy Wakeman's Town Talk column in today's Journal looks at "Heavenly Recipes," a cookbook dedicated to the memory of Michele Longo Ferris. The cookbook is available at Hill's Drugs in Dryden, and all proceeds will be dedicated to education. Wakeman...

Posted by simon at 7:13 AM

March 26, 2005

Golf course sale raises conflict of interest, other questions

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

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

March 20, 2005

County income tax possibilities

I mentioned an earlier Ithaca Journal article on the possibility of a county income tax to replace all or part of property taxes, but it seems like a non-starter for a lot of reasons, including the need to pass any...

Posted by simon at 3:08 PM

January 4, 2005

New BOCES head, county legislator salaries

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES has named Ellen O'Donnell as its new superintendent. O'Donnell is currently the superintendent of the Chenango Forks Central School District. An article on Tioga County notes that renewing your car registration by...

Posted by simon at 8:57 AM

December 22, 2004

Victorian Christmas, Kitchen Cupboard

This morning's Ithaca Journal catches up to the Victorian Christmas event the Village of Dryden held December 3rd, exploring how it and the wreaths along West Main Street came about. Cathy Wakeman celebrates a warm fire and a cup of...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

December 8, 2004

Victorian Festival; physical therapy; jail voted down

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

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

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

October 29, 2004

Heating aid, county budget, opinions

There's not much Dryden news in today's Journal, but there's a fair amount that applies to Dryden in some way. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is starting up again for the winter, and the Tompkins County Office for the...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

October 28, 2004

Ellis Hollow silt, county planning

This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at the silt problems in Ellis Hollow that came up at this month's Town Board meeting. Jennie Daley talks with residents near the intersection of Turkey Hill, Ellis Hollow and Quarry Roads about...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

October 22, 2004

Village of Dryden projects

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's Village of Dryden Board of Trustees meeting. The Trustees discussed possible grants for housing rehabilitation, sorting out issues with the Town regarding the Cortland Road Sewer District, and Christmas decorations. (The decorations...

Posted by simon at 8:17 AM

October 16, 2004

County budget sorting out

The county budget is coming to a conclusion, but it sounds like a muddle. Capital spending issues, especially for the jail and highways, drove the budget beyond the 3% levy increase cap. $48,000 for a half-time prosecutor, which seems to...

Posted by simon at 9:39 AM

October 11, 2004

Energy costs, environmental committees

This morning's Journal has very little specific to Dryden, but does include an article on a subject that affects us and a letter from the town on that subject: energy. Last week, the Journal published an article on a 15%...

Posted by simon at 8:05 AM

September 23, 2004

Quiet in day in Dryden, county news

This week continues to be a quiet one for Dryden-specific news, but there's a fair amount of county news that affects Dryden. The Tompkins County Municipal Officers Association will be having a forum on county government, with a focus on...

Posted by simon at 9:26 AM

September 22, 2004

TC3 hiring; County approves jail expansion planning

The Wednesday Ithaca Journal isn't what it used to be. As I noted last week, the Our Towns page is shrinking. Ads eat half the page, the demographic chart is gone, and one of the columns is on the other...

Posted by simon at 9:51 AM

September 2, 2004

New classes at TC3

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a range of new courses at TC3, from General Genetics to Web Design Solutions to Writing Romance Novel and Other Genre Fiction to Introduction to Sociology. The county's application for a grant to seek...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

August 25, 2004

$5,000 for Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund

Posted by simon at 8:29 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

July 27, 2004

And another quiet day in the Journal

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

Posted by simon at 5:44 AM

July 21, 2004

Principal, roads, 2-for-1 cats

Wednesdays are often busy Dryden days in the Ithaca Journal, but today's issue is overflowing. Doug Premo, Dryden Intermediate School Principal for grades three through five, is leaving for a job in Ballston Spa after fifteen months in Dryden. He'll...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

July 12, 2004

County patrols, OTB, jail, sign thefts

There's very little in today's Ithaca Journal specific to Dryden, but county issues come up. The Journal reports that State Police told the County Legislature Friday that they couldn't easily take over road patrol duties from the Sheriff's Department. Troopers...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

July 3, 2004

TCAT dart, calendar laurel

Posted by simon at 9:42 AM

June 29, 2004

June recreation issues

[I know, June is almost over, and I've not nearly finished covering the June Town Board meeting. I'm trying to finish it within the month of June, but definitely before next week's Town Board meeting. The town's minutes are available...

Posted by simon at 4:22 PM

June 23, 2004

Revised Dryden budget passes 3-2

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

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

June 22, 2004

Counties lobby state on Medicaid

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

Posted by simon at 8:40 AM

June 11, 2004

New Town Hall to be on site of old

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports from last night's Town Board meeting that the board settled on the location of the existing town hall (map) as the best of their options for building a new Town Hall. The combination of its...

Posted by simon at 8:19 AM

June 2, 2004

Dryden legislators split on assessments

Today's Journal reports that the County Legislature voted 9-5 against a proposal for a public hearing on shifting to a three-year assessment cycle put forward by Dryden County Legislator Mike Lane. Lane voted for it, while the other two legislators...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

May 5, 2004

County Natural Resources Inventory available

Tompkins County has published its 2001 Natural Resources Inventory on its web site. The Inventory includes: water bodies watersheds aquifers wetlands flood hazard areas slopes and topography soils bedrock geology surface geology unique natural areas state parks, forests, and wildlife...

Posted by simon at 8:12 PM

Poverty in Dryden, county budget

The articles in this week's Our Towns on Dryden and Groton are all about Groton. (Last week was largely Dryden.) There is a sidebar in the print edition with some statistics on families living on incomes below poverty level in...

Posted by simon at 9:23 AM

May 3, 2004

SPCA facilities, Stone Circle School

Today's Dryden news in the Ithaca Journal is friendly stuff. The Journal takes a look at the new SPCA building on Hanshaw Road, which is nearing completion. It sounds like an enormous change from the old building, which will still...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

May 2, 2004

County Planning comes to Dryden

As part of the process for the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Department held an open house and meeting on Thursday at the Dryden Town Hall. The open house started at three, with displays up and Deputy Commissioner of...

Posted by simon at 12:41 PM

Breaking down the County Comprehensive Plan

While the Draft Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan contains a lot of information, it's pretty enormous overall. They've broken it down into pieces by section, but even those sections are pretty large. Using Adobe Acrobat, I've broken it into smaller pieces...

Posted by simon at 11:13 AM

April 29, 2004

Two Dryden residents leaving ICSD board, one running

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that six people are running for three seats on the Ithaca City School District Board of Education. None of the three incumbents, including Dryden residents Arthur Berkey and Henry Kramer, is running again, while Dryden...

Posted by simon at 7:30 AM

April 28, 2004

beyondmeasure, Grange recognition, more

Since the Ithaca Journal instituted the Our Towns section, Wednesdays have consistently been a busy day for Dryden news. Today's paper includes: a story on beyondmeasure, the Dryden High School a cappella group that recently recorded a CD (and recorded...

Posted by simon at 8:50 AM

April 27, 2004

Dryden resident running for ICSD; county news

Today's Ithaca Journal reports that a Town of Dryden resident, David R. Lee, was the first to file petitions for a school board campaign in the Ithaca City School District. The rest of the Dryden-relevant news in today's paper seems...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

April 26, 2004

Busy day at Freese Road bridge

There was a lot going on at the closed Freese Road bridge today, with NYSEG doing electrical work to support the replacement sewer pump on the south side of the bridge, and Tompkins County working on the north side of...

Posted by simon at 5:03 PM

Draft County Comprehensive Plan available

If the Town of Dryden Draft Comprehensive Plan wasn't enough planning excitement for you, you can now add the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan to your reading list. I haven't had a chance to read it, but I'll be looking it...

Posted by simon at 3:15 PM

April 23, 2004

History and development

The news in today's Ithaca Journal is county news, not Dryden news. The Journal looks at "Creating a Competitive Workforce Advantage," a conference that was sponsored by Tompkins County Area Development, Tompkins Workforce New York, and the Tompkins County Chamber...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

April 22, 2004

Green buildings, ICSD

Today's Ithaca Journal, taking note of Earth Day, takes a look at green building practices in Tompkins County, including the Tompkins County SPCA expansion building under construction on Hanshaw Road. There's also a lot of coverage of the Ithaca City...

Posted by simon at 8:10 AM

April 21, 2004

TC3 memories

Ron Space, the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), gave a presentation to the Dryden Town Historical Association Monday night, shedding some light on how exactly the college came to be, and how...

Posted by simon at 8:43 AM

April 17, 2004

County and environmental issues

The April 8 Town Board meeting also included a number of conversations about activity at the county level, making town tax policy match county policy, and about environmental planning in conjunction with the county and the state. As noted in...

Posted by simon at 4:05 PM

April 14, 2004

Former bookkeeper indicted, Freeville police reduction, more

Liva Brong, former bookkeeper for the Town of Dryden, has been indicted on multiple forgery-related counts connected to accusations of writing $17,900 in checks to her boyfriend's business, reports this morning's Ithaca Journal. Because it's a Wednesday and their new...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

April 9, 2004

County has second-highest population growth in state

The Ithaca Journal reports that Census Bureau estimates find Tompkins county grew 1.6% last year, well above the state's overall growth of 0.3%. Orange County grew 2.1%, and the other counties with major growth were all in the Hudson Valley....

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

April 8, 2004

Preliminary budget, TCAT issues

This morning's Ithaca Journal has lots of county news. Last night's legislature meeting included tourism grants and a preliminary budget showing a 10% tax levy increase but no increase in the tax rate. TCAT is facing problems because state regulators...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

April 2, 2004

Fishing down, local economy up

It doesn't sound like the opening day fishing was very good, but on the brighter side Elia Kacapyr finds that the Tompkins County economy improved slightly overall in February....

Posted by simon at 8:30 AM

April 1, 2004

More on phosphorous, planning

As noted here previously, the Town of Dryden will be having a public hearing on the removal of phosphorous from the City of Ithaca's sewage treatment plant, which serves the Varna and Route 13 area sewer districts. Today's Ithaca Journal...

Posted by simon at 7:25 PM

March 30, 2004

Tompkins County industrial development and wages

Posted by simon at 5:24 PM

Sustainable Tompkins salon meets

Thirteen people, including four Dryden residents, met last night at Rogues Harbor in Lansing as part of the Sustainable Tompkins project. This was the first meeting of the "salon", which will gather every Monday there through May 3. (There are...

Posted by simon at 8:20 AM

March 25, 2004

County Comprehensive Plan examined in Varna

Senior Planner Heather Filiberto and Planning Analyst Tom Mank of the Tompkins County Planning Department presented work on the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan last night at the Varna Community Center. The scope of the county plan is very different from...

Posted by simon at 8:06 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

February 25, 2004

Property and related taxes

There are lots of small pieces in the Journal today on property taxes: STAR Enhanced and Senior Citizen's renewals must be returned to the Department of Assessment by Monday Tompkins County is considering increasing the mortgage recording taxes Farmers spoke...

Posted by simon at 5:58 PM

February 20, 2004

Real estate value issues

Tompkins County will consider ending annual assessment, after a number of years in which real estate prices and assessments have increased substantially. State aid supporting annual assessments may not come this year, and property-owners have been unhappy. On the other...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

February 18, 2004

County adds transgendered individuals to anti-bias law

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that two of Dryden's three county legislators voted to "protect the transgendered community and others from discrimination in employment, education, credit, public accommodation and housing." The county legislature split by party, with eleven Democrats, including...

Posted by simon at 8:41 AM

February 11, 2004

Housing costs in Tompkins climb

The Ithaca Journal reports on rising real estate prices in Tompkins County, driving assessments higher and making it harder for people to buy homes in the county. People are moving further out as a result, it seems. The Community Foundation...

Posted by simon at 10:32 AM

January 29, 2004

Winter driving, roads, economy

There's a lot of Tompkins County news in the Ithaca Journal today, though not much specific to Dryden. The editorial page is largely focused on winter driving issues, including an editorial, a guest column on safe driving, and two letters....

Posted by simon at 8:24 AM

January 26, 2004

Assessment information

Valeria Coggin, director of the Tompkins County Department of Assessment, has a guest editorial in today's Ithaca Journal on how property assessment works, including a listing of informational meetings. (None are in Dryden, unfortunately.) As reported in an earlier article,...

Posted by simon at 8:56 AM

January 25, 2004

Snow hazards and removal

Yesterday's Ithaca Journal is filled with articles on the hazards of winter driving and the difficulties of snow removal. The longest, Deadly Highways: Blowing Snow, Unsafe Speeds Create Recipe for Tragedies, starts from a fatal accident last year on Route...

Posted by simon at 10:20 AM

January 24, 2004

Visiting the Varna Volunteer Fire Company, Part II

On January 20, I sat down with Duane Testut, the Varna Volunteer Fire Company's treasurer, to talk about how our fire protection taxes are being spent. He'd seen my earlier post about the fire tax levy climbing 31.8% this year,...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

January 23, 2004

Journal obsessed with county executive?

I think I may have to start a new category just on the county executive issue, or maybe just on the Ithaca Journal's coverage of it, as they can't seem to stop writing about it. Tompkins County Republican Chairman Mark...

Posted by simon at 2:46 PM

January 7, 2004

Tim Joseph re-elected County Legislature Chair

Tim Joseph was re-elected chairman of the Tompkins County Legislature last night by an 11-3 vote. Among the Dryden representatives, Democrat Martha Robertson and Republican George Totman voted for him, while Democrat Michael Lane voted against him. While Lane noted...

Posted by simon at 10:02 AM

January 6, 2004


If you have lots of interest in local politics or a case of insomnia, there are at least two sets of legislative minutes available pertaining to Dryden. The first is the Town of Dryden's own Minutes page, with 2001-2003 minutes...

Posted by simon at 7:38 PM

January 3, 2004

County organization

The Ithaca Journal also reports that the County Legislature will have its organizational meeting on Tuesday, and that 2003 Chairman Tim Joseph looks likely to be chairman again. It notes some complaints from Frank Proto over his handling of the...

Posted by simon at 4:15 PM

December 26, 2003

County budget, executive

Michael Lane, a Tompkins County Legislator from Dryden, has a letter in today's Ithaca Journal criticizing an earlier guest column by David Ferris on the budget process. The Journal's own editorial also looks at the budget process, through the lens...

Posted by simon at 11:24 AM

December 13, 2003

More on the County Executive notion

The Journal now has a more complete article on the County Executive proposal made by Republicans yesterday. It's hard for me to see the point, and citing Chemung County as an example of how a government should run doesn't impress...

Posted by simon at 9:48 AM

December 12, 2003

Extra, extra - read all about a county executive?

The Ithaca Journal tends to post the contents of their paper to their web site once a day, and I've not seen very many "news updates". It's a little surprising to see one posted this afternoon, reported without any contrasting...

Posted by simon at 10:36 PM

December 2, 2003

County budget cliffhanger tonight

The Ithaca Journal offers analysis of what might happen at tonight's county budget meeting, after the rejection of the proposed budget two weeks ago....

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

December 1, 2003

311 System

Tompkins County has a 911 system for emergency calls, letting people contact a single number for coordinated help with whatever emergency problem they have. 911 seems to have succeeded pretty well overall, though making the change from individual numbers for...

Posted by simon at 9:56 AM

November 19, 2003

County rejects budget

The County Legislature voted 9-5 last night to reject the proposed budget. Of the Dryden legislators, Martha Robertson voted for it, while Mike Lane and George Totman voted against it. The future of the budget looks pretty complicated, so I...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

November 9, 2003

Drug Courts

One of the more fiery issues in Tompkins County lately has been the decision of George Dentes, District Attorney, to pull out of the drug court that Tim Joseph, Chairman of the County Legislature, supports. (Dentes was responding to the...

Posted by simon at 3:35 PM